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

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Moreau, J; Benrey, B; Thiéry, D

    2006-04-01

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

  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. Temparament affects rangleand use patterns and reproductive performance of beef cows

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    • The American beef industry is paying more attention to cattle temperament, but studies examining relationships between temperaments and grazing behavior or animal performance on rangelands are limited. • We studied range beef cow temperaments using the behavioral syndromes framework. Cows classifi...

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-04-01

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

  8. Factors affecting the incidence of postpartum oestrus, ovarian activity and reproductive performance in Thoroughbred mares bred at foal heat under Indian subtropical conditions.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Sumeet; Davies Morel, M C G; Dhaliwal, G S

    2010-07-01

    Decreased reproductive performance due to summer stress is a well known phenomenon in farm livestock. Whether this occurs in the mare and specifically how this might affect postpartum reproductive activity and performance, especially at Foal Heat (FH), is unknown. This study, therefore, aims to investigate this and the factors that might affect postpartum reproductive activity. Reproductive records of 228 Thoroughbred mares (694 mare years) bred in subtropical north-western India were retrospectively analysed. Overt oestrous activity occurred within 21 d postpartum in 92.94% (645/694) of mares. Significantly (p<0.001) more April foaling mares (97.37%, 185/190) expressed postpartum oestrous activity than those foaling in January (83.61%; 51/61) and February (88.49; 123/139). Similarly significantly (p<0.01) fewer multiparous mares failed to demonstrate oestrous activity than primiparous mares (6.12% vs.15.07%; 38/621 vs. 11/73, respectively). 190 of these 694 mares were additionally monitored to confirm ovulation; in these mares onset of FH (oestrus plus confirmed ovulation) occurred 8.42+/-0.17 d and first ovulation 13.64+/-0.20 d postpartum. Month, stud farm, year, and parity did not affect interval from parturition to FH onset or to first ovulation; or FH onset to ovulation. In FH bred mares Day 16 pregnancy rate and overall foaling rate were 53.76% (100/186) and 46.24% (86/186) respectively and were similar to those of mares bred later postpartum. FH pregnancy rates were not affected by stud, season, month, year, number of matings, or day of ovulation but were significantly (p<0.008) lowered by increasing mare age. Significantly (p<0.01) lower Day 16 pregnancy rates were observed in uterine treated mares compared to untreated mares (31.09% vs. 57.96%; 9/29 vs. 91/157, respectively), this difference was not evident during the rest of pregnancy. In conclusion, postpartum reproductive and ovarian activity appears to be affected by environment, i.e., delayed in

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

    PubMed Central

    Narbona, Eduardo; Dirzo, Rodolfo

    2010-01-01

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

  10. Factors affecting reproductive performance of white-tailed deer subjected to fixed-time artificial insemination or natural mating.

    PubMed

    Mellado, Miguel; Orta, Claudia G; Lozano, Eloy A; García, Jose E; Veliz, Francisco G; de Santiago, Angeles

    2013-01-01

    The objectives of this study were to examine the effects of several factors affecting fawning rate, litter size, litter weight and neonatal fawn mortality in white-tailed deer inseminated either transcervically or by means of laparoscopy. Oestrus synchronisation with a controlled internal drug release (CIDR)-based protocol and fixed-time artificial insemination (FTAI) was conducted in 130 white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus texanus) during three reproductive seasons (2007-2009; 271 services) in a game-hunting ranch in a hot-arid environment (26°4' N, 101°25' W). Ninety additional non-treated does were exposed to bucks for natural mating. Fawning rate did not differ between AI methods (40.0 vs 45.0% for transcervical and laparoscopic AI, respectively). Overall fawning rate (proportion of all does fawning after FTAI and a subsequent period of buck exposure) did not differ between transcervical (89.5%), laparoscopic (80.3%) or natural (88.9%) insemination. Litter size per fawning doe was higher (P<0.05) in naturally-served does (1.65±0.48) than in transcervically-inseminated does (1.40±0.51) or in laparoscopically-inseminated does (1.48±0.50). The main conclusion was that no enhancement of fawning rate or litter size occurred as a result of intrauterine deposition of semen by laparoscopy compared with the transcervical insemination technique.

  11. Does long-term fungicide exposure affect the reproductive performance of leaf-shredders? A partial life-cycle study using Hyalella azteca.

    PubMed

    Baudy, Patrick; Zubrod, Jochen P; Konschak, Marco; Weil, Mirco; Schulz, Ralf; Bundschuh, Mirco

    2017-03-01

    Leaf-shredding amphipods play a critical role in the ecosystem function of leaf litter breakdown, a key process in many low order streams. Fungicides, however, may adversely influence shredders' behavior and the functions they provide, while there is only limited knowledge concerning effects on their reproductive performance. To assess the latter, a semi-static 56-day partial life-cycle bioassay using the model shredder Hyalella azteca (n = 30) was performed applying two environmentally relevant concentrations of a model fungicide mixture (i.e., 5 and 25 μg/L) composed of five fungicides with different modes of toxic action. Variables related to the food processing (leaf consumption and feces production), growth (body length and dry weight), energy reserves (lipid content), and reproduction (amplexus pairs, number and length of offspring) were determined to understand potential implications in the organisms' energy budget. While the fungicides did not affect leaf consumption, both fungicide treatments significantly reduced amphipods' feces production (∼20%) compared to the control. This observation suggests an increased food utilization to counteract the elevated and stress-related energy demand: although growth as well as energy reserves were unaffected, amplexus pairs were less frequently observed in both fungicide treatments (∼50-100%) suggesting a tradeoff regarding energy allocation favoring the maintenance of fundamental functions at the organism level over reproduction. As a result, the time to release of first offspring was delayed in both fungicide treatments (7 and 14 days) and the median number of offspring was significantly lower in the 25-μg/L treatment (100%), whereas offspring length remained unaffected. The results of this study thus indicate that chronic fungicide exposures can negatively impact shredders' reproductive performance. This may translate into lower abundances and thus a reduced contribution to leaf litter breakdown in

  12. Comparison of ceftiofur hydrochloride and estradiol cypionate for metritis prevention and reproductive performance in dairy cows affected with retained fetal membranes.

    PubMed

    Risco, C A; Hernandez, J

    2003-06-01

    The objective of this study was to compare the effect of ceftiofur hydrochloride and estradiol cypionate (ECP) administration for metritis prevention and reproductive performance in dairy cows affected with retained fetal membranes (RFMs). After parturition, 97 dairy cows affected with RFM from a single dairy herd were randomly allocated to 1 of 3 treatment groups. Cows in-group 1 (n=31) were treated daily for 5 days with ceftiofur hydrochloride (2.2mg/kg, i.m.); cows in group 2 (n=33) were treated once with ECP (4 mg, i.m.); and cows in group 3 (n=33) were not treated. The proportion of cows with metritis, uterine involution patterns and the calving-to-conception interval were compared between groups. The proportion of cows that developed metritis was significantly different (P<0.05) in cows treated with ceftiofur hydrochloride (13%), compared with cows treated with ECP (42%) or cows that received no treatment (42%). Uterine involution patterns (i.e. median time to complete retraction of the uterus and mean diameter measure of cervix and uterine horns) were not significantly different between groups. Cows treated with ECP were 0.40 times as likely to conceive as control cows (P=0.05); median time to conception in cows treated with ECP (192 days) was longer, compared to control cows (124 days). We conclude that systemic administration of ceftioufur hydrochloride is beneficial for prevention of metritis, but its effect on reproductive performance was not significantly different to that of ECP or no treatment. In addition, administration of ECP did not have beneficial effects on metritis prevention and reproductive performance.

  13. 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.

  14. Solar activity affects avian timing of reproduction

    PubMed Central

    Visser, Marcel E.; Sanz, Juan José

    2009-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. Facultative symbiont infections affect aphid reproduction.

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

  17. Environmental color affects Nile tilapia reproduction.

    PubMed

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

    2004-04-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. The relationships between body fatness, leptin, testosterone, and reproductive performance in ram lambs as affected by level and frequency of feeding.

    PubMed

    Swelum, Ayman Abdel-Aziz; Ayadi, Moez; Alhidary, Ibrahim; Alowaimer, Abdullah; Abouheif, Mohamed

    2017-02-01

    This study was carried out using 24 Najdi ram lambs of approximately 6.5 months old to evaluate the effects of feed restriction and frequency of feeding on hormone concentrations of leptin and testosterone, sexual behavior, and semen traits. Ram lambs were allotted equally into three feeding groups. The first group was used as a control and fed ad libitum. The second and third groups were restricted fed at 0.85 ad libitum and fed either once (R1M) or twice daily (R2M). Sexual behavior and semen evaluation were assessed during the sixth, seventh, and eighth weeks of the study. Blood samples were drawn at 1-hour pre-feeding on days 41, 48, and 55 of the study for the determination of serum leptin and testosterone concentrations. All lambs were slaughtered after 8 weeks of experimentation. Results showed that the restricted-fed groups had lower (P < 0.01) values for slaughter body weight, average daily gain, dry matter intake, internal fat, tail fat, body fat thickness, body wall thickness, and testes weight than the ad libitum group; these corresponding traits did not differ between both restricted-fed treatments. Leptin and testosterone concentrations in restricted-fed rams were (P < 0.01) lower and higher, respectively, than in the ad libitum rams; there were no differences between R1M and R2M groups. The restricted-fed rams had lower (P < 0.01) ejaculation latency time compared with control, whereas the percentage of sexually active rams and sexual desire score were not affected by feeding restriction or frequency of feeding. Sperm motility, progressive motility, and percentage of sperm moving at rapid speed were higher (P < 0.01) in feed-restricted rams than in the ad libitum rams. R1M rams had higher (P < 0.01) value for straightness and lower (P < 0.01) value for curvilinear velocity in comparison with the ad libitum group. Testosterone was correlated positively (P < 0.05) with sperm motility and progressive motility and negatively (P < 0

  20. [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.

  1. 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.

  2. Reproductive performance in East Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus) may be affected by organohalogen contaminants as shown by physiologically-based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) modelling.

    PubMed

    Sonne, Christian; Gustavson, Kim; Rigét, Frank F; Dietz, Rune; Birkved, Morten; Letcher, Robert J; Bossi, Rossana; Vorkamp, Katrin; Born, Erik W; Petersen, Gitte

    2009-12-01

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) feed mainly on ringed seal (Phoca hispida) and consume large quantities of blubber and consequently have one of the highest tissue concentrations of organohalogen contaminants (OHCs) worldwide. In East Greenland, studies of OHC time trends and organ system health effects, including reproductive, were conducted during 1990-2006. However, it has been difficult to determine the nature of the effects induced by OHC exposures on wild caught polar bears using body burden data and associated changes in reproductive organs and systems. We therefore conducted a risk quotient (RQ) evaluation to more quantitatively evaluate the effect risk on reproduction (embryotoxicity and teratogenicity) based on the critical body residue (CBR) concept and using a physiologically-based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) model. We applied modelling approaches to PCBs, p,p'-DDE, dieldrin, oxychlordane, HCHs, HCB, PBDEs and PFOS in East Greenland polar bears based on known OHC pharmacokinetics and dynamics in laboratory rats (Rattus rattus). The results showed that subcutaneous adipose tissue concentrations of dieldrin (range: 79-1271 ng g(-1) lw) and PCBs (range: 4128-53,923 ng g(-1) lw) reported in bears in the year 1990 were in the range to elicit possible adverse health effects on reproduction in polar bears in East Greenland (all RQs > or = 1). Similar results were found for PCBs (range: 1928-17,376 ng g(-1) lw) and PFOS (range: 104-2840 ng g(-1) ww) in the year 2000 and for dieldrin (range: 43-640 ng g(-1) lw), PCBs (range: 3491-13,243 ng g(-1) lw) and PFOS (range: 1332-6160 ng g(-1) ww) in the year 2006. The concentrations of oxychlordane, DDTs, HCB and HCHs in polar bears resulted in RQs<1 and thus appear less likely to be linked to reproductive effects. Furthermore, sumRQs above 1 suggested risk for OHC additive effects. Thus, previous suggestions of possible adverse health effects in polar bears correlated to OHC exposure are supported by the present study. This

  3. Shared HLA antigens and reproductive performance among Hutterites.

    PubMed Central

    Ober, C L; Martin, A O; Simpson, J L; Hauck, W W; Amos, D B; Kostyu, D D; Fotino, M; Allen, F H

    1983-01-01

    Shared histocompatibility antigens between spouses may affect reproductive outcome adversely as a result of prenatal selection against compatible fetuses. Evidence from both animal and human studies suggest that histocompatible fetuses may not initiate a maternal immunologic response that prevents rejection of the embryo. Therefore, parents sharing HLA antigens may produce compatible fetuses and consequently experience a greater frequency of early fetal losses and show poorer reproductive outcome than couples not sharing antigens. In the Hutterites, an inbred human isolate that proscribes contraception, we tested the hypothesis that couples sharing HLA antigens have poorer reproductive outcomes than couples who do not. The Hutterites are characterized by high fertility and large family sizes. Couples that share zero (no. = 21), one (no. = 15), and more than one (no. = 10) HLA-A or HLA-B antigens were compared for reproductive performance. Median intervals between births were larger among couples that share more than one antigen in eight of 11 intervals examined. In addition, the median intervals from marriage to first, fifth, and tenth birth were consistently larger among couples that share more than one antigen. Differences among the groups appear to become larger with increasing parity, suggesting that the effect of histocompatibility on reproductive performance becomes more evident in later pregnancies. These differences in reproductive performance between couples that share zero, one, or more than one HLA-A or HLA-B antigens may have significant evolutionary consequences. However, our results demonstrate that sharing HLA antigens does not preclude normal pregnancy and caution should be exercised before concluding that shared HLA antigens are solely responsible for repeated fetal losses. PMID:6577788

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Morphological and physiological changes during reproduction and their relationships to reproductive performance in a capital breeder.

    PubMed

    Stahlschmidt, Zachary R; Lourdais, Olivier; Lorioux, Sophie; Butler, Michael W; Davis, Jon R; Salin, Karine; Voituron, Yann; DeNardo, Dale F

    2013-01-01

    Current reproductive effort typically comes at a cost to future reproductive value by altering somatic function (e.g., growth or self-maintenance). Furthermore, effects of reproduction often depend on both fecundity and stage of reproduction, wherein allocation of resources into additional offspring and/or stages of reproduction results in increased costs. Despite these widely accepted generalities, interindividual variation in the effects of reproduction is common-yet the proximate basis that allows some individuals to mitigate these detrimental effects is unclear. We serially measured several variables of morphology (e.g., musculature) and physiology (e.g., antioxidant defenses) in female Children's pythons (Antaresia childreni) throughout reproduction to examine how these traits change over the course of reproduction and whether certain physiological traits are associated with reduced effects of reproduction in some individuals. Reproduction in this capital breeder was associated with changes in both morphology and physiology, but only morphological changes varied with fecundity and among specific reproductive stages. During reproduction, we detected negative relationships between morphology and self-maintenance (e.g., increased muscle allocation to reproduction was related to reduced immune function). Additionally, females that allocated resources more heavily into current reproduction also did so during future reproduction, and these females assimilated resources more efficiently, experienced reduced detriments to self-maintenance (e.g., lower levels of oxidative damage and glucocorticoids) during reproduction, and produced clutches with greater hatching success. Our results suggest that interindividual variation in specific aspects of physiology (assimilation efficiency and oxidative status) may drive variation in reproductive performance.

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-10-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. Local adaptation of reproductive performance during thermal stress.

    PubMed

    Porcelli, D; Gaston, K J; Butlin, R K; Snook, R R

    2017-02-01

    Considerable evidence exists for local adaptation of critical thermal limits in ectotherms following adult temperature stress, but fewer studies have tested for local adaptation of sublethal heat stress effects across life-history stages. In organisms with complex life cycles, such as holometabolous insects, heat stress during juvenile stages may severely impact gametogenesis, having downstream consequences on reproductive performance that may be mediated by local adaptation, although this is rarely studied. Here, we tested how exposure to either benign or heat stress temperature during juvenile and adult stages, either independently or combined, influences egg-to-adult viability, adult sperm motility and fertility in high- and low-latitude populations of Drosophila subobscura. We found both population- and temperature-specific effects on survival and sperm motility; juvenile heat stress decreased survival and subsequent sperm motility and each trait was lower in the northern population. We found an interaction between population and temperature on fertility following application of juvenile heat stress; although fertility was negatively impacted in both populations, the southern population was less affected. When the adult stage was also subject to heat stress, the southern population exhibited positive carry-over effects whereas the northern population's fertility remained low. Thus, the northern population is more susceptible to sublethal reproductive consequences following exposure to juvenile heat stress. This may be common in other organisms with complex life cycles and current models predicting population responses to climate change, which do not take into account the impact of juvenile heat stress on reproductive performance, may be too conservative.

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2001-03-01

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

  14. Economic consequences of reproductive performance in dairy cattle.

    PubMed

    Inchaisri, C; Jorritsma, R; Vos, P L A M; van der Weijden, G C; Hogeveen, H

    2010-09-15

    The net economic value of reproductive efficiency in dairy cattle was estimated using a stochastic dynamic simulation model. The objective was to compare the economic consequences of reproductive performance scenarios ("average" and "poor") of a cow having a good reproductive performance and to explore which reproductive factors have an important impact on economic efficiency. A "good" reproductive performance scenario was defined with 1 ovulation rate (POVU(i)), 0.7 estrus detection rate (PEst), 0.7 conception rate (PCon), 0.03 incidence rate of postpartum disorders prolonging the ovarian cyclicity (CO), 0.2 incidence rate of postpartum disorders reducing conception (ME), 0.05 embryonic death rate (ED), and voluntary waiting period (VWP) of 9 wks pp (post partum). In the current situation of dairy cows in the Netherlands, an "average" reproductive scenario (0.95 POVU(i), 0.5 PEst, 0.5 Pcon, 0.07 CO, 0.27 ME, 0.07 ED and VWP of 12 wks pp) and a "poor" reproductive scenario (0.90 POVU(i), 0.3 PEst, 0.3 Pcon, 0.11 CO, 0.33 ME, 0.09 ED and VWP of 15 wks pp) were identified. A sensitivity analysis was performed by comparing changes of single effect of factors in a good and poor scenario with the average scenario. The mean net economic loss (NEL(i)) compared with the good scenario was euro 34 and euro 231 per cow per year for the average and poor reproductive performance scenario, respectively. Increasing the calving interval resulted in greater economic loss. The important factors on the cost of reproductive efficiency were the involuntary culling cost and the return of milk production. Variation in PCon, PEst, ME, ED, and VWP had large impacts on economic benefits.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  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.

  18. Patterns of divergence in the effects of mating on female reproductive performance in flour beetles.

    PubMed

    Nilsson, Tina; Fricke, Claudia; Arnqvist, Goran

    2002-01-01

    Sexual selection can lead to rapid divergence in reproductive characters. Recent studies have indicated that postmating events, such as sperm precedence, may play a key role in speciation. Here, we stress that other components of postmating sexual selection may be involved in the evolution of reproductive isolation. One of these is the reproductive investment made by females after mating (i.e., differential allocation). We performed an experiment designed to assess genetic divergence in the effects of mating on female reproductive performance in flour beetles, Tribolium castaneum. Females were mated to males of three different wild-type genotypes at two different frequencies, in all possible reciprocal combinations. Male genotype affected all aspects of female reproduction, through its effects on female longevity, total offspring production, reproductive rate, mating rate, and fertility. Moreover, male and female genotype interacted in their effects on offspring production and reproductive rate. We use the pattern of these interactions to discuss the evolutionary process of divergence and suggest that the pattern is most consistent with that expected if divergence was driven by sexually antagonistic coevolution. In particular, the fact that females exhibited a relatively weak response to males with which they were coevolved suggests that females have evolved resistance to male gonadotropic signals/stimuli.

  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

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

    2016-03-01

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

  3. 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

  4. Reproductive performance of sows supplemented with dietary L-carnitine over three reproductive cycles.

    PubMed

    Ramanau, A; Kluge, H; Spilke, J; Eder, K

    2002-08-01

    The effect of L-carnitine supplementation during pregnancy and lactation on the reproductive performance of sows was studied in two separate trials over three reproductive cycles. Both trials were identical in design and conduct but were performed with different animals. The trials comprised of a total of 127 sows (trial 1) and 100 sows (trial 2) which were divided into control and treatment groups. All animals were fed individually and received basic feed mixtures with low native carnitine concentrations. The rations of the sows in the treated group were supplemented with 125 mg L-carnitine per head and day during pregnancy and 250 mg L-carnitine per head and day during lactation. The animals of the control group received identical feed mixtures in identical amounts, but without the L-carnitine supplement. In the first trial, 212 litters were produced and evaluated for number and body weight of the animals, in the second trial, 173 litters were produced. L-carnitine supplementation significantly increased body weight gains of the sows between day 1 and day 85 of weaning. The number of born piglets, stillborn piglets and piglets fit for rearing was not influenced by dietary L-carnitine supplementation. However, L-carnitine supplementation significantly increased the weights of piglets and litters at birth, weight gains of litters during suckling and weights of litters at weaning. These effects of L-carnitine were seen in both trials; they were independent of the age of the sows and remained over three reproductive cycles in which the sows where continuously treated with L-carnitine. Overall, the study shows that dietary supplementation with L-carnitine during pregnancy and lactation improves the reproductive performance of sows over several reproductive cycles, independent of the age of the sows.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-01

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

  6. Microwave exposure affecting reproductive system in male rats.

    PubMed

    Kesari, Kavindra Kumar; Behari, Jitendra

    2010-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-01

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

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-09-01

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

  13. 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

  14. Sow line differences in heat stress tolerance expressed in reproductive performance traits.

    PubMed

    Bloemhof, S; van der Waaij, E H; Merks, J W M; Knol, E F

    2008-12-01

    The objectives of this study were 1) to investigate if there were differences in the relation between temperature and reproductive performance traits in 2 different sow lines, a Yorkshire line producing mainly in temperate climates and a Large White line producing mainly in warm climates, and 2) to determine the upper critical temperature (UCT) for the reproductive performance of these 2 lines. Sows are exposed to heat stress when temperature exceeds the UCT of the thermo-neutral zone. Data included 32,631 observations on reproductive performance from 11,935 sows on 20 farms in Spain, collected from 2003 to 2005. Sows belonged to 2 different purebred sow lines, named D (Yorkshire sow line, producing mainly in temperate climates) and I (Large White sow line, producing mainly in warm climates). Only first insemination records per parity were used and were combined with the maximum outside temperature at day of insemination. Upper critical temperatures were studied for 3 reproduction traits: farrowing rate (0 or 1), litter size (range from 1 to 25), and total number of piglets born per first insemination (combination of farrowing rate and litter size, range from 0 to 25). Data were corrected for fixed effects, which included parity, service sire, and an interaction between farm and year. Corrected data were used as observations in the models to study the effect of outside temperature on reproductive performance. Two models were compared for goodness of fit: a linear regression model and a plateau-linear model with the plateau representing the thermo-neutral zone and a linear decrease above that zone. Farrowing rate of I-line sows was not affected by temperature. For litter size and total number born per first insemination of I-line sows no UCT could be estimated. These traits were linearly affected by temperature. For all 3 reproduction traits of the D-line the best model was the plateau-linear model; the UCT for the D-line sows was estimated to be 19.2 degrees C for

  15. 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

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2002-08-01

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

  18. Associations between milk protein concentration at various stages of lactation and reproductive performance in dairy cows.

    PubMed

    Morton, J M; Auldist, M J; Douglas, M L; Macmillan, K L

    2016-12-01

    Milk protein concentration has been positively associated with a range of measures of reproductive performance in dairy cows. These beneficial associations are most likely due to factors affecting both milk protein concentration and reproductive performance possibly being mediated, in part, by energy balance during early lactation. However, it is likely that factors other than energy balance are also involved in these relationships. A retrospective single cohort study was conducted using subsets of data collected from 74 dairy herds with seasonal or split calving patterns. Associations between milk protein concentration at various stages of lactation and reproductive performance in Holstein dairy cows were assessed using random effects logistic regression and survival analysis with milk protein concentration during the cow's breeding period fitted as a time-varying covariate. The beneficial associations between milk protein concentration and each of the 4 selected indices for measuring reproductive performance were evident when milk protein concentration was derived for each 30-d period from calving up to 300d in milk. For the first 150d of lactation the adjusted odds ratios were highest from 31 to 60d and only slightly lower for all periods up to 150d of lactation. Estimated associations for 31 to 60d were stronger than for 0 to 30d. In addition, milk protein concentration during a cow's breeding period was positively associated with the subsequent daily hazard of conception, even after adjusting for milk protein concentration in the cow's first or second month of lactation. Milk protein concentrations from 0 to 30d of lactation were less closely correlated with concentrations measured at subsequent 30-d intervals; correlations were closer between other periods in lactation. These results indicate that the association between milk protein concentration and reproductive performance is partly due to factors other than the extent of negative energy balance in early

  19. 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.

  20. Reproductive performance of the Y'ankasa sheep of Nigeria.

    PubMed

    Molokwu, E C; Umunna, N N

    1980-10-01

    The reproductive performance of the Y'ankasa sheep of Nigeria was studied to determine any seasonal effects on their breeding pattern. The study also aimed at documenting the reproductive performance levels of these animals as a basis for evaluating the results of any breeding improvement program in Nigeria using indigenous or exotic breeds of sheep. The study shows that this breed of sheep is a year-round breeder although some months favor lambing more than others. The age at first lambing and the lambing interval for these animals are 15.5 months and 9.7 months respectively. For 1975, the conception and lambing rates were 87.8% and 139% respectively. The rates for 1976 were 91% and 148%. Seventy-seven percent of the lambing were singles and the rest twins. The sex ratio, number of females per 100 lambs, was 49%. Lamb mortality rate up to 3 months of age was 12.0%. The lambs in our study grew very slowly, gaining only 15 kg in a 9-month period. By 10 months of age these lambs weighed only 20 kg.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Neighbour effects on Erica multiflora (Ericaceae) reproductive performance after clipping

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vilà, Montserrat; Terradas, Jaume

    1998-04-01

    The effect of interspecific competition on resprouting and reproductive success and the relationship between above-ground vegetative biomass variability and reproductive biomass variability were analysed during resprouting after clipping. For this purpose, a field experiment was performed by removing neighbours around individuals of Erica multiflora in a Mediterranean shrub community. Removal of neighbours increased the number of sprouts and the above-ground vegetative biomass of target plants. However, it did not decrease plant size variability. Neighbours decreased the likelihood of fruiting and the biomass of fruits. In target plants that had set fruits a simple allometric relationship between above-ground vegetative biomass and the biomass of fruits explained 42% of the variation in fruit biomass. The probability to set fruits at a given plant size was smaller in plants with neighbours than without neighbours. Presence of neighbours also increased the variability of fruit biomass within the population, because 50% of target plants with neighbours did not set fruits. This failure to set fruits may be related to shading, the small size of plants with neighbours, as well as a delay in development.

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

    Averitt Taylor, Jessica

    2014-01-01

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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

  10. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Frederiksen, M; Bregnballe, T

    2001-07-22

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

  13. Growth, reproductive performance, and manganese status of heifers fed varying concentrations of manganese.

    PubMed

    Hansen, S L; Spears, J W; Lloyd, K E; Whisnant, C S

    2006-12-01

    An experiment was conducted to examine the effects of dietary Mn on growth, reproductive performance, and Mn status of beef heifers. Eighty Angus (n = 40) and Simmental (n = 40) heifers, averaging 249 kg, were stratified by BW within a breed and randomly assigned to 1 of 4 treatments providing 0 (control), 10, 30, or 50 mg of supplemental Mn/kg of DM from MnSO(4). Heifers were individually fed a diet containing cottonseed hulls, corn gluten feed, citrus pulp, and ground corn, and the control diet contained 15.8 mg of Mn/kg of DM by analysis. Average daily gain, DMI, and G:F for the 196-d period were not affected by Mn supplementation. Control heifers had reduced (P = 0.04) liver Mn when contrasted with the 3 levels of supplemental Mn. Serum cholesterol was greater (P = 0.001) in Angus compared with Simmental heifers over the course of the 196-d experiment but was not affected by treatment. Dietary Mn did not significantly affect measures of reproductive performance. Results of this study indicate that 15.8 mg of Mn/kg of diet DM should be adequate for growth, onset of estrus, and conception of beef heifers.

  14. Influence of past reproductive performance on risk of spontaneous abortion.

    PubMed Central

    Regan, L.; Braude, P. R.; Trembath, P. L.

    1989-01-01

    OBJECTIVE--To investigate the incidence of spontaneous abortion in a population of women in order to establish their risk of spontaneous abortion and the obstetric factors predisposing to it. DESIGN--Prospective study of women recruited by radio and poster appeal and from hospital outpatient clinics. SETTING--English provincial community. PATIENTS--630 Women from the general population intending to become pregnant. INTERVENTIONS--The viability of the pregnancy was assessed by abdominal ultrasonography before completion of the eighth week, and the assessment was repeated if vaginal bleeding occurred. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE--Spontaneous abortion or live births in women with or without a previous history of spontaneous abortion. RESULTS--The overall incidence of clinically recognisable spontaneous abortion before 20 weeks of gestation was 12% (50/407 pregnancies). The risk of spontaneous abortion in each category of patient was classified with respect to the patient's past reproductive performance and found to be influenced greatly by her previous obstetric history. In primigravidas and women with a history of consistently successful pregnancies the incidences of abortion were low (5% (4/87) and 4% (3/73) respectively), whereas women with only unsuccessful histories had a much greater risk of aborting the study pregnancy (24% (24/98)), even when their sole pregnancy had ended in abortion (20% (12/59)). The outcome of the last pregnancy also influenced the outcome of the study pregnancy; only 5% of women (5/95) whose previous pregnancy had been successful aborted, whereas the incidence of loss of pregnancy among women whose last pregnancy had aborted was 19% (40/214). CONCLUSIONS--A knowledge of the patient's reproductive history is essential for the clinical assessment of her risk of spontaneous abortion. As the most important predictive factor for spontaneous abortion is a previous abortion, the outcome of a woman's first pregnancy has profound consequences for all

  15. 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

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Effects of Bartonella spp. on flea feeding and reproductive performance.

    PubMed

    Morick, Danny; Krasnov, Boris R; Khokhlova, Irina S; Gutiérrez, Ricardo; Fielden, Laura J; Gottlieb, Yuval; Harrus, Shimon

    2013-06-01

    Numerous pathogens are transmitted from one host to another by hematophagous insect vectors. The interactions between a vector-borne organism and its vector vary in many ways, most of which are yet to be explored and identified. These interactions may play a role in the dynamics of the infection cycle. One way to evaluate these interactions is by studying the effects of the tested organism on the vector. In this study, we tested the effects of infection with Bartonella species on fitness-related variables of fleas by using Bartonella sp. strain OE 1-1, Xenopsylla ramesis fleas, and Meriones crassus jirds as a model system. Feeding parameters, including blood meal size and metabolic rate during digestion, as well as reproductive parameters, including fecundity, fertility, and life span, were compared between fleas experimentally infected with Bartonella and uninfected fleas. In addition, the developmental time, sex ratio, and body size of F1 offspring fleas were compared between the two groups. Most tested parameters did not differ between infected and uninfected fleas. However, F1 males produced by Bartonella-positive females were significantly smaller than F1 males produced by Bartonella-negative female fleas. The findings in this study suggest that bartonellae are well adapted to their flea vectors, and by minimally affecting their fitness they have evolved to better spread themselves in the natural environment.

