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Sample records for agent bltva phytoplasma

  1. 'Candidatus Phytoplasma castaneae', a novel phytoplasma taxon associated with chestnut witches' broom disease.

    PubMed

    Jung, Hee-Young; Sawayanagi, Toshimi; Kakizawa, Shigeyuki; Nishigawa, Hisashi; Miyata, Shin-ichi; Oshima, Kenro; Ugaki, Masashi; Lee, Joon-Tak; Hibi, Tadaaki; Namba, Shigetou

    2002-09-01

    In Korea, Japanese chestnut trees (Castanea crenata Sieb. and Zucc.) showing symptoms indicative of witches' broom disease, including abnormally small leaves and yellowing of young leaves, were examined. Since the symptoms were suggestive of a phytoplasma infection, tissues were assayed for phytoplasmas by PCR analysis using a pair of universal primers that amplify a 1.4-kbp phytoplasma 16S rDNA fragment. The phytoplasma-specific fragment was amplified from diseased plants, but not from healthy plants, indicating that a phytoplasma was the causal agent of the chestnut witches' broom (CnWB) disease. The phylogenetic relationship of the CnWB phytoplasma to other phytoplasmas was examined by sequence analysis of the 16S rDNA. A phylogenetic analysis of 16S rDNA sequences of the phytoplasmas placed the CnWB phytoplasma within a distinct subgroup in the phytoplasma clade of the class Mollicutes. The phylogenetic tree indicated that the CnWB phytoplasma is related most closely to coconut phytoplasmas and suggested that they share a common ancestor. The unique properties of the CnWB phytoplasma sequences clearly establish that it represents a novel taxon, 'Candidatus Phytoplasma castaneae'.

  2. Draft Genome Sequence of "Candidatus Phytoplasma oryzae" Strain Mbita1, the Causative Agent of Napier Grass Stunt Disease in Kenya.

    PubMed

    Fischer, Anne; Santana-Cruz, Ivette; Wambua, Lillian; Olds, Cassandra; Midega, Charles; Dickinson, Matthew; Kawicha, Praphat; Khan, Zeyaur; Masiga, Daniel; Jores, Joerg; Schneider, Bernd

    2016-04-21

    Phytoplasmas are bacterial plant pathogens with devastating impact on agricultural production worldwide. In eastern Africa, Napier grass stunt disease causes serious economic losses in the smallholder dairy industry. This draft genome sequence of " ITALIC! CandidatusPhytoplasma oryzae" strain Mbita1 provides insight into its genomic organization and the molecular basis of pathogenicity.

  3. Draft Genome Sequence of “Candidatus Phytoplasma oryzae” Strain Mbita1, the Causative Agent of Napier Grass Stunt Disease in Kenya

    PubMed Central

    Fischer, Anne; Santana-Cruz, Ivette; Wambua, Lillian; Olds, Cassandra; Midega, Charles; Dickinson, Matthew; Kawicha, Praphat; Khan, Zeyaur; Masiga, Daniel; Schneider, Bernd

    2016-01-01

    Phytoplasmas are bacterial plant pathogens with devastating impact on agricultural production worldwide. In eastern Africa, Napier grass stunt disease causes serious economic losses in the smallholder dairy industry. This draft genome sequence of “Candidatus Phytoplasma oryzae” strain Mbita1 provides insight into its genomic organization and the molecular basis of pathogenicity. PMID:27103722

  4. Incidence of the Beet Leafhopper-Transmitted Virescence Agent Phytoplasma in Local Populations of the Beet Leafhopper, Circulifer tenellus, in Washington State

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Phytoplasma diseases are increasingly becoming important in vegetable crops in the Pacific Northwest. Recently, growers in the Columbia Basin and Yakima Valley experienced serious outbreaks of potato purple top disease that caused significant yield loss and a reduction in tuber processing quality. I...

  5. Rubus Stunt Phytoplasma

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Rubus stunt is a severe disease that naturally infects only plants in the genus Rubus, and no immune Rubus germplasm has been reported. Apium, Chrysanthemum, Fragaria, and Trifolium species have been used as experimental hosts for Rubus stunt phytoplasma. The disease occurs in wild and cultivated R...

  6. A phytoplasma closely related to the pigeon pea witches'-broom phytoplasma (16Sr IX) is associated with citrus huanglongbing symptoms in the state of São Paulo, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Teixeira, D C; Wulff, N A; Martins, E C; Kitajima, E W; Bassanezi, R; Ayres, A J; Eveillard, S; Saillard, C; Bové, J M

    2008-09-01

    In February 2007, sweet orange trees with characteristic symptoms of huanglongbing (HLB) were encountered in a region of São Paulo state (SPs) hitherto free of HLB. These trees tested negative for the three liberibacter species associated with HLB. A polymerase chain reaction (PCR) product from symptomatic fruit columella DNA amplifications with universal primers fD1/rP1 was cloned and sequenced. The corresponding agent was found to have highest 16S rDNA sequence identity (99%) with the pigeon pea witches'-broom phytoplasma of group 16Sr IX. Sequences of PCR products obtained with phytoplasma 16S rDNA primer pairs fU5/rU3, fU5/P7 confirm these results. With two primers D7f2/D7r2 designed based on the 16S rDNA sequence of the cloned DNA fragment, positive amplifications were obtained from more than one hundred samples including symptomatic fruits and blotchy mottle leaves. Samples positive for phytoplasmas were negative for liberibacters, except for four samples, which were positive for both the phytoplasma and 'Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus'. The phytoplasma was detected by electron microscopy in the sieve tubes of midribs from symptomatic leaves. These results show that a phytoplasma of group IX is associated with citrus HLB symptoms in northern, central, and southern SPs. This phytoplasma has very probably been transmitted to citrus from an external source of inoculum, but the putative insect vector is not yet known.

  7. 'Candidatus Phytoplasma spartii', 'Candidatus Phytoplasma rhamni' and 'Candidatus Phytoplasma allocasuarinae', respectively associated with spartium witches'-broom, buckthorn witches'-broom and allocasuarina yellows diseases.

    PubMed

    Marcone, C; Gibb, K S; Streten, C; Schneider, B

    2004-07-01

    Spartium witches'-broom (SpaWB), buckthorn witches'-broom (BWB) and allocasuarina yellows (AlloY) are witches'-broom and yellows diseases of Spartium junceum (Spanish broom), Rhamnus catharticus (buckthorn) and Allocasuarina muelleriana (Slaty she-oak), respectively. These diseases are associated with distinct phytoplasmas. The SpaWB, BWB and AlloY phytoplasmas share <97.5 % 16S rDNA sequence similarity with each other and with other known phytoplasmas, including the closely related phytoplasmas of the apple proliferation group. Also, the SpaWB, BWB and AlloY phytoplasmas each have a different natural plant host. Based on their unique properties, it is proposed to designate the mentioned phytoplasmas as novel 'Candidatus' species under the names 'Candidatus Phytoplasma spartii', 'Candidatus Phytoplasma rhamni' and 'Candidatus Phytoplasma allocasuarinae', respectively.

  8. Comparative analysis of the plasmids from two isolates of "Candidatus Phytoplasma australiense".

    PubMed

    Liefting, Lia W; Andersen, Mark T; Lough, Tony J; Beever, Ross E

    2006-09-01

    Two plasmids from the plant-pathogenic mollicute "Candidatus Phytoplasma australiense" were completely sequenced from two isolates derived from different plant hosts. Plasmid pPAPh2 (3607bp) was obtained from Phormium showing Phormium yellow leaf symptoms and pPASb11 (3635bp) from strawberry showing strawberry lethal yellows symptoms. The plasmids varied in their copy number and nucleotide sequence yet contained the same four open reading frames (ORFs). The deduced amino acid sequence derived from ORF1 shares similarity with hypothetical proteins encoded on the plasmids from onion yellows and beet leafhopper-transmitted virescence agent phytoplasmas. The deduced amino acid sequences of both ORF2 and ORF3 share similarity with functionally unknown proteins on the chromosome of onion yellows phytoplasma. An ORF with a similar sequence to ORF2 is also present on the chromosome of "Ca. P. australiense." The deduced amino acid sequence derived from ORF4 is most similar to replication proteins encoded by other phytoplasma plasmids and by geminiviruses, the only protein on the plasmids for which a putative function can be assigned. The identities of the deduced amino acid sequences of ORF1, ORF2, ORF3, and ORF4 between pPAPh2 and pPASb11 were 89, 68, 91, and 68%, respectively; the differences being consistent with the subgroup status of the parental phytoplasmas.

  9. 'Candidatus Phytoplasma graminis' and 'Candidatus Phytoplasma caricae', two novel phytoplasmas associated with diseases of sugarcane, weeds and papaya in Cuba.

    PubMed

    Arocha, Yaima; López, Mercedes; Piñol, Berta; Fernández, Miriam; Picornell, Buenaventura; Almeida, Roberto; Palenzuela, Iris; Wilson, Michael R; Jones, Phil

    2005-11-01

    During 2003, surveys of sugarcane yellow leaf disease and papaya bunchy top-like disease were carried out on plantations in Havana province, Cuba, to determine the roles of weeds and Auchenorrhyncha insects in the epidemiology of these diseases. More than 250 plant and insect samples were collected and indexed by using a nested PCR for phytoplasma 16S rDNA with the generic primer pairs P1/P7 and R16F2n/R16R2. The PCR products were further characterized by restriction fragment length polymorphism using HaeIII, AluI, Sau3AI, Tru9I, HhaI, HpaII and TaqI endonucleases, giving patterns that distinguished them from those of the other reference phytoplasmas analysed. Phylogenetic analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences identified the phytoplasmas present in sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum L.), Cynodon dactylon L., Conyza canadensis L. Cronq., Sorghum halepense L. Pers., Macroptilium lathyroides L. Urb., Saccharosydne saccharivora (Westwood) and Cedusa spp., and those in papaya (Carica papaya L.) and Empoasca papayae, as two novel provisional phytoplasma species. We propose that these phytoplasmas should be given Candidatus status, as 'Candidatus Phytoplasma graminis' and 'Candidatus Phytoplasma caricae', respectively.

  10. Real-time PCR for specific detection of three phytoplasmas from the apple proliferation group.

    PubMed

    Mehle, Nataša; Nikolić, Petra; Gruden, Kristina; Ravnikar, Maja; Dermastia, Marina

    2013-01-01

    In this chapter, we describe a real-time PCR detection system for fast, reliable, specific, and sensitive detection and discrimination of 'Candidatus Phytoplasma mali', 'Ca. P. prunorum', and 'Ca. P. pyri' from the 16SrX (apple proliferation-AP) group. These phytoplasmas are causal agents of fruit tree diseases within the Rosaceae family, namely apple proliferation, European stone fruit yellows, and pear decline. The assays use (hydrolysis) TaqMan(®) minor groove binder probes. The panel of assays comprises the same set of primers and specific probes for species-specific amplification, and an additional set of primers and probe for 18S rRNA as an endogenous quality control of DNA extraction. The assays described can be used in routine phytoplasma surveys and in certification programmes.

  11. Optimizing Phytoplasma DNA purification for genome analysis.

    PubMed

    Tran-Nguyen, L T T; Gibb, K S

    2007-04-01

    Genome analysis of uncultivable plant pathogenic phytoplasmas is hindered by the difficulty in obtaining sufficient quantities of phytoplasma enriched DNA. We investigated a combination of conventional enrichment techniques such as cesium chloride (CsCl) buoyant gradient centrifugation, and new methods such as rolling circle amplification (RCA), suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH), and mirror orientation selection (MOS) to obtain DNA with a high phytoplasma:host ratio as the major first step in genome analysis of Candidatus Phytoplasma australiense. The phytoplasma:host ratio was calculated for five different plasmid libraries. Based on sequence data, 90% of clones from CsCl DNA enrichment contained chromosomal phytoplasma DNA, compared to 60% from RCA CsCl DNA and 20% from SSH subtracted libraries. Based on an analysis of representative libraries, none contained plant DNA. A high percentage of clones (80-100%) from SSH libraries contained extrachromosomal DNA (eDNA), and we speculate that eDNA in the original DNA preparation was amplified in subsequent SSH manipulations. Despite the availability of new techniques for nucleic acid amplification, we found that conventional CsCl gradient centrifugation was the best enrichment method for obtaining chromosomal phytoplasma DNA with low host DNA content.

  12. 'Candidatus Phytoplasma brasiliense', a new phytoplasma taxon associated with hibiscus witches' broom disease.

    PubMed

    Montano, H G; Davis, R E; Dally, E L; Hogenhout, S; Pimentel, J P; Brioso, P S

    2001-05-01

    Hibiscus rosa-sinensis is a valuable ornamental species widely planted in Brazil. Many plants are affected by witches' broom disease, which is characterized by excessive axillary branching, abnormally small leaves, and deformed flowers, symptoms that are characteristic of diseases attributed to phytoplasmas. A phytoplasma was detected in diseased Hibiscus by amplification of rRNA operon sequences by PCRs, and was characterized by RFLP and nucleotide sequence analyses of 16S rDNA. The collective RFLP patterns of amplified 16S rDNA differed from the patterns described previously for other phytoplasmas. On the basis of the RFLP patterns, the hibiscus witches' broom phytoplasma was classified in a new 16S rRNA RFLP group, designated group 16SrXV. A phylogenetic analysis of 16S rDNA sequences from this and other phytoplasmas identified the hibiscus witches' broom phytoplasma as a member of a distinct subclade (designated subclade xiv) of the class Mollicutes. A phylogenetic tree constructed on the basis of 16S rRNA gene sequences was consistent with the hypothesis that there was divergent evolution of hibiscus witches' broom phytoplasma and its closest relatives (members of 16S rRNA RFLP group 16SrII) from a common ancestor. On the basis of unique properties of the DNA from hibiscus witches' broom phytoplasma, it is proposed that it represents a new taxon, namely 'Candidatus Phytoplasma brasiliense'.

  13. 'Candidatus Phytoplasma lycopersici', a phytoplasma associated with 'hoja de perejil' disease in Bolivia.

    PubMed

    Arocha, Yaima; Antesana, Olivia; Montellano, Ernesto; Franco, Pablo; Plata, G; Jones, Phil

    2007-08-01

    New diseases known locally as 'hoja de perejil' of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill) and 'brotes grandes' of potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) were first recognized in surveys of production fields in Bolivia during 2000-2003. Alfalfa (Medicago sativa) witches' broom and little leaf diseases of native weeds Morrenia variegata and mora-mora (Serjania perulacea) were also identified near to production fields. Phytoplasma aetiology was attributed to each of these diseases following detection and initial identification of aster yellows group (16SrI) phytoplasmas in all five diseased plant species. While potato, alfalfa and mora-mora plants contained indistinguishable 16SrI-B strains, 'hoja de perejil' (THP) and morrenia little leaf (MVLL)-associated phytoplasma strains shared 97.5 % 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity with 'Candidatus Phytoplasma asteris' and related strains and <95 % similarity with all other 'Candidatus Phytoplasma' species. Phylogenetic analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences indicated that the THP and MVLL phytoplasmas represent a novel lineage within the aster yellows (16SrI) group and, on the basis of unique 16S rRNA gene sequences, we propose that THP and MVLL phytoplasmas represent 'Candidatus Phytoplasma lycopersici', with THP as the reference strain. PMID:17684241

  14. Evaluation of anti-phytoplasma properties of surfactin and tetracycline towards lime witches' broom disease using real-time PCR.

    PubMed

    Askari, Najmeh; Salehi Jouzani, Gholamreza; Mousivand, Maryam; Foroutan, A; Hagh Nazari, Ali; Abbasalizadeh, Saeed; Soheilivand, Saeed; Mardi, M

    2011-01-01

    The anti-phytoplasma activities of surfactin (derived from Iranian native Bacillus subtilis isolates) and tetracycline towards Candidatus "Phytoplasma aurantifolia", the agent of lime Witches' broom disease, were investigated. HPLC was used to quantify the surfactin production in four previously characterized native surfactin-producing strains, and the one producing the highest amount of surfactin (about 1,500 mg/l) was selected and cultivated following optimized production and extraction protocols. Different combinations of purified surfactin and commercial tetracycline were injected into artificially phytoplasmainfected Mexican lime seedlings using a syringe injection system. An absolute quantitative real-time PCR system was developed to monitor the phytoplasma population shifts in the lime phloem during 3 months following the injections. The results revealed that the injections of surfactin or tetracycline had a significant inhibitory effect on Candidatus "P. aurantifolia". However, the combined treatment with both surfactin and tetracycline (1:1) resulted in the highest inhibition due to a synergic effect, which suppressed the phytoplasma population from about 2×10(5) to less than 10 phytoplasma units/g plant tissue.

  15. Phytoplasmas and their insect vectors: Implications for date palm

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Date palm is affected by a variety of plant diseases and those associated with phytoplasma presence are increasingly recognised as an emerging threat to the crop. Phytoplasmas are bacteria characterised by a small genome size and the lack of a cell wall. Unlike other bacteria, they are transmitted c...

  16. Phytoplasma-host interactions: tomato gibberellin homeostasis and its role in defense against potato purple top phytoplasma infection

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Phytoplasmas are cell wall-less bacteria that parasitize plant phloem sieve cells and cause numerous diseases in diverse plant species. Plants infected by phytoplasmas often exhibit symptoms such as general stunting, excessive shoot proliferation, witches’-broom growth, rapid senescence, and a...

  17. "Candidatus phytoplasma costaricanum" a new phytoplasma associated with a newly emerging disease in soybean in Costa Rica

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A new phytoplasma associated with a newly emerging disease, soybean stunt (SoyST), in soybean (Glycine max) was found in 2002 in a soybean plantation in Alajuela Province, Costa Rica. The same or very closely related phytoplasma also infected sweet pepper (Capsicum annuum) with purple vein syndrome ...

  18. Extrachromosomal DNA isolated from tomato big bud and Candidatus Phytoplasma australiense phytoplasma strains.

    PubMed

    Tran-Nguyen, L T T; Gibb, K S

    2006-11-01

    The nucleotide sequences of two extrachromosomal elements from tomato big bud (TBB) and one extrachromosomal element from Candidatus Phytoplasma australiense (Ca. P. australiense) phytoplasmas were determined. Both TBB plasmids (3319 and 4092 bp) contained an open reading frame ( approximately 570 bp) with homology to the rolling circle replication initiator protein (Rep). This gene was shorter than the rep genes identified from other phytoplasma plasmids, geminiviruses and bacterial plasmids. Both TBB extrachromosomal DNAs (eDNAs) encoded a putative DNA primase (dnaG) gene, a chromosomal gene required for DNA replication and which contains the conserved topoisomerase/primase domain. We speculate that the replication mechanism for the TBB phytoplasma eDNA involves the dnaG gene instead of the rep gene. The Ca. P. australiense eDNA (3773 bp) was shown to be circular and contained four open reading frames. The rep gene was encoded on ORF 1 and had homology to both plasmid (pLS1) and geminivirus-like domains.

  19. Analysis of expressed genes of the bacterium 'Candidatus phytoplasma Mali' highlights key features of virulence and metabolism.

    PubMed

    Siewert, Christin; Luge, Toni; Duduk, Bojan; Seemüller, Erich; Büttner, Carmen; Sauer, Sascha; Kube, Michael

    2014-01-01

    'Candidatus Phytoplasma mali' is a phytopathogenic bacterium of the family Acholeplasmataceae assigned to the class Mollicutes. This causative agent of the apple proliferation colonizes in Malus domestica the sieve tubes of the plant phloem resulting in a range of symptoms such as witches'--broom formation, reduced vigor and affecting size and quality of the crop. The disease is responsible for strong economical losses in Europe. Although the genome sequence of the pathogen is available, there is only limited information on expression of selected genes and metabolic key features that have not been examined on the transcriptomic or proteomic level so far. This situation is similar to many other phytoplasmas. In the work presented here, RNA-Seq and mass spectrometry shotgun techniques were applied on tissue samples from Nicotiana occidentalis infected by 'Ca. P. mali' strain AT providing insights into transcriptome and proteome of the pathogen. Data analysis highlights expression of 208 genes including 14 proteins located in the terminal inverted repeats of the linear chromosome. Beside a high portion of house keeping genes, the recently discussed chaperone GroES/GroEL is expressed. Furthermore, gene expression involved in formation of a type IVB and of the Sec-dependent secretion system was identified as well as the highly expressed putative pathogenicity-related SAP11-like effector protein. Metabolism of phytoplasmas depends on the uptake of spermidine/putescine, amino acids, co-factors, carbohydrates and in particular malate/citrate. The expression of these transporters was confirmed and the analysis of the carbohydrate cycle supports the suggested alternative energy-providing pathway for phytoplasmas releasing acetate and providing ATP. The phylogenetic analyses of malate dehydrogenase and acetate kinase in phytoplasmas show a closer relatedness to the Firmicutes in comparison to Mycoplasma species indicating an early divergence of the Acholeplasmataceae from the

  20. A panel of real-time PCR assays for specific detection of three phytoplasmas from the apple proliferation group.

    PubMed

    Nikolić, Petra; Mehle, Natasa; Gruden, Kristina; Ravnikar, Maja; Dermastia, Marina

    2010-10-01

    We report here on the development of combination of assays for fast, reliable, specific and sensitive detection and discrimination of 'Candidatus Phytoplasma mali', 'Ca. P. prunorum' and 'Ca. P. pyri' from the 16Sr-X (apple proliferation - AP) group. These phytoplasmas are causal agents of diseases of fruit trees within the family Rosaceae, namely apple proliferation (AP), European stone fruit yellows (ESFY) and pear decline (PD). The designed panel of assays uses TaqMan minor groove binder probes (MGB). It comprises the same set of primers and specific probes for species-specific amplification within the 16S-23S rRNA intergenic spacer region, a set of primers and probes for amplification of the 16S ribosomal DNA region for the universal phytoplasma detection, and an additional set of primers and probe for 18S rRNA as an endogenous quality control of DNA extraction. The performance characteristics of the panel were evaluated. The advantages of new assays were shown in a comparative study with the conventional PCR, which proved their higher sensitivity combined with three-fold shorter time of testing process; and in comparison with two reported multiplex real-time PCR assays for detection of 'Ca. P. mali' or 'Ca. P. pyri'. New panel of assays were tested on the DNA samples of 'Ca. P. mali', 'Ca. P. prunorum', 'Ca. P. pyri', other phytoplasmas and other bacteria isolated from plant material. Additionally, 198 symptomatic and asymptomatic fruit tree field samples collecting during several growing seasons were tested with new assays as well. The results of this study indicate that the combination of three specific assays may be applied in routine phytoplasma surveys and in the certification programs.

  1. 'Candidatus Phytoplasma malaysianum', a novel taxon associated with virescence and phyllody of Madagascar periwinkle (Catharanthus roseus).

    PubMed

    Nejat, Naghmeh; Vadamalai, Ganesan; Davis, Robert E; Harrison, Nigel A; Sijam, Kamaruzaman; Dickinson, Matthew; Abdullah, Siti Nor Akmar; Zhao, Yan

    2013-02-01

    This study addressed the taxonomic position and group classification of a phytoplasma responsible for virescence and phyllody symptoms in naturally diseased Madagascar periwinkle plants in western Malaysia. Unique regions in the 16S rRNA gene from the Malaysian periwinkle virescence (MaPV) phytoplasma distinguished the phytoplasma from all previously described 'Candidatus Phytoplasma' species. Pairwise sequence similarity scores, calculated through alignment of full-length 16S rRNA gene sequences, revealed that the MaPV phytoplasma 16S rRNA gene shared 96.5 % or less sequence similarity with that of previously described 'Ca. Phytoplasma' species, justifying the recognition of the MaPV phytoplasma as a reference strain of a novel taxon, 'Candidatus Phytoplasma malaysianum'. The 16S rRNA gene F2nR2 fragment from the MaPV phytoplasma exhibited a distinct restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) profile and the pattern similarity coefficient values were lower than 0.85 with representative phytoplasmas classified in any of the 31 previously delineated 16Sr groups; therefore, the MaPV phytoplasma was designated a member of a new 16Sr group, 16SrXXXII. Phytoplasmas affiliated with this novel taxon and the new group included diverse strains infecting periwinkle, coconut palm and oil palm in Malaysia. Three phytoplasmas were characterized as representatives of three distinct subgroups, 16SrXXXII-A, 16SrXXXII-B and 16SrXXXII-C, respectively. PMID:22523165

  2. Did Convergent Protein Evolution Enable Phytoplasmas to Generate 'Zombie Plants'?

    PubMed

    Rümpler, Florian; Gramzow, Lydia; Theißen, Günter; Melzer, Rainer

    2015-12-01

    Phytoplasmas are pathogenic bacteria that reprogram plant development such that leaf-like structures instead of floral organs develop. Infected plants are sterile and mainly serve to propagate phytoplasmas and thus have been termed 'zombie plants'. The developmental reprogramming relies on specific interactions of the phytoplasma protein SAP54 with a small subset of MADS-domain transcription factors. Here, we propose that SAP54 folds into a structure that is similar to that of the K-domain, a protein-protein interaction domain of MADS-domain proteins. We suggest that undergoing convergent structural and sequence evolution, SAP54 evolved to mimic the K-domain. Given the high specificity of resulting developmental alterations, phytoplasmas might be used to study flower development in genetically intractable plants.

  3. Did Convergent Protein Evolution Enable Phytoplasmas to Generate 'Zombie Plants'?

    PubMed

    Rümpler, Florian; Gramzow, Lydia; Theißen, Günter; Melzer, Rainer

    2015-12-01

    Phytoplasmas are pathogenic bacteria that reprogram plant development such that leaf-like structures instead of floral organs develop. Infected plants are sterile and mainly serve to propagate phytoplasmas and thus have been termed 'zombie plants'. The developmental reprogramming relies on specific interactions of the phytoplasma protein SAP54 with a small subset of MADS-domain transcription factors. Here, we propose that SAP54 folds into a structure that is similar to that of the K-domain, a protein-protein interaction domain of MADS-domain proteins. We suggest that undergoing convergent structural and sequence evolution, SAP54 evolved to mimic the K-domain. Given the high specificity of resulting developmental alterations, phytoplasmas might be used to study flower development in genetically intractable plants. PMID:26463218

  4. Photosynthetic responses to phytoplasma infection in Chinese jujube.

    PubMed

    Liu, Zhiguo; Zhao, Jin; Liu, Mengjun

    2016-08-01

    Phytoplasma is one of the most devastating plant pathogens. Jujube witches' broom (JWB) is a typical and highly fatal phytoplasma disease of Chinese jujube (Ziziphus jujuba Mill.), which is widely cultivated in Asia. To further elucidate the mechanism of plant-phytoplasma interaction, we first compared the effects of phytoplasma infection on photosynthetic pigments and activities between a JWB-resistant cultivar (Xingguang) and a susceptible cultivar (Pozao). Total chlorophyll and carotenoid levels were significantly decreased in the susceptible cultivar at later stages of infection, but were remarkably increased in the resistant cultivar at the earlier stages. Compared to uninfected plant, a significant decrease in the main photochemical parameters (Fv/Fm, ΦPSII and qP) was recorded at the initial stages of infection in the resistant cultivar, but occurred at later stages in the susceptible cultivar. Meanwhile, the qRT-PCR results of four key photosynthesis-related genes (ZjGluTR, ZjCBP, ZjRubisco and ZjRCA2) demonstrated that the expression patterns were similar in uninfected cultivars, but up-regulated in resistant cultivar and down-regulated in the susceptible one at 12 wks after grafting inoculation. Collectively, our data indicated that the resistant cultivar 'Xingguang' undergoes a decrease in initial stage (inhibiting phytoplasma multiplication) and then a rapid enhancement of photosynthetic activity (helping jujube recovery) in response to phytoplasma infection, while the susceptible cultivar 'Pozao' displays a later decrease in photosynthetic activity. The novel photosynthetic response pattern of the resistant cultivar may contribute to its stronger immunity to phytoplasma infection, which provides new insights into plant-phytoplasma interactions.

  5. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis for isolation of full-length phytoplasma chromosomes from plants.

    PubMed

    Marcone, Carmine

    2013-01-01

    Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) is a powerful technique for genomic studies of unculturable plant-pathogenic phytoplasmas, which enables separation of full-length phytoplasma chromosomes from contaminating host plant nucleic acids. The PFGE method described here involves isolation of phytoplasmal DNA from high-titer phytoplasma-infected herbaceous plants using a phytoplasma enrichment procedure, embedding of phytoplasma chromosomes in agarose blocks, and separation of entire phytoplasma chromosomes from contaminating host plant nucleic acids by electrophoresis. Full-length phytoplasma chromosomes are resolved as single, discrete bands in the gel. The identity of these bands can be confirmed by Southern blot hybridization using a ribosomal DNA fragment as a probe. The method does not utilize gamma-irradiation to linearize phytoplasma chromosomes prior to electrophoresis. PMID:22987433

  6. 'Candidatus Phytoplasma balanitae' associated with witches' broom disease of Balanites triflora.

    PubMed

    Win, Nang Kyu Kyu; Lee, Seung-Yeol; Bertaccini, Assunta; Namba, Shigetou; Jung, Hee-Young

    2013-02-01

    A phytoplasma was identified in naturally infected wild Balanites triflora plants exhibiting typical witches' broom symptoms (Balanites witches' broom: BltWB) in Myanmar. The 16S rRNA gene sequence revealed that BltWB phytoplasma had the highest similarity to that of 'Candidatus Phytoplasma ziziphi' and it was also closely related to that of 'Candidatus Phytoplasma ulmi'. Phylogenetic analysis of the 16S rRNA gene sequences indicated that the BltWB phytoplasma clustered as a discrete subclade with Elm yellows phytoplasmas. RFLP analysis of the 16S rRNA gene including the 16S-23S spacer region differentiated the BltWB phytoplasma from 'Ca. P. ziziphi', 'Ca. P. ulmi' and 'Candidatus Phytoplasma trifolii'. Analysis of additional ribosomal protein (rp) and translocase protein (secY) gene sequences and phylogenetic analysis of BltWB showed that this phytoplasma was clearly distinguished from those of other 'Candidatus Phytoplasma' taxa. Taking into consideration the unique plant host and the restricted geographical occurrence in addition to the 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity, the BltWB phytoplasma is proposed to represent a novel taxon, 'Candidatus Phytoplasma balanitae'.

  7. Potato purple top phytoplasma-induced disruption of gibberellin homeostasis in tomato plants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Phytoplasmas are phloem-inhabiting, cell wall-less bacteria that cause numerous plant diseases worldwide. Plants infected by phytoplasmas often exhibit various symptoms indicative of hormonal imbalance. In the present study, we investigated the effects of potato purple top (PPT) phytoplasma infect...

  8. 'Candidatus Phytoplasma tamaricis', a novel taxon discovered in witches'-broom-diseased salt cedar (Tamarix chinensis Lour.).

    PubMed

    Zhao, Yan; Sun, Qingrong; Wei, Wei; Davis, Robert E; Wu, Wei; Liu, Qingzhong

    2009-10-01

    Salt cedar trees with pronounced witches'-broom symptoms were observed in their natural habitat in China. 16S rRNA gene sequences unique to phytoplasmas were detected in every DNA sample extracted from stem and leaf tissues of the symptomatic trees, revealing a direct association between phytoplasma infection and the salt cedar witches'-broom (SCWB) disease. Phylogenetic analysis of the SCWB phytoplasma 16S rRNA gene sequence indicated that the SCWB phytoplasma belonged to a subclade consisting of several mutually distinct 'Candidatus Phytoplasma' taxa including 'Ca. Phytoplasma prunorum', 'Ca. Phytoplasma mali', 'Ca. Phytoplasma pyri' and 'Ca. Phytoplasma spartii'. Pairwise sequence similarity scores calculated from an alignment of near full-length 16S rRNA genes revealed that SCWB phytoplasma shared 96.6 % or less sequence similarity with each previously described or proposed 'Ca. Phytoplasma' taxon, justifying the recognition of SCWB phytoplasma as a novel taxon, 'Candidatus Phytoplasma tamaricis'. The distinct virtual RFLP pattern derived from the SCWB phytoplasma 16S rRNA gene sequence, together with its lower-than-threshold similarity coefficient values with RFLP patterns of any of the 29 previously established groups, supported the recognition of a new 16Sr group, designated 16SrXXX, salt cedar witches'-broom phytoplasma group.

  9. 'Candidatus Phytoplasma tamaricis', a novel taxon discovered in witches'-broom-diseased salt cedar (Tamarix chinensis Lour.).

    PubMed

    Zhao, Yan; Sun, Qingrong; Wei, Wei; Davis, Robert E; Wu, Wei; Liu, Qingzhong

    2009-10-01

    Salt cedar trees with pronounced witches'-broom symptoms were observed in their natural habitat in China. 16S rRNA gene sequences unique to phytoplasmas were detected in every DNA sample extracted from stem and leaf tissues of the symptomatic trees, revealing a direct association between phytoplasma infection and the salt cedar witches'-broom (SCWB) disease. Phylogenetic analysis of the SCWB phytoplasma 16S rRNA gene sequence indicated that the SCWB phytoplasma belonged to a subclade consisting of several mutually distinct 'Candidatus Phytoplasma' taxa including 'Ca. Phytoplasma prunorum', 'Ca. Phytoplasma mali', 'Ca. Phytoplasma pyri' and 'Ca. Phytoplasma spartii'. Pairwise sequence similarity scores calculated from an alignment of near full-length 16S rRNA genes revealed that SCWB phytoplasma shared 96.6 % or less sequence similarity with each previously described or proposed 'Ca. Phytoplasma' taxon, justifying the recognition of SCWB phytoplasma as a novel taxon, 'Candidatus Phytoplasma tamaricis'. The distinct virtual RFLP pattern derived from the SCWB phytoplasma 16S rRNA gene sequence, together with its lower-than-threshold similarity coefficient values with RFLP patterns of any of the 29 previously established groups, supported the recognition of a new 16Sr group, designated 16SrXXX, salt cedar witches'-broom phytoplasma group. PMID:19622657

  10. A novel subgroup 16SrVII-D phytoplasma identified in association with Erigeron witches' broom.

    PubMed

    Flôres, Daniela; Amaral Mello, Ana Paula de Oliveira; Pereira, Thays Benites Camargo; Rezende, Jorge Alberto Marques; Bedendo, Ivan Paulo

    2015-08-01

    Erigeron sp. plants showing symptoms of witches' broom and stunting were found near orchards of passion fruit in São Paulo state, Brazil. These symptoms were indicative of infection by phytoplasmas. Thus, the aim of this study was to detect and identify possible phytoplasmas associated with diseased plants. Total DNA was extracted from symptomatic and asymptomatic plants and used in nested PCR conducted with the primer pairs P1/Tint and R16F2n/16R2. Amplification of genomic fragments of 1.2 kb from the 16S rRNA gene confirmed the presence of phytoplasma in all symptomatic samples. The sequence identity scores between the 16S rRNA gene of the phytoplasma strain identified in the current study and those of previously reported 'Candidatus Phytoplasma fraxini'-related strains ranged from 98% to 99% indicating the phytoplasma to be a strain affiliated with 'Candidatus Phytoplasma fraxini'. The results from a phylogenetic analysis and virtual RFLP analysis of the 16S rRNA gene sequence with 17 restriction enzymes revealed that the phytoplasma strain belongs to the ash yellows phytoplasma group (16SrVII); the similarity coefficient of RFLP patterns further suggested that the phytoplasma represents a novel subgroup, designated 16SrVII-D. The representative of this new subgroup was named EboWB phytoplasma (Erigeron bonariensis Witches' Broom).

  11. Micropropagation and maintenance of phytoplasmas in tissue culture.

    PubMed

    Bertaccini, Assunta; Paltrinieri, Samanta; Martini, Marta; Tedeschi, Mara; Contaldo, Nicoletta

    2013-01-01

    Maintenance of phytoplasma strains in tissue culture is achievable for all strains transmitted to periwinkle (Catharanthus roseus), and also for other naturally infected plant host species. Shoots of 1-3 cm length are grown in a solid medium containing Murashige and Skoog (MS) micro- and macroelements and 0.12 mg/L benzylaminopurine. The continued presence of phytoplasmas in infected shoots of periwinkle that have been maintained in micropropagation for up to 20 years can be shown by diagnostic methods such as nested PCR tests using the 16S rDNA gene (see Chapters 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25,and 26 for phytoplasma diagnostic methods).

  12. 3-Dimensional modeling of protein structures distinguishes closely related phytoplasmas

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Phytoplasmas (formerly mycoplasmalike organisms, MLOs) are cell wall-less bacteria that inhabit phloem tissue of plants and are transmitted from plant-to-plant by phloem-feeding insects. Numerous diseases affecting hundreds of plant species in many botanical families are attributed to infections by...

  13. Genetic diversity among phytoplasmas infecting Opuntia species: virtual RFLP analysis identifies new subgroups in the peanut witches'-broom phytoplasma group.

    PubMed

    Cai, Hong; Wei, Wei; Davis, Robert E; Chen, Hairu; Zhao, Yan

    2008-06-01

    Phytoplasmas were detected in cactus (Opuntia species) plants exhibiting witches'-broom disease symptoms in Yunnan Province, south-western China. Comparative and phylogenetic analyses of 16S rRNA gene sequences indicated that an overwhelming majority of the cactus-infecting phytoplasmas under study belonged to the peanut witches'-broom phytoplasma group (16SrII). Genotyping through use of computer-simulated restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis of 16S rRNA genes revealed a remarkable genetic diversity among these cactus-infecting phytoplasma strains. Based on calculated coefficients of RFLP pattern similarities, seven new 16SrII subgroups were recognized, bringing the total of described group 16SrII subgroups to 12 worldwide. Geographical areas differed from one another in the extent of genetic diversity among cactus-infecting phytoplasma strains. The findings have implications for relationships between ecosystem distribution and the emergence of group 16SrII subgroup diversity.

  14. Living with genome instability: the adaptation of phytoplasmas todiverse environments of their insect and plant hosts

    SciTech Connect

    Bai, Xiaodong; Zhang, Jianhua; Ewing, Adam; Miller, Sally A.; Radek, Agnes; Shevchenko, Dimitriy; Tsukerman, Kiryl; Walunas, Theresa; Lapidus, Alla; Campbell, John W.; Hogenhout Saskia A.

    2006-02-17

    Phytoplasmas (Candidatus Phytoplasma, Class Mollicutes) cause disease in hundreds of economically important plants, and are obligately transmitted by sap-feeding insects of the order Hemiptera, mainly leafhoppers and psyllids. The 706,569-bp chromosome and four plasmids of aster yellows phytoplasma strain witches broom (AY-WB) were sequenced and compared to the onion yellows phytoplasma strain M (OY-M) genome. The phytoplasmas have small repeat-rich genomes. The repeated DNAs are organized into large clusters, potential mobile units (PMUs), which contain tra5 insertion sequences (ISs), and specialized sigma factors and membrane proteins. So far, PMUs are unique to phytoplasmas. Compared to mycoplasmas, phytoplasmas lack several recombination and DNA modification functions, and therefore phytoplasmas probably use different mechanisms of recombination, likely involving PMUs, for the creation of variability, allowing phytoplasmas to adjust to the diverse environments of plants and insects. The irregular GC skews and presence of ISs and large repeated sequences in the AY-WB and OY-M genomes are indicative of high genomic plasticity. Nevertheless, segments of {approx}250 kb, located between genes lplA and glnQ are syntenic between the two phytoplasmas, contain the majority of the metabolic genes and no ISs. AY-WB is further along in the reductive evolution process than OY-M. The AY-WB genome is {approx}154 kb smaller than the OY-M genome, primarily as a result of fewer multicopy sequences, including PMUs. Further, AY-WB lacks genes that are truncated and are part of incomplete pathways in OY-M. This is the first comparative phytoplasma genome analysis and report of the existence of PMUs in phytoplasma genomes.

  15. Molecular identification of a new phytoplasma associated with alfalfa witches'-broom in oman.

    PubMed

    Khan, A J; Botti, S; Al-Subhi, A M; Gundersen-Rindal, D E; Bertaccini, A F

    2002-10-01

    ABSTRACT Alfalfa (Medicago sativa) plants showing witches'-broom symptoms typical of phytoplasmas were observed from Al-Batinah, Al-Sharqiya, Al-Bureimi, and interior regions of the Sultanate of Oman. Phytoplasmas were detected from all symptomatic samples by the specific amplification of their 16S-23S rRNA gene. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR), utilizing phytoplasma-specific universal primer pairs, consistently amplified a product of expected lengths when DNA extract from symptomatic samples was used as template. Asymptomatic plant samples and the negative control yielded no amplification. Restriction fragment length polymorphism profiles of PCR-amplified 16S-23S rDNA of alfalfa using the P1/P7 primer pair identified phytoplasmas belonging to peanut witches'-broom group (16SrII or faba bean phyllody). Restriction enzyme profiles showed that the phytoplasmas detected in all 300 samples belonged to the same ribosomal group. Extensive comparative analyses on P1/P7 amplimers of 20 phytoplasmas with Tru9I, Tsp509I, HpaII, TaqI, and RsaI clearly indicated that this phytoplasma is different from all the other phytoplasmas employed belonging to subgroup 16SrII, except tomato big bud phytoplasma from Australia, and could be therefore classified in subgroup 16SrII-D. The alfalfa witches'-broom (AlfWB) phytoplasma P1/P7 PCR product was sequenced directly after cloning and yielded a 1,690-bp product. The homology search showed 99% similarity (1,667 of 1,690 base identity) with papaya yellow crinkle (PapayaYC) phytoplasma from New Zealand. A phylogenetic tree based on 16S plus spacer regions sequences of 35 phytoplasmas, mainly from the Southern Hemisphere, showed that AlfWB is a new phytoplasma species, with closest relationships to PapayaYC phytoplasmas from New Zealand and Chinese pigeon pea witches'-broom phytoplasmas from Taiwan but distinguishable from them considering the different associated plant hosts and the extreme geographical isolation.

  16. Comparative genome analysis of "Candidatus Phytoplasma australiense" (subgroup tuf-Australia I; rp-A) and "Ca. Phytoplasma asteris" Strains OY-M and AY-WB.

    PubMed

    Tran-Nguyen, L T T; Kube, M; Schneider, B; Reinhardt, R; Gibb, K S

    2008-06-01

    The chromosome sequence of "Candidatus Phytoplasma australiense" (subgroup tuf-Australia I; rp-A), associated with dieback in papaya, Australian grapevine yellows in grapevine, and several other important plant diseases, was determined. The circular chromosome is represented by 879,324 nucleotides, a GC content of 27%, and 839 protein-coding genes. Five hundred two of these protein-coding genes were functionally assigned, while 337 genes were hypothetical proteins with unknown function. Potential mobile units (PMUs) containing clusters of DNA repeats comprised 12.1% of the genome. These PMUs encoded genes involved in DNA replication, repair, and recombination; nucleotide transport and metabolism; translation; and ribosomal structure. Elements with similarities to phage integrases found in these mobile units were difficult to classify, as they were similar to both insertion sequences and bacteriophages. Comparative analysis of "Ca. Phytoplasma australiense" with "Ca. Phytoplasma asteris" strains OY-M and AY-WB showed that the gene order was more conserved between the closely related "Ca. Phytoplasma asteris" strains than to "Ca. Phytoplasma australiense." Differences observed between "Ca. Phytoplasma australiense" and "Ca. Phytoplasma asteris" strains included the chromosome size (18,693 bp larger than OY-M), a larger number of genes with assigned function, and hypothetical proteins with unknown function.

  17. 'Candidatus Phytoplasma cirsii', a novel taxon from creeping thistle [Cirsium arvense (L.) Scop].

    PubMed

    Šafárová, Dana; Zemánek, Tomáš; Válová, Pavla; Navrátil, Milan

    2016-04-01

    Creeping thistle [Cirsium arvense (L.) Scop.] and dahlia (Dahlia sp.) plants showing typical symptoms of phytoplasma infection including yellowing, stunting, inflorescence and proliferation, were sampled; the presence of phytoplasma was confirmed by standard PCR using universal primers. RFLP analysis allowed classification of the detected phytoplasma strains CirYS, CirYS1 and DahlP within the 16SrXI group, the unique restriction profile F2nR2 fragment obtained in silico by iPhyClassifier indicated that they belong to the new 16SrXI-E subgroup. Genetic analysis of the 16S rRNA gene revealed that the studied strains shared less than 97.5% similarity with all of the previously described 'Candidatus Phytoplasma' species. The closest relatives are 'Candidatus Phytoplasma cynodontis' and 'Candidatus Phytoplasma oryzae' with 96.8% and 96.6% similarity. All strains studied bear three specific regions in the 16S rRNA gene, discriminating them from the other phytoplasma species. Phylogenetic analysis of the 16S rRNA and secA genes confirmed this specificity, as the creeping thistle and dahlia phytoplasma strains clustered in a distinguishable lineage group. The uniqueness of the genetic analysis agrees with the biological characterization of the studied phytoplasma strains, their host range, and geographical distribution. The strains only infect dicotyledonous plants in Europe, contrary to their closest relatives. Based on their unique properties, it could be concluded that the studied phytoplasma strains represent a discrete group that is proposed as a novel taxon 'Candidatus Phytoplasma cirsii', with strain CirYS as a reference strain. PMID:26849880

  18. Host plant determines the phytoplasma transmission competence of Empoasca decipiens (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae).

    PubMed

    Galetto, L; Marzachì, C; Demichelis, S; Bosco, D

    2011-04-01

    Phytoplasmas are phloem-restricted plant pathogens transmitted by leafhoppers, planthoppers, and psyllids (Hemiptera). Most known phytoplasma vectors belong to the Cicadellidae, but many are still unknown. Within this family, Empoasca spp. (Typhlocybinae) have tested positive for the presence of some phytoplasmas, and phytoplasma transmission has been proven for one species. The aim of this work was to investigate the ability of Empoasca decipiens Paoli in transmitting chrysanthemum yellows phytoplasma (CYP, "Candidatus Phytoplasma asteris", 16SrI-B) and Flavescence dorée phytoplasma (FDP, 16SrV-C) to Chrysanthemum carinatum Schousboe (tricolor daisy) and Viciafaba (L.) (broad bean). Euscelidius variegatus Kirschbaum, a known vector of CYP and FDP, was caged together with Em. decipiens on the same source plants as a positive control of acquisition. Em. decipiens acquired CYP from daisies, but not from broad beans, and inoculated the pathogen to daisies with alow efficiency, but not to broad beans. Em. decipiens did not acquire FDP from the broad bean source. Consistent with the low transmission rate, CYP was found in the salivary glands of very few phytoplasma-infected Em. decipiens, indicating these organs represent a barrier to phytoplasma colonization. In the same experiments, the vector Eu. variegatus efficiently acquired both phytoplasmas, and consistently CYP was detected in the salivary glands of most samples of this species. The identity of the CYP strain in leafhoppers and plants was confirmed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-restriction fragment length polymorphism. The CYP titer in Em. decipiens was monitored over time by real-time PCR. The damage caused by Em. decipiens feeding punctures was depicted. Differences in feeding behavior on different plant species may explain the different phytoplasma transmission capability. Em. decipiens proved to be an experimental vector of CYP. PMID:21510180

  19. Dynamic structures in phytoplasma genomes: sequence variable mosaics (SVMs) of clustered genes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Emergence of the phytoplasma clade from an Acholeplasma-like ancestor gave rise to an intriguing group of cell wall-less prokaryotes through a remarkable and continuing evolutionary process. In a ceaseless progression, phytoplasmas have evolved reduced genomes, losing biochemical pathways for synth...

  20. Identification and characterization of conserved and variable regions of lime witches' broom phytoplasma genome.

    PubMed

    Siampour, Majid; Izadpanah, Keramatollah; Marzachi, Cristina; Salehi Abarkoohi, Mohammad

    2015-09-01

    Several segments (∼20  kbp) of the lime witches' broom (LWB) phytoplasma genome (16SrII group) were sequenced and analysed. A 5.7  kbp segment (LWB-C) included conserved genes whose phylogenetic tree was consistent with that generated using 16S rRNA genes. Another 6.4  kbp LWB phytoplasma genome segment (LWB-NC) was structurally similar to the putative mobile unit or sequence variable mosaic genomic region of phytoplasmas, although it represented a new arrangement of genes or pseudogenes such as phage-related protein genes and tra5 insertion sequences. Sequence- and phylogenetic-based evidence suggested that LWB-NC is a genomic region which includes horizontally transferred genes and could be regarded as a hot region to incorporate more foreign genes into the genome of LWB phytoplasma. The presence of phylogenetically related fragments of retroelements was also verified in the LWB phytoplasma genome. Putative intragenomic retrotransposition or retrohoming of these elements might have been determinant in shaping and manipulating the LWB phytoplasma genome. Altogether, the results of this study suggested that the genome of LWB phytoplasma is colonized by a variety of genes that have been acquired through horizontal gene transfer events, which may have further affected the genome through intragenomic mobility and insertion at cognate or incognate sites. Some of these genes are expected to have been involved in the development of features specific to LWB phytoplasma.

  1. 'Candidatus Phytoplasma omanense', associated with witches'-broom of Cassia italica (Mill.) Spreng. in Oman.

    PubMed

    Al-Saady, Nadiya Abubakar; Khan, Akhtar Jamal; Calari, Alberto; Al-Subhi, Ali Masoud; Bertaccini, Assunta

    2008-02-01

    Samples from plants of Cassia italica exhibiting typical witches'-broom symptoms (Cassia witches'-broom; CWB) were examined for the presence of plant pathogenic phytoplasmas by PCR amplification using universal phytoplasma primers. All affected plants yielded positive results. RFLP analyses of rRNA gene products indicated that the phytoplasmas detected were different from those described previously. Phylogenetic analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences confirmed that CWB represents a distinct lineage and shares a common ancestor with 'Candidatus Phytoplasma phoenicium'. Molecular comparison revealed that the 16S rRNA gene sequences of the four CWB strains (IM-1, IM-2, IM-3 and IM-4) identified in symptomatic C. italica samples were nearly identical (99.6-100 % similarity). The closest relatives were members of the pigeon pea witches'-broom phytoplasma ribosomal group (16SrIX; 95-97 % sequence similarity). On the basis of unique 16S rRNA gene sequences and biological properties, the phytoplasma associated with witches'-broom of C. italica in Oman represents a coherent but discrete novel phytoplasma, 'Candidatus Phytoplasma omanense', with GenBank/DDBJ/EMBL accession number EF666051 representing the reference strain.

  2. 'Candidatus phytoplasma solani’, a novel taxon associated with stolbur and bois noir related diseases of plants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Phytoplasmas classified in group 16SrXII infect a wide range of plants and are transmitted by polyphagous planthoppers of the family Cixiidae. Based on 16S rRNA gene sequence identity and biological properties, group 16SrXII encompasses several species, including ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma australiens...

  3. Survey and molecular detection of phytoplasmas associated with potato in Romania and southern Russia

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In recent years, emerging phytoplasma diseases of potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) have increasingly become important in central and eastern Europe. Accurate identification of phytoplasmas and their insect vectors is essential to developing effective management strategies for diseases caused by these p...

  4. Recent advances in 16S rRNA gene-based phytoplasma differentiation, classification and taxonomy

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Phytoplasmas are non-helical, mycoplasma-like cell wall-less bacteria known to be pathogenic to more than a thousand plant species. Due to the inability to cultivate phytoplasmas in cell-free media and the consequent inaccessibility of measurable phenotypic characters suitable for polyphasic charac...

  5. Occurrence, distribution and possible functional roles of simple sequence repeats in phytoplasma genomes.

    PubMed

    Wei, Wei; Davis, Robert E; Suo, Xiaobing; Zhao, Yan

    2015-08-01

    Phytoplasmas are unculturable, cell-wall-less bacteria that parasitize plants and insects. This transkingdom life cycle requires rapid responses to vastly different environments, including transitions from plant phloem sieve elements to various insect tissues and alternations among diverse plant hosts. Features that enable such flexibility in other microbes include simple sequence repeats (SSRs) - mutation-prone, phase-variable short DNA tracts that function as 'evolutionary rheostats' and enhance rapid adaptations. To gain insights into the occurrence, distribution and potentially functional roles of SSRs in phytoplasmas, we performed computational analysis on the genomes of five completely sequenced phytoplasma strains, 'Candidatus Phytoplasma asteris'-related strains OYM and AYWB, 'Candidatus Phytoplasma australiense'-related strains CBWB and SLY and 'Candidatus Phytoplasma mali'-related strain AP-AT. The overall density of SSRs in phytoplasma genomes was higher than in representative strains of other prokaryotes. While mono- and trinucleotide SSRs were significantly overrepresented in the phytoplasma genomes, dinucleotide SSRs and other higher-order SSRs were underrepresented. The occurrence and distribution of long SSRs in the prophage islands and phytoplasma-unique genetic loci indicated that SSRs played a role in compounding the complexity of sequence mosaics in individual genomes and in increasing allelic diversity among genomes. Findings from computational analyses were further complemented by an examination of SSRs in varied additional phytoplasma strains, with a focus on potential contingency genes. Some SSRs were located in regions that could profoundly alter the regulation of transcription and translation of affected genes and/or the composition of protein products.

  6. Transcriptomic analysis of Paulownia infected by Paulownia witches'-broom Phytoplasma.

    PubMed

    Mou, Hai-Qing; Lu, Jie; Zhu, Shui-Fang; Lin, Cai-Li; Tian, Guo-Zhong; Xu, Xia; Zhao, Wen-Jun

    2013-01-01

    Phytoplasmas are plant pathogenic bacteria that have no cell wall and are responsible for major crop losses throughout the world. Phytoplasma-infected plants show a variety of symptoms and the mechanisms they use to physiologically alter the host plants are of considerable interest, but poorly understood. In this study we undertook a detailed analysis of Paulownia infected by Paulownia witches'-broom (PaWB) Phytoplasma using high-throughput mRNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) and digital gene expression (DGE). RNA-Seq analysis identified 74,831 unigenes, which were subsequently used as reference sequences for DGE analysis of diseased and healthy Paulownia in field grown and tissue cultured plants. Our study revealed that dramatic changes occurred in the gene expression profile of Paulownia after PaWB Phytoplasma infection. Genes encoding key enzymes in cytokinin biosynthesis, such as isopentenyl diphosphate isomerase and isopentenyltransferase, were significantly induced in the infected Paulownia. Genes involved in cell wall biosynthesis and degradation were largely up-regulated and genes related to photosynthesis were down-regulated after PaWB Phytoplasma infection. Our systematic analysis provides comprehensive transcriptomic data about plants infected by Phytoplasma. This information will help further our understanding of the detailed interaction mechanisms between plants and Phytoplasma.

  7. An antigenic protein gene of a phytoplasma associated with sweet potato witches' broom.

    PubMed

    Yu, Y L; Yeh, K W; Lin, C P

    1998-05-01

    A gene encoding the major antigenic protein of phytoplasma associated with sweet potato witches' broom (SPWB) was cloned and analysed by screening the genomic library of SPWB phytoplasma with monoclonal antibodies for SPWB phytoplasma. The entire predicted structural gene encoded an antigenic protein composed of 172 amino acids with a computed molecular mass of 19.15 kDa and a pl value of 9.78. The -10 region of the promoter and the terminator region of the gene were identified and found to be similar to those of prokaryotes. The hydropathy profile of the deduced amino acid sequence consisted of two distinct regions, a strongly hydrophobic N-terminus and a highly hydrophilic C-terminus. This major antigenic protein was also present in phytoplasma associated with peanut witches' broom (PNWB) and the two showed homology based on the results of Western blot analysis, Southern hybridization, Northern hybridization, primer extension analysis and PCR. The homologous genes of the antigenic protein of SPWB phytoplasma and PNWB phytoplasma were not found in other phytoplasmas tested.

  8. Transcriptomic analysis of Paulownia infected by Paulownia witches'-broom Phytoplasma.

    PubMed

    Mou, Hai-Qing; Lu, Jie; Zhu, Shui-Fang; Lin, Cai-Li; Tian, Guo-Zhong; Xu, Xia; Zhao, Wen-Jun

    2013-01-01

    Phytoplasmas are plant pathogenic bacteria that have no cell wall and are responsible for major crop losses throughout the world. Phytoplasma-infected plants show a variety of symptoms and the mechanisms they use to physiologically alter the host plants are of considerable interest, but poorly understood. In this study we undertook a detailed analysis of Paulownia infected by Paulownia witches'-broom (PaWB) Phytoplasma using high-throughput mRNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) and digital gene expression (DGE). RNA-Seq analysis identified 74,831 unigenes, which were subsequently used as reference sequences for DGE analysis of diseased and healthy Paulownia in field grown and tissue cultured plants. Our study revealed that dramatic changes occurred in the gene expression profile of Paulownia after PaWB Phytoplasma infection. Genes encoding key enzymes in cytokinin biosynthesis, such as isopentenyl diphosphate isomerase and isopentenyltransferase, were significantly induced in the infected Paulownia. Genes involved in cell wall biosynthesis and degradation were largely up-regulated and genes related to photosynthesis were down-regulated after PaWB Phytoplasma infection. Our systematic analysis provides comprehensive transcriptomic data about plants infected by Phytoplasma. This information will help further our understanding of the detailed interaction mechanisms between plants and Phytoplasma. PMID:24130859

  9. Cloning of immunodominant membrane protein genes of phytoplasmas and their in planta expression.

    PubMed

    Kakizawa, Shigeyuki; Oshima, Kenro; Ishii, Yoshiko; Hoshi, Ayaka; Maejima, Kensaku; Jung, Hee-Young; Yamaji, Yasuyuki; Namba, Shigetou

    2009-04-01

    Phytoplasmas are plant pathogenic bacteria that cause devastating yield losses in diverse crops worldwide. Although the understanding of the pathogen biology is important in agriculture, the inability to culture phytoplasmas has hindered their full characterization. Previous studies demonstrated that immunodominant membrane proteins could be classified into three types, immunodominant membrane protein (Imp), immunodominant membrane protein A (IdpA), and antigenic membrane protein (Amp), and they are nonhomologous to each other. Here, cloning and sequencing of imp-containing genomic fragments were performed for several groups of phytoplasma including the aster yellows and rice yellow dwarf groups, for which an imp sequence has not previously been reported. Sequence comparison analysis revealed that Imps are highly variable among phytoplasmas, and clear positive selection was observed in several Imps, suggesting that Imp has important roles in host-phytoplasma interactions. As onion yellows (OY) phytoplasma was known to have Amp as the immunodominant membrane protein, the protein accumulation level of Imp in planta was measured compared with that of Amp. The resulting accumulation of Imp was calculated as approximately one-tenth that of Amp, being consistent with the immunodominant property of Amp in OY. It is suggested that an ancestral type of immunodominant membrane protein could be Imp, and subsequently the expression level of Amp or IdpA is increased in several phytoplasma groups. PMID:19222574

  10. EvaGreen real-time PCR protocol for specific 'Candidatus Phytoplasma mali' detection and quantification in insects.

    PubMed

    Monti, Monia; Martini, Marta; Tedeschi, Rosemarie

    2013-01-01

    In this paper the validation and implementation of a Real-time PCR protocol based on ribosomal protein genes has been carried out for sensitive and specific quantification of 'Candidatus (Ca.) Phytoplasma mali' (apple proliferation phytoplasma, APP) in insects. The method combines the use of EvaGreen(®) dye as chemistry detection system and the specific primer pair rpAP15f-mod/rpAP15r3, which amplifies a fragment of 238 bp of the ribosomal protein rplV (rpl22) gene of APP. Primers specificity was demonstrated by running in the same Real-time PCR 'Ca. Phytoplasma mali' samples with phytoplasmas belonging to the same group (16SrX) as 'Ca. Phytoplasma pyri' and 'Ca. Phytoplasma prunorum', and also phytoplasmas from different groups, as 'Ca. Phytoplasma phoenicium' (16SrIX) and Flavescence dorée phytoplasma (16SrV). 'Ca. Phytoplasma mali' titre in insects was quantified using a specific approach, which relates the concentration of the phytoplasma to insect 18S rDNA. Absolute quantification of APP and insect 18S rDNA were calculated using standard curves prepared from serial dilutions of plasmids containing rplV-rpsC and a portion of 18S rDNA genes, respectively. APP titre in insects was expressed as genome units (GU) of phytoplasma per picogram (pg) of individual insect 18S rDNA. 'Ca. Phytoplasma mali' concentration in examined samples (Cacopsylla melanoneura overwintered adults) ranged from 5.94 × 10(2) to 2.51 × 10(4) GU/pg of insect 18S rDNA. Repeatability and reproducibility of the method were also evaluated by calculation of the coefficient of variation (CV%) of GU of phytoplasma and pg of 18S rDNA fragment for both assays. CV less than 14% and 9% (for reproducibility test) and less than 10 and 11% (for repeatability test) were obtained for phytoplasma and insect qPCR assays, respectively. Sensitivity of the method was also evaluated, in comparison with conventional 16S rDNA-based nested-PCR procedure. The method described has been demonstrated reliable

  11. Looking inside phytoplasma-infected sieve elements: A combined microscopy approach using Arabidopsis thaliana as a model plant.

