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Sample records for affecting reproductive output

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

    PubMed

    Kamiya, T; Poulin, R

    2013-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-03-01

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

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  6. 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

  7. We Made Your Bed, Why Won't You Lie in It? Food Availability and Disease May Affect Reproductive Output of Reintroduced Frogs.

    PubMed

    Klop-Toker, Kaya; Valdez, Jose; Stockwell, Michelle; Fardell, Loren; Clulow, Simon; Clulow, John; Mahony, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Mitigation to offset the impacts of land development is becoming increasingly common, with reintroductions and created habitat programs used as key actions. However, numerous reviews cite high rates of poor success from these programs, and a need for improved monitoring and scientific testing to evaluate outcomes and improve management actions. We conducted extensive monitoring of a released population of endangered green and golden bell frogs, Litoria aurea, within a created habitat, as well as complementary surveys of a surrounding wild population. We then compared differences between the created habitat and natural ponds where extant frogs either bred or didn't breed in order to determine factors that contributed to the breeding failure within the created habitat. We evaluated differences of L. aurea abundance, abundance of other fauna, vegetation, water quality, habitat structure, invasive fish, and disease between the three pond types (created habitat, breeding ponds, non-breeding ponds). We discovered that vegetation and invertebrate diversity were low within the created habitat, potentially reducing energy and nutritional resources required for breeding. Also, a greater proportion of frogs in the created habitat were carrying the chytrid fungal pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, compared to the wild populations. In addition to causing the potentially fatal disease, chytridiomycosis, this pathogen has been shown to reduce reproductive functioning in male L. aurea, and subsequently may have reduced reproductive activities in the created habitat. Conspecific attraction, pond hydrology, and aquatic vegetation may also have had some influence on breeding behaviours, whilst the presence of the invasive mosquitofish, Gambusia holbrooki, and heterospecific tadpoles were unlikely to have deterred L. aurea from breeding within the created habitat. Through the use of scientific testing and monitoring, this study is able to make recommendations for future

  8. We Made Your Bed, Why Won’t You Lie in It? Food Availability and Disease May Affect Reproductive Output of Reintroduced Frogs

    PubMed Central

    Valdez, Jose; Stockwell, Michelle; Fardell, Loren; Clulow, Simon; Clulow, John; Mahony, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Mitigation to offset the impacts of land development is becoming increasingly common, with reintroductions and created habitat programs used as key actions. However, numerous reviews cite high rates of poor success from these programs, and a need for improved monitoring and scientific testing to evaluate outcomes and improve management actions. We conducted extensive monitoring of a released population of endangered green and golden bell frogs, Litoria aurea, within a created habitat, as well as complementary surveys of a surrounding wild population. We then compared differences between the created habitat and natural ponds where extant frogs either bred or didn’t breed in order to determine factors that contributed to the breeding failure within the created habitat. We evaluated differences of L. aurea abundance, abundance of other fauna, vegetation, water quality, habitat structure, invasive fish, and disease between the three pond types (created habitat, breeding ponds, non-breeding ponds). We discovered that vegetation and invertebrate diversity were low within the created habitat, potentially reducing energy and nutritional resources required for breeding. Also, a greater proportion of frogs in the created habitat were carrying the chytrid fungal pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, compared to the wild populations. In addition to causing the potentially fatal disease, chytridiomycosis, this pathogen has been shown to reduce reproductive functioning in male L. aurea, and subsequently may have reduced reproductive activities in the created habitat. Conspecific attraction, pond hydrology, and aquatic vegetation may also have had some influence on breeding behaviours, whilst the presence of the invasive mosquitofish, Gambusia holbrooki, and heterospecific tadpoles were unlikely to have deterred L. aurea from breeding within the created habitat. Through the use of scientific testing and monitoring, this study is able to make recommendations for future

  9. Comparative reproductive output of androphilic and gynephilic males in samoa.

    PubMed

    Vasey, Paul L; Parker, Jessica L; VanderLaan, Doug P

    2014-02-01

    Debate exists in the behavioral sciences regarding the extent to which androphilic males reproduce compared to their gynephilic counterparts. Quantitative data that might speak to this debate are surprisingly rare. Here, we compared the reproductive output of 235 transgendered, exclusively androphilic Samoan males (known locally as fa'afafine) to that of 447 exclusively gynephilic Samoan males. Samoan gynephilic male participants fathered significantly more children than fa'afafine participants. In fact, none of the fa'afafine in our sample produced offspring. On the basis of this evidence and anecdotal accounts in the anthropological literature, we contend that absence of reproductive output is a near absolute cross-cultural universal characterizing non-Western, transgendered androphilic ("third-gender") males. Models for the evolution of male androphilia must account for how genes associated with this sexual orientation originated in the past and persisted in populations over time despite the fact that the vast majority of androphilic males have no direct reproductive success.

  10. Input and output constraints affecting irrigation development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schramm, G.

    1981-05-01

    In many of the developing countries the expansion of irrigated agriculture is used as a major development tool for bringing about increases in agricultural output, rural economic growth and income distribution. Apart from constraints imposed by water availability, the major limitations considered to any acceleration of such programs are usually thought to be those of costs and financial resources. However, as is shown on the basis of empirical data drawn from Mexico, in reality the feasibility and effectiveness of such development programs is even more constrained by the lack of specialized physical and human factors on the input and market limitations on the output side. On the input side, the limited availability of complementary factors such as, for example, truly functioning credit systems for small-scale farmers or effective agricultural extension services impose long-term constraints on development. On the output side the limited availability, high risk, and relatively slow growth of markets for high-value crops sharply reduce the usually hoped-for and projected profitable crop mix that would warrant the frequently high costs of irrigation investments. Three conclusions are drawn: (1) Factors in limited supply have to be shadow-priced to reflect their high opportunity costs in alternative uses. (2) Re-allocation of financial resources from immediate construction of projects to longer-term increase in the supply of scarce, highly-trained manpower resources are necessary in order to optimize development over time. (3) Inclusion of high-value, high-income producing crops in the benefit-cost analysis of new projects is inappropriate if these crops could potentially be grown in already existing projects.

  11. Delayed mating reduces reproductive output of female European grapevine moth, Lobesia botrana (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae).

    PubMed

    Torres-Vila, L M; Rodríguez-Molina, M C; Stockel, J

    2002-06-01

    Virgin females of Lobesia botrana Denis & Schiffermüller were mated at ages of 1, 3, 5, 8, 12 and 16 days and the effect of mating delay on reproductive output assessed. Delayed mating did not affect female mating success but fertilization was reduced in 16-day-old females. Increased mating delays substantially affected daily oviposition pattern and resulted in a significant reduction of both fecundity and fertility, so that mean number of viable eggs laid decreased from 150 to 22 in 1- and 16-day-old mated females, respectively. Heavier females were more constrained than lighter ones by mating delays and female reproductive efficiency (no. viable eggs/female body weight) was also significantly reduced. Female longevity significantly increased and oviposition period gradually declined with mating delay. The number of viable eggs was positively correlated with both female weight and oviposition period; female longevity and female weight were also significantly correlated. However, the significance of these correlations declined with increased mating delay. Results overall indicated that mating delay drastically reduces female L. botrana reproductive output. The implications of delayed mating of females are discussed from an ecological perspective in relation to L. botrana control using mating disruption.

  12. Effects of season and population size on pollination and reproductive output in a Mediterranean shrub.

    PubMed

    Sánchez, A M; Rodríguez, M; Albert, M J; Escudero, A

    2017-01-30

    Pollinator guilds may change throughout extended flowering periods, affecting plant reproductive output, especially in seasonal climates. We hypothesised a seasonal shift in pollinator guild and an autumn reduction in pollinator abundance, especially in small and sparse populations. We recorded pollinator identity, abundance and behaviour in relation to flower density from plant to population throughout the extended flowering of Ononis tridentata. We evaluated female reproductive output by recording pollination success and pre-dispersal seed predation in eight populations of contrasting size and density. Offspring quality was also characterised through seed weight and germination. A diverse guild of insects visited O. tridentata in spring, while only Apis mellifera was observed in autumn. Visitation frequency did not vary seasonally, but the number of flowers per foraging bout was lower, and seeds were heavier and had a higher germination rate in autumn. Plant and neighbourhood flowering display were not related to pollinator visitation frequency or behaviour. However, the rate of fertilised ovules, seed set and autumn flowering display size were positively related to population density. The maintenance of pollination in autumn enhances the reproductive performance of O. tridentata due to higher quality of autumn seed, and to a large reduction in seed predator pressure. We also suggest that observed changes in pollinator behaviour could be one of the processes behind seasonal variation in seed performance, since geitonogamous crosses were less likely to occur in autumn.

  13. Does garbage in diet improve Glaucous Gull reproductive output?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Powell, Abby N.; Weiser, Emily L.

    2010-01-01

    Anthropogenic subsidies are used by a variety of predators in areas developed for human use or residence. If subsidies promote population growth, these predators can have a negative effect on local prey species. The Glaucous Gull (Larus hyperboreus) is an abundant predator in northern Alaska that is believed to benefit from garbage as a supplemental food source, but this supposition has never been tested. In summer 2008 and 2009, we recorded the Glaucous Gull's diet and reproduction at 10 breeding colonies in northern Alaska. Colonies were in industrial, residential, and undeveloped areas and ranged from 5 to 75 km from the nearest landfill. By colony, garbage occurred in zero to 85% of pellets and food remains produced during the chick-rearing period, and the average number of chicks fledged per pair ranged from zero to 2.9. Random-forest analysis indicated that percent occurrence of garbage in the diet was the second most important factor (after number of eggs per pair) explaining variance in fledging rate. There was a significant positive correlation between percent occurrence of garbage in the diet and fledging rate in each year. If this correlation reflects a causal relationship, it suggests that human development that increases gulls' access to garbage could result in increased local gull populations. Such an increase could affect the gulls' natural prey species, including at least 14 species of shorebirds and waterfowl of conservation concern.

  14. The timing and reproductive output of the commercial sea cucumber Holothuria scabra on the Kenyan coast

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muthiga, N. A.; Kawaka, J. A.; Ndirangu, S.

    2009-09-01

    The sea cucumber Holothuria scabra is a widely distributed and economically important species that has been harvested in Kenya for decades. No previous studies have been carried out on the reproduction of this species in Kenya. Standard gonad index methods were used to analyze reproductive patterns of individuals collected monthly in 1998-1999, 2000-2001 and 2006-2007. Morphological characteristics, gonad tubule lengths and fecundity were also measured. Mean monthly gonad indices were significantly correlated between males and females indicating synchronous gonad development between the sexes. Gonad indices showed a biannual pattern that was consistent in all three years with a minor spawning event occurring between August and September and a major spawning event between November and December. The pattern of gonad growth showed significant variability between years and between months. Temporal changes in gonad growth correlated significantly with gonad tubule length and absolute fecundity. Monthly gonad indices also correlated significantly with monthly measurements of air temperature and light suggesting a possible role for both factors in timing gametogenesis and spawning. There was a shift in sex ratio from unity in the 1998-1999 and 2000-2001 samples to significantly more males in the 2006-2007 samples, as well as a significant reduction in mean sizes (body wall weight) and reproductive output (gonad index) which suggests that the reproductive success of this species is potentially negatively affected by fishing.

  15. Effects of gastropod predation on the reproductive output of an overexploited deep octocoral

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Priori, C.; Erra, F.; Angiolillo, M.; Santangelo, G.

    2015-03-01

    The study presented herein is aimed at quantifying the effects of the partial predation exerted by the gastropod Pseudosimnia carnea on the reproductive features of the highly valuable, slow-growing, and long-lived red coral, Corallium rubrum. Seventy-five colonies were collected just before annual spawning from a red coral population living between 85 and 90 m deep in the NW Mediterranean; of these, 35 % were affected by P. carnea. Female colonies were more frequently preyed upon than males (3:1 ratio). Overall, 1,100 polyps were dissected and examined for their reproductive content. The mean number of polyps per colony and the mean fecundity of female polyps and colonies were significantly reduced by gastropod predation, which affected colonies independently of their size; in particular, colony fecundity was reduced by 81 %. The consequent reduction in population reproductive output is likely to have long-term effects on preyed-upon populations and thereby limit their resilience to intense commercial harvesting.

  16. Effect of pesticides on the reproductive output of Eisenia fetida.

    PubMed

    Yasmin, Shahla; D'Souza, Doris

    2007-11-01

    We investigated the effects of three different pesticides (carbendazim, dimethoate, and glyphosate) and their mixture on the growth and reproduction of the earthworm species, Eisenia fetida. The study was conducted following the suggestion of the International Workshop on Earthworm Ecotoxicology. The results showed that the pesticide treatment had a marked negative impact on the growth and reproduction of earthworms. Carbendazim and dimethoate were found to cause greater harm to the selected earthworm species than glyphosate.

  17. Solar activity affects avian timing of reproduction

    PubMed Central

    Visser, Marcel E.; Sanz, Juan José

    2009-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. Loss of reproductive output caused by an invasive species

    PubMed Central

    Tremblay, Maude E. M.; Morris, Todd J.; Ackerman, Josef D.

    2016-01-01

    We investigated whether Neogobius melanostomus, an invader of biodiversity ‘hot-spots’ in the Laurentian Great Lakes region, facilitates or inhibits unionid mussel recruitment by serving as a host or sink for their parasitic larvae (glochidia). Infestation and metamorphosis rates of four mussel species with at-risk (conservation) status (Epioblasma torulosa rangiana, Epioblasma triquetra, Lampsilis fasciola and Villosa iris) and one common species (Actinonaias ligamentina) on N. melanostomus were compared with rates on known primary and marginal hosts in the laboratory. All species successfully infested N. melanostomus, but only E. triquetra, V. iris and A. ligamentina successfully metamorphosed into juveniles, albeit at very low rates well below those seen on even the marginal hosts. Neogobius melanostomus collected from areas of unionid occurrence in the Grand and Sydenham rivers (Ontario, Canada) exhibited glochidial infection rates of 39.4% and 5.1%, respectively, with up to 30 glochidia representing as many as six unionid species per fish. A mathematical model suggests that N. melanostomus serve more as a sink for glochidia than as a host for unionids, thereby limiting recruitment success. This represents a novel method by which an invasive species affects a native species. PMID:27152202

  20. Loss of reproductive output caused by an invasive species.

    PubMed

    Tremblay, Maude E M; Morris, Todd J; Ackerman, Josef D

    2016-04-01

    We investigated whether Neogobius melanostomus, an invader of biodiversity 'hot-spots' in the Laurentian Great Lakes region, facilitates or inhibits unionid mussel recruitment by serving as a host or sink for their parasitic larvae (glochidia). Infestation and metamorphosis rates of four mussel species with at-risk (conservation) status (Epioblasma torulosa rangiana, Epioblasma triquetra, Lampsilis fasciola and Villosa iris) and one common species (Actinonaias ligamentina) on N. melanostomus were compared with rates on known primary and marginal hosts in the laboratory. All species successfully infested N. melanostomus, but only E. triquetra, V. iris and A. ligamentina successfully metamorphosed into juveniles, albeit at very low rates well below those seen on even the marginal hosts. Neogobius melanostomus collected from areas of unionid occurrence in the Grand and Sydenham rivers (Ontario, Canada) exhibited glochidial infection rates of 39.4% and 5.1%, respectively, with up to 30 glochidia representing as many as six unionid species per fish. A mathematical model suggests that N. melanostomus serve more as a sink for glochidia than as a host for unionids, thereby limiting recruitment success. This represents a novel method by which an invasive species affects a native species.

  1. Facultative symbiont infections affect aphid reproduction.

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

  2. Meadow fragmentation and reproductive output of the SE Asian seagrass Enhalus acoroides [rapid communication

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vermaat, Jan E.; Rollon, Rene N.; Lacap, Cristina Day A.; Billot, Claire; Alberto, Filipe; Nacorda, Hildie M. E.; Wiegman, Frank; Terrados, Jorge

    2004-11-01

    Flower and fruit production of the abundant, tall, long-lived, dioecious, surface-pollinating seagrass species Enhalus acoroides (L.) Royle were estimated at seven sites in the reef flats off Bolinao (NW Luzon, The Philippines) featuring different fragmentation of the seagrass meadows. Fragmentation of the seagrass meadow was quantified as cover of E. acoroides and all seagrass species present in 20×20 m plots. E. acoroides and overall seagrass cover were correlated positively. The proportion of female flowers of E. acoroides that developed a fruit increased sharply as overall seagrass cover was around 50%. Apparent sex ratio bore no relationship with overall seagrass cover. This threshold-type of relationship suggests that fragmentation of seagrass meadows can have a major effect on the reproductive output of this species. A possible mechanism underlying these results would be a non-linear increase of the efficiency of trapping the surface-dispersed pollen with increasing seagrass canopy density. This provides the first evidence based on real data that fragmentation can affect the population dynamics of seagrass species.

  3. Environmental color affects Nile tilapia reproduction.

    PubMed

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

    2004-04-01

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

  4. Herbivory strongly influences among-population variation in reproductive output of Lythrum salicaria in its native range.

    PubMed

    Lehndal, Lina; Hambäck, Peter A; Ericson, Lars; Ågren, Jon

    2016-04-01

    Herbivory can negatively affect several components of plant reproduction. Yet, because of a lack of experimental studies involving multiple populations, the extent to which differences in herbivory contribute to among-population variation in plant reproductive success is poorly known. We experimentally determined the effects of insect herbivory on reproductive output in nine natural populations of the perennial herb Lythrum salicaria along a disturbance gradient in an archipelago in northern Sweden, and we quantified among-population differentiation in resistance to herbivory in a common-garden experiment in the same area. The intensity of leaf herbivory varied >500-fold and mean female reproductive success >400-fold among the study populations. The intensity of herbivory was lowest in populations subject to strong disturbance from ice and wave action. Experimental removal of insect herbivores showed that the effect of herbivory on female reproductive success was correlated with the intensity of herbivory and that differences in insect herbivory could explain much of the among-population variation in the proportion of plants flowering and seed production. Population differentiation in resistance to herbivory was limited. The results demonstrate that the intensity of herbivory is a major determinant of flowering and seed output in L. salicaria, but that differences in herbivory are not associated with differences in plant resistance at the spatial scale examined. They further suggest that the physical disturbance regime may strongly influence the performance and abundance of perennial herbs and patterns of selection not only because of its effect on interspecific competition, but also because of effects on interactions with specialized herbivores.

  5. Hypoxia Treatment of Callosobruchus maculatus Females and Its Effects on Reproductive Output and Development of Progeny Following Exposure

    PubMed Central

    Yan, Yan; Williams, Scott B.; Baributsa, Dieudonne; Murdock, Larry L.

    2016-01-01

    Modified atmospheres present a residue-free alternative to fumigants for controlling postharvest pests of grain during storage. How sub-lethal applications of this method affects the reproductive fitness of target pests, however, is still not fully understood. We examined how low levels of ambient oxygen influence the reproduction of the female cowpea bruchid (Callosobruchus maculatus), a pest of cowpea. We used three low-oxygen atmospheres—2%, 5% and 10% (v/v) oxygen—and observed their effects on: (1) the number of eggs laid by bruchids compared to insects held in normoxic (~20% oxygen) conditions; (2) the total number of eggs laid; and (3) the number of progeny that reached maturity. Low oxygen did not significantly affect the number of eggs laid during 48 or 72 h of exposure, but 2% and 5% oxygen did negatively affected total egg production. Increasing the exposure time from 48 to 72 h further depressed lifetime reproductive output. Maternal and egg exposure to hypoxia reduced the number of progeny that reached adulthood. Lower adult emergence was observed from eggs laid under low oxygen and longer exposure times. These data demonstrate that hermetic conditions depress the egg-laying behavior of cowpea bruchids and the successful development of their progeny. PMID:27322332

  6. Hypoxia Treatment of Callosobruchus maculatus Females and Its Effects on Reproductive Output and Development of Progeny Following Exposure.

    PubMed

    Yan, Yan; Williams, Scott B; Baributsa, Dieudonne; Murdock, Larry L

    2016-06-17

    Modified atmospheres present a residue-free alternative to fumigants for controlling postharvest pests of grain during storage. How sub-lethal applications of this method affects the reproductive fitness of target pests, however, is still not fully understood. We examined how low levels of ambient oxygen influence the reproduction of the female cowpea bruchid (Callosobruchus maculatus), a pest of cowpea. We used three low-oxygen atmospheres-2%, 5% and 10% (v/v) oxygen-and observed their effects on: (1) the number of eggs laid by bruchids compared to insects held in normoxic (~20% oxygen) conditions; (2) the total number of eggs laid; and (3) the number of progeny that reached maturity. Low oxygen did not significantly affect the number of eggs laid during 48 or 72 h of exposure, but 2% and 5% oxygen did negatively affected total egg production. Increasing the exposure time from 48 to 72 h further depressed lifetime reproductive output. Maternal and egg exposure to hypoxia reduced the number of progeny that reached adulthood. Lower adult emergence was observed from eggs laid under low oxygen and longer exposure times. These data demonstrate that hermetic conditions depress the egg-laying behavior of cowpea bruchids and the successful development of their progeny.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  8. Effects of parasite pressure on parasite mortality and reproductive output in a rodent-flea system: inferring host defense trade-offs.

    PubMed

    Warburton, Elizabeth M; Kam, Michael; Bar-Shira, Enav; Friedman, Aharon; Khokhlova, Irina S; Koren, Lee; Asfur, Mustafa; Geffen, Eli; Kiefer, Daniel; Krasnov, Boris R; Degen, A Allan

    2016-09-01

    Evaluating host resistance via parasite fitness helps place host-parasite relationships within evolutionary and ecological contexts; however, few studies consider both these processes simultaneously. We investigated how different levels of parasite pressure affect parasite mortality and reproductive success in relationship to host defense efforts, using the rodent Gerbillus nanus and the flea Xenopsylla conformis as a host-parasite system. Fifteen immune-naïve male rodents were infested with 20, 50, or 100 fleas for four weeks. During this time number of new imagoes produced per adult flea (our flea reproductive output metric), flea mortality, and change in circulating anti-flea immunoglobulin G (our measure of adaptive immune defense) were monitored. Three hypotheses guided this work: (1) increasing parasite pressure would heighten host defenses; (2) parasite mortality would increase and parasite reproductive output would decrease with increasing investment in host defense; and (3) hosts under high parasite pressure could invest in behavioral and/or immune responses. We predicted that at high infestation levels (a) parasite mortality would increase; (b) flea reproductive output per individual would decrease; and (c) host circulating anti-flea antibody levels would increase. The hypotheses were partially supported. Flea mortality significantly increased and flea reproductive output significantly decreased as flea pressure increased. Host adaptive immune defense did not significantly change with increasing flea pressure. Therefore, we inferred that investment in host behavioral defense, either alone or in combination with density-dependent effects, may be more efficient at increasing flea mortality and decreasing flea reproductive output than antibody production during initial infestation in this system.

  9. Combining site occupancy, breeding population sizes and reproductive success to calculate time-averaged reproductive output of different habitat types: an application to Tricolored Blackbirds.

    PubMed

    Holyoak, Marcel; Meese, Robert J; Graves, Emily E

    2014-01-01

    In metapopulations in which habitat patches vary in quality and occupancy it can be complicated to calculate the net time-averaged contribution to reproduction of particular populations. Surprisingly, few indices have been proposed for this purpose. We combined occupancy, abundance, frequency of occurrence, and reproductive success to determine the net value of different sites through time and applied this method to a bird of conservation concern. The Tricolored Blackbird (Agelaius tricolor) has experienced large population declines, is the most colonial songbird in North America, is largely confined to California, and breeds itinerantly in multiple habitat types. It has had chronically low reproductive success in recent years. Although young produced per nest have previously been compared across habitats, no study has simultaneously considered site occupancy and reproductive success. Combining occupancy, abundance, frequency of occurrence, reproductive success and nest failure rate we found that that large colonies in grain fields fail frequently because of nest destruction due to harvest prior to fledging. Consequently, net time-averaged reproductive output is low compared to colonies in non-native Himalayan blackberry or thistles, and native stinging nettles. Cattail marshes have intermediate reproductive output, but their reproductive output might be improved by active management. Harvest of grain-field colonies necessitates either promoting delay of harvest or creating alternative, more secure nesting habitats. Stinging nettle and marsh colonies offer the main potential sources for restoration or native habitat creation. From 2005-2011 breeding site occupancy declined 3x faster than new breeding colonies were formed, indicating a rapid decline in occupancy. Total abundance showed a similar decline. Causes of variation in the value for reproduction of nesting substrates and factors behind continuing population declines merit urgent investigation. The method we

  10. Does Gender Affect a Scientist's Research Output in Evolutionary Ecology?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonnet, Xavier; Shine, Richard; Lourdais, Olivier

    To examine how an author's gender influences his or her research output, the authors analyzed (not simply scored) more than 900 published articles in nine leading scientific journals in the field of evolutionary ecology. Women were strongly underrepresented in all countries, but this bias is decreasing. Men and women differed significantly in their fields of research, with women preferentially conducting projects on behavior rather than evolution or ecology. Most aspects of the structure of published articles and the level of conceptual generality were unaffected by an author's gender. Because discriminatory practices by reviewers and editors can be manifested in attributes of the articles that survive the review process, the latter result suggests a lack of gender-based discrimination during the review process. Gender differences in research output presumably reflect a complex array of genetic and social influences; a clearer understanding of these causal factors may help identify (and thus reduce) gender-based discrimination.

  11. Masting behaviour in a Mediterranean pine tree alters seed predator selection on reproductive output.

    PubMed

    Moreira, X; Abdala-Roberts, L; Zas, R; Merlo, E; Lombardero, M J; Sampedro, L; Mooney, K A

    2016-11-01

    Context-dependency in species interactions is widespread and can produce concomitant patterns of context-dependent selection. Masting (synchronous production of large seed crops at irregular intervals by a plant population) has been shown to reduce seed predation through satiation (reduction in rates of seed predation with increasing seed cone output) and thus represents an important source of context-dependency in plant-animal interactions. However, the evolutionary consequences of such dynamics are not well understood. Here we describe masting behaviour in a Mediterranean model pine species (Pinus pinaster) and present a test of the effects of masting on selection by seed predators on reproductive output. We predicted that masting, by enhancing seed predator satiation, could in turn strengthen positive selection by seed predators for larger cone output. For this we collected six-year data (spanning one mast year and five non-mast years) on seed cone production and seed cone predation rates in a forest genetic trial composed by 116 P. pinaster genotypes. Following our prediction, we found stronger seed predator satiation during the masting year, which in turn led to stronger seed predator selection for increased cone production relative to non-masting years. These findings provide evidence that masting can alter the evolutionary outcome of plant-seed predator interactions. More broadly, our findings highlight that changes in consumer responses to resource abundance represent a widespread mechanism for predicting and understanding context dependency in plant-consumer evolutionary dynamics.

  12. Warm-up affects diurnal variation in power output.

    PubMed

    Taylor, K; Cronin, J B; Gill, N; Chapman, D W; Sheppard, J M

    2011-03-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine whether time of day variations in power output can be accounted for by the diurnal fluctuations existent in body temperature. 8 recreationally trained males (29.8±5.2 yrs; 178.3±5.2 cm; 80.3±6.5 kg) were assessed on 4 occasions following a: (a) control warm-up at 8.00 am; (b) control warm-up at 4.00 pm; (c) extended warm-up at 8.00 am; and, (d) extended warm-up at 4.00 pm. The control warm-up consisted of dynamic exercises and practice jumps. The extended warm-up incorporated a 20 min general warm-up on a stationary bike prior to completion of the control warm-up, resulting in a whole body temperature increase of 0.3±0.2°C. Kinetic and kinematic variables were measured using a linear optical encoder attached to a barbell during 6 loaded counter-movement jumps. Results were 2-6% higher in the afternoon control condition than morning control condition. No substantial performance differences were observed between the extended morning condition and afternoon control condition where body temperatures were similar. Results indicate that diurnal variation in whole body temperature may explain diurnal performance differences in explosive power output and associated variables. It is suggested that warm-up protocols designed to increase body temperature are beneficial in reducing diurnal differences in jump performance.

  13. How Output Affects Explicit and Implicit Knowledge of Spanish Indirect Object Pronouns

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Perez, Lissette

    2014-01-01

    Although many studies have suggested positive effects for speaking or output practice on L2 grammar development, the question of how speaking affects L2 grammar remains. This study specifically examines how output affects the explicit and implicit knowledge of Spanish indirect object pronouns (IOPs). It also investigates levels of L2 grammar…

  14. Gravid Spot Predicts Developmental Progress and Reproductive Output in a Livebearing Fish, Gambusia holbrooki

    PubMed Central

    Norazmi-Lokman, Nor Hakim; Purser, G. J.; Patil, Jawahar G.

    2016-01-01

    In most livebearing fish, the gravid spot is an excellent marker to identify brooding females, however its use to predict progress of embryonic development, brood size, timing of parturition and overall reproductive potential of populations remain unexplored. Therefore, to understand these relationships, this study quantified visual attributes (intensity and size) of the gravid spot in relation to key internal development in Gambusia holbrooki. Observations show that the colour of the gravid spot arises from progressive melanisation on the surface of the ovarian sac at its hind margin, rather than melanisation of the developing embryos or the skin of the brooding mother. More importantly, the gravid spot intensity and size were closely linked with both developmental stages and clutch size, suggesting their reliable use as external surrogates of key internal developmental in the species. Using predictive consistency of the gravid spot, we also determined the effect of rearing temperature (23°C and 25°C) on gestation period and parturition behaviour. The results show that gestation period was significantly reduced (F = 364.58; df = 1,48; P˃0.05) at 25°C. However there was no significant difference in average number of fry parturated in the two temperature groups (P<0.05), reaffirming that gravid spot intensity is a reliable predictor of reproductive output. The parturition in the species occurred predominantly in the morning and in contrast to earlier reports, tails of the fry emerged first with a few exceptions of head-first, twin and premature births. This study demonstrates utility of the gravid spot for downstream reproductive investigations in a live-bearing fish both in the field and laboratory. The reproducibility of the relationships (intensity with both developmental stage and clutch size), imply that they are also relevant to wild populations that experience varying temperature climes and stressors, significant deviations of which may serve as

  15. Heterospecific pollen deposition in Delphinium barbeyi: linking stigmatic pollen loads to reproductive output in the field

    PubMed Central

    Briggs, Heather M.; Anderson, Lucy M.; Atalla, Laila M.; Delva, André M.; Dobbs, Emily K.; Brosi, Berry J.

    2016-01-01

    Background and Aims Most pollinators are generalists and therefore are likely to transfer heterospecific pollen among co-flowering plants. Most work on the impacts of heterospecific pollen deposition on plant fecundity has utilized hand-pollination experiments in greenhouse settings, and we continue to know very little about the reproductive effects of heterospecific pollen in field settings. Methods We explored how patterns of naturally deposited heterospecific pollen relate to the reproductive output of Delphinium barbeyi, a common subalpine perennial herb in the Rocky Mountains (USA). We assessed a wide range of naturally occurring heterospecific pollen proportions and pollen load sizes, and linked stigmatic pollen deposition directly to seed set in individual carpels in the field. Key Results We found that heterospecific pollen deposition in D. barbeyi is common, but typically found at low levels across stigmas collected in our sites. Neither conspecific nor heterospecific pollen deposition was related to carpel abortion. By contrast, we saw a significant positive relationship between conspecific pollen amount and viable seed production, as well as a significant negative interaction between the effects of conspecific pollen and heterospecific pollen amount, whereby the effect of conspecific pollen on viable seed production became weaker with greater heterospecific deposition on stigmas. Conclusions To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of a relationship between heterospecific pollen and seed production in a field setting. In addition, it is the first report of an interaction between conspecific and heterospecific pollen quantities on seed production. These findings, taken with the results from other studies, suggest that greenhouse hand-pollination studies and field studies should be more tightly integrated in future work to better understand how heterospecific pollen transfer can be detrimental for plant reproduction. PMID:26658101

  16. Listening to music affects diurnal variation in muscle power output.

    PubMed

    Chtourou, H; Chaouachi, A; Hammouda, O; Chamari, K; Souissi, N

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this investigation was to assess the effects of listening to music while warming-up on the diurnal variations of power output during the Wingate test. 12 physical education students underwent four Wingate tests at 07:00 and 17:00 h, after 10 min of warm-up with and without listening to music. The warm-up consisted of 10 min of pedalling at a constant pace of 60 rpm against a light load of 1 kg. During the Wingate test, peak and mean power were measured. The main finding was that peak and mean power improved from morning to afternoon after no music warm-up (p<0.001 and p<0.01, respectively). These diurnal variations disappeared for mean power and persisted with an attenuated morning-evening difference (p<0.05) for peak power after music warm-up. Moreover, peak and mean power were significantly higher after music than no music warm-up during the two times of testing. Thus, as it is a legal method and an additional aid, music should be used during warm-up before performing activities requiring powerful lower limbs' muscles contractions, especially in the morning competitive events.

  17. Female gonadal hormones and reproductive behaviors as key determinants of successful reproductive output of breeding whooping cranes (Grus americana)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brown, Megan E; Converse, Sarah J.; Chandler, Jane N.; Shafer, Charles; Brown, Janine L; Keefer, Carol L; Songsasen, Nucharin

    2016-01-01

    Reproductive success of endangered whooping cranes (Grus americana) maintained ex situ is poor. As part of an effort to identify potential causes of poor reproductive success in a captive colony, we used non-invasive endocrine monitoring to assess gonadal and adrenal steroids of bird pairs with various reproductive outcomes and evaluated the relationships of hormones and behaviors to reproductive performance. Overall, reproductively successful (i.e., egg laying) females had significantly higher mean estrogen levels but lower mean progestogen concentrations than did unsuccessful females. Other hormones, including glucocorticoids and androgens, were not significantly different between successful and unsuccessful individuals. Observations of specific behaviors such as unison calling, marching, and the number of copulation attempts, along with overall time spent performing reproductive behaviors, were significantly higher in successful pairs. Our findings indicate that overall reproductive performance of whooping crane pairs is linked to female gonadal hormone excretion and reproductive behaviors, but not to altered adrenal hormone production.

  18. Female gonadal hormones and reproductive behaviors as key determinants of successful reproductive output of breeding whooping cranes (Grus americana).

    PubMed

    Brown, Megan E; Converse, Sarah J; Chandler, Jane N; Shafer, Charles; Brown, Janine L; Keefer, Carol L; Songsasen, Nucharin

    2016-05-01

    Reproductive success of endangered whooping cranes (Grus americana) maintained ex situ is poor. As part of an effort to identify potential causes of poor reproductive success in a captive colony, we used non-invasive endocrine monitoring to assess gonadal and adrenal steroids of bird pairs with various reproductive outcomes and evaluated the relationships of hormones and behaviors to reproductive performance. Overall, reproductively successful (i.e., egg laying) females had significantly higher mean estrogen levels but lower mean progestogen concentrations than did unsuccessful females. Other hormones, including glucocorticoids and androgens, were not significantly different between successful and unsuccessful individuals. Observations of specific behaviors such as unison calling, marching, and the number of copulation attempts, along with overall time spent performing reproductive behaviors, were significantly higher in successful pairs. Our findings indicate that overall reproductive performance of whooping crane pairs is linked to female gonadal hormone excretion and reproductive behaviors, but not to altered adrenal hormone production.

  19. Not putting all their eggs in one basket: bet-hedging despite extraordinary annual reproductive output of desert tortoises

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lovich, Jeffrey E.; Ennen, Joshua R.; Yackulic, Charles B.; Meyer-Wilkins, Kathie; Agha, Mickey; Loughran, Caleb L.; Bjurlin, Curtis; Austin, Meaghan; Madrak, Sheila V.

    2015-01-01

    Bet-hedging theory makes the counter-intuitive prediction that, if juvenile survival is low and unpredictable, organisms should consistently reduce short-term reproductive output to minimize the risk of reproductive failure in the long-term. We investigated the long-term reproductive output of an Agassiz's desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) population and conformance to a bet-hedging strategy of reproduction in an unpredictable but comparatively productive environment. Most females reproduced every year, even during periods of low precipitation and poor germination of food plants, and the mean percentage of reproducing females did not differ significantly on an annual basis. Although mean annual egg production (clutch size × clutch frequency) differed significantly among years, mean clutch size and mean clutch frequency remained relatively constant. During an El Niño year, mean annual egg production and mean annual clutch frequency were the highest ever reported for this species. Annual egg production was positively influenced by maternal body size but clutch size and clutch frequency were not. Our long-term results confirm earlier conclusions based on short-term research that desert tortoises have a bet-hedging strategy of producing small clutches almost every year. The risk of long-term reproductive failure is minimized in unpredictable environments, both through time by annually producing multiple small clutches over a long reproductive lifespan, even in years of low resource availability, and through space by depositing multiple annual clutches in different locations. The extraordinary annual reproductive output of this population appears to be the result of a typically high but unpredictable biomass of annual food plants at the site relative to tortoise habitat in dryer regions. Under the comparatively productive but unpredictable conditions, tortoises conform to predictions of a bet-hedging strategy of reproduction with relatively small but consistent

  20. Efficiency of pollination and satiation of predators determine reproductive output in Iberian Juniperus thurifera woodlands.

    PubMed

    Mezquida, E T; Rodríguez-García, E; Olano, J M

    2016-01-01

    Fruit production in animal-dispersed plants has a strong influence on fitness because large crops increase the number of seeds dispersed by frugivores. Large crops are costly, and environmental control of plant resources is likely play a role in shaping temporal and spatial variations in seed production, particularly in fluctuating environments such as the Mediterranean. The number of fruits that start to develop and the proportion of viable seeds produced are also linked to the number of flowers formed and the efficiency of pollination in wind-pollinated plants. Finally, large fruit displays also attract seed predators, having a negative effect on seed output. We assessed the relative impact of environmental conditions on fruit production, and their combined effect on seed production, abortion and seed loss through three predispersal predators in Juniperus thurifera L., sampling 14 populations across the Iberian Peninsula. Wetter than average conditions during flowering and early fruit development led to larger crop sizes; this effect was amplified at tree level, with the most productive trees during more favourable years yielding fruits with more viable seeds and less empty and aborted seeds. In addition, large crops satiated the less mobile seed predator. The other two predispersal predators responded to plant traits, the presence of other seed predators and environmental conditions, but did not show a satiation response to the current-year crop. Our large-scale study on a dioecious, wind-pollinated Mediterranean juniper indicates that pollination efficiency and satiation of seed predators, mediated by environmental conditions, are important determinants of reproductive output in this juniper species.

  1. Personality Traits in Rhesus Macaques (Macaca mulatta) Are Heritable but Do Not Predict Reproductive Output

    PubMed Central

    Brent, Lauren J. N.; Semple, Stuart; MacLarnon, Ann; Ruiz-Lambides, Angelina; Gonzalez-Martinez, Janis; Platt, Michael L.

    2013-01-01

    There is growing evidence that behavioral tendencies, or “personalities,” in animals are an important aspect of their biology, yet their evolutionary basis is poorly understood. Specifically, how individual variation in personality arises and is subsequently maintained by selection remains unclear. To address this gap, studies of personality require explicit incorporation of genetic information. Here, we explored the genetic basis of personality in rhesus macaques by determining the heritability of personality components and by examining the fitness consequences of those components. We collected observational data for 108 adult females living in three social groups in a free-ranging population via focal animal sampling. We applied principal component analysis to nine spontaneously occurring behaviors and identified six putative personality components, which we named Meek, Bold, Aggressive, Passive, Loner, and Nervous. All components were repeatable and heritable, with heritability estimates ranging from 0.14 to 0.35. We found no evidence of an association with reproductive output, measured either by infant survival or by interbirth interval, for any of the personality components. This finding suggests either that personality does not have fitness-related consequences in this population or that selection has acted to reduce fitness-associated variation in personality. PMID:24659840

  2. Personality Traits in Rhesus Macaques (Macaca mulatta) Are Heritable but Do Not Predict Reproductive Output.

    PubMed

    Brent, Lauren J N; Semple, Stuart; Maclarnon, Ann; Ruiz-Lambides, Angelina; Gonzalez-Martinez, Janis; Platt, Michael L

    2014-02-01

    There is growing evidence that behavioral tendencies, or "personalities," in animals are an important aspect of their biology, yet their evolutionary basis is poorly understood. Specifically, how individual variation in personality arises and is subsequently maintained by selection remains unclear. To address this gap, studies of personality require explicit incorporation of genetic information. Here, we explored the genetic basis of personality in rhesus macaques by determining the heritability of personality components and by examining the fitness consequences of those components. We collected observational data for 108 adult females living in three social groups in a free-ranging population via focal animal sampling. We applied principal component analysis to nine spontaneously occurring behaviors and identified six putative personality components, which we named Meek, Bold, Aggressive, Passive, Loner, and Nervous. All components were repeatable and heritable, with heritability estimates ranging from 0.14 to 0.35. We found no evidence of an association with reproductive output, measured either by infant survival or by interbirth interval, for any of the personality components. This finding suggests either that personality does not have fitness-related consequences in this population or that selection has acted to reduce fitness-associated variation in personality.

