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Sample records for african cucumis species

  1. Divergence between C. melo and African Cucumis Species Identified by Chromosome Painting and rDNA Distribution Pattern.

    PubMed

    Li, Kunpeng; Wang, Huaisong; Wang, Jiming; Sun, Jianying; Li, Zongyun; Han, Yonghua

    2016-01-01

    The 5S and 45S rDNA sites are useful chromosome landmarks and can provide valuable information about karyotype evolution and species interrelationships. In this study, we employed fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) to determine the number and chromosomal location of 5S and 45S rDNA loci in 8 diploid Cucumis species. Two oligonucleotide painting probes specific for the rDNA-bearing chromosomes in C. melo were hybridized to other Cucumis species in order to investigate the homeologies among the rDNA-carrying chromosomes in Cucumis species. The analyzed diploid species showed 3 types of rDNA distribution patterns, which provided clear cytogenetic evidence on the divergence between C. melo and wild diploid African Cucumis species. The present results not only show species interrelationships in the genus Cucumis, but the rDNA FISH patterns can also be used as cytological markers for the discrimination of closely related species. The data will be helpful for breeders to choose the most suitable species from various wild species for improvement of cultivated melon.

  2. Chromosome synteny in cucumis species

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cucumber, Cucumis sativus L. (2n = 2x = 14) and melon, C. melo L. (2n = 2x = 24) are two important vegetable species in the genus Cucumis (family Cucurbitaceae). Two inter-fertile botanical varieties with 14 chromosomes, the cultivated C. sativus var. sativus L. and the wild C. sativus var. hardwick...

  3. Cucumis zambianus (Cucurbitaceae): A New Species from Northwestern Zambia

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    During germplasm explorations within Zambia in 1984, seven Cucumis accessions were collected that could not be identified to species. Two of the accessions were studied in-depth. Based on phenotypic characters, they were closest to Cucumis pustulatus. In ITS analyses of all available Cucumis spec...

  4. Chromosome-specific painting in Cucumis species using bulked oligonucleotides

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Chromosome-specific painting is a powerful technique in molecular cytogenetic and genome research. We developed an oligonucleotide (oligo)-based chromosome painting technique in cucumber (Cucumis sativus) that will be applicable in any plant species with a sequenced genome. Oligos specific to a sing...

  5. Cucumber (Cucumis sativus) and melon (C. melo) have numerous wild relatives in Asia and Australia, and the sister species of melon is from Australia.

    PubMed

    Sebastian, Patrizia; Schaefer, Hanno; Telford, Ian R H; Renner, Susanne S

    2010-08-10

    Among the fundamental questions regarding cultivated plants is their geographic origin and region of domestication. The genus Cucumis, which includes cucumber (Cucumis sativus) and melon (Cucumis melo), has numerous wild African species, and it has therefore been assumed that melon originated in Africa. For cucumber, this seemed less likely because wild cucumbers exist in India and a closely related species lives in the Eastern Himalayas. Using DNA sequences from plastid and nuclear markers for some 100 Cucumis accessions from Africa, Australia, and Asia, we show here that melon and cucumber are of Asian origin and have numerous previously overlooked species-level relatives in Australia and around the Indian Ocean. The wild progenitor of C. melo occurs in India, and our data confirm that the Southeast Asian Cucumis hystrix is the closest relative of cucumber. Most surprisingly, the closest relative of melon is Cucumis picrocarpus from Australia. C. melo diverged from this Australian sister species approximately 3 Ma, and both diverged from the remaining Asian/Australian species approximately 10 Ma. The Asian/Australian Cucumis clade comprises at least 25 species, nine of them new to science, and diverged from its African relatives in the Miocene, approximately 12 Ma. Range reconstruction under maximum likelihood suggests Asia as the ancestral area for the most recent common ancestor of melon and cucumber, fitting with both having progenitor populations in the Himalayan region and high genetic diversity of C. melo landraces in India and China. Future investigations of wild species related to melon and cucumber should concentrate on Asia and Australia.

  6. Molecular Cytogenetic Analysis of Cucumis Wild Species Distributed in Southern Africa: Physical Mapping of 5S and 45S rDNA with DAPI.

    PubMed

    Yagi, Kouhei; Pawełkowicz, Magdalena; Osipowski, Paweł; Siedlecka, Ewa; Przybecki, Zbigniew; Tagashira, Norikazu; Hoshi, Yoshikazu; Malepszy, Stefan; Pląder, Wojciech

    2015-01-01

    Wild Cucumis species have been divided into Australian/Asian and African groups using morphological and phylogenetic characteristics, and new species have been described recently. No molecular cytogenetic information is available for most of these species. The crossability between 5 southern African Cucumis species (C. africanus, C. anguria, C. myriocarpus, C. zeyheri, and C. heptadactylus) has been reported; however, the evolutionary relationship among them is still unclear. Here, a molecular cytogenetic analysis using FISH with 5S and 45 S ribosomal DNA (rDNA) was used to investigate these Cucumis species based on sets of rDNA-bearing chromosomes (rch) types I, II and III. The molecular cytogenetic and phylogenetic results suggested that at least 2 steps of chromosomal rearrangements may have occurred during the evolution of tetraploid C. heptadactylus. In step 1, an additional 45 S rDNA site was observed in the chromosome (type III). In particular, C. myriocarpus had a variety of rch sets. Our results suggest that chromosomal rearrangements may have occurred in the 45 S rDNA sites. We propose that polyploid evolution occurred in step 2. This study provides insights into the chromosomal characteristics of African Cucumis species and contributes to the understanding of chromosomal evolution in this genus.

  7. Effect of arsenic species on the growth and arsenic accumulation in Cucumis sativus.

    PubMed

    Hong, Sun Hwa; Choi, Sun Ah; Lee, Myung-Hyun; Min, Bo Ra; Yoon, Cheolho; Yoon, Hyeon; Cho, Kyung-Suk

    2011-01-01

    The effects of arsenic (As) species, such as As(III), As(V) and dimethylarsinic acid (DMA), on the accumulation of As in cucumber (Cucumis sativus), as well as on its growth in a soil mesocosm were evaluated. When Cucumis sativus was cultivated in soils contaminated with 20 and 50 mg/kg of As(III), As(V) or DMA for 40 days, the growth was markedly inhibited by the inorganic As (As(III) and As(V)) rather than the organic As (DMA). Irrespective of the As species, the As concentrations accumulated in Cucumis sativus increased with increasing As concentration in the soil. The As bioaccumulation factors from soil into the tissue of Cucumis sativus were 17.5-35.4, 29.3-42.7 and 17.6-25.7 for As(III), As(V) and DMA, respectively. In addition, the As translocation factors from the roots to shoots were 0.025-0.031, 0.018-0.032 and 0.014-0.026 for As(III), As(V) and DMA, respectively. In conclusion, Cucumis sativus mainly accumulated As in its roots rather than its shoots and easily accumulated inorganic rather than organic As from the soil into its tissue.

  8. A Conserved Ethylene Biosynthesis Enzyme Leads to Andromonoecy in Two Cucumis Species

    PubMed Central

    Boualem, Adnane; Troadec, Christelle; Kovalski, Irina; Sari, Marie-Agnes; Perl-Treves, Rafael; Bendahmane, Abdelhafid

    2009-01-01

    Andromonoecy is a widespread sexual system in angiosperms, characterized by plants carrying both male and bisexual flowers. Monoecy is characterized by the presence of both male and female flowers on the same plant. In cucumber, these sexual forms are controlled by the identity of the alleles at the M locus. In melon, we recently showed that the transition from monoecy to andromonoecy result from a mutation in 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid synthase (ACS) gene, CmACS-7. To isolate the andromonoecy gene in cucumber we used a candidate gene approach in combination with genetical and biochemical analysis. We demonstrated co-segregation of CsACS2, a close homolog of CmACS-7, with the M locus. Sequence analysis of CsACS2 in cucumber accessions identified four CsACS2 isoforms, three in andromonoecious and one in monoecious lines. To determine whether the andromonoecious phenotype is due to a loss of ACS enzymatic activity, we expressed the four isoforms in Escherichia coli and assayed their activity in vitro. Like in melon, the isoforms from the andromonoecious lines showed reduced to no enzymatic activity and the isoform from the monoecious line was active. Consistent with this, the mutations leading andromonoecy were clustered in the active site of the enzyme. Based on this, we concluded that active CsACS2 enzyme leads to the development of female flowers in monoecious lines, whereas a reduction of enzymatic activity yields hermaphrodite flowers. Consistent with this, CsACS2, like CmACS-7 in melon, is expressed specifically in carpel primordia of buds determined to develop carpels. Following ACS expression, inter-organ communication is likely responsible for the inhibition of stamina development. In both melon and cucumber, flower unisexuality seems to be the ancestral situation, as the majority of Cucumis species are monoecious. Thus, the ancestor gene of CmACS-7/CsACS2 likely have controlled the stamen development before speciation of Cucumis sativus (cucumber

  9. Efficacy of random primer-pair arrays in plant genome analysis: a case study of Cucumis (Cucurbitaceae) for identification of wild and cultivated species.

    PubMed

    Gatphoh, E M; Sharma, S K; Rajkumari, K; Rama Rao, S

    2011-01-01

    The efficacy of random primer-pair arrays compared to conventional RAPD method with a single decamer primer was evaluated using DNA from two species of Cucumis. The banding patterns of amplicons revealed enhanced utility of primer-pair arrays over conventional RAPDs, producing more bands and a higher degree of polymorphism, both at intra- and inter-specific levels. Amplification produced by both methods clearly distinguished a wild from a cultivated species of the genus Cucumis. The main advantage of the primer-pair RAPD over single-primer-based RAPD is the increase in the number of reactions and amplification products in the form of novel/unique bands with a limited number of primers. It also enables the generation of reliable amplicons with a large number of polymorphic bands, which can be linked to gene-governing traits, allowing sequence-characterized partial genome analysis.

  10. Transvalued species in an African forest.

    PubMed

    Remis, Melissa J; Hardin, Rebecca

    2009-12-01

    We combined ethnographic investigations with repeated ecological transect surveys in the Dzanga-Sangha Dense Forest Reserve (RDS), Central African Republic, to elucidate consequences of intensifying mixed use of forests. We devised a framework for transvaluation of wildlife species, which means the valuing of species on the basis of their ecological, economic, and symbolic roles in human lives. We measured responses to hunting, tourism, and conservation of two transvalued species in RDS: elephants (Loxodonta cyclotis) and gorillas (Gorilla gorilla). Our methods included collecting data on encounter rates and habitat use on line transects. We recorded cross-cultural variation in ideas about and interactions with these species during participant observation of hunting and tourism encounters and ethnographic interviews with hunters, conservation staff, researchers, and tourists. Ecologically, gorillas used human-modified landscapes successfully, and elephants were more vulnerable than gorillas to hunting. Economically, tourism and encounters with elephants and gorillas generated revenues and other benefits for local participants. Symbolically, transvaluation of species seemed to undergird competing institutions of forest management that could prove unsustainable. Nevertheless, transvaluation may also offer alternatives to existing social hierarchies, thereby integrating local and transnational support for conservation measures. The study of transvaluation requires attention to transnational flows of ideas and resources because they influence transspecies interactions. Cross-disciplinary in nature, transvalution of species addresses the political and economic challenges to conservation because it recognizes the varied human communities that shape the survival of wildlife in a given site. Transvaluation of species could foster more socially inclusive management and monitoring approaches attuned to competing economic demands, specific species behaviors, and human

  11. Snapmelon (Cucumis melo L. subsp. agrestis var. momordica), indigenous cucurbitaceous vegetable species from India with immense breeding value: a review

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Snapmelon (Cucumis melo L. Momordica Group; 2n = 2x = 24) is native to India, where it is widely cultivated and is commonly called ‘phut,’ which means to split. Immature fruits are cooked or eaten raw. In this paper we review the wealth of genetic resources in Indian snapmelon landraces for resistan...

  12. Microsatellites Cross-Species Amplification across Some African Cichlids.

    PubMed

    Bezault, Etienne; Rognon, Xavier; Gharbi, Karim; Baroiller, Jean-Francois; Chevassus, Bernard

    2012-01-01

    The transfer of the genomic resources developed in the Nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus, to other Tilapiines sensu lato and African cichlid would provide new possibilities to study this amazing group from genetics, ecology, evolution, aquaculture, and conservation point of view. We tested the cross-species amplification of 32 O. niloticus microsatellite markers in a panel of 15 species from 5 different African cichlid tribes: Oreochromines (Oreochromis, Sarotherodon), Boreotilapiines (Tilapia), Chromidotilapines, Hemichromines, and Haplochromines. Amplification was successfully observed for 29 markers (91%), with a frequency of polymorphic (P(95)) loci per species around 70%. The mean number of alleles per locus and species was 3.2 but varied from 3.7 within Oreochromis species to 1.6 within the nontilapia species. The high level of cross-species amplification and polymorphism of the microsatellite markers tested in this study provides powerful tools for a wide range of molecular genetic studies within tilapia species as well as for other African cichlids.

  13. Microsatellites Cross-Species Amplification across Some African Cichlids

    PubMed Central

    Bezault, Etienne; Rognon, Xavier; Gharbi, Karim; Baroiller, Jean-Francois; Chevassus, Bernard

    2012-01-01

    The transfer of the genomic resources developed in the Nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus, to other Tilapiines sensu lato and African cichlid would provide new possibilities to study this amazing group from genetics, ecology, evolution, aquaculture, and conservation point of view. We tested the cross-species amplification of 32 O. niloticus microsatellite markers in a panel of 15 species from 5 different African cichlid tribes: Oreochromines (Oreochromis, Sarotherodon), Boreotilapiines (Tilapia), Chromidotilapines, Hemichromines, and Haplochromines. Amplification was successfully observed for 29 markers (91%), with a frequency of polymorphic (P95) loci per species around 70%. The mean number of alleles per locus and species was 3.2 but varied from 3.7 within Oreochromis species to 1.6 within the nontilapia species. The high level of cross-species amplification and polymorphism of the microsatellite markers tested in this study provides powerful tools for a wide range of molecular genetic studies within tilapia species as well as for other African cichlids. PMID:22701809

  14. Mechanisms of decreasing dysploidy in Cucumis

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In Cucumis (family Cucurbitaceae), cucumber (C. sativus) is the only species with 2n = 2x = 14 chromosomes. The majority of the remaining species, including melon (C. melo) and C. hystrix, have 2n = 2x = 24 chromosomes suggesting a reduction from n = 12 to n = 7. To understand the underlying mechani...

  15. Biological and Molecular Characterization of a Korean Isolate of Cucurbit aphid-borne yellows virus Infecting Cucumis Species in Korea

    PubMed Central

    Choi, Seung-Kook; Yoon, Ju-Yeon; Choi, Gug-Seoun

    2015-01-01

    Surveys of yellowing viruses in plastic tunnels and in open field crops of melon (Cucumis melo cultivar catalupo), oriental melon (C. melo cultivar oriental melon), and cucumber (C. sativus) were carried out in two melon-growing areas in 2014, Korea. Severe yellowing symptoms on older leaves of melon and chlorotic spots on younger leaves of melon were observed in the plastic tunnels. The symptoms were widespread and included initial chlorotic lesions followed by yellowing of whole leaves and thickening of older leaves. RT-PCR analysis using total RNA extracted from diseased leaves did not show any synthesized products for four cucurbit-infecting viruses; Beet pseudo-yellows virus, Cucumber mosaic virus, Cucurbit yellows stunting disorder virus, and Melon necrotic spot virus. Virus identification using RT-PCR showed Cucurbit aphid-borne yellows Virus (CABYV) was largely distributed in melon, oriental melon and cucumber. This result was verified by aphid (Aphis gossypii) transmission of CABYV. The complete coat protein (CP) gene amplified from melon was cloned and sequenced. The CP gene nucleotide and the deduced amino acid sequence comparisons as well as phylogenetic tree analysis of CABYV CPs showed that the CABYV isolates were undivided into subgroups. Although the low incidence of CABYV in infections to cucurbit crops in this survey, CABYV may become an important treat for cucurbit crops in many different regions in Korea, suggesting that CABYV should be taken into account in disease control of cucurbit crops in Korea. PMID:26673519

  16. Drug cytotoxicity assay for African trypanosomes and Leishmania species.

    PubMed

    Bodley, A L; McGarry, M W; Shapiro, T A

    1995-10-01

    The trypanosomes and Leishmania species are parasitic protozoa that afflict millions of people throughout the world. If not treated, African trypanosomiasis and visceral leishmaniasis are fatal. The available drugs are severely limited by toxicity, marginal efficacy, the requirement for parenteral administration, and spreading drug resistance. In this study, a spectrophotometric assay was developed and validated for measuring the cytotoxicity of test compounds against axenically cultured bloodstream-form Trypanosoma brucei (African trypanosomes) and promastigotes of Leishmania donovani. Enzymatic hydrolysis of p-nitrophenyl phosphate, monitored by a microtiter plate reader, is a reliable surrogate for parasite cell counts. The assay is simple, inexpensive, and highly reproducible. The coefficient of variation for EC50 values is < 10% for determinations obtained over several months. This method permits the rapid screening of candidates for much-needed new drugs against these parasites.

  17. The genome of melon (Cucumis melo L.). Genome amplification in the absence of recent duplication in an old widely cultivated species

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We report the genome sequence of melon (Cucumis melo L.), an important horticultural crop worldwide. We assembled 375 Mb of the double haploid line DHL92, representing 83.3 % of the estimated melon genome. We predicted 27,427 protein-coding genes, which we analyzed by reconstructing 22,218 phylogene...

  18. Molecular characterization of Theileria species associated with mortality in four species of African antelopes.

    PubMed

    Nijhof, A M; Pillay, V; Steyl, J; Prozesky, L; Stoltsz, W H; Lawrence, J A; Penzhorn, B L; Jongejan, F

    2005-12-01

    Pathogen DNA was isolated from roan antelope (Hippotragus equinus), sable antelope (Hippotragus niger), greater kudu (Tragelaphus strepsiceros), and common gray duiker (Sylvicapra grimmia) in South Africa whose deaths were attributed to either theileriosis or cytauxzoonosis. We developed Theileria species-specific probes used in combination with reverse line blot hybridization assays and identified three different species of Theileria in four African antelope species. The close phylogenetic relationship between members of the genera Theileria and Cytauxzoon, similarities in the morphologies of developmental stages, and confusion in the literature regarding theileriosis or cytauxzoonosis are discussed.

  19. Chronology of the extant African elephant species and case study of the species identification of the small African elephant with the molecular phylogenetic method.

    PubMed

    Murata, Yumie; Yonezawa, Takahiro; Kihara, Ichiro; Kashiwamura, Toshihide; Sugihara, Yuji; Nikaido, Masato; Okada, Norihiro; Endo, Hideki; Hasegawa, Masami

    2009-07-15

    Despite vigorous genetic studies of African elephants (Loxodonta africana and L. cyclotis) during the last decade, their evolutionary history is still obscure. Phylogenetic studies and coalescence time estimation using longer nucleotide sequence data from denser samplings are necessary to better understand the natural history of African elephants. Further, species identification among African elephants is sometimes very difficult using only the external morphological characteristics. This is a serious problem for making an adequate breeding plan in zoological gardens. In this paper, we investigated the continent-wide phylogeographical pattern of the African elephants and estimated the coalescence times among them. From these molecular data and geological evidence, we proposed an evolutionary scenario for the African elephants. We further demonstrated the effectiveness of molecular phylogenetic methods in species identification.

  20. Chromosome comparison of 17 species / sub-species of African Goliathini (Coleoptera, Scarabaeidae, Cetoniinae)

    PubMed Central

    Dutrillaux, Anne-Marie; Dutrillaux, Bernard

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The mitotic karyotypes of 17 species of African Goliathini (Cetoniinae) are described using various chromosome banding techniques. All but one are composed of 20 chromosomes, mostly metacentric, forming a karyotype assumed to be close to that of the Polyphaga ancestor. The most derived karyotypes are those of Goliathus goliatus Drury, 1770, with eight pairs of acrocentrics and Chlorocana africana Drury, 1773, with only14 chromosomes. In species of the genera Cyprolais Burmeister, 1842, Megalorhina Westwood, 1847, Stephanocrates Kolbe, 1894 and Stephanorrhina Burmeister, 1842, large additions of variable heterochromatin are observed on both some particular autosomes and the X chromosome. Species of the genera Eudicella White, 1839 and Dicronorrhina Burmeister, 1842 share the same sub-metacentric X. Although each species possesses its own karyotype, it remains impossible to propose robust phylogenetic relationships on the basis of chromosome data only. PMID:27551348

  1. Relationships of cucumbers and melons unraveled: molecular phylogenetics of Cucumis and related genera (Benincaseae, Cucurbitaceae).

    PubMed

    Ghebretinsae, Amanuel G; Thulin, Mats; Barber, Janet C

    2007-07-01

    Cucumis (Cucurbitaceae) comprises 33 species of annuals and perennials with a major native center of diversity in tropical and southern Africa. The genus includes some economically important and widely grown vegetables such as cucumbers and melons. Monophyly of the genus has been disputed in previous studies, but with only limited sampling. Relationships within Cucumis are thus poorly understood; moreover, the validity of the closely related genera has not been thoroughly tested. The present study was undertaken to test the monophyly of Cucumis and several closely related genera, to test sectional circumscriptions within Cucumis, and to understand the biogeographical history of the genus. We sequenced the nuclear ITS and plastid trnS-trnG regions for 40 ingroup and three outgroup taxa, representing all recognized subgenera and sections. Parsimony, maximum likelihood, and Bayesian analyses found Cucumella, Oreosyce, Mukia, Myrmecosicyos, and Dicaelospermum nested within Cucumis. The clades recovered within the Cucumis complex in some instances represent the first phylogenetically derived hypothesis of relationships, whereas others correspond to previous subgeneric and sectional classifications. At least four introductions from Africa to Asia, as well as one reintroduction to Africa, are suggested within the Cucumis complex. Cucumis sativus (cucumber) is strongly supported as sister to the eastern Asian C. hystrix, whereas C. melo (melon) is strongly supported as sister to C. sagittatus in southern Africa.

  2. Distribution of baboon endogenous virus among species of African monkeys suggests multiple ancient cross-species transmissions in shared habitats.

    PubMed Central

    van der Kuyl, A C; Dekker, J T; Goudsmit, J

    1995-01-01

    PCR amplification of baboon endogenous virus (BaEV) long terminal repeat, reverse transcriptase gene, and env fragments from 24 different species of African monkeys indicates that BaEV is less widespread than was formerly thought. Instead of being present in every species of African primates, BaEV can be found only in baboons, geladas, and mangabeys (all belonging to the Papionini tribe) and in African green monkey (Cercopithecus aethiops)subspecies. BaEV, which can be activated from baboon and gelada tissues, was most likely introduced in the germ line only recently (less than a few million years ago) and has not been inherited from a common ancestor of all extant African monkeys. Neighbor-joining and maximum-likelihood analyses of the sequences obtained showed that two distinct virus clusters can be distinguished: the first containing baboon, gelada, and African green monkey BaEV sequences and the second consisting of mandrill and mangabey BaEV sequences. This viral evolutionary tree does not follow host phylogeny, indicating the cross-species transmissions and multiple germ line fixations of the virus must have occurred in the past. BaEV sequences are found in monkeys inhabiting savannas (baboons, geladas, and African green monkeys) as well as forests (managabeys and mandrills) and cluster according to the habitats of their hosts, providing evidence for cross-species transmission in shared habitats. PMID:7494300

  3. Genetic Diversity in Chinese melon (Cucumis melo L.)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Melon (Cucumis melo L.; 2n = 2x = 24) is a morphologically diverse outcrossing Cucurbitaceae species. Genetically mapped random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) markers have been used broadly to define genetic relationships (GR) among melon botanical groups and commercial market classes. Such inform...

  4. Genome-wide Evidence Reveals that African and Eurasian Golden Jackals Are Distinct Species.

    PubMed

    Koepfli, Klaus-Peter; Pollinger, John; Godinho, Raquel; Robinson, Jacqueline; Lea, Amanda; Hendricks, Sarah; Schweizer, Rena M; Thalmann, Olaf; Silva, Pedro; Fan, Zhenxin; Yurchenko, Andrey A; Dobrynin, Pavel; Makunin, Alexey; Cahill, James A; Shapiro, Beth; Álvares, Francisco; Brito, José C; Geffen, Eli; Leonard, Jennifer A; Helgen, Kristofer M; Johnson, Warren E; O'Brien, Stephen J; Van Valkenburgh, Blaire; Wayne, Robert K

    2015-08-17

    The golden jackal of Africa (Canis aureus) has long been considered a conspecific of jackals distributed throughout Eurasia, with the nearest source populations in the Middle East. However, two recent reports found that mitochondrial haplotypes of some African golden jackals aligned more closely to gray wolves (Canis lupus), which is surprising given the absence of gray wolves in Africa and the phenotypic divergence between the two species. Moreover, these results imply the existence of a previously unrecognized phylogenetically distinct species despite a long history of taxonomic work on African canids. To test the distinct-species hypothesis and understand the evolutionary history that would account for this puzzling result, we analyzed extensive genomic data including mitochondrial genome sequences, sequences from 20 autosomal loci (17 introns and 3 exon segments), microsatellite loci, X- and Y-linked zinc-finger protein gene (ZFX and ZFY) sequences, and whole-genome nuclear sequences in African and Eurasian golden jackals and gray wolves. Our results provide consistent and robust evidence that populations of golden jackals from Africa and Eurasia represent distinct monophyletic lineages separated for more than one million years, sufficient to merit formal recognition as different species: C. anthus (African golden wolf) and C. aureus (Eurasian golden jackal). Using morphologic data, we demonstrate a striking morphologic similarity between East African and Eurasian golden jackals, suggesting parallelism, which may have misled taxonomists and likely reflects uniquely intense interspecific competition in the East African carnivore guild. Our study shows how ecology can confound taxonomy if interspecific competition constrains size diversification.

  5. Marker-assisted backcross selection in an interspecific Cucumis population broadens the genetic base of cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) is a major cucurbit vegetable species whose genetic base has been drastically reduced during its domestication. The crop's narrow genetic base (3-12% DNA polymorphism) has resulted from the use of limited genetic material and intense selection during plant improvement....

  6. Melon (Cucumis melo).

    PubMed

    Nonaka, Satoko; Ezura, Hiroshi

    2015-01-01

    Genetic transformation is an important technique used in plant breeding and to functionally characterize genes of interest. The earliest reports of Agrobacterium-mediated transformation in the melon (Cucumis melo) were from the early 1990s (Fang and Grumet, Plant Cell Rep, 9: 160-164, 1990; Dong et al., Nat Biotechnol 9: 858-863, 1991; Valles and Lasa, Plant Cell Rep 13: 145-148, 1994). These early studies described three problems that decreased the efficiency of transformation: tetraploidy, chimeras, and escape. Using a liquid culture system for somatic embryogenesis, Akasaka-Kenedy et al. (Plant Sci 166: 763-769, 2004) overcame these problems and established an efficient transformation system; the protocol introduced in this chapter is based on this method.

  7. Reproductive biology of the andromonoecious Cucumis melo subsp. agrestis (Cucurbitaceae)

    PubMed Central

    Kouonon, Leonie C.; Jacquemart, Anne-Laure; Zoro Bi, Arsene I.; Bertin, Pierre; Baudoin, Jean-Pierre; Dje, Yao

    2009-01-01

    Background and Aims Cucumis melo subsp. agrestis (Cucurbitaceae) is cultivated in many African regions for its edible kernels used as a soup thickener. The plant, an annual, andromonoecious, trailing-vine species, is of high social, cultural and economic value for local communities. In order to improve the yield of this crop, the first step and our aim were to elucidate its breeding system. Methods Eight experimental pollination treatments were performed during three growing seasons to assess spontaneous selfing, self-compatibility and effects of pollen source (hermaphroditic vs. male flowers). Pollination success was determined by pollen tube growth and reproductive success was assessed by fruit, seed and seedling numbers and characteristics. The pollinator guild was surveyed and the pollination distance determined both by direct observations and by indirect fluorescent dye dispersal. Key Results The species is probably pollinated by several Hymenoptera, principally by Hypotrigona para. Pollinator flight distances varied from 25 to 69 cm. No evidence for apomixis or spontaneous self-pollination in the absence of insect visitors was found. The self-fertility index (SFI = 0) indicated a total dependence on pollinators for reproductive success. The effects of hand pollination on fruit set, seed number and seedling fitness differed among years. Pollen tube growth and reproductive success did not differ between self- and cross-pollinations. Accordingly, a high self-compatibility index for the fruit set (SCI = 1·00) and the seed number (SCI = 0·98) and a low inbreeding depression at all developmental stages (cumulative δ = 0·126) suggest a high selfing ability. Finally, pollen origin had no effect on fruit and seed sets. Conclusions This andromonoecious species has the potential for a mixed mating system with high dependence on insect-mediated pollination. The selfing rate through geitonogamy should be important. PMID:19671577

  8. Grafting of Cucumis sativus onto Cucurbita ficifolia leads to improved plant growth, increased light utilization and reduced accumulation of reactive oxygen species in chilled plants.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Yanhong; Zhou, Jie; Huang, Lifeng; Ding, Xiaotao; Shi, Kai; Yu, Jingquan

    2009-09-01

    The effects of chilling at 14 and 7 degrees C on plant growth, CO(2) assimilation, light allocation, photosynthetic electron flux and antioxidant metabolism were examined in cucumber (Cucumis sativus L. cv. Jinyan No. 4, CS) plants with figleaf gourd (Cucurbita ficifolia Bouché, CF) and cucumber as rootstocks, respectively. Growth inhibition by chilling at 7 degrees C was characterized by irreversible inhibition of CO(2) assimilation in grafted plants with cucumber as rootstock and scion (CS/CS) but this effect was significantly alleviated by grafting onto CF roots (CS/CF). Chilled CS/CF plants exhibited a higher photosynthetic activity and lower proportion of energy dissipation than chilled CS/CS plants. Chilling resulted in a greater decrease in the electron flux in photosystem (PS) II (J (PSII)) than the rate of energy dissipation either via light-dependent (J (NPQ)) or via constitutive thermal dissipation and fluorescence (J (f,D)) in CS/CS plants. In parallel with the reduction in J (PSII), electron flux to oxygenation (J (o)) and carboxylation by Rubisco (J (c)) all decreased significantly whilst alternative electron flux in PS II (J (a)) increased, especially in CS/CS plants. Moreover, CS/CF plants exhibited higher activity of antioxidant enzymes, lower antioxidant content and less membrane peroxidation relative to CS/CS plants after chilling.

  9. Cyto-nuclear genomic dissociation and the African elephant species question.

    PubMed

    Roca, Alfred L; Georgiadis, Nicholas; O'Brien, Stephen J

    2007-07-01

    Studies of skull morphology and of nuclear DNA have strongly concluded that African elephants comprise two species. Nonetheless, Debruyne (2005) has suggested a single-species model for Loxodonta based on the polyphyly of a single genetic locus, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). Discordant patterns between mitochondrial and nuclear DNA markers were subsequently reported in some African savanna elephant populations, further supporting a two-species model, and prompting us to re-examine here the geographic distribution of different elephant morphotypes and their relationship to nuclear and mtDNA phylogeographic patterns. We used exact tests to compare the distribution of forest elephant-typical and savanna elephant-typical characteristics across eight published datasets containing morphological, mtDNA or nuclear DNA data for African elephants. Among the elephants examined by Debruyne (2005), we found that patterns of forest vs. savanna characteristics were significantly different (p < 10(-5)) between mtDNA and morphology, suggesting the presence of cyto-nuclear genomic dissociation. We show that the eight African elephant continent-wide datasets compared, including that of Debruyne (2005), together support a two-species model with cyto-nuclear genomic dissociation rather than a one-species model, and together indicate that Africa harbors two species of elephant.

  10. Antimicrobial rubrolides from a South African species of Synoicum tunicate.

    PubMed

    Sikorska, Justyna; Parker-Nance, Shirley; Davies-Coleman, Michael T; Vining, Oliver B; Sikora, Aleksandra E; McPhail, Kerry L

    2012-10-26

    The CH₂Cl₂-MeOH extract of a South African tunicate described as the new Synoicum globosum Parker-Nance sp. nov. (Ascidiacea, Aplousobranchia) was subjected to ¹H NMR-guided fractionation. This resulted in the identification of new 3″-bromorubrolide F (1), 3'-bromorubrolide E (2), 3'-bromorubrolide F (3), and 3',3″-dibromorubrolide E (4) and reisolation of known rubrolides E (5) and F (6), based on NMR spectroscopic and mass spectrometric data. Biological testing of both new and known members of this reported antimicrobial family of halogenated, aryl-substituted furanones indicated moderate antibacterial properties for 3'-bromorubrolide E (2), 3',3″-dibromorubrolide E (4), and rubrolide F (6) against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and S. epidermidis.

  11. Antimicrobial Rubrolides from a South African Species of Synoicum Tunicate

    PubMed Central

    Sikorska, Justyna; Parker-Nance, Shirley; Davies-Coleman, Michael T.; Vining, Oliver B.; Sikora, Aleksandra E.; McPhail, Kerry L.

    2012-01-01

    The CH2Cl2-MeOH extract of a South African tunicate described as the new Synoicum globosum Parker-Nance sp. nov. (Ascidiacea, Aplousobranchia) was subjected to 1H NMR-guided fractionation. This resulted in the identification of new 3″-bromorubrolide F (1), 3′-bromorubrolide E (2), 3′-bromorubrolide F (3) and 3′, 3″-dibromorubrolide E (4), and reisolation of known rubrolides E (5) and F (6), based on NMR spectroscopic and mass spectrometric data. Biological testing of both new and known members of this reported antimicrobial family of halogenated, aryl-substituted furanones indicated moderate antibacterial properties for 3′-bromorubrolide E (2), 3′, 3″-dibromorubrolide E (4), and rubrolide F (6) against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and S. epidermidis. PMID:23030848

  12. Vector Competence of Selected African Mosquito (Diptera: Culicidae) Species for Rift Valley Fever Virus

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Outbreaks of Rift Valley fever (RVF) in Egypt, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia have indicated the potential for this disease to spread from its enzootic areas in sub-Saharan Africa. Because little is known about the potential for most African mosquito species to transmit RVF virus (RVFV), we conducted stud...

  13. A new species of trichostrongyloid in African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) (Artiodactyla: Bovinae) from Uganda

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Africanastrongylus giganticus n. sp. is described based on large ostertagiine nematodes occurring in the abomasum of African buffalo, Syncerus caffer, from Uganda; this represents the second species recognized in the genus. Specimens of A. giganticus are characterized by large size (15-19 mm in tot...

  14. A new brachypterous scarab species, Orphnus longicornis (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Orphninae), from the East African Rift.

    PubMed

    Frolov, Andrey; Akhmetova, Lilia

    2015-11-05

    The Afrotropical Region is the center of the diversity of the scarab beetle genus Orphnus MacLeay, 1819 (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Orphninae), with 94 species occurring from Sahel in the north to Little Karoo in the south (Paulian, 1948; Petrovitz, 1971; Frolov, 2008). The East African Rift is one of the richest regions of the Afrotropics housing more than 20 species of Orphnus (Paulian, 1948; Frolov, 2013), most of which are endemic to this region. Yet the scarab beetle fauna of the East African Rift, and especially the Eastern Arc Mountains, is still inadequately studied. Examination of the material housed in the Museum of Natural History of Humboldt-Universität, Berlin, Germany (ZMHUB), revealed a series of brachypterous Orphnus beetles belonging to an undescribed species. The new species is described and illustrated below.

  15. Characterization of Serum Phospholipase A2 Activity in Three Diverse Species of West African Crocodiles

    PubMed Central

    Merchant, Mark; Juneau, Kate; Gemillion, Jared; Falconi, Rodolfo; Doucet, Aaron; Shirley, Matthew H.

    2011-01-01

    Secretory phospholipase A2, an enzyme that exhibits substantial immunological activity, was measured in the serum of three species of diverse West African crocodiles. Incubation of different volumes of crocodile serum with bacteria labeled with a fluorescent fatty acid in the sn-2 position of membrane lipids resulted in a volume-dependent liberation of fluorescent probe. Serum from the Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus) exhibited slightly higher activity than that of the slender-snouted crocodile (Mecistops cataphractus) and the African dwarf crocodile (Osteolaemus tetraspis). Product formation was inhibited by BPB, a specific PLA2 inhibitor, confirming that the activity was a direct result of the presence of serum PLA2. Kinetic analysis showed that C. niloticus serum produced product more rapidly than M. cataphractus or O. tetraspis. Serum from all three species exhibited temperature-dependent PLA2 activities but with slightly different thermal profiles. All three crocodilian species showed high levels of activity against eight different species of bacteria. PMID:22110960

  16. Two new Phytophthora species from South African Eucalyptus plantations.

    PubMed

    Maseko, Bongani; Burgess, Treena I; Coutinho, Teresa A; Wingfield, Michael J

    2007-11-01

    A recent study to determine the cause of collar and root rot disease outbreaks of cold tolerant Eucalyptus species in South Africa resulted in the isolation of two putative new Phytophthora species. Based on phylogenetic comparisons using the ITS and beta-tubulin gene regions, these species were shown to be distinct from known species. These differences were also supported by robust morphological characteristics. The names, Phytophthora frigida sp. nov. and Phytophthora alticola sp. nov. are thus provided for these taxa, which are phylogenetically closely related to species within the ITS clade 2 (P. citricola, P. tropicali and P.multivesiculata) and 4 (P. arecae and P. megakarya), respectively. Phytophthora frigida is heterothallic, and produces stellate to rosaceous growth patterns on growth medium, corraloid hyphae, sporangia with a variety of distorted shapes and has the ability to grow at low temperatures. Phytophthora alticola is homothallic and has a slower growth rate in culture. Both P. frigida and P. alticola are pathogenic to Eucalyptus dunnii. In pathogenicity tests, they were, however, less pathogenic than P. cinnamomi, which is a well-known pathogen of Eucalyptus in South Africa.

  17. Species delimitation and digit number in a North African skink

    PubMed Central

    Brown, R P; Tejangkura, T; El Mouden, E H; Ait Baamrane, M A; Znari, M

    2012-01-01

    Delimitation of species is an important and controversial area within evolutionary biology. Many species boundaries have been defined using morphological data. New genetic approaches now offer more objective evaluation and assessment of the reliability of morphological variation as an indicator that speciation has occurred. We examined geographic variation in morphology of the continuously distributed skink Chalcides mionecton from Morocco and used Bayesian analyses of nuclear and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) loci to examine: (i) their concordance with morphological patterns, (ii) support for species delimitation, (iii) timing of speciation, and (iv) levels of gene flow between species. Four digit individuals were found at sites between Cap Rhir (in the south) and the northern extreme of the range, whereas five-digit individuals were found in two disjunct areas: (i) south of Cap Rhir and (ii) the north of the range where they were often syntopic with four-digit individuals. The pattern of variation in generalized body dimensions was largely concordant with that in digit number, suggesting two general morphotypes. Bayesian analyses of population structure showed that individuals from sites south of Cap Rhir formed one genetic cluster, but that northern four- and five-digit individuals clustered together. Statistical support for delimitation of these genetic clusters into two species was provided by a recent Bayesian method. Phylogenetic–coalescent dating with external time calibrations indicates that speciation was relatively recent, with a 95% posterior interval of 0.46–2.66 mya. This postdates equivalent phylogenetic dating estimates of sequence divergence by approximately 1 Ma. Statistical analyses of a small number of independent loci provide important insights into the history of the speciation process in C. mionecton and support delimitation of populations into two species with distributions that are spatially discordant with patterns of morphological

  18. Characterization and cross-species amplification of microsatellite markers in African Silverbill (Lonchura cantans).

    PubMed

    Parine, N R; Kumar, D; Pathan, A A K; Elrobh, M S; Khan, W; Alanazi, M

    2013-11-18

    We tested the cross-amplification of eight microsatellites developed for Bengalese finch in African Silverbill (Lonchura cantans). In order to develop resources for conservation genetic studies in the species L. cantans, we tested the amplification success and polymorphism in eight previously developed microsatellite loci, in L. cantans. All eight microsatellite markers were successfully amplified, of which all were polymorphic, with 3 to 9 alleles and an expected heterozygosity (HE) ranging from 0.606 to 0.718. On average, there were 5.25 alleles/locus and a mean HE of 0.6456. These eight polymorphic markers could be of potential use in studies of genetic variability, population structure, and reproductive strategy of African Silverbills. The markers tested should be useful for population and conservation genetic studies in this genus, and, in particular, for species closely related to the source species, L. cantans.

  19. Molecular characterization of Babesia and Cytauxzoon species in wild South-African meerkats.

    PubMed

    Leclaire, Sarah; Menard, Sandie; Berry, Antoine

    2015-04-01

    Piroplasms, including Babesia, Cytauxzoon and Theileria species, frequently infect domestic and wild mammals. At present, there is no information on the occurrence and molecular identity of these tick-borne blood parasites in the meerkat, one of South Africa's most endearing wildlife celebrities. Meerkats live in territorial groups, which may occur on ranchland in close proximity to humans, pets and livestock. Blood collected from 46 healthy meerkats living in the South-African Kalahari desert was screened by microscopy and molecular methods, using PCR and DNA sequencing of 18S rRNA and ITS1 genes. We found that meerkats were infected by 2 species: one species related to Babesia sp. and one species related to Cytauxzoon sp. Ninety one percent of the meerkats were infected by the Cytauxzoon and/or the Babesia species. Co-infection occurred in 46% of meerkats. The pathogenicity and vectors of these two piroplasm species remains to be determined.

  20. Molecular characterisation of Anaplasma species from African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) in Kruger National Park, South Africa.

    PubMed

    Sisson, Danielle; Hufschmid, Jasmin; Jolles, Anna; Beechler, Brianna; Jabbar, Abdul

    2017-03-01

    Bovine anaplasmosis is a tick-borne disease, mainly caused by Anaplasma marginale and A. centrale and is distributed in tropical and sub-tropical areas. This study aimed to characterise A. marginale and A. centrale from African buffaloes in Kruger National Park (KNP), South Africa, using the DNA sequences of the genes coding for major surface protein (msp1β) and heat shock protein (groEL), respectively. A total of 747 blood samples were collected from February 2014 to August 2016 from African buffaloes kept in KNP, and DNAs were tested using a molecular-phylogenetic approach. Out of 747 samples tested, 129 (17.3%) and 98 (13.1%) were positive for single infection with A. marginale and A. centrale, respectively; whereas 113 (15.1%) were positive for both Anaplasma spp. Pairwise difference of 1.6-8.5% was observed in msp1β sequences of A. marginale whereas that was only 0.3-2.4% for groEL sequences of A. centrale. Separate phylogenetic analyses of msp1β and groEL sequences of A. marginale and A. centrale, respectively, revealed that sequences of Anaplasma spp. from African buffaloes were unique and they grouped separately when compared with previously published sequences of both species. This is the first study to characterise A. marginale and A. centrale from African buffalo using species specific molecular markers. This study will pave the way for future studies to assess genetic variation among Anaplasma spp. from wild ruminants using molecular markers that are better at differentiating between species and strains than the more commonly used 16S rRNA gene, and help to undertake health and fitness studies and host-parasite dynamics using quantitative molecular tools.

  1. A new species of Eurytoma (Hymenoptera: Eurytomidae) attacking, Quadrastichus spp. (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) galling Erythrina spp. (Fabaceae) with a summary of African Eurytoma spp. biology and species checklist

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Eurytoma erythrinae Gates and Delvare, new species, is described and illustrated. This species was reared from field-collected galls induced on Erythrina spp. by Quadrastichus spp. (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae), in Tanzania, Ghana, and South Africa. It is compared to a closely related African species. W...

  2. Seasonal Patterns of Mixed Species Groups in Large East African Mammals

    PubMed Central

    Kiffner, Christian; Kioko, John; Leweri, Cecilia; Krause, Stefan

    2014-01-01

    Mixed mammal species groups are common in East African savannah ecosystems. Yet, it is largely unknown if co-occurrences of large mammals result from random processes or social preferences and if interspecific associations are consistent across ecosystems and seasons. Because species may exchange important information and services, understanding patterns and drivers of heterospecific interactions is crucial for advancing animal and community ecology. We recorded 5403 single and multi-species clusters in the Serengeti-Ngorongoro and Tarangire-Manyara ecosystems during dry and wet seasons and used social network analyses to detect patterns of species associations. We found statistically significant associations between multiple species and association patterns differed spatially and seasonally. Consistently, wildebeest and zebras preferred being associated with other species, whereas carnivores, African elephants, Maasai giraffes and Kirk's dik-diks avoided being in mixed groups. During the dry season, we found that the betweenness (a measure of importance in the flow of information or disease) of species did not differ from a random expectation based on species abundance. In contrast, in the wet season, we found that these patterns were not simply explained by variations in abundances, suggesting that heterospecific associations were actively formed. These seasonal differences in observed patterns suggest that interspecific associations may be driven by resource overlap when resources are limited and by resource partitioning or anti-predator advantages when resources are abundant. We discuss potential mechanisms that could drive seasonal variation in the cost-benefit tradeoffs that underpin the formation of mixed-species groups. PMID:25470495

  3. Desertification and a shift of forest species in the West African Sahel

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gonzalez, Patrick

    2001-01-01

    Original field data show that forest species richness and tree density in the West African Sahel declined in the last half of the 20th century. Average forest species richness of areas of 4 km2 in Northwest Senegal fell from 64 ?? 2 species ca 1945 to 43 ?? 2 species in 1993, a decrease significant at p < 0.001. Densities of trees of height ???3 m declined from 10 ?? 0.3 trees ha-1 in 1954 to 7.8 ?? 0.3 trees ha-1 in 1989, also significant at p < 0.001. Standing wood biomass fell 2.1 t ha-1 in the period 1956-1993, releasing CO2 at a rate of 60 kgC person-1 yr-1. These changes have shifted vegetation zones toward areas of higher rainfall at an average rate of 500 to 600 m yr-1. Arid Sahel species have expanded in the north, tracking a concomitant retraction of mesic Sudan and Guinean species to the south. Multivariate analyses identify latitude and longitude, proxies for rainfall and temperature, as the most significant factors explaining tree and shrub distribution. The changes also decreased human carrying capacity to below actual population densities. The rural population of 45 people km-2 exceeded the 1993 carrying capacity, for firewood from shrubs, of 13 people km-2 (range 1 to 21 people km-2). As an adaptation strategy, ecological and socioeconomic factors favor the natural regeneration of local species over the massive plantation of exotic species. Natural regeneration is a traditional practice in which farmers select small field trees that they wish to raise to maturity, protect them, and prune them to promote rapid growth of the apical meristem. The results of this research provide evidence for desertification in the West African Sahel. These documented impacts of desertification foreshadow possible future effects of climate change.

  4. ITS2 secondary structure for species circumscription: case study in southern African Strychnos L. (Loganiaceae).

    PubMed

    Adebowale, Adekunle; Lamb, Jennifer; Nicholas, Ashley; Naidoo, Yougasphree

    2016-12-01

    Recently developed computational tools in ITS2 sequence-structure phylogenetics are improving tree robustness by exploitation of the added information content of the secondary structure. Despite this strength, however, their adoption for species-level clarifications in angiosperms has been slow. We investigate the utility of combining ITS2 sequence and secondary structure to separate species of southern African Strychnos, and assess correlation between compensatory base changes (CBCs) and currently recognised species boundaries. Combined phylogenetic analysis of sequence and secondary structure datasets performed better, in terms of robustness and species resolution, than analysis involving primary sequences only, achieving 100 and 88.2 % taxa discriminations respectively. Further, the Strychnos madagascariensis complex is well-resolved by sequence-structure phylogenetic analysis. The 17 Strychnos species corresponded to 14 ITS2 CBC clades. Four of the five taxa in section Densiflorae belong to a single CBC clade, whose members tend to form natural hybrids. Our finding supports the application of ITS2 as a complementary barcoding marker for species identification. It also highlights the potential of comparative studies of ITS2 CBC features among prospective parental pairs in breeding experiments as a rapid proxy for cross compatibility assessment. This could save valuable time in crop improvement. Patterns of CBC evolution and species boundaries in Strychnos suggests a positive correlation. We conclude that the CBC pattern coupled with observed ITS2 sequence paraphyly in section Densiflorae points to a speciation work-in-progress.

  5. Do estimated and actual species phylogenies match? Evaluation of East African cichlid radiations.

    PubMed

    Huang, Huateng; Tran, Lucy A P; Knowles, L Lacey

    2014-09-01

    A large number of published phylogenetic estimates are based on a single locus or the concatenation of multiple loci, even though genealogies of single or concatenated loci may not accurately reflect the true history of species diversification (i.e., the species tree). The increased availability of genomic data, coupled with new computational methods, improves resolution of species relationships beyond what was possible in the past. Such developments will no doubt benefit future phylogenetic studies. It remains unclear how robust phylogenies that predate these developments (i.e., the bulk of phylogenetic studies) are to departures from the assumption of strict gene tree-species tree concordance. Here, we present a parametric bootstrap (PBST) approach that assesses the reliability of past phylogenetic estimates in which gene tree-species tree discord was ignored. We focus on a universal cause of discord-the random loss of gene lineages from genetic drift-and apply the method in a meta-analysis of East African cichlids, a group encompassing historical scenarios that are particularly challenging for phylogenetic estimation. Although we identify some evolutionary relationships that are robust to gene tree discord, many past phylogenetic estimates of cichlids are not. We discuss the utility of the PBST method for evaluating the robustness of gene tree-based phylogenetic estimations in general as well as for testing the clade-specific performance of species tree estimation methods and designing sampling strategies that increase the accuracy of estimated species relationships.

  6. High level of mislabeling in Spanish and Greek hake markets suggests the fraudulent introduction of African species.

    PubMed

    Garcia-Vazquez, Eva; Perez, Juliana; Martinez, Jose L; Pardiñas, Antonio F; Lopez, Belen; Karaiskou, Nikoletta; Casa, Mary F; Machado-Schiaffino, Gonzalo; Triantafyllidis, Alexander

    2011-01-26

    DNA analysis of hake products commercialized in southern European (Spanish and Greek) market chains have demonstrated more than 30% mislabeling, on the basis of species substitution. Tails and fillets were more mislabeled than other products, such as slices and whole pieces. African species were substitute species for products labeled as American and European species, and we suggest it is a case of deliberate economically profitable mislabeling because real market prices of European and American hake products are higher than those of African in Spanish market chains. The presented results suggest fraud detection that disadvantages African producers. Government-mandated genetic surveys of commercial hakes and the use of subsequent statements of fair trade on labels of seafood products could help to reduce fraud levels in a global market of increasingly conscious consumers sensitive to ethical issues.

  7. Isoptericola cucumis sp. nov., isolated from the root tissue of cucumber (Cucumis sativus).

    PubMed

    Kämpfer, Peter; Glaeser, Stefanie P; Kloepper, Joseph W; Hu, Chia-Hui; McInroy, John A; Martin, Karin; Busse, Hans-Jürgen

    2016-08-01

    A Gram-stain-positive, aerobic organism, showing an irregular cell morphology, was isolated from the root tissue of cucumber (Cucumis sativus) and investigated in detail for its taxonomic position. On the basis of the 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis, strain AP-38T was shown to be most closely related to Isoptericola variabilis (99.1 %) and Isoptericola nanjingensis (98.9 %). The 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity to all other species of the genus Isoptericola was ≤98.5 %. DNA-DNA relatedness to Isoptericola variablis DSM 10177T and Isoptericola nanjingensis DSM 24300T was 31(reciprocal 41 %) and 34 (reciprocal 34 %), respectively. The diagnostic diamino acid of the peptidoglycan was l-lysine. The quinone system contained predominantly menaquinones MK-9(H4) and MK-9(H2). In the polar lipid profile, major compounds were diphosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidylinositol and two phosphatidylinositol mannosides. The polyamine pattern contained the major components spermidine and spermine and significant amounts of tyramine. In the fatty acid profile, anteiso-C15 : 0 and iso-C15 : 0 were present in major amounts. These data support the allocation of the strain to the genus Isoptericola. The results of physiological and biochemical characterization additionally provide phenotypic differentiation of strain AP-38T from I. variabilis and I. nanjingensis. AP-38T represents a novel species of the genus Isoptericola, for which we propose the name Isoptericola cucumis sp. nov., with AP-38T (= LMG 29223T=CCM 8653T) as the type strain.

  8. Identification of naturally occurring hybrids between two overexploited sciaenid species along the South African coast.

    PubMed

    Mirimin, L; Kerwath, S E; Macey, B M; Bester-van der Merwe, A E; Lamberth, S J; Bloomer, P; Roodt-Wilding, R

    2014-07-01

    Hybridisation between fish species can play a significant role in evolutionary processes and can influence management and conservation planning, however, this phenomenon has been widely understudied, especially in marine organisms. The distribution limits of two sciaenid species (silver kob, Argyrosomus inodorus, and dusky kob, A. japonicus) partly overlap along the South African coast, where both species have undergone severe depletion due to overfishing. Following the identification of a number of possible cases of species misidentification or hybridisation (21 out of 422 individuals), nuclear and mitochondrial DNA data (12microsatellite loci and 562bp of the COI gene) were analysed to investigate the genetic composition of these individuals. Results indicated a field-based species misidentification rate of approximately 2.8% and a rate of natural hybridisation of 0.7%. Interestingly, all hybrid fish resulted from first-generation (F1) hybridisation events, which occurred exclusively between silver kob females and dusky kob males. Whether hybridisation is the result of natural events (such as secondary contact following a shift in distribution range), or anthropogenic activities (size-selective pressure due to overfishing), these findings have important implications for critical recovery and future management of these species in the wild.

  9. Species delimitation in the Central African herbs Haumania (Marantaceae) using georeferenced nuclear and chloroplastic DNA sequences.

    PubMed

    Ley, A C; Hardy, O J

    2010-11-01

    Species delimitation is a fundamental biological concept which is frequently discussed and altered to integrate new insights. These revealed that speciation is not a one step phenomenon but an ongoing process and morphological characters alone are not sufficient anymore to properly describe the results of this process. Here we want to assess the degree of speciation in two closely related lianescent taxa from the tropical African genus Haumania which display distinct vegetative traits despite a high similarity in reproductive traits and a partial overlap in distribution area which might facilitate gene flow. To this end, we combined phylogenetic and phylogeographic analyses using nuclear (nr) and chloroplast (cp) DNA sequences in comparison to morphological species descriptions. The nuclear dataset unambiguously supports the morphological species concept in Haumania. However, the main chloroplastic haplotypes are shared between species and, although a geographic analysis of cpDNA diversity confirms that individuals from the same taxon are more related than individuals from distinct taxa, cp-haplotypes display correlated geographic distributions between species. Hybridization is the most plausible reason for this pattern. A scenario involving speciation in geographic isolation followed by range expansion is outlined. The study highlights the gain of information on the speciation process in Haumania by adding georeferenced molecular data to the morphological characteristics. It also shows that nr and cp sequence data might provide different but complementary information, questioning the reliability of the unique use of chloroplast data for species recognition by DNA barcoding.

  10. De novo assembly of a draft genome for Cucumis hystrix, the closest relative of cucumber

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cucumis hystrix (2n = 2x = 24, HH) is the only known species that is cross-compatible with cucumber and has a great potential for cucumber improvement, To facilitate introgression of C. hystrix chromatins into cucumber genetic background through development of introgression library, we sequenced two...

  11. Two new Trypanosoma species from African birds, with notes on the taxonomy of avian trypanosomes.

    PubMed

    Valkiūnas, Gediminas; Iezhova, Tatjana A; Carlson, Jenny S; Sehgal, Ravinder N M

    2011-10-01

    Trypanosoma anguiformis n. sp. and Trypanosoma polygranularis n. sp. are described from the African olive sunbird, Cyanomitra olivacea, and Latham's forest francolin, Francolinus lathami, respectively, based on the morphology of their hematozoic trypomastigotes and partial sequences of the small subunit ribosomal RNA gene. Both new species belong to the group of small non-striated avian trypanosomes (<30 µm in length on average) with the kinetoplast situated close to the posterior end of the body. Trypanosoma anguiformis can be readily distinguished from other small avian trypanosomes due to its markedly attenuated (snake-shaped) form of the hematozoic trypomastigotes and the dumbbell-shaped nucleus of the parasite. Trypanosoma polygranularis is readily distinguishable due to the markedly off-center (anteriorly) located nucleus, numerous azurophilic granules that are arranged in a line following the undulating membrane, and the large kinetoplast (with an area up to 1.7 µm(2) [1.1 µm(2) on average]). Illustrations of hematozoic trypomastigotes of the new species are given, and DNA lineages associated with these parasites are reported. The current situation in species taxonomy of avian trypanosomes is discussed. We call for the redescription of valid species of avian trypanosomes from their type vertebrate hosts and type localities by using morphological and polymerase chain reaction-based techniques as an initial essential step towards revising the species composition of avian trypanosomes and reconstructing the taxonomy of these organisms.

  12. The species flocks of East African cichlid fishes: recent advances in molecular phylogenetics and population genetics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salzburger, Walter; Meyer, Axel

    With more than 3,000 species, the fish family Cichlidae is one of the most species-rich families of vertebrates. Cichlids occur in southern and central America, Africa, Madagascar, and India. The hotspot of their biodiversity is East Africa, where they form adaptive radiations composed of hundreds of endemic species in several lakes of various sizes and ages. The unparalleled species richness of East African cichlids has been something of a conundrum for evolutionary biologists and ecologists, since it has been in doubt whether these hundreds of species arose by allopatric speciation or whether it is necessary to invoke somewhat less traditional models of speciation, such as micro-allopatric, peripatric, or even sympatric speciation or evolution through sexual selection mediated by female choice. Ernst Mayr's analyses of these evolutionary uniquely diverse species assemblages have contributed to a more direct approach to this problem and have led to a deeper understanding of the patterns and processes that caused the formation of these huge groups of species. We review here recent molecular data on population differentiation and phylogenetics, which have helped to unravel, to some extent, the patterns and processes that led to the formation and ecological maintenance of cichlid species flocks. It is becoming apparent that sexually selected traits do play an important role in speciation in micro-allopatric or even sympatric settings. Species richness seems to be roughly correlated with the surface area, but not the age, of the lakes. We observe that the oldest lineages of a species flock of cichlids are often less species-rich and live in the open water or deepwater habitats. While the species flocks of the Lake Malawai and the Lake Victoria areas were shown to be monophyletic, the cichlid assemblage of Lake Tanganyika seems to consist of several independent species flocks. Cichlids emerge as an evolutionary model system in which many fundamental questions in

  13. Next-generation sequencing, FISH mapping and synteny-based modeling reveal mechanisms of decreasing dysploidy in Cucumis

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In the family of Cucurbitaceae, cucumber (Cucumis sativus) is the only species with 14 chromosomes. The majority of the remaining species, including melon and the sister species of cucumber, C. hystrix, have 24 chromosomes. To understand the underlying mechanisms of chromosome reduction from n=12 to...

  14. Geological Substrates Shape Tree Species and Trait Distributions in African Moist Forests

    PubMed Central

    Fayolle, Adeline; Engelbrecht, Bettina; Freycon, Vincent; Mortier, Frédéric; Swaine, Michael; Réjou-Méchain, Maxime; Doucet, Jean-Louis; Fauvet, Nicolas; Cornu, Guillaume; Gourlet-Fleury, Sylvie

    2012-01-01

    Background Understanding the factors that shape the distribution of tropical tree species at large scales is a central issue in ecology, conservation and forest management. The aims of this study were to (i) assess the importance of environmental factors relative to historical factors for tree species distributions in the semi-evergreen forests of the northern Congo basin; and to (ii) identify potential mechanisms explaining distribution patterns through a trait-based approach. Methodology/Principal Findings We analyzed the distribution patterns of 31 common tree species in an area of more than 700,000 km2 spanning the borders of Cameroon, the Central African Republic, and the Republic of Congo using forest inventory data from 56,445 0.5-ha plots. Spatial variation of environmental (climate, topography and geology) and historical factors (human disturbance) were quantified from maps and satellite records. Four key functional traits (leaf phenology, shade tolerance, wood density, and maximum growth rate) were extracted from the literature. The geological substrate was of major importance for the distribution of the focal species, while climate and past human disturbances had a significant but lesser impact. Species distribution patterns were significantly related to functional traits. Species associated with sandy soils typical of sandstone and alluvium were characterized by slow growth rates, shade tolerance, evergreen leaves, and high wood density, traits allowing persistence on resource-poor soils. In contrast, fast-growing pioneer species rarely occurred on sandy soils, except for Lophira alata. Conclusions/Significance The results indicate strong environmental filtering due to differential soil resource availability across geological substrates. Additionally, long-term human disturbances in resource-rich areas may have accentuated the observed patterns of species and trait distributions. Trait differences across geological substrates imply pronounced

  15. Transcriptome sequencing for SNP discovery across Cucumis melo

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Melon (Cucumis melo L.) is a highly diverse species that is cultivated worldwide. Recent advances in massively parallel sequencing have begun to allow the study of nucleotide diversity in this species. The Sanger method combined with medium-throughput 454 technology were used in a previous study to analyze the genetic diversity of germplasm representing 3 botanical varieties, yielding a collection of about 40,000 SNPs distributed in 14,000 unigenes. However, the usefulness of this resource is limited as the sequenced genotypes do not represent the whole diversity of the species, which is divided into two subspecies with many botanical varieties variable in plant, flowering, and fruit traits, as well as in stress response. As a first step to extensively document levels and patterns of nucleotide variability across the species, we used the high-throughput SOLiD™ system to resequence the transcriptomes of a set of 67 genotypes that had previously been selected from a core collection representing the extant variation of the entire species. Results The deep transcriptome resequencing of all of the genotypes, grouped into 8 pools (wild African agrestis, Asian agrestis and acidulus, exotic Far Eastern conomon, Indian momordica and Asian dudaim and flexuosus, commercial cantalupensis, subsp. melo Asian and European landraces, Spanish inodorus landraces, and Piel de Sapo breeding lines) yielded about 300 M reads. Short reads were mapped to the recently generated draft genome assembly of the DHL line Piel de Sapo (inodorus) x Songwhan Charmi (conomon) and to a new version of melon transcriptome. Regions with at least 6X coverage were used in SNV calling, generating a melon collection with 303,883 variants. These SNVs were dispersed across the entire C. melo genome, and distributed in 15,064 annotated genes. The number and variability of in silico SNVs differed considerably between pools. Our finding of higher genomic diversity in wild and exotic agrestis melons

  16. Comparative evaluation of haemagglutination potential of haemolymph from two species of giant African land snails (Archachatina marginata and Achatina achatina).

    PubMed

    Abiona, John Adesanya; Akinduti, Paul Akinniyi; Oyekunle, Mufutao Atanda; Osinowo, Olusegun Ayodeji; Onagbesan, A Okanlawon Mohammed

    2014-05-01

    A comparative study was conducted to evaluate haemagglutination potential in the haemolymph of two species of giant African land snails (Archachatina marginata and Achatina achatina). Three liveweight groups of snails (<100 g, 101-150 g and >150 g) were used with 4 replicates per liveweight per species for haemagglutination assay (HA). The effect of aestivation on haemagglutination potential was also evaluated. Erythrocytes (2%) from cattle, sheep, goat and chicken were used for HA assay. Results showed that agglutinin-like substances that agglutinate erythrocytes of sheep, goat, cattle and chicken were present in the haemolymph of the two species of giant African land snails. Effect of species was found to be significant (P < 0.001) on haemagglutination titre. Haemolymph of A. marginata, had higher haemagglutination titre than that of A. achatina across the three liveweight groups used in this study. Snail liveweight had no significant effect (P > 0.05) on agglutinin content of the haemolymph in both species. Agglutination level depended on the source of erythrocyte used. Sheep erythrocyte recorded the highest haemagglutination titre, followed by goat, cattle, and chicken in that order. To our knowledge, this is the first evidence that Giant African land snails (GALS) haemolymph contain agglutinins as previously reported for Helix species. This evidence may be the basis for its survivability in the wild and thus establish the use of GALS for African herbal medicinal applications.

  17. Spatial variation of haemosporidian parasite infection in African rainforest bird species.

    PubMed

    Loiseau, Claire; Iezhova, Tatjana; Valkiūnas, Gediminas; Chasar, Anthony; Hutchinson, Anna; Buermann, Wolfgang; Smith, Thomas B; Sehgal, Ravinder N M

    2010-02-01

    Spatial heterogeneity influences the distribution, prevalence, and diversity of haemosporidian parasites. Previous studies have found complex patterns of prevalence with respect to habitat characteristics and parasite genotype, and their interactions, but there is little information regarding how parasitemia intensity and the prevalence of co-infections may vary in space. Here, using both molecular methods and microscopy, we report an analysis of the variation of parasitemia intensity and co-infections of avian haemosporidian parasites ( Plasmodium and Haemoproteus species) in 2 common African birds species, the yellow-whiskered greenbul ( Andropadus latirostris ) and the olive sunbird ( Cyanomitra olivacea ), at 3 sites with distinct habitat characteristics in Ghana. First, we found an interaction between the site and host species for the prevalence of Plasmodium spp. and Haemoproteus spp. For the olive sunbird, the prevalence of Plasmodium spp., as well as the number of individuals with co-infections, varied significantly among the sites, but these measures remained constant for the yellow-whiskered greenbul. In addition, yellow-whiskered greenbuls infected with Haemoproteus spp. were found only at 1 site. Furthermore, for both bird species, the parasitemia intensity of Plasmodium spp. varied significantly among the 3 sites, but with opposing trends. These results suggest that spatial heterogeneity differently affects haemosporidian infection parameters in these vertebrate-hosts. Environmental conditions here can either favor or reduce parasite infection. We discuss the implications of these discrepancies for conservation and ecological studies of infectious diseases in natural populations.

  18. African elephants show high levels of interest in the skulls and ivory of their own species.

    PubMed

    McComb, Karen; Baker, Lucy; Moss, Cynthia

    2006-03-22

    An important area of biology involves investigating the origins in animals of traits that are thought of as uniquely human. One way that humans appear unique is in the importance they attach to the dead bodies of other humans, particularly those of their close kin, and the rituals that they have developed for burying them. In contrast, most animals appear to show only limited interest in the carcasses or associated remains of dead individuals of their own species. African elephants (Loxodonta africana) are unusual in that they not only give dramatic reactions to the dead bodies of other elephants, but are also reported to systematically investigate elephant bones and tusks that they encounter, and it has sometimes been suggested that they visit the bones of relatives. Here, we use systematic presentations of object arrays to demonstrate that African elephants show higher levels of interest in elephant skulls and ivory than in natural objects or the skulls of other large terrestrial mammals. However, they do not appear to specifically select the skulls of their own relatives for investigation so that visits to dead relatives probably result from a more general attraction to elephant remains.

  19. Coxiella burnetii detected in three species of endangered North African gazelles that recently aborted.

    PubMed

    García, Elena; Espeso, Gerardo; Fernández, Rocío; Gómez-Martín, Ángel; Rodríguez-Linde, José María; De la Fe, Christian

    2017-01-15

    Coxiella (C.) burnetii is the etiological agent of the zoonotic disease known a Q fever. This agent can infect multiple hosts although its pathogenic potential in wild ruminants has been poorly studied. The polymerase chain reaction and the serological test detected the presence of C. burnetii in a population of North African gazelles (n = 355), comprising dorcas gazelle (Gazella dorcas neglecta), dama gazelle (Nanger dama mhorr) and Cuvier's gazelle (Gazella cuvieri) which, some of them, they recently aborted. Serological tests for Brucella spp., C. burnetii, Chlamydophila abortus, border disease pestivirus, and Toxoplasma spp. were performed together with specific cultures to detect Salmonella spp., Listeria spp., and Campylobacter spp. and a polymerase chain reaction for C. burnetii on serum and vaginal swabs samples collected from a representative number of animals (n = 65). These tests only detected the presence of C. burnetii in 18 specimens (27.3%). C. burnetii was the only pathogen detected, with eight animals testing positive on the polymerase chain reaction, 15 on the serological test, and five on both the tests. This article reveals the presence of C. burnetii during a medium and late-stage abortions occurred in a population of North African gazelles. The presence of C. burnetii as causal agent of abortions in Cuvier's gazelles has never been reported. The consequences of the findings are discussed here, showing the need to adopt urgent control measures to prevent the spread of C. burnetii in captive populations that are essential for the conservation of these endangered species.

  20. The evolutionary dynamics of ancient and recent polyploidy in the African semiaquatic species of the legume genus Aeschynomene.

    PubMed

    Chaintreuil, Clémence; Gully, Djamel; Hervouet, Catherine; Tittabutr, Panlada; Randriambanona, Herizo; Brown, Spencer C; Lewis, Gwilym P; Bourge, Mickaël; Cartieaux, Fabienne; Boursot, Marc; Ramanankierana, Heriniaina; D'Hont, Angélique; Teaumroong, Neung; Giraud, Eric; Arrighi, Jean-François

    2016-08-01

    The legume genus Aeschynomene is notable in the ability of certain semiaquatic species to develop nitrogen-fixing stem nodules. These species are distributed in two clades. In the first clade, all the species are characterized by the use of a unique Nod-independent symbiotic process. In the second clade, the species use a Nod-dependent symbiotic process and some of them display a profuse stem nodulation as exemplified in the African Aeschynomene afraspera. To facilitate the molecular analysis of the symbiotic characteristics of such legumes, we took an integrated molecular and cytogenetic approach to track occurrences of polyploidy events and to analyze their impact on the evolution of the African species of Aeschynomene. Our results revealed two rounds of polyploidy: a paleopolyploid event predating the African group and two neopolyploid speciations, along with significant chromosomal variations. Hence, we found that A. afraspera (8x) has inherited the contrasted genomic properties and the stem-nodulation habit of its parental lineages (4x). This study reveals a comprehensive picture of African Aeschynomene diversification. It notably evidences a history that is distinct from the diploid Nod-independent clade, providing clues for the identification of the specific determinants of the Nod-dependent and Nod-independent symbiotic processes, and for comparative analysis of stem nodulation.

  1. The African Crane Database (1978-2014): Records of three threatened crane species (Family: Gruidae) from southern and eastern Africa

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Tanya; Page-Nicholson, Samantha; Gibbons, Bradley; Jones, M. Genevieve W.; van Niekerk, Mark; Botha, Bronwyn; Oliver, Kirsten; McCann, Kevin

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Background The International Crane Foundation (ICF) / Endangered Wildlife Trust’s (EWT) African Crane Conservation Programme has recorded 26 403 crane sightings in its database from 1978 to 2014. This sightings collection is currently ongoing and records are continuously added to the database by the EWT field staff, ICF/EWT Partnership staff, various partner organizations and private individuals. The dataset has two peak collection periods: 1994-1996 and 2008-2012. The dataset collection spans five African countries: Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia; 98% of the data were collected in South Africa. Georeferencing of the dataset was verified before publication of the data. The dataset contains data on three African crane species: Blue Crane Anthropoides paradiseus, Grey Crowned Crane Balearica regulorum and Wattled Crane Bugeranus carunculatus. The Blue and Wattled Cranes are classified by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species as Vulnerable and the Grey Crowned Crane as Endangered. New information This is the single most comprehensive dataset published on African Crane species that adds new information about the distribution of these three threatened species. We hope this will further aid conservation authorities to monitor and protect these species. The dataset continues to grow and especially to expand in geographic coverage into new countries in Africa and new sites within countries. The dataset can be freely accessed through the Global Biodiversity Information Facility data portal. PMID:27956850

  2. Species-level diversification of African dwarf crocodiles (Genus Osteolaemus): a geographic and phylogenetic perspective.

    PubMed

    Eaton, Mitchell J; Martin, Andrew; Thorbjarnarson, John; Amato, George

    2009-03-01

    The taxonomy of the African dwarf crocodile (genus Osteolaemus) has been disputed since a novel morphotype was discovered in the early 20th Century. Because this poorly-known reptile is widely hunted throughout the forests of Central and West Africa, resolving the existence and extent of taxonomic units has important management and conservation implications. Lack of molecular data from individuals of known origin and historical disagreement on diagnostic morphological characters have hindered attempts to settle one of the most important taxonomic questions in the Crocodylia. In an effort to clarify the evolutionary relationships among dwarf crocodiles, we sequenced three mitochondrial and two nuclear genes using a large sample of dwarf crocodiles from known localities across major drainage basins of forested Africa. Concordant results from Bayesian, maximum likelihood, maximum parsimony and population aggregation analytical methods support a previously recognized division of the dwarf crocodile into a Congo Basin form (O. osborni) and a West African form (Osteolaemus tetraspis), but also reveal a third diagnosable lineage from West Africa warranting recognition as an separate taxonomic unit. Corrected genetic distances between geographic regions ranged from 0.2% to 0.6% in nuclear fragments and 10.0 to 16.2% in mitochondrial COI. Population aggregation, using fixed and alternate character (nucleotide) states to cluster or divide populations, recovered 232 such molecular characters in 4286 bp of sequence data and unambiguously aggregated populations into their respective geographic clade. Several previously recognized morphological differences coincide with our molecular analysis to distinguish Congo Basin crocodiles from the Ogooué Basin and West Africa. Discrete morphological characters have not yet been documented between the latter two regions, suggesting further work is needed or molecular data may be required to recognize taxonomic divisions in cases where

  3. Analyses of volatiles produced by the African fruit fly species complex (Diptera, Tephritidae).

    PubMed

    Břízová, Radka; Vaníčková, Lucie; Faťarová, Mária; Ekesi, Sunday; Hoskovec, Michal; Kalinová, Blanka

    2015-01-01

    Ceratitis fasciventris, Ceratitis anonae and Ceratitis rosa are polyphagous agricultural pests originating from the African continent. The taxonomy of this group (the so-called Ceratitis FAR complex) is unclear. To clarify the taxonomic relationships, male and female-produced volatiles presumably involved in pre-mating communication were studied using comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography with time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GC×GC-TOFMS) followed by multivariate analysis, and gas chromatography combined with electroantennographic detection (GC-EAD). GC×GC-TOFMS analyses revealed sex specific differences in produced volatiles. Male volatiles are complex mixtures that differ both qualitatively and quantitatively but share some common compounds. GC-EAD analyses of male volatiles revealed that the antennal sensitivities of females significantly differ in the studied species. No female volatiles elicited antennal responses in males. The results show clear species-specific differences in volatile production and provide complementary information for the distinct delimitation of the putative species by chemotaxonomic markers.

  4. Analyses of volatiles produced by the African fruit fly species complex (Diptera, Tephritidae)

    PubMed Central

    Břízová, Radka; Vaníčková, Lucie; Faťarová, Mária; Ekesi, Sunday; Hoskovec, Michal; Kalinová, Blanka

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Ceratitis fasciventris, Ceratitis anonae and Ceratitis rosa are polyphagous agricultural pests originating from the African continent. The taxonomy of this group (the so-called Ceratitis FAR complex) is unclear. To clarify the taxonomic relationships, male and female-produced volatiles presumably involved in pre-mating communication were studied using comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography with time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GC×GC-TOFMS) followed by multivariate analysis, and gas chromatography combined with electroantennographic detection (GC-EAD). GC×GC-TOFMS analyses revealed sex specific differences in produced volatiles. Male volatiles are complex mixtures that differ both qualitatively and quantitatively but share some common compounds. GC-EAD analyses of male volatiles revealed that the antennal sensitivities of females significantly differ in the studied species. No female volatiles elicited antennal responses in males. The results show clear species-specific differences in volatile production and provide complementary information for the distinct delimitation of the putative species by chemotaxonomic markers. PMID:26798269

  5. Concordant genetic structure in two species of woodpecker distributed across the primary West African biogeographic barriers.