    PubMed

    Pagliari, Laura; Martini, Marta; Loschi, Alberto; Musetti, Rita

    2016-10-01

    Phytoplasmas are phloem-inhabiting plant pathogens that affect over one thousand plant species, representing a severe threat to agriculture. The absence of an effective curative strategy and the economic importance of many affected crops make a priority of studying how plants respond to phytoplasma infection. Nevertheless, the study of phytoplasmas has been hindered by the extreme difficulty of culturing them in vitro and by impediments to natural host plant surveys such as low phytoplasma titre, long plant life cycle and poor knowledge of natural host-plant biology. Stating correspondence between macroscopic symptoms of phytoplasma infected Arabidopsis thaliana and those observed in natural host plants, over the last decade some authors have started to use this plant as a model for studying phytoplasma-plant interactions. Nevertheless, the morphological and ultrastructural modifications occurring in A. thaliana tissues following phytoplasma infection have never been described in detail. In this work, we adopted a combined-microscopy approach to verify if A. thaliana can be considered a reliable model for the study of phytoplasma-plant interactions at the microscopical level. The consistent presence of phytoplasma in infected phloem allowed detailed study of the infection process and the relationship established by phytoplasmas with different components of the sieve elements. In infected A. thaliana, phytoplasmas induced strong disturbances of host plant development that were mainly due to phloem disorganization and impairment. Light microscopy showed collapse, necrosis and hyperplasia of phloem cells. TEM observations of sieve elements identified two common plant-responses to phytoplasma infection: phloem protein agglutination and callose deposition. PMID:27569416

  12. Looking inside phytoplasma-infected sieve elements: A combined microscopy approach using Arabidopsis thaliana as a model plant.

    PubMed

    Pagliari, Laura; Martini, Marta; Loschi, Alberto; Musetti, Rita

    2016-10-01

    Phytoplasmas are phloem-inhabiting plant pathogens that affect over one thousand plant species, representing a severe threat to agriculture. The absence of an effective curative strategy and the economic importance of many affected crops make a priority of studying how plants respond to phytoplasma infection. Nevertheless, the study of phytoplasmas has been hindered by the extreme difficulty of culturing them in vitro and by impediments to natural host plant surveys such as low phytoplasma titre, long plant life cycle and poor knowledge of natural host-plant biology. Stating correspondence between macroscopic symptoms of phytoplasma infected Arabidopsis thaliana and those observed in natural host plants, over the last decade some authors have started to use this plant as a model for studying phytoplasma-plant interactions. Nevertheless, the morphological and ultrastructural modifications occurring in A. thaliana tissues following phytoplasma infection have never been described in detail. In this work, we adopted a combined-microscopy approach to verify if A. thaliana can be considered a reliable model for the study of phytoplasma-plant interactions at the microscopical level. The consistent presence of phytoplasma in infected phloem allowed detailed study of the infection process and the relationship established by phytoplasmas with different components of the sieve elements. In infected A. thaliana, phytoplasmas induced strong disturbances of host plant development that were mainly due to phloem disorganization and impairment. Light microscopy showed collapse, necrosis and hyperplasia of phloem cells. TEM observations of sieve elements identified two common plant-responses to phytoplasma infection: phloem protein agglutination and callose deposition.

  13. Diagnosis of Phytoplasmas by Real-Time PCR Using Locked Nucleic Acid (LNA) Probes.

    PubMed

    Palmano, Sabrina; Mulholland, Vincent; Kenyon, David; Saddler, Gerry S; Jeffries, Colin

    2015-01-01

    Phytoplasma infections are regularly reported worldwide, and concerns about their threats on agricultural production, especially in relation to global climate change, are increasing. Sensitive and reliable detection methods are important to ensure that propagation material is free of phytoplasma infection and for epidemiological studies that may provide information to limit the extent of phytoplasma diseases and to prevent large-scale crop losses. The detection method described here uses LNA chemistry in real-time PCR. It has been developed and validated for use on potatoes, and its sensitivity and specificity make it suitable for use in postentry potato quarantine and initiation of potato nuclear stocks to ensure that material is phytoplasma-free. PMID:25981250

  14. Genome drafts of four phytoplasma strains of the ribosomal group 16SrIII.

    PubMed

    Saccardo, Federica; Martini, Marta; Palmano, Sabrina; Ermacora, Paolo; Scortichini, Marco; Loi, Nazia; Firrao, Giuseppe

    2012-11-01

    By applying a coverage-based read selection and filtration through a healthy plant dataset, and a post-assembly contig selection based on homology and linkage, genome sequence drafts were obtained for four phytoplasma strains belonging to the 16SrIII group (X disease clade), namely Vaccinium Witches' Broom phytoplasma (647 754 nt in 272 contigs), Italian Clover Phyllody phytoplasma strain MA (597 245 nt in 197 contigs), Poinsettia branch-inducing phytoplasma strain JR1 (631 440 nt in 185 contigs) and Milkweed Yellows phytoplasma (583 806 nt in 158 contigs). Despite assignment to different 16SrIII subgroups, the genomes of the four strains were similar, comprising a highly conserved core (92-98 % similar in their nucleotide sequence among each other over alignments about 500 kb in length) and a minor strain-specific component. As far as their protein complement was concerned, they did not differ significantly in their basic metabolism potential from the genomes of other wide-host-range phytoplasmas sequenced previously, but were distinct from strains of other species, as well as among each other, in genes encoding functions conceivably related to interactions with the host, such as membrane trafficking components, proteases, DNA methylases, effectors and several hypothetical proteins of unknown function, some of which are likely secreted through the Sec-dependent secretion system. The four genomes displayed a group of genes encoding hypothetical proteins with high similarity to a central domain of IcmE/DotG, a core component of the type IVB secretion system of Gram-negative Legionella spp. Conversely, genes encoding functional GroES/GroEL chaperones were not detected in any of the four drafts. The results also indicated the significant role of horizontal gene transfer among different 'Candidatus Phytoplasma' species in shaping phytoplasma genomes and promoting their diversity. PMID:22936033

  15. Automated RFLP pattern comparison and similarity coefficient calculation for rapid delineation of new and distinct phytoplasma 16S rDNA subgroup lineages

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Phytoplasmas are insect-borne, phloem-inhabiting, cell wall-less bacteria that cause numerous diseases in several hundred plant species. In adaptation to transkingdom parasitism in diverse plant and insect hosts, phytoplasma evolution has given rise to widely divergent lineages. Since phytoplasmas...

  16. 'Candidatus Phytoplasma palmicola', associated with a lethal yellowing-type disease of coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) in Mozambique.

    PubMed

    Harrison, Nigel A; Davis, Robert E; Oropeza, Carlos; Helmick, Ericka E; Narváez, María; Eden-Green, Simon; Dollet, Michel; Dickinson, Matthew

    2014-06-01

    In this study, the taxonomic position and group classification of the phytoplasma associated with a lethal yellowing-type disease (LYD) of coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) in Mozambique were addressed. Pairwise similarity values based on alignment of nearly full-length 16S rRNA gene sequences (1530 bp) revealed that the Mozambique coconut phytoplasma (LYDM) shared 100% identity with a comparable sequence derived from a phytoplasma strain (LDN) responsible for Awka wilt disease of coconut in Nigeria, and shared 99.0-99.6% identity with 16S rRNA gene sequences from strains associated with Cape St Paul wilt (CSPW) disease of coconut in Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire. Similarity scores further determined that the 16S rRNA gene of the LYDM phytoplasma shared <97.5% sequence identity with all previously described members of 'Candidatus Phytoplasma'. The presence of unique regions in the 16S rRNA gene sequence distinguished the LYDM phytoplasma from all currently described members of 'Candidatus Phytoplasma', justifying its recognition as the reference strain of a novel taxon, 'Candidatus Phytoplasma palmicola'. Virtual RFLP profiles of the F2n/R2 portion (1251 bp) of the 16S rRNA gene and pattern similarity coefficients delineated coconut LYDM phytoplasma strains from Mozambique as novel members of established group 16SrXXII, subgroup A (16SrXXII-A). Similarity coefficients of 0.97 were obtained for comparisons between subgroup 16SrXXII-A strains and CSPW phytoplasmas from Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire. On this basis, the CSPW phytoplasma strains were designated members of a novel subgroup, 16SrXXII-B.

  17. Specific PCR and real-time PCR assays for detection and quantitation of 'Candidatus Phytoplasma phoenicium'.

    PubMed

    Jawhari, Maan; Abrahamian, Peter; Sater, Ali Abdel; Sobh, Hana; Tawidian, Patil; Abou-Jawdah, Yusuf

    2015-02-01

    Almond witches' broom (AlmWB) is a fast-spreading lethal disease of almond, peach and nectarine associated with 'Candidatus Phytoplasma phoenicium'. The development of PCR and quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) assays for the sensitive and specific detection of the phytoplasma is of prime importance for early detection of 'Ca. P. phoenicium' and for epidemiological studies. The developed qPCR assay herein uses a TaqMan(®) probe labeled with Black Hole Quencher Plus. The specificity of the PCR and that of the qPCR detection protocols were tested on 17 phytoplasma isolates belonging to 11 phytoplasma 16S rRNA groups, on samples of almond, peach, nectarine, native plants and insects infected or uninfected with the phytoplasma. The developed assays showed high specificity against 'Ca. P. phoenicium' and no cross-reactivity against any other phytoplasma, plant or insect tested. The sensitivity of the developed PCR and qPCR assays was similar to the conventional nested PCR protocol using universal primers. The qPCR assay was further validated by quantitating AlmWB phytoplasma in different hosts, plant parts and potential insect vectors. The highest titers of 'Ca. P. phoenicium' were detected in the phloem tissues of stems and roots of almond and nectarine trees, where they averaged from 10(5) to 10(6) genomic units per nanogram of host DNA (GU/ng of DNA). The newly developed PCR and qPCR protocols are reliable, specific and sensitive methods that are easily applicable to high-throughput diagnosis of AlmWB in plants and insects and can be used for surveys of potential vectors and alternative hosts.

  18. Recilia banda Kramer (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae), a vector of Napier stunt phytoplasma in Kenya.

    PubMed

    Obura, Evans; Midega, Charles A O; Masiga, Daniel; Pickett, John A; Hassan, Mohamed; Koji, Shinsaku; Khan, Zeyaur R

    2009-10-01

    Napier grass (Pennisetum purpureum) is the most important fodder crop in smallholder dairy production systems in East Africa, characterized by small zero-grazing units. It is also an important trap crop used in the management of cereal stemborers in maize in the region. However, production of Napier grass in the region is severely constrained by Napier stunt disease. The etiology of the disease is known to be a phytoplasma, 16SrXI strain. However, the putative insect vector was yet unknown. We sampled and identified five leafhopper and three planthopper species associated with Napier grass and used them as candidates in pathogen transmission experiments. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR), based on the highly conserved 16S gene, primed by P1/P6-R16F2n/R16R2 nested primer sets was used to diagnose phytoplasma on test plants and insects, before and after transmission experiments. Healthy plants were exposed for 60 days to insects that had fed on diseased plants and acquired phytoplasma. The plants were then incubated for another 30 days. Nested PCR analyses showed that 58.3% of plants exposed to Recilia banda Kramer (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae) were positive for phytoplasma and developed characteristic stunt disease symptoms while 60% of R. banda insect samples were similarly phytoplasma positive. We compared the nucleotide sequences of the phytoplasma isolated from R. banda, Napier grass on which these insects were fed, and Napier grass infected by R. banda, and found them to be virtually identical. The results confirm that R. banda transmits Napier stunt phytoplasma in western Kenya, and may be the key vector of Napier stunt disease in this region.

  19. Recilia banda Kramer (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae), a vector of Napier stunt phytoplasma in Kenya

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Obura, Evans; Midega, Charles A. O.; Masiga, Daniel; Pickett, John A.; Hassan, Mohamed; Koji, Shinsaku; Khan, Zeyaur R.

    2009-10-01

    Napier grass ( Pennisetum purpureum) is the most important fodder crop in smallholder dairy production systems in East Africa, characterized by small zero-grazing units. It is also an important trap crop used in the management of cereal stemborers in maize in the region. However, production of Napier grass in the region is severely constrained by Napier stunt disease. The etiology of the disease is known to be a phytoplasma, 16SrXI strain. However, the putative insect vector was yet unknown. We sampled and identified five leafhopper and three planthopper species associated with Napier grass and used them as candidates in pathogen transmission experiments. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR), based on the highly conserved 16S gene, primed by P1/P6-R16F2n/R16R2 nested primer sets was used to diagnose phytoplasma on test plants and insects, before and after transmission experiments. Healthy plants were exposed for 60 days to insects that had fed on diseased plants and acquired phytoplasma. The plants were then incubated for another 30 days. Nested PCR analyses showed that 58.3% of plants exposed to Recilia banda Kramer (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae) were positive for phytoplasma and developed characteristic stunt disease symptoms while 60% of R. banda insect samples were similarly phytoplasma positive. We compared the nucleotide sequences of the phytoplasma isolated from R. banda, Napier grass on which these insects were fed, and Napier grass infected by R. banda, and found them to be virtually identical. The results confirm that R. banda transmits Napier stunt phytoplasma in western Kenya, and may be the key vector of Napier stunt disease in this region.

  20. Computer-simulated RFLP analysis of 16S rRNA genes: Identification of 11 new phytoplasma groups

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Phytoplasmas are cell wall-less bacteria that cause numerous plant diseases. Because no phytoplasma culture has been established in cell-free medium, they cannot be differentiated and classified by traditional methods that are applied to culturable prokaryotes. Over the past decade, establishment ...

  1. Phytoplasma associated with witches'-broom disease of Ulmus minor MILL . in the Czech Republic: Electron microscopy and molecular characterization.

    PubMed

    Navrátil, M; Safárová, D; Válová, P; Fránová, J; Simková, M

    2009-01-01

    Visual inspections of elm trees in south Moravia in 1997-2007 revealed a rare occurrence of plants with smaller and cowl-forming leaves on some twigs, i.e. a feature resembling witches'-broom disease observed on the end of twigs. The presence of phytoplasma-like bodies was observed by transmission electron microscopy of phloem tissue. On the other hand, no phytoplasmas were found in asymptomatic trees. Nucleic acids extracted from these plants were used in nested-PCR assays with primers amplifying 16S rRNA sequences specific for phytoplasmas. Sequence analyses of the 16S-23S ribosomal operon (1852 bp) allowed for the classification of the detected phytoplasmas in the elm yellows group, but its position remained on the boundary of the 16SrV-A and 16SrV-C ribosomal subgroups. Sequence analyses of the ribosomal protein of the rpl22-rps3 and secY genes lead to further classification and revealed the phytoplasmas' affiliations to the 'Candidates Phytoplasma ulmi'. Some exceptions in unique oligonucleotide sequences defined for 'Ca. Phytoplasma ulmi' were found in the Czech isolate. This is the northernmost confirmed occurrence of phytoplasma on elm trees within Europe.

  2. Draft Genome Sequence of 16SrIII-J Phytoplasma, a Plant Pathogenic Bacterium with a Broad Spectrum of Hosts

    PubMed Central

    Zamorano, Alan

    2016-01-01

    Phytoplasmas are bacterial plant pathogens that can affect different vegetal hosts. In South America, a phytoplasma belonging to ribosomal subgroup 16SrIII-J has been reported in many crops. Here we report its genomic draft sequence, showing a total length of 687,253 bp and a G+C content of 27.72%. PMID:27365349

  3. Draft Genome Sequence of 16SrIII-J Phytoplasma, a Plant Pathogenic Bacterium with a Broad Spectrum of Hosts.

    PubMed

    Zamorano, Alan; Fiore, Nicola

    2016-06-30

    Phytoplasmas are bacterial plant pathogens that can affect different vegetal hosts. In South America, a phytoplasma belonging to ribosomal subgroup 16SrIII-J has been reported in many crops. Here we report its genomic draft sequence, showing a total length of 687,253 bp and a G+C content of 27.72%.

  4. Recent advances in phytoplasma research: from genetic diversity and genome evolution to pathogenic redirection of plant stem cell fate

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Parasitizing phloem sieve cells and being transmitted by insects, phytoplasmas are a unique group of cell wall-less bacteria responsible for numerous plant diseases worldwide. Due to difficulties in establishing axenic culture of phytoplasmas, phenotypic characters suitable for conventional microbia...

  5. Stolbur Phytoplasma Transmission to Maize by Reptalus panzeri and the Disease Cycle of Maize Redness in Serbia

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Maize redness (MR), induced by stolbur phytoplasma (Candidatus Phytoplasma solani, subgroup 16SrXII-A), is characterized by midrib, leaf and stalk reddening and abnormal ear development. MR has been reported from Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria for 50 years, and recent epiphytotics reduced yields by 4...

  6. Transgenic Plants That Express the Phytoplasma Effector SAP11 Show Altered Phosphate Starvation and Defense Responses1[W][OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Yen-Ting; Li, Meng-Ying; Cheng, Kai-Tan; Tan, Choon Meng; Su, Li-Wen; Lin, Wei-Yi; Shih, Hsien-Tzung; Chiou, Tzyy-Jen; Yang, Jun-Yi

    2014-01-01

    Phytoplasmas have the smallest genome among bacteria and lack many essential genes required for biosynthetic and metabolic functions, making them unculturable, phloem-limited plant pathogens. In this study, we observed that transgenic Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) expressing the secreted Aster Yellows phytoplasma strain Witches’ Broom protein11 shows an altered root architecture, similarly to the disease symptoms of phytoplasma-infected plants, by forming hairy roots. This morphological change is paralleled by an accumulation of cellular phosphate (Pi) and an increase in the expression levels of Pi starvation-induced genes and microRNAs. In addition to the Pi starvation responses, we found that secreted Aster Yellows phytoplasma strain Witches’ Broom protein11 suppresses salicylic acid-mediated defense responses and enhances the growth of a bacterial pathogen. These results contribute to an improved understanding of the role of phytoplasma effector SAP11 and provide new insights for understanding the molecular basis of plant-pathogen interactions. PMID:24464367

  7. Survey of leafhopper species in almond orchards infected with almond witches'-broom phytoplasma in Lebanon.

    PubMed

    Dakhil, Hala A; Hammad, Efat Abou-Fakhr; El-Mohtar, Choaa; Abou-Jawdah, Yusuf

    2011-01-01

    Leafhoppers (Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha: Cicadellidae) account for more than 80% of all "Auchenorrhynchous" vectors that transmit phytoplasmas. The leafhopper populations in two almond witches'-broom phytoplasma (AlmWB) infected sites: Tanboureet (south of Lebanon) and Bourj El Yahoudieh (north of Lebanon) were surveyed using yellow sticky traps. The survey revealed that the most abundant species was Asymmetrasca decedens, which represented 82.4% of all the leafhoppers sampled. Potential phytoplasma vectors in members of the subfamilies Aphrodinae, Deltocephalinae, and Megophthalminae were present in very low numbers including: Aphrodes makarovi, Cicadulina bipunctella, Euscelidius mundus, Fieberiella macchiae, Allygus theryi, Circulifer haematoceps, Neoaliturus transversalis, and Megophthalmus scabripennis. Allygus theryi (Horváth) (Deltocephalinae) was reported for the first time in Lebanon. Nested PCR analysis and sequencing showed that Asymmetrasca decedens, Empoasca decipiens, Fieberiella macchiae, Euscelidius mundus, Thamnottetix seclusis, Balclutha sp., Lylatina inexpectata, Allygus sp., and Annoplotettix danutae were nine potential carriers of AlmWB phytoplasma. Although the detection of phytoplasmas in an insect does not prove a definite vector relationship, the technique is useful in narrowing the search for potential vectors. The importance of this information for management of AlmWB is discussed.

  8. Acquisition of Flavescence Dorée Phytoplasma by Scaphoideus titanus Ball from Different Grapevine Varieties

    PubMed Central

    Galetto, Luciana; Miliordos, Dimitrios E.; Pegoraro, Mattia; Sacco, Dario; Veratti, Flavio; Marzachì, Cristina; Bosco, Domenico

    2016-01-01

    Flavescence dorée (FD) is a threat for wine production in the vineyard landscape of Piemonte, Langhe-Roero and Monferrato, Italy. Spread of the disease is dependent on complex interactions between insect, plant and phytoplasma. In the Piemonte region, wine production is based on local cultivars. The role of six local grapevine varieties as a source of inoculum for the vector Scaphoideus titanus was investigated. FD phytoplasma (FDP) load was compared among red and white varieties with different susceptibility to FD. Laboratory-reared healthy S. titanus nymphs were caged for acquisition on infected plants to measure phytoplasma acquisition efficiency following feeding on different cultivars. FDP load for Arneis was significantly lower than for other varieties. Acquisition efficiency depended on grapevine variety and on FDP load in the source plants, and there was a positive interaction for acquisition between variety and phytoplasma load. S. titanus acquired FDP with high efficiency from the most susceptible varieties, suggesting that disease diffusion correlates more with vector acquisition efficiency than with FDP load in source grapevines. In conclusion, although acquisition efficiency depends on grapevine variety and on FDP load in the plant, even varieties supporting low FDP multiplication can be highly susceptible and good sources for vector infection, while poorly susceptible varieties may host high phytoplasma loads. PMID:27649162

  9. Acquisition of Flavescence Dorée Phytoplasma by Scaphoideus titanus Ball from Different Grapevine Varieties.

    PubMed

    Galetto, Luciana; Miliordos, Dimitrios E; Pegoraro, Mattia; Sacco, Dario; Veratti, Flavio; Marzachì, Cristina; Bosco, Domenico

    2016-01-01

    Flavescence dorée (FD) is a threat for wine production in the vineyard landscape of Piemonte, Langhe-Roero and Monferrato, Italy. Spread of the disease is dependent on complex interactions between insect, plant and phytoplasma. In the Piemonte region, wine production is based on local cultivars. The role of six local grapevine varieties as a source of inoculum for the vector Scaphoideus titanus was investigated. FD phytoplasma (FDP) load was compared among red and white varieties with different susceptibility to FD. Laboratory-reared healthy S. titanus nymphs were caged for acquisition on infected plants to measure phytoplasma acquisition efficiency following feeding on different cultivars. FDP load for Arneis was significantly lower than for other varieties. Acquisition efficiency depended on grapevine variety and on FDP load in the source plants, and there was a positive interaction for acquisition between variety and phytoplasma load. S. titanus acquired FDP with high efficiency from the most susceptible varieties, suggesting that disease diffusion correlates more with vector acquisition efficiency than with FDP load in source grapevines. In conclusion, although acquisition efficiency depends on grapevine variety and on FDP load in the plant, even varieties supporting low FDP multiplication can be highly susceptible and good sources for vector infection, while poorly susceptible varieties may host high phytoplasma loads. PMID:27649162

  10. Acquisition of Flavescence Dorée Phytoplasma by Scaphoideus titanus Ball from Different Grapevine Varieties.

    PubMed

    Galetto, Luciana; Miliordos, Dimitrios E; Pegoraro, Mattia; Sacco, Dario; Veratti, Flavio; Marzachì, Cristina; Bosco, Domenico

    2016-01-01

    Flavescence dorée (FD) is a threat for wine production in the vineyard landscape of Piemonte, Langhe-Roero and Monferrato, Italy. Spread of the disease is dependent on complex interactions between insect, plant and phytoplasma. In the Piemonte region, wine production is based on local cultivars. The role of six local grapevine varieties as a source of inoculum for the vector Scaphoideus titanus was investigated. FD phytoplasma (FDP) load was compared among red and white varieties with different susceptibility to FD. Laboratory-reared healthy S. titanus nymphs were caged for acquisition on infected plants to measure phytoplasma acquisition efficiency following feeding on different cultivars. FDP load for Arneis was significantly lower than for other varieties. Acquisition efficiency depended on grapevine variety and on FDP load in the source plants, and there was a positive interaction for acquisition between variety and phytoplasma load. S. titanus acquired FDP with high efficiency from the most susceptible varieties, suggesting that disease diffusion correlates more with vector acquisition efficiency than with FDP load in source grapevines. In conclusion, although acquisition efficiency depends on grapevine variety and on FDP load in the plant, even varieties supporting low FDP multiplication can be highly susceptible and good sources for vector infection, while poorly susceptible varieties may host high phytoplasma loads.

  11. Molecular identification and relatedness of potato witches'-broom phytoplasma isolates from four potato cultivars.

    PubMed

    Khadhair, A H; Hiruki, C; Hwang, S F; Wang, K

    1997-09-01

    Four isolates of potato witches'-broom phytoplasma, designated as PW1, PW2, PW3 and PW4, were established on four potato cultivars. The identity of each isolate was confirmed by PCR using two universal primer pairs and one specific primer set derived from phytoplasma of 16S rDNA sequences. The four isolate samples formed similar RFLP patterns after digestion of 1.2 kb PCR products with restriction endonucleases AluI, HhaI, RsaI and Sau3A. The direct DNA sequencing with the specific primer pair showed that there are no differences in the base sequences among PW1, PW2, and PW3 phytoplasma isolates and that PW4 is closely related to them. Thus, the four isolates were identified as members of the clover proliferation group.

  12. PHYTOPLASMAS IN POME FRUIT TREES: UPDATE OF THEIR PRESENCE AND THEIR VECTORS IN BELGIUM.

    PubMed

    G, Peusens; K, De Jonghe; I, De Roo; S, Steyer; T, Olivier; F, Fauche; F, Rys; D, Bylemans; T, Beliën

    2015-01-01

    Among the numerous diseases that can attack pome fruit trees, apple proliferation and pear decline, both caused by a phytoplasma ('Candidatus Phytoplasma mali' (AP) and 'Ca. P. pyri' (PD), respectively), may result into important losses of quality and quantity of the crop. Until a few years ago, no scientific and reliable data on their presence in Belgium was available and so a 2-year survey was organised to obtain more detailed information on the status of both pathogens. Root and leaf samples collected in commercial orchards were analysed using molecular detection tools and tested positive for both phytoplasmas. Additionally, the presence and infectivity of Psyllidae, vectors of AP and PD, was assessed during this survey but no infected Cacopsylla-species were found. Lab trials revealed its vector capacity at the end of summer and autumn and its migration pattern 80 m in line and 10.5 m across trees in an orchard.

  13. Diversity of Bacterial Endosymbionts Associated with Macrosteles Leafhoppers Vectoring Phytopathogenic Phytoplasmas

    PubMed Central

    Ishii, Yoshiko; Matsuura, Yu; Kakizawa, Shigeyuki; Nikoh, Naruo

    2013-01-01

    Here, we investigate the endosymbiotic microbiota of the Macrosteles leafhoppers M. striifrons and M. sexnotatus, known as vectors of phytopathogenic phytoplasmas. PCR, cloning, sequencing, and phylogenetic analyses of bacterial 16S rRNA genes identified two obligate endosymbionts, “Candidatus Sulcia muelleri” and “Candidatus Nasuia deltocephalinicola,” and five facultative endosymbionts, Wolbachia, Rickettsia, Burkholderia, Diplorickettsia, and a novel bacterium belonging to the Rickettsiaceae, from the leafhoppers. “Ca. Sulcia muelleri” and “Ca. Nasuia deltocephalinicola” exhibited 100% infection frequencies in the host species and populations and were separately harbored within different bacteriocytes that constituted a pair of coherent bacteriomes in the abdomen of the host insects, as in other deltocephaline leafhoppers. Wolbachia, Rickettsia, Burkholderia, Diplorickettsia, and the novel Rickettsiaceae bacterium exhibited infection frequencies at 7%, 31%, 12%, 0%, and 24% in M. striifrons and at 20%, 0%, 0%, 20%, and 0% in M. sexnotatus, respectively. Although undetected in the above analyses, phytoplasma infections were detected in 16% of M. striifrons and 60% of M. sexnotatus insects by nested PCR of 16S rRNA genes. Two genetically distinct phytoplasmas, namely, “Candidatus Phytoplasma asteris,” associated with aster yellows and related plant diseases, and “Candidatus Phytoplasma oryzae,” associated with rice yellow dwarf disease, were identified from the leafhoppers. These results highlight strikingly complex endosymbiotic microbiota of the Macrosteles leafhoppers and suggest ecological interactions between the obligate endosymbionts, the facultative endosymbionts, and the phytopathogenic phytoplasmas within the same host insects, which may affect vector competence of the leafhoppers. PMID:23770905

  14. In-Depth Transcriptome Sequencing of Mexican Lime Trees Infected with Candidatus Phytoplasma aurantifolia

    PubMed Central

    Mardi, Mohsen; Karimi Farsad, Laleh; Gharechahi, Javad; Salekdeh, Ghasem Hosseini

    2015-01-01

    Witches’ broom disease of acid lime greatly affects the production of Mexican lime in Iran. It is caused by a phytoplasma (Candidatus Phytoplasma aurantifolia). However, the molecular mechanisms that underlie phytoplasma pathogenicity and the mode of interactions with host plants are largely unknown. Here, high-throughput transcriptome sequencing was conducted to explore gene expression signatures associated with phytoplasma infection in Mexican lime trees. We assembled 78,185 unique transcript sequences (unigenes) with an average length of 530 nt. Of these, 41,805 (53.4%) were annotated against the NCBI non-redundant (nr) protein database using a BLASTx search (e-value ≤ 1e-5). When the abundances of unigenes in healthy and infected plants were compared, 2,805 transcripts showed significant differences (false discovery rate ≤ 0.001 and log2 ratio ≥ 1.5). These differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were significantly enriched in 43 KEGG metabolic and regulatory pathways. The up-regulated DEGs were mainly categorized into pathways with possible implication in plant-pathogen interaction, including cell wall biogenesis and degradation, sucrose metabolism, secondary metabolism, hormone biosynthesis and signalling, amino acid and lipid metabolism, while down-regulated DEGs were predominantly enriched in ubiquitin proteolysis and oxidative phosphorylation pathways. Our analysis provides novel insight into the molecular pathways that are deregulated during the host-pathogen interaction in Mexican lime trees infected by phytoplasma. The findings can be valuable for unravelling the molecular mechanisms of plant-phytoplasma interactions and can pave the way for engineering lime trees with resistance to witches’ broom disease. PMID:26132073

  15. Detection of phytoplasma by loop-mediated isothermal amplification of DNA (LAMP).

    PubMed

    Obura, E; Masiga, D; Wachira, F; Gurja, B; Khan, Z R

    2011-02-01

    Napier stunt phytoplasma (16SrXI and 16SrIII) in eastern Africa is a serious threat to the expansion of Napier grass (Pennisetum purpureum) farming in the region, where it is widely cultivated as fodder in zero grazing livestock systems. The grass has high potential for bio-fuel production, and has been adopted by farmers as a countermeasure to cereal stem borer Lepidoptera, since it attracts and traps the insect. Diagnosis of stunt phytoplasma have been largely by nested polymerase chain reaction (nPCR) targeting the 16S rRNA gene. However, the method is laborious, costly and technically demanding. This investigation has developed a simpler but effective phytoplasma diagnostic tool, called; loop-mediated isothermal amplification of DNA (LAMP). The assay was tested on 8 symptomatic and 8 asymptomatic plants, while its detection limit was compared to nested PCR using samples serially diluted from 3 ng/μl to 0.38 pg/μl. Molecular typing of LAMP products was determined by BsrI restriction digestion and Southern blot analysis. The assay sensitivity, positive and negative predictive values were estimated, while the specificity was tested on 11 phytoplasma groups. LAMP was specific to 5 phytoplasma groups: 16SrVI, X, XI and XVI. BsrI restriction digestion produced two predicted fragments, and there was specific binding of probe DNA to the LAMP amplicons in Southern blot analysis. The assay sensitivity was 100%, while the positive and negative predictive values were 63 and 100% respectively. LAMP was 20-fold more sensitive than nested PCR. This study validates LAMP for routine diagnosis of Napier stunt and other closely related phytoplasmas. PMID:21185882

  16. In-Depth Transcriptome Sequencing of Mexican Lime Trees Infected with Candidatus Phytoplasma aurantifolia.

    PubMed

    Mardi, Mohsen; Karimi Farsad, Laleh; Gharechahi, Javad; Salekdeh, Ghasem Hosseini

    2015-01-01

    Witches' broom disease of acid lime greatly affects the production of Mexican lime in Iran. It is caused by a phytoplasma (Candidatus Phytoplasma aurantifolia). However, the molecular mechanisms that underlie phytoplasma pathogenicity and the mode of interactions with host plants are largely unknown. Here, high-throughput transcriptome sequencing was conducted to explore gene expression signatures associated with phytoplasma infection in Mexican lime trees. We assembled 78,185 unique transcript sequences (unigenes) with an average length of 530 nt. Of these, 41,805 (53.4%) were annotated against the NCBI non-redundant (nr) protein database using a BLASTx search (e-value ≤ 1e-5). When the abundances of unigenes in healthy and infected plants were compared, 2,805 transcripts showed significant differences (false discovery rate ≤ 0.001 and log2 ratio ≥ 1.5). These differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were significantly enriched in 43 KEGG metabolic and regulatory pathways. The up-regulated DEGs were mainly categorized into pathways with possible implication in plant-pathogen interaction, including cell wall biogenesis and degradation, sucrose metabolism, secondary metabolism, hormone biosynthesis and signalling, amino acid and lipid metabolism, while down-regulated DEGs were predominantly enriched in ubiquitin proteolysis and oxidative phosphorylation pathways. Our analysis provides novel insight into the molecular pathways that are deregulated during the host-pathogen interaction in Mexican lime trees infected by phytoplasma. The findings can be valuable for unravelling the molecular mechanisms of plant-phytoplasma interactions and can pave the way for engineering lime trees with resistance to witches' broom disease. PMID:26132073

  17. Analysis of phytoplasma-responsive sRNAs provide insight into the pathogenic mechanisms of mulberry yellow dwarf disease

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gai, Ying-Ping; Li, Yi-Qun; Guo, Fang-Yue; Yuan, Chuan-Zhong; Mo, Yao-Yao; Zhang, Hua-Liang; Wang, Hong; Ji, Xian-Ling

    2014-06-01

    The yellow dwarf disease associated with phytoplasmas is one of the most devastating diseases of mulberry and the pathogenesis involved in the disease is poorly understood. To analyze the molecular mechanisms mediating gene expression in mulberry-phytoplasma interaction, the comprehensive sRNA changes of mulberry leaf in response to phytoplasma-infection were examined. A total of 164 conserved miRNAs and 23 novel miRNAs were identified, and 62 conserved miRNAs and 13 novel miRNAs were found to be involved in the response to phytoplasma-infection. Meanwhile, target genes of the responsive miRNAs were identified by sequencing of the degradome library. In addition, the endogenous siRNAs were sequenced, and their expression profiles were characterized. Interestingly, we found that phytoplasma infection induced the accumulation of mul-miR393-5p which was resulted from the increased transcription of MulMIR393A, and mul-miR393-5p most likely initiate the biogenesis of siRNAs from TIR1 transcript. Based on the results, we can conclude that phytoplasma-responsive sRNAs modulate multiple hormone pathways and play crucial roles in the regulation of development and metabolism. These responsive sRNAs may work cooperatively in the response to phytoplasma-infection and be responsible for some symptoms in the infected plants.

  18. OHMS**: Phytoplasmas dictate changes in sieve-element ultrastructure to accommodate their requirements for nutrition, multiplication and translocation

    PubMed Central

    Musetti, Rita; Pagliari, Laura; Buxa, Stefanie V.; Degola, Francesca; De Marco, Federica; Loschi, Alberto; Kogel, Karl-Heinz; van Bel, Aart J. E.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Phytoplasmas are among the most recently discovered plant pathogenic microorganisms so, many traits of the interactions with host plants and insect vectors are still unclear and need to be investigated. At now, it is impossible to determine the precise sequences leading to the onset of the relationship with the plant host cell. It is still unclear how phytoplasmas, located in the phloem sieve elements, exploit host cell to draw nutrition for their metabolism, growth and multiplication. In this work, basing on microscopical observations, we give insight about the structural interactions established by phytoplasmas and the sieve element plasma membrane, cytoskeleton, sieve endoplasmic reticulum, speculating about a possible functional role. PMID:26795235

  19. Phylogenetic analysis identifies a 'Candidatus Phytoplasma oryzae'-related strain associated with yellow leaf disease of areca palm (Areca catechu L.) in India.

    PubMed

    Ramaswamy, Manimekalai; Nair, Smita; Soumya, V P; Thomas, George V

    2013-04-01

    Yellow leaf disease (YLD) with phytoplasmal aetiology is a serious disease of arecanut palm in India. The present study was undertaken to characterize the 16S rRNA and secA gene sequences of the Indian arecanut YLD phytoplasma for 'Candidatus Phytoplasma' species assignment and 16Sr group/subgroup classification. Phytoplasma 16S rRNA genes were amplified using three sets of semi-nested/nested primers, 1F7/7R3-1F7/7R2, 4Fwd/3Rev-4Fwd/5Rev and P1/P7-R16F2n/R16R2, producing amplicons of 491, 1150 and 1250 bp, respectively, from diseased samples. The amplicons were cloned and sequenced. A blast search showed that the sequences had 99 % similarity with sugar cane white leaf phytoplasma (16SrXI) and Napier grass stunt phytoplasma (16SrXI). Phylogenetic analysis based on the 16S rRNA gene revealed the clustering of YLD phytoplasma with the rice yellow dwarf and Bermuda grass white leaf groups. The YLD phytoplasma F2nR2 sequence shared 97.5 % identity with that of 'Candidatus Phytoplasma oryzae' and 97.8 % identity with that of 'Candidatus Phytoplasma cynodontis'. Hence, for finer differentiation, we examined the secA gene-based phylogeny, where the YLD phytoplasma clustered with Napier grass stunt and sugar cane grassy shoot phytoplasmas, both belonging to the rice yellow dwarf group. Hence, we are assigning the Indian arecanut YLD phytoplasma as a 'Candidatus Phytoplasma oryzae'-related strain. Virtual RFLP analysis of a 1.2 kb fragment of the 16S rRNA gene (F2nR2 region) identified the Indian arecanut YLD phytoplasma as a member of 16SrXI-B subgroup. We name the phytoplasma Indian yellow leaf disease phytoplasma, to differentiate it from the Hainan YLD phytoplasma, which belongs to group 16SrI. PMID:22843718

  20. Draft Genome Sequence of “Candidatus Phytoplasma pruni” Strain CX, a Plant-Pathogenic Bacterium

    PubMed Central

    Shao, J.; Bottner-Parker, K. D.; Gundersen-Rindal, D. E.; Zhao, Y.; Davis, R. E.

    2015-01-01

    “Candidatus Phytoplasma pruni” strain CX, belonging to subgroup 16SrIII-A, is a plant-pathogenic bacterium causing economically important diseases in many fruit crops. Here, we report the draft genome sequence, which consists of 598,508 bases, with a G+C content of 27.21 mol%. PMID:26472824

  1. The iPhyClassifier, an interactive online tool for phytoplasma classification and taxonomic assignment

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The iPhyClassifier is an Internet-based research tool for quick identification and classification of diverse phytoplasmas. The iPhyClassifier simulates laboratory restriction enzyme digestions and subsequent gel electrophoresis and generates virtual restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) p...

  2. Onion yellow phytoplasma P38 protein plays a role in adhesion to the hosts.

    PubMed

    Neriya, Yutaro; Maejima, Kensaku; Nijo, Takamichi; Tomomitsu, Tatsuya; Yusa, Akira; Himeno, Misako; Netsu, Osamu; Hamamoto, Hiroshi; Oshima, Kenro; Namba, Shigetou

    2014-12-01

    Adhesins are microbial surface proteins that mediate the adherence of microbial pathogens to host cell surfaces. In Mollicutes, several adhesins have been reported in mycoplasmas and spiroplasmas. Adhesins P40 of Mycoplasma agalactiae and P89 of Spiroplasma citri contain a conserved amino acid sequence known as the Mollicutes adhesin motif (MAM), whose function in the host cell adhesion remains unclear. Here, we show that phytoplasmas, which are plant-pathogenic mollicutes transmitted by insect vectors, possess an adhesion-containing MAM that was identified in a putative membrane protein, PAM289 (P38), of the 'Candidatus Phytoplasma asteris,' OY strain. P38 homologs and their MAMs were highly conserved in related phytoplasma strains. While P38 protein was expressed in OY-infected insect and plant hosts, binding assays showed that P38 interacts with insect extract, and weakly with plant extract. Interestingly, the interaction of P38 with the insect extract depended on MAM. These results suggest that P38 is a phytoplasma adhesin that interacts with the hosts. In addition, the MAM of adhesins is important for the interaction between P38 protein and hosts.

  3. Functional analysis of a lipolytic protein, a potential phytoplasma pathogenicity factor

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Wall-less bacteria known as phytoplasmas are obligate transkingdom parasites and pathogens of plants and insect vectors. These unusual bacteria possess some of the smallest genomes known among pathogenic bacteria, and have never been successfully isolated in artificial culture. Disease symptoms in...

  4. Occurrence, distribution, and possible functional roles of simple sequence repeats in phytoplasma genomes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Phytoplasmas are unculturable, cell wall-less bacteria that parasitize plants and insects. This transkingdom life cycle requires rapid responses to vastly different environments including transitions from plant phloem sieve elements to various insect tissues and alterations of diverse plant hosts. ...

  5. Salicylic acid-mediated elicitation of tomato defense against infection by potato purple top phytoplasma

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Recent outbreaks and continued spread of phytoplasma infection-associated diseases in potato, tomato, and other vegetable crops in the U.S. accentuates the need for practical strategies to mitigate the impact of the phytoplasmal diseases. The purpose of the current study was to investigate whether ...

  6. Candidatus Phytoplasma malaysianum, a novel taxon associated with virescence and phyllody of Madagascar periwinkle (Catharanthus roseus)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This study addressed the taxonomic position and group classification of a phytoplasma responsible for virescence and phyllody symptoms in naturally diseased Madagascar periwinkle plants in western Malaysia. Unique regions in the 16S rRNA gene from the Malaysian periwinkle virescence (MaPV) phytopla...

  7. Maize redness in Serbia caused by stolbur phytoplasma is transmitted by Reptalus panzeri

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Maize redness (MR) causes midrib, leaf and stalk reddening and abnormal ear development in maize in Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria. High populations of the ciixid Reptalus panzeri were found in MR affected maize fields in the southern Banat region of Serbia in 2005 and 2006, and stolbur phytoplasma w...

  8. [Cloning and sequencing of 16S rRNA gene of Phytoplasma CWB1 strain associated with cactus witches' broom].

    PubMed

    Cai, H; Li, F; Kong, B; Chen, H

    2001-12-01

    A 1.5 kb DNA fragment was amplified in DNA samples extracted from Opuntia salmiana porm showed witches'-broom symptom. The result indicates the existence of phytoplasma associated with this disease and this phytoplasma was designated as CWB1. The amplified fragment was ligated to pGEM-T easy vector and then transformed into JM109 strain of E. coli. Cloned DNA fragments were verified by PCR, restriction endonuclease (EcoRI) digestion and sequence analysis. The result revealed that the 16S rRNA gene of CWB1 consists of 1489 bp and shared 99.7% homology with Faba bean phyllody which belongs to phytoplasma 16S rII-C subgroup. So we can classify this strain into phytoplasma 16S rII-C subgroup. PMID:12552825

  9. First Findings in the Route of the Maize Bushy Stunt Phytoplasma Within Its Vector Dalbulus maidis (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae).

    PubMed

    González, J García; Ossamu Tanaka, F A; Spotti Lopes, J R

    2016-04-01

    In the pathosystem of Dalbulus madis (DeLong & Wolcott) (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae), a vector of maize bushy stunt phytoplasma (MBSP), the interactions occurring during the passage, invasion, and multiplication of the phytoplasma inside the vector body have been generalized from other pathosystems, with a poor understanding of the specific interactions. With the aim to understand MBSP movement and potential specific interactions with its vector, D. maidis adults were dissected to obtain the intestine and salivary gland of both infected (acquisition access period=4 d; latent period=23 d) and noninfected individuals. The organs were processed for visualization with transmission electronic microscopy. Images of phytoplasma cells were observed in the alimentary canal, epithelium of the mesenteron, hemocele, and salivary gland of the vector, and were confirmed through observation of similar cells in maize roots with advanced disease symptoms. The study of the MBSP movement within its vector shows novel findings between the synergy of the MBSP phytoplasma and D. maidis.

  10. DISTRIBUTION OF 'CANDIDATUS PHYTOPLASMA MALI' IN INFECTED APPLE TREES IN BELGIUM.

    PubMed

    Olivier, T; Fauche, F; Demonty, E

    2014-01-01

    'Candidatus Phytoplasma mali' is a quarantine organism in the European Union which is consequently monitored and controlled in apple tree nurseries and orchards. Although symptoms like witches' broom, large stipules or small fruits can help to visually detect infected trees, PCRs should be performed on corresponding samples to confirm this first visual diagnostic or to detect latent infections. However, because of the uneven distribution of phytoplasmas within the trees, infected trees can still be missed by PCR. In order to improve the official sampling procedure applied in Belgium, PCR detectability of the pathogen was followed in 17 'Ca. Phytoplasma mali' infected trees from an orchard located in the province of Namur during late summer early autumn for two years. On the one hand, 5 trees were sampled in October 2011 at the four cardinal points in the crown and at two cardinal points in the roots to further understand the distribution of phytoplasmas in the tree for a given date. On the other hand, 12 infected trees were sampled randomly in 2013, once in the crown and once in the roots at three different dates to study the influence of these factors on the probability of detection. DNA was extracted from leaf midribs, petioles or roots and amplified by PCR using the universal primer pair fU5/rU3. Despite the limited number of data collected, this study showed that: because PCR detectability of 'Ca. Phytoplasma mali' seems more constant and more likely in the roots, root sampling should be favoured; the sampling date had a significant influence on PCR outcome but, at least in the leaves, this seems to vary a lot from year to year; more than one random sample should be taken from the same tree to increase the detection efficiency.

  11. Comparative analysis of the peanut witches'-broom phytoplasma genome reveals horizontal transfer of potential mobile units and effectors.

    PubMed

    Chung, Wan-Chia; Chen, Ling-Ling; Lo, Wen-Sui; Lin, Chan-Pin; Kuo, Chih-Horng

    2013-01-01

    Phytoplasmas are a group of bacteria that are associated with hundreds of plant diseases. Due to their economical importance and the difficulties involved in the experimental study of these obligate pathogens, genome sequencing and comparative analysis have been utilized as powerful tools to understand phytoplasma biology. To date four complete phytoplasma genome sequences have been published. However, these four strains represent limited phylogenetic diversity. In this study, we report the shotgun sequencing and evolutionary analysis of a peanut witches'-broom (PnWB) phytoplasma genome. The availability of this genome provides the first representative of the 16SrII group and substantially improves the taxon sampling to investigate genome evolution. The draft genome assembly contains 13 chromosomal contigs with a total size of 562,473 bp, covering ∼90% of the chromosome. Additionally, a complete plasmid sequence is included. Comparisons among the five available phytoplasma genomes reveal the differentiations in gene content and metabolic capacity. Notably, phylogenetic inferences of the potential mobile units (PMUs) in these genomes indicate that horizontal transfer may have occurred between divergent phytoplasma lineages. Because many effectors are associated with PMUs, the horizontal transfer of these transposon-like elements can contribute to the adaptation and diversification of these pathogens. In summary, the findings from this study highlight the importance of improving taxon sampling when investigating genome evolution. Moreover, the currently available sequences are inadequate to fully characterize the pan-genome of phytoplasmas. Future genome sequencing efforts to expand phylogenetic diversity are essential in improving our understanding of phytoplasma evolution.

  12. Stolbur phytoplasma transmission to maize by Reptalus panzeri and the disease cycle of maize redness in Serbia.

    PubMed

    Jović, J; Cvrković, T; Mitrović, M; Krnjajić, S; Petrović, A; Redinbaugh, M G; Pratt, R C; Hogenhout, S A; Tosevski, I

    2009-09-01

    Maize redness (MR), induced by stolbur phytoplasma ('Candidatus Phytoplasma solani', subgroup 16SrXII-A), is characterized by midrib, leaf, and stalk reddening and abnormal ear development. MR has been reported from Serbia, Romania, and Bulgaria for 50 years, and recent epiphytotics reduced yields by 40 to 90% in South Banat District, Serbia. Potential vectors including leafhoppers and planthoppers in the order Hemiptera, suborder Auchenorrhyncha, were surveyed in MR-affected and low-MR-incidence fields, and 33 different species were identified. Only Reptalus panzeri populations displayed characteristics of a major MR vector. More R. panzeri individuals were present in MR-affected versus low-MR fields, higher populations were observed in maize plots than in field border areas, and peak population levels preceded the appearance of MR in late July. Stolbur phytoplasma was detected in 17% of R. panzeri adults using nested polymerase chain reaction but not in any other insects tested. Higher populations of R. panzeri nymphs were found on maize, Johnsongrass (Sorghum halepense), and wheat (Triticum aestivum) roots. Stolbur phytoplasma was detected in roots of these three plant species, as well as in R. panzeri L(3) and L(5) nymphs. When stolbur phytoplasma-infected R. panzeri L(3) nymphs were introduced into insect-free mesh cages containing healthy maize and wheat plants, 89 and 7%, respectively, became infected. These results suggest that the MR disease cycle in South Banat involves mid-July transmission of stolbur phytoplasma to maize by infected adult R. panzeri. The adult R. panzeri lay eggs on infected maize roots, and nymphs living on these roots acquire the phytoplasma from infected maize. The nymphs overwinter on the roots of wheat planted into maize fields in the autumn, allowing emergence of phytoplasma-infected vectors the following July.

  13. Comparative Analysis of the Peanut Witches'-Broom Phytoplasma Genome Reveals Horizontal Transfer of Potential Mobile Units and Effectors

    PubMed Central

    Lo, Wen-Sui; Lin, Chan-Pin; Kuo, Chih-Horng

    2013-01-01

    Phytoplasmas are a group of bacteria that are associated with hundreds of plant diseases. Due to their economical importance and the difficulties involved in the experimental study of these obligate pathogens, genome sequencing and comparative analysis have been utilized as powerful tools to understand phytoplasma biology. To date four complete phytoplasma genome sequences have been published. However, these four strains represent limited phylogenetic diversity. In this study, we report the shotgun sequencing and evolutionary analysis of a peanut witches'-broom (PnWB) phytoplasma genome. The availability of this genome provides the first representative of the 16SrII group and substantially improves the taxon sampling to investigate genome evolution. The draft genome assembly contains 13 chromosomal contigs with a total size of 562,473 bp, covering ∼90% of the chromosome. Additionally, a complete plasmid sequence is included. Comparisons among the five available phytoplasma genomes reveal the differentiations in gene content and metabolic capacity. Notably, phylogenetic inferences of the potential mobile units (PMUs) in these genomes indicate that horizontal transfer may have occurred between divergent phytoplasma lineages. Because many effectors are associated with PMUs, the horizontal transfer of these transposon-like elements can contribute to the adaptation and diversification of these pathogens. In summary, the findings from this study highlight the importance of improving taxon sampling when investigating genome evolution. Moreover, the currently available sequences are inadequate to fully characterize the pan-genome of phytoplasmas. Future genome sequencing efforts to expand phylogenetic diversity are essential in improving our understanding of phytoplasma evolution. PMID:23626855

  14. Phytoplasma infection in tomato is associated with re-organization of plasma membrane, ER stacks, and actin filaments in sieve elements

    PubMed Central

    Buxa, Stefanie V.; Degola, Francesca; Polizzotto, Rachele; De Marco, Federica; Loschi, Alberto; Kogel, Karl-Heinz; di Toppi, Luigi Sanità; van Bel, Aart J. E.; Musetti, Rita

    2015-01-01

    Phytoplasmas, biotrophic wall-less prokaryotes, only reside in sieve elements of their host plants. The essentials of the intimate interaction between phytoplasmas and their hosts are poorly understood, which calls for research on potential ultrastructural modifications. We investigated modifications of the sieve-element ultrastructure induced in tomato plants by ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma solani,’ the pathogen associated with the stolbur disease. Phytoplasma infection induces a drastic re-organization of sieve-element substructures including changes in plasma membrane surface and distortion of the sieve-element reticulum. Observations of healthy and stolbur-diseased plants provided evidence for the emergence of structural links between sieve-element plasma membrane and phytoplasmas. One-sided actin aggregates on the phytoplasma surface also inferred a connection between phytoplasma and sieve-element cytoskeleton. Actin filaments displaced from the sieve-element mictoplasm to the surface of the phytoplasmas in infected sieve elements. Western blot analysis revealed a decrease of actin and an increase of ER-resident chaperone luminal binding protein (BiP) in midribs of phytoplasma-infected plants. Collectively, the studies provided novel insights into ultrastructural responses of host sieve elements to phloem-restricted prokaryotes. PMID:26347766

  15. Peanut witches' broom (PnWB) phytoplasma-mediated leafy flower symptoms and abnormal vascular bundles development.

    PubMed

    Liu, Chi-Te; Huang, Hsin-Mei; Hong, Syuan-Fei; Kuo-Huang, Ling-Long; Yang, Chiao-Yin; Lin, Yen-Yu; Lin, Chan-Pin; Lin, Shih-Shun

    2015-01-01

    The peanut witches' broom (PnWB) phytoplasma causes virescence symptoms such as phyllody (leafy flower) in infected peanuts. However, the obligate nature of phytoplasma limits the study of host-pathogen interactions, and the detailed anatomy of PnWB-infected plants has yet to be reported. Here, we demonstrate that 4',6'-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI) staining can be used to track PnWB infection. The DAPI-stained phytoplasma cells were observed in phloem/internal phloem tissues, and changes in vascular bundle morphology, including increasing pith rays and thinner cell walls in the xylem, were found. We also discerned the cell types comprising PnWB in infected sieve tube members. These results suggest that the presence of PnWB in phloem tissue facilitates the transmission of phytoplasma via sap-feeding insect vectors. In addition, PnWB in sieve tube members and changes in vascular bundle morphology might strongly promote the ability of phytoplasmas to assimilate nutrients. These data will help further an understanding of the obligate life cycle and host-pathogen interactions of phytoplasma.

  16. Peanut witches' broom (PnWB) phytoplasma-mediated leafy flower symptoms and abnormal vascular bundles development

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Chi-Te; Huang, Hsin-Mei; Hong, Syuan-Fei; Kuo-Huang, Ling-Long; Yang, Chiao-Yin; Lin, Yen-Yu; Lin, Chan-Pin; Lin, Shih-Shun

    2015-01-01

    The peanut witches' broom (PnWB) phytoplasma causes virescence symptoms such as phyllody (leafy flower) in infected peanuts. However, the obligate nature of phytoplasma limits the study of host-pathogen interactions, and the detailed anatomy of PnWB-infected plants has yet to be reported. Here, we demonstrate that 4′,6′-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI) staining can be used to track PnWB infection. The DAPI-stained phytoplasma cells were observed in phloem/internal phloem tissues, and changes in vascular bundle morphology, including increasing pith rays and thinner cell walls in the xylem, were found. We also discerned the cell types comprising PnWB in infected sieve tube members. These results suggest that the presence of PnWB in phloem tissue facilitates the transmission of phytoplasma via sap-feeding insect vectors. In addition, PnWB in sieve tube members and changes in vascular bundle morphology might strongly promote the ability of phytoplasmas to assimilate nutrients. These data will help further an understanding of the obligate life cycle and host-pathogen interactions of phytoplasma. PMID:26492318

  17. Identification of genes expressed in response to phytoplasma infection in leaves of Prunus armeniaca by messenger RNA differential display.

    PubMed

    Carginale, Vincenzo; Maria, Giovanna; Capasso, Clemente; Ionata, Elena; La Cara, Francesco; Pastore, Maria; Bertaccini, Assunta; Capasso, Antonio

    2004-05-12

    The messenger RNA (mRNA) differential display technique was applied to the identification and isolation of genes whose transcription was altered in leaves of Prunus armeniaca infected by European stone fruit yellows (ESFY) phytoplasma belonging to ribosomal subgroup 16SrX-B. Four genes whose steady-state levels of expression significantly changed in response to phytoplasma infection were isolated and identified. The results obtained show that two group of genes are affected by phytoplasma infection in apricot leaves. The first group comprises genes that are up-regulated by phytoplasma presence: in particular, a gene encoding the heat-shock protein HSP-70, a gene encoding a metallothionein (MT) and another homologous to the EST 673 cDNA clone of P. armeniaca, whose function was unknown. The other gene identified in our analysis is down-regulated by phytoplasma presence. It encodes a protein having homology to an amino acid transporter of Arabidopsis thaliana. Our findings demonstrate the usefulness of mRNA differential display approach for the detection of plant metabolic pathways affected by phytoplasma infection.

  18. Correspondence between flowers and leaves in terpenoid indole alkaloid metabolism of the phytoplasma-infected Catharanthus roseus plants.

