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Sample records for affect reproductive performance

  1. Does the inclusion of protease inhibitors in the insemination extender affect rabbit reproductive performance?

    PubMed

    Casares-Crespo, L; Vicente, J S; Talaván, A M; Viudes-de-Castro, M P

    2016-03-15

    The bioavailability of buserelin acetate when added to the seminal dose appears to be determined by the activity of the existing aminopeptidases. Thus, the addition of aminopeptidase inhibitors to rabbit semen extenders could be a solution to decrease the hormone degradation. This study was conducted to evaluate the effect of the protease activity inhibition on rabbit semen quality parameters and reproductive performance after artificial insemination. Seminal quality was not affected by the incubation with protease inhibitors, being the values of motility, viability, and acrosome integrity not significantly different between the protease inhibitors and the control group. In addition, seminal plasma aminopeptidase activity was inhibited in a 55.1% by the protease inhibitors. On the other hand, regarding the effect of protease inhibitors on reproductive performance, our results showed that the presence of protease inhibitors affected the prolificacy rate (9.2 ± 0.26 and 9.3 ± 0.23 vs. 8.2 ± 0.22 total born per litter for negative control, positive control, and aminopeptidase inhibitors group, respectively; P < 0.05), having this group one kit less per delivery. We conclude that the addition of a wide variety of protease inhibitors in the rabbit semen extender negatively affects prolificacy rate. Therefore, the development of new extenders with specific aminopeptidase inhibitors would be one of the strategies to increase the bioavailability of GnRH analogues without affecting the litter size. PMID:26639641

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

  4. 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...

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

    PubMed Central

    Narbona, Eduardo; Dirzo, Rodolfo

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. 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. PMID:23464502

  8. 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.

  9. Enhancing reproductive performance in mares.

    PubMed

    Scherzer, Jakob

    2010-01-01

    Reproductive performance in mares can be enhanced by various techniques. Protocols hastening the onset of follicular development help establish pregnancy in mares and ensure that foals are born early in the year. The time spent breeding mares can be reduced by synchronizing estrus and inducing ovulation. After successful fertilization of the oocyte, the developing embryo can survive in the uterus only if postbreeding endometritis, if present, is treated. PMID:20473845

  10. Leptin: a possible metabolic signal affecting reproduction.

    PubMed

    Spicer, L J

    2001-11-01

    Since its discovery in 1994, leptin, a protein hormone synthesized and secreted by adipose tissue, has been shown to regulate feed intake in several species including sheep and pigs. Although a nimiety of information exists regarding the physiological role of leptin in rodents and humans, the regulation and action of leptin in domestic animals is less certain. Emerging evidence in several species indicates that leptin may also affect the hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal axis. Leptin receptor mRNA is present in the anterior pituitary and hypothalamus of several species, including sheep. In rats, effects of leptin on GnRH, LH and FSH secretion have been inconsistent, with leptin exhibiting both stimulatory and inhibitory action in vivo and in vitro. Evidence to support direct action of leptin at the level of the gonad indicates that the leptin receptor and its mRNA are present in ovarian tissue of several species, including cattle. These leptin receptors are functional, since leptin inhibits insulin-induced steroidogenesis of both granulosa and thecal cells of cattle in vitro. Leptin receptor mRNA is also found in the testes of rodents. As with the ovary, these receptors are functional, at least in rats, since leptin inhibits hCG-induced testosterone secretion by Leydig cells in vitro. During pregnancy, placental production of leptin may be a major contributor to the increase in maternal leptin in primates but not rodents. However, in both primates and rodents, leptin receptors exist in placental tissues and may regulate metabolism of the fetal-placental unit. As specific leptin immunoassays are developed for domestic animals, in vivo associations may then be made among leptin, body energy stores, dietary energy intake and reproductive function. This may lead to a more definitive role of leptin in domestic animal reproduction. PMID:11872320

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-05-01

    Identifying traits that affect the reproductive success of individuals is fundamental for our understanding of evolutionary processes. In cooperative breeders, a dominant male typically restricts mating access to the dominant female for extended periods, resulting in pronounced variation in reproductive success among males. This may result in strong selection for traits that increase the likelihood of dominance acquisition, dominance retention and reproductive rates while dominant. However, despite considerable research on reproductive skew, few studies have explored the factors that influence these three processes among males in cooperative species. Here we use genetic, behavioural and demographic data to investigate the factors affecting reproductive success in dominant male meerkats (Suricata suricatta). Our data show that dominant males sire the majority of all offspring surviving to 1 year. A male's likelihood of becoming dominant is strongly influenced by age, but not by weight. Tenure length and reproductive rate, both important components of dominant male reproductive success, are largely affected by group size and composition, rather than individual traits. Dominant males in large groups have longer tenures, but after this effect is controlled, male tenure length also correlates negatively to the number of adult females in the group. Male reproductive rate also declines as the number of intra- and extra-group competitors increases. As the time spent in the dominant position and reproductive rate while dominant explain > 80% of the total variance in reproductive success, group composition thus has major implications for male reproductive success. PMID:18410290

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-01

    Boldness in dogs is believed to be one end of the shy-bold axis, representing a super-trait. Several personality traits fall under the influence of this super-trait. Previous studies have found that boldness is affected by breed and breed groups, influences performance in sporting dogs, and is affected in some cases by the sex of the dogs. This study investigated the effects of dog age, sex and reproductive status on boldness in dogs by way of a dog personality survey circulated amongst Australian dog owners. Age had a significant effect on boldness (F=4.476; DF=16,758; P<0.001), with boldness decreasing with age in years. Males were bolder than females (F=19.219; DF=1,758; P<0.001) and entire dogs were bolder than neutered dogs (F=4.330; DF=1,758; P<0.038). The study indicates how behaviour may change in adult dogs as they age and adds to the literature on how sex and reproductive status may affect personality in dogs. PMID:23778256

  13. GnRH-agonist implantation of prepubertal male cats affects their reproductive performance and testicular LH receptor and FSH receptor expression.

    PubMed

    Mehl, N S; Khalid, M; Srisuwatanasagul, S; Swangchan-uthai, T; Sirivaidyapong, S

    2016-03-15

    This study was conducted to investigate the effect of GnRH-agonist implantation in prepubertal tomcats on sexual behavior, reproductive performance, and expression of testicular LH receptor (LHR) and FSH receptor (FSHR) and also to compare the testicular characteristics, LHR and FSHR expression between prepubertal and adult tomcats. In experiment 1, 3-month-old tomcats (n = 6/group) were either treated with or left without 4.7 mg deslorelin implants. Semen collection and evaluation were performed just before castration at 48 weeks after treatment; removed testes were analyzed for mRNA and protein expression of LHR and FSHR. We were able to collect semen from six non-treated cats, whereas in treated cats, semen was uncollectable. The results revealed that sexual behavior was absent in the implanted cats throughout the study period. Testicular volume was found to decrease from 30 weeks after treatment onward in the implanted cats compared to the controls (P < 0.05). Semen production was found only in non-implanted cats. Testicular tissue score, seminiferous tubule diameter, and LHR protein expression were found lower in the implanted cats (P < 0.05), but no differences were observed in mRNA expression of LHR and protein expression of FSHR between groups. The mRNA expression of FSHR was higher in the implanted (P < 0.05) compared to control cats. In experiment 2, testes from prepubertal (n = 6) and adult (n = 6) male cats were collected after castration and analyzed for mRNA and protein expression of LHR and FSHR. No differences were observed in the protein expression of LHR and FSHR between the two groups, whereas mRNA expression of FSHR was higher in prepubertal cats (P < 0.05). Testicular and epididymal weight, diameter of seminiferous tubules, and the testicular grade were higher in the adult compared to prepubertal cats (P < 0.05). In conclusion, deslorelin implants suppressed protein expression of LHR and enhanced mRNA expression of FSHR along with suppression

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

    PubMed

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

    2001-12-01

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

  15. Social context and reproductive potential affect worker reproductive decisions in a eusocial insect.

    PubMed

    Yagound, Boris; Blacher, Pierre; Chameron, Stéphane; Châline, Nicolas

    2012-01-01

    Context-dependent decision-making conditions individual plasticity and is an integrant part of alternative reproductive strategies. In eusocial Hymenoptera (ants, bees and wasps), the discovery of worker reproductive parasitism recently challenged the view of workers as a homogeneous collective entity and stressed the need to consider them as autonomous units capable of elaborate choices which influence their fitness returns. The reproductive decisions of individual workers thus need to be investigated and taken into account to understand the regulation of reproduction in insect societies. However, we know virtually nothing about the proximate mechanisms at the basis of worker reproductive decisions. Here, we test the hypothesis that the capacity of workers to reproduce in foreign colonies lies in their ability to react differently according to the colonial context and whether this reaction is influenced by a particular internal state. Using the bumble bee Bombus terrestris, we show that workers exhibit an extremely high reproductive plasticity which is conditioned by the social context they experience. Fertile workers reintroduced into their mother colony reverted to sterility, as expected. On the contrary, a high level of ovary activity persisted in fertile workers introduced into a foreign nest, and this despite more frequent direct contacts with the queen and the brood than control workers. Foreign workers' reproductive decisions were not affected by the resident queen, their level of fertility being similar whether or not the queen was removed from the host colony. Workers' physiological state at the time of introduction is also of crucial importance, since infertile workers failed to develop a reproductive phenotype in a foreign nest. Therefore, both internal and environmental factors appear to condition individual reproductive strategies in this species, suggesting that more complex decision-making mechanisms are involved in the regulation of worker

  16. Improving Reproductive Performance: Long and Short Term

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Improvements in reproductive performance for beef herds can be classified as short term (current year) or long term (lifetime production) and can be applied to and measured in individual animals or the entire herd. In other species, results show that rearing young animals under caloric restriction ...

  17. Genetic improvement of dairy cow reproductive performance.

    PubMed

    Berglund, B

    2008-07-01

    The welfare of cow along with profitability in production are important issues in sustainable animal breeding programmes. Along with an intense/intensive selection for increased milk yield, reproductive performance has declined in many countries, in part due to an unfavourable genetic relationship. The largely unchanged genetic trend in female fertility and calving traits for Scandinavian Red breeds shows that it is possible to avoid deterioration in these traits if they are properly considered in the breeding programme. Today's breeding is international with a global selection and extensive use of the best bulls. The Nordic countries have traditionally recorded and performed genetic evaluation for a broad range of functional traits including reproduction. In recent years many other countries have also implemented genetic evaluation for these traits. Thus, the relative emphasis of dairy cattle breeding objectives has gradually shifted from production to functional traits such as reproduction. Improved ways of recording traits, e.g. physiological measures, early indicator traits, assisted reproductive techniques and increased knowledge of genes and their regulation may improve the genetic selection strategies and have large impact on present and future genetic evaluation programmes. Extensive data bases with phenotypic recordings of traits for individuals and their pedigree are a prerequisite. Quantitative trait loci have been associated to the reproductive complex. Most important traits, including reproduction traits are regulated by a multitude of genes and environmental factors in a complex relationship, however. Genomic selection might therefore be important in future breeding programmes. Information on single nucleotide polymorphism has already been introduced in the selection programmes of some countries. PMID:18638109

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-01

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

  19. Reproductive interference between Rana dalmatina and Rana temporaria affects reproductive success in natural populations.

    PubMed

    Hettyey, Attila; Vági, Balázs; Kovács, Tibor; Ujszegi, János; Katona, Patrik; Szederkényi, Márk; Pearman, Peter B; Griggio, Matteo; Hoi, Herbert

    2014-10-01

    Experimental evidence suggests that reproductive interference between heterospecifics can seriously affect individual fitness; support from field studies for such an effect has, however, remained scarce. We studied reproductive interference in 25 natural breeding ponds in an area where two ranid frogs, Rana dalmatina and Rana temporaria, co-occur. The breeding seasons of the two species usually overlap and males of both species are often found in amplexus with heterospecific females, even though matings between heterospecifics produce no viable offspring. We estimated species abundance ratios based on the number of clutches laid and evaluated fertilization success. In ponds with low spatial complexity and a species abundance ratio biased towards R. temporaria, the average fertilization success of R. dalmatina eggs decreased, while this relationship was not detectable in spatially more complex ponds. Fertilization success of R. temporaria did not decrease with increasing relative numbers of heterospecifics. This asymmetry in fitness effects of reproductive interference may be attributed to R. temporaria males being more competitive in scramble competition for females than R. dalmatina males. Our study is among the first to demonstrate that in natural breeding populations of vertebrates interference among heterospecifics has the potential to substantially lower reproductive success at the population level, which may in turn affect population dynamics. PMID:25138258

  20. 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

  1. 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. PMID:23799834

  2. 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.

  3. DEHP Impairs Zebrafish Reproduction by Affecting Critical Factors in Oogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Carnevali, Oliana; Tosti, Luca; Speciale, Claudia; Peng, Chun; Zhu, Yong; Maradonna, Francesca

    2010-01-01

    Public concerns on phthalates distributions in the environment have been increasing since they can cause liver cancer, structural abnormalities and reduce sperm counts in male reproductive system. However, few data are actually available on the effects of Di-(2-ethylhexyl)-phthalate (DEHP) in female reproductive system. The aim of this study was to assess the impacts of DEHP on zebrafish oogenesis and embryo production. Female Danio rerio were exposed to environmentally relevant doses of DEHP and a significant decrease in ovulation and embryo production was observed. The effects of DEHP on several key regulators of oocyte maturation and ovulation including bone morphogenetic protein-15 (BMP15), luteinizing hormone receptor (LHR), membrane progesterone receptors (mPRs) and cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 (ptgs2) were determined by real time PCR. The expressions of BMP15 and mPR proteins were further determined by Western analyses to strengthen molecular findings. Moreover, plasma vitellogenin (vtg) titers were assayed by an ELISA procedure to determine the estrogenic effects of DEHP and its effects on oocyte growth. A significant reduction of fecundity in fish exposed to DEHP was observed. The reduced reproductive capacity was associated with an increase in ovarian BMP15 levels. This rise, in turn, was concomitant with a significant reduction in LHR and mPRβ levels. Finally, ptgs2 expression, the final trigger of ovulation, was also decreased by DEHP. By an in vitro maturation assay, the inhibitory effect of DEHP on germinal vesicle breakdown was further confirmed. In conclusion, DEHP affecting signals involved in oocyte growth (vtg), maturation (BMP15, LHR, mPRs,) and ovulation (ptgs2), deeply impairs ovarian functions with serious consequences on embryo production. Since there is a significant genetic similarity between D.rerio and humans, the harmful effects observed at oocyte level may be relevant for further molecular studies on humans. PMID:20419165

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Faleiro, Filipa; Narciso, Luís

    2013-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  8. 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

  9. Effects of task complexity on rhythmic reproduction performance in adults.

    PubMed

    Iannarilli, Flora; Vannozzi, Giuseppe; Iosa, Marco; Pesce, Caterina; Capranica, Laura

    2013-02-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of task complexity on the capability to reproduce rhythmic patterns. Sedentary musically illiterate individuals (age: 34.8±4.2 yrs; M±SD) were administered a rhythmic test including three rhythmic patterns to be reproduced by means of finger-tapping, foot-tapping and walking. For the quantification of subjects' ability in the reproduction of rhythmic patterns, qualitative and quantitative parameters were submitted to analysis. A stereophotogrammetric system was used to reconstruct and evaluate individual performances. The findings indicated a good internal stability of the rhythmic reproduction, suggesting that the present experimental design is suitable to discriminate the participants' rhythmic ability. Qualitative aspects of rhythmic reproduction (i.e., speed of execution and temporal ratios between events) varied as a function of the perceptual-motor requirements of the rhythmic reproduction task, with larger reproduction deviations in the walking task. PMID:23452943

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

    PubMed

    Rockett, L R

    2000-01-01

    The law governing confidentiality and informed consent has acquired unique characteristics in the area of reproductive health, as a consequence of both the establishment of a constitutional right to privacy in reproductive health matters and the reaction of those politically and morally opposed to the exercise of that right. The primary issues have involved: 1) the right of minors to receive reproductive health services without parental consent, which remains a political battleground; 2) laws requiring physicians to provide information to pregnant patients that is intended, not to inform them of the risks and benefits of the procedure, but to discourage them from obtaining abortions; 3) coerced and prohibited sterilizations; 4) court-ordered contraception and procedures to protect the fetus; and 5) restrictions on counseling about abortion, contraception, sterilization, and other reproductive health services authorized by state conscience or noncompliance clauses that shield such restrictions from the usual ethical, medical, and legal rules governing informed consent. The last area is of profound significance to the ability of women to make informed decisions about their reproductive health options. In the current economic environment, which fuels mergers and acquisitions involving sectarian and nonsectarian institutions, women are increasingly being put at risk as a result of such restrictions. PMID:11070641

  11. Managing the reproductive performance of beef cows.

    PubMed

    Diskin, M G; Kenny, D A

    2016-07-01

    A reproductively efficient beef cow herd will be fundamental to meeting the protein and specifically, red meat demand of an ever increasing global population. However, attaining a high level of reproductive efficiency is underpinned by producers being cognizant of and achieving many key targets throughout the production cycle and requires considerable technical competency. The lifetime productivity of the beef-bred female commences from the onset of puberty and will be dictated by subsequent critical events including age at first calving, duration of the postpartum interval after successive calvings, conception and pregnancy rate, and ultimately manifested as length of intercalving intervals. In calved heifers and mature cows, the onset of ovarian activity, postpartum is a key event dictating the calving interval. Again, this will be the product mainly of prepartum nutrition, manifested through body condition score and the strength of the maternal bond between cow and calf, though there is increasing evidence of a modest genetic influence on this trait. After the initiation of postpartum ovarian cyclicity, conception and subsequent pregnancy rate is generally a function of bull fertility in natural service herds and heat detection and timing of insemination in herds bred through AI. Cows and heifers should be maintained on a steady plane of nutrition during the breeding season, but the contribution of significant excesses or deficiencies of nutrients including protein and trace elements is likely to be minor where adequate pasture is available. Although increased efforts are being made internationally to genetically identify and select for more reproductively efficient beef cows, this is a more long-term strategy and will not replace the need for a high level of technical efficiency and management practice at farm level. PMID:27180327

  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. PMID:26283246

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

  16. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  18. 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

  19. 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. PMID:23124333

  20. Genetics of reproductive performance in seasonal calving beef cows and its association with performance traits.

    PubMed

    Berry, D P; Evans, R D

    2014-04-01

    Due primarily to a lack of phenotypic data, little research has been undertaken on the genetics of reproductive performance in beef cattle. The objective of this study was to quantify, using data from the Irish national cattle herd, the contribution of additive genetics to phenotypic differences in reproductive performance in beef cattle and to investigate whether routinely available early predictors of genetic merit for reproductive performance exist. Up to 218,718 parity records from 156,506 animals were used to estimate variance components for a range of reproductive traits using repeatability animal linear mixed models. Covariances with performance traits were estimated using bivariate sire linear mixed models. The reproductive traits were age at first calving, calving in the first 42 d of the calving seasons (defined separately in heifers and cows), calving interval between consecutive calving events, and survival to the next lactation. Performance traits included calving dystocia, linear type traits describing the skeletal, muscular, and functional characteristics of an animal, live weight and price, carcass traits, and producer subjectively scored traits of weanling quality and docility. Heritability for age at first calving was 0.31 while the heritability of the remaining reproductive traits ranged from 0.01 to 0.06; repeatability estimates varied from 0.02 to 0.06. Increased muscularity, measured either by trained assessors or producers on live animals, or by mechanical grading machines on slaughtered animals (i.e., carcass conformation), was genetically correlated with reduced reproductive performance for some of the reproductive variables assessed. This is one of the largest studies undertaken on the genetics of reproduction in beef herds and clearly shows that genetic selection for improved reproductive performance in beef herds is feasible. However, breeding goals that select for muscularity and live weight or growth rate should be cognizant of

  1. 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

  2. Reproductive performance of backcross Holstein × Brown Swiss and their Holstein contemporaries under subtropical environmental conditions.

    PubMed

    El-Tarabany, Mahmoud S; El-Bayoumi, Khairy M

    2015-02-01

    The objective of this study was to evaluate the reproductive performance of the Holstein (HO) and their backcross HO × Brown Swiss (BS) under Egyptian subtropical conditions. The backcrosses were HBH (HO sires crossed with F1 BS × HO cows) and HHB (HO sires crossed with F1 HO × BS cows). Several reproductive indices and health traits for different genotypes were measured, and the effect of temperature-humidity index level (THI) on reproductive performance was investigated. Reproductive indices of the HHB backcross were better than those of the HO. The conception (30.1%) and pregnancy (28.9%) rates of the HHB backcross were significantly higher than those of the HO (28.1% and 22.6%, respectively). The calving interval and the days open of the HHB backcross were significantly shorter than those of the HO. The fertility of the HHB backcross was not affected by the level of the THI. The conception and the pregnancy rate of the HO decreased from 35.8% and 29.4%, respectively, at low THI to 16.1% and 12.1%, respectively, at high THI. The HHB backcross had the significant lowest incidence of retained placenta and metritis (9.6 and 16.9, respectively). In conclusion, despite their high milk production efficiency, pure HO had retarded reproductive performance and adaptability. On the other hand, the HHB backcross had a better adaptability and fertility under Egyptian conditions. PMID:25459027

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-01

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

  5. Father's death does not affect growth and maturation but hinders reproduction: evidence from adolescent girls in post-war Estonia.

    PubMed

    Hõrak, Peeter; Valge, Markus

    2015-12-01

    The popular concept of predictive-adaptive responses poses that girls growing up without a father present in the family mature and start reproduction earlier because the father's absence is a cue for environmental harshness and uncertainty that favours switching to a precocious life-history strategy. Most studies supporting this concept have been performed in situations where the father's absence is caused by divorce or abandonment. Using a dataset of Estonian adolescent girls who had lost their fathers over the period of World War II, we show that father's death did not affect the rate of pubertal maturation (assessed on the basis of development of breasts and axillary hair) or growth. Father's death did not affect the age of first birth but, contrary to predictions, reduced lifetime reproductive success. Our findings thus do not support the concept of predictive-adaptive responses and suggest that alternative explanations for covariation between fatherlessness and early maturation are required. PMID:26673934

  6. How female education affects reproductive behavior in urban Pakistan.

    PubMed

    Sathar, Z A; Mason, K O

    1993-01-01

    Although Pakistan remains in a pretransitional stage (contraceptive prevalence of only 11.9% among married women in 1992), urban women with post-primary levels of education are spearheading the gradual move toward fertility transition. Data collected in the city of Karachi in 1987 were used to determine whether the inverse association between fertility and female education is attributable to child supply variables, demand factors, or fertility regulation costs. Karachi, with its high concentration of women with secondary educations employed in professional occupations, has a contraceptive prevalence rate of 31%. Among women married for less than 20 years, a 10-year increment in education predicts that a woman will average two-fifths of a child less than other women in the previous 5 years. Regression analysis identified 4 significant intervening variables in the education-fertility relationship: marriage duration, net family income, formal sector employment, and age at first marriage. Education appears to affect fertility because it promotes a later age at marriage and thus reduces life-time exposure to the risk of childbearing, induces women to marry men with higher incomes (a phenomenon that either reduces the cost of fertility regulation or the demand for children), leads women to become employed in the formal sector (leading to a reduction in the demand for children), and has other unspecified effects on women's values or opportunities that are captured by their birth cohort. When these intervening variables are held constant, women's attitude toward family planning loses its impact on fertility, as do women's domestic autonomy and their expectations of self-support in old age. These findings lend support to increased investments in female education in urban Pakistan as a means of limiting the childbearing of married women. Although it is not clear if investment in female education would have the same effect in rural Pakistan, such action is important from a

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-01-01

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

  8. Reproductive performance of Brown Swiss, Holstein and their crosses under subtropical environmental conditions.

    PubMed

    El-Tarabany, Mahmoud S; Nasr, Mohammed A F

    2015-09-01

    Selection has been emphasized for increasing production traits with ignoring the fertility traits, which leads to a general loss of reproductive fitness. The aim of this study was to evaluate the reproductive performance of the pure Brown Swiss (BS), Holstein (HO), their first-generation crossbred (F1), and backcross (BC) cows under subtropical Egyptian conditions. The reproductive performance and health traits were measured in the pure BS, HO, their F1, and BC crossbred, in addition to investigating the impact of temperature-humidity index level (THI) on reproductive traits. Brown Swiss and her F1 had a better reproductive efficiency and health traits than in HO and BC. They possess a higher conception (34.1% and 36.9%, respectively) and pregnancy rates (32.8% and 31.1%, respectively), a shorter calving interval (401 and 420 days, respectively), and a lower average insemination per parturition (3.18 and 3.45, respectively), with a lower incidence of metritis (14.1% and 14.6%, respectively). Moreover, no difference has been detected in the fertility of BS with different THI levels, whereas F1 was slightly affected by increasing THI, especially for conception rate which declined from 43.1% at low to 24.1% at high THI. But the pregnancy rate did not change with different levels of THI. Our results indicate that BS and her F1 have a better reproductive performance and adaptability than pure HO and BC under subtropical Egyptian conditions. Furthermore, milk yield of the F1 crossbred is comparable to that of the pure HO cows. PMID:25986066

  9. Reproductive performance of "nurse sows" in Danish piggeries.

    PubMed

    Bruun, T S; Amdi, C; Vinther, J; Schop, M; Strathe, A B; Hansen, C F

    2016-09-01

    The use of nurse sows in Danish piggeries is common practice because of large litter sizes; however, the effect of being selected as a nurse sow on subsequent reproductive performance is unknown. Therefore, the aim of this study was to quantify a nurse sow's reproductive performance in the subsequent litter. Nurse sows were defined as sows weaning their own litter at least 18 days postpartum and thereafter nursing another litter (nurse litter) before service. Data (2012-2013) from 20 piggeries with more than 14.5 live born piglets per litter and a stable distribution of sows among parities over time were selected. Records from 79,864 litters were obtained and analyzed using mixed linear and logistic regression models. The average lactation lengths were 40.3 days for nurse sows and 27.8 days for non-nurse (normal) sows. Nurse sows weaned on average 12.4 piglets and subsequently 11.5 nurse piglets, whereas non-nurse weaned 11.7 piglets in their single weaning. There was no difference in re-service rate between nurse and non-nurse sows in the subsequent reproductive cycle. Subsequent litter size in the next reproductive cycle was higher for nurse sows than that for non-nurse sows (18.69 vs. 18.11 total born piglets; P < 0.001). Nurse sows were of a slightly lower parity than non-nurse sows (3.12 vs. 3.27, P < 0.001), and nurse sows had an increased weaning to estrus interval compared to non-nurse sows (4.23 vs. 4.19 days, P < 0.001). The results indicate that nurse sows were selected among sows nursing large litters and could therefore suggest that these sows represent the best percentile of sows in a given piggery. In conclusion, this survey indicated no negative effects of being selected as a nurse sow on the subsequent reproductive performance. On the contrary, nurse sows gave birth to more piglets compared to non-nurse sows in their subsequent litter. PMID:27129397

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

    PubMed

    Nizamov, I G; Chechulina, O V

    2003-01-01

    The reproductive health of teenagers deserves a special attention and must be regarded from the viewpoint of their future prospects as well as their social and cultural media. The mentioned social-and-cultural factors affecting the teenagers' attitude towards sexuality and preconditioning their access to information and services of healthcare have an impact on the status of their reproductive health and on their general well-being, including the ability of teenagers to avoid an undesired pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases. PMID:12882120

  11. How Coriolis meter design affects field performance

    SciTech Connect

    Levien, A.; Dudiak, A.

    1995-12-31

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

  12. Does a boar's season of birth determine semen parameters and reproductive performance?

    PubMed

    Knecht, D; Środoń, S; Duziński, K

    2014-04-01

    This article studies the effect of a boar's birth season and breed on semen parameters and its further reproductive performance. Research material consisted of 72 boars from three breeds (24 Polish Large White PLW, 24 Polish Landrace PL, 24 Duroc × Pietrain D × P). During the whole period of the study, selected semen parameters were analysed: semen volume, spermatozoa concentration, total number of spermatozoa, total number of motile spermatozoa, number of insemination doses and also reproductive indicators: farrowing rate, total born litter size, total number of piglets born live and still, and average piglet weight. Boars born in the winter and summer months demonstrated the highest spermatozoa concentrations (383.25 and 392.37 × 10(6)/ml), total number of spermatozoa (91.75 and 93.21 × 10(9)), total number of motile spermatozoa (76.10 and 77.99 × 10(9)) and number of insemination doses (24.53 and 24.89; p ≤ 0.01). Statistically lower values for these parameters were observed for boars born in the spring and especially in autumn (p ≤ 0.01). The significant impact of birth season on farrowing rate (p ≤ 0.05) and average piglet weight (p ≤ 0.05) was confirmed for PLW boars. For the PL breed, only the total number of piglets born live was proven to be significantly affected (p ≤ 0.05). No impact of birth season was shown on semen quality or reproductive performance for D × P boars. In our study, we showed that the birth season of a boar had a more impact on the level of semen parameters, and less on the reproductive performance indicators. The results indicated that both the quality of semen and reproductive performance varied in terms of the study factors, as well as between individual breeds of boars involved in the experiment. PMID:24237255

  13. Genetically Determined Dosage of Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH) Affects Male Reproductive Parameters

    PubMed Central

    Grigorova, Marina; Punab, Margus; Ẑilaitienė, Birutė; Erenpreiss, Juris; Ausmees, Kristo; Matuleviĉius, Valentinas; Tsarev, Igor; Jørgensen, Niels

    2011-01-01

    Context: The detailed role of FSH in contributing to male testicular function and fertility has been debated. We have previously identified the association between the T-allele of the FSHB promoter polymorphism (rs10835638; G/T, −211 bp from the mRNA start) and significantly reduced male serum FSH. Objective: In the current study, the T-allele carriers of the FSHB −211 G/T single nucleotide polymorphism represented a natural model for documenting downstream phenotypic consequences of insufficient FSH action. Design and Subjects: We genotyped rs10835638 in the population-based Baltic cohort of young men (n = 1054; GG carriers, n = 796; GT carriers, n = 244; TT carriers, n = 14) recruited by Andrology Centres in Tartu, Estonia; Riga, Latvia; and Kaunas, Lithuania. Marker-trait association testing was performed using linear regression (additive, recessive models) adjusted by age, body mass index, smoking, and recruitment center. Results: Serum hormones directly correlated with the T-allele dosage of rs10835638 included FSH (additive model, P = 1.11 × 10−6; T-allele effect, −0.41 IU/liter), inhibin-B (P = 2.16 × 10−3; T-allele effect, −14.67 pg/ml), and total testosterone (P = 9.30 × 10−3; T-allele effect, −1.46 nmol/liter). Parameters altered only among TT homozygotes were reduced testicular volume (recessive model, P = 1.19 × 10−4; TT genotype effect, −9.47 ml) and increased serum LH (P = 2.25 × 10−2; TT genotype effect, 1.07 IU/liter). The carrier status of rs10835638 alternative genotypes did not affect sperm motility and morphology, calculated free testosterone, serum SHBG, and estradiol concentrations. Conclusion: We showed for the first time that genetically determined low FSH may have wider downstream effects on the male reproductive system, including impaired testes development, altered testicular hormone levels (inhibin-B, total testosterone, LH), and affected male reproductive potential. PMID:21733993

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  16. Hippocampal morphology is differentially affected by reproductive experience in the mother.

    PubMed

    Pawluski, Jodi L; Galea, Liisa A M

    2006-01-01

    Pregnancy and mothering result in a number of hormonal, neurological, and behavioral changes that are necessary to ensure reproductive success. With subsequent reproductive experience (multiparity and mothering), further neurological and behavioral changes may result. Recent research has shown that previous motherhood enhances both hippocampus-dependent learning and memory and long-term potentiation (LTP); together with decreases in hippocampus volumes during pregnancy it is suggested that the hippocampus is affected by pregnancy and/or mothering. The present experiment aimed to investigate the effect of reproductive experience (nulli, primi-, and multiparity and mothering) on dendritic morphology in the CA1 and CA3 regions of the hippocampus. Brains were stained with a modified version of the single-section Golgi impregnation technique, and dendritic length, number of branch points, and spine density was analyzed for apical and basal regions of CA1 and CA3 pyramidal neurons. Primiparity and/or mothering resulted in dendritic remodeling in both the CA1 and CA3 hippocampal regions, and multiparity resulted in enhanced spine density in the basal CA1 region, which was positively correlated with number of male pups in a litter. These findings point to the effect of reproductive experience and offspring on plasticity in the hippocampus, an area not traditionally associated with motherhood. PMID:16216005

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

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

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  20. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Yuming; Wang, Yongwei; Guo, Shuangshuang

    2014-01-01

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

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

    Rangel, Juliana; Böröczky, Katalin; Schal, Coby; Tarpy, David R

    2016-01-01

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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Evidence that elevated water temperature affects the reproductive physiology of the European bullhead Cottus gobio.

    PubMed

    Dorts, Jennifer; Grenouillet, Gaël; Douxfils, Jessica; Mandiki, Syaghalirwa N M; Milla, Sylvain; Silvestre, Frédéric; Kestemont, Patrick

    2012-04-01

    Climate change is predicted to increase the average water temperature and alter the ecology and physiology of several organisms including fish species. To examine the effects of increased water temperature on freshwater fish reproduction, adult European bullhead Cottus gobio of both genders were maintained under three temperature regimes (T1: 6-10, T2: 10-14 and T3: 14-18°C) and assessed for gonad development (gonadosomatic index-GSI and gonad histology), sex steroids (testosterone-T, 17β-estradiol-E2 and 11-ketotestosterone-11-KT) and vitellogenin (alkali-labile phosphoprotein phosphorus-ALP) dynamics in December, January, February and March. The results indicate that a 8°C rise in water temperature (T3) deeply disrupted the gonadal maturation in both genders. This observation was associated with the absence of GSI peak from January to March, and low levels of plasma sex steroids compared with T1-exposed fish. Nevertheless, exposure to an increasing temperature of 4°C (T2) appeared to accelerate oogenesis with an early peak value in GSI and level of plasma T recorded in January relative to T1-exposed females. In males, the low GSI, reduced level of plasma 11-KT and the absence of GSI increase from January to March support the deleterious effects of increasing water temperature on spermatogenesis. The findings of the present study suggest that exposure to elevated temperatures within the context of climate warming might affect the reproductive success of C. gobio. Specifically, a 4°C rise in water temperature affects gametogenesis by advancing the spawning, and a complete reproductive failure is observed at an elevated temperature of 8°C. PMID:21638008

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  16. Factors affecting performance of dispenser photocathodes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moody, Nathan A.; Jensen, Kevin L.; Feldman, Donald W.; Montgomery, Eric J.; O'Shea, Patrick G.

    2007-11-01

    Usable lifetime has long been a limitation of high efficiency photocathodes in high average current accelerator applications such as free electron lasers, where poor vacuum conditions and high incident laser power contribute to early degradation in electron beam emission. Recent progress has been made in adapting well known thermionic dispenser techniques to photocathodes, resulting in a dispenser photocathode whose photosensitive surface coating of cesium can be periodically replenished to extend effective lifetime. This article details the design and fabrication process of a prototype cesium dispenser photocathode and describes in detail the dominant factors affecting its performance: activation procedure, surface cleanliness, temperature, and substrate microstructure.

