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Sample records for ancient insect taxa

  1. A proteomic approach for studying insect phylogeny: CAPA peptides of ancient insect taxa (Dictyoptera, Blattoptera) as a test case

    PubMed Central

    Roth, Steffen; Fromm, Bastian; Gäde, Gerd; Predel, Reinhard

    2009-01-01

    Background Neuropeptide ligands have to fit exactly into their respective receptors and thus the evolution of the coding regions of their genes is constrained and may be strongly conserved. As such, they may be suitable for the reconstruction of phylogenetic relationships within higher taxa. CAPA peptides of major lineages of cockroaches (Blaberidae, Blattellidae, Blattidae, Polyphagidae, Cryptocercidae) and of the termite Mastotermes darwiniensis were chosen to test the above hypothesis. The phylogenetic relationships within various groups of the taxon Dictyoptera (praying mantids, termites and cockroaches) are still highly disputed. Results Tandem mass spectrometry of neuropeptides from perisympathetic organs was used to obtain sequence data of CAPA peptides from single specimens; the data were analysed by Maximum Parsimony and Bayesian Interference. The resulting cladograms, taking 61 species into account, show a topology which is in general agreement with recent molecular and morphological phylogenetic analyses, including the recent phylogenetic arrangement placing termites within the cockroaches. When sequence data sets from other neuropeptides, viz. adipokinetic hormones and sulfakinins, were included, the general topology of the cladogram did not change but bootstrap values increased considerably. Conclusion This study represents the first comprehensive survey of neuropeptides of insects for solely phylogenetic purposes and concludes that sequences of short neuropeptides are suitable to complement molecular biological and morphological data for the reconstruction of phylogenetic relationships. PMID:19257902

  2. Molecular evidence for ancient asexuality in timema stick insects.

    PubMed

    Schwander, Tanja; Henry, Lee; Crespi, Bernard J

    2011-07-12

    Asexuality is rare in animals in spite of its apparent advantage relative to sexual reproduction, indicating that it must be associated with profound costs [1-9]. One expectation is that reproductive advantages gained by new asexual lineages will be quickly eroded over time [3, 5-7]. Ancient asexual taxa that have evolved and adapted without sex would be "scandalous" exceptions to this rule, but it is often difficult to exclude the possibility that putative asexuals deploy some form of "cryptic" sex, or have abandoned sex more recently than estimated from divergence times to sexual relatives [10]. Here we provide evidence, from high intraspecific divergence of mitochondrial sequence and nuclear allele divergence patterns, that several independently derived Timema stick-insect lineages have persisted without recombination for more than a million generations. Nuclear alleles in the asexual lineages displayed significantly higher intraindividual divergences than in related sexual species. In addition, within two asexuals, nuclear allele phylogenies suggested the presence of two clades, with sequences from the same individual appearing in both clades. These data strongly support ancient asexuality in Timema and validate the genus as an exceptional opportunity to attack the question of how asexual reproduction can be maintained over long periods of evolutionary time.

  3. An ancient tripartite symbiosis of plants, ants and scale insects.

    PubMed

    Ueda, Shouhei; Quek, Swee-Peck; Itioka, Takao; Inamori, Keita; Sato, Yumiko; Murase, Kaori; Itino, Takao

    2008-10-22

    In the Asian tropics, a conspicuous radiation of Macaranga plants is inhabited by obligately associated Crematogaster ants tending Coccus (Coccidae) scale insects, forming a tripartite symbiosis. Recent phylogenetic studies have shown that the plants and the ants have been codiversifying over the past 16-20 million years (Myr). The prevalence of coccoids in ant-plant mutualisms suggest that they play an important role in the evolution of ant-plant symbioses. To determine whether the scale insects were involved in the evolutionary origin of the mutualism between Macaranga and Crematogaster, we constructed a cytochrome oxidase I (COI) gene phylogeny of the scale insects collected from myrmecophytic Macaranga and estimated their time of origin based on a COI molecular clock. The minimum age of the associated Coccus was estimated to be half that of the ants, at 7-9Myr, suggesting that they were latecomers in the evolutionary history of the symbiosis. Crematogaster mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) lineages did not exhibit specificity towards Coccus mtDNA lineages, and the latter was not found to be specific towards Macaranga taxa, suggesting that patterns of associations in the scale insects are dictated by opportunity rather than by specialized adaptations to host plant traits.

  4. Molecular phylogenetic evidence for ancient divergence of lizard taxa on either side of Wallace's Line.

    PubMed Central

    Schulte, James A; Melville, Jane; Larson, Allan

    2003-01-01

    Wallace's Line, separating the terrestrial faunas of South East Asia from the Australia-New Guinea region, is the most prominent and well-studied biogeographical division in the world. Phylogenetically distinct subgroups of major animal and plant groups have been documented on either side of Wallace's Line since it was first proposed in 1859. Despite its importance, the temporal history of fragmentation across this line is virtually unknown and the geological foundation has rarely been discussed. Using molecular phylogenetics and dating techniques, we show that the split between taxa in the South East Asian and the Australian-New Guinean geological regions occurred during the Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous in two independent lizard clades. This estimate is compatible with the hypothesis of rifting Gondwanan continental fragments during the Mesozoic and strongly rejects the hypothetical origin of various members of the Australian-New Guinean herpetofauna as relatively recent invasions from South East Asia. Our finding suggests an ancient fragmentation of lizard taxa on either side of Wallace's Line and provides further evidence that the composition of modern global communities has been significantly affected by rifting and accretion of Gondwanan continental plates during the Middle to Late Mesozoic. PMID:12769459

  5. Problems of reproducibility--does geologically ancient DNA survive in amber-preserved insects?

    PubMed Central

    Austin, J J; Ross, A J; Smith, A B; Fortey, R A; Thomas, R H

    1997-01-01

    Apparently ancient DNA has been reported from amber-preserved insects many millions of years old. Rigorous attempts to reproduce these DNA sequences from amber- and copal-preserved bees and flies have failed to detect any authentic ancient insect DNA. Lack of reproducibility suggests that DNA does not survive over millions of years even in amber, the most promising of fossil environments. PMID:9149422

  6. DNA content and distribution in ancient feathers and potential to reconstruct the plumage of extinct avian taxa

    PubMed Central

    Rawlence, Nicolas J.; Wood, Jamie R.; Armstrong, Kyle N.; Cooper, Alan

    2009-01-01

    Feathers are known to contain amplifiable DNA at their base (calamus) and have provided an important genetic source from museum specimens. However, feathers in subfossil deposits generally only preserve the upper shaft and feather ‘vane’ which are thought to be unsuitable for DNA analysis. We analyse subfossil moa feathers from Holocene New Zealand rockshelter sites and demonstrate that both ancient DNA and plumage information can be recovered from their upper portion, allowing species identification and a means to reconstruct the appearance of extinct taxa. These ancient DNA sequences indicate that the distal portions of feathers are an untapped resource for studies of museum, palaeontological and modern specimens. We investigate the potential to reconstruct the plumage of pre-historically extinct avian taxa using subfossil remains, rather than assuming morphological uniformity with closely related extant taxa. To test the notion of colour persistence in subfossil feathers, we perform digital comparisons of feathers of the red-crowned parakeet (Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae novaezelandiae) excavated from the same horizons as the moa feathers, with modern samples. The results suggest that the coloration of the moa feathers is authentic, and computer software is used to perform plumage reconstructions of moa based on subfossil remains. PMID:19570784

  7. Symbiosis and Insect Diversification: an Ancient Symbiont of Sap-Feeding Insects from the Bacterial Phylum Bacteroidetes

    PubMed Central

    Moran, Nancy A.; Tran, Phat; Gerardo, Nicole M.

    2005-01-01

    Several insect groups have obligate, vertically transmitted bacterial symbionts that provision hosts with nutrients that are limiting in the diet. Some of these bacteria have been shown to descend from ancient infections. Here we show that the large group of related insects including cicadas, leafhoppers, treehoppers, spittlebugs, and planthoppers host a distinct clade of bacterial symbionts. This newly described symbiont lineage belongs to the phylum Bacteroidetes. Analyses of 16S rRNA genes indicate that the symbiont phylogeny is completely congruent with the phylogeny of insect hosts as currently known. These results support the ancient acquisition of a symbiont by a shared ancestor of these insects, dating the original infection to at least 260 million years ago. As visualized in a species of spittlebug (Cercopoidea) and in a species of sharpshooter (Cicadellinae), the symbionts have extraordinarily large cells with an elongate shape, often more than 30 μm in length; in situ hybridizations verify that these correspond to the phylum Bacteroidetes. “Candidatus Sulcia muelleri” is proposed as the name of the new symbiont. PMID:16332876

  8. Symbiosis and insect diversification: an ancient symbiont of sap-feeding insects from the bacterial phylum Bacteroidetes.

    PubMed

    Moran, Nancy A; Tran, Phat; Gerardo, Nicole M

    2005-12-01

    Several insect groups have obligate, vertically transmitted bacterial symbionts that provision hosts with nutrients that are limiting in the diet. Some of these bacteria have been shown to descend from ancient infections. Here we show that the large group of related insects including cicadas, leafhoppers, treehoppers, spittlebugs, and planthoppers host a distinct clade of bacterial symbionts. This newly described symbiont lineage belongs to the phylum Bacteroidetes. Analyses of 16S rRNA genes indicate that the symbiont phylogeny is completely congruent with the phylogeny of insect hosts as currently known. These results support the ancient acquisition of a symbiont by a shared ancestor of these insects, dating the original infection to at least 260 million years ago. As visualized in a species of spittlebug (Cercopoidea) and in a species of sharpshooter (Cicadellinae), the symbionts have extraordinarily large cells with an elongate shape, often more than 30 mum in length; in situ hybridizations verify that these correspond to the phylum Bacteroidetes. "Candidatus Sulcia muelleri" is proposed as the name of the new symbiont.

  9. Ancient origin of high taxonomic richness among insects

    PubMed Central

    Karr, Jered A.; Nicholson, David B.; Ross, Andrew J.; Mayhew, Peter J.

    2016-01-01

    Insects are a hyper-diverse group, comprising nearly three-quarters of all named animal species on the Earth, but the environmental drivers of their richness and the roles of ecological interactions and evolutionary innovations remain unclear. Previous studies have argued that family-level insect richness increased continuously over the evolutionary history of the group, but inclusion of extant family records artificially inflated the relative richness of younger time intervals. Here we apply sampling-standardization methods to a species-level database of fossil insect occurrences, removing biases present in previous richness curves. We show that insect family-richness peaked 125 Ma and that Recent values are only 1.5–3 times as high as the Late Palaeozoic. Rarefied species-richness data also tentatively suggest little or no net increase in richness over the past 125 Myr. The Cretaceous peak in family richness was coincident with major radiations within extant groups but occurred prior to extinctions within more basal groups. Those extinctions may in part be linked to mid-Cretaceous floral turnover following the evolution of flowering plants. Negligible net richness change over the past 125 Myr implies that major radiations within extant groups were offset by reduced richness within groups that are now relict or extinct. PMID:26842567

  10. The Insect Chemoreceptor Superfamily Is Ancient in Animals.

    PubMed

    Robertson, Hugh M

    2015-11-01

    The insect chemoreceptor superfamily consists of 2 gene families, the highly diverse gustatory receptors (GRs) found in all arthropods with sequenced genomes and the odorant receptors that evolved from a GR lineage and have been found only in insects to date. Here, I describe relatives of the insect chemoreceptor superfamily, specifically the basal GR family, in diverse other animals, showing that the superfamily dates back at least to early animal evolution. GR-Like (GRL) genes are present in the genomes of the placozoan Trichoplax adhaerens, an anemone Nematostella vectensis, a coral Acropora digitifera, a polychaete Capitella teleta, a leech Helobdella robusta, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (and many other nematodes), 3 molluscs (a limpet Lottia gigantea, an oyster Crassostrea gigas, and the sea hare Aplysia californica), the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus, and the sea acorn Saccoglossus kowalevskii. While some of these animals contain multiple divergent GRL lineages, GRLs have been lost entirely from other animal lineages such as vertebrates. GRLs are absent from the ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi, the demosponge Amphimedon queenslandica, and 2 available chaonoflagellate genomes, so it remains unclear whether this superfamily originated before or during animal evolution.

  11. The cucurbits of mediterranean antiquity: identification of taxa from ancient images and descriptions.

    PubMed

    Janick, Jules; Paris, Harry S; Parrish, David C

    2007-12-01

    A critical analysis was made of cucurbit descriptions in Dioscorides' De Materia Medica, Columella's De Re Rustica and Pliny's Historia Naturalis, works on medicine, agriculture and natural science of the 1st century ce, as well as the Mishna and Tosefta, compilations of rabbinic law derived from the same time period together with cucurbit images dating from antiquity including paintings, mosaics and sculpture. The goal was to identify taxonomically the Mediterranean cucurbits at the time of the Roman Empire. By ancient times, long-fruited forms of Cucumis melo (melon) and Lagenaria siceraria (bottle gourd) were selected, cultivated and used as vegetables around the Mediterranean and, in addition, bottle-shaped fruits of L. siceraria were employed as vessels. Citrullus lanatus (watermelons) and round-fruited forms of Cucumis melo (melons) were also consumed, but less commonly. A number of cucurbit species, including Bryonia alba, B. dioica, Citrullus colocynthis and Ecballium elaterium, were employed for medicinal purposes. No unequivocal evidence was found to suggest the presence of Cucumis sativus (cucumber) in the Mediterranean area during this era. The cucumis of Columella and Pliny was not cucumber, as commonly translated, but Cucumis melo subsp. melo Flexuosus Group (snake melon or vegetable melon).

  12. The Cucurbits of Mediterranean Antiquity: Identification of Taxa from Ancient Images and Descriptions

    PubMed Central

    Janick, Jules; Paris, Harry S.; Parrish, David C.

    2007-01-01

    Background A critical analysis was made of cucurbit descriptions in Dioscorides' De Materia Medica, Columella's De Re Rustica and Pliny's Historia Naturalis, works on medicine, agriculture and natural science of the 1st century ce, as well as the Mishna and Tosefta, compilations of rabbinic law derived from the same time period together with cucurbit images dating from antiquity including paintings, mosaics and sculpture. The goal was to identify taxonomically the Mediterranean cucurbits at the time of the Roman Empire. Findings By ancient times, long-fruited forms of Cucumis melo (melon) and Lagenaria siceraria (bottle gourd) were selected, cultivated and used as vegetables around the Mediterranean and, in addition, bottle-shaped fruits of L. siceraria were employed as vessels. Citrullus lanatus (watermelons) and round-fruited forms of Cucumis melo (melons) were also consumed, but less commonly. A number of cucurbit species, including Bryonia alba, B. dioica, Citrullus colocynthis and Ecballium elaterium, were employed for medicinal purposes. No unequivocal evidence was found to suggest the presence of Cucumis sativus (cucumber) in the Mediterranean area during this era. The cucumis of Columella and Pliny was not cucumber, as commonly translated, but Cucumis melo subsp. melo Flexuosus Group (snake melon or vegetable melon). PMID:17932073

  13. Preliminary assessment of biogeographic affinities of selected insect taxa of the state of Sonora, Mexico

    Treesearch

    Robert W. Jones; Alejandro Obregon-Zuniga; Sandra Guzman-Rodriguez

    2013-01-01

    The biogeographic affinites of butterflies (Lepidoptera: Papilionoidea and Hesperidae), damsel and dragonflies (Odonata), and ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) reported from the State of Sonora, Mexico were analyzed using published species lists. The combined distribution of these taxa was proportionally greater (47.4%) for those species within the Mega-Mexico3...

  14. Treating fossils as terminal taxa in divergence time estimation reveals ancient vicariance patterns in the palpimanoid spiders.

    PubMed

    Wood, Hannah Marie; Matzke, Nicholas J; Gillespie, Rosemary G; Griswold, Charles E

    2013-03-01

    Incorporation of fossils into biogeographic studies can have a profound effect on the conclusions that result, particularly when fossil ranges are nonoverlapping with extant ranges. This is the case in archaeid spiders, where there are known fossils from the Northern Hemisphere, yet all living members are restricted to the Southern Hemisphere. To better understand the biogeographic patterns of archaeid spiders and their palpimanoid relatives, we estimate a dated phylogeny using a relaxed clock on a combined molecular and morphological data set. Dating information is compared with treating the archaeid fossil taxa as both node calibrations and as noncontemporaneous terminal tips, both with and without additional calibration points. Estimation of ancestral biogeographic ranges is then performed, using likelihood and Bayesian methods to take into account uncertainty in phylogeny and in dating. We find that treating the fossils as terminal tips within a Bayesian framework, as opposed to dating the phylogeny based only on molecular data with the dates coming from node calibrations, removes the subjectivity involved in assigning priors, which has not been possible with previous methods. Our analyses suggest that the diversification of the northern and southern archaeid lineages was congruent with the breakup of Pangaea into Laurasia and Gondwanaland. This analysis provides a rare example, and perhaps the most strongly supported, where a dated phylogeny confirms a biogeographical hypothesis based on vicariance due to the breakup of the ancient continental plates.

  15. Absence of ancient DNA in sub-fossil insect inclusions preserved in 'Anthropocene' Colombian copal.

    PubMed

    Penney, David; Wadsworth, Caroline; Fox, Graeme; Kennedy, Sandra L; Preziosi, Richard F; Brown, Terence A

    2013-01-01

    Insects preserved in copal, the sub-fossilized resin precursor of amber, have potential value in molecular ecological studies of recently-extinct species and of extant species that have never been collected as living specimens. The objective of the work reported in this paper was therefore to determine if ancient DNA is present in insects preserved in copal. We prepared DNA libraries from two stingless bees (Apidae: Meliponini: Trigonisca ameliae) preserved in 'Anthropocene' Colombian copal, dated to 'post-Bomb' and 10,612±62 cal yr BP, respectively, and obtained sequence reads using the GS Junior 454 System. Read numbers were low, but were significantly higher for DNA extracts prepared from crushed insects compared with extracts obtained by a non-destructive method. The younger specimen yielded sequence reads up to 535 nucleotides in length, but searches of these sequences against the nucleotide database revealed very few significant matches. None of these hits was to stingless bees though one read of 97 nucleotides aligned with two non-contiguous segments of the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I gene of the East Asia bumblebee Bombus hypocrita. The most significant hit was for 452 nucleotides of a 470-nucleotide read that aligned with part of the genome of the root-nodulating bacterium Bradyrhizobium japonicum. The other significant hits were to proteobacteria and an actinomycete. Searches directed specifically at Apidae nucleotide sequences only gave short and insignificant alignments. All of the reads from the older specimen appeared to be artefacts. We were therefore unable to obtain any convincing evidence for the preservation of ancient DNA in either of the two copal inclusions that we studied, and conclude that DNA is not preserved in this type of material. Our results raise further doubts about claims of DNA extraction from fossil insects in amber, many millions of years older than copal.

  16. Evolutionary replacement of obligate symbionts in an ancient and diverse insect lineage.

    PubMed

    Koga, Ryuichi; Bennett, Gordon M; Cryan, Jason R; Moran, Nancy A

    2013-07-01

    Many insect groups depend on ancient obligate symbioses with bacteria that undergo long-term genomic degradation due to inactivation and loss of ancestral genes. Sap-feeding insects in the hemipteran suborder Auchenorrhyncha show complex symbioses with at least two obligate bacterial symbionts, inhabiting specialized host cells (bacteriocytes). We explored the symbiotic relationships of the spittlebugs (Auchenorrhyncha: Cercopoidea) using phylogenetic and microscopy methods. Results show that most spittlebugs contain the symbionts Sulcia muelleri (Bacteroidetes) and Zinderia insecticola (Betaproteobacteria) with each restricted to its own bacteriocyte type. However, the ancestral Zinderia symbiont has been replaced with a novel symbiont closely related to Sodalis glossinidius (Enterobacteriaceae) in members of the ecologically successful spittlebug tribe Philaenini. At least one spittlebug species retains Sulcia and Zinderia, but also has acquired a Sodalis-like symbiont, possibly representing a transitional stage in the evolutionary succession of symbioses. Phylogenetic analyses including symbionts of other Auchenorrhyncha lineages suggest that Zinderia, like Sulcia, descends from an ancestral symbiont present in the common ancestor of Auchenorrhyncha. This betaproteobacterial symbiont has been repeatedly replaced by other symbionts, such as the Sodalis-like symbiont of spittlebugs. Symbiont replacement may offer a route for hosts to escape dependence on an ancient, degraded and potentially inefficient symbiont. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd and Society for Applied Microbiology.

  17. Conserved and convergent organization in the optic lobes of insects and isopods, with reference to other crustacean taxa.

    PubMed

    Sinakevitch, I; Douglass, J K; Scholtz, G; Loesel, R; Strausfeld, N J

    2003-12-08

    The shared organization of three optic lobe neuropils-the lamina, medulla, and lobula-linked by chiasmata has been used to support arguments that insects and malacostracans are sister groups. However, in certain insects, the lobula is accompanied by a tectum-like fourth neuropil, the lobula plate, characterized by wide-field tangential neurons and linked to the medulla by uncrossed axons. The identification of a lobula plate in an isopod crustacean raises the question of whether the lobula plate of insects and isopods evolved convergently or are derived from a common ancestor. This question is here investigated by comparisons of insect and crustacean optic lobes. The basal branchiopod crustacean Triops has only two visual neuropils and no optic chiasma. This finding contrasts with the phyllocarid Nebalia pugettensis, a basal malacostracan whose lamina is linked by a chiasma to a medulla that is linked by a second chiasma to a retinotopic outswelling of the lateral protocerebrum, called the protolobula. In Nebalia, uncrossed axons from the medulla supply a minute fourth optic neuropil. Eumalacostracan crustaceans also possess two deep neuropils, one receiving crossed axons, the other uncrossed axons. However, in primitive insects, there is no separate fourth optic neuropil. Malacostracans and insects also differ in that the insect medulla comprises two nested neuropils separated by a layer of axons, called the Cuccati bundle. Comparisons suggest that neuroarchitectures of the lamina and medulla distal to the Cuccati bundle are equivalent to the eumalacostracan lamina and entire medulla. The occurrence of a second optic chiasma and protolobula are suggested to be synapomorphic for a malacostracan/insect clade. Copyright 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  18. Absence of Ancient DNA in Sub-Fossil Insect Inclusions Preserved in ‘Anthropocene’ Colombian Copal

    PubMed Central

    Penney, David; Wadsworth, Caroline; Fox, Graeme; Kennedy, Sandra L.; Preziosi, Richard F.; Brown, Terence A.

    2013-01-01

    Insects preserved in copal, the sub-fossilized resin precursor of amber, have potential value in molecular ecological studies of recently-extinct species and of extant species that have never been collected as living specimens. The objective of the work reported in this paper was therefore to determine if ancient DNA is present in insects preserved in copal. We prepared DNA libraries from two stingless bees (Apidae: Meliponini: Trigonisca ameliae) preserved in ‘Anthropocene’ Colombian copal, dated to ‘post-Bomb’ and 10,612±62 cal yr BP, respectively, and obtained sequence reads using the GS Junior 454 System. Read numbers were low, but were significantly higher for DNA extracts prepared from crushed insects compared with extracts obtained by a non-destructive method. The younger specimen yielded sequence reads up to 535 nucleotides in length, but searches of these sequences against the nucleotide database revealed very few significant matches. None of these hits was to stingless bees though one read of 97 nucleotides aligned with two non-contiguous segments of the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I gene of the East Asia bumblebee Bombus hypocrita. The most significant hit was for 452 nucleotides of a 470-nucleotide read that aligned with part of the genome of the root-nodulating bacterium Bradyrhizobium japonicum. The other significant hits were to proteobacteria and an actinomycete. Searches directed specifically at Apidae nucleotide sequences only gave short and insignificant alignments. All of the reads from the older specimen appeared to be artefacts. We were therefore unable to obtain any convincing evidence for the preservation of ancient DNA in either of the two copal inclusions that we studied, and conclude that DNA is not preserved in this type of material. Our results raise further doubts about claims of DNA extraction from fossil insects in amber, many millions of years older than copal. PMID:24039876

  19. A comparative study of ancient environmental DNA to pollen and macrofossils from lake sediments reveals taxonomic overlap and additional plant taxa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pedersen, Mikkel Winther; Ginolhac, Aurélien; Orlando, Ludovic; Olsen, Jesper; Andersen, Kenneth; Holm, Jakob; Funder, Svend; Willerslev, Eske; Kjær, Kurt H.

    2013-09-01

    We use 2nd generation sequencing technology on sedimentary ancient DNA (sedaDNA) from a lake in South Greenland to reconstruct the local floristic history around a low-arctic lake and compare the results with those previously obtained from pollen and macrofossils in the same lake. Thirty-eight of thirty-nine samples from the core yielded putative DNA sequences. Using a multiple assignment strategy on the trnL g-h DNA barcode, consisting of two different phylogenetic and one sequence similarity assignment approaches, thirteen families of plants were identified, of which two (Scrophulariaceae and Asparagaceae) are absent from the pollen and macrofossil records. An age model for the sediment based on twelve radiocarbon dates establishes a chronology and shows that the lake record dates back to 10,650 cal yr BP. Our results suggest that sedaDNA analysis from lake sediments, although taxonomically less detailed than pollen and macrofossil analyses can be a complementary tool for establishing the composition of both terrestrial and aquatic local plant communities and a method for identifying additional taxa.

  20. Small, Smaller, Smallest: The Origins and Evolution of Ancient Dual Symbioses in a Phloem-Feeding Insect

    PubMed Central

    Bennett, Gordon M.; Moran, Nancy A.

    2013-01-01

    Many insects rely on bacterial symbionts with tiny genomes specialized for provisioning nutrients lacking in host diets. Xylem sap and phloem sap are both deficient as insect diets, but differ dramatically in nutrient content, potentially affecting symbiont genome evolution. For sap-feeding insects, sequenced symbiont genomes are available only for phloem-feeding examples from the suborder Sternorrhyncha and xylem-feeding examples from the suborder Auchenorrhyncha, confounding comparisons. We sequenced genomes of the obligate symbionts, Sulcia muelleri and Nasuia deltocephalinicola, of the phloem-feeding pest insect, Macrosteles quadrilineatus (Auchenorrhyncha: Cicadellidae). Our results reveal that Nasuia-ALF has the smallest bacterial genome yet sequenced (112 kb), and that the Sulcia-ALF genome (190 kb) is smaller than that of Sulcia in other insect lineages. Together, these symbionts retain the capability to synthesize the 10 essential amino acids, as observed for several symbiont pairs from xylem-feeding Auchenorrhyncha. Nasuia retains genes enabling synthesis of two amino acids, DNA replication, transcription, and translation. Both symbionts have lost genes underlying ATP synthesis through oxidative phosphorylation, possibly as a consequence of the enriched sugar content of phloem. Shared genomic features, including reassignment of the UGA codon from Stop to tryptophan, and phylogenetic results suggest that Nasuia-ALF is most closely related to Zinderia, the betaproteobacterial symbiont of spittlebugs. Thus, Nasuia/Zinderia and Sulcia likely represent ancient associates that have co-resided in hosts since the divergence of leafhoppers and spittlebugs >200 Ma, and possibly since the origin of the Auchenorrhyncha, >260 Ma. PMID:23918810

  1. Insect-damaged fossil leaves record food web response to ancient climate change and extinction.

    PubMed

    Wilf, P

    2008-01-01

    Plants and herbivorous insects have dominated terrestrial ecosystems for over 300 million years. Uniquely in the fossil record, foliage with well-preserved insect damage offers abundant and diverse information both about producers and about ecological and sometimes taxonomic groups of consumers. These data are ideally suited to investigate food web response to environmental perturbations, and they represent an invaluable deep-time complement to neoecological studies of global change. Correlations between feeding diversity and temperature, between herbivory and leaf traits that are modulated by climate, and between insect diversity and plant diversity can all be investigated in deep time. To illustrate, I emphasize recent work on the time interval from the latest Cretaceous through the middle Eocene (67-47 million years ago (Ma)), including two significant events that affected life: the end-Cretaceous mass extinction (65.5 Ma) and its ensuing recovery; and globally warming temperatures across the Paleocene-Eocene boundary (55.8 Ma). Climatic effects predicted from neoecology generally hold true in these deep-time settings. Rising temperature is associated with increased herbivory in multiple studies, a result with major predictive importance for current global warming. Diverse floras are usually associated with diverse insect damage; however, recovery from the end-Cretaceous extinction reveals uncorrelated plant and insect diversity as food webs rebuilt chaotically from a drastically simplified state. Calibration studies from living forests are needed to improve interpretation of the fossil data.

  2. Insect Leaf-Chewing Damage Tracks Herbivore Richness in Modern and Ancient Forests

    PubMed Central

    Carvalho, Mónica R.; Wilf, Peter; Barrios, Héctor; Windsor, Donald M.; Currano, Ellen D.; Labandeira, Conrad C.; Jaramillo, Carlos A.

    2014-01-01

    The fossil record demonstrates that past climate changes and extinctions significantly affected the diversity of insect leaf-feeding damage, implying that the richness of damage types reflects that of the unsampled damage makers, and that the two are correlated through time. However, this relationship has not been quantified for living leaf-chewing insects, whose richness and mouthpart convergence have obscured their value for understanding past and present herbivore diversity. We hypothesized that the correlation of leaf-chewing damage types (DTs) and damage maker richness is directly observable in living forests. Using canopy access cranes at two lowland tropical rainforest sites in Panamá to survey 24 host-plant species, we found significant correlations between the numbers of leaf chewing insect species collected and the numbers of DTs observed to be made by the same species in feeding experiments, strongly supporting our hypothesis. Damage type richness was largely driven by insect species that make multiple DTs. Also, the rank-order abundances of DTs recorded at the Panamá sites and across a set of latest Cretaceous to middle Eocene fossil floras were highly correlated, indicating remarkable consistency of feeding-mode distributions through time. Most fossil and modern host-plant pairs displayed high similarity indices for their leaf-chewing DTs, but informative differences and trends in fossil damage composition became apparent when endophytic damage was included. Our results greatly expand the potential of insect-mediated leaf damage for interpreting insect herbivore richness and compositional heterogeneity from fossil floras and, equally promisingly, in living forests. PMID:24788720

  3. Insect leaf-chewing damage tracks herbivore richness in modern and ancient forests.

    PubMed

    Carvalho, Mónica R; Wilf, Peter; Barrios, Héctor; Windsor, Donald M; Currano, Ellen D; Labandeira, Conrad C; Jaramillo, Carlos A

    2014-01-01

    The fossil record demonstrates that past climate changes and extinctions significantly affected the diversity of insect leaf-feeding damage, implying that the richness of damage types reflects that of the unsampled damage makers, and that the two are correlated through time. However, this relationship has not been quantified for living leaf-chewing insects, whose richness and mouthpart convergence have obscured their value for understanding past and present herbivore diversity. We hypothesized that the correlation of leaf-chewing damage types (DTs) and damage maker richness is directly observable in living forests. Using canopy access cranes at two lowland tropical rainforest sites in Panamá to survey 24 host-plant species, we found significant correlations between the numbers of leaf chewing insect species collected and the numbers of DTs observed to be made by the same species in feeding experiments, strongly supporting our hypothesis. Damage type richness was largely driven by insect species that make multiple DTs. Also, the rank-order abundances of DTs recorded at the Panamá sites and across a set of latest Cretaceous to middle Eocene fossil floras were highly correlated, indicating remarkable consistency of feeding-mode distributions through time. Most fossil and modern host-plant pairs displayed high similarity indices for their leaf-chewing DTs, but informative differences and trends in fossil damage composition became apparent when endophytic damage was included. Our results greatly expand the potential of insect-mediated leaf damage for interpreting insect herbivore richness and compositional heterogeneity from fossil floras and, equally promisingly, in living forests.

  4. The Bag320 satellite DNA family in Bacillus stick insects (Phasmatodea): different rates of molecular evolution of highly repetitive DNA in bisexual and parthenogenic taxa.

    PubMed

    Mantovani, B; Tinti, F; Bachmann, L; Scali, V

    1997-12-01

    The Bag320 satellite DNA (satDNA) family was studied in seven populations of the stick insects Bacillus atticus (parthenogenetic, unisexual) and Bacillus grandii (bisexual). It was characterized as widespread in all zymoraces of B. atticus and in all subspecies of B. grandii. The copy number of this satellite is higher in the bisexual B. grandii (15%-20% of the genome) than in the parthenogenetic B. atticus (2%-5% of the genome). The nucleotide sequences of 12 Bag320 clones from B. atticus and 17 from B. grandii differed at 13 characteristic positions by fixed nucleotide substitutions. Thus, nucleotide sequences from both species cluster conspecifically in phylogenetic dendrograms. The nucleotide sequences derived from B. grandii grandii could be clearly discriminated from those of B. grandii benazzii and B. grandii maretimi on the basis of 25 variable sites, although all taxa come from Sicily. In contrast, the Bag320 sequences from B. atticus could not be discriminated accordingly, although they derive from geographically quite distant populations of its three zymoraces (the Italian and Greek B. atticus atticus, the Greek and Turkish B. atticus carius, and the Cyprian B. atticus cyprius). The different rate of evolutionary turnover of the Bag320 satDNA in both species can be related to their different modes of reproduction. This indicates that meiosis and chromosome segregation affect processes in satDNA diversification.

  5. Ancient pests: the season of the Santorini Minoan volcanic eruption and a date from insect chitin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Panagiotakopulu, Eva; Higham, Thomas; Sarpaki, Anaya; Buckland, Paul; Doumas, Christos

    2013-07-01

    Attributing a season and a date to the volcanic eruption of Santorini in the Aegean has become possible by using preserved remains of the bean weevil, Bruchus rufipes, pests of pulses, from the storage jars of the West House, in the Bronze Age settlement at Akrotiri. We have applied an improved pre-treatment methodology for dating the charred insects, and this provides a date of 1744-1538 BC. This date is within the range of others obtained from pulses from the same context and confirms the utility of chitin as a dating material. Based on the nature of the insect material and the life cycle of the species involved, we argue for a summer eruption, which took place after harvest, shortly after this material was transported into the West House storeroom.

  6. Immune- and wound-dependent differential gene expression in an ancient insect.

    PubMed

    Johnston, Paul R; Rolff, Jens

    2013-01-01

    Two of the main functions of the immune system are to control infections and to contribute to wound closure. Here we present the results of an RNAseq study of immune- and wound-response gene expression in the damselfly Coenagrion puella, a representative of the odonates, the oldest taxon of winged insects. De novo assembly of RNAseq data revealed a rich repertoire of canonical immune pathways, as known from model insects, including recognition, transduction and effector gene expression. A shared set of immune and wound repair genes were differentially expressed in both wounded and immune-challenged larvae. Moreover 3-fold more immune genes were induced only in the immune-challenged treatment. This is consistent with the notion that the immune-system reads a balance of signals related to wounding and infection and that the response is tailored accordingly.

  7. Discovery and Evolution of Bunyavirids in Arctic Phantom Midges and Ancient Bunyavirid-Like Sequences in Insect Genomes

    PubMed Central

    Bruenn, Jeremy A.; Hay, John; Czechowski, Donna; Taylor, Derek J.

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT Bunyaviridae is a large family of RNA viruses chiefly comprised of vertebrate and plant pathogens. We discovered novel bunyavirids that are approximately equally divergent from each of the five known genera. We characterized novel genome sequences for two bunyavirids, namely, Kigluaik phantom virus (KIGV), from tundra-native phantom midges (Chaoborus), and Nome phantom virus (NOMV), from tundra-invading phantom midges, and demonstrated that these bunyavirid-like sequences belong to an infectious virus by passaging KIGV in mosquito cell culture, although the infection does not seem to be well sustained beyond a few passages. Virus and host gene sequences from individuals collected on opposite ends of North America, a region spanning 4,000 km, support a long-term, vertically transmitted infection of KIGV in Chaoborus trivittatus. KIGV-like sequences ranging from single genes to full genomes are present in transcriptomes and genomes of insects belonging to six taxonomic orders, suggesting an ancient association of this clade with insect hosts. In Drosophila, endogenous virus genes have been coopted, forming an orthologous tandem gene family that has been maintained by selection during the radiation of the host genus. Our findings indicate that bunyavirid-host interactions in nonbloodsucking arthropods have been much more extensive than previously thought. IMPORTANCE Very little is known about the viral diversity in polar freshwater ponds, and perhaps less is known about the effects that climate-induced habitat changes in these regions will have on virus-host interactions in the coming years. Our results show that at the tundra-boreal boundary, a hidden viral landscape is being altered as infected boreal phantom midges colonize tundra ponds. Likewise, relatively little is known of the deeper evolutionary history of bunyavirids that has led to the stark lifestyle contrasts between some genera. The discovery of this novel bunyavirid group suggests that ancient

  8. Development of a universal double-digest RAD sequencing approach for a group of nonmodel, ecologically and economically important insect and fish taxa.

    PubMed

    Burford Reiskind, M O; Coyle, K; Daniels, H V; Labadie, P; Reiskind, M H; Roberts, N B; Roberts, R B; Schaff, J; Vargo, E L

    2016-11-01

    The generation of genome-scale data is critical for a wide range of questions in basic biology using model organisms, but also in questions of applied biology in nonmodel organisms (agriculture, natural resources, conservation and public health biology). Using a genome-scale approach on a diverse group of nonmodel organisms and with the goal of lowering costs of the method, we modified a multiplexed, high-throughput genomic scan technique utilizing two restriction enzymes. We analysed several pairs of restriction enzymes and completed double-digestion RAD sequencing libraries for nine different species and five genera of insects and fish. We found one particular enzyme pair produced consistently higher number of sequence-able fragments across all nine species. Building libraries off this enzyme pair, we found a range of usable SNPs between 4000 and 37 000 SNPS per species and we found a greater number of usable SNPs using reference genomes than de novo pipelines in STACKS. We also found fewer reads in the Read 2 fragments from the paired-end Illumina Hiseq run. Overall, the results of this study provide empirical evidence of the utility of this method for producing consistent data for diverse nonmodel species and suggest specific considerations for sequencing analysis strategies. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  9. The thorax of the cave cricket Troglophilus neglectus: anatomical adaptations in an ancient wingless insect lineage (Orthoptera: Rhaphidophoridae).

    PubMed

    Leubner, Fanny; Hörnschemeyer, Thomas; Bradler, Sven

    2016-02-18

    Secondary winglessness is a common phenomenon found among neopteran insects. With an estimated age of at least 140 million years, the cave crickets (Rhaphidophoridae) form the oldest exclusively wingless lineage within the long-horned grasshoppers (Ensifera). With respect to their morphology, cave crickets are generally considered to represent a `primitive' group of Ensifera, for which no apomorphic character has been reported so far. We present the first detailed investigation and description of the thoracic skeletal and muscular anatomy of the East Mediterranean cave cricket Troglophilus neglectus (Ensifera: Rhaphidophoridae). T. neglectus possesses sternopleural muscles that are not yet reported from other neopteran insects. Cave crickets in general exhibit some unique features with respect to their thoracic skeletal anatomy: an externally reduced prospinasternum, a narrow median sclerite situated between the meso- and metathorax, a star-shaped prospina, and a triramous metafurca. The thoracic muscle equipment of T. neglectus compared to that of the bush cricket Conocephalus maculatus (Ensifera: Tettigoniidae) and the house cricket Acheta domesticus (Ensifera: Gryllidae) reveals a number of potentially synapomorphic characters between these lineages. Based on the observed morphology we favor a closer relationship of Rhaphidophoridae to Tettigoniidae rather than to Gryllidae. In addition, the comparison of the thoracic morphology of T. neglectus to that of other wingless Polyneoptera allows reliable conclusions about anatomical adaptations correlated with secondary winglessness. The anatomy in apterous Ensifera, viz. the reduction of discrete direct and indirect flight muscles as well as the strengthening of specific leg muscles, largely resembles the condition found in wingless stick insects (Euphasmatodea), but is strikingly different from that of other related wingless insects, e.g. heel walkers (Mantophasmatodea), ice crawlers (Grylloblattodea), and certain

  10. Ancient and modern colonization of North America by hemlock woolly adelgid, Adelges tsugae (Hemiptera: Adelgidae), an invasive insect from East Asia.

    PubMed

    Havill, Nathan P; Shiyake, Shigehiko; Lamb Galloway, Ashley; Foottit, Robert G; Yu, Guoyue; Paradis, Annie; Elkinton, Joseph; Montgomery, Michael E; Sano, Masakazu; Caccone, Adalgisa

    2016-05-01

    Hemlock woolly adelgid, Adelges tsugae, is an invasive pest of hemlock trees (Tsuga) in eastern North America. We used 14 microsatellites and mitochondrial COI sequences to assess its worldwide genetic structure and reconstruct its colonization history. The resulting information about its life cycle, biogeography and host specialization could help predict invasion by insect herbivores. We identified eight endemic lineages of hemlock adelgids in central China, western China, Ulleung Island (South Korea), western North America, and two each in Taiwan and Japan, with the Japanese lineages specializing on different Tsuga species. Adelgid life cycles varied at local and continental scales with different sexual, obligately asexual and facultatively asexual lineages. Adelgids in western North America exhibited very high microsatellite heterozygosity, which suggests ancient asexuality. The earliest lineages diverged in Asia during Pleistocene glacial periods, as estimated using approximate Bayesian computation. Colonization of western North America was estimated to have occurred prior to the last glacial period by adelgids directly ancestral to those in southern Japan, perhaps carried by birds. The modern invasion from southern Japan to eastern North America caused an extreme genetic bottleneck with just two closely related clones detected throughout the introduced range. Both colonization events to North America involved host shifts to unrelated hemlock species. These results suggest that genetic diversity, host specialization and host phylogeny are not predictive of adelgid invasion. Monitoring non-native sentinel host trees and focusing on invasion pathways might be more effective methods of preventing invasion than making predictions using species traits or evolutionary history.

  11. The genome of Gryllus bimaculatus nudivirus indicates an ancient diversification of baculovirus-related nonoccluded nudiviruses of insects.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yongjie; Kleespies, Regina G; Huger, Alois M; Jehle, Johannes A

    2007-05-01

    The Gryllus bimaculatus nudivirus (GbNV) infects nymphs and adults of the cricket Gryllus bimaculatus (Orthoptera: Gryllidae). GbNV and other nudiviruses such as Heliothis zea nudivirus 1 (HzNV-1) and Oryctes rhinoceros nudivirus (OrNV) were previously called "nonoccluded baculoviruses" as they share some similar structural, genomic, and replication aspects with members of the family Baculoviridae. Their relationships to each other and to baculoviruses are elucidated by the sequence of the complete genome of GbNV, which is 96,944 bp, has an AT content of 72%, and potentially contains 98 predicted protein-coding open reading frames (ORFs). Forty-one ORFs of GbNV share sequence similarities with ORFs found in OrNV, HzNV-1, baculoviruses, and bacteria. Most notably, 15 GbNV ORFs are homologous to the baculovirus core genes, which are associated with transcription (lef-8, lef-9, lef-4, vlf-1, and lef-5), replication (dnapol), structural proteins (p74, pif-1, pif-2, pif-3, vp91, and odv-e56), and proteins of unknown function (38K, ac81, and 19kda). Homologues to these baculovirus core genes have been predicted in HzNV-1 as well. Six GbNV ORFs are homologous to nonconserved baculovirus genes dnaligase, helicase 2, rr1, rr2, iap-3, and desmoplakin. However, the remaining 57 ORFs revealed no homology or poor similarities to the current gene databases. No homologous repeat (hr) sequences but fourteen short direct repeat (dr) regions were detected in the GbNV genome. Gene content and sequence similarity suggest that the nudiviruses GbNV, HzNV-1, and OrNV form a monophyletic group of nonoccluded double-stranded DNA viruses, which separated from the baculovirus lineage before this radiated into dipteran-, hymenopteran-, and lepidopteran-specific clades of occluded nucleopolyhedroviruses and granuloviruses. The accumulated information on the GbNV genome suggests that nudiviruses form a highly diverse and phylogenetically ancient sister group of the baculoviruses, which have

  12. Kodamaea transpacifica f.a., sp. nov., a yeast species isolated from ephemeral flowers and insects in the Galapagos Islands and Malaysia: further evidence for ancient human transpacific contacts.

    PubMed

    Freitas, Larissa F D; Carvajal Barriga, Enrique Javier; Barahona, Patricia Portero; Lachance, Marc-André; Rosa, Carlos A

    2013-11-01

    Twenty-four yeast strains were isolated from ephemeral flowers of Ipomoea spp. and Datura sp. and their associated insects in the Galápagos Archipelago, Ecuador, and from Ipomoea spp. and associated insects in the Cameron Highlands, Malaysia. Sequences of the D1/D2 domains of the large subunit rRNA gene indicated that these strains belong to a novel yeast species of the Kodamaea clade, although the formation of ascospores was not observed. The closest relative is Candida restingae. The human-mediated dispersion of this species by transpacific contacts in ancient times is suggested. The name Kodamaea transpacifica f.a., sp. nov. is proposed to accommodate these isolates. The type strain is CLQCA-24i-070(T) ( = CBS 12823(T) = NCYC 3852(T)); MycoBank number MB 803609.

  13. Early evolution and ecology of camouflage in insects

    PubMed Central

    Pérez-de la Fuente, Ricardo; Delclòs, Xavier; Peñalver, Enrique; Speranza, Mariela; Wierzchos, Jacek; Ascaso, Carmen; Engel, Michael S.

    2012-01-01

    Taxa within diverse lineages select and transport exogenous materials for the purposes of camouflage. This adaptive behavior also occurs in insects, most famously in green lacewing larvae who nestle the trash among setigerous cuticular processes, known as trash-carrying, rendering them nearly undetectable to predators and prey, as well as forming a defensive shield. We report an exceptional discovery of a green lacewing larva in Early Cretaceous amber from Spain with specialized cuticular processes forming a dorsal basket that carry a dense trash packet. The trash packet is composed of trichomes of gleicheniacean ferns, which highlight the presence of wildfires in this early forest ecosystem. This discovery provides direct evidence of an early acquisition of a sophisticated behavioral suite in stasis for over 110 million years and an ancient plant–insect interaction. PMID:23236135

  14. Early evolution and ecology of camouflage in insects.

    PubMed

    Pérez-de la Fuente, Ricardo; Delclòs, Xavier; Peñalver, Enrique; Speranza, Mariela; Wierzchos, Jacek; Ascaso, Carmen; Engel, Michael S

    2012-12-26

    Taxa within diverse lineages select and transport exogenous materials for the purposes of camouflage. This adaptive behavior also occurs in insects, most famously in green lacewing larvae who nestle the trash among setigerous cuticular processes, known as trash-carrying, rendering them nearly undetectable to predators and prey, as well as forming a defensive shield. We report an exceptional discovery of a green lacewing larva in Early Cretaceous amber from Spain with specialized cuticular processes forming a dorsal basket that carry a dense trash packet. The trash packet is composed of trichomes of gleicheniacean ferns, which highlight the presence of wildfires in this early forest ecosystem. This discovery provides direct evidence of an early acquisition of a sophisticated behavioral suite in stasis for over 110 million years and an ancient plant-insect interaction.

  15. Molecular phylogeny and biogeography of lac insects (Hemiptera: Kerriidae) inferred from nuclear and mitochondrial gene sequences.

    PubMed

    Chen, Hang; Chen, Xiaoming; Feng, Ying; Yang, Hui; He, Rui; Zhang, Wenfeng; Yang, Zixiang

    2013-10-01

    Lac insects are commercial scale insects with high economic value. The combined molecular phylogeny of 20 lac insect populations was generated using elongation factor 1 alpha, mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I and the small subunit ribosomal RNA gene loci. The 20 populations of lac insects clustered into four distinct clades supported by high bootstrap values in maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood and Bayesian analyses. Clade A at the base of the dendrogram comprises Kerria ruralis and two populations of Kerria lacca and is the branch with most primitive species. Clade B includes K. lacca, Kerria sindica and the three populations P, V and Z from India. They clustered with high bootstrap support and have evolved later than those in Clade A. The three unidentified populations P, V and Z exhibited a close relationship with K. lacca and are the same species. In Clade C, three populations of Kerria yunnanensis (Ym, Yj and Yl), population Ys from Thailand and population H from India clustered as a group, in which population H clustered with Ym with 100 % bootstrap in all three analysis methods. In Clade D, Kerria chinensis, Kerria pusana and three populations of K. yunnanensis clustered together with strong support, and are located in the upper branches of the dendrogram and are recently evolved taxa. The majority of populations from the Indian subcontinent clade are more closely related to outgroup taxa from the primitive family Pseudococcidae, as compared to the Eurasian populations. Phylogenetic analysis reveals that the Indian subcontinent is the centre of original of lac insects which have translocated to the Eurasian Continent. Based on the theory of continental drift and existing fossil records, it is suggested that lac insect evolved from ancient scale insects during the late Cretaceous period when the Indian subcontinent drifted towards the Eurasian Continent. Changes in the global environment have impacted on the distribution and evolution of lac

  16. Evolution of the insect desaturase gene family with an emphasis on social Hymenoptera.

    PubMed

    Helmkampf, Martin; Cash, Elizabeth; Gadau, Jürgen

    2015-02-01

    Desaturase genes are essential for biological processes, including lipid metabolism, cell signaling, and membrane fluidity regulation. Insect desaturases are particularly interesting for their role in chemical communication, and potential contribution to speciation, symbioses, and sociality. Here, we describe the acyl-CoA desaturase gene families of 15 insects, with a focus on social Hymenoptera. Phylogenetic reconstruction revealed that the insect desaturases represent an ancient gene family characterized by eight subfamilies that differ strongly in their degree of conservation and frequency of gene gain and loss. Analyses of genomic organization showed that five of these subfamilies are represented in a highly microsyntenic region conserved across holometabolous insect taxa, indicating an ancestral expansion during early insect evolution. In three subfamilies, ants exhibit particularly large expansions of genes. Despite these expansions, however, selection analyses showed that desaturase genes in all insect lineages are predominantly undergoing strong purifying selection. Finally, for three expanded subfamilies, we show that ants exhibit variation in gene expression between species, and more importantly, between sexes and castes within species. This suggests functional differentiation of these genes and a role in the regulation of reproductive division of labor in ants. The dynamic pattern of gene gain and loss of acyl-CoA desaturases in ants may reflect changes in response to ecological diversification and an increased demand for chemical signal variability. This may provide an example of how gene family expansions can contribute to lineage-specific adaptations through structural and regulatory changes acting in concert to produce new adaptive phenotypes.

  17. Evolution of the Insect Desaturase Gene Family with an Emphasis on Social Hymenoptera

    PubMed Central

    Helmkampf, Martin; Cash, Elizabeth; Gadau, Jürgen

    2015-01-01

    Desaturase genes are essential for biological processes, including lipid metabolism, cell signaling, and membrane fluidity regulation. Insect desaturases are particularly interesting for their role in chemical communication, and potential contribution to speciation, symbioses, and sociality. Here, we describe the acyl-CoA desaturase gene families of 15 insects, with a focus on social Hymenoptera. Phylogenetic reconstruction revealed that the insect desaturases represent an ancient gene family characterized by eight subfamilies that differ strongly in their degree of conservation and frequency of gene gain and loss. Analyses of genomic organization showed that five of these subfamilies are represented in a highly microsyntenic region conserved across holometabolous insect taxa, indicating an ancestral expansion during early insect evolution. In three subfamilies, ants exhibit particularly large expansions of genes. Despite these expansions, however, selection analyses showed that desaturase genes in all insect lineages are predominantly undergoing strong purifying selection. Finally, for three expanded subfamilies, we show that ants exhibit variation in gene expression between species, and more importantly, between sexes and castes within species. This suggests functional differentiation of these genes and a role in the regulation of reproductive division of labor in ants. The dynamic pattern of gene gain and loss of acyl-CoA desaturases in ants may reflect changes in response to ecological diversification and an increased demand for chemical signal variability. This may provide an example of how gene family expansions can contribute to lineage-specific adaptations through structural and regulatory changes acting in concert to produce new adaptive phenotypes. PMID:25425561

  18. Ancient Egypt.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Evers, Virginia

    This four-week fourth grade social studies unit dealing with religious dimensions in ancient Egyptian culture was developed by the Public Education Religion Studies Center at Wright State University. It seeks to help students understand ancient Egypt by looking at the people, the culture, and the people's world view. The unit begins with outlines…

  19. Ancient DNA

    PubMed Central

    Willerslev, Eske; Cooper, Alan

    2004-01-01

    In the past two decades, ancient DNA research has progressed from the retrieval of small fragments of mitochondrial DNA from a few late Holocene specimens, to large-scale studies of ancient populations, phenotypically important nuclear loci, and even whole mitochondrial genome sequences of extinct species. However, the field is still regularly marred by erroneous reports, which underestimate the extent of contamination within laboratories and samples themselves. An improved understanding of these processes and the effects of damage on ancient DNA templates has started to provide a more robust basis for research. Recent methodological advances have included the characterization of Pleistocene mammal populations and discoveries of DNA preserved in ancient sediments. Increasingly, ancient genetic information is providing a unique means to test assumptions used in evolutionary and population genetics studies to reconstruct the past. Initial results have revealed surprisingly complex population histories, and indicate that modern phylogeographic studies may give misleading impressions about even the recent evolutionary past. With the advent and uptake of appropriate methodologies, ancient DNA is now positioned to become a powerful tool in biological research and is also evolving new and unexpected uses, such as in the search for extinct or extant life in the deep biosphere and on other planets. PMID:15875564

  20. Corazonin in insects.

    PubMed

    Predel, Reinhard; Neupert, Susanne; Russell, William K; Scheibner, Olaf; Nachman, Ronald J

    2007-01-01

    Corazonin is a peptidergic neurohormone of insects that is expressed in neurosecretory neurons of the pars lateralis of the protocerebrum and transported via nervi corporis cardiaci to the storage lobes of the corpora cardiaca. This peptide occurs with a single isoform in all insects studied so far, with the exception of the Coleoptera in which no corazonin form could be detected. Very few modifications of [Arg(7)]-corazonin, originally isolated from cockroaches, are known, namely [His(7)]-corazonin which is expressed in certain locusts and the stick insect Carausius morosus, and [Thr(4), His(7)]-corazonin recently described from the honey bee Apis mellifera. In this study, we performed a comprehensive screening for corazonin in the different insect groups after detecting of a fourth isoform in a crane fly, Tipula sp. ([Gln(10)]-corazonin). [Arg(7)]-corazonin is distributed in most major lineages of insects, and is thus the ancient form which was present at the time the phylum Insecta evolved. The replacement of Arg with His at position 7 from the N-terminus occurred several times in the evolution of insects. The third isoform, [Thr(4), His(7)]-corazonin, seems to be restricted to bees (Apidae); whereas wasps (Vespidae) and a bumble bee (Apidae) express other corazonins, specifically [His(7)]-corazonin and [Tyr(3), Gln(7), Gln(10)]-corazonin, respectively. A novel corazonin form, [His(4), Gln(7)]-corazonin, was also detected in all South African members of the newly described insect order Mantophasmatodea. The [His(4), Gln(7)]-corazonin separates these species from the Namibian Mantophasmatodea which express [Arg(7)]-corazonin and can be used as a distinct character to distinguish these morphologically similar insects.

  1. Multiorganismal insects: diversity and function of resident microorganisms.

    PubMed

    Douglas, Angela E

    2015-01-07

    All insects are colonized by microorganisms on the insect exoskeleton, in the gut and hemocoel, and within insect cells. The insect microbiota is generally different from microorganisms in the external environment, including ingested food. Specifically, certain microbial taxa are favored by the conditions and resources in the insect habitat, by their tolerance of insect immunity, and by specific mechanisms for their transmission. The resident microorganisms can promote insect fitness by contributing to nutrition, especially by providing essential amino acids, B vitamins, and, for fungal partners, sterols. Some microorganisms protect their insect hosts against pathogens, parasitoids, and other parasites by synthesizing specific toxins or modifying the insect immune system. Priorities for future research include elucidation of microbial contributions to detoxification, especially of plant allelochemicals in phytophagous insects, and resistance to pathogens; as well as their role in among-insect communication; and the potential value of manipulation of the microbiota to control insect pests.

  2. Multiorganismal Insects: Diversity and Function of Resident Microorganisms

    PubMed Central

    Douglas, Angela E.

    2015-01-01

    All insects are colonized by microorganisms on the insect exoskeleton, in the gut and hemocoel, and within insect cells. The insect microbiota is generally different from microorganisms in the external environment, including ingested food. Specifically, certain microbial taxa are favored by the conditions and resources in the insect habitat, by their tolerance of insect immunity, and by specific mechanisms for their transmission. The resident microorganisms can promote insect fitness by contributing to nutrition, especially by providing essential amino acids, B vitamins, and, for fungal partners, sterols. Some microorganisms protect their insect hosts against pathogens, parasitoids, and other parasites by synthesizing specific toxins or modifying the insect immune system. Priorities for future research include elucidation of microbial contributions to detoxification, especially of plant allelochemicals in phytophagous insects, and resistance to pathogens; as well as their role in among-insect communication; and the potential value of manipulation of the microbiota to control insect pests. PMID:25341109

  3. Environmental distribution of prokaryotic taxa

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background The increasing availability of gene sequences of prokaryotic species in samples extracted from all kind of locations allows addressing the study of the influence of environmental patterns in prokaryotic biodiversity. We present a comprehensive study to address the potential existence of environmental preferences of prokaryotic taxa and the commonness of the specialist and generalist strategies. We also assessed the most significant environmental factors shaping the environmental distribution of taxa. Results We used 16S rDNA sequences from 3,502 sampling experiments in natural and artificial sources. These sequences were taxonomically assigned, and the corresponding samples were also classified into a hierarchical classification of environments. We used several statistical methods to analyze the environmental distribution of taxa. Our results indicate that environmental specificity is not very common at the higher taxonomic levels (phylum to family), but emerges at lower taxonomic levels (genus and species). The most selective environmental characteristics are those of animal tissues and thermal locations. Salinity is another very important factor for constraining prokaryotic diversity. On the other hand, soil and freshwater habitats are the less restrictive environments, harboring the largest number of prokaryotic taxa. All information on taxa, samples and environments is provided at the envDB online database, http://metagenomics.uv.es/envDB. Conclusions This is, as far as we know, the most comprehensive assessment of the distribution and diversity of prokaryotic taxa and their associations with different environments. Our data indicate that we are still far from characterizing prokaryotic diversity in any environment, except, perhaps, for human tissues such as the oral cavity and the vagina. PMID:20307274

  4. Environmental distribution of prokaryotic taxa.

    PubMed

    Tamames, Javier; Abellán, Juan José; Pignatelli, Miguel; Camacho, Antonio; Moya, Andrés

    2010-03-22

    The increasing availability of gene sequences of prokaryotic species in samples extracted from all kind of locations allows addressing the study of the influence of environmental patterns in prokaryotic biodiversity. We present a comprehensive study to address the potential existence of environmental preferences of prokaryotic taxa and the commonness of the specialist and generalist strategies. We also assessed the most significant environmental factors shaping the environmental distribution of taxa. We used 16S rDNA sequences from 3,502 sampling experiments in natural and artificial sources. These sequences were taxonomically assigned, and the corresponding samples were also classified into a hierarchical classification of environments. We used several statistical methods to analyze the environmental distribution of taxa. Our results indicate that environmental specificity is not very common at the higher taxonomic levels (phylum to family), but emerges at lower taxonomic levels (genus and species). The most selective environmental characteristics are those of animal tissues and thermal locations. Salinity is another very important factor for constraining prokaryotic diversity. On the other hand, soil and freshwater habitats are the less restrictive environments, harboring the largest number of prokaryotic taxa. All information on taxa, samples and environments is provided at the envDB online database, http://metagenomics.uv.es/envDB. This is, as far as we know, the most comprehensive assessment of the distribution and diversity of prokaryotic taxa and their associations with different environments. Our data indicate that we are still far from characterizing prokaryotic diversity in any environment, except, perhaps, for human tissues such as the oral cavity and the vagina.

