Science.gov

Sample records for ancient insect taxa

  1. Transposable elements in sexual and ancient asexual taxa

    PubMed Central

    Arkhipova, Irina; Meselson, Matthew

    2000-01-01

    Sexual reproduction allows deleterious transposable elements to proliferate in populations, whereas the loss of sex, by preventing their spread, has been predicted eventually to result in a population free of such elements [Hickey, D. A. (1982) Genetics 101, 519–531]. We tested this expectation by screening representatives of a majority of animal phyla for LINE-like and gypsy-like reverse transcriptases and mariner/Tc1-like transposases. All species tested positive for reverse transcriptases except rotifers of the class Bdelloidea, the largest eukaryotic taxon in which males, hermaphrodites, and meiosis are unknown and for which ancient asexuality is supported by molecular genetic evidence. Mariner-like transposases are distributed sporadically among species and are present in bdelloid rotifers. The remarkable lack of LINE-like and gypsy-like retrotransposons in bdelloids and their ubiquitous presence in other taxa support the view that eukaryotic retrotransposons are sexually transmitted nuclear parasites and that bdelloid rotifers evolved asexually. PMID:11121049

  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. 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

  6. 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

  7. Ancient origin of high taxonomic richness among insects.

    PubMed

    Clapham, Matthew E; Karr, Jered A; Nicholson, David B; Ross, Andrew J; Mayhew, Peter J

    2016-02-10

    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

  8. Ancient origin of high taxonomic richness among insects.

    PubMed

    Clapham, Matthew E; Karr, Jered A; Nicholson, David B; Ross, Andrew J; Mayhew, Peter J

    2016-02-10

    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.

  9. 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

  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. PMID:26354932

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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. PMID:24039876

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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. PMID:24788720

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  20. 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

  1. New insights into an ancient insect nose: the olfactory pathway of Lepismachilis y-signata (Archaeognatha: Machilidae).

    PubMed

    Missbach, Christine; Harzsch, Steffen; Hansson, Bill S

    2011-07-01

    Hexapods most likely derived from an aquatic ancestor, which they shared with crustaceans. During the transition from water to land, their sensory systems had to face the new physiological demands that terrestrial conditions impose. This process also concerns the sense of smell and, more specifically, detection of volatile, air-borne chemicals. In insects, olfaction plays an important role in orientation, mating choice, and food and host finding behavior. The first integration center of odor information in the insect brain is the antennal lobe, which is targeted by the afferents from olfactory sensory neurons on the antennae. Within the antennal lobe of most pterygote insects, spherical substructures called olfactory glomeruli are present. In order to gain insights into the evolution of the structure of the central olfactory pathway in insects, we analyzed a representative of the wingless Archaeognatha or jumping bristletails, using immunocytochemistry, antennal backfills and histological section series combined with 3D reconstruction. In the deutocerebrum of Lepismachilis y-signata, we found three different neuropil regions. Two of them show a glomerular organization, but these glomeruli differ in their shape from those in all other insect groups. The connection of the glomerular neuropils to higher brain centers remains unclear and mushroom bodies are absent as reported from other archaeognathan species. We discuss the evolutionary implications of these findings.

  2. 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. PMID:26880353

  3. 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. PMID:27320926

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Observing Insects.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Arbel, Ilil

    1991-01-01

    Describes how to observe and study the fascinating world of insects in public parks, backyards, and gardens. Discusses the activities and habits of several common insects. Includes addresses for sources of beneficial insects, seeds, and plants. (nine references) (JJK)

  8. 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…

  9. 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

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  13. Ancient Civilizations.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Web Feet K-8, 2000

    2000-01-01

    This subject guide includes Web sites and other resources on ancient civilizations with age levels and appropriate subject disciplines specified. Also includes CD-ROMs and software, videos, books, audios, magazines, professional resources, and a sample student assignment. (LRW)

  14. 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

  15. Ancient DNA.

    PubMed

    Willerslev, Eske; Cooper, Alan

    2005-01-01

    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.