    PubMed

    Fuchs, Jérôme; Bowie, Rauri C K

    2015-07-01

    The lowland forests of western and central tropical Africa are separated by several potential biogeographic barriers to dispersal for forest adapted vertebrates. The two primary barriers are (1) the Dahomey Gap, a savanna corridor that reaches the coast of southern Ghana, Togo and Benin, and separates the West African rainforest into the Upper (Ghana west to Guinea) and Lower Guinea (Nigeria to Uganda and Angola) forest blocks, and (2) the Lower Niger River, a large delta that separates Western and Eastern Nigeria. Previous studies on terrestrial vertebrates (lizards, mammals and birds) have highlighted a genetic break in the Dahomey Gap/Lower Niger River area although the relative importance of each barrier has not been assessed due to limitations in geographic sampling. We compared the phylogeographic history of two co-distributed sister-species of woodpeckers (Campethera caroli and C. nivosa) using data from three loci representing all inheritance modes. Our analyses revealed that both the Dahomey Gap and possibly the Lower Niger River acted as strong biogeographic barriers for the two woodpecker species, with the Lower Niger River being the first barrier to have formed, leading to three distinct populations of C. nivosa. Our divergence time analyses revealed that both these biogeographic barriers formed during the Pleistocene, supporting the Pleistocene refuge hypothesis, with the Dahomey Gap likely appearing about 0.5 myr BP. No genetic structure was recovered among sampled populations in either the Upper or the Lower Guinea Forest Block for both species, despite the considerable geographic area covered.

  6. Microsatellite cross-species amplification and utility in southern African elasmobranchs: A valuable resource for fisheries management and conservation

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Similarly to the rest of the world, southern Africa’s diverse chondrichthyan fauna is currently experiencing high fishing pressures from direct and non-direct fisheries to satisfy market demands for shark products such as fins and meat. In this study, the development of microsatellite markers through cross-species amplification of primer sets previously developed for closely related species is reported as an alternative approach to de novo marker development. This included the design of four microsatellite multiplex assays and their cross-species utility in genetic diversity analysis of southern African elasmobranchs. As this study forms part of a larger project on the development of genetic resources for commercially important and endemic southern African species, Mustelus mustelus was used as a candidate species for testing these multiplex assays in down-stream applications. Results Thirty five microsatellite primer sets previously developed for five elasmobranch species were selected from literature for testing cross-species amplification in 16 elasmobranch species occurring in southern Africa. Cross-species amplification success rates ranged from 28.6%-71.4%. From the successfully amplified microsatellites, 22 loci were selected and evaluated for levels of polymorphism, and four multiplex assays comprising of the 22 microsatellites were successfully constructed, optimised and characterised in a panel of 87 Mustelus mustelus individuals. A total of 125 alleles were observed across all loci, with the number of alleles ranging from 3–12 alleles. Cross-species amplification of the four optimised multiplex assays was further tested on 11 commercially important and endemic southern African elasmobranch species. Percentage of polymorphism ranged from 31.8%-95.5% in these species with polymorphic information content decreasing exponentially with evolutionary distance from the source species. Conclusions Cross-species amplification of the 35

  7. Phylogeography of SW Mediterranean firs: different European origins for the North African Abies species.

    PubMed

    Sánchez-Robles, Jose M; Balao, Francisco; Terrab, Anass; García-Castaño, Juan L; Ortiz, María A; Vela, Errol; Talavera, Salvador

    2014-10-01

    The current distribution of Western Mediterranean Abies species is a result of complex geodynamic processes and climatic oscillations that occurred in the past. Abies sect. Piceaster offers a good study model to explore how geo-climatic oscillations might have influenced its expansion and diversification on both sides of the W Mediterranean basin. We investigated the genetic variation within and among nine populations from five Abies species by molecular markers with high and low mutation rates and contrasting inheritance (AFLP and cpSSR). Analyses revealed the opening of the Strait of Gibraltar as an effective barrier against gene flow between the Southern Iberian (A. pinsapo) and North African (A. marocana and A. tazaotana) firs. The A. pinsapo populations in Spain and likewise those of the A. marocana - A. tazaotana population complex were not differentiated, and no evidence was found to distinguish A. tazaotana at the species level. Diversification of Abies across North Africa could occur by way of at least two vicariant events from Europe, in the west, giving rise to the A. marocana - A. tazaotana complex, and in the east, giving A. numidica. Secondary contacts among species from Abies sect. Piceaster (A. pinsapo and A. numidica), and with A. alba (Abies sect. Abies) are also indicated. However, there is a closer relationship between the Algerian fir (A. numidica) and the North Mediterranean widespread A. alba, than with the Moroccan firs (A. marocana and A. tazaotana) or the Southern Iberian (A. pinsapo). We also discuss the distribution range of these taxa in its paleogeological and paleoclimatic context, and propose that part of the modern geography of the South-Western Mediterranean firs might be traced back to the Tertiary.

  8. Biogeographical and phylogenetic origins of African fig species (Ficus section Galoglychia).

    PubMed

    Rønsted, Nina; Salvo, Gabriele; Savolainen, Vincent

    2007-04-01

    Ficus section Galoglychia (subgenus Urostigma; Moraceae) includes 72 species restricted to the African floristic region (a few extending to the Arabian Peninsula and Socotra). We present the first molecular phylogenetic analysis of the section including 56 ingroup (representing 44 species) and three outgroup taxa, to investigate its monophyly, classification and evolution. We used sequence data from the nuclear ribosomal internal and external transcribed spacers (ITS and ETS). Our results suggest that section Galoglychia is paraphyletic to the neotropical section Americana, although this is not supported by bootstrap analysis and only weakly supported by Bayesian posterior probabilities. Maximum parsimony analysis conflict with maximum likelihood and Bayesian analyses with respect to the closest relatives of section Americana in Africa. The subsections of section Galoglychia proposed by Berg [Berg, C.C., 1986. Subdivision of Ficus subg. Urostigma sect. Galoglychia (Moraceae). Proc. Kon. Ned. Akad. Wetensch., Ser. C, 89, 121-127] are generally supported. We find two major clades of section Galoglychia within Africa possibly corresponding to two main centres of diversity. One clade comprises members of subsections Platyphyllae and Chlamydodorae, which are more concentrated in Eastern Africa, and extend to Madagascar and neighbouring archipelagos (Comores, Mascarenes, Aldabra Islands and Seychelles). The other main clade includes members of subsections Caulocarpae, Cyathistipulae, Crassicostae and Galoglychia, which are concentrated in West and Central Africa.

  9. Water balance and renal function in two species of African lungfish Protopterus dolloi and Protopterus annectens.

    PubMed

    Patel, Monika; Iftikar, Fathima I; Smith, Richard W; Ip, Yuen K; Wood, Chris M

    2009-02-01

    The basic physiology of water balance and kidney function was characterized in two species of African lungfish, Protopterus dolloi and Protopterus annectens. Diffusive water efflux rate constants were low (0.13 h(-1)-0.38 h(-1) in various series) relative to values in freshwater teleost fish. Efflux rate constants increased approximately 3-fold after feeding in both species, and were greatly decreased after 8 months terrestrialization (P. dolloi only tested). Urine flow rates (UFR, 3.9-5.2 mL kg(-1) h(-1)) and glomerular filtration rates (GFR, 6.6-9.3 mL kg(-1) h(-1)) were quite high relative to values in most freshwater teleosts. However urinary ion excretion rates were low, with net re-absorption of >99% Na(+), >98% Cl(-), and >78% Ca(2+) from the primary filtrate, comparable to teleosts. Net water re-absorption was significantly greater in P. dolloi (56%) than in P. annectens (23%). We conclude that renal function in lungfish is similar to that in other primitive freshwater fish, but there is an interesting dichotomy between diffusive and osmotic permeabilities. Aquatic lungfish have low diffusive water permeability, an important pre-adaptation to life on land, and in accord with greatly reduced gill areas and low metabolic rates. However osmotic permeability is high, 4-12 times greater than diffusive permeability. A role for aquaporins in this dichotomy is speculated.

  10. Antigenic diversity is generated by distinct evolutionary mechanisms in African trypanosome species.

    PubMed

    Jackson, Andrew P; Berry, Andrew; Aslett, Martin; Allison, Harriet C; Burton, Peter; Vavrova-Anderson, Jana; Brown, Robert; Browne, Hilary; Corton, Nicola; Hauser, Heidi; Gamble, John; Gilderthorp, Ruth; Marcello, Lucio; McQuillan, Jacqueline; Otto, Thomas D; Quail, Michael A; Sanders, Mandy J; van Tonder, Andries; Ginger, Michael L; Field, Mark C; Barry, J David; Hertz-Fowler, Christiane; Berriman, Matthew

    2012-02-28

    Antigenic variation enables pathogens to avoid the host immune response by continual switching of surface proteins. The protozoan blood parasite Trypanosoma brucei causes human African trypanosomiasis ("sleeping sickness") across sub-Saharan Africa and is a model system for antigenic variation, surviving by periodically replacing a monolayer of variant surface glycoproteins (VSG) that covers its cell surface. We compared the genome of Trypanosoma brucei with two closely related parasites Trypanosoma congolense and Trypanosoma vivax, to reveal how the variant antigen repertoire has evolved and how it might affect contemporary antigenic diversity. We reconstruct VSG diversification showing that Trypanosoma congolense uses variant antigens derived from multiple ancestral VSG lineages, whereas in Trypanosoma brucei VSG have recent origins, and ancestral gene lineages have been repeatedly co-opted to novel functions. These historical differences are reflected in fundamental differences between species in the scale and mechanism of recombination. Using phylogenetic incompatibility as a metric for genetic exchange, we show that the frequency of recombination is comparable between Trypanosoma congolense and Trypanosoma brucei but is much lower in Trypanosoma vivax. Furthermore, in showing that the C-terminal domain of Trypanosoma brucei VSG plays a crucial role in facilitating exchange, we reveal substantial species differences in the mechanism of VSG diversification. Our results demonstrate how past VSG evolution indirectly determines the ability of contemporary parasites to generate novel variant antigens through recombination and suggest that the current model for antigenic variation in Trypanosoma brucei is only one means by which these parasites maintain chronic infections.

  11. The in vitro pharmacological activities and a chemical investigation of three South African Salvia species.

    PubMed

    Kamatou, G P P; Viljoen, A M; Gono-Bwalya, A B; van Zyl, R L; van Vuuren, S F; Lourens, A C U; Başer, K H C; Demirci, B; Lindsey, K L; van Staden, J; Steenkamp, P

    2005-12-01

    Salvia species (sage) are well known in folk medicine throughout the world. In South Africa sage is used against fever and digestive disorders. Three closely related South African species (Salvia stenophylla, Salvia repens and Salvia runcinata) were investigated for their anti-oxidant (DPPH assay); anti-inflammatory (5-lipoxygenase and cyclo-oxygenase assays); antimalarial (tritiated hypoxanthine incorporation assay); antimicrobial (disc diffusion and micro-dilution assays) properties and toxicity profile (tetrazolium-based assay). The solvent extracts exhibited anti-oxidant, antimalarial and antibacterial and poor anti-inflammatory properties. The essential oils exhibited anti-inflammatory and antimalarial properties, but displayed poor anti-oxidant and antimicrobial activity. The extract of Salviastenophylla and the essential oil of Salvia runcinata displayed the highest toxicity profile. Overall, Salvia runcinata displayed the most favorable activity of all three taxa tested with an IC(50) value of 6.09 (anti-oxidant); 29.05 (antimalarial) and 22.82 microg/ml (anti-inflammatory). Analytical procedures (GC-MS and HPLC-UV) were employed to generate chromatographic profiles for the essential oils and solvent extracts respectively. The HPLC analysis revealed the presence of rosmarinic acid in all three taxa while carnosic acid was only present in Salvia repens and Salvia stenophylla. The GC-MS analysis showed that oils were qualitatively and quantitatively variable. beta-Caryophyllene was present in large amounts in all three taxa. Other components present include camphor, alpha-pinene and alpha-bisabolol. The results of the in vitro pharmacological activities provide a scientific basis to validate the use of these Salvia species in traditional medicine in South Africa.

  12. Tree Density and Species Decline in the African Sahel Attributable to Climate

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gonzalez, Patrick; Tucker, Compton J.; Sy, H.

    2012-01-01

    Increased aridity and human population have reduced tree cover in parts of the African Sahel and degraded resources for local people. Yet, tree cover trends and the relative importance of climate and population remain unresolved. From field measurements, aerial photos, and Ikonos satellite images, we detected significant 1954-2002 tree density declines in the western Sahel of 18 +/- 14% (P = 0.014, n = 204) and 17 +/- 13% (P = 0.0009, n = 187). From field observations, we detected a significant 1960-2000 species richness decline of 21 +/- 11% (P = 0.0028, n = 14) across the Sahel and a southward shift of the Sahel, Sudan, and Guinea zones. Multivariate analyses of climate, soil, and population showed that temperature most significantly (P < 0.001) explained tree cover changes. Multivariate and bivariate tests and field observations indicated the dominance of temperature and precipitation, supporting attribution of tree cover changes to climate variability. Climate change forcing of Sahel climate variability, particularly the significant (P < 0.05) 1901-2002 temperature increases and precipitation decreases in the research areas, connects Sahel tree cover changes to global climate change. This suggests roles for global action and local adaptation to address ecological change in the Sahel.

  13. Back to Tanganyika: a case of recent trans-species-flock dispersal in East African haplochromine cichlid fishes.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Britta S; Indermaur, Adrian; Ehrensperger, Xenia; Egger, Bernd; Banyankimbona, Gaspard; Snoeks, Jos; Salzburger, Walter

    2015-03-01

    The species flocks of cichlid fishes in the East African Great Lakes are the largest vertebrate adaptive radiations in the world and illustrious textbook examples of convergent evolution between independent species assemblages. Although recent studies suggest some degrees of genetic exchange between riverine taxa and the lake faunas, not a single cichlid species is known from Lakes Tanganyika, Malawi and Victoria that is derived from the radiation associated with another of these lakes. Here, we report the discovery of a haplochromine cichlid species in Lake Tanganyika, which belongs genetically to the species flock of haplochromines of the Lake Victoria region. The new species colonized Lake Tanganyika only recently, suggesting that faunal exchange across watersheds and, hence, between isolated ichthyofaunas, is more common than previously thought.

  14. Ecomorphology of the African felid ensemble: the role of the skull and postcranium in determining species segregation and assembling history.

    PubMed

    Morales, M M; Giannini, N P

    2013-05-01

    Morphology of extant felids is regarded as highly conservative. Most previous studies have focussed on skull morphology, so a vacuum exists about morphofunctional variation in postcranium and its role in structuring ensembles of felids in different continents. The African felid ensemble is particularly rich in ecologically specialized felids. We studied the ecomorphology of this ensemble using 31 cranial and 93 postcranial morphometric variables measured in 49 specimens of all 10 African species. We took a multivariate approach controlling for phylogeny, with and without body size correction. Postcranial and skull + postcranial analyses (but not skull-only analyses) allowed for a complete segregation of species in morphospace. Morphofunctional factors segregating species included body size, bite force, zeugopodial lengths and osteological features related to parasagittal leg movement. A general gradient of bodily proportions was recovered: lightly built, long-legged felids with small heads and weak bite forces vs. the opposite. Three loose groups were recognized: small terrestrial felids, mid-to-large sized scansorial felids and specialized Acinonyx jubatus and Leptailurus serval. As predicted from a previous study, the assembling of the African felid ensemble during the Plio-Pleistocene occurred by the arrival of distinct felid lineages that occupied then vacant areas of morphospace, later diversifying in the continent.

  15. Taxonomy of Atlantic Central African orchids 5. A new species of Angraecum sect. Conchoglossum (Orchidaceae, Angraecinae) from Gabon and Cameroon

    PubMed Central

    Ječmenica, Vladimir; Droissart, Vincent; Noret, Nausicaa; Stévart, Tariq

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Recent field inventories and taxonomic research in Central Africa have resulted in the discovery of many new orchid species. Five specimens of an apparently new Angraecum species were collected in Gabon and Cameroon. They stand out for their hanging habit and short zig-zag stem. Morphology of leaves and habit is somewhat comparable to Angraecum cultriforme and Angraecum stolzii, two species from East Africa. Flowers of the novelty share the general morphology of Angraecum pyriforme from which the new species is distinguished by being smaller and with a different lip-spur ratio. Here we show that these five specimens represent a new species, described here as Angraecum lanceolatum. The distinguishing traits include thin lanceolate leaves, convolute distally, with a rhombic lip shape. Dichotomous key to four Central African species of sect. Conchoglossum and a table of the diagnostic characters of the seven related Continental African Angraecum taxa are included here. A preliminary assessment of the conservation status of Angraecum lanceolatum is provided, using the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria. PMID:27081350

  16. Taxonomy of Atlantic Central African orchids 5. A new species of Angraecum sect. Conchoglossum (Orchidaceae, Angraecinae) from Gabon and Cameroon.

    PubMed

    Ječmenica, Vladimir; Droissart, Vincent; Noret, Nausicaa; Stévart, Tariq

    2016-01-01

    Recent field inventories and taxonomic research in Central Africa have resulted in the discovery of many new orchid species. Five specimens of an apparently new Angraecum species were collected in Gabon and Cameroon. They stand out for their hanging habit and short zig-zag stem. Morphology of leaves and habit is somewhat comparable to Angraecum cultriforme and Angraecum stolzii, two species from East Africa. Flowers of the novelty share the general morphology of Angraecum pyriforme from which the new species is distinguished by being smaller and with a different lip-spur ratio. Here we show that these five specimens represent a new species, described here as Angraecum lanceolatum. The distinguishing traits include thin lanceolate leaves, convolute distally, with a rhombic lip shape. Dichotomous key to four Central African species of sect. Conchoglossum and a table of the diagnostic characters of the seven related Continental African Angraecum taxa are included here. A preliminary assessment of the conservation status of Angraecum lanceolatum is provided, using the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria.

  17. Paralyzing action from a distance in an arboreal African ant species.

    PubMed

    Rifflet, Aline; Tene, Nathan; Orivel, Jerome; Treilhou, Michel; Dejean, Alain; Vetillard, Angelique

    2011-01-01

    Due to their prowess in interspecific competition and ability to catch a wide range of arthropod prey (mostly termites with which they are engaged in an evolutionary arms race), ants are recognized as a good model for studying the chemicals involved in defensive and predatory behaviors. Ants' wide diversity of nesting habits and relationships with plants and prey types implies that these chemicals are also very diverse. Using the African myrmicine ant Crematogaster striatula as our focal species, we adopted a three-pronged research approach. We studied the aggressive and predatory behaviors of the ant workers, conducted bioassays on the effect of their Dufour gland contents on termites, and analyzed these contents. (1) The workers defend themselves or eliminate termites by orienting their abdominal tip toward the opponent, stinger protruded. The chemicals emitted, apparently volatile, trigger the recruitment of nestmates situated in the vicinity and act without the stinger having to come into direct contact with the opponent. Whereas alien ants competing with C. striatula for sugary food sources are repelled by this behavior and retreat further and further away, termites defend their nest whatever the danger. They face down C. striatula workers and end up by rolling onto their backs, their legs batting the air. (2) The bioassays showed that the toxicity of the Dufour gland contents acts in a time-dependent manner, leading to the irreversible paralysis, and, ultimately, death of the termites. (3) Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analyses showed that the Dufour gland contains a mixture of mono- or polyunsaturated long-chain derivatives, bearing functional groups like oxo-alcohols or oxo-acetates. Electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry showed the presence of a molecule of 1584 Da that might be a large, acetylated alkaloid capable of splitting into smaller molecules that could be responsible for the final degree of venom toxicity.

  18. Odor discrimination in classical conditioning of proboscis extension in two stingless bee species in comparison to Africanized honeybees.

    PubMed

    Mc Cabe, S I; Hartfelder, K; Santana, W C; Farina, W M

    2007-11-01

    Learning in insects has been extensively studied using different experimental approaches. One of them, the proboscis extension response (PER) paradigm, is particularly well suited for quantitative studies of cognitive abilities of honeybees under controlled conditions. The goal of this study was to analyze the capability of three eusocial bee species to be olfactory conditioned in the PER paradigm. We worked with two Brazilian stingless bees species, Melipona quadrifasciata and Scaptotrigona aff. depilis, and with the invasive Africanized honeybee, Apis mellifera. These three species present very different recruitment strategies, which could be related with different odor-learning abilities. We evaluated their gustatory responsiveness and learning capability to discriminate floral odors. Gustatory responsiveness was similar for the three species, although S. aff. depilis workers showed fluctuations along the experimental period. Results for the learning assays revealed that M. quadrifasciata workers can be conditioned to discriminate floral odors in a classical differential conditioning protocol and that this discrimination is maintained 15 min after training. During conditioning, Africanized honeybees presented the highest discrimination, for M. quadrifasciata it was intermediate, and S. aff. depilis bees presented no discrimination. The differences found are discussed considering the putative different learning abilities and procedure effect for each species.

  19. Drivers of extinction risk in African mammals: the interplay of distribution state, human pressure, conservation response and species biology

    PubMed Central

    Di Marco, Moreno; Buchanan, Graeme M.; Szantoi, Zoltan; Holmgren, Milena; Grottolo Marasini, Gabriele; Gross, Dorit; Tranquilli, Sandra; Boitani, Luigi; Rondinini, Carlo

    2014-01-01

    Although conservation intervention has reversed the decline of some species, our success is outweighed by a much larger number of species moving towards extinction. Extinction risk modelling can identify correlates of risk and species not yet recognized to be threatened. Here, we use machine learning models to identify correlates of extinction risk in African terrestrial mammals using a set of variables belonging to four classes: species distribution state, human pressures, conservation response and species biology. We derived information on distribution state and human pressure from satellite-borne imagery. Variables in all four classes were identified as important predictors of extinction risk, and interactions were observed among variables in different classes (e.g. level of protection, human threats, species distribution ranges). Species biology had a key role in mediating the effect of external variables. The model was 90% accurate in classifying extinction risk status of species, but in a few cases the observed and modelled extinction risk mismatched. Species in this condition might suffer from an incorrect classification of extinction risk (hence require reassessment). An increased availability of satellite imagery combined with improved resolution and classification accuracy of the resulting maps will play a progressively greater role in conservation monitoring. PMID:24733953

  20. Quantitative analysis of neocortical gyrencephaly in African elephants (Loxodonta africana) and six species of cetaceans: comparison with other mammals.

    PubMed

    Manger, Paul R; Prowse, Michelle; Haagensen, Mark; Hemingway, Jason

    2012-08-01

    This study provides quantitative data on the extent of gyrencephaly in the large-brained African elephant and several species of cetaceans (from smaller to larger brained) in comparison with other mammals. Across three mammalian orders (primates, carnivores, and artiodactyls), the species with the larger brains are more gyrencephalic with each order, exhibiting a specific negative allometry. The African elephant, with a 5-kg brain, has a gyrencephalic index (GI) of 3.89, which, though highly gyrencephalic, is not more so than would be predicted for a mammal with a 5-kg brain. The cetaceans had an average GI of 5.43, are the most gyrencephalic mammals studied to date, and are more gyrencephalic than one would predict based on comparison with other mammals. No relationship between brain mass and GI was evident in the cetaceans as seen in other mammals, with all cetaceans showing similar GIs irrespective of brain mass (range of GI 5.23-5.70, range of brain mass 577-5617 g). This is yet another parameter indicating cetaceans to be neuroanatomical outliers. Two species of pinnipeds studied had GIs that were well above those seen for terrestrial carnivores, and the aquatic manatee was close to lissencephalic. Thus, all three groups of marine mammals showed unusual extents of cortical gyrencephaly, indicating a morphological alteration of the telencephalon associated with the return to the marine environment. The analysis suggests that cortical thickness and neuronal density are important factors in determining the extent of gyrencephaly across mammalian species.

  1. Antibacterial activity of Phyllantus emblica, Coriandrum sativum, Culinaris medic, Lawsonia alba and Cucumis sativus.

    PubMed

    Khan, Dawood Ali; Hassan, Fouzia; Ullah, Hanif; Karim, Sabiha; Baseer, Abdul; Abid, Mobasher Ali; Ubaidi, Muhammad; Khan, Shujaat Ali; Murtaza, Ghulam

    2013-01-01

    Present study deals with the demonstration of the antibacterial activity of very common medicinal plants of Pakistani origin i.e., Phyllantus emblica, Coriandrum sativum, Culinaris medic, Lawsonia alba and Cucumis sativus. The extracts were prepared in crude form by the use of hydro-alcoholic solution and were screened for antibacterial activity against various bacterial species by disk diffusion method. Assay was performed using clinical isolates of B. cereus, S. aureus, P. aeruginosa and E. coli. Crude extract of Phyllantus emblica fruit exhibited strong activity against standard cultures of all studied bacteria. Lawsonia alba showed good activity against standard cultures of all the used microorganisms. Coriandrum sativum was effective only against Bacillus cereus, while Cucumis sativus and Culinaris medic showed poor activity against Pseudomonas aeruginosa only. Hence, Phyllantus emblica exhibited strong antibacterial activity against a wide range of bacteria it means that Phyllantus emblica extract contains some compounds which have broad spectrum of bactericidal activity.

  2. The comparative anatomy of the abdominal gastrointestinal tract of six species of African mole-rats (Rodentia, Bathyergidae).

    PubMed

    Kotzé, Sanet H; Van Der Merwe, Elizabeth L; Bennett, Nigel C; O'Riain, M Justin

    2010-01-01

    The gastrointestinal tracts (GITs) of six species of African mole-rats (Bathyergidae) were compared. The aim was to provide a comprehensive anatomical comparison between the different species. The relative shape, length, and surface areas were taken into account to determine whether the GITs are phylogenetically constrained or exhibit anatomical adaptations in response to diets. In all six species the stomach was simple and glandular. With the exception of Heterocephalus glaber, the caecum was coiled in a flat spiral, the ascending colon was arranged in a loop of varying lengths, and a mucosal colonic papillary-lined groove was present in the ascending colon in all species. By contrast, the caecum in H. glaber was uncoiled, the ascending colon was not looped, and the groove was not papillated. A caeco-appendix was observed only in Bathyergus suillus and Georychus capensis. Hierarchical multivariate cluster analysis on the presence/absence of nine anatomical structures associated with the GIT of mole-rats revealed that H. glaber was anatomically the least similar of the six species (77.6% similarity) with respect to the nine GIT variables included. All Cryptomys species were the same (100% similarity), and two species B. suillus and G. capensis grouped together and were more similar to the Cryptomys genus (95% similarity) than they were to H. glaber. These findings support previous phylogenetic classifications. The voluminous caeco-colon in B. suillus may be explained by its ingestion of grasses in addition to below-ground storage organs of plants. We conclude that phylogeny and diet affect the GIT anatomy of the African mole rats studied here.

  3. Demography of woody species in a semi-arid African savanna reserve following the re-introduction of elephants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Connor, Timothy G.

    2017-01-01

    The hypothesis that African elephants may cause the local extirpation of selected woody species was evaluated in a medium-sized, semi-arid reserve following their reintroduction at low density. Mortality, state-change, and regeneration of 25 tree and 17 shrub species were studied between 1997 and 2010. Annual mortality of shrub species ranged from 0.2 to 8.0%, with six species experiencing 6-8%. Eight shrub species lost more than half their adult population (range 10-94%). Annual tree mortality ranged from 0.2 to 10.5%. The two dominant dryland tree species experienced <1% annual mortality, 18 species lost more than half their tree population, and one was eliminated. Elephants accounted for >63% and stress-related agents >20% of tree deaths. The manner in which elephants induced tree death depended on species. The proportion of individuals of a species killed by pollarding or uprooting ranged from 0 to 74%, and by debarking from 0 to 100%. Complete uprooting was a common cause of death for three shrub species. Regeneration ranged from zero for six tree and one shrub species to a seedling every 7 m2 for Colophospermum mopane and 23 m2 for Dichrostachys cinerea in riparian habitat. Three shrub and eight tree species were identified as vulnerable to local extirpation owing to a combination of high mortality and poor regeneration that is likely to result in a considerably simplified system. Reintroduction of elephants into medium-sized reserves without regulation of their numbers may not be a desirable action.

  4. Contrasting patterns of gene flow between sister plant species in the understorey of African moist forests - the case of sympatric and parapatric Marantaceae species.

    PubMed

    Ley, A C; Hardy, O J

    2014-08-01

    Gene flow within and between species is a fundamental process shaping the evolutionary history of taxa. However, the extent of hybridization and reinforcement is little documented in the tropics. Here we explore the pattern of gene flow between three sister species from the herbaceous genus Marantochloa (Marantaceae), sympatrically distributed in the understorey of the African rainforest, using data from the chloroplast and nuclear genomes (DNA sequences and AFLP). We found highly contrasting patterns: while there was no evidence of gene flow between M. congensis and M. monophylla, species identity between M. monophylla and M. incertifolia was maintained despite considerable gene flow. We hypothesize that M. incertifolia originated from an ancient hybridization event between M. congensis and M. monophylla, considering the current absence of hybridization between the two assumed parent species, the rare presence of shared haplotypes between all three species and the high percentage of haplotypes shared by M. incertifolia with each of the two parent species. This example is contrasted with two parapatrically distributed species from the same family in the genus Haumania forming a hybrid zone restricted to the area of overlap. This work illustrates the diversity of speciation/introgression patterns that can potentially occur in the flora of tropical Africa.

  5. An overview of the Gyrodactylus (Monogenea: Gyrodactylidae) species parasitizing African catfishes, and their morphological and molecular diversity.

    PubMed

    Přikrylová, Iva; Blažek, Radim; Vanhove, Maarten P M

    2012-03-01

    An overview of Gyrodactylus infecting catfishes from the African continent is provided, including new data from Sudan, Senegal, Kenya and Mozambique. Haptoral sclerite morphometry and nuclear ribosomal DNA sequences revealed the presence of eight Gyrodactylus species. On Senegalese Synodontis nigrita, Gyrodactylus synodonti n. sp. and Gyrodactylus nigritae n. sp. are described. These are the first reports of gyrodactylid parasites from mochokid hosts. From the fins of North African catfish Clarias gariepinus collected in Mozambique, Gyrodactylus alekosi n. sp. and Gyrodactylus rysavyi were identified. G. rysavyi was also reported from Kenyan C. gariepinus and Senegalese Clarias anguillaris. From the fins of C. anguillaris studied in Senegal, two more species, Gyrodactylus transvaalensis and Gyrodactylus gelnari n. sp. were recognised. In addition, Gyrodactylus turkanaensis n. sp. from the gills of Kenyan C. gariepinus was described and an undescribed Gyrodactylus sp. was recorded from Sudanese representatives of the same host. Detailed morphometrical and molecular comparisons of the species are presented and discussed. The study highlights the hitherto understudied diversity of viviparous monogenean parasites throughout Africa.

  6. Pharmacokinetics of Amitriptyline HCl and Its Metabolites in Healthy African Grey Parrots ( Psittacus erithacus ) and Cockatoos (Cacatua Species).

    PubMed

    Visser, Marike; Ragsdale, Michelle M; Boothe, Dawn M

    2015-12-01

    Amitriptyline, a tricyclic antidepressant, is used clinically to treat feather-destructive behavior in psittacine birds at a recommended dosage of 1-5 mg/kg PO q12-24h, which has been extrapolated from human medicine and based on anecdotal reports. The purpose of this pilot study was to describe the individual and population pharmacokinetic parameters of amitriptyline after a single oral dose at 1.5 mg/kg, 4.5 mg/kg, and 9 mg/kg in healthy African grey parrots ( Psittacus erithacus , n = 3) and cockatoos (Cacatua species, n = 3). Three birds received an initial 1.5 mg/kg oral dose, and blood samples were collected for 24 hours at fixed time intervals. Serum concentrations of amitriptyline and its metabolites were determined by polarized immunofluorescence. After determining the initial parameters and a 14-day washout period, 2 African grey parrots and 1 cockatoo received a single oral dose at 4.5 mg/kg, and 3 cockatoos and 1 African grey parrot received a single oral dose at 9 mg/kg. Concentrations reached the minimum therapeutic range reported in people (60 ng/mL) in 4 of 10 birds (4.5 and 9.0 mg/kg). Concentrations were within the toxic range in 1 African grey parrot (9 mg/kg), with regurgitation, ataxia, and dullness noted. Serum concentrations were nondetectable in 3 birds (1.5 and 4.5 mg/kg) and detectable but below the human therapeutic range in 3 birds (1.5 mg/kg and 9 mg/kg). Drug concentrations were continuing to increase at the end of the study (24 hours) in 1 bird. Elimination half-life varied from 1.6 to 91.2 hours. Population pharmacokinetics indicated significantly varied absorption, and elimination constants varied between species. Although amitriptyline appeared to be tolerated in most birds, disposition varies markedly among and within species, between the 2 genera, and within individual birds. The current recommended dosage of 1-5 mg/kg q12h in psittacine birds appears insufficient to achieve serum concentrations within the human therapeutic range

  7. Screening of Cucumis sativus as a new arsenic-accumulating plant and its arsenic accumulation in hydroponic culture.

    PubMed

    Hong, Sun Hwa; Choi, Sun Ah; Yoon, Hyeon; Cho, Kyung-Suk

    2011-01-01

    Phytoextraction is a remediation technology with a promising application for removing arsenic (As) from soils and waters. Several plant species were evaluated for their As accumulation capacity in hydroponic culture amended with As. Cucumis sativus (cucumber) displayed the highest tolerance against As among 4 plants tested in this study (corn, wheat, sorghum and cucumber). The germination ratio of Cucumis sativus was more than 50% at the high concentration of 5,000 mg-As/l. In Cucumis sativus grown in a solution contaminated with 25 mg-As/l, the accumulated As concentrations in the shoot and root were 675.5 ± 11.5 and 312.0 ± 163.4 mg/kg, respectively, and the corresponding values of the translocation and bioaccumulation factors for As were 1.9 ± 0.9 and 21.1 ± 8.4, respectively. These results indicate Cucumis sativus is to be a candidate plant for phytoextraction of As from soils and water.

  8. Comparison of the distribution of the repetitive DNA sequences in three variants of Cucumis sativus reveals their phylogenetic relationships.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Xin; Lu, Jingyuan; Zhang, Zhonghua; Hu, Jiajin; Huang, Sanwen; Jin, Weiwei

    2011-01-01

    Repetitive DNA sequences with variability in copy number or/and sequence polymorphism can be employed as useful molecular markers to study phylogenetics and identify species/chromosomes when combined with fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). Cucumis sativus has three variants, Cucumis sativus L. var. sativus, Cucumis sativus L. var. hardwickii and Cucumis sativus L. var. xishuangbannesis. The phylogenetics among these three variants has not been well explored using cytological landmarks. Here, we concentrate on the organization and distribution of highly repetitive DNA sequences in cucumbers, with emphasis on the differences between cultivar and wild cucumber. The diversity of chromosomal karyotypes in cucumber and its relatives was detected in our study. Thereby, sequential FISH with three sets of multi-probe cocktails (combined repetitive DNA with chromosome-specific fosmid clones as probes) were conducted on the same metaphase cell, which helped us to simultaneously identify each of the 7 metaphase chromosomes of wild cucumber C. sativus var. hardwickii. A standardized karyotype of somatic metaphase chromosomes was constructed. Our data also indicated that the relationship between cultivar cucumber and C. s. var. xishuangbannesis was closer than that of C. s. var. xishuangbannesis and C. s. var. hardwickii.

  9. Large Spatial Scale of the Phenotype-Environment Color Matching in Two Cryptic Species of African Desert Jerboas (Dipodidae: Jaculus)

    PubMed Central

    Boratyński, Zbyszek; Brito, José Carlos; Campos, João Carlos; Karala, Maija; Mappes, Tapio

    2014-01-01

    We tested the camouflage hypothesis, or the linkage between animal (Saharan rodent) and habitat coloration, on the largest geographical scale yet conducted. We aimed to determine whether phenotypic variation is explained by micro-habitat variation and/or genetic polymorphism to determine 1) the strength of linkage between fur color and local substrate color, and 2) the divergence in fur coloration between two genetic clades, representing cryptic species, throughout the complete range of the African desert jerboas (Jaculus jaculus). We used a combination of museum and field-collected specimens, remote sensing tools, satellite and digital photography and molecular genetic and phylogenetic methods to investigate the above hypotheses. Along with showing that the two divergent genetic clades of jerboas occur sympatrically throughout their African distribution, we showed significant covariation between dorsal fur coloration of the animals and the color of their habitat. We also described significant phenotypic divergence in fur color, consistent with genetic divergence between the sympatric clades. The linkage between environment and phenotype supports the idea that the selection promoting cryptic coloration is persistent in contemporary populations of jerboas, however the phenotypic divergence indicates that it has different strengths (or optima) in the two clades. The mosaic distribution of micro-habitats occupied by geographically sympatric clades suggests that it may influence both ecological and evolutionary dynamics between these two cryptic species. PMID:24714509

  10. The genome of African yam (Dioscorea cayenensis-rotundata complex) hosts endogenous sequences from four distinct Badnavirus species.

    PubMed

    Umber, Marie; Filloux, Denis; Muller, Emmanuelle; Laboureau, Nathalie; Galzi, Serge; Roumagnac, Philippe; Iskra-Caruana, Marie-Line; Pavis, Claudie; Teycheney, Pierre-Yves; Seal, Susan E

    2014-10-01

    Several endogenous viral elements (EVEs) have been identified in plant genomes, including endogenous pararetroviruses (EPRVs). Here, we report the first characterization of EPRV sequences in the genome of African yam of the Dioscorea cayenensis-rotundata complex. We propose that these sequences should be termed 'endogenous Dioscorea bacilliform viruses' (eDBVs). Molecular characterization of eDBVs shows that they constitute sequences originating from various parts of badnavirus genomes, resulting in a mosaic structure that is typical of most EPRVs characterized to date. Using complementary molecular approaches, we show that eDBVs belong to at least four distinct Badnavirus species, indicating multiple, independent, endogenization events. Phylogenetic analyses of eDBVs support and enrich the current taxonomy of yam badnaviruses and lead to the characterization of a new Badnavirus species in yam. The impact of eDBVs on diagnosis, yam germplasm conservation and movement, and breeding is discussed.

  11. The African buffalo: a villain for inter-species spread of infectious diseases in southern Africa.

    PubMed

    Michel, Anita L; Bengis, Roy G

    2012-06-20

    The African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) is a large wild bovid which until recently ranged across all but the driest parts of sub-Saharan Africa, and their local range being limited to about 20 km from surface water. They are of high ecological value due to their important role as bulk feeders in the grazing hierarchy. They also have high economic value, because they are one of the sought after 'Big Five' in the eco-tourism industry. In Africa, buffaloes have been recognised for some time as an important role player in the maintenance and transmission of a variety of economically important livestock diseases at the wildlife and/or livestock interface. These include African strains of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), Corridor disease (theileriosis), bovine tuberculosis and bovine brucellosis. For a number of other diseases of veterinary importance, African buffaloes may also serve as amplifier or incidental host, whereby infection with the causative pathogens may cause severe clinical signs such as death or abortion as in the case of anthrax and Rift Valley fever, or remain mild or subclinical for example heartwater. The long term health implications of most of those infections on the buffalo at a population level is usually limited, and they do not pose a threat on the population's survival. Because of their ability to harbour and transmit important diseases to livestock, their sustainable future in ecotourism, trade and transfrontier conservation projects become complex and costly and reliable diagnostic tools are required to monitor these infections in buffalo populations.

  12. Hierarchical Multi-Species Modeling of Carnivore Responses to Hunting, Habitat and Prey in a West African Protected Area

    PubMed Central

    Burton, A. Cole; Sam, Moses K.; Balangtaa, Cletus; Brashares, Justin S.

    2012-01-01

    Protected areas (PAs) are a cornerstone of global efforts to shield wildlife from anthropogenic impacts, yet their effectiveness at protecting wide-ranging species prone to human conflict – notably mammalian carnivores – is increasingly in question. An understanding of carnivore responses to human-induced and natural changes in and around PAs is critical not only to the conservation of threatened carnivore populations, but also to the effective protection of ecosystems in which they play key functional roles. However, an important challenge to assessing carnivore communities is the often infrequent and imperfect nature of survey detections. We applied a novel hierarchical multi-species occupancy model that accounted for detectability and spatial autocorrelation to data from 224 camera trap stations (sampled between October 2006 and January 2009) in order to test hypotheses about extrinsic influences on carnivore community dynamics in a West African protected area (Mole National Park, Ghana). We developed spatially explicit indices of illegal hunting activity, law enforcement patrol effort, prey biomass, and habitat productivity across the park, and used a Bayesian model selection framework to identify predictors of site occurrence for individual species and the entire carnivore community. Contrary to our expectation, hunting pressure and edge proximity did not have consistent, negative effects on occurrence across the nine carnivore species detected. Occurrence patterns for most species were positively associated with small prey biomass, and several species had either positive or negative associations with riverine forest (but not with other habitat descriptors). Influences of sampling design on carnivore detectability were also identified and addressed within our modeling framework (e.g., road and observer effects), and the multi-species approach facilitated inference on even the rarest carnivore species in the park. Our study provides insight for the

  13. Wild Termitomyces Species Collected from Ondo and Ekiti States Are More Related to African Species as Revealed by ITS Region of rDNA

    PubMed Central

    Oyetayo, Victor Olusegun

    2012-01-01

    Molecular identification of eighteen Termitomyces species collected from two states, Ondo and Ekiti in Nigeria was carried out using the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region. The amplicons obtained from rDNA of Termitomyces species were compared with existing sequences in the NCBI GenBank. The results of the ITS sequence analysis discriminated between all the Termitomyces species (obtained from Ondo and Ekiti States) and Termitomyces sp. sequences obtained from NCBI GenBank. The degree of similarity of T1 to T18 to gene of Termitomyces sp. obtained from NCBI ranges between 82 and 99 percent. Termitomyces species from Garbon with ascension number AF321374 was the closest relative of T1 to T18 except T12 that has T. eurhizus and T. striatus as the closet relative. Phylogenetic tree generated with ITS sequences obtained from NCBI GenBank data revealed that T1 to T18 are more related to Termitomyces species indigenous to African countries such as Senegal, Congo, and Gabon. PMID:22649309

  14. Laboratory Investigations of African Pouched Rats (Cricetomys gambianus) as a Potential Reservoir Host Species for Monkeypox Virus.

    PubMed

    Hutson, Christina L; Nakazawa, Yoshinori J; Self, Joshua; Olson, Victoria A; Regnery, Russell L; Braden, Zachary; Weiss, Sonja; Malekani, Jean; Jackson, Eddie; Tate, Mallory; Karem, Kevin L; Rocke, Tonie E; Osorio, Jorge E; Damon, Inger K; Carroll, Darin S

    2015-01-01

    Monkeypox is a zoonotic disease endemic to central and western Africa, where it is a major public health concern. Although Monkeypox virus (MPXV) and monkeypox disease in humans have been well characterized, little is known about its natural history, or its maintenance in animal populations of sylvatic reservoir(s). In 2003, several species of rodents imported from Ghana were involved in a monkeypox outbreak in the United States with individuals of three African rodent genera (Cricetomys, Graphiurus, Funisciurus) shown to be infected with MPXV. Here, we examine the course of MPXV infection in Cricetomys gambianus (pouched Gambian rats) and this rodent species' competence as a host for the virus. We obtained ten Gambian rats from an introduced colony in Grassy Key, Florida and infected eight of these via scarification with a challenge dose of 4X104 plaque forming units (pfu) from either of the two primary clades of MPXV: Congo Basin (C-MPXV: n = 4) or West African (W-MPXV: n = 4); an additional 2 animals served as PBS controls. Viral shedding and the effect of infection on activity and physiological aspects of the animals were measured. MPXV challenged animals had significantly higher core body temperatures, reduced activity and increased weight loss than PBS controls. Viable virus was found in samples taken from animals in both experimental groups (C-MPXV and W-MPXV) between 3 and 27 days post infection (p.i.) (up to 1X108 pfu/ml), with viral DNA found until day 56 p.i. The results from this work show that Cricetomys gambianus (and by inference, probably the closely related species, Cricetomys emini) can be infected with MPXV and shed viable virus particles; thus suggesting that these animals may be involved in the maintenance of MPXV in wildlife mammalian populations. More research is needed to elucidate the epidemiology of MPXV and the role of Gambian rats and other species.

  15. Antimicrobial activity of two South African honeys produced from indigenous Leucospermum cordifolium and Erica species on selected micro-organisms

    PubMed Central

    Basson, Nicolaas J; Grobler, Sias R

    2008-01-01

    Background Honey has been shown to have wound healing properties which can be ascribed to its antimicrobial activity. The antimicrobial activity can be effective against a broad spectrum of bacterial species especially those of medical importance. It has also been shown that there is considerable variation in the antimicrobial potency of different types of honey, which is impossible to predict. With this in mind we tested the antimicrobial activity of honeys produced from plants grown in South Africa for their antibacterial properties on selected standard strains of oral micro-organisms. Methods The honeys used were produced from the blossoms of Eucalyptus cladocalyx (Bluegum) trees, an indigenous South African plant Leucospermum cordifolium (Pincushion), a mixture of wild heather shrubs, mainly Erica species (Fynbos) and a Leptospermum scoparium (Manuka) honey. Only pure honey which had not been heated was used. The honeys were tested for their antimicrobial properties with a broth dilution method. Results Although the honeys produced some inhibitory effect on the growth of the micro-organisms, no exceptionally high activity occurred in the South African honeys. The carbohydrate concentration plays a key role in the antimicrobial activity of the honeys above 25%. However, these honeys do contain other antimicrobial properties that are effective against certain bacterial species at concentrations well below the hypertonic sugar concentration. The yeast C. albicans was more resistant to the honeys than the bacteria. The species S. anginosus and S. oralis were more sensitive to the honeys than the other test bacteria. Conclusion The honeys produced from indigenous wild flowers from South Africa had no exceptionally high activity that could afford medical grade status. PMID:18627601

  16. Historical colonization and dispersal limitation supplement climate and topography in shaping species richness of African lizards (Reptilia: Agaminae).

    PubMed

    Kissling, W Daniel; Blach-Overgaard, Anne; Zwaan, Roelof E; Wagner, Philipp

    2016-09-27

    To what extent deep-time dispersal limitation shapes present-day biodiversity at broad spatial scales remains elusive. Here, we compiled a continental dataset on the distributions of African lizard species in the reptile subfamily Agaminae (a relatively young, Neogene radiation of agamid lizards which ancestors colonized Africa from the Arabian peninsula) and tested to what extent historical colonization and dispersal limitation (i.e. accessibility from areas of geographic origin) can explain present-day species richness relative to current climate, topography, and climate change since the late Miocene (~10 mya), the Pliocene (~3 mya), and the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM, 0.021 mya). Spatial and non-spatial multi-predictor regression models revealed that time-limited dispersal via arid corridors is a key predictor to explain macro-scale patterns of species richness. In addition, current precipitation seasonality, current temperature of the warmest month, paleo-temperature changes since the LGM and late Miocene, and topographic relief emerged as important drivers. These results suggest that deep-time dispersal constraints - in addition to climate and mountain building - strongly shape current species richness of Africa's arid-adapted taxa. Such historical dispersal limitation might indicate that natural movement rates of species are too slow to respond to rates of ongoing and projected future climate and land use change.

  17. Historical colonization and dispersal limitation supplement climate and topography in shaping species richness of African lizards (Reptilia: Agaminae)

    PubMed Central

    Kissling, W. Daniel; Blach-Overgaard, Anne; Zwaan, Roelof E.; Wagner, Philipp

    2016-01-01

    To what extent deep-time dispersal limitation shapes present-day biodiversity at broad spatial scales remains elusive. Here, we compiled a continental dataset on the distributions of African lizard species in the reptile subfamily Agaminae (a relatively young, Neogene radiation of agamid lizards which ancestors colonized Africa from the Arabian peninsula) and tested to what extent historical colonization and dispersal limitation (i.e. accessibility from areas of geographic origin) can explain present-day species richness relative to current climate, topography, and climate change since the late Miocene (~10 mya), the Pliocene (~3 mya), and the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM, 0.021 mya). Spatial and non-spatial multi-predictor regression models revealed that time-limited dispersal via arid corridors is a key predictor to explain macro-scale patterns of species richness. In addition, current precipitation seasonality, current temperature of the warmest month, paleo-temperature changes since the LGM and late Miocene, and topographic relief emerged as important drivers. These results suggest that deep-time dispersal constraints — in addition to climate and mountain building — strongly shape current species richness of Africa’s arid-adapted taxa. Such historical dispersal limitation might indicate that natural movement rates of species are too slow to respond to rates of ongoing and projected future climate and land use change. PMID:27671620

  18. Laboratory Investigations of African Pouched Rats (Cricetomys gambianus) as a Potential Reservoir Host Species for Monkeypox Virus

    PubMed Central

    Hutson, Christina L.; Nakazawa, Yoshinori J.; Self, Joshua; Olson, Victoria A.; Regnery, Russell L.; Braden, Zachary; Weiss, Sonja; Malekani, Jean; Jackson, Eddie; Tate, Mallory; Karem, Kevin L.; Rocke, Tonie E.; Osorio, Jorge E.; Damon, Inger K.; Carroll, Darin S.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Monkeypox is a zoonotic disease endemic to central and western Africa, where it is a major public health concern. Although Monkeypox virus (MPXV) and monkeypox disease in humans have been well characterized, little is known about its natural history, or its maintenance in animal populations of sylvatic reservoir(s). In 2003, several species of rodents imported from Ghana were involved in a monkeypox outbreak in the United States with individuals of three African rodent genera (Cricetomys, Graphiurus, Funisciurus) shown to be infected with MPXV. Here, we examine the course of MPXV infection in Cricetomys gambianus (pouched Gambian rats) and this rodent species’ competence as a host for the virus. We obtained ten Gambian rats from an introduced colony in Grassy Key, Florida and infected eight of these via scarification with a challenge dose of 4X104 plaque forming units (pfu) from either of the two primary clades of MPXV: Congo Basin (C-MPXV: n = 4) or West African (W-MPXV: n = 4); an additional 2 animals served as PBS controls. Viral shedding and the effect of infection on activity and physiological aspects of the animals were measured. MPXV challenged animals had significantly higher core body temperatures, reduced activity and increased weight loss than PBS controls. Viable virus was found in samples taken from animals in both experimental groups (C-MPXV and W-MPXV) between 3 and 27 days post infection (p.i.) (up to 1X108 pfu/ml), with viral DNA found until day 56 p.i. The results from this work show that Cricetomys gambianus (and by inference, probably the closely related species, Cricetomys emini) can be infected with MPXV and shed viable virus particles; thus suggesting that these animals may be involved in the maintenance of MPXV in wildlife mammalian populations. More research is needed to elucidate the epidemiology of MPXV and the role of Gambian rats and other species. PMID:26517724

  19. A new species of the rare African wool carder bee genus Anthidioma (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A new species of the genus Anthidioma Pasteels (Megachilidae: Anthidiini) is described and figured from a female collected in the Obib Dunes in Namibia. Anthidioma obibense, new species, is differentieated from the only other species of the genus, A. chalicodomoides, on the basis of its integumenta...

  20. Solar drying and organoleptic characteristics of two tropical African fish species using improved low-cost solar driers.

    PubMed

    Mustapha, Moshood K; Ajibola, Taiye B; Salako, Abdulbashir F; Ademola, Sunmola K

    2014-05-01

    This study was done to evaluate the drying performance, efficiency, and effectiveness of five different types of improved low-cost solar driers in terms of moisture loss from two tropical African fish species Clarias gariepinus (African sharp tooth catfish) and Oreochromis niloticus (Nile tilapia) and testing the organoleptic characteristics of the dried samples. The driers used were made from plastic, aluminum, glass, glass with black igneous stone, and mosquito net, with traditional direct open-sun drying as a control. A significant (P < 0.05) decrease in weight resulting from moisture loss in the two fish species was observed in all the driers, with the highest reduction occurring in the glass drier containing black stone. The rate of weight loss was faster in the first 4 days of drying with black stone-inserted glass drier showing the fastest drying rate with a constant weight in C. gariepinus attained on the 11th day and in O. niloticus on the eighth day. The slowest drier was plastic where a constant weight of the species were recorded on and 13th day and 11th day, respectively. Volunteers were used to assess the organoleptic characteristics of the dried samples and they showed lowest acceptability for the open-sun drying, while samples from the glass drier containing black stone had the highest acceptability in terms of the taste, flavor, appearance, texture, odor, palatability, and shelf-life. The low-cost solar driers were effective found in removing water from the fish resulting in significant loss of weight and moisture. The highest drying time, efficient performance, drying effectiveness, and high acceptability of the organoleptic parameters of the dried products from the black stone-inserted glass drier were due to the ability of the glass and the black stone to retain, transmit, and radiate heat to the fish sample all the time (day and night). These low-cost driers are simple to construct, materials for its construction readily available, easy to

  1. Species-specific loss of sexual dimorphism in vocal effectors accompanies vocal simplification in African clawed frogs (Xenopus).

    PubMed

    Leininger, Elizabeth C; Kitayama, Ken; Kelley, Darcy B

    2015-03-01

    Phylogenetic studies can reveal patterns of evolutionary change, including the gain or loss of elaborate courtship traits in males. Male African clawed frogs generally produce complex and rapid courtship vocalizations, whereas female calls are simple and slow. In a few species, however, male vocalizations are also simple and slow, suggesting loss of male-typical traits. Here, we explore features of the male vocal organ that could contribute to loss in two species with simple, slow male calls. In Xenopus boumbaensis, laryngeal morphology is more robust in males than in females. Larynges are larger, have a more complex cartilaginous morphology and contain more muscle fibers. Laryngeal muscle fibers are exclusively fast-twitch in males but are both fast- and slow-twitch in females. The laryngeal electromyogram, a measure of neuromuscular synaptic strength, shows greater potentiation in males than in females. Male-specific physiological features are shared with X. laevis, as well as with a species of the sister clade, Silurana tropicalis, and thus are likely ancestral. In X. borealis, certain aspects of laryngeal morphology and physiology are sexually monomorphic rather than dimorphic. In both sexes, laryngeal muscle fibers are of mixed-twitch type, which limits the production of muscle contractions at rapid intervals. Muscle activity potentiation and discrete tension transients resemble female rather than male X. boumbaensis. The de-masculinization of these laryngeal features suggests an alteration in sensitivity to the gonadal hormones that are known to control the sexual differentiation of the larynx in other Xenopus and Silurana species.

  2. Do species populations really start small? New perspectives from the Late Neogene fossil record of African mammals.

    PubMed Central

    Vrba, E S; DeGusta, D

    2004-01-01

    This analysis of all known African larger mammals of the past 10 Myr offers new perspectives on the geographical circumstances of speciation. Our central question is: does the fossil evidence support the idea that most new species start as small populations and, if true, how long is the average growth interval until species are established at their mean later size? This simple question is important to unravelling the competing claims of rival models of speciation. We approached it by direct use of fossil data, which, to our knowledge, has not been done previously. We compared the numbers of fossil site records, as a proxy for magnitude of geographical spread, between survivorship intervals across all species. The results show that the average mammal species has indeed started its life in a relatively small population, and thereafter increased rapidly in geographical spread to reach its long-term equilibrium abundance by about 1 million years after origin. Some theoretical implications of these results are discussed. PMID:15101584

  3. The influence of interspecific competition and host preference on the phylogeography of two African ixodid tick species.

    PubMed

    Cangi, Nídia; Horak, Ivan G; Apanaskevich, Dmitry A; Matthee, Sonja; das Neves, Luís C B G; Estrada-Peña, Agustín; Matthee, Conrad A

    2013-01-01

    A comparative phylogeographic study on two economically important African tick species, Amblyomma hebraeum and Hyalomma rufipes was performed to test the influence of host specificity and host movement on dispersion. Pairwise AMOVA analyses of 277 mtDNA COI sequences supported significant population differentiation among the majority of sampling sites. The geographic mitochondrial structure was not supported by nuclear ITS-2 sequencing, probably attributed to a recent divergence. The three-host generalist, A. hebraeum, showed less mtDNA geographic structure, and a lower level of genetic diversity, while the more host-specific H. rufipes displayed higher levels of population differentiation and two distinct mtDNA assemblages (one predominantly confined to South Africa/Namibia and the other to Mozambique and East Africa). A zone of overlap is present in southern Mozambique. A mechanistic climate model suggests that climate alone cannot be responsible for the disruption in female gene flow. Our findings furthermore suggest that female gene dispersal of ticks is more dependent on the presence of juvenile hosts in the environment than on the ability of adult hosts to disperse across the landscape. Documented interspecific competition between the juvenile stages of H. rufipes and H. truncatum is implicated as a contributing factor towards disrupting gene flow between the two southern African H. rufipes genetic assemblages.

  4. Two decades of historical phenology observations of African tropical tree species: exploring the past to predict the futur

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hufkens, K.; Kosmala, M.; Ewango, C.; Richardson, A. D.; Beeckman, H.

    2015-12-01

    African tropical forests cover ~630 million ha, store up to 66 Pg of carbon and represent a significant carbon sink (0.34Pg C yr-1 ). As such African tropical forests provide an important negative feedback to the global carbon cycle. Unlike temperate forests, tropical forests lack sharp temperature and photoperiod cues to constrain phenology and growth. Therefore, events such as seasonal leaf abscission and reproductive life cycles are often driven by changes in water availability. With future climate predictions expecting a warmer, and especially drier tropical Africa, it is likely we will see concomitant changes in tree growth and phenology.As tropical trees show a high degree of phenological plasticity depending on the severity of the dry season, intermittent water stress or the location of an individual in the canopy structure. As such, frequent and long term observations are key to characterize tropical tree phenology. Here I use two long term historical phenology records of weekly observations, some digitized within the context of a citizen science project (http://junglerhythms.org/), to explore differences in tree phenology between two sites (Luki and Yangambi, DR Congo) with contrasting climate regimes within the Congo basin. I describe variation in leaf, flower and fruit phenology across similar species at both locations in relation to complementary historical climatological observations. I further discuss the potential implications of changing phenology under future climate conditions as phenological changes could alter both ecosystem demography and growing season length providing important feedbacks to the climate system.

  5. Rigorous approaches to species delimitation have significant implications for African crocodilian systematics and conservation.

    PubMed

    Shirley, Matthew H; Vliet, Kent A; Carr, Amanda N; Austin, James D

    2014-02-07

    Accurate species delimitation is a central assumption of biology that, in groups such as the Crocodylia, is often hindered by highly conserved morphology and frequent introgression. In Africa, crocodilian systematics has been hampered by complex regional biogeography and confounded taxonomic history. We used rigorous molecular and morphological species delimitation methods to test the hypothesis that the slender-snouted crocodile (Mecistops cataphractus) is composed of multiple species corresponding to the Congolian and Guinean biogeographic zones. Speciation probability was assessed by using 11 mitochondrial and nuclear genes, and cranial morphology for over 100 specimens, representing the full geographical extent of the species distribution. Molecular Bayesian and phylogenetic species delimitation showed unanimous support for two Mecistops species isolated to the Upper Guinean and Congo (including Lower Guinean) biomes that were supported by 13 cranial characters capable of unambiguously diagnosing each species. Fossil-calibrated phylogenetic reconstruction estimated that the species split ± 6.5-7.5 Ma, which is congruent with intraspecies divergence within the sympatric crocodile genus Osteolaemus and the formation of the Cameroon Volcanic Line. Our results underscore the necessity of comprehensive phylogeographic analyses within currently recognized taxa to detect cryptic species within the Crocodylia. We recommend that the community of crocodilian researchers reconsider the conceptualization of crocodilian species especially in the light of the conservation ramifications for this economically and ecologically important group.

  6. Rigorous approaches to species delimitation have significant implications for African crocodilian systematics and conservation

    PubMed Central

    Shirley, Matthew H.; Vliet, Kent A.; Carr, Amanda N.; Austin, James D.

    2014-01-01

    Accurate species delimitation is a central assumption of biology that, in groups such as the Crocodylia, is often hindered by highly conserved morphology and frequent introgression. In Africa, crocodilian systematics has been hampered by complex regional biogeography and confounded taxonomic history. We used rigorous molecular and morphological species delimitation methods to test the hypothesis that the slender-snouted crocodile (Mecistops cataphractus) is composed of multiple species corresponding to the Congolian and Guinean biogeographic zones. Speciation probability was assessed by using 11 mitochondrial and nuclear genes, and cranial morphology for over 100 specimens, representing the full geographical extent of the species distribution. Molecular Bayesian and phylogenetic species delimitation showed unanimous support for two Mecistops species isolated to the Upper Guinean and Congo (including Lower Guinean) biomes that were supported by 13 cranial characters capable of unambiguously diagnosing each species. Fossil-calibrated phylogenetic reconstruction estimated that the species split ± 6.5–7.5 Ma, which is congruent with intraspecies divergence within the sympatric crocodile genus Osteolaemus and the formation of the Cameroon Volcanic Line. Our results underscore the necessity of comprehensive phylogeographic analyses within currently recognized taxa to detect cryptic species within the Crocodylia. We recommend that the community of crocodilian researchers reconsider the conceptualization of crocodilian species especially in the light of the conservation ramifications for this economically and ecologically important group. PMID:24335982

  7. Virus recovery rates for wild-type and live-attenuated vaccine strains of African horse sickness virus serotype 7 in orally infected South African Culicoides species.

    PubMed

    Venter, G J; Paweska, J T

    2007-12-01

    Previously reported virus recovery rates from Culicoides (Avaritia) imicola Kieffer and Culicoides (Avaritia) bolitinos Meiswinkel (Diptera, Ceratopogonidae) orally infected with vaccine strain of African horse sickness virus serotype 7 (AHSV-7) were compared with results obtained from concurrently conducted oral infections with five recent AHSV-7 isolates from naturally infected horses from various localities in South Africa. Culicoides were fed sheep bloods spiked with 10(7.6) TCID(50)/mL of a live-attenuated vaccine strain AHSV-7, and with five field isolates in which virus titre in the bloodmeals ranged from 10(7.1) to 10(8.2) TCID(50)/mL). After an extrinsic incubation of 10 days at 23.5 degrees C, virus recovery rates were significantly higher in C. imicola (13.3%) and C. bolitinos (4.2%) infected with the live-attenuated virus than in midges infected with any of the field isolates. The virus recovery rates for the latter groups ranged from 0% to 9.5% for C. imicola and from 0% to 1.5% for C. bolitinos. The C. imicola population at Onderstepoort was significantly more susceptible to infection with AHSV-7 isolated at Onderstepoort than to the virus strains isolated from other localities. Results of this study suggest that tissue culture attenuation of AHSV-7 does not reduce its ability to orally infect competent Culicoides species and may even lead to enhanced replication in the vector. Furthermore, oral susceptibility in a midge population appears to vary for geographically distinct isolates of AHSV-7.

  8. Impact of temperature on performance in two species of South African dwarf chameleon, Bradypodion pumilum and B. occidentale.

    PubMed

    Segall, Marion; Tolley, Krystal A; Vanhooydonck, Bieke; Measey, G John; Herrel, Anthony

    2013-10-15

    Temperature is an extrinsic factor that influences reptile behavior because of its impact on reptile physiology. Understanding the impact of temperature on performance traits is important as it may affect the ecology and fitness of ectothermic animals such as reptiles. Here, we examined the temperature dependence of performance in two species of South African dwarf chameleon (Bradypodion): one adapted to a semi-arid environment and one to a mesic environment. Ecologically relevant performance traits were tested at different temperatures to evaluate their thermal dependence, and temperature-performance breadths for 80% and 90% of each performance trait were calculated. Our results show distinct differences in the thermal dependence of speed- versus force-related performance traits. Moreover, our results show that the semi-arid species is better adapted to higher temperatures and as such has a better chance of coping with the predicted increases in environmental temperature. The mesic area-adapted species seems to be more sensitive to an increase in temperature and could therefore potentially be threatened by the predicted future climate change. However, further studies investigating the potential for acclimation in chameleons are needed to better understand how animals may respond to future climate change.

  9. Culicoides species abundance and potential over-wintering of African horse sickness virus in the Onderstepoort area, Gauteng, South Africa.

    PubMed

    Venter, Gert J; Labuschagne, Karien; Majatladi, Daphney; Boikanyo, Solomon N B; Lourens, Carina; Ebersohn, Karen; Venter, Estelle H

    2014-11-14

    In South Africa, outbreaks of African horse sickness (AHS) occur in summer; no cases are reported in winter, from July to September. The AHS virus (AHSV) is transmitted almost exclusively by Culicoides midges (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae), of which Culicoides imicola is considered to be the most important vector. The over-wintering mechanism of AHSV is unknown. In this study, more than 500 000 Culicoides midges belonging to at least 26 species were collected in 88 light traps at weekly intervals between July 2010 and September 2011 near horses in the Onderstepoort area of South Africa. The dominant species was C. imicola. Despite relatively low temperatures and frost, at least 17 species, including C. imicola, were collected throughout winter (June-August). Although the mean number of midges per night fell from > 50 000 (March) to < 100 (July and August), no midge-free periods were found. This study, using virus isolation on cell cultures and a reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay, confirmed low infection prevalence in field midges and that the detection of virus correlated to high numbers. Although no virus was detected during this winter period, continuous adult activity indicated that transmission can potentially occur. The absence of AHSV in the midges during winter can be ascribed to the relatively low numbers collected coupled to low infection prevalence, low virus replication rates and low virus titres in the potentially infected midges. Cases of AHS in susceptible animals are likely to start as soon as Culicoides populations reach a critical level.

  10. Assessing the potential of multi-seasonal WorldView-2 imagery for mapping West African agroforestry tree species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karlson, Martin; Ostwald, Madelene; Reese, Heather; Bazié, Hugues Roméo; Tankoano, Boalidioa

    2016-08-01

    High resolution satellite systems enable efficient and detailed mapping of tree cover, with high potential to support both natural resource monitoring and ecological research. This study investigates the capability of multi-seasonal WorldView-2 imagery to map five dominant tree species at the individual tree crown level in a parkland landscape in central Burkina Faso. The Random Forest algorithm is used for object based tree species classification and for assessing the relative importance of WorldView-2 predictors. The classification accuracies from using wet season, dry season and multi-seasonal datasets are compared to gain insights about the optimal timing for image acquisition. The multi-seasonal dataset produced the most accurate classifications, with an overall accuracy (OA) of 83.4%. For classifications based on single date imagery, the dry season (OA = 78.4%) proved to be more suitable than the wet season (OA = 68.1%). The predictors that contributed most to the classification success were based on the red edge band and visible wavelengths, in particular green and yellow. It was therefore concluded that WorldView-2, with its unique band configuration, represents a suitable data source for tree species mapping in West African parklands. These results are particularly promising when considering the recently launched WorldView-3, which provides data both at higher spatial and spectral resolution, including shortwave infrared bands.

  11. Leucocytozoon (Apicomplexa: Leucocytozoidae) from West African birds, with descriptions of two species.

    PubMed

    Jones, Hugh I; Sehgal, Ravinder N M; Smith, Thomas B

    2005-04-01

    Five species of Leucocytozoon were recovered from 35/828 birds of 95 species examined from 6 sites in West Africa between May 1995 and June 2001. Leucocytozoon pogoniuli n. sp. is described from the tinker barbets Pogoniulus subsulphureus and Pogoniulus atroflavus. Leucocytozoon trachyphoni n. sp. is described from the barbet Trachyphonus purpureus. No leucocytozoids have been reported previously in species of Pogoniulus. Leucocytozoon nectariniae was identified from the sunbird Nectarinia olivacea, and Leucocytozoon brimonti was recovered from 4 species of Pycnonotidae (bulbuls), all of which are new host records. We also report the first Leucocytozoon to be recovered from the phylogenetically isolated bird, Picathartes sp. (Picathartidae). This parasite is similar in appearance to Leucocytozoon sakharoffi, and probably represents a previously undescribed species. In view of the intraspecific variability and, frequently, relatively minor interspecific differences within Leucocytozoidae, we suggest that the development and application of molecular techniques would greatly advance understanding of speciation and relationships within this family.

  12. Helminth parasitism in two closely related South African rodents: abundance, prevalence, species richness and impinging factors.

    PubMed

    Spickett, Andrea; Junker, Kerstin; Krasnov, Boris R; Haukisalmi, Voitto; Matthee, Sonja

    2017-04-01

    We investigated patterns of helminth infection in two closely related rodents (social Rhabdomys pumilio occurring mainly in xeric habitats and solitary R. dilectus occurring mainly in mesic habitats) at 20 localities in different biomes of South Africa and asked if between-species differences were mainly caused by difference in sociality or difference in environmental conditions of their respective habitats. Helminths recovered from the gastrointestinal tract totalled 11 nematode and 5 cestode species from R. pumilio and 19 nematode and 7 cestode species from R. dilectus. In both hosts, mean abundance and prevalence of nematodes were higher compared to cestodes. Cestode infection as well as nematode abundance, species richness or prevalence did not differ between the two rodents. However, incidence of nematode infection was significantly higher in R. dilectus than in R. pumilio. Moreover, nematode numbers and species richness in infracommunities of R. pumilio inhabiting the relatively more xeric Karoo biome were significantly lower than in those inhabiting the relatively less xeric Fynbos biome. Although we could not unequivocally distinguish between effects of host sociality and environmental factors on the number of individuals and species of helminths in the two hosts, differences in the incidence of nematode infection between R. pumilio and R. dilectus as well as differences in the number of nematode individuals and species between R. pumilio from the Fynbos and the Karoo suggested the effect of environmental conditions on helminth infection to be more important than that of sociality.

  13. How many species of cichlid fishes are there in African lakes?

    PubMed

    Turner, G F; Seehausen, O; Knight, M E; Allender, C J; Robinson, R L

    2001-03-01

    The endemic cichlid fishes of Lakes Malawi, Tanganyika and Victoria are textbook examples of explosive speciation and adaptive radiation, and their study promises to yield important insights into these processes. Accurate estimates of species richness of lineages in these lakes, and elsewhere, will be a necessary prerequisite for a thorough comparative analysis of the intrinsic and extrinsic factors influencing rates of diversification. This review presents recent findings on the discoveries of new species and species flocks and critically appraises the relevant evidence on species richness from recent studies of polymorphism and assortative mating, generally using behavioural and molecular methods. Within the haplochromines, the most species-rich lineage, there are few reported cases of postzygotic isolation, and these are generally among allopatric taxa that are likely to have diverged a relatively long time in the past. However, many taxa, including many which occur sympatrically and do not interbreed in nature, produce viable, fertile hybrids. Prezygotic barriers are more important, and persist in laboratory conditions in which environmental factors have been controlled, indicating the primary importance of direct mate preferences. Studies to date indicate that estimates of alpha (within-site) diversity appear to be robust. Although within-species colour polymorphisms are common, these have been taken into account in previous estimates of species richness. However, overall estimates of species richness in Lakes Malawi and Victoria are heavily dependent on the assignation of species status to allopatric populations differing in male colour. Appropriate methods for testing the specific status of allopatric cichlid taxa are reviewed and preliminary results presented.

  14. The relationship between satellite-derived indices and species diversity across African savanna ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mapfumo, Ratidzo B.; Murwira, Amon; Masocha, Mhosisi; Andriani, R.

    2016-10-01

    The ability to use remotely sensed diversity is important for the management of ecosystems at large spatial extents. However, to achieve this, there is still need to develop robust methods and approaches that enable large-scale mapping of species diversity. In this study, we tested the relationship between species diversity measured in situ with the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and the Coefficient of Variation in the NDVI (CVNDVI) derived from high and medium spatial resolution satellite data at dry, wet and coastal savanna woodlands. We further tested the effect of logging on NDVI along the transects and between transects as disturbance may be a mechanism driving the patterns observed. Overall, the results of this study suggest that high tree species diversity is associated with low and high NDVI and at intermediate levels is associated with low tree species diversity and NDVI. High tree species diversity is associated with high CVNDVI and vice versa and at intermediate levels is associated with high tree species diversity and CVNDVI.

  15. New chromone and triglyceride from Cucumis melo seeds.

    PubMed

    Ibrahim, Sabrin R M

    2014-02-01

    Re-investigation of the MeOH extract of the seeds of Cucumis melo L. var. reticulatus (Cucurbitaceae) led to the isolation of a new chromone derivative (5,7- dihydroxy-2-[2-(3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenyl)ethyl]chromone (5) and a triglyceride (1,3-di-(6Z,9Z)-docosa-6,9-dienoyl-2-(6Z) hexacos-6-enoylglycerol (1), together with three known compounds; alpha-spinasterol (2), stigmasta-7,22,25-trien-3-ol (3), and D:B-friedoolean-5-ene-3-beta-ol (4), are reported from this species for the first time. Their structures were determined by extensive 1D (1H, 13C, and DEPT) and 2D (1H-1H COSY, HMQC, and HMBC) NMR and mass spectral measurements. Compound 5 displayed significant cytotoxic activity against L5178Y cells, with an ED50 of 5 microM. The MeOH extract and 5 showed antioxidant activity using the DPPH assay.

  16. Effects of species and season on chemical composition and ruminal crude protein and organic matter degradability of some multi-purpose tree species by West African dwarf rams.

    PubMed

    Arigbede, O M; Anele, U Y; Südekum, K-H; Hummel, J; Oni, A O; Olanite, J A; Isah, A O

    2012-04-01

    Seasonal chemical composition and ruminal organic matter (OM) and crude protein (CP) degradabilities were determined in four tropical multi-purpose tree species (MPTS) namely; Pterocarpus santalinoides, Grewia pubescens, Enterolobium cyclocarpum and Leucaena leucocephala. Three West African dwarf (WAD) rams fitted with permanent rumen cannula were used for the degradability trials. Foliage samples were collected four times to represent seasonal variations as follows: January--mid dry; April--late dry; July--mid rainy and October--late rainy seasons. Leaf samples were randomly collected from the trees for estimation of dry matter (DM) and chemical composition. Ruminal in sacco OM and CP degradabilities were estimated from residues in nylon bags. All samples had high CP (161-259 g/kg DM) and moderate fibre concentrations [neutral detergent fibre (without residual ash], 300-501 g/kg DM; acid detergent fibre (without residual ash), 225-409 g/kg DM and acid detergent lignin, 87-179 g/kg DM across seasons. Interaction effects of species and season on chemical composition were highly significant (p = 0.001) except for trypsin inhibitor (p = 0.614). The MPTS recorded more than 60% OM and CP degradability at 24 h, which implied that they were all highly degradable in the rumen. Their incorporation into ruminant feeding systems as dry season forage supplements is therefore recommended.

  17. Species-specific loss of sexual dimorphism in vocal effectors accompanies vocal simplification in African clawed frogs (Xenopus)

    PubMed Central

    Leininger, Elizabeth C.; Kitayama, Ken; Kelley, Darcy B.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Phylogenetic studies can reveal patterns of evolutionary change, including the gain or loss of elaborate courtship traits in males. Male African clawed frogs generally produce complex and rapid courtship vocalizations, whereas female calls are simple and slow. In a few species, however, male vocalizations are also simple and slow, suggesting loss of male-typical traits. Here, we explore features of the male vocal organ that could contribute to loss in two species with simple, slow male calls. In Xenopus boumbaensis, laryngeal morphology is more robust in males than in females. Larynges are larger, have a more complex cartilaginous morphology and contain more muscle fibers. Laryngeal muscle fibers are exclusively fast-twitch in males but are both fast- and slow-twitch in females. The laryngeal electromyogram, a measure of neuromuscular synaptic strength, shows greater potentiation in males than in females. Male-specific physiological features are shared with X. laevis, as well as with a species of the sister clade, Silurana tropicalis, and thus are likely ancestral. In X. borealis, certain aspects of laryngeal morphology and physiology are sexually monomorphic rather than dimorphic. In both sexes, laryngeal muscle fibers are of mixed-twitch type, which limits the production of muscle contractions at rapid intervals. Muscle activity potentiation and discrete tension transients resemble female rather than male X. boumbaensis. The de-masculinization of these laryngeal features suggests an alteration in sensitivity to the gonadal hormones that are known to control the sexual differentiation of the larynx in other Xenopus and Silurana species. PMID:25788725

  18. Laboratory investigations of African Pouched Rats (Cricetomys gambianus) as a potential reservoir host species for Monkeypox Virus

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hutson, Christina L.; Nakazawa, Yoshinori J.; Self, Joshua; Olson, Victoria A.; Regnery, Russell L.; Braden, Zachary; Weiss, Sonja; Malekani, Jean; Jackson, Eddie; Tate, Mallory; Karem, Kevin L.; Rocke, Tonie E.; Osorio, Jorge E.; Damon, Inger K.; Carroll, Darin S.