  5. Ancient genomics

    PubMed Central

    Der Sarkissian, Clio; Allentoft, Morten E.; Ávila-Arcos, María C.; Barnett, Ross; Campos, Paula F.; Cappellini, Enrico; Ermini, Luca; Fernández, Ruth; da Fonseca, Rute; Ginolhac, Aurélien; Hansen, Anders J.; Jónsson, Hákon; Korneliussen, Thorfinn; Margaryan, Ashot; Martin, Michael D.; Moreno-Mayar, J. Víctor; Raghavan, Maanasa; Rasmussen, Morten; Velasco, Marcela Sandoval; Schroeder, Hannes; Schubert, Mikkel; Seguin-Orlando, Andaine; Wales, Nathan; Gilbert, M. Thomas P.; Willerslev, Eske; Orlando, Ludovic

    2015-01-01

    The past decade has witnessed a revolution in ancient DNA (aDNA) research. Although the field's focus was previously limited to mitochondrial DNA and a few nuclear markers, whole genome sequences from the deep past can now be retrieved. This breakthrough is tightly connected to the massive sequence throughput of next generation sequencing platforms and the ability to target short and degraded DNA molecules. Many ancient specimens previously unsuitable for DNA analyses because of extensive degradation can now successfully be used as source materials. Additionally, the analytical power obtained by increasing the number of sequence reads to billions effectively means that contamination issues that have haunted aDNA research for decades, particularly in human studies, can now be efficiently and confidently quantified. At present, whole genomes have been sequenced from ancient anatomically modern humans, archaic hominins, ancient pathogens and megafaunal species. Those have revealed important functional and phenotypic information, as well as unexpected adaptation, migration and admixture patterns. As such, the field of aDNA has entered the new era of genomics and has provided valuable information when testing specific hypotheses related to the past. PMID:25487338

  6. Ancient genomics.

    PubMed

    Der Sarkissian, Clio; Allentoft, Morten E; Ávila-Arcos, María C; Barnett, Ross; Campos, Paula F; Cappellini, Enrico; Ermini, Luca; Fernández, Ruth; da Fonseca, Rute; Ginolhac, Aurélien; Hansen, Anders J; Jónsson, Hákon; Korneliussen, Thorfinn; Margaryan, Ashot; Martin, Michael D; Moreno-Mayar, J Víctor; Raghavan, Maanasa; Rasmussen, Morten; Velasco, Marcela Sandoval; Schroeder, Hannes; Schubert, Mikkel; Seguin-Orlando, Andaine; Wales, Nathan; Gilbert, M Thomas P; Willerslev, Eske; Orlando, Ludovic

    2015-01-19

    The past decade has witnessed a revolution in ancient DNA (aDNA) research. Although the field's focus was previously limited to mitochondrial DNA and a few nuclear markers, whole genome sequences from the deep past can now be retrieved. This breakthrough is tightly connected to the massive sequence throughput of next generation sequencing platforms and the ability to target short and degraded DNA molecules. Many ancient specimens previously unsuitable for DNA analyses because of extensive degradation can now successfully be used as source materials. Additionally, the analytical power obtained by increasing the number of sequence reads to billions effectively means that contamination issues that have haunted aDNA research for decades, particularly in human studies, can now be efficiently and confidently quantified. At present, whole genomes have been sequenced from ancient anatomically modern humans, archaic hominins, ancient pathogens and megafaunal species. Those have revealed important functional and phenotypic information, as well as unexpected adaptation, migration and admixture patterns. As such, the field of aDNA has entered the new era of genomics and has provided valuable information when testing specific hypotheses related to the past.

  7. Quantitative studies of Savannah River aquatic insects, 1959--1985

    SciTech Connect

    Soltis, R.; Hart, D.; Nagy, T.

    1986-10-30

    As part of a long-term study of water quality patterns, scientists from the Academy of Natural Sciences have collected aquatic insects from artificial substrates placed at several stations in Savannah River. This report presents the first detailed compilation and analysis of this substantial data base, and examines patterns of variations of insect distribution and abundance (both spatial and temporal) during the last quarter century. Data on the number of individuals of various taxa found in the insect traps were obtained from tables in the Academy's cursory reports. Computer data files created from these records were subjected to extensive statistical analyses in order to examine variation among stations, seasons and years in the abundances of major taxa and various aggregate properties of the insect assemblage. Although a total of 83 taxa were collected over the 27-year study, 10 taxa accounted for nearly 80% of the individuals collected from the traps, hence there 10 taxa were analyzed more intensively.

  8. Quantitative studies of Savannah River aquatic insects, 1959--1985

    SciTech Connect

    Soltis, R.; Hart, D.; Nagy, T.

    1986-10-30

    As part of a long-term study of water quality patterns, scientists from the Academy of Natural Sciences have collected aquatic insects from artificial substrates placed at several stations in Savannah River. This report presents the first detailed compilation and analysis of this substantial data base, and examines patterns of variations of insect distribution and abundance (both spatial and temporal) during the last quarter century. Data on the number of individuals of various taxa found in the insect traps were obtained from tables in the Academy`s cursory reports. Computer data files created from these records were subjected to extensive statistical analyses in order to examine variation among stations, seasons and years in the abundances of major taxa and various aggregate properties of the insect assemblage. Although a total of 83 taxa were collected over the 27-year study, 10 taxa accounted for nearly 80% of the individuals collected from the traps, hence there 10 taxa were analyzed more intensively.

  9. The ontology of biological taxa

    PubMed Central

    Schulz, Stefan; Stenzhorn, Holger; Boeker, Martin

    2008-01-01

    Motivation: The classification of biological entities in terms of species and taxa is an important endeavor in biology. Although a large amount of statements encoded in current biomedical ontologies is taxon-dependent there is no obvious or standard way for introducing taxon information into an integrative ontology architecture, supposedly because of ongoing controversies about the ontological nature of species and taxa. Results: In this article, we discuss different approaches on how to represent biological taxa using existing standards for biomedical ontologies such as the description logic OWL DL and the Open Biomedical Ontologies Relation Ontology. We demonstrate how hidden ambiguities of the species concept can be dealt with and existing controversies can be overcome. A novel approach is to envisage taxon information as qualities that inhere in biological organisms, organism parts and populations. Availability: The presented methodology has been implemented in the domain top-level ontology BioTop, openly accessible at http://purl.org/biotop. BioTop may help to improve the logical and ontological rigor of biomedical ontologies and further provides a clear architectural principle to deal with biological taxa information. Contact: stschulz@uni-freiburg.de PMID:18586729

  10. The Insect Prothoracic Gland as a Model for Steroid Hormone Biosynthesis and Regulation.

    PubMed

    Ou, Qiuxiang; Zeng, Jie; Yamanaka, Naoki; Brakken-Thal, Christina; O'Connor, Michael B; King-Jones, Kirst

    2016-06-28

    Steroid hormones are ancient signaling molecules found in vertebrates and insects alike. Both taxa show intriguing parallels with respect to how steroids function and how their synthesis is regulated. As such, insects are excellent models for studying universal aspects of steroid physiology. Here, we present a comprehensive genomic and genetic analysis of the principal steroid hormone-producing organs in two popular insect models, Drosophila and Bombyx. We identified 173 genes with previously unknown specific expression in steroid-producing cells, 15 of which had critical roles in development. The insect neuropeptide PTTH and its vertebrate counterpart ACTH both regulate steroid production, but molecular targets of these pathways remain poorly characterized. Identification of PTTH-dependent gene sets identified the nuclear receptor HR4 as a highly conserved target in both Drosophila and Bombyx. We consider this study to be a critical step toward understanding how steroid hormone production and release are regulated in all animal models. Copyright © 2016 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Pollinator sharing and gene flow among closely related sympatric dioecious fig taxa.

    PubMed

    Wang, Gang; Cannon, Charles H; Chen, Jin

    2016-04-13

    Hybridization and insect pollination are widely believed to increase rates of plant diversification. The extreme diversity of figs (Ficus) and their obligate pollinators, fig wasps (Agaonidae), provides an opportunity to examine the possible role of pollinator-mediated hybridization in plant diversification. Increasing evidence suggests that pollinator sharing and hybridization occurs among fig taxa, despite relatively strict coevolution with the pollinating wasp. Using five sympatric dioecious fig taxa and their pollinators, we examine the degree of pollinator sharing and inter-taxa gene flow. We experimentally test pollinator preference for floral volatiles, the main host recognition signal, from different figs. All five fig taxa shared pollinators with other taxa, and gene flow occurred between fig taxa within and between sections. Floral volatiles of each taxon attracted more than one pollinator species. Floral volatiles were more similar between closely related figs, which experienced higher levels of pollinator sharing and inter-taxa gene flow. This study demonstrates that pollinator sharing and inter-taxa gene flow occurs among closely related sympatric dioecious fig taxa and that pollinators choose the floral volatiles of multiple fig taxa. The implications of pollinator sharing and inter-taxa gene flow on diversification, occurring even in this highly specialized obligate pollination system, require further study.

  12. Pollinator sharing and gene flow among closely related sympatric dioecious fig taxa

    PubMed Central

    Cannon, Charles H.

    2016-01-01

    Hybridization and insect pollination are widely believed to increase rates of plant diversification. The extreme diversity of figs (Ficus) and their obligate pollinators, fig wasps (Agaonidae), provides an opportunity to examine the possible role of pollinator-mediated hybridization in plant diversification. Increasing evidence suggests that pollinator sharing and hybridization occurs among fig taxa, despite relatively strict coevolution with the pollinating wasp. Using five sympatric dioecious fig taxa and their pollinators, we examine the degree of pollinator sharing and inter-taxa gene flow. We experimentally test pollinator preference for floral volatiles, the main host recognition signal, from different figs. All five fig taxa shared pollinators with other taxa, and gene flow occurred between fig taxa within and between sections. Floral volatiles of each taxon attracted more than one pollinator species. Floral volatiles were more similar between closely related figs, which experienced higher levels of pollinator sharing and inter-taxa gene flow. This study demonstrates that pollinator sharing and inter-taxa gene flow occurs among closely related sympatric dioecious fig taxa and that pollinators choose the floral volatiles of multiple fig taxa. The implications of pollinator sharing and inter-taxa gene flow on diversification, occurring even in this highly specialized obligate pollination system, require further study. PMID:27075252

  13. Novel insect-tree associations resulting from accidental and intentional biological 'invasions': a meta-analysis of effects on insect fitness.

    PubMed

    Bertheau, Coralie; Brockerhoff, Eckehard G; Roux-Morabito, Géraldine; Lieutier, François; Jactel, Hervé

    2010-04-01

    The translocation of species beyond their native range is a major threat to biodiversity. Invasions by tree-feeding insects attacking native trees and the colonization of introduced trees by native insects result in new insect-tree relationships. To date there is uncertainty about the key factors that influence the outcome of these novel interactions. We report the results of a meta-analysis of 346 pairwise comparisons of forest insect fitness on novel and ancient host tree species from 31 publications. Host specificity of insects and phylogenetic relatedness between ancient and novel host trees emerged as key factors influencing insect fitness. Overall, fitness was significantly lower on novel host species than on ancient hosts. However, in some cases, fitness increased on novel hosts, mainly in polyphagous insects or when close relatives of ancient host trees were colonized. Our synthesis enables greatly improved impact prediction and risk assessment of biological invasions.

  14. Insects as a Nitrogen Source for Plants.

    PubMed

    Behie, Scott W; Bidochka, Michael J

    2013-07-31

    Many plants have evolved adaptations in order to survive in low nitrogen environments. One of the best-known adaptations is that of plant symbiosis with nitrogen-fixing bacteria; this is the major route by which nitrogen is incorporated into plant biomass. A portion of this plant-associated nitrogen is then lost to insects through herbivory, and insects represent a nitrogen reservoir that is generally overlooked in nitrogen cycles. In this review we show three specialized plant adaptations that allow for the recovery of insect nitrogen; that is, plants gaining nitrogen from insects. First, we show specialized adaptations by carnivorous plants in low nitrogen habitats. Insect carnivorous plants such as pitcher plants and sundews (Nepenthaceae/Sarraceniaceae and Drosera respectively) are able to obtain substantial amounts of nitrogen from the insects that they capture. Secondly, numerous plants form associations with mycorrhizal fungi that can provide soluble nitrogen from the soil, some of which may be insect-derived nitrogen, obtained from decaying insects or insect frass. Finally, a specialized group of endophytic, insect-pathogenic fungi (EIPF) provide host plants with insect-derived nitrogen. These soil-inhabiting fungi form a remarkable symbiosis with certain plant species. They can infect a wide range of insect hosts and also form endophytic associations in which they transfer insect-derived nitrogen to the plant. Root colonizing fungi are found in disparate fungal phylogenetic lineages, indicating possible convergent evolutionary strategies between taxa, evolution potentially driven by access to carbon-containing root exudates.

  15. Insects as a Nitrogen Source for Plants

    PubMed Central

    Behie, Scott W.; Bidochka, Michael J.

    2013-01-01

    Many plants have evolved adaptations in order to survive in low nitrogen environments. One of the best-known adaptations is that of plant symbiosis with nitrogen-fixing bacteria; this is the major route by which nitrogen is incorporated into plant biomass. A portion of this plant-associated nitrogen is then lost to insects through herbivory, and insects represent a nitrogen reservoir that is generally overlooked in nitrogen cycles. In this review we show three specialized plant adaptations that allow for the recovery of insect nitrogen; that is, plants gaining nitrogen from insects. First, we show specialized adaptations by carnivorous plants in low nitrogen habitats. Insect carnivorous plants such as pitcher plants and sundews (Nepenthaceae/Sarraceniaceae and Drosera respectively) are able to obtain substantial amounts of nitrogen from the insects that they capture. Secondly, numerous plants form associations with mycorrhizal fungi that can provide soluble nitrogen from the soil, some of which may be insect-derived nitrogen, obtained from decaying insects or insect frass. Finally, a specialized group of endophytic, insect-pathogenic fungi (EIPF) provide host plants with insect-derived nitrogen. These soil-inhabiting fungi form a remarkable symbiosis with certain plant species. They can infect a wide range of insect hosts and also form endophytic associations in which they transfer insect-derived nitrogen to the plant. Root colonizing fungi are found in disparate fungal phylogenetic lineages, indicating possible convergent evolutionary strategies between taxa, evolution potentially driven by access to carbon-containing root exudates. PMID:26462427

  16. Ancient quarries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Friebele, Elaine

    Using a unique set of remote sensing techniques, a team of University of Colorado researchers has detected mining pits dug by Montana Indians 10,000 years ago. The team used satellite images, aerial photographs, and ground tests to locate quarries where ancient North Americans obtained chert for making tools. Anthropology doctoral student Thomas Carr, Mort Turner, of the University of Colorado's Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, and four undergraduate and graduate students developed 12 “spectral classes” characterizing distinct geologic and vegetation types found in the Horse Prairie Valley study area in southwest Montana. Their data included electromagnetic measurements of soil conductivity from a known Indian quarry in the area, where the altered bedrock contains veins of chert, and an adjacent area of disturbed soil. Using special computer software, the team compared characteristics of nearly one million 30-m2 pixels from a 1985 regional Landsat satellite image to those of the 12 spectral classes. Twelve possible ancient mining sites in the 800-square-mile research area were identified. During a later ground survey using GPS satellite receivers, eight of these were confirmed to be ancient Indian quarries.

  17. Ancient biomolecules in Quaternary palaeoecology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hofreiter, Michael; Collins, Matthew; Stewart, John R.

    2012-02-01

    The last few years have seen an enormous proliferation of ancient biomolecules research, especially in the field of ancient DNA. Ancient DNA studies have been transformed by the advent of next generation sequencing, with the first Pleistocene sample being analysed in 2005, and several complete and draft genomes that have been compiled from ancient DNA to date. At the same time, although less conspicuous, research on ancient proteins has also seen advances, with the time limit for research on ancient biomolecules now extending to over 1 million years. Here we review which effects these developments have on research in Quaternary science. We identify several lines of research that have the potential to profit substantially from these recent developments in ancient biomolecules research. First, the identification of taxa can be made using ancient biomolecules, and in the case of ancient DNA, specimens can even be assigned to specific populations within a species. Second, increasingly large DNA data sets from Pleistocene animals allow the elucidation of ever more precise pictures of the population dynamic processes whereby organisms respond to climate and environmental change. With the accompanying better understanding of process in the Quaternary, past ecologies can also more realistically be interpreted from proxy data sets. The dominant message from this research so far is that the Quaternary saw a great deal more dynamism in populations than had been forecast by conventional palaeoecology. This suggests that reconstructions of past environmental conditions need to be done with caution. Third, ancient DNA can also now be obtained directly from sediments to elucidate the presence of both plant and animal species in an area even in the absence of identifiable fossils, be it macro- or micro-fossils. Finally, the analysis of proteins enables the identification of bone remains to genus and sometimes species level far beyond the survival time of DNA, at least in temperate

  18. Ancient DNA extraction from plants.

    PubMed

    Kistler, Logan

    2012-01-01

    A variety of protocols for DNA extraction from archaeological and paleobotanical plant specimens have been proposed. This is not surprising given the range of taxa and tissue types that may be preserved and the variety of conditions in which that preservation may take place. Commercially available DNA extraction kits can be used to recover ancient plant DNA, but modifications to standard approaches are often necessary to improve yield. In this chapter, I describe two protocols for extracting DNA from small amounts of ancient plant tissue. The CTAB protocol, which I recommend for use with single seeds, utilizes an incubation period in extraction buffer and subsequent chloroform extraction followed by DNA purification and suspension. The PTB protocol, which I recommend for use with gourd rind and similar tissues, utilizes an overnight incubation of pulverized tissue in extraction buffer, removal of the tissue by centrifugation, and DNA extraction from the buffer using commercial plant DNA extraction kits.

  19. Insect Allergy.

    PubMed

    Lee, Hobart; Halverson, Sara; Mackey, Regina

    2016-09-01

    Insect bites and stings are common. Risk factors are mostly associated with environmental exposure. Most insect bites and stings result in mild, local, allergic reactions. Large local reactions and systemic reactions like anaphylaxis are possible. Common insects that bite or sting include mosquitoes, ticks, flies, fleas, biting midges, bees, and wasps. The diagnosis is made clinically. Identification of the insect should occur when possible. Management is usually supportive. For anaphylaxis, patients should be given epinephrine and transported to the emergency department for further evaluation. Venom immunotherapy (VIT) has several different protocols. VIT is highly effective in reducing systemic reactions and anaphylaxis.

  20. Ancient Egypt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Swamy, Ashwin Balegar

    This thesis involves development of an interactive GIS (Geographic Information System) based application, which gives information about the ancient history of Egypt. The astonishing architecture, the strange burial rituals and their civilization were some of the intriguing questions that motivated me towards developing this application. The application is a historical timeline starting from 3100 BC, leading up to 664 BC, focusing on the evolution of the Egyptian dynasties. The tool holds information regarding some of the famous monuments which were constructed during that era and also about the civilizations that co-existed. It also provides details about the religions followed by their kings. It also includes the languages spoken during those periods. The tool is developed using JAVA, a programing language and MOJO (Map Objects Java Objects) a product of ESRI (Environmental Science Research Institute) to create map objects, to provide geographic information. JAVA Swing is used for designing the user interface. HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) pages are created to provide the user with more information related to the historic period. CSS (Cascade Style Sheets) and JAVA Scripts are used with HTML5 to achieve creative display of content. The tool is kept simple and easy for the user to interact with. The tool also includes pictures and videos for the user to get a feel of the historic period. The application is built to motivate people to know more about one of the prominent and ancient civilization of the Mediterranean world.

  1. Fungal palaeodiversity revealed using high-throughput metabarcoding of ancient DNA from arctic permafrost.

    PubMed

    Bellemain, Eva; Davey, Marie L; Kauserud, Håvard; Epp, Laura S; Boessenkool, Sanne; Coissac, Eric; Geml, Jozsef; Edwards, Mary; Willerslev, Eske; Gussarova, Galina; Taberlet, Pierre; Haile, James; Brochmann, Christian

    2013-04-01

    The taxonomic and ecological diversity of ancient fungal communities was assessed by combining next generation sequencing and metabarcoding of DNA preserved in permafrost. Twenty-six sediment samples dated 16 000-32 000 radiocarbon years old from two localities in Siberia were analysed for fungal ITS. We detected 75 fungal OTUs from 21 orders representing three phyla, although rarefaction analyses suggested that the full diversity was not recovered despite generating an average of 6677 ± 3811 (mean ± SD) sequences per sample and that preservation bias likely has considerable effect on the recovered DNA. Most OTUs (75.4%) represented ascomycetes. Due to insufficient sequencing depth, DNA degradation and putative preservation biases in our samples, the recovered taxa probably do not represent the complete historic fungal community, and it is difficult to determine whether the fungal communities varied geographically or experienced a composition shift within the period of 16 000-32 000 bp. However, annotation of OTUs to functional ecological groups provided a wealth of information on the historic communities. About one-third of the OTUs are presumed plant-associates (pathogens, saprotrophs and endophytes) typical of graminoid- and forb-rich habitats. We also detected putative insect pathogens, coprophiles and keratinophiles likely associated with ancient insect and herbivore faunas. The detection of putative insect pathogens, mycoparasites, aquatic fungi and endophytes broadens our previous knowledge of the diversity of fungi present in Beringian palaeoecosystems. A large group of putatively psychrophilic/psychrotolerant fungi was also detected, most likely representing a modern, metabolically active fungal community. © 2012 Society for Applied Microbiology and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  2. Insect Keepers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moore, Virginia J.; Chessin, Debby A.; Theobald, Becky

    2010-01-01

    Insects are fascinating creatures--especially when you and your students get up close and personal with them! To that end, the authors facilitated an inquiry-based investigation with an emphasis on identification of the different types of insects found in the school yard, their characteristics, their habitat, and what they eat, while engaging the…

  3. III. Insects

    Treesearch

    Jose F. Negron

    2011-01-01

    RMRS research on insect pests focuses mostly on conifer pests. There is a long history of invasive insects causing significant impacts, mortality, and changes in forest ecosystem structure in North America. Perhaps the most evident example is the introduction of the gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar, into eastern North America in the 1860s (Forbush and Frenald 1896)....

  4. Insect Keepers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moore, Virginia J.; Chessin, Debby A.; Theobald, Becky

    2010-01-01

    Insects are fascinating creatures--especially when you and your students get up close and personal with them! To that end, the authors facilitated an inquiry-based investigation with an emphasis on identification of the different types of insects found in the school yard, their characteristics, their habitat, and what they eat, while engaging the…

  5. Incredible Insects.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Braus, Judy, Ed.

    1989-01-01

    Ranger Rick's NatureScope is a creative education series dedicated to inspiring in children an understanding and appreciation of the natural world while developing the skills they will need to make responsible decisions about the environment. Contents are organized into the following sections: (1) "What Makes an Insect an Insect?,"…

  6. Corridor use by diverse taxa.

    SciTech Connect

    Haddad, Nick, M.; Browne, David, R.; Cunningham, Alan; Danielson, Brent, J.; Levey, Douglas, J.; Sargent, Sarah; Spira, Tim

    2003-01-01

    Haddad, N.M., D.R. Browne, A. Cunningham, B.J. Danielson, D.J. Levey, S. Sargent, and T. Spira. 2003. Corridor use by diverse taxa. Ecology, 84(3):609-615. One of the most popular approaches for maintaining populations and conserving biodiversity in fragmented landscapes is to retain or create corridors that connect otherwise isolated habitat patches. Working in large-scale, experimental landscapes in which open-habitat patches and corridors were created by harvesting pine forest, we showed that corridors direct movements of different types of species, including butterflies, small mammals, and bird dispersed plants, causing higher movement between connected than between unconnected patches. Corridors directed the movement of all 10 species studied, with all corridor effect sizes >68%. However, this corridor effect was significant for five species, not significant for one species, and inconclusive for four species because of small sample sizes. Although we found no evidence that corridors increase emigration from a patch, our results show that movements of disparate taxa with broadly different life histories and functional roles are directed by corridors.

  7. Insect phylogenomics.

    PubMed

    Behura, S K

    2015-08-01

    Phylogenomics, the integration of phylogenetics with genome data, has emerged as a powerful approach to study the evolution and systematics of species. Recently, several studies employing phylogenomic tools have provided better insights into insect evolution. Next-generation sequencing methods are now increasingly used by entomologists to generate genomic and transcript sequences of various insect species and strains. These data provide opportunities for comparative genomics and large-scale multigene phylogenies of diverse lineages of insects. Phy-logenomic investigations help us to better understand systematic and evolutionary relationships of insect species that play important roles as herbivores, predators, detritivores, pollinators and disease vectors. It is important that we critically assess the prospects and limitations of phylogenomic methods. In this review, I describe the current status, outline the major challenges and remark on potential future applications of phylogenomic tools in studying insect systematics and evolution. © 2015 The Royal Entomological Society.

  8. The Composite Insect Trap: An Innovative Combination Trap for Biologically Diverse Sampling

    PubMed Central

    Russo, Laura; Stehouwer, Rachel; Heberling, Jacob Mason; Shea, Katriona

    2011-01-01

    Documentation of insect diversity is an important component of the study of biodiversity, community dynamics, and global change. Accurate identification of insects usually requires catching individuals for close inspection. However, because insects are so diverse, most trapping methods are specifically tailored to a particular taxonomic group. For scientists interested in the broadest possible spectrum of insect taxa, whether for long term monitoring of an ecosystem or for a species inventory, the use of several different trapping methods is usually necessary. We describe a novel composite method for capturing a diverse spectrum of insect taxa. The Composite Insect Trap incorporates elements from four different existing trapping methods: the cone trap, malaise trap, pan trap, and flight intercept trap. It is affordable, resistant, easy to assemble and disassemble, and collects a wide variety of insect taxa. Here we describe the design, construction, and effectiveness of the Composite Insect Trap tested during a study of insect diversity. The trap catches a broad array of insects and can eliminate the need to use multiple trap types in biodiversity studies. We propose that the Composite Insect Trap is a useful addition to the trapping methods currently available to ecologists and will be extremely effective for monitoring community level dynamics, biodiversity assessment, and conservation and restoration work. In addition, the Composite Insect Trap will be of use to other insect specialists, such as taxonomists, that are interested in describing the insect taxa in a given area. PMID:21698160

  9. Nondegenerative Evolution in Ancient Heritable Bacterial Endosymbionts of Fungi.

    PubMed

    Mondo, Stephen J; Salvioli, Alessandra; Bonfante, Paola; Morton, Joseph B; Pawlowska, Teresa E

    2016-09-01

    Bacterial endosymbionts are critical to the existence of many eukaryotes. Among them, vertically transmitted endobacteria are uniquely typified by reduced genomes and molecular evolution rate acceleration relative to free-living taxa. These patterns are attributable to genetic drift-dominated degenerative processes associated with reproductive dependence on the host. The degenerative evolution scenario is well supported in endobacteria with strict vertical transmission, such as essential mutualists of insects. In contrast, heritable endosymbionts that are nonessential to their hosts and engage occasionally in horizontal transmission are expected to display deviations from the degenerative evolution model. To explore evolution patterns in such nonessential endobacteria, we focused on Candidatus Glomeribacter gigasporarum ancient heritable mutualists of fungi. Using a collection of genomes, we estimated in Glomeribacter mutation rate at 2.03 × 10(-9) substitutions per site per year and effective population size at 1.44 × 10(8) Both fall within the range of values observed in free-living bacteria. To assess the ability of Glomeribacter to purge slightly deleterious mutations, we examined genome-wide dN/dS values and distribution patterns. We found that these dN/dS profiles cluster Glomeribacter with free-living bacteria as well as with other nonessential endosymbionts, while distinguishing it from essential heritable mutualists of insects. Finally, our evolutionary simulations revealed that the molecular evolution rate acceleration in Glomeribacter is caused by limited recombination in a largely clonal population rather than by increased fixation of slightly deleterious mutations. Based on these patterns, we propose that genome evolution in Glomeribacter is nondegenerative and exemplifies a departure from the model of degenerative evolution in heritable endosymbionts. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for

  10. Ancient Rivers

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2016-01-14

    Early in Martian history, liquid water energetically carved the surface, forming channel systems that look remarkably similar to river valleys and drainage networks on Earth. Exactly how these channels formed -- by rainfall, snowmelt, or seepage from underground springs -- is often debated. The answer has important ramifications about the early Martian climate. Clues about the source of the water may indicate the shape, layout, and scale of the various tributaries in a channel system. Our image shows an example of just such a water-carved channel. The channel pattern, called "dendritic" because of its tree-like branching, begins at the top of the image and runs down over the rim of an ancient impact basin across the basin floor. The soil surface overlying these channels, and indeed the entire landscape, has been changed and reworked over the intervening millions of years, by the combined actions of wind and ice. Over time, the original channels become muted or even erased. Nevertheless, some characteristics of the smallest tributary channels are still visible at scales seen by HiRISE. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA20337

  11. Insect Repellents: Reducing Insect Bites

    MedlinePlus

    ... What is an insect repellent? Disease risk from mosquito and tick bites Ingredients in skin-applied repellents ... and Blogs Using Repellent Products to Protect against Mosquito-Borne Illnesses Federal Trade Commission Action on Deceptive ...

  12. Insect Phylogenomics

    PubMed Central

    Behura, Susanta K.

    2015-01-01

    With the advent of next-generation sequencing methods, phylogenetics has taken a new turn in the recent years. Phylogenomics, the integration of phylogenetics with genome data, has emerged as a powerful approach to study systematics and evolution of species. Recently, breakthrough researches employing phylogenomic tools have provided better insights into the timing and pattern of insect evolution. The next-generation sequencing methods are now increasingly used by entomologists to generate genomic and transcript sequences of various insect species and strains. These data provide opportunities for comparative genomics and large-scale multigene phylogenies of diverse lineages of insects. Phylogenomic investigations help us better understand systematic and evolutionary relationships of insect species that play important roles as herbivores, predators, detritivores, pollinators, or disease vectors. It is important that we critically assess the prospects and limitations of phylogenomic methods. In this review, I describe the current status, outline the major challenges, and remark on potential future applications of phylogenomic tools in studying insect systematics and evolution. PMID:25963452

  13. Amino Acid Racemization and the Preservation of Ancient DNA

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Poinar, Hendrik N.; Hoss, Matthias

    1996-01-01

    The extent of racemization of aspartic acid, alanine, and leucine provides criteria for assessing whether ancient tissue samples contain endogenous DNA. In samples in which the D/L ratio of aspartic acid exceeds 0.08, ancient DNA sequences could not be retrieved. Paleontological finds from which DNA sequences purportedly millions of years old have been reported show extensive racemization, and the amino acids present are mainly contaminates. An exception is the amino acids in some insects preserved in amber.

  14. Insect Resistance

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Insect pests exhibit a diverse array of genetic-based responses when interacting with crop systems; these changes can be in response to pathogens, symbiotic microbes, host plants, chemicals, and the environment. Agricultural research has for decades focused on gathering crucial information on the bi...

  15. Apps for Ancient Civilizations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thompson, Stephanie

    2011-01-01

    This project incorporates technology and a historical emphasis on science drawn from ancient civilizations to promote a greater understanding of conceptual science. In the Apps for Ancient Civilizations project, students investigate an ancient culture to discover how people might have used science and math smartphone apps to make their lives…

  16. Apps for Ancient Civilizations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thompson, Stephanie

    2011-01-01

    This project incorporates technology and a historical emphasis on science drawn from ancient civilizations to promote a greater understanding of conceptual science. In the Apps for Ancient Civilizations project, students investigate an ancient culture to discover how people might have used science and math smartphone apps to make their lives…

  17. Insects: A nutritional alternative

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dufour, P. A.

    1981-01-01

    Insects are considered as potential food sources in space. Types of insects consumed are discussed. Hazards of insect ingestion are considered. Insect reproduction, requirements, and raw materials conversion are discussed. Nutrition properties and composition of insects are considered. Preparation of insects as human food is discussed.

  18. Integration of Insect Infestations into Dynamic Global Vegetation Models Using Insect Functional Types

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, J. B.; Smith, E.

    2011-12-01

    Many have explored the impact of climate change on insects and explored predictions under future scenarios. But the converse has been limited: no DGVM simulates insect infestation. We are assessing the potential impact of simulating insect infestation processes on DGVMs, and creating a framework for development of insect functional types (IFTs) for integration with DGVMs. Some work have been done devising IFTs for conservation and resource management, but results are limited to qualitative groupings of insect taxa based on resource usage and response to environment. The integration of IFTs into DGVMs would enable exploration of interaction between climate change and vegetation dynamics at the global scale. IFTs have the potential to significantly impact global carbon balance and vegetation distributions, and interaction with other disturbance regimes already modeled in DGVMs (e.g., fire, drought, herbivory). We identify relevant features of existing DGVMs, including spatial and temporal scales, extents, and focuses; how other disturbances are modeled; and model areas where IFTs would link to DGVMs. We identify relevant features of insect models, including hazard and risk models; spatial and temporal resolutions and extents; spatial processes; and commonly used variables. We outline the key considerations, including tradeoffs between accuracy of representation and the breadth of applicability; morphology, physiology, biochemistry, reproductive and demographic characteristics; functional effects vs. functional responses; major axes of specialization that are consistent across environments, biogeographic regions, and major insect taxa; and whether IFTs can be empirically evaluated. We propose major axes to define IFTs, and present a sample IFT, the westwide pine beetle.

  19. Insect evolution.

    PubMed

    Engel, Michael S

    2015-10-05

    It goes without saying that insects epitomize diversity, and with over a million documented species they stand out as one of the most remarkable lineages in the 3.5-billion-year history of life on earth (Figure 1). This reality is passé to even the layperson and is taken for granted in the same way none of us think much of our breathing as we go about our day, and yet insects are just as vital to our existence. Insects are simultaneously familiar and foreign to us, and while a small fraction are beloved or reviled, most are simply ignored. These inexorable evolutionary overachievers outnumber us all, their segmented body plan is remarkably labile, they combine a capacity for high rates of speciation with low levels of natural extinction, and their history of successes eclipses those of the more familiar ages of dinosaurs and mammals alike. It is their evolution - persisting over vast expanses of geological time and inextricably implicated in the diversification of other lineages - that stands as one of the most expansive subjects in biology.

  20. [Biological evolution and ancient DNA].

    PubMed

    Debruyne, Régis; Barriel, Véronique

    2006-05-01

    Twenty years after the advent of ancient DNA studies, this discipline seems to have reached the maturity formerly lacking to the fulfilment of its objectives. In its early development paleogenetics, as it is now acknowledged, had to cope with very limited data due to the technical limitations of molecular biology. It led to phylogenetic assumptions often limited in their scope and sometimes non-focused or even spurious results that cast the reluctance of the scientific community. This time seems now over and huge amounts of sequences have become available which overcome the former limitations and bridge the gap between paleogenetics, genomics and population biology. The recent studies over the charismatic woolly mammoth (independent sequencing of the whole mitochondrial genome and of millions of base pairs of the nuclear genome) exemplify the growing accuracy of ancient DNA studies thanks to new molecular approaches. From the earliest publications up to now, the number of mammoth nucleotides was multiplied by 100,000. Likewise, populational approaches of ice-age taxa provide new historical scenarios about the diversification and extinction of the Pleistocene megafauna on the one hand, and about the processes of domestication of animal and vegetal species by Man on the other. They also shed light on the differential structure of molecular diversity between short-term populational research (below 2 My) and long-term (over 2 My) phylogenetic approaches. All those results confirm the growing importance of paleogenetics among the evolutionary biology disciplines.

  1. A systematic nomenclature for the insect brain.

    PubMed

    Ito, Kei; Shinomiya, Kazunori; Ito, Masayoshi; Armstrong, J Douglas; Boyan, George; Hartenstein, Volker; Harzsch, Steffen; Heisenberg, Martin; Homberg, Uwe; Jenett, Arnim; Keshishian, Haig; Restifo, Linda L; Rössler, Wolfgang; Simpson, Julie H; Strausfeld, Nicholas J; Strauss, Roland; Vosshall, Leslie B

    2014-02-19

    Despite the importance of the insect nervous system for functional and developmental neuroscience, descriptions of insect brains have suffered from a lack of uniform nomenclature. Ambiguous definitions of brain regions and fiber bundles have contributed to the variation of names used to describe the same structure. The lack of clearly determined neuropil boundaries has made it difficult to document precise locations of neuronal projections for connectomics study. To address such issues, a consortium of neurobiologists studying arthropod brains, the Insect Brain Name Working Group, has established the present hierarchical nomenclature system, using the brain of Drosophila melanogaster as the reference framework, while taking the brains of other taxa into careful consideration for maximum consistency and expandability. The following summarizes the consortium's nomenclature system and highlights examples of existing ambiguities and remedies for them. This nomenclature is intended to serve as a standard of reference for the study of the brain of Drosophila and other insects.

  2. Insect abatement system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Spiro, Clifford Lawrence (Inventor); Burnell, Timothy Brydon (Inventor); Wengrovius, Jeffrey Hayward (Inventor)

    1997-01-01

    An insect abatement system prevents adhesion of insect debris to surfaces which must be kept substantially free of insect debris. An article is coated with an insect abatement coating comprising polyorganosiloxane with a Shore A hardness of less than 50 and a tensile strength of less than 4 MPa. A method for preventing the adhesion of insect debris to surfaces includes the step of applying an insect abatement coating to a surface which must be kept substantially free of insect debris.

  3. Insect inspiration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McIntosh, Andy; Beheshti, Novid

    2008-04-01

    The innocuous looking bombardier beetle is one of the most remarkable creatures around. This tiny insect is endowed with a defence mechanism that would be the envy of any comic-strip superhero - it can fight off any spider, frog, ant or bird that comes too close by blasting the attacker with a powerful jet of hot, toxic fluid. Furthermore, the beetle can aim its weapon in any direction (even over its head) with pinpoint accuracy, and can reach distances of up to 20 cm with its spray.

  4. Molecular basis of odor detection in insects.

    PubMed

    Benton, Richard

    2009-07-01

    Olfactory systems are evolutionarily ancient, underlying the common requirement for all animals to sense and respond to diverse volatile chemical signals in their environment. Odor detection is mediated by odorant receptors (ORs) that, in most olfactory systems, comprise large families of divergent G protein-coupled receptors. Here, I discuss our and others' recent investigations of ORs in the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, which have revealed insights into the distinct evolutionary origin and molecular function of insect ORs. I also describe a bioinformatics strategy that we developed to identify molecules that function with these insect-specific receptors in odor detection.

  5. Culture and manipulation of insect facultative symbionts.

    PubMed

    Pontes, Mauricio H; Dale, Colin

    2006-09-01

    Insects from many different taxonomic groups harbor maternally transmitted bacterial symbionts. Some of these associations are ancient in origin and obligate in nature whereas others originated more recently and are facultative. Previous research focused on the biology of ancient obligate symbionts with essential nutritional roles in their insect hosts. However, recent important advances in understanding the biology of facultative associations have been driven by the development of techniques for the culture, genetic modification and manipulation of facultative symbionts. In this review, we examine these available experimental techniques and illustrate how they have provided fascinating new insight into the nature of associations involving facultative symbionts. We also propose a rationale for future research based on the integration of genomics and experimentation.

  6. Oviposition of aquatic insects in a tropical high altitude stream.

    PubMed

    Rios-Touma, Blanca; Encalada, A C; Prat, N

    2012-12-01

    The persistence of aquatic insect populations in streams depends on the recruitment of larval populations from egg masses deposited by adults, especially after disturbance. However, recruitment of aquatic populations by oviposition is a process that remains unstudied in streams and rivers. The objectives of our study were to document flying and oviposition patterns of aquatic insects in a high altitude tropical stream during both dry and wet seasons. In particular we studied 1) richness and abundance of adult forms of aquatic insects flying and ovipositing; 2) number of eggs (oviposition pattern), egg mass identity, and morphology; and 3) substrate preferences by ovipositing females. We found 2,383 aquatic insects corresponding to 28 families, with dipterans representing 89% of total individuals collected. Adult insects had lower richness (28 taxa) than larval diversity (up to 52 taxa) and distinct community composition. Richness and relative abundance of most taxa (adults) were not significantly different between seasons, behaviors, diel period, or all three. During both sampling periods we found females with eggs in a total of 15 different families (13 in the dry season and 14 in the wet season). There were no significant differences in the proportion of females with eggs between seasons, diel periods, or different behaviors (flying versus ovipositing traps) of the different female taxa. Few types of egg masses were found in rocks at the stream during both seasons, and most egg masses found corresponded to families Baetidae and Chironomidae. Finally, we provide the first description of eggs masses (size, shape, color, and number of eggs per female) of gravid females (10 taxa) and those found in the stream substrate (six taxa) of Andean macroinvertebrates. This is the first study reporting oviposition, adult diversity, and oviposition patterns of aquatic insects in the Andean region.

  7. Tracing the evolutionary origins of insect renal function.

    PubMed

    Halberg, Kenneth A; Terhzaz, Selim; Cabrero, Pablo; Davies, Shireen A; Dow, Julian A T

    2015-04-21

    Knowledge on neuropeptide receptor systems is integral to understanding animal physiology. Yet, obtaining general insight into neuropeptide signalling in a clade as biodiverse as the insects is problematic. Here we apply fluorescent analogues of three key insect neuropeptides to map renal tissue architecture across systematically chosen representatives of the major insect Orders, to provide an unprecedented overview of insect renal function and control. In endopterygote insects, such as Drosophila, two distinct transporting cell types receive separate neuropeptide signals, whereas in the ancestral exopterygotes, a single, general cell type mediates all signals. Intriguingly, the largest insect Order Coleoptera (beetles) has evolved a unique approach, in which only a small fraction of cells are targets for neuropeptide action. In addition to demonstrating a universal utility of this technology, our results reveal not only a generality of signalling by the evolutionarily ancient neuropeptide families but also a clear functional separation of the types of cells that mediate the signal.

  8. Tracing the evolutionary origins of insect renal function

    PubMed Central

    Halberg, Kenneth A.; Terhzaz, Selim; Cabrero, Pablo; Davies, Shireen A.; Dow, Julian A. T.

    2015-01-01

    Knowledge on neuropeptide receptor systems is integral to understanding animal physiology. Yet, obtaining general insight into neuropeptide signalling in a clade as biodiverse as the insects is problematic. Here we apply fluorescent analogues of three key insect neuropeptides to map renal tissue architecture across systematically chosen representatives of the major insect Orders, to provide an unprecedented overview of insect renal function and control. In endopterygote insects, such as Drosophila, two distinct transporting cell types receive separate neuropeptide signals, whereas in the ancestral exopterygotes, a single, general cell type mediates all signals. Intriguingly, the largest insect Order Coleoptera (beetles) has evolved a unique approach, in which only a small fraction of cells are targets for neuropeptide action. In addition to demonstrating a universal utility of this technology, our results reveal not only a generality of signalling by the evolutionarily ancient neuropeptide families but also a clear functional separation of the types of cells that mediate the signal. PMID:25896425

  9. Studying Ancient History.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barrow, Robin

    1982-01-01

    Defends the value and relevance of the study of ancient history and classics in history curricula. The unique homogeneity of the classical period contributes to its instructional manageability. A year-long, secondary-level course on fifth-century Greece and Rome is described to illustrate effective approaches to teaching ancient history. (AM)

  10. Ancient Astronomy in Armenia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parsamian, Elma S.

    2007-08-01

    The most important discovery, which enriched our knowledge of ancient astronomy in Armenia, was the complex of platforms for astronomical observations on the Small Hill of Metzamor, which may be called an ancient “observatory”. Investigations on that Hill show that the ancient inhabitants of the Armenian Highlands have left us not only pictures of celestial bodies, but a very ancient complex of platforms for observing the sky. Among the ancient monuments in Armenia there is a megalithic monument, probably, being connected with astronomy. 250km South-East of Yerevan there is a structure Zorats Kar (Karahunge) dating back to II millennium B.C. Vertical megaliths many of which are more than two meters high form stone rings resembling ancient stone monuments - henges in Great Britain and Brittany. Medieval observations of comets and novas by data in ancient Armenian manuscripts are found. In the collection of ancient Armenian manuscripts (Matenadaran) in Yerevan there are many manuscripts with information about observations of astronomical events as: solar and lunar eclipses, comets and novas, bolides and meteorites etc. in medieval Armenia.

  11. Ancient Maya Mercury

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pendergast, David M.

    1982-08-01

    Discovery of mercury in an ancient Maya offering at Lamanai, Belize, has stimulated examination of possible sources of the material in the Maya area. Two zones of cinnabar and native mercury deposits can be defined in the Maya highlands, and the presence of the native metal suggests that the ancient Maya collected rather than extracted the mercury from ore.

  12. Studying Ancient History.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barrow, Robin

    1982-01-01

    Defends the value and relevance of the study of ancient history and classics in history curricula. The unique homogeneity of the classical period contributes to its instructional manageability. A year-long, secondary-level course on fifth-century Greece and Rome is described to illustrate effective approaches to teaching ancient history. (AM)

  13. The role of birds and insects in pollination shifts of Scrophularia (Scrophulariaceae).

    PubMed

    Navarro-Pérez, María L; López, Josefa; Fernández-Mazuecos, Mario; Rodríguez-Riaño, Tomás; Vargas, Pablo; Ortega-Olivencia, Ana

    2013-10-01

    The mixed vertebrate-insect pollination system is rare in Holarctic plants. Phylogenetic relationships of 116 Scrophularia taxa were investigated based on two plastid (ndhF and trnL-trnF) and one nuclear (ITS) DNA regions. A wider time-calibrated analysis of ndhF sequences of the Lamiales revealed that Scrophularia diverged as early as in the Miocene (<22 Ma). Results of maximum-likelihood optimizations supported wasp pollination as the ancestral pollination system from which other systems derived (hoverfly, mixed vertebrate-insect and bird systems). Four origins for a mixed vertebrate-insect (MVI) pollination system were inferred, in which two western Mediterranean species (S. sambucifolia and S. grandiflora) and two island species (the Tirrenian S. trifoliata and the Canarian S. calliantha) were involved. S. calliantha is the only species in which a more complex MVI system, including pollination by the lizard Gallotia stehlini, has evolved. In addition, bird (hummingbird) floral traits found in the New Mexican S. macrantha appear to have been independently acquired. In contrast, we failed to find evidence for an ancient role of hummingbirds in the evolution of European Scrophularia. Indeed, paleontological data revealed that extinction of European hummingbirds (30-32 Ma) occurred earlier than the divergence of European MVI lineages of Scrophularia. In conclusion, our results showed that a role of birds in pollination of Scrophularia may not have been effective in the Miocene-Pliocene, but bird pollination that shows its origin in the Pliocene-Pleistocene is still operating independently in different islands and continents.

  14. What Makes an Insect an Insect?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    NatureScope, 1985

    1985-01-01

    Provides background information on characteristics common to all insects, activities, and student materials (ready-to-copy games, puzzles, coloring pages, worksheets, and/or mazes) which describe: how insects are classified; how they are different from other animals; and the main insect characteristics. Activities include recommended age levels,…

  15. Predictors of elevational biodiversity gradients change from single taxa to the multi-taxa community level

    PubMed Central

    Peters, Marcell K.; Hemp, Andreas; Appelhans, Tim; Behler, Christina; Classen, Alice; Detsch, Florian; Ensslin, Andreas; Ferger, Stefan W.; Frederiksen, Sara B.; Gebert, Friederike; Haas, Michael; Helbig-Bonitz, Maria; Hemp, Claudia; Kindeketa, William J.; Mwangomo, Ephraim; Ngereza, Christine; Otte, Insa; Röder, Juliane; Rutten, Gemma; Schellenberger Costa, David; Tardanico, Joseph; Zancolli, Giulia; Deckert, Jürgen; Eardley, Connal D.; Peters, Ralph S.; Rödel, Mark-Oliver; Schleuning, Matthias; Ssymank, Axel; Kakengi, Victor; Zhang, Jie; Böhning-Gaese, Katrin; Brandl, Roland; Kalko, Elisabeth K.V.; Kleyer, Michael; Nauss, Thomas; Tschapka, Marco; Fischer, Markus; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf

    2016-01-01

    The factors determining gradients of biodiversity are a fundamental yet unresolved topic in ecology. While diversity gradients have been analysed for numerous single taxa, progress towards general explanatory models has been hampered by limitations in the phylogenetic coverage of past studies. By parallel sampling of 25 major plant and animal taxa along a 3.7 km elevational gradient on Mt. Kilimanjaro, we quantify cross-taxon consensus in diversity gradients and evaluate predictors of diversity from single taxa to a multi-taxa community level. While single taxa show complex distribution patterns and respond to different environmental factors, scaling up diversity to the community level leads to an unambiguous support for temperature as the main predictor of species richness in both plants and animals. Our findings illuminate the influence of taxonomic coverage for models of diversity gradients and point to the importance of temperature for diversification and species coexistence in plant and animal communities. PMID:28004657

  16. Predictors of elevational biodiversity gradients change from single taxa to the multi-taxa community level.

    PubMed

    Peters, Marcell K; Hemp, Andreas; Appelhans, Tim; Behler, Christina; Classen, Alice; Detsch, Florian; Ensslin, Andreas; Ferger, Stefan W; Frederiksen, Sara B; Gebert, Friederike; Haas, Michael; Helbig-Bonitz, Maria; Hemp, Claudia; Kindeketa, William J; Mwangomo, Ephraim; Ngereza, Christine; Otte, Insa; Röder, Juliane; Rutten, Gemma; Schellenberger Costa, David; Tardanico, Joseph; Zancolli, Giulia; Deckert, Jürgen; Eardley, Connal D; Peters, Ralph S; Rödel, Mark-Oliver; Schleuning, Matthias; Ssymank, Axel; Kakengi, Victor; Zhang, Jie; Böhning-Gaese, Katrin; Brandl, Roland; Kalko, Elisabeth K V; Kleyer, Michael; Nauss, Thomas; Tschapka, Marco; Fischer, Markus; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf

    2016-12-22

    The factors determining gradients of biodiversity are a fundamental yet unresolved topic in ecology. While diversity gradients have been analysed for numerous single taxa, progress towards general explanatory models has been hampered by limitations in the phylogenetic coverage of past studies. By parallel sampling of 25 major plant and animal taxa along a 3.7 km elevational gradient on Mt. Kilimanjaro, we quantify cross-taxon consensus in diversity gradients and evaluate predictors of diversity from single taxa to a multi-taxa community level. While single taxa show complex distribution patterns and respond to different environmental factors, scaling up diversity to the community level leads to an unambiguous support for temperature as the main predictor of species richness in both plants and animals. Our findings illuminate the influence of taxonomic coverage for models of diversity gradients and point to the importance of temperature for diversification and species coexistence in plant and animal communities.

  17. Wildlife Species/Family Taxa Selection | Interspecies ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    2016-02-22

    Web-ICE estimates acute toxicity (LC50/LD50) of a chemical to a species, genus, or family from the known toxicity of the chemical to a surrogate species. Wildlife species and family taxa selection page. Page provides access to the ICE calculators

  18. New taxa of Euglenophyta from China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shi, Zhi-Xin

    1995-12-01

    Eight new taxa of Euglenophyta are described in this paper. They were collected from several provinces in China and respectively named Euglena allorgei var. exsulcata, E. pisciformis var. globosa, E. tortilis. Lepocinclis glabra var. papillata, Phacus pisiformis, Ph. strombuliformis, Ph. trimarginatus var. truncatus and Astasia angusta.

  19. Insect-ual Pursuits.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mallow, David

    1991-01-01

    Explains how insects can be used to stimulate student writing. Describes how students can create their own systems to classify and differentiate insects. Discusses insect morphology and includes three detailed diagrams. The author provides an extension activity where students hypothesize about the niche of an insect based on its anatomy. (PR)

  20. Insect-ual Pursuits.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mallow, David

    1991-01-01

    Explains how insects can be used to stimulate student writing. Describes how students can create their own systems to classify and differentiate insects. Discusses insect morphology and includes three detailed diagrams. The author provides an extension activity where students hypothesize about the niche of an insect based on its anatomy. (PR)

  1. Book Review: Insect Virology

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Viruses that infect insects have long been of interest both as a means for controlling insect pest populations in an environmentally safe manner, and also as significant threats to beneficial insects of great value, such as honey bees and silkworms. Insect viruses also have been of intrinsic intere...

  2. Ancient Egyptian herbal wines

    PubMed Central

    McGovern, Patrick E.; Mirzoian, Armen; Hall, Gretchen R.

    2009-01-01

    Chemical analyses of ancient organics absorbed into pottery jars from the beginning of advanced ancient Egyptian culture, ca. 3150 B.C., and continuing for millennia have revealed that a range of natural products—specifically, herbs and tree resins—were dispensed by grape wine. These findings provide chemical evidence for ancient Egyptian organic medicinal remedies, previously only ambiguously documented in medical papyri dating back to ca. 1850 B.C. They illustrate how humans around the world, probably for millions of years, have exploited their natural environments for effective plant remedies, whose active compounds have recently begun to be isolated by modern analytical techniques. PMID:19365069

  3. Ancient DNA reveals elephant birds and kiwi are sister taxa and clarifies ratite bird evolution.

    PubMed

    Mitchell, Kieren J; Llamas, Bastien; Soubrier, Julien; Rawlence, Nicolas J; Worthy, Trevor H; Wood, Jamie; Lee, Michael S Y; Cooper, Alan

    2014-05-23

    The evolution of the ratite birds has been widely attributed to vicariant speciation, driven by the Cretaceous breakup of the supercontinent Gondwana. The early isolation of Africa and Madagascar implies that the ostrich and extinct Madagascan elephant birds (Aepyornithidae) should be the oldest ratite lineages. We sequenced the mitochondrial genomes of two elephant birds and performed phylogenetic analyses, which revealed that these birds are the closest relatives of the New Zealand kiwi and are distant from the basal ratite lineage of ostriches. This unexpected result strongly contradicts continental vicariance and instead supports flighted dispersal in all major ratite lineages. We suggest that convergence toward gigantism and flightlessness was facilitated by early Tertiary expansion into the diurnal herbivory niche after the extinction of the dinosaurs.

  4. Debris-carrying camouflage among diverse lineages of Cretaceous insects.

    PubMed

    Wang, Bo; Xia, Fangyuan; Engel, Michael S; Perrichot, Vincent; Shi, Gongle; Zhang, Haichun; Chen, Jun; Jarzembowski, Edmund A; Wappler, Torsten; Rust, Jes

    2016-06-01

    Insects have evolved diverse methods of camouflage that have played an important role in their evolutionary success. Debris-carrying, a behavior of actively harvesting and carrying exogenous materials, is among the most fascinating and complex behaviors because it requires not only an ability to recognize, collect, and carry materials but also evolutionary adaptations in related morphological characteristics. However, the fossil record of such behavior is extremely scarce, and only a single Mesozoic example from Spanish amber has been recorded; therefore, little is known about the early evolution of this complicated behavior and its underlying anatomy. We report a diverse insect assemblage of exceptionally preserved debris carriers from Cretaceous Burmese, French, and Lebanese ambers, including the earliest known chrysopoid larvae (green lacewings), myrmeleontoid larvae (split-footed lacewings and owlflies), and reduviids (assassin bugs). These ancient insects used a variety of debris material, including insect exoskeletons, sand grains, soil dust, leaf trichomes of gleicheniacean ferns, wood fibers, and other vegetal debris. They convergently evolved their debris-carrying behavior through multiple pathways, which expressed a high degree of evolutionary plasticity. We demonstrate that the behavioral repertoire, which is associated with considerable morphological adaptations, was already widespread among insects by at least the Mid-Cretaceous. Together with the previously known Spanish specimen, these fossils are the oldest direct evidence of camouflaging behavior in the fossil record. Our findings provide a novel insight into early evolution of camouflage in insects and ancient ecological associations among plants and insects.

  5. Debris-carrying camouflage among diverse lineages of Cretaceous insects

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Bo; Xia, Fangyuan; Engel, Michael S.; Perrichot, Vincent; Shi, Gongle; Zhang, Haichun; Chen, Jun; Jarzembowski, Edmund A.; Wappler, Torsten; Rust, Jes

    2016-01-01

    Insects have evolved diverse methods of camouflage that have played an important role in their evolutionary success. Debris-carrying, a behavior of actively harvesting and carrying exogenous materials, is among the most fascinating and complex behaviors because it requires not only an ability to recognize, collect, and carry materials but also evolutionary adaptations in related morphological characteristics. However, the fossil record of such behavior is extremely scarce, and only a single Mesozoic example from Spanish amber has been recorded; therefore, little is known about the early evolution of this complicated behavior and its underlying anatomy. We report a diverse insect assemblage of exceptionally preserved debris carriers from Cretaceous Burmese, French, and Lebanese ambers, including the earliest known chrysopoid larvae (green lacewings), myrmeleontoid larvae (split-footed lacewings and owlflies), and reduviids (assassin bugs). These ancient insects used a variety of debris material, including insect exoskeletons, sand grains, soil dust, leaf trichomes of gleicheniacean ferns, wood fibers, and other vegetal debris. They convergently evolved their debris-carrying behavior through multiple pathways, which expressed a high degree of evolutionary plasticity. We demonstrate that the behavioral repertoire, which is associated with considerable morphological adaptations, was already widespread among insects by at least the Mid-Cretaceous. Together with the previously known Spanish specimen, these fossils are the oldest direct evidence of camouflaging behavior in the fossil record. Our findings provide a novel insight into early evolution of camouflage in insects and ancient ecological associations among plants and insects. PMID:27386568

  6. Physicians of ancient India

    PubMed Central

    Saini, Anu

    2016-01-01

    A survey of Indian medical historiography will reveal no dearth of work on the systems of medicine and medical literature of ancient India. However, the people who were responsible for the healing have not received much attention. This article traces the evolution of the physician as a professional in ancient India. This article reviews the secondary literature on healing and medical practice in India, specifically pertaining to the individual medical practitioner, drawing from varied sources. The healers of ancient India hailed from different castes and classes. They were well-respected and enjoyed state patronage. They were held to the highest ethical standards of the day and were bound by a strict code of conduct. They underwent rigorous training in both medicine and surgery. Most physicians were multi-skilled generalists, and expected to be skilled in elocution and debate. They were reasonably well-off financially. The paper also briefly traces the evolution of medicinal ideas in ancient India. PMID:27843823

  7. Reconstructing an Ancient Wonder.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Imhof, Christopher J.

    2001-01-01

    Describes a Montessori class project involving the building of a model of the ancient Briton monument, Stonehenge. Illustrates how the flexibility of the Montessori elementary curriculum encourages children to make their own toys and learn from the process. (JPB)

  8. Ancient Egyptian Astronomical Calander

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marshall, Patrice; Lodhi, M. A. K.

