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Sample records for agent bltva phytoplasma

  1. Evaluation of beet leafhopper transmitted virescence agent damage in the Columbia Basin

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Potato purple top disease is caused by a phytoplasma known as Beet Leafhopper Transmitted Virescence Agent (BLTVA), which is vectored by the beet leafhopper (BLH, Circulifer tenellus Baker). Previous studies determined that BLTVA causes significant reduction in yield and tuber quality; however, dete...

  2. First report of BLTVA phytoplasma in Capsicum annuum and Circulifer tenellus in Mexico

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Pepper (Capsicum annuum) plants in Durango and Zacatecas, Mexico, in September and October, 2014, had small, chlorotic, curled leaves, plant stunting, and/or big bud symptoms characteristic of phytoplasma infection (Lee et al. 2004). Samples from symptomatic pepper fields included 33 collected near...

  3. 'Candidatus Phytoplasma mali', 'Candidatus Phytoplasma pyri' and 'Candidatus Phytoplasma prunorum', the causal agents of apple proliferation, pear decline and European stone fruit yellows, respectively.

    PubMed

    Seemüller, Erich; Schneider, Bernd

    2004-07-01

    Apple proliferation (AP), pear decline (PD) and European stone fruit yellows (ESFY) are among the most economically important plant diseases that are caused by phytoplasmas. Phylogenetic analyses revealed that the 16S rDNA sequences of strains of each of these pathogens were identical or nearly identical. Differences between the three phytoplasmas ranged from 1.0 to 1.5% of nucleotide positions and were thus below the recommended threshold of 2.5% for assigning species rank to phytoplasmas under the provisional status 'Candidatus'. However, supporting data for distinguishing the AP, PD and ESFY agents at the species level were obtained by examining other molecular markers, including the 16S-23S rDNA spacer region, protein-encoding genes and randomly cloned DNA fragments. The three phytoplasmas also differed in serological comparisons and showed clear differences in vector transmission and host-range specificity. From these results, it can be concluded that the AP, PD and ESFY phytoplasmas are coherent but discrete taxa that can be distinguished at the putative species level, for which the names 'Candidatus Phytoplasma mali', 'Candidatus Phytoplasma pyri' and 'Candidatus Phytoplasma prunorum', respectively, are proposed. Strains AP15R, PD1R and ESFY-G1R were selected as reference strains. Examination of available data on the peach yellow leaf roll (PYLR) phytoplasma, which clusters with the AP, PD and ESFY agents, confirmed previous results showing that it is related most closely to the PD pathogen. The two phytoplasmas share 99.6% 16S rDNA sequence similarity. Significant differences were only observed in the sequence of a gene that encodes an immunodominant membrane protein. Until more information on this phytoplasma is available, it is proposed that the PYLR phytoplasma should be regarded as a subtype of 'Candidatus Phytoplasma pyri'.

  4. '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'.

  5. Phytoplasma plasmid DNA extraction.

    PubMed

    Andersen, Mark T; Liefting, Lia W

    2013-01-01

    Phytoplasma plasmids have generally been detected from DNA extracted from plants and insects using methods designed for the purification of total phytoplasma DNA. Methods include extraction from tissues that are high in phytoplasma titre, such as the phloem of plants, with the use of CsCl-bisbenzimide gradients that exploit the low G+C content of phytoplasma DNA. Many of the methods employed for phytoplasma purification have been described elsewhere in this book. Here we describe in detail two methods that are specifically aimed at isolating plasmid DNA.

  6. 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

  7. Family acholeplasmataceae (including phytoplasmas)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The family Acholeplasmataceae was originally established to accommodate the genus Acholeplasma, comprising the mollicutes that could be cultivated without the supplement of cholesterol and that use UGA as a stop codon instead of coding for tryptophan. It was later shown that the phytoplasmas, a larg...

  8. 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.

  9. '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.

  10. Detection of phytoplasmas of temperate fruit trees.

    PubMed

    Laimer, Margit

    2009-01-01

    Phytoplasmas are associated with hundreds of plant diseases globally. Many fruit tree phytoplasmas are transmitted by insect vectors or grafting, are considered quarantine organisms and a major economic threat to orchards. Diagnosis can be difficult, but immunochemical and molecular methods have been developed.

  11. 'Candidatus phytoplasma ziziphi', a novel phytoplasma taxon associated with jujube witches'-broom disease.

    PubMed

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

    2003-07-01

    Phylogenetic relationships of five jujube witches'-broom (JWB) phytoplasma isolates from four different districts, and other phytoplasmas, were investigated by 16S rDNA PCR amplification and sequence analysis. The 16S rDNA sequences of any pair of the five isolates of JWB phytoplasmas were > 99.5% similar. The JWB phytoplasma 16S rDNA sequences were most closely related to that of the elm yellows (EY) phytoplasma in 16S-group VIII. Phylogenetic analysis of the 16S rDNA sequences from the JWB phytoplasma isolates, together with sequences from most of the phytoplasmas archived in GenBank, produced a tree in which the JWB isolates clustered as a discrete subgroup. The uniqueness of the JWB phytoplasma appears to be correlated with a specific insect vector (Hishimonus sellatus) and the host plant (Zizyphus jujuba), or with a specific geographical distribution. The unique properties of the JWB phytoplasma sequences clearly indicate that it represents a novel taxon, 'Candidatus Phytoplasma ziziphi'.

  12. A chromosome map of the Flavescence doree phytoplasma.

    PubMed

    Malembic-Maher, Sylvie; Constable, Fiona; Cimerman, Agnès; Arnaud, Guillaume; Carle, Patricia; Foissac, Xavier; Boudon-Padieu, Elisabeth

    2008-05-01

    The Flavescence dorée phytoplasma (FD-P), a non-cultivable, plant-pathogenic bacterium of the class Mollicutes, is the causal agent of a quarantine disease affecting vineyards of southern Europe, mainly in southern France and northern Italy. To investigate FD-P diversity and phytoplasma genetic determinants governing the FD-P life cycle, a genome project has been initiated. A physical map of the chromosome of FD-P strain FD92, purified from infected broad beans, was constructed by performing restriction digests of the chromosome and resolving the fragments by PFGE. Single and double digestions of the chromosome with the enzymes SalI, BssHII, MluI and EagI were performed and used to map 13 restriction sites on the FD-P chromosome. The size of the chromosome was calculated to be 671 kbp. Southern blot analyses using cloned phytoplasma probes were carried out to assist in the arrangement of contiguous restriction fragments and to map eight genetic loci, including the two rRNA operons, the tuf, uvrB-degV and secY-map (FD9) genes, the FD2 marker and two orphan sequences (FDDH29 and FDSH05) isolated through subtractive suppression hybridization.

  13. Natural phytoplasma infection of four phloem-feeding Auchenorrhyncha across vineyard agroecosystems in central-eastern Italy.

    PubMed

    Landi, L; Isidoro, N; Rioloi, P

    2013-04-01

    The seasonal variations of grapevine yellow phytoplasma were investigated in four phloem-feeding planthopper and leafhopper species that are vectors of plant disease agents. In total, 1,148 wild specimens were collected from three vineyard agroecosystems in the Marche region (central-eastern Italy), from May to September 2008, and analyzed using polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment-length polymorphism methods. Of 525 Euscelis lineolatus Brullé, 25.1% were positive for aster yellow phytoplasma (16SrI-C, 16SrI-B subgroups) and stolbur phytoplasma (16SrXII-A subgroup; Vergilbungskrankheit type I [VK-I]). Of 368 Hyalesthes obsoletus Signoret, 19.3% were positive for the 16SrXII-A subgroup (VK-I, VK-II; mainly according to their host plant). Of 146 Neoaliturus fenestratus (Herrich-Schäffer), 15.1% were positive for the 16SrI-C and 16SrI-B subgroups, and 7.3% of 109 Psammotettix alienus (Dahlbom) were positive for the 16SrI-B subgroup. The total inoculation efficiency in the feeding medium assays was 57.1% for P. alienus, 44.7% for E. lineolatus, 44.4% for N. fenestratus and 33.9% for H. obsoletus. All of the phytoplasma subgroups identified in the insect bodies were also detected in their feeding media. Detection of stolbur phytoplasma in E. lineolatus feeding media strengthens the hypothesis that it is a candidate vector of Bois noir disease causal agent. The phytoplasma subgroups detected in the Auchenorrhyncha species showed variations according to season and/or vineyard agroecosystem. This study highlights the different specificities of these phytoplasma-Auchenorrhyncha species relationships, and suggests a primary role of the entire vineyard agroecosystem in the epidemiology of grapevine yellow phytoplasma diseases.

  14. Construction of an interactive online phytoplasma classification tool, iPhyClassifier, and its application in analysis of the peach X-disease phytoplasma group (16SrIII)

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Yan; Wei, Wei; Lee, Ing-Ming; Shao, Jonathan; Suo, Xiaobing; Davis, Robert E.

    2009-01-01

    Phytoplasmas, the causal agents of numerous plant diseases, are insect-vector-transmitted, cell-wall-less bacteria descended from ancestral low-G+C-content Gram-positive bacteria in the Bacillus–Clostridium group. Despite their monophyletic origin, widely divergent phytoplasma lineages have evolved in adaptation to specific ecological niches. Classification and taxonomic assignment of phytoplasmas have been based primarily on molecular analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences because of the inaccessibility of measurable phenotypic characters suitable for conventional microbial characterization. In the present study, an interactive online tool, iPhyClassifier, was developed to expand the efficacy and capacity of the current 16S rRNA gene sequence-based phytoplasma classification system. iPhyClassifier performs sequence similarity analysis, simulates laboratory restriction enzyme digestions and subsequent gel electrophoresis and generates virtual restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) profiles. Based on calculated RFLP pattern similarity coefficients and overall sequence similarity scores, iPhyClassifier makes instant suggestions on tentative phytoplasma 16Sr group/subgroup classification status and ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma’ species assignment. Using iPhyClassifier, we revised and updated the classification of strains affiliated with the peach X-disease phytoplasma group. The online tool can be accessed at http://www.ba.ars.usda.gov/data/mppl/iPhyClassifier.html. PMID:19622670

  15. 'Candidatus Phytoplasma costaricanum' a novel phytoplasma associated with an emerging disease in soybean (Glycine max).

    PubMed

    Lee, I-M; Bottner-Parker, K D; Zhao, Y; Villalobos, W; Moreira, L

    2011-12-01

    A novel phytoplasma, designated strain SoyST1c1, associated with a newly emerging disease in soybean (Glycine max), known as soybean stunt (SoyST), was found in 2002 in a soybean plantation in Alajuela Province, Costa Rica. The same phytoplasma, or a very closely related strain, also infected sweet pepper (Capsicum annuum) with purple vein syndrome (SwPPV) and passion fruit vine (Passiflora edulis) with bud proliferation disease (PasFBP) in the same region. Sequence analysis of cloned 16S rRNA gene sequences (GenBank accession nos FJ226068-FJ226073 and HQ225624-HQ225635) indicated that all three affected plants were infected by phytoplasmas that shared <97.5% sequence similarity with previously described phytoplasmas. The SoyST-causing phytoplasma represents a new taxon, most closely related to phytoplasma group 16SrI and 16SrXII strains. Virtual RFLP analysis indicated that the SoyST-causing phytoplasma and its closely related strains represent a novel 16Sr group, designated 16SrXXXI. Phylogenetic analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences from the new phytoplasma strains, those previously described as 'Candidatus Phytoplasma spp.' and other distinct, as yet unnamed, phytoplasmas indicated that the SoyST-causing phytoplasma represents a distinct lineage within the aster yellows/stolbur branch on the phylogenetic tree. On the basis of its unique 16S rRNA gene sequence and biological properties, strain SoyST1c1 represents a novel taxon, for which the name 'Candidatus Phytoplasma costaricanum' is proposed with SoyST1c1 as the reference strain.

  16. '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'.

  17. Mobile units of DNA in phytoplasma genomes.

    PubMed

    Dickinson, Matt

    2010-09-01

    Phytoplasmas are obligate symbionts of plants and insects that are responsible for significant yield losses in diverse crops. Genome sequencing has revealed that many phytoplasma genomes appear to contain repeated genes organized in units of approximately 20 kb. These 'potential mobile units' (PMUs) resemble composite replicative transposons. PMUs contain several genes for recombination and some also contain putative 'virulence genes'. Genome alignments suggest that PMUs are involved in phytoplasma genome instability and recombination. In this edition of Molecular Microbiology, Hogenhout and colleagues report that one PMU from the aster yellows phytoplasma strain Witches' Broom (AY-WB) can exist as both a linear PMU within the chromosome and as an extrachromosomal circular form. The copy number of the circular form is much higher in the insect vector compared with the plant, and expression levels of genes present on the PMU are also higher in the insect. These observations suggest not only that this PMU could be a mobile element, but that it could also be involved in a phase-variation mechanism that allows the phytoplasma to adapt to its different hosts.

  18. 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.

  19. Endophytic bacterial community of grapevine leaves influenced by sampling date and phytoplasma infection process

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Endophytic bacteria benefit host plant directly or indirectly, e.g. by biocontrol of the pathogens. Up to now, their interactions with the host and with other microorganisms are poorly understood. Consequently, a crucial step for improving the knowledge of those relationships is to determine if pathogens or plant growing season influence endophytic bacterial diversity and dynamic. Results Four healthy, four phytoplasma diseased and four recovered (symptomatic plants that spontaneously regain a healthy condition) grapevine plants were sampled monthly from June to October 2010 in a vineyard in north-western Italy. Metagenomic DNA was extracted from sterilized leaves and the endophytic bacterial community dynamic and diversity were analyzed by taxon specific real-time PCR, Length-Heterogeneity PCR and genus-specific PCR. These analyses revealed that both sampling date and phytoplasma infection influenced the endophytic bacterial composition. Interestingly, in June, when the plants are symptomless and the pathogen is undetectable (i) the endophytic bacterial community associated with diseased grapevines was different from those in the other sampling dates, when the phytoplasmas are detectable inside samples; (ii) the microbial community associated with recovered plants differs from that living inside healthy and diseased plants. Interestingly, LH-PCR database identified bacteria previously reported as biocontrol agents in the examined grapevines. Of these, Burkholderia, Methylobacterium and Pantoea dynamic was influenced by the phytoplasma infection process and seasonality. Conclusion Results indicated that endophytic bacterial community composition in grapevine is correlated to both phytoplasma infection and sampling date. For the first time, data underlined that, in diseased plants, the pathogen infection process can decrease the impact of seasonality on community dynamic. Moreover, based on experimental evidences, it was reasonable to hypothesize that

  20. 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...

  1. Hosts of stolbur phytoplasmas in maize redness affected fields

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The plant host range of a phytoplasma is strongly dependent on the host range of its insect vector. Maize redness in Serbia is caused by stolbur phytoplasma (subgroup 16SrXII-A) and is transmitted by the cixiid planthoper, Reptalus panzeri (Löw). R. panzeri was the only potential vector found to be ...

  2. Phytoplasma infecting cherry and lilac represent two distinct lineages having close evolutionary affinities with clover phyllody phytoplasma

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Phytoplasmas infecting cherry and lilac in Lithuania were found to represent two lineages related to clover phyllody phytoplasma (CPh), a subgroup 16SrI-C strain exhibiting rRNA interoperon sequence heterogeneity. 16S rDNAs amplified from the cherry bunchy leaf (ChBL) and lilac little leaf (LcLL) p...

  3. "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 ...

  4. 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...

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Phytoplasmas were detected in cactus plants exhibiting witches’-broom disease symptoms in Yunnan Province, southwestern 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 pe...

  6. Analysis of Expressed Genes of the Bacterium ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma Mali’ Highlights Key Features of Virulence and Metabolism

    PubMed Central

    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

  7. 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.

  8. DAPI staining and fluorescence microscopy techniques for phytoplasmas.

    PubMed

    Andrade, Nancy M; Arismendi, Nolberto L

    2013-01-01

    The 4',6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI) stain technique is a simple method that was developed for confirming the presence of phytoplasmas in hand-cut or freezing microtome sections of infected tissues. DAPI binds AT-rich DNA preferentially, so that phytoplasmas, localized among phloem cells, can be visualized in a fluorescence microscope. The procedure is quick, easy to use, inexpensive, and can be used as a preliminary or quantitative method to detect or quantify phytoplasma-like bodies in infected plants.

  9. 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.

  10. Description of 'Candidatus Phytoplasma meliae', a phytoplasma associated with Chinaberry (Melia azedarach L.) yellowing in South America.

    PubMed

    Fernández, Franco Daniel; Galdeano, Ernestina; Kornowski, Marcela Victoria; Arneodo, Joel Demián; Conci, Luis Rogelio

    2016-12-01

    China tree yellows (ChTY) phytoplasma is associated with the yellowing disease of the China tree (Melia azedarach) in Argentina. According to partial 16S rRNA gene analysis, ChTY phytoplasma belongs to the 16Sr XIII group, subgroup G. Strains of species of ChTY have 98-99 % 16S rDNA gene sequence similarity with 16SrXIII-group phytoplasmas, and less than 97.5 % when compared to all 'CandidatusPhytoplasma' described so far, except for the novel 'CandidatusPhytoplasma hispanicum'. However, strains of species of ChTY are differentiated from the latter due to having additional molecular and biological attributes. The presence of unique features in the 16S rDNA sequence distinguishes ChTY from all species of 'CandidatusPhytoplasma' currently described. The in silico RFLP profile of 16S rDNA (1.2 kb) and rpLV-rpsC (1.3 kb) genes distinguished ChTY, as in the 16SrXIII-G subgroup within the 16SrXIIII group. The phylogenetic analyses, based on 16S rDNA, rpLV-rpsC and secA gene sequences, in addition to the restricted host range, characteristic symptoms and geographical distribution, confirm that the collective strains of the species ChTY represent a distinct lineage within the phytoplasma clade and support the description of a novel species of 'CandidatusPhytoplasma meliae' with the reference strain being ChTY-Mo3 (Montecarlo, Argentina).

  11. 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...

  12. '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'.

  13. '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.

  14. 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).

  15. 'Candidatus Phytoplasma hispanicum', a novel taxon associated with Mexican periwinkle virescence disease of Catharanthus roseus.

    PubMed

    Davis, Robert E; Harrison, Nigel A; Zhao, Yan; Wei, Wei; Dally, Ellen L

    2016-09-01

    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 known member of phytoplasma group 16SrXIII, and a new subgroup (16SrXIII-A) was established to accommodate MPV phytoplasma. Phylogenetic analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences indicated that strain MPV represents a lineage distinct from previously described 'CandidatusPhytoplasma' species. Nucleotide sequence alignments revealed that strain MPV shared less than 97.5 % 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity with all previously described 'Ca.Phytoplasma' species. Based on unique properties of the DNA, we propose recognition of Mexican periwinkle virescence phytoplasma strain MPV as representative of a novel taxon, 'CandidatusPhytoplasma hispanicum'.

  16. Comparative Analysis of Gene Content Evolution in Phytoplasmas and Mycoplasmas

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Chan-Pin; Kuo, Chih-Horng

    2012-01-01

    Phytoplasmas and mycoplasmas are two groups of important pathogens in the bacterial class Mollicutes. Because of their economical and clinical importance, these obligate pathogens have attracted much research attention. However, difficulties involved in the empirical study of these bacteria, particularly the fact that phytoplasmas have not yet been successfully cultivated outside of their hosts despite decades of attempts, have greatly hampered research progress. With the rapid advancements in genome sequencing, comparative genome analysis provides a new approach to facilitate our understanding of these bacteria. In this study, our main focus is to investigate the evolution of gene content in phytoplasmas, mycoplasmas, and their common ancestor. By using a phylogenetic framework for comparative analysis of 12 complete genome sequences, we characterized the putative gains and losses of genes in these obligate parasites. Our results demonstrated that the degradation of metabolic capacities in these bacteria has occurred predominantly in the common ancestor of Mollicutes, prior to the evolutionary split of phytoplasmas and mycoplasmas. Furthermore, we identified a list of genes that are acquired by the common ancestor of phytoplasmas and are conserved across all strains with complete genome sequences available. These genes include several putative effectors for the interactions with hosts and may be good candidates for future functional characterization. PMID:22479625

  17. Proteomic analysis of the Mexican lime tree response to "Candidatus Phytoplasma aurantifolia" infection.

    PubMed

    Taheri, Farzan; Nematzadeh, Ghorbanali; Zamharir, Maryam Ghayeb; Nekouei, Mojtaba Khayam; Naghavi, Mohammadreza; Mardi, Mohsen; Salekdeh, Ghasem Hosseini

    2011-11-01

    "Candidatus Phytoplasma aurantifolia" is the causative agent of witches' broom disease in the Mexican lime tree (Citrus aurantifolia L.), and is responsible for major tree losses in Southern Iran and Oman. The pathogen is strictly biotrophic, and, therefore, completely dependent on living host cells for its survival. The molecular basis of compatibility and disease development in this system is poorly understood. We applied a proteomics approach to analyse gene expression in Mexican limes infected with "Ca. Phytoplasma aurantifolia". Leaf samples were collected from healthy and infected plants and were analysed using 2-DE coupled with MS. Among 800 leaf proteins that were detected reproducibly in eight biological replicates of healthy and eight biological replicates of infected plants, 55 showed a significant response to the disease. MS resulted in identification of 39 regulated proteins, which included proteins that were involved in oxidative stress defence, photosynthesis, metabolism, and the stress response. Our results provide the first proteomic view of the molecular basis of the infection process and identify genes that could help inhibit the effects of the pathogen.

  18. 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...

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Phytoplasma-triggered Ca(2+) influx is involved in sieve-tube blockage.

    PubMed

    Musetti, Rita; Buxa, Stefanie V; De Marco, Federica; Loschi, Alberto; Polizzotto, Rachele; Kogel, Karl-Heinz; van Bel, Aart J E

    2013-04-01

    Phytoplasmas are obligate, phloem-restricted phytopathogens that are disseminated by phloem-sap-sucking insects. Phytoplasma infection severely impairs assimilate translocation in host plants and might be responsible for massive changes in phloem physiology. Methods to study phytoplasma- induced changes thus far provoked massive, native occlusion artifacts in sieve tubes. Hence, phytoplasma-phloem relationships were investigated here in intact Vicia faba host plants using a set of vital fluorescent probes and confocal laser-scanning microscopy. We focused on the effects of phytoplasma infection on phloem mass-flow performance and evaluated whether phytoplasmas induce sieve-plate occlusion. Apparently, phytoplasma infection brings about Ca(2+) influx into sieve tubes, leading to sieve-plate occlusion by callose deposition or protein plugging. In addition, Ca(2+) influx may confer cell wall thickening of conducting elements. In conclusion, phytoplasma effectors may cause gating of sieve-element Ca(2+) channels leading to sieve-tube occlusion with presumptive dramatic effects on phytoplasma spread and photoassimilate distribution.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. New 16Sr subgroups and distinct SNP lineages among grapevine Bois noir phytoplasma populations

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Bois noir (BN) is an insect-transmitted grapevine yellows disease caused by phytoplasmas belonging to the stolbur subgroup 16SrXII-A. In Italy, increasing prevalence of stolbur phytoplasma strains in vineyards suggests progressive spread of the disease and potential for heavy impacts on the wine in...