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-02-16

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

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

    PubMed

    Ghyselen, C; Bonte, D; Brys, R

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Demographic History and Reproductive Output Correlates with Intraspecific Genetic Variation in Seven Species of Indo-Pacific Mangrove Crabs

    PubMed Central

    Fratini, Sara; Ragionieri, Lapo; Cannicci, Stefano

    2016-01-01

    The spatial distribution and the amount of intraspecific genetic variation of marine organisms are strongly influenced by many biotic and abiotic factors. Comparing biological and genetic data characterizing species living in the same habitat can help to elucidate the processes driving these variation patterns. Here, we present a comparative multispecies population genetic study on seven mangrove crabs co-occurring in the West Indian Ocean characterized by planktotrophic larvae with similar pelagic larval duration. Our main aim was to investigate whether a suite of biological, behavioural and ecological traits could affect genetic diversities of the study species in combination with historical demographic parameters. As possible current explanatory factors, we used the intertidal micro-habitat colonised by adult populations, various parameters of individual and population fecundity, and the timing of larval release. As the genetic marker, we used partial sequences of cytochrome oxidase subunit I gene. Genetic and ecological data were collected by the authors and/or gathered from primary literature. Permutational multiple regression models and ANOVA tests showed that species density and their reproductive output in combination with historical demographic parameters could explain the intraspecific genetic variation indexes across the seven species. In particular, species producing consistently less eggs per spawning event showed higher values of haplotype diversity. Moreover, Tajima’s D parameters well explained the recorded values for haplotype diversity and average γst. We concluded that current intraspecific gene diversities in crabs inhabiting mangrove forests were affected by population fecundity as well as past demographic history. The results were also discussed in terms of management and conservation of fauna in the Western Indian Ocean mangroves. PMID:27379532

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Does garbage in the diet improve reproductive output of Glaucous Gulls

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Weiser, E.L.; Powell, A.N.

    2010-01-01

    Anthropogenic subsidies are used by a variety of predators in areas developed for human use or residence. If subsidies promote population growth, these predators can have a negative effect on local prey species. The Glaucous Gull (Larus hyperboreus) is an abundant predator in northern Alaska that is believed to benefit from garbage as a supplemental food source, but this supposition has never been tested. In summer 2008 and 2009, we recorded the Glaucous Gull's diet and reproduction at 10 breeding colonies in northern Alaska. Colonies were in industrial, residential, and undeveloped areas and ranged from 5 to 75 km from the nearest landfill. By colony, garbage occurred in zero to 85% of pellets and food remains produced during the chick-rearing period, and the average number of chicks fledged per pair ranged from zero to 2.9. Random-forest analysis indicated that percent occurrence of garbage in the diet was the second most important factor (after number of eggs per pair) explaining variance in fledging rate. There was a significant positive correlation between percent occurrence of garbage in the diet and fledging rate in each year. If this correlation reflects a causal relationship, it suggests that human development that increases gulls' access to garbage could result in increased local gull populations. Such an increase could affect the gulls' natural prey species, including at least 14 species of shorebirds and waterfowl of conservation concern. ?? The Cooper Ornithological Society 2010.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-10-01

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

  11. Dietary pollutants induce oxidative stress, altering maternal antioxidant provisioning and reproductive output in the temperate sea urchin Evechinus chloroticus.

    PubMed

    Lister, Kathryn N; Lamare, Miles D; Burritt, David J

    2016-08-01

    Evidence is growing to suggest that the capacity to withstand oxidative stress may play an important role in shaping life-history trade-offs, although little is known on the relationship in broadcast spawning marine invertebrates. In this group, variation in gamete quantity and quality are important drivers of offspring survival and successful recruitment. Therefore the provisioning of eggs with antioxidants may be an important driver of life history strategies because they play a critical role in preventing damage from reactive oxygen species to macromolecules. In this study, a suite of oxidative stress biomarkers was measured in the gonads and eggs of the sea urchin Evechinus chloroticus exposed to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Links between oxidative stress markers and core components of fitness including fecundity, gamete quality and maternal transfer of antioxidants were assessed. Experimental induction of oxidative stress was achieved via exposure to a mix of four PAHs over a 21-day period. In PAH exposed individuals, we observed a significant upregulation of the antioxidant defence and detoxification enzymes SOD, CAT, GR, GPx and GST, as well as a greater pool of the non-enzymatic antioxidant glutathione in gonad tissue and eggs. In contrast, glutathione redox status was not affected by PAH exposure, with the percentage of reduced glutathione remaining at approximately 80% in both gonad tissue and released eggs. PAH-exposed adults experienced greater than three- and five-fold increases in oxidative protein and lipid damage, respectively, in gonad tissue. In contrast, eggs maintained low levels of damage, not differing from baseline levels found in eggs released from PAH-naïve mothers. PAH exposure also resulted in a 2-fold reduction in fecundity of reproductively mature females but no significant alteration to egg diameter. Although PAH-exposed females released fewer eggs, successful fertilisation of those eggs was slightly enhanced with average

  12. Yellow band disease compromises the reproductive output of the Caribbean reef-building coral Montastraea faveolata (Anthozoa, Scleractinia).

    PubMed

    Weil, Ernesto; Cróquer, Aldo; Urreiztieta, Isabel

    2009-11-16

    Sexual reproduction is critical to coral population dynamics and the long-term regeneration of coral reefs. Bleaching, disease, and/or anthropogenic-induced tissue/colony loss reduce reproductive output. This is the first attempt to explore the effect of a biotic disease on the reproduction of scleractinian corals. The study aimed to assess the effect of yellow band disease (YBD) on the reproduction of the important Caribbean reef-builder Montastraea faveolata. Tissue samples were collected from diseased, transition, and healthy-looking areas in each of 5 infected colonies and from 5 healthy controls in southwest Puerto Rico. The effect of disease-induced mortality was assessed by collecting samples from the edge and center of surviving small and large, healthy-looking tissue patches from large, previously infected tagged colonies. Fecundity was significantly lower in disease lesions compared to transition and healthy-looking tissues and the controls (99% fewer eggs). Fecundity in transition areas was significantly lower (50%) than in healthy-looking tissues in diseased colonies, which had 23% lower fecundity than control tissues. Although this fecundity drop was not statistically significant, it could indicate a systemic effect of YBD across the colony. Large and small patches had 64 and 84% fewer eggs than controls, respectively, and edge polyps had 97% fewer eggs than those in central control areas. Field observations of the spawning behavior of each tissue area corroborated the histological results. Our results indicate that YBD significantly compromises the reproductive output of M. faveolata, potentially reducing the fitness and consequently, the recovery of this important reef-building species on Caribbean coral reefs.

  13. Size-assortative mating and effect of maternal body size on the reproductive output of the nassariid Buccinanops globulosus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Avaca, María Soledad; Narvarte, Maite; Martín, Pablo

    2012-04-01

    Size- assortative mating is usually present in populations where there is a positive relationship between female size and reproductive output. In this study, we tested for the presence of sexual size dimorphism, size-assortative mating and the effects of female size on reproductive output in a wild population of Buccinanops globulosus, an endemic nassariid of the Southwestern Atlantic Ocean with direct development. The results showed that: 1) females were larger than males, indicating sexual size dimorphism; 2) mate sizes were significantly correlated, indicating a component of size-assortative mating; 3) males of medium and large size classes were paired with larger females than small-sized males; 4) larger females were paired with large males; 5) maternal body size was positively related to some proxies of reproductive success (number of nurse eggs per egg capsule, egg capsular area and total length at hatching). Our results suggest that larger females may be favored as mates over smaller ones owing to their higher investment per offspring and consequently a larger initial juvenile size as juvenile.

  14. Reproductive output of a non-zooxanthellate temperate coral is unaffected by temperature along an extended latitudinal gradient.

    PubMed

    Airi, Valentina; Prantoni, Selena; Calegari, Marco; Lisini Baldi, Veronica; Gizzi, Francesca; Marchini, Chiara; Levy, Oren; Falini, Giuseppe; Dubinsky, Zvy; Goffredo, Stefano

    2017-01-01

    Global environmental change, in marine ecosystems, is associated with concurrent shifts in water temperature, circulation, stratification, and nutrient input, with potentially wide-ranging biological effects. Variations in seawater temperature might alter physiological functioning, reproductive efficiency, and demographic traits of marine organisms, leading to shifts in population size and abundance. Differences in temperature tolerances between organisms can identify individual and ecological characteristics, which make corals able to persist and adapt in a climate change context. Here we investigated the possible effect of temperature on the reproductive output of the solitary non-zooxanthellate temperate coral Leptopsammia pruvoti, along an 8° latitudinal gradient. Samples have been collected in six populations along the gradient and each polyp was examined using histological and cyto-histometric analyses. We coupled our results with previous studies on the growth, demography, and calcification of L. pruvoti along the same temperature gradient, and compared them with those of another sympatric zooxanthellate coral Balanophyllia europaea to understand which trophic strategy makes the coral more tolerant to increasing temperature. The non-zooxanthellate species seemed to be quite tolerant to temperature increases, probably due to the lack of the symbiosis with zooxanthellae. To our knowledge, this is the first field investigation of the relationship between reproductive output and temperature increase of a temperate asymbiotic coral, providing novel insights into the poorly studied non-zooxanthellate scleractinians.

  15. Reproductive output of a non-zooxanthellate temperate coral is unaffected by temperature along an extended latitudinal gradient

    PubMed Central

    Airi, Valentina; Prantoni, Selena; Calegari, Marco; Lisini Baldi, Veronica; Gizzi, Francesca; Marchini, Chiara; Levy, Oren; Falini, Giuseppe; Dubinsky, Zvy; Goffredo, Stefano

    2017-01-01

    Global environmental change, in marine ecosystems, is associated with concurrent shifts in water temperature, circulation, stratification, and nutrient input, with potentially wide-ranging biological effects. Variations in seawater temperature might alter physiological functioning, reproductive efficiency, and demographic traits of marine organisms, leading to shifts in population size and abundance. Differences in temperature tolerances between organisms can identify individual and ecological characteristics, which make corals able to persist and adapt in a climate change context. Here we investigated the possible effect of temperature on the reproductive output of the solitary non-zooxanthellate temperate coral Leptopsammia pruvoti, along an 8° latitudinal gradient. Samples have been collected in six populations along the gradient and each polyp was examined using histological and cyto-histometric analyses. We coupled our results with previous studies on the growth, demography, and calcification of L. pruvoti along the same temperature gradient, and compared them with those of another sympatric zooxanthellate coral Balanophyllia europaea to understand which trophic strategy makes the coral more tolerant to increasing temperature. The non-zooxanthellate species seemed to be quite tolerant to temperature increases, probably due to the lack of the symbiosis with zooxanthellae. To our knowledge, this is the first field investigation of the relationship between reproductive output and temperature increase of a temperate asymbiotic coral, providing novel insights into the poorly studied non-zooxanthellate scleractinians. PMID:28158213

  16. Protein and glucogenic precursor supplementation: A nutritional strategy to increase reproductive and economic output

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Reproductive performance in young beef cows is often compromised due to a mismatch of physiological demands and suboptimal environmental conditions. Studies conducted at the Corona Range and Livestock Research Center from 2000 to 2007 evaluated 3 postpartum supplement strategies that varied in the ...

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

    PubMed

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

    2001-03-01

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

  18. 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

  19. Chitosan-nanoconjugated hormone nanoparticles for sustained surge of gonadotropins and enhanced reproductive output in female fish.

    PubMed

    Rather, Mohd Ashraf; Sharma, Rupam; Gupta, Subodh; Ferosekhan, S; Ramya, V L; Jadhao, Sanjay B

    2013-01-01

    A controlled release delivery system helps to overcome the problem of short life of the leutinizing hormone releasing hormone (LHRH) in blood and avoids use of multiple injections to enhance reproductive efficacy. Chitosan- and chitosan-gold nanoconjugates of salmon LHRH of desired size, dispersity and zeta potential were synthesized and evaluated at half the dose rate against full dose of bare LHRH for their reproductive efficacy in the female fish, Cyprinus carpio. Whereas injections of both the nanoconjugates induced controlled and sustained surge of the hormones with peak (P<0.01) at 24 hrs, surge due to bare LHRH reached its peak at 7 hrs and either remained at plateau or sharply declined thereafter. While the percentage of relative total eggs produced by fish were 130 and 67 per cent higher, that of fertilised eggs were 171 and 88 per cent higher on chitosan- and chitosan-gold nanoconjugates than bare LHRH. Chitosan nanoconjugates had a 13 per cent higher and chitosan gold preparation had a 9 per cent higher fertilization rate than bare LHRH. Histology of the ovaries also attested the pronounced effect of nanoparticles on reproductive output. This is the first report on use of chitosan-conjugated nanodelivery of gonadotropic hormone in fish.

  20. 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.

  1. Superconception in mammalian pregnancy can be detected and increases reproductive output per breeding season.

    PubMed

    Roellig, Kathleen; Goeritz, Frank; Fickel, Joerns; Hermes, Robert; Hofer, Heribert; Hildebrandt, Thomas B

    2010-09-21

    The concept of superfetation, a second conception during pregnancy, has been controversial for a long time. In this paper we use an experimental approach to demonstrate that female European brown hares (Lepus europaeus) frequently develop a second pregnancy while already pregnant and thereby increase their reproductive success. After a new, successful copulation, we confirmed additional ovulations before parturition in living, late-pregnant females by detecting a second set of fresh corpora lutea using high-resolution ultrasonography. The presence of early embryonic stages in the oviduct, demonstrated by oviduct flushing, next to fully developed fetuses in the uterus is best explained by passage of semen through the late-pregnant uterus; this was confirmed by paternity analysis using microsatellite profiling. Subsequent implantation occurred after parturition. This superfetation, categorized as superconception, significantly increased litter size and permitted females to produce up to 35.4% more offspring per breeding season. It is therefore most likely an evolutionary adaptation.

  2. Superconception in mammalian pregnancy can be detected and increases reproductive output per breeding season

    PubMed Central

    Roellig, Kathleen; Goeritz, Frank; Fickel, Joerns; Hermes, Robert; Hofer, Heribert; Hildebrandt, Thomas B.

    2010-01-01

    The concept of superfetation, a second conception during pregnancy, has been controversial for a long time. In this paper we use an experimental approach to demonstrate that female European brown hares (Lepus europaeus) frequently develop a second pregnancy while already pregnant and thereby increase their reproductive success. After a new, successful copulation, we confirmed additional ovulations before parturition in living, late-pregnant females by detecting a second set of fresh corpora lutea using high-resolution ultrasonography. The presence of early embryonic stages in the oviduct, demonstrated by oviduct flushing, next to fully developed fetuses in the uterus is best explained by passage of semen through the late-pregnant uterus; this was confirmed by paternity analysis using microsatellite profiling. Subsequent implantation occurred after parturition. This superfetation, categorized as superconception, significantly increased litter size and permitted females to produce up to 35.4% more offspring per breeding season. It is therefore most likely an evolutionary adaptation. PMID:20865801

  3. Species-specific trends in the reproductive output of corals across environmental gradients and bleaching histories.

    PubMed

    Howells, Emily J; Ketchum, Remi N; Bauman, Andrew G; Mustafa, Yasmine; Watkins, Kristina D; Burt, John A

    2016-04-30

    Coral populations in the Persian Gulf have a reputation for being some of the toughest in the world yet little is known about the energetic constraints of living under temperature and salinity extremes. Energy allocation for sexual reproduction in Gulf corals was evaluated relative to conspecifics living under milder environmental conditions in the Oman Sea. Fecundity was depressed at Gulf sites in two Indo-Pacific merulinid species (Cyphastrea microphthalma and Platygyra daedalea) but not in a regionally endemic acroporid (Acropora downingi). Gulf populations of each species experienced high temperature bleaching at the onset of gametogenesis in the study but fecundity was only negatively impacted in P. daedalea and A. downingi. Large population sizes of C. microphthalma and P. daedalea in the Gulf are expected to buffer reductions on colony-level fecundity. However, depleted population sizes of A. downingi at some Gulf sites equate to low reef-wide fecundity and likely impede outcrossing success.

  4. Studies of reproductive output of the desert tortoise at Joshua Tree National Park, the Mojave National Preserve, and comparative sites

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lovich, J.E.; Medica, P.; Avery, H.; Meyer, K.; Bowser, G.; Brown, A.

    1999-01-01

    The stability of any population is a function of how many young are produced and how many survive to reproduce. Populations with low reproductive output and high mortality will decline until such time as deaths and births are at least balanced. Monitoring populations of sensitive species is particularly important to ensure that conditions do not favor decline or extinction. Turtles, including tortoises, are characterized by life history traits that make them slow to adapt to rapid changes in mortality and habitat alteration. Long life spans (in excess of 50 years), late maturity, and widely variable nest success are traits that allowed turtles to outlive the dinosaurs, but they are poorly adapted for life in the rapidly changing modern world. Increased mortality of young and adults can seriously tip the delicate balance required for turtles to survive.

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-07-01

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

  7. Thought waves remotely affect the performance (output voltage) of photoelectric cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cao, Dayong; Cao, Daqing

    2012-02-01

    In our experiments, thought waves have been shown to be capable of changing (affecting) the output voltage of photovoltaic cells located from as far away as 1-3 meters. There are no wires between brain and photoelectric cell and so it is presumed only the thought waves act on the photoelectric cell. In continual rotations, the experiments tested different solar cells, measuring devices and lamps, and the experiments were done in different labs. The first experiment was conducted on Oct 2002. Tests are ongoing. Conclusions and assumptions include: 1) the slow thought wave has the energy of space-time as defined by C1.00007: The mass, energy, space and time systemic theory- MEST. Every process releases a field effect electrical vibration which be transmitted and focussed in particular paths; 2) the thought wave has the information of the order of tester; 3) the brain (with the physical system of MEST) and consciousness (with the spirit system of the mind, consciousness, emotion and desire-MECD) can produce the information (a part of them as the Genetic code); 4) through some algorithms such as ACO Ant Colony Optimization and EA Evolutionary Algorithm (or genetic algorithm) working in RAM, human can optimize the information. This Optimizational function is the intelligence; 5) In our experiments, not only can thought waves affect the voltage of the output photoelectric signals by its energy, but they can also selectively increase or decrease those photoelectric currents through remote consciousness interface and a conscious-brain information technology.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-01

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

  12. Microwave exposure affecting reproductive system in male rats.

    PubMed

    Kesari, Kavindra Kumar; Behari, Jitendra

    2010-09-01

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

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-07-01

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

  15. Comparison of Boer, Kiko, and Spanish meat goat does for stayability and cumulative reproductive output in the humid subtropical southeastern United States

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Longevity is the amount of time breeding females stay active in a herd by avoiding death or culling because of illness or reproductive failure. This is a trait of economic relevance in commercial small ruminant breeding herds as it affects lifetime reproductive output. The purpose of this study was to determine if breed of meat goat influences breeding doe survival rates and cumulative reproductive performance under semi-intensive management. Results Boer (n = 132), Kiko (n = 92) and Spanish (n = 79) does were evaluated for longevity trends and cumulative kid production. The herd was managed on humid subtropical pasture. Does had the chance to complete 2 to 6 production years. Survival curves were analyzed for 2 culling methods. The actual culling practice removed does after two failures to wean a kid. An alternative culling protocol removed doe records after the first failure to wean a kid. Kid production traits analyzed across herd life were the total number of kids weaned and cumulative kid weight weaned to the 2-, 3-, and 5-year stayability endpoints. Most (82%) doe exits were illness-related under the actual culling method. Reproductive failure represented 51% of doe exits under the alternative culling protocol. Boer does had greater survival declines (P < 0.01) from 2 to 6 years of herd life compared with Kiko and Spanish under both culling protocols. Boer does had lower stayability rates (P < 0.01) at each year endpoint for both culling protocols. Under the alternative protocol, over 50% of Boer does failed to complete 2 years, whereas over 50% of Kiko and Spanish does successfully completed 4 years. Boer does had lower (P < 0.01) total number of kids weaned and cumulative weight weaned through each stayability endpoint compared with Kiko and Spanish. Conclusion Boer does had low stayability and cumulative kid production rates compared with Kiko and Spanish does. Poor health was the primary driver of does exiting the

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

  17. [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.

  18. Long-term trends in annual reproductive output of the scrub hickory: factors influencing variation in size of nut crop.

    PubMed

    Layne, James N; Abrahamson, Warren G

    2004-09-01

    Reproductive output by the Florida-endemic scrub hickory (Carya floridana Sargent) was studied over a 28-yr period in three south-central Florida vegetation associations: southern ridge sandhill, sand pine scrub, and scrubby flatwoods. The objectives were to describe multi-annual patterns of variation in nut production, identify factors involved in this variation, and investigate differences in patterns among associations. Peaks (higher values bracketed by lower values) in nut production occurred in 7 yr in sandhill and scrub and 8 yr in scrubby flatwoods during the 22-yr period for which we had continuous data. Of the total of 22 peaks in the three associations combined, 17 occurred at intervals of 2 or 3 yr, and peaks occurred in the same years in 18 of the 22 cases. Periodicities of nut production generated by spectral analyses (Fourier transforms) generally agreed with the observed peaks. Numbers of nuts per bearing ramet, proportion of ramets bearing nuts, ramet height, and light availability were positively correlated with nut production. Weather variables, specifically winter rainfall and minimum spring temperatures, accounted for a total of about one-quarter to one-half of the variance in nut production depending on the vegetation association. Following a prescribed fire in a sandhill plot, scrub hickory quickly regained fruit production, but over a 5-yr period following the fire nut production by ramets in the largest size class was reduced compared with the unburned control plot.

  19. 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

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

    Edmonds, Kent E

    2013-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2002-08-01

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

  4. The sex lives of ctenophores: the influence of light, body size, and self-fertilization on the reproductive output of the sea walnut, Mnemiopsis leidyi.

    PubMed

    Sasson, Daniel A; Ryan, Joseph F

    2016-01-01

    Ctenophores (comb jellies) are emerging as important animals for investigating fundamental questions across numerous branches of biology (e.g., evodevo, neuroscience and biogeography). A few ctenophore species including, most notably, Mnemiopsis leidyi, are considered as invasive species, adding to the significance of studying ctenophore ecology. Despite the growing interest in ctenophore biology, relatively little is known about their reproduction. Like most ctenophores, M. leidyi is a simultaneous hermaphrodite capable of self-fertilization. In this study, we assess the influence of light on spawning, the effect of body size on spawning likelihood and reproductive output, and the cost of self-fertilization on egg viability in M. leidyi. Our results suggest that M. leidyi spawning is more strongly influenced by circadian rhythms than specific light cues and that body size significantly impacts spawning and reproductive output. Mnemiopsis leidyi adults that spawned alone produced a lower percentage of viable embryos versus those that spawned in pairs, suggesting that self-fertilization may be costly in this species. These results provide insight into the reproductive ecology of M. leidyi and provide a fundamental resource for researchers working with them in the laboratory.

  5. The sex lives of ctenophores: the influence of light, body size, and self-fertilization on the reproductive output of the sea walnut, Mnemiopsis leidyi

    PubMed Central

    Sasson, Daniel A.

    2016-01-01

    Ctenophores (comb jellies) are emerging as important animals for investigating fundamental questions across numerous branches of biology (e.g., evodevo, neuroscience and biogeography). A few ctenophore species including, most notably, Mnemiopsis leidyi, are considered as invasive species, adding to the significance of studying ctenophore ecology. Despite the growing interest in ctenophore biology, relatively little is known about their reproduction. Like most ctenophores, M. leidyi is a simultaneous hermaphrodite capable of self-fertilization. In this study, we assess the influence of light on spawning, the effect of body size on spawning likelihood and reproductive output, and the cost of self-fertilization on egg viability in M. leidyi. Our results suggest that M. leidyi spawning is more strongly influenced by circadian rhythms than specific light cues and that body size significantly impacts spawning and reproductive output. Mnemiopsis leidyi adults that spawned alone produced a lower percentage of viable embryos versus those that spawned in pairs, suggesting that self-fertilization may be costly in this species. These results provide insight into the reproductive ecology of M. leidyi and provide a fundamental resource for researchers working with them in the laboratory. PMID:27042395

  6. Factors affecting anaerobic power output in the Margaria-Kalamen test.

    PubMed

    Huskey, T; Mayhew, J L; Ball, T E; Arnold, M D

    1989-08-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of three approach distances and two vertical ascent methods on approach velocity, vertical velocity and power output of the Margaria-Kalamen test. Male (n = 43) and female (n = 53) university students were tested using a traditional and a modified (ramp) Margaria-Kalamen test with approaches of 2, 6 and 10m. The average of five trials for each approach distance was used to calculate anaerobic power. Males averaged 14.0% greater approach velocity, 28.8% greater vertical velocity and 41.1% greater power output than females, regardless of approach distance or vertical ascent method. Anaerobic power output was not significantly different between the sexes for any method when the effects of the percentage of fat and lean body mass were removed by the covariance technique. The 2m approach produced significantly slower approach velocity, vertical velocity and power output than the other approaches. The ramp method resulted in significantly greater approach velocity (11.5%), vertical velocity (9.6%) and anaerobic power output (9.4%) than the stair method. Males averaged 8.4% higher power output using the ramp, while females averaged 11.0% higher than the conventional stair method. Females appeared to benefit more than males from using a ramp in the anaerobic power test. Anaerobic power measurement from the Margaria-Kalamen method can be maximized using a ramp method.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  9. Sperm competition affects male behaviour and sperm output in the rainbow darter

    PubMed Central

    Fuller, R. C.

    1998-01-01

    Rainbow darters, Etheostoma caeruleum, are promiscuous fish with moderate rates of group spawning (between one and five males may simultaneously mate with one female). In this study, I examined male sperm output and male willingness to spawn under different levels of sperm competition intensity. One male and one female were allowed to spawn in an aquarium where they had visual and olfactory access to one of four treatments: four males, one male, zero males, or one female. Theory predicts that males should reduce sperm output when there are more than the average number of males at a group spawning (four-male treatment) and should increase sperm output when there are fewer than average males at a group spawning (one-male treatment). Mean sperm output did not differ among treatments. However, males released more sperm when spawning in the presence of competing males (four-male and one-male treatments pooled) than when spawning in the absence of competing males (zero-male and one-female treatments pooled). Males were also most likely to forego spawning opportunities when sperm competition intensity was high. Furthermore, male willingness to spawn was size dependent. Large males were more likely to forego spawning opportunities under high sperm competition intensity. Large males may be better off waiting for future spawning opportunities when there is a lower potential for sperm competition intensity.

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-03-01

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

  11. Response to multi-generational selection under elevated [CO2] in two temperature regimes suggests enhanced carbon assimilation and increased reproductive output in Brassica napus L.

    PubMed Central

    Frenck, Georg; van der Linden, Leon; Mikkelsen, Teis Nørgaard; Brix, Hans; Jørgensen, Rikke Bagger

    2013-01-01

    Functional plant traits are likely to adapt under the sustained pressure imposed by environmental changes through natural selection. Employing Brassica napus as a model, a multi-generational study was performed to investigate the potential trajectories of selection at elevated [CO2] in two different temperature regimes. To reveal phenotypic divergence at the manipulated [CO2] and temperature conditions, a full-factorial natural selection regime was established in a phytotron environment over the range of four generations. It is demonstrated that a directional response to selection at elevated [CO2] led to higher quantities of reproductive output over the range of investigated generations independent of the applied temperature regime. The increase in seed yield caused an increase in aboveground biomass. This suggests quantitative changes in the functions of carbon sequestration of plants subjected to increased levels of CO2 over the generational range investigated. The results of this study suggest that phenotypic divergence of plants selected under elevated atmospheric CO2 concentration may drive the future functions of plant productivity to be different from projections that do not incorporate selection responses of plants. This study accentuates the importance of phenotypic responses across multiple generations in relation to our understanding of biogeochemical dynamics of future ecosystems. Furthermore, the positive selection response of reproductive output under increased [CO2] may ameliorate depressions in plant reproductive fitness caused by higher temperatures in situations where both factors co-occur. PMID:23762504

  12. Analysis of Factors Affecting Output Levels and Frequencies of MP3 Players.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jinsook

    2013-09-01

    Exposure to high levels of music that could lead to music induced hearing loss (MIHL) has been of recent interest especially for young adults, considering their excessive use of personal listening devices such as MP3 player. More attention should be drawn to MIHL for noting that early noise exposure leads to earlier onset of presbycusis. In search of appropriate and safe listening habits for young adults, this investigation was aimed to evaluate output levels and frequencies generated by the Samsung galaxy note MP3 player depending on two earphone types; ear-bud and over-the-ear earphones and three music genres; rock, hip-hop, ballade. A sound level meter was used to measure output level and frequency spectrum between 12.5 and 16000 Hz at all 1/3-octave bands. The following results can be summarized. 1) The earphone styles did not produce significant difference in output levels, but the music genres did. However, the results of music genres varied. 2) Neither earphone styles nor music genres produced significant difference in frequency response spectrum, except music genres at the volume settings we usually listen to. Additionally, volume levels should be lower than 50% for usual listening situation. Through this investigation, it was noted that the frequency range was substantial between 50 and 1000 Hz regardless of the styles of earphones and music genres, implying that we should be cautious of this frequency range when we listen to music. Researchers should give more attention to the effects of the mixture of output level and frequency spectrum, considering that the auditory system has frequency specificity from the periphery to the central to provide refined methods for protecting our ears from MIHL.

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

    PubMed

    Averitt Taylor, Jessica

    2014-01-01

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

  14. Reproductive allocation and output in herbaceous annuals of the genera Polygonum, Ipomoea, and Cassia in elevated CO[sub 2] environments

    SciTech Connect

    Farnsworth, E.J.; Bazzaz, F.A. )

    1994-06-01

    In assessing the capacity of plants to adapt to rapidly changing global climate, we must elucidate the impacts of elevated carbon dioxide on reproduction, fitness and evolution. We investigated how elevated CO[sub 2] influenced reproduction and growth of plants exhibiting a range of floral displays, the implications of shifts in allocation for fitness in these species, and whether related taxa would show similar patterns of response. Three herbaceous, annual species each of the genera Polygonum, Ipomoea, and Cassia were grown under 350 or 700 ppm CO[sub 2]. Vegetative growth and reproductive output were non-destructively measured throughout the full life span, and biomass calibrated with a subsample harvest at first flowering. Viability and germination studies of seed progeny were conducted to more precisely characterize fitness. Timecourse and numbers of floral buds, flowers, unripe and abscised fruits differed between CO[sub 2] treatments. Genera differed significantly in their phenological responses to elevated CO[sub 2], Polygonum and Cassia species (but not Ipomoea) showed accelerated, enhanced reproduction. Elevated CO[sub 2] ameliorated trade-offs between vegetative and floral production. However, seed [open quotes]quality[close quotes] and fitness were not always directly correlated with quantity produced. Species within general responded more consistently to CO[sub 2], indicating that phylogeny and life form may be general predictors of performance under global change.

  15. Plumage color and reproductive output of eastern bluebirds (Sialia sialis) nesting near a mercury-contaminated river.

    PubMed

    McCullagh, Elizabeth A; Cristol, Daniel A; Phillips, John B

    2015-01-01

    Despite the growing evidence of mercury's impact on ecosystems, few studies have looked at the environmental impact of mercury pollution on terrestrial songbirds and the complex ways through which mercury might influence their fitness. In 2007-2008 eastern bluebirds (Sialia sialis) were monitored on mercury contaminated and reference sites for blood and feather mercury, reproductive success and plumage coloration. Higher tissue mercury accumulation was associated with plumage that was overall brighter and shifted towards the UV portion of the spectrum. In females, long-term mercury exposure, as indicated by feather mercury, was associated with smaller clutches of eggs. In males, recent mercury exposure, as indicated by blood mercury, was associated with a reduction in the proportion of hatchlings that fledged, potentially through reduced male provisioning of offspring. Reproductive success and plumage color are closely linked in bluebirds through mate choice, and our findings indicate that mercury contamination is associated with reproductive success directly and possibly indirectly, through coloration of bluebirds.

  16. 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.

  17. Wearing knee wraps affects mechanical output and performance characteristics of back squat exercise.

    PubMed

    Lake, Jason P; Carden, Patrick J C; Shorter, Kath A

    2012-10-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of wearing knee wraps on mechanical output and performance characteristics of back squat exercise. Ten resistance trained men (back squat 1 repetition maximum [1RM]: 160.5 ± 18.4 kg) performed 6 single back squats with 80% 1RM, 3 wearing knee wraps, 3 without. Mechanical output was obtained from ground reaction force, performance characteristics from digitized motion footage obtained from a single high-speed digital camera. Wearing knee wraps led to a 39% reduction (0.09 compared with 0.11 m, p = 0.037) in horizontal barbell displacement that continued during the lifting phase. Lowering phase vertical impulse remained within 1% across conditions; however, the lowering phase was performed 45% faster (1.13 compared with 1.57 seconds). This demonstrated that vertical force applied to the center of mass during the lowering phase was considerably larger and was likely a consequence of the generation and storage of elastic energy within the knee wrap. Subsequent vertical impulse applied to the center of mass was 10% greater (192 compared with 169 N·s, p = 0.018). Mechanical work involved in vertically displacing the center of mass was performed 20% faster and was reflected by a 10% increase in peak power (2,121 compared with 1,841 W, p = 0.019). The elastic properties of knee wraps increased mechanical output but altered back squat technique in a way that is likely to alter the musculature targeted by the exercise and possibly compromise the integrity of the knee joint. Knee wraps should not be worn during the strength and condition process, and perceived weakness in the knee joint should be assessed and treated.

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

    PubMed

    Frederiksen, M; Bregnballe, T

    2001-07-22

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. The impact of specialist and generalist pre-dispersal seed predators on the reproductive output of a common and a rare Euphorbia species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boieiro, Mário; Rego, Carla; Serrano, Artur R. M.; Espadaler, Xavier

    2010-03-01

    Pre-dispersal seed predators can have a severe impact on the reproductive output of their hosts, which can translate into negative effects on population dynamics. Here we compared the losses due to specialist and generalist insect seed predators in two Euphorbia species, a rare ( Euphorbia welwitschii) and a common one ( Euphorbia characias). Pre-dispersal losses to specialist seed-wasps ( Eurytoma jaltica) and generalist hemipterans ( Cydnus aterrimus and Dicranocephalus agilis) were on average higher for the rare E. welwitschii than for its widespread congener. In both Euphorbia species, the variation in losses to specialist and generalist seed predators was not related with traits indicative of plant size, fecundity, or isolation. Nevertheless, the temporal variation in losses to seed-wasps seemed to be intimately associated with the magnitude of yearly variation in fruit production. The impact of seed-wasps and hemipterans on the reproductive output of both Euphorbia species was additive, though there was evidence for infochemical-mediated interference at the fruit level. The moderate levels of seed predation in E. welwitschii, together with the results from the comparative analysis with its widespread congener, suggest that insect seed predation is not a causal effect of plant rarity.

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

    Moreau, J; Benrey, B; Thiéry, D

    2006-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-17

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-01

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

  6. Evidence of iteroparity in the widely distributed diadromous fish inanga Galaxias maculatus and potential implications for reproductive output.

    PubMed

    Stevens, J C B; Hickford, M J H; Schiel, D R

    2016-10-01

    Gaps in understanding variability among populations of inanga Galaxias maculatus in the timing of reproduction were addressed in southern New Zealand (NZ), where G. maculatus constitutes a declining fishery. Reproductive activity was delayed by 1 month on the west coast compared with the east coast and the west coast spawning season was prolonged into winter. The evidence for post-spawning survival of some fish was unequivocal from histological studies. These older and larger fish contributed disproportionately to egg production. Estimates of fecundity were considerably lower than those previously calculated for NZ populations. The importance of quality habitats being available during critical life history periods are highlighted. It was apparent that some streams supported fish that were larger and in better condition and that this translated into greatly increased fecundity. Future research should focus on whether this is a legacy of these fish experiencing better pre-settlement marine habitat as larvae, or higher quality instream habitat enhancing the growth and development of adults.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-05-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-12-23

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

  12. Vouchers for health: A demand side output-based aid approach to reproductive health services in Kenya.

    PubMed

    Janisch, C P; Albrecht, M; Wolfschuetz, A; Kundu, F; Klein, S

    2010-01-01

    Reaching the United Nation's Millennium Development Goals has been a focus for many countries and development partners. In Kenya, as in many other countries with low levels of development, access to and equity of basic quality health services is limited, especially for the very poor. Among poor populations, maternal mortality is high as access to medical care and financial means are lacking. In 2005, the Governments of Kenya and Germany in cooperation with KfW Banking Group made funds available for the Reproductive Health OBA Voucher Programme offering vouchers for Safe Motherhood, Family Planning and Gender Violence Recovery Services. This programme, herein referred to as Vouchers for Health, was launched in June of 2006 in five Kenyan districts with the aim of providing health services for safe deliveries, long-term family planning methods and victims of gender violence. The way that the programme is being implemented in Kenya demonstrates that the voucher-based approach comprises a variety of key structural elements of a national health insurance scheme: accreditation; quality assurance; reimbursement system; claims processing; integrating the private sector; client choice; provider competition; and access to and equity of services provided.

  13. Release of a single neurotransmitter from an identified interneuron coherently affects motor output on multiple time scales.

    PubMed

    Dacks, Andrew M; Weiss, Klaudiusz R

    2013-05-01

    Neurotransmitters can have diverse effects that occur over multiple time scales often making the consequences of neurotransmission difficult to predict. To explore the consequences of this diversity, we used the buccal ganglion of Aplysia to examine the effects of GABA release by a single interneuron, B40, on the intrinsic properties and motor output of the radula closure neuron B8. B40 induces a picrotoxin-sensitive fast IPSP lasting milliseconds in B8 and a slow EPSP lasting seconds. We found that the excitatory effects of this slow EPSP are also mediated by GABA. Together, these two GABAergic actions structure B8 firing in a pattern characteristic of ingestive programs. Furthermore, we found that repeated B40 stimulation induces a persistent increase in B8 excitability that was occluded in the presence of the GABA B receptor agonist baclofen, suggesting that GABA affects B8 excitability over multiple time scales. The phasing of B8 activity during the feeding motor programs determines the nature of the behavior elicited during that motor program. The persistent increase in B8 excitability induced by B40 biased the activity of B8 during feeding motor programs causing the motor programs to become more ingestive in nature. Thus, a single transmitter released from a single interneuron can have consequences for motor output that are expressed over multiple time scales. Importantly, despite the differences in their signs and temporal characteristics, the three actions of B40 are coherent in that they promote B8 firing patterns that are characteristic of ingestive motor outputs.

  14. Unbalanced international collaboration affects adversely the usefulness of countries' scientific output as well as their technological and social impact.