  16. 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

  17. 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. PMID:27075252

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Enterococci in Insects

    PubMed Central

    Martin, Jonathan D.; Mundt, J. Orvin

    1972-01-01

    Enterococci were obtained from 213 of 403 insects cultured during a 14-month period, in numbers from 103 to 3 × 107/g of insect. Insects were taken only from nonurban, wild, and cultivated fields and woods. In species of insects carrying them, enterococci were not always present in every individual cultured, and often more than one species of enterococcus occurred within a species. Enterococci were obtained from certain insects taken in the field during the dormant season, suggesting their role as overwintering agents. They were generally present in species feeding on nectar, succulent plant parts, and on and ir forest litter, but not from insects feeding on less succulent leaves and stems. Streptococcus faecalis was recovered from 32%, Streptococcus faecium from 22.4%, and Streptococcus faecium var. casseliflavus from 43.5% of members of the 37 taxa of insects. S. faecalis and S. faecium var. casseliflavus exhibit a high percent of conformity to the properties published for them. The heterogeneity in properties of S. faecium is similar to that found for the species taken from plants. Many fail to grow in broth at 45 C or in broth containing 6.5% NaCl; 50% of the cultures ferment both melezitose and melibiose, and a few ferment neither sugar. The remainder ferment melibiose only. Failure to reduce methylene blue in milk by S. faecalis and S. faecium is correlated with the inability to ferment lactose. More than 93% of the cultures of S. faecalis digest casein in milk from the top downward, following the production of a soft, flowing curd. Because this property is not characteristic of S. faecalis taken from humans, the reaction in litmus milk is suggested as a means of differentiation between cultures of remote and innocent origin in nature and recent, human pollution. PMID:4628796

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Insects as a Nitrogen Source for Plants.

    PubMed

    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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Inflammatory response in molluscs: cross-taxa and evolutionary considerations.

    PubMed

    Ottaviani, E; Franchini, A; Malagoli, D

    2010-01-01

    Inflammation represents the rapid and efficient elimination of damaged tissue and microbes and eventually the restoration of tissue functionality. Inflammatory response is one of the vital reactions to body injury, acting alongside the restoration of homeostasis, wound repair and immune response. In mammals, wound healing is a process that seeks to restore tissue integrity and function, and is characterized by a series of biological processes including inflammatory response. Here, we review pioneering experiments and recent observations in invertebrate models suggesting that in highly divergent and evolutionary distant taxa, such as molluscs, insects and vertebrates, the inflammatory response could be driven by a pool of molecules sharing common evolutionary origin.

  10. 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.

  11. 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. PMID:27545732

  12. 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

  13. 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…

  14. 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?," including…

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Ancient autophagy

    PubMed Central

    Klionsky, Daniel J.

    2013-01-01

    These days, when we talk about the origin of a protein, or even a pathway, we are typically referring to evolutionary lineages based on nucleotide sequences. For example, is a particular protein’s function conserved? How far back did it first appear? Are there homologs in higher eukaryotes? However, a simpler question (or perhaps I should say, a non-molecular biology question) is when was the process first detected in the paleontological record? Of course I assumed that macroautophagy was ancient, but a new finding (see p. 632 in this issue of the journal) provides an unexpected—and exciting—piece of information for our field. For the first time, scientists have discovered fossil evidence for an actual subcellular pathway—and it looks like it might actually be autophagy (I admit I am biased, but you can decide for yourself). PMID:23388466

  19. 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. PMID:27189571

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Ancient Neotropical origin and recent recolonisation: Phylogeny, biogeography and diversification of the Riodinidae (Lepidoptera: Papilionoidea).

    PubMed

    Espeland, Marianne; Hall, Jason P W; DeVries, Philip J; Lees, David C; Cornwall, Mark; Hsu, Yu-Feng; Wu, Li-Wei; Campbell, Dana L; Talavera, Gerard; Vila, Roger; Salzman, Shayla; Ruehr, Sophie; Lohman, David J; Pierce, Naomi E

    2015-12-01

    We present the first dated higher-level phylogenetic and biogeographic analysis of the butterfly family Riodinidae. This family is distributed worldwide, but more than 90% of the c. 1500 species are found in the Neotropics, while the c. 120 Old World species are concentrated in the Southeast Asian tropics, with minor Afrotropical and Australasian tropical radiations, and few temperate species. Morphologically based higher classification is partly unresolved, with genera incompletely assigned to tribes. Using 3666bp from one mitochondrial and four nuclear markers for each of 23 outgroups and 178 riodinid taxa representing all subfamilies, tribes and subtribes, and 98 out of 145 described genera of riodinids, we estimate that Riodinidae split from Lycaenidae about 96Mya in the mid-Cretaceous and started to diversify about 81Mya. The Riodinidae are monophyletic and originated in the Neotropics, most likely in lowland proto-Amazonia. Neither the subfamily Euselasiinae nor the Nemeobiinae are monophyletic as currently constituted. The enigmatic, monotypic Neotropical genera Styx and Corrachia (most recently treated in Euselasiinae: Corrachiini) are highly supported as derived taxa in the Old World Nemeobiinae, with dispersal most likely occurring across the Beringia land bridge during the Oligocene. Styx and Corrachia, together with all other nemeobiines, are the only exclusively Primulaceae-feeding riodinids. The steadily increasing proliferation of the Neotropical Riodininae subfamily contrasts with the decrease in diversification in the Old World, and may provide insights into factors influencing the diversification rate of this relatively ancient clade of Neotropical insects. PMID:26265256

  3. Ancient Neotropical origin and recent recolonisation: Phylogeny, biogeography and diversification of the Riodinidae (Lepidoptera: Papilionoidea).