    2001-03-01

    In this paper, we discuss how certain astronomical concepts are related to the ancient Egyptian culture and their daily life. One of them is different ways of creating their calendar systems. The ancient Egyptian calendar seems to have quite a bit of its origin in astronomy and its development over the course of history. There is an important role played by events, as determined in the heavens, in developing their calendar system. Along with astronomical observations by the ancient people of Egypt, there were several outside cultures that helped develop their calendar system and Egyptian idea of how life was created on this planet, most notably the inclusion of the star Sirius in the constellation of Canis Major. We give a brief discussion of these influences. For the ancient Egyptians, the cycle of life and death is a concept that ties in with a calendar system used to determine daily events.

  9. Endocrinology in ancient Sparta.

    PubMed

    Tsoulogiannis, Ioannis N; Spandidos, Demetrios A

    2007-01-01

    This article attempts to analyze the crucial link between the plant Agnus castus and human health, particularly hormonal status, with special reference to the needs of the society of ancient Sparta. The ancient Spartans used Agnus both as a cure for infertility and as a remedy to treat battle wounds. These special properties were recognized by the sanctuary of Asclepios Agnita, which was located in Sparta, as well as by medical practitioners in Sparta during the classical, Hellenistic and Roman ages.

  10. Ancient wolf lineages in India.

    PubMed Central

    Sharma, Dinesh K; Maldonado, Jesus E; Jhala, Yadrendradev V; Fleischer, Robert C

    2004-01-01

    All previously obtained wolf (Canis lupus) and dog (Canis familiaris) mitochondrial (mt) DNA sequences fall within an intertwined and shallow clade (the 'wolf-dog' clade). We sequenced mtDNA of recent and historical samples from 45 wolves from throughout lowland peninsular India and 23 wolves from the Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau and compared these sequences with all available wolf and dog sequences. All 45 lowland Indian wolves have one of four closely related haplotypes that form a well-supported, divergent sister lineage to the wolf-dog clade. This unique lineage may have been independent for more than 400,000 years. Although seven Himalayan wolves from western and central Kashmir fall within the widespread wolf-dog clade, one from Ladakh in eastern Kashmir, nine from Himachal Pradesh, four from Nepal and two from Tibet form a very different basal clade. This lineage contains five related haplotypes that probably diverged from other canids more than 800,000 years ago, but we find no evidence of current barriers to admixture. Thus, the Indian subcontinent has three divergent, ancient and apparently parapatric mtDNA lineages within the morphologically delineated wolf. No haplotypes of either novel lineage are found within a sample of 37 Indian (or other) dogs. Thus, we find no evidence that these two taxa played a part in the domestication of canids. PMID:15101402

  11. [Conditionally neutral phylogenetic markers of major taxa: a new aspect of the evolution of macromolecules].

    PubMed

    Petrov, N B; Aleshin, V V

    2002-08-01

    The current phase of molecular phylogenetics can be named the 18S rRNA gene era, which is now approaching the end. To date, almost all phyla of metazoans and many taxa of protists are represented in databases of 18S rRNA gene sequences. The elements of the phylogenetic tree of Metazoa inferred from 18S rRNA genes are characterized by unequal validity: some of them seem to be well grounded; others are not adequately supported, and probably will be revised later. The validity of phylogenetic reconstruction is influenced by two main factors: (1) erroneous grouping of long branches that occur because of abnormally high evolution rate; (2) deficit of phylogenetically informative characters. A method for overcoming these difficulties is suggested in addition to known tools: using phylogenetic markers that are stable within individual taxa and evolve by punctuated equilibrium. These markers are least influenced by the convergence caused by a high evolution rate of the entire gene. The nature of these markers of ancient taxa, paradoxical from the perspective of neutral evolution, is discussed, as well as their importance for establishing monophyly of both new large-scale taxonomic groups of invertebrates (Bilateria + Rhombozoa + Orthonectida + Myxozoa + Cnidaria + Placozoa and Echinodermata + Hemichordata) and some major taxa of Nematoda.

  12. Ancient plant DNA in lake sediments.

    PubMed

    Parducci, Laura; Bennett, Keith D; Ficetola, Gentile Francesco; Alsos, Inger Greve; Suyama, Yoshihisa; Wood, Jamie R; Pedersen, Mikkel Winther

    2017-04-03

    Contents I. II. III. IV. V. VI. VII. VIII. IX. X. XI. References SUMMARY: Recent advances in sequencing technologies now permit the analyses of plant DNA from fossil samples (ancient plant DNA, plant aDNA), and thus enable the molecular reconstruction of palaeofloras. Hitherto, ancient frozen soils have proved excellent in preserving DNA molecules, and have thus been the most commonly used source of plant aDNA. However, DNA from soil mainly represents taxa growing a few metres from the sampling point. Lakes have larger catchment areas and recent studies have suggested that plant aDNA from lake sediments is a more powerful tool for palaeofloristic reconstruction. Furthermore, lakes can be found globally in nearly all environments, and are therefore not limited to perennially frozen areas. Here, we review the latest approaches and methods for the study of plant aDNA from lake sediments and discuss the progress made up to the present. We argue that aDNA analyses add new and additional perspectives for the study of ancient plant populations and, in time, will provide higher taxonomic resolution and more precise estimation of abundance. Despite this, key questions and challenges remain for such plant aDNA studies. Finally, we provide guidelines on technical issues, including lake selection, and we suggest directions for future research on plant aDNA studies in lake sediments.

  13. Shifting behaviour: epigenetic reprogramming in eusocial insects.

    PubMed

    Patalano, Solenn; Hore, Timothy A; Reik, Wolf; Sumner, Seirian

    2012-06-01

    Epigenetic modifications are ancient and widely utilised mechanisms that have been recruited across fungi, plants and animals for diverse but fundamental biological functions, such as cell differentiation. Recently, a functional DNA methylation system was identified in the honeybee, where it appears to underlie queen and worker caste differentiation. This discovery, along with other insights into the epigenetics of social insects, allows provocative analogies to be drawn between insect caste differentiation and cellular differentiation, particularly in mammals. Developing larvae in social insect colonies are totipotent: they retain the ability to specialise as queens or workers, in a similar way to the totipotent cells of early embryos before they differentiate into specific cell lineages. Further, both differentiating cells and insect castes lose phenotypic plasticity by committing to their lineage, losing the ability to be readily reprogrammed. Hence, a comparison of the epigenetic mechanisms underlying lineage differentiation (and reprogramming) between cells and social insects is worthwhile. Here we develop a conceptual model of how loss and regain of phenotypic plasticity might be conserved for individual specialisation in both cells and societies. This framework forges a novel link between two fields of biological research, providing predictions for a unified approach to understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying biological complexity.

  14. Neuropeptidergic regulation of reproduction in insects.

    PubMed

    Van Wielendaele, Pieter; Badisco, Liesbeth; Vanden Broeck, Jozef

    2013-07-01

    Successful animal reproduction depends on multiple physiological and behavioral processes that take place in a timely and orderly manner in both mating partners. It is not only necessary that all relevant processes are well coordinated, they also need to be adjusted to external factors of abiotic and biotic nature (e.g. population density, mating partner availability). Therefore, it is not surprising that several hormonal factors play a crucial role in the regulation of animal reproductive physiology. In insects (the largest class of animals on planet Earth), lipophilic hormones, such as ecdysteroids and juvenile hormones, as well as several neuropeptides take part in this complex regulation. While some peptides can affect reproduction via an indirect action (e.g. by influencing secretion of juvenile hormone), others exert their regulatory activity by directly targeting the reproductive system. In addition to insect peptides with proven activities, several others were suggested to also play a role in the regulation of reproductive physiology. Because of the long evolutionary history of many insect orders, it is not always clear to what extent functional data obtained in a given species can be extrapolated to other insect taxa. In this paper, we will review the current knowledge concerning the neuropeptidergic regulation of insect reproduction and situate it in a more general physiological context. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Insects and Scorpions

    MedlinePlus

    ... Workplace Safety and Health Topics Insects & Scorpions Bees, Wasps, and Hornets Fire Ants Scorpions Additional Resources Hazards ... outdoor workers. Stinging or biting insects include bees, wasps, hornets, and fire ants. The health effects of ...

  16. Hearing in Insects.

    PubMed

    Göpfert, Martin C; Hennig, R Matthias

    2016-01-01

    Insect hearing has independently evolved multiple times in the context of intraspecific communication and predator detection by transforming proprioceptive organs into ears. Research over the past decade, ranging from the biophysics of sound reception to molecular aspects of auditory transduction to the neuronal mechanisms of auditory signal processing, has greatly advanced our understanding of how insects hear. Apart from evolutionary innovations that seem unique to insect hearing, parallels between insect and vertebrate auditory systems have been uncovered, and the auditory sensory cells of insects and vertebrates turned out to be evolutionarily related. This review summarizes our current understanding of insect hearing. It also discusses recent advances in insect auditory research, which have put forward insect auditory systems for studying biological aspects that extend beyond hearing, such as cilium function, neuronal signal computation, and sensory system evolution.

  17. Respiration in Aquatic Insects.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    MacFarland, John

    1985-01-01

    This article: (1) explains the respiratory patterns of several freshwater insects; (2) describes the differences and mechanisms of spiracular cutaneous, and gill respiration; and (3) discusses behavioral aspects of selected aquatic insects. (ML)

  18. Insects: An Interdisciplinary Unit

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leger, Heather

    2007-01-01

    The author talks about an interdisciplinary unit on insects, and presents activities that can help students practice communication skills (interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational) and learn about insects with hands-on activities.

  19. Ecophysiology and insect herbivory

    SciTech Connect

    Clancy, K.M.; Wagner, M.R.; Reich, P.B.

    1995-07-01

    The relationship of insect herbivory to conifer physiology is examined. Aspects of nutrient assimilation, nutrient distribution, water stress, and climatic change are correlated to defoliation by insects. Other factors examined include plant age, density, structure, soils, and plant genotype.

  20. Respiration in Aquatic Insects.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    MacFarland, John

    1985-01-01

    This article: (1) explains the respiratory patterns of several freshwater insects; (2) describes the differences and mechanisms of spiracular cutaneous, and gill respiration; and (3) discusses behavioral aspects of selected aquatic insects. (ML)

  1. Dentistry in ancient mesopotamia.

    PubMed

    Neiburger, E J

    2000-01-01

    Sumer, an empire in ancient Mesopotamia (southern Iraq), is well known as the cradle of our modern civilization and the home of biblical Abraham. An analysis of skeletal remains from cemeteries at the ancient cities of Ur and Kish (circa 2000 B.C.), show a genetically homogeneous, diseased, and short-lived population. These ancient Mesopotamians suffered severe dental attrition (95 percent), periodontal disease (42 percent), and caries (2 percent). Many oral congenital and neoplastic lesions were noted. During this period, the "local dentists" knew only a few modern dental techniques. Skeletal (dental) evidence indicates that the population suffered from chronic malnutrition. Malnutrition was probably caused by famine, which is substantiated in historic cuneiform and biblical writings, geologic strata samples, and analysis of skeletal and forensic dental pathology. These people had modern dentition but relatively poor dental health. The population's lack of malocclusions, caries, and TMJ problems appear to be due to flat plane occlusion.

  2. Exploring Sound with Insects

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Robertson, Laura; Meyer, John R.

    2010-01-01

    Differences in insect morphology and movement during singing provide a fascinating opportunity for students to investigate insects while learning about the characteristics of sound. In the activities described here, students use a free online computer software program to explore the songs of the major singing insects and experiment with making…

  3. Sunflower insect pests

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Like other annual crops, sunflowers are fed upon by a variety of insect pests capable of reducing yields. Though there are a few insects which are considered consistent or severe (e.g., sunflower moth, banded sunflower moth, red sunflower seed weevil), many more insects are capable of causing proble...

  4. Insects and Spiders.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Audubon Society, New York, NY.

    This set of teaching aids consists of nine Audubon Nature Bulletins, providing teachers and students with informational reading on insects and spiders. The bulletins have these titles: What Good Are Insects, How Insects Benefit Man, Life of the Honey Bee, Ants and Their Fascinating Ways, Mosquitoes and Other Flies, Caterpillars, Spiders and Silk,…

  5. Insect phermones: diet related?

    PubMed

    Hendry, L B

    1976-04-09

    The question of the origin of insect pheromones is discussed in the light of new published information on the communication system of the oak leaf roller. It is concluded that compounds found in diets may be partially responsible for insect sexual behavior and that substructuring of insect populations in ecological and evolutionary time through dietary chemicals remains a hypothesis worthy of further testing.

  6. Exploring Sound with Insects

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Robertson, Laura; Meyer, John R.

    2010-01-01

    Differences in insect morphology and movement during singing provide a fascinating opportunity for students to investigate insects while learning about the characteristics of sound. In the activities described here, students use a free online computer software program to explore the songs of the major singing insects and experiment with making…

  7. Acoustic Monitoring of Insects

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Farmers, grain elevator managers, and food processors often sample grain for insect damaged kernels and numbers of live adult insects but these easily obtained measurements of insect levels do not provide reliable estimates of the typically much larger populations of internally feeding immature inse...

  8. Insects and Spiders.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Audubon Society, New York, NY.

    This set of teaching aids consists of nine Audubon Nature Bulletins, providing teachers and students with informational reading on insects and spiders. The bulletins have these titles: What Good Are Insects, How Insects Benefit Man, Life of the Honey Bee, Ants and Their Fascinating Ways, Mosquitoes and Other Flies, Caterpillars, Spiders and Silk,…

  9. Insects and Others.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mills, Richard

    1984-01-01

    Several ideas for observing insects and soil animals in the classroom are provided. Also provided are: (1) procedures for making insect cages with milk cartons; (2) suggestions for collecting and feeding insects; and (3) techniques for collecting and identifying soil animals. (BC)

  10. Dwarfs in ancient Egypt.

    PubMed

    Kozma, Chahira

    2006-02-15

    Ancient Egypt was one of the most advanced and productive civilizations in antiquity, spanning 3000 years before the "Christian" era. Ancient Egyptians built colossal temples and magnificent tombs to honor their gods and religious leaders. Their hieroglyphic language, system of organization, and recording of events give contemporary researchers insights into their daily activities. Based on the record left by their art, the ancient Egyptians documented the presence of dwarfs in almost every facet of life. Due to the hot dry climate and natural and artificial mummification, Egypt is a major source of information on achondroplasia in the old world. The remains of dwarfs are abundant and include complete and partial skeletons. Dwarfs were employed as personal attendants, animal tenders, jewelers, and entertainers. Several high-ranking dwarfs especially from the Old Kingdom (2700-2190 BCE) achieved important status and had lavish burial places close to the pyramids. Their costly tombs in the royal cemeteries and the inscriptions on their statutes indicate their high-ranking position in Egyptian society and their close relation to the king. Some of them were Seneb, Pereniankh, Khnumhotpe, and Djeder. There were at least two dwarf gods, Ptah and Bes. The god Ptah was associated with regeneration and rejuvenation. The god Bes was a protector of sexuality, childbirth, women, and children. He was a favored deity particularly during the Greco-Roman period. His temple was recently excavated in the Baharia oasis in the middle of Egypt. The burial sites and artistic sources provide glimpses of the positions of dwarfs in daily life in ancient Egypt. Dwarfs were accepted in ancient Egypt; their recorded daily activities suggest assimilation into daily life, and their disorder was not shown as a physical handicap. Wisdom writings and moral teachings in ancient Egypt commanded respect for dwarfs and other individuals with disabilities. Copyright (c) 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  11. Ancient Chinese constellations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Junjun

    2011-06-01

    China, a country with a long history and a specific culture, has also a long and specific astronomy. Ancient Chinese astronomers observed the stars, named and distributed them into constellations in a very specific way, which is quite different from the current one. Around the Zodiac, stars are divided into four big regions corresponding with the four orientations, and each is related to a totem, either the Azure Dragon, the Vermilion Bird, the White Tiger or the Murky Warrior. We present a general pattern of the ancient Chinese constellations, including the four totems, their stars and their names.

  12. [Psychiatry in ancient Mexico].

    PubMed

    Calderón Narváez, G

    1992-12-01

    Using studies on prehispanic and early post-conquest documents of Ancient Mexico--such as the Badianus Manuscript, also known as Libellus de Medicinalibus Indorum Herbis, and Brother Bernardino de Sahagún's famous work History of the Things of the New Spain, a description of some existing medical and psychiatric problems, and treatments Ancient Aztecs resorted to, is presented. The structure of the Aztec family, their problems with the excessive ingestion of alcoholic beverages, and the punishments native authorities had implemented in order to check alcoholism up are also described.

  13. Comparative ITS and AFLP Analysis of Diploid Cardamine (Brassicaceae) Taxa from Closely Related Polyploid Complexes

    PubMed Central

    MARHOLD, KAROL; LIHOVÁ, JUDITA; PERNÝ, MARIÁN; BLEEKER, WALTER

    2004-01-01

    • Background and Aims Diploid representatives from the related polyploid complexes of Cardamine amara, C. pratensis and C. raphanifolia (Brassicaceae), were studied to elucidate phylogenetic relationships among the complexes and among the individual taxa included. • Methods Two independent molecular data sets were used: nucleotide sequences from the internal transcribed spacers (ITS) of nrDNA, and amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) markers. Seventeen diploid taxa from the studied groups were sampled. • Key Results Both ITS and AFLP analyses provided congruent results in inferred relationships, and revealed two main lineages. While the C. amara group, consisting of C. wiedemanniana and four subspecies of C. amara, was resolved as a well‐supported monophyletic group, taxa from the C. pratensis and C. tenera groups (the latter representing diploid taxa of the complex of C. raphanifolia) all appeared together in a single clade/cluster with no support for the recognition of either of the groups. Intra‐individual polymorphisms and patterns of nucleotide variation in the ITS region in C. uliginosa and C. tenera, together with the distribution of AFLP bands, indicate ancient hybridization and introgression among these Caucasian diploids. • Conclusions The lack of supported hierarchical structure suggests that extensive reticulate evolution between these groups, even at the diploid level, has occurred (although an alternative explanation, namely ancestral polymorphism in ITS data, cannot be completely excluded). Several implications for the investigation of the polyploid complexes of concern are drawn. When tracing origins of polyploid taxa, a much more complex scenario should be expected, taking into account all relatives as potential parents, irrespective of the group in which they are classified. PMID:15037449

  14. InsectBase: a resource for insect genomes and transcriptomes.

    PubMed

    Yin, Chuanlin; Shen, Gengyu; Guo, Dianhao; Wang, Shuping; Ma, Xingzhou; Xiao, Huamei; Liu, Jinding; Zhang, Zan; Liu, Ying; Zhang, Yiqun; Yu, Kaixiang; Huang, Shuiqing; Li, Fei

    2016-01-04

    The genomes and transcriptomes of hundreds of insects have been sequenced. However, insect community lacks an integrated, up-to-date collection of insect gene data. Here, we introduce the first release of InsectBase, available online at http://www.insect-genome.com. The database encompasses 138 insect genomes, 116 insect transcriptomes, 61 insect gene sets, 36 gene families of 60 insects, 7544 miRNAs of 69 insects, 96,925 piRNAs of Drosophila melanogaster and Chilo suppressalis, 2439 lncRNA of Nilaparvata lugens, 22,536 pathways of 78 insects, 678,881 untranslated regions (UTR) of 84 insects and 160,905 coding sequences (CDS) of 70 insects. This release contains over 12 million sequences and provides search functionality, a BLAST server, GBrowse, insect pathway construction, a Facebook-like network for the insect community (iFacebook), and phylogenetic analysis of selected genes.

  15. InsectBase: a resource for insect genomes and transcriptomes

    PubMed Central

    Yin, Chuanlin; Shen, Gengyu; Guo, Dianhao; Wang, Shuping; Ma, Xingzhou; Xiao, Huamei; Liu, Jinding; Zhang, Zan; Liu, Ying; Zhang, Yiqun; Yu, Kaixiang; Huang, Shuiqing; Li, Fei

    2016-01-01

    The genomes and transcriptomes of hundreds of insects have been sequenced. However, insect community lacks an integrated, up-to-date collection of insect gene data. Here, we introduce the first release of InsectBase, available online at http://www.insect-genome.com. The database encompasses 138 insect genomes, 116 insect transcriptomes, 61 insect gene sets, 36 gene families of 60 insects, 7544 miRNAs of 69 insects, 96 925 piRNAs of Drosophila melanogaster and Chilo suppressalis, 2439 lncRNA of Nilaparvata lugens, 22 536 pathways of 78 insects, 678 881 untranslated regions (UTR) of 84 insects and 160 905 coding sequences (CDS) of 70 insects. This release contains over 12 million sequences and provides search functionality, a BLAST server, GBrowse, insect pathway construction, a Facebook-like network for the insect community (iFacebook), and phylogenetic analysis of selected genes. PMID:26578584

  16. Identification and integration of Picorna-like viruses in multiple insect taxa

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Virus infection often leads to incorporation of a piece of the virus genetic code into the genome of the host organism, referred to as integration. Determining if the virus has integrated into the host genome provides valuable information needed to monitor disease spread. Detection of integrated vir...

  17. [Ancient DNA: principles and methodologies].

    PubMed

    De Angelis, Flavio; Scorrano, Gabriele; Rickards, Olga

    2013-01-01

    Paleogenetics is providing increasing evidence about the biological characteristics of ancient populations. This paper examines the guiding principles and methodologies to the study of ancient DNA with constant references to the state of the art in this fascinating disciplin.

  18. Control and regulatory mechanisms associated with thermogenesis in flying insects and birds.

    PubMed

    Loli, Denise; Bicudo, José Eduardo P W

    2005-01-01

    Most insects and birds are able to fly. The chitin made exoskeleton of insects poses them several constraints, and this is one the reasons they are in general small sized animals. On the other hand, because birds possess an endoskeleton made of bones they may grow much larger when compared to insects. The two taxa are quite different with regards to their general "design" platform, in particular with respect to their respiratory and circulatory systems. However, because they fly, they may share in common several traits, namely those associated with the control and regulatory mechanisms governing thermogenesis. High core temperatures are essential for animal flight irrespective of the taxa they belong to. Birds and insects have thus evolved mechanisms which allowed them to control and regulate high rates of heat fluxes. This article discusses possible convergent thermogenic control and regulatory mechanisms associated with flight in insects and birds.

  19. Marine taxa track local climate velocities.

    PubMed

    Pinsky, Malin L; Worm, Boris; Fogarty, Michael J; Sarmiento, Jorge L; Levin, Simon A

    2013-09-13

    Organisms are expected to adapt or move in response to climate change, but observed distribution shifts span a wide range of directions and rates. Explanations often emphasize biological distinctions among species, but general mechanisms have been elusive. We tested an alternative hypothesis: that differences in climate velocity-the rate and direction that climate shifts across the landscape-can explain observed species shifts. We compiled a database of coastal surveys around North America from 1968 to 2011, sampling 128 million individuals across 360 marine taxa. Climate velocity explained the magnitude and direction of shifts in latitude and depth much more effectively than did species characteristics. Our results demonstrate that marine species shift at different rates and directions because they closely track the complex mosaic of local climate velocities.

  20. Foundational issues concerning taxa and taxon names.

    PubMed

    Ereshefsky, Marc

    2007-04-01

    In a series of articles, Rieppel (2005, Biol. Philos. 20:465-487; 2006a, Cladistics 22:186-197; 2006b, Systematist 26:5-9), Keller et al. (2003, Bot. Rev. 69:93-110), and Nixon and Carpenter (2000, Cladistics 16:298-318) criticize the philosophical foundations of the PhyloCode. They argue that species and higher taxa are not individuals, and they reject the view that taxon names are rigid designators. Furthermore, they charge supporters of the individuality thesis and rigid designator theory with assuming essentialism, committing logical inconsistencies, and offering proposals that render taxonomy untestable. These charges are unsound. Such charges turn on confusions over rigid designator theory and the distinction between kinds and individuals. In addition, Rieppel's, Keller et al.'s, and Nixon and Carpenter's proposed alternatives are no better and have their own problems. The individuality thesis and rigid designator theory should not be quickly abandoned.

  1. Insect barcode information system.

    PubMed

    Pratheepa, Maria; Jalali, Sushil Kumar; Arokiaraj, Robinson Silvester; Venkatesan, Thiruvengadam; Nagesh, Mandadi; Panda, Madhusmita; Pattar, Sharath

    2014-01-01

    Insect Barcode Information System called as Insect Barcode Informática (IBIn) is an online database resource developed by the National Bureau of Agriculturally Important Insects, Bangalore. This database provides acquisition, storage, analysis and publication of DNA barcode records of agriculturally important insects, for researchers specifically in India and other countries. It bridges a gap in bioinformatics by integrating molecular, morphological and distribution details of agriculturally important insects. IBIn was developed using PHP/My SQL by using relational database management concept. This database is based on the client- server architecture, where many clients can access data simultaneously. IBIn is freely available on-line and is user-friendly. IBIn allows the registered users to input new information, search and view information related to DNA barcode of agriculturally important insects.This paper provides a current status of insect barcode in India and brief introduction about the database IBIn. http://www.nabg-nbaii.res.in/barcode.

  2. Ancient deforestation revisited.

    PubMed

    Hughes, J Donald

    2011-01-01

    The image of the classical Mediterranean environment of the Greeks and Romans had a formative influence on the art, literature, and historical perception of modern Europe and America. How closely does is this image congruent with the ancient environment as it in reality existed? In particular, how forested was the ancient Mediterranean world, was there deforestation, and if so, what were its effects? The consensus of historians, geographers, and other scholars from the mid-nineteenth century through the first three quarters of the twentieth century was that human activities had depleted the forests to a major extent and caused severe erosion. My research confirmed this general picture. Since then, revisionist historians have questioned these conclusions, maintaining instead that little environmental damage was done to forests and soils in ancient Greco-Roman times. In a reconsideration of the question, this paper looks at recent scientific work providing proxy evidence for the condition of forests at various times in ancient history. I look at three scientific methodologies, namely anthracology, palynology, and computer modeling. Each of these avenues of research offers support for the concept of forest change, both in abundance and species composition, and episodes of deforestation and erosion, and confirms my earlier work.

  3. Printing Ancient Terracotta Warriors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gadecki, Victoria L.

    2010-01-01

    Standing in awe in Xian, China, at the Terra Cotta warrior archaeological site, the author thought of sharing this experience and excitement with her sixth-grade students. She decided to let her students carve patterns of the ancient soldiers to understand their place in Chinese history. They would make block prints and print multiple soldiers on…

  4. Ancient Egypt: History 380.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Turk, Laraine D.

    "Ancient Egypt," an upper-division, non-required history course covering Egypt from pre-dynastic time through the Roman domination is described. General descriptive information is presented first, including the method of grading, expectation of student success rate, long-range course objectives, procedures for revising the course, major…

  5. Printing Ancient Terracotta Warriors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gadecki, Victoria L.

    2010-01-01

    Standing in awe in Xian, China, at the Terra Cotta warrior archaeological site, the author thought of sharing this experience and excitement with her sixth-grade students. She decided to let her students carve patterns of the ancient soldiers to understand their place in Chinese history. They would make block prints and print multiple soldiers on…

  6. Beijing Ancient Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shi, Yunli

    The Beijing Ancient Observatory is now the only complete example of an observatory from the seventeenth century in the world. It is a monument to the prosperity of astronomy in traditional China. Its instruments are emblems of the encounter and amalgamation of Chinese and European Science in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

  7. Creative Ventures: Ancient Civilizations.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stark, Rebecca

    The open-ended activities in this book are designed to extend the imagination and creativity of students and encourage students to examine their feelings and values about historic eras. Civilizations addressed include ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, Mayan, Stonehenge, and Mesopotamia. The activities focus upon the cognitive and affective pupil…

  8. Creative Ventures: Ancient Civilizations.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stark, Rebecca

    The open-ended activities in this book are designed to extend the imagination and creativity of students and encourage students to examine their feelings and values about historic eras. Civilizations addressed include ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, Mayan, Stonehenge, and Mesopotamia. The activities focus upon the cognitive and affective pupil…

  9. Ancient Egypt: Personal Perspectives.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wolinski, Arelene

    This teacher resource book provides information on ancient Egypt via short essays, photographs, maps, charts, and drawings. Egyptian social and religious life, including writing, art, architecture, and even the practice of mummification, is conveniently summarized for the teacher or other practitioner in a series of one to three page articles with…

  10. Ancient Egypt: History 380.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Turk, Laraine D.

    "Ancient Egypt," an upper-division, non-required history course covering Egypt from pre-dynastic time through the Roman domination is described. General descriptive information is presented first, including the method of grading, expectation of student success rate, long-range course objectives, procedures for revising the course, major…

  11. Ancient Egypt: Personal Perspectives.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wolinski, Arelene

    This teacher resource book provides information on ancient Egypt via short essays, photographs, maps, charts, and drawings. Egyptian social and religious life, including writing, art, architecture, and even the practice of mummification, is conveniently summarized for the teacher or other practitioner in a series of one to three page articles with…

  12. [Midwifes in ancient Greece].

    PubMed

    Arata, Luigi

    2009-01-01

    The article deals with the evidence about obstetrics and in particular midwifes in ancient Greece. The substantives which mean "obstetrician" in Greek are quite numerous, but the most attested and common is [see text]. This work examines all the tasks which were connected with this profession (e.g. in the legal field).

  13. Insect fauna visiting carrion in Southwest Virginia.

    PubMed

    Tabor, Kimberly L; Fell, Richard D; Brewster, Carlyle C

    2005-05-28

    Successional patterns of insect fauna on pig carcasses were studied in southwest Virginia. The objective was to identify and qualitatively assess the major taxa of forensic importance in this region. Studies were conducted in spring and summer 2001 and 2002, and fall 2002. Over 50 taxa were collected and identified. Phormia regina was the dominant fly species in the spring (>90%) and co-dominant with Phaenicia coeruleiviridis in the summer. Phaenicia sericata, Lucilia illustris, and Calliphora spp. were collected in spring and summer, but less frequently. Eleven species of Sarcophagidae also were collected with Sarcophaga utilis and Helicobia rapax the most common. In the fall, the dominant fly species were Calliphora vomitoria, L. illustris, and P. coeruleiviridis. The primary beetle species collected in spring and summer included three Staphylinidae (Creophilis maxillosus, Platydracus maculosus, and Aleochara lata) and three Silphidae (Oiceoptoma noveboracense, Necrodes surinamensis, and Necrophila americana). No beetles were collected in the fall.

  14. Evidence of Taxa-, Clone-, and Kin-discrimination in Protists: Ecological and Evolutionary Implications

    PubMed Central

    Espinosa, Avelina; Paz-y-Miño-C, Guillermo

    2014-01-01

    Unicellular eukaryotes, or protists, are among the most ancient organisms on Earth. Protists belong to multiple taxonomic groups; they are widely distributed geographically and in all environments. Their ability to discriminate among con- and heterospecifics has been documented during the past decade. Here we discuss exemplar cases of taxa-, clone-, and possible kin-discrimination in five major lineages: Mycetozoa (Dictyostelium, Polysphondylium), Dikarya (Saccharomyces), Ciliophora (Tetrahymena), Apicomplexa (Plasmodium) and Archamoebae (Entamoeba). We summarize the proposed genetic mechanisms involved in discrimination-mediated aggregation (self versus different), including the csA, FLO and trg (formerly lag) genes, and the Proliferation Activation Factors (PAFs), which facilitate clustering in some protistan taxa. We caution about the experimental challenges intrinsic to studying recognition in protists, and highlight the opportunities for exploring the ecology and evolution of complex forms of cell-cell communication, including social behavior, in a polyphyletic, still superficially understood group of organisms. Because unicellular eukaryotes are the evolutionary precursors of multicellular life, we infer that their mechanisms of taxa-, clone-, and possible kin-discrimination gave origin to the complex diversification and sophistication of traits associated with species and kin recognition in plants, fungi, invertebrates and vertebrates. PMID:25400313

  15. Using computational fluid dynamics to test functional and ecological hypotheses in fossil taxa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rahman, Imran

    2016-04-01

    Reconstructing how ancient organisms moved and fed is a major focus of study in palaeontology. Traditionally, this has been hampered by a lack of objective data on the functional morphology of extinct species, especially those without a clear modern analogue. However, cutting-edge techniques for characterizing specimens digitally and in three dimensions, coupled with state-of-the-art computer models, now provide a robust framework for testing functional and ecological hypotheses even in problematic fossil taxa. One such approach is computational fluid dynamics (CFD), a method for simulating fluid flows around objects that has primarily been applied to complex engineering-design problems. Here, I will present three case studies of CFD applied to fossil taxa, spanning a range of specimen sizes, taxonomic groups and geological ages. First, I will show how CFD enabled a rigorous test of hypothesized feeding modes in an enigmatic Ediacaran organism with three-fold symmetry, revealing previously unappreciated complexity of pre-Cambrian ecosystems. Second, I will show how CFD was used to evaluate hydrodynamic performance and feeding in Cambrian stem-group echinoderms, shedding light on the probable feeding strategy of the latest common ancestor of all deuterostomes. Third, I will show how CFD allowed us to explore the link between form and function in Mesozoic ichthyosaurs. These case studies serve to demonstrate the enormous potential of CFD for addressing long-standing hypotheses for a variety of fossil taxa, opening up an exciting new avenue in palaeontological studies of functional morphology.

  16. Evidence of Taxa-, Clone-, and Kin-discrimination in Protists: Ecological and Evolutionary Implications.

    PubMed

    Espinosa, Avelina; Paz-Y-Miño-C, Guillermo

    2014-11-01

    Unicellular eukaryotes, or protists, are among the most ancient organisms on Earth. Protists belong to multiple taxonomic groups; they are widely distributed geographically and in all environments. Their ability to discriminate among con- and heterospecifics has been documented during the past decade. Here we discuss exemplar cases of taxa-, clone-, and possible kin-discrimination in five major lineages: Mycetozoa (Dictyostelium, Polysphondylium), Dikarya (Saccharomyces), Ciliophora (Tetrahymena), Apicomplexa (Plasmodium) and Archamoebae (Entamoeba). We summarize the proposed genetic mechanisms involved in discrimination-mediated aggregation (self versus different), including the csA, FLO and trg (formerly lag) genes, and the Proliferation Activation Factors (PAFs), which facilitate clustering in some protistan taxa. We caution about the experimental challenges intrinsic to studying recognition in protists, and highlight the opportunities for exploring the ecology and evolution of complex forms of cell-cell communication, including social behavior, in a polyphyletic, still superficially understood group of organisms. Because unicellular eukaryotes are the evolutionary precursors of multicellular life, we infer that their mechanisms of taxa-, clone-, and possible kin-discrimination gave origin to the complex diversification and sophistication of traits associated with species and kin recognition in plants, fungi, invertebrates and vertebrates.

  17. Damage signals in the insect immune response

    PubMed Central

    Krautz, Robert; Arefin, Badrul; Theopold, Ulrich

    2014-01-01

    Insects and mammals share an ancient innate immune system comprising both humoral and cellular responses. The insect immune system consists of the fat body, which secretes effector molecules into the hemolymph and several classes of hemocytes, which reside in the hemolymph and of protective border epithelia. Key features of wound- and immune responses are shared between insect and mammalian immune systems including the mode of activation by commonly shared microbial (non-self) patterns and the recognition of these patterns by dedicated receptors. It is unclear how metazoan parasites in insects, which lack these shared motifs, are recognized. Research in recent years has demonstrated that during entry into the insect host, many eukaryotic pathogens leave traces that alert potential hosts of the damage they have afflicted. In accordance with terminology used in the mammalian immune systems, these signals have been dubbed danger- or damage-associated signals. Damage signals are necessary byproducts generated during entering hosts either by mechanical or proteolytic damage. Here, we briefly review the current stage of knowledge on how wound closure and wound healing during mechanical damage is regulated and how damage-related signals contribute to these processes. We also discuss how sensors of proteolytic activity induce insect innate immune responses. Strikingly damage-associated signals are also released from cells that have aberrant growth, including tumor cells. These signals may induce apoptosis in the damaged cells, the recruitment of immune cells to the aberrant tissue and even activate humoral responses. Thus, this ensures the removal of aberrant cells and compensatory proliferation to replace lost tissue. Several of these pathways may have been co-opted from wound healing and developmental processes. PMID:25071815

  18. Small is beautiful: features of the smallest insects and limits to miniaturization.

    PubMed

    Polilov, Alexey A

    2015-01-07

    Miniaturization leads to considerable reorganization of structures in insects, affecting almost all organs and tissues. In the smallest insects, comparable in size to unicellular organisms, modifications arise not only at the level of organs, but also at the cellular level. Miniaturization is accompanied by allometric changes in many organ systems. The consequences of miniaturization displayed by different insect taxa include both common and unique changes. Because the smallest insects are among the smallest metazoans and have the most complex organization among organisms of the same size, their peculiar structural features and the factors that limit their miniaturization are of considerable theoretical interest to general biology.

  19. Impervious surface area as a predictor of the effects of urbanization on stream insect communities in Maine, USA.

    PubMed

    Morse, Chandler C; Huryn, Alexander D; Cronan, Christopher

    2003-11-01

    The influence of urbanization on stream insect communities was determined by comparing physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of streams draining 20 catchments with varying levels of urban land-cover in Maine (U.S.A). Percent total impervious surface area (PTIA), which was used to quantify urban land-use, ranged from approximately 1-31% among the study catchments. Taxonomic richness of stream insect communities showed an abrupt decline as PTIA increased above 6%. Streams draining catchments with PTIA < 6% had the highest levels of both total insect and EPT (Ephemeroptera + Plecoptera + Trichoptera) taxonomic richness. These streams contained insect communities with a total richness averaging 33 taxa in fall and 31 taxa in spring; EPT richness ranged from an average of 15 taxa in fall and 13 taxa in spring. In contrast, none of the streams draining catchments with 6-27% PTIA had a total richness > 18 taxa or an EPT richness > 6 taxa. Insect communities in streams with PTIA > 6% were characterized by the absence of pollution-intolerant taxa. The distribution of more pollution-tolerant taxa (e.g. Acerpenna (Ephemeroptera); Paracapnia, Allocapnia (Plecoptera); Optioservus, Stenelmis (Coleoptera); Hydropsyche, Cheumatopsvyche (Trichoptera)), however, showed little relation to PTIA. In contrast to the apparent threshold relationship between PTIA and insect taxonomic richness, both habitat quality and water quality tended to decline as linear functions of PTIA. Our results indicate that, in Maine, an abrupt change in stream insect community structure occurs at a PTIA above a threshold of approximately 6% of total catchment area. The measurement of PTIA may provide a valuable tool for predicting thresholds for adverse effects of urbanization on the health of headwater streams in Maine.

  20. Unraveling Trichoderma species in the attine ant environment: description of three new taxa.

    PubMed

    Montoya, Quimi Vidaurre; Meirelles, Lucas Andrade; Chaverri, Priscila; Rodrigues, Andre

    2016-05-01

    Fungus-growing "attine" ants forage diverse substrates to grow fungi for food. In addition to the mutualistic fungal partner, the colonies of these insects harbor a rich microbiome composed of bacteria, filamentous fungi and yeasts. Previous work reported some Trichoderma species in the fungus gardens of leafcutter ants. However, no studies systematically addressed the putative association of Trichoderma with attine ants, especially in non-leafcutter ants. Here, a total of 62 strains of Trichoderma were analyzed using three molecular markers (ITS, tef1 and rpb2). In addition, 30 out of 62 strains were also morphologically examined. The strains studied correspond to the largest sampling carried out so far for Trichoderma in the attine ant environment. Our results revealed the richness of Trichoderma in this environment, since we found 20 Trichoderma species, including three new taxa described in the present work (Trichoderma attinorum, Trichoderma texanum and Trichoderma longifialidicum spp. nov.) as well as a new phylogenetic taxon (LESF 545). Moreover, we show that all 62 strains grouped within different clades across the Trichoderma phylogeny, which are identical or closely related to strains derived from several other environments. This evidence supports the transient nature of the genus Trichoderma in the attine ant colonies. The discovery of three new species suggests that the dynamic foraging behavior of these insects might be responsible for accumulation of transient fungi into their colonies, which might hold additional fungal taxa still unknown to science.

  1. Insects, Insecticides and Hormesis: Evidence and Considerations for Study

    PubMed Central

    Cutler, G. Christopher

    2013-01-01

    Insects are ubiquitous, crucial components of almost all terrestrial and fresh water ecosystems. In agricultural settings they are subjected to, intentionally or unintentionally, an array of synthetic pesticides and other chemical stressors. These ecological underpinnings, the amenability of insects to laboratory and field experiments, and our strong knowledgebase in insecticide toxicology, make the insect-insecticide model an excellent one to study many questions surrounding hormesis. Moreover, there is practical importance for agriculture with evidence of pest population growth being accelerated by insecticide hormesis. Nevertheless, insects have been underutilized in studies of hormesis. Where hormesis hypotheses have been tested, results clearly demonstrate stimulatory effects on multiple taxa as measured through several biological endpoints, both at individual and population levels. However, many basic questions are outstanding given the myriad of chemicals, responses, and ecological interactions that are likely to occur. PMID:23930099

  2. Mitochondrial Phylogenomics of Modern and Ancient Equids

    PubMed Central

    Vilstrup, Julia T.; Seguin-Orlando, Andaine; Stiller, Mathias; Ginolhac, Aurelien; Raghavan, Maanasa; Nielsen, Sandra C. A.; Weinstock, Jacobo; Froese, Duane; Vasiliev, Sergei K.; Ovodov, Nikolai D.; Clary, Joel; Helgen, Kristofer M.; Fleischer, Robert C.; Cooper, Alan; Shapiro, Beth; Orlando, Ludovic

    2013-01-01

    The genus Equus is richly represented in the fossil record, yet our understanding of taxonomic relationships within this genus remains limited. To estimate the phylogenetic relationships among modern horses, zebras, asses and donkeys, we generated the first data set including complete mitochondrial sequences from all seven extant lineages within the genus Equus. Bayesian and Maximum Likelihood phylogenetic inference confirms that zebras are monophyletic within the genus, and the Plains and Grevy’s zebras form a well-supported monophyletic group. Using ancient DNA techniques, we further characterize the complete mitochondrial genomes of three extinct equid lineages (the New World stilt-legged horses, NWSLH; the subgenus Sussemionus; and the Quagga, Equus quagga quagga). Comparisons with extant taxa confirm the NWSLH as being part of the caballines, and the Quagga and Plains zebras as being conspecific. However, the evolutionary relationships among the non-caballine lineages, including the now-extinct subgenus Sussemionus, remain unresolved, most likely due to extremely rapid radiation within this group. The closest living outgroups (rhinos and tapirs) were found to be too phylogenetically distant to calibrate reliable molecular clocks. Additional mitochondrial genome sequence data, including radiocarbon dated ancient equids, will be required before revisiting the exact timing of the lineage radiation leading up to modern equids, which for now were found to have possibly shared a common ancestor as far as up to 4 Million years ago (Mya). PMID:23437078

  3. Ancient human microbiomes

    PubMed Central

    Warinner, Christina; Speller, Camilla; Collins, Matthew J.; Lewis, Cecil M.

    2015-01-01

    Very recently, we discovered a vast new microbial self: the human microbiome. Our native microbiota interface with our biology and culture to influence our health, behavior, and quality of life, and yet we know very little about their origin, evolution, or ecology. With the advent of industrialization, globalization, and modern sanitation, it is intuitive that we have changed our relationship with microbes, but we have little information about the ancestral state of our microbiome, and therefore, we lack a foundation for characterizing this change. High-throughput sequencing has opened up new opportunities in the field of paleomicrobiology, allowing us to investigate the evolution of the complex microbial ecologies that inhabit our bodies. By focusing on recent coprolite and dental calculus research, we explore how emerging research on ancient human microbiomes is changing the way we think about ancient disease and how archaeological studies can contribute to a medical understanding of health and nutrition today. PMID:25559298

  4. Ancient Sedimentary Rocks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2003-01-01

    MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-469, 31 August 2003

    The terraced area in this Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image is an outcropping of ancient, sedimentary rock. It occurs in a crater in western Arabia Terra near 10.8oN, 4.5oW. Sedimentary rocks provide a record of past environments on Mars. Field work will likely be required to begin to get a good understanding of the nature of the record these rocks contain. Their generally uniform thickness and repeated character suggests that deposition of fine sediment in this crater was episodic, if not cyclic. These rocks might be indicators of an ancient lake, or they might have been deposited from grains settling out of an earlier, thicker, martian atmosphere. This image covers an area 3 km (1.9 mi) across and is illuminated from the lower left.

  5. Ancient human microbiomes.

    PubMed

    Warinner, Christina; Speller, Camilla; Collins, Matthew J; Lewis, Cecil M

    2015-02-01

    Very recently, we discovered a vast new microbial self: the human microbiome. Our native microbiota interface with our biology and culture to influence our health, behavior, and quality of life, and yet we know very little about their origin, evolution, or ecology. With the advent of industrialization, globalization, and modern sanitation, it is intuitive that we have changed our relationship with microbes, but we have little information about the ancestral state of our microbiome, and we therefore lack a foundation for characterizing this change. High-throughput sequencing has opened up new opportunities in the field of paleomicrobiology, allowing us to investigate the evolution of the complex microbial ecologies that inhabit our bodies. By focusing on recent coprolite and dental calculus research, we explore how emerging research on ancient human microbiomes is changing the way we think about ancient disease and how archaeological studies can contribute to a medical understanding of health and nutrition today.

  6. Insect enemies of birch

    Treesearch

    James G. Conklin

    1969-01-01

    Native birches are subject to attack by insects at all stages of growth from the germinating seedling to the mature tree. All parts of the tree—roots, stem, branches, foliage, and even the developing seed—may be utilized as feeding sites by insects of one kind or another. An enumeration of the many insects recorded in the literature as feeders on...

  7. Insect transferrins: multifunctional proteins.

    PubMed

    Geiser, Dawn L; Winzerling, Joy J

    2012-03-01

    Many studies have been done evaluating transferrin in insects. Genomic analyses indicate that insects could have more than one transferrin. However, the most commonly studied insect transferrin, Tsf1, shows greatest homology to mammalian blood transferrin. Aspects of insect transferrin structure compared to mammalian transferrin and the roles transferrin serves in insects are discussed in this review. Insect transferrin can have one or two lobes, and can bind iron in one or both. The iron binding ligands identified for the lobes of mammalian blood transferrin are generally conserved in the lobes of insect transferrins that have an iron binding site. Available information supports that the form of dietary iron consumed influences the regulation of insect transferrin. Although message is expressed in several tissues in many insects, fat body is the likely source of hemolymph transferrin. Insect transferrin is a vitellogenic protein that is down-regulated by Juvenile Hormone. It serves a role in transporting iron to eggs in some insects, and transferrin found in eggs appears to be endowed from the female. In addition to the roles of transferrin in iron delivery, this protein also functions to reduce oxidative stress and to enhance survival of infection. Future studies in Tsf1 as well as the other insect transferrins that bind iron are warranted because of the roles of transferrin in preventing oxidative stress, enhancing survival to infections and delivering iron to eggs for development. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Transferrins: Molecular mechanisms of iron transport and disorders. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Suicide in ancient Greece.

    PubMed

    Laios, K; Tsoukalas, G; Kontaxaki, M-I; Karamanou, M; Androutsos, G

    2014-01-01

    The theme of suicide appears several times in ancient Greek literature. However, each such reference acquires special significance depending on the field from which it originates. Most of the information found in mythology, but the suicide in a mythological tale, although in terms of motivation and mental situation of heroes may be in imitation of similar incidents of real life, in fact is linked with the principles of the ancient Greek religion. In ancient drama and mainly in tragedies suicide conduces to the tragic hypostasis of the heroes and to the evolution of the plot and also is a tool in order to be presented the ideas of poets for the relations of the gods, the relation among gods and men and the relation among the men. In ancient Greek philosophy there were the deniers of suicide, who were more concerned about the impact of suicide on society and also these who accepted it, recognizing the right of the individual to put an end to his life, in order to avoid personal misfortunes. Real suicides will be found mostly from historical sources, but most of them concern leading figures of the ancient world. Closer to the problem of suicide in the everyday life of antiquity are ancient Greek medicines, who studied the phenomenon more general without references to specific incidents. Doctors did not approve in principal the suicide and dealt with it as insane behavior in the development of the mental diseases, of melancholia and mania. They considered that the discrepancy of humors in the organ of logic in the human body will cause malfunction, which will lead to the absurdity and consequently to suicide, either due to excessive concentration of black bile in melancholia or due to yellow bile in mania. They believed that greater risk to commit suicide had women, young people and the elderly. As therapy they used the drugs of their time with the intention to induce calm and repression in the ill person, therefore they mainly used mandragora. In general, we would say

  9. Sex Determination, Sex Chromosomes, and Karyotype Evolution in Insects.

    PubMed

    Blackmon, Heath; Ross, Laura; Bachtrog, Doris

    2017-01-01

    Insects harbor a tremendous diversity of sex determining mechanisms both within and between groups. For example, in some orders such as Hymenoptera, all members are haplodiploid, whereas Diptera contain species with homomorphic as well as male and female heterogametic sex chromosome systems or paternal genome elimination. We have established a large database on karyotypes and sex chromosomes in insects, containing information on over 13000 species covering 29 orders of insects. This database constitutes a unique starting point to report phylogenetic patterns on the distribution of sex determination mechanisms, sex chromosomes, and karyotypes among insects and allows us to test general theories on the evolutionary dynamics of karyotypes, sex chromosomes, and sex determination systems in a comparative framework. Phylogenetic analysis reveals that male heterogamety is the ancestral mode of sex determination in insects, and transitions to female heterogamety are extremely rare. Many insect orders harbor species with complex sex chromosomes, and gains and losses of the sex-limited chromosome are frequent in some groups. Haplodiploidy originated several times within insects, and parthenogenesis is rare but evolves frequently. Providing a single source to electronically access data previously distributed among more than 500 articles and books will not only accelerate analyses of the assembled data, but also provide a unique resource to guide research on which taxa are likely to be informative to address specific questions, for example, for genome sequencing projects or large-scale comparative studies. © The American Genetic Association 2016. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  10. The earliest known holometabolous insects.

    PubMed

    Nel, André; Roques, Patrick; Nel, Patricia; Prokin, Alexander A; Bourgoin, Thierry; Prokop, Jakub; Szwedo, Jacek; Azar, Dany; Desutter-Grandcolas, Laure; Wappler, Torsten; Garrouste, Romain; Coty, David; Huang, Diying; Engel, Michael S; Kirejtshuk, Alexander G

    2013-11-14

    The Eumetabola (Endopterygota (also known as Holometabola) plus Paraneoptera) have the highest number of species of any clade, and greatly contribute to animal species biodiversity. The palaeoecological circumstances that favoured their emergence and success remain an intriguing question. Recent molecular phylogenetic analyses have suggested a wide range of dates for the initial appearance of the Holometabola, from the Middle Devonian epoch (391 million years (Myr) ago) to the Late Pennsylvanian epoch (311 Myr ago), and Hemiptera (310 Myr ago). Palaeoenvironments greatly changed over these periods, with global cooling and increasing complexity of green forests. The Pennsylvanian-period crown-eumetabolan fossil record remains notably incomplete, particularly as several fossils have been erroneously considered to be stem Holometabola (Supplementary Information); the earliest definitive beetles are from the start of the Permian period. The emergence of the hymenopterids, sister group to other Holometabola, is dated between 350 and 309 Myr ago, incongruent with their current earliest record (Middle Triassic epoch). Here we describe five fossils--a Gzhelian-age stem coleopterid, a holometabolous larva of uncertain ordinal affinity, a stem hymenopterid, and early Hemiptera and Psocodea, all from the Moscovian age--and reveal a notable penecontemporaneous breadth of early eumetabolan insects. These discoveries are more congruent with current hypotheses of clade divergence. Eumetabola experienced episodes of diversification during the Bashkirian-Moscovian and the Kasimovian-Gzhelian ages. This cladogenetic activity is perhaps related to notable episodes of drying resulting from glaciations, leading to the eventual demise in Euramerica of coal-swamp ecosystems, evidenced by floral turnover during this interval. These ancient species were of very small size, living in the shadow of Palaeozoic-era 'giant' insects. Although these discoveries reveal unexpected Pennsylvanian

  11. Insects: Bugged Out!

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Piehl, Kathy

    2011-01-01

    Insects really need no introduction. They have lived on earth much longer than humans and vastly outnumber people and all other animal species combined. People encounter them daily in their houses and yards. Yet, when children want to investigate insects, books can help them start their explorations. "Paleo Bugs" carries readers back to the time…

  12. Insects and Bugs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sutherland, Karen

    2009-01-01

    They have been around for centuries. They sting, they bite. They cause intense itching or painful sores. They even cause allergic reactions and sometimes death. There are two types of insects that are pests to humans--those that sting and those that bite. The insects that bite do so with their mouths and include mosquitoes, chiggers, and ticks.…

  13. Magnetic compasses in insects

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The use of magnetic information for orientation and navigation is a widespread phenomenon in animals. In contrast to navigational systems in vertebrates, our understanding of the mechanisms underlying the insect magnetic perception and use of the information is at an early stage. Some insects use ma...

  14. Great Basin insect outbreaks

    Treesearch

    Barbara Bentz; Diane Alston; Ted Evans

    2008-01-01

    Outbreaks of native and exotic insects are important drivers of ecosystem dynamics in the Great Basin. The following provides an overview of range, forest, ornamental, and agricultural insect outbreaks occurring in the Great Basin and the associated management issues and research needs.

  15. Insects: Bugged Out!

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Piehl, Kathy

    2011-01-01

    Insects really need no introduction. They have lived on earth much longer than humans and vastly outnumber people and all other animal species combined. People encounter them daily in their houses and yards. Yet, when children want to investigate insects, books can help them start their explorations. "Paleo Bugs" carries readers back to the time…

  16. Insects and Bugs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sutherland, Karen

    2009-01-01

    They have been around for centuries. They sting, they bite. They cause intense itching or painful sores. They even cause allergic reactions and sometimes death. There are two types of insects that are pests to humans--those that sting and those that bite. The insects that bite do so with their mouths and include mosquitoes, chiggers, and ticks.…

  17. Sugarcane insect update

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Insect are an important group of pests affecting sugarcane production. Agricultural consultants play an important role is assisting sugarcane farmers to choose the most appropriated means of managing damaging infestations of insects in their crop. In this presentation, information will be presented ...

  18. Sterile Insect Quality

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    This chapter discusses the history of the development of quality control tchnology, the principles and philosophy of assessing insect quality, and the relative importance of the various parameters used to assess insect quality in the context of mass-rearing for the SIT. Quality control is most devel...

  19. Insect infestation of stored oats in Florida and field evaluation of a device for counting insects electronically.

    PubMed

    Arbogast, R T; Kendra, P E; Weaver, D K; Shuman, D

    2000-06-01

    Automated methods of monitoring stored grain for insect pests will contribute to early detection and aid in management of pest problems. An insect population infesting stored oats at a seed processing plant in north-central Florida was studied to test a device for counting insects electronically (Electronic Grain Probe Insect Counter, EGPIC), and to characterize the storage environment. The device counts insects as they fall through an infrared beam incorporated into a modified grain probe (pitfall) trap and transmits the counts to a computer for accumulation and storage. Eight traps were inserted into the surface of the grain bulk, and the insects trapped were identified and counted manually at weekly intervals. Grain temperature and moisture content also were recorded for each trap location. Manual and automatic counts were compared to estimate error in the EGPIC system. Both over- and undercounting occurred, and errors ranged from -79.4 to 82.4%. The mean absolute value of error (+/- SE) was 31.7% (+/- 4.3). At least 31 species, or higher taxa, were detected, but the psocid Liposcelis entomophila (Enderlein) and the foreign grain beetle, Ahasverus advena (Waltl), accounted for 88% of the captured insects. Species diversity, phenology, and spatial distribution are presented, as well as temporal and spatial distribution of grain temperature and moisture content. The data sets generated will find application in population modeling and development of integrated pest management systems for stored grain.

  20. Principal Areas of Insect Research

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Williams, Carroll M.

    1973-01-01

    Research for insect control has been quite complex. However, recent knowledge of using insect hormones against them has opened new vistas for producing insecticides which may be harmless to human population. Current areas of insect research are outlined. (PS)

  1. Insect and arachnid hypersensitivity.

    PubMed

    Bevier, D E

    1999-11-01

    Insect hypersensitivity reactions can have a large number of clinical presentations. The majority of reactions are pruritic and involve the short- or sparsely haired areas of the body. Most are associated with eosinophilic infiltration into the skin, often in a perivascular pattern. The diagnosis may be based on compatible clinical signs and improvement with aggressive insect control and, in some cases, confirmation via provocative exposure. Intradermal, prick, or serum testing for allergen-specific IgE can be used to document the presence of reaginic antibodies against insect allergens. Treatments include avoidance, aggressive insect control, and symptomatic support; in some cases, immunotherapy may be useful in decreasing the severity of clinical reactions to insects.

  2. Infectious diseases in ancient Egypt.

    PubMed

    Brier, Bob

    2004-03-01

    Techniques for studying infectious disease in the ancient world are discussed. A brief survey of infectious diseases, such as schistosomiasis and malaria, in ancient Egypt is presented, and the physical traces of these diseases are examined. A discussion of the ancient Egyptian physician's response to infectious disease is included. There are two substantial sources of evidence for infectious diseases-physical remains and descriptions in Egyptian medical papyri. This preliminary survey suggests that ancient Egypt was far from the idyllic paradise on the Nile that some historians would like to imagine.