  5. Genetic diversity and vector transmission of phytoplasmas associated with sesame phyllody in Iran.

    PubMed

    Salehi, M; Esmailzadeh Hosseini, S A; Salehi, E; Bertaccini, A

    2017-03-01

    During 2010-14 surveys in the major sesame growing areas of Fars, Yazd and Isfahan provinces (Iran), genetic diversity and vector transmission of phytoplasmas associated with sesame phyllody were studied. Virtual RFLP, phylogenetic, and DNA homology analyses of partial 16S ribosomal sequences of phytoplasma strains associated with symptomatic plants revealed the presence of phytoplasmas referable to three ribosomal subgroups, 16SrII-D, 16SrVI-A, and 16SrIX-C. The same analyses using 16S rDNA sequences from sesame phyllody-associated phytoplasmas retrieved from GenBank database showed the presence of phytoplasmas clustering with strains in the same subgroups in other Iranian provinces including Bushehr and Khorasan Razavi. Circulifer haematoceps and Orosius albicinctus, known vectors of the disease in Iran, were tested for transmission of the strains identified in this study. C. haematoceps transmitted 16SrII-D, 16SrVI-A, and 16SrIX-C phytoplasmas, while O. albicinctus only transmitted 16SrII-D strains. Based on the results of the present study and considering the reported presence of phytoplasmas belonging to the same ribosomal subgroups in other crops, sesame fields probably play an important role in the epidemiology of other diseases associated with these phytoplasmas in Iran.

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

  9. '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.

  10. '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...

  11. Gene expression and biochemical changes of carbohydrate metabolism in in vitro micro-propagated apple plantlets infected by 'Candidatus Phytoplasma mali'.

    PubMed

    Giorno, Filomena; Guerriero, Gea; Biagetti, Matteo; Ciccotti, Anna Maria; Baric, Sanja

    2013-09-01

    'Candidatus Phytoplasma mali' (Ca. P. mali) is the disease agent causing apple proliferation (AP), which has detrimental effects on production in many apple growing areas of Central and Southern Europe. The present study investigated transcriptional and biochemical changes related to the sugar metabolism as well as expression of pathogenesis-related (PR) protein genes in in vitro micro-propagated AP-infected and healthy control plantlets with the aim of shedding light on host plant response to 'Ca. P. mali' infection. Expression changes between infected and control plantlets were detected by quantitative real-time PCR analysis. The most significant transcriptional changes were observed for genes coding for pathogenesis-related proteins and for heat shock protein 70, as well as for some genes related to the sugar metabolism, such as a sorbitol transporter (SOT5), hexokinase, sucrose-phosphate synthase or granule bound starch synthase. Furthermore, biochemical analyses revealed that infected plantlets were characterized by a significant accumulation of starch and sucrose, while hexoses, such as glucose and fructose, and sorbitol were present at lower concentrations. In summary, the present analysis provides an overview of a gene set that is involved in response to phytoplasma infection and, therefore, it may help for a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in phytoplasma-host plant interaction in apple.

  12. Single-strand conformation polymorphism analysis for differentiating phytoplasma strains.

    PubMed

    Musić, Martina Seruga; Skorić, Dijana

    2013-01-01

    Single-strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) analysis is a sensitive and rapid technique for detecting DNA polymorphisms and mutations in PCR-amplified fragments. Due to its technical simplicity, it is widely used as a screening tool in various investigations, ranging from clinical diagnosis of human hereditary diseases to the characterization of microbial communities. This method can also be used successfully on phytoplasmas as a tool for the detection of molecular variability in conserved housekeeping genes such as 16S rRNA and tuf, as well as in more variable genes, revealing the presence of polymorphisms undetected by routine RFLP analyses. The reliability of SSCP has been confirmed by multiple alignments and phylogenetic analyses of representative sequences showing different SSCP profiles. However, it is not broadly applied in phytoplasma research yet. The technique provides an inexpensive, convenient, and sensitive method for determining sequence variation and to differentiate phytoplasma strains, and is particularly suitable for epidemiological studies or as a fast screening, typing tool when dealing with a large number of field samples.

  13. Proteome Profiling of Paulownia Seedlings Infected with Phytoplasma

    PubMed Central

    Cao, Xibing; Fan, Guoqiang; Dong, Yanpeng; Zhao, Zhenli; Deng, Minjie; Wang, Zhe; Liu, Wenshan

    2017-01-01

    Phytoplasma is an insect-transmitted pathogen that causes witches' broom disease in many plants. Paulownia witches' broom is one of the most destructive diseases threatening Paulownia production. The molecular mechanisms associated with this disease have been investigated by transcriptome sequencing, but changes in protein abundance have not been investigated with isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantitation. Previous results have shown that methyl methane sulfonate (MMS) can help Paulownia seedlings recover from the symptoms of witches' broom and reinstate a healthy morphology. In this study, a transcriptomic-assisted proteomic technique was used to analyze the protein changes in phytoplasma-infected Paulownia tomentosa seedlings, phytoplasma-infected seedlings treated with 20 and 60 mg·L−1 MMS, and healthy seedlings. A total of 2,051 proteins were obtained, 879 of which were found to be differentially abundant in pairwise comparisons between the sample groups. Among the differentially abundant proteins, 43 were related to Paulownia witches' broom disease and many of them were annotated to be involved in photosynthesis, expression of dwarf symptom, energy production, and cell signal pathways. PMID:28344590

  14. Transcriptomic Analysis of Paulownia Infected by Paulownia Witches'-Broom Phytoplasma

    PubMed Central

    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

  15. 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.

  16. Association of 'Candidatus Phytoplasma asteris' with yellowing and phyllody of Plantago lanceolata.

    PubMed

    Fránová, J; Simková, M

    2009-09-01

    Long plantains (Plantago lanceolata L.) with symptoms resembling those associated with phytoplasma infection were observed repeatedly during the period 2000-2008 in southern Bohemia (Czech Republic). The symptoms of the plants were leaf yellowing, stunted growth, flower phyllody and lack of seed production. Transmission electron microscopy showed phytoplasmas in the sieve cells of affected plants but not in healthy ones. Association of phytoplasmas with the disease was confirmed by polymerase chain reaction using phytoplasma-specific universal ribosomal primers R16F2n/R16R2. An amplification product of the expected size (1.2 kb) was observed in all samples of the symptomatic long plantains. The restriction profiles obtained from digestion of the PCR products with three endonucleases (AluI, HhaI, MseI) showed that the phytoplasmas infecting long plantains in the Czech Republic were indistinguishable from those belonging to the aster yellows group (subgroup 16SrI-B). Sequence analysis of 1748 bp of the ribosomal operon indicated that the closest related phytoplasma was that associated with 'Rehmannia glutinosa var. purpurea', originating also in Bohemia. This is the first report of the natural occurrence of 'Candidatus Phytoplasma asteris' in plants of P. lanceolata.

  17. 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

  18. Detection and molecular characterization of an aster yellows phytoplasma in poker statice and Queen Anne's lace in Alberta, Canada.

    PubMed

    Chang, Kan-Fa; Hwang, Sheau-Fang; Khadhair, Abdul-Hameed; Kawchuk, Lawrence; Howard, Ronald

    2004-01-01

    Queen Anne's lace and poker statice plants were found with a yellows-type disease with typical phytoplasma symptoms in an experimental farm near Brooks, Alberta in 1996. Phytoplasma bodies were detected by transmission electron microscopy in phloem cells of symptomatic plants, but not in healthy plants. The presence of a phytoplasma was confirmed by analysis with the polymerase chain reaction. Using a pair of universal primer sequences derived from phytoplasma 16S rRNA, an amplified product of the expected size (1.2 kb) was observed in samples from infected plants, but not in asymptomatic plants. Sequence analysis of the PCR products from the 16S/23S rDNA intergenic spacer region indicated that the two phytoplasma isolates in Queen Anne's lace and poker statice are genetically closely related to the western aster yellows phytoplasma.

  19. 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.

  20. Expanding and exploring the diversity of phytoplasmas from lucerne (Medicago sativa)

    PubMed Central

    Gopurenko, David; Fletcher, Murray J.; Liu, Jian; Gurr, Geoff M.

    2016-01-01

    Phytoplasmas are a group of insect-vectored bacteria responsible for disease in many plant species worldwide. Among the crop species affected is the economically valuable forage species lucerne. Here we provide comprehensive molecular evidence for infection in multiple lucerne plants by a phytoplasma not previously known from this plant species. This phytoplasma had a >99% genetic similarity to an unclassified 16S rRNA subgroup previously reported as Stylosanthes little leaf from Stylosanthes spp. and was genetically and symptomatically distinct from a co-occurring but less common 16SrIIA group phytoplasma. Neighbour-joining analyses with publicly available sequence data confirmed the presence of two distinct phytoplasma lineages in the plant population. No PCR detections were made among 38 individuals of 12 co-occurring weed species. Sequence analysis revealed that all nine PCR detections from among 106 individuals of five Hemiptera insect species from the site, three of which had previously been reported as likely vectors, were false positives. This study demonstrates the importance of sequencing to complement PCR detection and avoid potentially inaccurate conclusions regarding vectors, highlights that sampling over a wide spatio-temporal scale is important for vector and alternative host studies, and extends to eight the number of phytoplasma 16 Sr groups known from lucerne. PMID:27886229

  1. Factors influencing aster leafhopper (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae) abundance and aster yellows phytoplasma infectivity in Wisconsin carrot fields.

    PubMed

    Frost, K E; Esker, P D; Van Haren, R; Kotolski, L; Groves, R L

    2013-06-01

    In Wisconsin, vegetable crops are threatened annually by infection of the aster yellows phytoplasma (AYp), the causal agent of aster yellows (AY) disease, vectored by the aster leafhopper, Macrosteles quadrilineatus Forbes. Aster leafhopper abundance and infectivity are influenced by processes operating across different temporal and spatial scales. We applied a multilevel modeling approach to partition variance in multifield, multiyear, pest scouting data sets containing temporal and spatial covariates associated with aster leafhopper abundance and infectivity. Our intent was to evaluate the relative importance of temporal and spatial covariates to infer the relevant scale at which ecological processes are driving AY epidemics and identify periods of elevated risk for AYp spread. The relative amount of aster leafhopper variability among and within years (39%) exceeded estimates of variation among farm locations and fields (7%). Similarly, time covariates explained the largest amount of variation of aster leafhopper infectivity (50%). Leafhopper abundance has been decreasing since 2001 and reached its minimum in 2010. The average seasonal pattern indicated that periods of above average abundance occurred between 11 June and 1 August. Annual infectivity appears to oscillate around an average value of 2% and seasonal periods of above average infectivity occur between 19 May and 15 July. The coincidence of the expected periods of high leafhopper abundance and infectivity increases our knowledge of when the insect moves into susceptible crop fields and when it spreads the pathogen to susceptible crops, representing a seasonal interval during which management of the insect can be focused.

  2. '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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  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. 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.

  7. Multigene characterization of a new 'Candidatus Phytoplasma rubi'-related strain associated with blackberry witches' broom in Portugal.

    PubMed

    Fránová, Jana; de Sousa, Esmeraldina; Koloniuk, Igor; Mimoso, Céu; Matos, José; Cardoso, Fernando; Contaldo, Nicoletta; Paltrinieri, Samanta; Bertaccini, Assunta

    2016-01-13

    A new phytoplasma was identified in naturally infected blackberry plants exhibiting witches' broom symptoms in Portugal. The 16S rRNA gene sequence revealed that it is related to 'Candidatus Phytoplasma rubi' (16SrV-E ribosomal subgroup) and RFLP analysis showed a unique profile following MseI endonuclease digestion of R16F2n/R2 amplicons that distinguished it from the strains belonging to previously established 16SrV phytoplasma subgroups. The in silico restriction analyses confirmed that the phytoplasma strain from blackberry is different from all the other strains reported in group 16SrV. Phylogeny of the 16S rRNA gene sequences, sequence analyses of 16S-23S, tuf, rplV-rpsC, rplF-rplR, rplO-SecY-map and uvrB-degV genetic loci, as well as the variability of unique oligonucleotide sequences defined for 'Candidatus Phytoplasma rubi' confirmed the uniqueness of this phytoplasma strain from Portugal for which a novel ribosomal subgroup, 16SrV-I, is proposed. The representative of this new subgroup was named blackPort phytoplasma (Portuguese blackberry phytoplasma).

  8. 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...

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Shotgun proteomic analysis of the Mexican lime tree infected with "CandidatusPhytoplasma aurantifolia".

    PubMed

    Monavarfeshani, Aboozar; Mirzaei, Mehdi; Sarhadi, Elham; Amirkhani, Ardeshir; Khayam Nekouei, Mojtaba; Haynes, Paul A; Mardi, Mohsen; Salekdeh, Ghasem Hosseini

    2013-02-01

    Infection of Mexican lime trees (Citrus aurantifolia L.) with the specialized bacterium "CandidatusPhytoplasma aurantifolia" causes witches' broom disease. Witches' broom disease has the potential to cause significant economic losses throughout western Asia and North Africa. We used label-free quantitative shotgun proteomics to study changes in the proteome of Mexican lime trees in response to infection by "Ca. Phytoplasma aurantifolia". Of 990 proteins present in five replicates of healthy and infected plants, the abundances of 448 proteins changed significantly in response to phytoplasma infection. Of these, 274 proteins were less abundant in infected plants than in healthy plants, and 174 proteins were more abundant in infected plants than in healthy plants. These 448 proteins were involved in stress response, metabolism, growth and development, signal transduction, photosynthesis, cell cycle, and cell wall organization. Our results suggest that proteomic changes in response to infection by phytoplasmas might support phytoplasma nutrition by promoting alterations in the host's sugar metabolism, cell wall biosynthesis, and expression of defense-related proteins. Regulation of defense-related pathways suggests that defense compounds are induced in interactions with susceptible as well as resistant hosts, with the main differences between the two interactions being the speed and intensity of the response.

  12. Transcriptomics assisted proteomic analysis of Nicotiana occidentalis infected by Candidatus Phytoplasma mali strain AT.

    PubMed

    Luge, Toni; Kube, Michael; Freiwald, Anja; Meierhofer, David; Seemüller, Erich; Sauer, Sascha

    2014-08-01

    Phytoplasmas are pathogenic bacteria within the class of Mollicutes, which are associated with more than 1000 plant diseases. In this study, we applied quantitative mass spectrometry to analyse affected pathways of the model plant tobacco (Nicotiana occidentalis) upon Candidatus Phytoplasma mali strain AT infection. Using tissue obtained from leaf midribs, 1466 plant-assigned proteins were identified. For 1019 of these proteins, we could reproducibly quantify the expression changes of infected versus noninfected plants, of which 157 proteins were up- and 173 proteins were downregulated. Differential expression took place in a number of pathways, among others strong downregulation of porphyrin and chlorophyll metabolism and upregulation of alpha-linolenic acid metabolism, which was consistent with observed increased levels of jasmonic acid, a key signal molecule of plant defence. Our data shed light on the molecular networks that are involved in defence of plants against phytoplasma infection and provide a resource for further studies.

  13. 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.

  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. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Metabolic Discrimination of Catharanthus roseus Leaves Infected by Phytoplasma Using 1H-NMR Spectroscopy and Multivariate Data Analysis1

    PubMed Central

    Choi, Young Hae; Tapias, Elisabet Casas; Kim, Hye Kyong; Lefeber, Alfons W.M.; Erkelens, Cornelis; Verhoeven, Jacobus Th.J.; Brzin, Jernej; Zel, Jana; Verpoorte, Robert

    2004-01-01

    A comprehensive metabolomic profiling of Catharanthus roseus L. G. Don infected by 10 types of phytoplasmas was carried out using one-dimensional and two-dimensional NMR spectroscopy followed by principal component analysis (PCA), an unsupervised clustering method requiring no knowledge of the data set and used to reduce the dimensionality of multivariate data while preserving most of the variance within it. With a combination of these techniques, we were able to identify those metabolites that were present in different levels in phytoplasma-infected C. roseus leaves than in healthy ones. The infection by phytoplasma in C. roseus leaves causes an increase of metabolites related to the biosynthetic pathways of phenylpropanoids or terpenoid indole alkaloids: chlorogenic acid, loganic acid, secologanin, and vindoline. Furthermore, higher abundance of Glc, Glu, polyphenols, succinic acid, and Suc were detected in the phytoplasma-infected leaves. The PCA of the 1H-NMR signals of healthy and phytoplasma-infected C. roseus leaves shows that these metabolites are major discriminating factors to characterize the phytoplasma-infected C. roseus leaves from healthy ones. Based on the NMR and PCA analysis, it might be suggested that the biosynthetic pathway of terpenoid indole alkaloids, together with that of phenylpropanoids, is stimulated by the infection of phytoplasma. PMID:15286294

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24946736

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

    PubMed

    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

    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.

  20. 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

  1. Agents.

    PubMed

    Chambers, David W

    2002-01-01

    Although health care is inherently an economic activity, it is inadequately described as a market process. An alternative, grounded in organizational economic theory, is to view professionals and many others as agents, contracted to advance the best interests of their principals (patients). This view untangles some of the ethical conflicts in dentistry. It also helps identify major controllable costs in dentistry and suggests that dentists can act as a group to increase or decrease agency costs, primarily by controlling the bad actors who damage the value of all dentists.

  2. A real-time PCR detection system for the bois noir and flavescence dorée phytoplasmas and quantification of the target DNA.

    PubMed

    Mehle, Nataša; Prezelj, Nina; Hren, Matjaž; Boben, Jana; Gruden, Kristina; Ravnikar, Maja; Dermastia, Marina

    2013-01-01

    The real-time PCR detection system for grapevine yellows phytoplasmas described here is composed of two assays for group-specific detection of flavescence dorée (FD) and bois noir (BN) phytoplasmas and a universal phytoplasma assay. It uses hydrolysis minor groove binder probes (TaqMan-MGB). The addition of an assay for amplification of plant DNA co-extracted with phytoplasma DNA provides a further quality control for the DNA extraction and PCR amplification for each sample. The detection system described is reliable, specific, sensitive, and easily applicable to fast, high-throughput diagnosis of grapevine yellows phytoplasmas. In addition to the detection system, an approach for the quantification of phytoplasmas in the sample is described.

  3. 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 ...

  4. AY-WB phytoplasma secretes a protein that targets plant cell nuclei.

    PubMed

    Bai, Xiaodong; Correa, Valdir R; Toruño, Tania Y; Ammar, El-Desouky; Kamoun, Sophien; Hogenhout, Saskia A

    2009-01-01

    The fully sequenced genome of aster yellows phytoplasma strain witches' broom (AY-WB; Candidatus Phytoplasma asteris) was mined for the presence of genes encoding secreted proteins based on the presence of N-terminal signal peptides (SP). We identified 56 secreted AY-WB proteins (SAP). These SAP are candidate effector proteins potentially involved in interaction with plant and insect cell components. One of these SAP, SAP11, contains an N-terminal SP sequence and a eukaryotic bipartite nuclear localization signal (NLS). Transcripts for SAP11 were detected in AY-WB-infected plants. Yellow fluorescence protein (YFP)-tagged SAP11 accumulated in Nicotiana benthamiana cell nuclei, whereas the nuclear targeting of YFP-tagged SAP11 mutants with disrupted NLS was inhibited. The nuclear transport of YFP-SAP11 was also inhibited in N. benthamiana plants in which the expression of importin alpha was knocked down using virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS). Furthermore, SAP11 was detected by immunocytology in nuclei of young sink tissues of China aster plants infected with AY-WB. In summary, this work shows that AY-WB phytoplasma produces a protein that targets the nuclei of plant host cells; this protein is a potential phytoplasma effector that may alter plant cell physiology.

  5. 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.

  6. 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...

  7. 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. ...

  8. 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...

  9. Draft genome sequence of ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma pruni’ strain CX, a plant pathogenic bacterium

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    ‘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 that consists of 598,508 bases, with a G+C content of 27.21 mol%. ...

  10. A branch-inducing phytoplasma in Euphorbia pulcherrima associated with changes in expression of host genes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Four Euphorbia pulcherrima genes specifically regulated during phytoplasma infection have been identified using a combination of differential display of cDNA-PCR products and microarray analysis. According to BLAST searches the possible functions of the identified genes included a histidine-containi...

  11. FIRST REPORT OF 'CANDIDATUS PHYTOPLASMA ULMI' IN ULMUS LAEVIS IN GERMANY.

    PubMed

    Eisold, A M; Kube, M; Holz, S; Büttner, C

    2015-01-01

    The wall-less bacteria of the provisory taxon 'Candidatus Phytoplasma' are obligate parasites and associated to diseases in many important crops and trees worldwide. 'Ca. Phytoplasma ulmi', assigned to 16SrV-A subgroup, is a quarantine pest and described to be associated to elm phloem necrosis, leaf yellowing, stunting, witches broom and decline in various elm species. Elm yellows phytoplasmas (EY) have been reported in several European countries but not in Ulmus laevis in Germany so far. Leaf samples from European white elms (Ulmus leavis PALL.) with and without chlorotic symptoms were investigated for EYs infection in Berlin and Brandenburg, Germany, through performing diagnostic nested PCR targeting partial rRNA operon of phytoplasmas. Specific PCR-products were obtained from 30 out of 59 samples. Partial 16S-rDNA sequences were assigned to 'Ca. P. ulmi' through sequence analysis, while sequence variation was observed. This is the first report of U. laevis infected with 'Ca. P. ulmi' in Germany.

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

  14. 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.

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  17. Phytoplasma classification and phylogeny based on in silico and in vitro RFLP analysis of cpn60 universal target sequences

    PubMed Central

    Pérez-López, Edel; Olivier, Chrystel Y.; Luna-Rodríguez, Mauricio

    2016-01-01

    Phytoplasmas are unculturable, phytopathogenic bacteria that cause economic losses worldwide. As unculturable micro-organisms, phytoplasma taxonomy has been based on the use of the 16S rRNA-encoding gene to establish 16Sr groups and subgroups based on the restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) pattern resulting from the digestion of amplicon (in vitro) or sequence (in silico) with seventeen restriction enzymes. Problems such as heterogeneity of the ribosomal operon and the inability to differentiate closely related phytoplasma strains has motivated the search for additional markers capable of providing finer differentiation of phytoplasma strains. In this study we developed and validated a scheme to classify phytoplasmas based on the use of cpn60 universal target (cpn60 UT) sequences. Ninety-six cpn60 UT sequences from strains belonging to 19 16Sr subgroups were subjected to in silico RFLP using pDRAW32 software, resulting in 25 distinctive RFLP profiles. Based on these results we delineated cpn60 UT groups and subgroups, and established a threshold similarity coefficient for groups and subgroups classifying all the strains analysed in this study. The nucleotide identity among the reference strains, the correspondence between in vitro and in silico RFLP, and the phylogenetic relationships of phytoplasma strains based on cpn60 UT sequences are also discussed. PMID:27667728

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Unique morphological changes in plant pathogenic phytoplasma-infected petunia flowers are related to transcriptional regulation of floral homeotic genes in an organ-specific manner.