    PubMed

    Espeland, Marianne; Hall, Jason P W; DeVries, Philip J; Lees, David C; Cornwall, Mark; Hsu, Yu-Feng; Wu, Li-Wei; Campbell, Dana L; Talavera, Gerard; Vila, Roger; Salzman, Shayla; Ruehr, Sophie; Lohman, David J; Pierce, Naomi E

    2015-12-01

    We present the first dated higher-level phylogenetic and biogeographic analysis of the butterfly family Riodinidae. This family is distributed worldwide, but more than 90% of the c. 1500 species are found in the Neotropics, while the c. 120 Old World species are concentrated in the Southeast Asian tropics, with minor Afrotropical and Australasian tropical radiations, and few temperate species. Morphologically based higher classification is partly unresolved, with genera incompletely assigned to tribes. Using 3666bp from one mitochondrial and four nuclear markers for each of 23 outgroups and 178 riodinid taxa representing all subfamilies, tribes and subtribes, and 98 out of 145 described genera of riodinids, we estimate that Riodinidae split from Lycaenidae about 96Mya in the mid-Cretaceous and started to diversify about 81Mya. The Riodinidae are monophyletic and originated in the Neotropics, most likely in lowland proto-Amazonia. Neither the subfamily Euselasiinae nor the Nemeobiinae are monophyletic as currently constituted. The enigmatic, monotypic Neotropical genera Styx and Corrachia (most recently treated in Euselasiinae: Corrachiini) are highly supported as derived taxa in the Old World Nemeobiinae, with dispersal most likely occurring across the Beringia land bridge during the Oligocene. Styx and Corrachia, together with all other nemeobiines, are the only exclusively Primulaceae-feeding riodinids. The steadily increasing proliferation of the Neotropical Riodininae subfamily contrasts with the decrease in diversification in the Old World, and may provide insights into factors influencing the diversification rate of this relatively ancient clade of Neotropical insects.

  4. Ancient phylogenetic relationships.

    PubMed

    Gribaldo, Simonetta; Philippe, Hervé

    2002-06-01

    Traditional views on deep evolutionary events have been seriously challenged over the last few years, following the identification of major pitfalls affecting molecular phylogeny reconstruction. Here we describe the principally encountered artifacts, notably long branch attraction, and their causes (i.e., difference in evolutionary rates, mutational saturation, compositional biases). Additional difficulties due to phenomena of biological nature (i.e., lateral gene transfer, recombination, hidden paralogy) are also discussed. Moreover, contrary to common beliefs, we show that the use of rare genomic events can also be misleading and should be treated with the same caution as standard molecular phylogeny. The universal tree of life, as described in most textbooks, is partly affected by tree reconstruction artifacts, e.g. (i) the bacterial rooting of the universal tree of life; (ii) the early emergence of amitochondriate lineages in eukaryotic phylogenies; and (iii) the position of hyperthermophilic taxa in bacterial phylogenies. We present an alternative view of this tree, based on recent evidence obtained from reanalyses of ancient data sets and from novel analyses of large combination of genes.

  5. How ancient are ancient asexuals?

    PubMed

    Martens, Koen; Rossetti, Giampaolo; Horne, David J

    2003-04-01

    Ancient asexual animal groups, such as bdelloid rotifers and darwinuloid ostracods, are excellent model organisms to study the effects of long-term asexuality. However, the absolute length of time that these groups have been fully asexual is mostly ignored. In the case of the darwinuloid ostracods, the fossil record shows that sexual reproduction disappeared almost completely after the end of Permian mass extinction (ca. 245 Myr ago), although several putative records of males from the Mesozoic obscure the exact time-frame of obligate asexuality in darwinuloids. Here, we re-examine the Mesozoic darwinuloid records, with regard to the reproductive mode of the assemblages. Three criteria to distinguish males in fossil populations (lack of brood pouch, position of muscle scars and size dimorphism) are used here to test for the presence of males in darwinuloid assemblages. A large, well-preserved assemblage of Darwinula leguminella (Forbes 1885) from the latest Jurassic (ca. 145 Myr ago) of England is found to be markedly variable in size and shape, but nevertheless turns out to be an all female assemblage. The exceptional preservation of the material also allows the re-assignment of this species to the extant darwinuloid genus Alicenula. All other putative dimorphic darwinuloid records from the Mesozoic are re-examined using the same criteria. The hypothesis that these assemblages represent bisexual populations is rejected for all post-Triassic (ca. 208 Myr ago) records. PMID:12713746

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Insect evolution.

    PubMed

    Engel, Michael S

    2015-10-01

    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. PMID:26439349

  9. Insect evolution.

    PubMed

    Engel, Michael S

    2015-10-01

    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.