  3. Gnomons in Ancient China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Geng

    Gnomon shadow measurement was one of the most fundamental astronomical observations in ancient China. It was crucial for calendar making, which constituted an important aspect of imperial governance. A painted stick discovered from a prehistoric (2300 BC) astronomical site of Taosi (see Chap. 201, "Taosi Observatory", 10.1007/978-1-4614-6141-8_215") is the oldest gnomon known of China. From second century BC onward, gnomon shadow measurements have been essential part of calendrical practice. Various historical measurements are discussed in this chapter.

  4. Tracheostomy in ancient Egypt.

    PubMed

    Blomstedt, Patric

    2014-08-01

    It has often been reported that the ancient Egyptians performed tracheostomies. An analysis of this claim demonstrates it to be founded on only two depictions from the Protodynastic period (thirty-first century bc). These depictions are difficult to reconcile with tracheostomy from an anatomical point of view and can more easily be explained as human sacrifices. Considering that Egyptian surgery included only minor procedures even at its zenith during later dynastic periods, it is difficult to imagine that they would have developed such an advanced procedure at such an early date.

  5. Urology in ancient India

    PubMed Central

    Das, Sakti

    2007-01-01

    The practice of medical and surgical measures in the management of urological ailments prevailed in ancient India from the Vedic era around 3000 BC. Subsequently in the Samhita period, the two stalwarts - Charaka in medicine and Susruta in surgery elevated the art of medicine in India to unprecedented heights. Their elaboration of the etiopathological hypothesis and the medical and surgical treatments of various urological disorders of unparalleled ingenuity still remain valid to some extent in our contemporary understanding. The new generation of accomplished Indian urologists should humbly venerate the legacy of the illustrious pioneers in urology of our motherland. PMID:19675749

  6. The moon's ancient magnetism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Runcorn, S. K.

    1987-12-01

    While the moon at present has no magnetic field, magnetized areas on its surface called magnetic anomalies do exist. Evidence is presented here that these anomalies are due to an ancient magnetic field. This field was produced by an internal dynamo due to a once molten lunar core of iron. The anomalies fall into three groups which were formed at different times and point in different directions, indicating that the moon underwent reorientation during its early history. It is shown that this reorienation could have been caused by the impact of disintegrated lunar satellites on the lunar surface.

  7. Cross-kingdom interactions matter: fungal-mediated interactions structure an insect community on oak.

    PubMed

    Tack, Ayco J M; Gripenberg, Sofia; Roslin, Tomas

    2012-03-01

    Although phytophagous insects and plant pathogens frequently share the same host plant, interactions among such phylogenetically distant taxa have received limited attention. Here, we place pathogens and insects in the context of a multitrophic-level community. Focusing on the invasive powdery mildew Erysiphe alphitoides and the insect community on oak (Quercus robur), we demonstrate that mildew-insect interactions may be mediated by both the host plant and by natural enemies, and that the trait-specific outcome of individual interactions can range from negative to positive. Moreover, mildew affects resource selection by insects, thereby modifying the distribution of a specialist herbivore at two spatial scales (within and among trees). Finally, a long-term survey suggests that species-specific responses to mildew scale up to generate landscape-level variation in the insect community structure. Overall, our results show that frequently overlooked cross-kingdom interactions may play a major role in structuring terrestrial plant-based communities.

  8. Helminthes and insects: maladies or therapies.

    PubMed

    El-Tantawy, Nora L

    2015-02-01

    By definition, parasites cause harm to their hosts. But, considerable evidence from ancient traditional medicine has supported the theory of using parasites and their products in treating many diseases. Maggots have been used successfully to treat chronic, long-standing, infected wounds which failed to respond to conventional treatment by many beneficial effects on the wound including debridement, disinfection, and healing enhancement. Maggots are also applied in forensic medicine to estimate time between the death and discovery of a corpse and in entomotoxicology involving the potential use of insects as alternative samples for detecting drugs and toxins in death investigations. Leeches are segmented invertebrates, famous by their blood-feeding habits and used in phlebotomy to treat various ailments since ancient times. Leech therapy is experiencing resurgence nowadays in health care principally in plastic and reconstructive surgery. Earthworms provide a source of medicinally useful products with potential antimicrobial, antiviral, and anticancer properties. Lumbrokinases are a group of fibrinolytic enzymes isolated and purified from earthworms capable of degrading plasminogen-rich and plasminogen-free fibrin and so can be used to treat various conditions associated with thrombotic diseases. Helminth infection has been proved to have therapeutic effects in both animal and human clinical trials with promising evidence in treating many allergic diseases and can block the induction of or reduce the severity of some autoimmune disorders as Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis. What is more, venomous arthropods such as scorpions, bees, wasps, spiders, ants, centipedes, snail, beetles, and caterpillars. The venoms and toxins from these arthropods provide a promising source of natural bioactive compounds which can be employed in the development of new drugs to treat diseases as cancer. The possibility of using these active molecules in biotechnological processes can

  9. The frequency of eubacterium-to-eukaryote lateral gene transfers shows significant cross-taxa variation within amoebozoa.

    PubMed

    Watkins, Russell F; Gray, Michael W

    2006-12-01

    Single-celled bacterivorous eukaryotes offer excellent test cases for evaluation of the frequency of prey-to-predator lateral gene transfer (LGT). Here we use analysis of expressed sequence tag (EST) data sets to quantify the extent of LGT from eubacteria to two amoebae, Acanthamoeba castellanii and Hartmannella vermiformis. Stringent screening for LGT proceeded in several steps intended to enrich for authentic events while at the same time minimizing the incidence of false positives due to factors such as limitations in database coverage and ancient paralogy. The results were compared with data obtained when the same methodology was applied to EST libraries from a number of other eukaryotic taxa. Significant differences in the extent of apparent eubacterium-to-eukaryote LGT were found between taxa. Our results indicate that there may be substantial inter-taxon variation in the number of LGT events that become fixed even between amoebozoan species that have similar feeding modalities.

  10. Epigenetics of Ancient DNA

    PubMed Central

    Zhenilo, S. V.; Sokolov, A.S.; Prokhortchouk, E. B.

    2016-01-01

    Initially, the study of DNA isolated from ancient specimens had been based on the analysis of the primary nucleotide sequence. This approach has allowed researchers to study the evolutionary changes that occur in different populations and determine the influence of the environment on genetic selection. However, the improvement of methodological approaches to genome-wide analysis has opened up new possibilities in the search for the epigenetic mechanisms involved in the regulation of gene expression. It was discovered recently that the methylation status of the regulatory elements of the HOXD cluster and MEIS1 gene changed during human evolution. Epigenetic changes in these genes played a key role in the evolution of the limbs of modern humans. Recent works have demonstrated that it is possible to determine the transcriptional activity of genes in ancient DNA samples by combining information on DNA methylation and the DNAaseI hypersensitive sequences located at the transcription start sites of genes. In the nearest future, if a preserved fossils brain is found, it will be possible to identify the evolutionary changes in the higher nervous system associated with epigenetic differences. PMID:27795845

  11. Ancient celtic horns

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Campbell, Murray

    2002-11-01

    There is considerable evidence from iconographic and documentary sources that musical lip-reed instruments were important in the early celtic communities of Scotland and Ireland. In recent years several studies have been undertaken with the aim of gaining a better understanding of the musical nature of these ancient horns, and of their place in the life and culture of the time. A valuable source of tangible evidence is to be found in the archaeological remains deposited across Scotland and the whole of Ireland. A project is now under way, under the auspices of the Kilmartin House Trust and the general direction of John Purser, which has brought together an international team of musicians, craftsmen, archaeologists, musicologists and physicists with the aim of analyzing ancient musical artifacts, reconstructing some of the original instruments, and analyzing the sounds they produce. This paper describes acoustical studies carried out on a number of recent reconstructions of wooden and bronze instruments, and discusses the role of acoustics in this type of investigation. [Work supported by Sciart and EPSRC.

  12. Hot spots, indicator taxa, complementarity and optimal networks of taiga.

    PubMed Central

    Virolainen, K M; Ahlroth, P; Hyvärinen, E; Korkeamäki, E; Mattila, J; Päiivinen, J; Rintala, T; Suomi, T; Suhonen, J

    2000-01-01

    If hot spots for different taxa coincide, priority-setting surveys in a region could be carried out more cheaply by focusing on indicator taxa. Several previous studies show that hot spots of different taxa rarely coincide. However, in tropical areas indicator taxa may be used in selecting complementary networks to represent biodiversity as a whole. We studied beetles (Coleoptera), Heteroptera, polypores or bracket fungi (Polyporaceae) and vascular plants of old growth boreal taiga forests. Optimal networks for Heteroptera maximized the high overall species richness of beetles and vascular plants, but these networks were least favourable options for polypores. Polypores are an important group indicating the conservation value of old growth taiga forests. Random selection provided a better option. Thus, certain groups may function as good indicators for maximizing the overall species richness of some taxonomic groups, but all taxa should be examined separately. PMID:10885520

  13. Counting animal species with DNA barcodes: Canadian insects

    PubMed Central

    Ratnasingham, Sujeevan; Zakharov, Evgeny V.; Telfer, Angela C.; Levesque-Beaudin, Valerie; Milton, Megan A.; Pedersen, Stephanie; Jannetta, Paul; deWaard, Jeremy R.

    2016-01-01

    Recent estimates suggest that the global insect fauna includes fewer than six million species, but this projection is very uncertain because taxonomic work has been limited on some highly diverse groups. Validation of current estimates minimally requires the investigation of all lineages that are diverse enough to have a substantial impact on the final species count. This study represents a first step in this direction; it employs DNA barcoding to evaluate patterns of species richness in 27 orders of Canadian insects. The analysis of over one million specimens revealed species counts congruent with earlier results for most orders. However, Diptera and Hymenoptera were unexpectedly diverse, representing two-thirds of the 46 937 barcode index numbers (=species) detected. Correspondence checks between known species and barcoded taxa showed that sampling was incomplete, a result confirmed by extrapolations from the barcode results which suggest the occurrence of at least 94 000 species of insects in Canada, a near doubling from the prior estimate of 54 000 species. One dipteran family, the Cecidomyiidae, was extraordinarily diverse with an estimated 16 000 species, a 10-fold increase from its predicted diversity. If Canada possesses about 1% of the global fauna, as it does for known taxa, the results of this study suggest the presence of 10 million insect species with about 1.8 million of these taxa in the Cecidomyiidae. If so, the global species count for this fly family may exceed the combined total for all 142 beetle families. If extended to more geographical regions and to all hyperdiverse groups, DNA barcoding can rapidly resolve the current uncertainty surrounding a species count for the animal kingdom. A newly detailed understanding of species diversity may illuminate processes important in speciation, as suggested by the discovery that the most diverse insect lineages in Canada employ an unusual mode of reproduction, haplodiploidy. This article is part of the

  14. Neuropeptides as Regulators of Behavior in Insects.

    PubMed

    Schoofs, Liliane; De Loof, Arnold; Van Hiel, Matthias Boris

    2017-01-31

    Neuropeptides are by far the largest and most diverse group of signaling molecules in multicellular organisms. They are ancient molecules important in regulating a multitude of processes. Their small proteinaceous character allowed them to evolve and radiate quickly into numerous different molecules. On average, hundreds of distinct neuropeptides are present in animals, sometimes with unique classes that do not occur in distantly related species. Acting as neurotransmitters, neuromodulators, hormones, or growth factors, they are extremely diverse and are involved in controlling growth, development, ecdysis, digestion, diuresis, and many more physiological processes. Neuropeptides are also crucial in regulating myriad behavioral actions associated with feeding, courtship, sleep, learning and memory, stress, addiction, and social interactions. In general, behavior ensures that an organism can survive in its environment and is defined as any action that can change an organism's relationship to its surroundings. Even though the mode of action of neuropeptides in insects has been vigorously studied, relatively little is known about most neuropeptides and only a few model insects have been investigated. Here, we provide an overview of the roles neuropeptides play in insect behavior. We conclude that multiple neuropeptides need to work in concert to coordinate certain behaviors. Additionally, most neuropeptides studied to date have more than a single function.

  15. Vision in flying insects.

    PubMed

    Egelhaaf, Martin; Kern, Roland

    2002-12-01

    Vision guides flight behaviour in numerous insects. Despite their small brain, insects easily outperform current man-made autonomous vehicles in many respects. Examples are the virtuosic chasing manoeuvres male flies perform as part of their mating behaviour and the ability of bees to assess, on the basis of visual motion cues, the distance travelled in a novel environment. Analyses at both the behavioural and neuronal levels are beginning to unveil reasons for such extraordinary capabilities of insects. One recipe for their success is the adaptation of visual information processing to the specific requirements of the behavioural tasks and to the specific spatiotemporal properties of the natural input.

  16. Size, age and composition: characteristics of plant taxa as diversity predictors of gall-midges (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae).

    PubMed

    Araújo, Walter S

    2011-12-01

    Many hypotheses have been proposed to explain the diversity of gall-midge insects (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae), some of them taking into account plant diversity. This study aims to test the importance of size, age and composition of host plant taxa in the diversity of Cecidomyiidae. For this we used inventories data on the diversity of galling and host plants in Brazil. We found that Asterales, Myrtales and Malpighiales, were the most important orders, with 34, 33 and 25, gall morphotypes, respectively. The most representative host families were Asteraceae (34 morphotypes), Myrtaceae (23) and Fabaceae (22). In general, the order size and the plant family were good predictors of the galling diversity, but not the taxon age. The most diverse host genera for gall-midges were Mikania, Eugenia and Styrax, with 15, 13 and nine galler species, respectively. The size of plant genera showed no significant relationship with the richness of Cecidomyiidae, contrary to the prediction of the plant taxon size hypothesis. The plant genera with the greatest diversity of galling insects are not necessarily those with the greatest number of species. These results indicate that some plant taxa have a high intrinsic richness of galling insects, suggesting that the plant species composition may be equally or more important for the diversity of gall-midges than the size or age of the host taxon.

  17. Beneficial Insects and Insect Pollinators on Milkweed in South Georgia

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Insect pollinators are essential for the reproduction of more than two-thirds of the world’s crops, and beneficial insects play an important role in managing pest insects in agricultural farmscapes. These insects depend on nectar for their survival in these farmscapes. The flowers of tropical milkwe...

  18. Communication Media in Ancient Cultures.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jabusch, David M.

    Interest in early means of communication and in the uses and kinds of media that existed in ancient cultures is starting to grow among communication scholars. Conversation analysis of these cultures is obviously impossible, so that the emphasis must rest with material cultural artifacts. Many ancient cultures used non-verbal codes for dyadic…

  19. The Ancients' Appliance of Science

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stephenson, Philip; Sword, Frances

    2004-01-01

    An innovative collaboration between the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge and the University of Cambridge Faculty of Education encourages new questions to be asked of ancient objects. In the museum galleries children work directly from ancient Egyptian objects through activities designed to encourage questioning that unpicks the technologies of the…

  20. Evolutionary conservation and changes in insect TRP channels.

    PubMed

    Matsuura, Hironori; Sokabe, Takaaki; Kohno, Keigo; Tominaga, Makoto; Kadowaki, Tatsuhiko

    2009-09-10

    TRP (Transient Receptor Potential) channels respond to diverse stimuli and thus function as the primary integrators of varied sensory information. They are also activated by various compounds and secondary messengers to mediate cell-cell interactions as well as to detect changes in the local environment. Their physiological roles have been primarily characterized only in mice and fruit flies, and evolutionary studies are limited. To understand the evolution of insect TRP channels and the mechanisms of integrating sensory inputs in insects, we have identified and compared TRP channel genes in Drosophila melanogaster, Bombyx mori, Tribolium castaneum, Apis mellifera, Nasonia vitripennis, and Pediculus humanus genomes as part of genome sequencing efforts. All the insects examined have 2 TRPV, 1 TRPN, 1 TRPM, 3 TRPC, and 1 TRPML subfamily members, demonstrating that these channels have the ancient origins in insects. The common pattern also suggests that the mechanisms for detecting mechanical and visual stimuli and maintaining lysosomal functions may be evolutionarily well conserved in insects. However, a TRPP channel, the most ancient TRP channel, is missing in B. mori, A. mellifera, and N. vitripennis. Although P. humanus and D. melanogaster contain 4 TRPA subfamily members, the other insects have 5 TRPA subfamily members. T. castaneum, A. mellifera, and N. vitripennis contain TRPA5 channels, which have been specifically retained or gained in Coleoptera and Hymenoptera. Furthermore, TRPA1, which functions for thermotaxis in Drosophila, is missing in A. mellifera and N. vitripennis; however, they have other Hymenoptera-specific TRPA channels (AmHsTRPA and NvHsTRPA). NvHsTRPA expressed in HEK293 cells is activated by temperature increase, demonstrating that HsTRPAs function as novel thermal sensors in Hymenoptera. The total number of insect TRP family members is 13-14, approximately half that of mammalian TRP family members. As shown for mammalian TRP channels, this

  1. Tamil Merchant in Ancient Mesopotamia

    PubMed Central

    Palanichamy, Malliya gounder; Mitra, Bikash; Debnath, Monojit; Agrawal, Suraksha; Chaudhuri, Tapas Kumar; Zhang, Ya-Ping

    2014-01-01

    Recent analyses of ancient Mesopotamian mitochondrial genomes have suggested a genetic link between the Indian subcontinent and Mesopotamian civilization. There is no consensus on the origin of the ancient Mesopotamians. They may be descendants of migrants, who founded regional Mesopotamian groups like that of Terqa or they may be merchants who were involved in trans Mesopotamia trade. To identify the Indian source population showing linkage to the ancient Mesopotamians, we screened a total of 15,751 mitochondrial DNAs (11,432 from the literature and 4,319 from this study) representing all major populations of India. Our results although suggest that south India (Tamil Nadu) and northeast India served as the source of the ancient Mesopotamian mtDNA gene pool, mtDNA of these ancient Mesopotamians probably contributed by Tamil merchants who were involved in the Indo-Roman trade. PMID:25299580

  2. Tamil merchant in ancient Mesopotamia.

    PubMed

    Palanichamy, Malliya Gounder; Mitra, Bikash; Debnath, Monojit; Agrawal, Suraksha; Chaudhuri, Tapas Kumar; Zhang, Ya-Ping

    2014-01-01

    Recent analyses of ancient Mesopotamian mitochondrial genomes have suggested a genetic link between the Indian subcontinent and Mesopotamian civilization. There is no consensus on the origin of the ancient Mesopotamians. They may be descendants of migrants, who founded regional Mesopotamian groups like that of Terqa or they may be merchants who were involved in trans Mesopotamia trade. To identify the Indian source population showing linkage to the ancient Mesopotamians, we screened a total of 15,751 mitochondrial DNAs (11,432 from the literature and 4,319 from this study) representing all major populations of India. Our results although suggest that south India (Tamil Nadu) and northeast India served as the source of the ancient Mesopotamian mtDNA gene pool, mtDNA of these ancient Mesopotamians probably contributed by Tamil merchants who were involved in the Indo-Roman trade.

  3. Feeding the insect industry

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    This article reports the use of insect colloidal artificial diets suitable for the rearing of economically important arthropods, such as Lygus lineolaris, Lygus hesperus, Coleomegilla maculata, and Phytoseiulus persimilis The different diets contain key nutrients such as proteins, carbohydrates, vit...

  4. Insect Bites and Stings

    MedlinePlus

    ... they sometimes cause discomfort. Bee, wasp, and hornet stings and fire ant bites usually hurt. Mosquito and ... have severe allergic reactions to insect bites and stings (such as anaphylaxis), carry an emergency epinephrine kit

  5. Phytochemical diversity drives plant-insect community diversity.

    PubMed

    Richards, Lora A; Dyer, Lee A; Forister, Matthew L; Smilanich, Angela M; Dodson, Craig D; Leonard, Michael D; Jeffrey, Christopher S

    2015-09-01

    What are the ecological causes and consequences of variation in phytochemical diversity within and between plant taxa? Despite decades of natural products discovery by organic chemists and research by chemical ecologists, our understanding of phytochemically mediated ecological processes in natural communities has been restricted to studies of either broad classes of compounds or a small number of well-characterized molecules. Until now, no studies have assessed the ecological causes or consequences of rigorously quantified phytochemical diversity across taxa in natural systems. Consequently, hypotheses that attempt to explain variation in phytochemical diversity among plants remain largely untested. We use spectral data from crude plant extracts to characterize phytochemical diversity in a suite of co-occurring plants in the tropical genus Piper (Piperaceae). In combination with 20 years of data focused on Piper-associated insects, we find that phytochemical diversity has a direct and positive effect on the diversity of herbivores but also reduces overall herbivore damage. Elevated chemical diversity is associated with more specialized assemblages of herbivores, and the cascading positive effect of phytochemistry on herbivore enemies is stronger as herbivore diet breadth narrows. These results are consistent with traditional hypotheses that predict positive associations between plant chemical diversity, insect herbivore diversity, and trophic specialization. It is clear from these results that high phytochemical diversity not only enhances the diversity of plant-associated insects but also contributes to the ecological predominance of specialized insect herbivores.

  6. Phytochemical diversity drives plant–insect community diversity

    PubMed Central

    Richards, Lora A.; Dyer, Lee A.; Forister, Matthew L.; Smilanich, Angela M.; Dodson, Craig D.; Leonard, Michael D.; Jeffrey, Christopher S.

    2015-01-01

    What are the ecological causes and consequences of variation in phytochemical diversity within and between plant taxa? Despite decades of natural products discovery by organic chemists and research by chemical ecologists, our understanding of phytochemically mediated ecological processes in natural communities has been restricted to studies of either broad classes of compounds or a small number of well-characterized molecules. Until now, no studies have assessed the ecological causes or consequences of rigorously quantified phytochemical diversity across taxa in natural systems. Consequently, hypotheses that attempt to explain variation in phytochemical diversity among plants remain largely untested. We use spectral data from crude plant extracts to characterize phytochemical diversity in a suite of co-occurring plants in the tropical genus Piper (Piperaceae). In combination with 20 years of data focused on Piper-associated insects, we find that phytochemical diversity has a direct and positive effect on the diversity of herbivores but also reduces overall herbivore damage. Elevated chemical diversity is associated with more specialized assemblages of herbivores, and the cascading positive effect of phytochemistry on herbivore enemies is stronger as herbivore diet breadth narrows. These results are consistent with traditional hypotheses that predict positive associations between plant chemical diversity, insect herbivore diversity, and trophic specialization. It is clear from these results that high phytochemical diversity not only enhances the diversity of plant-associated insects but also contributes to the ecological predominance of specialized insect herbivores. PMID:26283384

  7. Quantifying the responses of biological indices to rare macroinvertebrate taxa exclusion: Does excluding more rare taxa cause more error?

    PubMed

    Yu, Zhengda; Wang, Hui; Meng, Jiao; Miao, Mingsheng; Kong, Qiang; Wang, Renqing; Liu, Jian

    2017-03-01

    Including or excluding rare taxa in bioassessment is a controversial topic, which essentially affects the reliability and accuracy of the result. In the present paper, we hypothesize that biological indices such as Shannon-Wiener index, Simpson's index, Margalef index, evenness, BMWP (biological monitoring working party), and ASPT (Average Score Per Taxon) respond differently to rare taxa exclusion. To test this hypothesis, a benthic macroinvertebrate data set based on recent fifteen-year studies in China was built for suppositional plot analyses. A field research was conducted in the Nansi Lake to perform related analyses. The results of suppositional plot simulations showed that Simpson's index placed more weight on common taxa than any other studied indices, followed by Shannon-Wiener index which remained a high value with the exclusion of rare taxa. The results indicated that there was not much of effect on Simpson's index and Shannon-Wiener index when rare taxa were excluded. Rare taxa played an important role in Margalef index and BMWP than in other indices. Evenness showed an increase trend, while ASPT varied inconsistently with the exclusion of rare taxa. Results of the field study also indicated that rare taxa had few impacts on the Shannon-Wiener index. By examining the relationships between the rare taxa and biological indices in our study, it is suggested that including the rare taxa when using BMWP and excluding them in the proposed way (e.g., fixed-count subsampling) to calculate Shannon-Wiener index and Simpson's index could raise the efficiency and reduce the biases in the bioassessment of freshwater ecosystems.

  8. Evolution of the Insects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grimaldi, David; Engel, Michael S.

    2005-05-01

    This book chronicles the complete evolutionary history of insects--their living diversity and relationships as well as 400 million years of fossils. Introductory sections cover the living species diversity of insects, methods of reconstructing evolutionary relationships, basic insect structure, and the diverse modes of insect fossilization and major fossil deposits. Major sections then explore the relationships and evolution of each order of hexapods. The volume also chronicles major episodes in the evolutionary history of insects from their modest beginnings in the Devonian and the origin of wings hundreds of millions of years before pterosaurs and birds to the impact of mass extinctions and the explosive radiation of angiosperms on insects, and how they evolved into the most complex societies in nature. Whereas other volumes focus on either living species or fossils, this is the first comprehensive synthesis of all aspects of insect evolution. Illustrated with 955 photo- and electron- micrographs, drawings, diagrams, and field photos, many in full color and virtually all of them original, this reference will appeal to anyone engaged with insect diversity--professional entomologists and students, insect and fossil collectors, and naturalists. David Grimaldi and Michael S. Engel have collectively published over 200 scientific articles and monographs on the relationships and fossil record of insects, including 10 articles in the journals Science, Nature, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. David Grimaldi is curator in the Division of Invertebrate Zoology, American Museum of Natural History and adjunct professor at Cornell University, Columbia University, and the City University of New York. David Grimaldi has traveled in 40 countries on 6 continents, collecting and studying recent species of insects and conducting fossil excavations. He is the author of Amber: Window to the Past (Abrams, 2003). Michael S. Engel is an assistant professor in the

  9. Important Insect Pests of Fruit - Important Insect Pests of Nuts - Field Crop Insect Pests - Insect Pests of Vegetable Crops.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gesell, Stanley G.; And Others

    This document consists of four agriculture extension service publications from Pennsylvania State University. The titles are: (1) Important Insect Pests of Fruit; (2) Important Insect Pests of Nuts; (3) Field Crop Insect Pests; and (4) Insect Pests of Vegetable Crops. The first publication gives the hosts, injury, and description of 22 insect…

  10. Important Insect Pests of Fruit - Important Insect Pests of Nuts - Field Crop Insect Pests - Insect Pests of Vegetable Crops.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gesell, Stanley G.; And Others

    This document consists of four agriculture extension service publications from Pennsylvania State University. The titles are: (1) Important Insect Pests of Fruit; (2) Important Insect Pests of Nuts; (3) Field Crop Insect Pests; and (4) Insect Pests of Vegetable Crops. The first publication gives the hosts, injury, and description of 22 insect…

  11. Insects and other invertebrates

    Treesearch

    John R. Jones; Norbert V. DeByle; Diane M. Bowers

    1985-01-01

    Quaking aspen throughout its range appears to be host to several insect and other invertebrate pests (fig. 1). It is a short-lived species that is palatable to a large variety of animals. Furniss and Carolin (1977) listed 33 insect species that use aspen as a food source. Some are quite damaging and may kill otherwise healthy stands of aspen; others feed on weakened or...

  12. Exploring Insect Vision

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Damonte, Kathleen

    2005-01-01

    A fly is buzzing around in the kitchen. You sneak up on it with a flyswatter, but just as you get close to it, it flies away. What makes flies and other insects so good at escaping from danger? The fact that insects have eyesight that can easily detect moving objects is one of the things that help them survive. In this month's Science Shorts,…

  13. Exploring Insect Vision

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Damonte, Kathleen

    2005-01-01

    A fly is buzzing around in the kitchen. You sneak up on it with a flyswatter, but just as you get close to it, it flies away. What makes flies and other insects so good at escaping from danger? The fact that insects have eyesight that can easily detect moving objects is one of the things that help them survive. In this month's Science Shorts,…

  14. Numerical experiments with model monophyletic and paraphyletic taxa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sepkoski, J. J. Jr; Kendrick, D. C.; Sepkoski JJ, J. r. (Principal Investigator)

    1993-01-01

    The problem of how accurately paraphyletic taxa versus monophyletic (i.e., holophyletic) groups (clades) capture underlying species patterns of diversity and extinction is explored with Monte Carlo simulations. Phylogenies are modeled as stochastic trees. Paraphyletic taxa are defined in an arbitrary manner by randomly choosing progenitors and clustering all descendants not belonging to other taxa. These taxa are then examined to determine which are clades, and the remaining paraphyletic groups are dissected to discover monophyletic subgroups. Comparisons of diversity patterns and extinction rates between modeled taxa and lineages indicate that paraphyletic groups can adequately capture lineage information under a variety of conditions of diversification and mass extinction. This suggests that these groups constitute more than mere "taxonomic noise" in this context. But, strictly monophyletic groups perform somewhat better, especially with regard to mass extinctions. However, when low levels of paleontologic sampling are simulated, the veracity of clades deteriorates, especially with respect to diversity, and modeled paraphyletic taxa often capture more information about underlying lineages. Thus, for studies of diversity and taxic evolution in the fossil record, traditional paleontologic genera and families need not be rejected in favor of cladistically-defined taxa.

  15. Numerical experiments with model monophyletic and paraphyletic taxa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sepkoski, J. J. Jr; Kendrick, D. C.; Sepkoski JJ, J. r. (Principal Investigator)

    1993-01-01

    The problem of how accurately paraphyletic taxa versus monophyletic (i.e., holophyletic) groups (clades) capture underlying species patterns of diversity and extinction is explored with Monte Carlo simulations. Phylogenies are modeled as stochastic trees. Paraphyletic taxa are defined in an arbitrary manner by randomly choosing progenitors and clustering all descendants not belonging to other taxa. These taxa are then examined to determine which are clades, and the remaining paraphyletic groups are dissected to discover monophyletic subgroups. Comparisons of diversity patterns and extinction rates between modeled taxa and lineages indicate that paraphyletic groups can adequately capture lineage information under a variety of conditions of diversification and mass extinction. This suggests that these groups constitute more than mere "taxonomic noise" in this context. But, strictly monophyletic groups perform somewhat better, especially with regard to mass extinctions. However, when low levels of paleontologic sampling are simulated, the veracity of clades deteriorates, especially with respect to diversity, and modeled paraphyletic taxa often capture more information about underlying lineages. Thus, for studies of diversity and taxic evolution in the fossil record, traditional paleontologic genera and families need not be rejected in favor of cladistically-defined taxa.

  16. Steering Soil Microbiomes to Suppress Aboveground Insect Pests.

    PubMed

    Pineda, Ana; Kaplan, Ian; Bezemer, T Martijn

    2017-09-01

    Soil-borne microbes affect aboveground herbivorous insects through a cascade of molecular and chemical changes in the plant, but knowledge of these microbe-plant-insect interactions is mostly limited to one or a few microbial strains. Yet, the soil microbial community comprises thousands of unique taxa interacting in complex networks, the so-called 'microbiome', which provides plants with multiple beneficial functions. There has been little exploration of the role and management of whole microbiomes in plant-insect interactions, calling for the integration of this complexity in aboveground-belowground research. Here, we propose holistic approaches to select soil microbiomes that can be used to protect plants from aboveground attackers. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Insect pheromones: An overview of function, form, and discovery.

    PubMed

    Yew, Joanne Y; Chung, Henry

    2015-07-01

    For many species of insects, lipid pheromones profoundly influence survival, reproduction, and social organization. Unravelling the chemical language of insects has been the subject of intense research in the field of chemical ecology for the past five decades. Characterizing the forms, functions, and biosynthesis of lipid pheromones has led not only to the development of strategies for controlling agricultural pests but has also provided insights into fundamental questions in evolutionary biology. Despite the enormous variety of chemical structures that are used as pheromones, some common themes in function and biosynthetic pathways have emerged across studies of diverse taxa. This review will offer a general overview of insect lipid pheromone function and biochemical synthesis, describe analytical methods for pheromone discovery, and provide perspectives on the contribution of chemical ecology to pest control and understanding evolutionary processes. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Insect succession and carrion decomposition in selected forests of Central Europe. Part 3: Succession of carrion fauna.

    PubMed

    Matuszewski, Szymon; Bajerlein, Daria; Konwerski, Szymon; Szpila, Krzysztof

    2011-04-15

    The succession of insects on pig carrion was monitored in spring, summer and autumn, in three forest types and 2 years in Western Poland (Central Europe). In most forensically useful taxa, significant differences between seasons, forests and years in time of appearance on carrion were found. The lowest values of appearance time were recorded in summer and the highest in spring. In alder forest insects appeared on carcasses significantly earlier than in pine-oak forest and hornbeam-oak forest. In summer periods of insect presence on carrion were significantly shorter than in spring and autumn. In most taxa no significant effect of forest type or year on length of the presence period was found. In all seasons assemblages of adult taxa were clearly more aggregated than assemblages of larval taxa. Sequence of insects' appearance on carcasses was very similar in different seasons, forests and years. General seasonal models of insect succession on carrion are proposed for forests of Central Europe. Data on appearance time and length of the presence period in particular seasons, forests and years are presented for forensically useful taxa. Implications for methods of PMI estimation (particularly the succession-based method) are discussed.

  19. Ancient Chinese Sundials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deng, Kehui

    Timekeeping was essential in the agricultural society of ancient China. The use of sundials for timekeeping was associated with the use of the gnomon, which had its origin in remote antiquity. This chapter studies three sundials (guiyi 晷仪) from the Qin and Han dynasties, the shorter shadow plane sundial (duanying ping yi 短影平仪) invented by Yuan Chong in the Sui Dynasty, and the sundial chart (guiyingtu 晷影图) invented by Zeng Minxing in the Southern Song dynasty. This chapter also introduces Guo Shoujing's hemispherical sundial (yang yi 仰仪). A circular stone sundial discovered at the Small Wild Goose Pagoda in Xi'an is also mentioned. It is dated from the Sui and Tang dynasties. A brief survey of sundials from the Qing dynasty shows various types of sundials.

  20. Speciation in ancient lakes.

    PubMed

    Martens, K

    1997-05-01

    About a dozen lakes in the world are up to three orders of magnitude older than most others. Lakes Tanganyika (East Africa) and Baikal (Siberia) have probably existed in some form for 12-20 million years, maybe more. Such lakes can have different origins, sizes, shapes, depths and limnologies, but, in contrast to short-lived (mostly post-glacial) lakes, they have exceptionally high faunal diversity and levels of endemicity. A multitude of and processes accounting for these explosive radiations have recently been documented, most of them based on particular groups in certain lakes, but comparative research can detect repeated patterns. No special speciafion mechanism, exclusive to ancient lakes has been demonstrated, although cases of ultra-rapid speciation have been documented. Extant diversity results not by simple accumulation, but by a complex process of immigration, speciation and extinction.

  1. An Ancient Valley Network

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-05-09

    Most of the oldest terrains on Mars have eroded into branching valleys, as seen here in by NASA's Mars Reconnaisance Orbiter, much like many land regions of Earth are eroded by rain and snowmelt runoff. This is the primary evidence for major climate change on Mars billions of years ago. How the climate of Mars could have supported a warmer and wetter environment has been the subject of scientific debates for 40 years. A full-resolution enhanced color closeup reveals details in the bedrock and dunes on the valley floor (upper left). The bedrock of ancient Mars has been hardened and cemented by groundwater. https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA21630

  2. Characterization of Ancient Tripitaka

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gong, Y. X.; Geng, L.; Gong, D. C.

    2015-08-01

    Tripitaka is the world's most comprehensive version of Buddhist sutra. There are limited numbers of Tripitaka currently preserved, most of them present various patterns of degradation. As little is known about the materials and crafts used in Tripitaka, it appeared necessary to identify them, and to further define adapted conservation treatment. In this work, a study concerning the paper source and dyestuff of the Tripitaka from approximate 16th century was carried out using fiber analysis and thin-layer chromatography (TLC). The results proved that the papers were mainly made from hemp or bark of mulberry tree, and indigo was used for colorizing the paper. At the end, we provide with suggestions for protecting and restoring the ancient Tripitaka.

  3. Ancient River revealed

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Recent flights of the Spaceborne Imaging Radar-C/X-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SIR-C/X-SAR) mission aboard the space shuttle Endeavour discovered a previously unknown branch of an ancient river. The images, released at AGU's Spring Meeting, show the river channel buried under thousands of years worth of windblown sand in a region of North Africa's Sahara Desert near the Kufra Oasis in southeast Libya, centered at 23.3°N latitude, 22.9°E longitude. The image from the flight last October reveals a system of old, now inactive stream valleys, called “paleodrainage systems,” which carried running water northward across the Sahara during periods of wetter climate.

  4. Reanimation of Ancient Bacteria

    SciTech Connect

    Vreeland, Russell H.

    2009-01-09

    Recent highly publicized experiments conducted on salt crystals taken from the Permian Salado Formation in Southeastern New Mexico have shown that some ancient crystals contain viable microorganisms trapped within fluid inclusions. Stringent geological and microbiological selection criteria were used to select crystals and conduct all sampling. This talk will focus on how each of these lines of data support the conclusion that such isolated bacteria are as old as the rock in which they are trapped. In this case, the isolated microbes are salt tolerant bacilli that grow best in media containing 8% NaCl, and respond to concentrated brines by forming spores. One of the organisms is phylogenetically related to several bacilli, but does have several unique characteristics. This talk will trace the interdisciplinary data and procedures supporting these discoveries, and describe the various isolated bacteria.

  5. Reanimation of Ancient Bacteria

    SciTech Connect

    Vreeland, Russell H.

    2002-01-09

    Recent highly publicized experiments conducted on salt crystals taken from the Permian Salado Formation in Southeastern New Mexico have shown that some ancient crystals contain viable microorganisms trapped within fluid inclusions. Stringent geological and microbiological selection criteria were used to select crystals and conduct all sampling. This talk will focus on how each of these lines of data support the conclusion that such isolated bacteria are as old as the rock in which they are trapped. In this case, the isolated microbes are salt tolerant bacilli that grow best in media containing 8% NaCl, and respond to concentrated brines by forming spores. One of the organisms is phylogenetically related to several bacilli, but does have several unique characteristics. This talk will trace the interdisciplinary data and procedures supporting these discoveries, and describe the various isolated bacteria.

  6. Insect--plant adaptations.

    PubMed

    Southwood, T R

    1984-01-01

    The adaptation of insects to plants probably commenced in the early Permian period, though most current associations will be more recent. A major burst of adaptation must have followed the rise of the Angiosperms in the Cretaceous period, though some particular associations are as recent as this century. Living plants form a large proportion of the potential food in most habitats, though insects have had to overcome certain general hurdles to live and feed on them. Insects affect the reproduction and survival of plants, and thus the diversity of plant secondary chemicals may have evolved as a response. Where an insect species has a significant effect on a plant species that is its only host, coevolution may be envisaged. A spectacular example is provided by Heliconius butterflies and passion flower vines, studied by L.E. Gilbert and others. But such cases may be likened to 'vortices in the evolutionary stream': most plant species are influenced by a range of phytophagous insects so that selection will be for general defences--a situation termed diffuse coevolution. Evidence is presented on recent host-plant shifts to illustrate both the restrictions and the flexibility in current insect-plant associations.

  7. Insect immunology and hematopoiesis.

    PubMed

    Hillyer, Julián F

    2016-05-01

    Insects combat infection by mounting powerful immune responses that are mediated by hemocytes, the fat body, the midgut, the salivary glands and other tissues. Foreign organisms that have entered the body of an insect are recognized by the immune system when pathogen-associated molecular patterns bind host-derived pattern recognition receptors. This, in turn, activates immune signaling pathways that amplify the immune response, induce the production of factors with antimicrobial activity, and activate effector pathways. Among the immune signaling pathways are the Toll, Imd, Jak/Stat, JNK, and insulin pathways. Activation of these and other pathways leads to pathogen killing via phagocytosis, melanization, cellular encapsulation, nodulation, lysis, RNAi-mediated virus destruction, autophagy and apoptosis. This review details these and other aspects of immunity in insects, and discusses how the immune and circulatory systems have co-adapted to combat infection, how hemocyte replication and differentiation takes place (hematopoiesis), how an infection prepares an insect for a subsequent infection (immune priming), how environmental factors such as temperature and the age of the insect impact the immune response, and how social immunity protects entire groups. Finally, this review highlights some underexplored areas in the field of insect immunobiology.

  8. Lessons from Studying Insect Symbioses

    PubMed Central

    Douglas, Angela E.

    2011-01-01

    As for mammals, insect health is strongly influenced by the composition and activities of resident microorganisms. However, the microbiota of insects is generally less diverse than that of mammals, allowing microbial function in insects to be coupled to individual, identified microbial species. This trait of insect symbioses facilitates our understanding of the mechanisms that promote insect-microbial coexistence and the processes by which the microbiota affect insect wellbeing. As a result, insects are potentially ideal models to study various aspects of interactions between the host and its resident microorganisms that are impractical or unfeasible in mammals and to generate hypotheses for subsequent testing in mammalian models. PMID:22018236

  9. Anatomy of adult Megaphragma (Hymenoptera: Trichogrammatidae), one of the smallest insects, and new insight into insect miniaturization.

    PubMed

    Polilov, Alexey A

    2017-01-01

    The body size, especially in cases of extreme reduction, is an important characteristic that strongly determines the morphology, physiology, and biology of animals. Miniaturization is a widespread trend in animal evolution and one of the principal directions of evolution in insects. Miniaturization-related features of insect morphology have been subject to intensive studies during the last few years, but the structure of the smallest insects remains insufficiently known. It is especially important to study hymenopterans of the genus Megaphragma, which include the smallest flying insects and a species in which an almost anucleate nervous system was recently discovered. This article is the first detailed study of the external and internal morphology of adults of Megaphragma mymaripenne and M. amalphitanum using histological methods, 3D computer modeling and other techniques. It is shown that in spite of the extremely small size the organization of Megaphragma retains a considerkable level of structural complexity. On the other hand, miniaturization leads to re-organizations of several organ systems. Unique structural features related to miniaturization have been found in both species: lysis of cell bodies and nuclei of neurons at late stages of pupal development, absence of the heart, and considerable reductions in the set of muscles. Comparative analysis of structure in the smallest insects representing different taxa has revealed common features of the evolutionary process of miniaturization in insects.

  10. A Cross-Taxon Analysis of Insect-Associated Bacterial Diversity

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Ryan Thomas; Sanchez, Leticia Gonzales; Fierer, Noah

    2013-01-01

    Although it is well known that plants and animals harbor microbial symbionts that can influence host traits, the factors regulating the structure of these microbial communities often remain largely undetermined. This is particularly true for insect-associated microbial communities, as few cross-taxon comparisons have been conducted to date. To address this knowledge gap and determine how host phylogeny and ecology affect insect-associated microbial communities, we collected 137 insect specimens representing 39 species, 28 families, and 8 orders, and characterized the bacterial communities associated with each specimen via 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Bacterial taxa within the phylum Proteobacteria were dominant in nearly all insects sampled. On average, the insect-associated bacterial communities were not very diverse, with individuals typically harboring fewer than 8 bacterial phylotypes. Bacterial communities also tended to be dominated by a single phylotype; on average, the most abundant phylotype represented 54.7% of community membership. Bacterial communities were significantly more similar among closely related insects than among less-related insects, a pattern driven by within-species community similarity but detected at every level of insect taxonomy tested. Diet was a poor predictor of bacterial community composition. Individual insect species harbored remarkably unique communities: the distribution of 69.0% of bacterial phylotypes was limited to unique insect species, whereas only 5.7% of phylotypes were detected in more than five insect species. Together these results suggest that host characteristics strongly regulate the colonization and assembly of bacterial communities across insect lineages, patterns that are driven either by co-evolution between insects and their symbionts or by closely related insects sharing conserved traits that directly select for similar bacterial communities. PMID:23613815

  11. A cross-taxon analysis of insect-associated bacterial diversity.

    PubMed

    Jones, Ryan Thomas; Sanchez, Leticia Gonzales; Fierer, Noah

    2013-01-01

    Although it is well known that plants and animals harbor microbial symbionts that can influence host traits, the factors regulating the structure of these microbial communities often remain largely undetermined. This is particularly true for insect-associated microbial communities, as few cross-taxon comparisons have been conducted to date. To address this knowledge gap and determine how host phylogeny and ecology affect insect-associated microbial communities, we collected 137 insect specimens representing 39 species, 28 families, and 8 orders, and characterized the bacterial communities associated with each specimen via 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Bacterial taxa within the phylum Proteobacteria were dominant in nearly all insects sampled. On average, the insect-associated bacterial communities were not very diverse, with individuals typically harboring fewer than 8 bacterial phylotypes. Bacterial communities also tended to be dominated by a single phylotype; on average, the most abundant phylotype represented 54.7% of community membership. Bacterial communities were significantly more similar among closely related insects than among less-related insects, a pattern driven by within-species community similarity but detected at every level of insect taxonomy tested. Diet was a poor predictor of bacterial community composition. Individual insect species harbored remarkably unique communities: the distribution of 69.0% of bacterial phylotypes was limited to unique insect species, whereas only 5.7% of phylotypes were detected in more than five insect species. Together these results suggest that host characteristics strongly regulate the colonization and assembly of bacterial communities across insect lineages, patterns that are driven either by co-evolution between insects and their symbionts or by closely related insects sharing conserved traits that directly select for similar bacterial communities.

  12. Symbiont acquisition as neoseme: origin of species and higher taxa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bermudes, D.; Margulis, L.

    1987-01-01

    We examine the hypothesis that, in the origin of species and higher taxa of eukaryotes, symbiont acquisition followed by partner integration has been equivalent to neoseme appearance leading to speciation. The formation of stable symbiotic associations involves partner-surface recognition, behavioral and metabolic interaction, and, in some cases, gene product (RNA, protein) and genic (RNA, DNA) integration. This analysis is applied here to examples of neosemes that define specific taxa and to neosemes in plants, fungi, and animals that involve the appearance of new types of tissue. If this hypothesis is correct--if the origin of major genetic variation leading to speciation and even higher taxa may occur through symbiont acquisition and integration--then the analysis of "origins of species and higher taxa" becomes analogous to the study of microbial community ecology.

  13. Symbiont acquisition as neoseme: origin of species and higher taxa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bermudes, D.; Margulis, L.

    1987-01-01

    We examine the hypothesis that, in the origin of species and higher taxa of eukaryotes, symbiont acquisition followed by partner integration has been equivalent to neoseme appearance leading to speciation. The formation of stable symbiotic associations involves partner-surface recognition, behavioral and metabolic interaction, and, in some cases, gene product (RNA, protein) and genic (RNA, DNA) integration. This analysis is applied here to examples of neosemes that define specific taxa and to neosemes in plants, fungi, and animals that involve the appearance of new types of tissue. If this hypothesis is correct--if the origin of major genetic variation leading to speciation and even higher taxa may occur through symbiont acquisition and integration--then the analysis of "origins of species and higher taxa" becomes analogous to the study of microbial community ecology.

  14. Insect bite reactions.

    PubMed

    Singh, Sanjay; Mann, Baldeep Kaur

    2013-01-01

    Insects are a class of living creatures within the arthropods. Insect bite reactions are commonly seen in clinical practice. The present review touches upon the medically important insects and their places in the classification, the sparse literature on the epidemiology of insect bites in India, and different variables influencing the susceptibility of an individual to insect bites. Clinical features of mosquito bites, hypersensitivity to mosquito bites Epstein-Barr virus NK (HMB-EBV-NK) disease, eruptive pseudoangiomatosis, Skeeter syndrome, papular pruritic eruption of HIV/AIDS, and clinical features produced by bed bugs, Mexican chicken bugs, assassin bugs, kissing bugs, fleas, black flies, Blandford flies, louse flies, tsetse flies, midges, and thrips are discussed. Brief account is presented of the immunogenic components of mosquito and bed bug saliva. Papular urticaria is discussed including its epidemiology, the 5 stages of skin reaction, the SCRATCH principle as an aid in diagnosis, and the recent evidence supporting participation of types I, III, and IV hypersensitivity reactions in its causation is summarized. Recent developments in the treatment of pediculosis capitis including spinosad 0.9% suspension, benzyl alcohol 5% lotion, dimethicone 4% lotion, isopropyl myristate 50% rinse, and other suffocants are discussed within the context of evidence derived from randomized controlled trials and key findings of a recent systematic review. We also touch upon a non-chemical treatment of head lice and the ineffectiveness of egg-loosening products. Knockdown resistance (kdr) as the genetic mechanism making the lice nerves insensitive to permethrin is discussed along with the surprising contrary clinical evidence from Europe about efficacy of permethrin in children with head lice carrying kdr-like gene. The review also presents a brief account of insects as vectors of diseases and ends with discussion of prevention of insect bites and some serious adverse effects

  15. Senenmut: An Ancient Egyptian Astronomer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Novakovic, B.

    2008-10-01

    The celestial phenomena have always been a source of wonder and interest to people, even as long ago as the ancient Egyptians. While the ancient Egyptians did not know all the things about astronomy that we do now, they had a good understanding of some celestial phenomena. The achievements in astronomy of ancient Egyptians are relatively well known, but we know very little about the people who made these achievements. The goal of this paper is to bring some light on the life of Senenmut, the chief architect and astronomer during the reign of Queen Hatshepsut.

  16. Zulma Ageitos de Castellanos: Publications and status of described taxa.

    PubMed

    Signorelli, Javier H; Urteaga, Diego; Teso, Valeria

    2015-10-28

    Zulma Ageitos de Castellanos was an Argentinian malacologist working in the "Facultad de Ciencias Naturales y Museo" at La Plata University where she taught invertebrate zoology between 1947 and 1990. Her scientific publications are listed in chronological order. Described genus-group and species-group taxa are listed. Information about the type locality and type material, and taxonomic remarks are also provided. Finally, type material of all described taxa was requested and, when located, illustrated.

  17. Larger ejaculate volumes are associated with a lower degree of polyandry across bushcricket taxa

    PubMed Central

    Vahed, Karim

    2006-01-01

    In numerous insects, including bushcrickets (Tettigoniidae), males are known to transfer substances in the ejaculate that inhibit the receptivity of females to further matings, but it has not yet been established whether these substances reduce the lifetime degree of polyandry of the female. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that larger ejaculate volumes should be associated with a lower degree of polyandry across tettigoniid taxa, controlling for male body mass and phylogeny. Data on ejaculate mass, sperm number, nuptial gift mass and male mass were taken primarily from the literature. The degree of polyandry for 14 species of European bushcrickets was estimated by counting the number of spermatodoses within the spermathecae of field-caught females towards the end of their adult lifespans. Data for four further species were obtained from the literature. Data were analysed by using both species regression and independent contrasts to control for phylogeny. Multiple regression analysis revealed that, as predicted, there was a significant negative association between the degree of polyandry and ejaculate mass, relative to male body mass, across bushcricket taxa. Nuptial gift size and sperm number, however, did not contribute further to interspecific variation in the degree of polyandry. A positive relationship was found, across bushcricket taxa, between relative nuptial gift size and relative ejaculate mass, indicating that larger nuptial gifts allow the male to overcome female resistance to accepting large ejaculates. This appears to be the first comparative evidence that males can manipulate the lifetime degree of polyandry of their mates through the transfer of large ejaculates. PMID:16928643

  18. Larger ejaculate volumes are associated with a lower degree of polyandry across bushcricket taxa.

    PubMed

    Vahed, Karim

    2006-09-22

    In numerous insects, including bushcrickets (Tettigoniidae), males are known to transfer substances in the ejaculate that inhibit the receptivity of females to further matings, but it has not yet been established whether these substances reduce the lifetime degree of polyandry of the female. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that larger ejaculate volumes should be associated with a lower degree of polyandry across tettigoniid taxa, controlling for male body mass and phylogeny. Data on ejaculate mass, sperm number, nuptial gift mass and male mass were taken primarily from the literature. The degree of polyandry for 14 species of European bushcrickets was estimated by counting the number of spermatodoses within the spermathecae of field-caught females towards the end of their adult lifespans. Data for four further species were obtained from the literature. Data were analysed by using both species regression and independent contrasts to control for phylogeny. Multiple regression analysis revealed that, as predicted, there was a significant negative association between the degree of polyandry and ejaculate mass, relative to male body mass, across bushcricket taxa. Nuptial gift size and sperm number, however, did not contribute further to interspecific variation in the degree of polyandry. A positive relationship was found, across bushcricket taxa, between relative nuptial gift size and relative ejaculate mass, indicating that larger nuptial gifts allow the male to overcome female resistance to accepting large ejaculates. This appears to be the first comparative evidence that males can manipulate the lifetime degree of polyandry of their mates through the transfer of large ejaculates.

  19. The structure and function of auditory chordotonal organs in insects.

    PubMed

    Yack, Jayne E

    2004-04-15

    Insects are capable of detecting a broad range of acoustic signals transmitted through air, water, or solids. Auditory sensory organs are morphologically diverse with respect to their body location, accessory structures, and number of sensilla, but remarkably uniform in that most are innervated by chordotonal organs. Chordotonal organs are structurally complex Type I mechanoreceptors that are distributed throughout the insect body and function to detect a wide range of mechanical stimuli, from gross motor movements to air-borne sounds. At present, little is known about how chordotonal organs in general function to convert mechanical stimuli to nerve impulses, and our limited understanding of this process represents one of the major challenges to the study of insect auditory systems today. This report reviews the literature on chordotonal organs innervating insect ears, with the broad intention of uncovering some common structural specializations of peripheral auditory systems, and identifying new avenues for research. A general overview of chordotonal organ ultrastructure is presented, followed by a summary of the current theories on mechanical coupling and transduction in monodynal, mononematic, Type 1 scolopidia, which characteristically innervate insect ears. Auditory organs of different insect taxa are reviewed, focusing primarily on tympanal organs, and with some consideration to Johnston's and subgenual organs. It is widely accepted that insect hearing organs evolved from pre-existing proprioceptive chordotonal organs. In addition to certain non-neural adaptations for hearing, such as tracheal expansion and cuticular thinning, the chordotonal organs themselves may have intrinsic specializations for sound reception and transduction, and these are discussed. In the future, an integrated approach, using traditional anatomical and physiological techniques in combination with new methodologies in immunohistochemistry, genetics, and biophysics, will assist in

  20. New and rare taxa in Agaricus section Bivelares (Duploannulati).

    PubMed

    Kerrigan, Richard W; Callac, Philippe; Parra, Luis A

    2008-01-01

    Ongoing field and laboratory studies have led to our recognition of new taxa in Agaricus section Bivelares, a recent combination and now the earliest synonym and correct name of section Duploannulati. Agaricus cupressophilus and A. tlaxcalensis, in the new Agaricus subsection Cupressorum, and A. agrinferus, A. devoniensis subsp. bridghamii, and A. subsubensis in Agaricus subsection Hortenses, are described. Agaricus subfloccosus is lectotypified. Phylogeny reconstruction methods with ITS1+2 DNA sequences were used to determine appropriate placements of the new taxa. Collectively these new taxa and phylogenetic associations represent a substantial augmentation and clarification of our knowledge of section Bivelares; described, sequenced species-level taxa in the northern hemisphere are increased from six to 10, a distinct subsectional lineage is revealed and infraspecific resolution within A. devoniensis is improved. An anomalous ITS1+2 sequence is documented in one collection of A. subsubensis. Preliminary data on another novel member of Bivelares from France also are provided. Several of these taxa are rare, highlighting opportunities and challenges for documenting biodiversity in this group. Additional comments on related taxa treated in recent publications are also provided.

  1. Richness of plant-insect associations in Eocene Patagonia: a legacy for South American biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Wilf, Peter; Labandeira, Conrad C; Johnson, Kirk R; Cúneo, N Rubén

    2005-06-21

    South America has some of the most diverse floras and insect faunas that are known, but its Cenozoic fossil record of insects and insect herbivory is sparse. We quantified insect feeding on 3,599 leaves from the speciose Laguna del Hunco flora (Chubut, Argentina), which dates to the early Eocene climatic optimum (52 million years ago) and compared the results with three well preserved, rich, and identically analyzed early- and middle-Eocene floras from the following sites in North America: Republic, WA; Green River, UT; and Sourdough, WY. We found significantly more damage diversity at Laguna del Hunco than in the North American floras, whether measured on bulk collections or on individual plant species, for both damage morphotypes and feeding groups. An ancient history of rich, specialized plant-insect associations on diverse plant lineages in warm climates may be a major factor contributing to the current biodiversity of South America.

  2. Ancient Astronomy in Ukraine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Artemenko, Tatyana G.; Vavilova, Iryna B.

    2007-08-01

    Astronomical culture and research have long-standing traditions in Ukraine. The first signs of astronomical knowledge were found in archaeological excavations and records. The most ancient find (dated as 15,000 B.C.) is a mammoth tusk with a fretwork image of a table of lunar phases found in the Poltava region. The so-called Trypillya culture (dated 4,000 - 3,000 B.C) had numerous examples of ornaments at the howls, distaffs, wheels and other everyday articles with symbolic images of zodiac constellations, and vessel-calendars indicating the vernal/autumnal equinoxes and the motion of the Sun. Some of such unique exhibits stored at the National Museum of History of Ukraine will be described in details in this paper. For example, the vessel calendar dating by IV century of our era (from village Romashki, Kyiv region). This image was interpreted by B. Rybakov as an agricultural calendar from May to August (time of harvesting). Most of exhibits of Museum were founded by archaeologist Vikenty Khvoyko and presented by him to Museum in 1905. Description and pictures of vessels and cups from Chernyahiv, Trypillya IV century B.C. with the Solar signs and tusk of the mammoth from Kyrilovska parking with notches interpreted as a calendar as well as tree-storied pictures of vessel from Trypillya interpreted as a “vertical cross section of the world” in dynamics will be also given. Another unique historical record relates to the times of the powerful state of the Kievan Rus' (X- XIII centuries), when astronomical observations were conducted mainly in cloisters. For example, the authors of the Lavrentievska chronicle describe the solar eclipses of the years 1064, 1091, and 1115 A.D. and the lunar eclipses of 1161 A.D. At that times some natural cataclysms have been connected with eclipses that, for example, was described in “The Word about Igor's shelf” by Nestor Letopisec. Thus, facts discussed in paper pointed out once more that astronomy is one of the most ancient

  3. Insects and related arthropods associated with greenleaf manzanita in montane chaparral communities of northeastern California

    Treesearch

    Michael A. Valenti; George T. Ferrell; Alan A. Berryman

    1997-01-01

    Specimens representing 19 orders and 169 arthropod families (mostly insects) were collected from greenleaf manzanita brushfields in northeastern California and identified to species whenever possible. More than500 taxa below the family level were inventoried, and each listing includes relative frequency of encounter, life stages collected, and dominant role in the...