    2015-01-01

    Monkeypox is a zoonotic disease endemic to central and western Africa, where it is a major public health concern. Although Monkeypox virus (MPXV) and monkeypox disease in humans have been well characterized, little is known about its natural history, or its maintenance in animal populations of sylvatic reservoir(s). In 2003, several species of rodents imported from Ghana were involved in a monkeypox outbreak in the United States with individuals of three African rodent genera (Cricetomys, Graphiurus, Funisciurus) shown to be infected with MPXV. Here, we examine the course of MPXV infection in Cricetomys gambianus (pouched Gambian rats) and this rodent species’ competence as a host for the virus. We obtained ten Gambian rats from an introduced colony in Grassy Key, Florida and infected eight of these via scarification with a challenge dose of 4X104 plaque forming units (pfu) from either of the two primary clades of MPXV: Congo Basin (C-MPXV: n = 4) or West African (W-MPXV: n = 4); an additional 2 animals served as PBS controls. Viral shedding and the effect of infection on activity and physiological aspects of the animals were measured. MPXV challenged animals had significantly higher core body temperatures, reduced activity and increased weight loss than PBS controls. Viable virus was found in samples taken from animals in both experimental groups (C-MPXV and W-MPXV) between 3 and 27 days post infection (p.i.) (up to 1X108pfu/ml), with viral DNA found until day 56 p.i. The results from this work show that Cricetomys gambianus (and by inference, probably the closely related species, Cricetomys emini) can be infected with MPXV and shed viable virus particles; thus suggesting that these animals may be involved in the maintenance of MPXV in wildlife mammalian populations. More research is needed to elucidate the epidemiology of MPXV and the role of Gambian rats and other species.

  19. African parasitoid fig wasp diversification is a function of Ficus species ranges.

    PubMed

    McLeish, Michael J; van Noort, Simon; Tolley, Krystal A

    2010-10-01

    Host specificity is a fundamental property implicit in obligate insect-plant associations. Rigid life history constraints exhibited by parasitoid fig wasps are believed to select for specialization directed at fig trees and this is supported by evidence of phenotypic adaptation to figs and partial co-speciation with the fig wasps they attack. Conversely, the ability to colonize such novel communities occurs under relaxed specificity, a behavior typified by more generalist groups such as parasitoids. The specificity directed towards Ficus species by Sycoryctinae parasitoid fig wasps is important in order to understand how this form of specialization influences their diversification and interactions with other fig wasp guilds. We use genetic distance analyses and reconstruct ancestral patterns of Ficus trait association with two genera of Sycoryctinae parasitoid fig wasps to identify evolutionary conservatism in Ficus species utilization. Ancestral state reconstructions of (i) affiliate Ficus subsection and (ii) syconia diameters of natal Ficus species indicate contrasting Ficus species ranges between Arachonia and Sycoryctes parasitoid genera. This work demonstrates that parasitoid speciation is not tightly constrained to Ficus speciation and rather a function of Ficus range limitations. Ficus evolution, ecology, and functional compatibility between parasitoid and Ficus traits appear to constrain parasitoid Ficus utilization. These results suggest that contrasting ecological settings and potential number of hosts available impose different ramifications for the evolution of parasitoid host specificity and so to the species interactions within the communities to which they belong.

  20. Three novel species of Stemphylium from Sinkiang, China: their morphological and molecular characterization

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Three new species of Stemphylium were isolated from diseased leaves of Luffa cylindrica, Lycium chinense and Cucumis melo growing in the Sinkiang province of Northwest China. Stemphylium luffae, S. lycii and S. cucumis are described by morphological and molecular phylogenetic analyses. The principal...

  1. NASA and USGS invest in invasive species modeling to evaluate habitat for Africanized Honey Bees

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    2009-01-01

    Invasive non-native species, such as plants, animals, and pathogens, have long been an interest to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and NASA. Invasive species cause harm to our economy (around $120 B/year), the environment (e.g., replacing native biodiversity, forest pathogens negatively affecting carbon storage), and human health (e.g., plague, West Nile virus). Five years ago, the USGS and NASA formed a partnership to improve ecological forecasting capabilities for the early detection and containment of the highest priority invasive species. Scientists from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) and the Fort Collins Science Center developed a longterm strategy to integrate remote sensing capabilities, high-performance computing capabilities and new spatial modeling techniques to advance the science of ecological invasions [Schnase et al., 2002].

  2. Climate and species richness predict the phylogenetic structure of African mammal communities.

    PubMed

    Kamilar, Jason M; Beaudrot, Lydia; Reed, Kaye E

    2015-01-01

    We have little knowledge of how climatic variation (and by proxy, habitat variation) influences the phylogenetic structure of tropical communities. Here, we quantified the phylogenetic structure of mammal communities in Africa to investigate how community structure varies with respect to climate and species richness variation across the continent. In addition, we investigated how phylogenetic patterns vary across carnivores, primates, and ungulates. We predicted that climate would differentially affect the structure of communities from different clades due to between-clade biological variation. We examined 203 communities using two metrics, the net relatedness (NRI) and nearest taxon (NTI) indices. We used simultaneous autoregressive models to predict community phylogenetic structure from climate variables and species richness. We found that most individual communities exhibited a phylogenetic structure consistent with a null model, but both climate and species richness significantly predicted variation in community phylogenetic metrics. Using NTI, species rich communities were composed of more distantly related taxa for all mammal communities, as well as for communities of carnivorans or ungulates. Temperature seasonality predicted the phylogenetic structure of mammal, carnivoran, and ungulate communities, and annual rainfall predicted primate community structure. Additional climate variables related to temperature and rainfall also predicted the phylogenetic structure of ungulate communities. We suggest that both past interspecific competition and habitat filtering have shaped variation in tropical mammal communities. The significant effect of climatic factors on community structure has important implications for the diversity of mammal communities given current models of future climate change.

  3. Three African antelope species with varying water dependencies exhibit similar selective brain cooling.

    PubMed

    Strauss, W Maartin; Hetem, Robyn S; Mitchell, Duncan; Maloney, Shane K; Meyer, Leith C R; Fuller, Andrea

    2016-05-01

    The use of selective brain cooling, where warm arterial blood destined for the brain is cooled in the carotid rete via counter-current heat exchange when in close proximity to cooler venous blood, contributes to the conservation of body water. We simultaneously measured carotid blood and hypothalamic temperature in four gemsbok, five red hartebeest and six blue wildebeest to assess the extent to which these free-living animals, with varying water dependency, routinely rely on selective brain cooling. We investigated the hypothesis that innate differences in selective brain cooling exist in large, sympatric artiodactyls with varying water dependency. All three species used selective brain cooling, without any discernible differences in three selective brain cooling indices. GLMMs revealed no species differences in the threshold temperature for selective brain cooling (z = 0.79, P = 0.43), the magnitude (z = -0.51, P = 0.61), or the frequency of selective brain cooling use (z = -0.47, P = 0.64), after controlling for carotid blood temperature and black globe temperature. Comparison of anatomical attributes of the carotid retes of the three species revealed that the volume (F 2,9 = 5.54, P = 0.03) and height (F 2,9 = 5.43, P = 0.03) of the carotid rete, per kilogram body mass, were greater in the red hartebeest than in the blue wildebeest. Nevertheless, intraspecific variability in the magnitude, the frequency of use, and the threshold temperature for selective brain cooling exceeded any interspecific variability in the three indices of selective brain cooling. We conclude that the three species have similar underlying ability to make use of selective brain cooling in an environment with freely available water. It remains to be seen to what extent these three species would rely on selective brain cooling, as a water conservation mechanism, when challenged by aridity, a condition likely to become prevalent throughout much of southern Africa under future climate change

  4. The susceptibility of five African Anopheles species to Anabaena PCC 7120 expressing Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. israelensis mosquitocidal cry genes

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Malaria, one of the leading causes of death in Africa, is transmitted by the bite of an infected female Anopheles mosquito. Problems associated with the development of resistance to chemical insecticides and concerns about the non-target effects and persistence of chemical insecticides have prompted the development of environmentally friendly mosquito control agents. The aim of this study was to evaluate the larvicidal activity of a genetically engineered cyanobacterium, Anabaena PCC 7120#11, against five African Anopheles species in laboratory bioassays. Findings There were significant differences in the susceptibility of the anopheline species to PCC 7120#11. The ranking of the larvicidal activity of PCC 7120#11 against species in the An. gambiae complex was: An. merus

  5. Species boundaries and taxonomy of the African river frogs (Amphibia: Pyxicephalidae: Amietia).

    PubMed

    Channing, A; Dehling, J M; Lötters, S; Ernst, R

    2016-08-25

    A molecular phylogeny of the Afrotropical anuran genus Amietia based on 323 16S sequences indicates that there are 19 species, including four not yet described. No genetic material was available for the nominal A. inyangae. We consider them to represent full species, and define them based on 16S genetic distances, as well as differences in morphology, tadpoles and advertisement call where known. An analysis based on two mitochondrial and two nuclear genes (12S, 16S, 28S and tyrosinase exon 1), from 122 samples, confirmed the phylogenetic relationships suggested by the 16S tree. We recognise and (re-) describe the following species: Amietia angolensis (Bocage, 1866), A. chapini (Noble, 1924), A. delalandii (Duméril & Bibron, 1841), A. desaegeri (Laurent, 1972), A. fuscigula (Duméril & Bibron, 1841), A. hymenopus (Boulenger, 1920), A. inyangae (Poynton, 1966), A. johnstoni (Günther, 1893), A. moyerorum sp. nov., A. nutti (Boulenger, 1896), A. poyntoni Channing & Baptista, 2013, A. ruwenzorica (Laurent, 1972), A. tenuoplicata (Pickersgill, 2007), A. vandijki (Visser & Channing, 1997), A. vertebralis (Hewitt, 1927), and A. wittei (Angel, 1924). Three further candidate species of Larson et al. (2016) await formal naming. We provisionally regard A. amieti (Laurent, 1976) as a junior synonym of A. chapini (Noble, 1924). Amietia lubrica (Pickersgill, 2007) is shown to be a junior synonym of A. nutti, while A. quecketti (Boulenger, 1895) is shown to be a junior synonym of A. delalandii (Duméril & Bibron, 1841), and A. viridireticulata (Pickersgill, 2007) is placed as a junior synonym of A. tenuoplicata (Pickersgill, 2007). On the basis of similarity of 16S sequences, we assign A. sp. 1, A. sp. 3 and A. sp. 6 of Larson et al (2016) to the nomina A. chapini (Noble, 1924), A. desaegeri (Laurent, 1972), and A. nutti (Boulenger, 1896) respectively.

  6. The spatial distribution of African savannah herbivores: species associations and habitat occupancy in a landscape context.

    PubMed

    Anderson, T Michael; White, Staci; Davis, Bryant; Erhardt, Rob; Palmer, Meredith; Swanson, Alexandra; Kosmala, Margaret; Packer, Craig

    2016-09-19

    Herbivores play an important role in determining the structure and function of tropical savannahs. Here, we (i) outline a framework for how interactions among large mammalian herbivores, carnivores and environmental variation influence herbivore habitat occupancy in tropical savannahs. We then (ii) use a Bayesian hierarchical model to analyse camera trap data to quantify spatial patterns of habitat occupancy for lions and eight common ungulates of varying body size across an approximately 1100 km(2) landscape in the Serengeti ecosystem. Our results reveal strong positive associations among herbivores at the scale of the entire landscape. Lions were positively associated with migratory ungulates but negatively associated with residents. Herbivore habitat occupancy differed with body size and migratory strategy: large-bodied migrants, at less risk of predation and able to tolerate lower quality food, were associated with high NDVI, while smaller residents, constrained to higher quality forage, avoided these areas. Small herbivores were strongly associated with fires, likely due to the subsequent high-quality regrowth, while larger herbivores avoided burned areas. Body mass was strongly related to herbivore habitat use, with larger species more strongly associated with riverine and woodlands than smaller species. Large-bodied migrants displayed diffuse habitat occupancy, whereas smaller species demonstrated fine-scale occupancy reflecting use of smaller patches of high-quality habitat. Our results demonstrate the emergence of strong positive spatial associations among a diverse group of savannah herbivores, while highlighting species-specific habitat selection strongly determined by herbivore body size.This article is part of the themed issue 'Tropical grassy biomes: linking ecology, human use and conservation'.

  7. Using Social Media to Measure the Contribution of Red List Species to the Nature-Based Tourism Potential of African Protected Areas

    PubMed Central

    Drakou, Evangelia G.; Burgess, Neil D.

    2015-01-01

    Cultural ecosystem services are defined by people’s perception of the environment, which make them hard to quantify systematically. Methods to describe cultural benefits from ecosystems typically include resource-demanding survey techniques, which are not suitable to assess cultural ecosystem services for large areas. In this paper we explore a method to quantify cultural benefits through the enjoyment of natured-based tourism, by assessing the potential tourism attractiveness of species for each protected area in Africa using the IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species. We use the number of pictures of wildlife posted on a photo sharing website as a proxy for charisma, popularity, and ease of observation, as these factors combined are assumed to determine how attractive species are for the global wildlife tourist. Based on photo counts of 2473 African animals and plants, species that seem most attractive to nature-based tourism are the Lion, African Elephant and Leopard. Combining the photo counts with species range data, African protected areas with the highest potential to attract wildlife tourists based on attractive species occurrence were Samburu National Reserve in Kenya, Mukogodo Forest Reserve located just north of Mount Kenya, and Addo Elephant National Park in South-Africa. The proposed method requires only three data sources which are freely accessible and available online, which could make the proposed index tractable for large scale quantitative ecosystem service assessments. The index directly links species presence to the tourism potential of protected areas, making the connection between nature and human benefits explicit, but excludes other important contributing factors for tourism, such as accessibility and safety. This social media based index provides a broad understanding of those species that are popular globally; in many cases these are not the species of highest conservation concern. PMID:26068111

  8. Using Social Media to Measure the Contribution of Red List Species to the Nature-Based Tourism Potential of African Protected Areas.

    PubMed

    Willemen, Louise; Cottam, Andrew J; Drakou, Evangelia G; Burgess, Neil D

    2015-01-01

    Cultural ecosystem services are defined by people's perception of the environment, which make them hard to quantify systematically. Methods to describe cultural benefits from ecosystems typically include resource-demanding survey techniques, which are not suitable to assess cultural ecosystem services for large areas. In this paper we explore a method to quantify cultural benefits through the enjoyment of natured-based tourism, by assessing the potential tourism attractiveness of species for each protected area in Africa using the IUCN's Red List of Threatened Species. We use the number of pictures of wildlife posted on a photo sharing website as a proxy for charisma, popularity, and ease of observation, as these factors combined are assumed to determine how attractive species are for the global wildlife tourist. Based on photo counts of 2473 African animals and plants, species that seem most attractive to nature-based tourism are the Lion, African Elephant and Leopard. Combining the photo counts with species range data, African protected areas with the highest potential to attract wildlife tourists based on attractive species occurrence were Samburu National Reserve in Kenya, Mukogodo Forest Reserve located just north of Mount Kenya, and Addo Elephant National Park in South-Africa. The proposed method requires only three data sources which are freely accessible and available online, which could make the proposed index tractable for large scale quantitative ecosystem service assessments. The index directly links species presence to the tourism potential of protected areas, making the connection between nature and human benefits explicit, but excludes other important contributing factors for tourism, such as accessibility and safety. This social media based index provides a broad understanding of those species that are popular globally; in many cases these are not the species of highest conservation concern.

  9. New species of haemosporidian parasites (Haemosporida) from African rainforest birds, with remarks on their classification.

    PubMed

    Valkiūnas, Gediminas; Iezhova, Tatjana A; Loiseau, Claire; Chasar, Anthony; Smith, Thomas B; Sehgal, Ravinder N M

    2008-10-01

    Plasmodium (Novyella) megaglobularis n. sp. was recorded in the olive sunbird Cyanomitra olivacea, and Plasmodium (Novyella) globularis n. sp. and Haemoproteus (Parahaemoproteus) vacuolatus n. sp. were found in the yellow-whiskered greenbul Andropadus latirostris in rainforests of Ghana and Cameroon. These parasites are described based on the morphology of their blood stages and a segment of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene, which can be used for molecular identification and diagnosis of these species. Illustrations of blood stages of new species are given, and phylogenetic analysis identifies deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) lineages closely related to these parasites. Traditional taxonomy of avian pigment-forming haemosporidians of the families Plasmodiidae and Haemoproteidae is discussed based on the recent molecular phylogenies of these parasites. We conclude that further work to increase the number of precise linkages between haemosporidian DNA sequences and their corresponding morphospecies is needed before revising the current classification of haemosporidians. This study emphasises the value of both the polymerase chain reaction and microscopy in the identification of avian haemosporidian parasites.

  10. Molecular basis of the remarkable species selectivity of an insecticidal sodium channel toxin from the African spider Augacephalus ezendami

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herzig, Volker; Ikonomopoulou, Maria; Smith, Jennifer J.; Dziemborowicz, Sławomir; Gilchrist, John; Kuhn-Nentwig, Lucia; Rezende, Fernanda Oliveira; Moreira, Luciano Andrade; Nicholson, Graham M.; Bosmans, Frank; King, Glenn F.

    2016-07-01

    The inexorable decline in the armament of registered chemical insecticides has stimulated research into environmentally-friendly alternatives. Insecticidal spider-venom peptides are promising candidates for bioinsecticide development but it is challenging to find peptides that are specific for targeted pests. In the present study, we isolated an insecticidal peptide (Ae1a) from venom of the African spider Augacephalus ezendami (family Theraphosidae). Injection of Ae1a into sheep blowflies (Lucilia cuprina) induced rapid but reversible paralysis. In striking contrast, Ae1a was lethal to closely related fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) but induced no adverse effects in the recalcitrant lepidopteran pest Helicoverpa armigera. Electrophysiological experiments revealed that Ae1a potently inhibits the voltage-gated sodium channel BgNaV1 from the German cockroach Blattella germanica by shifting the threshold for channel activation to more depolarized potentials. In contrast, Ae1a failed to significantly affect sodium currents in dorsal unpaired median neurons from the American cockroach Periplaneta americana. We show that Ae1a interacts with the domain II voltage sensor and that sensitivity to the toxin is conferred by natural sequence variations in the S1–S2 loop of domain II. The phyletic specificity of Ae1a provides crucial information for development of sodium channel insecticides that target key insect pests without harming beneficial species.

  11. Molecular basis of the remarkable species selectivity of an insecticidal sodium channel toxin from the African spider Augacephalus ezendami.

    PubMed

    Herzig, Volker; Ikonomopoulou, Maria; Smith, Jennifer J; Dziemborowicz, Sławomir; Gilchrist, John; Kuhn-Nentwig, Lucia; Rezende, Fernanda Oliveira; Moreira, Luciano Andrade; Nicholson, Graham M; Bosmans, Frank; King, Glenn F

    2016-07-07

    The inexorable decline in the armament of registered chemical insecticides has stimulated research into environmentally-friendly alternatives. Insecticidal spider-venom peptides are promising candidates for bioinsecticide development but it is challenging to find peptides that are specific for targeted pests. In the present study, we isolated an insecticidal peptide (Ae1a) from venom of the African spider Augacephalus ezendami (family Theraphosidae). Injection of Ae1a into sheep blowflies (Lucilia cuprina) induced rapid but reversible paralysis. In striking contrast, Ae1a was lethal to closely related fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) but induced no adverse effects in the recalcitrant lepidopteran pest Helicoverpa armigera. Electrophysiological experiments revealed that Ae1a potently inhibits the voltage-gated sodium channel BgNaV1 from the German cockroach Blattella germanica by shifting the threshold for channel activation to more depolarized potentials. In contrast, Ae1a failed to significantly affect sodium currents in dorsal unpaired median neurons from the American cockroach Periplaneta americana. We show that Ae1a interacts with the domain II voltage sensor and that sensitivity to the toxin is conferred by natural sequence variations in the S1-S2 loop of domain II. The phyletic specificity of Ae1a provides crucial information for development of sodium channel insecticides that target key insect pests without harming beneficial species.

  12. Molecular basis of the remarkable species selectivity of an insecticidal sodium channel toxin from the African spider Augacephalus ezendami

    PubMed Central

    Herzig, Volker; Ikonomopoulou, Maria; Smith, Jennifer J.; Dziemborowicz, Sławomir; Gilchrist, John; Kuhn-Nentwig, Lucia; Rezende, Fernanda Oliveira; Moreira, Luciano Andrade; Nicholson, Graham M.; Bosmans, Frank; King, Glenn F.

    2016-01-01

    The inexorable decline in the armament of registered chemical insecticides has stimulated research into environmentally-friendly alternatives. Insecticidal spider-venom peptides are promising candidates for bioinsecticide development but it is challenging to find peptides that are specific for targeted pests. In the present study, we isolated an insecticidal peptide (Ae1a) from venom of the African spider Augacephalus ezendami (family Theraphosidae). Injection of Ae1a into sheep blowflies (Lucilia cuprina) induced rapid but reversible paralysis. In striking contrast, Ae1a was lethal to closely related fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) but induced no adverse effects in the recalcitrant lepidopteran pest Helicoverpa armigera. Electrophysiological experiments revealed that Ae1a potently inhibits the voltage-gated sodium channel BgNaV1 from the German cockroach Blattella germanica by shifting the threshold for channel activation to more depolarized potentials. In contrast, Ae1a failed to significantly affect sodium currents in dorsal unpaired median neurons from the American cockroach Periplaneta americana. We show that Ae1a interacts with the domain II voltage sensor and that sensitivity to the toxin is conferred by natural sequence variations in the S1–S2 loop of domain II. The phyletic specificity of Ae1a provides crucial information for development of sodium channel insecticides that target key insect pests without harming beneficial species. PMID:27383378

  13. Comparative mapping of ZYMV resistances in cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) and melon (Cucumis melo L.).

    PubMed

    Park, Y; Katzir, N; Brotman, Y; King, J; Bertrand, F; Havey, M

    2004-08-01

    Zucchini yellow mosaic virus (ZYMV) routinely causes significant losses in cucumber ( Cucumis sativus L.) and melon ( Cucumis melo L.). ZYMV resistances from the cucumber population 'TMG1' and the melon plant introduction (PI) 414723 show different modes of inheritance and their genetic relationships are unknown. We used molecular markers tightly linked to ZYMV resistances from cucumber and melon for comparative mapping. A 5-kb genomic region (YCZ-5) cosegregating with the zym locus of cucumber was cloned and sequenced to reveal single nucleotide polymorphisms and indels distinguishing alleles from ZYMV-resistant (TMG1) and susceptible (Straight 8) cucumbers. A low-copy region of the YCZ-5 clone was hybridized to bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) clones of melon and a 180-kb contig assembled. One end of this melon contig was mapped in cucumber and cosegregated with ZYMV resistance, demonstrating that physically linked regions in melon show genetic linkage in cucumber. However the YCZ-5 region segregated independently of ZYMV resistance loci in two melon families. These results establish that these sources of ZYMV resistances from cucumber TMG1 and melon PI414723 are likely non-syntenic.

  14. Contribution to the knowledge of Afrotropical Dryinidae, Embolemidae and Sclerogibbidae (Hymenoptera), with description of new species from Central African Republic and Uganda

    PubMed Central

    Olmi, Massimo; van Noort, Simon; Guglielmino, Adalgisa

    2016-01-01

    Abstract An updated checklist of Dryinidae, Embolemidae and Sclerogibbidae from Central African Republic and Uganda is presented. The following new species of Dryinidae are described: from Central African Republic: Anteon dzanganum sp. n. (Anteoninae); from Uganda: Anteon granulatum sp. n., Anteon kibalense sp. n., Anteon makererense sp. n., Anteon mubfs sp. n. (Anteoninae); Bocchus kibalensis sp. n. (Bocchinae); Dryinus kibalus sp. n. (Dryininae); Gonatopus kanyawarus sp. n. (Gonatopodinae). The following species have been recorded for the first time from Central African Republic: Embolemidae: Ampulicomorpha madecassa Olmi, 1999a; Embolemus capensis Olmi, 1997; Dryinidae: Aphelopus mediocarinatus (Benoit, 1951d), Aphelopus testaceus Olmi, 1991, Aphelopus wittei Benoit, 1951c (Aphelopinae); Anteon cautum Olmi, 1994a, Anteon evertsi Olmi, 1989, Anteon gutturnium (Benoit, 1951b), Anteon inflatrix Benoit, 1951b, Anteon kivuanum (Benoit, 1951c), Anteon semajanna Olmi, Copeland & Guglielmino, 2015, Anteon zairense Benoit, 1951d (Anteoninae); Pseudodryinus townesi (Olmi, 1984) (Dryininae); Echthrodelphax tauricus Ponomarenko, 1970, Gonatopus camerounensis Olmi, 2011, Gonatopus kolyadai Olmi, 2007b, Neodryinus antiquus Benoit, 1954, Neodryinus tussaci Olmi, 2004b (Gonatopodinae); Sclerogibbidae: Probethylus callani Richards, 1939b; Sclerogibba algerica Benoit, 1963, Sclerogibba rapax Olmi, 2005a. The following species have been recorded for the first time from Uganda: Embolemidae: Ampulicomorpha magna Olmi, 1996; Dryinidae: Anteon cautum Olmi, 1994a, Anteon fisheri Olmi, 2003, Anteon hoyoi Olmi, 1984, Anteon kivuanum (Benoit, 1951c), Anteon townesi Olmi, 1984, Anteon zairense Benoit, 1951d (Anteoninae); Bocchus bini Olmi, 1984 (Bocchinae); Dryinus saussurei (Ceballos, 1936) (Dryininae); Echthrodelphax migratorius Benoit, 1954, Neodryinus tussaci Olmi, 2004b (Gonatopodinae). The following further species has been recorded for the first time from Mali: Sclerogibba algerica

  15. Medieval herbal iconography and lexicography of Cucumis (cucumber and melon, Cucurbitaceae) in the Occident, 1300–1458

    PubMed Central

    Paris, Harry S.; Janick, Jules; Daunay, Marie-Christine

    2011-01-01

    Background The genus Cucumis contains two species of important vegetable crops, C. sativus, cucumber, and C. melo, melon. Melon has iconographical and textual records from lands of the Mediterranean Basin dating back to antiquity, but cucumber does not. The goal of this study was to obtain an improved understanding of the history of these crops in the Occident. Medieval images purportedly of Cucumis were examined, their specific identity was determined and they were compared for originality, accuracy and the lexicography of their captions. Findings The manuscripts having accurate, informative images are derived from Italy and France and were produced between 1300 and 1458. All have an illustration of cucumber but not all contain an image of melon. The cucumber fruits are green, unevenly cylindrical with an approx. 2:1 length-to-width ratio. Most of the images show the cucumbers marked by sparsely distributed, large dark dots, but images from northern France show them as having densely distributed, small black dots. The different size, colour and distribution reflect the different surface wartiness and spininess of modern American and French pickling cucumbers. The melon fruits are green, oval to serpentine, closely resembling the chate and snake vegetable melons, but not sweet melons. In nearly all manuscripts of Italian provenance, the cucumber image is labelled with the Latin caption citruli, or similar, plural diminuitive of citrus (citron, Citrus medica). However, in manuscripts of French provenance, the cucumber image is labelled cucumeres, which is derived from the classical Latin epithet cucumis for snake melon. The absence of melon in some manuscripts and the expropriation of the Latin cucumis/cucumer indicate replacement of vegetable melons by cucumbers during the medieval period in Europe. One image, from British Library ms. Sloane 4016, has a caption that allows tracing of the word ‘gherkin’ back to languages of the geographical nativity of C

  16. A new African soft scale genus, Pseudocribrolecanium gen. nov. (Hemiptera: Coccoidea: Coccidae), erected for two species, including the citrus pest P. andersoni (Newstead) comb. nov

    PubMed Central

    Kondo, Takumasa

    2006-01-01

    A new African genus of soft scale insects, Pseudocribrolecanium gen. nov. is erected to accommodate Akermes colae Green & Laing and Cribrolecanium andersoni (Newstead). The adult females and first-instar nymphs of the two species are redescribed and illustrated. Taxonomic keys to separate the adult females and first-instar nymphs are provided. The affinity of Pseudocribrolecanium with the tribe Paralecaniini in the subfamily Coccinae is discussed. PMID:19537997

  17. A new African soft scale genus, Pseudocribrolecanium gen. nov. (Hemiptera: Coccoidea: Coccidae), erected for two species, including the citrus pest P. andersoni (Newstead) comb. nov.

    PubMed

    Kondo, Takumasa

    2006-01-01

    A new African genus of soft scale insects, Pseudocribrolecanium gen. nov. is erected to accommodate Akermes colae Green & Laing and Cribrolecanium andersoni (Newstead). The adult females and first-instar nymphs of the two species are redescribed and illustrated. Taxonomic keys to separate the adult females and first-instar nymphs are provided. The affinity of Pseudocribrolecanium with the tribe Paralecaniini in the subfamily Coccinae is discussed.

  18. Patterns of style polymorphism in five species of the South African genus Nivenia (Iridaceae)

    PubMed Central

    Sánchez, J. M.; Ferrero, V.; Arroyo, J.; Navarro, L.

    2010-01-01

    Background and Aims Heterostylous plants have been characterized by the presence of two or three discrete morphs that differ in their sex organ position within populations. This polymorphism is widely distributed among the angiosperms, but detailed studies are limited to few taxonomic groups. Although a small representation, evolutionary meaningful variations of the heterostylous syndrome have been reported when precise measurements of the sexual whorls were taken. A thorough exploration of groups where heterostyly has been reported should offer new opportunities to further testing the evolutionary hypotheses explaining heterostyly. Here, the traits defining heterostyly were explored in half of the species in Nivenia, the only genus of Iridiaceae where heterostyly has been reported. Methods Detailed morphometric analysis of the flower sexual whorls and some traits considered as ancillary are supplied to determine for each population (a) the kind of stylar polymorphism, (b) the morph ratio and (c) the degree of reciprocity between sexual whorls. Also the rates of assortative (within morph) versus disassortative (between morphs) pollen transfer were estimated by analysing pollen loads on stigmas. The association between floral phenotypic integration and the reciprocity between sexual whorls was estimated; both characteristics have been quoted as dependent on the accuracy of the fit between pollinators and flowers and therefore related to the efficiency of pollen transfer. Key Results Different types of polymorphism, differing in their degree of reciprocity, were found in Nivenia. Effective disassortative mating appears to be common, since (a) all dimorphic populations show equal morph-ratios (isoplethy), and (b) the pollen placed on the stigmas of each morph is likely to be coming from the other (complementary) morph. The most reciprocal populations of the heterostylous species have also the highest values of phenotypical integration. Conclusions Stigma height

  19. Mandelalides A-D, cytotoxic macrolides from a new Lissoclinum species of South African tunicate.

    PubMed

    Sikorska, Justyna; Hau, Andrew M; Anklin, Clemens; Parker-Nance, Shirley; Davies-Coleman, Michael T; Ishmael, Jane E; McPhail, Kerry L

    2012-07-20

    Mandelalides A-D are variously glycosylated, unusual polyketide macrolides isolated from a new species of Lissoclinum ascidian collected from South Africa, Algoa Bay near Port Elizabeth and the surrounding Nelson Mandela Metropole. Their planar structures were elucidated on submilligram samples by comprehensive analysis of 1D and 2D NMR data, supported by mass spectrometry. The assignment of relative configuration was accomplished by consideration of homonuclear and heteronuclear coupling constants in tandem with ROESY data. The absolute configuration was assigned for mandelalide A after chiral GC-MS analysis of the hydrolyzed monosaccharide (2-O-methyl-α-L-rhamnose) and consideration of ROESY correlations between the monosaccharide and aglycone in the intact natural product. The resultant absolute configuration of the mandelalide A macrolide was extrapolated to propose the absolute configurations of mandelalides B-D. Remarkably, mandelalide B contained the C-4' epimeric 2-O-methyl-6-dehydro-α-L-talose. Mandelalides A and B showed potent cytotoxicity to human NCI-H460 lung cancer cells (IC(50), 12 and 44 nM, respectively) and mouse Neuro-2A neuroblastoma cells (IC(50), 29 and 84 nM, respectively).

  20. Mandelalides A-D, cytotoxic macrolides from a new Lissoclinum species of South African tunicate

    PubMed Central

    Sikorska, Justyna; Hau, Andrew M.; Anklin, Clemens; Parker-Nance, Shirley; Davies-Coleman, Michael T.; Ishmael, Jane E.; McPhail, Kerry L.

    2012-01-01

    Mandelalides A-D are variously glycosylated, unusual polyketide macrolides isolated from a new species of Lissoclinum ascidian collected from South Africa, Algoa Bay near Port Elizabeth and the surrounding Nelson Mandela Metropole. Their planar structures were elucidated on sub-milligram samples by comprehensive analysis of 1D and 2D NMR data, supported by mass spectrometry. The assignment of relative configuration was accomplished by consideration of homonuclear and heteronuclear coupling constants in tandem with ROESY data. The absolute configuration was assigned for mandelalide A after chiral GC-MS analysis of the hydrolyzed monosaccharide (2-O-methyl-α-L-rhamnose) and consideration of ROESY correlations between the monosaccharide and aglycone in the intact natural product. The resultant absolute configuration of the mandelalide A macrolide was extrapolated to propose the absolute configurations of mandelalides B-D. Remarkably, mandelalide B contained the C-4′ epimeric 2-O-methyl-6-dehydro-α-L-talose. Mandelalides A and B showed potent cytotoxicity to human NCI-H460 lung cancer cells (IC50, 12 and 44 nM, respectively) and mouse Neuro-2A neuroblastoma cells (IC50, 29 and 84 nM, respectively). PMID:22712890

  1. Comprehensive analysis of the homeodomain-leucine zipper IV transcription factor family in Cucumis sativus.

    PubMed

    Fu, Rao; Liu, Wei; Li, Qiang; Li, Jing; Wang, Lina; Ren, Zhonghai

    2013-07-01

    The class IV homeodomain-leucine zipper (HD-Zip IV) proteins are plant-specific transcriptional factors known to play crucial roles in plant growth and development. In this study, 11 cucumber (Cucumis sativus) HD-Zip IV genes were identified in the version 2 cucumber genome and found to be distributed unevenly across the chromosomes. The CsHDZIV (Cucumis sativus homeodomain-leucine zipper IV) gene family is smaller than in other studied species (except for rice) because of the absence of gene duplication events. Phylogenetic analysis showed that HD-Zip IV genes from cucumber, Arabidopsis, tomato, cotton, maize, and rice could be classified into five subgroups. All CsHDZIV genes appear to be derived from a basic module containing 11 exons in the coding region. Two conserved motifs of 21 and 19 nucleotides were found in the 3'-untranslated regions of six CsHDZIV genes, suggesting that post-transcriptional regulation may play a role in regulation of CsHDZIV genes. In addition, 6 of 11 CsHDZIV genes were found to undergo alternative splicing events. Reverse transcription PCR analysis showed that all CsHDZIV genes (except one) were expressed and showed preferential expression in reproductive organs.

  2. The complete chloroplast genome sequence of Cucumis sativus var. Hardwickii, the wild progenitor of cultivated cucumber.

    PubMed

    Liu, Bang; Zhang, Dan; Gao, Li-Zhi

    2016-11-01

    The complete chloroplast genome sequence of wild cucumber (Cucumis sativus var. hardwickii) was determined and characterized in this study. The genome is of 155 277 bp in length, containing a pair of inverted repeats regions (IRs) of 25 198 bp, which are separated by a large single-copy region of 86 618 bp and a small single-copy region of 18 263 bp. The wild cucumber chloroplast genome has 130 known genes, including 85 protein-coding genes, 8 ribosomal RNA genes, and 37 tRNA genes. Among these genes, 19 comprise one or two introns. There are 11 tRNA genes present in the IR of the chloroplast genome. Phylogenomic analysis showed that C. sativus var. hardwickii forms a cluster with other Cucumis species with strong bootstrap supports and is closely related to C. sativus var. sativus. This newly sequenced chloroplast genome sequence may provide useful genetic information to explore wild cucumber germplasms for cucumber breeding programs.

  3. The Genome of the Cucumber, Cucumis Sativus L

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cucumber is an economically important crop as well as a model system for sex determination studies and plant vascular biology. Here we report the draft genome sequence of Cucumis sativus var. sativus L., assembled using a novel combination of traditional Sanger and next-generation Illumina GA sequen...

  4. Genetics, Morphology, Advertisement Calls, and Historical Records Distinguish Six New Polyploid Species of African Clawed Frog (Xenopus, Pipidae) from West and Central Africa

    PubMed Central

    Evans, Ben J.; Carter, Timothy F.; Greenbaum, Eli; Gvoždík, Václav; Kelley, Darcy B.; McLaughlin, Patrick J.; Pauwels, Olivier S. G.; Portik, Daniel M.; Stanley, Edward L.; Tinsley, Richard C.; Tobias, Martha L.; Blackburn, David C.

    2015-01-01

    African clawed frogs, genus Xenopus, are extraordinary among vertebrates in the diversity of their polyploid species and the high number of independent polyploidization events that occurred during their diversification. Here we update current understanding of the evolutionary history of this group and describe six new species from west and central sub-Saharan Africa, including four tetraploids and two dodecaploids. We provide information on molecular variation, morphology, karyotypes, vocalizations, and estimated geographic ranges, which support the distinctiveness of these new species. We resurrect Xenopus calcaratus from synonymy of Xenopus tropicalis and refer populations from Bioko Island and coastal Cameroon (near Mt. Cameroon) to this species. To facilitate comparisons to the new species, we also provide comments on the type specimens, morphology, and distributions of X. epitropicalis, X. tropicalis, and X. fraseri. This includes significantly restricted application of the names X. fraseri and X. epitropicalis, the first of which we argue is known definitively only from type specimens and possibly one other specimen. Inferring the evolutionary histories of these new species allows refinement of species groups within Xenopus and leads to our recognition of two subgenera (Xenopus and Silurana) and three species groups within the subgenus Xenopus (amieti, laevis, and muelleri species groups). PMID:26672747

  5. Genetics, Morphology, Advertisement Calls, and Historical Records Distinguish Six New Polyploid Species of African Clawed Frog (Xenopus, Pipidae) from West and Central Africa.

    PubMed

    Evans, Ben J; Carter, Timothy F; Greenbaum, Eli; Gvoždík, Václav; Kelley, Darcy B; McLaughlin, Patrick J; Pauwels, Olivier S G; Portik, Daniel M; Stanley, Edward L; Tinsley, Richard C; Tobias, Martha L; Blackburn, David C

    2015-01-01

    African clawed frogs, genus Xenopus, are extraordinary among vertebrates in the diversity of their polyploid species and the high number of independent polyploidization events that occurred during their diversification. Here we update current understanding of the evolutionary history of this group and describe six new species from west and central sub-Saharan Africa, including four tetraploids and two dodecaploids. We provide information on molecular variation, morphology, karyotypes, vocalizations, and estimated geographic ranges, which support the distinctiveness of these new species. We resurrect Xenopus calcaratus from synonymy of Xenopus tropicalis and refer populations from Bioko Island and coastal Cameroon (near Mt. Cameroon) to this species. To facilitate comparisons to the new species, we also provide comments on the type specimens, morphology, and distributions of X. epitropicalis, X. tropicalis, and X. fraseri. This includes significantly restricted application of the names X. fraseri and X. epitropicalis, the first of which we argue is known definitively only from type specimens and possibly one other specimen. Inferring the evolutionary histories of these new species allows refinement of species groups within Xenopus and leads to our recognition of two subgenera (Xenopus and Silurana) and three species groups within the subgenus Xenopus (amieti, laevis, and muelleri species groups).

  6. The snake family Psammophiidae (Reptilia: Serpentes): phylogenetics and species delimitation in the African sand snakes (Psammophis Boie, 1825) and allied genera.

    PubMed

    Kelly, Christopher M R; Barker, Nigel P; Villet, Martin H; Broadley, Donald G; Branch, William R

    2008-06-01

    This study constitutes the first evolutionary investigation of the snake family Psammophiidae--the most widespread, most clearly defined, yet perhaps the taxonomically most problematic of Africa's family-level snake lineages. Little is known of psammophiid evolutionary relationships, and the type genus Psammophis is one of the largest and taxonomically most complex of the African snake genera. Our aims were to reconstruct psammophiid phylogenetic relationships and to improve characterisation of species boundaries in problematic Psammophis species complexes. We used approximately 2500 bases of DNA sequence from the mitochondrial and nuclear genomes, and 114 terminals covering all psammophiid genera and incorporating approximately 75% of recognised species and subspecies. Phylogenetic reconstructions were conducted primarily in a Bayesian framework and we used the Wiens/Penkrot protocol to aid species delimitation. Rhamphiophis is diphyletic, with Rhamphiophis acutus emerging sister to Psammophylax. Consequently we transfer the three subspecies of Rhamphiophis acutus to the genus Psammophylax. The monotypic genus Dipsina is sister to Psammophis. The two species of Dromophis occupy divergent positions deeply nested within Psammophis, and we therefore relegate Dromophis to the synonymy of Psammophis. Our results allow division of the taxonomically problematic Psammophis 'sibilans' species complex into two monophyletic entities, provisionally named the 'phillipsii' and 'subtaeniatus' complexes. Within these two clades we found support for the status of many existing species, but not for a distinction between P.p. phillipsii and P. mossambicus. Additionally, P. cf. phillipsii occidentalis deserves species status as the sister taxon of P. brevirostris.

  7. Spring-cleaning of African agathidines: new combinations for five species previously placed in Cremnops Förster (Hymenoptera: Braconidae).

    PubMed

    Tucker, Erika M; Sharkey, Michael J

    2015-04-08

    Little work has been done with the African species of Cremnops since their original descriptions. Herein we propose new combinations for five species that are currently placed in Cremnops, i.e., C. atripennis Szépligeti 1914 and C. elegantissima Szépligeti 1908 are moved to Disophrys; C. borealis (Szépligeti 1914) and C. rubrigaster Masi 1944 are moved to Biroia; and C. pulchripennis Szépligeti 1905 is moved to and renamed Biroia neopulchipennis. These changes result in Disophrys atripennis (Szépligeti 1915) becoming a jr. homonym, which we change to Disophrys szatripennis. Additionally, two species are proposed as nomen dubia: C. rufitarsis Szépligeti 1913 and C. schubotzi Szépligeti 1915.

  8. From Lake Malawi Drilling: East African Climate May Have Caused Major Evolutionary Turnover in Mammalian Species During MIS 14

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, Thomas; Werne, Josef

    2016-04-01

    Hominin evolution underwent important changes in the last 1.3 million years, including the extinction of Paranthropus at about 1.2 Ma, leaving Homo as the sole hominin genus. Our genus experienced a major increase in cranial capacity at about 500 ka, and our species, H. sapiens, first appeared at ~200 ka. There was a major turnover in mammalian species in East Africa between 540 and 400 ka, favoring descendants of smaller size and less specialized diet. An understanding of what drove evolution in these directions is fundamental to understanding the development of modern H. sapiens. Climate certainly played a role, for it is the principal factor that influences the distribution of vegetation and habitability on the landscape. We present a 1.3 million year record of temperature and hydroclimate in the basin of Lake Malawi, the second deepest lake in Africa, derived from a 380 m sediment sequence taken from a water depth of 590 m by the Lake Malawi Drilling Project. Seismic reflection profiles used to select the site portray an undisturbed sedimentary section that was not impacted by erosion, turbidity currents or mass wasting events. Sediment samples were analyzed to produce records of temperature (TEX86) and aridity (Ca content and leaf wax δ13C). The temperature record displays progressively larger amplitude glacial-interglacial variations from MIS 13 (~500 ka) to MIS 5 (~125 ka). Intervals of low Ca abundance, which reflect lake high stands, correlate with times of depleted δ13Cwax and relatively warm temperatures. The Malawi basin experienced warm, wet interglacials and cooler (by about 2 - 4°C), dry glacial periods, with roughly a 100 ky periodicity since the Mid-Pleistocene Transition (MPT), about 900 ka. The paleoclimate record from Lake Malawi sediments portrays a transition from a highly variable and predominantly arid climate prior to 900 ka to a progressively more humid environment after the MPT dominated by 100 ky cycles consisting of warm, wet

  9. Functional characterization of gibberellin oxidases from cucumber, Cucumis sativus L.

    PubMed

    Pimenta Lange, Maria João; Liebrandt, Anja; Arnold, Linda; Chmielewska, Sara-Miriam; Felsberger, André; Freier, Eduard; Heuer, Monika; Zur, Doreen; Lange, Theo

    2013-06-01

    Cucurbits have been used widely to elucidate gibberellin (GA) biosynthesis. With the recent availability of the genome sequence for the economically important cucurbit Cucumis sativus, sequence data became available for all genes potentially involved in GA biosynthesis for this species. Sixteen cDNAs were cloned from root and shoot of 3-d to 7-d old seedlings and from mature seeds of C. sativus. Two cDNAs code for GA 7-oxidases (CsGA7ox1, and -2), five for GA 20-oxidases (CsGA20ox1, -2, -3, -4, and -5), four for GA 3-oxidases (CsGA3ox1, -2, -3, and -4), and another five for GA 2-oxidases (CsGA2ox1, -2, -3, -4, and -5). Their enzymatic activities were investigated by heterologous expression of the cDNAs in Escherichia coli and incubation of the cell lysates with (14)C-labelled, D2-labelled, or unlabelled GA-substrates. The two GA 7-oxidases converted GA12-aldehyde to GA12 efficiently. CsGA7ox1 converted GA12 to GA14, to 15α-hydroxyGA12, and further to 15α-hydroxyGA14. CsGA7ox2 converted GA12 to its 12α-hydroxylated analogue GA111. All five GA 20-oxidases converted GA12 to GA9 as a major product, and to GA25 as a minor product. The four GA 3-oxidases oxidized the C19-GA GA9 to GA4 as the only product. In addition, three of them (CsGA3ox2, -3, and -4) converted the C20-GA GA12 to GA14. The GA 2-oxidases CsGA2ox1, -2, -3, and -4 oxidized the C19-GAs GA9 and GA4 to GA34 and GA51, respectively. CsGA2ox2, -3, and -4 converted GA51 and GA34 further to respective GA-catabolites. In addition to C19-GAs, CsGA2ox4 also converted the C20-GA GA12 to GA110. In contrast, CsGA2ox5 oxidized only the C20 GA12 to GA110 as the sole product. As shown for CsGA20ox1 and CsGA3ox1, similar reactions were catalysed with 13-hydroxlyated GAs as substrates. It is likely that these enzymes are also responsible for the biosynthesis of 13-hydroxylated GAs in vivo that occur at low levels in cucumber.

  10. Cucumis sativus secretes 4'-ketoriboflavin under iron-deficient conditions.

    PubMed

    Satoh, Junichi; Koshino, Hiroyuki; Sekino, Kouta; Ito, Shinsaku; Katsuta, Ryo; Takeda, Kouji; Yoshimura, Etsuro; Shinmachi, Fumie; Kawasaki, Shinji; Niimura, Youichi; Nukada, Tomoo

    2016-01-01

    A new compound in cucumber, Cucumis sativus, nutrient solution that appears under iron-deficient conditions, but not under ordinary culture conditions, has been revealed by HPLC analysis. The chemical structure of this compound was identified using LC-MS and NMR techniques as that of 4'-ketoriboflavin. This is the first report to show that 4'-ketoriboflavin can be found in metabolites from organisms.

  11. The biosynthesis, structure and gelatinization properties of starches from wild and cultivated African rice species (Oryza barthii and Oryza glaberrima).

    PubMed

    Wang, Kai; Wambugu, Peterson W; Zhang, Bin; Wu, Alex Chi; Henry, Robert J; Gilbert, Robert G

    2015-09-20

    The molecular structure and gelatinization properties of starches from domesticated African rice (Oryza glaberrima) and its wild progenitor (Oryza barthii) are determined and comparison made with Asian domesticated rice (Oryza sativa), the commonest commercial rice. This suggests possible enzymatic processes contributing to the unique traits of the African varieties. These have similar starch structures, including smaller amylose molecules, but larger amounts of amylose chains across the whole amylose chain-length distribution, and higher amylose contents, than O. sativa. They also show a higher proportion of two- and three-lamellae spanning amylopectin branch chains (degree of polymerization 34-100) than O. sativa, which contributes to their higher gelatinization temperatures. Fitting amylopectin chain-length distribution with a biosynthesis-based mathematical model suggests that the reason for this difference might be because O. glaberrima and O. barthii have more active SSIIIa and/or less active SBEIIb enzymes.

  12. Inheritance of Beta-Carotene-Associated Flesh Color in Cucumber (Cucumis Sativus L.) Fruit

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The nutritional value of cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) can be improved by the introgression of ß-carotene (i.e., provitamin A and/or orange flesh) genes from “Xishuangbanna gourd” (XIS; Cucumis sativus var. xishuangbannanesis Qi et Yuan) into U.S. pickling cucumber. However, the genetics of ß-carote...

  13. Cucumis melo endornavirus: Genome organization, host range and codivergence with the host

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A high molecular weight dsRNA was isolated from a Cucumis melo plant (referred to as“CL01”) of an unknown cultivar and completely sequenced. Sequence analyses showed similarities with members of the Endornaviridae. The name Cucumis melo endornavirus (CmEV) is proposed. The genome of CmEV-CL01 consis...

  14. Phylogeographic patterning among two codistributed shrimp species (Crustacea: Decapoda: Palaemonidae) reveals high levels of connectivity across biogeographic regions along the South African coast

    PubMed Central

    Wood, Louisa E.; De Grave, Sammy; Daniels, Savel R.

    2017-01-01

    We compare the genetic structuring and demographic history of two sympatric caridean shrimp species with distinct life history traits, one amphidromous species Palaemon capensis and one marine/estuarine species Palaemon peringueyi, in the historical biogeographical context of South Africa. A total of 103 specimens of P. capensis collected from 12 localities and 217 specimens of P. peringueyi collected from 24 localities were sequenced for the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase one (CO1) locus. Results from analyses of molecular variance (AMOVA), pairwise ΦST comparisons and haplotype networks demonstrate weak to moderate genetic differentiation in P. capensis and P. peringueyi respectively. P. peringueyi exhibits partial isolation between populations associated with distinct biogeographic regions, likely driven by the region’s oceanography. However, there is minimal evidence for the occurrence of discrete regional evolutionary lineages. This demonstrated lack of genetic differentiation is consistent with a marine, highly dispersive planktonic phase in both the amphidromous P. capensis and the marine/estuarine P. peringueyi. Bayesian skyline plots, mismatch expansions and time since expansion indicate that both species maintained stable populations during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), unlike other southern African aquatic species. PMID:28282399

  15. The Andromonoecious Sex Determination Gene Predates the Separation of Cucumis and Citrullus Genera

    PubMed Central

    Boualem, Adnane; Lemhemdi, Afef; Sari, Marie-Agnes; Pignoly, Sarah; Troadec, Christelle; Abou Choucha, Fadi; Solmaz, Ilknur; Sari, Nebahat; Dogimont, Catherine; Bendahmane, Abdelhafid

    2016-01-01

    Understanding the evolution of sex determination in plants requires the cloning and the characterization of sex determination genes. Monoecy is characterized by the presence of both male and female flowers on the same plant. Andromonoecy is characterized by plants carrying both male and bisexual flowers. In watermelon, the transition between these two sexual forms is controlled by the identity of the alleles at the A locus. We previously showed, in two Cucumis species, melon and cucumber, that the transition from monoecy to andromonoecy results from mutations in 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid synthase (ACS) gene, ACS-7/ACS2. To test whether the ACS-7/ACS2 function is conserved in cucurbits, we cloned and characterized ClACS7 in watermelon. We demonstrated co-segregation of ClACS7, the homolog of CmACS-7/CsACS2, with the A locus. Sequence analysis of ClACS7 in watermelon accessions identified three ClACS7 isoforms, two in andromonoecious and one in monoecious lines. To determine whether the andromonoecious phenotype is due to a loss of ACS enzymatic activity, we expressed and assayed the activity of the three protein isoforms. Like in melon and cucumber, the isoforms from the andromonoecious lines showed reduced to no enzymatic activity and the isoform from the monoecious line was active. Consistent with this, the mutations leading andromonoecy were clustered in the active site of the enzyme. Based on this, we concluded that active ClACS7 enzyme leads to the development of female flowers in monoecious lines, whereas a reduction of enzymatic activity yields hermaphrodite flowers. ClACS7, like CmACS-7/CsACS2 in melon and cucumber, is highly expressed in carpel primordia of buds determined to develop carpels and not in male flowers. Based on this finding and previous investigations, we concluded that the monoecy gene, ACS7, likely predated the separation of the Cucumis and Citrullus genera. PMID:27171236

  16. Enterotoxins and emetic toxins production by Bacillus cereus and other species of Bacillus isolated from Soumbala and Bikalga, African alkaline fermented food condiments.

    PubMed

    Ouoba, Labia Irene I; Thorsen, Line; Varnam, Alan H

    2008-06-10

    The ability of various species of Bacillus from fermented seeds of Parkia biglobosa known as African locust bean (Soumbala) and fermented seeds of Hibiscus sabdariffa (Bikalga) was investigated. The study included screening of the isolates by haemolysis on blood agar, detection of toxins in broth and during the fermentation of African locust bean using the Bacillus cereus Enterotoxin Reverse Passive Latex Agglutination test kit (BCET-RPLA) and the Bacillus Diarrhoeal Enterotoxin Visual Immunoassay (BDEVIA). Detection of genes encoding cytotoxin K (CytK), haemolysin BL (Hbl A, Hbl C, Hbl D), non-hemolytic enterotoxin (NheA, NheB, NheC) and EM1 specific of emetic toxin producers was also investigated using PCR with single pair and multiplex primers. Of 41 isolates, 29 Bacillus belonging to the species of B. cereus, Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus licheniformis and Bacillus pumilus showed haemolysis on blood agar. Using RPLA, enterotoxin production was detected for three isolates of B. cereus in broth and all B. cereus (9) in fermented seeds. Using BDEVIA, enterotoxin production was detected in broth as well as in fermented seeds for all B. cereus isolates. None of the isolates belonging to the other Bacillus species was able to produce enterotoxins either by RPLA or BDEVIA. Nhe genes were detected in all B. cereus while Hbl and CytK genes were detected respectively in five and six B. cereus strains. A weak presence of Hbl (A, D) and CytK genes was detected in two isolates of B. subtilis and one of B. licheniformis but results were inconsistent, especially for Hbl genes. The emetic specific gene fragment EM1 was not detected in any of the isolates studied.

  17. The influence of socioeconomic factors on the densities of high-value cross-border species, the African elephant.

    PubMed

    Selier, Sarah-Anne Jeanetta; Slotow, Rob; Di Minin, Enrico

    2016-01-01

    Unprecedented poaching levels triggered by demand for ivory in Far East Asia are threatening the persistence of African elephant Loxodonta africana. Southern African countries make an important contribution to elephant conservation and could soon become the last stronghold of elephant conservation in Africa. While the ecological factors affecting elephant distribution and densities have extensively been accounted for, there is a need to understand which socioeconomic factors affect elephant numbers in order to prevent conflict over limited space and resources with humans. We used elephant count data from aerial surveys for seven years in a generalized linear model, which accounted for temporal correlation, to investigate the effect of six socioeconomic and ecological variables on the number of elephant at the country level in the Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Conservation Area (GMTFCA). Important factors in predicting elephant numbers were the proportion of total land surface under cultivation, human population density and the number of tourists visiting the country. Specifically, elephant numbers were higher where the proportion of total land surface under cultivation was the lowest; where population density was the lowest and where tourist numbers had increased over the years. Our results confirm that human disturbance is affecting elephant numbers, but highlight that the benefits provided by ecotourism could help enhance elephant conservation. While future studies should include larger areas and more detailed data at the site level, we stress that the development of coordinated legislation and policies to improve land-use planning are needed to reduce the impact of increasing human populations and agriculture on elephant.

  18. Contrasting Patterns of Species Richness and Functional Diversity in Bird Communities of East African Cloud Forest Fragments.

    PubMed

    Ulrich, Werner; Lens, Luc; Tobias, Joseph A; Habel, Jan C

    2016-01-01

    Rapid fragmentation and degradation of large undisturbed habitats constitute major threats to biodiversity. Several studies have shown that populations in small and highly isolated habitat patches are prone to strong environmental and demographic stochasticity and increased risk of extinction. Based on community assembly theory, we predict recent rapid forest fragmentation to cause a decline in species and functional guild richness of forest birds combined with a high species turnover among habitat patches, and well defined dominance structures, if competition is the major driver of community assembly. To test these predictions, we analysed species co-occurrence, nestedness, and competitive strength to infer effects of interspecific competition, habitat structure, and species' traits on the assembly of bird species communities from 12 cloud forest fragments in southern Kenya. Our results do not point to a single ecological driver of variation in species composition. Interspecific competition does not appear to be a major driver of species segregation in small forest patches, while its relative importance appears to be higher in larger ones, which may be indicative for a generic shift from competition-dominated to colonisation-driven community structure with decreasing fragment size. Functional trait diversity was independent of fragment size after controlling for species richness. As fragmentation effects vary among feeding guilds and habitat generalists, in particular, tend to decline in low quality forest patches, we plead for taking species ecology fully into account when predicting tropical community responses to habitat change.

  19. Crotalarieae and Genisteae of the South African Great Escarpment are nodulated by novel Bradyrhizobium species with unique and diverse symbiotic loci.

    PubMed

    Beukes, Chrizelle W; Stępkowski, Tomasz; Venter, Stephanus N; Cłapa, Tomasz; Phalane, Francina L; le Roux, Marianne M; Steenkamp, Emma T

    2016-07-01

    The genus Bradyrhizobium contains predominantly nitrogen-fixing legume symbionts. Phylogenetic analysis of the genes responsible for their symbiotic abilities (i.e., those encoded on the nodulation [nod] and nitrogen-fixation [nif] loci) has facilitated the development of an extensive phylogeographic framework for the genus. This framework however contains only a few nodulating isolates from Africa. Here we focused on nodulating Bradyrhizobium isolates associated with native southern African legumes in the tribes Genisteae and Crotalarieae found along the Great Escarpment in the Mpumalanga Province of South Africa. The aims of this study were to: (1) obtain rhizobial isolates from legumes in the Genisteae and Crotalarieae; (2) verify their nodulation ability; (3) characterize them to species level based on phylogenetic analyses of several protein coding gene regions (atpD, dnaK, glnII, recA, rpoB and gyrB) and (4) determine their placement in the phylogeographic framework inferred from the sequences of the symbiotic loci nodA and nifD. Twenty of the 21 Bradyrhizobium isolates belonged to six novel species, while one was conspecific with the recently described B. arachidis. Among these isolates, the nodA phylogeny revealed several new clades, with 18 of our isolates found in Clades XIV and XV, and only three forming part of the cosmopolitan Clade III. These strains formed predominantly the same groups in the nifD phylogeny although with slight differences; indicating that both vertical and horizontal inheritance of the symbiotic loci occurred. These findings suggest that the largely unexplored diversity of indigenous African rhizobia are characterized by unique ancestries that might mirror the distribution of their hosts and the environmental factors driving their evolution.

  20. The influence of socioeconomic factors on the densities of high-value cross-border species, the African elephant

    PubMed Central

    Slotow, Rob; Di Minin, Enrico

    2016-01-01

    Unprecedented poaching levels triggered by demand for ivory in Far East Asia are threatening the persistence of African elephant Loxodonta africana. Southern African countries make an important contribution to elephant conservation and could soon become the last stronghold of elephant conservation in Africa. While the ecological factors affecting elephant distribution and densities have extensively been accounted for, there is a need to understand which socioeconomic factors affect elephant numbers in order to prevent conflict over limited space and resources with humans. We used elephant count data from aerial surveys for seven years in a generalized linear model, which accounted for temporal correlation, to investigate the effect of six socioeconomic and ecological variables on the number of elephant at the country level in the Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Conservation Area (GMTFCA). Important factors in predicting elephant numbers were the proportion of total land surface under cultivation, human population density and the number of tourists visiting the country. Specifically, elephant numbers were higher where the proportion of total land surface under cultivation was the lowest; where population density was the lowest and where tourist numbers had increased over the years. Our results confirm that human disturbance is affecting elephant numbers, but highlight that the benefits provided by ecotourism could help enhance elephant conservation. While future studies should include larger areas and more detailed data at the site level, we stress that the development of coordinated legislation and policies to improve land-use planning are needed to reduce the impact of increasing human populations and agriculture on elephant. PMID:27812404

  1. Competition between a Lawn-Forming Cynodon dactylon and a Tufted Grass Species Hyparrhenia hirta on a South-African Dystrophic Savanna.

    PubMed

    Zwerts, J A; Prins, H H T; Bomhoff, D; Verhagen, I; Swart, J M; de Boer, W F

    2015-01-01

    South African savanna grasslands are often characterised by indigestible tufted grass species whereas lawn grasses are far more desirable in terms of herbivore sustenance. We aimed to investigate the role of nutrients and/or the disturbance (grazing, trampling) by herbivores on the formation of grazing lawns. We conducted a series of common garden experiments to test the effect of nutrients on interspecific competition between a typical lawn-forming grass species (Cynodon dactylon) and a species that is frequently found outside grazing lawns (Hyparrhenia hirta), and tested for the effect of herbivore disturbance in the form of trampling and clipping. We also performed a vegetation and herbivore survey to apply experimentally derived insights to field observations. Our results showed that interspecific competition was not affected by soil nutrient concentrations. C. dactylon did show much more resilience to disturbance than H. hirta, presumably due to the regenerative capacity of its rhizomes. Results from the field survey were in line with these findings, describing a correlation between herbivore pressure and C. dactylon abundance. We conclude that herbivore disturbance, and not soil nutrients, provide C. dactylon with a competitive advantage over H. hirta, due to vegetative regeneration from its rhizomes. This provides evidence for the importance of concentrated, high herbivore densities for the creation and maintenance of grazing lawns.

  2. Competition between a Lawn-Forming Cynodon dactylon and a Tufted Grass Species Hyparrhenia hirta on a South-African Dystrophic Savanna

    PubMed Central

    Zwerts, J. A.; Prins, H. H. T.; Bomhoff, D.; Verhagen, I.; Swart, J. M.; de Boer, W. F.

    2015-01-01

    South African savanna grasslands are often characterised by indigestible tufted grass species whereas lawn grasses are far more desirable in terms of herbivore sustenance. We aimed to investigate the role of nutrients and/or the disturbance (grazing, trampling) by herbivores on the formation of grazing lawns. We conducted a series of common garden experiments to test the effect of nutrients on interspecific competition between a typical lawn-forming grass species (Cynodon dactylon) and a species that is frequently found outside grazing lawns (Hyparrhenia hirta), and tested for the effect of herbivore disturbance in the form of trampling and clipping. We also performed a vegetation and herbivore survey to apply experimentally derived insights to field observations. Our results showed that interspecific competition was not affected by soil nutrient concentrations. C. dactylon did show much more resilience to disturbance than H. hirta, presumably due to the regenerative capacity of its rhizomes. Results from the field survey were in line with these findings, describing a correlation between herbivore pressure and C. dactylon abundance. We conclude that herbivore disturbance, and not soil nutrients, provide C. dactylon with a competitive advantage over H. hirta, due to vegetative regeneration from its rhizomes. This provides evidence for the importance of concentrated, high herbivore densities for the creation and maintenance of grazing lawns. PMID:26510157

  3. Contrasting Patterns of Species Richness and Functional Diversity in Bird Communities of East African Cloud Forest Fragments

    PubMed Central

    Ulrich, Werner; Lens, Luc; Tobias, Joseph A.; Habel, Jan C.

    2016-01-01

    Rapid fragmentation and degradation of large undisturbed habitats constitute major threats to biodiversity. Several studies have shown that populations in small and highly isolated habitat patches are prone to strong environmental and demographic stochasticity and increased risk of extinction. Based on community assembly theory, we predict recent rapid forest fragmentation to cause a decline in species and functional guild richness of forest birds combined with a high species turnover among habitat patches, and well defined dominance structures, if competition is the major driver of community assembly. To test these predictions, we analysed species co-occurrence, nestedness, and competitive strength to infer effects of interspecific competition, habitat structure, and species′ traits on the assembly of bird species communities from 12 cloud forest fragments in southern Kenya. Our results do not point to a single ecological driver of variation in species composition. Interspecific competition does not appear to be a major driver of species segregation in small forest patches, while its relative importance appears to be higher in larger ones, which may be indicative for a generic shift from competition-dominated to colonisation-driven community structure with decreasing fragment size. Functional trait diversity was independent of fragment size after controlling for species richness. As fragmentation effects vary among feeding guilds and habitat generalists, in particular, tend to decline in low quality forest patches, we plead for taking species ecology fully into account when predicting tropical community responses to habitat change. PMID:27855174

  4. Muhaka icipeins, an enigmatic new genus and species of Kleidotomini (Hymenoptera: Figitidae: Eucoilinae) from an East African coastal forest

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A remarkable new eucoiline genus and species, Muhaka icipeins, is described herein. The genus is clearly a Kleidotomini, but is distinguished from other genera in the tribe by the unique head and scutellar morphology of Muhaka. The genus belongs to the ‘wedge-head’-syndrome group of species that, ...

  5. A taxonomic revision of South African Sharphydrus, with the description of two new species (Coleoptera: Dytiscidae: Bidessini).

    PubMed

    Bilton, David T

    2013-12-17

    Sharphydrus Omer-Cooper, 1958 is one of two endemic bidessine genera currently recognised from South Africa. Here Sharphydrus brincki sp. nov. and Sharphydrus kamiesbergensis sp. nov. are described from the Cederberg and Gydopas areas of the Western Cape, and the high Kamiesberg of the Northern Cape respectively, doubling the known species of this genus. It is shown that S. brincki sp. nov. has been included under S. capensis (Omer-Cooper, 1955) in the past, but that these are quite distinct taxa, differing in the extent of their elytral keels and male genitalia. Sharphydrus species are inhabitants of pools in seasonally fluctuating rivers, the new species described here occurring in areas which are somewhat transitional between fynbos and karoo biomes. An updated key is presented to Sharphydrus species, together with data on the distribution and ecology of known species, and a discussion of the status of the genus within the Bidessini.

  6. Molecular identification and safety of Bacillus species involved in the fermentation of African oil beans (Pentaclethra macrophylla Benth) for production of Ugba.

    PubMed

    Ahaotu, I; Anyogu, A; Njoku, O H; Odu, N N; Sutherland, J P; Ouoba, L I I

    2013-03-01

    Molecular identification of Bacillus spp. involved in the fermentation of African oil bean seeds for production of Ugba, as well as ability of the Bacillus spp. isolated to produce toxins, were investigated. Forty-nine bacteria were isolated from Ugba produced in different areas of South Eastern Nigeria and identified by phenotyping and sequencing of 16S rRNA, gyrB and rpoB genes. Genotypic diversities at interspecies and intraspecies level of the isolates were screened by PCR amplification of the 16S-23S rDNA intergenic transcribed spacer (ITS-PCR) and repetitive sequence-based PCR (rep-PCR). The ability of the bacteria to produce toxins was also investigated by detection of genes encoding production of haemolysin BL (HblA, HblC, HblD), non-haemolytic enterotoxin (NheA, NheB, NheC), cytotoxin K (CytK) and emetic toxin (EM1) using PCR with specific primers. Moreover, a Bacillus cereus Enterotoxin Reverse Passive Latex Agglutination test kit (BCET-RPLA) was used to screen ability of the isolates to produce haemolysin in broth and during fermentation of African oil bean seeds. The isolates were characterized as motile, rod-shaped, endospore forming, catalase positive, Gram-positive bacteria. They were identified as Bacillus cereus sensu lato (42), Lysinibacillus xylanilyticus (3), Bacillus clausii (1), Bacillus licheniformis (1), Bacillus subtilis (1), and Bacillus safensis (1). B. cereus was the predominant Bacillus species and was present in all samples studied. Using ITS-PCR, interspecies diversity was observed among isolates, with six clusters representing each of the pre-cited species. Rep-PCR was more discriminatory (eight clusters) and allowed further differentiation at intraspecies level for the B. cereus and L. xylanilyticus isolates with two genotypes for each species. Genes encoding production of non-haemolytic enterotoxin (NheA, NheB, NheC) and cytotoxin K (CytK) genes were detected in all B. cereus isolates, while Hbl genes (HblA, HblC, HblD) were

  7. Regionally-defined niche-breadth of tropical African freshwater plant species predicts their global latitudinal range

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kennedy, Michael; Lang, Pauline; Tapia-Grimaldo, Julissa; Varandas-Martins, Sara; Bruce, Allanah; Moore, Isabel; Sichingabula, Henry; Bottino, Flávia; Murphy, Kevin

    2016-04-01

    This study tested the hypothesis that the measured niche-breadth of river plant species (macrophytes) occurring within a closely-defined geographical area in southern tropical Africa (Zambia), may predict the larger-scale biogeographical range of these species. Two measures of niche-breadth were calculated for 44 riverine macrophyte species commonly occurring in Zambia, using an approach based on PCA ordination with bio-physico-chemical ordination input variables: altitude, stream order, stream flow, pH, conductivity, soluble reactive phosphate concentration (SRP), benthic macroinvertebrate Average Score per Taxon (ASPT), and individual abundance of nine benthic macroinvertebrate families showing differing water quality tolerance, as indicated by their Sensitivity Weightings within the Zambian Invertebrate Scoring System (ZISS). Macrophyte large-scale latitudinal range was derived from world geopositional records held by online databases, supplemented by records held by the authors. The two niche-breadth metrics divided the species into narrow-niche and intermediate/broad-niche categories, showing significant variation in altitude, stream flow, conductivity, SRP and ASPT, but not stream order or pH. There was no evidence to suggest that macrophyte alpha-diversity (as a measure of number of individual niches that may co-exist in a given habitat) showed any significant relationship with individual species niche-breadth. However, macrophyte alpha-diversity was significantly positively correlated with altitude, and significantly negatively related to conductivity, pH, ASPT, SRP, stream flow, and stream order. Narrow-niche macrophyte species included a higher proportion of Afrotropical endemics than did species with broader niche size. There were significant predictive relationships between macrophyte niche breadth and latitudinal range of the target species at global and Afrotropical scales, but not for the Neotropical range of species which occurred in both the

  8. Syntenic relationships between cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) and melon (C. melo L.) chromosomes as revealed by comparative genetic mapping

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Cucumber, Cucumis sativus L. (2n = 2 × = 14) and melon, C. melo L. (2n = 2 × = 24) are two important vegetable species in the genus Cucumis (family Cucurbitaceae). Both species have an Asian origin that diverged approximately nine million years ago. Cucumber is believed to have evolved from melon through chromosome fusion, but the details of this process are largely unknown. In this study, comparative genetic mapping between cucumber and melon was conducted to examine syntenic relationships of their chromosomes. Results Using two melon mapping populations, 154 and 127 cucumber SSR markers were added onto previously reported F2- and RIL-based genetic maps, respectively. A consensus melon linkage map was developed through map integration, which contained 401 co-dominant markers in 12 linkage groups including 199 markers derived from the cucumber genome. Syntenic relationships between melon and cucumber chromosomes were inferred based on associations between markers on the consensus melon map and cucumber draft genome scaffolds. It was determined that cucumber Chromosome 7 was syntenic to melon Chromosome I. Cucumber Chromosomes 2 and 6 each contained genomic regions that were syntenic with melon chromosomes III+V+XI and III+VIII+XI, respectively. Likewise, cucumber Chromosomes 1, 3, 4, and 5 each was syntenic with genomic regions of two melon chromosomes previously designated as II+XII, IV+VI, VII+VIII, and IX+X, respectively. However, the marker orders in several syntenic blocks on these consensus linkage maps were not co-linear suggesting that more complicated structural changes beyond simple chromosome fusion events have occurred during the evolution of cucumber. Conclusions Comparative mapping conducted herein supported the hypothesis that cucumber chromosomes may be the result of chromosome fusion from a 24-chromosome progenitor species. Except for a possible inversion, cucumber Chromosome 7 has largely remained intact in the past nine million years

  9. Wood Specific Gravity Variations and Biomass of Central African Tree Species: The Simple Choice of the Outer Wood

    PubMed Central

    Bastin, Jean-François; Fayolle, Adeline; Tarelkin, Yegor; Van den Bulcke, Jan; de Haulleville, Thales; Mortier, Frederic; Beeckman, Hans; Van Acker, Joris; Serckx, Adeline; Bogaert, Jan; De Cannière, Charles

    2015-01-01

    Context Wood specific gravity is a key element in tropical forest ecology. It integrates many aspects of tree mechanical properties and functioning and is an important predictor of tree biomass. Wood specific gravity varies widely among and within species and also within individual trees. Notably, contrasted patterns of radial variation of wood specific gravity have been demonstrated and related to regeneration guilds (light demanding vs. shade-bearing). However, although being repeatedly invoked as a potential source of error when estimating the biomass of trees, both intraspecific and radial variations remain little studied. In this study we characterized detailed pith-to-bark wood specific gravity profiles among contrasted species prominently contributing to the biomass of the forest, i.e., the dominant species, and we quantified the consequences of such variations on the biomass. Methods Radial profiles of wood density at 8% moisture content were compiled for 14 dominant species in the Democratic Republic of Congo, adapting a unique 3D X-ray scanning technique at very high spatial resolution on core samples. Mean wood density estimates were validated by water displacement measurements. Wood density profiles were converted to wood specific gravity and linear mixed models were used to decompose the radial variance. Potential errors in biomass estimation were assessed by comparing the biomass estimated from the wood specific gravity measured from pith-to-bark profiles, from global repositories, and from partial information (outer wood or inner wood). Results Wood specific gravity profiles from pith-to-bark presented positive, neutral and negative trends. Positive trends mainly characterized light-demanding species, increasing up to 1.8 g.cm-3 per meter for Piptadeniastrum africanum, and negative trends characterized shade-bearing species, decreasing up to 1 g.cm-3 per meter for Strombosia pustulata. The linear mixed model showed the greater part of wood specific

  10. Sampling strategies and variability in fruit pulp micronutrient contents of west and central african bananas and plantains (Musa species).

    PubMed

    Davey, Mark W; Stals, Ellen; Ngoh-Newilah, Gérard; Tomekpe, Kodjo; Lusty, Charlotte; Markham, Richard; Swennen, Rony; Keulemans, Johan

    2007-04-04

    The variability in fruit micronutrient contents in a selection of Central and West African Musa varieties cultivated under standardized field conditions was studied. Analysis of the within-fruit, within-hand, and within-plant as well as the between-plant variations demonstrated that both provitamin A carotenoids (pVACs) and mineral micronutrient (Fe, Zn) contents vary significantly across all sample groups. The variations in pVACs contents appear to be at least partly related to differences in the developmental status of the fruit, but the observed trends were genotype-specific. The mean pVACs concentrations per genotype indicated that there is substantial genetic variation in the fruit pVACs contents between Musa cultivars, with orange-fleshed plantain varieties (AAB) having generally higher fruit pVACs contents than dessert bananas (AAA). It was not possible to identify consistent trends between the sampling position and fruit Fe/Zn contents. Once the within-bunch micronutrient variability has been accounted for, the mean variations in fruit micronutrient contents between individual plants of a variety generally fell to within acceptable limits. Results are discussed within the framework of standardizing sampling and developing strategies to screen for the nutritional values of new and existing Musa varieties.

  11. Documenting Biogeographical Patterns of African Timber Species Using Herbarium Records: A Conservation Perspective Based on Native Trees from Angola

    PubMed Central

    Romeiras, Maria M.; Figueira, Rui; Duarte, Maria Cristina; Beja, Pedro; Darbyshire, Iain

    2014-01-01

    In many tropical regions the development of informed conservation strategies is hindered by a dearth of biodiversity information. Biological collections can help to overcome this problem, by providing baseline information to guide research and conservation efforts. This study focuses on the timber trees of Angola, combining herbarium (2670 records) and bibliographic data to identify the main timber species, document biogeographic patterns and identify conservation priorities. The study recognized 18 key species, most of which are threatened or near-threatened globally, or lack formal conservation assessments. Biogeographical analysis reveals three groups of species associated with the enclave of Cabinda and northwest Angola, which occur primarily in Guineo-Congolian rainforests, and evergreen forests and woodlands. The fourth group is widespread across the country, and is mostly associated with dry forests. There is little correspondence between the spatial pattern of species groups and the ecoregions adopted by WWF, suggesting that these may not provide an adequate basis for conservation planning for Angolan timber trees. Eight of the species evaluated should be given high conservation priority since they are of global conservation concern, they have very restricted distributions in Angola, their historical collection localities are largely outside protected areas and they may be under increasing logging pressure. High conservation priority was also attributed to another three species that have a large proportion of their global range concentrated in Angola and that occur in dry forests where deforestation rates are high. Our results suggest that timber tree species in Angola may be under increasing risk, thus calling for efforts to promote their conservation and sustainable exploitation. The study also highlights the importance of studying historic herbarium collections in poorly explored regions of the tropics, though new field surveys remain a priority to

  12. Documenting biogeographical patterns of African timber species using herbarium records: a conservation perspective based on native trees from Angola.