    PubMed

    Srivastava, Suchi; Pandey, Richa; Kumar, Sushil; Nautiyal, Chandra Shekhar

    2014-11-01

    Several plants of Catharanthus roseus cv 'leafless inflorescence (lli)' showing phenotype of phytoplasma infection were observed for symptoms of early flowering, virescence, phyllody, and apical clustering of branches. Symptomatic plants were studied for the presence/absence and identity of phytoplasma in flowers. Transcription levels of several genes involved in plants' metabolism and development, accumulation of pharmaceutically important terpenoid indole alkaloids in flowers and leaves and variation in the root-associated microbial flora were examined. The expression profile of 12 genes studied was semi-quantitatively similar in control leaves and phytoplasma-infected leaves and flowers, in agreement with the symptoms of virescence and phyllody in phytoplasma-infected plants. The flowers of phytoplasma-infected plants possessed the TIA profile of leaves and accumulated catharanthine, vindoline, and vincristine and vinblastine in higher concentrations than leaves. The roots of the infected plants displayed lower microbial diversity than those of normal plants. In conclusion, phytoplasma affected the biology of C. roseus lli plants multifariously, it reduced the differences between the metabolite accumulates of the leaves and flowers and restrict the microbial diversity of rhizosphere.

  19. Identification of genes expressed in response to phytoplasma infection in leaves of Prunus armeniaca by messenger RNA differential display.

    PubMed

    Carginale, Vincenzo; Maria, Giovanna; Capasso, Clemente; Ionata, Elena; La Cara, Francesco; Pastore, Maria; Bertaccini, Assunta; Capasso, Antonio

    2004-05-12

    The messenger RNA (mRNA) differential display technique was applied to the identification and isolation of genes whose transcription was altered in leaves of Prunus armeniaca infected by European stone fruit yellows (ESFY) phytoplasma belonging to ribosomal subgroup 16SrX-B. Four genes whose steady-state levels of expression significantly changed in response to phytoplasma infection were isolated and identified. The results obtained show that two group of genes are affected by phytoplasma infection in apricot leaves. The first group comprises genes that are up-regulated by phytoplasma presence: in particular, a gene encoding the heat-shock protein HSP-70, a gene encoding a metallothionein (MT) and another homologous to the EST 673 cDNA clone of P. armeniaca, whose function was unknown. The other gene identified in our analysis is down-regulated by phytoplasma presence. It encodes a protein having homology to an amino acid transporter of Arabidopsis thaliana. Our findings demonstrate the usefulness of mRNA differential display approach for the detection of plant metabolic pathways affected by phytoplasma infection. PMID:15145051

  20. Multilocus sequences confirm the close genetic relationship of four phytoplasmas of peanut witches'-broom group 16SrII-A.

    PubMed

    Li, Yong; Piao, Chun-gen; Tian, Guo-zhong; Liu, Zhi-xin; Guo, Min-wei; Lin, Cai-li; Wang, Xi-zhuo

    2014-08-01

    Four witches'-broom diseases associated with Arachis hypogaea (peanut), Crotalaria pallida, Tephrosia purpurea, and Cleome viscosa were observed in Hainan Province, China during field surveys in 2004, 2005, and 2007. In previously reported studies, we identified these four phytoplasmas as members of subgroup 16SrII-A, and discovered that their 16S rRNA gene sequences were 99.9-100% identical to one another. In this study, we performed extensive phylogenetic analyses to elucidate relationships among them. We analyzed sequences of the 16S rRNA gene and rplV-rpsC, rpoB, gyrB, dnaK, dnaJ, recA, and secY combined sequence data from two strains each of the four phytoplasmas from Hainan province, as well as strains of peanut witches'-broom from Taiwan (PnWB-TW), "Candidatus Phytoplasma australiense", "Ca. Phytoplasma mali AT", aster yellows witches'-broom phytoplasma AYWB, and onion yellows phytoplasma OY-M. In the 16S rRNA phylogenetic tree, the eight Hainan strains form a clade with PnWB-TW. Analysis of the seven concatenated gene regions indicated that the four phytoplasmas collected from Hainan province cluster most closely with one another, but are closely related to PnWB-TW. The results of field survey and phylogenetic analysis indicated that Cr. pallida, T. purpurea, and Cl. viscosa may be natural plant hosts of peanut witches'-broom phytoplasma.

  1. Development of biomarkers and a diagnostic tool for investigation of coinfections by and interactions between potato purple top and potato witches’-broom phytoplasmas in tomato

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Columbia Basin potato purple top (PPT) phytoplasma and Alaska potato witches’-broom (PWB) phytoplasma are two closely-related but mutually distinct pathogenic bacteria that infect potato and other vegetable crops. Inhabiting phloem sieve elements and being transmitted by phloem-feeding insect vecto...

  2. Molecular Characterization and Phylogeny of a Phytoplasma Associated with Phyllody Disease of toria (Brassica rapa L. subsp. dichotoma (Roxb.)) in India.

    PubMed

    Azadvar, M; Baranwal, V K

    2010-10-01

    Samples from toria plants (Brassica rapa L. subsp. dichotoma (Roxb.)) exhibiting phyllody, virescence, witches broom, extensive malformation of floral parts, formation of bladder like siliquae and flower sterility were collected from four different locations in India. Sequencing and phylogenetic analysis of the 16S rRNA, a part of 23S rRNA, partial sec A genes, rp gene and 16S-23S intergenic spacer region indicated that the phytoplasmas associated with toria phyllody (TP) symptoms were identical and belonged to 16SrIX phytoplasma Pigeon pea witches'-broom (PPWB) group. The iPhyClassifier generated virtual RFLP pattern of 1.25 kb 16S rDNA sequences indicated that TP phytoplasma belongs to 16SrIX-C phytoplasma subgroup. Complete 23S rRNA gene of TP phytoplasma had 2,787 nucleotides and is the first sequence of 16SrIX phytoplasma group. Restriction digestion of 16S rDNA and 23S rDNA PCR products has also shown that TP phytoplasmas from all the four locations in India were identical. Toria is a previously unreported host for a phytoplasma in16SrIX-C subgroup.

  3. Criteria for phytoplasma 16Sr group/subgroup delineation and the need of a platform for proper registration of new groups and subgroups

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    As more phytoplasmas are discovered in emerging and re-emerging plant diseases worldwide, the scheme for classification of phytoplasmas into 16S rRNA gene RFLP (16Sr) groups and subgroups is experiencing an ongoing rapid expansion. Improper delineation or designation of new groups and subgroups can...

  4. Differentiation and classification of phytoplasmas in the pigeon pea witches'-broom group (16SrIX): an update based on multiple gene sequence analysis

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Pigeon pea witches’-broom phytoplasma group (16SrIX) consists of diverse phytoplasma strains that cause numerous diseases in leguminous trees and herbaceous crops, vegetables, a fruit, a nut tree, and a forest tree. At least 14 strains have been reported worldwide. Comparative phylogenetic analyses ...

  5. Changes in carbohydrate metabolism in coconut palms infected with the lethal yellowing phytoplasma.

    PubMed

    Maust, B E; Espadas, F; Talavera, C; Aguilar, M; Santamaría, J M; Oropeza, C

    2003-08-01

    ABSTRACT Lethal yellowing (LY), a disease caused by a phytoplasma, is the most devastating disease affecting coconut (Cocos nucifera) in Mexico. Thousands of coconut palm trees have died on the Yucatan peninsula while plantations in Central America and on the Pacific coast of Mexico are severely threatened. Polymerase chain reaction assays enable identification of incubating palm trees (stage 0+, phytoplasma detected but palm asymptomatic). With the development of LY, palm trees exhibit various visual symptoms such as premature nut fall (stage 1), inflorescence necrosis (stages 2 to 3), leaf chlorosis and senescence (stages 4 to 6), and finally palm death. However, physiological changes occur in the leaves and roots prior to onset of visual symptoms. Stomatal conductance, photosynthesis, and root respiration decreased in stages 0+ to 6. The number of active photosystem II (PSII) reaction centers decreased during stage 2, but maximum quantum use efficiency of PSII remained similar until stage 3 before declining. Sugar and starch concentrations in intermediate leaves (leaf 14) and upper leaves (leaf 4) increased from stage 0- (healthy) to stages 2 to 4, while root carbohydrate concentrations decreased rapidly from stage 0- to stage 0+ (incubating phytoplasma). Although photosynthetic rates and root carbohydrate concentrations decreased, leaf carbohydrate concentrations increased, suggesting inhibition of sugar transport in the phloem leading to stress in sink tissues and development of visual symptoms of LY.

  6. Changes in carbohydrate metabolism in coconut palms infected with the lethal yellowing phytoplasma.

    PubMed

    Maust, B E; Espadas, F; Talavera, C; Aguilar, M; Santamaría, J M; Oropeza, C

    2003-08-01

    ABSTRACT Lethal yellowing (LY), a disease caused by a phytoplasma, is the most devastating disease affecting coconut (Cocos nucifera) in Mexico. Thousands of coconut palm trees have died on the Yucatan peninsula while plantations in Central America and on the Pacific coast of Mexico are severely threatened. Polymerase chain reaction assays enable identification of incubating palm trees (stage 0+, phytoplasma detected but palm asymptomatic). With the development of LY, palm trees exhibit various visual symptoms such as premature nut fall (stage 1), inflorescence necrosis (stages 2 to 3), leaf chlorosis and senescence (stages 4 to 6), and finally palm death. However, physiological changes occur in the leaves and roots prior to onset of visual symptoms. Stomatal conductance, photosynthesis, and root respiration decreased in stages 0+ to 6. The number of active photosystem II (PSII) reaction centers decreased during stage 2, but maximum quantum use efficiency of PSII remained similar until stage 3 before declining. Sugar and starch concentrations in intermediate leaves (leaf 14) and upper leaves (leaf 4) increased from stage 0- (healthy) to stages 2 to 4, while root carbohydrate concentrations decreased rapidly from stage 0- to stage 0+ (incubating phytoplasma). Although photosynthetic rates and root carbohydrate concentrations decreased, leaf carbohydrate concentrations increased, suggesting inhibition of sugar transport in the phloem leading to stress in sink tissues and development of visual symptoms of LY. PMID:18943864

  7. Comparison of the complete genome sequence of two closely related isolates of ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma australiense’ reveals genome plasticity

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma australiense’ is associated with at least nine diseases in Australia and New Zealand. The impact of this phytoplasma is considerable, both economically and environmentally. The genome of a NZ isolate was sequenced in an effort to understand its pathogenicity and ecology. Comparison with a closely related Australian isolate enabled us to examine mechanisms of genomic rearrangement. Results The complete genome sequence of a strawberry lethal yellows (SLY) isolate of ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma australiense’ was determined. It is a circular genome of 959,779 base pairs with 1126 predicted open reading frames. Despite being 80 kbp larger than another ‘Ca. Phytoplasma australiense’ isolate PAa, the variation between housekeeping genes was generally less than 1% at a nucleotide level. The difference in size between the two isolates was largely due to the number and size of potential mobile units (PMUs), which contributed to some changes in gene order. Comparison of the genomes of the two isolates revealed that the highly conserved 5′ UTR of a putative DNA-directed RNA polymerase seems to be associated with insertion and rearrangement events. Two types of PMUs have been identified on the basis of the order of three to four conserved genes, with both PMUs appearing to have been present in the last common ancestor of ‘Ca. Phytoplasma asteris’ and ‘Ca. Phytoplasma australiense’. Comparison with other phytoplasma genomes showed that modification methylases were, in general, species-specific. A putative methylase (xorIIM) found in ‘Ca. Phytoplasma australiense’ appeared to have no analogue in any other firmicute, and we believe has been introduced by way of lateral gene transfer. A putative retrostransposon (ltrA) analogous to that found in OY-M was present in both isolates, although all examples in PAa appear to be fragments. Comparative analysis identified highly conserved 5′ and 3′ UTR regions of ltrA, which may

  8. One-step multiplex quantitative RT-PCR for the simultaneous detection of viroids and phytoplasmas of pome fruit trees.

    PubMed

    Malandraki, Ioanna; Varveri, Christina; Olmos, Antonio; Vassilakos, Nikon

    2015-03-01

    A one-step multiplex real-time quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) based on TaqMan chemistry was developed for the simultaneous detection of Pear blister canker viroid and Apple scar skin viroid along with universal detection of phytoplasmas, in pome trees. Total nucleic acids (TNAs) extraction was performed according to a modified CTAB protocol. Primers and TaqMan MGB probes for specific detection of the two viroids were designed in this study, whereas for phytoplasma detection published universal primers and probe were used, with the difference that the later was modified to carry a MGB quencher. The pathogens were detected simultaneously in 10-fold serial dilutions of TNAs from infected plant material into TNAs of healthy plant up to dilutions 10(-5) for viroids and 10(-4) for phytoplasmas. The multiplex real-time assay was at least 10 times more sensitive than conventional protocols for viroid and phytoplasma detection. Simultaneous detection of the three targets was achieved in composite samples at least up to a ratio of 1:100 triple-infected to healthy tissue, demonstrating that the developed assay has the potential to be used for rapid and massive screening of viroids and phytoplasmas of pome fruit trees in the frame of certification schemes and surveys.

  9. Functional characterization of the principal sigma factor RpoD of phytoplasmas via an in vitro transcription assay

    PubMed Central

    Miura, Chihiro; Komatsu, Ken; Maejima, Kensaku; Nijo, Takamichi; Kitazawa, Yugo; Tomomitsu, Tatsuya; Yusa, Akira; Himeno, Misako; Oshima, Kenro; Namba, Shigetou

    2015-01-01

    Phytoplasmas (class, Mollicutes) are insect-transmissible and plant-pathogenic bacteria that multiply intracellularly in both plants and insects through host switching. Our previous study revealed that phytoplasmal sigma factor rpoD of OY-M strain (rpoDOY) could be a key regulator of host switching, because the expression level of rpoDOY was higher in insect hosts than in plant hosts. In this study, we developed an in vitro transcription assay system to identify RpoDOY-dependent genes and the consensus promoter elements. The assay revealed that RpoDOY regulated some housekeeping, virulence, and host–phytoplasma interaction genes of OY-M strain. The upstream region of the transcription start sites of these genes contained conserved –35 and –10 promoter sequences, which were similar to the typical bacterial RpoD-dependent promoter elements, while the –35 promoter elements were variable. In addition, we searched putative RpoD-dependent genes based on these promoter elements on the whole genome sequence of phytoplasmas using in silico tools. The phytoplasmal RpoD seems to mediate the transcription of not only many housekeeping genes as the principal sigma factor, but also the virulence- and host-phytoplasma interaction-related genes exhibiting host-specific expression patterns. These results indicate that more complex mechanisms exist than previously thought regarding gene regulation enabling phytoplasmas to switch hosts. PMID:26150080

  10. Use of heteroduplex mobility assay for identification and differentiation of phytoplasmas in the aster yellows group and the clover proliferation group.

    PubMed

    Wang, K; Hiruki, C

    2001-06-01

    ABSTRACT This paper describes the identification and differentiation of phytoplasmas by a highly sensitive diagnostic technique, DNA heteroduplex mobility assay (HMA). Closely related phytoplasma isolates of clover proliferation (CP), potato witches'-broom (PWB), and alfalfa witches'-broom (AWB) were collected from the field from 1990 to 1999. The entire 16S rRNA gene and 16/23S spacer region were amplified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) from the field samples and standard CP, PWB, and AWB phytoplasmas and were subjected to restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis and HMA. Two subgroups (I and II) of phytoplasmas in the CP group were identified by HMA but not by RFLP analysis. The results were confirmed by 16/23S spacer region sequence data analysis. After HMA analyses of the PCR-amplified 16/23S spacer region, 14 phytoplasma isolates from field samples were classified into two aster yellows subgroups: subgroup I, phytoplasma isolates from China aster (Callistephus chinensis) yellows, French marigold (Tagetes patula) yellows, cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus cv. Dazzler) yellows, clarkia (Clarkia unguiculata) yellows, California poppy (Eschscholzia californica cv. Tai Silk) yellows, monarda (Monarda fistulosa) yellows, and strawflower (Helichrysum bracteatum) yellows; and subgroup II, phytoplasma isolates from zinnia (Zinnia elegans cv. Dahlia Flower) yellows, Queen-Annes-Lace (Daucus carota) yellows, scabiosa (Scabiosa atropurpurea cv. Giant Imperial) yellows, Swan River daisy (Brachycombe multifida cv. Misty Pink) yellows, pot marigold (Calendula officinalis) yellows, purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) yellows, and feverfew (Chrysanthemum parthenium) yellows. The results indicate that HMA is a simple, rapid, highly sensitive and accurate method not only for identifying and classifying phytoplasmas but also for studying the molecular epidemiology of phytoplasmas. PMID:18943942

  11. The Major Antigenic Membrane Protein of “Candidatus Phytoplasma asteris” Selectively Interacts with ATP Synthase and Actin of Leafhopper Vectors

    PubMed Central

    Galetto, Luciana; Bosco, Domenico; Balestrini, Raffaella; Genre, Andrea; Fletcher, Jacqueline; Marzachì, Cristina

    2011-01-01

    Phytoplasmas, uncultivable phloem-limited phytopathogenic wall-less bacteria, represent a major threat to agriculture worldwide. They are transmitted in a persistent, propagative manner by phloem-sucking Hemipteran insects. Phytoplasma membrane proteins are in direct contact with hosts and are presumably involved in determining vector specificity. Such a role has been proposed for phytoplasma transmembrane proteins encoded by circular extrachromosomal elements, at least one of which is a plasmid. Little is known about the interactions between major phytoplasma antigenic membrane protein (Amp) and insect vector proteins. The aims of our work were to identify vector proteins interacting with Amp and to investigate their role in transmission specificity. In controlled transmission experiments, four Hemipteran species were identified as vectors of “Candidatus Phytoplasma asteris”, the chrysanthemum yellows phytoplasmas (CYP) strain, and three others as non-vectors. Interactions between a labelled (recombinant) CYP Amp and insect proteins were analysed by far Western blots and affinity chromatography. Amp interacted specifically with a few proteins from vector species only. Among Amp-binding vector proteins, actin and both the α and β subunits of ATP synthase were identified by mass spectrometry and Western blots. Immunofluorescence confocal microscopy and Western blots of plasma membrane and mitochondrial fractions confirmed the localisation of ATP synthase, generally known as a mitochondrial protein, in plasma membranes of midgut and salivary gland cells in the vector Euscelidius variegatus. The vector-specific interaction between phytoplasma Amp and insect ATP synthase is demonstrated for the first time, and this work also supports the hypothesis that host actin is involved in the internalization and intracellular motility of phytoplasmas within their vectors. Phytoplasma Amp is hypothesized to play a crucial role in insect transmission specificity. PMID

  12. Chromatographic methods for metabolite profiling of virus- and phytoplasma-infected plants of Echinacea purpurea.

    PubMed

    Pellati, Federica; Epifano, Francesco; Contaldo, Nicoletta; Orlandini, Giulia; Cavicchi, Lisa; Genovese, Salvatore; Bertelli, Davide; Benvenuti, Stefania; Curini, Massimo; Bertaccini, Assunta; Bellardi, Maria Grazia

    2011-10-12

    This study was focused on the effects of virus and phytoplasma infections on the production of Echinacea purpurea (L.) Moench secondary metabolites, such as caffeic acid derivatives, alkamides, and essential oil. The identification of caffeic acid derivatives and alkamides was carried out by means of high-performance liquid chromatography-diode array detection (HPLC-DAD), HPLC-electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry (ESI-MS), and MS(2). Quantitative analysis of these compounds was carried out using HPLC-DAD. The results indicated that the presence of the two pathogens significantly decreases (P < 0.05) the content of cichoric acid, the main caffeic acid derivative. Regarding the main alkamide, dodeca-2E,4E,8Z,10E/Z-tetraenoic acid isobutylamide, a significant decrease (P < 0.05) in the content of this secondary metabolite was observed in virus-infected plants in comparison with healthy plants, while in the phytoplasma-infected sample the variation of this secondary metabolite was not appreciable. The % relative area of the E/Z isomers of this alkamide was also found to change in infected samples. The gas chromatography (GC) and GC-MS analysis of E. purpurea essential oil enabled the identification of 30 compounds. The main significant differences (P < 0.05) in the semiquantitative composition were observed for three components: limonene, cis-verbenol, and verbenone. The results indicate that the presence of virus and phytoplasma has an appreciable influence on the content of E. purpurea secondary metabolites, which is an important issue in defining the commercial quality, market value, and therapeutic efficacy of this herbal drug. PMID:21830789

  13. Morphological changes of Paulownia seedlings infected phytoplasmas reveal the genes associated with witches' broom through AFLP and MSAP.

    PubMed

    Cao, Xibing; Fan, Guoqiang; Zhao, Zhenli; Deng, Minjie; Dong, Yanpeng

    2014-01-01

    Paulownia witches' broom (PaWB) caused by phytoplasma might result in devastating damage to the growth and wood production of Paulownia. To study the effect of phytoplasma on DNA sequence and to discover the genes related to PaWB occurrence, DNA polymorphisms and DNA methylation levels and patterns in PaWB seedlings, the ones treated with various concentration of methyl methane sulfonate (MMS) and healthy seedlings were investigated with amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) and methylation-sensitive amplification polymorphism (MSAP). Our results indicated that PaWB seedlings recovered a normal morphology, similar to healthy seedlings, after treatment with more than 20 mg · L-1 MMS; Phytoplasma infection did not change the Paulownia genomic DNA sequence at AFLP level, but changed the global DNA methylation levels and patterns; Genes related to PaWB were discovered through MSAP and validated using quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR). These results implied that changes of DNA methylation levels and patterns were closely related to the morphological changes of seedlings infected with phytoplasmas.

  14. Morphological Changes of Paulownia Seedlings Infected Phytoplasmas Reveal the Genes Associated with Witches' Broom through AFLP and MSAP

    PubMed Central

    Cao, Xibing; Fan, Guoqiang; Zhao, Zhenli; Deng, Minjie; Dong, Yanpeng

    2014-01-01

    Paulownia witches' broom (PaWB) caused by phytoplasma might result in devastating damage to the growth and wood production of Paulownia. To study the effect of phytoplasma on DNA sequence and to discover the genes related to PaWB occurrence, DNA polymorphisms and DNA methylation levels and patterns in PaWB seedlings, the ones treated with various concentration of methyl methane sulfonate (MMS) and healthy seedlings were investigated with amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) and methylation-sensitive amplification polymorphism (MSAP). Our results indicated that PaWB seedlings recovered a normal morphology, similar to healthy seedlings, after treatment with more than 20 mg·L−1 MMS; Phytoplasma infection did not change the Paulownia genomic DNA sequence at AFLP level, but changed the global DNA methylation levels and patterns; Genes related to PaWB were discovered through MSAP and validated using quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR). These results implied that changes of DNA methylation levels and patterns were closely related to the morphological changes of seedlings infected with phytoplasmas. PMID:25427154

  15. Morphological changes of Paulownia seedlings infected phytoplasmas reveal the genes associated with witches' broom through AFLP and MSAP.

    PubMed

    Cao, Xibing; Fan, Guoqiang; Zhao, Zhenli; Deng, Minjie; Dong, Yanpeng

    2014-01-01

    Paulownia witches' broom (PaWB) caused by phytoplasma might result in devastating damage to the growth and wood production of Paulownia. To study the effect of phytoplasma on DNA sequence and to discover the genes related to PaWB occurrence, DNA polymorphisms and DNA methylation levels and patterns in PaWB seedlings, the ones treated with various concentration of methyl methane sulfonate (MMS) and healthy seedlings were investigated with amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) and methylation-sensitive amplification polymorphism (MSAP). Our results indicated that PaWB seedlings recovered a normal morphology, similar to healthy seedlings, after treatment with more than 20 mg · L-1 MMS; Phytoplasma infection did not change the Paulownia genomic DNA sequence at AFLP level, but changed the global DNA methylation levels and patterns; Genes related to PaWB were discovered through MSAP and validated using quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR). These results implied that changes of DNA methylation levels and patterns were closely related to the morphological changes of seedlings infected with phytoplasmas. PMID:25427154

  16. Molecular identification of Phytoplasmas infecting diseased pine trees in the UNESCO-protected Curonian Spit of Lithuania

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Although mainly known as pathogens that affect angiosperms, phytoplasmas have recently been detected in diseased coniferous plants. In 2008-2014, we observed, in the Curonian Spit of western Lithuania and in forests of southern Lithuania (Varena district), diseased trees of Scots pine (Pinus sylvest...

  17. Cauliflower is a new host of a subgroup 16SrVII-B phytoplasma associated with stunting disease

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cauliflower stunt has occurred with high levels of incidence and provoked significant yield reduction in Brazilian crops. Phytoplasmas belonging to the subgroups 16SrIII-J and 16SrXV-A were previously reported in association with the disease. In 2014, plants with typical symptoms of the disease were...

  18. Phytoplasma SAP11 alters 3-isobutyl-2-methoxypyrazine biosynthesis in Nicotiana benthamiana by suppressing NbOMT1.

    PubMed

    Tan, Choon Meng; Li, Chia-Hua; Tsao, Nai-Wen; Su, Li-Wen; Lu, Yen-Ting; Chang, Shu Heng; Lin, Yi Yu; Liou, Jyun-Cyuan; Hsieh, Li-Ching; Yu, Jih-Zu; Sheue, Chiou-Rong; Wang, Sheng-Yang; Lee, Chin-Fa; Yang, Jun-Yi

    2016-07-01

    Phytoplasmas are bacterial phytopathogens that release virulence effectors into sieve cells and act systemically to affect the physiological and morphological state of host plants to promote successful pathogenesis. We show here that transgenic Nicotiana benthamiana lines expressing the secreted effector SAP11 from Candidatus Phytoplasma mali exhibit an altered aroma phenotype. This phenomenon is correlated with defects in the development of glandular trichomes and the biosynthesis of 3-isobutyl-2-methoxypyrazine (IBMP). IBMP is a volatile organic compound (VOC) synthesized by an O-methyltransferase, via a methylation step, from a non-volatile precursor, 3-isobutyl-2-hydroxypyrazine (IBHP). Based on comparative and functional genomics analyses, NbOMT1, which encodes an O-methyltransferase, was found to be highly suppressed in SAP11-transgenic plants. We further silenced NbOMT1 through virus-induced gene silencing and demonstrated that this enzyme influenced the accumulation of IBMP in N. benthamiana In vitro biochemical analyses also showed that NbOMT1 can catalyse IBHP O-methylation in the presence of S-adenosyl-L-methionine. Our study suggests that the phytoplasma effector SAP11 has the ability to modulate host VOC emissions. In addition, we also demonstrated that SAP11 destabilized TCP transcription factors and suppressed jasmonic acid responses in N. benthamiana These findings provide valuable insights into understanding how phytoplasma effectors influence plant volatiles. PMID:27279277

  19. ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma hispanicum’, a novel taxon associated with Mexican periwinkle virescence disease of Catharanthus roseus

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Mexican periwinkle virescence (MPV) phytoplasma was originally discovered in diseased plants of Madagascar periwinkle (Catharanthus roseus) in Yucatán, Mexico. On the basis of results from RFLP analysis of PCR-amplified 16S rRNA gene sequences, strain MPV was previously classified as the first know...

  20. Decreasing Global Transcript Levels over Time Suggest that Phytoplasma Cells Enter Stationary Phase during Plant and Insect Colonization

    PubMed Central

    Pacifico, D.; Galetto, L.; Rashidi, M.; Abbà, S.; Palmano, S.; Firrao, G.; Bosco, D.

    2015-01-01

    To highlight different transcriptional behaviors of the phytoplasma in the plant and animal host, expression of 14 genes of “Candidatus Phytoplasma asteris,” chrysanthemum yellows strain, was investigated at different times following the infection of a plant host (Arabidopsis thaliana) and two insect vector species (Macrosteles quadripunctulatus and Euscelidius variegatus). Target genes were selected among those encoding antigenic membrane proteins, membrane transporters, secreted proteins, and general enzymes. Transcripts were detected for all analyzed genes in the three hosts; in particular, those encoding the antigenic membrane protein Amp, elements of the mechanosensitive channel, and two of the four secreted proteins (SAP54 and TENGU) were highly accumulated, suggesting that they play important roles in phytoplasma physiology during the infection cycle. Most transcripts were present at higher abundance in the plant host than in the insect hosts. Generally, transcript levels of the selected genes decreased significantly during infection of A. thaliana and M. quadripunctulatus but were more constant in E. variegatus. Such decreases may be explained by the fact that only a fraction of the phytoplasma population was transcribing, while the remaining part was aging to a stationary phase. This strategy might improve long-term survival, thereby increasing the likelihood that the pathogen may be acquired by a vector and/or inoculated to a healthy plant. PMID:25636844

  1. Possible insect vectors of phytoplasmas affiliated with subgroups 16SrI-B, 16SrI-C, 16SrIII-B and 16SrIII-P in Lithuania

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Phytoplasma strains affiliated with groups 16SrI, 16SrIII, 16SrV, and 16SrXII have been found in Lithuania, but still little is known about insects that could transmit them. In this study, four phytoplasma strains belonging to phytoplasma subgroups 16SrI-B, 16SrI-C, 16SrIII-B and 16SrIII-P were id...

  2. Loop mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assay for detection of coconut root wilt disease and arecanut yellow leaf disease phytoplasma.

    PubMed

    Nair, Smita; Manimekalai, Ramaswamy; Ganga Raj, Palliyath; Hegde, Vinayaka

    2016-07-01

    The coconut root wilt disease (RWD) and the arecanut yellow leaf disease (YLD) are two major phytoplasma associated diseases affecting palms in South India. Greatly debilitating the palm health, these diseases cause substantial yield reduction and economic loss to farmers. A rapid and robust diagnostic technique is crucial in efficient disease management. We established phytoplasma 16S rDNA targeted loop mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) and real time LAMP based diagnostics for coconut RWD and arecanut YLD. The LAMP reaction was set at 65 °C and end point detection made using hydroxynaphthol blue (HNB) and agarose gel electrophoresis. Molecular typing of LAMP products were made with restriction enzyme HpyCH4 V. Conventional PCR with LAMP external primers and sequencing of amplicons was carried out. Real time LAMP was performed on the Genei II platform (Optigene Ltd., UK). An annealing curve analysis was programmed at the end of the incubation to check the fidelity of the amplicons. The phytoplasma positive samples produced typical ladder like bands on agarose gel, showed colour change from violet to blue with HNB and produced unique annealing peak at 85 ± 0.5 °C in the real time detection. Restriction digestion produced predicted size fragments. Sequencing and BLASTN analysis confirmed that the amplification corresponded to phytoplasma 16S rRNA gene. LAMP method devised here was found to be more robust compared to conventional nested PCR and hence has potential applications in detection of phytoplasma from symptomatic palm samples and in rapid screening of healthy seedlings. PMID:27263003

  3. Loop mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assay for detection of coconut root wilt disease and arecanut yellow leaf disease phytoplasma.

    PubMed

    Nair, Smita; Manimekalai, Ramaswamy; Ganga Raj, Palliyath; Hegde, Vinayaka

    2016-07-01

    The coconut root wilt disease (RWD) and the arecanut yellow leaf disease (YLD) are two major phytoplasma associated diseases affecting palms in South India. Greatly debilitating the palm health, these diseases cause substantial yield reduction and economic loss to farmers. A rapid and robust diagnostic technique is crucial in efficient disease management. We established phytoplasma 16S rDNA targeted loop mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) and real time LAMP based diagnostics for coconut RWD and arecanut YLD. The LAMP reaction was set at 65 °C and end point detection made using hydroxynaphthol blue (HNB) and agarose gel electrophoresis. Molecular typing of LAMP products were made with restriction enzyme HpyCH4 V. Conventional PCR with LAMP external primers and sequencing of amplicons was carried out. Real time LAMP was performed on the Genei II platform (Optigene Ltd., UK). An annealing curve analysis was programmed at the end of the incubation to check the fidelity of the amplicons. The phytoplasma positive samples produced typical ladder like bands on agarose gel, showed colour change from violet to blue with HNB and produced unique annealing peak at 85 ± 0.5 °C in the real time detection. Restriction digestion produced predicted size fragments. Sequencing and BLASTN analysis confirmed that the amplification corresponded to phytoplasma 16S rRNA gene. LAMP method devised here was found to be more robust compared to conventional nested PCR and hence has potential applications in detection of phytoplasma from symptomatic palm samples and in rapid screening of healthy seedlings.

  4. Biological Effects of Weak Electromagnetic Field on Healthy and Infected Lime (Citrus aurantifolia) Trees with Phytoplasma

    PubMed Central

    Abdollahi, Fatemeh; Niknam, Vahid; Ghanati, Faezeh; Masroor, Faribors; Noorbakhsh, Seyyed Nasr

    2012-01-01

    Exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF) has become an issue of concern for a great many people and is an active area of research. Phytoplasmas, also known as mycoplasma-like organisms, are wall-less prokaryotes that are pathogens of many plant species throughout the world. Effects of electromagnetic fields on the changes of lipid peroxidation, content of H2O2, proline, protein, and carbohydrates were investigated in leaves of two-year-old trees of lime (Citrus aurantifolia) infected by the Candidatus Phytoplasma aurantifoliae. The healthy and infected plants were discontinuously exposed to a 10 KHz quadratic EMF with maximum power of 9 W for 5 days, each 5 h, at 25°C. Fresh and dry weight of leaves, content of MDA, proline, and protein increased in both healthy and infected plants under electromagnetic fields, compared with those of the control plants. Electromagnetic fields decreased hydrogen peroxide and carbohydrates content in both healthy and infected plants compared to those of the controls. PMID:22649313

  5. Transcriptomics-based analysis using RNA-Seq of the coconut (Cocos nucifera) leaf in response to yellow decline phytoplasma infection.

    PubMed

    Nejat, Naghmeh; Cahill, David M; Vadamalai, Ganesan; Ziemann, Mark; Rookes, James; Naderali, Neda

    2015-10-01

    Invasive phytoplasmas wreak havoc on coconut palms worldwide, leading to high loss of income, food insecurity and extreme poverty of farmers in producing countries. Phytoplasmas as strictly biotrophic insect-transmitted bacterial pathogens instigate distinct changes in developmental processes and defence responses of the infected plants and manipulate plants to their own advantage; however, little is known about the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying host-phytoplasma interactions. Further, phytoplasma-mediated transcriptional alterations in coconut palm genes have not yet been identified. This study evaluated the whole transcriptome profiles of naturally infected leaves of Cocos nucifera ecotype Malayan Red Dwarf in response to yellow decline phytoplasma from group 16SrXIV, using RNA-Seq technique. Transcriptomics-based analysis reported here identified genes involved in coconut innate immunity. The number of down-regulated genes in response to phytoplasma infection exceeded the number of genes up-regulated. Of the 39,873 differentially expressed unigenes, 21,860 unigenes were suppressed and 18,013 were induced following infection. Comparative analysis revealed that genes associated with defence signalling against biotic stimuli were significantly overexpressed in phytoplasma-infected leaves versus healthy coconut leaves. Genes involving cell rescue and defence, cellular transport, oxidative stress, hormone stimulus and metabolism, photosynthesis reduction, transcription and biosynthesis of secondary metabolites were differentially represented. Our transcriptome analysis unveiled a core set of genes associated with defence of coconut in response to phytoplasma attack, although several novel defence response candidate genes with unknown function have also been identified. This study constitutes valuable sequence resource for uncovering the resistance genes and/or susceptibility genes which can be used as genetic tools in disease resistance breeding.

  6. Multiplex Real-Time qPCR Assay for Simultaneous and Sensitive Detection of Phytoplasmas in Sesame Plants and Insect Vectors

    PubMed Central

    Ikten, Cengiz; Ustun, Rustem; Catal, Mursel; Yol, Engin; Uzun, Bulent

    2016-01-01

    Phyllody, a destructive and economically important disease worldwide caused by phytoplasma infections, is characterized by the abnormal development of floral structures into stunted leafy parts and contributes to serious losses in crop plants, including sesame (Sesamum indicum L.). Accurate identification, differentiation, and quantification of phyllody-causing phytoplasmas are essential for effective management of this plant disease and for selection of resistant sesame varieties. In this study, a diagnostic multiplex qPCR assay was developed using TaqMan® chemistry based on detection of the 16S ribosomal RNA gene of phytoplasmas and the 18S ribosomal gene of sesame. Phytoplasma and sesame specific primers and probes labeled with different fluorescent dyes were used for simultaneous amplification of 16SrII and 16SrIX phytoplasmas in a single tube. The multiplex real-time qPCR assay allowed accurate detection, differentiation, and quantification of 16SrII and 16SrIX groups in 109 sesame plant and 92 insect vector samples tested. The assay was found to have a detection sensitivity of 1.8 x 102 and 1.6 x 102 DNA copies for absolute quantification of 16SrII and 16SrIX group phytoplasmas, respectively. Relative quantification was effective and reliable for determination of phyllody phytoplasma DNA amounts normalized to sesame DNA in infected plant tissues. The development of this qPCR assay provides a method for the rapid measurement of infection loads to identify resistance levels of sesame genotypes against phyllody phytoplasma disease. PMID:27195795

  7. Transcriptomics-based analysis using RNA-Seq of the coconut (Cocos nucifera) leaf in response to yellow decline phytoplasma infection.

    PubMed

    Nejat, Naghmeh; Cahill, David M; Vadamalai, Ganesan; Ziemann, Mark; Rookes, James; Naderali, Neda

    2015-10-01

    Invasive phytoplasmas wreak havoc on coconut palms worldwide, leading to high loss of income, food insecurity and extreme poverty of farmers in producing countries. Phytoplasmas as strictly biotrophic insect-transmitted bacterial pathogens instigate distinct changes in developmental processes and defence responses of the infected plants and manipulate plants to their own advantage; however, little is known about the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying host-phytoplasma interactions. Further, phytoplasma-mediated transcriptional alterations in coconut palm genes have not yet been identified. This study evaluated the whole transcriptome profiles of naturally infected leaves of Cocos nucifera ecotype Malayan Red Dwarf in response to yellow decline phytoplasma from group 16SrXIV, using RNA-Seq technique. Transcriptomics-based analysis reported here identified genes involved in coconut innate immunity. The number of down-regulated genes in response to phytoplasma infection exceeded the number of genes up-regulated. Of the 39,873 differentially expressed unigenes, 21,860 unigenes were suppressed and 18,013 were induced following infection. Comparative analysis revealed that genes associated with defence signalling against biotic stimuli were significantly overexpressed in phytoplasma-infected leaves versus healthy coconut leaves. Genes involving cell rescue and defence, cellular transport, oxidative stress, hormone stimulus and metabolism, photosynthesis reduction, transcription and biosynthesis of secondary metabolites were differentially represented. Our transcriptome analysis unveiled a core set of genes associated with defence of coconut in response to phytoplasma attack, although several novel defence response candidate genes with unknown function have also been identified. This study constitutes valuable sequence resource for uncovering the resistance genes and/or susceptibility genes which can be used as genetic tools in disease resistance breeding. PMID

  8. Multiplex Real-Time qPCR Assay for Simultaneous and Sensitive Detection of Phytoplasmas in Sesame Plants and Insect Vectors.

    PubMed

    Ikten, Cengiz; Ustun, Rustem; Catal, Mursel; Yol, Engin; Uzun, Bulent

    2016-01-01

    Phyllody, a destructive and economically important disease worldwide caused by phytoplasma infections, is characterized by the abnormal development of floral structures into stunted leafy parts and contributes to serious losses in crop plants, including sesame (Sesamum indicum L.). Accurate identification, differentiation, and quantification of phyllody-causing phytoplasmas are essential for effective management of this plant disease and for selection of resistant sesame varieties. In this study, a diagnostic multiplex qPCR assay was developed using TaqMan® chemistry based on detection of the 16S ribosomal RNA gene of phytoplasmas and the 18S ribosomal gene of sesame. Phytoplasma and sesame specific primers and probes labeled with different fluorescent dyes were used for simultaneous amplification of 16SrII and 16SrIX phytoplasmas in a single tube. The multiplex real-time qPCR assay allowed accurate detection, differentiation, and quantification of 16SrII and 16SrIX groups in 109 sesame plant and 92 insect vector samples tested. The assay was found to have a detection sensitivity of 1.8 x 102 and 1.6 x 102 DNA copies for absolute quantification of 16SrII and 16SrIX group phytoplasmas, respectively. Relative quantification was effective and reliable for determination of phyllody phytoplasma DNA amounts normalized to sesame DNA in infected plant tissues. The development of this qPCR assay provides a method for the rapid measurement of infection loads to identify resistance levels of sesame genotypes against phyllody phytoplasma disease. PMID:27195795

  9. A multiplex nested PCR assay for simultaneous detection of Corchorus golden mosaic virus and a phytoplasma in white jute (Corchorus capsularis L.).

    PubMed

    Biswas, C; Dey, P; Satpathy, S

    2013-05-01

    A multiplex nested PCR assay was developed by optimizing reaction components and reaction cycling parameters for simultaneous detection of Corchorus golden mosaic virus (CoGMV) and a phytoplasma (Group 16Sr V-C) causing little leaf and bunchy top in white jute (Corchorus capsularis). Three sets of specific primers viz. a CoGMV specific (DNA-A region) primer, a 16S rDNA universal primer pair P1/P7 and nested primer pair R16F2n/R2 for phytoplasmas were used. The concentrations of the PCR components such as primers, MgCl2 , Taq DNA polymerase, dNTPs and PCR conditions including annealing temperature and amplification cycles were examined and optimized. Expected fragments of 1 kb (CoGMV), 674 bp (phytoplasma) and 370 bp (nested R16F2n/R2) were successfully amplified by this multiplex nested PCR system ensuring simultaneous, sensitive and specific detection of the phytoplasma and the virus. The multiplex nested PCR provides a sensitive, rapid and low-cost method for simultaneous detection of jute little leaf phytoplasma and CoGMV. Based on BLASTn analyses, the phytoplasma was found to belong to the Group 16Sr V-C.

  10. A multiplex nested PCR assay for simultaneous detection of Corchorus golden mosaic virus and a phytoplasma in white jute (Corchorus capsularis L.).

    PubMed

    Biswas, C; Dey, P; Satpathy, S

    2013-05-01

    A multiplex nested PCR assay was developed by optimizing reaction components and reaction cycling parameters for simultaneous detection of Corchorus golden mosaic virus (CoGMV) and a phytoplasma (Group 16Sr V-C) causing little leaf and bunchy top in white jute (Corchorus capsularis). Three sets of specific primers viz. a CoGMV specific (DNA-A region) primer, a 16S rDNA universal primer pair P1/P7 and nested primer pair R16F2n/R2 for phytoplasmas were used. The concentrations of the PCR components such as primers, MgCl2 , Taq DNA polymerase, dNTPs and PCR conditions including annealing temperature and amplification cycles were examined and optimized. Expected fragments of 1 kb (CoGMV), 674 bp (phytoplasma) and 370 bp (nested R16F2n/R2) were successfully amplified by this multiplex nested PCR system ensuring simultaneous, sensitive and specific detection of the phytoplasma and the virus. The multiplex nested PCR provides a sensitive, rapid and low-cost method for simultaneous detection of jute little leaf phytoplasma and CoGMV. Based on BLASTn analyses, the phytoplasma was found to belong to the Group 16Sr V-C. PMID:23413927

  11. Metabolic regulation of phytoplasma malic enzyme and phosphotransacetylase supports the use of malate as an energy source in these plant pathogens.

    PubMed

    Saigo, Mariana; Golic, Adrián; Alvarez, Clarisa E; Andreo, Carlos S; Hogenhout, Saskia A; Mussi, María A; Drincovich, María F

    2014-12-01

    Phytoplasmas ('Candidatus Phytoplasma') are insect-vectored plant pathogens. The genomes of these bacteria are small with limited metabolic capacities making them dependent on their plant and insect hosts for survival. In contrast to mycoplasmas and other relatives in the class Mollicutes, phytoplasmas encode genes for malate transporters and malic enzyme (ME) for conversion of malate into pyruvate. It was hypothesized that malate is probably a major energy source for phytoplasmas as these bacteria are limited in the uptake and processing of carbohydrates. In this study, we investigated the metabolic capabilities of 'Candidatus (Ca.) phytoplasma' aster yellows witches'-broom (AYWB) malic enzyme (ME). We found that AYWB-ME has malate oxidative decarboxylation activity, being able to convert malate to pyruvate and CO2 with the reduction of either NAD or NADP, and displays distinctive kinetic mechanisms depending on the relative concentration of the substrates. AYWB-ME activity was strictly modulated by the ATP/ADP ratio, a feature which has not been found in other ME isoforms characterized to date. In addition, we found that the 'Ca. Phytoplasma' AYWB PduL-like enzyme (AYWB-PduL) harbours phosphotransacetylase activity, being able to convert acetyl-CoA to acetyl phosphate downstream of pyruvate. ATP also inhibited AYWB-PduL activity, as with AYWB-ME, and the product of the reaction catalysed by AYWB-PduL, acetyl phosphate, stimulated AYWB-ME activity. Overall, our data indicate that AYWB-ME and AYWB-PduL activities are finely coordinated by common metabolic signals, like ATP/ADP ratios and acetyl phosphate, which support their participation in energy (ATP) and reducing power [NAD(P)H] generation from malate in phytoplasmas.

  12. Herbal drug quality and phytochemical composition of Hypericum perforatum L. affected by ash yellows phytoplasma infection.

    PubMed

    Bruni, Renato; Pellati, Federica; Bellardi, Maria Grazia; Benvenuti, Stefania; Paltrinieri, Samanta; Bertaccini, Assunta; Bianchi, Alberto

    2005-02-23

    Qualitative/quantitative phytochemical variations were observed in dried flowering tops of cultivated Hypericum perforatum L. cv. Zorzi infected by phytoplasmas of the "ash yellows" class, identified by direct and nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR); this is the first report of ribosomial group 16SrVII phytoplasmas in St. John's Wort. Methanolic extracts of healthy and infected plants were separated by reversed phase high-performance liquid chromatography to quantify naphthodianthrones and flavonoids, while essential oils were analyzed by means of gas chromatography (GC)-GC/MS. The affected plants exhibited decreased amounts of rutin (1.96 +/- 0.23 vs 4.96 +/- 0.02 mg/g), hyperoside (2.38 +/- 0.21 vs 3.04 +/- 0.05 mg/g), isoquercitrin (1.47 +/- 0.04 vs 3.50 +/- 0.08 mg/g), amentoflavone (0.12 +/- 0.01 vs 0.39 +/- 0.02 mg/g), and pseudohypericin (1.41 +/- 0.23 vs 2.29 +/- 0.07 mg/g), whereas the chlorogenic acid content was doubled (1.56 +/- 0.11 vs 0.77 +/- 0.02 mg/g). Hypericin, quercitrin, and quercetin contents were not severely affected. The essential oil yield was drastically reduced in infected material (0.11 vs 0.75% in healthy material) and revealed an increased abundance of sesquiterpenes (beta-caryophyllene, delta-elemene, and germacrene D, in particular) and a matching decrease in monoterpene hydrocarbons and aliphatics. The consequences that the phytopathological condition of cultivated H. perforatum plants has on the commercial quality, market value, and therapeutic efficacy are outlined. PMID:15713006

  13. Genome wide sequence analysis grants unbiased definition of species boundaries in "Candidatus Phytoplasma".

    PubMed

    Firrao, Giuseppe; Martini, Marta; Ermacora, Paolo; Loi, Nazia; Torelli, Emanuela; Foissac, Xavier; Carle, Patricia; Kirkpatrick, Bruce C; Liefting, Lia; Schneider, Bernd; Marzachì, Cristina; Palmano, Sabrina

    2013-12-01

    The phytoplasmas are currently named using the Candidatus category, as the inability to grow them in vitro prevented (i) the performance of tests, such as DNA-DNA hybridization, that are regarded as necessary to establish species boundaries, and (ii) the deposition of type strains in culture collections. The recent accession to complete or nearly complete genome sequence information disclosed the opportunity to apply to the uncultivable phytoplasmas the same taxonomic approaches used for other bacteria. In this work, the genomes of 14 strains, belonging to the 16SrI, 16SrIII, 16SrV and 16SrX groups, including the species "Ca. P. asteris", "Ca. P. mali", "Ca. P. pyri", "Ca. P. pruni", and "Ca. P. australiense" were analyzed along with Acholeplasma laidlawi, to determine their taxonomic relatedness. Average nucleotide index (ANIm), tetranucleotide signature frequency correlation index (Tetra), and multilocus sequence analysis of 107 shared genes using both phylogenetic inference of concatenated (DNA and amino acid) sequences and consensus networks, were carried out. The results were in large agreement with the previously established 16S rDNA based classification schemes. Moreover, the taxonomic relationships within the 16SrI, 16SrIII and 16SrX groups, that represent clusters of strains whose relatedness could not be determined by 16SrDNA analysis, could be comparatively evaluated with non-subjective criteria. "Ca. P. mali" and "Ca. P. pyri" were found to meet the genome characteristics for the retention into two different, yet strictly related species; representatives of subgroups 16SrI-A and 16SrI-B were also found to meet the standards used in other bacteria to distinguish separate species; the genomes of the strains belonging to 16SrIII were found more closely related, suggesting that their subdivision into Candidatus species should be approached with caution.

  14. Plant-Pathogen Interaction, Circadian Rhythm, and Hormone-Related Gene Expression Provide Indicators of Phytoplasma Infection in Paulownia fortunei

    PubMed Central

    Fan, Guoqiang; Dong, Yanpeng; Deng, Minjie; Zhao, Zhenli; Niu, Suyan; Xu, Enkai

    2014-01-01

    Phytoplasmas are mycoplasma-like pathogens of witches’ broom disease, and are responsible for serious yield losses of Paulownia trees worldwide. The molecular mechanisms of disease development in Paulownia are of considerable interest, but still poorly understood. Here, we have applied transcriptome sequencing technology and a de novo assembly approach to analyze gene expression profiles in Paulownia fortunei infected by phytoplasmas. Our previous researches suggested that methyl methane sulfonated (MMS) could reverse the effects of the infection. In this study, leaf samples from healthy, infected, and both infected and methyl methane sulfonate treated plants were analyzed. The results showed that the gene expression profile of P. fortunei underwent dramatic changes after Paulownia witches’ broom (PaWB) phytoplasma infection. Genes that encoded key enzymes in plant-pathogen interaction processes were significantly up-regulated in the PaWB-infected Paulownia. Genes involved in circadian rhythm and hormone-related genes were also altered in Paulownia after PaWB infection. However, after the PaWB-infected plants were treated with MMS, the expression profiles of these genes returned to the levels in the healthy controls. The data will help identify potential PaWB disease-resistance genes that could be targeted to inhibit the growth and reproduction of the pathogen and to increase plant resistance. PMID:25514414

  15. Plant-pathogen interaction, circadian rhythm, and hormone-related gene expression provide indicators of phytoplasma infection in Paulownia fortunei.

    PubMed

    Fan, Guoqiang; Dong, Yanpeng; Deng, Minjie; Zhao, Zhenli; Niu, Suyan; Xu, Enkai

    2014-01-01

    Phytoplasmas are mycoplasma-like pathogens of witches' broom disease, and are responsible for serious yield losses of Paulownia trees worldwide. The molecular mechanisms of disease development in Paulownia are of considerable interest, but still poorly understood. Here, we have applied transcriptome sequencing technology and a de novo assembly approach to analyze gene expression profiles in Paulownia fortunei infected by phytoplasmas. Our previous researches suggested that methyl methane sulfonated (MMS) could reverse the effects of the infection. In this study, leaf samples from healthy, infected, and both infected and methyl methane sulfonate treated plants were analyzed. The results showed that the gene expression profile of P. fortunei underwent dramatic changes after Paulownia witches' broom (PaWB) phytoplasma infection. Genes that encoded key enzymes in plant-pathogen interaction processes were significantly up-regulated in the PaWB-infected Paulownia. Genes involved in circadian rhythm and hormone-related genes were also altered in Paulownia after PaWB infection. However, after the PaWB-infected plants were treated with MMS, the expression profiles of these genes returned to the levels in the healthy controls. The data will help identify potential PaWB disease-resistance genes that could be targeted to inhibit the growth and reproduction of the pathogen and to increase plant resistance. PMID:25514414

  16. Determining putative vectors of the Bogia Coconut Syndrome phytoplasma using loop-mediated isothermal amplification of single-insect feeding media

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Hengyu; Wilson, Bree A. L.; Ash, Gavin J.; Woruba, Sharon B.; Fletcher, Murray J.; You, Minsheng; Yang, Guang; Gurr, Geoff M.

    2016-01-01

    Phytoplasmas are insect vectored mollicutes responsible for disease in many economically important crops. Determining which insect species are vectors of a given phytoplasma is important for managing disease but is methodologically challenging because disease-free plants need to be exposed to large numbers of insects, often over many months. A relatively new method to detect likely transmission involves molecular testing for phytoplasma DNA in sucrose solution that insects have fed upon. In this study we combined this feeding medium method with a loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assay to study 627 insect specimens of 11 Hemiptera taxa sampled from sites in Papua New Guinea affected by Bogia coconut syndrome (BCS). The LAMP assay detected phytoplasma DNA from the feeding solution and head tissue of insects from six taxa belonging to four families: Derbidae, Lophopidae, Flatidae and Ricaniidae. Two other taxa yielded positives only from the heads and the remainder tested negative. These results demonstrate the utility of combining single-insect feeding medium tests with LAMP assays to identify putative vectors that can be the subject of transmission tests and to better understand phytoplasma pathosystems. PMID:27786249

  17. Selection of reference genes from two leafhopper species challenged by phytoplasma infection, for gene expression studies by RT-qPCR

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Phytoplasmas are phloem-limited phytopathogenic wall-less bacteria and represent a major threat to agriculture worldwide. They are transmitted in a persistent, propagative manner by phloem-sucking Hemipteran insects. For gene expression studies based on mRNA quantification by RT-qPCR, stability of housekeeping genes is crucial. The aim of this study was the identification of reference genes to study the effect of phytoplasma infection on gene expression of two leafhopper vector species. The identified reference genes will be useful tools to investigate differential gene expression of leafhopper vectors upon phytoplasma infection. Results The expression profiles of ribosomal 18S, actin, ATP synthase β, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) and tropomyosin were determined in two leafhopper vector species (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae), both healthy and infected by “Candidatus Phytoplasma asteris” (chrysanthemum yellows phytoplasma strain, CYP). Insects were analyzed at three different times post acquisition, and expression stabilities of the selected genes were evaluated with BestKeeper, geNorm and Normfinder algorithms. In Euscelidius variegatus, all genes under all treatments were stable and could serve as reference genes. In Macrosteles quadripunctulatus, BestKeeper and Normfinder analysis indicated ATP synthase β, tropomyosin and GAPDH as the most stable, whereas geNorm identified reliable genes only for early stages of infection. Conclusions In this study a validation of five candidate reference genes was performed with three algorithms, and housekeeping genes were identified for over time transcript profiling of two leafhopper vector species infected by CYP. This work set up an experimental system to study the molecular basis of phytoplasma multiplication in the insect body, in order to elucidate mechanisms of vector specificity. Most of the sequences provided in this study are new for leafhoppers, which are vectors of economically

  18. Group 16SrXI phytoplasma strains, including subgroup 16SrXI-B and a new subgroup, 16SrXI-D, are associated with sugar cane white leaf.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Rong-Yue; Li, Wen-Feng; Huang, Ying-Kun; Wang, Xiao-Yan; Shan, Hong-Li; Luo, Zhi-Ming; Yin, Jiong

    2016-01-01

    Sugar cane white leaf (SCWL) is a serious disease caused by phytoplasmas. In this study, we performed nested PCR with phytoplasma universal primer pairs (P1/P7 and R16F2n/R16R2) for the 16S rRNA gene to detect SCWL phytoplasmas in 31 SCWL samples collected from Baoshan and Lincang, Yunnan, China. We cloned and sequenced the nested PCR products, revealing that the 16S rRNA gene sequences from 31 SCWL samples were all 1247 bp in length and shared more than 99 % nucleotide sequence similarity with the 16S rRNA gene sequences of SCWL phytoplasmas from various countries. Based on the reported 16S rRNA gene sequence data from SCWL isolates of various countries, we conducted phylogenetic and virtual RFLP analysis. In the resulting phylogenetic tree, all SCWL isolates clustered into two branches, with the Lincang and Baoshan SCWL phytoplasma isolates belonging to different branches. The virtual RFLP patterns show that phytoplasmas of the Lincang branch belong to subgroup 16SrXI-B. However, the virtual RFLP patterns revealed by HaeIII digestion of phytoplasmas of the Baoshan branch differed from those of subgroup 16SrXI-B. According to the results of phylogenetic and virtual RFLP analysis, we propose that the phytoplasmas of the Baoshan branch represent a new subgroup, 16SrXI-D. These findings suggest that SCWL is caused by phytoplasmas from group 16SrXI, including subgroup 16SrXI-B and a new subgroup, 16SrXI-D. PMID:26508111

  19. Development of a Mild Viral Expression System for Gain-Of-Function Study of Phytoplasma Effector In Planta

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Li-Yu Daisy; Hong, Syuan-Fei; Yang, Chiao-Yin; Lo, Hsiao-Feng; Tseng, Ting-Yu; Chen, Wei-Yao; Lin, Shih-Shun

    2015-01-01

    PHYL1 and SAP54 are orthologs of pathogenic effectors of Aster yellow witches’-broom (AYWB) phytoplasma and Peanut witches’-broom (PnWB) phytoplasma, respectively. These effectors cause virescence and phyllody symptoms (hereafter leafy flower) in phytoplasma-infected plants. T0 lines of transgenic Arabidopsis expressing the PHYL1 or SAP54 genes (PHYL1 or SAP54 plants) show a leafy flower phenotype and result in seedless, suggesting that PHYL1 and SAP54 interfere with reproduction stage that restrict gain-of-function studies in the next generation of transgenic plants. Turnip mosaic virus (TuMV) mild strain (TuGK) has an Arg182Lys mutation in the helper-component proteinase (HC-ProR182K) that blocks suppression of the miRNA pathway and prevents symptom development in TuGK-infected plants. We exploited TuGK as a viral vector for gain-of-function studies of PHYL1 and SAP54 in Arabidopsis plants. TuGK-PHYL1- and TuGK-SAP54-infected Arabidopsis plants produced identical leafy flower phenotypes and similar gene expression profiles as PHYL1 and SAP54 plants. In addition, the leafy flower formation rate was enhanced in TuGK-PHYL1- or TuGK-SAP54-infected Arabidopsis plants that compared with the T0 lines of PHYL1 plants. These results provide more evidence and novel directions for further studying the mechanism of PHYL1/SAP54-mediated leafy flower development. In addition, the TuGK vector is a good alternative in transgenic plant approaches for rapid gene expression in gain-of-function studies. PMID:26076458

  20. A gene expression analysis of cell wall biosynthetic genes in Malus × domestica infected by ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma mali’

    PubMed Central

    Guerriero, Gea; Giorno, Filomena; Ciccotti, Anna Maria; Schmidt, Silvia; Baric, Sanja

    2016-01-01

    Apple proliferation (AP) represents a serious threat to several fruit-growing areas and is responsible for great economic losses. Several studies have highlighted the key role played by the cell wall in response to pathogen attack. The existence of a cell wall integrity signaling pathway which senses perturbations in the cell wall architecture upon abiotic/biotic stresses and activates specific defence responses has been widely demonstrated in plants. More recently a role played by cell wall-related genes has also been reported in plants infected by phytoplasmas. With the aim of shedding light on the cell wall response to AP disease in the economically relevant fruit-tree Malus × domestica Borkh., we investigated the expression of the cellulose (CesA) and callose synthase (CalS) genes in different organs (i.e., leaves, roots and branch phloem) of healthy and infected symptomatic outdoor-grown trees, sampled over the course of two time points (i.e., spring and autumn 2011), as well as in in vitro micropropagated control and infected plantlets. A strong up-regulation in the expression of cell wall biosynthetic genes was recorded in roots from infected trees. Secondary cell wall CesAs showed up-regulation in the phloem tissue from branches of infected plants, while either a down-regulation of some genes or no major changes were observed in the leaves. Micropropagated plantlets also showed an increase in cell wall-related genes and constitute a useful system for a general assessment of gene expression analysis upon phytoplasma infection. Finally, we also report the presence of several ‘knot’-like structures along the roots of infected apple trees and discuss the occurrence of this interesting phenotype in relation to the gene expression results and the modalities of phytoplasma diffusion. PMID:23086810

  1. Sympatric diversification vs. immigration: deciphering host-plant specialization in a polyphagous insect, the stolbur phytoplasma vector Hyalesthes obsoletus (Cixiidae).