    PubMed

    Himeno, Misako; Neriya, Yutaro; Minato, Nami; Miura, Chihiro; Sugawara, Kyoko; Ishii, Yoshiko; Yamaji, Yasuyuki; Kakizawa, Shigeyuki; Oshima, Kenro; Namba, Shigetou

    2011-09-01

    Abnormal flowers are often induced by infection of certain plant pathogens, e.g. phytoplasma, but the molecular mechanisms underlying these malformations have remained poorly understood. Here, we show that infection with OY-W phytoplasma (Candidatus Phytoplasma asteris, onion yellows phytoplasma strain, line OY-W) affects the expression of the floral homeotic genes of petunia plants in an organ-specific manner. Upon infection with OY-W phytoplasma, floral morphological changes, including conversion to leaf-like structures, were observed in sepals, petals and pistils, but not in stamens. As the expression levels of homeotic genes differ greatly between floral organs, we examined the expression levels of homeotic genes in each floral organ infected by OY-W phytoplasma, compared with healthy plants. The expression levels of several homeotic genes required for organ development, such as PFG, PhGLO1 and FBP7, were significantly downregulated by the phytoplasma infection in floral organs, except the stamens, suggesting that the unique morphological changes caused by the phytoplasma infection might result from the significant decrease in expression of some crucial homeotic genes. Moreover, the expression levels of TER, ALF and DOT genes, which are known to participate in floral meristem identity, were significantly downregulated in the phytoplasma-infected petunia meristems, implying that phytoplasma would affect an upstream signaling pathway of floral meristem identity. Our results suggest that phytoplasma infection may have complex effects on floral development, resulting in the unique phenotypes that were clearly distinct from the mutant flower phenotypes produced by the knock-out or the overexpression of certain homeotic genes.

  2. 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...

  3. 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...

  4. 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.

  5. 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 ...

  6. Genome sequence, prevalence and quantification of the first iflavirus identified in a phytoplasma insect vector.

    PubMed

    Abbà, Simona; Galetto, Luciana; Vallino, Marta; Rossi, Marika; Turina, Massimo; Sicard, Anne; Marzachì, Cristina

    2017-03-01

    The leafhopper Euscelidius variegatus is a natural vector of chrysanthemum yellows phytoplasma (CY) and an efficient vector of flavescence dorée phytoplasma (FD) under laboratory conditions. During a transcriptome sequencing (RNA-seq) project aimed at investigating the interactions between the insect and the two phytoplasmas, a 10,616-nucleotide-long contig with high sequence similarity to known picorna-like viruses was identified among the assembled insect transcripts. The discovery came totally unexpected, because insects from the laboratory colony did not show any evident symptom that could be related to the presence of a virus. The amino acid sequence, the shape and size of viral particles, and the results of phylogenetic analysis suggest that this virus, named Euscelidius variegatus virus 1 (EVV-1), can be considered a new member of a new species in the genus Iflavirus. EVV-1 was detected in all of the tested insects from the laboratory colony used for RNA-seq, both in phytoplasma-exposed and in non-exposed insects, but the viral load measured in FD-exposed samples was significantly lower than that in non-exposed insects. This result suggests the possible existence of an intriguing cross-talk among insects, endogenous bacteria, and viruses. The identification of two other E. variegatus laboratory colonies that were free of EVV-1 could represent the key to addressing some basic virological issues, e.g., viral replication and transmission mechanisms, and offer the opportunity to use infectious clones to express heterologous genes in the leafhopper and manipulate the expression of endogenous genes by promoting virus-induced gene silencing.

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Davis, Robert E; Zhao, Yan; Dally, Ellen L; Lee, Ing-Ming; Jomantiene, Rasa; Douglas, Sharon M

    2013-02-01

    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 rRNA gene RFLP group 16SrIII, subgroup A. Phylogenetic analyses of 16S rRNA gene sequences revealed that the X-disease phytoplasma strains formed a distinct subclade within the phytoplasma clade, supporting the hypothesis that they represented a lineage distinct from those of previously described 'Candidatus Phytoplasma' species. Nucleotide sequence alignments revealed that all studied X-disease phytoplasma strains shared less than 97.5 % 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity with previously described 'Candidatus Phytoplasma' species. Based on unique properties of the DNA, we propose recognition of X-disease phytoplasma strain PX11CT1(R) as representative of a novel taxon, 'Candidatus Phytoplasma pruni'. Results from nucleotide and phylogenetic analyses of secY and ribosomal protein (rp) gene sequences provided additional molecular markers of the 'Ca. Phytoplasma pruni' lineage. We propose that the term 'Ca. Phytoplasma pruni' be applied to phytoplasma strains whose 16S rRNA gene sequences contain the oligonucleotide sequences of unique regions that are designated in the formally published description of the taxon. Such strains include X-disease phytoplasma and--within the tolerance of a single base difference in one unique sequence--peach rosette, peach red suture, and little peach phytoplasmas. Although not employed for taxon delineation in this work, we further propose that secY, rp, and other genetic loci from the reference strain of a taxon, and where possible oligonucleotide sequences of unique regions of those genes that distinguish taxa within a given 16Sr group, be incorporated in emended descriptions and as part of future descriptions of 'Candidatus Phytoplasma' taxa.

  9. Multilocus sequence typing confirms the close genetic interrelatedness of three distinct flavescence dorée phytoplasma strain clusters and group 16SrV phytoplasmas infecting grapevine and alder in Europe.

    PubMed

    Arnaud, Guillaume; Malembic-Maher, Sylvie; Salar, Pascal; Bonnet, Patrick; Maixner, Michael; Marcone, Carmine; Boudon-Padieu, Elisabeth; Foissac, Xavier

    2007-06-01

    Vineyards of southern France and northern Italy are affected by the flavescence dorée (FD) phytoplasma, a quarantine pathogen transmitted by the leafhopper of Nearctic origin Scaphoideus titanus. To better trace propagation of FD strains and identify possible passage between the vineyard and wild plant compartments, molecular typing of phytoplasma strains was applied. The sequences of the two genetic loci map and uvrB-degV, along with the sequence of the secY gene, were determined among a collection of FD and FD-related phytoplasmas infecting grapevine, alder, elm, blackberry, and Spanish broom in Europe. Sequence comparisons and phylogenetic analyses consistently indicated the existence of three FD phytoplasma strain clusters. Strain cluster FD1 (comprising isolate FD70) displayed low variability and represented 17% of the disease cases in the French vineyard, with a higher incidence of the cases in southwestern France. Strain cluster FD2 (comprising isolates FD92 and FD-D) displayed no variability and was detected both in France (83% of the cases) and in Italy, whereas the more-variable strain cluster FD3 (comprising isolate FD-C) was detected only in Italy. The clonal property of FD2 and its wide distribution are consistent with diffusion through propagation of infected-plant material. German Palatinate grapevine yellows phytoplasmas (PGY) appeared variable and were often related to some of the alder phytoplasmas (AldY) detected in Italy and France. Finally, phylogenetic analyses concluded that FD, PGY, and AldY were members of the same phylogenetic subclade, which may have originated in Europe.

  10. 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

  11. Coconut Lethal Yellowing Diseases: A Phytoplasma Threat to Palms of Global Economic and Social Significance.

    PubMed

    Gurr, Geoff M; Johnson, Anne C; Ash, Gavin J; Wilson, Bree A L; Ero, Mark M; Pilotti, Carmel A; Dewhurst, Charles F; You, Minsheng S

    2016-01-01

    The recent discovery of Bogia coconut syndrome in Papua New Guinea (PNG) is the first report of a lethal yellowing disease (LYD) in Oceania. Numerous outbreaks of LYDs of coconut have been recorded in the Caribbean and Africa since the late Nineteenth century and have caused the death of millions of palms across several continents during the Twentieth century. Despite the severity of economic losses, it was only in the 1970s that the causes of LYDs were identified as phytoplasmas, a group of insect-transmitted bacteria associated with diseases in many other economically important crop species. Since the development of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology, knowledge of LYDs epidemiology, ecology and vectors has grown rapidly. There is no economically viable treatment for LYDs and vector-based management is hampered by the fact that vectors have been positively identified in very few cases despite many attempted transmission trials. Some varieties and hybrids of coconut palm are known to be less susceptible to LYD but none are completely resistant. Optimal and current management of LYD is through strict quarantine, prompt detection and destruction of symptomatic palms, and replanting with less susceptible varieties or crop species. Advances in technology such as loop mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) for detection and tracking of phytoplasma DNA in plants and insects, remote sensing for identifying symptomatic palms, and the advent of clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-based tools for gene editing and plant breeding are likely to allow rapid progress in taxonomy as well as understanding and managing LYD phytoplasma pathosystems.

  12. Coconut Lethal Yellowing Diseases: A Phytoplasma Threat to Palms of Global Economic and Social Significance

    PubMed Central

    Gurr, Geoff M.; Johnson, Anne C.; Ash, Gavin J.; Wilson, Bree A. L.; Ero, Mark M.; Pilotti, Carmel A.; Dewhurst, Charles F.; You, Minsheng S.

    2016-01-01

    The recent discovery of Bogia coconut syndrome in Papua New Guinea (PNG) is the first report of a lethal yellowing disease (LYD) in Oceania. Numerous outbreaks of LYDs of coconut have been recorded in the Caribbean and Africa since the late Nineteenth century and have caused the death of millions of palms across several continents during the Twentieth century. Despite the severity of economic losses, it was only in the 1970s that the causes of LYDs were identified as phytoplasmas, a group of insect-transmitted bacteria associated with diseases in many other economically important crop species. Since the development of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology, knowledge of LYDs epidemiology, ecology and vectors has grown rapidly. There is no economically viable treatment for LYDs and vector-based management is hampered by the fact that vectors have been positively identified in very few cases despite many attempted transmission trials. Some varieties and hybrids of coconut palm are known to be less susceptible to LYD but none are completely resistant. Optimal and current management of LYD is through strict quarantine, prompt detection and destruction of symptomatic palms, and replanting with less susceptible varieties or crop species. Advances in technology such as loop mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) for detection and tracking of phytoplasma DNA in plants and insects, remote sensing for identifying symptomatic palms, and the advent of clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-based tools for gene editing and plant breeding are likely to allow rapid progress in taxonomy as well as understanding and managing LYD phytoplasma pathosystems. PMID:27833616

  13. Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification (LAMP) for Detection of Phytoplasmas in the Field.

    PubMed

    Dickinson, Matt

    2015-01-01

    Loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) is a nucleic acid-based detection method with many applications. This chapter details its use for detection of phytoplasma diseases, combining a rapid 2-min DNA extraction method with real-time LAMP product detection such that the entire procedure can be undertaken and completed in the field within 40 min. Furthermore, the assays include an anneal curve validation step to guard against false positives and an assay for host plant DNA to guard against false negatives.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

    2016-01-01

    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

  15. ‘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...

  16. Phytoplasma Effector SAP54 Induces Indeterminate Leaf-Like Flower Development in Arabidopsis Plants1[C][W][OA

    PubMed Central

    MacLean, Allyson M.; Sugio, Akiko; Makarova, Olga V.; Findlay, Kim C.; Grieve, Victoria M.; Tóth, Réka; Nicolaisen, Mogens; Hogenhout, Saskia A.

    2011-01-01

    Phytoplasmas are insect-transmitted bacterial plant pathogens that cause considerable damage to a diverse range of agricultural crops globally. Symptoms induced in infected plants suggest that these phytopathogens may modulate developmental processes within the plant host. We report herein that Aster Yellows phytoplasma strain Witches’ Broom (AY-WB) readily infects the model plant Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) ecotype Columbia, inducing symptoms that are characteristic of phytoplasma infection, such as the production of green leaf-like flowers (virescence and phyllody) and increased formation of stems and branches (witches’ broom). We found that the majority of genes encoding secreted AY-WB proteins (SAPs), which are candidate effector proteins, are expressed in Arabidopsis and the AY-WB insect vector Macrosteles quadrilineatus (Hemiptera; Cicadellidae). To identify which of these effector proteins induce symptoms of phyllody and virescence, we individually expressed the effector genes in Arabidopsis. From this screen, we have identified a novel AY-WB effector protein, SAP54, that alters floral development, resulting in the production of leaf-like flowers that are similar to those produced by plants infected with this phytoplasma. This study offers novel insight into the effector profile of an insect-transmitted plant pathogen and reports to our knowledge the first example of a microbial pathogen effector protein that targets flower development in a host. PMID:21849514

  17. Population genetic analysis reveals a low level of genetic diversity of 'Candidatus Phytoplasma aurantifolia' causing witches' broom disease in lime.

    PubMed

    Al-Abadi, Shaikha Y; Al-Sadi, Abdullah M; Dickinson, Matthew; Al-Hammadi, Mohammed S; Al-Shariqi, Rashid; Al-Yahyai, Rashid A; Kazerooni, Elham A; Bertaccini, Assunta

    2016-01-01

    Witches' broom disease of lime (WBDL) is a serious phytoplasma disease of acid lime in Oman, the UAE and Iran. Despite efforts to study it, no systemic study attempted to characterize the relationship among the associated phytoplasma, 'Candidatus Phytoplasma aurantifolia', from the three countries. This study utilized sequences of the 16S rRNA, imp and secA genes to characterize 57 strains collected from Oman (38), the UAE (9) and Iran (10). Phylogenetic analysis based on the 16S rRNA gene showed that the 57 strains shared 98.5-100 % nucleotide similarity to each other and to strains of 'Ca. P. aurantifolia' available in GenBank. The level of genetic diversity was low based on the 16S rRNA (0-0.011), imp (0-0.002) and secA genes (0-0.015). The presence of low level of diversity among phytoplasma strains from Oman, the UAE and Iran can be explained by the movement of infected lime seedlings from one country to another through trading and exchange of infected plants. The study discusses implication of the findings on WBDL spread and management.

  18. 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...

  19. ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma luffae’, a novel taxon associated with a witches’-broom disease of loofah, Luffa aegyptica Mill

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The phytoplasma associated with witches’ broom disease of loofah (Luffa aegyptica Mill., syn. L.uffa cylindrica (L.) M.J. Roem.) in Taiwan was classified in group 16SrVIII, subgroup A (16SrVIII-A), based on results from actual and in silico RFLP analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences. Nucleotide sequ...

  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. 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...

  2. 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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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 phytoplasm...

  4. 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.

  5. Evaluation of the DNA-dependent RNA polymerase ß-subunit gene (rpoB) for phytoplasma classification and phylogeny

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Phytoplasmas are classified into 16Sr groups, subgroups, and ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma’ species, largely or entirely based on analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences. Yet, distinctions among closely related ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma’ species and strains based on 16S rRNA gene sequences alone has limitation...

  6. First report of association of potato virus X and potato virus Y and 'Candidatus Phytoplasma trifolii' in brinjal in India.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Manish; Katiyar, Akshay; Madhupriya; Rao, G P

    2016-06-01

    Symptoms of little leaf, leaf chlorosis and leaf malformations with mosaic mottling symptoms were observed in two brinjal varieties (Pusa Shyamla and Pusa Purple Cluster) in fields of IARI, New Delhi, India during 2014-2015. Electron microscopy, PCR and sequence analysis first time provided evidence of association of Candidatus Phytoplasma trifolii with potato virus X and potato virus Y in brinjal in India.

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. A simple and rapid protocol of crude DNA extraction from apple trees for PCR and real-time PCR detection of 'Candidatus Phytoplasma mali'.

    PubMed

    Aldaghi, M; Massart, S; Dutrecq, O; Bertaccini, A; Jijakli, M H; Lepoivre, P

    2009-03-01

    Different PCR protocols have been established for detection of European fruit trees phytoplasmas; however the majority of the procedures for extracting phytoplasma DNA are complex, time consuming, and expensive, with a risk of contamination or loss of target DNA. In present study, a crude extract preparation method previously used to detect other plant pathogens was adapted to samples from apple trees infected by 'Candidatus Phytoplasma mali'. End-point and real-time PCR detection of 'Ca. P. mali' were used to compare this extraction procedure with an established method for efficient extraction of purified DNA. The crude extract proved fully adequate for phytoplasma detection in samples from 86 in vitro and 35 in vivo apple shoots or plants and 10 periwinkle plants. High inter- and intra-run reproducibility was obtained for phytoplasma detection with different TaqMan MGB- or SYBR Green-based real-time PCR protocols applied to the crude extracts. Real-time PCR applied to serially diluted crude and purified extracts revealed the same phytoplasma detection limit (dilution up to 10(5)). All results confirm the suitability of this simple, quick, efficient extraction technique for accurate detection of 'Ca. P. mali' in different types of apple and periwinkle samples.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Phytoplasma protein effector SAP11 enhances insect vector reproduction by manipulating plant development and defense hormone biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Sugio, Akiko; Kingdom, Heather N; MacLean, Allyson M; Grieve, Victoria M; Hogenhout, Saskia A

    2011-11-29

    Phytoplasmas are insect-transmitted phytopathogenic bacteria that can alter plant morphology and the longevity and reproduction rates and behavior of their insect vectors. There are various examples of animal and plant parasites that alter the host phenotype to attract insect vectors, but it is unclear how these parasites accomplish this. We hypothesized that phytoplasmas produce effectors that modulate specific targets in their hosts leading to the changes in plant development and insect performance. Previously, we sequenced and mined the genome of Aster Yellows phytoplasma strain Witches' Broom (AY-WB) and identified 56 candidate effectors. Here, we report that the secreted AY-WB protein 11 (SAP11) effector modulates plant defense responses to the advantage of the AY-WB insect vector Macrosteles quadrilineatus. SAP11 binds and destabilizes Arabidopsis CINCINNATA (CIN)-related TEOSINTE BRANCHED1, CYCLOIDEA, PROLIFERATING CELL FACTORS 1 and 2 (TCP) transcription factors, which control plant development and promote the expression of lipoxygenase (LOX) genes involved in jasmonate (JA) synthesis. Both the Arabidopsis SAP11 lines and AY-WB-infected plants produce less JA on wounding. Furthermore, the AY-WB insect vector produces more offspring on AY-WB-infected plants, SAP11 transgenic lines, and plants impaired in CIN-TCP and JA synthesis. Thus, SAP11-mediated destabilization of CIN-TCPs leads to the down-regulation of LOX2 expression and JA synthesis and an increase in M. quadrilineatus progeny. Phytoplasmas are obligate inhabitants of their plant host and insect vectors, in which the latter transmits AY-WB to a diverse range of plant species. This finding demonstrates that pathogen effectors can reach beyond the pathogen-host interface to modulate a third organism in the biological interaction.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Novel insertion sequence-like elements in phytoplasma strains of the aster yellows group are putative new members of the IS3 family.

    PubMed

    Lee, I-M; Zhao, Y; Bottner, K D

    2005-01-15

    Novel insertion sequence (IS)-like elements were isolated and characterized from phytoplasma strains in the aster yellows (AY) group (16SrI). The IS-like elements were cloned from phytoplasma strains AY1 and NJAY or PCR-amplified from 15 additional strains representing nine subgroups in the AY group using primers based on sequences of the putative transposases (Tpases). All IS-like elements contained sequences encoding similar Tpases of 321 amino acids (320 for strain CPh). Substantial amino acid sequence variability suggested multiple species of Tpases or IS-like elements exist in the AY phytoplasma group. These Tpases have an identical DDE motif that is most similar to the DDE consensus of Tpases in the IS3 family.

  19. 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

  20. A gene expression analysis of cell wall biosynthetic genes in Malus x domestica infected by 'Candidatus Phytoplasma mali'.

    PubMed

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

    2012-11-01

    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.

  1. ‘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...

  2. Characterization and molecular differentiation of 16SrI-E and 16SrIX-E phytoplasmas associated with blueberry stunt disease in New Jersey

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A nested PCR assay was employed to detect the presence of phytoplasmas associated with 127 symptomatic blueberry plants collected during the 2010 and 2011 growing seasons from 11 commercial farms predominantly located in two major blueberry-growing counties in New Jersey, USA. Ninety plants exhibit...

  3. New subgroup 16SrIII-V phytoplasmas associated with false-blossom diseased cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) plants and with known and potential insect vectors in New Jersey

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The identity of the presumed phytoplasmal pathogen associated with cranberry false-blossom disease has never been fully clarified. In the present study a molecular-based procedure was employed to determine the identity of the phytoplasma. Tissues of cranberry plants exhibiting cranberry false-bloss...

  4. A plasmid from a non-insect-transmissible line of a phytoplasma lacks two open reading frames that exist in the plasmid from the wild-type line.

    PubMed

    Nishigawa, Hisashi; Oshima, Kenro; Kakizawa, Shigeyuki; Jung, Hee-Young; Kuboyama, Tsutomu; Miyata, Shin-ichi; Ugaki, Masashi; Namba, Shigetou

    2002-10-02

    Two novel rolling circle replication (RCR) plasmids, pOYM (3932 nt) and pOYNIM (3062 nt), were isolated from a mildly pathogenic variant line (OY-M) and a mildly pathogenic plus non-insect-transmissible line (OY-NIM), respectively, of onion yellows (OY) phytoplasma, a plant and insect endocellular mollicute. OY-M was isolated from an original wild-type line (OY-W) after regular maintenance using alternate plant/insect infections, while OY-NIM was further isolated from OY-M after maintenance by plant grafting without insect vectors. The RCR-initiator proteins (Rep) of both plasmids, which have a characteristic structure with both plasmid- and virus-like domains, were highly homologous to that of a previously described OY-W plasmid, pOYW (3933 nt), and were expressed in OY-M- and OY-NIM-infected plants, indicating that this replicon is stably maintained in the phytoplasma. Interestingly, pOYNIM lacked two ORFs that exist in both pOYW and pOYM, which encode a single-stranded DNA binding protein (SSB) and an uncharacterized putative membrane protein, indicating that these two proteins are not necessary for the phytoplasma to live in plant cells. These are the first candidates as phytoplasma proteins possibly related to host specificity.

  5. 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...

  6. 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.

  7. Detection and identification of the heterogeneous novel subgroup 16SrXIII-(A/I)I phytoplasma associated with strawberry green petal disease and Mexican periwinkle virescence.

    PubMed

    Pérez-López, Edel; Dumonceaux, Tim J

    2016-11-01

    Phytoplasmas (species of the genus 'CandidatusPhytoplasma') are insect-vectored phytopathogenic bacteria associated with economically and ecologically important crop diseases. Strawberry production represents an important part of agricultural activity in Mexico and elsewhere, and infection of plants with phytoplasma renders the fruit inedible by altering plant development, resulting in virescence and phyllody. In this study we examined samples taken from four strawberry plants showing symptoms associated with strawberry green petal disease and from two periwinkle plants showing virescence, sampled in different areas of Mexico. Analysis of the 16S rRNA-encoding sequences showed that the plants were infected with a phytoplasma previously identified as Mexican periwinkle virescence (MPV; 16SrXIII). Examination of bacterial sequences from these samples revealed that two distinct 16S rRNA gene sequences were present in each sample along with a single chaperonin-60 (cpn60) sequence and a single rpoB sequence, suggesting that this strain displays 16S rRNA gene sequence heterogeneity. Two distinct rrn operons, identified with subgroup 16SrXIII-A and the newly described subgroup 16SrXIII-I, were identified from the six samples analyzed, delineating the novel subgroup 16SrXIII-(A/I)I, following the nomenclature proposed for heterogeneous subgroups.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Detection and variability of aster yellows phytoplasma titer in its insect vector, Macrosteles quadrilineatus (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae).