    PubMed

    Romeiras, Maria M; Figueira, Rui; Duarte, Maria Cristina; Beja, Pedro; Darbyshire, Iain

    2014-01-01

    In many tropical regions the development of informed conservation strategies is hindered by a dearth of biodiversity information. Biological collections can help to overcome this problem, by providing baseline information to guide research and conservation efforts. This study focuses on the timber trees of Angola, combining herbarium (2670 records) and bibliographic data to identify the main timber species, document biogeographic patterns and identify conservation priorities. The study recognized 18 key species, most of which are threatened or near-threatened globally, or lack formal conservation assessments. Biogeographical analysis reveals three groups of species associated with the enclave of Cabinda and northwest Angola, which occur primarily in Guineo-Congolian rainforests, and evergreen forests and woodlands. The fourth group is widespread across the country, and is mostly associated with dry forests. There is little correspondence between the spatial pattern of species groups and the ecoregions adopted by WWF, suggesting that these may not provide an adequate basis for conservation planning for Angolan timber trees. Eight of the species evaluated should be given high conservation priority since they are of global conservation concern, they have very restricted distributions in Angola, their historical collection localities are largely outside protected areas and they may be under increasing logging pressure. High conservation priority was also attributed to another three species that have a large proportion of their global range concentrated in Angola and that occur in dry forests where deforestation rates are high. Our results suggest that timber tree species in Angola may be under increasing risk, thus calling for efforts to promote their conservation and sustainable exploitation. The study also highlights the importance of studying historic herbarium collections in poorly explored regions of the tropics, though new field surveys remain a priority to

  13. Circadian rhythms of locomotor activity in solitary and social species of African mole-rats (family: Bathyergidae).

    PubMed

    Oosthuizen, Maria K; Cooper, Howard M; Bennett, Nigel C

    2003-12-01

    Mole-rats are strictly subterranean and hardly, if ever, come into contact with external light. As a result, their classical visual system is severely regressed and the circadian system proportionally expanded. The family Bathyergidae presents a unique opportunity to study the circadian system in the absence of the classical visual system in a range of species. Daily patterns of activity were studied in the laboratory under constant temperature but variable lighting regimes in individually housed animals from 3 species of mole-rat exhibiting markedly different degrees of sociality. All 3 species possessed individuals that exhibited endogenous circadian rhythms under constant darkness that entrained to a light-dark cycle. In the solitary species, Georychus capensis, 9 animals exhibited greater activity during the dark phase of the light cycle, while 2 individuals expressed more activity in the light phase of the light cycle. In the social, Cryptomys hottentotus pretoriae, 5 animals displayed the majority of their activity during the dark phase of the light cycle and the remaining 2 exhibited more activity during the light phase of the light cycle. Finally in the eusocial Cryptomys damarensis, 6 animals displayed more activity during the light phase of the light cycle, and the other 2 animals displayed more activity during the dark phase of the light cycle. Since all three mole-rat species are able to entrain their locomotor activity to an external light source, light must reach the SCN, suggesting a functional circadian clock. In comparison to the solitary species, the 2 social species display a markedly poorer response to light in all aspects. Thus, in parallel with the sociality continuum, there exists a continuum of sensitivity of the circadian clock to light.

  14. Climate change sensitivity of the African ivory nut palm, Hyphaene petersiana Klotzsch ex Mart. (Arecaceae) - a keystone species in SE Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blach-Overgaard, A.; Svenning, J.-C.; Balslev, H.

    2009-11-01

    Africa is the most vulnerable continent to future climate change. Profound changes are projected for southwestern Africa with increased drying, notably with delayed onset of the rainy season in September-November, and temperature increases in all seasons. The projected climate changes combined with land-use changes are thought to constitute the main threats to biodiversity in the 21st century. To be able to predict the potential impact on biodiversity, it is crucial to achieve a better insight into the controls of contemporary species ranges. Using species distribution modeling, we assessed the climate sensitivity of the key-stone palm species Hyphaene petersiana (African ivory nut palm) in southern Africa. We tested the relative roles of climate vs. non-climatic range-controls and found that climate had a clear effect on the range of H. petersiana and that especially water-related variables (annual precipitation and precipitation driest quarter) were of high importance. Nevertheless, latitude was the overall most dominant variable, reflecting spatial constraints on the continental-scale distribution. Of the remaining non-climatic factors, soil type and human influence were as important as the climatic factors. A future decrease in annual precipitation below 400 mm and hydrological changes towards drier conditions could cause a dramatic decline in H. petersiana populations, while the influence of temperature changes is less clear. The ongoing, unsustainable utilization pressures on this palm species by humans and livestock are likely to exacerbate the negative effect of future climate changes on its populations, especially, given the expected human population increase in Africa.

  15. Living in biological soil crust communities of African deserts-Physiological traits of green algal Klebsormidium species (Streptophyta) to cope with desiccation, light and temperature gradients.

    PubMed

    Karsten, Ulf; Herburger, Klaus; Holzinger, Andreas

    2016-05-01

    Green algae of the genus Klebsormidium (Klebsormidiales, Streptophyta) are typical members of biological soil crusts (BSCs) worldwide. The phylogeny and ecophysiology of Klebsormidium has been intensively studied in recent years, and a new lineage called superclade G, which was isolated from BSCs in arid southern Africa and comprising undescribed species, was reported. Three different African strains, that have previously been isolated from hot-desert BSCs and molecular-taxonomically characterized, were comparatively investigated. In addition, Klebsormidium subtilissimum from a cold-desert habitat (Alaska, USA, superclade E) was included in the study as well. Photosynthetic performance was measured under different controlled abiotic conditions, including dehydration and rehydration, as well as under a light and temperature gradient. All Klebsormidium strains exhibited optimum photosynthetic oxygen production at low photon fluence rates, but with no indication of photoinhibition under high light conditions pointing to flexible acclimation mechanisms of the photosynthetic apparatus. Respiration under lower temperatures was generally much less effective than photosynthesis, while the opposite was true for higher temperatures. The Klebsormidium strains tested showed a decrease and inhibition of the effective quantum yield during desiccation, however with different kinetics. While the single celled and small filamentous strains exhibited relatively fast inhibition, the uniserate filament forming isolates desiccated slower. Except one, all other strains fully recovered effective quantum yield after rehydration. The presented data provide an explanation for the regular occurrence of Klebsormidium strains or species in hot and cold deserts, which are characterized by low water availability and other stressful conditions.

  16. Termites in the hominin diet: a meta-analysis of termite genera, species and castes as a dietary supplement for South African robust australopithecines.

    PubMed

    Lesnik, Julie J

    2014-06-01

    Termite foraging by chimpanzees and present-day modern humans is a well-documented phenomenon, making it a plausible hypothesis that early hominins were also utilizing this resource. Hominin termite foraging has been credited by some to be the explanation for the unexpected carbon isotope signatures present in South African hominin teeth, which suggest the diet was different from that of extant non-human great apes, consisting of a significant amount of resources that are not from woody-plants. Grass-eating termites are one potential resource that could contribute to the carbon signature. However, not all termites eat grasses, and in fact, the termites that are most widely consumed by chimpanzees and by many present-day human populations at best have a mixed diet that includes small amounts of grasses. Here I review the ecology of termites and how it affects their desirability as a food resource for hominins, and conduct a meta-analysis of nutritional values for various genera, species and castes from the literature. Termites are very diverse, even within species, and this variability affects both their carbon signatures and nutritional value, hindering generalizations regarding the contribution of termites to the hominin diet. It is concluded here that a combination of soldiers and alates of the genus Macrotermes be used to model the insectivory component of the Plio-Pleistocene hominin diet due to their significant amounts of energy-yielding nutrients and potential role as a critical resource for supporting larger-brained hominins.

  17. Living in biological soil crust communities of African deserts—Physiological traits of green algal Klebsormidium species (Streptophyta) to cope with desiccation, light and temperature gradients

    PubMed Central

    Karsten, Ulf; Herburger, Klaus; Holzinger, Andreas

    2015-01-01

    Green algae of the genus Klebsormidium (Klebsormidiales, Streptophyta) are typical members of biological soil crusts (BSCs) worldwide. The phylogeny and ecophysiology of Klebsormidium has been intensively studied in recent years, and a new lineage called superclade G, which was isolated from BSCs in arid southern Africa and comprising undescribed species, was reported. Three different African strains, that have previously been isolated from hot-desert BSCs and molecular-taxonomically characterized, were comparatively investigated. In addition, Klebsormidium subtilissimum from a cold-desert habitat (Alaska, USA, superclade E) was included in the study as well. Photosynthetic performance was measured under different controlled abiotic conditions, including dehydration and rehydration, as well as under a light and temperature gradient. All Klebsormidium strains exhibited optimum photosynthetic oxygen production at low photon fluence rates, but with no indication of photoinhibition under high light conditions pointing to flexible acclimation mechanisms of the photosynthetic apparatus. Respiration under lower temperatures was generally much less effective than photosynthesis, while the opposite was true for higher temperatures. The Klebsormidium strains tested showed a decrease and inhibition of the effective quantum yield during desiccation, however with different kinetics. While the single celled and small filamentous strains exhibited relatively fast inhibition, the uniserate filament forming isolates desiccated slower. Except one, all other strains fully recovered effective quantum yield after rehydration. The presented data provide an explanation for the regular occurrence of Klebsormidium strains or species in hot and cold deserts, which are characterized by low water availability and other stressful conditions. PMID:26422081

  18. Molecular cytogenetic mapping of Cucumis sativus and C. melo using highly repetitive DNA sequences.

    PubMed

    Koo, Dal-Hoe; Nam, Young-Woo; Choi, Doil; Bang, Jae-Wook; de Jong, Hans; Hur, Yoonkang

    2010-04-01

    Chromosomes often serve as one of the most important molecular aspects of studying the evolution of species. Indeed, most of the crucial mutations that led to differentiation of species during the evolution have occurred at the chromosomal level. Furthermore, the analysis of pachytene chromosomes appears to be an invaluable tool for the study of evolution due to its effectiveness in chromosome identification and precise physical gene mapping. By applying fluorescence in situ hybridization of 45S rDNA and CsCent1 probes to cucumber pachytene chromosomes, here, we demonstrate that cucumber chromosomes 1 and 2 may have evolved from fusions of ancestral karyotype with chromosome number n = 12. This conclusion is further supported by the centromeric sequence similarity between cucumber and melon, which suggests that these sequences evolved from a common ancestor. It may be after or during speciation that these sequences were specifically amplified, after which they diverged and specific sequence variants were homogenized. Additionally, a structural change on the centromeric region of cucumber chromosome 4 was revealed by fiber-FISH using the mitochondrial-related repetitive sequences, BAC-E38 and CsCent1. These showed the former sequences being integrated into the latter in multiple regions. The data presented here are useful resources for comparative genomics and cytogenetics of Cucumis and, in particular, the ongoing genome sequencing project of cucumber.

  19. A novel member of the genus Nepovirus isolated from Cucumis melo in Japan.

    PubMed

    Tomitaka, Yasuhiro; Usugi, Tomio; Yasuda, Fumitoshi; Okayama, Hiroshi; Tsuda, Shinya

    2011-03-01

    An unusual virus was isolated from a Japanese Cucumis melo cv. Prince melon plant showing mild mottling of the leaves. The virus had a broad experimental host range including at least 19 plant species in five families, with most infected plants showing no symptoms on inoculated and uninoculated systemically infected leaves. The virus particles were spherical, approximately 28 nm in diameter, and the coat protein (CP) had an apparent molecular mass of about 55 kDa. The virus possessed a bi-partite genome with two RNA species, of approximately 8,000 and 4,000 nucleotides. Both genome components for the new virus were sequenced. Amino acid sequence identities in CP between the new virus and previously characterized nepoviruses were found to be low (less than 27%); however, in phylogenetic reconstructions the closest relationship was revealed between the new virus and subgroup A nepoviruses. These results suggest that the new virus represents a novel member of the genus Nepovirus. A new name, Melon mild mottle virus, has been proposed for this new virus.

  20. Protective mechanisms of Cucumis sativus in diabetes-related modelsof oxidative stress and carbonyl stress

    PubMed Central

    Heidari, Himan; Kamalinejad, Mohammad; Noubarani, Maryam; Rahmati, Mokhtar; Jafarian, Iman; Adiban, Hasan; Eskandari, Mohammad Reza

    2016-01-01

    Introduction: Oxidative stress and carbonyl stress have essential mediatory roles in the development of diabetes and its related complications through increasing free radicals production and impairing antioxidant defense systems. Different chemical and natural compounds have been suggested for decreasing such disorders associated with diabetes. The objectives of the present study were to investigate the protective effects of Cucumis sativus (C. sativus) fruit (cucumber) in oxidative and carbonyl stress models. These diabetes-related models with overproduction of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive carbonyl species (RCS) simulate conditions observed in chronic hyperglycemia. Methods: Cytotoxicity induced by cumene hydroperoxide (oxidative stress model) or glyoxal (carbonyl stress model) were measured and the protective effects of C. sativus were evaluated using freshly isolated rat hepatocytes. Results: Aqueous extract of C. sativus fruit (40 μg/mL) prevented all cytotoxicity markers in both the oxidative and carbonyl stress models including cell lysis, ROS formation, membrane lipid peroxidation, depletion of glutathione, mitochondrial membrane potential decline, lysosomal labialization, and proteolysis. The extract also protected hepatocytes from protein carbonylation induced by glyoxal. Our results indicated that C. sativus is able to prevent oxidative stress and carbonyl stress in the isolated hepatocytes. Conclusion: It can be concluded that C. sativus has protective effects in diabetes complications and can be considered a safe and suitable candidate for decreasing the oxidative stress and carbonyl stress that is typically observed in diabetes mellitus. PMID:27340622

  1. Genome-wide identification, characterization, and expression analysis of the MLO gene family in Cucumis sativus.

    PubMed

    Zhou, S J; Jing, Z; Shi, J L

    2013-12-11

    Mildew resistance locus o (MLO) is a plant-specific seven-transmembrane (TM) gene family. Several studies have revealed that certain members of the MLO gene family mediate powdery mildew susceptibility in three plant species, namely, Arabidopsis, barley, and tomato. The sequenced cucumber genome provides an opportunity to conduct a comprehensive overview of the MLO gene family. Fourteen genes (designated CsMLO01 through CsMLO14) have been identified within the Cucumis sativus genome by using an in silico cloning method with the MLO amino acid sequences of Arabidopsis thaliana and rice as probes. Sequence alignment revealed that numerous features of the gene family, such as TMs, a calmodulin-binding domain, peptide domains I and II, and 30 important amino acid residues for MLO function, are well conserved. Phylogenetic analysis of the MLO genes from cucumber and other plant species reveals seven different clades (I through VII). Three of these clades comprised MLO genes from A. thaliana, rice, maize, and cucumber, suggesting that these genes may have evolved after the divergence of monocots and dicots. In silico mapping showed that these CsMLOs were located on chromosomes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 without any obvious clustering, except CsMLO01. To our knowledge, this paper is the first comprehensive report on MLO genes in C. sativus. These findings will facilitate the functional characterization of the MLOs related to powdery mildew susceptibility and assist in the development of disease resistance in cucumber.

  2. The genome of melon (Cucumis melo L.).

    PubMed

    Garcia-Mas, Jordi; Benjak, Andrej; Sanseverino, Walter; Bourgeois, Michael; Mir, Gisela; González, Víctor M; Hénaff, Elizabeth; Câmara, Francisco; Cozzuto, Luca; Lowy, Ernesto; Alioto, Tyler; Capella-Gutiérrez, Salvador; Blanca, Jose; Cañizares, Joaquín; Ziarsolo, Pello; Gonzalez-Ibeas, Daniel; Rodríguez-Moreno, Luis; Droege, Marcus; Du, Lei; Alvarez-Tejado, Miguel; Lorente-Galdos, Belen; Melé, Marta; Yang, Luming; Weng, Yiqun; Navarro, Arcadi; Marques-Bonet, Tomas; Aranda, Miguel A; Nuez, Fernando; Picó, Belén; Gabaldón, Toni; Roma, Guglielmo; Guigó, Roderic; Casacuberta, Josep M; Arús, Pere; Puigdomènech, Pere

    2012-07-17

    We report the genome sequence of melon, an important horticultural crop worldwide. We assembled 375 Mb of the double-haploid line DHL92, representing 83.3% of the estimated melon genome. We predicted 27,427 protein-coding genes, which we analyzed by reconstructing 22,218 phylogenetic trees, allowing mapping of the orthology and paralogy relationships of sequenced plant genomes. We observed the absence of recent whole-genome duplications in the melon lineage since the ancient eudicot triplication, and our data suggest that transposon amplification may in part explain the increased size of the melon genome compared with the close relative cucumber. A low number of nucleotide-binding site-leucine-rich repeat disease resistance genes were annotated, suggesting the existence of specific defense mechanisms in this species. The DHL92 genome was compared with that of its parental lines allowing the quantification of sequence variability in the species. The use of the genome sequence in future investigations will facilitate the understanding of evolution of cucurbits and the improvement of breeding strategies.

  3. The genome of melon (Cucumis melo L.)

    PubMed Central

    Garcia-Mas, Jordi; Benjak, Andrej; Sanseverino, Walter; Bourgeois, Michael; Mir, Gisela; González, Víctor M.; Hénaff, Elizabeth; Câmara, Francisco; Cozzuto, Luca; Lowy, Ernesto; Alioto, Tyler; Capella-Gutiérrez, Salvador; Blanca, Jose; Cañizares, Joaquín; Ziarsolo, Pello; Gonzalez-Ibeas, Daniel; Rodríguez-Moreno, Luis; Droege, Marcus; Du, Lei; Alvarez-Tejado, Miguel; Lorente-Galdos, Belen; Melé, Marta; Yang, Luming; Weng, Yiqun; Navarro, Arcadi; Marques-Bonet, Tomas; Aranda, Miguel A.; Nuez, Fernando; Picó, Belén; Gabaldón, Toni; Roma, Guglielmo; Guigó, Roderic; Casacuberta, Josep M.; Arús, Pere; Puigdomènech, Pere

    2012-01-01

    We report the genome sequence of melon, an important horticultural crop worldwide. We assembled 375 Mb of the double-haploid line DHL92, representing 83.3% of the estimated melon genome. We predicted 27,427 protein-coding genes, which we analyzed by reconstructing 22,218 phylogenetic trees, allowing mapping of the orthology and paralogy relationships of sequenced plant genomes. We observed the absence of recent whole-genome duplications in the melon lineage since the ancient eudicot triplication, and our data suggest that transposon amplification may in part explain the increased size of the melon genome compared with the close relative cucumber. A low number of nucleotide-binding site–leucine-rich repeat disease resistance genes were annotated, suggesting the existence of specific defense mechanisms in this species. The DHL92 genome was compared with that of its parental lines allowing the quantification of sequence variability in the species. The use of the genome sequence in future investigations will facilitate the understanding of evolution of cucurbits and the improvement of breeding strategies. PMID:22753475

  4. Parasites of South African wildlife. XVI. Helminths of some antelope species from the Eastern and Western Cape Provinces.

    PubMed

    Boomker, J; Horak, I G; Watermeyer, R; Booyse, D G

    2000-03-01

    The numbers and species of helminths recovered from one black wildebeest, Connochaetes gnou, three eland, Taurotragus oryx, 18 mountain reedbuck, Redunca fulvorufula, one red hartebeest, AIcelaphus buselaphus and two springbok, Antidorcas marsupialis, in the Mountain Zebra National Park, Eastern Cape Province; two black wildebeest, two grey rhebuck, Pelea capreolus, two mountain reedbuck and four springbok in the Karoo National Park, Western Cape Province; two bontebok, Damaliscus pygargus dorcas, two eland, two gemsbok, Oryx gazella and two springbok in the West Coast National Park, Western Cape Province; and a single springbok on a farm near Bredasdorp, Western Cape Province, are recorded. Nematodes belonging to a total of 12 genera and 20 species were identified. A single cestode was also recovered. Sixteen new host associations are recorded for the nematodes and one for the cestode Moniezia benedeni. Nematodirus spathiger had the widest host spectrum and with the exception of black wildebeest, was collected from all the host species examined.

  5. Trypanosoma livingstonei: a new species from African bats supports the bat seeding hypothesis for the Trypanosoma cruzi clade

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Bat trypanosomes have been implicated in the evolutionary history of the T. cruzi clade, which comprises species from a wide geographic and host range in South America, Africa and Europe, including bat-restricted species and the generalist agents of human American trypanosomosis T. cruzi and T. rangeli. Methods Trypanosomes from bats (Rhinolophus landeri and Hipposideros caffer) captured in Mozambique, southeast Africa, were isolated by hemoculture. Barcoding was carried out through the V7V8 region of Small Subunit (SSU) rRNA and Fluorescent Fragment Length barcoding (FFLB). Phylogenetic inferences were based on SSU rRNA, glyceraldehyde phosphate dehydrogenase (gGAPDH) and Spliced Leader (SL) genes. Morphological characterization included light, scanning and transmission electron microscopy. Results New trypanosomes from bats clustered together forming a clade basal to a larger assemblage called the T. cruzi clade. Barcoding, phylogenetic analyses and genetic distances based on SSU rRNA and gGAPDH supported these trypanosomes as a new species, which we named Trypanosoma livingstonei n. sp. The large and highly polymorphic SL gene repeats of this species showed a copy of the 5S ribosomal RNA into the intergenic region. Unique morphological (large and broad blood trypomastigotes compatible to species of the subgenus Megatrypanum and cultures showing highly pleomorphic epimastigotes and long and slender trypomastigotes) and ultrastructural (cytostome and reservosomes) features and growth behaviour (when co-cultivated with HeLa cells at 37°C differentiated into trypomastigotes resembling the blood forms and do not invaded the cells) complemented the description of this species. Conclusion Phylogenetic inferences supported the hypothesis that Trypanosoma livingstonei n. sp. diverged from a common ancestral bat trypanosome that evolved exclusively in Chiroptera or switched at independent opportunities to mammals of several orders forming the clade T. cruzi

  6. Snapshot Serengeti, high-frequency annotated camera trap images of 40 mammalian species in an African savanna

    PubMed Central

    Swanson, Alexandra; Kosmala, Margaret; Lintott, Chris; Simpson, Robert; Smith, Arfon; Packer, Craig

    2015-01-01

    Camera traps can be used to address large-scale questions in community ecology by providing systematic data on an array of wide-ranging species. We deployed 225 camera traps across 1,125 km2 in Serengeti National Park, Tanzania, to evaluate spatial and temporal inter-species dynamics. The cameras have operated continuously since 2010 and had accumulated 99,241 camera-trap days and produced 1.2 million sets of pictures by 2013. Members of the general public classified the images via the citizen-science website www.snapshotserengeti.org. Multiple users viewed each image and recorded the species, number of individuals, associated behaviours, and presence of young. Over 28,000 registered users contributed 10.8 million classifications. We applied a simple algorithm to aggregate these individual classifications into a final ‘consensus’ dataset, yielding a final classification for each image and a measure of agreement among individual answers. The consensus classifications and raw imagery provide an unparalleled opportunity to investigate multi-species dynamics in an intact ecosystem and a valuable resource for machine-learning and computer-vision research. PMID:26097743

  7. Snapshot Serengeti, high-frequency annotated camera trap images of 40 mammalian species in an African savanna.

    PubMed

    Swanson, Alexandra; Kosmala, Margaret; Lintott, Chris; Simpson, Robert; Smith, Arfon; Packer, Craig

    2015-01-01

    Camera traps can be used to address large-scale questions in community ecology by providing systematic data on an array of wide-ranging species. We deployed 225 camera traps across 1,125 km(2) in Serengeti National Park, Tanzania, to evaluate spatial and temporal inter-species dynamics. The cameras have operated continuously since 2010 and had accumulated 99,241 camera-trap days and produced 1.2 million sets of pictures by 2013. Members of the general public classified the images via the citizen-science website www.snapshotserengeti.org. Multiple users viewed each image and recorded the species, number of individuals, associated behaviours, and presence of young. Over 28,000 registered users contributed 10.8 million classifications. We applied a simple algorithm to aggregate these individual classifications into a final 'consensus' dataset, yielding a final classification for each image and a measure of agreement among individual answers. The consensus classifications and raw imagery provide an unparalleled opportunity to investigate multi-species dynamics in an intact ecosystem and a valuable resource for machine-learning and computer-vision research.

  8. Differentiation of morphology, genetics and electric signals in a region of sympatry between sister species of African electric fish (Mormyridae).

    PubMed

    Lavoué, S; Sullivan, J P; Arnegard, M E; Hopkins, C D

    2008-07-01

    Mormyrid fishes produce and sense weak electric organ discharges (EODs) for object detection and communication, and they have been increasingly recognized as useful model organisms for studying signal evolution and speciation. EOD waveform variation can provide important clues to sympatric species boundaries between otherwise similar or morphologically cryptic forms. Endemic to the watersheds of Gabon (Central Africa), Ivindomyrus marchei and Ivindomyrus opdenboschi are morphologically similar to one another. Using morphometric, electrophysiological and molecular characters [cytochrome b sequences and amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) genotypes], we investigated to what extent these nominal mormyrid species have diverged into biological species. Our sampling covered the known distribution of each species with a focus on the Ivindo River, where the two taxa co-occur. An overall pattern of congruence among datasets suggests that I. opdenboschi and I. marchei are mostly distinct. Electric signal analysis showed that EODs of I. opdenboschi tend to have a smaller initial head-positive peak than those of I. marchei, and they often possess a small third waveform peak that is typically absent in EODs of I. marchei. Analysis of sympatric I. opdenboschi and I. marchei populations revealed slight, but significant, genetic partitioning between populations based on AFLP data (F(ST) approximately 0.04). Taken separately, however, none of the characters we evaluated allowed us to discriminate two completely distinct or monophyletic groups. Lack of robust separation on the basis of any single character set may be a consequence of incomplete lineage sorting due to recent ancestry and/or introgressive hybridization. Incongruence between genetic datasets in one individual, which exhibited a mitochondrial haplotype characteristic of I. marchei but nevertheless fell within a genetic cluster of I. opdenboschi based on AFLP genotypes, suggests that a low level of recent

  9. Leaching characteristics of selected South African fly ashes: Effect of pH on the release of major and trace species

    SciTech Connect

    Gitari, W.M.; Fatoba, O.O.; Petrik, L.F.; Vadapalli, V.R.K.

    2009-07-01

    Fly ash samples from two South African coal-fired power stations were subjected to different leaching tests under alkaline and acidic conditions in an attempt to assess the effect of pH on the leachability of species from the fly ashes and also assess the potential impact of the fly ashes disposal on groundwater and the receiving environment. To achieve this, German Standard leaching (DIN-S4) and Acid Neutralization Capacity (ANC) tests were employed. Ca, Mg, Na, K and SO{sub 4} were significantly leached into solution under the two leaching conditions with the total amounts in ANC leachates higher than that of DIN-S4. This indicates that a large fraction of the soluble salts in unweathered fly ash are easily leached. These species represents the fraction that can be flushed off initially from the surface of ash particles on contacting the ash with water. The amounts of toxic trace elements such as As, Se, Cd, Cr and Pb leached out of the fly ashes when in contact with de-mineralized water (DIN-S4 test) were low and below the Target Water Quality Range (TWQR) of South Africa. This is explained by their low concentrations in the fly ashes and their solubility dependence on the pH of the leaching solution. However the amounts of some minor elements such as B, Mn, Fe, As and Se leached out at lower pH ranging between 10 to 4 (ANC test) were slightly higher than the TWQR, an indication that the pH of the leaching solution plays a significant role on the leaching of species in fly ash. The high concentrations of the toxic elements released from the fly ashes at lower pH gives an indication that the disposal of the fly ash could have adverse effects on the receiving environment if the pH of the solution contacting the ashes is not properly monitored.

  10. Evaluation of a real-time PCR test for the detection and discrimination of theileria species in the African buffalo (Syncerus caffer).

    PubMed

    Chaisi, Mamohale E; Janssens, Michiel E; Vermeiren, Lieve; Oosthuizen, Marinda C; Collins, Nicola E; Geysen, Dirk

    2013-01-01

    A quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) assay based on the cox III gene was evaluated for the simultaneous detection and discrimination of Theileria species in buffalo and cattle blood samples from South Africa and Mozambique using melting curve analysis. The results obtained were compared to those of the reverse line blot (RLB) hybridization assay for the simultaneous detection and differentiation of Theileria spp. in mixed infections, and to the 18S rRNA qPCR assay results for the specific detection of Theileria parva. Theileria parva, Theileria sp. (buffalo), Theileria taurotragi, Theileria buffeli and Theileria mutans were detected by the cox III assay. Theileria velifera was not detected from any of the samples analysed. Seventeen percent of the samples had non-species specific melting peaks and 4.5% of the samples were negative or below the detection limit of the assay. The cox III assay identified more T. parva and Theileria sp. (buffalo) positive samples than the RLB assay, and also detected more T. parva infections than the 18S assay. However, only a small number of samples were positive for the benign Theileria spp. To our knowledge T. taurotragi has never been identified from the African buffalo, its identification in some samples by the qPCR assay was unexpected. Because of these discrepancies in the results, cox III qPCR products were cloned and sequenced. Sequence analysis indicated extensive inter- and intra-species variations in the probe target regions of the cox III gene sequences of the benign Theileria spp. and therefore explains their low detection. The cox III assay is specific for the detection of T. parva infections in cattle and buffalo. Sequence data generated from this study can be used for the development of a more inclusive assay for detection and differentiation of all variants of the mildly pathogenic and benign Theileria spp. of buffalo and cattle.

  11. The high cost of mutualism: effects of four species of East African ant symbionts on their myrmecophyte host tree.

    PubMed

    Stanton, Maureen L; Palmer, Todd M

    2011-05-01

    Three recent meta-analyses of protective plant-ant mutualisms report a surprisingly weak relationship between herbivore protection and measured demographic benefits to ant-plants, suggesting high tolerance for herbivory, substantial costs of ant-mediated defense, and/or benefits that are realized episodically rather than continuously. Experimental manipulations of protective ant-plant associations typically last for less than a year, yet virtually all specialized myrmecophytes are long-lived perennials for which the costs and benefits of maintaining ant symbionts could accrue at different rates over the host's lifetime. To complement long-term monitoring studies, we experimentally excluded each of four ant symbionts from their long-lived myrmecophyte host trees (Acacia drepanolobium) for 4.5 years. Ant species varied in their effectiveness against herbivores and in their effects on intermediate-term growth and reproduction, but the level of herbivore protection provided was a poor predictor of the net impact they had on host trees. Removal of the three Crematogaster species resulted in cumulative gains in host tree growth and/or reproduction over the course of the experiment, despite the fact that two of those species significantly reduce chronic herbivore damage. In contrast, although T. penzigi is a relatively poor defender, the low cost of maintaining this ant symbiont apparently eliminated negative impacts on overall tree growth and reproduction, resulting in enhanced allocation to new branch growth by the final census. Acacia drepanolobium is evidently highly tolerant of herbivory by insects and small browsers, and the costs of maintaining Crematogaster colonies exceeded the benefits received during the study. No experimental trees were killed by elephants, but elephant damage was uniquely associated with reduced tree growth, and at least one ant species (C. mimosae) strongly deterred elephant browsing. We hypothesize that rare but catastrophic damage by

  12. Implementing telemetry on new species in remote areas: Recommendations from a large-scale satellite tracking study of African waterfowl

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cappelle, J.; Iverson, S.A.; Takekawa, J.Y.; Newman, S.H.; Dodman, T.; Gaidet, N.

    2011-01-01

    We provide recommendations for implementing telemetry studies on waterfowl on the basis of our experience in a tracking study conducted in three countries of sub-Saharan Africa. The aim of the study was to document movements by duck species identified as priority candidates for the potential spread of avian influenza. Our study design included both captive and field test components on four wild duck species (Garganey, Comb Duck, White-faced Duck and Fulvous Duck). We used our location data to evaluate marking success and determine when signal loss occurred. The captive study of eight ducks marked with non-working transmitters in a zoo in Montpellier, France, prior to fieldwork showed no evidence of adverse effects, and the harness design appeared to work well. The field study in Malawi, Nigeria and Mali started in 2007 on 2 February, 6 February and 14 February, and ended on 22 November 2007 (288 d), 20 January 2010 (1 079 d), and 3 November 2008 (628 d), respectively. The field study indicated that 38 of 47 (81%) of the platform transmitter terminals (PTTs) kept transmitting after initial deployment, and the transmitters provided 15 576 locations. Signal loss during the field study was attributed to three main causes: PTT loss, PTT failure and mortality (natural, human-caused and PTT-related). The PTT signal quality varied by geographic region, and interference caused signal loss in the Mediterranean Sea region. We recommend careful attention at the beginning of the study to determine the optimum timing of transmitter deployment and the number of transmitters to be deployed per species. These sample sizes should be calculated by taking into account region-specific causes of signal loss to ensure research objectives are met. These recommendations should be useful for researchers undertaking a satellite tracking program, especially when working in remote areas of Africa where logistics are difficult or with poorly-known species. ?? NISC (Pty) Ltd.

  13. Sensitivity of Above-Ground Biomass Estimates to Height-Diameter Modelling in Mixed-Species West African Woodlands

    PubMed Central

    Aynekulu, Ermias; Pitkänen, Sari; Packalen, Petteri

    2016-01-01

    It has been suggested that above-ground biomass (AGB) inventories should include tree height (H), in addition to diameter (D). As H is a difficult variable to measure, H-D models are commonly used to predict H. We tested a number of approaches for H-D modelling, including additive terms which increased the complexity of the model, and observed how differences in tree-level predictions of H propagated to plot-level AGB estimations. We were especially interested in detecting whether the choice of method can lead to bias. The compared approaches listed in the order of increasing complexity were: (B0) AGB estimations from D-only; (B1) involving also H obtained from a fixed-effects H-D model; (B2) involving also species; (B3) including also between-plot variability as random effects; and (B4) involving multilevel nested random effects for grouping plots in clusters. In light of the results, the modelling approach affected the AGB estimation significantly in some cases, although differences were negligible for some of the alternatives. The most important differences were found between including H or not in the AGB estimation. We observed that AGB predictions without H information were very sensitive to the environmental stress parameter (E), which can induce a critical bias. Regarding the H-D modelling, the most relevant effect was found when species was included as an additive term. We presented a two-step methodology, which succeeded in identifying the species for which the general H-D relation was relevant to modify. Based on the results, our final choice was the single-level mixed-effects model (B3), which accounts for the species but also for the plot random effects reflecting site-specific factors such as soil properties and degree of disturbance. PMID:27367857

  14. Taxonomy of Atlantic Central African orchids 2. A second species of the rare genus Distylodon (Orchidaceae, Angraecinae) collected in Cameroon.

    PubMed

    Droissart, Vincent; Cribb, Phillip J; Simo-Droissart, Murielle; Stévart, Tariq

    2014-01-01

    While conducting field inventories in South Cameroon, we collected two specimens of a new species that we considered to belong to the genus Angraecopsis. Afterwards, a careful examination of specimens housed at main herbaria, along with the nomenclatural types, allows us to place it in Distylodon, a monotypic genus previously known from East Africa. Distylodon sonkeanum Droissart, Stévart & P.J.Cribb, sp. nov. was collected in the lowland coastal forest of Atlantic Central Africa. It is known from a single locality in the surroundings of the Campo-Ma'an National Park. The species differs from D. comptum, by its several-flowered inflorescences, longer leaves and spur, and shorter pedicel and ovary. The species appears to be rare and is assessed as Critically Endangered [CR B2ab(iii)] according to IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria. New field investigations are required to attempt to find it in the low-elevation parts of the Campo-Ma'an National Park in Cameroon.

  15. Taxonomy of Atlantic Central African orchids 2. A second species of the rare genus Distylodon (Orchidaceae, Angraecinae) collected in Cameroon

    PubMed Central

    Droissart, Vincent; Cribb, Phillip J.; Simo-Droissart, Murielle; Stévart, Tariq

    2014-01-01

    Abstract While conducting field inventories in South Cameroon, we collected two specimens of a new species that we considered to belong to the genus Angraecopsis. Afterwards, a careful examination of specimens housed at main herbaria, along with the nomenclatural types, allows us to place it in Distylodon, a monotypic genus previously known from East Africa. Distylodon sonkeanum Droissart, Stévart & P.J.Cribb, sp. nov. was collected in the lowland coastal forest of Atlantic Central Africa. It is known from a single locality in the surroundings of the Campo-Ma’an National Park. The species differs from D. comptum, by its several-flowered inflorescences, longer leaves and spur, and shorter pedicel and ovary. The species appears to be rare and is assessed as Critically Endangered [CR B2ab(iii)] according to IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria. New field investigations are required to attempt to find it in the low-elevation parts of the Campo-Ma’an National Park in Cameroon. PMID:24843291

  16. Metabolic and water loss rates of two cryptic species in the African velvet worm genus Opisthopatus (Onychophora).

    PubMed

    Weldon, Christopher W; Daniels, Savel R; Clusella-Trullas, Susana; Chown, Steven L

    2013-04-01

    Velvet worms (Onychophora) are characterised by a dearth of mechanisms to retain water, yet recently identified cryptic species are located in areas with seemingly different climates. Using flow-through respirometry, this study determined the metabolic, water loss and cuticular water loss rates of two cryptic species of Opisthopatus cinctipes s.l. from locations that differ in their current climate. When controlling for trial temperature and body mass, velvet worms from the drier and warmer site had significantly lower water loss rates than the wetter and cooler site. Mass-corrected metabolic rate and cuticular water loss did not differ significantly between the two sites. The scaling exponent for the relationship between log metabolic rate and log body mass for O. cinctipes s.l. declined with an increase in temperature from 5 to 15 °C. Females in the two cryptic Opisthopatus species had higher metabolic, water loss and cuticular water loss rates than males, which may represent the increased energetic demands of embryonic growth and development in these viviparous taxa.

  17. New species and new records of Pterosthetops: eumadicolous water beetles of the South African Cape (Coleoptera, Hydraenidae).

    PubMed

    Bilton, David T

    2014-06-05

    Pterosthetops is one of a number of hydraenid genera endemic to the Cape of South Africa, whose minute moss beetle fauna is amongst the most diverse on earth. Here seven species are described as new: Pterosthetops baini sp. nov., Pterosthetops coriaceus sp. nov., Pterosthetops indwei sp. nov., Ptersothetops pulcherrimus sp. nov., Pterosthetops swartbergensis sp. nov., Pterosthetops tuberculatus sp. nov. and Pterosthetops uitkyki sp. nov., all from mountains in the Western Cape region. New collection records are also provided for all five previously described members of the genus, together with a revised key. Pterosthetops appear to be specialist inhabitants of seepages over rock faces (hygropetric/madicolous habitats), rarely being found outside such situations.

  18. Sucrose accumulation in mature sweet melon fruits. [Cucumis melo

    SciTech Connect

    Schaffer, A.A.; Aloni, B.

    1987-04-01

    Mesocarp tissue from sucrose-accumulating sweet melon (Cucumis melo cv. Galia) showed sucrose synthase activity (ca 1 nkat/gfw) while soluble acid invertase and sucrose phosphate synthase activities were not observed. Sucrose uptake into mesocarp discs was linear with sucrose concentration (1-500 mM) and unaffected by PCMBS and CCCP. Sucrose compartmentation into the vacuole also increased linearly with sucrose concentration as indicated by compartmental efflux kinetics. Mesocarp discs incubated in /sup 14/C-fructose + UDP-glu synthesized /sup 14/C-sucrose and efflux kinetics indicated that the /sup 14/C-sucrose was compartmentalized. These data support the hypothesis that two mechanisms are involved in sucrose accumulation in sweet melon: (1) compartmentation of intact sucrose and (2) synthesis of sucrose via sucrose synthase and subsequent compartmentation in the vacuole.

  19. Arsenic Uptake by Muskmelon (Cucumis melo) Plants from Contaminated Water.

    PubMed

    Hettick, Bryan E; Cañas-Carrell, Jaclyn E; Martin, Kirt; French, Amanda D; Klein, David M

    2016-09-01

    Arsenic is a carcinogenic element that occurs naturally in the environment. High levels of arsenic are found in water in some parts of the world, including Texas. The aims of this study were to determine the distribution of arsenic in muskmelon (Cucumis melo) plants accumulated from arsenic spiked water and to observe effects on plant biomass. Plants were grown and irrigated using water spiked with variable concentrations of arsenic. Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry was used to quantify arsenic in different parts of the plant and fruit. Under all conditions tested in this study, the highest concentrations of arsenic were found in the leaves, soil, and roots. Arsenic in the water had no significant effect on plant biomass. Fruits analyzed in this study had arsenic concentrations of 101 μg/kg or less. Consuming these fruits would result in less arsenic exposure than drinking water at recommended levels.

  20. Cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) and kabocha squash (Cucurbita moschata Duch).

    PubMed

    Nanasato, Yoshihiko; Tabei, Yutaka

    2015-01-01

    We established improved methods for Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) and kabocha squash (Cucurbita moschata Duch). Vacuum infiltration of cotyledonary explants with Agrobacterium suspension enhanced the Agrobacterium infection efficiency in the proximal regions of explants. Wounding treatment was also essential for kabocha squash. Cocultivation on filter paper wicks suppressed necrosis of explants, keeping regeneration efficacy. Putative transgenic plants were screened by kanamycin resistance and green fluorescent protein (GFP) fluorescence. These putative transgenic plants grew normally and T1 seeds were obtained, and stable integration and transmission of the transgene in T1 generations were confirmed by Southern hybridization and PCR. The average transgenic efficiency for cucumber and kabocha squash was 11.9 ± 3.5 and 9.2 ± 2.9 %, respectively.

  1. Cytotoxic Activity of Crude Extracts as well as of Pure Components from Jatropha Species, Plants Used Extensively in African Traditional Medicine

    PubMed Central

    Aiyelaagbe, Olapeju O.; Hamid, Amao A.; Fattorusso, Ernesto; Taglialatela-Scafati, Orazio; Schröder, Heinz C.; Müller, Werner E. G.

    2011-01-01

    Extracts from Jatropha curcas, a plant used in African traditional medicine for various diseases, were tested for cytotoxic activity. The root extracts strongly reduced cell growth of tumor cells in vitro, a result consistent with the knowledge of the application of these plant extracts in traditional medicine, especially to cure/ameliorate cancer. A selection of pure diterpenoids existing in extracts from Jatropha species and isolated from J. curcas, for example, curcusone C, curcusone D, multidione, 15-epi-4Z-jatrogrossidentadion, 4Z-jatrogrossidentadion, 4E-jatrogrossidentadion, 2-hydroxyisojatrogrossidion, and 2-epi-hydroxyisojatrogrossidion, were likewise tested, and they also showed strong cytotoxic activity. It turned out that these extracts are highly active against L5178y mouse lymphoma cells and HeLa human cervix carcinoma cells, while they cause none or only very low activity against neuronal cell, for example, PC12. These data underscore that extracts from J. curcas or pure secondary metabolites from the plant are promising candidates to be anticancer drug, combined with low neuroactive effects. PMID:21754941

  2. Superoxide dismutase activity in mesocarp tissue from divergent Cucumis melo L. genotypes.

    PubMed

    Lester, Gene E; Jifon, John L; Crosby, Kevin M

    2009-09-01

    Muskmelons (Cucumis melo L.) are well-known as excellent sources of several vitamins, minerals and non-enzymatic antioxidant phytochemicals such as vitamin C and pro-vitamin A. Less well-studied is their potential role as sources of enzymatic antioxidants such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), which have been associated with enhanced reactive oxygen species scavenging capacity in some muskmelon fruits. In this study, we investigated the variability in SOD activities among diverse advanced breeding lines and commercial muskmelon cultivars grown in two different soil types-clay or sandy loam. Specific and total SOD activities varied significantly among the genotypes (P

  3. Silicon uptake and transport is an active process in Cucumis sativus.

    PubMed

    Liang, Yongchao; Si, Jin; Römheld, Volker

    2005-09-01

    Cucumis sativus is a species known to accumulate high levels of silicon (Si) in the tops, though the mechanism for its high Si uptake is little understood. In a series of hydroponic experiments, we examined uptake and xylem loading of Si in C. sativus along with Vicia faba at three levels of Si (0.085, 0.17 and 1.70 mm). Measured Si uptake in C. sativus was more than twice as high as calculated from the rate of transpiration assuming no discrimination between silicic acid and water in uptake. Measured Si uptake in V. faba, however, was significantly lower than the calculated uptake. Concentration of Si in xylem exudates was several-fold higher in C. sativus, but was significantly lower in V. faba compared with the Si concentration in external solutions, regardless of Si levels. Silicon uptake was strongly inhibited by low temperature and 2,4-dinitrophenol, a metabolic inhibitor, in C. sativus but not in V. faba. It can be concluded that Si uptake and transport in C. sativus is active and independent of external Si concentrations, in contrast to the process in V. faba.

  4. Molecular cloning, characteristics and low temperature response of raffinose synthase gene in Cucumis sativus L.

    PubMed

    Sui, Xiao-lei; Meng, Fan-zhen; Wang, Hong-yun; Wei, Yu-xia; Li, Rui-fu; Wang, Zhen-yu; Hu, Li-ping; Wang, Shao-hui; Zhang, Zhen-xian

    2012-12-15

    Raffinose synthase (RS, EC2.4.1.82) is one of the key enzymes that channels sucrose into the raffinose family oligosaccharides (RFOs) biosynthetic pathway. However, the gene encoding RS is poorly characterized in cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.), which is a typical RFOs-translocating plant species. Here we isolated the gene encoding RS (CsRS) from the leaves of cucumber plants. The complete cDNA of CsRS consisted of 2552 nucleotides with an open reading frame encoding a polypeptide of 784 amino acid residues. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and RNA hybridization analysis revealed that expression of CsRS was the highest in leaves followed by roots, fruits, and stems. The RS activity was up-regulated and the raffinose content was high in the leaves of transgenic tobacco with over-expression of CsRS, while both the RS activity and the raffinose content decreased in the transgenic cucumber plants with anti-sense expression of CsRS. The expression of CsRS could be induced by low temperature and exogenous phytohormone abscisic acid (ABA). In cucumber growing under low temperature stress, CsRS expression, RS activity and raffinose content increased gradually in the leaves, the fruits, the stems and the roots. The most notable increase was observed in the leaves. Similarly, the expression of CsRS was induced in cucumber leaves and fruits with 200 μM and 150 μM ABA treatments, respectively.

  5. Next generation sequencing and omics in cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) breeding directed research.

    PubMed

    Pawełkowicz, Magdalena; Zieliński, Konrad; Zielińska, Dorota; Pląder, Wojciech; Yagi, Kouhei; Wojcieszek, Michał; Siedlecka, Ewa; Bartoszewski, Grzegorz; Skarzyńska, Agnieszka; Przybecki, Zbigniew

    2016-01-01

    In the post-genomic era the availability of genomic tools and resources is leading us to novel generation methods in plant breeding, as they facilitate the study of the genotype and its relationship with the phenotype, in particular for complex traits. In this study we have mainly concentrated on the Cucumis sativus and (but much less) Cucurbitaceae family several important vegetable crops. There are many reports on research conducted in Cucurbitaceae plant breeding programs on the ripening process, phloem transport, disease resistance, cold tolerance and fruit quality traits. This paper presents the role played by new omic technologies in the creation of knowledge on the mechanisms of the formation of the breeding features. The analysis of NGS (NGS-next generation sequencing) data allows the discovery of new genes and regulatory sequences, their positions, and makes available large collections of molecular markers. Genome-wide expression studies provide breeders with an understanding of the molecular basis of complex traits. Firstly a high density map should be created for the reference genome, then each re-sequencing data could be mapped and new markers brought out into breeding populations. The paper also presents methods that could be used in the future for the creation of variability and genomic modification of the species in question. It has been shown also the state and usefulness in breeding the chloroplastomic and mitochondriomic study.

  6. Effects of Acifluorfen on Endogenous Antioxidants and Protective Enzymes in Cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) Cotyledons

    PubMed Central

    Kenyon, William H.; Duke, Stephen O.

    1985-01-01

    The herbicide acifluorfen (2-chloro-4-(trifluoromethyl)phenoxy-2-nitrobenzoate) causes strong photooxidative destruction of pigments and lipids in sensitive plant species. Antioxidants and oxygen radical scavengers slow the bleaching action of the herbicide. The effect of acifluorfen on glutathione and ascorbate levels in cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) cotyledon discs was investigated to assess the relationship between herbicide activity and endogenous antioxidants. Acifluorfen decreased the levels of glutathione and ascorbate over 50% in discs exposed to less than 1.5 hours of white light (450 microeinsteins per square meter per second). Coincident increases in dehydroascorbate and glutathione disulfide were not observed. Acifluorfen also caused the rapid depletion of ascorbate in far-red light grown plants which were photosynthetically incompetent. Glutathione reductase, dehydroascorbate reductase, superoxide dismutase, ascorbate oxidase, ascorbate free radical reductase, peroxidase, and catalase activities rapidly decreased in acifluorfen-treated tissue exposed to white light. None of the enzymes were inhibited in vitro by the herbicide. Acifluorfen causes irreversible photooxidative destruction of plant tissue, in part, by depleting endogenous antioxidants and inhibiting the activities of protective enzymes. PMID:16664506

  7. Four plant defensins from an indigenous South African Brassicaceae species display divergent activities against two test pathogens despite high sequence similarity in the encoding genes

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Plant defensins are an important component of the innate defence system of plants where they form protective antimicrobial barriers between tissue types of plant organs as well as around seeds. These peptides also have other activities that are important for agricultural applications as well as the medical sector. Amongst the numerous plant peptides isolated from a variety of plant species, a significant number of promising defensins have been isolated from Brassicaceae species. Here we report on the isolation and characterization of four defensins from Heliophila coronopifolia, a native South African Brassicaceae species. Results Four defensin genes (Hc-AFP1-4) were isolated with a homology based PCR strategy. Analysis of the deduced amino acid sequences showed that the peptides were 72% similar and grouped closest to defensins isolated from other Brassicaceae species. The Hc-AFP1 and 3 peptides shared high homology (94%) and formed a unique grouping in the Brassicaceae defensins, whereas Hc-AFP2 and 4 formed a second homology grouping with defensins from Arabidopsis and Raphanus. Homology modelling showed that the few amino acids that differed between the four peptides had an effect on the surface properties of the defensins, specifically in the alpha-helix and the loop connecting the second and third beta-strands. These areas are implicated in determining differential activities of defensins. Comparing the activities after recombinant production of the peptides, Hc-AFP2 and 4 had IC50 values of 5-20 μg ml-1 against two test pathogens, whereas Hc-AFP1 and 3 were less active. The activity against Botrytis cinerea was associated with membrane permeabilization, hyper-branching, biomass reduction and even lytic activity. In contrast, only Hc-AFP2 and 4 caused membrane permeabilization and severe hyper-branching against the wilting pathogen Fusarium solani, while Hc-AFP1 and 3 had a mild morphogenetic effect on the fungus, without any indication of

  8. Some southern African plant species used to treat helminth infections in ethnoveterinary medicine have excellent antifungal activities

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Diseases caused by microorganisms and parasites remain a major challenge globally and particularly in sub-Saharan Africa to man and livestock. Resistance to available antimicrobials and the high cost or unavailability of antimicrobials complicates matters. Many rural people use plants to treat these infections. Because some anthelmintics e.g. benzimidazoles also have good antifungal activity we examined the antifungal activity of extracts of 13 plant species used in southern Africa to treat gastrointestinal helminth infections in livestock and in man. Methods Antifungal activity of acetone leaf extracts was determined by serial microdilution with tetrazolium violet as growth indicator against Aspergillus fumigatus, Cryptococcus neoformans and Candida albicans. These pathogens play an important role in opportunistic infections of immune compromised patients. Cytotoxicity was determined by MTT cellular assay. Therapeutic indices were calculated and selectivity for different pathogens determined. We proposed a method to calculate the relation between microbicidal and microbistatic activities. Total activities for different plant species were calculated. Results On the whole, all 13 extracts had good antifungal activities with MIC values as low as 0.02 mg/mL for extracts of Clausena anisata against Aspergillus fumigatus and 0.04 mg/mL for extracts of Zanthoxylum capense, Clerodendrum glabrum, and Milletia grandis, against A. fumigatus. Clausena anisata extracts had the lowest cytotoxicity (LC50) of 0.17 mg/mL, a reasonable therapeutic index (2.65) against A. fumigatus. It also had selective activity against A. fumigatus, an overall fungicidal activity of 98% and a total activity of 3395 mL/g against A. fumigatus. This means that 1 g of acetone leaf extract can be diluted to 3.4 litres and it would still inhibit the growth. Clerodendrum glabrum, Zanthoxylum capense and Milletia grandis extracts also yielded promising results. Conclusions Some plant extracts

  9. Boron excess affects photosynthesis and antioxidant apparatus of greenhouse Cucurbita pepo and Cucumis sativus.

    PubMed

    Landi, Marco; Remorini, Damiano; Pardossi, Alberto; Guidi, Lucia

    2013-11-01

    This study aimed to evaluate the behavior of zucchini (Cucurbita pepo L.) and cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) under boron (B) excess. Plants were grown under greenhouse conditions in a sandy soil-peat mixture using a nutrient solution containing 0.2 (control), 10 and 20 mg L(-1) B. Visible symptoms were quantified and leaf B accumulation, gas exchanges, chlorophyll (Chl) a fluorescence, malondialdehyde by-products and antioxidants were investigated 20 days after the beginning of the treatments. Boron toxicity induced oxidative load and leaf necrotic burns coupled with the reduction of leaf growth and biomass accumulation in both species. Boron excess resulted in a decrease of Chl a/b ratio, potential (Fv/Fm) and actual (ΦPSII) PSII quantum efficiency, photosynthetic rate (Pn), stomatal conductance (gs), and transpiration (E) as well. A general stimulation of the antioxidant enzymes ascorbate peroxidase, catalase and superoxide dismutase was observed, and a significant increase in the oxidized form of ascorbate and glutathione was evidenced for treated plants of both species. A difference between the two species was observed: C. pepo appeared to be more sensitive to B stress being damaged at all B concentration. C. sativus grown at 10 mg L(-1) B in nutrient solution showed some down-regulated mechanisms, i.e. increase in Chl b content and a good photochemical PSII efficiency as well as a higher amount of constitutive antioxidant molecules, that, however, are not sufficient to contrast the negative effects of B.

  10. CmMDb: a versatile database for Cucumis melo microsatellite markers and other horticulture crop research.

    PubMed

    Bhawna; Chaduvula, Pavan K; Bonthala, Venkata S; Manjusha, Verma; Siddiq, Ebrahimali A; Polumetla, Ananda K; Prasad, Gajula M N V

    2015-01-01

    Cucumis melo L. that belongs to Cucurbitaceae family ranks among one of the highest valued horticulture crops being cultivated across the globe. Besides its economical and medicinal importance, Cucumis melo L. is a valuable resource and model system for the evolutionary studies of cucurbit family. However, very limited numbers of molecular markers were reported for Cucumis melo L. so far that limits the pace of functional genomic research in melon and other similar horticulture crops. We developed the first whole genome based microsatellite DNA marker database of Cucumis melo L. and comprehensive web resource that aids in variety identification and physical mapping of Cucurbitaceae family. The Cucumis melo L. microsatellite database (CmMDb: http://65.181.125.102/cmmdb2/index.html) encompasses 39,072 SSR markers along with its motif repeat, motif length, motif sequence, marker ID, motif type and chromosomal locations. The database is featured with novel automated primer designing facility to meet the needs of wet lab researchers. CmMDb is a freely available web resource that facilitates the researchers to select the most appropriate markers for marker-assisted selection in melons and to improve breeding strategies.

  11. CmMDb: A Versatile Database for Cucumis melo Microsatellite Markers and Other Horticulture Crop Research

    PubMed Central

    Bhawna; Chaduvula, Pavan K.; Bonthala, Venkata S.; Manjusha, Verma; Siddiq, Ebrahimali A.; Polumetla, Ananda K.; Prasad, Gajula M. N. V.

    2015-01-01

    Cucumis melo L. that belongs to Cucurbitaceae family ranks among one of the highest valued horticulture crops being cultivated across the globe. Besides its economical and medicinal importance, Cucumis melo L. is a valuable resource and model system for the evolutionary studies of cucurbit family. However, very limited numbers of molecular markers were reported for Cucumis melo L. so far that limits the pace of functional genomic research in melon and other similar horticulture crops. We developed the first whole genome based microsatellite DNA marker database of Cucumis melo L. and comprehensive web resource that aids in variety identification and physical mapping of Cucurbitaceae family. The Cucumis melo L. microsatellite database (CmMDb: http://65.181.125.102/cmmdb2/index.html) encompasses 39,072 SSR markers along with its motif repeat, motif length, motif sequence, marker ID, motif type and chromosomal locations. The database is featured with novel automated primer designing facility to meet the needs of wet lab researchers. CmMDb is a freely available web resource that facilitates the researchers to select the most appropriate markers for marker-assisted selection in melons and to improve breeding strategies. PMID:25885062

  12. The Genome Sequence of the North-European Cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) Unravels Evolutionary Adaptation Mechanisms in Plants

    PubMed Central

    Wóycicki, Rafał; Witkowicz, Justyna; Gawroński, Piotr; Dąbrowska, Joanna; Lomsadze, Alexandre; Pawełkowicz, Magdalena; Siedlecka, Ewa; Yagi, Kohei; Pląder, Wojciech; Seroczyńska, Anna; Śmiech, Mieczysław; Gutman, Wojciech; Niemirowicz-Szczytt, Katarzyna; Bartoszewski, Grzegorz; Tagashira, Norikazu; Hoshi, Yoshikazu; Borodovsky, Mark; Karpiński, Stanisław; Malepszy, Stefan; Przybecki, Zbigniew

    2011-01-01

    Cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.), a widely cultivated crop, has originated from Eastern Himalayas and secondary domestication regions includes highly divergent climate conditions e.g. temperate and subtropical. We wanted to uncover adaptive genome differences between the cucumber cultivars and what sort of evolutionary molecular mechanisms regulate genetic adaptation of plants to different ecosystems and organism biodiversity. Here we present the draft genome sequence of the Cucumis sativus genome of the North-European Borszczagowski cultivar (line B10) and comparative genomics studies with the known genomes of: C. sativus (Chinese cultivar – Chinese Long (line 9930)), Arabidopsis thaliana, Populus trichocarpa and Oryza sativa. Cucumber genomes show extensive chromosomal rearrangements, distinct differences in quantity of the particular genes (e.g. involved in photosynthesis, respiration, sugar metabolism, chlorophyll degradation, regulation of gene expression, photooxidative stress tolerance, higher non-optimal temperatures tolerance and ammonium ion assimilation) as well as in distributions of abscisic acid-, dehydration- and ethylene-responsive cis-regulatory elements (CREs) in promoters of orthologous group of genes, which lead to the specific adaptation features. Abscisic acid treatment of non-acclimated Arabidopsis and C. sativus seedlings induced moderate freezing tolerance in Arabidopsis but not in C. sativus. This experiment together with analysis of abscisic acid-specific CRE distributions give a clue why C. sativus is much more susceptible to moderate freezing stresses than A. thaliana. Comparative analysis of all the five genomes showed that, each species and/or cultivars has a specific profile of CRE content in promoters of orthologous genes. Our results constitute the substantial and original resource for the basic and applied research on environmental adaptations of plants, which could facilitate creation of new crops with improved growth and yield in

  13. The genome sequence of the North-European cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) unravels evolutionary adaptation mechanisms in plants.

    PubMed

    Wóycicki, Rafał; Witkowicz, Justyna; Gawroński, Piotr; Dąbrowska, Joanna; Lomsadze, Alexandre; Pawełkowicz, Magdalena; Siedlecka, Ewa; Yagi, Kohei; Pląder, Wojciech; Seroczyńska, Anna; Śmiech, Mieczysław; Gutman, Wojciech; Niemirowicz-Szczytt, Katarzyna; Bartoszewski, Grzegorz; Tagashira, Norikazu; Hoshi, Yoshikazu; Borodovsky, Mark; Karpiński, Stanisław; Malepszy, Stefan; Przybecki, Zbigniew

    2011-01-01

    Cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.), a widely cultivated crop, has originated from Eastern Himalayas and secondary domestication regions includes highly divergent climate conditions e.g. temperate and subtropical. We wanted to uncover adaptive genome differences between the cucumber cultivars and what sort of evolutionary molecular mechanisms regulate genetic adaptation of plants to different ecosystems and organism biodiversity. Here we present the draft genome sequence of the Cucumis sativus genome of the North-European Borszczagowski cultivar (line B10) and comparative genomics studies with the known genomes of: C. sativus (Chinese cultivar--Chinese Long (line 9930)), Arabidopsis thaliana, Populus trichocarpa and Oryza sativa. Cucumber genomes show extensive chromosomal rearrangements, distinct differences in quantity of the particular genes (e.g. involved in photosynthesis, respiration, sugar metabolism, chlorophyll degradation, regulation of gene expression, photooxidative stress tolerance, higher non-optimal temperatures tolerance and ammonium ion assimilation) as well as in distributions of abscisic acid-, dehydration- and ethylene-responsive cis-regulatory elements (CREs) in promoters of orthologous group of genes, which lead to the specific adaptation features. Abscisic acid treatment of non-acclimated Arabidopsis and C. sativus seedlings induced moderate freezing tolerance in Arabidopsis but not in C. sativus. This experiment together with analysis of abscisic acid-specific CRE distributions give a clue why C. sativus is much more susceptible to moderate freezing stresses than A. thaliana. Comparative analysis of all the five genomes showed that, each species and/or cultivars has a specific profile of CRE content in promoters of orthologous genes. Our results constitute the substantial and original resource for the basic and applied research on environmental adaptations of plants, which could facilitate creation of new crops with improved growth and yield in

  14. A gene expression study of dorso-ventrally restricted pigment pattern in adult fins of Neolamprologus meeli, an African cichlid species

    PubMed Central

    Sefc, Kristina M.

    2017-01-01

    Fish color patterns are among the most diverse phenotypic traits found in the animal kingdom. Understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms that control in chromatophore distribution and pigmentation underlying this diversity is a major goal in developmental and evolutionary biology, which has predominantly been pursued in the zebrafish model system. Here, we apply results from zebrafish work to study a naturally occurring color pattern phenotype in the fins of an African cichlid species from Lake Tanganyika. The cichlid fish Neolamprologus meeli displays a distinct dorsal color pattern, with black and white stripes along the edges of the dorsal fin and of the dorsal half of the caudal fin, corresponding with differences in melanophore density. To elucidate the molecular mechanisms controlling the differences in dorsal and ventral color patterning in the fins, we quantitatively assessed the expression of 15 candidate target genes involved in adult zebrafish pigmentation and stripe formation. For reference gene validation, we screened the expression stability of seven widely expressed genes across the investigated tissue samples and identified tbp as appropriate reference. Relative expression levels of the candidate target genes were compared between the dorsal, striped fin regions and the corresponding uniform, grey-colored regions in the anal and ventral caudal fin. Dorso-ventral expression differences, with elevated levels in both white and black stripes, were observed in two genes, the melanosome protein coding gene pmel and in igsf11, which affects melanophore adhesion, migration and survival. Next, we predicted potential shared upstream regulators of pmel and igsf11. Testing the expression patterns of six predicted transcriptions factors revealed dorso-ventral expression difference of irf1 and significant, negative expression correlation of irf1 with both pmel and igsf11. Based on these results, we propose pmel, igsf11 and irf1 as likely components of

  15. A novel multilocus variable number tandem repeat analysis typing scheme for African phylotype III strains of the Ralstonia solanacearum species complex.

    PubMed

    Ravelomanantsoa, Santatra; Robène, Isabelle; Chiroleu, Frédéric; Guérin, Fabien; Poussier, Stéphane; Pruvost, Olivier; Prior, Philippe

    2016-01-01

    Background. Reliable genotyping that provides an accurate description of diversity in the context of pathogen emergence is required for the establishment of strategies to improve disease management. MultiLocus variable number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA) is a valuable genotyping method. It can be performed at small evolutionary scales where high discriminatory power is needed. Strains of the Ralstonia solanacearum species complex (RSSC) are highly genetically diverse. These destructive pathogens are the causative agent of bacterial wilt on an unusually broad range of host plants worldwide. In this study, we developed an MLVA scheme for genotyping the African RSSC phylotype III. Methods. We selected different publicly available tandem repeat (TR) loci and additional TR loci from the genome of strain CMR15 as markers. Based on these loci, a new phylotype III-MLVA scheme is presented. MLVA and multiLocus sequence typing (MLST) were compared at the global, regional, and local scales. Different populations of epidemiologically related and unrelated RSSC phylotype III strains were used. Results and Discussion. Sixteen polymorphic TR loci, which included seven microsatellites and nine minisatellites, were selected. These TR loci were distributed throughout the genome (chromosome and megaplasmid) and located in both coding and intergenic regions. The newly developed RS3-MLVA16 scheme was more discriminative than MLST. RS3-MLVA16 showed good ability in differentiating strains at global, regional, and local scales, and it especially highlighted epidemiological links between closely related strains at the local scale. RS3-MLVA16 also underlines genetic variability within the same MLST-type and clonal complex, and gives a first overview of population structure. Overall, RS3-MLVA16 is a promising genotyping method for outbreak investigation at a fine scale, and it could be used for outbreak investigation as a first-line, low-cost assay for the routine screening of RSSC

  16. A novel multilocus variable number tandem repeat analysis typing scheme for African phylotype III strains of the Ralstonia solanacearum species complex

    PubMed Central

    Ravelomanantsoa, Santatra; Robène, Isabelle; Chiroleu, Frédéric; Guérin, Fabien; Poussier, Stéphane; Pruvost, Olivier

    2016-01-01

    Background. Reliable genotyping that provides an accurate description of diversity in the context of pathogen emergence is required for the establishment of strategies to improve disease management. MultiLocus variable number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA) is a valuable genotyping method. It can be performed at small evolutionary scales where high discriminatory power is needed. Strains of the Ralstonia solanacearum species complex (RSSC) are highly genetically diverse. These destructive pathogens are the causative agent of bacterial wilt on an unusually broad range of host plants worldwide. In this study, we developed an MLVA scheme for genotyping the African RSSC phylotype III. Methods. We selected different publicly available tandem repeat (TR) loci and additional TR loci from the genome of strain CMR15 as markers. Based on these loci, a new phylotype III-MLVA scheme is presented. MLVA and multiLocus sequence typing (MLST) were compared at the global, regional, and local scales. Different populations of epidemiologically related and unrelated RSSC phylotype III strains were used. Results and Discussion. Sixteen polymorphic TR loci, which included seven microsatellites and nine minisatellites, were selected. These TR loci were distributed throughout the genome (chromosome and megaplasmid) and located in both coding and intergenic regions. The newly developed RS3-MLVA16 scheme was more discriminative than MLST. RS3-MLVA16 showed good ability in differentiating strains at global, regional, and local scales, and it especially highlighted epidemiological links between closely related strains at the local scale. RS3-MLVA16 also underlines genetic variability within the same MLST-type and clonal complex, and gives a first overview of population structure. Overall, RS3-MLVA16 is a promising genotyping method for outbreak investigation at a fine scale, and it could be used for outbreak investigation as a first-line, low-cost assay for the routine screening of RSSC

  17. Evaluation of the inhibition of carbohydrate hydrolysing enzymes, antioxidant activity and polyphenolic content of extracts of ten African Ficus species (Moraceae) used traditionally to treat diabetes

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Some Ficus species have been used in traditional African medicine in the treatment of diabetes. The antidiabetic potential of certain species has been confirmed in vivo but the mechanism of activity remains uncertain. The aim of this study was to determine the activity and to investigate the mechanism of antidiabetic activity of ten selected Ficus species through inhibition of α-amylase and α-glucosidase activity, and the possible relationship between these activities, the total polyphenolic content and the antioxidant activity. Methods Dried acetone leaf extracts were reconstituted with appropriate solvents and used to determine total polyphenolic content antioxidant activity, α-amylase and α-glucosidase inhibitory activity. Results The crude acetone extract of F. lutea had the highest polyphenolic content (56.85 ± 1.82 mg GAE/g of dry material) and the strongest antioxidant activity with a TEAC value of 4.80 ± 0.90. The antioxidant activity of the acetone extracts of the Ficus species may not be ascribed to total polyphenolic content alone. The crude extract at a concentration of 0.5 mg/ml of F. lutea (64.3 ± 3.6%) had the best α-glucosidase (sucrase) inhibitory activity. The EC50 of F. lutea (290 ± 111 μg/ml) was not significantly different from that of F. sycomorus (217 ± 69 μg/ml). The α-amylase inhibitory activity of F. lutea (95.4 ± 1.2%) at a concentration of 1 mg/ml was the highest among the Ficus species screened. The EC50 for F. lutea (9.42 ± 2.01 μ g/ml), though the highest, was not significantly different (p < 0.05) from that of F. craterostoma and F. natalensis. It was apparent that the crude acetone extract of F. lutea is a partially non-competitive inhibitor of α-amylase and α-glucosidase. Based on correlation coefficients polyphenolics may be responsible for α-glucosidase activity but probably not for α-amylase activity. Conclusion Antidiabetic activity potential via inhibition

  18. The complete chloroplast genome sequence of the wild cucumber Cucumis hystrix Chakr. (Cucumis, cucurbitaceae).

    PubMed

    Wu, Zhiming; Jia, Li; Shen, Jia; Jiang, Biao; Qian, Chuntao; Lou, Qunfeng; Li, Ji; Chen, Jinfeng

    2016-01-01

    The complete nucleotide sequence of the wild cucumber (C. hystrix Chakr.) chloroplast genome has been determined in this study. The genome was composed of 155,031 bp containing a pair of inverted repeats (IRs) of 25,150 bp, which was separated by a large single-copy region of 86,564 bp and a small single-copy region of 18,166 bp. The chloroplast genome contained 130 known genes, including 89 protein-coding genes, 8 ribosomal RNA genes (4 rRNA species) and 37 tRNA genes (30 tRNA species), with 18 of them located in the IR region. In these genes, 16 contained 1 intron, and 2 genes and one ycf contained 2 introns.

  19. Coccidioidomycosis in African Americans

    PubMed Central

    Ruddy, Barbara E.; Mayer, Anita P.; Ko, Marcia G.; Labonte, Helene R.; Borovansky, Jill A.; Boroff, Erika S.; Blair, Janis E.

    2011-01-01

    Coccidioidomycosis is caused by Coccidioides species, a fungus endemic to the desert regions of the southwestern United States, and is of particular concern for African Americans. We performed a PubMed search of the English-language medical literature on coccidioidomycosis in African Americans and summarized the pertinent literature. Search terms were coccidioidomycosis, Coccidioides, race, ethnicity, African, black, and Negro. The proceedings of the national and international coccidioidomycosis symposia were searched. All relevant articles and their cited references were reviewed; those with epidemiological, immunologic, clinical, and therapeutic data pertaining to coccidioidomycosis in African Americans were included in the review. Numerous studies documented an increased predilection for severe coccidioidal infections, coccidioidomycosis-related hospitalizations, and extrapulmonary dissemination in persons of African descent; however, most of the published studies are variably problematic. The immunologic mechanism for this predilection is unclear. The clinical features and treatment recommendations are summarized. Medical practitioners need to be alert to the possibility of coccidioidomycosis in persons with recent travel to or residence in an area where the disease is endemic. PMID:21193657

  20. Transcriptome profiling of Cucumis melo fruit development and ripening.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Hong; Wang, Huaisong; Yi, Hongping; Zhai, Wenqiang; Wang, Guangzhi; Fu, Qiushi

    2016-01-01

    Hami melon (Cucumis melo) is the most important melon crop grown in the north-western provinces of China. In order to elucidate the genetic and molecular basis of developmental changes related to size, flesh, sugar and sour content, we performed a transcriptome profiling of its fruit development. Over 155 000 000 clean reads were mapped to MELONOMICS genome, yielding a total of 23 299 expressed genes. Of these, 554 genes were specifically expressed in flowers, and 3260 genes in fruit flesh tissues. The 7892 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were related to fruit development and mediated diverse metabolic processes and pathways; 83 DEGs and 13 DEGs were possibly associated with sucrose and citric acid accumulation, respectively. The quantitative real-time PCR results showed that six out of eight selected candidate genes displayed expression trends similar to our DEGs. This study profiled the gene expression related to different growing stages of flower and fruit at the whole transcriptome level to provide an insight into the regulatory mechanism underlying Hami melon fruit development.

  1. De Novo Transcriptome Analysis of Cucumis melo L. var. makuwa.

    PubMed

    Kim, Hyun A; Shin, Ah-Young; Lee, Min-Seon; Lee, Hee-Jeong; Lee, Heung-Ryul; Ahn, Jongmoon; Nahm, Seokhyeon; Jo, Sung-Hwan; Park, Jeong Mee; Kwon, Suk-Yoon

    2016-02-01

    Oriental melon (Cucumis melo L. var. makuwa) is one of six subspecies of melon and is cultivated widely in East Asia, including China, Japan, and Korea. Although oriental melon is economically valuable in Asia and is genetically distinct from other subspecies, few reports of genome-scale research on oriental melon have been published. We generated 30.5 and 36.8 Gb of raw RNA sequence data from the female and male flowers, leaves, roots, and fruit of two oriental melon varieties, Korean landrace (KM) and Breeding line of NongWoo Bio Co. (NW), respectively. From the raw reads, 64,998 transcripts from KM and 100,234 transcripts from NW were de novo assembled. The assembled transcripts were used to identify molecular markers (e.g., single-nucleotide polymorphisms and simple sequence repeats), detect tissue-specific expressed genes, and construct a genetic linkage map. In total, 234 single-nucleotide polymorphisms and 25 simple sequence repeats were screened from 7,871 and 8,052 candidates, respectively, between the KM and NW varieties and used for construction of a genetic map with 94 F2 population specimens. The genetic linkage map consisted of 12 linkage groups, and 248 markers were assigned. These transcriptome and molecular marker data provide information useful for molecular breeding of oriental melon and further comparative studies of the Cucurbitaceae family.

  2. De Novo Transcriptome Analysis of Cucumis melo L. var. makuwa

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Hyun A; Shin, Ah-Young; Lee, Min-Seon; Lee, Hee-Jeong; Lee, Heung-Ryul; Ahn, Jongmoon; Nahm, Seokhyeon; Jo, Sung-Hwan; Park, Jeong Mee; Kwon, Suk-Yoon

    2016-01-01

    Oriental melon (Cucumis melo L. var. makuwa) is one of six subspecies of melon and is cultivated widely in East Asia, including China, Japan, and Korea. Although oriental melon is economically valuable in Asia and is genetically distinct from other subspecies, few reports of genome-scale research on oriental melon have been published. We generated 30.5 and 36.8 Gb of raw RNA sequence data from the female and male flowers, leaves, roots, and fruit of two oriental melon varieties, Korean landrace (KM) and Breeding line of NongWoo Bio Co. (NW), respectively. From the raw reads, 64,998 transcripts from KM and 100,234 transcripts from NW were de novo assembled. The assembled transcripts were used to identify molecular markers (e.g., single-nucleotide polymorphisms and simple sequence repeats), detect tissue-specific expressed genes, and construct a genetic linkage map. In total, 234 single-nucleotide polymorphisms and 25 simple sequence repeats were screened from 7,871 and 8,052 candidates, respectively, between the KM and NW varieties and used for construction of a genetic map with 94 F2 population specimens. The genetic linkage map consisted of 12 linkage groups, and 248 markers were assigned. These transcriptome and molecular marker data provide information useful for molecular breeding of oriental melon and further comparative studies of the Cucurbitaceae family. PMID:26743902

  3. Mapping Resistance to Alternaria cucumerina in Cucumis melo.

    PubMed

    Daley, James; Branham, Sandra; Levi, Amnon; Hassell, Richard; Wechter, Patrick

    2017-04-01

    Infection with Alternaria cucumerina causes Alternaria leaf blight (ALB), a disease characterized by lesion formation on leaves, leading to substantial yield and quality losses in Cucumis melo (melon). Although fungicides are effective against ALB, reduction in the frequency of application would be economically and environmentally beneficial. Resistant melon lines have been identified but the genetic basis of this resistance has not been determined. A saturated melon genetic map was constructed with markers developed through genotyping by sequencing of a recombinant inbred line population (F6 to F10; n = 82) derived from single-seed descent of a F2 population from a cross between the ALB-resistant parent MR-1 and the ALB-susceptible parent Ananas Yokneum. The population was evaluated for A. cucumerina resistance with an augmented block greenhouse study using inoculation with the wounded-leaf method. Multiple quantitative trait loci (QTL) mapping identified two QTL that explained 33.9% of variation in lesion area. Several candidate genes within range of these QTL were identified using the C. melo v3.5 genome. Markers linked to these QTL will be used to accelerate efforts to breed melon cultivars resistant to ALB.