    PubMed

    Imo, Miriam; Maixner, Michael; Johannesen, Jes

    2013-04-01

    The epidemiology of vector transmitted plant diseases is highly influenced by dispersal and the host-plant range of the vector. Widening the vector's host range may increase transmission potential, whereas specialization may induce specific disease cycles. The process leading to a vector's host shift and its epidemiological outcome is therefore embedded in the frameworks of sympatric evolution vs. immigration of preadapted populations. In this study, we analyse whether a host shift of the stolbur phytoplasma vector, Hyalesthes obsoletus from field bindweed to stinging nettle in its northern distribution range evolved sympatrically or by immigration. The exploitation of stinging nettle has led to outbreaks of the grapevine disease bois noir caused by a stinging nettle-specific phytoplasma strain. Microsatellite data from populations from northern and ancestral ranges provide strong evidence for sympatric host-race evolution in the northern range: Host-plant associated populations were significantly differentiated among syntopic sites (0.054 < F(HT) < 0.098) and constant over 5 years. While gene flow was asymmetric from the old into the predicted new host race, which had significantly reduced genetic diversity, the genetic identity between syntopic host-race populations in the northern range was higher than between these populations and syntopic populations in ancestral ranges, where there was no evidence for genetic host races. Although immigration was detected in the northern field bindweed population, it cannot explain host-race diversification but suggests the introduction of a stinging nettle-specific phytoplasma strain by plant-unspecific vectors. The evolution of host races in the northern range has led to specific vector-based bois noir disease cycles.

  2. An abundant 'Candidatus Phytoplasma solani' tuf b strain is associated with grapevine, stinging nettle and Hyalesthes obsoletus.

    PubMed

    Aryan, A; Brader, G; Mörtel, J; Pastar, M; Riedle-Bauer, M

    2014-10-01

    Bois noir (BN) associated with 'Candidatus Phytoplasma solani' (Stolbur) is regularly found in Austrian vine growing regions. Investigations between 2003 and 2008 indicated sporadic presence of the confirmed disease vector Hyalesthes obsoletus and frequent infections of bindweed and grapevine. Infections of nettles were rare. In contrast present investigations revealed a mass occurrence of H. obsoletus almost exclusively on stinging nettle. The high population densities of H. obsoletus on Urtica dioica were accompanied by frequent occurrence of 'Ca. P. solani' in nettles and planthoppers. Sequence analysis of the molecular markers secY, stamp, tuf and vmp1 of stolbur revealed a single genotype named CPsM4_At1 in stinging nettles and more than 64 and 90 % abundance in grapevine and H. obsoletus, respectively. Interestingly, this genotype showed tuf b type restriction pattern previously attributed to bindweed associated 'Ca. P. solani' strains, but a different sequence assigned as tuf b2 compared to reference tuf b strains. All other marker genes of CPsM4_At1 clustered with tuf a and nettle derived genotypes verifying distinct nettle phytoplasma genotypes. Transmission experiments with H. obsoletus and Anaceratagallia ribauti resulted in successful transmission of five different strains including the major genotype to Catharanthus roseus and in transmission of the major genotype to U. dioica. Altogether, five nettle and nine bindweed associated genotypes were described. Bindweed types were verified in 34 % of grapevine samples, in few positive Reptalus panzeri, rarely in bindweeds and occasionally in Catharanthus roseus infected by H. obsoletus or A. ribauti. 'Candidatus Phytoplasma convolvuli' (bindweed yellows) was ascertained in nettle and bindweed samples. PMID:25309042

  3. Sympatric diversification vs. immigration: deciphering host-plant specialization in a polyphagous insect, the stolbur phytoplasma vector Hyalesthes obsoletus (Cixiidae).

    PubMed

    Imo, Miriam; Maixner, Michael; Johannesen, Jes

    2013-04-01

    The epidemiology of vector transmitted plant diseases is highly influenced by dispersal and the host-plant range of the vector. Widening the vector's host range may increase transmission potential, whereas specialization may induce specific disease cycles. The process leading to a vector's host shift and its epidemiological outcome is therefore embedded in the frameworks of sympatric evolution vs. immigration of preadapted populations. In this study, we analyse whether a host shift of the stolbur phytoplasma vector, Hyalesthes obsoletus from field bindweed to stinging nettle in its northern distribution range evolved sympatrically or by immigration. The exploitation of stinging nettle has led to outbreaks of the grapevine disease bois noir caused by a stinging nettle-specific phytoplasma strain. Microsatellite data from populations from northern and ancestral ranges provide strong evidence for sympatric host-race evolution in the northern range: Host-plant associated populations were significantly differentiated among syntopic sites (0.054 < F(HT) < 0.098) and constant over 5 years. While gene flow was asymmetric from the old into the predicted new host race, which had significantly reduced genetic diversity, the genetic identity between syntopic host-race populations in the northern range was higher than between these populations and syntopic populations in ancestral ranges, where there was no evidence for genetic host races. Although immigration was detected in the northern field bindweed population, it cannot explain host-race diversification but suggests the introduction of a stinging nettle-specific phytoplasma strain by plant-unspecific vectors. The evolution of host races in the northern range has led to specific vector-based bois noir disease cycles. PMID:23452165

  4. Draft Genome Sequence of a 16SrII-A Subgroup Phytoplasma Associated with Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) Witches' Broom Disease in Taiwan.

    PubMed

    Chang, Shu-Heng; Cho, Shu-Ting; Chen, Chung-Li; Yang, Jun-Yi; Kuo, Chih-Horng

    2015-11-25

    The bacterial genus "Candidatus Phytoplasma" contains a group of insect-transmitted plant pathogens in the class Mollicutes. Here, we report a draft genome assembly and annotation of strain NCHU2014, which belongs to the 16SrII-A subgroup within this genus and is associated with purple coneflower witches' broom disease in Taiwan.

  5. ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma palmicola’, a novel taxon associated with a lethal yellowing-type disease (LYD) of coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) in Mozambique

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In this study, the taxonomic position and group classification of the phytoplasma associated with a lethal yellowing-type disease (LYD) of coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) in Mozambique were addressed. Pairwise sequence similarity values based on alignment of near full-length 16SrRNA genes (1530 bp) reve...

  6. First Report of a New Phytoplasma Subgroup, 16SrIII-S, Associated with Decline Disease Affecting Sweet and Sour Cherry Trees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    During July 2007, we observed sweet cherry (Prunus avium) and sour cherry (Prunus cerasus) trees exhibiting disease symptoms suggestive of possible phytoplasma infection in a large orchard in the Kaunas region of Lithuania. Samples of leaf tissue were collected from sweet cherry trees that were aff...

  7. Phytoplasma PMU1 exists as linear chromosomal and circular extrachromosomal elements and has enhanced expression in insect vectors compared with plant hosts.

    PubMed

    Toruño, Tania Y; Musić, Martina Seruga; Simi, Silvia; Nicolaisen, Mogens; Hogenhout, Saskia A

    2010-09-01

    Phytoplasmas replicate intracellularly in plants and insects and are dependent on both hosts for dissemination in nature. Phytoplasmas have small genomes lacking genes for major metabolic pathways. Nevertheless, their genomes harbour multicopy gene clusters that were named potential mobile units (PMUs). PMU1 is the largest most complete repeat among the PMUs in the genome of Aster Yellows phytoplasma strain Witches' Broom (AY-WB). PMU1 is c. 20 kb in size and contains 21 genes encoding DNA replication and predicted membrane-targeted proteins. Here we show that AY-WB has a chromosomal linear PMU1 (L-PMU1) and an extrachromosomal circular PMU1 (C-PMU1). The C-PMU1 copy number was consistently higher by in average approximately fivefold in insects compared with plants and PMU1 gene expression levels were also considerably higher in insects indicating that C-PMU1 synthesis and expression are regulated. We found that the majority of AY-WB virulence genes lie on chromosomal PMU regions that have similar gene content and organization as PMU1 providing evidence that PMUs contribute to phytoplasma host adaptation and have integrated into the AY-WB chromosome.

  8. Identification of microRNAs and their targets in Paulownia fortunei plants free from phytoplasma pathogen after methyl methane sulfonate treatment.

    PubMed

    Fan, Guoqiang; Niu, Suyan; Zhao, Zhenli; Deng, Minjie; Xu, Enkai; Wang, Yuanlong; Yang, Lu

    2016-08-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play major roles in plant responses to various biotic and abiotic stresses by regulating gene expression at the transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels. Paulownia witches' broom (PaWB) disease caused by phytoplasmas reduces Paulownia production worldwide. In this study, we investigated the miRNA-mediated plant response to PaWB phytoplasma by Illumina sequencing and degradome analysis of Paulownia fortunei small RNAs (sRNAs). The sRNA and degradome libraries were constructed from healthy and diseased P. fortunei plants and the plants free from phytoplasma pathogen after 60 mg L(-1) methyl methane sulfonate treatment. A total of 96 P. fortunei-conserved miRNAs and 83 putative novel miRNAs were identified. Among them, 37 miRNAs (17 conserved, 20 novel) were found to be differentially expressed in response to PaWB phytoplasma infection. In addition, 114 target genes for 18 of the conserved miRNA families and 33 target genes for 15 of the novel miRNAs in P. fortunei were detected. The expression patterns of 14 of the PaWB phytoplasma-responsive miRNAs and 12 target genes were determined by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) experiments. A functional analysis of the miRNA targets indicated that these targeted genes may regulate transcription, stress response, nitrogen metabolism, and various other activities. Our results will help identify the potential roles of miRNAs involved in protecting P. fortunei from diseases. PMID:27328782

  9. Identification of microRNAs and their targets in Paulownia fortunei plants free from phytoplasma pathogen after methyl methane sulfonate treatment.

    PubMed

    Fan, Guoqiang; Niu, Suyan; Zhao, Zhenli; Deng, Minjie; Xu, Enkai; Wang, Yuanlong; Yang, Lu

    2016-08-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play major roles in plant responses to various biotic and abiotic stresses by regulating gene expression at the transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels. Paulownia witches' broom (PaWB) disease caused by phytoplasmas reduces Paulownia production worldwide. In this study, we investigated the miRNA-mediated plant response to PaWB phytoplasma by Illumina sequencing and degradome analysis of Paulownia fortunei small RNAs (sRNAs). The sRNA and degradome libraries were constructed from healthy and diseased P. fortunei plants and the plants free from phytoplasma pathogen after 60 mg L(-1) methyl methane sulfonate treatment. A total of 96 P. fortunei-conserved miRNAs and 83 putative novel miRNAs were identified. Among them, 37 miRNAs (17 conserved, 20 novel) were found to be differentially expressed in response to PaWB phytoplasma infection. In addition, 114 target genes for 18 of the conserved miRNA families and 33 target genes for 15 of the novel miRNAs in P. fortunei were detected. The expression patterns of 14 of the PaWB phytoplasma-responsive miRNAs and 12 target genes were determined by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) experiments. A functional analysis of the miRNA targets indicated that these targeted genes may regulate transcription, stress response, nitrogen metabolism, and various other activities. Our results will help identify the potential roles of miRNAs involved in protecting P. fortunei from diseases.

  10. Isolation and characterization of the ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter system genes from loofah witches' broom phytoplasma.

    PubMed

    Huang, Chun-Lin; Ho, Kuo-Chieh

    2007-10-01

    A clone containing a 3903 bp EcoRI-restriction fragment was obtained from a lambda(ZAP) genomic library of loofah witches' broom (LfWB) phytoplasma by plaque hybridization using a PCR fragment as a probe. Sequence analysis revealed that this fragment contained three open reading frames (ORFs). The deduced amino acid sequences of ORF 1 and ORF 2 showed a high homology with the ATP-binding proteins of the ABC transporter system genes of prokaryotes and eukaryotes, and encoded proteins with a molecular mass of 36 and 30 kDa, respectively. Based on amino acid sequence similarity, secondary structure, hydrophilicity and a signal peptide sequence at the N-terminus, we predicted that ORF 3 might encode a specific solute-binding prolipoprotein of the ABC transporter system with a molecular mass of 62 kDa. The cleavage site of this prolipoprotein signal peptide was similar to those of gram-positive bacteria. In addition to nutrient uptake, ABC transporter systems of bacteria also play a role in signal transduction, drug-resistance and perhaps virulence. The possible implications of the system to the survival and the pathogenesis of phytoplasma were discussed.

  11. Involvement of plasma membrane peroxidases and oxylipin pathway in the recovery from phytoplasma disease in apple (Malus domestica).

    PubMed

    Patui, Sonia; Bertolini, Alberto; Clincon, Luisa; Ermacora, Paolo; Braidot, Enrico; Vianello, Angelo; Zancani, Marco

    2013-06-01

    Apple trees (Malus domestica Borkh.) may be affected by apple proliferation (AP), caused by 'Candidatus Phytoplasma mali'. Some plants can spontaneously recover from the disease, which implies the disappearance of symptoms through a phenomenon known as recovery. In this article it is shown that NAD(P)H peroxidases of leaf plasma membrane-enriched fractions exhibited a higher activity in samples from both AP-diseased and recovered plants. In addition, an increase in endogenous SA was characteristic of the symptomatic plants, since its content increased in samples obtained from diseased apple trees. In agreement, phenylalanine ammonia lyase (PAL) activity, a key enzyme of the phenylpropanoid pathway, was increased too. Jasmonic acid (JA) increased only during recovery, in a phase subsequent to the pathological state, and in concomitance to a decline of salicylic acid (SA). Oxylipin pathway, responsible for JA synthesis, was not induced during the development of AP-disease, but it appeared to be stimulated when the recovery occurred. Accordingly, lipoxygenase (LOX) activity, detected in plasma membrane-enriched fractions, showed an increase in apple leaves obtained from recovered plants. This enhancement was paralleled by an increase of hydroperoxide lyase (HPL) activity, detected in leaf microsomes, albeit the latter enzyme was activated in either the disease or recovery conditions. Hence, a reciprocal antagonism between SA- and JA-pathways could be suggested as an effective mechanism by which apple plants react to phytoplasma invasions, thereby providing a suitable defense response leading to the establishment of the recovery phenomenon.

  12. Genetic Variability of Stolbur Phytoplasma in Hyalesthes obsoletus (Hemiptera: Cixiidae) and its Main Host Plants in Vineyard Agroecosystems.

    PubMed

    Landi, Lucia; Riolo, Paola; Murolo, Sergio; Romanazzi, Gianfranco; Nardi, Sandro; Isidoro, Nunzio

    2015-08-01

    Bois noir is an economically important grapevine yellows that is induced by 'Candidatus Phytoplasma solani' and principally vectored by the planthopper Hyalesthes obsoletus Signoret (Hemiptera: Cixiidae). This study explores the 'Ca. P. solani' genetic variability associated to the nettle-H. obsoletus and bindweed-H. obsoletus systems in vineyard agroecosystems of the central-eastern Italy. Molecular characterization of 'Ca. P. solani' isolates was carried out using polymerase chain reaction/restriction fragment length polymorphism to investigate the nonribosomal vmp1 gene. Seven phytoplasma vmp-types were detected among the host plants- and insect-associated field-collected samples. The vmp1 gene showed the highest polymorphism in the bindweed-H. obsoletus system, according to restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis, which is in agreement with nucleotide sequence analysis. Five vmp-types were associated with H. obsoletus from bindweed, of which one was solely restricted to planthoppers, with one genotype also in planthoppers from nettle. Type V12 was the most prevalent in both planthoppers and bindweed. H. obsoletus from nettle harbored three vmp-types, of which V3 was predominant. V3 was the only type detected for nettle. Our data demonstrate that planthoppers might have acquired some 'Ca. P. solani' profiles from other plant hosts before landing on nettle or bindweed. Overall, the different vmp1 gene rearrangements observed in these two plant hosts-H. obsoletus systems might represent different adaptations of the pathogen to the two host plants. Molecular information about the complex of vmp-types provides useful data for better understanding of Bois noir epidemiology in vineyard agroecosystem.

  13. Genetic Variability of Stolbur Phytoplasma in Hyalesthes obsoletus (Hemiptera: Cixiidae) and its Main Host Plants in Vineyard Agroecosystems.

    PubMed

    Landi, Lucia; Riolo, Paola; Murolo, Sergio; Romanazzi, Gianfranco; Nardi, Sandro; Isidoro, Nunzio

    2015-08-01

    Bois noir is an economically important grapevine yellows that is induced by 'Candidatus Phytoplasma solani' and principally vectored by the planthopper Hyalesthes obsoletus Signoret (Hemiptera: Cixiidae). This study explores the 'Ca. P. solani' genetic variability associated to the nettle-H. obsoletus and bindweed-H. obsoletus systems in vineyard agroecosystems of the central-eastern Italy. Molecular characterization of 'Ca. P. solani' isolates was carried out using polymerase chain reaction/restriction fragment length polymorphism to investigate the nonribosomal vmp1 gene. Seven phytoplasma vmp-types were detected among the host plants- and insect-associated field-collected samples. The vmp1 gene showed the highest polymorphism in the bindweed-H. obsoletus system, according to restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis, which is in agreement with nucleotide sequence analysis. Five vmp-types were associated with H. obsoletus from bindweed, of which one was solely restricted to planthoppers, with one genotype also in planthoppers from nettle. Type V12 was the most prevalent in both planthoppers and bindweed. H. obsoletus from nettle harbored three vmp-types, of which V3 was predominant. V3 was the only type detected for nettle. Our data demonstrate that planthoppers might have acquired some 'Ca. P. solani' profiles from other plant hosts before landing on nettle or bindweed. Overall, the different vmp1 gene rearrangements observed in these two plant hosts-H. obsoletus systems might represent different adaptations of the pathogen to the two host plants. Molecular information about the complex of vmp-types provides useful data for better understanding of Bois noir epidemiology in vineyard agroecosystem. PMID:26470289

  14. Phytoplasma Effector SAP54 Hijacks Plant Reproduction by Degrading MADS-box Proteins and Promotes Insect Colonization in a RAD23-Dependent Manner

    PubMed Central

    MacLean, Allyson M.; Orlovskis, Zigmunds; Kowitwanich, Krissana; Zdziarska, Anna M.; Angenent, Gerco C.; Immink, Richard G. H.; Hogenhout, Saskia A.

    2014-01-01

    Pathogens that rely upon multiple hosts to complete their life cycles often modify behavior and development of these hosts to coerce them into improving pathogen fitness. However, few studies describe mechanisms underlying host coercion. In this study, we elucidate the mechanism by which an insect-transmitted pathogen of plants alters floral development to convert flowers into vegetative tissues. We find that phytoplasma produce a novel effector protein (SAP54) that interacts with members of the MADS-domain transcription factor (MTF) family, including key regulators SEPALLATA3 and APETALA1, that occupy central positions in the regulation of floral development. SAP54 mediates degradation of MTFs by interacting with proteins of the RADIATION SENSITIVE23 (RAD23) family, eukaryotic proteins that shuttle substrates to the proteasome. Arabidopsis rad23 mutants do not show conversion of flowers into leaf-like tissues in the presence of SAP54 and during phytoplasma infection, emphasizing the importance of RAD23 to the activity of SAP54. Remarkably, plants with SAP54-induced leaf-like flowers are more attractive for colonization by phytoplasma leafhopper vectors and this colonization preference is dependent on RAD23. An effector that targets and suppresses flowering while simultaneously promoting insect herbivore colonization is unprecedented. Moreover, RAD23 proteins have, to our knowledge, no known roles in flower development, nor plant defence mechanisms against insects. Thus SAP54 generates a short circuit between two key pathways of the host to alter development, resulting in sterile plants, and promotes attractiveness of these plants to leafhopper vectors helping the obligate phytoplasmas reproduce and propagate (zombie plants). PMID:24714165

  15. Phytoplasma effector SAP54 hijacks plant reproduction by degrading MADS-box proteins and promotes insect colonization in a RAD23-dependent manner.

    PubMed

    MacLean, Allyson M; Orlovskis, Zigmunds; Kowitwanich, Krissana; Zdziarska, Anna M; Angenent, Gerco C; Immink, Richard G H; Hogenhout, Saskia A

    2014-04-01

    Pathogens that rely upon multiple hosts to complete their life cycles often modify behavior and development of these hosts to coerce them into improving pathogen fitness. However, few studies describe mechanisms underlying host coercion. In this study, we elucidate the mechanism by which an insect-transmitted pathogen of plants alters floral development to convert flowers into vegetative tissues. We find that phytoplasma produce a novel effector protein (SAP54) that interacts with members of the MADS-domain transcription factor (MTF) family, including key regulators SEPALLATA3 and APETALA1, that occupy central positions in the regulation of floral development. SAP54 mediates degradation of MTFs by interacting with proteins of the RADIATION SENSITIVE23 (RAD23) family, eukaryotic proteins that shuttle substrates to the proteasome. Arabidopsis rad23 mutants do not show conversion of flowers into leaf-like tissues in the presence of SAP54 and during phytoplasma infection, emphasizing the importance of RAD23 to the activity of SAP54. Remarkably, plants with SAP54-induced leaf-like flowers are more attractive for colonization by phytoplasma leafhopper vectors and this colonization preference is dependent on RAD23. An effector that targets and suppresses flowering while simultaneously promoting insect herbivore colonization is unprecedented. Moreover, RAD23 proteins have, to our knowledge, no known roles in flower development, nor plant defence mechanisms against insects. Thus SAP54 generates a short circuit between two key pathways of the host to alter development, resulting in sterile plants, and promotes attractiveness of these plants to leafhopper vectors helping the obligate phytoplasmas reproduce and propagate (zombie plants). PMID:24714165

  16. Plant-Pathogen Interaction-Related MicroRNAs and Their Targets Provide Indicators of Phytoplasma Infection in Paulownia tomentosa × Paulownia fortunei.

    PubMed

    Fan, Guoqiang; Niu, Suyan; Xu, Tong; Deng, Minjie; Zhao, Zhenli; Wang, Yuanlong; Cao, Lin; Wang, Zhe

    2015-01-01

    Paulownia witches' broom (PaWB) caused by a phytoplasma, has caused extensive losses in the yields of paulownia timber and resulted in significant economic losses. However, the molecular mechanisms in Paulownia that underlie the phytoplasma stress are poorly characterized. In this study, we use an Illumina platform to sequence four small RNA libraries and four degradome sequencing libraries derived from healthy, PaWB-infected, and PaWB-infected 15 mg·L-1 and 30 mg·L-1 methyl methane sulfonate (MMS)-treated plants. In total, 125 conserved and 118 novel microRNAs (miRNAs) were identified and 33 miRNAs responsive to PaWB disease were discovered. Furthermore, 166 target genes for 18 PaWB disease-related miRNAs were obtained, and found to be involved in plant-pathogen interaction and plant hormone signal transduction metabolic pathways. Eleven miRNAs and target genes responsive to PaWB disease were examined by a quantitative real-time PCR approach. Our findings will contribute to studies on miRNAs and their targets in Paulownia, and provide new insights to further understand plant-phytoplasma interactions. PMID:26484670

  17. Plant–Pathogen Interaction-Related MicroRNAs and Their Targets Provide Indicators of Phytoplasma Infection in Paulownia tomentosa × Paulownia fortunei

    PubMed Central

    Fan, Guoqiang; Niu, Suyan; Xu, Tong; Deng, Minjie; Zhao, Zhenli; Wang, Yuanlong; Cao, Lin; Wang, Zhe

    2015-01-01

    Paulownia witches’ broom (PaWB) caused by a phytoplasma, has caused extensive losses in the yields of paulownia timber and resulted in significant economic losses. However, the molecular mechanisms in Paulownia that underlie the phytoplasma stress are poorly characterized. In this study, we use an Illumina platform to sequence four small RNA libraries and four degradome sequencing libraries derived from healthy, PaWB-infected, and PaWB-infected 15 mg·L−1 and 30 mg·L−1 methyl methane sulfonate (MMS)-treated plants. In total, 125 conserved and 118 novel microRNAs (miRNAs) were identified and 33 miRNAs responsive to PaWB disease were discovered. Furthermore, 166 target genes for 18 PaWB disease-related miRNAs were obtained, and found to be involved in plant-pathogen interaction and plant hormone signal transduction metabolic pathways. Eleven miRNAs and target genes responsive to PaWB disease were examined by a quantitative real-time PCR approach. Our findings will contribute to studies on miRNAs and their targets in Paulownia, and provide new insights to further understand plant-phytoplasma interactions. PMID:26484670

  18. [Evaluation of trap color and position on the capture of cicadellids in Gaultheria phillyreifolia (Ericaceae) affected by phytoplasmas].

    PubMed

    Arismendi, Nolberto; Carrillo, Roberto; Andrade, Nancy; Riegel, Ricardo; Rojas, Eladio

    2009-01-01

    Color sticky traps are one of the main alternatives to collect insect vectors, as they are easy to handle and are inexpensive. We aimed to compare the effect of color and height of the traps on the attractiveness to potential cicadellids vectors of plant pathogens. Yellow and green colored stick traps were placed at two different heights in plant of Gaultheria phillyreifolia. Seventeen leafhopper species were identified, with Ribautiana tenerrima Herrich-Shäffer (49%), Carelmapu ramosi Linnavuori & DeLong (33%), Carelmapu aurionitens Linnavuori (5%) and Atanus sp. (6%) being the most common. All these species were significantly attracted by yellow sticky traps. Ribautiana tenerrima was the only species affected by the height of the sticky traps. However, this was also dependent on the sampling season. The phytoplasma vector candidate, C. ramosi, showed two population peaks in early and late summer, which may indicate two different generations. Males of this species were more abundant than females on sticky traps, but were both similarly attracted to yellow sticky traps. No differences were detected in the capture efficiency of both sexes at any height of the traps. The high proportion of C. ramosi captured suggests that the yellow sticky traps can be an important element for monitoring this species.

  19. Metabolic Consequences of Infection of Grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.) cv. "Modra frankinja" with Flavescence Dorée Phytoplasma.

    PubMed

    Prezelj, Nina; Covington, Elizabeth; Roitsch, Thomas; Gruden, Kristina; Fragner, Lena; Weckwerth, Wolfram; Chersicola, Marko; Vodopivec, Maja; Dermastia, Marina

    2016-01-01

    Flavescence dorée, caused by the quarantine phytoplasma FDp, represents the most devastating of the grapevine yellows diseases in Europe. In an integrated study we have explored the FDp-grapevine interaction in infected grapevines of cv. "Modra frankinja" under natural conditions in the vineyard. In FDp-infected leaf vein-enriched tissues, the seasonal transcriptional profiles of 14 genes selected from various metabolic pathways showed an FDp-specific plant response compared to other grapevine yellows and uncovered a new association of the SWEET17a vacuolar transporter of fructose with pathogens. Non-targeted metabolome analysis from leaf vein-enriched tissues identified 22 significantly changed compounds with increased levels during infection. Several metabolites corroborated the gene expression study. Detailed investigation of the dynamics of carbohydrate metabolism revealed significant accumulation of sucrose and starch in the mesophyll of FDp-infected leaves, as well as significant up-regulation of genes involved in their biosynthesis. In addition, infected leaves had high activities of ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase and, more significantly, sucrose synthase. The data support the conclusion that FDp infection inhibits phloem transport, resulting in accumulation of carbohydrates and secondary metabolites that provoke a source-sink transition and defense response status. PMID:27242887

  20. Unraveling the etiology of North American grapevine yellows (NAGY): multilocus genotyping and structural analysis of secY proteins distinguish NAGYIII phytoplasma strains from strains causing X-disease

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    North American grapevine yellows (NAGY) disease has sometimes been ascribed to infection of Vitis vinifera L. by X-disease phytoplasma, but the accuracy of this attribution has remained open to question. In the present study of NAGY etiology, the disease was discovered in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Oh...

  1. 'Candidatus Phytoplasmas pruni', a novel taxon associated with X-disease of stone fruits, Prunus spp.: multilocus characterization based on 16S rRNA, secY, and ribosomal protein genes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    X-disease is one of the most serious diseases known in peach (Prunus persica). Based on RFLP analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences, peach X-disease phytoplasma strains from eastern and western United States and eastern Canada were classified in 16S rDNA RFLP group 16SrIII, subgroup A. Phylogenetic a...

  2. Agent Orange

    MedlinePlus

    ... Index Agent Orange Agent Orange Home Facts about Herbicides Veterans' Diseases Birth Defects Benefits Exposure Locations Provider ... millions of gallons of Agent Orange and other herbicides on trees and vegetation during the Vietnam War. ...

  3. A Rapid Protocol of Crude RNA/DNA Extraction for RT-qPCR Detection and Quantification of 'Candidatus Phytoplasma prunorum'

    PubMed Central

    Minguzzi, Stefano; Terlizzi, Federica; Lanzoni, Chiara; Poggi Pollini, Carlo; Ratti, Claudio

    2016-01-01

    Many efforts have been made to develop a rapid and sensitive method for phytoplasma and virus detection. Taking our cue from previous works, different rapid sample preparation methods have been tested and applied to Candidatus Phytoplasma prunorum (‘Ca. P. prunorum’) detection by RT-qPCR. A duplex RT-qPCR has been optimized using the crude sap as a template to simultaneously amplify a fragment of 16S rRNA of the pathogen and 18S rRNA of the host plant. The specific plant 18S rRNA internal control allows comparison and relative quantification of samples. A comparison between DNA and RNA contribution to qPCR detection is provided, showing higher contribution of the latter. The method presented here has been validated on more than a hundred samples of apricot, plum and peach trees. Since 2013, this method has been successfully applied to monitor ‘Ca. P. prunorum’ infections in field and nursery. A triplex RT-qPCR assay has also been optimized to simultaneously detect ‘Ca. P. prunorum’ and Plum pox virus (PPV) in Prunus. PMID:26742106

  4. A Rapid Protocol of Crude RNA/DNA Extraction for RT-qPCR Detection and Quantification of 'Candidatus Phytoplasma prunorum'.

    PubMed

    Minguzzi, Stefano; Terlizzi, Federica; Lanzoni, Chiara; Poggi Pollini, Carlo; Ratti, Claudio

    2016-01-01

    Many efforts have been made to develop a rapid and sensitive method for phytoplasma and virus detection. Taking our cue from previous works, different rapid sample preparation methods have been tested and applied to Candidatus Phytoplasma prunorum ('Ca. P. prunorum') detection by RT-qPCR. A duplex RT-qPCR has been optimized using the crude sap as a template to simultaneously amplify a fragment of 16S rRNA of the pathogen and 18S rRNA of the host plant. The specific plant 18S rRNA internal control allows comparison and relative quantification of samples. A comparison between DNA and RNA contribution to qPCR detection is provided, showing higher contribution of the latter. The method presented here has been validated on more than a hundred samples of apricot, plum and peach trees. Since 2013, this method has been successfully applied to monitor 'Ca. P. prunorum' infections in field and nursery. A triplex RT-qPCR assay has also been optimized to simultaneously detect 'Ca. P. prunorum' and Plum pox virus (PPV) in Prunus. PMID:26742106

  5. Toward immunomodulation of witches broom disease of lime (WBDL) by targeting immunodominant membrane protein (IMP) of candidatus Phytoplasma aurantifolia.

    PubMed

    Shahryari, F; Safarnejad, M R; Shams-Bakhsh, M; Jouzani, G R Salehi

    2010-01-01

    The witches' broom disease of lime (WBDL) caused by Candidatus Phytoplasma aurantifolia is the most devastating disease of acidian lime in southern part of Iran as it destroy thousands of trees yearly throughout these regions. Traditional methods such as eradication of infected trees and insect vector control have shown limited effect on this case. Therefore, alternative approaches such as plantibody-mediated resistance, have been considered. Throughout present study we prepared sufficient amount of antigen that is required for generation of specific monoclonal recombinant antibodies against Immunodominant membrane protein (IMP) which will be exploited for plantibody-mediated resistance approach. The gene encoding IMP protein was obtained by PCR amplification using specific primers and DNA extracted from the infected plants. Amplified fragment was then inserted into T/A cloning vector. Intact clones containing the right sequence was selected after digestion, PCR amplification and subsequent sequencing analysis. IMP encoding region having the right sequence was sub-cloned into pET28a bacterial expression vector. Large scale expression of His tagged recombinant protein was performed in the BL21-de3 strain of E. coli and purification under native conditions was carried out through immobilized metal ion affinity chromatography (IMAC) in a column containing Ni-NTA agarose beads. Successful expression and purification steps were confirmed by SDS-PAGE and western blotting analyses. The results obtained indicated the successful production of about 18 mg purified recombinant IMP protein with a low level of contamination in one liter cultured medium. Finally the purified protein was dialyzed in phosphate saline buffer and applied for immunization of mice.

  6. Biological Agents

    MedlinePlus

    ... to Z Index Contact Us FAQs What's New Biological Agents This page requires that javascript be enabled ... and Health Topics A-Z Index What's New Biological agents include bacteria, viruses, fungi, other microorganisms and ...

  7. Novel aspects of grapevine response to phytoplasma infection investigated by a proteomic and phospho-proteomic approach with data integration into functional networks

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Translational and post-translational protein modifications play a key role in the response of plants to pathogen infection. Among the latter, phosphorylation is critical in modulating protein structure, localization and interaction with other partners. In this work, we used a multiplex staining approach with 2D gels to study quantitative changes in the proteome and phosphoproteome of Flavescence dorée-affected and recovered ‘Barbera’ grapevines, compared to healthy plants. Results We identified 48 proteins that differentially changed in abundance, phosphorylation, or both in response to Flavescence dorée phytoplasma infection. Most of them did not show any significant difference in recovered plants, which, by contrast, were characterized by changes in abundance, phosphorylation, or both for 17 proteins not detected in infected plants. Some enzymes involved in the antioxidant response that were up-regulated in infected plants, such as isocitrate dehydrogenase and glutathione S-transferase, returned to healthy-state levels in recovered plants. Others belonging to the same functional category were even down-regulated in recovered plants (oxidoreductase GLYR1 and ascorbate peroxidase). Our proteomic approach thus agreed with previously published biochemical and RT-qPCR data which reported down-regulation of scavenging enzymes and accumulation of H2O2 in recovered plants, possibly suggesting a role for this molecule in remission from infection. Fifteen differentially phosphorylated proteins (| ratio | > 2, p < 0.05) were identified in infected compared to healthy plants, including proteins involved in photosynthesis, response to stress and the antioxidant system. Many were not differentially phosphorylated in recovered compared to healthy plants, pointing to their specific role in responding to infection, followed by a return to a steady-state phosphorylation level after remission of symptoms. Gene ontology (GO) enrichment and statistical

  8. Sunscreening Agents

    PubMed Central

    Martis, Jacintha; Shobha, V; Sham Shinde, Rutuja; Bangera, Sudhakar; Krishnankutty, Binny; Bellary, Shantala; Varughese, Sunoj; Rao, Prabhakar; Naveen Kumar, B.R.

    2013-01-01

    The increasing incidence of skin cancers and photodamaging effects caused by ultraviolet radiation has increased the use of sunscreening agents, which have shown beneficial effects in reducing the symptoms and reoccurrence of these problems. Many sunscreen compounds are in use, but their safety and efficacy are still in question. Efficacy is measured through indices, such as sun protection factor, persistent pigment darkening protection factor, and COLIPA guidelines. The United States Food and Drug Administration and European Union have incorporated changes in their guidelines to help consumers select products based on their sun protection factor and protection against ultraviolet radiation, whereas the Indian regulatory agency has not yet issued any special guidance on sunscreening agents, as they are classified under cosmetics. In this article, the authors discuss the pharmacological actions of sunscreening agents as well as the available formulations, their benefits, possible health hazards, safety, challenges, and proper application technique. New technologies and scope for the development of sunscreening agents are also discussed as well as the role of the physician in patient education about the use of these agents. PMID:23320122

  9. Antiparasitic agents.

    PubMed

    Rosenblatt, J E

    1992-03-01

    In recent years, introduction of new and more effective agents has improved the overall therapy for parasitic infections. This field, however, is still plagued by numerous problems, including the development of resistance to antimicrobial agents (especially with malaria), unavailability of agents in the United States or lack of approval by the Food and Drug Administration, and major toxicities or lack of experience in pregnant women and children, which limits use in these groups of patients. Widespread resistance of Plasmodium falciparum to chloroquine and other agents has complicated the treatment and prophylaxis of this type of malaria. A combination of quinine and Fansidar is usually effective oral therapy for falciparum malaria; quinidine may be administered if intravenous therapy is needed. Mefloquine, which is currently recommended for prophylaxis against chloroquine-resistant P. falciparum, is also effective for single-dose oral treatment, although this regimen has not yet been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Metronidazole has been widely used for treatment of gastroenteritis due to Entamoeba histolytica and Giardia lamblia (not approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the latter) and is considered safe and effective. A new macrolide, azithromycin, has been reported to be effective for cryptosporidiosis in experimental animals; currently, no effective therapy is available for human infections. Combinations of sulfonamides with other antifolates, trimethoprim or pyrimethamine, are recommended therapy for Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia or toxoplasmosis, respectively. Therapies for the various types of leishmaniasis and trypanosomiasis are complex, often toxic, and often of limited efficacy. The benzimidazoles are effective for roundworm infections, although thiabendazole has severe toxic effects. The recent introduction of ivermectin has revolutionized the treatment and control of onchocerciasis. Another relatively new agent, praziquantel

  10. Antidiabetic Agents.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Plummer, Nancy; Michael, Nancy, Ed.

    This module on antidiabetic agents is intended for use in inservice or continuing education programs for persons who administer medications in long-term care facilities. Instructor information, including teaching suggestions, and a listing of recommended audiovisual materials and their sources appear first. The module goal and objectives are then…

  11. Differentiation and classification of phytoplasmas in the pigeon pea witches'-broom group (16SrIX): an update based on multiple gene sequence analysis.

    PubMed

    Lee, I-M; Bottner-Parker, K D; Zhao, Y; Bertaccini, A; Davis, R E

    2012-09-01

    The pigeon pea witches'-broom phytoplasma group (16SrIX) comprises diverse strains that cause numerous diseases in leguminous trees and herbaceous crops, vegetables, a fruit, a nut tree and a forest tree. At least 14 strains have been reported worldwide. Comparative phylogenetic analyses of the highly conserved 16S rRNA gene and the moderately conserved rplV (rpl22)-rpsC (rps3) and secY genes indicated that the 16SrIX group consists of at least six distinct genetic lineages. Some of these lineages cannot be readily differentiated based on analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences alone. The relative genetic distances among these closely related lineages were better assessed by including more variable genes [e.g. ribosomal protein (rp) and secY genes]. The present study demonstrated that virtual RFLP analyses using rp and secY gene sequences allowed unambiguous identification of such lineages. A coding system is proposed to designate each distinct rp and secY subgroup in the 16SrIX group.

  12. Metabolic Consequences of Infection of Grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.) cv. “Modra frankinja” with Flavescence Dorée Phytoplasma

    PubMed Central

    Prezelj, Nina; Covington, Elizabeth; Roitsch, Thomas; Gruden, Kristina; Fragner, Lena; Weckwerth, Wolfram; Chersicola, Marko; Vodopivec, Maja; Dermastia, Marina

    2016-01-01

    Flavescence dorée, caused by the quarantine phytoplasma FDp, represents the most devastating of the grapevine yellows diseases in Europe. In an integrated study we have explored the FDp–grapevine interaction in infected grapevines of cv. “Modra frankinja” under natural conditions in the vineyard. In FDp-infected leaf vein-enriched tissues, the seasonal transcriptional profiles of 14 genes selected from various metabolic pathways showed an FDp-specific plant response compared to other grapevine yellows and uncovered a new association of the SWEET17a vacuolar transporter of fructose with pathogens. Non-targeted metabolome analysis from leaf vein-enriched tissues identified 22 significantly changed compounds with increased levels during infection. Several metabolites corroborated the gene expression study. Detailed investigation of the dynamics of carbohydrate metabolism revealed significant accumulation of sucrose and starch in the mesophyll of FDp-infected leaves, as well as significant up-regulation of genes involved in their biosynthesis. In addition, infected leaves had high activities of ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase and, more significantly, sucrose synthase. The data support the conclusion that FDp infection inhibits phloem transport, resulting in accumulation of carbohydrates and secondary metabolites that provoke a source-sink transition and defense response status. PMID:27242887

  13. KGB agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaina, Alex

    A short story is reported in which the activity of Communist Party of the USSR and secret KGB agents, which were payed by the State, in view of controlling of the conscience of population. The story reffers to the Physics Department of the Moscow University, Planing Institute of the Gosplan of Moldavian S.S.R. and Chishinau Technical University (actually: Technical University of Moldova), where the author has worked during Soviet times. Almost every 6-th citizen in the USSR was engaged in this activity, while actually the former communists rule in the Republic of Moldova.

  14. Survival relative to new and ancestral host plants, phytoplasma infection, and genetic constitution in host races of a polyphagous insect disease vector.

    PubMed

    Maixner, Michael; Albert, Andreas; Johannesen, Jes

    2014-08-01

    Dissemination of vectorborne diseases depends strongly on the vector's host range and the pathogen's reservoir range. Because vectors interact with pathogens, the direction and strength of a vector's host shift is vital for understanding epidemiology and is embedded in the framework of ecological specialization. This study investigates survival in host-race evolution of a polyphagous insect disease vector, Hyalesthes obsoletus, whether survival is related to the direction of the host shift (from field bindweed to stinging nettle), the interaction with plant-specific strains of obligate vectored pathogens/symbionts (stolbur phytoplasma), and whether survival is related to genetic differentiation between the host races. We used a twice repeated, identical nested experimental design to study survival of the vector on alternative hosts and relative to infection status. Survival was tested with Kaplan-Meier analyses, while genetic differentiation between vector populations was quantified with microsatellite allele frequencies. We found significant direct effects of host plant (reduced survival on wrong hosts) and sex (males survive longer than females) in both host races and relative effects of host (nettle animals more affected than bindweed animals) and sex (males more affected than females). Survival of bindweed animals was significantly higher on symptomatic than nonsymptomatic field bindweed, but in the second experiment only. Infection potentially had a positive effect on survival in nettle animals but due to low infection rates the results remain suggestive. Genetic differentiation was not related to survival. Greater negative plant-transfer effect but no negative effect of stolbur in the derived host race suggests preadaptation to the new pathogen/symbiont strain before strong diversifying selection during the specialization process. Physiological maladaptation or failure to accept the ancestral plant will have similar consequences, namely positive assortative

  15. High-throughput transcriptome analysis of the leafy flower transition of Catharanthus roseus induced by peanut witches'-broom phytoplasma infection.

    PubMed

    Liu, Li-Yu Daisy; Tseng, Hsin-I; Lin, Chan-Pin; Lin, Yen-Yu; Huang, Yuan-Hung; Huang, Chien-Kang; Chang, Tean-Hsu; Lin, Shih-Shun

    2014-05-01

    Peanut witches'-broom (PnWB) phytoplasma are obligate bacteria that cause leafy flower symptoms in Catharanthus roseus. The PnWB-mediated leafy flower transitions were studied to understand the mechanisms underlying the pathogen-host interaction; however, our understanding is limited because of the lack of information on the C. roseus genome. In this study, the whole-transcriptome profiles from healthy flowers (HFs) and stage 4 (S4) PnWB-infected leafy flowers of C. roseus were investigated using next-generation sequencing (NGS). More than 60,000 contigs were generated using a de novo assembly approach, and 34.2% of the contigs (20,711 genes) were annotated as putative genes through name-calling, open reading frame determination and gene ontology analyses. Furthermore, a customized microarray based on this sequence information was designed and used to analyze samples further at various stages of PnWB infection. In the NGS profile, 87.8% of the genes showed expression levels that were consistent with those in the microarray profiles, suggesting that accurate gene expression levels can be detected using NGS. The data revealed that defense-related and flowering gene expression levels were altered in S4 PnWB-infected leafy flowers, indicating that the immunity and reproductive stages of C. roseus were compromised. The network analysis suggested that the expression levels of >1,000 candidate genes were highly associated with CrSVP1/2 and CrFT expression, which might be crucial in the leafy flower transition. In conclusion, this study provides a new perspective for understanding plant pathology and the mechanisms underlying the leafy flowering transition caused by host-pathogen interactions through analyzing bioinformatics data obtained using a powerful, rapid high-throughput technique.

  16. Filling agents.

    PubMed

    Glavas, Ioannis P

    2005-06-01

    Injectable fillers have become an important component of minimally invasive facial rejuvenation modalities. Their ease of use, effectiveness, low morbidity, and fast results with minimal downtime are factors that have made them popular among patients. Soft tissue augmentation has evolved to a unique combination of medicine and art. A wide selection of available agents and new products, each one with unique properties, may be used alone or in combination. The physician acquires the tools to rebalance facial characteristics not only by filling wrinkles but also by having the ability to shape the face and restore bony contours and lines. Careful selection of candidates, realistic expectations, and an understanding of the limitations of fillers are crucial for a successful result.

  17. Health care agents

    MedlinePlus

    Durable power of attorney for health care; Health care proxy; End-of-life - health care agent; Life support treatment - ... Respirator - health care agent; Ventilator - health care agent; Power of attorney - health care agent; POA - health care ...

  18. Detecting agents.

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Susan C

    2003-01-01

    This paper reviews a recent set of behavioural studies that examine the scope and nature of the representational system underlying theory-of-mind development. Studies with typically developing infants, adults and children with autism all converge on the claim that there is a specialized input system that uses not only morphological cues, but also behavioural cues to categorize novel objects as agents. Evidence is reviewed in which 12- to 15-month-old infants treat certain non-human objects as if they have perceptual/attentional abilities, communicative abilities and goal-directed behaviour. They will follow the attentional orientation of an amorphously shaped novel object if it interacts contingently with them or with another person. They also seem to use a novel object's environmentally directed behaviour to determine its perceptual/attentional orientation and object-oriented goals. Results from adults and children with autism are strikingly similar, despite adults' contradictory beliefs about the objects in question and the failure of children with autism to ultimately develop more advanced theory-of-mind reasoning. The implications for a general theory-of-mind development are discussed. PMID:12689380

  19. Preparing Change Agents for Change Agent Roles.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sedlacek, James R.

    Seventy-seven Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking agricultural change agents from developing Central and South American countries responded to a questionnaire which sought perceptions of the roles in which the change agents felt they were involved and the roles for which they felt they were being trained. The agents were participating in training…

  20. Remote Agent Demonstration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dorais, Gregory A.; Kurien, James; Rajan, Kanna

    1999-01-01

    We describe the computer demonstration of the Remote Agent Experiment (RAX). The Remote Agent is a high-level, model-based, autonomous control agent being validated on the NASA Deep Space 1 spacecraft.

  1. Biological warfare agents.

    PubMed

    Pohanka, Miroslav; Kuca, Kamil

    2010-01-01

    Biological warfare agents are a group of pathogens and toxins of biological origin that can be potentially misused for military or criminal purposes. The present review attempts to summarize necessary knowledge about biological warfare agents. The historical aspects, examples of applications of these agents such as anthrax letters, biological weapons impact, a summary of biological warfare agents and epidemiology of infections are described. The last section tries to estimate future trends in research on biological warfare agents.

  2. Spacecraft sanitation agent development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1972-01-01

    The development of an effective sanitizing agent that is compatible with the spacecraft environment and the human occupant is discussed. Experimental results show that two sanitation agents must be used to satisfy mission requirements: one agent for personal hygiene and one for equipment maintenance. It was also recommended that a water rinse be used with the agents for best results, and that consideration be given to using the agents pressure packed or in aerosol formulations.

  3. Chemical warfare agents.

    PubMed

    Chauhan, S; Chauhan, S; D'Cruz, R; Faruqi, S; Singh, K K; Varma, S; Singh, M; Karthik, V

    2008-09-01

    Chemical warfare agents (CWA's) are defined as any chemical substance whose toxic properties are utilised to kill, injure or incapacitate an enemy in warfare and associated military operations. Chemical agents have been used in war since times immemorial, but their use reached a peak during World War I. During World War II only the Germans used them in the infamous gas chambers. Since then these have been intermittently used both in war and acts of terrorisms. Many countries have stockpiles of these agents. There has been a legislative effort worldwide to ban the use of CWA's under the chemical weapons convention which came into force in 1997. However the manufacture of these agents cannot be completely prohibited as some of them have potential industrial uses. Moreover despite the remedial measures taken so far and worldwide condemnation, the ease of manufacturing these agents and effectiveness during combat or small scale terrorist operations still make them a powerful weapon to reckon with. These agents are classified according to mechanism of toxicity in humans into blister agents, nerve agents, asphyxiants, choking agents and incapacitating/behavior altering agents. Some of these agents can be as devastating as a nuclear bomb. In addition to immediate injuries caused by chemical agents, some of them are associated with long term morbidities and psychological problems. In this review we will discuss briefly about the historical background, properties, manufacture techniques and industrial uses, mechanism of toxicity, clinical features of exposure and pharmacological management of casualties caused by chemical agents. PMID:21783898

  4. Mobile Agents Applications.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Martins, Rosane Maria; Chaves, Magali Ribeiro; Pirmez, Luci; Rust da Costa Carmo, Luiz Fernando

    2001-01-01

    Discussion of the need to filter and retrieval relevant information from the Internet focuses on the use of mobile agents, specific software components which are based on distributed artificial intelligence and integrated systems. Surveys agent technology and discusses the agent building package used to develop two applications using IBM's Aglet…

  5. Hydroxypyridonate chelating agents

    DOEpatents

    Raymond, Kenneth N.; Scarrow, Robert C.; White, David L.

    1987-01-01

    Chelating agents having 1-hydroxy-2-pyridinone (HOPO) and related moieties incorporated within their structures, including polydentate HOPO-substituted polyamines such as spermidine and spermine, and HOPO-substituted desferrioxamine. The chelating agents are useful in selectively removing certain cations from solution, and are particularly useful as ferric ion and actinide chelators. Novel syntheses of the chelating agents are provided.

  6. Standard Agent Framework 1

    SciTech Connect

    Goldsmith, Steven Y.

    1999-04-06

    The Standard Agent framework provides an extensible object-oriented development environment suitable for use in both research and applications projects. The SAF provides a means for constructing and customizing multi-agent systems through specialization of standard base classes (architecture-driven framework) and by composition of component classes (data driven framework). The standard agent system is implemented as an extensible object-centerd framework. Four concrete base classes are developed: (1) Standard Agency; (2) Standard Agent; (3) Human Factor, and (4) Resources. The object-centered framework developed and utilized provides the best comprimise between generality and flexibility available in agent development systems today.

  7. Agent Architectures for Compliance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burgemeestre, Brigitte; Hulstijn, Joris; Tan, Yao-Hua

    A Normative Multi-Agent System consists of autonomous agents who must comply with social norms. Different kinds of norms make different assumptions about the cognitive architecture of the agents. For example, a principle-based norm assumes that agents can reflect upon the consequences of their actions; a rule-based formulation only assumes that agents can avoid violations. In this paper we present several cognitive agent architectures for self-monitoring and compliance. We show how different assumptions about the cognitive architecture lead to different information needs when assessing compliance. The approach is validated with a case study of horizontal monitoring, an approach to corporate tax auditing recently introduced by the Dutch Customs and Tax Authority.

  8. 13 CFR 107.1620 - Functions of agents, including Central Registration Agent, Selling Agent and Fiscal Agent.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 13 Business Credit and Assistance 1 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Functions of agents, including... Assistance SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION SMALL BUSINESS INVESTMENT COMPANIES SBA Financial Assistance for... Functions of agents, including Central Registration Agent, Selling Agent and Fiscal Agent. (a) Agents....

  9. Detecting biological warfare agents.

    PubMed

    Song, Linan; Ahn, Soohyoun; Walt, David R

    2005-10-01

    We developed a fiber-optic, microsphere-based, high-density array composed of 18 species-specific probe microsensors to identify biological warfare agents. We simultaneously identified multiple biological warfare agents in environmental samples by looking at specific probe responses after hybridization and response patterns of the multiplexed array.

  10. Travel Agent Course Outline.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    British Columbia Dept. of Education, Victoria.

    Written for college entry-level travel agent training courses, this course outline can also be used for inservice training programs offered by travel agencies. The outline provides information on the work of a travel agent and gives clear statements on what learners must be able to do by the end of their training. Material is divided into eight…

  11. Change Agent Survival Guide

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dunbar, Folwell L.

    2011-01-01

    Consulting is a rough racket. Only a tarantula hair above IRS agents, meter maids and used car sales people, the profession is a prickly burr for slings and arrows. Throw in education, focus on dysfunctional schools and call oneself a "change agent," and this bad rap all but disappears. Unfortunately, though, consulting/coaching/mentoring in…

  12. Ferrimagnetic susceptibility contrast agents.

    PubMed

    Bach-Gansmo, T

    1993-01-01

    Contrast agents based on superparamagnetic particles have been in clinical development for more than 5 years, and the complexity of their effects is still not elucidated. The relaxivities are frequently used to give an idea of their efficacy, but these parameters can only be used if they are concentration independent. For large superparamagnetic systems, the evolution of the transverse magnetization is biexponential, after an initial loss of magnetization. Both these characteristics of large superparamagnetic systems should lead to prudence in using the relaxivities as indicators of contrast medium efficacy. Susceptibility induced artefacts have been associated with the use of superparamagnetic contrast agents since the first imaging evaluation took place. The range of concentrations where good contrast effect was achieved without inducing artefacts, as well as blurring and metal artefacts were evaluated. The influence of motion on the induction of artefacts was studied, and compared to the artefacts induced by a paramagnetic agent subject to motion. With a suitable concentration of a negative contrast agent, a signal void could be achieved in the region prone to motion, and no artefacts were induced. If the concentration was too high, a displacement of the region close to the contrast agent was observed. The artefacts occurred in a volume surrounding the contrast agent, i.e., also outside the imaging plane. In comparison a positive, paramagnetic contrast agent induced heavy artefacts in the phase encoding direction, appearing as both high intensity regions and black holes, in a mosaic pattern. Clinical trials of the oral contrast agent OMP for abdominal MR imaging showed this agent to be safe and efficacious. OMP increased the diagnostic efficacy of abdominal MR imaging in 2 of 3 cases examined, with a significant decrease in motion artefacts. Susceptibility contrast agents may also be of use in the evaluation of small lesions in the liver. Particulate material

  13. Standard Agent Framework 1

    1999-04-06

    The Standard Agent framework provides an extensible object-oriented development environment suitable for use in both research and applications projects. The SAF provides a means for constructing and customizing multi-agent systems through specialization of standard base classes (architecture-driven framework) and by composition of component classes (data driven framework). The standard agent system is implemented as an extensible object-centerd framework. Four concrete base classes are developed: (1) Standard Agency; (2) Standard Agent; (3) Human Factor, and (4)more » Resources. The object-centered framework developed and utilized provides the best comprimise between generality and flexibility available in agent development systems today.« less

  14. How do agents represent?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ryan, Alex

    Representation is inherent to the concept of an agent, but its importance in complex systems has not yet been widely recognised. In this paper I introduce Peirce's theory of signs, which facilitates a definition of representation in general. In summary, representation means that for some agent, a model is used to stand in for another entity in a way that shapes the behaviour of the agent with respect to that entity. Representation in general is then related to the theories of representation that have developed within different disciplines. I compare theories of representation from metaphysics, military theory and systems theory. Additional complications arise in explaining the special case of mental representations, which is the focus of cognitive science. I consider the dominant theory of cognition — that the brain is a representational device — as well as the sceptical anti-representational response. Finally, I argue that representation distinguishes agents from non-representational objects: agents are objects capable of representation.

  15. Biological warfare agents.

    PubMed

    Thavaselvam, Duraipandian; Vijayaraghavan, Rajagopalan

    2010-07-01

    The recent bioterrorist attacks using anthrax spores have emphasized the need to detect and decontaminate critical facilities in the shortest possible time. There has been a remarkable progress in the detection, protection and decontamination of biological warfare agents as many instrumentation platforms and detection methodologies are developed and commissioned. Even then the threat of biological warfare agents and their use in bioterrorist attacks still remain a leading cause of global concern. Furthermore in the past decade there have been threats due to the emerging new diseases and also the re-emergence of old diseases and development of antimicrobial resistance and spread to new geographical regions. The preparedness against these agents need complete knowledge about the disease, better research and training facilities, diagnostic facilities and improved public health system. This review on the biological warfare agents will provide information on the biological warfare agents, their mode of transmission and spread and also the detection systems available to detect them. In addition the current information on the availability of commercially available and developing technologies against biological warfare agents has also been discussed. The risk that arise due to the use of these agents in warfare or bioterrorism related scenario can be mitigated with the availability of improved detection technologies.

  16. Biological warfare agents

    PubMed Central

    Thavaselvam, Duraipandian; Vijayaraghavan, Rajagopalan

    2010-01-01

    The recent bioterrorist attacks using anthrax spores have emphasized the need to detect and decontaminate critical facilities in the shortest possible time. There has been a remarkable progress in the detection, protection and decontamination of biological warfare agents as many instrumentation platforms and detection methodologies are developed and commissioned. Even then the threat of biological warfare agents and their use in bioterrorist attacks still remain a leading cause of global concern. Furthermore in the past decade there have been threats due to the emerging new diseases and also the re-emergence of old diseases and development of antimicrobial resistance and spread to new geographical regions. The preparedness against these agents need complete knowledge about the disease, better research and training facilities, diagnostic facilities and improved public health system. This review on the biological warfare agents will provide information on the biological warfare agents, their mode of transmission and spread and also the detection systems available to detect them. In addition the current information on the availability of commercially available and developing technologies against biological warfare agents has also been discussed. The risk that arise due to the use of these agents in warfare or bioterrorism related scenario can be mitigated with the availability of improved detection technologies. PMID:21829313

  17. Dioxin, agent orange

    SciTech Connect

    Gough, M.

    1986-01-01

    This book presents information on the following topics: dioxin, a prevalent problem; nobody wanted dioxin; agent organe and Vietnam; what we know about and may learn about agent orange and Veterans' health; agent organe and birth defects; dioxin in Missouri; 2, 4, 5-T: the U.S.' disappearing herbicide; Seveso: high-level environmental exposure; the nitro explosion; industrial exposures to dioxin; company behavior in the face of dioxin exposures; dioxin and specific cancers; animal tests of dioxin toxicity; dioxin decions; the present and the future.