  1. Effects of Bartonella spp. on Flea Feeding and Reproductive Performance

    PubMed Central

    Morick, Danny; Krasnov, Boris R.; Khokhlova, Irina S.; Gutiérrez, Ricardo; Fielden, Laura J.; Gottlieb, Yuval

    2013-01-01

    Numerous pathogens are transmitted from one host to another by hematophagous insect vectors. The interactions between a vector-borne organism and its vector vary in many ways, most of which are yet to be explored and identified. These interactions may play a role in the dynamics of the infection cycle. One way to evaluate these interactions is by studying the effects of the tested organism on the vector. In this study, we tested the effects of infection with Bartonella species on fitness-related variables of fleas by using Bartonella sp. strain OE 1-1, Xenopsylla ramesis fleas, and Meriones crassus jirds as a model system. Feeding parameters, including blood meal size and metabolic rate during digestion, as well as reproductive parameters, including fecundity, fertility, and life span, were compared between fleas experimentally infected with Bartonella and uninfected fleas. In addition, the developmental time, sex ratio, and body size of F1 offspring fleas were compared between the two groups. Most tested parameters did not differ between infected and uninfected fleas. However, F1 males produced by Bartonella-positive females were significantly smaller than F1 males produced by Bartonella-negative female fleas. The findings in this study suggest that bartonellae are well adapted to their flea vectors, and by minimally affecting their fitness they have evolved to better spread themselves in the natural environment. PMID:23542614

  2. 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.

  3. Monitoring reproductive performance of small dairy herds in veterinary practice

    PubMed Central

    Lemire, Georges E.; Stalheim, P. Scott; Lemire, Michel R.; Verdon, Lucie; Tiemann, Martin; Bruning, Thomas R.

    1991-01-01

    A descriptive field study involving 87 herds (3608 cows) in two veterinary practices was conducted to compute mean values for a panel of reproductive herd parameters. A method of monitoring herds and identifying those herds experiencing reproductive inefficiency is reported. When comparing the means of herd indices for both practices, only the means for the index “percent in heat by 60 days” were significantly different. Overall, 20 herds were found to have at least one herd index which was significantly different from the mean for all herds. Fourteen herds were found to have significant reproductive inefficiency. If the index “percent problem cows” had not been used, 29% of the herds with reproductive inefficiency would not have been indentified. Our study suggests that it is useful to compare reproductive indices among herds, practices, and regions using a veterinary office microcomputer. PMID:17423859

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Metritis in dairy cows: risk factors and reproductive performance.

    PubMed

    Giuliodori, M J; Magnasco, R P; Becu-Villalobos, D; Lacau-Mengido, I M; Risco, C A; de la Sota, R L

    2013-06-01

    The objectives of this study were to assess the risk factors for metritis, its effects on milk yield and on reproductive performance, and the efficacy of ceftiofur therapy in Holstein dairy cows. Cows (n=303) from a commercial dairy herd in Argentina were studied. Cows were scored for body condition, and blood samples were collected on d -14, 7, 21, 31, 41, and 50 relative to parturition. Cows having a watery, purulent, or brown, and fetid vaginal discharge (VD) and rectal temperature ≤ 39.2°C were diagnosed as having clinical metritis, and those having a similar VD and rectal temperature >39.2°C were diagnosed as having puerperal metritis. Both clinical and puerperal metritis cows were randomly assigned to control (no treatment) or ceftiofur group (2.2mg/kg×3 consecutive days). Cure was declared if clear VD was observed at 21 d in milk (DIM). Blood samples were analyzed for nonesterified fatty acids, β-hydroxybutyrate, and blood urea nitrogen using commercial kits, and for insulin-like growth factor-1, insulin, and leptin by RIA. Data were analyzed with PROC MIXED, GENMOD, PHREG, and LIFETEST from SAS (SAS Institute Inc., Cary, NC). The risk for metritis increased with dystocia, retained fetal membranes, and dead calf [AOR (adjusted odds ratio)=2.58, 95% CI: 1.189-5.559], and as prepartum nonesterified fatty acids levels increased (AOR=1.001, 95% CI: 0.999-1.002). Conversely, risk decreased as prepartum insulin-like growth factor-1 increased (AOR=0.65, 95% CI: 0.349-1.219). Cows having either clinical or puerperal metritis produced less milk by 90 DIM than did healthy cows (2,236 ± 172 vs. 2,367 ± 77 vs. 2,647 ± 82 kg, respectively). Cows with puerperal metritis had lower risk for pregnancy by 100 DIM (AOR=0.189, 95% CI: 0.070-0.479) and a lower hazard rate for pregnancy by 150 DIM (hazard rate: 0.753, 95% CI: 0.621-0.911), and took longer to get pregnant (129 vs. 111 vs. 109 d, for puerperal metritis, clinical metritis, and healthy cows, respectively

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-10-01

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

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-17

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Effect of management on reproductive performances of the Achai cattle in the Hindu Kush (Northern Pakistan).

    PubMed

    Saleem, Muhammad; Rahim, Inam-ur; Rueff, Henri; Khan, Momen; Khan, Momen; Wiesmann, Urs; Muhammad, Sher

    2012-08-01

    This study evaluates the effect of management on the undocumented Achai cattle reproductive performance in transhumant farming systems (TFS) and in sedentary farming systems (SFS) in northwestern Pakistan. Data were collected from 172 households in TFS and 270 households in SFS to analyze the effect of farming systems, parity, and calving season on key reproductive traits. The results show that farming systems significantly affect pubertal age, while parity has no significant effect on any of the key traits. The calving season significantly affects the postpartum anoestrus interval in TFS only. More than 50% of the cows in both systems have postpartum anoestrus intervals and calving intervals within the recommended values for cows in tropical countries. Achai cows have high first-service conception rates (70% and 71% for TFS and SFS, respectively) and require a relatively small number of services per conception (1.53 ± 0.06 and 1.48 ± 0.05 SE for TFS and SFS, respectively). This local breed thus warrants conservation under both farming systems.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-12-23

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

  1. 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.

  2. Effect of exposure to heatwave during blastocyst formation on reproductive performance of female rabbits.

    PubMed

    Marco-Jiménez, F; Naturil-Alfonso, C; Peñaranda, D S; Jiménez-Trigos, E; García-Diego, F J; Vicente, J S

    2014-08-01

    We examined the effect of female exposure to heatwave during blastocyst formation on their reproductive performance and its effect on transcriptome in blastocyst and endometrial tissue. In this study, a total of 72 rabbit does were artificially inseminated and divided into two environmental groups 2 days later: does under conventional conditions (maintained between 14-22°C, n = 29) and does heat stressed in a climatic chamber (maintained between 32-37°C, n = 43). The heat-stressed group were kept under these conditions for 3 days and returned to conventional conditions thereafter. Five days post-insemination, 48 does were slaughtered to collect blastocyst and endometrium samples. mRNA transcripts from OCT-4, VEGF, erbB3, Ifn-ɣ, HSP70 and HSP90 were analysed by qRT-PCR. At day 12 of gestation, 24 females were examined by laparoscopy to evaluate implanted embryos and at birth the total kits born and individual weights were recorded. Results revealed no gene expression changes in blastocyst and endometrial tissue under heatwave exposure. Moreover, our results demonstrated that rabbit embryos developed from 8-16 cells to blastocyst during a heatwave did not affect implantation rates, total number of kits born and foetal losses. In summary, these results demonstrate that heatwave period is not a critical point in the reproductive performance of rabbits during blastocyst formation.

  3. The impact of bacteriospermia on boar sperm storage and reproductive performance.

    PubMed

    Kuster, C E; Althouse, G C

    2016-01-01

    Bacteriospermia is a documented risk to reproductive performance when using extended boar semen for artificial insemination. A substantial list of bacteria have been recovered from boar semen attributed to fecal, preputial, skin, and hair microorganisms, with these and other environmental bacteria from processing areas identified in doses prepared for artificial insemination. Gram-negative bacteria are most commonly recovered from extended doses, including both Enterobacteriaceae and environmental contaminants, such as those that inhabit water purification systems. The method of processing, distributing, and storing fresh liquid boar semen before insemination plays a role in bacterial growth dynamics and the degree to which the bacteria may damage the sperm or affect the sow. Not all bacterial isolates or contamination levels have the same impact on sperm, with multiple factors governing if and when storage longevity will be reduced through sperm-to-sperm agglutination, impaired motility, acrosome disruption, or loss of membrane viability. Suboptimal reproductive performance can occur because of reduced fertilizing capacity of the sperm or induction of a uterine environment hostile to sperm and/or embryonic survival. Effective bacterial control strategies are necessary to minimize the risk of bacteria contaminating extended semen doses, including monitoring programs designed for quick detection and intervention, should the need arise.

  4. 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....

  5. Oxidative costs of reproduction in mouse strains selected for different levels of food intake and which differ in reproductive performance

    PubMed Central

    Jothery, Aqeel H. Al; Vaanholt, Lobke M.; Mody, Nimesh; Arnous, Anis; Lykkesfeldt, Jens; Bünger, Lutz; Hill, William G.; Mitchell, Sharon E.; Allison, David B.; Speakman, John R.

    2016-01-01

    Oxidative damage caused by reactive oxygen species has been hypothesised to underpin the trade-off between reproduction and somatic maintenance, i.e., the life-history-oxidative stress theory. Previous tests of this hypothesis have proved equivocal, and it has been suggested that the variation in responses may be related to the tissues measured. Here, we measured oxidative damage (protein carbonyls, 8-OHdG) and antioxidant protection (enzymatic antioxidant activity and serum antioxidant capacity) in multiple tissues of reproductive (R) and non-reproductive (N) mice from two mouse strains selectively bred for high (H) or low (L) food intake, which differ in their reproductive performance, i.e., H mice have increased milk energy output (MEO) and wean larger pups. Levels of oxidative damage were unchanged (liver) or reduced (brain and serum) in R versus N mice, and no differences in multiple measures of oxidative protection were found between H and L mice in liver (except for Glutathione Peroxidase), brain or mammary glands. Also, there were no associations between an individual’s energetic investment (e.g., MEO) and most of the oxidative stress measures detected in various tissues. These data are inconsistent with the oxidative stress theory, but were more supportive of, but not completely consistent, with the ‘oxidative shielding’ hypothesis. PMID:27841266

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2005-01-01

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

  7. 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

  8. Associations between intrauterine bacterial infection, reproductive tract inflammation, and reproductive performance in pasture-based dairy cows.

    PubMed

    de Boer, Melvin; Buddle, Bryce M; Heuer, Cord; Hussein, Hassan; Zheng, Tao; LeBlanc, Stephen J; McDougall, Scott

    2015-06-01

    Reproductive tract bacterial infections, particularly those caused by Escherichia coli and Trueperella pyogenes, can have a negative impact on reproductive performance. It has been hypothesized that the presence of E coli early postpartum may increase the risk of isolation of T pyogenes later postpartum. The objective of the present study was to examine associations between intrauterine bacterial infections with E coli and T pyogenes and any bacterial growth (irrespective of bacterial species), purulent vaginal discharge (PVD), cytologic evidence of endometritis (an increased proportion of polymorphonuclear cells [PMNs]), and reproductive performance. Dairy cows (n = 272) from six herds were examined at Days 0 (median, 2 days in milk), 21 and 42 postpartum. From each cow two intrauterine samples were collected via triple-guarded cytobrush at Days 0 and 21. The first cytobrush was used for bacteriologic culture. Escherichia coli and T pyogenes were isolated by culture, and E coli isolates were assigned to one of four phylogenetic groups using a two-step triplex polymerase chain reaction. In addition, T pyogenes was confirmed by polymerase chain reaction. The second cytobrush was used to prepare a cytology slide. Nucleated cells (n = 200) were categorized as epithelial cells, PMNs, or macrophages. Cows were also assessed for body condition score, PVD score, the presence of a CL, and pregnancy. Statistical analysis was performed using multivariable models. There was no association between the presence of E coli at Day 0 and probability of isolation of T pyogenes 3 weeks later; however, E coli positive cows at Day 0 were more likely to be diagnosed with E coli at Day 21 (relative risk [RR] = 2.0, P < 0.01). Escherichia coli at Day 0 or T pyogenes at Day 21 increased the risk of PVD diagnosis 3 weeks later (RR = 1.9; P = 0.04 and RR = 3.0; P = 0.05, respectively). Cows with any bacterial growth at Day 21, irrespective of species, were less likely to conceive within 3

  9. 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.

  10. Effect of early feed restriction on reproductive performance in Japanese quail (Coturnix coturnix japonica).

    PubMed

    Hassan, S M; Mady, M E; Cartwright, A L; Sabri, H M; Mobarak, M S

    2003-07-01

    Reproductive performance of quail (Coturnix coturnix japonica) was evaluated following feed restriction (100, 85, and 70% of ad libitum) between 2 to 5 wk of age with three replicates of 12, 2-wk-old chicks per replicate. Body weight, feed conversion, and leucocyte distribution were measured during feed restriction. After experimental feed treatment, BW, age at first egg, egg production, fertility, hatchability, and embryonic mortality were evaluated from five replicates of two females and one male per treatment. Feed-restricted female chicks had lower BW from 3 to 5 wk of age, but male weights were depressed only during the most severe restriction at 4 and 5 wk. No treatment differences were observed among BW within a sex from 6 to 13 wk. Body weights at first egg were significantly heavier for females fed 70% ad libitum than for birds on other treatments. Fertility, age at first egg, feed conversion, egg production, and egg weight were unaffected by feed restriction. Although hatchability was unaffected by feed restriction, percentage of late dead and total dead embryos were significantly reduced in eggs from restricted quail. Thirty quail fed 70% of ad libitum control intake had significantly increased egg specific gravity. Feed restriction increased the percentage of heterophils and basophils and the heterophil/lymphocyte ratio, whereas the percentage of lymphocytes and eosinophils decreased. Feed can be restricted to 85 or 70% of ad libitum feed intake from 2 to 5 wk of age without detrimentally affecting reproductive parameters between 6 to 13 wk of age.

  11. 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

  12. Attribution, Affect, and College Exam Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Arkin, Robert M.; Maruyama, Geoffrey M.

    1979-01-01

    College students attributed their own performance and the performance of the average student to ability, test difficulty, preparation, and luck. Successful students perceived internal factors and unsuccessful students perceived external factors as more important causes of their own performance. Students' anxiety and their ratings of the course and…

  13. Potential parameters of male reproductive toxicity: reproductive performance, histopathology and sperm evaluation in SD rats given nitrazepam.

    PubMed

    Kishi, K; Kanamori, S; Maruyama, T; Sasaki, K; Hara, K; Kawai, M; Ikeuchi, K

    1995-08-01

    The present study was designed to elucidate the correlation between findings from reproductive performance testing and those from histopathological examination of the testis and sperm analysis in rats given a benzodiazepine derivative, nitrazepam, for 2 and 4 weeks. The mechanisms of toxicological action of nitrazepam on the male reproductive organs were also investigated. Nitrazepam was given orally to Sprague-Dawley male rats (6-week-old) at a daily dose of 80 mg/kg for 2 weeks or at daily doses of 20, 40 or 80 mg/kg for 4 weeks. Treated males were mated to examine reproductive performance with untreated females after each dosing period, and after 4 and 9 week of recovery periods. Necropsy was performed for histopathological examination of the testis and epididymis and for sperm analysis after each dosing period and the final mating trial (total of 11 weeks recovery). In the findings from reproductive performance testing, significant decrease in the fertility index was observed in the 80 mg/kg group even after 2 weeks dosing and thereafter until 4 weeks recovery, though the mating index did not significantly differ from that of controls through the experiment. In the histopathological examination and sperm analysis, testicular signs of toxicity, decrease in number of sperm heads in the testis and increase in number of sperm with abnormal heads in the seminiferous tubules were noted in the 80 mg/kg group after 2 weeks dosing and in the 40 and 80 mg/kg groups after 4 weeks dosing. Concentrations of plasma testosterone and content of testis testosterone in nitrazepam-treated groups were not significantly different from those of controls. Plasma FSH concentration was significantly elevated in the 80 mg/kg group through the experiment, although significant elevation of plasma LH was observed only after 2 weeks dosing. These results indicate that histopathological examination is the most reliable approach to detect male reproductive adverse effects induced by

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. The effect of depopulation and restocking on reproductive and growth performances on Japanese commercial swine farms

    PubMed Central

    SASAKI, Yosuke; SEKIGUCHI, Satoshi; UEMURA, Ryoko; SUEYOSHI, Masuo

    2015-01-01

    This study compared the reproductive and growth performances of pigs before and after depopulation and restocking after a foot-and-mouth disease outbreak in Japan. Data for the time period before and after depopulation and restocking were obtained from three farrow-to-finish farms. As a result of depopulation and restocking, hygiene levels were improved, and common infectious diseases, such as porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome and Aujeszky’s disease, remained undetected on the farms. Compared with before depopulation, reproductive and growth performances improved after depopulation; the number of total pigs born was higher, the postweaning mortality rate was lower, and the age at slaughter was lower (P<0.05). In summary, depopulation and restocking improved the reproductive and growth performances of pigs. PMID:26412047

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-01

    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.

  20. Effect of feeding time on the reproductive performance of Japanese quail (Coturnix coturnix japonica).

    PubMed

    Hassan, S M; Mady, M E; Cartwright, A L; Sabri, H M; Mobarak, M S

    2003-07-01

    Several feeding regimens are applied to improve performance of fertile egg production during times of heat stress. During a period of heat stress (34 to 36 degrees C), two feeding periods were used to measure the impact of feeding time on reproductive performance of Japanese quail (Coturnix cotunix japonica) between 44 and 60 wk of age. Each feeding time treatment had 25 individually caged male and female pairs. Quail were fed ad libitum between 0600 to 1400 or 1400 to 2200 h daily. Results indicated that feeding between 0600 to 1400 h reduced BW, fertility, hatchability, egg production, and egg specific gravity when compared with the effects of feeding between 1400 to 2200 h. Feeding time had no effect on total embryonic mortality, egg weight, or the period between subsequent ovipositions. The different feeding times affected the distribution curve of oviposition over time. An instrument designed to record oviposition time is described. Results showed that selection of the time of day for application of an 8-h restricted feeding regimen affected BW, fertility, hatchability, egg production, egg specific gravity, and oviposition time in Japanese quail.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-11-01

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

  2. Critical process parameters affecting zincrometal performance

    SciTech Connect

    Iezzi, R.A.

    1984-01-01

    A laboratory study aimed at improving the corrosion resistance of Zincrometal has shown that excellent Zincrometal performance in laboratory corrosion tests can be obtained by achieving a trivalent (Cr+3) to hexavalent (Cr+6) Dacromet chromium ratio of at least 15. Increasing thermal energy input during curing increases the Cr+3/Cr+6 ratio and improves corrosion resistance in laboratory tests. Increasing curing energy input in production may be a viable approach to improve Zincrometal performance, provided that steels not susceptible to strain aging are used.

  3. Effect of puerperal metritis on reproductive and productive performance in dairy cows in Argentina.

    PubMed

    Piccardi, M; Romero, G; Veneranda, G; Castello, E; Romero, D; Balzarini, M; Bó, G A

    2016-03-15

    puerperal metritis affects the reproductive and productive performance of dairy cows and the treatment with ceftiofur was effective in reducing the adverse effects on reproductive performance but not on milk production.

  4. Factors Affecting Information Literacy Perception and Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zehner, Drusilla Charlene Beecher

    2009-01-01

    Information literacy, defined as, "the set of skills needed to find, retrieve, analyze, and use information" (American Library Association, 2003, paragraph 1), is necessary for success in life. The present study will examine whether the factors of gender, race, and/or socioeconomic status impact information literacy performance and…

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

    PubMed

    Kottegoda, Sepali; Samuel, Kumudini; Emmanuel, Sarala

    2008-05-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Tissenbaum, H A; Ruvkun, G

    1998-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Does posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affect performance?

    PubMed

    LeBlanc, Vicki R; Regehr, Cheryl; Jelley, R Blake; Barath, Irene

    2007-08-01

    Research has increasingly identified alarming levels of traumatic stress symptoms in individuals working in emergency services and other high stress jobs. This study examined the effects of prior critical incident exposure and current posttraumatic symptoms on the performance of a nonpatient population, police recruits, during an acutely stressful event. A stressful policing situation was created through the use of a video simulator room that was responsive to actions of participants. The performance of participants to the simulated emergency was evaluated by 3 independent blinded raters. Prior exposure to critical incidents was measured using the Critical Incident History Questionnaire and current level of traumatic stress symptoms was measured using the Impact of Events Scale-Revised. Neither previous exposure to critical incidents nor trauma symptoms correlated with performance level. Recruits with high or severe levels of trauma symptoms did not demonstrate impairments in judgment, communication, or situation control compared with their colleagues with lesser or no trauma symptoms. On the basis of these findings, there is no reason to believe that police recruits with PTSD are prone to making errors of communication or judgment that would place them or others at increased risk.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-10-01

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

  13. Reproductive Hazards

    MedlinePlus

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Body position affects performance in untrained cyclists

    PubMed Central

    Ashe, M; Scroop, G; Frisken, P; Amery, C; Wilkins, M; Khan, K

    2003-01-01

    Objective: To compare cardiovascular and ventilatory variables in upright versus aero cycle ergometry at submaximal and maximal exercise intensities in untrained cyclists. Method: Ten physically active men (mean (SD) age 19.1 (1.10) years) who were unfamiliar with aerobars underwent maximal exercise testing and steady state cycling at 50, 100, and 150 W. Results: Participants had significantly greater maxima for oxygen uptake (VO2), ventilation, heart rate, and workload maximum in the upright position. During steady state cycling at the three workloads, VO2 (ml/kg/min) and gross mechanical efficiency were significantly greater in the upright position. Conclusions: In untrained subjects performing with maximal effort, the upright position permits greater VO2, ventilation, heart rate, and workload maxima. Further, in the steady state, exercise cycling may be less costly in the upright position. For this reason, untrained cyclists need to weigh body position effects against the well known aerodynamic advantages of the aero position. PMID:14514538

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  1. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-01-11

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Trends in the reproductive performance of Holstein dairy cows in Iran.

    PubMed

    Atashi, Hadi; Zamiri, Mohammad Javad; Sayyadnejad, Mohammad Bagher; Akhlaghi, Amir

    2012-12-01

    The study was undertaken to determine the trends in the reproductive performance of Holstein dairy cows in Iran during 1994 to 2008. Reproductive performance data for 528,034 lactations of 246,132 cows in 1,822 Holstein dairy herds of Iran were used. The potential effect of calving season, herd, parity, calving year, as well as herd size and 305-day milk production on reproductive performance traits was investigated using multiple regression models. The least squares means of age at first calving decreased by 3.1 (± 0.06) days per year from 806.5 (± 96.3) days in 1994 to 788 (± 89.9) days in 2008. The least squares means of calving interval increased 1.02 (± 0.03) days per year from 394.1 (± 65) days in 1994 to 413.2 (± 81) days in 2008. Greater 305-day milk production was associated with an average increase of 6.55 (± 0.08) days in calving interval per 1,000-kg increase in milk yield. Larger herd size was associated with an average decrease of 0.22 (± 0.02) days in calving interval per 50 cows per herd. The mean number of days dry was 88.6 (± 51.3) days and increased by 0.82 (± 0.02) days per year. In conclusion, reproductive performance in Holstein dairy herds has generally decreased, whereas herd size and milk production have increased over time. Producers may make significant improvements in herd reproduction by reviewing management strategies including the sire selection, reproductive management, inseminator training and techniques, and improved estrous detection. Moreover, it may be advisable for the fertility traits to be included in the genetic selection indices to reduce the rate of reproductive decline.

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-10-01

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

  8. 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...

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. Active immunization against leptin fails to affect reproduction and exerts only marginal effects on glucose metabolism in young female goats.

    PubMed

    Sauerwein, H; Heintges, U; Bruhns, S C; Hennies, M; Gertler, A

    2006-08-01

    Approximately 150 days before expected breeding time, 12 female goats (3 months of age) were actively immunized against ovine leptin. Booster injections were given throughout the following year. Control animals (n = 6) were sham-immunized. After the first observed oestrus, a buck was introduced and goats were mated. Blood samples were collected twice weekly and frequent blood sampling series were performed on days -15, 76, 153 and 286 relative to the first immunization. Nine of the immunized goats developed titres within 3 months and had elevated serum concentrations of leptin compared with controls (p < 0.0001). Hematological parameters and blood chemistry were not affected by the immunization. No differences were detectable in all reproductive parameters recorded. Serum insulin was higher in immunized goats during the frequent blood sampling series of day 287 after the first immunization. Glucose metabolism was investigated during pregnancy using hyperglycaemic and euglycaemic/hyperinsulinaemic clamps. None of the parameters derived from the clamp studies was different (p > 0.05) between the two groups. During the hyperglycaemic clamp there was a trend (p < 0.15) towards increased insulin concentrations in immunized animals whereas glucose infusion rates were not different between the groups. This indicates decreased insulin sensitivity in immunized goats. Our study describes the ontogenesis of serum concentrations of leptin during growth, puberty and first pregnancy and parturition for the caprine species. The effects of the immunization were not detectable or only marginal and the approach aimed at therefore not effective to investigate leptin action in detail.

  13. Postpartum uterine disease and dairy herd reproductive performance: a review.

    PubMed

    LeBlanc, Stephen J

    2008-04-01

    This paper reviews the causes, impact, treatment, and prevention of retained placenta (RP), metritis, and endometritis in dairy cows. The occurrence of each of these diseases largely depends on immune function in the transition period. Retained placenta affects 5-10% of calvings and greatly increases the risk of metritis and endometritis. More field studies are needed to validate criteria for treatment of metritis, but cows with at least two of RP, fever, dullness, and fetid uterine discharge appear to merit treatment with systemic antibiotics. Clinical endometritis affects 15-20% of cows at 4-6 weeks postpartum; an additional 30-35% have subclinical endometritis between 4 and 9 weeks postpartum. Under specific conditions, treatment of cows with endometritis improved pregnancy rate. Systematic use of prostaglandin F(2alpha) at 5 and 7 weeks postpartum may improve pregnancy rate. The economic benefit of efforts to identify and treat endometritis is herd-specific.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-03-01

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

  19. Male age is not an independent factor to affect the outcome of assisted reproductive techniques.

    PubMed

    Kumtepe, Yakup; Yakin, Kayhan; Kahraman, Semra; Sertyel, Semra; Vanlioğlu, Faruk; Cengiz, Sami; Dönmez, Ersan

    2003-06-01

    Controversy exists whether advanced male age is associated with poor sperm quality and subsequent failure in the assisted reproductive techniques (ART). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of male age on sperm quality and the outcome of ART as well as the association of male age with other relevant factors, particularly with the female age. A retrospective study was performed in order to evaluate the effect of male age on the sperm parameters in 880 routine seminal analyses. Additionally, sperm parameters were also compared among different age groups in 919 cases with male factor infertility who had been included in an ART programme. The laboratory and clinical results of ART (fertilization rate, number and quality of embryos transferred, as well as pregnancy rates) were compared according to different age groups. The results were also evaluated by one-way correlation and also step-wise logistic regression analysis to identify the interactions and correlations between different parameters. There were no statistically significant differences between male age groups in terms of sperm concentration, motility and morphology either in routine seminal analyses or in ART groups. In the ART group, a statistically significant linear correlation was present between male and female ages. Male age was increasing in parallel to female age. Female age was also correlated significantly with ART results. In one-way correlation analysis, male age was found to be correlated with the pregnancy rate, but not with fertilization rate and the quality of the transferred embryos. However, regression analysis revealed that correlation between male age and pregnancy results was simply dependent on the effect of the female age. Seminal parameters did not reveal a significant change with the increasing male age. The effect of male age on ART results in cases with male factor infertility is not a direct effect but a reflection of the negative impact of the parallel increase in

  20. 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

  1. Effect of feeding program during rearing and age at first insemination on performances during subsequent reproduction in young rabbit does.

    PubMed

    Rommers, Jorine M; Meijerhof, Ron; Noordhuizen, Jos P T M; Kemp, Bas

    2004-01-01

    An experiment was performed to study the effect of the feeding program and age at first mating on body growth, feed intake, reproductive performance, and culling of rabbit does over three parities, using 155 does of a strain of New Zealand white rabbits. Three treatments were applied. Ad libitum feeding until first insemination at 14.5 wk (AL-14.5) or 17.5 wk of age (AL-17.5), and restrictive feeding from five wk of age until first insemination at 17.5 wk of age (R-17.5). At first insemination, the BW of AL-14.5 and R-17.5 was similar (3 907 vs. 3 791 +/- 46 g, respectively), whereas AL-17.5 does were heavier (4 390 +/- 46 g, P < 0.001). During reproduction, performance of AL-17.5 was not improved compared to AL-14.5 and R-17.5 does. Al-17.5 does showed a lower feed intake during the first gestation (-25%) and first parity (-10%) than R- 17.5, resulting in weight loss (-6%) during the first gestation and decreased litter weights (-19%) and litter growth (-14%) in the first parity. Extended first mating by three wk (17.5 vs. 14.5 wk) but similar BW at first mating did not affect feed intake and BW development during the first three parities. However, the number of live born kits and weight at first kindling, and litter growth in the first parity were improved in R-17.5 (+23%, +18%, and +14%, respectively). Reproductive performance can be improved by restricted feeding during rearing and extended first insemination to 17.5 wk of age. However, the culling rate was not affected by the rearing strategy.

  2. Polyandry increases reproductive performance but does not decrease survival in female Brontispa longissima.

    PubMed

    Kawazu, K; Sugeno, W; Mochizuki, A; Nakamura, S

    2017-04-01

    The costs and benefits of polyandry are still not well understood. We studied the effects of multiple mating on the reproductive performance of female Brontispa longissima (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), one of the most serious pests of the coconut palm, by using three experimental treatments: (1) singly-mated females (single treatment); (2) females that mated 10 times with the same male (repetition treatment); and (3) females that mated once with each of 10 different males (polyandry treatment). Both multiple mating treatments resulted in significantly greater total egg production and the proportion of eggs that successfully hatched (hatching success) than with the single mating treatment. Furthermore, the polyandry treatment resulted in greater total egg production and hatching success than with the repetition treatment. Thus, mate diversity may affect the direct and indirect benefits of multiple mating. Female longevity, the length of the preoviposition period, the length of the period from emergence to termination of oviposition, and the length of the ovipositing period did not differ among treatments. The pronounced fecundity and fertility benefits that females gain from multiple mating, coupled with a lack of longevity costs, apparently explain the extreme polyandry in B. longissima.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Wayne, N L; Rissman, E F

    1991-09-01

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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  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. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-04-01

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

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. Milk fat saturation and reproductive performance in dairy cattle.