  10. Phylogenetically older introns strongly correlate with module boundaries in ancient proteins.

    PubMed

    Fedorov, Alexei; Roy, Scott; Cao, Xiaohong; Gilbert, Walter

    2003-06-01

    The hypothesis that some (but not all) introns were used to construct ancient genes by exon shuffling of modules at the earliest stages of evolution is supported by the finding of an excess of phase-zero intron positions in the boundary regions of such modules in 276 ancient proteins (defined as common to eukaryotes and prokaryotes). Here we show further that as phase-zero intron positions are shared by distant taxa, and thus are truly phylogenetically ancient, their excess in the boundaries becomes greater, rising to an 80% excess if shared by four out of the five taxa: vertebrates, invertebrates, fungi, plants, and protists.

  11. 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.

  12. 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…

  13. More taxa, more characters: the hoatzin problem is still unresolved.

    PubMed

    Sorenson, Michael D; Oneal, Elen; Garcia-Moreno, Jaime; Mindell, David P

    2003-09-01

    The apparently rapid and ancient diversification of many avian orders complicates the resolution of their relationships using molecular data. Recent studies based on complete mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences or shorter lengths of nuclear sequence have helped corroborate the basic structure of the avian tree (e.g., a basal split between Paleognathae and Neognathae) but have made relatively little progress in resolving relationships among the many orders within Neoaves. We explored the potential of a moderately sized mtDNA data set ( approximately 5000 bp for each of 41 taxa), supplemented with data from a nuclear intron ( approximately 700 bp per taxon), to resolve relationships among avian orders. Our sampling of taxa addresses two issues: (1). the sister relationship and monophyly, respectively, of Anseriformes and Galliformes and (2). relationships of the enigmatic hoatzin Opisthocomus hoazin. Our analyses support a basal split between Galloanserae and Neoaves within Neognathae and monophyly of both Galliformes and Anseriformes. Within Galliformes, megapodes and then cracids branch basally. Within Anseriformes, mitochondrial data support a screamer (Anhimidae) plus magpie goose (Anseranatidae) clade. This result, however, may be an artifact of divergent base composition in one of the two anatids we sampled. With deletion of the latter taxon, Anseranas is sister to anatids as in traditional arrangements and recent morphological studies. Although our data provide limited resolution of relationships within Neoaves, we find no support for a sister relationship between either cuckoos (Cuculiformes) or turacos (Musophagiformes) and hoatzin. Both mitochondrial and nuclear data are consistent with a relationship between hoatzin and doves (Columbiformes), although this result is weakly supported. We also show that mtDNA sequences reported in another recent study included pervasive errors that biased the analysis towards finding a sister relationship between hoatzin and

  14. 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.

  15. Allergies to Insect Venom

    MedlinePlus

    ... The smell of food attracts these insects.  Use insect repellents and keep insecticide available. Treatment tips:  Venom immunotherapy (allergy shots to insect venom(s) is highly effective in preventing subsequent sting ...

  16. 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

  17. Insect transgenesis and the sterile insect technique

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The establishment of broadly applicable insect transgenesis systems will enable the analyses of gene function in diverse insect species. This will greatly increase our understanding of diverse aspects of biology so far not functionally addressable. Moreover, insect transgenesis will provide novel st...

  18. 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,…

  19. 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.

  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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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. Five novel Candida species in insect-associated yeast clades isolated from Neuroptera and other insects.

    PubMed

    Nguyen, Nhu H; Suh, Sung-Oui; Blackwell, Meredith

    2007-01-01

    Ascomycete yeasts are found commonly in the guts of basidioma-feeding beetles but little is known about their occurrence in the gut of other insects. In this study we isolated 95 yeasts from the gut of adult insects in five neuropteran families (Neuroptera: Corydalidae, Chrysopidae, Ascalaphidae, Mantispidae and Hemerobiidae) and a roach (Blattodea: Blattidae). Based on DNA sequence comparisons and other taxonomic characteristics, they were identified as more than 15 species of Saccharomycetes as well as occasional Cryptococcus-like basidiomycete yeasts. Yeast species such as Lachancea fermentati, Lachancea thermotolerans and Hanseniaspora vineae were isolated repeatedly from the gut of three species of corydalids, suggesting a close association of these species and their insect hosts. Among the yeasts isolated in this study 12 were identified as five novel Candida species that occurred in three phylogenetically distinct clades. Molecular phylogenetic analyses showed that Candida chauliodes sp. nov. (NRRL Y-27909T) and Candida corydali sp. nov. (NRRL Y-27910T) were sister taxa in the Candida albicans/ Lodderomyces elongisporus clade. Candida dosseyi sp. nov. (NRRL Y-27950T) and Candida blattae sp. nov. (NRRL Y-27698T) were sister taxa in the Candida intermedia clade. Candida ascalaphidarum sp. nov. (NRRL Y-27908T) fell on a basal branch in a clade containing Candida membranifaciens and many other insect-associated species. Descriptions of these novel yeast species are provided as well as discussion of their ecology in relation to their insect hosts.