  4. Wolbachia distribution in selected beetle taxa characterized by PCR screens and MLST data.

    PubMed

    Sontowski, Rebekka; Bernhard, Detlef; Bleidorn, Christoph; Schlegel, Martin; Gerth, Michael

    2015-10-01

    Wolbachia (Alphaproteobacteria) is an inherited endosymbiont of arthropods and filarial nematodes and was reported to be widespread across insect taxa. While Wolbachia's effects on host biology are not understood from most of these hosts, known Wolbachia-induced phenotypes cover a spectrum from obligate beneficial mutualism to reproductive manipulations and pathogenicity. Interestingly, data on Wolbachia within the most species-rich order of arthropods, the Coleoptera (beetles), are scarce. Therefore, we screened 128 species from seven beetle families (Buprestidae, Hydraenidae, Dytiscidae, Hydrophilidae, Gyrinidae, Haliplidae, and Noteridae) for the presence of Wolbachia. Our data show that, contrary to previous estimations, Wolbachia frequencies in beetles (31% overall) are comparable to the ones in other insects. In addition, we used Wolbachia MLST data and host phylogeny to explore the evolutionary history of Wolbachia strains from Hydraenidae, an aquatic lineage of beetles. Our data suggest that Wolbachia from Hydraenidae might be largely host genus specific and that Wolbachia strain phylogeny is not independent to that of its hosts. As this contrasts with most terrestrial Wolbachia-arthropod systems, one potential conclusion is that aquatic lifestyle of hosts may result in Wolbachia distribution patterns distinct from those of terrestrial hosts. Our data thus provide both insights into Wolbachia distribution among beetles in general and a first glimpse of Wolbachia distribution patterns among aquatic host lineages.

  5. Impacts of invasive plants on resident animals across ecosystems, taxa, and feeding types: a global assessment.

    PubMed

    Schirmel, Jens; Bundschuh, Mirco; Entling, Martin H; Kowarik, Ingo; Buchholz, Sascha

    2016-02-01

    As drivers of global change, biological invasions have fundamental ecological consequences. However, it remains unclear how invasive plant effects on resident animals vary across ecosystems, animal classes, and functional groups. We performed a comprehensive meta-analysis covering 198 field and laboratory studies reporting a total of 3624 observations of invasive plant effects on animals. Invasive plants had reducing (56%) or neutral (44%) effects on animal abundance, diversity, fitness, and ecosystem function across different ecosystems, animal classes, and feeding types while we could not find any increasing effect. Most importantly, we found that invasive plants reduced overall animal abundance, diversity and fitness. However, this significant overall effect was contingent on ecosystems, taxa, and feeding types of animals. Decreasing effects of invasive plants were most evident in riparian ecosystems, possibly because frequent disturbance facilitates more intense plant invasions compared to other ecosystem types. In accordance with their immediate reliance on plants for food, invasive plant effects were strongest on herbivores. Regarding taxonomic groups, birds and insects were most strongly affected. In insects, this may be explained by their high frequency of herbivory, while birds demonstrate that invasive plant effects can also cascade up to secondary consumers. Since data on impacts of invasive plants are rather limited for many animal groups in most ecosystems, we argue for overcoming gaps in knowledge and for a more differentiated discussion on effects of invasive plant on native fauna. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  6. Multigene Family Evolution: Perspectives from Insect Chemoreceptors.

    PubMed

    Benton, Richard

    2015-10-01

    Understanding the birth and diversification of multigene families is a fundamental evolutionary problem. I argue for the insect chemoreceptor superfamily as an outstanding model. Although these receptors are currently the preserve of neuroscientists, putative homologous genes exist in diverse animal and plant genomes, implying an ancient origin. Moreover, functional studies suggest that they act as ligand-gated ion channels in both chemosensory and non-chemosensory processes. This family permits synergism of investigations into its structural and regulatory evolution with ecological studies of the selective pressures driving these changes. In addition, sequence divergence in these receptors can be exploited through co-evolutionary and comparative genomics analyses to help to elucidate their 3D structure and signaling mechanisms, and to reveal experimentally-accessible candidate loci to explore the genetic basis of adaptation.

  7. Astronomical Significance of Ancient Monuments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simonia, I.

    2011-06-01

    Astronomical significance of Gokhnari megalithic monument (eastern Georgia) is considered. Possible connection of Amirani ancient legend with Gokhnari monument is discussed. Concepts of starry practicality and solar stations are proposed.

  8. Petrology: Ancient magma sources revealed

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bell, Elizabeth

    2017-06-01

    The composition of Earth's oldest crust is uncertain. Comparison of the most ancient mineral grains with more recent analogues suggests that formation of the earliest crust was heavily influenced by re-melting of igneous basement rocks.

  9. Ancient Astronomical Monuments of Athens

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Theodossiou, E.; Manimanis, V. N.

    2010-07-01

    In this work, four ancient monuments of astronomical significance found in Athens and still kept in the same city in good condition are presented. The first one is the conical sundial on the southern slope of the Acropolis. The second one is the Tower of the Winds and its vertical sundials in the Roman Forum of Athens, a small octagonal marble tower with sundials on all 8 of its sides, plus a water-clock inside the tower. The third monument-instrument is the ancient clepsydra of Athens, one of the findings from the Ancient Agora of Athens, a unique water-clock dated from 400 B.C. Finally, the fourth one is the carved ancient Athenian calendar over the main entrance of the small Byzantine temple of the 8th Century, St. Eleftherios, located to the south of the temple of the Annunciation of Virgin Mary, the modern Cathedral of the city of Athens.

  10. Ancient Astronomers Along the Nile.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reed, George

    1986-01-01

    Discussed contributions to the field of astronomy made by ancient Egyptians. Provides examples of how some of the observations made were applied to science. The use of geometry is illustrated by several calculations of celestial alignment. (TW)

  11. Layout of Ancient Maya Cities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aylesworth, Grant R.

    Although there is little doubt that the ancient Maya of Mesoamerica laid their cities out based, in part, on astronomical considerations, the proliferation of "cosmograms" in contemporary scholarly discourse has complicated matters for the acceptance of rigorous archaeoastronomical research.

  12. The effectiveness of surrogate taxa for the representation of biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Lewandowski, Adam S; Noss, Reed F; Parsons, David R

    2010-10-01

    Biodiversity is too complex to measure directly, so conservation planning must rely on surrogates to estimate the biodiversity of sites. The species richness of selected taxa is often used as a surrogate for the richness of other taxa. Surrogacy values of taxa have been evaluated in diverse contexts, yet broad trends in their effectiveness remain unclear. We reviewed published studies testing the ability of species richness of surrogate taxa to capture the richness of other (target) taxa. We stratified studies into two groups based on whether a complementarity approach (surrogates used to select a combination of sites that together maximize total species richness for the taxon) or a richness-hotspot approach (surrogates used to select sites containing the highest species richness for the taxon) was used. For each comparison of one surrogate taxon with one target, we used the following predictor variables: biome, spatial extent of study area, surrogate taxon, and target taxon. We developed a binary response variable based on whether the surrogate taxon provided better than random representation of the target taxon. For studies that used an evaluation approach that was not based on better than random representation of target taxa, we based the response variable on the interpretation of results in the original study. We performed a categorical regression to elucidate trends in the effectiveness of surrogate taxa with regard to each of the predictor variables. A surrogate was 25% more likely to be effective with a complementarity approach than with a hotspot approach. For hotspot-based approaches, biome, extent of study, surrogate taxon, and target taxon significantly influenced effectiveness of the surrogate. For complementarity-based approaches, biome, extent, and surrogate taxon significantly influenced effectiveness of the surrogate. For all surrogate evaluations, biome explained the greatest amount of variation in surrogate effectiveness. From most to least

  13. Behavioral Immunity in Insects

    PubMed Central

    de Roode, Jacobus C.; Lefèvre, Thierry

    2012-01-01

    Parasites can dramatically reduce the fitness of their hosts, and natural selection should favor defense mechanisms that can protect hosts against disease. Much work has focused on understanding genetic and physiological immunity against parasites, but hosts can also use behaviors to avoid infection, reduce parasite growth or alleviate disease symptoms. It is increasingly recognized that such behaviors are common in insects, providing strong protection against parasites and parasitoids. We review the current evidence for behavioral immunity in insects, present a framework for investigating such behavior, and emphasize that behavioral immunity may act through indirect rather than direct fitness benefits. We also discuss the implications for host-parasite co-evolution, local adaptation, and the evolution of non-behavioral physiological immune systems. Finally, we argue that the study of behavioral immunity in insects has much to offer for investigations in vertebrates, in which this topic has traditionally been studied. PMID:26466629

  14. Seasonal necrophagous insect community assembly during vertebrate carrion decomposition.

    PubMed

    Benbow, M E; Lewis, A J; Tomberlin, J K; Pechal, J L

    2013-03-01

    Necrophagous invertebrates have been documented to be a predominant driver of vertebrate carrion decomposition; however, very little is understood about the assembly of these communities both within and among seasons. The objective of this study was to evaluate the seasonal differences in insect taxa composition, richness, and diversity on carrion over decomposition with the intention that such data will be useful for refining error estimates in forensic entomology. Sus scrofa (L.) carcasses (n = 3-6, depending on season) were placed in a forested habitat near Xenia, OH, during spring, summer, autumn, and winter. Taxon richness varied substantially among seasons but was generally lower (1-2 taxa) during early decomposition and increased (3-8 taxa) through intermediate stages of decomposition. Autumn and winter showed the highest richness during late decomposition. Overall, taxon richness was higher during active decay for all seasons. While invertebrate community composition was generally consistent among seasons, the relative abundance of five taxa significantly differed across seasons, demonstrating different source communities for colonization depending on the time of year. There were significantly distinct necrophagous insect communities for each stage of decomposition, and between summer and autumn and summer and winter, but the communities were similar between autumn and winter. Calliphoridae represented significant indicator taxa for summer and autumn but replaced by Coleoptera during winter. Here we demonstrated substantial variability in necrophagous communities and assembly on carrion over decomposition and among seasons. Recognizing this variation has important consequences for forensic entomology and future efforts to provide error rates for estimates of the postmortem interval using arthropod succession data as evidence during criminal investigations.

  15. The effect of local land use and loss of forests on bats and nocturnal insects.

    PubMed

    Treitler, Julia T; Heim, Olga; Tschapka, Marco; Jung, Kirsten

    2016-07-01

    Land-use intensification at local and landscape level poses a serious threat to biodiversity and affects species interactions and ecosystem function. It is thus important to understand how interrelated taxa respond to land-use intensification and to consider the importance of different spatial scales. We investigated whether and how local land-use intensity and landscape features affect the predator-prey interaction of bats and insects. Bats and nocturnal insects were assessed on 50 grassland sites in the Schorfheide-Chorin. We analyzed the effect of local land use and distance to forested areas as a proxy for site accessibility on bats and insects and their biological interaction measured in bat's feeding activity. Insect abundance increased with higher land-use intensity, while size and diversity of insects decreased. In contrast, bat activity, diversity, and species composition were determined by the distance to forested areas and only slightly by land-use intensity. Feeding attempts of bats increased with higher insect abundance and diversity but decreased with insect size and distance to forested areas. Finally, our results revealed that near forested areas, the number of feeding attempts was much lower on grassland sites with high, compared to those with low land-use intensity. In contrast, far from forests, the feeding attempts did not differ significantly between intensively and extensively managed grassland sites. We conclude that the two interrelated taxa, bats and insects, respond to land-use intensification on very different scales. While insects respond to local land use, bats are rather influenced by surrounding landscape matrix. Hereby, proximity to forests reveals to be a prerequisite for higher bat species diversity and a higher rate of feeding attempts within the area. However, proximity to forest is not sufficient to compensate local high land-use intensity. Thus, local land-use intensification in combination with a loss of forest remnants

  16. Cognition in insects

    PubMed Central

    Webb, Barbara

    2012-01-01

    A traditional view of cognition is that it involves an internal process that represents, tracks or predicts an external process. This is not a general characteristic of all complex neural processing or feedback control, but rather implies specific forms of processing giving rise to specific behavioural capabilities. In this paper, I will review the evidence for such capabilities in insect navigation and learning. Do insects know where they are, or do they only know what to do? Do they learn what stimuli mean, or do they only learn how to behave? PMID:22927570

  17. Nitrogen in insects: implications for trophic complexity and species diversification.

    PubMed

    Fagan, William F; Siemann, Evan; Mitter, Charles; Denno, Robert F; Huberty, Andrea F; Woods, H Arthur; Elser, James J

    2002-12-01

    Disparities in nutrient content (nitrogen and phosphorus) between herbivores and their plant resources have lately proven to have major consequences for herbivore success, consumer-driven nutrient cycling, and the fate of primary production in ecosystems. Here we extend these findings by examining patterns of nutrient content between animals at higher trophic levels, specifically between insect herbivores and predators. Using a recently compiled database on insect nutrient content, we found that predators exhibit on average 15% greater nitrogen content than herbivores. This difference persists after accounting for variation from phylogeny and allometry. Among herbivorous insects, we also found evidence that recently derived lineages (e.g., herbivorous Diptera and Lepidoptera) have, on a relative basis, 15%-25% less body nitrogen than more ancient herbivore lineages (e.g., herbivorous Orthoptera and Hemiptera). We elaborate several testable hypotheses for the origin of differences in nitrogen content between trophic levels and among phylogenetic lineages. For example, interspecific variation in insect nitrogen content may be directly traceable to differences in dietary nitrogen (including dilution by gut contents), selected for directly in response to the differential scarcity of dietary nitrogen, or an indirect consequence of adaptation to different feeding habits. From some functional perspectives, the magnitude rather than the source of the interspecific differences in nitrogen content may be most critical. We conclude by discussing the implications of the observed patterns for both the trophic complexity of food webs and the evolutionary radiation of herbivorous insects.

  18. MicroRNA-dependent metamorphosis in hemimetabolan insects.

    PubMed

    Gomez-Orte, Eva; Belles, Xavier

    2009-12-22

    How does a juvenile insect transform into an adult? This question, which sums up the wonder of insect metamorphosis, has fascinated mankind since ancient times. Modern physiology has established the endocrine basis regulating these transformations, which mainly depend on two hormone types: ecdysteroids, which promote molts, and juvenile hormones, which repress the transformation into the adult stage. The interplay of these two hormones regulates the genes involved in juvenile and adult programs and the shift from one to the other. microRNAs (miRNAs) are small noncoding RNAs, which participate in many biological processes, and we wondered whether they might be also involved in insect metamorphosis. In insects, Dicer-1 ribonuclease transforms miRNA precursors into mature miRNAs. Thus, using systemic RNA interference (RNAi) to silence the expression of Dicer-1 in the hemimetabolan insect Blattella germanica, we depleted miRNA contents in the last instar nymph. This practically inhibited metamorphosis after the next molt, as the resulting specimens showed nymphoid features and were able to molt again. The experiments show that miRNAs play a key role in hemimetabolan metamorphosis, perhaps regulating genes that are juvenile hormone targets.

  19. Paleozoic origin of insect large dsDNA viruses.

    PubMed

    Thézé, Julien; Bézier, Annie; Periquet, Georges; Drezen, Jean-Michel; Herniou, Elisabeth A

    2011-09-20

    To understand how extant viruses interact with their hosts, we need a historical framework of their evolutionary association. Akin to retrovirus or hepadnavirus viral fossils present in eukaryotic genomes, bracoviruses are integrated in braconid wasp genomes and are transmitted by Mendelian inheritance. However, unlike viral genomic fossils, they have retained functional machineries homologous to those of large dsDNA viruses pathogenic to arthropods. Using a phylogenomic approach, we resolved the relationships between bracoviruses and their closest free relatives: baculoviruses and nudiviruses. The phylogeny showed that bracoviruses are nested within the nudivirus clade. Bracoviruses establish a bridge between the virus and animal worlds. Their inclusion in a virus phylogeny allowed us to relate free viruses to fossils. The ages of the wasps were used to calibrate the virus phylogeny. Bayesian analyses revealed that insect dsDNA viruses first evolved at ∼310 Mya in the Paleozoic Era during the Carboniferous Period with the first insects. Furthermore the virus diversification time frame during the Mesozoic Era appears linked to the diversification of insect orders; baculoviruses that infect larvae evolved at the same period as holometabolous insects. These results imply ancient coevolution by resource tracking between several insect dsDNA virus families and their hosts, dating back to 310 Mya.

  20. Aquatic insects as bioindicators of trace element contamination in cobble-bottom rivers and streams

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cain, D.J.; Luoma, S.N.; Carter, J.L.; Fend, S.V.

    1992-01-01

    In one river, Cu, Cd, Pb, and Zn were analysed in insects and in fine bed sediments over a 381-km reach downstream of a large copper mining complex. In another river, As contamination from a gold mine was assessed in insects and bed sediments over a 40-km reach. All insect taxa collected in contaminated river reaches had elevated whole-body trace element concentrations, but few species were distributed throughout the study reaches. Comparisons of contamination at taxomic levels higher than species were complicated by element-specific differences in bioaccumulation among taxa. These differences appeared to be governed by biological and hydrogeochemical factors. Variation in element concentrations among species of the caddisfly Hydropsyche was slightly greater than within individual species. If this genus is representative of others, comparisons of contamination within genera may be a practical alternative for biomonitoring studies when single species are not available. -from Authors

  1. Spawning salmon and the phenology of emergence in stream insects

    PubMed Central

    Moore, Jonathan W.; Schindler, Daniel E.

    2010-01-01

    Phenological dynamics are controlled by environmental factors, disturbance regimes and species interactions that alter growth or mortality risk. Ecosystem engineers can be a key source of disturbance, yet their effects on the phenologies of co-occurring organisms are virtually unexplored. We investigated how the abundance of a dominant ecosystem engineer, spawning sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka), alters the emergence phenology of stream insects. In streams with high densities of salmon, peak insect emergence occurred in early July, immediately prior to salmon spawning. By contrast, peak insect emergence in streams with low densities of salmon was weeks later and more protracted. The emergence of specific taxa was also significantly related to salmon density. A common rearing experiment revealed that differences in emergence timing are maintained in the absence of spawning salmon. We hypothesize that these patterns are probably driven by predictable and severe disturbance from nest-digging salmon driving local adaptation and being a trait filter of insect emergence. Thus, salmon regulate the timing and duration of aquatic insect emergence, a cross-ecosystem flux from streams to riparian systems. PMID:20129980

  2. Ancient lakes on Mars?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Goldspiel, J. M.; Squyres, S. W.

    1989-01-01

    The valley systems in Mars' ancient cratered terrain provide strong evidence for a warmer and wetter climate very early in planetary history. The valley systems in some instances debouch into closed depressions that could have acted as local ponding basins for the flow. A survey of the Martian equatorial region shows that numerous local depressions at the confluence of valley systems exist. These depressions (approximately 100 km) typically are characterized by many valleys flowing into them and few or none flowing out. If ponding did take place, these basin would have contained lakes for some period during Mars' early warmer epoch. Although the collection basins are numerous, location of ones that have not suffered significant subsequent geologic modification is difficult. Some morphologic features suggest that volcanic lavas may have filled them subsequent to any early fluvial activity. Two detailed maps of valley systems and local ponding basins in USGC 1:2,000,000 subquadrangles were completed and a third is in progress. The completed regions are in Mare Tyrrhenum (MC-22 SW) and Margarifter Sinus (MC-19 SE), and the region in progress is in Iapygia (MC-21 NW). On the maps, the valley systems and interpreted margins of ponding basins are indicated. The depressions are of interest for two reasons. First, the depressions were surely the sites in which the materials eroded from the valleys were deposited. Such sediments could preserve important information about the physical conditions at the time of deposition. Second, the sediments could preserve evidence of water-atmosphere interactions during the early period of the Martian climate. Atmospheric carbon dioxide would dissolve in water, and solid carbonate minerals would tend to precipitate out to form carbonate sedimentary deposits. Formation of carbonates in this manner might account for some of the CO2 lost from the early more dense atmosphere.

  3. Classification and quantification of bacteriophage taxa in human gut metagenomes

    PubMed Central

    Waller, Alison S; Yamada, Takuji; Kristensen, David M; Kultima, Jens Roat; Sunagawa, Shinichi; Koonin, Eugene V; Bork, Peer

    2014-01-01

    Bacteriophages have key roles in microbial communities, to a large extent shaping the taxonomic and functional composition of the microbiome, but data on the connections between phage diversity and the composition of communities are scarce. Using taxon-specific marker genes, we identified and monitored 20 viral taxa in 252 human gut metagenomic samples, mostly at the level of genera. On average, five phage taxa were identified in each sample, with up to three of these being highly abundant. The abundances of most phage taxa vary by up to four orders of magnitude between the samples, and several taxa that are highly abundant in some samples are absent in others. Significant correlations exist between the abundances of some phage taxa and human host metadata: for example, ‘Group 936 lactococcal phages' are more prevalent and abundant in Danish samples than in samples from Spain or the United States of America. Quantification of phages that exist as integrated prophages revealed that the abundance profiles of prophages are highly individual-specific and remain unique to an individual over a 1-year time period, and prediction of prophage lysis across the samples identified hundreds of prophages that are apparently active in the gut and vary across the samples, in terms of presence and lytic state. Finally, a prophage–host network of the human gut was established and includes numerous novel host–phage associations. PMID:24621522

  4. Insect emergence in relation to floods in wet meadows and swamps in the River Dalälven floodplain.

    PubMed

    Vinnersten, T Z Persson; Östman, Ö; Schäfer, M L; Lundström, J O

    2014-08-01

    Annual variation in flood frequency and hydroperiod during the vegetation season has ecological impacts on the floodplain biota. Although many insect groups may have a lower emergence during a flood event, it is poorly known how annual emergence of insects in temporary wetlands is related to the variation in hydrology. Between May and September, we studied the weekly emergence of 18 insect taxa over six consecutive years, 2002-2007, in six temporary flooded wetlands (four wet meadows and two forest swamps) in the River Dalälven floodplains, Central Sweden. We used emergence traps to collect emerging insects from terrestrial and aquatic parts of wet meadows and swamp forests. In all wetlands, the insect fauna was numerically dominated by the orders Diptera, Hymenoptera, Coleoptera and Homoptera. On a weekly basis, 9 out of the 18 insect taxa had lower emergence in weeks with flood than in weeks with no flood, whereas no taxon had a higher emergence in weeks with flood. Over the seasons, we related insect emergence to seasonal flood frequency and length of hydroperiod. The emergence of most studied taxa decreased with increasing hydroperiod, which suggests that emergence after floods do not compensate for the reduced emergence during floods. Only Culicidae and the aquatic Chironomidae sub-families Tanypodinae and Chironominae showed an increase in emergence with increasing hydroperiod, whereas Staphylinidae peaked at intermediate hydroperiod. We conclude that a hydroperiod covering up to 40% of the vegetation season has a significant negative effect on the emergence of most taxa and that only a few taxa occurring in the temporary wetlands are actually favoured by a flood regime with recurrent and unpredictable floods.

  5. Protecting Yourself from Stinging Insects

    MedlinePlus

    ... at risk of being stung by flying insects (bees, wasps, and hornets) and fire ants. While most ... by several stinging insects, run to get away. (Bees release a chemical when they sting, which attracts ...

  6. Eicosanoid actions in insect immunity

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Insects express three lines of protection from infections and invasions. Their cuticles and peritrophic membranes are physical barriers. Infections and invasions are quickly recognized within insect bodies; recognition launches two lines of innate immune reactions. Humoral reactions involve induc...

  7. Colour constancy in insects.

    PubMed

    Chittka, Lars; Faruq, Samia; Skorupski, Peter; Werner, Annette

    2014-06-01

    Colour constancy is the perceptual phenomenon that the colour of an object appears largely unchanged, even if the spectral composition of the illuminating light changes. Colour constancy has been found in all insect species so far tested. Especially the pollinating insects offer a remarkable opportunity to study the ecological significance of colour constancy since they spend much of their adult lives identifying and choosing between colour targets (flowers) under continuously changing ambient lighting conditions. In bees, whose colour vision is best studied among the insects, the compensation provided by colour constancy is only partial and its efficiency depends on the area of colour space. There is no evidence for complete 'discounting' of the illuminant in bees, and the spectral composition of the light can itself be used as adaptive information. In patchy illumination, bees adjust their spatial foraging to minimise transitions between variously illuminated zones. Modelling allows the quantification of the adaptive benefits of various colour constancy mechanisms in the economy of nature. We also discuss the neural mechanisms and cognitive operations that might underpin colour constancy in insects.

  8. Fluorescence in insects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Welch, Victoria L.; Van Hooijdonk, Eloise; Intrater, Nurit; Vigneron, Jean-Pol

    2012-10-01

    Fluorescent molecules are much in demand for biosensors, solar cells, LEDs and VCSEL diodes, therefore, considerable efforts have been expended in designing and tailoring fluorescence to specific technical applications. However, naturally occurring fluorescence of diverse types has been reported from a wide array of living organisms: most famously, the jellyfish Aequorea victoria, but also in over 100 species of coral and in the cuticle of scorpions, where it is the rule, rather than the exception. Despite the plethora of known insect species, comparatively few quantitative studies have been made of insect fluorescence. Because of the potential applications of natural fluorescence, studies in this field have relevance to both physics and biology. Therefore, in this paper, we review the literature on insect fluorescence, before documenting its occurrence in the longhorn beetles Sternotomis virescens, Sternotomis variabilis var. semi rufescens, Anoplophora elegans and Stellognatha maculata, the tiger beetles Cicindela maritima and Cicindela germanica and the weevil Pachyrrhynchus gemmatus purpureus. Optical features of insect fluorescence, including emitted wavelength, molecular ageing and naturally occurring combinations of fluorescence with bioluminescence and colour-producing structures are discussed.

  9. Dispersal of forest insects

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcmanus, M. L.

    1979-01-01

    Dispersal flights of selected species of forest insects which are associated with periodic outbreaks of pests that occur over large contiguous forested areas are discussed. Gypsy moths, spruce budworms, and forest tent caterpillars were studied for their massive migrations in forested areas. Results indicate that large dispersals into forested areas are due to the females, except in the case of the gypsy moth.

  10. Dispersal of forest insects

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcmanus, M. L.

    1979-01-01

    Dispersal flights of selected species of forest insects which are associated with periodic outbreaks of pests that occur over large contiguous forested areas are discussed. Gypsy moths, spruce budworms, and forest tent caterpillars were studied for their massive migrations in forested areas. Results indicate that large dispersals into forested areas are due to the females, except in the case of the gypsy moth.

  11. Corn insect pests

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Historically, the major corn insect pests in South Dakota have been the larvae of corn rootworms (northern and western), European corn borer, and black cutworm. Bt-corn hybrids are effective against most of these pests. However, there are also minor or sporadic pests of corn in South Dakota includin...

  12. Recycled Insect Models

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rule, Audrey C.; Meyer, Mary Ann

    2007-01-01

    This article presents an engaging activity in which high school students use a dichotomous key to guide the creation and classification of model insects from recycled plastic lids and containers. Besides teaching the use of a dichotomous key and the effect of evolutionary descent upon groupings of organisms, this activity focuses on an…

  13. Anaphylaxis and insect allergy.

    PubMed

    Demain, Jeffrey G; Minaei, Ashley A; Tracy, James M

    2010-08-01

    Anaphylaxis is an acute-onset and potentially life-threatening allergic reaction that can be caused by numerous allergic triggers including stinging insects. This review focuses on recent advances, natural history, risk factors and therapeutic considerations. Recent work suggests that concerns over insect allergy diagnosis continue to exist. This is especially true with individuals who have a convincing history of a serious life-threatening anaphylactic event, but lack the necessary diagnostic criteria of venom-specific IgE by skin test or in-vitro diagnostic methods to confirm the diagnosis. The role of occult mastocytosis or increased basophile reactivity may play a role in this subset population. Additionally, epinephrine continues to be underutilized as the primary acute intervention for an anaphylactic reaction in the emergent setting. The incidence of anaphylaxis continues to rise across all demographic groups, especially those less than 20 years of age. Fortunately, the fatalities related to anaphylaxis appear to have decreased over the past decades. Our understanding of various triggers, associated risk factors, as well as an improved understanding and utilization of biological markers such as serum tryptase have improved. Our ability to treat insect anaphylaxis by venom immunotherapy is highly effective. Unfortunately, anaphylaxis continues to be underappreciated and undertreated especially in regard to insect sting anaphylaxis. This includes the appropriate use of injectable epinephrine as the primary acute management tool. These findings suggest that continued education of the general population, primary care healthcare providers and emergency departments is required.

  14. Walnut insects and diseases.

    Treesearch

    USDA FS

    1979-01-01

    Contains 17 papers summarizing up to 5 years of recent study on insect and disease problems of black walnut and butternut given at a workshop sponsored by the USDA Forest Service's North Central Forest Experiment Station and held in Carbondale, Illinois, June 13 and 14, 1978.

  15. Insect mass production technologies

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Insects provide a very promising alternative for the future production of animal protein. Their nutritional value in conjunction with their food conversion efficiency and low water requirements, make them a more sustainable choice for the production of food and animal origin. However, to realize the...

  16. Cotton insect pest management

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Cotton production is challenged worldwide by a diversity of arthropod pests that require management to prevent or reduce crop damage. Advances in arthropod control technologies and improved insect and crop management systems have dramatically reduced levels of arthropod damage and the need for inse...

  17. Insect walking and robotics.

    PubMed

    Delcomyn, Fred

    2004-01-01

    With the advent of significant collaborations between researchers who study insect walking and robotics engineers interested in constructing adaptive legged robots, insect walking is once again poised to make a more significant scientific contribution than the numbers of participants in the field might suggest. This review outlines current knowledge of the physiological basis of insect walking with an emphasis on recent new developments in biomechanics and genetic dissection of behavior, and the impact this knowledge is having on robotics. Engineers have begun to team with neurobiologists to build walking robots whose physical design and functional control are based on insect biology. Such an approach may have benefits for engineering, by leading to the construction of better-performing robots, and for biology, by allowing real-time and real-world tests of critical hypotheses about how locomotor control is effected. It is argued that in order for the new field of biorobotics to have significant influence it must adopt criteria for performance and an experimental approach to the development of walking robots.

  18. Cellulases from insects.

    PubMed

    Fischer, Rainer; Ostafe, Raluca; Twyman, Richard M

    2013-01-01

    Bioethanol is currently produced by the fermentation of sugary and starchy crops, but waste plant biomass is a more abundant source because sugars can be derived directly from cellulose. One of the limiting steps in the biomass-to-ethanol process is the degradation of cellulose to fermentable sugars (saccharification). This currently relies on the use of bacterial and/or fungal cellulases, which tend to have low activity under biorefinery conditions and are easily inhibited. Some insect species feed on plant biomass and can efficiently degrade cellulose to produce glucose as an energy source. Although insects were initially thought to require symbiotic relationships with bacteria and fungi to break down cellulose, several species in the orders Dictyoptera, Orthoptera, and Coleoptera have now been shown to produce their own cellulases in the midgut or salivary glands, and putative cellulase genes have been identified in other orders. Insect cellulases often work in concert with cellulases provided by symbiotic microbiota in the gut to achieve efficient cellulolysis. We discuss the current status of insect cellulases and potential strategies that could be used to find novel enzymes and improve their efficiency.

  19. Irradiating insect pests

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    This is a non-technical article focusing on phytosanitary uses of irradiation. In a series of interview questions, I present information on the scope of the invasive species problem and the contribution of international trade in agricultural products to the movement of invasive insects. This is foll...

  20. Recycled Insect Models

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rule, Audrey C.; Meyer, Mary Ann

    2007-01-01

    This article presents an engaging activity in which high school students use a dichotomous key to guide the creation and classification of model insects from recycled plastic lids and containers. Besides teaching the use of a dichotomous key and the effect of evolutionary descent upon groupings of organisms, this activity focuses on an…

  1. Investigation--Insects!

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fay, Janice

    2000-01-01

    Presents activities on insects for second grade students. In the first activity, students build a butterfly garden. In the second activity, students observe stimuli reactions with mealworms in the larval stage. Describes the assessment process and discusses the effects of pollution on living things. (YDS)

  2. Forest insect defoliators

    Treesearch

    Philip T. Marshall

    1989-01-01

    Defoliation is the removal of all or part of the foliage from the tree. Forest insects are the primary agents that can cause defoliation. They produce the widespread, noticeable defoliation that forest landowners, foresters, and the general public can easily recognize.

  3. Insects. Thematic Unit.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gosnell, Kathee

    This book is a captivating whole-language thematic unit about the study of insects, relating it to our understanding of the past and our hopes for using our knowledge in the present to balance the ecosystem in the future. It contains a wide variety of lesson ideas and reproducible pages designed for use with intermediate students. At its core,…

  4. Investigation--Insects!

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fay, Janice

    2000-01-01

    Presents activities on insects for second grade students. In the first activity, students build a butterfly garden. In the second activity, students observe stimuli reactions with mealworms in the larval stage. Describes the assessment process and discusses the effects of pollution on living things. (YDS)

  5. People and Insects.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    NatureScope, 1985

    1985-01-01

    Provides: (1) background information on how insects affect human lives, both positively and negatively, and on integrated pest management strategies; (2) student activities; and (3) materials (ready-to-copy games, puzzles, coloring pages, worksheets, and/or mazes). Each activity includes an objective, recommended age level(s), subject area(s),…

  6. Insects. Thematic Unit.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gosnell, Kathee

    This book is a captivating whole-language thematic unit about the study of insects, relating it to our understanding of the past and our hopes for using our knowledge in the present to balance the ecosystem in the future. It contains a wide variety of lesson ideas and reproducible pages designed for use with intermediate students. At its core,…

  7. Insect damage to oaks

    Treesearch

    Charles O. Rexrode

    1971-01-01

    In terms of mortality caused by insects, defoliators are the most serious enemies of oaks at the present time. An oak leaf tier, Croesia semipurprana, is one of the principal defoliators of trees in the red oak group. Oak leaf rollers, primarily Archips semiferana, have been responsible for widespread mortality in white and...

  8. Radar cross section of insects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Riley, J. R.

    1985-02-01

    X-band measurements of radar cross section as a function of the angle between insect body axis and the plane of polarization are presented. A finding of particular interest is that in larger insects, maximum cross section occurs when the E-vector is perpendicular to the body axis. A new range of measurements on small insects (aphids, and planthoppers) is also described, and a comprehensive summary of insect cross-section data at X-band is given.

  9. Benefits of organic farming to biodiversity vary among taxa.

    PubMed

    Fuller, R J; Norton, L R; Feber, R E; Johnson, P J; Chamberlain, D E; Joys, A C; Mathews, F; Stuart, R C; Townsend, M C; Manley, W J; Wolfe, M S; Macdonald, D W; Firbank, L G

    2005-12-22

    Habitat and biodiversity differences between matched pairs of organic and non-organic farms containing cereal crops in lowland England were assessed by a large-scale study of plants, invertebrates, birds and bats. Habitat extent, composition and management on organic farms was likely to favour higher levels of biodiversity and indeed organic farms tended to support higher numbers of species and overall abundance across most taxa. However, the magnitude of the response varied; plants showed larger and more consistent responses than other taxa. Variation in response across taxa may be partly a consequence of the small size and isolated context of many organic farms. Extension of organic farming could contribute to the restoration of biodiversity in agricultural landscapes.

  10. Benefits of organic farming to biodiversity vary among taxa

    PubMed Central

    Fuller, R.J; Norton, L.R; Feber, R.E; Johnson, P.J; Chamberlain, D.E; Joys, A.C; Mathews, F; Stuart, R.C; Townsend, M.C; Manley, W.J; Wolfe, M.S; Macdonald, D.W; Firbank, L.G

    2005-01-01

    Habitat and biodiversity differences between matched pairs of organic and non-organic farms containing cereal crops in lowland England were assessed by a large-scale study of plants, invertebrates, birds and bats. Habitat extent, composition and management on organic farms was likely to favour higher levels of biodiversity and indeed organic farms tended to support higher numbers of species and overall abundance across most taxa. However, the magnitude of the response varied; plants showed larger and more consistent responses than other taxa. Variation in response across taxa may be partly a consequence of the small size and isolated context of many organic farms. Extension of organic farming could contribute to the restoration of biodiversity in agricultural landscapes. PMID:17148225

  11. A visible dominant marker for insect transgenesis

    PubMed Central

    Osanai-Futahashi, Mizuko; Ohde, Takahiro; Hirata, Junya; Uchino, Keiro; Futahashi, Ryo; Tamura, Toshiki; Niimi, Teruyuki; Sezutsu, Hideki

    2012-01-01

    Transgenesis of most insects currently relies on fluorescence markers. Here we establish a transformation marker system causing phenotypes visible to the naked eye due to changes in the color of melanin pigments, which are widespread in animals. Ubiquitous overexpression of arylalkylamine-N-acetyl transferase in the silkworm, Bombyx mori, changes the color of newly hatched first-instar larvae from black to a distinctive light brown color, and can be used as a molecular marker by directly connecting to baculovirus immediate early 1 gene promoter. Suppression of black pigmentation by Bm-arylalkylamine-N-acetyl transferase can be observed throughout the larval stages and in adult animals. Alternatively, overexpression in another gene, B. mori β-alanyl-dopamine synthetase (Bm-ebony), changes the larval body color of older instars, although first-instar larvae had normal dark coloration. We further show that ectopic Bm-arylalkylamine-N-acetyl transferase expression lightens coloration in ladybird beetle Harmonia axyridis and fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, highlighting the potential usefulness of this marker for transgenesis in diverse insect taxa. PMID:23250425

  12. Detection of insects in grain

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Detecting insects hidden inside kernels of grain is important to grain buyers because internal infestations can result in insect fragments in products made from the grain, or, if the grain is stored before use, the insect population can increase and damage the grain further. In a study in the Unite...

  13. New taxa, notes and new synonymy in Neoibidionini (Cerambycidae, Coleoptera).

    PubMed

    Martins, Ubirajara R; Galileo, Maria Helena M

    2014-04-11

    New taxa, notes, and new synonymy in Neoibidionini (Cerambycidae, Coleoptera) are given. New taxa are described from Ecuador: Compsibidion inflatum sp. nov., Bezarkia gen. nov. and B. suturalis sp. nov., Corimbion antennatum sp. nov. and Neocompsa muira sp. nov.; from México: Neocompsa chiapensis sp. nov., and from French Guyana: Kunaibidion giesberti sp. nov. Pygmodeon maculatum Martins & Galileo, 2012 is considered a new synonym of Heterachthes xyleus Martins, 1974 which is transferred to the genus Pygmodeon as a new combination. Notes on variability and new records of Asynapteron equatorianum (Martins, 1960) are presented.

  14. Assessing insect responses to climate change: What are we testing for? Where should we be heading?

    PubMed

    Andrew, Nigel R; Hill, Sarah J; Binns, Matthew; Bahar, Md Habibullah; Ridley, Emma V; Jung, Myung-Pyo; Fyfe, Chris; Yates, Michelle; Khusro, Mohammad

    2013-01-01

    To understand how researchers are tackling globally important issues, it is crucial to identify whether current research is comprehensive enough to make substantive predictions about general responses. We examined how research on climate change affecting insects is being assessed, what factors are being tested and the localities of studies, from 1703 papers published between 1985 and August 2012. Most published research (64%) is generated from Europe and North America and being dedicated to core data analysis, with 29% of the studies analysed dedicated to Lepidoptera and 22% Diptera: which are well above their contribution to the currently identified insect species richness (estimated at 13% and 17% respectively). Research publications on Coleoptera fall well short of their proportional contribution (19% of publications but 39% of insect species identified), and to a lesser extent so do Hemiptera, and Hymenoptera. Species specific responses to changes in temperature by assessing distribution/range shifts or changes in abundance were the most commonly used methods of assessing the impact of climate change on insects. Research on insects and climate change to date is dominated by manuscripts assessing butterflies in Europe, insects of economic and/or environmental concern in forestry, agriculture, and model organisms. The research on understanding how insects will respond to a rapidly changing climate is still in its infancy, but the current trends of publications give a good basis for how we are attempting to assess insect responses. In particular, there is a crucial need for broader studies of ecological, behavioural, physiological and life history responses to be addressed across a greater range of geographic locations, particularly Asia, Africa and Australasia, and in areas of high human population growth and habitat modification. It is still too early in our understanding of taxa responses to climate change to know if charismatic taxa, such as butterflies, or

  15. Evaluating insect-microbiomes at the plant-insect interface.

    PubMed

    Casteel, Clare L; Hansen, Allison K

    2014-07-01

    Plants recognize biotic challengers and respond with the appropriate defense by utilizing phytohormone signaling and crosstalk. Despite this, microbes and insects have evolved mechanisms that compromise the plant surveillance system and specific defenses, thus ensuring successful colonization. In nature, plants do not experience insect herbivores and microbes in isolation, but in combination. Over time, relationships have developed between insects and microbes, varying on a continuum from no-relationship to obligate relationships that are required for both organisms to survive. While many reviews have examined plant-insect and plant-microbe interactions and the mechanisms of plant defense, few have considered the interface where microbes and insects may overlap, and synergies may develop. In this review, we critically evaluate the requirements for insect-associated microbes to develop synergistic relationships with their hosts, and we mechanistically discuss how some of these insect-associated microbes can target or modify host plant defenses. Finally, by using bioinformatics and the recent literature, we review evidence for synergies in insect-microbe relationships at the interface of plant-insect defenses. Insect-associated microbes can influence host-plant detection and/or signaling through phytohormone synthesis, conserved microbial patterns, and effectors, however, microbes associated with insects must be maintained in the environment and located in opportunistic positions.

  16. Using biodynamic models to reconcile differences between laboratory toxicity tests and field biomonitoring with aquatic insects.

    PubMed

    Buchwalter, D B; Cain, D J; Clements, W H; Luoma, S N

    2007-07-01

    Aquatic insects often dominate lotic ecosystems, yet these organisms are under-represented in trace metal toxicity databases. Furthermore, toxicity data for aquatic insects do not appear to reflect their actual sensitivities to metals in nature, because the concentrations required to elicit toxicity in the laboratory are considerably higher than those found to impact insect communities in the field. New approaches are therefore needed to better understand how and why insects are differentially susceptible to metal exposures. Biodynamic modeling is a powerful tool for understanding interspecific differences in trace metal bioaccumulation. Because bioaccumulation alone does not necessarily correlate with toxicity, we combined biokinetic parameters associated with dissolved cadmium exposures with studies of the subcellular compartmentalization of accumulated Cd. This combination of physiological traits allowed us to make predictions of susceptibility differences to dissolved Cd in three aquatic insect taxa: Ephemerella excrucians, Rhithrogena morrisoni, and Rhyacophila sp. We compared these predictions with long-term field monitoring data and toxicity tests with closely related taxa: Ephemerella infrequens, Rhithrogena hageni, and Rhyacophila brunea. Kinetic parameters allowed us to estimate steady-state concentrations, the time required to reach steady state, and the concentrations of Cd projected to be in potentially toxic compartments for different species. Species-specific physiological traits identified using biodynamic models provided a means for better understanding why toxicity assays with insects have failed to provide meaningful estimates for metal concentrations that would be expected to be protective in nature.

  17. Using biodynamic models to reconcile differences between laboratory toxicity tests and field biomonitoring with aquatic insects

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Buchwalter, D.B.; Cain, D.J.; Clements, W.H.; Luoma, S.N.

    2007-01-01

    Aquatic insects often dominate lotic ecosystems, yet these organisms are under-represented in trace metal toxicity databases. Furthermore, toxicity data for aquatic insects do not appear to reflect their actual sensitivities to metals in nature, because the concentrations required to elicit toxicity in the laboratory are considerably higher than those found to impact insect communities in the field. New approaches are therefore needed to better understand how and why insects are differentially susceptible to metal exposures. Biodynamic modeling is a powerful tool for understanding interspecific differences in trace metal bioaccumulation. Because bioaccumulation alone does not necessarily correlate with toxicity, we combined biokinetic parameters associated with dissolved cadmium exposures with studies of the subcellular compartmentalization of accumulated Cd. This combination of physiological traits allowed us to make predictions of susceptibility differences to dissolved Cd in three aquatic insect taxa: Ephemerella excrucians, Rhithrogena morrisoni, and Rhyacophila sp. We compared these predictions with long-term field monitoring data and toxicity tests with closely related taxa: Ephemerella infrequens, Rhithrogena hageni, and Rhyacophila brunea. Kinetic parameters allowed us to estimate steady-state concentrations, the time required to reach steady state, and the concentrations of Cd projected to be in potentially toxic compartments for different species. Species-specific physiological traits identified using biodynamic models provided a means for better understanding why toxicity assays with insects have failed to provide meaningful estimates for metal concentrations that would be expected to be protective in nature. ?? 2007 American Chemical Society.

  18. A survey of insect assemblages responding to volatiles from a ubiquitous fungus in an agricultural landscape.

    PubMed

    Davis, Thomas Seth; Landolt, Peter J

    2013-07-01

    We report here a first survey of insect orientation to fungal cultures and fungal volatiles from a community ecology perspective. We tested whether volatiles from a ubiquitous yeast-like fungus (Aureobasidium pullulans) are broadly attractive to insects in an agricultural landscape. We evaluated insect attraction to fungal cultures and synthetic compounds identified in fungal headspace (2-methyl-1-butanol, 3-methyl-1-butanol, 2-phenylethanol) in a spearmint (Mentha spicata L.) plantation. Three findings emerged: (1) 1,315 insects representing seven orders and 39 species oriented to traps, but 65 % of trapped insects were Dipterans, of which 80 % were hoverflies (Diptera: Syrphidae); (2) traps baited with A. pullulans caught 481 % more insects than unbaited control traps on average, and contained more diverse (Shannon's H index) and species rich assemblages than control traps, traps baited with Penicillium expansum, or uninoculated media; and (3) insects oriented in greatest abundance to a 1:1:1 blend of A. pullulans volatiles, but mean diversity scores were highest for traps baited with only 2-phenylethanol or 2-methyl-1-butanol. Our results show that individual components of fungal headspace are not equivalent in terms of the abundance and diversity of insects that orient to them. The low abundance of insects captured with P. expansum suggests that insect assemblages do not haphazardly orient to fungal volatiles. We conclude that volatiles from a common fungal species (A. pullulans) are attractive to a variety of insect taxa in an agricultural system, and that insect orientation to fungal volatiles may be a common ecological phenomenon.

  19. The sensitivity of aquatic insects to divalent metals: a comparative analysis of laboratory and field data.

    PubMed

    Brix, Kevin V; DeForest, David K; Adams, William J

    2011-09-15

    Laboratory studies have traditionally indicated that aquatic insects are relatively insensitive to metals while field studies have suggested them to be among the most sensitive aquatic invertebrate taxa. We reviewed and synthesized available studies in the literature to critically assess why this discrepancy exists. Despite the intense effort to study the effects of metals on aquatic biota over the past several decades, we found studies specific to insects to still be relatively limited. In general, the discrepancy between laboratory and field studies continues with few efforts having been made to elucidate the ecological and physiological mechanisms that underlie the relative sensitivity (or insensitivity) of aquatic insects to metals. However, given the limited data available, it appears that aquatic insects are indeed relatively insensitive to acute metal exposures. In contrast, we suggest that some aquatic insect taxa may be quite sensitive to chronic metal exposure and in some cases may not be protected by existing water quality criteria for metals. The discrepancy between laboratory and field studies with respect to chronic sensitivity appears to largely be driven by the relatively short exposure periods in laboratory studies as compared to field studies. It also appears that, in some cases, the sensitivity of aquatic insects in field studies may be the result of direct effects on primary producers, which lead to indirect effects via the food chain on aquatic insects. Finally, available evidence suggests that diet is an important source of metal accumulation in insects, but to date there have been no conclusive studies evaluating whether dietary metal accumulation causes toxicity. There is a clear need for developing a more mechanistic understanding of aquatic insect sensitivity to metals in long-term laboratory and field studies. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Ancient "Observatories" - A Relevant Concept?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Belmonte, Juan Antonio

    It is quite common, when reading popular books on astronomy, to see a place referred to as "the oldest observatory in the world". In addition, numerous books on archaeoastronomy, of various levels of quality, frequently refer to the existence of "prehistoric" or "ancient" observatories when describing or citing monuments that were certainly not built with the primary purpose of observing the skies. Internet sources are also guilty of this practice. In this chapter, the different meanings of the word observatory will be analyzed, looking at how their significances can be easily confused or even interchanged. The proclaimed "ancient observatories" are a typical result of this situation. Finally, the relevance of the concept of the ancient observatory will be evaluated.

  1. Ancient suture zones within continents.

    PubMed

    Moores, E M

    1981-07-03

    Ancient suture belts within continents are deformed regions which contain the remnants of former ocean basins. They form when two continents or island arcs that earlier were separated by an ocean basin converge and collide during plate tectonic activity. These belts provide the only record we have of deep oceanic crust and of ancient sea-floor processes for the first 94 percent of the earth's history, that is, prior to the oldest preserved crust in the oceans. Ten criteria for the recognition and interpretation of these ancient belts are discussed. A comprehensive program for the study of these belts should have great scientific and economic benefit for the United States and would be relatively cheap compared to other large national scientific efforts.

  2. Neonatal medicine in ancient art.

    PubMed

    Yurdakök, Murat

    2010-01-01

    There are a limited number of artistic objects from ancient times with particular importance in neonatal medicine. The best examples are figurines from ancient Egypt of Isis nursing Horus, showing the importance of breastfeeding. The earliest images of the human fetus were made by the Olmecs in Mexico around 1200- 400 BCE. One of the earliest representations of congenital anomalies is a figurine of diencephalic twins thought to be the goddess of Anatolia, dated to around 6500 BCE. In addition to these figurines, three sets of twins in the ancient world have medical importance, and Renaissance artists often used them as a subject for their paintings: "direct suckling animals" (Romulus and Remus), "heteropaternal superfecundation" (mother: Leda, fathers: Zeus, the king of the Olympian gods, and Leda's husband, Tyndareus), and "twin-to-twin transfusion" in monozygotic twins (Jacob and Esau).

  3. Improving ancient DNA genome assembly

    PubMed Central

    Nieselt, Kay

    2017-01-01

    Most reconstruction methods for genomes of ancient origin that are used today require a closely related reference. In order to identify genomic rearrangements or the deletion of whole genes, de novo assembly has to be used. However, because of inherent problems with ancient DNA, its de novo assembly is highly complicated. In order to tackle the diversity in the length of the input reads, we propose a two-layer approach, where multiple assemblies are generated in the first layer, which are then combined in the second layer. We used this two-layer assembly to generate assemblies for two different ancient samples and compared the results to current de novo assembly approaches. We are able to improve the assembly with respect to the length of the contigs and can resolve more repetitive regions. PMID:28392981

  4. Skeletal dysplasia in ancient Egypt.

    PubMed

    Kozma, Chahira

    2008-12-01

    The ancient Egyptian civilization lasted for over 3000 years and ended in 30 BCE. Many aspects of ancient Egyptian culture, including the existence of skeletal dysplasias, and in particular achondroplasia, are well known through the monuments and records that survived until modern times. The hot and dry climate in Egypt allowed for the preservation of bodies and skeletal anomalies. The oldest dwarf skeleton, the Badarian skeleton (4500 BCE), possibly represents an epiphyseal disorder. Among the remains of dwarfs with achondroplasia from ancient Egypt (2686-2190 BCE), exists a skeleton of a pregnant female, believed to have died during delivery with a baby's remains in situ. British museums have partial skeletons of dwarfs with achondroplasia, humeri probably affected with mucopolysaccharidoses, and a skeleton of a child with osteogenesis imperfecta. Skeletal dysplasia is also found among royal remains. The mummy of the pharaoh Siptah (1342-1197 BCE) shows a deformity of the left leg and foot. A mummified fetus, believed to be the daughter of king Tutankhamun, has scoliosis, spina bifida, and Sprengel deformity. In 2006 I reviewed the previously existing knowledge of dwarfism in ancient Egypt. The purpose of this second historical review is to add to that knowledge with an expanded contribution. The artistic documentation of people with skeletal dysplasia from ancient Egypt is plentiful including hundreds of amulets, statues, and drawing on tomb and temple walls. Examination of artistic reliefs provides a glance of the role of people with skeletal dysplasia and the societal attitudes toward them. Both artistic evidence and moral teachings in ancient Egypt reveal wide integration of individuals with disabilities into the society.

  5. RNAi: future in insect management.

    PubMed

    Burand, John P; Hunter, Wayne B

    2013-03-01

    RNA interference is a post- transcriptional, gene regulation mechanism found in virtually all plants and animals including insects. The demonstration of RNAi in insects and its successful use as a tool in the study of functional genomics opened the door to the development of a variety of novel, environmentally sound approaches for insect pest management. Here the current understanding of the biogenesis of the two RNAi classes in insects is reviewed. These are microRNAs (miRNAs) and short interfering RNAs (siRNAs). Several other key approaches in RNAi -based for insect control, as well as for the prevention of diseases in insects are also reviewed. The problems and prospects for the future use of RNAi in insects are presented.

  6. The hominin fossil record: taxa, grades and clades.

    PubMed

    Wood, Bernard; Lonergan, Nicholas

    2008-04-01

    This paper begins by reviewing the fossil evidence for human evolution. It presents summaries of each of the taxa recognized in a relatively speciose hominin taxonomy. These taxa are grouped in grades, namely possible and probable hominins, archaic hominins, megadont archaic hominins, transitional hominins, pre-modern Homo and anatomically modern Homo. The second part of this contribution considers some of the controversies that surround hominin taxonomy and systematics. The first is the vexed question of how you tell an early hominin from an early panin, or from taxa belonging to an extinct clade closely related to the Pan-Homo clade. Secondly, we consider how many species should be recognized within the hominin fossil record, and review the philosophies and methods used to identify taxa within the hominin fossil record. Thirdly, we examine how relationships within the hominin clade are investigated, including descriptions of the methods used to break down an integrated structure into tractable analytical units, and then how cladograms are generated and compared. We then review the internal structure of the hominin clade, including the problem of how many subclades should be recognized within the hominin clade, and we examine the reliability of hominin cladistic hypotheses. The last part of the paper reviews the concepts of a genus, including the criteria that should be used for recognizing genera within the hominin clade.

  7. The hominin fossil record: taxa, grades and clades

    PubMed Central

    Wood, Bernard; Lonergan, Nicholas

    2008-01-01

    This paper begins by reviewing the fossil evidence for human evolution. It presents summaries of each of the taxa recognized in a relatively speciose hominin taxonomy. These taxa are grouped in grades, namely possible and probable hominins, archaic hominins, megadont archaic hominins, transitional hominins, pre-modern Homo and anatomically modern Homo. The second part of this contribution considers some of the controversies that surround hominin taxonomy and systematics. The first is the vexed question of how you tell an early hominin from an early panin, or from taxa belonging to an extinct clade closely related to the Pan-Homo clade. Secondly, we consider how many species should be recognized within the hominin fossil record, and review the philosophies and methods used to identify taxa within the hominin fossil record. Thirdly, we examine how relationships within the hominin clade are investigated, including descriptions of the methods used to break down an integrated structure into tractable analytical units, and then how cladograms are generated and compared. We then review the internal structure of the hominin clade, including the problem of how many subclades should be recognized within the hominin clade, and we examine the reliability of hominin cladistic hypotheses. The last part of the paper reviews the concepts of a genus, including the criteria that should be used for recognizing genera within the hominin clade. PMID:18380861

  8. Eliciting the Functional Taxonomy from protein annotations and taxa.

    PubMed

    Falda, Marco; Lavezzo, Enrico; Fontana, Paolo; Bianco, Luca; Berselli, Michele; Formentin, Elide; Toppo, Stefano

    2016-08-18

    The advances of omics technologies have triggered the production of an enormous volume of data coming from thousands of species. Meanwhile, joint international efforts like the Gene Ontology (GO) consortium have worked to provide functional information for a vast amount of proteins. With these data available, we have developed FunTaxIS, a tool that is the first attempt to infer functional taxonomy (i.e. how functions are distributed over taxa) combining functional and taxonomic information. FunTaxIS is able to define a taxon specific functional space by exploiting annotation frequencies in order to establish if a function can or cannot be used to annotate a certain species. The tool generates constraints between GO terms and taxa and then propagates these relations over the taxonomic tree and the GO graph. Since these constraints nearly cover the whole taxonomy, it is possible to obtain the mapping of a function over the taxonomy. FunTaxIS can be used to make functional comparative analyses among taxa, to detect improper associations between taxa and functions, and to discover how functional knowledge is either distributed or missing. A benchmark test set based on six different model species has been devised to get useful insights on the generated taxonomic rules.

  9. Taxa-area relationship of aquatic fungi on deciduous leaves

    PubMed Central

    Cássio, Fernanda; Pascoal, Cláudia; Bärlocher, Felix

    2017-01-01

    One of the fundamental patterns in macroecology is the increase in the number of observed taxa with size of sampled area. For microbes, the shape of this relationship remains less clear. The current study assessed the diversity of aquatic fungi, by the traditional approach based on conidial morphology (captures reproducing aquatic hyphomycetes) and next generation sequencing (NGS; captures other fungi as well), on graded sizes of alder leaves (0.6 to 13.6 cm2). Leaves were submerged in two streams in geographically distant locations: the Oliveira Stream in Portugal and the Boss Brook in Canada. Decay rates of alder leaves and fungal sporulation rates did not differ between streams. Fungal biomass was higher in Boss Brook than in Oliveira Stream, and in both streams almost 100% of the reads belonged to active fungal taxa. In general, larger leaf areas tended to harbour more fungi, but these findings were not consistent between techniques. Morphospecies-based diversity increased with leaf area in Boss Brook, but not in Oliveira Stream; metabarcoding data showed an opposite trend. The higher resolution of metabarcoding resulted in steeper taxa-accumulation curves than morphospecies-based assessments (fungal conidia morphology). Fungal communities assessed by metabarcoding were spatially structured by leaf area in both streams. Metabarcoding promises greater resolution to assess biodiversity patterns in aquatic fungi and may be more accurate for assessing taxa-area relationships and local to global diversity ratios. PMID:28719634

  10. Dendrothele griseocana (Corticiaceae) and related taxa with hyphal pegs

    Treesearch

    Karen K. Nakasone

    2006-01-01

    Four Dendrothele (Corticiaceae, Polyporales) species with hyphal pegs are described and illustrated. Type specimens of Corticium griseocanum and Dendrothele papillosa were examined and found to be conspecific. Two new taxa, D. americana and D. tanzaniana, are described and illustrated, and the new combination, Dendrothele andina, is proposed. A key to D. griseocana and...