    PubMed

    Hostens, M; Fievez, V; Leroy, J L M R; van de Burgwal, E J; Van Ranst, B; Vlaeminck, B; Opsomer, G

    2013-10-01

    Unsaturated fatty acids (UFA) cannot be synthesized by mammalian cells due to a lack of desaturase enzymes. Combined with their limited supply to the small intestines, UFA have been proposed as nutraceuticals to ameliorate dairy cow fertility. However, field studies based on a large number of animals are lacking on this subject. Therefore the aim of the present study was to analyze a large dataset containing individual cow fertility records from dairy herds and link fertility key-performance-indicators like conception rate to first insemination (CRFI), days in milk to first insemination (DIMFI) and days in milk to conception (DIMCONC), to the level of UFA in bulk tank samples, the latter being a proxy for the dietary fatty acid profile on these herds. Within the two year study period, information from 15,055 lactations and 35,433 bulk tank milk samples was collected on 90 herds. The multilevel logistic regression model used, revealed a decreased CRFI on herds with a higher bulk tank UFA level. The decrease in CRFI was larger for higher producing herds. Increased bulk tank UFA was furthermore associated with higher DIMFI which, together with the lower CRFI, subsequently increased DIMCONC. Interestingly, higher variability in UFA, expressed by an increased coefficient of variation, was associated with an increased CRFI and decreased DIMFI and DIMCONC. In conclusion, the present study demonstrates that increasing the UFA content of milk should not be a goal as such when supplementing UFA to dairy cows as higher bulk tank UFA are associated with worsened fertility results.

  15. Toxoplasma gondii infection in dairy ewes: Vertical transmission and influence on milk production and reproductive performance.

    PubMed

    Klauck, Vanderlei; Pazinato, Rafael; Radavelli, Willian M; Custódio, Edimar; Bianchi, Anderson E; Camillo, Giovana; Cezar, Alfredo S; Vogel, Fernanda F; Tonin, Alexandre A; Ferreira, Rogério; Stefani, Lenita M; Da Silva, Aleksandro S

    2016-10-01

    The present study aimed to evaluate the transmission of toxoplasmosis (vertical and venereal) and its influence on milk production and reproductive problems of Lacaune sheep seropositives for Toxoplasma gondii. Males and females were serologically selected using indirect immunofluorescence method in three steps of the study. Step 1: In order to evaluate the influence of toxoplasmosis on milk production, the volume of milk produced by 40 sheep (22 seronegatives and 18 seropositives for T. gondii) was weekly measured throughout the lactation period. There were no significant differences between these two groups; in other words, toxoplasmosis did not affect milk production. Step 2: In order to assess T. gondii venereal transmission, five samples of semen from seropositive rams (n = 5) were tested by endpoint and real time PCR with two days of interval; however, these semen samples were PCR negatives for T. gondii. Step 3: To evaluate reproductive problems, 12 seropositive animals out of a flock of 68 pregnant ewes showed signs of reproductive problems, such as abortion or fetal resorption. T. gondii transplacental transmission was evaluated on blood drawn from newborn lambs (n = 41), and their respective seropositive mothers (n = 30) after single, double or triple births. Serological tests showed that 65.8% of the lambs had antibodies against this protozoan, indicating a high transmission from ewe to fetus during pregnancy. Therefore, it is concluded that toxoplasmosis in sheep may impair reproduction with a high percentage of vertical transmission.

  16. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-04-01

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

  18. Effects of dietary protein levels for gestating gilts on reproductive performance, blood metabolites and milk composition.

    PubMed

    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.

  19. Physiological changes and reproductive performance of Sterlet sturgeon Acipenser ruthenus injected with thiamine.

    PubMed

    Ghiasi, Sareh; Falahatkar, Bahram; Arslan, Murat; Dabrowski, Konrad

    2017-03-01

    To evaluate the effects of thiamine on physiological changes and spawning performance of Sterlet sturgeon Acipenser ruthenus, 45 farmed female fish (698.6±8.9g) were randomly distributed in 9 tanks (1000L) and fed a diet with 1g/kg of an anti-thiamine drug. This was provided for 5 months prior to spawning. Thiamine hydrochloride was intraperitoneally injected to fish at three different doses: 0 (T0, as control), 5 (T5) and 50 (T50) mg/kg body weight at days 30, 90 and 150 after the experiment started. After five months, the results showed no significant differences in weight gain and hemoglobin level, but hematocrit significantly increased in T5 group. There was no significant difference in glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase and estradiol-17β, but testosterone was significantly increased in the T50 group. Total thiamine concentration in the eggs was significantly higher in T50 than that detected in the control group. Fecundity and larval mortality at 6day post hatch (dph) showed no significant differences among treatments, while the number of eggs per gram was significantly lower in T0 than that observed in T50. Larval weights at 1 (11.6mg) and 6 (23.1mg) dph and larval lengths at 6 (15.6mm) dph were significantly affected by the treatment with the highest level of thiamine injection (T50). Diseases symptoms such as yolk sac deformation, erratic pattern of swimming, and loss of equilibrium were observed at 4 dph in T0 and T5 groups. The overall results revealed that thiamine injection has positive effects on reproductive performance in the sturgeon and the negative impacts of anti-thiamine in the offspring can be reduced by the injection of this vitamin to the broodstock.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  3. 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.

  4. Relationships between body weight at first mating and subsequent body development, feed intake, and reproductive performance of rabbit does.

    PubMed

    Rommers, J M; Meijerhoft, R; Noordhuizen, J P T M; Kemp, B

    2002-08-01

    A retrospective study was performed to evaluate the relationships between BW at first insemination and subsequent body development, feed intake, reproductive performance, and culling rate of rabbit does. Young rabbit does are vulnerable to body energy deficit in first lactation, resulting in decreased reproductive performance and high replacement rate. Heavy does at first insemination might be able to benefit from the extra amount of BW to cope with the energy deficit during first lactation. Data of three experiments were used in which does were given ad libitum access to feed during rearing and inseminated at 14.5 wk of age. The first two parities of each doe were recorded. Does were categorized in three groups based on their BW at 14.5 wk of age (first insemination): heavy (BW > or = 4,000 g), medium (BW 3,500 to 4,000 g), and small (BW < 3,500 g). Among does that kindled, differences in BW at first insemination were related to differences in voluntary feed intake and body growth rate during rearing. Heavy does consumed more feed per day (+ 45 g/d, P < 0.001) and had a higher BW gain (+ 12 g/d, P < 0.001) than small does from weaning (4.5 wk) to 14.5 wk of age. Body weight at first insemination did not affect BW, feed intake, and culling rate during the first two parities. Heavy does were heavier at first insemination and remained so throughout the reproductive period, but they followed a similar BW curve as medium and small does. A higher BW at first insemination (14.5 wk of age) improved litter size in the first parity (8.9, 7.7, and 6.4 for heavy, medium, and small does, respectively, P < 0.05). Extra BW at start of reproduction improves litter size in the first parity but does not contribute to an improved feed intake or increased BW development during reproduction.

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-11-01

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

  7. 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,…

  8. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  11. Problem-solving performance and reproductive success of great tits in urban and forest habitats.

    PubMed

    Preiszner, Bálint; Papp, Sándor; Pipoly, Ivett; Seress, Gábor; Vincze, Ernő; Liker, András; Bókony, Veronika

    2017-01-01

    Success in problem solving, a form of innovativeness, can help animals exploit their environments, and recent research suggests that it may correlate with reproductive success. Innovativeness has been proposed to be especially beneficial in urbanized habitats, as suggested by superior problem-solving performance of urban individuals in some species. If there is stronger selection for innovativeness in cities than in natural habitats, we expect problem-solving performance to have a greater positive effect on fitness in more urbanized habitats. We tested this idea in great tits (Parus major) breeding at two urban sites and two forests by measuring their problem-solving performance in an obstacle-removal task and a food-acquisition task. Urban pairs were significantly faster problem-solvers in both tasks. Solving speed in the obstacle-removal task was positively correlated with hatching success and the number of fledglings, whereas performance in the food-acquisition task did not correlate with reproductive success. These relationships did not differ between urban and forest habitats. Neophobia, sensitivity to human disturbance, and risk taking in the presence of a predator did not explain the relationships of problem-solving performance either with habitat type or with reproductive success. Our results suggest that the benefit of innovativeness in terms of reproductive success is similar in urban and natural habitats, implying that problem-solving skills may be enhanced in urban populations by some other benefits (e.g. increased survival) or reduced costs (e.g. more opportunities to gain practice with challenging tasks).

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Effects of canthaxanthin on the productive and reproductive performance of broiler breeders.

    PubMed

    Rosa, A P; Scher, A; Sorbara, J O B; Boemo, L S; Forgiarini, J; Londero, A

    2012-03-01

    The effects of supplementing canthaxanthin on productive and reproductive aspects of broiler breeders were examined in this study. In total, 360 female pullets and 36 roosters were placed in an open-sided house with 12 pens, each pen with an area of 7.0 m(2) (3.5 × 2.0 m). At 42 wk of age, the breeder hens and roosters were distributed into 2 experimental groups with similar BW and uniformity. From 46 to 66 wk of age, one group received 6 mg/kg of canthaxanthin supplemented in the diet and the other group received the diet without the addition of canthaxanthin (control diet). Body weight was measured every 28 d, the laying rate was calculated weekly, and mortality was evaluated at the end of the study. Twenty-one weekly incubations were performed to evaluate fertility and incubation responses. To evaluate the antioxidant effect of canthaxanthin at different storage times and during the incubation process, eggs from each treatment were subject to thiobarbituric reactive substances analysis. Body weight, mortality, and laying rate were not affected by the inclusion of canthaxanthin in the breeder's diets. An increase in hatchability of total and fertile eggs (P ≤ 0.0001 and P ≤ 0.0003, respectively) in breeders fed canthaxanthin during the experimental period was observed. Canthaxanthin also improved breeder fertility and reduced embryo mortality. This can be attributed to reductions in embryo mortality in the first 48 h of incubation and in the last wk of incubation. No differences were observed in BW and quality of the chicks. A reduction of thiobarbituric reactive substances was observed in yolks from stored hatching eggs produced by breeders fed diets plus canthaxanthin. The same effect was observed in yolks of eggs stored for 4 d and incubated for 7 d. The supplementation of broiler breeder diets with canthaxanthin improved the hatchability rate, fertility, and reduced the presence of thiobarbituric reactive substances in eggs.

  15. The effect of treatment of clinical endometritis on reproductive performance in dairy cows.

    PubMed

    LeBlanc, S J; Duffield, T F; Leslie, K E; Bateman, K G; Keefe, G P; Walton, J S; Johnson, W H

    2002-09-01

    The objective of this field trial was to compare the effect of intrauterine (i.u.) antibiotic or intramuscular (i.m.) prostaglandin F2 alpha (PGF2 alpha) on time to pregnancy in dairy cows diagnosed with clinical endometritis between 20 and 33 days in milk (DIM). The case definition of endometritis was the presence of purulent uterine discharge or cervical diameter > 7.5 cm, or the presence of muco-purulent discharge after 26 DIM. There were 316 cows with endometritis from 27 farms assigned randomly within herd to receive 500 mg of cephapirin benzathine intrauterine (i.u.), 500 micrograms of cloprostenol i.m., or no treatment. The rate of resolution of clinical signs 14 d after treatment was 77% and was not affected by treatment. Reproductive performance was monitored for a minimum of 7 mo after treatment. Survival analysis (multivariable proportional hazards regression) was used to measure the effect of treatment on time to pregnancy. There was no benefit of treatment of endometritis before 4 wk postpartum. Administration of PGF2 alpha between 20 and 26 DIM to cows with endometritis that did not have a palpable corpus luteum was associated with a significant reduction in pregnancy rate. Between 27 and 33 DIM, cows with endometritis treated with cephapirin i.u. had a significantly shorter time to pregnancy than untreated cows (hazard ratio = 1.63). In this time period, there was no difference in pregnancy rate between PGF2 alpha and untreated cows, but the difference in pregnancy rate between cows treated with cephapirin i.u. and with PGF2 alpha was not statistically significant. Treatment of postpartum endometritis should be reserved for cases diagnosed after 26 DIM, based on criteria that are associated with subsequent pregnancy rate.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Predicting performance expectations from affective impressions: linking affect control theory and status characteristics theory.

    PubMed

    Dippong, Joseph; Kalkhoff, Will

    2015-03-01

    Affect control theory (ACT) and status characteristics theory (SCT) offer separate and distinct explanations for how individuals interpret and process status- and power-relevant information about interaction partners. Existing research within affect control theory offers evidence that status and power are related to the affective impressions that individuals form of others along the dimensions of evaluation and potency, respectively. Alternately, status characteristics theory suggests that status and power influence interaction through the mediating cognitive construct of performance expectations. Although both theories have amassed an impressive amount of empirical support, research has yet to articulate theoretical and empirical connections between affective impressions and performance expectations. The purpose of our study is to address this gap. Elaborating a link between ACT and SCT in terms of their central concepts can serve as a stepping stone to improving the explanatory capacity of both theories, while providing a potential bridge by which they can be employed jointly.

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-15

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

  3. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

    Yang, Lihua; Zha, Jinmiao; Wang, Zijian

    2017-01-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. Grid-based performance evaluation of GCM-RCM combinations for rainfall reproduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Danandeh Mehr, Ali; Kahya, Ercan

    2016-03-01

    Prior to hydrological assessment of climate change at catchment scale, an applied methodology is necessary to evaluate the performance of climate models available for a given catchment. This study presents a grid-based performance evaluation approach as well as an intercomparison framework to evaluate the uncertainty of climate models for rainfall reproduction. For this purpose, we used outputs of two general circulation models (GCMs), namely ECHAM5 and CCSM3, downscaled by a regional climate model (RCM), namely RegCM3, over ten small to mid-size catchments in Rize Province, Turkey. To this end, five rainfall-borne climatic statistics are computed from the outputs of ECHAM5-RegCM3 and CCSM3-RegCM3 combinations in order to compare with those of observations in the province for the reference period 1961-1990. Performance of each combination is tested by means of scatter diagram, bias, mean absolute bias, root mean squared error, and model performance index (MPI) measures. Our results indicated that ECHAM5-RegCM3 overestimates the total monthly rainfall observations whereas CCSM3-RegCM3 tends to underestimate. In terms of maximum monthly and annual maximum rainfall reproduction, ECHAM5-RegCM3 shows higher performance than CCSM3-RegCM3, particularly in the coastland areas. In contrast, CCSM3-RegCM3 outperforms ECHAM5-RegCM3 in reproducing the number of rainy days, especially in the inland areas. The results also revealed that if a GCM-RCM combination performs well for a portion (statistic) of a catchment, it is not necessarily appropriate for the other portions (statistics). Moreover, the MPI measure demonstrated the superiority of ECHAM5-RegCM3 to CCSM3-RegCM3 up to 33 % excelling for annual rainfall reproduction in Rize Province.

  9. 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.

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  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. Low temperature affects cattle tick reproduction but does not lead to transovarial transmission of Anaplasma marginale.

    PubMed

    Esteves, E; Pohl, P C; Klafke, G M; Reck, J; Fogaça, A C; Martins, J R; Daffre, S

    2015-12-15

    Anaplasma marginale is an obligate intracellular pathogen that infects the erythrocytes of calves, causing bovine anaplasmosis. This rickettsia is biologically transmitted by several species of ticks. In tropical and subtropical regions of the world, Rhipicephalus microplus is the main vector. Due to their mobility and longevity, the adult males play an important role in the transmission of A. marginale to calves. Some studies have demonstrated that A. marginale can be intrastadially and interstadially transmitted in R. microplus, but the transovarial transmission has not been demonstrated so far. In the present study, we investigated the effects of low temperature on both the A. marginale migration from infected females to their offspring and reproductive parameters of the tick R. microplus. The larvae of R. microplus fed on a calf infected with the strain Jaboticabal of A. marginale. At the end of the parasitic phase, fully engorged females were incubated at either 18°C or 28°C for oviposition. Although A. marginale was detected in the salivary glands of the females, demonstrating that the ticks were successfully infected, the presence of rickettsia was not detected in the offspring. However, the preoviposition period of the non-infected females maintained at 18°C was longer than that of those maintained at 28°C. In addition, the average weight of the mass of eggs as well as the egg production efficiency (ratio of the egg mass weight to the female weight) of the females maintained at 18°C were significantly lower than those of the females incubated at 28°C. There was no larval hatching from the eggs maintained exclusively at 18°C, even at 65 days after female detachment. Hatching occurred only when the eggs maintained at 18°C were transferred to 28°C at 20 days after female detachment (18°C/28°C). We also verified a significantly higher larvae conversion efficiency (ratio of the larvae mass weight to the egg mass weight) in the group of females

  15. CO2, Temperature, and Soil Moisture Interactions Affect NDVI and Reproductive Phenology in Old-Field Plant Communities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Engel, C.; Weltzin, J.; Norby, R.

    2004-12-01

    Plant community composition and ecosystem function may be altered by global atmospheric and climate change, including increased atmospheric [CO2], temperature, and varying precipitation regimes. We are conducting an experiment at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) utilizing open-top chambers to administer experimental treatments of elevated CO2 (+300 ppm), warming (+ 3 degrees Celsius), and varying soil moisture availability to experimental plant communities constructed of seven common old-field species, including C3 and C4 grasses, forbs, and legumes. During 2004 we monitored plant community phenology (NDVI) and plant reproductive phenology. Early in the year, NDVI was greater in wet treatment plots, and was unaffected by main effects of temperature or CO2. This result suggests that early in the season warming is insufficient to affect early canopy development. Differences in soil moisture sustained throughout the winter and into early spring may constitute an important control on early canopy greenup. Elevated CO2 alleviated detrimental effects of warming on NDVI, but only early in the season. As ambient temperatures increased, elevated temperatures negatively impacted NDVI only in the dry plots. Wetter conditions ameliorate the effects of warming on canopy greenness during the warmer seasons of the year. Warming increased rates of bolting, number of inflorescences, and time to reproductive maturity for Andropogon virginicus (a C4 bunchgrass). Solidago Canadensis (a C3 late-season forb) also produced flowers earlier in elevated temperatures. Conversely, none of the C3 grasses and forbs that bolt or flower in late spring or early summer responded to temperature or CO2. Results indicate that warming and drought may impact plant community phenology, and plant species reproductive phenology. Clearly community phenology is driven by complex interactions among temperature, water, and CO2 that change throughout the season. Our data stresses the importance of

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Preparatory power posing affects nonverbal presence and job interview performance.

    PubMed

    Cuddy, Amy J C; Wilmuth, Caroline A; Yap, Andy J; Carney, Dana R

    2015-07-01

    The authors tested whether engaging in expansive (vs. contractive) "power poses" before a stressful job interview--preparatory power posing--would enhance performance during the interview. Participants adopted high-power (i.e., expansive, open) poses or low-power (i.e., contractive, closed) poses, and then prepared and delivered a speech to 2 evaluators as part of a mock job interview. All interview speeches were videotaped and coded for overall performance and hireability and for 2 potential mediators: verbal content (e.g., structure, content) and nonverbal presence (e.g., captivating, enthusiastic). As predicted, those who prepared for the job interview with high- (vs. low-) power poses performed better and were more likely to be chosen for hire; this relation was mediated by nonverbal presence, but not by verbal content. Although previous research has focused on how a nonverbal behavior that is enacted during interactions and observed by perceivers affects how those perceivers evaluate and respond to the actor, this experiment focused on how a nonverbal behavior that is enacted before the interaction and unobserved by perceivers affects the actor's performance, which, in turn, affects how perceivers evaluate and respond to the actor. This experiment reveals a theoretically novel and practically informative result that demonstrates the causal relation between preparatory nonverbal behavior and subsequent performance and outcomes.

  19. How motivation affects academic performance: a structural equation modelling analysis.

    PubMed

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

    2013-03-01

    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 Motivation (RAM, a measure of the balance between AM and CM) affects academic performance through good study strategy and higher study effort and compare this model between subgroups: males and females; students selected via two different systems namely qualitative and weighted lottery selection. Data on motivation, study strategy and effort was collected from 383 medical students of VU University Medical Center Amsterdam and their academic performance results were obtained from the student administration. Structural Equation Modelling analysis technique was used to test a hypothesized model in which high RAM would positively affect Good Study Strategy (GSS) and study effort, which in turn would positively affect academic performance in the form of grade point averages. This model fit well with the data, Chi square = 1.095, df = 3, p = 0.778, RMSEA model fit = 0.000. This model also fitted well for all tested subgroups of students. Differences were found in the strength of relationships between the variables for the different subgroups as expected. In conclusion, RAM positively correlated with academic performance through deep strategy towards study and higher study effort. This model seems valid in medical education in subgroups such as males, females, students selected by qualitative and weighted lottery selection.

  20. 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.

  1. Does cadmium pollution affect reproduction in the clam Ruditapes decussatus? A one-year case study.

    PubMed

    Smaoui-Damak, W; Rebai, T; Berthet, B; Hamza-Chaffai, A

    2006-06-01

    The effect of cadmium (Cd) on the reproduction of Ruditapes decussatus was monitored over a period of 12 months, from June 2001 to June 2002. Two sites "Bordj d'Ungha" and "El Hofra" differing by their degree of cadmium contamination were chosen in the Gulf of Gabès area (Tunisia). Annual mean concentrations of Cd in the whole soft tissues of clams from the site El Hofra were more than 4 times higher than those from the site Bordj d'Ungha (reference site). The gametogenic cycle of the clam R. decussatus was also investigated by histological examination and monthly observations of gonadal sections in a population of clams from both sites. The results show that gametogenesis occurred from March to December in clams from both sites. Nevertheless, spawning and emission of gametes were synchronized in both sexes from only the clams of the reference site. Although this species is considered as gonochoristic, 6.6% of hermaphroditic cases were observed in clams from both sites in which gametes of both males and females were in ripe stage. Moreover, the period of ripening of sexual products led to an increase of condition index and to a decrease of Cd concentrations in the whole soft tissues of clams from both sites, hence reflecting the phenomenon of "biological dilution".

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

    PubMed Central

    Castagnone-Sereno, Philippe; Kermarrec, Alain

    1991-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. Floral scents affect reproductive success in fly-pollinated Alocasia odora (Araceae).

    PubMed

    Miyake, Takashi; Yafuso, Masako

    2003-03-01

    We evaluated the role of floral scents in the reproductive success of Alocasia odora C. Koch (Araceae). Alocasia odora is pollinated by its specific pollinators, Colocasiomyia alocasiae (Okada) and C. xenalocasiae (Okada) (Diptera: Drosophilidae). These flies use the spadix of A. odora as breeding sites. The appendix, which is at an upper part of the spadix and is the most attractive region, attracted these pollinators by emitting volatiles, although the male zone of the inflorescence was also attractive. The number of flies attracted was positively correlated with appendix size. During the pistillate phase of the protogynous spadix, attracted flies aggregated in the lower part (female zone) to mate, lay eggs, and perhaps obtain nutrients. The flies moved to the upper part (male zone) of the spadix by the tightening of the constriction separating the upper and lower parts, and then the staminate phase started. This movement of the flies on the spadix promotes outcrossing of A. odora. Removal of the appendix or the whole upper part of the spadix resulted in much reduced fruit set, suggesting that the absence of the scent-producing region leads to insufficient pollination because of reduced pollinator attraction.

  5. Relationships between milk fatty acids composition in early lactation and subsequent reproductive performance in Czech Fleckvieh cows.

    PubMed

    Stádník, L; Ducháček, J; Beran, J; Toušová, R; Ptáček, M

    2015-04-01

    Increase of milk yield after calving causes changes in milk fatty acids (FA) composition and simultaneously corresponds with reproduction performance decrease. The objective of this study was to evaluate the relationships between milk FA group composition (SFA, saturated fatty acids; MUFA, monounsaturated fatty acids; and PUFA, polyunsaturated fatty acids) during the first 5 lactation weeks and subsequent reproductive results (INT, calving to first service interval; NUM, number of services per conception, and DO, days open) in Czech Fleckvieh cows. A total of 1231 individual milk samples from 382 cows were collected and subsequently analyzed. Simultaneously, body condition score (BCS) was weekly evaluated as well. Software SAS 9.1 was used for statistical analysis. Daily milk yields increased whereas BCS, milk fat and protein contents decreased during period observed. The reduction of basic milk components (% of fat, % of protein) was associated with increased SFA and decreased MUFA, respectively PUFA contents. Significant (P<0.01-0.05 days) increase in NUM (+0.15 to +0.29 AI dose) and DO (+8.16 to 15.44 days) were detected in cows with the lowest SFA content. On the contrary, cows with the highest content of MUFA presented significantly (P<0.01-0.05) higher values of NUM (+0.13 to +0.30) and DO (+7.26 to +15.35 days). Milk FA groups composition in early lactation potentially used as NEB indicators, especially SFA and MUFA proportion, affected subsequent reproductive results of Czech Fleckvieh cows. Therefore, its post-partum values could serve as predictors of potential fertility of dairy cows.

  6. Effect of different feeding levels during three short periods of gestation on sow and litter performance over two reproductive cycles.

    PubMed

    Ren, P; Yang, X J; Kim, J S; Menon, D; Baidoo, S K

    2017-02-01

    The present study investigated the effects of different feeding levels during 3 short periods of gestation on sow and litter performance and its impact on subsequent reproductive performance. A total of 160 multiparous sows were allotted to 1 of 4 dietary treatments using a randomized complete block design with initial body weight (BW) and backfat (BF) as the blocking criteria. All sows were fed one common corn-soybean meal-based diet with the amount of 1.0×maintenance energy intake (100×BW(0.75)kcalME/d) throughout gestation except 3 periods of 7 d when dietary treatments were imposed on d 27, d 55 and d 83 of gestation. During the 3 short periods, sows were fed 1 of 4 different feeding levels: 0.5, 1.0, 1.5 and 2.0×maintenance energy level (0.5M, 1.0M, 1.5M and 2.0M, respectively). Results showed that both BW gain (16.12, 24.74, 30.62 and 36.71kg, respectively) and BF change (-0.27, 0.99, 1.49 and 2.45mm, respectively) from d 27 to 109 of gestation increased linearly (P<0.01) with the increase of gestation feeding levels. In contrast, with the rise of gestation feeding levels, lactation BW gain (14.31, 9.84, 7.09 and 3.50kg, respectively) decreased linearly (P<0.01), while BF loss during lactation (-0.79, -0.92, -1.12 and -1.57mm, respectively) increased linearly (P=0.05). Additionally, average daily feed intake during lactation (7.05, 7.00, 6.91 and 6.52kg, respectively) tended to decrease linearly (P=0.09) in response to the increase of gestation feeding levels. Furthermore, piglet birth weights increased linearly (P<0.01) with the increase of gestation feeding levels, while piglet weaning weights were similar (P>0.10) among treatments. Subsequent reproductive performance was not affected (P>0.10) by feeding levels during the previous reproductive cycle. In conclusion, increasing feeding levels during 3 short periods of gestation increased BW and BF gains during gestation and caused less BW gain and more BF loss during lactation due to the reduction of

  7. Effect of Multiple Stresses (Thermal, Nutritional, and Walking Stress) on the Reproductive Performance of Malpura Ewes

    PubMed Central

    Sejian, V.; Maurya, V. P.; Kumar, K.; Naqvi, S. M. K.

    2012-01-01

    A study was conducted to assess the effect of multiple stresses (thermal, nutritional, and walking stress) on the reproductive performance of Malpura ewes. The study was conducted for a period of 35 days covering two estrous cycles during summer season (April-May). The ewes were randomly allocated into two groups of twelve animals each namely, GI (n=12; Control), and GII (n=1 2; Multiple stresses). GI ewes were maintained in the shed, while GII ewes were subjected to multiple stresses (thermal, nutritional, and walking stress). The estrus % differed significantly (P< 0.05) between the groups. Estrus duration also showed similar trend to that of estrus %. Both conception and lambing rate also differed significantly (P< 0.05) between the control and multiple-stress group. In addition plasma estradiol and progesterone also showed significant difference between the groups. The study proved the detrimental effects of multiple-stresses on various reproductive parameters studied. Hence it is very pertinent to conclude that when two or more than two stressors occur simultaneously, the total impact may be severe on reproductive functions of the animals. PMID:22448337

  8. Effects of Perfluorooctane sulfonate on immobilization, heartbeat, reproductive and biochemical performance of Daphnia magna.

    PubMed

    Liang, Ruoyu; He, Jiao; Shi, Yajuan; Li, Zhifen; Sarvajayakesavalu, Suriyanarayanan; Baninla, Yvette; Guo, Feifan; Chen, Juan; Xu, Xiangbo; Lu, Yonglong

    2017-02-01

    In recent years, Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) was widely detected in Yellow-Bohai Sea and other areas, causing a series of adverse effects in aquatic organisms. However, present studies of its chronic and acute toxicity on aquatic organisms were far more inadequate. Therefore, in the present study, Daphnia magna was used to investigate PFOS toxicity on their immobilization, heartbeat, reproductive and biochemical performance in acute, subchronic and chronic exposure. The results showed that the 48h-EC50 value for immobilization was 79.35 mg L(-1) and the toxicity was classified as intermediate. Heartbeat was significantly stimulated and reproductive parameters were significantly suppressed by PFOS, which can be used to reflect the toxicological effects on individuals. On the other hand, intrinsic rate of natural increase was more sensitive than reproductive parameters, which indicated negative responses on population dynamics of Daphnia magna. In addition, there were different degrees of inhibition on GST, CAT and ChE activity, which indicated three types of enzyme could become biomarkers to chronic PFOS exposure. Most of selected and evaluated endpoints have significant sensitivity to PFOS at the concentration of 8 mg L(-1) during subchronic and chronic exposure.

  9. Administration of a long-acting antiparasitic to pre-pubertal ewe-lambs in Greece results in earlier reproductive activity and improved reproductive performance.

    PubMed

    Mavrogianni, V S; Papadopoulos, E; Fragkou, I A; Gougoulis, D A; Valasi, I; Orfanou, D C; Ptochos, S; Gallidis, E; Fthenakis, G C

    2011-04-19

    We studied the reproductive effects of administration of a long-acting antiparasitic (moxidectin) given to pre-pubertal ewe-lambs in Greece at the beginning of the reproductive season. 45 animals, naturally infected with trichostrongylids, were allocated into treated (n=30, treatment on D0, 21 June) or control (n=15) group. Rams of confirmed fertility, were introduced from 15 August (D55) to 20 December (D182) into the ewe-lambs. Throughout the study (performed at latitude N 36°26', in a flock free from brucellosis, Chlamydophila infection and toxoplasmosis), epg counts were monitored and reproductive performance of ewes was assessed. Up to D112, arithmetic mean epg counts in treated animals were 0; thereafter and up to D350, they were 23-473. Respective figures for controls were 190-977 epg. Reproductive performance parameters for treated and control animals respectively, were as follows; median 'Interval to first mating after ram introduction': 36.5 d and 71.0 (P=0.04); median 'Age at first mating': 8.5m and 10.0m (P=0.045); 'Cycling rate': 20.0% and 6.7% (P=0.03); 'Mating rate': 86.7% and 66.7%; 'Return-to-oestrus rate': 26.7% and 26.7%; 'Abortion rate': 3.3% and 0%; 'Lambing rate': 83.3% and 66.7%; 'Total lambs born per ewe' and 'Liveborn lambs born per ewe': 1.5 and 1.1 (P=0.01); 'Stillbirth rate' 0% and 0% and 'Lamb bodyweight per ewe': 5.0 kg and 3.8 kg (P=0.005). Anthelmintic treatment of pre-pubertal ewes, in order to maximise reproductive performance may be employed as a management strategy according to targets set in individual flocks.

  10. Rabbit dietary supplementation with pale purple coneflower. 1. Effects on the reproductive performance and immune parameters of does.