  17. 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

  18. 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. PMID:25014902

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

    Feeding strategies and digestive capacities can have important implications for variation in energetic pathways associated with ecological and economically important traits, such as growth or reproduction in bivalve species. Here, we investigated the role of amylase in the digestive processes of Crassostrea gigas, using in vivo RNA interference. This approach also allowed us to investigate the relationship between energy intake by feeding and gametogenesis in oysters. Double-stranded (ds)RNA designed to target the two α-amylase genes A and B was injected in vivo into the visceral mass of oysters at two doses. These treatments caused significant reductions in mean mRNA levels of the amylase genes: -50.7% and -59% mRNA A, and -71.9% and -70.6% mRNA B in 15 and 75 µg dsRNA-injected oysters, respectively, relative to controls. Interestingly, reproductive knock-down phenotypes were observed for both sexes at 48 days post-injection, with a significant reduction of the gonad area (-22.5% relative to controls) and germ cell under-proliferation revealed by histology. In response to the higher dose of dsRNA, we also observed reductions in amylase activity (-53%) and absorption efficiency (-5%). Based on these data, dynamic energy budget modeling showed that the limitation of energy intake by feeding that was induced by injection of amylase dsRNA was insufficient to affect gonadic development at the level observed in the present study. This finding suggests that other driving mechanisms, such as endogenous hormonal modulation, might significantly change energy allocation to reproduction, and increase the maintenance rate in oysters in response to dsRNA injection. PMID:25883379

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-01

    Most free-living animals have finite energy stores that they must allocate to different physiological and behavioral processes. In times of energetic stress, trade-offs in energy allocation among these processes may occur. The manifestation of trade-offs may depend on the source (e.g., glucose, lipids) and severity of energy limitation. In this study, we investigated energetic trade-offs between the reproductive and immune systems by experimentally limiting energy availability to female Siberian hamsters (Phodopus sungorus) with 2-deoxy-d-glucose, a compound that disrupts cellular utilization of glucose. We observed how glucoprivation at two levels of severity affected allocation to reproduction and immunity. Additionally, we treated a subset of these hamsters with leptin, an adipose hormone that provides a direct signal of available fat stores, in order to determine how increasing this signal of fat stores influences glucoprivation-induced trade-offs. We observed trade-offs between the reproductive and immune systems and that these trade-offs depended on the severity of energy limitation and exogenous leptin signaling. The majority of the animals experiencing mild glucoprivation entered anestrus, whereas leptin treatment restored estrous cycling in these animals. Surprisingly, virtually all animals experiencing more severe glucoprivation maintained normal estrous cycling throughout the experiment; however, exogenous leptin resulted in lower antibody production in this group. These data suggest that variation in these trade-offs may be mediated by shifts between glucose and fatty acid utilization. Collectively, the results of the present study highlight the context-dependent nature of these trade-offs, as trade-offs induced by the same metabolic stressor can manifest differently depending on its intensity. PMID:25125082

  1. Milk yield and reproductive performance of Holstein cows testing positive for bovine tuberculosis.

    PubMed

    Mellado, Miguel; Reséndiz, Dulce; Martínez, Angel Mario; de Santiago, Maria Angeles; Véliz, Francisco Gerardo; García, Jose Eduardo

    2015-08-01

    The objective of this study was to determine if high milk-yielding Holstein cows testing positive for bovine tuberculosis (bTB) are affected in their reproductive performance and milk yield. For this purpose, 1044 healthy cows and 105 bTB reactor cows were used. Tuberculosis reactor cows were from four large commercial dairy operations from the same region which were transferred from their barns to an isolated dairy facility. Cows free from this disease were placed in the same barn as the bTB reactor cows but in an isolated division and served as control animals. The analysis of variance with a general linear model for binary data showed that the reproductive performance of bTB reactors was impaired; overall pregnancy per artificial insemination differed (P < 0.05) between bTB reactor and non-reactor cows (16.9 vs. 20.7%). Cows that were TB reactors required 4.7 ± 2.9 services per pregnancy compared with 4.3 ± 2.8 for control cows (P > 0.05). The intervals between calving and conception were similar between bTB reactors (154 ± 78 days) and control animals (150 ± 80 days). Control cows tended (P = 0.08) to produce more milk than bTB reactors over a 305-day lactation (10,684 ± 1720 vs. 10,345 ± 1736; mean ± SD). Serum metabolites indicative of nutritional stress did not differ between bTB reactor and non-reactor cows. It was concluded that both reproductive performance and milk yield decreased marginally in bTB reactor cows, which explains the reluctance of milk producers to get rid of these animals. PMID:25894823

  2. Effects of selection for blood serum IGF-I concentration on reproductive performance of female Angus beef cattle.

    PubMed

    Zhang, X; Davis, M E; Moeller, S J; Ottobre, J S

    2013-09-01

    Reproductive performance of animals affects lifetime productivity. However, improvement of reproductive traits via direct selection is generally slow due to low heritability. Therefore, identification of indicator traits for reproductive performance may enhance genetic response. Previous studies showed that serum IGF-I concentration is a candidate indicator for growth and reproductive traits. The objective of our study was to estimate the variances or covariances of IGF-I concentration with reproductive traits. Data were collected from a divergent selection experiment for serum IGF-I concentration at the Eastern Agricultural Research Station owned by The Ohio State University. The study included a total of 2,662 calves in the 1989 to 2005 calf crops. Variance or covariance components were estimated for direct and maternal genetic effects, maternal environment effects, environment effects, and phenotypic effects using an animal model in a multiple-trait, derivative-free, restricted maximum likelihood (MTDFREML, Boldman et al., 1995) computer program. Direct additive genetic correlations suggest that selection for greater IGF-I concentration (heritability = 0.50 ± 0.07) could lead to increased conception rate (heritability = 0.11 ± 0.06, r = 0.32, P < 0.001) and calving rate (heritability = 0.13 ± 0.06, r = 0.43, P < 0.001) and decreased age at first calving in heifers (heritability = 0.35 ± 0.20, r = -0.40, P < 0.001). PMID:23894000

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-03-22

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

    The reproductive success of orchids is traditionally estimated by determining the fruit-set of individuals. Here, we investigated both the fruit and the seed production of three orchid species and the factors that may affect individual fruit-set, like pollination strategy, individual traits or the annual amount of precipitation. The species [Dactylorhiza sambucina (L.) Soó, Dactylorhiza majalis (Rchb.) P. F. Hunt & Summerhayes and Platanthera bifolia (L.) L. C. M. Richard] were studied in three consecutive years (2010-2012) in the Bükk Mountains, Hungary. All three species were proved to be non-autogamous by a bagging experiment. Data analyses showed significant differences between seed numbers but not between fruit-sets of species. There was no statistical difference in individual reproductive success between wet and dry years, however, the effect of the annual amount of precipitation is significant on the population level. Comparison of published fruit-set data revealed accordance with our results in P. bifolia, but not in D. sambucina and D. majalis. We assume that the surprisingly high fruit-set values of the two Dactylorhiza species may be due to the fact that the pollination crisis reported from Western European countries is not an actual problem in the Bükk Mountains, Hungary. PMID:26081278

  6. Spring phenology does not affect timing of reproduction in the great tit (Parus major).

    PubMed

    Schaper, Sonja V; Rueda, Carolina; Sharp, Peter J; Dawson, Alistair; Visser, Marcel E

    2011-11-01

    Many seasonal breeders adjust the timing of reproduction in response to year-to-year variations in supplementary environmental cues, amongst which ambient temperature is thought to be most influential. However, it is possible that for species such as the great tit (Parus major L.), phenological cues from sprouting vegetation and the consequent abundance of invertebrate prey, although dependent on temperature, may provide supplementary environmental cues per se. This hypothesis was investigated in breeding pairs of great tits kept in outdoor aviaries. In spring, experimental pairs were provided with access to leafing birch branches and caterpillars as a visual food cue, while control pairs were provided with non-leafing branches. Observations were made on the onset of laying and on concentrations of plasma luteinizing hormone (LH) at regular intervals to monitor changes in reproductive function. The onset of egg laying was not advanced by the presence of leafing branches and caterpillars. LH concentrations increased during the course of the study, but phenological cues did not affect plasma LH levels in females and males. Early spring vegetation, such as the leafing of birch branches, and the appearance of caterpillar prey do not appear to play a significant role in fine-tuning the onset of egg laying in great tits. PMID:21993796

  7. Second-Hand Eating? Maternal perception of the food environment affects reproductive investment in mice

    PubMed Central

    Schwartz, Tonia S.; Gainer, Renee; Dohm, Erik D.; Johnson, Maria S.; Wyss, J. Michael; Allison, David B.

    2015-01-01

    Objective Little information exists on how perception of the food (or ‘energetic’) environment affects body composition and reproductive investment. We test the hypothesis that female mice, who are themselves consuming standard chow diets, but who are exposed to conspecifics eating a rich “cafeteria diet”, will exhibit altered weight gain and reproductive investment. Design and Methods Female C57BL/6 mice were raised on a cafeteria diet. At maturity, subjects were switched to a standard chow diet and their cage-mate was assigned to consume either a cafeteria diet (treatment, n=20), or standard chow (control, n=20). Subjects were mated, and pups raised to weaning. Subjects and pups were analyzed for body composition. Results Treatment had no discernable effect on dam body weight or composition, but caused pups to have lower body weight (p=0.036), and less fat mass (p=0.041). We found a nearly significant treatment effect on ‘time to successful reproduction’ (avg. 55 vs. 44 days) likely due to increased failed first pregnancies (14/19 versus 8/19, p=0.099). Conclusions These data indicate that perceived food environment (independent of the diet actually consumed) can produce small pups with less body fat, and possibly induce difficulties in pregnancy for dams. Replication and mechanistic studies should follow. PMID:25864567

  8. Key Factors Affecting Reproductive Success of Thoroughbred Mares and Stallions on a Commercial Stud Farm.

    PubMed

    Lane, E A; Bijnen, Mlj; Osborne, M; More, S J; Henderson, Isf; Duffy, P; Crowe, M A

    2016-04-01

    To evaluate factors contributing to fertility of thoroughbred mares, data from 3743 oestrous periods of 2385 mares were collected on a large thoroughbred farm in Ireland. Fourteen stallions (mean age 8.3 years; range 4-15 years) had bred 2385 mares (mean age 9.4 years; range 3-24 years). Maiden mares accounted for 12%, mares with a foal at foot for 64%, and barren, slipped or rested mares for 24% of the total. The mean pregnancy rate per cycle was 67.8% (68.6% in year 1 and 66.9% in year 2). Backward stepwise multivariable logistic regression analysis was utilized to develop two models to evaluate mare factors, including mare age, reproductive status, month of foaling, dystocia, month of cover, foal heat, cycle number, treatments, walk-in status and stallion factors including stallion identity, stallion age, shuttle status, time elapsed between covers and high stallion usage on the per cycle pregnancy rate and pregnancy loss. Old age (p < 0.001) and cover within 20 days post-partum (p < 0.003) were associated with lowered pregnancy rates. High mare age (p < 0.05) and barren, slipped or rested reproductive status (p = 0.05) increased the likelihood of pregnancy loss. Uterine inflammation or infection, if appropriately treated, did not affect fertility. Only high usage of stallions (used more than 21 times in previous week) was associated with lowered (p = 0.009) pregnancy rates. However, shuttle stallions were more likely to have increased (p = 0.035) pregnancy survival, perhaps reflecting a bias in stallion selection. In conclusion, mare age exerted the greatest influence on fertility; nonetheless, thoroughbreds can be effectively managed to achieve high reproductive performance in a commercial setting. PMID:26815482

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

    Our aims were to investigate the influence of subclinical ketosis (SCK) on physical activity at estrus using a neck accelerometer device and on future reproductive performance. Two hundred three Holstein-Friesian cows were studied on 3dairy farms in Northwest England between September 2013 and March 2014. Seventeen percent (35 of 203) of the enrolled cows were affected with SCK between 7 and 21d in milk, defined as a blood β-hydroxybutyrate concentration of 1.2 to 2.9mmol/L. Time to event analyses and multivariable regression analyses were used to assess the effect of SCK on reproductive performance and activity at estrus. The SCK cows exhibited a lower peak activity (measured as the number of standard deviations above mean activity) and shorter duration in activity clusters associated with first estrus and first insemination postpartum, compared with non-SCK cows. Peak activity and cluster duration associated with the insemination that led to a pregnancy were not different between SCK and non-SCK cows. Calving to first estrus, calving to first insemination, and calving to pregnancy intervals were prolonged in SCK cows. First insemination was 4.3 times (95% confidence interval=1.6 to 15.0) less likely to be successful in SCK cows compared with non-SCK cows. Adjusted mean number of inseminations per pregnancy was 2.8 for SCK cows and 2.0 for non-SCK cows. The current study confirms the long-lasting effects of SCK on reproductive efficiency. Furthermore, it is indicated that physical activity around estrus is reduced by SCK in early lactation, but this negative effect appears to diminish as cows progress through lactation. PMID:26995121

  10. Reproductive Performance of Arabian and Thoroughbred Mares under Subtropical Conditions of Pakistan

    PubMed Central

    Warriach, H. M.; Memon, M. A.; Ahmad, N.; Norman, S. T.; Ghafar, A.; Arif, M.

    2014-01-01

    Breeding records of 57 Arabian and 66 Thoroughbred mares were analysed to assess their reproductive performance under the subtropical conditions of Pakistan. The Arabian mares showed significantly higher conception rates (p<0.05) in second mated oestrus and foal heat mated oestrus compared to Thoroughbred mares. However, conception rates for first lifetime mated oestrus were similar in both breeds of mares. Age at first mating (1,301±40 vs 1,500±32 days) was significantly (p<0.05) less in Arabian compared to Thoroughbred mares. Both breeds of mares showed significantly (p<0.05) higher frequencies of oestrous cycles and conception rates during the winter (October to March) compared to summer (June to August) months. Age of mares affected the conception rates, as mares at ages 3 to 7 and 8 to 12 years of ages had significantly higher conception rates (p<0.05) than those ≥18 years old in both breeds. This study demonstrates that i) reproductive performance in Arabians is better than Thoroughbred mares under the subtropical conditions of Pakistan, ii) mares remain cyclic throughout the year and iii) conception rates were higher in mares bred during winter compared to summer months. PMID:25050033

  11. 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. PMID:26525397

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Serie, J.R.; Trauger, D.L.; Austin, J.E.

    1992-01-01

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

  13. 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....

  14. 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.

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

    Diskin, M G; Kenny, D A

    2014-05-01

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

  17. 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

  18. Reproductive performance in sows treated with estradiol benzoate/human chorionic gonadotrophin combination at weaning.

    PubMed Central

    Friendship, R M; Bosu, W T; King, G J

    1982-01-01

    The effects of estradiol benzoate plus human chorionic gonadotrophin administered on the day of weaning on the reproductive performance in sows was studied. The treatment advanced the onset of estrus but the duration of estrus was slightly prolonged. Breeding on the post-weaning estrus was associated with poor pregnancy rate and smaller litters. The treatment did not cause permanent damage to the reproductive tract as the reproductive performance of the treated sows after subsequent breedings were unaffected. The possible causes of the poor fertility in the estradiol benzoate plus human chorionic gonadotrophin treated sows are discussed. PMID:6890868

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-14

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

  1. Analysis of reproductive performance of lactating cows on large dairy farms using machine learning algorithms.

    PubMed

    Caraviello, D Z; Weigel, K A; Craven, M; Gianola, D; Cook, N B; Nordlund, K V; Fricke, P M; Wiltbank, M C

    2006-12-01

    The fertility of lactating dairy cows is economically important, but the mean reproductive performance of Holstein cows has declined during the past 3 decades. Traits such as first-service conception rate and pregnancy status at 150 d in milk (DIM) are influenced by numerous explanatory factors common to specific farms or individual cows on these farms. Machine learning algorithms offer great flexibility with regard to problems of multicollinearity, missing values, or complex interactions among variables. The objective of this study was to use machine learning algorithms to identify factors affecting the reproductive performance of lactating Holstein cows on large dairy farms. This study used data from farms in the Alta Genetics Advantage progeny-testing program. Production and reproductive records from 153 farms were obtained from on-farm DHI-Plus, Dairy Comp 305, or PCDART herd management software. A survey regarding management, facilities, labor, nutrition, reproduction, genetic selection, climate, and milk production was completed by managers of 103 farms; body condition scores were measured by a single evaluator on 63 farms; and temperature data were obtained from nearby weather stations. The edited data consisted of 31,076 lactation records, 14,804 cows, and 317 explanatory variables for first-service conception rate and 17,587 lactation records, 9,516 cows, and 341 explanatory variables for pregnancy status at 150 DIM. An alternating decision tree algorithm for first-service conception rate classified 75.6% of records correctly and identified the frequency of hoof trimming maintenance, type of bedding in the dry cow pen, type of cow restraint system, and duration of the voluntary waiting period as key explanatory variables. An alternating decision tree algorithm for pregnancy status at 150 DIM classified 71.4% of records correctly and identified bunk space per cow, temperature for thawing semen, percentage of cows with low body condition scores, number of

  2. 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

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-11-01

    The objectives were to study the effects of feeding rolled flaxseed (FLX) to early-lactation dairy cows on milk yield, milk components, and milk fatty acid profiles as well as on measures of cow reproduction. Lactating Holstein cows, on 3 commercial dairies, were fed either an early-lactation ration (CON) or a ration that was similar in protein, energy, and fat content but that included FLX (0.85 kg of DM/cow per day). Within each dairy, cows were allocated alternately to breeding pens upon leaving the fresh pen (approximately 10 ± 5 d postpartum). Pens (n = 4 to 5 pens/dairy) were randomized to treatment (n = 2 to 3 pens/treatment per dairy). Pen (CON, n = 6; FLX, n = 7) was considered the experimental unit and data were analyzed as a split plot with pen as the whole-plot error term. Cows fed FLX had greater (P ≤ 0.06) proportions of cis-9, trans-11 C18:2, C18:3n-3, and C20:0 fatty acids in milk fat and a lesser (P = 0.03) proportion of C20:3n-6 fatty acid when compared with cows fed the CON diet. Treatment did not affect (P ≥ 0.24) milk yield, milk protein, protein yield, milk fat, or milk fat yield. No interactions (P ≥ 0.52) were found between treatment and season of the year or parity, or between treatment and days open, pregnancies per AI at first or second service, or pregnancy loss. In conclusion, feeding FLX at 0.85 kg/cow per day (DM basis) altered the fatty acid profile of milk, but milk yield, milk composition, and reproductive performance of dairy cows were not affected. PMID:20622184

  7. 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. ...

  8. Reproductive Hazards

    MedlinePlus

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

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-10-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  13. 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. PMID:26643603

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Does Motivation Affect Performance via Persistence?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vollmeyer, Regina; Rheinberg, Falko

    2000-01-01

    Studied the relationships among motivation, persistence, and performance in a sample of 51 German college students. Path analysis showed that initial motivation influenced persistence but that the relationship between persistence and performance was disrupted because learners with more knowledge stopped sooner. (SLD)

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Weegman, Mitch D; Bearhop, Stuart; Hilton, Geoff M; Walsh, Alyn; Fox, Anthony David

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

  2. Maternally transferred dioxin-like compounds can affect the reproductive success of European eel.

    PubMed

    Foekema, Edwin M; Kotterman, Michiel; de Vries, Pepijn; Murk, Albertinka J

    2016-01-01

    Reported concentrations of dioxin-like compounds accumulated in the European eel (Anguilla anguilla) were used to perform a risk assessment for eel larval survival, taking into account a modeled amplification of tissue concentrations with a factor of 1.33 during spawning migration. The calculated concentrations of dioxin-like compounds finally deposited in the eggs were compared with the internal effect concentrations for survival of early life stages of the European eel; these concentrations, by lack of experimental data, were estimated from a sensitivity distribution based on literature data by assuming that eel larvae are among the 10% most sensitive teleost fish species. Given concentrations of dioxin-like contaminants and assuming a relatively high sensitivity, it can be expected that larvae from eggs produced by eel from highly contaminated locations in Europe will experience increased mortality as a result of maternally transferred dioxin-like contaminants. As historical persistent organic pollutant concentrations in eel tissue were higher, this impact must have been stronger in the past. Potential effects of other compounds or effects on the migration, condition, and fertility of the parental animals were not taken into account. It is important to further study the overall impact of contaminants on the reproductive success of the European eel as this may have been underestimated until now. PMID:26223357

  3. 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...

  4. Reproductive performance of gilts following vaccination and subsequent heterologous challenge with European strains of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus.

    PubMed

    Scortti, Mariela; Prieto, Cinta; Simarro, Isabel; Castro, José Maria

    2006-11-01

    The objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of two commercially available modified live virus vaccines for preventing the reproductive and early postnatal consequences of infecting (challenging) pregnant gilts with virulent porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV). For this purpose 21 crossbred gilts were allocated to one or another of four groups (Groups A-D). Group A comprised four gilts neither vaccinated nor challenged; Group B comprised five gilts that were challenged but not vaccinated; Group C comprised seven gilts that were vaccinated (AmervacPRRS) and challenged; Group D comprised five gilts that were vaccinated (Pyrsvac-183) and challenged. Vaccination was 24 days before conception, and challenge was at 90 days of gestation. Both vaccine viruses and the challenge virus were European strains but differed in part from one another on the basis of their genetic (nucleotide) sequence. After challenge PRRSV was isolated from five (100%), four (57%), and two (40%) of the gilts of Groups B, C and D, respectively. Although vaccination failed to prevent a detectable viremia in all of the gilts of Groups C and D after they were challenged (or congenital infection of some of their pigs), it did provide a statistically significant level of protection in regard to the incidence of congenital infection, reproductive performance, and pig health and viability. Namely, for Groups C and D the numbers of liveborn pigs/litter and healthy pigs/litter throughout the early postnatal period were similar to those of Group A (nonvaccinated and nonchallenged) and far exceeded those of Group B (nonvaccinated and challenged). PMID:16806451

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

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

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

  6. Student Profiles and Factors Affecting Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chansarkar, B. A.; Michaeloudis, A.

    2001-01-01

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

  7. Factors affecting performance of engineered barriers

    SciTech Connect

    Blink, J. A., LLNL

    1998-03-01

    For the Yucca Mountain Viability Assessment (VA), a reference design was tentatively selected` In September 1997, and a series of model abstractions are being prepared for the performance assessment (PA) of that design. To determine the sensitivity of peak dose rate at the accessible environment to engineered components, several design options were subjected to the PA models available late in FY97.

  8. FACTORS AFFECTING PERFORMANCE OF ENGINEERED BARRIERS

    SciTech Connect

    Blink, J. A.; Bailey, T. W.; Doering, W.; Lee, J. K.; Mccoy, J. K.; McKenzie, D. G.; Sevougian, D.; Vallikat, V.

    1998-03-01

    For the Yucca Mountain Viability Assessment (VA), a reference design was tentatively selected in September 1997, and a series of model abstractions are being prepared for the performance assessment (PA) of that design. To determine the sensitivity of peak dose rate at the accessible environment to engineered components, several design options were subjected to the PA models available late in FY97.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-04-01

    Glucocorticoid hormones (GCs) have been studied intensively to understand the associations between physiological stress and reproductive skew in animal societies. However, we have little appreciation of the range of either natural levels within and among individuals, or the associations among dominance status, reproductive rate and GCs levels during breeding. To address these shortcomings, we examined variation in fecal glucocorticoid metabolites (fGC) during breeding periods in free-ranging female meerkats (Suricata suricatta) over 11 years. The vast majority of variation in fGC levels was found within breeding events by the same female (~87%), with the remaining variation arising among breeding events and among females. Concentrations of fGC generally tripled as pregnancy progressed. However, females with a high reproductive rate, defined as those conceiving within a month following parturition (mean = 9 days postpartum), showed significant reductions in fGC in the final 2 weeks before parturition. Despite these reductions, females with a high reproductive rate had higher fGC levels at conception of the following litter than those breeding at a low rate. After controlling for the higher reproductive rate of dominants, we found no association between levels of fGC and either age or dominance status. Our results suggest that one should be cautious about interpreting associations between dominance status, reproductive skew and GCs levels, without knowledge of the natural variation in GCs levels within and among females. PMID:22210199

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Management of Young Cows for Maximum Reproductive Performance

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The most common problem that cow calf producers face in the U.S. is low rebreeding performance among two- and three-year old cows. In Brazil, however, most cows are not bred until at least 2 years of age. However, the underlying reason that young cows in both countries have difficulty re-breeding ...

  13. 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

  14. DIBROMOACETIC ACID AFFECTS REPRODUCTIVE COMPETENCE AND SPERM QUALITY IN THE MALE RAT

    EPA Science Inventory

    We have recently shown that Dibromoacetic acid (DBAA) alters sperm quality in short duration tests. n this study, male rats were gavaged with 0, 2, 10, 50, 250 mg DBAA/kg/d for up to 49 d. Interim. and terminal measurements of sperm quality & reproductive outcome were made. BAA c...

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  17. Within-species reproductive costs affect the asymmetry of satyrization in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Yassin, A; David, J R

    2016-02-01

    Understanding how species interactions influence their distribution and evolution is a fundamental question in evolutionary biology. Theory suggests that asymmetric reproductive interference, in which one species induces higher reproductive costs on another species, may be more important in delimiting species boundaries than interspecific competition over resources. However, the underlying mechanisms of such asymmetry remain unclear. Here, we test whether differences in within-species reproductive costs determine the between-species asymmetry of costs using three allopatric Drosophila species belonging to the melanogaster subgroup. Our results support this hypothesis, especially in a pair of insular species. Males of one species that induce costs to their conspecific females led to a 5-fold increase of heterospecific females mortality with dead flies bearing spectacular large melanized wounds on their genitalia. Males of the other species were harmful neither to their conspecific nor heterospecific females. Comparative studies of within-species reproductive costs may therefore be a valuable tool for predicting between-species interactions and community structures. PMID:26538290

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

    PubMed Central

    Nystrand, M.; Dowling, D. K.

    2014-01-01

    It is well established that the parental phenotype can influence offspring phenotypic expression, independent of the effects of the offspring's own genotype. Nonetheless, the evolutionary implications of such parental effects remain unclear, partly because previous studies have generally overlooked the potential for interactions between parental sources of non-genetic variance to influence patterns of offspring phenotypic expression. We tested for such interactions, subjecting male and female Drosophila melanogaster of two different age classes to an immune activation challenge or a control treatment. Flies were then crossed in all age and immune status combinations, and the reproductive success of their immune- and control-treated daughters measured. We found that daughters produced by two younger parents exhibited reduced reproductive success relative to those of other parental age combinations. Furthermore, immune-challenged daughters exhibited higher reproductive success when produced by immune-challenged relative to control-treated mothers, a pattern consistent with transgenerational immune priming. Finally, a complex interplay between paternal age and parental immune statuses influenced daughter's reproductive success. These findings demonstrate the dynamic nature of age- and immune-mediated parental effects, traceable to both parents, and regulated by interactions between parents and between parents and offspring. PMID:25253454

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

    Cafazzo, Simona; Bonanni, Roberto; Valsecchi, Paola; Natoli, Eugenia

    2014-01-01

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

  1. Maternal Transfer of Vitamin C in Channel Catfish (Ictalurus Punctatus) Effects Reproduction and Progeny Performance

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Two routes of maternal transfer of vitamin C in channel catfish female broodfish prior to spawning were explored as a strategy to incorporate the vitamin to determine its effect on reproduction and subsequent performance of the progeny. Accumulation of vitamin C was higher (p<0.05) in ovarian tissu...

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-05-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Pearce, Mark S.; Sear, Rebecca

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Preeclampsia and reproductive performance in a community of vegans.

    PubMed

    Carter, J P; Furman, T; Hutcheson, H R

    1987-06-01

    Studies at "the Farm," a community of spiritually gathered young people in Summertown, Tenn, have shown that it is possible to sustain a normal pregnancy on a vegan diet. The source of dietary protein (ie, animal or vegetable) does not seem to affect birth weight, as long as vegans are health conscious, receive continuous prenatal care, supplement their diets with prenatal vitamins, calcium, and iron, and apply protein-complementing nutritional principles. Preeclampsia may be caused by a relative prostacyclin deficiency in the face of excessive production of thromboxane A2. A vegan diet (one low in arachidonic acid) might provide protection against this condition, especially if the conversion of linoleic acid to arachidonic acid is inhibited by decreased activity of the enzyme delta-6-desaturase. We examined the maternity care records of 775 vegan mothers for symptoms of preeclampsia, and only one case met the clinical criteria. Since preeclampsia in our culture is frequently associated with unrestrained consumption of "fast foods" (foods having high levels of saturated fat) and rapid weight gain, it is possible that a vegan diet could alleviate most, if not all, of the signs and symptoms of preeclampsia. PMID:3589760

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

    A sound reconstruction system is proposed for audio reproduction with extended sweet spot and reduced reflections. An equivalent source method (ESM)-based sound field synthesis (SFS) approach, with the aid of dark zone minimization is adopted in the study. Conventional SFS that is based on the free-field assumption suffers from synthesis error due to boundary reflections. To tackle the problem, the proposed system utilizes convex optimization in designing array filters with both reproduction performance and acoustic contrast taken into consideration. Control points are deployed in the dark zone to minimize the reflections from the walls. Two approaches are employed to constrain the pressure and velocity in the dark zone. Pressure matching error (PME) and acoustic contrast (AC) are used as performance measures in simulations and experiments for a rectangular loudspeaker array. Perceptual Evaluation of Audio Quality (PEAQ) is also used to assess the audio reproduction quality. The results show that the pressure-constrained (PC) method yields better acoustic contrast, but poorer reproduction performance than the pressure-velocity constrained (PVC) method. A subjective listening test also indicates that the PVC method is the preferred method in a live room. PMID:25324063

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. 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

  13. 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. PMID:8575545

  14. 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

  15. 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. PMID:22562463

  16. 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…

  17. Reproductive performance in pigs reared under organic conditions compared with conventionally reared pigs

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background To achieve a competitive reproductive performance in organic pig farming is a major challenge for this farming practise. Practices and research data regarding conventional pig production are not always applicable to organic production, why field studies are needed to identify differences in performance between organic and conventional pig farms in order to identify areas for improvement. Results Performance data for one year was collected from 5 organic herds that had more than 30 sows in production and used a computerized recording system, and data from five nearby conventional farms with more than 30 sows and the same recording system were used as a comparison. In total data from 4697 farrowings were analyzed. In the organic pig herds, there were a higher total number of piglets born per litter (p=0.001), a higher number of piglets stillborn per litter (p<0.001), but a tendency (p<0.06) to lower number of weaned pigs per litter and longer nursing period (p<0.001) and farrowing interval (p<0.001). Conclusions The reproductive performance was lower in the organic herds and the variation in reproductive performance among the organic herds was larger than among the conventional ones, suggesting options for improvement in the organic herds. PMID:23594682

  18. Use of herd management programmes to improve the reproductive performance of dairy cattle.

    PubMed

    McDougall, S; Heuer, C; Morton, J; Brownlie, T

    2014-05-01

    There has been a long history of herd health and production management programmes in many dairy industries around the world, but evidence for the efficacy of such programmes is limited. In response to a perceived decline in fertility of dairy cows, a herd reproductive management programme (InCalf) was introduced in New Zealand in 2007. This programme uses a management cycle approach that includes an assessment of the current herd status, identification of areas for improvement, development of a plan, implementation of this plan and finally a review process. The programme uses facilitators who work with farmers either in a one-to-one manner or in a formalised group setting that involves a series of meetings over a 12-month period (the farmer action group). The hypothesis that involvement in a reproductive management programme would improve herd reproductive performance was tested using a herd-level controlled randomised study (the National Herd Fertility Study) involving herds in four geographic regions of New Zealand over 2 years. Within each region, herds were ranked on the basis of the 6-week in-calf rate (i.e. the proportion of the herd pregnant in the first 6 weeks of the seasonal breeding programme) in the year preceding commencement of the study and then randomly assigned to be involved in a farmer action group or left as untreated controls. The key outcome variable of the study was the 6-week in-calf rate. Pregnancy diagnosis was undertaken at 12 weeks after the start of the seasonal breeding programme, which allowed determination of conception dates and hence calculation of the 6-week in-calf rate. Additional measurements including heifer live weight and body condition score (pre-calving and pre-mating) were undertaken to test whether treatment resulted in measurable changes in some of the key determinants of herd reproductive performance. Involvement in the farmer action group of InCalf resulted in a 2 percentage point increase in the 6-week in-calf rate

  19. 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. PMID:21805300

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  2. Food availability affects Osmia pumila (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) foraging, reproduction, and brood parasitism.

    PubMed

    Goodell, Karen

    2003-03-01

    Food limitation can reduce reproductive success directly, as well as indirectly, if foraging imposes a risk of predation or parasitism. The solitary bee Osmia pumila suffers brood parasitism by the cleptoparasitic wasp Sapyga centrata, which enters the host nest to oviposit while the female bee is away. I studied foraging and reproduction of O. pumila nesting within cages stocked with rich or sparse floral resources, and the presence or absence of S. centrata to test (1) the response of nesting female O. pumila to food shortages, (2) the response of nesting female O. pumila to the presence of parasites, and (3) whether brood produced under scarce resources are more likely to be parasitized by S. centrata. The rate of brood cell production was significantly lower in cages with sparse floral resources, although females in sparse cages did not produce significantly fewer brood cells overall. Sapyga centrata did not influence the rate of brood cell production, but females exposed to the cleptoparasites had marginally significantly lower reproductive output. Nests in parasite cages had significantly fewer brood cells than those in parasite free cages. The mean duration of foraging bouts made by female O. pumila in sparse cages was not significantly longer than that in rich cages. O. pumila spent less time in the nest between pollen and nectar foraging bouts in sparse cages with S. centrata than those in other cages suggesting that these individuals made more frequent food foraging trips. Despite the weak effects of parasites and bloom density on foraging behavior, O. pumila brood cells experienced a 5-fold higher probability of parasitism by S. centrata in cages with sparse bloom than in those with rich bloom [corrected]. These results support the hypothesis that indirect effects of food scarcity increase O. pumila susceptibility to brood parasitism, although the exact mechanism is not entirely clear yet. PMID:12647124

  3. 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…

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Kasiri, Milad; Farahi, Amin; Sudagar, Mohammad

    2012-01-01

    It is well established that reproduction is sensitive to the state of energy reserves, and that there is a balance between energy homeostasis and fertility. In this view, this study examined the effects of different diets on growth and reproductive performance of fresh water angelfish. Twenty four pairs of angelfish (weighing 3.58 ± 0.24 g) were fed with four types of diets including live earth worm (LEW), dried Tubifex (DT), dried Gammarus (DG) and prepared granulated feed (PGF), twice a day for 90 days. Reproductive parameters were measured between days 60 and 90. The significant increase in the gonadosomatic index (GSI), fecundity and hatchability brought about by the LEW were demonstrated by the higher number of spawned eggs and hatched larvae. The best growth observed significantly in PGF, and length of larvae was enhanced in this group, consequently. The numbers of dead and deformed fry were lower in the fish fed with PGF and LEW, but there was no significant difference among experimental groups. This study showed that breeders benefit from inclusion of prepared granulated feed and living earth worm during their growth and reproductive stages, and simultaneous using of them for achieving better results is suggested. PMID:25610565

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

    PubMed

    Kasiri, Milad; Farahi, Amin; Sudagar, Mohammad

    2012-01-01

    It is well established that reproduction is sensitive to the state of energy reserves, and that there is a balance between energy homeostasis and fertility. In this view, this study examined the effects of different diets on growth and reproductive performance of fresh water angelfish. Twenty four pairs of angelfish (weighing 3.58 ± 0.24 g) were fed with four types of diets including live earth worm (LEW), dried Tubifex (DT), dried Gammarus (DG) and prepared granulated feed (PGF), twice a day for 90 days. Reproductive parameters were measured between days 60 and 90. The significant increase in the gonadosomatic index (GSI), fecundity and hatchability brought about by the LEW were demonstrated by the higher number of spawned eggs and hatched larvae. The best growth observed significantly in PGF, and length of larvae was enhanced in this group, consequently. The numbers of dead and deformed fry were lower in the fish fed with PGF and LEW, but there was no significant difference among experimental groups. This study showed that breeders benefit from inclusion of prepared granulated feed and living earth worm during their growth and reproductive stages, and simultaneous using of them for achieving better results is suggested. PMID:25610565

  7. Effects crude protein levels on female Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) reproductive performance parameters.