  11. Eliciting the Functional Taxonomy from protein annotations and taxa

    PubMed Central

    Falda, Marco; Lavezzo, Enrico; Fontana, Paolo; Bianco, Luca; Berselli, Michele; Formentin, Elide; Toppo, Stefano

    2016-01-01

    The advances of omics technologies have triggered the production of an enormous volume of data coming from thousands of species. Meanwhile, joint international efforts like the Gene Ontology (GO) consortium have worked to provide functional information for a vast amount of proteins. With these data available, we have developed FunTaxIS, a tool that is the first attempt to infer functional taxonomy (i.e. how functions are distributed over taxa) combining functional and taxonomic information. FunTaxIS is able to define a taxon specific functional space by exploiting annotation frequencies in order to establish if a function can or cannot be used to annotate a certain species. The tool generates constraints between GO terms and taxa and then propagates these relations over the taxonomic tree and the GO graph. Since these constraints nearly cover the whole taxonomy, it is possible to obtain the mapping of a function over the taxonomy. FunTaxIS can be used to make functional comparative analyses among taxa, to detect improper associations between taxa and functions, and to discover how functional knowledge is either distributed or missing. A benchmark test set based on six different model species has been devised to get useful insights on the generated taxonomic rules. PMID:27534507

  12. STORAGE BEHAVIOR OF SEEDS FROM NATIVE HAWAIIAN TAXA

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Ex situ conservation is required to preserve genetic diversity of the 956 species native to Hawai’i (89% endemism, 30% federally-listed as endangered or threatened). Optimizing storage procedures to maximize seed longevity is critical to the effort. Storage behavior of seeds from about 280 taxa was ...

  13. Taxa-area relationship of aquatic fungi on deciduous leaves.

    PubMed

    Duarte, Sofia; Cássio, Fernanda; Pascoal, Cláudia; Bärlocher, Felix

    2017-01-01

    One of the fundamental patterns in macroecology is the increase in the number of observed taxa with size of sampled area. For microbes, the shape of this relationship remains less clear. The current study assessed the diversity of aquatic fungi, by the traditional approach based on conidial morphology (captures reproducing aquatic hyphomycetes) and next generation sequencing (NGS; captures other fungi as well), on graded sizes of alder leaves (0.6 to 13.6 cm2). Leaves were submerged in two streams in geographically distant locations: the Oliveira Stream in Portugal and the Boss Brook in Canada. Decay rates of alder leaves and fungal sporulation rates did not differ between streams. Fungal biomass was higher in Boss Brook than in Oliveira Stream, and in both streams almost 100% of the reads belonged to active fungal taxa. In general, larger leaf areas tended to harbour more fungi, but these findings were not consistent between techniques. Morphospecies-based diversity increased with leaf area in Boss Brook, but not in Oliveira Stream; metabarcoding data showed an opposite trend. The higher resolution of metabarcoding resulted in steeper taxa-accumulation curves than morphospecies-based assessments (fungal conidia morphology). Fungal communities assessed by metabarcoding were spatially structured by leaf area in both streams. Metabarcoding promises greater resolution to assess biodiversity patterns in aquatic fungi and may be more accurate for assessing taxa-area relationships and local to global diversity ratios.

  14. Night Blindness and Ancient Remedy

    PubMed Central

    Al Binali, H.A. Hajar

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this article is to briefly review the history of night blindness and its treatment from ancient times until the present. The old Egyptians, the Babylonians, the Greeks and the Arabs used animal liver for treatment and successfully cured the disease. The author had the opportunity to observe the application of the old remedy to a patient. Now we know what the ancients did not know, that night blindness is caused by Vitamin A deficiency and the animal liver is the store house for Vitamin A. PMID:25774260

  15. Insect maintenance and transmission.

    PubMed

    Kingdom, Heather

    2013-01-01

    Phytoplasmas are plant pathogens of huge economic importance due to responsibility for crop yield losses worldwide. Institutions around the world are trying to understand and control this yield loss at a time when food security is high on government agendas. In order to fully understand the mechanisms of phytoplasma infection and spread, more insect vector and phytoplasma colonies will need to be established for research worldwide. Rearing and study of these colonies is essential in the research and development of phytoplasma control measures. This chapter highlights general materials and methods for raising insect vector colonies and maintenance of phytoplasmas. Specific methods of rearing the maize leafhopper and maize bushy stunt phytoplasma and the aster leafhopper and aster yellows phytoplasma strain witches' broom are also included.

  16. On quantifying insect movements

    SciTech Connect

    Wiens, J.A.; Crist, T.O. ); Milne, B.T. )

    1993-08-01

    We elaborate on methods described by Turchin, Odendaal Rausher for quantifying insect movement pathways. We note the need to scale measurement resolution to the study insects and the questions being asked, and we discuss the use of surveying instrumentation for recording sequential positions of individuals on pathways. We itemize several measures that may be used to characterize movement pathways and illustrate these by comparisons among several Eleodes beetles occurring in shortgrass steppe. The fractal dimension of pathways may provide insights not available from absolute measures of pathway configuration. Finally, we describe a renormalization procedure that may be used to remove sequential interdependence among locations of moving individuals while preserving the basic attributes of the pathway.

  17. [Insect venom allergies].

    PubMed

    Przybilla, Bernhard; Ruëff, Franziska

    2003-10-01

    Systemic IgE-mediated immediate type reactions (anaphylaxis) due to honeybee or vespid stings are potentially life-threatening; they are reported in up to 5% of the general population. Insect venom allergy is diagnosed by history, skin testing and measurement of insect venom-specific serum IgE; sometimes additional tests are needed. The diagnosis is based on the history of a systemic allergic immediate type sting reaction, without such a medical history any other "positive" test results are irrelevant. Nearly always, patients with systemic allergic sting reactions can be protected from further episodes of anaphylaxis by a carefully performed hyposensitization (specific immunotherapy). If therapeutic efficacy has been proven by tolerance of a re-sting, hyposensitization can be frequently stopped after 3 to 5 years. Patients with a particular risk of frequent re-stings or of very severe sting reactions may have to be treated for a longer time, some of them even life-long.

  18. Microsatellite flanking region similarities among different loci within insect species.

    PubMed

    Meglécz, E; Anderson, S J; Bourguet, D; Butcher, R; Caldas, A; Cassel-Lundhagen, A; d'Acier, A C; Dawson, D A; Faure, N; Fauvelot, C; Franck, P; Harper, G; Keyghobadi, N; Kluetsch, C; Muthulakshmi, M; Nagaraju, J; Patt, A; Péténian, F; Silvain, J-F; Wilcock, H R

    2007-04-01

    Although microsatellites are ubiquitous in eukaryota, the number of available markers varies strongly among taxa. This meta-analysis was conducted on 32 insect species. Sequences were obtained from two assembled whole genomes, whole genome shotgun (WGS) sequences from 10 species and screening partial genomic libraries for microsatellites from 23 species. We have demonstrated: (1) strong differences in the abundance of microsatellites among species; (2) that microsatellites within species are often grouped into families based on similarities in their flanking sequences; (3) that the proportion of microsatellites grouped into families varies strongly among taxa; and (4) that microsatellite families were significantly more often associated with transposable elements - or their remnants - than unique microsatellite sequences.

  19. Undergraduates' mental models about insect anatomy and insect life cycles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Diaz, Arlene Edith

    Educational studies focused on students' alternative conceptions have shown the importance of developing strategies to correct understanding. Identifying and comprehending student mental models are important since they may reflect alternate conceptions about scientific concepts. Mental models have been identified in various science education studies, but little is known about mental models undergraduates hold about insects. This research is significant because it identified mental models undergraduates have about insect anatomy and insect life cycles, exposed students to cognitive conflict by having them complete an online insect tutorial, and analyzed the effectiveness of this insect tutorial in correcting student understanding. An insect assessment was developed and administered pre- and post-instruction to probe students' mental models about insects. Different numbers of undergraduate students participated in different parts of the assessment; 276, 249, 166, and 58 students participated in the listing, drawing. definition, and life cycle parts of the assessment, respectively. The tutorial contained a variety of manipulated insect and non-insect images that challenged the students' understanding and generated cognitive conflict. This intervention guided students in replacing alternate conceptions with correct understanding. It was hypothesized that the tutorial would have a positive impact on student learning about insects. The results suggest that the tutorial had a positive impact on learning.

  20. Fatigue of insect cuticle.

    PubMed

    Dirks, Jan-Henning; Parle, Eoin; Taylor, David

    2013-05-15

    Many parts of the insect exoskeleton experience repeated cyclic loading. Although the cuticle of insects and other arthropods is the second most common natural composite material in the world, so far nothing is known about its fatigue properties, despite the fact that fatigue undoubtedly limits the durability of body parts in vivo. For the first time, we here present experimental fatigue data of insect cuticle. Using force-controlled cyclic loading, we determined the number of cycles to failure for hind legs (tibiae) and hind wings of the locust Schistocerca gregaria, as a function of the applied cyclic stress. Our results show that, although both are made from cuticle, these two body parts behave very differently. Wing samples showed a large fatigue range, failing after 100,000 cycles when we applied 46% of the stress needed for instantaneous failure [the ultimate tensile strength (UTS)]. Legs, in contrast, were able to sustain a stress of 76% of the UTS for the same number of cycles to failure. This can be explained by the difference in the composition and structure of the material, two factors that, amongst others, also affect the well-known behaviour of engineering composites. Final failure of the tibiae occurred via one of two different failure modes--propagation in tension or buckling in compression--indicating that the tibia is 'optimized' by evolution to resist both failure modes equally. These results are further discussed in relation to the evolution and normal use of these two body parts.

  1. Polyphenism in insects.

    PubMed

    Simpson, Stephen J; Sword, Gregory A; Lo, Nathan

    2011-09-27

    Polyphenism is the phenomenon where two or more distinct phenotypes are produced by the same genotype. Examples of polyphenism provide some of the most compelling systems for the study of epigenetics. Polyphenisms are a major reason for the success of the insects, allowing them to partition life history stages (with larvae dedicated to feeding and growth, and adults dedicated to reproduction and dispersal), to adopt different phenotypes that best suit predictable environmental changes (seasonal morphs), to cope with temporally heterogeneous environments (dispersal morphs), and to partition labour within social groups (the castes of eusocial insects). We survey the status of research on some of the best known examples of insect polyphenism, in each case considering the environmental cues that trigger shifts in phenotype, the neurochemical and hormonal pathways that mediate the transformation, the molecular genetic and epigenetic mechanisms involved in initiating and maintaining the polyphenism, and the adaptive and life-history significance of the phenomenon. We conclude by highlighting some of the common features of these examples and consider future avenues for research on polyphenism.

  2. The Fossil Record of Plant-Insect Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Labandeira, Conrad C.; Currano, Ellen D.

    2013-05-01

    Progress toward understanding the dynamics of ancient plant-insect associations has addressed major patterns in the ecology and evolution of herbivory and pollination. This advancement involves development of more analytical ways of describing plant-insect associational patterns in time and space and an assessment of the role that the environment and internal biological processes have in their control. Current issues include the deep origins of terrestrial herbivory, the spread of herbivory across late Paleozoic landscapes, recoveries from sudden major crises, reaction to and accommodation of protracted environmental perturbations, and the nature of herbivory and pollination before the appearance of angiosperms during the mid-Mesozoic. These and other exploratory research themes provide a more complete account of a great nexus of ecological activity that has been wedged between the two most diverse organismic groups on land for the past 410 million years.

  3. Age and size at maturity: a quantitative review of diet-induced reaction norms in insects.

    PubMed

    Teder, Tiit; Vellau, Helen; Tammaru, Toomas

    2014-11-01

    Optimality models predict that diet-induced bivariate reaction norms for age and size at maturity can have diverse shapes, with the slope varying from negative to positive. To evaluate these predictions, we perform a quantitative review of relevant data, using a literature-derived database of body sizes and development times for over 200 insect species. We show that bivariate reaction norms with a negative slope prevail in nearly all taxonomic and ecological categories of insects as well as in some other ectotherm taxa with comparable life histories (arachnids and amphibians). In insects, positive slopes are largely limited to species, which feed on discrete resource items, parasitoids in particular. By contrast, with virtually no meaningful exceptions, herbivorous and predatory insects display reaction norms with a negative slope. This is consistent with the idea that predictable resource depletion, a scenario selecting for positively sloped reaction norms, is not frequent for these insects. Another source of such selection-a positive correlation between resource levels and juvenile mortality rates-should similarly be rare among insects. Positive slopes can also be predicted by models which integrate life-history evolution and population dynamics. As bottom-up regulation is not common in most insect groups, such models may not be most appropriate for insects.

  4. How Should Genes and Taxa be Sampled for Phylogenomic Analyses with Missing Data? An Empirical Study in Iguanian Lizards.

    PubMed

    Streicher, Jeffrey W; Schulte, James A; Wiens, John J

    2016-01-01

    Targeted sequence capture is becoming a widespread tool for generating large phylogenomic data sets to address difficult phylogenetic problems. However, this methodology often generates data sets in which increasing the number of taxa and loci increases amounts of missing data. Thus, a fundamental (but still unresolved) question is whether sampling should be designed to maximize sampling of taxa or genes, or to minimize the inclusion of missing data cells. Here, we explore this question for an ancient, rapid radiation of lizards, the pleurodont iguanians. Pleurodonts include many well-known clades (e.g., anoles, basilisks, iguanas, and spiny lizards) but relationships among families have proven difficult to resolve strongly and consistently using traditional sequencing approaches. We generated up to 4921 ultraconserved elements with sampling strategies including 16, 29, and 44 taxa, from 1179 to approximately 2.4 million characters per matrix and approximately 30% to 60% total missing data. We then compared mean branch support for interfamilial relationships under these 15 different sampling strategies for both concatenated (maximum likelihood) and species tree (NJst) approaches (after showing that mean branch support appears to be related to accuracy). We found that both approaches had the highest support when including loci with up to 50% missing taxa (matrices with ~40-55% missing data overall). Thus, our results show that simply excluding all missing data may be highly problematic as the primary guiding principle for the inclusion or exclusion of taxa and genes. The optimal strategy was somewhat different for each approach, a pattern that has not been shown previously. For concatenated analyses, branch support was maximized when including many taxa (44) but fewer characters (1.1 million). For species-tree analyses, branch support was maximized with minimal taxon sampling (16) but many loci (4789 of 4921). We also show that the choice of these sampling

  5. Insect-Specific Virus Discovery: Significance for the Arbovirus Community

    PubMed Central

    Bolling, Bethany G.; Weaver, Scott C.; Tesh, Robert B.; Vasilakis, Nikos

    2015-01-01

    Arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses), especially those transmitted by mosquitoes, are a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in humans and animals worldwide. Recent discoveries indicate that mosquitoes are naturally infected with a wide range of other viruses, many within taxa occupied by arboviruses that are considered insect-specific. Over the past ten years there has been a dramatic increase in the literature describing novel insect-specific virus detection in mosquitoes, which has provided new insights about viral diversity and evolution, including that of arboviruses. It has also raised questions about what effects the mosquito virome has on arbovirus transmission. Additionally, the discovery of these new viruses has generated interest in their potential use as biological control agents as well as novel vaccine platforms. The arbovirus community will benefit from the growing database of knowledge concerning these newly described viral endosymbionts, as their impacts will likely be far reaching. PMID:26378568

  6. The origin and evolution of social insect queen pheromones: Novel hypotheses and outstanding problems.

    PubMed

    Oi, Cintia A; van Zweden, Jelle S; Oliveira, Ricardo C; Van Oystaeyen, Annette; Nascimento, Fabio S; Wenseleers, Tom

    2015-07-01

    Queen pheromones, which signal the presence of a fertile queen and induce daughter workers to remain sterile, are considered to play a key role in regulating the reproductive division of labor of insect societies. Although queen pheromones were long thought to be highly taxon-specific, recent studies have shown that structurally related long-chain hydrocarbons act as conserved queen signals across several independently evolved lineages of social insects. These results imply that social insect queen pheromones are very ancient and likely derived from an ancestral signalling system that was already present in their common solitary ancestors. Based on these new insights, we here review the literature and speculate on what signal precursors social insect queen pheromones may have evolved from. Furthermore, we provide compelling evidence that these pheromones should best be seen as honest signals of fertility as opposed to suppressive agents that chemically sterilize the workers against their own best interests. © 2015 WILEY Periodicals, Inc.

  7. Effect of land use on the composition, diversity and abundance of insects drifting in neotropical streams.

    PubMed

    Gimenez, B C G; Lansac-Tôha, F A; Higuti, J

    2015-11-01

    Streams may exhibit differences in community structure of invertebrate drift, which may be a reflex of variation in environmental factors, able to change in conditions of anthropogenic interventions. The aim of this study was to analyze the composition, diversity and abundance of insects drifting in two neotropical streams under different land use and to identify the environmental factors involved in determining such patterns. 54 taxa of aquatic insects were identified in urban and rural streams. The results indicated significant differences in species composition due to the replacement of specialist species by generalist species in the urban stream. Higher diversity of taxa was recorded in the rural stream, with high levels of dissolved oxygen and high water flow, which favored the occurrence of sensitive groups to environmental disturbances, such as Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, Trichoptera and Coleoptera taxa, that living mainly in clean and well oxygenated waters. On the other hand, a higher density of insects drifting, especially Chironomidae, was observed in the urban stream, where high values of pH, electrical conductivity and nitrogen were observed. These larvae are able to explore a wide range of environmental conditions, owing to their great capacity for physiological adaptation. Despite observing the expected patterns, there were no significant differences between streams for the diversity and abundance of species. Thus, the species composition can be considered as the best predictor of impacts on the drifting insect community.

  8. Thermoregulation in endothermic insects.

    PubMed

    Heinrich, B

    1974-08-30

    On the basis of body weight, most flying insects have higher rates of metabolism, and hence heat production, than other animals. However, rapid rates of cooling because of small body size in most cases precludes appreciable endothermy. The body temperature of small flies in flight is probably close to ambient temperature, and that of flying butterflies and locusts is 5 degrees to 10 degrees C above ambient temperature. Many moths and bumblebees are insulated with scales and hair, and their metabolism during flight can cause the temperature of the flight muscles to increase 20 degrees to 30 degrees C above ambient temperature. Curiously, those insects which (because of size, insulation) retain the most heat in the thorax during flight, also require the highest muscle temperature in order to maintain sufficient power output to continue flight. The minimum muscle temperature for flight varies widely between different species, while the maximum temperature varies over the relatively narrow range of 40 degrees to 45 degrees C. As a consequence, those insects that necessarily generate high muscle temperatures during flight must maintain their thoracic temperature within a relatively narrow range during flight. Active heat loss from the thorax to the abdomen prevents overheating of the flight motor and allows some large moths to be active over a wide range of ambient temperatures. Bumblebees similarly transfer heat from the flight musculature into the abdomen while incubating their brood by abdominal contact. Many of the larger insects would remain grounded if they did not actively increase the temperature of their flight muscles prior to flight. Male tettigoniid grasshoppers elevate their thoracic temperature prior to singing. In addition, some of the social Hymenoptera activate the "flight" muscles specifically to produce heat not only prior to flight but also during nest temperature regulation. During this "shivering" the "flight" muscles are often activated in

  9. Insect symbiotic bacteria harbour viral pathogens for transovarial transmission.

    PubMed

    Jia, Dongsheng; Mao, Qianzhuo; Chen, Yong; Liu, Yuyan; Chen, Qian; Wu, Wei; Zhang, Xiaofeng; Chen, Hongyan; Li, Yi; Wei, Taiyun

    2017-03-06

    Many insects, including mosquitoes, planthoppers, aphids and leafhoppers, are the hosts of bacterial symbionts and the vectors for transmitting viral pathogens(1-3). In general, symbiotic bacteria can indirectly affect viral transmission by enhancing immunity and resistance to viruses in insects(3-5). Whether symbiotic bacteria can directly interact with the virus and mediate its transmission has been unknown. Here, we show that an insect symbiotic bacterium directly harbours a viral pathogen and mediates its transovarial transmission to offspring. We observe rice dwarf virus (a plant reovirus) binding to the envelopes of the bacterium Sulcia, a common obligate symbiont of leafhoppers(6-8), allowing the virus to exploit the ancient oocyte entry path of Sulcia in rice leafhopper vectors. Such virus-bacterium binding is mediated by the specific interaction of the viral capsid protein and the Sulcia outer membrane protein. Treatment with antibiotics or antibodies against Sulcia outer membrane protein interferes with this interaction and strongly prevents viral transmission to insect offspring. This newly discovered virus-bacterium interaction represents the first evidence that a viral pathogen can directly exploit a symbiotic bacterium for its transmission. We believe that such a model of virus-bacterium communication is a common phenomenon in nature.

  10. Edible insects are the future?

    PubMed

    van Huis, Arnold

    2016-08-01

    The global increase in demand for meat and the limited land area available prompt the search for alternative protein sources. Also the sustainability of meat production has been questioned. Edible insects as an alternative protein source for human food and animal feed are interesting in terms of low greenhouse gas emissions, high feed conversion efficiency, low land use, and their ability to transform low value organic side streams into high value protein products. More than 2000 insect species are eaten mainly in tropical regions. The role of edible insects in the livelihoods and nutrition of people in tropical countries is discussed, but this food source is threatened. In the Western world, there is an increasing interest in edible insects, and examples are given. Insects as feed, in particular as aquafeed, have a large potential. Edible insects have about the same protein content as conventional meat and more PUFA. They may also have some beneficial health effects. Edible insects need to be processed and turned into palatable dishes. Food safety may be affected by toxicity of insects, contamination with pathogens, spoilage during conservation and allergies. Consumer attitude is a major issue in the Western world and a number of strategies are proposed to encourage insect consumption. We discuss research pathways to make insects a viable sector in food and agriculture: an appropriate disciplinary focus, quantifying its importance, comparing its nutritional value to conventional protein sources, environmental benefits, safeguarding food safety, optimising farming, consumer acceptance and gastronomy.

  11. Ancient Earth, Alien Earths Event

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2014-08-20

    Panelists pose for a group photo at the “Ancient Earth, Alien Earths” Event at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC Wednesday, August 20, 2014. The event was sponsored by NASA, the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Smithsonian Institution and highlighted how research on early Earth could help guide our search for habitable planets orbiting other stars. Photo Credit: (NASA/Aubrey Gemignani)

  12. Retroflex Endings in Ancient Chinese

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hashimoto, Mantaro J.

    1973-01-01

    Reconstruction of Ancient Chinese retroflex endings (syllable-final consonants) based on internal phonological evidence in Modern Chinese. Paper read at the December 1972 meeting of the Kukeo Hakhoe (The National Language Association of Korea); research supported by the Social Science Research Council, Committee for Korean Studies. (RS)

  13. The Echoes of Ancient Humans

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Watzman, Haim

    2006-01-01

    Several artifacts found at the Gesher Benot Ya'aqov, or Daughters of Jacob Bridge, archaeological site in Israel provide a picture of ancient human ancestors that is different from the once accepted by most scholars. The discoveries by Israeli archaeologist Naama Goren-Inbar suggest that humans developed language and other key abilities far…

  14. Drinking habits in ancient India.

    PubMed

    Somasundaram, Ottilingam; Raghavan, D Vijaya; Murthy, A G Tejus

    2016-01-01

    Consumption of one or other form of intoxicating substances has been present throughout the history of the world. This article traces such use in the Indian subcontinent, both in North and South India. References to the use of intoxicants are to be found in the Vedas, the Great Epics, and the ancient Tamil literature.

  15. Adult Reading of Ancient Languages.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Casler, Frederick H.

    Traditionally, students of ancient languages have been taught to translate rather than read. The four most popular current approaches to language instruction--the grammar-translation method, the direct-reading or inductive approach, the audiolingual method, and the structural approach--all have inherent deficiencies that are magnified when applied…

  16. Discovering the Ancient Temperate Rainforest.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lindsay, Anne

    1997-01-01

    Two activities for grades 3 through 8 explore species adaptation and forestry issues in the North American rainforests. In one activity, students create imaginary species of plants or animals that are adapted for life in an ancient temperate rainforest. In the second activity, students role play groups affected by plans to log an area of the…

  17. Ancient medicine--a review.

    PubMed

    Zuskin, Eugenija; Lipozencić, Jasna; Pucarin-Cvetković, Jasna; Mustajbegović, Jadranka; Schachter, Neil; Mucić-Pucić, Branka; Neralić-Meniga, Inja

    2008-01-01

    Different aspects of medicine and/or healing in several societies are presented. In the ancient times as well as today medicine has been closely related to magic, science and religion. Various ancient societies and cultures had developed different views of medicine. It was believed that a human being has two bodies: a visible body that belongs to the earth and an invisible body of heaven. In the earliest prehistoric days, a different kind of medicine was practiced in countries such as Egypt, Greece, Rome, Mesopotamia, India, Tibet, China, and others. In those countries, "medicine people" practiced medicine from the magic to modern physical practices. Medicine was magical and mythological, and diseases were attributed mostly to the supernatural forces. The foundation of modern medicine can be traced back to ancient Greeks. Tibetan culture, for instance, even today, combines spiritual and practical medicine. Chinese medicine developed as a concept of yin and yang, acupuncture and acupressure, and it has even been used in the modern medicine. During medieval Europe, major universities and medical schools were established. In the ancient time, before hospitals had developed, patients were treated mostly in temples.

  18. Watchers of the Ancient Skies.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sherman, Ben

    1998-01-01

    Describes Lakota belief systems connected with the stars and how those beliefs directed Lakota existence, movements during the year, and ceremonies. Discusses winter camps, associated cultural practices such as storytelling, ancient wisdom, the concept of mirroring (constellations and corresponding land forms on earth), and the Black Hills annual…

  19. Discovering the Ancient Temperate Rainforest.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lindsay, Anne

    1997-01-01

    Two activities for grades 3 through 8 explore species adaptation and forestry issues in the North American rainforests. In one activity, students create imaginary species of plants or animals that are adapted for life in an ancient temperate rainforest. In the second activity, students role play groups affected by plans to log an area of the…

  20. Drinking habits in ancient India

    PubMed Central

    Somasundaram, Ottilingam; Raghavan, D. Vijaya; Murthy, A. G. Tejus

    2016-01-01

    Consumption of one or other form of intoxicating substances has been present throughout the history of the world. This article traces such use in the Indian subcontinent, both in North and South India. References to the use of intoxicants are to be found in the Vedas, the Great Epics, and the ancient Tamil literature. PMID:26985113

  1. The ancient name of rose.

    PubMed

    Dalby, A

    2001-01-01

    The article is a survey of plants foods and drugs that Greeks and Romans thought to be aphrodisiac and to have a specific effect on the male libido. The article is a useful support to study the sexual therapy in ancient world.

  2. Astronomical Deities in Ancient Mesoamerica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Milbrath, Susan

    The best known astronomical deities in ancient Mesoamerica are the sun, moon, and Venus. The Milky Way was also deified, and its constellations were visualized as celestial animals or locations. The sun and Venus were male deities, but the moon had both male and female aspects. Some of these concepts survive today in Mesoamerican ethnographic accounts referencing different transformations of the moon.

  3. The Echoes of Ancient Humans

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Watzman, Haim

    2006-01-01

    Several artifacts found at the Gesher Benot Ya'aqov, or Daughters of Jacob Bridge, archaeological site in Israel provide a picture of ancient human ancestors that is different from the once accepted by most scholars. The discoveries by Israeli archaeologist Naama Goren-Inbar suggest that humans developed language and other key abilities far…

  4. Ancient India: The Asiatic Ethiopians.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Scott, Carolyn McPherson

    This curriculum unit was developed by a participant in the 1993 Fulbright-Hays Program "India: Continuity and Change." The unit attempts to place India in the "picture frame" of the ancient world as a part of a whole, not as a separate entity. Reading materials enable students to draw broader general conclusions based on the…

  5. The ancient art of memory.

    PubMed

    Hobson, Allan

    2013-12-01

    Revision of Freud's theory requires a new way of seeking dream meaning. With the idea of elaborative encoding, Sue Llewellyn has provided a method of dream interpretation that takes into account both modern sleep science and the ancient art of memory. Her synthesis is elegant and compelling. But is her hypothesis testable?

  6. Brachiopod taxa and shell portions reliably recording past ocean environments: Toward establishing a robust paleoceanographic proxy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamamoto, Kazuyuki; Asami, Ryuji; Iryu, Yasufumi

    2011-07-01

    Fossils of rhynchonelliform brachiopods (marine invertebrates) constitute ˜70% of the samples used for delineating a well-known Phanerozoic trend in oxygen isotope composition (δ18O) of low-Mg calcite shells. The trend represents secular variations in temperature and/or δ18O of ancient seawater. However, the use of brachiopods as a paleoceanographic proxy is based on the presupposition that the shell calcite is precipitated in isotopic equilibrium with ambient seawater. Here, we show that high-resolution time series of the shell δ18O values along the maximum growth axes of two long-lived cool-water brachiopods are identical to, greater than, or less than those of calcite precipitated in isotopic equilibrium with ambient seawater, depending on the difference in shell growth rates. Coupled with δ18O data from subtropical and warm-temperate brachiopod species examined in our previous studies, we provide a sound framework illustrating which taxa and shell portions reliably recorded past ocean environments.

  7. DNA barcodes for two scale insect families, mealybugs (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) and armored scales (Hemiptera: Diaspididae).

    PubMed

    Park, D-S; Suh, S-J; Hebert, P D N; Oh, H-W; Hong, K-J

    2011-08-01

    Although DNA barcode coverage has grown rapidly for many insect orders, there are some groups, such as scale insects, where sequence recovery has been difficult. However, using a recently developed primer set, we recovered barcode records from 373 specimens, providing coverage for 75 species from 31 genera in two families. Overall success was >90% for mealybugs and >80% for armored scale species. The G·C content was very low in most species, averaging just 16.3%. Sequence divergences (K2P) between congeneric species averaged 10.7%, while intra-specific divergences averaged 0.97%. However, the latter value was inflated by high intra-specific divergence in nine taxa, cases that may indicate species overlooked by current taxonomic treatments. Our study establishes the feasibility of developing a comprehensive barcode library for scale insects and indicates that its construction will both create an effective system for identifying scale insects and reveal taxonomic situations worthy of deeper analysis.

  8. Multi-taxa approach shows consistent shifts in arthropod functional traits along grassland land-use intensity gradient.

    PubMed

    Simons, Nadja K; Weisser, Wolfgang W; Gossner, Martin M

    2016-03-01

    Intensification of land use reduces biodiversity but may also shift the trait composition of communities. Understanding how land use affects single traits and community trait composition, helps to understand why some species are more affected by land use than others. Trait-based analyses are common for plants, but rare for arthropods. We collected literature-based traits for nearly 1000 insect and spider species to test how land- use intensity (including mowing, fertilization, and grazing) across 124 grasslands in three regions of Germany affects community-weighted mean traits across taxa and in single taxa. We additionally measured morphometric traits for more than 150 Heteroptera species and tested whether the weighted mean morphometric traits change with increasing land-use intensity. Community average body size decreased and community average dispersal ability increased from low to high land-use intensity. Furthermore, the relative abundance of herbivores and of specialists among herbivores decreased and the relative abundance of species using the herb layer increased with increasing land-use intensity. Community-weighted means of the morphometric traits in Heteroptera also changed from low to high land-use intensity toward longer and thinner shapes as well as longer appendices (legs, wings, and antenna). While changes in traits with increasing mowing and fertilization intensity were consistent with the combined land-use intensity, community average traits did often not change or with opposite direction under increasing grazing intensity. We conclude that high land-use intensity acts as an environmental filter selecting for on average smaller, more mobile, and less specialized species across taxa. Although trait collection across multiple arthropod taxa is laborious and needs clear trait definitions, it is essential for understanding the functional consequences of biodiversity loss due to land-use intensification.

  9. Ancient and Modern Coins Unit Plans.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    United States Mint (Dept. of Treasury), Washington, DC.

    Ancient times comes to life when a student can hold in his/her hand or read about an artifact, such as a coin of the Greek or Roman era. Students are familiar with coins, and this commonality helps them understand the similarities and differences between their lives and times in ancient Greece or Rome. Many symbols on the ancient coins can be…

  10. Insect phylogenomics: results, problems and the impact of matrix composition

    PubMed Central

    Letsch, Harald O.; Meusemann, Karen; Wipfler, Benjamin; Schütte, Kai; Beutel, Rolf; Misof, Bernhard

    2012-01-01

    In this study, we investigated the relationships among insect orders with a main focus on Polyneoptera (lower Neoptera: roaches, mantids, earwigs, grasshoppers, etc.), and Paraneoptera (thrips, lice, bugs in the wide sense). The relationships between and within these groups of insects are difficult to resolve because only few informative molecular and morphological characters are available. Here, we provide the first phylogenomic expressed sequence tags data (‘EST’: short sub-sequences from a c(opy) DNA sequence encoding for proteins) for stick insects (Phasmatodea) and webspinners (Embioptera) to complete published EST data. As recent EST datasets are characterized by a heterogeneous distribution of available genes across taxa, we use different rationales to optimize the data matrix composition. Our results suggest a monophyletic origin of Polyneoptera and Eumetabola (Paraneoptera + Holometabola). However, we identified artefacts of tree reconstruction (human louse Pediculus humanus assigned to Odonata (damselflies and dragonflies) or Holometabola (insects with a complete metamorphosis); mayfly genus Baetis nested within Neoptera), which were most probably rooted in a data matrix composition bias due to the inclusion of sequence data of entire proteomes. Until entire proteomes are available for each species in phylogenomic analyses, this potential pitfall should be carefully considered. PMID:22628473

  11. Prospecting for cellulolytic activity in insect digestive fluids.

    PubMed

    Oppert, Cris; Klingeman, William E; Willis, Jonathan D; Oppert, Brenda; Jurat-Fuentes, Juan L

    2010-02-01

    Efficient cellulolytic enzymes are needed to degrade recalcitrant plant biomass during ethanol purification and make lignocellulosic biofuels a cost-effective alternative to fossil fuels. Despite the large number of insect species that feed on lignocellulosic material, limited availability of quantitative studies comparing cellulase activity among insect taxa constrains identification of candidate species for more targeted identification of effective cellulolytic systems. We describe quantitative determinations of the cellulolytic activity in gut or head-derived fluids from 68 phytophagous or xylophagous insect species belonging to eight different taxonomic orders. Enzymatic activity was determined for two different substrates, carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) and microcrystalline cellulose (MCC), approximating endo-beta-1,4-glucanase and complete cellulolytic activity, respectively. Highest CMC gut fluid activities were found in Dictyoptera, Coleoptera, Isoptera, and Orthoptera, while highest MCC gut fluid activities were found in Coleoptera, Hymenoptera, Lepidoptera, and Orthoptera. In most cases, gut fluid activities were greater with CMC compared to MCC substrate, except in Diptera, Hymenoptera, and Lepidoptera. In contrast, cellulolytic activity levels in most head fluids were greater on the MCC substrate. Our data suggests that a phylogenetic relationship may exist for the origin of cellulolytic enzymes in insects, and that cellulase activity levels correlate with taxonomic classification, probably reflecting differences in plant host or feeding strategies.

  12. Case study: ancient DNA recovered from pleistocene-age remains of a Florida armadillo.

    PubMed

    Letts, Brandon; Shapiro, Beth

    2012-01-01

    Warm, humid regions are not ideal for long-term DNA preservation. Consequently, little ancient DNA research has been carried out involving taxa that lived in, for example, tropical and subtropical regions. Those studies that have isolated ancient DNA from warm environments have mostly been limited to the most recent several thousand years. Here, we discuss an ancient DNA experiment in which we attempt to amplify mitochondrial DNA from remains of armadillo, glyptodont, and pampathere from sites in Florida, USA, all believed to be around 10,000-12,000 years old. We were successful in recovering DNA from only one of these samples. However, based on the amount and distribution of DNA damage, the ancient DNA recovered was well-preserved despite the age and preservation environment. In this case study chapter, we discuss the experimental procedure we used to characterize the DNA from the Floridian samples, focusing on challenges of working with ancient specimens from warm environments and steps taken to confirm the authenticity of the recovered sequence.

  13. Rare taxa maintain microbial diversity and contribute to terrestrial community dynamics throughout bark beetle infestation.

    PubMed

    Mikkelson, Kristin M; Bokman, Chelsea; Sharp, Jonathan O

    2016-09-16

    A global phenomenon of increasing bark beetle-induced tree mortality has heightened concern regarding ecosystem response and biogeochemical implications. Here we explore microbial dynamics under lodgepole pines through the analysis of bulk (16S rDNA) and potentially active (16S rRNA) communities to understand terrestrial ecosystem responses associated with this form of large-scale tree morality. We found that the relative abundance of bulk and potentially active taxa was correlated across taxonomic levels, but at lower levels cladal differences became more apparent. Despite this correlation, there was a strong differentiation of community composition between bulk and potentially active taxa, with further clustering in association with stages of tree mortality. Surprisingly, community clustering as a function of tree phase had limited correlation to soil water content and total nitrogen concentrations, which were the only two measured edaphic parameters to differ in association with tree phase. Bacterial clustering is more readily explained by the observed decrease in abundance of active, rare microorganisms after tree death in conjunction with stable alpha diversity measurements. This enables the rare fraction of the terrestrial microbial community to maintain metabolic diversity by transitioning between metabolically active and dormant states during this ecosystem disturbance and contributes disproportionately to community dynamics and archived metabolic capabilities. These results suggest that analyzing the bulk and potentially active communities after beetle infestation might be a more sensitive indicator of disruption than measuring local edaphic parameters. Forests around the world are experiencing unprecedented mortality due to insect infestations fueled in part by a changing climate. While above-ground processes have been explored, changes at the terrestrial interface relevant to microbial biogeochemical cycling remain largely unknown. In this study, we

  14. Timing and host plant associations in the evolution of the weevil tribe Apionini (Apioninae, Brentidae, Curculionoidea, Coleoptera) indicate an ancient co-diversification pattern of beetles and flowering plants.

    PubMed

    Winter, Sven; Friedman, Ariel L L; Astrin, Jonas J; Gottsberger, Brigitte; Letsch, Harald

    2017-02-01

    Host plant shifts of insects can lead to a burst of diversification driven by their arrival in a new adaptive zone. In this context, our study aims to explore timing and patterns in the evolution of the weevil tribe Apionini (Brentidae, Curculionoidea, Coleoptera), particularly in relation to affiliations with their host plants. The classification of Apionini is difficult because of their relatively uniform appearance. Most taxa live mono- or oligophagously on members of Asteraceae or Fabaceae, but many are associated with other plant families, like Lamiaceae, Malvaceae and Polygonaceae. However, a comprehensive hypothesis of the phylogenetic relationships within the tribe Apionini is still missing. In the present study, we reconstructed trees and estimated divergence times among tribes. These results were further used to reconstruct the ancestral host plant use in Apionini weevils and to infer if the divergence timing of putative subtribes corresponds with the occurrence and radiation of their specific host plant groups. Phylogenetic analyses confirm the monophyly of most subtribes, with the exceptions of Oxystomatina, Kalcapiina and Aspidapiina. The subribe Aplemonina is inferred to be sister to all remaining Apionini. Divergence time estimates indicate the first occurrence of Apionini in the Upper Cretaceous and a simultaneous occurrence of several families of flowering plants and the occupation by Apionini weevil herbivores. These conspicuous coincidences support either an ancient co-diversification scenario or an escalating diversification in weevils induced by the radiation of flowering plants.

  15. Innovations: applications of insect transgenesis.

    PubMed

    Wimmer, Ernst A

    2003-03-01

    The recent establishment of broadly applicable genetic transformation systems will allow the analysis of gene function in diverse insect species. This will increase our understanding of developmental and evolutionary biology. Furthermore, insect transgenesis will provide new strategies for insect pest management and methods to impair the transmission of pathogens by human disease vectors. However, these powerful techniques must be applied with great care to avoid harm to our environment.

  16. Agaricus section Xanthodermatei: a phylogenetic reconstruction with commentary on taxa.

    PubMed

    Kerrigan, Richard W; Callac, Philippe; Guinberteau, Jacques; Challen, Michael P; Parra, Luis A

    2005-01-01

    Agaricus section Xanthodermatei comprises a group of species allied to A. xanthodermus and generally characterized by basidiomata having phenolic odors, transiently yellowing discolorations in some parts of the basidiome, Schaeffer's reaction negative, and mild to substantial toxicity. The section has a global distribution, while most included species have distributions restricted to regions of single continents. Using specimens and cultures from Europe, North America, and Hawaii, we analyzed DNA sequences from the ITS1+2 region of the nuclear rDNA to identify and characterize phylogenetically distinct entities and to construct a hypothesis of relationships, both among members of the section and with representative taxa from other sections of the genus. 61 sequences from affiliated taxa, plus 20 from six (or seven) other sections of Agaricus, and one Micropsalliota sequence, were evaluated under distance, maximum parsimony and maximum likelihood methods. We recognized 21 discrete entities in Xanthodermatei, including 14 established species and 7 new ones, three of which are described elsewhere. Four species from California, New Mexico, and France deserve further study before they are described. Type studies of American taxa are particularly emphasized, and a lectotype is designated for A. californicus. Section Xanthodermatei formed a single clade in most analyses, indicating that the traditional sectional characters noted above are good unifying characters that appear to have arisen only once within Agaricus. Deep divisions within the sequence-derived structure of the section could be interpreted as subsections in Xanthodermatei; however, various considerations led us to refrain from proposing new supraspecific taxa. The nearest neighbors of section Xanthodermatei are putatively in section Duploannulati.

  17. Anaphylaxis to insect stings.

    PubMed

    Golden, David B K

    2015-05-01

    Anaphylaxis to insect stings has occurred in 3% of adults and can be fatal even on the first reaction. Large local reactions are more frequent but rarely dangerous. The chance of a systemic reaction to a sting is 5% to 10% in large local reactors and in children with mild (cutaneous) systemic reactions, and varies between 30% and 65% in adults with previous systemic reactions, depending on the severity of previous sting reactions. Baseline serum tryptase level is increased in many patients with sting anaphylaxis. Venom immunotherapy is 75% to 98% effective in preventing sting anaphylaxis. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Deciphering The Role of Plankton Taxa in Particle Flux

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neuer, Susanne; Amacher, Jessica; DeMartini, Francesca; Wilson, Stephanie

    2015-04-01

    The sinking of phytoplankton derived particulate organic matter to the deep ocean constitutes an important removal process of atmospheric CO2 and is termed the biological carbon pump. Understanding the taxon specific connection between phytoplankton communities in the euphotic zone and their contribution to particle flux is a high priority in current oceanographic research and provides a basis to evaluate how carbon export might change in a future ocean. Here we present results from DNA-based molecular studies that investigate the taxonomic composition of cyanobacterial and protist communities retrieved from shallow particle traps in comparison to those living in the euphotic zone. This research has been mainly carried out in the Sargasso Sea at the Bermuda Atlantic Time-series Study site (BATS). Trap material collected at this oligotrophic ocean site reveals a surprisingly high diversity of small, non-mineral ballasted taxa, some of which are over-represented compared to the euphotic zone communities. But the majority of clones in the traps belong to mostly heterotrophic protist taxa. By analyzing the fingerprints of prey DNA in guts and fecal pellets of dominant zooplankton grazers we find that there is a close link between prey utilization and the recovery of those taxa in the traps, showing the importance of fecal pellets in packaging and mediating their flux out of the euphotic zone.

  19. Insects in a changing environment

    SciTech Connect

    Harrington, R.; Stork, N.

    1995-12-31

    This book, from a 1993 symposium, focuses on current, anthropogenic changes in insect populations using five major sections: introduction; changes in climate; changes in gas/pollutant levels; changes in land use; and a section of shorter papers. The effects of climate change on insects are assessed using techniques ranging from fossil evidence to simulation models to remote sensing. The section on changes in gas levels addresses a series of individually studies of insect responses to atmospheric gases and other pollutants. The section focusing on the effects of environmental change on insects is well documented.

  20. Aircraft anti-insect system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Spiro, Clifford Lawrence (Inventor); Fric, Thomas Frank (Inventor); Leon, Ross Michael (Inventor)

    1997-01-01

    Insect debris is removed from or prevented from adhering to insect impingement areas of an aircraft, particularly on an inlet cowl of an engine, by heating the area to 180.degree.-500.degree. C. An apparatus comprising a means to bring hot air from the aircraft engine to a plenum contiguous to the insect impingement area provides for the heating of the insect impingement areas to the required temperatures. The plenum can include at least one tube with a plurality of holes contained in a cavity within the inlet cowl. It can also include an envelope with a plurality of holes on its surface contained in a cavity within the inlet cowl.

  1. Respiratory strategy is a major determinant of [3H]water and [14C]chlorpyrifos uptake in aquatic insects

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Buchwalter, D.B.; Jenkins, J.J.; Curtis, L.R.

    2002-01-01

    Despite the extensive use of aquatic insects to evaluate freshwater ecosystem health, little is known about the underlying factors that result in sensitivity differences between taxa. Organismal characteristics (respiratory strategy and body size) were used to explore the rates of [3H]H2O and [14)C]chlorpyrifos accumulation in aquatic insects. Ten aquatic insect taxa, including ephemeropteran, trichopteran, dipteran, hemipteran, and coleopteran species, were exposed to [14C]chlorpyrifos (240 ng??L-1) and [3H]H2O for up to 12 h. Because exchange epithelial surfaces on the)integument are permeable to water, [3H]H2O was used as a quantitative surrogate for exposed cellular surface area.) [14C]Chlorpyrifos uptake rates were highly correlated with water permeability in all 10 taxa tested and largely covaried with body size and respiratory strategy. Rates were highest among smaller organisms on a per-weight basis and in taxa with relatively large external cellular surfaces such as gills. Air-breathing taxa were significantly less permeable to both [3)HH20 and [14C)C]chlorpyrifos. A method for labeling exposed epithelial surfaces with a fluorescent dye was developed. This technique allowed discrimination between exchange epithelium and barrier tissue on the integument. Fluorescent dye distributions on the body surface provided a rapid method for estimating exposed epithelium consistent with [3H]H2O and [14)C]chlorpyrifos accumulation.

  2. Dreams in ancient Greek Medicine.

    PubMed

    Laios, K; Moschos, M M; Koukaki, E; Vasilopoulos, E; Karamanou, M; Kontaxaki, M-I; Androutsos, G

    2016-01-01

    Dreams preoccupied the Greek and Roman world in antiquity, therefore they had a prominent role in social, philosophical, religious, historical and political life of those times. They were considered as omens and prophetic signs of future events in private and public life, and that was particularly accentuated when elements of actions which took place in the plot of dreams were associated directly or indirectly with real events. This is why it was important to use them in divination, and helped the growth of superstition and folklore believes. Medicine as a science and an anthropocentric art, could not ignore the importance of dreams, having in mind their popularity in antiquity. In ancient Greek medicine dreams can be divided into two basic categories. In the first one -which is related to religious medicine-dreams experienced by religionists are classified, when resorted to great religious sanctuaries such as those of Asclepius (Asclepieia) and Amphiaraos (Amfiaraeia). These dreams were the essential element for healing in this form of religious medicine, because after pilgrims underwent purifications they went to sleep in a special dwelling of the sanctuaries called "enkoimeterion" (Greek: the place to sleep) so that the healing god would come to their dreams either to cure them or to suggest treatment. In ancient Greek literature there are many reports of these experiences, but if there may be phenomena of self-suggestion, or they could be characterized as propaganda messages from the priesthood of each sanctuary for advertising purposes. The other category concerns the references about dreams found in ancient Greek medical literature, where one can find the attempts of ancient Greek physicians to interpret these dreams in a rational way as sings either of a corporal disease or of psychological distress. This second category will be the object of our study. Despite the different ways followed by each ancient Greek physician in order to explain dreams, their

  3. Human uses of ultrasound: ancient and modern.

    PubMed

    Wade, G

    2000-03-01

    For untold millennia certain animals have used ultrasound to probe places where light is unavailable, echo-locating bats being among the most adept. With ultrasonics, bats can quickly and safely 'see' at night in pursuing insects or flying in dark caves. Unable to hear ultrasound, humans have nevertheless made use of it. They did this anciently by taming wolves, with their keen ultrasonic hearing, for aiding in the hunt. Currently, they are doing this by developing technology to detect, generate and process ultrasound for searching in air or other gases, in water or other liquids, and in solids. The story of these technological developments is a large and fascinating mirror of human history involving the advent of such discoveries and inventions as magnetostriction, piezoelectricity, sonar, ultrasonic microscopy, etc.--the list is long. By now we are skilled in probing for underwater objects, the internal structure in materials, organs inside the human body, etc.--again the list is long. A number of different ultrasonic systems can be categorized into one of three key generic approaches: pulse-echo exploration, intensity mapping, and phase-amplitude measurement. In addition, each of these categories can be combined with the others to produce hybrid systems for which an unambiguous categorization is difficult or impossible. Challenging problems remain but solutions are being found. New principles and techniques are being discovered that will improve the use of ultrasound. Employing tomo-holographic techniques to reduce ambiguity in probing three-dimensional objects, near-field techniques to boost resolution and using limited-diffraction beams to provide image construction with ultra high frame rates are cases in point.

  4. [Light and blindness in ancient Egypt].

    PubMed

    Maria Rosso, Ana

    2010-01-01

    In Ancient Egypt, light and fire, which were closely related to the Sun God Ra, were the sources of life and well-being, while the dark meant danger and death. Similar to death, darkness drops on human beings in deep sleep and they enter a space inhabited by shadows. Dreams were believed to reveal an unknown world, to give the sleeper a glimpse into the future. Vision attracts distant objects and their light, on the other hand, can hurt the eyes like a burning flame. Eyes were the most important organ in Egyptian thought, as they allowed perception of the real world. Their importance has been immortalised in the myth of the Eye of Horus that explains the role of either eye. One represents the moonlight, which disperses the darkness of the night, and the other represents the sunshine, which creates life, and both could also represents the power of human intellect. Blindness, in turn, congenital or disease-related, was considered a divine punishment. A man, thus handicapped, would sink in a state of uncertainty and darkness. To protect the eyes from blindness, people used drops and ointments, which were believed to chase away all kinds of insects and demons that threatened with a variety of eye infections. Egyptian eye doctors or physicians, carried a special kit that contained green chrysocolla and a black kohl makeup, highly appreciated as prophylaxis because they personified Osiris' humours or body fluids. These products were offered to Gods to restore the brightness of divine glance and incite sun and moon to spread their beneficial light.

  5. Ground plan of the insect mushroom body: functional and evolutionary implications

    PubMed Central

    Sinakevitch, Irina; Brown, Sheena M.

    2014-01-01

    In most insects with olfactory glomeruli, each side of the brain possesses a mushroom body equipped with calyces supplied by olfactory projection neurons. Kenyon cells providing dendrites to the calyces supply a pedunculus and lobes divided into subdivisions supplying outputs to other brain areas. It is with reference to these components that most functional studies are interpreted. However, mushroom body structures are diverse, adapted to different ecologies and likely to serve various functions. In insects whose derived life styles preclude the detection of airborne odorants there is a loss of the antennal lobes and attenuation or loss of the calyces. Such taxa retain mushroom body lobes that as elaborate as those of mushroom bodies equipped with calyces. Antennal lobe loss and calycal regression also typifies taxa with short non-feeding adults where olfaction is redundant. Examples are cicadas and mayflies, the latter representing the most basal lineage of winged insects. Mushroom bodies of another basal taxon, the Odonata, possess a remnant calyx that may reflect the visual ecology of this group. That mushroom bodies persist in brains of secondarily anosmic insects suggests that they play roles in higher functions other than olfaction. Mushroom bodies are not ubiquitous: the most basal living insects, the wingless Archaeognatha, possess glomerular antennal lobes but lack mushroom bodies, suggesting that the ability to process airborne odorants preceded the acquisition of mushroom bodies. Archaeognathan brains are like those of higher malacostracans, which lack mushroom bodies but have elaborate olfactory centers laterally in the brain. PMID:19152379

  6. Relative densities of natural enemy and pest insects within California hedgerows.

    PubMed

    Gareau, Tara L Pisani; Letourneau, Deborah K; Shennan, Carol

    2013-08-01

    Research on hedgerow design for supporting communities of natural enemies for biological control lags behind farmer innovation in California, where assemblages of perennial plant species have been used on crop field margins in the last decade. We compared natural enemy to pest ratios between fields with hedgerows and fields with weedy margins by sampling beneficial insects and key pests of vegetables on sticky cards. We used biweekly vacuum samples to measure the distribution of key insect taxa among native perennial plant species with respect to the timing and intensity of bloom. Sticky cards indicated a trend that field margins with hedgerows support a higher ratio of natural enemies to pests compared with weedy borders. Hedgerow plant species hosted different relative densities of a generally overlapping insect community, and the timing and intensity of bloom only explained a small proportion of the variation in insect abundance at plant species and among hedgerows, with the exception of Orius spp. on Achillea millefolium L. and Baccharis pilularis De Candolle. Indicator Species Analysis showed an affinity of parasitic wasps, especially in the super-family Chalcidoidea, for B. pilularis whether or not it was in flower. A. millefolium was attractive to predatory and herbivorous homopterans; Heteromeles arbutifolia (Lindley) Roemer and B. pilularis to Diabrotica undecimpunctata undecimpunctata Mannerheim; and Rhamnus californica Eschsch to Hemerobiidae. Perennial hedgerows can be designed through species selection to support particular beneficial insect taxa, but plant resources beyond floral availability may be critical in providing structural refuges, alternative prey, and other attractive qualities that are often overlooked.

  7. Secondary production of benthic insects in three cold-desert streams

    SciTech Connect

    Gaines, W.L.

    1987-07-01

    Aquatic insect production was studied in three cold-desert streams in eastern Washington (Douglas Creek, Snively Springs, and Rattlesnake Springs). The size-frequency method was applied to individual taxa to estimate total insect production. production was also assessed for functional groups and trophic levels in each stream. Optioservus sp. (riffle beetles) and Baetis sp. (mayflies) accounted for 72% of the total insect numbers and 50% of the total biomass in Douglas Creek. Baetis sp. accounted for 42% of the total insect numbers and 25% of the total biomass in Snively Springs. Simulium sp. (blackflies) and Baetis sp. comprised 74% of the total insect numbers and 55% of the total biomass in Rattlesnake Springs. Grazer-scrapers (49%) and collectors (48%) were the most abundant functional groups in Douglas Creek. Collectors were the most abundant functional group in Snively Springs and Rattlesnake Springs. Herbivores and detritivores were the most abundant trophic level in Snively Springs and Rattlesnake Springs. Dipterans (midges and blackflies) were the most productive taxa within the study streams, accounting for 40% to 70% of the total community production. Production by collectors and detritivores was the highest of all functional groups and trophic levels in all study streams.

  8. 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

  9. 7 CFR 51.2122 - Insect injury.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 2 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Insect injury. 51.2122 Section 51.2122 Agriculture... Standards for Grades of Shelled Almonds Definitions § 51.2122 Insect injury. Insect injury means that the insect, web, or frass is present or there is definite evidence of insect feeding....

  10. 7 CFR 51.2290 - Insect injury.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 2 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Insect injury. 51.2290 Section 51.2290 Agriculture... Standards for Shelled English Walnuts (Juglans Regia) Definitions § 51.2290 Insect injury. Insect injury means that the insect, web, frass or other evidence of insects is present on the portion of kernel....

  11. 1977 Kansas Field Crop Insect Control Recommendations.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brooks, Leroy; Gates, Dell E.

    This publication is prepared to aid producers in selecting methods of insect population management that have proved effective under Kansas conditions. Topics covered include insect control on alfalfa, soil insects attacking corn, insects attacking above-ground parts of corn, and sorghum, wheat, and soybean insect control. The insecticides…

  12. 7 CFR 51.2122 - Insect injury.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 2 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Insect injury. 51.2122 Section 51.2122 Agriculture... Standards for Grades of Shelled Almonds Definitions § 51.2122 Insect injury. Insect injury means that the insect, web, or frass is present or there is definite evidence of insect feeding....

  13. 7 CFR 51.2008 - Insect injury.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 2 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Insect injury. 51.2008 Section 51.2008 Agriculture....2008 Insect injury. Insect injury means that the insect, frass or web is present inside the nut or the kernel shows definite evidence of insect feeding. Metric Conversion Table...

  14. 7 CFR 51.2290 - Insect injury.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 2 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Insect injury. 51.2290 Section 51.2290 Agriculture... Standards for Shelled English Walnuts (Juglans Regia) Definitions § 51.2290 Insect injury. Insect injury means that the insect, web, frass or other evidence of insects is present on the portion of kernel....

  15. 7 CFR 51.2008 - Insect injury.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 2 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Insect injury. 51.2008 Section 51.2008 Agriculture....2008 Insect injury. Insect injury means that the insect, frass or web is present inside the nut or the kernel shows definite evidence of insect feeding. Metric Conversion Table...

  16. Hydrodynamics of insect spermatozoa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pak, On Shun; Lauga, Eric

    2010-11-01

    Microorganism motility plays important roles in many biological processes including reproduction. Many microorganisms propel themselves by propagating traveling waves along their flagella. Depending on the species, propagation of planar waves (e.g. Ceratium) and helical waves (e.g. Trichomonas) were observed in eukaryotic flagellar motion, and hydrodynamic models for both were proposed in the past. However, the motility of insect spermatozoa remains largely unexplored. An interesting morphological feature of such cells, first observed in Tenebrio molitor and Bacillus rossius, is the double helical deformation pattern along the flagella, which is characterized by the presence of two superimposed helical flagellar waves (one with a large amplitude and low frequency, and the other with a small amplitude and high frequency). Here we present the first hydrodynamic investigation of the locomotion of insect spermatozoa. The swimming kinematics, trajectories and hydrodynamic efficiency of the swimmer are computed based on the prescribed double helical deformation pattern. We then compare our theoretical predictions with experimental measurements, and explore the dependence of the swimming performance on the geometric and dynamical parameters.

  17. Selective feeding by shredders on leaf-colonizing stream fungi: comparison of macroinvertebrate taxa.

    PubMed

    Arsuffi, T L; Suberkropp, K

    1989-04-01

    Laboratory experiments were conducted to examine the effects of fungal species composition of leaf detritus on the feeding of distantly related macroinvertebrate shredders. Preferences of shredders representing three orders of insects (Diptera: Tipulidae; Plecoptera: Pteronarcidae; Trichoptera: Limnephilidae and Calamatoceridae) and one each of gastropods (Basommatophora: Planorbidae) and crustaceans (Amphipoda: Gammaridae) were compared. Shredder preferences were based on consumption of leaves separately colonized by one of eight species of aquatic hyphomycetes. The feeding patterns of the invertebrates ranged from lack of feeding to heavy consumption of fungal-colonized leaves. Where consumption occurred, rank orders of preference and degree of selectivity differed among invertebrate shredders. Differences in preferences together with relationships between degree of selectivity and the relative mobility and digestive specializations exhibited by shredders suggest that the exploitation of fungal-colonized leaf detritus by different taxa is affected by phylogenetic constraints. Our results suggest that fungal species composition affects the feeding of a variety of shredders and that fungal species composition may be as important as degree of conditioning in determining food selection by shredders.

  18. Insect Repellents: Protect Your Child from Insect Bites

    MedlinePlus

    ... Choosing an Insect Repellent for Your Child Safety & Prevention Listen Español Text Size Email Print Share Choosing an Insect Repellent for Your Child Page Content Mosquitoes, biting flies, and tick bites can make children miserable. While most children ...

