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Sample records for affect reproductive performance

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Pre-spawning parental stress affects channel catfish, Ictalurus punctatus reproduction and subsequent progeny performance

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Routine fish handling procedures associated with seining, selecting, transportation, crowding, weighing, and stripping have shown to cause negative physiological responses to hatchery performance. In teleosts, cortisol is the main corticosteroid released during stress, and hence, plasma cortisol co...

  6. Experimental defoliation affects male but not female reproductive performance of the tropical monoecious plant Croton suberosus (Euphorbiaceae)

    PubMed Central

    Narbona, Eduardo; Dirzo, Rodolfo

    2010-01-01

    Background and Aims Monoecious plants have the capacity to allocate resources separately to male and female functions more easily than hermaphrodites. This can be advantageous against environmental stresses such as leaf herbivory. However, studies showing effects of herbivory on male and female functions and on the interaction with the plant's pollinators are limited, particularly in tropical plants. Here, the effects of experimental defoliation were examined in the monoecious shrub Croton suberosus (Euphorbiaceae), a wasp-pollinated species from a Mexican tropical dry forest. Methods Three defoliation treatments were applied: 0 % (control), 25 % (low) or 75 % (high) of plant leaf area removed. Vegetative (production of new leaves) and reproductive (pistillate and staminate flower production, pollen viability, nectar production, fruit set, and seed set) performance variables, and the abundance and activity of floral visitors were examined. Key Results Defoliated plants overcompensated for tissue loss by producing more new leaves than control plants. Production of staminate flowers gradually decreased with increasing defoliation and the floral sex ratio (staminate : pistillate flowers) was drastically reduced in high-defoliation plants. In contrast, female reproductive performance (pistillate flower production, fruit set and seed set) and pollinator visitation and abundance were not impacted by defoliation. Conclusions The asymmetrical effects of defoliation on male and female traits of C. suberosus may be due to the temporal and spatial flexibility in the allocation of resources deployed by monoecious plants. We posit that this helps to maintain the plant's pollination success in the face of leaf herbivory stress. PMID:20519239

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Dietary vitamin A, ascorbic acid and α-tocopherol affect the gonad development and reproductive performance of starry flounder Platichthys stellatus broodstock

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Jiying; Li, Baoshan; Liu, Xudong; Ma, Jingjing; Wang, Shixin; Zhang, Limin

    2014-03-01

    The present trial was conducted with starry flounder Platichthys stellatus broodstock to evaluate the effects of dietary vitamin A, ascorbic acid, and α-tocopherol on the gonadal development and reproductive performance. 8 000 IU/kg diet vitamin A (VA group), 500 mg/kg diet ascorbic acid (Vcpp group), or 250 mg/kg diet α-tocopherol (α-TA group) was added into basal diet to create 3 vitamin experimental diets, respectively. Each diet was fed to 450 starry flounder broodstock for 104 days. Samples were collected weekly. The gonadosomatic index (GSI) of 3 vitamin experimental groups first decreased and then increased. Maximum GSI of Vcpp group was higher than that of α-TA group but lower than that of VA group. The spawning periods of 3 vitamin experimental groups lasted 49, 56, and 45 days, respectively. No mature eggs were observed in the control group during the trial. The absolute fecundity (AF) and relative fecundity (RF) of α-TA group was higher than that of Vcpp group but lower than that of VA group. The results suggest that different vitamins play different roles in the fish reproductive process. Vitamin A stimulated the maturation of the ovary, ascorbic acid prolonged the spawning period, and α-tocopherol affected the development of the eggs.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Growth performance and reproductive traits at first parity of New Zealand white female rabbits as affected by heat stress and its alleviation under Egyptian conditions.

    PubMed

    Marai, I F; Ayyat, M S; Abd el-Monem, U M

    2001-12-01

    Exposing growing and adult New Zealand White (NZW) female rabbits to severe heat stress (temperature-humidity index = 28.9) during summer adversely affected their growth and reproductive traits. The traits that declined significantly (p < 0.01) were the live body weight, daily weight gain and feed intake of growing rabbits, and the litter size and litter weight at weaning (p < 0.05) and the pre-weaning weight gain of pups (p < 0.01) for adult females. The conception rate declined considerably with heat stress. The declines in the values of the digestibility coefficients due to heat stress were 7.9% (p < 0.05) for dry matter (DM), 8.1% (p < 0.05) for crude protein (CP) and 1.0% for crude fibre (CF). The traits that increased significantly (p < 0.01) due to heat stress were water intake, water/feed ratio and rectal temperature in growing rabbits and pre-weaning mortality for adult females. Alleviation of heat stress in the growing and adult female NZW rabbits was more efficient with drinking cool water (10-15 degrees C; between 10:00 and 17:00) than with supplementation with palm oil (as a source of energy) or natural clay (as a natural enhancer to growth and milk production). Supplying the animals with cool drinking water gave the highest body weight and weight gain, conception rate, litter size and weight and digestibility coefficients for DM and CP and the lowest rectal temperature, respiration rate and pre-weaning mortality. The loss in rabbit production pertaining to heat stress estimated from the percentages of decline in conception rate x pre-weaning mortality x litter weight at weaning was 73.0%. The provision of cool water restored 11/12 of heat loss. PMID:11770200

  15. 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.

  16. [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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Reproductive performance of female Alaskan caribou

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Adams, L.G.; Dale, B.W.

    1998-01-01

    We examined the reproductive performance of female caribou (Rangjfer tarandus granti) in relation to age, physical condition, and reproductive experience for 9 consecutive years (1987-95) at Denali National Park, Alaska, during a period of wide variation in winter snowfall. Caribou in Denali differed from other cervid populations where reproductive performance has been investigated, because they occur at low densities (less than or equal to 0.3/km(2)) and experience high losses of young to predation. Females first gave birth at 2-6 years old; 56% of these females were 3 years old. Average annual natality rates increased from 27% for 2-year-olds to 100% for 7-year-olds, remained high for 7-13-year-olds (98%), and then declined for females greater than or equal to 14 years old. Females greater than or equal to 2 years old that failed to reproduce were primarily sexually immature (76%). Reproductive pauses of sexually mature females occurred predominantly in young (3-6 yr old) and old (greater than or equal to 14 yr old) females. Natality increased with body mass for 10-month-old females weighed 6 months prior to the autumn breeding season (P = 0.007), and for females >1 year old and weighed during autumn (late Sep-early Nov; P = 0.003). Natality for 2-, 3-, 4-, and 6-year-olds declined with increasing late-winter snowfall (Feb-May; P less than or equal to 0.039) during the winter prior to breeding. In most years, a high percentage of sexually mature females reproduced, and lactation status at die time of breeding did not influence productivity the following year. However, following particularly high snowfall during February-September 1992, productivity was reduced in 1993 for cows successfully rearing calves to autumn the precious year. High losses of calves to predators in 1992 may have increased productivity in 1993. Losses of young-of-the year to predation prior to the annual breeding season can be an important influence on subsequent productivity for ungulate

  3. 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

  4. Factors influencing reproductive performance of northern bobwhite in South Florida

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rolland, V.; Hostetler, J.A.; Hines, T.C.; Percival, H.F.; Oli, M.K.

    2011-01-01

    Reproductive success is a critical component of individual fitness, and also an important determinant of growth rates of populations characterized by early maturity and high fecundity. We used radiotelemetry data collected during 2003-2008 to estimate reproductive parameters in a declining northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus) population in South Florida, and to test hypotheses regarding factors influencing these parameters. The overall clutch size was 12.10 ?? 0.22, but females laid more eggs in their first clutch (12.43 ?? 0.24) than in subsequent clutches (10.19 ?? 0.53) within a nesting season. Daily nest survival was higher for first (0.966 ?? 0.003) than subsequent nests (0.936 ?? 0.011). Hatchability (proportion of laid eggs that hatched conditional upon nest survival to hatching) was 0.853 ?? 0.008, but was higher for nests incubated by females (0.873 ?? 0.009) than those incubated by males (0.798 ?? 0.018). The proportion of individuals attempting a second nest was 0.112 ?? 0.024 and 0.281 ?? 0.040 when the first nest was successful and failed, respectively. Hatchability was lower when the nesting habitat was burned the previous winter. We found no evidence that food strip density (a management practice to provide supplemental food) influenced any of the reproductive parameters. Mean summer temperature affected hatchability, nest survival, and proportion of nests incubated by males. Overall, the reproductive output in our study population was lower than that reported for most other bobwhite populations, indicating that low reproductive performance may have contributed to bobwhite population declines in our study site. These results suggest that current management practices, particularly those related to habitat and harvest management, need careful evaluation. ?? 2010 Springer-Verlag.

  5. 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.

  6. Effects of radiotransmitters on the reproductive performance of Cassin's auklets

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ackerman, Joshua T.; Adams, Josh; Takekawa, John Y.; Carter, Harry R.; Whitworth, Darrell L.; Newman, Scott H.; Golightly, Richard T.; Orthmeyer, Dennis L.

    2004-01-01

    We examined whether radiotransmitters adversely affected the reproductive performance of Cassin's auklets (Ptychoramphus aleuticus) breeding on the California Channel Islands during 1999-2001. We attached external radiotransmitters to 1 partner in 108 Cassin's auklet pairs after nest initiation and used 131 unmarked, but handled, pairs as controls. Compared to alpha chicks raised by radiomarked pairs, alpha chicks raised by unmarked pairs had faster mass growth rates (1.95 ± 0.30 g d−1 vs. 3.37 ± 0.53 g d−1, respectively), faster wing growth rates (2.46 ± 0.10 mm d−1 vs. 2.85 ± 0.05 mm d−1), greater peak fledging masses (118.9 ± 3.5 g vs. 148.3 ± 2.4 g), and higher fledging success (61% vs. 90%). Fledging success was reduced more when we radiomarked the male (50% fledged) rather than the female partner (77% fledged). After fledging an alpha chick, unmarked pairs were more likely to initiate a second clutch (radiomarked: 7%; unmarked: 39%) but did not hatch a second egg (radiomarked: 4%; unmarked: 25%) or fledge a second (beta) chick (radiomarked: 4%; unmarked: 18%) significantly more often than radiomarked pairs. We resighted 12 radiomarked individuals nesting during a subsequent breeding season; each bird had shed its transmitter and healed the site of attachment. We suggest caution in using telemetry to evaluate the reproductive performance of alcids, but marking only females may minimize adverse effects.

  7. 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

  8. Effect of coronavirus infection on reproductive performance of turkey hens.

    PubMed

    Awe, Olusegun O; Ali, Ahmed; Elaish, Mohamed; Ibrahim, Mahmoud; Murgia, Maria; Pantin-Jackwood, Mary; Saif, Yehia M; Lee, Chang-Won

    2013-09-01

    Turkey coronavirus (TCoV) infection causes enteritis in turkeys of varying ages with high mortality in young birds. In older birds, field evidence indicates the possible involvement of TCoV in egg-production drops in turkey hens. However, no experimental studies have been conducted to demonstrate TCoV pathogenesis in turkey hens and its effect on reproductive performance. In the present study, we assessed the possible effect of TCoV on the reproductive performance of experimentally infected turkey hens. In two separate trials, 29- to 30-wk-old turkey hens in peak egg production were either mock-infected or inoculated orally with TCoV (Indiana strain). Cloacal swabs and intestinal and reproductive tissues were collected and standard reverse-transcription PCR was conducted to detect TCoV RNA. In the cloacal swabs, TCoV was detected consistently at 3, 5, 7, and 12 days postinoculation (DPI) with higher rates of detection after 5 DPI (> 90%). All intestinal samples were also positive for TCoV at 7 DPI, and microscopic lesions consisting of severe enteritis with villous atrophy were observed in the duodenum and jejunum of TCoV-infected hens. In one of the trials TCoV was detected from the oviduct of two birds at 7 DPI; however, no or mild microscopic lesions were present. In both experimental trials an average of 28%-29% drop in egg production was observed in TCoV-infected turkey hens between 4 and 7 DPI. In a separate trial we also confirmed that TCoV can efficiently transmit from infected to contact control hens. Our results show that TCoV infection can affect the reproductive performance in turkey hens, causing a transient drop in egg production. This drop in egg production most likely occurred as consequence of the severe enteritis produced by the TCoV. However, the potential replication of TCoV in the oviduct and its effect on pathogenesis should be considered and further investigated. PMID:24283132

  9. Effect of coronavirus infection on reproductive performance of turkey hens.

    PubMed

    Awe, Olusegun O; Ali, Ahmed; Elaish, Mohamed; Ibrahim, Mahmoud; Murgia, Maria; Pantin-Jackwood, Mary; Saif, Yehia M; Lee, Chang-Won

    2013-09-01

    Turkey coronavirus (TCoV) infection causes enteritis in turkeys of varying ages with high mortality in young birds. In older birds, field evidence indicates the possible involvement of TCoV in egg-production drops in turkey hens. However, no experimental studies have been conducted to demonstrate TCoV pathogenesis in turkey hens and its effect on reproductive performance. In the present study, we assessed the possible effect of TCoV on the reproductive performance of experimentally infected turkey hens. In two separate trials, 29- to 30-wk-old turkey hens in peak egg production were either mock-infected or inoculated orally with TCoV (Indiana strain). Cloacal swabs and intestinal and reproductive tissues were collected and standard reverse-transcription PCR was conducted to detect TCoV RNA. In the cloacal swabs, TCoV was detected consistently at 3, 5, 7, and 12 days postinoculation (DPI) with higher rates of detection after 5 DPI (> 90%). All intestinal samples were also positive for TCoV at 7 DPI, and microscopic lesions consisting of severe enteritis with villous atrophy were observed in the duodenum and jejunum of TCoV-infected hens. In one of the trials TCoV was detected from the oviduct of two birds at 7 DPI; however, no or mild microscopic lesions were present. In both experimental trials an average of 28%-29% drop in egg production was observed in TCoV-infected turkey hens between 4 and 7 DPI. In a separate trial we also confirmed that TCoV can efficiently transmit from infected to contact control hens. Our results show that TCoV infection can affect the reproductive performance in turkey hens, causing a transient drop in egg production. This drop in egg production most likely occurred as consequence of the severe enteritis produced by the TCoV. However, the potential replication of TCoV in the oviduct and its effect on pathogenesis should be considered and further investigated.

  10. Quantum Tunneling Affects Engine Performance.

    PubMed

    Som, Sibendu; Liu, Wei; Zhou, Dingyu D Y; Magnotti, Gina M; Sivaramakrishnan, Raghu; Longman, Douglas E; Skodje, Rex T; Davis, Michael J

    2013-06-20

    We study the role of individual reaction rates on engine performance, with an emphasis on the contribution of quantum tunneling. It is demonstrated that the effect of quantum tunneling corrections for the reaction HO2 + HO2 = H2O2 + O2 can have a noticeable impact on the performance of a high-fidelity model of a compression-ignition (e.g., diesel) engine, and that an accurate prediction of ignition delay time for the engine model requires an accurate estimation of the tunneling correction for this reaction. The three-dimensional model includes detailed descriptions of the chemistry of a surrogate for a biodiesel fuel, as well as all the features of the engine, such as the liquid fuel spray and turbulence. This study is part of a larger investigation of how the features of the dynamics and potential energy surfaces of key reactions, as well as their reaction rate uncertainties, affect engine performance, and results in these directions are also presented here.

  11. Enhancing reproductive performance in domestic dairy water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis).

    PubMed

    Zicarelli, L

    2010-01-01

    The purpose of the review is to describe the factors that affect fertility in domestic water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) and the techniques that enable an improvement in reproductive performance. On Italian and Latin American farms where natural mating is practiced and bulls are always present in the herd, the inter-calving interval is approximately 400 days and the culling rate is lower than 15%. The buffalo has a tendency for seasonal reproductive activity. Reproduction is favoured when there is a decrease in day length. Ovarian activity stops if conception does not occur within 3 to 5 ovarian cycles. It is important, therefore, that appropriate management of the transition period is practiced, particularly with respect to the hygienic conditions of the uterus. In tropical countries located north of the equator, feed deficiencies and heat stress are considered the main factors that lead to poor fertility in the summer. In Pakistan, for example, the increase in body condition score during the autumn was associated with the commencement of the breeding season in buffaloes. Anoestrus is observed also in Italy, however, where the average daily temperature during the same period is 13.5 to 23.5 degrees C and feeding is constant throughout the year. The only common element between the two areas is the progressive increase in daylight hours between April and June and the day length greater than 12 hours up to September. In Italian herds that apply an out-of-season breeding strategy, an improvement in fertility (measured as the percentage of corpora lutea corresponding to subsequent pregnancy) is observed when water pools are present on the farm. This demonstrates that an improvement in environmental conditions reduces the incidence of embryonic mortality and/or abnormal cycles. To summarize, in the absence of serious nutritional problems, an improvement in environmental conditions increases fertility in buffalo.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Nutritional effects on reproductive performance of captive adult female coyotes (Canis latrans).

    PubMed

    Gese, Eric M; Roberts, Beth M; Knowlton, Frederick F

    2016-02-01

    Interactions between animals and their environment are fundamental to ecological research. Field studies of coyote (Canis latrans) reproductive performance suggest mean litter size changes in response to prey abundance. However, this relationship has been assessed primarily by using carcasses collected from trappers. The objective of this study was to assess whether nutritional manipulation prior to mating affected reproduction in adult female coyotes. We examined the effects of caloric restriction during the 7 months prior to estrus on the reproductive rates of 11 captive female coyotes and the subsequent initial survival of pups through two reproductive cycles. This was a 2-year study with a cross-over design so each female was monitored for reproductive performance on each of the two diet treatments. We assessed the number of implantation scars, number of pups born, sex ratios of pups, average pup weight at birth and 2- and 6-weeks of age, and the survival rates between implantation and 2-weeks of age for two diet treatments. We found the mean number of implantation sites and pups whelped during a reproductive cycle was influenced by food-intake prior to conception. Additionally, we found evidence suggesting the effects of nutritional stress may persist for additional breeding cycles. We also provided evidence suggesting well-fed females tended to have more male pups. Understanding how environmental factors influence reproductive output may improve model predictions of coyote population dynamics.

  17. Nutritional effects on reproductive performance of captive adult female coyotes (Canis latrans).

    PubMed

    Gese, Eric M; Roberts, Beth M; Knowlton, Frederick F

    2016-02-01

    Interactions between animals and their environment are fundamental to ecological research. Field studies of coyote (Canis latrans) reproductive performance suggest mean litter size changes in response to prey abundance. However, this relationship has been assessed primarily by using carcasses collected from trappers. The objective of this study was to assess whether nutritional manipulation prior to mating affected reproduction in adult female coyotes. We examined the effects of caloric restriction during the 7 months prior to estrus on the reproductive rates of 11 captive female coyotes and the subsequent initial survival of pups through two reproductive cycles. This was a 2-year study with a cross-over design so each female was monitored for reproductive performance on each of the two diet treatments. We assessed the number of implantation scars, number of pups born, sex ratios of pups, average pup weight at birth and 2- and 6-weeks of age, and the survival rates between implantation and 2-weeks of age for two diet treatments. We found the mean number of implantation sites and pups whelped during a reproductive cycle was influenced by food-intake prior to conception. Additionally, we found evidence suggesting the effects of nutritional stress may persist for additional breeding cycles. We also provided evidence suggesting well-fed females tended to have more male pups. Understanding how environmental factors influence reproductive output may improve model predictions of coyote population dynamics. PMID:26763531

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Effects of atrazine exposure on male reproductive performance in Drosophila melanogaster

    PubMed Central

    Vogel, Andrea; Jocque, Harper; Sirot, Laura K.; Fiumera, Anthony C.

    2014-01-01

    Atrazine is a commonly utilized herbicide to control broadleaf weeds in the agricultural setting. It can, however, have negative effects on male reproductive performance in a variety of vertebrate species. Much less is known, however, about the effects of atrazine on invertebrates. In this study, we investigated the effects of several different concentrations of larval atrazine exposure on measures of reproductive performance in adult male Drosophila melanogaster. Atrazine exposure had significant effects on a male’s mating ability and the number of eggs his partner lays when he was successful at mating. Exposed males also sired a smaller proportion of the offspring under competitive conditions when they were the first male to mate to a doubly mated female. Atrazine exposure had no measurable effect on a male’s ability to prevent a mated female from mating to another male or on the proportion of offspring sired when the exposed males were the second male to mate. Exposure upregulated expression of one male reproductive gene, ovulin, but had no effect on expression of another, sex peptide. Exposed males produced and transferred more sex peptide protein to the female during mating but ovulin protein levels were not affected. In general, we observed non-monotonic responses such that the intermediate exposure levels showed the largest reduction in male reproductive performance. This study suggests that atrazine exposure affects male reproductive performance in insects and future studies should aim to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying the fitness effects of exposure. PMID:25445663

  1. Effects of atrazine exposure on male reproductive performance in Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    Vogel, Andrea; Jocque, Harper; Sirot, Laura K; Fiumera, Anthony C

    2015-01-01

    Atrazine is a commonly utilized herbicide to control broadleaf weeds in the agricultural setting. It can, however, have negative effects on male reproductive performance in a variety of vertebrate species. Much less is known, however, about the effects of atrazine on invertebrates. In this study, we investigated the effects of several different concentrations of larval atrazine exposure on measures of reproductive performance in adult male Drosophila melanogaster. Atrazine exposure had significant effects on a male's mating ability and the number of eggs his partner laid when he was successful at mating. Exposed males also sired a smaller proportion of the offspring under competitive conditions when they were the first male to mate to a doubly mated female. Atrazine exposure had no measurable effect on a male's ability to prevent a mated female from mating to another male or on the proportion of offspring sired when the exposed males were the second male to mate. Exposure upregulated expression of one male reproductive gene, ovulin, but had no effect on expression of another, sex peptide. Exposed males produced and transferred more sex peptide protein to the female during mating but ovulin protein levels were not affected. In general, we observed non-monotonic responses such that the intermediate exposure levels showed the largest reduction in male reproductive performance. This study suggests that atrazine exposure affects male reproductive performance in insects and future studies should aim to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying the fitness effects of exposure.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Effects of chlorpyrifos on reproductive performances of guppy (Poecilia reticulata).

    PubMed

    De Silva, P M C S; Samayawardhena, L A

    2005-03-01

    Guppy (Poecilia reticulata) was selected to investigate the effects of chlorpyrifos on reproductive performances. Male and female guppy with proven fertility were selected from our own colony and the groups of fish (n=72/group) were exposed to pre-determined chlorpyrifos concentrations (0.002 microg/l, 2 microg/l) based on the 96-h LC50 for guppy. Mating behavior of males was recorded on the 2nd day of exposure. Offspring were counted and survival recorded on the 14th day. Gonopodial thrusts (8/15 min) in 0.002 microg/l and (4/15 min) in 2 microg/l were significantly different from the control group (11/15 min). Similarly, live birth reduced significantly to 8/female in 2 microg/l compared to 27/female in the control group. Survival of offspring after 14 days was reduced to 47% in the 2 microg/l group compared to 94% of survival in the control. Our findings demonstrate that low soluble concentrations of chlorpyrifos affect mating behavior, number of offspring and offspring survival of guppy.

  6. Structural and performance costs of reproduction in a pure capital breeder, the Children's python Antaresia childreni.

    PubMed

    Lourdais, Olivier; Lorioux, Sophie; DeNardo, Dale F

    2013-01-01

    Females often manage the high energy demands associated with reproduction by accumulating and storing energy in the form of fat before initiating their reproductive effort. However, fat stores cannot satisfy all reproductive resource demands, which include considerable investment of amino acids (e.g., for the production of yolk proteins or gluconeogenesis). Because capital breeders generally do not eat during reproduction, these amino acids must come from internal resources, typically muscle proteins. Although the energetic costs of reproduction have been fairly well studied, there are limited data on structural and performance costs associated with the muscle degradation required to meet amino acid demands. Thus, we examined structural changes (epaxial muscle width) and performance costs (constriction and strength) over the course of reproduction in a pure capital breeder, the children's python (Antaresia childreni). We found that both egg production (i.e., direct resource allocation) and maternal care (egg brooding) induce muscle catabolism and affect performance of the female. Although epaxial muscle loss was minimal in nonreproductive females, it reached up to 22% (in females after oviposition) and 34% (in females after brooding) of initial muscle width. Interestingly, we found that individuals with higher initial muscular condition allocated more of their muscle into reproduction. The amount of muscle loss was significantly linked to clutch mass, underscoring the role of structural protein in egg production. Egg brooding significantly increased proteolysis and epaxial loss despite no direct allocation to the offspring. Muscle loss was linked to a significant reduction in performance in postreproductive females. Overall, these results demonstrate that capital-breeding females experience dramatic costs that consume structural resources and jeopardize performance.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. [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.

  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. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Evaluating the sound quality of reproduction systems and performance spaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Griesinger, David

    2003-10-01

    Evaluation of sound reproduction systems through rapid A/B tests has led to enormous and rapid progress in system design. The sound quality of performance spaces is almost always evaluated through long term listening, and spaces are compared through remembered characteristics. Progress has not been rapid. This paper will present methods for rapid A/B comparisons of spaces and will demonstrate the results of such comparisons. The results can be very different from remembered impressions.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. How Coriolis meter design affects field performance

    SciTech Connect

    Levien, A.; Dudiak, A.

    1995-12-31

    Although many possibilities exist for the design of Coriolis flowmeters, a common set of fundamental physical principles affect practical meter design. Design criteria such as tube geometry, alloy section, operating frequencies, stress levels, and tubing wall thickness have varying impacts on meter performance. Additionally, field conditions such as changing temperature, pressure, pipeline stress and vibration affect measurement performance. The challenge created in Coriolis flow meter design is to maximize the sensitivity of the meter Coriolis forces, while minimizing the impact of outside environmental influences. Data are presented on the physical principles that affect Coriolis flowmeters, and how the various aspects of meter design influence field performance.

  20. 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

  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.

  2. [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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Effects of phenylalanine on reproductive performance and teratogenesis in mice.

    PubMed

    Oliveira, R J; Pesarini, J R; Mauro, M O; Fronza, L S; Victorelli, S G; Cantero, W B; Sena, M C; Antoniolli, A C M B

    2014-07-25

    We evaluated the effects of phenylalanine on reproductive performance and teratogenesis in mice, as well as we assessed its protective effect in mice treated with an acute dose of cyclophosphamide. Animals were divided into 6 experimental groups (females N = 15/group, males N = 5/group): G1, the negative control group, phosphate-buffered saline; G2, the positive control group, 35 mg cyclophosphamide/kg body weight (b.w.); G3 and G4 received phenylalanine at doses of 150 and 300 mg/ kg b.w., respectively; G5 and G6 received phenylalanine at doses of 150 and 300 mg/kg b.w. co-administered with cyclophosphamide at a dose of 35 mg/kg b.w., respectively. Pregnant mice received phenylalanine from 8-12 days of pregnancy and cyclophosphamide on the 10th day of treatment or the respective vehicles. In animals treated with cyclophosphamide, offspring fetal weight significantly decreased. The G5 and G6 groups, which received cyclophosphamide co-administered with phenylalanine, showed a smaller reduction in weight. Based on this analysis, the offspring from groups G2, G5, and G6 showed low weight due to pregnancy age. Moreover, at the doses used, phenylalanine did not interfere with embryo-fetal development. However, further studies are necessary to increase the understanding of the effects of phenylalanine on mouse reproductive performance and teratogenesis.

  7. Chronic perchlorate exposure impairs stickleback reproductive behaviour and swimming performance

    PubMed Central

    Bernhardt, Richard R.; von Hippel, Frank A.

    2011-01-01

    Summary We describe behavioural changes in two generations of threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) exposed to environmentally relevant concentrations of perchlorate. The first generation (G0,2002) was exposed as two-year-old adults to perchlorate in experimental groups ranging in concentration from less than the method detection limit (<1.1 ppb) to 18.6 ppm for up to 22 days during their courtship, spawning, egg guarding, and first five days of fry guarding. No differences were noted in the behaviour or reproductive output of these fish that were exposed as adults. However, perchlorate exposure throughout development caused widespread effects in the second generation (G1,2003), which was spawned and raised through sexual maturity in one of four nominal experimental groups (0, 30 and 100 ppm, and a ‘variable’ treatment that progressively increased from <1.1 ppb to approximately 60 ppm perchlorate). Dose-dependent effects were found during the G1,2003’s swimming and behavioural evaluations, including higher mortality rates among treated fish following stressful events. Perchlorate-exposed fish had higher failure rates during swimming trials and failed at lower flow rates than control fish. A number of treated fish exhibited seizures. Progressively fewer males completed benchmark metrics, such as nest building, spawning, nursery formation, or fry production, in a dose-dependent manner. Fewer males from higher treatments courted females, and those that did initiated courtship later and had a reduced behavioural repertoire compared to fish from lower treatments. The lowest observed adverse effect level (LOAEL) for swimming performance, reproductive behaviour, survivorship and recruitment was 30 ppm perchlorate (our lowest G1,2003 treatment), and near complete inhibition of reproductive activity was noted among males raised in 100 ppm perchlorate. A small number of treated G1,2003 females were isolated in aquaria, and some performed reproductive

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Enhancing reproductive performance in dairy buffalo: major constraints and achievements.

    PubMed

    Nanda, A S; Brar, P S; Prabhakar, S

    2003-01-01

    Buffalo are of high economic importance for farmers in several developing countries but reproductive performance is poor. A large proportion of heifers attain puberty at 3-5 years of age. A good quality diet supplemented with extra nutrients reduces the age of puberty, whereas the effects of administration of exogenous GnRH or equine chorionic gonadotrophin (eCG) are equivocal. The incidence of anoestrus in buffalo ranges from 20 to 80% depending on season. Most buffalo cease ovarian cyclicity during hot summers probably due to the combined effects of nutrition, environment and management. Keeping buffalo cool by wallowing, water sprinklers or shade improves fertility. Supplementary feeding with Urea Molasses Multi-nutrient Blocks (UMMB) for 60 days before calving enhances the early onset of postpartum oestrus. Regular UMMB supplementation also improves pregnancy rates in anoestrous non-pregnant buffalo. Prepartum vaginal prolapse is hereditary and eradication can be achieved by genetic selective breeding programmes. Treatment with calcium, phosphorus and progesterone gives only transient relief to clinical cases. Uterine torsion is the most common cause of dystocia (70%). Deployment of Sharma's detorsion method and anti-stress measures increase survival rates in cases presented within 36 h. In conclusion, greater understanding about the effects of better year-round nutrition, improved management and markers for logical breeding programmes are essential to curtail the incidence of the reproductive disorders that reduce buffalo fertility.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Calm temperament improves reproductive performance of beef cows.

    PubMed

    Kasimanickam, R; Asay, M; Schroeder, S; Kasimanickam, V; Gay, J M; Kastelic, J P; Hall, J B; Whittier, W D

    2014-12-01

    Profitability of a beef operation is determined by the proportion of cows attaining pregnancy early in the breeding season and those that are pregnant at the end of breeding season. Many factors, including temperament, contribute to those reproductive parameters. The objective of this study was to evaluate effects of temperament on reproductive performance of beef cows. In Experiment 1, Angus and Angus-cross beef cows (n = 1546) from eight locations were assigned a body condition score (BCS; 1 = emaciated; 9 = obese) and chute exit and gait score (1 = slow exit, walk; calm temperament; 2 = jump, trot or run; excitable temperament). Cows were grouped with bulls (1 : 25 to 1 : 30; with satisfactory breeding potential and free of venereal disease) for an 85-day breeding season. Pregnancy status and stage of gestation were determined (transrectal palpation) 35 days after the end of the breeding season. Controlling for BCS (p < 0.01) and handling facility (p < 0.0001) and handling facility by temperament score interaction (p < 0.001), breeding season pregnancy rate was lower in excited versus calm cows [88.6% (798/901) vs 94.1% (607/645); p < 0.001]. Cows with an excitable temperament took 24 more days to become pregnant compared to calm cows (median days to pregnancy, 35 vs 59 days; p < 0.0001). In Experiment 2, Angus and Angus-cross beef cows (n = 1407) from 8 locations were assigned scores for body condition and chute exit and gait (as described in Experiment 1) and assigned to bulls (breeding sound and free of venereal disease; 1 : 25 to 1 : 30) for 85 days. Pregnancy status was determined by transrectal palpation at 2 and 6 months after the onset of the breeding season. Controlling for BCS (p < 0.05), pregnancy loss was higher in excited versus calm cows [5.5% (36/651) vs 3.2% (20/623), p < 0.0001]. In conclusion, beef cows with an excitable temperament had significantly lower reproductive performance than calmer cows. The modified two-point chute exit-gait scoring

  14. 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.

  15. Effect of heat stress on reproductive performances of dairy cattle and buffaloes: A review.

    PubMed

    Dash, Soumya; Chakravarty, A K; Singh, Avtar; Upadhyay, Arpan; Singh, Manvendra; Yousuf, Saleem

    2016-03-01

    Heat stress has adverse effects on the reproductive performances of dairy cattle and buffaloes. The dairy sector is a more vulnerable to global warming and climate change. The temperature humidity index (THI) is the widely used index to measure the magnitude of heat stress in animals. The objective of this paper was to assess the decline in performances of reproductive traits such as service period, conception rate and pregnancy rate of dairy cattle and buffaloes with respect to increase in THI. The review stated that service period in cattle is affected by season of calving for which cows calved in summer had the longest service period. The conception rate and pregnancy rate in dairy cattle were found decreased above THI 72 while a significant decline in reproductive performances of buffaloes was observed above threshold THI 75. The non-heat stress zone (HSZ) (October to March) is favorable for optimum reproductive performance, while fertility is depressed in HSZ (April to September) and critical HSZ (CHSZ) (May and June). Heat stress in animals has been associated with reduced fertility through its deleterious impact on oocyte maturation and early embryo development. The management strategies viz., nutrition modification, environment modification and timed artificial insemination protocol are to be strictly operated to ameliorate the adverse effects of heat stress in cattle and buffaloes during CHSZ to improve their fertility. The identification of genes associated with heat tolerance, its incorporation into breeding program and the inclusion of THI covariate effects in selection index should be targeted for genetic evaluation of dairy animals in the hot climate. PMID:27057105

  16. Effect of heat stress on reproductive performances of dairy cattle and buffaloes: A review

    PubMed Central

    Dash, Soumya; Chakravarty, A. K.; Singh, Avtar; Upadhyay, Arpan; Singh, Manvendra; Yousuf, Saleem

    2016-01-01

    Heat stress has adverse effects on the reproductive performances of dairy cattle and buffaloes. The dairy sector is a more vulnerable to global warming and climate change. The temperature humidity index (THI) is the widely used index to measure the magnitude of heat stress in animals. The objective of this paper was to assess the decline in performances of reproductive traits such as service period, conception rate and pregnancy rate of dairy cattle and buffaloes with respect to increase in THI. The review stated that service period in cattle is affected by season of calving for which cows calved in summer had the longest service period. The conception rate and pregnancy rate in dairy cattle were found decreased above THI 72 while a significant decline in reproductive performances of buffaloes was observed above threshold THI 75. The non-heat stress zone (HSZ) (October to March) is favorable for optimum reproductive performance, while fertility is depressed in HSZ (April to September) and critical HSZ (CHSZ) (May and June). Heat stress in animals has been associated with reduced fertility through its deleterious impact on oocyte maturation and early embryo development. The management strategies viz., nutrition modification, environment modification and timed artificial insemination protocol are to be strictly operated to ameliorate the adverse effects of heat stress in cattle and buffaloes during CHSZ to improve their fertility. The identification of genes associated with heat tolerance, its incorporation into breeding program and the inclusion of THI covariate effects in selection index should be targeted for genetic evaluation of dairy animals in the hot climate. PMID:27057105

  17. 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

  18. Effect of dietary vitamin A on reproductive performance and immune response of broiler breeders.

    PubMed

    Yuan, Jianmin; Roshdy, Abdelfatah Rashad; Guo, Yuming; Wang, Yongwei; Guo, Shuangshuang

    2014-01-01

    The effects of dietary vitamin A supplementation on reproductive performance, liver function, fat-soluble vitamin retention, and immune response were studied in laying broiler breeders. In the first phase of the experiment, 1,120 Ross-308 broiler breeder hens were fed a diet of corn and soybean meal supplemented with 5,000 to 35,000 IU/kg vitamin A (retinyl acetate) for 20 weeks. In the second phase, 384 Ross-308 broiler breeder hens were fed the same diet supplemented with 5,000 to 135,000 IU/kg vitamin A (retinyl acetate) for 24 weeks. The hens' reproductive performance, the concentrations of vitamins A and E in liver and egg yolk, liver function, mRNA expression of vitamin D receptor in duodenal mucosa, antibody titers against Newcastle disease virus vaccine, and T-cell proliferation responses were evaluated. Supplementation of vitamin A at levels up to and including 35,000 IU/kg did not affect reproductive performance and quadratically affected antibody titer to Newcastle disease virus vaccine (p<0.05). Dietary addition of vitamin A linearly increased vitamin A concentration in liver and yolk and linearly decreased α-, γ-, and total tocopherol concentration in yolk (p<0.01) and α-tocopherol in liver (p<0.05). Supplementation of vitamin A at doses of 45,000 IU/kg and above significantly decreased egg weight, yolk color, eggshell thickness and strength, and reproductive performance. Dietary vitamin A significantly increased mRNA expression of vitamin D receptor in duodenal mucosa (p<0.05), increased aspartate amino transferase activity, and decreased total bilirubin concentration in serum. Supplementation of vitamin A at 135,000 IU/kg decreased the proliferation of peripheral blood lymphocytes (p<0.05). Therefore, the maximum tolerable dose of vitamin A for broiler breeders appears to be 35,000 IU/kg, as excessive supplementation has been shown to impair liver function, reproductive performance, and immune response. PMID:25148198

  19. Effect of dietary vitamin A on reproductive performance and immune response of broiler breeders.

    PubMed

    Yuan, Jianmin; Roshdy, Abdelfatah Rashad; Guo, Yuming; Wang, Yongwei; Guo, Shuangshuang

    2014-01-01

    The effects of dietary vitamin A supplementation on reproductive performance, liver function, fat-soluble vitamin retention, and immune response were studied in laying broiler breeders. In the first phase of the experiment, 1,120 Ross-308 broiler breeder hens were fed a diet of corn and soybean meal supplemented with 5,000 to 35,000 IU/kg vitamin A (retinyl acetate) for 20 weeks. In the second phase, 384 Ross-308 broiler breeder hens were fed the same diet supplemented with 5,000 to 135,000 IU/kg vitamin A (retinyl acetate) for 24 weeks. The hens' reproductive performance, the concentrations of vitamins A and E in liver and egg yolk, liver function, mRNA expression of vitamin D receptor in duodenal mucosa, antibody titers against Newcastle disease virus vaccine, and T-cell proliferation responses were evaluated. Supplementation of vitamin A at levels up to and including 35,000 IU/kg did not affect reproductive performance and quadratically affected antibody titer to Newcastle disease virus vaccine (p<0.05). Dietary addition of vitamin A linearly increased vitamin A concentration in liver and yolk and linearly decreased α-, γ-, and total tocopherol concentration in yolk (p<0.01) and α-tocopherol in liver (p<0.05). Supplementation of vitamin A at doses of 45,000 IU/kg and above significantly decreased egg weight, yolk color, eggshell thickness and strength, and reproductive performance. Dietary vitamin A significantly increased mRNA expression of vitamin D receptor in duodenal mucosa (p<0.05), increased aspartate amino transferase activity, and decreased total bilirubin concentration in serum. Supplementation of vitamin A at 135,000 IU/kg decreased the proliferation of peripheral blood lymphocytes (p<0.05). Therefore, the maximum tolerable dose of vitamin A for broiler breeders appears to be 35,000 IU/kg, as excessive supplementation has been shown to impair liver function, reproductive performance, and immune response.

  20. Effect of Dietary Vitamin A on Reproductive Performance and Immune Response of Broiler Breeders

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Yuming; Wang, Yongwei; Guo, Shuangshuang

    2014-01-01

    The effects of dietary vitamin A supplementation on reproductive performance, liver function, fat-soluble vitamin retention, and immune response were studied in laying broiler breeders. In the first phase of the experiment, 1,120 Ross-308 broiler breeder hens were fed a diet of corn and soybean meal supplemented with 5,000 to 35,000 IU/kg vitamin A (retinyl acetate) for 20 weeks. In the second phase, 384 Ross-308 broiler breeder hens were fed the same diet supplemented with 5,000 to 135,000 IU/kg vitamin A (retinyl acetate) for 24 weeks. The hens' reproductive performance, the concentrations of vitamins A and E in liver and egg yolk, liver function, mRNA expression of vitamin D receptor in duodenal mucosa, antibody titers against Newcastle disease virus vaccine, and T-cell proliferation responses were evaluated. Supplementation of vitamin A at levels up to and including 35,000 IU/kg did not affect reproductive performance and quadratically affected antibody titer to Newcastle disease virus vaccine (p<0.05). Dietary addition of vitamin A linearly increased vitamin A concentration in liver and yolk and linearly decreased α-, γ-, and total tocopherol concentration in yolk (p<0.01) and α-tocopherol in liver (p<0.05). Supplementation of vitamin A at doses of 45,000 IU/kg and above significantly decreased egg weight, yolk color, eggshell thickness and strength, and reproductive performance. Dietary vitamin A significantly increased mRNA expression of vitamin D receptor in duodenal mucosa (p<0.05), increased aspartate amino transferase activity, and decreased total bilirubin concentration in serum. Supplementation of vitamin A at 135,000 IU/kg decreased the proliferation of peripheral blood lymphocytes (p<0.05). Therefore, the maximum tolerable dose of vitamin A for broiler breeders appears to be 35,000 IU/kg, as excessive supplementation has been shown to impair liver function, reproductive performance, and immune response. PMID:25148198

  1. 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.

  2. The use of hormonal treatments to improve reproductive performance of anestrous beef cattle in tropical climates.

    PubMed

    Baruselli, P S; Reis, E L; Marques, M O; Nasser, L F; Bó, G A

    2004-07-01

    Most of the world's bovine herd is found in tropical regions. Bos indicus predominates, due to their adaptation to the climate and management conditions. Anestrous is the main factor that negatively affects reproductive performance of animals bred in these regions of the globe. Several factors affect postpartum anestrous, including suckling and maternal-offspring bond, and pre- and postpartum nutritional status. The short duration of estrus and the tendency to show estrus during the night, greatly affect the efficiency of artificial insemination (AI) programs in B. indicus cattle managed in tropical areas. Several restricted suckling or weaning procedures (temporary or permanent), and hormonal treatments have been used to induce ovulation and cyclicity in postpartum cows. Most hormonal treatments are based on progesterone/progestogen (P4) releasing devices associated with estradiol benzoate (EB), or a combination of GnRH/PGF(2alpha)/GnRH (Ovsynch). Treatments with GnRH/PGF(2alpha)/GnRH has presented inconsistent results, probably due to the variable number of cows in anestrous. Treatments using P4 devices and EB have resulted in apparently more consistent results than Ovsynch programs in B. indicus cattle; however, pregnancy rates are low in herds presenting high anestrous rates and moderate to low body condition. The addition of an eCG treatment at the time of device removal, which increased plasma progesterone concentrations and pregnancy rates in anestrous postpartum suckled B. indicus cows, may be useful to improve reproductive performance of beef cattle in tropical climates. PMID:15271474

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Barry, Katherine L.

    2013-01-01

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

  9. 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

  10. Effects of ammonium perchlorate on the reproductive performance and thyroid follicle histology of zebrafish

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Patino, R.; Wainscott, M.R.; Cruz-Li, E. I.; Balakrishnan, S.; McMurry, C.; Blazer, V.S.; Anderson, T.A.

    2003-01-01

    Adult zebrafish were reared up to eight weeks in control water or in water containing ammonium perchlorate (AP) at measured perchlorate concentrations of 18 (environmentally relevant, high) and 677 ppm. Groups of eight females were paired with four males on a weekly basis to assess AP effects on spawned egg volume, an index of reproductive performance. All treatments were applied to four to five spawning replicates. At 677 ppm, spawn volume was reduced within one week and became negligible after four weeks. At 18 ppm, spawn volume was unaffected even after eight weeks. Also, perchlorate at 18 ppm did not affect percentage egg fertilization. Fish were collected at the end of the exposures (677 ppm, four weeks; control and 18 ppm, eight weeks) for whole-body perchlorate content and thyroid histopathological analysis. Fish perchlorate levels were about one-hundredth of those of treatment water levels, indicating that waterborne perchlorate does not accumulate in whole fish. At 677 ppm for four weeks, perchlorate caused thyroid follicle cell (nuclear) hypertrophy and angiogenesis, whereas at 18 ppm for eight weeks, its effects were more pronounced and included hypertrophy, angiogenesis, hyperplasia, and colloid depletion. In conclusion, an eight-week exposure of adult zebrafish to 18 ppm perchlorate (high environmentally relevant concentrations) affected the histological condition of their thyroid follicles but not their reproductive performance. The effect of 677 ppm perchlorate on reproduction may be due to extrathyroidal toxicity. Further research is needed to determine if AP at lower environmentally relevant concentrations also affects the thyroid follicles of zebrafish.

  11. Action video game experience affects oculomotor performance.

    PubMed

    West, Greg L; Al-Aidroos, Naseem; Pratt, Jay

    2013-01-01

    Action video games have been show to affect a variety of visual and cognitive processes. There is, however, little evidence of whether playing video games can also affect motor action. To investigate the potential link between experience playing action video games and changes in oculomotor action, we tested habitual action video game players (VGPs) and non-video game players (NVGPs) in a saccadic trajectory deviation task. We demonstrate that spatial curvature of a saccadic trajectory towards or away from distractor is profoundly different between VGPs and NVGPs. In addition, task performance accuracy improved over time only in VGPs. Results are discussed in the context of the competing interplay between stimulus-driven motor programming and top-down inhibition during oculomotor execution.

  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. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Reproduction and hatchling performance in freshwater turtles associated with a remediated coal fly-ash spill.