    PubMed

    de Oliveira, Marinez Moraes; Ribeiro, Tainá; Orlando, Tamira Maria; de Oliveira, Dênio Garcia Silva; Drumond, Mariana Martins; de Freitas, Rilke Tadeu Fonseca; Rosa, Priscila Vieira

    2014-11-10

    The goal of the present work was to study the reproductive performance of Nile Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) female broodstock fed diets containing different levels of crude protein (CP). Two hundred and forty Nile tilapia (O. niloticus) were used at an average age of 30 months, with 180 females and 60 males. The broodstock were lodged separately in masonry tanks with continuous water flow. The females were stocked in thirty tanks with dimensions of 8 m(3) in a completely randomized design consisting of five treatments and six replications. The treatments consisted of five diets with different levels of CP (32, 34, 36, 38 and 40%) and with digestible energy per gram of protein of 9.5 kg of feed. The crude protein (CP) levels positively influenced (p<0.05) reproductive parameters (female relative and absolute fecundity, egg diameter, fasting larvae survival capacity), the somatic indexes (gonadosomatic (GSI), hepatosomatic (HIS), viscerosomatic (VSI)), total plasma protein, albumin and triglycerides. There were no significant differences (p>0.05) observed with regard to spawning weight and female weight. The reproductive parameters studied in the present research indicate that diets formulated with 38% CP with digestible energy per gram of CP of 9.5 were the best diets for tilapia females during the reproductive period. PMID:25201770

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

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

  10. Milk yield and reproductive performance of brucellosis-vaccinated but seropositive Holstein cows.

    PubMed

    Mellado, Miguel; Garcia, Angel M; Arellano-Reynoso, Beatriz; Diaz-Aparicio, Efren; Garcia, Jose E

    2014-02-01

    The aim of this research was to study if seropositivity for brucellosis in vaccinated cows against this disease hampers reproductive performance and milk production in high-yielding Holstein cows. For this purpose 1,026 healthy cows and 372 cows seropositive for brucellosis were enrolled in this study. Cows positive to card test and subsequently to the rivanol test were further subjected to the radial immunodiffusion (RID) test. It was found that only 11% of the presumably infected cows by brucellosis screening tests were really infected with this disease. The reproductive performance of the group of cows with 11% Brucella-infected animals was not impaired; overall pregnancy rate did not differ between seropositive and healthy cows (30.9 vs. 29.6%). The abortion rates were similar between seropositive cows (5.3%) and seronegative animals (6.9%). Cows in the herd with 11% Brucella-infected animals produced significantly more milk than unaffected cows over a 305-day lactation (10,684 ± 1,720 vs. 10,345 ± 1,736; mean ± SD; P < 0.05). It was concluded that in dairy herds vaccinated against brucellosis with both 19 and RB51 strains, supplemental tests such as RID need to be conducted on all reactors in order to maintain diagnostic accuracy. These results also indicate that 11% animal prevalence of brucellosis did not exert a detrimental effect on 305-day milk yield and reproductive performance in high milk-yielding Holstein cows. PMID:24254418

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  14. 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

  15. Gonadal steroids and affective symptoms during in vitro fertilization: implication for reproductive mood disorders.

    PubMed

    Bloch, Miki; Aharonov, Inbar; Ben Avi, Irit; Schreiber, Shaul; Amit, Ami; Weizman, Abraham; Azem, Foad

    2011-07-01

    Gonadal steroids (GSs) have been associated with the onset of a number of reproductive-related mood disorders in women, in which fluctuating or unstable hormonal levels are postulated to act as the trigger for the destabilization of mood. There is, however, rather limited direct clinical evidence that can link rapidly changing GS levels with the induction of mood symptoms. We aimed to study the effect of controlled and rapid GS fluctuations on mood in an in vivo model. Women undergoing in vitro fertilization (n=108) were assessed for depression and anxiety levels on 3 time points: during a low estradiol and progesterone baseline, during a gonadotropin stimulated estradiol-dominant phase, and after embryo transfer, during a progesterone-dominant low estrogen phase. Plasma levels for estrogen and progesterone were drawn on these time points. Symptoms of depression and anxiety significantly increased from baseline to the high estradiol levels but were not correlated with estrogen. The sharp drop from high estradiol levels at the estradiol-dominant phase to low levels at the progesterone-dominant phase was significantly correlated with rising depression scores. The rise in progesterone levels from low levels at the estradiol-dominant phase to high levels at the progesterone-dominant phase was significantly and inversely correlated with depression scores. This study suggests that the mechanism underlying the role of estrogen in reproductive-related mood disorders involves an abrupt and precipitous drop in its plasma level that can precipitate negative mood states. This finding has implications on the treatment of GS-related mood disorders. PMID:21106297

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. Genetic relationships between detailed reproductive traits and performance traits in Holstein-Friesian dairy cattle.

    PubMed

    Carthy, T R; Ryan, D P; Fitzgerald, A M; Evans, R D; Berry, D P

    2016-02-01

    The objective of the study was to estimate the genetic relationships between detailed reproductive traits derived from ultrasound examination of the reproductive tract and a range of performance traits in Holstein-Friesian dairy cows. The performance traits investigated included calving performance, milk production, somatic cell score (i.e., logarithm transformation of somatic cell count), carcass traits, and body-related linear type traits. Detailed reproductive traits included (1) resumed cyclicity at the time of examination, (2) multiple ovulations, (3) early ovulation, (4) heat detection, (5) ovarian cystic structures, (6) embryo loss, and (7) uterine score, measured on a 1 (little or no fluid with normal tone) to 4 (large quantity of fluid with a flaccid tone) scale, based on the tone of the uterine wall and the quantity of fluid present in the uterus. (Co)variance components were estimated using a repeatability animal linear mixed model. Genetic merit for greater milk, fat, and protein yield was associated with a reduced ability to resume cyclicity postpartum (genetic correlations ranged from -0.25 to -0.15). Higher genetic merit for milk yield was also associated with a greater genetic susceptibility to multiple ovulations. Genetic predisposition to elevated somatic cell score was associated with a decreased likelihood of cyclicity postpartum (genetic correlation of -0.32) and a greater risk of both multiple ovulations (genetic correlation of 0.25) and embryo loss (genetic correlation of 0.32). Greater body condition score was genetically associated with an increased likelihood of resumption of cyclicity postpartum (genetic correlation of 0.52). Genetically heavier, fatter carcasses with better conformation were also associated with an increased likelihood of resumed cyclicity by the time of examination (genetic correlations ranged from 0.24 to 0.41). Genetically heavier carcasses were associated with an inferior uterine score as well as a greater

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Reproductive performance in sows in relation to Japanese Encephalitis Virus seropositivity in an endemic area.

    PubMed

    Lindahl, Johanna; Boqvist, Sofia; Ståhl, Karl; Thu, Ho Thi Viet; Magnusson, Ulf

    2012-02-01

    Japanese Encephalitis Virus (JEV) is considered an important reproductive pathogen in pigs. Most studies of the reproductive impact of JEV have been conducted in areas where the disease occurs in seasonal epidemics. In this study, the associations between seropositivity for JEV, measured with an IgG ELISA, and the number of piglets born alive and stillborn were investigated in a tropical area endemic for JEV in Vietnam. Sixty percent of sows from four farms in the Mekong delta of Vietnam were seropositive to JEV and the Odds Ratio for a sow being infected was highest (6.4) in sows above 3.5 years (95% confidence interval 2.2-18.3). There was an association between increasing Optical Density (OD) values from the ELISA and the number of stillborn piglets in sows less than 1.5 years, but no effect of seropositivity could be shown when all sows were studied. OD values had an effect (p = 0.04) on the number of piglets born alive in the statistical analysis only when interacting with the effect of the breeds. An increase in mean OD value of the herd was correlated (p < 0.0001) with an increase in the number of piglets born alive. In this study, there was evidence of a negative association between seropositivity for JEV and the reproductive performance only in sows less than 1.5 years in endemic areas. This could be explained by a year-round infection with the virus, which would lead to immunity in many gilts before their first pregnancy. This, in turn, may imply that JEV infection in pigs is of minor importance for the reproductive performance in endemic areas. PMID:22081319

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-21

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

  6. 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.

  7. Effect of intramuscularly administered beta-carotene on reproductive performance in sows.

    PubMed

    Krammer, Gabriele; Aurich, Jörg

    2010-01-01

    The present study investigated the effects of intramuscularly administered beta-carotene on reproductive parameters in female pigs. A total of 216 multiparous sows were observed from weaning of their litters until the next farrowing. On the day of weaning, the animals were allocated to two groups. Sows of the treatment group were injected with 70 mg beta-carotene both at the day of weaning and after the last insemination, sows of the control group were left untreated. For all sows, intramuscular injection of beta-carotene resulted in a significant increase of the total number of piglets born per litter by 1.2 (p < 0.05). When sows were divided by parity, beta-carotene treatment in second parity sows increased the total number of piglets per litter (beta-carotene 13.7 +/- 1.2, control 11.2 +/- 3.7, p < 0.01) and the number of piglets born alive (beta-carotene 12.0 +/- 2.7, control 10.0 +/- 3.4, p < 0.05). No such effect was seen in sows of third or higher parity. No other reproductive parameters were affected by beta-carotene supplementation. Tolerability and safety of the administered preparation were good. No side effects related to the medication were observed. The effect of beta-carotene on reproduction is thus affected by parity of the sows. This effect seems to be exerted mainly during early pregnancy and is most likely beta-carotene-specific and independent from its role as a vitamin A precursor. PMID:21141280

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-09-01

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

  9. 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. PMID:26387020

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

    SciTech Connect

    Hardwick, T.

    1997-12-31

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  15. Developmental Methoxychlor Exposure Affects Multiple Reproductive Parameters and Ovarian: Folliculogenesis and Gene Expression in Adult Rats

    PubMed Central

    Armenti, AnnMarie E.; Zama, Aparna Mahakali; Passantino, Lisa; Uzumcu, Mehmet

    2008-01-01

    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 μg/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 β 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. PMID:18848953

  16. Effects of dietary supplementation of meat-type quail breeders with guanidinoacetic acid on their reproductive parameters and progeny performance.

    PubMed

    Murakami, A E; Rodrigueiro, R J B; Santos, T C; Ospina-Rojas, I C; Rademacher, M

    2014-09-01

    This study was conducted to assess the effect of dietary supplementation of meat-type quail breeders with guanidinoacetic acid (GAA) on their reproductive parameters and progeny performance. Two hundred forty meat-type quails at 25 wk of age were distributed in a completely randomized design with 5 treatments and 8 replicates of 6 birds each. The treatments consisted of 5 dietary levels of GAA (0.00, 0.06, 0.12, 0.18, and 0.24%). The progenies from quail breeders were housed according to breeder treatments and fed a conventional diet based on corn and soybean meal without GAA supplementation. Dietary GAA levels did not affect (P > 0.05) the productivity of meat-type quail breeders, although the concentration of guanidinic compounds (creatine, GAA, and creatinine) in the eggs from the breeders increased linearly (P < 0.05) according to the increase in dietary GAA levels. The number of spermatozoa present in the vitelline membrane was not affected (P > 0.05) by the treatments, but there was a quadratic effect (P < 0.05) of the levels of GAA on fertility, embryonic mortality, and egg hatchability, with the best results estimated at 0.13, 0.15, and 0.14% GAA, respectively. The creatine levels of the pectoral muscle in newborn quails showed a quadratic effect (P ≤ 0.07), and the dietary GAA level of 0.11% was estimated to maximize the muscular creatine level in the progeny. There was a quadratic effect (P < 0.05) of GAA levels on weight gain and feed conversion of progeny at 35 d of age with an optimization point of 0.14% GAA for these variables. Dietary GAA supplementation of meat-type quail breeders increases the availability of creatine in eggs and muscle of progeny, which results in better reproductive parameters and better postnatal progeny performance. PMID:24974392

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2003-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sander, Libby

    2012-01-01

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

  19. Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Determinants of Performance: A Process Model.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dorfman, Peter W.; Stephan, Walter G.

    Literature from organizational and social psychology has suggested that three types of factors influence performance, i.e., cognitive, affective and behavioral. A model was developed to test a set of propositions concerning the relationship between the three kinds of factors, and included attributions, expectancies, general emotional responses to…

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. Sibsize, Family Environment, Cognitive Performance, and Affective Characteristics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marjoribanks, Kevin

    1976-01-01

    Incorporates measures of family environment (parent-child interaction) into research methodology to study the effects of sibsize (family size and birth order) on a child's cognitive performance and affective behavior. Provides tentative support for the confluence model of sibsize influences on children's behaviors. (RL)

  3. Sublethal effects of antibiosis resistance on the reproductive biology of two spittlebug (Hemiptera: Cercopidae) species affecting Brachiaria spp.

    PubMed

    Sotelo, Paola A; Miller, María F; Cardona, Cesar; Miles, John W; Sotelo, Guillermo; Montoya, James

    2008-04-01

    Several greenhouse experiments were used to measure how high levels of antibiosis resistance to nymphs in two interspecific Brachiaria (brachiariagrass) hybrids affect life history parameters of the spittlebugs Aeneolamia varia (F.) and Zulia carbonaria (Lallemand), two of the most important spittlebug (Hemiptera: Cercopidae) species affecting Brachiaria production in Colombia. The A. varia-resistant hybrid CIAT 36062, the Z. carbonaria-resistant hybrid SX01NO/0102, and the susceptible accession CIAT 0654 were used to compare the effect of all possible combinations of food sources for nymphs and adults. Calculation of growth indexes showed a significant impact of antibiosis resistance on the biology of immature stages of both species. Median survival times of adults feeding on resistant genotypes did not differ from those recorded on the susceptible genotype, suggesting that factors responsible for high mortality of nymphs in the resistant hybrids did not affect adult survival. Rearing nymphs of A. varia on CIAT 36062 and of Z. carbonaria on SX01NO/0102 had deleterious sublethal effects on the reproductive biology of resulting adult females. It is concluded that high nymphal mortality and subsequent sublethal effects of nymphal antibiosis on adults should have a major impact on the demography of the two spittlebug species studied. PMID:18459425

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

    Liu, Xiaoluan; Xu, Yi

    2015-01-01

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

  6. Effects of Gestational Housing on Reproductive Performance and Behavior of Sows with Different Backfat Thickness

    PubMed Central

    Kim, K. H.; Hosseindoust, A.; Ingale, S. L.; Lee, S. H.; Noh, H. S.; Choi, Y. H.; Jeon, S. M.; Kim, Y. H.; Chae, B. J.

    2016-01-01

    The present study investigated the effects of back-fat thickness at d 107 of gestation and housing types during gestation on reproductive performance and behavior of sows. A total of 64 crossbred sows (Landrace×Yorkshire) in their 3 to 4 parities were allotted to one of four treatments (n = 16) over two consecutive parities. During each parity, sows were assigned to two gestational housing types (stall or group housing) and two level of back-fat thickness (<20 or ≥20) at d 107 of gestation. Gestating sows were transferred from gestational crates to stalls or pens (group housing) 5 weeks before farrowing. All sows were moved to farrowing crates on d 109 of gestation. At weaning, back-fat thickness changes were lesser (p<0.05) in sows having back-fat thickness <20 mm than that of sows with ≥20 mm back-fat thickness at 107 d of gestation. Group housed sows had greater (p<0.05) feed intake and shorter (p<0.05) weaning-to-estrus interval than that of sows in stalls. At weaning, back-fat thickness changes were lesser (p<0.05) in group housed sows than that of sows in stalls. The number of piglets at weaning, growth rate and average daily gain were greater (p<0.05) in group housed sows than that of sows in stalls. During gestation, walking duration was more (p<0.05) in group housed sows. Group housed sows had lesser (p<0.05) farrowing duration and greater (p<0.05) eating time than that of sows in stalls. Result obtained in present study indicated that sows with ≥20 mm back-fat thickness at 107 days had better reproductive performance. Additionally, group housing of sows during last five week of gestation improved the performance and behavior and reproductive efficiency of sows. PMID:26732338

  7. Effect of dietary N-carbamylglutamate levels on reproductive performance of gilts.

    PubMed

    Zhang, B; Che, L Q; Lin, Y; Zhuo, Y; Fang, Z F; Xu, S Y; Song, J; Wang, Y S; Liu, Y; Wang, P; Wu, D

    2014-10-01

    The effect of dietary N-carbamylglutamate (NCG) supplementation during the entire gestation on reproductive performance of gilts was determined. At the initial day of gestation, forty-five cross-bred (Landrace × Large white) gilts were randomly assigned to five groups receiving a basal diet (control group) and basal diet supplemented with 0.05%, 0.10%, 0.15% and 0.20% NCG until parturition, respectively. At parturition, total litter size, live litter size and rate of stillbirth were not markedly affected by NCG supplementation. However, gilts in 0.05% NCG-supplemented group had more pigs born alive than gilts in control group (+1.11 pigs, p = 0.12), and live litter weight was increased (+12.13-19.17%, p < 0.05) in 0.05%, 0.10% and 0.15% NCG-supplemented groups relative to control group. And also, average birthweight of piglets born alive was higher (+6.57%, p < 0.05) in 0.05% NCG-supplemented group than in control group. Furthermore, on days 30, 60, 90 and 110 of gestation, concentrations of arginine and ornithine in plasma were higher (p < 0.05) in 0.05%, 0.10%, 0.15% and 0.20% NCG-supplemented groups than in control group, respectively. In addition, the chorioallantois gene expression of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A), placental growth factor (PLGF) and angiopoietin-2 (ANG-2) was all increased (p < 0.05) in 0.05%, 0.10% and 0.15% NCG-supplemented groups than in control group. In conclusion, dietary supplementation with 500 mg/kg NCG during the entire gestation significantly improves pregnancy outcomes in gilts, which may be associated with the improved concentrations of arginine in plasma and placental angiogenic factors gene expression of gilts. PMID:25039302

  8. Reproductive performance of dairy cows is influenced by prepartum feed restriction and dietary fatty acid source.

    PubMed

    Colazo, M G; Hayirli, A; Doepel, L; Ambrose, D J

    2009-06-01

    The objective of this study was to determine the effects of feed restriction and source of dietary fatty acids during the close-up dry period on postcalving reproductive performance of dairy cattle. Thirty-four days before expected calving, pregnant Holstein cows (n = 72; parity 1 to 5) were randomly assigned to 1 of 6 treatments. Treatments were ad libitum (AL) or 24% feed restriction (FR) in combination with 1 of 3 oilseed supplements at 8% of diet dry matter: canola, linola, or flax to enrich the rations with oleic, linoleic, or linolenic fatty acids, respectively. After calving, cows were fed a common lactation diet that contained no oilseeds. Measurements of uterus, corpus luteum, and follicles were obtained by ultrasonography twice weekly from 7 +/- 1 d after calving until the first ovulation. Cows (n = 66) were subjected to timed artificial insemination (TAI), and pregnancy was determined 32 d later. Feed-restricted cows had lower dry matter intake and lost more body weight prepartum. Energy balance (Mcal/d) was negative in FR cows prepartum but they had a less severe negative energy balance postpartum. The dietary source of fatty acid did not affect energy balance. Cows fed AL had a higher incidence of uterine infections (10/37 vs. 2/35) but tended to have fewer ovarian cysts (2/37 vs. 7/35) than FR cows. Mean (+/-SE) interval from calving to uterine involution did not differ among dietary treatments (26.8 +/- 1.8 d). Interval from calving to first ovulation was longer in cows fed canola than in those fed either linola or flax (34.7 +/- 3.1 vs. 23.7 +/- 3.2 and 21.0 +/- 3.1 d, respectively). A greater percentage of cows fed AL conceived to the first TAI (47.1 vs. 18.8) and tended to have fewer mean days open (157 +/- 10.8 vs. 191 +/- 10.1) than cows fed FR. In summary, FR cows had a lower incidence of uterine infections, but they were less fertile as reflected by a lower percent pregnancy to first TAI and increased days open. Cows fed diets enriched in

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-15

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

  11. Socially triggered negative affect impairs performance in simple cognitive tasks.

    PubMed

    Böttcher, Svenja; Dreisbach, Gesine

    2014-03-01

    The aim of this research was to investigate the influence of a social-evaluative context on simple cognitive tasks. While another person present in the room evaluated photographs of beautiful women or landscapes by beauty/attractiveness, female participants had to perform a combination of digit-categorization and spatial-compatibility task. There, before every trial, one of the women or landscape pictures was presented. Results showed selective performance impairments: the numerical distance effects increased on trials that followed women pictures but only, if another person concurrently evaluated these women pictures. In a second experiment, using the affective priming paradigm, the authors show that female pictures have a more negative connotation when they are concurrently evaluated by another person (social-evaluative context) than when they are not evaluated (neutral context). Together, these results suggest that the social-evaluative context triggers mild negative affective reactions to women pictures which then impair performance in an unrelated task. PMID:23423348

  12. The Effect of Stocking Densities on Reproductive Performance in Laboratory Zebrafish (Danio rerio)

    PubMed Central

    Lawton, Angela; Lawrence, Christian; Baumann, Diana P.; Best, Jason; Coscolla, Jordi; Doherty, Amy; Ramos, Juan; Hakkesteeg, Jenna; Wang, Chongmin; Wilson, Carole; Malley, James

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Despite the growing popularity of the zebrafish model system, the optimal husbandry conditions for this animal are not well defined. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of stocking density on reproductive performance in zebrafish. In this study, undertaken by eight different zebrafish facilities, clutches of at least 200 wild-type zebrafish embryos from a single pairwise mating were produced at each participating institution and subsequently reared according to “in-house protocols” until they were 14 weeks old. Fish were then randomly assigned into treatment groups with balanced sex ratios and densities of 3, 6, or 12 fish/L. After a 1-month acclimation period, fish were spawned in pair crosses every 2 weeks for 3 months, for a total of six spawning dates. The number of viable and nonviable embryos produced in each clutch were counted at 1 day postfertilization. Although there was a great deal of variability in clutch size and percent spawning success among laboratories, there were no significant differences in average clutch size, spawning success, or percent viable among the treatment densities. These data suggest that using stocking densities as high as 12 fish/L does not have a negative impact on performance, when measured by reproductive performance. PMID:21854208

  13. 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. PMID:25666363

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

  16. Effect of a monensin-controlled release capsule on cow health and reproductive performance.

    PubMed

    Duffield, T F; Leslie, K E; Sandals, D; Lissemore, K; McBride, B W; Lumsden, J H; Dick, P; Bagg, R

    1999-11-01

    Dry cows and pregnant heifers from 25 farms near Guelph, Ontario, Canada were enrolled in a large, double-blind, randomized clinical trial designed to evaluate the impact of monensin on energy metabolism, health, and production. A total of 503 cows was given monensin in controlled-release capsules, and 507 cows were administered placebo capsules 3 wk before expected calving date. The effects of treatment on health were evaluated using a logistic regression model. Treatment with monensin significantly reduced the incidence of abomasal displacement (OR = 0.41-0.84) and multiple illnesses (OR = 0.38-0.89). Monensin treatment tended to reduce the incidence of clinical ketosis (P = 0.11) and the risk of being culled (P = 0.09) in the first 94 d of lactation. Reproductive performance was analyzed with both a logistic regression model for conception rate and a survival analysis for days to first breeding and days from calving to conception. Treatment with monensin had no significant effect on any measure of reproductive performance. PMID:10575604

  17. Mutations of the Drosophila Myosin Regulatory Light Chain Affect Courtship Song and Reduce Reproductive Success

    PubMed Central

    Chakravorty, Samya; Vu, Hien; Foelber, Veronica; Vigoreaux, Jim O.

    2014-01-01

    The Drosophila indirect flight muscles (IFM) rely on an enhanced stretch-activation response to generate high power output for flight. The IFM is neurally activated during the male courtship song, but its role, if any, in generating the small amplitude wing vibrations that produce the song is not known. Here, we examined the courtship song properties and mating behavior of three mutant strains of the myosin regulatory light chain (DMLC2) that are known to affect IFM contractile properties and impair flight: (i) Dmlc2Δ2–46 (Ext), an N-terminal extension truncation; (ii) Dmlc2S66A,S67A (Phos), a disruption of two MLC kinase phosphorylation sites; and (iii) Dmlc2Δ2–46;S66A,S67A (Dual), expressing both mutations. Our results show that the Dmlc2 gene is pleiotropic and that mutations that have a profound effect on flight mechanics (Phos and Dual) have minimal effects on courtship song. None of the mutations affect interpulse interval (IPI), a determinant of species-specific song, and intrapulse frequency (IPF) compared to Control (Dmlc2+ rescued null strain). However, abnormalities in the sine song (increased frequency) and the pulse song (increased cycles per pulse and pulse length) evident in Ext males are not apparent in Dual males suggesting that Ext and Phos interact differently in song and flight mechanics, given their known additive effect on the latter. All three mutant males produce a less vigorous pulse song and exhibit impaired mating behavior compared to Control males. As a result, females are less receptive to Ext, Phos, and Dual males when a Control male is present. These results open the possibility that DMLC2, and perhaps contractile protein genes in general, are partly under sexual selection. That mutations in DMLC2 manifest differently in song and flight suggest that this protein fulfills different roles in song and flight and that stretch activation plays a smaller role in song production than in flight. PMID:24587213

  18. 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.

  19. 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 ...

  20. 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...

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

    PubMed Central

    HARWOOD, JAMES F.; CHEN, KEHUI; LIEDO, PABLO; MÜLLER, HANS-GEORG; WANG, JANE-LING; MORICE, AMY E.; CAREY, JAMES R.

    2014-01-01

    Hypotheses exploring the influence of dietary conditions on the life history trade-off between survival and reproductive success are extensively tested in female insects, but are rarely explored in males. Here, the impact of dietary quality and female access on age-specific reproduction and survival of male Mexican fruit flies, Anastrepha ludens Loew (Diptera: Tephritidae), are examined. There is a clear cost of female access for males with access to dietary protein, measurable as a decrease in life expectancy, which is further influenced by the age when females are introduced. A protein deficient diet reduces the lifespan benefit of virginity and masks the detrimental effect of female access on male life expectancy. Dietary protein is not necessary for reproductive success, but access to protein at eclosion improves the lifetime reproductive success of males compared to when it is delayed. Overall, reproductive success diminishes as the male flies age, regardless of the dietary conditions, providing evidence for reproductive senescence in males. Delaying the males’ access to a protein source fails to influence the negative effect of age on reproductive ability. Because age specific reproductive rates decline with age, regardless of diet, male fitness does not benefit from lifespan extension. Therefore, males can be expected to allocate available resources towards reproductive effort in favour of extended lifespan, regardless of mate and protein availability. PMID:25709143

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2006-01-01

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

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Zientara, Stéphan; Ponsart, Claire

    2014-12-01

    Viruses can emerge unexpectedly in different regions of the world and may have negative effects on reproductive performance. This paper describes the consequences for reproductive performance that have been reported after the introduction to Europe of two emerging viruses, namely the bluetongue (BTV) and Schmallenberg (SBV) viruses. Following the extensive spread of BTV in northern Europe, large numbers of pregnant cows were infected with BTV serotype 8 (BTV-8) during the breeding season of 2007. Initial reports of some cases of abortion and hydranencephaly in cattle in late 2007 were followed by quite exhaustive investigations in the field that showed that 10%-35% of healthy calves were infected with BTV-8 before birth. Transplacental transmission and fetal abnormalities in cattle and sheep had been previously observed only with strains of the virus that were propagated in embryonated eggs and/or cell culture, such as vaccine strains or vaccine candidate strains. After the unexpected emergence of BTV-8 in northern Europe in 2006, another arbovirus, namely SBV, emerged in Europe in 2011, causing a new economically important disease in ruminants. This new virus, belonging to the Orthobunyavirus genus in the Bunyaviridae family, was first detected in Germany, in The Netherlands and in Belgium in 2011 and soon after in the UK, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Spain, Denmark and Switzerland. Adult animals show no or only mild clinical symptoms, whereas infection during a critical period of gestation can lead to abortion, stillbirth or the birth of severely malformed offspring. The impact of the disease is usually greater in sheep than in cattle. The consequences of SBV infection in domestic ruminants and more precisely the secondary effects on off-springs will be described. PMID:25472045

  10. 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

  11. 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. PMID:23163395

  12. Low reproductive performance and high sow mortality in a pig breeding herd: a case study

    PubMed Central

    2008-01-01

    Sow performance is a key component of the productivity of commercial pig farms. Reproductive failure in the sow is common in pig production. For every 100 sows served, 89 should farrow. In absence of specific diseases such as porcine parvovirus, pseudo-rabies, swine fever, leptospirosis and brucellosis, management failures are the most important causes of loss. A syndrome associated with reproductive inefficiency, and post-service vaginal discharge and high sow mortality in a commercial pig farm is described. Pregnancy failures exceeded 20% and sow mortality exceeded 12% for two consecutive years. The abnormal post-service vaginal discharge rate was 1.7% during the period of investigation. An investigation involving an analysis of farm records, a review of breeding management practices, clinical examinations, laboratory analysis and examination of urogenital organs was conducted. The main contributing factors found were a sub-optimal gilt breeding management, an inadequate culling policy in combination with a sub-optimal culling rate and the presence of cystitis in more than 1% of the urogenital organs examined. The high sow mortality rate was related to an aged breeding herd. A control programme was recommended based on management changes involving oestrus detection, movement of gilts post-service, hygiene in the service area, boar exposure post-service and urinary acidification. This programme failed to increase the farrowing rate due to incomplete implementation of the recommendations made. The farrowing rate increased to 86.5% subsequent to a farm manager change in January 2005, which resulted in complete implementation of the control programme. PMID:21851706

  13. Low reproductive performance and high sow mortality in a pig breeding herd: a case study.

    PubMed

    Rueda López, Ma

    2008-01-01

    Sow performance is a key component of the productivity of commercial pig farms. Reproductive failure in the sow is common in pig production. For every 100 sows served, 89 should farrow. In absence of specific diseases such as porcine parvovirus, pseudo-rabies, swine fever, leptospirosis and brucellosis, management failures are the most important causes of loss. A syndrome associated with reproductive inefficiency, and post-service vaginal discharge and high sow mortality in a commercial pig farm is described. Pregnancy failures exceeded 20% and sow mortality exceeded 12% for two consecutive years. The abnormal post-service vaginal discharge rate was 1.7% during the period of investigation.An investigation involving an analysis of farm records, a review of breeding management practices, clinical examinations, laboratory analysis and examination of urogenital organs was conducted.The main contributing factors found were a sub-optimal gilt breeding management, an inadequate culling policy in combination with a sub-optimal culling rate and the presence of cystitis in more than 1% of the urogenital organs examined. The high sow mortality rate was related to an aged breeding herd.A control programme was recommended based on management changes involving oestrus detection, movement of gilts post-service, hygiene in the service area, boar exposure post-service and urinary acidification. This programme failed to increase the farrowing rate due to incomplete implementation of the recommendations made. The farrowing rate increased to 86.5% subsequent to a farm manager change in January 2005, which resulted in complete implementation of the control programme. PMID:21851706

  14. 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. PMID:23849403

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  17. Students' Interest in Surgery Affects Laparoscopic Practicing Performance

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-07-20

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. 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...

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2005-01-01

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

  4. Reproductive performance: at the cross-road of genetics, technologies and environment.

    PubMed

    Vaiman, Daniel

    2014-12-01

    Sexual reproduction depends on a negotiation between the sexes at the level of the cells (gametes), tissue (trophectoderm of the blastocyst and endometrium in the uterus) and organisms (to allow sexual intercourse). This review evaluates new questions linked to sexual reproduction in the biosphere in the context of the 21st century, in light of current knowledge in genetics and epigenetics. It presents the challenge of 'forcing reproductive efficiency' using ineffective gametes, or despite other fertility problems, through medically assisted reproduction and presents the reproductive challenge of high production farm animals, which are in a situation of chronically negative energy balance. It also analyses the situation created by the release of endocrine disruptors into the environment and discusses the possible transgenerational consequences of environmental modifications linked to these compounds. PMID:25472039

  5. Reproductive Performance Of Heifers Offered Ad Libitum Or Restricted Access To Feed For A 140-D Period After Weaning

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Reproductive performance was evaluated in heifers born in 4 years that were randomly assigned to either control (fed to appetite; n = 268) or restricted (fed at 80 % of that consumed by controls adjusted to a common BW basis; n = 263) feeding during a 140-d postweaning trial, beginning about 2 mo af...

  6. Reproductive Performance of Heifers Offered Ad Libitum Or Restricted Access To Feed For A 140-D Period After Weaning

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Reproductive performance was evaluated in heifers born in 4 years that were randomly assigned to either control (fed to appetite; n = 268) or restricted (fed at 80 % of that consumed by controls adjusted to a common BW basis; n = 263) feeding during a 140-d postweaning trial, beginning about 2 mo af...

  7. Reproductive performance of heifers offered ad libitum or restricted access to feed for a 140-d period after weaning

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Reproductive performance was evaluated in composite heifers born over a 4-yr period that were randomly assigned to control (fed to appetite; n = 268) or restricted fed at 80 % of that consumed by controls adjusted to a common BW basis; n = 263) feeding for a 140-d period beginning about 2 mo after w...

  8. 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...

  9. Amino acid supplementation of low-protein diets for swine: effects of gestation treatment on reproductive performance of gilts and sows.