  19. Modern freshwater microbialite analogues for ancient dendritic reef structures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Laval, B.; Cady, S. L.; Pollack, J. C.; McKay, C. P.; Bird, J. S.; Grotzinger, J. P.; Ford, D. C.; Bohm, H. R.

    2000-01-01

    Microbialites are organosedimentary structures that can be constructed by a variety of metabolically distinct taxa. Consequently, microbialite structures abound in the fossil record, although the exact nature of the biogeochemical processes that produced them is often unknown. One such class of ancient calcareous structures, Epiphyton and Girvanella, appear in great abundance during the Early Cambrian. Together with Archeocyathids, stromatolites and thrombolites, they formed major Cambrian reef belts. To a large extent, Middle to Late Cambrian reefs are similar to Precambrian reefs, with the exception that the latter, including terminal Proterozoic reefs, do not contain Epiphyton or Girvanella. Here we report the discovery in Pavilion Lake, British Columbia, Canada, of a distinctive assemblage of freshwater calcite microbialites, some of which display microstructures similar to the fabrics displayed by Epiphyton and Girvanella. The morphologies of the modern microbialites vary with depth, and dendritic microstructures of the deep water (> 30 m) mounds indicate that they may be modern analogues for the ancient calcareous structures. These microbialites thus provide an opportunity to study the biogeochemical interactions that produce fabrics similar to those of some enigmatic Early Cambrian reef structures.

  20. Modern freshwater microbialite analogues for ancient dendritic reef structures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Laval, B.; Cady, S. L.; Pollack, J. C.; McKay, C. P.; Bird, J. S.; Grotzinger, J. P.; Ford, D. C.; Bohm, H. R.

    2000-01-01

    Microbialites are organosedimentary structures that can be constructed by a variety of metabolically distinct taxa. Consequently, microbialite structures abound in the fossil record, although the exact nature of the biogeochemical processes that produced them is often unknown. One such class of ancient calcareous structures, Epiphyton and Girvanella, appear in great abundance during the Early Cambrian. Together with Archeocyathids, stromatolites and thrombolites, they formed major Cambrian reef belts. To a large extent, Middle to Late Cambrian reefs are similar to Precambrian reefs, with the exception that the latter, including terminal Proterozoic reefs, do not contain Epiphyton or Girvanella. Here we report the discovery in Pavilion Lake, British Columbia, Canada, of a distinctive assemblage of freshwater calcite microbialites, some of which display microstructures similar to the fabrics displayed by Epiphyton and Girvanella. The morphologies of the modern microbialites vary with depth, and dendritic microstructures of the deep water (> 30 m) mounds indicate that they may be modern analogues for the ancient calcareous structures. These microbialites thus provide an opportunity to study the biogeochemical interactions that produce fabrics similar to those of some enigmatic Early Cambrian reef structures.

  1. The effect of remnant forest on insect successional response in tropical fire-impacted peatland: A bi-taxa comparison.

    PubMed

    Neoh, Kok-Boon; Bong, Lee-Jin; Muhammad, Ahmad; Itoh, Masayuki; Kozan, Osamu; Takematsu, Yoko; Yoshimura, Tsuyoshi

    2017-01-01

    Fire has become a common feature in tropical drained peatlands, and it may have detrimental impacts on the overall biodiversity of the forest ecosystem. We investigated the effect of fire on termite and ant assemblages and the importance of remnant forest in restoring species diversity in fire-impacted tropical peat swamp forests. The species loss of both termites and ants was as high as 50% in some fire-impacted peats compared to remnant forests, but in most cases the species richness for termites and ants was statistically equal along the land uses surveyed. However, a pronounced difference in functional group composition of termites was detected. In particular, sites close to remnant forests contained two additional termite feeding groups so that they shared a similar composition structure with remnant forests but were significantly different from sites distant from remnant forests. In general, ants were resilient to fire, and the similarity index showed a high degree of similarity among ant communities in all land uses surveyed. The Shannon diversity index for termites and ants decreased with increasing distance from the remnant forests and level of ecological degradation. Peat vegetation variables and ecological degradation were important in shaping termite and ant communities in the tropical peatlands, but their relative importance was not significant in fire-impacted peats regardless of distance from the remnant forests. This study highlights the importance of remnant forests as a biodiversity repository and natural buffer that can enhance species diversity and recolonization of forest-adapted species.

  2. The effect of remnant forest on insect successional response in tropical fire-impacted peatland: A bi-taxa comparison

    PubMed Central

    Neoh, Kok-Boon; Bong, Lee-Jin; Muhammad, Ahmad; Itoh, Masayuki; Kozan, Osamu; Takematsu, Yoko; Yoshimura, Tsuyoshi

    2017-01-01

    Fire has become a common feature in tropical drained peatlands, and it may have detrimental impacts on the overall biodiversity of the forest ecosystem. We investigated the effect of fire on termite and ant assemblages and the importance of remnant forest in restoring species diversity in fire-impacted tropical peat swamp forests. The species loss of both termites and ants was as high as 50% in some fire-impacted peats compared to remnant forests, but in most cases the species richness for termites and ants was statistically equal along the land uses surveyed. However, a pronounced difference in functional group composition of termites was detected. In particular, sites close to remnant forests contained two additional termite feeding groups so that they shared a similar composition structure with remnant forests but were significantly different from sites distant from remnant forests. In general, ants were resilient to fire, and the similarity index showed a high degree of similarity among ant communities in all land uses surveyed. The Shannon diversity index for termites and ants decreased with increasing distance from the remnant forests and level of ecological degradation. Peat vegetation variables and ecological degradation were important in shaping termite and ant communities in the tropical peatlands, but their relative importance was not significant in fire-impacted peats regardless of distance from the remnant forests. This study highlights the importance of remnant forests as a biodiversity repository and natural buffer that can enhance species diversity and recolonization of forest-adapted species. PMID:28334021

  3. Adaptive radiation and ecological diversification of Sulawesi's ancient lake shrimps.

    PubMed

    Von Rintelen, Kristina; Glaubrecht, Matthias; Schubart, Christoph D; Wessel, Andreas; Von Rintelen, Thomas

    2010-11-01

    Ancient lakes are natural laboratories for the study of adaptive radiation. Recently, two lake systems on the Indonesian island Sulawesi have emerged as promising new model systems. A species flock of atyid freshwater shrimps in the Malili lake system comprises 15 colorful endemic taxa. Mitochondrial DNA data suggest two independent colonizations by riverine ancestors. Only one colonization event led to subsequent radiation into 14 species, while the second clade comprises just one species. The vast majority of species (n= 12) are habitat specialists, which are confined to the larger Malili clade and include all taxa with species-specific color patterns and a restricted distribution within the five connected Malili lakes. Morphological, genetic, and ecological data are consistent with the existence of an adaptive radiation in the Malili lakes, involving the habitat-specific diversification of trophic morphology. In addition to testing criteria for the recognition of an adaptive radiation, an ancestral state reconstruction reveals an equal probability for either a riverine generalist or a lacustrine specialist as ancestor of the large Malili clade, which is interpreted as indicative of an early stage of habitat specialization within this radiation. Finally, our results suggest that species diversification may have been primarily driven by ecological specialization and allopatric speciation.

  4. Molecular analysis of ancient caries.

    PubMed

    Simón, Marc; Montiel, Rafael; Smerling, Andrea; Solórzano, Eduvigis; Díaz, Nancy; Álvarez-Sandoval, Brenda A; Jiménez-Marín, Andrea R; Malgosa, Assumpció

    2014-09-07

    An 84 base pair sequence of the Streptococcus mutans virulence factor, known as dextranase, has been obtained from 10 individuals from the Bronze Age to the Modern Era in Europe and from before and after the colonization in America. Modern samples show four polymorphic sites that have not been found in the ancient samples studied so far. The nucleotide and haplotype diversity of this region have increased over time, which could be reflecting the footprint of a population expansion. While this segment has apparently evolved according to neutral evolution, we have been able to detect one site that is under positive selection pressure both in present and past populations. This study is a first step to study the evolution of this microorganism, analysed using direct evidence obtained from ancient remains.

  5. Molecular analysis of ancient caries

    PubMed Central

    Simón, Marc; Montiel, Rafael; Smerling, Andrea; Solórzano, Eduvigis; Díaz, Nancy; Álvarez-Sandoval, Brenda A.; Jiménez-Marín, Andrea R.; Malgosa, Assumpció

    2014-01-01

    An 84 base pair sequence of the Streptococcus mutans virulence factor, known as dextranase, has been obtained from 10 individuals from the Bronze Age to the Modern Era in Europe and from before and after the colonization in America. Modern samples show four polymorphic sites that have not been found in the ancient samples studied so far. The nucleotide and haplotype diversity of this region have increased over time, which could be reflecting the footprint of a population expansion. While this segment has apparently evolved according to neutral evolution, we have been able to detect one site that is under positive selection pressure both in present and past populations. This study is a first step to study the evolution of this microorganism, analysed using direct evidence obtained from ancient remains. PMID:25056622

  6. Ancient DNA and human history.

    PubMed

    Slatkin, Montgomery; Racimo, Fernando

    2016-06-07

    We review studies of genomic data obtained by sequencing hominin fossils with particular emphasis on the unique information that ancient DNA (aDNA) can provide about the demographic history of humans and our closest relatives. We concentrate on nuclear genomic sequences that have been published in the past few years. In many cases, particularly in the Arctic, the Americas, and Europe, aDNA has revealed historical demographic patterns in a way that could not be resolved by analyzing present-day genomes alone. Ancient DNA from archaic hominins has revealed a rich history of admixture between early modern humans, Neanderthals, and Denisovans, and has allowed us to disentangle complex selective processes. Information from aDNA studies is nowhere near saturation, and we believe that future aDNA sequences will continue to change our understanding of hominin history.

  7. Ancient DNA and human history

    PubMed Central

    Slatkin, Montgomery; Racimo, Fernando

    2016-01-01

    We review studies of genomic data obtained by sequencing hominin fossils with particular emphasis on the unique information that ancient DNA (aDNA) can provide about the demographic history of humans and our closest relatives. We concentrate on nuclear genomic sequences that have been published in the past few years. In many cases, particularly in the Arctic, the Americas, and Europe, aDNA has revealed historical demographic patterns in a way that could not be resolved by analyzing present-day genomes alone. Ancient DNA from archaic hominins has revealed a rich history of admixture between early modern humans, Neanderthals, and Denisovans, and has allowed us to disentangle complex selective processes. Information from aDNA studies is nowhere near saturation, and we believe that future aDNA sequences will continue to change our understanding of hominin history. PMID:27274045

  8. Environmental RNAi in herbivorous insects

    PubMed Central

    Ivashuta, Sergey; Zhang, Yuanji; Wiggins, B. Elizabeth; Ramaseshadri, Partha; Segers, Gerrit C.; Johnson, Steven; Meyer, Steve E.; Kerstetter, Randy A.; McNulty, Brian C.; Bolognesi, Renata; Heck, Gregory R.

    2015-01-01

    Environmental RNAi (eRNAi) is a sequence-specific regulation of endogenous gene expression in a receptive organism by exogenous double-stranded RNA (dsRNA). Although demonstrated under artificial dietary conditions and via transgenic plant presentations in several herbivorous insects, the magnitude and consequence of exogenous dsRNA uptake and the role of eRNAi remains unknown under natural insect living conditions. Our analysis of coleopteran insects sensitive to eRNAi fed on wild-type plants revealed uptake of plant endogenous long dsRNAs, but not small RNAs. Subsequently, the dsRNAs were processed into 21 nt siRNAs by insects and accumulated in high quantities in insect cells. No accumulation of host plant-derived siRNAs was observed in lepidopteran larvae that are recalcitrant to eRNAi. Stability of ingested dsRNA in coleopteran larval gut followed by uptake and transport from the gut to distal tissues appeared to be enabling factors for eRNAi. Although a relatively large number of distinct coleopteran insect-processed plant-derived siRNAs had sequence complementarity to insect transcripts, the vast majority of the siRNAs were present in relatively low abundance, and RNA-seq analysis did not detect a significant effect of plant-derived siRNAs on insect transcriptome. In summary, we observed a broad genome-wide uptake of plant endogenous dsRNA and subsequent processing of ingested dsRNA into 21 nt siRNAs in eRNAi-sensitive insects under natural feeding conditions. In addition to dsRNA stability in gut lumen and uptake, dosage of siRNAs targeting a given insect transcript is likely an important factor in order to achieve measurable eRNAi-based regulation in eRNAi-competent insects that lack an apparent silencing amplification mechanism. PMID:25802407

  9. Environmental RNAi in herbivorous insects.

    PubMed

    Ivashuta, Sergey; Zhang, Yuanji; Wiggins, B Elizabeth; Ramaseshadri, Partha; Segers, Gerrit C; Johnson, Steven; Meyer, Steve E; Kerstetter, Randy A; McNulty, Brian C; Bolognesi, Renata; Heck, Gregory R

    2015-05-01

    Environmental RNAi (eRNAi) is a sequence-specific regulation of endogenous gene expression in a receptive organism by exogenous double-stranded RNA (dsRNA). Although demonstrated under artificial dietary conditions and via transgenic plant presentations in several herbivorous insects, the magnitude and consequence of exogenous dsRNA uptake and the role of eRNAi remains unknown under natural insect living conditions. Our analysis of coleopteran insects sensitive to eRNAi fed on wild-type plants revealed uptake of plant endogenous long dsRNAs, but not small RNAs. Subsequently, the dsRNAs were processed into 21 nt siRNAs by insects and accumulated in high quantities in insect cells. No accumulation of host plant-derived siRNAs was observed in lepidopteran larvae that are recalcitrant to eRNAi. Stability of ingested dsRNA in coleopteran larval gut followed by uptake and transport from the gut to distal tissues appeared to be enabling factors for eRNAi. Although a relatively large number of distinct coleopteran insect-processed plant-derived siRNAs had sequence complementarity to insect transcripts, the vast majority of the siRNAs were present in relatively low abundance, and RNA-seq analysis did not detect a significant effect of plant-derived siRNAs on insect transcriptome. In summary, we observed a broad genome-wide uptake of plant endogenous dsRNA and subsequent processing of ingested dsRNA into 21 nt siRNAs in eRNAi-sensitive insects under natural feeding conditions. In addition to dsRNA stability in gut lumen and uptake, dosage of siRNAs targeting a given insect transcript is likely an important factor in order to achieve measurable eRNAi-based regulation in eRNAi-competent insects that lack an apparent silencing amplification mechanism.

  10. Fossil evidence for key innovations in the evolution of insect diversity.

    PubMed

    Nicholson, David B; Ross, Andrew J; Mayhew, Peter J

    2014-10-22

    Explaining the taxonomic richness of the insects, comprising over half of all described species, is a major challenge in evolutionary biology. Previously, several evolutionary novelties (key innovations) have been posited to contribute to that richness, including the insect bauplan, wings, wing folding and complete metamorphosis, but evidence over their relative importance and modes of action is sparse and equivocal. Here, a new dataset on the first and last occurrences of fossil hexapod (insects and close relatives) families is used to show that basal families of winged insects (Palaeoptera, e.g. dragonflies) show higher origination and extinction rates in the fossil record than basal wingless groups (Apterygota, e.g. silverfish). Origination and extinction rates were maintained at levels similar to Palaeoptera in the more derived Polyneoptera (e.g. cockroaches) and Paraneoptera (e.g. true bugs), but extinction rates subsequently reduced in the very rich group of insects with complete metamorphosis (Holometabola, e.g. beetles). Holometabola show evidence of a recent slow-down in their high net diversification rate, whereas other winged taxa continue to diversify at constant but low rates. These data suggest that wings and complete metamorphosis have had the most effect on family-level insect macroevolution, and point to specific mechanisms by which they have influenced insect diversity through time. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  11. Fossil evidence for key innovations in the evolution of insect diversity

    PubMed Central

    Nicholson, David B.; Ross, Andrew J.; Mayhew, Peter J.

    2014-01-01

    Explaining the taxonomic richness of the insects, comprising over half of all described species, is a major challenge in evolutionary biology. Previously, several evolutionary novelties (key innovations) have been posited to contribute to that richness, including the insect bauplan, wings, wing folding and complete metamorphosis, but evidence over their relative importance and modes of action is sparse and equivocal. Here, a new dataset on the first and last occurrences of fossil hexapod (insects and close relatives) families is used to show that basal families of winged insects (Palaeoptera, e.g. dragonflies) show higher origination and extinction rates in the fossil record than basal wingless groups (Apterygota, e.g. silverfish). Origination and extinction rates were maintained at levels similar to Palaeoptera in the more derived Polyneoptera (e.g. cockroaches) and Paraneoptera (e.g. true bugs), but extinction rates subsequently reduced in the very rich group of insects with complete metamorphosis (Holometabola, e.g. beetles). Holometabola show evidence of a recent slow-down in their high net diversification rate, whereas other winged taxa continue to diversify at constant but low rates. These data suggest that wings and complete metamorphosis have had the most effect on family-level insect macroevolution, and point to specific mechanisms by which they have influenced insect diversity through time. PMID:25165766

  12. Ancient Earth, Alien Earths Event

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2014-08-20

    Panelists discuss how research on early Earth could help guide our search for habitable planets orbiting other stars at the “Ancient Earth, Alien Earths” Event at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC Wednesday, August 20, 2014. The event was sponsored by NASA, the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Smithsonian Institution and was moderated by Dr. David H. Grinspoon, Senior Scientist at the Planetary Science Institute. Photo Credit: (NASA/Aubrey Gemignani)

  13. Ancient Earth, Alien Earths Event

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2014-08-20

    Dr. David H. Grinspoon, Senior Scientist, Planetary Science Institute, moderates a panel at the “Ancient Earth, Alien Earths” Event at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC Wednesday, August 20, 2014. The event was sponsored by NASA, the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Smithsonian Institution and highlighted how research on early Earth could help guide our search for habitable planets orbiting other stars. Photo Credit: (NASA/Aubrey Gemignani)

  14. Ancient Earth, Alien Earths Event

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2014-08-20

    An audience member asks the panelists a question at the “Ancient Earth, Alien Earths” Event at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC Wednesday, August 20, 2014. The event was sponsored by NASA, the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Smithsonian Institution and was moderated by Dr. David H. Grinspoon, Senior Scientist at the Planetary Science Institute. Six scientists discussed how research on early Earth could help guide our search for habitable planets orbiting other stars. Photo Credit: (NASA/Aubrey Gemignani)

  15. Psychiatric Thoughts in Ancient India*

    PubMed Central

    Abhyankar, Ravi

    2015-01-01

    A review of the literature regarding psychiatric thoughts in ancient India is attempted. Besides interesting reading, many of the concepts are still relevant and can be used in day-to-day practice especially towards healthy and happy living. Certain concepts are surprisingly contemporary and valid today. They can be used in psychotherapy and counselling and for promoting mental health. However, the description and classification of mental illness is not in tune with modern psychiatry. PMID:25838724

  16. Eclipses and Ancient Greek Philosophers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rovithis-Livaniou, H.; Rovithis, P.

    2007-05-01

    Eclipses had attracted the interest of many ancient Greek philosophers, independently where they lived: on the mainland, or in the Greek colonies. In this short review their opinions are presented together with some predicted or registered solar or lunar eclipses. Moreover, the way of prediction as well as some other observations -like occultations by the Moon- are noted. Other findings -like the spherical shape of the Earth, the dimensions and the distances of the Moon and the Sun- are also mentioned.

  17. Nanoscience of an ancient pigment.

    PubMed

    Johnson-McDaniel, Darrah; Barrett, Christopher A; Sharafi, Asma; Salguero, Tina T

    2013-02-06

    We describe monolayer nanosheets of calcium copper tetrasilicate, CaCuSi(4)O(10), which have strong near-IR luminescence and are amenable to solution processing methods. The facile exfoliation of bulk CaCuSi(4)O(10) into nanosheets is especially surprising in view of the long history of this material as the colored component of Egyptian blue, a well-known pigment from ancient times.

  18. The First Attested Extraction of Ancient DNA in Legumes (Fabaceae).

    PubMed

    Mikić, Aleksandar M

    2015-01-01

    Ancient DNA (aDNA) is any DNA extracted from ancient specimens, important for diverse evolutionary researches. The major obstacles in aDNA studies are mutations, contamination and fragmentation. Its studies may be crucial for crop history if integrated with human aDNA research and historical linguistics, both general and relating to agriculture. Legumes (Fabaceae) are one of the richest end economically most important plant families, not only from Neolithic onwards, since they were used as food by Neanderthals and Paleolithic modern man. The idea of extracting and analyzing legume aDNA was considered beneficial for both basic science and applied research, with an emphasis on genetic resources and plant breeding. The first reported successful and attested extraction of the legume aDNA was done from the sample of charred seeds of pea (Pisum sativum) and bitter vetch (Vicia ervilia) from Hissar, southeast Serbia, dated to 1,350-1,000 Before Christ. A modified version of cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) method and the commercial kit for DNA extraction QIAGEN DNAesy yielded several ng μl(-1) of aDNA of both species and, after the whole genome amplification and with a fragment of nuclear ribosomal DNA gene 26S rDNA, resulted in the detection of the aDNA among the PCR products. A comparative analysis of four informative chloroplast DNA regions (trnSG, trnK, matK, and rbcL) among the modern wild and cultivated pea taxa demonstrated not only that the extracted aDNA was genuine, on the basis of mutation rate, but also that the ancient Hissar pea was most likely an early domesticated crop, related to the modern wild pea of a neighboring region. It is anticipated that this premier extraction of legume aDNA may provide taxonomists with the answers to diverse questions, such as leaf development in legumes, as well as with novel data on the single steps in domesticating legume crops worldwide.

  19. Cryptic Species in Putative Ancient Asexual Darwinulids (Crustacea, Ostracoda)

    PubMed Central

    Schön, Isa; Pinto, Ricardo L.; Halse, Stuart; Smith, Alison J.; Martens, Koen; Birky, C. William

    2012-01-01

    Background Fully asexually reproducing taxa lack outcrossing. Hence, the classic Biological Species Concept cannot be applied. Methodology/Principal Findings We used DNA sequences from the mitochondrial COI gene and the nuclear ITS2 region to check species boundaries according to the evolutionary genetic (EG) species concept in five morphospecies in the putative ancient asexual ostracod genera, Penthesilenula and Darwinula, from different continents. We applied two methods for detecting cryptic species, namely the K/θ method and the General Mixed Yule Coalescent model (GMYC). We could confirm the existence of species in all five darwinulid morphospecies and additional cryptic diversity in three morphospecies, namely in Penthesilenula brasiliensis, Darwinula stevensoni and in P. aotearoa. The number of cryptic species within one morphospecies varied between seven (P. brasiliensis), five to six (D. stevensoni) and two (P. aotearoa), respectively, depending on the method used. Cryptic species mainly followed continental distributions. We also found evidence for coexistence at the local scale for Brazilian cryptic species of P. brasiliensis and P. aotearoa. Our ITS2 data confirmed that species exist in darwinulids but detected far less EG species, namely two to three cryptic species in P. brasiliensis and no cryptic species at all in the other darwinulid morphospecies. Conclusions/Significance Our results clearly demonstrate that both species and cryptic diversity can be recognized in putative ancient asexual ostracods using the EG species concept, and that COI data are more suitable than ITS2 for this purpose. The discovery of up to eight cryptic species within a single morphospecies will significantly increase estimates of biodiversity in this asexual ostracod group. Which factors, other than long-term geographic isolation, are important for speciation processes in these ancient asexuals remains to be investigated. PMID:22802945

  20. Orthopedic surgery in ancient Egypt

    PubMed Central

    Blomstedt, Patric

    2014-01-01

    Background — Ancient Egypt might be considered the cradle of medicine. The modern literature is, however, sometimes rather too enthusiastic regarding the procedures that are attributed an Egyptian origin. I briefly present and analyze the claims regarding orthopedic surgery in Egypt, what was actually done by the Egyptians, and what may have been incorrectly ascribed to them. Methods — I reviewed the original sources and also the modern literature regarding surgery in ancient Egypt, concentrating especially on orthopedic surgery. Results — As is well known, both literary sources and the archaeological/osteological material bear witness to treatment of various fractures. The Egyptian painting, often claimed to depict the reduction of a dislocated shoulder according to Kocher’s method, is, however, open to interpretation. Therapeutic amputations are never depicted or mentioned in the literary sources, while the specimens suggested to demonstrate such amputations are not convincing. Interpretation — The ancient Egyptians certainly treated fractures of various kinds, and with varying degrees of success. Concerning the reductions of dislocated joints and therapeutic amputations, there is no clear evidence for the existence of such procedures. It would, however, be surprising if dislocations were not treated, even though they have not left traces in the surviving sources. Concerning amputations, the general level of Egyptian surgery makes it unlikely that limb amputations were done, even if they may possibly have been performed under extraordinary circumstances. PMID:25140982

  1. Dental surgery in ancient Egypt.

    PubMed

    Blomstedt, Patric

    2013-01-01

    Many different surgical procedures have over the years been attributed to the ancient Egyptians. This is also true regarding the field of dental surgery. The existence of dentists in ancient Egypt is documented and several recipes exist concerning dental conditions. However, no indications of dental surgery are found in the medical papyri or in the visual arts. Regarding the osteological material/mummies, the possible indications of dental surgery are few and weak. There is not a single example of a clear tooth extraction, nor of a filling or of an artificial tooth. The suggested examples of evacuation of apical abscesses can be more readily explained as outflow sinuses. Regarding the suggested bridges, these are constituted of one find likely dating to the Old Kingdom, and one possibly, but perhaps more likely, dating to the Ptolemaic era. Both seem to be too weak to have served any possible practical purpose in a living patient, and the most likely explanation would be to consider them as a restoration performed during the mummification process. Thus, while a form of dentistry did certainly exist in ancient Egypt, there is today no evidence of dental surgery.

  2. RNAI: Future in insect management

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    RNA interference is a post-transcriptional, gene regulation mechanism found in virtually all plants and animals including insects. The demonstration of RNAi in insects and its successful use as a tool in the study of functional genomics opened the door to the development of a variety of novel, envir...

  3. Polarization Imaging and Insect Vision

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Green, Adam S.; Ohmann, Paul R.; Leininger, Nick E.; Kavanaugh, James A.

    2010-01-01

    For several years we have included discussions about insect vision in the optics units of our introductory physics courses. This topic is a natural extension of demonstrations involving Brewster's reflection and Rayleigh scattering of polarized light because many insects heavily rely on optical polarization for navigation and communication.…

  4. A Template for Insect Cryopreservation

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    This article is intended to update the reader on the progress made on insect embryo cryopreservation in the past 20 years and gives information for developing a protocol for cryopreserving insects by using a 2001 study as a template. The study used for the template is the cryopreservation of the Old...

  5. Another scale insect on beech

    Treesearch

    Alex L. Shigo

    1962-01-01

    A scale insect, tentatively identified as Xylococculus betulae (Perg.) Morrison, is responsible for one type of bark roughening that is commonly seen on American beech (Fagus grandifolia Ehrh.) trees in certain areas of New England. The insect has also been found on paper birch (Betula papyrifera Marsh.) and...

  6. Eicosanoids mediate insect hemocyte migration

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Hemocyte chemotaxis toward infection and wound sites is an essential component of insect defense reactions, although the biochemical signal mechanisms responsible for mediating chemotaxis in insect cells are not well understood. Here we report on the outcomes of experiments designed to test the hyp...

  7. Plant defense against insect herbivores.

    PubMed

    Fürstenberg-Hägg, Joel; Zagrobelny, Mika; Bak, Søren

    2013-05-16

    Plants have been interacting with insects for several hundred million years, leading to complex defense approaches against various insect feeding strategies. Some defenses are constitutive while others are induced, although the insecticidal defense compound or protein classes are often similar. Insect herbivory induce several internal signals from the wounded tissues, including calcium ion fluxes, phosphorylation cascades and systemic- and jasmonate signaling. These are perceived in undamaged tissues, which thereafter reinforce their defense by producing different, mostly low molecular weight, defense compounds. These bioactive specialized plant defense compounds may repel or intoxicate insects, while defense proteins often interfere with their digestion. Volatiles are released upon herbivory to repel herbivores, attract predators or for communication between leaves or plants, and to induce defense responses. Plants also apply morphological features like waxes, trichomes and latices to make the feeding more difficult for the insects. Extrafloral nectar, food bodies and nesting or refuge sites are produced to accommodate and feed the predators of the herbivores. Meanwhile, herbivorous insects have adapted to resist plant defenses, and in some cases even sequester the compounds and reuse them in their own defense. Both plant defense and insect adaptation involve metabolic costs, so most plant-insect interactions reach a stand-off, where both host and herbivore survive although their development is suboptimal.

  8. Plant Defense against Insect Herbivores

    PubMed Central

    Fürstenberg-Hägg, Joel; Zagrobelny, Mika; Bak, Søren

    2013-01-01

    Plants have been interacting with insects for several hundred million years, leading to complex defense approaches against various insect feeding strategies. Some defenses are constitutive while others are induced, although the insecticidal defense compound or protein classes are often similar. Insect herbivory induce several internal signals from the wounded tissues, including calcium ion fluxes, phosphorylation cascades and systemic- and jasmonate signaling. These are perceived in undamaged tissues, which thereafter reinforce their defense by producing different, mostly low molecular weight, defense compounds. These bioactive specialized plant defense compounds may repel or intoxicate insects, while defense proteins often interfere with their digestion. Volatiles are released upon herbivory to repel herbivores, attract predators or for communication between leaves or plants, and to induce defense responses. Plants also apply morphological features like waxes, trichomes and latices to make the feeding more difficult for the insects. Extrafloral nectar, food bodies and nesting or refuge sites are produced to accommodate and feed the predators of the herbivores. Meanwhile, herbivorous insects have adapted to resist plant defenses, and in some cases even sequester the compounds and reuse them in their own defense. Both plant defense and insect adaptation involve metabolic costs, so most plant-insect interactions reach a stand-off, where both host and herbivore survive although their development is suboptimal. PMID:23681010

  9. Polarization Imaging and Insect Vision

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Green, Adam S.; Ohmann, Paul R.; Leininger, Nick E.; Kavanaugh, James A.

    2010-01-01

    For several years we have included discussions about insect vision in the optics units of our introductory physics courses. This topic is a natural extension of demonstrations involving Brewster's reflection and Rayleigh scattering of polarized light because many insects heavily rely on optical polarization for navigation and communication.…

  10. Reader Survey for INSECT ALERTS.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller, Mason E.; Sauer, Richard J.

    To determine what might be done to improve "Insect Alerts," which is a newsletter that carries "information on insect biology, abundance, activity and interpretation of control need," put out through the Michigan Cooperative Extension Service 26 weeks a year, a survey was conducted. A mail questionnaire was sent to all 120 county extension…

  11. Challenges and prospects in the telemetry of insects.

    PubMed

    Daniel Kissling, W; Pattemore, David E; Hagen, Melanie

    2014-08-01

    Radio telemetry has been widely used to study the space use and movement behaviour of vertebrates, but transmitter sizes have only recently become small enough to allow tracking of insects under natural field conditions. Here, we review the available literature on insect telemetry using active (battery-powered) radio transmitters and compare this technology to harmonic radar and radio frequency identification (RFID) which use passive tags (i.e. without a battery). The first radio telemetry studies with insects were published in the late 1980s, and subsequent studies have addressed aspects of insect ecology, behaviour and evolution. Most insect telemetry studies have focused on habitat use and movement, including quantification of movement paths, home range sizes, habitat selection, and movement distances. Fewer studies have addressed foraging behaviour, activity patterns, migratory strategies, or evolutionary aspects. The majority of radio telemetry studies have been conducted outside the tropics, usually with beetles (Coleoptera) and crickets (Orthoptera), but bees (Hymenoptera), dobsonflies (Megaloptera), and dragonflies (Odonata) have also been radio-tracked. In contrast to the active transmitters used in radio telemetry, the much lower weight of harmonic radar and RFID tags allows them to be used with a broader range of insect taxa. However, the fixed detection zone of a stationary radar unit (< 1 km diameter) and the restricted detection distance of RFID tags (usually < 1-5 m) constitute major constraints of these technologies compared to radio telemetry. Most of the active transmitters in radio telemetry have been applied to insects with a body mass exceeding 1 g, but smaller species in the range 0.2-0.5 g (e.g. bumblebees and orchid bees) have now also been tracked. Current challenges of radio-tracking insects in the field are related to the constraints of a small transmitter, including short battery life (7-21 days), limited tracking range on the ground

  12. Insect Immunity to Entomopathogenic Fungi.

    PubMed

    Lu, H-L; St Leger, R J

    2016-01-01

    The study of infection and immunity in insects has achieved considerable prominence with the appreciation that their host defense mechanisms share many fundamental characteristics with the innate immune system of vertebrates. Studies on the highly tractable model organism Drosophila in particular have led to a detailed understanding of conserved innate immunity networks, such as Toll. However, most of these studies have used opportunistic human pathogens and may not have revealed specialized immune strategies that have arisen through evolutionary arms races with natural insect pathogens. Fungi are the commonest natural insect pathogens, and in this review, we focus on studies using Metarhizium and Beauveria spp. that have addressed immune system function and pathogen virulence via behavioral avoidance, the use of physical barriers, and the activation of local and systemic immune responses. In particular, we highlight studies on the evolutionary genetics of insect immunity and discuss insect-pathogen coevolution. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Population fluctuation in phytophagous insects

    SciTech Connect

    Redfearn, A.; Pimm, S.L. )

    1994-06-01

    We examined how community interactions affect year-to-year population variability in three groups of phytophagous insects: British aphids and moths, and Canadian moths. We first examined how the number of host plant species on which a given phytophagous insect species feeds affects its population variability. Specialist insect species showed a weak tendency to be more variable than generalist species. We then examined how the number of species of parasitoids from which a given phytophagous insects species suffers affects its population variability. Species that are host to few parasitoid species showed a weak tendency to be more variable than species with many parsitoid species. These relationships also depend on other aspects of the life histories of the phytophagous insect species.

  14. An investigation into the ancient abortion laws: comparing ancient Persia with ancient Greece and Rome.

    PubMed

    Yarmohammadi, Hassan; Zargaran, Arman; Vatanpour, Azadeh; Abedini, Ehsan; Adhami, Siamak

    2013-01-01

    Since the dawn of medicine, medical rights and ethics have always been one of mankind's concerns. In any civilisation, attention paid to medical laws and ethics depends on the progress of human values and the advancement of medical science. The history of various civilisations teaches that each had its own views on medical ethics, but most had something in common. Ancient civilisations such as Greece, Rome, or Assyria did not consider the foetus to be alive and therefore to have human rights. In contrast, ancient Persians valued the foetus as a living person equal to others. Accordingly, they brought laws against abortion, even in cases of sexual abuse. Furthermore, abortion was considered to be a murder and punishments were meted out to the mother, father, and the person performing it.

  15. Eusocial insects as superorganisms

    PubMed Central

    Hou, Chen; Kaspari, Michael

    2010-01-01

    We recently published a paper titled “Energetic Basis of Colonial Living in Social Insects” showing that basic features of whole colony physiology and life history follow virtually the same size-dependencies as unitary organisms when a colony’s mass is the summed mass of individuals. We now suggest that these results are evidence, not only for the superorganism hypothesis, but also for colony level selection. In addition, we further examine the implications of these results for the metabolism and lifetime reproductive success of eusocial insect colonies. We conclude by discussing the mechanisms which may underlie the observed mass-dependence of survival, growth and reproduction in these colonies. PMID:20798827

  16. The aerodynamics of insect flight.

    PubMed

    Sane, Sanjay P

    2003-12-01

    The flight of insects has fascinated physicists and biologists for more than a century. Yet, until recently, researchers were unable to rigorously quantify the complex wing motions of flapping insects or measure the forces and flows around their wings. However, recent developments in high-speed videography and tools for computational and mechanical modeling have allowed researchers to make rapid progress in advancing our understanding of insect flight. These mechanical and computational fluid dynamic models, combined with modern flow visualization techniques, have revealed that the fluid dynamic phenomena underlying flapping flight are different from those of non-flapping, 2-D wings on which most previous models were based. In particular, even at high angles of attack, a prominent leading edge vortex remains stably attached on the insect wing and does not shed into an unsteady wake, as would be expected from non-flapping 2-D wings. Its presence greatly enhances the forces generated by the wing, thus enabling insects to hover or maneuver. In addition, flight forces are further enhanced by other mechanisms acting during changes in angle of attack, especially at stroke reversal, the mutual interaction of the two wings at dorsal stroke reversal or wing-wake interactions following stroke reversal. This progress has enabled the development of simple analytical and empirical models that allow us to calculate the instantaneous forces on flapping insect wings more accurately than was previously possible. It also promises to foster new and exciting multi-disciplinary collaborations between physicists who seek to explain the phenomenology, biologists who seek to understand its relevance to insect physiology and evolution, and engineers who are inspired to build micro-robotic insects using these principles. This review covers the basic physical principles underlying flapping flight in insects, results of recent experiments concerning the aerodynamics of insect flight, as well

  17. A metagenomic study of primate insect diet diversity.

    PubMed

    Pickett, Sarah B; Bergey, Christina M; Di Fiore, Anthony

    2012-07-01

    Descriptions of primate diets are generally based on either direct observation of foraging behavior, morphological classification of food remains from feces, or analysis of the stomach contents of deceased individuals. Some diet items (e.g. insect prey), however, are difficult to identify visually, and observation conditions often do not permit adequate quantitative sampling of feeding behavior. Moreover, the taxonomically informative morphology of some food species (e.g. swallowed seeds, insect exoskeletons) may be destroyed by the digestive process. Because of these limitations, we used a metagenomic approach to conduct a preliminary, "proof of concept" study of interspecific variation in the insect component of the diets of six sympatric New World monkeys known, based on observational field studies, to differ markedly in their feeding ecology. We used generalized arthropod polymerase chain reaction (PCR) primers and cloning to sequence mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences of the arthropod cytochrome b (CYT B) gene from fecal samples of wild woolly, titi, saki, capuchin, squirrel, and spider monkeys collected from a single sampling site in western Amazonia where these genera occur sympatrically. We then assigned preliminary taxonomic identifications to the sequences by basic local alignment search tool (BLAST) comparison to arthropod CYT B sequences present in GenBank. This study is the first to use molecular techniques to identify insect prey in primate diets. The results suggest that a metagenomic approach may prove valuable in augmenting and corroborating observational data and increasing the resolution of primate diet studies, although the lack of comparative reference sequences for many South American insects limits the approach at present. As such reference data become available for more animal and plant taxa, this approach also holds promise for studying additional components of primate diets. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. Measuring Stratigraphic Congruence Across Trees, Higher Taxa, and Time.

    PubMed

    O'Connor, Anne; Wills, Matthew A

    2016-09-01

    The congruence between the order of cladistic branching and the first appearance dates of fossil lineages can be quantified using a variety of indices. Good matching is a prerequisite for the accurate time calibration of trees, while the distribution of congruence indices across large samples of cladograms has underpinned claims about temporal and taxonomic patterns of completeness in the fossil record. The most widely used stratigraphic congruence indices are the stratigraphic consistency index (SCI), the modified Manhattan stratigraphic measure (MSM*), and the gap excess ratio (GER) (plus its derivatives; the topological GER and the modified GER). Many factors are believed to variously bias these indices, with several empirical and simulation studies addressing some subset of the putative interactions. This study combines both approaches to quantify the effects (on all five indices) of eight variables reasoned to constrain the distribution of possible values (the number of taxa, tree balance, tree resolution, range of first occurrence (FO) dates, center of gravity of FO dates, the variability of FO dates, percentage of extant taxa, and percentage of taxa with no fossil record). Our empirical data set comprised 647 published animal and plant cladograms spanning the entire Phanerozoic, and for these data we also modeled the effects of mean age of FOs (as a proxy for clade age), the taxonomic rank of the clade, and the higher taxonomic group to which it belonged. The center of gravity of FO dates had not been investigated hitherto, and this was found to correlate most strongly with some measures of stratigraphic congruence in our empirical study (top-heavy clades had better congruence). The modified GER was the index least susceptible to bias. We found significant differences across higher taxa for all indices; arthropods had lower congruence and tetrapods higher congruence. Stratigraphic congruence-however measured-also varied throughout the Phanerozoic, reflecting

  19. Measuring Stratigraphic Congruence Across Trees, Higher Taxa, and Time

    PubMed Central

    O'Connor, Anne; Wills, Matthew A.

    2016-01-01

    The congruence between the order of cladistic branching and the first appearance dates of fossil lineages can be quantified using a variety of indices. Good matching is a prerequisite for the accurate time calibration of trees, while the distribution of congruence indices across large samples of cladograms has underpinned claims about temporal and taxonomic patterns of completeness in the fossil record. The most widely used stratigraphic congruence indices are the stratigraphic consistency index (SCI), the modified Manhattan stratigraphic measure (MSM*), and the gap excess ratio (GER) (plus its derivatives; the topological GER and the modified GER). Many factors are believed to variously bias these indices, with several empirical and simulation studies addressing some subset of the putative interactions. This study combines both approaches to quantify the effects (on all five indices) of eight variables reasoned to constrain the distribution of possible values (the number of taxa, tree balance, tree resolution, range of first occurrence (FO) dates, center of gravity of FO dates, the variability of FO dates, percentage of extant taxa, and percentage of taxa with no fossil record). Our empirical data set comprised 647 published animal and plant cladograms spanning the entire Phanerozoic, and for these data we also modeled the effects of mean age of FOs (as a proxy for clade age), the taxonomic rank of the clade, and the higher taxonomic group to which it belonged. The center of gravity of FO dates had not been investigated hitherto, and this was found to correlate most strongly with some measures of stratigraphic congruence in our empirical study (top-heavy clades had better congruence). The modified GER was the index least susceptible to bias. We found significant differences across higher taxa for all indices; arthropods had lower congruence and tetrapods higher congruence. Stratigraphic congruence—however measured—also varied throughout the Phanerozoic

  20. Beyond antioxidant genes in the ancient NRF2 regulatory network

    PubMed Central

    Lacher, Sarah E.; Lee, Joslynn S.; Wang, Xuting; Campbell, Michelle R.; Bell, Douglas A.; Slattery, Matthew

    2016-01-01

    NRF2, a basic leucine zipper transcription factor encoded by the gene NFE2L2, is a master regulator of the transcriptional response to oxidative stress. NRF2 is structurally and functionally conserved from insects to humans, and it heterodimerizes with the small MAF transcription factors to bind a consensus DNA sequence (the antioxidant response element, or ARE) and regulate gene expression. We have used genome-wide chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP-seq) and gene expression data to identify direct NRF2 target genes in Drosophila and humans. These data have allowed us to construct the deeply conserved ancient NRF2 regulatory network – target genes that are conserved from Drosophila to human. The ancient network consists of canonical antioxidant genes, as well as genes related to proteasomal pathways, metabolism, and a number of less expected genes. We have also used enhancer reporter assays and electrophoretic mobility shift assays to confirm NRF2-mediated regulation of ARE (antioxidant response element) activity at a number of these novel target genes. Interestingly, the ancient network also highlights a prominent negative feedback loop; this, combined with the finding that and NRF2-mediated regulatory output is tightly linked to the quality of the ARE it is targeting, suggests that precise regulation of nuclear NRF2 concentration is necessary to achieve proper quantitative regulation of distinct gene sets. Together, these findings highlight the importance of balance in the NRF2-ARE pathway, and indicate that NRF2-mediated regulation of xenobiotic metabolism, glucose metabolism, and proteostasis have been central to this pathway since its inception. PMID:26163000

  1. Characterization of an Ancient Lepidopteran Lateral Gene Transfer

    PubMed Central

    Wheeler, David; Redding, Amanda J.; Werren, John H.

    2013-01-01

    Bacteria to eukaryote lateral gene transfers (LGT) are an important potential source of material for the evolution of novel genetic traits. The explosion in the number of newly sequenced genomes provides opportunities to identify and characterize examples of these lateral gene transfer events, and to assess their role in the evolution of new genes. In this paper, we describe an ancient lepidopteran LGT of a glycosyl hydrolase family 31 gene (GH31) from an Enterococcus bacteria. PCR amplification between the LGT and a flanking insect gene confirmed that the GH31 was integrated into the Bombyx mori genome and was not a result of an assembly error. Database searches in combination with degenerate PCR on a panel of 7 lepidopteran families confirmed that the GH31 LGT event occurred deep within the Order approximately 65–145 million years ago. The most basal species in which the LGT was found is Plutella xylostella (superfamily: Yponomeutoidea). Array data from Bombyx mori shows that GH31 is expressed, and low dN/dS ratios indicates the LGT coding sequence is under strong stabilizing selection. These findings provide further support for the proposition that bacterial LGTs are relatively common in insects and likely to be an underappreciated source of adaptive genetic material. PMID:23533610

  2. The evolutionary reality of higher taxa in mammals.

    PubMed

    Humphreys, Aelys M; Barraclough, Timothy G

    2014-05-22

    Species are generally regarded as a fundamental unit of biodiversity. By contrast, higher taxa such as genera and families, while widely used as biodiversity metrics and for classification and communication, are generally not believed to be shaped by shared evolutionary processes in the same way as species. We use simulations to show that processes which are important for emergence of evolutionarily significant units (ESUs) at the species level, namely geographical isolation and ecological divergence, can generate evolutionary independence above the species level and thereby lead to emergence of discrete phylogenetic clusters (higher ESUs). Extending phylogenetic approaches for delimiting evolutionarily significant species to broader phylogenetic scales, we find evidence for the existence of higher ESUs in mammals. In carnivores, euungulates and lagomorphs the hierarchical level of units detected correspond, on average, to the level of family or genus in traditional taxonomy. The units in euungulates are associated with divergent patterns of body mass, consistent with occupation of distinct ecological zones. Our findings demonstrate a new framework for studying biodiversity that unifies approaches at species and higher levels, thus potentially restoring higher taxa to their historical status as natural entities.

  3. A microarray for assessing transcription from pelagic marine microbial taxa

    PubMed Central

    Shilova, Irina N; Robidart, Julie C; James Tripp, H; Turk-Kubo, Kendra; Wawrik, Boris; Post, Anton F; Thompson, Anne W; Ward, Bess; Hollibaugh, James T; Millard, Andy; Ostrowski, Martin; J Scanlan, David; Paerl, Ryan W; Stuart, Rhona; Zehr, Jonathan P

    2014-01-01

    Metagenomic approaches have revealed unprecedented genetic diversity within microbial communities across vast expanses of the world's oceans. Linking this genetic diversity with key metabolic and cellular activities of microbial assemblages is a fundamental challenge. Here we report on a collaborative effort to design MicroTOOLs (Microbiological Targets for Ocean Observing Laboratories), a high-density oligonucleotide microarray that targets functional genes of diverse taxa in pelagic and coastal marine microbial communities. MicroTOOLs integrates nucleotide sequence information from disparate data types: genomes, PCR-amplicons, metagenomes, and metatranscriptomes. It targets 19 400 unique sequences over 145 different genes that are relevant to stress responses and microbial metabolism across the three domains of life and viruses. MicroTOOLs was used in a proof-of-concept experiment that compared the functional responses of microbial communities following Fe and P enrichments of surface water samples from the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre. We detected transcription of 68% of the gene targets across major taxonomic groups, and the pattern of transcription indicated relief from Fe limitation and transition to N limitation in some taxa. Prochlorococcus (eHLI), Synechococcus (sub-cluster 5.3) and Alphaproteobacteria SAR11 clade (HIMB59) showed the strongest responses to the Fe enrichment. In addition, members of uncharacterized lineages also responded. The MicroTOOLs microarray provides a robust tool for comprehensive characterization of major functional groups of microbes in the open ocean, and the design can be easily amended for specific environments and research questions. PMID:24477198

  4. A microarray for assessing transcription from pelagic marine microbial taxa.

    PubMed

    Shilova, Irina N; Robidart, Julie C; James Tripp, H; Turk-Kubo, Kendra; Wawrik, Boris; Post, Anton F; Thompson, Anne W; Ward, Bess; Hollibaugh, James T; Millard, Andy; Ostrowski, Martin; Scanlan, David J; Paerl, Ryan W; Stuart, Rhona; Zehr, Jonathan P

    2014-07-01

    Metagenomic approaches have revealed unprecedented genetic diversity within microbial communities across vast expanses of the world's oceans. Linking this genetic diversity with key metabolic and cellular activities of microbial assemblages is a fundamental challenge. Here we report on a collaborative effort to design MicroTOOLs (Microbiological Targets for Ocean Observing Laboratories), a high-density oligonucleotide microarray that targets functional genes of diverse taxa in pelagic and coastal marine microbial communities. MicroTOOLs integrates nucleotide sequence information from disparate data types: genomes, PCR-amplicons, metagenomes, and metatranscriptomes. It targets 19 400 unique sequences over 145 different genes that are relevant to stress responses and microbial metabolism across the three domains of life and viruses. MicroTOOLs was used in a proof-of-concept experiment that compared the functional responses of microbial communities following Fe and P enrichments of surface water samples from the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre. We detected transcription of 68% of the gene targets across major taxonomic groups, and the pattern of transcription indicated relief from Fe limitation and transition to N limitation in some taxa. Prochlorococcus (eHLI), Synechococcus (sub-cluster 5.3) and Alphaproteobacteria SAR11 clade (HIMB59) showed the strongest responses to the Fe enrichment. In addition, members of uncharacterized lineages also responded. The MicroTOOLs microarray provides a robust tool for comprehensive characterization of major functional groups of microbes in the open ocean, and the design can be easily amended for specific environments and research questions.

  5. Unsegmented annelids? Possible origins of four lophotrochozoan worm taxa.

    PubMed

    Halanych, Kenneth M; Dahlgren, Thomas G; McHugh, Damhnait

    2002-07-01

    In traditional classification schemes, the Annelida consists of the Polychaeta and the Clitellata (the latter including the Oligochaeta and Hirudinida). However, recent analyses suggest that annelids are much more diverse than traditionally believed, and that polychaetes are paraphyletic. Specifically, some lesser-known taxa (previously regarded as separate phyla) appear to fall within the annelid radiation. Abundant molecular, developmental, and morphological data show that the Siboglinidae, which includes the formerly recognized Pogonophora and Vestimentifera, are derived annelids; recent data from the Elongation Factor-1α (EF-1α) gene also suggest that echiurids are of annelid ancestry. Further, the phylogenetic origins of two other lesser-known groups of marine worms, the Myzostomida and Sipuncula, have recently been called into question. Whereas some authors advocate annelid affinities, others argue that these taxa do not fall within the annelid radiation. With advances in our understanding of annelid phylogeny, our perceptions of body plan evolution within the Metazoa are changing. The evolution of segmentation probably is more plastic than traditionally believed. However, as our understanding of organismal evolution is being revised, we are also forced to reconsider the specific characters being examined. Should segmentation be considered a developmental process or an ontological endpoint?

  6. The evolutionary reality of higher taxa in mammals

    PubMed Central

    Humphreys, Aelys M.; Barraclough, Timothy G.

    2014-01-01

    Species are generally regarded as a fundamental unit of biodiversity. By contrast, higher taxa such as genera and families, while widely used as biodiversity metrics and for classification and communication, are generally not believed to be shaped by shared evolutionary processes in the same way as species. We use simulations to show that processes which are important for emergence of evolutionarily significant units (ESUs) at the species level, namely geographical isolation and ecological divergence, can generate evolutionary independence above the species level and thereby lead to emergence of discrete phylogenetic clusters (higher ESUs). Extending phylogenetic approaches for delimiting evolutionarily significant species to broader phylogenetic scales, we find evidence for the existence of higher ESUs in mammals. In carnivores, euungulates and lagomorphs the hierarchical level of units detected correspond, on average, to the level of family or genus in traditional taxonomy. The units in euungulates are associated with divergent patterns of body mass, consistent with occupation of distinct ecological zones. Our findings demonstrate a new framework for studying biodiversity that unifies approaches at species and higher levels, thus potentially restoring higher taxa to their historical status as natural entities. PMID:24695424

  7. Sensitivities of extant animal taxa to ocean acidification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wittmann, Astrid C.; Pörtner, Hans-O.

    2013-11-01

    Anthropogenic CO2 emitted to the atmosphere is absorbed by the oceans, causing a progressive increase in ocean inorganic carbon concentrations and resulting in decreased water pH and calcium carbonate saturation. This phenomenon, called ocean acidification, is in addition to the warming effects of CO2 emissions. Ocean acidification has been reported to affect ocean biota, but the severity of this threat to ocean ecosystems (and humans depending on these ecosystems) is poorly understood. Here we evaluate the scale of this threat in the context of widely used representative concentration pathways (RCPs) by analysing the sensitivities of five animal taxa (corals, echinoderms, molluscs, crustaceans and fishes) to a wide range of CO2 concentrations. Corals, echinoderms and molluscs are more sensitive to RCP8.5 (936 ppm in 2100) than are crustaceans. Larval fishes may be even more sensitive than the lower invertebrates, but taxon sensitivity on evolutionary timescales remains obscure. The variety of responses within and between taxa, together with observations in mesocosms and palaeo-analogues, suggest that ocean acidification is a driver for substantial change in ocean ecosystems this century, potentially leading to long-term shifts in species composition.

  8. A DNA barcode library for ground beetles (Insecta, Coleoptera, Carabidae) of Germany: The genus Bembidion Latreille, 1802 and allied taxa

    PubMed Central

    Raupach, Michael J.; Hannig, Karsten; Morinière, Jérome; Hendrich, Lars

    2016-01-01

    Abstract As molecular identification method, DNA barcoding based on partial cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (COI) sequences has been proven to be a useful tool for species determination in many insect taxa including ground beetles. In this study we tested the effectiveness of DNA barcodes to discriminate species of the ground beetle genus Bembidion and some closely related taxa of Germany. DNA barcodes were obtained from 819 individuals and 78 species, including sequences from previous studies as well as more than 300 new generated DNA barcodes. We found a 1:1 correspondence between BIN and traditionally recognized species for 69 species (89%). Low interspecific distances with maximum pairwise K2P values below 2.2% were found for three species pairs, including two species pairs with haplotype sharing (Bembidion atrocaeruleum/Bembidion varicolor and Bembidion guttula/Bembidion mannerheimii). In contrast to this, deep intraspecific sequence divergences with distinct lineages were revealed for two species (Bembidion geniculatum/Ocys harpaloides). Our study emphasizes the use of DNA barcodes for the identification of the analyzed ground beetles species and represents an important step in building-up a comprehensive barcode library for the Carabidae in Germany and Central Europe as well. PMID:27408547

  9. Environmental manipulation for edible insect procurement: a historical perspective

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Throughout history humans have manipulated their natural environment for an increased predictability and availability of plant and animal resources. Research on prehistoric diets increasingly includes small game, but edible insects receive minimal attention. Using the anthropological and archaeological literature we show and hypothesize about the existence of such environmental manipulations related to the procurement of edible insects. As examples we use eggs of aquatic Hemiptera in Mexico which are semi-cultivated by water management and by providing egg laying sites; palm weevil larvae in the Amazon Basin, tropical Africa, and New Guinea of which the collection is facilitated by manipulating host tree distribution and abundance and which are semi-cultivated by deliberately cutting palm trees at a chosen time at a chosen location; and arboreal, foliage consuming caterpillars in sub-Saharan Africa for which the collection is facilitated by manipulating host tree distribution and abundance, shifting cultivation, fire regimes, host tree preservation, and manually introducing caterpillars to a designated area. These manipulations improve insect exploitation by increasing their predictability and availability, and most likely have an ancient origin. PMID:22264307

  10. Environmental manipulation for edible insect procurement: a historical perspective.

    PubMed

    Van Itterbeeck, Joost; van Huis, Arnold

    2012-01-21

    Throughout history humans have manipulated their natural environment for an increased predictability and availability of plant and animal resources. Research on prehistoric diets increasingly includes small game, but edible insects receive minimal attention. Using the anthropological and archaeological literature we show and hypothesize about the existence of such environmental manipulations related to the procurement of edible insects. As examples we use eggs of aquatic Hemiptera in Mexico which are semi-cultivated by water management and by providing egg laying sites; palm weevil larvae in the Amazon Basin, tropical Africa, and New Guinea of which the collection is facilitated by manipulating host tree distribution and abundance and which are semi-cultivated by deliberately cutting palm trees at a chosen time at a chosen location; and arboreal, foliage consuming caterpillars in sub-Saharan Africa for which the collection is facilitated by manipulating host tree distribution and abundance, shifting cultivation, fire regimes, host tree preservation, and manually introducing caterpillars to a designated area. These manipulations improve insect exploitation by increasing their predictability and availability, and most likely have an ancient origin.

  11. Homology of insect corpora allata and vertebrate adenohypophysis?

    PubMed

    Wirmer, Andrea; Bradler, Sven; Heinrich, Ralf

    2012-09-01

    Animal species of various phyla possess neuroendocrine glands whose hormonal products regulate developmental and physiological mechanisms and directly impact behavior. Two examples, the corpora allata of insects and the vertebrate adenohypophysis have previously been regarded as analogous tissues that evolved independently from diffuse epidermal nerve nets of early metazoans. More recent developmental and functional studies accumulated evidence suggesting that the bilaterian nervous systems including its modern parts (e.g. pallium or cortex and mushroom bodies) and its neuroendocrine appendages (that are considered to be more ancient structures) possess a single evolutionary origin. The corpora allata of insects and the vertebrate adenohypophysis share a number of characteristics in respect of morphology, control of hormone release by RFamides, metabolites produced by closely related cytochrome P450 enzymes and gene expression during embryonic development. This review incorporates latest findings into an extensive description of similarities between insect corpora allata and vertebrate adenohypophysis that should encourage further studies about the onto- and phylogenetic origin of these neuroendocrine glands. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Ancient Earth, Alien Earths Event

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2014-08-20

    Dr. Timothy Lyons, Professor of Biogeochemistry, UC Riverside, speaks on a panel at the “Ancient Earth, Alien Earths” Event at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC Wednesday, August 20, 2014. The event was sponsored by NASA, the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Smithsonian Institution and was moderated by Dr. David H. Grinspoon, Senior Scientist at the Planetary Science Institute. Six scientists discussed how research on early Earth could help guide our search for habitable planets orbiting other stars. Photo Credit: (NASA/Aubrey Gemignani)

  13. Ancient Earth, Alien Earths Event

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2014-08-20

    Dr. Shawn Domagal-Goldman, Research Space Scientist, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, speaks on a panel at the “Ancient Earth, Alien Earths” Event at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC Wednesday, August 20, 2014. The event was sponsored by NASA, the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Smithsonian Institution and was moderated by Dr. David H. Grinspoon, Senior Scientist at the Planetary Science Institute. Six scientists discussed how research on early Earth could help guide our search for habitable planets orbiting other stars. Photo Credit: (NASA/Aubrey Gemignani)

  14. Ancient Earth, Alien Earths Event

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2014-08-20

    Dr. Christopher House, Professor of Geosciences, Pennsylvania State University, speaks on a panel at the “Ancient Earth, Alien Earths” Event at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC Wednesday, August 20, 2014. The event was sponsored by NASA, the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Smithsonian Institution and was moderated by Dr. David H. Grinspoon, Senior Scientist at the Planetary Science Institute. Six scientists discussed how research on early Earth could help guide our search for habitable planets orbiting other stars. Photo Credit: (NASA/Aubrey Gemignani)

  15. Ancient Earth, Alien Earths Event

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2014-08-20

    Dr. Phoebe Cohen, Professor of Geosciences, Williams College, speaks on a panel at the “Ancient Earth, Alien Earths” Event at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC Wednesday, August 20, 2014. The event was sponsored by NASA, the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Smithsonian Institution and was moderated by Dr. David H. Grinspoon, Senior Scientist at the Planetary Science Institute. Six scientists discussed how research on early Earth could help guide our search for habitable planets orbiting other stars. Photo Credit: (NASA/Aubrey Gemignani)

  16. Ancient Earth, Alien Earths Event

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2014-08-20

    Dr. Dawn Sumner, Professor of Geology, UC Davis, speaks on a panel at the “Ancient Earth, Alien Earths” Event at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC Wednesday, August 20, 2014. The event was sponsored by NASA, the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Smithsonian Institution and was moderated by Dr. David H. Grinspoon, Senior Scientist at the Planetary Science Institute. Six scientists discussed how research on early Earth could help guide our search for habitable planets orbiting other stars. Photo Credit: (NASA/Aubrey Gemignani)

  17. [Urinary schistosomiasis in ancient Egypt].