    PubMed

    Zanotto, Sonia R; Haeffner, Cristina; Guimarães, Jorge A

    2016-01-01

    The unbalanced international scientific collaboration as cause of misleading information on the country's contribution to the scientific world output was analyzed. ESI Data Base (Thomson Reuters' InCites), covering the scientific production of 217 active countries in the period 2010-2014 was used. International collaboration implicates in a high percentage (33.1 %) of double-counted world articles, thus impacting qualitative data as citations, impact and impact relative to word. The countries were divided into three groups, according to their individual contribution to the world publications: Group I (24 countries, at least 1 %) representing 83.9 % of the total double-counted world articles. Group II (40 countries, 0.1-0.99 % each). Group III, 153 countries (70.5 %) with <0.1 % and altogether 1.9 % of the world. Qualitative characteristics of each group were also analyzed: percentage of the country's GNP applied in R&D, proportion of Scientists and Engineers per million inhabitants and Human Development Index. Average international collaboration were: Group I, 43.0 %; Group II, 55.8 % and Group III, 85.2 %. We concluded that very high and unbalanced international collaboration, as presented by many countries, misrepresent the importance of their scientific production, technological and social outputs. Furthermore, it jeopardizes qualitative outputs of the countries themselves, artificially increasing their scientific impact, affecting all fields and therefore, the whole world. The data confirm that when dealing with the qualitative contribution of countries, it is necessary to take in consideration the level of international cooperation because, as seen here, it can and in fact it does create false impression of the real contribution of countries.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2005-01-01

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

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-11

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

  18. Using GIS Mapping of the Extent of Nearshore Rocky Reefs to Estimate the Abundance and Reproductive Output of Important Fishery Species

    PubMed Central

    Claisse, Jeremy T.; Pondella, Daniel J.; Williams, Jonathan P.; Sadd, James

    2012-01-01

    Kelp Bass (Paralabrax clathratus) and California Sheephead (Semicossyphus pulcher) are economically and ecologically valuable rocky reef fishes in southern California, making them likely indicator species for evaluating resource management actions. Multiple spatial datasets, aerial and satellite photography, underwater observations and expert judgment were used to produce a comprehensive map of nearshore natural rocky reef habitat for the Santa Monica Bay region (California, USA). It was then used to examine the relative contribution of individual reefs to a regional estimate of abundance and reproductive potential of the focal species. For the reefs surveyed for fishes (i.e. 18 out of the 22 in the region, comprising 82% the natural rocky reef habitat <30 m depth, with a total area of 1850 ha), total abundance and annual egg production of California Sheephead were 451 thousand fish (95% CI: 369 to 533 thousand) and 203 billion eggs (95% CI: 135 to 272 billion). For Kelp Bass, estimates were 805 thousand fish (95% CI: 669 to 941thousand) and 512 billion eggs (95% CI: 414 to 610 billion). Size structure and reef area were key factors in reef-specific contributions to the regional egg production. The size structures of both species illustrated impacts from fishing, and results demonstrate the potential that relatively small increases in the proportion of large females on larger reefs could have on regional egg production. For California Sheephead, a substantial proportion of the regional egg production estimate (>30%) was produced from a relatively small proportion of the regional reef area (c. 10%). Natural nearshore rocky reefs make up only 11% of the area in the newly designated MPAs in this region, but results provide some optimism that regional fisheries could benefit through an increase in overall reproductive output, if adequate increases in size structure of targeted species are realized. PMID:22272326

  19. Using GIS mapping of the extent of nearshore rocky reefs to estimate the abundance and reproductive output of important fishery species.

    PubMed

    Claisse, Jeremy T; Pondella, Daniel J; Williams, Jonathan P; Sadd, James

    2012-01-01

    Kelp Bass (Paralabrax clathratus) and California Sheephead (Semicossyphus pulcher) are economically and ecologically valuable rocky reef fishes in southern California, making them likely indicator species for evaluating resource management actions. Multiple spatial datasets, aerial and satellite photography, underwater observations and expert judgment were used to produce a comprehensive map of nearshore natural rocky reef habitat for the Santa Monica Bay region (California, USA). It was then used to examine the relative contribution of individual reefs to a regional estimate of abundance and reproductive potential of the focal species. For the reefs surveyed for fishes (i.e. 18 out of the 22 in the region, comprising 82% the natural rocky reef habitat <30 m depth, with a total area of 1850 ha), total abundance and annual egg production of California Sheephead were 451 thousand fish (95% CI: 369 to 533 thousand) and 203 billion eggs (95% CI: 135 to 272 billion). For Kelp Bass, estimates were 805 thousand fish (95% CI: 669 to 941 thousand) and 512 billion eggs (95% CI: 414 to 610 billion). Size structure and reef area were key factors in reef-specific contributions to the regional egg production. The size structures of both species illustrated impacts from fishing, and results demonstrate the potential that relatively small increases in the proportion of large females on larger reefs could have on regional egg production. For California Sheephead, a substantial proportion of the regional egg production estimate (>30%) was produced from a relatively small proportion of the regional reef area (c. 10%). Natural nearshore rocky reefs make up only 11% of the area in the newly designated MPAs in this region, but results provide some optimism that regional fisheries could benefit through an increase in overall reproductive output, if adequate increases in size structure of targeted species are realized.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-11-01

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

  1. Effects of dietary exposure to herbicide and of the nutritive quality of contaminated food on the reproductive output of Daphnia magna.

    PubMed

    Bessa da Silva, M; Abrantes, N; Rocha-Santos, T A P; Duarte, A C; Freitas, A C; Gomes, A M; Carvalho, A P; Marques, J C; Gonçalves, F; Pereira, R

    2016-10-01

    Risk assessment of pesticides has been based on direct toxic effects on aquatic organisms. Indirect effects data are taken into account but with limitations, as it is frequently difficult to predict their real impacts in the ecosystems. In this context the main aim of this work was to assess how the exposure to the herbicide pendimethalin (Prowl(®)), under environmentally relevant concentrations, may compromise the nutritional composition of food for a relevant group of primary consumers of freshwater food webs-the daphnids, thus affecting their reproduction performance and subsequently the long-term sustainability of active populations of this grazer. Therefore, Daphnia magna individuals were chronically exposed in a clean medium to a control diet (NCF - i.e., non-contaminated green algae Raphidocelis subcapitata) and to a contaminated diet (CF - i.e., the same monoalgal culture grown in a medium enriched with pendimethalin in a concentration equivalent to the EC20 for growth inhibition of algae), during which reproductive endpoints were assessed. The algae were analysed for protein, carbohydrate and fatty acid content. The chemical composition of R. subcapitata in the CF revealed a slight decrease on total fatty acid levels, with a particular decrease of essential ω9 monounsaturated fatty acids. In contrast, the protein content was high in the CF. D. magna exposed to CF experienced a 16% reduction in reproduction, measured as the total number of offspring produced per female. Additionally, an internal pendimethalin body burden of 4.226μgg(-1) was accumulated by daphnids fed with CF. Hence, although it is difficult to discriminate the contribution of the pesticide (as a toxic agent transferred through the food web) from that of the food with a poor quality-compromised by the same pesticide, there are no doubts that, under environmentally relevant concentrations of pesticides, both pathways may compromise the populations of freshwater grazers in the long term

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

    PubMed

    Kottegoda, Sepali; Samuel, Kumudini; Emmanuel, Sarala

    2008-05-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Tissenbaum, H A; Ruvkun, G

    1998-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

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

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-10-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

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

  10. 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. ...

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  13. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-01-11

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-10-01

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

  17. 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...

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-03-01

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

  2. Factors affecting the output pulse flatness of the linear transformer driver cavity systems with 5th harmonics

    DOE PAGES

    Alexeenko, V. M.; Mazarakis, M. G.; Kim, A. A.; ...

    2016-09-19

    Here, we describe the study we have undertaken to evaluate the effect of component tolerances in obtaining a voltage output flat top for a linear transformer driver (LTD) cavity containing 3rd and 5th harmonic bricks [A. A. Kim et al., in Proc. IEEE Pulsed Power and Plasma Science PPPS2013 (San Francisco, California, USA, 2013), pp. 1354–1356.] and for 30 cavity voltage adder. Our goal was to define the necessary component value precision in order to obtain a voltage output flat top with no more than ±0.5% amplitude variation.

  3. Factors affecting the output pulse flatness of the linear transformer driver cavity systems with 5th harmonics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alexeenko, V. M.; Mazarakis, M. G.; Kim, A. A.; Kondratiev, S. S.; Sinebryukhov, V. A.; Volkov, S. N.; Cuneo, M. E.; Kiefer, M. L.; Leckby, J. J.; Oliver, B. V.; Maloney, P. D.

    2016-09-01

    We describe the study we have undertaken to evaluate the effect of component tolerances in obtaining a voltage output flat top for a linear transformer driver (LTD) cavity containing 3rd and 5th harmonic bricks [A. A. Kim et al., in Proc. IEEE Pulsed Power and Plasma Science PPPS2013 (San Francisco, California, USA, 2013), pp. 1354-1356.] and for 30 cavity voltage adder. Our goal was to define the necessary component value precision in order to obtain a voltage output flat top with no more than ±0.5 % amplitude variation.

  4. Long-term post-fire effects on spatial ecology and reproductive output of female Agassiz’s desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) at a wind energy facility near Palm Springs, California, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lovich, Jeffrey E.; Ennen, Joshua R.; Madrak, Sheila V.; Loughran, Caleb L.; Meyer, Katherin P.; Arundel, Terence R.; Bjurlin, Curtis D.

    2011-01-01

    We studied the long-term response of a cohort of eight female Agassiz’s desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) during the first 15 years following a large fire at a wind energy generation facility near Palm Springs, California, USA. The fire burned a significant portion of the study site in 1995. Tortoise activity areas were mapped using minimum convex polygons for a proximate post-fire interval from 1997 to 2000, and a long-term post-fire interval from 2009 to 2010. In addition, we measured the annual reproductive output of eggs each year and monitored the body condition of tortoises over time. One adult female tortoise was killed by the fire and five tortoises bore exposure scars that were not fatal. Despite predictions that tortoises would make the short-distance movements from burned to nearby unburned habitats, most activity areas and their centroids remained in burned areas for the duration of the study. The percentage of activity area burned did not differ significantly between the two monitoring periods. Annual reproductive output and measures of body condition remained statistically similar throughout the monitoring period. Despite changes in plant composition, conditions at this site appeared to be suitable for survival of tortoises following a major fire. High productivity at the site may have buffered tortoises from the adverse impacts of fire if they were not killed outright. Tortoise populations at less productive desert sites may not have adequate resources to sustain normal activity areas, reproductive output, and body conditions following fire.

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

    PubMed

    Wayne, N L; Rissman, E F

    1991-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-04-01

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

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Zhao, Yanyan; Xie, Liqiang; Yan, Yunjun

    2015-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-11-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

  2. COULD ETHINYL ESTRADIOL AFFECT THE POPULATION BIOLOGY OF CUNNER, TAUTOGOLABRUS ADSPERSUS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Endocrine disrupting chemicals in the environment may disturb the population dynamics of wildlife by affecting reproductive output and embryonic development of organisms. This study used a population model to evaluate whether ethinyl estradiol (EE2 could affect cunner Tautogolabr...

  3. Influence of Affective Stimuli on Leg Power Output and Associated Neuromuscular Parameters during Repeated High Intensity Cycling Exercises

    PubMed Central

    Jaafar, Hamdi; Rouis, Majdi; Coudrat, Laure; Gélat, Thierry; Noakes, Timothy David; Driss, Tarak

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this study was to examine the impact of emotional eliciting pictures on neuromuscular performance during repetitive supramaximal cycling exercises (RSE). In a randomized order, twelve male participants were asked to perform five 6-s cycle sprints (interspaced by 24 s of recovery) on a cycle ergometer in front of neutral, pleasant or unpleasant pictures. During each RSE, mean power output (MPO) and electromyographic activity [root mean square (RMS) and median frequency (MF)] of the vastus lateralis and vastus medialis muscles were analyzed. Neuromuscular efficiency (NME) was calculated as the ratio of MPO to RMS. Higher RMS (232.17 ± 1.17 vs. 201.90 ± 0.47 μV) and MF (68.56 ± 1.78 vs. 64.18 ± 2.17 Hz) were obtained in pleasant compared to unpleasant conditions (p < 0.05). This emotional effect persisted from the first to the last sprint. Higher MPO was obtained in pleasant than in unpleasant conditions (690.65 ± 38.23 vs. 656.73 ± 35.95 W, p < 0.05). However, this emotional effect on MPO was observed only for the two first sprints. NME decreased from the third sprint (p < 0.05), which indicated the occurrence of peripheral fatigue after the two first sprints. These results suggested that, compared with unpleasant pictures, pleasant ones increased the neuromuscular performance during RSE. Moreover, the disappearance of the beneficial effect of pleasant emotion on mechanical output from the third sprint appears to be due to peripheral fatigue. PMID:26305334

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-15

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

  6. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. 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

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

    PubMed

    Yang, Lihua; Zha, Jinmiao; Wang, Zijian

    2017-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-15

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

  11. 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

  12. How the magnitude of clinical severity and recurrence risk affects reproductive decisions in adult males with different forms of progressive muscular dystrophy.

    PubMed Central

    Eggers, S; Zatz, M

    1998-01-01

    The reproductive history of 177 male patients affected with Becker (BMD) (n=69), limb-girdle (LGMD) (n=54), and facioscapulohumeral (FSHMD) (n=54) muscular dystrophy (MD) was analysed according to severity of the disease (BMD>LGMD>FSHMD) and magnitude of recurrence risk (RR) (high for FSHMD, intermediate for BMD, and low for LGMD). Additionally, 62 male patients were interviewed on psychosocial issues, in order to disentangle the factors influencing reproductive decisions among patients affected with MD. Among male adults, significantly more FSHMD than LGMD or BMD patients were married and had children. Age specific reproductive outcome was 0.31-0.32 for BMD, 0.51-0.62 for LGMD, and 0.58-1.02 for FSHMD, reflecting the influence of the disease's severity. High RRs did not significantly diminish reproduction after genetic counselling or correlate with less prospective desire for children. Instead, early onset, severity of the disease, and past reproductive history were found to diminish reproductive outcome after genetic counselling, and prospective family planning was also found to be influenced by past reproductive history as well as by emotional/sexual dysfunction with the opposite sex. PMID:9541101

  13. How the magnitude of clinical severity and recurrence risk affects reproductive decisions in adult males with different forms of progressive muscular dystrophy.

    PubMed

    Eggers, S; Zatz, M

    1998-03-01

    The reproductive history of 177 male patients affected with Becker (BMD) (n=69), limb-girdle (LGMD) (n=54), and facioscapulohumeral (FSHMD) (n=54) muscular dystrophy (MD) was analysed according to severity of the disease (BMD>LGMD>FSHMD) and magnitude of recurrence risk (RR) (high for FSHMD, intermediate for BMD, and low for LGMD). Additionally, 62 male patients were interviewed on psychosocial issues, in order to disentangle the factors influencing reproductive decisions among patients affected with MD. Among male adults, significantly more FSHMD than LGMD or BMD patients were married and had children. Age specific reproductive outcome was 0.31-0.32 for BMD, 0.51-0.62 for LGMD, and 0.58-1.02 for FSHMD, reflecting the influence of the disease's severity. High RRs did not significantly diminish reproduction after genetic counselling or correlate with less prospective desire for children. Instead, early onset, severity of the disease, and past reproductive history were found to diminish reproductive outcome after genetic counselling, and prospective family planning was also found to be influenced by past reproductive history as well as by emotional/sexual dysfunction with the opposite sex.

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Castagnone-Sereno, Philippe; Kermarrec, Alain

    1991-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Miyake, Takashi; Yafuso, Masako

    2003-03-01

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

  19. Reduced heart rate and cardiac output differentially affect angiogenesis, growth, and development in early chicken embryos (Gallus domesticus).

    PubMed

    Branum, Sylvia R; Yamada-Fisher, Miho; Burggren, Warren

    2013-01-01

    An increase in both vascular circumferential tension and shear stress in the developing vasculature of the chicken embryo has been hypothesized to stimulate angiogenesis in the developing peripheral circulation chorioallantoic membrane (CAM). To test this hypothesis, angiogenesis in the CAM, development, and growth were measured in the early chicken embryo, following acute and chronic topical application of the purely bradycardic drug ZD7288. At hour 56, ZD7288 reduced heart rate (f(H)) by ~30% but had no significant effect on stroke volume (~0.19 ± 0.2 μL), collectively resulting in a significant fall in cardiac output (CO) from ~27 ± 3 to 18 ± 2 μL min(-1). Mean f(H) at 72 h of development was similarly significantly lowered by acute ZD7288 treatment (250 μM) to 128 ± 0.3 beats min(-1), compared with 174.5 ± 0.3 and 174.7 ± 0.8 beats min(-1) in control and Pannett-Compton (P-C) saline-treated embryos, respectively. Chronic dosing with ZD7288-and the attendant decreases in f(H) and CO-did not change eye diameter or cervical flexion (key indicators of development rate) at 120 h but significantly reduced overall growth (wet and dry body mass decreased by 20%). CAM vessel density index (reflecting angiogenesis) measured 200-400 μm from the umbilical stalk was not altered, but ZD7288 reduced vessel numbers-and therefore vessel density-by 13%-16% more distally (500-600 μm from umbilical stalk) in the CAM. In the ZD7288-treated embryos, a decrease in vessel length was found within the second branch order (~300-400 μm from the umbilical stock), while a decrease in vessel diameter was found closer to the umbilical stock, beginning in the first branch order (~200-300 μm). Paradoxically, chronic application of P-C saline also reduced peripheral CAM vessel density index at 500 and 600 μm by 13% and 7%, respectively, likely from washout of local angiogenic factors. In summary, decreased f(H) with reduced CO did not slow development rate but reduced embryonic

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-02-01

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

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. Effect of DDT and MCPA (4-chloro-2-methylphenoxyacetic acid) on reproduction of the pond snail, Lymnaea stagnalis L

    SciTech Connect

    Woin, P.; Broenmark, C. )

    1992-01-01

    Reproduction is the single most important function in the life cycle of an organism. Successful reproduction determines fitness of organisms. The inability of an organism to complete any one stage of the reproductive process severely reduces its lifetime reproductive success. Disruptions in the reproduction will ultimately affect the abundance and distribution of the species. Therefore, laboratory tests of long-term impact of sublethal pollutant concentrations on organisms preferably is done on the reproductive success. Pollutants of diverse structure may affect the reproductive system which is sensitive to toxic agents. Certain pollutants, notably the organochlorine compounds, have been shown to affect the male and female reproductive systems. The authors have studied the effect of sublethal concentrations of DDT and the herbicide 4-chloro-2-methylphenoxyacetic acid (MCPA) on the reproductive output of the pulmonate snail Lymnaea stagnalis under a 2-mon exposure period.

  6. Gene-environment interplay in Drosophila melanogaster: chronic nutritional deprivation in larval life affects adult fecal output.

    PubMed

    Urquhart-Cronish, Mackenzie; Sokolowski, Marla B

    2014-10-01

    Life history consequences of stress in early life are varied and known to have lasting impacts on the fitness of an organism. Gene-environment interactions play a large role in how phenotypic differences are mediated by stressful conditions during development. Here we use natural allelic 'rover/sitter' variants of the foraging (for) gene and chronic early life nutrient deprivation to investigate gene-environment interactions on excretion phenotypes. Excretion assay analysis and a fully factorial nutritional regimen encompassing the larval and adult life cycle of Drosophila melanogaster were used to assess the effects of larval and adult nutritional stress on adult excretion phenotypes. Natural allelic variants of for exhibited differences in the number of fecal spots when they were nutritionally deprived as larvae and well fed as adults. for mediates the excretion response to chronic early-life nutritional stress in mated female, virgin female, and male rovers and sitters. Transgenic manipulations of for in a sitter genetic background under larval but not adult food deprivation increases the number of fecal spots. Our study shows that food deprivation early in life affects adult excretion phenotypes and these excretion differences are mediated by for.

  7. Feather corticosterone reveals effect of moulting conditions in the autumn on subsequent reproductive output and survival in an Arctic migratory bird

    PubMed Central

    Harms, N. Jane; Legagneux, Pierre; Gilchrist, H. Grant; Bêty, Joël; Love, Oliver P.; Forbes, Mark R.; Bortolotti, Gary R.; Soos, Catherine

    2015-01-01

    For birds, unpredictable environments during the energetically stressful times of moulting and breeding are expected to have negative fitness effects. Detecting those effects however, might be difficult if individuals modulate their physiology and/or behaviours in ways to minimize short-term fitness costs. Corticosterone in feathers (CORTf) is thought to provide information on total baseline and stress-induced CORT levels at moulting and is an integrated measure of hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal activity during the time feathers are grown. We predicted that CORTf levels in northern common eider females would relate to subsequent body condition, reproductive success and survival, in a population of eiders nesting in the eastern Canadian Arctic during a capricious period marked by annual avian cholera outbreaks. We collected CORTf data from feathers grown during previous moult in autumn and data on phenology of subsequent reproduction and survival for 242 eider females over 5 years. Using path analyses, we detected a direct relationship between CORTf and arrival date and body condition the following year. CORTf also had negative indirect relationships with both eider reproductive success and survival of eiders during an avian cholera outbreak. This indirect effect was dramatic with a reduction of approximately 30% in subsequent survival of eiders during an avian cholera outbreak when mean CORTf increased by 1 standard deviation. This study highlights the importance of events or processes occurring during moult on subsequent expression of life-history traits and relation to individual fitness, and shows that information from non-destructive sampling of individuals can track carry-over effects across seasons. PMID:25540279

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-11-01

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

  10. Individual heterogeneity and offspring sex affect the growth-reproduction trade-off in a mammal with indeterminate growth.

    PubMed

    Gélin, Uriel; Wilson, Michelle E; Cripps, Jemma; Coulson, Graeme; Festa-Bianchet, Marco

    2016-04-01

    Reproduction can lead to a trade-off with growth, particularly when individuals reproduce before completing body growth. Kangaroos have indeterminate growth and may always face this trade-off. We combined an experimental manipulation of reproductive effort and multi-year monitoring of a large sample size of marked individuals in two populations of eastern grey kangaroos to test the predictions (1) that reproduction decreases skeletal growth and mass gain and (2) that mass loss leads to reproductive failure. We also tested if sex-allocation strategies influenced these trade-offs. Experimental reproductive suppression revealed negative effects of reproduction on mass gain and leg growth from 1 year to the next. Unmanipulated females, however, showed a positive correlation between number of days lactating and leg growth over periods of 2 years and longer, suggesting that over the long term, reproductive costs were masked by individual heterogeneity in resource acquisition. Mass gain was necessary for reproductive success the subsequent year. Although mothers of daughters generally lost more mass than females nursing sons, mothers in poor condition experienced greater mass gain and arm growth if they had daughters than if they had sons. The strong links between individual mass changes and reproduction suggest that reproductive tactics are strongly resource-dependent.

  11. Assessment of RCM output from the ENSEMBLES RT3 project in AMMA-region: focus on Senegal actual climate reproduction and effects on simulated crop yields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oettli, Pascal; Sultan, Benjamin; Baron, Christian; Vrac, Mathieu

    2010-05-01

    In West-Africa countries, most economies and people depend on rainfed agriculture. In this area, rainfall is highly variable and, from the period 1931-1960 to 1968-1990, the annual rainfall has decreased 15 to 40%. Since the mid 1990's, an increase in rainfall is detected, but only to reach the level of 1970's rainfall. The aim of this study is to determine if large-scale fields, interpolated at local-scale are able (i) to reproduce observed climate at station and (ii) to simulate observed crop yields. Another objective of this study is to see if a combination of dynamical and statistical downscaling methods is useful to correct biases due to scale change. For that, we use data from some synoptic stations in Senegal and simulated data provided by the European project ENSEMBLES. Among research themes (RT) of this project, one (RT3) had the responsibility for providing improved climate model tools developed in the context of regional climate models (RCMs), at spatial scales of 50km at AMMA-region. RT3 provides 15-year experiments over West Africa driven by the ERA-INTERIM reanalysis of the ECMWF. A statistical method (CDF-transform), developed to generate local cumulative distribution functions of surface climate variables from large-scale fields is used to correct biases in RCM output, due to large-scale information basically interpolated at local-scale. In the present study, a deterministic crop model, SARRA-H, is used to simulate sorghum yields for the actual period, at local scale. This crop model simulates yield attainable under water-limited conditions by simulating the soil water balance, potential and actual evapotranspiration, phenology, potential and water-limited carbon assimilation, and biomass partitioning. SARRA-H model is driven by 4 meteorological datasets, at synoptic station scale: - observations, - ERA-INTERIM, - original RCM output, - corrected RCM output.

  12. Nutrient limitation restricts growth and reproductive output in a tropical montane cloud forest bromeliad: findings from a long-term forest fertilization experiment.

    PubMed

    Lasso, Eloisa; Ackerman, James D

    2013-01-01

    From studies in seasonal lowland tropical forests, bromeliad epiphytes appear to be limited mainly by water, and to a lesser extent by nutrient supply, especially phosphorous. Less is understood about the mineral nutrition of tropical montane cloud forest (TMCF) epiphytes, even though their highest diversity is in this habitat. Nutrient limitation is known to be a key factor restricting forest productivity in TMCF, and if epiphytes are nutritionally linked to their host trees, as has been suggested, we would expect that they are also nutrient limited. We studied the effect of a higher nutrient input on reproduction and growth of the tank bromeliad Werauhia sintenisii in experimental plots located in a TMCF in Puerto Rico, where all macro- and micronutrients had been added quarterly starting in 1989 and continuing throughout the duration of this study. We found that bromeliads growing in fertilized plots were receiving litterfall with higher concentrations of N, P, and Zn and had higher concentrations of P, Zn, Fe, Al, and Na in their vegetative body. The N:P ratios found (fertilized = 27.5 and non-fertilized = 33.8) suggest that W. sintenisii may also be phosphorous limited as are lowland epiphytes. Fertilized plants had slightly longer inflorescences, and more flowers per inflorescence, than non-fertilized plants, but their flowers produced nectar in similar concentrations and quantities. Fertilized plants produced more seeds per fruit and per plant. Frequency of flowering in two consecutive years was higher for fertilized plants than for controls, suggesting that fertilized plants overcome the cost of reproduction more readily than non-fertilized plants. These results provide evidence that TMCF epiphytic bromeliads are nutrient limited like their lowland counterparts.

  13. Effects of dust-caused early snowmelt on soil moisture, soil carbon and nitrogen, and plant growth and reproductive output in a snow manipulation experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Conner, L. G.; Gill, R. A.

    2014-12-01

    Regional climate forecasts for the western United States predict slightly more snow accumulation during the winter but warmer springs and earlier spring snowmelt. Snowmelt will be further advanced by radiative forcing from dust and black carbon deposition on mountain snowpack. We expect earlier snowmelt to reduce regional water supplies (Painter et al., 2010) and suspect that it may also lead to drier soil conditions which could impact nutrient cycling and plant growth and reproduction in alpine and subalpine environments. Our snow manipulation experiment included 12 sites at two elevations in paired forest and meadow sites. We added dust to the snow surface during spring ablation. The dust treatment reduced snowpack by 20 to 40% and advanced the snowfree date by 9 to 14 days. Following snowmelt, there was a temporary difference in soil moisture in the upper 0-15 cm of soil between the treatment and control plots. Following snowmelt, the temporary differences in soil moisture quickly converged during soil drydown to a lower limit determined by the soil characteristics specific to each site. This brief window of differences in soil moisture may have temporary impacts on ecosystem processes; however, the impacts are mediated by plant and microbial phenology. Some of the plants and microbes in seasonally-snow-covered environments are adapted to take advantage of the early season environments which include low temperatures and frequent freezing, while other plants and microbes have evolved to avoid this transition period through prolonged dormancy. These adaptations, and the transient nature of environmental differences caused by early snowmelt, may limit the impacts of early snowmelt on carbon and nitrogen cycling and on plant growth and reproduction in subalpine forest and meadows.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

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

  16. 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

  17. 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...

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-04-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. The Effect of Latitudinal Variation on Shrimp Reproductive Strategies

    PubMed Central

    van de Kerk, Madelon; Jones Littles, Chanda; Saucedo, Omar; Lorenzen, Kai

    2016-01-01

    Reproductive strategies comprise the timing and frequency of reproductive events and the number of offspring per reproductive event, depending on factors such as climate conditions. Therefore, species that exhibit plasticity in the allocation of reproductive effort can alter their behavior in response to climate change. Studying how the reproductive strategy of species varies along the latitudinal gradient can help us understand and predict how they will respond to climate change. We investigated the effects of the temporal allocation of reproductive effort on the population size of brown shrimp (Farfantepenaeus aztecus) along a latitudinal gradient. Multiple shrimp species exhibit variation in their reproductive strategies, and given the economic importance of brown shrimp to the commercial fishing sector of the Unites States, changes in the timing of their reproduction could have significant economic and social consequences. We used a stage-based, density-dependent matrix population model tailored to the life history of brown shrimp. Shrimp growth rates and environmental carrying capacity were varied based on the seasonal climate conditions at different latitudes, and we estimated the population size at equilibrium. The length of the growing season increased with decreasing latitude and the reproductive strategy leading to the highest population size changed from one annual birth pulse with high reproductive output to continuous low-output reproduction. Hence, our model confirms the classical paradigm of continuous reproduction at low latitudes, with increased seasonality of the breeding period towards the poles. Our results also demonstrate the potential for variation in climate to affect the optimal reproductive strategy for achieving maximum population sizes. Certainly, understanding these dynamics may inform more comprehensive management strategies for commercially important species like brown shrimp. PMID:27158895

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

  7. 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 ...

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-08-01

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

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-02-01

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

  16. Contrasting effects of ocean acidification on reproduction in reef fishes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Welch, Megan J.; Munday, Philip L.

    2016-06-01

    Differences in the sensitivity of marine species to ocean acidification will influence the structure of marine communities in the future. Reproduction is critical for individual and population success, yet is energetically expensive and could be adversely affected by rising CO2 levels in the ocean. We investigated the effects of projected future CO2 levels on reproductive output of two species of coral reef damselfish, Amphiprion percula and Acanthochromis polyacanthus. Adult breeding pairs were maintained at current-day control (446 μatm), moderate (652 μatm) or high CO2 (912 μatm) for a 9-month period that included the summer breeding season. The elevated CO2 treatments were consistent with CO2 levels projected by 2100 under moderate (RCP6) and high (RCP8) emission scenarios. Reproductive output increased in A. percula, with 45-75 % more egg clutches produced and a 47-56 % increase in the number of eggs per clutch in the two elevated CO2 treatments. In contrast, reproductive output decreased at high CO2 in Ac. polyacanthus, with approximately one-third as many clutches produced compared with controls. Egg survival was not affected by CO2 for A. percula, but was greater in elevated CO2 for Ac. polyacanthus. Hatching success was also greater for Ac. polyacanthus at elevated CO2, but there was no effect of CO2 treatments on offspring size. Despite the variation in reproductive output, body condition of adults did not differ between control and CO2 treatments in either species. Our results demonstrate different effects of high CO2 on fish reproduction, even among species within the same family. A greater understanding of the variation in effects of ocean acidification on reproductive performance is required to predict the consequences for future populations of marine organisms.

  17. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-12-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-08-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-03-01

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

  1. Indirect effect of financial strain on daily cortisol output through daily negative to positive affect index in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults Study.

    PubMed

    Puterman, Eli; Haritatos, Jana; Adler, Nancy E; Sidney, Steve; Schwartz, Joseph E; Epel, Elissa S

    2013-12-01

    Daily affect is important to health and has been linked to cortisol. The combination of high negative affect and low positive affect may have a bigger impact on increasing HPA axis activity than either positive or negative affect alone. Financial strain may both dampen positive affect as well as increase negative affect, and thus provides an excellent context for understanding the associations between daily affect and cortisol. Using random effects mixed modeling with maximum likelihood estimation, we examined the relationship between self-reported financial strain and estimated mean daily cortisol level (latent cortisol variable), based on six salivary cortisol assessments throughout the day, and whether this relationship was mediated by greater daily negative to positive affect index measured concurrently in a sample of 776 Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) Study participants. The analysis revealed that while no total direct effect existed for financial strain on cortisol, there was a significant indirect effect of high negative affect to low positive affect, linking financial strain to elevated cortisol. In this sample, the effects of financial strain on cortisol through either positive affect or negative affect alone were not significant. A combined affect index may be a more sensitive and powerful measure than either negative or positive affect alone, tapping the burden of chronic financial strain, and its effects on biology.

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

    PubMed

    Bryce, Donna; Bratzke, Daniel

    2015-04-01

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

  3. 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

  4. The evolution and consequences of sex-specific reproductive variance.

    PubMed

    Mullon, Charles; Reuter, Max; Lehmann, Laurent

    2014-01-01

    Natural selection favors alleles that increase the number of offspring produced by their carriers. But in a world that is inherently uncertain within generations, selection also favors alleles that reduce the variance in the number of offspring produced. If previous studies have established this principle, they have largely ignored fundamental aspects of sexual reproduction and therefore how selection on sex-specific reproductive variance operates. To study the evolution and consequences of sex-specific reproductive variance, we present a population-genetic model of phenotypic evolution in a dioecious population that incorporates previously neglected components of reproductive variance. First, we derive the probability of fixation for mutations that affect male and/or female reproductive phenotypes under sex-specific selection. We find that even in the simplest scenarios, the direction of selection is altered when reproductive variance is taken into account. In particular, previously unaccounted for covariances between the reproductive outputs of different individuals are expected to play a significant role in determining the direction of selection. Then, the probability of fixation is used to develop a stochastic model of joint male and female phenotypic evolution. We find that sex-specific reproductive variance can be responsible for changes in the course of long-term evolution. Finally, the model is applied to an example of parental-care evolution. Overall, our model allows for the evolutionary analysis of social traits in finite and dioecious populations, where interactions can occur within and between sexes under a realistic scenario of reproduction.

  5. The Evolution and Consequences of Sex-Specific Reproductive Variance

    PubMed Central

    Mullon, Charles; Reuter, Max; Lehmann, Laurent

    2014-01-01

    Natural selection favors alleles that increase the number of offspring produced by their carriers. But in a world that is inherently uncertain within generations, selection also favors alleles that reduce the variance in the number of offspring produced. If previous studies have established this principle, they have largely ignored fundamental aspects of sexual reproduction and therefore how selection on sex-specific reproductive variance operates. To study the evolution and consequences of sex-specific reproductive variance, we present a population-genetic model of phenotypic evolution in a dioecious population that incorporates previously neglected components of reproductive variance. First, we derive the probability of fixation for mutations that affect male and/or female reproductive phenotypes under sex-specific selection. We find that even in the simplest scenarios, the direction of selection is altered when reproductive variance is taken into account. In particular, previously unaccounted for covariances between the reproductive outputs of different individuals are expected to play a significant role in determining the direction of selection. Then, the probability of fixation is used to develop a stochastic model of joint male and female phenotypic evolution. We find that sex-specific reproductive variance can be responsible for changes in the course of long-term evolution. Finally, the model is applied to an example of parental-care evolution. Overall, our model allows for the evolutionary analysis of social traits in finite and dioecious populations, where interactions can occur within and between sexes under a realistic scenario of reproduction. PMID:24172130

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

    PubMed

    Risco, C A; Hernandez, J

    2003-06-01

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

  7. 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. 

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-05-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2000-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  13. 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

  14. Mutational And Structural Studies Of The PixD BLUF Output Signal That Affects Light-Regulated Interactions With PixE

    PubMed Central

    Yuan, Hua; Dragnea, Vladimira; Wu, Qiong; Gardner, Kevin H.; Bauer, Carl E.

    2011-01-01

    PixD (Slr1694) is a BLUF (blue-light using FAD) photoreceptor used by the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC6803 to control phototaxis toward blue light. In this study we probe the involvement of a conserved Tyr8-Gln50-Met93 triad in promoting an output signal upon blue light excitation of the bound flavin. Analysis of acrylamide quenching of Trp91 fluorescence shows that the side chain of this residue remains partially solvent exposed in both the lit and dark states. Mutational analysis demonstrates that substitution mutations at Tyr8 and Gln50 result in the loss of the photocycle while a mutation of Met93 does not appreciably disturb the formation of the light excited state and only minimally accelerates its decay from 5.7 s to 4.5 s. However, mutations in Tyr8, Gln50 and Met93 disrupt the ability of PixD dimers to interact with PixE to form a higher ordered PixD10-PixE5 complex, which is indicative of a lit conformational state. Solution NMR spectroscopy and X-ray crystallographic analyses confirm that a Tyr8 to Phe mutation is locked in a pseudo light excited state revealing flexible areas in PixD that likely constitute part of an output signal upon light excitation of wild type PixD. PMID:21688827

  15. Regional thermal specialisation in a mammal: temperature affects power output of core muscle more than that of peripheral muscle in adult mice (Mus musculus).

    PubMed

    James, Rob S; Tallis, Jason; Angilletta, Michael J

    2015-01-01

    In endotherms, such as mammals and birds, internal organs can specialise to function within a narrow thermal range. Consequently, these organs should become more sensitive to changes in body temperature. Yet, organs at the periphery of the body still experience considerable fluctuations in temperature, which could select for lower thermal sensitivity. We hypothesised that the performance of soleus muscle taken from the leg would depend less on temperature than would the performance of diaphragm muscle taken from the body core. Soleus and diaphragm muscles were isolated from mice and subjected to isometric and work-loop studies to analyse mechanical performance at temperatures between 15 and 40 °C. Across this thermal range, soleus muscle took longer to generate isometric force and longer to relax, and tended to produce greater normalised maximal force (stress) than did diaphragm muscle. The time required to produce half of maximal force during isometric tetanus and the time required to relax half of maximal force were both more sensitive to temperature in soleus than they were in diaphragm. However, thermal sensitivities of maximal force during isometric tetani were similar for both muscles. Consistent with our hypothesis, power output (the product of speed and force) was greater in magnitude and more thermally sensitive in diaphragm than it was in soleus. Our findings, when combined with previous observations of muscles from regionally endothermic fish, suggest that endothermy influences the thermal sensitivities of power output in core and peripheral muscles.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Korschgen, Carl E.

    2007-01-01

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

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-10

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-02-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of thyroxine administration on morphometric parameters, expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and vascularization in the uterus and placenta and reproductive parameters in gilts at 70 days of gestation. At 150 days of age, i.e., before first heat, 20 gilts were randomly divided into two experimental groups: treated (n=10) and control (n=10). The treated group received a daily dose of 400 μg of L-thyroxine (T(4)) in their diet until slaughter and the control group received only typical meals. Before artificial insemination, blood was collected to determine plasma total T(4). The gilts were inseminated in the second oestrus and slaughtered at 70 days of gestation. The foetal thyroid follicular epithelium height, number, size and weight of foetuses; foetal myogenesis, corpora lutea number, embryonic mortality rate, uterine weight, placental weight and placental fluid volume were measured. Histomorphometric and immunohistochemical analysis of uterus and placenta were determined. The averages of all variables were compared by the Student's t-test. The gilts treated with thyroxine showed significant increase of plasma total T(4). At 70 days of gestation, the heights of the trophoblastic epithelium, endometrial epithelium and endometrial gland epithelium were significantly higher in the group treated with T(4). The expression of cytoplasmatic and nuclear VEGF in trophoblastic cells and the number of blood vessels per field in endometrial stroma were significantly higher in the gilts treated with T(4). No other significant differences between groups were obtained with respect to other parameters (p>0.05). We conclude that oral administration of T(4) up to 70 days of pregnancy in gilts affects the morphometric parameters, the expression of placental VEGF and the uterine vascularization but does not affect reproductive parameters in gilts during early gestation.

  5. How selection for reproduction or foundation for longevity could have affected blood lymphocyte populations of rabbit does under conventional and heat stress conditions.

    PubMed

    Ferrian, Selena; Guerrero, Irene; Blas, Enrique; García-Diego, Fernando J; Viana, David; Pascual, Juan J; Corpa, Juan M

    2012-11-15

    The present work characterises how selection for reproduction (by comparing two generations - 16th and 36th - of the V line selected for litter size at weaning) or foundation for reproductive longevity (the LP line) can affect the blood lymphocytes populations of reproductive rabbit does under normal [conventional housing, average daily minimum and maximum temperatures of 14°C and 20°C, respectively] and heat stress conditions [climatic chamber, 25°C and 36°C] from the first to the second parturition. Housing under heat stress conditions significantly reduced the B lymphocytes counts in female rabbits (-34 × 10(6)/L; P<0.05). The highest lymphocytes population value in blood (total, T CD5(+), CD4(+) and CD8(+)) was noted at the first parturition, while the B lymphocytes count was significantly lower at the second parturition (-61 × 10(6)/L; P<0.05). Selection for litter size at weaning (V females) reduced the average counts of total and B lymphocytes in blood (-502 and -60 × 10(6)/L, respectively; P<0.01), mainly because these populations in V36 females continuously lowered from the first to the second parturition under normal housing conditions. Thus, more selected females (V36) at the second parturition showed significantly lower counts in blood for total, T CD5(+) and CD25(+) lymphocytes (-1303, -446 and -33 × 10(6)/L, respectively; P<0.05). The main differences in blood counts between V36 and V16 females disappeared when housed under heat stress conditions, except for T CD5(+) and CD25(+), which significantly increased (T CD5(+): +428 × 10(6)/L; CD25(+): +41 × 10(6)/L; P<0.01) in the V16 vs. V36 females on day 10 post-partum. Under normal conditions, no differences between LP and V36 females were found for most lymphocyte populations; only higher counts were noted in CD25(+) (+20 × 10(6)/L; P<0.05) for LP females. However, the lymphocytes counts [especially total (+1327 × 10(6)/L; P<0.01) and T CD5(+) (+376 × 10(6)/L; P<0.10)] of LP females

  6. 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.

  7. The MOSS Physcomitrella patens reproductive organ development is highly organized, affected by the two SHI/STY genes and by the level of active auxin in the SHI/STY expression domain.