    PubMed

    Steen, David A; Van Dyke, James U; Jackson, Brian P; Hopkins, William A

    2015-04-01

    In 2008 an impoundment retaining wall failed at the Tennessee Valley Authority's coal burning plant in Kingston, Tennessee, releasing large quantities of coal-fly ash into the Emory River. Following extensive remediation of the spill, we captured (in 2011 and 2012) gravid turtles of multiple species in three rivers (two impacted and one reference) within the vicinity of the spill to determine whether there was evidence of the spill influencing reproduction. There was little evidence that river of origin affected reproductive output, hatching success, hatchling size, or hatchling locomotor performance. Although hatching success and hatchling righting ability of pond sliders, Trachemys scripta, was higher in our reference river than in the Emory or Clinch River, respectively, these differences could not be attributed to differences in individual element concentrations in turtle tissues and effect sizes were relatively small. For example, hatching success was reduced by 11% in the spill zone compared to the reference river, an effect that is unlikely substantial enough to influence local population dynamics in light of turtle life history. Our results suggest that residual contamination that remains in the Emory-Clinch system after its remediation poses low risk of excessive element exposure and limited adverse reproductive effects to freshwater turtles. Future monitoring could reveal whether the observed reduction in hatching success gradually attenuates with time, or whether any long-term effects of chronic exposure to low-level contamination emerge over time. PMID:25682257

  19. Reproduction and hatchling performance in freshwater turtles associated with a remediated coal fly-ash spill.

    PubMed

    Steen, David A; Van Dyke, James U; Jackson, Brian P; Hopkins, William A

    2015-04-01

    In 2008 an impoundment retaining wall failed at the Tennessee Valley Authority's coal burning plant in Kingston, Tennessee, releasing large quantities of coal-fly ash into the Emory River. Following extensive remediation of the spill, we captured (in 2011 and 2012) gravid turtles of multiple species in three rivers (two impacted and one reference) within the vicinity of the spill to determine whether there was evidence of the spill influencing reproduction. There was little evidence that river of origin affected reproductive output, hatching success, hatchling size, or hatchling locomotor performance. Although hatching success and hatchling righting ability of pond sliders, Trachemys scripta, was higher in our reference river than in the Emory or Clinch River, respectively, these differences could not be attributed to differences in individual element concentrations in turtle tissues and effect sizes were relatively small. For example, hatching success was reduced by 11% in the spill zone compared to the reference river, an effect that is unlikely substantial enough to influence local population dynamics in light of turtle life history. Our results suggest that residual contamination that remains in the Emory-Clinch system after its remediation poses low risk of excessive element exposure and limited adverse reproductive effects to freshwater turtles. Future monitoring could reveal whether the observed reduction in hatching success gradually attenuates with time, or whether any long-term effects of chronic exposure to low-level contamination emerge over time.

  20. Estrous synchronization strategies to optimize beef heifer reproductive performance after reproductive tract scoring.

    PubMed

    Kasimanickam, Ramanathan K; Whittier, William D; Hall, John B; Kastelic, John P

    2016-08-01

    compared to heifers in HRTS-DPGF group (P < 0.05). The AI-PR for heifers in HRTS-DPGF was lower (52.0 [376/723]) compared with HRTS-Select-Synch (60.2 [100/166]), LRTS-CIDR-PGF (58.7 [399/680]), and HRTS-CIDR-PGF (60.3 [129/214]); P < 0.05). In conclusion, heifers achieved greater AI-PR after CIDR-PGF or HRTS-Select-Synch estrous synchronization protocols. Even though acceptable AI-PRs achieved in heifers with RTS 5 that were subjected to a double PGF protocol, the reproductive performance was reduced compared with other protocols used in this study. PMID:27045628

  1. 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

  2. Genetics and genomics of reproductive performance in dairy and beef cattle.

    PubMed

    Berry, D P; Wall, E; Pryce, J E

    2014-05-01

    Excellent reproductive performance in both males and females is fundamental to profitable dairy and beef production systems. In this review we undertook a meta-analysis of genetic parameters for female reproductive performance across 55 dairy studies or populations and 12 beef studies or populations as well as across 28 different studies or populations for male reproductive performance. A plethora of reproductive phenotypes exist in dairy and beef cattle and a meta-analysis of the literature suggests that most of the female reproductive traits in dairy and beef cattle tend to be lowly heritable (0.02 to 0.04). Reproductive-related phenotypes in male animals (e.g. semen quality) tend to be more heritable than female reproductive phenotypes with mean heritability estimates of between 0.05 and 0.22 for semen-related traits with the exception of scrotal circumference (0.42) and field non-return rate (0.001). The low heritability of reproductive traits, in females in particular, does not however imply that genetic selection cannot alter phenotypic performance as evidenced by the decline until recently in dairy cow reproductive performance attributable in part to aggressive selection for increased milk production. Moreover, the antagonistic genetic correlations among reproductive traits and both milk (dairy cattle) and meat (beef cattle) yield is not unity thereby implying that simultaneous genetic selection for both increased (milk and meat) yield and reproductive performance is indeed possible. The required emphasis on reproductive traits within a breeding goal to halt deterioration will vary based on the underlying assumptions and is discussed using examples for Ireland, the United Kingdom and Australia as well as quantifying the impact on genetic gain for milk production. Advancements in genomic technologies can aid in increasing the accuracy of selection for especially reproductive traits and thus genetic gain. Elucidation of the underlying genomic mechanisms for

  3. 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

  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. 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.

  6. Factors affecting the process performance of biofiltration

    SciTech Connect

    Kopchynski, D.M.; Farmer, R.W.; Maier, W.J.

    1996-11-01

    Biofiltration is an emerging biological treatment technology for the removal of airborne VOCs from industrial process waste streams. Removal of air-phase VOCs by biofiltration is accomplished by contacting a process airstream with an active microbial biofilm attached to a solid phase packing. VOCs that partition into the biofilm are aerobically oxidized to the endproducts of water, carbon dioxide and salts. A multiple reactor biofiltration pilot plant test program has been in progress at the University of Minnesota Environmental Engineering Laboratories since 1992. The primary goal of the program is to study factors that affect biofiltration process performance. Initial results of this test program were reported in a previous conference paper and master`s thesis. This paper presents the results of more recent studies that focus on the effects of: (1) biofilm accumulation (which in turn causes a decrease in biofilter bed porosity and packing bed surface area), (2) rates of nutrient addition, and (3) chemical properties of the target contaminant, on biofiltration removal performance. Removal performance was evaluated by determining biofilter removal capacities and efficiencies for various substrate feeds. The performance parameters were measured under constant contaminant inlet concentrations and under constant temperature. Three VOCs were selected for study and they are: MEK, (methyl ethyl ketone), xylene, and hexane. MEK, xylene, and hexane were chosen because they are representative of widely used industrial solvents and they have significantly different Henry`s law constants relative to each other (the MEK value < Xylene value < Hexane value). Henry`s law constants quantify the partitioning of a chemical between the air and water-biofilm phase and therefore can be used to correlate the effect of chemical properties on biofilter removal capacities. This paper also introduces a new model for the biofiltration process.

  7. Etiologies and subsequent reproductive performance of 100 couples with recurrent abortion.

    PubMed

    Phung Thi Tho; Byrd, J R; McDonough, P G

    1979-10-01

    From 1958 through 1977, 100 couples with documented recurrent reproductive failure were evaluated in the reproductive endocrine unit of the Medical College of Georgia. All couples underwent cytogenetic studies, radiologic evaluation of the Müllerian system, and timed endometrial biopsy. Recurrent pregnancy wastage was found to be associated with genetic disorders in 25 couples. Müllerian anomalies in 15, endocrine anomalies in 23, and negative findings in 37. The subsequent reproductive performance of each group is reviewed.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. The effect of subclinical ketosis on activity at estrus and reproductive performance in dairy cattle.

    PubMed

    Rutherford, Andrew J; Oikonomou, Georgios; Smith, Robert F

    2016-06-01

    Our aims were to investigate the influence of subclinical ketosis (SCK) on physical activity at estrus using a neck accelerometer device and on future reproductive performance. Two hundred three Holstein-Friesian cows were studied on 3dairy farms in Northwest England between September 2013 and March 2014. Seventeen percent (35 of 203) of the enrolled cows were affected with SCK between 7 and 21d in milk, defined as a blood β-hydroxybutyrate concentration of 1.2 to 2.9mmol/L. Time to event analyses and multivariable regression analyses were used to assess the effect of SCK on reproductive performance and activity at estrus. The SCK cows exhibited a lower peak activity (measured as the number of standard deviations above mean activity) and shorter duration in activity clusters associated with first estrus and first insemination postpartum, compared with non-SCK cows. Peak activity and cluster duration associated with the insemination that led to a pregnancy were not different between SCK and non-SCK cows. Calving to first estrus, calving to first insemination, and calving to pregnancy intervals were prolonged in SCK cows. First insemination was 4.3 times (95% confidence interval=1.6 to 15.0) less likely to be successful in SCK cows compared with non-SCK cows. Adjusted mean number of inseminations per pregnancy was 2.8 for SCK cows and 2.0 for non-SCK cows. The current study confirms the long-lasting effects of SCK on reproductive efficiency. Furthermore, it is indicated that physical activity around estrus is reduced by SCK in early lactation, but this negative effect appears to diminish as cows progress through lactation.

  15. Influence of age and selected environmental factors on reproductive performance of canvasbacks

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Serie, Jerome R.; Trauger, David L.; Austin, Jane E.

    1992-01-01

    Age, productivity, and other factors affecting breeding performance of canvasbacks (Aythya valisineria) are poorly understood. Consequently, we tested whether reproductive performance of female canvasbacks varied with age and selected environmental factors in southwestern Manitoba from 1974 to 1980. Neither clutch size, nest parasitism, nest success, nor the number of ducklings/brood varied with age. Return rates, nest initiation dates, renesting, and hen success were age-related. Return rates averaged 21% for second-year (SY) and 69% for after-second-year (ASY) females (58% for third-year and 79% for after-third-year females). Additionally, water conditions and spring temperatures influenced chronology of arrival, timing of nesting, and reproductive success. Nest initiation by birds of all ages was affected by minimum April temperatures. Clutch size was higher in nests initiated earlier. Interspecific nest parasitism did not affect clutch size, nest success, hen success, or hatching success. Nest success was lower in dry years (17%) than in moderately wet (54%) or wet (60%) years. Nests per female were highest during wet years. No nests of SY females were found in dry years. In years of moderate to good wetland conditions, females of all ages nested. Predation was the primary factor influencing nest success. Hen success averaged 58% over all years. The number of ducklings surviving 20 days averaged 4.7/brood. Because SY females have lower return rates and hen success than ASY females, especially during drier years, management to increase canvasback populations might best be directed to increasing first year recruitment (no. of females returning to breed) and to increasing overall breeding success by reducing predation and enhancing local habitat conditions during nesting.

  16. Fetal and postnatal nutritional programming of reproductive performance in ruminants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The influence of nutrition on reproductive function in females has been studied for decades. In cows, early studies focused on the influence of nutritional status on the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis, demonstrating that in circumstances of extreme negative energy balance estrous cycles cease....

  17. 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.

  18. Genetic evaluation of reproduction performance of Jersey × Red Sindhi crossbred cows

    PubMed Central

    Vinothraj, S.; Subramaniyan, A.; Venkataramanan, R.; Joseph, Cecilia; Sivaselvam, S. N.

    2016-01-01

    Aim: The present investigation was undertaken to study the reproduction performance and effect of non-genetic factors on reproduction performance of Jersey crossbred cows. Materials and Methods: Data on 355 Jersey crossbred cattle maintained at the Post-graduate Research Institute in Animal Sciences, Kattupakkam, Tamil Nadu, distributed over 30 years (1985 to 2014). The effect of various non-genetic factors including the period of birth, season of birth, period of calving, season of calving and parity were analyzed through least-squares analyses using univariate general linear model. The different (co)variance components for calculation of genetic parameters were estimated using restricted maximum likelihood method by fitting an animal model. Results: The overall least-squares means (±standard error) of age at first service, age at first calving, weight at first calving, service period, calving interval, dry period, and number of services per conception were 848.06±9.72 days, 1204±12.20 days, 289.81±1.71 kg, 210.01±6.41 days, 489.12±6.45 days, 137.96±5.58 days, 2.50±0.07, respectively. Period of calving had either significant (p<0.05) or highly significant (p<0.01) effect on all reproduction traits studied except service period, calving interval, and dry period. Number of services per conception was affected by season of calving. Parity had significant influence (p<0.05) or highly significant (p<0.01) influence on all the traits studied except service period and dry period. Heritability estimates of age at first service, age at first calving, weight at first calving, service period, calving interval, dry period, and number of services per conception were 0.299, 0.220, 0.017, 0.142, 0.222, 0.177, and 0.042, respectively. The estimates of repeatability for service period, calving interval, dry period, and number of services per conception were 0.219, 0.234, 0.420, and 0.001, respectively. Conclusions: The reproduction performances of Jersey × Red Sindhi

  19. Optimising reproductive performance of beef cows and replacement heifers.

    PubMed

    Diskin, M G; Kenny, D A

    2014-05-01

    A reproductively efficient beef cow herd is fundamental to meeting the protein and specifically, red meat demand of an ever increasing global population. However, attaining a high level of reproductive efficiency is underpinned by producers being cognisant of and achieving many key targets throughout the production cycle and requires significant technical competency. The lifetime productivity of the beef bred female commences from the onset of puberty and will be dictated by subsequent critical events including age at first calving, duration of the postpartum interval for each successive calving, conception and pregnancy rate and ultimately manifested as length of intercalving intervals and number of calves weaned over her lifetime. Puberty in heifers is a consequence of the interactive effects of genetics and both pre- and post-weaning nutrition. Early onset of puberty is essential to achieving the first main reproductive target for beef cow herds; first calving at 2 years of age. In calved heifers and mature cows, the onset of ovarian activity, postpartum is a key event dictating the calving interval. Again, this will be the product mainly of prepartum nutrition, manifested through body condition and the strength of the maternal bond between cow and calf, though there is increasing evidence of a modest genetic influence on this trait. Following the initiation of postpartum ovarian cyclicity, conception and subsequent pregnancy rate is generally a function of bull fertility in natural service herds and heat detection and timing of insemination in herds bred through artificial insemination. Cows and heifers should be maintained on a steady plane of nutrition during the breeding season, but the contribution of significant excesses or deficiencies of nutrients including protein and trace elements is likely to be minor where adequate pasture is available. While, increased efforts are being made internationally to genetically identify and select for more reproductively

  20. Optimising reproductive performance of beef cows and replacement heifers.

    PubMed

    Diskin, M G; Kenny, D A

    2014-05-01

    A reproductively efficient beef cow herd is fundamental to meeting the protein and specifically, red meat demand of an ever increasing global population. However, attaining a high level of reproductive efficiency is underpinned by producers being cognisant of and achieving many key targets throughout the production cycle and requires significant technical competency. The lifetime productivity of the beef bred female commences from the onset of puberty and will be dictated by subsequent critical events including age at first calving, duration of the postpartum interval for each successive calving, conception and pregnancy rate and ultimately manifested as length of intercalving intervals and number of calves weaned over her lifetime. Puberty in heifers is a consequence of the interactive effects of genetics and both pre- and post-weaning nutrition. Early onset of puberty is essential to achieving the first main reproductive target for beef cow herds; first calving at 2 years of age. In calved heifers and mature cows, the onset of ovarian activity, postpartum is a key event dictating the calving interval. Again, this will be the product mainly of prepartum nutrition, manifested through body condition and the strength of the maternal bond between cow and calf, though there is increasing evidence of a modest genetic influence on this trait. Following the initiation of postpartum ovarian cyclicity, conception and subsequent pregnancy rate is generally a function of bull fertility in natural service herds and heat detection and timing of insemination in herds bred through artificial insemination. Cows and heifers should be maintained on a steady plane of nutrition during the breeding season, but the contribution of significant excesses or deficiencies of nutrients including protein and trace elements is likely to be minor where adequate pasture is available. While, increased efforts are being made internationally to genetically identify and select for more reproductively

  1. Evaluation of pre-breeding reproductive tract scoring as a predictor of long term reproductive performance in beef heifers.

    PubMed

    Holm, D E; Nielen, M; Jorritsma, R; Irons, P C; Thompson, P N

    2015-01-01

    In a 7-year longitudinal study 292 Bovelder beef cows in a restricted breeding system in South Africa were observed from 1 to 2 days before their first breeding season, when reproductive tract scoring (RTS, scored from 1 to 5) was performed, until weaning their 5th calves. The objective was to determine whether pre-breeding RTS in heifers is a valid tool to predict long-term reproductive performance. Outcomes measured were failure to show oestrus during the first 24 days of the first 50-day AI season (24-day anoestrus), failure to become pregnant during each yearly artificial insemination (AI) season (reproductive failure), number of days from the start of each AI season to calving, and number of years to reproductive failure. The effect of RTS on each outcome was adjusted for year of birth, pre-breeding age, BW and body condition score (BCS), and for 24-day anoestrus, bull, gestation length, previous days to calving and previous cow efficiency index, the latter two in the case of the 2nd to the 5th calving season. During their first breeding season, heifers with RTS 1 and 2 combined were more likely to be in anoestrus for the first 24 days (OR=3.0, 95% CI 1.5, 6.4, P=0.003), and were also more likely to fail to become pregnant even after adjusting for 24-day anoestrus (OR=2.1, 95% CI 1.1, 3.9, P=0.025), compared to those with RTS 4 and 5 combined. Animals with RTS 1 and 2 combined were at increased risk of early reproductive failure compared to those with RTS 4 and 5 combined (HR=1.4, 95% CI 1.0, 1.9, P=0.045) although RTS was not associated with calving rate or days to calving after the second calving season. Low RTS at a threshold of 1 had consistent specificity of ≥94% for both 24-day anoestrus and pregnancy failure, however its predictive value was lower in the age cohort with a higher prevalence of anoestrus. We conclude that RTS is a valid management tool for culling decisions intended to improve long-term reproductive success in a seasonal breeding system

  2. 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.

  3. Effect of streptozotocin-induced diabetes in primiparous swine on subsequent reproductive performance.

    PubMed

    Ezekwe, M O

    1986-04-01

    A follow-up study was conducted to determine the effects of streptozotocin-diabetes during the first parity on subsequent reproductive performance of sows. Only in the first parity, two doses of streptozotocin (50 and 100 mg/kg body weight) were administered to two groups of pregnant gilts at 80 d of gestation; a third group of gilts served as a control. Second-parity reproductive performance showed that gestation length, placental weight, mean birth weight of the litter, litter size and number of pigs born alive were not affected (P greater than .05) by maternal diabetes. Maternal serum glucose and fructose were greater (P less than .01) in high-dose sows than in the low-dose and the control dams. Serum free fatty acids (FFA) were higher (P less than .05) in high-dose dams than in control dams at d-1 and d 112 of gestation; no differences were observed between the high-dose and the low-dose during the same period. Liver and kidney weight, as well as DNA and RNA content, were greater (P less than .01) in pigs from high-dose dams than in those of the other treatments. Liver protein was elevated (P less than .01) in the progeny of high-dose dams. Dry matter and percent lipid were higher (P less than .05 and P less than .01, respectively), in pigs from high-dose sows than those from other treatment. Serum glucose, fructose and FFA of piglets were not affected by previous treatment of the dam.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Targeted Mutagenesis of the Hypophysiotropic Gnrh3 in Zebrafish (Danio rerio) Reveals No Effects on Reproductive Performance

    PubMed Central

    Spicer, Olivia Smith; Wong, Ten-Tsao; Zmora, Nilli; Zohar, Yonathan

    2016-01-01

    Gnrh is the major neuropeptide regulator of vertebrate reproduction, triggering a cascade of events in the pituitary-gonadal axis that result in reproductive competence. Previous research in mice and humans has demonstrated that Gnrh/GNRH null mutations result in hypogonadotropic hypogonadism and infertility. The goal of this study was to eliminate gnrh3 (the hypophysiotropic Gnrh form) function in zebrafish (Danio rerio) to determine how ontogeny and reproductive performance are affected, as well as factors downstream of Gnrh3 along the reproductive axis. Using the TALEN technology, we developed a gnrh3-/- zebrafish line that harbors a 62 bp deletion in the gnrh3 gene. Our gnrh3-/- zebrafish line represents the first targeted and heritable mutation of a Gnrh isoform in any organism. Using immunohistochemistry, we verified that gnrh3-/- fish do not possess Gnrh3 peptide in any regions of the brain. However, other than changes in mRNA levels of pituitary gonadotropin genes (fshb, lhb, and cga) during early development, which are corrected by adulthood, there were no changes in ontogeny and reproduction in gnrh3-/- fish. The gnrh3-/- zebrafish are fertile, displaying normal gametogenesis and reproductive performance in males and females. Together with our previous results that Gnrh3 cell ablation causes infertility, these results indicate that a compensatory mechanism is being activated, which is probably primed early on upon Gnrh3 neuron differentiation and possibly confined to Gnrh3 neurons. Potential compensation factors and sensitive windows of time for compensation during development and puberty should be explored. PMID:27355207

  8. Reproduction on the edge: large-scale patterns of individual performance in a marine invertebrate.

    PubMed

    Lester, Sarah E; Gaines, Steven D; Kinlan, Brian P

    2007-09-01

    Reproductive output is a central attribute of life history, providing a measure of individual and population performance. The fields of ecology, biogeography, and evolutionary biology take disparate approaches in addressing spatial variation in reproduction, and thus we lack clear predictions for how reproductive output should vary geographically. We empirically investigate these contrasting theoretical approaches by determining geographic patterns in reproductive output for intertidal populations of the purple sea urchin, Strongylocentrotus purpuratus, at 15 sites spanning a large geographic distance (9 degrees span of latitude) from central California, USA, to Baja California, Mexico. Contrary to predictions from biogeography, some of the highest values of reproductive output are at sites near the species' southern range boundary. Additionally, sea urchins do not exhibit a latitudinal gradient in reproduction, but rather show considerable mesoscale variation in reproductive output. Spatial analyses reveal that this variation is correlated with coastal topographic features that are known to influence the pattern of nearshore nutrient flux and circulation. We hypothesize that urchins' reproductive output may be driven by the spatial distribution of their food supply, drift macroalgae, the abundance of which is influenced by both nutrient supply and alongshore transport processes that are coupled to topographic features. Large-scale studies such as this provide valuable insight into the causes of species' range limits, population connectivity, habitat reserve design, and forecasting the effects of climate change on species' distributions.

  9. Reproduction on the edge: large-scale patterns of individual performance in a marine invertebrate.

    PubMed

    Lester, Sarah E; Gaines, Steven D; Kinlan, Brian P

    2007-09-01

    Reproductive output is a central attribute of life history, providing a measure of individual and population performance. The fields of ecology, biogeography, and evolutionary biology take disparate approaches in addressing spatial variation in reproduction, and thus we lack clear predictions for how reproductive output should vary geographically. We empirically investigate these contrasting theoretical approaches by determining geographic patterns in reproductive output for intertidal populations of the purple sea urchin, Strongylocentrotus purpuratus, at 15 sites spanning a large geographic distance (9 degrees span of latitude) from central California, USA, to Baja California, Mexico. Contrary to predictions from biogeography, some of the highest values of reproductive output are at sites near the species' southern range boundary. Additionally, sea urchins do not exhibit a latitudinal gradient in reproduction, but rather show considerable mesoscale variation in reproductive output. Spatial analyses reveal that this variation is correlated with coastal topographic features that are known to influence the pattern of nearshore nutrient flux and circulation. We hypothesize that urchins' reproductive output may be driven by the spatial distribution of their food supply, drift macroalgae, the abundance of which is influenced by both nutrient supply and alongshore transport processes that are coupled to topographic features. Large-scale studies such as this provide valuable insight into the causes of species' range limits, population connectivity, habitat reserve design, and forecasting the effects of climate change on species' distributions. PMID:17918401

  10. Effects of supplement type on performance, reproductive, and physiological responses of Brahman-crossbred females.

    PubMed

    Cooke, R F; Arthington, J D; Staples, C R; Thatcher, W W; Lamb, G C

    2007-10-01

    Two experiments were conducted to compare the performance and physiological responses of forage-fed beef females supplemented with either a molasses-based (ML) or a citrus pulp-based (CT) supplement. In Exp. 1, BW gain, reproductive performance, and concentrations of blood urea N (BUN), plasma glucose, insulin, IGF-I, and progesterone (P4) were assessed in 60 Brahman x Angus heifers supplemented 3 times weekly with either ML or CT. Supplement intakes were formulated to be isocaloric and isonitrogenous. Reproductive performance was not affected by treatments, but mean BW gain was greater (P < 0.01) for heifers fed CT than for those fed ML (0.40 vs. 0.30 kg/d). Mean plasma concentrations of glucose, insulin, and IGF-I were greater (P < 0.05) for heifers fed CT, whereas BUN was greater (P < 0.05) for heifers fed ML. Mean plasma P4 concentration did not differ between treatments, but both groups had lower plasma P4 concentrations during days that supplements were offered (P < 0.01). In Exp. 2, forage DMI and concentrations of BUN, plasma glucose, insulin, IGF-I, and P4 were assessed in 24 Brahman x British mature cows supplemented with the same treatments described in Exp. 1. Overall forage DMI did not differ between treatments, but a day effect and a treatment x day interaction were detected (P < 0.05). Both groups consumed less forage during the days on which the supplements were offered (P < 0.01), and forage DMI for cows fed CT was less (P < 0.05) than for cows fed ML during those days. No differences were detected in any blood or plasma measurement. In addition, no differences in concentrations of P4 were detected between CT- and ML-fed cows. We concluded that CT-supplemented heifers had greater BW gain compared with ML-supplemented heifers, but no differences in reproductive performance were observed. We also observed that CT-supplemented cows had a greater variability in forage DMI compared with ML-supplemented cows. PMID:17526669

  11. Genome-wide association for heifer reproduction and calf performance traits in beef cattle.

    PubMed

    Akanno, Everestus C; Plastow, Graham; Fitzsimmons, Carolyn; Miller, Stephen P; Baron, Vern; Ominski, Kimberly; Basarab, John A

    2015-12-01

    The aim of this study was to identify SNP markers that associate with variation in beef heifer reproduction and performance of their calves. A genome-wide association study was performed by means of the generalized quasi-likelihood score (GQLS) method using heifer genotypes from the BovineSNP50 BeadChip and estimated breeding values for pre-breeding body weight (PBW), pregnancy rate (PR), calving difficulty (CD), age at first calving (AFC), calf birth weight (BWT), calf weaning weight (WWT), and calf pre-weaning average daily gain (ADG). Data consisted of 785 replacement heifers from three Canadian research herds, namely Brandon Research Centre, Brandon, Manitoba, University of Alberta Roy Berg Kinsella Ranch, Kinsella, Alberta, and Lacombe Research Centre, Lacombe, Alberta. After applying a false discovery rate correction at a 5% significance level, a total of 4, 3, 3, 9, 6, 2, and 1 SNPs were significantly associated with PBW, PR, CD, AFC, BWT, WWT, and ADG, respectively. These SNPs were located on chromosomes 1, 5-7, 9, 13-16, 19-21, 24, 25, and 27-29. Chromosomes 1, 5, and 24 had SNPs with pleiotropic effects. New significant SNPs that impact functional traits were detected, many of which have not been previously reported. The results of this study support quantitative genetic studies related to the inheritance of these traits, and provides new knowledge regarding beef cattle quantitative trait loci effects. The identification of these SNPs provides a starting point to identify genes affecting heifer reproduction traits and performance of their calves (BWT, WWT, and ADG). They also contribute to a better understanding of the biology underlying these traits and will be potentially useful in marker- and genome-assisted selection and management. PMID:26484575

  12. Genome-wide association for heifer reproduction and calf performance traits in beef cattle.

    PubMed

    Akanno, Everestus C; Plastow, Graham; Fitzsimmons, Carolyn; Miller, Stephen P; Baron, Vern; Ominski, Kimberly; Basarab, John A

    2015-12-01

    The aim of this study was to identify SNP markers that associate with variation in beef heifer reproduction and performance of their calves. A genome-wide association study was performed by means of the generalized quasi-likelihood score (GQLS) method using heifer genotypes from the BovineSNP50 BeadChip and estimated breeding values for pre-breeding body weight (PBW), pregnancy rate (PR), calving difficulty (CD), age at first calving (AFC), calf birth weight (BWT), calf weaning weight (WWT), and calf pre-weaning average daily gain (ADG). Data consisted of 785 replacement heifers from three Canadian research herds, namely Brandon Research Centre, Brandon, Manitoba, University of Alberta Roy Berg Kinsella Ranch, Kinsella, Alberta, and Lacombe Research Centre, Lacombe, Alberta. After applying a false discovery rate correction at a 5% significance level, a total of 4, 3, 3, 9, 6, 2, and 1 SNPs were significantly associated with PBW, PR, CD, AFC, BWT, WWT, and ADG, respectively. These SNPs were located on chromosomes 1, 5-7, 9, 13-16, 19-21, 24, 25, and 27-29. Chromosomes 1, 5, and 24 had SNPs with pleiotropic effects. New significant SNPs that impact functional traits were detected, many of which have not been previously reported. The results of this study support quantitative genetic studies related to the inheritance of these traits, and provides new knowledge regarding beef cattle quantitative trait loci effects. The identification of these SNPs provides a starting point to identify genes affecting heifer reproduction traits and performance of their calves (BWT, WWT, and ADG). They also contribute to a better understanding of the biology underlying these traits and will be potentially useful in marker- and genome-assisted selection and management.

  13. Effect of feeding rolled flaxseed on milk fatty acid profiles and reproductive performance of dairy cows.

    PubMed

    Bork, N R; Schroeder, J W; Lardy, G P; Vonnahme, K A; Bauer, M L; Buchanan, D S; Shaver, R D; Fricke, P M

    2010-11-01

    The objectives were to study the effects of feeding rolled flaxseed (FLX) to early-lactation dairy cows on milk yield, milk components, and milk fatty acid profiles as well as on measures of cow reproduction. Lactating Holstein cows, on 3 commercial dairies, were fed either an early-lactation ration (CON) or a ration that was similar in protein, energy, and fat content but that included FLX (0.85 kg of DM/cow per day). Within each dairy, cows were allocated alternately to breeding pens upon leaving the fresh pen (approximately 10 ± 5 d postpartum). Pens (n = 4 to 5 pens/dairy) were randomized to treatment (n = 2 to 3 pens/treatment per dairy). Pen (CON, n = 6; FLX, n = 7) was considered the experimental unit and data were analyzed as a split plot with pen as the whole-plot error term. Cows fed FLX had greater (P ≤ 0.06) proportions of cis-9, trans-11 C18:2, C18:3n-3, and C20:0 fatty acids in milk fat and a lesser (P = 0.03) proportion of C20:3n-6 fatty acid when compared with cows fed the CON diet. Treatment did not affect (P ≥ 0.24) milk yield, milk protein, protein yield, milk fat, or milk fat yield. No interactions (P ≥ 0.52) were found between treatment and season of the year or parity, or between treatment and days open, pregnancies per AI at first or second service, or pregnancy loss. In conclusion, feeding FLX at 0.85 kg/cow per day (DM basis) altered the fatty acid profile of milk, but milk yield, milk composition, and reproductive performance of dairy cows were not affected.

  14. Dual reproductive cost of aging in male medflies: dramatic decrease in mating competitiveness and gradual reduction in mating performance

    PubMed Central

    Papanastasiou, Stella A.; Diamantidis, Alexandros D.; Nakas, Christos T.; Carey, James R.; Papadopoulos, Nikos T.

    2011-01-01

    Although age-based effects on the reproductive success of males have been reported in several animal taxa the cost of aging on male mating success in lekking species has not been fully explored. We used the Mediterranean fruit fly, a lekking species, to investigate possible cost of aging on male reproductive success. We performed no choice and choice mating tests to test the hypothesis that aging does not affect the mating performance (mating success in conditions lacking competition) or the mating competitiveness (mating success against younger rivals) of males. The mating probability of older males decreased significantly when competing with younger males. Aging gradually reduced the mating performance of males but older males were still accepted as mating partners in conditions lacking competition. Therefore, older males are capable of performing the complete repertoire of sexual performance but fail to be chosen by females in the presence of young rivals. Older males achieved shorter copulations than younger ones, and female readiness to mate was negatively affected by male age. Older and younger males transferred similar amount of spermatozoids to female spermathecae. Females stored spermatozoids asymmetrically in the two spermathecae regardless the age of their mating partner. Aging positively affected the amount of spermatozoids in testes of both mated and non mated males. No significant differences were observed on the amount of spermatozoids between mated and non mated males. PMID:21801728

  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. Feedback sandwiches affect perceptions but not performance.

    PubMed

    Parkes, Jay; Abercrombie, Sara; McCarty, Teresita

    2013-08-01

    The feedback sandwich technique-make positive comments; provide critique; end with positive comments-is commonly recommended to feedback givers despite scant evidence of its efficacy. These two studies (N = 20; N = 350) of written peer feedback with third-year medical students on clinical patient note-writing assignments indicate that students think feedback sandwiches positively impact subsequent performance when there is no evidence that they do. The effort necessary to produce feedback sandwiches and students' unwarranted confidence in their performance impact have implications for teaching about how to give feedback.

  19. Does television affect learning and school performance?

    PubMed

    Strasburger, V C

    1986-01-01

    Television is ubiquitous in American households and is becoming a pervasive force in the growth and development of American children. More time is spent watching television than in formal classroom instruction. Early studies, which failed to control for IQ and socioeconomic status, showed variable effects of heavy viewing on school performance. Later, better controlled studies have consistently demonstrated a significant deleterious effect of more than 1 or 2 h/day on academic performance, particularly reading scores. Innovative school programs that teach children how to watch television critically and appropriate management strategies for parents are discussed. PMID:3822948

  20. Effects of age and experience on reproductive performance of wood ducks

    SciTech Connect

    Hepp, G.R. ); Kennamer, R.A. )

    1993-10-01

    Data from a long-term study of Wood Ducks breeding in South Carolina were used to test whether reproductive performance was age specific and to evaluate several hypotheses proposed for age-specific variation. We used known-aged females from 1 through 5 yr of age. Yearling females initiated nests 11-19 d later than older females; heavier females, independent of age, nested earlier than lighter females. One-way analyses of covariance using female body mass and nesting date as covariates indicated that clutch size, mean egg mass, number of ducklings per nest, and the percentage of eggs hatching (hatching success) were independent of female age. Probability of nests producing at least one duckling (nest success) also was not related to female egg. We separately tested effects of breeding experience and female age class (yearling vs. adult) on reproductive performance. In the context of this study, females were considered as experienced if they previously were captured using nest boxes and inexperienced if there was no record of nest box use. Adult females with previous breeding experience initiated nests an average of 26 d earlier than adults without previous experience; body mass of experienced adults was greater than that of inexperienced adults. Adult females designated as [open quotes]inexperienced[close quotes] may have nested previously in natural cavities and were simply changing to nest boxes. Nest-site fidelity is known to affect nesting date, so we also compared nesting dates of inexperienced adults with a subset of of experienced females that changed nest sites.

  1. Factors affecting performance during an endurance relay.

    PubMed

    Lloyd, E L; Henderson, W; Covell, B; Bryce, G R

    1977-09-01

    A successful attempt by Edinburgh Athletic Club on the world record for the 24-hour 10-man x 1 mile relay is reported. The effects of a variety of factors on the performances of the athletes are assessed, and some physiological changes noted. In the light of these observations recommendations are made to help the planning of future record attempts.

  2. Student Profiles and Factors Affecting Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chansarkar, B. A.; Michaeloudis, A.

    2001-01-01

    Studies the profiling of first year students studying the Quantitative Methods for Business module at a British university, and makes policy recommendations to improve student performance. Indicates that the highest proportion of students are United Kingdom students, 58% of the students are male, and only 30% of the students are mature students.…

  3. Is Oral Performance Affected by Motivation?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Soozandehfar, Seyyed Mohammad Ali

    2010-01-01

    The present investigation intends to make a comparison between integratively motivated students of English at Islamic Azad University of Shiraz and their instrumentally motivated peers in terms of their oral performance. To this end, 35 junior students (15 males and 20 females) were selected out of 54 initial participants based on their scores on…

  4. How Does Heredity Affect Athletic Performance?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cowart, Virginia S.

    1987-01-01

    This article reviews research regarding the effect of heredity on athletic performance. Research on twins indicates that genetic makeup may have a strong role in aerobic capacity, adaptability to training, composition of muscle tissue, and personality traits relating to competitiveness and leadership. (CB)

  5. Factors affecting penetrating captive bolt gun performance.

    PubMed

    Gibson, Troy J; Mason, Charles W; Spence, Jade Y; Barker, Heather; Gregory, Neville G

    2015-01-01

    Captive bolt stunning is used for rendering livestock insensible at slaughter. The mechanical factors relating to performance of 6 penetrating captive bolt gun (CBG) models were examined. The Matador Super Sécurit 3000 and the .25 Cash Euro Stunner had the highest kinetic energy values (443 J and 412 J, respectively) of the CBGs tested. Ninety percent (27/30) of CBGs held at a government gun repository (United Kingdom) were found to have performed at a normal standard for the model, while 53% (10/19) of commercial contractor CBGs tested were found to underperform for the gun model. When the .22 Cash Special was fired 500 times at 4 shots per min, the gun reached a peak temperature of 88.8°C after 2.05 hr. Repeat firing during extended periods significantly reduced the performance of the CBG. When deciding on the appropriate CBG/cartridge combination, the kinetic energy delivered to the head of the nonhuman animal, bolt penetration depth, and species/animal type must be considered. It is recommended that CBGs are routinely checked for wear to the bolt and barrel if they are repeatedly fired in a session.

  6. 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 ...

  7. Incidence of subclinical endometritis and its effects on reproductive performance of crossbred dairy cows.

    PubMed

    Carneiro, Luisa Cunha; Ferreira, Adolfo Firmo; Padua, Mariana; Saut, João Paulo; Ferraudo, Antonio Sergio; Dos Santos, Ricarda Maria

    2014-12-01

    In dairy cattle, uterine infections are not life threatening and often unavoidable; however, they reduce fertility and increase the production costs of properties. The aim of this study was to evaluate the incidence of subclinical endometritis from 32 to 70 days in milk (DIM) and its effects on the reproductive performance of crossbred dairy cows. Lactating cows (Holstein/Gir; n = 172), with no history of retained placenta, without clinical signs of uterine infection were used. The body condition score (BCS) was evaluated on a scale from 1 to 5. Ultrasound examination was performed to evaluate uterine lining and ovarian activity, while vaginal mucus was analyzed by gloved hand. The diagnosis of subclinical endometritis was performed by endometrial cytobrush technique. The samples were collected, stained, and examined microscopically; positive cases for subclinical endometritis were considered with the presence of ≥5 % of neutrophils. Later, the cows were submitted to conventional artificial insemination or timed artificial insemination. The incidence of subclinical endometritis in the herd was 26 %, and this was not affected by the season of calving, presence of corpus luteum, DIM, and parity. Cows with a BCS ≤2.50 had a higher incidence of subclinical endometritis. The conception rate to first insemination and pregnancy rate at 150 days postpartum were not influenced by the presence of subclinical endometritis in crossbred dairy cows. PMID:25187026

  8. Incidence of subclinical endometritis and its effects on reproductive performance of crossbred dairy cows.

    PubMed

    Carneiro, Luisa Cunha; Ferreira, Adolfo Firmo; Padua, Mariana; Saut, João Paulo; Ferraudo, Antonio Sergio; Dos Santos, Ricarda Maria

    2014-12-01

    In dairy cattle, uterine infections are not life threatening and often unavoidable; however, they reduce fertility and increase the production costs of properties. The aim of this study was to evaluate the incidence of subclinical endometritis from 32 to 70 days in milk (DIM) and its effects on the reproductive performance of crossbred dairy cows. Lactating cows (Holstein/Gir; n = 172), with no history of retained placenta, without clinical signs of uterine infection were used. The body condition score (BCS) was evaluated on a scale from 1 to 5. Ultrasound examination was performed to evaluate uterine lining and ovarian activity, while vaginal mucus was analyzed by gloved hand. The diagnosis of subclinical endometritis was performed by endometrial cytobrush technique. The samples were collected, stained, and examined microscopically; positive cases for subclinical endometritis were considered with the presence of ≥5 % of neutrophils. Later, the cows were submitted to conventional artificial insemination or timed artificial insemination. The incidence of subclinical endometritis in the herd was 26 %, and this was not affected by the season of calving, presence of corpus luteum, DIM, and parity. Cows with a BCS ≤2.50 had a higher incidence of subclinical endometritis. The conception rate to first insemination and pregnancy rate at 150 days postpartum were not influenced by the presence of subclinical endometritis in crossbred dairy cows.

  9. Individual and combined effects of anovulation and cytological endometritis on the reproductive performance of dairy cows.

    PubMed

    Vieira-Neto, A; Gilbert, R O; Butler, W R; Santos, J E P; Ribeiro, E S; Vercouteren, M M; Bruno, R G; Bittar, J H J; Galvão, K N

    2014-09-01

    The objective was to evaluate the individual and combined effect of anovulation and cytological endometritis (CTE) on the reproductive performance of dairy cows. A total of 1,569 cows from 3 data sets were used. In data set 1, 403 Holstein cows from 5 dairies in New York were used. In data set 2, 750 Holstein cows from 2 dairies, one in Florida and one in California were used. In data set 3, 416 dairy cows, 165 Holsteins, 36 Jerseys, and 215 Holstein-Jersey crossbreeds from a grazing dairy in Florida were used. Cyclicity and CTE was determined at 35±3 (data set 2) or 49±3 d in milk (data sets 1 and 3). A variable (VarCycCTE) containing all 4 possible permutations between cyclicity (cyclic = Cyc; anovular = Anov) and CTE (present = CTE; absent = Healthy) was created. In the combined data set (sets 1, 2, and 3), pregnancy per artificial insemination (P/AI) diagnosed at 30 to 38 d after first AI was affected by VarCycCTE, with AnovCTE cows having decreased P/AI compared with CycHealthy cows (21.3 vs. 46.7%), whereas AnovHealthy (37.9%) and CycCTE cows (36.0%) had intermediate P/AI. Pregnancy per artificial insemination for the individual data sets and for pregnancy diagnosed at 63 to 74 d after artificial insemination followed a similar pattern. Pregnancy loss was not affected by VarCycCTE. Hazard of pregnancy up to 300 d in milk was affected by VarCycCTE in the combined data sets 1 and 2, with AnovCTE [hazard ratio (HR)=0.55], AnovHealthy cows (HR=0.71), and CycCTE (HR=0.8) having decreased hazard of pregnancy compared with CycHealthy cows. Median days open were 200, 159, 145, and 121 for AnovCTE, AnovHealthy, CycCTE, and CycHealthy, respectively. Hazard of pregnancy for the individual data sets followed a similar pattern. In summary, both anovulation and CTE were negatively associated with reproductive performance and, when combined, they had an additive negative effect. PMID:24996269

  10. Effects of vaccination against reproductive diseases on reproductive performance of beef cows submitted to fixed-timed AI in Brazilian cow-calf operations.

    PubMed

    Aono, F H; Cooke, R F; Alfieri, A A; Vasconcelos, J L M

    2013-01-15

    ) of the ESFTAI (PREVAC). Pregnancy rates on Days 30 and 120 were greater (P ≤ 0.05) in PREVAC cows compared with VAC cows. In conclusion, pregnancy losses affected reproductive and overall efficiency of Brazilian cow-calf operations, and might be directly associated with BoHV-1, BVDV, and Leptospira spp. infections. Hence, vaccinating cows against these pathogens, particularly when both doses are administered before fixed-time AI, improved reproductive performance in Brazilian cow-calf systems. PMID:23174768

  11. Effects of oral calcium supplementation on productive and reproductive performance in Holstein cows.

    PubMed

    Martinez, N; Sinedino, L D P; Bisinotto, R S; Daetz, R; Risco, C A; Galvão, K N; Thatcher, W W; Santos, J E P

    2016-10-01

    The objectives of this experiment were to determine the effects of oral Ca supplementation on milk yield, body condition, pregnancy per artificial insemination (P/AI), and days to pregnancy in Holstein cows considered to be of low (LRM; no calving assistance, live singleton without retained placenta) or high (HRM; at least one of the following: dystocia, twins, stillbirth, retained placenta, or vulvo-vaginal laceration) risk of developing metritis. The hypotheses were that oral Ca supplementation during the early postpartum period would reduce the loss of body condition and improve lactation performance and reproduction. Four hundred fifty Holstein cows were blocked by parity as primiparous cows (n=174) or multiparous cows (n=276). Within parity, a cow considered at HRM was matched with a cow of LRM and the pair was randomly assigned to control (no Ca supplementation), 86g of Ca on d 0 and 1 postpartum (CaS1), or 86g of Ca on d 0 and 1 postpartum followed by 43g/d on d 2 to 4 postpartum (CaS4). Body condition was scored at calving and 32 d postpartum and estrous cyclicity was evaluated at 38 and 52 d postpartum. Milk yield was recorded daily. Multiparous cows were classified as above or below the mean 305-d mature equivalent milk yield based on production in the previous lactation. Reproductive performance was evaluated for the first 210 d postpartum. Body condition did not differ among treatments, and cows lost on average 0.44 units of body condition in the first month of lactation. Calcium supplementation did not affect milk yield in the first 5 mo postpartum. For multiparous cows, Ca supplementation was beneficial to milk yield in the first 30 DIM in cows of greater production potential, but detrimental to multiparous cows with below average production potential. Calcium supplementation to primiparous cows reduced P/AI at first (control=55.8, CaS1=31.5, CaS4=37.0%) and all artificial inseminations (control=48.5, CaS1=34.6, CaS4=38.5%); however, Ca

  12. Interactive effects of distillers dried grains with solubles and housing system on reproductive performance and longevity of sows over three reproductive cycles.

    PubMed

    Li, X; Baidoo, S K; Li, Y Z; Shurson, G C; Johnston, L J

    2014-04-01

    An experiment was conducted to evaluate the interactive effects of dietary distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) in sow diets and housing systems on reproductive performance and longevity. Sows (311 for parity 0 and 90 for parity 1) were assigned randomly within parity to 1 of 4 treatments and maintained on these treatments for up to 3 reproductive cycles. Sows were fed either fortified corn-soybean meal control diets (CON) during gestation and lactation or diets containing 40% DDGS in gestation and 20% DDGS in lactation and were housed either in individual stalls or group pens with electronic sow feeders during gestation. Sows fed DDGS had smaller (P < 0.05) litter size (born alive, 11.0 vs. 11.6; weaning, 9.8 vs. 10.2) and had more (P < 0.05) stillborns (0.9 vs. 0.7) than sows fed CON. Litters nursing sows fed DDGS gained less weight (P < 0.01) than litters nursing sows fed CON (47.8 vs. 49.8 kg, respectively). Group-housed sows tended to farrow smaller litters (born alive, 11.0 vs. 11.5; P < 0.10) and had fewer pigs at weaning (9.9 vs. 10.2; P < 0.05) compared with stall-housed sows. Litters from group-housed sows tended (P < 0.10) to gain less weight while suckling than those from stall-housed sows (48.3 vs. 49.4 kg, respectively). Diet did not affect the percentage of sows that completed each successive reproductive cycle. Stall housing tended to increase (P = 0.06) the completion rate of sows at the second reproductive cycle (80.0 vs. 68.2%) and increased (P < 0.05) the completion rate of sows in the third reproductive cycle (68.9 vs. 55.8%) compared with group housing. Sows fed DDGS produced fewer (P < 0.05) live-born pigs (26.2 vs. 27.4) and tended (P < 0.10) to have fewer pigs weaned (23.7 vs. 24.5) over 3 reproductive cycles compared with sows fed CON. Stall-housed sows farrowed more (P < 0.05) total pigs (30.1 vs. 26.7) and live pigs (28.4 vs. 25.2) and had more weaned pigs (25.2 vs. 23.1) compared with group-housed sows over 3 reproductive cycles

  13. Acoustic Performance of a Real-Time Three-Dimensional Sound-Reproduction System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Faller, Kenneth J., II; Rizzi, Stephen A.; Aumann, Aric R.