    PubMed

    Dabbou, S; Rotolo, L; Kovitvadhi, A; Bergagna, S; Dezzutto, D; Barbero, R; Rubiolo, P; Schiavone, A; De Marco, M; Helal, A N; Zoccarato, I; Gasco, L

    2016-07-01

    Echinacea pallida (EPAL), also known as pale purple coneflower, is a herbaceous flowering plant with immune-enhancement and antioxidative properties. The effect of EPAL on the reproductive performance, serum biochemistry and haematological parameters of rabbit does has been studied here. A total of 100, 21-week-old Grimaud rabbit does, were randomly assigned to two groups. One group was fed a basal diet supplemented with 3 g EPAL/kg diet (Echinacea group, E), while the other was fed the basal diet without the supplementation (control group, C). The reproductive performance of the does was not affected by the treatment (P>0.05). The haematological parameters of pregnant rabbits showed that there was no interaction between gestation day and treatment. The EPAL supplementation induced a reduction (-47.3%) in the basophil cell rate (0.55% and 0.29%, for the control and treatment groups, respectively; P=0.049). The gestation day significantly affected most of the haematological parameters (P<0.05). The white blood cell counts declined progressively after day 14. The mean corpuscular haemoglobin, mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration, red cell distribution width, mean platelet volume and eosinophils increased steadily throughout the study, and reached a maximum value on day 28. The red blood cells, haemoglobin, haematocrit, mean corpuscular volume and neutrophils increased slightly up to day 14, and then subsequently decreased progressively until day 28. The lymphocytes and platelet distribution width decreased until day 14, and then increased to a maximum value on day 28. No significant effect of gestation day or treatment was observed on the blood serum chemistry. As far as the immune parameters are concerned, no significant differences were observed between groups, while a significant effect of gestation day was observed for lysozymes (6.02 v. 7.99 v. 1.91; for 0, 14 and 28 days, respectively; P=0.014). In conclusion, a lack of effect of EPAL has been observed

  11. 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.

  12. Generation of a specific immunological response to FGF-2 does not affect wound healing or reproduction.

    PubMed

    Plum, Stacy M; Vu, Hong A; Mercer, Bobby; Fogler, William E; Fortier, Anne H

    2004-02-01

    Angiogenesis, the process of new capillary formation from pre-existing vessels, has been established as an important mechanism involved in pathologic processes, such as cancer, as well as in normal physiology (Ribatti, D.; Vacca, A.; Roncali, L.; Dammacco, F. Angiogenesis under normal and pathological conditions. Haematologica 1991, 76 (4), 311-320). Basic fibroblast growth factor (FGF-2) is a critical mediator of angiogenesis that is important for normal reproduction and wound healing. FGF-2 mediates its pro-angiogenic effects by binding to heparin sulfate proteoglycan in addition to a tyrosine kinase receptor (Baird, A.; Schubert, D.; Ling, N.; Guillemin, R. Receptor and heparin-binding domain of basic fibroblast growth factor. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. 1998, 5 (7), 2324-2328; Richard, C.; Roghani, M.; Moscatelli, D. Fibroblast growth factor (FGF)-2 mediates cell attachment through interactions with two FGF receptor-1 isoforms and extracellular matrix or cell-associated heparin sulfate proteoglycans. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 2000, 276 (2), 399-405; Casu, B.; Guerrini, M.; Naggi, A.; Perez, M.; Torri, G.; Ribatti, D.; Carminati, P.; Giannini, G.; Penco, S.; Pisano, C.; Belleri, M.; Rusnati, M.; Presta, M. Short heparin sequences spaced by glycol-split urinate residues are antagonists of fibroblast growth factor 2 and angiogenesis inhibitors. Biochemistry 2002, 41 (33), 10519-10528; Murphy, P.V.; Pitt, N.; O'Brien, A.; Enright, P.M.; Dunne, A.; Wilson, S.J.; Duane, R.M.; O'Boyle, K.M. Identification of novel inhibitors of fibroblast growth factor (FGF-2) binding to heparin and endothelial cell survival from a structurally diverse carbohybrid library. Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett. 2002, 12 (22), 3287-3290). We developed a liposomal-based peptide vaccine, L(HBD) that targets the heparin binding domain of the FGF-2 molecule. This vaccine, when inoculated into mice, inhibits angiogenesis in response to FGF-2 in a hepatic sponge model as well as tumor progression

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. Selection for superior growth advances the onset of puberty and increases reproductive performance in ewe lambs.

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-01

    The reproductive efficiency of the entire sheep flock could be improved if ewe lambs go through puberty early and produce their first lamb at 1 year of age. The onset of puberty is linked to the attainment of critical body mass, and therefore we tested whether it would be influenced by genetic selection for growth rate or for rate of accumulation of muscle or fat. We studied 136 Merino ewe lambs with phenotypic values for depth of eye muscle (EMD) and fat (FAT) and Australian Sheep Breeding Values at post-weaning age (200 days) for live weight (PWT), eye muscle depth (PEMD) and fat depth (PFAT). First oestrus was detected with testosterone-treated wethers and then entire rams as the ewes progressed from 6 to 10 months of age. Blood concentrations of leptin and IGF-I were measured to test whether they were related to production traits and reproductive performance (puberty, fertility and reproductive rate). In total, 97% of the lambs reached first oestrus at average weight 39.4 ± 0.4 kg (mean ± s.e.m.) and age 219 days (range 163 to 301). Age at first oestrus decreased with increases in values for PWT (P < 0.001), and concentrations of IGF-I (P < 0.05) and leptin (P < 0.01). The proportion of ewe lambs that achieved puberty was positively related with increases in values for EMD (P < 0.01), FAT (P < 0.05) or PWT (P < 0.01), and 75% of the ewe lambs were pregnant at average weight 44.7 ± 0.5 kg and age 263 days (range 219 to 307). Ewe lambs that were heavier at the start of mating were more fertile (P < 0.001) and had a higher reproductive rate (P < 0.001). Fertility and reproductive rate were positively correlated with increases in values for EMD (P < 0.01), FAT (P < 0.05), PWT (P < 0.01) and leptin concentration (P < 0.01). Fertility, but not reproductive rate, increased as values for PFAT increased (P < 0.05). Leptin concentration increased with increases in values for EMD (P < 0.001), FAT (P < 0.001), PWT (P < 0.001), PEMD (P < 0.05) and PFAT (P < 0.05). Many

  17. 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

  18. Effects of restricted feeding of prepubertal ewe lambs on reproduction and lactation performances over two breeding seasons.

    PubMed

    Villeneuve, L; Cinq-Mars, D; Lacasse, P

    2010-12-01

    The aim of this study was to determine the effects of restricted feeding before puberty on reproduction, lactation and offspring growth performance in replacement ewe lambs over two breeding seasons. At weaning, 41 Dorset ewe lambs were assigned to one of three diets: an ad libitum control diet with medium-quality forage (MQF; 13.3% crude protein (CP), 1.81 Mcal metabolizable energy per kg, 42.8% ADF; diet A-MQF); a restricted diet with the same forage as A but less feed concentrate (diet R-MQF); or a high-quality forage (HQF) diet (14.8% CP, 2.15 Mcal ME/kg, 34.7% ADF; diet F-HQF). The quantity of concentrate offered to the group R-MQF and F-HQF ewe lambs was adjusted to obtain 70% of the control ewe lambs' growth rate. The diets were offered for 75 days following weaning to cover the allometric phase of mammary gland development. Prepubertal restriction did not affect (P > 0.10) the gestation rate, number of lambs born or the body weight and body condition score of ewes at lambing or at the end of lactation. Ewes from groups R-MQF and F-HQF tended to produce more milk during their first lactation compared to those from group A-MQF (P = 0.07). During the second lactation, groups R-MQF and F-HQF had better standardized milk production than group A-MQF (P < 0.05), and group R-MQF produced more milk than group F-HQF (P < 0.05). Milk fat and protein content were not affected by treatments (P > 0.10) Fat and protein yield were affected by treatments only at the second lactation (P < 0.10 and P < 0.05, respectively). Lamb birth and weaning weights were not affected by prepubertal restriction of feeding in their mother (P > 0.10). However, the average daily gain of second breeding season lambs was higher for the R-MQF group than the F-HQF group (P < 0.05), and a similar trend was observed for total gain (P < 0.10). Restricted feeding before puberty does not impair future reproductive performance; however, it has a positive impact on lactation and on lambs' growth

  19. [Using on-farm records to evaluate the reproductive performance in dairy herds].

    PubMed

    Iwersen, M; Klein, D; Drillich, M

    2012-01-01

    The designated abolition of the European milk quota system on April 1st 2015 is expected to have tremendous effects on the business environment on most dairy farms. Meanwhile farmers should use weak-point analyses to identify "bottlenecks" within their production and herd management system. As experts in herd health and herd performance, veterinarians should give advice to their clients based on sound analyses of production data. Therefore, accurate and reliable on-farm records are needed. This paper will focus on data management, especially data collection, and will address the concepts of evaluation of reproduction records.

  20. Factors Affecting Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells Performance and Reproducibility

    SciTech Connect

    Moller-Holst S.

    1998-11-01

    Development of fuel cells is often based on small-scale laboratory studies. Due to limited time and budgets, a minimum number of cells are usually prepared and tested, thus, conclusions about improved performance are often drawn from studies of a few cells. Generally, statistics showing the significance of an effect are seldom reported. In this work a simple PEM fuel cell electrode optimization experiment is used as an example to illustrate the importance of statistical evaluation of factors affecting cell performance. The use of fractional factorial design of experiments to reduce the number of cells that have to be studied is also addressed.

  1. 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.

  2. Evaluating the reproductive performance of British beef and dairy herds using national cattle movement records.

    PubMed

    Gates, M C

    2013-11-23

    National cattle movement databases provide a valuable opportunity to monitor the reproductive performance of breeding cattle on an industry-wide scale. In this analysis, records from the Cattle Tracing System database were used to derive key measures of reproductive efficiency for British beef and dairy herds, including calving spread, age at first calving, calving interval, culling rate and calf mortality rate. At the animal level, only 8.5 per cent of beef heifers and 6.9 per cent of dairy heifers calved by the target age of 24 months. The average calving interval was 394 days for beef dams (median: 371) and 426 days for dairy dams (median: 400). Differences in performance were noted between cattle breeds. An estimated 43.9 per cent calves born in dairy herds were crossbreed beef animals, which may limit the availability of replacement dairy heifers. At the herd level, calving spread and calf mortality rates increased with herd size, while average age at first calving, calving interval, and crossbreeding generally decreased with herd size. Dam age, calving month, breed and twinning were significant risk factors for culling and calf mortality at the animal level. Wide variation in performance between individual herds highlights the potential for improving the efficiency of British cattle production.

  3. 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.

  4. Are introspective reaction times affected by the method of time estimation? A comparison of visual analogue scales and reproduction.

    PubMed

    Bryce, Donna; Bratzke, Daniel

    2015-04-01

    In this study, we investigated whether the method of time estimation plays a role in the apparent limits of introspection in dual-task processing. Previous studies showed that when participants reported introspective reaction times after each trial of a dual task by clicking on a visual analogue scale, they appeared to be unaware of the dual-task costs in their performance. However, visual analogue scales have seldom been used in interval estimation, and they may be inappropriate. In the present study, after each dual-task trial, participants reported their introspective reaction times either via a visual analogue scale or via the method of reproduction. The results replicated the previous findings, irrespective of method. That is, even though responses to the second task slowed down with increasing task overlap, this slowing was only very weakly reflected in the introspective reaction times. Thus, the participants' failure to report the objective dual-task costs in their reaction times is a rather robust finding that cannot be attributed to the method employed. However, introspective reaction times reported via visual analogue scales were more closely related to the objective reaction times, suggesting that visual analogue scales are preferable to reproduction. We conclude that introspective reaction times represent the same information regardless of method, but whether that information is temporal in nature is as yet unsettled.

  5. Binaural auditory beats affect vigilance performance and mood.

    PubMed

    Lane, J D; Kasian, S J; Owens, J E; Marsh, G R

    1998-01-01

    When two tones of slightly different frequency are presented separately to the left and right ears the listener perceives a single tone that varies in amplitude at a frequency equal to the frequency difference between the two tones, a perceptual phenomenon known as the binaural auditory beat. Anecdotal reports suggest that binaural auditory beats within the electroencephalograph frequency range can entrain EEG activity and may affect states of consciousness, although few scientific studies have been published. This study compared the effects of binaural auditory beats in the EEG beta and EEG theta/delta frequency ranges on mood and on performance of a vigilance task to investigate their effects on subjective and objective measures of arousal. Participants (n = 29) performed a 30-min visual vigilance task on three different days while listening to pink noise containing simple tones or binaural beats either in the beta range (16 and 24 Hz) or the theta/delta range (1.5 and 4 Hz). However, participants were kept blind to the presence of binaural beats to control expectation effects. Presentation of beta-frequency binaural beats yielded more correct target detections and fewer false alarms than presentation of theta/delta frequency binaural beats. In addition, the beta-frequency beats were associated with less negative mood. Results suggest that the presentation of binaural auditory beats can affect psychomotor performance and mood. This technology may have applications for the control of attention and arousal and the enhancement of human performance.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Metabolic changes in early lactation and impaired reproductive performance in dairy cows.

    PubMed

    Jorritsma, Ruurd; Wensing, Theo; Kruip, Theo A M; Vos, Peter L A M; Noordhuizen, Jos P T M

    2003-01-01

    This review addresses the suggestion that the decline in dairy reproductive performance, as increasingly observed these days, may be due to a hampered process of metabolic adaptation in early lactating cows. In our opinion, adaptation to the negative energy balance is a gradual process. Because almost all cows do adapt in the long run, it is not possible to classify animals as adapted or non-adapted. The use of risk factors is more appropriate in this case and is discussed in this review. Among them are the body condition score and its derivatives, feed intake, the calculated negative energy balance, and metabolic parameters like the plasma concentration of insulin or the triacylglycerol content in the liver. Moreover, factors that play a role in the link between declined reproductive performance and the metabolic situation of the cow during the early lactating period are discussed. Among these are insulin, insulin-like growth factors, leptin, neuropeptide Y, non-esterified fatty acids, thyroïd hormones, urea, and ammonia.

  11. Technical report: serial collections of placentomes during parturition in cattle and subsequent reproductive performance.

    PubMed

    McNeel, Anthony K; Ondrak, Jeff D; Cushman, Robert A

    2013-05-01

    Placental separation is a complex physiological event in reproductive physiology and the underlying molecular mechanisms remain unclear. When comparing different experiments the timing of tissue collections is a significant consideration due to the variability in time between fetal expulsion and expulsion of the placenta (30 min to >24 h). This makes comparison of tissues samples across animals difficult and supports the need for serial tissue collections within animal. Additionally, the instrument most commonly used, a modified Richter-Resinsinger effeminator, for placentome collections is difficult to obtain and there are no data in the literature record regarding subsequent reproductive performance of animals subjected placentome collections. To facilitate continued research into the physiology behind placental separation, we designed an instrument from readily available components and performed serial transvaginal placentome collections in cattle. Three placentomes at 2-h intervals were collected after expulsion of the calf in 18 multiparous cows. There was no incidence of mortality and all cows resumed estrous after the procedure. Neither time from placentome collection nor age had a significant effect on pregnancy status at diagnosis (P > 0.05). These results demonstrate the viability of and utility of this device for collecting multiple placentomes in cattle.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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, Arthur 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.

  15. The influence of cow and management factors on reproductive performance of Irish seasonal calving dairy cows.

    PubMed

    Lane, Elizabeth A; Crowe, Mark A; Beltman, Marijke E; More, Simon J

    2013-09-01

    Herd management record analysis facilitates accurate assessment of the current herd reproductive status; a crucial decision making tool to implement effective change. To determine the relative importance of cow and management factors on reproductive indices in moderate-yielding Irish seasonal-calving dairy herds, breeding records of 1173 cows were collected from 10 seasonal calving herds between 2007 and 2009. Backward-stepwise multivariable logistic regression analysis was utilised to determine the effect of cow factors including parity, calving timing, days post partum, heat detection accuracy and herd factors including herd size and heat detection efficiency on key reproductive indices. Mean farm six-week pregnancy and end of season not-in-calf rate were 46% (range 14-72%) and 22% (range 3-40%), respectively. Oestrous detection efficiency (P<0.001), timing of calving (P<0.001) relative to start of breeding, history of abnormal repeat intervals (P<0.001) and length of post partum interval (P<0.001) were each associated with lower six-week pregnancy rates. Timing of calving (P<0.001) and history of abnormal repeat intervals (P<0.001) were associated with higher not-in-calf rates. Herd size and cow parity were not associated (P>0.05) with either outcome when factors including existing calving pattern and heat detection accuracy and efficiency were accounted for. The existing spread in calving pattern, heat detection quality and length of voluntary waiting period were the most influential factors that reduced fertility performance in seasonal-calving herds.

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

    PubMed

    Glock, Xaver T P; Bilkei, Gabor

    2005-12-01

    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.

  17. Appropriate timing of uterine cavity length measurement positively affects assisted reproduction cycle outcome.

    PubMed

    Madani, Tahereh; Ashrafi, Mahnaz; Abadi, Akram Bahman; Kiani, Kiandokht

    2009-11-01

    An appropriate and easy embryo transfer has a direct impact on pregnancy rates. Proper evaluation of the uterocervical axis and uterine depth are necessary for suitable embryo transfer. The aim of this study was to assess the appropriate time for cervical axis evaluation and uterine measurement. A total of 124 patients undergoing IVF treatment were included in the study. They were divided equally into two groups. In group I (62 women), uterine cavity depth was measured and the uterocervical axis was determined on day 2 or 3 of the menstrual cycle, and in group II (62 women) at the time of oocyte retrieval. There was a statistically significant difference in clinical pregnancy rates between the two groups (P = 0.006). Thirty-four women became pregnant in group I (64.2%) versus 19 women in group II (35.8%). In conclusion, uterine cavity measurement is necessary for suitable embryo transfer. It seems that the time of measurement significantly affects clinical pregnancy rate in IVF cycles. The best time for uterine measurement is on day 2 or 3 of menstruation.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Tail regeneration affects the digestive performance of a Mediterranean lizard

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sagonas, Kostas; Karambotsi, Niki; Bletsa, Aristoula; Reppa, Aikaterini; Pafilis, Panayiotis; Valakos, Efstratios D.

    2017-04-01

    In caudal autotomy, lizards shed their tail to escape from an attacking predator. Since the tail serves multiple functions, caudal regeneration is of pivotal importance. However, it is a demanding procedure that requires substantial energy and nutrients. Therefore, lizards have to increase energy income to fuel the extraordinary requirements of the regenerating tail. We presumed that autotomized lizards would adjust their digestion to acquire this additional energy. To clarify the effects of tail regeneration on digestion, we compared the digestive performance before autotomy, during regeneration, and after its completion. Tail regeneration indeed increased gut passage time but did not affect digestive performance in a uniform pattern: though protein income was maximized, lipid and sugar acquisition remained stable. This divergence in proteins may be attributed to their particular role in tail reconstruction, as they are the main building blocks for tissue formation.

  1. 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

  2. Can small shifts in circadian phase affect performance?

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

    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 h shift away from a proposed optimal circadian phase angle (6 h 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.

  3. Diverse Effects of Phytoestrogens on the Reproductive Performance: Cow as a Model

    PubMed Central

    Wocławek-Potocka, Izabela; Mannelli, Chiara; Boruszewska, Dorota; Kowalczyk-Zieba, Ilona; Waśniewski, Tomasz; Skarżyński, Dariusz J.

    2013-01-01

    Phytoestrogens, polyphenolic compounds derived from plants, are more and more common constituents of human and animal diets. In most of the cases, these chemicals are much less potent than endogenous estrogens but exert their biological effects via similar mechanisms of action. The most common source of phytoestrogen exposure to humans as well as ruminants is soybean-derived foods that are rich in the isoflavones genistein and daidzein being metabolized in the digestive tract to even more potent metabolites—para-ethyl-phenol and equol. Phytoestrogens have recently come into considerable interest due to the increasing information on their adverse effects in human and animal reproduction, increasing the number of people substituting animal proteins with plant-derived proteins. Finally, the soybean becomes the main source of protein in animal fodder because of an absolute prohibition of bone meal use for animal feeding in 1995 in Europe. The review describes how exposure of soybean-derived phytoestrogens can have adverse effects on reproductive performance in female adults. PMID:23710176

  4. Factors affecting effective communication about sexual and reproductive health issues between parents and adolescents in zandspruit informal settlement, Johannesburg, South Africa

    PubMed Central

    Motsomi, Kegaugetswe; Makanjee, Chandra; Basera, Tariro; Nyasulu, Peter

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Communication between parents and adolescents regarding sexuality is an important reproductive health topic. Due to complexities associated with adolescent's physiological development, sexuality should be dealt with holistically. This study aimed to investigate factors affecting effective communication between parents and adolescents concerning sexual and reproductive health issues. Methods An exploratory qualitative study using the focus group discussions method was done to explore amongst other things; social, cultural and religious barriers to communication. Thematic content analysis was done. Results Factors identified included: embarrassment when discussing sexual topics; adolescent misperceptions that guardians want to engage in sexual activities with them; strong belief amongst guardians that reproductive health discussions with adolescents encourages sexual experimentation; belief that adolescents were too young to understand; non-conducive environment for open discussions of sexual and reproductive health matters; cultural and religious beliefs. Conclusion In view of these findings, there are still barriers in terms of parent-adolescent engagement on issues related to risks associated with sexual behaviours and erroneous reproductive health choices among adolescents. Therefore, there is a need to encourage engagement by creating neutral platforms facilitated by community healthcare providers and/ or social workers. This will help create awareness and bridge the communication and interaction gap by emphasising the importance of effective engagement among adolescents and their parents on matters related to risks associated with sexual behaviours and erroneous reproductive health choices. Post implantation intervention studies are needed to inform on the outcomes of the intervention. PMID:28292083

  5. Female access and diet affect insemination success, senescence, and the cost of reproduction in male Mexican fruit flies Anastrepha ludens.

    PubMed

    Harwood, James F; Chen, Kehui; Liedo, Pablo; Müller, Hans-Georg; Wang, Jane-Ling; Morice, Amy E; Carey, James R

    2015-03-01

    Hypotheses exploring the influence of dietary conditions on the life history trade-off between survival and reproductive success are extensively tested in female insects, but are rarely explored in males. Here, the impact of dietary quality and female access on age-specific reproduction and survival of male Mexican fruit flies, Anastrepha ludens Loew (Diptera: Tephritidae), are examined. There is a clear cost of female access for males with access to dietary protein, measurable as a decrease in life expectancy, which is further influenced by the age when females are introduced. A protein deficient diet reduces the lifespan benefit of virginity and masks the detrimental effect of female access on male life expectancy. Dietary protein is not necessary for reproductive success, but access to protein at eclosion improves the lifetime reproductive success of males compared to when it is delayed. Overall, reproductive success diminishes as the male flies age, regardless of the dietary conditions, providing evidence for reproductive senescence in males. Delaying the males' access to a protein source fails to influence the negative effect of age on reproductive ability. Because age specific reproductive rates decline with age, regardless of diet, male fitness does not benefit from lifespan extension. Therefore, males can be expected to allocate available resources towards reproductive effort in favour of extended lifespan, regardless of mate and protein availability.

  6. 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

  7. 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...

  8. Performance, endocrine, metabolic, and reproductive responses of Nellore heifers submitted to different supplementation levels pre- and post-weaning.

    PubMed

    da Silva, Aline Gomes; Paulino, Mário Fonseca; da Silva Amorim, Lincoln; Rennó, Luciana Navajas; Detmann, Edenio; de Moura, Felipe Henrique; Manso, Marcos Rocha; Silva E Paiva, Paulo Henrique; Ortega, Román Enrique Maza; de Melo, Luciano Prímola

    2017-02-11

    The present study was conducted to evaluate the effects of high and low supplementation levels pre- and post-weaning on performance, endocrine, metabolic, and reproductive responses of Nellore heifers. Fifty Nellore heifers with 132 ± 9.9 kg average body weight (BW) and 138 ± 19 days of age were supplemented from 4 to 14 months. The heifers were distributed into five supplementation plans: HH-6 g/kg of BW of supplement pre- and post-weaning, HL-6 g/kg of BW of supplement pre-weaning and 3 g/kg post-weaning, LH-3 g/kg of BW pre-weaning and 6 g/kg of BW post-weaning, LL-3 g/kg of BW pre- and post-weaning, and CC-control, no supplementation. Interactions were not significant (P > 0.10). The level of supplement fed pre-weaning did not affect any of the performance variables evaluated at the end of the experiment (P > 0.10). There was a significant effect of supplementation and level of supplementation fed post-weaning on average daily gain (ADG) and final BW (P < 0.05). Overall ADG was also affected only by supplementation and level of supplement fed post-weaning (P < 0.05) with animals receiving 6 g/kg of BW post-weaning gaining more weight. Follicular diameter was greater in animals that received 6 g/kg of BW post-weaning (P < 0.05). In summary, performance, endocrine, metabolic, and reproductive variables evaluated in the current study were improved by the level of supplement fed post-weaning. Heifers receiving supplementation of 6 g/kg of BW post-weaning had greater responses, independent of the level received during the pre-weaning phase.

  9. 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 ...

  10. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sedinger, James S.; Ward, David H.; Schamber, Jason L.; Butler, William I.; Eldridge, William D.; Conant, Bruce; Voelzer, James F.; Chelgren, Nathan; Herzog, Mark 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.

  12. Effects of Lantana camara (Verbenaceae) on general reproductive performance and teratology in rats.

    PubMed

    Mello, Fernanda B; Jacobus, Daniela; Carvalho, Kelly; Mello, João R B

    2005-03-15

    Lantana camara L. (Verbenaceae) possesses several medicinal properties and it is used in folk medicine with antipyretic, antimicrobial and antimutagenic properties. This plant is one of the 10 most noxious weeds in the world. Lantana poisoning have caused severe economic losses and was the major cause of livestock mortality and morbidity. In this article we report the effects of hydroalcoholic extract from Lantana camara var. aculeata leaves on fertility, general reproductive performance and teratology in the rat. The data showed that the extract interfered in the frequency of fetal skeleton anomalies from dams treated with the extract and induced embryotoxicity as indicated by post-implantation loss, without any signs of maternal toxicity. The other parameters evaluated did not suggest modifications.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Long, T.M.

    1995-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  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.

  19. Lithium-oxygen batteries-Limiting factors that affect performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Padbury, Richard; Zhang, Xiangwu

    2011-05-01

    Lithium-oxygen batteries have recently received attention due to their extremely high theoretical energy densities, which far exceed that of any other existing energy storage technology. The significantly larger theoretical energy density of the lithium-oxygen batteries is due to the use of a pure lithium metal anode and the fact that the cathode oxidant, oxygen, is stored externally since it can be readily obtained from the surrounding air. Before the lithium-oxygen batteries can be realized as high performance, commercially viable products, there are still many challenges to overcome, from designing their cathode structure, to optimizing their electrolyte compositions and elucidating the complex chemical reactions that occur during charge and discharge. The scientific obstacles that are related to the performance of the lithium-oxygen batteries open up an exciting opportunity for researchers from many different backgrounds to utilize their unique knowledge and skills to bridge the knowledge gaps that exist in current research projects. This article is a summary of the most significant limiting factors that affect the performance of the lithium-oxygen batteries from the perspective of the authors. The article indicates the relationships that form between various limiting factors and highlights the complex yet captivating nature of the research within this field.

  20. Administration of hCG 5 days after breeding and reproductive performance in nulliparous dairy goats.

    PubMed

    Fonseca, J F; Torres, C A A

    2005-12-01

    The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of hCG administration 5 days after breeding on plasma progesterone (P4) concentration and reproductive performance of oestrous-induced nulliparous dairy goats. A total of 59 nulliparous goats (36 Alpine and 23 Saanen) received intravaginal sponges with 60 mg medroxyprogesterone acetate for 9 days plus 200 IU equine chorionic gonadotrophin (eCG) and 22.5 microg d-cloprostenol 24 h before sponge removal. After detection of oestrus (day of oestrus = day 0) and breeding, 49 females were randomly assigned, according to the breed, into two treatments (T1 and T2). In T1 (n = 25) and T2 (n = 24), animals received intramuscular injection of 1 ml of saline solution (control) or 250 IU hCG, respectively, 5 days after breeding. Plasma P4 concentration (ng/ml) was determined from blood sampled on days 0, 5, 7, 13, 17, 21, 28 and 45 after breeding. Animals were scanned by transrectal ultrasound (5 MHz probe) on days 35 and 70 after breeding for detection of pregnancy. Plasma P4 concentration did not differ (p > 0.05) between treatments in all days, but it was increased (p < 0.05) in Saanen than in Alpine goats from days 13 to 45. Pregnancy and parturition rates, litter size and gestation period were similar (p > 0.05) to treatments and breeds. Results of this study indicate that human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) administration 5 days after breeding did not significantly alter reproductive performance in dairy nulliparous goats and that plasma P4 differed between Saanen and Alpine goats.

  1. 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.

  2. Factors affecting animal performance during the grazing season in a mountain cattle production system.

    PubMed

    Casasús, I; Sanz, A; Villalba, D; Ferrer, R; Revilla, R

    2002-06-01

    The factors influencing weight changes during the grazing season of Brown Swiss autumn-calving cows and Brown Swiss and Pirenaica spring-calving cows and their calves were studied over an 8-yr period in Spanish mountain conditions. The data set comprised 552 annual production cycles of cows that calved in two consecutive years. The animals grazed on alpine ranges during the summer and on forest pastures in the spring and autumn. They were housed during the winter and fed at different feeding levels (83 to 117% of their energy requirements) throughout the years of study. Weights were recorded every 3 mo and corrected to account for changes of digestive content and fetal growth, using theoretical relationships. Cow weight gains both on forest pastures and high mountain ranges were higher in autumn- than in spring-calving Brown Swiss cows, and therefore also during the whole grazing season (52.1 vs 7.7 kg, respectively, P < 0.001). Therefore, weight at calving and thereafter was significantly higher in autumn- than in spring-calving cows, which was associated with better reproductive performance (35.5 vs 49.1 d from calving to first ovulation, P < 0.01). In the spring-calving herd, Pirenaica cows had slightly higher gains than Brown Swiss cows during the grazing period (18.5 vs 7.7 kg, P < 0.001), mainly due to their higher gains on forest pastures, but their reproductive performance was similar (44.5 vs 49.1 d from calving to first ovulation, respectively, not statistically significant). Gains were higher in multiparous than in primiparous cows (31.1 vs 14.1 kg, respectively, P < 0.001), especially in the case of Brown Swiss cows, which were younger at first calving. Gains were affected by year of study (P < 0.001) and previous weight changes during the housing period (r = -0.35 and r = -0.21 in autumn- and spring-calving cows respectively, P < 0.001). In the case of autumn-calving cows, performance on pasture was also affected by the stage of pregnancy at housing (r

  3. Parents' job insecurity affects children's academic performance through cognitive difficulties.

    PubMed

    Barling, J; Zacharatos, A; Hepburn, C G

    1999-06-01

    The authors developed and tested a model in which children who perceive their parents to be insecure about their jobs are distracted cognitively, which in turn affects their academic performance negatively. Participants were 102 female and 18 male undergraduates (mean age = 18 years), their fathers (mean age = 49 years), and their mothers (mean age = 47 years). Students completed questionnaires measuring perceived parental job insecurity, identification with parents, and cognitive difficulties; 3 months later, they also reported their midyear grades. Fathers and mothers each completed questionnaires assessing their job insecurity. Support for the model was obtained using LISREL 8, and as predicted, children's identification with their mothers and fathers moderated the relationship between their perceptions of their mothers' and fathers' job insecurity and their own cognitive difficulties.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Association among energy status, subclinical endometritis postpartum and subsequent reproductive performance in Egyptian buffaloes.