    PubMed

    Landberg, Katarina; Pederson, Eric R A; Viaene, Tom; Bozorg, Behruz; Friml, Jirí; Jönsson, Henrik; Thelander, Mattias; Sundberg, Eva

    2013-07-01

    In order to establish a reference for analysis of the function of auxin and the auxin biosynthesis regulators SHORT INTERNODE/STYLISH (SHI/STY) during Physcomitrella patens reproductive development, we have described male (antheridial) and female(archegonial) development in detail, including temporal and positional information of organ initiation. This has allowed us to define discrete stages of organ morphogenesis and to show that reproductive organ development in P. patens is highly organized and that organ phyllotaxis differs between vegetative and reproductive development. Using the PpSHI1 and PpSHI2 reporter and knockout lines, the auxin reporters GmGH3(pro):GUS and PpPINA(pro):GFP-GUS, and the auxin-conjugating transgene PpSHI2(pro):IAAL, we could show that the PpSHI genes, and by inference also auxin, play important roles for reproductive organ development in moss. The PpSHI genes are required for the apical opening of the reproductive organs, the final differentiation of the egg cell, and the progression of canal cells into a cell death program. The apical cells of the archegonium, the canal cells, and the egg cell are also sites of auxin responsiveness and are affected by reduced levels of active auxin, suggesting that auxin mediates PpSHI function in the reproductive organs.

  8. Evaluating the potential of effluent extracts from pulp and paper mills in Canada, Brazil, and New Zealand to affect fish reproduction: Estrogenic effects in fish.

    PubMed

    Orrego, Rodrigo; Milestone, Craig B; Hewitt, L Mark; Guchardi, John; Heid-Furley, Tatiana; Slade, Alison; MacLatchy, Deborah L; Holdway, Douglas

    2016-11-03

    The authors examined the potential of pulp mill effluent from pulp-producing countries (Canada, Brazil, New Zealand) to affect fish reproduction. Specifically, the estrogenic effects in juvenile rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) pulse-exposed to 11 different mill effluent extracts (intraperitoneal injections of solid-phase extraction-dichloromethane nonpolar fraction). The results indicated that effluent extracts were estrogenic in juvenile trout irrespective of the gender, as reflected by increasing level of plasma vitellogenin (VTG; Brazil > New Zealand > Canada). Despite the high variability observed among mills, differences in VTG levels were related to the type of mill process (kraft > elementary chlorine-free kraft > thermomechanical pulping). Moreover, effluent treatments did not appear to significantly decrease VTG induction. A consistent estrogenic effect was observed in those mills that process a combination of feedstocks (softwood and hardwood), with the highest increase in VTG related to eucalyptus feedstock. The results demonstrate significant estrogenic effects of pulp mill effluents on chronically exposed juvenile trout, suggesting that in vivo metabolic activation of precursors is necessary to cause the observed increases in VTG levels. This molecular estrogenic response provides a useful starting point for predicting population-level impacts through the adverse outcome pathway methodology. Environ Toxicol Chem 2016;9999:1-9. © 2016 SETAC.

  9. ER type I signal peptidase subunit (LmSPC1) is essential for the survival of Locusta migratoria manilensis and affects moulting, feeding, reproduction and embryonic development.

    PubMed

    Zhang, W; Xia, Y

    2014-06-01

    The endoplasmic reticulum type I signal peptidase complex (ER SPC) is a conserved enzyme that cleaves the signal peptides of secretory or membrane preproteins. The deletion of this enzyme leads to the accumulation of uncleaved proteins in biomembranes and cell death. However, the physiological functions of ER SPC in insects are not fully understood. Here, a catalytic subunit gene of ER SPC, LmSPC1, was cloned from Locusta migratoria manilensis and its physiological functions were analysed by RNA interference (RNAi). The LmSPC1 open reading frame encoded a protein of 178 amino acids with all five conserved regions of signal peptidases. RNAi-mediated knockdown of LmSPC1 resulted in high mortality. Sixty-nine per cent of dead nymphs died of abnormal moulting, corresponding to decreased activity of moulting fluid protease. Moreover, insects in the RNAi group experienced a decline in food intake, and a decrease in the secretion of total protein and digestive enzymes from midgut tissues to the midgut lumen. Furthermore, the females produced fewer eggs and eggs with disrupted embryogenesis. These results indicate that LmSPC1 is required for the secretion of secretory proteins, affects physiological functions, including moulting, feeding, reproduction and embryonic development, and is essential for survival. Therefore, LmSPC1 may be a potential target for locust control.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

  11. From reproductive choice to reproductive justice.

    PubMed

    Cook, Rebecca J; Dickens, Bernard M

    2009-08-01

    Since the 1994 Cairo Conference on Population and Development, the human rights movement has embraced the concept of reproductive rights. These are often pursued, however, by means to which objection is taken. Some conservative political and religious forces continue to resist implementation of several means of protecting and advancing reproductive rights. Individuals' rights to grant and to deny consent to medical procedures affecting their reproductive health and confidentiality have been progressively advanced. However, access to contraceptive services, while not necessarily opposed, is unjustifiably obstructed in some settings. Rights to lawful abortion have been considerably liberalized by legislative and judicial decisions, although resistance remains. Courts are increasingly requiring that lawful services be accommodated under transparent conditions of access and of legal protection. The conflict between rights of resort to lawful reproductive health services and to conscientious objection to participation is resolved by legal duties to refer patients to non-objecting providers.

  12. Increased CO2 stimulates reproduction in a coral reef fish.

    PubMed

    Miller, Gabrielle M; Watson, Sue-Ann; McCormick, Mark I; Munday, Philip L

    2013-10-01

    Ocean acidification is predicted to negatively impact the reproduction of many marine species, either by reducing fertilization success or diverting energy from reproductive effort. While recent studies have demonstrated how ocean acidification will affect larval and juvenile fishes, little is known about how increasing partial pressure of carbon dioxide (pCO(2)) and decreasing pH might affect reproduction in adult fishes. We investigated the effects of near-future levels of pCO(2) on the reproductive performance of the cinnamon anemonefish, Amphiprion melanopus, from the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Breeding pairs were held under three CO(2) treatments [Current-day Control (430 μatm), Moderate (584 μatm) and High (1032 μatm)] for a 9-month period that included the summer breeding season. Unexpectedly, increased CO(2) dramatically stimulated breeding activity in this species of fish. Over twice as many pairs bred in the Moderate (67% of pairs) and High (55%) compared to the Control (27%) CO(2) treatment. Pairs in the High CO(2) group produced double the number of clutches per pair and 67% more eggs per clutch compared to the Moderate and Control groups. As a result, reproductive output in the High group was 82% higher than that in the Control group and 50% higher than that in the Moderate group. Despite the increase in reproductive activity, there was no difference in adult body condition among the three treatment groups. There was no significant difference in hatchling length between the treatment groups, but larvae from the High CO(2) group had smaller yolks than Controls. This study provides the first evidence of the potential effects of ocean acidification on key reproductive attributes of marine fishes and, contrary to expectations, demonstrates an initially stimulatory (hormetic) effect in response to increased pCO(2). However, any long-term consequences of increased reproductive effort on individuals or populations remain to be determined.

  13. Short-term dietary concentrate supplementation during estrus synchronization treatment in beef cows increased IGF-I serum concentration but did not affect the reproductive response.

    PubMed

    Rosales-Torres, A M; López-Cedillo, Z B; Hernández-Coronado, C G; Rosete-Fernández, J V; Mendoza, G D; Guzmán, A

    2017-01-01

    The objective of this study was to evaluate if short-term dietary concentrate supplementation increased IGF-I serum concentration and resulted in a reproductive response during estrus synchronization treatment in non-lactating beef cows. Thirty non-lactating beef cows (Bos indicus × Bos taurus) were allocated to the same pastureland and fed native tropical grasses as a basal diet. Cows were synchronized using a 7-day CO-Synch plus controlled internal drug release (CIDR) protocol and received fixed time artificial insemination (FTAI). Cows were divided into two groups; the control group (n = 16) received 0.5 kg of concentrate/cow/day, whereas the supplemented group (n = 14) received 4.0 kg of concentrate/cow/day. The period of supplementation was 10 days from the day of CIDR insert to FTAI. The concentration of IGF-I increased (P < 0.05) in the supplemented group, while no significant changes were observed in the control group. Moreover, at the time of insemination, IGF-I serum concentrations were higher in supplemented cows compared with control cows (P < 0.05). Notably, metabolite and insulin concentrations did not differ (P > 0.05) between treatment groups or sampling day. The response to estrus induction, measured as estrus presentation, ovulation rate, and pregnancy rate, was similar between experimental groups (P > 0.05). In conclusion, our results indicated that supplementation with dietary concentrate for 10 days in non-lactating beef cows changed the endocrine milieu, specifically increasing IGF-I serum concentration. However, these endocrine changes did not affect response to estrous induction treatment.

  14. Compared with feeding infants breast milk or cow-milk formula, soy formula feeding does not affect subsequent reproductive organ size at 5 years of age

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Abstract Background: Literature reports suggest that phytochemicals, such as isoflavones found in soybeans, impair reproductive function in animals and raise the possibility that consuming soy infant formula could alter hormonally sensitive organ development in children. Objective: This study compar...

  15. Size-dependent reproductive pattern and short-term reproductive cost in Rumex obtusifolius L

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pino, Joan; Sans, F. Xavier; Masalles, Ramon M.

    2002-10-01

    This paper analyses the size-dependent reproductive pattern of Rumex obtusifolius L. growing in lucerne crops ( Medicago sativa L.), and its importance in determining the existence of a short-term reproductive cost. Size effects on reproductive pattern were evaluated by determining the role of plant size at the time of first reproduction, and the size-dependency of flowering probability (estimated as the proportion of flowering plants), plant fecundity, and reproductive effort (estimated as the ratio between reproductive and vegetative biomass). These parameters were recorded over the reproductive episodes determined by crop harvesting during the reproductive period. The results showed that size was much more important than age in determining time of first reproduction. Seed output decreased progressively over the reproductive period, probably in relation to an increasing short-term reproductive cost caused by a gradual depletion of plant resources. Probability of flowering over the successive reproductive episodes increased with plant size. The allometric relationship of vegetative versus reproductive biomass indicated that reproductive biomass increased less sharply than vegetative biomass and, consequently, reproductive effort decreased as plant size increased. Assuming a direct relationship between reproductive effort and reproductive cost, the size-dependent flowering probability could reflect, in turn, the existence of a size-dependent reproductive cost that would decrease as plant size increased. Ecological implications of these results are discussed.

  16. Reproduction in female reindeer.

    PubMed

    Ropstad, E

    2000-07-02

    Reindeer are either wild or kept under very extensive farming systems. They are seasonal breeders, with mating coinciding with the decreasing photoperiod in the autumn, and with calving in the spring. Little is known regarding the factors that influence reproduction in reindeer or of their reproductive physiology. Studies carried out to date have mainly focused on issues related to the population dynamics of wild populations and semi-domestic herds, and to a limited extent on the reproductive physiology of the female. Nor is much known about reproductive disorders and their medical treatment, or of the possibilities to manipulate or control reproduction by the use of hormones. Modern reproductive techniques such as artificial insemination and in vitro fertilisation, maturation and transfer of embryos have so far received scant attention.In the future, it is possible that reindeer under certain conditions might be kept in more intensive production systems. Limited access to high-quality winter pastures and increased demands for productivity have resulted in artificial feeding becoming a common practice in various reindeer herding areas in Scandinavia. In efforts to enhance the productivity of reindeer herds, attention has been focused on factors affecting reproduction in the female and survival of the offspring. Further knowledge on these issues seems necessary when developing strategies for optimalization of meat production in domestic herds and the harvesting of wild populations. This paper puts a broad focus on various aspects of reproduction, including factors influencing the fecundity of reproductively active females. In order to understand these effects it is important also to have a basic understanding of the reproductive physiology of these animals.

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-02-01

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

  18. Reproductive hacking. A male seminal protein acts through intact reproductive pathways in female Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Rubinstein, C Dustin; 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.

  19. “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

  20. Silicon carbide diode for increased light output

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Griffiths, L. B.; Mlavsky, A. I.

    1969-01-01

    Transition metals improve the overall light output and the output in particular regions of the electroluminescent of a silicon carbide semiconductor device. These metals /impurities/ introduce levels that can be pumped electrically and affect the efficiency of the recombination process involved in emission of radiation.

  1. Reproductive and Locomotory Capacities of Caenorhabditis elegans Were Not Affected by Simulated Variable Gravities and Spaceflight During the Shenzhou-8 Mission

    PubMed Central

    Qiao, Liang; Luo, Sang; Liu, Yongding; Li, Xiaoyan

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Reproduction and locomotion are essential features of animals that help to facilitate their interaction with the surrounding environment. Previous studies have produced inconsistent results on behavioral response to spaceflight by the model animal Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) in liquid culture. Using standard agar-based nematode growth medium (NGM), we show here that both reproductive and locomotory capacities of C. elegans were not significantly changed by centrifuge-produced hypergravity or clinostat-simulated microgravity. To investigate the effect of actual spaceflight on C. elegans, a nematode test unit was specifically designed to maintain its normal growth on solid NGM slides and to allow automatic RNA fixation on board the Shenzhou-8 spaceflight. We did not detect alteration in either brood size of immediate progenies from postflight nematodes or locomotory behavior, including speed of locomotion, frequency of reversals, and rate of body bends of space-flown nematodes collected directly from nematode test units. Our results provide clear evidence that the nematode test unit is an appropriate apparatus for nematode growth on standard NGM and can be used for on-orbit analysis of C. elegans, including onboard RNA fixation for molecular analysis and real-time video acquisition for behavioral analysis, which are critical for further studies in unmanned spaceflight and outer space exploration. Key Words: Spaceflight—Hypergravity—Microgravity—Caenorhabditis elegans—Behavior—Reproduction. Astrobiology 13, 617–625. PMID:23837604

  2. Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) is the number one disease affecting US swine. It is caused by the PRRS virus (PRRSV) and is recognized as reproductive failure of sows and respiratory problems of piglets and growing pigs. This book chapter is part of the Office of International E...

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-12-01

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

  4. Intraspecific variation in body size and the rate of reproduction in female insects - adaptive allometry or biophysical constraint?

    PubMed

    Berger, David; Olofsson, Martin; Friberg, Magne; Karlsson, Bengt; Wiklund, Christer; Gotthard, Karl; Gilburn, Andre

    2012-11-01

    1. A high rate of reproduction may be costly if ecological factors limit immediate reproductive output as a fast metabolism compromises own future survival. Individuals with more reserves need more time and opportunity to realize their reproductive potential. Theory therefore predicts that the reproductive rate, defined as the investment in early reproduction in proportion to total potential, should decrease with body size within species. 2. However, metabolic constraints on body size- and temperature-dependent biological rates may impede biophysical adaptation. Furthermore, the sequential manner resources that are allocated to somatic vs. reproductive tissue during ontogeny may, when juveniles develop in unpredictable environments, further contribute to non-adaptive variation in adult reproductive rates. 3. With a model on female egg laying in insects, we demonstrate how variation in body reserves is predicted to affect reproductive rate under different ecological scenarios. Small females always have higher reproductive rates but shorter lifespans. However, incorporation of female host selectivity leads to more similar reproductive rates among female size classes, and oviposition behaviour is predicted to co-evolve with reproductive rate, resulting in small females being more selective in their choice and gaining relatively more from it. 4. We fed simulations with data on the butterfly Pararge aegeria to compare model predictions with reproductive rates of wild butterflies. However, simulated reproductive allometry was a poor predictor of that observed. Instead, reproductive rates were better explained as a product of metabolic constraints on rates of egg maturation, and an empirically derived positive allometry between reproductive potential and size. However, fitness is insensitive to moderate deviations in reproductive rate when oviposition behaviour is allowed to co-evolve in the simulations, suggesting that behavioural compensation may mitigate putative

  5. Human reproductive issues in space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Santy, Patricia A.; Jennings, Richard T.

    1992-01-01

    A review of reproductive functioning in animal species studied during space flight demonstrated that most species were affected significantly by the absence of gravity and/or the presence of radiation. These two factors induced alterations in normal reproductive functioning independently of, as well as in combination with, each other. Based on animal models, several potential problem areas regarding human reproductive physiology and functioning in the space environment were identified. While there are no current space flight investigations, the animal studies suggest priorities for future research in human reproduction. Such studies will be critical for the successful colonization of the space frontier.

  6. Melatonin and male reproduction.

    PubMed

    Li, Chunjin; Zhou, Xu

    2015-06-15

    Melatonin is a neurohormone secreted by the pineal gland whose concentrations in the body are regulated by both the dark-light and seasonal cycles. The reproductive function of seasonal breeding animals is clearly influenced by the circadian variation in melatonin levels. Moreover, a growing body of evidence indicates that melatonin has important effects in the reproduction of some non-seasonal breeding animals. In males, melatonin affects reproductive regulation in three main ways. First, it regulates the secretion of two key neurohormones, GnRH and LH. Second, it regulates testosterone synthesis and testicular maturation. Third, as a potent free radical scavenger that is both lipophilic and hydrophilic, it prevents testicular damage caused by environmental toxins or inflammation. This review summarizes the existing data on the possible biological roles of melatonin in male reproduction. Overall, the literature data indicate that melatonin affects the secretion of both gonadotropins and testosterone while also improving sperm quality. This implies that it has important effects on the regulation of testicular development and male reproduction.

  7. Increase in male reproductive success and female reproductive investment in invasive populations of the harlequin ladybird Harmonia axyridis.

    PubMed

    Laugier, Guillaume J M; Le Moguédec, Gilles; Tayeh, Ashraf; Loiseau, Anne; Osawa, Naoya; Estoup, Arnaud; Facon, Benoît

    2013-01-01

    Reproductive strategy affects population dynamics and genetic parameters that can, in turn, affect evolutionary processes during the course of biological invasion. Life-history traits associated with reproductive strategy are therefore potentially good candidates for rapid evolutionary shifts during invasions. In a series of mating trials, we examined mixed groups of four males from invasive and native populations of the harlequin ladybird Harmonia axyridis mating freely during 48 hours with one female of either type. We recorded the identity of the first male to copulate and after the 48 h-period, we examined female fecundity and share of paternity, using molecular markers. We found that invasive populations have a different profile of male and female reproductive output. Males from invasive populations are more likely to mate first and gain a higher proportion of offspring with both invasive and native females. Females from invasive populations reproduce sooner, lay more eggs, and have offspring sired by a larger number of fathers than females from native populations. We found no evidence of direct inbreeding avoidance behaviour in both invasive and native females. This study highlights the importance of investigating evolutionary changes in reproductive strategy and associated traits during biological invasions.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Governmentally amplified output volatility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Funashima, Yoshito

    2016-11-01

    Predominant government behavior is decomposed by frequency into several periodic components: updating cycles of infrastructure, Kuznets cycles, fiscal policy over business cycles, and election cycles. Little is known, however, about the theoretical impact of such cyclical behavior in public finance on output fluctuations. Based on a standard neoclassical growth model, this study intends to examine the frequency at which public investment cycles are relevant to output fluctuations. We find an inverted U-shaped relationship between output volatility and length of cycle in public investment. This implies that periodic behavior in public investment at a certain frequency range can cause aggravated output resonance. Moreover, we present an empirical analysis to test the theoretical implication, using the U.S. data in the period from 1968 to 2015. The empirical results suggest that such resonance phenomena change from low to high frequency.

  11. Linking biomarkers to reproductive success of caged fathead minnows in streams with increasing urbanization

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Crago, J.; Corsi, S.R.; Weber, D.; Bannerman, R.; Klaper, R.

    2011-01-01

    Reproductive and oxidative stress biomarkers have been recommended as tools to assess the health of aquatic organisms. Though validated in the laboratory, there are few studies that tie a change in gene expression to adverse reproductive or population outcomes in the field. This paper looked at 17 streams with varying degrees of urbanization to assess the use of biomarkers associated with reproduction or stress in predicting reproductive success of fathead minnows. In addition, the relationship between biomarkers and water quality measures in streams with varying degrees of urbanization was examined. Liver vitellogenin mRNA was correlated with reproduction within a period of 11. d prior to sampling irrespective of habitat, but its correlation with egg output declined at 12. d and beyond indicating its usefulness as a short-term biomarker but its limits as a biomarker of total reproductive output. Stress biomarkers such as glutathione S-transferase may be better correlated with factors affecting reproduction over a longer term. There was a significant correlation between GST mRNA and a variety of anthropogenic pollutants. There was also an inverse correlation between glutathione S-transferase and the amount of the watershed designated as wetland. Egg production over the 21-d was negatively correlated with the amount of urbanization and positively correlated to wetland habitats. This study supports the development of multiple biomarkers linking oxidative stress and other non-reproductive endpoints to changes in aquatic habitats will be useful for predicting the health of fish populations and identifying the environmental factors that may need mitigation for sustainable population management. ?? 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

  12. Synthetic progestins medroxyprogesterone acetate and dydrogesterone and their binary mixtures adversely affect reproduction and lead to histological and transcriptional alterations in zebrafish (Danio rerio).

    PubMed

    Zhao, Yanbin; Castiglioni, Sara; Fent, Karl

    2015-04-07

    Medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA) and dydrogesterone (DDG) are synthetic progestins widely used in human and veterinary medicine. Although aquatic organisms are exposed to them through wastewater and animal farm runoff, very little is known about their effects in the environment. Here we provide a comprehensive analysis of the responses of zebrafish (Danio rerio) to MPA, DDG, and their binary mixtures at measured concentrations between 4.5 and 1663 ng/L. DDG and both mixtures impaired reproductive capacities (egg production) of breeding pairs and led to histological alterations of ovaries and testes and increased gonadosomatic index. Transcriptional analysis of up to 28 genes belonging to different pathways demonstrated alterations in steroid hormone receptors, steroidogenesis enzymes, and specifically, the circadian rhythm genes, in different organs of adult zebrafish and eleuthero-embryos. Alterations occurred even at environmentally relevant concentrations of 4.5-4.8 ng/L MPA, DDG and the mixture in eleuthero-embryos and at 43-89 ng/L in adult zebrafish. Additionally, the mixtures displayed additive effects in most but not all parameters in adults and eleuthero-embryos, suggesting concentration addition. Our data suggest that MPA and DDG and their mixtures induce multiple transcriptional responses at environmentally relevant concentrations and adverse effects on reproduction and gonad histology at higher levels.

  13. Zebrafish (Danio rerio) as a possible bioindicator of epigenetic factors present in drinking water that may affect reproductive function: is chorion an issue?

    PubMed

    Martinez-Sales, M; García-Ximénez, F; Espinós, F J

    2015-06-01

    Emerging organic contaminants have been monitored in stream waters, raw and finished waters and wastewater effluents. Most of these contaminants, such as epigenetic substances, have been detected at very low levels. Unfortunately, their complete monitoring and/or removal are very difficult, given the increasing presence of new contaminants and due to analytical and economic considerations. For this reason, bioindicators are used as an alternative to monitor their presence. To this end, zebrafish is being used to assess certain contaminants in water quality studies. As our long-term aim is to determine if zebrafish (Danio rerio) can be used to detect environmental epigenetic factors in drinking waters with effects on human reproduction, an initial question is whether the chorion could interfere with the possible action of epigenetic factors in two reproductive events: genital ridge formation and migration of the primordial germ cells (PGCs) to these genital ridges. In the first experiment, we attempted to partially degrade the chorion of mid blastula transition (MBT) embryos with pronase, with acceptable survival rates at 5 days post fertilisation (dpf), with the group exposed for 15 min giving the best survival results. As denuded early embryos require a specific culture medium, in the next experiment embryo survival was evaluated when they were cultured up to 5 dpf in drinking waters from six different sources. Results showed a negative effect on embryo survival at 5 dpf from several waters but not in others, thus distorting the survival outcomes. These results suggest using embryos with the chorion intact from the outset when drinking waters from different sources are to be tested.

  14. 2.45-GHz microwave irradiation adversely affects reproductive function in male mouse, Mus musculus by inducing oxidative and nitrosative stress.

    PubMed

    Shahin, S; Mishra, V; Singh, S P; Chaturvedi, C M

    2014-05-01

    Electromagnetic radiations are reported to produce long-term and short-term biological effects, which are of great concern to human health due to increasing use of devices emitting EMR especially microwave (MW) radiation in our daily life. In view of the unavoidable use of MW emitting devices (microwaves oven, mobile phones, Wi-Fi, etc.) and their harmful effects on biological system, it was thought worthwhile to investigate the long-term effects of low-level MW irradiation on the reproductive function of male Swiss strain mice and its mechanism of action. Twelve-week-old mice were exposed to non-thermal low-level 2.45-GHz MW radiation (CW for 2 h/day for 30 days, power density = 0.029812 mW/cm(2) and SAR = 0.018 W/Kg). Sperm count and sperm viability test were done as well as vital organs were processed to study different stress parameters. Plasma was used for testosterone and testis for 3β HSD assay. Immunohistochemistry of 3β HSD and nitric oxide synthase (i-NOS) was also performed in testis. We observed that MW irradiation induced a significant decrease in sperm count and sperm viability along with the decrease in seminiferous tubule diameter and degeneration of seminiferous tubules. Reduction in testicular 3β HSD activity and plasma testosterone levels was also noted in the exposed group of mice. Increased expression of testicular i-NOS was observed in the MW-irradiated group of mice. Further, these adverse reproductive effects suggest that chronic exposure to nonionizing MW radiation may lead to infertility via free radical species-mediated pathway.

  15. The restricted ovulator chicken strain: An oviparous vertebrate model of reproductive dysfunction caused by a gene defect affecting an oocyte-specific receptor

    PubMed Central

    Elkin, R.G.; Bauer, R.; Schneider, W.J.

    2012-01-01

    A unique non-laying strain of chickens with heritable hyperlipidemia and aortic atherosclerosis was first described in 1974. Subsequent work established that the phenotype results from a naturally occurring point mutation in the gene specifying the very low density lipoprotein (VLDL) receptor, a 95-kDa membrane protein which normally mediates the massive uptake of the main circulating hepatically-synthesized yolk precursors, VLDL and vitellogenin. As a result, hens of the mutant strain termed “restricted ovulator” (R/O) have approximately 5-fold elevations in circulating cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations compared with normal layers, and hepatic lipogenesis and cholesterogenesis are markedly attenuated due to feedback inhibition. R/O hens also exhibit hyperestrogenemia, hypoprogesteronemia, elevated circulating gonadotropins, and up-regulated pituitary progesterone receptor mRNA and isoforms. The ovaries of R/O hens are abnormal in that they lack a follicular hierarchy and contain many small preovulatory follicles of various colors, shapes, and sizes. However, since R/O hens occasionally lay eggs, it is possible that endocytic receptors other than the VLDL receptor may be able to facilitate oocyte growth and/or that yolk precursor uptake can occur via a nonspecific bulk process. A mammalian model of impaired fecundity with abnormal lipoprotein metabolism also has been described, but different mechanisms are likely responsible for its reproductive dysfunction. Nevertheless, as our understanding of the molecular physiology and biochemistry of avian oocyte growth continues to expand, in part due to studies of the R/O model, new analogies may emerge between avian and mammalian systems, which ultimately could help to answer important questions in reproductive biology. PMID:23123285

  16. Effects of global warming on fish reproductive endocrine axis, with special emphasis in pejerrey Odontesthes bonariensis.

    PubMed

    Miranda, Leandro Andrés; Chalde, Tomás; Elisio, Mariano; Strüssmann, Carlos Augusto

    2013-10-01

    The ongoing of global warming trend has led to an increase in temperature of several water bodies. Reproduction in fish, compared with other physiological processes, only occurs in a bounded temperature range; therefore, small changes in water temperature could significantly affect this process. This review provides evidence that fish reproduction may be directly affected by further global warming and that abnormal high water temperature impairs the expression of important genes throughout the brain-pituitary-gonad axis. In all fishes studied, gonads seem to be the organ more readily damaged by heat treatments through the inhibition of the gene expression and subsequent synthesis of different gonadal steroidogenic enzymes. In view of the feedback role of sex steroids upon the synthesis and release of GnRH and GtHs in fish, it is possible that the inhibition observed at brain and pituitary levels in treated fish is consequence of the sharp decrease in plasma steroids levels. Results of in vitro studies on the inhibition of pejerrey gonad aromatase expression by high temperature corroborate that ovary functions are directly disrupted by high temperature independently of the brain-pituitary axis. For the reproductive responses obtained in laboratory fish studies, it is plausible to predict changes in the timing and magnitude of reproductive activity or even the total failure of spawning season may occur in warm years, reducing annual reproductive output and affecting future populations.

  17. Reproductive biology and its impact on body size: comparative analysis of mammalian, avian and dinosaurian reproduction.

    PubMed

    Werner, Jan; Griebeler, Eva Maria

    2011-01-01

    Janis and Carrano (1992) suggested that large dinosaurs might have faced a lower risk of extinction under ecological changes than similar-sized mammals because large dinosaurs had a higher potential reproductive output than similar-sized mammals (JC hypothesis). First, we tested the assumption underlying the JC hypothesis. We therefore analysed the potential reproductive output (reflected in clutch/litter size and annual offspring number) of extant terrestrial mammals and birds (as "dinosaur analogs") and of extinct dinosaurs. With the exception of rodents, the differences in the reproductive output of similar-sized birds and mammals proposed by Janis and Carrano (1992) existed even at the level of single orders. Fossil dinosaur clutches were larger than litters of similar-sized mammals, and dinosaur clutch sizes were comparable to those of similar-sized birds. Because the extinction risk of extant species often correlates with a low reproductive output, the latter difference suggests a lower risk of population extinction in dinosaurs than in mammals. Second, we present a very simple, mathematical model that demonstrates the advantage of a high reproductive output underlying the JC hypothesis. It predicts that a species with a high reproductive output that usually faces very high juvenile mortalities will benefit more strongly in terms of population size from reduced juvenile mortalities (e.g., resulting from a stochastic reduction in population size) than a species with a low reproductive output that usually comprises low juvenile mortalities. Based on our results, we suggest that reproductive strategy could have contributed to the evolution of the exceptional gigantism seen in dinosaurs that does not exist in extant terrestrial mammals. Large dinosaurs, e.g., the sauropods, may have easily sustained populations of very large-bodied species over evolutionary time.

  18. Reproductive Biology and Its Impact on Body Size: Comparative Analysis of Mammalian, Avian and Dinosaurian Reproduction

    PubMed Central

    Werner, Jan; Griebeler, Eva Maria

    2011-01-01

    Janis and Carrano (1992) suggested that large dinosaurs might have faced a lower risk of extinction under ecological changes than similar-sized mammals because large dinosaurs had a higher potential reproductive output than similar-sized mammals (JC hypothesis). First, we tested the assumption underlying the JC hypothesis. We therefore analysed the potential reproductive output (reflected in clutch/litter size and annual offspring number) of extant terrestrial mammals and birds (as “dinosaur analogs”) and of extinct dinosaurs. With the exception of rodents, the differences in the reproductive output of similar-sized birds and mammals proposed by Janis and Carrano (1992) existed even at the level of single orders. Fossil dinosaur clutches were larger than litters of similar-sized mammals, and dinosaur clutch sizes were comparable to those of similar-sized birds. Because the extinction risk of extant species often correlates with a low reproductive output, the latter difference suggests a lower risk of population extinction in dinosaurs than in mammals. Second, we present a very simple, mathematical model that demonstrates the advantage of a high reproductive output underlying the JC hypothesis. It predicts that a species with a high reproductive output that usually faces very high juvenile mortalities will benefit more strongly in terms of population size from reduced juvenile mortalities (e.g., resulting from a stochastic reduction in population size) than a species with a low reproductive output that usually comprises low juvenile mortalities. Based on our results, we suggest that reproductive strategy could have contributed to the evolution of the exceptional gigantism seen in dinosaurs that does not exist in extant terrestrial mammals. Large dinosaurs, e.g., the sauropods, may have easily sustained populations of very large-bodied species over evolutionary time. PMID:22194835

  19. Humane reproduction.

    PubMed

    1974-03-01

    Discusses social, economic, and humane considerations in population control. Mental health aspects of controlled fertility are considered in relation to the family's psychosocial and material resources, the effects of reproduction on the individual the family, and community, and the advantages and disadvantages of controlled reproduction. A distinction between family planning and population control is outlined. It is suggested that there is hardly a single more effective tool for preventing psychological disorders than the prevention of unwanted pregnancies. Analyses of educational and medical services and methods of birth control are presented. A comprehensive neighborhood health station, which would consolidate these services, is suggested. It is concluded that humane programs of reproduction would lead to a reconciliation of biological drives with a responsible concern for the quality of life.

  20. Effects of adult-derived carbohydrates, amino acids and micronutrients on female reproduction in a fruit-feeding butterfly.

    PubMed

    Bauerfeind, Stephanie S; Fischer, Klaus

    2005-05-01

    It is generally believed that butterflies (and other holometabolous insects) rely primarily on reserves accumulated during the larval stage for reproduction, whereas the carbohydrate-rich adult diet is thought to mainly cover energy requirements. In at least some species though, realization of the full reproductive potential is extensively affected by post-eclosion nutrition. While the importance of carbohydrates is fairly well understood, the role of adult-derived amino acids and micronutrients is controversial and largely unknown, respectively. We here focus on the effects of different adult diets on female reproduction in the tropical, fruit-feeding butterfly Bicyclus anynana (Nymphalidae). Carbohydrates were the most important adult-derived nutrients affecting reproduction. Adding amino acids, vitamins or minerals to sucrose-based solutions did not yield a reproductive output equivalent to that of fruit-fed females, which showed the highest performance throughout. This suggests that either not yet identified compounds of fruit substantially contribute to reproduction, or that resource congruence (the use of nutrient types in a specified ratio) rather than any specific nutrient component is of key importance. Apart from adult income, realized fecundity depended on egg size and longevity, with the former dominating when dietary quality was low, but the latter when quality was high. Thus, the egg size-number trade-off seems to be affected by female nutrition.

  1. Diodes stabilize LED output

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Deters, R. A.

    1977-01-01

    Small-signal diodes are placed in series with light-emitting diodes (LED's) to stabilize LED output against temperature fluctuations. Simple inexpensive method compensates for thermal fluctuations over a broad temperature range. Requiring few components, technique is particularly useful where circuit-board space is limited.

  2. Survival and reproduction of some blue-green and green algae as affected by sewage water, fertilizer factory effluent, brassica oil, phenol, toluene and benzene.

    PubMed

    Agrawal, S C; Gupta, S

    2009-01-01

    Fourteen blue-green and green algae survived for widely different time periods ranging between 22-102 d in control culture medium. Irrespective of their long or short survival period in control cultures, their pro- or eukaryotic nature, their different morphological types or natural habitats, they all survived for a short time period ranging between 3-8 d in sewage water, 5-10 d in fertilizer factory effluent, (1/4)-2 d in brassica oil, (1/2)-2 d in phenol, 1-3 d in toluene, and 1-4 d in benzene (showing the relative toxicity of different chemicals to different algae, and the antialgal nature of brassica oil). Dilution decreased the toxicity of these agents very little, indicating that they all were very toxic to algae. None of the agent induced the formation of any reproductive or dormant cells. Sewage water, fertilizer factory effluent, brassica oil and/or benzene favored the formation of necridia cells in Phormidium bohneri, P. foveolarum, Microcoleus chthonoplastes, Lyngbya birgei, and L. major filaments. Scenedesmus quadricauda shed off all spines earlier, Hormidium flaccidum fragmented less or not at all, Scytonema millei formed no false branch and heterocyst, Aphanothece pallida and Gloeocapsa atrata cells did not divide, Cosmarium granatum cells did not form any zygospore and Oedogonium sp. not any oogonia-like cells under all or most of treatments with 25-100 % sewage water, 1-100 % fertilizer factory effluent, 1-100 % brassica oil, 25-100 % phenol, toluene and benzene.

  3. The Other Side: How does Informed Choice Affect Induced Abortions among Reproductive-Age Immigrant Women in China—A Cross-Sectional Study

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Chuanning; Wu, Junqing; Li, Yuyan; Zhou, Ying; Zhao, Rui; Ji, Honglei; Li, Yi-Ran; Han, Ying; Tong, Qi

    2016-01-01

    This study attempted to explore how informed choice on contraceptive methods influenced induced abortions among reproductive-age immigrant women in China. A total of 3230 participants were recruited in Beijing, Shanghai, and Chongqing. Information on informed choice was collected by questionnaires. The annual incidence rate (spells) of induced abortions was 0.46 (1500/3230) among the participants. The sequence from the highest score to the lowest was long-term, short-term and natural contraceptive methods (p < 0.0001). Significant differences of rates in induced abortions were found in region, occupation, length of the first immigration up to now (year), purpose for immigration, number of children, marital status, sex preference, contraceptive methods, deciders of contraceptive methods and side effects. In the zero-inflated negative binomial model, the joint impacts showed when a participant with one child employed condoms or family planning service providers as the deciders of contraceptive methods introduced intrauterine devices, the occurrence of induced abortions was more likely to be reduced. Women who underwent side effects using pills were more likely to have had induced abortions. PMID:27783059

  4. Steroid exposure during larval development of Xenopus laevis affects mRNA expression of the reproductive pituitary-gonadal axis in a sex- and stage-dependent manner.

    PubMed

    Urbatzka, Ralph; Lorenz, Claudia; Wiedemann, Caterina; Lutz, Ilka; Kloas, Werner

    2014-03-01

    Steroids are known to influence the reproductive pituitary-gonadal axis in adult amphibians. Here, we studied the effects of hormones on pituitary and gonadal mRNA expression during the development of Xenopus laevis. Tadpoles at NF 58 (prometamorphosis) and at NF 66 (freshly metamorphosed) were exposed for three days to 17β-estradiol (E2), tamoxifen (TAM), testosterone (T), dihydrotestosterone (DHT) at 10(-7)M, and flutamide (FLU) at 10(-6)M. In both genders at NF 58 and 66, T and DHT decreased luteinizing hormone beta (lhβ), but increased follicle stimulating hormone beta (fshβ), while FLU induced lhβ specifically in males. In the testis steroidogenic genes (p450 side chain cleavage enzyme, p450scc; steroid acute regulatory protein, star) at NF 58 showed a similar pattern as for lhβ, while the response at NF 66 was only partially present. In females, TAM induced lhβ at NF 58, while E2 decreased lhβ and increased fshβ at NF 66. In the ovaries, no alterations were observed for the steroidogenic genes. Summarizing, gonadotropic and steroidogenic mRNA expression may indicate control of androgen level during testis differentiation in male tadpoles at NF 58. In females the non-responsiveness of steroidogenic genes could be a sign of gonadal quiescence during pre-pubertal stages.

  5. Reproductive physiology

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gee, G.F.; Russman, S.E.; Ellis, David H.; Gee, George F.; Mirande, Claire M.

    1996-01-01

    Conclusions: Although the general pattern of avian physiology applies to cranes, we have identified many physiological mechanisms (e.g., effects of disturbance) that need further study. Studies with cranes are expensive compared to those done with domestic fowl because of the crane's larger size, low reproductive rate, and delayed sexual maturity. To summarize, the crane reproductive system is composed of physiological and anatomical elements whose function is controlled by an integrated neural-endocrine system. Males generally produce semen at a younger age than when females lay eggs. Eggs are laid in clutches of two (1 to 3), and females will lay additional clutches if the preceding clutches are removed. Both sexes build nests and incubate the eggs. Molt begins during incubation and body molt may be completed annually in breeding pairs. However, remiges are replaced sequentially over 2 to 3 years, or abruptly every 2 to 3 years in other species. Most immature birds replace their juvenal remiges over a 2 to 3 year period. Stress interferes with reproduction in cranes by reducing egg production or terminating the reproductive effort. In other birds, stress elevates corticosterone levels and decreases LHRH release. We know little about the physiological response of cranes to stress.

  6. Conditional Deletion of the Relaxin Receptor Gene in Cells of Smooth Muscle Lineage Affects Lower Reproductive Tract in Pregnant Mice1

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT 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

  7. Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART)

    MedlinePlus

    ... American Society for Reproductive Medicine. (2012). Third-party reproduction (sperm, egg, and embryo donation and surrogacy): A ... from https://www.asrm.org/BOOKLET_Third-party_Reproduction [top] American Society for Reproductive Medicine. (2015). Assisted ...

  8. Blockage of the Neonatal Leptin Surge Affects the Gene Expression of Growth Factors, Glial Proteins, and Neuropeptides Involved in the Control of Metabolism and Reproduction in Peripubertal Male and Female Rats.