  3. [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. PMID:12244690

  4. [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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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. PMID:24855267

  7. 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.

  8. 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. PMID:27386568

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Overcoming the effects of rogue taxa: Evolutionary relationships of the bee flies

    PubMed Central

    Trautwein, Michelle D.; Wiegmann, Brian M.; Yeates, David K

    2011-01-01

    Bombyliidae (5000 sp.), or bee flies, are a lower brachyceran family of flower-visiting flies that, as larvae, act as parasitoids of other insects. The evolutionary relationships are known from a morphological analysis that yielded minimal support for higher-level groupings. We use the protein-coding gene CAD and 28S rDNA to determine phylogeny and to test the monophyly of existing subfamilies, the divisions Tomophtalmae, and ‘the sand chamber subfamilies’. Additionally, we demonstrate that consensus networks can be used to identify rogue taxa in a Bayesian framework. Pruning rogue taxa post-analysis from the final tree distribution results in increased posterior probabilities. We find 8 subfamilies to be monophyletic and the subfamilies Heterotropinae and Mythicomyiinae to be the earliest diverging lineages. The large subfamily Bombyliinae is found to be polyphyletic and our data does not provide evidence for the monophyly of Tomophthalmae or the ‘sand chamber subfamilies’. PMID:21686308

  12. Numerical Survey of Some Bacterial Taxa

    PubMed Central

    Focht, D. D.; Lockhart, W. R.

    1965-01-01

    Focht, D. D. (Iowa State University, Ames), and W. R. Lockhart. Numerical survey of some bacterial taxa. J. Bacteriol. 90:1314–1319. 1965.—A numerical analysis was made of 77 properties of each of 43 bacterial strains, representing 25 genera from 8 families in the orders Eubacteriales and Pseudomonadales. Four major groups were found, related to one another at approximately the same level of similarity: (1) a large cluster containing the subgroups (1a) Athiorhodaceae-Spirillaceae, (1b) Xanthomonas, and (1c) “inactive” Micrococcaceae-Achromobacteraceae; (2) a cluster containing the “active” Micrococcaceae and Lactobacillaceae; (3) the enterobacteria; and (4) Aeromonas. There was a sharp distinction between the branches of groups 1a, 1c, and 2. The composition of groups was essentially the same whether or not fermentation of carbohydrates (28 characters) was included in the analysis. Several individual strains, notably, Bacillus subtilis, Leuconostoc mesenteroides, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Erwinia amylovora, were related to none of the groups, and others (two species of Proteus, Flavobacterium devorans, and Lactobacillus casei) showed only minimal quantitative relationships with their groups. These results suggest that there may be significant variation in levels of similarity within microbial groups presently accorded equivalent taxonomic rank, and that some present distinctions among taxa, particularly at the generic level, cannot be confirmed on the basis of overall similarity. PMID:5848329

  13. 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

  14. Insect herbivory, plant defense, and early Cenozoic climate change.

    PubMed

    Wilf, P; Labandeira, C C; Johnson, K R; Coley, P D; Cutter, A D

    2001-05-22

    Insect damage on fossil leaves from the Central Rocky Mountains, United States, documents the response of herbivores to changing regional climates and vegetation during the late Paleocene (humid, warm temperate to subtropical, predominantly deciduous), early Eocene (humid subtropical, mixed deciduous and evergreen), and middle Eocene (seasonally dry, subtropical, mixed deciduous and thick-leaved evergreen). During all three time periods, greater herbivory occurred on taxa considered to have short rather than long leaf life spans, consistent with studies in living forests that demonstrate the insect resistance of long-lived, thick leaves. Variance in herbivory frequency and diversity was highest during the middle Eocene, indicating the increased representation of two distinct herbivory syndromes: one for taxa with deciduous, palatable foliage, and the other for hosts with evergreen, thick-textured, small leaves characterized by elevated insect resistance. Leaf galling, which is negatively correlated with moisture today, apparently increased during the middle Eocene, whereas leaf mining decreased.

  15. Insect herbivory, plant defense, and early Cenozoic climate change

    PubMed Central

    Wilf, Peter; Labandeira, Conrad C.; Johnson, Kirk R.; Coley, Phyllis D.; Cutter, Asher D.