    PubMed

    Senosy, W; Hussein, H A

    2013-07-01

    Sixty pluriparous, clinically normal buffalo cows (n=60) were used to investigate the relationships between metabolic status, subclinical endometritis and reproductive performance. Subclinical endometritis was diagnosed by endometrial cytology (EC) and ultrasonography (US) during weeks 4-9 postpartum (pp). A comparative assessment of these diagnostic approaches was made with respect to reproductive outcomes. Blood samples were collected on a weekly basis from weeks 4 to 9 in order to estimate some blood metabolites including blood glucose, total cholesterol, triglycerides, high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) and low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C). Reproductive tract examination was carried out weekly from weeks 4 to 9 by endometrial cytology (percentage of polymorphonuclear cells; PMN%) and Ultrasonography (detection of fluid in uterus regardless to its amount or echogenicity; FIU). The percentage of buffalo cow suffering from subclinical endometritis as diagnosed by endometrial cytology was significantly (P<0.01) higher in non-pregnant cows (80%) at weeks 4 and 5 (60%) pp when compared with pregnant animals (0). HDL-c concentration was significantly lower (P<0.05) in cytologically diagnosed ENDM group (15.4±0.7mg/dl) if compared to NOENDM group (25.0±3.1mg/dl) during week 4 pp. During week 5 pp, triglycerides concentration was significantly high (P<0.05) in ENDM group, as diagnosed by the presence of FIU (184.6±12.4mg/dl) if compared to NOENDM group (102.7±30.6mg/dl). Total cholesterol concentration was significantly lower (P<0.01) in ENDM group (51.9±0.5mg/dl) than that of NOENDM group (85.9±2.0mg/dl) during week 6 pp. In conclusion, Weeks 4 and 5 pp are the best times to identify cytologically diagnosed endometritis. Furthermore, glucose and total cholesterol indicated that energy status is not a risk factor for cytologically diagnosed subclinical endometritis in buffalo cows.

  7. Reproductive performance of mice in disposable and standard individually ventilated cages.

    PubMed

    Ferguson, Danielle R; Bailey, Michele M

    2013-01-01

    This study assessed the reproductive performance of mice housed in 2 types of individually ventilated caging systems. Breeding pairs from 48 female and 24 male mice of 3 established transgenic mouse breeding colonies were placed in either a standard or disposable ventilated caging system. For 3 breeding cycles, the number of pups born, pup survival rate to weaning, time interval between litters, and pup weights were monitored for each breeding pair. Disposable and standard cages were maintained in the same location during breeding. Environmental parameters included intracage temperature, humidity, and ammonia and carbon dioxide levels and room light intensity and sound. Overall, 776 offspring were produced. Breeding performance did not differ significantly between the 2 cage types. By 11 wk of age, the weights of pups from both cage types were equivalent. The intracage temperature was 1.1 °F warmer and light intensity at the site of the nest was 34 lx dimmer in disposable cages than in standard caging. The difference in lighting likely was due to nest location; the nests in the disposable cages were at the back of the cages and away from the anterior air supply, whereas in standard caging, nests were at the front of the cages, with the air supply at the rear. Under these husbandry conditions, mice housed in disposable caging systems have comparable breeding performance to those housed in standard individually ventilated cages.

  8. 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.

  9. Relative Age Affects Marathon Performance in Male and Female Athletes

    PubMed Central

    Connick, Mark J.; Beckman, Emma M.; Tweedy, Sean M.

    2015-01-01

    Marathon runners are ranked in 5-year age groups. However the extent to which 5-year groupings facilitates equitable competition has not been evaluated. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of relative age in male and female marathon running. Marathon finishing times for the top ten male (aged 20-69 years) and female athletes (aged 20-64 years) were obtained from the 2013 New York and Chicago marathons. Intra-class and inter-class validity were evaluated by comparing performances within (intra-class) and between (inter-class) the 5-year age groups. Results showed intra-class effects in all male age groups over 50 years, in all female age groups over 40 years, and in male and female 20-24 age groups (p < 0.05). Inter-class differences existed between the 20-24 and 25-29 age groups in both males and females, between all male age groups over 50 years, and between all female age groups over 40 years (p < 0.05). This study provided the first evaluation of the effects of relative age in male and female marathon running. The results provide preliminary but compelling evidence that the relatively older male athletes in age groups over 50 years and the relatively older females in age groups over 40 years are competitively disadvantaged compared to the younger athletes in these age groups. Key points Results showed a curvilinear relationship between age and marathon running performance with the negative effect of age becoming more pronounced in older runners. Relative age effects were found in all age groups over age 50 years in males and over age 40 years in females indicating that the relatively older runners were competitively disadvantaged compared to the relatively younger runners in these age groups. Relative age affected the 20-24 age classification which is consistent with the hypothesis that marathon performance improves until peak performance occurs in the 25-29 age classification. PMID:26336355

  10. Relative Age Affects Marathon Performance in Male and Female Athletes.

    PubMed

    Connick, Mark J; Beckman, Emma M; Tweedy, Sean M

    2015-09-01

    Marathon runners are ranked in 5-year age groups. However the extent to which 5-year groupings facilitates equitable competition has not been evaluated. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of relative age in male and female marathon running. Marathon finishing times for the top ten male (aged 20-69 years) and female athletes (aged 20-64 years) were obtained from the 2013 New York and Chicago marathons. Intra-class and inter-class validity were evaluated by comparing performances within (intra-class) and between (inter-class) the 5-year age groups. Results showed intra-class effects in all male age groups over 50 years, in all female age groups over 40 years, and in male and female 20-24 age groups (p < 0.05). Inter-class differences existed between the 20-24 and 25-29 age groups in both males and females, between all male age groups over 50 years, and between all female age groups over 40 years (p < 0.05). This study provided the first evaluation of the effects of relative age in male and female marathon running. The results provide preliminary but compelling evidence that the relatively older male athletes in age groups over 50 years and the relatively older females in age groups over 40 years are competitively disadvantaged compared to the younger athletes in these age groups. Key pointsResults showed a curvilinear relationship between age and marathon running performance with the negative effect of age becoming more pronounced in older runners.Relative age effects were found in all age groups over age 50 years in males and over age 40 years in females indicating that the relatively older runners were competitively disadvantaged compared to the relatively younger runners in these age groups.Relative age affected the 20-24 age classification which is consistent with the hypothesis that marathon performance improves until peak performance occurs in the 25-29 age classification.

  11. 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

  12. Genetics of sow behavior: Associations with reproductive performance and perspectives toward loose sow housing

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A herd’s sow lifetime productivity is often reduced because a majority of animals are culled due to reproductive failure between replacement gilt selection and mating for the second parity. The ability to better identify young females with superior reproductive potential would have a major economic...

  13. Male Aedes aegypti mosquitoes use JH III transferred during copulation to influence previtellogenic ovary physiology and affect the reproductive output of female mosquitoes.

    PubMed

    Clifton, Mark E; Correa, Stefano; Rivera-Perez, Crisalejandra; Nouzova, Marcela; Noriega, Fernando G

    2014-05-01

    The effect of male accessory gland substances on female reproductive physiology has been previously described as "activating" egg development. However, no mechanism has been described that can explain how male mosquitoes are able to influence egg development in female mosquitoes. To investigate how male mosquitoes are able to influence ovarian physiology and reproductive output we explored three main questions: (1) Do mating and male accessory gland substances affect ovarian physiology and alter markers of oocyte quality during the previtellogenic resting stage? (2) Does the male accessory gland contain JH III and is JH III transferred to the female during copulation? (3) Finally, does the nutritional history of the male affect the amount of JH III transferred to the female and alter reproductive output? By answering these questions it is clear that male mosquitoes are able to alter the female's resource allocation priorities towards reproduction by transferring JH III during copulation; reducing the rate of previtellogenic resorption and increasing the amount of stored ovarian lipids. These changes improve an individual follicle's likelihood of development after a blood meal. In addition, males maintained under better nutritional conditions make and transfer more JH III, prevent more follicular resorption and realize higher fecundities than other males. Together these results illustrate one mechanism behind the "activating" effect of mating described as well as the role sugar feeding plays in male mosquitoes.

  14. Male Aedes aegypti mosquitoes use JH III transferred during copulation to influence previtellogenic ovary physiology and affect the reproductive output of female mosquitoes

    PubMed Central

    Clifton, Mark E.; Correa, Stefano; Rivera-Perez, Crisalejandra; Nouzova, Marcela; Noriega, Fernando G.

    2014-01-01

    The effect of male accessory gland substances on female reproductive physiology has been previously described as “activating” egg development. However, no mechanism has been described that can explain how male mosquitoes are able to influence egg development in female mosquitoes. To investigate how male mosquitoes are able to influence ovarian physiology and reproductive output we explored three main questions: 1) Do mating and male accessory gland substances affect ovarian physiology and alter markers of oocyte quality during the previtellogenic resting stage? 2) Does the male accessory gland contain JH III and is JH III transferred to the female during copulation? 3) Finally, does the nutritional history of the male affect the amount of JH III transferred to the female and alter reproductive output? By answering these questions it is clear that male mosquitoes are able to alter the female’s resource allocation priorities towards reproduction by transferring JH III during copulation; reducing the rate of previtellogenic resorption and increasing the amount of stored ovarian lipids. These changes improve an individual follicle’s likelihood of development after a blood meal. In addition, males maintained under better nutritional conditions make and transfer more JH III, prevent more follicular resorption and realize higher fecundities than other males. Together these results illustrate one mechanism behind the “activating” effect of mating described as well as the role sugar feeding plays in male mosquitoes. PMID:24657670

  15. 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

  16. Effect of acetyl salicylic acid in drinking water on reproductive performance of Japanese quail (Coturnix coturnix japonica).

    PubMed

    Hassan, S M; Mady, M E; Cartwright, A L; Sabri, H M; Mobarak, M S

    2003-07-01

    The impact of acetyl salicylic add (ASA) on reproductive performance during periods of heat stress was studied in Japanese quail (Coturnix coturnix japonica). During a season when daily high temperatures averaged between 34 and 40 degrees C, four treatments each containing four replicates of five males and five females were given 0, 0.5, 1.0, or 1.5 g/L ASA in drinking water from 34 to 45 wk of age. At 39 wk of age control quail were lighter than quail fed ASA. Quail receiving 1.5 g/L ASA exhibited increased fertility, hatchability, and egg production and decreased late dead and total embryonic mortality. Early dead embryos, pips, chick weight, and egg weight were not different among treatments. The lumen of uterovaginal junction sperm host glands (UVJSHG) from control quail was apparently devoid of spermatozoa, whereas quail receiving 1.5 g/L ASA had the greatest apparent accumulation of spermatozoa. Control caudal infundibulum host glands (CPOI) were devoid of spermatozoa in contrast with CPOI from quail receiving ASA. Results show that UVJSHG lumens from quail receiving 1.5 g/L ASA had larger inside diameters than other treatment groups. However, the CPOI inside diameter and the outside diameters of both UVJSHG and CPOI were not affected by ASA. Adding 1.5 g/L ASA to the drinking water of quail under heat stress improved body weight, fertility, hatchability, embryonic mortality, egg production, egg specific gravity, and sperm storage capacity.

  17. 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.

  18. 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...

  19. The effect of a single administration of cephapirin or cloprostenol on the reproductive performance of dairy cows with subclinical endometritis.

    PubMed

    Kasimanickam, R; Duffield, T F; Foster, R A; Gartley, C J; Leslie, K E; Walton, J S; Johnson, W H

    2005-02-01

    This study examined the effect of a single administration of cephapirin iu or cloprostenol im on the reproductive performance of dairy cows with subclinical endometritis. Cows (n = 228) at 20-33 days in milk (DIM) from two commercial dairy farms, determined to be normal for clinical endometritis (based on absence of abnormal uterine discharge on vaginoscopic examination) were enrolled. At enrollment, a thorough reproductive examination was performed, including rectal palpation, ultrasonography (US) and endometrial cytology (EC). The case definition for subclinical endometritis was the presence of >18% neutrophils on EC examination or fluid in uterus (FIU) on US examination. All cows were randomly assigned to receive one of three treatments: 500 mg benzathine cephapirin iu, 500 microg cloprostenol im, or control (no treatment). Reproductive performance was monitored for a minimum of 8 months after treatment. Cows with subclinical endometritis treated with cephapirin or cloprostenol had a significantly increased relative pregnancy rate compared to control [hazard ratios 1.89 (P = 0.01) and 1.70 (P = 0.05), respectively]. In conclusion, a single treatment with cephapirin or cloprostenol at 20-33 DIM significantly improved the reproductive performance of cows with subclinical endometritis.

  20. Impact of number of estrous cycles exhibited prior to start of breeding on reproductive performance in beef heifers

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Objective of this research was to evaluate effect of number of estrous cycles exhibited prior to breeding on reproductive performance of replacement beef heifers. A total of 1,176 composite heifers (½ Red Angus, ¼ Charolais, ¼ Tarentaise) were evaluated over a 9-yr period. Circulating concentration...

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Body condition score is used as a management tool to predict competency of reproduction in beef cows. Therefore, a retrospective study was performed to evaluate association of BCS at calving with subsequent pregnancy rate, days to first estrus, nutrient status (assessed by blood metabolites), and c...

  2. 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...

  3. Relationships between early foal health, future performance and their dams reproductive health.

    PubMed

    Hemberg, E; Kindahl, H; Lundeheim, N; Einarsson, S

    2010-10-01

    The objectives of this study were to investigate: (i) relationships between early foal health and their dams' reproductive health at mating/conception as well as after parturition and (ii) health status during early foal life and its association with performance as an adult. The study included 35 foals showing clinical symptoms indicating septicaemia, sometimes in combination with other disturbances, within their first 18 h postpartum (Group I). Eighty-eight foals that were healthy during their first few days of life were used as control (Group II). All foals were born in the same region of Sweden and during the same period, and were expected to become performance athletes based upon the pedigree of their parents. Cytological and bacteriological examination of uterus at the time of mating/insemination at which the foal was conceived, revealed no difference between dams of Group I and Group II foals. Within 2-3 days after parturition, 29% and 4% of dams (p < 0.001) of Group I and Group II foals had metritis, respectively. At 30 days post-parturition, 64% of the dams of Group I foals and 32% of the dams of Group II foals (p = 0.002) had cytological indication of endometritis, and 57% of the dams of Group I foals and 21% of the dams of Group II foals (p < 0.001) showed bacterial growth upon culture. Altogether 29% of the Group I foals and 7% of the Group II foals were killed or died before 2 years of age (p = 0.001). The majority of the remaining Group I foals were poor performers and some were used just for pleasure riding. It is hypothesized that (i) mares--delivering foals that compromised within their first 18 h postpartum--might have suffered from an ascending infection during late gestation and (ii) health status during early foal life might be associated with their performance as adult.

  4. The effects of bovine necrotic vulvo-vaginitis on reproductive and production performance of Israeli 1st calf heifers.

    PubMed

    Goshen, T; Ben-Gera, J; Koren, O; Bdolah-Abram, T; Elad, D

    2012-04-01

    Bovine necrotic vulvovaginitis (BNVV) is a syndrome unique to Israel characterized by necrotic lesion in the caudal vagina mainly in first calf heifers after calving, associated with Porphyromonas levii. The objectives of this study were to analyze the impact of BNVV on reproductive performance, milk production and survival in the heard of first calf dairy heifers in affected farms, and to verify if the effects of BNVV are severity-dependent. For assessment of the severity level a scale of 4 degrees was formed, and cows were scored 4 to 6 d after calving. Data were obtained from two dairy farms during 2006-07, consisting of 603 lactations. The incidence and the severity of BNVV declined between 2006 and 2007, and severe BNVV tended to be more prevalent in the summer. The odds to conceive in the first artificial insemination of BNVV cow tended to be lower than healthy cows (OR = 0.676, P = 0.052). Cows with BNVV had longer empty period (145.8 d vs. 135.1 d of healthy cows, P = 0.031), but only severe BNVV had a negative effect on the odds of the cow to be empty at 150 d in milk (DIM) (OR = 2.05, P = 0.052). Severe BNVV also affected the mean survival time to conception (155.9 d vs. 142.3 d, P = 0.042). All BNVV severity degrees had a negative effect on milk production. The effect on milk production was not limited only to the beginning of the lactation, cows with BNVV produced 338.1 kg milk less than healthy cows (P = 0.016) in 305 d corrected lactation. The effect on milk production was not severity depended. No effect on survival time in the herd was demonstrated.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Genetic and nutritional effects on male traits and reproductive performance in Tribolium flour beetles.

    PubMed

    Lewis, S M; Tigreros, N; Fedina, T; Ming, Q L

    2012-03-01

    In Tribolium flour beetles and other organisms, individuals migrate between heterogeneous environments where they often encounter markedly different nutritional conditions. Under these circumstances, theory suggests that genotype-by-environment interactions (GEI) may be important in facilitating adaptation to new environments and maintaining genetic variation for male traits subject to directional selection. Here, we used a nested half-sib breeding design with Tribolium castaneum to partition the separate and joint effects of male genotype and nutritional environment on phenotypic variation in a comprehensive suite of life-history traits, reproductive performance measures across three sequential sexual selection episodes, and fitness. When male genotypes were tested across three nutritional environments, considerable phenotypic plasticity was found for male mating and insemination success, longevity and traits related to larval development. Our results also revealed significant additive genetic variation for male mating rate, sperm offence ability (P(2)), longevity and total fitness and for several traits reflecting both larval and adult resource use. In addition, we found evidence supporting GEI for sperm defence ability (P(1)), adult longevity and larval development; thus, no single male genotype outperforms others in every nutritional environment. These results provide insight into the potential roles of phenotypic plasticity and GEI in facilitating Tribolium adaptation to new environments in ecological and evolutionary time.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  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.

  11. Item Context Factors Affecting Students' Performance on Mathematics Items

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Salgado, Felipe Almuna; Stacey, Kaye

    2014-01-01

    This paper reports how the context in which a mathematics item is embedded impacts on students' performance. The performance of Year 10 students on four PISA items was compared with performance on variants with more familiar contexts. Performance was not better when they solved items with more familiar contexts but there was some evidence that…

  12. The effect of body condition, live weight, breed, age, calf performance, and calving date on reproductive performance of spring-calving beef cows.

    PubMed

    Osoro, K; Wright, I A

    1992-06-01

    Data from 321 spring-calving cows (mean calving date March 27) were used to assess the effects of body condition, live weight, cow age (from 4 to 13 yr), and breed (237 Hereford x Friesians and 84 Blue-Greys) and time of calving on the proportion of cows that became pregnant, the number of days from the start of mating to pregnancy, and calving interval. Mating started at turn-out to pasture in mid-May and lasted 9 to 10 wk. Body condition at calving and breed were the most significant animal factors affecting reproductive performance. Cows calving in higher body condition had shorter (P less than .001) calving intervals (11.2 d per unit of body condition at calving). Blue-Grey cows became pregnant in a higher proportion (90%) and calving interval was shorter (364 d) than in Hereford x Friesians (83%; 374 d). Body condition at the start of mating was less important and body condition at the end of mating had no effect. Live weight at calving and changes in live weight from calving to the start of mating and during the mating period had no significant effect. The proportion of cows becoming pregnant decreased significantly with age in Hereford x Friesian cows older than 7 yr. The variance in calving interval accounted for by calving date, body condition at calving, breed, and age was 42%.

  13. Observer performance using virtual pathology slides: impact of LCD color reproduction accuracy.

    PubMed

    Krupinski, Elizabeth A; Silverstein, Louis D; Hashmi, Syed F; Graham, Anna R; Weinstein, Ronald S; Roehrig, Hans

    2012-12-01

    The use of color LCDs in medical imaging is growing as more clinical specialties use digital images as a resource in diagnosis and treatment decisions. Telemedicine applications such as telepathology, teledermatology, and teleophthalmology rely heavily on color images. However, standard methods for calibrating, characterizing, and profiling color displays do not exist, resulting in inconsistent presentation. To address this, we developed a calibration, characterization, and profiling protocol for color-critical medical imaging applications. Physical characterization of displays calibrated with and without the protocol revealed high color reproduction accuracy with the protocol. The present study assessed the impact of this protocol on observer performance. A set of 250 breast biopsy virtual slide regions of interest (half malignant, half benign) were shown to six pathologists, once using the calibration protocol and once using the same display in its "native" off-the-shelf uncalibrated state. Diagnostic accuracy and time to render a decision were measured. In terms of ROC performance, Az (area under the curve) calibrated = 0.8570 and Az uncalibrated = 0.8488. No statistically significant difference (p = 0.4112) was observed. In terms of interpretation speed, mean calibrated = 4.895 s; mean uncalibrated = 6.304 s which is statistically significant (p = 0.0460). Early results suggest a slight advantage diagnostically for a properly calibrated and color-managed display and a significant potential advantage in terms of improved workflow. Future work should be conducted using different types of color images that may be more dependent on accurate color rendering and a wider range of LCDs with varying characteristics.

  14. Influence of LCD color reproduction accuracy on observer performance using virtual pathology slides

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krupinski, Elizabeth A.; Silverstein, Louis D.; Hashmi, Syed F.; Graham, Anna R.; Weinstein, Ronald S.; Roehrig, Hans

    2012-02-01

    The use of color LCDs in medical imaging is growing as more clinical specialties use digital images as a resource in diagnosis and treatment decisions. Telemedicine applications such as telepathology, teledermatology and teleophthalmology rely heavily on color images. However, standard methods for calibrating, characterizing and profiling color displays do not exist, resulting in inconsistent presentation. To address this, we developed a calibration, characterization and profiling protocol for color-critical medical imaging applications. Physical characterization of displays calibrated with and without the protocol revealed high color reproduction accuracy with the protocol. The present study assessed the impact of this protocol on observer performance. A set of 250 breast biopsy virtual slide regions of interest (half malignant, half benign) were shown to 6 pathologists, once using the calibration protocol and once using the same display in its "native" off-the-shelf uncalibrated state. Diagnostic accuracy and time to render a decision were measured. In terms of ROC performance, Az (area under the curve) calibrated = 0.8640; uncalibrated = 0.8558. No statistically significant difference (p = 0.2719) was observed. In terms of interpretation speed, mean calibrated = 4.895 sec, mean uncalibrated = 6.304 sec which is statistically significant (p = 0.0460). Early results suggest a slight advantage diagnostically for a properly calibrated and color-managed display and a significant potential advantage in terms of improved workflow. Future work should be conducted using different types of color images that may be more dependent on accurate color rendering and a wider range of LCDs with varying characteristics.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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 ...

  18. 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...

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Fat and whey supplementation influence milk composition, backfat loss, and reproductive performance in lactating sows.

    PubMed

    Tummaruk, Padet; Sumransap, Peerapong; Jiebna, Nithitad

    2014-06-01

    This study investigates the effects of microencapsulated fat (FAT) and whey protein (WHEY) supplementation on the milk composition, backfat loss, and reproductive performance in lactating sows. A total of 144 sows were divided according to their backfat thickness at farrowing into three groups, i.e., low (12.0-16.5 mm, n = 33), moderate (17.0-21.5 mm, n = 78), and high (22.0-24.5 mm, n = 33). The lactation diet was divided into three types, i.e., a control diet (CONTROL, n = 50), a diet supplemented with FAT (n = 48), and a diet supplemented with WHEY (n = 50). Pooled milk samples were collected at the second and third week of lactation. On average, the sows lost backfat 23.5 % during lactation. The backfat loss during lactation was 24.5, 22.7, and 22.8 % in sows fed with CONTROL, FAT, and WHEY diets, respectively (P > 0.05). Supplementation of FAT increased the percentage of fat in the sow's milk compared to the CONTROL (9.1 and 8.4 %, P = 0.022). For sows with low backfat, FAT and WHEY supplementation increased the average daily gain of piglets compared to the CONTROL (244, 236, and 205 g/days, respectively, P < 0.05). For sows with high backfat, the sows receiving the CONTROL diet had a higher total piglet mortality than those that received FAT or WHEY (28.1, 14.1, and 13.0 %, respectively, P < 0.05). It could be concluded that supplementation of FAT in the diet of sow during lactation significantly enhanced the fat content in the sow's milk, improved the piglet's daily weight gain, and reduced piglet mortality.

  2. Assessment of reproductive performance of Begait cattle in in-situ and ex-situ sites and in different production systems in northern Ethiopia.

    PubMed

    Gebrekidan, Berihu; Tegegne, Azage; Regassa, Fikadu

    2016-03-01

    Retrospective studies were conducted in Kafta-Humera and Wukro areas of Tigray region of Ethiopia. A retrospective study was carried out on 12 herds consisting 2144 Begait cattle from pastoral and agro-pastoral areas to assess herd composition and calf-crop. To evaluate the reproductive performance, 210 cows were selected randomly from pastoral, agro-pastoral, confinement and crop-livestock production systems. All necessary data of reproductive parameters were collected through questionnaire surveys, group discussions and follow-up observations. SPSS software was applied to analyze the data. The result of the present study showed that the average calf-crop of 53% and 42.1% and annual calf mortality rate of 20.8% and 9.4%, were observed for pastoral and agro-pastoral production systems, respectively. The mean age at first service (AFS), age at first calving (AFC) and calving interval (CI) in months were 34.9, 43.9 and 12.9 in pastoral, 35.9, 45.0 and 14.0 in agro-pastoral, 34.4, 44.9 and 15.0 in confinement and 40.5, 49.5 and 19.6 in crop-livestock production systems, respectively. AFC and CI were significantly (P<0.05) affected by site and production system. Significantly longer AFS, AFC and CI were noticed in crop-livestock system than in the other 3 production systems. However, CI was not affected by age and parity.

  3. How Does Test Exemption Affect Schools' and Students' Academic Performance?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jennings, Jennifer L.; Beveridge, Andrew A.

    2009-01-01

    Analyzing data from a large urban district in Texas, this study examines how high-stakes test exemptions alter officially reported scores and asks whether test exemption has implications for the academic achievement of special education students. Test exemption inflated overall passing rates but especially affected the passing rates of African…

  4. Selected Factors Affecting the Performance Assessment of Elementary Teachers.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thomson, Scott

    1990-01-01

    This study determined whether nontraditional assessment factors (principal's gender, choice of subject matter for demonstrating competence, or years of teacher experience) would affect elementary teachers' scores when completing the Leon County (Florida) Teacher Assessment Process. Principal's gender and subject selected were significant…

  5. 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…

  6. Effect of dietary aminoguanidine on tissue pentosidine and reproductive performance in broiler breeder hens.

    PubMed

    Iqbal, M; Probert, L L; Klandorf, H

    1997-11-01

    Factors influencing the age-related decline in production parameters of broiler breeder hens are poorly understood. Elevated blood glucose concentrations measured in broiler breeder hens may contribute to this decline. The nonenzymatic attachment of glucose to proteins generates glycoxidation crosslinks in tissue proteins, which can ultimately impair their function. One such glycoxidation crosslink, pentosidine, has been used as a biomarker for aging studies because of its accumulation on the structural protein collagen. The objectives of these studies were to determine whether pentosidine accumulates with age in hens and whether the crosslinking inhibitor, aminoguanidine (AG), could retard this accumulation. An additional objective was to determine whether AG had any effect on production performance. In the first study, broiler breeder hens (n = 318) were randomly assigned to two groups: control and supplemented (400 ppm AG). Pentosidine was measured in the skin of the birds at 20 and 67 wk of age. Egg production was measured daily. In a second study, broiler breeder hens (n = 60) were reared as previously described. Pentosidine was measured in the skin of the birds at 20 and 68 wk of age. Results showed that pentosidine was present in the skin of the hens, and that concentrations increased with age (P < 0.001). Although pentosidine was reduced (P < 0.001) in AG-supplemented birds, production performance was not affected. In conclusion, AG retarded the rate of accumulation of pentosidine during lay in broiler breeder hens, but the reduction in pentosidine did not significantly affect production performance.

  7. Certain Organizational Characteristics Affect ACO Preventive Care Quality Performance.

    PubMed

    Ticse, Caroline

    2016-06-01

    Key findings. (1) ACOs at provider workforce extremes--few primary care providers or many specialists--performed worse on measures of preventive care quality relative to those with more PCPs and fewer specialists. (2) Upfront investment in ACO formation is associated with higher performance in preventive care quality. (3) ACOs with a higher proportion of minority beneficiaries performed worse on disease prevention measures than did ACOs with a lower proportion of minority beneficiaries. (4) ACOs facing barriers to quality performance may benefit from organizational characteristics such as electronic health record capabilities and hospital inclusion in the ACO.

  8. Effect of oral calcium administration on the cure and reproductive performance of Holstein cows diagnosed with puerperal metritis.

    PubMed

    Pinedo, Pablo; Velez, Juan; Solano, Gilberto; Rodriguez, Nelson; Naves, Julianne; Schuenemann, Gustavo M; Risco, Carlos

    2017-04-01

    Our objective was to evaluate the effect of oral calcium administration on clinical cure, survival, subsequent presentation of peripartal health disorders, and reproductive performance of Holstein cows diagnosed with puerperal metritis (PM) under certified organic management. A second objective was to evaluate the metabolic status at calving and at the time of PM diagnosis (d 0) in affected and matched healthy cows. Cows diagnosed with PM (n = 200) were assigned randomly to receive 1 of 2 treatments: (1) control received 3.75 mL of Optimum UterFlush [Van Beek Natural Science, Orange City, IA, containing yucca extract, cinnamaldehyde, thymol, and a proprietary blend of carvacrol (4-isopropyl-2-methylphenol, at 0.47 g/mL)] diluted in 117 mL of distilled water by intrauterine infusion, administered every other day for a total of 3 treatments (n = 100); (2) calcium-supplemented (CA) received the same intrauterine treatment plus 6 oral capsules providing calcium ('O' Cal-D Cap, Bio-Vet Inc., Barneveld, WI; 7.5-9.0 g of Ca/capsule) once per day, for 3 consecutive days after diagnosis of PM. All cows received hypertonic saline solution (500 mL of 7.2% solution i.v. once), dextrose (500 mL of 50% solution i.v. once), and oral aspirin (5 boluses/d for 3 d). Outcome variables included fever, presence of fetid vaginal discharge, and uterine score at d 6 and 14 after diagnosis, survival at 30 and 100 d in milk, reproductive performance, and incidence of other health disorders after PM. A group of 200 control healthy cows (CH) was matched with PM cows at d 0, and calcium and fatty acid serum concentrations were determined at calving and at the day of diagnosis of PM (d 0). Calcium status was also assessed in PM cows at d 1, 2, 3, and 6 after diagnosis. Treatment effects were tested by logistic regression, repeated measures analysis, and ANOVA. Average calcium serum concentrations at d 0 were lower in PM cows (1.57 mmol/L) compared with CH cows (2.10 mmol/L). In PM cows, calcium

  9. Effects of inorganic and organic manganese supplementation on gonadotropin-releasing hormone-I and follicle-stimulating hormone expression and reproductive performance of broiler breeder hens.