    2013-01-01

    The Exterior Effects Room (EER) is a 39-seat auditorium at the NASA Langley Research Center and was built to support psychoacoustic studies of aircraft community noise. The EER has a real-time simulation environment which includes a three-dimensional sound-reproduction system. This system requires real-time application of equalization filters to compensate for spectral coloration of the sound reproduction due to installation and room effects. This paper describes the efforts taken to develop the equalization filters for use in the real-time sound-reproduction system and the subsequent analysis of the system s acoustic performance. The acoustic performance of the compensated and uncompensated sound-reproduction system is assessed for its crossover performance, its performance under stationary and dynamic conditions, the maximum spatialized sound pressure level it can produce from a single virtual source, and for the spatial uniformity of a generated sound field. Additionally, application examples are given to illustrate the compensated sound-reproduction system performance using recorded aircraft flyovers

  14. 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.

  15. Effects of hormonal treatments on reproductive performance and embryo production.

    PubMed

    Thatcher, W W; Moreira, F; Santos, J E; Mattos, R C; Lopes, F L; Pancarci, S M; Risco, C A

    2001-01-01

    Developments in the use of drugs to improve reproduction and embryo production have focused on estrus and ovulation synchronization protocols and embryonic survival. Protocols for synchronization of ovulation eliminate the need for detection of estrus and allow timed insemination of all cows enrolled. Various estrogenic, progestational, GnRH and PGF2 alpha-like drugs are used to synchronize follicle development, CL regression and induction of ovulation. Strategies are discussed to optimize such programs to maximize herd pregnancy rates. Use of bovine Somatotrophin (bST) in combination with the Ovsynch protocol resulted in increased pregnancy rates, indicating possible effects on oocyte and embryonic development. Treatment of embryo donor cows with bST reduced the proportion of unfertilized oocytes and increased the number of transferable embryos. Furthermore, bST increased pregnancy rate when given to the recipient. Sub-luteal plasma progesterone concentrations after insemination have been associated with lower pregnancy rates. Injection of hCG on day 5 post-insemination resulted in induction of an accessory CL, increased plasma progesterone concentrations and increased conception rates. Strategies involving the use of sustained GnRH agonists to enhance CL development and alter follicular development are considered for future programs to enhance pregnancy rates. PMID:11198090

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  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.

  2. Reproductive management practices and performance of Canadian dairy herds using automated activity-monitoring systems.

    PubMed

    Neves, R C; LeBlanc, S J

    2015-04-01

    The objectives of this study were to describe the characteristics and motivations of producers who had implemented automated activity-monitoring (AAM) systems and to compare herd reproductive performance before and after the implementation of an AAM system and between herds with AAM and herds managing reproduction based on timed artificial insemination (TAI) or based on other programs. Freestall dairy herds located in Ontario and the western provinces of Canada and enrolled in Dairy Herd Improvement were surveyed through a mail questionnaire between April and July 2010. The data describe the characteristics and reproductive management practices of herds using AAM systems. A total of 505 questionnaires (29%) were returned. On average, 21-d pregnancy risk, conception risk, and 21-d insemination risk did not differ between herds managing reproduction based on an AAM system (18, 39, and 50%, respectively) or a TAI-based program (17, 38, and 49%, respectively). Herds that implemented an AAM system had a significant increase in annual pregnancy risk, from 15 to 17%, and insemination risk increased from 42 to 50%, whereas conception risk was unchanged (37 and 35%) following adoption of the system. The majority of respondents with AAM systems first used the system to manage reproduction in lactating cows. Most herds with AAM were performing artificial insemination twice per day, most commonly with an interval from the estrus alarm to artificial insemination of 7 to 12 h. The most commonly reported reason to adopt an AAM system was a desire to improve reproductive performance. These results support the findings from randomized trials that AAM-based programs can yield comparable reproductive performance to TAI-based programs.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-04-01

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

  10. 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

  11. Interrelationships between postpartum events, hormonal therapy, reproductive abnormalities and reproductive performance in dairy cows: a path analysis.

    PubMed Central

    Etherington, W G; Martin, S W; Dohoo, I R; Bosu, W T

    1985-01-01

    Path analysis was used to determine the interrelationships between postpartum administration of gonadotrophin releasing hormone and cloprostenol and the occurrence of reproductive disease and reproductive performance in dairy cows. The data analysed were those collected on 226 Holstein-Friesian cows calving in a commercial dairy herd during a 17 month period (May 1, 1981 to October 1, 1982). Cows administered gonadotrophin releasing hormone at day 15 postpartum experienced an improved rate of uterine involution as determined by rectal palpation nine days later. Although this improved rate of uterine involution reduced the risk of pyometritis, it actually directly delayed conception. Also, gonadotrophin releasing hormone therapy directly resulted in an increased incidence of pyometritis which in turn resulted in an increase incidence of cystic ovarian disease and anestrus. The occurrence of these abnormalities resulted in increased intervals from calving to first observed estrus, first service and conception. In addition to this effect, the administration of gonadotrophin releasing hormone was also associated with increased plasma progesterone concentrations at days 24 and 28 postpartum which delayed conception. Cloprostenol therapy at day 24 postpartum resulted in a decreased plasma progesterone concentration at day 28 postpartum which was directly and indirectly associated with a decrease in the calving to conception interval. The indirect effects were mediated by a reduction in days to first estrus. Cloprostenol therapy also directly resulted in a decreased calving to first observed estrus interval for reasons not attributable to the level of progesterone at day 28. PMID:3899335

  12. Changes in the selected reproductive health indicators among married women of reproductive age in low performing areas of Bangladesh: findings from an evaluation study

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Three-year duration Demand-Based Reproductive Commodity Project (DBRHCP) was launched in three low performing areas: rural Nabiganj (population 323,357), Raipur (population 260,983) and urban slum in Dhaka (population 141,912). Objectives: Assessing changes in knowledge among married women of reproductive age on selected reproductive health issues and to explore their service utilization patterns over the project period in selected low performing areas of Bangladesh. Methods The study adopted a pre- posts design. In the project areas, the entire chain of service provision were modified through the interventions under the DBRHCP, including training of the providers, enhanced behavioral change communication activities, follow-up and counseling, record keeping, reporting and monitoring, as well as improvement in logistics and supplies. Peer promoters were established as linkages between clients and service providers. All households were enlisted. Baseline and end line surveys were done using representative simple random sampling method, capturing changes over one year intervention period. Descriptive analysis was done using SPSS package, version 10. Proportional tests using Stata, version 8 were done to assess changes from baseline to end line. Results The overall contraceptive prevalence was markedly different in the three study areas but significantly increased in both Dhaka urban slums and Nabiganj. In the rural areas, a higher proportion of the women in endline compared to baseline obtained contraceptive methods from the public sectors. Irrespective of study sites, significantly higher proportion of women received ANC (Antenatal Care) and PNC (Post natal care) in endline compared to baseline. In all study sites higher proportions of women were aware of maternal complications at endline. Services were obtained from qualified persons for reported symptoms of sexually transmitted infections by a higher proportion of women at endline compared to baseline

  13. Longitudinal study of reproductive performance of female cattle produced by somatic cell nuclear transfer.

    PubMed

    Polejaeva, Irina A; Broek, Diane M; Walker, Shawn C; Zhou, Wenli; Walton, Mark; Benninghoff, Abby D; Faber, David C

    2013-01-01

    The objective of this study was to determine whether or not reproductive performance in cattle produced by somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) is significantly different from that of their genetic donors. To address this question, we directed two longitudinal studies using different embryo production procedures: (1) superovulation followed by artificial insemination (AI) and embryo collection and (2) ultrasound-guided ovum pick-up followed by in vitro fertilization (OPU-IVF). Collectively, these two studies represent the largest data set available for any species on the reproductive performance of female clones and their genetic donors as measured by their embryo production outcomes in commercial embryo production program. The large-scale study described herein was conducted over a six-year period of time and provides a unique comparison of 96 clones to the 40 corresponding genetic donors. To our knowledge, this is the first longitudinal study on the reproductive performance of cattle clones using OPU-IVF. With nearly 2,000 reproductive procedures performed and more than 9,200 transferable embryos produced, our observations show that the reproductive performance of cattle produced by SCNT is not different compared to their genetic donors for the production of transferable embryos after either AI followed by embryo collection (P = 0.77) or OPU-IVF (P = 0.97). These data are in agreement with previous reports showing that the reproductive capabilities of cloned cattle are equal to that of conventionally produced cattle. In conclusion, results of this longitudinal study once again demonstrate that cloning technology, in combination with superovulation, AI and embryo collection or OPU-IVF, provides a valuable tool for faster dissemination of superior maternal genetics.

  14. Longitudinal Study of Reproductive Performance of Female Cattle Produced by Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer

    PubMed Central

    Polejaeva, Irina A.; Broek, Diane M.; Walker, Shawn C.; Zhou, Wenli; Walton, Mark; Benninghoff, Abby D.; Faber, David C.

    2013-01-01

    The objective of this study was to determine whether or not reproductive performance in cattle produced by somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) is significantly different from that of their genetic donors. To address this question, we directed two longitudinal studies using different embryo production procedures: (1) superovulation followed by artificial insemination (AI) and embryo collection and (2) ultrasound-guided ovum pick-up followed by in vitro fertilization (OPU-IVF). Collectively, these two studies represent the largest data set available for any species on the reproductive performance of female clones and their genetic donors as measured by their embryo production outcomes in commercial embryo production program. The large-scale study described herein was conducted over a six-year period of time and provides a unique comparison of 96 clones to the 40 corresponding genetic donors. To our knowledge, this is the first longitudinal study on the reproductive performance of cattle clones using OPU-IVF. With nearly 2,000 reproductive procedures performed and more than 9,200 transferable embryos produced, our observations show that the reproductive performance of cattle produced by SCNT is not different compared to their genetic donors for the production of transferable embryos after either AI followed by embryo collection (P = 0.77) or OPU-IVF (P = 0.97). These data are in agreement with previous reports showing that the reproductive capabilities of cloned cattle are equal to that of conventionally produced cattle. In conclusion, results of this longitudinal study once again demonstrate that cloning technology, in combination with superovulation, AI and embryo collection or OPU-IVF, provides a valuable tool for faster dissemination of superior maternal genetics. PMID:24391930

  15. Exploring individual quality: Basal metabolic rate and reproductive performance in storm-petrels

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Blackmer, A.L.; Mauck, R.A.; Ackerman, J.T.; Huntington, C.E.; Nevitt, G.A.; Williams, J.B.

    2005-01-01

    Despite evidence that some individuals achieve both superior reproductive performance and high survivorship, the factors underlying variation in individual quality are not well understood. The compensation and increased-intake hypotheses predict that basal metabolic rate (BMR) influences reproductive performance; if so, variation in BMR may be related to differences in individual quality. We evaluated whether BMR measured during the incubation period provides a proximate explanation for variation in individual quality by measuring the BMRs and reproductive performance of Leach's storm-petrels (Oceanodroma leucorhoa) breeding on Kent Island, New Brunswick, Canada, during 2000 and 2001. We statistically controlled for internal (body mass, breeding age, sex) and external (year, date, time of day) effects on BMR. We found that males with relatively low BMRs hatched their eggs earlier in the season and that their chicks' wing growth rates were faster compared to males with relatively high BMRs. Conversely, BMR was not related to egg volume, hatching date, or chick growth rate for females or to lifetime (???23 years) hatching success for either sex. Thus, for males but not for females, our results support the compensation hypothesis. This hypothesis predicts that animals with low BMRs will achieve better reproductive performance than animals with high BMRs because they have lower self-maintenance costs and therefore can apportion more energy to reproduction. These results provide evidence that intraspecific variation in reproductive performance is related to BMR and suggest that BMR may influence individual quality in males. ?? The Author 2005. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the International Society for Behavioral Ecology. All rights reserved.

  16. Time estimation and performance on reproduction tasks in subtypes of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

    PubMed

    Bauermeister, Jose J; Barkley, Russell A; Martinez, Jose V; Cumba, Eduardo; Ramirez, Rafael R; Reina, Graciela; Matos, Maribel; Salas, Carmen C

    2005-03-01

    This study compared Hispanic children (ages 7 to 11) with combined type (CT, n=33) and inattentive type (IT, n=21) attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and a control group (n=25) on time-estimation and time-reproduction tasks. The ADHD groups showed larger errors in time reproduction but not in time estimation than the control group, and the groups did not differ from each other on their performance on this task. Individual differences could not be accounted for by oppositional-defiance ratings and low math or reading scores. Although various measures of executive functioning did not make significant unique contributions to time estimation performance, those of interference control and nonverbal working memory did so to the time-reproduction task. Findings suggest that ADHD is associated with a specific impairment in the capacity to reproduce rather than estimate time durations and that this may be related to the children's deficits in inhibition and working memory.

  17. Does genetic introgression improve female reproductive performance? A test on the endangered Florida panther.

    PubMed

    Hostetler, Jeffrey A; Onorato, David P; Bolker, Benjamin M; Johnson, Warren E; O'Brien, Stephen J; Jansen, Deborah; Oli, Madan K

    2012-01-01

    Genetic introgression has been suggested as a management tool for mitigating detrimental effects of inbreeding depression, but the role of introgression in species conservation has been controversial, partly because population-level impacts of genetic introgressions are not well understood. Concerns about potential inbreeding depression in the endangered Florida panther (Puma concolor coryi) led to the release of eight female Texas pumas (P. c. stanleyana) into the Florida panther population in 1995. We used long-term reproductive data (1995-2008) collected from 61 female Florida panthers to estimate and model reproduction probability (probability of producing a litter) and litter size, and to investigate the influence of intentional genetic introgression on these parameters. Overall, 6-month probability of reproduction (±1SE) was 0.232 ± 0.021 and average litter size was 2.60 ± 0.09. Although F(1) admixed females had a lower reproduction probability than females with other ancestries, this was most likely because kittens born to F(1) females survive better; consequently, these females are unavailable for breeding until kittens are independent. There was no evidence for the effect of ancestry on litter size or of heterozygosity on probability of reproduction or litter size. In contrast, earlier studies have shown that genetic introgression positively affected Florida panther survival. Our results, along with those of earlier studies, clearly suggest that genetic introgression can have differential effects on components of fitness and highlight the importance of examining multiple demographic parameters when evaluating the effects of management actions.

  18. Effect of dystocia on subsequent reproductive performance and functional longevity in Holstein cows.

    PubMed

    Ghavi Hossein-Zadeh, N

    2016-10-01

    The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of dystocia on the reproductive performance and functional longevity in Iranian Holsteins. Data consisted of 1 467 064 lactation records of 581 421 Holstein cows from 3083 herds which were collected by the Animal Breeding Center of Iran from April 1987 to February 2014. Reproduction traits in this study included interval from first to second calving, days open and days from first calving to first service. The generalized linear model was used for the statistical analysis of reproductive traits. Survival analysis was performed using the Weibull proportional hazards models to analyse the impact of dystocia on functional longevity. The incidence of dystocia had an adverse effect on the reproductive performance of dairy cows. Therefore, reproductive traits deteriorated along with increase in dystocia score (p < 0.05). The culling risk was increased along with increase in the score of dystocia (p < 0.0001). The greatest culling risk was observed in primiparous cows, small herds and low-yielding cows (p < 0.0001). Also, the lowest culling risk was found for cows calving at the youngest age (<27 months), and cows with age at first calving >33 months had the greatest risk (p < 0.0001). The results of current study indicated that dystocia had important negative effects on the reproductive performance and functional longevity in dairy cows, and it should be avoided as much as possible to provide a good perspective in the scope of economic and animal welfare issues in dairy herds.

  19. Evaluation of Moringa oleifera as a dietary supplement on growth and reproductive performance in zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Paul, Latoya T.; Fowler, Lauren A.; Barry, Robert J.; Watts, Stephen A.

    2016-01-01

    The leaves of the Moringa oleifera (Moringa) tree contain a significant source of protein, vitamins and minerals, and are considered as an important dietary supplement in countries where chronic malnourishment is linked to poor fetal development. We evaluated the effectiveness of the Moringa leaf as a supplemental replacement for vitamins, minerals, and protein in a formulated zebrafish diet and the impact that it may have on growth and reproductive outcome. Diets included a formulated control (FC) containing an array of vitamins and mineral supplements (pre-mixes), dried ground Moringa only (M), formulated control minus vitamin and mineral pre-mixes (Fvm), and formulated control minus vitamin and mineral pre-mixes and supplemented with Moringa (FM). Juvenile zebrafish were fed experimental diets ad libitum. After a 12 week feeding period, each treatment group was evaluated based on growth and reproductive performance. The M treatment showed the least growth performance (length and weight gain) and no reproductive success (no egg production). Although small, M fish appeared otherwise healthy, with survivorship at ca. 70%, suggesting, Moringa can serve as a single ingredient source for a short period of time. FC showed the highest growth performance, and had the highest reproductive success. Growth performance and reproduction in the Fvm diet was greatly reduced. However, inclusion of Moringa (FM) promoted significant, but not total, recovery of growth and reproductive metrics. These data suggest that Moringa leaves can serve as an acceptable supplement for macro and micronutrients in the diet and could, in part, reduce problems associated with nutrient deficiencies. PMID:27570785

  20. Competition moderates the benefits of thermal acclimation to reproductive performance in male eastern mosquitofish.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Robbie S; Hammill, Edd; Johnston, Ian A

    2007-05-01

    The reproductive behaviour of the sexually coercive male eastern mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki) offers an excellent model system for testing the benefits of reversible thermal acclimation responses to mating success. We acclimated male mosquitofish to either 18 or 30 degrees C (14 h light:10 h dark) for six weeks and tested their ability to obtain coercive copulations in the presence and the absence of male-male competition. Based on the beneficial acclimation hypothesis, we predicted for both sets of experiments that 18 degrees C acclimated males would outperform 30 degrees C acclimated males when tested at 18 degrees C, and vice versa when tested at 30 degrees C. We found that copulation success was greater for acclimated than non-acclimated males at both temperatures when individual males were tested without competing males. In contrast, when males from the different acclimation treatments were competed against each other for copulations with a single female, the 30 degrees C acclimated males were more aggressive and obtained a greater number of copulations at both test temperatures. Thus, we found a clear benefit for acclimation when fish were tested in a non-competitive environment, but acclimation to cool temperatures was associated with a decrease in aggressive behaviour that reduced mating performance at both test temperatures in a competitive environment. In contrast with the long-held assumption that reversible plasticity is beneficial, the adaptive significance of reversible physiological plasticity is affected by a variety of other ecological factors and is more complex than previously suggested.

  1. Rhythm reproduction in kindergarten, reading performance at second grade, and developmental dyslexia theories.

    PubMed

    Dellatolas, Georges; Watier, Laurence; Le Normand, Marie-Thérèse; Lubart, Todd; Chevrie-Muller, Claude

    2009-09-01

    Temporal processing deficit could be associated with a specific difficulty in learning to read. In 1951, Stambak provided preliminary evidence that children with dyslexia performed less well than good readers in reproduction of 21 rhythmic patterns. Stambak's task was administered to 1,028 French children aged 5-6 years. The score distribution (from 0 to 21) was quasi-normal, with some children failing completely and other performing perfectly. In second grade, reading was assessed in 695 of these children. Kindergarten variables explained 26% of the variance of the reading score at second grade. The Stambak score was strongly and linearly related to reading performance in second grade, after partialling out performance on other tasks (oral repetition, attention, and visuo-spatial tasks) and socio-cultural level. Findings are discussed in relation to perceptual, cerebellar, intermodal, and attention-related theories of developmental dyslexia. It is concluded that simple rhythm reproduction tasks in kindergarten are predictive of later reading performance.

  2. 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...

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

    Gonads are the main source of sex steroids, which have been implicated in the regulation of sexually differentiated behavior, such as reproductive and aggressive displays. In the Mozambique tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus) territorial males have higher androgen levels than non-territorials, express reproductive behavior and use a urine-borne pheromone to signal their social status towards conspecifics. Here we investigated the effects of gonadectomy on the circulating levels of androgens and cortisol, and on the expression of aggressive and reproductive behavior (nest building, courtship behavior, and nuptial coloration). Males were either castrated, urine bladder damaged, or sham-operated and visually exposed to a group of females during 8 consecutive days and subsequently to a male on day 9. The urine bladder damaged treatment was included in the experimental design because a full castration procedure in this species causes quite often damage to the urine bladder. Gonadectomy lowers dramatically the circulating levels of androgens measured at 4 and 8days post-castration and abolishes the expression of nest building, courtship behavior and nuptial coloration, but has no effect on the expression of aggressive behavior. These results confirm the gonads as the main source of androgens in this species and show that androgens are necessary for the expression of reproductive behaviors. However, the expression of aggressive behavior seems to be decoupled from gonadal steroids, namely androgens, suggesting the action of independent central mechanisms. PMID:24681190

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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...

  7. Effects of Dietary Energy Levels on the Physiological Parameters and Reproductive Performance of Gestating Gilts.

    PubMed

    Jin, S S; Jung, S W; Jang, J C; Chung, W L; Jeong, J H; Kim, Y Y

    2016-07-01

    This experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of dietary energy levels on the physiological parameters and reproductive performance of gestating first parity sows. A total of 52 F1 gilts (Yorkshire×Landrace) were allocated to 4 dietary treatments using a completely randomized design. Each treatment contained diets with 3,100, 3,200, 3,300, or 3,400 kcal of metabolizable energy (ME)/kg, and the daily energy intake of the gestating gilts in each treatment were 6,200, 6,400, 6,600, and 6,800 kcal of ME, respectively. During gestation, the body weight (p = 0.04) and weight gain (p = 0.01) of gilts linearly increased with increasing dietary energy levels. Backfat thickness was not affected at d110 of gestation by dietary treatments, but increased linearly (p = 0.05) from breeding to d 110 of gestation. There were no significant differences on the litter size or litter birth weight. During lactation, the voluntary feed intake of sows tended to decrease when the dietary energy levels increased (p = 0.08). No difference was observed in backfat thickness of the sows within treatments; increasing energy levels linearly decreased the body weight of sows (p<0.05) at d 21 of lactation and body weight gain during lactation (p<0.01). No significant differences were observed in the chemical compositions of colostrum and milk. Therefore, these results indicated that high-energy diets influenced the bodyweight and backfat thickness of sows during gestation and lactation. NRC (2012) suggested that the energy requirement of the gestation gilt should be between 6,678 and 7,932 kcal of ME/d. Similarly, our results suggested that 3,100 kcal of ME/kg is not enough to maintain the reproductive performance for gilts during gestation with 2 kg feed daily. Gilts in the treatment 3,400 kcal of ME/kg have a higher weaning number of piglets, but bodyweight and backfat loss were higher than other treatments during lactation. But bodyweight and backfat loss were higher than other

  8. Effects of Dietary Energy Levels on the Physiological Parameters and Reproductive Performance of Gestating Gilts

    PubMed Central

    Jin, S. S.; Jung, S. W.; Jang, J. C.; Chung, W. L.; Jeong, J. H.; Kim, Y. Y.

    2016-01-01

    This experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of dietary energy levels on the physiological parameters and reproductive performance of gestating first parity sows. A total of 52 F1 gilts (Yorkshire×Landrace) were allocated to 4 dietary treatments using a completely randomized design. Each treatment contained diets with 3,100, 3,200, 3,300, or 3,400 kcal of metabolizable energy (ME)/kg, and the daily energy intake of the gestating gilts in each treatment were 6,200, 6,400, 6,600, and 6,800 kcal of ME, respectively. During gestation, the body weight (p = 0.04) and weight gain (p = 0.01) of gilts linearly increased with increasing dietary energy levels. Backfat thickness was not affected at d110 of gestation by dietary treatments, but increased linearly (p = 0.05) from breeding to d 110 of gestation. There were no significant differences on the litter size or litter birth weight. During lactation, the voluntary feed intake of sows tended to decrease when the dietary energy levels increased (p = 0.08). No difference was observed in backfat thickness of the sows within treatments; increasing energy levels linearly decreased the body weight of sows (p<0.05) at d 21 of lactation and body weight gain during lactation (p<0.01). No significant differences were observed in the chemical compositions of colostrum and milk. Therefore, these results indicated that high-energy diets influenced the bodyweight and backfat thickness of sows during gestation and lactation. NRC (2012) suggested that the energy requirement of the gestation gilt should be between 6,678 and 7,932 kcal of ME/d. Similarly, our results suggested that 3,100 kcal of ME/kg is not enough to maintain the reproductive performance for gilts during gestation with 2 kg feed daily. Gilts in the treatment 3,400 kcal of ME/kg have a higher weaning number of piglets, but bodyweight and backfat loss were higher than other treatments during lactation. But bodyweight and backfat loss were higher than other

  9. Reproductive performance of Friesian mares after retained placenta and manual removal of the placenta.

    PubMed

    Sevinga, M; Hesselink, J W; Barkema, H W

    2002-01-15

    Because the incidence of retained placenta in Friesian mares is estimated to be high, and no reports have been published on the reproductive performance of Friesian mares after retained placenta, we studied postpartum reproductive performance in Friesian brood mares with (n = 54) and without (n = 50) retained placenta. We defined a retained placenta as the failure to expel all fetal membranes within 3 h after the delivery of a foal. We subdivided the group of mares with retained placenta into mares in which the placenta had been removed manually (n = 30) and mares in which it had not (n = 24). Within each group, we compared reproductive performance after breeding in the foal heat and breeding in a subsequent heat. We also recorded the age of the mares, number of mares treated with antibiotics after insemination, and number of mares treated with prostaglandins. The interval between delivery and conception, efficacy rate (number of served cycles divided by the number of mares that had a positive pregnancy diagnosis), seasonal pregnancy rate, pregnancy rate after first insemination, pregnancy loss rate, and foaling rate did not differ between mares with and without retained placenta or between mares with and without manual removal of the retained placenta. Within each group, the pregnancy rate after first insemination did not differ between breeding for the first time in the foal heat and breeding for the first time in a subsequent heat. We concluded that reproductive performance did not differ between (1) Friesian mares with and without retained placenta and (2) Friesian mares with and without manual removal of the placenta. With regard to reproductive performance, retained placenta and manual removal of the placenta are not valid reasons to avoid foal heat breeding in Friesian mares.

  10. 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

  11. Performance processes within affect-related performance zones: a multi-modal investigation of golf performance.

    PubMed

    van der Lei, Harry; Tenenbaum, Gershon

    2012-12-01

    Individual affect-related performance zones (IAPZs) method utilizing Kamata et al. (J Sport Exerc Psychol 24:189-208, 2002) probabilistic model of determining the individual zone of optimal functioning was utilized as idiosyncratic affective patterns during golf performance. To do so, three male golfers of a varsity golf team were observed during three rounds of golf competition. The investigation implemented a multi-modal assessment approach in which the probabilistic relationship between affective states and both, performance process and performance outcome, measures were determined. More specifically, introspective (i.e., verbal reports) and objective (heart rate and respiration rate) measures of arousal were incorporated to examine the relationships between arousal states and both, process components (i.e., routine consistency, timing), and outcome scores related to golf performance. Results revealed distinguishable and idiosyncratic IAPZs associated with physiological and introspective measures for each golfer. The associations between the IAPZs and decision-making or swing/stroke execution were strong and unique for each golfer. Results are elaborated using cognitive and affect-related concepts, and applications for practitioners are provided.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Effects of intraspecific variation in reproductive traits, pectoral fin use and burst swimming on metabolic rates and swimming performance in the Trinidadian guppy (Poecilia reticulata).

    PubMed

    Svendsen, Jon C; Banet, Amanda I; Christensen, Rune H B; Steffensen, John F; Aarestrup, Kim

    2013-09-15

    There is considerable intraspecific variation in metabolic rates and locomotor performance in aquatic ectothermic vertebrates; however, the mechanistic basis remains poorly understood. Using pregnant Trinidadian guppies (Poecilia reticulata), a live-bearing teleost, we examined the effects of reproductive traits, pectoral fin use and burst-assisted swimming on swimming metabolic rate, standard metabolic rate (O2std) and prolonged swimming performance (Ucrit). Reproductive traits included reproductive allocation and pregnancy stage, the former defined as the mass of the reproductive tissues divided by the total body mass. Results showed that the metabolic rate increased curvilinearly with swimming speed. The slope of the relationship was used as an index of swimming cost. There was no evidence that reproductive traits correlated with swimming cost, O2std or Ucrit. In contrast, data revealed strong effects of pectoral fin use on swimming cost and Ucrit. Poecilia reticulata employed body-caudal fin (BCF) swimming at all tested swimming speeds; however, fish with a high simultaneous use of the pectoral fins exhibited increased swimming cost and decreased Ucrit. These data indicated that combining BCF swimming and pectoral fin movement over a wide speed range, presumably to support swimming stability and control, is an inefficient swimming behaviour. Finally, transition to burst-assisted swimming was associated with an increase in aerobic metabolic rate. Our study highlights factors other than swimming speed that affect swimming cost and suggests that intraspecific diversity in biomechanical performance, such as pectoral fin use, is an important source of variation in both locomotor cost and maximal performance.

  18. Investigation on the reproduction performance versus acoustic contrast control in sound field synthesis.

    PubMed

    Bai, Mingsian R; Wen, Jheng-Ciang; Hsu, Hoshen; Hua, Yi-Hsin; Hsieh, Yu-Hao

    2014-10-01

    A sound reconstruction system is proposed for audio reproduction with extended sweet spot and reduced reflections. An equivalent source method (ESM)-based sound field synthesis (SFS) approach, with the aid of dark zone minimization is adopted in the study. Conventional SFS that is based on the free-field assumption suffers from synthesis error due to boundary reflections. To tackle the problem, the proposed system utilizes convex optimization in designing array filters with both reproduction performance and acoustic contrast taken into consideration. Control points are deployed in the dark zone to minimize the reflections from the walls. Two approaches are employed to constrain the pressure and velocity in the dark zone. Pressure matching error (PME) and acoustic contrast (AC) are used as performance measures in simulations and experiments for a rectangular loudspeaker array. Perceptual Evaluation of Audio Quality (PEAQ) is also used to assess the audio reproduction quality. The results show that the pressure-constrained (PC) method yields better acoustic contrast, but poorer reproduction performance than the pressure-velocity constrained (PVC) method. A subjective listening test also indicates that the PVC method is the preferred method in a live room.

  19. Mathematics Anxiety and the Affective Drop in Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ashcraft, Mark H.; Moore, Alex M.

    2009-01-01

    The authors provide a brief review of the history and assessment of math anxiety, its relationship to personal and educational consequences, and its important impact on measures of performance. Overall, math anxiety causes an "affective drop," a decline in performance when math is performed under timed, high-stakes conditions, both in laboratory…

  20. Restricted feed intake in lactating primiparous sows. I. Effects on sow metabolic state and subsequent reproductive performance.

    PubMed

    Patterson, J L; Smit, M N; Novak, S; Wellen, A P; Foxcroft, G R

    2011-01-01

    The effects of feed restriction (60% of anticipated feed intake; Restrict; n=60) during the last week of a 21-day lactation in primiparous sows compared with feeding at 90% of anticipated feed intake (Control; n=60) on sow metabolic state, litter growth and sow reproductive performance after weaning were compared. Metabolisable energy (ME) derived from feed was lower, ME derived from body tissues was higher and litter growth rate was reduced (all P<0.05) in Restrict sows during the last week of lactation. Treatment did not affect weaning-to-oestrus interval, pregnancy rate, ovulation rate, embryonic survival or the number of live embryos (P>0.05) at Day 30 of gestation: However, embryo weight was greater (P<0.05) in Control than in Restrict sows (1.55±0.04vs 1.44±0.04g, respectively). These data suggest the biology of the commercial sow has changed and reproductive performance of contemporary primiparous sows is increasingly resistant to the negative effects of lactational catabolism. Overall, catabolism negatively affected litter weaning weight and embryonic development of the next litter, but the extent to which individual sows used tissue mobilisation to support these litter outcomes was highly variable.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Effects of Dietary Protein Levels for Gestating Gilts on Reproductive Performance, Blood Metabolites and Milk Composition

    PubMed Central

    Jang, Y. D.; Jang, S. K.; Kim, D. H.; Oh, H. K.; Kim, Y. Y.

    2014-01-01

    This experiment was conducted to evaluate the effects of dietary CP levels in gestation under equal lysine content on reproductive performance, blood metabolites and milk composition of gilts. A total of 25 gilts (F1, Yorkshire×Landrace) were allotted to 4 dietary treatments at breeding in a completely randomized design, and fed 1 of 4 experimental diets containing different CP levels (11%, 13%, 15%, or 17%) at 2.0 kg/d throughout the gestation. Body weight of gilts at 24 h postpartum tended to increase linearly (p = 0.09) as dietary CP level increased. In lactation, backfat thickness, ADFI, litter size and weaning to estrus interval (WEI) did not differ among dietary treatments. There were linear increases in litter and piglet weight at 21 d of lactation (p<0.05) and weight gain of litter (p<0.01) and piglet (p<0.05) throughout the lactation as dietary CP level increased. Plasma urea nitrogen levels of gilts in gestation and at 24 h postpartum were linearly elevated as dietary CP level increased (p<0.05). Free fatty acid (FFA) levels in plasma of gestating gilts increased as dietary CP level increased up to 15%, and then decreased with quadratic effects (15 d, p<0.01; 90 d, p<0.05), and a quadratic trend (70 d, p = 0.06). There were no differences in plasma FFA, glucose levels and milk composition in lactation. These results indicate that increasing dietary CP level under equal lysine content in gestation increases BW of gilts and litter performance but does not affect litter size and milk composition. Feeding over 13% CP diet for gestating gilts could be recommended to improve litter growth. PMID:25049930

  5. Positive Carotenoid Balance Correlates with Greater Reproductive Performance in a Wild Bird

    PubMed Central

    Safran, Rebecca J.; McGraw, Kevin J.; Wilkins, Matthew R.; Hubbard, Joanna K.; Marling, Julie

    2010-01-01

    Background Carotenoids can confer somatic and reproductive benefits, but most evidence is from captive animal experimentation or single time-point sampling. Another perhaps more informative means by which to assess physiological contributions to animal performance is by tracking an individual's ability to increase or sustain carotenoids or other health-related molecules over time, as these are likely to be temporally variable. Methodology/Principal Findings In a field study of North American barn swallows (Hirundo rustica erythrogaster), we analyzed within-individual changes in carotenoid concentrations by repeatedly sampling the carotenoid profiles of individuals over the course of the breeding season. Our results demonstrate that carotenoid concentrations of individuals are temporally dynamic and that season-long balance of these molecules, rather than single time-point samples, predict reproductive performance. This was true even when controlling for two important variables associated with reproductive outcomes: (1) timing of breeding and (2) sexually selected plumage coloration, which is itself positively correlated with and concomitantly changes with circulating carotenoid concentrations. Conclusions/Significance While reproduction itself is purported to impose health stress on organisms, these data suggest that free-ranging, high-quality individuals can mitigate such costs, by one or several genetic, environmental (diet), or physiological mechanisms. Moreover, the temporal variations in both health-linked physiological measures and morphological traits we uncover here merit further examination in other species, especially when goals include the estimation of signal information content or the costs of trait expression. PMID:20195540

  6. In the company of cowbirds, Molothrus ater ater: robust patterns of sociability predict reproductive performance.

    PubMed

    Kohn, Gregory M; King, Andrew P; Dohme, Rebekka; Meredith, Gwendŵr R; West, Meredith J

    2013-02-01

    Many species exhibit behavioral tendencies that are stable over time and across contexts. Robust variation in sociability, or the propensity to approach others, is widespread across the vertebrates. Nonetheless, the influence of sociability on reproductive performance is largely unknown. In this study, we explore the relationship between sociability and reproductive behavior in flocks of Brown-headed Cowbirds (Molothrus ater ater). In spring 2011, we separated birds into three large aviaries based on the number of approaches they initiated and received during fall 2010. Females were separated into high, intermediate, and low sociable flocks, while male sociability was spread evenly across the three flocks. Here we report for the first time that different patterns of social approach tendencies in the fall predicted reproductive behavior in the spring. The high sociable flocks contained more laying females who produced more eggs in contrast to the other flocks. Male courtship behavior was comparable across the three flocks. These findings suggest that robust variation in sociability is an important factor in reproductive performance.

  7. 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

  8. Perfectionism, Performance, and State Positive Affect and Negative Affect after a Classroom Test

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Flett, Gordon L.; Blankstein, Kirk R.; Hewitt, Paul L.

    2009-01-01

    The current study examined the associations among trait dimensions of perfectionism, test performance, and levels of positive and negative affect after taking a test. A sample of 92 female university students completed the Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale one week prior to an actual class test. Measures of positive affect and negative affect…

  9. Effects of age at first-pairing on the reproductive performance of Mongolian gerbils (Meriones unguiculatus).

    PubMed

    Kai, O; Sakemi, K; Suzuki, Y; Sonoda, Y; Imai, K

    1995-10-01

    Effects of age at first-pairing on the reproductive performance of the gerbil were studied throughout the reproductive life. Six groups of 7-30 female gerbils were paired monogamously with males at different ages. Out of 101 pairs in 6 groups, 79 (78.2%) produced 1 or more litters. The mean litter size at birth and mean weaning rate of 846 litters were 4.4 (totally 3,733 pups) and 67.4% (2,517 pups), respectively. Reproduction was compared in the 6 age groups. The littering rate (No. of females with litters/No. of female paired) was significantly lower in two groups in which mature females were paired with age-matched males (Group 4) or the oldest females with younger, sexually mature males (Group 6). The interval from pairing to the first litter was shortest in two groups in which mature females were paired with one month older, sexually mature males (Groups 3 and 5). Although the oldest pairs (Group 6) produced about 7 litters, the pairs from the other 5 groups produced about 10 or more litters throughout their reproductive life. The weaning rate was significantly higher in Group 6 (the oldest pairs) than in the younger groups. The effects of parity on reproduction were estimated from the data for the 61 pairs which produced more than 8 litters in the 6 groups. The number of pups at birth and the weaning rate were decreased in last 20-30% of the total parity in all 6 groups, although the age at the last litter in all groups was significantly different. The data suggest that any decline in reproduction may be due to not age but parity in the Mongolian gerbil.

  10. Effects of Enrichment and Litter Parity on Reproductive Performance and Behavior in BALB/c and 129/Sv Mice.

    PubMed

    Whitaker, Julia W; Moy, Sheryl S; Pritchett-Corning, Kathleen R; Fletcher, Craig A

    2016-01-01

    We examined the effect of adding species-appropriate environmental enrichment items to breeding cages of BALB/cAnNCrl and 129S2/SvPasCrl mice. The 3 enrichment conditions were: 1) cotton nesting material; 2) nesting material plus a paper shelter and rolled paper bedding; and 3) an igloo dome with an exercise wheel in addition to the shelter-group enrichments. We measured litter size, litter survival to weaning age, average pup weight at 21 d, and the interlitter interval to evaluate reproductive performance. A random subset of the first- or second-litter offspring from each enrichment condition and strain was assessed in multiple behavioral tests. Enrichment significantly affected anxiety-like behavior and sociability, with the direction of change dependent on strain and sex. Litter parity had greater effects on some reproductive parameters than did the enrichment condition, and this effect was not solely due to a difference between the first compared with subsequent litters. The significant effects of litter parity on the number of pups born and weaned, female pup weight, and interlitter interval were dependent on the enrichment condition in BALB/c but not 129/Sv mice. Offspring from the first or second litter were included in a generational component to investigate whether enrichment effects on reproduction persist in adult offspring after transfer to a different facility for breeding. Natal cage enrichment had no effect on any reproductive parameter in the transferred mice. Overall, additional enrichment beyond nesting material had a beneficial effect on the interlitter interval in BALB/c mice and on the number of pups weaned in 129/Sv mice.

  11. Effects of Enrichment and Litter Parity on Reproductive Performance and Behavior in BALB/c and 129/Sv Mice.

    PubMed

    Whitaker, Julia W; Moy, Sheryl S; Pritchett-Corning, Kathleen R; Fletcher, Craig A

    2016-01-01

    We examined the effect of adding species-appropriate environmental enrichment items to breeding cages of BALB/cAnNCrl and 129S2/SvPasCrl mice. The 3 enrichment conditions were: 1) cotton nesting material; 2) nesting material plus a paper shelter and rolled paper bedding; and 3) an igloo dome with an exercise wheel in addition to the shelter-group enrichments. We measured litter size, litter survival to weaning age, average pup weight at 21 d, and the interlitter interval to evaluate reproductive performance. A random subset of the first- or second-litter offspring from each enrichment condition and strain was assessed in multiple behavioral tests. Enrichment significantly affected anxiety-like behavior and sociability, with the direction of change dependent on strain and sex. Litter parity had greater effects on some reproductive parameters than did the enrichment condition, and this effect was not solely due to a difference between the first compared with subsequent litters. The significant effects of litter parity on the number of pups born and weaned, female pup weight, and interlitter interval were dependent on the enrichment condition in BALB/c but not 129/Sv mice. Offspring from the first or second litter were included in a generational component to investigate whether enrichment effects on reproduction persist in adult offspring after transfer to a different facility for breeding. Natal cage enrichment had no effect on any reproductive parameter in the transferred mice. Overall, additional enrichment beyond nesting material had a beneficial effect on the interlitter interval in BALB/c mice and on the number of pups weaned in 129/Sv mice. PMID:27423144

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Exposure to scientific theories affects women's math performance.

    PubMed

    Dar-Nimrod, Ilan; Heine, Steven J

    2006-10-20

    Stereotype threat occurs when stereotyped groups perform worse as their group membership is highlighted. We investigated whether stereotype threat is affected by accounts for the origins of stereotypes. In two studies, women who read of genetic causes of sex differences performed worse on math tests than those who read of experiential causes.

  16. Factors Affecting Performance of Undergraduate Students in Construction Related Disciplines

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Olatunji, Samuel Olusola; Aghimien, Douglas Omoregie; Oke, Ayodeji Emmanuel; Olushola, Emmanuel

    2016-01-01

    Academic performance of students in Nigerian institutions has been of much concern to all and sundry hence the need to assess the factors affecting performance of undergraduate students in construction related discipline in Nigeria. A survey design was employed with questionnaires administered on students in the department of Quantity Surveying,…

  17. Focus of Attention Affects Performance of Motor Skills in Music

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Duke, Robert A.; Cash, Carla Davis; Allen, Sarah E.

    2011-01-01

    To test the extent to which learners performing a simple keyboard passage would be affected by directing their focus of attention to different aspects of their movements, 16 music majors performed a brief keyboard passage under each of four focus conditions arranged in a counterbalanced design--a total of 64 experimental sessions. As they…

  18. Calf survival and reproductive performance of Holstein-Friesian cows in central Ethiopia.

    PubMed

    Yalew, Berhanu; Lobago, Fikre; Goshu, Gebeyehu

    2011-02-01

    This study was carried out to evaluate the reproductive performance and calves survival rate of Holstein-Friesian (HF) herd in Holeta, central highland of Ethiopia. A retrospective analysis of 26 years data was carried out, from which records of 724 age at first calving (AFC), 2,022 calving intervals (CI), 2,971 breeding efficiencies (BE), 260 abortions, 111 stillbirths were derived from 795 cows. Moreover, 738 female calves' records were also included for survival rate study. The overall least squares means of AFC, CI, and BE were 40.9 ± 0.33 months, 475 ± 2.84 days, 81.9 ± 0.26%, respectively, while the incidence rates of abortion, stillbirth, and female calves survival rate for this herd were 8.0%, 3.4%, and 77.5%, respectively. The effects of parity number and year of birth/calving on CI and BE were significant (P < 0.001). Moreover, birth year had significant (P < 0.001) effect on AFC and calves survival rate, while calving season had significant effect on BE. The reproductive performance found in this study was lower than the performance reported in many tropical regions and the genetic potential of HF breed in their origins. Moreover, higher loss due to calf mortality was observed. Thus, the centre should consider appropriate measures to improve its herd reproductive performance and calves survival rate for attaining its aspired objectives.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Growth and reproductive performance by different feed types in fresh water angelfish (Pterophyllum scalare Schultze, 1823).

    PubMed

    Kasiri, Milad; Farahi, Amin; Sudagar, Mohammad

    2012-01-01

    It is well established that reproduction is sensitive to the state of energy reserves, and that there is a balance between energy homeostasis and fertility. In this view, this study examined the effects of different diets on growth and reproductive performance of fresh water angelfish. Twenty four pairs of angelfish (weighing 3.58 ± 0.24 g) were fed with four types of diets including live earth worm (LEW), dried Tubifex (DT), dried Gammarus (DG) and prepared granulated feed (PGF), twice a day for 90 days. Reproductive parameters were measured between days 60 and 90. The significant increase in the gonadosomatic index (GSI), fecundity and hatchability brought about by the LEW were demonstrated by the higher number of spawned eggs and hatched larvae. The best growth observed significantly in PGF, and length of larvae was enhanced in this group, consequently. The numbers of dead and deformed fry were lower in the fish fed with PGF and LEW, but there was no significant difference among experimental groups. This study showed that breeders benefit from inclusion of prepared granulated feed and living earth worm during their growth and reproductive stages, and simultaneous using of them for achieving better results is suggested.

  3. Social rank and reproductive performance of pampas deer females (Ozotoceros bezoarticus, Linnaeus, 1758).

    PubMed

    Morales-Piñeyrúa, Jéssica Tatiana; Ciappesoni, Gabriel; Ungerfeld, Rodolfo

    2014-06-01

    Our objectives were to determine if success index of pampas deer females is related with females' age and if social rank makes any influence on reproductive performance. Female social rank was determined in 18 groups of animals composed of 1 male: 5-9 females (total=98 females). Date of parturition for each female and sex and birth weight of fawns were recorded for each birth. The females were categorized in three hierarchical ranks: low (<0.33) (group LR), medium (0.33-0.66) (group MR), and high (>0.66) (group HR). The success index increased with age in pampas deer females (P<0.001). Social rank had no effect on calving success, relative calving dates, sex ratio or body weight at birth. In this study, the success index was related with females' age, and the reproductive performance did not differ between females of different social ranks.