  4. Exploring a new serine protease from Cucumis sativus L.

    PubMed

    Nafeesa, Zohara; Shivalingu, B R; Vivek, H K; Priya, B S; Swamy, S Nanjunda

    2015-03-01

    Coagulation is an important physiological process in hemostasis which is activated by sequential action of proteases. This study aims to understand the involvement of aqueous fruit extract of Cucumis sativus L. (AqFEC) European burp less variety in blood coagulation cascade. AqFEC hydrolyzed casein in a dose-dependent manner. The presence of protease activity was further confirmed by casein zymography which revealed the possible presence of two high molecular weight protease(s). The proteolytic activity was inhibited only by phenyl methyl sulphonyl fluoride suggesting the presence of serine protease(s). In a dose-dependent manner, AqFEC also hydrolysed Aα and Bβ subunits of fibrinogen, whereas it failed to degrade the γ subunit of fibrinogen even at a concentration as high as 100 μg and incubation time up to 4 h. AqFEC reduced the clotting time of citrated plasma by 87.65%. The protease and fibrinogenolytic activity of AqFEC suggests its possible role in stopping the bleeding and ensuing wound healing process.

  5. Transcriptome profiling of Cucumis melo fruit development and ripening

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Hong; Wang, Huaisong; Yi, Hongping; Zhai, Wenqiang; Wang, Guangzhi; Fu, Qiushi

    2016-01-01

    Hami melon (Cucumis melo) is the most important melon crop grown in the north-western provinces of China. In order to elucidate the genetic and molecular basis of developmental changes related to size, flesh, sugar and sour content, we performed a transcriptome profiling of its fruit development. Over 155 000 000 clean reads were mapped to MELONOMICS genome, yielding a total of 23 299 expressed genes. Of these, 554 genes were specifically expressed in flowers, and 3260 genes in fruit flesh tissues. The 7892 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were related to fruit development and mediated diverse metabolic processes and pathways; 83 DEGs and 13 DEGs were possibly associated with sucrose and citric acid accumulation, respectively. The quantitative real-time PCR results showed that six out of eight selected candidate genes displayed expression trends similar to our DEGs. This study profiled the gene expression related to different growing stages of flower and fruit at the whole transcriptome level to provide an insight into the regulatory mechanism underlying Hami melon fruit development. PMID:27162641

  6. Analysis of the melon (Cucumis melo) small RNAome by high-throughput pyrosequencing

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Melon (Cucumis melo L.) is a commercially important fruit crop that is cultivated worldwide. The melon research community has recently benefited from the determination of a complete draft genome sequence and the development of associated genomic tools, which have allowed us to focus on small RNAs (sRNAs). These are short, non-coding RNAs 21-24 nucleotides in length with diverse physiological roles. In plants, they regulate gene expression and heterochromatin assembly, and control protection against virus infection. Much remains to be learned about the role of sRNAs in melon. Results We constructed 10 sRNA libraries from two stages of developing ovaries, fruits and photosynthetic cotyledons infected with viruses, and carried out high-throughput pyrosequencing. We catalogued and analysed the melon sRNAs, resulting in the identification of 26 known miRNA families (many conserved with other species), the prediction of 84 melon-specific miRNA candidates, the identification of trans-acting siRNAs, and the identification of chloroplast, mitochondrion and transposon-derived sRNAs. In silico analysis revealed more than 400 potential targets for the conserved and novel miRNAs. Conclusion We have discovered and analysed a large number of conserved and melon-specific sRNAs, including miRNAs and their potential target genes. This provides insight into the composition and function of the melon small RNAome, and paves the way towards an understanding of sRNA-mediated processes that regulate melon fruit development and melon-virus interactions. PMID:21812964

  7. Next-generation sequencing, FISH mapping and synteny-based modeling reveal mechanisms of decreasing dysploidy in Cucumis.

    PubMed

    Yang, Luming; Koo, Dal-Hoe; Li, Dawei; Zhang, Tao; Jiang, Jiming; Luan, Feishi; Renner, Susanne S; Hénaff, Elizabeth; Sanseverino, Walter; Garcia-Mas, Jordi; Casacuberta, Josep; Senalik, Douglas A; Simon, Philipp W; Chen, Jinfeng; Weng, Yiqun

    2014-01-01

    In the large Cucurbitaceae genus Cucumis, cucumber (C. sativus) is the only species with 2n = 2x = 14 chromosomes. The majority of the remaining species, including melon (C. melo) and the sister species of cucumber, C. hystrix, have 2n = 2x = 24 chromosomes, implying a reduction from n = 12 to n = 7. To understand the underlying mechanisms, we investigated chromosome synteny among cucumber, C. hystrix and melon using integrated and complementary approaches. We identified 14 inversions and a C. hystrix lineage-specific reciprocal inversion between C. hystrix and melon. The results reveal the location and orientation of 53 C. hystrix syntenic blocks on the seven cucumber chromosomes, and allow us to infer at least 59 chromosome rearrangement events that led to the seven cucumber chromosomes, including five fusions, four translocations, and 50 inversions. The 12 inferred chromosomes (AK1-AK12) of an ancestor similar to melon and C. hystrix had strikingly different evolutionary fates, with cucumber chromosome C1 apparently resulting from insertion of chromosome AK12 into the centromeric region of translocated AK2/AK8, cucumber chromosome C3 originating from a Robertsonian-like translocation between AK4 and AK6, and cucumber chromosome C5 originating from fusion of AK9 and AK10. Chromosomes C2, C4 and C6 were the result of complex reshuffling of syntenic blocks from three (AK3, AK5 and AK11), three (AK5, AK7 and AK8) and five (AK2, AK3, AK5, AK8 and AK11) ancestral chromosomes, respectively, through 33 fusion, translocation and inversion events. Previous results (Huang, S., Li, R., Zhang, Z. et al., , Nat. Genet. 41, 1275-1281; Li, D., Cuevas, H.E., Yang, L., Li, Y., Garcia-Mas, J., Zalapa, J., Staub, J.E., Luan, F., Reddy, U., He, X., Gong, Z., Weng, Y. 2011a, BMC Genomics, 12, 396) showing that cucumber C7 stayed largely intact during the entire evolution of Cucumis are supported. Results from this study allow a fine-scale understanding of the

  8. Turkmenistan Melon (Cucumis melo), and Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) Germplasm Expedition 2008.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Turkmenistan has a rich tradition of melon (Cucumis melo L.) and watermelon (Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum. & Nakai) production, but like in many countries land races and old varieties are in danger of genetic erosion. In July-August 2008, a collaborative Turkmenistan–United States germplasm exp...

  9. Fine genetic mapping of a locus controlling short internode length in melon (Cucumis melo L.)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Compact and dwarfing vining habits in melon (Cucumis melo L.; 2n = 2x = 24) may have commercial importance since they can contribute to the promotion of concentrated fruit set and can be planted in higher plant densities than standard vining types. A diminutive (dwarf) melon mutant line (PNU-D1) wi...

  10. First Report of Zucchini yellow mosaic virus Infecting Gherkin (Cucumis anguira) in India.

    PubMed

    Anthony Johnson, A M; Vidya, T; Papaiah, S; Srinivasulu, M; Mandal, Bikash; Sai Gopal, D V R

    2013-09-01

    A field visit in September 2011 to the Cucumis anguira (Gherkin) growing regions of Kuppam, Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh, India revealed occurrence of mosaic, blistering and fruit malformation leading to the crop losses. Analysis of field samples revealed association of Zucchini yellow mosaic virus (ZYMV) with the disease. This is the first confirmed report of natural occurrence of ZYMV on Gherkin in India.

  11. Histological Aspects of Cucumis melo PI 313970 Resistance to Podosphaera xanthii and Golovinomyces cichoracearum

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cucumis melo accession PI 313970 possesses numerous genes for race-specific resistance to powdery mildew incited by Podosphaera xanthi, but it also exhibits non-race-specific, resistant blister leaf reactions in California, U.S.A. to several races of P. xanthii. Light microscopic examination confirm...

  12. A golden SNP in CmOr governs fruit flesh color of melon (cucumis melo)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Melon (Cucumis melo) flesh color is genetically determined and can be white, light green or orange with B-carotene being the predominant pigment. We associated carotenoid accumulation in melon fruit flesh with polymorphism within CmOr, a homolog of the cauliflower BoOr gene, and identified CmOr as t...

  13. Spanish melons (Cucumis melo L.) of the Madrid provenance: A unique germplasm reservoir

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Melon (Cucumis melo L.) landraces of the Madrid provenance, Spain, have received national distinction for their high fruit quality and sensorial attributes. More specifically, a unique array of Group Inodorus landraces have been continuously cultivated and conserved by farmers in the municipality o...

  14. Multispectral fluorescence imaging technique for discrimination of cucumber (Cucumis Sativus) seed viability

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In this study, we developed a nondestructive method for discriminating viable cucumber (Cucumis sativus) seeds based on hyperspectral fluorescence imaging. The fluorescence spectra of cucumber seeds in the 420–700 nm range were extracted from hyperspectral fluorescence images obtained using 365 nm u...

  15. Asynchronous meiosis in Cucumis hystrix-cucumber synthetic tetraploids resulting in low male fertility

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Wide hybridization is an important tool for crop improvement. Recently, we successfully developed a synthetic allotetraploid from interspecific cross between cucumber and its relative Cucumis hystrix-(2n = 2x =24) followed by chemical induction of chromosome doubling. The resulting allotetraploid wa...

  16. Determination of germination quality of cucumber (Cucumis sativus) seed by LED-induced hyperspectral reflectance imaging

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Purpose: We developed a viability evaluation method for cucumber (Cucumis sativus) seed using hyperspectral reflectance imaging. Methods: Reflectance spectra of cucumber seeds in the 400 to 1000 nm range were collected from hyperspectral reflectance images obtained using blue, green, and red LED ill...

  17. Putative paternal factors controlling chilling tolerance in Korean market-type cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Chilling temperatures (<10 degrees C) may cause damage to Korean market-type cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) plants during winter and early spring growing seasons. Inheritance to chilling in U.S. processing cucumber is controlled by cytoplasmic (maternally) and nuclear factors. To understand inherit...

  18. Superoxide dismutase activity in mesocarp tissue from divergent Cucumis melo L. genotypes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Muskmelon (Cucumis melo L.) fruit matrix is unique among plant foods in being able to provide a protective medium in which the antioxidant activity of the enzyme superoxide dismutase (SOD) is preserved during the digestive process, and therefore, being able to elicit in vivo pharmacological effects ...

  19. Branched-chain and aromatic amino acid catabolism into aroma volatiles in Cucumis melo L. fruit

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The unique aroma of melons (Cucumis melo L., Cucurbitaceae) is composed of many volatile compounds biosynthetically derived from fatty-acids, carotenoids, amino-acids as well as terpenes. Incubation of melon fruit cubes with amino- and a-keto acids led to the enhanced formation of aroma compounds be...

  20. Root-knot nematode resistance, yield, and fruit quality of specialty melons grafted onto cucumis metulifer

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Interest in specialty melons (Cucumis melo) with distinctive fruit characteristics has grown in the United States in recent years. However, disease management remains a major challenge in specialty melon production. In this study, grafting experiments were conducted to determine the effectiveness of...

  1. Medieval emergence of sweet melons, Cucumis melo (Cucurbitaceae)

    PubMed Central

    Paris, Harry S.; Amar, Zohar; Lev, Efraim

    2012-01-01

    Background Sweet melons, Cucumis melo, are a widely grown and highly prized crop. While melons were familiar in antiquity, they were grown mostly for use of the young fruits, which are similar in appearance and taste to cucumbers, C. sativus. The time and place of emergence of sweet melons is obscure, but they are generally thought to have reached Europe from the east near the end of the 15th century. The objective of the present work was to determine where and when truly sweet melons were first developed. Methods Given their large size and sweetness, melons are often confounded with watermelons, Citrullus lanatus, so a list was prepared of the characteristics distinguishing between them. An extensive search of literature from the Roman and medieval periods was conducted and the findings were considered in their context against this list and particularly in regard to the use of the word ‘melon’ and of adjectives for sweetness and colour. Findings Medieval lexicographies and an illustrated Arabic translation of Dioscorides' herbal suggest that sweet melons were present in Central Asia in the mid-9th century. A travelogue description indicates the presence of sweet melons in Khorasan and Persia by the mid-10th century. Agricultural literature from Andalusia documents the growing of sweet melons, evidently casabas (Inodorous Group), there by the second half of the 11th century, which probably arrived from Central Asia as a consequence of Islamic conquest, trade and agricultural development. Climate and geopolitical boundaries were the likely causes of the delay in the spread of sweet melons into the rest of Europe. PMID:22648880

  2. Ectoparasites of African Mammals.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1976-11-30

    This study consisted of ectoparasites from approximately 100,000 African small mammals, representing probably more than 500 species of which many are...study of ectoparasites may provide information concerning interactions among animal reservoirs of disease, and (3) an understanding of ecological...parameters for ectoparasites and their hosts may enhance understanding of epidemiological patterns. Of the four major groups dealt with, considerably more

  3. Endemic North African Quercus afares Pomel originates from hybridisation between two genetically very distant oak species (Q. suber L. and Q. canariensis Willd.): evidence from nuclear and cytoplasmic markers.

    PubMed

    Mir, C; Toumi, L; Jarne, P; Sarda, V; Di Giusto, F; Lumaret, R

    2006-02-01

    Hybridisation is a potent force in plant evolution, although there are few reported examples of stabilised species that have been created through homoploid hybridisation. We focus here on Quercus afares, an endemic North African species that combines morphological, physiological and ecological traits of both Q. suber and Q. canariensis, two phylogenetically distant species. These two species are sympatric with Q. afares over most of its distribution. We studied two Q. afares populations (one from Algeria and one from Tunisia), as well as several populations of both Q. suber and Q. canariensis sampled both within and outside areas where these species overlap with Q. afares. A genetic analysis was conducted using both nuclear (allozymes) and chloroplastic markers, which shows that Q. afares originates from a Q. suber x Q. canariensis hybridisation. At most loci, Q. afares predominantly possesses alleles from Q. suber, suggesting that the initial cross between Q. suber and Q. canariensis was followed by backcrossing with Q. suber. Other hypotheses that can account for this result, including genetic drift, gene silencing, gene conversion and selection, are discussed. A single Q. suber chlorotype was detected, and all Q. afares individuals displayed this chlorotype, indicating that Q. suber was the maternal parent. Q. afares is genetically, morphologically and ecologically differentiated from its parental species, and can therefore be considered as a stabilised hybrid species.

  4. Detection of Papaya ringspot virus type W infecting the cucurbit weed Cucumis melo var. dudaim in Florida

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This is the first report of Papaya ringspot virus type W infecting Cucumis melo var. dudaim, a cucurbit weed, in Florida. It provides an overview of this virus reservoir for growers, extension workers, crop consultants and research and regulatory scientists....

  5. Chilling tolerant U.S. processing cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.): three advanced backcross and ten inbred backcross lines

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Environmental stresses such as chilling temperatures can reduce seed germination rate, seeding emergence rate, flower and fruit development, marketable yield, and postharvest fruit storage longevity in cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.). Chilling temperatures occur in unpredictable patterns, making it d...

  6. African rice (Oryza glaberrima): History and future potential

    PubMed Central

    Linares, Olga F.

    2002-01-01

    The African species of rice (Oryza glaberrima) was cultivated long before Europeans arrived in the continent. At present, O. glaberrima is being replaced by the introduced Asian species of rice, Oryza sativa. Some West African farmers, including the Jola of southern Senegal, still grow African rice for use in ritual contexts. The two species of rice have recently been crossed, producing a promising hybrid. PMID:12461173

  7. African Aesthetics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Abiodun, Rowland

    2001-01-01

    No single traditional discipline can adequately supply answers to the many unresolved questions in African art history. Because of the aesthetic, cultural, historical, and, not infrequently, political biases, already built into the conception and development of Western art history, the discipline of art history as defined and practiced in the West…

  8. African Pentecostalism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Garrard, David J.

    2009-01-01

    The diversity of African Pentecostalism, its early colonial and missionary history and its current characteristics are described and analysed. Reference is made to methods of training and forms of leadership, and suggestions are made about the reasons for its growth and persistence. (Contains 19 notes.)

  9. Direct Inoculation of Simian Immunodeficiency Virus from Sooty Mangabeys in Black Mangabeys (Lophocebus aterrimus): First Evidence of AIDS in a Heterologous African Species and Different Pathologic Outcomes of Experimental Infection

    PubMed Central

    Apetrei, Cristian; Gormus, Bobby; Pandrea, Ivona; Metzger, Michael; ten Haaft, Peter; Martin, Louis N.; Bohm, Rudolf; Alvarez, Xavier; Koopman, Gerrit; Murphey-Corb, Michael; Veazey, Ronald S.; Lackner, Andrew A.; Baskin, Gary; Heeney, Jonathan; Marx, Preston A.

    2004-01-01

    A unique opportunity for the study of the role of serial passage and cross-species transmission was offered by a series of experiments carried out at the Tulane National Primate Research Center in 1990. To develop an animal model for leprosy, three black mangabeys (BkMs) (Lophocebus aterrimus) were inoculated with lepromatous tissue that had been serially passaged in four sooty mangabeys (SMs) (Cercocebus atys). All three BkMs became infected with simian immunodeficiency virus from SMs (SIVsm) by day 30 postinoculation (p.i.) with lepromatous tissue. One (BkMG140) died 2 years p.i. from causes unrelated to SIV, one (BkMG139) survived for 10 years, whereas the third (BkMG138) was euthanized with AIDS after 5 years. Histopathology revealed a high number of giant cells in tissues from BkMG138, but no SIV-related lesions were found in the remaining two BkMs. Four-color immunofluorescence revealed high levels of SIVsm associated with both giant cells and T lymphocytes in BkMG138 and no detectable SIV in the remaining two. Serum viral load (VL) showed a significant increase (>1 log) during the late stage of the disease in BkMG138, as opposed to a continuous decline in VL in the remaining two BkMs. With the progression to AIDS, neopterin levels increased in BkMG138. This study took on new significance when phylogenetic analysis unexpectedly showed that all four serially inoculated SMs were infected with different SIVsm lineages prior to the beginning of the experiment. Furthermore, the strain infecting the BkMs originated from the last SM in the series. Therefore, the virus infecting BkMs has not been serially passaged. In conclusion, we present the first compelling evidence that direct cross-species transmission of SIV may induce AIDS in heterologous African nonhuman primate (NHP) species. The results showed that cross-species-transmitted SIVsm was well controlled in two of three BkMs for 2 and 10 years, respectively. Finally, this case of AIDS in an African monkey

  10. PCR-based identification of eight Lactobacillus species and 18 hr-HPV genotypes in fixed cervical samples of South African women at risk of HIV and BV.

    PubMed

    Dols, Joke A M; Reid, Gregor; Kort, Remco; Schuren, Frank H J; Tempelman, Hugo; Bontekoe, Tj Romke; Korporaal, Hans; Van der Veer, E M; Smit, Pieter W; Boon, Mathilde E

    2012-06-01

    Vaginal lactobacilli assessed by PCR-based microarray and PCR-based genotyping of HPV in South African women at risk for HIV and BV. Vaginal lactobacilli can be defined by microarray techniques in fixed cervical samples of South African women. Cervical brush samples suspended in the coagulant fixative BoonFix of one hundred women attending a health centre for HIV testing in South Africa were available for this study. In the Ndlovu Medical Centre in Elandsdoorn, South Africa, identification of 18 hr-HPV genotypes was done using the INNO-LiPA method. An inventory of lactobacilli organisms was performed using microarray technology. On the basis of the Lactobacillus and Lactobacillus biofilm scoring, the cases were identified as Leiden bacterial vaginosis (BV) negative (BV-; n = 41), Leiden BV intermediate (BV±; n = 25), and Leiden BV positive (BV+; n = 34). Fifty-one women were HIV positive and 49 HIV negative. Out of the 51 HIV positive women, 35 were HPV infected. These 51 HIV positive women were frequently infected with HPV16 and HPV18. In addition, HPV35, HPV52, HPV33, and HPV66 were often detected in these samples. Lactobacillus salivarius and Lactobacillus iners were the most prevalent lactobacilli as established by the microarray technique. In women with HPV infection, the prevalence of Lactobacillus crispatus was significantly reduced. In both HIV and HPV infection, a similar (but not identical) shift in the composition of the lactobacillus flora was observed. We conclude that there is a shift in the composition of vaginal lactobacilli in HIV-infected women. Because of the prominence of HPV35, HPV52, HPV33, and HPV66, vaccination for exclusively HPV16 and HPV18 might be insufficient in South African HIV+ women.

  11. Characterization of endophytic bacteria from cucurbit fruits with potential benefits to agriculture in melons (Cucumis melo L.).

    PubMed

    Glassner, Hanoch; Zchori-Fein, Einat; Compant, Stéphane; Sessitsch, Angela; Katzir, Nurit; Portnoy, Vitaly; Yaron, Sima

    2015-07-01

    Endophytes are microorganisms that mainly colonize vegetative parts, but are also found in reproductive and disseminating organs, and may have beneficial characteristics. To identify microorganisms associated with the agriculturally important family, Cucurbitaceae, endophytes were initially determined in fruits of Cucumis melo Reticulatus Group 'Dulce' by a cultivation-independent approach based on fluorescence in situ hybridization using double labeling of oligonucleotide probes. Alpha-, Beta-, Gammaproteobacteria, Firmicutes and Actinobacteria were localized inside the fruits. Culturable bacteria were further isolated and identified from fruit tissues of 'Dulce', from fruits of other cultivated and wild-field-grown Cucurbitaceae, and from wild fruits growing under natural conditions. Low densities of culturable bacteria were detected in the investigated fruits, especially in four out of the five wild species, regardless of their growing environment. Substantial differences were observed between the wild and cultivated cucurbit taxa in regard to the number of colonized fruits as well as the type of endophytes. Bacillus was the most dominant genus of endophytes colonizing fruits of Cucurbitaceae. The antagonistic effects of isolated endophytes were assessed against cucurbit disease agents in dual-culture assays. Several bacterial isolates exhibited antagonistic properties against the tested plant pathogens. The identified bacteria may be useful for protecting plants not only in the field, but also for post-harvest.

  12. Ultraviolet-induced photodegradation of cucumber (Cucumis sativus L. ) microsomal and soluble protein tryptophanyl residues in vitro

    SciTech Connect

    Caldwell, C.R. )

    1993-03-01

    The in vitro effects of ultraviolet B (280--320 nm) radiation on microsomal membrane proteins and partially purified ribulose bisphosphate carboxylase (Rubisco) from cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) was investigated by measuring the direct photolytic reduction of tryptophan fluorescence and the formation of fluorescent photooxidation products. Exposure of microsomes and Rubisco to monochromatic 300-nm radiation resulted in the loss of intrinsic tryptophan fluorescence and the production of blue-emitting fluorophores. The major product of tryptophan photolysis was tentatively identified as N-formylkynurenine (N-FK). Even though the rates of tryptophan photodegradation and N-FK formation were similar, the amount of blue fluorescence produced was significantly higher in the microsomes relative to Rubisco. Studies with various free radical scavengers and other modifiers indicated that tryptophan photodegradation requires oxygen species. The optimum wavelengths for loss of tryptophan fluorescence were 290 nm for the microsomes and 280 nm for Rubisco. The temperature dependence of tryptophan fluorescence and rate of tryptophan photodegradation indicated an alteration in the cucumber microsomal membranes at about 24[degrees]C, which influenced protein structure and tryptophan photosensitivity. 29 refs., 6 figs., 1 tab.

  13. Phloem unloading follows an extensive apoplasmic pathway in cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) fruit from anthesis to marketable maturing stage.

    PubMed

    Hu, Liping; Sun, Huihui; Li, Ruifu; Zhang, Lingyun; Wang, Shaohui; Sui, Xiaolei; Zhang, Zhenxian

    2011-11-01

    The phloem unloading pathway remains unclear in fruits of Cucurbitaceae, a classical stachyose-transporting species with bicollateral phloem. Using a combination of electron microscopy, transport of phloem-mobile symplasmic tracer carboxyfluorescein, assays of acid invertase and sucrose transporter, and [(14)C]sugar uptake, the phloem unloading pathway was studied in cucumber (Cucumis sativus) fruit from anthesis to the marketable maturing stage. Structural investigations showed that the sieve element-companion cell (SE-CC) complex of the vascular bundles feeding fruit flesh is apparently symplasmically restricted. Imaging of carboxyfluorescein unloading showed that the dye remained confined to the phloem strands of the vascular bundles in the whole fruit throughout the stages examined. A 37 kDa acid invertase was located predominantly in the cell walls of SE-CC complexes and parenchyma cells. Studies of [(14)C]sugar uptake suggested that energy-driven transporters may be functional in sugar trans-membrane transport within symplasmically restricted SE-CC complex, which was further confirmed by the existence of a functional plasma membrane sucrose transporter (CsSUT4) in cucumber fruit. These data provide a clear evidence for an apoplasmic phloem unloading pathway in cucumber fruit. A presumption that putative raffinose or stachyose transporters may be involved in soluble sugars unloading was discussed.

  14. Identification of fruit related microRNAs in cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) using high-throughput sequencing technology.

    PubMed

    Ye, Xueling; Song, Tiefeng; Liu, Chang; Feng, Hui; Liu, Zhiyong

    2014-12-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are approximately 21 nt noncoding RNAs that influence the phenotypes of different species through the post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression. Although many miRNAs have been identified in a few model plants, less is known about miRNAs specific to cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.). In this study, two libraries of cucumber RNA, one based on fruit samples and another based on mixed samples from leaves, stems, and roots, were prepared for deep-sequencing. A total of 110 sequences were matched to known miRNAs in 47 families, while 56 sequences in 46 families are newly identified in cucumber. Of these, 77 known and 44 new miRNAs were differentially expressed, with a fold-change of at least 2 and p-value < 0.05. In addition, we predicted the potential targets of known and new miRNAs. The identification and characterization of known and new miRNAs will enable us to better understand the role of these miRNAs in the formation of cucumber fruit.

  15. A novel role for cyanide in the control of cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) seedlings response to environmental stress.

    PubMed

    Xu, Fei; Zhang, Da-Wei; Zhu, Feng; Tang, He; Lv, Xin; Cheng, Jian; Xie, Huang-Fan; Lin, Hong-Hui

    2012-11-01

    The effects of potassium cyanide (KCN) pretreatment on the response of cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) plants to salt, polyethylene glycol (PEG) and cold stress were investigated in the present study. Here, we found that KCN pretreatment improved cucumber seedlings tolerance to stress conditions with maximum efficiency at a concentration of 20 µM. The results showed that pretreatment with 20 µM KCN alleviated stress-induced oxidative damage in plant cells and clearly induced the activity of alternative oxidase (AOX) and the ethylene production. Furthermore, the structures of thylakoids and mitochondria in the KCN-pretreated seedlings were less damaged by the stress conditions, which maintained higher total chlorophyll content, photosynthetic rate and photosystem II (PSII) proteins levels than the control. Importantly, the addition of the AOX inhibitor salicylhydroxamic acid (1 mm; SHAM) decreased plant resistance to environmental stress and even compromised the cyanide (CN)-enhanced stress tolerance. Therefore, our findings provide a novel role of CN in plant against environmental stress and indicate that the CN-enhanced AOX might contribute to the reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavenging and the protection of photosystem by maintaining energy charge homoeostasis from chloroplast to mitochondria.

  16. African-American Biography.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Martin, Ron

    1995-01-01

    Suggests sources of information for African American History Month for library media specialists who work with students in grades four through eight. Gale Research's "African-American Reference Library," which includes "African-America Biography,""African-American Chronology," and "African-American Almanac,"…

  17. Development of a Cucumis sativus TILLinG Platform for Forward and Reverse Genetics

    PubMed Central

    Troadec, Christelle; Audigier, Pascal; Kumar, Anish P. K.; Chatterjee, Manash; Alsadon, Abdullah A.; Sadder, Monther T.; Wahb-Allah, Mahmoud A.; Al-Doss, Abdullah A.; Bendahmane, Abdelhafid

    2014-01-01

    Background Cucumber (Cucumis sativus) belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family that includes more than 800 species. The cucumber genome has been recently sequenced and annotated. Transcriptomics and genome sequencing of many plant genomes are providing information on candidate genes potentially related to agronomically important traits. To accelerate functional characterization of these genes in cucumber we have generated an EMS mutant population that can be used as a TILLinG platform for reverse genetics. Principal Findings A population of 3,331 M2 mutant seed families was generated using two EMS concentrations (0.5% and 0.75%). Genomic DNA was extracted from M2 families and eight-fold pooled for mutation detection by ENDO1 nuclease. To assess the quality of the mutant collection, we screened for induced mutations in five genes and identified 26 mutations. The average mutation rate was calculated as 1/1147 Kb giving rise to approximately 320 mutations per genome. We focused our characterization on three missense mutations, G33C, S238F and S249F identified in the CsACS2 sex determination gene. Protein modeling and crystallography studies predicted that mutation at G33 may affect the protein function, whereas mutations at S238 and S249 may not impair the protein function. As predicted, detailed phenotypic evaluation showed that the S238F and the S249F mutant lines had no sexual phenotype. In contrast, plants homozygous for the G33C mutation showed a complete sexual transition from monoecy to andromonoecy. This result demonstrates that TILLinG is a valuable tool for functional validation of gene function in crops recalcitrant to transgenic transformation. Conclusions We have developed a cucumber mutant population that can be used as an efficient reverse genetics tool. The cucumber TILLinG collection as well as the previously described melon TILLinG collection will prove to be a valuable resource for both fundamental research and the identification of agronomically

  18. African Trypanosomiasis

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-06-01

    infection by protozoan hemo- flagellates of the Trypanosoma brucei complex, 2 subspe- cies of which cause disease in humans: Trypanosoma bru- cei gambiense...public release; distribution unlimited 13. SUPPLEMENTARY NOTES See also ADA545141. Chapter 3 from e-book, Topics on the Pathology of Protozoan and...the brief ferry crossing. 2 3 • Topics on The paThology of proTozoan and invasive arThropod diseases Three severe epidemics of African trypanosomiasis

  19. Penetration, Post-penetration Development, and Reproduction of Meloidogyne incognita on Cucumis melo var. texanus.

    PubMed

    Faske, T R

    2013-03-01

    Cucumis melo var. texanus, a wild melon commonly found in the southern United States and two accessions, Burleson Co. and MX 1230, expressed resistance to Meloidogyne incognita in preliminary experiments. To characterize the mechanism of resistance, we evaluated root penetration, post-penetration development, reproduction, and emigration of M. incognita on these two accessions of C. melo var. texanus. Additionally, we evaluated 22 accessions of C. melo var. texanus for their reaction against M. incognita in a greenhouse experiment. Fewer (P ≤ 0.05) J2 penetrated the root system of C. melo var. texanus accessions (Burleson Co. and MX 1230) and C. metuliferus (PI 482452) (resistant control), 7 days after inoculation (DAI) than in C. melo 'Hales Best Jumbo' (susceptible control). A delayed (P ≤ 0.05) rate of nematode development was observed at 7, 14, and 21 DAI that contributed to lower (P ≤ 0.05) egg production on both accessions and C. metuliferus compared with C. melo. Though J2 emigration was observed on all Cucumis genotypes a higher (P ≤ 0.05) rate of J2 emigration was observed from 3 to 6 DAI on accession Burleson Co. and C. metuliferus than on C. melo. The 22 accessions of C. melo var. texanus varied relative to their reaction to M. incognita with eight supporting similar levels of nematode reproduction to that of C. metuliferus. Cucumis melo var. texanus may be a useful source of resistance against root-knot nematode in melon.

  20. Two new species of African suckermouth catfishes, genus Chiloglanis (Siluriformes: Mochokidae), from Kenya with remarks on other taxa from the area.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Ray C; Bart, Henry L; Nyingi, Wanja Dorothy

    2015-11-17

    Recent expeditions in Kenya and examination of existing collections confirmed the presence of two undescribed Chiloglanis species and revealed previously unknown diversity within the Athi River system. The two new species are easily distinguished from described congeners in the area by external morphology, allopatric distributions, and genetic markers. Chiloglanis kerioensis sp. nov., is restricted to the Kerio River system and is the only known suckermouth catfish from the Lake Turkana basin. Chiloglanis devosi sp. nov., is known only from the type locality, the Northern Ewaso Nyiro (Ng'iro) below Chanler's Falls. In addition to these two new species, this study confirmed the presence of an undescribed Chiloglanis sp. occurring sympatrically with Chiloglanis brevibarbis in the Tsavo River. A dichotomous key for identifying all described Chiloglanis species found within Kenya is presented along with comments.

  1. A molecular phylogeny of Equatorial African Lacertidae, with the description of a new genus and species from eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo

    PubMed Central

    Greenbaum, Eli; Villanueva, Cesar O.; Kusamba, Chifundera; Aristote, Mwenebatu M.; Branch, William R.

    2011-01-01

    Currently, four species of the lacertid lizard genus Adolfus are known from Central and East Africa. We sequenced up to 2,825 bp of two mitochondrial (16S and cyt b) and two nuclear (c-mos and RAG1) genes from 41 samples of Adolfus (representing every species), two species each of Gastropholis and Holaspis, and in separate analyses combined this data with GenBank sequences of all other Eremiadini genera and four Lacertini outgroups. Data from DNA sequences were analyzed with maximum parsimony (PAUP), maximum-likelihood (RAxML) and Bayesian inference (MrBayes) criteria. Results demonstrated that Adolfus is not monophyletic: A. africanus (type species), A. alleni and A. jacksoni are sister taxa, whereas A. vauereselli and a new species from the Itombwe Plateau of Democratic Republic of the Congo are in a separate lineage. Holaspis and Gastropholis were recovered in separate clades. Based on this molecular data, relatively substantial sequence divergence and multiple morphological differences, we describe a new genus of lacertid for the lineage including A. vauereselli and the new Itombwe species. The recognition of this new, endemic genus underscores the conservation importance of the Albertine Rift, especially the Itombwe Plateau, a unique region that is severely threatened by unchecked deforestation, mining and poaching. PMID:22121299

  2. Taxonomy, host-plant associations and phylogeny of African Crotalaria-feeding seed beetles (Coleoptera, Chrysomelidae, Bruchinae): the Conicobruchus strangulatus (Fåhraeus) species group.

    PubMed

    Le Ru, Bruno P; Delobel, Alex; György, Zoltán; Genson, Gwenaëlle; Kergoat, Gael J

    2014-12-15

    A small group of six morphologically related seed beetles (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Bruchinae) belonging to the Conicobruchus genus is reviewed. Species in this group for which host-plants are known feed on various species of Crotalaria (Fabaceae, Crotalarieae). Here we provide diagnoses and a dichotomous key for all six species. The following synonymies are proposed: Conicobruchus cicatricosus (Fåhraeus, 1839) (= Bruchus cicatricosus pallidioripennis Pic, 1941) syn. nov.; Conicobruchus strangulatus (Fåhraeus, 1839) (= Bruchus hargreavesi Pic, 1933) syn. nov. The corresponding Conicobruchus strangulatus species group is hereby designated. New host-plant data are also included, which correspond to the results of recent collections of legume pods in East Africa. In addition we carried out molecular phylogenetic analyses on a representative sampling of Conicobruchus species (including the six species of interest). The latter allow us to assess the monophyly of the group of interest and to unravel their evolutionary relationships. Molecular phylogenetic analyses also indicate that at least two lineages of Conicobruchus successfully shifted toward Crotalarieae during the course of their diversification. 

  3. African Outreach Workshop 1974.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schmidt, Nancy J.

    This report discusses the 1974 African Outreach Workshop planned and coordinated by the African Studies Program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Its major aim was to assist teachers in developing curriculum units on African using materials available in their local community. A second aim was for the African Studies Program to…

  4. Africans in America.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hart, Ayanna; Spangler, Earl

    This book introduces African-American history and culture to children. The first Africans in America came from many different regions and cultures, but became united in this country by being black, African, and slaves. Once in America, Africans began a long struggle for freedom which still continues. Slavery, the Civil War, emancipation, and the…

  5. Molecular Differentiation of the African Yellow Fever Vector Aedes bromeliae (Diptera: Culicidae) from Its Sympatric Non-vector Sister Species, Aedes lilii

    PubMed Central

    Bennett, Kelly Louise; Linton, Yvonne-Marie; Shija, Fortunate; Kaddumukasa, Martha; Djouaka, Rousseau; Misinzo, Gerald; Lutwama, Julius; Huang, Yiau-Min; Mitchell, Luke B.; Richards, Miriam; Tossou, Eric; Walton, Catherine

    2015-01-01

    Introduction Yellow fever continues to be a problem in sub-Saharan Africa with repeated epidemics occurring. The mosquito Aedes bromeliae is a major vector of yellow fever, but it cannot be readily differentiated from its non-vector zoophilic sister species Ae. lilii using morphological characters. Genetic differences have been reported between anthropophilic Ae. bromeliae and zoophilic Ae. lilii and between forest and domestic populations. However, due to the application of different molecular markers and non-overlapping populations employed in previous studies, interpretation of species delimitation is unclear. Methodology/Principle Findings DNA sequences were generated from specimens of Ae. simpsoni s.l. from the Republic of Benin, Tanzania and Uganda for two nuclear genes apolipophorin 2 (apoLp2) and cytochrome p450 (CYPJ92), the ribosomal internal transcribed spacer region (ITS) and the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase (COI) barcoding region. Nuclear genes apoLp2 and CYPJ92 were unable to differentiate between species Ae. bromeliae and Ae. lilii due to ancestral lineage sorting, while ITS sequence data provided clear topological separation on a phylogeny. The standard COI barcoding region was shown to be subject to species introgression and unable to clearly distinguish the two taxa. Here we present a reliable direct PCR-based method for differentiation of the vector species Ae. bromeliae from its isomorphic, sympatric and non-biomedically important sister taxon, Ae. lilii, based on the ITS region. Using molecular species verification, we describe novel immature habitats for Ae. lilii and report both sympatric and allopatric populations. Whereas only Ae. lilii is found in the Republic of Benin and only Ae. bromeliae in Tanzania, both species are sympatric in Uganda. Conclusions/Significance Our accurate identification method will allow informed distribution and detailed ecological studies that will facilitate assessment of arboviral disease risk and

  6. Scale-dependent relationships between the spatial distribution of a limiting resource and plant species diversity in an African grassland ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Anderson, T Michael; McNaughton, Samuel J; Ritchie, Mark E

    2004-04-01

    One cornerstone of ecological theory is that nutrient availability limits the number of species that can inhabit a community. However, the relationship between the spatial distribution of limiting nutrients and species diversity is not well established because there is no single scale appropriate for measuring variation in resource distribution. Instead, the correct scale for analyzing resource variation depends on the range of species sizes within the community. To quantify the relationship between nutrient distribution and plant species diversity, we measured NO(3)(-) distribution and plant species diversity in 16 paired, modified Whittaker grassland plots in Serengeti National Park, Tanzania. Semivariograms were used to quantify the spatial structure of NO(3)(-) from scales of 0.4-26 m. Plant species diversity (Shannon-Weiner diversity index; H ') was quantified in 1-m(2) plots, while plant species richness was measured at multiple spatial scales between 1 and 1000 m(2). Small-scale variation in NO(3)(-) (<0.4 m) was positively correlated with 1-m(2) H ', while 1000-m(2) species richness was a log-normal function of average NO(3)(-) patch size. Nine of the 16 grassland plots had a fractal (self-similar across scales) NO(3)(-) spatial distribution; of the nine fractal plots, five were adjacent to plots that had a non-fractal distribution of NO(3)(-). This finding offered the unique opportunity to test predictions of Ritchie and Olff (1999): when the spatial distribution of limiting resources is fractal, communities should display a left-skewed log-size distribution and a log-normal relationship between net primary production and species richness. These predictions were supported by comparisons of plant size distributions and biomass-richness relationships in paired plots, one with a fractal and one with a non-fractal distribution of NO(3)(-). In addition, fractal plots had greater large-scale richness than paired non-fractal plots (1,0-1000 m(2)), but neither

  7. Comparative Transcriptomics in East African Cichlids Reveals Sex- and Species-Specific Expression and New Candidates for Sex Differentiation in Fishes

    PubMed Central

    Böhne, Astrid; Sengstag, Thierry; Salzburger, Walter

    2014-01-01

    Males and females of the same species differ largely in gene expression, which accounts for most of the morphological and physiological differences and sex-specific phenotypes. Here, we analyzed sex-specific gene expression in the brain and the gonads of cichlid fishes from Lake Tanganyika belonging to four different lineages, so-called tribes (Eretmodini, Ectodini, Haplochromini, and Lamprologini), using the outgroup Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) as reference. The comparison between male and female brains revealed few differences between the sexes, consistent in all investigated species. The gonads, on the other hand, showed a large fraction of differentially expressed transcripts with the majority of them showing the same direction of expression in all four species. All here-studied cichlids, especially the three investigated mouth-breeding species, showed a trend toward more male- than female-biased transcripts. Transcripts, which were female-biased in expression in all four species, were overrepresented on linkage group (LG)1 in the reference genome and common male-biased transcripts showed accumulation on LG23, the presumable sex chromosomes of the Nile tilapia. Sex-specific transcripts contained candidate genes for sex determination and differentiation in fishes, especially members of the transforming growth factor-β-superfamily and the Wnt-pathway and also prominent members of the sox-, dm-domain-, and high mobility group-box families. We further confirmed our previous finding on species/lineage-specific gene expression shifts in the sex steroid pathway, including synthesizing enzymes as the aromatase cyp19a1 and estrogen and androgen receptors. PMID:25364805

  8. Cardiac assessment of African hedgehogs (Atelerix albiventris).

    PubMed

    Black, Peter A; Marshall, Cecilia; Seyfried, Alice W; Bartin, Anne M

    2011-03-01

    Cardiomyopathy is a common finding in captive African hedgehogs (Atelerix albiventris) at postmortem exam. To date, treatment attempts have been mostly empirical and unrewarding. The objective of this study was to determine reference cardiac values for captive African hedgehogs based on echocardiogram, electrocardiogram (ECG), and radiographs. Adult African hedgehogs with no clinical signs of cardiac disease (n = 13) were selected. Each animal was anesthetized with isoflurane via facemask and an echocardiogram, ECG, and radiographs were performed. Standard measurements were taken and the descriptive statistics performed. Values were comparable to limited data available in other hedgehog species and other similar-sized exotic species. Two animals were removed from consideration of reference values due to valvular defects that were considered significant. These data are the first establishing cardiac parameters in normal African hedgehogs using radiographic cardiac measurement, echocardiogram, and ECG. Evaluating animals with possible cardiomyopathy may allow for earlier diagnosis and more successful treatment.

  9. Identification of novel Babesia and Theileria species in South African giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis, Linnaeus, 1758) and roan antelope (Hippotragus equinus, Desmarest 1804).

    PubMed

    Oosthuizen, Marinda C; Allsopp, Basil A; Troskie, Milana; Collins, Nicola E; Penzhorn, Barend L

    2009-07-07

    Blood specimens were received from five cases in which young adult giraffe, from different geographic origins in South Africa, showed sudden onset of disease and subsequently died. Additional specimens from two translocated giraffe, as well as one specimen from a roan antelope, were also included in the study. Blood slides from some of these animals showed the presence of piroplasms. DNA was extracted; the V4 hypervariable region of the 18S rRNA gene amplified and analyzed using the Reverse Line Blot (RLB) hybridization assay. PCR products failed to hybridize with any of the Babesia or Theileria species-specific probes, and only hybridized with the Babesia/Theileria genus-specific probe suggesting the presence of a novel species or variant of a species. Full-length 18S rDNA was amplified, cloned and the recombinants were sequenced. 18S rRNA gene sequence similarity analysis revealed the presence of novel piroplasm species in both healthy giraffe and a roan antelope and clinically sick or dead giraffe. Phylogenetic analysis grouped five of these organisms in the Babesia sensu stricto clade and three in the Theileria sensu stricto clade. Although parasites were observed in blood smears, there is no direct evidence that piroplasmosis caused the death of five giraffe, although it certainly seems to be likely.

  10. Histological study of organogenesis in Cucumis melo L. after genetic transformation: why is it difficult to obtain transgenic plants?

    PubMed

    Chovelon, V; Restier, V; Giovinazzo, N; Dogimont, C; Aarrouf, J

    2011-11-01

    Melon (Cucumis melo L.) is widely considered as a recalcitrant species for genetic transformation. In this study, we developed different regeneration and transformation protocols and we examined the regeneration process at different steps by histological studies. The highest regeneration rate (1.13 ± 0.02 plants per explant) was obtained using cotyledon explants of the 'Védrantais' genotype on Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium supplemented with 0.2 mg/l 6-benzylaminopurine (BAP) and 0.2 mg/l dimethylallylaminopurine (2-iP). Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformations with the uidA reporter gene were realized on cotyledon explants cultivated in these conditions: 70-90% of explants expressed a transient GUS activity during the early stages of regeneration, however, only few transgenic plants were obtained (1.8-4.5% of stable transformation with the GV2260pBI101 strain). These results revealed a low capacity of melon GUS-positive cells to regenerate transgenic plants. To evaluate the influence of the Agrobacterium infection on plant regeneration, histological analyses were conducted on explants 2, 7, 15, and 28 days after co-culture with the GV2260pBI101 strain. Genetic transformation occurred in epidermal and sub-epidermal cells and reached the meristematic structures expressing a high level of GUS activity during 14 days of culture; but after this period, most of the meristematic structures showed premature cell vacuolization and disorganization. This disruption of the GUS-positive meristematic areas could be responsible of the difficulties encountered to regenerate melon plants after genetic transformation.

  11. Copper-induced oxidative damage, antioxidant response and genotoxicity in Lycopersicum esculentum Mill. and Cucumis sativus L.

    PubMed

    İşeri, Özlem Darcansoy; Körpe, Didem Aksoy; Yurtcu, Erkan; Sahin, Feride Iffet; Haberal, Mehmet

    2011-09-01

    Adequate copper (Cu(2+)) concentrations are required for plants; however, at higher concentrations it can also cause multiple toxic effects. In the present study, lipid peroxidation, hydrogen peroxide levels as well as ascorbate peroxidase (APX: EC 1/11/1/11) and catalase (CAT: EC 1.11.1.6) activities were determined in Lycopersicum esculentum Mill. and Cucumis sativus L. seedlings after 7-day exposure to copper sulfate. In addition, DNA damage in these two crops was assessed by measuring micronucleus (MN) frequency and tail moments (TM) as determined by Comet assay. Inhibitory copper concentrations (EC(50): 30 and 5.5 ppm for L. esculentum and C. sativus, respectively) were determined according to dose-dependent root inhibition curves, and EC(50) and 2×EC(50) were applied. Malondialdehyde (MDA) and H(2)O(2) levels significantly increased in all groups studied. CAT activity increased in treatment groups of C. sativus. APX activity increased in L. esculentum seedlings due to 2×EC(50) treatment. Reductions in mitotic indices (MI) represented Cu(2+)dependent root growth inhibition in all treatment groups studied. According to TMs and MN frequencies, copper exposure induced significant DNA damage (p < 0.05) in all study groups, whereas the DNA damage induced was dose dependent in C. sativus roots. In conclusion, Cu(2+)induced oxidative damage, elevations in H(2)O(2) levels and alterations in APX and CAT activities, as well as significant DNA damage in nuclei of both study groups. To our knowledge, this is the first comparative and comprehensive study demonstrating the effects of copper on two different plant species at relevant cytotoxic concentrations at both biochemical and genotoxicity levels with multiple end points.

  12. Construction of a Fosmid Library of Cucumber (Cucumis sativus) and Comparative Analyses of the eIF4E and eIF(iso)4E Regions from Cucumber and Melon (Cucumis melo)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cucumber and melon are the most economically important plants in the family Cucurbitaceae and are members of distinct subgenera in the genus Cucumis. We undertook comparative sequence analyses to assess synteny between the cucumber and melon genomes. A fosmid library of cucumber was synthesized as...

  13. Sibling species distributions of the Simulium damnosum complex in the west African Onchocerciasis Control Programme area during the decade 1984-93, following intensive larviciding since 1974.

    PubMed

    Boakye, D A; Back, C; Fiasorgbor, G K; Sib, A P; Coulibaly, Y

    1998-10-01

    During the decade from 1984 to 1993, nine species of the Simulium damnosum complex of blackflies (Diptera: Simuliidae) were identified from the area covered by the Onchocerciasis Control Programme. These were S. damnosum s.s., S. dieguerense, S. konkourense, S. leonense, S. sanctipauli, S. sirbanum, S. soubrense, S. squamosum, and S. yahense. Some of these species were found to consist of two chromosomal variant populations. These were S. konkourense 'Konkouré' and 'Menankaya' forms, S. sanctipauli sensu stricto and 'Djodji' form, S. soubrense 'Chute Milo' and 'Beffa' forms. The distribution of these twelve cytological taxa was assessed in relation to the two main vegetation zones of West Africa (forest and savanna), topography, river size and other factors. The range of each species was influenced by seasonal climatic changes in wind movement and river water level. The most widely distributed species were S. sirbanum and S. damnosum s.s., associated with savanna areas, recorded from all river basins. Simulium dieguerense was restricted mainly to Western Mali on the Rivers Bafing and Bakoye in the Senegal River basin. Simulium squamosum was identified from rivers draining mountainous areas in both the forest and savanna zones. Simulium yahense was found in small permanent rivers along a wide forested band parallel to the coast and was absent from the plains of Togo and Benin. Members of the S. sanctipauli subcomplex had restricted distributions except for S. sanctipauli s.s., which was widespread in large rivers of the forest zone from Sierra Leone to the Volta Lake in Ghana. Simulium soubrense 'Beffa' form occurred in Togo and Benin, S. soubrense 'Chutes Milo' form in Guinea, both 'Konkouré' and 'Menankaya' forms of S. konkourense occurred predominantly in Guinea and S. leonense in Sierra Leone. The relevance of the distribution maps and the importance of the data bank to vector control larvicidal operations are discussed.

  14. Detecting floristic structure and pattern across topographic and moisture gradients in a mixed species Central African forest using IKONOS and Landsat-7 ETM+ images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thenkabail, Prasad S.; Hall, Jefferson; Lin, Tiffany; Ashton, Mark S.; Harris, David; Enclona, Eden A.

    2003-06-01

    The strengths and limitations of high spatial resolution broadband IKONOS data and Landsat-7 ETM+ data are compared with respect to, distinguishing floristic structure (basal area, stem density) and pattern (diversity indices, species associations) across a topography that exhibits subtle variations in surface hydrology and elevation. Three site types can be described in relation to the topography and hydrology of the study area: (1) seasonally drought stressed; (2) valley streams; and (3) well-drained bottomlands. Non-metric Multidimensional Scaling (NMS) emphasized the importance of seasonal moisture stress in determining floristic structure and species associations in this forest. Forest structure and species data gathered across the three sites of the topographic/hydrologic gradient are related to spectral values and indices gathered from IKONOS and ETM+. Statistical tests of significance at 95% confidence level or higher showed that the IKONOS wavebands and vegetation indices were most sensitive to changes in floristic structure and species composition for images taken during the dry season (October-March) as compared to those for the wet season (April-September). Within the IKONOS data, the near-infrared (NIR) waveband (band 4) was most sensitive to changes in forest structure and species composition across the three site types (seasonally drought stressed; valley streams; and well-drained bottomlands). However, the IKONOS spectral relationships with biotic variables did not exceed an R2 value of 0.34, with an overwhelming number of best regression models having any two waveband combinations; typically combinations of band 1 and 2, or 1 and 3, or 2 and 3. The best relationships were obtained when ETM+ mid-infrared (MIR) band 5 or 7 were involved with R2 values of 0.52 and 0.54 for basal area and stem density respectively, explaining about 20% greater variability compared to IKONOS data. Thereby, the most interesting aspect of the paper was the degree to which

  15. A multi-locus species phylogeny of African forest duikers in the subfamily Cephalophinae: evidence for a recent radiation in the Pleistocene

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Duikers in the subfamily Cephalophinae are a group of tropical forest mammals believed to have first originated during the late Miocene. However, knowledge of phylogenetic relationships, pattern and timing of their subsequent radiation is poorly understood. Here we present the first multi-locus phylogeny of this threatened group of tropical artiodactyls and use a Bayesian uncorrelated molecular clock to estimate divergence times. Results A total of 4152 bp of sequence data was obtained from two mitochondrial genes and four nuclear introns. Phylogenies were estimated using maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood, and Bayesian analysis of concatenated mitochondrial, nuclear and combined datasets. A relaxed molecular clock with two fossil calibration points was used to estimate divergence times. The first was based on the age of the split between the two oldest subfamilies within the Bovidae whereas the second was based on the earliest known fossil appearance of the Cephalophinae and molecular divergence time estimates for the oldest lineages within this group. Findings indicate strong support for four major lineages within the subfamily, all of which date to the late Miocene/early Pliocene. The first of these to diverge was the dwarf duiker genus Philantomba, followed by the giant, eastern and western red duiker lineages, all within the genus Cephalophus. While these results uphold the recognition of Philantomba, they do not support the monotypic savanna-specialist genus Sylvicapra, which as sister to the giant duikers leaves Cephalophus paraphyletic. BEAST analyses indicate that most sister species pairs originated during the Pleistocene, suggesting that repeated glacial cycling may have played an important role in the recent diversification of this group. Furthermore, several red duiker sister species pairs appear to be either paraphyletic (C.callipygus/C. ogilbyi and C. harveyi/C. natalensis) or exhibit evidence of mitochondrial admixture (C. nigrifrons

  16. Response of cucurbit rootstocks for grafted melon (Cucumis melo) to southern root-knot nematode, Meloidogyne incognita

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Root-knot nematodes (RKN) are an important re-emerging pest of melon (Cucumis melo), due largely to the loss of methyl bromide as a pre-plant soil fumigant. Melon is highly susceptible to southern RKN, Meloidogyne incognita, which causes severe root galling and reduced melon fruit yields. Cucurbit...

  17. Carotene and novel apocarotenoid concentrations in orange-fleshed Cucumis melo melons: determinations of beta-carotene bioaccessability and bioavailability

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Muskmelons, both cantaloupe (Cucumis melo Reticulatus Group) and orange-fleshed honey dew (C. melo Inodorus Group), a cross between orange-fleshed cantaloupe and green-fleshed honey dew, are excellent sources of ß-carotene. Although ß-carotene from melon is an important dietary antioxidant and precu...

  18. Snapmelon (Cucumis melo L. Momordica group), an indigenous cucurbit from India with immense value for melon breeding

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Snapmelon [Cucumis melo L. subsp. agrestis var. momordica (Roxb.) Duthie et Fuller] is native to India, where it is cultivated in various states, and is commonly called ‘phut,’ which means to split. Immature fruits are cooked or eaten raw. In this paper we review the wealth of genetic resources in I...

  19. Inheritance and mapping of the ore gene controlling the quantity of ß-carotene in cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) endocarp

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The metabolic precursor of vitamin A, ß-carotene, is essential for human health. The gene(s) controlling ß- carotene quantity (QßC) has been introgressed from Xishuangbanna gourd (XIS, possessing ß-carotene; Cucumis sativus L. var. xishuangbannanesis Qi et Yuan; 2n = 2x = 14) into cultivated cucumbe...

  20. Investigation of the Use of "Cucumis Sativus" for Remediation of Chromium from Contaminated Environmental Matrices: An Interdisciplinary Instrumental Analysis Project

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Butler, Lynsey R.; Edwards, Michael R.; Farmer, Russell; Greenly, Kathryn J.; Hensler, Sherri; Jenkins, Scott E.; Joyce, J. Michael; Mann, Jason A.; Prentice, Boone M.; Puckette, Andrew E.; Shuford, Christopher M.; Porter, Sarah E. G.; Rhoten, Melissa C.

    2009-01-01

    An interdisciplinary, semester-long project is presented in which students grow Cucumis sativus (cucumber) plants from seeds and study the ability of the plants to remediate a heavy metal from contaminated soil or water or both. Phytoremediation strategies for environmental cleanup are presented as possible alternatives to chemical based clean-up…

  1. Genome-wide characterization of microsatellites in Cucumis hystrix and in silico identification of polymorphic SSR markers

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cucumis hystrix (2n = 2x = 24, genome HH) is a wild relative of cucumber (C. sativus L., 2n = 2x = 14) that possesses multiple disease resistances and has a great potential for cucumber improvement. Despite its importance, there is no genomic resource currently available for C. hystrix. To expedite ...

  2. Use of molecular markers aids in the development of diverse inbred backcross lines in beit alpha cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Beit Alpha cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) is a Mediterranean fresh-market type with a relatively narrow genetic base. To broaden its base for plant improvement, 42 diverse accessions were compared employing a previously defined standard marker array to choose wide-based parental lines for use in bac...

  3. Use of molecular markers aids in the development of diverse inbred backcross lines in Beit Alpha cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Beit Alpha cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) is a Mediterranean fresh-market type with a relatively narrow genetic base. To broaden its base for plant improvement, 42 diverse accessions were compared employing a previously defined standard marker array to choose wide-based parental lines for use in bac...

  4. The comparative phylogeography of fruit bats of the tribe Scotonycterini (Chiroptera, Pteropodidae) reveals cryptic species diversity related to African Pleistocene forest refugia.

    PubMed

    Hassanin, Alexandre; Khouider, Souraya; Gembu, Guy-Crispin; Goodman, Steven M; Kadjo, Blaise; Nesi, Nicolas; Pourrut, Xavier; Nakouné, Emmanuel; Bonillo, Céline

    2015-03-01

    The hypothesis of Pleistocene forest refugia was tested using comparative phylogeography of Scotonycterini, a fruit bat tribe endemic to Africa containing four species: Scotonycteris zenkeri, Casinycteris argynnis, C. campomaanensis, and C. ophiodon. Patterns of genetic structure were assessed using 105 Scotonycterini (including material from three holotypes) collected at 37 localities, and DNA sequences from the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene (1140 nt) and 12 nuclear introns (9641 nt). Phylogenetic trees and molecular dating were inferred by Bayesian methods. Multilocus analyses were performed using supermatrix, SuperTRI, and *BEAST approaches. Mitochondrial analyses reveal strong phylogeographical structure in Scotonycteris, with four divergent haplogroups (4.9-8.7%), from Upper Guinea, Cameroon, western Equatorial Africa, and eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). In C. argynnis, we identify two mtDNA haplogroups corresponding to western and eastern Equatorial Africa (1.4-2.1%). In C. ophiodon, the mtDNA haplotypes from Cameroon and Ivory Coast differ by only 1.3%. Nuclear analyses confirm the validity of the recently described C. campomaanensis and indicate that western and eastern populations of C. argynnis are not fully isolated. All mtDNA clusters detected in Scotonycteris are found to be monophyletic based on the nuclear dataset, except in eastern DRC. In the nuclear tree, the clade from western Equatorial Africa is closely related to individuals from eastern DRC, whereas in the mitochondrial tree it appears to be the sister-group of the Cameroon clade. Migrate-n analyses support gene flow from western Equatorial Africa to eastern DRC. Molecular dating indicates that Pleistocene forest refugia have played an important role in shaping the evolution of Scotonycterini, with two phases of allopatric speciation at approximately 2.7 and 1.6 Mya, resulting from isolation in three main forest areas corresponding to Upper Guinea, Cameroon, and Equatorial

  5. Evidence for potential of managing some African fruit fly species (Diptera: Tephritidae) using the mango fruit fly host-marking pheromone.

    PubMed

    Kachigamba, Donald L; Ekesi, Sunday; Ndungu, Mary W; Gitonga, Linus M; Teal, Peter E A; Torto, Baldwyn

    2012-12-01

    We investigated conspecific and heterospecific oviposition host discrimination among four economically important fruit fly pests of mango in Africa (Ceratitis capitata, Wiedemann; C. fasciventris, Bezzi; C. rosa, Karsch, and C. cosyra, Walker) with regard to host-marking behavior and fecal matter aqueous solutions. The objective of the study was to get insight into the potential of managing these pests using the host-marking technique. Observations were done on mango slices marked by the flies and treated with aqueous solutions of fecal matter of the flies, respectively. In both host-marking and fecal matter experiments, C. cosyra, which is the most destructive species of the four on mango, was exceptional. It only discriminated against hosts treated with its fecal matter but with lower sensitivity while C. capitata and C.fasciventris discriminated against hosts marked by it or treated with its fecal matter and with higher sensitivity. Our results provide evidence for potential of managing some of the major fruit fly species infesting mango in Africa using the host-marking pheromone of the mango fruit fly, C. cosyra.

  6. Histopathology combined with transcriptome analyses reveals the mechanism of resistance to Meloidogyne incognita in Cucumis metuliferus.

    PubMed

    Ye, De-You; Qi, Yong-Hong; Cao, Su-Fang; Wei, Bing-Qiang; Zhang, Hua-Sheng

    2017-02-20

    Root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne spp.) cause serious threat to cucumber production. Cucumis metuliferus, a relative of cucumber, is reported to be resistant to Meloidogyne incognita, yet the underlying resistance mechanism remains unclear. In this study, the response of resistant C. metuliferus accession PI482443 following nematode infection was studied in comparison with susceptible C. sativus cv. Jinlv No.3. Roots of selected Cucumis seedings were analysed using histological and biochemical techniques. Transcriptome changes of the resistance reaction were investigated by RNA-seq. The results showed that penetration and development of the nematode in resistant plants were reduced when compared to susceptible plants. Infection of a resistant genotype with M. incognita resulted in a hypersensitive reaction. The induction of phenylalanine ammonia lyase and peroxidase activities after infection was greater in resistant than susceptible roots. Several of the most relevant genes for phenylpropanoid biosynthesis, plant hormone signal transduction, and the plant-pathogen interaction pathway that are involved in resistance to the nematode were significantly altered. The resistance in C. metuliferus PI482443 to M. incognita was associated with reduced nematode penetration, retardation of nematode development, and hypersensitive necrosis. The expression of genes resulting in the deposition of lignin, toxic compounds synthesis, cell wall reinforcement, suppression of nematode feeding and resistance protein accumulation, and activation of several transcription factors might all contribute to the resistance response to the pest. These results may lead to a better understanding of the resistance mechanism and aid in the identification of potential targets resistant to pests for cucumber improvement.

  7. Phytoextraction of weathered p,p'-DDE by zucchini (Cucurbita pepo) and cucumber (Cucumis sativus) under different cultivation conditions.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiaoping; White, Jason C; Gent, Martin P N; Iannucci-Berger, William; Eitzer, Brian D; Mattina, MaryJane Incorvia

    2004-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that zucchini (Cucurbita pepo) and cucumber (Cucumis sativus) under field conditions are good and poor accumulators, respectively, of persistent organic pollutants from soil. Here, each species was grown under three cultivation regimes: dense (five plants in 5 kg soil): nondense (one plant in 80 kg soil): and field conditions (two to three plants in approximately 789 kg soil). p,p'-DDE and inorganic element content in roots, stems, leaves, and fruit were determined. In addition. rhizosphere, near-root, and unvegetated soil fractions were analyzed for concentrations of 11 low-molecular-weight organic acids (LMWOA) and 14 water-extractable inorganic elements. Under field conditions, zucchini phytoextracted 1.3% of the weathered p,p'-DDE with 98% of the contaminant in the aerial tissues. Conversely, cucumber removed 0.09% of the p,p'-DDE under field conditions with 83% in the aerial tissues. Under dense cultivation, cucumber produced a fine and fibrous root system not observed in our previous experiments and phytoextracted 0.78% of the contaminant, whereas zucchini removed only 0.59% under similar conditions. However. cucumber roots translocated only 5.7% of the pollutant to the shoot system, while in zucchini 48% of the p,p'-DDE in the plant was present in the aerial tissue. For each species, the concentrations of LMWOA in soil increased with increasing impact by the root system both within a given cultivation regime (i.e., rhizosphere > near-root > unvegetated) and across cultivation regimes (i.e., dense > nondense > field conditions). Under dense cultivation, the rhizosphere concentrations of LMWOAs were significantly greater for cucumber than for zucchini; no species differences were evident in the other two cultivation regimes. To enable direct comparison across cultivation regimes, total in planta p,p'-DDE and inorganic elements were mass normalized or multiplied by the ratio of plant mass to soil mass. For cucumber, differences in

  8. African Americans and Glaucoma

    MedlinePlus

    ... Involved News About Us Donate In This Section African Americans and Glaucoma email Send this article to a ... glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness in African Americans. Half of those with glaucoma don't know ...

  9. Black African Traditional Mathematics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zaslavsky, Claudia

    1970-01-01

    Discusses the traditional number systems and the origin of the number names used by several African peoples living south of the Sahara. Also included are limitations in African mathematical development, and possible topics for research. (RP)

  10. Unexpected morphological and karyological changes in invasive Carpobrotus (Aizoaceae) in Provence (S-E France) compared to native South African species.

    PubMed

    Verlaque, Régine; Affre, Laurence; Diadema, Katia; Suehs, Carey M; Médail, Frédéric

    2011-04-01

    Hybridization processes can lead to evolutionary changes, particularly in co-introduced congeneric plant species, such as Carpobrotus spp. which are recognized as invasive in Mediterranean climate regions. Morphological and karyological comparisons have therefore been made between native Carpobrotus edulis and C. acinaciformis in South Africa and their invasive counterparts in Provence (C. edulis and C. aff. acinaciformis). Morphological data exhibited the most significant differences in invasive C. aff. acinaciformis that forms a new phenotypic variant. Unexpected chromosomal restructuring has been highlighted for both taxa in Provence, with in particular a clear decrease in asymmetry, an increase in the intraspecific variability, and an interspecific convergence of karyotypes. These changes suggest a drift that has facilitated various crosses, and has been amplified through hybridization/introgression. Furthermore, several morphological and karyological transgressive characters have been found in the two invasive taxa. These results stress the important role and the rapidity of karyological changes in invasive processes.

  11. Complete mitochondrial genome of the giant African snail, Achatina fulica (Mollusca: Achatinidae): a novel location of putative control regions (CR) in the mitogenome within Pulmonate species.

    PubMed

    He, Zhang-Ping; Dai, Xia-Bin; Zhang, Shuai; Zhi, Ting-Ting; Lun, Zhao-Rong; Wu, Zhong-Dao; Yang, Ting-Bao

    2016-01-01

    The whole sequence (15,057 bp) of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) of the terrestrial snail Achatina fulica (order Stylommatophora) was determined. The mitogenome, as the typical metazoan mtDNA, contains 13 protein-coding genes (PCG), 2 ribosomal RNA genes (rRNA) and 22 transfer RNA genes (tRNA). The tRNA genes include two trnS without standard secondary structure. Interestingly, among the known mitogenomes of Pulmonata species, we firstly characterized an unassigned lengthy sequence (551 bp) between the cox1 and the trnV which may be the CR for the sake of its AT bases usage bias (65.70%) and potential hairpin structure.

  12. Assessing the utility WorldView-2 imagery for tree species mapping in South African subtropical humid forest and the conservation implications: Dukuduku forest patch as case study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cho, Moses Azong; Malahlela, Oupa; Ramoelo, Abel

    2015-06-01

    Indigenous forest biome in South Africa is highly fragmented into patches of various sizes (most patches < 1 km2). The utilization of timber and non-timber resources by poor rural communities living around protected forest patches produce subtle changes in the forest canopy which can be hardly detected on a timely manner using traditional field surveys. The aims of this study were to assess: (i) the utility of very high resolution (VHR) remote sensing imagery (WorldView-2, 0.5-2 m spatial resolution) for mapping tree species and canopy gaps in one of the protected subtropical coastal forests in South Africa (the Dukuduku forest patch (ca.3200 ha) located in the province of KwaZulu-Natal) and (ii) the implications of the map products to forest conservation. Three dominant canopy tree species namely, Albizia adianthifolia, Strychnos spp. and Acacia spp., and canopy gap types including bushes (grass/shrubby), bare soil and burnt patches were accurately mapped (overall accuracy = 89.3 ± 2.1%) using WorldView-2 image and support vector machine classifier. The maps revealed subtle forest disturbances such as bush encroachment and edge effects resulting from forest fragmentation by roads and a power-line. In two stakeholders' workshops organised to assess the implications of the map products to conservation, participants generally agreed amongst others implications that the VHR maps provide valuable information that could be used for implementing and monitoring the effects of rehabilitation measures. The use of VHR imagery is recommended for timely inventorying and monitoring of the small and fragile patches of subtropical forests in Southern Africa.

  13. Potential interaction between the volatile and non-volatile fractions on the in vitro antimicrobial activity of three South African Pelargonium (Geraniaceae) species.

    PubMed

    Lalli, Jacqueline Y; Viljoen, Alvaro M; Van Vuuren, Sandy F

    2010-09-01

    Previous studies have reported promising antimicrobial efficacy for the essential oils and solvent extracts of several indigenous Pelargonium species. This study aimed to determine if any pharmacological interaction (e.g. synergism or antagonism) exists between the volatile and non-volatile components when the different fractions were investigated. The antimicrobial activity of the following fractions were tested; the essential oil prepared by hydrodistillation (EO), non-volatile fraction (NV), prepared by extraction of plant material remaining in the distilling apparatus (having no or negligible volatile constituents) and solvent extracts prepared from fresh (FC) and dried (DC) plant material containing both volatile and non-volatile constituents. Pelargonium quercifolium oil was dominated by p-cymene (42.1%) and viridiflorol (16.9%), while P. graveolens and P. tomentosum oil had high levels of isomenthone (84.0 and 58.8%, respectively). Menthone was noted as a major constituent in the P. tomentosum EO sample. It was evident from the results that the presence of volatile constituents in the three species; P. graveolens, P. quercifolium and P. tomentosum is generally not a pre-requisite for antimicrobial activity. The most significant variations of antimicrobial activity were noted for P. tomentosum where poorer activity was noted for the FC and EO fractions against Bacillus cereus and Candida albicans. Studies on Staphylococcus aureus, however, showed the converse, where best activity was noted for the FC fraction (3.0 mg/mL). For P. quercifolium, the DC fraction indicated a notable increase in anti-staphylococcal activity (2.0 mg/mL) when compared with the FC (8.0 mg/mL) and EO (16.0 mg/mL) fractions. For P. tomentosum, the FC fraction indicated much lower antimicrobial activity (against both B. cereus and C. albicans) when compared with all other fractions, suggesting that the essential oils may impact negatively on the antimicrobial activity when tested against

  14. Backcross introgression of plastomic factors controlling chilling tolerance into elite cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) germplasm: Early generation recovery of recurrent parent phenotytpe

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Environmental stresses such as chilling temperatures can decrease germination, emergence, flower and fruit development, marketable yield, and postharvest fruit storage longevity in cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.). While response to chilling injury in cucumber is controlled by simple plastidic (matern...

  15. The African Connection

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oguntoyinbo, Lekan

    2012-01-01

    From student and faculty exchanges to joint research projects, U.S. universities maintain a broad spectrum of collaborative relationships with African universities. It's unclear how many U.S. colleges and universities have partnerships with African universities. The African Studies Association, an organization of scholars, doesn't keep that kind…

  16. Taxonomic revision of Plesianthidium Cameron (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae: Anthidiini), an endemic southern African bee genus

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The southern African bee genus Plesianthidium Cameron is revised. It comprises twelve species. Two new species are described, namely Plesianthidium (Spinanthidium) richtersveldensis and Plesianthidium (Spinanthidium) namaquaensis. Two species names are removed from synonymy with volkmanni; namely ca...

  17. Multiparametric approach for assessing environmental quality variations in West African aquatic ecosystems using the black-chinned tilapia (Sarotherodon melanotheron) as a sentinel species.

    PubMed

    Ndiaye, Awa; Sanchez, Wilfried; Durand, Jean-Dominique; Budzinski, Hélène; Palluel, Olivier; Diouf, Khady; Ndiaye, Papa; Panfili, Jacques

    2012-11-01

    The study highlights the potential of the black-chinned tilapia to be used as a sentinel to assess environmental contaminants based on the use of a set of biomarkers. The usefulness of fish species as sentinels for assessing aquatic environment contamination was tested using a set of biomarkers in Senegalese environments characterized by multi-pollution sources. The black-chinned tilapia (Sarotherodon melanotheron) was selected as a sentinel because of its abundance, wide distribution in all coastal aquatic ecosystems and physiological properties. The potential influence of confounding factors such as salinity on biomarker in the tilapia has been examined. Individuals were sampled during two seasons (dry and wet) in eight sites characterized by various degrees of anthropogenic contamination and different salinities (from 0 to 102 psu). Biomarkers-including growth rate (GR), condition factor (CF), biotransformation enzymes such as 7-ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase (EROD) and glutathione-S-transferase (GST), lipid peroxidation (TBARS) and acetylcholinesterase (AChE)-were measured. Chemical contaminant [polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and organochlorine pesticides (OCPs)] levels showed different sources of contamination with relatively high concentrations of PAHs in the Hann Bay and Foundiougne locations. The most sensitive biomarker present in different sites according to the principal component analysis is EROD. Few variations of the AChE activity and TBARS levels were found. No clear relationship was found between biomarker responses and salinity, but GR and CF were lower in hypersaline conditions. Tilapia is responsive to environmental contaminants such as PAHs, OCPs and PCBs. The S. melanotheron multiparametric approach showed a better discrimination of sites.

  18. How to improve fertility of African soils? Leguminous fallows (Cameroon), addition of farmyard manure and mineral fertilizer (Kenya), organic residues management and introduction of N2 fixing species in forest plantations (Congo).