    PubMed

    Xie, Jingjing; Tian, Chuanhuan; Zhu, Yongwen; Zhang, Liyang; Lu, Lin; Luo, Xugang

    2014-04-01

    Manganese is an essential microelement. Manganese deficiency affects reproduction performance and reproductive hormones in layers. However, little is known about its effects and the possible mechanism in regulating reproduction in broiler breeder hens. In the current study, broiler breeder hens at peak production were fed with diets supplemented with 0, 120, or 240 mg of Mn/kg as MnSO4 or Mn proteinate for 13 wk. Manganese supplementation did not alter egg laying rate, egg weight, fertility, hatchability, or hatchling weight over a 13-wk trial period. However, 240 mg of Mn/kg supplementation significantly increased serum Mn (P < 0.05). Manganese supplements increased the eggshell breaking strength (P < 0.05) without affecting the eggshell thickness. There was no difference in serum cholesterol and estradiol. Expression of follicle-stimulating hormone) and gonadotropin-releasing hormone-I (GnRH-I) genes was significantly elevated by 240 mg of Mn/kg (P < 0.05). Furthermore, inorganic Mn supplementation doubled GnRH-I expression compared with supplementation with the organic form (P < 0.05), although serum Mn was comparable between these 2 supplements. No obvious difference was shown in gene expression of luteinizing hormone, prolactin, GnRH-I receptor, inducible NO synthase, and dopamine receptor D1 in the pituitary as well as tyrosine hydroxylase and inducible NO synthase in the hypothalamus. This suggests that dietary Mn supplementation could improve eggshell quality in the long term. The central mechanism of nontoxic high doses of Mn suggested the transcriptional activation of GnRH-I and follicle-stimulating hormone genes. The central effect of inorganic Mn activating GnRH-I genes compared with the reduced effect by organic Mn could possibly be due to a decreased capacity of the latter passing through the blood-brain barrier.

  10. The effect of increasing amount of glucogenic precursors on reproductive performance in young postpartum range cows.

    PubMed

    Mulliniks, J T; Kemp, M E; Cox, S H; Hawkins, D E; Cibils, A F; Vanleeuwen, D M; Petersen, M K

    2011-09-01

    Supplementing CP and propionate salts (PS) may improve economic returns in young range beef cows by increasing the dietary supply of glucogenic precursors. A 3-yr study conducted at Corona Range and Livestock Research Center (Corona, NM) from February to mid-July in 2005 (n = 80), 2006 (n = 81), and 2007 (n = 80) evaluated days to first estrus, calf weaning weight, BW change, and metabolic responses in 2- and 3-yr-old postpartum cows grazing native range. Cows were individually fed one of three 36% CP supplement treatments after parturition, with increasing glucogenic potential (GP) supplied by RUP and PS. Supplements were isoenergetic and fed at a rate of 908 g/cow per day twice weekly. Supplementation was initiated 7 d after calving and continued for an average of 95 d. Supplement treatments provided 1) 328 g of CP, 110 g of RUP and 0 g of PS (PS0); 2) 328 g of CP, 157 g of RUP, and 40 g of PS (PS40); or 3) 329 g of CP, 158 g of RUP, and 80 g of PS (PS80). Ultimately, PS0, PS40, and PS80 provided 44, 93, and 124 g of GP, respectively. Body weight was recorded weekly and serum was collected twice weekly for progesterone analysis to estimate days to first estrus. Cows were exposed to bulls for 60 d or less beginning in mid-May. Days to first estrus exhibited a quadratic (P = 0.06) response to GP resulting from the fewest days to first estrus with the consumption of PS40. Pregnancy rates were 88, 96, and 94% for cows fed PS0, PS40, and PS80, respectively (P = 0.11). Total kilograms of calf weaned per cow exposed to bulls for the supplementation and following year increased quadratically (P = 0.09). However, supplement did not affect milk composition or yield (P ≥ 0.53). Serum acetate half-life decreased linearly (P = 0.08) with increasing GP in 2007. Predicted margins were the greatest (quadratic; P = 0.03) for cows fed PS40. Even though supplement costs were greater for PS40 and PS80, cows fed PS40 had increased profits ($33.47/cow) compared with cows fed PS0 and

  11. 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…

  12. Young Children's Knowledge About Effects of Affect on Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pierce, Jean W.

    1985-01-01

    Addresses the issue of whether preschoolers are aware of the connection between their emotions, their performance on a task of eye-hand coordination, and their evaluation of the task and their performance. Results indicate a developmental trend that children's predictions conform more to mood congruity theory as they grow older. (Author/DST)

  13. Endometritis treatment with a PGF2alpha analog does not improve reproductive performance in a large dairy herd in Argentina.

    PubMed

    Mejía, Miguel Eduardo; Lacau-Mengido, Isabel María

    2005-03-15

    In Argentina, most dairy cows with endometritis are treated with prostaglandin (PGF(2alpha) or its analogs) and insemination is withheld until there are no signs of endometritis. The objective of the present study was to evaluate if this method of managing endometritis enhances reproductive performance. Three experiments were conducted over 4 years in a large farm in the west of Buenos Aires province. In Experiment 1, half of the cows diagnosed with endometritis (>1.5-fold difference in diameter of uterine horns, as determined by rectal palpation) received standard endometritis management (treatment with tiaprost, a PGF(2alpha) analog, rectal palpation every 20 days, and withholding of AI until endometritis apparently resolved) and the other half was untreated, with AI at the first estrus after the voluntary waiting period. Untreated cows were inseminated and conceived 20 days earlier than treated cows, and the pregnancy rate by Day 90 postpartum was higher in the untreated group. In Experiment 2, cows with endometritis were divided into four groups according to the severity of symptoms; within each group, cows were allocated to treatment or control, as in Experiment 1. Although first service conception rate decreased as endometritis severity increased, reproductive performance in treated versus control cows was similar to that of Experiment 1 (with no interaction due to degree of endometritis). Re-evaluation of the treated cow (to confirm uterine "normality") may have been responsible for the delay in conception in both experiments. The objective of Experiment 3 was to determine the effects of tiaprost treatment on clinically normal postpartum cows (no evidence of endometritis). Tiaprost treatment reduced the interval from calving to conception in multiparous cows, but it delayed conception and reduced the conception rate in primiparous cows. In conclusion, treatment with tiaprost impaired reproductive performance in primiparous cows (in the absence of

  14. Long term prostaglandin based-protocols improve the reproductive performance after timed artificial insemination in sheep.

    PubMed

    Fierro, S; Viñoles, C; Olivera-Muzante, J

    2017-03-01

    The aim of the experiment was to evaluate the reproductive performance of ewes synchronized with two doses of prostaglandin F2α (PG) at different intervals and inseminated at a fixed time. During the breeding season (April to June), 370 multiparous Corriedale ewes were assigned to five groups according to body condition score and body weight, and synchronized with two doses of PG administered 7, 10, 12, 14 or 16 days apart (groups PG7, PG10, PG12, PG14 or PG16; n = 73, 76, 74, 72, 75; respectively). Cervical timed artificial insemination (Day 0) was performed at 48 ± 1.0 h (group PG7) or 56 ± 1.0 h (groups PG10, PG12, PG14 and PG16) after the second PG injection, with diluted fresh semen pooled from six adult rams. The percentage of ovulating ewes after the second PG injection and the ovulation rate (number of corpus luteum/ovulating ewes) were assessed on Day 10 by trans-rectal ultrasonography. The rate of non return to service (ewes not returning to service/inseminated ewes × 100; NRR-21) was evaluated using painted vasectomized rams. Pregnancy rate (pregnant ewes/inseminated ewes × 100) and prolificacy (foetuses/pregnant ewes) were determined on Day 60 by trans-abdominal ultrasonography. Higher NRR-21 and pregnancy rates was observed in groups PG12 (46.0%, 46.0%), PG14 (59.7%, 56.9%) and PG16 (58.7%, 56.0%) compared to PG7 (30.1%, 28.8%) and PG10 (30.3%, 30.3%; respectively P < 0.05). No significant differences were observed in the percentage of ovulating ewes, ovulation rate and prolificacy among groups (P > 0.05). Under the condition of this trial, 12, 14 or 16 days interval between PG injections enhances the pregnancy rate of ewes at cervical timed artificial insemination with fresh semen.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Factors affecting reproduction in rehabilitant female orangutans: young age at first birth and short inter-birth interval.

    PubMed

    Kuze, Noko; Dellatore, David; Banes, Graham L; Pratje, Peter; Tajima, Tomoyuki; Russon, Anne E

    2012-04-01

    This study investigated the reproductive parameters of free-ranging rehabilitant female orangutans. We aimed to assess the factors that influence these parameters and provide information that could assist with the management of orangutan reintroduction programs. We analyzed the birth records of free-ranging female rehabilitants at Bukit Lawang, Bukit Tigapuluh, Sepilok, Camp Leakey, Kaja Island, Sungai Wain, and Meratus and compared them with reproductive parameters reported in wild and zoo populations. Females' ages at first birth were 10.6-14.7 years, significantly earlier than those of wild and zoo orangutans. Computed inter-birth intervals (IBIs) calculated by the Kaplan-Meier method were 65.1-90.1 months; the values for Camp Leakey and Bukit Lawang rehabilitants were significantly shorter than those reported for wild Sumatran orangutans. Infant mortality rates were 18-61%; the values for Bukit Lawang and Sepilok were significantly higher than those reported for wild Sumatran and zoo orangutans. In rehabilitants, young ages at first birth and shorter IBIs may result from the high energy intake enabled by provisioning, although the possibility exists that they reflect underestimations of age on arrival at rehabilitation centers. The observed high infant mortality rate may reflect poor mothering skills due to human rearing and/or increased disease transmission. This study demonstrates that accelerated reproductive rates (younger age at first birth and shorter IBI) are common in provisioned rehabilitant females on both Sumatra and Borneo.

  18. Genetic variants affecting meat and milk production traits appear to have effects on reproduction traits in cattle.

    PubMed

    Collis, E; Fortes, M R S; Zhang, Y; Tier, B; Schutt, K; Barendse, W; Hawken, R

    2012-08-01

    Polymorphisms located in the genes ABCG2, DGAT1, LEP, PRLR, RORC, CAPN1 and CAST previously have been associated with milk or meat production traits. In this study, these polymorphisms were examined for significant effects on reproductive traits [age at puberty (AGECL), post-partum anoestrus interval (PPAI) and the ability ovulate prior to weaning (PW)] and on a panel of correlated traits such as weight, growth and serum concentration of insulin-like growth factor I. The effects of the polymorphisms were examined in two samples of tropically adapted beef cattle: Brahman (N = 932) and Tropical Composites (N = 1097). A polymorphism in the gene DGAT1 was associated with age at puberty in the combined sample (P = 0.042), and two polymorphisms in CAPN1 were associated with PPAI (P = 0.033) and with the ability ovulate PW (P = 0.017). The favourable allele for reproductive traits was not always the favourable allele associated with production traits. The effects of these polymorphisms on reproductive traits were small compared to their effects on the traits for which they were originally discovered.

  19. 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

  20. Factors affecting intrauterine contraceptive device performance. I. Endometrial cavity length.

    PubMed

    Hasson, H M; Berger, G S; Edelman, D A

    1976-12-15

    The relationship of endometrial cavity length to intrauterine contraceptive device (IUD) performance was evaluated in 319 patients wearing three types of devices. The rate of events, defined as pregnancy, expulsion, or medical removal, increased significantly when the length of the IUD was equal to, exceeded, or was shorter by two or more centimeters than the length of the endometrial cavity. Total uterine length was found to be a less accurate prognostic indicator of IUD performance than endometrial cavity length alone.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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...

  4. Evolution under dietary restriction increases male reproductive performance without survival cost

    PubMed Central

    Canton, Cindy; Georgolopoulos, Grigorios; Maklakov, Alexei A.

    2016-01-01

    Dietary restriction (DR), a reduction in nutrient intake without malnutrition, is the most reproducible way to extend lifespan in a wide range of organisms across the tree of life, yet the evolutionary underpinnings of the DR effect on lifespan are still widely debated. The leading theory suggests that this effect is adaptive and results from reallocation of resources from reproduction to somatic maintenance, in order to survive periods of famine in nature. However, such response would cease to be adaptive when DR is chronic and animals are selected to allocate more resources to reproduction. Nevertheless, chronic DR can also increase the strength of selection resulting in the evolution of more robust genotypes. We evolved Drosophila melanogaster fruit flies on ‘DR’, ‘standard’ and ‘high’ adult diets in replicate populations with overlapping generations. After approximately 25 generations of experimental evolution, male ‘DR’ flies had higher fitness than males from ‘standard’ and ‘high’ populations. Strikingly, this increase in reproductive success did not come at a cost to survival. Our results suggest that sustained DR selects for more robust male genotypes that are overall better in converting resources into energy, which they allocate mostly to reproduction. PMID:26911958

  5. Technical Report: Serial collections of placentomes during parturition in cattle and subsequent reproductive performance

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Placental separation is a complex physiological event in reproductive physiology and the underlying molecular mechanisms remain unclear. When comparing different experiments the timing of tissue collections is a significant consideration due to the variability in time between fetal expulsion and exp...

  6. Impact of body condition score on reproductive performance in young postpartum range cows grazing native range

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Body condition score (BCS) is used as a management tool to predict reproduction of young beef cows. Therefore, the objective was to determine the effects of BCS at calving on pregnancy rates, days to first estrus (DTFE), nutrient status assessed by blood metabolites and calf body wt change in 315, ...

  7. Impact of body condition score on reproductive performance in young postpartum range cows grazing native range

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Body condition score (BCS) is used as a management tool to predict reproduction of young beef cows. The objective was to determine the effects of BCS at calving on pregnancy rates, days to first estrus (DTFE), nutrient status assessed by blood metabolites and calf BW change in 315, 2- and 3-yr-old ...

  8. 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...

  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.

  10. 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

  11. Environmental context change affects memory for performed actions.

    PubMed

    Sahakyan, Lili

    2010-03-01

    The current study investigated the effect of environmental context change between the study and test on the recall of action phrases that either were performed during encoding (subject-performed tasks, SPTs) or were verbally encoded (verbal tasks, VTs). Both SPTs and VTs showed the same magnitude of impaired recall when the study and test contexts mismatched. Furthermore, changing the context between the two study lists reduced cross-list intrusion errors compared to encoding the lists in the same context. Both SPTs and VTs benefited from studying the lists in different contexts as evidenced by reduced intrusions. Taken together, the results suggest that SPTs are integrated with their context because they suffered when context changed between the study and test, and they also benefited when they were performed in two environments versus the same environment.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Reproductive performance of postpartum ewes treated with insulin or progesterone hormones in association with ram effect.

    PubMed

    Ferreira-Silva, J C; Basto, Srl; Tenório Filho, F; Moura, M T; Silva Filho, M L; Oliveira, Mal

    2017-03-22

    The reproductive performance of postpartum Santa Inês (SI) and Morada Nova (MN) ewes treated with insulin or progesterone hormones in association with ram effect was evaluated. Ewes from SI (n = 69) and MN (n = 69) breeds were randomly allocated to three groups of each breed (T1-ram effect only; T2-ram effect + insulin; T3-ram effect + progesterone). Progesterone concentrations (ηg/ml; mean ± SD) before and after introduction of rams (n = 6) were 0.51 ± 0.22 and 3.78 ± 0.68 (T1), 0.65 ± 0.21 and 3.77 ± 0.78 (T2) and 0.52 ± 0.21 and 3.84 ± 0.84 (T3) in SI ewes and 0.74 ± 0.19 and 3.71 ± 0.56 (T1), 0.70 ± 0.21 and 3.79 ± 0.75 (T2) and 0.81 ± 0.14 and 3.87 ± 0.80 (T3) in MN ewes, respectively. Thus, lower progesterone concentrations were found before the introduction of rams (p < .05). After the introduction of rams, preovulatory peaks of LH (ηg/ml) occurred at 28 (T1), 44 (T2) and 48 (T3) hr in SI ewes and at 64 (T1), 40 (T2) and 44 (T3) hr in MN ewes. The mean number of ovulations was similar between groups (p > .05), was 1.3 ± 0.51 (T1), 1.5 ± 0.54 (T2) and 1.6 ± 0.51 (T3) in SI ewes and 1.3 ± 0.51 (T1), 1.6 ± 0.51 (T2) and 1.6 ± 0.51 (T3) in MN ewes. In conclusion, the ram effect alone is effective at inducing and synchronizing oestrus in sheep under postpartum anoestrus, irrespective of hormone treatments.

  15. Impacts of supplemental arginine on the reproductive performance of fall lambing ewes.

    PubMed

    Crane, A R; Redden, R R; Van Emon, M L; Neville, T L; Reynolds, L P; Caton, J S; Schauer, C S

    2016-08-01

    In sheep, embryonic and fetal death during pregnancy can account for 25% to 50% of the total number of corpora lutea (and thus potential embryos). The objective of this study was to determine the effects of injectable and oral Arg supplementation provided for 14 d postbreeding on the reproductive performance of naturally stimulated fall lambing ewes. Rambouillet ewes ( = 210) were exposed to rams equipped with marking harnesses to induce cyclicity in April 2012. Upon estrus detection (d 0) ewes were randomly assigned, in a completely random design, to 1 of 6 treatments for a 14-d treatment period: injectable saline (CON; = 25), injectable Ala (IVALA; = 20), injectable Arg (IVARG; = 23), oral rumen-protected Arg (RPARG; = 20), oral fish meal (FM; = 24), or oral soybean meal (SBM; = 23). Daily treatments, except CON, IVALA, and SBM, were formulated to provide supplemental Arg at 30 mg·kg BW·d and were provided at 0800 h daily. Ewes receiving injectable treatments were provided 454 g corn/d postinjection, whereas ewes receiving oral supplements were provided a ground ration of their respective treatments with corn individually at 0800 h daily. Plasma and serum samples were collected on d 0, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, and 14 from 12 ewes per treatment to evaluate plasma progesterone and serum AA concentrations. At lambing, birth weight, birth type, and sex were recorded. Weaning weights were recorded when the average age of lambs was 85 d. No differences ( ≥ 0.39) were detected for pregnancy, prolificacy, and lambing rates or lamb birth weights among treatments. However, litter weaning weight tended to be greater ( = 0.06) and weaning rates were greater ( = 0.05) in Arg-injected ewes (1.09, 0.95, 1.29, 0.72, 1.00, and 0.86, respectively). Plasma progesterone and serum Arg concentrations showed a treatment and day effect ( < 0.001), but no treatment × day interaction ( ≥ 0.99) was observed. In contrast to previous research, supplemental Arg during the first 14 d of

  16. Breeding resource distribution affects selection gradients on male phenotypic traits: experimental study on lifetime reproductive success in the bitterling fish (Rhodeus amarus).

    PubMed

    Reichard, Martin; Ondracková, Markéta; Bryjová, Anna; Smith, Carl; Bryja, Josef

    2009-02-01

    The spatial distribution of breeding resources can have pronounced demographic and evolutionary consequences. We used 20 experimental groups of the bitterling (Rhodeus amarus), an annual fish with a promiscuous, resource-based mating system, and extended breeding season to investigate how the spatial distribution (clumped or regular) of bitterling oviposition sites (live freshwater mussels) affected offspring production, variation in reproductive success, and directional selection on phenotypic traits over their entire reproductive lifetime. We did not detect any effect of resource distribution on offspring production or variation in reproductive success among individual fish, although variation between replicates was higher with a clumped distribution. This finding is discussed with regard to the incidence of alternative mating behaviors (sneaking) within the limitations imposed by our experimental design. Breeding resource distribution had a significant effect on selection on male phenotypic traits. Stronger directional selection on traits associated with intrasexual competition for fertilizations, gonad mass (an indicator of sperm competition), and the extent of red, carotenoid-based pigment in the iris (an index of dominance status), was detected with a clumped resource distribution. With a regular resource distribution, a stronger positive selection on male body size was detected. We discuss the implications of our results for natural populations.

  17. Teacher Dispositions Affecting Self-Esteem and Student Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Helm, Carroll

    2007-01-01

    Research supports several factors related to student success. Darling-Hammond (2000) indicated that the quality of teachers, as measured by whether the teachers were fully certified and had a major in their teaching field, was related to student performance. Measures of teacher preparation and certification were the strongest predictors of student…

  18. Factors Affecting Student Performance in Law School Economics Courses.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Siegfried, John J.

    1981-01-01

    Noting the increasing role of economics in the law, many law schools have introduced formal economics instruction into their curricula. Several of the controversies surrounding liberal arts courses taught in law schools are examined. Prior formal coursework in the subject appeared to have no relationship to course performance. (MLW)

  19. Factors Affecting School District Performance Scores in Louisiana

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harrison, Ronnie

    2010-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between District Performance Scores (DPS) in Louisiana and (a) socio-economic status of students, (b) academic achievement using average ACT scores, (c) percentage of certified teachers, (d) district class size, (e) per pupil expenditure, and (f) percentage of minority students in…

  20. Performativity and Affectivity: Lesson Observations in England's Further Education Colleges

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Edgington, Ursula

    2013-01-01

    Teaching and learning observations (TLOs) are used in educational environments worldwide to measure and improve quality and support professional development. TLOs can be positive for teachers who enjoy opportunities to "perform" their craft and/or engage in professional dialogue. However, if this crucial, collaborative developmental…

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. Unit Cohesion and the Surface Navy: Does Cohesion Affect Performance

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1989-12-01

    Relationship of Group Cohe- sion to Group Performance: A Research Integration Attempt, by L. W. Oliver, A199069, July 1988. Cartwright , D., "The Nature of...Group Cohesiveness," in Darwin Cart- wright and Alvin Zander, eds., Group Dynamics: Research and Theory, New York: Harper and Row, 1968. Gujarati, D. N

  4. How Does Religious Affiliation Affect Women’s Attitudes Toward Reproductive Health Policy? Implications for the Affordable Care Act

    PubMed Central

    Patton, Elizabeth W.; Hall, Kelli Stidham; Dalton, Vanessa K.

    2015-01-01

    Structured Abstract Background Supreme Court cases challenging the Affordable Care Act (ACA) mandate for employer-provided reproductive health care have focused on religiously based opposition to coverage. Little is known about women’s perspectives on such reproductive health policies. Study Design Data were drawn from the Women’s Health Care Experiences and Preferences survey, a randomly selected, nationally representative sample of 1078 US women age 18–55. We examined associations between religious affiliation and attitudes toward employer-provided insurance coverage of contraception and abortion services, and the exclusion of religious institutions from this coverage. We used chi-square and multivariable logistic regression for analysis. Results Respondents self-identified as Baptist (18%), Protestant (Other Mainline, 17%), Catholic (17%), Other Christian (20%), Religious, Non-Christian (7%) or no affiliation (21%). Religious affiliation was associated with proportions of agreement for contraception (p = 0.03), abortion (p <0.01), and religious exclusion (p <0.01) policies. In multivariable models, differences in the odds of agreement varied across religious affiliations and frequency of service attendance. For example, compared to non-affiliated women, Baptists and Other Nondenominational Christians (but not Catholics) had lower odds of agreement with employer coverage of contraception (OR 0.63, 95% CI 0.4-0.1 and OR 0.57, CI 0.4–0.9, respectively); women who attended services weekly or more than weekly had lower odds of agreement (OR 0.53, 95% CI 0.3–0.8 and OR 0.33, CI 0.2–0.6, respectively), compared to less frequent attenders. Conclusions Recent religiously motivated legal challenges to employer-provided reproductive health care coverage may not represent the attitudes of many religious women. PMID:25727764

  5. Oxidative stress during courtship affects male and female reproductive effort differentially in a wild bird with biparental care.

    PubMed

    Montoya, Bibiana; Valverde, Mahara; Rojas, Emilio; Torres, Roxana

    2016-12-15

    Oxidative stress has been suggested as one of the physiological mechanisms modulating reproductive effort, including investment in mate choice. Here, we evaluated whether oxidative stress influences breeding decisions by acting as a cost of or constraint on reproduction in the brown booby (Sula leucogaster), a long-lived seabird with prolonged biparental care. We found that during courtship, levels of lipid peroxidation (LP) of males and females were positively associated with gular skin color, a trait presumably used in mate choice, while levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) were higher as laying approached and in early breeding pairs. Evidence of a constraining effect of oxidative stress for females was suggested by the fact that females with higher ROS during courtship laid smaller first eggs and had chicks with lower rates of body mass gain, and higher female LP was associated with lower offspring attendance time. No evidence of an oxidative cost of parental effort was found; from courtship to parental care, levels of ROS in males and females decreased, and changes in LP levels were non-significant. Finally, using a cross-fostering experiment we found that offspring ROS was unrelated to rearing and genetic parents' ROS. Interestingly, offspring LP was positively associated with the LP during courtship of both the rearing parents and the genetic father, suggesting that offspring LP might have both a genetic and an environmental component. Hence, in the brown booby, oxidative stress may be a cost of investment in reproductive traits before egg laying and constrain females' investment in eggs and parental care.

  6. Early social instability affects plasma testosterone during adolescence but does not alter reproductive capacity or measures of stress later in life.

    PubMed

    Siegeler, Katja; Wistuba, Joachim; Damm, Oliver S; von Engelhardt, Nikolaus; Sachser, Norbert; Kaiser, Sylvia

    2013-08-15

    The social environment plays an important role in modulating processes of the hormonal and behavioural profile of an animal in a variety of group-living species. In wild cavies for instance, unstable social environmental conditions during pregnancy and lactation lead to an infantilised biobehavioural profile of the male offspring. In the present study, the influence of the social environment during pregnancy and lactation on the male wild cavy offsprings' plasma testosterone development, reproductive capacity and stress system activity was investigated. To this purpose, 12 sons whose mothers had lived in an unstable social environment during pregnancy and lactation were compared with 12 sons whose mothers had lived in a stable social environment during the same time. Plasma testosterone (T) and plasma cortisol (C) concentrations were determined from days 20 to 107 of age. Adrenal tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) activity and different parameters of reproductive capacity (weights of testes, epididymides and accessory sex glands, cellular composition of the testes, DNA fragmentation indices and sperm motility parameters) were analysed at day 107 of age. TH activity and plasma C were unaffected by different social environmental conditions early in life. The developmental time course of T concentrations, however, was significantly different: Sons whose mothers had lived in an unstable social environment during pregnancy and lactation showed a delayed increase in T concentrations around adolescence compared to controls. In contrast, no reproduction-related parameters measured within this study differed significantly between the two groups. Thus, early social instability affects plasma testosterone development during adolescence in a significant way but does not alter reproductive capacity or measures of stress later in life.

  7. Does familiarity with computers affect computerized neuropsychological test performance?

    PubMed

    Iverson, Grant L; Brooks, Brian L; Ashton, V Lynn; Johnson, Lynda G; Gualtieri, C Thomas

    2009-07-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine whether self-reported computer familiarity is related to performance on computerized neurocognitive testing. Participants were 130 healthy adults who self-reported whether their computer use was "some" (n = 65) or "frequent" (n = 65). The two groups were individually matched on age, education, sex, and race. All completed the CNS Vital Signs (Gualtieri & Johnson, 2006b) computerized neurocognitive battery. There were significant differences on 6 of the 23 scores, including scores derived from the Symbol-Digit Coding Test, Stroop Test, and the Shifting Attention Test. The two groups were also significantly different on the Psychomotor Speed (Cohen's d = 0.37), Reaction Time (d = 0.68), Complex Attention (d = 0.40), and Cognitive Flexibility (d = 0.64) domain scores. People with "frequent" computer use performed better than people with "some" computer use on some tests requiring rapid visual scanning and keyboard work.

  8. 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.

  9. Neuroticism Negatively Affects Multitasking Performance through State Anxiety

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-02-01

    interruptions, is greater than ever. As a result, multitasking has become a necessity in both home and work life for many individuals (e.g., Bühner...at work and at home . As such, researchers have begun to focus attention on understanding and predicting multitasking performance. Though past...technological innovation, and information overload, the pace of life is rapidly increasing. The pressure to do more in less time, often with frequent

  10. Personality Factors Affecting Pilot Combat Performance: A Preliminary Investigation

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1997-09-01

    collected by personnel from Metrica , Inc., under Contract F33615-91-D-0010 (Delivery Order 0005) sponsored by the Air Force Armstrong Laboratory. The...authors would like to thank ’their colleagues at Metrica for their contributions to . this effort; in particular, Mr John Quebe and Mr Martin Dittmar...aircrew combat performance. San Antonio TX: Metrica Inc. 7 . Dolgin, D.L., & Gibb, G.D. (1988). Personality assessment in aviator selection (NAMRL

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Factors That Affect Academic Performance Among Pharmacy Students

    PubMed Central

    Sansgiry, Sujit S.; Bhosle, Monali; Sail, Kavita

    2006-01-01

    Objective The objective of this study was to examine factors such as academic competence, test competence, time management, strategic studying, and test anxiety, and identify whether these factors could distinguish differences among students, based on academic performance and enrollment in the experiential program. Methods A cross-sectional study design utilizing questionnaires measuring previously validated constructs was used to evaluate the effect of these factors on students with low and high cumulative grade point averages (GPAs). Pharmacy students (N = 198) enrolled at the University of Houston participated in the study. Results Academic performance was significantly associated with factors such as academic competence and test competence. Students with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or greater significantly differed in their level of test competence than those with a GPA of less than 3.0. Students enrolled in their experiential year differed from students enrolled in their second year of curriculum on factors such as test anxiety, academic competence, test competence, and time management skills. Conclusion Test competence was an important factor to distinguish students with low vs. high academic performance. Factors such as academic competence, test competence, test anxiety and time management improve as students' progress in their experiential year. PMID:17149433

  14. Effect of broiler breeders fed with corn or sorghum diet and canthaxanthin supplementation on production and reproductive performance.

    PubMed

    Bonilla, C E V; Rosa, A P; Londero, A; Giacomini, C B S; Orso, C; Fernandes, M O; Paixão, S J; Bonamigo, D V

    2017-03-04

    This study was designed to evaluate the effect of corn or sorghum diet and canthaxanthin (CX) supplementation on performance in broiler breeders. A total of 440 females with similar body weight (BW) (3.71 ± 0.14 kg) and 60 roosters were placed in an open-sided house with 20 pens, randomly distributed in a factorial arrangement (2 × 2). There were 4 diets of 2 ingredients; corn (CO) or sorghum (SO) and 2 levels of CX; 6 mg/kg (CX) and 0 mg/kg (NCX) totaling 5 replicate pens of 22 females and 3 males each, from 42 to 65 wk, divided in 2 periods (from wk 42 to 53 and wk 54 to 65). Birds' BW was measured every 28 d and mortality rate was calculated at the end of trial. Egg production (%), egg specific gravity (g/cm3), egg weight (g), yolk weight (%), albumen weight (%), eggshell weight (%) and yolk colorimetric score were measured weekly. Incubation parameters were recorded in 12 incubations to evaluate hatching eggs, hatching (%), hatchability (%), fertility (%), weight of the chicks born and their quality. The BW, mortality, percentage of yolk and albumen weight, fertility and some incubation parameters were not affected (P > 0.05) by diets used. An increase in the egg production, hatching eggs, chicks born and first quality chick by hen at the second period were observed in CX breeder's diets (P = 0.0066; P = 0.0060; P = 0.0368; P = 0.0326). Egg specific gravity and eggshell weight were improved at the first period by SO+CX diet (P = 0.0138; P = 0.0209) and the same effect to egg weight, but at the second period (P = 0.0251). The CX was well absorbed from the diet and effectively transferred to the egg yolk, thereby increasing egg yolk pigmentation in the both periods (P < 0.0001). The CX supplementation in broiler breeder diets improved the productive and reproductive performance (laying% and hatchable eggs) at the second period, also to the both periods improved the egg yolk pigmentation.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Dmitriew, Caitlin; Rowe, Locke

    2011-03-30

    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.