    PubMed

    Corley, J R; Esch, M W; Bahr, J M; Easter, R A

    1983-01-01

    The effect of lysine and tryptophan addition to an all-corn diet fortified with vitamins and minerals fed to gestating gilts and sows was studied in a series of five trials. The experiments were designed to establish the effect of the addition of the two amino acids on: 1) N balance, 2) reproductive performance over two consecutive parities and 3) the immune response of the gestating gilt and transfer of immune proteins to the nursing pig. Nitrogen retention by gravid gilts fed an all-corn gestation diet increased (P less than .05) in response to lysine addition, but was not affected by subsequent addition of tryptophan. Daily N retention of gravid gilts fed the corn or corn and amino acid-supplemented diets was lower than that of gilts fed a 12% crude protein (CP) diet. Reproductive performance for two parities, as evaluated by gestation and lactation weight gain and, number and weight of pigs at birth and at 28 d was similar among treatments. Evaluation of the amino acid status of gestating gilts by measurement of the development of specific antibody response to sheep red blood cells and bovine serum albumin showed a trend for improved antibody development in gilts fed corn diets supplemented with both lysine and tryptophan and in the passive immunity of their offspring. Total whey protein and globulin content of 0-h colostrum was not affected by dietary treatment. The lack of a depression in reproductive performance of gilts fed an all-corn diet could be because of compensatory N retention. During the 4 to 5 d before parturition, all gilts were fed the 12% protein control diet. Gilts that were fed a corn diet from d 1 to 108 of gestation retained 40% more (P less than .01) N from d 109 to 114 of gestation than gilts that had been fed the 12% protein diet throughout gestation. PMID:6402477

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

    PubMed

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

    1995-11-01

    The serial pattern found for conjunction visual-search tasks has been attributed to covert attentional shifts, even though the possible contributions of target location have not been considered. To investigate the effect of target location on orientation x color conjunction searches, the target's duration and its position in the display were manipulated. The display was present either until observers responded (Experiment 1), for 104 msec (Experiment 2), or for 62 msec (Experiment 3). Target eccentricity critically affected performance: A pronounced eccentricity effect was very similar for all three experiments; as eccentricity increased, reaction times and errors increased gradually. Furthermore, the set-size effect became more pronounced as target eccentricity increased, and the extent of the eccentricity effect increased for larger set sizes. In addition, according to stepwise regressions, target eccentricity as well as its interaction with set size were good predictors of performance. We suggest that these findings could be explained by spatial-resolution and lateral-inhibition factors. The serial self-terminating hypothesis for orientation x color conjunction searches was evaluated and rejected. We compared the eccentricity effect as well as the extent of the orientation asymmetry in these three conjunction experiments with those found in feature experiments (Carrasco & Katz, 1992). The roles of eye movements, spatial resolution, and covert attention in the eccentricity effect, as well as their implications, are discussed. PMID:8539099

  11. Distraction affects the performance of obstacle avoidance during walking.

    PubMed

    Weerdesteyn, V; Schillings, A M; van Galen, G P; Duysens, J

    2003-03-01

    In this study, dual-task interference in obstacle-avoidance tasks during human walking was examined. Ten healthy young adults participated in the experiment. While they were walking on a treadmill, an obstacle suddenly fell on the treadmill in front of their left leg during either midswing, early stance, or late stance of the ipsilateral leg. Participants were instructed to avoid the obstacle, both as a single task and while they were concurrently performing a cognitive secondary task (dual task). Rates of failure, avoidance strategy, and a number of kinematic parameters were studied under both task conditions. When only a short response time was available, rates of failure on the avoidance task were larger during the dual task than during the single task. Smaller crossing swing velocities were found during the dual task as compared with those observed in the single task. The difference in crossing swing velocities was attributable to increased stiffness of the crossing swing limb. The results of the present study indicated that divided attention affects young and healthy individuals' obstacle-avoidance performance during walking. PMID:12724099

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

    PubMed

    Cosetti, Maura K; Waltzman, Susan B

    2012-02-01

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

  13. 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. PMID:19416490

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

    The aim of this experiment was to investigate the effect of n-3 fatty acid (FA) supplemented diets on breeder performance, productivity and egg quality. Breeders (n = 480) were fed the supplemented diet from 18 weeks onwards; the inclusion level of n-3 FA was increased from 1.5% to 3.0% from 34 weeks of age onwards until 48 weeks of age. Ross-308 broiler breeders (n = 480) were fed one of four different diets: a basal diet rich in n-6 FA (control diet) or one of three diets rich in n-3 FA. For the n-3 FA diets, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, 20:5 n-3) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6 n-3) were fed to the broiler breeders at different ratios formulated to obtain EPA/DHA ratios of 1/1, 1/2 or 2/1. Differences in performance, reproduction and egg quality parameters due to n-3 supplementation were noted more for the 1.5% followed by the 3.0% fed broilers than their 1.5% supplemented counterparts. Egg weight (p < 0.001) and egg mass (p = 0.003) were significantly lower and feed conversion (p = 0.008) significantly higher for the n-3 FA (at 3.0% inclusion level) fed broilers compared to the control group. For the EPA- and DHA-fed breeders, a higher proportional abdominal fat percentage (p = 0.025) and proportional albumen weight (%) (p = 0.041) were found respectively. Dietary treatments did not affect reproduction. It can be concluded that the results of the present experiment indicate no significant differences between treatments at 1.5% inclusion levels. However, increasing this level to 3.0% is not recommended due to the rather negative effects on the measured parameters. It should be further investigated whether these adverse effects were obtained due to (i) the higher supplementation level, (ii) combining a supplementation level of 1.5% with 3% or (iii) the duration of supplementation. PMID:26854179

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

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

  17. Effect of inhibin gene immunization on antibody production and reproductive performance in Partridge Shank hens.

    PubMed

    Mao, Dagan; Bai, Wujiao; Hui, Fengming; Yang, Liguo; Cao, Shaoxian; Xu, Yinxue

    2016-04-01

    To investigate the effect of inhibin gene immunization on antibody production and reproductive performance in broiler breeder females, Partridge Shank hens aged 380 days were immunized with inhibin recombinant plasmid pcISI. One hundred and twenty hens were randomly assigned to four groups and treated intramuscularly with 25, 75, or 125 μg/300-μL inhibin recombinant plasmid pcISI (T1∼T3) or 300-μL saline as control (C), respectively. Booster immunization was given with the same dosage 20 days later. Blood and egg samples were collected to detect the antibody against inhibin by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and to evaluate egg performance. The ovaries were collected to classify the follicles and detect the FSH receptor (FSHR) messenger RNA (mRNA) expression by reverse transcription-PCR. The results showed that immunization against pcISI could elicit antibody against inhibin in both plasma and egg yolk compared with the control (P < 0.05), whereas booster immunization did not increase the antibody level in plasma. Vaccination promoted egg lay during the first 30 days after primary vaccination (P < 0.05) with no effect on egg quality and hatching rate. Immunization increased the amounts of dominant, small yellow and large white follicles in the ovary (P < 0.05). Reverse transcription-PCR results showed that immunization increased the FSHR mRNA in the large white follicles, whereas decreased the FSHR mRNA in the small yellow follicles (P < 0.05). In conclusion, inhibin vaccine pcISI can stimulate the production of antibody against inhibin as well as the follicle development and egg laying performance in Partridge Shank hens, which provides a good foundation for the application of inhibin DNA vaccine in avian production. PMID:26739531

  18. The Swedish breeding cat: population description, infectious diseases and reproductive performance evaluated by a questionnaire.

    PubMed

    Ström Holst, Bodil; Frössling, Jenny

    2009-10-01

    The questionnaire based study gives a combined description of management, infectious diseases and reproductive performance in breeding catteries during 1 year. The mean number of cats per cattery was 6.1, and 25% of the breeders let some of their cats have free access to outdoors. Breeders reported that infection with feline panleukopenia virus, feline immunodeficiency virus or feline leukaemia virus was uncommon, but 8% of the breeders had sold or had themselves owned a cat that died of feline infectious peritonitis. Presence of conjunctivitis was reported by 33.3% of the breeders. Mean litter size was 3.7+/-1.5, with 9.7% stillbirths and 8.3% kitten mortality week 1-12. The percentage of stillborn kittens increased with the age of the queen and litter size, and also differed among breeds. Kitten mortality differed among breeds, but did not increase with age of the queen. Seven percent of the litters were delivered by caesarean section, significantly more during winter and positively associated with presence of stillborn kittens. PMID:19254857

  19. 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

  20. Differential survival and reproductive performance across three mitochondrial lineages in Melita plumulosa following naphthalene exposure.

    PubMed

    Chung, Pann Pann; Ballard, J William O; Hyne, Ross V

    2013-10-01

    Populations subject to anthropogenic contaminants often display altered patterns of genetic variation, including decreased genetic variability. Selective pressures of contaminant exposure are also reflected in differential tolerance between genotypes. An industrial chemical spill in a major eastern Australian waterway in July 2006 resulted in altered patterns of genetic variability in a nearby population of the amphipod, Melita plumulosa for up to one year post-spill, despite the site being declared clean after 48 h. Here, we investigate the toxicant response of three mitochondrial lines naturally occurring at the impacted site by comparing survivorship and life-history trait variables following naphthalene exposure. Overall, M. plumulosa demonstrated differential survivorship between mitochondrial lines under exposure to high concentrations of naphthalene. In addition, we identified differential fecundity and frequencies of gravidity in female amphipods between the mitochondrial haplotypes examined. These findings suggest that the patterns of genetic variability previously identified may be linked with differential tolerance and/or reproductive performance between mitochondrial lineages. PMID:23800590

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

  2. Oligosaccharides Affect Performance and Gut Development of Broiler Chickens

    PubMed Central

    Ao, Z.; Choct, M.

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. 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

  5. Factors affecting reproductive success and life history parameters of Bracon hebetor Say (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) from three host-associated populations

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Augmentative releases of native natural enemies are viable strategies for suppression of crop pests. Appropriate mass rearing and release strategies rely on a thorough understanding of the reproductive biology of the natural enemy. In the present study, we evaluated the effects of parasitoid source ...

  6. Dehydration-stress affects vegetative reproduction and transcriptome profiles in underground adventitious buds of leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Leafy spurge is an invasive perennial weed that infests mainly range, recreational and right-of-way lands in the great plains of the US and Canada. Although spread occurs by both seeds and roots, the perennial nature of leafy spurge is attributed to vegetative reproduction from an abundance of under...

  7. Interaction Between Optical and Neural Factors Affecting Visual Performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sabesan, Ramkumar

    The human eye suffers from higher order aberrations, in addition to conventional spherical and cylindrical refractive errors. Advanced optical techniques have been devised to correct them in order to achieve superior retinal image quality. However, vision is not completely defined by the optical quality of the eye, but also depends on how the image quality is processed by the neural system. In particular, how neural processing is affected by the past visual experience with optical blur has remained largely unexplored. The objective of this thesis was to investigate the interaction of optical and neural factors affecting vision. To achieve this goal, pathological keratoconic eyes were chosen as the ideal population to study since they are severely afflicted by degraded retinal image quality due to higher order aberrations and their neural system has been exposed to that habitually for a long period of time. Firstly, we have developed advanced customized ophthalmic lenses for correcting the higher order aberration of keratoconic eyes and demonstrated their feasibility in providing substantial visual benefit over conventional corrective methodologies. However, the achieved visual benefit was significantly smaller than that predicted optically. To better understand this, the second goal of the thesis was set to investigate if the neural system optimizes its underlying mechanisms in response to the long-term visual experience with large magnitudes of higher order aberrations. This study was facilitated by a large-stroke adaptive optics vision simulator, enabling us to access the neural factors in the visual system by manipulating the limit imposed by the optics of the eye. Using this instrument, we have performed a series of experiments to establish that habitual exposure to optical blur leads to an alteration in neural processing thereby alleviating the visual impact of degraded retinal image quality, referred to as neural compensation. However, it was also found that

  8. Gonadotropin-induced puberty does not impair reproductive performance of gilts over three parities.

    PubMed

    Eckhardt, O H O; Martins, S M M K; Pinese, M E; Horta, F C; Rosseto, A C; Torres, M A; De Andrade, A F C; Muro, B B D; Marino, C T; Rodrigues, P H M; Moretti, A S

    2014-12-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the reproductive performance of three parities of gilts treated or not treated with gonadotropin to induce puberty. Sixty gilts received 600 IU of equine chorionic gonadotropin (eCG) followed by 2.5 mg of porcine luteinizing hormone (LH) 72 h later. Fifty-nine other gilts were exposed only to a mature boar for 15 min twice daily. Artificial insemination (AI) was performed at 0, 12 and 24 h after the detection of oestrus, and gestation was confirmed by ultrasound after 35 days. Sows were inseminated at the first post-weaning oestrus. The total numbers of piglets born, piglets born alive, stillborn, mummified foetuses, as well as pregnancy and farrowing rates were evaluated for each of the three parities. Culling rates, farrowing intervals and weaning-to-oestrous intervals (WEI) were also analysed. Mean age at puberty and oestrous manifestation were not significantly different between treatments (p = 0.0639; 179.20 ± 17.52 compared with 173.96 ± 16.94, 91.66% compared with 94.92%) across the experimental period. However, females that underwent puberty induction showed modest increases both in the number of total pigs born and in the number of piglets born alive. In conclusion, puberty induction through exogenous gonadotropin administration in field conditions did not induce a more concentrated first oestrous manifestation, but trended to a modest increase in the number of pigs born alive in the first parity and a reduced culling rate during the first gestation. PMID:25251704

  9. 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.

  10. Reproductive performance of high growth rate gilts inseminated at an early age.

    PubMed

    Kummer, Rafael; Bernardi, Mari Lourdes; Wentz, Ivo; Bortolozzo, Fernando Pandolfo

    2006-11-01

    The aim of this work was to determine if gilts, which have a high growth rate (GR) could be mated earlier without reducing the reproductive performance or increasing the culling rate up to the third parity. Gilts of Camborough 22 (C22, n=568) breeding were mated and allocated into three groups according to weight and age on the insemination day. G1 (n=164)-gilts with a GR>or=700 g/d and inseminated at <210 d. G2 (n=165)-gilts with a GR>or=700 g/d and inseminated at >or=210 d. G3 (n=239)-gilts with a GR<700 g/d and inseminated at >or=210 d. All females were fed ad libitum from 150 d on and were inseminated at their second estrus or later. The minimum weight at mating was 127 kg. Three parities were studied, with farrowing rate, litter size and culling rate being compared. At the first parity, G2 gilts produced, on average, one more piglet than the other groups (P<0.05). However, when analyzing three parities, there were no differences in total born (11.6 x 12.3 x 11.7), farrowing rate (87.1% x 88.7% x 89.8%) and culling rate (30.2% x 25.3% x 28.2%) among G1-G3 groups, respectively (P>0.05). In conclusion, gilts, which had a minimum weight of 127 kg can be inseminated at their second or greater estrus, between 185 and <210 d of age, without impairing their productive performance over three parities. PMID:16431043

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

  14. 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. PMID:26811293

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-01

    Exposure to excess glucocorticoids during embryonic development affects offspring reproduction and suppresses the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis in mammals. However, whether corticosterone (CORT) causes similar effects in the chicken remains unclear. In the present study, we injected low (0.2μg) and high (1μg) doses of CORT in ovo before incubation and detected changes in aggressive behavior, tonic immobility (TI), reproductive performances, and HPG axis gene expression in posthatch chickens of different ages. High dose of CORT suppressed growth rate from 3 weeks of age, increased the frequency of aggressive behaviors, which was associated with elevated plasma CORT concentration. High-dose CORT significantly (P<0.05) down-regulated arginine vasotocin (AVT), corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 2 (11β-HSD2) and gonadotropin-releasing hormone 1 (GnRH1), while significantly (P<0.05) up-regulated gonadotropin-inhibitory hormone (GnIH) and 11β-HSD1 mRNA expression in the hypothalamus. Glucocorticoid receptor (GR) and 20-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (20-HSD) mRNA levels were not affected by CORT treatment. High-dose CORT significantly (P<0.05) reduced egg production and egg quality, which was associated with decreased ovary and oviduct weight. Moreover, CORT exposure significantly decreased (P<0.05) luteinizing hormone (LH) receptor and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) receptor mRNA abundance in theca cells of ovarian follicles 1 (F1), F2 and F3. In addition, yolk CORT concentration was significantly higher in eggs laid by hens prenatally exposed to high-dose CORT. Our findings suggest that in ovo administration of CORT programs the aggressive behaviors and reproductive functions in the chicken through alterations of HPG axis. PMID:24630043

  16. 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. PMID:24706974

  17. The impact of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus genetic heterogeneity on molecular assay performances.

    PubMed

    Drigo, Michele; Franzo, Giovanni; Gigli, Alessandra; Martini, Marco; Mondin, Alessandra; Gracieux, Patrice; Ceglie, Letizia

    2014-06-01

    The remarkable economic losses due to porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) have stated the control and eradication of this disease is one of the main issues of swine modern farming. The limited cross-protection of vaccine-induced immunity compelled the adoption of strict biosecurity measures that must be associated with the prompt diagnosis of infection. In our study four RT-PCR methods, a RT-PCR, a SYBR Green I and two hydrolysis probes, were compared to evaluate their respective benefits and disadvantages. One hundred and seventy samples originating from 50 farms located in northern Italy were tested with all assays and performances were evaluated using a Bayesian approach to deal with the absence of a Gold Standard. Sequencing the complete of ORF7, the segment targeted by all methods, allowed a gain of insight into the genetic variability of Italian strains and to investigate the role of mismatches on assay sensitivity. Our study evidenced that methods based only on primers-genome interaction better tolerate PRRSV genetic variability, demonstrating a greater sensitivity (Se): SYBR Green I (Se=98.4%) and RT-PCR (Se=99%) outperform both in-house (Se=71.4%) and commercial (Se=91.7%) probe-based methods. On the other hand, probe-based assays allowed an easier genotyping of PRRSV strains and implementation of the internal control system (IC). Phylogenetic analysis allowed demonstration of a presence of two clades circulating continuously in northern Italy since 1996, when their probable ancestors were collected. PMID:24642238

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

    Zajitschek, Felix; Zajitschek, Susanne R K; Canton, Cindy; Georgolopoulos, Grigorios; Friberg, Urban; Maklakov, Alexei A

    2016-02-24

    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

  20. 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...

  1. 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, ...

  2. 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 ...

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  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. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

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

  8. Factors Affecting the Performance of Public Schools in Lebanon

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mattar, Dorine M.

    2012-01-01

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

  9. 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…

  10. 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)

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-01

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

  12. Impact of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus infection at different periods of pregnancy on subsequent reproductive performance in gilts and sows.

    PubMed

    Olanratmanee, Em-On; Kunavongkrit, Annop; Tummaruk, Padet

    2010-10-01

    Reproductive performance of gilts and sows in a swine commercial herd following an outbreak of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) were investigated. A PEDV outbreak was observed in March 2008 in a swine herd in Thailand. The disease was diagnosed by clinical symptoms, gross and histopathology and viral detection using reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction assay. The intestines of the infected piglets were collected, minced and fed to all of the gilts and sows within 2 weeks after the onset of the PEDV outbreak. Reproductive data were collected during a period from January 2007 to July 2008 and were retrospectively evaluated. The farrowing rate (FR), return rate (RR), abortion rate (AR), number of total piglets born per litter (TB), number of piglets born alive per litter (BA), percentage of stillbirth piglets per litter (SB), percentage of mummified fetus per litter (MM) and piglet's birth weight (BW), before and after the PEDV outbreak were compared. It was found that the impact of PEDV infection on the reproductive performance of gilts and sows depended on the period of pregnancy when the females were exposed to the pathogen, and parity number. The pregnant females infected with PEDV during the first 30 days of pregnancy had a 12.6 percentage point decrease of FR (91.1% vs. 78.5%, P=0.003), a 5.7 percentage point increase of RR (3.5% vs. 9.2%, P=0.01), a 1.3 percentage point increase of AR (2.1% vs. 3.4%, P=0.01) and a 2.0 percentage point increase of MM (3.5% vs. 5.6%, P<0.001). SB increased in the pregnant females that were infected with PEDV during 91-120 days of pregnancy (1.8 percentage points, 4.5% vs. 6.2%, P=0.01). The impacts of PEDV infection on subsequent reproductive performance were more severe in the pregnant gilts than the pregnant sows. PEDV infection during the first 30 days of pregnancy resulted in a decrease of TB by 1.4 (11.7 vs. 10.3 piglets/litter, P<0.001) and a decrease of BA by 2.2 (10.7 vs. 8.5 piglets/litter, P<0.001) in

  13. Neonatal exposure to 17α-ethynyl estradiol affects ovarian gene expression and disrupts reproductive cycles in female rats.

    PubMed

    Nozawa, Kaori; Nagaoka, Kentaro; Zhang, Haolin; Usuda, Kento; Okazaki, Sachiko; Taya, Kazuyoshi; Yoshida, Midori; Watanabe, Gen

    2014-07-01

    Neonatal exposure to synthetic estrogen causes delayed reproductive dysfunction in female rats. Exposure to 17α-ethynyl estradiol (EE, low: 20 and high: 2000 μg/kg) induced an abnormal estrous cycle during PND171-190 in low-dose and PND126-145 in high-dose group. At PND90 within normal estrous cycle, high-dose animals showed lack of LH surge and low of ovarian hormones in serum level. Gene expression analysis demonstrated that level of mRNA encoding luteinizing hormone/chorionic gonadotropin receptor (LHCGR) was higher in EE-treated ovaries than in control ovaries, and LHCGR protein colocalized with apoptosis-related proteins in the interstitial area of the ovary. At PND1, ovarian LHCGR mRNA levels were higher in EE-treated rats than in control rats, and direct induction of LHCGR expression by EE was observed in vitro. Our results indicate that neonatal exposure to EE induces irregular LHCGR expression in the immature ovary, which may influence the occurrence of delayed reproductive dysfunction in adult animals. PMID:24632129

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

    PubMed

    Ackland, Timothy; Elliott, Bruce; Richards, Joanne

    2003-07-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Wintering performance and how it affects carcass quality

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Environmental variation undoubtedly can have the most significant impact on livestock performance in forage based production systems. Fluctuations in temperature and precipitation influence herbage production and quality, maintenance requirements and intake. Producers of “forage system” products h...

  17. 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. PMID:998687

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Yurk Quadlin, Natasha

    2015-07-01

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

  2. Association of herd BRSV and BHV-1 seroprevalence with respiratory disease and reproductive performance in adult dairy cattle

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The aim of this study was to detect the associations between bovine herpesvirus 1 (BHV-1) status of a herd and respiratory disease (BRD) occurrence and reproductive performance in pregnant heifers and cows. The association between management-related factors and higher BRD occurrence was also estimated. Methods Serum samples, collected from cows and youngstock from 103 dairy cattle herds, were analyzed for antibodies against BHV-1, bovine respiratory syncytial virus (BRSV), bovine viral diarrhoea virus (BVDV), and Mycoplasma bovis. A questionnaire was used to collect data concerning herd management factors and reproductive performance, as well as the occurrence of clinical signs of respiratory disease in the last two years, as evaluated by the veterinarian or farm manager. Multiple correspondence analysis (MCA) and logistic regression analysis were performed to identify and quantify the risk factors. Results A low to moderate prevalence (1-49%) of BRSV antibodies among youngstock was associated with a high occurrence of respiratory disease (OR = 6.2, p = 0.010) in cows and in-calf heifers. Employees of the farm may participate in the spread of such disease. Larger herd size, loose-housing of cows, housing youngstock separately from cows until pregnancy, and purchasing new animals were factors possibly related to a high occurrence of respiratory disease symptoms in pregnant heifers and cows. The highest risk of abortions (> 1.3%) and increased insemination index (number of inseminations per pregnancy) (> 1.9) occurred in herds with a moderate prevalence of BHV-1 antibodies (1-49%) in cows. Conclusions BHV-1 was not associated with acute respiratory disease in adult dairy cattle, however was significantly related to reproductive performance. BRSV possesses the main role in respiratory disease complex in adult dairy cattle. PMID:22289165

  3. Targeted disruption of the mouse prosaposin gene affects the development of the prostate gland and other male reproductive organs.

    PubMed

    Morales, C R; Zhao, Q; El-Alfy, M; Suzuki, K

    2000-01-01

    The prosaposin gene encodes a 65-70 kilodalton (kd) protein, which is secreted or targeted to lysosomes. In lysosomes, prosaposin is the precursor of 4 activator proteins, designated saposins A, B, C, and D, which promote by acidic hydrolases, the degradation of glycosphingolipids with short oligosaccharide chains. Mutations of the prosaposin gene have been linked to several lysosomal storage disorders. An animal model was recently developed by creating a null allele in embryonic stem cells through gene targeting in order to investigate the phenotypic diversity of prosaposin mutations, the involvement of this protein in lysosomal storage diseases, and to develop potential therapeutic approaches. Mutant homozygous mice die at 35-40 days of age and neurological disorders contribute to their early death. Secreted prosaposin is present in milk and in cerebrospinal and seminal fluids. In the nervous system, prosaposin exhibits a trophic activity. Examination of reproduc-tive organs in homozygous mutant males shows several abnormalities such as a decrease in testis size with reduced spermiogenesis, and an involution of the prostate, seminal vesicle, and epididymis, although levels of testosterone in blood remain normal. In the prostate of homozygous mutants, only basal cells appear to be present, whereas secretory cells are absent. The epithelia in efferent ducts is formed by ciliated cells, whereas heterozygotes exhibit a majority of nonciliated cells. Our data indicate that prosaposin is involved in the development and maintenance of male reproductive organs. In prostatic epithelium, targeted disruption of the prosaposin gene appears to inactivate the mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway and to interfere with differentiation of secretory cells. PMID:11105903

  4. 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. PMID:20035035

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  6. 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

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. Early Teacher Expectations Disproportionately Affect Poor Children's High School Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sorhagen, Nicole S.

    2013-01-01

    This research used prospective longitudinal data to examine the associations between first-grade teachers' over- and underestimation of their students' math abilities, basic reading abilities, and language skills and the students' high school academic performance, with special attention to the subject area and moderating effects of student…

  12. Social Process Variables Affecting Reading Performance in Delayed Readers.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lorton, Mary; Kukuk, Cristopher

    A study was conducted to determine the relationship between fourteen social process variables (relating to perinatal events, early language patterns, parental/home environment, and child behavior patterns) and the reading performance of retarded readers. The subjects were 180 children, aged seven through fifteen, randomly selected from among…

  13. Reproductive hacking

    PubMed Central

    Dustin Rubinstein, C; Wolfner, Mariana F

    2014-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. 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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-07-01

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

  2. 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

    2002-08-01

    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

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

    PubMed 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2002-05-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. Factors affecting post-flight behavior in primary reproductives of the Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae).

    PubMed

    Park, Yong Ihl; Bland, John M; Raina, Ashok K

    2004-06-01

    After swarming, reproductive dealates of the Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus, run together in tandem. The tandem running is an age-related behavioral activity in C. formosanus. This behavior was not evoked in pre-flight alates less than 6-d-old that were artificially dealated. Female age was more important than male age for evoking tandem behavior. Females and males, older than 35 days, did not exhibit this behavior. Mating status was not important for female and male dealates to form the tandem pairs. The titers of the major tergal gland component, trilinolein, did not decline significantly and remained high, not only in virgin females, but also in mated females for a period of time after swarming. On the other hand, increasing amounts of the female-specific compound trilinolein were detected in male dealates 7, 14, and 42 days after pairing. This suggests that trilinolein in the females might be transferred to the males as a nuptial gift in C. formosanus. In addition, females have structurally different lateral setae that may constitute a morphological factor involved in the tandem behavior in this species. Covering the setae with dimethyl sulfoxide prevented the tandem behavior. PMID:15183283

  9. 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., (Edited By)

    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.

  10. Solanum tuberosum and Lycopersicon esculentum Leaf Extracts and Single Metabolites Affect Development and Reproduction of Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    Ventrella, Emanuela; Adamski, Zbigniew; Chudzińska, Ewa; Miądowicz-Kobielska, Mariola; Marciniak, Paweł; Büyükgüzel, Ender; Büyükgüzel, Kemal; Erdem, Meltem; Falabella, Patrizia; Scrano, Laura; Bufo, Sabino Aurelio

    2016-01-01

    Glycoalkaloids are secondary metabolites commonly found in Solanaceae plants. They have anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and insecticidal activities. In the present study we examine the effects of potato and tomato leaf extracts and their main components, the glycoalkaloids α-solanine, α-chaconine and α-tomatine, on development and reproduction of Drosophila melanogaster wild-type flies at different stages. Parental generation was exposed to five different concentrations of tested substances. The effects were examined also on the next, non-exposed generation. In the first (exposed) generation, addition of each extract reduced the number of organisms reaching the pupal and imaginal stages. Parent insects exposed to extracts and metabolites individually applied showed faster development. However, the effect was weaker in case of single metabolites than in case of exposure to extracts. An increase of developmental rate was also observed in the next, non-exposed generation. The imagoes of both generations exposed to extracts and pure metabolites showed some anomalies in body size and malformations, such as deformed wings and abdomens, smaller black abdominal zone. Our results further support the current idea that Solanaceae can be an impressive source of molecules, which could efficaciously be used in crop protection, as natural extract or in formulation of single pure metabolites in sustainable agriculture. PMID:27213896

  11. 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

  12. Consequences of prenatal androgen exposure for the reproductive performance of female pheasants (Phasianus colchicus)

    PubMed Central

    Rubolini, Diego; Martinelli, Roberta; von Engelhardt, Nikolaus; Romano, Maria; Groothuis, Ton G.G; Fasola, Mauro; Saino, Nicola

    2006-01-01

    Maternal hormones in vertebrate eggs can mediate important forms of maternal effects. However, the function of hormone transfer to the eggs is still debated, especially because long-term fitness consequences have been little studied. We investigated the effect of prenatal exposure to physiologically elevated yolk testosterone (T) levels on reproduction of female pheasants (Phasianus colchicus) in captivity. We found that females hatching from T-injected eggs (T-females) had a lower egg-laying rate than controls, and their eggs were more frequently infertile than those laid by control females. There were no effects of prenatal maternal treatment on egg size and yolk T concentration, but eggs carrying a female embryo laid by T-females had smaller yolks than eggs with a male embryo, while there was no sex difference in yolk size among the eggs laid by control females. Progeny sex ratio was unaffected by maternal treatment. These findings suggest that the transfer of high androgen levels to the eggs by the mother is constrained by complex trade-offs between direct effects on her daughters’ reproduction and by trans-generational differential consequences on male and female descendants. PMID:17018428

  13. Consequences of prenatal androgen exposure for the reproductive performance of female pheasants (Phasianus colchicus).

    PubMed

    Rubolini, Diego; Martinelli, Roberta; von Engelhardt, Nikolaus; Romano, Maria; Groothuis, Ton G G; Fasola, Mauro; Saino, Nicola

    2007-01-01

    Maternal hormones in vertebrate eggs can mediate important forms of maternal effects. However, the function of hormone transfer to the eggs is still debated, especially because long-term fitness consequences have been little studied. We investigated the effect of prenatal exposure to physiologically elevated yolk testosterone (T) levels on reproduction of female pheasants (Phasianus colchicus) in captivity. We found that females hatching from T-injected eggs (T-females) had a lower egg-laying rate than controls, and their eggs were more frequently infertile than those laid by control females. There were no effects of prenatal maternal treatment on egg size and yolk T concentration, but eggs carrying a female embryo laid by T-females had smaller yolks than eggs with a male embryo, while there was no sex difference in yolk size among the eggs laid by control females. Progeny sex ratio was unaffected by maternal treatment. These findings suggest that the transfer of high androgen levels to the eggs by the mother is constrained by complex trade-offs between direct effects on her daughters' reproduction and by trans-generational differential consequences on male and female descendants. PMID:17018428

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-15

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

  15. 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. PMID:25996438

  16. 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. PMID:27345572

  17. 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.

  18. Conditional deletion of the relaxin receptor gene in cells of smooth muscle lineage affects lower reproductive tract in pregnant mice.

    PubMed

    Kaftanovskaya, Elena M; Huang, Zaohua; Lopez, Carolina; Conrad, Kirk; Agoulnik, Alexander I

    2015-04-01

    Relaxin hormone secreted into the circulation during pregnancy was discovered through its effects on pubic symphysis relaxation and parturition. Genetic inactivation of the relaxin gene or its cognate relaxin family peptide receptor 1 (RXFP1) in mice caused failure of parturition and mammary nipple enlargement, as well as increased collagen fiber density in the cervix and vagina. However, the relaxin effect on discrete cells and tissues has yet to be determined. Using transgenic mice with a knockin LacZ reporter in the Rxfp1 allele, we showed strong expression of this gene in vaginal and cervical stromal cells, as well as pubic ligament cells. We produced a floxed Rxfp1 allele that was used in combination with the Tagln-cre transgene to generate mice with a smooth muscle-specific gene knockout. In pregnant females, the ROSA26 reporter activated by Tagln-cre was detected in smooth muscle cells of the cervix, vagina, uterine artery, and in cells of the pubic symphysis. In late pregnant females with conditional gene ablation, the length of pubic symphysis was significantly reduced compared with wild-type or heterozygous Rxfp1(+/-) females. Denser collagen content was revealed by Masson trichrome staining in reproductive tract organs, uterine artery, and pubic symphysis. The cervical and vaginal epithelium was less developed than in heterozygous or wild-type females, although nipple size was normal and the dams were able to nurse their pups. In summary, our data indicate that relaxin/RXFP1 signaling in smooth muscle cells is important for normal collagen turnover and relaxation of the pubic symphysis during pregnancy. PMID:25715795

  19. Influence of the male effect on the reproductive performance of female Payoya goats implanted with melatonin at the winter solstice.

    PubMed

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

    2013-03-01

    This research addressed the effect on reproductive performance of melatonin implants inserted at the winter solstice in Payoya goats. Female goats (n = 100) were divided into two experimental groups, one subjected and the other not subjected to the male effect. Half of each group was implanted with melatonin at the winter solstice; the remaining animals received no such hormone treatment. Oestrous activity, as detected by visual observation, was recorded daily using melatonin implanted bucks. Trans-rectal ultrasonography was used to estimate of time of ovulation. Corpus luteum activity was confirmed by plasma concentrations of progesterone greater than 0.5 ng/mL. Fecundity, fertility, prolificacy and productivity were calculated. Neither the male effect nor melatonin treatment alone influenced reproductive performance. The greater fecundity and fertility: 91.7% (P < 0.05) was obtained with melatonin implantation plus the male effect. Greater productivity occurred when melatonin was used (1.02 ± 0.10 compared with 0.76 ± 0.66 mean number of kids per female for melatonin and non-melatonin treated groups, respectively, P < 0.05). The present results show that the fertility of female Payoya goats implanted with melatonin at the winter solstice can be improved by subjecting females to the male effect. Moreover, productivity of does is enhanced when melatonin implants are used in comparison to productivity of non-treated females. PMID:23428292

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Reproductive performance of sows with and without PRRS modified live virus vaccination in PRRS-virus-seropositive herds.

    PubMed

    Olanratmanee, Em-On; Thanawongnuwech, Roongroje; Kunavongkrit, Annop; Tummaruk, Padet

    2014-08-01

    Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) virus infection causes reproductive failures including return to oestrus, abortion, mummified foetuses, stillborn, and weak-born piglets. The objective of the present study was to investigate reproductive performance of sows in PRRS-virus-seropositive herds with and without PRRS modified live virus (PRRS-MLV) vaccination. The study was conducted in 20 PRRS-virus-seropositive commercial swine herds in Thailand. The data included 211,009 mating and 180,935 farrowing records. The analysed variables included farrowing rate (FR), return rate (RR), abortion rate (AR), total number of piglets born per litter (TB), number of piglets born alive per litter (BA), percentage of stillborn (SB), percentage of mummified foetuses (MM), and number of piglets weaned per litter (WP). The results revealed that FR in non-vaccinated sows was lower than that in vaccinated sows (85.0 vs 89.7%, respectively, P < 0.001), and RR in non-vaccinated sows was higher than that in vaccinated sows (6.9 vs 3.7%, respectively, P < 0.001). AR did not differ significantly between non-vaccinated and vaccinated sows (1.6 and 2.0%, respectively, P = 0.964). TB (11.2 and 11.5, respectively, P < 0.001), BA (10.0 and 10.6, respectively, P < 0.001), and WP (9.2 and 9.6, respectively, P < 0.001) in non-vaccinated sows were lower than those in vaccinated sows. SB (6.9 and 5.1%, respectively, P < 0.001) and MM (3.2 and 2.2%, respectively, P < 0.001) in PRRS-MLV-vaccinated sows were higher than those in non-vaccinated sows. The improvement in sow reproductive performance in PRRS-MLV-vaccinated herds was most pronounced in gilts and primiparous sows. PMID:24817371

  3. 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…

  4. Aminopeptidase activity in seminal plasma and effect of dilution rate on rabbit reproductive performance after insemination with an extender supplemented with buserelin acetate.