    PubMed

    Frost, K E; Willis, D K; Groves, R L

    2011-12-01

    The aster yellows phytoplasma (AYp) is transmitted by the aster leafhopper, Macrosteles quadrilineatus Forbes, in a persistent and propagative manner. To study AYp replication and examine the variability of AYp titer in individual aster leafhoppers, we developed a quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction assay to measure AYp concentration in insect DNA extracts. Absolute quantification of AYp DNA was achieved by comparing the amplification of unknown amounts of an AYp target gene sequence, elongation factor TU (tuf), from whole insect DNA extractions, to the amplification of a dilution series containing known quantities of the tuf gene sequence cloned into a plasmid. The capabilities and limitations of this method were assessed by conducting time course experiments that varied the incubation time of AYp in the aster leafhopper from 0 to 9 d after a 48 h acquisition access period on an AYp-infected plant. Average AYp titer was measured in 107 aster leafhoppers and, expressed as Log10 (copies/insect), ranged from 3.53 (+/- 0.07) to 6.26 (+/- 0.11) occurring at one and 7 d after the acquisition access period. AYp titers per insect and relative to an aster leafhopper chromosomal reference gene, cp6 wingless (cp6), increased approximately 100-fold in insects that acquired the AYp. High quantification cycle values obtained for aster leafhoppers not exposed to an AYp-infected plant were interpreted as background and used to define a limit of detection for the quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction assay. This method will improve our ability to study biological factors governing AYp replication in the aster leafhopper and determine if AYp titer is associated with frequency of transmission.

  11. Multiple infection of apple trees by distinct strains of 'Candidatus Phytoplasma mali' and its pathological relevance.

    PubMed

    Seemüller, Erich; Kiss, Emese; Sule, Sandor; Schneider, Bernd

    2010-09-01

    Forty-eight apple trees infected by 'Candidatus Phytoplasma mali' were examined using single-strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) and sequence analysis of a variable hflB gene fragment and the immunodominant membrane protein-encoding imp gene. SSCP analysis of polymerase chain reaction-amplified hflB gene fragments revealed diverse profiles, differing in number and position of the bands. The 'Ca. P. mali' content of a single infected apple tree was termed an accession. Cloning of fragments from accessions that yielded fewer bands resulted in clone populations showing uniform or moderately polymorphic SSCP patterns and largely homogenous nucleotide sequences. In contrast, inserts from accessions yielding more bands were heterogeneous and formed two to four distinct groups of profiles. DNA fragments from such accessions were diverse and clustered distantly when subjected to phylogenetic analysis, mostly as two homogenous groups plus one or a few other sequences. Similar results were obtained upon imp gene examination. The collective data indicate that accessions exhibiting more complex patterns were composed of two or three distinct 'Ca. P. mali' strains. There is evidence that multiple infections are of pathological relevance due to strain interactions leading to shifts in the populations. In triply infected trees of one accession, no specific symptoms were induced by the presence of two of the strains. The rare appearance of pronounced symptoms was associated with a separate strain that possessed a unique SSCP profile and a unique hflB sequence. The two mild strains from this apple accession also induced only mild symptoms on periwinkle and tobacco and occurred specifically in one of these plants.

  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. 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

  14. Weedy hosts and prevalence of potential leafhopper vectors (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae) of a phytoplasma (16SrIX group) associated with Huanglongbing symptoms in citrus groves.

    PubMed

    Marques, R N; Teixeira, D C; Yamamoto, P T; Lopes, J R S

    2012-04-01

    Huanglongbing (HLB) is a severe citrus (Citrus spp.) disease associated with the bacteria genus Candidatus Liberibacter, detected in Brazil in 2004. Another bacterium was found in association with HLB symptoms and characterized as a phytoplasma belonging to the 16SrIX group. The objectives of this study were to identify potential leafhopper vectors of the HLB-associated phytoplasma and their host plants. Leafhoppers were sampled every other week for 12 mo with sticky yellow cards placed at two heights (0.3 and 1.5 m) in the citrus tree canopy and by using a sweep net in the ground vegetation of two sweet orange, Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck, groves infected by the HLB-phytoplasma in São Paulo state. Faunistic analyses indicated one Agalliinae (Agallia albidula Uhler) and three Deltocephalinae [Balclutha hebe (Kirkaldy), Planicephalus flavicosta (Stål), and Scaphytopius (Convelinus) marginelineatus (Stål)] species, as the most abundant and frequent leafhoppers (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae). Visual observations indicated an association of leafhopper species with some weeds and the influence of weed species composition on leafhopper abundance in low-lying vegetation. S. marginelineatus and P. flavicosta were more frequent on Sida rhombifolia L. and Althernantera tenella Colla, respectively, whereas A. albidula was observed more often on Conyza bonariensis (L.) Cronq. and B. hebe only occurred on grasses. DNA samples of field-collected S. marginelineatus were positive by polymerase chain reaction and sequencing tests for the presence of the HLB-phytoplasma group, indicating it as a potential vector. The association of leafhoppers with their hosts may be used in deciding which management strategies to adopt against weeds and diseases in citrus orchards.

  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).

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. A few sequence polymorphisms among isolates of Maize bushy stunt phytoplasma associate with organ proliferation symptoms of infected maize plants

    PubMed Central

    Orlovskis, Zigmunds; Canale, Maria Cristina; Haryono, Mindia; Lopes, João Roberto Spotti

    2017-01-01

    Background and Aims Maize bushy stunt phytoplasma (MBSP) is a bacterial pathogen of maize (Zea mays L.) across Latin America. MBSP belongs to the 16SrI-B sub-group within the genus ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma’. MBSP and its insect vector Dalbulus maidis (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae) are restricted to maize; both are thought to have coevolved with maize during its domestication from a teosinte-like ancestor. MBSP-infected maize plants show a diversity of symptoms. and it is likely that MBSP is under strong selection for increased virulence and insect transmission on maize hybrids that are widely grown in Brazil. In this study it was investigated whether the differences in genome sequences of MBSP isolates from two maize-growing regions in South-east Brazil explain variations in symptom severity of the MBSP isolates on various maize genotypes. Methods MBSP isolates were collected from maize production fields in Guaíra and Piracicaba in South-east Brazil for infection assays. One representative isolate was chosen for de novo whole-genome assembly and for the alignment of sequence reads from the genomes of other phytoplasma isolates to detect polymorphisms. Statistical methods were applied to investigate the correlation between variations in disease symptoms of infected maize plants and MBSP sequence polymorphisms. Key Results MBSP isolates contributed consistently to organ proliferation symptoms and maize genotype to leaf necrosis, reddening and yellowing of infected maize plants. The symptom differences are associated with polymorphisms in a phase-variable lipoprotein, which is a candidate effector, and an ATP-dependent lipoprotein ABC export protein, whereas no polymorphisms were observed in other candidate effector genes. Lipoproteins and ABC export proteins activate host defence responses, regulate pathogen attachment to host cells and activate effector secretion systems in other pathogens. Conclusions Polymorphisms in two putative virulence genes among MBSP isolates

  19. Seasonal patterns of aster leafhopper (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae) abundance and aster yellows phytoplasma infectivity in Wisconsin carrot fields.

    PubMed

    Frost, K E; Esker, P D; Van Haren, R; Kotolski, L; Groves, R L

    2013-06-01

    In Wisconsin, vegetable crops are threatened annually by the aster yellows phytoplasma (AYp), which is obligately transmitted by the aster leafhopper. Using a multiyear, multilocation data set, seasonal patterns of leafhopper abundance and infectivity were modeled. A seasonal aster yellows index (AYI) was deduced from the model abundance and infectivity predictions to represent the expected seasonal risk of pathogen transmission by infectious aster leafhoppers. The primary goal of this study was to identify periods of time during the growing season when crop protection practices could be targeted to reduce the risk of AYp spread. Based on abundance and infectivity, the annual exposure of the carrot crop to infectious leafhoppers varied by 16- and 70-fold, respectively. Together, this corresponded to an estimated 1,000-fold difference in exposure to infectious leafhoppers. Within a season, exposure of the crop to infectious aster leafhoppers (Macrosteles quadrilineatus Forbes), varied threefold because of abundance and ninefold because of infectivity. Periods of above average aster leafhopper abundance occurred between 11 June and 2 August and above average infectivity occurred between 27 May and 13 July. A more comprehensive description of the temporal trends of aster leafhopper abundance and infectivity provides new information defining when the aster leafhopper moves into susceptible crop fields and when they transmit the pathogen to susceptible crops.

  20. Genome-Wide Identification and Analysis of MicroRNAs Involved in Witches’-Broom Phytoplasma Response in Ziziphus jujuba

    PubMed Central

    Shao, Fenjuan; Zhang, Qian; Liu, Hongwei; Lu, Shanfa; Qiu, Deyou

    2016-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play an important role in responding to biotic and abiotic stresses in plants. Jujube witches’-broom a phytoplasma disease of Ziziphus jujuba is prevalent in China and is a serious problem to the industry. However, the molecular mechanism of the disease is poorly understood. In this study, genome-wide identification and analysis of microRNAs in response to witches’-broom was performed. A total of 85 conserved miRNA unique sequences belonging to 32 miRNA families and 24 novel miRNA unique sequences, including their complementary miRNA* strands were identified from small RNA libraries derived from a uninfected and witches’-broom infected Z. jujuba plant. Differentially expressed miRNAs associated with Jujube witches’-broom disease were investigated between the two libraries, and 12 up-regulated miRNAs and 10 down- regulated miRNAs identified with more than 2 fold changes. Additionally, 40 target genes of 85 conserved miRNAs and 49 target genes of 24 novel miRNAs were predicted and their putative functions assigned. Using the modified 5’-RACE method, we confirmed that SPL and MYB were cleaved by miR156 and miR159, respectively. Our results provide insight into the molecular mechanisms of witches’-broom disease in Z. jujuba. PMID:27824938

  1. Genome-Wide Identification and Analysis of MicroRNAs Involved in Witches'-Broom Phytoplasma Response in Ziziphus jujuba.

    PubMed

    Shao, Fenjuan; Zhang, Qian; Liu, Hongwei; Lu, Shanfa; Qiu, Deyou

    2016-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play an important role in responding to biotic and abiotic stresses in plants. Jujube witches'-broom a phytoplasma disease of Ziziphus jujuba is prevalent in China and is a serious problem to the industry. However, the molecular mechanism of the disease is poorly understood. In this study, genome-wide identification and analysis of microRNAs in response to witches'-broom was performed. A total of 85 conserved miRNA unique sequences belonging to 32 miRNA families and 24 novel miRNA unique sequences, including their complementary miRNA* strands were identified from small RNA libraries derived from a uninfected and witches'-broom infected Z. jujuba plant. Differentially expressed miRNAs associated with Jujube witches'-broom disease were investigated between the two libraries, and 12 up-regulated miRNAs and 10 down- regulated miRNAs identified with more than 2 fold changes. Additionally, 40 target genes of 85 conserved miRNAs and 49 target genes of 24 novel miRNAs were predicted and their putative functions assigned. Using the modified 5'-RACE method, we confirmed that SPL and MYB were cleaved by miR156 and miR159, respectively. Our results provide insight into the molecular mechanisms of witches'-broom disease in Z. jujuba.

  2. 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...

  3. Multilocus sequence analysis reveals the genetic diversity of European fruit tree phytoplasmas and supports the existence of inter-species recombination.

    PubMed

    Danet, Jean Luc; Balakishiyeva, Gulnara; Cimerman, Agnès; Sauvion, Nicolas; Marie-Jeanne, Véronique; Labonne, Gérard; Lavina, Amparo; Batlle, Assumpcio; Krizanac, Ivana; Skoric, Dijana; Ermacora, Paolo; Serçe, Cigdem Ulubas; Caglayan, Kadriye; Jarausch, Wolfgang; Foissac, Xavier

    2011-02-01

    The genetic diversity of three temperate fruit tree phytoplasmas 'Candidatus Phytoplasma prunorum', 'Ca. P. mali' and 'Ca. P. pyri' has been established by multilocus sequence analysis. Among the four genetic loci used, the genes imp and aceF distinguished 30 and 24 genotypes, respectively, and showed the highest variability. Percentage of substitution for imp ranged from 50 to 68 % according to species. Percentage of substitution varied between 9 and 12 % for aceF, whereas it was between 5 and 6 % for pnp and secY. In the case of 'Ca P. prunorum' the three most prevalent aceF genotypes were detected in both plants and insect vectors, confirming that the prevalent isolates are propagated by insects. The four isolates known to be hypo-virulent had the same aceF sequence, indicating a possible monophyletic origin. Haplotype network reconstructed by eBURST revealed that among the 34 haplotypes of 'Ca. P. prunorum', the four hypo-virulent isolates also grouped together in the same clade. Genotyping of some Spanish and Azerbaijanese 'Ca. P. pyri' isolates showed that they shared some alleles with 'Ca. P. prunorum', supporting for the first time to our knowledge, the existence of inter-species recombination between these two species.

  4. The AAA+ ATPases and HflB/FtsH proteases of 'Candidatus Phytoplasma mali': phylogenetic diversity, membrane topology, and relationship to strain virulence.

    PubMed

    Seemüller, Erich; Sule, Sandor; Kube, Michael; Jelkmann, Wilhelm; Schneider, Bernd

    2013-03-01

    Previous examination revealed a correlation of phytopathogenic data of 'Candidatus Phytoplasma mali' strains and the DNA sequence variability of a type ATP00464 hflB gene fragment. To further investigate such a relationship, all distinct genes previously annotated as hflB in the genome of 'Ca. P. mali' strain AT were fully sequenced and analyzed from a number of representative mild, moderate, and severe strains. The re-annotation indicated that the sequences encode six AAA+ ATPases and six HflB proteases. Each of the nine distinct deduced AAA+ proteins that were examined formed a coherent phylogenetic cluster. However, within these groups, sequences of three ATPases and three proteases from mild and severe strains clustered distantly, according to their virulence. This grouping was supported by an association with virulence-related amino acid substitutions. Another finding was that full-length genes from ATPase AP11 could only be identified in mild and moderate strains. Prediction of the membrane topology indicated that the long ATPase- and protease-carrying C-terminal tails of approximately half of the AAA+ proteins are extracellular, putatively facing the environment of the sieve tubes. Thus, they may be involved in pathogen-host interactions and may compromise phloem function, a major effect of phytoplasma infection. All full-length genes examined appear transcriptionally active and all deduced peptides show the key positions indicative for protein function.

  5. 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

  6. Comparing the spatial genetic structures of the Flavescence dorée phytoplasma and its leafhopper vector Scaphoideus titanus.

    PubMed

    Papura, D; Delmotte, F; Giresse, X; Salar, P; Danet, J L; Van Helden, M; Foissac, X; Malembic-Maher, S

    2009-09-01

    The Nearctic leafhopper Scaphoideus titanus Ball is the vector of "Flavescence dorée" phytoplasma (FDp) in European vineyards. We studied the genetic diversity and structure of S. titanus populations in France and of the FDp they carried. A total of 621 S. titanus individuals, sampled in 24 FDp-infected and uninfected vineyards, were genotyped using seven polymorphic microsatellite loci. The mean observed heterozygosity in S. titanus populations was between 0.364 and 0.548. There was evidence of only a low level of population genetic differentiation (mean F(ST)=0.027) suggesting that there is long-distance gene flow between S. titanus populations. This may be a consequence of the high migration capacity of the vector associated with large effective population size and, at least in part, of passive dispersion over long distances by the transport of grapevine-planting material carrying eggs. For each insect, FDp was detected and typed by nested-PCR followed by RFLP and sequencing of a 674 bp fragment of the FDp map gene. Twelve of the 24 populations were found to be infected by FDp, with the percentage of infected individuals varying from 3% to 29%. FDp isolates were classified into two FDp genetic clusters (FD1 and FD2), which differed by 12-13 SNPs. FD1 genotypes were detected in the insect populations at two sites and the FD2 genotypes in the other ten populations. Both FD1 and FD2 genotypes were found to be transmitted by the insect. No significant relationship was found between the genetic structure of these French S. titanus populations and the distribution of the various FDp strain types they carried. Nevertheless, overall genetic differentiation between FDp-infected and healthy S. titanus "subsamples" was found to be significantly higher than zero. These results suggest that FDp-infected S. titanus individuals are more philopatric (disperse less) than healthy S. titanus.

  7. 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.

  8. Agent Orange

    MedlinePlus

    ... Index Agent Orange Agent Orange Home Facts about Herbicides Veterans' Diseases Birth Defects Benefits Exposure Locations Provider ... Orange Parkinson’s Awareness Month Were you exposed to herbicides during service and have Parkinson’s disease? You may ...

  9. 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

  10. Antibiotic Agents

    MedlinePlus

    ... producing ). Examples of this type are the alcohols, chlorine, peroxides, and aldehydes. The second group consists mostly ... viruses have some kind of antibacterial agent. Alcohols, chlorine and peroxides have been used for many decades ...

  11. Agent Orange

    MedlinePlus

    ... Z) Hepatitis HIV Mental Health Mental Health Home Suicide Prevention Substance Abuse Military Sexual Trauma PTSD Research ( ... eligible Veterans a free Agent Orange Registry health exam for possible long-term health problems related to ...

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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…

  16. Pathogen-Induced Leaf Chlorosis: Products of Chlorophyll Breakdown Found in Degreened Leaves of Phytoplasma-Infected Apple (Malus × domestica Borkh.) and Apricot (Prunus armeniaca L.) Trees Relate to the Pheophorbide a Oxygenase/Phyllobilin Pathway.

    PubMed

    Mittelberger, Cecilia; Yalcinkaya, Hacer; Pichler, Christa; Gasser, Johanna; Scherzer, Gerhard; Erhart, Theresia; Schumacher, Sandra; Holzner, Barbara; Janik, Katrin; Robatscher, Peter; Müller, Thomas; Kräutler, Bernhard; Oberhuber, Michael

    2017-04-05

    Phytoplasmoses such as apple proliferation (AP) and European stone fruit yellows (ESFY) cause severe economic losses in fruit production. A common symptom of both phytoplasma diseases is early yellowing or leaf chlorosis. Even though chlorosis is a well-studied symptom of biotic and abiotic stresses, its biochemical pathways are hardly known. In particular, in this context, a potential role of the senescence-related pheophorbide a oxygenase/phyllobilin (PaO/PB) pathway is elusive, which degrades chlorophyll (Chl) to phyllobilins (PBs), most notably to colorless nonfluorescent Chl catabolites (NCCs). In this work, we identified the Chl catabolites in extracts of healthy senescent apple and apricot leaves. In extracts of apple tree leaves, a total of 12 Chl catabolites were detected, and in extracts of leaves of the apricot tree 16 Chl catabolites were found. The seven major NCC fractions in the leaves of both fruit tree species were identical and displayed known structures. All of the major Chl catabolites were also found in leaf extracts from AP- or ESFY-infected trees, providing the first evidence that the PaO/PB pathway is relevant also for pathogen-induced chlorosis. This work supports the hypothesis that Chl breakdown in senescence and phytoplasma infection proceeds via a common pathway in some members of the Rosaceae family.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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 ...

  20. 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

  1. 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…

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Chemical warfare agents.

    PubMed

    Kuca, Kamil; Pohanka, Miroslav

    2010-01-01

    Chemical warfare agents are compounds of different chemical structures. Simple molecules such as chlorine as well as complex structures such as ricin belong to this group. Nerve agents, vesicants, incapacitating agents, blood agents, lung-damaging agents, riot-control agents and several toxins are among chemical warfare agents. Although the use of these compounds is strictly prohibited, the possible misuse by terrorist groups is a reality nowadays. Owing to this fact, knowledge of the basic properties of these substances is of a high importance. This chapter briefly introduces the separate groups of chemical warfare agents together with their members and the potential therapy that should be applied in case someone is intoxicated by these agents.

  5. Delta agent (Hepatitis D)

    MedlinePlus

    ... this page: //medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000216.htm Delta agent (Hepatitis D) To use the sharing features on this page, please enable JavaScript. Delta agent is a type of virus called hepatitis ...

  6. Animal Capture Agents

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1990-01-01

    agents and delivery systems reviewed . Questionnaires were sent to 137 Air Force bases to obtain information about the chemical agents and delivery systems...used by animal control personnel. A literature review included chemical agents, delivery methods, toxicity information and emergency procedures from...34-like agent. Users should familiarize themselves with catatonia in general and particularly that its successful use as an immobilizer doesn’t necessarily

  7. 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.

  8. Intelligent Agents: A Primer.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yu, Edmund; Feldman, Susan

    1999-01-01

    Provides an in-depth introduction to the various technologies that are bringing intelligent agents into the forefront of information technology, explaining how such agents work, the standards involved, and how agent-based applications can be developed. (Author/AEF)

  9. 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.

  10. Moral actor, selfish agent.

    PubMed

    Frimer, Jeremy A; Schaefer, Nicola K; Oakes, Harrison

    2014-05-01

    People are motivated to behave selfishly while appearing moral. This tension gives rise to 2 divergently motivated selves. The actor-the watched self-tends to be moral; the agent-the self as executor-tends to be selfish. Three studies present direct evidence of the actor's and agent's distinct motives. To recruit the self-as-actor, we asked people to rate the importance of various goals. To recruit the self-as-agent, we asked people to describe their goals verbally. In Study 1, actors claimed their goals were equally about helping the self and others (viz., moral); agents claimed their goals were primarily about helping the self (viz., selfish). This disparity was evident in both individualist and collectivist cultures, attesting to the universality of the selfish agent. Study 2 compared actors' and agents' motives to those of people role-playing highly prosocial or selfish exemplars. In content (Study 2a) and in the impressions they made on an outside observer (Study 2b), actors' motives were similar to those of the prosocial role-players, whereas agents' motives were similar to those of the selfish role-players. Study 3 accounted for the difference between the actor and agent: Participants claimed that their agent's motives were the more realistic and that their actor's motives were the more idealistic. The selfish agent/moral actor duality may account for why implicit and explicit measures of the same construct diverge, and why feeling watched brings out the better angels of human nature.

  11. 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.

  12. 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…

  13. 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.

  14. 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…

  15. Detecting Biological Warfare Agents

    PubMed Central

    Song, Linan; Ahn, Soohyoun

    2005-01-01

    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. PMID:16318712

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Topical hemostatic agents: a review.

    PubMed

    Palm, Melanie D; Altman, Jeffrey S

    2008-04-01

    Topical hemostatic agents play an important role in both common and specialized dermatologic procedures. These agents can be classified based on their mechanism of action and include physical or mechanical agents, caustic agents, biologic physical agents, and physiologic agents. Some agents induce protein coagulation and precipitation resulting in occlusion of small cutaneous vessels, while others take advantage of latter stages in the coagulation cascade, activating biologic responses to bleeding. Traditional and newer topical hemostatic agents are discussed in this review, and the benefits and costs of each agent will be provided.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Agility: Agent - Ility Architecture

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2002-10-01

    Figure 2: Overview of eGents 9 Specific scientific and engineering subgoals were: • develop a lightweight agent system that uses email- based ...applets makes them hard to operate over corporate firewalls. eGents e - mail based ACL bus imposes fewer requirements on agents that use it, and firewalls...do not pose a problem for an e - mail based ACL bus. While applets limit 35 JATLites range of applications, they also make JATlite easy to deploy

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. [Preparation of antineoplastic agents].