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koutika, Lydie-Stella; Mareschal, Louis; Mouanda, Cadeau; Epron, Daniel

    2014-05-01

    Most of African soils are inherently infertile and poor in nutrients mainly nitrogen and phosphorus. Several practices are used to improve soil fertility, increase productivity and ensure their sustainability. Soil fertility in the leguminous fallows was evaluated through particulate organic matter (POM), the more active part of soil organic matter (SOM) in Cameroon. The combination of mineral and organic (manure) fertilizers increased microbial P biomass allowing the release of P along the plant growing period in the Kenyan soils. Organic residues management and introduction of nitrogen fixing species (Acacia) were used to improve soil fertility and sustain forest productivity on the coastal plains of Congo. SOM fractionation was made under Pueraria, Mucuna fallows and natural regrowth mainly Chromolaena and under 3 forest plantation treatments installed in previous savanna: 1) no input, 2) normal input, and 3) double input of organic residues. Microbial P biomass and sequential P fractionation were evaluated in high and low P fixing soils. N, C, available P and pH were determined on soil sampled in acacia (100A), eucalypt (100E) and mixed-species (50A:50E) stands. N and P were determined in aboveground litters and in leaves, bark and wood of trees. The two leguminous fallows increased N content in POM fractions i.e., N >1% for Pueraria and Mucuna against N<1% for natural regrowth in the 0-0.10m depth, probably through N input from N2 fixation from the atmosphere (Cameroon).The addition of mineral fertilizers and farmyard manure increases P biomass (4.8 after 2 weeks to 15.2 after 16 weeks), and then decreased to 9.7 mg P g-1 soil (week 32). It also changes the P Hedley fractions partition in the high P fixing Kenyan soil (0-0.10m). After two rotations (14 years), SOM mineralization was the highest in the double input of organic residues treatment (low coarse POM 5.6 g kg-1 of soil and high organo-mineral fraction (OMF) 115 g kg-1 of soil). The introduction of A

  19. Variation of chemical composition of essential oils in wild populations of Thymus algeriensis Boiss. et Reut., a North African endemic Species

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Thymus algeriensis is an endemic aromatic plant to Tunisia largely used in folk medicine and as a culinary herb. The bulks aromatic plants come from wild populations whose essential oils compositions as well as their biological properties are severely affected by the geographical location and the phase of the plant development. Therefore, the aim of the present work is to provide more information on the variation of essential oil composition of T. algeriensis collected during the vegetative and the flowering phases and from eight different geographical regions. Besides, influence of population location and phenological stage on yield and metal chelating activity of essential oils is also assessed. Methods The essential oil composition of Thymus algeriensis was determined mainly by GC/FID and GC/MS. The chemical differentiation among populations performed on all compounds was assessed by linear discriminate analysis and cluster analysis based on Euclidean distance. Results A total of 71 compounds, representing 88.99 to 99.76% of the total oil, were identified. A significant effect of the population location on the chemical composition variability of T. algeriensis oil was observed. Only 18 out of 71 compounds showed a statistically significant variation among population locations and phenological stages. Chemical differentiation among populations was high. Minor compounds play an important role to distinguish between chemical groups. Five chemotypes according to the major compounds have been distinguished. Chemotypes distribution is linked to the population location and not to bioclimate, indicating that local selective environmental factors acted on the chemotype diversity. Conclusions The major compounds at the species level were α-pinene (7.41-13.94%), 1,8-cineole (7.55-22.07%), cis-sabinene hydrate (0.10-12.95%), camphor (6.8-19.93%), 4-terpineol (1.55-11.86%), terpenyl acetate (0-14.92%) and viridiflorol (0-11.49%). Based on major compounds, the

  20. Induction of systemic stress tolerance by brassinosteroid in Cucumis sativus.

    PubMed

    Xia, Xiao-Jian; Zhou, Yan-Hong; Ding, Ju; Shi, Kai; Asami, Tadao; Chen, Zhixiang; Yu, Jing-Quan

    2011-08-01

    • Brassinosteroids (BRs) are a new class of plant hormones that are essential for plant growth and development. Here, the involvement of BRs in plant systemic tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses was studied. • The effects of 24-epibrassinolide (EBR) on plant stress tolerance were studied through the assessment of symptoms of photooxidative stress by chlorophyll fluorescence imaging pulse amplitude modulation, the analysis of gene expression using quantitative real-time PCR and the measurement of hydrogen peroxide (H₂O₂) production using a spectrophotometric assay or confocal laser scanning microscopy. • Treatment of primary leaves with EBR induced systemic tolerance to photooxidative stress in untreated upper and lower leaves. This was accompanied by the systemic accumulation of H₂O₂ and the systemic induction of genes associated with stress responses. Foliar treatment of EBR also enhanced root resistance to Fusarium wilt pathogen. Pharmacological study showed that EBR-induced systemic tolerance was dependent on local and systemic H₂O₂ accumulation. The expression of BR biosynthetic genes was repressed in EBR-treated leaves, but elevated significantly in untreated systemic leaves. Further analysis indicated that EBR-induced systemic induction of BR biosynthetic genes was mediated by systemically elevated H₂O₂. • These results strongly argue that local EBR treatment can activate the continuous production of H₂O₂, and the autopropagative nature of the reactive oxygen species signal, in turn, mediates EBR-induced systemic tolerance.

  1. Phylogenomics of African guenons.

    PubMed

    Moulin, Sibyle; Gerbault-Seureau, Michèle; Dutrillaux, Bernard; Richard, Florence Anne

    2008-01-01

    The karyotypes of 28 specimens belonging to 26 species of Cercopithecinae have been compared with each other and with human karyotype by chromosome banding and, for some of them, by Zoo-FISH (human painting probes) techniques. The study includes the first description of the karyotypes of four species and a synonym of Cercopithecus nictitans. The chromosomal homologies obtained provide us with new data on a large number of rearrangements. This allows us to code chromosomal characters to draw Cercopithecini phylogenetic trees, which are compared to phylogenetic data based on DNA sequences. Our findings show that some of the superspecies proposed by Kingdon (1997 The Kingdon Field Guide to African Mammals, Academic Press.) and Groves (2001 Primates Taxonomy, Smithsonian Institution Press) do not form homogeneous groups and that the genus Cercopithecus is paraphyletic, in agreement with previous molecular analyses. The evolution of Cercopithecini karyotypes is mainly due to non-centromeric chromosome fissions and centromeric shifts or inversions. Non-Robertsonian translocations occurred in C. hamlyni and C. neglectus. The position of chromosomal rearrangements in the phylogenetic tree leads us to propose that the Cercopithecini evolution proceeded by either repeated fission events facilitated by peculiar genomic structures or successive reticulate phases, in which heterozygous populations for few rearranged chromosomes were present, allowing the spreading of chromosomal forms in various combinations, before the speciation process.

  2. Population Genomics of sub-saharan Drosophila melanogaster: African diversity and non-African admixture.

    PubMed

    Pool, John E; Corbett-Detig, Russell B; Sugino, Ryuichi P; Stevens, Kristian A; Cardeno, Charis M; Crepeau, Marc W; Duchen, Pablo; Emerson, J J; Saelao, Perot; Begun, David J; Langley, Charles H

    2012-01-01

    Drosophila melanogaster has played a pivotal role in the development of modern population genetics. However, many basic questions regarding the demographic and adaptive history of this species remain unresolved. We report the genome sequencing of 139 wild-derived strains of D. melanogaster, representing 22 population samples from the sub-Saharan ancestral range of this species, along with one European population. Most genomes were sequenced above 25X depth from haploid embryos. Results indicated a pervasive influence of non-African admixture in many African populations, motivating the development and application of a novel admixture detection method. Admixture proportions varied among populations, with greater admixture in urban locations. Admixture levels also varied across the genome, with localized peaks and valleys suggestive of a non-neutral introgression process. Genomes from the same location differed starkly in ancestry, suggesting that isolation mechanisms may exist within African populations. After removing putatively admixed genomic segments, the greatest genetic diversity was observed in southern Africa (e.g. Zambia), while diversity in other populations was largely consistent with a geographic expansion from this potentially ancestral region. The European population showed different levels of diversity reduction on each chromosome arm, and some African populations displayed chromosome arm-specific diversity reductions. Inversions in the European sample were associated with strong elevations in diversity across chromosome arms. Genomic scans were conducted to identify loci that may represent targets of positive selection within an African population, between African populations, and between European and African populations. A disproportionate number of candidate selective sweep regions were located near genes with varied roles in gene regulation. Outliers for Europe-Africa F(ST) were found to be enriched in genomic regions of locally elevated

  3. New sources of resistance to leafminers (Liriomyza sativae) in melon (Cucumis melo L.) germplasm.

    PubMed

    Celin, E F; Oliveira, F I C; Dias-Pini, N S; Nunes, G H S; Aragão, F A S

    2017-04-05

    Leafminers (Liriomyza sativae) are the main melon (Cucumis melo L.) pests in Northeast Brazil, which is the main region for the production and export of the fruit in Brazil. Of the integrated management strategies available, genetic resistance is the best method of preventing damage by these insects. The aim of this study was to select sources of resistance to leafminers in melon germplasm. Seven experiments were conducted in the laboratory, field, and greenhouse, with and without choice, using 52 melon accessions and 4 commercial hybrids as controls. Genetic variability among the accessions made it possible to select four new sources of resistance: 'CNPH 11-1072' and 'CNPH 11-1077', because they exhibited lower levels of infestation by the insect (antixenosis); and 'CNPH 00-915(R)' and 'BAGMEL 56(R)', because the pest larvae died soon after beginning to feed on the leaf mesophyll (antibiosis).

  4. An integrated approach for flavour quality evaluation in muskmelon (Cucumis melo L. reticulatus group) during ripening.

    PubMed

    Vallone, Simona; Sivertsen, Hanne; Anthon, Gordon E; Barrett, Diane M; Mitcham, Elizabeth J; Ebeler, Susan E; Zakharov, Florence

    2013-08-15

    Numerous and diverse physiological changes occur during fruit ripening and maturity at harvest is one of the key factors influencing the flavour quality of fruits. The effect of ripening on chemical composition, physical parameters and sensory perception of three muskmelon (Cucumis melo L. reticulatus group) cultivars was evaluated. Significant correlations emerging from this extensive data set are discussed in the context of identifying potential targets for melon sensory quality improvement. A portable ultra-fast gas-chromatograph coupled with a surface acoustic wave sensor (UFGC-SAW) was also used to monitor aroma volatile concentrations during fruit ripening and evaluated for its ability to predict the sensory perception of melon flavour. UFGC-SAW analysis allowed the discrimination of melon maturity stage based on six measured peaks, whose abundance was positively correlated to maturity-specific sensory attributes. Our findings suggest that this technology shows promise for future applications in rapid flavour quality evaluation.

  5. An experimental design approach to the chemical characterisation of pectin polysaccharides extracted from Cucumis melo Inodorus.

    PubMed

    Denman, Laura J; Morris, Gordon A

    2015-03-06

    Extracted pectins have been utilised in a number of applications in both the food and pharmaceutical industries where they are generally used as gelling agents, thickeners and stabilisers, although a number of pectins have been shown to be bioactive. These functional properties will depend upon extraction conditions. A statistical experimental design approach was used to study the effects of extraction conditions pH, time and temperature on pectins extracted from Cucumis melo Inodorus. The results show that the chemical composition is very sensitive to these conditions and that this has a great influence on for example the degree of branching. Higher temperatures, lower pHs and longer extraction times lead to a loss of the more acid labile arabinofuranose residues present on the pectin side chain. The fitting of regression equations relating yield and composition to extraction conditions can therefore lead to tailor-made pectins for specific properties and/or applications.

  6. Flavour profiles of three novel acidic varieties of muskmelon (Cucumis melo L.).

    PubMed

    Lignou, Stella; Parker, Jane K; Oruna-Concha, Maria Jose; Mottram, Donald S

    2013-08-15

    Novel acidic varieties of muskmelon (Cucumis melo L.) are emerging onto the UK market. These melons contain almost twice the amount of citric acid compared to standard melons and are described as 'zesty and fresh'. This study compared the flavour components of three acidic varieties with a standard Galia-type melon. The volatile and semivolatile compounds were extracted, using dynamic headspace extraction (DHE) or solid-phase microextraction (SPME) and solid phase extraction (SPE), respectively, followed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and gas chromatography-olfactometry (GC-O). More than 50 volatile and 50 semivolatile compounds were identified in the headspace and the SPE extracts, respectively. GC-O revealed 15 odour-active components in the headspace, with esters being consistently higher in the acidic variety. This study showed quantitative and qualitative differences among all four varieties and key differences between acidic varieties and standard melons.

  7. Genetic background of host-pathogen interaction between Cucumis sativus L. and Pseudomonas syringae pv. lachrymans.

    PubMed

    Olczak-Woltman, H; Schollenberger, M; Niemirowicz-Szczytt, K

    2009-01-01

    The interplay of plant resistance mechanisms and bacterial pathogenicity is very complex. This applies also to the interaction that takes place between the pathogen Pseudomonas syringae pv. lachrymans (Smith et Bryan) and the cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) as its host plant. Research on P. syringae pv. lachrymans has led to the discovery of specific factors produced during pathogenesis, i.e. toxins or enzymes. Similarly, studies on cucumber have identified the specific types of plant resistance expressed, namely Systemic Acquired Resistance (SAR) or Induced Systemic Resistance (ISR). This paper presents a summary of the current state of knowledge about this particular host-pathogen interaction, with reference to general information about interactions of P. syringae pathovars with host plants.

  8. Optical properties of the iridescent organ of the comb-jellyfish Beroë cucumis (Ctenophora)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Welch, Victoria; Vigneron, Jean Pol; Lousse, Virginie; Parker, Andrew

    2006-04-01

    Using transmission electron microscopy, analytical modeling, and detailed numerical simulations, the iridescence observed from the comb rows of the ctenophore Beroë cucumis was investigated. It is shown that the changing coloration which accompanies the beating of comb rows as the animal swims can be explained by the weakly-contrasted structure of the refractive index induced by the very coherent packing of locomotory cilia. The colors arising from the narrow band-gap reflection are shown to be highly saturated and, as a function of the incidence angle, cover a wide range of the visible and ultraviolet spectrum. The high transparency of the structure at the maximal bioluminescence wavelength is also explained.

  9. Optical properties of the iridescent organ of the comb-jellyfish Beroë cucumis (Ctenophora).

    PubMed

    Welch, Victoria; Vigneron, Jean Pol; Lousse, Virginie; Parker, Andrew

    2006-04-01

    Using transmission electron microscopy, analytical modeling, and detailed numerical simulations, the iridescence observed from the comb rows of the ctenophore Beroë cucumis was investigated. It is shown that the changing coloration which accompanies the beating of comb rows as the animal swims can be explained by the weakly-contrasted structure of the refractive index induced by the very coherent packing of locomotory cilia. The colors arising from the narrow band-gap reflection are shown to be highly saturated and, as a function of the incidence angle, cover a wide range of the visible and ultraviolet spectrum. The high transparency of the structure at the maximal bioluminescence wavelength is also explained.

  10. Genetic analysis of molecular markers for propamocarb residue in Cucumis sativus using quantitative trait locus mapping.

    PubMed

    Xin, M; Wang, L; Ma, B H; Qin, Z W; Zhou, X Y

    2016-11-03

    The use of pesticides to protect plants against harmful organisms, such as pathogenic microorganisms, is one of the most effective ways to improve agricultural production. However, the continuous use of pesticides might present a risk to human health, animals, and the environment. In this study, two cucumber (Cucumis sativus) varieties containing different levels of pesticide residues, D9320 and D0351, were selected to establish an F2 population. A genetic model and genetic linkage map were constructed. The results showed that the heredity of pesticide residues was dominated by an additive effect and was significantly influenced by non-additive factors in cucumber. QCp1 was detected as a quantitative trait locus (QTL) that might be involved in regulating the levels of pesticide residue in cucumber. Moreover, the cucumber genetic map was compared with the LG6 map, and the results indicated that this QTL was closely related to the level of pesticide residue in cucumber.

  11. Cucumis melo endornavirus: Genome organization, host range and co-divergence with the host.

    PubMed

    Sabanadzovic, Sead; Wintermantel, William M; Valverde, Rodrigo A; McCreight, James D; Aboughanem-Sabanadzovic, Nina

    2016-03-02

    A high molecular weight dsRNA was isolated from a Cucumis melo L. plant (referred to as 'CL01') of an unknown cultivar and completely sequenced. Sequence analyses showed that dsRNA is associated with an endornavirus for which a name Cucumis melo endornavirus (CmEV) is proposed. The genome of CmEV-CL01 consists of 15,078 nt, contains a single, 4939 codons-long ORF and terminates with a stretch of 10 cytosine residues. Comparisons of the putative CmEV-encoded polyprotein with available references in protein databases revealed a unique genome organization characterized by the presence of the following domains: viral helicase Superfamily 1 (Hel-1), three glucosyltransferases (doublet of putative capsular polysaccharide synthesis proteins and a putative C_28_Glycosyltransferase), and an RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp). The presence of three glycome-related domains of different origin makes the genome organization of CmEV unique among endornaviruses. Phylogenetic analyses of viral RdRp domains showed that CmEV belongs to a specific lineage within the family Endornaviridae made exclusively of plant-infecting endornaviruses. An RT-PCR based survey demonstrated high incidence of CmEV among melon germplasm accession (>87% of tested samples). Analyses of partial genome sequences of CmEV isolates from 26 different melon genotypes suggest fine-tuned virus adaptation and co-divergence with the host. Finally, results of the present study revealed that CmEV is present in plants belonging to three different genera in the family Cucurbitaceae. Such diverse host range is unreported for known endornaviruses and suggests a long history of CmEV association with cucurbits predating their speciation.

  12. High light inhibits chlorophyll biosynthesis at the level of 5-aminolevulinate synthesis during de-etiolation in cucumber (Cucumis sativus) cotyledons.

    PubMed

    Aarti, D; Tanaka, R; Ito, H; Tanaka, A

    2007-01-01

    Using the vascular plant Cucumis sativus (cucumber) as a model, we studied the effects of high (intense and excess) light upon chlorophyll biosynthesis during de-etiolation. When illuminated with high light (1500-1600 microE/m2/s), etiolated cucumber cotyledons failed to synthesize chlorophyll entirely. However, upon transfer to low light conditions (40-45 microE/m2/s), chlorophyll biosynthesis and subsequent accumulation resumed following an initial 2-12 h delay. Duration of high light treatment negatively correlated with chlorophyll biosynthetic activity. Specifically, we found that high light severely inhibited 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA) synthesis. This effect partly could be because of the decrease in protein level of glutamyl-tRNA reductase (GluTR) observed. Protein level of glutamate-1-semialdehyde (GSA-AT) remained unchanged. It was also found that high light did not suppress HEMA 1 expression. Therefore, we speculated that this significant inhibition of ALA synthesis might have occurred mainly because of concomitant inactivation of GluTR and/or inhibition of complex formation between GluTR and GSA-AT. Our further observation that both methyl viologen and rose bengal similarly inhibit ALA synthesis under low light conditions suggested that reactive oxygen species (ROS) could be responsible for the inhibition of ALA synthesis in cotyledons exposed to high light conditions.

  13. An oligo-based microarray offers novel transcriptomic approaches for the analysis of pathogen resistance and fruit quality traits in melon (Cucumis melo L.)

    PubMed Central

    Mascarell-Creus, Albert; Cañizares, Joaquin; Vilarrasa-Blasi, Josep; Mora-García, Santiago; Blanca, José; Gonzalez-Ibeas, Daniel; Saladié, Montserrat; Roig, Cristina; Deleu, Wim; Picó-Silvent, Belén; López-Bigas, Nuria; Aranda, Miguel A; Garcia-Mas, Jordi; Nuez, Fernando; Puigdomènech, Pere; Caño-Delgado, Ana I

    2009-01-01

    Background Melon (Cucumis melo) is a horticultural specie of significant nutritional value, which belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family, whose economic importance is second only to the Solanaceae. Its small genome of approx. 450 Mb coupled to the high genetic diversity has prompted the development of genetic tools in the last decade. However, the unprecedented existence of a transcriptomic approaches in melon, highlight the importance of designing new tools for high-throughput analysis of gene expression. Results We report the construction of an oligo-based microarray using a total of 17,510 unigenes derived from 33,418 high-quality melon ESTs. This chip is particularly enriched with genes that are expressed in fruit and during interaction with pathogens. Hybridizations for three independent experiments allowed the characterization of global gene expression profiles during fruit ripening, as well as in response to viral and fungal infections in plant cotyledons and roots, respectively. Microarray construction, statistical analyses and validation together with functional-enrichment analysis are presented in this study. Conclusion The platform validation and enrichment analyses shown in our study indicate that this oligo-based microarray is amenable for future genetic and functional genomic studies of a wide range of experimental conditions in melon. PMID:19821986

  14. Endometrial polyps in 2 African pygmy hedgehogs.

    PubMed

    Phillips, Irene D; Taylor, Jacqueline J; Allen, Andrew L

    2005-06-01

    Reports of spontaneously occurring endometrial polyps in animals are rare and have only involved a few species. This report is intended to advise veterinarians that older African pygmy hedgehogs may develop endometrial polyps and that these lesions can be a cause of bloody vaginal discharge, sometimes interpreted as hematuria.

  15. The African superswell

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nyblade, Andrew A.; Robinson, Scott W.

    1994-01-01

    Maps of residual bathymetry in the ocean basins around the African continent reveal a broad bathymetric swell in the southeastern Atlantic Ocean with an amplitude of about 500 m. We propose that this region of anomalously shallow bathymetry, together with the contiguous eastern and southern African plateaus, form a superswell which we refer to as the African superswell. The origin of the African superswell is uncertain. However, rifting and volcanism in eastern Africa, as well as heat flow measurements in southern Africa and the southeastern Atlantic Ocean, suggest that the superswell may be attributed, at least in part, to heating of the lithosphere.

  16. Phylogeny of African cichlid fishes as revealed by molecular markers.

    PubMed

    Mayer, W E; Tichy, H; Klein, J

    1998-06-01

    The species flocks of cichlid fish in the three great East African Lakes, Victoria, Malawi, and Tanganyika, have arisen in each lake by explosive adaptive radiation. Various questions concerning their phylogeny have not yet been answered. In particular, the identity of the ancestral founder species and the monophyletic origin of the haplochromine cichlids from the East African lakes have not been established conclusively. In the present study, we used the anonymous nuclear DNA marker DXTU1 as a step towards answering these questions. A 280 bp-fragment of the DXTU1 locus was amplified by the polymerase chain reaction from East African lacustrine species, the East African riverine cichlid species Haplochromis bloyeti, H. burtoni and H. sparsidens, and other African cichlids. Sequencing revealed several indels and substitutions that were used as cladistically informative markers to support a phylogenetic tree constructed by the neighbor-joining method. The topology, although not supported by high bootstrap values, corresponds well to the geographical distribution and previous classification of the cichlids. Markers could be defined that: (i) differentiate East African from West African cichlids; (ii) distinguish the riverine and Lake Victoria/Malawi haplochromines from Lake Tanganyika cichlids; and (iii) indicate the existence of a monophyletic Lake Victoria cichlid superflock which includes haplochromines from satellite lakes and East African rivers. In order to resolve further the relationship of East African riverine and lacustrine species, mtDNA cytochrome b and control region segments were sequenced. The mtDNA-based trees support the notion of the monophyly of the Lake Victoria superflock but are ambiguous with respect to the phylogenetic position of the Lake Malawi flock.

  17. Understanding African American Males

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bell, Edward Earl

    2010-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to assess the socialization skills, self-esteem, and academic readiness of African American males in a school environment. Discussions with students and the School Perceptions Questionnaire provided data for this investigation. The intended targets for this investigation were African American students; however, there…

  18. Africans Away from Home.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clarke, John Henrik

    Africans who were brought across the Atlantic as slaves never fully adjusted to slavery or accepted its inevitability. Resistance began on board the slave ships, where many jumped overboard or committed suicide. African slaves in South America led the first revolts against tyranny in the New World. The first slave revolt in the Caribbean occurred…

  19. Educating African American Males

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bell, Edward E.

    2010-01-01

    Background: Schools across America spend money, invest in programs, and sponsor workshops, offer teacher incentives, raise accountability standards, and even evoke the name of Obama in efforts to raise the academic achievement of African American males. Incarceration and college retention rates point to a dismal plight for many African American…

  20. 16 Extraordinary African Americans.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lobb, Nancy

    This collection for children tells the stories of 16 African Americans who helped make America what it is today. African Americans can take pride in the heritage of these contributors to society. Biographies are given for the following: (1) Sojourner Truth, preacher and abolitionist; (2) Frederick Douglass, abolitionist; (3) Harriet Tubman, leader…

  1. Keeping African Masks Real

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Waddington, Susan

    2012-01-01

    Art is a good place to learn about our multicultural planet, and African masks are prized throughout the world as powerfully expressive artistic images. Unfortunately, multicultural education, especially for young children, can perpetuate stereotypes. Masks taken out of context lose their meaning and the term "African masks" suggests that there is…

  2. Integrative Analyses of Nontargeted Volatile Profiling and Transcriptome Data Provide Molecular Insight into VOC Diversity in Cucumber Plants (Cucumis sativus)1[OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Wei, Guo; Tian, Peng; Zhang, Fengxia; Qin, Hao; Miao, Han; Chen, Qingwen; Hu, Zhongyi; Wang, Meijiao; Chen, Mingsheng

    2016-01-01

    Plant volatile organic compounds, which are generated in a tissue-specific manner, play important ecological roles in the interactions between plants and their environments, including the well-known functions of attracting pollinators and protecting plants from herbivores/fungi attacks. However, to date, there have not been reports of holistic volatile profiling of the various tissues of a single plant species, even for the model plant species. In this study, we qualitatively and quantitatively analyzed 85 volatile chemicals, including 36 volatile terpenes, in 23 different tissues of cucumber (Cucumis sativus) plants using solid-phase microextraction combined with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Most volatile chemicals were found to occur in a highly tissue-specific manner. The consensus transcriptomes for each of the 23 cucumber tissues were generated with RNA sequencing data and used in volatile organic compound-gene correlation analysis to screen for candidate genes likely to be involved in cucumber volatile biosynthetic pathways. In vitro biochemical characterization of the candidate enzymes demonstrated that TERPENE SYNTHASE11 (TPS11)/TPS14, TPS01, and TPS15 were responsible for volatile terpenoid production in the roots, flowers, and fruit tissues of cucumber plants, respectively. A functional heteromeric geranyl(geranyl) pyrophosphate synthase, composed of an inactive small subunit (type I) and an active large subunit, was demonstrated to play a key role in monoterpene production in cucumber. In addition to establishing a standard workflow for the elucidation of plant volatile biosynthetic pathways, the knowledge generated from this study lays a solid foundation for future investigations of both the physiological functions of cucumber volatiles and aspects of cucumber flavor improvement. PMID:27457123

  3. 75 FR 38069 - Injurious Wildlife Species; Listing the Boa Constrictor, Four Python Species, and Four Anaconda...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-07-01

    ... Constrictor, Four Python Species, and Four Anaconda Species as Injurious Reptiles AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife... regulations to add Indian python (Python molurus, including Burmese python Python molurus bivittatus), reticulated python (Broghammerus reticulatus or Python reticulatus), Northern African python (Python...

  4. Neotropical Africanized honey bees have African mitochondrial DNA.

    PubMed

    Smith, D R; Taylor, O R; Brown, W M

    1989-05-18

    Non-indigenous African honey bees have invaded most of South and Central America in just over 30 years. The genetic composition of this population and the means by which it rapidly colonizes new territory remain controversial. In particular, it has been unclear whether this 'Africanized' population has resulted from interbreeding between African and domestic European bees, or is an essentially pure African population. Also, it has not been known whether this population expanded primarily by female or by male migration. Restriction site mapping of 62 mitochondrial DNAs of African bees from Brazil, Venezuela and Mexico reveals that 97% were of African (Apis mellifera scutellata) type. Although neotropical European apiary populations are rapidly Africanized by mating with neotropical African males, there is little reciprocal gene flow to the neotropical African population through European females. These are the first genetic data to indicate that the neotropical African population could be expanding its range by female migration.

  5. [Effects of grafting on physiological characteristics of melon (Cucumis melo) seedlings under copper stress].

    PubMed

    Tan, Ming-min; Zhang, Xin-ying; Fu, Qiu-shi; He, Zhong-qun; Wang, Huai-song

    2014-12-01

    The effects of grafting on physiological characters of melon (Cucumis melo) seedlings under copper stress were investigated with Pumpkin Jingxinzhen No. 3 as stock and oriental melon IVF09 as scion. The results showed that the physiological characters of melon seedlings were inhibited significantly under copper stress. Compared with self-rooted seedlings, the biomass, the contents of photosynthetic pigment, glucose and fructose, the photosynthetic parameters, the activities of sucrose phosphate synthase, neutral invertase and acid invertase in the leaves of the grafted seedlings were increased significantly. The uptake of nutrients was improved with the contents of K, P, Na increased and the content of Cu decreased. When the concentration of Cu2+ stress was 800 micromol L(-1), the contents of Cu in the leaves and roots of the grafted seedlings were decreased by 31.3% and 15.2%, respectively. Endogenous hormone balance of seedlings was improved by grafting. In the grafted seedlings, the content of IAA and peroxidase activity were higher, whereas the contents of ABA, maleicdialdehyde, the activities of superoxide dismutase and catalase were lower than that in the control. It was concluded that the copper stress on the physiological characters of melon seedlings was relieved by grafting which improved the resistance of the grafted seedlings.

  6. Genetic diversity among melon accessions (Cucumis melo) from Turkey based on SSR markers.

    PubMed

    Kaçar, Y A; Simsek, O; Solmaz, I; Sari, N; Mendi, Y Y

    2012-12-19

    Melon (Cucumis melo) is an important vegetable crop in Turkey, where it is grown in many regions; the most widely planted lines are local winter types belonging to the var. inodorous. We examined 81 melon genotypes collected from different provinces of Turkey, compared with 15 reference melon genotypes obtained from INRA/France, to determine genetic diversity among Turkish melons. Twenty polymorphic primers were used to generate the SSR markers. PCR amplification was performed and electrophoresis was conducted. SSR data were used to generate a binary matrix. For cluster analysis, UPGMA was employed to construct a clustering dendrogram based on the genetic distance matrix. The cophenetic correlation was compared with the similarity matrix using the Mantel matrix correspondence test to evaluate the representativeness of the dendrogram. A total of 123 alleles were amplified using the 20 SSR primer sets. The number of alleles detected by a single primer set ranged from 2 to 12, with an average of 6.15. The similarity ranged from 0.22 to 1.00 in the dendrogram developed from microsatellite analysis. Based on this molecular data, we concluded that genetic diversity among these Turkish accessions is relatively high.

  7. Cucumis melo microRNA expression profile during aphid herbivory in a resistant and susceptible interaction.

    PubMed

    Sattar, Sampurna; Song, Yan; Anstead, James A; Sunkar, Ramanjulu; Thompson, Gary A

    2012-06-01

    Aphis gossypii resistance in melon (Cucumis melo) is due to the presence of a single dominant virus aphid transmission (Vat) gene belonging to the nucleotide-binding site leucine-rich repeat family of resistance genes. Significant transcriptional reprogramming occurs in Vat(+) plants during aphid infestation as metabolism shifts to respond to this biotic stress. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are involved in the regulation of many biotic stress responses. The role of miRNAs was investigated in response to aphid herbivory during both resistant and susceptible interactions. Small RNA (smRNA) libraries were constructed from bulked leaf tissues of a Vat(+) melon line following early and late aphid infestations. Sequence analysis indicated that the expression profiles of conserved and newly identified miRNAs were altered during different stages of aphid herbivory. These results were verified by quantitative polymerase chain reaction experiments in both resistant Vat(+) and susceptible Vat(-) interactions. The comparative analyses revealed that most of the conserved miRNA families were differentially regulated during the early stages of aphid infestation in the resistant and susceptible interactions. Along with the conserved miRNA families, 18 cucurbit-specific miRNAs were expressed during the different stages of aphid herbivory. The comparison of the miRNA profiles in the resistant and susceptible interactions provides insight into the miRNA-dependent post-transcriptional gene regulation in Vat-mediated resistance.

  8. Transcriptome analysis of the oriental melon (Cucumis melo L. var. makuwa) during fruit development

    PubMed Central

    Shin, Ah-Young; Kim, Yong-Min; Koo, Namjin; Lee, Su Min; Nahm, Seokhyeon

    2017-01-01

    Background The oriental melon (Cucumis melo L. var. makuwa) is one of the most important cultivated cucurbits grown widely in Korea, Japan, and northern China. It is cultivated because its fruit has a sweet aromatic flavor and is rich in soluble sugars, organic acids, minerals, and vitamins. In order to elucidate the genetic and molecular basis of the developmental changes that determine size, color, and sugar contents of the fruit, we performed de novo transcriptome sequencing to analyze the genes expressed during fruit development. Results We identified a total of 47,666 of representative loci from 100,875 transcripts and functionally annotated 33,963 of the loci based on orthologs in Arabidopsis thaliana. Among those loci, we identified 5,173 differentially expressed genes, which were classified into 14 clusters base on the modulation of their expression patterns. The expression patterns suggested that the differentially expressed genes were related to fruit development and maturation through diverse metabolic pathways. Analyses based on gene set enrichment and the pathways described in the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes suggested that the expression of genes involved in starch and sucrose metabolism and carotenoid biosynthesis were regulated dynamically during fruit development and subsequent maturation. Conclusion Our results provide the gene expression patterns related to different stages of fruit development and maturation in the oriental melon. The expression patterns give clues about important regulatory mechanisms, especially those involving starch, sugar, and carotenoid biosynthesis, in the development of the oriental melon fruit. PMID:28070461

  9. Abscisic acid substantially inhibits senescence of cucumber plants (Cucumis sativus) grown under low nitrogen conditions.

    PubMed

    Oka, Mariko; Shimoda, Yousuke; Sato, Naoko; Inoue, Junya; Yamazaki, Teru; Shimomura, Norihiro; Fujiyama, Hideyasu

    2012-05-15

    Low nitrogen (N) availability such as that found in both dry land and tropical regions limits plant growth and development. The relationship between the level of abscisic acid (ABA) in a plant and its growth under low-N conditions was investigated. The level of ABA in cucumber (Cucumis sativus) plants under low-N conditions was significantly higher at 10 and 20 d after transplantation compared with that under sufficient-N conditions. Chlorophyll was preserved in the aerial parts of cucumber plants grown under low-N conditions in the presence of ABA, while there was no significant difference between control plants and ABA-applied plants under sufficient-N conditions. ABA suppressed the reduction of chlorophyll biosynthesis under low-N conditions but not under sufficient-N conditions. On the other hand, ABA decreased the expression of the chlorophyll degradation gene in older cucumber plants grown under both conditions. In addition, transcript and protein levels of a gene encoding a chlorophyll a/b binding protein were positively correlated with ABA concentration under low-N conditions. The chloroplasts in control plants were round, and the stack of thylakoid membranes was reduced compared with that of plants treated with ABA 10(-5) M. These results strongly suggest that ABA is accumulated in cucumber plants grown under low-N conditions and that accumulated ABA promotes chlorophyll biosynthesis and inhibits its degradation in those plants.

  10. Efficient DNA extraction from nail clippings using the protease solution from Cucumis melo.

    PubMed

    Yoshida-Yamamoto, Shumi; Nishimura, Sayaka; Okuno, Teruko; Rakuman, Miki; Takii, Yukio

    2010-09-01

    Owing to the increasing importance of genomic information, obtaining genomic DNA easily from biological specimens has become more and more important. This article proposes an efficient method for obtaining genomic DNA from nail clippings. Nail clippings can be easily obtained, are thermostable and easy to transport, and have low infectivity. The drawback of their use, however, has been the difficulty of extracting genomic material from them. We have overcome this obstacle using the protease solution obtained from Cucumis melo. The keratinolytic activity of the protease solution was 1.78-fold higher than that of proteinase K, which is commonly used to degrade keratin. With the protease solution, three times more DNA was extracted than when proteinase K was used. In order to verify the integrity of the extracted DNA, genotype analysis on 170 subjects was performed by both PCR-RFLP and Real Time PCR. The results of the genotyping showed that the extracted DNA was suitable for genotyping analysis. In conclusion, we have developed an efficient extraction method for using nail clippings as a genome source and a research tool in molecular epidemiology, medical diagnostics, and forensic science.

  11. Measurement of heme efflux and heme content in isolated developing chloroplasts. [Cucumis sativus, cv. Sumter

    SciTech Connect

    Thomas, J.; Weinstein, J.D. )

    1990-11-01

    Hemes destined for cytosolic hemoproteins must originate in one of the cellular compartments which have the capacity for heme synthesis, namely the chloroplast or the mitochondria. Since developing chloroplasts from greening cucumber (Cucumis sativus, cv. Sumter) cotyledons are known to contain complete heme and chlorophyll biosynthetic pathways, they were tested for their capacity export hemes. Picomole quantities of heme were measured by reconstitution of the heme with apo-peroxidase and subsequent determination of peroxidase activity. The assay method was sensitive (as little as 0.7 picomole of heme could be detected in a volume of 100 microliters) and was linear with heme concentration. When intact plastids were incubated with apo-peroxidase, a steady-state rate of efflux between 0.12 and 0.45 picomole heme/minute/milligram plastid protein was measured. The efflux rate was not due to plastid breakage and could be enhanced by incubating with the heme precursor, {delta}-aminolevulinic acid. Cold acetone extraction removed 47 {plus minus} 17 picomoles heme/milligram plastid protein from the total b-type heme pool in the chloroplasts (166 {plus minus} 9 picomoles heme/milligram protein, by acid-acetone extraction). The reconstitution technique provided a similar estimate of readily exchangeable heme in the plastid, 37 {plus minus} 8 picomoles heme/milligram protein (or 6 micromolar in the plastids). These values may be indicative of a free heme pool which exists in the chloroplast.

  12. Transcriptome profiling of trichome-less reveals genes associated with multicellular trichome development in Cucumis sativus.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Jun-Long; Wang, Yun-Li; Yao, Dan-Qing; Zhu, Wen-Ying; Chen, Long; He, Huan-Le; Pan, Jun-Song; Cai, Run

    2015-10-01

    Trichomes on plants, similar to fine hairs on animal and human bodies, play important roles in plant survival and development. They also represent a useful model for the study of cell differentiation. Although the regulatory gene network of unicellular trichome development in Arabidopsis thaliana has been well studied, the genes that regulate multicellular trichome development remain unclear. We confirmed that Cucumis sativus (cucumber) trichomes are multicellular and unbranched, but identified a spontaneous mutant, trichome-less (tril), which presented a completely glabrous phenotype. We compared the transcriptome profilings of the tril mutant and wild type using the Illumina HiSeq 2000 sequencing technology. A total of 991 genes exhibited differential expression: 518 were up-regulated and 473 were down-regulated. We further identified 62 differentially expressed genes that encoded crucial transcription factors and were subdivided into seven categories: homeodomain, MADS, MYB, and WRKY domains, ethylene-responsive, zinc finger, and other transcription factor genes. We further analyzed the tissue-expression profiles of two candidate genes, GLABRA2-like and ATHB51-like, using qRT-PCR and found that these two genes were specifically expressed in the epidermis and trichomes, respectively. These results and the tril mutant provide useful tools to study the molecular networks associated with multicellular trichome development.

  13. Multiple tandem duplication of the phenylalanine ammonia-lyase genes in Cucumis sativus L.

    PubMed

    Shang, Qing-Mao; Li, Liang; Dong, Chun-Juan

    2012-10-01

    Phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL) is the first entry enzyme of the phenylpropanoid pathway, and therefore plays a key role in both plant development and stress defense. In many plants, PAL is encoded by a multi-gene family, and each member is differentially regulated in response to environmental stimuli. In the present study, we report that PAL in cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) is encoded for by a family of seven genes (designated as CsPAL1-7). All seven CsPALs are arranged in tandem in two duplication blocks, which are located on chromosomes 4 and 6, respectively. The cDNA and protein sequences of the CsPALs share an overall high identity to each other. Homology modeling reveals similarities in their protein structures, besides several slight differences, implying the different activities in conversion of phenylalanine. Phylogenic analysis places CsPAL1-7 in a separate cluster rather than clustering with other plant PALs. Analyses of expression profiles in different cucumber tissues or in response to various stress or plant hormone treatments indicate that CsPAL1-7 play redundant, but divergent roles in cucumber development and stress response. This is consistent with our finding that CsPALs possess overlapping but different cis-elements in their promoter regions. Finally, several duplication events are discussed to explain the evolution of the cucumber PAL genes.

  14. [Role of phytochrome in organ formation processes in Cucumis sativus L].

    PubMed

    Sysoeva, M I; Marovskaia, E F

    2013-01-01

    The role of phytochrome B in the organogenesis process in the apical and axillary shoot meristems during early ontogenesis stages in cucumber Cucumis sativus L. at photoperiods (day/night) 10/14, 16/8 h, and continuous light in comparison with wild type plants and phytochrome B-deficient mutant (lh-mutant) was investigated. In mutant phytochrome B, deficiency caused inhibition of initiation of leaves both in the leading shoot and off-shoots and increased the number of flower buds (IV stage of organogenesis). With continuous light, the number of off-shoots and flowers during stage IV of organogenesis in wild-type plants increased twofold in comparison with the mutant. Short-term temperature drops did not induce floral ontogenesis in mutants but increased the number of off-shoots in both experimental variants during a long photoperiod and continuous light situations. We propose that phytochrome B, by increasing the compactness of chromatin, may facilitate coordination of ontogenesis processes with changing environmental conditions.

  15. Expression profiling of Cucumis sativus in response to infection by Pseudoperonospora cubensis.

    PubMed

    Adhikari, Bishwo N; Savory, Elizabeth A; Vaillancourt, Brieanne; Childs, Kevin L; Hamilton, John P; Day, Brad; Buell, C Robin

    2012-01-01

    The oomycete pathogen, Pseudoperonospora cubensis, is the causal agent of downy mildew on cucurbits, and at present, no effective resistance to this pathogen is available in cultivated cucumber (Cucumis sativus). To better understand the host response to a virulent pathogen, we performed expression profiling throughout a time course of a compatible interaction using whole transcriptome sequencing. As described herein, we were able to detect the expression of 15,286 cucumber genes, of which 14,476 were expressed throughout the infection process from 1 day post-inoculation (dpi) to 8 dpi. A large number of genes, 1,612 to 3,286, were differentially expressed in pair-wise comparisons between time points. We observed the rapid induction of key defense related genes, including catalases, chitinases, lipoxygenases, peroxidases, and protease inhibitors within 1 dpi, suggesting detection of the pathogen by the host. Co-expression network analyses revealed transcriptional networks with distinct patterns of expression including down-regulation at 2 dpi of known defense response genes suggesting coordinated suppression of host responses by the pathogen. Comparative analyses of cucumber gene expression patterns with that of orthologous Arabidopsis thaliana genes following challenge with Hyaloperonospora arabidopsidis revealed correlated expression patterns of single copy orthologs suggesting that these two dicot hosts have similar transcriptional responses to related pathogens. In total, the work described herein presents an in-depth analysis of the interplay between host susceptibility and pathogen virulence in an agriculturally important pathosystem.

  16. [Growth and development of cucumber Cucumis sativus L. in the prereproductive period under long photoperiods].

    PubMed

    Shibaeva, T G; Markovskaia, E F

    2013-01-01

    When plants are grown in a greenhouse, an increase in the photoperiod, as well as continuous lighting, is one of the ways to improve plant productivity and energy savings. However, a number of crops under long photoperiods develop signs of light damage to leaves, and productivity is reduced. We studied the effect of the photoperiod (8, 12, 16, 20, and 24 h) and photon flux densities (60, 120, and 160 micromol/m2 with PAR) on cucumber plants Cucumis sativus L. in a prereproductive period. We show that the response of the cucumber plants to a photoperiod duration of more than 20 h, including continuous lighting, depending on the plant age and lighting conditions, may include epinastic reaction of the leaves, activation of a mechanism of nonphotochemical chlorophyll fluorescence quenching, and/or reversible photoinhibition of a reaction center of photosystem II, development of reversible chlorosis, reduction of a light-harvesting complex, and increase in the content of carotenoids. Reaction of immature and virginile plants to long photoperiods was different, which highlights the need for experimental separation of the prereproductive period of development in terms of age states and consideration of this when preparing programs of cultivation.

  17. Purification, physico-chemical characterization and thermodynamics of chitooligosaccharide binding to cucumber (Cucumis sativus) phloem lectin.

    PubMed

    Nareddy, Pavan Kumar; Bobbili, Kishore Babu; Swamy, Musti J

    2017-02-01

    A chitooligosaccharide-specific lectin has been purified from the phloem exudate of cucumber (Cucumis sativus) by affinity chromatography on chitin. The molecular weight of the cucumber phloem lectin (CPL) was determined as 51912.8Da by mass spectrometry whereas SDS-PAGE yielded a single band with a subunit mass of 26kDa, indicating that the protein is a homodimer. Peptide mass fingerprinting studies strongly suggest that CPL is identical to the 26kDa phloem protein 2 (PP2) from cucumber. CD spectroscopy indicated that CPL is a predominantly β-sheets protein. Hemagglutination activity of CPL was mostly unaffected between 4 and 90°C and between pH 4.0 and 10.0, indicating functional stability of the protein. Isothermal titration calorimetric studies indicate that the CPL dimer binds to two chitooligosaccharide ((GlcNAc)2-6) molecules with association constants ranging from 1.0×10(3) to 17.5×10(5)M(-1). The binding reaction was strongly enthalpy driven (ΔHb=-ve) with negative contribution from binding entropy (ΔSb=-ve). The enthalpy-driven nature of binding reactions suggests that hydrogen bonding and van der Waals interactions stabilize the CPL-chitooligosaccharide association. Enthalpy-entropy compensation was observed for the CPL-chitooligosaccharide interaction, indicating that water molecules play an important role in the binding process.

  18. Functional Characterization of Cucumis metuliferus Proteinase Inhibitor Gene (CmSPI) in Potyviruses Resistance

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Chia-Wei; Su, Mei-Hsiu; Lin, Yu-Tsung; Chung, Chien-Hung; Ku, Hsin-Mei

    2015-01-01

    Proteinase inhibitors are ubiquitous proteins that block the active center or interact allosterically with proteinases and are involved in plant physiological processes and defense responses to biotic and abiotic stresses. The CmSPI gene identified from Cucumis metuliferus encodes a serine type PI (8 kDa) that belongs to potato I type family. To evaluate the effect of silencing CmSPI gene on Papaya ringspot virus resistance, RNA interference (RNAi) with an inter-space hairpin RNA (ihpRNA) construct was introduced into a PRSV-resistant C. metuliferus line. CmSPI was down-regulated in CmSPI RNAi transgenic lines in which synchronously PRSV symptoms were evident at 21 day post inoculation. Alternatively, heterogeneous expression of CmSPI in Nicotiana benthamiana was also conducted and showed that CmSPI can provide resistance to Potato virus Y, another member of Potyvirus, in transgenic N. benthamiana lines. This study demonstrated that CmSPI plays an important role in resistant function against potyviruses in C. metuliferus and N. benthamiana. PMID:26184285

  19. Metabolic Implications in the Biochemical Responses to Iron Deficiency in Cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) Roots.

    PubMed Central

    Rabotti, G.; De Nisi, P.; Zocchi, G.

    1995-01-01

    Strategy I plants respond to Fe deficiency by inducing morphological and biochemical modifications at the root level that are apt to make iron available for uptake. Cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) grown in the absence of Fe has been shown to increase the capacity to acidify the rhizosphere and Fe3+ reduction activity. We have determined in these roots some metabolic activities that might be correlated with the increased proton extrusion. Proton efflux from roots may be followed by a mechanism regulating the cytosolic pH according to the pH-stat theory. Roots grown in the absence of Fe showed an increase in dark 14CO2 fixation and organic acid synthesis and a 6-fold increase in the extractable phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase activity with respect to the control roots. Dehydrogenase activities producing cytosolic NAD(P)H were also increased under Fe deficiency. The presence of Fe2+, but not Fe3+, inhibited dark 14CO2 fixation in a range between 24 and 52% but did not show any effect on the in vitro phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase activity. PMID:12228426

  20. Estimation and Analysis of Cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) Leaf Cellular Heat Sensitivity.

    PubMed Central

    Caldwell, C. R.

    1993-01-01

    Triphenyl tetrazolium chloride (TTC) reduction by cucumber (Cucumis sativus L. cv Poinsett 76 and cv Ashley) leaf discs was used as a viability assay to examine the effect of temperature pretreatment on the tissue response to acute hyperthermia. Semi-logarithmic plots of TTC reduction as a function of incubation time at different temperatures from 40 to 60[deg]C resembled the heat survival curves of animal cells. Heat inactivation rates were obtained and subjected to "quasi" Arrhenius analyses by analytical methods derived from the animal studies. The Arrhenius plots of TTC reduction rates for cv Ashley leaf discs preincubated at 25 or 37[deg]C and for cv Poinsett 76 preincubated at 37[deg]C were linear with the same activation energy (Ea) of about 80 kcal mol-1. The Arrhenius plot of cv Poinsett 76 preincubated at 25[deg]C was nonlinear with an Ea of about 80 kcal mol-1 at temperatures below 46[deg]C and an Ea of about 27.5 kcal mol-1 at temperatures above 47[deg]C. The significance of these differences is discussed in terms of the role of protein denaturation in the thermal sensitivity of cucumber disc reduction of TTC and the applicability of these methods to the analysis of plant cellular heat sensitivity. PMID:12231745

  1. Ecological observations on an East African bat community

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    O'Shea, Thomas J.; Vaughan, Terry A.

    1980-01-01

    The structure and ecology of bat faunas is a subject of interest to mammalogists (Findley, 1976; Wilson, 1973). Syntopic African bat communities, however, have received little study in comparison with neotropical faunas (cf. Fleming et al., 1972; LaVal and Fitch, 1977; McNab, 1971). Verschuren (1957) presented natural history information and species accounts for a localized central African bat fauna. Foraging related characteristics of a Rhodesian community have also been analyzed (Fenton, 1975; Fenton et al., 1977), but not on a seasonal basis. Other reports on African bat faunas are restricted to regional summaries (cf. Koopman, 1975 or Rosevear, 1965) and do not consider ecological aspects of a single localized community. The purpose of our study was to follow species composition, reproduction, and foraging related characteristics of an East African bat fauna over a full annual cycle.

  2. African American Suicide

    MedlinePlus

    ... accounted for 83.8% of Caucasian elderly suicides. • Firearms were the predominant method of suicide among African ... per 100,000 annually. Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Vital Statistics System. Mortality Data. ...

  3. Obesity and African Americans

    MedlinePlus

    ... and Management System Report to Congress Knowledge Center Capacity Building Information Services Events Calendar Resource Guide Justice ... Workforce Diversity Grants Youth Program Grants Other Grants Planning and Evaluation Grantee Best Practices Black/African American ...

  4. Ectomycorrhizal symbiosis of tropical African trees.

    PubMed

    Bâ, Amadou M; Duponnois, Robin; Moyersoen, Bernard; Diédhiou, Abdala G

    2012-01-01

    The diversity, ecology and function of ectomycorrhizal (EM) fungi and ectomycorrhizas (ECMs) on tropical African tree species are reviewed here. While ECMs are the most frequent mycorrhizal type in temperate and boreal forests, they concern an economically and ecologically important minority of plants in African tropical forests. In these African tropical forests, ECMs are found mainly on caesalpionioid legumes, Sarcolaenaceae, Dipterocarpaceae, Asterpeiaceae, Phyllantaceae, Sapotaceae, Papilionoideae, Gnetaceae and Proteaceae, and distributed in open, gallery and rainforests of the Guineo-Congolian basin, Zambezian Miombo woodlands of East and South-Central Africa and Sudanian savannah woodlands of the sub-sahara. Overall, EM status was confirmed in 93 (26%) among 354 tree species belonging to EM genera. In addition, 195 fungal taxa were identified using morphological descriptions and sequencing of the ML5/ML6 fragment of sporocarps and ECMs from West Africa. Analyses of the belowground EM fungal communities mostly based on fungal internal transcribed spacer sequences of ECMs from Continental Africa, Madagascar and the Seychelles also revealed more than 350 putative species of EM fungi belonging mainly to 18 phylogenetic lineages. As in temperate forests, the /russula-lactarius and /tomentella-thelephora lineages dominated EM fungal flora in tropical Africa. A low level of host preference and dominance of multi-host fungal taxa on different African adult tree species and their seedlings were revealed, suggesting a potential for the formation of common ectomycorrhizal networks. Moreover, the EM inoculum potential in terms of types and density of propagules (spores, sclerotia, EM root fragments and fragments of mycelia strands) in the soil allowed opportunistic root colonisation as well as long-term survival in the soil during the dry season. These are important characteristics when choosing an EM fungus for field application. In this respect, Thelephoroid fungal sp

  5. Orthology Analysis and In Vivo Complementation Studies to Elucidate the Role of DIR1 during Systemic Acquired Resistance in Arabidopsis thaliana and Cucumis sativus

    PubMed Central

    Isaacs, Marisa; Carella, Philip; Faubert, Jennifer; Rose, Jocelyn K. C.; Cameron, Robin K.

    2016-01-01

    AtDIR1 (Defective in Induced Resistance1) is an acidic lipid transfer protein essential for systemic acquired resistance (SAR) in Arabidopsis thaliana. Upon SAR induction, DIR1 moves from locally infected to distant uninfected leaves to activate defense priming; however, a molecular function for DIR1 has not been elucidated. Bioinformatic analysis and in silico homology modeling identified putative AtDIR1 orthologs in crop species, revealing conserved protein motifs within and outside of DIR1’s central hydrophobic cavity. In vitro assays to compare the capacity of recombinant AtDIR1 and targeted AtDIR1-variant proteins to bind the lipophilic probe TNS (6,P-toluidinylnaphthalene-2-sulfonate) provided evidence that conserved leucine 43 and aspartic acid 39 contribute to the size of the DIR1 hydrophobic cavity and possibly hydrophobic ligand binding. An Arabidopsis–cucumber SAR model was developed to investigate the conservation of DIR1 function in cucumber (Cucumis sativus), and we demonstrated that phloem exudates from SAR-induced cucumber rescued the SAR defect in the Arabidopsis dir1-1 mutant. Additionally, an AtDIR1 antibody detected a protein of the same size as AtDIR1 in SAR-induced cucumber phloem exudates, providing evidence that DIR1 function during SAR is conserved in Arabidopsis and cucumber. In vitro TNS displacement assays demonstrated that recombinant AtDIR1 did not bind the SAR signals azelaic acid (AzA), glycerol-3-phosphate or pipecolic acid. However, recombinant CsDIR1 and CsDIR2 interacted weakly with AzA and pipecolic acid. Bioinformatic and functional analyses using the Arabidopsis–cucumber SAR model provide evidence that DIR1 orthologs exist in tobacco, tomato, cucumber, and soybean, and that DIR1-mediated SAR signaling is conserved in Arabidopsis and cucumber. PMID:27200039

  6. Orthology Analysis and In Vivo Complementation Studies to Elucidate the Role of DIR1 during Systemic Acquired Resistance in Arabidopsis thaliana and Cucumis sativus.

    PubMed

    Isaacs, Marisa; Carella, Philip; Faubert, Jennifer; Rose, Jocelyn K C; Cameron, Robin K

    2016-01-01

    AtDIR1 (Defective in Induced Resistance1) is an acidic lipid transfer protein essential for systemic acquired resistance (SAR) in Arabidopsis thaliana. Upon SAR induction, DIR1 moves from locally infected to distant uninfected leaves to activate defense priming; however, a molecular function for DIR1 has not been elucidated. Bioinformatic analysis and in silico homology modeling identified putative AtDIR1 orthologs in crop species, revealing conserved protein motifs within and outside of DIR1's central hydrophobic cavity. In vitro assays to compare the capacity of recombinant AtDIR1 and targeted AtDIR1-variant proteins to bind the lipophilic probe TNS (6,P-toluidinylnaphthalene-2-sulfonate) provided evidence that conserved leucine 43 and aspartic acid 39 contribute to the size of the DIR1 hydrophobic cavity and possibly hydrophobic ligand binding. An Arabidopsis-cucumber SAR model was developed to investigate the conservation of DIR1 function in cucumber (Cucumis sativus), and we demonstrated that phloem exudates from SAR-induced cucumber rescued the SAR defect in the Arabidopsis dir1-1 mutant. Additionally, an AtDIR1 antibody detected a protein of the same size as AtDIR1 in SAR-induced cucumber phloem exudates, providing evidence that DIR1 function during SAR is conserved in Arabidopsis and cucumber. In vitro TNS displacement assays demonstrated that recombinant AtDIR1 did not bind the SAR signals azelaic acid (AzA), glycerol-3-phosphate or pipecolic acid. However, recombinant CsDIR1 and CsDIR2 interacted weakly with AzA and pipecolic acid. Bioinformatic and functional analyses using the Arabidopsis-cucumber SAR model provide evidence that DIR1 orthologs exist in tobacco, tomato, cucumber, and soybean, and that DIR1-mediated SAR signaling is conserved in Arabidopsis and cucumber.

  7. Bushmeat hunting changes regeneration of African rainforests

    PubMed Central

    Effiom, Edu O.; Nuñez-Iturri, Gabriela; Smith, Henrik G.; Ottosson, Ulf; Olsson, Ola

    2013-01-01

    To assess ecological consequences of bushmeat hunting in African lowland rainforests, we compared paired sites, with high and low hunting pressure, in three areas of southeastern Nigeria. In hunted sites, populations of important seed dispersers—both small and large primates (including the Cross River gorilla, Gorilla gorilla diehli)—were drastically reduced. Large rodents were more abundant in hunted sites, even though they are hunted. Hunted and protected sites had similar mature tree communities dominated by primate-dispersed species. In protected sites, seedling communities were similar in composition to the mature trees, but in hunted sites species with other dispersal modes dominated among seedlings. Seedlings emerging 1 year after clearing of all vegetation in experimental plots showed a similar pattern to the standing seedlings. This study thus verifies the transforming effects of bushmeat hunting on plant communities of tropical forests and is one of the first studies to do so for the African continent. PMID:23516245

  8. Parasites of the African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis, in southern California, U.S.A

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kuperman, Boris I.; Matey, Victoria E.; Fisher, Richard N.; Ervin, Edward L.; Warburton, Manna L.; Bakhireva, Ludmila; Lehman, Cynthia A.

    2004-01-01

    A total of 230 feral African clawed frogs, Xenopus laevis, from 3 localities in southern California were examined for parasites. The following species were found: 3 species of Protozoa, Nyctotherussp., Balantidium xenopodis, Protoopalina xenopodus; 2 species of Monogenea, Protopolystoma xenopodis, Gyrdicotylus gallieni; 1 species of Digenea, Clinostomum sp. (as metacercariae); 1 species of Cestoda, Cephalochlamys namaquensis; 2 species of Nematoda, Contracaecum sp. (as larvae), Eustrongylides sp. (as larvae); and 1 species of Acanthocephala, Acanthocephalus sp. (as cystacanth). Of these, the protozoans P. xenopodus and B. xenopodis, both monogeneans, and the cestode have an African origin. Contracaecum sp., Eustrongylides sp., and Acanthocephalus sp. have not been previously reported from X. laevis.

  9. Antioxidant, Sugar, Mineral and Phytonutrient Concentrations Across Edible Fruit Tissues of Orange-Fleshed HoneyDew Melon (Cucumis melo L.)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Orange-fleshed honey dew melon (Cucumis melo L.) equatorial mesocarp was segmented into hypodermal (sub-peel), outer, middle, and inner (near the seed cavity) tissues and assayed for enzymatic antioxidants, fruit sugars, minerals, phytonutrients, and total protein concentrations. Moving inwards fro...

  10. Diversity among melon (Cucumis melo L.) landraces from the Indo-Gangetic plains of India and their genetic relationship with U.S.A. melon cultivars

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We report here the first broad genetic characterization of farmer-developed land races of melon (Cucumis melo L.) from the Indo-Gangetic plains of India, an area overlooked in previous genetic diversity analyses of Indian melon germplasm. Eighty-eight landraces from three melon groups in two subspec...

  11. A consensus linkage map for molecular markers and quantitative trait loci associated with economically important traits in melon (Cucumis melo L.)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A number of molecular marker linkage maps have been developed for melon (Cucumis melo L.) over the last two decades. However, these maps were constructed using different marker sets, thus, making comparative analysis among maps difficult. In order to solve this problem, a consensus genetic map in ...

  12. Evaluation of the Effects of Cucumis sativus Seed Extract on Serum Lipids in Adult Hyperlipidemic Patients: A Randomized Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial.

    PubMed

    Soltani, Rasool; Hashemi, Mohammad; Farazmand, Alimohammad; Asghari, Gholamreza; Heshmat-Ghahdarijani, Kiyan; Kharazmkia, Ali; Ghanadian, Syed Mustafa

    2017-01-01

    Hyperlipidemia is associated with increased risk of atherosclerosis; therefore, control of this risk factor is very important in preventing atherosclerosis. Cucumber (Cucumis sativus) seed is used traditionally as a lipid-lowering nutritional supplement. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of cucumber seed extract on serum lipid profile in adult patients with mild hyperlipidemia. In a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial, hyperlipidemic patients with inclusion criteria were randomly and equally assigned to either Cucumis or placebo groups and used one medicinal or placebo capsule, respectively, once daily with food for 6 wk. Body mass index (BMI) as well as fasting serum levels of total cholesterol, triglycerides (TG), low-density lipoprotein (LDL-C), and high-density lipoprotein (HDL-C) were measured for all patients pre- and post-intervention and finally the changes were compared between the groups. Twenty-four patients in Cucumis group and 23 patients in placebo group completed the study. Cucumis seed extract resulted in significant reduction of total cholesterol (P = 0.016), LDL-C (P < 0.001), TG (P < 0.001), and BMI (P < 0.001) as well as significant increase of HDL-C (P = 0.012) compared to placebo. In conclusion, the consumption of C. sativus seed extract with daily dose of 500 mg results in desirable effects on serum lipid profile in adult hyperlipidemic patients. Therefore, cucumber seed could be considered as a food supplement for treatment of dyslipidemia.

  13. A novel allele of monoecious (m) locus is responsible for elongated fruit shape and perfect flowers in cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.), sex determination is controlled primarily by the F (female) and M (monoecy) loci. Homozygous recessive mm plants bear bisexual (perfect) flowers and the fruits are often round shaped. CsACS2 encoding the 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid synthase has been shown ...

  14. The gene CmACS-7 provides sequence variation for the development of DNA markers associated with monoecious sex expresion in melon (Cucumis melo L.)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Most melon (Cucumis melo L.) breeding lines in South Korea display andromonoecious sex expression (i.e., possessing both bisexual and male flowers on the same plant), which, in turn, necessitates laborious hand emasculation during F1 hybrid seed production. Thus, there is a need to develop monoecio...

  15. A Consensus Linkage Map that Identifies Genomic Regions Controlling Beta-Carotene Quantity and Fruit Maturity in Melon (Cucumis Melo L.)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The nutritional value and yield potential of U.S. Western Shipping melon (Cucumis melo L.) could be improved through the introgression of genes for early fruit maturity (FM) and the enhancement of the quantity of B-carotene (QBC) in fruit mesocarp (i.e., orange mesocarp). Therefore, a set of 116 F3...

  16. Branched-chain and aromatic amino acid catabolism into aroma volatiles in Cucumis melo L. fruit.

    PubMed

    Gonda, Itay; Bar, Einat; Portnoy, Vitaly; Lev, Shery; Burger, Joseph; Schaffer, Arthur A; Tadmor, Ya'akov; Gepstein, Shimon; Giovannoni, James J; Katzir, Nurit; Lewinsohn, Efraim

    2010-02-01

    The unique aroma of melons (Cucumis melo L., Cucurbitaceae) is composed of many volatile compounds biosynthetically derived from fatty acids, carotenoids, amino acids, and terpenes. Although amino acids are known precursors of aroma compounds in the plant kingdom, the initial steps in the catabolism of amino acids into aroma volatiles have received little attention. Incubation of melon fruit cubes with amino acids and alpha-keto acids led to the enhanced formation of aroma compounds bearing the side chain of the exogenous amino or keto acid supplied. Moreover, L-[(13)C(6)]phenylalanine was also incorporated into aromatic volatile compounds. Amino acid transaminase activities extracted from the flesh of mature melon fruits converted L-isoleucine, L-leucine, L-valine, L-methionine, or L-phenylalanine into their respective alpha-keto acids, utilizing alpha-ketoglutarate as the amine acceptor. Two novel genes were isolated and characterized (CmArAT1 and CmBCAT1) encoding 45.6 kDa and 42.7 kDa proteins, respectively, that displayed aromatic and branched-chain amino acid transaminase activities, respectively, when expressed in Escherichia coli. The expression of CmBCAT1 and CmArAT1 was low in vegetative tissues, but increased in flesh and rind tissues during fruit ripening. In addition, ripe fruits of climacteric aromatic cultivars generally showed high expression of CmBCAT1 and CmArAT1 in contrast to non-climacteric non-aromatic fruits. The results presented here indicate that in melon fruit tissues, the catabolism of amino acids into aroma volatiles can initiate through a transamination mechanism, rather than decarboxylation or direct aldehyde synthesis, as has been demonstrated in other plants.

  17. [Identification of two Fusarium isolates and their crude toxin allelopathic effect on Cucumis melo seedlings].

    PubMed

    Zhao, Juan; Xue, Quan-Hong; Du, Jun-Zhi; Chen, Jiao-Jiao

    2013-01-01

    Eight fungi isolates were obtained from Fusarium-infected Cucumis melo (melon) plants and their rhizosphere soils. Taking melon cultivar 'Xitian 1' as test material, the re-inoculation and seed germination experiments were conducted to investigate the pathogenicity and growth inhibition effect of these fungi isolates on melon. Through the determination of the induced enzyme activities, resistant substance contents, and cell membrane permeability of potted melon roots, the allelopathic effect of the crude toxins of two harmful fungi was studied, and according to the morphological characteristics and Internal Transcribed Spacer (ITS) sequencing, the two harmful fungi were identified. The crude toxins of the two harmful fungi TF and HF had strong inhibition effects on the germination and growth of the melon seeds. The MDA and soluble protein contents and the cell membrane permeability of the 'Xitian 1' seedlings roots all increased, among which, the MDA content and cell membrane permeability increased by 108.6% and 40.6%, respectively when treated with the stock solution of TF toxin, compared with the control. The crude toxins of the two harmful fungi improved the induced enzyme activities of the melon roots, with the increment of the PAL and POD activities under the treatment of 10-fold dilution of TF crude toxin increased by 25.6% and 23.2%, respectively. When treated with the stock solution of HF toxin, the PAL activity significantly increased by 30.0%. The two harmful fungi TF and HF were primarily identified as Fusarium equisti and F. proliferatum, respectively. This study showed that the two Fusarium isolates could not infect melon via re-inoculation, but could negatively affect the melon's normal growth and normal physiological and biochemical metabolism via toxins excretion, and in the meantime, improve the root protective enzyme activities, with the effects of both benefit and harmfulness on melon plants. The allelopathic hazard of the crude toxins of the

  18. Genome-wide identification and analysis of the SGR gene family in Cucumis melo L.

    PubMed

    Bade, R G; Bao, M L; Jin, W Y; Ma, Y; Niu, Y D; Hasi, A

    2016-10-17

    Chlorophyll (CHL) is present in many plant organs, and its metabolism is strongly regulated throughout plant development. Understanding the fate of CHL in senescent leaves or during fruit ripening is a complex process. The stay-green (SGR) protein has been shown to affect CHL degradation. In this study, we used the conserved sequences of STAY-GREEN domain protein (NP_567673) in Arabidopsis thaliana as a probe to search SGR family genes in the genome-wide melon protein database. Four candidate SGR family genes were identified in melon (Cucumis melo L. Hetao). The phylogenetic evolution, gene structure, and conserved motifs were subsequently analyzed. In order to verify the function of CmSGR genes in CHL degradation, CmSGR1 and CmSGR2 were transiently overexpressed and silenced using different plasmids in melon. Overexpression of CmSGR1 or CmSGR2 induced leaf yellowing or fruit ripening, while silencing of CmSGR1 or CmSGR2 via RNA interference delayed CHL breakdown during fruit ripening or leaf senescence compared with the wild type. Next, the expression profile was analyzed, and we found that CmSGR genes were expressed ubiquitously. Moreover, CmSGR1 and CmSGR2 were upregulated, and promoted fruit ripening. CmSGR3 and CmSGR4 were more highly expressed in leaves, cotyledon, and stem compared with CmSGR1 or CmSGR2. Thus, we conclude that CmSGR genes are crucial for fruit ripening and leaf senescence. CmSGR protein structure and function were further clarified to provide a theoretical foundation and valuable information for improved performance of melon.

  19. Heterologous Expression and Biochemical Characterization of Two Lipoxygenases in Oriental Melon, Cucumis melo var. makuwa Makino.

    PubMed

    Cao, Songxiao; Chen, Hao; Zhang, Chong; Tang, Yufan; Liu, Jieying; Qi, Hongyan

    2016-01-01

    Lipoxygenases (LOXs) are a class of non-heme iron-containing dioxygenases that catalyse oxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids to produce hydroperoxidation that are in turn converted to oxylipins. Although multiple isoforms of LOXs have been detected in several plants, LOXs in oriental melon have not attracted much attention. Two full-length LOX cDNA clones, CmLOX10 and CmLOX13 which have been isolated from oriental melon (Cucumis melo var. makuwa Makino) cultivar "Yumeiren", encode 902 and 906 amino acids, respectively. Bioinformatics analysis showed that CmLOX10 and CmLOX13 included all of the typical LOX domains and shared 58.11% identity at the amino acid level with each other. The phylogenetic analysis revealed that CmLOX10 and CmLOX13 were members of the type 2 13-LOX subgroup which are known to be involved in biotic and abiotic stress. Heterologous expression of the full-length CmLOX10 and truncated CmLOX13 in Escherichia coli revealed that the encoded exogenous proteins were identical to the predicted molecular weights and possessed the lipoxygenase activities. The purified CmLOX10 and CmLOX13 recombinant enzymes exhibited maximum activity at different temperature and pH and both had higher affinity for linoleic acid than linolenic acid. Chromatogram analysis of reaction products from the CmLOX10 and CmLOX13 enzyme reaction revealed that both enzymes produced 13S-hydroperoxides when linoleic acid was used as substrate. Furthermore, the subcellular localization analysis by transient expression of the two LOX fusion proteins in tobacco leaves showed that CmLOX10 and CmLOX13 proteins were located in plasma membrane and chloroplasts respectively. We propose that the two lipoxygenases may play different functions in oriental melon during plant growth and development.

  20. Crystal structure of cucumisin, a subtilisin-like endoprotease from Cucumis melo L.

    PubMed

    Murayama, Kazutaka; Kato-Murayama, Miyuki; Hosaka, Toshiaki; Sotokawauchi, Ami; Yokoyama, Shigeyuki; Arima, Kazunari; Shirouzu, Mikako

    2012-10-26

    Cucumisin is a plant serine protease, isolated as an extracellular glycoprotein from the melon fruit Cucumis melo L. var. Prince. Cucumisin is composed of multiple domain modules, including catalytic, protease-associated, and fibronectin-III-like domains. The crystal structure of cucumisin was determined by the multiwavelength anomalous dispersion method and refined at 2.75Å resolution. A structural homology search indicated that the catalytic domain of cucumisin shares structural similarity with subtilisin and subtilisin-like fold enzymes. According to the Z-score, the highest structural similarity is with tomato subtilase 3 (SBT3), with an rmsd of 3.5Å for the entire region. The dimer formation mediated by the protease-associated domain in SBT3 is a distinctive structural characteristic of cucumisin. On the other hand, analytical ultracentrifugation indicated that cucumisin is mainly monomeric in solution. Although the locations of the amino acid residues composing the catalytic triad are well conserved between cucumisin and SBT3, a disulfide bond is uniquely located near the active site of cucumisin. The steric circumstances of the active site with this disulfide bond are distinct from those of SBT3, and it contributes to the substrate preference of cucumisin, especially at the P2 position. Among the plant serine proteases, the thermostability of cucumisin is higher than that of its structural homologue SBT3, as determined by their melting points. A structural comparison between cucumisin and SBT3 revealed that cucumisin possesses less surface area and shortened loop regions. Consequently, the higher thermostability of cucumisin is achieved by its more compact structure.

  1. A 'golden' SNP in CmOr governs the fruit flesh color of melon (Cucumis melo).

    PubMed

    Tzuri, Galil; Zhou, Xiangjun; Chayut, Noam; Yuan, Hui; Portnoy, Vitaly; Meir, Ayala; Sa'ar, Uzi; Baumkoler, Fabian; Mazourek, Michael; Lewinsohn, Efraim; Fei, Zhangjun; Schaffer, Arthur A; Li, Li; Burger, Joseph; Katzir, Nurit; Tadmor, Yaakov

    2015-04-01

    The flesh color of Cucumis melo (melon) is genetically determined, and can be white, light green or orange, with β-carotene being the predominant pigment. We associated carotenoid accumulation in melon fruit flesh with polymorphism within CmOr, a homolog of the cauliflower BoOr gene, and identified CmOr as the previously described gf locus in melon. CmOr was found to co-segregate with fruit flesh color, and presented two haplotypes (alleles) in a broad germplasm collection, one being associated with orange flesh and the second being associated with either white or green flesh. Allelic variation of CmOr does not affect its transcription or protein level. The variation also does not affect its plastid subcellular localization. Among the identified single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) between CmOr alleles in orange versus green/white-flesh fruit, a single SNP causes a change of an evolutionarily highly conserved arginine to histidine in the CmOr protein. Functional analysis of CmOr haplotypes in an Arabidopsis callus system confirmed the ability of the CmOr orange haplotype to induce β-carotene accumulation. Site-directed mutagenesis of the CmOr green/white haplotype to change the CmOR arginine to histidine triggered β-carotene accumulation. The identification of the 'golden' SNP in CmOr, which is responsible for the non-orange and orange melon fruit phenotypes, provides new tools for studying the Or mechanism of action, and suggests genome editing of the Or gene for nutritional biofortification of crops.

  2. Protective role of Mangifera indica, Cucumis melo and Citrullus vulgaris peel extracts in chemically induced hypothyroidism.

    PubMed

    Parmar, Hamendra Singh; Kar, Anand

    2009-02-12

    An investigation was made to evaluate the pharmacological importance of fruit peel extracts of Mangifera indica (MI), Citrullus vulgaris (CV) and Cucumis melo (CM) with respect to the possible regulation of tissue lipid peroxidation (LPO), thyroid dysfunctions, lipid and glucose metabolism. Pre-standardized doses (200mg/kg of MI and 100mg/kg both of CV and CM), based on the maximum inhibition in hepatic LPO, were administered to Wistar albino male rats for 10 consecutive days and the changes in tissue (heart, liver and kidney) LPO and in the concentrations of serum triiodothyronine (T(3)), thyroxin (T(4)), insulin, glucose, alpha-amylase and different lipids were examined. Administration of three test peel extracts significantly increased both the thyroid hormones (T(3) and T(4)) with a concomitant decrease in tissue LPO, suggesting their thyroid stimulatory and antiperoxidative role. This thyroid stimulatory nature was also exhibited in propylthiouracil (PTU) induced hypothyroid animals. However, only minor influence was observed in serum lipid profile in which CM reduced the concentrations of total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C), while CV decreased triglycerides and very low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (VLDL-C). When the combined effects of either two (MI+CV) or three (MI+CV+CM) peel extracts were evaluated in euthyroid animals, serum T(3) concentration was increased in response to MI+CV and MI+CV+CM treatments, while T(4) level was elevated by the combinations of first two peels only. Interestingly, both the categories of combinations increased T(4) levels, but not T(3) in PTU treated hypothyroid animals. Moreover, a parallel increase in hepatic and renal LPO was observed in these animals, suggesting their unsafe nature in combination. In conclusion the three test peel extracts appear to be stimulatory to thyroid functions and inhibitory to tissue LPO but only when treated individually.

  3. Water Relations of Seed Development and Germination in Muskmelon (Cucumis melo L.) 1

    PubMed Central

    Welbaum, Gregory E.; Bradford, Kent J.

    1988-01-01

    Total water potential (ψ), solute potential, and turgor potential of field-grown muskmelon (Cucumis melo L.) fruit tissue (pericarp) and seeds were determined by thermocouple psychrometry at 5-day intervals from 10 to 65 days after anthesis (DAA). Fruit maturity occurred between 44 and 49 DAA, and seed germination ability developed between 35 and 45 DAA. Pericarp ψ was essentially constant at approximately −0.75 megapascal (MPa) from 10 to 25 DAA, then decreased to a minimum value of −1.89 MPa at 50 DAA before increasing to −1.58 MPa at 65 DAA. Seed ψ remained relatively constant at approximately −0.5 MPa from 10 to 30 DAA then decreased to −2.26 MPa at 50 to 60 DAA before increasing to −2.01 MPa at 65 DAA. After a rapid increase to 20 DAA, seed fresh weight declined until 30 DAA due to net water loss, despite continuing dry weight gain. As fruit and seed growth rates decreased, turgor potential initially increased, then declined to small values when growth ceased. A disequilibrium in ψ was measured between seeds and pericarp both early and late in development. From 20 to 40 DAA, the ψ gradient was from the seed to the tissue, coinciding with water loss from the seeds. From 50 to 65 DAA, seed ψ decreased, causing a reversal of the ψ gradient and a slight increase in seed water content. The partitioning of solutes between symplast and apoplast may create and maintain ψ gradients between the pericarp and seed. The low solute potential within the pericarp due to solute accumulation and loss of cellular compartmentation during ripening and sensecence may be involved in prevention of precocious germination of mature seeds. PMID:16665921

  4. Water Relations of Seed Development and Germination in Muskmelon (Cucumis melo L.) 1

    PubMed Central

    Welbaum, Gregory E.; Bradford, Kent J.