    PubMed

    Viudes-de-Castro, M P; Mocé, E; Lavara, R; Marco-Jiménez, F; Vicente, J S

    2014-06-01

    Ovulation induction in artificially inseminated rabbits by adding GnRH synthetic analogues in the seminal doses is a welfare-orientated method to induce ovulation in rabbits and could have some advantages in field practice. This study was conducted to determine the effect of male genotype on the aminopeptidase activity in rabbit seminal plasma and the effects of dilution rate of semen on availability and reproductive performance when buserelin acetate is added to the seminal dose. To study the aminopeptidase activity, 12 mature bucks belonging to a paternal line and 12 from a maternal line were used. The bucks from the paternal line were used to study the effect of dilution rate on the availability of buserelin acetate after 2 hours of dilution and on the reproductive performance of the doses after artificial insemination of 389 commercial crossbreed does. Aminopeptidase activity in seminal plasma is dependent on the male genotype. The paternal line resulted 27% more aminopeptidase activity than the maternal line (P < 0.05). On the other hand, semen diluted 1:20 exhibited a marked increase in the availability of buserelin acetate and the fertility in this group was significantly higher than females from dilution rate 1:5 group, which showed similar results to that of the negative control group (does inseminated with semen diluted 1:20 in non-GnRH-supplemented extender). We conclude that the bioavailability of buserelin acetate when added to the seminal dose appears to be determined by the activity of the existing aminopeptidases and is consequently affected by the dilution rate used to prepare the artificial insemination doses. PMID:24629591

  5. Beef heifer growth and reproductive performance following two levels of pasture allowance during the fall grazing period.

    PubMed

    Bailey, B L; Griggs, T C; Rayburn, E B; Krause, K M

    2014-08-01

    The objective of this study was to compare heifer growth and reproductive performance following 2 levels of stockpiled fall forage allowance of orchardgrass (30.5%) and tall fescue (14.1%). Spring-born heifers (n = 203 and BW = 246 ± 28.9 kg) of primarily Angus background were allocated to 2 grazing treatments during the fall period (November 12 to December 17 in yr 1, November 7 to January 4 in yr 2, and November 7 to January 14 in yr 3) each replicated 3 times per year for 3 yr. Treatments consisted of daily pasture DM allowance of 3.5% of BW (LO) or daily pasture DM allowance of 7.0% of BW (HI) under strip-grazing management. Throughout the winter feeding period, mixed grass-legume haylage and soybean hulls were fed. Heifers were grazed as 1 group under continuous stocking after the winter period. Heifers in the LO group gained less than heifers in the HI group during the fall grazing period (0.12 vs. 0.40 kg/d; P < 0.0001). For each 1 10 g increase in NDF/kg fall pasture (DM basis), fall ADG decreased 0.14 kg (P = 0.01). During winter feeding, ADG was 0.30 and 0.39 kg/d for LO vs. HI heifers, respectively (P = 0.0008). During the spring grazing period (April 16 to May 24 in yr 1, April 22 to May 26 in yr 2, and April 5 to May 16 in yr 3), LO heifers had numerically greater ADG than HI heifers (1.38 vs. 1.30 kg/d; P = 0.64). Hip height (122.7 vs. 121.4 cm; P = 0.0055), BCS (5.8 vs. 5.6; P = 0.0057), and BW (356 vs. 335 kg; P < 0.0001) at the end of spring grazing was greater for HI than LO heifers. Heifers in the LO group compensated with greater summer ADG than heifers in the HI group (0.74 vs. 0.66 kg/d; P = 0.03). Total ADG from treatment initiation (November) through pregnancy diagnosis (August) was greater for HI than LO heifers (0.61 vs. 0.55 kg/d; P < 0.001) as was BW at pregnancy diagnosis (415 vs. 402 kg; P = 0.0055). Percentage of heifers reaching puberty by the time of AI was 34% for both groups (P = 0.93). Percentage of heifers becoming pregnant to

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Greenway, Gina

    2012-01-01

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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Dietary choice for a balanced nutrient intake increases the mean and reduces the variance in the reproductive performance of male and female cockroaches.

    PubMed

    Bunning, Harriet; Bassett, Lee; Clowser, Christina; Rapkin, James; Jensen, Kim; House, Clarissa M; Archer, Catharine R; Hunt, John

    2016-07-01

    Sexual selection may cause dietary requirements for reproduction to diverge across the sexes and promote the evolution of different foraging strategies in males and females. However, our understanding of how the sexes regulate their nutrition and the effects that this has on sex-specific fitness is limited. We quantified how protein (P) and carbohydrate (C) intakes affect reproductive traits in male (pheromone expression) and female (clutch size and gestation time) cockroaches (Nauphoeta cinerea). We then determined how the sexes regulate their intake of nutrients when restricted to a single diet and when given dietary choice and how this affected expression of these important reproductive traits. Pheromone levels that improve male attractiveness, female clutch size and gestation time all peaked at a high daily intake of P:C in a 1:8 ratio. This is surprising because female insects typically require more P than males to maximize reproduction. The relatively low P requirement of females may reflect the action of cockroach endosymbionts that help recycle stored nitrogen for protein synthesis. When constrained to a single diet, both sexes prioritized regulating their daily intake of P over C, although this prioritization was stronger in females than males. When given the choice between diets, both sexes actively regulated their intake of nutrients at a 1:4.8 P:C ratio. The P:C ratio did not overlap exactly with the intake of nutrients that optimized reproductive trait expression. Despite this, cockroaches of both sexes that were given dietary choice generally improved the mean and reduced the variance in all reproductive traits we measured relative to animals fed a single diet from the diet choice pair. This pattern was not as strong when compared to the single best diet in our geometric array, suggesting that the relationship between nutrient balancing and reproduction is complex in this species. PMID:27547307

  10. Reproductive performance of totally confined sheep bred with semen extended in a lactose-egg yolk-glycerol buffer and stored at 5 degrees C.

    PubMed Central

    Hackett, A J; Wolynetz, M S

    1982-01-01

    Two experiments were carried out in January and May 1975 to study reproductive performance (fertility, prolificacy and fecundity) of totally confined sheep synchronized for estrus. The main objective of the first experiment was to compare reproductive performance of ewes bred naturally to those bred by artificial insemination. Semen for artificial insemination was collected by either artificial vagina or electroejaculation and stored for up to 36 hours at 5 degrees C. A second objective was to evaluate the effect of pregnant mares' serum gonadotrophin on the reproductive performance of ewes synchronized for estrus. Fertility was 53% for ewes bred by natural mating, 34% for ewes receiving pregnant mares' serum gonadotrophin and bred by artificial insemination, and 9% for those not receiving pregnant mares' serum gonadotrophin and bred by artificial insemination. There was no difference in fertility between ewes bred with semen collected by artificial vagina or by electroejaculation. A similar pattern was observed for fecundity. Average prolificacy was 2.0 with no significant differences among mating methods or pregnant mares' serum gonadotrophin application being observed. In the second experiment, the reproductive performance of ewes inseminated with semen stores at 5 degrees C for 48 to 60 hours was compared to that of ewes inseminated with semen stores for 24 to 36 hours. No significant differences in the reproductive performance were detected. Although average fertility (9%) and fecundity (19%) were low, prolificacy averaged 2.0 lambs per ewe lambing. PMID:7127197

  11. The Effects of Calving to First Service Interval on Reproductive Performance in Normal Cows and Cows with Postpartal Disease

    PubMed Central

    Dohoo, I. R.

    1983-01-01

    The relationships between the calving to first service interval and several measures of reproductive performance were evaluated in 1738 lactation records from cows in 32 southern Ontario Holstein herds. Lactation records were divided into three mutually exclusive health categories based on the cows' postpartal disease histories. Relationships between the calving to first service interval and the first service conception rate, number of services per conception and open interval were similar for all three health categories. The first service conception rate was lower and the average number of services per conception higher in cows first bred before 60 days when compared to cows first bred after 60 days. The relationship between the calving to first service interval and the open interval indicated that for each day that breeding was delayed the open interval was extended by 0.86 days. It appeared that overall conception rates may be lower for cows first bred very early or very late, but differences in the overall conception rate were only significant for cows experiencing a reproductive tract infection. Unless very expensive semen is being used, it is suggested that disease free cows be bred at the first heat occurring after 40 days postpartum, and that cows experiencing postpartal disease be bred at the first heat occurring after 60 days postpartum. PMID:17422328

  12. 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. PMID:24961582

  13. 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.

  14. Responses to formal performance appraisal feedback: the role of negative affectivity.

    PubMed

    Lam, Simon S K; Yik, Michelle S M; Schaubroeck, John

    2002-02-01

    This study examined the effects of performance appraisal feedback on job and organizational attitudes of tellers (N = 329) in a large international bank. Negative affectivity moderated the link between favorable appraisal feedback and job attitudes. Among the higher rated performers, attitudes were improved 1 month after being notified of favorable appraisal results (Time 2). Improved attitudes persisted 6 months after the performance appraisal (Time 3) among tellers with low negative affectivity but not among those with high negative affectivity. Among the lower rated performers, mean levels of attitudes did not change significantly during the study. PMID:11924542

  15. The differential influences of positive affect, random reward, and performance-contingent reward on cognitive control.

    PubMed

    Fröber, Kerstin; Dreisbach, Gesine

    2014-06-01

    Growing evidence suggests that positive affect and reward have differential effects on cognitive control. So far, however, these effects have never been studied together. Here, the authors present one behavioral study investigating the influences of positive affect and reward (contingent and noncontingent) on proactive control. A modified version of the AX-continuous performance task, which has repeatedly been shown to be sensitive to reward and affect manipulations, was used. In a first phase, two experimental groups received either neutral or positive affective pictures before every trial. In a second phase, the two halves of a given affect group additionally received, respectively, performance-contingent or random rewards. The results replicated the typical affect effect, in terms of reduced proactive control under positive as compared to neutral affect. Also, the typical reward effects associated with increased proactive control were replicated. Most interestingly, performance-contingent reward counteracted the positive affect effect, whereas random reward mirrored that effect. In sum, this study provides first evidence that performance-contingent reward, on the one hand, and positive affect and performance-noncontingent reward, on the other hand, have oppositional effects on cognitive control: Only performance-contingent reward showed a motivational effect in terms of a strategy shift toward increased proactive control, whereas positive affect alone and performance-noncontingent reward reduced proactive control. Moreover, the integrative design of this study revealed the vulnerability of positive affect effects to motivational manipulations. The results are discussed with respect to current neuroscientific theories of the effects of dopamine on affect, reward, and cognitive control. PMID:24659000

  16. Effects of feeding grains naturally contaminated with Fusarium mycotoxins with and without a polymeric glucomannan mycotoxin adsorbent on reproductive performance and serum chemistry of pregnant gilts.

    PubMed

    Díaz-Llano, G; Smith, T K

    2006-09-01

    Contamination of animal feedstuffs with Fusarium mycotoxins can cause reduced feed intake and hyperaminoacidemia resulting from reduced hepatic protein synthesis. The current study investigated the effects of feeding grains naturally contaminated with Fusarium mycotoxins on reproductive performance, serum chemistry, ADFI, and ADG of gilts, and tested the ability of a polymeric glucomannan mycotoxin adsorbent (GMA) to reduce or eliminate the effects of the contaminated feeds. Thirty-six Yorkshire gilts were fed 3 diets (n = 12 gilts/diet) from 91 +/- 3 d of gestation until farrowing. Diets included 1) control, 2) contaminated grains, and 3) contaminated grains + 0.2% GMA. Diets contaminated with Fusarium mycotoxins did not affect ADFI (P = 0.24), but ADG (P = 0.029) and G:F (P = 0.047) were reduced. Serum concentrations of beta-hydroxybutyrate, haptoglobin, protein, albumin, globulin, urea, glucose, cholesterol, Ca, Na, Mg, P, K, and Cl, and hepatic enzyme activities were not affected by diet. The frequency of stillborn piglets was greater (P = 0.03) for gilts fed contaminated grains compared with that of gilts fed contaminated grains + GMA. The feeding of contaminated grains + GMA also increased (P = 0.026) the percentage of pigs born alive compared with gilts fed the contaminated diets. In conclusion, feeding gilts diets that are naturally contaminated with Fusarium mycotoxins can increase the incidence of stillborn piglets and this effect can be reduced by dietary supplementation with GMA. PMID:16908638

  17. 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.

  18. Growth and reproductive performance of sambar deer in Sabal Forest Reserve of Sarawak, Malaysia.

    PubMed

    Dahlan, Ismail; Dawend, Jiwan

    2013-10-01

    We examined the growth, reproduction, rutting behavior, and health status of sambar deer (Cervus unicolor brookei) in secondary Acacia mangium plantation. The data were collected over 11 years from a breeding herd of 21 stags and 33 hinds in Sabal Forest Reserve, Sarawak, Malaysia. Brody's growth model of the pooled data is Y t  = 148.56 (1 - 0.98e(-0.023t)), which estimates that maximum weights of adults are 184 and 115 kg for males and females respectively. Sambar deer are nonseasonal breeders with the breeding peak in February. Although the earliest age at which a female reached sexual maturity was 11 months, the mean age was 23 ± 7 months. Mean age of first fawning was 32 ± 8 months. Mean gestation period was 259 ± 12 days (n = 82). Stags shed antlers mostly between March and July. Velvet hardens at 103 ± 27 days (n = 23), and velvet harvesting is best at 7-9 weeks when antler length is 25-30 cm. Sambar deer are suitable as a farm species in forest plantations and have a vast potential to uplift rural living standards. PMID:23475732

  19. 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…

  20. 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. PMID:23469474

  1. 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. PMID:26854249

  2. The affective (re)production of refugee representations through educational policies and practices: Reconceptualising the role of emotion for peace education in a divided country

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zembylas, Michalinos

    2012-08-01

    Drawing into a discussion of the politicisation of emotion, this paper develops a framework to analyse some of the processes and strategies by which educational policies and pedagogical practices "emotionalise" the representation of refugees in conflict-ridden societies such as Cyprus and explores the implications for peace education. In particular, this paper aims to refine our understanding of how emotions affect the ways in which educational policies and practices reproduce self-other dichotomies through certain representations of the refugee experience. It is argued that these dichotomies are relevant to the emotional reactions against peace education initiatives. Second, this paper examines alternative possibilities of promoting peaceful coexistence, while taking into consideration the affective (re)production of refugee representations yet without undermining the refugee experience. Better understanding of how emotion is involved will help educational policymakers and teachers in divided societies to take into account the hitherto poorly developed aspects of the ways in which emotions, the refugee experience and peace education are inextricably intertwined.

  3. Peri-pubertal administration of 3-nitro-1,2,4-triazol-5-one (NTO) affects reproductive organ development in male but not female Sprague Dawley rats.

    PubMed

    Lent, Emily May; Crouse, Lee C B; Wallace, Shannon M; Carroll, Erica E

    2015-11-01

    Nitrotriazolone (3-nitro-1,2,4-triazol-5-one; NTO) is an insensitive munition that has demonstrated effects on reproductive organs in adult male rats. NTO was administered to male (0, 250, and 500milligrams per kilogram per day (mg/kg-day)) and female (0, 500, and 1000mg/kg-day) Sprague-Dawley rats (15/sex/group) via oral gavage from weaning through post-natal day 53/54 and 42/43, respectively. Age and body mass at vaginal opening (VO) and preputial separation (PPS), as well as all measures of estrous cyclicity were not affected by treatment with NTO. Males treated with NTO exhibited reductions in testis mass associated with tubular degeneration/atrophy. Less pronounced reductions in accessory sex organ masses were also observed in the 500mg/kg-day group. Treatment with NTO did not affect thyroid hormone or testosterone levels. These findings suggest that NTO is not acting as an estrogen or thyroid active compound, but may indicate effects on steroidogenesis and/or direct testicular toxicity. PMID:25962730

  4. Evaluation of submarine atmospheres: effects of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and oxygen on general toxicology, neurobehavioral performance, reproduction and development in rats. I. Subacute exposures.

    PubMed

    Hardt, Daniel J; James, R Arden; Gut, Chester P; McInturf, Shawn M; Sweeney, Lisa M; Erickson, Richard P; Gargas, Michael L

    2015-02-01

    The inhalation toxicity of submarine contaminants is of concern to ensure the health of men and women aboard submarines during operational deployments. Due to a lack of adequate prior studies, potential general, neurobehavioral, reproductive and developmental toxicity was evaluated in male and female rats exposed to mixtures of three critical submarine atmospheric components: carbon monoxide (CO) and carbon dioxide (CO2; levels elevated above ambient), and oxygen (O2; levels decreased below ambient). In a 14-day, 23 h/day, whole-body inhalation study of exposure to clean air (0.4 ppm CO, 0.1% CO2 and 20.6% O2), low-dose, mid-dose and high-dose gas mixtures (high dose of 88.4 ppm CO, 2.5% CO2 and 15.0% O2), no adverse effects on survival, body weight or histopathology were observed. Reproductive, developmental and neurobehavioral performance were evaluated after a 28-day exposure in similar atmospheres. No adverse effects on estrus phase, mating, gestation or parturition were observed. No developmental or functional deficits were observed in either exposed parents or offspring related to motor activity, exploratory behavior or higher-level cognitive functions (learning and memory). Only minimal effects were discovered in parent-offspring emotionality tests. While statistically significant increases in hematological parameters were observed in the offspring of exposed parents compared to controls, these parameters remained within normal clinical ranges for blood cells and components and were not considered adverse. In summary, subacute exposures to elevated concentrations of the submarine atmosphere gases did not affect the ability of rats to reproduce and did not appear to have any significant adverse health effects. PMID:25600219

  5. Effects of prepartum diets supplemented with rolled oilseeds on calf birth weight, postpartum health, feed intake, milk yield, and reproductive performance of dairy cows.

    PubMed

    Salehi, R; Colazo, M G; Oba, M; Ambrose, D J

    2016-05-01

    The objectives were to determine the effects of supplemental fat (no oilseed vs. oilseed) during late gestation and the source of fat (canola vs. sunflower seed), on dry matter intake (DMI), plasma metabolite concentrations, milk production and composition, calf birth weight, postpartum health disorders, ovarian function and reproductive performance in dairy cows. Pregnant Holstein cows, blocked by body condition and parity, were assigned to 1 of 3 diets containing rolled canola seed (high in oleic acid; n=43) or sunflower (high in linoleic acid; n=45) at 8% of dry matter, or no oilseed (control; n=43), for the last 35±2 d of pregnancy. After calving, all cows received a common lactation diet. Blood samples were collected at wk -3 (i.e., 2 wk after initiation of prepartum diets) and at wk +1, +2, +3, +4 and +5 postpartum to determine the concentration of fatty acids (mEq/dL), β-hydroxybutyrate (mg/dL), and glucose (mg/dL). Ovarian ultrasonography was performed twice weekly to determine the first appearance of dominant (10mm) and preovulatory-size (≥16mm) follicles, and ovulation. Uterine inflammatory status based on the proportion of polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMN; subclinical endometritis: >8% PMN) was assessed at d 25±1 postpartum. Significant parity by treatment interactions were observed for DMI and milk yield. Prepartum oilseed supplementation, more specifically sunflower seed supplementation, increased postpartum DMI in primiparous cows without affecting prepartum DMI or milk yield. Contrarily, in multiparous cows, prepartum oilseed supplementation decreased both prepartum and postpartum DMI and milk yield during the first 2 wk. Regardless of parity, prepartum feeding of canola reduced postpartum DMI compared with those fed sunflower. Mean fatty acids concentrations at wk -3 were greater in cows given supplemental oilseed than those fed no oilseeds. Gestation length and calf birth weight were increased in cows given supplemental oilseed prepartum

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

    PubMed

    González-Megías, Adela

    2016-01-01

    Mutualistic and antagonistic above-ground and below-ground species have the potential to be involved in strong interactions that can either weaken or strengthen their individual impacts on plants. Their impacts can also have delayed effects on a plant's progeny by altering offspring traits and survival. Few studies have explored the effect of herbivore and detritivore interactions with parent plants on offspring vital life-cycle processes, such as seedling emergence rate, seedling establishment and offspring survival. In the field, I experimentally studied the combined effects of floral herbivores (FH), root herbivores (RH) and detritivores on plant growth and reproduction of Moricandia moricandioides (Brassicaceae). In particular, I analysed the trans-generational effects of herbivores and detritivores on seed and juvenile production as well as on vital life-cycle processes (i.e. seedling emergence rates, survival). Floral herbivores strongly reduced the number of flowers, fruits, seeds and juveniles. Detritivores had an impact on plant success by increasing seed quality (% N and N : C ratio), although the effect was altered by the presence of floral and RH. I found maternal effects (trans-generational effects) of FH, RH and detritivores. Floral herbivores reduced seedling emergence and establishment. Floral and RH in combination reduced seedling emergence timing, but the effect was counteracted by detritivores. Detritivores also reduced the negative effect of FH on offspring mortality rate. This study shows that the impact of above-ground and below-ground organisms on M. moricandioides plants go beyond seed production and were evident in the probability of establishment and survival of the following generation. Trans-generational effects were induced by all three groups of interacting organisms and the net consequences for plant offspring depended on the organisms interacting with the plant. PMID:26433200

  7. Effectiveness of photoperiod stimulation on reproductive performance of sheep housed continuously indoors on an accelerated breeding schedule.

    PubMed Central

    Hackett, A J; Wolynetz, M S

    1982-01-01

    Over five breeding periods, the reproductive performance (fertility, prolificacy and fecundity) of three strains of sheep housed continuously indoors was measured. The sheep were maintained as two separate flocks, A and B, with similar genetic background on an eight month accelerated breeding schedule under one of three lighting regimes, abrupt, contracted or constant, to induce ovarian activity. Overall fertility to one estrus was 59%. For flock A, fertility was greatest under the contracted lighting regime and lowest under the constant lighting regime; the opposite was true for flock B. Among the three strains, fertility was lowest for the Dam 2 strain in flock A. Prolificacy averaged 1.8 lambs per ewe lambing and was similar under each of the three lighting regimes. Fecundity (averaging 106%), the number of lambs born per 100 ewes exposed to rams, generally followed the pattern of fertility. PMID:7172104

  8. Effect of intrauterine dextrose on reproductive performance of lactating dairy cows diagnosed with purulent vaginal discharge under certified organic management.

    PubMed

    Maquivar, M G; Barragan, A A; Velez, J S; Bothe, H; Schuenemann, G M

    2015-06-01

    The objectives of the study were to assess responses to treatments (clinical cure and resumption of estrous cycles) of cows with purulent vaginal discharge (PVD) that received intrauterine infusion of a hypertonic solution of 50% dextrose (DEX) or untreated control (CON) cows and the subsequent pregnancy per artificial insemination (PAI) in cows with and without PVD. Cows (n=2,852) from 2 dairy herds were screened for PVD using the gloved hand technique at exam 1 [26±3 d in milk (DIM)]. Cows with vaginal discharge scores of 2 or 3 (0-3 scale) were stratified by parity and randomly allocated into 1 of 2 treatment groups: (1) intrauterine infusion (~200 mL) of 50% DEX solution (n=456), or (2) untreated control animals (CON, n=491). Fourteen days posttherapy (40±3 DIM), cows with PVD were re-examined at exam 2 (40±3 DIM) to assess the response to treatments. All cows were subjected to the same reproductive program, which consisted of estrus detection twice daily (using tail chalking and visual observation) for the first 5 artificial inseminations; then, open lactating cows were turned out with bulls. Cows displaying signs of standing estrus underwent AI and no reproductive hormones were used. Pregnancy diagnosis (PD) was performed via transrectal palpation at 40±3 d post-AI. The risk of culling within 14 d posttherapy was not different among treatment groups. Cows with PVD had greater cervical diameter at exam 1 and decreased PAI compared with cows without PVD. Treatment with DEX increased the proportion of cows with clear vaginal discharge (clinical cure) and cyclicity 14 d posttherapy compared with CON cows. Pregnancy per AI for DEX (29.2±2%) cows was significantly greater than that for CON (22.5±2%) cows. Cows without PVD had a greater proportion of cycling cows (65.6%) and PAI (37%) with reduced pregnancy losses (5.7%) compared with DEX or CON cows. The use of intrauterine DEX alone improved reproductive performance of cows with PVD. PMID:25828665

  9. Reproductive Performance of Native Pulawska and High Productivity Polish Landrace Sows in the Context of Stress During the Period of Early Pregnancy.

    PubMed

    Babicz, M; Szyndler-Nędza, M; Skrzypczak, E; Kasprzyk, A

    2016-02-01

    Experiments revealed that it is necessary to get rid of genotypes RYR1C/T and RYR1T/T because of problems with meat quality and reproduction of gilts and sows. This phenomenon, however, is of individual nature and is characterized by high variability. The aim of the study was to analyse the influence of stressogenic factors in native Puławska and high productivity Polish Landrace breed sows during the period of low pregnancy on reproductive performance and maternal behaviour. Sows in the 2nd reproduction cycle were assigned into groups of five animals as follows: control (C) of RYR1 C/C genotype and experimental (E) of RYR1 C/T genotype. In all, 30 Puławska breed sows and 30 PL breed sows were analysed. During the early stage of pregnancy (days 42-84), experimental groups were subjected to the action of stressogenic factors: elevated temperature, noisy and rough treatment of sows by service personnel and immobilization stress. The effect of stressogenic factors was referred to the reproductive performance of sows. Puławska and PL breed sows from the experimental groups were subjected to the evaluation of maternal traits on the basis of perinatal behaviour determined with the help of an ethogram. Analysis of the results of reproduction and the behaviour of the sows confirmed the higher resistance to stressogenic factors of the Puławska breed. The performed analysis of reproduction and behaviour confirmed that heterozygotic genotypes in the RYR1 locus exhibited less advantageous reproduction, which corroborates the hypothesis about a negative impact of the T allele on swine productivity. PMID:26661373

  10. Metals and female reproductive toxicity.

    PubMed

    Sengupta, P; Banerjee, R; Nath, S; Das, S; Banerjee, S

    2015-07-01

    Research into occupational exposure of metals and consequences of reproductive systems has made imperative scientific offerings in the preceding few decades. Early research works focused on possible effects on the reproductive functions rather than the complete reproductive health of the woman. Later, it was realized that metals, as reproductive toxins, may also induce hormonal changes affecting other facets of reproductive health such as the menstrual cycle, ovulation, and fertility. Concern is now shifting from considerations for the pregnant woman to the entire spectrum of occupational health threats and thus reproductive health among women. PMID:25425549

  11. Effect of Monochromic Light-emitting Diode Light with Different Color on the Growth and Reproductive Performances of Breeder Geese.

    PubMed

    Chang, S C; Lin, M J; Zhuang, Z X; Huang, S Y; Lin, T Y; Jea, Y S; Fan, Y K; Lee, T T

    2016-06-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of monochromic light-emitting diode (LED) light with different color on the growth and reproductive performances of white Roman breeder geese. A randomized complete batch design was utilized for the trial, and the replicate was regarded as one batch. Twenty ganders and fifty-five dames were used in batch 1 (started on 2011/6/17 and ended on 2012/1/31), thirty ganders and eighty-four dames were used in batch 2 (started on 2012/3/23 and ended on 2012/10/26), and thirty ganders and seventy-two dames were used in batch 3 (started on 2013/3/12 and ended on 2013/12/20). Two hundred and ninety-one geese were randomly assigned to 6 rooms in an environmentally controlled house. They were randomly allotted into one of three monochromatic light treatments: Blue, red, or white. The results showed that there was no significant difference in body weight among the three lighting groups at any point throughout the experimental period. However, compared to the blue light group, significantly more eggs were produced by the red and white light groups (p<0.05). Furthermore, the laying period of the red light group was significantly longer than that of other two groups (p<0.05). In conclusion, our results suggested that red LED-light has the best effect on reproductive performance (i.e. longer laying period and higher total eggs number) at 30 lux light intensity, and is therefore a better choice for the management of breeding geese than blue or white LED-light. PMID:26954165

  12. Effect of Monochromic Light-emitting Diode Light with Different Color on the Growth and Reproductive Performances of Breeder Geese

    PubMed Central

    Chang, S. C.; Lin, M. J.; Zhuang, Z. X.; Huang, S. Y.; Lin, T. Y.; Jea, Y. S.; Fan, Y. K.; Lee, T. T.

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of monochromic light-emitting diode (LED) light with different color on the growth and reproductive performances of white Roman breeder geese. A randomized complete batch design was utilized for the trial, and the replicate was regarded as one batch. Twenty ganders and fifty-five dames were used in batch 1 (started on 2011/6/17 and ended on 2012/1/31), thirty ganders and eighty-four dames were used in batch 2 (started on 2012/3/23 and ended on 2012/10/26), and thirty ganders and seventy-two dames were used in batch 3 (started on 2013/3/12 and ended on 2013/12/20). Two hundred and ninety-one geese were randomly assigned to 6 rooms in an environmentally controlled house. They were randomly allotted into one of three monochromatic light treatments: Blue, red, or white. The results showed that there was no significant difference in body weight among the three lighting groups at any point throughout the experimental period. However, compared to the blue light group, significantly more eggs were produced by the red and white light groups (p<0.05). Furthermore, the laying period of the red light group was significantly longer than that of other two groups (p<0.05). In conclusion, our results suggested that red LED-light has the best effect on reproductive performance (i.e. longer laying period and higher total eggs number) at 30 lux light intensity, and is therefore a better choice for the management of breeding geese than blue or white LED-light. PMID:26954165

  13. Pre-reproductive maternal enrichment influences rat maternal care and offspring developmental trajectories: behavioral performances and neuroplasticity correlates

    PubMed Central

    Cutuli, Debora; Caporali, Paola; Gelfo, Francesca; Angelucci, Francesco; Laricchiuta, Daniela; Foti, Francesca; De Bartolo, Paola; Bisicchia, Elisa; Molinari, Marco; Farioli Vecchioli, Stefano; Petrosini, Laura

    2015-01-01

    Environmental enrichment (EE) is a widely used paradigm for investigating the influence of complex stimulations on brain and behavior. Here we examined whether pre-reproductive exposure to EE of female rats may influence their maternal care and offspring cognitive performances. To this aim, from weaning to breeding age enriched females (EF) were reared in enriched environments. Females reared in standard conditions were used as controls. At 2.5 months of age all females were mated and reared in standard conditions with their offspring. Maternal care behaviors and nesting activity were assessed in lactating dams. Their male pups were also behaviorally evaluated at different post-natal days (pnd). Brain BDNF, reelin and adult hippocampal neurogenesis levels were measured as biochemical correlates of neuroplasticity. EF showed more complex maternal care than controls due to their higher levels of licking, crouching and nest building activities. Moreover, their offspring showed higher discriminative (maternal odor preference T-maze, pnd 10) and spatial (Morris Water Maze, pnd 45; Open Field with objects, pnd 55) performances, with no differences in social abilities (Sociability test, pnd 35), in comparison to controls. BDNF levels were increased in EF frontal cortex at pups' weaning and in their offspring hippocampus at pnd 21 and 55. No differences in offspring reelin and adult hippocampal neurogenesis levels were found. In conclusion, our study indicates that pre-reproductive maternal enrichment positively influences female rats' maternal care and cognitive development of their offspring, demonstrating thus a transgenerational transmission of EE benefits linked to enhanced BDNF-induced neuroplasticity. PMID:25814946

  14. Pre-reproductive maternal enrichment influences rat maternal care and offspring developmental trajectories: behavioral performances and neuroplasticity correlates.