    2001-01-01

    Insect damage on fossil leaves from the Central Rocky Mountains, United States, documents the response of herbivores to changing regional climates and vegetation during the late Paleocene (humid, warm temperate to subtropical, predominantly deciduous), early Eocene (humid subtropical, mixed deciduous and evergreen), and middle Eocene (seasonally dry, subtropical, mixed deciduous and thick-leaved evergreen). During all three time periods, greater herbivory occurred on taxa considered to have short rather than long leaf life spans, consistent with studies in living forests that demonstrate the insect resistance of long-lived, thick leaves. Variance in herbivory frequency and diversity was highest during the middle Eocene, indicating the increased representation of two distinct herbivory syndromes: one for taxa with deciduous, palatable foliage, and the other for hosts with evergreen, thick-textured, small leaves characterized by elevated insect resistance. Leaf galling, which is negatively correlated with moisture today, apparently increased during the middle Eocene, whereas leaf mining decreased. PMID:11353840

  16. Insect herbivory, plant defense, and early Cenozoic climate change.

    PubMed

    Wilf, P; Labandeira, C C; Johnson, K R; Coley, P D; Cutter, A D

    2001-05-22

    Insect damage on fossil leaves from the Central Rocky Mountains, United States, documents the response of herbivores to changing regional climates and vegetation during the late Paleocene (humid, warm temperate to subtropical, predominantly deciduous), early Eocene (humid subtropical, mixed deciduous and evergreen), and middle Eocene (seasonally dry, subtropical, mixed deciduous and thick-leaved evergreen). During all three time periods, greater herbivory occurred on taxa considered to have short rather than long leaf life spans, consistent with studies in living forests that demonstrate the insect resistance of long-lived, thick leaves. Variance in herbivory frequency and diversity was highest during the middle Eocene, indicating the increased representation of two distinct herbivory syndromes: one for taxa with deciduous, palatable foliage, and the other for hosts with evergreen, thick-textured, small leaves characterized by elevated insect resistance. Leaf galling, which is negatively correlated with moisture today, apparently increased during the middle Eocene, whereas leaf mining decreased. PMID:11353840

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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)

  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. PMID:17464884

  1. 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.

  2. Insects and Scorpions

    MedlinePlus

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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)

  6. 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.

  7. 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,…

  8. Sunflower insect pests

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  9. 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…

  10. 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)

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. A Carboniferous Mite on an Insect Reveals the Antiquity of an Inconspicuous Interaction.

    PubMed

    Robin, Ninon; Béthoux, Olivier; Sidorchuk, Ekaterina; Cui, Yingying; Li, Yingnan; Germain, Damien; King, Andrew; Berenguer, Felisa; Ren, Dong

    2016-05-23

    Symbiosis [1], understood as prolonged interspecific association, is as ancient as the eukaryotic cell [2, 3]. A variety of such associations have been reported in the continental fossil record, albeit sporadically. As for mites, which as a group have been present since the Devonian (ca. 390 mya) [4, 5] and are involved in a tremendous variety of modern-day symbioses, reported associations are limited to a few amber-preserved cases [6-11], with the earliest instance in the Cretaceous (ca. 85 mya) [11]. As a consequence, the antiquity and origin of associations involving small-sized mites and larger animals are poorly understood. Here we report, recovered from the Carboniferous Xiaheyan locality (ca. 320 mya), an oribatid mite located on the thorax of an extinct relative of grasshoppers, crickets, and katydids [12]. The mite was investigated using several methods, including phase-contrast tomography. The detailed morphological data allowed the placement of the mite in a new family within Mixonomata, whose fossil record is thus extended by ca. 250 Ma. Specimen and abundance distribution data derived from the fossil insect sample indicate that specimens from the corresponding excavation site were buried rapidly and were sub-autochthonous, indicating a syn vivo association. Moreover, the mite is located in a sequestered position on the insect. The observed interaction best fits the definition for phoresy, in which the benefit is transport and protection for the mite. This discovery demonstrates that this association, a trait shared by representatives of the most speciose mite taxa, arose very early during mite evolution. PMID:27161503

  16. 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. PMID:16283551

  17. 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.

  18. 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. PMID:26885975

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

    PubMed

    Polilov, Alexey A

    2015-01-01

    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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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. PMID:16380966

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. [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. PMID:1341125

  5. [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.

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. Ancient Egyptian surgical heritage.

    PubMed

    Saber, Aly

    2010-12-01

    Egyptian medicine influenced the medicine of neighboring cultures, including the culture of ancient Greece. From Greece, its influence spread onward, thereby affecting Western civilization significantly. The oldest extant Egyptian medical texts are six papyri: The Edwin Smith Surgical Papyrus and the Ebers Medical Papyrus are famous. PMID:21208098

  9. 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.

  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 course…

  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. Cellulolytic systems in insects.

    PubMed

    Watanabe, Hirofumi; Tokuda, Gaku

    2010-01-01

    Despite the presence of many carbohydrolytic activities in insects, their cellulolytic mechanisms are poorly understood. Whereas cellulase genes are absent from the genomes of Drosophila melanogaster or Bombyx mori, other insects such as termites produce their own cellulases. Recent studies using molecular biological techniques have brought new insights into the mechanisms by which the insects and their microbial symbionts digest cellulose in the small intestine. DNA sequences of cellulase and associated genes, as well as physiological and morphological information about the digestive systems of cellulase-producing insects, may allow the efficient use of cellulosic biomass as a sustainable energy source.