    PubMed

    Descoutures, J-M

    2006-01-01

    In the last fifteen years, the preparation of antineoplastic agents has tended to be centralized in the hospital pharmacy for two main reasons: to enable better protection for the staff, to enable better safety for the patient. The consequences of this organization have led to standardization of techniques, implementation of a quality system and also a better use of antineoplastic agents. After protocols have been standardized by the physician and validated by the pharmacist, four main steps are necessary: phamaceutical validation of the prescription, preparation of IV admixtures according to a production file, control of the final product, dispatching of the preparation to the patient. Computer-controlled processes guarantee the safety of these different steps. The centralized preparations are made either with a vertical laminar flow hood or with an isolator. With the implementation of the National Cancer Plan, antineoplastic agents for patients on home treatments will also be prepared in centralized hospital pharmacies.

  5. Polyphenols as antimicrobial agents.

    PubMed

    Daglia, Maria

    2012-04-01

    Polyphenols are secondary metabolites produced by higher plants, which play multiple essential roles in plant physiology and have potential healthy properties on human organism, mainly as antioxidants, anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, antihypertensive, and antimicrobial agents. In the present review the antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal activities of the most active polyphenol classes are reported, highlighting, where investigated, the mechanisms of action and the structure-activity relationship. Moreover, considering that the microbial resistance has become an increasing global problem, and there is a compulsory need to find out new potent antimicrobial agents as accessories to antibiotic therapy, the synergistic effect of polyphenols in combination with conventional antimicrobial agents against clinical multidrug-resistant microorganisms is discussed.

  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. Model Checking Normative Agent Organisations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dennis, Louise; Tinnemeier, Nick; Meyer, John-Jules

    We present the integration of a normative programming language in the MCAPL framework for model checking multi-agent systems. The result is a framework facilitating the implementation and verification of multi-agent systems coordinated via a normative organisation. The organisation can be programmed in the normative language while the constituent agents may be implemented in a number of (BDI) agent programming languages.

  8. 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.

  9. 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…

  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. Pharmacology of antiplatelet agents.

    PubMed

    Kalra, Kiran; Franzese, Christopher J; Gesheff, Martin G; Lev, Eli I; Pandya, Shachi; Bliden, Kevin P; Tantry, Udaya S; Gurbel, Paul A

    2013-12-01

    Pharmacotherapies with agents that inhibit platelet function have proven to be effective in the treatment of acute coronary syndromes, and in the prevention of complications during and after percutaneous coronary intervention. Because of multiple synergetic pathways of platelet activation and their close interplay with coagulation, current treatment strategies are based not only on platelet inhibition, but also on the attenuation of procoagulant activity, inhibition of thrombin generation, and enhancement of clot dissolution. Current strategies can be broadly categorized as anticoagulants, antiplatelet agents, and fibrinolytics. This review focuses on the pharmacology of current antiplatelet therapy primarily targeting the inhibition of the enzyme cyclooxygenase 1, the P2Y12 receptor, the glycoprotein IIb/IIIa receptor, and protease-activated receptor 1.

  12. [The antiretroviral agent Fullevir].

    PubMed

    Nosik, D N; Lialina, I K; Kalnina, L B; Lobach, O A; Chataeva, M S; Rasnetsov, L D

    2009-01-01

    The antiretroviral properties of Fullevir (sodium salt of fullerenepolyhydropolyaminocaproic acid) manufactured by IntelFarm Co.) were studied in the human cell culture infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The agent was ascertained to be able to protect the cell from the cytopathic action of HIV. The 90% effective concentration (EF90) was 5 microg/ml. The 50% average toxic concentration was 400 microg/ml. Testing of different (preventive and therapeutic) Fullevir dosage regimens has shown that the drug is effective when used both an hour before and an hour after infection and when administered simultaneously with cell infection. The longer contact time for the agent with the cells increased the degree of antiviral defense. Co-administration of Fullevir and the HIV reverse transcriptase inhibitor Retrovir (azidothymidine) showed a synergistic antiretroviral effect. Thus, Fullevir may be regarded as a new promising antiretroviral drug for the treatment of HIV infection.

  13. Intelligent Agent Integration Technology

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1998-04-01

    and Manipulation Language (KQML) specification under the DARPA-sponsored Knowledge Sharing Initiative and the developing of a scaleable and an... Shared Communication Ontology ’$" 10.3 IMPLEMENTATION 151 10.3.1 Intelligent Resource Agent Architecture ^ 10.3.2 Application to K-12 Education 153...DARPA-sponsored Knowledge Sharing Initiative, the developing a scaleable and an efficient implementation of information system components for

  14. Pathophysiology of Anticholinesterase Agents

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1988-07-07

    PATHOPHYSIOLOGY OF ANTICHOLINESTERASE AGENTS Annual and Final Report DTIC ! ELECTEI aohn E. Rash, Ph. D. ALCTRf Julie K. Elmund, Ph.D. July 7 , 1988...Ph.D. ..-,. July 7 , 1988 Dis t Supported by A __ U. S. ARMY MEDICAL RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT COMMAND Fort Detrick, Frederick, Maryland 21701-5012...samples for electron microscopic analysis from diaphragm, soleus and extensor digitorum longus (EDL) muscles at J hour and 1, 7 , 14, 21, and 56 days

  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. 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.

  18. Vaporizing Fire Extinguishing Agents

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1950-08-18

    the pro- ject under contract included: Dr. Earl T. McBee, Head, Chemistry Department; Dr. Zara D. Welch, Researbh Supervisor; and Dr’s T. R. Santelli...Aeronautics Authority kxperimental Station, Indianapolis, Indiana, which has supplied test data for inclusion in this report. The Medical Division of the...Development of sources of supply for agent anAL con- tainers. f. Service testing. This report oovers technical phases a, b, and a to 1 April 1950, and

  19. Agent Based Computing Machine

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-12-09

    coordinates as in cellular automata systems. But using biology as a model suggests that the most general systems must provide for partial, but constrained...17. SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OF 118. SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OF 19. SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OF 20. LIMITATION OF ABSTRA REPORT THIS PAGE ABSTRACT...system called an "agent based computing" machine (ABC Machine). The ABC Machine is motivated by cellular biochemistry and it is based upon a concept

  20. 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.

  1. Agents Technology Research

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-02-01

    62702F 6. AUTHOR(S) Robert Wright, Jeffrey Hudack, Nathaniel Gemelli, Steven Loscalzo, and Tsu Kong Lue 5d. PROJECT NUMBER 558S 5e. TASK...NAME OF RESPONSIBLE PERSON Robert Wright a. REPORT U b. ABSTRACT U c. THIS PAGE U 19b. TELEPHONE NUMBER (Include area code) N/A...avoided by the other agents removing the incentive to lie or free-load. This phenomenon is termed as the shadow of the future and was shown in Robert

  2. Newer antifungal agents.

    PubMed

    Türel, Ozden

    2011-03-01

    The frequency and spectrum of fungal infections have been increasing steadily over the last several decades. The reason for this increase may be explained by the increase in the number of immunocompromised patients due to malignancies, AIDS, invasive surgical procedures and transplantation. In parallel with this increase, several therapeutic options have become available but problems such as intrinsic or acquired antifungal resistance have led researchers to develop new antifungal drugs with expanded effectiveness. Reduced toxicity, enhancement of bioavailability and counteraction of resistance are features desired by clinicians. The aim of this article is to summarize the studies involving isavuconazole, ravuconazole, albaconazole, aminocandin and some other investigational antifungal agents. Most data on the clinical use of ravuconazole, isavuconazole and albaconazole are mainly available as meeting abstracts or limited to animal studies or Phase I/II studies in humans. These new antifungal agents in development offer extended half-lives, possibly reduced drug interaction profiles and good tolerance. In addition to activity against Candida and Aspergillus spp., they have a broad spectrum of activity including activity against resistant and emerging pathogens. The real possibilities of these agents will only be fully understood after adequate randomized clinical trials.

  3. Advanced scale conditioning agents

    SciTech Connect

    Davis, Jeff; Battaglia, Philip J.

    2004-06-01

    A technical description of Advanced Scale Conditioning Agents (ASCA) technology was published in the May-June 2003 edition of the Nuclear Plant Journal. That article described the development of programs of advanced scale conditioning agents and specific types to maintain the secondary side of steam generators within a pressurized water reactor free of deposited corrosion products and corrosion-inducing contaminants to ensure their long-term operation. This article describes the first two plant applications of advanced scale conditioning agents implemented at Southern Nuclear Operating Company's Vogtle Units 1 and 2 during their 2002 scheduled outages to minimize tube degradation and maintain full power operation using the most effective techniques while minimizing outage costs. The goal was to remove three to four fuel cycles of deposits from each steam generator so that after future chemical cleaning activities, ASCAs could be used to maintain the cleanliness of the steam generators without the need for additional chemical cleaning efforts. The goal was achieved as well as several other benefits that resulted in cost savings to the plant.

  4. Liposome encapsulation of chelating agents

    DOEpatents

    Rahman, Yueh Erh

    1976-01-13

    A method for transferring a chelating agent across a cellular membrane by encapsulating the charged chelating agent within liposomes and carrying the liposome-encapsulated chelating agent to the cellular membrane where the liposomes containing the chelating agent will be taken up by the cells, thereby transferring the chelating agent across the cellular membrane. A chelating agent can be introduced into the interior of a cell of a living organism wherein the liposomes will be decomposed, releasing the chelating agent to the interior of the cell. The released chelating agent will complex intracellularly deposited toxic heavy metals, permitting the more soluble metal complex to transfer across the cellular membrane from the cell and subsequently be removed from the living organism.

  5. 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.

  6. 13 CFR 107.1620 - Functions of agents, including Central Registration Agent, Selling Agent and Fiscal Agent.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... Assistance SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION SMALL BUSINESS INVESTMENT COMPANIES SBA Financial Assistance for... will appoint or cause to be appointed agent(s) to perform functions necessary to market and service... Fiscal Agent to: (i) Establish performance criteria for Poolers. (ii) Monitor and evaluate the...

  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

    ... Assistance SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION NEW MARKETS VENTURE CAPITAL (âNMVCâ) PROGRAM SBA Financial... financial markets to determine those factors that will minimize or reduce the cost of funding Debentures...) Agents. SBA may appoint or cause to be appointed agent(s) to perform functions necessary to market...

  8. 13 CFR 108.1620 - Functions of agents, including Central Registration Agent, Selling Agent and Fiscal Agent.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... Assistance SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION NEW MARKETS VENTURE CAPITAL (âNMVCâ) PROGRAM SBA Financial... financial markets to determine those factors that will minimize or reduce the cost of funding Debentures...) Agents. SBA may appoint or cause to be appointed agent(s) to perform functions necessary to market...

  9. 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

    ... Assistance SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION SMALL BUSINESS INVESTMENT COMPANIES SBA Financial Assistance for... will appoint or cause to be appointed agent(s) to perform functions necessary to market and service... Fiscal Agent to: (i) Establish performance criteria for Poolers. (ii) Monitor and evaluate the...

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Pharmacologic agents targeting autophagy

    PubMed Central

    Vakifahmetoglu-Norberg, Helin; Xia, Hong-guang; Yuan, Junying

    2015-01-01

    Autophagy is an important intracellular catabolic mechanism critically involved in regulating tissue homeostasis. The implication of autophagy in human diseases and the need to understand its regulatory mechanisms in mammalian cells have stimulated research efforts that led to the development of high-throughput screening protocols and small-molecule modulators that can activate or inhibit autophagy. Herein we review the current landscape in the development of screening technology as well as the molecules and pharmacologic agents targeting the regulatory mechanisms of autophagy. We also evaluate the potential therapeutic application of these compounds in different human pathologies. PMID:25654545

  13. 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.

  14. [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.

  15. Model Checking Agent Communication

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bentahar, J.; Meyer, J.-J. Ch.; Wan, W.

    Model checking is a formal and automatic technique used to verify computational systems (e.g. communication protocols) against given properties. The purpose of this chapter is to describe a model checking algorithm to verify communication protocols used by autonomous agents interacting using dialogue games, which are governed by a set of logical rules. We use a variant of Extended Computation Tree Logic CTL* for specifying these dialogue games and the properties to be checked. This logic, called ACTL*, extends CTL* by allowing formulae to constrain actions as well as states. The verification method uses an on-the-fly efficient algorithm. It is based on translating formulae into a variant of alternating tree automata called Alternating Büchi Tableau Automata (ABTA). We present a tableau-based version of this algorithm and provide the soundness, completeness, termination and complexity results. Two case studies are discussed along with their respective implementations to illustrate the proposed approach. The first one is about an agent-based negotiation protocol and the second one considers a modified version of the NetBill protocol.

  16. Cleaning agents and asthma.

    PubMed

    Quirce, S; Barranco, P

    2010-01-01

    Although cleaners represent a significant part of the working population worldwide, they remain a relatively understudied occupational group. Epidemiological studies have shown an association between cleaning work and asthma, but the risk factors are uncertain. Cleaning workers are exposed to a large variety of cleaning products containing both irritants and sensitizers, as well as to common indoor allergens and pollutants. Thus, the onset or aggravation of asthma in this group could be related to an irritant-induced mechanism or to specific sensitization. The main sensitizers contained in cleaning products are disinfectants, quaternary ammonium compounds (such as benzalkonium chloride), amine compounds, and fragrances.The strongest airway irritants in cleaning products are bleach (sodium hypochlorite), hydrochloric acid, and alkaline agents (ammonia and sodium hydroxide), which are commonly mixed together. Exposure to the ingredients of cleaning products may give rise to both new-onset asthma, with or without a latency period, and work-exacerbated asthma. High-level exposure to irritants may induce reactive airways dysfunction syndrome. Cleaning workers may also have a greater relative risk of developing asthma due to prolonged low-to-moderate exposure to respiratory irritants. In addition, asthma-like symptoms without confirmed asthma are also common after exposure to cleaning agents. In many cleaners, airway symptoms induced by chemicals and odors cannot be explained by allergic or asthmatic reactions. These patients may have increased sensitivity to inhaled capsaicin, which is known to reflect sensory reactivity, and this condition is termed airway sensory hyperreactivity.

  17. [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.

  18. Agent-Based Automated Algorithm Generator

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-01-12

    Detection and Isolation Agent (FDIA), Prognostic Agent (PA), Fusion Agent (FA), and Maintenance Mining Agent (MMA). FDI agents perform diagnostics...manner and loosely coupled). The library of D/P algorithms will be hosted in server-side agents, consisting of four types of major agents: Fault

  19. 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.

  20. Learning models of intelligent agents

    SciTech Connect

    Carmel, D.; Markovitch, S.

    1996-12-31

    Agents that operate in a multi-agent system need an efficient strategy to handle their encounters with other agents involved. Searching for an optimal interactive strategy is a hard problem because it depends mostly on the behavior of the others. In this work, interaction among agents is represented as a repeated two-player game, where the agents` objective is to look for a strategy that maximizes their expected sum of rewards in the game. We assume that agents` strategies can be modeled as finite automata. A model-based approach is presented as a possible method for learning an effective interactive strategy. First, we describe how an agent should find an optimal strategy against a given model. Second, we present an unsupervised algorithm that infers a model of the opponent`s automaton from its input/output behavior. A set of experiments that show the potential merit of the algorithm is reported as well.

  1. 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

  2. Peptide Antimicrobial Agents

    PubMed Central

    Jenssen, Håvard; Hamill, Pamela; Hancock, Robert E. W.

    2006-01-01

    Antimicrobial host defense peptides are produced by all complex organisms as well as some microbes and have diverse and complex antimicrobial activities. Collectively these peptides demonstrate a broad range of antiviral and antibacterial activities and modes of action, and it is important to distinguish between direct microbicidal and indirect activities against such pathogens. The structural requirements of peptides for antiviral and antibacterial activities are evaluated in light of the diverse set of primary and secondary structures described for host defense peptides. Peptides with antifungal and antiparasitic activities are discussed in less detail, although the broad-spectrum activities of such peptides indicate that they are important host defense molecules. Knowledge regarding the relationship between peptide structure and function as well as their mechanism of action is being applied in the design of antimicrobial peptide variants as potential novel therapeutic agents. PMID:16847082

  3. [Chemotherapeutic agents under study].

    PubMed

    Kawahara, S

    1998-12-01

    The development of new drugs with strong antituberculous activity and fewer side effects which are not cross-resistant to conventional antituberculosis drugs is urgently desired now. The chemotherapeutic agents under study which are considered a candidate for a new antituberculosis drug are listed below. 1) Rifamycin derivatives: rifabutin, rifapentin, KRM-1648, FCE-22250, 22807, CGP-7040, 27557, 29035, 29861, P-DEA, SPA-S-565, R-76-1. 2) New quinolones: ofloxacin, ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, sparfloxacin, gatifloxacin, CS-940, Du-6859a. 3) Phenazines: clofazimine, B746, B4101, B4154, B4157. 4) Pyrazinamide derivatives: N-hydroxy pyrazinamide, N-hydroxy pyrazinamide-4-oxide. 5) Nitroimidazole derivatives: metronidazole et al.

  4. Ultrasound contrast agents

    PubMed Central

    Ignee, Andre; Atkinson, Nathan S. S.; Schuessler, Gudrun; Dietrich, Christoph F.

    2016-01-01

    Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) plays an important role in imaging of the mediastinum and abdominal organs. Since the introduction of US contrast agents (UCA) for transabdominal US, attempts have been made to apply contrast-enhanced US techniques also to EUS. Since 2003, specific contrast-enhanced imaging was possible using EUS. Important studies have been published regarding contrast-enhanced EUS and the characterization of focal pancreatic lesions, lymph nodes, and subepithelial tumors. In this manuscript, we describe the relevant UCA, their application, and specific image acquisition as well as the principles of image tissue characterization using contrast-enhanced EUS. Safety issues, potential future developments, and EUS-specific issues are reviewed. PMID:27824024

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Agent-based enterprise integration

    SciTech Connect

    N. M. Berry; C. M. Pancerella

    1999-05-01

    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. Their 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; intelligently 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 their effort is the user; they are attempting to increase user productivity in the enterprise. This paper describes their design and early implementation and discusses their planned future work.

  8. Polymeric gastrointestinal MR contrast agents.

    PubMed

    Tilcock, C; Unger, E C; Ahkong, Q F; Fritz, T; Koenig, S H; Brown, R D

    1991-01-01

    Combining either paramagnetic (gadolinium chelates) or superparamagnetic (ferrite) contrast agents with polymers such as polyethylene glycol or cellulose, or with simple sugars such as dextrose, results in mixtures that exhibit improved T1 and/or T2 relaxivity compared with that of the contrast agent alone. It is suggested that the addition of such inexpensive and nontoxic polymers or saccharides may improve the effectiveness and decrease the cost of enteric contrast agents.

  9. Antithrombotic agents: implications in dentistry.

    PubMed

    Little, James W; Miller, Craig S; Henry, Robert G; McIntosh, Bruce A

    2002-05-01

    Thrombosis and the complicating emboli that can result are important causes of illness and death. Thrombosis is of greater overall clinical importance in terms of morbidity and mortality than all of the hemorrhagic disorders combined. Agents such as heparin, low-molecular weight heparin, warfarin, aspirin, ticlopidine, clopidogrel, and tirofiban are used to prevent venous or arterial thrombosis. Patients taking these antithrombotic agents may be at risk for excessive bleeding after invasive dental procedures. The current antithrombotic agents used in medicine are reviewed, and the dental management of patients taking these agents is discussed.

  10. 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

  11. The Agent of Change: The Agent of Conflict.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hatfield, C. R., Jr.

    This speech examines the role of change agents in third world societies and indicates that the change agent must, to some extent, manipulate the social situation, even if his view of society is a more optimistic one than he finds in reality. If he considers strains and stresses to be the lubricants of change, then his focus on conflict as a…

  12. 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.

  13. Contrast agents for MRI.

    PubMed

    Shokrollahi, H

    2013-12-01

    Contrast agents are divided into two categories. The first one is paramagnetic compounds, including lanthanides like gadolinium, which mainly reduce the longitudinal (T1) relaxation property and result in a brighter signal. The second class consists of super-paramagnetic magnetic nanoparticles (SPMNPs) such as iron oxides, which have a strong effect on the transversal (T2) relaxation properties. SPMNPs have the potential to be utilized as excellent probes for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). For instance, clinically benign iron oxide and engineered ferrite nanoparticles provide a good MRI probing capability for clinical applications. Furthermore, the limited magnetic property and inability to escape from the reticuloendothelial system (RES) of the used nanoparticles impede their further advancement. Therefore, it is necessary to develop the engineered magnetic nanoparticle probes for the next-generation molecular MRI. Considering the importance of MRI in diagnosing diseases, this paper presents an overview of recent scientific achievements in the development of new synthetic SPMNP probes whereby the sensitive and target-specific observation of biological events at the molecular and cellular levels is feasible.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Oral contraceptive agents.

    PubMed

    Shearman, R P

    1986-02-17

    The history of the development of oral contraceptives (OCs) has been a progressive reduction in dosage to what is now probably the lowest does that is compatible with the desired therapeutic effect -- to inhibit ovluation. Yet, controversy and argument continue. A table lists the OCs that are available in Australia. Many of these preparations, although having different trade names, have an identical composition. Since the withdrawal of sequential OCs from the Australian market, there are only 2 generic types. These are the progestogen only (mini) OCs, which consist of either 30 mcg of levonorgestrel or 350 mcg of norethisterone given at the same time every day; and the combined OCs, which contain an estrogen and a progestogen. In the last 12 months, some of the older high-dose OCs have been withdrawn, and it seems likely that further withdrawals will follow. Only 2 estrogens are used in the formulation of the OC, but there is a greater variety of progestogens. Ethinyl estradiol is used in most preparations. A small minority of OCs contain mestranol, the 3-methyl ether of ethinyl estradiol. Currently, there are only 4 OC agents that are available in Australia that contain mestranol and 2 of these contain the high doses of 100 mcg. Fundamentally, there are 2 types of progestogens -- those that contain, or are metabolized to, norethisterone and those that contain norgestrel or its close relative, desogestrel. With the exception of the norgestrel group and desogestrel, all other progestins, including norethisterone itself, are effective in vivo after they have been metablized to norethisterone. Mestranol is effective in humans after demethylation to ethinyl estradiol. In the norgesterel group, since d-norgestrel is inert endocrinologically, 250 mcg of levonorgestrel and 500 mcg of dl-norgestrel are equivalent. Levonorgestrel and desogestrel are of approximately equal potency. With the combined OC agents, the overwhelming mechanism of action is by the inhibition of the

  18. 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

    ... to: (i) Establish performance criteria for Poolers. (ii) Monitor and evaluate the financial markets..., DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE RURAL BUSINESS INVESTMENT COMPANY (âRBICâ) PROGRAM Financial Assistance for RBICs... or cause to be appointed agent(s) to perform functions necessary to market and service Debentures...

  19. 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

    ... to: (i) Establish performance criteria for Poolers. (ii) Monitor and evaluate the financial markets..., DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE RURAL BUSINESS INVESTMENT COMPANY (âRBICâ) PROGRAM Financial Assistance for RBICs... or cause to be appointed agent(s) to perform functions necessary to market and service Debentures...

  20. 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.