    PubMed

    Ziskind, Bernard

    2009-12-01

    First described by Theodor Bilharz in 1851, Schistosoma haematobium, the worm responsible for urinary schistosomiasis, was a major health problem along the Nile Valley until the present days. Haematuria, the main symptom of this parasitic disease, was known and treated in Egyptian medical papyri since 1550 B.C. A relationship between haematuria and the god Seth was envisaged. Sir Marc Armand Ruffer, pioneer of paleopathology, found (1910) calcified Schistosoma eggs in Egyptian mummies of the xxth dynasty, establishing that bilharzia plagued ancient Egypt people. The ELISA method demonstrated the Schistosoma circulating anodic antigen in 45% of mummies studied.

  18. Ancient Chinese Astronomy - An Overview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shi, Yunli

    Documentary and archaeological evidence testifies the early origin and continuous development of ancient Chinese astronomy to meet both the ideological and practical needs of a society largely based on agriculture. There was a long period when the beginning of the year, month, and season was determined by direct observation of celestial phenomena, including their alignments with respect to the local skyline. As the need for more exact study arose, new instruments for more exact observation were invented and the system of calendrical astronomy became entirely mathematized.

  19. Proliferation of Ty3/gypsy-like retrotransposons in hybrid sunflower taxa inferred from phylogenetic data

    PubMed Central

    Ungerer, Mark C; Strakosh, Suzanne C; Stimpson, Kaitlin M

    2009-01-01

    Background Long terminal repeat (LTR) retrotransposons are a class of mobile genetic element capable of autonomous transposition via an RNA intermediate. Their large size and proliferative ability make them important contributors to genome size evolution, especially in plants, where they can reach exceptionally high copy numbers and contribute substantially to variation in genome size even among closely related taxa. Using a phylogenetic approach, we characterize dynamics of proliferation events of Ty3/gypsy-like LTR retrotransposons that led to massive genomic expansion in three Helianthus (sunflower) species of ancient hybrid origin. The three hybrid species are independently derived from the same two parental species, offering a unique opportunity to explore patterns of retrotransposon proliferation in light of reticulate evolutionary events in this species group. Results We demonstrate that Ty3/gypsy-like retrotransposons exist as multiple well supported sublineages in both the parental and hybrid derivative species and that the same element sublineage served as the source lineage of proliferation in each hybrid species' genome. This inference is based on patterns of species-specific element numerical abundance within different phylogenetic sublineages as well as through signals of proliferation events present in the distributions of element divergence values. Employing methods to date paralogous sequences within a genome, proliferation events in the hybrid species' genomes are estimated to have occurred approximately 0.5 to 1 million years ago. Conclusion Proliferation of the same retrotransposon major sublineage in each hybrid species indicates that similar dynamics of element derepression and amplification likely occurred in each hybrid taxon during their formation. Temporal estimates of these proliferation events suggest an earlier origin for these hybrid species than previously supposed. PMID:19594956

  20. Island phytophagy: explaining the remarkable diversity of plant-feeding insects.

    PubMed

    Joy, Jeffrey B; Crespi, Bernard J

    2012-08-22

    Plant-feeding insects have undergone unparalleled diversification among different plant taxa, yet explanations for variation in their diversity lack a quantitative, predictive framework. Island biogeographic theory has been applied to spatially discrete habitats but not to habitats, such as host plants, separated by genetic distance. We show that relationships between the diversity of gall-inducing flies and their host plants meet several fundamental predictions from island biogeographic theory. First, plant-taxon genetic distinctiveness, an integrator for long-term evolutionary history of plant lineages, is a significant predictor of variance in the diversity of gall-inducing flies among host-plant taxa. Second, range size and structural complexity also explain significant proportions of the variance in diversity of gall-inducing flies among different host-plant taxa. Third, as with other island systems, plant-lineage age does not predict species diversity. Island biogeographic theory, applied to habitats defined by genetic distance, provides a novel, comprehensive framework for analysing and explaining the diversity of plant-feeding insects and other host-specific taxa.

  1. Developmental gene regulation by an ancient intercellular communication system in social amoebae.

    PubMed

    Asghar, Asma; Groth, Marco; Siol, Oliver; Gaube, Friedemann; Enzensperger, Christoph; Glöckner, Gernot; Winckler, Thomas

    2012-01-01

    The social amoebae (Dictyostelia) use quorum sensing-like communication systems to coordinate the periodic transition from uni- to multicellularity. The monophyletic descent of the Dictyostelia provides a unique opportunity to study the origin and adaptive evolution of such intercellular communication systems. We determined that the ability of aggregation-competent cells to respond to the intercellular messenger glorin occurred in the most ancient taxa of the Dictyostelia. We show using Illumina sequencing technology that glorin mediates rapid changes in gene expression at the transition from vegetative growth to aggregation. We conclude that peptide-based communication is the most ancient form of intercellular signaling in the evolution of multicellularity in the social amoebae, but has been repeatedly replaced by other communication systems during the monophyletic evolution of the social amoebae. Glorin communication has parallels with quorum sensing in that the molecule diffuses into the field, stimulates gene expression in receptive cells and coordinates a population-wide response.

  2. Fluid-structure interaction in compliant insect wings.

    PubMed

    Eberle, A L; Reinhall, P G; Daniel, T L

    2014-06-01

    Insect wings deform significantly during flight. As a result, wings act as aeroelastic structures wherein both the driving motion of the structure and the aerodynamic loading of the surrounding fluid potentially interact to modify wing shape. We explore two key issues associated with the design of compliant wings: over a range of driving frequencies and phases of pitch-heave actuation, how does wing stiffness influence (1) the lift and thrust generated and (2) the relative importance of fluid loading on the shape of the wing? In order to examine a wide range of parameters relevant to insect flight, we develop a computationally efficient, two-dimensional model that couples point vortex methods for fluid force computations with structural finite element methods to model the fluid-structure interaction of a wing in air. We vary the actuation frequency, phase of actuation, and flexural stiffness over a range that encompasses values measured for a number of insect taxa (10-90 Hz; 0-π rad; 10(-7)-10(-5) N m(2)). We show that the coefficients of lift and thrust are maximized at the first and second structural resonant frequencies of the system. We also show that even in regions of structural resonance, fluid loading never contributes more than 20% to the development of flight forces.

  3. Evolutionary consequences of climate-induced range shifts in insects.

    PubMed

    Sánchez-Guillén, Rosa A; Córdoba-Aguilar, Alex; Hansson, Bengt; Ott, Jürgen; Wellenreuther, Maren

    2016-11-01

    Range shifts can rapidly create new areas of geographic overlap between formerly allopatric taxa and evidence is accumulating that this can affect species persistence. We review the emerging literature on the short- and long-term consequences of these geographic range shifts. Specifically, we focus on the evolutionary consequences of novel species interactions in newly created sympatric areas by describing the potential (i) short-term processes acting on reproductive barriers between species and (ii) long-term consequences of range shifts on the stability of hybrid zones, introgression and ultimately speciation and extinction rates. Subsequently, we (iii) review the empirical literature on insects to evaluate which processes have been studied, and (iv) outline some areas that deserve increased attention in the future, namely the genomics of hybridisation and introgression, our ability to forecast range shifts and the impending threat from insect vectors and pests on biodiversity, human health and crop production. Our review shows that species interactions in de novo sympatric areas can be manifold, sometimes increasing and sometimes decreasing species diversity. A key issue that emerges is that climate-induced hybridisations in insects are much more widespread than anticipated and that rising temperatures and increased anthropogenic disturbances are accelerating the process of species mixing. The existing evidence only shows the tip of the iceberg and we are likely to see many more cases of species mixing following range shifts in the near future. © 2015 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  4. Recent findings in evolution and function of insect innexins.

    PubMed

    Hasegawa, Daniel K; Turnbull, Matthew W

    2014-04-17

    The past decade has seen significant advances in the field of innexin biology, particularly in the model invertebrate organisms, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and the fly Drosophila melanogaster. However, advances in genomics and functional techniques during this same period are ushering in a period of comparative innexin biology. Insects are the most diverse metazoan taxa in terms of species number, as well as in developmental, physiological, and morphological processes. Combined with genomics data, the study of innexins should rapidly advance. In this review, we consider the current state of knowledge regarding innexins in insects, focusing on innexin diversity, both evolutionary and functional. We also consider an unusual set of innexins, known as vinnexins, that have been isolated from mutualistic viruses of some parasitoid wasps. We conclude with a call to study insect innexins from a broader, evolutionary perspective. Knowledge derived from such comparative studies will offer significant insight into developmental and evolutionary physiology, as well as specific functional processes in a taxon that has huge biomedical and ecological impact on humans. Copyright © 2014 Federation of European Biochemical Societies. All rights reserved.

  5. Scrapheap Challenge: A novel bulk-bone metabarcoding method to investigate ancient DNA in faunal assemblages

    PubMed Central

    Murray, Dáithí C.; Haile, James; Dortch, Joe; White, Nicole E.; Haouchar, Dalal; Bellgard, Matthew I.; Allcock, Richard J.; Prideaux, Gavin J.; Bunce, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Highly fragmented and morphologically indistinct fossil bone is common in archaeological and paleontological deposits but unfortunately it is of little use in compiling faunal assemblages. The development of a cost-effective methodology to taxonomically identify bulk bone is therefore a key challenge. Here, an ancient DNA methodology using high-throughput sequencing is developed to survey and analyse thousands of archaeological bones from southwest Australia. Fossils were collectively ground together depending on which of fifteen stratigraphical layers they were excavated from. By generating fifteen synthetic blends of bulk bone powder, each corresponding to a chronologically distinct layer, samples could be collectively analysed in an efficient manner. A diverse range of taxa, including endemic, extirpated and hitherto unrecorded taxa, dating back to c.46,000 years BP was characterized. The method is a novel, cost-effective use for unidentifiable bone fragments and a powerful molecular tool for surveying fossils that otherwise end up on the taxonomic “scrapheap”. PMID:24288018

  6. Integrated Syntenic and Phylogenomic Analyses Reveal an Ancient Genome Duplication in Monocots[W

    PubMed Central

    Jiao, Yuannian; Li, Jingping; Tang, Haibao; Paterson, Andrew H.

    2014-01-01

    Unraveling widespread polyploidy events throughout plant evolution is a necessity for inferring the impacts of whole-genome duplication (WGD) on speciation, functional innovations, and to guide identification of true orthologs in divergent taxa. Here, we employed an integrated syntenic and phylogenomic analyses to reveal an ancient WGD that shaped the genomes of all commelinid monocots, including grasses, bromeliads, bananas (Musa acuminata), ginger, palms, and other plants of fundamental, agricultural, and/or horticultural interest. First, comprehensive phylogenomic analyses revealed 1421 putative gene families that retained ancient duplication shared by Musa (Zingiberales) and grass (Poales) genomes, indicating an ancient WGD in monocots. Intergenomic synteny blocks of Musa and Oryza were investigated, and 30 blocks were shown to be duplicated before Musa-Oryza divergence an estimated 120 to 150 million years ago. Synteny comparisons of four monocot (rice [Oryza sativa], sorghum [Sorghum bicolor], banana, and oil palm [Elaeis guineensis]) and two eudicot (grape [Vitis vinifera] and sacred lotus [Nelumbo nucifera]) genomes also support this additional WGD in monocots, herein called Tau (τ). Integrating synteny and phylogenomic comparisons achieves better resolution of ancient polyploidy events than either approach individually, a principle that is exemplified in the disambiguation of a WGD series of rho (ρ)-sigma (σ)-tau (τ) in the grass lineages that echoes the alpha (α)-beta (β)-gamma (γ) series previously revealed in the Arabidopsis thaliana lineage. PMID:25082857

  7. Ciliates from ancient permafrost: Assessment of cold resistance of the resting cysts.

    PubMed

    Shatilovich, Anastasia; Stoupin, Daniel; Rivkina, Elizaveta

    2015-06-01

    There is evidence that resting cysts of soil ciliates and numerous taxa of other protists can survive in permafrost for thousands of years at subzero temperatures; however, our knowledge about mechanisms of long term cryobiosis remains incomplete. In order to better understand the means by which ancient cysts survive, we investigated resistance to cyclical supercooling stress of resting cysts of the soil ciliate Colpoda steinii (Colpodida, Ciliophora). Three clonal strains were used for comparison, isolated from Siberian tundra soil, ancient Holocene (5-7,000 y) and late Pleistocene (32-35,000 y) permafrost sediments. To determine the viability of the ancient and contemporary ciliate cysts we improved and validated a cultivation-independent method of vital fluorescent staining with a combination of two nucleic acid binding dyes, acridine orange and propidium iodide. The viability of Colpoda steinii cysts during low-temperature experiments was measured using both the proposed vital fluorescent staining method and standard germination test. Our results indicate that the dual-fluorescence technique is a more accurate, rapid, and efficient method for estimating cyst viability. We found that cysts of ancient ciliates display lower tolerance to the impact of cyclical cold compared to cysts of contemporary ciliates from Siberian permafrost affected soils.

  8. The impact of rare taxa on a fish index of biotic integrity

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wan, H.; Chizinski, C.J.; Dolph, C.L.; Vondracek, B.; Wilson, B.N.

    2010-01-01

    The index of biotic integrity (IBI) is a commonly used bioassessment tool that integrates abundance and richness measures to assess water quality. In developing IBIs that are both responsive to human disturbance and resistant to natural variability and sampling error, water managers must decide how to weigh information about rare and abundant taxa, which in turn requires an understanding of the sensitivity of indices to rare taxa. Herein, we investigated the influence of rare fish taxa (within the lower 5% of rank abundance curves) on IBI metric and total scores for stream sites in two of Minnesota's major river basins, the St. Croix (n = 293 site visits) and Upper Mississippi (n = 210 site visits). We artificially removed rare taxa from biological samples by (1) separately excluding each individual taxon that fell within the lower 5% of rank abundance curves; (2) simultaneously excluding all taxa that had an abundance of one (singletons) or two (doubletons); and (3) simultaneously excluding all taxa that fell within the lower 5% of rank abundance curves. We then compared IBI metric and total scores before and after removal of rare taxa using the normalized root mean square error (nRMSE) and regression analysis. The difference in IBI metric and total scores increased as more taxa were removed. Moreover, when multiple rare taxa were removed, the nRMSE was related to sample abundance and to total taxa richness, with greater nRMSE observed in samples with a larger number of taxa or sample abundance. Metrics based on relative abundance of fish taxa were less sensitive to the loss of rare taxa, whereas those based on taxa richness were more sensitive, because taxa richness metrics give more weight to rare taxa compared to the relative abundance metrics. ?? 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

  9. Amino acid racemization in amber-entombed insects: implications for DNA preservation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bada, J. L.; Wang, X. S.; Poinar, H. N.; Paabo, S.; Poinar, G. O.

    1994-01-01

    DNA depurination and amino acid racemization take place at similar rates in aqueous solution at neutral pH. This relationship suggests that amino acid racemization may be useful in accessing the extent of DNA chain breakage in ancient biological remains. To test this suggestion, we have investigated the amino acids in insects entombed in fossilized tree resins ranging in age from <100 years to 130 million years. The amino acids present in 40 to 130 million year old amber-entombed insects resemble those in a modern fly and are probably the most ancient, unaltered amino acids found so far on Earth. In comparison to other geochemical environments on the surface of the Earth, the amino acid racemization rate in amber insect inclusions is retarded by a factor of >10(4). These results suggest that in amber insect inclusions DNA depurination rates would also likely be retarded in comparison to aqueous solution measurements, and thus DNA fragments containing many hundreds of base pairs should be preserved. This conclusion is consistent with the reported successful retrieval of DNA sequences from amber-entombed organisms.

  10. Amino acid racemization in amber-entombed insects: implications for DNA preservation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bada, J. L.; Wang, X. S.; Poinar, H. N.; Paabo, S.; Poinar, G. O.

    1994-01-01

    DNA depurination and amino acid racemization take place at similar rates in aqueous solution at neutral pH. This relationship suggests that amino acid racemization may be useful in accessing the extent of DNA chain breakage in ancient biological remains. To test this suggestion, we have investigated the amino acids in insects entombed in fossilized tree resins ranging in age from <100 years to 130 million years. The amino acids present in 40 to 130 million year old amber-entombed insects resemble those in a modern fly and are probably the most ancient, unaltered amino acids found so far on Earth. In comparison to other geochemical environments on the surface of the Earth, the amino acid racemization rate in amber insect inclusions is retarded by a factor of >10(4). These results suggest that in amber insect inclusions DNA depurination rates would also likely be retarded in comparison to aqueous solution measurements, and thus DNA fragments containing many hundreds of base pairs should be preserved. This conclusion is consistent with the reported successful retrieval of DNA sequences from amber-entombed organisms.

  11. Bioluminescence in the ghost fungus Omphalotus nidiformis does not attract potential spore dispersing insects.

    PubMed

    Weinstein, Philip; Delean, Steven; Wood, Tom; Austin, Andrew D

    2016-12-01

    Bioluminescence has been known from fungi since ancient times, but little work has been done to establish its potential role. There is evidence that some bioluminescent fungi differentially attract potential spore-dispersing insects, and we aimed to establish if this was the case for the ghost fungus, Omphalotus nidiformis (Agaricales,Marasmiaceae), a widespread Australian temperate zone species. We examined three corroborative lines of evidence: circadian rhythmicity of bioluminescence; field-recorded insect abundance at the time of basidiome production; and attractiveness of glowing fungi to flying insects. Basidiomes glowed continuously day and night, and were present in winter (June-July) when insect abundance was low. To assess attractiveness, we deployed sticky-traps in open woodland in the absence of light pollution, in Treatment (baited with fresh bioluminescent O. nidiformis) and Control pairs, for 480 trap-hours on moonless nights. There was no statistical difference in mean insect abundance between Treatment and Control traps (mean 0.33 and 0.54 individuals per trap night, respectively). To interpret these results, we provide a brief review of competing hypotheses for fungal bioluminescence, and conclude that for some fungi, bioluminescence may be an incidental by-product of metabolism rather than conferring any selective advantage. It is possible that the role of bioluminescence differs among evolutionary lineages of fungi and/or with attributes of their growth environments that could affect spore dispersal, such as wind and insect abundance.

  12. [Ancient history of Indian pharmacy].

    PubMed

    Okuda, Jun; Natsume, Yohko

    2010-01-01

    The study of the ancient history of Indian medicine has recently been revived due to the publication of polyglot translations. However, little is known of ancient Indian pharmacy. Archaeological evidence suggests the Indus people lived a settled life approximately in 2500 B.C. Their cities were enjoying the cleanest and most hygienic daily life with elaborate civic sanitation systems. The whole conception shows a remarkable concern for health. Then, the early Aryans invaded India about 1500 B.C. and the Vedic age started. The Rgveda texts contain the hymns for Soma and those for herbs. The term Ayurveda (i.e., science of life) is found in some old versions of both Ramāyana and Mahābhārata and in the Atharvaveda. Suśruta had the credit of making a breakthrough in the field of surgery. The Ayurveda, a work on internal medicine, gives the following transmission of sages: Brahmā-->Daksa-->Prajāpati-->Aśivinau-->Indra-->Caraka. On the other hand, the Suśruta-samhitā, which deals mainly with surgical medicine, explains it as follows; Indra-->Dhanvantari-->Suśruta Both Caraka and Suśruta were medical doctors as well as pharmacists, so they studied more than 1000 herbs thoroughly. The Ayurveda had been used by his devotees for medical purposes. It eventually spread over Asia with the advanced evolution of Buddhism.

  13. Allergic Reactions To Insect Stings

    PubMed Central

    Epstein, Norman

    1973-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to point out to the practicing physician the importance of insect sting allergy, to describe the accepted methods of preventing stings, and if necessary, adequate and early treatment. PMID:20468976

  14. Freshwater Biodiversity and Insect Diversification

    PubMed Central

    Dijkstra, Klaas-Douwe B.; Monaghan, Michael T.; Pauls, Steffen U.

    2016-01-01

    Inland waters cover less than one percent of Earth’s surface, but harbor more than six percent of all insect species: nearly 100,000 species from 12 orders spend one or more life stages in freshwater. Little is known about how this remarkable diversity arose, although allopatric speciation and ecological adaptation are thought to be primary mechanisms. Freshwater habitats are exceptionally susceptible to environmental change, and exhibit marked ecological gradients. The amphibiotic lifestyles of aquatic insects result in complex contributions of extinction and allopatric and non-allopatric speciation in species diversification. In contrast to the lack of evolutionary studies, the ecology and habitat preferences of aquatic insects have been intensively studied, in part because of their widespread use as bio-indicators. The combination of phylogenetics with the extensive ecological data provides a promising avenue for future research, making aquatic insects highly suitable models for the study of ecological diversification. PMID:24160433

  15. Radar Observation of Insects - Mosquitoes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Frost, E.; Downing, J.

    1979-01-01

    Tests were conducted at several sites over the coastal lowlands of New Jersey and over a region of high plains and low mountains in Oklahoma. In one area, a salt marsh in New Jersey, extensive ground tests were combined with laboratory data on expected insect backscatter to arrive at an extremely convincing model of the insect origin of most Dot Angels. A great deal of insight was studied from radar on the buildup and dispersal of insect swarms, since radar can follow where other means of trapping and observation cannot. Data on large-scale behavior as a function of wind and topography are presented. Displayed techniques which show individual or small swarm motion within some larger cloud or mass, or which can show the overall motion over great distances were developed. The influence of wind and terrain on insect motion and dispersal is determined from radar data.

  16. Entomopathogenic nematodes and insect management

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Entomopathogenic nematodes (genera Heterorhabditis, Steinernema, and Neosteinernema) are used as bioinsecticides. The nematodes are ubiquitous and have been isolated in soil of every continent except Antarctica. The nematodes kill insects through a mutualism with a bacterium (Photorhabdus spp. or ...

  17. Insect symbionts in food webs

    PubMed Central

    Henry, Lee M.

    2016-01-01

    Recent research has shown that the bacterial endosymbionts of insects are abundant and diverse, and that they have numerous different effects on their hosts' biology. Here we explore how insect endosymbionts might affect the structure and dynamics of insect communities. Using the obligate and facultative symbionts of aphids as an example, we find that there are multiple ways that symbiont presence might affect food web structure. Many symbionts are now known to help their hosts escape or resist natural enemy attack, and others can allow their hosts to withstand abiotic stress or affect host plant use. In addition to the direct effect of symbionts on aphid phenotypes there may be indirect effects mediated through trophic and non-trophic community interactions. We believe that by using data from barcoding studies to identify bacterial symbionts, this extra, microbial dimension to insect food webs can be better elucidated. This article is part of the themed issue ‘From DNA barcodes to biomes’. PMID:27481779

  18. Insects of bur oak acorns

    Treesearch

    Lester P. Gibson

    1971-01-01

    During 1961-1969, the insects found damaging acorns of bur oak, Quercus macrocarpa Michauxii, in their order of importance were the weevils: Curculio pardalis (Chittenden), C. strictus (Casey), C. sulcatulus (Casey), C. iowensis (Casey), C. proboscideus...

  19. Insect mycophagy: a preliminary bibliography.

    Treesearch

    Robert. Fogel

    1975-01-01

    Insects that feed on fungi are primary dispersal agents for many beneficial and pathogenic species. Nearly 300 references on the subject, published since the mid-19th century are listed in this bibliography.

  20. The scolopidial accessory organs and Nebenorgans in orthopteroid insects: Comparative neuroanatomy, mechanosensory function, and evolutionary origin.

    PubMed

    Strauß, Johannes

    2017-09-18

    Scolopidial sensilla in insects often form large sensory organs involved in proprioception or exteroception. Here the knowledge on Nebenorgans and accessory organs, two organs consisting of scolopidial sensory cells, is summarised. These organs are present in some insects which are model organisms for the physiology of mechanosensory systems (cockroaches and tettigoniids). Recent comparative studies documented the accessory organ in several taxa of Orthoptera (including tettigoniids, cave crickets, Jerusalem crickets) and the Nebenorgan in related insects (Mantophasmatodea). The accessory organ or Nebenorgan is usually a small organ of 8-15 sensilla located in the posterior leg tibia of all leg pairs. The physiological properties of the accessory organs and Nebenorgans are so far largely unknown. Taking together neuroanatomical and electrophysiological data from disparate taxa, there is considerable evidence that the accessory organ and Nebenorgan are vibrosensitive. They thus complement the larger vibrosensitive subgenual organ in the tibia. This review summarises the comparative studies of these sensory organs, in particular the arguments and criteria for the homology of the accessory organ and Nebenorgan among orthopteroid insects. Different scenarios of repeated evolutionary origins or losses of these sensory organs are discussed. Neuroanatomy allows to distinguish individual sensory organs for analysis of sensory physiology, and to infer scenarios of sensory evolution. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Alien insects in Italy: comparing patterns from the regional to European level.

    PubMed

    Inghilesi, Alberto F; Mazza, Giuseppe; Cervo, Rita; Gherardi, Francesca; Sposimo, Paolo; Tricarico, Elena; Zapparoli, Marzio

    2013-01-01

    The introduction of species outside their native range contributes to the loss of biodiversity, alters the structure and functioning of ecosystems, and damages economy and human health. Insects are one of the taxa with the highest frequency of introduction due to their high diversity, biological properties, and close association with human activities. Here, the allodiversity of Italian entomofauna was analyzed, with a focus on Tuscany (Central Italy). A list of alien insects in Tuscany is included. The status of the alien entomofauna in Italy was updated. The number of alien insects amounts to 122 in Tuscany and 923 in Italy. An introduction rate of 98 species per decade was estimated in Italy. In Tuscany, alien insects belong to 10 orders, mostly Coleoptera (38%), Hemiptera (Sternorrhyncha and Auchenorrhyncha) (23%), and Hymenoptera (13%). They have been most often introduced through vegetable items (ornamental plants or crops). Most species come from the Nearctic region (26%) and are both phytophagous (63%) and amphigonic (80%). Differences and similarities in introduction patterns and in insect abundances across orders among regional, national, and European scales, also considering worldwide abundances, are discussed. Finally, a paucity of information regarding the negative impacts of many species, except for economic pests, phytosanitary threats, and vectors of disease, is underlined. A deeper understanding of the alien insects' ecological impact might help designate policies aimed at preventing further introductions and control the invasive populations of already established species.

  2. Epigenetics in Social Insects: A New Direction for Understanding the Evolution of Castes

    PubMed Central

    Weiner, Susan A.; Toth, Amy L.

    2012-01-01

    Epigenetic modifications to DNA, such as DNA methylation, can expand a genome's regulatory flexibility, and thus may contribute to the evolution of phenotypic plasticity. Recent work has demonstrated the importance of DNA methylation in alternative queen and worker “castes” in social insects, particularly honeybees. Social insects are an excellent system for addressing questions about epigenetics and evolution because: (1) they have dramatic caste polyphenisms that appear to be tied to differential methylation, (2) DNA methylation is widespread in various groups of social insects, and (3) there are intriguing connections between the social environment and DNA methylation in many species, from insects to mammals. In this article, we review research on honeybees, and, when available, other social insects, on DNA methylation and queen and worker caste differences. We outline a conceptual framework for the effects of methylation on caste determination in honeybees that may help guide studies of epigenetic regulation in other polyphenic taxa. Finally, we suggest future paths of study for social insect epigenetic research, including the importance of comparative studies of DNA methylation on a broader range of species, and highlight some key unanswered mechanistic questions about how DNA methylation affects gene regulation. PMID:22567395

  3. Sensory neuroanatomy of stick insects highlights the evolutionary diversity of the orthopteroid subgenual organ complex.

    PubMed

    Strauß, Johannes; Lakes-Harlan, Reinhard

    2013-11-01

    The subgenual organ is a scolopidial sense organ located in the tibia of many insects. In this study the neuroanatomy of the subgenual organ complex of stick insects is clarified for two species, Carausius morosus and Siyploidea sipylus. Neuronal tracing shows a subgenual organ complex that consists of a subgenual organ and a distal organ. There are no differences in neuroanatomy between the three thoracic leg pairs, and the sensory structures are highly similar in both species. A comparison of the neuroanatomy with other orthopteroid insects highlights two features unique in Phasmatodea. The subgenual organ contains a set of densely arranged sensory neurons in the anterior-ventral part of the organ, and a distal organ with 16-17 scolopidial sensilla in C. morosus and 20-22 scolopidial sensilla in S. sipylus. The somata of sensory neurons in the distal organ are organized in a linear array extending distally into the tibia, with only a few exceptions of closely associated neurons. The stick insect sense organs show a case of an elaborate scolopidial sense organ that evolved in addition to the subgenual organ. The neuroanatomy of stick insects is compared to that studied in other orthopteroid taxa (cockroaches, locusts, crickets, tettigoniids). The comparison of sensory structures indicates that elaborate scolopidial organs have evolved repeatedly among orthopteroids. The distal organ in stick insects has the highest number of sensory neurons known for distal organs so far. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. Climate-driven diversity dynamics in plants and plant-feeding insects.

    PubMed

    Nyman, Tommi; Linder, Hans Peter; Peña, Carlos; Malm, Tobias; Wahlberg, Niklas

    2012-08-01

    The origin of species-rich insect-plant food webs has traditionally been explained by diversifying antagonistic coevolution between plant defences and herbivore counter-defences. However, recent studies combining paleoclimatic reconstructions with time-calibrated phylogenies suggest that variation in global climate determines the distribution, abundance and diversity of plant clades and, hence, indirectly influences the balance between speciation and extinction in associated herbivore groups. Extant insect communities tend to be richest on common plant species that have many close relatives. This could be explained either by climate-driven diffuse cospeciation between plants and insects, or by elevated speciation and reduced extinction in herbivore lineages associated with expanding host taxa (resources). Progress in paleovegetation reconstructions in combination with the rapidly increasing availability of fossil-calibrated phylogenies provide means to discern between these alternative hypotheses. In particular, the 'Diffuse cospeciation' scenario predicts closely matching main diversification periods in plants and in the insects that feed upon them, while the 'Resource abundance-dependent diversification' hypothesis predicts that both positive and negative responses of insect diversity are lagged in relation to host-plant availability. The dramatic Cenozoic changes in global climate provide multiple possibilities for studying the mechanisms by which climatic shifts may drive diversity dynamics in plants and insect herbivores.

  5. Ultrastructural and molecular characterization of a bacterial symbiosis in the ecologically important scale insect family Coelostomidiidae.

    PubMed

    Dhami, Manpreet K; Turner, Adrian P; Deines, Peter; Beggs, Jacqueline R; Taylor, Michael W

    2012-09-01

    Scale insects are important ecologically and as agricultural pests. The majority of scale insect taxa feed exclusively on plant phloem sap, which is carbon rich but deficient in essential amino acids. This suggests that, as seen in the related aphids and psyllids, scale insect nutrition might also depend upon bacterial symbionts, yet very little is known about scale insect-bacteria symbioses. We report here the first identification and molecular characterization of symbiotic bacteria associated with the New Zealand giant scale Coelostomidia wairoensis, using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and 16S rRNA gene-based analysis. Dissection and FISH confirmed the location of the bacteria in large, paired, multilobate organs in the abdominal region of the insect. TEM indicated that the dominant pleomorphic bacteria were confined to bacteriocytes in the sheath-enclosed bacteriome. Phylogenetic analysis revealed the presence of three distinct bacterial types, the bacteriome-associated B-symbiont (Bacteroidetes), an Erwinia-related symbiont (Gammaproteobacteria) and Wolbachia sp. (Alphaproteobacteria). This study extends the current knowledge of scale insect symbionts and is the first microbiological investigation of the ecologically important coelostomidiid scales.

  6. Nocturnal insect availability in bottomland hardwood forests managed for wildlife in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Loraine Ketzler,; Christopher Comer,; Twedt, Daniel J.

    2017-01-01

    Silviculture used to alter forest structure and thereby enhance wildlife habitat has been advocated for bottomland hardwood forest management on public conservation lands in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley. Although some songbirds respond positively to these management actions to attain desired forest conditions for wildlife, the response of other species, is largely unknown. Nocturnal insects are a primary prey base for bats, thereby influencing trophic interactions within hardwood forests. To better understand how silviculture influences insect availability for bats, we conducted vegetation surveys and sampled insect biomass within silviculturally treated bottomland hardwood forest stands. We used passive blacklight traps to capture nocturnal flying insects in 64 treated and 64 untreated reference stands, located on 15 public conservation areas in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Dead wood and silvicultural treatments were positively associated with greater biomass of macro-Lepidoptera, macro-Coleoptera, and all insect taxa combined. Biomass of micro-Lepidoptera was negatively associated with silvicultural treatment but comprised only a small proportion of total biomass. Understanding the response of nocturnal insects to wildlife-forestry silviculture provides insight for prescribed silvicultural management affecting bat species.

  7. The current state of insect molecular systematics: a thriving Tower of Babel.

    PubMed

    Caterino, M S; Cho, S; Sperling, F A

    2000-01-01

    Insect molecular systematics has undergone remarkable recent growth. Advances in methods of data generation and analysis have led to the accumulation of large amounts of DNA sequence data from most major insect groups. In addition to reviewing theoretical and methodological advances, we have compiled information on the taxa and regions sequenced from all available phylogenetic studies of insects. It is evident that investigators have not usually coordinated their efforts. The genes and regions that have been sequenced differ substantially among studies and the whole of our efforts is thus little greater than the sum of its parts. The cytochrome oxidase I, 16S, 18S, and elongation factor-1 alpha genes have been widely used and are informative across a broad range of divergences in insects. We advocate their use as standards for insect phylogenetics. Insect molecular systematics has complemented and enhanced the value of morphological and ecological data, making substantial contributions to evolutionary biology in the process. A more coordinated approach focused on gathering homologous sequence data will greatly facilitate such efforts.

  8. Metagenomic Analysis of Taxa Associated with Lutzomyia longipalpis, Vector of Visceral Leishmaniasis, Using an Unbiased High-Throughput Approach

    PubMed Central

    McCarthy, Christina B.; Diambra, Luis A.; Rivera Pomar, Rolando V.

    2011-01-01

    Background Leishmaniasis is one of the most diverse and complex of all vector-borne diseases worldwide. It is caused by parasites of the genus Leishmania, obligate intramacrophage protists characterised by diversity and complexity. Its most severe form is visceral leishmaniasis (VL), a systemic disease that is fatal if left untreated. In Latin America VL is caused by Leishmania infantum chagasi and transmitted by Lutzomyia longipalpis. This phlebotomine sandfly is only found in the New World, from Mexico to Argentina. In South America, migration and urbanisation have largely contributed to the increase of VL as a public health problem. Moreover, the first VL outbreak was recently reported in Argentina, which has already caused 7 deaths and 83 reported cases. Methodology/Principal Findings An inventory of the microbiota associated with insect vectors, especially of wild specimens, would aid in the development of novel strategies for controlling insect vectors. Given the recent VL outbreak in Argentina and the compelling need to develop appropriate control strategies, this study focused on wild male and female Lu. longipalpis from an Argentine endemic (Posadas, Misiones) and a Brazilian non-endemic (Lapinha Cave, Minas Gerais) VL location. Previous studies on wild and laboratory reared female Lu. longipalpis have described gut bacteria using standard bacteriological methods. In this study, total RNA was extracted from the insects and submitted to high-throughput pyrosequencing. The analysis revealed the presence of sequences from bacteria, fungi, protist parasites, plants and metazoans. Conclusions/Significance This is the first time an unbiased and comprehensive metagenomic approach has been used to survey taxa associated with an infectious disease vector. The identification of gregarines suggested they are a possible efficient control method under natural conditions. Ongoing studies are determining the significance of the associated taxa found in this study in a

  9. Fungal Taxa Target Different Carbon Substrates in Harvard Forest Soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hanson, C. A.; Allison, S. D.; Wallenstein, M. D.; Mellilo, J. M.; Treseder, K. K.

    2006-12-01

    The mineralization of soil organic carbon is a major component of the global carbon cycle and is largely controlled by soil microbial communities. However, little is known about the functional roles of soil microbes or whether different microbial taxa target different carbon substrates under natural conditions. To examine this possibility, we assessed the community composition of active fungi by using a novel nucleotide analog technique in soils from the Harvard Forest. We hypothesized that fungal community composition would shift in response to the addition of different substrates and that specific fungal taxa would respond differentially to particular carbon sources. To test this hypothesis, we added a nucleotide analog probe directly to soils in conjunction with one of five carbon compounds of increasing recalcitrance: glycine, sucrose, cellulose, tannin-protein complex, and lignin. During 48 hour incubations, the nucleotide analog was incorporated into newly replicated DNA of soil organisms that proliferated following the addition of the substrates. In this way, we labeled the DNA of microbes that respond to a particular carbon source. Labeled DNA was isolated and fungal Internal Transcribed Spacer (ITS) regions of ribosomal DNA (rDNA) were sequenced and analyzed to identify active fungi to near-species resolution. Diversity analyses at the ≥97% sequence similarity level indicated that taxonomic richness was greater under cellulose (Shannon Index: 3.23 ± 0.11 with ± 95% CI) and lignin (2.87 ± 0.15) additions than the other treatments (2.34 ± 0.16 to 2.64 ± 0.13). In addition, community composition of active fungi shifted under glycine, sucrose, and cellulose additions. Specifically, the community under glycine was significantly different from communities under control, cellulose, and tannin-protein (P<0.05). Additionally, the sucrose and cellulose communities were marginally different from the control community (P = 0.059 and 0.054, respectively) and

  10. 7 CFR 51.2008 - Insect injury.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 2 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Insect injury. 51.2008 Section 51.2008 Agriculture... Standards for Grades of Filberts in the Shell 1 Definitions § 51.2008 Insect injury. Insect injury means that the insect, frass or web is present inside the nut or the kernel shows definite evidence of...

  11. 46 CFR 108.215 - Insect screens.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 46 Shipping 4 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Insect screens. 108.215 Section 108.215 Shipping COAST... Construction and Arrangement Accommodation Spaces § 108.215 Insect screens. (a) Accommodation spaces must be protected against the admission of insects. (b) Insect screens must be installed when natural ventilation...

  12. 46 CFR 108.215 - Insect screens.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 46 Shipping 4 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Insect screens. 108.215 Section 108.215 Shipping COAST... Construction and Arrangement Accommodation Spaces § 108.215 Insect screens. (a) Accommodation spaces must be protected against the admission of insects. (b) Insect screens must be installed when natural ventilation is...

  13. Don't Let Insects Bug You!

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Abraham, Doc; Abraham, Katy

    1977-01-01

    Are you one of those people who feel that the only good insect is a dead one? Do you suffer from entomophobia--dread fear of insects? Such attitudes, fears, and prejudices stem from insect ignorance. Authors explain what insects are good for and give students a more realistic and fascinating view of their world. (Editor/RK)

  14. How Do Insects Help the Environment?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hevel, Gary

    2005-01-01

    There are some 5 to 30 million insect species estimated in the world--and the majority of these have yet to be collected or named by science! Of course, the most well known insects are those that cause disease or compete for human agricultural products, but these insects represent only a small fraction of the world's insect population. In reality,…

  15. Preface: Insect Pathology, 2nd ed

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Insect pathology is an essential component of entomology and provides a non-chemical alternative for insect pest management. There are several groups of organisms that can infect and kill insects including viruses, fungi, microsporidia, bacteria, protists, and nematodes. The dilemma in insect patho...

  16. 7 CFR 51.2008 - Insect injury.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 2 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Insect injury. 51.2008 Section 51.2008 Agriculture... Standards for Grades of Filberts in the Shell 1 Definitions § 51.2008 Insect injury. Insect injury means that the insect, frass or web is present inside the nut or the kernel shows definite evidence of...

  17. 7 CFR 51.2122 - Insect injury.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 2 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Insect injury. 51.2122 Section 51.2122 Agriculture..., CERTIFICATION, AND STANDARDS) United States Standards for Grades of Shelled Almonds Definitions § 51.2122 Insect injury. Insect injury means that the insect, web, or frass is present or there is definite evidence...

  18. 7 CFR 51.2290 - Insect injury.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 2 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Insect injury. 51.2290 Section 51.2290 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture AGRICULTURAL MARKETING SERVICE (Standards, Inspections, Marketing... § 51.2290 Insect injury. Insect injury means that the insect, web, frass or other evidence of...

  19. 7 CFR 51.2122 - Insect injury.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 2 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Insect injury. 51.2122 Section 51.2122 Agriculture..., CERTIFICATION, AND STANDARDS) United States Standards for Grades of Shelled Almonds Definitions § 51.2122 Insect injury. Insect injury means that the insect, web, or frass is present or there is definite evidence...

  20. 7 CFR 51.2290 - Insect injury.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 2 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Insect injury. 51.2290 Section 51.2290 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture AGRICULTURAL MARKETING SERVICE (Standards, Inspections, Marketing... § 51.2290 Insect injury. Insect injury means that the insect, web, frass or other evidence of...

  1. 46 CFR 108.215 - Insect screens.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 46 Shipping 4 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Insect screens. 108.215 Section 108.215 Shipping COAST... Construction and Arrangement Accommodation Spaces § 108.215 Insect screens. (a) Accommodation spaces must be protected against the admission of insects. (b) Insect screens must be installed when natural ventilation...

  2. 46 CFR 108.215 - Insect screens.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 46 Shipping 4 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Insect screens. 108.215 Section 108.215 Shipping COAST... Construction and Arrangement Accommodation Spaces § 108.215 Insect screens. (a) Accommodation spaces must be protected against the admission of insects. (b) Insect screens must be installed when natural ventilation...

  3. 46 CFR 108.215 - Insect screens.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 46 Shipping 4 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Insect screens. 108.215 Section 108.215 Shipping COAST... Construction and Arrangement Accommodation Spaces § 108.215 Insect screens. (a) Accommodation spaces must be protected against the admission of insects. (b) Insect screens must be installed when natural ventilation...

  4. Social insects inspire human design

    PubMed Central

    Holbrook, C. Tate; Clark, Rebecca M.; Moore, Dani; Overson, Rick P.; Penick, Clint A.; Smith, Adrian A.

    2010-01-01

    The international conference ‘Social Biomimicry: Insect Societies and Human Design’, hosted by Arizona State University, USA, 18–20 February 2010, explored how the collective behaviour and nest architecture of social insects can inspire innovative and effective solutions to human design challenges. It brought together biologists, designers, engineers, computer scientists, architects and businesspeople, with the dual aims of enriching biology and advancing biomimetic design. PMID:20392721

  5. Fossil preservation and the stratigraphic ranges of taxa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Foote, M.; Raup, D. M.

    1996-01-01

    The incompleteness of the fossil record hinders the inference of evolutionary rates and patterns. Here, we derive relationships among true taxonomic durations, preservation probability, and observed taxonomic ranges. We use these relationships to estimate original distributions of taxonomic durations, preservation probability, and completeness (proportion of taxa preserved), given only the observed ranges. No data on occurrences within the ranges of taxa are required. When preservation is random and the original distribution of durations is exponential, the inference of durations, preservability, and completeness is exact. However, reasonable approximations are possible given non-exponential duration distributions and temporal and taxonomic variation in preservability. Thus, the approaches we describe have great potential in studies of taphonomy, evolutionary rates and patterns, and genealogy. Analyses of Upper Cambrian-Lower Ordovician trilobite species, Paleozoic crinoid genera, Jurassic bivalve species, and Cenozoic mammal species yield the following results: (1) The preservation probability inferred from stratigraphic ranges alone agrees with that inferred from the analysis of stratigraphic gaps when data on the latter are available. (2) Whereas median durations based on simple tabulations of observed ranges are biased by stratigraphic resolution, our estimates of median duration, extinction rate, and completeness are not biased.(3) The shorter geologic ranges of mammalian species relative to those of bivalves cannot be attributed to a difference in preservation potential. However, we cannot rule out the contribution of taxonomic practice to this difference. (4) In the groups studied, completeness (proportion of species [trilobites, bivalves, mammals] or genera [crinoids] preserved) ranges from 60% to 90%. The higher estimates of completeness at smaller geographic scales support previous suggestions that the incompleteness of the fossil record reflects loss of

  6. Parallel phylogeographic structure in ecologically similar sympatric sister taxa.

    PubMed

    Dawson, Michael N

    2012-02-01

    Present-day phylogeographic patterns have been shaped by the dual histories of lineages and places, producing a diversity of relationships that may challenge discovery of general rules. For example, the predicted positive correlation between dispersal ability and gene flow has been supported inconsistently, suggesting unaccounted complexity in theory or the comparative framework. Here, I extend the sympatric sister-species approach, in which variance between lineages and places is minimized, to sister clades and test a fundamental assumption of comparative genetic studies of dispersal: that taxa which evolved at the same time and in the same place will, if they have similar life histories and ecologies, have essentially the same phylogeographic structure. Phylogenetic analyses of 197 Stigmatopora pipefishes using two nuclear (creatine kinase intron 6, α-tropomyosin) and two mitochondrial (16S, noncoding region) loci revealed largely synchronous parallel diversification of sister clades that are codistributed from Western Australia to New Zealand, supporting the null hypothesis. Only one comparison, however, yielded a sympatric sister-species pair (the two stem species), so I also explored the potential for extant species sharing a substantial proportion of their evolutionary histories in sympatry to substitute for sister taxon comparisons. In eastern Australia, where strong environmental structure is lacking, phylogeographic differences between species that have been codistributed for ~85% of their evolutionary histories were consistent with tendencies favoured by their modest life-history differences, that is the larger, rarer species had lower genetic diversity. In contrast, in New Zealand, two species codistributed for ~70% of their evolutionary histories were both structured similarly by a strong biogeographic filter despite differences in life history. Rigorously quantifying the influence of intrinsic and extrinsic factors on phylogeographic structure may

  7. Fossil preservation and the stratigraphic ranges of taxa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Foote, M.; Raup, D. M.

    1996-01-01

    The incompleteness of the fossil record hinders the inference of evolutionary rates and patterns. Here, we derive relationships among true taxonomic durations, preservation probability, and observed taxonomic ranges. We use these relationships to estimate original distributions of taxonomic durations, preservation probability, and completeness (proportion of taxa preserved), given only the observed ranges. No data on occurrences within the ranges of taxa are required. When preservation is random and the original distribution of durations is exponential, the inference of durations, preservability, and completeness is exact. However, reasonable approximations are possible given non-exponential duration distributions and temporal and taxonomic variation in preservability. Thus, the approaches we describe have great potential in studies of taphonomy, evolutionary rates and patterns, and genealogy. Analyses of Upper Cambrian-Lower Ordovician trilobite species, Paleozoic crinoid genera, Jurassic bivalve species, and Cenozoic mammal species yield the following results: (1) The preservation probability inferred from stratigraphic ranges alone agrees with that inferred from the analysis of stratigraphic gaps when data on the latter are available. (2) Whereas median durations based on simple tabulations of observed ranges are biased by stratigraphic resolution, our estimates of median duration, extinction rate, and completeness are not biased.(3) The shorter geologic ranges of mammalian species relative to those of bivalves cannot be attributed to a difference in preservation potential. However, we cannot rule out the contribution of taxonomic practice to this difference. (4) In the groups studied, completeness (proportion of species [trilobites, bivalves, mammals] or genera [crinoids] preserved) ranges from 60% to 90%. The higher estimates of completeness at smaller geographic scales support previous suggestions that the incompleteness of the fossil record reflects loss of

  8. Identifying sighting clusters of endangered taxa with historical records.

    PubMed

    Duffy, Karl J

    2011-04-01

    The probability and time of extinction of taxa is often inferred from statistical analyses of historical records. Many of these analyses require the exclusion of multiple records within a unit of time (i.e., a month or a year). Nevertheless, spatially explicit, temporally aggregated data may be useful for identifying clusters of sightings (i.e., sighting clusters) in space and time. Identification of sighting clusters highlights changes in the historical recording of endangered taxa. I used two methods to identify sighting clusters in historical records: the Ederer-Myers-Mantel (EMM) test and the space-time permutation scan (STPS). I applied these methods to the spatially explicit sighting records of three species of orchids that are listed as endangered in the Republic of Ireland under the Wildlife Act (1976): Cephalanthera longifolia, Hammarbya paludosa, and Pseudorchis albida. Results with the EMM test were strongly affected by the choice of the time interval, and thus the number of temporal samples, used to examine the records. For example, sightings of P. albida clustered when the records were partitioned into 20-year temporal samples, but not when they were partitioned into 22-year temporal samples. Because the statistical power of EMM was low, it will not be useful when data are sparse. Nevertheless, the STPS identified regions that contained sighting clusters because it uses a flexible scanning window (defined by cylinders of varying size that move over the study area and evaluate the likelihood of clustering) to detect them, and it identified regions with high and regions with low rates of orchid sightings. The STPS analyses can be used to detect sighting clusters of endangered species that may be related to regions of extirpation and may assist in the categorization of threat status.

  9. Biparental Care in Insects: Paternal Care, Life History, and the Function of the Nest

    PubMed Central

    Suzuki, Seizi

    2013-01-01

    The evolution of parental care is a complex process, and many evolutionary pathways have been hypothesized. Maternal care is common, but paternal care is not. High confidence of paternity should favor the evolution of paternal attendance in caring for young; biparental care is rare because paternity assurance is typically low compared to maternity. Biparental care in insects has evolved several times and has high diversity. To evaluate the conditions for the evolution of biparental care, a comparison across taxa is suitable. In this review, common traits of biparental species are discussed in order to evaluate previous models of biparental care and the life history of insects. It will be shown that nesting is a common feature in biparental insects. Nest structure limits extra-pair copulations, contributing to the evolution of biparental care. PMID:24766389

  10. Issues of convection in insect respiration: insights from synchrotron X-ray imaging and beyond.

    PubMed

    Socha, John J; Förster, Thomas D; Greenlee, Kendra J

    2010-08-31

    While it has long been known that in small animals, such as insects, sufficient gas transport could be provided by diffusion, it is now recognized that animals generate and control convective flows to improve oxygen delivery across a range of body sizes and taxa. However, size-based methodological limitations have constrained our understanding of the mechanisms that underlie the production of these convective flows. Recently, new techniques have enabled the elucidation of the anatomical structures and physiological processes that contribute to creating and maintaining bulk flow in small animals. In particular, synchrotron X-ray imaging provides unprecedented spatial and temporal resolution of internal functional morphology and is changing the way we understand gas exchange in insects. This symposium highlights recent efforts towards understanding the relationship between form, function, and control in the insect respiratory system.

  11. Issues of convection in insect respiration: Insights from synchrotron X-ray imaging and beyond

    SciTech Connect

    Socha, John J.; Förster, Thomas D.; Greenlee, Kendra J.

    2010-11-01

    While it has long been known that in small animals, such as insects, sufficient gas transport could be provided by diffusion, it is now recognized that animals generate and control convective flows to improve oxygen delivery across a range of body sizes and taxa. However, size-based methodological limitations have constrained our understanding of the mechanisms that underlie the production of these convective flows. Recently, new techniques have enabled the elucidation of the anatomical structures and physiological processes that contribute to creating and maintaining bulk flow in small animals. In particular, synchrotron X-ray imaging provides unprecedented spatial and temporal resolution of internal functional morphology and is changing the way we understand gas exchange in insects. This symposium highlights recent efforts towards understanding the relationship between form, function, and control in the insect respiratory system.

  12. Oviposition pheromones in haematophagous insects.

    PubMed

    Seenivasagan, T; Vijayaraghavan, R

    2010-01-01

    Pheromones influencing oviposition behavior in females of haematophagous insects have been the interest of recent past by many group of scientists working on oviposition pheromones. Finding and choosing a good site for oviposition is a challenging task for females of haematophagous insects, especially in those insects which does not have the parental care. Their decisions have far-reaching and profound consequences for the life history of the offspring. In such blood feeding insects, the choice of oviposition site is affected by pheromones, which may function either as deterrents or stimulants in short range, while they may also act as repellents or attractants in long range perception. During the location of a suitable oviposition site for egg laying or a potential host for blood feeding, haematophagous insects mainly use olfactory and visual cues. These pheromones are produced by the ovipositing female or by conspecific larvae co-occurring with gravid females. Adult females detect oviposition pheromones by odor receptors on the antennae, as well as by contact chemoreceptors on tarsi, mouthparts and antennae. Different cues exploited by gravid females from a diversified arena include egg, larva, habitat, microbes, infusions and plant produced volatiles influence the oviposition behavior. Traps baited with pheromones, infusions, and insecticides shall be promising tools for monitoring and control of target insect using integrated vector management strategies. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Allergic reactions to insect stings and bites.

    PubMed

    Moffitt, John E

    2003-11-01

    Insect stings are an important cause of anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis can also occur from insect bites but is less common. Insect venoms contain several well-characterized allergens that can trigger anaphylactic reactions. Effective methods to diagnose insect sting allergy and assess risk of future sting reactions have been developed. Management strategies using insect avoidance measures, self-injectable epinephrine, and allergen immunotherapy are very effective in reducing insect-allergic patients' risk of reaction from future stings. Diagnostic and management strategies for patients allergic to insect bites are less developed.

  14. Giant ancient schwannoma of the pelvis.

    PubMed

    Hide, I G; Baudouin, C J; Murray, S A; Malcolm, A J

    2000-09-01

    A 43-year-old man with a large ancient schwannoma of the pelvis, presenting with varicose veins, is reported. Ancient schwannoma (neurilemmoma) is a benign tumour of nerve sheath origin characterised histologically by features of severe degeneration and which rarely can grow to a large size. Malignant transformation, though reported, is extremely rare.

  15. Attitudes Toward Deviant Sex in Ancient Mesopotamia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bullough, Vern L.

    1971-01-01

    The article concludes that the whole question of sexual life in ancient Mesopotamia is difficult to reconstruct and fraught with many uncertainties. Nevertheless, it seems certain that the ancient Mesopotamians had fewer prohibitions against sex than our own civilization, and regarded as acceptable many practices which later societies condemned.…

  16. Women--Sex Objects in Ancient Egypt.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mutimer, Brian T. P.

    Although it has been said that the women in Ancient Egypt enjoyed a reasonable state of social and professional equality with men, this paper presents an alternate theory--that women were second-class citizens whose physical prowess was secondary to their role as sex objects. It appears that men and women in Ancient Egypt often participated in the…

  17. Computed tomography of an ancient Egyptian cat.

    PubMed

    Falke, T H; Zweypfenning-Snijders, M C; Zweypfenning, R C; James, A E

    1987-01-01

    The use of CT in the documentation of ancient Egyptian mummified human remains has previously been described in this and other journals. We recently applied this technique to a collection of ancient Egyptian mummified fauna and sarcophagi. We selected an example to illustrate that CT is also uniquely suitable for the study of such specimens in a noninvasive way.

  18. Contemporary Greek Presentations of Ancient Greek Theatre.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Metallinos, Nikos

    Confronted with the problems imposed by the stage presentation and interpretation of ancient Greek theatre to contemporary audiences, scholars have developed four major approaches to the presentation of Greek drama over the past 70 years. The first approach, referred to as modificationist or realist, claims that communicating ancient Greek drama…

  19. Magnetite biomineralization and ancient life on Mars.

    PubMed

    Frankel, R B; Buseck, P R

    2000-04-01

    Certain chemical and mineral features of the Martian meteorite ALH84001 were reported in 1996 to be probable evidence of ancient life on Mars. In spite of new observations and interpretations, the question of ancient life on Mars remains unresolved. Putative biogenic, nanometer magnetite has now become a leading focus in the debate.

  20. Can Insects Develop Resistance to Insect Pathogenic Fungi?

    PubMed Central

    Yaroslavtseva, Olga N.; Greig, Carolyn; Kryukov, Vadim Y.; Grizanova, Ekaterina V.; Mukherjee, Krishnendu; Vilcinskas, Andreas; Glupov, Viktor V.; Butt, Tariq M.

    2013-01-01

    Microevolutionary adaptations and mechanisms of fungal pathogen resistance were explored in a melanic population of the Greater wax moth, Galleria mellonella. Under constant selective pressure from the insect pathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana, 25th generation larvae exhibited significantly enhanced resistance, which was specific to this pathogen and not to another insect pathogenic fungus, Metarhizium anisopliae. Defense and stress management strategies of selected (resistant) and non-selected (susceptible) insect lines were compared to uncover mechanisms underpinning resistance, and the possible cost of those survival strategies. We hypothesize that the insects developed a transgenerationally primed resistance to the fungus B. bassiana, a costly trait that was achieved not by compromising life-history traits but rather by prioritizing and re-allocating pathogen-species-specific augmentations to integumental front-line defenses that are most likely to be encountered by invading fungi. Specifically during B. bassiana infection, systemic immune defenses are suppressed in favour of a more limited but targeted repertoire of enhanced responses in the cuticle and epidermis of the integument (e.g. expression of the fungal enzyme inhibitor IMPI, and cuticular phenoloxidase activity). A range of putative stress-management factors (e.g. antioxidants) is also activated during the specific response of selected insects to B. bassiana but not M. anisopliae. This too occurs primarily in the integument, and probably contributes to antifungal defense and/or helps ameliorate the damage inflicted by the fungus or the host’s own immune responses. PMID:23560083