    PubMed

    Mela, Virginia; Díaz, Francisca; Lopez-Rodriguez, Ana Belen; Vázquez, María Jesús; Gertler, Arieh; Argente, Jesús; Tena-Sempere, Manuel; Viveros, María-Paz; Chowen, Julie A

    2015-07-01

    Leptin (Lep) is important in the development of neuroendocrine circuits involved in metabolic control. Because both Lep and metabolism influence pubertal development, we hypothesized that early changes in Lep signaling could also modulate hypothalamic (HT) systems involved in reproduction. We previously demonstrated that a single injection of a Lep antagonist (Antag) on postnatal day (PND)9, coincident with the neonatal Lep peak, induced sexually dimorphic modifications in trophic factors and markers of cell turnover and neuronal maturation in the HT on PND13. Here, our aim was to investigate whether the alterations induced by Lep antagonism persist into puberty. Accordingly, male and female rats were treated with a pegylated super Lep Antag from PND5 to PND9 and killed just before the normal appearance of external signs of puberty (PND33 in females and PND43 in males). There was no effect on body weight, but in males food intake increased, subcutaneous adipose tissue decreased and HT neuropeptide Y and Agouti-related peptide mRNA levels were reduced, with no effect in females. In both sexes, the Antag increased HT mRNA levels of the kisspeptin receptor, G protein-coupled recepter 54 (Gpr54). Expression of the Lep receptor, trophic factors, and glial markers were differently affected in the HT of peripubertal males and females. Lep production in adipose tissue was decreased in Antag-treated rats of both sexes, with production of other cytokines being differentially regulated between sexes. In conclusion, in addition to the long-term effects on metabolism, changes in neonatal Lep levels modifies factors involved in reproduction that could possibly affect sexual maturation.

  9. Climate Model Output Rewriter

    SciTech Connect

    Taylor, K. E.; Doutriaux, C.

    2004-06-21

    CMOR comprises a set of FORTRAN 90 dunctions that can be used to produce CF-compliant netCDF files. The structure of the files created by CMOR and the metadata they contain fulfill the requirements of many of the climate community’s standard model experiments (which are referred to here as "MIPS", which stands for "model intercomparison project", including, for example, AMIP, CMIP, CFMIP, PMIP, APE, and IPCC scenario runs), CMOR was not designed to serve as an all-purpose wfiter of CF-compliant netCDF files, but simply to reduce the effort required to prepare and manage MIP data. Although MIPs encourage systematic analysis of results across models, this is only easy to do if the model output is written in a common format with files structured similarly and with sufficient metadata uniformly stored according to a common standard. Individual modeling groups store their data in different ways. but if a group can read its own data with FORTRAN, then it should easily be able to transform the data, using CMOR, into the common format required by the MIPs, The adoption of CMOR as a standard code for exchanging climate data will facilitate participation in MIPs because after learning how to satisfy the output requirements of one MIP, it will be easy to prepare output for the other MIPs.

  10. Melatonin and female reproduction.

    PubMed

    Tamura, Hiroshi; Takasaki, Akihisa; Taketani, Toshiaki; Tanabe, Manabu; Lee, Lifa; Tamura, Isao; Maekawa, Ryo; Aasada, Hiromi; Yamagata, Yoshiaki; Sugino, Norihiro

    2014-01-01

    Melatonin (N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine) is secreted during the dark hours at night by the pineal gland. After entering the circulation, melatonin acts as an endocrine factor and a chemical messenger of light and darkness. It regulates a variety of important central and peripheral actions related to circadian rhythms and reproduction. It also affects the brain, immune, gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, renal, bone and endocrine functions and acts as an oncostatic and anti-aging molecule. Many of melatonin's actions are mediated through interactions with specific membrane-bound receptors expressed not only in the central nervous system, but also in peripheral tissues. Melatonin also acts through non-receptor-mediated mechanisms, for example serving as a scavenger for reactive oxygen species and reactive nitrogen species. At both physiological and pharmacological concentrations, melatonin attenuates and counteracts oxidative stress and regulates cellular metabolism. Growing scientific evidence of reproductive physiology supports the role of melatonin in human reproduction. This review was conducted to investigate the effects of melatonin on female reproduction and to summarize our findings in this field.

  11. Rethinking reproductive "tourism" as reproductive "exile".

    PubMed

    Inhorn, Marcia C; Patrizio, Pasquale

    2009-09-01

    Whereas reproductive "tourism" implies leisure travel, reproductive "exile" bespeaks the numerous difficulties and constraints faced by infertile patients who are "forced" to travel globally for assisted reproduction. Given this reality, it is time to rethink the language of "reproductive tourism," replacing it with more accurate and patient-centered terms.

  12. Reproductive ecology of the seabob shrimp Xiphopenaeus kroyeri (Heller, 1862) in a coastal area of Southern Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grabowski, Raphael Cezar; Negreiros-Fransozo, Maria Lucia; Castilho, Antonio Leão

    2016-01-01

    The predictability of certain environmental factors that affect the life cycle of the seabob shrimp Xiphopenaeus kroyeri (Heller, 1862) was evaluated in a study of its reproductive biology in an area adjacent to Babitonga Bay, State of Santa Catarina, Brazil. Monthly sampling was conducted from July 2010 through June 2011 at depths of 5, 8, 11, 14, and 17 m. 76 004 individuals were obtained, with a pronounced peak in absolute abundance in austral autumn (34 208), coinciding with the annual closed season from March to May. Grain size composition of the sediment showed the closest relationship to the distribution of individuals (multiple linear regression, P <0.05), related to their burying habit. The observed correlations between the abundance of reproductive males (bearing spermatophores) and females with spent gonads (cross-correlation, P <0.05), and between reproductive males and reproductive females (with a 1-month lag) suggest that the peak of reproductive males preceded the peak of female ones. This result agrees with the pattern expected for females, which copulate in post-ecdysis (spent gonads). Spawning seemed to take place at greater depths, as evidenced by the concentration of reproductive females in these areas. The reproductive activities observed here confirm that this species follows a tropical/subtropical reproductive pattern, spawning continuously throughout the year, with the highest peaks in spring and autumn. The data indicate that the juvenile recruitment period observed in August-September resulted from the reproductive output noted in April-May. Additionally, the reproductive period recorded in November led to the juvenile peak observed in March-May.

  13. Preservation of fertility in women affected by cancer. An audit of the cryopreservation services provided for women at Human Assisted Reproduction Ireland.

    PubMed

    O'Donovan, M; Harrison, R F

    2005-10-01

    There has been a remarkable improvement in survival rates for adult and childhood cancers, due to progress in cancer treatments. However multiagent chemotherapy and radiotherapy are associated with gonadal failure. Whereas sperm banking is commonly performed, female gametes are not so amenable to cryopreservation. Options available to women for fertility preservation include, embryo and oocyte cryopreservation. Our unit established an oocyte/embryo cryopreservation service for women affected by cancer in October 2003. Ninteen women have been referred and five (26%) women have had oocytes cryopreserved. The mean age of women in the group cryopreserved was 34 years (range 21-41). Their mean day 3 FSH was 6.2 IU (range 5.5-6.8). The mean dose of rFSH used was 1870 units (range 1500-2600). The mean number of oocytes cryopreserved was 8 (range 3-16). Preservation of fertility is of major concern to women affected by cancer. This service offers them hope for their future fertility.

  14. Reproductive Efficiency of a Mediterranean Endemic Zooxanthellate Coral Decreases with Increasing Temperature along a Wide Latitudinal Gradient

    PubMed Central

    Airi, Valentina; Gizzi, Francesca; Falini, Giuseppe; Levy, Oren; Dubinsky, Zvy; Goffredo, Stefano

    2014-01-01

    Investments at the organismal level towards reproduction and growth are often used as indicators of health. Understanding how such energy allocation varies with environmental conditions may, therefore, aid in predicting possible responses to global climatic change in the near future. For example, variations in seawater temperature may alter the physiological functioning, behavior, reproductive output and demographic traits (e.g., productivity) of marine organisms, leading to shifts in the structure, spatial range, and abundance of populations. This study investigated variations in reproductive output associated with local seawater temperature along a wide latitudinal gradient on the western Italian coast, in the zooxanthellate Mediterranean coral, Balanophyllia europaea. Reproductive potential varied significantly among sites, where B. europaea individuals from the warmest site experienced loss of oocytes during gametogenesis. Most of the early oocytes from warmest sites did not reach maturity, possibly due to inhibition of metabolic processes at high temperatures, causing B. europaea to reabsorb the oocytes and utilize them as energy for other vital functions. In a progressively warming Mediterranean, the efficiency of the energy invested in reproduction could be considerably reduced in this species, thereby affecting vital processes. Given the projected increase in seawater temperature as a consequence of global climate change, the present study adds evidence to the threats posed by high temperatures to the survival of B. europaea in the next decades. PMID:24618568

  15. Diet micronutrient balance matters: How the ratio of dietary sterols/steroids affects development, growth and reproduction in two lepidopteran insects.

    PubMed

    Jing, Xiangfeng; Grebenok, Robert J; Behmer, Spencer T

    2014-08-01

    Insects lack the ability to synthesize sterols de novo so they acquire this essential nutrient from their food. Cholesterol is the dominant sterol found in most insects, but in plant vegetative tissue it makes up only a small fraction of the total sterol profile. Instead, plants mostly contain phytosterols; plant-feeding insects generate the majority of their cholesterol by metabolizing phytosterols. However, not all phytosterols are readily converted to cholesterol, and some are even deleterious when ingested above a threshold level. In a recent study we showed that caterpillars reared on tobacco accumulating novel sterols/steroids exhibited reduced performance, even when suitable sterols were present. In the current study we examined how the dominant sterols (cholesterol and stigmasterol) and steroids (cholestanol and cholestanone) typical of the modified tobacco plants affected two insect herbivores (Heliothis virescens and Helicoverpa zea). The sterols/steroids were incorporated into synthetic diets singly, as well as in various combinations, ratios and amounts. For each insect species, a range of performance values was recorded for two generations, with the eggs from the 1st-generation adults as the source of neonates for the 2nd-generation. Performance on the novel steroids (cholestanol and cholestanone) was extremely poor compared to suitable sterols (cholesterol and stigmasterol). Additionally, performance tended to decrease as the ratio of the novel dietary steroids increased. We discuss how the balance of different dietary sterols/steroids affected our two caterpillar species, relate this back to recent studies on sterol/steroid metabolism in these two species, and consider the potential application of sterol/steroid modification in crops.

  16. 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.

  17. Do recent US Supreme Court rulings on patenting of genes and genetic diagnostics affect the practice of genetic screening and diagnosis in prenatal and reproductive care?

    PubMed

    Chandrasekharan, Subhashini; McGuire, Amy L; Van den Veyver, Ignatia B

    2014-10-01

    Thousands of patents have been awarded that claim human gene sequences and their uses, and some have been challenged in court. In a recent high-profile case, Association for Molecular Pathology, et al. v. Myriad Genetics, Inc., et al., the US Supreme Court ruled that genes are natural occurring substances and therefore not patentable through 'composition of matter' claims. The consequences of this ruling will extend well beyond ending Myriad's monopoly over BRCA testing and may affect similar monopolies of other commercial laboratories for tests involving other genes. It could also simplify intellectual property issues surrounding genome-wide clinical sequencing, which can generate results for genes covered by intellectual property. Non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) for common aneuploidies using cell-free fetal (cff) DNA in maternal blood is currently offered through commercial laboratories and is also the subject of ongoing patent litigation. The recent Supreme Court decision in the Myriad case has already been invoked by a lower district court in NIPT litigation and resulted in invalidation of primary claims in a patent on currently marketed cffDNA-based testing for chromosomal aneuploidies.

  18. Prolonged oral treatment with an essential amino acid L-leucine does not affect female reproductive function and embryo-fetal development in rats.

    PubMed

    Mawatari, Kazunori; Katsumata, Toyohisa; Uematsu, Masanobu; Katsumata, Tomoyoshi; Yoshida, Junichi; Smriga, Miro; Kimura, Takeshi

    2004-09-01

    L-leucine, an essential amino acid, is one of the most popular ingredients in dietary supplements. To investigate a possibility of its embryo-fetal toxicity in rats, 11- to 12-week old dams were orally administered an aqueous solution of L-leucine at doses of 300 or 1000 mg/kg body weight on gestational days 7-17. Body weight and feed intake was evaluated throughout the whole course of pregnancy (days 0-20). L-Leucine did not influence body weight, but at a dose of 1000 mg/kg, slightly enhanced feed intake on days 14 and 18 of pregnancy. Caesarean section (day 20) revealed no influences on the litter size and weight of live-born fetuses, the number of corpora lutea, implantation index or the quality of placenta, and the minor increase in feed intake was considered irrelevant to the pregnancy outcomes. Fetuses were evaluated in a battery of external, visceral and skeletal examinations. No effects of L-leucine on gender ratio and external abnormalities, and no significant treatment-related variations in visceral and skeletal pathologies were observed. These results suggested that L-leucine, administered orally during organogenesis at doses up to 1000 mg/kg body weight, did not affect the outcome of pregnancy and did not cause fetotoxicity in rats.

  19. Do recent US Supreme Court rulings on patenting of genes and genetic diagnostics affect the practice of genetic screening and diagnosis in prenatal and reproductive care?

    PubMed Central

    Chandrasekharan, Subhashini; McGuire, Amy L.; Van den Veyver, Ignatia B.

    2015-01-01

    Thousands of patents have been awarded that claim human gene sequences and their uses, and some have been challenged in court. In a recent high-profile case, Association for Molecular Pathology, et al. vs. Myriad Genetics, Inc., et al., the United States Supreme Court ruled that genes are natural occurring substances and therefore not patentable through “composition of matter” claims. The consequences of this ruling will extend well beyond ending Myriad's monopoly over BRCA testing, and may affect similar monopolies of other commercial laboratories for tests involving other genes. It could also simplify intellectual property issues surrounding genome-wide clinical sequencing, which can generate results for genes covered by intellectual property. Non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) for common aneuploidies using cell-free fetal (cff) DNA in maternal blood is currently offered through commercial laboratories and is also the subject of ongoing patent litigation. The recent Supreme Court decision in the Myriad case has already been invoked by a lower district court in NIPT litigation and resulted in invalidation of primary claims in a patent on currently marketed cffDNA-based testing for chromosomal aneuploidies. PMID:24989832

  20. Effects of adult nutrition on female reproduction in a fruit-feeding butterfly: the role of fruit decay and dietary lipids.

    PubMed

    Bauerfeind, Stephanie S; Fischer, Klaus; Hartstein, Steffi; Janowitz, Susann; Martin-Creuzburg, Dominik

    2007-09-01

    It was generally believed that butterflies and other holometabolous insects rely primarily on reserves accumulated during the larval stage for reproduction. Recent studies, however, highlight the often fundamental importance of adult nutrition to realize the full reproductive potential. While the importance of carbohydrates is fairly well understood, the role of most other adult-derived substances is only partially resolved. We here focus on the effects of dietary lipids (cholesterol, polyunsaturated fatty acids) and fruit decay (dietary yeast, ethanol) on female reproduction in the tropical, fruit-feeding butterfly Bicyclus anynana (Nymphalidae). We found that banana-fed control females outperformed all other groups fed on sucrose-based diets. Lipids, yeast or ethanol added to a sugar solution did not yield a similarly high reproductive output compared to fruit-fed females. Groups fed fresh or decaying banana showed no differences in reproductive performance. As we could not identify a single pivotal substance, we conclude that resource congruence (the use of nutrient types in a specified ratio) rather than any specific nutrient component is of key importance for maximum reproductive output. Further, dietary quality may affect egg hatching success in spite of no obvious effects on egg size and number. Thus, any implications about potential fitness effects of different diets need to consider egg (and hatchling) viability in addition to fecundity.

  1. An empirical test of evolutionary theories for reproductive senescence and reproductive effort in the garter snake Thamnophis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Sparkman, Amanda M; Arnold, Stevan J; Bronikowski, Anne M

    2007-01-01

    Evolutionary theory predicts that differential reproductive effort and rate of reproductive senescence will evolve under different rates of external mortality. We examine the evolutionary divergence of age-specific reproduction in two life-history ecotypes of the western terrestrial garter snake, Thamnophis elegans. We test for the signature of reproductive senescence (decreasing fecundity with age) and increasing reproductive effort with age (increasing reproductive productivity per gram female) in replicate populations of two life-history ecotypes: snakes that grow fast, mature young and have shorter lifespans, and snakes that grow slow, mature late and have long lives. The difference between life-history ecotypes is due to genetic divergence in growth rate. We find (i) reproductive success (live litter mass) increases with age in both ecotypes, but does so more rapidly in the fast-growth ecotype, (ii) reproductive failure increases with age in both ecotypes, but the proportion of reproductive failure to total reproductive output remains invariant, and (iii) reproductive effort remains constant in fast-growth individuals with age, but declines in slow-growth individuals. This illustration of increasing fecundity with age, even at the latest ages, deviates from standard expectations for reproductive senescence, as does the lack of increases in reproductive effort. We discuss our findings in light of recent theories regarding the phenomenon of increased reproduction throughout life in organisms with indeterminate growth and its potential to offset theoretical expectations for the ubiquity of senescence. PMID:17251099

  2. Low precipitation aggravates the impact of extreme high temperatures on lizard reproduction.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yang; Zeng, Zhi-Gao; Li, Shu-Ran; Bi, Jun-Huai; Du, Wei-Guo

    2016-12-01

    Extreme high temperatures are occurring more frequently with ongoing anthropogenic climate warming, but the experimental tests of the effects of high temperatures on terrestrial vertebrates in natural conditions are rare. In this study, we investigated the effects of extreme high temperatures on female reproduction and offspring traits of multi-ocellated racerunners (Eremias multiocellata) kept in field enclosures in the desert steppe of Inner Mongolia. Our studies indicate that high temperatures significantly affect the gestation period and reproductive output of females and the offspring sex ratio, but have little impact on offspring body size and mass. More interestingly, we found that the effect of extreme high temperatures on female reproductive output was not consistent between two consecutive years that differed in precipitation. Low precipitation may aggravate the impact of climate warming on lizards and negatively affect the survival of lizards in the desert steppe. Our results provide evidence that temperature interacts with precipitation to determine the life history of lizards, and they suggest that a drier and hotter environment, such as the future climate in arid mid-latitude areas, will likely impose severe pressure on lizard populations, which are an important component of the food web in desert areas around the world.

  3. External and internal modulators of sheep reproduction.

    PubMed

    Blache, Dominique; Bickell, Samantha L

    2011-12-01

    Several factors such as season, genetics, social interaction and metabolic status control or modulate the reproductive capacity of sheep. In addition to these well-studied factors in sheep, the influence of emotional reactivity on the reproductive success of sheep has started to be investigated over the last two decades. In this paper, after briefly reviewing the impact of classical factors affecting reproduction in sheep, we define emotional reactivity and the expression of its inter-individual variability, named temperament. Then, following a description of the protocol to measure temperament in sheep and discussion on the heritability of temperament traits, we illustrate how this selection affects the reproductive biology of sheep. We will be mainly using results obtained from a unique flock of sheep selected for low or high emotional reactivity. In conclusion, we propose that energy partitioning could be one of the mechanisms by which selection for temperament in sheep affects the different steps of the reproductive cycle.

  4. Bottom-up effects of nutrient availability on flower production, pollinator visitation, and seed output in a high-Andean shrub.

    PubMed

    Muñoz, Alejandro A; Celedon-Neghme, Constanza; Cavieres, Lohengrin A; Arroyo, Mary T K

    2005-03-01

    Soil nutrient availability directly enhances vegetative growth, flowering, and fruiting in alpine ecosystems. However, the impacts of nutrient addition on pollinator visitation, which could affect seed output indirectly, are unknown. In a nutrient addition experiment, we tested the hypothesis that seed output in the insect-pollinated, self-incompatible shrub, Chuquiraga oppositifolia (Asteraceae) of the Andes of central Chile, is enhanced by soil nitrogen (N) availability. We aimed to monitor total shrub floral display, size of flower heads (capitula), pollinator visitation patterns, and seed output during three growing seasons on control and N addition shrubs. N addition did not augment floral display, size of capitula, pollinator visitation, or seed output during the first growing season. Seed mass and viability were 25-40% lower in fertilised shrubs. During the second growing season only 33% of the N addition shrubs flowered compared to 71% of controls, and a significant (50%) enhancement in vegetative growth occurred in fertilised shrubs. During the third growing season, floral display in N addition shrubs was more than double that of controls, received more than twice the number of insect pollinator visits, and seed output was three- to four-fold higher compared to controls. A significant (50%) enhancement in vegetative growth again occurred in N addition shrubs. Results of this study strongly suggest that soil N availability produces strong positive bottom-up effects on the reproductive output of the alpine shrub C. oppositifolia. Despite taking considerably longer to be manifest in comparison to the previously reported top-down indirect negative effects of lizard predators in the same study system, our results suggest that both bottom-up and top-down forces are important in controlling the reproductive output of an alpine shrub.

  5. Brood size manipulations in a spatially and temporally varying environment: male Tengmalm's owls pass increased reproductive costs to offspring.

    PubMed

    Thomson, Robert L; Griesser, Michael; Laaksonen, Toni; Korpimäki, Erkki

    2014-10-01

    A key tool used to assess reproductive trade-offs in birds is brood size manipulation (BSM) experiments. Most BSM studies have examined the influence on short-term measures of reproductive output. Seldom evaluated are the effects on long-term fitness proxies under temporally or spatially varying environments. Unpredictable environments may affect reproductive trade-offs by altering the value of the brood or hampering optimization of reproductive effort. We reduced or enlarged broods of 140 male Tengmalm's owls Aegolius funereus by one chick during their first lifetime reproductive event. Males differed in age and bred in environments that varied in quality spatially (habitat structure) and temporally (abundance of main food). We measured the short-term (nestling number and condition) and long-term fitness proxies (survival, lifetime fledgling and recruits produced) until all experimental males disappeared from the population. BSMs did not affect fledgling number or condition, but in enlarged broods, offspring condition was lower in territories with a high proportion of agricultural fields. Importantly, no obvious impacts on long-term fitness proxies emerged; lifetime fledgling and recruit production of males did not differ between the BSM treatments. Thus, the primary caregiver (i.e. Tengmalm's owl males) passed increased reproductive costs to their offspring, which is in agreement with other studies investigating intergenerational reproductive trade-offs in species of intermediate lifespan. Reluctance to accept increased current reproductive costs in these systems highlights the potential for sexual conflict in bi-parental care systems in which one of the pair is the primary caregiver.

  6. Male Reproductive System

    MedlinePlus

    ... gamete, the egg or ovum, meet in the female's reproductive system to create a baby. Both the male and female reproductive systems are essential for reproduction. Humans pass certain characteristics ...

  7. Reproduction, physiology and biochemistry

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  8. Society of Reproductive Surgeons

    MedlinePlus

    The Society of Reproductive Surgeons Home About Us About SRS Mission Statement Officers The Role of Reproductive Surgeons For ... Fact Sheets and Booklets SRS is an affiliated society to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine . Below ...

  9. Normal Female Reproductive Anatomy

    MedlinePlus

    ... hyphen, e.g. -historical Searches are case-insensitive Reproductive System, Female, Anatomy Add to My Pictures View /Download : Small: ... Reproductive System, Female, Anatomy Description: Anatomy of the female reproductive system; drawing shows the uterus, myometrium (muscular outer layer ...

  10. Mammalian clock output mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Kalsbeek, Andries; Yi, Chun-Xia; Cailotto, Cathy; la Fleur, Susanne E; Fliers, Eric; Buijs, Ruud M

    2011-06-30

    In mammals many behaviours (e.g. sleep-wake, feeding) as well as physiological (e.g. body temperature, blood pressure) and endocrine (e.g. plasma corticosterone concentration) events display a 24 h rhythmicity. These 24 h rhythms are induced by a timing system that is composed of central and peripheral clocks. The highly co-ordinated output of the hypothalamic biological clock not only controls the daily rhythm in sleep-wake (or feeding-fasting) behaviour, but also exerts a direct control over many aspects of hormone release and energy metabolism. First, we present the anatomical connections used by the mammalian biological clock to enforce its endogenous rhythmicity on the rest of the body, especially the neuro-endocrine and energy homoeostatic systems. Subsequently, we review a number of physiological experiments investigating the functional significance of this neuro-anatomical substrate. Together, this overview of experimental data reveals a highly specialized organization of connections between the hypothalamic pacemaker and neuro-endocrine system as well as the pre-sympathetic and pre-parasympathetic branches of the autonomic nervous system.

  11. Reproductive Information and Reproductive Decision-Making.

    PubMed

    Mehlman, Maxwell J

    2015-01-01

    Opponents of reproductive choice are attempting to limit reproductive decisions based on certain underlying reasons. This commentary explores the rationales for these limitations and the objections to them. It concludes that reasoned-based limitations are unsupportable and unenforceable.

  12. Global warming and sexual plant reproduction.

    PubMed

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

    2009-01-01

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

  13. Collection of field reproductive data from carcasses of the female Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx).

    PubMed

    Axnér, E; Payan-Carreira, R; Setterlind, P; Åsbrink, J; Söderberg, A

    2013-11-01

    Information about reproductive physiology in the Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) would generate knowledge that could be useful in the management of the Swedish lynx population based on the knowledge about their reproductive potential and population development. Age-related differences in ovulation and implantation rates would affect the reproductive output and the development of the population. The aims of this study were to evaluate a protocol for collection of reproductive data from carcasses by comparisons with published field data and to generate data about reproduction in the Swedish lynx. Reproductive organs from 120 females that were harvested between March 1 and April 9 from 2009 to 2011 were collected and evaluated macroscopically for placental scars. Females had their first estrus as yearlings but did not have their first litter until the next season. Pregnancy rates were lower in 2-year-old females than in females aged 3 to 7 years but did not differ significantly from females aged 8 to 13 years (54.5%, 95.6%, and 75.0%, respectively). CL from the present season were morphologically distinctly different from luteal bodies from previous cycles (LBPC). All females ≥3 years had macroscopically visible LBPC, whereas only 67% of 22 to 23 months old females had one to three LBPC and no females <1 year of age had LBPC. Females aged 34 to 35 months had up to eight LPBC, whereas the highest number of LBPC counted in females ≥3 years of age was 11. These data would be in agreement with only one estrus per season and LBPC from at least three previous reproductive seasons in older females. The number of LBPC was significantly correlated with the weight of the ovaries rs = 0.648, P < 0.001) and the age of the animals (rs = 0.572, P < 0.001). Uterine weight differed significantly with the stage of the reproductive cycle and was highest for mature females in the luteal phase of the cycle. The estrous period, defined as occurrence of ovarian follicles lasted from March 5

  14. Response requirements as constraints on output.

    PubMed

    Zeiler, M D; Buchman, I B

    1979-07-01

    Two experiments studied how added response requirements affected fixed-interval schedule performance. Experiment 1 involved tandem fixed-interval fixed-ratio schedules, and Experiment 2 studied conjunctive fixed-interval fixed-ratio schedules. In both, pigeons' output, defined as overall response rate or as responses during the interval, first increased and then decreased as the ratio was raised. With small ratio requirements, the frequency of reinforcement in time either did not change or decreased slightly. With progressively larger ratios, reinforcement frequency decreased consistently. Alternative explanations were discussed. The first, a reinforcement theory account, was that response strength is an increasing monotonic function of both the response requirement and reinforcement frequency, and the bitonic output function represents interacting effects. Increases in the response requirement accompanied by small changes in reinforcement frequency enhance output, but further increases result in large enough decrements in reinforcement frequency so that output is lowered. The second explanation does not view reinforcement as a basic process but, instead, derives from concepts of economics and conservation. Organisms allocate their behavior among alternatives so as to maximize value, where value is a function of the responses that can occur in a given situation under the set of restrictions imposed by particular schedules. One form of this theory explicitly predicts that output is a bitonic function of ratio requirements in simple ratio schedules. However, it was not clear that this model could explain the present effects involving joint ratio and interval schedule restrictions.

  15. A missing model in reproductive skew theory: the bordered tug-of-war.

    PubMed

    Reeve, Hudson Kern; Shen, Sheng-Feng

    2006-05-30

    Models of reproductive skew can be classified into two groups: transactional models, in which group members yield shares of reproduction to each other in return for cooperation, and tug-of-war models, in which group members invest group resources in a tug-of-war over their respective reproductive shares. We synthesize these two models to yield a "bordered tug-of-war" model in which the internal tug-of-war is limited ("bordered") by the requirement that group members must achieve a certain amount of reproduction lest they pursue a noncooperative option leading to group breakup. Previous attempts to synthesize these two models did not allow for the fact that the tug-of-war will affect group output, which in turn feeds back on the reproductive payments required by group members to remain cooperative. The bordered tug-of-war model, which does not assume complete reproductive control by any individual and allows for conflict within groups, predicts that the degree of within-group selfishness will increase as the noncooperative options become less attractive, e.g., as ecological constraints on solitary breeding increase. When the noncooperative option involves fighting for the group resource (e.g., territory) and leaving if the fight is lost, the subordinate's overall share of reproduction is predicted to be independent of its relatedness to the dominant and to increase the greater its probability of winning the fight, the less the value of the territory, and the greater its personal payoff for leaving. The unique predictions of the bordered tug-of-war model may fit skew data from a number of species, including meerkats, lions, and wood mice.

  16. Effects of habitat fragmentation and soil quality on reproduction in two heathland Genista species.

    PubMed

    Tsaliki, M; Diekmann, M

    2010-07-01

    Habitat fragmentation decreases plant population size and increases population isolation, as well as altering patterns of plant-animal interactions, all of which may reduce plant fitness. Here, we studied effects of habitat fragmentation (in terms of population size and isolation) and soil quality on the reproduction of two rare legume species, Genista anglica (13 populations) and Genista pilosa (14 populations), confined to remnants of acidic and nutrient-poor Calluna heathlands. Single individuals of the Genista plants are impossible to distinguish; population size was therefore estimated according to the area occupied (referred to as population size hereafter). We collected soil samples in all heathland sites to determine content of soil water, C, N, P, Ca, K and Mg. In both species values of soil pH and C/N ratio, as well as content of soil P and base cations, reflected the highly acidic and nutrient-poor environment of the heathlands. Population sizes were unrelated to soil quality. Although the two Genista species are similar in morphology and ecology, effects of explanatory variables on reproduction were largely inconsistent across species. In G. anglica, population size had a positive impact on all reproductive variables except germination rate, which, in contrast, was the only variable affected positively by population size in G. pilosa. In both species, mean total reproductive output, calculated as the product of total seed mass per shoot and total germination, increased with increasing water content and decreased with increasing P. In G. anglica, we found positive effects of the C/N ratio on all reproductive variables except mean single and total seed mass per shoot. In summary, in both species reproductive success per shoot decreased with increasing soil nutrient availability in the heathland sites. The infestation of two large populations of G. pilosa with the pre-dispersal, seed-predating weevil Apion compactum had no significant effect on

  17. Parthenium weed (Parthenium hysterophorus L.) and climate change: the effect of CO2 concentration, temperature, and water deficit on growth and reproduction of two biotypes.

    PubMed

    Nguyen, Thi; Bajwa, Ali Ahsan; Navie, Sheldon; O'Donnell, Chris; Adkins, Steve

    2017-03-11

    Climate change will have a considerable impact upon the processes that moderate weed invasion, in particular to that of parthenium weed (Parthenium hysterophorus L.). This study evaluated the performance of two Australian biotypes of parthenium weed under a range of environmental conditions including soil moisture (100 and 50% of field capacity), atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration (390 and 550 ppm), and temperature (35/20 and 30/15 °C/day/night). Measurements were taken upon growth, reproductive output, seed biology (fill, viability and dormancy) and soil seed longevity. Parthenium weed growth and seed output were significantly increased under the elevated CO2 concentration (550 ppm) and in the cooler (30/15 °C) and wetter (field capacity) conditions. However, elevated CO2 concentration could not promote growth or seed output when the plants were grown under the warmer (35/20 °C) and wetter conditions. Warm temperatures accelerated the growth of parthenium weed, producing plants with greater height biomass but with a shorter life span. Warm temperatures also affected the reproductive output by promoting both seed production and fill, and promoting seed longevity. Dryer soil conditions (50% of field capacity) also promoted the reproductive output, but did not retain high seed fill or promote seed longevity. Therefore, the rising temperatures, the increased atmospheric CO2 concentration and the longer periods of drought predicted under climate change scenarios are likely to substantially enhance the growth and reproductive output of these two Australian parthenium weed biotypes. This may facilitate the further invasion of this noxious weed in tropical and sub-tropical natural and agro-ecosystems.

  18. Serial Input Output

    SciTech Connect

    Waite, Anthony; /SLAC

    2011-09-07

    Serial Input/Output (SIO) is designed to be a long term storage format of a sophistication somewhere between simple ASCII files and the techniques provided by inter alia Objectivity and Root. The former tend to be low density, information lossy (floating point numbers lose precision) and inflexible. The latter require abstract descriptions of the data with all that that implies in terms of extra complexity. The basic building blocks of SIO are streams, records and blocks. Streams provide the connections between the program and files. The user can define an arbitrary list of streams as required. A given stream must be opened for either reading or writing. SIO does not support read/write streams. If a stream is closed during the execution of a program, it can be reopened in either read or write mode to the same or a different file. Records represent a coherent grouping of data. Records consist of a collection of blocks (see next paragraph). The user can define a variety of records (headers, events, error logs, etc.) and request that any of them be written to any stream. When SIO reads a file, it first decodes the record name and if that record has been defined and unpacking has been requested for it, SIO proceeds to unpack the blocks. Blocks are user provided objects which do the real work of reading/writing the data. The user is responsible for writing the code for these blocks and for identifying these blocks to SIO at run time. To write a collection of blocks, the user must first connect them to a record. The record can then be written to a stream as described above. Note that the same block can be connected to many different records. When SIO reads a record, it scans through the blocks written and calls the corresponding block object (if it has been defined) to decode it. Undefined blocks are skipped. Each of these categories (streams, records and blocks) have some characteristics in common. Every stream, record and block has a name with the condition that each

  19. CMOS output buffer wave shaper

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Albertson, L.; Whitaker, S.; Merrell, R.

    1990-01-01

    As the switching speeds and densities of Digital CMOS integrated circuits continue to increase, output switching noise becomes more of a problem. A design technique which aids in the reduction of switching noise is reported. The output driver stage is analyzed through the use of an equivalent RLC circuit. The results of the analysis are used in the design of an output driver stage. A test circuit based on these techniques is being submitted to MOSIS for fabrication.

  20. Inverter communications using output signal

    DOEpatents

    Chapman, Patrick L.

    2017-02-07

    Technologies for communicating information from an inverter configured for the conversion of direct current (DC) power generated from an alternative source to alternating current (AC) power are disclosed. The technologies include determining information to be transmitted from the inverter over a power line cable connected to the inverter and controlling the operation of an output converter of the inverter as a function of the information to be transmitted to cause the output converter to generate an output waveform having the information modulated thereon.

  1. Gender, sexual health and reproductive health promotion.

    PubMed

    Moeti, M R

    1995-01-01

    The underlying factors of poverty, migration, marginalization, lack of information and skills, disempowerment, and poor access to services which affect HIV/STD risk are also closely related to those which affect sexual and reproductive health. Reproductive health problems include unplanned and unwanted pregnancies, unsafe abortions, pregnancy-related illness and death, and STDs including HIV/AIDS. This interrelationship between factors is leading increasingly to the integration of HIV/STD education and prevention within the broader framework of sexual and reproductive health promotion. Such intervention allows the possible reinforcement of the impact of interventions upon important underlying factors and behaviors linked to individual, family, and community vulnerability to HIV/STDs as well as other reproductive health problems. Integration will also optimize the use of increasingly scarce resources and increase the likelihood of responses, interventions, and programs being sustainable. Sexual and reproductive health, placing HIV/STD prevention into context, and focus upon men are discussed.

  2. Power-output regularization in global sound equalization.

    PubMed

    Stefanakis, Nick; Sarris, John; Cambourakis, George; Jacobsen, Finn

    2008-01-01

    The purpose of equalization in room acoustics is to compensate for the undesired modification that an enclosure introduces to signals such as audio or speech. In this work, equalization in a large part of the volume of a room is addressed. The multiple point method is employed with an acoustic power-output penalty term instead of the traditional quadratic source effort penalty term. Simulation results demonstrate that this technique gives a smoother decline of the reproduction performance away from the control points.

  3. Male Reproductive System

    MedlinePlus

    ... Old Feeding Your 1- to 2-Year-Old Male Reproductive System KidsHealth > For Parents > Male Reproductive System Print A ... understand your son's reproductive health. continue About the Male Reproductive System Most species have two sexes: male and female. ...

  4. Coral reproduction in Western Australia

    PubMed Central

    Speed, Conrad W.; Babcock, Russ

    2016-01-01

    the full moon. The timing of the full moon determined whether spawning was split over two months, which was common on tropical reefs. There were few data available for non-Acropora corals, which may have different patterns of reproduction. For example, the massive Porites seemed to spawn through spring to autumn on Kimberley Oceanic reefs and during summer in the Pilbara region, where other common corals (e.g. Turbinaria & Pavona) also displayed different patterns of reproduction to the Acropora. The brooding corals (Isopora & Seriatopora) on Kimberley Oceanic reefs appeared to planulate during many months, possibly with peaks from spring to autumn; a similar pattern is likely on other WA reefs. Gaps in knowledge were also due to the difficulty in identifying species and issues with methodology. We briefly discuss some of these issues and suggest an approach to quantifying variation in reproductive output throughout a year. PMID:27231651

  5. Coral reproduction in Western Australia.

    PubMed

    Gilmour, James; Speed, Conrad W; Babcock, Russ

    2016-01-01

    full moon. The timing of the full moon determined whether spawning was split over two months, which was common on tropical reefs. There were few data available for non-Acropora corals, which may have different patterns of reproduction. For example, the massive Porites seemed to spawn through spring to autumn on Kimberley Oceanic reefs and during summer in the Pilbara region, where other common corals (e.g. Turbinaria & Pavona) also displayed different patterns of reproduction to the Acropora. The brooding corals (Isopora & Seriatopora) on Kimberley Oceanic reefs appeared to planulate during many months, possibly with peaks from spring to autumn; a similar pattern is likely on other WA reefs. Gaps in knowledge were also due to the difficulty in identifying species and issues with methodology. We briefly discuss some of these issues and suggest an approach to quantifying variation in reproductive output throughout a year.

  6. Reproduction in the space environment: Part I. Animal reproductive studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Santy, P. A.; Jennings, R. T.; Craigie, D.

    1990-01-01

    Mankind's exploration and colonization of the frontier of space will ultimately depend on men's and women's ability to live, work, and reproduce in the space environment. This paper reviews animal studies, from microorganisms to mammals, done in space or under space-simulated conditions, which identify some of the key areas which might interfere with human reproductive physiology and/or embryonic development. Those space environmental factors which impacted almost all species included: microgravity, artificial gravity, radiation, and closed life support systems. These factors may act independently and in combination to produce their effects. To date, there have been no studies which have looked at the entire process of reproduction in any animal species. This type of investigation will be critical in understanding and preventing the problems which will affect human reproduction. Part II will discuss these problems directly as they relate to human physiology.

  7. Reproductive Medicine in Amphibians.

    PubMed

    Chai, Norin

    2017-02-04

    Reproduction of amphibians includes ovulation, spermiation, fertilization, oviposition, larval stage and development, and metamorphosis. A problem at any stage could lead to reproductive failure. To stimulate reproduction, environmental conditions must be arranged to simulate changes in natural habits. Reproductive life history is well documented in amphibians; a thorough knowledge of this subject will aid the practitioner in diagnosis and treatment. Technologies for artificial reproduction are developing rapidly, and some protocols may be transferable to privately kept or endangered species. Reproductive tract disorders are rarely described; no bacterial or viral diseases are known that specifically target the amphibian reproductive system.

  8. Farm labor, reproductive justice: Migrant women farmworkers in the US.

    PubMed

    Galarneau, Charlene

    2013-06-12

    Little is known about the reproductive health of women migrant farmworkers in the US. The health and rights of these workers are advanced by fundamental human rights principles that are sometimes conceptually and operationally siloed into three approaches: reproductive health, reproductive rights, and reproductive justice. I focus on the latter framework, as it lends critical attention to the structural oppression central to poor reproductive health, as well as to the agency of communities organizing and leading efforts to improve their health. I review what is known about these women's reproductive health; identify three realms of reproduction oppression affecting their reproductive health: labor/occupational conditions, health care, and social relations involving race, immigration and fertility; and then highlight some current efforts at women farmworker-directed change. Finally, I make several analytical observations that suggest the importance of the reproductive justice framework to broader discussions of migrant worker justice and its role in realizing their right to health.