  4. Weight gain and reproductive performance of spring-born beef heifer calves intraruminally administered oxfendazole.

    PubMed

    Purvis, H T; Whittier, J C; Boyles, S L; Johnson, L J; Ritchie, H D; Rust, S R; Faulkner, D B; Lemenager, R P; Hendrix, K S

    1994-04-01

    The effect of oxfendazole (Synanthic) on weight gain and reproductive performance of spring-born heifer calves was evaluated at five locations (IL, IN, MI, MO, ND). Three hundred thirty-eight mixed-breed beef heifers (293.4 kg) blocked by weight and age were randomly allotted to one of two treatments. Treatment 1 heifers were dewormed via intraruminal injection of oxfendazole. Treatment 2 heifers served as a control. Heifers were comingled during the winter phase in semi-confinement during the period from late January to late May (winter phase). Heifers were sorted by treatment at the beginning of the grazing season (approximately May 24, 1991) and remained separate until the end of the study (approximately July 31, 1991; summer phase). Dewormed heifers received oxfendazole (4.5 mg/kg BW) in late January and again 28 and 56 d after the beginning of the grazing season. Fecal samples were taken every 21 d from January through September and assayed for gastrointestinal parasite eggs. Fecal egg counts were similar across treatments at the beginning of the trial (P = .34). Deworming decreased fecal egg counts throughout the trial. Twenty-eight days after initial deworming a significant treatment effect on fecal egg counts was observed (P < .01). Winter ADG was significantly higher (P < .01) for dewormed heifers than for controls (.60 vs .52 kg, respectively). Summer ADG was not different between treatments. Dewormed heifers were 7.4 kg heavier than controls (P < .05) at the end of the trial. Age of puberty was not affected by treatment (P = .64). First-service conception and final pregnancy rates were not different between treatment.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Influence of clinical mastitis during early lactation on reproductive performance of Jersey cows.

    PubMed

    Barker, A R; Schrick, F N; Lewis, M J; Dowlen, H H; Oliver, S P

    1998-05-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine the influence of clinical mastitis on reproductive performance of high producing Jersey cows. Cows (n = 102) with clinical mastitis during the first 150 d of lactation were evaluated. Groups were balanced according to lactation number and days of lactation and sub-divided as follows: group 1, clinical mastitis before first artificial insemination (AI) (n = 48); group 2, clinical mastitis between first AI and pregnancy (n = 14); group 3, clinical mastitis after confirmed pregnancy (n = 40); and group 4, control cows (n = 103) with no clinical mastitis. No differences in reproductive performance were detected because of milk production or mastitis caused by Gram-positive or Gram-negative pathogens. The number of days to first AI was significantly greater for cows with clinical mastitis before first AI (93.6 d) than for all other groups (71.0 d). Artificial inseminations per conception were significantly greater for cows with clinical mastitis after first AI (2.9) than for cows with clinical mastitis before first AI (1.6), cows with no clinical mastitis, or cows with clinical mastitis after confirmed pregnancy (1.7). The number of days to conception for cows with clinical mastitis after first AI (136.6 d) was significantly greater than that for control cows and that for cows that developed clinical mastitis after confirmed pregnancy (92.1 d). Clinical mastitis during early lactation markedly influenced reproductive performance of Jersey cows.

  14. Climate change, reproductive performance and diet composition of marine birds in the southern California Current system, 1969 1997

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sydeman, William J.; Hester, Michelle M.; Thayer, Julie A.; Gress, Franklin; Martin, Paige; Buffa, Joelle

    We studied the effects of low-frequency climate change on the reproductive performance of 11 species of marine bird in the southern California Current system, 1969-1997. Reproductive performance of Brown Pelican ( Pelecanus occidentalis) and Double-crested Cormorant ( Phalacrocrax auritus) in southern California demonstrated an increase in the 1970s and early 1980s, attributable to recovery from organochlorine contamination (primarily DDE). Brandt's Cormorant ( Phalacrocorax penicillatus) in central California was the only species to demonstrate a secular increase in performance through time, a pattern that remains unexplained. Ashy Storm-petrel ( Oceanodroma homochroa) and Pelagic Cormorant ( Phalacrocorax pelagicus) demonstrated curvilinear patterns of change, with decreasing reproductive performance in the past decade. All other species including Western Gull ( Larus occidentalis), Pigeon Guillemot ( Cepphus columba), Xantus's Murrelet ( Synthiloboramphus hypoleucus), Common Murre ( Uria aalge), Cassin's Auklet ( Ptychoramphus aleuticus) and Rhinoceros Auklet ( Cerorhinca monocerata) showed diminishing reproductive performance through time. Patterns of change for the murre and auklets were not significant, presumably because of a lack of reproductive variation for these species, which display a conservative breeding effort (i.e. single-egg clutches). Changes in the birds' abilities to provision young and maintain chick survival during May-July each year appeared most closely related to overall changes in reproductive performance. Dietary change indicated a decline in use of juvenile rockfish ( Sebastes spp.) by marine birds in central California. There was also significant interannual variability in consumption of juvenile rockfish and the euphausiid Thysanoessa spinifera. Patterns of change in marine bird reproductive performance were generally concordant between southern and central California after considering the period of recovery for Brown Pelican and

  15. An experimental test for age-related improvements in reproductive performance in a frog that cares for its young

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dugas, Matthew B.; Moore, Michael P.; Wamelink, Caitlin N.; Richards-Zawacki, Corinne L.; Martin, Ryan A.

    2015-10-01

    Reproductive performance often increases with age in long-lived iteroparous organisms, a pattern that can result from within-individual increases in effort and/or competence. In free-living populations, it is typically difficult to distinguish these mechanisms or to isolate particular features of reproduction-influencing outcomes. In captive Oophaga pumilio, a frog in which mothers provide extended offspring provisioning via trophic eggs, we experimentally manipulated the age at which females started breeding and then monitored them across repeated reproductive events. This experiment allowed us to decouple age and experience and isolate maternal care as the proximate source of any differences in performance. Younger first-time mothers produced larger broods than older first-time mothers, but did not rear more offspring to independence. Across repeated reproductive events, maternal age was unassociated with any metric of performance. At later reproductive events, however, mothers produced fewer metamorphs, and a lower proportion of individuals in their broods reached independence. These patterns suggest that performance does not improve with age or breeding experience in this frog, and that eventual declines in performance are driven by reproductive activity, not age per se. Broadly, age-specific patterns of reproductive performance may depend on the proximate mechanism by which parents influence offspring fitness and how sensitive these are to effort and competence.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Study of how sash movement affects performance of fume hoods

    SciTech Connect

    Hardwick, T.

    1997-12-31

    This study was conducted to determine how sash movements affect the performance of fume hoods. The performance of two fume hoods was studied as the sashes were moved from closed to open position at speeds of 2 ft/s, 1.5 ft/s, and 1 ft/s. The tests were conducted with fume hoods operated at both constant volume and variable air volume. The tests indicate that sash movements can disturb airflow patterns at the face of the hood and potentially affect the performance of the hood. The effect of the sash movement varied with hood type and speed of sash movement. The faster sash movements of 2 ft/s and 1.5 ft/s had a greater effect on the performance of the hoods than the slower movement of 1 ft/s. Constant-volume hoods and variable-air-volume hoods were both affected by sash movements. Constant-volume hoods set to a full open face velocity of 60 ft/min were more susceptible to the sash movement than at 100 ft/min full open face velocity. The performance of variable-air-volume hoods is affected not only by sash movement speed but also by the response time of the controller. The drop in face velocity that occurs when the sash is moved is determined by the speed of the VAV controller. The required response time for containment depends on the fume hood design and the speed of the sash movement.

  1. Reproductive performance of alternative male phenotypes of growth hormone transgenic Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar).

    PubMed

    Moreau, Darek T R; Conway, Corinne; Fleming, Ian A

    2011-11-01

    Growth hormone (GH) transgenic Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) is one of the first transgenic animals being considered for commercial farming, yet ecological and genetic concerns remain should they enter the wild and interact reproductively with wild fish. Here, we provide the first empirical data reporting on the breeding performance of GH transgenic Atlantic salmon males, including that of an alternative male reproductive phenotype (i.e. small, precocially mature parr), in pair-wise competitive trials within a naturalised stream mesocosm. Wild anadromous (i.e. large, migratory) males outperformed captively reared transgenic counterparts in terms of nest fidelity, quivering frequency and spawn participation. Similarly, despite displaying less aggression, captively reared nontransgenic mature parr were superior competitors to their transgenic counterparts in terms of nest fidelity and spawn participation. Moreover, nontransgenic parr had higher overall fertilisation success than transgenic parr, and their offspring were represented in more spawning trials. Although transgenic males displayed reduced breeding performance relative to nontransgenics, both male reproductive phenotypes demonstrated the ability to participate in natural spawning events and thus have the potential to contribute genes to subsequent generations.

  2. Reproductive performance and weaning success in fur-chewing chinchillas (Chinchilla lanigera).

    PubMed

    Galeano, María G; Cantarelli, Verónica I; Ruiz, Rubén D; Fiol de Cuneo, Marta; Ponzio, Marina F

    2014-09-01

    In captive chinchillas, one of the most challenging behavioral problems is the development of a stress-related abnormal repetitive behavior (ARB) known as "fur-chewing". We investigated whether there is a relationship between the severity of fur-chewing behavior and reproductive function in male and female chinchillas. Regardless of the severity of abnormal behavior, fur-chewing males did not show significant differences in seminal quality (sperm concentration, motility and viability; integrity of sperm membrane and acrosome) and the response to the process of semen collection (the number of stimuli needed to achieve ejaculation) when compared to those with normal behavior. Also, females showing normal or fur-chewing behavior presented similar reproductive performance in terms of number of litters per female per year and litter size. However, pup survival rate was lower (p=0.05) in fur-chewing females than in normal females. These results seem to be consistent with data suggesting non-significant effects of ARBs on reproductive performance. PMID:25152519

  3. Reproductive performance and weaning success in fur-chewing chinchillas (Chinchilla lanigera).

    PubMed

    Galeano, María G; Cantarelli, Verónica I; Ruiz, Rubén D; Fiol de Cuneo, Marta; Ponzio, Marina F

    2014-09-01

    In captive chinchillas, one of the most challenging behavioral problems is the development of a stress-related abnormal repetitive behavior (ARB) known as "fur-chewing". We investigated whether there is a relationship between the severity of fur-chewing behavior and reproductive function in male and female chinchillas. Regardless of the severity of abnormal behavior, fur-chewing males did not show significant differences in seminal quality (sperm concentration, motility and viability; integrity of sperm membrane and acrosome) and the response to the process of semen collection (the number of stimuli needed to achieve ejaculation) when compared to those with normal behavior. Also, females showing normal or fur-chewing behavior presented similar reproductive performance in terms of number of litters per female per year and litter size. However, pup survival rate was lower (p=0.05) in fur-chewing females than in normal females. These results seem to be consistent with data suggesting non-significant effects of ARBs on reproductive performance.

  4. Reproductive performance of alternative male phenotypes of growth hormone transgenic Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar)

    PubMed Central

    Moreau, Darek T R; Conway, Corinne; Fleming, Ian A

    2011-01-01

    Growth hormone (GH) transgenic Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) is one of the first transgenic animals being considered for commercial farming, yet ecological and genetic concerns remain should they enter the wild and interact reproductively with wild fish. Here, we provide the first empirical data reporting on the breeding performance of GH transgenic Atlantic salmon males, including that of an alternative male reproductive phenotype (i.e. small, precocially mature parr), in pair-wise competitive trials within a naturalised stream mesocosm. Wild anadromous (i.e. large, migratory) males outperformed captively reared transgenic counterparts in terms of nest fidelity, quivering frequency and spawn participation. Similarly, despite displaying less aggression, captively reared nontransgenic mature parr were superior competitors to their transgenic counterparts in terms of nest fidelity and spawn participation. Moreover, nontransgenic parr had higher overall fertilisation success than transgenic parr, and their offspring were represented in more spawning trials. Although transgenic males displayed reduced breeding performance relative to nontransgenics, both male reproductive phenotypes demonstrated the ability to participate in natural spawning events and thus have the potential to contribute genes to subsequent generations. PMID:25568019

  5. Exogenous glucagon effects on health and reproductive performance of lactating dairy cows with mild fatty liver.

    PubMed

    Bobe, G; Ametaj, B N; Young, J W; Anderson, L L; Beitz, D C

    2007-12-01

    Severe fatty liver, a metabolic disease of dairy cows in early lactation, results in decreased health and reproductive performance, but can be alleviated by treatment with i.v. injections of glucagon. Mild fatty liver in cows effects on health and reproductive performance were determined by treatment with 14-day s.c. injections of glucagon at 7.5 or 15 mg/day. Multiparous Holstein cows (n=32) were grouped into Normal and Susceptible based on liver triacylglycerol concentrations (>1% liver tissue biopsy wet weight) at day 8 postpartum (day 0=day of parturition). Susceptible cows (n=24) were assigned randomly to three groups and s.c. injected with 0mg glucagon [60 ml 0.15M NaCl] [n=8] (same for Normal cows), 2.5 mg glucagon, or 5 mg glucagon every 8 h for 14 days, beginning day 8 postpartum. Mild fatty liver resulted in an increased number of days with elevated body temperature during the injection period, an increased incidence of mastitis after glucagon treatment, increased days to first estrus and insemination, increased days before conception occurred, and decreased conception rate. In cows with mild fatty liver, glucagon (15 mg/day) decreased the number of days with elevated body temperature and the incidence of mastitis after hormone treatment. From these results, we suggest that mild fatty liver is detrimental to health and reproduction of dairy cows and, furthermore, that exogenous glucagon decreases some of these detrimental effects.

  6. Genetic analysis of reproductive performance of Frieswal cattle at Military Farm, Ambala

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Jagdeep; Singh, Y. P.; Kumar, Sushil; Singh, Rajbir; Kumar, Ravinder; Kumar, Pradeep

    2015-01-01

    Aim: This study was carried out to investigate the genetic analysis of reproductive performance of Frieswal cattle at Military Farm, Ambala. Materials and Methods: A total number of 3005 lactation records of 1147 Frieswal cows over a period of 15 years extending from 1993 to 2007 were used to study at Military Dairy Farm, Ambala. The study period was divided into 5 period of 3 years each. The average performances of reproduction traits, effect of genetic and non-genetic factors were analyzed, and estimation of genetic and phenotypic parameters of reproduction traits was undertaken. Results: The age at first calving (AFC) differed significantly across the periods of calving. The AFC was lowest during the third period (1999-2001) and longest in the first period (1993-95). The effect of season and period of calving, lactation order and regression of AFC on dry period, calving interval and service period was highly significant. The effect of sire was non-significant. The heritability estimates were low for almost all the traits under study. The service period had a high genetic correlation with dry period and calving interval. The dry period also found to have a low genetic correlation with calving interval in Frieswal cows. Service period had a high phenotypic correlation with dry period and very high with a calving interval. The phenotypic correlation between the dry period and calving interval was recognized high. Conclusions: Low heritability estimate for the reproduction traits indicates that there is a very little additive genetic variance in these traits, and individual selection will not be helpful for improving them. Improvement may be brought through better feeding and management of cows by reducing the environmental variability. PMID:27047194

  7. Performance pressure and caffeine both affect cognitive performance, but likely through independent mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Boere, Julia J; Fellinger, Lizz; Huizinga, Duncan J H; Wong, Sebastiaan F; Bijleveld, Erik

    2016-02-01

    A prevalent combination in daily life, performance pressure and caffeine intake have both been shown to impact people's cognitive performance. Here, we examined the possibility that pressure and caffeine affect cognitive performance via a shared pathway. In an experiment, participants performed a modular arithmetic task. Performance pressure and caffeine intake were orthogonally manipulated. Findings indicated that pressure and caffeine both negatively impacted performance. However, (a) pressure vs. caffeine affected performance on different trial types, and (b) there was no hint of an interactive effect. So, though the evidence is indirect, findings suggest that pressure and caffeine shape performance via distinct mechanisms, rather than a shared one.

  8. Principals' Perception regarding Factors Affecting the Performance of Teachers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Akram, Muhammad Javaid; Raza, Syed Ahmad; Khaleeq, Abdur Rehman; Atika, Samrana

    2011-01-01

    This study investigated the perception of principals on how the factors of subject mastery, teaching methodology, personal characteristics, and attitude toward students affect the performance of teachers at higher secondary level in the Punjab. All principals of higher secondary level in the Punjab were part of the population of the study. From…

  9. Economy Affects Students' Academic Performance as Well as Spending Decisions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sander, Libby

    2012-01-01

    Like many Americans caught up in the economic downturn, college students are worried about money. Now research indicates that financial worries may affect their academic performance. The author presents the results of this year's National Survey of Student Engagement. The survey reveals that more than a third of seniors and more than a quarter of…

  10. Factors Affecting Performance in an Introductory Sociology Course

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kwenda, Maxwell

    2011-01-01

    This study examines factors affecting students' performances in an Introductory Sociology course over five semesters. Employing simple and ordered logit regression models, the author explains final grades by focusing on individual demographic and educational characteristics that students bring into the classroom. The results show that a student's…

  11. Relations between affective music and speech: evidence from dynamics of affective piano performance and speech production.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xiaoluan; Xu, Yi

    2015-01-01

    This study compares affective piano performance with speech production from the perspective of dynamics: unlike previous research, this study uses finger force and articulatory effort as indexes reflecting the dynamics of affective piano performance and speech production respectively. Moreover, for the first time physical constraints such as piano fingerings and speech articulatory constraints are included due to their potential contribution to different patterns of dynamics. A piano performance experiment and speech production experiment were conducted in four emotions: anger, fear, happiness and sadness. The results show that in both piano performance and speech production, anger and happiness generally have high dynamics while sadness has the lowest dynamics. Fingerings interact with fear in the piano experiment and articulatory constraints interact with anger in the speech experiment, i.e., large physical constraints produce significantly higher dynamics than small physical constraints in piano performance under the condition of fear and in speech production under the condition of anger. Using production experiments, this study firstly supports previous perception studies on relations between affective music and speech. Moreover, this is the first study to show quantitative evidence for the importance of considering motor aspects such as dynamics in comparing music performance and speech production in which motor mechanisms play a crucial role. PMID:26217252

  12. Relations between affective music and speech: evidence from dynamics of affective piano performance and speech production

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Xiaoluan; Xu, Yi

    2015-01-01

    This study compares affective piano performance with speech production from the perspective of dynamics: unlike previous research, this study uses finger force and articulatory effort as indexes reflecting the dynamics of affective piano performance and speech production respectively. Moreover, for the first time physical constraints such as piano fingerings and speech articulatory constraints are included due to their potential contribution to different patterns of dynamics. A piano performance experiment and speech production experiment were conducted in four emotions: anger, fear, happiness and sadness. The results show that in both piano performance and speech production, anger and happiness generally have high dynamics while sadness has the lowest dynamics. Fingerings interact with fear in the piano experiment and articulatory constraints interact with anger in the speech experiment, i.e., large physical constraints produce significantly higher dynamics than small physical constraints in piano performance under the condition of fear and in speech production under the condition of anger. Using production experiments, this study firstly supports previous perception studies on relations between affective music and speech. Moreover, this is the first study to show quantitative evidence for the importance of considering motor aspects such as dynamics in comparing music performance and speech production in which motor mechanisms play a crucial role. PMID:26217252

  13. Relations between affective music and speech: evidence from dynamics of affective piano performance and speech production.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xiaoluan; Xu, Yi

    2015-01-01

    This study compares affective piano performance with speech production from the perspective of dynamics: unlike previous research, this study uses finger force and articulatory effort as indexes reflecting the dynamics of affective piano performance and speech production respectively. Moreover, for the first time physical constraints such as piano fingerings and speech articulatory constraints are included due to their potential contribution to different patterns of dynamics. A piano performance experiment and speech production experiment were conducted in four emotions: anger, fear, happiness and sadness. The results show that in both piano performance and speech production, anger and happiness generally have high dynamics while sadness has the lowest dynamics. Fingerings interact with fear in the piano experiment and articulatory constraints interact with anger in the speech experiment, i.e., large physical constraints produce significantly higher dynamics than small physical constraints in piano performance under the condition of fear and in speech production under the condition of anger. Using production experiments, this study firstly supports previous perception studies on relations between affective music and speech. Moreover, this is the first study to show quantitative evidence for the importance of considering motor aspects such as dynamics in comparing music performance and speech production in which motor mechanisms play a crucial role.

  14. Rhythm reproduction in kindergarten, reading performance at second grade, and developmental dyslexia theories.

    PubMed

    Dellatolas, Georges; Watier, Laurence; Le Normand, Marie-Thérèse; Lubart, Todd; Chevrie-Muller, Claude

    2009-09-01

    Temporal processing deficit could be associated with a specific difficulty in learning to read. In 1951, Stambak provided preliminary evidence that children with dyslexia performed less well than good readers in reproduction of 21 rhythmic patterns. Stambak's task was administered to 1,028 French children aged 5-6 years. The score distribution (from 0 to 21) was quasi-normal, with some children failing completely and other performing perfectly. In second grade, reading was assessed in 695 of these children. Kindergarten variables explained 26% of the variance of the reading score at second grade. The Stambak score was strongly and linearly related to reading performance in second grade, after partialling out performance on other tasks (oral repetition, attention, and visuo-spatial tasks) and socio-cultural level. Findings are discussed in relation to perceptual, cerebellar, intermodal, and attention-related theories of developmental dyslexia. It is concluded that simple rhythm reproduction tasks in kindergarten are predictive of later reading performance. PMID:19628461

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Sleep complaints affecting school performance at different educational levels.

    PubMed

    Pagel, James F; Kwiatkowski, Carol F

    2010-01-01

    The clear association between reports of sleep disturbance and poor school performance has been documented for sleepy adolescents. This study extends that research to students outside the adolescent age grouping in an associated school setting (98 middle school students, 67 high school students, and 64 college students). Reported restless legs and periodic limb movements are significantly associated with lower GPA's in junior high students. Consistent with previous studies, daytime sleepiness was the sleep variable most likely to negatively affects high school students. Sleep onset and maintenance insomnia were the reported sleep variables significantly correlated with poorer school performance in college students. This study indicates that different sleep disorder variables negatively affect performance at different age and educational levels.

  2. Are corticosterone levels a good indicator of food availability and reproductive performance in a kittiwake colony?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lanctot, Richard B.; Hatch, Shyla A.; Gill, V.A.; Eens, M.

    2003-01-01

    We evaluated the use of corticosterone to gauge forage availability and predict reproductive performance in black-legged kittiwakes (Rissa tridactyla) breeding in Alaska during 1999 and 2000. We modeled the relationship between baseline levels of corticosterone and a suite of individual and temporal characteristics of the sampled birds. We also provided supplemental food to a sample of pairs and compared their corticosterone levels with that of pairs that were not fed. Corticosterone levels were a good predictor of forage availability in some situations, although inconsistencies between corticosterone levels and reproductive performance of fed and unfed kittiwakes suggested that this was not always the case. In general, higher corticosterone levels were found in birds that lacked breeding experience and in birds sampled shortly after arriving from their wintering grounds. All parameters investigated, however, explained only a small proportion of the variance in corticosterone levels. We also investigated whether corticosterone, supplemental feeding, year of the study, breeding experience, body weight, and sex of a bird were able to predict laying, hatching, and fledging success in kittiwakes. Here, breeding experience, year of the study, and body weight were the best predictors of a bird's performance. Corticosterone level and supplemental feeding were good predictors of kittiwake reproductive performance in some cases. For example, corticosterone levels of birds sampled during the arrival stage reliably predicted laying success, but were less reliable at predicting hatching and fledging success. Counts of active nests with eggs or chicks may be more reliable estimates of the actual productivity of the colony. Supplemental feeding had strong effects on kittiwake productivity when natural forage was poor, but had little effect when natural forage was plentiful. ?? 2003 Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Invited review: Recommendations for reporting intervention studies on reproductive performance in dairy cattle: Improving design, analysis, and interpretation of research on reproduction.

    PubMed

    Lean, Ian J; Lucy, Matthew C; McNamara, John P; Bradford, Barry J; Block, Elliot; Thomson, Jennifer M; Morton, John M; Celi, Pietro; Rabiee, Ahmad R; Santos, José E P; Thatcher, William W; LeBlanc, Stephen J

    2016-01-01

    Abundant evidence from the medical, veterinary, and animal science literature demonstrates that there is substantial room for improvement of the clarity, completeness, and accuracy of reporting of intervention studies. More rigorous reporting guidelines are needed to improve the quality of data available for use in comparisons of outcomes (or meta-analyses) of multiple studies. Because of the diversity of factors that affect reproduction and the complexity of interactions between these, a systematic approach is required to design, conduct, and analyze basic and applied studies of dairy cattle reproduction. Greater consistency, clarity, completeness, and correctness of design and reporting will improve the value of each report and allow for greater depth of evaluation in meta-analyses. Each of these benefits will improve understanding and application of current knowledge and better identify questions that require additional modeling or primary research. The proposed guidelines and checklist will aid in the design, conduct, analysis, and reporting of intervention studies. We propose an adaptation of the REFLECT (Reporting Guidelines for Randomized Controlled Trials for Livestock and Food Safety) statement to provide guidelines and a checklist specific to reporting intervention studies in dairy cattle reproduction. Furthermore, we provide recommendations that will assist investigators to produce studies with greater internal and external validity that can more often be included in systematic reviews and global meta-analyses. Such studies will also assist the development of models to describe the physiology of reproduction.

  6. Dietary modification of host blood lipids affect reproduction in the lone star tick, Amblyomma americanum(L.).

    PubMed

    Madden, R D; Sauer, J R; Dillwith, J W; Bowman, A S

    1996-04-01

    The feeding and reproductive performance of female lone star ticks (Amblyomma americanum (L.)) infesting guinea pigs on diets containing 15% fish oil (FO) or safflower oil (SO) were investigated. Replete ticks fed on FO-fed guinea pigs weighed approximately 30% less than those on the SO-fed guinea pigs. The lower engorged weight resulted in a similar decrease in the mass and number of eggs laid and number of larvae hatching. No effect of host dietary treatment was observed upon the reproductive efficiency index, egg weight, or hatchability. Guinea pig blood on the FO-diet contained high levels of eicosapentaenoic acid, which has previously been shown to inhibit the accumulation of arachidonic acid in the tick salivary gland. It is suggested that the ticks on the FO-fed guinea pigs have impaired production and secretion of dienoic prostaglandins in the saliva resulting in poorer feeding performance, possibly by altering the amount of host blood present in the feeding lesion. PMID:8604084

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Reproductive performance and survival of Holstein and Holstein × Simmental crossbred cows.

    PubMed

    Knob, Deise Aline; Alessio, Dileta Regina Moro; Thaler Neto, Andre; Mozzaquatro, Fabrício Desconsi

    2016-10-01

    Crossbreed dairy breeds, such as Holstein × dairy type of Simmental, have been generally used to improve fertility, udder health, and longevity of dairy herds. The aim was to compare the reproductive performance and survival of Holstein and Holstein × Simmental crossbred cows. Data from two farms were used as follows: one located in Bom Retiro, in the state of Santa Catarina, Brazil. and another in Carambeí, Paraná state. Information concerning birth, inseminations, and parity date were obtained from the management software of the farms, generating information regarding the calving interval, days between calving to first service, conception rate, and age at first calving. At one of the farms, calving was monitoring to quantify dystocia. Live weight as well as body condition score (BCS) of cows and information of culling were obtained to determine the survival rate. Data were analyzed by variance analysis and by logistic regression. Crossbred Holstein × Simmental cows had better reproductive performance than the Holstein cows, characterized by lower calving interval (381 vs. 445 days), higher conception rate (37.3 vs. 33.6 %), and shorter calving to first service interval (65 vs. 89 days). These results were related to a higher BCS in crossbred cows (3.63 vs. 2.94 points). Crossbred Holstein × Simmental cows had higher survival rate than Holstein cows on the second parity (83 vs. 92 %). No differences between genetic groups were observed (P > 0.05) for body weight and dystocia. In conclusion, Holstein × Simmental crossbred cows have better reproductive performance and higher survival rate than Holstein cows.

  12. Effect of feed intake restriction on reproductive performance and pregnancy rate in Egyptian buffalo heifers.

    PubMed

    Hussein, Hassan Ali; Abdel-Raheem, Sherief Mohamed

    2013-04-01

    The objective of the present experiment is to study the effect of feed intake restriction on the reproductive performance and pregnancy rate in Egyptian buffalo heifers. Thirty anestrus buffalo heifers were randomly divided into two equal groups. The low feed intake (LFI, n=15, 50 % restriction) group was fed a diet that consists of 3 kg concentrate, 1 kg wheat straw, and 3 kg fresh alfalfa, while the high feed intake (HFI, n=15) group was fed double the amount given to the LFI group for 4 months. All animals were weighed, transrectally examined, and visually checked for the signs of estrus, and blood samples were collected. Heifers in heat were mated with one fertile bull. The number of heifers showing estrus activity was 93.3 % in HFI vs. 20 % in LFI (P<0.01). Ovarian activity started earlier (P=0.03) in the HFI than LFI group. The weight at breeding, the diameter of the dominant follicle, number of heifers showing ovulations, number of services per conception, pregnancy rate, and overall mean of progesterone and estrogen concentrations were significantly higher (P<0.01) in the HFI than in the LFI group. The level of serum total protein, albumin, globulin, glucose, total cholesterol, and calcium were significantly higher (P<0.05) in the HFI group. Restriction of the daily feed intake to 50 % from NRC recommendations impair reproductive performance in terms of increasing the age at first service and reducing the pregnancy rate in buffalo heifers. In conclusion, feed intake could be effective in improvement of reproductive performance in buffalo heifers and further studies should be done on large scale of buffaloes in this point. PMID:23212835

  13. Effect of freezing extender composition and male line on semen traits and reproductive performance in rabbits.

    PubMed

    Viudes-de-Castro, M P; Lavara, R; Safaa, H M; Marco-Jiménez, F; Mehaisen, G M K; Vicente, J S

    2014-05-01

    This study was conducted to elucidate the effect of different freezing extenders on two lines selected for hyperprolificacy and longevity (H and LP, respectively). In extender A, dimethyl sulphoxide (Me2SO) and sucrose were used as cryoprotectants. In extenders B and C, the sucrose was replaced by 20% egg yolk, and in extender C the Me2SO was substituted by acetamide. Semen was packaged in 0.25 ml plastic straws and cooled at 5°C for 45 min, and then was frozen in liquid nitrogen vapour for 10 min before being plunged into the liquid nitrogen. Thawing was carried out by immersing the straws in a water bath at 50°C for 10 s. Frozen-thawed semen characteristics and reproductive parameters were affected by freezing. Extender C showed significantly lower post-thawing quality traits than any of the three extenders. Acrosome integrity was significantly improved when Me2SO was used as cryoprotectant. Sucrose replacement by 20% egg yolk had no effect on acrosome integrity but provided significantly lower sperm motility and viability. Freezing extender affected fertility rate, total born, number of implantation sites and gestational losses, obtaining better results when extender A was used. The acrosomal integrity after frozen-thawed process showed a significant correlation with fertility at 12th day and also at birth, indicating that an increase in acrosomal integrity leads to an increase in both fertilities (12th day and at birth). A positive correlation between motility of semen and implantation sites was found. The post-thawing quality traits of semen were not affected by the genetic line, although LP line showed higher total born and lower foetal and gestational losses. The findings of this study suggest that freezing extender composition has a significant effect on the success of rabbit sperm for preservation, and when Me2SO was used as permeable cryoprotectant sucrose provided better protection compared with egg yolk and improved reproductive traits, and, on the

  14. 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.

  15. Overcoming an evolutionary conflict: removal of a reproductive organ greatly increases locomotor performance.

    PubMed

    Ramos, Margarita; Irschick, Duncan J; Christenson, Terry E

    2004-04-01

    One potential consequence of sexual size dimorphism is conflict among characters. For example, a structure evolved for reproduction can impair performance during other activities (e.g., locomotion). Here we provide quantitative evidence for an animal overcoming an evolutionary conflict generated by differential scaling and sexual size dimorphism by obligatorily removing an undamaged reproductive organ, and thus dramatically enhancing its locomotor performance. The spider genus Tidarren (Araneae, Theridiidae) is interesting because, within several species presenting extreme sexual size dimorphism (males representing approximately 1% of the total mass of the female), males voluntarily remove one of their two disproportionately large pedipalps (modified copulatory organs; a single one represents approximately 10% of the body mass in an adult) before achieving sexual maturity. Whether the left or right pedipalp is removed appears to be random. Previous researchers have hypothesized that pedipalp removal might enhance locomotor performance, a prediction that has remained untested. We found that, for male Tidarren sisyphoides, maximum speed increased (44%) significantly and endurance increased (63%) significantly after pedipalp removal. Furthermore, spiders with one pedipalp moved approximately 300% greater distances before exhaustion and had a higher survival after exertion than those with two pedipalps. Removal of the pedipalp may have evolved in male Tidarren because of enhanced abilities to search for females (higher endurance and survival after exertion) and to out-compete rival males on the female's web (higher maximum speed). Our data also highlight how the evolution of conflicts can result in the evolution of a novel behavior.

  16. Thriving at the limit: Differential reproductive performance in range-edge populations of a Mediterranean sclerophyll (Olea europaea)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Granado-Yela, Carlos; Balaguer, Luis; García-Verdugo, Carlos; Carrillo, Katty; Méndez, Marcos

    2013-10-01

    Peripheral populations are often lumped together on the assumption of thriving in marginal habitats where reproductive performance is compromised. We have tested this hypothesis in peripheral populations of wild olive tree (Olea europaea L.) presumably limited by different factors at the westernmost limit of the species range. Additionally, we hypothesized that differences in reproductive outcome among populations are better explained by site-specific environmental conditions (PAR, soil water, soil nutrients, air humidity and air temperature) than by differences in phenotypic traits (tree size and leaf traits). To test these hypotheses, we assessed the number of flowering trees, the flowering intensity, fruit set and seed viability in eight populations for three consecutive years. Our findings provided sufficient evidence to reject the first hypothesis. Peripheral populations that occur under oceanic conditions, resembling the Tertiary subtropical climate, consistently presented higher values for all components of reproductive performance than those at the thermal and rainfall tolerance limits. In support of our second hypothesis, the variation in reproductive performance among populations was primarily accounted for by local environmental conditions. Leaf traits, however, also explained reproductive variation but to a lesser extent. Finally, we found that small changes in tree size may cause large differences in reproductive performance. This close relationship between tree size and reproductive performance suggests that any impact on population size structure would likely jeopardize persistence and expansion at the range edge. Our results suggest that reproductive performance of wild olive trees was not shaped by the population geographic position within the species range, but by the interaction between local environment, as the main driver, and individual phenotypic traits.

  17. VARIATIONS IN REPRODUCTIVE TOXICANT IDENTIFICATION

    SciTech Connect

    Simmons, F

    2008-05-13

    Reproductive toxicants are a very important class of compounds. They present unique hazards to those of child bearing ages, perform their 'dirty work' using a wide variety of mechanisms on a number of different organs, and are regulatorily important. Because of all of this, properly identifying reproductive toxicants is important, but fraught with difficulty. In this paper we will describe types or reproductive toxicants, their importance, and both mistakes and good practices that people who are not experts in reproductive toxicology may use in their attempts to identify them. Additionally, this paper will focus on chemical reproductive toxicants and will not address biological agents that could affect reproductive toxicity although many principles outlined here could be applied to that endeavor.

  18. Effects of intraspecific variation in reproductive traits, pectoral fin use and burst swimming on metabolic rates and swimming performance in the Trinidadian guppy (Poecilia reticulata).

    PubMed

    Svendsen, Jon C; Banet, Amanda I; Christensen, Rune H B; Steffensen, John F; Aarestrup, Kim

    2013-09-15

    There is considerable intraspecific variation in metabolic rates and locomotor performance in aquatic ectothermic vertebrates; however, the mechanistic basis remains poorly understood. Using pregnant Trinidadian guppies (Poecilia reticulata), a live-bearing teleost, we examined the effects of reproductive traits, pectoral fin use and burst-assisted swimming on swimming metabolic rate, standard metabolic rate (O2std) and prolonged swimming performance (Ucrit). Reproductive traits included reproductive allocation and pregnancy stage, the former defined as the mass of the reproductive tissues divided by the total body mass. Results showed that the metabolic rate increased curvilinearly with swimming speed. The slope of the relationship was used as an index of swimming cost. There was no evidence that reproductive traits correlated with swimming cost, O2std or Ucrit. In contrast, data revealed strong effects of pectoral fin use on swimming cost and Ucrit. Poecilia reticulata employed body-caudal fin (BCF) swimming at all tested swimming speeds; however, fish with a high simultaneous use of the pectoral fins exhibited increased swimming cost and decreased Ucrit. These data indicated that combining BCF swimming and pectoral fin movement over a wide speed range, presumably to support swimming stability and control, is an inefficient swimming behaviour. Finally, transition to burst-assisted swimming was associated with an increase in aerobic metabolic rate. Our study highlights factors other than swimming speed that affect swimming cost and suggests that intraspecific diversity in biomechanical performance, such as pectoral fin use, is an important source of variation in both locomotor cost and maximal performance. PMID:23737561

  19. Polychlorinated biphenyls and reproductive performance in otters from the Norwegian coast.

    PubMed

    Christensen, Hanne; Heggberget, Thrine Moen; Gutleb, Arno C

    2010-11-01

    Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra) has shown decreasing population trends in most areas of Europe until recently, when populations in some areas started to recover. For Norway it was postulated that PCB concentrations in the south would be high and that levels in otters will show a geographic pattern that can be related to female otter reproductive health. Concentrations of PCBs (measured as the sum of 30 congeners ranging from 0.58 to 29 mg/kg lipid weight [geometric mean 6.18 mg/kg]) were lower than those found in otters from most other European countries. PCB concentrations did not decrease in otters collected during the period from 1979 to 1990. However, a south-to-north gradient of increasing PCB concentrations in otter livers was found along the Norwegian coast. Actual PCB concentrations had not affected the reproductive health of female otters (implanted embryos, implantation sites, regressive structures). This provides valuable information on PCB concentrations tolerated by Eurasian otters at the population level.

  20. 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.

  1. Reproductive performance of the Mesa silverside (Chirostoma jordani Woolman, 1894) under natural and controlled photoperiods.

    PubMed

    Arredondo-Figueroa, José Luis; Núñez-García, Laura Georgina; Heredia-Guzmán, Paloma Adriana; Ponce-Palafox, Jesús T

    2012-12-01

    Chirostoma jordani is a native annual species inhabiting lacustrine waters of the Central Mexico Plateau. It is widely distributed and is currently facing high environmental pressures. Five experiments were performed to study the reproductive performance of this species. Four of the experiments were conducted in 270-L indoor recirculation tanks. Two males and one female at the first stage of reproduction were included in each test. A photoperiod of 14 light hours and 10 dark hours was used. In a fifth experiment, 10 females and 15 males were kept in an outdoor 3,000-L recirculation tank under natural photoperiod. The number of spawns, fertilised eggs and 30-day-old juveniles were counted and the survival rate was calculated. The results indicated significant differences (P < 0.05) between treatments. Higher spawn numbers and greater egg production were observed under controlled photoperiod, and higher numbers of juveniles and a higher survival rate were observed under natural photoperiod. The trials exhibited different patterns of egg production during the experiment. The egg production in the natural-photoperiod trials followed a polynomial curve model. In contrast, the trials under the controlled photoperiod showed an irregular pattern of increases and decreases in egg production.

  2. Reproductive performance of rats treated with defatted jojoba meal or simmondsin before or during gestation.

    PubMed

    Cokelaere, M; Daenens, P; Decuypere, E; Flo, G; Kühn, E; Van Boven, M; Vermaut, S

    1998-01-01

    The effects on food intake, growth and reproductive performance parameters of defatted jojoba meal and pure simmondsin, an extract from jojoba meal, were compared in female Wistar rats. Rats fed 0.15% simmondsin or 3% defatted jojoba meal (equivalent to 0.15% simmondsin) for 8 weeks before conception showed a similar reduction in food intake (about 20%) and a similar growth retardation compared with controls. Both treatments induced a reduction in the number of corpora lutea on gestation day 16: this effect could be ascribed to the lower food intake before conception because it was also observed in rats pair-fed to the treated ones. Rats given feed containing 0.15% simmondsin or 3% defatted jojoba meal during days 1-16 of gestation showed a similar reduction in food intake relative to controls. Foetal and placental weights were reduced, relative to controls, to a similar extent in both groups, and the reductions were slightly greater than in the corresponding pair-fed groups. We conclude that the effects on food intake, growth and reproductive performance that were seen after feeding rats defatted jojoba meal were due to the simmondsin content of the meal. The simmondsin induced reduction in food intake and probably also a relative protein shortage.

  3. 6-Dimethylaminopurine and cyclohexamide are mutagenic and alter reproductive performance and intrauterine development in vivo.

    PubMed

    Oliveira, R J; Mantovani, M S; Pesarini, J R; Mauro, M O; da Silva, A F; Souza, T R; Ribeiro, L R

    2015-01-01

    The compounds 6-dimethylaminopurine (6-DMAP) and cyclohexamide (CHX) are currently used to stimulate the development of embryos produced by nuclear transfer in the production of cloned mammals with a great deal success. This study investigated the effects of 6-DMAP and CHX in vivo using biological assays to evaluate reproductive performance in females, teratogenesis, and mutagenesis. The results of this study demonstrated that the activating agents of oocyte cytoplasm, 6-DMAP and CHX, altered the reproductive performance of the experimental animals, as well as increased the rate malformations. In addition to these adverse effects, the administration of these compounds in pregnant females resulted in genotoxic and mutagenic toxicity, as determined by comet and micronucleus assays carried out in peripheral blood samples, respectively. Based on these findings and that alterations in DNA are important, morpho-functional teratogenesis and diminished embryonic viability, suggesting that 6-DMAP and CHX, which are utilized during the cloning of mammals, are responsible for the fact that embryos produced by nuclear transfer show low viability after implantation in utero or after birth because of congenital malformations and/or alterations in their DNA. PMID:25730023

  4. Sea ice cover and its influence on Adélie Penguin reproductive performance.

    PubMed

    Emmerson, Louise; Southwell, Colin

    2008-08-01

    The relationship between Adélie Penguins (Pygoscelis adeliae) and ice is well established, with sea ice influencing penguin populations through a variety of processes operating at different spatial and temporal scales. To further explain the relationship between sea ice and Adélie Penguin reproductive performance, we investigated the relative importance of various measures of sea ice cover on breeding success at Béchervaise Island, East Antarctica. Our results show a clear distinction in the response of penguins to different types of ice, as well as to the timing of the presence of sea ice. Nearshore sea ice, which is composed primarily of fast ice during the guard stage of the breeding season, had an overwhelmingly strong and negative impact on penguin reproductive performance. The influence of winter and offshore guard-stage ice was only evident in conjunction with nearshore ice. Predicting Adélie Penguin population growth in relation to changes in the sea ice environment may be complicated because penguin-ice interactions vary according to the type of sea ice present, the season in which it is present, and the processes contributing to population growth that are influenced by sea ice.

  5. 6-Dimethylaminopurine and cyclohexamide are mutagenic and alter reproductive performance and intrauterine development in vivo.

    PubMed

    Oliveira, R J; Mantovani, M S; Pesarini, J R; Mauro, M O; da Silva, A F; Souza, T R; Ribeiro, L R

    2015-02-02

    The compounds 6-dimethylaminopurine (6-DMAP) and cyclohexamide (CHX) are currently used to stimulate the development of embryos produced by nuclear transfer in the production of cloned mammals with a great deal success. This study investigated the effects of 6-DMAP and CHX in vivo using biological assays to evaluate reproductive performance in females, teratogenesis, and mutagenesis. The results of this study demonstrated that the activating agents of oocyte cytoplasm, 6-DMAP and CHX, altered the reproductive performance of the experimental animals, as well as increased the rate malformations. In addition to these adverse effects, the administration of these compounds in pregnant females resulted in genotoxic and mutagenic toxicity, as determined by comet and micronucleus assays carried out in peripheral blood samples, respectively. Based on these findings and that alterations in DNA are important, morpho-functional teratogenesis and diminished embryonic viability, suggesting that 6-DMAP and CHX, which are utilized during the cloning of mammals, are responsible for the fact that embryos produced by nuclear transfer show low viability after implantation in utero or after birth because of congenital malformations and/or alterations in their DNA.

  6. Social genetic effects influence reproductive performance of group-housed sows.

    PubMed

    Bunter, K L; Lewis, C R G; Newman, S

    2015-08-01

    Group housing of gestating sows has implications for reproductive performance due to detrimental interactions between sows within groups. Reproductive records ( = 10,748) were obtained for 8,444 pedigreed nucleus sows housed in a single facility, formed into 1,827 static groups during gestation. Only data from complete groups were used to estimate genetic parameters for total born (TB), number born alive (NBA), and gestation length (GL) and to compare models extended to account for group effects. Censored data for sows which did not farrow (0.8% of records) were augmented with biologically meaningful values. Group sizes ranged from 2 to 10, in pens designed to hold 4, 8, or 10 sows per pen. Sows were grouped by parity, line, and mating date after d 35 of pregnancy. Heritability estimates were generally constant across all model alternatives at 0.11 ± 0.02 for TB and NBA and 0.32 ± 0.03 for GL. However, models for all traits were significantly ( < 0.05) improved through inclusion of terms for nongenetic group and social genetic effects (SGE). Group effects were no longer significant in models containing both terms. The proportional contributions of SGE () to phenotypic variances were very low (≤0.002 across traits), but their contributions to calculated total genetic variance (T) were significant. The differences between h and T ranged between 3 and 5% under simple models, increasing to 8 to 14% in models accounting for both covariances between additive direct (A) and SGE and the effects of varying group size on the magnitude of estimates for SGE. Estimates of covariance between A and SGE were sensitive to the modeling of dilution factors for group size. The models of best fit for litter size traits used a customized dilution based on sows/pen relative to the maximum sows/pen. The best model supported a reduction in SGE with increased space per sow, independent of maximum group size, and no significant correlation between A and SGE. The latter is expected if A

  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. 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

  9. Does Question Structure Affect Exam Performance in the Geosciences?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Day, E. A.; D'Arcy, M. K.; Craig, L.; Streule, M. J.; Passmore, E.; Irving, J. C. E.

    2015-12-01

    The jump to university level exams can be challenging for some students, often resulting in poor marks, which may be detrimental to their confidence and ultimately affect their overall degree class. Previous studies have found that question structure can have a strong impact on the performance of students in college level exams (see Gibson et al., 2015, for a discussion of its impact on physics undergraduates). Here, we investigate the effect of question structure on the exam results of geology and geophysics undergraduate students. Specifically, we analyse the performance of students in questions that have a 'scaffolded' framework and compare them to their performance in open-ended questions and coursework. We also investigate if observed differences in exam performance are correlated with the educational background and gender of students, amongst other factors. It is important for all students to be able to access their degree courses, no matter what their backgrounds may be. Broadening participation in the geosciences relies on removing systematic barriers to achievement. Therefore we recommend that exams are either structured with scaffolding in questions at lower levels, or students are explicitly prepared for this transition. We also recommend that longitudinal studies of exam performance are conducted within individual departments, and this work outlines one approach to analysing performance data.

  10. Timing of breeding and reproductive performance in murres and kittiwakes reflect mismatched seasonal prey dynamics

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Shultz, M.T.; Piatt, J.F.; Harding, A.M.A.; Kettle, A.B.; van Pelt, Thomas I.