    PubMed

    Cutuli, Debora; Caporali, Paola; Gelfo, Francesca; Angelucci, Francesco; Laricchiuta, Daniela; Foti, Francesca; De Bartolo, Paola; Bisicchia, Elisa; Molinari, Marco; Farioli Vecchioli, Stefano; Petrosini, Laura

    2015-01-01

    Environmental enrichment (EE) is a widely used paradigm for investigating the influence of complex stimulations on brain and behavior. Here we examined whether pre-reproductive exposure to EE of female rats may influence their maternal care and offspring cognitive performances. To this aim, from weaning to breeding age enriched females (EF) were reared in enriched environments. Females reared in standard conditions were used as controls. At 2.5 months of age all females were mated and reared in standard conditions with their offspring. Maternal care behaviors and nesting activity were assessed in lactating dams. Their male pups were also behaviorally evaluated at different post-natal days (pnd). Brain BDNF, reelin and adult hippocampal neurogenesis levels were measured as biochemical correlates of neuroplasticity. EF showed more complex maternal care than controls due to their higher levels of licking, crouching and nest building activities. Moreover, their offspring showed higher discriminative (maternal odor preference T-maze, pnd 10) and spatial (Morris Water Maze, pnd 45; Open Field with objects, pnd 55) performances, with no differences in social abilities (Sociability test, pnd 35), in comparison to controls. BDNF levels were increased in EF frontal cortex at pups' weaning and in their offspring hippocampus at pnd 21 and 55. No differences in offspring reelin and adult hippocampal neurogenesis levels were found. In conclusion, our study indicates that pre-reproductive maternal enrichment positively influences female rats' maternal care and cognitive development of their offspring, demonstrating thus a transgenerational transmission of EE benefits linked to enhanced BDNF-induced neuroplasticity. PMID:25814946

  15. Reproductive Performance, Udder Health, and Antibiotic Resistance in Mastitis Bacteria isolated from Norwegian Red cows in Conventional and Organic Farming

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background The objectives of this study were to investigate whether there were differences between Norwegian Red cows in conventional and organic farming with respect to reproductive performance, udder health, and antibiotic resistance in udder pathogens. Methods Twenty-five conventional and 24 organic herds from south-east and middle Norway participated in the study. Herds were matched such that geographical location, herd size, and barn types were similar across the cohorts. All organic herds were certified as organic between 1997 and 2003. All herds were members of the Norwegian Dairy Herd Recording System. The herds were visited once during the study. The relationship between the outcomes and explanatory variables were assessed using mixed linear models. Results There were less > 2nd parity cows in conventional farming. The conventional cows had higher milk yields and received more concentrates than organic cows. Although after adjustment for milk yield and parity, somatic cell count was lower in organic cows than conventional cows. There was a higher proportion of quarters that were dried off at the herd visit in organic herds. No differences in the interval to first AI, interval to last AI or calving interval was revealed between organic and conventional cows. There was no difference between conventional and organic cows in quarter samples positive for mastitis bacteria from the herd visit. Milk yield and parity were associated with the likelihood of at least one quarter positive for mastitis bacteria. There was few S. aureus isolates resistance to penicillin in both management systems. Penicillin resistance against Coagulase negative staphylococci isolated from subclinically infected quarters was 48.5% in conventional herds and 46.5% in organic herds. Conclusion There were no large differences between reproductive performance and udder health between conventional and organic farming for Norwegian Red cows. PMID:20141638

  16. Daily fluctuations in positive affect positively co-vary with working memory performance.

    PubMed

    Brose, Annette; Lövdén, Martin; Schmiedek, Florian

    2014-02-01

    Positive affect is related to cognitive performance in multiple ways. It is associated with motivational aspects of performance, affective states capture attention, and information processing modes are a function of affect. In this study, we examined whether these links are relevant within individuals across time when they experience minor ups and downs of positive affect and work on cognitive tasks in the laboratory on a day-to-day basis. Using a microlongitudinal design, 101 younger adults (20-31 years of age) worked on 3 working memory tasks on about 100 occasions. Every day, they also reported on their momentary affect and their motivation to work on the tasks. In 2 of the 3 tasks, performance was enhanced on days when positive affect was above average. This performance enhancement was also associated with more motivation. Importantly, increases in task performance on days with above-average positive affect were mainly unrelated to variations in negative affect. This study's results are in line with between-person findings suggesting that high levels of well-being are associated with successful outcomes. They imply that success on cognitively demanding tasks is more likely on days when feeling happier. PMID:24364855

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

    PubMed

    Agarwala, B K; Das, Jhuma

    2012-01-01

    Density, distribution, and nutritional quality of plants are the causal basis of host plant selection in aphids. Nutritional qualities of a plant vary according to its growth stage and also in response to seasonal variation. How host plant growth stages shape aphid performance was studied in Aphis spiraecola Patch (Homoptera: Aphididae) on the perennial Siam weed, Chromolaena odorata (L.) King and Robinson (Asterales: Asteraceae). This plant species is the preferred host in the hot and humid tropical parts of northeast and southern India. Variations in developmental and reproductive performances in apterous viviparous female aphids were recorded in relation to differences in leaf chemicals in different growth stages of C. odorata. Aphids reproduced at higher rates in the vegetative stage of C. odorata when developmental time was shortest, and fecundity was higher in a longer reproductive time. Intrinsic rate of increase and net reproductive rate were also recorded to be higher in the vegetative stage of the weed host. In the vegetative stage, leaves contained higher quantity of proteins and nitrogen, which are vital for insect reproduction. Results of this study have demonstrated that A spiraecola showed synchronization of its developmental and reproductive performances to growth stages of C. odorata, which occur in high abundance in the study area. PMID:22950746

  18. Weed Host Specificity of the Aphid, Aphis spiraecola: Developmental and Reproductive Performance of Aphids in Relation to Plant Growth and Leaf Chemicals of the Siam Weed, Chromolaena odorata

    PubMed Central

    Agarwala, B.K.; Das, Jhuma

    2012-01-01

    Density, distribution, and nutritional quality of plants are the causal basis of host plant selection in aphids. Nutritional qualities of a plant vary according to its growth stage and also in response to seasonal variation. How host plant growth stages shape aphid performance was studied in Aphis spiraecola Patch (Homoptera: Aphididae) on the perennial Siam weed, Chromolaena odorata (L.) King and Robinson (Asterales: Asteraceae). This plant species is the preferred host in the hot and humid tropical parts of northeast and southern India. Variations in developmental and reproductive performances in apterous viviparous female aphids were recorded in relation to differences in leaf chemicals in different growth stages of C. odorata. Aphids reproduced at higher rates in the vegetative stage of C. odorata when developmental time was shortest, and fecundity was higher in a longer reproductive time. Intrinsic rate of increase and net reproductive rate were also recorded to be higher in the vegetative stage of the weed host. In the vegetative stage, leaves contained higher quantity of proteins and nitrogen, which are vital for insect reproduction. Results of this study have demonstrated that A spiraecola showed synchronization of its developmental and reproductive performances to growth stages of C. odorata, which occur in high abundance in the study area. PMID:22950746

  19. The Effect of Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms in the Tumor Necrosis Factor-α Gene on Reproductive Performance and Immune Function in Dairy Cattle

    PubMed Central

    KAWASAKI, Yurie; AOKI, Yuka; MAGATA, Fumie; MIYAMOTO, Akio; KAWASHIMA, Chiho; HOJO, Takuo; OKUDA, Kiyoshi; SHIRASUNA, Koumei; SHIMIZU, Takashi

    2014-01-01

    The present study aimed to assess the effect of polymorphisms in the tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) promoter (A/A, A/G and G/G) and exons (T/T, T/C and C/C) on immune function and reproductive performance in dairy cows. The occurrence of the first postpartum ovulation within 3 weeks in the cows with the TNF-α promoter A/G and G/G genotypes was higher than in the A/A group. Among the different TNF-α exon genotypes, the occurrence of early first postpartum ovulation was higher in the T/C and C/C genotype groups than in the T/T group. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the TNF-α gene did not affect the rate of artificial insemination (AI) or duration from parturition to next conception (days open). The apoptosis rate of polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs) did not differ among the TNF-α promoter genotypes, but the PMN transmigration rate was significantly higher for the A/A and A/G genotypes than for the G/G genotype. Interleukin 8 (IL-8) mRNA expression in PMNs and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) before culture was significantly higher for the A/A genotype compared with the G/G genotype. There were no significant differences between the genotypes in the mRNA expression of TNF-α, IL-6, IL-1β, and toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) in PMNs and PBMCs before and 4 h after culture. IL-8 and IL-1β production by PBMCs cultured for 4 h was significantly higher for the animals with the A/A genotype than for those with the G/G genotype. On the other hand, no significant difference was observed in IL-8 and IL-1β production by PMNs among different TNF-α genotypes. Taken together, these results suggest that SNP in the TNF-α gene affects immune function and reproductive performance in dairy cows. PMID:24562592

  20. Effect of inorganic or organic selenium supplementation on reproductive performance and tissue trace mineral concentrations in gravid first-parity gilts, fetuses, and nursing piglets.

    PubMed

    Ma, Y L; Lindemann, M D; Pierce, J L; Unrine, J M; Cromwell, G L

    2014-12-01

    The objective of this experiment was to evaluate 2 supplemental forms of Se on reproductive performance and tissue trace mineral concentration in fetus and first-parity gilts during pregnancy and their progeny. Crossbred gilts (n=100) were selected at 183±2.7 d and 137±10 kg BW and fed a common diet. After 1 mo, 8 gilts were sacrificed to establish baseline liver Se concentration and the remaining 92 gilts allotted to receive Se (0.3 mg/kg diet) as inorganic Se (Na2SeO3) or a Se supplement that contains organoselenium compounds (Sel-Plex; Alltech Inc., Nicholasville, KY). At 267±5.7 d (171±11 kg), gilts were estrus-synchronized and bred. Gilts were then slaughtered at defined time points throughout gestation (d 0, 43, 58, 73, 91, 101, or 108 of gestation; n=6 to 12 gilts/time point). A week before the expected farrowing day, 10 pregnant gilts (5 from each treatment) were moved to farrowing crates and monitored. Two pigs from each litter were randomly selected and euthanized at d 0 (within 2 h after birth; nursing deprived), 7, 14, and 21 from each litter. During the gestation phase, maternal liver, and fetal body and liver were collected for determination of trace mineral concentration by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Total number of fetus, crown-rump length, and corpora lutea of gilts were recorded as well. During the lactation phase, pigs (without liver and gastrointestinal tract) and associated liver were analyzed for Se concentration. The results demonstrated that the source of Se generally did not affect the maternal reproductive traits and fetal characteristics. Also, the source of Se supplemented to the maternal diet did not, in general, affect Cu, Fe, Mn, or Zn concentrations in the tissues evaluated other than the observation of a greater maternal liver Mn content (P<0.01) in gilts fed Sel-Plex and a greater amount of Fe accumulated in the entire litter (P<0.01) in gilts fed Sel-Plex. However, with regard to Se concentrations, Se in

  1. A simulation exercise to teach principles of bovine reproductive management.

    PubMed

    Perry, G A; Smith, M F

    2004-05-01

    Students in Reproductive Management (a senior-level course with approximately 20 to 50 students per semester) at the University of Missouri-Columbia are required to participate in a simulation exercise that is designed to improve reproductive efficiency in a beef herd. During a simulated 5-yr period, students must 1) improve reproductive efficiency in a beef cow-herd through implementation of reproductive management principles; 2) determine the economic impact of reproductive management decisions in a beef herd; and 3) evaluate the constraints of different geographical locations on approaches to reproductive management. Groups of three to four students are provided with the reproductive and economic records of a farm/ranch located in different parts of North America. Students create reproductive management plans consisting of 1) detailed discussion of farm/ranch environment (climate, terrain, forage and grain availability, and stocking rate; season for breeding and calving; and justification for choice of breed); 2) assessment of current level of reproductive performance; 3) identification and economic justification of specific (measurable) objectives; 4) discussion of alternatives for accomplishing specific objectives; 5) prediction of reproductive performance (pregnancy rate, quantity of calf weaned per cow exposed, and cost per quantity of calf weaned) in response to implementation of specific management practices; and 6) an annual and 5-yr reproductive and economic summary. Students obtain livestock marketing information for their assigned location via the Internet. Spreadsheets were developed to calculate the reproductive efficiency of postpartum cows and replacement heifers based on management decisions made by the groups and to calculate a yearly economic summary for each of the 5 yr. Management decisions are justified in a written report, and oral presentations are given to the class when the project is completed. Greater than 85% of students indicated that

  2. 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

  3. Using a False Biofeedback Methodology to Explore Relationships between Learners' Affect, Metacognition, and Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Strain, Amber Chauncey; Azevedo, Roger; D'Mello, Sidney K.

    2013-01-01

    We used a false-biofeedback methodology to manipulate physiological arousal in order to induce affective states that would influence learners' metacognitive judgments and learning performance. False-biofeedback is a method used to induce physiological arousal (and resultant affective states) by presenting learners with audio stimuli of false heart…

  4. Performance-Based Occupational Affective Behavior Analysis (OABA). Implementation and Supporting Research.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pucel, David J.; And Others

    This document contains two sections: implementation of the performance-based Occupational Affective Behavior Analysis (OABA), and supporting research. Section 1 presents OABA, an analytic procedure designed to identify those affective behaviors important to success in an occupation, and gives directions on how to implement the procedure. The…

  5. Investigating Learner Affective Performance in Web-Based Learning by Using Entrepreneurship as a Metaphor

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liu, Ming-Chou; Chi, Ming-Hsiao

    2012-01-01

    In the era of the Internet, factors which influence effective learning in a Web-based learning environment are well worth exploring. In addition to knowledge acquisition and skills training, affect is also an important factor, since successful learning requires excellent affective performance. Thus this study focuses on learners' affective…

  6. To branch out or stay focused? Affective shifts differentially predict organizational citizenship behavior and task performance.

    PubMed

    Yang, Liu-Qin; Simon, Lauren S; Wang, Lei; Zheng, Xiaoming

    2016-06-01

    We draw from personality systems interaction (PSI) theory (Kuhl, 2000) and regulatory focus theory (Higgins, 1997) to examine how dynamic positive and negative affective processes interact to predict both task and contextual performance. Using a twice-daily diary design over the course of a 3-week period, results from multilevel regression analysis revealed that distinct patterns of change in positive and negative affect optimally predicted contextual and task performance among a sample of 71 employees at a medium-sized technology company. Specifically, within persons, increases (upshifts) in positive affect over the course of a workday better predicted the subsequent day's organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) when such increases were coupled with decreases (downshifts) in negative affect. The optimal pattern of change in positive and negative affect differed, however, in predicting task performance. That is, upshifts in positive affect over the course of the workday better predicted the subsequent day's task performance when such upshifts were accompanied by upshifts in negative affect. The contribution of our findings to PSI theory and the broader affective and motivation regulation literatures, along with practical implications, are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:26882443

  7. Psychological Factor Affecting English Speaking Performance for the English Learners in Indonesia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Haidara, Youssouf

    2016-01-01

    In every learning situation or environment, human psychology plays a significant role. English speaking is a language skill that is highly affected by human psychology. This research aimed at describing the psychological factor that affects negatively the English speaking performance for the English learners in Indonesia. A descriptive qualitative…

  8. Affect, Curiosity, and Socialization-Related Learning: A Path Analysis of Antecedents to Job Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reio, Thomas G.; Callahan, Jamie L.

    Affect, curiosity, and socialization-relation were explored as potential mediators of the relationship between both state and trait affect and job performance. The cross-sectional sample consisted of 81 women and 152 men between the ages of 17 and 50 or older. The typical participant was a male Caucasian under the age of 40 with some college…

  9. Job Satisfaction and Performance: The Moderating Effects of Value Attainment and Affective Disposition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hochwarter, Wayne A.; Perrewe, Pamela L.; Ferris, Gerald R.; Brymer, Robert A.

    1999-01-01

    A study of 270 hotel managers found that the strongest positive relationship between job satisfaction and performance occurred when high attainment of values associated with work was coupled with high-positive or low-negative affective disposition. (SK)

  10. The use of multilevel models to evaluate sources of variation in reproductive performance in dairy cattle in Reunion Island.

    PubMed

    Dohoo, I R; Tillard, E; Stryhn, H; Faye, B

    2001-07-19

    Sources of variation in measures of reproductive performance in dairy cattle were evaluated using data collected from 3207 lactations in 1570 cows in 50 herds from five geographic regions of Reunion Island (located off the east coast of Madagascar). Three continuously distributed reproductive parameters (intervals from calving-to-conception, calving-to-first-service and first-service-to-conception) were considered, along with one Binomial outcome (first-service-conception risk). Multilevel models which take into account the hierarchical nature of the data were used to fit all models. For the overall measure of calving-to-conception interval, 86% of the variation resided at the lactation level with only 7, 6 and 2% at the cow, herd and regional levels, respectively. The proportion of variance at the herd and cow levels were slightly higher for the calving-to-first-service interval (12 and 9%, respectively) - but for the other two parameters (first-service-conception risk and first-service-to-conception interval), >90% of the variation resided at the lactation level. For the three continuous dependent variables, comparison of results between models based on log-transformed data and Box-Cox-transformed data suggested that minor departures from the assumption of normality did not have a substantial effect on the variance estimates. For the Binomial dependent variable, five different estimation procedures (penalised quasi-likelihood, Markov-Chain Monte Carlo, parametric and non-parametric bootstrap estimates and maximum-likelihood) yielded substantially different results for the estimate of the cow-level variance. PMID:11448500

  11. Subjective cognitive complaints, affective distress, and objective cognitive performance in Persian Gulf War veterans.

    PubMed

    Binder, L M; Storzbach, D; Anger, W K; Campbell, K A; Rohlman, D S; of the Portland Environmental, O M; Center, H R

    1999-08-01

    We examined subjective cognitive complaints, affective distress, and cognitive performance in Persian Gulf veterans who reported illness and cognitive complaints. We predicted a stronger relationship between subjective cognitive complaints and affective distress than between subjective cognitive complaints and objective cognitive performance. This prediction was confirmed in a sample of 100 veterans. The results suggest that cognitive impairment should not be diagnosed in this population without objective confirmation with cognitive testing. PMID:14590580

  12. Using natural gradients to infer a potential response to climate change: an example on the reproductive performance of dactylis glomerata L.

    PubMed

    Dainese, Matteo

    2012-01-01

    An understanding of the climate conditions governing spatial variation in the reproductive performance of plants can provide important information about the factors characterizing plant community structure, especially in the context of climate change. This study focuses on the effect of climate on the sexual reproductive output of Dactylis glomerata L., a perennial grass species widely distributed throughout temperate regions. An indirect space-for-time substitution procedure was used. Sixty mountain populations of the same target species were surveyed along an elevation gradient, and then, a relevant climate model was used to infer a potential response to climate change over time. Within each population, information on the number of stems, seed number and seed mass were collected. Resource investment in reproduction (RIR) was quantified as seed number × seed mass. A clear variation was found in the reproductive performance of D. glomerata along the elevational gradient: RIR improved with increasing temperature. The best model included only one term: the maximum temperature of the warmest month. This study demonstrates that mountain ecosystems offer particularly good opportunities to study climate effects over relatively short distances and suggests that warming will enhance D. glomerata's reproductive output throughout its elevational range. Furthermore, it can be hypothesized that a potential migration of D. glomerata toward higher altitudes may occur in response to accelerated climate change. PMID:24832520

  13. Effect of tropically adapted sire breeds on preweaning growth of F1 Angus calves and reproductive performance of their Angus dams.

    PubMed

    Chase, C C; Hammond, A C; Olson, T A

    2000-05-01

    The objective of this study was to determine the effect of tropically adapted sire breeds on preweaning growth performance of F1 calves and on reproductive performance of their Angus dams. Angus (A) cows were bred in two consecutive years (1992 and 1993) by AI using semen from Brahman (B; Bos indicus; n = 10), Senepol (S; Bos taurus; n = 10), and Tuli (T; Sanga; n = 9) bulls. A total of 82 B x A, 85 S x A, and 91 T x A calves were born. The statistical model included the fixed effects of year, sire breed, calf sex, sire breed x calf sex, and cow parity and the random effect of sire within sire breed. Birth weight, weaning weight, 205-d adjusted weaning weight, ADG from birth to weaning, and hip height at weaning were greater (P < .001) for B x A calves than for S x A or T x A calves. Greater differences were detected between sexes for B x A than for S x A and T x A (for all traits sire breed x calf sex, P < .05). Sire breed affected (P < .01) the percentage of unassisted calvings (B x A, 87%; S x A, 98%; and T x A, 100%) and tended (P < .10) to affect the percentage of calves that survived until weaning (B x A, 90%; S x A, 94%; and T x A, 98%). Sire breed of calf did not affect (P > .10) length of gestation, and sire breed did not affect the interval from calving to first observed estrus or pregnancy in Angus dams. These results demonstrate that preweaning growth performance of B x A calves was greater than that of either S x A or T x A calves. However, use of Brahman sires on Angus dams led to calving problems and tended to reduce the percentage of calves that survived until weaning. Thus, heavier weaning weights of B x A calves would be an advantage for cow-calf producers marketing calves, but heavier birth weights and calving difficulty attributed to Brahman sires would be a disadvantage. PMID:10834561

  14. The song of the old mother: Reproductive senescence in female drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Paige B; Obrik-Uloho, Oghenemine T; Phan, Mai H; Medrano, Christian L; Renier, Joseph S; Thayer, Joseph L; Wiessner, Gregory; Bloch Qazi, Margaret C

    2014-01-01

    Among animals with multiple reproductive episodes, changes in adult condition over time can have profound effects on lifetime reproductive fitness and offspring performance. The changes in condition associated with senescence can be particularly acute for females who support reproductive processes from oogenesis through fertilization. The pomace fly Drosophila melanogaster is a well-established model system for exploring the physiology of reproduction and senescence. In this review, we describe how increasing maternal age in Drosophila affects reproductive fitness and offspring performance as well as the genetic foundation of these effects. Describing the processes underlying female reproductive senescence helps us understand diverse phenomena including population demographics, condition-dependent selection, sexual conflict, and transgenerational effects of maternal condition on offspring fitness. Understanding the genetic basis of reproductive senescence clarifies the nature of life-history trade-offs as well as potential ways to augment and/or limit female fertility in a variety of organisms. PMID:25523082

  15. THE EFFECTS OF PREPARTUM MILKING ON POSTPARTUM REPRODUCTIVE PERFORMANCE IN DAIRY HEIFERS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The prepartum milking of dairy heifers may be beneficial to postpartum production performance through the acclimation of heifers to the milking parlor, and has been shown to improve postpartum heifer udder health (e.g., reduced uddder edema). The objective of this study was to determine if the prepa...

  16. The relationship between growth hormone polymorphism and growth hormone receptor genes with milk yield and reproductive performance in Holstein dairy cows

    PubMed Central

    Hadi, Z; Atashi, H; Dadpasand, M; Derakhshandeh, A; Ghahramani Seno, M. M

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the potential association between growth hormone GH/AluI and growth hormone receptor GHR/AluI polymorphisms with milk yield and reproductive performances in Holstein dairy cows in Iran. Blood samples of 150 Holstein cows were collected and their genomic DNA was extracted using Gene-Fanavaran DNA extracting kit. Fragments of the 428 bp of exon 5 growth hormone (GH) gene and the 342 bp of exon 10 growth hormone receptor (GHR) gene were amplified using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method. PCR products were digested by the AluI restriction enzyme and electrophoresed on 3% agarose gel. Continuous and categorical data were analyzed using linear mixed models through Proc MIXED and logistic regression models through Proc GENMOD of SAS software, respectively. The results showed no relationship between the examined traits and GH/AluI or GHR/AluI genes. A significant relationship was found between GH/AluI polymorphism and dystocia, but the presence of the GH-L allele reduced the incidence of dystocia. The results suggest that the GH-LL genotype reduces dystocia probably by affecting the release of growth hormone; nevertheless, further studies will be needed to examine the relationship between dystocia and GH genotypes. PMID:27175183

  17. Assessment of serum IGF-I and ß-hydroxybutyrate concentrations on reproductive performance prior to calving and breeding in young beef cows grazing native range

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Metabolites involved in the metabolic adaptation to negative energy balance may have the potential to regulate timing of reproductive success. Therefore, the objective of this 4-yr study was to determine the association of serum metabolites, cow BW, BCS, and calf performance on conception date in 2...

  18. The association of culling and death rate within 30 days after calving with productivity or reproductive performance in dairy herds in Fukuoka, Southern Japan

    PubMed Central

    GOTO, Akira; NAKADA, Ken; KATAMOTO, Hiromu

    2015-01-01

    The incidence of peripartum disorders in dairy herds negatively influences productivity and reproductive performance. Concrete data from local areas are helpful for explaining the importance of peripartum management to dairy farmers. This study was conducted to clarify the association of culling and death rate within 30 days after calving with productivity or reproductive performance in 179 dairy herds in Fukuoka, Southern Japan. A database was compiled from the records of the Livestock Improvement Association of Japan, the Dairy Cooperative Association and the Federation of Agricultural Mutual Relief Association. In this study, we created a comprehensive database of dairy farm production data for epidemiological analysis and used a general linear mixed model to analyze the association of culling and death rate within 30 days after calving with milk production or reproductive performance. The database can be used to describe, analyze and predict the risk of production. A cross-sectional analysis with contrasts was applied to investigate the association of cows served by AI/all cows, pregnant cows/cows served by AI, days open, milk yield and somatic cell counts with culling and death rate within 30 days after calving. The days open value significantly increased with increasing rate of culling and death within 30 days after calving (P for trend <0.001). No significant differences were found for the other comparisons. Our data suggest that proper feeding and management in the dry period may lead to improved postpartum reproductive performance in this dairy cow cohort. PMID:26666177

  19. Assessment of serum IGF-1 and ¿-hydroxybutyrate concentrations on reproductive performance prior to calving and breeding in young beef cows grazing native range

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Metabolites involved in the metabolic adaptation to negative energy balance may potentially contribute to regulation of reproductive success. Therefore, the objective of this 4-yr study was to determine the association of serum metabolites, cow BW, BCS, and calf performance on conception date in sp...

  20. The association of culling and death rate within 30 days after calving with productivity or reproductive performance in dairy herds in Fukuoka, Southern Japan.

    PubMed

    Goto, Akira; Nakada, Ken; Katamoto, Hiromu

    2016-05-01

    The incidence of peripartum disorders in dairy herds negatively influences productivity and reproductive performance. Concrete data from local areas are helpful for explaining the importance of peripartum management to dairy farmers. This study was conducted to clarify the association of culling and death rate within 30 days after calving with productivity or reproductive performance in 179 dairy herds in Fukuoka, Southern Japan. A database was compiled from the records of the Livestock Improvement Association of Japan, the Dairy Cooperative Association and the Federation of Agricultural Mutual Relief Association. In this study, we created a comprehensive database of dairy farm production data for epidemiological analysis and used a general linear mixed model to analyze the association of culling and death rate within 30 days after calving with milk production or reproductive performance. The database can be used to describe, analyze and predict the risk of production. A cross-sectional analysis with contrasts was applied to investigate the association of cows served by AI/all cows, pregnant cows/cows served by AI, days open, milk yield and somatic cell counts with culling and death rate within 30 days after calving. The days open value significantly increased with increasing rate of culling and death within 30 days after calving (P for trend <0.001). No significant differences were found for the other comparisons. Our data suggest that proper feeding and management in the dry period may lead to improved postpartum reproductive performance in this dairy cow cohort. PMID:26666177

  1. Effect of PMSG dosage on the reproductive performance of adult ewes and ewe lambs bred at a progestagen-PMSG synchronized estrus.

    PubMed

    Ainsworth, L; Shrestha, J N

    1985-11-01

    The effect of dose of pregnant mares' serum gonadotropin (PMSG) on the reproductive performance of adult ewes and ewe lambs and lamb survival at birth after treatment with fluorogestone acetate (FGA)-impregnated intravaginal sponges and PMSG (250 IU or 500 IU) to synchronize estrus was evaluated. Ewes were exposed to rams for breeding at the synchronized and subsequent estrous cycles. The flock, comprised of three synthetic strains and two control breeds, was maintained in a controlled environment and exposed to an artificial light regimen which alternated at 4-mo intervals from 16h of light daily to 9h of light daily. Trials were conducted during January, May and September at the end of a 9-h daylength cycle. Adult ewes were bred in May and 8 mo later in January. Ewe lambs were bred in September at 6.5 to 7.5 mo of age. The overall reproductive performance of the adult ewes was similar at the two breedings: fertility approximately 90%, prolificacy approximately 2.7, fecundity approximately 240% and lambs born alive approximately 2.4. Dosage of PMSG had no effect. Reproductive performance of ewe lambs was lower and there was a strain x treatment interaction, suggesting greater variability in response. The results indicate there is no advantage to using a higher dose of PMSG in ewes with a natural relatively high fecundity. Moreover, the use of the artificial photoperiod appears to overcome the natural seasonal variation in reproductive performance. PMID:16726102

  2. The effect of increased protein intake during the starter and prebreeder periods on reproductive performance of ultra high yield Cobb 700 broiler breeder hens

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The most recent information on broiler breeder nutrition is presented in these symposium proceedings. Previous studies have suggested that increased protein intake during prebreeder period improves reproductive performance. A study was conducted to determine the effect of dietary crude protein on ...

  3. The Effects of Gonadotrophin Releasing Hormone Administration in Early Postpartum Dairy Cows on Hormone Concentrations, Ovarian Activity and Reproductive Performance: A Review

    PubMed Central

    Leslie, K. E.

    1983-01-01

    Gonadotrophin releasing hormones have become widely used hormonal compounds in veterinary medicine, particularly with respect to bovine reproduction. The character and physiological actions of gonadotrophin releasing hormone are briefly reviewed and its clinical applications are summarized. The endocrinological research concerned with the use of gonadotrophin releasing hormone in the early postpartum period is discussed. Field trials which have been conducted to assess the effects of postpartum gonadotrophin releasing hormone administration on reproductive performance have varied widely in both design and interpretation of results. These experiments are reviewed, including the clinical trials using normal cows as well as those on cows with retained placenta. PMID:17422245

  4. Performance Assessment in CTE: Focusing on the Cognitive, Psychomotor ...and Affective Domains

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Washer, Bart; Cochran, Lori

    2012-01-01

    When a student is performing in the psychomotor domain, the authors believe the student is also performing in the cognitive domain (sequencing steps, evaluating the situation) and in the affective domain (appreciating a job well done, quality control, safety). As Dabney Doty, former instructor at the University of Central Missouri, stated, "There…

  5. The Developmental Dynamics of Children's Academic Performance and Mothers' Homework-Related Affect and Practices

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Silinskas, Gintautas; Kiuru, Noona; Aunola, Kaisa; Lerkkanen, Marja-Kristiina; Nurmi, Jari-Erik

    2015-01-01

    This study investigated the longitudinal associations between children's academic performance and their mothers' affect, practices, and perceptions of their children in homework situations. The children's (n = 2,261) performance in reading and math was tested in Grade 1 and Grade 4, and the mothers (n = 1,476) filled out questionnaires on their…

  6. Centrality and Charisma: Comparing How Leader Networks "and" Attributions Affect Team Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Balkundi, Prasad; Kilduff, Martin; Harrison, David A.

    2011-01-01

    When leaders interact in teams with their subordinates, they build social capital that can have positive effects on team performance. Does this social capital affect team performance because subordinates come to see the leader as charismatic? We answered this question by examining 2 models. First, we tested the charisma-to-centrality model…

  7. Some Factors That Affecting the Performance of Mathematics Teachers in Junior High School in Medan

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Manullang, Martua; Rajagukguk, Waminton

    2016-01-01

    Some Factor's That Affecting The Mathematic Teacher Performance For Junior High School In Medan. This research will examine the effect of direct and indirect of the Organizational Knowledge towards the achievement motivation, decision making, organizational commitment, the performance of mathematics teacher. The research method is a method of…

  8. The developmental dynamics of children's academic performance and mothers' homework-related affect and practices.

    PubMed

    Silinskas, Gintautas; Kiuru, Noona; Aunola, Kaisa; Lerkkanen, Marja-Kristiina; Nurmi, Jari-Erik

    2015-04-01

    This study investigated the longitudinal associations between children's academic performance and their mothers' affect, practices, and perceptions of their children in homework situations. The children's (n = 2,261) performance in reading and math was tested in Grade 1 and Grade 4, and the mothers (n = 1,476) filled out questionnaires on their affect, practices, and perceptions while their children were in Grades 2, 3, and 4. The results showed, first, that the more help in homework the mothers reported, the slower was the development of their children's academic performance from Grade 1 to Grade 4. This negative association was true especially if mothers perceived their children not to be able to work autonomously. Second, children's good academic performance in Grade 1 predicted mothers' perception of child's ability to be autonomous and positive affect in homework situations later on, whereas poor performance predicted mothers' negative affect, help, and monitoring. Finally, mothers' negative affect mediated the association between children's poor performance, maternal practices, and perceptions of their children. PMID:25798959

  9. Effect of goserelin and leuprolide added to the semen on reproductive performance in rabbits - Short communication.

    PubMed

    Gogol, Piotr

    2016-03-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the ability of two synthetic GnRH analogues, goserelin and leuprolide, to induce ovulation in rabbit does using intravaginal administration. A total of 252 primiparous lactating does were randomly divided into five groups that, at the time of insemination, received the following treatments for ovulation induction: 1 µg of buserelin administered intramuscularly (control group), 5 µg of goserelin added to the semen dose (Group G5), 10 µg of goserelin added to the semen dose (Group G10), 5 µg of leuprolide added to the semen dose (Group L5), and 10 µg of leuprolide added to the semen dose (Group L10). The kindling rate was 80.5% in Group G10 and 75.0% in Group L10; these values are comparable to the kindling rate obtained in the control group (85.9%). The kindling rates in Groups G5 and L5 were significantly lower than in the control group (60.0%, 54.2% and 85.9%, respectively). The number of live-born rabbits was not significantly affected by the ovulation induction treatment. As regards the total number of rabbits born the only significant difference was observed between Groups G5 and L5. This study shows the possibility of inducing ovulation in rabbits by adding goserelin and leuprolide directly to the semen dose. PMID:26919148

  10. Maternal and reproductive performance of Brahman x Angus, Senepol x Angus, and Tuli x Angus cows in the subtropics.

    PubMed

    Chase, C C; Riley, D G; Olson, T A; Coleman, S W; Hammond, A C

    2004-09-01

    To determine the maternal and reproductive performance of F1 cows in the subtropics, 42 Brahman x Angus, 34 Senepol x Angus, and 50 Tuli x Angus cows were bred to Angus bulls to calve first and subsequently bred to Charolais bulls to calve as 3- to 8-yr-olds. Age at first calving did not differ among crossbred cows. Angus-sired calf birth weights were heavier (P < 0.01) from Senepol x Angus than either Brahman x Angus or Tuli x Angus cows. Weaning weights of Angus-sired calves were heavier (P < 0.01) from Brahman x Angus (213.5 kg) than either Senepol x Angus (194.9 kg) or Tuli x Angus (191.5 kg) cows. As 3- to 8-yr-old cows, calf birth weights were heavier (P < 0.05) from Senepol x Angus compared with Brahman x Angus but not Tuli x Angus cows. Weaning weights of Charolais-sired calves were heaviest (P < 0.05) from Brahman x Angus cows (268.9 kg), lightest from Tuli x Angus cows (233.4 kg), and intermediate from Senepol x Angus cows (245.0 kg). Calf crop born and calf crop weaned were lowest (P < 0.05) for Senepol x Angus cows (76.9 and 70.2%) and did not differ between Brahman x Angus (89.0 and 86.1%) and Tuli x Angus (94.7 and 86.5%) cows. Tuli x Angus cows tended (P < 0.10) to have a lower percentage of unassisted births and lower (P < 0.10) calf survival to weaning than Brahman x Angus cows but not Senepol x Angus cows. As 3- to 8-yr-olds, weaning weight per cow exposed was greatest (P < 0.05) for Brahman x Angus (234.2 kg), least (P < 0.05) for Senepol x Angus (173.0 kg), and intermediate (P < 0.05) for Tuli x Angus (209.1 kg) cows. Also as 3- to 8-yr-olds, efficiency (205-d calf weight per 100 kg of cow exposed) was similar for Brahman x Angus (42.2) and Tuli x Angus cows (40.7), and both were greater (P < 0.01) than for Senepol x Angus cows (33.8). These data indicate that, in the subtropics, maternal and reproductive performance of Tuli x Angus cows, but not Senepol x Angus cows, was comparable to Brahman x Angus cows, except for lower calf survivability

  11. Reproductive performance of dairy cows with luteal or follicular ovarian cysts after treatment with buserelin.

    PubMed

    Probo, Monica; Comin, Antonella; Mollo, Antonio; Cairoli, Fausto; Stradaioli, Giuseppe; Veronesi, Maria C

    2011-09-01

    In dairy farm management economic losses resulting from cystic ovarian degeneration are well known. In spite of this, neither the definition nor the aetiopathology of ovarian cysts are clear and agreed upon. Also the usual classification in luteal and follicular cysts, requiring ultrasound examination together with assessment of P4 to be accurate, is not very helpful in field conditions. Consequently a single treatment is often provided for both types of cysts, and since the 1970s treatments with GnRH and its analogues have been considered very useful. Nevertheless differences in recovery rates after GnRH treatment in animals with either luteal or follicular cysts are reported. Thus, the aim of this study was to evaluate recovery rate, recovery time and conception rate after treatment with buserelin (GnRH-analogue) in cows with ovarian luteal or follicular cysts. In a 5 years period, 150 cows with cysts out of a total of 990 animals, were detected and treated intravenously between 45 and 60 days PP with 20μg buserelin. No statistically significant differences were found in recovery rates and in conception rates between the two types of cysts. Comparison of recovery times showed significantly shorter recovery for cows with luteal cysts. The results emphasise the usefulness of GnRH to treat ovarian cysts regardless of their type, in relation to both recovery and conception rates. Intervals from treatment to resumption of ovarian activity were affected by the characteristics of ovarian cysts, with a faster recovery for the luteal type. PMID:21920681

  12. Size, but not experience, affects the ontogeny of constriction performance in ball pythons (Python regius).

    PubMed

    Penning, David A; Dartez, Schuyler F

    2016-03-01

    Constriction is a prey-immobilization technique used by many snakes and is hypothesized to have been important to the evolution and diversification of snakes. However, very few studies have examined the factors that affect constriction performance. We investigated constriction performance in ball pythons (Python regius) by evaluating how peak constriction pressure is affected by snake size, sex, and experience. In one experiment, we tested the ontogenetic scaling of constriction performance and found that snake diameter was the only significant factor determining peak constriction pressure. The number of loops applied in a coil and its interaction with snake diameter did not significantly affect constriction performance. Constriction performance in ball pythons scaled differently than in other snakes that have been studied, and medium to large ball pythons are capable of exerting significantly higher pressures than those shown to cause circulatory arrest in prey. In a second experiment, we tested the effects of experience on constriction performance in hatchling ball pythons over 10 feeding events. By allowing snakes in one test group to gain constriction experience, and manually feeding snakes under sedation in another test group, we showed that experience did not affect constriction performance. During their final (10th) feedings, all pythons constricted similarly and with sufficiently high pressures to kill prey rapidly. At the end of the 10 feeding trials, snakes that were allowed to constrict were significantly smaller than their non-constricting counterparts. J. Exp. Zool. 9999A:XX-XX, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26847931

  13. Hormonal concentrations and reproductive performance of Holstein heifers fed Trifolium alexandrinum as a phytoestrogenic roughage.