  13. The phylogeography of Eurasian Fraxinus species reveals ancient transcontinental reticulation.

    PubMed

    Hinsinger, Damien D; Gaudeul, Myriam; Couloux, Arnaud; Bousquet, Jean; Frascaria-Lacoste, Nathalie

    2014-08-01

    To investigate the biogeographical history of ashes species of the Eurasian section Fraxinus and to test the hypothesis of ancient reticulations, we sequenced nuclear DNA (nETS and nITS, 1075 bp) for 533 samples and scored AFLP for 63 samples of Eurasian ashes within the section Fraxinus. The nITS phylogeny retrieved the classical view of the evolution of the section, whereas nETS phylogeny indicated an unexpected separation of F. angustifolia in two paraphyletic groups, respectively found in southeastern Europe and in the other parts of the Mediterranean basin. In the nETS phylogeny, the former group was closely related to F. excelsior, whereas the later was closely related to F. mandshurica, a species which is restricted nowadays to northeastern Asia. This topological incongruence between the two loci indicated the occurrence of an ancient reticulation between European and Asian ash species. Several other ancient reticulation events between the two European species and the other species of the section were supported by the posterior predictive checking method. Some of these reticulation events would have occurred during the Miocene, when climatic variations may have lead these species to expand their distribution range and come into contact. The recurrent reticulations observed among Eurasian ash species indicate that they should be considered as conspecific taxa, with subspecific status for some groups. Altogether, the results of the present study provide a rare documented evidence for the occurrence of multiple ancient reticulations within a group of temperate tree taxa with modern disjunct distributions in Eurasia. These ancient reticulation events indicate that the speciation process is slow in ashes, necessitating long periods of geographical isolation. The implications for speciation processes in temperate trees with similar life history and reproductive biology are discussed. PMID:24795215

  14. 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

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2000-06-01

    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.

  17. Insect bites and stings

    MedlinePlus

    ... likely to cause itching than pain. Insect and spider bites cause more deaths from venom reactions than bites from snakes. ... are harmless. If possible, bring the insect or spider that bit you with you when you go for medical treatment so it can be identified.

  18. 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.…

  19. Corazonin in insects

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Corazonin is a peptidergic neurohormone of insects which is expressed in neurosecretory neurons of the pars lateralis of the protocerebrum and transported via nervi corpus cardiaci in the storage lobes of the corpora cardiaca. This peptide occurs with a single isofomr in all insects studied so far,...

  20. Sterile Insect Quality

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  1. Sugarcane insect update

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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 ...

  2. 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…

  3. 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.

  4. 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)

  5. Effects of fish on emergent insect-mediated flux of methyl mercury across a gradient of contamination.

    PubMed

    Tweedy, Brent N; Drenner, Ray W; Chumchal, Matthew M; Kennedy, James H

    2013-02-01

    We examined the effects of fish predation on emergent insect-mediated methyl mercury (MeHg) flux across a gradient of MeHg contamination in experimental ponds. Emergent insects were collected from ponds with (n = 5) and without fish (n = 5) over a six week period using floating emergence traps. We found that the potential for MeHg flux increased with Hg contamination levels of the ponds but that the realized MeHg flux of individual insect taxa was determined by fish presence. Fish acted as size-selective predators and reduced MeHg flux by suppressing emergence of large insect taxa (dragonflies and damselflies) but not small insect taxa (chironomids and microcaddisflies). MeHg flux by small insect taxa was correlated with concentrations of MeHg in terrestrial spiders along the shorelines of the study ponds, demonstrating for the first time the cross-system transport of MeHg by emergent insects to a terrestrial spider. PMID:23286272

  6. The making of a social insect: developmental architectures of social design.

    PubMed

    Page, Robert E; Amdam, Gro V

    2007-04-01

    We marvel at the social complexity of insects, marked by anatomically and behaviorally distinguishable castes, division of labor and specialization--but how do such systems evolve? Insect societies are composed of individuals, each undergoing its own developmental process and each containing its own genetic information and experiencing its own developmental and experiential environment. Yet societies appear to function as if the colonies themselves are individuals with novel "social genes" and novel social developmental processes. We propose an alternative hypothesis. The origins of complex social behavior, from which insect societies emerge, are derived from ancestral developmental programs. These programs originated in ancient solitary insects and required little evolutionary remodeling. We present evidence from behavioral assays, selective breeding, genetic mapping, functional genomics and endocrinology, and comparative anatomy and physiology. These insights explain how complex social behavior can evolve from heterochronic changes in reproductive signaling systems that govern ubiquitous and ancient relationships between behavior and ovarian development.

  7. The making of a social insect: developmental architectures of social design

    PubMed Central

    Page, Robert E.; Amdam, Gro V.