    2009-01-01

    Seabirds are thought to time breeding to match the seasonal peak of food availability with peak chick energetic demands, but warming ocean temperatures have altered the timing of spring events, creating the potential for mismatches. The resilience of seabird populations to climate change depends on their ability to anticipate changes in the timing and magnitude of peak food availability and 'fine-tune' efforts to match ('Anticipation Hypothesis'). The degree that inter-annual variation in seabird timing of breeding and reproductive performance represents anticipated food availability versus energetic constraints ('Constraint Hypothesis') is poorly understood. We examined the relative merits of the Constraint and Anticipation Hypotheses by testing 2 predictions of the Constraint Hypothesis: (1) seabird timing of breeding is related to food availability prior to egg laying rather than the date of peak food availability, (2) initial reproductive output (e.g. laying success, clutch size) is related to pre-lay food availability rather than anticipated chick-rearing food availability. We analyzed breeding biology data of common murres Uria aalge and black-legged kittiwakes Rissa tridactyla and 2 proxies of the seasonal dynamics of their food availability (near-shore forage fish abundance and sea-surface temperature) at 2 colonies in Lower Cook Inlet, Alaska, USA, from 1996 to 1999. Our results support the Constraint Hypothesis: (1) for both species, egg laying was later in years with warmer sea-surface temperature and lower food availability prior to egg laying, but was not related to the date of peak food availability, (2) pre-egg laying food availability explained variation in kittiwake laying success and clutch size. Murre reproductive success was best explained by food availability during chick rearing. ?? 2009 Inter-Research.

  11. 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.

  12. Error framing effects on performance: cognitive, motivational, and affective pathways.

    PubMed

    Steele-Johnson, Debra; Kalinoski, Zachary T

    2014-01-01

    Our purpose was to examine whether positive error framing, that is, making errors salient and cuing individuals to see errors as useful, can benefit learning when task exploration is constrained. Recent research has demonstrated the benefits of a newer approach to training, that is, error management training, that includes the opportunity to actively explore the task and framing errors as beneficial to learning complex tasks (Keith & Frese, 2008). Other research has highlighted the important role of errors in on-the-job learning in complex domains (Hutchins, 1995). Participants (N = 168) from a large undergraduate university performed a class scheduling task. Results provided support for a hypothesized path model in which error framing influenced cognitive, motivational, and affective factors which in turn differentially affected performance quantity and quality. Within this model, error framing had significant direct effects on metacognition and self-efficacy. Our results suggest that positive error framing can have beneficial effects even when tasks cannot be structured to support extensive exploration. Whereas future research can expand our understanding of error framing effects on outcomes, results from the current study suggest that positive error framing can facilitate learning from errors in real-time performance of tasks. PMID:24617273

  13. Factors influencing the reproduction and production performance of the Nguni cattle ecotypes in South Africa.

    PubMed

    Maciel, Sónia Maria Ataíde; Fair, Michael Denis; Scholtz, Michiel Matthys; Neser, Frederick Wilhelm Cornelius

    2016-01-01

    The objective of this experiment was to assess the reproductive and productive performance of Nguni cattle distributed among 11 farms in four regions of South Africa. Only data of registered Appendix A to Stud Proper Nguni animals from the Agricultural Research Council of South Africa’s database were used. Data were collected from 2061 dams and 3285 calves between 1990 and 2009. Overall means for age at first calving (AFC) and calving intervals (CI) were 33.79 ± 4.90 months and 400.29 ± 78.70 days, respectively. Dry season-born heifers had lower AFC than wet season-born heifers. Dry seasons 4 and wet seasons 1 had lower CI than seasons 2 and 3, indicating that conceptions take place between December and May. Average growth weights of calves were 24.87 ± 3.13, 151.91 ± 21.09, 169.25 ± 23.68 and 237.96 ± 27.34 kg at birth (BW), weaning (WW), 12 months (YW) and 18 months of age, respectively. BW was higher in dry seasons 4 and wet seasons 1; WW and YW were higher in dry than in wet seasons. This is the first study demonstrating that performance of Nguni cattle is influenced by ecological regions of the dam’s origin, year-season of birth/calving, breeder’s management, parity and herdbook status, confirming that environment-genotype interactions influence the performance of Nguni cattle in southern Africa. This stimulated a follow-up study on the use of geographic information systems to specifically identify factors influencing the reproductive and productive performance of Nguni cattle in southern Africa.

  14. Growth and reproductive performance of two rabbit breeds reared under intensive system in Ghana.

    PubMed

    Apori, Samuel Obeng; Hagan, Julius Kofi; Osei, Yaa Doris

    2015-01-01

    A study on the growth and reproductive performance of two rabbit breeds was undertaken. Data on 588 kits and 97 does of California White and 574 kits and 90 does of New Zealand White rabbits reared under hot and humid environment in Ghana were taken. The reproductive performance of the two breeds, in terms of litter size at birth and weaning, litter weight at birth and weaning, kindling interval, age at sexual maturity, and gestation length as influenced by breed, season of kindling (rainy and dry), year of kindling (2005-2012), and parity (first to sixth and over) were determined. The performance of California White in terms of litter size at birth, at weaning, kit weight at birth, and age at first kindling was 5.9 ± 0.2, 4.6 ± 0.1, 54.7 ± 0.4 g, and 159.8 ± 0.2 days, respectively. That of New Zealand White was 5.9 ± 0.1, 5.1 ± 0.1, 55.2 ± 1.0 g, and 159.9 ± 0.2 days, respectively. The results obtained also showed a significant breed effects on kit weight at birth, litter weight at weaning, and mortality; whereas no significant differences (p > 0.05) were observed between the two breeds regarding the other traits measured. Parity had significant effects (p < 0.05) on all the growth and reproductive parameters measured with the exception of age at first kindling. Year of kindling also had significant effect on litter weight at birth, kit weight at birth, and at weaning (p < 0.05) but did not have any significant effect on the age at sexual maturity and mortality. Season also had significant (p < 0.05) effects on kit weight at birth, gestation length, kindling interval, and mortality with better performance experienced during the rainy season.

  15. Interaction of calf suckling, use of oxytocin and milk yield with reproductive performance of dairy buffaloes.

    PubMed

    Qureshi, Muhammad Subhan; Ahmad, Nazir

    2008-07-01

    Calf suckling and oxytocin injections are commonly used for pre-milking stimulus in dairy buffaloes under field conditions. A study was conducted to investigate effect of these treatments on reproductive performance. Fifty one Nili-Ravi buffaloes were monitored from parturition up to 150 days postpartum through rectal examination. Data on milk yield, body condition score (BCS) and reproductive parameters were recorded weekly. Postpartum ovulation interval (POI) was determined by presence of an ovulation depression or a very soft corpus luteum haemorrhagicum and was confirmed through milk progesterone levels (MPL). Suckling was used to stimulate milk let down, and where the calf had died, injection of oxytocin was resorted to. Milk samples were analyzed for MPL using radioimmunoassay (RIA) and fat; and milk yield was converted to 4% fat corrected milk (FCM). The mean postpartum uterine involution length (PUI) was 34.30+/-1.33 days. Mean POI was 59.37+/-4.76 days and mean postpartum estrus interval (PEI) was 69.03+/-6.03 days. Suckling period averaged 26.40+/-5.57 days and correlated with POI (r=0.19, P<0.01) and PEI (r=0.23, P<0.01). POI was shortest in buffaloes suckled for one month (P<0.05). Oxytocin was used with a mean dosage of 7.50 IU, delaying placental expulsion time (PET) and POI but shortening PEI. BCS shortened PET, POI and PEI (P<0.01). Mean FCM was 14.50+/-0.20, ranging from 2 to 35 kg/d; and was higher in estrus group; correlating positively with POI (r=0.31, P<0.01). MPL were 1.37+/-0.17 ng/ml and increased after ovulation, remaining greater than 1.5 ng/ml from Day 4 to 14 of the estrus cycle, followed by a rapid decline up to next estrus. BCS in buffaloes resuming oestrus was constantly higher than those failing to resume ovarian cyclicity. Live weight, prepartum was 510.0+/-5.9 kg with a loss of 3.7+/-2.12 kg, 30 days postpartum. The present study suggests a lower reproductive efficiency of dairy buffaloes under the peri-urban farming system

  16. How does self-efficacy affect performance of learner?

    PubMed

    Vakani, Farhan; Sheerani, Mughis; Afzal, Azam; Amin, Almas

    2012-01-01

    All types of attribution based on which learners make their judgement (i.e., self efficacy), about academic success or failure or about a specific task usually affect their performance and their capabilities to deal with different realities. It is perhaps the most distinctive capability of self-reflection. Many of the cognitive theorists have defined it as a meta-cognitive capability. This judgement influence learners choose what to do, how much effort to be invested in the activity, how long to carry the phase of disappointment, and whether to approach the task anxiously or with assurance.

  17. Relationship between body condition score at calving and reproductive performance in young postpartum cows grazing native range.

    PubMed

    Mulliniks, J T; Cox, S H; Kemp, M E; Endecott, R L; Waterman, R C; Vanleeuwen, D M; Petersen, M K

    2012-08-01

    impacted by cow calving BCS. Body condition score did not influence overall pregnancy rates, indicating that young cows can have a reduced BCS and still be reproductively punctual. Therefore, these results indicate that reproductive performance of young cows with reduced BCS may not be affected when managed in extensive range conditions.

  18. Effects of dietary supplementation of pioglitazone on metabolism, milk yield, and reproductive performance in transition dairy cows.

    PubMed

    Yousefi, Ali Reza; Kohram, Hamid; Zare Shahneh, Ahmad; Zamiri, Mohammad Javad; Fouladi-Nashta, Ali Akbar

    2016-06-01

    The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of dietary supplementation of pioglitazone (PGT), a specific ligand for PPARγ, on metabolic dynamics, milk production, and reproductive performance of transition dairy cows. Eighty multiparous Holstein cows in their second or more lactations were blocked by the calving date and parity and assigned randomly to four dietary groups (n = 20 cow/treatment) including control (no PGT-/-), supplemented with PGT (6-mg PGT/kg body weight) from Day -14 to +21 relative to parturition (PGT+/+) or only during prepartum (PGT+/-) or postpartum periods (PGT-/+). Postpartum body condition score and body weight loss decreased (P < 0.05) in all PGT-supplemented groups. Milk yield was not affected by PGT supplementation (P > 0.05). Percentage of milk fat decreased (P < 0.05) in all PGT-treated groups; however, milk fat yield was lower (P < 0.05) in PGT (+/+) and PGT (+/-) groups compared with PGT (-/-). Peripartum (Day -7 to +7) concentrations of plasma nonesterified fatty acids and β-Hydroxybutyrate decreased in PGT (+/+) but not in the PGT (-/-) group (P < 0.05). During the postpartum period, PGT reduced (P > 0.05) plasma concentrations of nonesterified fatty acids in all PGT-treated groups but did not affect β-Hydroxybutyrate level. Plasma concentrations of triglycerides decreased in all PGT-supplemented groups. Supplementation of PGT increased the peripartum concentrations of plasma glucose in PGT (+/+) and PGT (+/-) groups compared with control. Plasma concentrations of insulin-like growth factor 1 were higher in PGT (+/+) compared with the control group during both the peripartum and postpartum periods. Plasma concentrations of growth hormone and insulin were not affected by PGT treatment (P > 0.05). Mean days to ovulation were lower in PGT (+/+) and PGT (-/+), and the proportion of cows ovulating by Day 14 postpartum was higher in PGT (+/+) compared with control. Days open were shorter in PGT (+/+), PGT

  19. The influence of age on reproductive performance of the predatory ladybird beetle, Propylea dissecta.

    PubMed

    Pervez, Ahmad; Omkar; Richmond, Aaron S

    2004-01-01

    The influence of age on reproductive performance of an aphidophagous ladybird beetle, Propylea dissecta was examined using male and female beetles of varying ages (1-30 days) after a single mating stimulus. All the intermediate (10 to 20 days old) and old (30 days old) age females mated with all intermediate and old age males, while only a fraction (0.29%) of younger females, 1 to 5 days old, mated with males of similar or older age. The willingness to mate was male age dependent. It increased sigmoidally with increase in adult age. Adult males were more willing to mate with females irrespective of age. Mating duration was longest amongst older adults (30 day-old males and 20 day-old females). Male age did not contribute to shaping the fecundity of the female ladybird. Fecundity was female age dependent and it increased with age up to 20 days and thereafter decreased. 20 day-old females were most fecund producing 867 eggs after a single mating. Progeny production was male age dependent and eggs sired by 20-30 day-old males had significantly higher viability than those sired by younger males. Prolonged mating increased fecundity and egg viability. The results reveal that males of intermediate age were better mates. This information may improve our understanding of the effect of aging on reproduction in ladybirds and may help mass-multiplication of the ladybird beetles using adults of optimal age.

  20. Can small shifts in circadian phase affect performance?

    PubMed Central

    Burgess, Helen J.; Legasto, Carlo S.; Fogg, Louis F.; Smith, Mark R.

    2012-01-01

    Small shifts in circadian timing occur frequently as a result of daylight saving time or later weekend sleep. These subtle shifts in circadian phase have been shown to influence subjective sleepiness, but it remains unclear if they can significantly affect performance. In a retrospective analysis we examined performance on the Psychomotor Vigilance Test before bedtime and after wake time in 11 healthy adults on fixed sleep schedules based on their habitual sleep times. The dim light melatonin onset, a marker of circadian timing, was measured on two occasions. An average 1.1 hour shift away from a proposed optimal circadian phase angle (6 hours between melatonin onset and midpoint of sleep) significantly slowed mean, median and fastest 10% reaction times before bedtime and after wake time (p<0.05). These results add to previous reports that suggest that humans may be sensitive to commonly occurring small shifts in circadian timing. PMID:22695081

  1. 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

  2. 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...

  3. Influence of individual body size on reproductive traits in Melanopline grasshoppers (Orthoptera: Acrididae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Body size is a fundamental trait of an organism, affecting most aspects of its performance, including reproduction. Numerous biotic and environmental factors can influence individual body size and reproduction in grasshoppers. Using data from four experiments, I examined intraspecific relationships ...

  4. Technologies for fixed-time artificial insemination and their influence on reproductive performance of Bos indicus cattle.

    PubMed

    Bó, G A; Cutaia, L; Peres, L C; Pincinato, D; Maraña, D; Baruselli, P S

    2007-01-01

    The adaptation of Bos indicus cattle to tropical and subtropical environments has led to their widespread distribution around the world. Although artificial insemination (AI) is one of the best alternatives to introduce new genetics into Bos indicus herds, the peculiarity of their temperament and the tendency to show short oestrus (many of them during the night) greatly affects the effectiveness of genetic improvement programs. Therefore, the most useful alternative to increase the number of females that are inseminated is the use of protocols that allow for AI without the need for oestrus detection, usually called fixed-time AI (FTAI). Besides, the development of protocols to advance the resumption of cyclicity during the early postpartum period has a great impact on beef production and will allow for the inclusion of a significantly larger population of animals into genetic improvement programs. Fixed-time AI protocols using progestin devices, oestradiol and eCG have resulted in consistent pregnancy rates in suckled Bos indicus and Bos indicus x Bos taurus cows. Furthermore, fertility in the successive cycles and the overall pregnancy rates at the end of the breeding season, have been shown to be improved by the use of progestin devices at the beginning of the breeding season. In summary, exogenous control of luteal and follicular development has facilitated the application of assisted reproductive technologies in Bos indicus-influenced cattle, by offering the possibility of planning programs without the necessity of oestrus detection and may provide the opportunity to improve reproductive performance of beef cattle in tropical climates. PMID:17491150

  5. Effects of El Niño on distribution and reproductive performance of Black Brant

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sedinger, J.S.; Ward, D.H.; Schamber, J.L.; Butler, W.I.; Eldridge, W.D.; Conant, B.; Voelzer, J.F.; Chelgren, N.D.; Herzog, M.P.

    2006-01-01

    Climate in low-latitude wintering areas may influence temperate and high-latitude breeding populations of birds, but demonstrations of such relationships have been rare because of difficulties in linking wintering with breeding populations. We used long-term aerial surveys in Mexican wintering areas and breeding areas in Alaska, USA, to assess numbers of Black Brant (Branta bernicla nigricans; hereafter brant) on their principal wintering and breeding area in El Niño and non-El Niño years. We used Pollock's robust design to directly estimate probability of breeding and apparent annual survival of individually marked brant at the Tutakoke River (TR) colony, Alaska, in each year between 1988 and 2001. Fewer brant wintered in Mexico during every El Niño event since 1965. Fewer brant were observed on the principal breeding area following each El Niño since surveys began in 1985. Probability of breeding was negatively related to January sea surface temperature along the subtropical coast of North America during the preceding winter. Between 23% (five-year-olds or older) and 30% (three-year-olds) fewer brant nested in 1998 following the strong El Niño event in the winter of 1997–1998 than in non-El Niño years. This finding is consistent with life history theory, which predicts that longer-lived species preserve adult survival at the expense of reproduction. Oceanographic conditions off Baja California, apparently by their effect on Zostera marina (eelgrass), strongly influence winter distribution of brant geese and their reproduction (but not survival), which in turn affects ecosystem dynamics in Alaska.

  6. Dibromochloropropane (DBCP): an 8-year reevaluation of testicular function and reproductive performance

    SciTech Connect

    Potashnik, G.; Yanai-Inbar, I.

    1987-02-01

    The current study summarizes an 8-year reassessment of testicular function and reproductive performance in 15 workers with dibromochloropropane (DBCP)-induced azoospermia and oligozoospermia. Recovery of spermatogenesis was observed in four oligozoospermic and three azoospermic men whose plasma follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) concentration was normal during the whole period. A marked increase in FSH and luteinizing hormone concentrations above the upper limit of normal was found in the azoospermic workers who did not recover. No significant changes in FSH concentrations were detected in both recovered and nonrecovered oligozoospermic men. Testosterone levels of all patients were normal at all times. Paternal exposure to DBCP was not associated with increased risk of fetal malformations or spontaneous abortion.

  7. A retrospective study on effects of storage time of liquid boar semen on reproductive performance in Norwegian swine.

    PubMed

    Haugan, T; Reksen, O; Gröhn, Y T; Gaustad, A H; Hofmo, P O

    2005-09-01

    The objective of this retrospective field study was to determine the effects of storing, for up to 62 h, heterospermic and homospermic semen in the short-term extender Beltsville thawing solution (BTS), on reproductive performance in Norwegian swine of four different breed combinations. The study was based on fertility records after single or double inseminations with semen collected at an AI station in Norway from January 1998 to June 2001. Increasing the duration of storage of homospermic semen, but not heterospermic semen, from an interval of 4-14 h to an interval of 52-62 h, was associated with a 0.5 piglet reduction in litter size. There were differences in reproductive performance among breed combinations that appeared to be associated with duration of semen storage. In conclusion, prolonged semen storage decreased reproductive performance; the extent varied among breeds and was prevented by the use of heterospermic versus homospermic semen.

  8. Effect of development system on growth and reproductive performance of beef heifers.

    PubMed

    Lardner, H A; Damiran, D; Hendrick, S; Larson, K; Funston, R

    2014-07-01

    Reproductive performance was evaluated in beef heifers born over a 2-yr period to determine the effects of target breeding weight (TBW) and development system (SYS) on growth and subsequent reproductive efficiency. Spring-born Angus heifers (253 ± 0.7 kg) were randomly allocated over 2 consecutive yr (yr 1, n = 80; yr 2, n = 96) to be developed to either 55% (350 kg) of mature BW (moderate gain, MG) or 62% (395 kg) of mature BW (high gain, HG). Each MG and HG group was further assigned to 1 of 2 replicated systems: (1) bale graze bromegrass-alfalfa round bales in field paddocks (BG) or (2) fed bromegrass-alfalfa round bales in drylot pens (DL). Heifers were fed a diet of bromegrass-alfalfa hay (56.9% TDN; 9.8% CP) and barley grain supplement (85.1% TDN; 12.3% CP). After the 202-d development period, heifers were exposed to bulls for a 63-d breeding season. Target BW × SYS interactions were not detected for any measured parameters. During the winter development period, MG heifers had lower (P = 0.01) ADG than HG heifers and MG heifers had lighter (P = 0.01) BW at breeding. The proportion of heifers attaining puberty by 14.5 mo of age was less (P = 0.05) in MG (20 ± 4%) than HG heifers (52 ± 3%). From the end of the 202-d development period to pregnancy diagnosis, ADG was greater (P = 0.04) in MG heifers than HG heifers (0.83 vs. 0.71 kg/d). First-calf pregnancy rates were 86 and 88% for MG and HG heifers, respectively (P = 0.41). Second- and third-calf pregnancy rates of cows, developed in either a MG or HG system as heifers, were not different (P = 0.74; 94.7 vs. 95.9% and 93.8 vs. 93.9%, respectively). Economic analysis revealed a $58 reduced development cost for heifers developed to 55% compared with 62% of mature BW without a loss in reproductive performance. PMID:24778339

  9. Effect of development system on growth and reproductive performance of beef heifers.

    PubMed

    Lardner, H A; Damiran, D; Hendrick, S; Larson, K; Funston, R

    2014-07-01

    Reproductive performance was evaluated in beef heifers born over a 2-yr period to determine the effects of target breeding weight (TBW) and development system (SYS) on growth and subsequent reproductive efficiency. Spring-born Angus heifers (253 ± 0.7 kg) were randomly allocated over 2 consecutive yr (yr 1, n = 80; yr 2, n = 96) to be developed to either 55% (350 kg) of mature BW (moderate gain, MG) or 62% (395 kg) of mature BW (high gain, HG). Each MG and HG group was further assigned to 1 of 2 replicated systems: (1) bale graze bromegrass-alfalfa round bales in field paddocks (BG) or (2) fed bromegrass-alfalfa round bales in drylot pens (DL). Heifers were fed a diet of bromegrass-alfalfa hay (56.9% TDN; 9.8% CP) and barley grain supplement (85.1% TDN; 12.3% CP). After the 202-d development period, heifers were exposed to bulls for a 63-d breeding season. Target BW × SYS interactions were not detected for any measured parameters. During the winter development period, MG heifers had lower (P = 0.01) ADG than HG heifers and MG heifers had lighter (P = 0.01) BW at breeding. The proportion of heifers attaining puberty by 14.5 mo of age was less (P = 0.05) in MG (20 ± 4%) than HG heifers (52 ± 3%). From the end of the 202-d development period to pregnancy diagnosis, ADG was greater (P = 0.04) in MG heifers than HG heifers (0.83 vs. 0.71 kg/d). First-calf pregnancy rates were 86 and 88% for MG and HG heifers, respectively (P = 0.41). Second- and third-calf pregnancy rates of cows, developed in either a MG or HG system as heifers, were not different (P = 0.74; 94.7 vs. 95.9% and 93.8 vs. 93.9%, respectively). Economic analysis revealed a $58 reduced development cost for heifers developed to 55% compared with 62% of mature BW without a loss in reproductive performance.

  10. Effects of temperament and acclimation to handling on reproductive performance of Bos taurus beef females.

    PubMed

    Cooke, R F; Bohnert, D W; Cappellozza, B I; Mueller, C J; Delcurto, T

    2012-10-01

    Two experiments evaluated the effects of temperament and acclimation to handling on reproductive performance of Bos taurus beef females. In Exp. 1, 433 multiparous, lactating Angus × Hereford cows were sampled for blood and evaluated for temperament before the breeding season. Cow temperament was assessed by chute score and exit velocity. Chute score was assessed on a 5-point scale according to behavioral responses during chute restraining. Exit score was calculated by dividing exit velocity into quintiles and assigning cows with a score from 1 to 5 (1 = slowest, 5 = fastest cows). Temperament score was calculated by averaging chute and exit scores. Cows were classified for temperament type according to temperament score (≤ 3 = adequate, > 3 = aggressive). Plasma cortisol concentrations were greater (P < 0.01) in cows with aggressive vs. adequate temperament. Cows with aggressive temperament had reduced (P ≤ 0.05) pregnancy and calving rate and tended to have reduced (P = 0.09) weaning rate compared with cows with adequate temperament. Hence, kilogram of calf born per cow was reduced (P = 0.05) and kilogram of calf weaned per cow tended to be reduced (P = 0.08) in aggressive cows. In Exp. 2, 88 Angus × Hereford heifers (initial age = 206 ± 2 d) were weighed (d 0 and 10) and evaluated for temperament score (d 10). On d 11, heifers were ranked by these variables and assigned to receive or not (control) an acclimation treatment. Acclimated heifers were processed through a handling facility 3 times weekly for 4 wk (d 11 to 39; Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays), whereas control heifers remained undisturbed on pasture. Heifer puberty status, evaluated via plasma progesterone concentrations, was assessed on d 0 and 10, d 40 and 50, 70 and 80, 100 and 110, 130 and 140, 160 and 170, and 190 and 200. Blood samples collected on d 10 and 40 were also analyzed for plasma concentrations of cortisol and haptoglobin. Temperament score was assessed again on d 40 and d 200

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Viral emergence and consequences for reproductive performance in ruminants: two recent examples (bluetongue and Schmallenberg viruses).

    PubMed

    Zientara, Stéphan; Ponsart, Claire

    2014-12-01

    Viruses can emerge unexpectedly in different regions of the world and may have negative effects on reproductive performance. This paper describes the consequences for reproductive performance that have been reported after the introduction to Europe of two emerging viruses, namely the bluetongue (BTV) and Schmallenberg (SBV) viruses. Following the extensive spread of BTV in northern Europe, large numbers of pregnant cows were infected with BTV serotype 8 (BTV-8) during the breeding season of 2007. Initial reports of some cases of abortion and hydranencephaly in cattle in late 2007 were followed by quite exhaustive investigations in the field that showed that 10%-35% of healthy calves were infected with BTV-8 before birth. Transplacental transmission and fetal abnormalities in cattle and sheep had been previously observed only with strains of the virus that were propagated in embryonated eggs and/or cell culture, such as vaccine strains or vaccine candidate strains. After the unexpected emergence of BTV-8 in northern Europe in 2006, another arbovirus, namely SBV, emerged in Europe in 2011, causing a new economically important disease in ruminants. This new virus, belonging to the Orthobunyavirus genus in the Bunyaviridae family, was first detected in Germany, in The Netherlands and in Belgium in 2011 and soon after in the UK, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Spain, Denmark and Switzerland. Adult animals show no or only mild clinical symptoms, whereas infection during a critical period of gestation can lead to abortion, stillbirth or the birth of severely malformed offspring. The impact of the disease is usually greater in sheep than in cattle. The consequences of SBV infection in domestic ruminants and more precisely the secondary effects on off-springs will be described.

  14. Effects of gonadotrophin releasing hormone on reproductive performance of dairy cows with retained placenta.

    PubMed Central

    Leslie, K E; Doig, P A; Bosu, W T; Curtis, R A; Martin, S W

    1984-01-01

    The effects of gonadotrophin releasing hormone (GnRH) on the reproductive performance of dairy cows with retained placenta were studied. Three hundred and seventy-eight cows diagnosed as having retained placenta received intramuscular injections of either 2 mL sterile water or 200 micrograms of GnRH in 2 mL sterile water between day 8 and day 14 postpartum. Rectal palpation was performed at the time of treatment and ten to 20 days after treatment in order to determine the rate of uterine involution. Thereafter, monthly rectal examinations were carried out until insemination. Pregnancy diagnosis was made by rectal palpation at 40 days or more after breeding. Using the entire experimental population, there were no significant differences between GnRH-treated and control cows for the rate of uterine involution, the occurrence of reproductive problems, the interval from parturition to first observed estrus, the interval from parturition to first insemination, the interval from parturition to conception, the number of services per conception, the total number of services per cow regardless of conception and the incidence of culling for infertility. When the data for herds in which breeding began earlier in the postpartum period (herds having a mean less than or equal to 80 days from parturition to first service for retained placenta cows) were considered, the GnRH treatment resulted in a significantly shorter (p less than or equal to 0.01) calving to conception interval as compared to control cows. Also, there was a significant reduction (p less than or equal to 0.05) in the total number of services per cow regardless of conception and a significant reduction in the interval from parturition to first service.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:6391640

  15. Effects of konjac flour inclusion in gestation diets on the nutrient digestibility, lactation feed intake and reproductive performance of sows.

    PubMed

    Sun, H Q; Zhou, Y F; Tan, C Q; Zheng, L F; Peng, J; Jiang, S W

    2014-07-01

    This study was conducted to investigate the effects of konjac flour (KF) inclusion in gestation diets of sows on nutrients digestibility, lactation feed intake, reproductive performance of sows and preweaning performance of piglets. Two isoenergetic and isonitrogenous gestation diets were formulated: a control diet and a 2.1% KF-supplemented diet (KF diet). Both diets had the same NDF and insoluble fiber (ISF) levels, but the KF diet had higher soluble fiber (SF) level. The day after breeding, 96 multiparous sows were assigned to the two dietary treatments. Restrict-fed during gestation, in contrast, all sows were offered the same lactation diet ad libitum. Response criteria included sow BW, backfat depth, lactation feed intake, weaning-to-estrus interval, litter size and piglet's weight at parturition and day 21 of lactation. On day 60 of gestation, 20 sows were used to measure nutrient digestibility. Results showed that the digestibility of dry matter, gross energy, crude fiber and ADF were not affected by the dietary treatments. The inclusion of KF in gestation diets increased NDF digestibility (P<0.05) and tended to increase the digestibility of CP (P=0.05) compared with the control diet group. In addition, dietary treatment during gestation did not affect litter size, BW and backfat gain during gestation, lactation weight, backfat loss or weaning-to-estrus interval of sows. However, sows fed the KF diet consumed more (P<0.05) lactation diet per day than sows in the control group. Accordingly, sows fed the KF diet showed greater average piglet weights on day 21 of lactation (P=0.09), and the litter weight of sows fed the KF diet on day 21 of lactation increased by 3.95 kg compared with sows fed the control diet (not significant). In conclusion, the inclusion of KF in gestation diets increased lactation feed intake of sows and tended to improve litter performance.

  16. Students' Interest in Surgery Affects Laparoscopic Practicing Performance

    PubMed Central

    Mao Wu, Sheng; Kuei Chien, Wen; Sheng Huang, Chen; Cheng Lin, Wei; Chun Chang, Yin

    2016-01-01

    Background and Objective: Earlier exposure to laparoscopic techniques is thought to be beneficial for medical students. Reports have demonstrated that practice improves performance in laparoscopies. In this study, we intended to evaluate whether medical students' interest in surgery is affected by the amount of practice and the performance on a laparoscopic simulator. Methods: A laparoscopic simulation curriculum was introduced at Taipei Medical University, Wan-Fang Medical Center. Study participants included 36 sixth-year and 14 seventh-year students who were divided according to whether they had indicated an interest (group A) or not (group B) in surgery. The students had twice-a-week practice sessions for 2 weeks. They underwent baseline measurement (BM) before training and posttraining measurement (PTM). Self-guided practice on the simulator was allowed. The learning outcomes were assessed comparing the BM and PTM scores by using the interquartile range (IQR) test. We also tested the correlation between total score and number of self-guided practice sessions. Results: All study participants showed improvement. No differences were observed between BM and PTM scores and between 6th- and 7th-year medical students. Significant differences were found in PTM scores between groups A and B (P < .001). Analysis of variance with a post hoc test for different groups revealed that the PTMs were significantly higher for both the 6th- and 7th-year medical students in group A than for those in group B (P < .001). Total performance scores were improved with a higher number of self-guided practice sessions. Linear regression analysis demonstrated a significant correlation between the number of self-guided practice sessions and total performance score (P < .001). Conclusion: Those clerks and interns interested in surgery who had more sessions for self-guided practice, displayed more improvement than those not interested in surgery did. Improvement in performance correlated

  17. The science of cycling: factors affecting performance - part 2.

    PubMed

    Faria, Erik W; Parker, Daryl L; Faria, Irvin E

    2005-01-01

    This review presents information that is useful to athletes, coaches and exercise scientists in the adoption of exercise protocols, prescription of training regimens and creation of research designs. Part 2 focuses on the factors that affect cycling performance. Among those factors, aerodynamic resistance is the major resistance force the racing cyclist must overcome. This challenge can be dealt with through equipment technological modifications and body position configuration adjustments. To successfully achieve efficient transfer of power from the body to the drive train of the bicycle the major concern is bicycle configuration and cycling body position. Peak power output appears to be highly correlated with cycling success. Likewise, gear ratio and pedalling cadence directly influence cycling economy/efficiency. Knowledge of muscle recruitment throughout the crank cycle has important implications for training and body position adjustments while climbing. A review of pacing models suggests that while there appears to be some evidence in favour of one technique over another, there remains the need for further field research to validate the findings. Nevertheless, performance modelling has important implications for the establishment of performance standards and consequent recommendations for training.

  18. The science of cycling: factors affecting performance - part 2.

    PubMed

    Faria, Erik W; Parker, Daryl L; Faria, Irvin E

    2005-01-01

    This review presents information that is useful to athletes, coaches and exercise scientists in the adoption of exercise protocols, prescription of training regimens and creation of research designs. Part 2 focuses on the factors that affect cycling performance. Among those factors, aerodynamic resistance is the major resistance force the racing cyclist must overcome. This challenge can be dealt with through equipment technological modifications and body position configuration adjustments. To successfully achieve efficient transfer of power from the body to the drive train of the bicycle the major concern is bicycle configuration and cycling body position. Peak power output appears to be highly correlated with cycling success. Likewise, gear ratio and pedalling cadence directly influence cycling economy/efficiency. Knowledge of muscle recruitment throughout the crank cycle has important implications for training and body position adjustments while climbing. A review of pacing models suggests that while there appears to be some evidence in favour of one technique over another, there remains the need for further field research to validate the findings. Nevertheless, performance modelling has important implications for the establishment of performance standards and consequent recommendations for training. PMID:15831060

  19. Health literacy affects peritoneal dialysis performance and outcomes.

    PubMed

    Kleinpeter, Myra A

    2003-01-01

    Health literacy (HL) is the ability to perform the basic reading, writing, and numerical skills required to function in a health care setting. Patients with adequate HL are able to read, interpret, and respond to health care information provided by health care providers and health plans. Several means of assessing HL are available for English- and Spanish-speaking patients. A review of the English-language literature on HL indicated that no prior studies included a subset of peritoneal dialysis (PD) patients. I administered the Rapid Estimate of Adult Literacy in Medicine (REALM) assessment tool to PD patients. I also asked patients for information about their highest education level completed. Following completion of the REALM, patients were classified as having adequate, marginal, or inadequate HL. As other studies have shown, patients with lower levels of education have inadequate HL. Patients with some college education or higher have adequate HL. However, at the average education level of patients, most patients have marginal HL. Relative lack of HL affects a patient's ability to make decisions regarding care as part of a home self-management program for end-stage renal disease (ESRD) and other chronic illnesses. Consequently, relative HL level affects the method of instruction and the time required for instruction during training of PD patients.

  20. Irrelevant events affect voters' evaluations of government performance.

    PubMed

    Healy, Andrew J; Malhotra, Neil; Mo, Cecilia Hyunjung

    2010-07-20

    Does information irrelevant to government performance affect voting behavior? If so, how does this help us understand the mechanisms underlying voters' retrospective assessments of candidates' performance in office? To precisely test for the effects of irrelevant information, we explore the electoral impact of local college football games just before an election, irrelevant events that government has nothing to do with and for which no government response would be expected. We find that a win in the 10 d before Election Day causes the incumbent to receive an additional 1.61 percentage points of the vote in Senate, gubernatorial, and presidential elections, with the effect being larger for teams with stronger fan support. In addition to conducting placebo tests based on postelection games, we demonstrate these effects by using the betting market's estimate of a team's probability of winning the game before it occurs to isolate the surprise component of game outcomes. We corroborate these aggregate-level results with a survey that we conducted during the 2009 NCAA men's college basketball tournament, where we find that surprising wins and losses affect presidential approval. An experiment embedded within the survey also indicates that personal well-being may influence voting decisions on a subconscious level. We find that making people more aware of the reasons for their current state of mind reduces the effect that irrelevant events have on their opinions. These findings underscore the subtle power of irrelevant events in shaping important real-world decisions and suggest ways in which decision making can be improved. PMID:20615955

  1. Factors Affecting Exercise Test Performance in Patients After Liver Transplantation

    PubMed Central

    Kotarska, Katarzyna; Wunsch, Ewa; Jodko, Lukasz; Raszeja-Wyszomirska, Joanna; Bania, Izabela; Lawniczak, Malgorzata; Bogdanos, Dimitrios; Kornacewicz-Jach, Zdzislawa; Milkiewicz, Piotr

    2016-01-01

    Background Cardiovascular diseases are a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in solid organ transplant recipients. In addition, low physical activity is a risk factor for cardiac and cerebrovascular complications. Objectives This study examined potential relationships between physical activity, health-related quality of life (HRQoL), risk factors for cardiovascular disease, and an exercise test in liver-graft recipients. Patients and Methods A total of 107 participants (62 men/45 women) who had received a liver transplantation (LT) at least 6 months previously were evaluated. Physical activity was assessed using three different questionnaires, while HRQoL was assessed using the medical outcomes study short form (SF)-36 questionnaire, and health behaviors were evaluated using the health behavior inventory (HBI). The exercise test was performed in a standard manner. Results Seven participants (6.5%) had a positive exercise test, and these individuals were older than those who had a negative exercise test (P = 0.04). A significant association between a negative exercise test and a higher level of physical activity was shown by the Seven-day physical activity recall questionnaire. In addition, HRQoL was improved in various domains of the SF-36 in participants who had a negative exercise test. No correlations between physical activity, the exercise test and healthy behaviors, as assessed via the HBI were observed. Conclusions Exercise test performance was affected by lower quality of life and lower physical activity after LT. With the exception of hypertension, well known factors that affect the risk of coronary artery disease had no effect on the exercise test results. PMID:27226801

  2. Irrelevant events affect voters' evaluations of government performance

    PubMed Central

    Healy, Andrew J.; Malhotra, Neil; Mo, Cecilia Hyunjung

    2010-01-01

    Does information irrelevant to government performance affect voting behavior? If so, how does this help us understand the mechanisms underlying voters’ retrospective assessments of candidates’ performance in office? To precisely test for the effects of irrelevant information, we explore the electoral impact of local college football games just before an election, irrelevant events that government has nothing to do with and for which no government response would be expected. We find that a win in the 10 d before Election Day causes the incumbent to receive an additional 1.61 percentage points of the vote in Senate, gubernatorial, and presidential elections, with the effect being larger for teams with stronger fan support. In addition to conducting placebo tests based on postelection games, we demonstrate these effects by using the betting market's estimate of a team's probability of winning the game before it occurs to isolate the surprise component of game outcomes. We corroborate these aggregate-level results with a survey that we conducted during the 2009 NCAA men's college basketball tournament, where we find that surprising wins and losses affect presidential approval. An experiment embedded within the survey also indicates that personal well-being may influence voting decisions on a subconscious level. We find that making people more aware of the reasons for their current state of mind reduces the effect that irrelevant events have on their opinions. These findings underscore the subtle power of irrelevant events in shaping important real-world decisions and suggest ways in which decision making can be improved. PMID:20615955

  3. Irrelevant events affect voters' evaluations of government performance.

    PubMed

    Healy, Andrew J; Malhotra, Neil; Mo, Cecilia Hyunjung

    2010-07-20

    Does information irrelevant to government performance affect voting behavior? If so, how does this help us understand the mechanisms underlying voters' retrospective assessments of candidates' performance in office? To precisely test for the effects of irrelevant information, we explore the electoral impact of local college football games just before an election, irrelevant events that government has nothing to do with and for which no government response would be expected. We find that a win in the 10 d before Election Day causes the incumbent to receive an additional 1.61 percentage points of the vote in Senate, gubernatorial, and presidential elections, with the effect being larger for teams with stronger fan support. In addition to conducting placebo tests based on postelection games, we demonstrate these effects by using the betting market's estimate of a team's probability of winning the game before it occurs to isolate the surprise component of game outcomes. We corroborate these aggregate-level results with a survey that we conducted during the 2009 NCAA men's college basketball tournament, where we find that surprising wins and losses affect presidential approval. An experiment embedded within the survey also indicates that personal well-being may influence voting decisions on a subconscious level. We find that making people more aware of the reasons for their current state of mind reduces the effect that irrelevant events have on their opinions. These findings underscore the subtle power of irrelevant events in shaping important real-world decisions and suggest ways in which decision making can be improved.

  4. Factors affecting the performance of maternal health care providers in Armenia

    PubMed Central

    Fort, Alfredo L; Voltero, Lauren

    2004-01-01

    Background Over the last five years, international development organizations began to modify and adapt the conventional Performance Improvement Model for use in low-resource settings. This model outlines the five key factors believed to influence performance outcomes: job expectations, performance feedback, environment and tools, motivation and incentives, and knowledge and skills. Each of these factors should be supplied by the organization in which the provider works, and thus, organizational support is considered as an overarching element for analysis. Little research, domestically or internationally, has been conducted on the actual effects of each of the factors on performance outcomes and most PI practitioners assume that all the factors are needed in order for performance to improve. This study presents a unique exploration of how the factors, individually as well as in combination, affect the performance of primary reproductive health providers (nurse-midwives) in two regions of Armenia. Methods Two hundred and eighty-five nurses and midwives were observed conducting real or simulated antenatal and postpartum/neonatal care services and interviewed about the presence or absence of the performance factors within their work environment. Results were analyzed to compare average performance with the existence or absence of the factors; then, multiple regression analysis was conducted with the merged datasets to obtain the best models of "predictors" of performance within each clinical service. Results Baseline results revealed that performance was sub-standard in several areas and several performance factors were deficient or nonexistent. The multivariate analysis showed that (a) training in the use of the clinic tools; and (b) receiving recognition from the employer or the client/community, are factors strongly associated with performance, followed by (c) receiving performance feedback in postpartum care. Other – extraneous – variables such as the facility

  5. 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.

  6. The eccentricity effect: target eccentricity affects performance on conjunction searches.

    PubMed

    Carrasco, M; Evert, D L; Chang, I; Katz, S M

    1995-11-01

    The serial pattern found for conjunction visual-search tasks has been attributed to covert attentional shifts, even though the possible contributions of target location have not been considered. To investigate the effect of target location on orientation x color conjunction searches, the target's duration and its position in the display were manipulated. The display was present either until observers responded (Experiment 1), for 104 msec (Experiment 2), or for 62 msec (Experiment 3). Target eccentricity critically affected performance: A pronounced eccentricity effect was very similar for all three experiments; as eccentricity increased, reaction times and errors increased gradually. Furthermore, the set-size effect became more pronounced as target eccentricity increased, and the extent of the eccentricity effect increased for larger set sizes. In addition, according to stepwise regressions, target eccentricity as well as its interaction with set size were good predictors of performance. We suggest that these findings could be explained by spatial-resolution and lateral-inhibition factors. The serial self-terminating hypothesis for orientation x color conjunction searches was evaluated and rejected. We compared the eccentricity effect as well as the extent of the orientation asymmetry in these three conjunction experiments with those found in feature experiments (Carrasco & Katz, 1992). The roles of eye movements, spatial resolution, and covert attention in the eccentricity effect, as well as their implications, are discussed.

  7. Outcomes in cochlear implantation: variables affecting performance in adults and children.

    PubMed

    Cosetti, Maura K; Waltzman, Susan B

    2012-02-01

    This article highlights variables that affect cochlear implant performance, emerging factors warranting consideration, and variables shown not to affect performance. Research on the outcomes following cochlear implantation has identified a wide spectrum of variables known to affect pos0timplantation performance. These variables relate to the device itself as well as individual patient characteristics. Factors believed to affect spiral ganglion cell survival and function have been shown to influence postoperative performance. Binaural hearing affects performance. Social and educational factors also affect postoperative performance. Novel variables capable of affecting performance continue to emerge with increased understanding of auditory pathway development and neural plasticity. PMID:22115688

  8. Time Estimation and Performance on Reproduction Tasks in Subtypes of Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Salas, Carmen C.; Bauermeister, Jose J.; Barkley, Russell A.; Martinez, Jose V.; Cumba, Eduardo; Ramirez, Rafael R.; Reina, Graciela; Matos, Maribel

    2005-01-01

    This study compared Hispanic children (ages 7 to 11) with combined type (CT, n = 33) and inattentive type (IT, n = 21) attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and a control group (n = 25) on time-estimation and time-reproduction tasks. The ADHD groups showed larger errors in time reproduction but not in time estimation than the control…

  9. 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

  10. The effect of postparturient urogenital diseases on the lifetime reproductive performance of sows

    PubMed Central

    2005-01-01

    Abstract To prove the effect of postparturient swine urogenital disease (SUGD) on reproductive performance, culled sows with SUGD in their previous history (n = 1363) were subjected to retrospective lifetime production analysis. The sows were assigned to parity groups 1, 2 to 6, and > 6. Bacterial flora of vulval discharges were evaluated. Parity 1 sows had a lower percentage of SUGD than did sows of parity 2 to 6 and parity > 6 (P < 0.05 and P < 0.01, respectively). Compared with parity 2 to 6 sows, parity 1 and parity > 6 sows had lower (P < 0.001) conception, farrowing and adjusted farrowing rates, lifetime average total born, live-born litter sizes, stillbirth rates, and weaning litter weights compared with animals culled for other reasons than SUGD. The conclusions are that high parity sows have a higher occurrence of postparturient SUGD and that higher parity sows with postparturient SUGD have a lower performance compared with lower parity sows with postparturient SUGD. PMID:16422062

  11. Effect of Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus on the ovarian functionality and in vitro reproductive performance of persistently infected heifers.

    PubMed

    González Altamiranda, E A; Kaiser, G G; Mucci, N C; Verna, A E; Campero, C M; Odeón, A C

    2013-08-30

    The aim of this study was to study the effect of Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus on the reproductive female tract by means of analyzing the ovarian follicular population of persistently infected (PI) heifers, and evaluating the performance of oocytes procured form those heifers in in vitro fertilization procedures. Seven BVDV PI Aberdeen Angus and British crossbred heifers ranging from 18 to 36 months of age were spayed and their ovaries used for viral isolation, microscopic examination, and in vitro fertilization procedures. Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus was detected from the follicular fluid and sera of all PI heifers. Microscopic examination of the ovaries from PI heifers showed a significant drop in the number of follicles cortical regions, compared with controls. A comparative analysis of the stages of follicular development showed a significant decrease in the number of primordial and tertiary follicles in the cortical regions of ovaries from PI heifers. Viral antigen was detected by immunohistochemistry, and was widely distributed throughout the ovarian tissues. There were differences in the rate of cleavage and embryo development between oocytes obtained from the ovaries of control animals and PI heifers. Furthermore, two developed embryos obtained from oocytes from one of the PI heifers were positive to BVDV, as well as two media from in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedures. The results of this study demonstrate that BVDV PI heifers exhibit alterations in follicular population through of the early interaction between the virus and germ cell line affecting directly the mechanisms involved in the ontogenesis of the ovary. PMID:23726223

  12. Effects of inbreeding on reproductive success, performance, litter size, and survival in captive red wolves (Canis rufus).