  18. Riot Control Agents

    MedlinePlus

    ... your clothing, rapidly wash your entire body with soap and water, and get medical care as quickly ... agent from your skin with large amounts of soap and water. Washing with soap and water will ...

  19. Radioactive diagnostic agent

    SciTech Connect

    Shigematsu, A.; Aihara, M.; Matsuda, M.; Suzuki, A.; Tsuya, A.

    1984-02-07

    A radioactive diagnostic agent for renal cortex, adrenal cortex, myocardium, brain stem, spinal nerve, etc., which comprises as an essential component monoiodoacetic acid wherein the iodine atom is radioactive.

  20. Agent oriented programming

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shoham, Yoav

    1994-01-01

    The goal of our research is a methodology for creating robust software in distributed and dynamic environments. The approach taken is to endow software objects with explicit information about one another, to have them interact through a commitment mechanism, and to equip them with a speech-acty communication language. System-level applications include software interoperation and compositionality. A government application of specific interest is an infrastructure for coordination among multiple planners. Daily activity applications include personal software assistants, such as programmable email, scheduling, and new group agents. Research topics include definition of mental state of agents, design of agent languages as well as interpreters for those languages, and mechanisms for coordination within agent societies such as artificial social laws and conventions.

  1. Agent amplified communication

    SciTech Connect

    Kautz, H.; Selman, B.; Milewski, A.

    1996-12-31

    We propose an agent-based framework for assisting and simplifying person-to-person communication for information gathering tasks. As an example, we focus on locating experts for any specified topic. In our approach, the informal person-to-person networks that exist within an organization are used to {open_quotes}referral chain{close_quotes} requests for expertise. User-agents help automate this process. The agents generate referrals by analyzing records of e-mail communication patterns. Simulation results show that the higher responsiveness of an agent-based system can be effectively traded for the higher accuracy of a completely manual approach. Furthermore, preliminary experience with a group of users on a prototype system has shown that useful automatic referrals can be found in practice. Our experience with actual users has also shown that privacy concerns are central to the successful deployment of personal agents: an advanced agent-based system will therefore need to reason about issues involving trust and authority.

  2. Agent independent task planning

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Davis, William S.

    1990-01-01

    Agent-Independent Planning is a technique that allows the construction of activity plans without regard to the agent that will perform them. Once generated, a plan is then validated and translated into instructions for a particular agent, whether a robot, crewmember, or software-based control system. Because Space Station Freedom (SSF) is planned for orbital operations for approximately thirty years, it will almost certainly experience numerous enhancements and upgrades, including upgrades in robotic manipulators. Agent-Independent Planning provides the capability to construct plans for SSF operations, independent of specific robotic systems, by combining techniques of object oriented modeling, nonlinear planning and temporal logic. Since a plan is validated using the physical and functional models of a particular agent, new robotic systems can be developed and integrated with existing operations in a robust manner. This technique also provides the capability to generate plans for crewmembers with varying skill levels, and later apply these same plans to more sophisticated robotic manipulators made available by evolutions in technology.

  3. Sunscreening agents: a review.

    PubMed

    Latha, M S; Martis, Jacintha; Shobha, V; Sham Shinde, Rutuja; Bangera, Sudhakar; Krishnankutty, Binny; Bellary, Shantala; Varughese, Sunoj; Rao, Prabhakar; Naveen Kumar, B R

    2013-01-01

    The increasing incidence of skin cancers and photodamaging effects caused by ultraviolet radiation has increased the use of sunscreening agents, which have shown beneficial effects in reducing the symptoms and reoccurrence of these problems. Many sunscreen compounds are in use, but their safety and efficacy are still in question. Efficacy is measured through indices, such as sun protection factor, persistent pigment darkening protection factor, and COLIPA guidelines. The United States Food and Drug Administration and European Union have incorporated changes in their guidelines to help consumers select products based on their sun protection factor and protection against ultraviolet radiation, whereas the Indian regulatory agency has not yet issued any special guidance on sunscreening agents, as they are classified under cosmetics. In this article, the authors discuss the pharmacological actions of sunscreening agents as well as the available formulations, their benefits, possible health hazards, safety, challenges, and proper application technique. New technologies and scope for the development of sunscreening agents are also discussed as well as the role of the physician in patient education about the use of these agents.

  4. MpcAgent

    2013-11-29

    MpcAgent software is a module for the VolltronLite platform from PNNL that regulates the operation of rooftop air conditioning units in small to medium commercial buildings for the purpose of reducing peak power consumption. The MpcAgent accomplishes this by restricting the number of units that may operate simultaneously and using a model predictive control strategy to select which units to operate in each control period. The outcome of this control is effective control of themore » building air temperature at the user specified set point while avoiding expensive peak demand charges that result from running all HVAC units simultaneously.« less

  5. MpcAgent

    SciTech Connect

    Nutaro, James

    2013-11-29

    MpcAgent software is a module for the VolltronLite platform from PNNL that regulates the operation of rooftop air conditioning units in small to medium commercial buildings for the purpose of reducing peak power consumption. The MpcAgent accomplishes this by restricting the number of units that may operate simultaneously and using a model predictive control strategy to select which units to operate in each control period. The outcome of this control is effective control of the building air temperature at the user specified set point while avoiding expensive peak demand charges that result from running all HVAC units simultaneously.

  6. Agent Persuasion Mechanism of Acquaintance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jinghua, Wu; Wenguang, Lu; Hailiang, Meng

    Agent persuasion can improve negotiation efficiency in dynamic environment based on its initiative and autonomy, and etc., which is being affected much more by acquaintance. Classification of acquaintance on agent persuasion is illustrated, and the agent persuasion model of acquaintance is also illustrated. Then the concept of agent persuasion degree of acquaintance is given. Finally, relative interactive mechanism is elaborated.

  7. 13 CFR 108.1620 - Functions of agents, including Central Registration Agent, Selling Agent and Fiscal Agent.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 13 Business Credit and Assistance 1 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Functions of agents, including Central Registration Agent, Selling Agent and Fiscal Agent. 108.1620 Section 108.1620 Business Credit and Assistance SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION NEW MARKETS VENTURE CAPITAL (âNMVCâ) PROGRAM SBA...

  8. Battlefield agent collaboration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Budulas, Peter P.; Young, Stuart H.; Emmerman, Philip J.

    2001-09-01

    Small air and ground physical agents (robots) will be ubiquitous on the battlefield of the 21st century, principally to lower the exposure to harm of our ground forces in urban and open terrain scenarios. Teams of small collaborating physical agents conducting tasks such as Reconnaissance, Surveillance, and Target Acquisition (RSTA), intelligence, chemical and biological agent detection, logistics, decoy, sentry; and communications relay will have advanced sensors, communications, and mobility characteristics. It is anticipated that there will be many levels of individual and team collaboration between the soldier and robot, robot to robot, and robot to mother ship. This paper presents applications and infrastructure components that illustrate each of these levels. As an example, consider the application where a team of twenty small robots must rapidly explore and define a building complex. Local interactions and decisions require peer to peer collaboration. Global direction and information fusion warrant a central team control provided by a mother ship. The mother ship must effectively deliver/retrieve, service, and control these robots as well as fuse the information gathered by these highly mobile robot teams. Any level of collaboration requires robust communications, specifically a mobile ad hoc network. The application of fixed ground sensors and mobile robots is also included in this paper. This paper discusses on going research at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory that supports the development of multi-robot collaboration. This research includes battlefield visualization, intelligent software agents, adaptive communications, sensor and information fusion, and multi-modal human computer interaction.

  9. Mobility control agent

    SciTech Connect

    Argabright, P.A.; Phillips, B.L.; Rhudy, J.S.

    1983-05-17

    Polymer mobility control agents useful in supplemental oil recovery processes, which give improved reciprocal relative mobilities, are prepared by initiating the polymerization of a monomer containing a vinyl group with a catalyst comprising a persulfate and ferrous ammonium sulfate. The vinyl monomer is an acrylyl, a vinyl cyanide, a styryl and water soluble salts thereof.

  10. E-Learning Agents

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gregg, Dawn G.

    2007-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to illustrate the advantages of using intelligent agents to facilitate the location and customization of appropriate e-learning resources and to foster collaboration in e-learning environments. Design/methodology/approach: This paper proposes an e-learning environment that can be used to provide customized…

  11. Remote Agent Experiment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Benard, Doug; Dorais, Gregory A.; Gamble, Ed; Kanefsky, Bob; Kurien, James; Millar, William; Muscettola, Nicola; Nayak, Pandu; Rouquette, Nicolas; Rajan, Kanna; Norvig, Peter (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    Remote Agent (RA) is a model-based, reusable artificial intelligence (At) software system that enables goal-based spacecraft commanding and robust fault recovery. RA was flight validated during an experiment on board of DS1 between May 17th and May 21th, 1999.

  12. Can Subscription Agents Survive?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tuttle, Marcia

    1985-01-01

    With the saturation of traditional markets for their services, subscription agents have evolved from orders and invoices to serving customers by communicating with librarians and publishers and making automated and paper products available. Magazine fulfillment centers, publisher discounts, and electronic publishing will influence the subscription…

  13. Emulsified blasting agents

    SciTech Connect

    Chironis, N.P.

    1985-01-01

    This article describes an improved blasting agent which is being tailor-blended with bulk ANFO to provide more explosive energy and better water resistance when the blasting conditions call for it. The proportions of the emulsion/ANFO mix are easily changed at the blasthole site because both materials can be selectively mixed in modified bulk-explosive trucks before loading the blasting agents into the holes. Such blends are helping speed stripping at a number of surface mines and are leading to cost savings in production, ranging from 10% to 30%, depending upon application, even though the actual cost of a blend will be higher than if bulk ANFO is used alone.

  14. Rigid bifunctional chelating agents

    DOEpatents

    Sweet, Mark P.; Mease, Ronnie C.; Srivastava, Suresh C.

    2000-02-08

    Bicyclo[2.2.2]octane-2,3 diamine-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acids (BODTA) and bicyclo[2.2.1]heptane-2,3 diamine-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid (BHDTA) are chelating agents useful in forming detectably labeled bioconjugate compounds for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. New compounds and processes of forming BODTA and BHDTA are disclosed. Radioimmunoconjugates of the present invention show high and prolonged tumor uptake with low normal tissue uptakes.

  15. Rigid bifunctional chelating agents

    DOEpatents

    Sweet, M.P.; Mease, R.C.; Srivastava, S.C.

    1998-07-21

    Bicyclo[2.2.2] octane-2,3 diamine-N,N,N`,N`-tetraacetic acids (BODTA) and bicyclo[2.2.1] heptane-2,3 diamine-N,N,N`,N`-tetraacetic acid (BHDTA) are chelating agents useful in forming detectably labeled bioconjugate compounds for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. New compounds and processes of forming BODTA and BHDTA are disclosed. Radioimmunoconjugates of the present invention show high and prolonged tumor uptake with low normal tissue uptakes.

  16. Rigid bifunctional chelating agents

    DOEpatents

    Sweet, Mark P.; Mease, Ronnie C.; Srivastava, Suresh C.

    1998-07-21

    Bicyclo›2.2.2! octane-2,3 diamine-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acids (BODTA) and bicyclo›2.2.1! heptane-2,3 diamine-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid (BHDTA) are chelating agents useful in forming detectably labeled bioconjugate compounds for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. New compounds and processes of forming BODTA and BHDTA are disclosed. Radioimmunoconjugates of the present invention show high and prolonged tumor uptake with low normal tissue uptakes.

  17. Surface polymerization agents

    SciTech Connect

    Taylor, C.; Wilkerson, C.

    1996-12-01

    This is the final report of a 1-year, Laboratory-Directed R&D project at LANL. A joint technical demonstration was proposed between US Army Missile Command (Redstone Arsenal) and LANL. Objective was to demonstrate that an unmanned vehicle or missile could be used as a platform to deliver a surface polymerization agent in such a manner as to obstruct the filters of an air-breathing mechanism, resulting in operational failure.

  18. Collaborating with Autonomous Agents

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Trujillo, Anna C.; Cross, Charles D.; Fan, Henry; Hempley, Lucas E.; Motter, Mark A.; Neilan, James H.; Qualls, Garry D.; Rothhaar, Paul M.; Tran, Loc D.; Allen, B. Danette

    2015-01-01

    With the anticipated increase of small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) entering into the National Airspace System, it is highly likely that vehicle operators will be teaming with fleets of small autonomous vehicles. The small vehicles may consist of sUAS, which are 55 pounds or less that typically will y at altitudes 400 feet and below, and small ground vehicles typically operating in buildings or defined small campuses. Typically, the vehicle operators are not concerned with manual control of the vehicle; instead they are concerned with the overall mission. In order for this vision of high-level mission operators working with fleets of vehicles to come to fruition, many human factors related challenges must be investigated and solved. First, the interface between the human operator and the autonomous agent must be at a level that the operator needs and the agents can understand. This paper details the natural language human factors e orts that NASA Langley's Autonomy Incubator is focusing on. In particular these e orts focus on allowing the operator to interact with the system using speech and gestures rather than a mouse and keyboard. With this ability of the system to understand both speech and gestures, operators not familiar with the vehicle dynamics will be able to easily plan, initiate, and change missions using a language familiar to them rather than having to learn and converse in the vehicle's language. This will foster better teaming between the operator and the autonomous agent which will help lower workload, increase situation awareness, and improve performance of the system as a whole.

  19. Hydroxypyridonate and hydroxypyrimidinone chelating agents

    DOEpatents

    Raymond, Kenneth N.; Doble, Daniel M.; Sunderland, Christopher J.; Thompson, Marlon

    2005-01-25

    The present invention provides hydroxypyridinone and hydroxypyrimidone chelating agents. Also provides are Gd(III) complexes of these agents, which are useful as contrast enhancing agents for magnetic resonance imaging. The invention also provides methods of preparing the compounds of the invention, as well as methods of using the compounds in magnetic resonance imaging applications.

  20. Chemical warfare agents

    PubMed Central

    Ganesan, K.; Raza, S. K.; Vijayaraghavan, R.

    2010-01-01

    Among the Weapons of Mass Destruction, chemical warfare (CW) is probably one of the most brutal created by mankind in comparison with biological and nuclear warfare. Chemical weapons are inexpensive and are relatively easy to produce, even by small terrorist groups, to create mass casualties with small quantities. The characteristics of various CW agents, general information relevant to current physical as well as medical protection methods, detection equipment available and decontamination techniques are discussed in this review article. A brief note on Chemical Weapons Convention is also provided. PMID:21829312

  1. Holograms as Teaching Agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walker, Robin A.

    2013-02-01

    Hungarian physicist Dennis Gabor won the Pulitzer Prize for his 1947 introduction of basic holographic principles, but it was not until the invention of the laser in 1960 that research scientists, physicians, technologists and the general public began to seriously consider the interdisciplinary potentiality of holography. Questions around whether and when Three-Dimensional (3-D) images and systems would impact American entertainment and the arts would be answered before educators, instructional designers and students would discover how much Three-Dimensional Hologram Technology (3DHT) would affect teaching practices and learning environments. In the following International Symposium on Display Holograms (ISDH) poster presentation, the author features a traditional board game as well as a reflection hologram to illustrate conventional and evolving Three-Dimensional representations and technology for education. Using elements from the American children's toy Operation® (Hasbro, 2005) as well as a reflection hologram of a human brain (Ko, 1998), this poster design highlights the pedagogical effects of 3-D images, games and systems on learning science. As teaching agents, holograms can be considered substitutes for real objects, (human beings, organs, and animated characters) as well as agents (pedagogical, avatars, reflective) in various learning environments using many systems (direct, emergent, augmented reality) and electronic tools (cellphones, computers, tablets, television). In order to understand the particular importance of utilizing holography in school, clinical and public settings, the author identifies advantages and benefits of using 3-D images and technology as instructional tools.

  2. Lipid-lowering agents.

    PubMed

    Ewang-Emukowhate, Mfon; Wierzbicki, Anthony S

    2013-09-01

    The role of lipid lowering in reducing the risk of mortality and morbidity from cardiovascular disease (CVD) is well established. Treatment particularly aimed at decreasing low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) is effective in reducing the risk of death from coronary heart disease and stroke. Statins form the cornerstone of treatment. However, in some individuals with a high risk of CVD who are unable to achieve their target LDL-C due to either intolerance or lack of efficacy, there is the need for alternative therapies. This review provides an overview of the different classes of currently available lipid-lowering medications including statins, fibrates, bile acid sequestrants (resins), and omega-3 fatty acids. Data are presented on their indications, pharmacology, and the relevant end point clinical trial data with these drugs. It also discusses the human trial data on some novel therapeutic agents that are being developed including those for homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia--the antisense oligonucleotide mipomersen and the microsomal transfer protein inhibitor lomitapide. Data are presented on phase II and III trials on agents with potentially wider applications, cholesterol ester transfer protein inhibitors and proprotein convertase subtilisin kexin 9 inhibitors. The data on a licensed gene therapy for lipoprotein lipase deficiency are also presented. PMID:23811423

  3. [Bacteriophages as antibacterial agents].

    PubMed

    Shasha, Shaul M; Sharon, Nehama; Inbar, Michael

    2004-02-01

    Bacteriophages are viruses that only infect bacteria. They have played an important role in the development of molecular biology and have been used as anti-bacterial agents. Since their independent discovery by Twort and d'Herelle, they have been extensively used to prevent and treat bacterial infections, mainly in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. In western countries this method has been sporadically employed on humans and domesticated animals. However, the discovery and widespread use of antibiotics, coupled with doubts about the efficacy of phage therapy, led to an eclipse in the use of phage in medicine. The emergence of antibiotic resistant bacteria, especially strains that are multiply resistant, has resulted in a renewed interest in alternatives to conventional drugs. One of the possible replacements for antibiotics is the use of bacteriophages as antimicrobial agents. This brief review aims to describe the history of bacteriophage and early clinical studies on their use in bacterial disease prophylaxis and therapy, and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of bacteriophage in this regard.

  4. Lipid-lowering agents.

    PubMed

    Ewang-Emukowhate, Mfon; Wierzbicki, Anthony S

    2013-09-01

    The role of lipid lowering in reducing the risk of mortality and morbidity from cardiovascular disease (CVD) is well established. Treatment particularly aimed at decreasing low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) is effective in reducing the risk of death from coronary heart disease and stroke. Statins form the cornerstone of treatment. However, in some individuals with a high risk of CVD who are unable to achieve their target LDL-C due to either intolerance or lack of efficacy, there is the need for alternative therapies. This review provides an overview of the different classes of currently available lipid-lowering medications including statins, fibrates, bile acid sequestrants (resins), and omega-3 fatty acids. Data are presented on their indications, pharmacology, and the relevant end point clinical trial data with these drugs. It also discusses the human trial data on some novel therapeutic agents that are being developed including those for homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia--the antisense oligonucleotide mipomersen and the microsomal transfer protein inhibitor lomitapide. Data are presented on phase II and III trials on agents with potentially wider applications, cholesterol ester transfer protein inhibitors and proprotein convertase subtilisin kexin 9 inhibitors. The data on a licensed gene therapy for lipoprotein lipase deficiency are also presented.

  5. [New agents for hypercholesterolemia].

    PubMed

    Pintó, Xavier; García Gómez, María Carmen

    2016-02-19

    An elevated proportion of high cardiovascular risk patients do not achieve the therapeutic c-LDL goals. This owes to physicians' inappropriate or insufficient use of cholesterol lowering medications or to patients' bad tolerance or therapeutic compliance. Another cause is an insufficient efficacy of current cholesterol lowering drugs including statins and ezetimibe. In addition, proprotein convertase subtilisin kexin type 9 inhibitors are a new cholesterol lowering medications showing safety and high efficacy to reduce c-LDL in numerous already performed or underway clinical trials, potentially allowing an optimal control of hypercholesterolemia in most patients. Agents inhibiting apolipoprotein B synthesis and microsomal transfer protein are also providing a new potential to decrease cholesterol in patients with severe hypercholesterolemia and in particular in homozygote familial hypercholesterolemia. Last, cholesteryl ester transfer protein inhibitors have shown powerful effects on c-HDL and c-LDL, although their efficacy in cardiovascular prevention and safety has not been demonstrated yet. We provide in this article an overview of the main characteristics of therapeutic agents for hypercholesterolemia, which have been recently approved or in an advanced research stage.

  6. Advances in antithrombotic agents.

    PubMed

    Chakrabarti, Ranjan; Das, Saibal Kumar

    2007-07-01

    Thrombosis is the condition where an imbalance in the homeostatic mechanism results in unwanted intravascular thrombus formation. Imbalances in this highly regulated process of coagulation and anticoagulation can lead to a variety of pathophysiological conditions leading to stroke, pulmonary heart attack and other serious conditions. In the western world, thromboembolic diseases are the leading cause of morbidity and mortality. Remarkable progress has occurred over the last decade in the development of antithrombotic drugs, which can be classified into 3 major categories - Anticoagulants, Antiplatelets and thrombolytics. Increased understanding of the pathobiology of thrombotic and vascular disorders has helped researchers to target novel pathways involving the coagulation, thrombolytic, fibrinolytic and integrin systems. Traditionally aspirin and unfractionated heparin was used for myocardial infarction. Newer antiplatelet agents such as, clopidogrel, GP IIb/IIIa inhibitors, low molecular weight heparin, direct thrombin inhibitors and several improved thrombolytic agents have been introduced for clinical use. This review will discuss different important drugs, which have been launched in recent years and also some new targets pursued by different companies. PMID:17630943

  7. Flexible, secure agent development framework

    DOEpatents

    Goldsmith; Steven Y.

    2009-04-07

    While an agent generator is generating an intelligent agent, it can also evaluate the data processing platform on which it is executing, in order to assess a risk factor associated with operation of the agent generator on the data processing platform. The agent generator can retrieve from a location external to the data processing platform an open site that is configurable by the user, and load the open site into an agent substrate, thereby creating a development agent with code development capabilities. While an intelligent agent is executing a functional program on a data processing platform, it can also evaluate the data processing platform to assess a risk factor associated with performing the data processing function on the data processing platform.

  8. Fluoroquinolone antimicrobial agents.

    PubMed Central

    Wolfson, J S; Hooper, D C

    1989-01-01

    The fluoroquinolones, a new class of potent orally absorbed antimicrobial agents, are reviewed, considering structure, mechanisms of action and resistance, spectrum, variables affecting activity in vitro, pharmacokinetic properties, clinical efficacy, emergence of resistance, and tolerability. The primary bacterial target is the enzyme deoxyribonucleic acid gyrase. Bacterial resistance occurs by chromosomal mutations altering deoxyribonucleic acid gyrase and decreasing drug permeation. The drugs are bactericidal and potent in vitro against members of the family Enterobacteriaceae, Haemophilus spp., and Neisseria spp., have good activity against Pseudomonas aeruginosa and staphylococci, and (with several exceptions) are less potent against streptococci and have fair to poor activity against anaerobic species. Potency in vitro decreases in the presence of low pH, magnesium ions, or urine but is little affected by different media, increased inoculum, or serum. The effects of the drugs in combination with a beta-lactam or aminoglycoside are often additive, occasionally synergistic, and rarely antagonistic. The agents are orally absorbed, require at most twice-daily dosing, and achieve high concentrations in urine, feces, and kidney and good concentrations in lung, bone, prostate, and other tissues. The drugs are efficacious in treatment of a variety of bacterial infections, including uncomplicated and complicated urinary tract infections, bacterial gastroenteritis, and gonorrhea, and show promise for therapy of prostatitis, respiratory tract infections, osteomyelitis, and cutaneous infections, particularly when caused by aerobic gram-negative bacilli. Fluoroquinolones have also proved to be efficacious for prophylaxis against travelers' diarrhea and infection with gram-negative bacilli in neutropenic patients. The drugs are effective in eliminating carriage of Neisseria meningitidis. Patient tolerability appears acceptable, with gastrointestinal or central nervous

  9. Biological agents and pregnancy.

    PubMed

    Ekblad, U

    1995-08-01

    Pregnant women are exposed to many biological, eg microbial, agents, which are potentially harmful to the fetus. The reported rates of vertical transmission of hepatitis B and human immunodeficiency virus vary between 3 to 90% and 0 to 65%, respectively. The susceptibility to hepatitis B and human immunodeficiency infection is increased in pregnant physicians, midwives, and nurses because of the bloodborne nature of these viruses. Also, TORCH (toxoplasmosis-rubella-cytomegalovirus-herpes) infections, acquired during pregnancy, may result in congenital infection, and serious sequelae in the neonatal period or years after birth. Schoolteachers and daycare personnel have an increased risk of perinatal varicella, "fifth disease," and mumps. Perinatal listeriosis affects one in 20,000 births and may result in fetal wastage. Because of the risk of the possibility of vertical transmission, immunization during pregnancy with live virus vaccines is not recommended. PMID:8520961

  10. Arylthiosemicarbazones as antileishmanial agents.

    PubMed

    Manzano, José Ignacio; Cochet, Florent; Boucherle, Benjamin; Gómez-Pérez, Verónica; Boumendjel, Ahcène; Gamarro, Francisco; Peuchmaur, Marine

    2016-11-10

    Based on a screening process, we targeted substituted thiosemicarbazone as potential antileishmanial agents. Our objective was to identify the key structural elements contributing to the anti-parasite activity that might be used for development of effective drugs. A series of 32 compounds was synthesized and their efficacy was evaluated against the clinically relevant intracellular amastigotes of Leishmania donovani. From these, 22 compounds showed EC50 values below 10 μM with the most active derivative (compound 14) showing an EC50 of 0.8 μM with very low toxicity on two different mammalian cell lines. The most relevant structural elements required for higher activity indicate that the presence of a fused bicyclic aromatic ring such as a naphthalene bearing an alkyl or an alkoxy group substituent are prerequisites. Owing to the easy synthesis, high activity and low toxicity, the most active compounds could be considered as a lead for further development.

  11. Itch Management: Topical Agents.

    PubMed

    Metz, Martin; Staubach, Petra

    2016-01-01

    Chronic pruritus is a common problem in patients with inflammatory skin diseases as well as in subjects with dry or sensitive skin. Regardless of the underlying cause of the pruritus, a topical therapy is not only useful but most often necessary to achieve symptom control. A good topical therapy should fulfill different functions. An optimal basic therapy based on the condition of the skin is important to repair epithelial barrier defects and to rehydrate the skin. An adequate disease-specific topical therapy is crucial for inflamed skin, e.g. anti-inflammatory topical therapy is an important part in the treatment of atopic dermatitis. Finally, the use of specific antipruritic substances can help to improve pruritus in patients irrespective of the underlying disease. Here, we summarize topical agents used in the treatment of chronic pruritus. PMID:27578070

  12. [Ribonucleases as antiviral agents].

    PubMed

    Il'inskaia, O N; Shakh Makhmud, R

    2014-01-01

    Many ribonucleases (RNases) are able to inhibit the reproduction of viruses in infected cell cultures and laboratory animals, but molecular mechanisms of their antiviral activity remain unclear. The review observes the most known RNases which possess established antiviral effects, actually intracellular RNases (RNase L, MCPIPI protein, eosinophylic RNases) as well as exogenously applied ones (RNase A, BS-RNase, onconase, binase, synthetic RNases). Attention is given on two important but not always obligatory aspects in molecule of RNases, which have antiviral properties: catalytic activity and ability to the dimerization. The hypothetic scheme of virus elimination by exogenous RNases, that reflects possible types of interaction of viruses and RNases with a cell, is proposed. The evidence for RNases as classical components of immune defense which are perspective agents for development of new antiviral therapeutics is produced.

  13. Agent-based enterprise integration

    SciTech Connect

    N. M. Berry; C. M. Pancerella

    1998-12-01

    The authors are developing and deploying software agents in an enterprise information architecture such that the agents manage enterprise resources and facilitate user interaction with these resources. The enterprise agents are built on top of a robust software architecture for data exchange and tool integration across heterogeneous hardware and software. The resulting distributed multi-agent system serves as a method of enhancing enterprises in the following ways: providing users with knowledge about enterprise resources and applications; accessing the dynamically changing enterprise; locating enterprise applications and services; and improving search capabilities for applications and data. Furthermore, agents can access non-agents (i.e., databases and tools) through the enterprise framework. The ultimate target of the effort is the user; they are attempting to increase user productivity in the enterprise. This paper describes their design and early implementation and discusses the planned future work.

  14. Collaborating Fuzzy Reinforcement Learning Agents

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Berenji, Hamid R.

    1997-01-01

    Earlier, we introduced GARIC-Q, a new method for doing incremental Dynamic Programming using a society of intelligent agents which are controlled at the top level by Fuzzy Relearning and at the local level, each agent learns and operates based on ANTARCTIC, a technique for fuzzy reinforcement learning. In this paper, we show that it is possible for these agents to compete in order to affect the selected control policy but at the same time, they can collaborate while investigating the state space. In this model, the evaluator or the critic learns by observing all the agents behaviors but the control policy changes only based on the behavior of the winning agent also known as the super agent.

  15. [Contact sensitization to external agents].

    PubMed

    Erdmann, S M; Merk, H-F

    2003-04-01

    The following review describes contact sensitization to topically applied medications--especially topical dermatological agents--and to external agents in the broadest sense. Particularly skin care products constitute a special source for sensitization due to their widespread use. Especially fragrances and preservatives in cosmetics play an important global role in eliciting contact allergies. Because of the extremely broad spectrum covered by the active and adjuvant ingredients contained in external agents, the following discussion focuses on specific substance groups.

  16. Broad-spectrum antiviral agents

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Jun-Da; Meng, Wen; Wang, Xiao-Jia; Wang, Hwa-Chain R.

    2015-01-01

    Development of highly effective, broad-spectrum antiviral agents is the major objective shared by the fields of virology and pharmaceutics. Antiviral drug development has focused on targeting viral entry and replication, as well as modulating cellular defense system. High throughput screening of molecules, genetic engineering of peptides, and functional screening of agents have identified promising candidates for development of optimal broad-spectrum antiviral agents to intervene in viral infection and control viral epidemics. This review discusses current knowledge, prospective applications, opportunities, and challenges in the development of broad-spectrum antiviral agents. PMID:26052325

  17. Incorporating BDI Agents into Human-Agent Decision Making Research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kamphorst, Bart; van Wissen, Arlette; Dignum, Virginia

    Artificial agents, people, institutes and societies all have the ability to make decisions. Decision making as a research area therefore involves a broad spectrum of sciences, ranging from Artificial Intelligence to economics to psychology. The Colored Trails (CT) framework is designed to aid researchers in all fields in examining decision making processes. It is developed both to study interaction between multiple actors (humans or software agents) in a dynamic environment, and to study and model the decision making of these actors. However, agents in the current implementation of CT lack the explanatory power to help understand the reasoning processes involved in decision making. The BDI paradigm that has been proposed in the agent research area to describe rational agents, enables the specification of agents that reason in abstract concepts such as beliefs, goals, plans and events. In this paper, we present CTAPL: an extension to CT that allows BDI software agents that are written in the practical agent programming language 2APL to reason about and interact with a CT environment.

  18. Phytonutrients as therapeutic agents.

    PubMed

    Gupta, Charu; Prakash, Dhan

    2014-09-01

    Nutrients present in various foods plays an important role in maintaining the normal functions of the human body. The major nutrients present in foods include carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, vitamins, and minerals. Besides these, there are some bioactive food components known as "phytonutrients" that play an important role in human health. They have tremendous impact on the health care system and may provide medical health benefits including the prevention and/or treatment of disease and various physiological disorders. Phytonutrients play a positive role by maintaining and modulating immune function to prevent specific diseases. Being natural products, they hold a great promise in clinical therapy as they possess no side effects that are usually associated with chemotherapy or radiotherapy. They are also comparatively cheap and thus significantly reduce health care cost. Phytonutrients are the plant nutrients with specific biological activities that support human health. Some of the important bioactive phytonutrients include polyphenols, terpenoids, resveratrol, flavonoids, isoflavonoids, carotenoids, limonoids, glucosinolates, phytoestrogens, phytosterols, anthocyanins, ω-3 fatty acids, and probiotics. They play specific pharmacological effects in human health such as anti-microbial, anti-oxidants, anti-inflammatory, antiallergic, anti-spasmodic, anti-cancer, anti-aging, hepatoprotective, hypolipidemic, neuroprotective, hypotensive, diabetes, osteoporosis, CNS stimulant, analgesic, protection from UVB-induced carcinogenesis, immuno-modulator, and carminative. This mini-review attempts to summarize the major important types of phytonutrients and their role in promoting human health and as therapeutic agents along with the current market trend and commercialization.

  19. Plasmids encoding therapeutic agents

    DOEpatents

    Keener, William K.

    2007-08-07

    Plasmids encoding anti-HIV and anti-anthrax therapeutic agents are disclosed. Plasmid pWKK-500 encodes a fusion protein containing DP178 as a targeting moiety, the ricin A chain, an HIV protease cleavable linker, and a truncated ricin B chain. N-terminal extensions of the fusion protein include the maltose binding protein and a Factor Xa protease site. C-terminal extensions include a hydrophobic linker, an L domain motif peptide, a KDEL ER retention signal, another Factor Xa protease site, an out-of-frame buforin II coding sequence, the lacZ.alpha. peptide, and a polyhistidine tag. More than twenty derivatives of plasmid pWKK-500 are described. Plasmids pWKK-700 and pWKK-800 are similar to pWKK-500 wherein the DP178-encoding sequence is substituted by RANTES- and SDF-1-encoding sequences, respectively. Plasmid pWKK-900 is similar to pWKK-500 wherein the HIV protease cleavable linker is substituted by a lethal factor (LF) peptide-cleavable linker.

  20. TACtic- A Multi Behavioral Agent for Trading Agent Competition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khosravi, Hassan; Shiri, Mohammad E.; Khosravi, Hamid; Iranmanesh, Ehsan; Davoodi, Alireza

    Software agents are increasingly being used to represent humans in online auctions. Such agents have the advantages of being able to systematically monitor a wide variety of auctions and then make rapid decisions about what bids to place in what auctions. They can do this continuously and repetitively without losing concentration. To provide a means of evaluating and comparing (benchmarking) research methods in this area the trading agent competition (TAC) was established. This paper describes the design, of TACtic. Our agent uses multi behavioral techniques at the heart of its decision making to make bidding decisions in the face of uncertainty, to make predictions about the likely outcomes of auctions, and to alter the agent's bidding strategy in response to the prevailing market conditions.

  1. Hypersensitivity to antineoplastic agents.

    PubMed

    Castells, M C

    2008-01-01

    The need to offer first line therapy for primary and recurrent cancers has spurred the clinical development of rapid desensitizations for chemotherapy and monoclonal antibodies. Rapid desensitizations allow patients to be treated with medications to which they have presented with hypersensitivity reactions (HSRs), including anaphylaxis. Rapid desensitization achieves temporary tolerization to full therapeutic doses by slow administration of incremental doses of the drug inducing the HSR. Protocols are available for most chemotherapy agents, including taxanes, platins, doxorubicin, monoclonal antibodies, and others. Candidate patients include those who present with type I HSRs, mast cell/IgE dependent, including anaphylaxis, and non-IgE mediated HSRs, during the chemotherapy infusion or shortly after. Idiosyncratic reactions, erythema multiforme, Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis are not amenable to rapid desensitization. The recommendation for rapid desensitization can only be made by allergy and immunology specialists and can only be performed in settings with one-to-one nurse-patient care and where resuscitation personnel and resources are readily available. Repeated desensitizations can be safely performed in outpatient settings with similar conditions, which allow cancer patients to remain in clinical studies. We have generated a universal 12-step protocol that was applied to 413 cases of intravenous and intraperitoneal rapid desensitizations using taxanes, platins, liposomal doxorubicin, doxorubicin, rituximab, and other chemotherapy drugs. Under this protocol all patients were able to complete their target dose, and 94% of the patients had limited or no reactions. No deaths or codes were reported, indicating that the procedure was safe and effective in delivering first line chemotherapy drugs. PMID:18991707

  2. Agent-Based Literacy Theory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McEneaney, John E.

    2006-01-01

    The purpose of this theoretical essay is to explore the limits of traditional conceptualizations of reader and text and to propose a more general theory based on the concept of a literacy agent. The proposed theoretical perspective subsumes concepts from traditional theory and aims to account for literacy online. The agent-based literacy theory…

  3. Gelled Anti-icing Agents

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Markles, O. F.; Sperber, H. H.

    1983-01-01

    Pectin added to antifreeze/water mixture. Formulations include water with dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) as deicer and pectin as gel former. Without gelling agent, deicer runs off vertical surfaces. Without pectin solution will completely evaporate in far less time. Agents developed have wide potential for ice prevention on runways, highways, bridges and sidewalks.

  4. Dialogue Games for Agent Argumentation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McBurney, Peter; Parsons, Simon

    The rise of the Internet and the growth of distributed computing have led to a major paradigm shift in software engineering and computer science. Until recently, the notion of computation has been variously construed as numerical calculation, as information processing, or as intelligent symbol analysis, but increasingly, it is now viewed as distributed cognition and interaction between intelligent entities [60]. This new view has major implications for the conceptualization, design, engineering and control of software systems, most profoundly expressed in the concept of systems of intelligent software agents, or multi-agent systems [99]. Agents are software entities with control over their own execution; the design of such agents, and of multi-agent systems of them, presents major research and software engineering challenges to computer scientists.

  5. Intelligent Agents in Physics Education

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sánchez-Guzmán, D.; Mora, César

    2010-07-01

    Intelligent Agents are being applied in a wide range of processes and everyday applications. Their development is not new, in recent years they have had an increased attention and design; like learning and mentoring tools. In this work we discuss the definition of what an intelligent agent is; how they are applied; how they look like; recent implementations of agents; agents as support in the learning process, more precisely intelligent tutors; their state in Latin-American countries and future developments and trends that will permit a better communication between people and agents. Also we present an Intelligent Tutor applied as a tool for improving high-school students' skills and reasoning for the first five topics of Mechanics curricula.

  6. Transdermal delivery of therapeutic agent

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kwiatkowski, Krzysztof C. (Inventor); Hayes, Ryan T. (Inventor); Magnuson, James W. (Inventor); Giletto, Anthony (Inventor)

    2008-01-01

    A device for the transdermal delivery of a therapeutic agent to a biological subject that includes a first electrode comprising a first array of electrically conductive microprojections for providing electrical communication through a skin portion of the subject to a second electrode comprising a second array of electrically conductive microprojections. Additionally, a reservoir for holding the therapeutic agent surrounding the first electrode and a pulse generator for providing an exponential decay pulse between the first and second electrodes may be provided. A method includes the steps of piercing a stratum corneum layer of skin with two arrays of conductive microprojections, encapsulating the therapeutic agent into biocompatible charged carriers, surrounding the conductive microprojections with the therapeutic agent, generating an exponential decay pulse between the two arrays of conductive microprojections to create a non-uniform electrical field and electrokinetically driving the therapeutic agent through the stratum corneum layer of skin.

  7. Markov Tracking for Agent Coordination

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Washington, Richard; Lau, Sonie (Technical Monitor)

    1998-01-01

    Partially observable Markov decision processes (POMDPs) axe an attractive representation for representing agent behavior, since they capture uncertainty in both the agent's state and its actions. However, finding an optimal policy for POMDPs in general is computationally difficult. In this paper we present Markov Tracking, a restricted problem of coordinating actions with an agent or process represented as a POMDP Because the actions coordinate with the agent rather than influence its behavior, the optimal solution to this problem can be computed locally and quickly. We also demonstrate the use of the technique on sequential POMDPs, which can be used to model a behavior that follows a linear, acyclic trajectory through a series of states. By imposing a "windowing" restriction that restricts the number of possible alternatives considered at any moment to a fixed size, a coordinating action can be calculated in constant time, making this amenable to coordination with complex agents.

  8. Knowledge focus via software agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Henager, Donald E.

    2001-09-01

    The essence of military Command and Control (C2) is making knowledge intensive decisions in a limited amount of time using uncertain, incorrect, or outdated information. It is essential to provide tools to decision-makers that provide: * Management of friendly forces by treating the "friendly resources as a system". * Rapid assessment of effects of military actions againt the "enemy as a system". * Assessment of how an enemy should, can, and could react to friendly military activities. Software agents in the form of mission agents, target agents, maintenance agents, and logistics agents can meet this information challenge. The role of each agent is to know all the details about its assigned mission, target, maintenance, or logistics entity. The Mission Agent would fight for mission resources based on the mission priority and analyze the effect that a proposed mission's results would have on the enemy. The Target Agent (TA) communicates with other targets to determine its role in the system of targets. A system of TAs would be able to inform a planner or analyst of the status of a system of targets, the effect of that status, adn the effect of attacks on that system. The system of TAs would also be able to analyze possible enemy reactions to attack by determining ways to minimize the effect of attack, such as rerouting traffic or using deception. The Maintenance Agent would scheudle maintenance events and notify the maintenance unit. The Logistics Agent would manage shipment and delivery of supplies to maintain appropriate levels of weapons, fuel and spare parts. The central idea underlying this case of software agents is knowledge focus. Software agents are createad automatically to focus their attention on individual real-world entities (e.g., missions, targets) and view the world from that entities perspective. The agent autonomously monitors the entity, identifies problems/opportunities, formulates solutions, and informs the decision-maker. The agent must be

  9. Contrast agents for cardiac angiography: effects of a nonionic agent vs. a standard ionic agent

    SciTech Connect

    Bettmann, M.A.; Bourdillon, P.D.; Barry, W.H.; Brush, K.A.; Levin, D.C.

    1984-12-01

    The effects on cardiac hemodynamics and of a standard contrast agent, sodium methylglucamine diatrizoate (Renografin 76) were compared with the effects of a new nonionic agent (iohexol) in a double-blind study in 51 patietns undergoing coronary angiography and left ventriculography. No significant alteration in measured blood parameters occurred with either contrast agent. Hemodynamic changes occurred with both, but were significantly greater with the standard renografin than with the low-osmolality, nonionic iohexol. After left ventriculography, heart rate increased and peripheral arterial pressure fell with both agents, but less with iohexol. It is concluded that iohexol causes less alteration in cardiac function than does the agent currently most widely used. Nonionic contrast material is likely to improve the safety of coronary angiography, particularly in those patients at greatest risk.

  10. Agent Communications using Distributed Metaobjects

    SciTech Connect

    Goldsmith, Steven Y.; Spires, Shannon V.

    1999-06-10

    There are currently two proposed standards for agent communication languages, namely, KQML (Finin, Lobrou, and Mayfield 1994) and the FIPA ACL. Neither standard has yet achieved primacy, and neither has been evaluated extensively in an open environment such as the Internet. It seems prudent therefore to design a general-purpose agent communications facility for new agent architectures that is flexible yet provides an architecture that accepts many different specializations. In this paper we exhibit the salient features of an agent communications architecture based on distributed metaobjects. This architecture captures design commitments at a metaobject level, leaving the base-level design and implementation up to the agent developer. The scope of the metamodel is broad enough to accommodate many different communication protocols, interaction protocols, and knowledge sharing regimes through extensions to the metaobject framework. We conclude that with a powerful distributed object substrate that supports metaobject communications, a general framework can be developed that will effectively enable different approaches to agent communications in the same agent system. We have implemented a KQML-based communications protocol and have several special-purpose interaction protocols under development.

  11. Nuclear magnetic resonance contrast agents

    DOEpatents

    Smith, P.H.; Brainard, J.R.; Jarvinen, G.D.; Ryan, R.R.

    1997-12-30

    A family of contrast agents for use in magnetic resonance imaging and a method of enhancing the contrast of magnetic resonance images of an object by incorporating a contrast agent of this invention into the object prior to forming the images or during formation of the images. A contrast agent of this invention is a paramagnetic lanthanide hexaazamacrocyclic molecule, where a basic example has the formula LnC{sub 16}H{sub 14}N{sub 6}. Important applications of the invention are in medical diagnosis, treatment, and research, where images of portions of a human body are formed by means of magnetic resonance techniques. 10 figs.

  12. Nuclear magnetic resonance contrast agents

    DOEpatents

    Smith, Paul H.; Brainard, James R.; Jarvinen, Gordon D.; Ryan, Robert R.

    1997-01-01

    A family of contrast agents for use in magnetic resonance imaging and a method of enhancing the contrast of magnetic resonance images of an object by incorporating a contrast agent of this invention into the object prior to forming the images or during formation of the images. A contrast agent of this invention is a paramagnetic lanthanide hexaazamacrocyclic molecule, where a basic example has the formula LnC.sub.16 H.sub.14 N.sub.6. Important applications of the invention are in medical diagnosis, treatment, and research, where images of portions of a human body are formed by means of magnetic resonance techniques.

  13. Antibacterial agents in the cinema.

    PubMed

    García Sánchez, J E; García Sánchez, E; Merino Marcos, M L

    2006-12-01

    Numerous procedures used as antibacterial therapy are present in many films and include strategies ranging from different antimicrobial drugs to surgery and supporting measures. Films also explore the correct use and misuse of antimicrobial agents. Side effects and other aspects related to antibacterial therapy have also been reflected in some films. This article refers to the presence of antibacterial agents in different popular movies. There are movies in which antibacterial agents form part of the central plot, while in others it is merely an important part of the plot. In still others, its presence is isolated, and in these it plays an ambient or anecdotal role.

  14. Provocative agents in panic disorder.

    PubMed

    Bourin, M; Malinge, M; Guitton, B

    1995-01-01

    The pharmacological challenge strategy involves giving a provoking agent under controlled rules to clarify some aspect of behavioural or biological function. Various agents such as sodium lactate, carbon dioxide, caffeine, yohimbine, isoprenaline and now cholecystokinin have been used as provoking agents in healthy volunteers as well as in panic patients. Results obtained in this field are updated, with emphasis on the potential mechanisms of action. It is concluded that there may be a final pathway between carbon dioxide, sodium lactate, and cholecystokinin inducing panic attacks.

  15. Agent-based forward analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Kerekes, Ryan A.; Jiao, Yu; Shankar, Mallikarjun; Potok, Thomas E.; Lusk, Rick M.

    2008-01-01

    We propose software agent-based "forward analysis" for efficient information retrieval in a network of sensing devices. In our approach, processing is pushed to the data at the edge of the network via intelligent software agents rather than pulling data to a central facility for processing. The agents are deployed with a specific query and perform varying levels of analysis of the data, communicating with each other and sending only relevant information back across the network. We demonstrate our concept in the context of face recognition using a wireless test bed comprised of PDA cell phones and laptops. We show that agent-based forward analysis can provide a significant increase in retrieval speed while decreasing bandwidth usage and information overload at the central facility. n

  16. Triggered pore-forming agents

    DOEpatents

    Bayley, Hagan; Walker, Barbara J.; Chang, Chung-yu; Niblack, Brett; Panchal, Rekha

    1998-01-01

    An inactive pore-forming agent which is activated to lytic function by a condition such as pH, light, heat, reducing potential, or metal ion concentration, or substance such as a protease, at the surface of a cell.

  17. AL Amyloidosis and Agent Orange

    MedlinePlus

    ... for survivors' benefits . Research on AL amyloidosis and herbicides The Health and Medicine Division (formally known as ... to the compounds of interest found in the herbicide Agent Orange and AL amyloidosis." VA made a ...

  18. Diamine curing agents for polyurethanes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bell, V. L.; St. Clair, T. L.

    1975-01-01

    Three aromatic diamines have properties that make them promising candidates as curing agents for converting isocyanates to polyurethanes with higher adhesive strengths, higher softening temperatures, better toughness, and improved abrasion resistance.

  19. Launch Commit Criteria Monitoring Agent

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Semmel, Glenn S.; Davis, Steven R.; Leucht, Kurt W.; Rowe, Dan A.; Kelly, Andrew O.; Boeloeni, Ladislau

    2005-01-01

    The Spaceport Processing Systems Branch at NASA Kennedy Space Center has developed and deployed a software agent to monitor the Space Shuttle's ground processing telemetry stream. The application, the Launch Commit Criteria Monitoring Agent, increases situational awareness for system and hardware engineers during Shuttle launch countdown. The agent provides autonomous monitoring of the telemetry stream, automatically alerts system engineers when predefined criteria have been met, identifies limit warnings and violations of launch commit criteria, aids Shuttle engineers through troubleshooting procedures, and provides additional insight to verify appropriate troubleshooting of problems by contractors. The agent has successfully detected launch commit criteria warnings and violations on a simulated playback data stream. Efficiency and safety are improved through increased automation.

  20. Noncontraceptive use of contraceptive agents.

    PubMed

    Nickles, Monique Collier; Alderman, Elizabeth

    2014-06-01

    • On the basis of strong research evidence, there are many noncontraceptive advantages to use of hormonal contraceptive agents in adolescent girls. (3) (4)(5)(7)(10)(11)(12)(13)(14). • On the basis of research evidence and consensus, most of these agents are safe with minor adverse effects. (2)(3)(4)(5)(7)(10)(11)(12)(13)(14). • On the basis of research evidence and consensus, through application of evidence-based approaches and proper counseling, pediatricians can use various contraceptive agents to treat several medical conditions and to help alleviate many of the undesired symptoms and complications associated with menstrual periods. (2)(3)(4)(5)(7)(10)(11)(12)(13) (14). • On the basis of research evidence and consensus, these agents may be used in sexually active adolescents to simultaneously help prevent unintended adolescent pregnancies. (2)(3)(4)(5)(7)(10)(11)(12)(13)(14).

  1. Antimicrobials for bacterial bioterrorism agents.

    PubMed

    Sarkar-Tyson, Mitali; Atkins, Helen S

    2011-06-01

    The limitations of current antimicrobials for highly virulent pathogens considered as potential bioterrorism agents drives the requirement for new antimicrobials that are suitable for use in populations in the event of a deliberate release. Strategies targeting bacterial virulence offer the potential for new countermeasures to combat bacterial bioterrorism agents, including those active against a broad spectrum of pathogens. Although early in the development of antivirulence approaches, inhibitors of bacterial type III secretion systems and cell division mechanisms show promise for the future.

  2. Ramucirumab: a novel antiangiogenic agent.

    PubMed

    Wadhwa, Roopma; Taketa, Takashi; Sudo, Kazuki; Blum-Murphy, Mariela; Ajani, Jaffer A

    2013-06-01

    Ramucirumab (IMC-1121B) is a fully humanized monoclonal antibody that binds to VEGFR2 and can inhibit angiogenesis, a quintessential mechanism for promoting tumor growth and metastasis. Several antiangiogenesis agents are already approved for cancer therapy; however, ramucirumab's selectivity for VEGFR2 makes it interesting. The selectivity of an agent can improve safety and efficacy. This article describes the mechanism of action, pharmacokinetics, safety and clinical trial results of ramucirumab with particular emphasis on gastric cancer.

  3. Natural products as antimitotic agents.

    PubMed

    Dall'Acqua, Stefano

    2014-01-01

    Natural products still play an important role in the medicinal chemistry, especially in some therapeutic areas. As example more than 60% of currently-used anticancer agents are derives from natural sources including plants, marine organisms or micro-organism. Thus natural products (NP) are an high-impact source of new "lead compounds" or new potential therapeutic agents despite the large development of biotechnology and combinatorial chemistry in the drug discovery and development. Many examples of anticancer drugs as paclitaxel, combretastatin, bryostatin and discodermolide have shown the importance of NP in the anticancer chemotherapy through many years. Many organisms have been studied as sources of drugs namely plants, micro-organisms and marine organisms and the obtained NP can be considered a group of "privileged chemical structures" evolved in nature to interact with other organisms. For this reason NP are a good starting points for pharmaceutical research and also for library design. Tubulin and microtubules are one of the most studied targets for the search of anticancer compounds. Microtubule targeting agents (MTA) also named antimitotic agents are compounds that are able to perturb mitosis but are also able to arrest cell growing during interphase. The anticancer drugs, taxanes and vinca alkaloids have established tubulin as important target in cancer therapy. More recently the vascular disrupting agents (VDA) combretastatin analogues were studied for their antimitotics properties. This review will consider the anti mitotic NP and their potential impact in the development of new therapeutic agents.

  4. What makes virtual agents believable?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bogdanovych, Anton; Trescak, Tomas; Simoff, Simeon

    2016-01-01

    In this paper we investigate the concept of believability and make an attempt to isolate individual characteristics (features) that contribute to making virtual characters believable. As the result of this investigation we have produced a formalisation of believability and based on this formalisation built a computational framework focused on simulation of believable virtual agents that possess the identified features. In order to test whether the identified features are, in fact, responsible for agents being perceived as more believable, we have conducted a user study. In this study we tested user reactions towards the virtual characters that were created for a simulation of aboriginal inhabitants of a particular area of Sydney, Australia in 1770 A.D. The participants of our user study were exposed to short simulated scenes, in which virtual agents performed some behaviour in two different ways (while possessing a certain aspect of believability vs. not possessing it). The results of the study indicate that virtual agents that appear resource bounded, are aware of their environment, own interaction capabilities and their state in the world, agents that can adapt to changes in the environment and exist in correct social context are those that are being perceived as more believable. Further in the paper we discuss these and other believability features and provide a quantitative analysis of the level of contribution for each such feature to the overall perceived believability of a virtual agent.

  5. A multi-agent architecture for geosimulation of moving agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vahidnia, Mohammad H.; Alesheikh, Ali A.; Alavipanah, Seyed Kazem

    2015-10-01

    In this paper, a novel architecture is proposed in which an axiomatic derivation system in the form of first-order logic facilitates declarative explanation and spatial reasoning. Simulation of environmental perception and interaction between autonomous agents is designed with a geographic belief-desire-intention and a request-inform-query model. The architecture has a complementary quantitative component that supports collaborative planning based on the concept of equilibrium and game theory. This new architecture presents a departure from current best practices geographic agent-based modelling. Implementation tasks are discussed in some detail, as well as scenarios for fleet management and disaster management.

  6. Next Generation Remote Agent Planner

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jonsson, Ari K.; Muscettola, Nicola; Morris, Paul H.; Rajan, Kanna

    1999-01-01

    In May 1999, as part of a unique technology validation experiment onboard the Deep Space One spacecraft, the Remote Agent became the first complete autonomous spacecraft control architecture to run as flight software onboard an active spacecraft. As one of the three components of the architecture, the Remote Agent Planner had the task of laying out the course of action to be taken, which included activities such as turning, thrusting, data gathering, and communicating. Building on the successful approach developed for the Remote Agent Planner, the Next Generation Remote Agent Planner is a completely redesigned and reimplemented version of the planner. The new system provides all the key capabilities of the original planner, while adding functionality, improving performance and providing a modular and extendible implementation. The goal of this ongoing project is to develop a system that provides both a basis for future applications and a framework for further research in the area of autonomous planning for spacecraft. In this article, we present an introductory overview of the Next Generation Remote Agent Planner. We present a new and simplified definition of the planning problem, describe the basics of the planning process, lay out the new system design and examine the functionality of the core reasoning module.

  7. Investigational Antimicrobial Agents of 2013

    PubMed Central

    Pucci, Michael J.

    2013-01-01

    SUMMARY New antimicrobial agents are always needed to counteract the resistant pathogens that continue to be selected by current therapeutic regimens. This review provides a survey of known antimicrobial agents that were currently in clinical development in the fall of 2012 and spring of 2013. Data were collected from published literature primarily from 2010 to 2012, meeting abstracts (2011 to 2012), government websites, and company websites when appropriate. Compared to what was reported in previous surveys, a surprising number of new agents are currently in company pipelines, particularly in phase 3 clinical development. Familiar antibacterial classes of the quinolones, tetracyclines, oxazolidinones, glycopeptides, and cephalosporins are represented by entities with enhanced antimicrobial or pharmacological properties. More importantly, compounds of novel chemical structures targeting bacterial pathways not previously exploited are under development. Some of the most promising compounds include novel β-lactamase inhibitor combinations that target many multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria, a critical medical need. Although new antimicrobial agents will continue to be needed to address increasing antibiotic resistance, there are novel agents in development to tackle at least some of the more worrisome pathogens in the current nosocomial setting. PMID:24092856

  8. Relational agents in clinical psychiatry.

    PubMed

    Bickmore, Timothy; Gruber, Amanda

    2010-01-01

    Relational agents are computational artifacts, such as animated, screen-based characters or social robots, that are designed to establish a sense of rapport, trust, and even therapeutic alliance with patients, using ideal therapeutic relationships between human counselors and patients as role models. We describe the development and evaluation of several such agents designed for health counseling and behavioral-change interventions, in which a therapeutic alliance is established with patients in order to enhance the efficacy of the intervention. We also discuss the promise of using such agents as adjuncts to clinical psychiatry, a range of possible applications, and some of the challenges and ethical issues in developing and fielding them in psychiatric interventions.

  9. Haloprogin: a Topical Antifungal Agent

    PubMed Central

    Harrison, E. F.; Zwadyk, P.; Bequette, R. J.; Hamlow, E. E.; Tavormina, P. A.; Zygmunt, W. A.

    1970-01-01

    Haloprogin was shown to be a highly effective agent for the treatment of experimentally induced topical mycotic infections in guinea pigs. Its in vitro spectrum of activity also includes yeasts, yeastlike fungi (Candida species), and certain gram-positive bacteria. The in vitro and in vivo antifungal activity of haloprogin against dermatophytes was equal to that observed with tolnaftate. The striking differences between the two agents were the marked antimonilial and selective antibacterial activities shown by haloprogin, contrasted with the negligible activities found with tolnaftate. Addition of serum decreased the in vitro antifungal activity of haloprogin to a greater extent than that of tolnaftate; however, diminished antifungal activity was not observed when haloprogin was applied topically to experimental dermatophytic infections. Based on its broad spectrum of antimicrobial activity, haloprogin may prove to be a superior topical agent in the treatment of dermatophytic and monilial infections in man. PMID:5422306

  10. Dual Rationality and Deliberative Agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Debenham, John; Sierra, Carles

    Human agents deliberate using models based on reason for only a minute proportion of the decisions that they make. In stark contrast, the deliberation of artificial agents is heavily dominated by formal models based on reason such as game theory, decision theory and logic—despite that fact that formal reasoning will not necessarily lead to superior real-world decisions. Further the Nobel Laureate Friedrich Hayek warns us of the ‘fatal conceit’ in controlling deliberative systems using models based on reason as the particular model chosen will then shape the system’s future and either impede, or eventually destroy, the subtle evolutionary processes that are an integral part of human systems and institutions, and are crucial to their evolution and long-term survival. We describe an architecture for artificial agents that is founded on Hayek’s two rationalities and supports the two forms of deliberation used by mankind.