  19. Investigation of Factors Affecting Aerodynamic Performance of Nebulized Nanoemulsion

    PubMed Central

    Kamali, Hosein; Abbasi, Shayan; Amini, Mohammad Ali; Amani, Amir

    2016-01-01

    This work aimed to prepare a nanoemulsion preparation containing budesonide and assess its aerodynamic behavior in comparison with suspension of budesonide. In-vitro aerodynamic performance of the corresponding micellar solution (ie. nanoemulsion preparation without oil) was investigated too. Nanoemulsions of almond oil containing budesonide, as a hydrophobic model drug molecule, were prepared and optimized. Then, the effect of variation of surfactant/co-surfactant concentration on the aerodynamic properties of the nebulized aerosol was studied. The results indicated that the most physically stable formulation makes the smallest aerodynamic size. The concentration of co-surfactant was also shown to be critical in determination of aerodynamic size. Furthermore, the optimized sample, with 3% w/w almond oil, 20% w/w Tween 80+Span 80 and 2% w/w ethanol showed a smaller MMAD in comparison with the commercially available suspension and the micellar solution. PMID:28243265

  20. 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. 

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Time within reproductive season, but not age or inbreeding coefficient, affects seminal and sperm quality in the whooping crane (Grus americana).

    PubMed

    Brown, M E; Converse, S J; Chandler, J N; Crosier, A L; Lynch, W; Wildt, D E; Keefer, C L; Songsasen, N

    2015-08-11

    All living whooping cranes (Grus americana) are descended from 16 or fewer birds that remained alive in the early 1940s, a bottleneck that puts the species at potential risk for inbreeding depression. Although AI is commonly used in the management of the captive population of this species, little is known about seminal traits or factors affecting sperm quality in the whooping crane. In the present study, semen samples were collected from 29 adult males (age 3-27 years) during the early (March), mid (April) and late (May) breeding season over 2 consecutive years. The effects of donor age, time within reproductive season and level of inbreeding on seminal characteristics were analysed using regression and information-theoretic model selection. Only time within reproductive season significantly affected seminal traits, with total numbers of spermatozoa and proportions of pleiomorphisms increasing across the season. We conclude that, even with a highly restricted number of founders, there is no discernible influence of inbreeding (at the levels described) on sperm output or quality. Furthermore, although there is variance in seminal quality, the whooping crane produces significant numbers of motile spermatozoa throughout the breeding season, similar to values reported for the greater sandhill crane (Grus canadensis tabida).

  7. Noise Affects Performance on the Montreal Cognitive Assessment.

    PubMed

    Dupuis, Kate; Marchuk, Veronica; Pichora-Fuller, M Kathleen

    2016-09-01

    We investigated the effect of background noise on performance on the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA). Two groups of older adults (one with clinically normal hearing, one with hearing loss) and a younger adult group with clinically normal hearing were administered two versions of the MoCA under headphones in low and high levels of background noise. Intensity levels used to present the test were customized based on the hearing abilities of participants with hearing loss to yield a uniform level of difficulty across listeners in the high-level noise condition. Both older groups had poorer MoCA scores in noise than the younger group. Importantly, all participants had poorer MoCA scores in the high-noise (M = 22.7/30) compared to the low-noise condition (M = 25.7/30, p < .001). Results suggest that background noise in the test environment should be considered when cognitive tests are conducted and results interpreted, especially when testing older adults.

  8. Improving the reproductive performance of Egyptian buffalo cows by changing the management system.

    PubMed

    Abdalla, E B

    2003-01-15

    The objective of the present study was to determine the possibility to improve the reproductive performance of buffalo cows through the continuous exposure to bull with grazing and free-stall housing management. Sixty-four Egyptian multiparous buffalo cows raised under two different management systems in two farms were used in this study. The cows in the first farm (management system 1, MS1) were loose--housed in a free-stall yard, grazed for 4 h per day, suckled their calves for 2-3 months and were continuously exposed to a fertile bull. The cows in the second farm (management system 2, MS2 ) were confined in an open-fronted tie-stall shed, not grazed, suckled their calves for only 7 days and were exposed to a fertile bull twice per day (30 min per session). All the cows were fed a diet of green berseem (Trifolium alexandrinum), rice straw and concentrates to meet their maintenance and production requirements. The cows during both the treatments were milked twice per day after weaning. The cows in both groups were between the second and the sixth parity, weighed 450-480 kg and had average daily milk yields of 5.0-6.0 kg. In each farm, cows were visually checked twice daily at 07:00 and 17:00 h for the signs of oestrus and animals proved standing heat were naturally mated. Rectal palpation was used to monitor uterine involution and for pregnancy diagnosis. Blood was sampled twice per week from 7 to 150 days post-partum for serum progesterone assay. The results revealed that post-partum intervals to each of first ovulation, first oestrus, conception and next parturition were significantly (P < 0.05) shorter in MS1 group than in MS2 group. In the meantime, MS1 increased (P < 0.01) the conception and calving rates by 21 and 25%, respectively compared to MS2. Percentages of post-partum cyclic animals and animals exhibiting ovulatory oestrus were greater (P < 0.01) in MS1 group than in MS2 group. However, the percentage of animals cycling before day 60 post-partum was

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. The Arabidopsis DSO/ABCG11 transporter affects cutin metabolism in reproductive organs and suberin in roots.

    PubMed

    Panikashvili, David; Shi, Jian Xin; Bocobza, Samuel; Franke, Rochus Benni; Schreiber, Lukas; Aharoni, Asaph

    2010-05-01

    Apart from its significance in the protection against stress conditions, the cuticular cover is essential for proper development of the diverse surface structures formed on aerial plant organs. This layer mainly consists of a cutin matrix, embedded and overlaid with cuticular waxes. Following their biosynthesis in epidermal cells, cutin and waxes were suggested to be exported across the plasma membrane by ABCG-type transporters such as DSO/ABCG11 to the cell wall and further to extracellular matrix. Here, additional aspects of DSO/ABCG11 function were investigated, predominantly in reproductive organs, which were not revealed in the previous reports. This was facilitated by the generation of a transgenic DSO/ABCG11 silenced line (dso-4) that displayed relatively subtle morphological and chemical phenotypes. These included altered petal and silique morphology, fusion of seeds, and changes in levels of cutin monomers in flowers and siliques. The dso-4 phenotypes corresponded to the strong DSO/ABCG11 gene expression in the embryo epidermis as well as in the endosperm tissues of the developing seeds. Moreover, the DSO/ABCG11 protein displayed polar localization in the embryo protoderm. Transcriptome analysis of the dso-4 mutant leaves and stems showed that reduced DSO/ABCG11 activity suppressed the expression of a large number of cuticle-associated genes, implying that export of cuticular lipids from the plasma membrane is a rate-limiting step in cuticle metabolism. Surprisingly, root suberin composition of dso-4 was altered, as well as root expression of two suberin biosynthetic genes. Taken together, this study provides new insights into cutin and suberin metabolism and their role in reproductive organs and roots development.

  13. Assessment of reproductive and growth performances of pig breeds in the peri-urban area of Douala (Equatorial Zone)

    PubMed Central

    Kouamo, J.; Tankou, W.F. Tassemo; Zoli, A.P.; Bah, G.S.; Ongla, A.C. Ngo

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the reproductive and growth performances of pig breeds in Douala, Cameroon. The reproductive performance of gilts and multiparous sows (38 per group) from 8 selected farms were monitored and controlled. Thereafter, piglets were controlled from birth to weaning age. The age at first service (AFS), fertility index (FI), fecundity, age at first farrowing (AFF), weight at first farrowing (WtFF) and litter size (LS) of gilts were 179.97 ± 25.40 days; 1.76 ± 0.77; 100 ± 0.00; 350.47 ± 40.58 days; 107.26 ± 31.85 kg and 7.18 ± 1.93 piglets, respectively. In sows, the FI, fecundity, LS and farrowing interval (FarI) were 1.13 ± 0.34; 100 ± 0.00; 9.03 ± 2.14 piglets and 179.63 ± 25.14 days, respectively. FI and LS were better in sows compared to gilts (P = 0.000). The sex ratio was 0.63. Local breed animals reared in semi-modern farms and fed mixed feed showed the lowest WtFF. In piglets, the average birth weight (kg), the average weaning weight (kg), age at weaning (days) and survival rate (%) until weaning were 1.32 ± 0.20, 10.60 ± 1.41, 56.86 ± 8.24 and 48.43, respectively. These results indicated that reproductive performance is strongly influenced by breed, feed and farm type. PMID:26623369

  14. Effect of gastrointestinal nematode and liver fluke infections on weight gain and reproductive performance of beef heifers.

    PubMed

    Loyacano, A F; Williams, J C; Gurie, J; DeRosa, A A

    2002-08-02

    Spring born, crossbred beef heifers (n=372) were utilized over four years to measure reductions in body weights, reproductive performance and calf weights caused by gastrointestinal nematodes (primarily Ostertagia ostertagi) and the bovine liver fluke (Fasciola hepatica) and to differentiate losses attributable to each type of parasitism. Each year, weaned heifers were allotted to one of the four treatment regimens: Group 1, untreated controls; Group 2, treated for nematodes; Group 3, treated for liver fluke; and Group 4, treated for both nematodes and liver fluke. Nematodes were controlled with subcutaneous injections of either ivermectin (Ivomec, Merial) or doramectin (Dectomax, Pfizer), both at the recommended dose of 200 ug/kg bodyweight. Clorsulon (Curatrem, Merial) drench was given at the recommended rate of 7 mg/kg bodyweight to control flukes. Treatments and fecal collections were initiated at allotment each year and were repeated at 28-84-day intervals until palpation for pregnancy diagnosis. Open heifers were removed from the study at this time. Treatment dates were based on expected length of treatment efficacy, the stage of growth of the heifers and the seasonal risk of infection by the parasites. Pregnant females were pooled and received their assigned treatments prior to their calving and breeding seasons and remained together until their calves were weaned. Heifers treated for nematode infections were heavier and had higher condition scores (P<0.01) than untreated control heifers at initiation of breeding, and maintained that difference through pregnancy diagnosis. Liver fluke infection did not affect heifer gains or condition scores prior to palpation (P<0.01). At palpation, heifers treated for both forms of parasitism had the highest condition scores and weight gains (P<0.01), and also higher pregnancy rates than control heifers and heifers treated for nematodes only (P<0.01). Pregnancy rates for heifers treated for flukes only were not

  15. Effects of cage size and enrichment on reproductive performance and behavior in C57BL/6Tac mice.

    PubMed

    Whitaker, Julia; Moy, Sheryl S; Godfrey, Virginia; Nielsen, Judith; Bellinger, Dwight; Bradfield, John

    2009-01-01

    The authors examined the effects of cage size and enrichment on mouse breeding performance and behavior. Breeding trios of C57BL/6Tac mice were housed in cages of two different sizes ('standard' and 'large' cages with 82 in(2) and 124 in(2) floor space, respectively). Half of the cages of each size contained four enrichment items (Nestlet, plastic tunnel, nylon rings and running wheel), whereas the remaining cages had no enrichment. The authors measured the following reproductive parameters: litter size, number of pups that survived to weaning age, average pup weights at 21 d after birth and number of days between births of litters. A subset of weaned male and female pups from each cage size and enrichment condition completed a suite of behavioral tests. Pups raised in large cages weighed less than those raised in standard cages. Enrichment and cage size had certain behavioral effects, which were dependent on gender and behavioral measure. Male pups born in enriched cages showed more anxiety-like behavior and less exploration than did males born in non-enriched cages. Though being raised in enriched or large cages did not clearly improve pups' performance in behavioral tests, enrichment (regardless of cage size) did significantly benefit reproductive performance; pups from non-enriched cages weighed less than pups from enriched cages, and fewer survived to weaning age.

  16. Effect of lighting program and nutrition on reproductive performance of molted single comb White Leghorn hens.

    PubMed

    Andrews, D K; Berry, W D; Brake, J

    1987-08-01

    Two adjoining rooms in a light-tight, fan-ventilated, insulated house were used for a study involving 320 Single Comb White Leghorn hens, 60 wk of age, placed two per cage. These hens were subjected to an induced molt which compared two lighting programs, two molt rations, two levels of total sulfur amino acids (TSAA), and two levels of ascorbic acid (AA) in a factorial arrangement. There were four treatments. Treatment 1 compared the Washington lighting program (WSU), consisting of an 8-h light photoperiod for 28 days beginning 7 days before fast with the North Carolina program (NCSU), consisting of a 24-h light photoperiod for 7 days prior to fast followed by 12 h light/day for 21 days. After 28 days, light duration was increased to 16 h/day in stages for both programs. Treatment 2 consisted of feeding cracked corn (CC) or 16% protein molt ration (MR) for 2 weeks: Treatment 3, feeding of 14% layer mash with either .60% or .65% TSAA; and Treatment 4, addition of either 0 or 50 ppm AA to the 14% layer mash. After molting, egg production was increased in the NCSU lighting program and .65% TSAA treatments. Feed conversion was improved by the NCSU lighting treatment. Deaths were fewer in diets with 50 ppm AA. Egg weight, specific gravity, and shell weight were not affected by any treatment. A significant light X molt diet interaction occurred due to better performance of MR birds compared with CC birds in the NCSU lighting program, whereas on the WSU lighting program, CC produced better performance. These data indicated that combining features of various molt programs may not produce optimum results.

  17. 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…

  18. Purulent vaginal discharge in grazing dairy cows: Risk factors, reproductive performance, and prostaglandin F2α treatment.

    PubMed

    Giuliodori, M J; Magnasco, M; Magnasco, R P; Lacau-Mengido, I M; de la Sota, R L

    2017-03-16

    The objectives of this study were to assess the association of a 4-point scale of vaginal discharge score (VDS) with time to pregnancy to define criteria for a practical case of purulent vaginal discharge (PVD) in dairy cows, to test the risk factors for PVD, and, finally, the effect of a dose of PGF2α on cure and reproductive performance. In experiment 1, grazing Holstein cows (n = 2,414) had their vaginal discharge scored at ∼32 d in milk (DIM) on a 4-point scale, the effect of VDS on the hazard of pregnancy by 300 DIM was then assessed to derive a case definition of PVD. Risk factors for PVD and self-cure were also assessed. In experiment 2, grazing Holstein cows (n = 6,326) from 5 herds were checked for PVD at ∼30 DIM. Cows with PVD were assigned to receive one dose of 500 μg of PGF2α analog (Cloprostenol; Ciclase, Syntex SA, Buenos Aires, Argentina) per cow (odd ear tag number) or to remain untreated (even tag number). Cure was declared if cows presented clear normal vaginal discharge (VDS-0) at visit 2 (∼62 DIM). Data were analyzed with Cox's regression and mixed logistic models. In experiment 1, cows with VDS ≥1 had lower hazard of pregnancy and longer calving to pregnancy interval than cows with VDS-0. This finding was not affected by the time at which the diagnosis was performed. Therefore, a cow ≥21 DIM and having VDS ≥1 was used to define a case of PVD. The odds of PVD were greater in primiparous cows compared with multiparous, in cows with abnormal calving compared with those with normal calving, and in those losing BCS peripartum. In experiment 2, PGF2α treatment tended to slightly increase the hazard of pregnancy (adjusted hazard ratio = 1.13). Conversely, PGF2α had no effect on the odds of cure of PVD [adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 1.19], pregnancy at first service (AOR = 1.03, P = 0.86), or pregnancy by 100 DIM (AOR = 0.89, P = 0.51) or 200 DIM (AOR = 1.27, P = 0.17). In conclusion, cows with VDS ≥1 can be considered to have PVD

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  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 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.

  4. 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…

  5. 40 CFR Table 3 to Subpart Nnnnn of... - Performance Test Requirements for HCl Production Affected Sources

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 14 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Performance Test Requirements for HCl... Requirements for HCl Production Affected Sources As stated in § 63.9020, you must comply with the following requirements for performance tests for HCl production for each affected source. For each HCl process vent...

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. The effect of litter size before weaning on subsequent body development, feed intake, and reproductive performance of young rabbit does.

    PubMed

    Rommers, J M; Kemp, B; Meijerhof, R; Noordhuizen, J P

    2001-08-01

    An experiment was performed to study the effect of litter size before weaning on subsequent body development and composition, feed intake, and reproductive performance of young rabbit does with the objective to improve reproductive performance. Litter size (LS) before weaning (treatment) was 6, 9, or 12 kits. After weaning (30 d), 58 female kits per treatment (in two successive replicates) were reared and fed for ad libitum intake to 14.5 wk of age (end of rearing). At 14.5 wk of age, receptive does were inseminated. Nonreceptive and nonpregnant does were inseminated at 17.5 wk of age. The experiment ended when the second litter was weaned. Part of the animals was slaughtered to determine body composition at the end of the experiment (replicate one) and at the end of rearing (replicate two). At weaning, BW differed among treatments (P < 0.05; 855, 773, and 664 +/- 15 g for LS6, 9, and 12, respectively). Compensatory growth was observed. At the end of rearing, LS12 does were smaller (P < 0.05) than LS9 and LS6 does (3,524, 3,778, and 3,850 +/- 48 g, respectively). After first lactation, no difference in BW among treatments was found. Compared with LS6, empty body weight (BW minus gut, bladder, and uterus content) of LS12 contained more (P < 0.05) nitrogen (32.5 vs 31.1 +/- 0.3 g/kg), more (P < 0.05) ash (30.7 vs 28.3 +/- 0.6 g/kg), and less (P < 0.05) fat (168.6 vs 200.2 +/- 8.6 g/kg). No differences in body composition among treatments were found at the end of the experiment. During rearing, LS12 had the lowest (P < 0.05) daily feed intake (152, 164, and 169 +/- 2 g/d for LS12, 9, and 6, respectively). During the reproductive period, no differences in feed intake among treatments were found. Kindling rate (the number of kindlings per number of inseminations) was not influenced by treatment. In the first parity, total litter size (number of alive and stillborn kits) was lower (P < 0.10) for LS12 than for LS9 (6.4 vs 8.6 +/- 0.5, respectively). When first mating was

  10. Effects of different methionine sources on production and reproduction performance, egg quality and serum biochemical indices of broiler breeders.

    PubMed

    Xiao, Xue; Wang, Yongxia; Liu, Weilong; Ju, Tingting; Zhan, Xiuan

    2016-12-17

    The study was conducted to evaluate the effects of different methionine (Met) sources on production performance, reproduction performance, egg quality and serum biochemical indices in broiler breeders. After receiving a basal diet (containing 0.25% Met) for a 2-wk pretreatment period, a total of 360 39-wk-old Lingnan yellow broiler breeders were randomly allocated to four treatments with six replicates each (15 birds per replicate). Breeders were fed with basal diets (control) or diets supplemented with DL-methionine (DLM), DL-2-hydroxy-4-methylthio butytric calcium (MHA-Ca) and coated DL-Met (CME) respectively (containing 0.1% Met). The results showed that CME supplementation promoted laying rate and decreased feed-to-egg ration (F/E) (P<0.05), DLM and MHA-Ca supplementation decreased F/E (P<0.05) when compared with control group. The rate of fertility, hatchability and birthrate were higher (P<0.05) in DLM, MHA-Ca and CME groups than control group. Compared with control group, CME increased the eggshell thickness (P<0.05); MHA-Ca improved the eggshell thickness, relative eggshell weight and eggshell strength (P<0.05). Results also showed that CME elevated the concentration of total protein in serum (P<0.05); MHA-Ca improved the concentration of Calcium in serum (P<0.05). The concentration of serum uric acid in DLM, MHA-Ca and CME groups was higher than that in control group (P<0.05). Besides, CME had higher concentrations of serum taurine, cysteine and cystanthionine (P<0.05) while MHA-Ca and DLM promoted the serum taurine concentration (P<0.05) compared with control group. Based on the results, it was concluded that Met supplementation could enhance the production and reproduction performance as well as the antioxidant status and egg quality of broiler breeders. In terms of improving the production performance, reproduction performance and antioxidant performance, CME was superior to DLM and MHA-Ca; but in regard to the enhancement of eggshell quality and serum

  11. Using measures of reproductive performance in estimating ecological risk to amphibians at J-Field, APG, Maryland

    SciTech Connect

    Johnson, M.S.; Whaley, J.E.; McCain, W.C.; Leach, G.J.; Hayse, J.W.; Hlohowskyj, I.

    1995-12-31

    Current methods used for evaluating ecological risk to vertebrate receptors have come under increasing criticisms in that they neglect factors influencing population sustainability (i.e., predator avoidance and mate recognition behavior, reproductive performance, indirect effects, etc.). Further, recent declines in the densities of species of amphibians, combined with the fact that they are most exposed to soil, sediment, and surface water contaminants indicate that amphibians are conservative indicators of environmental stress. The authors marked 20 craters at J-Field, Edgewood Area, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, which were created from either high explosives, impact, or were excavated to receive surface water runoff from hazardous waste sites. Each of these sites were chosen a priori and were habitats likely to be used by amphibians. Contaminants of concern were explosives, organochlorines (PCBs, chlordane, DDE), and some metals (As, Hg, Pb, Ba, Cd, Cr). The authors compared relative abundance and reproductive performance (defined by pooled egg mass weight) to measures of contaminant concentrations. Subsequent qualitative assessments of embryo development were also made. The authors contend that these methods are valuable in that they reduce uncertainty (including effects of selection), and provide a novel, yet feasible alternative to current ecological assessment methods.

  12. Effect of pre- and post-partum feed supplementation on the productive and reproductive performance of grazing primiparous Brahman cows.

    PubMed

    Soto, R; Rubio, I; Galina, C S; Castillo, E; Rojas, S

    2001-05-01

    This experiment studied the combined effect of pre- and post-calving feed supplementation on the productive and reproductive performance of primiparous Brahman cows. The animals were 4 years old (420 kg live weight) and pregnant, and grazed rotationally on Stargrass (Cynodon nlemfuensis) pastures. Supplementation was given before and after (T1, n = 15), only before (T2, n = 15) or only after (T3, n = 16) calving, and there was an unsupplemented control (T4, n = 16). The supplement (1.5 kg/animal per day, 13.4 MJ digestible energy/kg dry matter and 20% crude protein) was given for 45 days before and/or after calving. Changes in body weight and body condition score and the productive behaviour of the calves were similar (p > 0.05) among treatments. The concentration of urea in the plasma was low in the control group (T4) before and after calving. The animals in all the groups had a poor reproductive performance. The percentage of cows in oestrus was higher (p < 0.05) in T1 (73.3%) than in T3 (37.5%). The interval from calving to conception (148.7 +/- 53.7 days) and the pregnancy rate (48.5%) were similar (p > 0.05) among the treatments. The level of supplementation offered before and/or after calving did not improve the pregnancy rate.

  13. Bird predation by tawny owls ( Strix aluco L.) and its effect on the reproductive performance of tits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sasvári, Lajos; Hegyi, Zoltán

    1998-11-01

    The density of great tit Parus major L. and blue tit Parus caeruleus L. was artificially increased by placing nest-box colonies for these species in the vicinity of the nests of breeding tawny owls during 1993-1997. Bird prey composition in the owl nests, the proportion of parents disappearing from the breeding tit populations and the reproductive performance of the widowed parents were analysed. The frequency of predation on tits by tawny owls was greater in areas where tit density had been artificially increased. Owls preyed more on tits during the feeding period of owlets than during the incubation period and more in years when snow covered the ground during the incubation period than when it did not. Mortality due to predation was male biased and more females lost their mates in populations breeding near tawny owl nests. Reproductive performance of the widowed parents was lower and their body weights were lighter at the end of the nestling period than those found in birds rearing youngs with their mates. Predation by owls increased the between-year turnover in the breeding tit population: widowed parents did not return to the nesting site for the next breeding season.

  14. Administration of eCG on Day 6 postpartum could enhance reproductive performance of Holstein dairy cows.

    PubMed

    Vojgani, M; Akbarinejad, V; Niasari-Naslaji, A

    2013-05-01

    Injection of eCG on Day 6 postpartum could enhance early resumption of ovarian activity in Holstein dairy cows. The present study was conducted to investigate the effects of eCG treatment on Day 6 postpartum on reproductive performance of Holstein dairy cows. Holstein dairy cows (n=420) were randomly assigned to two groups. Cows in eCG-treated group (n=220) received an intramuscular injection of eCG (500IU Folligon®) on Day 6 postpartum, while cows in the Control group (n=200) received no treatment. Estrus expression was observed thrice daily, and AI was carried out 12 hours after standing estrus. Data were analyzed using GLM and Genmod procedures, and survival analysis. Days to first service decreased in the eCG-treated (74.4±1.76 days) compared to the Control (84.2±2.79 days) group (P=0.008). Calving to conception interval was shorter in eCG-treated (103.9±3.14 days) vs Control (130.3±5.70 days) group (P=0.0006). Cows treated with eCG were inseminated and conceived earlier than untreated cows (P<0.05). In conclusion, injection of eCG on Day 6 postpartum improved reproductive performance in Holstein dairy cows.

  15. Reproductive Performance of a Declining Forest Passerine in Relation to Environmental and Social Factors: Implications for Species Conservation

    PubMed Central

    Grendelmeier, Alex; Arlettaz, Raphaël; Gerber, Michael; Pasinelli, Gilberto

    2015-01-01

    Identifying factors influencing a species' ecological niche and demography is a prerequisite for species conservation. However, our understanding of the interplay between demographic rates and biotic/abiotic factors is still poor for most species of conservation concern. We evaluated relevance of eight hypotheses relating to timing of breeding, temporal nest exposure, nest concealment, topography, tree structure, predation risk and disturbance, density dependence and weather for explaining variation in reproductive performance of the declining wood warbler Phylloscopus sibilatrix in northern Switzerland. Reproductive performance was monitored with cameras at 136 nests from 2010 to 2012 and was associated to temporal exposure, timing of breeding and concealment of nests. Daily nest survival was positively related to the number of grass and sedge tussocks, nest concealment and nest age. Clutch size and number of fledglings decreased, the later in the season a nest was initiated. Nest survival over an average nesting period of 31 days was 46.9 ± 0.07% (mean ± SE), daily nest survival rate was 0.976 ± 0.002. As for many ground-breeding birds, nest predation was the principal cause of nest failure, accounting for 79% of all nest losses. Conservation measures should aim at increasing the area of relatively homogenous forest stands featuring suitable habitats characterized by abundant and accessible grass and sedge tussocks. In managed forests, such conditions can be found in stands of middle age (i.e. pole wood) with little to no shrub layer. PMID:26172954

  16. Identifying Affective Domains That Correlate and Predict Mathematics Performance in High-Performing Students in Singapore

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lim, Siew Yee; Chapman, Elaine

    2015-01-01

    Past studies have shown that distinct yet highly correlated sub-constructs of three broad mathematics affective variables: (a) motivation, (b) attitudes and (c) anxiety, have varying degree of correlation with mathematics achievement. The sub-constructs of these three affective constructs are as follows: (a) (i) amotivation, (ii) external…

  17. The nuclear hormone receptor coactivator NRC is a pleiotropic modulator affecting growth, development, apoptosis, reproduction, and wound repair.

    PubMed

    Mahajan, Muktar A; Das, Sharmistha; Zhu, Hong; Tomic-Canic, Marjana; Samuels, Herbert H

    2004-06-01

    Nuclear hormone receptor coregulator (NRC) is a 2,063-amino-acid coregulator of nuclear hormone receptors and other transcription factors (e.g., c-Fos, c-Jun, and NF-kappaB). We and others have generated C57BL/6-129S6 hybrid (C57/129) NRC(+/-) mice that appear outwardly normal and grow and reproduce. In contrast, homozygous deletion of the NRC gene is embryonic lethal. NRC(-/-) embryos are always smaller than NRC(+/+) embryos, and NRC(-/-) embryos die between 8.5 and 12.5 days postcoitus (dpc), suggesting that NRC has a pleotrophic effect on growth. To study this, we derived mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) from 12.5-dpc embryos, which revealed that NRC(-/-) MEFs exhibit a high rate of apoptosis. Furthermore, a small interfering RNA that targets mouse NRC leads to enhanced apoptosis of wild-type MEFs. The finding that C57/129 NRC(+/-) mice exhibit no apparent phenotype prompted us to develop 129S6 NRC(+/-) mice, since the phenotype(s) of certain gene deletions may be strain dependent. In contrast with C57/129 NRC(+/-) females, 20% of 129S6 NRC(+/-) females are infertile while 80% are hypofertile. The 129S6 NRC(+/-) males produce offspring when crossed with wild-type 129S6 females, although fertility is reduced. The 129S6 NRC(+/-) mice tend to be stunted in their growth compared with their wild-type littermates and exhibit increased postnatal mortality. Lastly, both C57/129 NRC(+/-) and 129S6 NRC(+/-) mice exhibit a spontaneous wound healing defect, indicating that NRC plays an important role in that process. Our findings reveal that NRC is a coregulator that controls many cellular and physiologic processes ranging from growth and development to reproduction and wound repair.

  18. Congo red dye affects survival and reproduction in the cladoceran Ceriodaphnia dubia. Effects of direct and dietary exposure.

    PubMed

    Hernández-Zamora, Miriam; Martínez-Jerónimo, Fernando; Cristiani-Urbina, Eliseo; Cañizares-Villanueva, Rosa Olivia

    2016-12-01

    Nearly 7 00000 tons of dyes are produced annually throughout the world. Azo dyes are widely used in the textile and paper industries due to their low cost and ease of application. Their extensive use results in large volumes of wastewater being discharged into aquatic ecosystems. Large volume discharges constitute a health risk since many of these dyes, such as Congo Red, are elaborated with benzidine, a known carcinogenic compound. Information regarding dye toxicity in aquatic ecosystems is limited. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of Congo Red on survival and reproduction of Ceriodaphnia dubia. We determined the 48 h median lethal concentration (LC50) and evaluated the effects of sublethal concentrations in subchronic exposures by using as food either fresh algae or algae previously exposed to the dye. LC50 was 13.58 mg L(-1). In subchronic assays, survival was reduced to 80 and 55 %, and fertility to 40 and 70 %, as compared to the control, in C. dubia fed with intoxicated cells or with the mix of intoxicated + fresh algae, respectively, so the quantity and type of food had a significant effect. We determined that Congo Red is highly toxic to C. dubia since it inhibits survival and fertility in concentrations exceeding 3 mg L(-1). Our results show that this dye produces negative effects at very low concentrations. Furthermore, our findings warn of the risk associated with discharging dyes into aquatic environments. Lastly, the results emphasize the need to regulate the discharge of effluents containing azo dyes.

  19. Combined effects of positive and negative affectivity and job satisfaction on job performance and turnover intentions.

    PubMed

    Bouckenooghe, Dave; Raja, Usman; Butt, Arif Nazir

    2013-01-01

    Capturing data from employee-supervisor dyads (N = 321) from eight organizations in Pakistan, including human service organizations, an electronics assembly plant, a packaging material manufacturing company, and a small food processing plant, we used moderated regression analysis to examine whether the relationships between trait affect (positive affectivity [PA] and negative affectivity [NA]) and two key work outcome variables (job performance and turnover) are contingent upon the level of job satisfaction. We applied the Trait Activation Theory to explain the moderating effect of job satisfaction on the relationship between affect and performance and between affect and turnover. Overall, the data supported our hypotheses. Positive and negative affectivity influenced performance and the intention to quit, and job satisfaction moderated these relationships. We discuss in detail the results of these findings and their implications for research and practice.