    1990-01-01

    We previously reported that an apparent water potential disequilibrium is maintained late in muskmelon (Cucumis melo L.) seed development between the embryo and the surrounding fruit tissue (mesocarp). To further investigate the basis of this phenomenon, the permeability characteristics of the tissues surrounding muskmelon embryos (the mucilaginous endocarp, the testa, a 2- to 4-cell-layered perisperm and a single cell layer of endosperm) were examined from 20 to 65 days after anthesis (DAA). Water passes readily through the perisperm envelope (endosperm + perisperm), testa, and endocarp at all stages of development. Electrolyte leakage (conductivity of imbibition solutions) of individual intact seeds, decoated seeds (testa removed), and embryos (testa and perisperm envelope removed) was measured during imbibition of freshly harvested seeds. The testa accounted for up to 80% of the total electrolyte leakage. Leakage from decoated seeds fell by 8- to 10-fold between 25 and 45 DAA. Presence of the perisperm envelope prior to 40 DAA had little effect on leakage, while in more mature seeds, it reduced leakage by 2- to 3-fold. In mature seeds, freezing, soaking in methanol, autoclaving, accelerated aging, and other treatments which killed the embryos had little effect on leakage of intact or decoated seeds, but caused osmotic swelling of the perisperm envelope due to the leakage of solutes from the embryo into the space between the embryo and perisperm. The semipermeability of the perisperm envelope of mature seeds did not depend upon cellular viability or lipid membrane integrity. After maximum seed dry weight is attained (35-40 DAA), the perisperm envelope prevents the diffusion of solutes, but not of water, between the embryo and the surrounding testa, endocarp, and mesocarp tissue. Images Figure 5 PMID:16667368

  5. Mutualistic association of Paecilomyces formosus LHL10 offers thermotolerance to Cucumis sativus.

    PubMed

    Khan, Abdul Latif; Hamayun, Muhammad; Radhakrishnan, Ramalingam; Waqas, Muhammad; Kang, Sang-Mo; Kim, Yoon-Ha; Shin, Jae-Ho; Choo, Yeon-Sik; Kim, Jong-Guk; Lee, In-Jung

    2012-02-01

    We investigated in this study the influence of an endophytic fungus, Paecilomyces formosus LHL10, on the thermotolerance of cucumber (Cucumis sativus) upon exposure to high (38°C) and low (8°C) temperature stresses. The results showed that endophyte-inoculated plants had significantly higher plant growth attributes under high-temperature stress. However, they were either low or insignificant in non-inoculated control and inoculated plants with 8°C treatments. Lower stress-promulgated water deficit and cellular membrane damage were observed in endophyte-treated plants after 38°C treatment than in control plants under 8°C stress. Total polyphenol, reduced glutathione, and lipid peroxidation activities were reduced in endophyte-associated plants after exposure to 38°C as compared with control and 8°C-treated plants. The concentration of saturated fatty acids (palmitic-C16:0; stearic-C18:0) was lower in endophyte-treated plants with or without low-temperature stress, but after 8°C treatment increased compared with controls. Unsaturated fatty acids (oleic-C18:1; linoleic-C18:2; linolenic-C18:3 acids) were similar at normal conditions; however, at 38°C, C18:2 and C18:3 were decreased, and C18:1 was increased in endophyte-treated plants compared with controls, while the inverse relationship was found at 8°C. Low levels of abscisic acid in P. formosus-associated plants after 38°C treatments revealed stress tolerance compared with control and 8°C-treated plants. In contrast, salicylic acid was pronounced in endophyte-treated plants after low-temperature stress as compared to other treatments. The results provide evidence that the response to P. formosus association was beneficial at normal growth temperature and had varying effects in response to temperature stress.

  6. Uptake and/or utilization of two simple phenolic acids by Cucumis sativus

    SciTech Connect

    Shann, J.R.

    1986-01-01

    The uptake of ferulic acid (FA) and p-hydroxybenzoic acid (p-HBA) from solutions (0.1 to 1.00 mM, pH 4.0 to 7.0), was determined for intact and excised roots of Cucumis sativus. Uptake methods based on high performance liquid chromatographic (HPLC) analysis of phenolic acid depletion from solution were compared to those radioisotopic methods employing (U-ring-/sup 14/C)FA or p-HBA. Although radiotracer methods more accurately reflected actual uptake of the compounds by cucumber seedlings, HPLC solution depletion methods may be useful in the elucidation of trends over very limited periods of time. The uptake of FA was unaffected by the presence of p-HBA. The uptake of p-HBA was reduced by 30% in the presence of FA when compared to the uptake from solutions containing p-HBA alone. Ferulic acid acts both as an allelopathic agent and precursor in the endogenous process of lignification. To evaluate the involvement of exogenous FA in lignin biosynthesis, roots of hydroponically grown cucumber seedlings were exposed to concentrations of FA labeled with (U-ring-/sup 14/C)FA. Radiotracer was distributed throughout the seedling. A quantitative change in lignification occurred in treated seedlings. In roots and stems, the level of lignin increased with the number of exposures and as the concentrations of exogenous FA increased. Radiotracer was found in the residues of lignin isolated from seedling tissue treated with (U-ring-/sup 14/C)FA. This suggested the utilization of the exogenously applied FA in the endogenous process of lignification.

  7. Endogenous salicylic acid accumulation is required for chilling tolerance in cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) seedlings.

    PubMed

    Dong, Chun-Juan; Li, Liang; Shang, Qing-Mao; Liu, Xin-Yan; Zhang, Zhi-Gang

    2014-10-01

    Salicylic acid (SA) is an important plant hormone, and its exogenous application can induce tolerance to multiple environmental stresses in plants. In this study, we examine the potential involvement of endogenous SA in response to chilling in cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) seedlings. A low temperature of 8 °C induces a moderate increase in endogenous SA levels. Chilling stimulates the enzymatic activities and the expression of genes for phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL) and benzoic acid-2-hydroxylase rather than isochorismate synthase. This indicates that the PAL enzymatic pathway contributes to chilling-induced SA production. Cucumber seedlings pretreated with SA biosynthesis inhibitors accumulate less endogenous SA and suffer more from chilling damage. The expression of cold-responsive genes is also repressed by SA inhibitors. The reduction in stress tolerance and in gene expression can be restored by the exogenous application of SA, confirming the critical roles of SA in chilling responses in cucumber seedlings. Furthermore, the inhibition of SA biosynthesis under chilling stress results in a prolonged and enhanced hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) accumulation. The application of exogenous SA and the chemical scavenger of H2O2 reduces the excess H2O2 and alleviates chilling injury. In contrast, the protective effects of SA are negated by foliar spraying with high concentrations of H2O2 and an inhibitor of the antioxidant enzyme. These results suggest that endogenous SA is required in response to chilling stress in cucumber seedlings, by modulating the expression of cold-responsive genes and the precise induction of cellular H2O2 levels.

  8. QTL mapping of powdery mildew resistance in WI 2757 cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.).

    PubMed

    He, Xiaoming; Li, Yuhong; Pandey, Sudhakar; Yandell, Brain S; Pathak, Mamta; Weng, Yiqun

    2013-08-01

    Powdery mildew (PM) is a very important disease of cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.). Resistant cultivars have been deployed in production for a long time, but the genetic mechanisms of PM resistance in cucumber are not well understood. A 3-year QTL mapping study of PM resistance was conducted with 132 F2:3 families derived from two cucumber inbred lines WI 2757 (resistant) and True Lemon (susceptible). A genetic map covering 610.4 cM in seven linkage groups was developed with 240 SSR marker loci. Multiple QTL mapping analysis of molecular marker data and disease index of the hypocotyl, cotyledon and true leaf for responses to PM inoculation identified six genomic regions in four chromosomes harboring QTL for PM resistance in WI 2757. Among the six QTL, pm1.1 and pm1.2 in chromosome 1 conferred leaf resistance. Minor QTL pm3.1 (chromosome 3) and pm4.1 (chromosome 4) contributed to disease susceptibility. The two major QTL, pm5.1 and pm5.2 were located in an interval of ~40 cM in chromosome 5 with each explaining 21.0-74.5 % phenotypic variations. Data presented herein support two recessively inherited, linked major QTL in chromosome 5 plus minor QTL in other chromosomes that control the PM resistance in WI 2757. The QTL pm5.2 for hypocotyl resistance plays the most important role in host resistance. Multiple observations in the same year revealed the importance of scoring time in the detection of PM resistance QTL. Results of this study provided new insights into phenotypic and genetic mechanisms of powdery mildew resistance in cucumber.

  9. Isolation and functional characterization of CsLsi1, a silicon transporter gene in Cucumis sativus.

    PubMed

    Sun, Hao; Guo, Jia; Duan, Yaoke; Zhang, Tiantian; Huo, Heqiang; Gong, Haijun

    2017-02-01

    Cucumber (Cucumis sativus) is a widely grown cucurbitaceous vegetable that exhibits a relatively high capacity for silicon (Si) accumulation, but the molecular mechanism for silicon uptake remains to be clarified. Here we isolated and characterized CsLsi1, a gene encoding a silicon transporter in cucumber (cv. Mch-4). CsLsi1 shares 55.70 and 90.63% homology with the Lsi1s of a monocot and dicot, rice (Oryza sativa) and pumpkin (Cucurbita moschata), respectively. CsLsi1 was predominantly expressed in the roots, and application of exogenous silicon suppressed its expression. Transient expression in cucumber protoplasts showed that CsLsi1 was localized in the plasma membrane. Heterologous expression in Xenopus laevis oocytes showed that CsLsi1 evidenced influx transport activity for silicon but not urea or glycerol. Expression of cucumber CsLsi1-mGFP under its own promoter showed that CsLsi1 was localized at the distal side of the endodermis and the cortical cells in the root tips as well as in the root hairs near the root tips. Heterologous expression of CsLsi1 in a rice mutant defective in silicon uptake and the over-expression of this gene in cucumber further confirmed the role of CsLsi1 in silicon uptake. Our results suggest that CsLsi1 is a silicon influx transporter in cucumber. The cellular localization of CsLsi1 in cucumber roots is different from that in other plants, implying the possible effect of transporter localization on silicon uptake capability.

  10. Boron toxicity is alleviated by hydrogen sulfide in cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) seedlings.

    PubMed

    Wang, Bao-Lan; Shi, Lei; Li, Yin-Xing; Zhang, Wen-Hao

    2010-05-01

    Boron (B) is an essential micronutrient for plants, which when occurs in excess in the growth medium, becomes toxic to plants. Rapid inhibition of root elongation is one of the most distinct symptoms of B toxicity. Hydrogen sulfide (H(2)S) is emerging as a potential messenger molecule involved in modulation of physiological processes in plants. In the present study, we investigated the role of H(2)S in B toxicity in cucumber (Cucumis sativus) seedlings. Root elongation was significantly inhibited by exposure of cucumber seedlings to solutions containing 5 mM B. The inhibitory effect of B on root elongation was substantially alleviated by treatment with H(2)S donor sodium hydrosulfide (NaHS). There was an increase in the activity of pectin methylesterase (PME) and up-regulated expression of genes encoding PME (CsPME) and expansin (CsExp) on exposure to high B concentration. The increase in PME activity and up-regulation of expression of CsPME and CsExp induced by high B concentration were markedly reduced in the presence of H(2)S donor. There was a rapid increase in soluble B concentrations in roots on exposure to high concentration B solutions. Treatment with H(2)S donor led to a transient reduction in soluble B concentration in roots such that no differences in soluble B concentrations in roots in the absence and presence of NaHS were found after 8 h exposure to the high concentration B solutions. These findings suggest that increases in activities of PME and expansin may underlie the inhibition of root elongation by toxic B, and that H(2)S plays an ameliorative role in protection of plants from B toxicity by counteracting B-induced up-regulation of cell wall-associated proteins of PME and expansins.

  11. Cloning and expression analysis of transketolase gene in Cucumis sativus L.

    PubMed

    Bi, Huangai; Wang, Meiling; Dong, Xubing; Ai, Xizhen

    2013-09-01

    Transketolase (TK, EC 2.2.1.1) is a key enzyme in the photosynthetic carbon reduction cycle (Calvin cycle). A full-length cDNA encoding transketolase (TK, designated as CsTK) was isolated from cucumber leaves (Cucumis sativa L. cv 'Jinyou 3') by RT-PCR and RACE. The cDNA contained 2368 nucleotides with a complete open reading frame (ORF) of 2229 nucleotides, which was predicted to encode a peptide of 742 amino acids. Expression analysis by real-time PCR and western blot revealed that TK mRNA was abundant in cucumber leaves and detectable in stems, fruits and roots. TK activity and the gene expression at the mRNA and protein levels was higher in mid-position leaves (4th apical leaves) than in upper position leaves (1st) and base position leaves (12th). The diurnal variation of CsTK expression and TK activity in the optimal functional leaf (4th leaf) was a single-peak curve, and the peak appeared at 14:00 on a sunny day. Low temperature (5 °C) and low light (100 μmol m(-2) s(-1)) induced CsTK expression, but the expression level decreased after 24 h of chilling stress. Over-expression of CsTK increased the TK activity, mRNA abundance and activities of other main enzymes in Calvin cycle, and net photosynthetic rate (Pn) in transgenic cucumber leaves. Transgenic plants showed a higher ratio of female flower and yield relative to the wild type (WT) plants. The decreases in Pn and carboxylation efficiency (CE) were less in transgenic plants than that in WT during low temperature and low light intensity.

  12. Effects of ultraviolet-B radiation on fungal disease development in Cucumis sativus

    SciTech Connect

    Orth, A.B.; Teramura, A.H.; Sisler, H.D. )

    1990-09-01

    Stratospheric ozone depletion due to increased atmospheric pollutants has received considerable attention because of the potential increase in ultraviolet-B (UV-B, 280-320 nm) radiation that will reach the earth's surface. Three cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) cultivars were exposed to a daily dose of 11.6 kJ m{sup {minus}2} biologically effective ultraviolet-B (UV-B{sub BE}) radiation in an unshaded greenhouse before and/or after injection by Colletotrichum lagenarium (Pass.) Ell. and Halst. or Cladosporium cucumerinum Ell. and Arth. and analyzed for disease development. Two of these cultivars, Poinsette and Calypso Hybrid, were disease resistant, while the third cultivar, Straight-8, was disease susceptible. Preinfectional treatment of 1 to 7 days with UV-B{sub BE} in Straight-8 led to greater severity of both diseases. Postinfectional UV treatment did not lead to increased disease severity caused by C. lagenarium, while preinfectional UV treatment in both Straight-8 and Poinsette substantially increased disease severity. Although resistant cultivars Poinsette and Calypso Hybrid showed increased anthracnose disease severity when exposed to UV-B, this effect was apparent only on the cotyledons. Both higher spore concentration and exposure to UV-B radiation resulted in greater disease severity. Of the cucumber cultivars tested for UV-B sensitivity, growth in Poinsette was most sensitive and Calypso Hybrid was least sensitive. These preliminary results indicate that the effects of UV-B radiation on disease development in cucumber vary depending on cultivar, timing and duration of UV-B exposure, inoculation level, and plant age.

  13. Genome-wide identification and characterization of polygalacturonase genes in Cucumis sativus and Citrullus lanatus.

    PubMed

    Yu, Youjian; Liang, Ying; Lv, Meiling; Wu, Jian; Lu, Gang; Cao, Jiashu

    2014-01-01

    Polygalacturonase (PG, EC3.2.1.15), one of the hydrolytic enzymes associated with the modification of pectin network in plant cell wall, has an important role in various cell-separation processes that are essential for plant development. PGs are encoded by a large gene family in plants. However, information on this gene family in plant development remains limited. In the present study, 53 and 62 putative members of the PG gene family in cucumber and watermelon genomes, respectively, were identified by genome-wide search to explore the composition, structure, and evolution of the PG family in Cucurbitaceae crops. The results showed that tandem duplication could be an important factor that contributes to the expansion of the PG genes in the two crops. The phylogenetic and evolutionary analyses suggested that PGs could be classified into seven clades, and that the exon/intron structures and intron phases were conserved within but divergent between clades. At least 24 ancestral PGs were detected in the common ancestor of Arabidopsis and Cucumis sativus. Expression profile analysis by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction demonstrated that most CsPGs exhibit specific or high expression pattern in one of the organs/tissues. The 16 CsPGs associated with fruit development could be divided into three subsets based on their specific expression patterns and the cis-elements of fruit-specific, endosperm/seed-specific, and ethylene-responsive exhibited in their promoter regions. Our comparative analysis provided some basic information on the PG gene family, which would be valuable for further functional analysis of the PG genes during plant development.

  14. Genome-wide BAC-end sequencing of Cucumis melo using two BAC libraries

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Although melon (Cucumis melo L.) is an economically important fruit crop, no genome-wide sequence information is openly available at the current time. We therefore sequenced BAC-ends representing a total of 33,024 clones, half of them from a previously described melon BAC library generated with restriction endonucleases and the remainder from a new random-shear BAC library. Results We generated a total of 47,140 high-quality BAC-end sequences (BES), 91.7% of which were paired-BES. Both libraries were assembled independently and then cross-assembled to obtain a final set of 33,372 non-redundant, high-quality sequences. These were grouped into 6,411 contigs (4.5 Mb) and 26,961 non-assembled BES (14.4 Mb), representing ~4.2% of the melon genome. The sequences were used to screen genomic databases, identifying 7,198 simple sequence repeats (corresponding to one microsatellite every 2.6 kb) and 2,484 additional repeats of which 95.9% represented transposable elements. The sequences were also used to screen expressed sequence tag (EST) databases, revealing 11,372 BES that were homologous to ESTs. This suggests that ~30% of the melon genome consists of coding DNA. We observed regions of microsynteny between melon paired-BES and six other dicotyledonous plant genomes. Conclusion The analysis of nearly 50,000 BES from two complementary genomic libraries covered ~4.2% of the melon genome, providing insight into properties such as microsatellite and transposable element distribution, and the percentage of coding DNA. The observed synteny between melon paired-BES and six other plant genomes showed that useful comparative genomic data can be derived through large scale BAC-end sequencing by anchoring a small proportion of the melon genome to other sequenced genomes. PMID:21054843

  15. Occidental diffusion of cucumber (Cucumis sativus) 500–1300 CE: two routes to Europe

    PubMed Central

    Paris, Harry S.; Daunay, Marie-Christine; Janick, Jules

    2012-01-01

    Background The cucumber, Cucumis sativus, is one of the most widely consumed fruit vegetables the world over. The history of its dispersal to the Occident from its centre of origin, the Indian subcontinent, has been incorrectly understood for some time, due to the confusion of cucumbers with vegetable melons. Iconographic and literary evidence has shown that cucumber was absent in Roman times, up to 500 CE, but present in Europe by late medieval times, 1300. The objective of the present investigation was to determine more accurately when the cucumber arrived in Europe and by what route. Findings and Conclusions The evidence for the movement of C. sativus westward is entirely lexicographical until the 10th century. Syriac, Persian and Byzantine Greek sources suggest the presence of cucumbers, to the east and north-east of the Mediterranean Sea (modern Iran, Iraq and Turkey), by the 6th or 7th century. Arabic medical writings suggest the presence of cucumbers in Spain as early as the mid-9th century and in Tunisia by the early 10th century. Descriptive evidence in Arabic establishes the presence of cucumbers in Andalusia by the second half of the 10th century. Latin translations from Arabic sources indicate the presence of cucumbers in southern Italy by the second half of the 11th century. These writings, together with lexicographical discrepancies in names of cucurbits in late medieval Latin writings, suggest that cucumber was introduced to Europe by two independent diffusions. One diffusion appears to have been overland from Persia into eastern and northern Europe and preceded the Islamic conquests. The other, subsequent diffusion into western and southern Europe, was probably by a mostly maritime route from Persia or the Indian subcontinent into Andalusia. PMID:22104164

  16. Heterologous Expression and Biochemical Characterization of Two Lipoxygenases in Oriental Melon, Cucumis melo var. makuwa Makino

    PubMed Central

    Cao, Songxiao; Chen, Hao; Zhang, Chong; Tang, Yufan; Liu, Jieying; Qi, Hongyan

    2016-01-01

    Lipoxygenases (LOXs) are a class of non-heme iron-containing dioxygenases that catalyse oxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids to produce hydroperoxidation that are in turn converted to oxylipins. Although multiple isoforms of LOXs have been detected in several plants, LOXs in oriental melon have not attracted much attention. Two full-length LOX cDNA clones, CmLOX10 and CmLOX13 which have been isolated from oriental melon (Cucumis melo var. makuwa Makino) cultivar “Yumeiren”, encode 902 and 906 amino acids, respectively. Bioinformatics analysis showed that CmLOX10 and CmLOX13 included all of the typical LOX domains and shared 58.11% identity at the amino acid level with each other. The phylogenetic analysis revealed that CmLOX10 and CmLOX13 were members of the type 2 13-LOX subgroup which are known to be involved in biotic and abiotic stress. Heterologous expression of the full-length CmLOX10 and truncated CmLOX13 in Escherichia coli revealed that the encoded exogenous proteins were identical to the predicted molecular weights and possessed the lipoxygenase activities. The purified CmLOX10 and CmLOX13 recombinant enzymes exhibited maximum activity at different temperature and pH and both had higher affinity for linoleic acid than linolenic acid. Chromatogram analysis of reaction products from the CmLOX10 and CmLOX13 enzyme reaction revealed that both enzymes produced 13S-hydroperoxides when linoleic acid was used as substrate. Furthermore, the subcellular localization analysis by transient expression of the two LOX fusion proteins in tobacco leaves showed that CmLOX10 and CmLOX13 proteins were located in plasma membrane and chloroplasts respectively. We propose that the two lipoxygenases may play different functions in oriental melon during plant growth and development. PMID:27101009

  17. Pan-African genetic structure in the African buffalo (Syncerus caffer): investigating intraspecific divergence.

    PubMed

    Smitz, Nathalie; Berthouly, Cécile; Cornélis, Daniel; Heller, Rasmus; Van Hooft, Pim; Chardonnet, Philippe; Caron, Alexandre; Prins, Herbert; van Vuuren, Bettine Jansen; De Iongh, Hans; Michaux, Johan

    2013-01-01

    The African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) exhibits extreme morphological variability, which has led to controversies about the validity and taxonomic status of the various recognized subspecies. The present study aims to clarify these by inferring the pan-African spatial distribution of genetic diversity, using a comprehensive set of mitochondrial D-loop sequences from across the entire range of the species. All analyses converged on the existence of two distinct lineages, corresponding to a group encompassing West and Central African populations and a group encompassing East and Southern African populations. The former is currently assigned to two to three subspecies (S. c. nanus, S. c. brachyceros, S. c. aequinoctialis) and the latter to a separate subspecies (S. c. caffer). Forty-two per cent of the total amount of genetic diversity is explained by the between-lineage component, with one to seventeen female migrants per generation inferred as consistent with the isolation-with-migration model. The two lineages diverged between 145 000 to 449 000 years ago, with strong indications for a population expansion in both lineages, as revealed by coalescent-based analyses, summary statistics and a star-like topology of the haplotype network for the S. c. caffer lineage. A Bayesian analysis identified the most probable historical migration routes, with the Cape buffalo undertaking successive colonization events from Eastern toward Southern Africa. Furthermore, our analyses indicate that, in the West-Central African lineage, the forest ecophenotype may be a derived form of the savanna ecophenotype and not vice versa, as has previously been proposed. The African buffalo most likely expanded and diverged in the late to middle Pleistocene from an ancestral population located around the current-day Central African Republic, adapting morphologically to colonize new habitats, hence developing the variety of ecophenotypes observed today.

  18. Pan-African Genetic Structure in the African Buffalo (Syncerus caffer): Investigating Intraspecific Divergence

    PubMed Central

    Smitz, Nathalie; Berthouly, Cécile; Cornélis, Daniel; Heller, Rasmus; Van Hooft, Pim; Chardonnet, Philippe; Caron, Alexandre; Prins, Herbert; van Vuuren, Bettine Jansen; De Iongh, Hans; Michaux, Johan

    2013-01-01

    The African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) exhibits extreme morphological variability, which has led to controversies about the validity and taxonomic status of the various recognized subspecies. The present study aims to clarify these by inferring the pan-African spatial distribution of genetic diversity, using a comprehensive set of mitochondrial D-loop sequences from across the entire range of the species. All analyses converged on the existence of two distinct lineages, corresponding to a group encompassing West and Central African populations and a group encompassing East and Southern African populations. The former is currently assigned to two to three subspecies (S. c. nanus, S. c. brachyceros, S. c. aequinoctialis) and the latter to a separate subspecies (S. c. caffer). Forty-two per cent of the total amount of genetic diversity is explained by the between-lineage component, with one to seventeen female migrants per generation inferred as consistent with the isolation-with-migration model. The two lineages diverged between 145 000 to 449 000 years ago, with strong indications for a population expansion in both lineages, as revealed by coalescent-based analyses, summary statistics and a star-like topology of the haplotype network for the S. c. caffer lineage. A Bayesian analysis identified the most probable historical migration routes, with the Cape buffalo undertaking successive colonization events from Eastern toward Southern Africa. Furthermore, our analyses indicate that, in the West-Central African lineage, the forest ecophenotype may be a derived form of the savanna ecophenotype and not vice versa, as has previously been proposed. The African buffalo most likely expanded and diverged in the late to middle Pleistocene from an ancestral population located around the current-day Central African Republic, adapting morphologically to colonize new habitats, hence developing the variety of ecophenotypes observed today. PMID:23437100

  19. Transcriptomic and physiological characterization of the fefe mutant of melon (Cucumis melo) reveals new aspects of iron–copper crosstalk

    PubMed Central

    Waters, Brian M.; McInturf, Samuel A.; Amundsen, Keenan

    2014-01-01

    Summary Iron (Fe) and copper (Cu) homeostasis are tightly linked across biology. In previous work, Fe deficiency interacted with Cu regulated genes and stimulated Cu accumulation. The C940-fe (fefe) Fe uptake mutant of melon (Cucumis melo) was characterized, and the fefe mutant was used to test whether Cu deficiency could stimulate Fe uptake. Wild type and fefe mutant transcriptomes were determined by RNA-seq under Fe and Cu deficiency. FeFe regulated genes included core Fe uptake, metal homeostasis, and transcription factor genes. Numerous genes were regulated by both Fe and Cu. The fefe mutant was rescued by high Fe or by Cu deficiency, which stimulated ferric-chelate reductase activity, FRO2 expression, and Fe accumulation. Accumulation of Fe in Cu deficient plants was independent of the normal Fe uptake system. One of the four FRO genes in the melon and cucumber (Cucumis sativus) genomes was Fe regulated, and one was Cu regulated. Simultaneous Fe and Cu deficiency synergistically upregulated Fe uptake gene expression. Overlap in Fe and Cu deficiency transcriptomes highlights the importance of Fe– Cu crosstalk in metal homeostasis. The fefe gene is not orthologous to FIT, thus identification of this gene will provide clues to help understand regulation of Fe uptake in plants. PMID:24975482

  20. Anti-hyperlipidemic activity of Cucumis melo fruit peel extracts in high cholesterol diet induced hyperlipidemia in rats.

    PubMed

    Bidkar, Jayant S; Ghanwat, Dhanaji Dadaso; Bhujbal, Madhuri D; Dama, Ganesh Y

    2012-09-24

    Abstract Cucumis melo Linn. (Cucurbitaceae) fruits have been used, traditionally in Indian traditional system of medicine, for the treatment of various disorders such as liver tonic, cardioprotective, antidiabetic, antiobesity, etc. The aim of the present study was to investigate the possible anti-hyperlipidemic activity of Cucumis melo fruit peel (CMFP) methanolic and aqueous extract in high cholesterol diet induced hyperlipidemia in rats. Treatment with CMFP methanolic and aqueous extract showed significant (P<0.01) reduction in gain in body weight, serum lipid profile like total cholesterol (TC), triglyceride (TG), low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) level, atherogenic index and increased the serum high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) levels in 28 days treatment when compared to the hyperlipidemic control group. The fecal excretion of bile acids and sterols was further increased upon treatment with CMFP methanolic and aqueous extract and standard drug. Administration of methanolic extract of CMFP at a dose of 500 mg/kg showed higher antihyperlipidemic activity as compared to other extract treated groups. The results concluded that CMFP methanolic extract (500 mg/kg) have potent antihyperlipidemic activity in high cholesterol diet induced hyperlipidemia model and which is equipotent activity when compared with atorvastatin treated group.

  1. Transcriptomic and physiological characterization of the fefe mutant of melon (Cucumis melo) reveals new aspects of iron-copper crosstalk.

    PubMed

    Waters, Brian M; McInturf, Samuel A; Amundsen, Keenan

    2014-09-01

    Iron (Fe) and copper (Cu) homeostasis are tightly linked across biology. In previous work, Fe deficiency interacted with Cu-regulated genes and stimulated Cu accumulation. The C940-fe (fefe) Fe-uptake mutant of melon (Cucumis melo) was characterized, and the fefe mutant was used to test whether Cu deficiency could stimulate Fe uptake. Wild-type and fefe mutant transcriptomes were determined by RNA-seq under Fe and Cu deficiency. FeFe-regulated genes included core Fe uptake, metal homeostasis, and transcription factor genes. Numerous genes were regulated by both Fe and Cu. The fefe mutant was rescued by high Fe or by Cu deficiency, which stimulated ferric-chelate reductase activity, FRO2 expression, and Fe accumulation. Accumulation of Fe in Cu-deficient plants was independent of the normal Fe-uptake system. One of the four FRO genes in the melon and cucumber (Cucumis sativus) genomes was Fe-regulated, and one was Cu-regulated. Simultaneous Fe and Cu deficiency synergistically up-regulated Fe-uptake gene expression. Overlap in Fe and Cu deficiency transcriptomes highlights the importance of Fe-Cu crosstalk in metal homeostasis. The fefe gene is not orthologous to FIT, and thus identification of this gene will provide clues to help understand regulation of Fe uptake in plants.

  2. Mental Health and African Americans

    MedlinePlus

    ... Minority Population Profiles > Black/African American > Mental Health Mental Health and African Americans Poverty level affects mental health ... compared to 120% of non-Hispanic whites. 1 MENTAL HEALTH STATUS Serious psychological distress among adults 18 years ...

  3. Co-mapping studies of QTLs for fruit acidity and candidate genes of organic acid metabolism and proton transport in sweet melon (Cucumis melo L.).

    PubMed

    Cohen, S; Tzuri, G; Harel-Beja, R; Itkin, M; Portnoy, V; Sa'ar, U; Lev, S; Yeselson, L; Petrikov, M; Rogachev, I; Aharoni, A; Ophir, R; Tadmor, Y; Lewinsohn, E; Burger, Y; Katzir, N; Schaffer, A A

    2012-07-01

    Sweet melon cultivars contain a low level of organic acids and, therefore, the quality and flavor of sweet melon fruit is determined almost exclusively by fruit sugar content. However, genetic variability for fruit acid levels in the Cucumis melo species exists and sour fruit accessions are characterized by acidic fruit pH of <5, compared to the sweet cultivars that are generally characterized by mature fruit pH values of >6. In this paper, we report results from a mapping population based on recombinant inbred lines (RILs) derived from the cross between the non-sour 'Dulce' variety and the sour PI 414323 accession. Results show that a single major QTL for pH co-localizes with major QTLs for the two predominant organic acids in melon fruit, citric and malic, together with an additional metabolite which we identified as uridine. While the acidic recombinants were characterized by higher citric and malic acid levels, the non-acidic recombinants had a higher uridine content than did the acidic recombinants. Additional minor QTLs for pH, citric acid and malic acid were also identified and for these the increased acidity was unexpectedly contributed by the non-sour parent. To test for co-localization of these QTLs with genes encoding organic acid metabolism and transport, we mapped the genes encoding structural enzymes and proteins involved in organic acid metabolism, transport and vacuolar H+ pumps. None of these genes co-localized with the major pH QTL, indicating that the gene determining melon fruit pH is not one of the candidate genes encoding this primary metabolic pathway. Linked markers were tested in two additional inter-varietal populations and shown to be linked to the pH trait. The presence of the same QTL in such diverse segregating populations suggests that the trait is determined throughout the species by variability in the same gene and is indicative of a major role of the evolution of this gene in determining the important domestication trait of fruit

  4. African rainforests: past, present and future

    PubMed Central

    Malhi, Yadvinder; Adu-Bredu, Stephen; Asare, Rebecca A.; Lewis, Simon L.; Mayaux, Philippe

    2013-01-01

    The rainforests are the great green heart of Africa, and present a unique combination of ecological, climatic and human interactions. In this synthesis paper, we review the past and present state processes of change in African rainforests, and explore the challenges and opportunities for maintaining a viable future for these biomes. We draw in particular on the insights and new analyses emerging from the Theme Issue on ‘African rainforests: past, present and future’ of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. A combination of features characterize the African rainforest biome, including a history of climate variation; forest expansion and retreat; a long history of human interaction with the biome; a relatively low plant species diversity but large tree biomass; a historically exceptionally high animal biomass that is now being severely hunted down; the dominance of selective logging; small-scale farming and bushmeat hunting as the major forms of direct human pressure; and, in Central Africa, the particular context of mineral- and oil-driven economies that have resulted in unusually low rates of deforestation and agricultural activity. We conclude by discussing how this combination of factors influences the prospects for African forests in the twenty-first century. PMID:23878339

  5. The Struggles over African Languages

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Maseko, Pam; Vale, Peter

    2016-01-01

    In this interview, African Language expert Pam Maseko speaks of her own background and her first encounter with culture outside of her mother tongue, isiXhosa. A statistical breakdown of South African languages is provided as background. She discusses Western (originally missionary) codification of African languages and suggests that this approach…

  6. East African cheetahs: evidence for two population bottlenecks?

    PubMed

    O'Brien, S J; Wildt, D E; Bush, M; Caro, T M; FitzGibbon, C; Aggundey, I; Leakey, R E

    1987-01-01

    A combined population genetic and reproductive analysis was undertaken to compare free-ranging cheetahs from east Africa (Acinonyx jubatus raineyi) with the genetically impoverished and reproductively impaired south African subspecies (Acinonyx jubatus jubatus). Like that of their south African counterparts, the quality of semen specimens from east African cheetahs was poor, with a low concentration of spermatozoa (25.3 X 10(6) per ejaculate) and a high incidence of morphological abnormalities (79%). From an electrophoretic survey of the products of 49 genetic loci in A. jubatus raineyi, two allozyme polymorphisms were detected; one of these, for a nonspecific esterase, shows an allele that is rare (less than 1% incidence) in south African specimens. Estimates of polymorphism (2-4%) and average heterozygosity (0.0004-0.014) affirm the cheetah as the least genetically variable felid species. The genetic distance between south and east African cheetahs was low (0.004), suggesting that the development of genetic uniformity preceded the recent geographic isolation of the subspecies. We propose that at least two population bottlenecks followed by inbreeding produced the modern cheetah species. The first and most extreme was ancient, possibly late Pleistocene (circa 10,000 years ago); the second was more recent (within the last century) and led to the south African populations.

  7. East African cheetahs: evidence for two population bottlenecks?

    PubMed Central

    O'Brien, S J; Wildt, D E; Bush, M; Caro, T M; FitzGibbon, C; Aggundey, I; Leakey, R E

    1987-01-01

    A combined population genetic and reproductive analysis was undertaken to compare free-ranging cheetahs from east Africa (Acinonyx jubatus raineyi) with the genetically impoverished and reproductively impaired south African subspecies (Acinonyx jubatus jubatus). Like that of their south African counterparts, the quality of semen specimens from east African cheetahs was poor, with a low concentration of spermatozoa (25.3 X 10(6) per ejaculate) and a high incidence of morphological abnormalities (79%). From an electrophoretic survey of the products of 49 genetic loci in A. jubatus raineyi, two allozyme polymorphisms were detected; one of these, for a nonspecific esterase, shows an allele that is rare (less than 1% incidence) in south African specimens. Estimates of polymorphism (2-4%) and average heterozygosity (0.0004-0.014) affirm the cheetah as the least genetically variable felid species. The genetic distance between south and east African cheetahs was low (0.004), suggesting that the development of genetic uniformity preceded the recent geographic isolation of the subspecies. We propose that at least two population bottlenecks followed by inbreeding produced the modern cheetah species. The first and most extreme was ancient, possibly late Pleistocene (circa 10,000 years ago); the second was more recent (within the last century) and led to the south African populations. PMID:3467370

  8. Narcolepsy in African Americans

    PubMed Central

    Kawai, Makoto; O'Hara, Ruth; Einen, Mali; Lin, Ling; Mignot, Emmanuel

    2015-01-01

    Study Objectives: Although narcolepsy affects 0.02–0.05% of individuals in various ethnic groups, clinical presentation in different ethnicities has never been fully characterized. Our goal was to study phenotypic expression across ethnicities in the United States. Design/Setting: Cases of narcolepsy from 1992 to 2013 were identified from searches of the Stanford Center for Narcolepsy Research database. International Classification of Sleep Disorders, Third Edition diagnosis criteria for type 1 and type 2 narcolepsy were used for inclusion, but subjects were separated as with and without cataplexy for the purpose of data presentation. Information extracted included demographics, ethnicity and clinical data, HLA-DQB1*06:02, polysomnography (PSG), multiple sleep latency test (MSLT) data, and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) hypocretin-1 level. Patients: 182 African-Americans, 839 Caucasians, 35 Asians, and 41 Latinos with narcolepsy. Results: Sex ratio, PSG, and MSLT findings did not differ across ethnicities. Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) score was higher and age of onset of sleepiness earlier in African Americans compared with other ethnicities. HLA-DQB1*06:02 positivity was higher in African Americans (91.0%) versus others (76.6% in Caucasians, 80.0% in Asians, and 65.0% in Latinos). CSF hypocretin-1 level, obtained in 222 patients, was more frequently low (≤ 110 pg/ml) in African Americans (93.9%) versus Caucasians (61.5%), Asians (85.7%) and Latinos (75.0%). In subjects with low CSF hypocretin-1, African Americans (28.3%) were 4.5 fold more likely to be without cataplexy when compared with Caucasians (8.1%). Conclusions: Narcolepsy in African Americans is characterized by earlier symptom onset, higher Epworth Sleepiness Scale score, higher HLA-DQB1*06:02 positivity, and low cerebrospinal fluid hypocretin-1 level in the absence of cataplexy. In African Americans, more subjects without cataplexy have type 1 narcolepsy. Citation: Kawai M, O'Hara R, Einen M, Lin L

  9. Reactions of some cucurbitaceous species Tozucchini yellow mosaic virus (ZYMV).

    PubMed

    Csorba, R; Kiss, E F; Molnár, L

    2004-01-01

    Zucchini yellow mosaic virus (ZYMV) is a widespread serious pathogen of cucurbitaceous plants. ZYMV was first detected in Hungary in 1995. Since then it has become one of the most dangerous viruses of the Cucurbitaceae family causing serious epidemics. The virus has many hosts, which - particularly perennial ones - may play important role as virus reservoirs and infection sources in virus epidemiology. On the other hand wild weed species maybe sources of resistance to viruses. Our research was carried out on a total of 15 wild species from 8 genera (Cucumis, Cucurbita, Cyclanthera, Ecballium Momordica, Lagenaria, Zehneria, Bryonia). Test plants were mechanically inoculated with ZYMV. Local and systemic symptoms were determined and 5 weeks after inoculation DAS-ELISA tests were also carried out. Symptomless plants were reinoculated to Cucumis sativus cv. Accordia test plants. On the basis of the results we determined the percentages of infections and so we classified the test-plants into sensitive and resistance categories. On the basis of the results new host plants of ZYMV are the followings: Bryonia dioica, Cyclanthera pedata, Ecballium elaterium, Momordica balsamina, Momordica rostrata, and Zehneria scabra. Among them Momordica balsamina and Ecballium elaterium showed latent to ZYMV. Bryonia alba and Zehneria indica are especially remarkable, because they proved resistant to ZYMV on the basis of symptomatology and serology. Our results might have significant role in the field of research of host range, virus resistance and virus differentiation.

  10. Bergbambos and Oldeania, new genera of African bamboos (Poaceae, Bambusoideae)

    PubMed Central

    Stapleton, Chris M. A.

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Two new monotypic genera, Bergbambos and Oldeania are described for African temperate bamboo species in the tribe Arundinarieae, after a comparison of their morphological characteristics with those of similar species from Asia. Morphological differences are supported by their isolated geographical distributions. Molecular evidence does not support the inclusion of these species in related Asian genera, recognising them instead as distinct lineages. New combinations Bergbambos tessellata and Oldeania alpina are made. PMID:24198715

  11. The genetic structure and history of Africans and African Americans.

    PubMed

    Tishkoff, Sarah A; Reed, Floyd A; Friedlaender, Françoise R; Ehret, Christopher; Ranciaro, Alessia; Froment, Alain; Hirbo, Jibril B; Awomoyi, Agnes A; Bodo, Jean-Marie; Doumbo, Ogobara; Ibrahim, Muntaser; Juma, Abdalla T; Kotze, Maritha J; Lema, Godfrey; Moore, Jason H; Mortensen, Holly; Nyambo, Thomas B; Omar, Sabah A; Powell, Kweli; Pretorius, Gideon S; Smith, Michael W; Thera, Mahamadou A; Wambebe, Charles; Weber, James L; Williams, Scott M

    2009-05-22

    Africa is the source of all modern humans, but characterization of genetic variation and of relationships among populations across the continent has been enigmatic. We studied 121 African populations, four African American populations, and 60 non-African populations for patterns of variation at 1327 nuclear microsatellite and insertion/deletion markers. We identified 14 ancestral population clusters in Africa that correlate with self-described ethnicity and shared cultural and/or linguistic properties. We observed high levels of mixed ancestry in most populations, reflecting historical migration events across the continent. Our data also provide evidence for shared ancestry among geographically diverse hunter-gatherer populations (Khoesan speakers and Pygmies). The ancestry of African Americans is predominantly from Niger-Kordofanian (approximately 71%), European (approximately 13%), and other African (approximately 8%) populations, although admixture levels varied considerably among individuals. This study helps tease apart the complex evolutionary history of Africans and African Americans, aiding both anthropological and genetic epidemiologic studies.

  12. Mechanisms and tempo of evolution in the African Guineo-Congolian rainforest.

    PubMed Central

    Plana, Vanessa

    2004-01-01

    This paper reviews how and when African rainforest diversity arose, presenting evidence from both plant and animal studies. Preliminary investigations show that these African forests are an assemblage of species of varying age. Phylogenetic evidence, from both African rainforest angiosperms and vertebrates, suggest a Tertiary origin for the major lineages in some of these groups. In groups where savannah species are well represented and rainforest species are a minority, the latter appear to be relics of a Mid-Tertiary rainforest. By contrast, species that are primarily adapted to rainforest have arisen in the past 10 Myr with the main morphological innovations dating from the Late Miocene, and Quaternary speciation dominating in large, morphologically homogeneous groups. The small number of species-level phylogenies for African rainforest plants hinders a more incisive and detailed study into the historical assembly of these continental forests. PMID:15519974

  13. Epidemiology of African swine fever virus.

    PubMed

    Costard, S; Mur, L; Lubroth, J; Sanchez-Vizcaino, J M; Pfeiffer, D U

    2013-04-01

    African swine fever virus used to occur primarily in Africa. There had been occasional incursions into Europe or America which apart from the endemic situation on the island of Sardinia always had been successfully controlled. But following an introduction of the virus in 2007, it now has expanded its geographical distribution into Caucasus and Eastern Europe where it has not been controlled, to date. African swine fever affects domestic and wild pig species, and can involve tick vectors. The ability of the virus to survive within a particular ecosystem is defined by the ecology of its wild host populations and the characteristics of livestock production systems, which influence host and vector species densities and interrelationships. African swine fever has high morbidity in naïve pig populations and can result in very high mortality. There is no vaccine or treatment available. Apart from stamping out and movement control, there are no control measures, thereby potentially resulting in extreme losses for producers. Prevention and control of the infection requires good understanding of its epidemiology, so that targeted measures can be instigated.

  14. Elective: African Literature.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jenkins, Kenneth V.

    The make-up of a course in African literature for high school students is discussed. It is pointed out that the course can be constructed on already familiar lines. High school students will be able to describe clearly, for example, the relationship between environment and character or the dilemma of characters caught between traditional values…

  15. African Americans and Agriculture.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Morgan, Joan

    2000-01-01

    Reviews the opportunities available in the field of agriculture for African American students and notes efforts of the 136 colleges of agriculture to publicize their offerings and recruit students. Profiles six black leaders in agriculture, highlighting their achievements in research and aid to developing countries. A table provides data on annual…

  16. African Literature: Selected Resources.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Deschenes, Martin O.; Waters, Harold A.

    This bibliography of resources for the teaching of African literature includes over 100 citations of books, textbooks, anthologies, plays, novels, short stories, and periodicals in French and English. Publishing house addresses, audiovisual aids, professional organizations, and a course list are also cited. The books are listed under the following…

  17. Characterization of PSI recovery after chilling-induced photoinhibition in cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) leaves.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Zishan; Jia, Yujiao; Gao, Huiyuan; Zhang, Litao; Li, Haidong; Meng, Qingwei

    2011-11-01

    By simultaneously analyzing the chlorophyll a fluorescence transient and light absorbance at 820 nm as well as chlorophyll fluorescence quenching, we investigated the effects of different photon flux densities (0, 15, 200 μmol m(-2) s(-1)) with or without 3-(3,4-dichlorophenyl)-1,1-dimethylurea (DCMU) on the repair process of cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) leaves after treatment with low temperature (6°C) combined with moderate photon flux density (200 μmol m(-2 )s(-1)) for 6 h. Both the maximal photochemical efficiency of Photosystem II (PSII) (F (v)/F (m)) and the content of active P700 (ΔI/I (o)) significantly decreased after chilling treatment under 200 μmol m(-2 )s(-1) light. After the leaves were transferred to 25°C, F (v)/F (m) recovered quickly under both 200 and 15 μmol m(-2 )s(-1) light. ΔI/I (o) recovered quickly under 15 μmol m(-2) s(-1) light, but the recovery rate of ΔI/I (o) was slower than that of F (v)/F (m). The cyclic electron transport was inhibited by chilling-light treatment obviously. The recovery of ΔI/I (o) was severely suppressed by 200 μmol m(-2) s(-1) light, whereas a pretreatment with DCMU effectively relieved this suppression. The cyclic electron transport around PSI recovered in a similar way as the active P700 content did, and the recovery of them was both accelerated by pretreatment with DCMU. The results indicate that limiting electron transport from PSII to PSI protected PSI from further photoinhibition, accelerating the recovery of PSI. Under a given photon flux density, faster recovery of PSII compared to PSI was detrimental to the recovery of PSI or even to the whole photosystem.

  18. Evaluating paratransgenesis as a potential control strategy for African trypanosomiasis.

    PubMed

    Medlock, Jan; Atkins, Katherine E; Thomas, David N; Aksoy, Serap; Galvani, Alison P

    2013-01-01

    Genetic-modification strategies are currently being developed to reduce the transmission of vector-borne diseases, including African trypanosomiasis. For tsetse, the vector of African trypanosomiasis, a paratransgenic strategy is being considered: this approach involves modification of the commensal symbiotic bacteria Sodalis to express trypanosome-resistance-conferring products. Modified Sodalis can then be driven into the tsetse population by cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI) from Wolbachia bacteria. To evaluate the effectiveness of this paratransgenic strategy in controlling African trypanosomiasis, we developed a three-species mathematical model of trypanosomiasis transmission among tsetse, humans, and animal reservoir hosts. Using empirical estimates of CI parameters, we found that paratransgenic tsetse have the potential to eliminate trypanosomiasis, provided that any extra mortality caused by Wolbachia colonization is low, that the paratransgene is effective at protecting against trypanosome transmission, and that the target tsetse species comprises a large majority of the tsetse population in the release location.

  19. New 2-(2-phenylethyl)chromone derivatives from the seeds of Cucumis melo L var. reticulatus.

    PubMed

    Ibrahim, Sabrin R M

    2010-03-01

    Chemical investigation of the methanolic extract of the seeds of Cucumis melo L. var. reticulatus (Cucurbitaceae) afforded three new chromone derivatives; 5,7-dihydroxy-2-[2-(4-hydroxyphenyl)ethyl]chromone 3, 5,7-dihydroxy-2-[2-(3,4-dihydroxyphenyl)ethyl]chromone 4, and 7-glucosyloxy-5-hydroxy-2-[2-(4-hydroxyphenyl)ethyl]chromone 6, together with three known compounds; beta-amyrin 1, beta-sitosterol 2, and beta-sitosterol-3-O-beta-glucopyranoside 5. Their structures were established by UV, IR, 1D and 2D NMR, in addition to mass spectroscopic data and comparison with literature data. The n-hexane and methanolic extracts were evaluated for their antimicrobial activity, as well as cytotoxic activity using the brine shrimp bioassay.

  20. Expression of recombinant Digitalis lanata EHRH. cardenolide 16'-O-glucohydrolase in Cucumis sativus L. hairy roots.

    PubMed

    Shi, He-Ping; Lindemann, Peter

    2006-11-01

    The coding sequence for the Digitalis lanata EHRH. cardenolide 16'-O-glucohydrolase was inserted downstream of the 35S promoter in the binary vector pBI121 resulting in plant expression vector pBI121cgh. Cotyledon explants excised from 10-day-old seedlings of Cucumis sativus L. were transformed using Agrobacterium rhizogenes 15834 harbouring pBI121cgh. Hairy roots were obtained from infected cotyledon explants in vitro 10 days after inoculation. PCR amplification of coding sequences for cgh I, rolB and rolC from Ri plasmid showed that the aimed sequences were inserted into the genome of transformed cucumber hairy roots. Glycolytic activity of the transgenic CGH I was measured by HPLC using Lanatoside glycosides as substrate. Therefore, the cgh I transformed cucumber hairy roots may provide a valuable model for biotransformation of natural compounds by recombinant enzymes.

  1. Solving the Traveling Salesman's Problem Using the African Buffalo Optimization

    PubMed Central

    Odili, Julius Beneoluchi; Mohmad Kahar, Mohd Nizam

    2016-01-01

    This paper proposes the African Buffalo Optimization (ABO) which is a new metaheuristic algorithm that is derived from careful observation of the African buffalos, a species of wild cows, in the African forests and savannahs. This animal displays uncommon intelligence, strategic organizational skills, and exceptional navigational ingenuity in its traversal of the African landscape in search for food. The African Buffalo Optimization builds a mathematical model from the behavior of this animal and uses the model to solve 33 benchmark symmetric Traveling Salesman's Problem and six difficult asymmetric instances from the TSPLIB. This study shows that buffalos are able to ensure excellent exploration and exploitation of the search space through regular communication, cooperation, and good memory of its previous personal exploits as well as tapping from the herd's collective exploits. The results obtained by using the ABO to solve these TSP cases were benchmarked against the results obtained by using other popular algorithms. The results obtained using the African Buffalo Optimization algorithm are very competitive. PMID:26880872

  2. Solving the Traveling Salesman's Problem Using the African Buffalo Optimization.

    PubMed

    Odili, Julius Beneoluchi; Mohmad Kahar, Mohd Nizam

    2016-01-01

    This paper proposes the African Buffalo Optimization (ABO) which is a new metaheuristic algorithm that is derived from careful observation of the African buffalos, a species of wild cows, in the African forests and savannahs. This animal displays uncommon intelligence, strategic organizational skills, and exceptional navigational ingenuity in its traversal of the African landscape in search for food. The African Buffalo Optimization builds a mathematical model from the behavior of this animal and uses the model to solve 33 benchmark symmetric Traveling Salesman's Problem and six difficult asymmetric instances from the TSPLIB. This study shows that buffalos are able to ensure excellent exploration and exploitation of the search space through regular communication, cooperation, and good memory of its previous personal exploits as well as tapping from the herd's collective exploits. The results obtained by using the ABO to solve these TSP cases were benchmarked against the results obtained by using other popular algorithms. The results obtained using the African Buffalo Optimization algorithm are very competitive.

  3. Understanding traditional African healing

    PubMed Central

    MOKGOBI, M.G.

    2015-01-01

    Traditional African healing has been in existence for many centuries yet many people still seem not to understand how it relates to God and religion/spirituality. Some people seem to believe that traditional healers worship the ancestors and not God. It is therefore the aim of this paper to clarify this relationship by discussing a chain of communication between the worshipers and the Almighty God. Other aspects of traditional healing namely types of traditional healers, training of traditional healers as well as the role of traditional healers in their communities are discussed. In conclusion, the services of traditional healers go far beyond the uses of herbs for physical illnesses. Traditional healers serve many roles which include but not limited to custodians of the traditional African religion and customs, educators about culture, counselors, social workers and psychologists. PMID:26594664

  4. Diversity among African Pygmies

    PubMed Central

    Ramírez Rozzi, Fernando V.; Sardi, Marina L.

    2010-01-01

    Although dissimilarities in cranial and post-cranial morphology among African pygmies groups have been recognized, comparative studies on skull morphology usually pull all pygmies together assuming that morphological characters are similar among them and different with respect to other populations. The main aim of this study is to compare cranial morphology between African pygmies and non-pygmies populations from Equatorial Africa derived from both the Eastern and the Western regions in order to test if the greatest morphological difference is obtained in the comparison between pygmies and non-pygmies. Thirty three-dimensional (3D) landmarks registered with Microscribe in four cranial samples (Western and Eastern pygmies and non-pygmies) were obtained. Multivariate analysis (generalized Procrustes analysis, Mahalanobis distances, multivariate regression) and complementary dimensions of size were evaluated with ANOVA and post hoc LSD. Results suggest that important cranial shape differentiation does occur between pygmies and non-pygmies but also between Eastern and Western populations and that size changes and allometries do not affect similarly Eastern and Western pygmies. Therefore, our findings raise serious doubt about the fact to consider African pygmies as a homogenous group in studies on skull morphology. Differences in cranial morphology among pygmies would suggest differentiation after divergence. Although not directly related to skull differentiation, the diversity among pygmies would probably suggest that the process responsible for reduced stature occurred after the split of the ancestors of modern Eastern and Western pygmies. PMID:21049030

  5. Human African trypanosomiasis.

    PubMed

    Lejon, Veerle; Bentivoglio, Marina; Franco, José Ramon

    2013-01-01

    Human African trypanosomiasis or sleeping sickness is a neglected tropical disease that affects populations in sub-Saharan Africa. The disease is caused by infection with the gambiense and rhodesiense subspecies of the extracellular parasite Trypanosoma brucei, and is transmitted to humans by bites of infected tsetse flies. The disease evolves in two stages, the hemolymphatic and meningoencephalitic stages, the latter being defined by central nervous system infection after trypanosomal traversal of the blood-brain barrier. African trypanosomiasis, which leads to severe neuroinflammation, is fatal without treatment, but the available drugs are toxic and complicated to administer. The choice of medication is determined by the infecting parasite subspecies and disease stage. Clinical features include a constellation of nonspecific symptoms and signs with evolving neurological and psychiatric alterations and characteristic sleep-wake disturbances. Because of the clinical profile variability and insidiously progressive central nervous system involvement, disease staging is currently based on cerebrospinal fluid examination, which is usually performed after the finding of trypanosomes in blood or other body fluids. No vaccine being available, control of human African trypanosomiasis relies on diagnosis and treatment of infected patients, assisted by vector control. Better diagnostic tools and safer, easy to use drugs are needed to facilitate elimination of the disease.

  6. Two new Myxidium species (Myxosporea: Myxidiidae) infecting the gallbladder of African flying fish, Cheilopogon nigricans and Suez fusilier, Caesio suevicus from the Red Sea, Egypt: a morphological and morphometric study.

    PubMed

    Abdel-Baki, Abdel-Azeem Sh

    2009-08-01

    Myxidium maamouni sp. n. and Myxidium aydai sp. n. were described from the gallbladder of the African flying fish Cheilopogon nigricans and Suez fusilier Caesio suevicus, respectively. Fishes were collected from the Red Sea at Al-Quseir, Egypt. M. maamouni have irregular to mostly rounded polysporous plasmodia with diameter of 27 microm. Spores were sigmoid or S-shaped and sometimes spindle-shaped in the frontal view with smooth valves. They measured 13.5 x 8.0 x 8.2 microm in size. Their polar capsules were equal pyriform and measured 7.0 x 3.2 microm in size with nine to 12 coils. Spores of M. aydai were spindle-shaped in the frontal view with thin smooth valves. They measured 23.0 x 5.6 x 5.5 microm in size. Their polar capsules were pyriform and measured 7.2 x 3.4 microm in size with eight to nine coils.

  7. Exploring African Rice Genetic Diversity for Genetic Stock Development

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    West African cultivated rice (Oryza glaberrima) and its progenitor species, O. barthii, are a source of genes for crop improvement especially pest resistance (blast, sheath blight, brown spot, bacterial blight, bacterial leaf streak, green leafhopper) and tolerance to abiotic stress (drought, acid s...

  8. East African Rift Valley, Kenya

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1990-01-01

    This rare, cloud free view of the East African Rift Valley, Kenya (1.5N, 35.5E) shows a clear view of the Turkwell River Valley, an offshoot of the African REift System. The East African Rift is part of a vast plate fracture which extends from southern Turkey, through the Red Sea, East Africa and into Mozambique. Dark green patches of forests are seen along the rift margin and tea plantations occupy the cooler higher ground.

  9. Neutralising antibodies to lumpy skin disease virus in African wildlife.

    PubMed

    Hedger, R S; Hamblin, C

    1983-01-01

    A total of 3445 sera from 44 different wild species collected between 1963 and 1982 in 11 African countries south of the Sahara, were examined for neutralising antibodies to Lumpy Skin Diseases (LSD) Virus (prototype Neethling). Antibodies were demonstrated in six species but were of low prevalence. It was concluded from the generally negative results, that wildlife in Africa probably does not play a very important part in he perpetuation and spread of LSD Virus.

  10. Elder Abuse among African Americans

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tauriac, Jesse J.; Scruggs, Natoschia

    2006-01-01

    Perceptions of extreme, moderate, and mild forms of elder abuse among African-American women (n=25) and men (n=10) were examined. African-American respondents emphasized physical abuse when giving examples of extremely abusive behavior. Along with physical abuse, verbal abuse was the most frequently identified form of abuse, and was significantly…

  11. African ethics and voluntary euthanasia.

    PubMed

    Omonzejele, P F

    2004-01-01

    This paper outlines the relationship between euthanasia and its ethical norms and practices in a part of West Africa. The various sub-types of euthanasia are described in detail, parallel with the role of African ethical theories in determining their relevance. The author discusses the implications of this approach relative to the social and economic state of African communities.

  12. African American Administrators and Staff

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wright, Dianne; Taylor, Janice D.; Burrell, Charlotte; Stewart, Gregory

    2006-01-01

    This article explores the issues of African American participation in the administrative ranks of the academy. The authors find that African Americans tend to hold positions that are marginal in academic organizations, lacking power and influence, and that not much has changed over recent decades. Forces influencing this condition are explored,…

  13. African-Americans and Alcoholism.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sigmon, Scott B.

    To better serve people in a counseling relationship, it is useful to understand them not only culturally, but demographically as well. This paper traces historical, religious, demographic aspects and treatment of alcohol abuse in African Americans. Historically, alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence have varied for African Americans. During the…

  14. Africanization in the United States

    PubMed Central

    Pinto, M. Alice; Rubink, William L.; Patton, John C.; Coulson, Robert N.; Johnston, J. Spencer

    2005-01-01

    The expansion of Africanized honeybees from South America to the southwestern United States in <50 years is considered one of the most spectacular biological invasions yet documented. In the American tropics, it has been shown that during their expansion Africanized honeybees have low levels of introgressed alleles from resident European populations. In the United States, it has been speculated, but not shown, that Africanized honeybees would hybridize extensively with European honeybees. Here we report a continuous 11-year study investigating temporal changes in the genetic structure of a feral population from the southern United States undergoing Africanization. Our microsatellite data showed that (1) the process of Africanization involved both maternal and paternal bidirectional gene flow between European and Africanized honeybees and (2) the panmitic European population was replaced by panmitic mixtures of A. m. scutellata and European genes within 5 years after Africanization. The post-Africanization gene pool (1998–2001) was composed of a diverse array of recombinant classes with a substantial European genetic contribution (mean 25–37%). Therefore, the resulting feral honeybee population of south Texas was best viewed as a hybrid swarm. PMID:15937139

  15. Out of Africa: The first introduced African geophilomorph centipede record from a European greenhouse (Chilopoda: Geophilidae).

    PubMed

    Dányi, László; Tuf, Ivan Hadrián

    2016-01-26

    In Europe, 184 species of Geophilomorpha are recognised (Bonato & Minelli 2014) of which eight are evaluated as alien to the region (Stoev et al. 2010, Decker et al. 2014). Four of these have been reported from greenhouses exclusively: Mecistocephalus guildingii Newport, 1843, Mecistocephalus maxillaris (Gervais, 1837), Tygarrup javanicus Attems, 1929 and Pectiniunguis pauperatus Silvestri, 1907. In this paper, we report another species, Polygonarea silvicola Lawrence, 1955, which is the first Geophilomorpha species of unambiguous African origin in Europe. Description of the specimen found in Olomouc (Czech Republic) is provided. Co-occurrence of another African species, the lithobiomorph Lamyctes africanus (Porath, 1871) (also new for Czech Republic) is also reported here.

  16. First record of the African-Indian centipede genus Digitipes Attems, 1930 (Scolopendromorpha: Otostigminae) from Myanmar, and the systematic position of a new species based on molecular phylogenetics.

    PubMed

    Siriwut, Warut; Edgecombe, Gregory D; Sutcharit, Chirasak; Tongkerd, Piyoros; Panha, Somsak

    2015-03-11

    The first Southeast Asian record of the scolopendrid centipede Digitipes Attems, 1930, has been collected and analyzed based on a new species from Myanmar, males possessing a distomedial process on the ultimate leg femur that is diagnostic of the genus. Digitipes kalewaensis n. sp., described herein, is distinguished from other members of Digitipes by its 2.5 to 2.7 dorsally glabrous antennal articles, an unusually long basal suture on the tooth-plates, absence of a lateral spine on the coxopleural process, and a lack of median and dorso-median spines on the ultimate leg prefemur. Maximum likelihood and Bayesian analyses of two molecular markers (mitochondrial COI and 16S rRNA) supported the proposal of a new species from Myanmar. The phylogenetic tree identifies Digitipes barnabasi from the Western Ghats, India, in a polytomy with members of other genera of Otostigminae (Otostigmus, Ethmostigmus and Rhysida) and a robust Indian-Burmese Digitipes clade in which D. kalewaensis n. sp. is resolved as sister group to a clade composed of most Indian species. Available molecular dates for the diversification of Indian Digitipes are consistent with introduction of the genus into SE Asia when the Indian subcontinent made contact with Myanmar in the early Palaeogene.

  17. Cancer statistics for African Americans.

    PubMed

    Ghafoor, Asma; Jemal, Ahmedin; Cokkinides, Vilma; Cardinez, Cheryll; Murray, Taylor; Samuels, Alicia; Thun, Michael J

    2002-01-01

    The American Cancer Society provides estimates on the number of new cancer cases and deaths, and compiles health statistics on African Americans in a biennial publication, Cancer Facts and Figures for African Americans. The compiled statistics include cancer incidence, mortality, survival, and lifestyle behaviors using the most recent data on incidence and survival from the National Cancer Institute's (NCI) Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) program, mortality data from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), and behavioral information from the Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS), and National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). It is estimated that 132,700 new cases of cancer and 63,100 deaths will occur among African Americans in the year 2003. Although African Americans have experienced higher incidence and mortality rates of cancer than whites for many years, incidence rates have declined by 2.7 percent per year in African-American males since 1992, while stabilizing in African-American females. During the same period, death rates declined by 2.1 percent and 0.4 percent per year among African-American males and females, respectively. The decrease in both incidence and death rates from cancer among African-American males was the largest of any racial or ethnic group. Nonetheless, African Americans still carry the highest cancer burden among US racial and ethnic groups. Most cancers detectable by screening are diagnosed at a later stage and survival rates are lower within each stage of disease in African Americans than in whites. The extent to which these disparities reflect unequal access to health care versus other factors is an active area of research.

  18. Characterization of conserved microRNAs from five different cucurbit species using computational and experimental analysis.

    PubMed

    Hu, Jihong; Sun, Lulu; Zhu, Zhixuan; Zheng, Yuan; Xiong, Wei; Ding, Yi

    2014-07-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are ∼21 nt non-coding small RNAs which regulate gene expression at the post-transcriptional level in plants and animals. Until recently, only limited numbers of miRNAs were identified in Cucurbitaceae, a large flowering plant family. In this study, 220 potential miRNA candidates were identified from five species of Cucurbitaceae family using a comparative genome-based computational analysis. A comprehensive bioinformatic analysis of EST (expressed sequence tag) and GSS (genomic survey sequence) data of five cucurbit species showed that at least 41, 108, 21, 17 and 33 miRNAs existed in Cucumis sativus, Cucumis melo, Citrullus lanatus, Siraitia grosvenorii and Cucurbita pepo, respectively. Quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) analysis revealed the differentially expression levels of miRNAs in the four tissues of cucumber and melon. These identified miRNAs in the five species potentially targeted 578 protein-coding genes and one target of the C. melo miRNA cme-miR160a-5p was verified by 5' RLM-RACE. GO and KEGG analysis suggested that many melon miRNAs might involve in nucleotide metabolism, oxidative phosphorylation, cell redox homeostasis and signal transduction.

  19. Ocular melanoma and mammary mucinous carcinoma in an African lion

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Reports of neoplasms in Panthera species are increasing, but they are still an uncommon cause of disease and death in captive wild felids. The presence of two or more primary tumor in large felids is rarely reported, and there are no documented cases of ocular melanoma and mammary mucinous carcinoma in African lions. Case presentation An ocular melanoma and a mammary mucinous carcinoma are described in an African lion (Panthera leo). The first tumour was histologically characterized by the presence of epithelioid and fusiform melanocytes, while the latter was composed of mucus-producing cells with an epithelial phenotype that contained periodic acid-Schiff (PAS) and Alcian blue staining mucins. Metastases of both tumor were identified in various organs and indirect immunohistochemistry was used to characterize them. Peribiliary cysts were observed in the liver. Conclusions This is the first description of these tumor in African lions. PMID:23009723

  20. East African ROAD

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tekle, Kelali

    2016-10-01

    In the developing world astronomy had been treated as the science of elites. As a result of this overwhelming perception, astronomy compared with other applied sciences has got less attention and its role in development has been insignificant. However, the IAU General Assembly decision in 2009 opened new opportunity for countries and professionals to deeply look into Astronomy and its role in development. Then, the subsequent establishment of regional offices in the developing world is helping countries to integrate astronomy with other earth and space based sciences so as to progressively promote its scientific and development importance. Gradually nations have come to know that space is the frontier of tomorrow and the urgency of preeminence on space frontier starts at primary school and ascends to tertiary education. For this to happen, member nations in east African region have placed STEM education at the center of their education system. For instance, Ethiopian has changed University enrollment strategy to be in favor of science and engineering subjects, i.e. every year seventy percent of new University entrants join science and engineering fields while thirty percent social science and humanities. Such bold actions truly promote astronomy to be conceived as gateway to science and technology. To promote the concept of astronomy for development the East African regional office has actually aligned it activities to be in line with the focus areas identified by the IAU strategy (2010 to 2020).

  1. African oil plays

    SciTech Connect

    Clifford, A.J. )

    1989-09-01

    The vast continent of Africa hosts over eight sedimentary basins, covering approximately half its total area. Of these basins, only 82% have entered a mature exploration phase, 9% have had little or no exploration at all. Since oil was first discovered in Africa during the mid-1950s, old play concepts continue to bear fruit, for example in Egypt and Nigeria, while new play concepts promise to become more important, such as in Algeria, Angola, Chad, Egypt, Gabon, and Sudan. The most exciting developments of recent years in African oil exploration are: (1) the Gamba/Dentale play, onshore Gabon; (2) the Pinda play, offshore Angola; (3) the Lucula/Toca play, offshore Cabinda; (4) the Metlaoui play, offshore Libya/Tunisia; (5) the mid-Cretaceous sand play, Chad/Sudan; and (6) the TAG-I/F6 play, onshore Algeria. Examples of these plays are illustrated along with some of the more traditional oil plays. Where are the future oil plays likely to develop No doubt, the Saharan basins of Algeria and Libya will feature strongly, also the presalt of Equatorial West Africa, the Central African Rift System and, more speculatively, offshore Ethiopia and Namibia, and onshore Madagascar, Mozambique, and Tanzania.

  2. Bioenergy and African transformation.

    PubMed

    Lynd, Lee R; Sow, Mariam; Chimphango, Annie Fa; Cortez, Luis Ab; Brito Cruz, Carlos H; Elmissiry, Mosad; Laser, Mark; Mayaki, Ibrahim A; Moraes, Marcia Afd; Nogueira, Luiz Ah; Wolfaardt, Gideon M; Woods, Jeremy; van Zyl, Willem H

    2015-01-01

    Among the world's continents, Africa has the highest incidence of food insecurity and poverty and the highest rates of population growth. Yet Africa also has the most arable land, the lowest crop yields, and by far the most plentiful land resources relative to energy demand. It is thus of interest to examine the potential of expanded modern bioenergy production in Africa. Here we consider bioenergy as an enabler for development, and provide an overview of modern bioenergy technologies with a comment on application in an Africa context. Experience with bioenergy in Africa offers evidence of social benefits and also some important lessons. In Brazil, social development, agricultural development and food security, and bioenergy development have been synergistic rather than antagonistic. Realizing similar success in African countries will require clear vision, good governance, and adaptation of technologies, knowledge, and business models to myriad local circumstances. Strategies for integrated production of food crops, livestock, and bioenergy are potentially attractive and offer an alternative to an agricultural model featuring specialized land use. If done thoughtfully, there is considerable evidence that food security and economic development in Africa can be addressed more effectively with modern bioenergy than without it. Modern bioenergy can be an agent of African transformation, with potential social benefits accruing to multiple sectors and extending well beyond energy supply per se. Potential negative impacts also cut across sectors. Thus, institutionally inclusive multi-sector legislative structures will be more effective at maximizing the social benefits of bioenergy compared to institutionally exclusive, single-sector structures.

  3. Genetic evidence for two species of elephant in Africa.

    PubMed

    Roca, A L; Georgiadis, N; Pecon-Slattery, J; O'Brien, S J

    2001-08-24

    Elephants from the tropical forests of Africa are morphologically distinct from savannah or bush elephants. Dart-biopsy samples from 195 free-ranging African elephants in 21 populations were examined for DNA sequence variation in four nuclear genes (1732 base pairs). Phylogenetic distinctions between African forest elephant and savannah elephant populations corresponded to 58% of the difference in the same genes between elephant genera Loxodonta (African) and Elephas (Asian). Large genetic distance, multiple genetically fixed nucleotide site differences, morphological and habitat distinctions, and extremely limited hybridization of gene flow between forest and savannah elephants support the recognition and conservation management of two African species: Loxodonta africana and Loxodonta cyclotis.

  4. A Bibliography of African Languages and Linguistics.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Murphy, John D., Comp.; Goff, Harry, Comp.

    The present bibliography of African languages and linguistics includes not only works relating to the "Negro-African" languages, but also those dealing with the African varieties of Arabic, the Hamitic languages, Malagasy, Afrikaans, and various Creoles. (The greater part of the entries relate to the indigenous languages of the African continent…

  5. Novel 180- and 480-base-pair insertions in African and African-American strains of Helicobacter pylori.

    PubMed

    McNulty, Shannon L; Mole, Beth M; Dailidiene, Daiva; Segal, Issy; Ally, Reid; Mistry, Rajesh; Secka, Ousman; Adegbola, Richard A; Thomas, Julian E; Lenarcic, Erik M; Peek, Richard M; Berg, Douglas E; Forsyth, Mark H

    2004-12-01

    Helicobacter pylori is a genetically diverse bacterial species that chronically infects human stomachs and sometimes causes severe gastroduodenal disease. Studies of polymorphic DNA sequences can suggest geographic origins of individual strains. Here, we describe a 180-bp insertion (ins180), which is just after the translation stop of a gene of unknown function, near the promoter of jhp0152-jhp0151 two-component signal transduction genes in strain J99, and absent from this site in strain 26695. This ins180 insertion was found in 9 of 9 Gambian (West African), 9 of 20 (45%) South African, and 9 of 40 (23%) Spanish strains but in only 2 of 20 (10%) North American strains and none of 20 Lithuanian, 20 Indian, and 20 Japanese strains. Four South African isolates that lacked ins180 and that belonged to an unusual outlier group contained a 480-bp insertion at this site (ins480), whereas none of 181 other strains screened contained ins480. In further tests 56% (10 of 18) of strains from African Americans but only 17% (3 of 18) of strains from Caucasian Americans carried ins180 (P < 0.05). Thus, the H. pylori strains of modern African Americans seem to retain traces of African roots, despite the multiple generations since their ancestors were taken from West Africa. Fragmentary ins180-like sequences were found at numerous sites in H. pylori genomes, always between genes. Such sequences might affect regulation of transcription and could facilitate genome rearrangement by homologous recombination. Apparent differences between African-American and Caucasian-American H. pylori gene pools may bear on our understanding of H. pylori transmission and disease outcome.

  6. Species Variation in the Predawn Inhibition of Ribulose-1,5-Bisphosphate Carboxylase/Oxygenase 1

    PubMed Central

    Servaites, Jerome C.; Parry, Martin A. J.; Gutteridge, Steven; Keys, Alfred J.

    1986-01-01

    The activity of ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase was measured in extracts of leaves collected before dawn (predawn activity, pa) and at midday (midday activity, ma). Twenty-three of the 37 species examined showed a pa/ma ratio (≤0.75, while only Capsicum frutescens, Cucumis sativa, Glycine max, Nicotiana tabacum, Vigna unguiculata, and 3 Solanum species showed a pa/ma ratio ≤0.5. Phaseolus vulgaris consistently showed a pa/ma ratio of ≤0.1. Activities and pa/ma ratios of the same species grown in the United States and the United Kingdom were very similar. Gel filtration of extracts before assay had no effect on the observed activities and the pa/ma ratios. These data are consistent with the hypothesis that in a number of species the enzyme is partially inhibited following the night period by the presence of a tight-binding inhibitor. PMID:16665155

  7. Bounding Species Distribution Models

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stohlgren, Thomas J.; Jarnevich, Cahterine S.; Morisette, Jeffrey T.; Esaias, Wayne E.

    2011-01-01

    Species distribution models are increasing in popularity for mapping suitable habitat for species of management concern. Many investigators now recognize that extrapolations of these models with geographic information systems (GIS) might be sensitive to the environmental bounds of the data used in their development, yet there is no recommended best practice for "clamping" model extrapolations. We relied on two commonly used modeling approaches: classification and regression tree (CART) and maximum entropy (Maxent) models, and we tested a simple alteration of the model extrapolations, bounding extrapolations to the maximum and minimum values of primary environmental predictors, to provide a more realistic map of suitable habitat of hybridized Africanized honey bees in the southwestern United States. Findings suggest that multiple models of bounding, and the most conservative bounding of species distribution models, like those presented here, should probably replace the unbounded or loosely bounded techniques currently used [Current Zoology 57 (5): 642-647, 2011].

  8. Bounding species distribution models

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stohlgren, T.J.; Jarnevich, C.S.; Esaias, W.E.; Morisette, J.T.

    2011-01-01

    Species distribution models are increasing in popularity for mapping suitable habitat for species of management concern. Many investigators now recognize that extrapolations of these models with geographic information systems (GIS) might be sensitive to the environmental bounds of the data used in their development, yet there is no recommended best practice for "clamping" model extrapolations. We relied on two commonly used modeling approaches: classification and regression tree (CART) and maximum entropy (Maxent) models, and we tested a simple alteration of the model extrapolations, bounding extrapolations to the maximum and minimum values of primary environmental predictors, to provide a more realistic map of suitable habitat of hybridized Africanized honey bees in the southwestern United States. Findings suggest that multiple models of bounding, and the most conservative bounding of species distribution models, like those presented here, should probably replace the unbounded or loosely bounded techniques currently used. ?? 2011 Current Zoology.