  11. Polycatechol Nanoparticle MRI Contrast Agents.

    PubMed

    Li, Yiwen; Huang, Yuran; Wang, Zhao; Carniato, Fabio; Xie, Yijun; Patterson, Joseph P; Thompson, Matthew P; Andolina, Christopher M; Ditri, Treffly B; Millstone, Jill E; Figueroa, Joshua S; Rinehart, Jeffrey D; Scadeng, Miriam; Botta, Mauro; Gianneschi, Nathan C

    2016-02-01

    Amphiphilic triblock copolymers containing Fe(III) -catecholate complexes formulated as spherical- or cylindrical-shaped micellar nanoparticles (SMN and CMN, respectively) are described as new T1-weighted agents with high relaxivity, low cytotoxicity, and long-term stability in biological fluids. Relaxivities of both SMN and CMN exceed those of established gadolinium chelates across a wide range of magnetic field strengths. Interestingly, shape-dependent behavior is observed in terms of the particles' interactions with HeLa cells, with CMN exhibiting enhanced uptake and contrast via magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) compared with SMN. These results suggest that control over soft nanoparticle shape will provide an avenue for optimization of particle-based contrast agents as biodiagnostics. The polycatechol nanoparticles are proposed as suitable for preclinical investigations into their viability as gadolinium-free, safe, and effective imaging agents for MRI contrast enhancement. PMID:26681255

  12. Agent review phase one report.

    SciTech Connect

    Zubelewicz, Alex Tadeusz; Davis, Christopher Edward; Bauer, Travis LaDell

    2009-12-01

    This report summarizes the findings for phase one of the agent review and discusses the review methods and results. The phase one review identified a short list of agent systems that would prove most useful in the service architecture of an information management, analysis, and retrieval system. Reviewers evaluated open-source and commercial multi-agent systems and scored them based upon viability, uniqueness, ease of development, ease of deployment, and ease of integration with other products. Based on these criteria, reviewers identified the ten most appropriate systems. The report also mentions several systems that reviewers deemed noteworthy for the ideas they implement, even if those systems are not the best choices for information management purposes.

  13. Thyroid Dysfunction from Antineoplastic Agents

    PubMed Central

    Larsen, P. Reed; Marqusee, Ellen

    2011-01-01

    Unlike cytotoxic agents that indiscriminately affect rapidly dividing cells, newer antineoplastic agents such as targeted therapies and immunotherapies are associated with thyroid dysfunction. These include tyrosine kinase inhibitors, bexarotene, radioiodine-based cancer therapies, denileukin diftitox, alemtuzumab, interferon-α, interleukin-2, ipilimumab, tremelimumab, thalidomide, and lenalidomide. Primary hypothyroidism is the most common side effect, although thyrotoxicosis and effects on thyroid-stimulating hormone secretion and thyroid hormone metabolism have also been described. Most agents cause thyroid dysfunction in 20%–50% of patients, although some have even higher rates. Despite this, physicians may overlook drug-induced thyroid dysfunction because of the complexity of the clinical picture in the cancer patient. Symptoms of hypothyroidism, such as fatigue, weakness, depression, memory loss, cold intolerance, and cardiovascular effects, may be incorrectly attributed to the primary disease or to the antineoplastic agent. Underdiagnosis of thyroid dysfunction can have important consequences for cancer patient management. At a minimum, the symptoms will adversely affect the patient’s quality of life. Alternatively, such symptoms can lead to dose reductions of potentially life-saving therapies. Hypothyroidism can also alter the kinetics and clearance of medications, which may lead to undesirable side effects. Thyrotoxicosis can be mistaken for sepsis or a nonendocrinologic drug side effect. In some patients, thyroid disease may indicate a higher likelihood of tumor response to the agent. Both hypothyroidism and thyrotoxicosis are easily diagnosed with inexpensive and specific tests. In many patients, particularly those with hypothyroidism, the treatment is straightforward. We therefore recommend routine testing for thyroid abnormalities in patients receiving these antineoplastic agents. PMID:22010182

  14. Thyroid dysfunction from antineoplastic agents.

    PubMed

    Hamnvik, Ole-Petter Riksfjord; Larsen, P Reed; Marqusee, Ellen

    2011-11-01

    Unlike cytotoxic agents that indiscriminately affect rapidly dividing cells, newer antineoplastic agents such as targeted therapies and immunotherapies are associated with thyroid dysfunction. These include tyrosine kinase inhibitors, bexarotene, radioiodine-based cancer therapies, denileukin diftitox, alemtuzumab, interferon-α, interleukin-2, ipilimumab, tremelimumab, thalidomide, and lenalidomide. Primary hypothyroidism is the most common side effect, although thyrotoxicosis and effects on thyroid-stimulating hormone secretion and thyroid hormone metabolism have also been described. Most agents cause thyroid dysfunction in 20%-50% of patients, although some have even higher rates. Despite this, physicians may overlook drug-induced thyroid dysfunction because of the complexity of the clinical picture in the cancer patient. Symptoms of hypothyroidism, such as fatigue, weakness, depression, memory loss, cold intolerance, and cardiovascular effects, may be incorrectly attributed to the primary disease or to the antineoplastic agent. Underdiagnosis of thyroid dysfunction can have important consequences for cancer patient management. At a minimum, the symptoms will adversely affect the patient's quality of life. Alternatively, such symptoms can lead to dose reductions of potentially life-saving therapies. Hypothyroidism can also alter the kinetics and clearance of medications, which may lead to undesirable side effects. Thyrotoxicosis can be mistaken for sepsis or a nonendocrinologic drug side effect. In some patients, thyroid disease may indicate a higher likelihood of tumor response to the agent. Both hypothyroidism and thyrotoxicosis are easily diagnosed with inexpensive and specific tests. In many patients, particularly those with hypothyroidism, the treatment is straightforward. We therefore recommend routine testing for thyroid abnormalities in patients receiving these antineoplastic agents. PMID:22010182

  15. Autonomous sensor manager agents (ASMA)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Osadciw, Lisa A.

    2004-04-01

    Autonomous sensor manager agents are presented as an algorithm to perform sensor management within a multisensor fusion network. The design of the hybrid ant system/particle swarm agents is described in detail with some insight into their performance. Although the algorithm is designed for the general sensor management problem, a simulation example involving 2 radar systems is presented. Algorithmic parameters are determined by the size of the region covered by the sensor network, the number of sensors, and the number of parameters to be selected. With straight forward modifications, this algorithm can be adapted for most sensor management problems.

  16. Exposure to toxic environmental agents.

    PubMed

    2013-10-01

    Reducing exposure to toxic environmental agents is a critical area of intervention for obstetricians, gynecologists, and other reproductive health care professionals. Patient exposure to toxic environmental chemicals and other stressors is ubiquitous, and preconception and prenatal exposure to toxic environmental agents can have a profound and lasting effect on reproductive health across the life course.Prenatal exposure to certain chemicals has been documented to increase the risk of cancer in childhood; adult male exposure to pesticides is linked to altered semen quality, sterility, and prostate cancer; and postnatal exposure to some pesticides can interfere with all developmental stages of reproductive function in adult females, including puberty, menstruation and ovulation, fertility and fecundity, and menopause. Many environmental factors harmful to reproductive health disproportionately affect vulnerable and underserved populations,which leaves some populations, including underserved women, more vulnerable to adverse reproductive health effects than other populations. The evidence that links exposure to toxic environmental agents and adverse reproductive and developmental health outcomes is sufficiently robust, and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine join leading scientists and other clinical practitioners in calling for timely action to identify and reduce exposure to toxic environmental agents while addressing the consequences of such exposure.

  17. Exposure to toxic environmental agents.

    PubMed

    2013-10-01

    : Reducing exposure to toxic environmental agents is a critical area of intervention for obstetricians, gynecologists, and other reproductive health care professionals. Patient exposure to toxic environmental chemicals and other stressors is ubiquitous, and preconception and prenatal exposure to toxic environmental agents can have a profound and lasting effect on reproductive health across the life course. Prenatal exposure to certain chemicals has been documented to increase the risk of cancer in childhood; adult male exposure to pesticides is linked to altered semen quality, sterility, and prostate cancer; and postnatal exposure to some pesticides can interfere with all developmental stages of reproductive function in adult females, including puberty, menstruation and ovulation, fertility and fecundity, and menopause. Many environmental factors harmful to reproductive health disproportionately affect vulnerable and underserved populations, which leaves some populations, including underserved women, more vulnerable to adverse reproductive health effects than other populations. The evidence that links exposure to toxic environmental agents and adverse reproductive and developmental health outcomes is sufficiently robust, and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine join leading scientists and other clinical practitioners in calling for timely action to identify and reduce exposure to toxic environmental agents while addressing the consequences of such exposure.

  18. Triggered pore-forming agents

    DOEpatents

    Bayley, H.; Walker, B.J.; Chang, C.Y.; Niblack, B.; Panchal, R.

    1998-07-07

    An inactive pore-forming agent is revealed which is activated to lytic function by a condition such as pH, light, heat, reducing potential, or metal ion concentration, or substance such as a protease, at the surface of a cell. 30 figs.

  19. 7 CFR 4290.1620 - Functions of agents, including Central Registration Agent, Selling Agent and Fiscal Agent.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ..., DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE RURAL BUSINESS INVESTMENT COMPANY (âRBICâ) PROGRAM Financial Assistance for RBICs (Leverage) Funding Leverage by Use of Guaranteed Trust Certificates (âtcsâ) § 4290.1620 Functions of agents... to: (i) Establish performance criteria for Poolers. (ii) Monitor and evaluate the financial...

  20. Direct Vasodilators and Sympatholytic Agents.

    PubMed

    McComb, Meghan N; Chao, James Y; Ng, Tien M H

    2016-01-01

    Direct vasodilators and sympatholytic agents were some of the first antihypertensive medications discovered and utilized in the past century. However, side effect profiles and the advent of newer antihypertensive drug classes have reduced the use of these agents in recent decades. Outcome data and large randomized trials supporting the efficacy of these medications are limited; however, in general the blood pressure-lowering effect of these agents has repeatedly been shown to be comparable to other more contemporary drug classes. Nevertheless, a landmark hypertension trial found a negative outcome with a doxazosin-based regimen compared to a chlorthalidone-based regimen, leading to the removal of α-1 adrenergic receptor blockers as first-line monotherapy from the hypertension guidelines. In contemporary practice, direct vasodilators and sympatholytic agents, particularly hydralazine and clonidine, are often utilized in refractory hypertension. Hydralazine and minoxidil may also be useful alternatives for patients with renal dysfunction, and both hydralazine and methyldopa are considered first line for the treatment of hypertension in pregnancy. Hydralazine has also found widespread use for the treatment of systolic heart failure in combination with isosorbide dinitrate (ISDN). The data to support use of this combination in African Americans with heart failure are particularly robust. Hydralazine with ISDN may also serve as an alternative for patients with an intolerance to angiotensin antagonists. Given these niche indications, vasodilators and sympatholytics are still useful in clinical practice; therefore, it is prudent to understand the existing data regarding efficacy and the safe use of these medications. PMID:26033778

  1. Nucleotide cleaving agents and method

    DOEpatents

    Que, Jr., Lawrence; Hanson, Richard S.; Schnaith, Leah M. T.

    2000-01-01

    The present invention provides a unique series of nucleotide cleaving agents and a method for cleaving a nucleotide sequence, whether single-stranded or double-stranded DNA or RNA, using and a cationic metal complex having at least one polydentate ligand to cleave the nucleotide sequence phosphate backbone to yield a hydroxyl end and a phosphate end.

  2. 7 CFR 4290.1620 - Functions of agents, including Central Registration Agent, Selling Agent and Fiscal Agent.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 15 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Functions of agents, including Central Registration..., DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE RURAL BUSINESS INVESTMENT COMPANY (âRBICâ) PROGRAM Financial Assistance for RBICs (Leverage) Funding Leverage by Use of Guaranteed Trust Certificates (âtcsâ) § 4290.1620 Functions of...

  3. SEM: A Cultural Change Agent

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barnes, Bradley; Bourke, Brian

    2015-01-01

    The authors advance the concept that institutional culture is a purposeful framework by which to view SEM's utility, particularly as a cultural change agent. Through the connection of seemingly independent functions of performance and behavior, implications emerge that deepen the understanding of the influence of culture on performance outcomes…

  4. Limonene and tetrahydrofurfuryl alcohol cleaning agent

    DOEpatents

    Bohnert, George W.; Carter, Richard D.; Hand, Thomas E.; Powers, Michael T.

    1996-05-07

    The present invention is a tetrahydrofurfuryl alcohol and limonene or terpineol cleaning agent and method for formulating and/or using the cleaning agent. This cleaning agent effectively removes both polar and nonpolar contaminants from various electrical and mechanical parts and is readily used without surfactants, thereby reducing the need for additional cleaning operations. The cleaning agent is warm water rinsable without the use of surfactants. The cleaning agent can be azeotropic, enhancing ease of use in cleaning operations and ease of recycling.

  5. Limonene and tetrahydrofurfuryl alcohol cleaning agent

    DOEpatents

    Bohnert, G.W.; Carter, R.D.; Hand, T.E.; Powers, M.T.

    1997-10-21

    The present invention is a tetrahydrofurfuryl alcohol and limonene cleaning agent and method for formulating and/or using the cleaning agent. This cleaning agent effectively removes both polar and nonpolar contaminants from various electrical and mechanical parts and is readily used without surfactants, thereby reducing the need for additional cleaning operations. The cleaning agent is warm water rinsable without the use of surfactants. The cleaning agent can be azeotropic, enhancing ease of use in cleaning operations and ease of recycling.

  6. Limonene and tetrahydrofurfurly alcohol cleaning agent

    DOEpatents

    Bohnert, George W.; Carter, Richard D.; Hand, Thomas E.; Powers, Michael T.

    1997-10-21

    The present invention is a tetrahydrofurfuryl alcohol and limonene cleaning agent and method for formulating and/or using the cleaning agent. This cleaning agent effectively removes both polar and nonpolar contaminants from various electrical and mechanical parts and is readily used without surfactants, thereby reducing the need for additional cleaning operations. The cleaning agent is warm water rinsable without the use of surfactants. The cleaning agent can be azeotropic, enhancing ease of use in cleaning operations and ease of recycling.

  7. Halide test agent replacement study

    SciTech Connect

    Banks, E.M.; Freeman, W.P.; Kovach, B.J.

    1995-02-01

    The intended phaseout of the chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) from commercial use required the evaluation of substitute materials for the testing for leak paths through both individual adsorbers and installed adsorbent banks. The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Committee on Nuclear Air and Gas Treatment (CONAGT) is in charge of maintaining the standards and codes specifying adsorbent leak test methods for the nuclear safety related air cleaning systems. The currently published standards and codes cite the use of R-11, R-12 and R-112 for leak path test agents. All of these compounds are CFCs. There are other agencies and organizations (USDOE, USDOD and USNRC) also specifying testing for leak paths or in some cases for special life tests using the above compounds. The CONAGT has recently developed criteria for the suitability evaluation of substitute test agents. On the basis of these criteria, several compounds were evaluated for their acceptability as adsorbent bed leak and life test agents. The ASME CONAGT Test Agent Qualification Criteria. The test agent qualification is based on the following parameters: (1) Similar retention times on activated carbons at the same concentration levels as one of the following: R-11, R-12, R-112 or R-112a. (2) Similar lower detection limit sensitivity and precision in the concentration range of use as R-11, R-12, R-112 and R-112a. (3) Gives the same in-place leak test results as R-11, R-12, R-112, or R-112a. (4) Chemical and radiological stability under the use conditions. (5) Causes no degradation of the carbon and its impregnant or of the other NATS components under the use conditions. (6) Is listed in the USEPA Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) inventory for commercial use.

  8. Does an Agent Matter? The Effects of Animated Pedagogical Agents on Multimedia Environments.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Craig, Scotty D.; Gholson, Barry

    Data are presented on the effects of Animated Agents on multimedia learning environments with specific concerns of split attention and modality effects. The study was a 3 (agent properties: agent only, agent with gestures, no agent) x 3 (picture features: static picture, sudden onset, animation) factorial design with outcome measures of mental…

  9. The New Agent: A Qualitative Study to Strategically Adapt New Agent Professional Development

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baker, Lauri M.; Hadley, Gregg

    2014-01-01

    The qualitative study reported here assessed the needs of agents related to new agent professional development to improve the current model. Agents who participated in new agent professional development within the last 5 years were selected to participate in focus groups to determine concerns and continued needs. Agents enjoyed networking and…

  10. Neuroprotective "agents" in surgery. Secret "agent" man, or common "agent" machine?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Andrews, R. J.

    1999-01-01

    The search for clinically-effective neuroprotective agents has received enormous support in recent years--an estimated $200 million by pharmaceutical companies on clinical trials for traumatic brain injury alone. At the same time, the pathophysiology of brain injury has proved increasingly complex, rendering the likelihood of a single agent "magic bullet" even more remote. On the other hand, great progress continues with technology that makes surgery less invasive and less risky. One example is the application of endovascular techniques to treat coronary artery stenosis, where both the invasiveness of sternotomy and the significant neurological complication rate (due to microemboli showering the cerebral vasculature) can be eliminated. In this paper we review aspects of intraoperative neuroprotection both present and future. Explanations for the slow progress on pharmacologic neuroprotection during surgery are presented. Examples of technical advances that have had great impact on neuroprotection during surgery are given both from coronary artery stenosis surgery and from surgery for Parkinson's disease. To date, the progress in neuroprotection resulting from such technical advances is an order of magnitude greater than that resulting from pharmacologic agents used during surgery. The progress over the last 20 years in guidance during surgery (CT and MRI image-guidance) and in surgical access (endoscopic and endovascular techniques) will soon be complemented by advances in our ability to evaluate biological tissue intraoperatively in real-time. As an example of such technology, the NASA Smart Probe project is considered. In the long run (i.e., in 10 years or more), pharmacologic "agents" aimed at the complex pathophysiology of nervous system injury in man will be the key to true intraoperative neuroprotection. In the near term, however, it is more likely that mundane "agents" based on computers, microsensors, and microeffectors will be the major impetus to improved

  11. CATS-based Agents That Err

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Callantine, Todd J.

    2002-01-01

    This report describes preliminary research on intelligent agents that make errors. Such agents are crucial to the development of novel agent-based techniques for assessing system safety. The agents extend an agent architecture derived from the Crew Activity Tracking System that has been used as the basis for air traffic controller agents. The report first reviews several error taxonomies. Next, it presents an overview of the air traffic controller agents, then details several mechanisms for causing the agents to err in realistic ways. The report presents a performance assessment of the error-generating agents, and identifies directions for further research. The research was supported by the System-Wide Accident Prevention element of the FAA/NASA Aviation Safety Program.

  12. Chaotic neurodynamics for autonomous agents.

    PubMed

    Harter, Derek; Kozma, Robert

    2005-05-01

    Mesoscopic level neurodynamics study the collective dynamical behavior of neural populations. Such models are becoming increasingly important in understanding large-scale brain processes. Brains exhibit aperiodic oscillations with a much more rich dynamical behavior than fixed-point and limit-cycle approximation allow. Here we present a discretized model inspired by Freeman's K-set mesoscopic level population model. We show that this version is capable of replicating the important principles of aperiodic/chaotic neurodynamics while being fast enough for use in real-time autonomous agent applications. This simplification of the K model provides many advantages not only in terms of efficiency but in simplicity and its ability to be analyzed in terms of its dynamical properties. We study the discrete version using a multilayer, highly recurrent model of the neural architecture of perceptual brain areas. We use this architecture to develop example action selection mechanisms in an autonomous agent. PMID:15940987

  13. Novel Antiangiogenic Agents in Dermatology

    PubMed Central

    Berrios, Ricardo L.; Arbiser, Jack L.

    2011-01-01

    Because angiogenesis underlies the pathogenesis of numerous conditions (cancer, psoriasis, macular degeneration), there is a pressing need for continued investigations into angiogenic signaling and potential drug targets. Antiangiogenic agents can be classified as either direct or indirect. Direct antiangiogenics act on untransformed endothelial cells to prevent differentiation and proliferation; indirect antiangiogenics act to inhibit factors involved in proangiogenic signaling. Agents currently available with dermatologic indications are few, while several established and novel biologics targeting various proangiogenic factors are currently being investigated for potential dermatologic uses, but the jury is still out on their efficacy and safety. In this review, we highlight our experience with a group of existing and novel, small molecules that combine several modes of action against angiogenesis in addition to other properties – triarylmethane dyes and fulvene derivatives. PMID:21172300

  14. Bacteriocins as Potential Anticancer Agents

    PubMed Central

    Kaur, Sumanpreet; Kaur, Sukhraj

    2015-01-01

    Cancer remains one of the leading causes of deaths worldwide, despite advances in its treatment and detection. The conventional chemotherapeutic agents used for the treatment of cancer have non-specific toxicity toward normal body cells that cause various side effects. Secondly, cancer cells are known to develop chemotherapy resistance in due course of treatment. Thus, the demand for novel anti-cancer agents is increasing day by day. Some of the experimental studies have reported the therapeutic potential of bacteriocins against various types of cancer cell lines. Bacteriocins are ribosomally-synthesized cationic peptides secreted by almost all groups of bacteria. Some bacteriocins have shown selective cytotoxicity toward cancer cells as compared to normal cells. This makes them promising candidates for further investigation and clinical trials. In this review article, we present the overview of the various cancer cell-specific cytotoxic bacteriocins, their mode of action and efficacies. PMID:26617524

  15. Bacteriocins as Potential Anticancer Agents.

    PubMed

    Kaur, Sumanpreet; Kaur, Sukhraj

    2015-01-01

    Cancer remains one of the leading causes of deaths worldwide, despite advances in its treatment and detection. The conventional chemotherapeutic agents used for the treatment of cancer have non-specific toxicity toward normal body cells that cause various side effects. Secondly, cancer cells are known to develop chemotherapy resistance in due course of treatment. Thus, the demand for novel anti-cancer agents is increasing day by day. Some of the experimental studies have reported the therapeutic potential of bacteriocins against various types of cancer cell lines. Bacteriocins are ribosomally-synthesized cationic peptides secreted by almost all groups of bacteria. Some bacteriocins have shown selective cytotoxicity toward cancer cells as compared to normal cells. This makes them promising candidates for further investigation and clinical trials. In this review article, we present the overview of the various cancer cell-specific cytotoxic bacteriocins, their mode of action and efficacies.

  16. [Pharmacology of bone anabolic agents].

    PubMed

    Matsumoto, Toshio

    2015-10-01

    Bone is constantly remodeled to maintain its volume, structural integrity and strength Currently available bone anabolic agent is teriparatide. Teriparatide increases bone mass and strength via both remodeling-dependent and -independent mechanisms, although remodeling-dependent mechanism overweighs the other. Canonical Wnt signal plays an important role in enhancing osteoblast differentiation and bone formation, and its osteocyte-derived inhibitor, sclerostin, regulates bone formation via the regulation of Wnt signaling. Anti-sclerostin antibody stimulates Wnt signaling and enhances bone formation. Phase II clinical trials with anti-sclerostin antibodies, romosozumab and blosozumab, demonstrated a marked increase in bone mineral density after one year of treatment. The new modality of anabolic agents via remodeling-independent stimulation of bone formation may open up a new avenue for the treatment of osteoporosis.

  17. Oral agents in multiple sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Lorefice, L; Fenu, G; Frau, J; Coghe, G C; Marrosu, M G; Cocco, E

    2015-01-01

    Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a complex autoimmune disease of the central nervous system. Disease-modifying drugs licensed for MS treatment have been developed to reduce relapse rates and halt disease progression. The majority of current MS drugs involve regular, parenteral administration, affecting long-term adherence and thus reducing treatment efficacy. Over the last two decades great progress has been made towards developing new MS therapies with different modes of action and biologic effects. In particular, oral drugs have generated much interest because of their convenience and positive impact on medication adherence. Fingolimod was the first launched oral treatment for relapsing-remitting MS; recently, Teriflunomide and Dimethyl fumarate have also been approved as oral disease-modifying agents. In this review, we summarize and discuss the history, pharmacodynamics, efficacy, and safety of oral agents that have been approved or are under development for the selective treatment of MS. PMID:25924620

  18. Hyperlipidemia sink for anesthetic agents.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Thomas J; Porhomayon, Jahan; Nader, Nader D; Eldesouki, Enas; Smith, Kelly; Hobika, Geoffrey G

    2016-11-01

    We present a case that involves anesthetic resistance during anesthesia for electroconvulsive therapy. Despite adequate dosing of both intravenous and inhalation anesthetics, our patient was resistant to induction of the state of general anesthesia. Subsequently, we noticed extreme hyperlipidemia. We hypothesized that the patient's extreme hyperlipidemia served as an anesthetic "sink" and prevented the full dose of intravenous agents from quickly reaching their intended site of action.

  19. Pharmacologic Agents for Chronic Diarrhea.

    PubMed

    Lee, Kwang Jae

    2015-10-01

    Chronic diarrhea is usually associated with a number of non-infectious causes. When definitive treatment is unavailable, symptomatic drug therapy is indicated. Pharmacologic agents for chronic diarrhea include loperamide, 5-hydroxytryptamine type 3 (5-HT3) receptor antagonists, diosmectite, cholestyramine, probiotics, antispasmodics, rifaximin, and anti-inflammatory agents. Loperamide, a synthetic opiate agonist, decreases peristaltic activity and inhibits secretion, resulting in the reduction of fluid and electrolyte loss and an increase in stool consistency. Cholestyramine is a bile acid sequestrant that is generally considered as the first-line treatment for bile acid diarrhea. 5-HT3 receptor antagonists have significant benefits in patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) with diarrhea. Ramosetron improves stool consistency as well as global IBS symptoms. Probiotics may have a role in the prevention of antibiotic-associated diarrhea. However, data on the role of probiotics in the treatment of chronic diarrhea are lacking. Diosmectite, an absorbent, can be used for the treatment of chronic functional diarrhea, radiation-induced diarrhea, and chemotherapy-induced diarrhea. Antispasmodics including alverine citrate, mebeverine, otilonium bromide, and pinaverium bromide are used for relieving diarrheal symptoms and abdominal pain. Rifaximin can be effective for chronic diarrhea associated with IBS and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. Budesonide is effective in both lymphocytic colitis and collagenous colitis. The efficacy of mesalazine in microscopic colitis is weak or remains uncertain. Considering their mechanisms of action, these agents should be prescribed properly. PMID:26576135

  20. Mortality among agricultural extension agents.

    PubMed

    Alavanja, M C; Blair, A; Merkle, S; Teske, J; Eaton, B

    1988-01-01

    The mortality experience of agricultural extension agents in the Cooperative Extension Service (CES) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture who died during the period January 1, 1970-December 31, 1979 (n = 1,495 white males) was evaluated in proportionate-mortality and case-control studies. The proportionate-mortality analysis was used to identify cancers that might be elevated in this occupational group compared with the U.S. white male population. All cancers with a significantly elevated proportionate-mortality ratio were more thoroughly evaluated in the case-control study, where there is presumably less of a selection bias in the comparison. In the case-control study, leukemia demonstrated a statistically significant linear trend with duration of employment as an extension agent. Smaller, but nonsignificant, trends were seen for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, multiple myeloma, and brain cancer. The odds ratio for Hodgkin's disease and cancers of the colon, prostate, and kidney did not vary with the number of years on the job. These patterns resemble cancer risks seen among farmers, suggesting that agricultural factors may also play a role in the origin of these tumors among extension agents.

  1. Chelating agents and cadmium intoxication

    SciTech Connect

    Shinobu, L.A.

    1985-01-01

    A wide range of conventional chelating agents have been screened for (a) antidotal activity in acute cadmium poisoning and (b) ability to reduce aged liver and kidney deposits of cadmium. Chelating agents belonging to the dithiocarbamate class have been synthesized and tested in both the acute and chronic modes of cadmium intoxication. Several dithiocarbamates, not only provide antidotal rescue, but also substantially decrease the intracellular deposits of cadmium associated with chronic cadmium intoxication. Fractionating the cytosol from the livers and kidneys of control and treated animals by Sephadex G-25 gel filtration clearly demonstrates that the dithiocarbamates are reducing the level of metallothionein-bound cadmium. However, the results of cell culture (Ehrlich ascites) studies designed to investigate the removal of cadmium from metallothionein and subsequent transport of the resultant cadmium complex across the cell membrane were inconclusive. In other in vitro investigations, the interaction between isolated native Cd, Zn-metallothionein and several chelating agents was explored. Ultracentrifugation, equilibrium dialysis, and Sephadex G-25 gel filtration studies have been carried out in an attempt to determine the rate of removal of cadmium from metallothionein by these small molecules. Chemical shifts for the relevant cadmium-dithiocarbamate complexes have been determined using natural abundance Cd-NMR.

  2. Pharmacologic Agents for Chronic Diarrhea

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Chronic diarrhea is usually associated with a number of non-infectious causes. When definitive treatment is unavailable, symptomatic drug therapy is indicated. Pharmacologic agents for chronic diarrhea include loperamide, 5-hydroxytryptamine type 3 (5-HT3) receptor antagonists, diosmectite, cholestyramine, probiotics, antispasmodics, rifaximin, and anti-inflammatory agents. Loperamide, a synthetic opiate agonist, decreases peristaltic activity and inhibits secretion, resulting in the reduction of fluid and electrolyte loss and an increase in stool consistency. Cholestyramine is a bile acid sequestrant that is generally considered as the first-line treatment for bile acid diarrhea. 5-HT3 receptor antagonists have significant benefits in patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) with diarrhea. Ramosetron improves stool consistency as well as global IBS symptoms. Probiotics may have a role in the prevention of antibiotic-associated diarrhea. However, data on the role of probiotics in the treatment of chronic diarrhea are lacking. Diosmectite, an absorbent, can be used for the treatment of chronic functional diarrhea, radiation-induced diarrhea, and chemotherapy-induced diarrhea. Antispasmodics including alverine citrate, mebeverine, otilonium bromide, and pinaverium bromide are used for relieving diarrheal symptoms and abdominal pain. Rifaximin can be effective for chronic diarrhea associated with IBS and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. Budesonide is effective in both lymphocytic colitis and collagenous colitis. The efficacy of mesalazine in microscopic colitis is weak or remains uncertain. Considering their mechanisms of action, these agents should be prescribed properly. PMID:26576135

  3. Pharmacologic Agents for Chronic Diarrhea.

    PubMed

    Lee, Kwang Jae

    2015-10-01

    Chronic diarrhea is usually associated with a number of non-infectious causes. When definitive treatment is unavailable, symptomatic drug therapy is indicated. Pharmacologic agents for chronic diarrhea include loperamide, 5-hydroxytryptamine type 3 (5-HT3) receptor antagonists, diosmectite, cholestyramine, probiotics, antispasmodics, rifaximin, and anti-inflammatory agents. Loperamide, a synthetic opiate agonist, decreases peristaltic activity and inhibits secretion, resulting in the reduction of fluid and electrolyte loss and an increase in stool consistency. Cholestyramine is a bile acid sequestrant that is generally considered as the first-line treatment for bile acid diarrhea. 5-HT3 receptor antagonists have significant benefits in patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) with diarrhea. Ramosetron improves stool consistency as well as global IBS symptoms. Probiotics may have a role in the prevention of antibiotic-associated diarrhea. However, data on the role of probiotics in the treatment of chronic diarrhea are lacking. Diosmectite, an absorbent, can be used for the treatment of chronic functional diarrhea, radiation-induced diarrhea, and chemotherapy-induced diarrhea. Antispasmodics including alverine citrate, mebeverine, otilonium bromide, and pinaverium bromide are used for relieving diarrheal symptoms and abdominal pain. Rifaximin can be effective for chronic diarrhea associated with IBS and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. Budesonide is effective in both lymphocytic colitis and collagenous colitis. The efficacy of mesalazine in microscopic colitis is weak or remains uncertain. Considering their mechanisms of action, these agents should be prescribed properly.

  4. Multi-agent autonomous system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fink, Wolfgang (Inventor); Dohm, James (Inventor); Tarbell, Mark A. (Inventor)

    2010-01-01

    A multi-agent autonomous system for exploration of hazardous or inaccessible locations. The multi-agent autonomous system includes simple surface-based agents or craft controlled by an airborne tracking and command system. The airborne tracking and command system includes an instrument suite used to image an operational area and any craft deployed within the operational area. The image data is used to identify the craft, targets for exploration, and obstacles in the operational area. The tracking and command system determines paths for the surface-based craft using the identified targets and obstacles and commands the craft using simple movement commands to move through the operational area to the targets while avoiding the obstacles. Each craft includes its own instrument suite to collect information about the operational area that is transmitted back to the tracking and command system. The tracking and command system may be further coupled to a satellite system to provide additional image information about the operational area and provide operational and location commands to the tracking and command system.

  5. Agent planning in AgScala

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tošić, Saša; Mitrović, Dejan; Ivanović, Mirjana

    2013-10-01

    Agent-oriented programming languages are designed to simplify the development of software agents, especially those that exhibit complex, intelligent behavior. This paper presents recent improvements of AgScala, an agent-oriented programming language based on Scala. AgScala includes declarative constructs for managing beliefs, actions and goals of intelligent agents. Combined with object-oriented and functional programming paradigms offered by Scala, it aims to be an efficient framework for developing both purely reactive, and more complex, deliberate agents. Instead of the Prolog back-end used initially, the new version of AgScala relies on Agent Planning Package, a more advanced system for automated planning and reasoning.

  6. Natural backbone graft copolymers as suspending agents, dispersing agents, filtrate control agents, and viscosifiers

    SciTech Connect

    Meister, J.J.

    1988-05-01

    Free radical, graft copolymerization of water-soluble monomers onto Kraft, pine lignin produces a natural backgone, graft polymer which functions as a thickening or dispersing agent in water-base, bentonite drilling muds. The complex polymers formed by reacting lignin, calcium chloride, a hydroperoxide, and ethene monomers in anerobic solvent have the structures given in this paper. Synthesis methods, possible synthesis mechanism insights, characterization, properties, and drilling mud tests for these samples are presented in this paper.

  7. Chemopreventive Agent Development | Division of Cancer Prevention

    Cancer.gov

    This group promotes and supports research on early chemopreventive agent development, from preclinical studies to pha | Research on early chemopreventive agent development, from preclinical studies to phase I clinical trials.

  8. Intelligent Agents as Cognitive Tools for Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baylor, Amy

    1999-01-01

    Examines the educational potential for intelligent agents as cognitive tools. Discusses the role of intelligent agents: managing large amounts of information (information overload), serving as a pedagogical expert, and creating programming environments for the learner. (AEF)

  9. 7 CFR 58.720 - Acidifying agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... Specifications for Dairy Plants Approved for USDA Inspection and Grading Service 1 Quality Specifications for Raw Material § 58.720 Acidifying agents. Acidifying agents if used shall be those permitted by the Food...

  10. 7 CFR 58.628 - Sweetening agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... Specifications for Dairy Plants Approved for USDA Inspection and Grading Service 1 Quality Specifications for Raw Material § 58.628 Sweetening agents. Sweetening agents shall be clean and wholesome and consist of one...

  11. Learning other agents` preferences in multiagent negotiation

    SciTech Connect

    Bui, H.H.; Kieronska, D.; Venkatesh, S.

    1996-12-31

    In multiagent systems, an agent does not usually have complete information about the preferences and decision making processes of other agents. This might prevent the agents from making coordinated choices, purely due to their ignorance of what others want. This paper describes the integration of a learning module into a communication-intensive negotiating agent architecture. The learning module gives the agents the ability to learn about other agents` preferences via past interactions. Over time, the agents can incrementally update their models of other agents` preferences and use them to make better coordinated decisions. Combining both communication and learning, as two complement knowledge acquisition methods, helps to reduce the amount of communication needed on average, and is justified in situations where communication is computationally costly or simply not desirable (e.g. to preserve the individual privacy).

  12. Intelligent Agent Architectures: Reactive Planning Testbed

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosenschein, Stanley J.; Kahn, Philip

    1993-01-01

    An Integrated Agent Architecture (IAA) is a framework or paradigm for constructing intelligent agents. Intelligent agents are collections of sensors, computers, and effectors that interact with their environments in real time in goal-directed ways. Because of the complexity involved in designing intelligent agents, it has been found useful to approach the construction of agents with some organizing principle, theory, or paradigm that gives shape to the agent's components and structures their relationships. Given the wide variety of approaches being taken in the field, the question naturally arises: Is there a way to compare and evaluate these approaches? The purpose of the present work is to develop common benchmark tasks and evaluation metrics to which intelligent agents, including complex robotic agents, constructed using various architectural approaches can be subjected.

  13. Extinguishing agent for combustible metal fires

    DOEpatents

    Riley, John F.; Stauffer, Edgar Eugene

    1976-10-12

    A low chloride extinguishing agent for combustible metal fires comprising from substantially 75 to substantially 94 weight percent of sodium carbonate as the basic fire extinguishing material, from substantially 1 to substantially 5 weight percent of a water-repellent agent such as a metal stearate, from substantially 2 to substantially 10 weight percent of a flow promoting agent such as attapulgus clay, and from substantially 3 to substantially 15 weight percent of a polyamide resin as a crusting agent.

  14. Pathogenic agents in freshwater resources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Geldreich, Edwin E.

    1996-02-01

    Numerous pathogenic agents have been found in freshwaters used as sources for water supplies, recreational bathing and irrigation. These agents include bacterial pathogens, enteric viruses, several protozoans and parasitic worms more common to tropical waters. Although infected humans are a major source of pathogens, farm animals (cattle, sheep, pigs), animal pets (dogs, cats) and wildlife serve as significant reservoirs and should not be ignored. The range of infected individuals within a given warm-blooded animal group (humans included) may range from 1 to 25%. Survival times for pathogens in the water environment may range from a few days to as much as a year (Ascaris, Taenia eggs), with infective dose levels varying from one viable cell for several primary pathogenic agents to many thousands of cells for a given opportunistic pathogen.As pathogen detection in water is complex and not readily incorporated into routine monitoring, a surrogate is necessary. In general, indicators of faecal contamination provide a positive correlation with intestinal pathogen occurrences only when appropriate sample volumes are examined by sensitive methodology.Pathways by which pathogens reach susceptible water users include ingestion of contaminated water, body contact with polluted recreational waters and consumption of salad crops irrigated by polluted freshwaters. Major contributors to the spread of various water-borne pathogens are sewage, polluted surface waters and stormwater runoff. All of these contributions are intensified during periods of major floods. Several water-borne case histories are cited as examples of breakdowns in public health protection related to water supply, recreational waters and the consumption of contaminated salad crops. In the long term, water resource management must focus on pollution prevention from point sources of waste discharges and the spread of pathogens in watershed stormwater runoff.

  15. Honey - A Novel Antidiabetic Agent

    PubMed Central

    Erejuwa, Omotayo O.; Sulaiman, Siti A.; Wahab, Mohd S. Ab

    2012-01-01

    Diabetes mellitus remains a burden worldwide in spite of the availability of numerous antidiabetic drugs. Honey is a natural substance produced by bees from nectar. Several evidence-based health benefits have been ascribed to honey in the recent years. In this review article, we highlight findings which demonstrate the beneficial or potential effects of honey in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT), on the gut microbiota, in the liver, in the pancreas and how these effects could improve glycemic control and metabolic derangements. In healthy subjects or patients with impaired glucose tolerance or diabetes mellitus, various studies revealed that honey reduced blood glucose or was more tolerable than most common sugars or sweeteners. Pre-clinical studies provided more convincing evidence in support of honey as a potential antidiabetic agent than clinical studies did. The not-too-impressive clinical data could mainly be attributed to poor study designs or due to the fact that the clinical studies were preliminary. Based on the key constituents of honey, the possible mechanisms of action of antidiabetic effect of honey are proposed. The paper also highlights the potential impacts and future perspectives on the use of honey as an antidiabetic agent. It makes recommendations for further clinical studies on the potential antidiabetic effect of honey. This review provides insight on the potential use of honey, especially as a complementary agent, in the management of diabetes mellitus. Hence, it is very important to have well-designed, randomized controlled clinical trials that investigate the reproducibility (or otherwise) of these experimental data in diabetic human subjects. PMID:22811614

  16. 13 CFR 120.951 - Selling agent.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 13 Business Credit and Assistance 1 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Selling agent. 120.951 Section 120.951 Business Credit and Assistance SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION BUSINESS LOANS Development Company Loan Program (504) Debenture Sales and Service Agents § 120.951 Selling agent. The CDC, with...

  17. 13 CFR 120.951 - Selling agent.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 13 Business Credit and Assistance 1 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Selling agent. 120.951 Section 120.951 Business Credit and Assistance SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION BUSINESS LOANS Development Company Loan Program (504) Debenture Sales and Service Agents § 120.951 Selling agent. The CDC, with...

  18. 13 CFR 120.951 - Selling agent.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 13 Business Credit and Assistance 1 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Selling agent. 120.951 Section 120.951 Business Credit and Assistance SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION BUSINESS LOANS Development Company Loan Program (504) Debenture Sales and Service Agents § 120.951 Selling agent. The CDC, with...

  19. 13 CFR 120.951 - Selling agent.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 13 Business Credit and Assistance 1 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Selling agent. 120.951 Section 120.951 Business Credit and Assistance SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION BUSINESS LOANS Development Company Loan Program (504) Debenture Sales and Service Agents § 120.951 Selling agent. The CDC, with...

  20. 13 CFR 120.951 - Selling agent.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 13 Business Credit and Assistance 1 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Selling agent. 120.951 Section 120.951 Business Credit and Assistance SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION BUSINESS LOANS Development Company Loan Program (504) Debenture Sales and Service Agents § 120.951 Selling agent. The CDC, with...

  1. Hydroxypyridonate chelating agents and synthesis thereof

    DOEpatents

    Raymond, K.N.; Scarrow, R.C.; White, D.L.

    1985-11-12

    Chelating agents having 1-hydroxy-2-pyridinone (HOPO) and related moieties incorporated within their structures, including polydentate HOPO-substituted polyamines such as spermidine and spermine, and HOPO-substituted desferrioxamine. The chelating agents are useful in selectively removing certain cations from solution, and are particularly useful as ferric ion and actinide chelators. Novel syntheses of the chelating agents are provided. 4 tabs.

  2. 24 CFR 232.1011 - Management agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... 24 Housing and Urban Development 2 2014-04-01 2014-04-01 false Management agents. 232.1011 Section... Management agents. (a) An operator or borrower may, with the prior written approval of HUD, execute a management agent agreement setting forth the duties and procedures for matters related to the management...

  3. 24 CFR 232.1011 - Management agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... 24 Housing and Urban Development 2 2013-04-01 2013-04-01 false Management agents. 232.1011 Section... Management agents. (a) An operator or borrower may, with the prior written approval of HUD, execute a management agent agreement setting forth the duties and procedures for matters related to the management...

  4. Construction and Evaluation of Animated Teachable Agents

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bodenheimer, Bobby; Williams, Betsy; Kramer, Mattie Ruth; Viswanath, Karun; Balachandran, Ramya; Belynne, Kadira; Biswas, Gautam

    2009-01-01

    This article describes the design decisions, technical approach, and evaluation of the animation and interface components for an agent-based system that allows learners to learn by teaching. Students learn by teaching an animated agent using a visual representation. The agent can answer questions about what she has been taught and take quizzes.…

  5. Online Deception Detection Using BDI Agents

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Merritts, Richard A.

    2013-01-01

    This research has two facets within separate research areas. The research area of Belief, Desire and Intention (BDI) agent capability development was extended. Deception detection research has been advanced with the development of automation using BDI agents. BDI agents performed tasks automatically and autonomously. This study used these…

  6. Using Intelligent Agents To Assist Educators.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Knode, Steve; Knode, Jon-David W.

    This paper begins with background on intelligent agents (software programs built to perform certain specific tasks for the user). A taxonomy that categorizes intelligent agents by the degree of intelligence embedded in the software is presented. Applications of today's intelligent agents are discussed, including specific examples of the following:…

  7. Infants Attribute to Agents Goals and Dispositions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Luo, Yuyan; Choi, You-jung

    2012-01-01

    This commentary article is to be published alongside: Hernik, M., & Southgate, V. (2012). What do infants know about agents' goals? The authors see this issue consisting of two closely related questions. First, what is an agent to infants? Second, how do infants attribute goals to agents? Hernik and Southgage (H&S) focused on the second question.…

  8. 7 CFR 1430.210 - MILC agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... MILC agents. (a) MILC benefits may be disbursed by a dairy marketing cooperative that serves special... operation may authorize an agent of a dairy cooperative or milk handler affiliated with such cooperative to... 7 Agriculture 10 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false MILC agents. 1430.210 Section 1430.210...

  9. 46 CFR Sec. 2 - General Agent's requirements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 46 Shipping 8 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false General Agent's requirements. Sec. 2 Section 2 Shipping MARITIME ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION A-NATIONAL SHIPPING AUTHORITY SLOP CHESTS Sec. 2 General Agent's requirements. The General Agent shall: (a) Obtain from the Master, a requisition for...

  10. 46 CFR Sec. 2 - General Agents' authority.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 46 Shipping 8 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false General Agents' authority. Sec. 2 Section 2 Shipping MARITIME ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION A-NATIONAL SHIPPING AUTHORITY AUTHORITY AND... AGREEMENT Sec. 2 General Agents' authority. The General Agents are: (a) Hereby delegated authority...

  11. 46 CFR Sec. 2 - General Agents' authority.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 46 Shipping 8 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false General Agents' authority. Sec. 2 Section 2 Shipping MARITIME ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION A-NATIONAL SHIPPING AUTHORITY AUTHORITY AND RESPONSIBILITY OF GENERAL AGENTS TO UNDERTAKE EMERGENCY REPAIRS IN FOREIGN PORTS Sec. 2 General Agents'...

  12. 46 CFR Sec. 2 - General Agents' authority.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 46 Shipping 8 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false General Agents' authority. Sec. 2 Section 2 Shipping MARITIME ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION A-NATIONAL SHIPPING AUTHORITY AUTHORITY AND... AGREEMENT Sec. 2 General Agents' authority. The General Agents are: (a) Hereby delegated authority...

  13. 46 CFR Sec. 2 - General Agents' authority.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 46 Shipping 8 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false General Agents' authority. Sec. 2 Section 2 Shipping MARITIME ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION A-NATIONAL SHIPPING AUTHORITY AUTHORITY AND RESPONSIBILITY OF GENERAL AGENTS TO UNDERTAKE EMERGENCY REPAIRS IN FOREIGN PORTS Sec. 2 General Agents'...

  14. 46 CFR Sec. 2 - General Agent's requirements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 46 Shipping 8 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false General Agent's requirements. Sec. 2 Section 2 Shipping MARITIME ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION A-NATIONAL SHIPPING AUTHORITY SLOP CHESTS Sec. 2 General Agent's requirements. The General Agent shall: (a) Obtain from the Master, a requisition for...

  15. 46 CFR Sec. 2 - General Agents' authority.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 46 Shipping 8 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false General Agents' authority. Sec. 2 Section 2 Shipping MARITIME ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION A-NATIONAL SHIPPING AUTHORITY AUTHORITY AND... AGREEMENT Sec. 2 General Agents' authority. The General Agents are: (a) Hereby delegated authority...

  16. 46 CFR Sec. 2 - General Agents' authority.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 46 Shipping 8 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false General Agents' authority. Sec. 2 Section 2 Shipping MARITIME ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION A-NATIONAL SHIPPING AUTHORITY AUTHORITY AND RESPONSIBILITY OF GENERAL AGENTS TO UNDERTAKE EMERGENCY REPAIRS IN FOREIGN PORTS Sec. 2 General Agents'...

  17. 46 CFR Sec. 2 - General Agent's requirements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 46 Shipping 8 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false General Agent's requirements. Sec. 2 Section 2 Shipping MARITIME ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION A-NATIONAL SHIPPING AUTHORITY SLOP CHESTS Sec. 2 General Agent's requirements. The General Agent shall: (a) Obtain from the Master, a requisition for...

  18. 46 CFR Sec. 2 - General Agents' authority.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 46 Shipping 8 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false General Agents' authority. Sec. 2 Section 2 Shipping MARITIME ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION A-NATIONAL SHIPPING AUTHORITY AUTHORITY AND RESPONSIBILITY OF GENERAL AGENTS TO UNDERTAKE EMERGENCY REPAIRS IN FOREIGN PORTS Sec. 2 General Agents'...

  19. 46 CFR Sec. 2 - General Agent's requirements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 46 Shipping 8 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false General Agent's requirements. Sec. 2 Section 2 Shipping MARITIME ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION A-NATIONAL SHIPPING AUTHORITY SLOP CHESTS Sec. 2 General Agent's requirements. The General Agent shall: (a) Obtain from the Master, a requisition for...

  20. 46 CFR Sec. 2 - General Agents' authority.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 46 Shipping 8 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false General Agents' authority. Sec. 2 Section 2 Shipping MARITIME ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION A-NATIONAL SHIPPING AUTHORITY AUTHORITY AND RESPONSIBILITY OF GENERAL AGENTS TO UNDERTAKE EMERGENCY REPAIRS IN FOREIGN PORTS Sec. 2 General Agents'...

  1. 46 CFR Sec. 2 - General Agents' authority.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 46 Shipping 8 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false General Agents' authority. Sec. 2 Section 2 Shipping MARITIME ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION A-NATIONAL SHIPPING AUTHORITY AUTHORITY AND... AGREEMENT Sec. 2 General Agents' authority. The General Agents are: (a) Hereby delegated authority...

  2. Agent-based modeling of complex infrastructures

    SciTech Connect

    North, M. J.

    2001-06-01

    Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS) can be applied to investigate complex infrastructures and infrastructure interdependencies. The CAS model agents within the Spot Market Agent Research Tool (SMART) and Flexible Agent Simulation Toolkit (FAST) allow investigation of the electric power infrastructure, the natural gas infrastructure and their interdependencies.

  3. 46 CFR Sec. 2 - General Agent's requirements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 46 Shipping 8 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false General Agent's requirements. Sec. 2 Section 2 Shipping... General Agent's requirements. The General Agent shall: (a) Obtain from the Master, a requisition for slop..., together with a copy of the vendor's invoice showing items, units, unit cost and totals. (c) Furnish...

  4. Hypersensitivity reactions to biologic agents.

    PubMed

    Vultaggio, Alessandra; Castells, Mariana C

    2014-08-01

    Biologic agents (BAs) are important therapeutic tools; their use has rapidly expanded and they are used in oncology, immunology, and inflammatory diseases. Their use may be limited, however, by adverse drug reactions. This article reviews the current literature on clinical presentation and pathogenic mechanisms of both acute and delayed reactions. In addition, procedures for management of BA-induced reactions, including preventive and diagnostic work-up, are provided. Lastly, this article summarizes the current knowledge of desensitization to several widely used monoclonal antibodies.

  5. Anticancer agents from marine sponges.

    PubMed

    Ye, Jianjun; Zhou, Feng; Al-Kareef, Ammar M Q; Wang, Hong

    2015-01-01

    Marine sponges are currently one of the richest sources of anticancer active compounds found in the marine ecosystems. More than 5300 different known metabolites are from sponges and their associated microorganisms. To survive in the complicated marine environment, most of the sponge species have evolved chemical means to defend against predation. Such chemical adaptation produces many biologically active secondary metabolites including anticancer agents. This review highlights novel secondary metabolites in sponges which inhibited diverse cancer species in the recent 5 years. These natural products of marine sponges are categorized based on various chemical characteristics.

  6. Pathogenic rickettsiae as bioterrorism agents.

    PubMed

    Azad, Abdu F

    2007-07-15

    Because of their unique biological characteristics, such as environmental stability, small size, aerosol transmission, persistence in infected hosts, low infectious dose, and high associated morbidity and mortality, Rickettsia prowazekii and Coxiella burnetii have been weaponized. These biological attributes would make the pathogenic rickettsiae desirable bioterrorism agents. However, production of highly purified, virulent, weapon-quality rickettsiae is a daunting task that requires expertise and elaborate, state-of-the art laboratory procedures to retain rickettsial survival and virulence. Another drawback to developing rickettsial pathogens as biological weapons is their lack of direct transmission from host to host and the availability of very effective therapeutic countermeasures against these obligate intracellular bacteria.

  7. Method For Detecting Biological Agents

    DOEpatents

    Chen, Liaohai; McBranch, Duncan W.; Wang, Hsing-Lin; Whitten, David G.

    2005-12-27

    A sensor is provided including a polymer capable of having an alterable measurable property from the group of luminescence and electrical conductivity, the polymer having an intermediate combination of a recognition element, a tethering element and a property-altering element bound thereto and capable of altering the measurable property, the intermediate combination adapted for subsequent separation from the polymer upon exposure to an agent having an affinity for binding to the recognition element whereupon the separation of the intermediate combination from the polymer results in a detectable change in the alterable measurable property, and, detecting said detectable change in the alterable measurable property.

  8. Mobile agent location in distributed environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fountoukis, S. G.; Argyropoulos, I. P.

    2012-12-01

    An agent is a small program acting on behalf of a user or an application which plays the role of a user. Artificial intelligence can be encapsulated in agents so that they can be capable of both behaving autonomously and showing an elementary decision ability regarding movement and some specific actions. Therefore they are often called autonomous mobile agents. In a distributed system, they can move themselves from one processing node to another through the interconnecting network infrastructure. Their purpose is to collect useful information and to carry it back to their user. Also, agents are used to start, monitor and stop processes running on the individual interconnected processing nodes of computer cluster systems. An agent has a unique id to discriminate itself from other agents and a current position. The position can be expressed as the address of the processing node which currently hosts the agent. Very often, it is necessary for a user, a processing node or another agent to know the current position of an agent in a distributed system. Several procedures and algorithms have been proposed for the purpose of position location of mobile agents. The most basic of all employs a fixed computing node, which acts as agent position repository, receiving messages from all the moving agents and keeping records of their current positions. The fixed node, responds to position queries and informs users, other nodes and other agents about the position of an agent. Herein, a model is proposed that considers pairs and triples of agents instead of single ones. A location method, which is investigated in this paper, attempts to exploit this model.

  9. A Review of Luting Agents

    PubMed Central

    Pameijer, Cornelis H.

    2012-01-01

    Due to the availability of a large number of luting agents (dental cements) proper selection can be a daunting task and is usually based on a practitioner's reliance on experience and preference and less on in depth knowledge of materials that are used for the restoration and luting agent properties. This review aims at presenting an overview of current cements and discusses physical properties, biocompatibility and other properties that make a particular cement the preferred choice depending on the clinical indication. Tables are provided that outline the different properties of the generic classification of cements. It should be noted that no recommendations are made to use a particular commercial cement for a hypothetical clinical situation. The choice is solely the responsibility of the practitioner. The appendix is intended as a guide for the practitioner towards a recommended choice under commonly encountered clinical scenarios. Again, no commercial brands are recommended although the author recognizes that some have better properties than others. Please note that this flowchart strictly presents the author's opinion and is based on research, clinical experience and the literature. PMID:22505909

  10. Chemopreventive agents targeting tumor microenvironment.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Sharada H; Thulasingam, Senthilkumar; Nagarajan, Sangeetha

    2016-01-15

    Recent studies have shown that tumor development and progression depend not only on the perturbed genes that govern cell proliferation, but is also highly determined by the non-tumor cells of the stromal compartment surrounding the tumor called tumor microenvironment (TME). These findings highlight the importance of targeting the microenvironment in combination with therapies aimed at tumor cells as a valuable approach. The innate and adaptive immune cells in the TME interact among themselves and also with the endothelial cells, pericytes and mast cells of the stromal compartment through various autocrine and paracrine manner to regulate abnormal cell proliferation. Direct cytotoxic killing of cancer cells and/or reversion of the immunosuppressive TME are to be considered as better strategies for chemoprevention and chemotherapy. With a growing emphasis on a "hallmark targeting" strategy for cancer therapy, the TME now appears as a promising target for cancer prevention using natural products. Clarification on the nontumor stromal cells, the mediators involved, interactions with immune response cells, and immune-evasive mechanisms are needed in order to manipulate the characteristics of the TME by natural pharmacological agents to design effective therapies. This review will provide a glimpse on the roles played by various non-tumor cells in tumor progression and their intervention by pharmacological agents. PMID:26679106

  11. Electric power market agent design

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oh, Hyungseon

    The electric power industry in many countries has been restructured in the hope of a more economically efficient system. In the restructured system, traditional operating and planning tools based on true marginal cost do not perform well since information required is strictly confidential. For developing a new tool, it is necessary to understand offer behavior. The main objective of this study is to create a new tool for power system planning. For the purpose, this dissertation develops models for a market and market participants. A new model is developed in this work for explaining a supply-side offer curve, and several variables are introduced to characterize the curve. Demand is estimated using a neural network, and a numerical optimization process is used to determine the values of the variables that maximize the profit of the agent. The amount of data required for the optimization is chosen with the aid of nonlinear dynamics. To suggest an optimal demand-side bidding function, two optimization problems are constructed and solved for maximizing consumer satisfaction based on the properties of two different types of demands: price-based demand and must-be-served demand. Several different simulations are performed to test how an agent reacts in various situations. The offer behavior depends on locational benefit as well as the offer strategies of competitors.

  12. Nanoparticle-based theranostic agents

    PubMed Central

    Xie, Jin; Lee, Seulki; Chen, Xiaoyuan

    2010-01-01

    Theranostic nanomedicine is emerging as a promising therapeutic paradigm. It takes advantage of the high capacity of nanoplatforms to ferry cargo and loads onto them both imaging and therapeutic functions. The resulting nanosystems, capable of diagnosis, drug delivery and monitoring of therapeutic response, are expected to play a significant role in the dawning era of personalized medicine, and much research effort has been devoted toward that goal. A convenience in constructing such function-integrated agents is that many nanoplatforms are already, themselves, imaging agents. Their well developed surface chemistry makes it easy to load them with pharmaceutics and promote them to be theranostic nanosystems. Iron oxide nanoparticles, quantum dots, carbon nanotubes, gold nanoparticles and silica nanoparticles, have been previously well investigated in the imaging setting and are candidate nanoplatforms for building up nanoparticle-based theranostics. In the current article, we will outline the progress along this line, organized by the category of the core materials. We will focus on construction strategies and will discuss the challenges and opportunities associated with this emerging technology. PMID:20691229

  13. Camouflaging Agents for Vitiligo Patients.

    PubMed

    Hossain, Claudia; Porto, Dennis A; Hamzavi, Iltefat; Lim, Henry W

    2016-04-01

    Vitiligo is an acquired condition resulting in patches of depigmented skin that is cosmetically disfiguring and can subsequently be psychologically disturbing. For patients seeking to mask their vitiligo, camouflage options have historically been limited and been designated as a cosmetic, rather than a medical, concern. As research has indicated that proper concealment of vitiligo lesions can vastly improve quality of life, we believe it is essential that dermatologists become aware of all the options available to their patients and that discussions of camouflage options be broached from the first visit. Methods for concealment include cosmetic tattoos, dihydroxyacetone, general cosmetics, and various topical camouflage agents, including the newest product, Microskin™. We conducted a literature review of all of the available options for vitiligo concealment and evaluated their advantages and disadvantages. Ultimately, temporary methods of concealment are recommended; but the particular agent used can come from discussion with the patient based on the location of the lesions, degree of concealment desired, cost, and availability. PMID:27050692

  14. Surfactants as blackbird stressing agents

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lefebvre, P.W.; Seubert, J.L.