    PubMed

    Hashem, N M; El-Azrak, K M; Sallam, S M A

    2016-07-01

    Effects of phytoestrogen isoflavones in Berseem clover on hormonal balance during early pregnancy and fertility of heifers were studied. Holstein heifers (n=26) were divided into two equal homogenous groups. Heifers in the first group (Clover-fed group) were fed Egyptian clover (Trifolium alexandrinum) as oestrogenic roughage; whereas the heifers in the second group (Silage-fed group) were fed maize silage. Concentrations of four isoflavone aglycones (genistein. Daidzein, biochanin A and formononetein) were determined in the two roughages. Treatment lasted for 20 consecutive weeks (5 months) during which blood samples were collected biweekly for determining the metabolic profile of heifers. Heifers were subjected to oestrous synchronisation using a double prostaglandin F2α (PGF2α) based protocol, 14days apart (week 10 and 12), and were artificially inseminated 12h following detection of overt signs of oestrus. Concentrations of serum oestradiol (E2) and progesterone (P4) on the day of insemination (Day 0) and on Days 7, 14 and 21 post-insemination (early pregnancy) were determined and P4 to E2 ratio was calculated. Clover had greater total isoflavone content than maize silage. The dominant isoflavone detected in Berseem clover was biochanin A, whereas the least was formononetein. Metabolic profile was not affected (P>0.05) by the type of roughage and was in the same trend in both experimental groups. The overall mean concentration of serum E2 was greater (P<0.05) in the clover-fed group than in the silage-fed group. The overall mean concentration of serum P4 was less (P<0.05) in the clover-fed group than in the silage-fed group. During the period of early pregnancy (from Day 7-21 post-insemination) the concentration of serum P4 increased in the silage-fed group, however, no change was observed in the clover-fed group. The overall mean of P4 to E2 ratio was greater (P<0.001) in the silage-fed group compared with that in the clover-fed group. Heifers fed clover had

  14. Age-specific reproductive success and cost in female Alpine ibex.

    PubMed

    Rughetti, Marco; Dematteis, Andrea; Meneguz, Pier Giuseppe; Festa-Bianchet, Marco

    2015-05-01

    In female mammals, reproduction requires high energy expenditure because of gestation and lactation, possibly leading to a fitness cost. Several studies, however, failed to find the expected negative correlation between current and future reproductive success, likely because of individual heterogeneity in reproductive potential. We compared reproductive performance and costs of reproduction for 40 female Alpine ibex in one established population with 29 females translocated from the same population to a new colony. We investigate factors affecting pregnancy, fecundity and overwinter survival of juveniles, after accounting for individual heterogeneity. In both populations, prime-aged females experienced a strong reproductive cost. Senescent females, however, showed no evidence of reproductive costs. The colonizing population showed lower reproductive cost and better age-specific reproductive performance than the established population. We found a general pattern of low age-specific fecundity and reproductive success that was affected by environmental constraints. Age-specific reproductive success was unrelated to longevity. Although about 84% of adult females appeared to conceive, independently of environmental constraints, energy was allocated to reproduction in a highly conservative manner, leading to low age-specific fecundity (only 36 and 21% of prime-aged and senescent females were seen with a kid) but high kid survival (100% to weaning and 92% to 1 year). Our results suggest that females embarked on lactation only if they had a very high probability of raising their offspring. Our study highlights how reproductive performance and costs in this species vary with age and environment, and are the result of a highly conservative reproductive tactic. PMID:25543851

  15. Assessment of Early Postpartum Reproductive Performance in Two High Producing Estonian Dairy Herds

    PubMed Central

    Kask, K; Kurykin, J; Lindjärv, R; Kask, A; Kindahl, H

    2003-01-01

    Early postpartum (6 weeks) ovarian activity, hormonal profiles, uterine involution, uterine infections, serum electrolytes, glucose, milk acetoacetate and blood urea nitrogen (BUN) levels were studied in 2 Estonian high producing dairy herd with annual milk production of 7688 (Farm A) and 9425 (Farm B). From each farm 10 cows, with normal calving performance were used. Blood samples for the hormonal (PGF2α-metabolite, progesterone) analyses were withdrawn. On day 25 PP blood serum samples were taken for the evaluation of metabolic/electrolyte status. On the same day estimation of milk acetoacetate values was done. The ultrasound (US) was started on day 7 PP and was performed every 3rd day until the end of experiment. Uterine content, follicular activity and sizes of the largest follicle and corpus luteum were monitored and measured. Vaginal discharge and uterine tone were recorded during the rectal palpation. Each animal in the study was sampled for bacteriological examination using endometrial biopsies once a week. Two types of PGF2α-metabolite patterns were detected: elevated levels during 14 days PP, then decline to the basal level and then a second small elevation at the time of final elimination of the bacteria from the uterus; or elevated levels during first 7 days PP, then decline to the basal level and a second small elevation before the final elimination of bacteria. Endometritis was diagnosed in 5 cows in farm A and in 3 cows in farm B respectively. In farm A, 5 cows out of 10 ovulated during experimental period and in 1 cow cystic ovaries were found. In farm B, 3 cows out of 10 ovulated. In 3 cows cystic ovaries were found. Altogether 40% of cows had their first ovulation during the experimental period. Three cows in farm A and 5 cows in farm B were totally bacteria negative during the experimental period. The most frequent bacteria found were A. pyogenes, Streptococcus spp., E. coli., F. necrophorum and Bacteroides spp. The highest incidence of

  16. Milt characteristics, reproductive performance, and larval survival and development of white sucker exposed to bleached kraft mill effluent

    SciTech Connect

    McMaster, M.E.; Portt, C.B.; Munkittrick, K.R.; Dixon, D.G. )

    1992-02-01

    White sucker from a Lake Superior bay which receives bleached kraft mill effluent (BKME) show increased hepatic mixed-function oxygenase (MFO) activity, reduced plasma sex steroid levels, decreased egg and gonad size, a decrease in the occurrence of secondary sexual characteristics, and an increased age to maturation. This study evaluated the reproductive performance of that white sucker population relative to a similar reference population. Spawning male white sucker from the BKME site had reduced spermatozoan motility but no significant differences in milt volume, spermatocrit levels, or seminal plasma constituents. BKME male and female fish had equal or greater fertilization potential compared to both male and female fish at the reference site. There was no difference either in the hatchability of the eggs or in larval size at hatch. BKME larvae did show reduced growth rates by 24 days posthatch but showed equal rates of yolk utilization. No difference in larval MFO activity was detected between sites at 21 days posthatch, indicating no parental transfer of induction to the progeny.

  17. Specific LED-based red light photo-stimulation procedures improve overall sperm function and reproductive performance of boar ejaculates

    PubMed Central

    Yeste, Marc; Codony, Francesc; Estrada, Efrén; Lleonart, Miquel; Balasch, Sam; Peña, Alejandro; Bonet, Sergi; Rodríguez-Gil, Joan E.

    2016-01-01

    The present study evaluated the effects of exposing liquid-stored boar semen to different red light LED regimens on sperm quality and reproductive performance. Of all of the tested photo-stimulation procedures, the best pattern consisted of 10 min light, 10 min rest and 10 min of further light (10-10-10 pattern). This pattern induced an intense and transient increase in the majority of motility parameters, without modifying sperm viability and acrosome integrity. While incubating non-photo-stimulated sperm at 37 °C for 90 min decreased all sperm quality parameters, this reduction was prevented when the previously-described light procedure was applied. This effect was concomitant with an increase in the percentage of sperm with high mitochondrial membrane potential. When sperm were subjected to ‘in vitro’ capacitation, photo-stimulation also increased the percentage of sperm with capacitation-like changes in membrane structure. On the other hand, treating commercial semen doses intended for artificial insemination with the 10-10-10 photo-stimulation pattern significantly increased farrowing rates and the number of both total and live-born piglets for parturition. Therefore, our results indicate that a precise photo-stimulation procedure is able to increase the fertilising ability of boar sperm via a mechanism that could be related to mitochondrial function. PMID:26931070

  18. Specific LED-based red light photo-stimulation procedures improve overall sperm function and reproductive performance of boar ejaculates.

    PubMed

    Yeste, Marc; Codony, Francesc; Estrada, Efrén; Lleonart, Miquel; Balasch, Sam; Peña, Alejandro; Bonet, Sergi; Rodríguez-Gil, Joan E

    2016-01-01

    The present study evaluated the effects of exposing liquid-stored boar semen to different red light LED regimens on sperm quality and reproductive performance. Of all of the tested photo-stimulation procedures, the best pattern consisted of 10 min light, 10 min rest and 10 min of further light (10-10-10 pattern). This pattern induced an intense and transient increase in the majority of motility parameters, without modifying sperm viability and acrosome integrity. While incubating non-photo-stimulated sperm at 37 °C for 90 min decreased all sperm quality parameters, this reduction was prevented when the previously-described light procedure was applied. This effect was concomitant with an increase in the percentage of sperm with high mitochondrial membrane potential. When sperm were subjected to 'in vitro' capacitation, photo-stimulation also increased the percentage of sperm with capacitation-like changes in membrane structure. On the other hand, treating commercial semen doses intended for artificial insemination with the 10-10-10 photo-stimulation pattern significantly increased farrowing rates and the number of both total and live-born piglets for parturition. Therefore, our results indicate that a precise photo-stimulation procedure is able to increase the fertilising ability of boar sperm via a mechanism that could be related to mitochondrial function. PMID:26931070

  19. The effect of feeding dairy heifers diets with and without supplemental phosphorus on growth, reproductive efficiency, health, and lactation performance.

    PubMed

    Bjelland, D W; Weigel, K A; Hoffman, P C; Esser, N M; Coblentz, W K

    2011-12-01

    The phosphorus requirements for dairy heifers (0.20-0.35%) and endogenous concentrations (0.20-35%) of P in feeds fed to dairy heifers are similar, suggesting that the need for supplemental P in dairy heifer diets may be minimal. Because long-term P feeding studies on dairy heifers are unavailable, 183 Holstein heifers and 182 backcross Holstein × Jersey heifers were offered diets with (SP=0.40% of dry matter) and without (NP=0.30% of dry matter) supplemental P from 4 to 22 mo of age in a replicated pen design. Forty-eight pens of 8 heifers each were split evenly by breed and treatment group. Heifers were evaluated for body weight (BW), external bone/frame growth, dystocia, calf BW, reproductive efficiency, and first-lactation performance. Growth phase data were analyzed using pen-based statistical models, and lactation data were analyzed using mixed linear models with effects of season of birth, age of dam, heifer pen, sire, sire birth year, and days in milk. Heifers fed NP had similar average daily gain from 170 to 410 and from 410 to 650 d of age compared with heifers fed SP. At 22 mo of age, heifers fed NP did not differ in BW, hip height, hip width, body length, heart girth, cannon bone circumference, or pelvic area compared with heifers fed SP. Blood P concentrations between heifers fed SP or NP did not differ at 8 or 18 mo of age, and heifers fed SP excreted more P (29.2 vs. 24.2g/d) than heifers fed NP. As heifers, services per conception and age at pregnancy were not different between heifers fed NP or SP. At parturition, heifers fed NP or SP had similar dystocia scores and calves were similar in BW. Complete first-lactation data (305 d) were available for 333 primiparous cows, and cows fed NP as heifers produced similar milk, fat, and protein compared with cows fed SP as heifers. Days open, days in milk at first breeding, and services per conception also were similar for primiparous cows fed NP or SP as heifers. No growth, reproductive, or lactation

  20. Southern rice black-streaked dwarf virus (SRBSDV) directly affects the feeding and reproduction behavior of its vector, Sogatella furcifera (Horváth) (Hemiptera: Delphacidae)

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Southern rice black-streaked dwarf virus (SRBSDV) is a recently discovered member of the genus Fijivirus and it is transmitted by the rice whitebacked planthopper (WBPH), Sogatella furcifera (Horváth). It was found that SRBSDV infected vectors might contribute negatively to the WBPH population, although the longer nymphal period might benefit viral acquisition, transmission and increase infection rate. The interaction between SRBSDV and its vector need to be further explored to gain better understanding of the dispersal of WBPH and the spread of virus disease, in particular the feeding and reproduction behavior of viruliferous WBPH. Methods Newly hatched nymphs of WBPH were fed on healthy rice plant after feeding on SRBSDV-infected rice plants for 2 h, and newly emerged adults were numbered and tested. Feeding behaviors of WBPH adults were monitored electronically within a Faraday cage using a Giga-4 DC EPG amplifier. The newly emerged adults were paired, and the fecundity and egg hatchability were investigated. WBPH was molecularly identified for SRBSDV when they dead. According to the identification results, data on viruliferous and non-viruliferous WBPH were collected and analyzed. Results Feeding behavior of viruliferous WBPH was different from those of non-viruliferous WBPH. Frequency of phloem sap ingestion of viruliferous WBPH increased significantly, however the total feeding duration did not increase markedly. When both WBPH parents were infected with SRBSDV, their fecundity and hatchability of the eggs produced were significant lower than those of normal WBPH parents. However, if only one of the parents was viruliferous, fecundity and egg hatchability were only slightly affected. Conclusions Viruliferous WBPH fed on the phloem more frequently than non-viruliferous WBPH and can thus contribute to virus transmission. When both vector parents are viruliferous fecundity and hatchability of the eggs were significantly reduced. However when only

  1. Maternal affection moderates the impact of psychological control on a child's mathematical performance.

    PubMed

    Aunola, Kaisa; Nurmi, Jari-Erik

    2004-11-01

    This study investigated the extent to which mothers' psychological control predicts their children's mathematical performance during the children's transition from preschool to primary school over and above the impact of maternal affection and behavioral control. Also investigated was the extent to which maternal affection and behavioral control moderate the impact of mothers' psychological control. Children 5-6 years old at baseline (N=196) were followed up 6 times to measure their performance in mathematics over a 3-year period from preschool to 2nd grade. Mothers were asked to fill in a questionnaire measuring their parenting styles once every year over the 3-year period. A high level of psychological control exercised by mothers predicted their children's slow progress in mathematics. However, this impact was particularly evident among those children whose mothers reported a high level of affection. No evidence was found that children's mathematical performance had any effect on their mothers' parenting styles. PMID:15535751

  2. A review of published quantitative experimental studies on factors affecting laboratory fume hood performance.

    PubMed

    Ahn, Kwangseog; Woskie, Susan; DiBerardinis, Louis; Ellenbecker, Michael

    2008-11-01

    This study attempted to identify the important factors that affect the performance of a laboratory fume hood and the relationship between the factors and hood performance under various conditions by analyzing and generalizing the results from other studies that quantitatively investigated fume hood performance. A literature search identified 43 studies that were published from 1966 to 2006. For each of those studies, information on the type of test methods used, the factors investigated, and the findings were recorded and summarized. Among the 43 quantitative experimental studies, 21 comparable studies were selected, and then a meta-analysis of the comparable studies was conducted. The exposure concentration variable from the resulting 617 independent test conditions was dichotomized into acceptable or unacceptable using the control level of 0.1 ppm tracer gas. Regression analysis using Cox proportional hazards models provided hood failure ratios for potential exposure determinants. The variables that were found to be statistically significant were the presence of a mannequin/human subject, the distance between a source and breathing zone, and the height of sash opening. In summary, performance of laboratory fume hoods was affected mainly by the presence of a mannequin/human subject, distance between a source and breathing zone, and height of sash opening. Presence of a mannequin/human subject in front of the hood adversely affects hood performance. Worker exposures to air contaminants can be greatly reduced by increasing the distance between the contaminant source and breathing zone and by reducing the height of sash opening. Many other factors can also affect hood performance. Checking face velocity by itself is unlikely to be sufficient in evaluating hood performance properly. An evaluation of the performance of a laboratory fume hood should be performed with a human subject or a mannequin in front of the hood and should address the effects of the activities

  3. Incubation Patterns in a Central-Place Forager Affect Lifetime Reproductive Success: Scaling of Patterns from a Foraging Bout to a Lifetime

    PubMed Central

    Shoji, Akiko; Elliott, Kyle H.; Aris-Brosou, Stéphane; Crump, Doug; Gaston, Anthony J.

    2011-01-01

    Background Long-lived seabirds face a conflict between current and lifelong reproductive success. During incubation shifts, egg neglect is sometimes necessary to avoid starvation, but may compromise the current reproductive attempt. However, factors underlying this decision process are poorly understood. We focus on the ancient murrelet, Synthliboramphus antiquus, an alcid with exceptionally long incubation shift lengths, and test the impact of environmental factors on incubation shift length in relation to reproductive success. Methodology/Principal Findings Using an information theoretic approach, we show that incubation shift length was a strong predictor of reproductive success for ancient murrelets at Reef Island, Haida Gwaii, British Columbia, Canada during the 2007 and 2008 breeding seasons. The most important factors explaining an individual's shift length were egg size, wind speed and the length of the mate's previous shift. Wind speed and tide height were the two most important factors for determining foraging behavior, as measured by dive frequency and depth. Conclusions/Significance Our study demonstrates that (i) species-specific reproductive strategies interact with environmental conditions such as wind speed to form multiple incubation patterns and (ii) maintaining regular incubation shifts is an essential component of reproductive success. PMID:21423631

  4. Eating disorders and reproduction.

    PubMed

    Morgan, J F

    1999-05-01

    Eating disorders are common and characteristically affect young women at what would otherwise be their peak of reproductive functioning. Anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa impinge on reproduction both behaviourally and physiologically, with effects on menstruation, ovarian function, fertility, sexuality and pregnancy. This review presents a summary of current knowledge and makes suggestions for future research, along with some clinical recommendations for the management of eating disorders in pregnancy. PMID:10755771

  5. Effect of feed flushing during summer season on growth, reproductive performance and blood metabolites in Malpura ewes under semiarid tropical environment.

    PubMed

    Naqvi, Syed Mohammad Khursheed; Sejian, Veerasamy; Karim, Shaikh Abdul

    2013-01-01

    Feed scarcity during hot summer months is one of the major predisposing factors for low reproductive efficiency of livestock reared in hot semiarid environment. A study was conducted to assess the effect of concentrate supplementation during summer months on growth, reproductive performance, and blood metabolites in Malpura ewes. Twenty adult Malpura ewes were used in the present study. The ewes were divided into two groups viz, group 1 (n = 10; control) and group 2 (n = 10; concentrate supplementation). The study was conducted for a period of 35 days covering two estrus cycles. In the first cycle, only PGF(2α) was given to all ewes, while in second cycle, all ewes were synchronized for estrus using progesterone-impregnated intravaginal sponges and pregnant mare serum gonadotropin. The animals were allowed for grazing for 8-10 h per day. Apart from grazing, group 2 ewes were supplemented with concentrate mixture at 1.5 % of body weight. Concentrate supplementation had significant influence on body weight, ADG, estrus percentage, estrus duration, onset of estrus, ovulation response, plasma glucose, total protein, and urea. The present study reveals that ewes supplemented with concentrate mixture at 1.5 % of body weights during summer season significantly influenced the growth and reproductive performance of Malpura ewes. Further, the study signifies the importance of providing additional feed supplementation to ewes kept grazing under the conditions of a hot, semiarid environment to improve their reproductive efficiency. PMID:22669488

  6. On the role of positive and negative affectivity in job performance: a meta-analytic investigation.

    PubMed

    Kaplan, Seth; Bradley, Jill C; Luchman, Joseph N; Haynes, Douglas

    2009-01-01

    Although interest regarding the role of dispositional affect in job behaviors has surged in recent years, the true magnitude of affectivity's influence remains unknown. To address this issue, the authors conducted a qualitative and quantitative review of the relationships between positive and negative affectivity (PA and NA, respectively) and various performance dimensions. A series of meta-analyses based on 57 primary studies indicated that PA and NA predicted task performance in the hypothesized directions and that the relationships were strongest for subjectively rated versus objectively rated performance. In addition, PA was related to organizational citizenship behaviors but not withdrawal behaviors, and NA was related to organizational citizenship behaviors, withdrawal behaviors, counterproductive work behaviors, and occupational injury. Mediational analyses revealed that affect operated through different mechanisms in influencing the various performance dimensions. Regression analyses documented that PA and NA uniquely predicted task performance but that extraversion and neuroticism did not, when the four were considered simultaneously. Discussion focuses on the theoretical and practical implications of these findings. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2009 APA, all rights reserved). PMID:19186902

  7. Malaysian and Singaporean students' affective characteristics and mathematics performance: evidence from PISA 2012.

    PubMed

    Thien, Lei Mee; Ong, Mei Yean

    2015-01-01

    This paper attempts to identify the extent to which the affective characteristics of Malaysian and Singaporean students' attainment compared to the OECD average in Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2012, and examine the influence of students' affective characteristics, gender, and their socioeconomic status on mathematics performance at both student and school levels. Sample consisted of 5197 and 5546 15-year-old Malaysian and Singaporean students. Data were analysed using hierarchical linear modelling approach with HLM 7.0 software. Results showed that the Index of economic, social, and cultural status (ESCS), mathematics self-efficacy, and mathematics anxiety have significant effects on mathematics performance in Malaysia and Singapore at the student level. Proportion of boys at the school level has no significant effects on mathematics performance for both Malaysian and Singaporean students. ESCS mean at the school level has positive and significant effects on mathematics performance in Malaysia, but not in Singapore. Limitations, implications, and future studies were discussed. PMID:26543698

  8. Impact of fMRI Scanner Noise on Affective State and Attentional Performance

    PubMed Central

    Jacob, Shawna N.; Shear, Paula K.; Norris, Matthew; Smith, Matthew; Osterhage, Jeff; Strakowski, Stephen M.; Cerullo, Michael; Fleck, David E.; Lee, Jing-Huei; Eliassen, James C.

    2015-01-01

    Introduction Previous research has shown that performance on cognitive tasks administered in the scanner can be altered by the scanner environment. There are no previous studies that have investigated the impact of scanner noise using a well-validated measure of affective change. The goal of this study was to determine whether performance on an affective attentional task or emotional response to the task would change in the presence of distracting acoustic noise, such as that encountered in an MRI environment. Method Thirty-four young adults with no self-reported history of neurologic disorder or mental illness completed three blocks of the affective Posner task outside of the scanner. The task was meant to induce frustration through monetary contingencies and rigged feedback. Participants completed a self-assessment manikin at the end of each block to rate their mood, arousal level, and sense of dominance. During the task, half of the participants heard noise (recorded from a 4T MRI system), and half heard no noise. Results The affective Posner task led to significant reductions in mood and increases in arousal in healthy participants. The presence of scanner noise did not impact task performance; however, individuals in the noise group did report significantly poorer mood throughout the task. Conclusions The results of the present study suggest that the acoustic qualities of MRI enhance frustration effects on an affective attentional task and that scanner noise may influence mood during similar fMRI tasks. PMID:26059389

  9. Oral impacts affecting daily performance in a low dental disease Thai population.

    PubMed

    Adulyanon, S; Vourapukjaru, J; Sheiham, A

    1996-12-01

    The aim of the study was to measure incidence of oral impacts on daily performances and their related features in a low dental disease population. 501 people aged 35-44 years in 16 rural villages in Ban Phang district, Khon Kaen, Thailand, were interviewed about oral impacts on nine physical, psychological and social aspects of performance during the past 6 months, and then had an oral examination. The clinical and behavioural data showed that the sample had low caries (DMFT = 2.7) and a low utilization of dental services. 73.6% of all subjects had at least one daily performance affected by an oral impact. The highest incidence of performances affected were Eating (49.7%), Emotional stability (46.5%) and Smiling (26.1%). Eating, Emotional stability and Cleaning teeth performances had a high frequency or long duration of impacts, but a low severity. The low frequency performances; Physical activities, Major role activity and Sleeping were rated as high severity. Pain and discomfort were mainly perceived as the causes of impacts (40.1%) for almost every performance except Smiling. Toothache was the major causal oral condition (32.7%) of almost all aspects of performance. It was concluded that this low caries people have as high an incidence of oral impacts as industrialized, high dental disease populations. Frequency and severity presented the paradoxical effect on different performances and should both be taken into account for overall estimation of impacts. PMID:9007354

  10. Alpha suppression following performance errors is correlated with depression, affect, and coping behaviors.

    PubMed

    Compton, Rebecca J; Hofheimer, Julia; Kazinka, Rebecca; Levinson, Amanda; Zheutlin, Amanda

    2013-10-01

    This study tested the hypothesis that enhanced neural arousal in response to performance errors would predict poor affect and coping behaviors in everyday life. Participants were preselected as either low-depressed (LD) or high-depressed (HD) based on a screening questionnaire, and they then completed a laboratory Stroop task while EEG was recorded, followed by a 2-week period of daily reports of affect and coping behaviors. The EEG measure of arousal response to errors was the degree of error-related alpha suppression (ERAS) in the intertrial interval, that is the reduction in alpha power following errors compared with correct responses. ERAS was relatively heightened at frontal sites for the HD versus the LD group, and frontal ERAS predicted lower positive affect, higher negative affect, and less adaptive coping behaviors in the daily reports. Together, the results imply that heightened arousal following mistakes is associated with suboptimal emotion and coping with stressors. PMID:23731439

  11. Performance Art: Kinetic Reproductions.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kassin, Cherie

    2001-01-01

    Provides an art project for use with eighth-grade students, who choose a work of art and recreate it in an interpretive and informative manner. Explains that students re-create the background of the artwork and then the students become a part of the painting via characters or objects. (CMK)

  12. ULTRAFINE CARBON PARTICLE (UFCP) INHALATION AFFECTS CARDIOVASCULAR PERFORMANCE IN HYPERTENSIVE RATS (SHR)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Inhaled UfCP affect cardiovascular performance in healthy rats (Harder et al. Inhal Toxicol 2005; 17:29-42) without apparent pulmonary damage. To assess whether geriatric cardiovascular compromised rats are more susceptible to UfCP effects, male adult (6months) and geriatric (13m...

  13. Internal Challenges Affecting Academic Performance of Student-Athletes in Ghanaian Public Universities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Apaak, Daniel; Sarpong, Emmanuel Osei

    2015-01-01

    This paper examined internal challenges affecting academic performance of student-athletes in Ghanaian public universities, using a descriptive survey research design. Proportionate random sampling technique was employed to select Three Hundred and Thirty-Two (332) respondents for the study. The instrument used in gathering data for the study was…

  14. Factors Affecting Business Students' Performance: The Case of Students in United Arab Emirates

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harb, Nasri; El-Shaarawi, Ahmed

    2007-01-01

    In this study, the authors found that the most important factor that affected student performance was their competence in speaking English. The sample was a group of 864 business and economics students in United Arab Emirates. The authors used regression analysis for the study. The results of the study showed that students who participated in…

  15. Students Perceptions on Factors That Affect Their Academic Performance: The Case of Great Zimbabwe University (GZU)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mapuranga, Barbra; Musingafi, Maxwell C. C.; Zebron, Shupikai

    2015-01-01

    Some educators argue that entry standards are the most important determinants of successful completion of a university programme; others maintain that non-academic factors must also be considered. In this study we sought to investigate open and distance learning students' perceptions of the factors affecting academic performance and successful…

  16. Study of Core Competency Elements and Factors Affecting Performance Efficiency of Government Teachers in Northeastern Thailand

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chansirisira, Pacharawit

    2012-01-01

    The research aimed to investigate the core competency elements and the factors affecting the performance efficiency of the civil service teachers in the northeastern region, Thailand. The research procedure consisted of two steps. In the first step, the data were collected using a questionnaire with the reliability (Cronbach's Alpha) of 0.90. The…

  17. Factors Affecting University Entrants' Performance in High-Stakes Tests: A Multiple Regression Analysis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Uy, Chin; Manalo, Ronaldo A.; Cabauatan, Ronaldo R.

    2015-01-01

    In the Philippines, students seeking admission to a university are usually required to meet certain entrance requirements, including passing the entrance examinations with questions on IQ and English, mathematics, and science. This paper aims to determine the factors that affect the performance of entrants into business programmes in high-stakes…

  18. Antecedent Factors Affecting Academic Performance of Graduate Students at the Nairobi Evangelical Graduate School of Theology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mbogo, Rosemary Wahu

    2016-01-01

    This paper reports the findings of a Master's level thesis work that was done in 1997 to assess the antecedent factors affecting the academic performance of graduate students at the Nairobi Evangelical School of Theology (N.E.G.S.T.), which is currently Africa International University (AIU). The paper reviews the effect of lack of finance on…

  19. Mathematics performance and the role played by affective and background factors peter grootenboer and brian hemmings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grootenboer, Peter; Hemmings, Brian

    2007-12-01

    In this article, we report on a study examining those factors which contribute to the mathematics performance of a sample of children aged between 8 and 13 years. The study was designed specifically to consider the potency of a number of mathematical affective factors, as well as background characteristics (viz., gender, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status), on children's mathematics performance. Data were collected by surveying the children and drawing on performance ratings from their teachers. A correlation analysis revealed that the relationships between the respective dispositional and background variables with mathematics performance were significant and in the direction as predicted. Moreover, the findings from a logistic regression showed that a combination of these variables was able to appropriately classify students who either were below-average or above-average mathematics performers. We pay particular attention to the influence of certain dispositions with respect to mathematics performance and conclude by detailing the implications of the study for teachers and researchers.

  20. Efficacy of Spirulina platensis in improvement of the reproductive performance and easing teratogenicity in hyperglycemic albino mice

    PubMed Central

    Pankaj, Pranay Punj

    2015-01-01

    Objectives: The present study evaluates the therapeutic efficacy of cell suspension of Spirulina platensis (SP) on estrous cycle, fetal development and embryopathy in alloxan (AXN) induced hyperglycemic mice. Materials and Methods: Diabetes was induced by intra-peritoneal administration of AXN. Mice with blood glucose level above 200 mg/dl were divided into Group I (control), Group II (diabetic control), Group III (diabetic control mice fed with SP), and Group IV (control mice fed with SP). Litter counts, estrous cycles, percent survival of litter, and gestation length were recorded. Results: In hyperglycemic mice, a significant (P < 0.05) increase in duration of diestrus (14.48%), estrus (84.21%), and metestrus (164.15%) with concomitant decrease in proestrus phase by 26.13% was recorded when compared with control. Reduction in litter count and survival of litter was 68.67% and 88.38%, respectively, whereas gestation length increased to 14.51% day in diabetic mice, but recovery in these parameters was observed (P < 0.05) when subjected to SP treatment. SP resulted in increased fertility rate from 77.5% to 82.5% and dropped off resorption of the fetus to 33.73% while the survival rate of offspring of diabetic mice went up to 88.89% from 83.61%. Conclusions: These findings suggest that SP is effective in improving the reproductive performance and easing teratogenic effects in diabetic mice and hence warrants further detailed dose-dependent studies to understand its mechanism of action. PMID:26285837

  1. Reproductive performance and estimates of labor requirements associated with combinations of artificial insemination and natural service in swine.

    PubMed

    Flowers, W L; Alhusen, H D

    1992-03-01

    A study was conducted to examine effects of mating systems composed of natural service (NS) and AI in swine on farrowing rate, litter size, and labor requirements. Sows and gilts were bred once per day via one of the following treatments (d 1/d 2): NS/NS, NS/AI, AI/AI, and NS/none. Gilts bred with NS/AI, AI/AI, and NS/NS had higher (P less than .05) farrowing rates than gilts bred with NS/none matings. Similarly, farrowing rates were higher (P less than .05) in NS/AI than in NS/NS gilts. Numbers of pigs born alive were greater (P less than .05) in NS/NS, NS/AI, and AI/AI than in NS/none gilts. In sows, a treatment x time interaction (P less than .01) was present for farrowing rate. In the AI/AI treatment, farrowing rate increased (P less than .01) from 70.0% (wk 1 through 3) to 88.5% (wk 4 through 10). Farrowing rates were 87.3, 93.2, and 76.0% in the NS/NS, NS/AI, and NS/none groups, respectively, and did not change (P = .72) over time. Sows bred via NS/NS and NS/AI had larger litters (P less than .05) than NS/none sows. In the present study, if four or more sows and gilts were bred, then AI required less (P less than .05) time per animal than NS. Furthermore, gilts required more (P less than .05) time for breeding than sows. Results from this study demonstrate that gilts and sows responded differently to combinations of NS and AI in terms of reproductive performance. In addition, differences in labor requirements per sow or gilt between NS and AI matings were dependent on parity and daily breeding demands. PMID:1563988

  2. Reproductive performance of dairy cows managed with a program aimed at increasing insemination of cows in estrus based on increased physical activity and fertility of timed artificial inseminations.