  9. Reproductive Issues in Women with Turner Syndrome.

    PubMed

    Folsom, Lisal J; Fuqua, John S

    2015-12-01

    Turner syndrome is one of the most common chromosomal abnormalities affecting female infants. The severity of clinical manifestations varies and it affects multiple organ systems. Women with Turner syndrome have a 3-fold increase in mortality, which becomes even more pronounced in pregnancy. Reproductive options include adoption or surrogacy, assisted reproductive techniques, and in rare cases spontaneous pregnancy. Risks for women with Turner syndrome during pregnancy include aortic disorders, hepatic disease, thyroid disease, type 2 diabetes, and cesarean section delivery. Providers must be familiar with the risks and recommendations in caring for women with Turner syndrome of reproductive age.

  10. First- and second-order sociality determine survival and reproduction in cooperative cichlids

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Cooperative breeders serve as a model to study the evolution of cooperation, where costs and benefits of helping are typically scrutinized at the level of group membership. However, cooperation is often observed in multi-level social organizations involving interactions among individuals at various levels. Here, we argue that a full understanding of the adaptive value of cooperation and the evolution of complex social organization requires identifying the effect of different levels of social organization on direct and indirect fitness components. Our long-term field data show that in the cooperatively breeding, colonial cichlid fish Neolamprologus pulcher, both large group size and high colony density significantly raised group persistence. Neither group size nor density affected survival at the individual level, but they had interactive effects on reproductive output; large group size raised productivity when local population density was low, whereas in contrast, small groups were more productive at high densities. Fitness estimates of individually marked fish revealed indirect fitness benefits associated with staying in large groups. Inclusive fitness, however, was not significantly affected by group size, because the direct fitness component was not increased in larger groups. Together, our findings highlight that the reproductive output of groups may be affected in opposite directions by different levels of sociality, and that complex forms of sociality and costly cooperation may evolve in the absence of large indirect fitness benefits and the influence of kin selection. PMID:26582022

  11. First- and second-order sociality determine survival and reproduction in cooperative cichlids.

    PubMed

    Jungwirth, Arne; Taborsky, Michael

    2015-11-22

    Cooperative breeders serve as a model to study the evolution of cooperation, where costs and benefits of helping are typically scrutinized at the level of group membership. However, cooperation is often observed in multi-level social organizations involving interactions among individuals at various levels. Here, we argue that a full understanding of the adaptive value of cooperation and the evolution of complex social organization requires identifying the effect of different levels of social organization on direct and indirect fitness components. Our long-term field data show that in the cooperatively breeding, colonial cichlid fish Neolamprologus pulcher, both large group size and high colony density significantly raised group persistence. Neither group size nor density affected survival at the individual level, but they had interactive effects on reproductive output; large group size raised productivity when local population density was low, whereas in contrast, small groups were more productive at high densities. Fitness estimates of individually marked fish revealed indirect fitness benefits associated with staying in large groups. Inclusive fitness, however, was not significantly affected by group size, because the direct fitness component was not increased in larger groups. Together, our findings highlight that the reproductive output of groups may be affected in opposite directions by different levels of sociality, and that complex forms of sociality and costly cooperation may evolve in the absence of large indirect fitness benefits and the influence of kin selection.

  12. Reproductive Disorders in Snakes.

    PubMed

    Di Girolamo, Nicola; Selleri, Paolo

    2017-05-01

    Reproduction of snakes is one of the challenging aspects of herpetology medicine. Due to the complexity of reproduction, several disorders may present before, during, or after this process. This article describes the physical examination, and radiographic, ultrasonographic, and endoscopic findings associated with reproductive disorders in snakes. Surgical techniques used to resolve reproductive disorders in snakes are described. Finally, common reproductive disorders in snakes are individually discussed.

  13. Reproductive toxicity: Male and female reproductive systems as targets for chemical injury

    SciTech Connect

    Mattison, D.R.; Plowchalk, D.R.; Meadows, M.J.; Al-Juburi, A.Z.; Gandy, J.; Malek, A. )

    1990-03-01

    On the basis of current knowledge of reproductive biology and toxicology, it is apparent that chemicals affecting reproduction may elicit their effects at a number of sites in both the male and the female reproductive system. This multiplicity of targets is attributable to the dynamic nature of the reproductive system, in which the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis is controlled by precise positive and negative feedback mechanisms among its components. Interference by a xenobiotic at any level in either the male or the female reproductive system may ultimately impair hypothalamic or pituitary function. Normal gonadal processes such as spermatogenesis or oogenesis, ejaculation or ovulation, hormone production by Leydig or granulosa cells, and the structure or function of the accessory reproductive structures (e.g., epididymis, fallopian tube) also appear vulnerable to xenobiotics. The reproductive system is a complex one that requires local and circulating hormones for control. This brief review illustrates a system for characterizing the mechanism of action of reproductive toxicants, as well as for defining the sites available for disruption of reproduction. Unfortunately, at present, data addressing the actual vulnerability of reproduction are sorely lacking. However, when experiments have been conducted and combined with epidemiologic data or clinical observation, it has been possible to demonstrate impairment of reproductive processes by xenobiotics. The role of environmental exposure to xenobiotics in the increase in infertility that has been observed remains to be defined. 87 references.

  14. Collector-Output Analysis Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Glandorf, D. R.; Phillips, Robert F., II

    1986-01-01

    Collector-Output Analysis Program (COAP) programmer's aid for analyzing output produced by UNIVAC collector (MAP processor). COAP developed to aid in design of segmentation structures for programs with large memory requirements and numerous elements but of value in understanding relationships among components of any program. Crossreference indexes and supplemental information produced. COAP written in FORTRAN 77.

  15. Enhanced performance CCD output amplifier

    DOEpatents

    Dunham, Mark E.; Morley, David W.

    1996-01-01

    A low-noise FET amplifier is connected to amplify output charge from a che coupled device (CCD). The FET has its gate connected to the CCD in common source configuration for receiving the output charge signal from the CCD and output an intermediate signal at a drain of the FET. An intermediate amplifier is connected to the drain of the FET for receiving the intermediate signal and outputting a low-noise signal functionally related to the output charge signal from the CCD. The amplifier is preferably connected as a virtual ground to the FET drain. The inherent shunt capacitance of the FET is selected to be at least equal to the sum of the remaining capacitances.

  16. Output from MHD Models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vlahakis, Nektarios

    2010-03-01

    Outflows emanating from the environment of stellar or galactic objects are a widespread phenomenon in astrophysics. Their morphology ranges from nearly spherically symmetric winds to highly collimated jets. In some cases, e.g., in jets associated with young stellar objects, the bulk outflow speeds are nonrelativistic, while in others, e.g., in jets associated with active galactic nuclei or gamma-ray bursts, it can even be highly relativistic. The main driving mechanism of collimated outflows is likely related to magnetic fields. These fields are able to tap the rotational energy of the compact object or disk, accelerate, and collimate matter ejecta. To zeroth order these outflows can be described by the highly intractable theory of magnetohydrodynamics (MHD). Even in systems where the assumptions of zero resistivity (ideal MHD), steady state, axisymmetry, one fluid description, and polytropic equation of state are applicable, the problem remains difficult. In this case the problem reduces to only two equations, corresponding to the two components of the momentum equation along the flow and in the direction perpendicular to the magnetic field (transfield direction). The latter equation is the most difficult to solve, but also the most important. It answers the question on the degree of the collimation, but also crucially affects the solution of the first, the acceleration efficiency and the bulk velocity of the flow. The first and second parts of this chapter refer to nonrelativistic and relativistic flows, respectively. These Parts can be read independently. In each one, the governing equations are presented and discussed, focusing on the case of flows that are magnetically dominated near the central source. The general characteristics of the solutions in relation to the acceleration and collimation mechanisms are analyzed. As specific examples of exact solutions of the full system of the MHD equations that satisfy all the analyzed general characteristics, self

  17. Negative impacts of a vertebrate predator on insect pollinator visitation and seed output in Chuquiraga oppositifolia, a high Andean shrub.

    PubMed

    Muñoz, Alejandro A; Arroyo, Mary T K

    2004-01-01

    Studies on plant-pollinator interactions have largely neglected the potential negative effects of the predators of pollinators on seed output, even though anti-predatory behaviour of pollinators may affect visitation patterns, pollen transfer, and therefore potentially, plant reproductive output. We tested the hypothesis that the presence of lizards and insectivorous birds, by reducing pollinator visitation, can have significant negative effects on seed output in the insect-pollinated, genetically self-incompatible lower alpine Andean shrub, Chuquiraga oppositifolia (Asteraceae). The lower alpine belt supports a high density of territorial Liolaemus (Tropiduridae) lizards and low shrubs interspersed among rocks of varying sizes, the latter inhabited by lizards and commonly used by flycatchers Muscisaxicola (Tyrannidae) as perching sites. In a 2x2 factorial predator-exclusion experiment, visitation rates of the most frequent pollinators of C. oppositifolia (the satyrid butterfly Cosmosatyrus chilensis and the syrphid fly Scaeva melanostoma), the duration of pollinator visits, and seed output, were 2-4 times greater when lizards were excluded, while birds had no effect. In a natural experiment, visits by S. melanostoma were 9 times shorter, and pollinator visitation rates of C. chilensis and S. melanostoma, and C. oppositifolia seed output were 2-3 times lower on shrubs growing adjacent to lizard-occupied rocks compared to those growing distant from rocks. Our results, verified for additional Andean sites, suggest that lizard predators can alter the behaviour of pollinators and elicit strong top-down indirect negative effects on seed output. Such effects may be especially important in high alpine plant communities, where pollinator activity can be low and erratic, and pollen limitation has been reported.

  18. Free radicals and male reproduction.

    PubMed

    Agarwal, Ashok; Allamaneni, Shyam S R

    2011-03-01

    Male factor accounts for almost 50% cases of infertility. The exact mechanism of sperm dysfunction is not known in many cases. Extensive research in the last decade has led to the identification of free radicals (reactive oxygen species) as mediators of sperm dysfunction in both specific diagnoses and idiopathic cases of male infertility. Elevated levels of reactive oxygen species are seen in up to 30-80% of men with male infertility. The role of free radicals has been studied extensively in the process of human reproduction. We know now that a certain level of free radicals is necessary for normal sperm function, whereas an excessive level of free radicals can cause detrimental effect on sperm function and subsequent fertilisation and offspring health. Oxidative stress develops when there is an imbalance between generation of free radicals and scavenging capacity of anti-oxidants in reproductive tract. Oxidative stress has been shown to affect both standard semen parameters and fertilising capacity. In addition, high levels of free radicals have been associated with lack of or poor fertility outcome after natural conception or assisted reproduction. Diagnostic techniques to quantify free radicals in infertile patients can assist physicians treating patients with infertility to plan for proper treatment strategies. In vivo anti-oxidants can be used against oxidative stress in male reproductive tract. Supplementation of in vitro anti-oxidants can help prevent the oxidative stress during sperm preparation techniques in assisted reproduction.

  19. Life-history tradeoffs and reproductive cycles in Spotted Owls

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stoelting, Ricka E.; Gutierrez, R.J.; Kendall, William; Peery, M. Zachariah

    2015-01-01

    The study of tradeoffs among life-history traits has long been key to understanding the evolution of life-history strategies. However, more recently, evolutionary ecologists have realized that reproductive costs have the potential to influence population dynamics. Here, we tested for costs of reproduction in the California Spotted Owl (Strix occidentalis occidentalis), and assessed whether costs of reproduction in year t − 1 on reproduction in year t could be responsible for regionally synchronized biennial cycles in reproductive output. Logistic regression analysis and multistate mark–recapture models with state uncertainty revealed that breeding reduced the likelihood of reproducing in the subsequent year by 16% to 38%, but had no influence on subsequent survival. We also found that costs of reproduction in year t − 1 were correlated with climatic conditions in year t, with evidence of higher costs during the dry phase of the El Niño–Southern Oscillation. Using a simulation-based population model, we showed that strong reproductive costs had the potential to create biennial cycles in population-level reproductive output; however, estimated costs of reproduction appeared to be too small to explain patterns observed in Spotted Owls. In the absence of strong reproductive costs, we hypothesize that observed natural cycles in the reproductive output of Spotted Owls are related to as-yet-unmeasured, regionally concordant fluctuations in environmental conditions or prey resources. Despite theoretical evidence for demographic effects, our analyses illustrate that linking tradeoffs to actual changes in population processes will be challenging because of the potential confounding effects of individual and environmental variation.

  20. Multi-output differential technologies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bidare, Srinivas R.

    1997-01-01

    A differential is a very old and proven mechanical device that allows a single input to be split into two outputs having equal torque irrespective of the output speeds. A standard differential is capable of providing only two outputs from a single input. A recently patented multi-output differential technology known as `Plural-Output Differential' allows a single input to be split into many outputs. This new technology is the outcome of a systematic study of complex gear trains (Bidare 1992). The unique feature of a differential (equal torque at different speeds) can be applied to simplify the construction and operation of many complex mechanical devices that require equal torque's or forces at multiple outputs. It is now possible to design a mechanical hand with three or more fingers with equal torque. Since these finger are powered via a differential they are `mechanically intelligent'. A prototype device is operational and has been used to demonstrate the utility and flexibility of the design. In this paper we shall review two devices that utilize the new technology resulting in increased performance, robustness with reduced complexity and cost.

  1. Ejaculate components delay reproductive senescence while elevating female reproductive rate in an insect.

    PubMed

    Reinhardt, Klaus; Naylor, Richard A; Siva-Jothy, Michael T

    2009-12-22

    Increased female reproductive rates usually result in accelerated senescence. This correlation provides a link between the evolutionary conflict of the sexes and aging when ejaculate components elevate female reproductive rates at the cost of future reproduction. It is not clear whether this female cost is manifest as shorter lifespan or an earlier onset or a steeper rate of reproductive senescence. It also is unclear whether beneficial ejaculates release females from reproductive trade-offs and, if so, which senescence parameters are affected. We examined these issues in the bedbug, Cimex lectularius, a long-lived insect that shows reduced female lifespan as well as female reproductive senescence at the male-determined mating frequency. We demonstrate experimentally that, independently of the mating frequency, females receiving more ejaculate show increased reproductive rates and enter reproductive senescence later than females receiving less ejaculate. The rate of reproductive senescence did not differ between treatments, and reproductive rates did not predict mortality. The ejaculate effects were consistent in inter- and intra-population crosses, suggesting they have not evolved recently and are not caused by inbreeding. Our results suggest that ejaculate components compensate for the costs of elevated female reproductive rates in bedbugs by delaying the onset of reproductive senescence. Ejaculate components that are beneficial to polyandrous females could have arisen because male traits that protect the ejaculate have positive pleiotropic effects and/or because female counteradaptations to antagonistic male traits exceed the neutralization of those traits. That males influence female reproductive senescence has important consequences for trade-offs between reproduction and longevity and for studies of somatic senescence.

  2. Human reproduction: current status.

    PubMed

    Izzo, Carlos Roberto; Monteleone, Pedro Augusto Araújo; Serafini, Paulo C

    2015-01-01

    The concern about the maintenance of the human species has existed since the earliest civilizations. Progress in the diagnosis and treatment of infertility has led to the development of assisted reproductive techniques (ART) which, along with the evolution of genetics and molecular biology studies, have contributed in a concrete way to the management of infertile couples. Classic in vitro fertilization was initially developed 35 years ago for the treatment of women with tubal blockage, however, it remains inaccessible to a significant proportion of infertile couples around the world. This can be explained by the lack of specialized clinics in some countries and by the high cost of the procedures. Efforts have been employed to increase the number of treatment cycles for assisted reproduction, as for example, the creation of low-cost programs. Even today, infertility remains a problem of global proportions, affecting millions of couples. The estimate of the incidence of infertility is uncertain, mainly because of the criteria used for its definition. This article aims to review the most important aspects, succinctly, regarding the incidence, etiology, and treatment options available to infertile couples.

  3. Disorders of reproduction.

    PubMed

    Sweeney, Anne; del Junco, Deborah

    2011-01-01

    This chapter focuses on biomarkers of reproductive health and disease that have been developed in the past 15 years. Due to the gender- and age-dependency of most of the advances in measuring reproductive health status and outcomes, these biomarkers have been categorized with respect to the unique member of the reproductive triad of interest (i.e. mother, father, conceptus). Biomarkers of female and male puberty, female reproductive function, fetal and infant development, and male reproductive function are discussed. The strengths and limitations of developing and implementing biomarkers in reproductive health studies over the past decade are explored.

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-09-01

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

  5. The predicted influence of climate change on lesser prairie-chicken reproductive parameters

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grisham, Blake A.; Boal, Clint W.; Haukos, David A.; Davis, D.; Boydston, Kathy K.; Dixon, Charles; Heck, Willard R.

    2013-01-01

    The Southern High Plains is anticipated to experience significant changes in temperature and precipitation due to climate change. These changes may influence the lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) in positive or negative ways. We assessed the potential changes in clutch size, incubation start date, and nest survival for lesser prairie-chickens for the years 2050 and 2080 based on modeled predictions of climate change and reproductive data for lesser prairie-chickens from 2001-2011 on the Southern High Plains of Texas and New Mexico. We developed 9 a priori models to assess the relationship between reproductive parameters and biologically relevant weather conditions. We selected weather variable(s) with the most model support and then obtained future predicted values from climatewizard.org. We conducted 1,000 simulations using each reproductive parameter's linear equation obtained from regression calculations, and the future predicted value for each weather variable to predict future reproductive parameter values for lesser prairie-chickens. There was a high degree of model uncertainty for each reproductive value. Winter temperature had the greatest effect size for all three parameters, suggesting a negative relationship between above-average winter temperature and reproductive output. The above-average winter temperatures are correlated to La Nina events, which negatively affect lesser prairie-chickens through resulting drought conditions. By 2050 and 2080, nest survival was predicted to be below levels considered viable for population persistence; however, our assessment did not consider annual survival of adults, chick survival, or the positive benefit of habitat management and conservation, which may ultimately offset the potentially negative effect of drought on nest survival.

  6. Output optics for laser velocimeters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lynch, Dana H. (Inventor); Gunter, William D. (Inventor); Mcalister, Kenneth W. (Inventor)

    1993-01-01

    Space savings are effected in the optical output system of a laser velocimeter. The output system is comprised of pairs of optical fibers having output ends from which a beam of laser light emerges, a transfer lens for each light beam, and at least one final (LV) lens for receiving the light passing through the transfer lenses and for focussing that light at a common crossing point or area. In order to closely couple the transfer lenses to the final lens, each transfer lens is positioned relative to the final lens receiving light therefrom such that the output waist of the corresponding beam received by the final lens from the transfer lens is a virtual waist located before the transfer lens.

  7. Research on output feedback control

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Calise, Anthony J.

    1988-01-01

    A summary is presented of the main results obtained during the course of research on output feedback control. The term output feedback is used to denote a controller design approach which does not rely on an observer to estimate the states of the system. Thus, the order of the controller is fixed, and can even be zero order, which amounts to constant gain ouput feedback. The emphasis has been on optimal output feedback. That is, a fixed order controller is designed based on minimizing a suitably chosen quadratic performance index. A number of problem areas that arise in this context have been addressed. These include developing suitable methods for selecting an index of performance, both time domain and frequency domain methods for achieving robustness of the closed loop system, developing canonical forms to achieve a minimal parameterization for the controller, two time scale design formulations for ill-conditioned systems, and the development of convergent numerical algorithms for solving the output feedback problem.

  8. Cardiac output after burn injury.

    PubMed Central

    Porter, J. M.; Shakespeare, P. G.

    1984-01-01

    Cardiac output after burn injury has been measured by the non-invasive method of impedance plethysmography. An initial study of 143 normal subjects was undertaken in order to investigate variations in cardiac output with age. Fifteen patients were monitored during resuscitation after extensive burns. Fourteen patients showed a depression of stroke volume below the lower limits of the normal range, derived from the initial study on normal people. PMID:6691694

  9. Quantifying the effects of pesticide exposure on annual reproductive success of birds.

    PubMed

    Etterson, Matthew A; Bennett, Richard S

    2013-10-01

    The Markov chain nest productivity model (MCnest) was developed for quantifying the effects of specific pesticide-use scenarios on the annual reproductive success of simulated populations of birds. Each nesting attempt is divided into a series of discrete phases (e.g., egg laying, incubation, nestling rearing), and results from avian toxicity tests are used to represent the types of effects possible in the field during each breeding phase. The expected exposure dose each day throughout the breeding season can be compared to the toxicity thresholds assigned to each breeding phase to determine whether the nest attempt is at risk. The primary output of the model is an estimate of the number of successful nest attempts per female per year, which is multiplied by the number of fledglings per successful nest to estimate the number of fledglings per female per breeding season (i.e., annual reproductive success). In this article, we present a series of MCnest simulations to demonstrate the extent to which the magnitude of change in annual reproductive success can be affected by considering life history attributes and the timing of pesticide applications relative to a species' typical breeding phenology. For a given pesticide-use scenario, MCnest can identify which species are at greatest risk. By allowing multiple species to be run under a single scenario, it can also help to identify the life-history traits that contribute to a species' vulnerability to a given pesticide-use scenario. It also can determine which application dates have the greatest impact and demonstrate the extent to which pesticide characteristics (e.g., residue half-life, mode of action) affect productivity. MCnest goes beyond the current qualitative screening-level assessments of risks to avian reproduction to provide an approach for quantifying the reduction in annual reproductive success by integrating species life history and timing of pesticide exposures, despite limitations in existing information

  10. Male reproductive proteins and reproductive outcomes.

    PubMed

    Ness, Roberta B; Grainger, David A

    2008-06-01

    Male reproductive proteins (MRPs), associated with sperm and semen, are the moieties responsible for carrying male genes into the next generation. Evolutionary biologists have focused on their capacity to control conception. Immunologists have shown that MRPs cause female genital tract inflammation as preparatory for embryo implantation and placentation. These observations argue that MRPs are critically important to reproductive success. Yet the impact of male reproductive proteins on obstetrical outcomes in women is largely unstudied. Epidemiologic and clinical observations suggest that shorter-duration exposure to MRPs prior to conception may elevate the risk for preeclampsia. A limited literature has also linked sexual behavior to bacterial vaginosis and preterm birth. We offer a clinical opinion that MRPs may have broad implications for successful reproduction, potentially involved in the composition of vaginal microflora, risks of preterm birth and preeclampsia, and success of assisted reproduction.

  11. Men's Reproductive Health

    MedlinePlus

    ... NICHD Research Information Clinical Trials Resources and Publications Men's Reproductive Health: Overview Skip sharing on social media ... Content Reproductive health is an important component of men's overall health and well-being. Too often, males ...

  12. Female Reproductive System

    MedlinePlus

    ... Ectopic Pregnancy A Week-by-Week Pregnancy Calendar Male Reproductive System Five Things Girls Want to Know About Periods ... Coping With Common Period Problems All About Menstruation Male Reproductive System Everything You Wanted to Know About Puberty Polycystic ...

  13. The effect of atmospheric pressure on ventricular assist device output.

    PubMed

    Goto, Takeshi; Sato, Masaharu; Yamazaki, Akio; Fukuda, Wakako; Watanabe, Ken-Ichi; Daitoku, Kazuyuki; Minakawa, Masahito; Fukui, Kozo; Suzuki, Yasuyuki; Fukuda, Ikuo

    2012-03-01

    The effect of cabin pressure change on the respiratory system during flight is well documented in the literature, but how the change in atmospheric pressure affects ventricular assist device (VAD) output flow has not been studied yet. The purpose of our study was to evaluate the change in VAD output using a mock circulatory system in a low-pressure chamber mimicking high altitude. Changes in output and driving pressure were measured during decompression from 1.0 to 0.7 atm and pressurization from 0.7 to 1.0 atm. Two driving systems were evaluated: the VCT system and the Mobart system. In the VCT system, output and driving pressure remained the same during decompression and pressurization. In the Mobart system, the output decreased as the atmospheric pressure dropped and recovered during pressurization. The lowest output was observed at 0.7 atm, which was 80% of the baseline driven by the Mobart system. Under a practical cabin pressure of 0.8 atm, the output driven by the Mobart system was 90% of the baseline. In the Mobart system, the output decreased as the atmospheric pressure dropped, and recovered during pressurization. However, the decrease in output was slight. In an environment where the atmospheric pressure changes, it is necessary to monitor the diaphragmatic motion of the blood pump and the driving air pressure, and to adjust the systolic:diastolic ratio as well as the positive and negative pressures in a VAD system.

  14. Female Reproductive System

    MedlinePlus

    ... Old Feeding Your 1- to 2-Year-Old Female Reproductive System KidsHealth > For Parents > Female Reproductive System A A ... the egg or sperm. continue Parts of the Female Reproductive System Unlike the male, the human female has a ...

  15. Female Reproductive System (For Teens)

    MedlinePlus

    ... Loss Surgery? A Week of Healthy Breakfasts Shyness Female Reproductive System KidsHealth > For Teens > Female Reproductive System A A ... and female reproductive systems. continue What Is the Female Reproductive System? Most species have two sexes: male and female. ...

  16. Female Reproductive System (For Teens)

    MedlinePlus

    ... Loss Surgery? A Week of Healthy Breakfasts Shyness Female Reproductive System KidsHealth > For Teens > Female Reproductive System Print A ... and female reproductive systems. continue What Is the Female Reproductive System? Most species have two sexes: male and female. ...

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ramula, Satu

    2008-03-01

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

  18. Fitness benefits of prolonged post-reproductive lifespan in women.

    PubMed

    Lahdenperä, Mirkka; Lummaa, Virpi; Helle, Samuli; Tremblay, Marc; Russell, Andrew F

    2004-03-11

    Most animals reproduce until they die, but in humans, females can survive long after ceasing reproduction. In theory, a prolonged post-reproductive lifespan will evolve when females can gain greater fitness by increasing the success of their offspring than by continuing to breed themselves. Although reproductive success is known to decline in old age, it is unknown whether women gain fitness by prolonging lifespan post-reproduction. Using complete multi-generational demographic records, we show that women with a prolonged post-reproductive lifespan have more grandchildren, and hence greater fitness, in pre-modern populations of both Finns and Canadians. This fitness benefit arises because post-reproductive mothers enhance the lifetime reproductive success of their offspring by allowing them to breed earlier, more frequently and more successfully. Finally, the fitness benefits of prolonged lifespan diminish as the reproductive output of offspring declines. This suggests that in female humans, selection for deferred ageing should wane when one's own offspring become post-reproductive and, correspondingly, we show that rates of female mortality accelerate as their offspring terminate reproduction.

  19. Reproductive Disorders and Perinatology of Sea Turtles.

    PubMed

    Spadola, Filippo; Morici, Manuel; Santoro, Mario; Oliveri, Matteo; Insacco, Gianni

    2017-05-01

    Sea turtles' reproductive disorders are underdiagnosed, but potentially, there are several diseases that may affect gonads, genitalia, and annexes. Viruses, bacteria, and parasites may cause countless disorders, but more frequently the cause is traumatic or linked to human activities. Furthermore, veterinary management of the nest is of paramount importance as well as the care of newborns (also in captivity). This article gives an overview on the methods used to manage nests and reproductive activities of these endangered chelonians species.

  20. Genetic and pharmacological factors that influence reproductive aging in nematodes.

    PubMed

    Hughes, Stacie E; Evason, Kimberley; Xiong, Chengjie; Kornfeld, Kerry

    2007-02-16

    Age-related degenerative changes in the reproductive system are an important aspect of aging, because reproductive success is the major determinant of evolutionary fitness. Caenorhabditis elegans is a prominent organism for studies of somatic aging, since many factors that extend adult lifespan have been identified. However, mechanisms that control reproductive aging in nematodes or other animals are not well characterized. To use C. elegans to measure reproductive aging, we analyzed mated hermaphrodites that do not become sperm depleted and monitored the duration and level of progeny production. Mated hermaphrodites display a decline of progeny production that culminates in reproductive cessation before the end of the lifespan, demonstrating that hermaphrodites undergo reproductive aging. To identify factors that influence reproductive aging, we analyzed genetic, environmental, and pharmacological factors that extend lifespan. Dietary restriction and reduced insulin/insulin-like growth factor signaling delayed reproductive aging, indicating that nutritional status and a signaling pathway that responds to environmental stress influence reproductive aging. Cold temperature delayed reproductive aging. The anticonvulsant medicine ethosuximide, which affects neural activity, delayed reproductive aging, indicating that neural activity can influence reproductive aging. Some of these factors decrease early progeny production, but there is no consistent relationship between early progeny production and reproductive aging in strains with an extended lifespan. To directly examine the effects of early progeny production on reproductive aging, we used sperm availability to modulate the level of early reproduction. Early progeny production neither accelerated nor delayed reproductive aging, indicating that reproductive aging is not controlled by use-dependent mechanisms. The implications of these findings for evolutionary theories of aging are discussed.

  1. Quantifying PV power Output Variability

    SciTech Connect

    Hoff, Thomas E.; Perez, Richard

    2010-10-15

    This paper presents a novel approach to rigorously quantify power Output Variability from a fleet of photovoltaic (PV) systems, ranging from a single central station to a set of distributed PV systems. The approach demonstrates that the relative power Output Variability for a fleet of identical PV systems (same size, orientation, and spacing) can be quantified by identifying the number of PV systems and their Dispersion Factor. The Dispersion Factor is a new variable that captures the relationship between PV Fleet configuration, Cloud Transit Speed, and the Time Interval over which variability is evaluated. Results indicate that Relative Output Variability: (1) equals the inverse of the square root of the number of systems for fully dispersed PV systems; and (2) could be further minimized for optimally-spaced PV systems. (author)

  2. Burst Firing Enhances Neural Output Correlation

    PubMed Central

    Chan, Ho Ka; Yang, Dong-Ping; Zhou, Changsong; Nowotny, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    Neurons communicate and transmit information predominantly through spikes. Given that experimentally observed neural spike trains in a variety of brain areas can be highly correlated, it is important to investigate how neurons process correlated inputs. Most previous work in this area studied the problem of correlation transfer analytically by making significant simplifications on neural dynamics. Temporal correlation between inputs that arises from synaptic filtering, for instance, is often ignored when assuming that an input spike can at most generate one output spike. Through numerical simulations of a pair of leaky integrate-and-fire (LIF) neurons receiving correlated inputs, we demonstrate that neurons in the presence of synaptic filtering by slow synapses exhibit strong output correlations. We then show that burst firing plays a central role in enhancing output correlations, which can explain the above-mentioned observation because synaptic filtering induces bursting. The observed changes of correlations are mostly on a long time scale. Our results suggest that other features affecting the prevalence of neural burst firing in biological neurons, e.g., adaptive spiking mechanisms, may play an important role in modulating the overall level of correlations in neural networks. PMID:27242499

  3. Reproductive Resilience to Food Shortage in a Small Heterothermic Primate

    PubMed Central

    Perret, Martine; Henry, Pierre-Yves

    2012-01-01

    The massive energetic costs entailed by reproduction in most mammalian females may increase the vulnerability of reproductive success to food shortage. Unexpected events of unfavorable climatic conditions are expected to rise in frequency and intensity as climate changes. The extent to which physiological flexibility allows organisms to maintain reproductive output constant despite energetic bottlenecks has been poorly investigated. In mammals, reproductive resilience is predicted to be maximal during early stages of reproduction, due to the moderate energetic costs of ovulation and gestation relative to lactation. We experimentally tested the consequences of chronic-moderate and short-acute food shortages on the reproductive output of a small seasonally breeding primate, the grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus) under thermo-neutral conditions. These two food treatments were respectively designed to simulate the energetic constraints imposed by a lean year (40% caloric restriction over eight months) or by a sudden, severe climatic event occurring shortly before reproduction (80% caloric restriction over a month). Grey mouse lemurs evolved under the harsh, unpredictable climate of the dry forest of Madagascar and should thus display great potential for physiological adjustments to energetic bottlenecks. We assessed the resilience of the early stages of reproduction (mating success, fertility, and gestation) to these contrasted food treatments, and on the later stages (lactation and offspring growth) in response to the chronic food shortage only. Food deprived mouse lemurs managed to maintain constant most reproductive parameters, including oestrus timing, estrogenization level at oestrus, mating success, litter size, and litter mass as well as their overall number of surviving offspring at weaning. However, offspring growth was delayed in food restricted mothers. These results suggest that heterothermic, fattening-prone mammals display important reproductive

  4. Reproductive resilience to food shortage in a small heterothermic primate.

    PubMed

    Canale, Cindy I; Huchard, Elise; Perret, Martine; Henry, Pierre-Yves

    2012-01-01

    The massive energetic costs entailed by reproduction in most mammalian females may increase the vulnerability of reproductive success to food shortage. Unexpected events of unfavorable climatic conditions are expected to rise in frequency and intensity as climate changes. The extent to which physiological flexibility allows organisms to maintain reproductive output constant despite energetic bottlenecks has been poorly investigated. In mammals, reproductive resilience is predicted to be maximal during early stages of reproduction, due to the moderate energetic costs of ovulation and gestation relative to lactation. We experimentally tested the consequences of chronic-moderate and short-acute food shortages on the reproductive output of a small seasonally breeding primate, the grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus) under thermo-neutral conditions. These two food treatments were respectively designed to simulate the energetic constraints imposed by a lean year (40% caloric restriction over eight months) or by a sudden, severe climatic event occurring shortly before reproduction (80% caloric restriction over a month). Grey mouse lemurs evolved under the harsh, unpredictable climate of the dry forest of Madagascar and should thus display great potential for physiological adjustments to energetic bottlenecks. We assessed the resilience of the early stages of reproduction (mating success, fertility, and gestation) to these contrasted food treatments, and on the later stages (lactation and offspring growth) in response to the chronic food shortage only. Food deprived mouse lemurs managed to maintain constant most reproductive parameters, including oestrus timing, estrogenization level at oestrus, mating success, litter size, and litter mass as well as their overall number of surviving offspring at weaning. However, offspring growth was delayed in food restricted mothers. These results suggest that heterothermic, fattening-prone mammals display important reproductive

  5. Determinants of reproductive success in dominant female meerkats.

    PubMed

    Hodge, Sarah J; Manica, A; Flower, T P; Clutton-Brock, T H

    2008-01-01

    1. In cooperative societies with high reproductive skew, selection on females is likely to operate principally through variation in the probability of acquiring dominant status and variation in reproductive success while dominant. Despite this, few studies of cooperative societies have investigated the factors that influence which females become dominant, and/or their reproductive output while in the dominant position. 2. Here we use long-term data from a wild meerkats population to describe variation in the breeding success of dominant female meerkats Suricata suricatta and investigate its causes. 3. Female meerkats compete intensely for breeding positions, and the probability of acquiring the breeding role depends upon a female's age in relation to competitors and her weight, both at the time of dominance acquisition and early in life. 4. Once dominant, individual differences in breeding success depend principally on the duration of dominance tenure. Females remain for longer in the dominant position if they are heavier than their competitors at the start of dominance, and if the number of adult female competitors at the start is low. 5. Female breeding success is also affected by variation in fecundity and pup survival, both of which increase with group size. After controlling for these effects, female body weight has a positive influence on breeding rate and litter size, while the number of adult female competitors reduces litter survival. 6. These findings suggest that selection for body weight and competitive ability will be high in female meerkats, which may moderate their investment in cooperative activities. We suggest that similar consequences of competition may occur among females in other cooperative societies where the benefits of attaining dominance status are high.

  6. Reproduction (II): Human Control of Reproductive Processes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jost, Alfred

    1970-01-01

    Describes methods of intervening in reproduction of animals and humans (artificial insemination, contraception, ovular and blastodisc transplants, pre selection of sex, cloning) and discusses the social implications of their use with humans. (AL)

  7. World Input-Output Network

    PubMed Central

    Cerina, Federica; Zhu, Zhen; Chessa, Alessandro; Riccaboni, Massimo

    2015-01-01

    Production systems, traditionally analyzed as almost independent national systems, are increasingly connected on a global scale. Only recently becoming available, the World Input-Output Database (WIOD) is one of the first efforts to construct the global multi-regional input-output (GMRIO) tables. By viewing the world input-output system as an interdependent network where the nodes are the individual industries in different economies and the edges are the monetary goods flows between industries, we analyze respectively the global, regional, and local network properties of the so-called world input-output network (WION) and document its evolution over time. At global level, we find that the industries are highly but asymmetrically connected, which implies that micro shocks can lead to macro fluctuations. At regional level, we find that the world production is still operated nationally or at most regionally as the communities detected are either individual economies or geographically well defined regions. Finally, at local level, for each industry we compare the network-based measures with the traditional methods of backward linkages. We find that the network-based measures such as PageRank centrality and community coreness measure can give valuable insights into identifying the key industries. PMID:26222389

  8. Classroom Interaction and Language Output

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wang, Qiaoying; Castro, Carolyn D.

    2010-01-01

    This study investigates the effects of classroom interactions between a) students and students and b) students and teachers on the learning of English passivization by L1 Chinese adult learners of English as a foreign language during the language input and output treatments. In phase 1, both groups were asked to read and underline the input…

  9. Deciphering the Costs of Reproduction in Mango - Vegetative Growth Matters.

    PubMed

    Capelli, Mathilde; Lauri, Pierre-Éric; Normand, Frédéric

    2016-01-01

    Irregular fruit production across successive years is a major issue that limits the profitability of most temperate and tropical fruit crops. It is particularly affected by the reciprocal relationships between vegetative and reproductive growth. The concept of the costs of reproduction is defined in terms of losses in the potential future reproductive success caused by current investment in reproduction. This concept, developed in ecology and evolutionary biology, could provide a methodological framework to analyze irregular bearing in fruit crops, especially in relation to the spatial scale at which studies are done. The objective of this study was to investigate the direct effects of reproduction during a growing cycle on reproduction during the following growing cycle and the indirect effects through vegetative growth between these two reproductive events, for four mango cultivars and during two growing cycles. Two spatial scales were considered: the growth unit (GU) and the scaffold branch. Costs of reproduction were detected between two successive reproductive events and between reproduction and vegetative growth. These costs were scale-dependent, generally detected at the GU scale and infrequently at the scaffold branch scale, suggesting partial branch autonomy with respect to processes underlying the effects of reproduction on vegetative growth. In contrast, the relationships between vegetative growth and reproduction were positive at the GU scale and at the scaffold branch scale in most cases, suggesting branch autonomy for the processes, mainly local, underlying flowering and fruiting. The negative effect of reproduction on vegetative growth prevailed over the positive effect of vegetative growth on the subsequent reproduction. The costs of reproduction were also cultivar-dependent. Those revealed at the GU scale were related to the bearing behavior of each cultivar. Our results put forward the crucial role of vegetative growth occurring between two

  10. Reproductive success is predicted by social dynamics and kinship in managed animal populations

    PubMed Central

    Newman, Saul J.; Eyre, Simon; Kimble, Catherine H.; Arcos-Burgos, Mauricio; Hogg, Carolyn; Easteal, Simon

    2016-01-01

    Kin and group interactions are important determinants of reproductive success in many species. Their optimization could, therefore, potentially improve the productivity and breeding success of managed populations used for agricultural and conservation purposes. Here we demonstrate this potential using a novel approach to measure and predict the effect of kin and group dynamics on reproductive output in a well-known species, the meerkat Suricata suricatta. Variation in social dynamics predicts 30% of the individual variation in reproductive success of this species in managed populations, and accurately forecasts reproductive output at least two years into the future. Optimization of social dynamics in captive meerkat populations doubles their projected reproductive output. These results demonstrate the utility of a quantitative approach to breeding programs informed by social and kinship dynamics. They suggest that this approach has great potential for improvements in the management of social endangered and agricultural species. PMID:27990255

  11. Reproductive success is predicted by social dynamics and kinship in managed animal populations.

    PubMed

    Newman, Saul J; Eyre, Simon; Kimble, Catherine H; Arcos-Burgos, Mauricio; Hogg, Carolyn; Easteal, Simon

    2016-01-01

    Kin and group interactions are important determinants of reproductive success in many species. Their optimization could, therefore, potentially improve the productivity and breeding success of managed populations used for agricultural and conservation purposes. Here we demonstrate this potential using a novel approach to measure and predict the effect of kin and group dynamics on reproductive output in a well-known species, the meerkat Suricata suricatta. Variation in social dynamics predicts 30% of the individual variation in reproductive success of this species in managed populations, and accurately forecasts reproductive output at least two years into the future. Optimization of social dynamics in captive meerkat populations doubles their projected reproductive output. These results demonstrate the utility of a quantitative approach to breeding programs informed by social and kinship dynamics. They suggest that this approach has great potential for improvements in the management of social endangered and agricultural species.