    1970-01-01

    Applications of wetting-agent solutions produce mortality in birds. The exact cause of death is undetermined but it is believed that destruction of the insulating qualities of the plumage permits ambient cold temperatures and evaporation to lower the body temperature to a lethal level. The original concept of using these materials as bird-control tools was developed in 1958 at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife Laurel, Maryland. Early field trials by personnel of the Division of Wildlife Services and the Denver Wildlife Research Center indicated that ground-application techniques had promise but limitations of the equipment precluded successful large-scale roost treatments. In 1966, Patuxent Center personnel began using tanker-type aircraft to evaluate high-volume aerial applications of wetting agents. The success of these tests led to the use of small aircraft to make low-volume, high-concentration aerial applications just prior to expected rainfall. Recent trials of the low-volume method show that, with some limitations, it is effective, inexpensive, and safe to the environment. Current research emphasizes the screening of new candidate materials for efficacy, biodegradability, and toxicity to plants and non-target animals, as well as basic investigations of the avian physiological mechanisms involved. Field trials to develop more effective application techniques will continue.

  15. Reversal agents in anaesthesia and critical care

    PubMed Central

    Pani, Nibedita; Dongare, Pradeep A; Mishra, Rajeeb Kumar

    2015-01-01

    Despite the advent of short and ultra-short acting drugs, an in-depth knowledge of the reversal agents used is a necessity for any anaesthesiologist. Reversal agents are defined as any drug used to reverse the effects of anaesthetics, narcotics or potentially toxic agents. The controversy on the routine reversal of neuromuscular blockade still exists. The advent of newer reversal agents like sugammadex have made the use of steroidal neuromuscular blockers like rocuronium feasible in rapid sequence induction situations. We made a review of the older reversal agents and those still under investigation for drugs that are regularly used in our anaesthesia practice. PMID:26644615

  16. SAF1. Standard Agent Framework 1

    SciTech Connect

    Goldsmith, S.Y

    1997-06-01

    The Standard Agent framework provides an extensible object-oriented development environment suitable for use in both research and applications projects. The SAF provides a means for constructing and customizing multi-agent systems through specialization of standard base classes (architecture-driven framework) and by composition of component classes (data driven framework). The standard agent system is implemented as an extensible object-centerd framework. Four concrete base classes are developed: (1) Standard Agency; (2) Standard Agent; (3) Human Factor, and (4) Resources. The object-centered framework developed and utilized provides the best comprimise between generality and flexibility available in agent development systems today.

  17. Introduction to Agent Mining Interaction and Integration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cao, Longbing

    In recent years, more and more researchers have been involved in research on both agent technology and data mining. A clear disciplinary effort has been activated toward removing the boundary between them, that is the interaction and integration between agent technology and data mining. We refer this to agent mining as a new area. The marriage of agents and data mining is driven by challenges faced by both communities, and the need of developing more advanced intelligence, information processing and systems. This chapter presents an overall picture of agent mining from the perspective of positioning it as an emerging area. We summarize the main driving forces, complementary essence, disciplinary framework, applications, case studies, and trends and directions, as well as brief observation on agent-driven data mining, data mining-driven agents, and mutual issues in agent mining. Arguably, we draw the following conclusions: (1) agent mining emerges as a new area in the scientific family, (2) both agent technology and data mining can greatly benefit from agent mining, (3) it is very promising to result in additional advancement in intelligent information processing and systems. However, as a new open area, there are many issues waiting for research and development from theoretical, technological and practical perspectives.

  18. Mother ship and physical agents collaboration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Young, Stuart H.; Budulas, Peter P.; Emmerman, Philip J.

    1999-07-01

    This paper discusses ongoing research at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory that investigates the feasibility of developing a collaboration architecture between small physical agents and a mother ship. This incudes the distribution of planning, perception, mobility, processing and communications requirements between the mother ship and the agents. Small physical agents of the future will be virtually everywhere on the battlefield of the 21st century. A mother ship that is coupled to a team of small collaborating physical agents (conducting tasks such as Reconnaissance, Surveillance, and Target Acquisition (RSTA); logistics; sentry; and communications relay) will be used to build a completely effective and mission capable intelligent system. The mother ship must have long-range mobility to deploy the small, highly maneuverable agents that will operate in urban environments and more localized areas, and act as a logistics base for the smaller agents. The mother ship also establishes a robust communications network between the agents and is the primary information disseminating and receiving point to the external world. Because of its global knowledge and processing power, the mother ship does the high-level control and planning for the collaborative physical agents. This high level control and interaction between the mother ship and its agents (including inter agent collaboration) will be software agent architecture based. The mother ship incorporates multi-resolution battlefield visualization and analysis technology, which aids in mission planning and sensor fusion.

  19. Intelligent agent support for automated radiology exam

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shang, Yi; Popescu, Mihail

    2000-10-01

    A difficult problem in automatic medical image understanding is that for every image type such as x-ray and every body organ such as heart, there exist specific solutions that do not allow for generalization. Just collecting all the specific solutions will not achieve the vision of a computerized physician. To address this problem, we propose an intelligent agent approach that is based on agent-oriented programming is that it combines the benefits of object-oriented programming and expert system. For radiology image understanding, we present a multi- agent system that is composed of two major types of intelligent agents: radiologist agents and patient agents. A patient agent asks for multiple opinions from radiologists agents in interpreting a given set of images and then integrates the opinions. A radiologist agent decomposes the image recognition task into smaller problems that are solved collectively by multiple intelligent sub-agents. Finally, we present a preliminary implementation and running examples of the multi-agent system.

  20. Deaths due to Unknown Foodborne Agents

    PubMed Central

    2004-01-01

    This study reviews the available evidence on unknown pathogenic agents transmitted in food and examines the methods that have been used to estimate that such agents cause 3,400 deaths per year in the United States. The estimate of deaths was derived from hospital discharge and death certificate data on deaths attributed to gastroenteritis of unknown cause. Fatal illnesses due to unknown foodborne agents do not always involve gastroenteritis, and gastroenteritis may not be accurately diagnosed or reported on hospital charts or death certificates. The death estimate consequently omitted deaths from unknown foodborne agents that do not cause gastroenteritis and likely overstated the number of deaths from agents that cause gastroenteritis. Although the number of deaths from unknown foodborne agents is uncertain, the possible economic cost of these deaths is so large that increased efforts to identify the causal agents are warranted. PMID:15498153

  1. Knowledge Management in Role Based Agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kır, Hüseyin; Ekinci, Erdem Eser; Dikenelli, Oguz

    In multi-agent system literature, the role concept is getting increasingly researched to provide an abstraction to scope beliefs, norms, goals of agents and to shape relationships of the agents in the organization. In this research, we propose a knowledgebase architecture to increase applicability of roles in MAS domain by drawing inspiration from the self concept in the role theory of sociology. The proposed knowledgebase architecture has granulated structure that is dynamically organized according to the agent's identification in a social environment. Thanks to this dynamic structure, agents are enabled to work on consistent knowledge in spite of inevitable conflicts between roles and the agent. The knowledgebase architecture is also implemented and incorporated into the SEAGENT multi-agent system development framework.

  2. Model Based Testing for Agent Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Zhiyong; Thangarajah, John; Padgham, Lin

    Although agent technology is gaining world wide popularity, a hindrance to its uptake is the lack of proper testing mechanisms for agent based systems. While many traditional software testing methods can be generalized to agent systems, there are many aspects that are different and which require an understanding of the underlying agent paradigm. In this paper we present certain aspects of a testing framework that we have developed for agent based systems. The testing framework is a model based approach using the design models of the Prometheus agent development methodology. In this paper we focus on model based unit testing and identify the appropriate units, present mechanisms for generating suitable test cases and for determining the order in which the units are to be tested, present a brief overview of the unit testing process and an example. Although we use the design artefacts from Prometheus the approach is suitable for any plan and event based agent system.

  3. Multi-agent for manufacturing systems optimization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ciortea, E. M.; Tulbure, A.; Huţanu, C.-tin

    2016-08-01

    The paper is meant to be a dynamic approach to optimize manufacturing systems based on multi-agent systems. Multi-agent systems are semiautonomous decision makers and cooperate to optimize the manufacturing process. Increasing production the capacity is achieved by developing, implementing efficient and effective systems from control based on current manufacturing process. The model multi-agent proposed in this paper is based on communication between agents who, based on their mechanisms drive to autonomous decision making. Methods based on multi-agent programming are applied between flexible manufacturing processes and cooperation with agents. Based on multi-agent technology and architecture of intelligent manufacturing can lead to development of strategies for control and optimization of scheduled production resulting from the simulation.

  4. Opinion evolution influenced by informed agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fan, Kangqi; Pedrycz, Witold

    2016-11-01

    Guiding public opinions toward a pre-set target by informed agents can be a strategy adopted in some practical applications. The informed agents are common agents who are employed or chosen to spread the pre-set opinion. In this work, we propose a social judgment based opinion (SJBO) dynamics model to explore the opinion evolution under the influence of informed agents. The SJBO model distinguishes between inner opinions and observable choices, and incorporates both the compromise between similar opinions and the repulsion between dissimilar opinions. Three choices (support, opposition, and remaining undecided) are considered in the SJBO model. Using the SJBO model, both the inner opinions and the observable choices can be tracked during the opinion evolution process. The simulation results indicate that if the exchanges of inner opinions among agents are not available, the effect of informed agents is mainly dependent on the characteristics of regular agents, including the assimilation threshold, decay threshold, and initial opinions. Increasing the assimilation threshold and decay threshold can improve the guiding effectiveness of informed agents. Moreover, if the initial opinions of regular agents are close to null, the full and unanimous consensus at the pre-set opinion can be realized, indicating that, to maximize the influence of informed agents, the guidance should be started when regular agents have little knowledge about a subject under consideration. If the regular agents have had clear opinions, the full and unanimous consensus at the pre-set opinion cannot be achieved. However, the introduction of informed agents can make the majority of agents choose the pre-set opinion.

  5. 42 CFR 434.10 - Contracts with fiscal agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... (CONTINUED) MEDICAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS CONTRACTS Contracts with Fiscal Agents and Private Nonmedical Institutions § 434.10 Contracts with fiscal agents. Contracts with fiscal agents must— (a) Meet...

  6. 42 CFR 434.10 - Contracts with fiscal agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... (CONTINUED) MEDICAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS CONTRACTS Contracts with Fiscal Agents and Private Nonmedical Institutions § 434.10 Contracts with fiscal agents. Contracts with fiscal agents must— (a) Meet...

  7. 42 CFR 434.10 - Contracts with fiscal agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... (CONTINUED) MEDICAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS CONTRACTS Contracts with Fiscal Agents and Private Nonmedical Institutions § 434.10 Contracts with fiscal agents. Contracts with fiscal agents must— (a) Meet...

  8. "Candidatus Phlomobacter fragariae" Is the Prevalent Agent of Marginal Chlorosis of Strawberry in French Production Fields and Is Transmitted by the Planthopper Cixius wagneri (China).

    PubMed

    Danet, Jean-Luc; Foissac, Xavier; Zreik, Leyla; Salar, Pascal; Verdin, Eric; Nourrisseau, Jean-Georges; Garnier, Monique

    2003-06-01

    ABSTRACT Marginal chlorosis has affected strawberry production in France for about 15 years. A phloem-restricted uncultured bacterium, "Candidatus Phlomobacter fragariae," is associated with the disease. A large-scale survey for marginal chlorosis in French strawberry production fields and nurseries by polymerase chain reaction amplification of "Ca. P. fragariae" 16S rDNA revealed that symptoms of marginal chlorosis were not always induced by "Ca. P. fragariae" and that the stolbur phytoplasma could induce identical symptoms. "Ca. P. fragariae" was found to be predominant in strawberry production fields, whereas the stolbur phytoplasma was predominantly detected in nurseries. Two transmission periods of the disease, one in spring and the other from late summer to early fall, were evident. Cixius wagneri planthoppers captured on infected strawberry plants were demonstrated to be efficient vectors of "Ca. P. fragariae." The involvement in natural disease spread of the whitefly Trialeurodes vaporariorum, previously shown to acquire and multiply "Ca. P. fragariae" under greenhouse conditions, remains uncertain.

  9. [Biological agents turning into weapons].

    PubMed

    Rotman, Eran; Cohen, Amir; Hourvitz, Ariel

    2002-05-01

    The use of biological agents as weapons is a well-known and established fact in the modern world. Biological warfare can be used both in terrorist events and in war and they pose a real threat and a formidable challenge to the defender. Biological weapons, in their various forms such as germs, viruses or toxins, can harm both living creatures and their surroundings. The relative simplicity of their production and use, compared to other non-conventional weapons, renders them to be a highly accessible system that can cause numerous casualties. Therefore, it is extremely important to study the threat and learn its characteristics, so as to be appropriately prepared in order to minimize potential damage. This review summarizes the characteristics of biological weapons (physical and biological), the means of use in bioterrorism and war, the advantages and disadvantages, comparisons to other non-conventional weapons and both tactical and strategical uses. PMID:12170547

  10. Lightweight standoff chemical agent detector

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ditillo, John T.; Gross, Robert L.; Althouse, Mark L.; Lagna, William M.; Loerop, William R.; Deluca, Paul; Quinn, Thomas G.; Grim, Larry B.

    1995-02-01

    The lightweight standoff chemical agent detector (LSCAD) is an infrared Michelson interferometer operating in the 8 - 12 micron band and is designed primarily for military applications. The first group of prototypes has been delivered and is undergoing testing. A secondary and no less important mission of LSCAD is its application to the civilian environmental monitoring field. Trials with earlier systems at industrial sites have been successful. The system is designed to be operated from a vehicle while on the move. Platforms which have been used are road vehicles, helicopters, unmanned air vehicles (UAV), and scanning from a fixed emplacement. To meet the restrictions of military applications, the prototype system has a weight of about 22 lbs and is approximately 0.3 cu ft in size. It employs an onboard instrument control, data collection, and analysis and detection decision system which is key to its real-time operation. The hardware, data system, and preliminary results are discussed.

  11. [Use of erythropoiesis stimulating agents].

    PubMed

    Lapierre, A; Souquet, P-J

    2014-02-01

    Anemia is fairly common in lung neoplasms and adequate management can influence both the prognosis and the quality of life of patients. Anemia can stem from diverse mechanisms, and its management must include the search for correctable causes (iron deficiency, inflammation, disease- or treatment-related), and their subsequent treatment. Use of erythropoiesis stimulating agents, namely recombinant erythropoietin, results in hemoglobin increase, fewer blood transfusions, and better quality of life. However, there is also a significant increase in thromboembolic risk associated with this treatment, and their effect on overall survival is still debated. Thus, their use must be restricted to patients treated with palliative intent, receiving chemotherapy but no radiotherapy, with a baseline hemoglobin level under 100 g/L, and target hemoglobin level must not exceed 120 g/L.

  12. Sustainable Society Formed by Unselfish Agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kikuchi, Toshiko

    It has been pointed out that if the social configuration of the three relations (market, communal and obligatory relations) is not balanced, a market based society as a total system fails. Using multi-agent simulations, this paper shows that a sustainable society is formed when all three relations are integrated and function respectively. When agent trades are based on the market mechanism (i.e., agents act in their own interest and thus only market relations exist), weak agents who cannot perform transactions die. If a compulsory tax is imposed to enable all weak agents to survive (i.e., obligatory relations exist), then the fiscal deficit increases. On the other hand, if agents who have excess income undertake the unselfish action of distributing their surplus to the weak agents (i.e., communal relations exist), then trade volume increases. It is shown that the existence of unselfish agents is necessary for the realization of a sustainable society. However, the survival of all agents is difficult in a communal society. In an artificial society, for all agents survive and fiscal balance to be maintained, all three social relations need to be fully integrated. These results show that adjusting the balance of the three social relations well lead to the realization of a sustainable society.

  13. Agent Reward Shaping for Alleviating Traffic Congestion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tumer, Kagan; Agogino, Adrian

    2006-01-01

    Traffic congestion problems provide a unique environment to study how multi-agent systems promote desired system level behavior. What is particularly interesting in this class of problems is that no individual action is intrinsically "bad" for the system but that combinations of actions among agents lead to undesirable outcomes, As a consequence, agents need to learn how to coordinate their actions with those of other agents, rather than learn a particular set of "good" actions. This problem is ubiquitous in various traffic problems, including selecting departure times for commuters, routes for airlines, and paths for data routers. In this paper we present a multi-agent approach to two traffic problems, where far each driver, an agent selects the most suitable action using reinforcement learning. The agent rewards are based on concepts from collectives and aim to provide the agents with rewards that are both easy to learn and that if learned, lead to good system level behavior. In the first problem, we study how agents learn the best departure times of drivers in a daily commuting environment and how following those departure times alleviates congestion. In the second problem, we study how agents learn to select desirable routes to improve traffic flow and minimize delays for. all drivers.. In both sets of experiments,. agents using collective-based rewards produced near optimal performance (93-96% of optimal) whereas agents using system rewards (63-68%) barely outperformed random action selection (62-64%) and agents using local rewards (48-72%) performed worse than random in some instances.

  14. Persuasive Conversational Agent with Persuasion Tactics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Narita, Tatsuya; Kitamura, Yasuhiko

    Persuasive conversational agents persuade people to change their attitudes or behaviors through conversation, and are expected to be applied as virtual sales clerks in e-shopping sites. As an approach to create such an agent, we have developed a learning agent with the Wizard of Oz method in which a person called Wizard talks to the user pretending to be the agent. The agent observes the conversations between the Wizard and the user, and learns how to persuade people. In this method, the Wizard has to reply to most of the user's inputs at the beginning, but the burden gradually falls because the agent learns how to reply as the conversation model grows.

  15. Evolutionary algorithms and multi-agent systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oh, Jae C.

    2006-05-01

    This paper discusses how evolutionary algorithms are related to multi-agent systems and the possibility of military applications using the two disciplines. In particular, we present a game theoretic model for multi-agent resource distribution and allocation where agents in the environment must help each other to survive. Each agent maintains a set of variables representing actual friendship and perceived friendship. The model directly addresses problems in reputation management schemes in multi-agent systems and Peer-to-Peer distributed systems. We present algorithms based on evolutionary game process for maintaining the friendship values as well as a utility equation used in each agent's decision making. For an application problem, we adapted our formal model to the military coalition support problem in peace-keeping missions. Simulation results show that efficient resource allocation and sharing with minimum communication cost is achieved without centralized control.

  16. A New Understanding of Chemical Agent Release

    SciTech Connect

    Nakafuji, G; Greenman, R; Theofanous, T

    2002-07-24

    The evolution of thickened chemical agent released at supersonic velocities, due to a missile defense intercept or a properly functioning warhead, has been misunderstood. Current and historical experimental and modeling efforts have attributed agent breakup to a variety of droplet breakup mechanisms. According to this model, drops of agent fragment into subsequent generations of smaller drops until a stable drop size is reached. Recent experimental data conducted in a supersonic wind tunnel show that agent breakup is not driven by any droplet breakup mechanism. The breakup of agent is instead governed by viscoelastic behavior and aerodynamic history effects. This viscoelastic breakup mechanism results in the formation of threads and sheets of liquid, instead of drops. The evolution and final state of agent released has broad implications not only for aerobreakup models, but also for all atmospheric dispersion models.

  17. Antagonistic formation motion of cooperative agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, Wan-Ting; Dai, Ming-Xiang; Xue, Fang-Zheng

    2015-02-01

    This paper investigates a new formation motion problem of a class of first-order multi-agent systems with antagonistic interactions. A distributed formation control algorithm is proposed for each agent to realize the antagonistic formation motion. A sufficient condition is derived to ensure that all of the agents make an antagonistic formation motion in a distributed manner. It is shown that all of the agents can be spontaneously divided into several groups and that agents in the same group collaborate while agents in different groups compete. Finally, a numerical simulation is included to demonstrate our theoretical results. Project supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 61203080 and 61473051) and the Natural Science Foundation of Chongqing City (Grant No. CSTC 2011BB0081).

  18. Multi-Agent Information Classification Using Dynamic Acquaintance Lists.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mukhopadhyay, Snehasis; Peng, Shengquan; Raje, Rajeev; Palakal, Mathew; Mostafa, Javed

    2003-01-01

    Discussion of automated information services focuses on information classification and collaborative agents, i.e. intelligent computer programs. Highlights include multi-agent systems; distributed artificial intelligence; thesauri; document representation and classification; agent modeling; acquaintances, or remote agents discovered through…

  19. Departments as Agents of Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lagowski, J. J.

    1996-07-01

    Higher education is changing because it has no choice. And, for the most part, outside influences are dictating the processes of change. The more fortunate institutions have had a flat budget during this period, but most have been forced to deal with a declining revenue stream as well. Legislators seem bent on micromanaging state-supported institutions, even as they cut their support. Regulators demand greater institutional accountability. Students and their parents expect more service at lower prices and increased flexibility. Technological advances have dramatically affected the availability and accessibility of extant knowledge. It is no longer a question of whether institutions will change, but rather, who will control the change. Most institutions possess long-standing academic traditions, but these are placed at risk in an increasingly competitive market that holds little sympathy for such traditions and may even see them as obstacles or barriers. As a result, the change agents will undoubtedly have a profound effect on the very nature of academic institutions. From the academic point of view, it would seem prudent to attempt to manage the changes that will inevitably occur. A number of concerned observers, notably the Pew Higher Education Roundtable and the American Association for Higher Education, argue persuasively that the academic department is the logical focus for responding to the current winds of change. Using a marketing metaphor, the academic department has been likened to a "producers' cooperative" of services that consumers seek. Thus, the department should be held accountable for the quality of teaching delivered by its members, for the coherence of its major, for its contributions to the general education curriculum, and for supervising and rewarding its individual faculty members. If departments are to be held accountable, it is surely in their best interest to act in such a way that they are accountable. Expecting academic departments to be

  20. Massive Multi-Agent Systems Control

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Campagne, Jean-Charles; Gardon, Alain; Collomb, Etienne; Nishida, Toyoaki

    2004-01-01

    In order to build massive multi-agent systems, considered as complex and dynamic systems, one needs a method to analyze and control the system. We suggest an approach using morphology to represent and control the state of large organizations composed of a great number of light software agents. Morphology is understood as representing the state of the multi-agent system as shapes in an abstract geometrical space, this notion is close to the notion of phase space in physics.

  1. The EO-1 Autonomous Science Agent Architecture

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chien, Steve; Sherwood, Rob; Tran, Daniel; Cichy, Benjamin; Rabideau, Gregg; Castano, Rebecca; Davies, Ashley; Lee, Rachel; Mandl, Dan; Frye, Stuart; Trout, Bruce; Hengemihle, Jerry; D'Agostino, Jeff; Shulman, Seth; Ungar, Stephen; Brakke, Thomas; Boyer, Darrell; Van Gaasbeck, Jim; Greeley, Ronald; Doggett, Thomas; Baker, Victor; Dohm, James; Ip, Felipe

    2004-01-01

    An Autonomous Science Agent is currently flying onboard the Earth Observing One Spacecraft. This software enables the spacecraft to autonomously detect and respond to science events occurring on the Earth. The package includes software systems that perform science data analysis, deliberative planning, and run-time robust execution. Because of the deployment to a remote spacecraft, this Autonomous Science Agent has stringent constraints of autonomy, reliability, and limited computing resources. We describe these constraints and how they are reflected in our agent architecture.

  2. Radioiodine: the classic theranostic agent.

    PubMed

    Silberstein, Edward B

    2012-05-01

    Radioiodine has the distinction of being the first theranostic agent in our armamentarium. Millennia were required to discover that the agent in orally administered seaweed and its extracts, which had been shown to cure neck swelling due to thyromegaly, was iodine, first demonstrated to be a new element in 1813. Treatment of goiter with iodine began at once, but its prophylactic value to prevent a common form of goiter took another century. After Enrico Fermi produced the first radioiodine, (128)I, in 1934, active experimentation in the United States and France delineated the crucial role of iodine in thyroid metabolism and disease. (130)I and (131)I were first employed to treat thyrotoxicosis by 1941, and thyroid cancer in 1943. After World War II, (131)I became widely available at a reasonable price for diagnostic testing and therapy. The rectilinear scanner of Cassen and Curtis (Science 1949;110:94-95), and a dedicated gamma camera invented by Anger (Nature 1952;170:200-201), finally permitted the diagnostic imaging of thyroid disease, with (131)I again the radioisotope of choice, although there were short-lived attempts to employ (125)I and (132)I for this purpose. (123)I was first produced in 1949 but did not become widely available until about 1982, 10 years after a production technique eliminated high-energy (124)I contamination. I continues to be the radioiodine of choice for the diagnosis of benign thyroid disease, whereas (123)I and (131)I are employed in the staging and detection of functioning thyroid cancer. (124)I, a positron emitter, can produce excellent anatomically correlated images employing positron emission tomography/computed tomography equipment and has the potential to enhance heretofore imperfect dosimetric studies in determining the appropriate administered activity to ablate/treat thyroid cancer. Issues of acceptable measuring error in thyroid cancer dosimetry and the role in (131)I therapy of tumor heterogeneity, tumor hypoxia, and

  3. Characterization of chemical agent transport in paints.

    PubMed

    Willis, Matthew P; Gordon, Wesley; Lalain, Teri; Mantooth, Brent

    2013-09-15

    A combination of vacuum-based vapor emission measurements with a mass transport model was employed to determine the interaction of chemical warfare agents with various materials, including transport parameters of agents in paints. Accurate determination of mass transport parameters enables the simulation of the chemical agent distribution in a material for decontaminant performance modeling. The evaluation was performed with the chemical warfare agents bis(2-chloroethyl) sulfide (distilled mustard, known as the chemical warfare blister agent HD) and O-ethyl S-[2-(diisopropylamino)ethyl] methylphosphonothioate (VX), an organophosphate nerve agent, deposited on to two different types of polyurethane paint coatings. The results demonstrated alignment between the experimentally measured vapor emission flux and the predicted vapor flux. Mass transport modeling demonstrated rapid transport of VX into the coatings; VX penetrated through the aliphatic polyurethane-based coating (100 μm) within approximately 107 min. By comparison, while HD was more soluble in the coatings, the penetration depth in the coatings was approximately 2× lower than VX. Applications of mass transport parameters include the ability to predict agent uptake, and subsequent long-term vapor emission or contact transfer where the agent could present exposure risks. Additionally, these parameters and model enable the ability to perform decontamination modeling to predict how decontaminants remove agent from these materials.

  4. Opportunistic Behavior in Motivated Learning Agents.

    PubMed

    Graham, James; Starzyk, Janusz A; Jachyra, Daniel

    2015-08-01

    This paper focuses on the novel motivated learning (ML) scheme and opportunistic behavior of an intelligent agent. It extends previously developed ML to opportunistic behavior in a multitask situation. Our paper describes the virtual world implementation of autonomous opportunistic agents learning in a dynamically changing environment, creating abstract goals, and taking advantage of arising opportunities to improve their performance. An opportunistic agent achieves better results than an agent based on ML only. It does so by minimizing the average value of all need signals rather than a dominating need. This paper applies to the design of autonomous embodied systems (robots) learning in real-time how to operate in a complex environment.

  5. Agent-oriented captology for medical informatics.

    PubMed

    Bărbat, B E; Zamfirescu, C B; Costache, G

    2000-01-01

    Considering that neither captology nor agent-orientation, are applied in medical informatics, as they could be, the paper presents a broad-spectrum generic architectural framework to support developing adaptive medical applications, based on synergistic correlation between persuasive interfaces and intelligent agents. Their main features are adapted for medical informatics. Lying on this groundwork, the design space for agent-oriented persuasive applications is defined and several guidelines for its main dimensions are given. The approach is instantiated through an agent-based test-bench application, having the purpose to persuade to quit smoking.

  6. Reversal Agents for the Direct Oral Anticoagulants.

    PubMed

    Ansell, Jack E

    2016-10-01

    The vitamin K antagonists (VKAs) are associated with a significant rate of major and fatal bleeding complications. The new direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs), even though having a better bleeding profile than the VKAs, are still associated with serious bleeding. The anticoagulation induced by the VKAs can be reversed with both vitamin K and prothrombin complex concentrates, whereas the DOACs were developed without specific reversal agents. Although there is controversy around the necessity of a reversal agent, most clinicians agree that having a reversal agent for the DOACs would be beneficial. Three reversal agents are currently in development. PMID:27637309

  7. Novel antibodies as anticancer agents.

    PubMed

    Zafir-Lavie, I; Michaeli, Y; Reiter, Y

    2007-05-28

    In recent years antibodies, whether generated by traditional hybridoma technology or by recombinant DNA strategies, have evolved from Paul Ehrlich's 'magic bullets' to a modern age 'guided missile'. In the recent years of immunologic research, we are witnessing development in the fields of antigen screening and protein engineering in order to create specific anticancer remedies. The developments in the field of recombinant DNA, protein engineering and cancer biology have let us gain insight into many cancer-related mechanisms. Moreover, novel techniques have facilitated tools allowing unique distinction between malignantly transformed cells, and regular ones. This understanding has paved the way for the rational design of a new age of pharmaceuticals: monoclonal antibodies and their fragments. Antibodies can select antigens on both a specific and a high-affinity account, and further implementation of these qualities is used to target cancer cells by specifically identifying exogenous antigens of cancer cell populations. The structure of the antibody provides plasticity resonating from its functional sites. This review will screen some of the many novel antibodies and antibody-based approaches that are being currently developed for clinical applications as the new generation of anticancer agents. PMID:17530025

  8. Antipsychotic agents and QT changes.

    PubMed Central

    Welch, R; Chue, P

    2000-01-01

    Recently, antipsychotic medications of the novel or atypical classes have received increased attention because of concerns with respect to potential lengthening of the QT interval, yet the currently available and commonly prescribed conventional antipsychotics are significantly more cardiotoxic, particularly agents in the butyrophenone and phenothiazine classes. Lengthening of the QT interval can be associated with a fatal paroxysmal ventricular arrhythmia known as torsades de pointes. The specific duration of the QT interval at which the risk of an adverse cardiac event is greatest, is not established. There is not only significant variation in the applied definition of an abnormal interval, but the maximal QT interval in healthy volunteers is greater than the currently accepted standards. The QT interval is influenced by normal physiological and pathologic factors, but the mechanisms remain unclear. Using recombinant technology, haloperidol and sertindole have been demonstrated to be high-affinity antagonists of a human cardiac potassium channel encoded by the human ether-a-go-go-related gene. Pimozide, however, has been shown to act principally through calcium channel antagonism, and chlorpromazine may affect sodium channels. Nevertheless, it is possible that these effects are significant only in the presence of predisposing factors, either genetic or acquired. Despite proven efficacy in clinical trials and subsequent supervised use in Europe, a number of recently developed antipsychotic medications are not available to patients in North America. Yet, conventional antipsychotic medications that would not be approved by current safety standards continue to be widely used. PMID:10740988

  9. Dronedarone: a new antiarrhythmic agent.

    PubMed

    Oyetayo, Ola O; Rogers, Carrie E; Hofmann, Prudence O

    2010-09-01

    Dronedarone is an antiarrhythmic agent recently approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for the reduction of cardiovascular-related hospitalizations in patients with paroxysmal or persistent atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter. The drug is a derivative of amiodarone and has been modified to reduce the organ toxicities frequently encountered with amiodarone. Dronedarone exerts its antiarrhythmic effects through multichannel blockade of the sodium, potassium, and calcium channels and also possesses antiadrenergic activity, thereby exhibiting pharmacologic effects of all four Vaughan Williams classes of antiarrhythmics. The efficacy of dronedarone for the maintenance of sinus rhythm, ventricular rate control, and reduction in cardiovascular-related hospitalizations has been demonstrated in several randomized, placebo-controlled trials. Although a high rate of gastrointestinal events (e.g., nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea) has been associated with dronedarone, more serious adverse events such as thyroid, liver, or pulmonary toxicities have not been observed. Because of a possible increase in mortality, dronedarone should be avoided in patients with New York Heart Association class IV or II-III heart failure with a recent decompensation. Given the efficacy and safety data currently available, dronedarone represents a reasonable alternative for maintenance of sinus rhythm in appropriately selected patients.

  10. Detection of chemical agent aerosols

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fox, Jay A.; Ahl, Jeffrey L.; D'Amico, Francis M.; Vanderbeek, Richard G.; Moon, Raphael; Swim, Cynthia R.

    1999-05-01

    One of the major threats presented by a chemical agent attack is that of a munition exploding overhead and 'raining' aerosols which can contaminate surfaces when they impact. Since contact with these surfaces can be fatal, it is imperative to know when such an attack has taken place and the likely threat density and location. We present the results of an experiment designed to show the utility of a CO2 lidar in detecting such an attack. Testing occurred at Dugway Proving Grounds, Utah and involved the simulation of an explosive airburst chemical attack. Explosions occurred at a height of 30 m and liquid droplets from two chemicals, PEG-200 (polyethylene glycol 200) and TEP (triethylphosphate), were expelled and fell to the ground. The munition was the U.S. Army M9 Simulator, Projectile, Airburst, Liquid (SPAL) system that is designed for chemical warfare training exercises. The instrument that was used to detect the presence of the aerosols was the Laser Standoff Chemical Detector (LSCD) which is a light detection and ranging (LIDAR) system that utilizes a rapidly tunable, pulsed CO2 laser. The LIDAR scanned a horizontal path approximately 5 - 8 m above the ground in order to measure the concentration of liquid deposition. The LIDAR data were later correlated with card data to determine how well the system could predict the location and quantity of liquid deposition on the ground.

  11. Direct anti-HCV agents.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xingquan

    2016-01-01

    Unlike human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a curable disease. Current direct antiviral agent (DAA) targets are focused on HCV NS3/4A protein (protease), NS5B protein (polymerase) and NS5A protein. The first generation of DAAs includes boceprevir and telaprevir, which are protease inhibitors and were approved for clinical use in 2011. The cure rate for genotype 1 patients increased from 45% to 70% when boceprevir or telaprevir was added to standard PEG-IFN/ribavirin. More effective and less toxic second generation DAAs supplanted these drugs by 2013. The second generation of DAAs includes sofosbuvir (Sovaldi), simeprevir (Olysio), and fixed combination medicines Harvoni and Viekira Pak. These drugs increase cure rates to over 90% without the need for interferon and effectively treat all HCV genotypes. With these drugs the "cure HCV" goal has become a reality. Concerns remain about drug resistance mutations and the high cost of these drugs. The investigation of new HCV drugs is progressing rapidly; fixed dose combination medicines in phase III clinical trials include Viekirax, asunaprevir+daclatasvir+beclabuvir, grazoprevir+elbasvir and others.

  12. Direct anti-HCV agents

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Xingquan

    2015-01-01

    Unlike human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a curable disease. Current direct antiviral agent (DAA) targets are focused on HCV NS3/4A protein (protease), NS5B protein (polymerase) and NS5A protein. The first generation of DAAs includes boceprevir and telaprevir, which are protease inhibitors and were approved for clinical use in 2011. The cure rate for genotype 1 patients increased from 45% to 70% when boceprevir or telaprevir was added to standard PEG-IFN/ribavirin. More effective and less toxic second generation DAAs supplanted these drugs by 2013. The second generation of DAAs includes sofosbuvir (Sovaldi), simeprevir (Olysio), and fixed combination medicines Harvoni and Viekira Pak. These drugs increase cure rates to over 90% without the need for interferon and effectively treat all HCV genotypes. With these drugs the “cure HCV” goal has become a reality. Concerns remain about drug resistance mutations and the high cost of these drugs. The investigation of new HCV drugs is progressing rapidly; fixed dose combination medicines in phase III clinical trials include Viekirax, asunaprevir+daclatasvir+beclabuvir, grazoprevir+elbasvir and others. PMID:26904396

  13. Copper complexes as therapeutic agents.

    PubMed

    Duncan, Clare; White, Anthony R

    2012-02-01

    The importance of transition metals in biological processes has been well established. Copper (Cu) is a transition metal that can exist in oxidised and reduced states. This allows it to participate in redox and catalytic chemistry, making it a suitable cofactor for a diverse range of enzymes and molecules. Cu deficiency or toxicity is implicated in a variety of pathological conditions; therefore inorganic complexes of Cu have been investigated for their therapeutic and diagnostic potential. These Cu complexes have been shown to be effective in cancer treatment due to their cytotoxic action on tumour cells. Alternatively, Cu complexes can also modulate Cu homeostasis in the brain, resulting in protective effects in several models of neurodegeneration. In other diseases such as coronary heart disease and skin disease, the success of Cu complexes as potential therapeutics will most likely be due to their ability to increase SOD activity, leading to relief of oxidative stress. This review seeks to provide a broad insight into some of the diverse actions of Cu complexes and demonstrate the strong future for these compounds as potential therapeutic agents.

  14. Departments as Agents of Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lagowski, J. J.

    1996-07-01

    Higher education is changing because it has no choice. And, for the most part, outside influences are dictating the processes of change. The more fortunate institutions have had a flat budget during this period, but most have been forced to deal with a declining revenue stream as well. Legislators seem bent on micromanaging state-supported institutions, even as they cut their support. Regulators demand greater institutional accountability. Students and their parents expect more service at lower prices and increased flexibility. Technological advances have dramatically affected the availability and accessibility of extant knowledge. It is no longer a question of whether institutions will change, but rather, who will control the change. Most institutions possess long-standing academic traditions, but these are placed at risk in an increasingly competitive market that holds little sympathy for such traditions and may even see them as obstacles or barriers. As a result, the change agents will undoubtedly have a profound effect on the very nature of academic institutions. From the academic point of view, it would seem prudent to attempt to manage the changes that will inevitably occur. A number of concerned observers, notably the Pew Higher Education Roundtable and the American Association for Higher Education, argue persuasively that the academic department is the logical focus for responding to the current winds of change. Using a marketing metaphor, the academic department has been likened to a "producers' cooperative" of services that consumers seek. Thus, the department should be held accountable for the quality of teaching delivered by its members, for the coherence of its major, for its contributions to the general education curriculum, and for supervising and rewarding its individual faculty members. If departments are to be held accountable, it is surely in their best interest to act in such a way that they are accountable. Expecting academic departments to be

  15. Safe motion planning for mobile agents: A model of reactive planning for multiple mobile agents

    SciTech Connect

    Fujimura, Kikuo.

    1990-01-01

    The problem of motion planning for multiple mobile agents is studied. Each planning agent independently plans its own action based on its map which contains a limited information about the environment. In an environment where more than one mobile agent interacts, the motions of the robots are uncertain and dynamic. A model for reactive agents is described and simulation results are presented to show their behavior patterns. 18 refs., 2 figs.

  16. Antihypertensive agents and renal transplantation

    PubMed Central

    Vergoulas, G

    2007-01-01

    Advances in the field of kidney transplantation have led to a significant increase in the life of renal allograft with 1 - year graft survival rates of 93% to 99%.This increase in early graft survival has made it possible to observe the long-term morbidities that accompany renal transplantation. Studies correlating the reduction of arterial blood pressure with patient and graft survival as well as the risk of cardiovascular disease do not exist. The recommendations come from the general population and from comparative studies of hypertensive and normotensive kidney graft recipients. It is known that in the general population hypertension is a risk factor for chronic kidney disease but at the same time a risk factor for death, ischaemic heart disease, chronic heart failure and left ventricular hypertrophy. We must always have in mind that there are many similarities between a kidney graft recipient and a patient with chronic kidney disease. Renal transplant recipients represent a patient population with a very high risk for development of cardiovascular disease which has been identified as the leading cause of death in these patients1. Of 18,482 deaths among renal allograft recipients, 38% had functioning renal allografts 2, 3. Successful renal transplantation (Rt) can result in partial regression of left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) if it is associated with hypertension (HTN) remission or if HTN is controlled by medications. Frequently post transplant HTN is associated with failure of LVH to regress. Transplant clinicians must choose antihypertensive agents that will provide their patients with maximum benefit from renal allograft and cardiovascular perspective. The target must always be long term patient and graft survival and acceptable quality of life. The antihypertensive drugs usually used after kidney transplantation are diuretics, calcium channel blockers, angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors, angiotensin II receptor blockers and β – blockers. Most

  17. Your company's secret change agents.

    PubMed

    Pascale, Richard Tanner; Sternin, Jerry

    2005-05-01

    Organizational change has traditionally come about through top-down initiatives such as hiring experts or importing best-of-breed practices. Such methods usually result in companywide rollouts of templates mandated from on high. These do little to get people excited. But within every organization, there are a few individuals who find unique ways to look at problems that seem impossible to solve. Although these change agents start out with the same tools and access to resources as their peers, they are able to see solutions where others do not. They find a way to bridge the divide between what is happening and what is possible. These positive deviants are the key, the authors believe, to a better way of creating organizational change. Your company can make the most of their methods by following six steps. In Step 1, Make the group the guru, the members of the community are engaged in the process of their own evolution. Step 2, Reframe through facts, entails restating the problem in a way that opens minds to new possibilities. Step 3, Make it safe to learn, involves creating an environment that supports innovative ideas. In Step 4, Make the problem concrete, the community combats abstraction by stating uncomfortable truths. In Step 5, Leverage social proof, the community looks to the larger society for examples of solutions that have worked in parallel situations. In Step 6, Confound the immune defense response, solutions are introduced organically from within the group in a way that promotes acceptance. Throughout the steps, the leader must suspend his or her traditional role in favor of more facilitatory practices. The positive-deviance approach has unearthed solutions to such complicated and diverse problems as malnutrition in Mali and human trafficking in East Java. This methodology can help solve even the most extreme dilemmas.

  18. Your company's secret change agents.

    PubMed

    Pascale, Richard Tanner; Sternin, Jerry

    2005-05-01

    Organizational change has traditionally come about through top-down initiatives such as hiring experts or importing best-of-breed practices. Such methods usually result in companywide rollouts of templates mandated from on high. These do little to get people excited. But within every organization, there are a few individuals who find unique ways to look at problems that seem impossible to solve. Although these change agents start out with the same tools and access to resources as their peers, they are able to see solutions where others do not. They find a way to bridge the divide between what is happening and what is possible. These positive deviants are the key, the authors believe, to a better way of creating organizational change. Your company can make the most of their methods by following six steps. In Step 1, Make the group the guru, the members of the community are engaged in the process of their own evolution. Step 2, Reframe through facts, entails restating the problem in a way that opens minds to new possibilities. Step 3, Make it safe to learn, involves creating an environment that supports innovative ideas. In Step 4, Make the problem concrete, the community combats abstraction by stating uncomfortable truths. In Step 5, Leverage social proof, the community looks to the larger society for examples of solutions that have worked in parallel situations. In Step 6, Confound the immune defense response, solutions are introduced organically from within the group in a way that promotes acceptance. Throughout the steps, the leader must suspend his or her traditional role in favor of more facilitatory practices. The positive-deviance approach has unearthed solutions to such complicated and diverse problems as malnutrition in Mali and human trafficking in East Java. This methodology can help solve even the most extreme dilemmas. PMID:15929405

  19. Explor@ Advisory Agent: Tracing the Student's Trail.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lundgren-Cayrol, Karin; Paquette, Gilbert; Miara, Alexis; Bergeron, Frederick; Rivard, Jacques; Rosca, Ioan

    This paper presents research and development of an adaptive World Wide Web-based system called Explor@ Advisory Agent, capable of tailoring advice to the individual student's needs, actions, and reactions toward pedagogical events, as well as according to diagnosis of content acquisition. Explor@ Advisory Agent consists of two sub-systems, the…

  20. 7 CFR 58.722 - Emulsifying agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... Specifications for Dairy Plants Approved for USDA Inspection and Grading Service 1 Quality Specifications for Raw Material § 58.722 Emulsifying agents. Emulsifying agents shall be those permitted by the Food and Drug Administration for the specific pasteurized process cheese product, and shall be free from extraneous...

  1. Improving Disability Awareness among Extension Agents

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mahadevan, Lakshmi; Peterson, Rick L.; Grenwelge, Cheryl

    2014-01-01

    Increasing prevalence rates and legislative mandates imply that educators, parents, and Extension agents will need better tools and resources to meet the needs of special populations. The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service addresses this issue by using e-learning tools. Extension agents can take advantage of these courses to gain critical…

  2. The Design of Motivational Agents and Avatars

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baylor, Amy L.

    2011-01-01

    While the addition of an anthropomorphic interface agent to a learning system generally has little direct impact on learning, it potentially has a huge impact on learner motivation. As such agents become increasingly ubiquitous on the Internet, in virtual worlds, and as interfaces for learning and gaming systems, it is important to design them to…

  3. 21 CFR 181.28 - Release agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 3 2014-04-01 2014-04-01 false Release agents. 181.28 Section 181.28 Food and Drugs FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) PRIOR-SANCTIONED FOOD INGREDIENTS Specific Prior-Sanctioned Food Ingredients § 181.28 Release agents....

  4. Security of Mobile Agents on the Internet.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Corradi, Antonio; Montanari, Rebecca; Stefanelli, Cesare

    2001-01-01

    Discussion of the Internet focuses on new programming paradigms based on mobile agents. Considers the security issues associated with mobile agents and proposes a security architecture composed of a wide set of services and components capable of adapting to a variety of applications, particularly electronic commerce. (Author/LRW)

  5. Practice among Novice Change Agents in Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Blossing, Ulf

    2016-01-01

    The aim of the article is to understand practice as negotiation of meaning among novice and internal change agents in school organisations. The research question is as follows: What themes of participation and reification/management occur among the change agents? The study was qualitative in design using the social learning theory of community of…

  6. 7 CFR 905.86 - Agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 8 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Agents. 905.86 Section 905.86 Agriculture Regulations... Orders; Fruits, Vegetables, Nuts), DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE ORANGES, GRAPEFRUIT, TANGERINES, AND TANGELOS GROWN IN FLORIDA Order Regulating Handling Miscellaneous Provisions § 905.86 Agents. The...

  7. 7 CFR 905.86 - Agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 8 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Agents. 905.86 Section 905.86 Agriculture Regulations... ORDERS; FRUITS, VEGETABLES, NUTS), DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE ORANGES, GRAPEFRUIT, TANGERINES, AND TANGELOS GROWN IN FLORIDA Order Regulating Handling Miscellaneous Provisions § 905.86 Agents. The...

  8. 7 CFR 906.59 - Agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 8 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Agents. 906.59 Section 906.59 Agriculture Regulations... ORDERS; FRUITS, VEGETABLES, NUTS), DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE ORANGES AND GRAPEFRUIT GROWN IN LOWER RIO GRANDE VALLEY IN TEXAS Order Regulating Handling Miscellaneous Provisions § 906.59 Agents. The...

  9. 7 CFR 906.59 - Agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 8 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Agents. 906.59 Section 906.59 Agriculture Regulations... Orders; Fruits, Vegetables, Nuts), DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE ORANGES AND GRAPEFRUIT GROWN IN LOWER RIO GRANDE VALLEY IN TEXAS Order Regulating Handling Miscellaneous Provisions § 906.59 Agents. The...

  10. 7 CFR 905.86 - Agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 8 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Agents. 905.86 Section 905.86 Agriculture Regulations... Orders; Fruits, Vegetables, Nuts), DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE ORANGES, GRAPEFRUIT, TANGERINES, AND TANGELOS GROWN IN FLORIDA Order Regulating Handling Miscellaneous Provisions § 905.86 Agents. The...

  11. 7 CFR 905.86 - Agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 8 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Agents. 905.86 Section 905.86 Agriculture Regulations... ORDERS; FRUITS, VEGETABLES, NUTS), DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE ORANGES, GRAPEFRUIT, TANGERINES, AND TANGELOS GROWN IN FLORIDA Order Regulating Handling Miscellaneous Provisions § 905.86 Agents. The...

  12. 7 CFR 906.59 - Agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 8 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Agents. 906.59 Section 906.59 Agriculture Regulations... Orders; Fruits, Vegetables, Nuts), DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE ORANGES AND GRAPEFRUIT GROWN IN LOWER RIO GRANDE VALLEY IN TEXAS Order Regulating Handling Miscellaneous Provisions § 906.59 Agents. The...

  13. 7 CFR 906.59 - Agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 8 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Agents. 906.59 Section 906.59 Agriculture Regulations... ORDERS; FRUITS, VEGETABLES, NUTS), DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE ORANGES AND GRAPEFRUIT GROWN IN LOWER RIO GRANDE VALLEY IN TEXAS Order Regulating Handling Miscellaneous Provisions § 906.59 Agents. The...

  14. 7 CFR 905.86 - Agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 8 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Agents. 905.86 Section 905.86 Agriculture Regulations... Orders; Fruits, Vegetables, Nuts), DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE ORANGES, GRAPEFRUIT, TANGERINES, AND TANGELOS GROWN IN FLORIDA Order Regulating Handling Miscellaneous Provisions § 905.86 Agents. The...

  15. 7 CFR 906.59 - Agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 8 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Agents. 906.59 Section 906.59 Agriculture Regulations... Orders; Fruits, Vegetables, Nuts), DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE ORANGES AND GRAPEFRUIT GROWN IN LOWER RIO GRANDE VALLEY IN TEXAS Order Regulating Handling Miscellaneous Provisions § 906.59 Agents. The...

  16. 21 CFR 173.340 - Defoaming agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... components of defoaming agents limited to use in processing beet sugar and yeast, and subject to any... agents limited to use in processing beet sugar only, and subject to the limitations imposed: Substances... production of this substance complies with § 172.860 or § 172.862 of this chapter As an emulsifier not...

  17. 21 CFR 173.340 - Defoaming agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... components of defoaming agents limited to use in processing beet sugar and yeast, and subject to any... agents limited to use in processing beet sugar only, and subject to the limitations imposed: Substances... production of this substance complies with § 172.860 or § 172.862 of this chapter As an emulsifier not...

  18. 46 CFR Sec. 3 - General Agents' responsibilities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 46 Shipping 8 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false General Agents' responsibilities. Sec. 3 Section 3 Shipping MARITIME ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION A-NATIONAL SHIPPING AUTHORITY AUTHORITY AND RESPONSIBILITY OF GENERAL AGENTS TO UNDERTAKE EMERGENCY REPAIRS IN FOREIGN PORTS Sec. 3 General...

  19. 46 CFR Sec. 3 - General Agents' responsibilities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 46 Shipping 8 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false General Agents' responsibilities. Sec. 3 Section 3 Shipping MARITIME ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION A-NATIONAL SHIPPING AUTHORITY AUTHORITY AND RESPONSIBILITY OF GENERAL AGENTS TO UNDERTAKE EMERGENCY REPAIRS IN FOREIGN PORTS Sec. 3 General...

  20. 46 CFR Sec. 3 - General Agents' responsibilities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 46 Shipping 8 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false General Agents' responsibilities. Sec. 3 Section 3 Shipping MARITIME ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION A-NATIONAL SHIPPING AUTHORITY AUTHORITY AND RESPONSIBILITY OF GENERAL AGENTS TO UNDERTAKE EMERGENCY REPAIRS IN FOREIGN PORTS Sec. 3 General...

  1. 46 CFR Sec. 3 - General Agents' responsibilities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 46 Shipping 8 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false General Agents' responsibilities. Sec. 3 Section 3 Shipping MARITIME ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION A-NATIONAL SHIPPING AUTHORITY AUTHORITY AND RESPONSIBILITY OF GENERAL AGENTS TO UNDERTAKE EMERGENCY REPAIRS IN FOREIGN PORTS Sec. 3 General...

  2. 46 CFR Sec. 3 - General Agents' responsibilities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 46 Shipping 8 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false General Agents' responsibilities. Sec. 3 Section 3 Shipping MARITIME ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION A-NATIONAL SHIPPING AUTHORITY AUTHORITY AND RESPONSIBILITY OF GENERAL AGENTS TO UNDERTAKE EMERGENCY REPAIRS IN FOREIGN PORTS Sec. 3 General...

  3. Interaction between some common genotoxic agents.

    PubMed

    Beckman, L; Nordenson, I

    1986-01-01

    The clastogenic effects of arsenic, lead and sulphur dioxide and the protective effect of selenium were studied in short-term lymphocyte cultures. The three agents selected are the major toxic substances in emissions from copper smelters. Cells from non-smoking, healthy individuals were exposed to individual agents and combinations of the four agents (sodium arsenite, lead acetate, sodium sulphite and sodium selenite) and the cells were analysed for chromosome aberrations and sister chromatide exchanges. Selenium showed an antagonistic (protective) effect against the other agents. No synergistic effects were found, and the interactions between arsenic, lead and sulphur dioxide were mainly antagonistic. These rather unexpected findings indicate that mixed exposure from copper smelters, and other mixed exposures where arsenic, lead and sulphur dioxide are involved, may cause less genetic damage than expected and that an adequate dietary supplement of selenium may reduce the genotoxic effects of these agents. PMID:3793119

  4. Can Space Applications Benefit from Intelligent Agents?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Varghese, Blesson; McKee, Gerard

    The work reported in this paper proposes a Swarm-Array computing approach based on 'Intelligent Agents' to apply autonomic computing concepts to parallel computing systems and build reliable systems for space applications. Swarm-array computing is a swarm robotics inspired, novel computing approach considered as a path to achieve autonomy in parallel computing systems. In the intelligent agent approach, a task to be executed on parallel computing cores is considered as a swarm of autonomous agents. A task is carried to a computing core by carrier agents and can be seamlessly transferred between cores in the event of a predicted failure, thereby achieving self-* objectives of autonomic computing. The approach is validated on a multi-agent simulator.

  5. Ecology Based Decentralized Agent Management System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Peysakhov, Maxim D.; Cicirello, Vincent A.; Regli, William C.

    2004-01-01

    The problem of maintaining a desired number of mobile agents on a network is not trivial, especially if we want a completely decentralized solution. Decentralized control makes a system more r e bust and less susceptible to partial failures. The problem is exacerbated on wireless ad hoc networks where host mobility can result in significant changes in the network size and topology. In this paper we propose an ecology-inspired approach to the management of the number of agents. The approach associates agents with living organisms and tasks with food. Agents procreate or die based on the abundance of uncompleted tasks (food). We performed a series of experiments investigating properties of such systems and analyzed their stability under various conditions. We concluded that the ecology based metaphor can be successfully applied to the management of agent populations on wireless ad hoc networks.

  6. Anti-Inflammatory Agents for Cancer Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Rayburn, Elizabeth R.; Ezell, Scharri J.; Zhang, Ruiwen

    2010-01-01

    Inflammation is closely linked to cancer, and many anti-cancer agents are also used to treat inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis. Moreover, chronic inflammation increases the risk for various cancers, indicating that eliminating inflammation may represent a valid strategy for cancer prevention and therapy. This article explores the relationship between inflammation and cancer with an emphasis on epidemiological evidence, summarizes the current use of anti-inflammatory agents for cancer prevention and therapy, and describes the mechanisms underlying the anti-cancer effects of anti-inflammatory agents. Since monotherapy is generally insufficient for treating cancer, the combined use of anti-inflammatory agents and conventional cancer therapy is also a focal point in discussion. In addition, we also briefly describe future directions that should be explored for anti-cancer anti-inflammatory agents. PMID:20333321

  7. An agent based model of genotype editing

    SciTech Connect

    Rocha, L. M.; Huang, C. F.

    2004-01-01

    This paper presents our investigation on an agent-based model of Genotype Editing. This model is based on several characteristics that are gleaned from the RNA editing system as observed in several organisms. The incorporation of editing mechanisms in an evolutionary agent-based model provides a means for evolving agents with heterogenous post-transcriptional processes. The study of this agent-based genotype-editing model has shed some light into the evolutionary implications of RNA editing as well as established an advantageous evolutionary computation algorithm for machine learning. We expect that our proposed model may both facilitate determining the evolutionary role of RNA editing in biology, and advance the current state of research in agent-based optimization.

  8. Selection of luting agents, part 1.

    PubMed

    Jivraj, Sajid A; Kim, Tae Hyung; Donovan, Terry E

    2006-02-01

    The clinical success of indirect restorations is dependent on multiple factors that include preparation design, mechanical forces, restorative material selection, oral hygiene, and selection of a proper luting agent. The selection of the luting agent is dependent on the specific clinical situation, the type of restoration utilized and the physical, biologic, and handling properties of the luting agent. Although it is important to choose the best luting agent for each clinical situation, far greater variations in physical properties result from improper manipulation of a given luting agent than exist between different types of cements. One study listed loss of retention as the third-leading cause of prosthetic replacement, with failure occurring after only 5.8 years in service. The primary purpose of the luting procedure is to achieve a durable bond and to have good marginal adaptation of the luting material to the restoration and tooth. Conventional cements have always relied upon retention and resistance forms in tooth preparations; Adhesive-type luting agents offer the clinician an added advantage by bonding to the tooth structure. Three main types of conventional "cements" are commonly used, zinc phosphate and the polyelectrolyte cements polycarboxylate, and glass ionomer cements. Because of its long history of successful clinical use, zinc phosphate is considered the gold standard against which all other luting agents are compared because of its long clinical history of successful use. Currently, two additional types of luting agents have gained considerable popularity. These include the resin-modified glass ionomer cements and resin cements. The resin cement category includes light-cured, dual-cured and chemically cured agents. The purpose of this article is to discuss the ideal attributes of a luting agent and make clinical recommendations for their use.

  9. For whom will the Bayesian agents vote?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caticha, Nestor; Cesar, Jonatas; Vicente, Renato

    2015-04-01

    Within an agent-based model where moral classifications are socially learned, we ask if a population of agents behaves in a way that may be compared with conservative or liberal positions in the real political spectrum. We assume that agents first experience a formative period, in which they adjust their learning style acting as supervised Bayesian adaptive learners. The formative phase is followed by a period of social influence by reinforcement learning. By comparing data generated by the agents with data from a sample of 15000 Moral Foundation questionnaires we found the following. 1. The number of information exchanges in the formative phase correlates positively with statistics identifying liberals in the social influence phase. This is consistent with recent evidence that connects the dopamine receptor D4-7R gene, political orientation and early age social clique size. 2. The learning algorithms that result from the formative phase vary in the way they treat novelty and corroborative information with more conservative-like agents treating it more equally than liberal-like agents. This is consistent with the correlation between political affiliation and the Openness personality trait reported in the literature. 3. Under the increase of a model parameter interpreted as an external pressure, the statistics of liberal agents resemble more those of conservative agents, consistent with reports on the consequences of external threats on measures of conservatism. We also show that in the social influence phase liberal-like agents readapt much faster than conservative-like agents when subjected to changes on the relevant set of moral issues. This suggests a verifiable dynamical criterium for attaching liberal or conservative labels to groups.