    PubMed

    Giordano, J O; Stangaferro, M L; Wijma, R; Chandler, W C; Watters, R D

    2015-04-01

    The objective of this study was to compare the reproductive performance of lactating dairy cows using a treatment (TRT) program for second and subsequent artificial insemination (AI) services aimed at (1) increasing AI upon estrus detection based on increased physical activity (AIAct) and (2) increasing fertility of timed AI (TAI) services for cows not AIAct through presynchronization of the estrous cycle and improved physiological milieu before TAI. Cows in the control (CON) group were managed with a program that combined AIAct and TAI after the Ovsynch protocol. After nonpregnancy diagnosis (NPD) by transrectal ultrasonography at 31 ± 3 d after AI, cows received the following treatments: (1) CON (n=634), AIAct any time after a previous AI and resynchronization with the Ovsynch-56 protocol (GnRH-7d-PGF2α-56 h-GnRH-16 h-TAI) 1d after NPD, or (2) TRT (n = 616): cows with a corpus luteum (CL) ≥ 20 mm (TRT-CL) received a PGF2α injection 1d after NPD, whereas cows with no CL or a CL < 20 mm (TRT-NoCL) received a GnRH injection 3d after NPD. Cows in TRT-CL and TRT-NoCL not AIAct were enrolled in a 5-d Ovsynch + progesterone protocol (GnRH + controlled internal drug release-5d-PGF2α + controlled internal drug release removal-24 h-PGF2α -32 h-GnRH-16 h-TAI) 9 and 7d after the PGF2α or GnRH injection, respectively, to receive TAI. The hazard of pregnancy up to 270 DIM was similar for cows in the CON and TRT group (hazard ratio = 1.07, 95% CI = 0.95 to 1.21), but it was affected by parity (primiparous greater than multiparous cows). Median days to pregnancy for the CON and TRT group were 111 and 110 d, respectively. When evaluated after 104 DIM (first time point at which cows were affected by the treatments), the hazard of pregnancy was similar for the CON and TRT group (hazard ratio = 1.15, 95% CI = 0.95 to 1.39). Based on this analysis, median days to pregnancy for the CON and TRT group were 161 and 178 d, respectively. Thus, in spite of increasing the proportion

  3. Universal and culture-specific factors in the recognition and performance of musical affect expressions.

    PubMed

    Laukka, Petri; Eerola, Tuomas; Thingujam, Nutankumar S; Yamasaki, Teruo; Beller, Grégory

    2013-06-01

    We present a cross-cultural study on the performance and perception of affective expression in music. Professional bowed-string musicians from different musical traditions (Swedish folk music, Hindustani classical music, Japanese traditional music, and Western classical music) were instructed to perform short pieces of music to convey 11 emotions and related states to listeners. All musical stimuli were judged by Swedish, Indian, and Japanese participants in a balanced design, and a variety of acoustic and musical cues were extracted. Results first showed that the musicians' expressive intentions could be recognized with accuracy above chance both within and across musical cultures, but communication was, in general, more accurate for culturally familiar versus unfamiliar music, and for basic emotions versus nonbasic affective states. We further used a lens-model approach to describe the relations between the strategies that musicians use to convey various expressions and listeners' perceptions of the affective content of the music. Many acoustic and musical cues were similarly correlated with both the musicians' expressive intentions and the listeners' affective judgments across musical cultures, but the match between musicians' and listeners' uses of cues was better in within-cultural versus cross-cultural conditions. We conclude that affective expression in music may depend on a combination of universal and culture-specific factors. PMID:23398579

  4. Neuropsychological performance and affective temperaments in Euthymic patients with bipolar disorder type II.

    PubMed

    Romero, Ester; Holtzman, Jessica N; Tannenhaus, Lucila; Monchablon, Romina; Rago, Carlo Mario; Lolich, Maria; Vázquez, Gustavo H

    2016-04-30

    Affective temperament has been suggested as a potential mediator of the effect between genetic predisposition and neurocognitive functioning. As such, this report seeks to assess the extent of the correlation between affective temperament and cognitive function in a group of bipolar II subjects. 46 bipolar II outpatients [mean age 41.4 years (SD 18.2); female 58.9%] and 46 healthy controls [mean age 35.1 years (SD 18); female 56.5%] were evaluated with regard to their demographic and clinical characteristics, affective temperament, and neurocognitive performance. Crude bivariate correlation analyses and multiple linear regression models were constructed between five affective temperament subscales and eight neurocognitive domains. Significant correlations were identified in bipolar patients between hyperthymic temperament and verbal memory and premorbid IQ; cyclothymic temperament and attention; and irritable temperament, attention, and verbal fluency. In adjusting for potential confounders of the relationship between temperament and cognitive function, the strongest mediating factors among the euthymic bipolar patients were found to be residual manic and depressive symptoms. It is therefore concluded that affective temperaments may partially influence the neurocognitive performance of both healthy controls and euthymic patients with bipolar disorder type II in several specific domains. PMID:27086230

  5. Maternal aging affects life performance of progeny in a Holstein dairy cow model.

    PubMed

    Astiz, S; Gonzalez-Bulnes, A; Sebastian, F; Fargas, O; Cano, I; Cuesta, P

    2014-10-01

    The development and life performance of 404 high-producing Holstein dairy cows was studied from birth onwards and during two lactations. The management, environment and parental genetics of the cows were known in detail. Cluster analysis identified four performance 'types': high-yielding (HY) cows and persistently high-yielding (PHY) cows, which accounted for 33% of the animals; medium-yielding (MY) cows, 41%; and low-yielding (LY) cows, 26%. Prenatal determinants of the life performance of the progeny were analyzed. Developmental and environmental factors were excluded as determinants of performance (including birth weight, level of passive immunity transfer, growth rate, age at first parturition and reproductive efficiency). Life performance did show minor seasonal effects, with more HY cows but less PHY being born during the cold season (90.1% in HY; 58.3% in PHY v. 81.5%). Instead, the single most important factor influencing life performance of daughters was maternal age. HY cows were born from the youngest mothers (1.89±1.14 parturitions, 3.12±1.42-year old), whereas LY cows were born from the oldest (2.72±1.80 parturitions, 3.97±2.01-year old; P<0.001). Life performance of the dams did not differ among clusters. In addition, metabolic parameters (fat and protein yield) were found to correlate significantly with yields between the first and second lactations (milk yield: r=0.357; fat yield: r=0.211; protein yield: r=0.277; P<0.0001), suggesting the influence of the individual. These results suggest that under optimal health, nutritional and environmental conditions, maternal aging is an important determinant of the life performance of progeny and argue for the need to identify conditions that contribute to health and disease in progeny according to the Developmental Origin of Health and Disease or DOHaD concept. Our findings may help the development of novel management guidelines for dairy farms. PMID:25084160

  6. The effect of active immunization against vasoactive intestinal peptide and inhibin on reproductive performance of young White Leghorn roosters.

    PubMed

    Avital-Cohen, N; Heiblum, R; Argov, N; Rosenstrauch, A; Chaiseha, Y; Mobarkey, N; Rozenboim, I

    2011-10-01

    The neuropeptides vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) and gonadal inhibin have long been considered putative regulators of reproduction in hens. However, their role in young roosters remains unclear. We studied the effect of active immunization against VIP, inhibin, and a combination of both hormones on reproduction in young White Leghorn roosters. At 13 wk of age, White Leghorn roosters (n = 60) were split into 4 groups (n = 15). One group was actively immunized against VIP, the second against inhibin, the third against both VIP and inhibin, and the fourth, untreated, served as a control. Active immunization against VIP enhanced reproductive parameters as manifested by increased semen quality, plasma steroid levels, and mRNA gene expression of hypothalamic gonadotropin-releasing hormone-I, pituitary follicle-stimulating hormone, pituitary luteinizing hormone (LH), and decreased mRNA gene expression of hypothalamic VIP, pituitary prolactin, and testicular LH receptor. In contrast, immunization against inhibin decreased reproductive parameters such as semen quality, plasma steroid levels, mRNA gene expression of pituitary follicle-stimulating hormone and testicular inhibin. The combined treatment showed the greatest increase in semen quality parameters, plasma steroid levels, and mRNA gene expression of hypothalamic gonadotropin-releasing hormone-I, pituitary follicle-stimulating hormone, pituitary LH, and testicular LH receptor. Moreover, it significantly reduced mRNA gene expression of hypothalamic VIP and pituitary prolactin and mildly reduced that of testicular inhibin. These results suggest that VIP plays a negative role, at a young age, in reproduction of roosters that is similar to that in hens and that inhibin is as important in reproductive function in young roosters as in mammals. PMID:21934016

  7. Preweaning growth of Angus- (Bos taurus), Brahman- (Bos indicus), and Tuli- (Sanga) sired calves and reproductive performance of their Brahman dams.

    PubMed

    Browning, R; Leite-Browning, M L; Neuendorff, D A; Randel, R D

    1995-09-01

    Calves born to Angus (A), Brahman (B), or Tuli (T) bulls and B cows were evaluated to determine sire breed of calf effects on preweaning calf growth and reproductive performance of their dams. Records from 242 cow-calf pairs over 2 yr were used to assess birth weight, calf ADG, weaning weight, gestation length, and postpartum interval to estrus (PPI). The sire breed x sex of calf interaction was important (P < .05) for birth weight, weaning weight, and gestation length. Birth weights of BB males (32.8 +/- .8 kg) were significantly heavier than for AB and TB males (30.1 +/- .9 and 28.6 +/- .7 kg, respectively) and BB females (29.4 +/- .7 kg). As a main effect, sire breed of calf affected (P < .05) calf ADG, weaning weight, gestation length, and PPI. Calf ADG and weaning weights were greater for AB (.90 +/- .01 kg/d; 220.9 +/- 3.5 kg) than for TB (.81 +/- .01 kg/d; 200.4 +/- 3.0 kg) and BB calves (.78 +/- .01 kg/d; 198.8 +/- 3.5 kg). Gestation lengths differed (P < .01) among all calf genotypes (284, 288, and 294 +/- 1 d for AB, TB, and BB, respectively). Postpartum intervals were shorter (P < .05) for cows nursing BB calves (83 +/- 4 d) than for cows nursing AB (95 +/- 5 d) and TB calves (97 +/- 4 d). Tuli-sired F1 calves were inferior to Angus-sired F1 calves and similar to straightbred Brahman calves in preweaning growth. Crossbred calves had shorter gestations but longer postpartum intervals than purebred calves. PMID:8582844

  8. A Quality Improvement Study on Avoidable Stressors and Countermeasures Affecting Surgical Motor Performance and Learning

    PubMed Central

    Conrad, Claudius; Konuk, Yusuf; Werner, Paul D.; Cao, Caroline G.; Warshaw, Andrew L.; Rattner, David W.; Stangenberg, Lars; Ott, Harald C.; Jones, Daniel B.; Miller, Diane L; Gee, Denise W.

    2012-01-01

    OBJECTIVE To explore how the two most important components of surgical performance - speed and accuracy - are influenced by different forms of stress and what the impact of music on these factors is. SUMMARY BACKGROUND DATA Based on a recently published pilot study on surgical experts, we designed an experiment examining the effects of auditory stress, mental stress, and music on surgical performance and learning, and then correlated the data psychometric measures to the role of music in a novice surgeon’s life. METHODS 31 surgeons were recruited for a crossover study. Surgeons were randomized to four simple standardized tasks to be performed on the Surgical SIM VR laparoscopic simulator, allowing exact tracking of speed and accuracy. Tasks were performed under a variety of conditions, including silence, dichotic music (auditory stress), defined classical music (auditory relaxation), and mental loading (mental arithmetic tasks). Tasks were performed twice to test for memory consolidation and to accommodate for baseline variability. Performance was correlated to the Brief Musical Experience Questionnaire (MEQ). RESULTS Mental loading influences performance with respect to accuracy, speed, and recall more negatively than does auditory stress. Defined classical music might lead to minimally worse performance initially, but leads to significantly improved memory consolidation. Furthermore, psychologic testing of the volunteers suggests that surgeons with greater musical commitment, measured by the MEQ, perform worse under the mental loading condition. CONCLUSION Mental distraction and auditory stress negatively affect specific components of surgical learning and performance. If used appropriately, classical music may positively affect surgical memory consolidation. It also may be possible to predict surgeons’ performance and learning under stress through psychological tests on the role of music in a surgeon’s life. Further investigation is necessary to determine

  9. Associations of peripartum markers of stress and inflammation with milk yield and reproductive performance in Holstein dairy cows.

    PubMed

    Huzzey, Juliana M; Mann, Sabine; Nydam, Daryl V; Grant, Richard J; Overton, Thomas R

    2015-07-01

    The objective was to evaluate the association of peripartum concentrations of fecal cortisol metabolites (11,17-dioxoandrostane; 11,17-DOA), plasma cortisol and haptoglobin (Hp), as well as two markers of negative energy balance, non-esterified fatty acid (NEFA) and postpartum β-hydroxybutyrate (BHBA), with milk yield and reproductive performance. Blood and fecal samples were collected weekly from 412 Holstein dairy cows from wk -3 through wk +1 relative to calving. Pregnancies by 150 days in milk (DIM) and projected 305-d mature equivalent (305ME) milk yield based on the 3rd Dairy Herd Improvement (DHI) test day (mean±SD; 102±17 DIM) were measured. Multivariable linear regression models were used to describe the associations of metabolites with 305ME milk yield. Semiparametric proportional hazards models were used to describe associations of the same metabolites with risk of conception by 150 DIM. Negative associations with milk yield were found for prepartum Hp in wk -2, -1, and +1 relative to calving (estimate±SE: 490±251, 564±259, and 464±136kg lower yield for every increase in Hp concentration by 1g/L, respectively) as well as with NEFA concentration in wk -2 (estimate±SE: 1465±541kg lower milk yield for an increase in NEFA concentration by 1mEq/L). Postpartum associations of NEFA with milk yield depended on parity; NEFA was associated with an increase in milk yield in primiparous animals only (estimate±SE: 1548±510kg increase for an increase in NEFA concentration by 1mEq/L). An increase in plasma cortisol concentration by 1μg/dL in wk +1 relative to calving was associated with an increase in milk yield (estimate±SE: 580±176kg). Prepartum 11,17-DOA was associated in all three prepartum sampling weeks with a reduced hazard ratio (HR) of conception (HR [95% CI]: 0.81 [0.67-0.97], 0.85 [0.72-0.99], and 0.85 [0.75-0.97] for every increase in concentration by 1mg/g fecal dry matter (DM) in wk -3, -2, and -1 relative to calving, respectively

  10. Effects of energy supplementation frequency and forage quality on performance, reproductive, and physiological responses of replacement beef heifers.

    PubMed

    Moriel, P; Cooke, R F; Bohnert, D W; Vendramini, J M B; Arthington, J D

    2012-07-01

    The objective of this study was to compare performance, physiological, and reproductive responses of beef heifers consuming forages differing in nutritional quality and offered a low-starch energy supplement at 2 different frequencies. Forty-eight Brahman × British heifers (initial age = 294 ± 3 d) were allocated into 1 of 16 drylot pens (3 heifers/pen) which were randomly assigned to receive, in a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement of treatments: 1) low-quality hay [LQ; stargrass (Cynodon nlemfuensis) with 8% CP and 81% NDF, DM basis] and daily supplementation (S7); 2) LQ and supplementation 3 times weekly (S3); 3) medium-quality hay [MQ; bermudagrass (C. dactylon) with 12% CP and 74% NDF, DM basis] and S7; and 4) MQ and S3. Throughout the study (d 0 to 120), hay was offered in amounts to ensure ad libitum access, and a supplement based on soybean hulls and wheat middlings was offered at weekly rates of 15.8 and 7.9 kg/heifer (DM basis) for LQ and MQ, respectively. Forage and total DMI were evaluated daily, from d 20 to 26, d 34 to 40, and d 48 to 54. Blood samples were collected weekly for determination of plasma progesterone to evaluate puberty attainment. Blood samples were also collected daily, from d 13 to 16, d 27 to 30, d 41 to 44, and d 55 to 58 for determination of plasma urea nitrogen (PUN), glucose, insulin, IGF-I, and NEFA. On d 60, heifers were reallocated by treatment into 4 paddocks and exposed to Angus bulls (1:12 bull:heifer ratio) until d 120. Date of conception was estimated retrospectively by subtracting gestation length (286 d) from the calving date. Heifers receiving S7 had similar (P = 0.52) ADG compared with S3 heifers (0.27 vs. 0.25 kg/d). Heifers provided S7 had less daily variation in hay DMI and plasma concentrations of glucose, NEFA, and IGF-I compared with S3 cohorts (supplementation frequency × day interaction; P < 0.01). Similarly, heifers offered MQ and LQ and receiving S7 had less daily variation in total DMI, energy and protein

  11. How sleep deprivation affects psychological variables related to college students' cognitive performance.

    PubMed

    Pilcher, J J; Walters, A S

    1997-11-01

    The effects of sleep deprivation on cognitive performance psychological variables related to cognitive performance were studied in 44 college students. Participants completed the Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal after either 24 hours of sleep deprivation or approximately 8 hours of sleep. After completing the cognitive task, the participants completed 2 questionnaires, one assessing self-reported effort, concentration, and estimated performance, the other assessing off-task cognitions. As expected, sleep-deprived participants performed significantly worse than the nondeprived participants on the cognitive task. However, the sleep-deprived participants rated their concentration and effort higher than the nondeprived participants did. In addition, the sleep-deprived participants rated their estimated performance significantly higher than the nondeprived participants did. The findings indicate that college students are not aware of the extent to which sleep deprivation negatively affects their ability to complete cognitive tasks. PMID:9394089

  12. Gender Differences in Introductory University Physics Performance: The Influence of High School Physics Preparation and Affect

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hazari, Zahra

    2006-12-01

    The attrition of females studying physics after high school has been a continuing concern for the physics education community. If females are well prepared, feel confident, and do well in introductory college physics, they may be inclined to study physics further. This quantitative study uses HLM to identify factors from high school physics preparation (content, pedagogy, and assessment) and the affective domain that predict female and male performance in introductory college physics. The study includes controls for student demographic and academic background characteristics, and the final dataset consists of 1973 surveys from 54 introductory college physics classes. The results highlight high school physics and affective experiences that differentially predict female and male performance. These experiences include: learning requirements, computer graphing/analysis, long written problems, everyday world examples, community projects cumulative tests/quizzes, father's encouragement, family's belief that science leads to a better career, and the length of time students believe that high school physics would help in university physics. There were also experiences that similarly predict female and male performance. The results paint a dynamic picture of the factors from high school physics and the affective domain that influence the future physics performance of females and males. The implication is that there are many aspects to the teaching of physics in high school that, although widely used and thought to be effective, need reform in their implementation in order to be fully beneficial to females and/or males in college.

  13. First-lactation performance in cows affected by digital dermatitis during the rearing period.

    PubMed

    Gomez, A; Cook, N B; Socha, M T; Döpfer, D

    2015-07-01

    The long-term effects of prepartum digital dermatitis (DD) on first-lactation performance were evaluated in a cohort of 719 pregnant heifers. All heifers were followed for a period of 6 mo until calving and classified on the basis of the number of DD events diagnosed during this period as type I, type II, or type III (no DD, one DD event, and multiple DD events, respectively). Health during the initial 60d in milk (DIM), reproductive and hoof health outcomes, and milk production were compared between the 3 heifer type groups. All logistic and linear models were adjusted for age, height, and girth circumference at enrollment, and the type of trace mineral supplementation during the prepartum period. Overall, cows experiencing DD during the rearing period showed worse production and health outcomes compared with healthy heifers during the first lactation. The percentages of assisted calvings, stillbirths, culled before 60 DIM, and diseased cows during the fresh period were numerically higher in type III cows compared with type I cows. However, none of these differences were statistically significant at the 95% confidence level. Significantly lower conception at first service [odds ratio (OR)=0.55, 95% confidence interval (95% CI): 0.33, 0.89] and increased number of days open (mean=24d, 95% CI: 5.2, 43) were observed in type III cows compared with type I cows. In relation to hoof health, a significantly increased risk of DD during the first lactation was found in type II and III cows (OR=5.16, 95% CI: 3.23, 8.29; and OR=12.5, 95% CI: 7.52, 21.1, respectively), as well as earlier occurrence of DD following calving (OR=59d, 95% CI=20, 96, and OR=74d, 95% CI: 37, 109). Compared with type I cows, statistically significant milk production losses during the initial 305 DIM of 199 and 335kg were estimated in type II and III cows, respectively. This difference was due to a greater rate of production decline (less persistence) after peak yield. No differences in monthly fat

  14. Breeding and Housing Laboratory Rats and Mice in the Same Room Does Not Affect the Growth or Reproduction of Either Species

    PubMed Central

    Pritchett-Corning, Kathleen R; Chang, Fon T; Festing, Michael F W

    2009-01-01

    Few data exist regarding the effects of long-term housing of rats and mice in the same secondary enclosure. Historical reproductive and growth data were compared for colonies of mice and rats maintained in open-topped cages in either single-species or dual-species barrier rooms. This analysis included reproductive parameters (litter size at birth, litter size at weaning, and pups missing at weaning) collected from 33 colonies of mice comprising 500 to 38,500 breeding females and 28 colonies of rats totaling 350 to 4,600 breeding females, and representative samples from 28 colonies of each species were analyzed for weight gain from weaning to adulthood. The presence or absence of the other species was not associated with statistically significant differences in weight gain or any of the reproductive parameters. These results suggest that breeding colonies of rats and mice of the same health status can be housed in the same room without a negative effect on the growth and reproduction of either species. PMID:19807969

  15. Human resources management and firm performance: The differential role of managerial affective and continuance commitment.

    PubMed

    Gong, Yaping; Law, Kenneth S; Chang, Song; Xin, Katherine R

    2009-01-01

    In this study, the authors developed a dual-concern (i.e., maintenance and performance) model of human resources (HR) management. The authors identified commonly examined HR practices that apply to the middle manager level and classified them into the maintenance- and performance-oriented HR subsystems. The authors found support for the 2-factor model on the basis of responses from 2,148 managers from 463 firms operating in China. Regression results indicate that the performance-oriented HR subsystems had a positive relationship with firm performance and that the relationship was mediated by middle managers' affective commitment to the firm. The maintenance-oriented HR subsystems had a positive relationship with middle managers' continuance commitment but not with their affective commitment and firm performance. This study contributes to the understanding of how HR practices relate to firm performance and offers an improved test of the argument that valuable and firm-specific HR provide a source of competitive advantage. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2009 APA, all rights reserved). PMID:19186911

  16. Centrality and charisma: comparing how leader networks and attributions affect team performance.

    PubMed

    Balkundi, Prasad; Kilduff, Martin; Harrison, David A

    2011-11-01

    When leaders interact in teams with their subordinates, they build social capital that can have positive effects on team performance. Does this social capital affect team performance because subordinates come to see the leader as charismatic? We answered this question by examining 2 models. First, we tested the charisma-to-centrality model according to which the leader's charisma facilitates the occupation of a central position in the informal advice network. From this central position, the leader positively influences team performance. Second, we examined the centrality-to-charisma model according to which charisma is attributed to those leaders who are socially active in terms of giving and receiving advice. Attributed charisma facilitates increased team performance. We tested these 2 models in 2 different studies. In the first study, based on time-separated, multisource data emanating from members of 56 work teams, we found support for the centrality-to-charisma model. Formal leaders who were central within team advice networks were seen as charismatic by subordinates, and this charisma was associated with high team performance. To clarify how leader network centrality affected the emergence of charismatic leadership, we designed Study 2 in which, for 79 student teams, we measured leader networking activity and leader charisma at 2 different points in time and related these variables to team performance measured at a third point in time. On the basis of this temporally separated data set, we again found support for the centrality-to-charisma model. PMID:21895351

  17. “I Always Worry about What Might Happen Ahead”: Implementing Safer Conception Services in the Current Environment of Reproductive Counseling for HIV-Affected Men and Women in Uganda

    PubMed Central

    Bajunirwe, Francis; Kastner, Jasmine; Sanyu, Naomi; Akatukwasa, Cecilia; Ng, Courtney; Rifkin, Rachel; Milford, Cecilia; Moore, Lizzie; Wilson, Ira B.; Bangsberg, David R.; Smit, Jennifer A.; Kaida, Angela

    2016-01-01

    Background. We explored healthcare provider perspectives and practices regarding safer conception counseling for HIV-affected clients. Methods. We conducted semistructured interviews with 38 providers (medical and clinical officers, nurses, peer counselors, and village health workers) delivering care to HIV-infected clients across 5 healthcare centres in Mbarara District, Uganda. Interview transcripts were analyzed using content analysis. Results. Of 38 providers, 76% were women with median age 34 years (range 24–57). First, we discuss providers' reproductive counseling practices. Emergent themes include that providers (1) assess reproductive goals of HIV-infected female clients frequently, but infrequently for male clients; (2) offer counseling focused on “family planning” and maternal and child health; (3) empathize with the importance of having children for HIV-affected clients; and (4) describe opportunities to counsel HIV-serodiscordant couples. Second, we discuss provider-level challenges that impede safer conception counseling. Emergent themes included the following: (1) providers struggle to translate reproductive rights language into individualized risk reduction given concerns about maternal health and HIV transmission and (2) providers lack safer conception training and support needed to provide counseling. Discussion. Tailored guidelines and training are required for providers to implement safer conception counseling. Such support must respond to provider experiences with adverse HIV-related maternal and child outcomes and a national emphasis on pregnancy prevention. PMID:27051664

  18. Genetic effects for reproductive performance of straightbred and crossbred Romosinuano and Angus cows in a temperate zone

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The objectives of this work were to: 1) estimate heterosis and breed direct effects for cow reproduction traits of Romosinuano, Angus, and F1 cows in a temperate climate, and 2) assess the effects of the type of forage grazed (bermudagrass, endophyte-infected and endophyte-free tall fescue) durin...

  19. From Reproduction to Creativity and the Aesthetic: Towards an Ontological Approach to the Assessment of Devised Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fryer, Nic

    2010-01-01

    In this article I attempt to interrogate some of the issues around the assessment of live work. I use a range of theories, particularly Ranciere's notion of the "aesthetic regime" of art, to suggest a three-pronged ontological approach to assessment that seeks to avoid the dangers of Bourdieu's and Passeron's concept of reproduction, and which…

  20. Body condition and forage type influence intramuscular and rump fat, and reproductive performance of postpartum Brahman-influenced cows

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Multiparous Brahman-influenced cows were managed to achieve marginal (BCS = 4.9 ± 0.1; n = 55) or moderate (BCS = 6.5 ± 0.1; n = 55) body condition (BC) to determine the influence of forage type on estrous characteristics, intramuscular fat percentage (IMF), rump fat (RF), and reproductive performan...

  1. Using representations in geometry: a model of students' cognitive and affective performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Panaoura, Areti

    2014-05-01

    Self-efficacy beliefs in mathematics, as a dimension of the affective domain, are related with students' performance on solving tasks and mainly on overcoming cognitive obstacles. The present study investigated the interrelations of cognitive performance on geometry and young students' self-efficacy beliefs about using representations for solving geometrical tasks. The emphasis was on confirming a theoretical model for the primary-school and secondary-school students and identifying the differences and similarities for the two ages. A quantitative study was developed and data were collected from 1086 students in Grades 5-8. Confirmatory factor analysis affirmed the existence of a coherent model of affective dimensions about the use of representations for understanding the geometrical concepts, which becomes more stable across the educational levels.

  2. Does mechanical disturbance affect the performance and species composition of submerged macrophyte communities?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Qian; Xu, Ying-Shou; Huang, Lin; Xue, Wei; Sun, Gong-Qi; Zhang, Ming-Xiang; Yu, Fei-Hai

    2014-05-01

    Submerged macrophyte communities are frequently subjected to disturbance of various frequency and strength. However, there is still little experimental evidence on how mechanical disturbance affects the performance and species composition of such plant communities. In a greenhouse experiment, we constructed wetland communities consisting of five co-occurring clonal submerged macrophyte species (Hydrilla verticillata, Elodea canadensis, Ceratophyllum demersum, Chara fragilis, and Myriophyllum spicatum) and subjected these communities to three mechanical disturbance regimes (no, moderate and strong disturbance). Strong mechanical disturbance greatly decreased overall biomass, number of shoot nodes and total shoot length, and increased species diversity (evenness) of the total community. It also substantially decreased the growth of the most abundant species (H. verticillata), but did not affect growth of the other four species. Our data reveal that strong disturbance can have different effects on different submerged macrophyte species and thus alters the performance and species composition of submerged macrophyte communities.

  3. Does mechanical disturbance affect the performance and species composition of submerged macrophyte communities?

    PubMed

    Zhang, Qian; Xu, Ying-Shou; Huang, Lin; Xue, Wei; Sun, Gong-Qi; Zhang, Ming-Xiang; Yu, Fei-Hai

    2014-01-01

    Submerged macrophyte communities are frequently subjected to disturbance of various frequency and strength. However, there is still little experimental evidence on how mechanical disturbance affects the performance and species composition of such plant communities. In a greenhouse experiment, we constructed wetland communities consisting of five co-occurring clonal submerged macrophyte species (Hydrilla verticillata, Elodea canadensis, Ceratophyllum demersum, Chara fragilis, and Myriophyllum spicatum) and subjected these communities to three mechanical disturbance regimes (no, moderate and strong disturbance). Strong mechanical disturbance greatly decreased overall biomass, number of shoot nodes and total shoot length, and increased species diversity (evenness) of the total community. It also substantially decreased the growth of the most abundant species (H. verticillata), but did not affect growth of the other four species. Our data reveal that strong disturbance can have different effects on different submerged macrophyte species and thus alters the performance and species composition of submerged macrophyte communities. PMID:24811826

  4. Characterization of Growth and Reproduction Performance, Transgene Integration, Expression, and Transmission Patterns in Transgenic Pigs Produced by piggyBac Transposition-Mediated Gene Transfer.

    PubMed

    Zeng, Fang; Li, Zicong; Cai, Gengyuan; Gao, Wenchao; Jiang, Gelong; Liu, Dewu; Urschitz, Johann; Moisyadi, Stefan; Wu, Zhenfang

    2016-10-01

    Previously we successfully produced a group of EGFP-expressing founder transgenic pigs by a newly developed efficient and simple pig transgenesis method based on cytoplasmic injection of piggyBac plasmids. In this study, we investigated the growth and reproduction performance and characterized the transgene insertion, transmission, and expression patterns in transgenic pigs generated by piggyBac transposition. Results showed that transgene has no injurious effect on the growth and reproduction of transgenic pigs. Multiple copies of monogenic EGFP transgene were inserted at noncoding sequences of host genome, and passed from founder transgenic pigs to their transgenic offspring in segregation or linkage manner. The EGFP transgene was ubiquitously expressed in transgenic pigs, and its expression intensity was associated with transgene copy number but not related to its promoter DNA methylation level. To the best of our knowledge, this is first study that fully described the growth and reproduction performance, transgene insertion, expression, and transmission profiles in transgenic pigs produced by piggyBac system. It not only demonstrates that piggyBac transposition-mediated gene transfer is an effective and favorable approach for pig transgenesis, but also provides scientific information for understanding the transgene insertion, expression and transmission patterns in transgenic animals produced by piggyBac transposition. PMID:27565868

  5. Bisphenol A does not affect memory performance in adult male rats.

    PubMed

    Kuwahara, Rika; Kawaguchi, Shinichiro; Kohara, Yumi; Jojima, Takeshi; Yamashita, Kimihiro

    2014-04-01

    Bisphenol A (BPA) is an estrogenic endocrine disruptor used for producing polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins. This study investigated the effects of oral BPA administration on memory performance, general activity, and emotionality in adult male Sprague Dawley rats using a battery of behavioral tests, including an appetite-motivated maze test (MAZE test) used to assess spatial memory performance. In addition, in order to confirm the effects of BPA on spatial memory performance, we examined whether intrahippocampal injection of BPA affects spatial memory consolidation. In the MAZE test, although oral BPA administration at 10 mg/kg significantly altered the number of entries into the incorrect area compared to those of vehicle-treated rats, male rats given BPA through either oral administration or intrahippocampal injection failed to show significant differences in latencies to reach the reward. Also, oral BPA administration did not affect fear-motivated memory performance in the step-through passive avoidance test. Oral BPA administration at 0.05 mg/kg, the lowest dose used in this study, was correlated with a decrease in locomotor activity in the open-field test, whereas oral administration at 10 mg/kg, the highest dose used in this study, was correlated with a light anxiolytic effect in the elevated plus-maze test. The present study suggests that BPA in adulthood has little effect on spatial memory performance in male rats. PMID:24326521

  6. Tadpole swimming performance and activity affected by acute exposure to sublethal levels of carbaryl

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bridges, C.M.

    1997-01-01

    General activity and swimming performance (i.e., sprint speed and distance) of plains leopard frog tadpoles (Rana blairi) were examined after acute exposure to three sublethal concentrations of carbaryl (3.5, 5.0, and 7.2 mg/L). Both swimming performance and spontaneous swimming activity are important for carrying out life history functions (e.g., growth and development) and for escaping from predators. Measured tadpole activity diminished by nearly 90% at 3.5 mg/L carbaryl and completely ceased at 7.2 mg/L. Sprint speed and sprint distance also decreased significantly following exposure. Carbaryl affected both swimming performance and activity after just 24 h, suggesting that 24 h may be an adequate length of exposure to determine behavioral effects on tadpoles. Slight recovery of activity levels was noted at 24 and 48 h post-exposure; no recovery of swimming performance was observed. Reduction in activity and swimming performance may result in increased predation rates and, because activity is closely associated with feeding, may result in slowed growth leading to a failure to emerge before pond drying or an indirect reduction in adult fitness. Acute exposure to sublethal toxicants such as carbaryl may not only affect immediate survival of tadpoles but also impact critical life history functions and generate changes at the local population level.

  7. Individual differences in cognition, affect, and performance: Behavioral, neuroimaging, and molecular genetic approaches

    PubMed Central

    Parasuraman, Raja; Jiang, Yang

    2012-01-01

    We describe the use of behavioral, neuroimaging, and genetic methods to examine individual differences in cognition and affect, guided by three criteria: (1) relevance to human performance in work and everyday settings; (2) interactions between working memory, decision-making, and affective processing; and (3) examination of individual differences. The results of behavioral, functional MRI (fMRI), event-related potential (ERP), and molecular genetic studies show that analyses at the group level often mask important findings associated with sub-groups of individuals. Dopaminergic/noradrenergic genes influencing prefrontal cortex activity contribute to inter-individual variation in working memory and decision behavior, including performance in complex simulations of military decision-making. The interactive influences of individual differences in anxiety, sensation seeking, and boredom susceptibility on evaluative decision-making can be systematically described using ERP and fMRI methods. We conclude that a multi-modal neuroergonomic approach to examining brain function (using both neuroimaging and molecular genetics) can be usefully applied to understanding individual differences in cognition and affect and has implications for human performance at work. PMID:21569853

  8. Schmallenberg virus epidemic: impact on milk production, reproductive performance and mortality in dairy cattle in the Netherlands and Kleve district, Germany.

    PubMed

    Veldhuis, A M B; Santman-Berends, I M G A; Gethmann, J M; Mars, M H; van Wuyckhuise, L; Vellema, P; Holsteg, M; Höreth-Böntgen, D; Conraths, F J; van Schaik, G

    2014-10-15

    Schmallenberg virus (SBV), a novel orthobunyavirus that rapidly spread throughout north-western Europe in 2011, caused congenital malformations in lambs and goat kids (Van den Brom et al., 2012) and newborn calves (Hoffmann et al., 2012). The impact of the SBV epidemic seemed limited however, in terms of the number of affected herds with malformed offspring (European Food Safety Authority, 2012b). Nevertheless, little is known with regard to the overall within-herd impact of SBV infection. The objective of the current study was to quantify the impact of the 2011 SBV epidemic on the productivity of dairy cattle in the Netherlands and the district of Kleve, Germany. For the Netherlands, several multilevel multivariable statistical models were applied on eight productivity parameters regarding milk production, reproductive performance and mortality. All four fertility parameters analysed were slightly but significantly reduced between August 1st and November 1st 2011 compared to the reference period in 2009-2010. Between August 15th and September 19th 2011, the average loss in milk production per cow was -0.26kg (95% CI: -0.30; -0.22) per day in dairy herds, compared to the reference period (p<0.001). The total loss per cow in a subgroup of dairy herds that notified malformations in newborn calves during the mandatory notification period in the Netherlands was -0.43kg (95% CI: -0.59; -0.28) per day (p<0.001). For Germany, a study was carried out in the district of Kleve, situated in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia near the Dutch border. Data on milk yield, two fertility parameters and the number of rendered calves in this specific region were analysed. There was a small but significant increase in the number of secondary and third inseminations between August 1st and November 1st 2011, indicating reduced fertility. No significant change in calf mortality was observed in the assumed SBV period. Milk production at district level did not seem to be affected by SBV in

  9. [Reproductive toxicity of lindane].

    PubMed

    Pagès, Nicole; Sauviat, Martin-Pierre; Bouvet, Suzanne; Goudey-Perrière, Françoise

    2002-01-01

    The present paper bears on the main effects of lindane (gamma isomer of hexachlorocyclohexane) on endocrine and reproductive functions in mammals. This pesticide, once widely used to kill lice and a variety of pests that attack agricultural produc