    PubMed

    Rabon, David R; Waddell, William

    2010-01-01

    Captive-breeding programs have been widely used in the conservation of imperiled species, but the effects of inbreeding, frequently expressed in traits related to fitness, are nearly unavoidable in small populations with few founders. Following its planned extirpation in the wild, the endangered red wolf (Canis rufus) was preserved in captivity with just 14 founders. In this study, we evaluated the captive red wolf population for relationships between inbreeding and reproductive performance and fitness. Over 30 years of managed breeding, the level of inbreeding in the captive population has increased, and litter size has declined. Inbreeding levels were lower in sire and dam wolves that reproduced than in those that did not reproduce. However, there was no difference in the inbreeding level of actual litters and predicted litters. Litter size was negatively affected by offspring and paternal levels of inbreeding, but the effect of inbreeding on offspring survival was restricted to a positive influence. There was no apparent relationship between inbreeding and method of rearing offspring. The observable effects of inbreeding in the captive red wolf population currently do not appear to be a limiting factor in the conservation of the red wolf population. Additional studies exploring the extent of the effects of inbreeding will be required as inbreeding levels increase in the captive population.

  13. Factors affecting student performance in an undergraduate genetics course.

    PubMed

    Bormann, J Minick; Moser, D W; Bates, K E

    2013-05-01

    The objective of this study was to determine some of the factors that affect student success in a genetics course. Genetics for the Kansas State University College of Agriculture is taught in the Department of Animal Sciences and Industry and covers Mendelian inheritance, molecular genetics, and quantitative/population genetics. Data collected from 1,516 students over 7 yr included year and semester of the course; age; gender; state of residence; population of hometown; Kansas City metro resident or not; instructor of course; American College Testing Program (ACT) scores; number of transfer credits; major; college; preveterinary student or not; freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior grade point average (GPA); semester credits when taking genetics; class standing when enrolled in genetics; cumulative GPA before and after taking genetics; semester GPA in semester taking genetics, number of semesters between the biology prerequisite and genetics; grade in biology; location of biology course; and final percentage in genetics. Final percentage in genetics did not differ due to instructor, gender, state of residence, major, or college (P > 0.16). Transfer students tended to perform better than nontransfer students (P = 0.09), and students from the Kansas City metro outscored students from other areas (P = 0.03). Preveterinary option students scored higher in genetics than non-preveterinary students (P < 0.01). Seniors scored higher than juniors and sophomores, who scored higher than freshmen (P < 0.02). We observed a tendency for students with higher grades in biology to perform better in genetics (P = 0.06). Students who took biology at Kansas State University performed better in genetics than students who transferred the credit (P < 0.01). There was a negative regression of hometown population on score in genetics (P < 0.01), and positive regressions of ACT score, all measures of GPA, course load, and cumulative credits on final percentage in the course (P < 0.02). To

  14. Dietary L-arginine supplementation during mouse gestation enhances reproductive performance and Vegfr2 transcription activity in the fetoplacental unit

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Regarded as one of the most versatile amino acids, arginine serves as a precursor for many molecules and has been reported to improve the reproductive performance of rats and pigs. To this end, we sought to determine if dietary L-arginine alters fetoplacental vascular endothelial growth factor recep...

  15. Hormone-injected gravid channel catfish held in individual mesh bag reduces handling stress and improves reproductive performance in hatcheries

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This study compared holding hormone-injected female channel catfish in soft-mesh bags to communally held hormone-injected female catfish in a tank as a stress reduction strategy to improve reproductive performance. Fish held in tanks were crowded, handled multiple times to record weight prior to ho...

  16. Effects of acclimation to handling on performance, reproductive, and physiological responses of Brahman-crossbred heifers.

    PubMed

    Cooke, R F; Arthington, J D; Austin, B R; Yelich, J V

    2009-10-01

    The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of acclimation to handling on growth, plasma concentrations of progesterone (P4) and cortisol, temperament, and reproductive performance of Brahman-crossbred heifers. Over 2 consecutive years, 37 Braford and 43 Brahman x Angus heifers were initially evaluated, within 30 d after weaning, for BW and puberty status via transrectal ultrasonography and plasma P4 concentrations (d 0 and 10), and for temperament by measurements of chute score, pen score, and exit velocity (d 10 only). On d 11, heifers were stratified by breed, puberty status, temperament score, BW, and age and randomly assigned to receive or not (control) the acclimation treatment. Acclimated heifers were exposed to a handling process 3 times weekly (Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays) for 4 wk (d 11 to 39 of the experiment). The acclimation treatment was applied individually to heifers by processing them through a handling facility, whereas control heifers remained undisturbed on pasture. Heifer puberty status, evaluated via plasma P4 concentrations and transrectal ultrasonography, and BW were assessed again on d 40 and 50, d 80 and 90, and d 120 and 130. Blood samples collected before (d 10) and at the end of the acclimation period (d 40) were also analyzed for plasma concentrations of cortisol. Heifer temperament was assessed again on d 40 of the study. No interactions containing the effects of treatment, breed, and year were detected. Acclimated heifers had reduced (P < 0.01) ADG compared with control heifers (0.50 vs. 0.58 kg/d, respectively). Attainment of puberty and pregnancy, however, was hastened (P = 0.02 and 0.04, respectively) in acclimated heifers compared with control. Acclimated heifers had reduced chute score (P < 0.01) and concentrations of cortisol (P < 0.01) and P4 (P = 0.03; prepubertal heifers only) compared with control heifers after the acclimation period (1.37 vs. 1.84 for chute score; 37.8 vs. 50.5 ng/mL of cortisol; 0.52 vs

  17. Effects of acclimation to handling on performance, reproductive, and physiological responses of Brahman-crossbred heifers.

    PubMed

    Cooke, R F; Arthington, J D; Austin, B R; Yelich, J V

    2009-10-01

    The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of acclimation to handling on growth, plasma concentrations of progesterone (P4) and cortisol, temperament, and reproductive performance of Brahman-crossbred heifers. Over 2 consecutive years, 37 Braford and 43 Brahman x Angus heifers were initially evaluated, within 30 d after weaning, for BW and puberty status via transrectal ultrasonography and plasma P4 concentrations (d 0 and 10), and for temperament by measurements of chute score, pen score, and exit velocity (d 10 only). On d 11, heifers were stratified by breed, puberty status, temperament score, BW, and age and randomly assigned to receive or not (control) the acclimation treatment. Acclimated heifers were exposed to a handling process 3 times weekly (Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays) for 4 wk (d 11 to 39 of the experiment). The acclimation treatment was applied individually to heifers by processing them through a handling facility, whereas control heifers remained undisturbed on pasture. Heifer puberty status, evaluated via plasma P4 concentrations and transrectal ultrasonography, and BW were assessed again on d 40 and 50, d 80 and 90, and d 120 and 130. Blood samples collected before (d 10) and at the end of the acclimation period (d 40) were also analyzed for plasma concentrations of cortisol. Heifer temperament was assessed again on d 40 of the study. No interactions containing the effects of treatment, breed, and year were detected. Acclimated heifers had reduced (P < 0.01) ADG compared with control heifers (0.50 vs. 0.58 kg/d, respectively). Attainment of puberty and pregnancy, however, was hastened (P = 0.02 and 0.04, respectively) in acclimated heifers compared with control. Acclimated heifers had reduced chute score (P < 0.01) and concentrations of cortisol (P < 0.01) and P4 (P = 0.03; prepubertal heifers only) compared with control heifers after the acclimation period (1.37 vs. 1.84 for chute score; 37.8 vs. 50.5 ng/mL of cortisol; 0.52 vs

  18. Oligosaccharides Affect Performance and Gut Development of Broiler Chickens

    PubMed Central

    Ao, Z.; Choct, M.

    2013-01-01

    The effects of oligosaccharide supplementation on the growth performance, flock uniformity and GIT development of broiler chickens were investigated. Four diets, one negative control, one positive control supplemented with zinc-bacitracin, and two test diets supplemented with mannoligosaccharide (MOS) and fructooligosaccharide (FOS), were used for the experiment. Birds given MOS or FOS had improved body weight (BW) and feed efficiency (FCR), compared to those fed the negative control diet during the 35-d trial period. The effect on FCR became less apparent when the birds got older. FOS and MOS supplementation reduced the pancreas weight as a percentage of BW, with an effect similar to that of the antibiotic, at 35 d of age. Birds given MOS tended to have a heavier bursa (p = 0.164) and lower spleen/bursa weight ratio (p = 0.102) at 35 d of age. MOS and Zn-bacitracin showed a clear improvement on flock uniformity, compared to FOS. The mortality rate was not affected by FOS or MOS. PMID:25049713

  19. Can breeder reproductive status, performance and egg quality be enhanced by supplementation and transition of n-3 fatty acids?

    PubMed

    Delezie, E; Koppenol, A; Buyse, J; Everaert, N

    2016-08-01

    The aim of this experiment was to investigate the effect of n-3 fatty acid (FA) supplemented diets on breeder performance, productivity and egg quality. Breeders (n = 480) were fed the supplemented diet from 18 weeks onwards; the inclusion level of n-3 FA was increased from 1.5% to 3.0% from 34 weeks of age onwards until 48 weeks of age. Ross-308 broiler breeders (n = 480) were fed one of four different diets: a basal diet rich in n-6 FA (control diet) or one of three diets rich in n-3 FA. For the n-3 FA diets, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, 20:5 n-3) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6 n-3) were fed to the broiler breeders at different ratios formulated to obtain EPA/DHA ratios of 1/1, 1/2 or 2/1. Differences in performance, reproduction and egg quality parameters due to n-3 supplementation were noted more for the 1.5% followed by the 3.0% fed broilers than their 1.5% supplemented counterparts. Egg weight (p < 0.001) and egg mass (p = 0.003) were significantly lower and feed conversion (p = 0.008) significantly higher for the n-3 FA (at 3.0% inclusion level) fed broilers compared to the control group. For the EPA- and DHA-fed breeders, a higher proportional abdominal fat percentage (p = 0.025) and proportional albumen weight (%) (p = 0.041) were found respectively. Dietary treatments did not affect reproduction. It can be concluded that the results of the present experiment indicate no significant differences between treatments at 1.5% inclusion levels. However, increasing this level to 3.0% is not recommended due to the rather negative effects on the measured parameters. It should be further investigated whether these adverse effects were obtained due to (i) the higher supplementation level, (ii) combining a supplementation level of 1.5% with 3% or (iii) the duration of supplementation.

  20. Trends and seasonality of reproductive performance in Florida and Georgia dairy herds from 1976 to 2002.

    PubMed

    de Vries, A; Risco, C A

    2005-09-01

    Trends in reproductive performance from 1976 to 2002 were studied for dairy farms located in Florida and Georgia using 2,897,517 Dairy Herd Improvement Association lactation records of Holstein cows. One-half of the 1552 herds in the final edited records had measures for at least 8 yr. Measures of reproductive performance changed significantly over time. Days to first service increased from a low of 84 d in 1983 to 104 d in 2001. Cows that calved during spring had 9.2 (1983) to 33.2 (1999) more days to first service than cows that calved during fall. Annual pregnancy rates (PR) for 71 to 364 d since last calving (DSC; PR(71-364)) decreased from 21.6% in 1977 to 1979, to 12% in 2000 to 2002. The greatest PR(71-364) was observed during winter and the lowest during summer (15.8 vs. 5.6% in 2002, respectively). The absolute difference between PR(71-364) during winter and summer remained similar over time at 11 percentage units. Pregnancy rates in the early stages since calving (71 to 133 d) showed greater decreases over time than PR in the later stages since calving. From 1998 to 2002, PR in the later stages since calving (134 to 364 d) was on average 11.5%. Pregnancy rate from 71 to 133 DSC remained greater (13.4%). In the winter, the decrease in PR(71-364) was primarily due to a large decrease in PR(71-91). Average days to conception increased from a low of 121 in 1982 to a high of 167 in 1998. The average difference between cows that calved during spring and fall increased from 22 d in 1976 to 47.5 d in 1986, but remained constant at 39.1 d from 1985. Average calving interval increased from 399 d in 1976 to 429 d in 2000. Average days dry between 1976 and 2001 remained similar at 69 d. Days to culling of nonpregnant cows after 182 DSC increased from 341 in 1983 to 415 in 1998. Season of calving had no clear association with average days to culling. The last milk yield recorded less than 1 mo before culling of nonpregnant cows after 182 DSC decreased by DSC to

  1. Improving Productive and Reproductive Performance of Holstein Dairy Cows through Dry Period Management

    PubMed Central

    Safa, S.; Soleimani, A.; Heravi Moussavi, A.

    2013-01-01

    To determine the effects of dry period (DP) length on milk yield, milk composition, some blood metabolites, complete blood count (CBC), body weight and score and follicular status, twenty five primiparous and multiparous Holstein cows were assigned to a completely randomized design with DP-60 (n = 13) and DP-20 (n = 12) dry period lengths. Cows in the DP-60 produced more milk, protein, SNF, serum non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA) and beta hydroxyl butyrate acid (BHBA) compared with cows in DP-20 (p≤0.05). Serum glucose, blood urea nitrogen (BUN), urea, and glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase (GOT) were all similar among the treatments. Body Condition Score (BCS), body weight (BW), complete blood count (CBC) and health problems were similar between the treatments. Diameter of the first dominant follicle and diameter of the dominant follicle on d 14 were different among the treatments. Thus, results of this study showed that reducing the dry period length to DP-20 had a negative effect on milk production, milk composition and reproductive performance in Holstein dairy cows. PMID:25049832

  2. Effects of flushing and hormonal treatment on reproductive performance of Iranian Markhoz goats.

    PubMed

    Daghigh Kia, H; Mohamadi Chapdareh, W; Hossein Khani, A; Moghaddam, G; Rashidi, A; Sadri, H; Alijani, S

    2012-12-01

    Forty-eight Iranian Markhoz goats were allocated to six groups (n = 8) to study the effect of flushing and hormonal treatments on reproductive performance. Treatments were divided into two categories including, hormonal treatments and flushing. The goats in each group were fed the same basal ration and received one of the following treatments: Groups A and B--injection of GnRH and equine chorionic gonadotropin (eCG) respectively; Groups C, D and E--a supplement of barley grain, soybean oil and sunflower oil in flushing diets, respectively, were offered and Group F--control (only received basal diet). In the flushing treatments, only the source of energy was different between rations. Both hormonal treatments and flushing treatments improved fertility and kidding rates. Treatment B with 16 and control with seven kids represented the highest and the lowest number of progeny respectively. Among flushing treatments, group C resulted in the highest number of kids being 15. Oestrogen levels in follicular phase increased with the injection of eCG and consumption of barley grain. GnRH injection and consumption of oil sources in the diet increased blood progesterone levels during ovulation and post-ovulation periods. Under current market conditions, using hormone or flushing can be profitable for Markhoz goats farmers.

  3. 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

  4. Effects of sodium butyrate supplementation on reproductive performance and colostrum composition in gilts.

    PubMed

    He, B; Wang, M; Guo, H; Jia, Y; Yang, X; Zhao, R

    2016-10-01

    Nutrients are essential for the health and survival of human beings and animals. Also, they play a major role in enhancing reproductive efficiency. The aim of the current study was to investigate the effects of sodium butyrate (SB) on reproductive performance and colostrum composition in gilts. A total of 40 Large White×Landrace replacement gilts (at the age of 160 to 175 days) were fed either a standard diet (control group, n=20) or standard diet top dressed with encapsulated SB at the level of 500 mg/kg (SB group, n=20) from 1 month before mating to 7 days after farrowing. The rate of gilts regular return to estrus after insemination was lower in SB group than the control group. The total number of piglets born (P=0.179) and the litter weight at birth (P=0.063) did not differ between the two treatment groups. However, the mean BW at day 7 tended to be greater in SB group (P=0.051) and average daily gain of piglets was greater (P=0.011) compared with control group. Colostrum samples were collected at parturition and the concentrations of total protein (P=0.197), cholesterol (P=0.161) and lactose (P=0.923) were not influenced by SB supplementation. However, compared with control gilts, colostrum from SB-treated gilts contained lower triglyceride (P=0.050). Moreover, colostrum concentrations of prolactin (P=0.005) and leptin (P=0.006) were significantly lower in SB group. No significant differences were noted for the colostral concentrations of cortisol (P=0.899), thyroxine (P=0.891) or triiodothyronine (P=0.194). The concentration of lipopolysaccharide in colostrum was not influenced by SB supplementation (P=0.972). However, colostrum from SB-treated gilts had significantly lower tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα) (P=0.030) and higher immunoglobulin A (IgA) (P=0.042). Collectively, SB supplementation could reduce the rate of gilts return to estrus, alter the composition of colostrum and enhance the growth rate of piglets. Moreover, SB could alter the immune function

  5. 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.

  6. Affective and inflammatory responses among orchestra musicians in performance situation.

    PubMed

    Pilger, Alexander; Haslacher, Helmuth; Ponocny-Seliger, Elisabeth; Perkmann, Thomas; Böhm, Karl; Budinsky, Alexandra; Girard, Angelika; Klien, Katharina; Jordakieva, Galateja; Pezawas, Lukas; Wagner, Oswald; Godnic-Cvar, Jasminka; Winker, Robert

    2014-03-01

    A number of studies have shown that mental challenge under controlled experimental conditions is associated with elevations in inflammatory markers such as interleukin-6 (IL-6) and C-reactive protein (CRP). However, relatively little work has been done on the effects of 'naturalistic' stressors on acute changes in inflammatory markers. The present study examined whether perceived arousal, valence and dominance in musicians are associated with pro-inflammatory and oxidative responses to a concert situation. Blood and salivary samples obtained from 48 members of a symphony orchestra on the day of rehearsal (i.e., control situation) and on the following day of premiere concert (i.e., test situation) were used to determine changes in salivary cortisol, pro-inflammatory markers (plasma myeloperoxidase, serum CRP, plasma IL-6), oxidative stress markers (paraoxonase1 activity and malondialdehyde), and homocysteine, a risk factor for vascular disease. Results of regression analyses showed a significant trend to increased myeloperoxidase (MPO) response in individuals with low valence score. Both affective states, valence and arousal, were identified as significant predictors of cortisol response during concert. In addition, control levels of plasma malondialdehyde were positively correlated with differences in IL-6 levels between premiere and rehearsal (r=.38, p=.012), pointing to higher oxidative stress in individuals with pronounced IL-6 response. Our results indicate that stress of public performance leads to increased concentrations of plasma MPO (20%), IL-6 (27%) and salivary cortisol (44%) in musicians. The decreasing effect of pleasantness on the MPO response was highly pronounced in non-smokers (r=-.60, p<.001), suggesting a significant role of emotional valence in stress-induced secretion of MPO. Additional studies are needed to assess the generalizability of these findings to other 'naturalistic' stress situations. PMID:24513877

  7. Affective and inflammatory responses among orchestra musicians in performance situation.

    PubMed

    Pilger, Alexander; Haslacher, Helmuth; Ponocny-Seliger, Elisabeth; Perkmann, Thomas; Böhm, Karl; Budinsky, Alexandra; Girard, Angelika; Klien, Katharina; Jordakieva, Galateja; Pezawas, Lukas; Wagner, Oswald; Godnic-Cvar, Jasminka; Winker, Robert

    2014-03-01

    A number of studies have shown that mental challenge under controlled experimental conditions is associated with elevations in inflammatory markers such as interleukin-6 (IL-6) and C-reactive protein (CRP). However, relatively little work has been done on the effects of 'naturalistic' stressors on acute changes in inflammatory markers. The present study examined whether perceived arousal, valence and dominance in musicians are associated with pro-inflammatory and oxidative responses to a concert situation. Blood and salivary samples obtained from 48 members of a symphony orchestra on the day of rehearsal (i.e., control situation) and on the following day of premiere concert (i.e., test situation) were used to determine changes in salivary cortisol, pro-inflammatory markers (plasma myeloperoxidase, serum CRP, plasma IL-6), oxidative stress markers (paraoxonase1 activity and malondialdehyde), and homocysteine, a risk factor for vascular disease. Results of regression analyses showed a significant trend to increased myeloperoxidase (MPO) response in individuals with low valence score. Both affective states, valence and arousal, were identified as significant predictors of cortisol response during concert. In addition, control levels of plasma malondialdehyde were positively correlated with differences in IL-6 levels between premiere and rehearsal (r=.38, p=.012), pointing to higher oxidative stress in individuals with pronounced IL-6 response. Our results indicate that stress of public performance leads to increased concentrations of plasma MPO (20%), IL-6 (27%) and salivary cortisol (44%) in musicians. The decreasing effect of pleasantness on the MPO response was highly pronounced in non-smokers (r=-.60, p<.001), suggesting a significant role of emotional valence in stress-induced secretion of MPO. Additional studies are needed to assess the generalizability of these findings to other 'naturalistic' stress situations.

  8. Influence of body condition on reproductive output in the guinea pig.

    PubMed

    Michel, Catherine Louise; Bonnet, Xavier

    2012-01-01

    Reproduction is expensive. Substantial body reserves (i.e. high body condition) are usually required for females to undertake offspring production. In many vertebrates, maternal body condition positively influences reproductive output, and emaciated individuals skip reproduction. However, the impact of extremely high body condition, more specifically obesity, on animal reproductive performance remains poorly understood and research has generated contradictory results. For instance, obesity negatively affects fertility in women, but does not influence reproductive capacity or reproductive output in laboratory rodents. We examined the influence of high body condition on reproductive status and reproductive output in the guinea pig. In captivity, when fed ad libitum, guinea pigs store large amounts of fat tissues and exhibit a tendency for obesity. Our results show that obesity negatively affected reproduction in this species: both the proportion of fertile females and litter size were lower in the fattest females. Therefore, guinea pigs may represent suitable organisms to better understand the negative effect of obesity on reproduction.

  9. The growth and reproduction performance of TALEN-mediated β-lactoglobulin-knockout bucks.

    PubMed

    Ge, Hengtao; Cui, Chenchen; Liu, Jun; Luo, Yan; Quan, Fusheng; Jin, Yaping; Zhang, Yong

    2016-10-01

    With the technological development of several engineered endonucleases (EENs), such as zinc-finger nucleases, transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs) and CRISPR/Cas9, gene targeting by homologous recombination has been efficiently improved to generate site-specifically genetically modified livestock. However, few studies have been done to investigate the health and fertility of these animals. The purpose of the present study is to investigate if gene targeting events and a recloning procedure would affect the production traits of EEN-mediated gene targeted bucks. TALEN-mediated β-lactoglobulin (BLG) gene mono-allelic knockout (BLG (+/-)) goats and bi-allelic knockout (BLG (-/-)) buck produced by using sequential gene targeting combined with recloning in fibroblasts from BLG (+/-) buck were used to evaluate their health and fertility. Birth weight and postnatal growth of BLG (+/-) bucks were similar to the wild-type goats. None of the parameters for both fresh and frozen-thawed semen quality were significantly different in BLG (+/-) or BLG (-/-) bucks compared to their corresponding comparators. In vitro fertilization (IVF) test revealed that the proportion of IVF oocytes developing to the blastocyst stage was identical among BLG (+/-), BLG (-/-) and wild-type bucks. Conception rates of artificial insemination were respectively 42.3, 38.0 and 42.6 % for frozen-thawed semen from the BLG (+/-), BLG (-/-) and wild-type bucks. In addition, germline transmission of the targeted BLG modification was in accordance with Mendelian rules. These results demonstrated that the analyzed growth and reproductive traits were not impacted by targeting BLG gene and recloning, implicating the potential for dairy goat breeding of BLG (+/-) and BLG (-/-) bucks.

  10. The growth and reproduction performance of TALEN-mediated β-lactoglobulin-knockout bucks.

    PubMed

    Ge, Hengtao; Cui, Chenchen; Liu, Jun; Luo, Yan; Quan, Fusheng; Jin, Yaping; Zhang, Yong

    2016-10-01

    With the technological development of several engineered endonucleases (EENs), such as zinc-finger nucleases, transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs) and CRISPR/Cas9, gene targeting by homologous recombination has been efficiently improved to generate site-specifically genetically modified livestock. However, few studies have been done to investigate the health and fertility of these animals. The purpose of the present study is to investigate if gene targeting events and a recloning procedure would affect the production traits of EEN-mediated gene targeted bucks. TALEN-mediated β-lactoglobulin (BLG) gene mono-allelic knockout (BLG (+/-)) goats and bi-allelic knockout (BLG (-/-)) buck produced by using sequential gene targeting combined with recloning in fibroblasts from BLG (+/-) buck were used to evaluate their health and fertility. Birth weight and postnatal growth of BLG (+/-) bucks were similar to the wild-type goats. None of the parameters for both fresh and frozen-thawed semen quality were significantly different in BLG (+/-) or BLG (-/-) bucks compared to their corresponding comparators. In vitro fertilization (IVF) test revealed that the proportion of IVF oocytes developing to the blastocyst stage was identical among BLG (+/-), BLG (-/-) and wild-type bucks. Conception rates of artificial insemination were respectively 42.3, 38.0 and 42.6 % for frozen-thawed semen from the BLG (+/-), BLG (-/-) and wild-type bucks. In addition, germline transmission of the targeted BLG modification was in accordance with Mendelian rules. These results demonstrated that the analyzed growth and reproductive traits were not impacted by targeting BLG gene and recloning, implicating the potential for dairy goat breeding of BLG (+/-) and BLG (-/-) bucks. PMID:27272006

  11. Reproductive Performance of Mouse Oocyte after In Vivo Exposure of The Ovary to Continuous Wave Ultrasound

    PubMed Central

    Nasiri, Nahid; VosoughTaqi Dizaj, Ahmad; Eftekhari-Yazdi, Poopak; Akhond, Mohammad Reza

    2012-01-01

    Background: There is a lack of studies regarding the effects of ultrasound (US) and replication of its exposure on pre-implantation events in mammals. Thus, this study assesses the reproductive performance of mouse oocytes that have been obtained from ovaries irradiated with US waves versus non-irradiated ovaries. Also comparision of their parthenogenesis, ovulation, fertilization, and pre-implantation development rates. Materials and Methods: In this experimental study, we divided extracted ovaries into three experimental groups that received the same dosage, but different replicates of radiation for each group. Results were compared with the control and sham groups. Continuous wave (CW) US, at a spatial average intensity of 355 mW/cm2 and a frequency of 3.28 MHz, was administered for 5 minutes to the ovaries at an interval between pregnant mare serum gonadotropin (PMSG) and human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) injections. Statistical analysis was performed using the ANOVA test and the level of significance was determined to be 0.05. Results: Data collection was based on microscopic visualization. According to the obtained results, metaphase II (MII) oocyte numbers and the percentage of blastocysts significantly reduced in the USexposed groups versus the unexposed groups. Fertilization rate was comparable between groups while parthenogenesis was significantly higher in the US-exposed groups compared to the unexposed groups. Conclusion: Structural damage to cells, intracellular organelles and proteins, as well as changes in signaling pathways induced by US may be reasons for some of the observed adverse effects in groups that have received more US exposure. PMID:24520439

  12. Carbohydrate diet and reproductive performance of a fruit fly parasitoid, Diachasmimorpha tryoni.

    PubMed

    Zamek, Ashley Louisa; Reynolds, Olivia Louise; Mansfield, Sarah; Micallef, Jessica Louise; Gurr, Geoff Michael

    2013-01-01

    Augmentative releases of parasitoid wasps are often used successfully for biological control of fruit flies in programs worldwide. The development of cheaper and more effective augmentative releases of the parasitoid wasp Diachasmimorpha tryoni (Cameron) (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) may allow its use to be expanded to cover Queensland fruit fly, Bactrocera tryoni (Froggatt) (Diptera: Tephritidae), a serious pest of many vegetables and most fruit production in Australia. This demands a fuller understanding of the parasitoid's reproductive biology. In this study, mating status, fecundity, and size of female D. tryoni were determined under laboratory conditions. A range of pre-release diets, 10% concentrations of honey, white sugar, and golden syrup, were also assessed in the laboratory. Mature egg loads and progeny yields of mated and unmated parasitoid females were statistically similar, demonstrating that mating status was not a determinant of parasitoid performance. Female lifespan was not negatively impacted by the act of oviposition, though larger females carried more eggs than smaller individuals, indicating a need to produce large females in mass-rearing facilities to maintain this trait. White sugar gave the highest adult female lifespan, while honey and golden syrup shared similar survivorship curves, all significantly greater compared with water control females. Pre-release feeding of D. tryoni, particularly with white sugar, may enhance the impact of released parasitoids on B. tryoni. These findings are important because honey is currently the standard diet for mass-reared braconids, but white sugar is less than one-third the cost of other foods; however further work is required to assess postrelease performance of the parasitoid.

  13. Carbohydrate Diet and Reproductive Performance of a Fruit Fly Parasitoid, Diachasmimorpha tryoni

    PubMed Central

    Zamek, Ashley Louisa; Reynolds, Olivia Louise; Mansfield, Sarah; Micallef, Jessica Louise; Gurr, Geoff Michael

    2013-01-01

    Augmentative releases of parasitoid wasps are often used successfully for biological control of fruit flies in programs worldwide. The development of cheaper and more effective augmentative releases of the parasitoid wasp Diachasmimorpha tryoni (Cameron) (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) may allow its use to be expanded to cover Queensland fruit fly, Bactrocera tryoni (Froggatt) (Diptera: Tephritidae), a serious pest of many vegetables and most fruit production in Australia. This demands a fuller understanding of the parasitoid's reproductive biology. In this study, mating status, fecundity, and size of female D. tryoni were determined under laboratory conditions. A range of pre-release diets, 10% concentrations of honey, white sugar, and golden syrup, were also assessed in the laboratory. Mature egg loads and progeny yields of mated and unmated parasitoid females were statistically similar, demonstrating that mating status was not a determinant of parasitoid performance. Female lifespan was not negatively impacted by the act of oviposition, though larger females carried more eggs than smaller individuals, indicating a need to produce large females in mass-rearing facilities to maintain this trait. White sugar gave the highest adult female lifespan, while honey and golden syrup shared similar survivorship curves, all significantly greater compared with water control females. Pre-release feeding of D. tryoni, particularly with white sugar, may enhance the impact of released parasitoids on B. tryoni. These findings are important because honey is currently the standard diet for mass-reared braconids, but white sugar is less than one-third the cost of other foods; however further work is required to assess postrelease performance of the parasitoid. PMID:24224552

  14. Effects of Infection by Trypanosoma cruzi and Trypanosoma rangeli on the Reproductive Performance of the Vector Rhodnius prolixus

    PubMed Central

    Fellet, Maria Raquel; Lorenzo, Marcelo Gustavo; Elliot, Simon Luke; Carrasco, David; Guarneri, Alessandra Aparecida

    2014-01-01

    The insect Rhodnius prolixus is responsible for the transmission of Trypanosoma cruzi, which is the etiological agent of Chagas disease in areas of Central and South America. Besides this, it can be infected by other trypanosomes such as Trypanosoma rangeli. The effects of these parasites on vectors are poorly understood and are often controversial so here we focussed on possible negative effects of these parasites on the reproductive performance of R. prolixus, specifically comparing infected and uninfected couples. While T. cruzi infection did not delay pre-oviposition time of infected couples at either temperature tested (25 and 30°C) it did, at 25°C, increase the e-value in the second reproductive cycle, as well as hatching rates. Meanwhile, at 30°C, T. cruzi infection decreased the e-value of insects during the first cycle and also the fertility of older insects. When couples were instead infected with T. rangeli, pre-oviposition time was delayed, while reductions in the e-value and hatching rate were observed in the second and third cycles. We conclude that both T. cruzi and T. rangeli can impair reproductive performance of R. prolixus, although for T. cruzi, this is dependent on rearing temperature and insect age. We discuss these reproductive costs in terms of potential consequences on triatomine behavior and survival. PMID:25136800

  15. Does sow reproduction and piglet performance benefit from the addition of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids to the maternal diet?

    PubMed

    Tanghe, Sofie; De Smet, Stefaan

    2013-09-01

    Good sow reproductive performance and piglet survival are essential for the profitability of the pig industry. Based on basic research of fatty acid and endocrine metabolism, it has been suggested that dietary supplementation with n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) could enhance reproductive outcome. However, proper requirements for these nutrients in sow diets have not been established. This review examines the literature on the effect of n-3 PUFA in the maternal diet on sow reproduction and piglet performance. Few reported studies have included biochemical analyses, e.g. eicosanoid concentrations or gene expression data, which could help elucidate any link between dietary n-3 PUFA supplementation and reproduction. Additionally, most studies used relatively low numbers of pigs, limiting the validity of the conclusions which can be drawn. In pregnant pigs, supplementing with n-3 PUFA has not been shown to increase significantly the number of embryos (in gilts) or (in most studies) the total number of piglets born (live and/or stillborn), but may prolong gestation, although the literature is not consistent. Most studies found no effect of n-3 PUFA on piglet birth weight, although positive effects on piglet vitality and pre- and post-weaning growth have been reported. In contrast to the impact during pregnancy, low amounts of n-3 PUFA in the lactation diet may increase litter size in the subsequent gestation.

  16. Relationships between intrauterine infusion of N-acetylcysteine, equine endometrial pathology, neutrophil function, post-breeding therapy, and reproductive performance.

    PubMed

    Gores-Lindholm, Alicia R; LeBlanc, Michelle M; Causey, Robert; Hitchborn, Anna; Fayrer-Hosken, Richard A; Kruger, Marius; Vandenplas, Michel L; Flores, Paty; Ahlschwede, Scott

    2013-08-01

    Persistent endometritis in the mare is associated with hypersecretion of mucus by endometrial epithelium and migration of neutrophils into the uterine lumen. This study examines the relationships between N-acetylcysteine (NAC), a mucolytic agent with anti-inflammatory properties, and endometrial architecture, serum neutrophil function, post-breeding therapy, and reproductive performance of NAC-treated mares in a clinical setting. In study 1, endometrial biopsies from mares receiving intrauterine saline (fertile-control, n = 6) or 3.3% NAC (fertile-treatment, n = 6; barren-treatment, n = 10) were evaluated by histology and image analysis. In study 2, phagocytic activity of serum-derived neutrophils was measured after adding 0.5% or 3% NAC. In study 3, pregnancy rates of repeat breeders (n = 44) receiving an intrauterine infusion of 3.3% NAC 24-36 hours before mating (group 1) was recorded, as was first cycle of the season pregnancy rates of reproductively normal mares (group 2, n = 85), and mares treated for bacterial endometritis the cycle before mating (group 3, n = 25). Intrauterine NAC did not adversely affect endometrial histology. Extracellular mucus thickness and staining intensity were reduced in fertile-treatment mares (P < 0.03). Neutrophil function was inhibited by 3% NAC solution, but not by 0.5% NAC (P < 0.05). In study 3, for groups 1, 2, and 3, respectively, the first-cycle pregnancy rates were 77%, 74%, and 56%, and early embryonic death rates were 15%, 13%, and 7%. In group 2 mares treated with uterine lavage and oxytocin post-mating, the pregnancy rate was 89% (39/44), whereas in mares treated with uterine lavage and 1 g ceftiofur, it was 60% (24/40). Of the oxytocin-treated mares, 18% (8/44) had ≥ 1 cm of intrauterine fluid or marked uterine edema, whereas 80% (32/40) of the antibiotic-treated mares did. In conclusion, intrauterine infusion of a 3.3% solution of NAC was not irritating and inhibited the oxidative burst of neutrophils. Repeat

  17. Relationships between intrauterine infusion of N-acetylcysteine, equine endometrial pathology, neutrophil function, post-breeding therapy, and reproductive performance.

    PubMed

    Gores-Lindholm, Alicia R; LeBlanc, Michelle M; Causey, Robert; Hitchborn, Anna; Fayrer-Hosken, Richard A; Kruger, Marius; Vandenplas, Michel L; Flores, Paty; Ahlschwede, Scott

    2013-08-01

    Persistent endometritis in the mare is associated with hypersecretion of mucus by endometrial epithelium and migration of neutrophils into the uterine lumen. This study examines the relationships between N-acetylcysteine (NAC), a mucolytic agent with anti-inflammatory properties, and endometrial architecture, serum neutrophil function, post-breeding therapy, and reproductive performance of NAC-treated mares in a clinical setting. In study 1, endometrial biopsies from mares receiving intrauterine saline (fertile-control, n = 6) or 3.3% NAC (fertile-treatment, n = 6; barren-treatment, n = 10) were evaluated by histology and image analysis. In study 2, phagocytic activity of serum-derived neutrophils was measured after adding 0.5% or 3% NAC. In study 3, pregnancy rates of repeat breeders (n = 44) receiving an intrauterine infusion of 3.3% NAC 24-36 hours before mating (group 1) was recorded, as was first cycle of the season pregnancy rates of reproductively normal mares (group 2, n = 85), and mares treated for bacterial endometritis the cycle before mating (group 3, n = 25). Intrauterine NAC did not adversely affect endometrial histology. Extracellular mucus thickness and staining intensity were reduced in fertile-treatment mares (P < 0.03). Neutrophil function was inhibited by 3% NAC solution, but not by 0.5% NAC (P < 0.05). In study 3, for groups 1, 2, and 3, respectively, the first-cycle pregnancy rates were 77%, 74%, and 56%, and early embryonic death rates were 15%, 13%, and 7%. In group 2 mares treated with uterine lavage and oxytocin post-mating, the pregnancy rate was 89% (39/44), whereas in mares treated with uterine lavage and 1 g ceftiofur, it was 60% (24/40). Of the oxytocin-treated mares, 18% (8/44) had ≥ 1 cm of intrauterine fluid or marked uterine edema, whereas 80% (32/40) of the antibiotic-treated mares did. In conclusion, intrauterine infusion of a 3.3% solution of NAC was not irritating and inhibited the oxidative burst of neutrophils. Repeat

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Effects of supplementation frequency on performance, reproductive, and metabolic responses of Brahman-crossbred females.

    PubMed

    Cooke, R F; Arthington, J D; Araujo, D B; Lamb, G C; Ealy, A D

    2008-09-01

    Two experiments were conducted to compare performance and metabolic responses of beef females consuming low-quality forages and offered an energy supplement based on fibrous byproducts daily (S7) or 3 times per week (S3) at similar weekly rates. In Exp. 1, BW gain, reproductive performance, mRNA expression of hepatic and skeletal muscle genes associated with nutritional metabolism and growth, and concentrations of blood urea nitrogen (BUN), plasma glucose, insulin, and IGF-I were assessed in 56 Brahman x Angus heifers supplemented at a daily rate of 1.0% of BW. Mean BW gain was greater (P = 0.03) for S7 compared with S3 heifers. Treatment x sampling day interactions were detected (P < 0.01) for all blood measurements. Heifers provided S7 had less daily variation in concentrations of BUN, glucose, and insulin, and frequently had greater (P < 0.05) concentrations of IGF-I compared with S3 heifers. Expression of liver IGF-I mRNA was greater (P = 0.04) for S7 heifers compared with S3 heifers. Treatment x day interactions were detected (P

  1. 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.

  2. 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 ...

  3. 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...

  4. Prenatal testosterone exposure worsen the reproductive performance of male rat at adulthood.

    PubMed

    Ramezani Tehrani, Fahimeh; Noroozzadeh, Mahsa; Zahediasl, Saleh; Ghasemi, Asghar; Piryaei, Abbas; Azizi, Fereidoun

    2013-01-01

    The reproductive system is extremely susceptible to environmental insults, for example exogenous steroids during gestational development and differentiation. Experimental induction of androgen excess during prenatal life in female animal models reprograms their reproductive physiology, however the fetal programming of the male reproductive system by androgen excess has not been well studied. We aimed to determine the effect of prenatal exposure of two different doses of testosterone on different gestational days, on the male reproductive system using a rat model. Sixteen pregnant rats were randomly divided into two experimental groups and two control groups. Experimental group І were subcutaneously injected with 3 mg free testosterone on gestational days 16-19 and its controls received solvent for that time; experimental group П were subcutaneously injected with 20 mg free testosterone on day 20 of gestational period and its controls received solvent at the same time. The reproductive system morphology and function of 32 male offspring of these study groups were compared at days 6-30-60 of age and after puberty. The anogenital distance of the male offspring of both experimental groups had no significant differences on the different days of measurement, compared with controls. In the offspring of experimental group І, the testes weight, number of Sertoli, Spermatocyte and Spermatid cells, sperm count and motility and the serum concentration of testosterone after puberty were significantly decreased; except for reduction of sperm motility (p< 0.01), the other effects were not observed in the offspring of experimental group ІІ. In summary, our data show that prenatal exposure of male rat fetuses to excess testosterone disrupted reproductive function, an effect highly dependent on the time, duration and level of exposure. It seems that the reproductive system in individuals exposed to high levels of androgens during fetal life should be evaluated at puberty and

  5. Short communication: Feeding fat from distillers dried grains with solubles to dairy heifers: III. Effects on posttrial reproductive and lactation performance.

    PubMed

    Anderson, J L; Kalscheur, K F; Garcia, A D; Schingoethe, D J

    2015-08-01

    The objective of this research was to determine the subsequent effects on lactation and reproductive performance from feeding fat from distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) to growing dairy heifers. During the prepubertal growth phase, 33 Holstein heifers (133±18 d old) were used in a 24-wk randomized complete block design. Treatments included (1) a control diet (CON) containing ground corn and soybean products, 2) a diet with low-fat DDGS (LFDG), and (3) a higher-fat diet with traditional DDGS (HFDG). All diets contained 39.8% grass hay, 24.8% corn silage, and 1.5% vitamins and minerals. Previous results demonstrated that growth performance was maintained across treatments, but plasma cholesterol and fatty acids were greater and puberty may occur earlier in heifers fed HFDG. It was hypothesized that differences among treatments in metabolic profile and puberty may influence reproductive and first-lactation performance. Posttrial data on reproductive performance and milk production for the first 4 mo of lactation were collected for each heifer from dairy herd records. At 3wk prepartum and at calving, body weights, body condition scores, and body measurements were taken. No differences were observed among treatments for age at conception or age at calving. At calving, heifers fed the HFDG were shorter in withers height compared with heifers fed the other diets. Milk yields and components were similar or improved in heifers fed the distillers grains diets compared with heifers fed CON. Heifers fed LFDG had greater milk production and a tendency for greater milk protein yields compared with the heifers fed CON. Energy-corrected milk yields were similar among treatments. Feeding increased dietary fat from DDGS during the prepubertal growth phase did not negatively affect milk production, despite earlier attainment of puberty compared with other treatments. The overall ADG for all 3 treatments was 0.96kg/d during the prepubertal period, which is greater than

  6. Trends in reproductive performance in Southeastern Holstein and Jersey DHI herds.

    PubMed

    Washburn, S P; Silvia, W J; Brown, C H; McDaniel, B T; McAllister, A J

    2002-01-01

    Trends in average days open and services per conception from 1976 to 1999 were examined in 532 Holstein and 29 Jersey herds from 10 Southeastern states. Three-year averages for eight intervals (time) were calculated (first: 1976 to 1978; eighth: 1997 to 1999). Milk, fat, fat-corrected milk, and number of cows increased across time. Herds of both breeds had linear, quadratic, and cubic effects of time on days open and services per conception. For 1976 to 1978, respective averages of days open and services per conception were 122 +/- 2.8 d and 1.91 +/- 0.08 for Jerseys, 124 +/- 0.7 d and 1.91 +/- 0.02 for Holsteins. Days open increased nonlinearly to 152 +/- 2.8 d for Jerseys and 168 +/- 0.7 d for Holsteins by 1997 to 1999, resulting in a breed x time interaction. Services per conception also increased nonlinearly, reaching 2.94 +/- 0.04 services for both breeds in 1994 to 1996, changing only slightly after 1996. Fat-corrected milk and number of cows had small but significant effects. Five subregions (one to three states) differed in mean days open and services per conception, but changes in those measures across time among subregions were similar. Days to first service increased by 16 (Holsteins) and 18 d (Jerseys) during the last five 3-yr periods, associated with increasing days open. Estrus detection rates generally declined from 1985 to 1999, associated inversely with services per conception. Reduced reproductive performance in Southeastern dairy herds is of concern. Multiple strategies are needed to attenuate further declines.

  7. Effects of creep feeding and monensin on reproductive performance and lactation of beef heifers.

    PubMed

    Hixon, D L; Fahey, G C; Kesler, D J; Neumann, A L

    1982-09-01

    A 23 factorial arrangement of treatments was utilized to determine the effect of breed, creep feeding and monensin on subsequent reproductive performance and lactation of 32 primiparous heifers. One-half of each breed (Angus and Hereford) group had access to creep feed (2.67 Mcal metabolizable energy/kg) while nursing their dams. Approximately 40 d before breeding through 120 d of lactation, all heifers were fed a suboptimal energy diet and 50% of each breed and creep group received 200 mg monensin/head daily. Estrus was synchronized with a progestogen. Volatile fatty acids (VFA) were determined periodically throughout the monensin-feeding portion of the experiment. Twenty-four hour milk production, percentage butterfat and percentage solids-not-fat were determined at 60 and 120 d postpartum. Weaning weights (adjusted to 205 d and for age of dam) of the original heifers were heavier (P less than .05) for those that were creep fed compared with those not creep fed (219 vs 202 kg). Monensin-supplemented females gained significantly more weight from the initiation of treatment to immediately postcalving and gave birth to heavier calves (P less than .05) even though they received comparable amounts of dietary energy as those that did not receive monensin. The energy stressed, monensin-supplemented first-calf heifers exhibited a shorter postpartum interval (P less than .05) to first estrus than did those that did not receive monensin (55.7 vs 69.1 d, respectively). First-calf heifers that had been creep fed while nursing their dams had a lower (P less than .05) daily milk yield at 120 d post-partum than those that did not have access to creep feed. No detrimental effects were observed due to long-term monensin supplementation.

  8. Reproductive performance of dairy farms in western Buenos Aires province, Argentina.

    PubMed

    Ferreira, Gonzalo

    2013-01-01

    The objective of this study was to describe the reproductive performance of 23 grazing-based dairy farms from western Buenos Aires province in Argentina. The data set included data from the breeding season starting in May 2011 and ending in March 2012. Submission, conception, and pregnancy rates ranged from 42.4 to 70.2%, 20.1 to 44.9%, and 10.3 to 24.5%, respectively. No correlation was observed between conception and submission rates, suggesting that dairy farms with poor submission rates but with relatively high conception rates might increase pregnancy rates by simply putting more effort into increasing estrus detection and submission rates. Decreases in submission and conception rates were observed among 21-d cycles, indicating seasonal variation. A greater number of cows in estrus at the beginning of the breeding period could have facilitated estrus detection and therefore increased submission rates. In addition, restarting the breeding activities with timed artificial insemination programs may explain the highest submission rates at the beginning of the breeding period. A first decrease of 5.1 percentage units in conception rate was observed during the spring (October-November) and an additional decrease of 2.4 percentage units in conception rate was observed during the summer (January-February). Decreases in conception rates could be related to high intakes of high-protein diets, heat stress, or a combination of both. Attenuating heat stress during the summer may be critical for maximizing conception rates in grazing systems from western Buenos Aires province.