  1. Field Agent Activities: Level 1.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gussett, James

    One of a series of monographs providing information about the Delaware Model: A Systems Approach to Science Education (Del Mod System), this monograph describes the role of field agents. These agents are responsible for individual teachers who express a desire for involvement in improving teacher effectiveness and to be involved in the teaching of…

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  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. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Requirements Modeling with Agent Programming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dasgupta, Aniruddha; Krishna, Aneesh; Ghose, Aditya K.

    Agent-oriented conceptual modeling notations are highly effective in representing requirements from an intentional stance and answering questions such as what goals exist, how key actors depend on each other, and what alternatives must be considered. In this chapter, we review an approach to executing i* models by translating these into set of interacting agents implemented in the CASO language and suggest how we can perform reasoning with requirements modeled (both functional and non-functional) using i* models. In this chapter we particularly incorporate deliberation into the agent design. This allows us to benefit from the complementary representational capabilities of the two frameworks.

  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. 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

  14. Peripheral Neuropathy and Agent Orange

    MedlinePlus

    ... ZIP code here Enter ZIP code here Peripheral Neuropathy and Agent Orange VA presumes Veterans' early-onset ... percent disabling by VA's rating regulations. About peripheral neuropathy Peripheral neuropathy is a condition of the peripheral ...

  15. 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.

  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. Tissue Penetration of Antifungal Agents

    PubMed Central

    Felton, Timothy; Troke, Peter F.

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Understanding the tissue penetration of systemically administered antifungal agents is critical for a proper appreciation of their antifungal efficacy in animals and humans. Both the time course of an antifungal drug and its absolute concentrations within tissues may differ significantly from those observed in the bloodstream. In addition, tissue concentrations must also be interpreted within the context of the pathogenesis of the various invasive fungal infections, which differ significantly. There are major technical obstacles to the estimation of concentrations of antifungal agents in various tissue subcompartments, yet these agents, even those within the same class, may exhibit markedly different tissue distributions. This review explores these issues and provides a summary of tissue concentrations of 11 currently licensed systemic antifungal agents. It also explores the therapeutic implications of their distribution at various sites of infection. PMID:24396137

  18. 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 ...

  19. Peripheral Neuropathy and Agent Orange

    MedlinePlus

    ... Z) Hepatitis HIV Mental Health Mental Health Home Suicide Prevention Substance Abuse Military Sexual Trauma PTSD Research ( ... eligible for a free Agent Orange registry health exam . Research on peripheral neuropathy and herbicides The Health ...

  20. AL Amyloidosis and Agent Orange

    MedlinePlus

    ... Z) Hepatitis HIV Mental Health Mental Health Home Suicide Prevention Substance Abuse Military Sexual Trauma PTSD Research ( ... eligible for a free Agent Orange registry health exam . Surviving spouses, dependent children and dependent parents of ...

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Learning in multi-agent systems

    SciTech Connect

    Goldman, C.V.

    1996-12-31

    Learning agents acting in a multi agent environment can improve their performance. These agents might decide upon their course of action by learning about other agents with whom they interact. The learning agents can learn about the others information and rules of behavior. The agents will not need to plan their actions beforehand, each time they are asked to solve the same problem they have already solved or when dealing with similar problems.

  4. Collective behavior of predictive agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kephart, Jeffrey O.; Hogg, Tad; Huberman, Bernardo A.

    1990-06-01

    We investigate the effect of predictions upon a model of coevolutionary systems which was originally inspired by computational ecosystems. The model incorporates many of the features of distributed resource allocation in systems comprised of many individual agents, including asynchrony, resource contention, and decision-making based upon incomplete knowledge and delayed information. Previous analyses of a similar model of non-predictive agents have demonstrated that periodic or chaotic oscillations in resource allocation can occur under certain conditions, and that these oscillations can affect the performance of the system adversely. In this work, we show that the system performance can be improved if the agents do an adequate job of predicting the current state of the system. We explore two plausible methods for prediction - technical analysis and system analysis. Technical analysts are responsive to the behavior of the system, but suffer from an inability to take their own behavior into account. System analysts perform extremely well when they have very accurate information about the other agents in the system, but can perform very poorly when their information is even slightly inaccurate. By combining the strengths of both methods, we obtain a successful hybrid of the two prediction methods which adapts its model of other agents in response to the observed behavior of the system.

  5. 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

  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. 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.

  8. [Anti-influenza virus agent].

    PubMed

    Nakamura, Shigeki; Kohno, Shigeru

    2012-04-01

    The necessity of newly anti-influenza agents is increasing rapidly after the prevalence of pandemic influenza A (H1N1) 2009. In addition to the existing anti-influenza drugs, novel neuraminidase inhibitors such as peramivir (a first intravenous anti-influenza agent) and laninamivir (long acting inhaled anti-influenza agent) can be available. Moreover favipiravir, which shows a novel anti-influenza mechanism acting as RNA polymerase inhibitor, has been developing. These drugs are expected to improve the prognosis of severe cases caused by not only seasonal influenza but pandemic influenza A (H1N1) 2009 virus and H5N1 avian influenza, and also treat oseltamivir-resistant influenza effectively.

  9. 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.

  10. Learning Agents in Automated Negotiations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chandrashekhar, Hemalatha; Bhasker, Bharat

    In bilateral multi-issue negotiations involving two-sided information uncertainty, selfish agents participating in a distributed search of the solution space need to learn the opponent’s preferences from the on-going negotiation interactions and utilize such knowledge to construct future proposals in order to hope to arrive at efficient outcomes. Besides, negotiation support systems that inhibit strategic misrepresentation of information need to be in place in order to assist the protagonists to obtain truly efficient solutions. To this end, this work suggests an automated negotiation procedure that while protecting the information privacy of the participating agents encourages truthful revelation of information through successive proposals. Further we present an algorithm for proposal construction in the case of two continuous issues. When both the negotiating agents implement the algorithm the negotiation trace shall be confined to the Pareto frontier. The Pareto-optimal deal close to the Nash solution shall be located whenever such a deal exists.

  11. Landslides as agents of diversity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Geertsema, Marten

    2016-04-01

    Landslides, often destructive and damaging, are also agents of change that introduce diversity to landscapes. I discuss landslide diversity at three levels: site diversity, soil diversity, and habitat diversity. There are many landslide types involving different materials and rates and styles of movement. Landscape diversity varies with different types of landslides. Landslides, at the same time depositional and erosional agents, influence sites by redistributing materials and changing microtopography. Eroded portions of landslides, with exposed parent material, revert to the initial stages of soil development and ecological succession. Landslides can also alter soil properties including, surface texture, chemistry and porosity. Landslides influence habitat diversity by creating ecosystem mosaics.

  12. 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.

  13. Topical hemostatic agents for dermatologic surgery.

    PubMed

    Larson, P O

    1988-06-01

    Topical hemostatic agents are very helpful in attaining capillary and small vessel hemostasis in dermatologic surgery. The commonly used topical hemostatic agents, including oxidized cellulose, absorbable gelatin, and thrombin are reviewed, along with newer agents such as microfibrillar collagen, fibrin sealants, and acrylates. Agents best suited for certain situations are recommended.

  14. 13 CFR 120.952 - Fiscal agent.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 13 Business Credit and Assistance 1 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Fiscal agent. 120.952 Section 120... Loan Program (504) Debenture Sales and Service Agents § 120.952 Fiscal agent. SBA shall appoint a Fiscal Agent to assess the financial markets, minimize the cost of sales, arrange for the production...

  15. Topical hemostatic agents in otolaryngologic surgery.

    PubMed

    Acar, Baran; Babademez, Mehmet Ali; Karabulut, Hayriye

    2010-01-01

    Topical hemostatic agents are largely used to reduce blood loss during otolaryngologic surgery. These agents play an important role in both keeping the patient's hemodynamic equilibrium and allowing for a better view of the surgical field. These agents can be classified based on their mechanism of action, and include physical or mechanical agents. Most complications of topical hemostatic agents are sustained because of the antigenic reaction of those products. This paper reviews traditional and newer topical hemostatic agents with regard to their chemical properties, their mechanisms of action, and the benefits and complications of topical agents.

  16. Other Viruses and Viruslike Agents

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The diseases reported under 'Virus and Virus-like Agents' in the first volume of this compendium, with the exception of Cherry rasp leaf virus and Rubus chinese seed-borne virus, should be considered oddities since there are no known type isolates available for these reported viruses. Without a po...

  17. Activity Recognition for Agent Teams

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-07-01

    correspond to a real team, but is rather a visual illusion caused by a coincidental configuration of agents. 50 CHAPTER 4. STABR The behavior...each frame-pair were only classified with 76% accuracy, such a method would hallucinate false action transitions at unacceptable rates). Fortunately

  18. 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.

  19. Foodborne illness and microbial agents

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Foodborne illnesses result from the consumption of food containing microbial agents such as bacteria, viruses, parasites or food contaminated by poisonous chemicals or bio-toxins. Pathogen proliferation is due to nutrient composition of foods, which are capable of supporting the growth of microorgan...

  20. An Introduction to Software Agents

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-02-01

    applicable to modelling red force entities for VMSA. This paper provides an overview of software agents and represents the first step in the...ordinateur, et que la simulation en cours modélise leurs capteurs , leurs armes et leurs caractéristiques matérielles. vi DRDC Atlantic TM...34 9 Sample Applications

  1. 7 CFR 4290.1620 - Functions of agents, including Central Registration Agent, Selling Agent and Fiscal Agent.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ..., 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...

  2. 13 CFR 107.1620 - Functions of agents, including Central Registration Agent, Selling Agent and Fiscal Agent.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... Assistance SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION SMALL BUSINESS INVESTMENT COMPANIES SBA Financial Assistance for Licensees (Leverage) Funding Leverage by Use of Sba-Guaranteed Trust Certificates (âtcsâ) § 107.1620... Fiscal Agent to: (i) Establish performance criteria for Poolers. (ii) Monitor and evaluate the...

  3. 7 CFR 4290.1620 - Functions of agents, including Central Registration Agent, Selling Agent and Fiscal Agent.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ..., 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...

  4. 13 CFR 107.1620 - Functions of agents, including Central Registration Agent, Selling Agent and Fiscal Agent.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... Assistance SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION SMALL BUSINESS INVESTMENT COMPANIES SBA Financial Assistance for Licensees (Leverage) Funding Leverage by Use of Sba-Guaranteed Trust Certificates (âtcsâ) § 107.1620... Fiscal Agent to: (i) Establish performance criteria for Poolers. (ii) Monitor and evaluate the...

  5. 13 CFR 107.1620 - Functions of agents, including Central Registration Agent, Selling Agent and Fiscal Agent.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... Assistance SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION SMALL BUSINESS INVESTMENT COMPANIES SBA Financial Assistance for Licensees (Leverage) Funding Leverage by Use of Sba-Guaranteed Trust Certificates (âtcsâ) § 107.1620... Fiscal Agent to: (i) Establish performance criteria for Poolers. (ii) Monitor and evaluate the...

  6. 7 CFR 4290.1620 - Functions of agents, including Central Registration Agent, Selling Agent and Fiscal Agent.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ..., 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...

  7. 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…

  8. 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.

  9. Voter models with contrarian agents.

    PubMed

    Masuda, Naoki

    2013-11-01

    In the voter and many other opinion formation models, agents are assumed to behave as congregators (also called the conformists); they are attracted to the opinions of others. In this study I investigate linear extensions of the voter model with contrarian agents. An agent is either congregator or contrarian and assumes a binary opinion. I investigate three models that differ in the behavior of the contrarian toward other agents. In model 1, contrarians mimic the opinions of other contrarians and oppose (i.e., try to select the opinion opposite to) those of congregators. In model 2, contrarians mimic the opinions of congregators and oppose those of other contrarians. In model 3, contrarians oppose anybody. In all models, congregators are assumed to like anybody. I show that even a small number of contrarians prohibits the consensus in the entire population to be reached in all three models. I also obtain the equilibrium distributions using the van Kampen small-fluctuation approximation and the Fokker-Planck equation for the case of many contrarians and a single contrarian, respectively. I show that the fluctuation around the symmetric coexistence equilibrium is much larger in model 2 than in models 1 and 3 when contrarians are rare.

  10. Limonene and tetrahydrofurfuryl alcohol cleaning agent

    DOEpatents

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Laser interrogation of surface agents (LISA) for chemical agent reconnaissance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Higdon, N. S.; Chyba, Thomas H.; Richter, Dale A.; Ponsardin, Patrick L.; Armstrong, Wayne T.; Lobb, C. T.; Kelly, Brian T.; Babnick, Robert D.; Sedlacek, Arthur J., III

    2002-06-01

    Laser Interrogation of Surface Agents (LISA) is a new technique which exploits Raman scattering to provide standoff detection and identification of surface-deposited chemical agents. ITT Industries, Advanced Engineering and Sciences Division is developing the LISA technology under a cost-sharing arrangement with the US Army Soldier and Biological Chemical Command for incorporation on the Army's future reconnaissance vehicles. A field-engineered prototype LISA-Recon system is being designed to demonstrate on-the- move measurements of chemical contaminants. In this article, we will describe the LISA technique, data form proof-of- concept measurements, the LISA-Recon design, and some of the future realizations envisioned for military sensing applications.

  15. Onto-Agents-Enabling Intelligent Agents on the Web

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-05-01

    concept of the semantic web, but also time- consuming . There has been much research here, but I have not yet seen any public 10 business ...OntoAgents project. 1. Prof. Gio Wiederhold, PhD, Principal Investigator * (Retired) Recalled for active duty to teach the Freshman course: Business on the...Manual annotation is tedious, and often done poorly. Even within the funded DAML project fewer pages were annotated than was hoped. In eCommerce , there

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. Innovative agents in cancer prevention.

    PubMed

    Manson, Margaret M; Farmer, Peter B; Gescher, Andreas; Steward, William P

    2005-01-01

    There are many facets to cancer prevention: a good diet, weight control and physical activity, a healthy environment, avoidance of carcinogens such as those in tobacco smoke, and screening of populations at risk to allow early detection. But there is also the possibility of using drugs or naturally occurring compounds to prevent initiation of, or to suppress, tumour growth. Only a few such agents have been used to date in the clinic with any success, and these include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for colon, finasteride for prostate and tamoxifen or raloxifene for breast tumours. An ideal chemopreventive agent would restore normal growth control to a preneoplastic or cancerous cell population by modifying aberrant signalling pathways or inducing apoptosis (or both) in cells beyond repair. Characteristics for such an agent include selectivity for damaged or transformed cells, good bioavailability and more than one mechanism of action to foil redundancy or crosstalk in signalling pathways. As more research effort is being targeted towards this area, the distinction between chemotherapeutic and chemopreventive agents is blurring. Chemotherapeutic drugs are now being designed to target over- or under-active signalling molecules within cancer cells, a philosophy which is just as relevant in chemoprevention. Development of dietary agents is particularly attractive because of our long-standing exposure to them, their relative lack of toxicity, and encouraging indications from epidemiology. The carcinogenic process relies on the cell's ability to proliferate abnormally, evade apoptosis, induce angiogenesis and metastasise to distant sites. In vitro studies with a number of different diet-derived compounds suggest that there are molecules capable of modulating each of these aspects of tumour growth. However, on the negative side many of them have rather poor bioavailability. The challenge is to uncover their multiple mechanisms of action in order to predict their

  19. 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

  20. Needs, Pains, and Motivations in Autonomous Agents.

    PubMed

    Starzyk, Janusz A; Graham, James; Puzio, Leszek

    2016-08-17

    This paper presents the development of a motivated learning (ML) agent with symbolic I/O. Our earlier work on the ML agent was enhanced, giving it autonomy for interaction with other agents. Specifically, we equipped the agent with drives and pains that establish its motivations to learn how to respond to desired and undesired events and create related abstract goals. The purpose of this paper is to explore the autonomous development of motivations and memory in agents within a simulated environment. The ML agent has been implemented in a virtual environment created within the NeoAxis game engine. Additionally, to illustrate the benefits of an ML-based agent, we compared the performance of our algorithm against various reinforcement learning (RL) algorithms in a dynamic test scenario, and demonstrated that our ML agent learns better than any of the tested RL agents.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Mechanisms of contrast agent destruction.

    PubMed

    Chomas, J E; Dayton, P; Allen, J; Morgan, K; Ferrara, K W

    2001-01-01

    Various applications of contrast-assisted ultrasound, including blood vessel detection, perfusion estimation, and drug delivery, require controlled destruction of contrast agent microbubbles. The lifetime of a bubble depends on properties of the bubble shell, the gas core, and the acoustic waveform impinging on the bubble. Three mechanisms of microbubble destruction are considered: fragmentation, acoustically driven diffusion, and static diffusion. Fragmentation is responsible for rapid destruction of contrast agents on a time scale of microseconds. The primary characteristics of fragmentation are a very large expansion and subsequent contraction, resulting in instability of the bubble. Optical studies using a novel pulsed-laser optical system show the expansion and contraction of ultrasound contrast agent microbubbles with the ratio of maximum diameter to minimum diameter greater than 10. Fragmentation is dependent on the transmission pressure, occurring in over 55% of bubbles insonified with a peak negative transmission pressure of 2.4 MPa and in less than 10% of bubbles insonified with a peak negative transmission pressure of 0.8 MPa. The echo received from a bubble decorrelates significantly within two pulses when the bubble is fragmented, creating an opportunity for rapid detection of bubbles via a decorrelation-based analysis. Preliminary findings with a mouse tumor model verify the occurrence of fragmentation in vivo. A much slower mechanism of bubble destruction is diffusion, which is driven by both a concentration gradient between the concentration of gas in the bubble compared with the concentration of gas in the liquid, as well as convective effects of motion of the gas-liquid interface. The rate of diffusion increases during insonation, because of acoustically driven diffusion, producing changes in diameter on the time scale of the acoustic pulse length, thus, on the order of microseconds. Gas bubbles diffuse while they are not being insonified, termed

  5. Safety Pharmacology of Anticancer Agents.

    PubMed

    Martin, Pauline L

    2015-01-01

    The safety pharmacology testing for anticancer agents has historically differed for small molecule pharmaceutical drugs versus large-molecule biopharmaceuticals. For pharmaceutical drugs, dedicated safety pharmacology studies have been conducted according to the ICH M3 (R2), ICH 7A, and ICH S7B guidance documents. For biopharmaceuticals, safety pharmacology endpoints have been incorporated into the repeated-dose toxicology studies according to ICHS6 (R1). However, the introduction of the ICH S9 guidance document for the nonclinical evaluation for anticancer pharmaceuticals has allowed for a streamlined approach for both types of molecules to facilitate access of new potential therapeutics to cancer patients and to reduce the number of animal studies. Examples of the testing strategies that have previously been employed for some representative anticancer agents are provided, and their predictivity to adverse events noted in the clinic is discussed.

  6. Arthropods: Vectors of Disease Agents

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1994-07-01

    andersoni 0-fever Coxiella burnetti Dermacentor andersoni, Rhipicephalus san guineus Rocky Mountain spotted fever Rickettsia rickettsii Dermacentor...andersoni, D variabilis Rickettsial pox (mite-borne) Rickettsia akari Liponyssoides san guineus Relapsing fever Borre/ja turicatae 8 hermsi4 B parkeri...typhus Rickettsia typhi Xenopsylla cheopis, others ELB agent R 4/phi-like Ctenocephalides fe/is Louse-borne Epidemic typhus Rickettsia prowazekii

  7. Antisense Treatments for Biothreat Agents

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-08-01

    oligomers (ASOs) represent a promising technology to treat viral and bacterial infections, and have already been shown to be successful against a...viral and bacterial agents have a history of state- sponsored ’weaponization’, including Marburg, Ebola, Junin, Machupo, yellow fever viruses and...14. ABSTRACT Antisense oligomers (ASOs) represent a promising technology to treat viral and bacterial infections, and have already been shown to be

  8. 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.

  9. New agents in HSC mobilization.

    PubMed

    Domingues, Mélanie J; Nilsson, Susan K; Cao, Benjamin

    2017-02-01

    Mobilized peripheral blood (PB) is the most common source of hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) for autologous transplantation. Granulocyte colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) is the most commonly used mobilization agent, yet despite its widespread use, a considerable number of patients still fail to mobilize. Recently, a greater understanding of the interactions that regulate HSC homeostasis in the bone marrow (BM) microenvironment has enabled the development of new molecules that mobilize HSC through specific inhibition, modulation or perturbation of these interactions. AMD3100 (plerixafor), a small molecule that selectively inhibits the chemokine receptor CXCR4 is approved for mobilization in combination with G-CSF in patients with Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and multiple myeloma. Nevertheless, identifying mobilization strategies that not only enhance HSC number, but are rapid and generate an optimal "mobilized product" for improved transplant outcomes remains an area of clinical importance. In recent times, new agents based on recombinant proteins, peptides and small molecules have been identified as potential candidates for therapeutic HSC mobilization. In this review, we describe the most recent developments in HSC mobilization agents and their potential impact in HSC transplantation.

  10. Expressing Quality of Service in Agent Communication

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2001-06-01

    many criteria within a multi - agent system . It can be used to express timing capabilties of an agent, or the accuracy of a response that an agent can...upon a model of a real-time multi - agent system (RTMAS) that we have developed [3]. The model is based on the assumption that agents may be able to...Providence, RI, July 1997. [3] L.C. DiPippo, V. F.-Wolfe, L. Nair, E. Hodys and O. Uvarov. A Real-Time Multi - Agent System Architecture for E- Commerce

  11. 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.

  12. Preoperative management of anticoagulation and antiplatelet agents.

    PubMed

    Gleason, Lauren Jan; Friedman, Susan M

    2014-05-01

    This article describes current literature and treatment plans for managing anticoagulation and antiplatelet agents in patients presenting with hip fractures. Indications for anticoagulation and antiplatelet agents are discussed, and management techniques for when patients present with hip fractures are reviewed.

  13. What Are Anticoagulants and Antiplatelet Agents?

    MedlinePlus

    ... by heart Treatments + Tests What Are Anticoagulants and Antiplatelet Agents? Anticoagulants and antiplatelet agents are medicines that reduce blood clotting in an artery, a vein or the heart. Blood clots can block the ...

  14. 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.

  15. 7 CFR 58.720 - Acidifying agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 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...

  16. Intraperitoneal contrast agents for computed tomography

    SciTech Connect

    Stork, J.

    1985-08-01

    Intraperitoneal contrast agents have been used to diagnose mass lesions, adhesions, and hernias using conventional radiographic techniques. The use of intraperitoneal contrast agents in conjunction with computed tomography (CT) has been limited and is the subject of this report.

  17. Security Measures to Protect Mobile Agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dadhich, Piyanka; Govil, M. C.; Dutta, Kamlesh

    2010-11-01

    The security issues of mobile agent systems have embarrassed its widespread implementation. Mobile agents that move around the network are not safe because the remote hosts that accommodate the agents initiates all kinds of attacks. These hosts try to analyze the agent's decision logic and their accumulated data. So, mobile agent security is the most challenging unsolved problems. The paper analyzes various security measures deeply. Security especially the attacks performed by hosts to the visiting mobile agent (the malicious hosts problem) is a major obstacle that prevents mobile agent technology from being widely adopted. Being the running environment for mobile agent, the host has full control over them and could easily perform many kinds of attacks against them.

  18. 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...

  19. 7 CFR 58.629 - Flavoring agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... Specifications for Dairy Plants Approved for USDA Inspection and Grading Service 1 Quality Specifications for Raw Material § 58.629 Flavoring agents. Flavoring agents either natural or artificial shall be wholesome...