  20. A regional evaluation of injections of high levels of vitamin A on reproductive performance of sows.

    PubMed

    Lindemann, M D; Brendemuhl, J H; Chiba, L I; Darroch, C S; Dove, C R; Estienne, M J; Harper, A F

    2008-02-01

    A regional study involving 443 litters from 182 sows was conducted at 5 cooperating experiment stations to determine the effects of an i.m. injection of vitamin A at weaning and breeding on subsequent litter size of sows. Sows were assigned to 1 of 3 treatments given at weaning and again at breeding: 1) a placebo i.m. injection (2 mL of corn oil), 2) i.m. injection with 250,000 IU of vitamin A (1 mL of vitamin A palmitate in oil), and 3) i.m. injection with 500,000 IU of vitamin A (2 mL of vitamin A palmitate in oil). Corn-soybean meal diets in gestation were formulated to contain 13% CP and 0.60% total Lys. Lactation diets were formulated to contain 17% CP and 0.90% Lys. A common vitamin-mineral premix that supplied 11,000 IU of vitamin A/kg of diet (as-fed) was used by all stations. As expected, station effects were noted for many response measures. Analysis of the data also revealed both treatment x station and treatment x parity interactions for litter size responses. The treatment x parity interactions were stronger than the treatment x station effects, and when the litter size response was separated into early parity sows (parity 1 and 2) and late-parity sows (parity 3 to 6), the treatment x station interactions were no longer present in either subgroup. For sows of parity 1 and 2, litter sizes were increased linearly (P affected for treatment 1 to 3, respectively, for the total (11.82, 11.71, and 11.46), live born (10.82, 10.64, and 10.23), and weaned (8.65, 9.01, 8.79) piglets. Piglet BW were affected (P < 0.001) by station and were associated with station differences (P < 0.05) in lactation length. Piglet BW decreased due to vitamin A treatment in parity 1 and 2 sows (linear, P

  1. The effect of intrauterine infusion of dextrose on clinical endometritis cure rate and reproductive performance of dairy cows.

    PubMed

    Machado, V S; Oikonomou, G; Ganda, E K; Stephens, L; Milhomem, M; Freitas, G L; Zinicola, M; Pearson, J; Wieland, M; Guard, C; Gilbert, R O; Bicalho, R C

    2015-06-01

    The main objective of this study was to evaluate the intrauterine administration use of 200 mL of 50% dextrose solution as a treatment against clinical endometritis (CE); CE cure rate and reproductive performance were evaluated. Additionally, the association of several relevant risk factors, such as retained placenta (RP), metritis, CE, anovulation, hyperketonemia, and body condition score with reproductive performance, early embryonic mortality, and CE were evaluated. A total of 1,313 Holstein cows housed on 4 commercial dairy farms were enrolled in the study. At 7±3 DIM cows were examined for metritis and had blood collected to determine serum β-hydroxybutyrate concentration. To determine if cows had ovulated at least once before 44±3 DIM, the presence of a corpus luteum was evaluated by ovarian ultrasonography at 30±3 DIM and at 44±3 DIM. At 30±3 DIM, CE was diagnosed using the Metricheck device (SimcroTech, Hamilton, New Zealand); cows with purulent or mucopurulent vaginal discharge were diagnosed as having CE. Cows diagnosed with CE (n=175) were randomly allocated into 2 treatment groups: treatment (intrauterine infusion of 200 mL of 50% dextrose) or control (no infusion). Clinical endometritis cows were re-evaluated as described above at 44±3 DIM, and cows that were free of purulent or mucopurulent vaginal discharge were considered cured. Intrauterine infusion of dextrose tended to have a detrimental effect on CE cure rate, and treatment did not have an effect on first-service conception rate and early embryonic mortality. A multivariable Cox's proportional hazard model was performed to evaluate the effect of several variables on reproductive performance; the variables RP, CE, parity, anovulation, and the interaction term between parity and anovulation were associated with hazard of pregnancy. Cows that did not have RP or CE were more likely to conceive than cows that were diagnosed with RP or CE. Cows that had RP were at 3.36 times higher odds of

  2. Effect of early or late resynchronization based on different methods of pregnancy diagnosis on reproductive performance of dairy cows.

    PubMed

    Sinedino, L D P; Lima, F S; Bisinotto, R S; Cerri, R L A; Santos, J E P

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this study was to compare the reproductive performance of dairy cows subjected to early (ER) or late (LR) resynchronization programs after nonpregnancy diagnoses based on either pregnancy-associated glycoproteins (PAG) ELISA or transrectal palpation, respectively. In addition, the accuracy of the PAG ELISA for early pregnancy diagnosis was assessed. Lactating Holstein cows were subjected to a Presynch-Ovsynch protocol with timed artificial insemination (AI) performed between 61 and 74 DIM. On the day of the first postpartum AI, 1,093 cows were blocked by parity and assigned randomly to treatments; however, because of attrition, 452 ER and 520 LR cows were considered for the statistical analyses. After the first postpartum AI, cows were observed daily for signs of estrus and inseminated on the same day of detected estrus. Cows from ER that were not reinseminated in estrus received the first GnRH injection of the Ovsynch protocol for resynchronization 2d before pregnancy diagnosis. On d 28 after the previous AI (d 27 to 34), pregnancy status was determined by PAG ELISA, and nonpregnant cows continued on the Ovsynch protocol for reinsemination. Pregnant cows had pregnancy status reconfirmed on d 46 after AI (d 35 to 52) by transrectal palpation, and those that lost the pregnancies were resynchronized. Cows assigned to LR had pregnancy diagnosed by transrectal palpation on d 46 after AI (d 35 to 52) and nonpregnant cows were resynchronized with the Ovsynch protocol. Blood was sampled on d 28 after AI (d 27 to 34) from cows in both treatments that had not been reinseminated on estrus and again on d 46 after AI (d 35 to 52) for assessment of PAG ELISA to determine the accuracy of the test. Cows were subjected to treatments for 72d after the first insemination. Pregnancy per AI (P/AI) at first postpartum timed AI did not differ between treatments and averaged 28.9%. The proportion of nonpregnant cows that were resynchronized and received timed AI was greater

  3. Effects of dietary octacosanol supplementation on laying performance, egg quality, serum hormone levels, and expression of genes related to the reproductive axis in laying hens.

    PubMed

    Long, L; Wu, S G; Yuan, F; Zhang, H J; Wang, J; Qi, G H

    2016-09-24

    This experiment was conducted to evaluate the effects of dietary octacosanol supplementation on laying performance, egg quality, serum hormone levels, and gene expression related to reproductive axis in laying hens to confirm the reproduction-promoting function of octacosanol. In total, 360 Hy-Line Brown (67-wk-old) laying hens were randomly assigned to one of three treatments with 0, 5, and 10 mg octacosanol (extracted from rice bran, purity >92%)/kg feed. The feeding trial lasted for 10 weeks. The results showed that the dietary addition of 5 and 10 mg/kg octacosanol improved feed efficiency by 4.9% and 3.4% (P < 0.01), increased the albumen height by 20.5% and 13.3% (P < 0.01), the Haugh unit score by 12.9% and 8.7% (P < 0.01), and the eggshell strength by 39.5% and 24.5% (P < 0.01), respectively, compared with the control diet. Dietary octacosanol addition significantly affected serum triiodothyronine, estradiol, follicle-stimulating hormone levels (P < 0.05), and progesterone and luteinizing hormone level (P < 0.01). Compared with the control, dietary addition of octacosanol at 5 mg/kg promoted the follicle-stimulating hormone receptor (FSHR) mRNA expression in different-sized follicles, and significantly increased the FSHR mRNA expression of granulosa cells from the F2 and F3 follicles (P < 0.05). Dietary supplementation with both 5 and 10 mg/kg octacosanol promoted the mRNA expression of luteinizing hormone receptor and prolactin receptor in different-sized follicles, and significantly up-regulated the expression levels in F1 granulosa cells (P < 0.05). The ovarian weight was significantly increased with the dietary addition of 5 mg/kg octacosanol (P < 0.05). The numbers of small yellow follicles and large white follicles were increased with the addition of dietary 5 and 10 mg/kg octacosanol (P < 0.01). This study provides evidence that octacosanol has the capacity to improve reproductive performance, indicating that it is a potentially effective

  4. Effects of evaporative cooling on reproductive performance and milk production of dairy cows in hot wet conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khongdee, S.; Chaiyabutr, N.; Hinch, G.; Markvichitr, K.; Vajrabukka, C.

    2006-05-01

    Fourteen animals of second and third lactation of Thai Friesian crossbred cows (87.5% Friesian × 12.5% Bos indicus) located at Sakol Nakhon Research and Breeding Centre, Department of Livestock Development, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, were divided randomly into two groups of seven each to evaluate the effects of evaporative cooling on reproductive and physiological traits under hot, humid conditions. Results indicated that installation of evaporating cooling in the open shed gave a further improvement in ameliorating heat stress in dairy cows in hot-wet environments by utilising the low humidity conditions that naturally occur during the day. The cows housed in an evaporatively cooled environment had both a rectal temperature and respiration rate (39.09°C, 61.39 breaths/min, respectively) significantly lower than that of the non-cooled cows (41.21°C; 86.87 breaths/min). The former group also had higher milk yield and more efficient reproductive performance (pregnancy rate and reduced days open) than the latter group. It is suggested that the non-evaporatively cooled cows did not gain benefit from the naturally lower heat stress during night time.

  5. Genetic correlations between male reproductive traits and growth traits in growth performance tested Duroc, Landrace and Yorkshire breed boars.

    PubMed

    Chang, Hsiu-Luan; Lai, Yung-Yu; Wu, Ming-Che; Sasaki, Osamu

    2017-02-09

    Male-related traits at 180-225 days of age for 6464 grow-finish performance tested boars were measured from 2000 to 2016. Heritability estimates and genetic correlations among average daily gain, feed efficiency, back fat thickness, teat counts, mounting libido, leg locomotion, penile length, sperm motility, sperm concentration and total sperm counts were estimated by VCE software using a multiple traits animal model in each breed. Growth-tested boars had heritability estimates of male reproductive traits in 0.34-0.56 of teat counts, 0.12-0.20 of libido, 0.08-0.12 of locomotion, 0.17-0.58 of penile length, 0.04-0.21 of sperm motility and concentration, 0.17-0.30 of total sperm counts. Total sperm counts were genetically positively correlated with penile length in all breeds. Boars with higher total sperm counts had genetically better libido and locomotion. Genetic correlation between feed efficiency and sperm motility and feed efficiency and sperm concentration were positive in Duroc and negative in Landrace and Yorkshire. Sperm motility and concentration were genetically negatively correlated with average daily gain in Yorkshire. Male reproductive traits of imported breeds could be improved with care in the change of growth traits, especially in Yorkshire.

  6. Evaluation of vaginal discharge with the Metricheck device and the relationship to reproductive performance in postpartum dairy cows.

    PubMed

    Lambertz, Christian; Völker, Denise; Janowitz, Ulrich; Gauly, Matthias

    2014-09-01

    Vaginal mucus during estrus was examined with the Metricheck device and the relationship to the reproduction of high-yielding dairy cows was studied. The study was conducted in 99 dairy herds located in Western Germany and 1348 Holstein-Friesian heifers and cows showing spontaneous estrus were examined. Independent of the Metricheck result, the animals were inspected by professional insemination technicians and those suitable for insemination (n = 989) were bred by artificial insemination (AI). Reproductive performance was characterized by non-return rate at 90 days (NRR90). The discharge of the animals predominantly had a clear appearance (70%) and a stringy consistency (80%). Animals with clear vaginal discharge had higher NRR90 (56%; n = 697) than animals with abnormal (turbid, mucopurulent, purulent, sanguineous) vaginal secretion (48%, n = 292; P < 0.05). NRR90 was lower in animals with short calving to AI interval (< 70 days; 39%) than with medium (70-130 days; 54%) or long (> 130 days; 62%) intervals (P < 0.05). NRR90 decreased by 12% from the lowest (< 15 kg) to the highest (> 45 kg) milk yield class. In conclusion, the use of the Metricheck device integrated into the insemination procedure is recommended to identify dairy cows suffering severely from uterine disease.

  7. The effects of primiparity on reproductive performance in the brown bear.

    PubMed

    Zedrosser, Andreas; Dahle, Bjørn; Støen, Ole-Gunnar; Swenson, Jon E

    2009-07-01

    We studied the effects of primiparity on litter size, offspring size, and cub loss in brown bears (Ursus arctos) in two study areas (north, south) in Sweden from 1987 to 2006. Sexually selected infanticide (SSI) has been suggested previously as a mortality factor in our study populations. Females in the south became primiparous earlier than females in the north. Primiparous females had significantly smaller litters of cubs than multiparous females. We found no evidence that primiparity was costly in terms of the interlitter interval. Primiparous mothers had a higher probability of cub loss than multiparous mothers. The probability of cub loss was analyzed separately for the pre-mating and the mating season. The probability of cub loss by primiparous females in the pre-mating season increased with both increasing population density and deteriorating food conditions, whereas the probability of cub loss during the mating season decreased with increasing age of primiparity and increased with male turnover (a variable predicting SSI). The temporal patterns of cub loss by primiparous females suggested that the critical times for reproductive success by primiparous females were the pre-mating season (from birth to shortly after leaving the den) and the mating season. Cub loss in these periods was independent and caused by different factors. Cub loss before the mating season seemed to be most influenced by food conditions, whereas that during the mating season appeared to be caused by SSI.

  8. Effects of Vernonia cinerea on reproductive performance in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats

    PubMed Central

    POMJUNYA, Atchariya; RATTHANOPHART, Jasada; FUNGFUANG, Wirasak

    2017-01-01

    The present study investigated the effects of Vernonia cinerea (VC) on the reproductive function in streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic male rats. Six-week-old male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into four groups: group 1, normal control rats; group 2, diabetic untreated rats; group 3, diabetic rats treated with VC (10 mg/kg); and group 4, diabetic rats treated with VC (40 mg/kg). Diabetes mellitus (DM) was induced by intraperitoneal injection of STZ (60 mg/kg). All animals were treated for 30 consecutive days. Body weight, blood glucose, food intake, epididymal sperm parameters, testicular microstructure and serum testosterone levels were evaluated. VC treatment significantly restored the sperm motility and testosterone concentration, and decreased the testicular histopathological changes in DM rats. Moreover, high-dose VC exhibited an antidibetic activity and significantly improved the sperm count. In conclusion, we found, for the first time, that administration of VC significantly restored the testicular function and testosterone concentration in diabetic male rats. PMID:28190818

  9. Prepartum supplementation of selenium and vitamin E to dairy cows: assessment of selenium and reproductive performance

    SciTech Connect

    Hidiroglou, M.; McAllister, A.J.; Williams, C.J.

    1987-06-01

    Incidence of retained placenta in dairy cows was evaluated in 627 parturitions. The herd was divided prepartum into three groups: (1) control, no treatment (n = 217 cows); (2) cows injected intramuscularly (n = 190) 21 to 10 d prior parturition with 45 mg Se and 2040 IU of vitamin E; and (3) cows intraruminally administered (n = 220) with two 30-g pellets containing 10% elemental selenium 2 mo prior to expected calving. Incidence of retained placenta (22.1%) was not reduced by Se in combination with vitamin E injection or intraruminal Se pellet nor were other measures of reproduction improved for cows fed a prepartum diet adequate in Se. At parturition the blood plasma Se concentrations were higher in treated postpartum with Se than in untreated cows. No difference in blood plasma Se was observed at parturition between cows with or without placenta retention. Cows dosed intraruminally with Se had a significant increase in milk Se, but this was to small to be a danger to human health. The present results on placenta retention suggest that this disorder is not a Se responsive disease in the dairy cow.

  10. Ecophysiology of cognition: How do environmentally induced changes in physiology affect cognitive performance?

    PubMed

    Maille, Audrey; Schradin, Carsten

    2017-05-01

    Cognitive performance is based on brain functions, which have energetic demands and are modulated by physiological parameters such as metabolic hormones. As both environmental demands and environmental energy availability change seasonally, we propose that cognitive performance in free-living animals might also change seasonally due to phenotypic plasticity. This is part of an emerging research field, the 'ecophysiology of cognition': environmentally induced changes in physiological traits, such as blood glucose and hormone levels, are predicted to influence cognitive performance in free-living animals. Energy availability for the brain might change, and as such cognition, with changing energetic demands (e.g. reproduction) and changes of energy availability in the environment (e.g. winter, drought). Individuals spending more energy than they can currently obtain from their environment (allostatic overload type I) are expected to trade off energy investment between cognition and other life-sustaining processes or even reproduction. Environmental changes reducing energy availability might thus impair cognition. However, selection pressures such as predation risk, mate choice or social demands may act on the trade-off between energy saving and cognition. We assume that different environmental conditions can lead to three different trade-off outcomes: cognitive impairment, resilience or enhancement. Currently we cannot understand these trade-offs, because we lack information about changes in cognitive performance due to seasonal changes in energy availability and both the resulting changes in homeostasis (for example, blood glucose levels) and the associated changes in the mechanisms of allostasis (for example, hormone levels). Additionally, so far we know little about the fitness consequences of individual variation in cognitive performance. General cognitive abilities, such as attention and associative learning, might be more important in determining fitness than

  11. Does medical students’ clinical performance affect their actual performance during medical internship?

    PubMed Central

    Han, Eui-Ryoung; Chung, Eun-Kyung

    2016-01-01

    INTRODUCTION This study examines the relationship between the clinical performance of medical students and their performance as doctors during their internships. METHODS This retrospective study involved 63 applicants of a residency programme conducted at Chonnam National University Hospital, South Korea, in November 2012. We compared the performance of the applicants during their internship with their clinical performance during their fourth year of medical school. The performance of the applicants as interns was periodically evaluated by the faculty of each department, while their clinical performance as fourth-year medical students was assessed using the Clinical Performance Examination (CPX) and the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE). RESULTS The performance of the applicants as interns was positively correlated with their clinical performance as fourth-year medical students, as measured by the CPX and OSCE. The performance of the applicants as interns was moderately correlated with the patient-physician interaction items addressing communication and interpersonal skills in the CPX. CONCLUSION The clinical performance of medical students during their fourth year in medical school was related to their performance as medical interns. Medical students should be trained to develop good clinical skills through actual encounters with patients or simulated encounters using manikins, to enable them to become more competent doctors. PMID:26768172

  12. Maternal administration of flutamide during late gestation affects the brain and reproductive organs development in the rat male offspring.

    PubMed

    Pallarés, M E; Adrover, E; Imsen, M; González, D; Fabre, B; Mesch, V; Baier, C J; Antonelli, M C

    2014-10-10

    We have previously demonstrated that male rats exposed to stress during the last week of gestation present age-specific impairments of brain development. Since the organization of the fetal developing brain is subject to androgen exposure and prenatal stress was reported to disrupt perinatal testosterone surges, the aim of this research was to explore whether abnormal androgen concentrations during late gestation affects the morphology of the prefrontal cortex (PFC), hippocampus (HPC) and ventral tegmental area (VTA), three major areas that were shown to be affected by prenatal stress in our previous studies. We administered 10-mg/kg/day of the androgen receptor antagonist flutamide (4'nitro-3'-trifluoromethylsobutyranilide) or vehicle injections to pregnant rats from days 15-21 of gestation. The antiandrogenic effects of flutamide were confirmed by the analysis of androgen-dependent developmental markers: flutamide-exposed rats showed reduced anogenital distance, delay in the completion of testis descent, hypospadias, cryptorchidism and atrophied seminal vesicles. Brain morphological studies revealed that prenatal flutamide decreased the number of MAP2 (a microtubule-associated protein type 2, present almost exclusively in dendrites) immunoreactive neuronal processes in all evaluated brain areas, both in prepubertal and adult offspring, suggesting that prenatal androgen disruption induces long-term reductions of the dendritic arborization of several brain structures, affecting the normal connectivity between areas. Moreover, the number of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)-immunopositive neurons in the VTA of prepubertal offspring was reduced in flutamide rats but reach normal values at adulthood. Our results demonstrate that the effects of prenatal flutamide on the offspring brain morphology resemble several prenatal stress effects suggesting that the mechanism of action of prenatal stress might be related to the impairment of the organizational role of androgens on brain

  13. Reproductive performance of Japanese Black cattle: Association with herd size, season, and parity in commercial cow-calf operations.

    PubMed

    Sasaki, Yosuke; Uematsu, Mizuho; Kitahara, Go; Osawa, Takeshi

    2016-12-01

    The Japanese Black is the most common breed of beef cattle in Japan. However, only limited data are available on the associations of season, parity, and herd size with reproductive performance in Japanese Black cattle. Therefore, the objective of the present study was to determine the associations of these factors with reproductive performance parameters, such as the calving to first service interval (CFSI) and first service conception rate in Japanese Black cattle. Data were collected from 34,763 calvings in 13,186 animals from 826 commercial cow-calf operations in the Miyazaki prefecture, which is located on the south eastern coast of Kyushu, Japan. This region has a temperate climate with warm humid summers and cold winters. All cattle were reared intensively, and the animals were housed in free stalls throughout their lives. The mean number of cows per farm was 18 (range, 1-454). All animals were bred by artificial insemination. Herds were classified into three groups based on size: small (≤10 cows), intermediate (11-50 cows), and large (≥51 cows). The mean (±SD) parity, CFSI, and the first service conception rate were 4.9 ± 2.9, 80.0 ± 46.2 days, and 53.5 ± 49.9%, respectively. Cows that calved in the spring (March to May) and winter (December to February) had the longest CFSI (P < 0.05). The CFSI in first-parity cows was shorter than in cows at parity 7 or higher (P < 0.05). Cows in large herds had an approximately 10 days shorter mean CFSI than those in small herds (P < 0.05). Cows inseminated in the winter or spring had an approximately 5% points lesser first-service conception rate (FSCR) than those inseminated during the summer (June to August) or autumn (September to November; P < 0.05). As parity increased from 1 to 9, FSCR decreased from 60.0% to 43.1% (P < 0.05). Cows in small herds had a lesser FSCR than those in intermediate and large herds (P < 0.05). In summary, decreased reproductive performance in intensively reared

  14. Effect of widespread and limited use of sexed semen on genetic progress and reproductive performance of dairy cows.

    PubMed

    Khalajzadeh, S; Nejati-Javaremi, A; Mehrbani Yeganeh, H

    2012-09-01

    Stochastic simulation was used for studying the impacts of sexed semen on genetic progress and reproductive performance of dairy cows. Three strategies were compared: WSS (use unsexed semen in cows and heifers), SSH (use sexed semen in heifers and unsexed semen in cows) and SSCH (use sexed semen in both cows and heifers). Conception rate (CR) of unsexed semen was considered to be 35% and 65% in cows and heifers, respectively. CR of sexed semen was considered to be 15 (20% in cows and 50% in heifers), 10, 5 and 0 percentage points lower than unsexed semen. Thus, four subschemes were compared under SSCH (SSCH15, SSCH10, SSCH5, SSCH0) and SSH (SSH15, SSH10, SSH5, SSH0). Moreover, the effect was studied in four distinct paths of selection: active sires (AS), young bulls (YB), bull dams (BD) and milking cows (CW). The average genetic superiority of CW was 12% and 9.5% in SSCH15 and SSH15 strategies relative to a base scheme, respectively. The average genetic superiority of CW was 19% and 10.5% in SSCH0 and SSH0, respectively. Regression analysis showed that genetic superiority of CW increased significantly, that is, 0.5% and 0.1% per every 1% increase in CR in SSCH and SSH, respectively. The result showed that there is a significant difference between genetic superiority of cows in SSCH and SSH schemes. Widespread and limited use of sexed semen in commercial dairy herds resulted in a large genetic advantage in CW. The genetic advantage of gender control was minimal in the selection paths of AS, YB and BD. Open days and services per conception reached to 153 v. 125 days and 5 v. 2.86 under SSCH15 compared with WSS. The age at first calving increased from 774 to 790 days in SSH15 and SSCH15 strategies. Mean of parities decreased to 2.26 v. 2.42 by using sexed semen. The widespread use of sexed semen increased the age average of cows in all parities. Sexed semen increased selection intensity in the CW path, and this contributed to the genetic merit of future cows. On the

  15. Supplementing metabolizable protein to ewes during late gestation: II. Effects on ewe lamb performance and reproductive efficiency.

    PubMed

    Van Emon, M L; Schauer, C S; Eckerman, S R; Maddock Carlin, K R; Vonnahme, K A

    2015-03-01

    The objective of the current study was to determine the effects of maternal MP intake in isocaloric diets during late gestation on female offspring growth from birth to breeding and measure reproductive performance of those offspring in their first breeding season. In yr 1, maternal dietary treatments were applied at d 100 of gestation, were similar in total energy, and contained 60MP1, 60% of MP requirements; 80MP1, 80% of MP requirements; and 100MP1, 100% of the MP requirements on a DM basis during late gestation. In yr 2, maternal dietary treatments were similar in total energy and contained 60MP2, 60% of MP requirements; 100MP2, 100% of the MP requirements; and 140MP2, 140% of MP requirements on a DM basis during late gestation. While there was a quadratic effect ( = 0.003) for ewe lamb birth weight with the ewe lambs from 80MP1 ewes having increased birth weights compared with ewe lambs from 60MP1 and 100MP1 ewes in yr 1, there was no effect ( ≥ 0.22) of maternal diet on growth of ewe lamb offspring thereafter. A quadratic effect ( = 0.02) was observed for the percentage of ewe lambs bred during the first 17 d of the breeding season, with more ewe lambs born to ewes fed 80MP1 bred compared with ewe lambs born to ewes fed 60MP1 and 100MP1. Ewe lambs giving birth within the first 17 d of lambing season increased ( = 0.001) linearly as MP intake increased in the maternal diet. In yr 2, there was no effect ( ≥ 0.07) of maternal MP treatment during late gestation on growth of ewe lambs and reproductive performance except ADG from birth to weaning and lamb birth weight. There was a quadratic effect ( = 0.01) for ADG from birth to weaning of ewe lambs from ewes consuming 100MP2 being increased compared with ewe lambs from ewes fed 60MP2 and 140MP2. There was a linear ( = 0.04) reduction in birth weight of lambs born to ewe lambs as the dam's maternal dietary MP intake increased. The data from the current study suggest that feeding 80% or 100% of MP requirements

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-10-01

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

  17. How the length of genital parts affects copulation performance in a carabid beetle: implications for correlated genital evolution between the sexes.

    PubMed

    Okuzaki, Y; Sota, T

    2014-03-01

    To identify factors leading to the correlated evolution of exaggerated male and female genitalia, we studied the effects of the variable dimensions of corresponding functional genital parts (male copulatory piece and female vaginal appendix) on copulatory performance in the polygamous carabid beetle Carabus (Ohomopterus) maiyasanus. We used mating pairs of individuals from two populations to increase the variances in genital dimensions and determined the copulation performance (insemination and spermatophore replacement, and copulation time) in single- and double-mating situations. In single mating, insemination success was not affected by genital dimensions, although the copulation time was significantly shorter when the male aedeagus was longer. In the double-mating experiment, insemination and replacement of spermatophores by the second male succeeded more frequently when the copulatory piece was shorter and the vaginal appendix was longer, and when the difference between the length of the copulatory piece and the vaginal appendix was smaller. Thus, a matching of the corresponding genital parts between the sexes increases the male's reproductive success in sperm competition, but elongation of the copulatory piece cannot be explained simply by the improvement in male reproductive success. We discuss possible factors for the elongation of genital parts in terms of sexual conflict and reproductive interference through interspecific copulation.

  18. Diet mediates the relationship between longevity and reproduction in mammals.

    PubMed

    Wilder, Shawn M; Le Couteur, David G; Simpson, Stephen J

    2013-06-01

    The disposable soma hypothesis posits a negative correlation between longevity and reproduction, presumably because these aspects of fitness compete for a limited pool of nutrients. However, diet, which varies widely among animals, could affect the availability of key nutrients required for both reproduction and longevity, especially protein. We used a comparative database of mammal life history data to test the hypothesis that carnivores experience less of a negative relationship between reproduction and longevity than herbivores. Annual reproduction and adult mass were significant predictors of longevity among all mammals; although, the relative importance of reproduction and mass for explaining longevity varied among trophic levels. In herbivores, reproduction was a stronger predictor of longevity than mass. Carnivores showed the opposite pattern with reproduction explaining much less of the variation in longevity. Omnivores showed an intermediate pattern with mass and reproduction explaining similar amounts of variation in longevity. In addition, longevity and reproduction were significantly higher in omnivores than herbivores and carnivores, which were not different from each other. Higher dietary protein at higher trophic levels may allow mammals to avoid potential conflicts between reproduction and longevity. However, there may be potential costs of carnivorous diets that limit the overall performance of carnivores and explain the peak in reproduction and longevity for omnivores.

  19. The importance of pyridoxine for the impact of the dietary selenium sources on redox balance, embryo development, and reproductive performance in gilts.

    PubMed

    Dalto, Danyel Bueno; Audet, Isabelle; Lapointe, Jérôme; Matte, J Jacques

    2016-03-01

    This study aimed to determine the effects of dietary pyridoxine and selenium (Se) on embryo development, reproductive performance and redox system in gilts. Eighty-four gilts were fed one of five diets: CONT) basal diet; MSeB60) CONT+0.3mg/kg of Na-selenite; MSeB610) diet 2+10mg/kg of HCl-pyridoxine; OSeB60) CONT+0.3mg/kg of Se-enriched yeast; and OSeB610) diet 4+10mg/kg of HCl-pyridoxine. Blood samples were collected for long-term (each estrus and slaughter) and peri-estrus (fourth estrus d -4 to d +3) profiles. At slaughter (gestation d 30), organs and embryos were collected. For long-term and peri-estrus profiles, Se level and source affected (P<0.01) blood Se concentration whereas B6 level increased (P<0.01) erythrocyte pyridoxal-5-phosphate concentration. A B6 level (P<0.05) effect was observed on long-term plasma Se-dependent glutathione peroxidase (Se-GPX) activity whereas peri-estrus Se-GPX was minimum on d -1 (P<0.01). Selenium level increased sows' organs and embryo Se concentration (P<0.01). Selenium source tended to enhance embryo Se content (P=0.06). Within-litter embryo Se content was increased by B6 level (P<0.01). Selenium level tended to affect Se-GPX and total GPX activities in organs mitochondria (P=0.09 and 0.07, respectively). Selenium source affected kidney ATP synthesis (P=0.05). In conclusion, B6 level affected the Se-GPX activity on a long-term basis, whereas the basal level of Se was adequate during the peri-estrus period. Embryo quality was not improved by dietary Se, and B6 impaired within-litter homogeneity.

  20. Administration of thyroxine affects the morphometric parameters and VEGF expression in the uterus and placenta and the uterine vascularization but does not affect reproductive parameters in gilts during early gestation.

    PubMed

    Souza, C A; Ocarino, N M; Silva, J F; Boeloni, J N; Nascimento, E F; Silva, I J; Castro, R D; Moreira, L P; Almeida, F R C L; Chiarini-Garcia, H; Serakides, R

    2011-02-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of thyroxine administration on morphometric parameters, expre