  9. Reproductive performance is improved during seasonal anoestrus when female and male Murciano-Granadina goats receive melatonin implants and in Payoya goats when females are thus treated.

    PubMed

    Zarazaga, L A; Gatica, M C; Celi, I; Guzmán, J L

    2012-06-01

    This work investigates whether the reproductive performance of Mediterranean goats achieved using melatonin implants at around the spring equinox is affected by the protocol followed, i.e. implanting females only, males only, both sexes or neither sex. In a first experiment, Murciano-Granadina females (n = 419, 510 and 631 for three consecutive years) were divided into four groups: treated with melatonin (FM) and not treated with melatonin (FC), mounted by males treated with melatonin (MM) or not (MC). In a second experiment, performed during 2009, the same protocols were used with 635 Payoya females and the results compared with those obtained for the same year for the Murciano-Granadina breed. Fertility (percentage of goats kidding), litter size (number of kids born per female kidded) and productivity (number of kids per female in each mating group) were calculated. In the first experiment, better reproductive performances were obtained when females (overall fertility: 71.1% vs 57.0% for the FM and FC animals; productivity 1.37 ± 0.04 kids per female vs 1.12 ± 0.03 kids per female for the FM and FC animals; p < 0.01) or males (overall fertility: 65.9% vs 58.4 for the MM and MC animals; productivity 1.28 ± 0.03 kids per female vs 1.13 ± 0.04 kids per female for MM and MC groups, respectively; p < 0.01) were implanted with melatonin. Moreover, the interaction sex × melatonin treatment had a significant effect (p < 0.05) on productivity. In the second experiment, for the Murciano-Granadina breed, the greatest increase in the number of kids born per female was obtained when the females were treated with melatonin, in either the FM/MC or FM/MM protocols (0.54 extra kids and 0.53 extra kids per female, respectively) (p < 0.01). In the Payoya breed, the greatest increase was obtained using the FM/MC protocol (0.19 extra kids per female). Thus, improved reproductive performances are obtained when female Murciano-Granadina and Payoya goats are implanted with

  10. Reproductive performance is improved during seasonal anoestrus when female and male Murciano-Granadina goats receive melatonin implants and in Payoya goats when females are thus treated.

    PubMed

    Zarazaga, L A; Gatica, M C; Celi, I; Guzmán, J L

    2012-06-01

    This work investigates whether the reproductive performance of Mediterranean goats achieved using melatonin implants at around the spring equinox is affected by the protocol followed, i.e. implanting females only, males only, both sexes or neither sex. In a first experiment, Murciano-Granadina females (n = 419, 510 and 631 for three consecutive years) were divided into four groups: treated with melatonin (FM) and not treated with melatonin (FC), mounted by males treated with melatonin (MM) or not (MC). In a second experiment, performed during 2009, the same protocols were used with 635 Payoya females and the results compared with those obtained for the same year for the Murciano-Granadina breed. Fertility (percentage of goats kidding), litter size (number of kids born per female kidded) and productivity (number of kids per female in each mating group) were calculated. In the first experiment, better reproductive performances were obtained when females (overall fertility: 71.1% vs 57.0% for the FM and FC animals; productivity 1.37 ± 0.04 kids per female vs 1.12 ± 0.03 kids per female for the FM and FC animals; p < 0.01) or males (overall fertility: 65.9% vs 58.4 for the MM and MC animals; productivity 1.28 ± 0.03 kids per female vs 1.13 ± 0.04 kids per female for MM and MC groups, respectively; p < 0.01) were implanted with melatonin. Moreover, the interaction sex × melatonin treatment had a significant effect (p < 0.05) on productivity. In the second experiment, for the Murciano-Granadina breed, the greatest increase in the number of kids born per female was obtained when the females were treated with melatonin, in either the FM/MC or FM/MM protocols (0.54 extra kids and 0.53 extra kids per female, respectively) (p < 0.01). In the Payoya breed, the greatest increase was obtained using the FM/MC protocol (0.19 extra kids per female). Thus, improved reproductive performances are obtained when female Murciano-Granadina and Payoya goats are implanted with

  11. Corticosterone in ovo modifies aggressive behaviors and reproductive performances through alterations of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis in the chicken.

    PubMed

    Ahmed, Abdelkareem A; Ma, Wenqiang; Ni, Yingdong; Wang, Song; Zhao, Ruqian

    2014-05-01

    Exposure to excess glucocorticoids during embryonic development affects offspring reproduction and suppresses the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis in mammals. However, whether corticosterone (CORT) causes similar effects in the chicken remains unclear. In the present study, we injected low (0.2μg) and high (1μg) doses of CORT in ovo before incubation and detected changes in aggressive behavior, tonic immobility (TI), reproductive performances, and HPG axis gene expression in posthatch chickens of different ages. High dose of CORT suppressed growth rate from 3 weeks of age, increased the frequency of aggressive behaviors, which was associated with elevated plasma CORT concentration. High-dose CORT significantly (P<0.05) down-regulated arginine vasotocin (AVT), corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 2 (11β-HSD2) and gonadotropin-releasing hormone 1 (GnRH1), while significantly (P<0.05) up-regulated gonadotropin-inhibitory hormone (GnIH) and 11β-HSD1 mRNA expression in the hypothalamus. Glucocorticoid receptor (GR) and 20-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (20-HSD) mRNA levels were not affected by CORT treatment. High-dose CORT significantly (P<0.05) reduced egg production and egg quality, which was associated with decreased ovary and oviduct weight. Moreover, CORT exposure significantly decreased (P<0.05) luteinizing hormone (LH) receptor and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) receptor mRNA abundance in theca cells of ovarian follicles 1 (F1), F2 and F3. In addition, yolk CORT concentration was significantly higher in eggs laid by hens prenatally exposed to high-dose CORT. Our findings suggest that in ovo administration of CORT programs the aggressive behaviors and reproductive functions in the chicken through alterations of HPG axis.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. An Analysis of Team Composition as It Affects Simulation Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Krishnakumar, Parameswar; Chisholm, Thomas Alexander

    This study investigated the extent to which sex composition and average team academic achievement of student simulation teams affect team effectiveness. Seventy-four students in two sections of a marketing principles class were divided into 20 teams to test their decision-making skills. For 10 weeks, each team operated a simulated supermarket…

  15. Reproductive and growth performance in Jin Hua pigs cloned from somatic cell nuclei and the meat quality of their offspring.

    PubMed

    Shibata, Masatoshi; Otake, Masayoshi; Tsuchiya, Seiko; Chikyu, Mikio; Horiuchi, Atsushi; Kawarasaki, Tatsuo

    2006-10-01

    Somatic cell cloning is expected to be a valuable method for conserving genetic resources in pigs. In this study, we compared the reproductive and growth performance of Jin Hua cloned pigs with that of naturally bred Jin Hua pigs. In addition, we generated offspring from the cloned sows and examined the productivity and quality of meat in the progeny. The birth weights and growth rates of somatic cell-cloned pigs were similar to those of Jin Hua pigs. The cloned pigs reached puberty very early, and this is typical of the Jin Hua breed. Furthermore, reproductive performance, in terms of traits such as gestation period, litter size, and raising rate in the cloned pigs were similar to Jin Hua pigs. Although the offspring of the cloned (OC) pigs had lower birth weights than the Jin Hua breed, the daily weight gain of the OC pigs was significantly higher, especially at the finishing stage. The carcass quality of the OC pigs had similar characteristics to the Jin Hua breed, namely thick back fat and a small loin area. Furthermore, the meat qualities of the OC pigs were similar to those of Jin Hua pigs in terms of intramuscular fat content and tenderness. These results demonstrate that cloned pigs and their offspring were similar to the Jin Hua breed in most of the growth, reproductive, and meat productive performances. This strongly suggests that pigs cloned from somatic cell nuclei have the potential to be a valuable genetic resource for breeding.

  16. Factors Affecting the Performance of Public Schools in Lebanon

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mattar, Dorine M.

    2012-01-01

    By sampling extreme cases (five high-performing schools and five low-performing ones), the researcher revealed the differences in the teachers' motivation (Mattar, 2010) as well as the extent to which Principals adopted the instructional leadership style (Mattar, 2012) in the two sets of schools. Here, she looked for additional issues, within the…

  17. Learners' Metalinguistic and Affective Performance in Blogging to Write

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chen, Ping-Ju

    2016-01-01

    The documentation of the benefits of blog use in foreign language education has proliferated since 2006. In the field of blogging to write, most studies focus on learners' linguistic performance and perceptions. To provide an analysis of learners' writing performance by using blogs, in addition to the often-researched areas, this study examines…

  18. The Role of Positive Affect in Syllogism Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Melton, Jeffrey R.

    1995-01-01

    Examined process mediating the effect of positive mood on performance of a cognitive task. Positive mood subjects performed significantly worse on a set of syllogisms than control subjects. Results are consistent with accounts arguing that people in positive moods expend less effort. (JBJ)

  19. 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.

  20. Developmental Exposure to a Toxic Spill Compromises Long-Term Reproductive Performance in a Wild, Long-Lived Bird: The White Stork (Ciconia ciconia)

    PubMed Central

    Baos, Raquel; Jovani, Roger; Serrano, David; Tella, José L.; Hiraldo, Fernando

    2012-01-01

    Background/Objective Exposure to environmental contaminants may result in reduced reproductive success and long-lasting population declines in vertebrates. Emerging data from laboratory studies on model species suggest that certain life-stages, such as development, should be of special concern. However, detailed investigations of long-term consequences of developmental exposure to environmental chemicals on breeding performance are currently lacking in wild populations of long-lived vertebrates. Here, we studied how the developmental exposure to a mine spill (Aznalcóllar, SW Spain, April 1998) may affect fitness under natural conditions in a long-lived bird, the White Stork (Ciconia ciconia). Methodology The reproductive performance of individually-banded storks that were or not developmentally exposed to the spill (i.e. hatched before or after the spill) was compared when these individuals were simultaneously breeding during the seven years after the spill occurred (1999–2005). Principal Findings Female storks developmentally exposed to the spill experienced a premature breeding senescence compared with their non-developmentally exposed counterparts, doing so after departing from an unusually higher productivity in their early reproductive life (non-developmentally exposed females: 0.5±0.33SE fledglings/year at 3-yr old vs. 1.38±0.31SE at 6–7 yr old; developmentally exposed females: 1.5±0.30SE fledglings/year at 3-yr old vs. 0.86±0.25SE at 6–7 yr old). Conclusions/Significance Following life-history theory, we propose that costly sub-lethal effects reported in stork nestlings after low-level exposure to the spill-derived contaminants might play an important role in shaping this pattern of reproduction, with a clear potential impact on population dynamics. Overall, our study provides evidence that environmental disasters can have long-term, multigenerational consequences on wildlife, particularly when affecting developing individuals, and warns about the

  1. Paternal obesity negatively affects male fertility and assisted reproduction outcomes: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    Campbell, Jared M; Lane, Michelle; Owens, Julie A; Bakos, Hassan W

    2015-11-01

    This systematic review investigated the effect of paternal obesity on reproductive potential. Databases searched were Pubmed, Ovid, Web of Science, Scopus, Cinahl and Embase. Papers were critically appraised by two reviewers, and data were extracted using a standardized tool. Outcomes were: likelihood of infertility, embryo development, clinical pregnancy, live birth, pregnancy viability, infant development, sperm; concentration, morphology, motility, volume, DNA fragmentation, chromatin condensation, mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP), and seminal plasma factors. Thirty papers were included, with a total participant number of 115,158. Obese men were more likely to experience infertility (OR = 1.66, 95% CI 1.53-1.79), their rate of live birth per cycle of assisted reproduction technology (ART) was reduced (OR = 0.65, 95% CI 0.44-0.97) and they had a 10% absolute risk increase of pregnancy non-viability. Additionally, obese men had an increased percentage of sperm with low MMP, DNA fragmentation, and abnormal morphology. Clinically significant differences were not found for conventional semen parameters. From these findings it can be concluded that male obesity is associated with reduced reproductive potential. Furthermore, it may be informative to incorporate DNA fragmentation analysis and MMP assessment into semen testing, especially for obese men whose results suggest they should have normal fertility. PMID:26380863

  2. Growth in body size affects rotational performance in women's gymnastics.

    PubMed

    Ackland, Timothy; Elliott, Bruce; Richards, Joanne

    2003-07-01

    National and state representative female gymnasts (n = 37), aged initially between 10 and 12 years, completed a mixed longitudinal study over 3.3 years, to investigate the effect of body size on gymnastic performance. Subjects were tested at four-monthly intervals on a battery of measures including structural growth, strength and gymnastic performance. The group were divided into 'high growers' and 'low growers' based on height (> 18 cm or < 14 cm/37 months, respectively) and body mass (> 15 kg or < 12 kg/37 months, respectively) for comparative purposes. Development of gymnastic performance was assessed through generic skills (front and back rotations, a twisting jump and a V-sit action) and a vertical jump for maximum height. The results show that the smaller gymnast, with a high strength to mass ratio, has greater potential for performing skills involving whole-body rotations. Larger gymnasts, while able to produce more power and greater angular momentum, could not match the performance of the smaller ones. The magnitude of growth experienced by the gymnast over this period has a varying effect on performance. While some activities were greatly influenced by rapid increases in whole-body moment of inertia (e.g. back rotation), performance on others like the front rotation and vertical jump, appeared partly immune to the physical and mechanical changes associated with growth. PMID:14737925

  3. Glucocorticoid concentrations, corticosteroid binding protein characteristics and reproduction performance of sows and gilts subjected to applied stress during mid-gestation.

    PubMed

    Kattesh, H G; Kornegay, E T; Knight, J W; Gwazdauskas, F G; Thomas, H R; Notter, D R

    1980-05-01

    Two experiments were conducted to evaluate the effects of applied heat (greater than or equal to 28 C) and crowding (less than or equal to .9 m2 floor space/animal) stress for 50 days during mid-gestation on glucocorticoid concentrations, corticosteroid binding globulin (CBG) characteristics and reproductive performance of 20 sows (Exp. 1) and 23 gilts (Exp. 2). Blood as collected via puncture of the anterior vena cava on days -1 and 0 before initiation of treatment and on days 1, 2, 12, 13, 48, 29 and 1, 5, 9 +/- l, 19 +/- 1, 50, 63 +/- 3, 90 +/- 1 after initiation of treatment for sows and gilts. respectively. Plasma glucocorticoids and CBG characteristics were determined by competitive protein binding techniques. Overall mean glucocorticoid concentrations for eight sows and 12 gilts subjected to stress were lower (P less than .05) than those of control animals, CBG binding capacities (CBC) were lower (P less than .05) in treated sows and gilts bled on days 12 and 9 +/- 1 after initiation of stress, respectively. Overall mean CBC and affinity (Ka) of cortisol to bind to the CBG molecule were lowered (P less than .05) in stressed gilts. Other than a reduction (P less than .05) in gestation length observed in stressed crossbred sows, reproductive performance was not affected by stress. When infrequent blood samplings are employed, measurement of CBC may serve as a more precise indicator of a physiological stress response than glucocorticoid concentration.

  4. Ewe lambs with higher breeding values for growth achieve higher reproductive performance when mated at age 8 months.

    PubMed

    Nieto, C A Rosales; Ferguson, M B; Macleay, C A; Briegel, J R; Wood, D A; Martin, G B; Thompson, A N

    2013-09-15

    We studied the relationships among growth, body composition and reproductive performance in ewe lambs with known phenotypic values for depth of eye muscle (EMD) and fat (FAT) and Australian Sheep Breeding Values for post-weaning live weight (PWT) and depth of eye muscle (PEMD) and fat (PFAT). To detect estrus, vasectomized rams were placed with 190 Merino ewe lambs when on average they were 157 days old. The vasectomized rams were replaced with entire rams when the ewe lambs were, on average, 226 days old. Lambs were weighed every week and blood was sampled on four occasions for assay of ghrelin, leptin and ß-hydroxybutyrate. Almost 90% of the lambs attained puberty during the experiment, at an average live weight of 41.4 kg and average age of 197 days. Ewe lambs with higher values for EMD (P < 0.001), FAT (P < 0.01), PWT (P < 0.001), PEMD (P < 0.05) and PFAT (P < 0.05) were more likely to achieve puberty by 251 days of age. Thirty-six percent of the lambs conceived and, at the estimated date of conception, the average live weight was 46.9 ± 0.6 kg and average age was 273 days. Fertility, fecundity and reproductive rate were positively related to PWT (P < 0.05) and thus live weight at the start of mating (P < 0.001). Reproductive performance was not correlated with blood concentrations of ghrelin, leptin or ß-hydroxybutyrate. Many ewe lambs attained puberty, as detected by vasectomized rams, but then failed to become pregnant after mating with entire rams. Nevertheless, we can conclude that in ewe lambs mated at 8 months of age, higher breeding values for growth, muscle and fat are positively correlated with reproductive performance, although the effects of breeding values and responses to live weight are highly variable.

  5. EFFECTS OF HANDLING ON ENDOCRINOLOGY AND REPRODUCTIVE PERFORMANCE OF THE FATHEAD MINNOW (PIMEPHALES PROMELAS)

    EPA Science Inventory

    A short-term (21-d) reproductive toxicity test with the fatheadt minnow (Pimephales promelas) has been proposed as a standard method for identifying certain classes of endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs). A potentially useful route of chemical exposure for the test is intraperi...

  6. Metabolic Measurements in the Sow and Relationship to Post-Weaning Reproductive Performance

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Excessive weight (wt) loss during lactation is an indicator of tissue catabolism in exchange for maintaining metabolic output and can have adverse effects on reproductive parameters. Creatine is a nonprotein nitrogen that acts as a phosphagen and aids in tissue repair. Creatine may provide an indica...

  7. Is the reproduction of Donax trunculus affected by their sites of origin contrasted by their level of contamination?

    PubMed

    Tlili, Sofiène; Métais, Isabelle; Ayache, Nadia; Boussetta, Hamadi; Mouneyrac, Catherine

    2011-09-01

    The reproductive cycle of bivalves is regulated by several natural environmental factors but exposure to chemical pollutants can also interfere and may result in advanced or delayed spawning season. To our knowledge, the gametogenic cycle of the suspension-feeder bivalve Donax trunculus has not yet been used as biomonitoring tool in ecotoxicological surveys. The aim of this study was to examine over a year physiological reproductive endpoints (sex-ratio, gametogenic and energy reserve cycles) and biological indices (condition index, allometry) in D. trunculus originating from two sites differing by their level of contamination. Specimens were collected bimonthly from November 2008 to October 2009 from a polluted site (Radès Méliane) and a comparatively reference site (Sidi Jehmi) in the Gulf of Tunis (Tunisia). Five stages were depicted by histological examination of gonads: undifferentiated, developing, mature, spawn and spent. Differences in the gametogenic cycle according to the site of origin of bivalves were observed. The spawning period began in March and was maximum in May in bivalves from both sites, but the percentage of spawning animals was higher in the polluted site vs the reference site. The spawning period was shorter in animals from the polluted site comparatively to the reference site. Energy reserves (glycogen, lipids) were higher in March and May comparatively to the other studied periods in bivalves from both sites. Lower energy reserves levels were usually observed in animals from the polluted site compared to the reference site. Seasonal variations of the condition index were associated to the reproductive and nutritive status of bivalves. Differences in allometry were depicted between bivalves from both studied sites. If we try to link allometry, energy reserves and reproduction, it can be hypothesized that for bivalves from the reference site, energy reserves are allocated to gametogenesis and length growth. For bivalves from the polluted

  8. Acupuncture for reproductive disorders.

    PubMed

    Lin, J H; Panzer, R

    1992-03-01

    The use of acupuncture to treat reproductive disorders can produce excellent results. Two proposed physiologic mechanisms for its effects on the reproductive system include an endorphin-mediated mechanism affecting the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal endocrine axis and a direct effect on gonadal paracrine and autocrine control of steroidogenesis. This chapter discusses reproductive disorders from both western and traditional Chinese perspectives, and details the use of acupuncture for the treatment of eight specific categories of reproductive dysfunction.

  9. Reproductive and productive performances of Santa Inês ewes submitted to breeding in different periods of the Amazonian humid tropical climate.

    PubMed

    Soares, Felipe Nogueira; Oliveira, Maria Emilia Franco; Padilha-Nakaghi, Luciana Cristina; de Oliveira, Luís Guilherme; Feliciano, Marcus Antônio Rossi; de Oliveira, Felipe Brener Bezerra; Teixeira, Pedro Paulo Maia; Vicente, Wilter Ricardo Russiano; Faturi, Cristian; Rodrigues, Luiz Fernando de Souza

    2015-12-01

    reproductive performance of Santa Inês ewes was not significantly influenced by the period of the year in which the breeding seasons took place, allowing for four breeding seasons a year in the Amazon region. Variations between periods in return to estrus rates, weight of ewes close to parturition and lamb weight at weaning indicate that climate changes can also affect reproductive rates. PMID:26224599

  10. Reproductive and productive performances of Santa Inês ewes submitted to breeding in different periods of the Amazonian humid tropical climate.

    PubMed

    Soares, Felipe Nogueira; Oliveira, Maria Emilia Franco; Padilha-Nakaghi, Luciana Cristina; de Oliveira, Luís Guilherme; Feliciano, Marcus Antônio Rossi; de Oliveira, Felipe Brener Bezerra; Teixeira, Pedro Paulo Maia; Vicente, Wilter Ricardo Russiano; Faturi, Cristian; Rodrigues, Luiz Fernando de Souza

    2015-12-01

    reproductive performance of Santa Inês ewes was not significantly influenced by the period of the year in which the breeding seasons took place, allowing for four breeding seasons a year in the Amazon region. Variations between periods in return to estrus rates, weight of ewes close to parturition and lamb weight at weaning indicate that climate changes can also affect reproductive rates.

  11. Aversive pavlovian responses affect human instrumental motor performance.

    PubMed

    Rigoli, Francesco; Pavone, Enea Francesco; Pezzulo, Giovanni

    2012-01-01

    IN NEUROSCIENCE AND PSYCHOLOGY, AN INFLUENTIAL PERSPECTIVE DISTINGUISHES BETWEEN TWO KINDS OF BEHAVIORAL CONTROL: instrumental (habitual and goal-directed) and Pavlovian. Understanding the instrumental-Pavlovian interaction is fundamental for the comprehension of decision-making. Animal studies (as those using the negative auto-maintenance paradigm), have demonstrated that Pavlovian mechanisms can have maladaptive effects on instrumental performance. However, evidence for a similar effect in humans is scarce. In addition, the mechanisms modulating the impact of Pavlovian responses on instrumental performance are largely unknown, both in human and non-human animals. The present paper describes a behavioral experiment investigating the effects of Pavlovian conditioned responses on performance in humans, focusing on the aversive domain. Results showed that Pavlovian responses influenced human performance, and, similar to animal studies, could have maladaptive effects. In particular, Pavlovian responses either impaired or increased performance depending on modulator variables such as threat distance, task controllability, punishment history, amount of training, and explicit punishment expectancy. Overall, these findings help elucidating the computational mechanisms underlying the instrumental-Pavlovian interaction, which might be at the base of apparently irrational phenomena in economics, social behavior, and psychopathology.

  12. Aversive Pavlovian Responses Affect Human Instrumental Motor Performance

    PubMed Central

    Rigoli, Francesco; Pavone, Enea Francesco; Pezzulo, Giovanni

    2012-01-01

    In neuroscience and psychology, an influential perspective distinguishes between two kinds of behavioral control: instrumental (habitual and goal-directed) and Pavlovian. Understanding the instrumental-Pavlovian interaction is fundamental for the comprehension of decision-making. Animal studies (as those using the negative auto-maintenance paradigm), have demonstrated that Pavlovian mechanisms can have maladaptive effects on instrumental performance. However, evidence for a similar effect in humans is scarce. In addition, the mechanisms modulating the impact of Pavlovian responses on instrumental performance are largely unknown, both in human and non-human animals. The present paper describes a behavioral experiment investigating the effects of Pavlovian conditioned responses on performance in humans, focusing on the aversive domain. Results showed that Pavlovian responses influenced human performance, and, similar to animal studies, could have maladaptive effects. In particular, Pavlovian responses either impaired or increased performance depending on modulator variables such as threat distance, task controllability, punishment history, amount of training, and explicit punishment expectancy. Overall, these findings help elucidating the computational mechanisms underlying the instrumental-Pavlovian interaction, which might be at the base of apparently irrational phenomena in economics, social behavior, and psychopathology. PMID:23060738

  13. Preliminary Evaluation on the Effects of Feeds on the Growth and Early Reproductive Performance of Zebrafish (Danio rerio)

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    This study evaluated the effects of several commercially available feeds and different feeding regimes on the growth and early reproductive performance of zebrafish (Danio rerio). Juvenile zebrafish (n= 20; 5.06 ± 0.69 mg) were stocked into each of 24 tanks (volume, 2 L); 3 tanks were assigned to each of 8 feeding combinations for a period of 60 d. At the end of 60 d, 2 male and 2 female fish from each tank were pooled by dietary treatment (n = 6) and used to evaluate the effects of feeding combinations on early reproductive performance. Zebrafish fed dietary treatments 3 and 7 had significantly greater weight gain than zebrafish fed diet 5. Mean spawning success was significantly greater in zebrafish fed the control diet (Artemiaonly) than in those fed diet 1. Mean hatch rates were greater in zebrafish fed the control feed and diets 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6 than zebrafish fed diet 4. Additional results suggest that female zebrafish are sexually mature after 90 d post fertilization and that fertilization rates are the limiting factor in early reproduction. PMID:23043806

  14. When children affect parents: Children's academic performance and parental investment.

    PubMed

    Yurk Quadlin, Natasha

    2015-07-01

    Sociologists have extensively documented the ways that parent resources predict children's achievement. However, less is known about whether and how children's academic performance shapes parental investment behaviors. I use data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten Cohort (ECLS-K) and longitudinal fixed effects models to examine how changes in teacher assessments are related to changes in the conferral of various parent resources. Overall, I find that the relationship between achievement and investment varies based on the directionality in children's achievement and the type of resource at hand. Children whose performance improves receive a broad range of enrichment resources, while declines in performance are met with corrective educational resources. Results are largely consistent whether language or math assessments are used to predict investment, and also among children whose achievement does not change over time. I discuss these patterns, along with implications for the use of parent resources in education and family research. PMID:26004488

  15. Wheat gluten hydrolysate affects race performance in the triathlon.

    PubMed

    Koikawa, Natsue; Aoki, Emi; Suzuki, Yoshio; Sakuraba, Keishoku; Nagaoka, Isao; Aoki, Kazuhiro; Shimmura, Yuki; Sawaki, Keisuke

    2013-07-01

    Wheat gluten hydrolysate (WGH) is a food ingredient, prepared by partial enzymatic digestion of wheat gluten, which has been reported to suppress exercise-induced elevation of serum creatinine kinase (CK) activity. However, its effects on athletic performance have not yet been elucidated. This is the presentation of an experiment performed on five female college triathletes who completed an Olympic distance triathlon with or without ingestion of 21 g of WGH during the cycling leg. The experiment was performed in a crossover double-blind manner. The race time of the running leg and thus the total race time was significantly shorter when WGH was ingested. However, serum CK levels exhibited no apparent differences between the two WGH or placebo groups.

  16. Women Officers' Performance Evaluations: Faint Praise May Affect Promotions.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thomas, Patricia J.

    While comments in performance evalutions usually focus on competency, potential, and personality characteristics, discussions of personality are particularly vulnerable to sexual stereotyping. To determine whether gender influences the narrative portion of naval officers' evalutions, narrative information was extracted from the comments section of…

  17. Does Participative Decision Making Affect Lecturer Performance in Higher Education?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sukirno, D. S.; Siengthai, Sununta

    2011-01-01

    Purpose: The relationship between participation and job performance has captured the interest of not only business researchers but also education researchers. However, the topic has not gained significant attention in the educational management research arena. The purpose of this paper is to empirically examine the impact of participation in…

  18. How Motivation Affects Academic Performance: A Structural Equation Modelling Analysis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kusurkar, R. A.; Ten Cate, Th. J.; Vos, C. M. P.; Westers, P.; Croiset, G.

    2013-01-01

    Few studies in medical education have studied effect of quality of motivation on performance. Self-Determination Theory based on quality of motivation differentiates between Autonomous Motivation (AM) that originates within an individual and Controlled Motivation (CM) that originates from external sources. To determine whether Relative Autonomous…

  19. Tau differences between short-day responsive and short-day nonresponsive white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus) do not affect reproductive photoresponsiveness.

    PubMed

    Majoy, S B; Heideman, P D

    2000-12-01

    In laboratory-bred rodent populations, intraspecific variation in circadian system organization is a known cause of individual variation in reproductive photoresponsiveness. The authors sought to determine whether circadian system variation accounted for individual variation in reproductive photoresponsiveness in a single, highly genetically variable population of Peromyscus leucopus recently derived from the wild. Running-wheel activity patterns of male and female mice, aged 70 to 90 days, from artificially selected lines of reproductively photoresponsive (R) and nonresponsive (NR) lines were monitored under short-day photoperiod (8 h light, 16 h dark), long-day photoperiod (16 h light, 8 h dark), and constant darkness (DD). NR mice displayed a significantly longer mean free-running period (24.08 h) in DD compared with R mice (23.75 h), due in large part to a difference between NR and R females (24.25 h vs. 23.74 h, respectively). All other entrainment characteristics (alpha, phase angle of activity) under short days, long days, and DD were similar between R and NR mice. Variation in free-running period and entrainment characteristics has been shown to affect photoresponsiveness in other rodent species by altering the manner in which the circadian system interprets short days. To determine whether variation in photoresponsiveness in P. leucopus is due to differences in free-running period instead of variation downstream from the central circadian clock in the pathway controlling photoresponsiveness, the authors exposed young R and NR mice to DD and measured the effect on reproductive organ development. If variation in free-running period affected how the circadian system of mice interpreted short days, then both R and NR mice exposed to DD should have exhibited a delay in gonadal development. Only R mice exhibited pubertal delay in DD. NR mice exhibited large paired testes, paired seminal vesicles, paired ovaries, and uterine weight typical of mice nonresponsive

  20. Epidemic features affecting the performance of outbreak detection algorithms

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Outbreak detection algorithms play an important role in effective automated surveillance. Although many algorithms have been designed to improve the performance of outbreak detection, few published studies have examined how epidemic features of infectious disease impact on the detection performance of algorithms. This study compared the performance of three outbreak detection algorithms stratified by epidemic features of infectious disease and examined the relationship between epidemic features and performance of outbreak detection algorithms. Methods Exponentially weighted moving average (EWMA), cumulative sum (CUSUM) and moving percentile method (MPM) algorithms were applied. We inserted simulated outbreaks into notifiable infectious disease data in China Infectious Disease Automated-alert and Response System (CIDARS), and compared the performance of the three algorithms with optimized parameters at a fixed false alarm rate of 5% classified by epidemic features of infectious disease. Multiple linear regression was adopted to analyse the relationship of the algorithms’ sensitivity and timeliness with the epidemic features of infectious diseases. Results The MPM had better detection performance than EWMA and CUSUM through all simulated outbreaks, with or without stratification by epidemic features (incubation period, baseline counts and outbreak magnitude). The epidemic features were associated with both sensitivity and timeliness. Compared with long incubation, short incubation had lower probability (β* = −0.13, P < 0.001) but needed shorter time to detect outbreaks (β* = −0.57, P < 0.001). Lower baseline counts were associated with higher probability (β* = −0.20, P < 0.001) and longer time (β* = 0.14, P < 0.001). The larger outbreak magnitude was correlated with higher probability (β* = 0.55, P < 0.001) and shorter time (β* = −0.23, P < 0.001). Conclusions The results of this study suggest

  1. Time reproduction performance is associated with age and working memory in high-functioning youth with autism spectrum disorder.

    PubMed

    Brenner, Laurie A; Shih, Vivian H; Colich, Natalie L; Sugar, Catherine A; Bearden, Carrie E; Dapretto, Mirella

    2015-02-01

    Impaired temporal processing has historically been viewed as a hallmark feature of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Recent evidence suggests temporal processing deficits may also be characteristic of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, little is known about the factors that impact temporal processing in children with ASD. The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of co-morbid attention problems, working memory (WM), age, and their interactions, on time reproduction in youth with and without ASD. Twenty-seven high-functioning individuals with ASD and 25 demographically comparable typically developing individuals (ages 9-17; 85% male) were assessed on measures of time reproduction, auditory WM, and inattention/hyperactivity. The time reproduction task required depression of a computer key to mimic interval durations of 4, 8, 12, 16, or 20 sec. Mixed effects regression analyses were used to model accuracy and variability of time reproduction as functions of diagnostic group, interval duration, age, WM, and inattention/hyperactivity. A significant group by age interaction was detected for accuracy, with the deficit in the ASD group being greater in younger children. There was a significant group by WM interaction for consistency, with the effects of poor WM on performance consistency being more pronounced in youth with ASD. All participants tended to underestimate longer interval durations and to be less consistent for shorter interval durations; these effects appeared more pronounced in those who were younger or who had poorer WM performance. Inattention/hyperactivity symptoms in the ASD group were not related to either accuracy or consistency. This study highlights the potential value of temporal processing as an intermediate trait of relevance to multiple neurodevelopmental disorders. PMID:25078724

  2. Characterization of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) mutants affected in their flowering time and in the morphogenesis of their reproductive structure.

    PubMed

    Quinet, Muriel; Dubois, Céline; Goffin, Marie-Christine; Chao, Jaime; Dielen, Vincent; Batoko, Henri; Boutry, Marc; Kinet, Jean-Marie

    2006-01-01

    The impact of the season on flowering time and the organization and morphogenesis of the reproductive structures are described in three tomato mutants: compound inflorescence (s), single flower truss (sft), and jointless (j), respectively, compared with their wild-type cultivars Ailsa Craig (AC), Platense (Pl), and Heinz (Hz). In all environmental conditions, the sft mutant flowered significantly later than its corresponding Pl cultivar while flowering time in j was only marginally, but consistently, delayed compared with Hz. The SFT gene and, to a lesser extent, the J gene thus appear to be constitutive flowering promoters. Flowering in s was delayed in winter but not in summer compared with the AC cultivar, suggesting the existence of an environmentally regulated pathway for the control of floral transition. The reproductive structure of tomato is a raceme-like inflorescence and genes regulating its morphogenesis may thus be divided into inflorescence and floral meristem identity genes as in Arabidopsis. The s mutant developed highly branched inflorescences bearing up to 200 flowers due to the conversion of floral meristems into inflorescence meristems. The S gene appears to be a floral meristem identity gene. Both sft and j mutants formed reproductive structures containing flowers and leaves and reverting to a vegetative sympodial growth. The SFT gene appears to regulate the identity of the inflorescence meristem of tomato and is also involved, along with the J gene, in the maintenance of this identity, preventing reversion to a vegetative identity. These results are discussed in relation to knowledge accumulated in Arabidopsis and to domestication processes.

  3. Scales affect performance of Monarch butterfly forewings in autorotational flight

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Demko, Anya; Lang, Amy

    2012-11-01

    Butterfly wings are characterized by rows of scales (approximately 100 microns in length) that create a shingle-like pattern of cavities over the entire surface. It is hypothesized that these cavities influence the airflow around the wing and increase aerodynamic performance. A forewing of the Monarch butterfly (Danus plexippus) naturally undergoes autorotational flight in the laminar regime. Autorotational flight is an accurate representation of insect flight because the rotation induces a velocity gradient similar to that found over a flapping wing. Drop test flights of 22 forewings before and after scale removal were recorded with a high-speed camera and flight behavior was quantified. It was found that removing the scales increased the descent speed and decreased the descent factor, a measure of aerodynamic efficacy, suggesting that scales increased the performance of the forewings. Funded by NSF REU Grant 1062611.

  4. Luminance controlled pupil size affects Landolt C task performance

    SciTech Connect

    Berman, S.M. ); Fein, G. ); Jewett, D.L.; Ashford, F. )

    1993-02-01

    Subjects judged the orientation of a 2 min. gap Landolt C located at a distance of 2.4 m. The stimuli were presented in central vision on a CRT, at low to medium contrast. The effects of varying the spectrum and luminance of surround lighting were assessed on both pupil size (measured using infrared pupillometry during task performance) and task accuracy. The task display was protected from the surround lighting, so that its luminance and contrast could be varied independently of the changes in the surround lighting. Indirect surround illumination was provided by either two illuminants of very different scotopic spectral content but with the same photopic luminance (Experiments 1 and 3), or by using the same illuminant at two different luminance levels (Experiment 2). In Experiment 3, the effect of changing surround spectrum was compared to the effect of varying task background luminance between 12 cd/m[sup 2] and 73 cd/m[sup 2]. In all experiments, scotopically enhanced surround lighting produced pupil areas which were reduced by almost 50% in comparison with surround lighting with relatively less scotopic luminance. Concomitantly there was improvement in Landolt C task performance with the scotopically enhanced surround lighting at all contrast and luminance levels. In these experiments, smaller pupil sizes were associated with significantly better visual-task performance in spite of lower task retinal illuminance when compared to the condition with larger pupils. These results suggest that changes in surround spectrum can compensate for the effect on task performance of a reduction in task luminance and supports the hypothesis that lighting energy savings could accrue in the workplace by shifting lamp spectra to obtain greater scotopic efficacy.

  5. Luminance controlled pupil size affects Landolt C task performance. Revision

    SciTech Connect

    Berman, S.M.; Fein, G.; Jewett, D.L.; Ashford, F.

    1993-02-01

    Subjects judged the orientation of a 2 min. gap Landolt C located at a distance of 2.4 m. The stimuli were presented in central vision on a CRT, at low to medium contrast. The effects of varying the spectrum and luminance of surround lighting were assessed on both pupil size (measured using infrared pupillometry during task performance) and task accuracy. The task display was protected from the surround lighting, so that its luminance and contrast could be varied independently of the changes in the surround lighting. Indirect surround illumination was provided by either two illuminants of very different scotopic spectral content but with the same photopic luminance (Experiments 1 and 3), or by using the same illuminant at two different luminance levels (Experiment 2). In Experiment 3, the effect of changing surround spectrum was compared to the effect of varying task background luminance between 12 cd/m{sup 2} and 73 cd/m{sup 2}. In all experiments, scotopically enhanced surround lighting produced pupil areas which were reduced by almost 50% in comparison with surround lighting with relatively less scotopic luminance. Concomitantly there was improvement in Landolt C task performance with the scotopically enhanced surround lighting at all contrast and luminance levels. In these experiments, smaller pupil sizes were associated with significantly better visual-task performance in spite of lower task retinal illuminance when compared to the condition with larger pupils. These results suggest that changes in surround spectrum can compensate for the effect on task performance of a reduction in task luminance and supports the hypothesis that lighting energy savings could accrue in the workplace by shifting lamp spectra to obtain greater scotopic efficacy.

  6. Effects of inorganic and organic copper supplemented to first-calf cows on cow reproduction and calf health and performance.

    PubMed

    Muehlenbein, E L; Brink, D R; Deutscher, G H; Carlson, M P; Johnson, A B

    2001-07-01

    Two experiments were conducted to determine whether the supplementation of Cu in the organic or inorganic form to 2-yr-old cows, before and after calving, affects reproduction rate, calf health and performance, passive transfer of immunoglobulin, or liver and serum Cu concentrations compared with unsupplemented controls. Cows (n = 75 in 1997; n = 120 in 1998) were randomly assigned by estimated calving date and body condition score to one of three treatments: 1) Control, control; 2) Inorganic, inorganic Cu supplement (200 mg Cu from CuSO4); 3) Organic, organic Cu supplement (100 mg Cu from AvailaCu). In 1998, a fourth treatment was added; 4) CU-ZN, organic Cu and Zn (400 mg Zn from AvailaZn in the Organic diet). Cows were fed a hay-based diet and individually fed supplements for approximately 45 d before and 60 d after calving (approximately January 15 to May 15 each year). Liver biopsies were obtained from cows before supplementation began, and from cows and calves at 10 and 30 d after calving. Blood samples were obtained from both cows and calves at calving, and colostrum samples were collected for IgG and mineral content. Cow liver Cu concentrations before supplementation began were 58 mg/kg in 1997 and 40 mg/kg (DM basis) in 1998. By 10 d after calving, liver Cu concentrations of Control cows had decreased (P < 0.05) to 24 mg/kg (Cu deficient) in both years, whereas liver Cu concentrations of Cu-supplemented cows increased (P < 0.05) in both years. Calf liver Cu concentrations at 10 d of age were similar (P > 0.10) for all treatment groups. No differences (P > 0.10) were found in colostrum Cu concentrations, or in calf health among treatments. No differences (P > 0.10) were found in cow BW change, calf serum Cu concentrations, calf weaning weights, or in cow 60-d pregnancy rates among treatments in either year. In 1998, cows in the Organic group had higher (P < 0.05) 30-d pregnancy rate than Control cows. Neither serum samples nor placental tissue were reliable

  7. Reproductive performances and kid's mortality of pure breeds and crossed caprine genotypes in the coastal oases of southern Tunisia.

    PubMed

    Gaddour, Amor; Najari, Sghaier; Abdennebi, Mouldi; Ouni, Mabrouk

    2007-07-15

    In order to improve goat productivity in the arid regions of Tunisia, a crossing scheme of the local goat population by high performance breeds was applied under oases conditions. To cross local population, Alpine, Damascus and Murciana Granadina breeds were imported and used as paternal genotypes in several cross generation. The survey of pure breeds and crossed genotypes permitted to collect the zootechnical performances during 16 years under an intensive breeding mode. The analysis of 644 fertility, prolificacy, fecundity, abortion and sterility and kid's mortality ratio showed an important difference between the studied genotypes performances. The local goat prolificacy rate was 153% in average. The kid's mortality ratio was the highest for Alpine breed and its crossed genotypes with a ratio of 4 and 3%, respectively. The first and the second generations, the crossed Damascus x Local had a fertility of 98 and 100%, showing an important heterosis effect. Also, the reproductive performances of the imported breeds were largely lower than those of the local population. Kid's mortality and reproductive performances are largely related to the genotype adaptative potentialities.

  8. The effects of larval nutrition on reproductive performance in a food-limited adult environment.

    PubMed

    Dmitriew, Caitlin; Rowe, Locke

    2011-01-01

    It is often assumed that larval food stress reduces lifetime fitness regardless of the conditions subsequently faced by adults. However, according to the environment-matching hypothesis, a plastic developmental response to poor nutrition results in an adult phenotype that is better adapted to restricted food conditions than one having developed in high food conditions. Such a strategy might evolve when current conditions are a reliable predictor of future conditions. To test this hypothesis, we assessed the effects of larval food conditions (low, improving and high food) on reproductive fitness in both low and high food adults environments. Contrary to this hypothesis, we found no evidence that food restriction in larval ladybird beetles produced adults that were better suited to continuing food stress. In fact, reproductive rate was invariably lower in females that were reared at low food, regardless of whether adults were well fed or food stressed. Juveniles that encountered improving conditions during the larval stage compensated for delayed growth by accelerating subsequent growth, and thus showed no evidence of a reduced reproductive rate. However, these same individuals lost more mass during the period of starvation in adults, which indicates that accelerated growth results in an increased risk of starvation during subsequent periods of food stress.

  9. Reproductive performance and organochlorine pollutants in an Antarctic marine top predator: the south polar skua.

    PubMed

    Bustnes, Jan O; Tveraa, Torkild; Varpe, Øystein; Henden, John A; Skaare, Janneche U

    2007-10-01

    Despite low levels of organochlorine contaminants (OCs) in Antarctic biota, some compounds may exceed the levels in equivalent Arctic species, and previous studies have found biochemical evidence of pollutant exposure in south polar skuas (Catharacta maccormicki), a common marine top predator in the region. In this study we examined relationships between fitness components (fecundity and adult return rate between breeding seasons) and concentrations of OCs in this species. In 65 nests, both males and females were caught, and using principal component analyses (PCA) we produced composite measurements (PC1 and PC2) of six highly correlated OCs measured in blood samples. Although the concentrations of OC were below those documented to have reproductive effects in other aquatic birds, we found that the eggs of females with high levels of OCs in the blood hatched later, and their chicks were in poorer condition at hatching, than females with low OC levels. Thus OCs may delay reproduction and reduce foetal growth in the skuas. However, there was no relationship between the parents' OC residues and the occurrence of non-viable eggs, although the proportion of nests containing non-viable eggs was high (47%). Moreover, there were no significant relationships between OCs and reproductive variables in males, even if males had higher OC levels than females, and no associations between OCs and adult return rate between breeding seasons. PMID:17561256

  10. 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)

  11. Positive affective tone and team performance: The moderating role of collective emotional skills.

    PubMed

    Collins, Amy L; Jordan, Peter J; Lawrence, Sandra A; Troth, Ashlea C

    2016-01-01

    Research on affect as a group-level phenomenon has shown that over time, individual members within a group become highly similar in their affect (i.e., members experience and display similar emotions and moods), and often become similar enough that the aggregation of individuals' affect can meaningfully represent the "affective tone" of the group. It is generally assumed that a more positive affective tone will lead to better team performance. We challenge the conclusion that positive affective tone is always good for team performance, suggesting that the relationship between positive affective tone and team performance is subject to moderating influences. Across two studies, we demonstrate that the self-reported collective emotional skills of team members play a crucial role in determining whether positive affective tone is beneficial or detrimental to team performance. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.

  12. Positive affective tone and team performance: The moderating role of collective emotional skills.

    PubMed

    Collins, Amy L; Jordan, Peter J; Lawrence, Sandra A; Troth, Ashlea C

    2016-01-01

    Research on affect as a group-level phenomenon has shown that over time, individual members within a group become highly similar in their affect (i.e., members experience and display similar emotions and moods), and often become similar enough that the aggregation of individuals' affect can meaningfully represent the "affective tone" of the group. It is generally assumed that a more positive affective tone will lead to better team performance. We challenge the conclusion that positive affective tone is always good for team performance, suggesting that the relationship between positive affective tone and team performance is subject to moderating influences. Across two studies, we demonstrate that the self-reported collective emotional skills of team members play a crucial role in determining whether positive affective tone is beneficial or detrimental to team performance. Implications for theory and practice are discussed. PMID:26208085

  13. Review of factors affecting aircraft wet runway performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yager, T. J.

    1983-01-01

    Problems associated with aircraft operations on wet runways are discussed and major factors which influence tire/runway braking and cornering traction capability are identified including runway characteristics, tire hydroplaning, brake system anomalies, and pilot inputs. Research results from investigations conducted at the Langley Aircraft Landing Loads and Traction Facility and from tests with instrumented ground vehicles and aircraft are summarized to indicate the effects of different aircraft, tire, and runway parameters. Several promising means are described for improving tire/runway water drainage capability, brake system efficiency, and pilot training to help optimize aircraft traction performance on wet runways.