  12. Sundangrass reproductive biomass responses under climate change scenarios in oak savannah and mesic prairie mesocosm communities

    EPA Science Inventory

    Potential climate change effects include shifts in the distribution of plant species and changes in reproductive output. We tested the hypothesis that environmental stressors such as elevated temperature and drought that are associated with climate change would increase the repr...

  13. [The neuroendocrine regulatory mechanisms of mammalian seasonal reproduction].

    PubMed

    Lai, Ping; Wang, Ping-Qing; Zhang, Bao-Yun; Chu, Ming-Xing; Liu, Chong-Xu; Tan, Ying; Fan, Qi

    2012-03-01

    The seasonal reproduction of mammal means the reproduction experiences an annual period from quiescence to renaissance. Studies have shown that kisspeptin and RFRP play an important role in the reproductive seasonality. The non-breeding season is characterized by an increase in the negative feedback effect of estrogen on GnRH, and this effect is transmitted by kisspeptin neurons, which may be an important factor affecting the reproduction activities. The expression of RFRP depends on melatonin secretion, and shows an apparent inhibition on reproduction in non-breeding season. In addition, thyroid hormones influence termination of the breeding season. Dopaminergic neuron A14/A15 also contributes to the seasonal changes in estrogen negative feedback. These neural systems may synergistically modulate the seasonal changes of reproductive function with the photoperiod. This review makes a systematic expatiation on the relationship between seasonal reproduction and these neural systems.

  14. 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 ...

  15. Reproductive controls and sexual destiny.

    PubMed

    Murphy, Timothy F

    1990-04-01

    Murphy considers the moral implications of the future possibility that certain reproductive technologies could offer the prospect of controlling sexual orientation. He discusses three arguments for and three against prenatal intervention to ensure heterosexual progeny and to avoid homosexual progeny. Interventions would appear to be immoral if motivated by heterosexism, a doctrine asserting the superiority of heterosexuality which Murphy believes is intellectually indefensible in its premises and morally wrong in its consequences. He argues, however, against legally banning the use of interventions to determine sexual orientation because "there are important freedoms to preserve in the domain of reproductive control and because it is not clear that the use of these interventions would adversely affect the interests of existing or future persons."

  16. Variation in pollinator assemblages in a fragmented landscape and its effects on reproductive stages of a self-incompatible treelet, Psychotria suterella (Rubiaceae).

    PubMed

    Lopes, Luciano E; Buzato, Silvana

    2007-11-01

    Few studies of plant-pollinator interactions in fragmented landscapes evaluate the consequences of floral visitor variation on multiple stages of plant reproduction. Given that fragmentation potentially has positive or negative effects on different organisms, and that self-incompatible plant species depend on pollinators for sexual reproduction, differences in floral visitor assemblages may affect certain plant reproductive stages. We evaluated how pollinator assemblage, availability of floral resources, pollination, reproductive output, and seed and seedling performance of Psychotria suterella Muell. Arg. varied among three fragmentation categories: non-fragmented habitats, fragments connected by corridors, and isolated fragments. Richness and frequency of floral visitors were greater in fragments than in non-fragmented sites, resulting mainly from the addition of species typically found in disturbed areas. Although 24 species visited Psychotria suterella flowers, bumblebees were considered the most important pollinators, because they showed the highest frequency of visits and were present in eight out of ten sites. Additionally, the number of pollen tubes per flower per visit was lower in areas without bumblebees. The increased visitation in fragments seemed to enhance pollination slightly. However, fruit and seed output, germination, and seed and seedling mass were similar in non-fragmented sites, connected sites, and isolated fragments. Our results suggested that, even for a self-incompatible species, responses to habitat fragmentation at different stages of plant reproduction might be decoupled from the responses observed in floral visitors, if fruit set is not pollen limited. If all reproductive stages were considered, variation on the small scale was more important than the variation explained by fragmentation category. In spite of its self-incompatible breeding system, this plant-pollinator system showed resilience to habitat fragmentation, mainly as a

  17. Advances in reproductive biotechnologies

    PubMed Central

    Choudhary, K. K.; Kavya, K. M.; Jerome, A.; Sharma, R. K.

    2016-01-01

    In recent times, reproductive biotechnologies have emerged and started to replace the conventional techniques. It is noteworthy that for sustained livestock productivity, it is imperative to start using these techniques for facing the increasing challenges for productivity, reproduction and health with impending environment conditions. These recent biotechniques, both in male and female, have revolutionized and opened avenues for studying and manipulating the reproductive process both in vitro and in vivo in various livestock species for improving tis efficiency. This review attempts to highlight pros and cons, on the recent developments in reproductive biotechnologies, both in male and female in livestock species. PMID:27182135

  18. Microgyroscope with closed loop output

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Challoner, A. Dorian (Inventor); Gutierrez, Roman C. (Inventor); Tang, Tony K. (Inventor); Cargille, Donald R. (Inventor)

    2002-01-01

    A micro-gyroscope (10) having closed loop operation by a control voltage (V.sub.TY), that is demodulated by an output signal of the sense electrodes (S1, S2), providing Coriolis torque rebalance to prevent displacement of the micro-gyroscope (10) on the output axis (y-axis). The present invention provides wide-band, closed-loop operation for a micro-gyroscope (10) and allows the drive frequency to be closely tuned to a high Q sense axis resonance. A differential sense signal (S1-S2) is compensated and fed back by differentially changing the voltage on the drive electrodes to rebalance Coriolis torque. The feedback signal is demodulated in phase with the drive axis signal (K.sub..omega..crclbar..sub.x) to produce a measure of the Coriolis force.

  19. UFO - The Universal FEYNRULES Output

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Degrande, Céline; Duhr, Claude; Fuks, Benjamin; Grellscheid, David; Mattelaer, Olivier; Reiter, Thomas

    2012-06-01

    We present a new model format for automatized matrix-element generators, the so-called Universal FEYNRULES Output (UFO). The format is universal in the sense that it features compatibility with more than one single generator and is designed to be flexible, modular and agnostic of any assumption such as the number of particles or the color and Lorentz structures appearing in the interaction vertices. Unlike other model formats where text files need to be parsed, the information on the model is encoded into a PYTHON module that can easily be linked to other computer codes. We then describe an interface for the MATHEMATICA package FEYNRULES that allows for an automatic output of models in the UFO format.

  20. Research on output feedback control

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Calise, A. J.; Kramer, F. S.

    1985-01-01

    In designing fixed order compensators, an output feedback formulation has been adopted by suitably augmenting the system description to include the compensator states. However, the minimization of the performance index over the range of possible compensator descriptions was impeded due to the nonuniqueness of the compensator transfer function. A controller canonical form of the compensator was chosen to reduce the number of free parameters to its minimal number in the optimization. In the MIMO case, the controller form requires a prespecified set of ascending controllability indices. This constraint on the compensator structure is rather innocuous in relation to the increase in convergence rate of the optimization. Moreover, the controller form is easily relatable to a unique controller transfer function description. This structure of the compensator does not require penalizing the compensator states for a nonzero or coupled solution, a problem that occurs when following a standard output feedback synthesis formulation.

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

    PubMed Central

    Toivonen, Eija; Mutikainen, Pia

    2012-01-01

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

  2. Vocal output in preterm infants.

    PubMed

    Beckwith, L; Sigman, M; Cohen, S E; Parmelee, A H

    1977-11-01

    Data on vocal output of 51 preterm infants and 16 term infants were obtained during naturalistic home observations at 1, 3, and 8 months; during the administration of a preference-for-novelty paradigm in the laboratory at 8 months; and by the administration of the Gesell Developmental Schedules at 9 months. Preterm and term infant groups were found to show both similarities and differences: both groups vocalized a similar amount in the preference-for-novelty situation; both groups earned similar scores on the language subtest of the Gesell; both groups increased the percentage of awake time they spent in nondistress vocalization from 1 to 8 months. Term infants showed an earlier increase than did preterm infants: term infants significantly increased during the 1-3 month period, whereas preterm infants only increased significantly during the 3-8 month period. The developmental differences suggest a link between vocal output and perinatal conditions in that caregiver behavior was not found to be different among groups. Within the preterm groups, some relationships were found between vocal output and later test performance: infants who vocalized more during mutual gazing with the mother earned significantly higher scores on the language subtest of the Gesell.

  3. Reproduction, social behavior, and aging trajectories in honeybee workers.

    PubMed

    Dixon, Luke; Kuster, Ryan; Rueppell, Olav

    2014-02-01

    While a negative correlation between reproduction and life span is commonly observed, specialized reproductive individuals outlive their non-reproductive nestmates in all eusocial species, including the honeybee, Apis mellifera (L). The consequences of reproduction for individual life expectancy can be studied directly by comparing reproductive and non-reproductive workers. We quantified the life span consequences of reproduction in honeybee workers by removal of the queen to trigger worker reproduction. Furthermore, we observed the social behavior of large cohorts of workers under experimental and control conditions to test for associations with individual life expectancy. Worker life expectancy was moderately increased by queen removal. Queenless colonies contained a few long-lived workers, and oviposition behavior was associated with a strong reduction in mortality risk, indicating that a reproductive role confers a significant survival advantage. This finding is further substantiated by an association between brood care behavior and worker longevity that depends on the social environment. In contrast, other in-hive activities, such as fanning, trophallaxis, and allogrooming did not consistently affect worker life expectancy. The influence of foraging varied among replicates. An earlier age of transitioning from in-hive tasks to outside foraging was always associated with shorter life spans, in accordance with previous studies. In sum, our studies quantify how individual mortality is affected by particular social roles and colony environments and demonstrate interactions between the two. The exceptional, positive association between reproduction and longevity in honeybees extends to within-caste plasticity, which may be exploited for mechanistic studies.

  4. Reproductive partitioning and the assumptions of reproductive skew models in the cooperatively breeding American crow

    PubMed Central

    Townsend, Andrea K.; Clark, Anne B.; McGowan, Kevin J.; Lovette, Irby J.

    2009-01-01

    Understanding the benefits of cooperative breeding for group members of different social and demographic classes requires knowledge of their reproductive partitioning and genetic relatedness. From 2004-2007, we examined parentage as a function of relatedness and social interactions among members of 21 American crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) family groups. Paired female breeders monopolized maternity of all offspring in their broods, whereas paired male breeders sired 82.7% of offspring, within-group auxiliary males sired 6.9% of offspring, and extragroup males sired 10.4% of offspring. Although adult females had fewer opportunities for direct reproduction as auxiliaries than males, they appeared to have earlier opportunities for independent breeding. These different opportunities for direct reproduction probably contributed to the male biased adult auxiliary sex ratio. Patterns of reproductive partitioning and conflict among males were most consistent with a synthetic reproductive skew model, in which auxiliaries struggled with breeders for a limited reproductive share, beyond which breeders could evict them. Counter to a frequent assumption of reproductive skew models, female breeders appeared to influence paternity, although their interests might have agreed with the interests of their paired males. Unusual among cooperative breeders, close inbreeding and incest occurred in this population. Incest avoidance between potential breeders did not significantly affect reproductive skew. PMID:20126287

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-01

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

  7. Reproduction, Physiology and Biochemistry

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This chapter focuses on the reproduction, physiology, and biochemistry of the root-knot nematodes. The extensive amount of information on the reproduction and cytogenetics of species of Meloidogyne contrasts with the limited information on physiology, biochemistry, and biochemical pathways. In commo...

  8. Reproductive Physiology of Marsupials

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sharman, G. B.

    1970-01-01

    Describes some unique features of marsupial reproduction which include (1) chromosomal sex determination, (2) reproductive system, (3) birth, (4) location, and (5) embryonic diapause. These features suggest that viviparity evolved separately in eutherian and marsupial stocks after their derivation from a common oviparous ancestor. Bibliography.…

  9. Aerial photographic reproductions

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    ,

    1971-01-01

    Geological Survey vertical aerial photography is obtained primarily for topographic and geologic mapping. Reproductions from this photography are usually satisfactory for general use. Because reproductions are not stocked, but are custom processed for each order, they cannot be returned for credit or refund.

  10. Sexual Reproduction and Breeding

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  11. The Reproduction of Intelligence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Meisenberg, Gerhard

    2010-01-01

    Although a negative relationship between fertility and education has been described consistently in most countries of the world, less is known about the relationship between intelligence and reproductive outcomes. Also the paths through which intelligence influences reproductive outcomes are uncertain. The present study uses the NLSY79 to analyze…

  12. The Effect of Public and Private Competition on High School Outputs in New York State

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Greene, Kenneth, V.; Byung-Goo, Kang

    2004-01-01

    An extensive data set on upstate New York school district is used to test whether competition from private schools and competition within the public school sector positively affect public school output and again whether different types of expenditures affect output differently. It finds generally significant positive effects of private competition…

  13. Dietary supplementation of yucca (Yucca schidigera) affects ovine ovarian functions.

    PubMed

    Vlčková, Radoslava; Sopková, Drahomíra; Andrejčáková, Zuzana; Valocký, Igor; Kádasi, Attila; Harrath, Abdel Halim; Petrilla, Vladimír; Sirotkin, Alexander V

    2017-01-15

    Yucca (Yucca schidigera) is a popular medicinal plant due to its many positive effects on animal and human physiology, including their reproductive systems. To examine the effect of supplemental yucca feeding on sheep reproduction, including ovarian functions and their hormonal regulators, ewes were fed (or not fed, control) yucca powder (1.5 g/head/day, 30 days). Macromorphometric indexes of the oviduct, ovary, and ovarian folliculogenesis were measured. Reproductive hormone levels in the blood were measured using a radioimmunoassay. Granulosa cells were aspirated from the ovary, and their proliferation and apoptosis were detected using immunocytochemistry. To assess secretory activity and its response to gonadotropin, ovarian fragments of treated and control ewes were cultured with and without follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH; 0, 0.1, 1, 10, or 100 IU/mL), and the release of reproductive hormones into the culture medium was evaluated. Finally, to examine the direct action of yucca on the ovary, ovarian fragments from control ewes were cultured with and without yucca extract (1, 10, or 100 μg/mL), and the release of reproductive hormones was measured. Yucca supplementation significantly decreased the size of small antral follicles (2 to <5 mm in diameter), increased accumulation of the apoptosis marker bax, and decreased serum progesterone (P4) and estradiol (E2) levels. It inhibited the release of P4 (but not other hormones), to prevent the stimulatory action of FSH on P4 output and promoted insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) release by fragments cultured with FSH. However, yucca supplementation did not affect the size of larger follicles and number of follicles, volume and weight of ovaries, length and weight of oviducts, caspase 3 accumulation, cell proliferation, testosterone (T) or IGF-I serum levels, or T or E2 release by cultured ovarian fragments and their response to FSH. Yucca addition to culture medium inhibited P4 and IGF-I, but not T or E2

  14. Reproductive value and the cost of reproduction in Daphnia carinata and Echinisca triserialis (crustacea:cladocera) exposed to food and cadmium stress

    SciTech Connect

    Chandini, T. )

    1991-07-01

    Organisms vary in terms of stopping growth and starting to breed. This is an important criterion for fitness. In the struggle for existence, advantage rests with those organisms which are most efficient in utilizing available energy for reproduction. The Reproductive Value (RV) of any organism can be partitioned into reproduction occurring at the present age (m{sub x}) and that occurring in all subsequent classes which is the Residual Reproductive Value (RRV). Under optimal conditions, the reproductive value will be maximized and any deviations from normal reproductive patterns result in energy expenditure by the organisms, reducing their RV. The present study is a laboratory investigation on the effects of food and cadmium stress on the RV and the RRV of the two cladocerans Echinisca triserialis and Daphnia carinata. The present study also attempts to test the cost of reproduction hypothesis' on whether the energy invested by organisms at a particular time in reproduction could affect their future survival and reproduction.

  15. Nutrition and reproduction in women.

    PubMed

    2006-01-01

    Malnutrition is a major problem in developing countries, and obesity and eating disorders are increasingly common in developing as well as developed countries. The reproductive axis is closely linked to nutritional status, especially undernutrition in the female, and inhibitory pathways involving detectors in the hind brain suppress ovulation in subjects with weight loss. Recovery may occur after minimal reacquisition of weight because energy balance is more important than body fat mass. Anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa affect up to 5% of women of reproductive age causing amenorrhoea, infertility and, in those who do conceive, an increased likelihood of miscarriage. Obesity can affect reproduction through fat cell metabolism, steroids and secretion of proteins such as leptin and adiponectin and through changes induced at the level of important homeostatic factors such as pancreatic secretion of insulin, androgen synthesis by the ovary and sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) production by the liver. WHO estimates that 9 to 25% of women in developed countries are severely obese, and obese mothers are much more likely to have obese children, especially if they have gestational diabetes. Obesity-associated anovulation may lead to infertility and to a higher risk of miscarriage. Management of anovulation with obesity involves diet and exercise as well as standard approaches to ovulation induction. Many obese women conceive without assistance, but pregnancies in obese women have increased rates of pregnancy-associated hypertension, gestational diabetes, large babies, Cesarean section and perinatal mortality and morbidity. Among contraceptors, the fear of weight gain affects uptake and continuation of hormonal contraceptives, although existing trials indicate that any such effects are small. For all methods of hormonal contraception, weight above 70 kg is associated with increased failure rates.

  16. Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology

    MedlinePlus

    The Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology PATIENTS Patient Information What Is SART? Risks of IVF Third Party Reproduction A ... Read Article View All News ©1996 - 2016 SART, Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology . All Rights Reserved. ASRM/ ...

  17. Male Reproductive System (For Teens)

    MedlinePlus

    ... gamete, the egg or ovum , meet in the female's reproductive system to create a new individual. Both the male and female reproductive systems are essential for reproduction. Humans, like other organisms, ...

  18. Assessment of Male Reproductive Toxicity##

    EPA Science Inventory

    This review covers all aspects of male reproductive toxicology. It begins with an overview of male reproductive biology and then transitions to the considerations of conducting male reproductive toxicology studies. We discuss multigenerational study as proposed in EPAs harmoniz...

  19. Male Reproductive System (For Teens)

    MedlinePlus

    ... español Sistema reproductor masculino All living things reproduce. Reproduction — the process by which organisms make more organisms ... male and female reproductive systems are essential for reproduction. Humans, like other organisms, pass certain characteristics of ...

  20. [Reproductive aspects of celiac disease].

    PubMed

    Stazi, Anna Velia; Trinti, Biagino

    2005-01-01

    In the past, celiac disease (CD), or intolerance to gluten, was considered a rare disease of infancy characterized by chronic diarrhea with malabsorption and delayed growth. Besides the overt enteropathy, there are other clinic and subclinical forms which appear later in life. Target organs are not limited to the gut, but include liver, thyroid, skin and female and male reproductive systems. CD interference on reproduction is related to the multifactorial nature of the disease, whose pathological manifestations can be modulated, besides gluten, by different concurrent genetic and environmental factors. CD induces malabsorption with consequent deficiencies of micronutrients such as iron, folic acid and vitamin K, which are essential for organogenesis, and fat-soluble vitamins important for spermatogenesis. Regarding endocrine disorders, the deficiencies of specific trace elements on ovarian function could explain its involvement in the increased risk of female osteoporosis in CD patients. Affected males show a picture of tissue resistance to androgens; the increases of follicle-stimulating hormone and prolactin, not associated with infertility, may indicate an imbalance at hypothalamus-pituitary level, with general effects on health. Since reproductive alterations are reversible, adoption of a gluten-free diet supported by early diagnosis is important. Therefore, the detection of early biomarkers, such as deficiencies of vitamins and/or iron and andrological or endocrinological dysfunctions, should trigger timely strategies for prevention and treatment.

  1. Copy number variations related to reproduction traits in Holstein cattle

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Daughter pregnancy rate (DPR) is one of important reproduction traits that affect overall profitability in dairy industry. However, historical selection for production and conformation rather than reproduction has resulted in a decline in cow fertility. Genomic structural variation including copy nu...

  2. Expanding the ecotoxicological toolbox: the inclusion of polychaete reproductive endpoints.

    PubMed

    Lewis, Ceri; Watson, Gordon J

    2012-04-01

    In the last 15 years the diversity of pollutants and routes of impact have increased. However, the polychaete families, species and endpoints investigated have remained fairly constant. Reproductive outputs are more ecologically relevant than adult physiological or biochemical changes. Nevertheless, there remains a paucity of data on the reproductive responses of the popular species to pollutants which limits our ability to understand the true ecological impacts of such contaminants on natural populations. We highlight the current knowledge gaps in our understanding of the impacts of pollutants on the 'model' species' reproductive biology and therefore the potential ecological impacts of such contaminants on their natural populations, and the potential benefits of a wider use of polychaete reproductive endpoints for ecotoxicological assessments. The following priority areas are suggested for inclusion in the polychaete ecotoxicology toolbox: 1. Include reproductive endpoints as assessments of ecotoxicology for the traditional 'model' species and those that have different reproductive traits to ensure broad ecological relevance. 2. Nereids and Arenicola marina should be used to investigate the interaction of pollutants with the endocrine/environmental control of reproduction. 3. Polychaetes are ideal for addressing the under representation of male eco-toxicity effects. 4. Emerging pollutants should be assessed with reproductive endpoints together with the traditional biomarkers. 5. Effects of pollutants on larval behaviour need to be explored considering the limited but equivocal results so far.

  3. Reproductive Physiology in Young Men Is Cumulatively Affected by FSH-Action Modulating Genetic Variants: FSHR -29G/A and c.2039 A/G, FSHB -211G/T

    PubMed Central

    Grigorova, Marina; Punab, Margus; Punab, Anna Maria; Poolamets, Olev; Vihljajev, Vladimir; Žilaitienė, Birutė; Erenpreiss, Juris; Matulevičius, Valentinas; Laan, Maris

    2014-01-01

    Follicle-Stimulating Hormone Receptor (FSHR) -29G/A polymorphism (rs1394205) was reported to modulate gene expression and reproductive parameters in women, but data in men is limited. We aimed to bring evidence to the effect of FSHR -29G/A variants in men. In Baltic young male cohort (n = 982; Estonians, Latvians, Lithuanians; aged 20.2±2.0 years), the FSHR -29 A-allele was significantly associated with higher serum FSH (linear regression: effect 0.27 IU/L; P = 0.0019, resistant to Bonferroni correction for multiple testing) and showed a non-significant trend for association with higher LH (0.19 IU/L) and total testosterone (0.93 nmol/L), but reduced Inhibin B (−7.84 pg/mL) and total testes volume (effect −1.00 mL). Next, we extended the study and tested the effect of FSHR gene haplotypes determined by the allelic combination of FSHR -29G/A and a well-studied variant c.2039 A/G (Asn680Ser, exon 10). Among the FSHR -29A/2039G haplotype carriers (A-Ser; haplotype-based linear regression), this genetic effect was enhanced for FSH (effect 0.40 IU/L), Inhibin B (−16.57 pg/mL) and total testes volume (−2.34 mL). Finally, we estimated the total contribution of three known FSH-action modulating SNPs (FSHB -211G/T; FSHR -29G/A, c.2039 A/G) to phenotypic variance in reproductive parameters among young men. The major FSH-action modulating SNPs explained together 2.3%, 1.4%, 1.0 and 1.1% of the measured variance in serum FSH, Inhibin B, testosterone and total testes volume, respectively. In contrast to the young male cohort, neither FSHR -29G/A nor FSHR haplotypes appeared to systematically modulate the reproductive physiology of oligozoospermic idiopathic infertile patients (n = 641, Estonians; aged 31.5±6.0 years). In summary, this is the first study showing the significant effect of FSHR -29G/A on male serum FSH level. To account for the genetic effect of known common polymorphisms modulating FSH-action, we suggest haplotype-based analysis of FSHR SNPs

  4. Neuropeptidergic regulation of reproduction in insects.

    PubMed

    Van Wielendaele, Pieter; Badisco, Liesbeth; Vanden Broeck, Jozef

    2013-07-01

    Successful animal reproduction depends on multiple physiological and behavioral processes that take place in a timely and orderly manner in both mating partners. It is not only necessary that all relevant processes are well coordinated, they also need to be adjusted to external factors of abiotic and biotic nature (e.g. population density, mating partner availability). Therefore, it is not surprising that several hormonal factors play a crucial role in the regulation of animal reproductive physiology. In insects (the largest class of animals on planet Earth), lipophilic hormones, such as ecdysteroids and juvenile hormones, as well as several neuropeptides take part in this complex regulation. While some peptides can affect reproduction via an indirect action (e.g. by influencing secretion of juvenile hormone), others exert their regulatory activity by directly targeting the reproductive system. In addition to insect peptides with proven activities, several others were suggested to also play a role in the regulation of reproductive physiology. Because of the long evolutionary history of many insect orders, it is not always clear to what extent functional data obtained in a given species can be extrapolated to other insect taxa. In this paper, we will review the current knowledge concerning the neuropeptidergic regulation of insect reproduction and situate it in a more general physiological context.

  5. Resource allocation to reproduction in animals.

    PubMed

    Kooijman, Sebastiaan A L M; Lika, Konstadia

    2014-11-01

    The standard Dynamic Energy Budget (DEB) model assumes that a fraction κ of mobilised reserve is allocated to somatic maintenance plus growth, while the rest is allocated to maturity maintenance plus maturation (in embryos and juveniles) or reproduction (in adults). All DEB parameters have been estimated for 276 animal species from most large phyla and all chordate classes. The goodness of fit is generally excellent. We compared the estimated values of κ with those that would maximise reproduction in fully grown adults with abundant food. Only 13% of these species show a reproduction rate close to the maximum possible (assuming that κ can be controlled), another 4% have κ lower than the optimal value, and 83% have κ higher than the optimal value. Strong empirical support hence exists for the conclusion that reproduction is generally not maximised. We also compared the parameters of the wild chicken with those of races selected for meat and egg production and found that the latter indeed maximise reproduction in terms of κ, while surface-specific assimilation was not affected by selection. We suggest that small values of κ relate to the down-regulation of maximum body size, and large values to the down-regulation of reproduction. We briefly discuss the ecological context for these findings.

  6. Recasts, Language Anxiety, Modified Output, and L2 Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sheen, Younghee

    2008-01-01

    The study reported in this article investigated (a) whether classroom language anxiety affects learners' ability to improve accuracy in their use of English articles when provided with corrective feedback in the form of recasts and (b) whether language anxiety influences the extent to which learners modify output following recasts. Four groups…

  7. Phase inverter provides variable reference push-pull output

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1966-01-01

    Dual-transistor difference amplifier provides a push-pull output referenced to a dc potential which can be varied without affecting the signal levels. The amplifier is coupled with a feedback circuit which can vary the operating points of the transistors by equal amounts to provide the variable reference potentials.

  8. Reproductive strategies in snakes.

    PubMed Central

    Shine, Richard

    2003-01-01

    Snakes of both sexes display remarkable flexibility and diversity in their reproductive tactics. Many features of reproduction in female snakes (such as reproductive mode and frequency, seasonality and multiple mating) allow flexible maternal control. For example, females can manipulate not only the genotypes of their offspring (through mate choice or enhanced sperm competition) but also the phenotypes of their offspring (through allocation 'decisions', behavioural and physiological thermoregulation, and nest-site selection). Reliance on stored energy ('capital') to fuel breeding results in low frequencies of female reproduction and, in extreme cases, semelparity. A sophisticated vomeronasal system not only allows male snakes to locate reproductive females by following scent trails, but also facilitates pheromonally mediated mate choice by males. Male-male rivalry takes diverse forms, including female mimicry and mate guarding; combat bouts impose strong selection for large body size in males of some species. Intraspecific (geographical) variation and phenotypic plasticity in a wide array of reproductive traits (offspring size and number; reproductive frequency; incidence of multiple mating; male tactics such as mate guarding and combat; mate choice criteria) provide exceptional opportunities for future studies. PMID:12803888

  9. Reproductive strategies in snakes.

    PubMed

    Shine, Richard

    2003-05-22

    Snakes of both sexes display remarkable flexibility and diversity in their reproductive tactics. Many features of reproduction in female snakes (such as reproductive mode and frequency, seasonality and multiple mating) allow flexible maternal control. For example, females can manipulate not only the genotypes of their offspring (through mate choice or enhanced sperm competition) but also the phenotypes of their offspring (through allocation 'decisions', behavioural and physiological thermoregulation, and nest-site selection). Reliance on stored energy ('capital') to fuel breeding results in low frequencies of female reproduction and, in extreme cases, semelparity. A sophisticated vomeronasal system not only allows male snakes to locate reproductive females by following scent trails, but also facilitates pheromonally mediated mate choice by males. Male-male rivalry takes diverse forms, including female mimicry and mate guarding; combat bouts impose strong selection for large body size in males of some species. Intraspecific (geographical) variation and phenotypic plasticity in a wide array of reproductive traits (offspring size and number; reproductive frequency; incidence of multiple mating; male tactics such as mate guarding and combat; mate choice criteria) provide exceptional opportunities for future studies.

  10. Overload protection circuit for output driver

    DOEpatents

    Stewart, Roger G.

    1982-05-11

    A protection circuit for preventing excessive power dissipation in an output transistor whose conduction path is connected between a power terminal and an output terminal. The protection circuit includes means for sensing the application of a turn on signal to the output transistor and the voltage at the output terminal. When the turn on signal is maintained for a period of time greater than a given period without the voltage at the output terminal reaching a predetermined value, the protection circuit decreases the turn on signal to, and the current conduction through, the output transistor.

  11. The politics of reproduction.

    PubMed

    Ginsburg, F; Rapp, R

    1991-01-01

    The topic of human reproduction encompasses events throughout the human and especially female life-cycle as well as ideas and practices surrounding fertility, birth, and child care. Most of the scholarship on the subject, up through the 1960s, was based on cross-cultural surveys focused on the beliefs, norms, and values surrounding reproductive behaviors. Multiple methodologies and subspecialties, and fields like social history, human biology, and demography were utilized for the analysis. The concept of the politics of reproduction synthesizes local and global perspectives. The themes investigated include: the concept of reproduction, population control, and the internationalization of state and market interests (new reproductive technologies); social movements and contested domains; medicalization and its discontents; fertility and its control; adolescence and teen pregnancy; birth; birth attendants; the construction of infancy and the politics of child survival; rethinking the demographic transition; networks of nurturance; and meanings of menopause. The medicalization of reproduction is a central issue of studies of birth, midwifery, infertility, and reproductive technologies. Scholars have also analyzed different parts of the female life-cycle as medical problems. Other issues worth analysis include the internationalization of adoption and child care workers; the crisis of infertility of low-income and minority women who are not candidates for expensive reproductive technologies; the concerns of women at high risk for HIV whose cultural status depends on their fertility; questions of reproduction concerning, lesbians and gay men (artificial insemination and discrimination in child rearing); the study of menopause; and fatherhood. New discourse analysis is used to analyze state eugenic policies; conflicts over Western neocolonial influences in which women's status as childbearers represent nationalist interests; fundamentalist attacks on abortion rights; and

  12. The future for genetic studies in reproduction

    PubMed Central

    Montgomery, G.W.; Zondervan, K.T.; Nyholt, D.R.

    2014-01-01

    Genetic factors contribute to risk of many common diseases affecting reproduction and fertility. In recent years, methods for genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have revolutionized gene discovery for common traits and diseases. Results of GWAS are documented in the Catalog of Published Genome-Wide Association Studies at the National Human Genome Research Institute and report over 70 publications for 32 traits and diseases associated with reproduction. These include endometriosis, uterine fibroids, age at menarche and age at menopause. Results that pass appropriate stringent levels of significance are generally well replicated in independent studies. Examples of genetic variation affecting twinning rate, infertility, endometriosis and age at menarche demonstrate that the spectrum of disease-related variants for reproductive traits is similar to most other common diseases. GWAS ‘hits’ provide novel insights into biological pathways and the translational value of these studies lies in discovery of novel gene targets for biomarkers, drug development and greater understanding of environmental factors contributing to disease risk. Results also show that genetic data can help define sub-types of disease and co-morbidity with other traits and diseases. To date, many studies on reproductive traits have used relatively small samples. Future genetic marker studies in large samples with detailed phenotypic and clinical information will yield new insights into disease risk, disease classification and co-morbidity for many diseases associated with reproduction and infertility. PMID:23982303

  13. Human reproduction: Jewish perspectives.

    PubMed

    Schenker, Joseph G

    2013-11-01

    Developments in science and technology and corresponding clinical applications raise new religious questions, often without clear answers. The role of theology in bioethics is integral to clarify perceived attitudes toward these developments for different religious communities. The Jewish attitude towards procreation is derived from the first commandment of God to Adam to 'Be fruitful and multiply'. Judaism allows the practice of all techniques of assisted reproduction when the oocyte and spermatozoon originate from the wife and husband respectively. This paper presents the attitude of Jewish Law -- Halacha to therapeutic procedures, such as IVF-embryo transfer, spermatozoa, oocytes, embryo donation, cryopreservation of genetic material, surrogacy, posthumous reproduction, gender preselection, reproductive and therapeutic cloning.

  14. Differential response to copper stress in the reproductive resources and allocation of metallophyte Kummerowia stipulacea.

    PubMed

    Gan, Jin-hua; Xiong, Zhi-Ting; Li, Jin-Ping; Chen, Da-Qing

    2013-03-01

    Abundant seed production is a key life history trait for plant to maintain the stability of the whole population in adverse environments such as heavy metal contaminated mine area. In the current studies, we hypothesize that mine (metallicolous) populations of metallophytes have formed specialized reproductive strategies to adapt themselves to the heavy metal contaminated habitats, and differ from normal (non-metallicolous) populations in reproductive allocation. To test this hypothesis, the differences in reproductive resources and reproductive allocation between the copper mine and non-copper mine populations of pseudo-metallophyte Kummerowia stipulacea were comparatively examined under controlled Cu exposure experiments. Compared to non-copper mine population, copper mine population shows an increased seed output and larger reproductive effort under Cu stress. The increase of reproductive allocation in metallicolous population depends on not only seed size but also seed number per plant. The plants of metallicolous population increase allocation to the reproductive organs at the expense of a curtailment of allocation to vegetative traits, resulting in plants with shorter height and fewer branch numbers. There is little evidence displaying effect of root nodule on the reproductive resources and allocation. In addition, plants in metallicolous population reduce the transfer of Cu from roots to aboveground parts. These data suggest that plants of metallicolous population tend to invest more resources to reproductive output and increase their reproductive allocation in the adaptive evolution to Cu-enriched mine soils.

  15. Life span and reproductive cost explain interspecific variation in the optimal onset of reproduction.

    PubMed

    Mourocq, Emeline; Bize, Pierre; Bouwhuis, Sandra; Bradley, Russell; Charmantier, Anne; de la Cruz, Carlos; Drobniak, Szymon M; Espie, Richard H M; Herényi, Márton; Hötker, Hermann; Krüger, Oliver; Marzluff, John; Møller, Anders P; Nakagawa, Shinichi; Phillips, Richard A; Radford, Andrew N; Roulin, Alexandre; Török, János; Valencia, Juliana; van de Pol, Martijn; Warkentin, Ian G; Winney, Isabel S; Wood, Andrew G; Griesser, Michael

    2016-02-01

    Fitness can be profoundly influenced by the age at first reproduction (AFR), but to date the AFR-fitness relationship only has been investigated intraspecifically. Here, we investigated the relationship between AFR and average lifetime reproductive success (LRS) across 34 bird species. We assessed differences in the deviation of the Optimal AFR (i.e., the species-specific AFR associated with the highest LRS) from the age at sexual maturity, considering potential effects of life history as well as social and ecological factors. Most individuals adopted the species-specific Optimal AFR and both the mean and Optimal AFR of species correlated positively with life span. Interspecific deviations of the Optimal AFR were associated with indices reflecting a change in LRS or survival as a function of AFR: a delayed AFR was beneficial in species where early AFR was associated with a decrease in subsequent survival or reproductive output. Overall, our results suggest that a delayed onset of reproduction beyond maturity is an optimal strategy explained by a long life span and costs of early reproduction. By providing the first empirical confirmations of key predictions of life-history theory across species, this study contributes to a better understanding of life-history evolution.

  16. Reproductive Management for Optimal Oocyte Development to Enhance Fertility

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    There are multiple steps associated with the ovulatory follicle that affect oocyte growth, fertilization, embryo development and establishment of pregnancy. When estrous cycles are manipulated with assisted reproductive technologies and ovulation induced, some of these variables become more importa...

  17. Power output in the jump squat in adolescent male athletes.

    PubMed

    Dayne, Andrea M; McBride, Jeffrey M; Nuzzo, James L; Triplett, N Travis; Skinner, Jared; Burr, Alan

    2011-03-01

    The load that maximizes power output in the jump squat (JS) in college-aged athletic males has been reported to be 0% of 1 repetition maximum [1RM] squat strength) or in other words body mass. No data exist concerning adolescent athletic males. In addition, strength levels have been theorized to possibly affect the load that maximizes power output in the JS. The purpose of this investigation was to identify the load that maximizes power output in the JS in adolescent athletic men, and concurrently describe their strength level and its effect on the load that maximizes power output. Eleven high-school male athletes were tested on 2 occasions, first determining their 1RM in the squat (1RM = 141.14 ± 28.08 kg; squat 1RM-to-body mass ratio = 1.76 ± 0.15) and then performing JS testing at loads equal to 0% (body mass), 20, 40, 60, and 80% of squat 1RM. Peak power (PP), peak force, peak velocity (PV), and peak displacement were measured at each load. Jump squat at the 0% load produced significantly (p ≤ 0.05) higher PP, PV, and peak displacement in comparison with the 40, 60, and 80% loading conditions. It was concluded that the load that maximizes power output in the JS is 0% of 1RM in adolescent athletic men, the same as found in college-aged athletic men. In addition, strength level relative to body mass did not affect the load that maximized power output. Practically, when devising a training program to increase PP, it is important to include JSs at body mass along with traditional strength training at heavier loads to increase power output across the entire loading spectrum.

  18. Migratory carryover effects and endocrinological correlates of reproductive decisions and reproductive success in female albatrosses.

    PubMed

    Crossin, Glenn T; Phillips, Richard A; Trathan, Phil N; Fox, Derren S; Dawson, Alistair; Wynne-Edwards, Katherine E; Williams, Tony D

    2012-04-01

    Physiological mechanisms mediating carryover effects, wherein events or activities occurring in one season, habitat, or life-history stage affect important processes in subsequent life-history stages, are largely unknown. The mechanism most commonly invoked to explain carryover effects from migration centres on the acquisition and utilization of resources (e.g. body mass, or individual 'condition'). However, other mechanisms are plausible, e.g. trade-offs reflecting conflict or incompatibility between physiological regulatory systems required for different activities or life-history stages (migration vs. reproduction). Here we show that in female black-browed albatrosses (Thalassarche melanophris) the decision to reproduce or to defer reproduction, made prior to their arrival at breeding colonies after long-distance migration, is associated with condition-related (body mass, hematocrit, hemoglobin concentrations) and hormonal (progesterone, testosterone, estrogen-dependent yolk precursors) traits. In contrast, reproductive success showed little association with condition but showed significant associations with the steroidogenic processes underlying follicle development. Specifically, success was determined by reproductive readiness via differences in steroid hormones and hormone-dependent traits. Successful albatrosses were characterized by high progesterone and high estradiol-dependent yolk precursor levels, whereas failed albatrosses had high testosterone and low yolk precursor levels. Results are discussed with reference to migratory carryover effects and how these can differentially affect the physiologies influencing reproductive decisions and reproductive success.

  19. Neurogenetics of female reproductive behaviors in Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    Laturney, Meghan; Billeter, Jean-Christophe

    2014-01-01

    We follow an adult Drosophila melanogaster female through the major reproductive decisions she makes during her lifetime, including habitat selection, precopulatory mate choice, postcopulatory physiological changes, polyandry, and egg-laying site selection. In the process, we review the molecular and neuronal mechanisms allowing females to integrate signals from both environmental and social sources to produce those behavioral outputs. We pay attention to how an understanding of D. melanogaster female reproductive behaviors contributes to a wider understanding of evolutionary processes such as pre- and postcopulatory sexual selection as well as sexual conflict. Within each section, we attempt to connect the theories that pertain to the evolution of female reproductive behaviors with the molecular and neurobiological data that support these theories. We draw attention to the fact that the evolutionary and mechanistic basis of female reproductive behaviors, even in a species as extensively studied as D. melanogaster, remains poorly understood.