  9. A new malaria agent in African hominids.

    PubMed

    Ollomo, Benjamin; Durand, Patrick; Prugnolle, Franck; Douzery, Emmanuel; Arnathau, Céline; Nkoghe, Dieudonné; Leroy, Eric; Renaud, François

    2009-05-01

    Plasmodium falciparum is the major human malaria agent responsible for 200 to 300 million infections and one to three million deaths annually, mainly among African infants. The origin and evolution of this pathogen within the human lineage is still unresolved. A single species, P. reichenowi, which infects chimpanzees, is known to be a close sister lineage of P. falciparum. Here we report the discovery of a new Plasmodium species infecting Hominids. This new species has been isolated in two chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) kept as pets by villagers in Gabon (Africa). Analysis of its complete mitochondrial genome (5529 nucleotides including Cyt b, Cox I and Cox III genes) reveals an older divergence of this lineage from the clade that includes P. falciparum and P. reichenowi (approximately 21+/-9 Myrs ago using Bayesian methods and considering that the divergence between P. falciparum and P. reichenowi occurred 4 to 7 million years ago as generally considered in the literature). This time frame would be congruent with the radiation of hominoids, suggesting that this Plasmodium lineage might have been present in early hominoids and that they may both have experienced a simultaneous diversification. Investigation of the nuclear genome of this new species will further the understanding of the genetic adaptations of P. falciparum to humans. The risk of transfer and emergence of this new species in humans must be now seriously considered given that it was found in two chimpanzees living in contact with humans and its close relatedness to the most virulent agent of malaria.

  10. Bioquality Hotspots in the Tropical African Flora.

    PubMed

    Marshall, Cicely A M; Wieringa, Jan J; Hawthorne, William D

    2016-12-05

    Identifying areas of high biodiversity is an established way to prioritize areas for conservation [1-3], but global approaches have been criticized for failing to render global biodiversity value at a scale suitable for local management [4-6]. We assembled 3.1 million species distribution records for 40,401 vascular plant species of tropical Africa from sources including plot data, herbarium databases, checklists, and the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) and cleaned the records for geographic accuracy and taxonomic consistency. We summarized the global ranges of tropical African plant species into four weighted categories of global rarity called Stars. We applied the Star weights to summaries of species distribution data at fine resolutions to map the bioquality (range-restricted global endemism) of areas [7]. We generated confidence intervals around bioquality scores to account for the remaining uncertainty in the species inventory. We confirm the broad significance of the Horn of Africa, Guinean forests, coastal forests of East Africa, and Afromontane regions for plant biodiversity but also reveal the variation in bioquality within these broad regions and others, particularly at local scales. Our framework offers practitioners a quantitative, scalable, and replicable approach for measuring the irreplaceability of particular local areas for global biodiversity conservation and comparing those areas within their global and regional context.

  11. The African Millennium Villages

    PubMed Central

    Sanchez, Pedro; Palm, Cheryl; Sachs, Jeffrey; Denning, Glenn; Flor, Rafael; Harawa, Rebbie; Jama, Bashir; Kiflemariam, Tsegazeab; Konecky, Bronwen; Kozar, Raffaela; Lelerai, Eliud; Malik, Alia; Modi, Vijay; Mutuo, Patrick; Niang, Amadou; Okoth, Herine; Place, Frank; Sachs, Sonia Ehrlich; Said, Amir; Siriri, David; Teklehaimanot, Awash; Wang, Karen; Wangila, Justine; Zamba, Colleen

    2007-01-01

    We describe the concept, strategy, and initial results of the Millennium Villages Project and implications regarding sustainability and scalability. Our underlying hypothesis is that the interacting crises of agriculture, health, and infrastructure in rural Africa can be overcome through targeted public-sector investments to raise rural productivity and, thereby, to increased private-sector saving and investments. This is carried out by empowering impoverished communities with science-based interventions. Seventy-eight Millennium Villages have been initiated in 12 sites in 10 African countries, each representing a major agroecological zone. In early results, the research villages in Kenya, Ethiopia, and Malawi have reduced malaria prevalence, met caloric requirements, generated crop surpluses, enabled school feeding programs, and provided cash earnings for farm families. PMID:17942701

  12. Three-Dimensional Reconstruction, by TEM Tomography, of the Ultrastructural Modifications Occurring in Cucumis sativus L. Mitochondria under Fe Deficiency

    PubMed Central

    Vigani, Gianpiero; Faoro, Franco; Ferretti, Anna Maria; Cantele, Francesca; Maffi, Dario; Marelli, Marcello; Maver, Mauro; Murgia, Irene; Zocchi, Graziano

    2015-01-01

    Background Mitochondria, as recently suggested, might be involved in iron sensing and signalling pathways in plant cells. For a better understanding of the role of these organelles in mediating the Fe deficiency responses in plant cells, it is crucial to provide a full overview of their modifications occurring under Fe-limited conditions. The aim of this work is to characterize the ultrastructural as well as the biochemical changes occurring in leaf mitochondria of cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) plants grown under Fe deficiency. Methodology/Results Mitochondrial ultrastructure was investigated by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and electron tomography techniques, which allowed a three-dimensional (3D) reconstruction of cellular structures. These analyses reveal that mitochondria isolated from cucumber leaves appear in the cristae junction model conformation and that Fe deficiency strongly alters both the number and the volume of cristae. The ultrastructural changes observed in mitochondria isolated from Fe-deficient leaves reflect a metabolic status characterized by a respiratory chain operating at a lower rate (orthodox-like conformation) with respect to mitochondria from control leaves. Conclusions To our knowledge, this is the first report showing a 3D reconstruction of plant mitochondria. Furthermore, these results suggest that a detailed characterization of the link between changes in the ultrastructure and functionality of mitochondria during different nutritional conditions, can provide a successful approach to understand the role of these organelles in the plant response to Fe deficiency. PMID:26107946

  13. Effect of gamma rays on different explants of callus treatment of multiple shoots in Cucumis melo cv. Bathasa.

    PubMed

    Venkateshwarlu, M

    2008-09-01

    A mutagenesis programme was carried out using physical mutagens (gamma rays) on Cucumis melo cv. Bathasa. In irradiated seeds the number of shoots formed in the lower doses was significantly higher than the controls. Decrease in the number of shoots and shoot bud formation was observed with higher doses in all the explants studies. There was complete lethality in the 10, 15 and 20 kR doses. In irradiated stem cultures the maximum number of shoots were observed in 2 kR. The number of shoots decreased with increasing doses of irradiation. At higher doses of 4 and 5kR, light green compact callus was formed in almost all the explants. The effect of lower doses of gamma irradiation on shoot bud formation and rooting efficiency from nodal explants cultured on MS +2.0 mgl(-1) L-glutamic acid + 0.5 mgl(-1) BAP, stimulation of shoot and root induction were studied. The number of shoots and root lengths decreased with the increasing dosage of irradiation. The irradiated callus was grown on solidified MS medium with containing 2.0 mgl(-1) BAP + 1.0 mgl(-1) IAA. There was a significant stimulation of growth in the callus at lower doses. At higher doses like 15 and 20 kRs growth was drastically reduced.

  14. Physiological analysis and transcriptome comparison of two muskmelon (Cucumis melo L.) cultivars in response to salt stress.

    PubMed

    Wang, L M; Zhang, L D; Chen, J B; Huang, D F; Zhang, Y D

    2016-09-19

    Melon (Cucumis melo L.) is an important vegetable crop that ranks second in salt tolerance among the Cucurbitaceae. Previous studies on the two muskmelon cultivars 'Bing XueCui' (BXC) and 'Yu Lu' (YL) revealed that they had different characteristics under salt stress, but the molecular basis underlying their different physiological responses is unclear. Here, we combined a physiological study with a genome-wide transcriptome analysis to understand the molecular basis of genetic variation that responds to salt stress in the melon. BXC performed better under salt stress than YL in terms of biomass and photosynthetic characteristics, because it exhibited less reduction in transpiration rate, net photosynthesis rate, and stomatal conductance under 150-mM NaCl stress than YL. A transcriptome comparison of the leaves of the cultivars revealed that 1171 genes responded to salt stress in BXC while 1487 genes were identified as salt-stress-responsive in YL. A real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis of 12 of the responsive genes revealed that there was a strong, positive correlation with RNA sequencing data. The genes were involved in several pathways, including photosynthesis, the biosynthesis of secondary metabolites, metabolism, and plant hormone signal transduction, and their expression levels differed between the two cultivars in response to salt stress. This study provides a molecular perspective of two melon cultivars in response to salt stress, and its results could be used to investigate the complex molecular mechanisms underlying salt tolerance in the melon.

  15. Chlorophenoxyacetic acid and chloropyridylphenylurea accelerate translocation of photoassimilates to parthenocarpic and seeded fruits of muskmelon (Cucumis melo).

    PubMed

    Li, Xin-Xian; Kobayashi, Fumiyuki; Ikeura, Hiromi; Hayata, Yasuyoshi

    2011-06-15

    We compared the effect of p-chlorophenoxyacetic acid (p-CPA) and 1-(2-chloro-4-pyridyl)-3-phenylurea (CPPU) on parthenocarpic and seeded muskmelon (Cucumis melo) fruits in regards to fruit development and the transport of photoassimilates from leaves exposed to ¹⁴CO₂ to the developing fruits. Ten days after anthesis (DAA), the fresh weight, total ¹⁴C-radioactivity and contents of ¹⁴C-sucrose and ¹⁴C-fructose were higher in the CPPU-induced parthenocarpic fruits than in seeded fruits. However, at 35 DAA, fresh weight and sucrose content in mesocarp, placenta and empty seeds of the parthenocarpic fruits were lower than in seeded fruits. Also, total ¹⁴C-radioactivity and ¹⁴C-sugar content of the parthenocarpic fruits were lower as well as the translocation rate of ¹⁴C-photoassimilates into these fruits. Application of p-CPA to the parthenocarpic fruits at 10 and 25 DAA increased fresh weight and sugar content. Moreover, these treatments elevated the total ¹⁴C-radioactivity, ¹⁴C-sucrose content and the translocation rate of ¹⁴C-photoassimilates. The ¹⁴C-radioactivity along the translocation pathway from leaf to petiole, stem, lateral shoot and peduncle showed a declining pattern but dramatically increased again in the fruits. These results suggest that the fruit's sink strength was regulated by the seed and enhanced by the application of p-CPA.

  16. Intestinal cell targeting of a stable recombinant Cu-Zn SOD from Cucumis melo fused to a gliadin peptide.

    PubMed

    Intes, Laurent; Bahut, Muriel; Nicole, Pascal; Couvineau, Alain; Guette, Catherine; Calenda, Alphonse

    2012-05-31

    The mRNA encoding full length chloroplastic Cu-Zn SOD (superoxide dismutase) of Cucumis melo (Cantaloupe melon) was cloned. This sequence was then used to generate a mature recombinant SOD by deleting the first 64 codons expected to encode a chloroplastic peptide signal. A second hybrid SOD was created by inserting ten codons to encode a gliadin peptide at the N-terminal end of the mature SOD. Taking account of codon bias, both recombinant proteins were successfully expressed and produced in Escherichia coli. Both recombinant SODs display an enzymatic activity of ~5000U mg(-1) and were shown to be stable for at least 4h at 37°C in biological fluids mimicking the conditions of intestinal transit. These recombinant proteins were capable in vitro, albeit at different levels, of reducing ROS-induced-apoptosis of human epithelial cells. They also stimulated production and release in a time-dependent manner of an autologous SOD activity from cells located into jejunum biopsies. Nevertheless, the fused gliadin peptide enable the recombinant Cu-Zn SOD to maintain a sufficiently sustained interaction with the intestinal cells membrane in vivo rather than being eliminated with the flow. According to these observations, the new hybrid Cu-Zn SOD should show promise in applications for managing inflammatory bowel diseases.

  17. Neuroprotective effect of Cucumis melo Var. flexuosus leaf extract on the brains of rats with streptozotocin-induced diabetes.

    PubMed

    Ibrahim, Doaa S

    2017-02-01

    The central nervous system is one of the most vulnerable organs affected by the oxidative stress associated with diabetes mellitus. Healthy food provides an important source for antioxidants. Therefore, the protective effect of Cucumis melo var. flexuosus (C. melo var. flexuosus) leaf extract on the brains of diabetic rats was investigated. Adult male albino rats divided into 5 groups of 6 rats each were assigned into a normal control group and four diabetic groups. Diabetes was induced in rats by a single intraperitoneal injection of streptozotocin (STZ; 60 mg/kg bw). One of the four diabetic groups was left untreated and was considered as a diabetic control group while the three other groups were treated with C. melo var. flexuosus leaf extract at the doses of 30, 60 and 120 mg/kg bw for a period of 30 days. After completion of experimental duration plasma and brains were used for evaluating biochemical changes. The obtained data showed that C. melo var. flexuosus leaf extract treatment lowered blood glucose, glycated hemoglobin, brain tumor necrosis factor-alpha, interleukin levels, brain malondialdehyde content and caspase-3 activity. Furthermore, the treatment resulted in a marked increase in plasma dopamine, melatonin, brain vascular endothelial growth factor-A levels, brain catalase and superoxide dismutase activities. From the present study, it can be concluded that the C. melo var. flexuosus leaf extract exerts a neuroprotective effect against oxidative damage associated with diabetes.

  18. Employment of pumpkin (Cucumis melo) urease entrapped in alginate beads for quantitation of cadmium in aqueous media.

    PubMed

    Prakash, Om; Talat, Mahe

    2008-10-01

    The potential of employment of free as well as alginate-immobilized urease for the quantitation of cadmium (Cd(2+)) was explored. Urease from the seeds of pumpkin (Cucumis melo) was purified to apparent homogeneity by heat treatment at 48 +/- 0.1 degrees C and gel filtration through Sephadex G-200. The purified enzyme exhibited a single band on native PAGE under coomassie brilliant blue and silver staining. The enzyme entrapped in 3.5% alginate beads (with 86% immobilization) exhibited no leaching over a period of 15 days at 4 degrees C. Urease-catalyzed urea hydrolysis by both soluble and immobilized enzyme revealed a dependence on the inhibitor concentration. The inhibition caused by Cd(2+) was non-competitive and the interaction of Cd(2+) with the enzyme was irreversible as the activity could not be restored by dialysis. The time-dependent inhibition both in the presence and in absence of substrate revealed a biphasic inhibition of the activity. The significance of the results is discussed.

  19. Ethylene is Involved in Brassinosteroids Induced Alternative Respiratory Pathway in Cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) Seedlings Response to Abiotic Stress

    PubMed Central

    Wei, Li-Jie; Deng, Xing-Guang; Zhu, Tong; Zheng, Ting; Li, Peng-Xu; Wu, Jun-Qiang; Zhang, Da-Wei; Lin, Hong-Hui

    2015-01-01

    Effects of brassinosteroids (BRs) on cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) abiotic stresses resistance to salt, polyethylene glycol (PEG), cold and the potential mechanisms were investigated in this work. Previous reports have indicated that BRs can induce ethylene production and enhance alternative oxidase (AOX) pathway. The mechanisms whether ethylene is involved as a signal molecule which connected BR with AOX in regulating stress tolerance are still unknown. Here, we found that pretreatment with 1 μM brassinolide (BL, the most active BRs) relieved stress-caused oxidative damage in cucumber seedlings and clearly enhanced the capacity of AOX and the ethylene biosynthesis. Furthermore, transcription level of ethylene signaling biosynthesis genes including ripening-related ACC synthase1 (CSACS1), ripening-related ACC synthase2 (CSACS2), ripening-related ACC synthase3 (CSACS3), 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate oxidase1 (CSACO1), 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate oxidase2 (CSACO2), and CSAOX were increased after BL treatment. Importantly, the application of the salicylhydroxamic acid (SHAM, AOX inhibitor) and ethylene biosynthesis inhibitor aminooxyacetic acid (AOA) decreased plant resistance to environmental stress by blocking BRs-induced alternative respiration. Taken together, our results demonstrated that ethylene was involved in BRs-induced AOX activity which played important roles in abiotic stresses tolerance in cucumber seedlings. PMID:26617622

  20. Silencing of the gibberellin receptor homolog, CsGID1a, affects locule formation in cucumber (Cucumis sativus) fruit.

    PubMed

    Liu, Bin; Liu, Xingwang; Yang, Sen; Chen, Chunhua; Xue, Shudan; Cai, Yanling; Wang, Dandan; Yin, Shuai; Gai, Xinshuang; Ren, Huazhong

    2016-04-01

    Gibberellins are phytohormones with many roles, including the regulation of fruit development. However, little is known about the relationship between GA perception and fleshy fruit ontogeny, and particularly locule formation. We characterized the expression of cucumber (Cucumis sativus) GA receptor gene (CsGID1a) using quantitative real-time PCR, in situ hybridization and a promoter::β-glucuronidase (GUS) assay. CsGID1a-RNAi cucumber fruits were observed by dissecting microscope, scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy. Finally, genome-wide gene expression in young fruits from a control and the RNAi line was compared using a digital gene expression (DGE) analysis approach. The expression pattern of CsGID1a was found to be closely correlated with fruit locule formation, and silencing CsGID1a in cucumber resulted in fruits with abnormal carpels and locules. Overexpression of CsGID1a in the Arabidopsis thaliana double mutant (gid1a gid1c) resulted in 'cucumber locule-like' fruits. The DGE analysis suggested that expression of genes related to auxin synthesis and transport, as well as the cell cycle, was altered in CsGID1a-RNAi fruits, a result that was supported by comparing the auxin content and cellular structures of the control and transgenic fruits. This study demonstrates a previously uncharacterized GA signaling pathway that is essential for cucumber fruit locule formation.

  1. Atmospheric Humidity Influences Oviposition Rate of Tetranychus urticae (Acari: Tetranychidae) Through Morphological Responses of Host Cucumis sativus Leaves.

    PubMed

    Shibuya, T; Itagaki, K; Ueyama, S; Hirai, N; Endo, R

    2016-02-01

    We investigated the effects of morphology of host cucumber, Cucumis sativus L., leaves acclimatized to different atmospheric humidity levels on oviposition by adult females of the twospotted spider mite, Tetranychus urticae Koch. Cucumber seedlings were grown at a vapor pressure deficit (VPD) of 0.4, 1.9, or 3.0 kPa at 28°C (90%, 50%, or 20% relative humidity, respectively) in growth chambers until the second true leaves had expanded. Adult females of T. urticae were released on the adaxial surfaces of leaf squares cut from first and second true leaves in each treatment group, and held in the same humidity condition. Eggs were counted 2 d after release. The lower acclimatization humidity (higher VPD) increased trichome (leaf hair) density of the host leaves and oviposition rate, but the relationship between the trichome and oviposition differed between leaf positions. The leaf mass per area (LMA) was greater in first true leaves than in second true leaves, but was not influenced by VPD. A linear regression model with oviposition rate as the dependent variable and trichome density and LMA as independent variables showed that both variables influenced the oviposition rate approximately equally. We conclude that oviposition was accelerated under low humidity (high VPD) conditions indirectly probably through an increase in the trichome density of host leaves.

  2. Synergistic effect of flyash and SO{sub 2} on development of cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) leaf injury

    SciTech Connect

    Tung, G.; McIlveen, W.D.; Jones, R.D.

    1995-10-01

    In a two-factorial experiment, sulfur dioxide alone at concentration of 131 {micro}g/m{sup 3} over long exposures or flyash for either coal or oil combustion alone applied onto cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) foliage causes no visible injury. However, if both flyash and sulfur dioxide were presented simultaneously, a specific mosaic-chlorosis symptom developed on leaves. A synergistic effect was thus demonstrated. Histopathology of the mosaic-chlorosis symptom was studied. An unusual pattern of tissue abnormally initiated from the collapse of the anticlinal cell walls of the upper epidermal cells and progressed along cell walls into mesophyll tissues. Cellular injury at the lower spongy tissues typical of that caused by SO{sub 2} was also observed. A significant elevation of sulfate-sulfur in the leaves treated with a combination of SO{sub 2} and flyash was demonstrated. Significant interactions between the two factors were found for both injury and sulfur chemistry. This suggests that flyash deposits on the leaf surface play a catalytic role in oxidizing atmospheric sulfur dioxide continuously to form sulfuric acid (H{sub 2}SO{sub 4}) in situ. This acid could infiltrate into mesophyll damage cells and tissues en route.

  3. Impact of a snail pellet on the phytoavailability of different metals to cucumber plants (Cucumis sativus L.).

    PubMed

    Freitag, Sabine; Krupp, Eva M; Raab, Andrea; Feldmann, Jörg

    2013-02-01

    FePO4 based molluscicides (snail pellets) also contain a chelating agent. The influence of the chelating agent, which is intrinsically present in the molluscicide, on the phytoavailability of other metals present in the growth medium was investigated in the present study. Cucumber plants (Cucumis sativus) were grown in a hydroponic nutrient solution and exposed for one week to different metals in combination with a chelating agent containing molluscicide. Oven dried roots and shoots of plants were HNO 3/H2O2 microwave digested and analysed regarding total Fe, stable isotopic (54)Fe, Cd, Pb, and Bi concentrations using ICP-MS. The results showed that the addition of a chelating agent enhances the Fe phytoavailability to the plant, whether as an intrinsic part of the molluscicide or added individually. Additionally, the chelating agent present in the pesticide mobilises externally added metals and thus increases their phytoavailability. In particular the significantly higher Cd concentration in shoots from plants exposed to chelating agents indicates a potentially detrimental environmental effect.

  4. Evidence of translocation and physiological impacts of foliar applied CeO2 nanoparticles on cucumber (Cucumis sativus) plants.

    PubMed

    Hong, Jie; Peralta-Videa, Jose R; Rico, Cyren; Sahi, Shivendra; Viveros, Marian N; Bartonjo, Jane; Zhao, Lijuan; Gardea-Torresdey, Jorge L

    2014-04-15

    Currently, most of the nanotoxicity studies in plants involve exposure to the nanoparticles (NPs) through the roots. However, plants interact with atmospheric NPs through the leaves, and our knowledge on their response to this contact is limited. In this study, hydroponically grown cucumber (Cucumis sativus) plants were aerially treated either with nano ceria powder (nCeO2) at 0.98 and 2.94 g/m(3) or suspensions at 20, 40, 80, 160, and 320 mg/L. Fifteen days after treatment, plants were analyzed for Ce uptake by using ICP-OES and TEM. In addition, the activity of three stress enzymes was measured. The ICP-OES results showed Ce in all tissues of the CeO2 NP treated plants, suggesting uptake through the leaves and translocation to the other plant parts. The TEM results showed the presence of Ce in roots, which corroborates the ICP-OES results. The biochemical assays showed that catalase activity increased in roots and ascorbate peroxidase activity decreased in leaves. Our findings show that atmospheric NPs can be taken up and distributed within plant tissues, which could represent a threat for environmental and human health.

  5. Micro-trichome as a class I homeodomain-leucine zipper gene regulates multicellular trichome development in Cucumis sativus.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Jun-Long; Pan, Jun-Song; Guan, Yuan; Zhang, Wei-Wei; Bie, Bei-Bei; Wang, Yun-Li; He, Huan-Le; Lian, Hong-Li; Cai, Run

    2015-11-01

    Plant trichomes serve as a highly suitable model for investigating cell differentiation at the single-cell level. The regulatory genes involved in unicellular trichome development in Arabidopsis thaliana have been intensively studied, but genes regulating multicellular trichome development in plants remain unclear. Here, we characterized Cucumis sativus (cucumber) trichomes as representative multicellular and unbranched structures, and identified Micro-trichome (Mict), using map-based cloning in an F2 segregating population of 7,936 individuals generated from a spontaneous mict mutant. In mict plants, trichomes in both leaves and fruits, are small, poorly developed, and denser than in the wild type. Sequence analysis revealed that a 2,649-bp genomic deletion, spanning the first and second exons, occurred in a plant-specific class I homeodomain-leucine zipper gene. Tissue-specific expression analysis indicated that Mict is strongly expressed in the trichome cells. Transcriptome profiling identified potential targets of Mict including putative homologs of genes known in other systems to regulate trichome development, meristem determinacy, and hormone responsiveness. Phylogenic analysis charted the relationships among putative homologs in angiosperms. Our paper represents initial steps toward understanding the development of multicellular trichomes.

  6. Glutathione-dependent induction of local and systemic defense against oxidative stress by exogenous melatonin in cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.).

    PubMed

    Li, Hao; He, Jie; Yang, Xiaozhen; Li, Xin; Luo, Dan; Wei, Chunhua; Ma, Jianxiang; Zhang, Yong; Yang, Jianqiang; Zhang, Xian

    2016-03-01

    Melatonin is involved in defending against oxidative stress caused by various environmental stresses in plants. In this study, the roles of exogenous melatonin in regulating local and systemic defense against photooxidative stress in cucumber (Cucumis sativus) and the involvement of redox signaling were examined. Foliar or rhizospheric treatment with melatonin enhanced tolerance to photooxidative stress in both melatonin-treated leaves and untreated systemic leaves. Increased melatonin levels are capable of increasing glutathione (reduced glutathione [GSH]) redox status. Application of H2 O2 and GSH also induced tolerance to photooxidative stress, while inhibition of H2 O2 accumulation and GSH synthesis compromised melatonin-induced local and systemic tolerance to photooxidative stress. H2 O2 treatment increased the GSH/oxidized glutathione (GSSG) ratio, while inhibition of H2 O2 accumulation prevented a melatonin-induced increase in the GSH/GSSG ratio. Additionally, inhibition of GSH synthesis blocked H2 O2 -induced photooxidative stress tolerance, whereas scavenging or inhibition of H2 O2 production attenuated but did not abolish GSH-induced tolerance to photooxidative stress. These results strongly suggest that exogenous melatonin is capable of inducing both local and systemic defense against photooxidative stress and melatonin-enhanced GSH/GSSG ratio in a H2 O2 -dependent manner is critical in the induction of tolerance.

  7. Fine genetic mapping of cp: a recessive gene for compact (dwarf) plant architecture in cucumber, Cucumis sativus L.

    PubMed

    Li, Yuhong; Yang, Luming; Pathak, Mamta; Li, Dawei; He, Xiaoming; Weng, Yiqun

    2011-10-01

    The compact (dwarf) plant architecture is an important trait in cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) breeding that has the potential to be used in once-over mechanical harvest of cucumber production. Compact growth habit is controlled by a simply inherited recessive gene cp. With 150 F(2:3) families derived from two inbred cucumber lines, PI 308915 (compact vining) and PI 249561 (regular vining), we conducted genome-wide molecular mapping with microsatellite (simple sequence repeat, SSR) markers. A framework genetic map was constructed consisting of 187 SSR loci in seven linkage groups (chromosomes) covering 527.5 cM. Linkage analysis placed cp at the distal half of the long arm of cucumber Chromosome 4. Molecular markers cosegregating with the cp locus were identified through whole genome scaffold-based chromosome walking. Fine genetic mapping with 1,269 F(2) plants delimited the cp locus to a 220 kb genomic DNA region. Annotation and function prediction of genes in this region identified a homolog of the cytokinin oxidase (CKX) gene, which may be a potential candidate of compact gene. Alignment of the CKX gene homologs from both parental lines revealed a 3-bp deletion in the first exon of PI 308915, which can serve as a marker for marker-assisted selection of the compact phenotype. This work also provides a solid foundation for map-based cloning of the compact gene and understanding the molecular mechanisms of the dwarfing in cucumber.

  8. Exocarp Properties and Transcriptomic Analysis of Cucumber (Cucumis sativus) Fruit Expressing Age-Related Resistance to Phytophthora capsici.

    PubMed

    Ando, Kaori; Carr, Kevin M; Colle, Marivi; Mansfeld, Ben N; Grumet, Rebecca

    2015-01-01

    Very young cucumber (Cucumis sativus) fruit are highly susceptible to infection by the oomycete pathogen, Phytophthora capsici. As the fruit complete exponential growth, at approximately 10-12 days post pollination (dpp), they transition to resistance. The development of age-related resistance (ARR) is increasingly recognized as an important defense against pathogens, however, underlying mechanisms are largely unknown. Peel sections from cucumber fruit harvested at 8 dpp (susceptible) and 16 dpp (resistant) showed equivalent responses to inoculation as did whole fruit, indicating that the fruit surface plays an important role in defense against P. capsici. Exocarp from 16 dpp fruit had thicker cuticles, and methanolic extracts of peel tissue inhibited growth of P. capsici in vitro, suggesting physical or chemical components to the ARR. Transcripts specifically expressed in the peel vs. pericarp showed functional differentiation. Transcripts predominantly expressed in the peel were consistent with fruit surface associated functions including photosynthesis, cuticle production, response to the environment, and defense. Peel-specific transcripts that exhibited increased expression in 16 dpp fruit relative to 8 dpp fruit, were highly enriched (P<0.0001) for response to stress, signal transduction, and extracellular and transport functions. Specific transcripts included genes associated with potential physical barriers (i.e., cuticle), chemical defenses (flavonoid biosynthesis), oxidative stress, penetration defense, and molecular pattern (MAMP)-triggered or effector-triggered (R-gene mediated) pathways. The developmentally regulated changes in gene expression between peels from susceptible- and resistant- age fruits suggest programming for increased defense as the organ reaches full size.

  9. Antisense suppression of cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) sucrose synthase 3 (CsSUS3) reduces hypoxic stress tolerance.

    PubMed

    Wang, Hongyun; Sui, Xiaolei; Guo, Jinju; Wang, Zhenyu; Cheng, Jintao; Ma, Si; Li, Xiang; Zhang, Zhenxian

    2014-03-01

    Sucrose synthase (SUS; EC 2.4.1.13) plays important roles in sugar metabolism and abiotic stress response. But the genes encoding SUS in cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) have not been well studied. Here, we isolated four cucumber sucrose synthase genes (CsSUS). Among them, CsSUS3, which highly expressed in the roots, was chosen for further study. Immunolocalization and subcellular localization analysis indicated that CsSUS3 localized in the cytosol and the plasma membrane, and mainly existed in the companion cells of phloem in the roots. When suffering hypoxia stress from flooding, CsSUS3 expression and SUS activity in roots increased, especially in the lateral roots; moreover, the soluble SUS activity increased clearly, but the membrane fraction hardly changed. Compared with the wild-type cucumbers, the transgenic lines with antisense expression of CsSUS3 were more sensitive to flooding. After 6 d of flooding, the SUS activity, soluble sugar and uridine 5'-diphosphate glucose (UDPG) content and the ratio of ATP/ADP in the roots of transgenic plants were significantly lower than that in wild-type plants. Moreover, the transgenic lines grew more slowly with more yellow necrosis in the leaves. These findings suggested CsSUS3 participated in resisting hypoxic stress. Furthermore, the mechanism of CsSUS3 in resisting hypoxic stress was also discussed.

  10. Responses of soil microbial communities in the rhizosphere of cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) to exogenously applied p-hydroxybenzoic acid.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Xingang; Yu, Gaobo; Wu, Fengzhi

    2012-08-01

    Changes in soil biological properties have been implicated as one of the causes of soil sickness, a phenomenon that occurs in continuous monocropping systems. However, the causes for these changes are not yet clear. The aim of this work was to elucidate the role of p-hydroxybenzoic acid (PHBA), an autotoxin of cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.), in changing soil microbial communities. p-Hydroxybenzoic acid was applied to soil every other day for 10 days in cucumber pot assays. Then, the structures and sizes of bacterial and fungal communities, dehydrogenase activity, and microbial carbon biomass (MCB) were assessed in the rhizosphere soil. Structures and sizes of rhizosphere bacterial and fungal communities were analyzed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and real-time PCR, respectively. p-Hydroxybenzoic acid inhibited cucumber seedling growth and stimulated rhizosphere dehydrogenase activity, MBC content, and bacterial and fungal community sizes. Rhizosphere bacterial and fungal communities responded differently to exogenously applied PHBA. The PHBA decreased the Shannon-Wiener index for the rhizosphere bacterial community but increased that for the rhizosphere fungal community. In addition, the response of the rhizosphere fungal community structure to PHBA acid was concentration dependent, but was not for the rhizosphere bacterial community structure. Our results indicate that PHBA plays a significant role in the chemical interactions between cucumber and soil microorganisms and could account for the changes in soil microbial communities in the continuously monocropped cucumber system.

  11. [African population in history].

    PubMed

    Yang, S

    1984-11-29

    The growth rate of the African population has been fluctuating throughout history, affected by political, social, and economic events. 6000 years ago, the majority of the population was based in North Africa, because farming had been developed there. However, between the 11th and the 16th centuries, there was a constant decline in the population of that region, due to invasions from Europe and the black plague. During the same period, the population in the area south of the Sahara grew rapidly, as people there had gone into the iron tool period and farming had been developed. From the 16th to the mid-17th Century, population growth was considerable in Africa; more people had learned the technology of irrigation, corn and potatoes had been introduced from South America, and colonialism was not yet an issue. From the mid-17th to the mid-19th Century, there was no growth, due to the slave trade and wars between tribes. One estimate sets the direct and indirect loss during this period, as a result of the slave trade, at 100 million people. From the 1850s to the end of World War I, population growth started up again, chiefly influenced by the fact that the slave trade had essentially come to a half and modern medical care had become available on the continent. However, in central Africa, the region which suffered the worst blow from the slave trade, growth was very slow, while in East Africa the population was declining because of wars between colonists and natives, as well as natural disasters. Increases in population during this period were a result of immigration from Europe and India. From the end of World War I to the present, growth has been rapid, given improvements in medical services and standards of living, while most of the former colonies became independent after the 1950s. Consequently, almost all African countries are under great pressure now with regard to their populations.

  12. Central African Republic.

    PubMed

    1989-11-01

    The Central African Republic contains 242,000 square miles, which rolling terrain almost 2000 feet above sea level. The climate is tropical, and it has a population of 2.8 million people with a 2.5% growth rate. There are more than 80 ethnic groups including Baya 34%, Banda 28%, Sara 10%, Mandja 9%, Mboum 9%, and M'Baka 7%. The religions are traditional African 35%, protestant 25%, Roman Catholic 25%, and Muslim 15%, and the languages are French and Sangho. The infant mortality rate is 143/1000, with expectancy at 49 years and a 40% literacy rate. The work force of 1 million is 70% agricultural, industry 6% and commerce and service 6% and government 3%. The government consists of a president assisted by cabinet ministers and a single party. Natural resources include diamonds, uranium, timber, gold, and oil, and major industries are beverages, textiles, and soap. Agricultural products feature coffee, cotton, peanuts, tobacco, food crops and livestock. Most of the population live in rural areas and most of the 80 ethnic groups have their own language. This is one of the world's least developed countries, with a per capita income of $375/year. The main problems with development are the poor transportation infrastructure, and the weak internal and international marketing systems. The US and various international organizations have aided in agriculture development, health programs, and family planning. US investment is mainly in diamond and gold mining, and although oil drilling has been successful it is not economically feasible at current prices.

  13. The genomic substrate for adaptive radiation in African cichlid fish

    PubMed Central

    Malinsky, Milan; Keller, Irene; Fan, Shaohua; Simakov, Oleg; Ng, Alvin Y.; Lim, Zhi Wei; Bezault, Etienne; Turner-Maier, Jason; Johnson, Jeremy; Alcazar, Rosa; Noh, Hyun Ji; Russell, Pamela; Aken, Bronwen; Alföldi, Jessica; Amemiya, Chris; Azzouzi, Naoual; Baroiller, Jean-François; Barloy-Hubler, Frederique; Berlin, Aaron; Bloomquist, Ryan; Carleton, Karen L.; Conte, Matthew A.; D'Cotta, Helena; Eshel, Orly; Gaffney, Leslie; Galibert, Francis; Gante, Hugo F.; Gnerre, Sante; Greuter, Lucie; Guyon, Richard; Haddad, Natalie S.; Haerty, Wilfried; Harris, Rayna M.; Hofmann, Hans A.; Hourlier, Thibaut; Hulata, Gideon; Jaffe, David B.; Lara, Marcia; Lee, Alison P.; MacCallum, Iain; Mwaiko, Salome; Nikaido, Masato; Nishihara, Hidenori; Ozouf-Costaz, Catherine; Penman, David J.; Przybylski, Dariusz; Rakotomanga, Michaelle; Renn, Suzy C. P.; Ribeiro, Filipe J.; Ron, Micha; Salzburger, Walter; Sanchez-Pulido, Luis; Santos, M. Emilia; Searle, Steve; Sharpe, Ted; Swofford, Ross; Tan, Frederick J.; Williams, Louise; Young, Sarah; Yin, Shuangye; Okada, Norihiro; Kocher, Thomas D.; Miska, Eric A.; Lander, Eric S.; Venkatesh, Byrappa; Fernald, Russell D.; Meyer, Axel; Ponting, Chris P.; Streelman, J. Todd; Lindblad-Toh, Kerstin; Seehausen, Ole; Di Palma, Federica

    2015-01-01

    Cichlid fishes are famous for large, diverse and replicated adaptive radiations in the Great Lakes of East Africa. To understand the molecular mechanisms underlying cichlid phenotypic diversity, we sequenced the genomes and transcriptomes of five lineages of African cichlids: the Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus), an ancestral lineage with low diversity; and four members of the East African lineage: Neolamprologus brichardi/pulcher (older radiation, Lake Tanganyika), Metriaclima zebra (recent radiation, Lake Malawi), Pundamilia nyererei (very recent radiation, Lake Victoria), and Astatotilapia burtoni (riverine species around Lake Tanganyika). We found an excess of gene duplications in the East African lineage compared to tilapia and other teleosts, an abundance of non-coding element divergence, accelerated coding sequence evolution, expression divergence associated with transposable element insertions, and regulation by novel microRNAs. In addition, we analysed sequence data from sixty individuals representing six closely related species from Lake Victoria, and show genome-wide diversifying selection on coding and regulatory variants, some of which were recruited from ancient polymorphisms. We conclude that a number of molecular mechanisms shaped East African cichlid genomes, and that amassing of standing variation during periods of relaxed purifying selection may have been important in facilitating subsequent evolutionary diversification. PMID:25186727

  14. Three new species of Pararhabdepyris Gorbatovsky (Hymenoptera, Bethylidae) from Central Africa and the Arabian Peninsula.

    PubMed

    Vargas, Juan M; Azevedo, Celso O

    2016-06-01

    Three new species of Pararhabdepyris are described and illustrated: P. arabo sp. nov. (United Arabian Emirates and Yemen), P. wafrika sp. nov. (Central African Republic), P. ngangu sp. nov. (Central African Republic). The genus is recorded for the first time from the Saharo-Arabian region. A key for all species of the genus is presented.

  15. First Miocene rodent from Lebanon provides the 'missing link' between Asian and African gundis (Rodentia: Ctenodactylidae)

    PubMed Central

    López-Antoñanzas, Raquel; Knoll, Fabien; Maksoud, Sibelle; Azar, Dany

    2015-01-01

    Ctenodactylinae (gundis) is a clade of rodents that experienced, in Miocene time, their greatest diversification and widest distribution. They expanded from the Far East, their area of origin, to Africa, which they entered from what would become the Arabian Peninsula. Questions concerning the origin of African Ctenodactylinae persist essentially because of a poor fossil record from the Miocene of Afro-Arabia. However, recent excavations in the Late Miocene of Lebanon have yielded a key taxon for our understanding of these issues. Proafricanomys libanensis nov. gen. nov. sp. shares a variety of dental characters with both the most primitive and derived members of the subfamily. A cladistic analysis demonstrates that this species is the sister taxon to a clade encompassing all but one of the African ctenodactylines, plus a southern European species of obvious African extraction. As such, Proafricanomys provides the 'missing link' between the Asian and African gundis. PMID:26250050

  16. First Miocene rodent from Lebanon provides the 'missing link' between Asian and African gundis (Rodentia: Ctenodactylidae).

    PubMed

    López-Antoñanzas, Raquel; Knoll, Fabien; Maksoud, Sibelle; Azar, Dany

    2015-08-07

    Ctenodactylinae (gundis) is a clade of rodents that experienced, in Miocene time, their greatest diversification and widest distribution. They expanded from the Far East, their area of origin, to Africa, which they entered from what would become the Arabian Peninsula. Questions concerning the origin of African Ctenodactylinae persist essentially because of a poor fossil record from the Miocene of Afro-Arabia. However, recent excavations in the Late Miocene of Lebanon have yielded a key taxon for our understanding of these issues. Proafricanomys libanensis nov. gen. nov. sp. shares a variety of dental characters with both the most primitive and derived members of the subfamily. A cladistic analysis demonstrates that this species is the sister taxon to a clade encompassing all but one of the African ctenodactylines, plus a southern European species of obvious African extraction. As such, Proafricanomys provides the 'missing link' between the Asian and African gundis.

  17. The oral susceptibility of South African field populations of Culicoides to African horse sickness virus.

    PubMed

    Venter, G J; Wright, I M; Van Der Linde, T C; Paweska, J T

    2009-12-01

    Twenty-two isolates of African horse sickness virus (AHSV), representing its distinct serotypes, geographical and historical origins, were fed to three populations of South African livestock-associated Culicoides spp. (Diptera, Ceratopogonidae). Infective blood meals included 12 recent isolates, nine historical reference strains and one live attenuated vaccine strain serotype 7 (AHSV-7) of the virus. Field-collected midges were fed through a chicken-skin membrane on sheep blood spiked with one of the viruses, which concentrations ranged from 5.4 to 8.8 log(10)TCID(50)/mL of blood. After 10 days incubation at 23.5 degrees C, AHSV was isolated from 11 Culicoides species. Standard in vitro passaging of AHSV-7, used for the preparation of live attenuated vaccine, did not reduce its ability to infect Culicoides species. Virus recovery rates in orally infected Culicoides midges differed significantly between species and populations, serotypes, isolates and seasons. Significant variations in oral susceptibility recorded in this study emphasize a complex inter-relationship between virus and vector, which is further influenced by multiple intrinsic and extrinsic factors. As it is not possible to standardize all these factors under laboratory conditions, conclusive assessment of the role of field-collected Culicoides midges in the transmission of orbiviruses remains problematic. Nevertheless, results of this study suggest the potential for multi-vector transmission of AHSV virus in South Africa.

  18. Biogeography and diversification dynamics of the African woodpeckers.

    PubMed

    Fuchs, Jérôme; Pons, Jean-Marc; Bowie, Rauri C K

    2017-03-01

    The dynamics of species accumulation of African terrestrial vertebrates over time remains underexplored in comparison with those in the New World, despite Africa hosting about 25% of the world's avian diversity. This lack of knowledge hampers our understanding of the fundamental processes that drive biodiversity and the dynamics of speciation. To begin to address this gap, we reconstructed species-level phylogenies of two unrelated clades of African woodpeckers (12 species of Geocolaptes/Campethera and 13 species of Chloropicus/Mesopicos/Dendropicos/Ipophilus) that diverged from their closest Indo-Malayan relatives at similar times. Our results demonstrate that the current taxonomy is misleading: three (Campethera, Dendropicos and Mesopicos) out of four polytpic genera/subgenera are not monophyletic. Our results also show that current estimates of diversity at the species level are significantly understated, as up to 18 species for the 'Campethera clade' and 19 for the 'Dendropicos clade' could be recognized. The first splits within both clades involve species that are largely restricted to the Guineo-Congolian biogeographic regions, followed by later adaptations to particular habitats (forest versus savannah) and colonization of other regions (e.g. Southern Africa), each of which occurred multiple times in both clades. Assuming a conservative species delimitation scheme, our results indicate that diversification rates are decreasing through time for both clades. Applying a more extreme species recognition scheme (18 and 19 species for the Campethera and Dendropicos clades, respectively), our results support a decrease in diversification rates only for the Dendropicos clade and thus underline the importance of the number of species included in our diversification analyses. Greater ecological diversity of the Campethera clade where multiple species exhibit either an arboreal or terrestrial foraging strategy might explain the constant diversification rates through

  19. African Passages: Journaling through Archetypes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Spencer, Patricia

    1990-01-01

    Explores how students (through an awareness of literary archetypes and journal writing) can use African stories to cross cultures, time, and continents, making connections between their worlds and the worlds of others. (MG)

  20. Early African Hominids: Pedagogic Patterns.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Newman, James L.

    1984-01-01

    By studying early African hominids, students can learn about the interactive testing and creative aspects of scientific thinking and sharpen their geographical skills. It is impossible to study this topic without giving prominence to space and time. (RM)

  1. African-Americans and Alzheimer's

    MedlinePlus

    ... African-Americans are at a higher risk for Alzheimer's disease. Many Americans dismiss the warning signs of Alzheimer's, ... two times more likely to develop late-onset Alzheimer's disease than whites and less likely to have a ...

  2. Behavioral studies of learning in the Africanized honey bee (Apis mellifera L.).

    PubMed

    Abramson, Charles I; Aquino, Italo S

    2002-01-01

    Experiments on basic classical conditioning phenomena in adult and young Africanized honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) are described. Phenomena include conditioning to various stimuli, extinction (both unpaired and CS only), conditioned inhibition, color and odor discrimination. In addition to work on basic phenomena, experiments on practical applications of conditioning methodology are illustrated with studies demonstrating the effects of insecticides on learning and the reaction of bees to consumer products. Electron microscope photos are presented of Africanized workers, drones, and queen bees. Possible sub-species differences between Africanized and European bees are discussed.

  3. Hepatitis C in African Americans.

    PubMed

    Saab, Sammy; Jackson, Christian; Nieto, Jose; Francois, Fritz

    2014-10-01

    The care of hepatitis C virus (HCV) in African Americans represents an opportunity to address a major health disparity in medicine. In all facets of HCV infection, African Americans are inexplicably affected, including in the prevalence of the virus, which is higher among them compared with most of the racial and ethnic groups. Ironically, although fibrosis rates may be slow, hepatocellular carcinoma and mortality rates appear to be higher among African Americans. Sustained viral response (SVR) rates have historically significantly trailed behind Caucasians. The reasons for this gap in SVR are related to both viral and host factors. Moreover, low enrollment rates in clinical trials hamper the study of the efficacy of anti-viral therapy. Nevertheless, the gap in SVR between African Americans and Caucasians may be narrowing with the use of direct-acting agents. Gastroenterologists, hepatologists, primary care physicians, and other health-care providers need to address modifiable risk factors that affect the natural history, as well as treatment outcomes, for HCV among African Americans. Efforts need to be made to improve awareness among health-care providers to address the differences in screening and referral patterns for African Americans.

  4. 75 FR 59645 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Determination of Endangered Status for the African...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-09-28

    ...; Determination of Endangered Status for the African Penguin AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION... penguin (Spheniscus demersus) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended. This final rule... petition from the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) to list 12 penguin species under the Act:...

  5. Linking adults and immatures of South African marine fishes.

    PubMed

    Steinke, Dirk; Connell, Allan D; Hebert, Paul D N

    2016-11-01

    The early life-history stages of fishes are poorly known, impeding acquisition of the identifications needed to monitor larval recruitment and year-class strength. A comprehensive database of COI sequences, linked to authoritatively identified voucher specimens, promises to change this situation, representing a significant advance for fisheries science. Barcode records were obtained from 2526 early larvae and pelagic eggs of fishes collected on the inshore shelf within 5 km of the KwaZulu-Natal coast, about 50 km south of Durban, South Africa. Barcodes were also obtained from 3215 adults, representing 946 South African fish species. Using the COI reference library on BOLD based on adults, 89% of the immature fishes could be identified to a species level; they represented 450 species. Most of the uncertain sequences could be assigned to a genus, family, or order; only 92 specimens (4%) were unassigned. Accumulation curves based on inference of phylogenetic diversity indicate near-completeness of the collecting effort. The entire set of adult and larval fishes included 1006 species, representing 43% of all fish species known from South African waters. However, this total included 189 species not previously recorded from this region. The fact that almost 90% of the immatures gained a species identification demonstrates the power and completeness of the DNA barcode reference library for fishes generated during the 10 years of FishBOL.

  6. Host plant resistance in melon (Cucumis melo L.) to sweetpotato whitefly in California and Arizona

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Sweetpotato whitefly (MEAM1 cryptic species of Bemisia tabaci; SPWF) feeding severely impacts fall season melon yield and quality in the lower deserts of California and Arizona. Melon accessions PI 313970 and TGR 1551 (PI 482420) have been reported to exhibit host plant resistance (HPR) to SPWF. Pot...

  7. Distemper Outbreak and Its Effect on African Wild Dog Conservation

    PubMed Central

    van de Bildt, Marco W.G.; Kuiken, Thijs; Visee, Aart M.; Lema, Sangito; Fitzjohn, Tony R.

    2002-01-01

    In December 2000, an infectious disease spread through a captive breeding group of African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) in Tanzania, killing 49 of 52 animals within 2 months. The causative agent was identified as Canine distemper virus (CDV) by means of histologic examination, virus isolation, reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction analysis, and nucleotide sequencing. This report emphasizes the importance of adequate protection against infectious diseases for the successful outcome of captive breeding programs of endangered species. PMID:11897078

  8. The African Pediatric Fellowship Program: Training in Africa for Africans.

    PubMed

    Wilmshurst, Jo M; Morrow, Brenda; du Preez, Avril; Githanga, David; Kennedy, Neil; Zar, Heather J

    2016-01-01

    Africa has a significant burden of childhood disease, with relatively few skilled health care professionals. The African Paediatric Fellowship Programme was developed by the Department of Pediatrics and Child Health at the University of Cape Town to provide relevant training for African child health professionals, by Africans, within Africa. Trainees identified by partner academic institutions spend 6 months to 2 years training in the Department of Pediatrics and allied disciplines. They then return to their home institution to build practice, training, research, and advocacy. From 2008 to 2015, 73 physicians have completed or are completing training in general pediatrics or a pediatric subspecialty. At 1 year posttraining, 98% to 100% are practicing back in their home institution. The impact of the returning fellows is evident from their practice interventions, research collaborations, and positions as stakeholders who can change health care policies. Thirty-three centers in 13 African countries are partners with the program, and the program template is now followed by other partner sites in Africa. Increasing and retaining the skills pool of African child health specialists is building a network of motivated, highly skilled clinicians who are equipped to advance child health in Africa.

  9. An African ethic for nursing?

    PubMed

    Haegert, S

    2000-11-01

    This article derives from a doctoral thesis in which a particular discourse was used as a 'paradigm case'. From this discourse an ethic set within a South African culture arose. Using many cultural 'voices' to aid the understanding of this narrative, the ethic shows that one can build on both a 'justice' and a 'care' ethic. With further development based on African culture one can take the ethic of care deeper and reveal 'layers of understanding'. Care, together with compassion, forms the foundation of morality. Nursing ethics has followed particular western moral philosophers. Often nursing ethics has been taught along the lines of Kohlberg's theory of morality, with its emphasis on rules, rights, duties and general obligations. These principles were universalistic, masculine and noncontextual. However, there is a new ethical movement among Thomist philosophers along the lines to be expounded in this article. Nurses such as Benner, Bevis, Dunlop, Fry and Gadow--to name but a few--have welcomed the concept of an 'ethic of care'. Gilligan's work gave a feminist view and situated ethics in the everyday aspects of responsiveness, responsibility, context and concern. Shutte's search for a 'philosophy for Africa' has resulted in finding similarities in Setiloane and in Senghor with those of Thomist philosophers. Using this African philosophy and a research participant's narrative, an African ethic evolves out of the African proverb: 'A person is a person through other persons', or its alternative rendering: 'I am because we are: we are because I am.' This hermeneutic narrative reveals 'the way affect imbues activity with ethical meaning' within the context of a black nursing sister in a rural South African hospital. It expands upon the above proverb and incorporates the South African constitutional idea of 'Ubuntu' (compassion and justice or humanness).

  10. Mapping of Genetic Loci that Regulate Accumulation of Beta-Carotene in Fruit of U.S. Western Shipping Melon (Cucumis Melo L.) and Their Association With Putative Carotenoid Biosynthesis Genes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    ßeta–carotene is an important nutrient in the human diet, and melon (Cucumis melo L.) is a key nutritional vegetable source of such carotenoids. A previously developed set of 81 recombinant inbred lines (RIL) derived from Group Cantalupensis U.S. Western Shipper market type germplasm was examined i...

  11. Development of SSR markers by next-generation sequencing of Korean landraces of chamoe (Cucumis melo var. makuwa).

    PubMed

    Park, Inkyu; Kim, Jungeun; Lee, Jeongyeo; Kim, Sewon; Cho, Okhee; Yang, Kyungbong; Ahn, Jongmoon; Nahm, Seokhyeon; Kim, Hyeran

    2013-12-01

    The oriental melon (Cucumis melo var. makuwa), called 'chamoe' in Korean, is a popular fruit crop cultivated mainly in Asia and a high-market value crop in Korea. To provide molecular breeding resources for chamoe, we developed and characterized genomic SSR markers from the preliminary Illumina read assemblies of Gotgam chamoe (one of the major landraces; KM) and SW3 (the breeding parent). Mononucleotide motifs were the most abundant type of markers, followed by di-, tri-, tetra-, and pentanucleotide motifs. The most abundant dinucleotide was AT, followed by AG and AC, and AAT was the most abundant trinucleotide motif in both assemblies. Following our SSR-marker development strategy, we designed a total of 370 primer sets. Of these, 236 primer sets were tested, exhibiting 93 % polymorphism between KM and SW3. Those polymorphic SSRs were successfully amplified in the netted and Kirkagac melons, which respectively exhibited 81 and 76 % polymorphism relative to KM, and 32 and 38 % polymorphism relative to SW3. Seven selected SSR markers with a total of 17 alleles (2-3 alleles per locus) were used to distinguish between KM, SW3, and four chamoe cultivars. Our results represent the first attempt to provide genomic resources for Korean landraces for the purposes of chamoe breeding, as well as to discover a set of SSR markers capable of discriminating chamoe varieties from Korea and the rest of Asia, which possess little genetic diversity. This study establishes a highly efficient strategy for developing SSR markers from preliminary Illumina assemblies of AT-rich genomes.

  12. Expression, subcellular localization, and cis-regulatory structure of duplicated phytoene synthase genes in melon (Cucumis melo L.).

    PubMed

    Qin, Xiaoqiong; Coku, Ardian; Inoue, Kentaro; Tian, Li

    2011-10-01

    Carotenoids perform many critical functions in plants, animals, and humans. It is therefore important to understand carotenoid biosynthesis and its regulation in plants. Phytoene synthase (PSY) catalyzes the first committed and rate-limiting step in carotenoid biosynthesis. While PSY is present as a single copy gene in Arabidopsis, duplicated PSY genes have been identified in many economically important monocot and dicot crops. CmPSY1 was previously identified from melon (Cucumis melo L.), but was not functionally characterized. We isolated a second PSY gene, CmPSY2, from melon in this work. CmPSY2 possesses a unique intron/exon structure that has not been observed in other plant PSYs. Both CmPSY1 and CmPSY2 are functional in vitro, but exhibit distinct expression patterns in different melon tissues and during fruit development, suggesting differential regulation of the duplicated melon PSY genes. In vitro chloroplast import assays verified the plastidic localization of CmPSY1 and CmPSY2 despite the lack of an obvious plastid target peptide in CmPSY2. Promoter motif analysis of the duplicated melon and tomato PSY genes and the Arabidopsis PSY revealed distinctive cis-regulatory structures of melon PSYs and identified gibberellin-responsive motifs in all PSYs except for SlPSY1, which has not been reported previously. Overall, these data provide new insights into the evolutionary history of plant PSY genes and the regulation of PSY expression by developmental and environmental signals that may involve different regulatory networks.

  13. Promotion of 5-aminolevulinic acid on photosynthesis of melon (Cucumis melo) seedlings under low light and chilling stress conditions.

    PubMed

    Wang, Liang Ju; Jiang, Wei Bing; Huang, Bao Jian

    2004-06-01

    When melon seedlings (Cucumis melo L. Ximiya No. 1) were cultured in a growth chamber with about 150 micro mol m(-2) s(-1) photon flux density, the leaf photosynthetic ability reduced dramatically as leaf position decreased from the top. The application of 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA) solutions significantly increased the net photosynthetic rate (P(n)) as well as apparent quantum yield (AQY), carboxylation efficiency (CE) and stomata conductance (G(s)). After irrigation with 10 ml of ALA solution (10 mg l(-1) or 100 mg l(-1)) per container filled with approximately 250 g clean sand for 3 days, the leaf P(n) was about 40-200% higher than that of controls, and AQY, CE and G(s) increased 21-271%, 55-210% and 60-335%, respectively. Furthermore, ALA treatments increased leaf chlorophyll content and soluble sugar levels, as well as the rate of dark respiration, but decreased the rate of respiration under light. On the other hand, after melon seedlings that had been cultured in the chamber suffered chilling at 8 degrees C for 4 h and then recovered at 25-30 degrees C for 2 and 20 h, the P(n) of the water-irrigated plants was only 12-18% and 37-47%, respectively, compared with the initial P(n) before chilling treatment. If the seedlings underwent the same treatment but with ALA (10 mg l(-1)), the respective P(n) was 22-38% and 76-101%, compared with that of the control before chilling stress. If chilling was prolonged for 6 h, the ALA-pre-treated plants only showed a few symptoms in the leaf margins whereas all water-irrigated plants died, which suggested that ALA presumably promoted chilling tolerance of the plants under low light.

  14. Different effect of cadmium and copper on H+-ATPase activity in plasma membrane vesicles from Cucumis sativus roots

    PubMed Central

    Janicka-Russak, Małgorzata; Kabała, Katarzyna; Burzyński, Marek

    2012-01-01

    The effect of heavy metals on plasma membrane (PM) H+-ATPase (EC 3.6.3.14) activity in cucumber (Cucumis sativus) roots was studied. The aim of this work was to explain the mechanism of modification of the PM H+-ATPase activity in plants subjected to heavy metals. Plants were treated with 10 μM Cd or Cu for 6 d. After 3 d exposure to the heavy metals, some of the plants were transferred to control conditions for a further 3 d (3/3 plants). The activity of PM H+-ATPase was found to be increased in plants treated with heavy metals. The highest activity measured as proton transport was observed in 3/3 plants. Estimation of transcript levels of C. sativus PM H+-ATPase in roots indicated that the action of Cd, but not Cu, affected the gene expression level. Transcript levels of C. sativus PM H+-ATPase (CsHA2, CsHA3, CsHA4, CsHA8, and CsHA9) genes increased in roots treated with Cd. Moreover, Western blot analysis with antibody against phosphothreonine and 14-3-3 protein indicated that increased activity of PM H+-ATPase under heavy-metal stress resulted from phosphorylation of the enzyme. It was found that Cu markedly increased the activity of catalase and ascorbate peroxidase and reduced the level of H2O2 in cucumber roots. In contrast, Cd did not affect these parameters. These results indicate that Cd and Cu can, in different ways, lead to modification of PM H+-ATPase activity. Additionally, it was observed that treatment of plants with heavy metals led to an increased level of heat-shock proteins in the tissues. This suggests that the plants had started adaptive processes to survive adverse conditions, and increased PM H+-ATPase activity could further enhance the repair processes in heavy-metal-stressed plants. PMID:22451724

  15. Exocarp Properties and Transcriptomic Analysis of Cucumber (Cucumis sativus) Fruit Expressing Age-Related Resistance to Phytophthora capsici

    PubMed Central

    Ando, Kaori; Carr, Kevin M.; Colle, Marivi; Mansfeld, Ben N.; Grumet, Rebecca

    2015-01-01

    Very young cucumber (Cucumis sativus) fruit are highly susceptible to infection by the oomycete pathogen, Phytophthora capsici. As the fruit complete exponential growth, at approximately 10–12 days post pollination (dpp), they transition to resistance. The development of age-related resistance (ARR) is increasingly recognized as an important defense against pathogens, however, underlying mechanisms are largely unknown. Peel sections from cucumber fruit harvested at 8 dpp (susceptible) and 16 dpp (resistant) showed equivalent responses to inoculation as did whole fruit, indicating that the fruit surface plays an important role in defense against P. capsici. Exocarp from 16 dpp fruit had thicker cuticles, and methanolic extracts of peel tissue inhibited growth of P. capsici in vitro, suggesting physical or chemical components to the ARR. Transcripts specifically expressed in the peel vs. pericarp showed functional differentiation. Transcripts predominantly expressed in the peel were consistent with fruit surface associated functions including photosynthesis, cuticle production, response to the environment, and defense. Peel-specific transcripts that exhibited increased expression in 16 dpp fruit relative to 8 dpp fruit, were highly enriched (P<0.0001) for response to stress, signal transduction, and extracellular and transport functions. Specific transcripts included genes associated with potential physical barriers (i.e., cuticle), chemical defenses (flavonoid biosynthesis), oxidative stress, penetration defense, and molecular pattern (MAMP)-triggered or effector-triggered (R-gene mediated) pathways. The developmentally regulated changes in gene expression between peels from susceptible- and resistant- age fruits suggest programming for increased defense as the organ reaches full size. PMID:26528543

  16. Effect of mitochondrial genome rearrangement on respiratory activity, photosynthesis, photorespiration and energy status of MSC16 cucumber (Cucumis sativus) mutant.

    PubMed

    Juszczuk, Izabela M; Flexas, Jaume; Szal, Bozena; Dabrowska, Zofia; Ribas-Carbo, Miquel; Rychter, Anna M

    2007-12-01

    The effects of changes in mitochondrial DNA in cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) mosaic mutant (MSC16) on respiration, photosynthesis and photorespiration were analyzed under non-stressed conditions. Decreased respiratory capacity of complex I in MSC16 mitochondria was indicated by lower respiration rates of intact mitochondria with malate and by rotenone-inhibited NADH or malate oxidation in the presence of alamethicin. Moreover, blue native PAGE indicated decreased intensity of protein bands of respiratory chain complex I in MSC16 leaves. Concerning the redox state, complex I impairment could be compensated to some extent by increased external NADH dehydrogenases (ND(ex)NADH) and alternative oxidase (AOX) capacity, the latter presenting differential expression in the light and in the dark. Although MSC16 mitochondria have a higher AOX protein level and an increased capacity, the AOX activity measured in the dark conditions by oxygen discrimination technique is similar to that in wild-type (WT) plants. Photosynthesis induction by light followed different patterns in WT and MSC16, suggesting changes in feedback chloroplast DeltapH caused by different adenylate levels. At steady-state, net photosynthesis was only slightly impaired in MSC16 mutants, while photorespiration rate (PR) was significantly increased. This was the result of large decreases in both stomatal and mesophyll conductance to CO2, which resulted in a lower CO2 concentration in the chloroplasts. The observed changes on CO2 diffusion caused by mitochondrial mutations open a whole new view of interaction between organelle metabolism and whole tissue physiology. The sum of all the described changes in photosynthetic and respiratory metabolism resulted in a lower ATP availability and a slower plant growth.

  17. 24-Epibrassinolide regulates photosynthesis, antioxidant enzyme activities and proline content of Cucumis sativus under salt and/or copper stress.

    PubMed

    Fariduddin, Q; Khalil, Radwan R A E; Mir, Bilal A; Yusuf, M; Ahmad, A

    2013-09-01

    Brassinosteroids have been extensively used to overcome various abiotic stresses. But its role in combined stress of salt and excess copper remains unexplored. Seeds of two cultivars (Rocket and Jumbo) of Cucumis sativus were grown in sand amended with copper (100 mg kg(-1)), and developed seedlings were exposed to salt stress in the form of NaCl (150 mM) at the 30-day stage of growth for 3 days. These seedlings were subsequently sprayed with 0 or 0.01 μM of 24-epibrassinolide (EBL) at the 35-day stage. The plants exposed to NaCl and Cu in combination exhibited a significant decline in fresh and dry mass of plant, chlorophyll content, activities of carbonic anhydrase, net photosynthetic rate and maximum quantum yield of the PSII primary photochemistry followed by NaCl and Cu stress alone, more severely in Jumbo than in Rocket. However, the follow-up treatment with EBL to the stressed and nonstressed plant improved growth, chlorophyll content, carbonic anhydrase activity and photosynthetic efficiency, and further enhanced the activity of various antioxidant enzymes viz. catalase, peroxidase and superoxide dismutase and content of proline at the 40-day stage of growth, and the response of the hormone was more effective in Rocket than in Jumbo. The elevated level of antioxidant enzymes as well as proline could have conferred tolerance to the NaCl- and/or Cu-stressed plants resulting in improved growth, water relations and photosynthetic attributes. Furthermore, antioxidant enzyme activity and proline content were more enhanced in Rocket than in Jumbo cultivar.

  18. MAP-kinase activity in etiolated Cucumis sativus cotyledons: the effect of red and far-red light irradiation.

    PubMed

    Alvarez-Flórez, Fagua; Vidal, Dolors; Simón, Esther

    2013-02-01

    Phytochrome (phy) signalling in plants may be transduced through protein phosphorylation. Mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAP-kinase, MAPK) activity and the effect of R (red) and FR (far-red) light irradiation on MAPK activity were studied in etiolated Cucumis sativus L. cotyledons. By in vitro protein phosphorylation and in-gel assays with myelin basic protein (MBP), a protein band (between 48 and 45 kDa) with MAPK-like activity was detected. The addition to the phosphorylation buffer of specific protein phosphatase (PTP) inhibitors (Na(3)VO(4) and NaF) and genistein, apigenin or PD98059 as MAPK inhibitors allowed us to confirm the MAPK activity of the protein band. Irradiation of etiolated cotyledons with FR light for 5, 10 or 60 min rapidly and transiently stimulated the MAPK activity of the protein band. This suggests that there was a very low fluence response (VLFR) of phys. In addition, 15 min of R light irradiation or a sequential treatment of 15 min of R plus 5 min of FR also increased MAPK activity. The stimulatory effect of R light was also attributed to the same photoreceptor, which suggests that MAPKs are involved in phytochrome signal transduction. Protein immunoprecipitation and immunoblotting analysis with the polyclonal antibody anti-pERK1/2 (Tyr 204) and the monoclonal antibody anti-phosphotyrosine PY20 allowed us to recognize the above mentioned protein band as two proteins with molecular masses (M(r)) of approximately 47 and 45 kDa, and MAPK activity. The biochemical and immunological properties showed by the proteins detected indicated that they were members of the MAPK family phosphorylated in tyrosine residues.

  19. SELDI-TOF MS-based discovery of a biomarker in Cucumis sativus seeds exposed to CuO nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Moon, Young-Sun; Park, Eun-Sil; Kim, Tae-Oh; Lee, Hoi-Seon; Lee, Sung-Eun

    2014-11-01

    Metal oxide nanoparticles (NPs) can inhibit plant seed germination and root elongation via the release of metal ions. In the present study, two acute phytotoxicity tests, seed germination and root elongation tests, were conducted on cucumber seeds (Cucumis sativus) treated with bulk copper oxide (CuO) and CuO NPs. Two concentrations of bulk CuO and CuO NPs, 200 and 600ppm, were used to test the inhibition rate of root germination; both concentrations of bulk CuO weakly inhibited seed germination, whereas CuO NPs significantly inhibited germination, showing a low germination rate of 23.3% at 600ppm. Root elongation tests demonstrated that CuO NPs were much stronger inhibitors than bulk CuO. SELDI-TOF MS analysis showed that 34 proteins were differentially expressed in cucumber seeds after exposure to CuO NPs, with the expression patterns of at least 9 proteins highly differing from those in seeds treated with bulk CuO and in control plants. Therefore, these 9 proteins were used to identify CuO NP-specific biomarkers in cucumber plants exposed to CuO NPs. A 5977-m/z protein was the most distinguishable biomarker for determining phytotoxicity by CuO NPs. Principal component analysis (PCA) of the SELDI-TOF MS results showed variability in the modes of inhibitory action on cucumber seeds and roots. To our knowledge, this is the first study to demonstrate that the phytotoxic effect of metal oxide NPs on plants is not caused by the same mode of action as other toxins.

  20. Effects of exogenous spermine on chlorophyll fluorescence, antioxidant system and ultrastructure of chloroplasts in Cucumis sativus L. under salt stress.

    PubMed

    Shu, Sheng; Yuan, Ling-Yun; Guo, Shi-Rong; Sun, Jin; Yuan, Ying-Hui

    2013-02-01

    The effects of exogenous spermine (Spm) on plant growth, chlorophyll fluorescence, ultrastructure and anti-oxidative metabolism of chloroplasts were investigated in Cucumis sativus L. under NaCl stress. Salt stress significantly reduced plant growth, chlorophylls content and F(v)/F(m). These changes could be alleviated by foliar spraying with Spm. Salt stress caused an increase in malondialdehyde (MDA) content and superoxide anion [Formula: see text] generation rate in chloroplasts. Application of Spm significantly increased activities of superoxidase dismutase (SOD, EC 1.15.1.1), peroxidase (POD, EC 1.11.1.7), and ascorbate peroxidase (APX, EC 1.11.1.11) which decreased the levels of [Formula: see text] and MDA in the salt-stressed chloroplasts. Salt stress decreased the activities of dehydroascorbate reductase (DHAR, EC 1.8.5.1) and glutathione reductase (GR, EC 1.6.4.2) in the chloroplasts and reduced the contents of dehydroascorbate (DAsA) and glutathione (GSH), but increased monodehydroascorbate reductase (MDAR, EC 1.6.5.4) activity. On the other hand, Spm significantly increased the activities of antioxidant enzymes and levels of antioxidants in the salt-stressed chloroplasts. Further analysis of the ultrastructure of chloroplasts indicated that salinity induced destruction of the chloroplast envelope and increased the number of plastoglobuli with aberrations in thylakoid membranes. However, Spm application to salt-stressed plant leaves counteracted the adverse effects of salinity on the structure of the photosynthetic apparatus. These results suggest that Spm alleviates salt-induced oxidative stress through regulating antioxidant systems in chloroplasts of cucumber seedlings, which is associated with an improvement of the photochemical efficiency of PSII.

  1. Different effect of cadmium and copper on H+-ATPase activity in plasma membrane vesicles from Cucumis sativus roots.

    PubMed

    Janicka-Russak, Małgorzata; Kabała, Katarzyna; Burzynski, Marek

    2012-06-01

    The effect of heavy metals on plasma membrane (PM) H(+)-ATPase (EC 3.6.3.14) activity in cucumber (Cucumis sativus) roots was studied. The aim of this work was to explain the mechanism of modification of the PM H(+)-ATPase activity in plants subjected to heavy metals. Plants were treated with 10 μM Cd or Cu for 6 d. After 3 d exposure to the heavy metals, some of the plants were transferred to control conditions for a further 3 d (3/3 plants). The activity of PM H(+)-ATPase was found to be increased in plants treated with heavy metals. The highest activity measured as proton transport was observed in 3/3 plants. Estimation of transcript levels of C. sativus PM H(+)-ATPase in roots indicated that the action of Cd, but not Cu, affected the gene expression level. Transcript levels of C. sativus PM H(+)-ATPase (CsHA2, CsHA3, CsHA4, CsHA8, and CsHA9) genes increased in roots treated with Cd. Moreover, Western blot analysis with antibody against phosphothreonine and 14-3-3 protein indicated that increased activity of PM H(+)-ATPase under heavy-metal stress resulted from phosphorylation of the enzyme. It was found that Cu markedly increased the activity of catalase and ascorbate peroxidase and reduced the level of H(2)O(2) in cucumber roots. In contrast, Cd did not affect these parameters. These results indicate that Cd and Cu can, in different ways, lead to modification of PM H(+)-ATPase activity. Additionally, it was observed that treatment of plants with heavy metals led to an increased level of heat-shock proteins in the tissues. This suggests that the plants had started adaptive processes to survive adverse conditions, and increased PM H(+)-ATPase activity could further enhance the repair processes in heavy-metal-stressed plants.

  2. [Effects of temperature regime on low-light tolerance of Cucumis sativus seedling leaves in their photosynthesis].

    PubMed

    Li, Wei; Sui, Xiao-lei; Zhang, Zhen-xian

    2008-12-01

    In a phytotron, the effects of three temperature regimes (day/night 25 degrees C/18 degrees C, optimal temperature; 15 degrees C/9 degrees C, suboptimal temperature; and 9 degrees C/7 degrees C, low temperature) on the low-light (75-85 micromol x m(-2) x s(-1)) tolerance of two Cucumis sativus cultivars (shade-susceptible Jinyan 2 and shade-tolerant Deltastar) seedling leaves in their photosynthesis were studied. The results showed that under low light, the SPAD, net photosynthesis rate (Pn), stomatal conductance (Gs), transpiration rate (Tr), water use efficiency (WUE), actual photochemical efficiency of PS II in the light (phi(PS II)), and photochemical quenching of chlorophyll fluorescence (q(p)) of cucumber leaves decreased, with the decrement getting more with decreasing temperature, while the superoxide dismutase (SOD), peroxidase (POD) and catalase (CAT) activities were in adverse. During the recovery process after low-light stress relieved, the parameters of gas exchange and chlorophyll fluorescence of the leaves recovered gradually, and the recovery of some gas exchange parameters lagged to that of chlorophyll fluorescence parameters. Under low light, the lower the temperature, the more damage the photosynthesis apparatus suffered, and the lesser tolerance to low light the cucumber leaves had in their photosynthesis. During the low temperature and low light treatment period, the decrease of Pn, phi(PS II), and q(p) was more obvious for Jinyan 2 than for Deltastar; and during the relief period, the recovery of these parameters was slower for Jinyan 2 than for Deltastar. It was indicated that Jinyan 2 had weaker tolerance to low temperature and/or low light in its photosynthesis than Deltastar.

  3. Bin mapping of genomic and EST-derived SSRs in melon (Cucumis melo L.).

    PubMed

    Fernandez-Silva, I; Eduardo, I; Blanca, J; Esteras, C; Picó, B; Nuez, F; Arús, P; Garcia-Mas, J; Monforte, Antonio José

    2008-12-01

    We report the development of 158 primer pairs flanking SSR motifs in genomic (gSSR) and EST (EST-SSR) melon sequences, all yielding polymorphic bands in melon germplasm, except one that was polymorphic only in Cucurbita species. A similar polymorphism level was found among EST-SSRs and gSSRs, between dimeric and trimeric EST-SSRs, and between EST-SSRs placed in the open reading frame or any of the 5'- or 3'-untranslated regions. Correlation between SSR length and polymorphism was only found for dinucleotide EST-SSRs located within the untranslated regions, but not for trinucleotide EST-SSRs. Transferability of EST-SSRs to Cucurbita species was assayed and 12.7% of the primer pairs amplified at least in one species, although only 5.4% were polymorphic. A set of 14 double haploid lines from the cross between the cultivar "Piel de Sapo" and the accession PI161375 were selected for the bin mapping approach in melon. One hundred and twenty-one SSR markers were newly mapped. The position of 46 SSR loci was also verified by genotyping the complete population. A final bin-map was constructed including 80 RFLPs, 212 SSRs, 3 SNPs and the Nsv locus, distributed in 122 bins with an average bin length of 10.2 cM and a maximum bin length of 33 cM. Map density was 4.2 cM/marker or 5.9 cM/SSR.

  4. African American Preschoolers' Language, Emergent Literacy Skills, and Use of African American English: A Complex Relation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Connor, Carol McDonald; Craig, Holly K.

    2006-01-01

    Purpose: This study examined the relation between African American preschoolers' use of African American English (AAE) and their language and emergent literacy skills in an effort to better understand the perplexing and persistent difficulties many African American children experience learning to read proficiently. Method: African American…

  5. A PROSPECTIVE PHARMACOLOGICAL REVIEW OF MEDICINAL HERBS, CUCUMIS MELO AND BERBERIS VULGARIS, COMMONLY USED IN THE TREATMENT OF RENAL DISEASES IN PAKISTAN.

    PubMed

    Ullah, Naveed; Khan, Salimullah; Khan, Abad; Ahmad, Waqar; Shah, Yasar; Ahmad, Lateef; Ullah, Ihsan

    2015-01-01

    The kidneys are important organs which have many functions in the body, including the production of hormones, absorbtion of minerals and the filtration of blood, producing urine. Their failure can be fatal, therefore, to focus the study of such herbs which may be useful in treating renal disease is the need of hour. In Pakistan, Cucumis melo and Berberis vulgaris has been commonly used for renal problems. In both of these plants were found flavonoids, alkaloids and terpenes, which may stand for their renal protective properties. Their reported vitamin E contents and antioxidant potentials also provide a base for their defensive mechanism, may be due to their free radical scavenging properties. Further, their diuretic and urinary tract anti-ulcer properties also support their traditional use in renal diseases. Their anti-histaminic and anti-cholinergic properties also provide symptomatic treatment by decreasing prostaglandin level and due to antispasmodic properties. Concluding, both of these p