  20. 7 CFR 58.720 - Acidifying agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 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...

  1. 7 CFR 58.629 - Flavoring agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... Specifications for Dairy Plants Approved for USDA Inspection and Grading Service 1 Quality Specifications for Raw Material § 58.629 Flavoring agents. Flavoring agents either natural or artificial shall be wholesome...

  2. 7 CFR 58.628 - Sweetening agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 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...

  3. 7 CFR 58.628 - Sweetening agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 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...

  4. 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...

  5. 7 CFR 58.628 - Sweetening agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 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...

  6. 7 CFR 58.628 - Sweetening agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 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...

  7. 7 CFR 58.720 - Acidifying agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 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...

  8. 7 CFR 58.629 - Flavoring agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... Specifications for Dairy Plants Approved for USDA Inspection and Grading Service 1 Quality Specifications for Raw Material § 58.629 Flavoring agents. Flavoring agents either natural or artificial shall be wholesome...

  9. 7 CFR 58.720 - Acidifying agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 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 58.629 - Flavoring agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... Specifications for Dairy Plants Approved for USDA Inspection and Grading Service 1 Quality Specifications for Raw Material § 58.629 Flavoring agents. Flavoring agents either natural or artificial shall be wholesome...

  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. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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…

  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, 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...

  19. 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...

  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. 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...

  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. 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.…

  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. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 46 CFR 153.1106 - Cleaning agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 46 Shipping 5 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Cleaning agents. 153.1106 Section 153.1106 Shipping... Handling of Categories A, B, C, and D Cargo and Nls Residue § 153.1106 Cleaning agents. No tank cleaning agent other than water or steam may be used to clean an NLS residue from a cargo tank except...

  8. 46 CFR 153.1106 - Cleaning agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 46 Shipping 5 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Cleaning agents. 153.1106 Section 153.1106 Shipping... Handling of Categories A, B, C, and D Cargo and Nls Residue § 153.1106 Cleaning agents. No tank cleaning agent other than water or steam may be used to clean an NLS residue from a cargo tank except...

  9. 46 CFR 153.1106 - Cleaning agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 46 Shipping 5 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Cleaning agents. 153.1106 Section 153.1106 Shipping... Handling of Categories A, B, C, and D Cargo and Nls Residue § 153.1106 Cleaning agents. No tank cleaning agent other than water or steam may be used to clean an NLS residue from a cargo tank except...

  10. 46 CFR 153.1106 - Cleaning agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 46 Shipping 5 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Cleaning agents. 153.1106 Section 153.1106 Shipping... Handling of Categories A, B, C, and D Cargo and Nls Residue § 153.1106 Cleaning agents. No tank cleaning agent other than water or steam may be used to clean an NLS residue from a cargo tank except...

  11. 46 CFR 153.1106 - Cleaning agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 46 Shipping 5 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Cleaning agents. 153.1106 Section 153.1106 Shipping... Handling of Categories A, B, C, and D Cargo and Nls Residue § 153.1106 Cleaning agents. No tank cleaning agent other than water or steam may be used to clean an NLS residue from a cargo tank except...

  12. Verifiable Middleware for Secure Agent Interoperability

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2002-10-01

    bandwidth commu- nication links. However, agents technology carries with it associated security vulnerabilities. Distributed computing in general...carries with it risks such as denial of service, Trojan horses, information leaks, and malicious code. Agents technology , by introducing autonomy and code... technology to industry because security is a necessary pre- requisite for distributed computing. To make agent-based systems economically viable, it is

  13. Beyond Butlers: Intelligent Agents as Mentors.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baylor, Amy

    2000-01-01

    Discusses pedagogical issues for intelligent agents to successfully serve as mentors for educational purposes. Examines broader issues about the nature or persona necessary for an intelligent agent as mentor, incorporating usability and human-computer interaction issues such as the anthropomorphic qualities of the agent and the social relationship…

  14. 31 CFR 316.12 - Fiscal agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 31 Money and Finance: Treasury 2 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Fiscal agents. 316.12 Section 316.12 Money and Finance: Treasury Regulations Relating to Money and Finance (Continued) FISCAL SERVICE....12 Fiscal agents. (a) Federal Reserve Banks and Branches referred to below, as fiscal agents of...

  15. 31 CFR 332.12 - Fiscal agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 31 Money and Finance: Treasury 2 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Fiscal agents. 332.12 Section 332.12 Money and Finance: Treasury Regulations Relating to Money and Finance (Continued) FISCAL SERVICE....12 Fiscal agents. (a) Federal Reserve Banks and Branches referred to below, as fiscal agents of...

  16. 31 CFR 339.6 - Fiscal agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 31 Money and Finance: Treasury 2 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Fiscal agents. 339.6 Section 339.6 Money and Finance: Treasury Regulations Relating to Money and Finance (Continued) FISCAL SERVICE... H § 339.6 Fiscal agents. Federal Reserve Banks and Branches, as fiscal agents of the United...

  17. Analysis of commercial plastination agents.

    PubMed

    Chaynes, P; Mingotaud, A-F

    2004-06-01

    S3, S6 and S10 are the most commonly used agents for tissue plastination. Surprisingly, their chemical structures are not known. We therefore decided to fully characterize these products by standard analytical methods: multinucleus magnetic resonance, infrared spectroscopy and size exclusion chromatography. These experiments have shown that Biodur S10 is a polydimethylsiloxane with a molecular weight of 27,200 and silanol functionalities, Biodur S6 is tetraethoxysilane, and Biodur S3 is a mixture the main component of which is dibutyltindilaurate.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Cardiotoxicity of Molecularly Targeted Agents

    PubMed Central

    Hedhli, Nadia; Russell, Kerry S

    2011-01-01

    Cardiac toxicity of molecularly targeted cancer agents is increasingly recognized as a significant side effect of chemotherapy. These new potent therapies may not only affect the survival of cancer cells, but have the potential to adversely impact normal cardiac and vascular function. Unraveling the mechanisms by which these therapies affect the heart and vasculature is crucial for improving drug design and finding alternative therapies to protect patients predisposed to cardiovascular disease. In this review, we summarize the classification and side effects of currently approved molecularly targeted chemotherapeutics. PMID:22758623

  1. Quality control of decontaminating agents.

    PubMed

    Arancegui, N; Cabanillas, M; Martinez, A; Funosas, E; Maestri, L; Hermida Lucena, P

    1999-01-01

    The present study evaluates the efficiency of the following decontaminating agents for the multiresistant, locally circulating bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa: glutaraldehyde 2%--makes A and B-, glutaraldehyde-formaldehyde; povidone-iodine-makes A, B and C-; sodium hypochloride; chloroxylenol--makes A and B-; and lapire chloride. The 9027 ATCC strain was used as a standard. A modification of the method of Kelsey and Sykes (1) was used to evaluate decontaminating efficiency. Highly satisfactory results were obtained with glutaraldehide 2% A and B, glutaraldehyde-formaldehyde and sodium hypochlorite. The results for povidone-iodine A, B and C were satisfactory but were unsatisfactory for chloroxylenol and lapirium chloride.

  2. [Antiangiogenic agents in ARMD treatment].

    PubMed

    Coroi, Mihaela-Cristiana; Demea, Sorina; Todor, Meda; Apopei, Emmanuela

    2012-01-01

    The aim of antiangiogenic agents in the treatment of age related senile macular degeneration is to destroy coroidian neoformation vessels by minimally affecting the central vision. We present a case of important central vision recovery after 3 intravitreal injections of Avastin. The therapeutic decision and patient monitoring have been made using imaging studies, such as OCT and AFG. A modern therapeutic approach of neovascular forms of age related macular degeneration, backed up by AFG and OCT is a modern treatment method of this disabling illness which brings patients optimal functional and structural improvement.

  3. 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.

  4. Ruthenium complexes as antimicrobial agents.

    PubMed

    Li, Fangfei; Collins, J Grant; Keene, F Richard

    2015-04-21

    One of the major advances in medical science has been the development of antimicrobials; however, a consequence of their widespread use has been the emergence of drug-resistant populations of microorganisms. There is clearly a need for the development of new antimicrobials--but more importantly, there is the need for the development of new classes of antimicrobials, rather than drugs based upon analogues of known scaffolds. Due to the success of the platinum anticancer agents, there has been considerable interest in the development of therapeutic agents based upon other transition metals--and in particular ruthenium(II/III) complexes, due to their well known interaction with DNA. There have been many studies of the anticancer properties and cellular localisation of a range of ruthenium complexes in eukaryotic cells over the last decade. However, only very recently has there been significant interest in their antimicrobial properties. This review highlights the types of ruthenium complexes that have exhibited significant antimicrobial activity and discusses the relationship between chemical structure and biological processing--including site(s) of intracellular accumulation--of the ruthenium complexes in both bacterial and eukaryotic cells.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Anchor Toolkit - a secure mobile agent system

    SciTech Connect

    Mudumbai, Srilekha S.; Johnston, William; Essiari, Abdelilah

    1999-05-19

    Mobile agent technology facilitates intelligent operation insoftware systems with less human interaction. Major challenge todeployment of mobile agents include secure transmission of agents andpreventing unauthorized access to resources between interacting systems,as either hosts, or agents, or both can act maliciously. The Anchortoolkit, designed by LBNL, handles the transmission and secure managementof mobile agents in a heterogeneous distributed computing environment. Itprovides users with the option of incorporating their security managers.This paper concentrates on the architecture, features, access control anddeployment of Anchor toolkit. Application of this toolkit in a securedistributed CVS environment is discussed as a case study.

  8. Achieving agent coordination via distributed preferences

    SciTech Connect

    D`Ambrosio, J.G.; Birmingham, W.P.

    1996-12-31

    Agent-based systems provide hope for solving a wide variety of distributed problems. One key aspect of agent-based system is coordinating agent actions to achieve coherent behavior. For example, in concurrent engineering (CE), it is necessary to ensure that the individual decision made by constituents in a design organization achieve overall organizational objectives (e.g., increase market share), while still allowing individuals to exploit their expertise. We believe CE is representative of many multi-agent problems, in that agent coordination must include facilities to support both solving a hierarchically decomposed problem, e.g., the contract net, and interactions among peers as well.

  9. 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

  10. Chemopreventive Agent Development | Division of Cancer Prevention

    Cancer.gov

    [[{"fid":"174","view_mode":"default","fields":{"format":"default","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Chemoprevenentive Agent Development Research Group Homepage Logo","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"Chemoprevenentive Agent Development Research Group Homepage Logo","field_folder[und]":"15"},"type":"media","attributes":{"alt":"Chemoprevenentive Agent Development Research Group Homepage Logo","title":"Chemoprevenentive Agent Development Research Group Homepage Logo","heigh | Research on early chemopreventive agent development, from preclinical studies to phase I clinical trials.

  11. 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.

  12. 30 CFR 250.145 - How do I designate an agent or a local agent?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 2 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false How do I designate an agent or a local agent? 250.145 Section 250.145 Mineral Resources BUREAU OF OCEAN ENERGY MANAGEMENT, REGULATION, AND... SHELF General Special Types of Approvals § 250.145 How do I designate an agent or a local agent? (a)...

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Arylmethylamino steroids as antiparasitic agents

    PubMed Central

    Krieg, Reimar; Jortzik, Esther; Goetz, Alice-Anne; Blandin, Stéphanie; Wittlin, Sergio; Elhabiri, Mourad; Rahbari, Mahsa; Nuryyeva, Selbi; Voigt, Kerstin; Dahse, Hans-Martin; Brakhage, Axel; Beckmann, Svenja; Quack, Thomas; Grevelding, Christoph G.; Pinkerton, Anthony B.; Schönecker, Bruno; Burrows, Jeremy; Davioud-Charvet, Elisabeth; Rahlfs, Stefan; Becker, Katja

    2017-01-01

    In search of antiparasitic agents, we here identify arylmethylamino steroids as potent compounds and characterize more than 60 derivatives. The lead compound 1o is fast acting and highly active against intraerythrocytic stages of chloroquine-sensitive and resistant Plasmodium falciparum parasites (IC50 1–5 nM) as well as against gametocytes. In P. berghei-infected mice, oral administration of 1o drastically reduces parasitaemia and cures the animals. Furthermore, 1o efficiently blocks parasite transmission from mice to mosquitoes. The steroid compounds show low cytotoxicity in mammalian cells and do not induce acute toxicity symptoms in mice. Moreover, 1o has a remarkable activity against the blood-feeding trematode parasite Schistosoma mansoni. The steroid and the hydroxyarylmethylamino moieties are essential for antimalarial activity supporting a chelate-based quinone methide mechanism involving metal or haem bioactivation. This study identifies chemical scaffolds that are rapidly internalized into blood-feeding parasites. PMID:28211535

  17. Fluorescence imaging agents in cancerology

    PubMed Central

    Paganin-Gioanni, Aurélie; Bellard, Elisabeth; Paquereau, Laurent; Ecochard, Vincent; Golzio, Muriel; Teissié, Justin

    2010-01-01

    Background One of the major challenges in cancer therapy is to improve early detection and prevention using novel targeted cancer diagnostics. Detection requests specific recognition. Tumor markers have to be ideally present on the surface of cancer cells. Their targeting with ligands coupled to imaging agents make them visible/detectable. Conclusions Fluorescence imaging is a newly emerging technology which is becoming a complementary medical method for cancer diagnosis. It allows detection with a high spatio-temporal resolution of tumor markers in small animals and in clinical studies. In this review, we focus on the recent outcome of basic studies in the design of new approaches (probes and devices) used to detect tumor cells by fluorescence imaging. PMID:22933906

  18. Host modulation by therapeutic agents

    PubMed Central

    Elavarasu, Sugumari; Sekar, Santhosh; Murugan, Thamaraiselvan

    2012-01-01

    Periodontal disease susceptible group present advanced periodontal breakdown even though they achieve a high standard of oral hygiene. Various destructive enzymes and inflammatory mediators are involved in destruction. These are elevated in case of periodontal destruction. Host modulation aims at bringing these enzymes and mediators to normal level. Doxycycline, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), bisphosphonates, nitrous oxide (NO) synthase inhibitors, recombinant human interleukin-11 (rhIL-11), omega-3 fatty acid, mouse anti-human interleukin-6 receptor antibody (MRA), mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) inhibitors, nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-kb) inhibitors, osteoprotegerin, and tumor necrosis factor antagonist (TNF-α) are some of the therapeutic agents that have host modulation properties. PMID:23066265

  19. Query Answering Driven by Collaborating Agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dardzinska, Agnieszka

    We assume that there is a group of collaborating agents where each agent is defined as an Information System coupled with a Query Answering System (QAS). Values of attributes in an information system S form atomic expressions of a language used by the agent associated with S to communicate with other agents. Collaboration among agents is initiated when one of the agent's, say the one associated with S and called a client, is asked by user to resolve a query containing nonlocal attributes for S. Then, the client will ask for help other agents to have that query answered. As the result of this request, knowledge in the form of defnitions of locally foreign attribute values for S is extracted at information systems representing other agents and sent to the client. The outcome of this step is a knowledge-base KB created at the client site and used to answer the query. In this paper we present a method of identifying which agents are semantically the closest to S and show that the precision and recall of QAS is getting increased when only these agents are ask for help by the client.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. The Refinement of Multi-Agent Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aştefănoaei, L.; de Boer, F. S.

    This chapter introduces an encompassing theory of refinement which supports a top-down methodology for designing multi-agent systems. We present a general modelling framework where we identify different abstraction levels of BDI agents. On the one hand, at a higher level of abstraction we introduce the language BUnity as a way to specify “what” an agent can do. On the other hand, at a more concrete layer we introduce the language BUpL as implementing not only what an agent can do but also “when” the agent can do. At this stage of individual agent design, refinement is understood as trace inclusion. Having the traces of an implementation included in the traces of a given specification means that the implementation is correct with respect to the specification.

  4. Merger dynamics in three-agent games

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rador, T.; Derici, R.

    2011-09-01

    We present the effect of mergers, a term which we use to mean a temporary alliance, in the dynamics of the three-agent model studied by Ben-Naim, Kahng and Kim and by Rador and Mungan. Mergers are possible in three-agent games because two agents can combine forces against the third player and thus increase their probability to win a competition. We implement mergers in this three-agent model via resolving merger and no-merger units of competition in terms of a two-agent unit. This way one needs only a single parameter which we have called the competitiveness parameter. We have presented an analytical solution in the fully competitive limit. In this limit the score distribution of agents is stratified and self-similar.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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…

  8. 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.

  9. Agent Frameworks for Discrete Event Social Simulations

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-03-01

    of a general modeling approach to social simulation that embeds a multi - agent system within a DES framework, and propose several reusable agent... agent system to simulate changes in the beliefs, values, and interests (BVIs) of large social groups (Alt, Jackson, Hudak, & Steven Lieberman, 2010...to events from A. 2.3 Cultural Geography Model The Cultural Geography (CG) Model is an implementation of a DESS that uses an embedded multi

  10. Topical hemostatic agents in gynecologic surgery.

    PubMed

    Duenas-Garcia, Omar Felipe; Goldberg, Jeffrey M

    2008-06-01

    Biosurgical compounds and pharmacologic agents can serve as surgical adjuncts to prevent or curtail intraoperative bleeding. Medline, PubMed, and Cochrane electronic data bases were used to search the English literature from 1966 to March 2007 using the terms topical, hemostatic agents, and gynecologic surgery. Several effective topical hemostatic agents are available to reduce intraoperative blood loss. Data on their application in gynecologic surgery are limited, and guidelines for selecting one over another for specific indications are lacking.

  11. 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.

  12. Surface Decontamination of Blister Agents Lewisite, Sulfur ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Journal Article Sulfur mustard (HD) and Lewisite (L) are blister agents that have a high potential for terrorist use. Agent Yellow (HL) is the eutectic mixture of HD and L. Bench-scale testing was used to determine the residual amount of these chemical warfare agents remaining on three building materials coupons (wood, metal and glass) after application of various decontaminants (household bleach, full strength and dilute; hydrogen peroxide 3 % solution; and EasyDECON® DF200).

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Thermal agents in rehabilitation. Volume 1

    SciTech Connect

    Michlovitz, S.L.; Davis, F.A.

    1986-01-01

    This text reviews the applications of thermal agents in rehabilitation to reduce pain, improve joint range of motion, and enhance healing. Expert contributors explore the uses of water, sound, electricity, and external pressure - any agent other than the hands themselves as employed in physical therapy. Heat and cold agents are described and their methods of application discussed, as well as the rationale for use of that modality. Also outlined are guidelines for safety given the limitations and conditions caused by particular dysfunctions, maintenance of equipment, and the current research on each agent. A list of manufacturers of thermal devices and a temperature conversion scale appear in the appendices.

  16. Agent-Based Negotiation in Uncertain Environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Debenham, John; Sierra, Carles

    An agent aims to secure his projected needs by attempting to build a set of (business) relationships with other agents. A relationship is built by exchanging private information, and is characterised by its intimacy — degree of closeness — and balance — degree of fairness. Each argumentative interaction between two agents then has two goals: to satisfy some immediate need, and to do so in a way that develops the relationship in a desired direction. An agent's desire to develop each relationship in a particular way then places constraints on the argumentative utterances. The form of negotiation described is argumentative interaction constrained by a desire to develop such relationships.

  17. Topical hemostatic agents in surgical practice.

    PubMed

    Emilia, Masci; Luca, Santoleri; Francesca, Belloni; Luca, Bottero; Paolo, Stefanini; Giuseppe, Faillace; Gianbattista, Bertani; Carmela, Montinaro; Luigi, Mancini; Mauro, Longoni

    2011-12-01

    Hemostasis is of critical importance in achieving a positive outcome in any surgical intervention. Different hemostatic methods can be employed and topical hemostatic agents are used in a wide variety of surgical settings. Procoagulation agents have different hemostatic properties and the choice of a specific one is determined by the type of surgical procedure and bleeding. Hemostatic treatments include fibrin sealants, microfibrillar collagen, gelatin hemostatic agents, oxidized regenerated cellulose and cyanoacrylates adhesives. Surgeons should be familiar with topical hemostatics to ensure an appropriate use. Our purpose is to illustrate the currently available agents, their mechanism of action and their effective applications, in order to ensure an optimal use in operating room.

  18. 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.

  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. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Intelligent Agent Feasibility Study. Volume 1: Agent-based System Technology

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1998-02-01

    ambitious in its scope. In OAA (Moran, Cheyer, Julia , Martin, 10 & Park, 1997), agents can operate on multiple platforms across a network, new agents can be...find the source and best price for a given item. This area of electronic commerce has been an active area for research in agent-based systems ( Chavez ...D. (1993). Towards a taxonomy of multi-agent systems. International Journal of Man-Machine Studies 36, 689-704. Chavez , A., Dreilinger, D., Guttman, R

  4. 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.

  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. Advanced Agent Methods in Adversarial Environment

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-11-30

    scenario for investigating agents social behaviour in non-collaborative and adversarial environment. Deliverable 2: (month 12) Interim report...definition of measures and quantities of agents collective behaviour , adapted social knowledge model, meta-reasoning model and coalition formation...13 2.3 Examples of Adversarial Behaviour

  7. 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…

  8. Kromoscopy for detection of chemical warfare agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ewing, Kenneth J.; Sanghera, Jas; Aggarwal, Ishwar D.; Block, Myron J.

    2004-12-01

    The ability of a Kromoscope to discriminate between chemical warfare agent simulants and toxic industrial chemicals is evaluated. The Kromoscope response to the simulants DMMP and DIMP is compared to a pesticide (diazanon) and cyclopentanol. The response of a mid-infrared Kromoscope to the nerve agents VX and GB and the stimulant DF are calculated.

  9. 7 CFR 58.629 - Flavoring agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... AGRICULTURAL MARKETING ACT OF 1946 AND THE EGG PRODUCTS INSPECTION ACT (CONTINUED) GRADING AND INSPECTION, GENERAL SPECIFICATIONS FOR APPROVED PLANTS AND STANDARDS FOR GRADES OF DAIRY PRODUCTS 1 General... Material § 58.629 Flavoring agents. Flavoring agents either natural or artificial shall be wholesome...

  10. Training and the Change Agent Role Model

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leach, Wesley B.; Owens, Vyrle W.

    1973-01-01

    The authors discuss the qualities possessed by a model change agent and roles played by him as resident technical participant: analyst, advisor, advocate, systems linker, innovator, and trainer. Besides presenting the teaching plan for change agents, the authors call upon their Peace Corps experiences to provide specific examples of what is…

  11. 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…

  12. 7 CFR 916.68 - Agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 8 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Agents. 916.68 Section 916.68 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) AGRICULTURAL MARKETING SERVICE (Marketing Agreements and... Regulating Handling Miscellaneous Provisions § 916.68 Agents. The Secretary may, by designation in...

  13. 7 CFR 915.68 - Agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 8 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Agents. 915.68 Section 915.68 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) AGRICULTURAL MARKETING SERVICE (Marketing Agreements and... Regulating Handling Miscellaneous Provisions § 915.68 Agents. The Secretary may, by designation in...

  14. Tennessee Extension Agents' Perceptions of Performance Appraisal

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Donaldson, Joseph L.; French, Russell L.