  10. A user-system interface agent

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wakim, Nagi T.; Srivastava, Sadanand; Bousaidi, Mehdi; Goh, Gin-Hua

    1995-01-01

    Agent-based technologies answer to several challenges posed by additional information processing requirements in today's computing environments. In particular, (1) users desire interaction with computing devices in a mode which is similar to that used between people, (2) the efficiency and successful completion of information processing tasks often require a high-level of expertise in complex and multiple domains, (3) information processing tasks often require handling of large volumes of data and, therefore, continuous and endless processing activities. The concept of an agent is an attempt to address these new challenges by introducing information processing environments in which (1) users can communicate with a system in a natural way, (2) an agent is a specialist and a self-learner and, therefore, it qualifies to be trusted to perform tasks independent of the human user, and (3) an agent is an entity that is continuously active performing tasks that are either delegated to it or self-imposed. The work described in this paper focuses on the development of an interface agent for users of a complex information processing environment (IPE). This activity is part of an on-going effort to build a model for developing agent-based information systems. Such systems will be highly applicable to environments which require a high degree of automation, such as, flight control operations and/or processing of large volumes of data in complex domains, such as the EOSDIS environment and other multidisciplinary, scientific data systems. The concept of an agent as an information processing entity is fully described with emphasis on characteristics of special interest to the User-System Interface Agent (USIA). Issues such as agent 'existence' and 'qualification' are discussed in this paper. Based on a definition of an agent and its main characteristics, we propose an architecture for the development of interface agents for users of an IPE that is agent-oriented and whose resources

  11. Scoping Planning Agents With Shared Models

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bedrax-Weiss, Tania; Frank, Jeremy D.; Jonsson, Ari K.; McGann, Conor

    2003-01-01

    In this paper we provide a formal framework to define the scope of planning agents based on a single declarative model. Having multiple agents sharing a single model provides numerous advantages that lead to reduced development costs and increase reliability of the system. We formally define planning in terms of extensions of an initial partial plan, and a set of flaws that make the plan unacceptable. A Flaw Filter (FF) allows us to identify those flaws relevant to an agent. Flaw filters motivate the Plan Identification Function (PIF), which specifies when an agent is is ready hand control to another agent for further work. PIFs define a set of plan extensions that can be generated from a model and a plan request. FFs and PIFs can be used to define the scope of agents without changing the model. We describe an implementation of PIFsand FFswithin the context of EUROPA, a constraint-based planning architecture, and show how it can be used to easily design many different agents.

  12. Agent-Supported Mission Operations Teamwork

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Malin, Jane T.

    2003-01-01

    This slide presentation reviews the development of software agents to support of mission operations teamwork. The goals of the work was to make automation by agents easy to use, supervise and direct, manage information and communication to decrease distraction, interruptions, workload and errors, reduce mission impact of off-nominal situations and increase morale and decrease turnover. The accomplishments or the project are: 1. Collaborative agents - mixed initiative and creation of instructions for mediating agent 2. Methods for prototyping, evaluating and evolving socio-technical systems 3. Technology infusion: teamwork tools in mISSIons 4. Demonstrations in simulation testbed An example of the use of agent is given, the use of an agent to monitor a N2 tank leak. An incomplete instruction to the agent is handled with mediating assistants, or Intelligent Briefing and Response Assistant (IBRA). The IBRA Engine also watches data stream for triggers and executes Act-Whenever actions. There is also a Briefing and Response Instruction (BRI) which is easy for a discipline specialist to create through a BRI editor.

  13. [Decorporation agents for internal radioactive contamination].

    PubMed

    Ohmachi, Yasushi

    2015-01-01

    When radionuclides are accidentally ingested or inhaled, blood circulation or tissue/organ deposition of the radionuclides causes systemic or local radiation effects. In such cases, decorporation therapy is used to reduce the health risks due to their intake. Decorporation therapy includes reduction and/or inhibition of absorption from the gastrointestinal tract, isotopic dilution, and the use of diuretics, adsorbents, and chelating agents. For example, penicillamine is recommended as a chelating agent for copper contamination, and diethylene triamine pentaacetic acid is approved for the treatment of internal contamination with plutonium. During chelation therapy, the removal effect of the drugs should be monitored using a whole-body counter and/or bioassay. Some authorities, such as the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements and International Atomic Energy Agency, have reported recommended decorporation agents for each radionuclide. However, few drugs are approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, and many are off-label-use agents. Because many decontamination agents are drugs that have been available for a long time and have limited efficacy, the development of new, higher-efficacy drugs has been carried out mainly in the USA and France. In this article, in addition to an outline of decorporation agents for internal radioactive contamination, an outline of our research on decorporation agents for actinide (uranium and plutonium) contamination and for radio-cesium contamination is also presented. PMID:25832835

  14. Natural chelating agents for radionuclide decorporation

    DOEpatents

    Premuzic, E.T.

    1985-06-11

    This invention relates to the production of metal-binding compounds useful for the therapy of heavy metal poisoning, for biological mining and for decorporation of radionuclides. The present invention deals with an orderly and effective method of producing new therapeutically effective chelating agents. This method uses challenge biosynthesis for the production of chelating agents that are specific for a particular metal. In this approach, the desired chelating agents are prepared from microorganisms challenged by the metal that the chelating agent is designed to detoxify. This challenge induces the formation of specific or highly selective chelating agents. The present invention involves the use of the challenge biosynthetic method to produce new complexing/chelating agents that are therapeutically useful to detoxify uranium, plutonium, thorium and other toxic metals. The Pseudomonas aeruginosa family of organisms is the referred family of microorganisms to be used in the present invention to produce the new chelating agent because this family is known to elaborate strains resistant to toxic metals.

  15. Persistent agents in Axelrod's social dynamics model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reia, Sandro M.; Neves, Ubiraci P. C.

    2016-01-01

    Axelrod's model of social dynamics has been studied under the effect of external media. Here we study the formation of cultural domains in the model by introducing persistent agents. These are agents whose cultural traits are not allowed to change but may be spread through local neighborhood. In the absence of persistent agents, the system is known to present a transition from a monocultural to a multicultural regime at some critical Q (number of traits). Our results reveal a dependence of critical Q on the occupation probability p of persistent agents and we obtain the phase diagram of the model in the (p,Q) -plane. The critical locus is explained by the competition of two opposite forces named here barrier and bonding effects. Such forces are verified to be caused by non-persistent agents which adhere (adherent agents) to the set of traits of persistent ones. The adherence (concentration of adherent agents) as a function of p is found to decay for constant Q. Furthermore, adherence as a function of Q is found to decay as a power law with constant p.

  16. Brahms Mobile Agents: Architecture and Field Tests

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clancey, William J.; Sierhuis, Maarten; Kaskiris, Charis; vanHoof, Ron

    2002-01-01

    We have developed a model-based, distributed architecture that integrates diverse components in a system designed for lunar and planetary surface operations: an astronaut's space suit, cameras, rover/All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV), robotic assistant, other personnel in a local habitat, and a remote mission support team (with time delay). Software processes, called agents, implemented in the Brahms language, run on multiple, mobile platforms. These mobile agents interpret and transform available data to help people and robotic systems coordinate their actions to make operations more safe and efficient. The Brahms-based mobile agent architecture (MAA) uses a novel combination of agent types so the software agents may understand and facilitate communications between people and between system components. A state-of-the-art spoken dialogue interface is integrated with Brahms models, supporting a speech-driven field observation record and rover command system (e.g., return here later and bring this back to the habitat ). This combination of agents, rover, and model-based spoken dialogue interface constitutes a personal assistant. An important aspect of the methodology involves first simulating the entire system in Brahms, then configuring the agents into a run-time system.

  17. Primary brain targets of nerve agents

    PubMed Central

    Aroniadou-Anderjaska, Vassiliki; Figueiredo, Taiza H.; Apland, James P.; Qashu, Felicia; Braga, Maria F.M.

    2009-01-01

    Exposure to nerve agents and other organophosphorus acetylcholinesterases used in industry and agriculture can cause death, or brain damage, producing long-term cognitive and behavioral deficits. Brain damage is primarily caused by the intense seizure activity induced by these agents. Identifying the brain regions that respond most intensely to nerve agents, in terms of generating and spreading seizure activity, along with knowledge of the physiology and biochemistry of these regions, can facilitate the development of pharmacological treatments that will effectively control seizures even if administered when seizures are well underway. Here, we contrast the pathological (neuronal damage) and pathophysiological (neuronal activity) findings of responses to nerve agents in the amygdala and the hippocampus, the two brain structures that play a central role in the generation and spread of seizures. The evidence so far suggests that the amygdala suffers the most extensive damage by nerve agent exposure, which appears consistent with the tendency of the amygdala to generate prolonged, seizure-like neuronal discharges in vitro in response to the nerve agent soman, at a time when the hippocampus generates only interictal-like activity. In vivo experiments are now required to confirm the primary role that the amygdala seems to play in nerve agent-induced seizure generation. PMID:19591865

  18. Designing Agent Utilities for Coordinated, Scalable and Robust Multi-Agent Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tumer, Kagan

    2005-01-01

    Coordinating the behavior of a large number of agents to achieve a system level goal poses unique design challenges. In particular, problems of scaling (number of agents in the thousands to tens of thousands), observability (agents have limited sensing capabilities), and robustness (the agents are unreliable) make it impossible to simply apply methods developed for small multi-agent systems composed of reliable agents. To address these problems, we present an approach based on deriving agent goals that are aligned with the overall system goal, and can be computed using information readily available to the agents. Then, each agent uses a simple reinforcement learning algorithm to pursue its own goals. Because of the way in which those goals are derived, there is no need to use difficult to scale external mechanisms to force collaboration or coordination among the agents, or to ensure that agents actively attempt to appropriate the tasks of agents that suffered failures. To present these results in a concrete setting, we focus on the problem of finding the sub-set of a set of imperfect devices that results in the best aggregate device. This is a large distributed agent coordination problem where each agent (e.g., device) needs to determine whether to be part of the aggregate device. Our results show that the approach proposed in this work provides improvements of over an order of magnitude over both traditional search methods and traditional multi-agent methods. Furthermore, the results show that even in extreme cases of agent failures (i.e., half the agents failed midway through the simulation) the system's performance degrades gracefully and still outperforms a failure-free and centralized search algorithm. The results also show that the gains increase as the size of the system (e.g., number of agents) increases. This latter result is particularly encouraging and suggests that this method is ideally suited for domains where the number of agents is currently in the

  19. Fennel and anise as estrogenic agents.

    PubMed

    Albert-Puleo, M

    1980-12-01

    Fennel, Foeniculum vulgare, and anise, Pimpinella anisum, are plants which have been used as estrogenic agents for millennia. Specifically, they have been reputed to increase milk secretion, promote menstruation, facilitate birth, alleviate the symptoms of the male climacteric, and increase libido. In the 1930s, some interest was shown in these plants in the development of synthetic estrogens. The main constituent of the essential oils of fennel and anise, anethole, has been considered to be the active estrogenic agent. However, further research suggests that the actual pharmacologically active agents are polymers of anethole, such as dianethole and photoanethole. PMID:6999244

  20. Pharmacologic agents for mucus clearance in bronchiectasis.

    PubMed

    Nair, Girish B; Ilowite, Jonathan S

    2012-06-01

    There are no approved pharmacologic agents to enhance mucus clearance in non-cystic fibrosis (CF) bronchiectasis. Evidence supports the use of hyperosmolar agents in CF, and studies with inhaled mannitol and hypertonic saline are ongoing in bronchiectasis. N-acetylcysteine may act more as an antioxidant than a mucolytic in other lung diseases. Dornase α is beneficial to patients with CF, but is not useful in patients with non-CF bronchiectasis. Mucokinetic agents such as β-agonists have the potential to improve mucociliary clearance in normals and many disease states, but have not been adequately studied in patients with bronchiectasis. PMID:22640851

  1. Knowledge Acquisition Ubiquitous Agent Infrastructure (KAUAI)

    2009-09-15

    Mobile agents are autonomous software programs that can move from one host to another during the course of execution. The KAUAI computer code is a middleware that supports the rapid development and deployment of mobile agent based applications. It is built on the J2ME (CLDC) technology. KAUAI handles the instantiation, execution, transportation, and disposal of mobile agents. KAUAI masks the underlying hardware and communication details from application developers and provides flexible functionality for distributed computing.more » KAUAI supports software development in systems that involve a large number of heterogeneous computing platforms ranging from workstations to handheld devices.« less

  2. Pharmacologic agents for mucus clearance in bronchiectasis.

    PubMed

    Nair, Girish B; Ilowite, Jonathan S

    2012-06-01

    There are no approved pharmacologic agents to enhance mucus clearance in non-cystic fibrosis (CF) bronchiectasis. Evidence supports the use of hyperosmolar agents in CF, and studies with inhaled mannitol and hypertonic saline are ongoing in bronchiectasis. N-acetylcysteine may act more as an antioxidant than a mucolytic in other lung diseases. Dornase α is beneficial to patients with CF, but is not useful in patients with non-CF bronchiectasis. Mucokinetic agents such as β-agonists have the potential to improve mucociliary clearance in normals and many disease states, but have not been adequately studied in patients with bronchiectasis.

  3. Knowledge Acquisition Ubiquitous Agent Infrastructure (KAUAI)

    SciTech Connect

    2009-09-15

    Mobile agents are autonomous software programs that can move from one host to another during the course of execution. The KAUAI computer code is a middleware that supports the rapid development and deployment of mobile agent based applications. It is built on the J2ME (CLDC) technology. KAUAI handles the instantiation, execution, transportation, and disposal of mobile agents. KAUAI masks the underlying hardware and communication details from application developers and provides flexible functionality for distributed computing. KAUAI supports software development in systems that involve a large number of heterogeneous computing platforms ranging from workstations to handheld devices.

  4. Learning-by-Teaching: Designing Teachable Agents with Intrinsic Motivation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zhao, Guopeng; Ailiya; Shen, Zhiqi

    2012-01-01

    Teachable agent is a type of pedagogical agent which instantiates Learning-by-Teaching theory through simulating a "naive" learner in order to motivate students to teach it. This paper discusses the limitation of existing teachable agents and incorporates intrinsic motivation to the agent model to enable teachable agents with initiative behaviors…

  5. Web Search Agents: "One-Stop Shopping" for Researchers.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Perez, Ernest

    2002-01-01

    Explains Web search agents as tools that apply intelligent agent software technology for the purpose of automating, improving, and speeding up online search operations. Topics include intelligent desktop agents; search agent marketplace; comparing Web search agents; subjective evaluations; and use by researchers. (LRW)

  6. 21 CFR 178.3860 - Release agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... be safely used as release agents in petroleum wax complying with § 178.3710 and in polymeric resins... bran wax For use only in plastics intended for contact with dry foods identified as Type VIII in...

  7. 21 CFR 178.3860 - Release agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... be safely used as release agents in petroleum wax complying with § 178.3710 and in polymeric resins... bran wax For use only in plastics intended for contact with dry foods identified as Type VIII in...

  8. Efficacy of "mucoregulatory" agents in Young's syndrome.

    PubMed Central

    Currie, D C; Greenstone, M; Pavia, D; Agnew, J E; Pellow, P; Clarke, S W; Hendry, W F; Cole, P J

    1988-01-01

    Eight patients with Young's syndrome were treated with four "mucoregulatory" agents for eight weeks in a randomised, open crossover study. There was no improvement in tracheobronchial clearance, pulmonary function, or sperm count. PMID:3047900

  9. Does Agent Orange cause birth defects?

    PubMed

    Friedman, J M

    1984-04-01

    Large quantities of the defoliant, Agent Orange, were sprayed in Vietnam during the war. Agent Orange was composed of two herbicides: 2,4-D and 2,4,5-T, the latter contaminated by small amounts of a highly toxic dioxin (TCDD). The constituents of Agent Orange are capable of producing gene mutations and chromosomal aberrations, at least in some experimental circumstances. TCDD and 2,4,5-T are teratogenic in mice and perhaps in other mammals, but the teratogenicity of these chemicals has not been convincingly demonstrated in humans. There is currently no scientific evidence which indicates that men who were previously exposed to Agent Orange are at increased risk of having children with birth defects, but available data are inadequate to assess this possibility critically. PMID:6377557

  10. Does Agent Orange cause birth defects?

    PubMed

    Friedman, J M

    1984-04-01

    Large quantities of the defoliant, Agent Orange, were sprayed in Vietnam during the war. Agent Orange was composed of two herbicides: 2,4-D and 2,4,5-T, the latter contaminated by small amounts of a highly toxic dioxin (TCDD). The constituents of Agent Orange are capable of producing gene mutations and chromosomal aberrations, at least in some experimental circumstances. TCDD and 2,4,5-T are teratogenic in mice and perhaps in other mammals, but the teratogenicity of these chemicals has not been convincingly demonstrated in humans. There is currently no scientific evidence which indicates that men who were previously exposed to Agent Orange are at increased risk of having children with birth defects, but available data are inadequate to assess this possibility critically.

  11. Porphyria Cutanea Tarda and Agent Orange

    MedlinePlus

    ... survivors' benefits . Research on porphyria cutanea tarda and herbicides The Health and Medicine Division (HMD) (formally known ... on " Veterans and Agent Orange: Health Effects of Herbicides Used in Vietnam " that there was sufficient evidence ...

  12. Soft Tissue Sarcomas and Agent Orange

    MedlinePlus

    ... survivors' benefits . Research on soft tissue sarcoma and herbicides The Health and Medicine Division (formally known as ... report " Veterans and Agent Orange: Health Effects of Herbicides Used in Vietnam " and other updates that there ...

  13. Opportunistic Behavior in Motivated Learning Agents.

    PubMed

    Graham, James; Starzyk, Janusz A; Jachyra, Daniel

    2015-08-01

    This paper focuses on the novel motivated learning (ML) scheme and opportunistic behavior of an intelligent agent. It extends previously developed ML to opportunistic behavior in a multitask situation. Our paper describes the virtual world implementation of autonomous opportunistic agents learning in a dynamically changing environment, creating abstract goals, and taking advantage of arising opportunities to improve their performance. An opportunistic agent achieves better results than an agent based on ML only. It does so by minimizing the average value of all need signals rather than a dominating need. This paper applies to the design of autonomous embodied systems (robots) learning in real-time how to operate in a complex environment. PMID:25291798

  14. Natural compounds as anticancer agents: Experimental evidence

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Jiao; Jiang, Yang-Fu

    2012-01-01

    Cancer prevention research has drawn much attention worldwide. It is believed that some types of cancer can be prevented by following a healthy life style. Cancer chemoprevention by either natural or synthetic agents is a promising route towards lowering cancer incidence. In recent years, the concept of cancer chemoprevention has evolved greatly. Experimental studies in animal models demonstrate that the reversal or suppression of premalignant lesions by chemopreventive agents is achievable. Natural occurring agents such as dietary phytochemicals, tea polyphenols and resveratrol show chemopreventive activity in animal models. Moreover, clinical trials for testing the safety and efficacy of a variety of natural agents in preventing or treating human malignancy have been ongoing. Here, we summarize experimental data on the chemopreventive or tumor suppressive effects of several natural compounds including curcumin, (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate, resveratrol, indole-3-carbinol, and vitamin D. PMID:24520533

  15. Putative neuroprotective agents in neuropsychiatric disorders.

    PubMed

    Dodd, Seetal; Maes, Michael; Anderson, George; Dean, Olivia M; Moylan, Steven; Berk, Michael

    2013-04-01

    In many individuals with major neuropsychiatric disorders including depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, their disease characteristics are consistent with a neuroprogressive illness. This includes progressive structural brain changes, cognitive and functional decline, poorer treatment response and an increasing vulnerability to relapse with chronicity. The underlying molecular mechanisms of neuroprogression are thought to include neurotrophins and regulation of neurogenesis and apoptosis, neurotransmitters, inflammatory, oxidative and nitrosative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, cortisol and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, and epigenetic influences. Knowledge of the involvement of each of these pathways implies that specific agents that act on some or multiple of these pathways may thus block this cascade and have neuroprotective properties. This paper reviews the potential of the most promising of these agents, including lithium and other known psychotropics, aspirin, minocycline, statins, N-acetylcysteine, leptin and melatonin. These agents are putative neuroprotective agents for schizophrenia and mood disorders.

  16. MATE: The multi-agent test environment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mason, Cindy L.

    1992-01-01

    In this report we present the Multi-Agent Test Environment, MATE. MATE is a collection of experiment management tools for assisting in the design, testing, and evaluation of distributed problem-solvers. It provides the experimenter with an automated tool for executing and monitoring experiments choosing among rule bases, number of agents, communication strategies, and inference engines. Using MATE the experimenter can run a series of distributed problem-solving experiments without human intervention.

  17. New immunosuppressive agents in pediatric transplantation

    PubMed Central

    Nguyen, Christina; Shapiro, Ron

    2014-01-01

    Immunosuppressive therapy in pediatrics continues to evolve. Over the past decade, newer immunosuppressive agents have been introduced into adult and pediatric transplant patients with the goal of improving patient and allograft survival. Unfortunately, large-scale randomized clinical trials are not commonly performed in children. The purpose of this review is to discuss the newer immunosuppressive agents available for induction therapy, maintenance immunosuppression, and the treatment of rejection. PMID:24860853

  18. New immunosuppressive agents in pediatric transplantation.

    PubMed

    Nguyen, Christina; Shapiro, Ron

    2014-01-01

    Immunosuppressive therapy in pediatrics continues to evolve. Over the past decade, newer immunosuppressive agents have been introduced into adult and pediatric transplant patients with the goal of improving patient and allograft survival. Unfortunately, large-scale randomized clinical trials are not commonly performed in children. The purpose of this review is to discuss the newer immunosuppressive agents available for induction therapy, maintenance immunosuppression, and the treatment of rejection.

  19. Precursors to radiopharmaceutical agents for tissue imaging

    DOEpatents

    Srivastava, Prem C.; Knapp, Jr., Furn F.

    1988-01-01

    A class of radiolabeled compounds to be used in tissue imaging that exhibits rapid brain uptake, good brain:blood radioactivity ratios, and long retention times. The imaging agents are more specifically radioiodinated aromatic amines attached to dihydropyridine carriers, that exhibit heart as well as brain specificity. In addition to the radiolabeled compounds, classes of compounds are also described that are used as precursors and intermediates in the preparation of the imaging agents.

  20. Medical defense against blistering chemical warfare agents.

    PubMed

    Smith, W J; Dunn, M A

    1991-08-01

    First used in World War I, chemical blistering agents present a serious medical threat that has stimulated renewed interest in the light of extensive use in recent conflicts. Current medical management cannot yet prevent or minimize injury from the principal agent of concern--sulfur mustard. Research directed at this goal depends on defining effective intervention in the metabolic alterations induced by exposure to sulfur mustard.

  1. Novel agents for chronic lymphocytic leukemia

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is a heterogeneous group of B-cell neoplasm. CLL is typically sensitive to a variety of cytotoxic agents, but relapse frequently occurs with conventional approaches. The treatment of CLL is evolving rapidly with the introduction of novel drugs, such as bendamustine, ofatumumab, lenalidomide, ibrutinib, idelalisib, veltuzumab, XmAb5574, navitoclax, dasatinib, alvespimycin, and TRU-016. This review summarizes the most current clinical experiences with these agents in the treatment of CLL. PMID:23680477

  2. Ultrasonic Mixing of Epoxy Curing Agents

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hodges, W. T.; St. Clair, T. L.

    1986-01-01

    New ultrasonic mixing technique used to mix several curing agents/epoxy combinations. Major component of commercially available base epoxy resin used in tetraglycidylmethylenedianiline (TGMDA). In ultrasonic mixing system cup holds resin and curing agent during acoustic excitation. Samples placed in cup with top to ultrasonic horn forming bottom of cup. Ultrasonically treated until amber colored and transparent. Because ultrasonic agitation drives out entrapped air, degassing not necessary before cure.

  3. [Efficacy of the Russian anthelmintic agent trichlorophen].

    PubMed

    Fedianina, L V; Gitsu, G A; Lebedeva, M N; Astaf'ev, B A

    2004-01-01

    Experiments have established the high efficacy of combinations of the micronized dosage form of trichlorophen, with albendazole or medamine in treating trichocephaliasis (its causative agent being Trichocephalus muris) in DBA/2st mice and that of trichlorophen in combination with azinox or fenasal in outbred albino mice with hymenolepiasis (its causative agent being Hymenolepis nana). These combinations are promising in treating patients with cestodosis and nemadosis, respectively. PMID:15042750

  4. History of chemical and biological warfare agents.

    PubMed

    Szinicz, L

    2005-10-30

    Chemical and biological warfare agents constitute a low-probability, but high-impact risk both to the military and to the civilian population. The use of hazardous materials of chemical or biological origin as weapons and for homicide has been documented since ancient times. The first use of chemicals in terms of weapons of mass destruction goes back to World War I, when on April 22, 1915 large amounts of chlorine were released by German military forces at Ypres, Belgium. Until around the 1970s of the 20th century, the awareness of the threat by chemical and biological agents had been mainly confined to the military sector. In the following time, the development of increasing range delivery systems by chemical and biological agents possessors sensitised public attention to the threat emanating from these agents. Their proliferation to the terrorists field during the 1990s with the expanding scale and globalisation of terrorist attacks suggested that these agents are becoming an increasing threat to the whole world community. The following article gives a condensed overview on the history of use and development of the more prominent chemical and biological warfare agents.

  5. Bidding Agents That Perpetrate Auction Fraud

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trevathan, Jarrod; McCabe, Alan; Read, Wayne

    This paper presents a software bidding agent that inserts fake bids on the seller's behalf to inflate an auction's price. This behaviour is referred to as shill bidding. Shill bidding is strictly prohibited by online auctioneers, as it defrauds unsuspecting buyers by forcing them to pay more for the item. The malicious bidding agent was constructed to aid in developing shill detection techniques. We have previously documented a simple shill bidding agent that incrementally increases the auction price until it reaches the desired profit target, or it becomes too risky to continue bidding. This paper presents an adaptive shill bidding agent which when used over a series of auctions with substitutable items, can revise its strategy based on bidding behaviour in past auctions. The adaptive agent applies a novel prediction technique referred to as the Extremum Consistency (EC) algorithm, to determine the optimal price to aspire for. The EC algorithm has successfully been used in handwritten signature verification for determining the maximum and minimum values in an input stream. The agent's ability to inflate the price has been tested in a simulated marketplace and experimental results are presented.

  6. Intelligent agents for e-commerce applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vuppala, Krishna

    1999-12-01

    This thesis focuses on development of intelligent agent solutions for e-commerce applications. E-Commerce has several complexities like: lack of information about the players, learning the nature of one's business partners/competitors, finding the right business partner to do business with, using the right strategy to get best profit out of the negotiations etc. The agent models developed can be used in any agent solution for e-commerce. Concepts and techniques from Game Theory and Artificial Intelligence are used. The developed models have several advantages over the existing ones as: the models assume the non-availability of information about other players in the market, the models of players get updated over the time as and when new information comes about the players, the negotiation model incorporates the patience levels of the players and expectations from other players in the market. Power industry has been chosen as the application area for the demonstration of the capabilities and usage of the developed agent models. Two e-commerce scenarios where sellers and buyers can go through the power exchanges to bid in auctions, or make bilateral deals outside of the exchange are addressed. In the first scenario agent helps market participants in coordinating strategies with other participants, bidding in auctions by analyzing and understanding the behavior of other participants. In the second scenario, called "Power Traders Assistant" agent helps power trader, who buys and sells power through bilateral negotiations, in negotiating deals with his customers.

  7. "Basic MR Relaxation Mechanisms & Contrast Agent Design"

    PubMed Central

    De León-Rodríguez, Luis M.; Martins, André F.; Pinho, Marco; Rofsky, Neil; Sherry, A. Dean

    2015-01-01

    The diagnostic capabilities of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) have undergone continuous and substantial evolution by virtue of hardware and software innovations and the development and implementation of exogenous contrast media. Thirty years since the first MRI contrast agent was approved for clinical use, a reliance on MR contrast media persists largely to improve image quality with higher contrast resolution and to provide additional functional characterization of normal and abnormal tissues. Further development of MR contrast media is an important component in the quest for continued augmentation of diagnostic capabilities. In this review we will detail the many important considerations when pursuing the design and use of MR contrast media. We will offer a perspective on the importance of chemical stability, particularly kinetic stability, and how this influences one's thinking about the safety of metal-ligand based contrast agents. We will discuss the mechanisms involved in magnetic resonance relaxation in the context of probe design strategies. A brief description of currently available contrast agents will be accompanied by an in-depth discussion that highlights promising MRI contrast agents in development for future clinical and research applications. Our intention is to give a diverse audience an improved understanding of the factors involved in developing new types of safe and highly efficient MR contrast agents and, at the same time, provide an appreciation of the insights into physiology and disease that newer types of responsive agents can provide. PMID:25975847

  8. CHI: A General Agent Communication Framework

    SciTech Connect

    Goldsmith, S.Y.; Phillips, L.R.; Spires, S.V.

    1998-12-17

    We have completed and exercised a communication framework called CHI (CLOS to HTML Interface) by which agents can communicate with humans. CHI follows HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol) and produces HTML (HyperText Markup Language) for use by WWW (World-Wide Web) browsers. CHI enables the rapid and dynamic construction of interface mechanisms. The essence of CHI is automatic registration of dynamically generated interface elements to named objects in the agent's internal environment. The agent can access information in these objects at will. State is preserved, so an agent can pursue branching interaction sequences, activate failure recovery behaviors, and otherwise act opportunistically to maintain a conversation. The CHI mechanism remains transparent in multi-agent, multi-user environments because of automatically generated unique identifiers built into the CHI mechanism. In this paper we discuss design, language, implementation, and extension issues, and, by way of illustration, examine the use of the general CHI/HCHI mechanism in a specific international electronic commerce system. We conclude that the CHI mechanism is an effective, efficient, and extensible means of the agent/human communication.

  9. NESTA: NASA Engineering Shuttle Telemetry Agent

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Semmel, Glenn S.; Davis, Steven R.; Leucht, Kurt W.; Rowe, Dan A.; Smith, Kevin E.; Boloni, Ladislau

    2005-01-01

    The Spaceport Processing Systems Branch at NASA Kennedy Space Center has developed and deployed an agent based tool to monitor the Space Shuttle's ground processing telemetry stream. The application, the NASA Engineering Shuttle Telemetry Agent, increases situational awareness for system and hardware engineers during ground processing of the Shuttle's subsystems. The agent provides autonomous monitoring of the telemetry stream and automatically alerts system engineers when predefined criteria have been met. Efficiency and safety are improved through increased automation. Sandia National Labs' Java Expert System Shell is employed as the rule engine. The shell's predicate logic lends itself well to capturing the heuristics and specifying the engineering rules of this spaceport domain. The declarative paradigm of the rule-based agent yields a highly modular and scalable design spanning multiple subsystems of the Shuttle. Several hundred monitoring rules have been written thus far with corresponding notifications sent to Shuttle engineers. This paper discusses the rule-based telemetry agent used for Space Shuttle ground processing and explains the problem domain, development of the agent software, benefits of AT technology, and deployment and sustaining engineering of the product.

  10. Hydrogels for combination delivery of antineoplastic agents.

    PubMed

    Bouhadir, K H; Alsberg, E; Mooney, D J

    2001-10-01

    The systemic delivery of anticancer agents has been widely investigated during the past decade but localized delivery may offer a safer and more effective delivery approach. We have designed and synthesized a novel hydrogel to locally deliver antineoplastic agents, and demonstrate the different types of release that can be achieved from these hydrogels using three model drugs: methotrexate, doxorubicin, and mitoxantrone. Alginate was chemically modified into low molecular weight oligomers and cross-linked with a biodegradable spacer (adipic dihydrazide) to form biodegradable hydrogels. The model antineoplastic agents were loaded into the hydrogel via three different mechanisms. Methotrexate was incorporated within the pores of the hydrogel and was released by diffusion into the surrounding medium. Doxorubicin was covalently attached to the polymer backbone via a hydrolytically labile linker and was released following the chemical hydrolysis of the linker. Mitoxantrone was ionically complexed to the polymer and was released after the dissociation of this complex. These three release mechanisms could potentially be used to deliver a wide selection of antineoplastic agents, based on their chemical structure. This novel delivery system allows for the release of single or combinations of antineoplastic agents, and may find utility in localized antineoplastic agent delivery. PMID:11519782

  11. History of chemical and biological warfare agents.

    PubMed

    Szinicz, L

    2005-10-30

    Chemical and biological warfare agents constitute a low-probability, but high-impact risk both to the military and to the civilian population. The use of hazardous materials of chemical or biological origin as weapons and for homicide has been documented since ancient times. The first use of chemicals in terms of weapons of mass destruction goes back to World War I, when on April 22, 1915 large amounts of chlorine were released by German military forces at Ypres, Belgium. Until around the 1970s of the 20th century, the awareness of the threat by chemical and biological agents had been mainly confined to the military sector. In the following time, the development of increasing range delivery systems by chemical and biological agents possessors sensitised public attention to the threat emanating from these agents. Their proliferation to the terrorists field during the 1990s with the expanding scale and globalisation of terrorist attacks suggested that these agents are becoming an increasing threat to the whole world community. The following article gives a condensed overview on the history of use and development of the more prominent chemical and biological warfare agents. PMID:16111798

  12. Ultrasonic mixing of epoxy curing agents

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hodges, W. T.; St.clair, T. L.

    1983-01-01

    A new technique for mixing solid curing agents into liquid epoxy resins using ultrasonic energy was developed. This procedure allows standard curing agents such as 4,4 prime-diaminodiphenyl sulfone (4,4 prime-DDS) and its 3,3 prime-isomer, (3,3 prime-DDS) to be mixed without prior melting of the curing agent. It also allows curing agents such as 4,4 prime-diaminodiphenyl sulfone (4,4 prime-DDS) and its 3,3 prime-isomer, (3,3 prime-DDS) to be mixed without prior melting of the curing agent. It also allows curing agents with very high melt temperatures such as 4,4 prime-diaminobenzophenone (4,4 prime-DABP) (242 C) to be mixed without premature curing. Four aromatic diamines were ultrasonically blended into MY-720 epoxy resin. These were 4,4 prime-DDS; 3,3 prime-DDA; 4,4 prime-DABP and 3,3 prime-DABP. Unfilled moldings were cast and cured for each system and their physical and mechanical properties compared.

  13. Ultrasonic mixing of epoxy curing agents

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hodges, W. T.; St. Clair, T. L.

    1983-01-01

    A new technique for mixing solid curing agents into liquid epoxy resins using ultrasonic energy was developed. This procedure allows standard curing agents such as 4,4 prime-diaminodiphenyl sulfone (4,4 prime-DDS) and its 3,3 prime-isomer, (3,3 prime-DDS) to be mixed without prior melting of the curing agent. It also allows curing agents with very high melt temperatures such as 4,4 prime-diaminodiphenyl sulfone (4,4 prime-DDS) and its 3,3 prime-isomer, (3,3 prime-DDS) to be mixed without prior melting of the curing agent. It also allows curing agents with very high melt temperatures such as 4,4 prime-diaminobenzophenone (4,4 prime-DABP) (242 C) to be mixed without premature curing. Four aromatic diamines were ultrasonically blended into MY-720 epoxy resin. These were 4, 4 prime-DDS; 3,3 prime-DDA; 4, 4 prime-DABP and 3,3 prime-DABP. Unfilled moldings were cast and cured for each system and their physical and mechanical properties compared. Previously announced in STAR as N83-27018

  14. Disease-modifying agents in multiple sclerosis.

    PubMed

    O'Connor, Paul W; Oh, Jiwon

    2014-01-01

    Over the past two decades, major advances have been made in the development of disease-modifying agents (DMAs) for multiple sclerosis (MS), and nine agents are now licensed for use in the treatment of MS in the United States. Clinical trials have demonstrated that a number of investigational agents have beneficial effects on clinical and radiographic measures of disease activity, thus the repertoire of available DMAs in MS will likely continue to expand moving forward. Although many of the first-line DMAs have the benefits of established long-term safety and tolerability, in some patients, treatment with one of the more potent novel agents may be appropriate. However, the use of novel agents must be approached with caution, since short-term clinical trials give little information on the long-term efficacy and safety of novel DMAs in MS patients. This chapter will consider the efficacy and safety of both established and investigational agents for the treatment of MS. PMID:24507532

  15. 22 CFR 51.22 - Passport agents and passport acceptance agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... embezzlement, identity theft, misappropriation, document fraud, drug offenses, or dishonesty in carrying out a... following: (1) Certifying the identity of each applicant. Passport acceptance agents must certify that...

  16. 22 CFR 51.22 - Passport agents and passport acceptance agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... embezzlement, identity theft, misappropriation, document fraud, drug offenses, or dishonesty in carrying out a... following: (1) Certifying the identity of each applicant. Passport acceptance agents must certify that...

  17. 22 CFR 51.22 - Passport agents and passport acceptance agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... embezzlement, identity theft, misappropriation, document fraud, drug offenses, or dishonesty in carrying out a... following: (1) Certifying the identity of each applicant. Passport acceptance agents must certify that...

  18. Proceedings of the Agent 2002 Conference on Social Agents : Ecology, Exchange, and Evolution

    SciTech Connect

    Macal, C., ed.; Sallach, D., ed.

    2003-04-10

    Welcome to the ''Proceedings'' of the third in a series of agent simulation conferences cosponsored by Argonne National Laboratory and The University of Chicago. The theme of this year's conference, ''Social Agents: Ecology, Exchange and Evolution'', was selected to foster the exchange of ideas on some of the most important social processes addressed by agent simulation models, namely: (1) The translation of ecology and ecological constraints into social dynamics; (2) The role of exchange processes, including the peer dependencies they create; and (3) The dynamics by which, and the attractor states toward which, social processes evolve. As stated in the ''Call for Papers'', throughout the social sciences, the simulation of social agents has emerged as an innovative and powerful research methodology. The promise of this approach, however, is accompanied by many challenges. First, modeling complexity in agents, environments, and interactions is non-trivial, and these representations must be explored and assessed systematically. Second, strategies used to represent complexities are differentially applicable to any particular problem space. Finally, to achieve sufficient generality, the design and experimentation inherent in agent simulation must be coupled with social and behavioral theory. Agent 2002 provides a forum for reviewing the current state of agent simulation scholarship, including research designed to address such outstanding issues. This year's conference introduces an extensive range of domains, models, and issues--from pre-literacy to future projections, from ecology to oligopolistic markets, and from design to validation. Four invited speakers highlighted major themes emerging from social agent simulation.

  19. [Decontamination of chemical and biological warfare agents].

    PubMed

    Seto, Yasuo

    2009-01-01

    Chemical and biological warfare agents (CBWA's) are diverse in nature; volatile acute low-molecular-weight toxic compounds, chemical warfare agents (CWA's, gaseous choking and blood agents, volatile nerve gases and blister agents, nonvolatile vomit agents and lacrymators), biological toxins (nonvolatile low-molecular-weight toxins, proteinous toxins) and microbes (bacteria, viruses, rickettsiae). In the consequence management against chemical and biological terrorism, speedy decontamination of victims, facilities and equipment is required for the minimization of the damage. In the present situation, washing victims and contaminated materials with large volumes of water is the basic way, and additionally hypochlorite salt solution is used for decomposition of CWA's. However, it still remains unsolved how to dispose large volumes of waste water, and the decontamination reagents have serious limitation of high toxicity, despoiling nature against the environments, long finishing time and non-durability in effective decontamination. Namely, the existing decontamination system is not effective, nonspecifically affecting the surrounding non-target materials. Therefore, it is the urgent matter to build up the usable decontamination system surpassing the present technologies. The symposiast presents the on-going joint project of research and development of the novel decontamination system against CBWA's, in the purpose of realizing nontoxic, fast, specific, effective and economical terrorism on-site decontamination. The projects consists of (1) establishment of the decontamination evaluation methods and verification of the existing technologies and adaptation of bacterial organophosphorus hydrolase, (2) development of adsorptive elimination technologies using molecular recognition tools, and (4) development of deactivation technologies using photocatalysis. PMID:19122437

  20. Dynamically sequencing an animated pedagogical agent

    SciTech Connect

    Stone, B.A.; Lester, J.C.

    1996-12-31

    One of the most promising opportunities introduced by rapid advances in knowledge-based learning environments and multimedia technologies is the possibility of creating animated pedagogical agents. These agents should exhibit three properties: timely domain coverage (they should clearly communicate fundamental concepts and relationships within the allotted time); contextuality (they should provide explanations in appropriate problem-solving contexts); and continuity (their activities and utterances should be pedagogically, visually, and aurally coherent). We have developed the coherence-structured behavior space approach to creating animated pedagogical agents. This is a two-step approach. First, we design a behavior space of animation and audio segments that are structured by prerequisite relationships and a continuity metric. Second, we navigate coherent paths through the space to dynamically sequence behaviors. This creates seamless global behaviors that communicate fundamental knowledge and provide contextualized problem-solving advice. The coherence-structured behavior space approach has been implemented in Herman the Bug, an animated pedagogical agent for Design-A-Plant, a knowledge-based learning environment for botanical anatomy and physiology. Formative evaluations of the agent with middle school students are encouraging.

  1. Contrast agent choice for intravenous coronary angiography

    SciTech Connect

    Zeman, H.D.; Siddons, D.P.

    1989-01-01

    The screening of the general population for coronary artery disease would be practical if a method existed for visualizing the extent of occlusion after an intravenous injection of contrast agent. Measurements performed with monochromatic synchrotron radiation x-rays and an iodine containing contrast agent at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory have shown that such an intravenous angiography procedure would be possible with an adequately intense monochromatic x-ray source. Because of the size and cost of synchrotron radiation facilities it would be desirable to make the most efficient use of the intensity available, while reducing as much as possible the radiation dose experienced by the patient. By choosing contrast agents containing elements with a higher atomic number than iodine, it is possible to both improve the image quality and reduce the patient radiation dose, while using the same synchrotron source. By using Si monochromator crystals with a small mosaic spread, it is possible to increase the x-ray flux available for imaging by over an order of magnitude, without any changes in the storage ring or wiggler magnet. The most critical imaging task for intravenous coronary angiography utilizing synchrotron radiation x-rays is visualizing a coronary artery through the left ventricle or aorta which also contains a contrast agent. Calculations have been made of the signal to noise ratio expected for this imaging task for various contrast agents with atomic numbers between that of iodine and bismuth.

  2. [Decontamination of chemical and biological warfare agents].

    PubMed

    Seto, Yasuo

    2009-01-01

    Chemical and biological warfare agents (CBWA's) are diverse in nature; volatile acute low-molecular-weight toxic compounds, chemical warfare agents (CWA's, gaseous choking and blood agents, volatile nerve gases and blister agents, nonvolatile vomit agents and lacrymators), biological toxins (nonvolatile low-molecular-weight toxins, proteinous toxins) and microbes (bacteria, viruses, rickettsiae). In the consequence management against chemical and biological terrorism, speedy decontamination of victims, facilities and equipment is required for the minimization of the damage. In the present situation, washing victims and contaminated materials with large volumes of water is the basic way, and additionally hypochlorite salt solution is used for decomposition of CWA's. However, it still remains unsolved how to dispose large volumes of waste water, and the decontamination reagents have serious limitation of high toxicity, despoiling nature against the environments, long finishing time and non-durability in effective decontamination. Namely, the existing decontamination system is not effective, nonspecifically affecting the surrounding non-target materials. Therefore, it is the urgent matter to build up the usable decontamination system surpassing the present technologies. The symposiast presents the on-going joint project of research and development of the novel decontamination system against CBWA's, in the purpose of realizing nontoxic, fast, specific, effective and economical terrorism on-site decontamination. The projects consists of (1) establishment of the decontamination evaluation methods and verification of the existing technologies and adaptation of bacterial organophosphorus hydrolase, (2) development of adsorptive elimination technologies using molecular recognition tools, and (4) development of deactivation technologies using photocatalysis.

  3. Emerging oral agents for multiple sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Fox, Edward J

    2010-09-01

    A variety of emerging therapies for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS) are currently in development or have recently been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These new agents offer novel mechanisms of action and potentially improved efficacy over existing first-line MS therapies. Much attention has been given to emerging therapies delivered orally which, at minimum, will likely improve long-term adherence over existing agents delivered via injection. This article reviews the mechanisms of action, efficacy, and safety and tolerability of 4 emerging oral therapies for MS: cladribine, laquinimod, fingolimod, and dalfampridine. The first 3 of these agents are in late development and may enter the market within the next year and a half. Cladribine, laquinimod, and fingolimod have demonstrated impressive efficacy in terms of clinical outcomes, such as annualized relapse rate and change in disability scores, as well as magnetic resonance imaging variables. Dalfampridine, which has already been approved by the FDA, is indicated as a symptomatic therapy to improve walking in MS patients. Based on existing data, these agents appear to have tolerable side-effect profiles, although the long-term safety profiles of these drugs have yet to be elucidated. It remains to be seen whether the safety profiles of these disease-modifying drugs will allow them to displace existing first-line therapies or if agents such as dalfampridine will become additional options alongside current dominant therapies.

  4. Agents: An approach for dynamic process modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grohmann, Axel; Kopetzky, Roland; Lurk, Alexander

    1999-03-01

    With the growing amount of distributed and heterogeneous information and services, conventional information systems have come to their limits. This gave rise to the development of a Multi-Agent System (the "Logical Client") which can be used in complex information systems as well as in other advanced software systems. Computer agents are proactive, reactive and social. They form a community of independent software components that can communicate and co-operate in order to accomplish complex tasks. Thus the agent-oriented paradigm provides a new and powerful approach to programming distributed systems. The communication framework developed is based on standards like CORBA, KQML and KIF. It provides an embedded rule based system to find adequate reactions to incoming messages. The macro-architecture of the Logical Client consists of independent agents and uses artificial intelligence to cope with complex patterns of communication and actions. A set of system agents is also provided, including the Strategy Service as a core component for modelling processes at runtime, the Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) Component for supporting remote co-operation between human users and the Repository for managing and hiding the file based data flow in heterogeneous networks. This architecture seems to be capable of managing complexity in information systems. It is also being implemented in a complex simulation system that monitors and simulates the environmental radioactivity in the country Baden-Württemberg.

  5. Do Low Molecular Weight Agents Cause More Severe Asthma than High Molecular Weight Agents?

    PubMed Central

    Meca, Olga; Cruz, María-Jesús; Sánchez-Ortiz, Mónica; González-Barcala, Francisco-Javier; Ojanguren, Iñigo; Munoz, Xavier

    2016-01-01

    Introduction The aim of this study was to analyse whether patients with occupational asthma (OA) caused by low molecular weight (LMW) agents differed from patients with OA caused by high molecular weight (HMW) with regard to risk factors, asthma presentation and severity, and response to various diagnostic tests. Methods Seventy-eight patients with OA diagnosed by positive specific inhalation challenge (SIC) were included. Anthropometric characteristics, atopic status, occupation, latency periods, asthma severity according to the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) control classification, lung function tests and SIC results were analysed. Results OA was induced by an HMW agent in 23 patients (29%) and by an LMW agent in 55 (71%). A logistic regression analysis confirmed that patients with OA caused by LMW agents had a significantly higher risk of severity according to the GINA classification after adjusting for potential confounders (OR = 3.579, 95% CI 1.136–11.280; p = 0.029). During the SIC, most patients with OA caused by HMW agents presented an early reaction (82%), while in patients with OA caused by LMW agents the response was mainly late (73%) (p = 0.0001). Similarly, patients with OA caused by LMW agents experienced a greater degree of bronchial hyperresponsiveness, measured as the difference in the methacholine dose-response ratio (DRR) before and after SIC (1.77, range 0–16), compared with patients with OA caused by HMW agents (0.87, range 0–72), (p = 0.024). Conclusions OA caused by LMW agents may be more severe than that caused by HMW agents. The severity of the condition may be determined by the different mechanisms of action of these agents. PMID:27280473

  6. Advances in Magnetic Resonance Imaging Contrast Agents for Biomarker Detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sinharay, Sanhita; Pagel, Mark D.

    2016-06-01

    Recent advances in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agents have provided new capabilities for biomarker detection through molecular imaging. MRI contrast agents based on the T2 exchange mechanism have more recently expanded the armamentarium of agents for molecular imaging. Compared with T1 and T2* agents, T2 exchange agents have a slower chemical exchange rate, which improves the ability to design these MRI contrast agents with greater specificity for detecting the intended biomarker. MRI contrast agents that are detected through chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST) have even slower chemical exchange rates. Another emerging class of MRI contrast agents uses hyperpolarized 13C to detect the agent with outstanding sensitivity. These hyperpolarized 13C agents can be used to track metabolism and monitor characteristics of the tissue microenvironment. Together, these various MRI contrast agents provide excellent opportunities to develop molecular imaging for biomarker detection.

  7. Advances in Magnetic Resonance Imaging Contrast Agents for Biomarker Detection

    PubMed Central

    Sinharay, Sanhita; Pagel, Mark D.

    2016-01-01

    Recent advances in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agents have provided new capabilities for biomarker detection through molecular imaging. MRI contrast agents based on the T2 exchange mechanism have more recently expanded the armamentarium of agents for molecular imaging. Compared with T1 and T2* agents, T2 exchange agents have a slower chemical exchange rate, which improves the ability to design these MRI contrast agents with greater specificity for detecting the intended biomarker. MRI contrast agents that are detected through chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST) have even slower chemical exchange rates. Another emerging class of MRI contrast agents uses hyperpolarized 13C to detect the agent with outstanding sensitivity. These hyperpolarized 13C agents can be used to track metabolism and monitor characteristics of the tissue microenvironment. Together, these various MRI contrast agents provide excellent opportunities to develop molecular imaging for biomarker detection. PMID:27049630

  8. [Antithyroid agents related agranulocytosis: Literature review].

    PubMed

    Andrès, E; Weitten, T; Mourot-Cottet, R; Keller, O; Zulfiqar, A-A; Serraj, K; Vogel, T; Tebacher, M

    2016-08-01

    The antithyroid agents (carbimazole, methimazole, thiamazole, propylthiouracil and benzylthiouracile) are the drug class that is associated with a high risk of agranulocytosis. Acute and profound (<0.5×10(9)/L) isolated neutropenia occurring in a subject treated with antithyroid agents should be considered as a drug-induced agranulocytosis, until proven otherwise. The clinical spectrum ranges from discovery of acute severe but asymptomatic neutropenia, to isolated fever, localized infections (especially ear, nose and throat, or pulmonary) or septicemia. With an optimal management (discontinuation of antithyroid agents, antibiotics in the presence of fever or a documented infection, or use of hematopoietic growth factor) the current mortality is close to 2%. PMID:27241077

  9. Agents That Negotiate Proficiently with People

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kraus, Sarit

    Negotiation is a process by which interested parties confer with the aim of reaching agreements. The dissemination of technologies such as the Internet has created opportunities for computer agents to negotiate with people, despite being distributed geographically and in time. The inclusion of people presents novel problems for the design of autonomous agent negotiation strategies. People do not adhere to the optimal, monolithic strategies that can be derived analytically, as is the case in settings comprising computer agents alone. Their negotiation behavior is affected by a multitude of social and psychological factors, such as social attributes that influence negotiation deals (e.g., social welfare, inequity aversion) and traits of individual negotiators (e.g., altruism, trustworthiness, helpfulness). Furthermore, culture plays an important role in their decision making and people of varying cultures differ in the way they make offers and fulfill their commitments in negotiation.

  10. FIPA agent based network distributed control system

    SciTech Connect

    D. Abbott; V. Gyurjyan; G. Heyes; E. Jastrzembski; C. Timmer; E. Wolin

    2003-03-01

    A control system with the capabilities to combine heterogeneous control systems or processes into a uniform homogeneous environment is discussed. This dynamically extensible system is an example of the software system at the agent level of abstraction. This level of abstraction considers agents as atomic entities that communicate to implement the functionality of the control system. Agents' engineering aspects are addressed by adopting the domain independent software standard, formulated by FIPA. Jade core Java classes are used as a FIPA specification implementation. A special, lightweight, XML RDFS based, control oriented, ontology markup language is developed to standardize the description of the arbitrary control system data processor. Control processes, described in this language, are integrated into the global system at runtime, without actual programming. Fault tolerance and recovery issues are also addressed.

  11. Interaction of hyperthermia and cytotoxic agents

    SciTech Connect

    Roizin-Towle, R.; Hall, E.J.; Capuano, L.

    1980-01-01

    Chinese hamster V79 cells in culture were used to investigate the temperature dependence of the cytotoxic action of 4 widely used chemotherapy agents, i.e., adriamycin, bleomycin, cis-platinum(II) diamminedichloride, and N-(phosphonacetyl)-L-aspartate. Cells were exposed to graded doses of each drug for 1 hour at a range of temperatures. Bleomycin showed the largest temperature dependence and N-(phosphonacetyl)-L-aspartate the least, with adriamycin and cis-platinum(II) diamminedichloride between the two extremes. The results presented demonstrated significant differences in the cytotoxicities of chemotherapy agents and their interactions with heat. The idea of combining localized hyperthermia with some chemotherapy agents allowed a targeting of the chemotherapy not otherwise possible.

  12. Animals as sentinels of bioterrorism agents.

    PubMed

    Rabinowitz, Peter; Gordon, Zimra; Chudnov, Daniel; Wilcox, Matthew; Odofin, Lynda; Liu, Ann; Dein, Joshua

    2006-04-01

    We conducted a systematic review of the scientific literature from 1966 to 2005 to determine whether animals could provide early warning of a bioterrorism attack, serve as markers for ongoing exposure risk, and amplify or propagate a bioterrorism outbreak. We found evidence that, for certain bioterrorism agents, pets, wildlife, or livestock could provide early warning and that for other agents, humans would likely manifest symptoms before illness could be detected in animals. After an acute attack, active surveillance of wild or domestic animal populations could help identify many ongoing exposure risks. If certain bioterrorism agents found their way into animal populations, they could spread widely through animal-to-animal transmission and prove difficult to control. The public health infrastructure must look beyond passive surveillance of acute animal disease events to build capacity for active surveillance and intervention efforts to detect and control ongoing outbreaks of disease in domestic and wild animal populations.

  13. An Adviser Agent for Mediator Training

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tanaka, Takahiro; Katagami, Daisuke; Nitta, Katsumi

    This paper describes an agent that shows advices for supporting mediator on our online mediation support system. The purpose of the advice is an education of mediator, and the agent presents it instead of the teacher. In this research, at first, we defined a mediation model that is an argumentation model between 3 people. Then, we defined some advice models based on the mediation model. The advice models create advice elements. The adviser agent monitors the mediation, gathers advice elements referring to advice models, and creates advice from elements according to the mediation scene. As a result, it becomes possible that is advising instead of the teacher according to the situation, education purpose and learner's level. We inspected the effectiveness of the advice by the experiment of moot mediation.

  14. Agents that inhibit bacterial biofilm formation.

    PubMed

    Rabin, Nira; Zheng, Yue; Opoku-Temeng, Clement; Du, Yixuan; Bonsu, Eric; Sintim, Herman O

    2015-01-01

    In the biofilm form, bacteria are more resistant to various antimicrobial treatments. Bacteria in a biofilm can also survive harsh conditions and withstand the host's immune system. Therefore, there is a need for new treatment options to treat biofilm-associated infections. Currently, research is focused on the development of antibiofilm agents that are nontoxic, as it is believed that such molecules will not lead to future drug resistance. In this review, we discuss recent discoveries of antibiofilm agents and different approaches to inhibit/disperse biofilms. These new antibiofilm agents, which contain moieties such as imidazole, phenols, indole, triazole, sulfide, furanone, bromopyrrole, peptides, etc. have the potential to disperse bacterial biofilms in vivo and could positively impact human medicine in the future.

  15. Artificial agents, good care, and modernity.

    PubMed

    Coeckelbergh, Mark

    2015-08-01

    When is it ethically acceptable to use artificial agents in health care? This article articulates some criteria for good care and then discusses whether machines as artificial agents that take over care tasks meet these criteria. Particular attention is paid to intuitions about the meaning of 'care', 'agency', and 'taking over', but also to the care process as a labour process in a modern organizational and financial-economic context. It is argued that while there is in principle no objection to using machines in medicine and health care, the idea of them functioning and appearing as 'artificial agents' is problematic and attends us to problems in human care which were already present before visions of machine care entered the stage. It is recommended that the discussion about care machines be connected to a broader discussion about the impact of technology on human relations in the context of modernity.

  16. Autonomous Formations of Multi-Agent Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dhali, Sanjana; Joshi, Suresh M.

    2013-01-01

    Autonomous formation control of multi-agent dynamic systems has a number of applications that include ground-based and aerial robots and satellite formations. For air vehicles, formation flight ("flocking") has the potential to significantly increase airspace utilization as well as fuel efficiency. This presentation addresses two main problems in multi-agent formations: optimal role assignment to minimize the total cost (e.g., combined distance traveled by all agents); and maintaining formation geometry during flock motion. The Kuhn-Munkres ("Hungarian") algorithm is used for optimal assignment, and consensus-based leader-follower type control architecture is used to maintain formation shape despite the leader s independent movements. The methods are demonstrated by animated simulations.

  17. Toward Agent Programs with Circuit Semantics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nilsson, Nils J.

    1992-01-01

    New ideas are presented for computing and organizing actions for autonomous agents in dynamic environments-environments in which the agent's current situation cannot always be accurately discerned and in which the effects of actions cannot always be reliably predicted. The notion of 'circuit semantics' for programs based on 'teleo-reactive trees' is introduced. Program execution builds a combinational circuit which receives sensory inputs and controls actions. These formalisms embody a high degree of inherent conditionality and thus yield programs that are suitably reactive to their environments. At the same time, the actions computed by the programs are guided by the overall goals of the agent. The paper also speculates about how programs using these ideas could be automatically generated by artificial intelligence planning systems and adapted by learning methods.

  18. Antiseptic skin agents for percutaneous procedures.

    PubMed

    Lepor, Norman E; Madyoon, Hooman

    2009-01-01

    Infections associated with percutaneously implanted devices, such as pacemakers, internal cardiac defibrillators, and endovascular prostheses, create difficult and complex clinical scenarios because management can entail complete device removal, antibiotic therapy, and prolonged hospitalization. A source for pathogens is often thought to be the skin surface, making skin preparation at the time of the procedure a critical part of minimizing implantation of infected devices and prostheses. The most common skin preparation agents used today include products containing iodophors or chlorhexidine gluconate. Agents are further classified by whether they are aqueous-based or alcoholbased solutions. Traditional aqueous-based iodophors, such as povidone-iodine, are one of the few products that can be safely used on mucous membrane surfaces. Alcohol-based solutions are quick, sustained, and durable, with broader spectrum antimicrobial activity. These agents seem ideal for percutaneous procedures associated with prosthesis implantation, when it is critical to minimize skin colony counts to prevent hardware infection.

  19. NISAC Agent Based Laboratory for Economics

    2006-10-11

    The software provides large-scale microeconomic simulation of complex economic and social systems (such as supply chain and market dynamics of businesses in the US economy) and their dependence on physical infrastructure systems. The system is based on Agent simulation, where each entity of inteest in the system to be modeled (for example, a Bank, individual firms, Consumer households, etc.) is specified in a data-driven sense to be individually repreented by an Agent. The Agents interactmore » using rules of interaction appropriate to their roles, and through those interactions complex economic and social dynamics emerge. The software is implemented in three tiers, a Java-based visualization client, a C++ control mid-tier, and a C++ computational tier.« less

  20. Quantum Speedup for Active Learning Agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paparo, Giuseppe Davide; Dunjko, Vedran; Makmal, Adi; Martin-Delgado, Miguel Angel; Briegel, Hans J.

    2014-07-01

    Can quantum mechanics help us build intelligent learning agents? A defining signature of intelligent behavior is the capacity to learn from experience. However, a major bottleneck for agents to learn in real-life situations is the size and complexity of the corresponding task environment. Even in a moderately realistic environment, it may simply take too long to rationally respond to a given situation. If the environment is impatient, allowing only a certain time for a response, an agent may then be unable to cope with the situation and to learn at all. Here, we show that quantum physics can help and provide a quadratic speedup for active learning as a genuine problem of artificial intelligence. This result will be particularly relevant for applications involving complex task environments.