  20. Reproduction-Immunity Trade-Offs in Insects.

    PubMed

    Schwenke, Robin A; Lazzaro, Brian P; Wolfner, Mariana F

    2016-01-01

    Immune defense and reproduction are physiologically and energetically demanding processes and have been observed to trade off in a diversity of female insects. Increased reproductive effort results in reduced immunity, and reciprocally, infection and activation of the immune system reduce reproductive output. This trade-off can manifest at the physiological level (within an individual) and at the evolutionary level (genetic distinction among individuals in a population). The resource allocation model posits that the trade-off arises because of competition for one or more limiting resources, and we hypothesize that pleiotropic signaling mechanisms regulate allocation of that resource between reproductive and immune processes. We examine the role of juvenile hormone, 20-hydroxyecdysone, and insulin/insulin-like growth factor-like signaling in regulating both oogenesis and immune system activity, and propose a signaling network that may mechanistically regulate the trade-off. Finally, we discuss implications of the trade-off in an ecological and evolutionary context.

  1. Teaching Plant Reproduction.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2000-01-01

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

  2. Avian reproductive physiology

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gee, G.F.; Gibbons, Edward F.; Durrant, Barbara S.; Demarest, Jack

    1995-01-01

    Knowledge of the many physiological factors associated with egg production , fertility, incubation, and brooding in nondomestic birds is limited. Science knows even less about reproduction in most of the 238 endangered or threatened birds. This discussion uses studies of nondomestic and, when necessary, domestic birds to describe physiological control of reproduction. Studies of the few nondomestic avian species show large variation in physiological control of reproduction. Aviculturists, in order to successfully propagate an endangered bird, must understand the bird's reproductive peculiarities. First, investigators can do studies with carefully chosen surrogate species, but eventually they need to confirm the results in the target endangered bird. Studies of reproduction in nondomestic birds increased in the last decade. Still, scientists need to do more comparative studies to understand the mechanisms that control reproduction in birds. New technologies are making it possible to study reproductive physiology of nondomestic species in less limiting ways. These technologies include telemetry to collect information without inducing stress on captives (Howey et al., 1987; Klugman, 1987), new tests for most of the humoral factors associated with reproduction, and the skill to collect small samples and manipulate birds without disrupting the physiological mechanisms (Bercovitz et al., 1985). Managers are using knowledge from these studies to improve propagation in zoological parks, private and public propagation facilities, and research institutions. Researchers need to study the control of ovulation, egg formation, and oviposition in the species of nondomestic birds that lay very few eggs in a season, hold eggs in the oviduct for longer intervals, or differ in other ways from the more thoroughly studied domestic birds. Other techniques that would enhance propagation for nondomestlc birds include tissue culture of cloned embryonic cells, cryopreservation of embryos

  3. Violence against women and reproductive health: toward defining a role for reproductive health care services.

    PubMed

    Parsons, L; Goodwin, M M; Petersen, R

    2000-06-01

    Since a large proportion of U.S. women receive reproductive health care services each year, reproductive health care settings offer an important opportunity to reach women who may be at risk of or experiencing intimate partner violence (IPV). Although screening women for IPV in clinical health care settings has been endorsed by national professional associations and organizations, scientific evidence suggests that opportunities for screening in reproductive health care settings are often missed. This commentary outlines what is known about screening and intervention for IPV in clinical health care settings, and points out areas that need greater attention. The ultimate goal of these recommendations is to increase the involvement of reproductive health care services in sensitive, appropriate, and effective care for women who may be at risk of or affected by IPV.

  4. Estradiol Membrane-Initiated Signaling and Female Reproduction.

    PubMed

    Micevych, Paul E; Wong, Angela May; Mittelman-Smith, Melinda Anne

    2015-07-01

    The discoveries of rapid, membrane-initiated steroid actions and central nervous system steroidogenesis have changed our understanding of the neuroendocrinology of reproduction. Classical nuclear actions of estradiol and progesterone steroids affecting transcription are essential. However, with the discoveries of membrane-associated steroid receptors, it is becoming clear that estradiol and progesterone have neurotransmitter-like actions activating intracellular events. Ultimately, membrane-initiated actions can influence transcription. Estradiol membrane-initiated signaling (EMS) modulates female sexual receptivity and estrogen feedback regulating the luteinizing hormone (LH) surge. In the arcuate nucleus, EMS activates a lordosis-regulating circuit that extends to the medial preoptic nucleus and subsequently to the ventromedial nucleus (VMH)--the output from the limbic and hypothalamic regions. Here, we discuss how EMS leads to an active inhibition of lordosis behavior. To stimulate ovulation, EMS facilitates astrocyte synthesis of progesterone (neuroP) in the hypothalamus. Regulation of GnRH release driving the LH surge is dependent on estradiol-sensitive kisspeptin (Kiss1) expression in the rostral periventricular nucleus of the third ventricle (RP3V). NeuroP activation of the LH surge depends on Kiss1, but the specifics of signaling have not been well elucidated. RP3V Kiss1 neurons appear to integrate estradiol and progesterone information which feeds back onto GnRH neurons to stimulate the LH surge. In a second population of Kiss1 neurons, estradiol suppresses the surge but maintains tonic LH release, another critical component of the estrous cycle. Together, evidence suggests that regulation of reproduction involves membrane action of steroids, some of which are synthesized in the brain.

  5. Estradiol Membrane-Initiated Signaling and Female Reproduction

    PubMed Central

    Micevych, Paul E; Wong, Angela May; Mittelman-Smith, Melinda Anne

    2016-01-01

    The discoveries of rapid, membrane-initiated steroid actions and central nervous system steroidogenesis have changed our understanding of the neuroendocrinology of reproduction. Classical nuclear actions of estradiol and progesterone steroids affecting transcription are essential. However, with the discoveries of membrane-associated steroid receptors, it is becoming clear that estradiol and progesterone have neurotransmitter-like actions activating intracellular events. Ultimately, membrane-initiated actions can influence transcription. Estradiol membrane-initiated signaling (EMS) modulates female sexual receptivity and estrogen feedback regulating the luteinizing hormone (LH) surge. In the arcuate nucleus, EMS activates a lordosis-regulating circuit that extends to the medial preoptic nucleus and subsequently to the ventromedial nucleus (VMH)—the output from the limbic and hypothalamic regions. Here, we discuss how EMS leads to an active inhibition of lordosis behavior. To stimulate ovulation, EMS facilitates astrocyte synthesis of progesterone (neuroP) in the hypothalamus. Regulation of GnRH release driving the LH surge is dependent on estradiol-sensitive kisspeptin (Kiss1) expression in the rostral periventricular nucleus of the third ventricle (RP3V). NeuroP activation of the LH surge depends on Kiss1, but the specifics of signaling have not been well elucidated. RP3V Kiss1 neurons appear to integrate estradiol and progesterone information which feeds back onto GnRH neurons to stimulate the LH surge. In a second population of Kiss1 neurons, estradiol suppresses the surge but maintains tonic LH release, another critical component of the estrous cycle. Together, evidence suggests that regulation of reproduction involves membrane action of steroids, some of which are synthesized in the brain. PMID:26140715

  6. Religion and reproductive health and rights.

    PubMed

    Obaid, Thoraya Ahmed

    2005-01-01

    This essay examines the relationship between religion and public policy issues concerning reproductive health and rights. It particularly focuses on how such issues affect women. Although not ignoring the sometimes oppositional stance of some religious spokepersons to birth control and attempts to mitigate the suffering caused by HIV/AIDS, early or frequent pregnancy, discrimination against female fetuses and babies, and so on, the essay seeks to identify positive responses by religiously committed people, particularly women, that parallel or reinforce UNFPA initiatives to address such problems. The essay also attempts to articulate ways in which religion should come to grips with issues of reproductive health and rights.

  7. Diabetes and the female reproductive system.

    PubMed

    Nandi, Anindita; Poretsky, Leonid

    2013-12-01

    The insulin/insulin-like growth factor (IGF) pathways and glucose metabolism act as mediators of human ovarian function and female fertility. In normal insulin action, insulin binds to its own receptors in the ovary to mediate steroidogenesis and act as a co-gonadotropin. Insulin with other factors may influence ovarian growth and cyst formation. The IGF pathway also seems to influence normal ovarian function. Insulin signaling affects reproductive function. Dysregulation of this pathway leads to altered puberty, ovulation, and fertility. Better understanding of the normal physiology and pathophysiology of insulin, IGF, and glucose effects on the human reproductive system will allow for better outcomes.

  8. Asexual Reproduction in Holothurians

    PubMed Central

    Dolmatov, Igor Yu.

    2014-01-01

    Aspects of asexual reproduction in holothurians are discussed. Holothurians are significant as fishery and aquaculture items and have high commercial value. The last review on holothurian asexual reproduction was published 18 years ago and included only 8 species. An analysis of the available literature shows that asexual reproduction has now been confirmed in 16 holothurian species. Five additional species are also most likely capable of fission. The recent discovery of new fissiparous holothurian species indicates that this reproduction mode is more widespread in Holothuroidea than previously believed. New data about the history of the discovery of asexual reproduction in holothurians, features of fission, and regeneration of anterior and posterior fragments are described here. Asexual reproduction is obviously controlled by the integrated systems of the organism, primarily the nervous system. Special molecular mechanisms appear to determine the location where fission occurs along the anterior-posterior axis of the body. Alteration of the connective tissue strength of the body wall may play an important role during fission of holothurians. The basic mechanism of fission is the interaction of matrix metalloproteinases, their inhibitors, and enzymes forming cross-link complexes between fibrils of collagen. The population dynamics of fissiparous holothurians are discussed. PMID:25405228

  9. Asexual reproduction in holothurians.

    PubMed

    Dolmatov, Igor Yu

    2014-01-01

    Aspects of asexual reproduction in holothurians are discussed. Holothurians are significant as fishery and aquaculture items and have high commercial value. The last review on holothurian asexual reproduction was published 18 years ago and included only 8 species. An analysis of the available literature shows that asexual reproduction has now been confirmed in 16 holothurian species. Five additional species are also most likely capable of fission. The recent discovery of new fissiparous holothurian species indicates that this reproduction mode is more widespread in Holothuroidea than previously believed. New data about the history of the discovery of asexual reproduction in holothurians, features of fission, and regeneration of anterior and posterior fragments are described here. Asexual reproduction is obviously controlled by the integrated systems of the organism, primarily the nervous system. Special molecular mechanisms appear to determine the location where fission occurs along the anterior-posterior axis of the body. Alteration of the connective tissue strength of the body wall may play an important role during fission of holothurians. The basic mechanism of fission is the interaction of matrix metalloproteinases, their inhibitors, and enzymes forming cross-link complexes between fibrils of collagen. The population dynamics of fissiparous holothurians are discussed.

  10. Mathematics and the Heart: Understanding Cardiac Output

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Champanerkar, Jyoti

    2013-01-01

    This paper illustrates a biological application of the concepts of relative change and area under a curve, from mathematics. We study two biological measures "relative change in cardiac output" and "cardiac output", which are predictors of heart blockages and other related ailments. Cardiac output refers to the quantity of…

  11. The Psycholinguistics of the Output Hypothesis.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    de Bot, Kees

    1996-01-01

    Elucidates the psycholinguistic mechanics of the "output hypothesis" and argues that output serves an important role in second language acquisition because it generates specific input the cognitive system needs to build up a coherent set of knowledge. The article hypothesizes that the locus of the effect of output is in the transition of…

  12. Telomeres, Age and Reproduction in a Long-Lived Reptile

    PubMed Central

    Plot, Virginie; Criscuolo, François; Zahn, Sandrine; Georges, Jean-Yves

    2012-01-01

    A major interest has recently emerged in understanding how telomere shortening, mechanism triggering cell senescence, is linked to organism ageing and life history traits in wild species. However, the links between telomere length and key history traits such as reproductive performances have received little attention and remain unclear to date. The leatherback turtle Dermochelys coriacea is a long-lived species showing rapid growth at early stages of life, one of the highest reproductive outputs observed in vertebrates and a dichotomised reproductive pattern related to migrations lasting 2 or 3 years, supposedly associated with different environmental conditions. Here we tested the prediction of blood telomere shortening with age in this species and investigated the relationship between blood telomere length and reproductive performances in leatherback turtles nesting in French Guiana. We found that blood telomere length did not differ between hatchlings and adults. The absence of blood telomere shortening with age may be related to an early high telomerase activity. This telomere-restoring enzyme was formerly suggested to be involved in preventing early telomere attrition in early fast-growing and long-lived species, including squamate reptiles. We found that within one nesting cycle, adult females having performed shorter migrations prior to the considered nesting season had shorter blood telomeres and lower reproductive output. We propose that shorter blood telomeres may result from higher oxidative stress in individuals breeding more frequently (i.e., higher costs of reproduction) and/or restoring more quickly their body reserves in cooler feeding areas during preceding migration (i.e., higher foraging costs). This first study on telomeres in the giant leatherback turtle suggests that blood telomere length predicts not only survival chances, but also reproductive performances. Telomeres may therefore be a promising new tool to evaluate individual reproductive

  13. Model output: fact or artefact?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Melsen, Lieke

    2015-04-01

    As a third-year PhD-student, I relatively recently entered the wonderful world of scientific Hydrology. A science that has many pillars that directly impact society, for example with the prediction of hydrological extremes (both floods and drought), climate change, applications in agriculture, nature conservation, drinking water supply, etcetera. Despite its demonstrable societal relevance, hydrology is often seen as a science between two stools. Like Klemeš (1986) stated: "By their academic background, hydrologists are foresters, geographers, electrical engineers, geologists, system analysts, physicists, mathematicians, botanists, and most often civil engineers." Sometimes it seems that the engineering genes are still present in current hydrological sciences, and this results in pragmatic rather than scientific approaches for some of the current problems and challenges we have in hydrology. Here, I refer to the uncertainty in hydrological modelling that is often neglected. For over thirty years, uncertainty in hydrological models has been extensively discussed and studied. But it is not difficult to find peer-reviewed articles in which it is implicitly assumed that model simulations represent the truth rather than a conceptualization of reality. For instance in trend studies, where data is extrapolated 100 years ahead. Of course one can use different forcing datasets to estimate the uncertainty of the input data, but how to prevent that the output is not a model artefact, caused by the model structure? Or how about impact studies, e.g. of a dam impacting river flow. Measurements are often available for the period after dam construction, so models are used to simulate river flow before dam construction. Both are compared in order to qualify the effect of the dam. But on what basis can we tell that the model tells us the truth? Model validation is common nowadays, but validation only (comparing observations with model output) is not sufficient to assume that a

  14. Optical Waveguide Output Couplers Fabricated in Polymers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Watson, Michael D.; Abushagur, Mustafa A. G.; Ashley, Paul R.; Johnson-Cole, Helen

    1998-01-01

    Waveguide output couplers fabricated in Norland Optical Adhesive (NOA) #81 and AMOCO Ultradel 9020D polyimide are investigated. The output couplers are implemented using periodic relief gratings on a planar waveguide. Design theory of the couplers is based on the perturbation approach. Coupling of light from waveguide propagation modes to output radiation modes is described by coupled mode theory and the transmission line approximation of the perturbed area (grating structure). Using these concepts, gratings can be accurately designed to output a minimum number of modes at desired output angles. Waveguide couplers were designed using these concepts. These couplers were fabricated and analyzed for structural accuracy, output beam accuracy, and output efficiency. The results for the two different materials are compared.

  15. Glucocorticoid Regulation of Reproduction.

    PubMed

    Geraghty, Anna C; Kaufer, Daniela

    2015-01-01

    It is well accepted that stress, measured by increased glucocorticoid secretion, leads to profound reproductive dysfunction. In times of stress, glucocorticoids activate many parts of the fight or flight response, mobilizing energy and enhancing survival, while inhibiting metabolic processes that are not necessary for survival in the moment. This includes reproduction, an energetically costly procedure that is very finely regulated. In the short term, this is meant to be beneficial, so that the organism does not waste precious energy needed for survival. However, long-term inhibition can lead to persistent reproductive dysfunction, even if no longer stressed. This response is mediated by the increased levels of circulating glucocorticoids, which orchestrate complex inhibition of the entire reproductive axis. Stress and glucocorticoids exhibits both central and peripheral inhibition of the reproductive hormonal axis. While this has long been recognized as an issue, understanding the complex signaling mechanism behind this inhibition remains somewhat of a mystery. What makes this especially difficult is attempting to differentiate the many parts of both of these hormonal axes, and new neuropeptide discoveries in the last decade in the reproductive field have added even more complexity to an already complicated system. Glucocorticoids (GCs) and other hormones within the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis (as well as contributors in the sympathetic system) can modulate the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis at all levels-GCs can inhibit release of GnRH from the hypothalamus, inhibit gonadotropin synthesis and release in the pituitary, and inhibit testosterone synthesis and release from the gonads, while also influencing gametogenesis and sexual behavior. This chapter is not an exhaustive review of all the known literature, however is aimed at giving a brief look at both the central and peripheral effects of glucocorticoids on the reproductive function.

  16. Variation in probability of first reproduction of Weddell seals

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hadley, G.L.; Rotella, J.J.; Garrott, R.A.; Nichols, J.D.

    2006-01-01

    Summary 1. For many species, when to begin reproduction is an important life-history decision that varies by individual and can have substantial implications for lifetime reproductive success and fitness. 2. We estimated age-specific probabilities of first-time breeding and modelled variation in these rates to determine age at first reproduction and understand why it varies in a population of Weddell seals in Erebus Bay, Antarctica. We used multistate mark?recapture modelling methods and encounter histories of 4965 known-age female seals to test predictions about age-related variation in probability of first reproduction and the effects of annual variation, cohort and population density. 3. Mean age at first reproduction in this southerly located study population (7.62 years of age, SD =1.71) was greater than age at first reproduction for a Weddell seal population at a more northerly and typical latitude for breeding Weddell seals (mean =4?5 years of age). This difference suggests that age at first reproduction may be influenced by whether a population inhabits the core or periphery of its range. 4. Age at first reproduction varied from 4 to 14 years, but there was no age by which all seals recruited to the breeding population, suggesting that individual heterogeneity exists among females in this population. 5. In the best model, the probability of breeding for the first time varied by age and year, and the amount of annual variation varied with age (average variance ratio for age-specific rates =4.3%). 6. Our results affirmed the predictions of life-history theory that age at first reproduction in long-lived mammals will be sensitive to environmental variation. In terms of life history evolution, this variability suggests that Weddell seals display flexibility in age at first reproduction in order to maximize reproductive output under varying environmental conditions. Future analyses will attempt to test predictions regarding relationships between environmental

  17. Effects of fluctuating temperature and food availability on reproduction and lifespan.

    PubMed

    Schwartz, Tonia S; Pearson, Phillip; Dawson, John; Allison, David B; Gohlke, Julia M

    2016-12-15

    Experimental studies on energetics and aging often remove two major factors that in part regulate the energy budget in a normal healthy individual: reproduction and fluctuating environmental conditions that challenge homeostasis. Here we use the cyclical parthenogenetic Daphnia pulex to evaluate the role of a fluctuating thermal environment on both reproduction and lifespan across six food concentrations. We test the hypotheses that (1) caloric restriction extends lifespan; (2) maximal reproduction will come with a cost of shortened lifespan; and (3) at a given food concentration, relative to a metabolically equivalent constant temperature environment a diel fluctuating thermal environment will alter the allocation of energy to reproduction and lifespan to maintain homeostasis. We did not identify a level of food concentration that extended lifespan in response to caloric restriction, and we found no cost of reproduction in terms of lifespan. Rather, the individuals at the highest food levels generally had the highest reproductive output and the longest lifespans, the individuals at the intermediate food level decreased reproduction and maintained lifespan, and the individuals at the three lower food concentrations had a decrease in reproduction and lifespan as would be predicted with increasing levels of starvation. Fluctuating temperature had no effect on lifespan at any food concentration, but delayed time to reproductive maturity and decreased early reproductive output at all food concentrations. This suggests that a fluctuating temperature regimen activates molecular pathways that alter energy allocation. The costs of fluctuating temperature on reproduction were not consistent across the lifespan. Statistical interactions for age of peak reproduction and lifetime fecundity suggest that senescence of the reproductive system may vary between temperature regimens at the different food concentrations.

  18. Fish reproductive guilds downstream of dams.

    PubMed

    Vasconcelos, L P; Alves, D C; Gomes, L C

    2014-11-01

    Fish reproductive guilds were used to evaluate the responses of species with different reproductive strategies during two different periods of post-dam construction. The data used for the comparisons were collected in the upper Paraná River floodplain (Brazil), downstream of the Porto Primavera dam, 2 and 10 years after impoundment. The abundance (catch per unit effort, CPUE), species richness, evenness and structure of communities, all within reproductive guilds, were used to test the hypothesis that these metrics vary spatially and temporally. The influence of damming on species structure and the diversity of fish reproductive guilds varied spatiotemporally, and species with opportunistic reproductive strategies tended to be less affected. Conversely, long-distance migratory species responded more markedly to spatiotemporal variations, indicating that the ecosystem dynamics exert greater effects on populations of these species. Thus, the effects of a dam, even if attenuated, may extend over several years, especially downstream. This finding emphasizes the importance of maintaining large undammed tributaries downstream of reservoirs.

  19. Influences of clonality on plant sexual reproduction

    PubMed Central

    Barrett, Spencer C. H.

    2015-01-01

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

  20. Franchising Reproductive Health Services

    PubMed Central

    Stephenson, Rob; Tsui, Amy Ong; Sulzbach, Sara; Bardsley, Phil; Bekele, Getachew; Giday, Tilahun; Ahmed, Rehana; Gopalkrishnan, Gopi; Feyesitan, Bamikale

    2004-01-01

    Objectives Networks of franchised health establishments, providing a standardized set of services, are being implemented in developing countries. This article examines associations between franchise membership and family planning and reproductive health outcomes for both the member provider and the client. Methods Regression models are fitted examining associations between franchise membership and family planning and reproductive health outcomes at the service provider and client levels in three settings. Results Franchising has a positive association with both general and family planning client volumes, and the number of family planning brands available. Similar associations with franchise membership are not found for reproductive health service outcomes. In some settings, client satisfaction is higher at franchised than other types of health establishments, although the association between franchise membership and client outcomes varies across the settings. Conclusions Franchise membership has apparent benefits for both the provider and the client, providing an opportunity to expand access to reproductive health services, although greater attention is needed to shift the focus from family planning to a broader reproductive health context. PMID:15544644

  1. Adipokines in human reproduction.

    PubMed

    Dupont, Joëlle; Pollet-Villard, Xavier; Reverchon, Maxime; Mellouk, Namya; Levy, Rachel

    2015-10-01

    Adipose tissue communicates with other central and peripheral organs by the synthesis and release of substances called adipokines. The most studied adipokine is leptin but others have been recently identified including resistin, adiponectin, chemerin, omentin and visfatin. These adipokines have a critical role in the development of obesity-related complications and inflammatory conditions. However, they are also involved in other functions in the organism including reproductive functions. Indeed, many groups have demonstrated that adipokine receptors, such as adiponectin and chemerin, but also adipokines themselves (adiponectin, chemerin, resistin, visfatin and omentin) are expressed in human peripheral reproductive tissues and that these adipokines are likely to exert direct effects on these tissues. After a brief description of these new adipokines, an overview of their actions in different human reproductive organs (hypothalamus, pituitary, ovary, testis, uterus and placenta) will be presented. Finally, comments will be made on the eventual alterations of these adipokines in reproductive disorders, with special attention to polycystic ovary syndrome, a disease characterized by dysfunction of gonadal axis and systemic nerve endocrine metabolic network with a prevalence of up to 10% in women of reproductive age.

  2. Reproductive success of belted kingfishers on the upper Hudson River.

    PubMed

    Bridge, Eli S; Kelly, Jeffrey F

    2013-08-01

    Belted kingfishers (Megaceryle alcyon) are predators in many North American aquatic ecosystems; as such, they are prone to bioaccumulation of certain environmental contaminants. In 2002 and 2004, kingfisher eggs collected near the upper Hudson River in New York had elevated concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and the kingfisher population in this area was reported to be at risk because of PCB exposure. From 2007 to 2009, the authors monitored 69 kingfisher nests on the Hudson River to track both nest success and survival of individual nestlings. The study site consisted of 2 adjacent sections of the Hudson River, 1 upstream and 1 downstream of a historic PCB source. The authors compared models of nest success that differentially incorporated the following 4 variables that they deemed most likely to affect reproductive output: 1) river section (upstream vs downstream of PCB source), 2) year, 3) hatch date, and 4) abandonment by 1 parent. After ranking models according to Akaike's information criterion for small sample sizes, it was clear that parental abandonment was the most important of the factors examined. River section was not an important parameter, and overall nesting success was slightly higher in the PCB-contaminated section than in the upstream area. These findings support the conclusion that kingfisher productivity is not adversely impacted by PCB contamination in the upper Hudson River.

  3. Drosophila Sperm Motility in the Reproductive Tract1

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Yong; Lu, Xiangyi

    2011-01-01

    Motile cilia and flagella exhibit many waveforms as outputs of dynein activation sequences on the highly conserved axoneme. Motility change of sperm in the reproductive tract is difficult to study and remains an important area of investigation. Sperm typically execute a sinusoidal waveform. Increased viscosity in the medium induces somewhat unusual arc-line and helical waveforms in some sperm. However, whether the latter two waveforms occur in vivo is not known. Using green fluorescence protein imaging, we show that Drosophila sperm in the uterus move in circular foci via arc-line waves, predominantly in a tail-leading orientation. From the uterus, a small fraction of the sperm enters the seminal receptacle (SR) in parallel formations. After sperm storage and coincident with fertilization of the egg, the sperm exit the SR via head-leading helical waves. Consistent with the observed bidirectional movements, the sperm show the ability to propagate both base-to-tip and tip-to-base flagellar waves. Numerous studies have shown that sperm motility is regulated by intraflagellar calcium concentrations; in particular, the Pkd2 calcium channel has been shown to affect sperm storage. Our analyses here suggest that Pkd2 is required for the sperm to adopt the correct waveform and movement orientation during SR entry. A working model for the sperm's SR entry movement is proposed. PMID:21293028

  4. Impact of Altitude on Power Output during Cycling Stage Racing

    PubMed Central

    Garvican-Lewis, Laura A; Clark, Bradley; Martin, David T.; Schumacher, Yorck Olaf; McDonald, Warren; Stephens, Brian; Ma, Fuhai; Thompson, Kevin G.; Gore, Christopher J.; Menaspà, Paolo

    2015-01-01

    Purpose The purpose of this study was to quantify the effects of moderate-high altitude on power output, cadence, speed and heart rate during a multi-day cycling tour. Methods Power output, heart rate, speed and cadence were collected from elite male road cyclists during maximal efforts of 5, 15, 30, 60, 240 and 600 s. The efforts were completed in a laboratory power-profile assessment, and spontaneously during a cycling race simulation near sea-level and an international cycling race at moderate-high altitude. Matched data from the laboratory power-profile and the highest maximal mean power output (MMP) and corresponding speed and heart rate recorded during the cycling race simulation and cycling race at moderate-high altitude were compared using paired t-tests. Additionally, all MMP and corresponding speeds and heart rates were binned per 1000m (<1000m, 1000–2000, 2000–3000 and >3000m) according to the average altitude of each ride. Mixed linear modelling was used to compare cycling performance data from each altitude bin. Results Power output was similar between the laboratory power-profile and the race simulation, however MMPs for 5–600 s and 15, 60, 240 and 600 s were lower (p ≤ 0.005) during the race at altitude compared with the laboratory power-profile and race simulation, respectively. Furthermore, peak power output and all MMPs were lower (≥ 11.7%, p ≤ 0.001) while racing >3000 m compared with rides completed near sea-level. However, speed associated with MMP 60 and 240 s was greater (p < 0.001) during racing at moderate-high altitude compared with the race simulation near sea-level. Conclusion A reduction in oxygen availability as altitude increases leads to attenuation of cycling power output during competition. Decrement in cycling power output at altitude does not seem to affect speed which tended to be greater at higher altitudes. PMID:26629912

  5. Growing more positive with age: The relationship between reproduction and survival in aging flies.

    PubMed

    van den Heuvel, Joost; Zandveld, Jelle; Brakefield, Paul M; Kirkwood, Thomas B L; Shanley, Daryl P; Zwaan, Bas J

    2017-04-01

    Populations of laboratory animals that are selected for increased lifespan often show negative correlated responses in early fecundity. However, late fecundity and/or total lifetime fecundity can be higher in the populations selected for increased lifespan. This has been interpreted by some as being at odds with the disposable soma theory, which predicts decreased lifespan to increase total reproductive output. Alternatively, the Y-model explores the effects of variation in resource allocation and acquisition on life histories. In this model, a negative relationship between lifespan and reproduction can be viewed as variation in allocation, whereas a positive relationship is the result of variation in acquisition. However, a frequently neglected complication of the Y-model is that older individuals often show a decline in resource acquisition. Therefore, differential allocation to maintenance and survival might affect this decline in late-life acquisition which will affect resource availability across the whole lifespan. In this paper we show that a model which incorporates the ideas of the Y-model, the disposable soma theory, and an age-related decrease in resource acquisition, i.e. feeding senescence, can explain how the relationship between fecundity and lifespan changes with age. Furthermore, by modeling environments with contrasting extrinsic mortality rates, we explored how the outcome of the model depended on the relative importance of early and late-life reproduction. In high mortality environments a relatively higher early fecundity, lower late fecundity, and lower lifespans were more optimal, whereas the opposite was true for low mortality environments. We applied predictions from the model to a cohort of individually-housed female Drosophila melanogaster flies for which we measured age specific fecundity and lifespan. Early fecundity was negatively associated with lifespan, while late fecundity related positively with lifespan in the same cohort. This

  6. The energetics of reproduction and parental care in the terrestrial isopod Porcellio laevis.

    PubMed

    Lardies, Marco A; Cotoras, Ivania S; Bozinovic, Francisco

    2004-12-01

    Parental care is a behavioral strategy that contributes to increased fitness of progeny. Among terrestrial arthropods, many isopods provide extensive parental care. Few studies have quantified the underlying cost of parental care in terms of energy. We used the terrestrial woodlouse Porcellio laevis (Latreille) as a study model to examine how energetic acquisition and expenditure in females is affected during the incubation period and how parental care affects energy balance in this species. We determined the basic reproductive biology (i.e. fecundity, reproductive output, egg volume, egg loss), energy expenditure (i.e. metabolic rate), and energy acquisition (i.e. food consumption, digestibility) of ovigerous females in different stages of embryonic development. Non-ovigerous females were used as the control group. Our results show that P. laevis displays variability in life-history traits compared with populations from other zones around the world. Ovigerous females exhibited a lower ingestion rate and lower digestibility than control females, thus indicating a lower capacity for energy acquisition. Furthermore, energy expenditure was higher in ovigerous females when compared to non-ovigerous females. In particular, females in early embryonic development stored 5.1-fold less daily energy than females without eggs. The results presented here show that the parental care provided by female P. laevis is energetically costly. Overall, our work brings us much closer to understanding the proximate mechanisms of the costs of parental care in terrestrial isopods. Both proximal mechanisms and consequences of providing care on future reproduction, should be considered in explaining the evolution of parental care.

  7. PREVIMER : Meteorological inputs and outputs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ravenel, H.; Lecornu, F.; Kerléguer, L.

    2009-09-01

    PREVIMER is a pre-operational system aiming to provide a wide range of users, from private individuals to professionals, with short-term forecasts about the coastal environment along the French coastlines bordering the English Channel, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Mediterranean Sea. Observation data and digital modelling tools first provide 48-hour (probably 96-hour by summer 2009) forecasts of sea states, currents, sea water levels and temperatures. The follow-up of an increasing number of biological parameters will, in time, complete this overview of coastal environment. Working in partnership with the French Naval Hydrographic and Oceanographic Service (Service Hydrographique et Océanographique de la Marine, SHOM), the French National Weather Service (Météo-France), the French public science and technology research institute (Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, IRD), the European Institute of Marine Studies (Institut Universitaire Européen de la Mer, IUEM) and many others, IFREMER (the French public institute fo marine research) is supplying the technologies needed to ensure this pertinent information, available daily on Internet at http://www.previmer.org, and stored at the Operational Coastal Oceanographic Data Centre. Since 2006, PREVIMER publishes the results of demonstrators assigned to limited geographic areas and to specific applications. This system remains experimental. The following topics are covered : Hydrodynamic circulation, sea states, follow-up of passive tracers, conservative or non-conservative (specifically of microbiological origin), biogeochemical state, primary production. Lastly, PREVIMER provides researchers and R&D departments with modelling tools and access to the database, in which the observation data and the modelling results are stored, to undertake environmental studies on new sites. The communication will focus on meteorological inputs to and outputs from PREVIMER. It will draw the lessons from almost 3 years during

  8. Pleiotropic effects of juvenile hormone in ant queens and the escape from the reproduction-immunocompetence trade-off.

    PubMed

    Pamminger, Tobias; Treanor, David; Hughes, William O H

    2016-01-13

    The ubiquitous trade-off between survival and costly reproduction is one of the most fundamental constraints governing life-history evolution. In numerous animals, gonadotropic hormones antagonistically suppressing immunocompetence cause this trade-off. The queens of many social insects defy the reproduction-survival trade-off, achieving both an extraordinarily long life and high reproductive output, but how they achieve this is unknown. Here we show experimentally, by integrating quantification of gene expression, physiology and behaviour, that the long-lived queens of the ant Lasius niger have escaped the reproduction-immunocompetence trade-off by decoupling the effects of a key endocrine regulator of fertility and immunocompetence in solitary insects, juvenile hormone (JH). This modification of the regulatory architecture enables queens to sustain a high reproductive output without elevated JH titres and suppressed immunocompetence, providing an escape from the reproduction-immunocompetence trade-off that may contribute to the extraordinary lifespan of many social insect queens.

  9. DEVELOPMENTAL EXPOSURE TO AN ENVIRONMENTAL ANDROGEN, 17 B TRENBOLONE, CAUSES REPRODUCTIVE MALFORMATIONS AND REDUCED REPRODUCTIVE OUTPUT IN FEMALE RATS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Recently, studies have detected environmental androgen-active chemicals in effluents from pulp mills and animal feedlot operations. One such chemical present in feedlot discharge is the growth promoter, trenbolone acetate. A primary metabolite of trenbolone acetate, 17ß trenbolon...

  10. Prediction of electron beam output factors.

    PubMed

    Mills, M D; Hogstrom, K R; Almond, P R

    1982-01-01

    A method to predict square and rectangular field output factors from the measurement of selected fields of electron beams on the Therac 20 Saturne has been developed. A two parameter fit of the square field output factor data, based on the functional dependence as predicted by a pencil beam calculational model, has proven clinically acceptable. The pencil beam distributions are given by the Fermi-Eyges theory of multiple Coulomb scattering. For a rectangular field, the output factor can be calculated from the square root of the product of the two square field output factors wtih sides equal to those of the rectangular field. If however, there is a significant asymmetry between the X and Y collimator systems, then rectangular field output factors should be predicted from the product of the X and Y one-dimensional output factors. One-dimensional output factors are defined as output factors of rectangular fields where one side remains constant and equal to the side of the square reference field. Measured data indicate either of the two methods of determining rectangular field output factors to be clinically acceptable for the Therac 20, the use of one-dimensional output factors demonstrating greater accuracy. Data show agreement to within approximately 1.5% at electron energies of 6, 9, 13, and 17 MeV.

  11. Immature Spinal Locomotor Output in Children with Cerebral Palsy

    PubMed Central

    Cappellini, Germana; Ivanenko, Yury P.; Martino, Giovanni; MacLellan, Michael J.; Sacco, Annalisa; Morelli, Daniela; Lacquaniti, Francesco

    2016-01-01

    Detailed descriptions of gait impairments have been reported in cerebral palsy (CP), but it is still unclear how maturation of the spinal motoneuron output is affected. Spatiotemporal alpha-motoneuron activation during walking can be assessed by mapping the electromyographic activity profiles from several, simultaneously recorded muscles onto the anatomical rostrocaudal location of the motoneuron pools in the spinal cord, and by means of factor analysis of the muscle activity profiles. Here, we analyzed gait kinematics and EMG activity of 11 pairs of bilateral muscles with lumbosacral innervation in 35 children with CP (19 diplegic, 16 hemiplegic, 2–12 years) and 33 typically developing (TD) children (1–12 years). TD children showed a progressive reduction of EMG burst durations and a gradual reorganization of the spatiotemporal motoneuron output with increasing age. By contrast, children with CP showed very limited age-related changes of EMG durations and motoneuron output, as well as of limb intersegmental coordination and foot trajectory control (on both sides for diplegic children and the affected side for hemiplegic children). Factorization of the EMG signals revealed a comparable structure of the motor output in children with CP and TD children, but significantly wider temporal activation patterns in children with CP, resembling the patterns of much younger TD infants. A similar picture emerged when considering the spatiotemporal maps of alpha-motoneuron activation. Overall, the results are consistent with the idea that early injuries to developing motor regions of the brain substantially affect the maturation of the spinal locomotor output and consequently the future locomotor behavior. PMID:27826251

  12. Dinosaur Reproduction and Parenting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horner, John R.

    Non-avian dinosaur reproductive and parenting behaviors were mostly similar to those of extant archosaurs. Non-avian dinosaurs were probably sexually dimorphic and some may have engaged in hierarchical rituals. Non-avian coelurosaurs (e.g. Troodontidae, Oviraptorosauria) had two active oviducts, each of which produced single eggs on a daily or greater time scale. The eggs of non-coelurosaurian dinosaurs (e.g. Ornithischia, Sauropoda) were incubated in soils, whereas the eggs of non-avian coelurosaurs (e.g. Troodon, Oviraptor) were incubated with a combination of soil and direct parental contact. Parental attention to the young was variable, ranging from protection from predators to possible parental feeding of nest-bound hatchlings. Semi-altricial hadrosaur hatchlings exited their respective nests near the time of their first linear doubling. Some reproductive behaviors, once thought exclusive to Aves, arose first in non-avian dinosaurs. The success of the Dinosauria may be related to reproductive strategies.

  13. Biofluidmechanics of Reproduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fauci, Lisa J.; Dillon, Robert

    2006-01-01

    Mammalian fertilization requires the coordinated activity of motile spermatozoa, muscular contractions of the uterus and oviduct, as well as ciliary beating. These elastic structures generate forces that drive fluid motion, but their configurations are, in turn, determined by the fluid dynamics. We review the basic fluid mechanical aspects of reproduction, including flagellar/ciliary beating and peristalsis. We report on recent biological studies that have shed light on the relative importance of the mechanical ingredients of reproduction. In particular, we examine sperm motility in the reproductive tract, ovum pickup and transport in the oviduct, as well as sperm-egg interactions. We review recent advances in understanding the internal mechanics of cilia and flagella, flagellar surface interaction, sperm motility in complex fluids, and the role of fluid dynamics in embryo transfer. We outline promising computational fluid dynamics frameworks that may be used to investigate these complex, fluid-structure interactions.

  14. Tribbles role in reproduction.

    PubMed

    Basatvat, Shaghayegh; Carter, Deborah Angela Louise; Kiss-Toth, Endre; Fazeli, Alireza

    2015-10-01

    Tribbles (TRIB) proteins, a family of evolutionary conserved psuedokinase proteins, modulate various signalling pathways within the cell. The regulatory roles of TRIB make them an important part of a number of biological processes ranging from cell proliferation to metabolism, immunity, inflammation and carcinogenesis. Innate immune system plays a pivotal role during the regulation of reproductive processes that allows successful creation of an offspring. Its involvement initiates from fertilization of the oocyte by spermatozoon and lasts throughout early embryonic development, pregnancy and labour. Therefore, there is a close cooperation between the reproductive system and the innate immune system. Evidence from our lab has demonstrated that improper activation of the innate immune system can reduce embryo implantation, thus leading to infertility. Therefore, control mechanisms regulating the innate immune system function can be critical for successful reproductive events.

  15. Zika virus: Future reproductive concerns.

    PubMed

    Novak, Christopher M; Sheffield, Jeanne S; Burd, Irina

    2017-02-01

    The pandemic spread of Zika virus (ZIKV), a member of the flavivirus genus of the Flaviviridae family, has become a major public health concern. Reproductive specialists are particularly concerned over the spread of ZIKV as it is now known to have both sexual and transplacental routes of transmission resulting in fetal congenital abnormalities. Other members of the Flaviviridae family, hepatitis C virus (HCV) and bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) (which primarily affects cattle), are well known to reproductive specialists as both sexually transmitted illnesses that are capable of vertical transmission. Congenital infection with BVDV also has a predilection for neuro-teratogenicity as has been seen with ZIKV. HCV and BVDV are also known to be capable of persistent infection in offspring. Could this be the case with ZIKV? Examining what we know about HCV and BVDV, in addition to what we have already learned about ZIKV, may answer some of the questions that remain about ZIKV. Herein, we review the current literature as it pertains to ZIKV vertical transmission and neuro-teratogenicity and compare it to what is known about HCV and BVDV.