    2013-01-01

    Performance appraisal is necessary for summative decisions about employees, such as merit pay and promotion. The research reported here describes Extension agent perceptions of their performance appraisal system. The population studied consisted of all Tennessee Extension agents (N = 312). Surveys were completed by 218 respondents, for a completed…

  15. 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)

  16. 7 CFR 58.722 - Emulsifying agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 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...

  17. 7 CFR 58.722 - Emulsifying agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 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...

  18. 7 CFR 58.722 - Emulsifying agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 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...

  19. 7 CFR 58.722 - Emulsifying agents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 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...

  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. Marine Natural Products as Prototype Agrochemical Agents

    PubMed Central

    Peng, Jiangnan; Shen, Xiaoyu; El Sayed, Khalid A.; Dunbar, D. C Harles; Perry, Tony L.; Wilkins, Scott P.; Hamann, Mark T.; Bobzin, Steve; Huesing, Joseph; Camp, Robin; Prinsen, Mike; Krupa, Dan; Wideman, Margaret A.

    2016-01-01

    In the interest of identifying new leads that could serve as prototype agrochemical agents, 18 structurally diverse marine-derived compounds were examined for insecticidal, herbicidal, and fungicidal activities. Several new classes of compounds have been shown to be insecticidal, herbicidal, and fungicidal, which suggests that marine natural products represent an intriguing source for the discovery of new agrochemical agents. PMID:12670165

  2. Adolescents as Socialization Agents to Parents.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Peters, John F.

    1985-01-01

    Addresses the process of socialization that takes place in the parent, with the child and adolescent as the socialization agent. Results show adolescents to be effective agents of socialization to their parents in both attitude and behavior in such areas as sports, leisure, minority groups, youth, drug use, and sexuality. (Author/BL)

  3. 12 CFR 725.4 - Agent membership.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 12 Banks and Banking 6 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Agent membership. 725.4 Section 725.4 Banks and... ADMINISTRATION CENTRAL LIQUIDITY FACILITY § 725.4 Agent membership. (a) A central credit union or a group of... reports and documents with the completed membership application: (i) A copy of the central credit...

  4. 12 CFR 725.4 - Agent membership.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 12 Banks and Banking 7 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Agent membership. 725.4 Section 725.4 Banks and... ADMINISTRATION CENTRAL LIQUIDITY FACILITY § 725.4 Agent membership. (a) A central credit union or a group of... reports and documents with the completed membership application: (i) A copy of the central credit...

  5. 12 CFR 725.4 - Agent membership.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 12 Banks and Banking 7 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Agent membership. 725.4 Section 725.4 Banks and... ADMINISTRATION CENTRAL LIQUIDITY FACILITY § 725.4 Agent membership. (a) A central credit union or a group of... reports and documents with the completed membership application: (i) A copy of the central credit...

  6. 12 CFR 725.4 - Agent membership.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 12 Banks and Banking 7 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Agent membership. 725.4 Section 725.4 Banks and... ADMINISTRATION CENTRAL LIQUIDITY FACILITY § 725.4 Agent membership. (a) A central credit union or a group of... reports and documents with the completed membership application: (i) A copy of the central credit...

  7. 12 CFR 725.4 - Agent membership.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 12 Banks and Banking 6 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Agent membership. 725.4 Section 725.4 Banks and Banking NATIONAL CREDIT UNION ADMINISTRATION REGULATIONS AFFECTING CREDIT UNIONS NATIONAL CREDIT UNION ADMINISTRATION CENTRAL LIQUIDITY FACILITY § 725.4 Agent membership. (a) A central credit union or a group...

  8. Assurance in Agent-Based Systems

    SciTech Connect

    Gilliom, Laura R.; Goldsmith, Steven Y.

    1999-05-10

    Our vision of the future of information systems is one that includes engineered collectives of software agents which are situated in an environment over years and which increasingly improve the performance of the overall system of which they are a part. At a minimum, the movement of agent and multi-agent technology into National Security applications, including their use in information assurance, is apparent today. The use of deliberative, autonomous agents in high-consequence/high-security applications will require a commensurate level of protection and confidence in the predictability of system-level behavior. At Sandia National Laboratories, we have defined and are addressing a research agenda that integrates the surety (safety, security, and reliability) into agent-based systems at a deep level. Surety is addressed at multiple levels: The integrity of individual agents must be protected by addressing potential failure modes and vulnerabilities to malevolent threats. Providing for the surety of the collective requires attention to communications surety issues and mechanisms for identifying and working with trusted collaborators. At the highest level, using agent-based collectives within a large-scale distributed system requires the development of principled design methods to deliver the desired emergent performance or surety characteristics. This position paper will outline the research directions underway at Sandia, will discuss relevant work being performed elsewhere, and will report progress to date toward assurance in agent-based systems.

  9. 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…

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Other mucoactive agents for cystic fibrosis.

    PubMed

    Bye, Peter T P; Elkins, Mark R

    2007-03-01

    This review examines specific mucoactive agents from three classes: expectorants, which add water to the airway; ion-transport modifiers, which promote ion and water transport across the epithelium of the airway; and mucokinetics, which improve cough-mediated clearance by increasing airflow or reducing sputum adhesivity. The agents are isotonic and hypertonic saline, mannitol, denufosol and beta-agonists. Our understanding of these agents has recently improved through pre-clinical research, clinical trials and, in particular, extensive research into the nature of the liquid lining the surface of the airway, both in health and in cystic fibrosis (CF). For each agent, recent research is reviewed, highlighting the evidence for possible mechanisms of action and for clinical efficacy in CF, as well as the implications for the optimal clinical application of the agent.

  14. 75 FR 56489 - Separation Distances of Ammonium Nitrate and Blasting Agents From Explosives or Blasting Agents...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-09-16

    ... Ammonium Nitrate and Blasting Agents From Explosives or Blasting Agents (2002R-226P) AGENCY: Bureau of... CFR 555.220 set forth a table of separation distances of ammonium nitrate and blasting agents from... specified in the table ``apply to ammonium nitrate that passes the insensitivity test prescribed in...

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Polyphenols as cancer chemopreventive agents.

    PubMed

    Stoner, G D; Mukhtar, H

    1995-01-01

    This article summarizes available data on the chemopreventive efficacies of tea polyphenols, curcumin and ellagic acid in various model systems. Emphasis is placed upon the anticarcinogenic activity of these polyphenols and their proposed mechanism(s) of action. Tea is grown in about 30 countries and, next to water, is the most widely consumed beverage in the world. Tea is manufactured as either green, black, or oolong; black tea represents approximately 80% of tea products. Epidemiological studies, though inconclusive, suggest a protective effect of tea consumption on human cancer. Experimental studies of the antimutagenic and anticarcinogenic effects of tea have been conducted principally with green tea polyphenols (GTPs). GTPs exhibit antimutagenic activity in vitro, and they inhibit carcinogen-induced skin, lung, forestomach, esophagus, duodenum and colon tumors in rodents. In addition, GTPs inhibit TPA-induced skin tumor promotion in mice. Although several GTPs possess anticarcinogenic activity, the most active is (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), the major constituent in the GTP fraction. Several mechanisms appear to be responsible for the tumor-inhibitory properties of GTPs, including enhancement of antioxidant (glutathione peroxidase, catalase and quinone reductase) and phase II (glutathione-S-transferase) enzyme activities; inhibition of chemically induced lipid peroxidation; inhibition of irradiation- and TPA-induced epidermal ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) and cyclooxygenase activities; inhibition of protein kinase C and cellular proliferation; antiinflammatory activity; and enhancement of gap junction intercellular communication. Curcumin is the yellow coloring agent in the spice tumeric. It exhibits antimutagenic activity in the Ames Salmonella test and has anticarcinogenic activity, inhibiting chemically induced preneoplastic lesions in the breast and colon and neoplastic lesions in the skin, forestomach, duodenum and colon of rodents. In addition

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Methods for detecting teratogenic agents in man.

    PubMed Central

    Shepard, T H; Miller, J R

    1976-01-01

    At a multidiscipline international meeting sponsored by L'Institut de la Vie held at Guadeloupe in January 1974, current methods for detecting teratogenic agents were outlined and discussed. Recommendations of the participants of the conference were: recognize the limitations of the present defenses against teratogenic agents; educate the public and medical profession about the known human teratogenic agents; select for animal teratogenicity screening among new and existing agents by emphasizing substances to which the entire population will be exposed, agents to which pregnant women are exposed, viruses which are found to persist in the human fetus, and agents which have become suspect from clinical experience; recognize that nearly all compounds have a fetotoxic dose but that this does not imply teratogenicity; encourage the development of new, quick in vitro testing methods for detecting teratogenic agents; monitor for sudden increases in the frequency of specific malformations in newborn infants and in aborted fetuses; assure that expert multidiscipline committees are available to evaluate the threat when suspected teratogens are reported; improve teratology information storage and retrieval systems by record linkage of clinical data, linkage between computer systems, and universal identifier system for chemical compounds and congenical malformations; foster the exchange of data, particularly those held by the pharmaceutical industry. PMID:1269501

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Metareasoning and Social Evaluations in Cognitive Agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pinyol, Isaac; Sabater-Mir, Jordi

    Reputation mechanisms have been recognized one of the key technologies when designing multi-agent systems. They are specially relevant in complex open environments, becoming a non-centralized mechanism to control interactions among agents. Cognitive agents tackling such complex societies must use reputation information not only for selecting partners to interact with, but also in metareasoning processes to change reasoning rules. This is the focus of this paper. We argue about the necessity to allow, as a cognitive systems designers, certain degree of freedom in the reasoning rules of the agents. We also describes cognitive approaches of agency that support this idea. Furthermore, taking as a base the computational reputation model Repage, and its integration in a BDI architecture, we use the previous ideas to specify metarules and processes to modify at run-time the reasoning paths of the agent. In concrete we propose a metarule to update the link between Repage and the belief base, and a metarule and a process to update an axiom incorporated in the belief logic of the agent. Regarding this last issue we also provide empirical results that show the evolution of agents that use it.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Acoustic response from adherent targeted contrast agents

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Shukui; Kruse, Dustin E.; Ferrara, Katherine W.; Dayton, Paul A.

    2006-01-01

    In ultrasonic molecular imaging, encapsulated micron-sized gas bubbles are tethered to a blood vessel wall by targeting ligands. A challenging problem is to detect the echoes from adherent microbubbles and distinguish them from echoes from non-adherent agents and tissue. Echoes from adherent contrast agents are observed to include a high amplitude at the fundamental frequency, and significantly different spectral shape compared with free agents (p < 0.0003). Mechanisms for the observed acoustical difference and potential techniques to utilize these differences for molecular imaging are proposed. PMID:17225437

  7. Dynamics of adaptive agents with asymmetric information

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DeMartino, Andrea; Galla, Tobias

    2005-08-01

    We apply path integral techniques to study the dynamics of agent-based models with asymmetric information structures. In particular, we devise a batch version of a model proposed originally by Berg et al (2001 Quantitative Finance 1 203), and convert the coupled multi-agent processes into an effective-agent problem from which the dynamical order parameters in ergodic regimes can be derived self-consistently together with the corresponding phase structure. Our dynamical study complements and extends the available static theory. Results are confirmed by numerical simulations.

  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%.

  9. 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.

  10. Agent Based Velocity Control of Highway Systems

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1997-09-01

    the vector of behavior functions, C" is the behavior modification function for the i-th agent, and ai is the command action issued by the i-th agent...in a Lie-Taylor series [10]. In particular, we can express the change in the behavior modification functions C" due to the flow over the interval...the model formulated in expression (13). At time t and at point p G M the behavior modification function of agent i is given by: Crip, t) = Cf (p

  11. 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.

  12. Evaluating Agent Architectures: Cougaar, Aglets and AAA

    SciTech Connect

    Gorton, Ian; Haack, Jereme N.; Mcgee, David R.; Cowell, Andrew J.; Kuchar, Olga A.; Thomson, Judi R.; Carlos Lucena Alessandro Garcia Alexander Romanovsky, et al

    2003-05-03

    Research and development organizations are constantly evaluating new technologies in order to implement the next generation of advanced applications. At Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, agent technologies are perceived as an approach that can provide a competitive advantage in the construction of highly sophisticated software systems in a range of application areas. To determine the sophistication, utility, performance, and other critical aspects of such systems, a project was instigated to evaluate three candidate agent toolkits. This paper reports on the outcomes of this evaluation, the knowledge accumulated from carrying out this project, and provides insights into the capabilities of the agent technologies evaluated.

  13. Double agents and secret agents: the emerging fields of exogenous chemical exchange saturation transfer and T2-exchange magnetic resonance imaging contrast agents for molecular imaging.

    PubMed

    Daryaei, Iman; Pagel, Mark D

    2015-01-01

    Two relatively new types of exogenous magnetic resonance imaging contrast agents may provide greater impact for molecular imaging by providing greater specificity for detecting molecular imaging biomarkers. Exogenous chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST) agents rely on the selective saturation of the magnetization of a proton on an agent, followed by chemical exchange of a proton from the agent to water. The selective detection of a biomarker-responsive CEST signal and an unresponsive CEST signal, followed by the ratiometric comparison of these signals, can improve biomarker specificity. We refer to this improvement as a "double-agent" approach to molecular imaging. Exogenous T2-exchange agents also rely on chemical exchange of protons between the agent and water, especially with an intermediate rate that lies between the slow exchange rates of CEST agents and the fast exchange rates of traditional T1 and T2 agents. Because of this intermediate exchange rate, these agents have been relatively unknown and have acted as "secret agents" in the contrast agent research field. This review exposes these secret agents and describes the merits of double agents through examples of exogenous agents that detect enzyme activity, nucleic acids and gene expression, metabolites, ions, redox state, temperature, and pH. Future directions are also provided for improving both types of contrast agents for improved molecular imaging and clinical translation. Therefore, this review provides an overview of two new types of exogenous contrast agents that are becoming useful tools within the armamentarium of molecular imaging.

  14. An Environment for Distributed Collaboration Among Humans and Software Agents

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-01-14

    an integrated part of a multi - agent system . Human interaction with agents who act autonomously most of the time, such as a process control agent in a...but must be supervised by, or coordinated with, humans. The DCI system provides a step toward future seamless integration of humans and software agents into a cohesive multi - agent system .

  15. 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…

  16. 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)

  17. Multi-Agent System for Resource Reliability

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-11-02

    1 research and development of a prototype for network resource reliability has laid the groundwork for the Phase 2 implementation of MASRR, a Multi - Agent System for Resource Reliability, and its eventual commercialization.

  18. Optical bonding agents for severe environments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pellicori, S. F.

    1972-01-01

    Test results and applications of elastors (General Electric RTV 665, Dow Corning (DC) XR-63-488, DC 93-500, DC 182, and DC 184) considered for use as optical bonding agents in aerospace environments are presented.

  19. Hazards with disinfecting agents in renal units!

    PubMed

    Stragier, A

    1992-02-01

    As already described in the April 1991 issue of EDTNA/ERCA Journal (Volume XVII, No. 2), the specific characteristics of various disinfecting agents delineate their respective application areas. Obviously, in a renal unit one needs a large range of disinfecting agents as they are being used for cleaning and disinfection of: water treatment devices; water tanks and distribution systems; single patient units; patient vascular access sites; dialysis connection procedure; dialyser reuse; instruments; floors, etc.... We have been taught never to mix different disinfecting agents as this might reduce their efficiency. However, it had never been hitherto reported that this might be dangerous or even cause an explosion! In this paper, we describe in detail how we were confronted with such an explosion. We further report that similar hazards occurred in other units and present an overview of possible hazards with the most common disinfecting agents. Finally, we emphasize some preventive guidelines to be put forth in renal units.

  20. 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.

  1. 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 ...

  2. 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 ...

  3. Soft Tissue Sarcomas and Agent Orange

    MedlinePlus

    ... Z) Hepatitis HIV Mental Health Mental Health Home Suicide Prevention Substance Abuse Military Sexual Trauma PTSD Research ( ... eligible for a free Agent Orange registry health exam . Surviving spouses, dependent children and dependent parents of ...

  4. Porphyria Cutanea Tarda and Agent Orange

    MedlinePlus

    ... Z) Hepatitis HIV Mental Health Mental Health Home Suicide Prevention Substance Abuse Military Sexual Trauma PTSD Research ( ... eligible for a free Agent Orange registry health exam . Surviving spouses, dependent children and dependent parents of ...

  5. Fluorinated nucleosides as antiviral and antitumor agents.

    PubMed

    Meng, Wei-Dong; Qing, Feng-Ling

    2006-01-01

    The synthesis of nucleosides and analogues with fluoride modifications on the surgar moiety are reviewed, and their biological activities as potential antiviral and anti-tumor agents are also discussed.

  6. Neuromodulators: available agents, physiology, and anatomy.

    PubMed

    Nettar, Kartik; Maas, Corey

    2011-12-01

    Neuromodulators have risen to the forefront of aesthetic medicine. By reversibly relaxing target muscles, neuromodulators exhibit their effect by softening hyperfunctional lines. An understanding of their physiology, relevant facial anatomy, and current agents is imperative for a successful aesthetic practice.

  7. Novel Antimicrotubule Agents for Breast Cancer

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-10-01

    cancer cells by disrupting microtubule assembly and the spindle apparatus. Unlike taxanes that stabilize microtubules, vinca alkaloids destabilize...microtubules. The combination of stathmin-based peptide(s) with vinca alkaloids is particularly attractive since both agents inhibit microtubule

  8. Fairness emergence from zero-intelligence agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duan, Wen-Qi; Stanley, H. Eugene

    2010-02-01

    Fairness plays a key role in explaining the emergence and maintenance of cooperation. Opponent-oriented social utility models were often proposed to explain the origins of fairness preferences in which agents take into account not only their own outcomes but are also concerned with the outcomes of their opponents. Here, we propose a payoff-oriented mechanism in which agents update their beliefs only based on the payoff signals of the previous ultimatum game, regardless of the behaviors and outcomes of the opponents themselves. Employing adaptive ultimatum game, we show that (1) fairness behaviors can emerge out even under such minimalist assumptions, provided that agents are capable of responding to their payoff signals, (2) the average game payoff per agent per round decreases with the increasing discrepancy rate between the average giving rate and the average asking rate, and (3) the belief update process will lead to 50%-50% fair split provided that there is no mutation in the evolutionary dynamics.

  9. Emergent Aerospace Designs Using Negotiating Autonomous Agents

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Deshmukh, Abhijit; Middelkoop, Timothy; Krothapalli, Anjaneyulu; Smith, Charles

    2000-01-01

    This paper presents a distributed design methodology where designs emerge as a result of the negotiations between different stake holders in the process, such as cost, performance, reliability, etc. The proposed methodology uses autonomous agents to represent design decision makers. Each agent influences specific design parameters in order to maximize their utility. Since the design parameters depend on the aggregate demand of all the agents in the system, design agents need to negotiate with others in the market economy in order to reach an acceptable utility value. This paper addresses several interesting research issues related to distributed design architectures. First, we present a flexible framework which facilitates decomposition of the design problem. Second, we present overview of a market mechanism for generating acceptable design configurations. Finally, we integrate learning mechanisms in the design process to reduce the computational overhead.

  10. 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

  11. Binding agent for molding ceramic items

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Beshentsev, B. D.; Vityuk, N. P.; Volkov, A. V.; Yevdokimov, A. I.; Novikov, M. N.; Piskunov, Y. G.; Pobortsev, E. P.; Sadovnichaya, L. M.

    1983-01-01

    The invention refers to the fabrication of ceramic items by the molding method. It can be used to produce items of complicated configuration, in particular composition of binding agent for electroceramic items.

  12. 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.

  13. Fate of Nerve Agent Simulants on Concrete

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-10-01

    2.0 µL range was detected. INTRODUCTION The rate of decomposition of chemical warfare agents on substrates commonly present in a...Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC) ABSTRACT The nerve agent VX (O-ethyl S-[2-(diisopropylamino)ethyl]methylphosphonothiolate) has...from Aldrich Chemical Company and used as received. 31P NMR of the starting materials indicated that it was the correct compound. Concrete samples

  14. Coordinating Learning Agents for Active Information Collection

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-06-30

    ranging from robocup soccer [26, 27], to rover coordination [19], to trading agents [25, 43], to air traffic management [32]. What makes this problem...Bazzan, A. and Ossowski, S. (eds.), Applications of Agent Technology in Traffic and Transportation ( Springer , 2005). [19] Mataric, M. J., Coordination...of Complex Systems ( Springer , 2004). September 16, 2009 16:40 WSPC/169-ACS 00230 472 K. Tumer and N. Khani [24] Pynadath, D. and Tambe, M., The

  15. 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.

  16. Surface modification agents for lithium batteries

    DOEpatents

    Chen, Zonghai; Amine, Khalil; Belharouak, Ilias

    2015-06-23

    A method includes modifying a surface of an electrode active material including providing a solution or a suspension of a surface modification agent; providing the electrode active material; preparing a slurry of the solution or suspension of the surface modification agent, the electrode active material, a polymeric binder, and a conductive filler; casting the slurry in a metallic current collector; and drying the cast slurry.

  17. Smiling virtual agent in social context.

    PubMed

    Ochs, Magalie; Niewiadomski, Radoslaw; Brunet, Paul; Pelachaud, Catherine

    2012-10-01

    A smile may communicate different communicative intentions depending on subtle characteristics of the facial expression. In this article, we propose an algorithm to determine the morphological and dynamic characteristics of virtual agent's smiles of amusement, politeness, and embarrassment. The algorithm has been defined based on a virtual agent's smiles corpus constructed by users and analyzed with a decision tree classification technique. An evaluation, in different contexts, of the resulting smiles has enabled us to validate the proposed algorithm.

  18. Organophosphate nerve agent detection with europium complexes.

    PubMed

    Schwierking, Jake R; Menzel, Laird W; Menzel, E Roland

    2004-11-05

    We explore the detection of paraoxon, a model compound for nonvolatile organophosphate nerve agents such as VX. The detection utilizes europium complexes with 1,10 phenanthroline and thenoyltrifluoroacetone as sensitizing ligands. Both europium luminescence quenching and luminescence enhancement modalities are involved in the detection, which is simple, rapid, and sensitive. It is adaptable as well to the more volatile fluorophosphate nerve agents. It involves nothing more than visual luminescence observation under sample illumination by an ordinary hand-held ultraviolet lamp.

  19. Inaccessibility in Multi-Agent Systems

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-11-02

    reliable. Software agents may need to migrate e.g. in the situations where the information needs to be transformed between two mutually inaccessible...integrate the software prototype from the MRinMAS project in a timely fashion. An important development period of this project has been devoted to...footprint and message sending speed). For selected agent platforms - JADE, FIPA-OS, ZEUS, JACK, GRASSHOPPER and A–globe - the results of benchmarking are

  20. Status of liposomes as MR contrast agents.

    PubMed

    Unger, E C; Shen, D K; Fritz, T A

    1993-01-01

    Recent work on the development of liposomal magnetic resonance (MR) contrast agents has yielded structures with higher overall relaxivity than that of other nanoparticles of similar diameter. Liposomes incorporating membrane-bound complexes of manganase ("memsomes") produce greater hepatic enhancement per micromole of metal ion than either ferrite particles or paramagnetic chelates. Memsomes also hold promise for targeting of sites outside the liver. Work is in progress to take these agents into clinical trials.