  14. Characterization of titanium dioxide: Factors affecting photocatalytic performance

    SciTech Connect

    Presley, R.W.

    1995-06-01

    Titanium dioxide is being evaluated as a photocatalyst in the destruction of contaminants in aqueous waste streams. Commercial samples of TiO{sub 2} powder have been obtained for base line studies of the photocatalytic destruction of salicylic acid standards. These commercial samples have been prepared by flame hydrolysis and aerosol or spray pyrolysis. Additional samples of TiO{sub 2} have been prepared in house by precipitation from TiCl{sub 4} in aqueous solution, some with the addition of dopants. X-ray powder diffraction data analysis indicates the predominate phase of these commercial and prepared powders to be anatase. A minor amount of the rutile crystalline phase of TiO{sub 2} was observed at various levels in some of these catalysts. The broadness of the x-ray diffraction bands varied among the samples analyzed and indicated the primary particle size to be within the 500 to 1,000 angstrom range with the product produced in house having the smallest crystallite size. Experiments were then performed to assess the photocatalytic performance of these various types of catalyst in the destruction of 30 ppm salicylic acid in deionized water.

  15. Nest-site selection and reproductive success of greater sage-grouse in a fire-affected habitat of northwestern Nevada

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lockyer, Zachary B.; Coates, Peter S.; Casazza, Michael L.; Espinosa, Shawn; Delehanty, David J.

    2015-01-01

    Identifying links between micro-habitat selection and wildlife reproduction is imperative to population persistence and recovery. This information is particularly important for landscape species such as greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus; sage-grouse). Although this species has been widely studied, because environmental factors can affect sage-grouse populations, local and regional studies are crucial for developing viable conservation strategies. We studied the habitat-use patterns of 71 radio-marked sage-grouse inhabiting an area affected by wildfire in the Virginia Mountains of northwestern Nevada during 2009–2011 to determine the effect of micro-habitat attributes on reproductive success. We measured standard vegetation parameters at nest and random sites using a multi-scale approach (range = 0.01–15,527 ha). We used an information-theoretic modeling approach to identify environmental factors influencing nest-site selection and survival, and determine whether nest survival was a function of resource selection. Sage-grouse selected micro-sites with greater shrub canopy cover and less cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) cover than random sites. Total shrub canopy, including sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) and other shrub species, at small spatial scales (0.8 ha and 3.1 ha) was the single contributing selection factor to higher nest survival. These results indicate that reducing the risk of wildfire to maintain important sagebrush habitats could be emphasized in sage-grouse conservation strategies in Nevada. Managers may seek to mitigate the influx of annual grass invasion by preserving large intact sagebrush-dominated stands with a mixture of other shrub species. For this area of Nevada, the results suggest that ≥40% total shrub canopy cover in sage-grouse nesting areas could yield improved reproductive success. 

  16. Effects of Dietary Contamination by Zearalenone and Its Metabolites on Serum Anti-Müllerian Hormone: Impact on the Reproductive Performance of Breeding Cows.

    PubMed

    Fushimi, Y; Takagi, M; Monniaux, D; Uno, S; Kokushi, E; Shinya, U; Kawashima, C; Otoi, T; Deguchi, E; Fink-Gremmels, J

    2015-10-01

    We investigated the effects of in vivo exposure to low zearalenone levels on the anti-Müllerian hormone endocrine levels and the reproductive performance of cattle. Urine and blood samples and reproductive records were collected from two Japanese Black breeding female cattle herds with dietary zearalenone contamination below the threshold levels (<1 ppm) at 30 days after calving. Urinary zearalenone, α-zearalenol and β-zearalenol concentrations were measured by chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry, and serum anti-Müllerian hormone concentrations were determined along with serum biochemical parameters. Urinary concentrations of α-zearalenol were significantly higher (p < 0.05) in cattle in Herd 1 than in cattle in Herd 2, reflecting the different amounts of zearalenone in the diet of the two herds. Although the number of 5-mm and 10-mm follicles of the herds and their fertility after artificial insemination were similar, the serum anti-Müllerian hormone concentrations in herds 1 and 2 were 438.9 ± 48.6 pg/ml and 618.9 ± 80.0 pg/ml, respectively, with a trend towards a significant difference (p = 0.053), which may indicate differences in the antral follicle populations between herds. Thus, zearalenone intake from dietary feed, even when below the threshold zearalenone contamination level permitted in Japan, may affect the ovarian antral follicle populations, but not the fertility, of post-partum cows.

  17. Adverse effects of thiram-treated seed ingestion on the reproductive performance and the offspring immune function of the red-legged partridge.

    PubMed

    Lopez-Antia, Ana; Ortiz-Santaliestra, Manuel E; García-de Blas, Esther; Camarero, Pablo R; Mougeot, Francois; Mateo, Rafael

    2015-06-01

    Pesticide research traditionally has focused on compounds with high acute toxicity or persistence, but the adverse sublethal effects of pesticides with different properties also may have important consequences on exposed wildlife. The authors studied the effects of thiram, a fungicide used for seed coating with known effects as endocrine disruptor. Red-legged partridges (Alectoris rufa; n = 15 pairs per treatment group) were fed wheat treated with 0%, 20%, or 100% of the thiram application rate used in autumn (25 d) and late winter (10 d) to mimic cereal sowing periods. The authors studied the effects on reproductive performance, carotenoid-based ornamentation and cellular immune responsiveness of adult partridges, and their relationship with changes in oxidative stress biomarkers and plasma biochemistry. The authors also studied the effect of parental exposure on egg antioxidant content and on the survival, growth, and cellular immune response of offspring. Exposure to thiram-coated seeds delayed egg laying, reduced clutch size, and affected egg size and eggshell thickness. Partridges exposed to the 20% thiram dose exhibited reduced egg fertility and brood size (55% and 28% of controls, respectively). Chick survival was unaffected by parental exposure to treated seeds, but adverse effects on their growth rate and cellular immune response were apparent. These effects on reproduction and immune function may have important demographic consequences on farmland bird populations.

  18. Effects of Dietary Contamination by Zearalenone and Its Metabolites on Serum Anti-Müllerian Hormone: Impact on the Reproductive Performance of Breeding Cows.

    PubMed

    Fushimi, Y; Takagi, M; Monniaux, D; Uno, S; Kokushi, E; Shinya, U; Kawashima, C; Otoi, T; Deguchi, E; Fink-Gremmels, J

    2015-10-01

    We investigated the effects of in vivo exposure to low zearalenone levels on the anti-Müllerian hormone endocrine levels and the reproductive performance of cattle. Urine and blood samples and reproductive records were collected from two Japanese Black breeding female cattle herds with dietary zearalenone contamination below the threshold levels (<1 ppm) at 30 days after calving. Urinary zearalenone, α-zearalenol and β-zearalenol concentrations were measured by chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry, and serum anti-Müllerian hormone concentrations were determined along with serum biochemical parameters. Urinary concentrations of α-zearalenol were significantly higher (p < 0.05) in cattle in Herd 1 than in cattle in Herd 2, reflecting the different amounts of zearalenone in the diet of the two herds. Although the number of 5-mm and 10-mm follicles of the herds and their fertility after artificial insemination were similar, the serum anti-Müllerian hormone concentrations in herds 1 and 2 were 438.9 ± 48.6 pg/ml and 618.9 ± 80.0 pg/ml, respectively, with a trend towards a significant difference (p = 0.053), which may indicate differences in the antral follicle populations between herds. Thus, zearalenone intake from dietary feed, even when below the threshold zearalenone contamination level permitted in Japan, may affect the ovarian antral follicle populations, but not the fertility, of post-partum cows. PMID:26303354

  19. Pre-breeding blood urea nitrogen concentration and reproductive performance of Bonsmara heifers within different management systems.

    PubMed

    Tshuma, Takula; Holm, Dietmar Erik; Fosgate, Geoffrey Theodore; Lourens, Dirk Cornelius

    2014-08-01

    This study investigated the association between pre-breeding blood urea nitrogen (BUN) concentration and reproductive performance of beef heifers within different management systems in South Africa. Bonsmara heifers (n = 369) from five herds with different estimated levels of nitrogen intake during the month prior to the commencement of the breeding season were sampled in November and December 2010 to determine BUN concentrations. Body mass, age, body condition score (BCS) and reproductive tract score (RTS) were recorded at study enrolment. Trans-rectal ultrasound and/or palpation was performed 4-8 weeks after a 3-month breeding season to estimate the stage of pregnancy. Days to pregnancy (DTP) was defined as the number of days from the start of the breeding season until the estimated conception date. Logistic regression and Cox proportional hazards survival analysis were performed to estimate the association of pre-breeding BUN concentration with subsequent pregnancy and DTP, respectively. After stratifying for herd and adjusting for age, heifers with relatively higher pre-breeding BUN concentration took longer to become pregnant when compared to those with relatively lower BUN concentration (P = 0.011). In the herd with the highest estimated nitrogen intake (n = 143), heifers with relatively higher BUN were less likely to become pregnant (P = 0.013) and if they did, it was only later during the breeding season (P = 0.017), after adjusting for body mass. These associations were not present in the herd (n = 106) with the lowest estimated nitrogen intake (P > 0.500). It is concluded that Bonsmara heifers with relatively higher pre-breeding BUN concentration, might be at a disadvantage because of this negative impact on reproductive performance, particularly when the production system includes high levels of nitrogen intake.

  20. Affect of Brush Seals on Wave Rotor Performance Assessed

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1995-01-01

    The NASA Lewis Research Center's experimental and theoretical research shows that wave rotor topping can significantly enhance gas turbine engine performance levels. Engine-specific fuel consumption and specific power are potentially enhanced by 15 and 20 percent, respectively, in small (e.g., 400 to 700 hp) and intermediate (e.g., 3000 to 5000 hp) turboshaft engines. Furthermore, there is potential for a 3- to 6-percent specific fuel consumption enhancement in large (e.g., 80,000 to 100,000 lbf) turbofan engines. This wave-rotor-enhanced engine performance is accomplished within current material-limited temperature constraints. The completed first phase of experimental testing involved a three-port wave rotor cycle in which medium total pressure inlet air was divided into two outlet streams, one of higher total pressure and one of lower total pressure. The experiment successfully provided the data needed to characterize viscous, partial admission, and leakage loss mechanisms. Statistical analysis indicated that wave rotor product efficiency decreases linearly with the rotor to end-wall gap, the square of the friction factor, and the square of the passage of nondimensional opening time. Brush seals were installed to further minimize rotor passage-to-cavity leakage. The graph shows the effect of brush seals on wave rotor product efficiency. For the second-phase experiment, which involves a four-port wave rotor cycle in which heat is added to the Brayton cycle in an external burner, a one-dimensional design/analysis code is used in conjunction with a wave rotor performance optimization scheme and a two-dimensional Navier-Stokes code. The purpose of the four-port experiment is to demonstrate and validate the numerically predicted four-port pressure ratio versus temperature ratio at pressures and temperatures lower than those that would be encountered in a future wave rotor/demonstrator engine test. Lewis and the Allison Engine Company are collaborating to investigate

  1. Effects of feeding deoxynivalenol (DON)-contaminated wheat to laying hens and roosters of different genetic background on the reproductive performance and health of the newly hatched chicks.

    PubMed

    Ebrahem, Mohammad; Kersten, Susanne; Valenta, Hana; Breves, Gerhard; Beineke, Andreas; Hermeyer, Kathrin; Dänicke, Sven

    2014-08-01

    A total of 216 23-week-old laying hens from two different genetic backgrounds (half of the birds were Lohmann brown [LB] and [LSL] hens, respectively) and 24 adult roosters were assigned to a feeding trial to study the effect of increasing concentrations of deoxynivalenol (DON) in the diet (0, 5, 10 mg/kg) on the reproductive performance of hens and roosters, and the health of the newly hatched chicks. Hatchability was adversely affected by the presence of DON in LB hens' diet, while the hatchability of the LSL chicks was significantly higher than LB chicks. An interaction effect between DON in the hens' diet and the breed was noticed on fertility, as the fertility was decreased in the eggs of LB hens receiving 10 mg/kg DON in their diet and increased in the eggs of LSL hens fed 10 mg/kg DON. Moreover, spleen relative weight was significantly decreased in the chicks hatched from eggs of hens fed contaminated diets, while gizzard relative weight was significantly decreased in LB chicks with 10 mg/kg DON in their diet compared with the control group. On the other hand, the chicks' haematology and organ histopathology were not affected by the dietary treatment. Additionally, the presence of DON in the roosters' diet had no effect on fertility (the percentage of fertile eggs of all laid eggs). Consequently, the current results indicate a negative impact of DON in LB hens' diet on fertility and hatchability, indicating that the breed of the hens seems to be an additional factor influencing the effect of DON on reproductive performance of the laying hens.

  2. Reproductive performance, metabolic and hormonal profiles of Santa Inês ewes in winter and summer under tropical conditions.

    PubMed

    Balaro, Mario Felipe Alvarez; Brandão, Felipe Zandonadi; Peneiras, Anna Beatriz Veltri; Oba, Eunice; da Fonseca, Jeferson Ferreira; Almosny, Nádia Regina Pereira; da Cruz Cardoso, Elyzabeth

    2015-03-01

    The study aimed to evaluate the reproductive, metabolic and hormonal profiles of Santa Inês ewes during winter and summer in the tropical climate of Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil. The ewes (n = 16) were prepared for induction of synchronised oestrus with a short-term hormonal treatment, and follicular dynamics were assessed with ultrasonography. Blood samples for biochemical and hormonal analyses were collected on days zero, six and eight of the protocol at 7, 13 and 19 h. Reproductive behaviour did not differ (P > 0.05) between seasons. Based on ultrasonography data, the ovulation rate was 100% in summer and 81.3% in winter. Most of the ewes showed double ovulation in summer, and the diameter of the largest and second largest follicles differed (P < 0.05) between seasons. Among the biochemical parameters, plasma glucose, plasma urea and serum albumin differed (P < 0.05) between the study periods. Regarding the hormonal profile, higher serum triiodothyronine, thyroxine and prolactin concentrations (P < 0.05) were observed in summer. The average progesterone concentrations demonstrated low reproductive seasonality. In conclusion, the reproductive performance of the ewes was superior in summer, and higher levels of plasma glucose and serum albumin during this season may have played a role in the observed ovulation rates. The higher levels of serum prolactin and serum thyroxine in summer demonstrated that these compounds were not involved in the regulatory mechanisms underlying the onset of anoestrus in these Santa Inês ewes under tropical conditions.

  3. Factors affecting the performance of large-aperture microphone arrays.

    PubMed

    Silverman, Harvey F; Patterson, William R; Sachar, Joshua

    2002-05-01

    Large arrays of microphones have been proposed and studied as a possible means of acquiring data in offices, conference rooms, and auditoria without requiring close-talking microphones. When such an array essentially surrounds all possible sources, it is said to have a large aperture. Large-aperture arrays have attractive properties of spatial resolution and signal-to-noise enhancement. This paper presents a careful comparison of theoretical and measured performance for an array of 256 microphones using simple delay-and-sum beamforming. This is the largest currently functional, all digital-signal-processing array that we know of. The array is wall-mounted in the moderately adverse environment of a general-purpose laboratory (8 m x 8 m x 3 m). The room has a T60 reverberation time of 550 ms. Reverberation effects in this room severely impact the array's performance. However, the width of the main lobe remains comparable to that of a simplified prediction. Broadband spatial resolution shows a single central peak with 10 dB gain about 0.4 m in diameter at the -3 dB level. Away from that peak, the response is approximately flat over most of the room. Optimal weighting for signal-to-noise enhancement degrades the spatial resolution minimally. Experimentally, we verify that signal-to-noise gain is less than proportional to the square root of the number of microphones probably due to the partial correlation of the noise between channels, to variation of signal intensity with polar angle about the source, and to imperfect correlation of the signal over the array caused by reverberations. We show measurements of the relative importance of each effect in our environment. PMID:12051434

  4. Factors affecting the performance of large-aperture microphone arrays.

    PubMed

    Silverman, Harvey F; Patterson, William R; Sachar, Joshua

    2002-05-01

    Large arrays of microphones have been proposed and studied as a possible means of acquiring data in offices, conference rooms, and auditoria without requiring close-talking microphones. When such an array essentially surrounds all possible sources, it is said to have a large aperture. Large-aperture arrays have attractive properties of spatial resolution and signal-to-noise enhancement. This paper presents a careful comparison of theoretical and measured performance for an array of 256 microphones using simple delay-and-sum beamforming. This is the largest currently functional, all digital-signal-processing array that we know of. The array is wall-mounted in the moderately adverse environment of a general-purpose laboratory (8 m x 8 m x 3 m). The room has a T60 reverberation time of 550 ms. Reverberation effects in this room severely impact the array's performance. However, the width of the main lobe remains comparable to that of a simplified prediction. Broadband spatial resolution shows a single central peak with 10 dB gain about 0.4 m in diameter at the -3 dB level. Away from that peak, the response is approximately flat over most of the room. Optimal weighting for signal-to-noise enhancement degrades the spatial resolution minimally. Experimentally, we verify that signal-to-noise gain is less than proportional to the square root of the number of microphones probably due to the partial correlation of the noise between channels, to variation of signal intensity with polar angle about the source, and to imperfect correlation of the signal over the array caused by reverberations. We show measurements of the relative importance of each effect in our environment.

  5. Factors affecting the performance of large-aperture microphone arrays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Silverman, Harvey F.; Patterson, William R.; Sachar, Joshua

    2002-05-01

    Large arrays of microphones have been proposed and studied as a possible means of acquiring data in offices, conference rooms, and auditoria without requiring close-talking microphones. When such an array essentially surrounds all possible sources, it is said to have a large aperture. Large-aperture arrays have attractive properties of spatial resolution and signal-to-noise enhancement. This paper presents a careful comparison of theoretical and measured performance for an array of 256 microphones using simple delay-and-sum beamforming. This is the largest currently functional, all digital-signal-processing array that we know of. The array is wall-mounted in the moderately adverse environment of a general-purpose laboratory (8 m×8 m×3 m). The room has a T60 reverberation time of 550 ms. Reverberation effects in this room severely impact the array's performance. However, the width of the main lobe remains comparable to that of a simplified prediction. Broadband spatial resolution shows a single central peak with 10 dB gain about 0.4 m in diameter at the -3 dB level. Away from that peak, the response is approximately flat over most of the room. Optimal weighting for signal-to-noise enhancement degrades the spatial resolution minimally. Experimentally, we verify that signal-to-noise gain is less than proportional to the square root of the number of microphones probably due to the partial correlation of the noise between channels, to variation of signal intensity with polar angle about the source, and to imperfect correlation of the signal over the array caused by reverberations. We show measurements of the relative importance of each effect in our environment.

  6. Short-term fasting affects luteinizing hormone secretory dynamics but not reproductive function in normal-weight sedentary women.

    PubMed

    Olson, B R; Cartledge, T; Sebring, N; Defensor, R; Nieman, L

    1995-04-01

    Acute food withdrawal reversibly inhibits the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis in men and in rhesus monkeys, and it produces defects in LH pulsatility in normal-weight women. However, the clinical effect of short-term nutritional deprivation on the reproductive axis of normally cycling women has not been evaluated. Thus we studied the effect of a 3-day fast during the midfollicular phase on menstrual cycle length, gonadotropin secretory patterns, follicular development, and ovulation. After a baseline ovulatory cycle, 12 women within 15% of ideal body weight were randomized to be fed (n = 7) or fasted (n = 10) on cycle days 7 to 9. Five of the women repeated the study and received the alternate diet. Endocrine and metabolic parameters of fasting and reproductive physiology were measured on cycle days 6 to 12. Fasted physiology was demonstrated by characteristic alterations in growth hormone, insulin-like growth factor I, TSH, and T3 levels. During fed cycles, the number of LH pulses remained constant on cycle days 6, 9 and 11, whereas mean LH levels, LH area under the curve, and LH pulse amplitude increased significantly over this time (all P < 0.05). In contrast, fasted cycles were marked by a significant decrease in the number of LH pulses on the last day of the fast (cycle day 9, P < 0.05) and by a lack of increase over time of mean LH values, LH area under the curve, and LH pulse amplitude. Follicle development, as assessed by daily ultrasound examination and estradiol measurements, was similar in all cycles and was followed by ovulation in all women; follicular and luteal phase lengths of fasted and fed cycles were similar. We conclude that the alterations in LH secretory dynamics that occur during a 3-day fast are not sufficient to perturb follicle development and cycle lengths in normal-weight sedentary women. The resilience of the reproductive axis in these healthy women contrasts with the sensitivity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis to acute

  7. Food availability and reproduction affects lipid and fatty acid composition of the brown mussel, Perna perna, raised in suspension culture.

    PubMed

    Narváez, Mirle; Freites, L; Guevara, M; Mendoza, J; Guderley, H; Lodeiros, C J; Salazar, G

    2008-02-01

    We examined the influence of the reproductive cycle and environmental factors on variations of the condition index (CI), tissue dry mass, shell size, total lipid content, and relative percent of fatty acids in the mussel, Perna perna. Spat or juveniles were reared to commercial size (70 mm) in suspension culture in the Golfo de Cariaco, Venezuela between May and October 2004. The dry mass of soft tissues and shell, a visual assessment of gonadal status and the organism lipid profile were established every fortnight. In parallel, we measured the environmental conditions, following chlorophyll a, salinity, temperature and seston levels. After an initial decrease, the CI rose and remained high until August after which it decreased continuously until October. Total lipid values also decreased initially, after which they showed two periods of rapid recuperation and depletion, the first between May and August and the second between August and October. Similar tendencies were noted in the fatty acids, C18:3n-3, C18:4n-3 and C22:6n-3. Correlation analysis found no significant relationships between environmental parameters and the variations in total lipids. However, significant correlations were noted between fatty acids and specific environmental parameters. In particular, temperature was inversely correlated with C14:0, C16:1n-7, C18:0, C18:1n-9 and 20:5n-3. Chlorophyll a was positively correlated with C14:0, C16:1n-7, C18:1n-7, C18:4n-3 and 20:4n-6. On the other hand, gametogenesis had an effect on C14:0, C16:1n-7, C18:1n-9 and C18:1n-7, while spawned and gonadal regression states had an effect on fatty acid 20:4n-6. Temperature and chlorophyll a levels strongly influenced the proportion of mussels spawning, suggesting that their influence upon lipid composition may be secondary to their impact upon reproduction. Despite the thermal stability of this tropical system, the lipid composition of mussels changed markedly during the study, reflecting the central role of diet

  8. Synchronized ovulation for first insemination improves reproductive performance and reduces cost per pregnancy in dairy heifers.

    PubMed

    Silva, T V; Lima, F S; Thatcher, W W; Santos, J E P

    2015-11-01

    The objectives were to evaluate the effects of synchronizing estrus and ovulation to implement a timed artificial insemination (AI) at first insemination on reproductive performance and cost per pregnancy in dairy heifers. Six hundred eleven Holsteins heifers at approximately 400 d of age from 3 farms were enrolled in the study. Six days before moving to the breeding pens, heifers were allocated randomly to AI after detected estrus from study d 0 to 84 (CON, n=306), or to timed AI for first AI followed by detected estrus for the remainder of the 84-d study (TAI, n=305). Heifers receiving TAI were enrolled in the 5-d timed AI protocol on study d -6 (d -6, GnRH and a progesterone insert; d -1, PGF2α and insert removal; d 0, PGF2α; d 2, GnRH + AI), and they were allowed to be bred the day before scheduled timed AI if detected in estrus. Starting on study d 0, estrus was detected daily. Heifers in estrus were inseminated on the same morning as detected estrus. Control heifers not inseminated by study d 7 received PGF2α and this treatment was repeated every 2 wk until AI. The study lasted 84 d to allow a period of breeding equivalent to four 21-d estrous cycles. A herd budget accounting for inputs for both treatments was created to determine the cost per pregnancy. Sensitivity analysis compared economic differences between the 2 treatments under different input scenarios when detection of estrus after the first AI varied from 50 to 80%. Interval to first AI was 8 d shorter for TAI than for CON. Pregnancy at first AI did not differ between treatments (CON=58.3 vs. TAI=62.8%). In contrast, TAI increased pregnancy per AI (P/AI) compared with CON in heifers inseminated with sex-sorted semen (CON=31.6 vs. TAI=54.8%). The 21-d cycle insemination rate was greater for TAI (91.4%) than for CON (82.4%), even when evaluated after the first 21 d in the study (CON=68.2 vs. TAI=77.1%). The increased insemination rate improved the 21-d cycle pregnancy rate from 47.9% in CON to 57

  9. Effect of dietary phosphorus and phytase levels on the reproductive performance of large white turkey breeder hens.

    PubMed

    Godwin, J L; Grimes, J L; Christensen, V L; Wineland, M J

    2005-03-01

    An experiment was conducted to determine the effect of dietary P levels and dietary phytase enzyme (E) inclusion on Large White turkey breeder hen reproductive performance from 31 to 62 wk of age. Hens were placed in a curtain-sided house with 48 pens (10 birds per pen; 8 pens per treatment) at 31 wk and were fed a breeder ration with treatments as follows: HP, dietary available P = 0.55%; HPE, HP + E; MP, dietary available P = 0.35%; MPE, MP + E; LP, dietary available P = 0.17%; and LPE, LP + E. Feed and water were available ad libitum for 28 wk of lay. Diets were fed in mash form, and all other nutrients were formulated to meet or exceed NRC requirements. All hens were photostimulated in January (31 wk) with 15.5 h of light daily. Production data were recorded on a pen basis. Individual bird BW and feed consumption, by pen, were determined at monthly intervals from 31 to 62 wk. Hens were observed for weekly reproductive performance for hen housed egg production, hen-day egg production, settable eggs, cumulative settable eggs, hens out of lay, and hen mortality and for biweekly performance for egg fertility, hatchability of all eggs, hatchability of fertile eggs, egg weight loss, conductance, conductance constant (k), and embryonic mortality. Egg weight, eggshell thickness, egg components, and albumen and yolk P were measured monthly. At 62 wk of age, hen tibia P, plasma P, total fecal P, and water-soluble fecal P were determined. Decreasing dietary P resulted in no decreases in reproductive performance for turkey breeder hens to 62 wk. Additionally, decreased dietary P resulted in decreased total fecal P and water-soluble fecal P. Feeding turkey breeder hens dietary phytase enzyme resulted in significantly fewer hens going out of lay; however, this was not reflected in hen housed egg production. It was concluded that phosphorus could be lowered in turkey breeder hen diets, compared with current surveyed industry levels, without impairing reproductive performance.

  10. 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

  11. Does hallucination affect vigilance performance in schizophrenia? An exploratory study.

    PubMed

    Das, Sudeshna; Ray, Deepshikha; Banerjee, Mallika

    2011-09-01

    The present study investigates the role of "auditory verbal hallucination" (AVH) in the attentional processes of individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia compared with healthy participants. The sample consisted of 26 participants diagnosed with schizophrenia divided into - "schizophrenia with hallucination" (N=12) and "schizophrenia without hallucination" (N=14). 13 matched healthy participants were taken. A general health questionnaire was used to screen out psychiatric morbidity in healthy participants. The presence and/or absence of AVH were substantiated through the administration of the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS). Only individuals having higher composite scores in the positive scale were included. Edinburgh Handedness Inventory was administered to all participants. Software designed to measure vigilance was used to assess attentional deficits in the three groups included in the study. The complexity of the "vigilance task" was varied across three parameters: (1) spatial position of the target stimulus and buffer, (2) frequency of the target stimulus and buffer and (3) colour of target stimulus and buffer. The performances of the 3 groups were compared statistically in terms of Hit, Miss and False Alarm scores. Results revealed that schizophrenia patients are deficient as compared to their healthy counterparts in the ability to focus on a specific target while inhibiting non-relevant information across all conditions. Also, schizophrenia patients who have AVH are relatively more deficient as compared to the schizophrenia patients without AVH. It can be concluded that perceptual abnormality in schizophrenia patients with hallucination has an additional negative impact on attentional processes. PMID:23051117

  12. The Sleeping Beauty: How Reproductive Diapause Affects Hormone Signaling, Metabolism, Immune Response and Somatic Maintenance in Drosophila melanogaster

    PubMed Central

    Kubrak, Olga I.; Kučerová, Lucie; Theopold, Ulrich; Nässel, Dick R.

    2014-01-01

    Some organisms can adapt to seasonal and other environmental challenges by entering a state of dormancy, diapause. Thus, insects exposed to decreased temperature and short photoperiod enter a state of arrested development, lowered metabolism, and increased stress resistance. Drosophila melanogaster females can enter a shallow reproductive diapause in the adult stage, which drastically reduces organismal senescence, but little is known about the physiology and endocrinology associated with this dormancy, and the genes involved in its regulation. We induced diapause in D. melanogaster and monitored effects over 12 weeks on dynamics of ovary development, carbohydrate and lipid metabolism, as well as expression of genes involved in endocrine signaling, metabolism and innate immunity. During diapause food intake diminishes drastically, but circulating and stored carbohydrates and lipids are elevated. Gene transcripts of glucagon- and insulin-like peptides increase, and expression of several target genes of these peptides also change. Four key genes in innate immunity can be induced by infection in diapausing flies, and two of these, drosomycin and cecropin A1, are upregulated by diapause independently of infection. Diapausing flies display very low mortality, extended lifespan and decreased aging of the intestinal epithelium. Many phenotypes induced by diapause are reversed after one week of recovery from diapause conditions. Furthermore, mutant flies lacking specific insulin-like peptides (dilp5 and dilp2-3) display increased diapause incidence. Our study provides a first comprehensive characterization of reproductive diapause in D. melanogaster, and evidence that glucagon- and insulin-like signaling are among the key regulators of the altered physiology during this dormancy. PMID:25393614

  13. The sleeping beauty: how reproductive diapause affects hormone signaling, metabolism, immune response and somatic maintenance in Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    Kubrak, Olga I; Kučerová, Lucie; Theopold, Ulrich; Nässel, Dick R

    2014-01-01

    Some organisms can adapt to seasonal and other environmental challenges by entering a state of dormancy, diapause. Thus, insects exposed to decreased temperature and short photoperiod enter a state of arrested development, lowered metabolism, and increased stress resistance. Drosophila melanogaster females can enter a shallow reproductive diapause in the adult stage, which drastically reduces organismal senescence, but little is known about the physiology and endocrinology associated with this dormancy, and the genes involved in its regulation. We induced diapause in D. melanogaster and monitored effects over 12 weeks on dynamics of ovary development, carbohydrate and lipid metabolism, as well as expression of genes involved in endocrine signaling, metabolism and innate immunity. During diapause food intake diminishes drastically, but circulating and stored carbohydrates and lipids are elevated. Gene transcripts of glucagon- and insulin-like peptides increase, and expression of several target genes of these peptides also change. Four key genes in innate immunity can be induced by infection in diapausing flies, and two of these, drosomycin and cecropin A1, are upregulated by diapause independently of infection. Diapausing flies display very low mortality, extended lifespan and decreased aging of the intestinal epithelium. Many phenotypes induced by diapause are reversed after one week of recovery from diapause conditions. Furthermore, mutant flies lacking specific insulin-like peptides (dilp5 and dilp2-3) display increased diapause incidence. Our study provides a first comprehensive characterization of reproductive diapause in D. melanogaster, and evidence that glucagon- and insulin-like signaling are among the key regulators of the altered physiology during this dormancy. PMID:25393614

  14. Meta-analysis of the effect of immunocastration on production performance, reproductive organs and boar taint compounds in pigs.

    PubMed

    Batorek, N; Čandek-Potokar, M; Bonneau, M; Van Milgen, J

    2012-08-01

    Meta-analytical approach was used to quantitatively synthesize the effect of immunocastration on growth, carcass, meat quality, reproductive organs and boar taint compounds. Altogether, 41 papers were collected for effect size (θ) calculation and the comparisons were made with entire males (EM) and surgical castrates (SC). The data for reproductive organs and growth performance are numerous enough to draw firm conclusions. In contrast, data for carcass and meat quality are more limited. Results of meta-analysis show efficient immunocastration with the magnitude of the response being by far the largest for reproductive organs (θ = -2.8 to -5.0) and boar taint substances (θ = -2.8 and -0.8 for androstenone and skatole, respectively). However, compared with SC, the immunocastrates exhibit larger bulbourethral glands (θ = 1.3) and slightly higher concentrations of androstenone and skatole (θ = 0.1 and θ = 0.2, respectively). The impact of immunocastration is also remarkable on performance, where the main advantage of the immunocastrates is their boar-like performance until revaccination. In the period following the second vaccination, they eat much more than EM (θ = 2.1), resulting in large effect size for growth rate compared with both EM and SC (θ = 1.1 and θ = 1.4, respectively). Considering the whole fattening period, their feed conversion ratio is higher compared with EM (θ = 0.6) and much lower than that of SC (θ = -1.3), although exhibiting moderately faster growth compared with both (θ = 0.6 and θ = 0.2, respectively). With regard to carcass quality, the immunocastrates take intermediate position between EM and SC. Besides, our analysis suggests no difference in meat quality with SC and some meat quality advantages of immunocastrates over EM because of higher intramuscular fat content (θ = 0.4) and lower shear force (θ = -0.6).

  15. 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.

  16. Reproductive hacking

    PubMed Central

    Dustin Rubinstein, C; Wolfner, Mariana F

    2014-01-01

    Seminal proteins are critical for reproductive success in all animals that have been studied. Although seminal proteins have been identified in many taxa, and female reproductive responses to receipt of these proteins have been documented in several, little is understood about the mechanisms by which seminal proteins affect female reproductive physiology. To explore this topic, we investigated how a Drosophila seminal protein, ovulin, increases ovulation rate in mated females. Ovulation is a relatively simple physiological process, with known female regulators: previous studies have shown that ovulation rate is promoted by the neuromodulator octopamine (OA) in D. melanogaster and other insects. We found that ovulin stimulates ovulation by increasing OA signaling in the female. This finding supports a model in which a male seminal protein acts through “hacking” a well-conserved, regulatory system females use to adjust reproductive output, rather than acting downstream of female mechanisms of control or in parallel pathways altogether. We also discuss similarities between 2 forms of intersexual control of behavior through chemical communication: seminal proteins and pheromones. PMID:25483253

  17. Reproductive performance of captive collared peccaries (Tayassu tajacu) in the eastern Amazon.

    PubMed

    Mayor, Pedro; Guimarães, Diva Anelie; Le Pendu, Yvonnick; Da Silva, Jurupytan Viana; Jori, Ferran; López-Béjar, Manel

    2007-11-01

    This study analyses reproductive parameters resulting from 74 parturitions in a population of captive collared peccaries in the eastern Amazon (Belém, State of Pará, Brazil) during a 65-month survey. Parturitions were homogeneously distributed throughout the year. The average litter size was 1.85 newborns per parturition. Collared peccary females had a newborn sex ratio of 52.6% females and 47.4% males. The mean age at first parturition was 639, although, the earliest first parturition occurred at age of 381 days. Estimated parturition-conception interval was 58 days. Mean farrowing interval was 196 days and mean production was 1.03 litters and 1.86 newborns per year per female. Mortality rate in newborns less than 2 months old was 26.9% of the total newborn population. Most identified causes of death were abandonment by the mother (22.2%) and trauma due to aggression (13.9%). Newborn deaths occurred mainly during the first two days of life. This study suggests that the collared peccary possesses interesting reproductive parameters for its introduction in captive breeding programmes in the Amazon region.

  18. Effect of vaccination with a multivalent modified-live viral vaccine on reproductive performance in synchronized beef heifers.

    PubMed

    Walz, Paul H; Edmondson, Misty A; Riddell, Kay P; Braden, Timothy D; Gard, Julie A; Bayne, Jenna; Joiner, Kellye S; Galik, Patricia K; Zuidhof, Sjoert; Givens, M Daniel

    2015-03-15

    Prebreeding vaccination should provide fetal and abortive protection against bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) and bovine herpesvirus 1 (BoHV-1) but not impede reproduction when administered to cattle before estrus synchronization and breeding. The objective was to assess reproductive performance when naive beef heifers were vaccinated with modified-live viral (MLV) vaccine 2 days after unsynchronized estrus, and then revaccinated with MLV vaccine at 10 or 31 days before synchronized natural breeding. Sixty beef heifers naive to BVDV and BoHV-1 were randomly assigned to one of four treatment groups. Groups A and B (n = 20 per group) were vaccinated with MLV vaccine containing BVDV and BoHV-1 at 2 days after initial detected estrus, and then revaccinated 30 days later, which corresponded to 10 days (group A) or 31 days (group B) before synchronized natural breeding. Groups C and D (n = 10 per group) served as controls and were vaccinated with an inactivated vaccine that did not contain BVDV or BoHV-1 at the same time points as groups A and B, respectively. Estrous behavior was assessed using radio frequency technology. Estrus synchronization was performed, with initiation occurring at revaccination (groups A and C) or 21 days after revaccination (groups B and D). After synchronization, heifers were submitted to a bull breeding pasture for 45 days. At the end of the breeding period, heifers were assessed for pregnancy using ultrasonography. Progesterone concentrations were evaluated at estrus and 10 days after unsynchronized and synchronized estrus, at initial pregnancy check, and at the end of the study. All pregnant heifers in groups A and B and five pregnant heifers in group C were euthanized between 44 and 62 days of gestation and ovarian and conceptus tissues were assayed for BVDV and BoHV-1. Vaccination with MLV vaccine did not result in significant negative reproductive impact based on the duration of interestrus intervals, proportion of heifers

  19. The Effect of Seasonal Thermal Stress on Lipid Mobilisation, Antioxidant Status and Reproductive Performance in Dairy Cows.

    PubMed

    Turk, R; Podpečan, O; Mrkun, J; Flegar-Meštrić, Z; Perkov, S; Zrimšek, P

    2015-08-01

    Heat stress is a major factor contributing to low fertility of dairy cows with a great economic impact in dairy industry. Heat-stressed dairy cows usually have reduced nutrient intake, resulting in a higher degree of negative energy balance (NEB). The aim of this study was to investigate the seasonal thermal effect on lipid metabolism, antioxidant activity and reproductive performance in dairy cows. Thirty-two healthy dairy heifers were included in the study. According to the ambient temperature, animals were divided into two groups: winter (N = 14) and summer season (N = 18). Metabolic parameters, paraoxonase-1 (PON1) activity and total antioxidant status (TAS) were monitored at the time of insemination (basal values) and from 1 week before until 8 weeks after calving. Number of services per conception and calving-to-conception (CC) interval were calculated from the farm recording data. Serum triglyceride, non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA) and beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) concentrations were significantly increased after calving in summer compared to winter, indicating higher degree of NEB in cows during summer. PON1 activity was significantly decreased after calving in both summer and winter group. TAS concentration was significantly lower in summer than that in winter. A significantly higher number of services were needed for conception in summer compared to winter, and CC interval was significantly longer in summer than that in winter as well. Additionally, reproductive performance significantly correlated with the severity of NEB, suggesting that lipid mobilization and lower antioxidant status contributed to poor reproduction ability in dairy cows during hot months.

  20. Elevated corticosterone levels decrease reproductive output of chick-rearing Adélie penguins but do not affect chick mass at fledging

    PubMed Central

    Thierry, Anne-Mathilde; Ropert-Coudert, Yan; Raclot, Thierry

    2013-01-01

    Study of physiological mechanisms can help us to understand how animals respond to changing environmental conditions. In particular, stress hormones (i.e. glucocorticoids, such as corticosterone) are described as mediating resource allocation, allowing animals to adjust their physiology and behaviour to predictable and unpredictable changes in the environment. In this study, we investigated the effects of an experimental increase in baseline corticosterone levels on the breeding effort and the reproductive output of chick-rearing male Adélie penguins (Pygoscelis adeliae). The number of chicks per nest, their body mass, and their size were monitored throughout the study. Direct observations allowed measurement of the time spent foraging at sea and caring for the young on the nest. At the end of the treatment, blood samples were collected for isotope analysis. Although all birds raised at least one chick, reproductive output was decreased by 42% in corticosterone-treated birds compared with control birds. The increase in corticosterone levels during the guard stage did not affect the mass of surviving chicks or the brood mass at fledging. Corticosterone-treated males spent on average 21% more time at the nest than control birds. However, the duration of foraging trips was similar between both groups. In addition, the similarity of isotopic signatures suggests that both groups foraged at similar locations and ingested the same prey species. The detailed on-land behaviour of birds should be examined in further studies to clarify the possible links between corticosterone levels, brooding time, and reproductive output. Understanding the relationships between glucocorticoids, fitness, and ultimately population dynamics is fundamental to enabling conservation physiology as a discipline to be successful in helping to manage species of conservation concern. PMID:27293591

  1. Long-term pyrene exposure of grass shrimp, Palaemonetes pugio, affects molting and reproduction of exposed males and offspring of exposed females.

    PubMed Central

    Oberdörster, E; Brouwer, M; Hoexum-Brouwer, T; Manning, S; McLachlan, J A

    2000-01-01

    The objective of this study was to investigate the impact of long-term pyrene exposure on molting and reproduction in the model estuarine invertebrate, the grass shrimp (Palaemonetes pugio). Grass shrimp were exposed to measured concentrations of 5.1, 15.0, and 63. 4 ppb (microg/L) pyrene for 6 weeks, during which time we determined molting and survivorship. At the end of the exposure, we immediately sacrificed some of the shrimp for biomarker (CYP1A and vitellin) analyses. The remaining shrimp were used to analyze fecundity and embryo survivorship during an additional 6 weeks after termination of pyrene exposure. Male shrimp at the highest pyrene dose (63 ppb) experienced a significant delay in molting and in time until reproduction, and showed elevated ethoxycoumarin o-deethylase (ECOD) activity immediately after the 6-week exposure period. In contrast, 63 ppb pyrene did not affect these parameters in female shrimp. Females produced the same number of eggs per body weight, with high egg viability (98-100%) at all exposure levels, but with decreased survival for the offspring of the 63-ppb pyrene-exposed females. In addition, vitellin levels were elevated only in females at 63 ppb pyrene after the 6-week exposure. We hypothesize that the elevated vitellin binds pyrene and keeps it biologically unavailable to adult females, resulting in maternal transfer of pyrene to the embryos. This would account for the lack of effect of pyrene exposure on ECOD activity, molting, and reproduction in the adult females, and for reduced survival of their offspring. Images Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3 PMID:10903618

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  3. 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

  4. Affective Responses to an Aerobic Dance Class: The Impact of Perceived Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bartholomew, John B.; Miller, Bridget M.

    2002-01-01

    Tested the mastery hypothesis as an explanation for the affective benefits of acute exercise. Undergraduate women from a self-selected aerobic dance class rated their exercise performance following class. Affect questionnaires were completed before and at 5 and 20 minutes after the class. Results showed an overall improvement in affect following…

  5. Reproductive hormone profiles in sows on estrus synchronization using estradiol dipropionate and prostaglandin F(2α)-analogue and the reproductive performance in female pigs on commercial farms.

    PubMed

    Noguchi, Michiko; Kashiwai, Shinsuke; Itoh, Seigo; Okumura, Hanako; Kure, Katsumasa; Suzuki, Chie; Yoshioka, Koji

    2013-01-01

    Changes in ovarian structures and hormonal profiles in estradiol dipropionate (EDP)-induced pseudopregnant sows following PGF2α-analogue (PGF2α-A) administration and practicality of the estrus synchronization protocol using EDP and PGF2α-A on estrus expression and reproductive performance in commercial conditions were investigated. Pseudopregnancy was defined as absence of estrus maintained for at least 20 days after EDP treatment in this study. When 4 pseudopregnant sows induced by 20 mg EDP were treated with PGF2α-A as 0.175 mg cloprostenol twice at a 24-hr interval between 20 and 28 days after EDP treatment, plasma progesterone concentrations rapidly decreased after treatment. The luteinizing hormone surge and ovulation were detected in all sows. The number of ovulated follicles was 17.3 ± 1.1 (SEM). On commercial farms, 94.2% of 52 gilts and 95.2% of 21 sows received EDP became pseudopregnant. When these pseudopregnant females (48 gilts and 20 sows) were treated with PGF2α-A as described above, estrus was detected in all females at 6.1 ± 0.3 days for gilts and 5.5 ± 0.2 days for sows after the first PGF2α-A treatment. There were no significant differences in farrowing rate (85.0 - 100%), average total litter size (10.0 - 11.4), average born alive litter size (9.4 - 10.3) and average piglet birth weight (1.56 - 1.71 kg) between PGF2α-A treated pseudopregnant female pigs that were inseminated during synchronized estrus and females inseminated during spontaneous estrus. This study indicates that estrus synchronization programs using EDP and PGF2α-A are available as practical and convenient procedures for commercial pig farms.

  6. 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

  7. Factors Affecting the Reproduction, Recruitment, Habitat, and Population Dynamics of Pallid Sturgeon and Shovelnose Sturgeon in the Missouri River

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Korschgen, Carl E.

    2007-01-01

    For more than a hundred years, human activities have modified the natural forces that control the Missouri River and its native fish fauna. While the ecological effects of regulation and channel engineering are understood in general, the current understanding is not sufficient to guide river restoration and management. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is in the third year of a multiagency research effort to determine the ecological requirements for reproduction and survival of the endangered pallid sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus albus) and shovelnose sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus platorhynchus) in the Missouri River. The multidisciplinary research strategy includes components of behavior, physiology, habitat use, habitat availability, and population modeling of all life stages. Shovelnose sturgeon are used to design the strategy because they are closely related to the pallid sturgeon and are often used as a surrogate species to develop new research tools or to examine the effects of management actions or environmental variables on sturgeon biology and habitat use. During fiscal years 2005 and 2006, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) provided funds to USGS for tasks associated with the Comprehensive Sturgeon Research Program (CSRP) and for tasks associated with evaluation of the Sturgeon Response to Flow Modifications (SRFM). Because work activities of CSRP and SRFM are so integrated, we are providing information on activities that have been consolidated at the task level. These task activities represent chapters in this report.

  8. 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

  9. Students' Achievement Goals, Emotion Perception Ability and Affect and Performance in the Classroom: A Multilevel Examination

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vassiou, Aikaterini; Mouratidis, Athanasios; Andreou, Eleni; Kafetsios, Konstantinos

    2016-01-01

    Performance at school is affected not only by students' achievement goals but also by emotional exchanges among classmates and their teacher. In this study, we investigated relationships between students' achievement goals and emotion perception ability and class affect and performance. Participants were 949 Greek adolescent students in 49 classes…

  10. An Analysis of Factors That Affect the Educational Performance of Agricultural Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Greenway, Gina

    2012-01-01

    Many factors contribute to student achievement. This study focuses on three areas: how students learn, how student personality type affects performance, and how course format affects performance outcomes. The analysis sought to improve understanding of the direction and magnitude with which each of these factors impacts student success. Improved…

  11. Reproductive Performance of a Declining Forest