    2008-01-01

    Summary We marvel at the social complexity of insects, marked by anatomically and behaviorally distinguishable castes, division of labor and specialization—but how do such systems evolve? Insect societies are composed of individuals, each undergoing its own developmental process and each containing its own genetic information and experiencing its own developmental and experiential environment. Yet societies appear to function as if the colonies themselves are individuals with novel “social genes” and novel social developmental processes. We propose an alternative hypothesis. The origins of complex social behavior, from which insect societies emerge, are derived from ancestral developmental programs. These programs originated in ancient solitary insects and required little evolutionary remodeling. We present evidence from behavioral assays, selective breeding, genetic mapping, functional genomics and endocrinology, and comparative anatomy and physiology. These insights explain how complex social behavior can evolve from heterochronic changes in reproductive signaling systems that govern ubiquitous and ancient relationships between behavior and ovarian development. PMID:17373656

  8. 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

  9. 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. PMID:25559298

  10. 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.

  11. Childbirth in ancient Egypt.

    PubMed

    Chamberlain, Geoffrey

    2004-11-01

    Medicine in ancient Egypt was much more advanced than the rest of the Biblical world, especially in trauma surgery. Care at the time of childbirth was however virtually non-existent. There were no trained obstetricians or midwives but a galaxy of gods were at hand. This article traces what we can piece together about pregnancy of childbirth from the evidence we have in tombs and papyri of Egypt.

  12. Ancient Chinese Astronomical Technologies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walsh, Jennifer Robin

    2004-05-01

    I am interested in the astronomical advances of the Ancient Chinese in measuring the solar day. Their development of gnomon & ruler, sundial, and water clock apparatuses enabled Chinese astronomers to measure the annual solar orbit and solar day more precisely than their contemporaries. I have built one of each of these devices to use in collecting data from Olympia, Washington. I will measure the solar day in the Pacific Northwest following the methodology of the ancient Chinese. I will compare with my data, the available historical Chinese astronomical records and current records from the United States Naval Observatory Master Clock. I seek to understand how ancient Chinese investigations into solar patterns enabled them to make accurate predictions about the movement of the celestial sphere and planets, and to develop analytic tests of their theories. Mayall, R. Newton; Sundials: their construction and use. Dover Publications 2000 North, John; The Norton History of Astronomy and Cosmology W.W. Norton& Co. 1995 Zhentao Xu, David W. Pankenier, Yaotiao Jiang; East Asian archaeoastronomy : historical records of astronomical observations of China, Japan and Korea Published on behalf of the Earth Space Institute by Gordon and Breach Science Publishers, c2000

  13. 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

  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. 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

  16. Counting animal species with DNA barcodes: Canadian insects.

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

    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

  17. [Insect diversity of different habitat types in Zhalong Wetland, northeast China].

    PubMed

    Gu, Wei; Ma, Ling; Ding, Xin-hua; Zhang, Jing; Han, Zheng-wei

    2011-09-01

    In order to approach the effects of different habitat types in wetland on insect diversity, an investigation was conducted on the insects in eight types of habitats in Zhalong Wetland. A total of 5822 insects were collected, belonging to 143 species, 58 families, and 11 orders, among which, Orthoptera, Dipteral and Odonata were the dominant taxa. The species diversity was the highest in grassland meadow, and the Shannon diversity index and evenness index were higher in lakeside but the lowest in wet meadow. Cluster analysis and principal component analysis showed that the similarity of the insect community in the habitats was related to the water source status and vegetation type, and the species and individual number of predatory taxa had important regulation effects on the insect community stability. Lakeside had the strongest insect community stability, while wet meadow had the weakest one, indicating that habitat water source status could affect insect survival, and further, affect the species composition and distribution pattern of insect community.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Instantaneous threat escape and differentiated refuge demand among zooplankton taxa.

    PubMed

    Hansson, Lars-Anders; Bianco, Giuseppe; Ekvall, Mikael; Heuschele, Jan; Hylander, Samuel; Yang, Xi

    2016-02-01

    Most animals, including aquatic crustacean zooplankton, perform strong avoidance movements when exposed to a threat, such as ultraviolet radiation (UVR). We here show that the genera Daphnia and Bosmina instantly adjust their vertical position in the water in accordance with the present UVR threat, i.e., seek refuge in deeper waters, whereas other taxa show less response to the threat. Moreover, Daphnia repeatedly respond to UVR pulses, suggesting that they spend more energy on movement than more stationary taxa, for example, during days with fluctuating cloud cover, illustrating nonlethal effects in avoiding UVR threat. Accordingly, we also show that the taxa with the most contrasting behavioral responses differ considerably in photoprotection, suggesting different morphological and behavioral strategies in handling the UVR threat. In a broader context, our studies on individual and taxa specific responses to UVR provide insights into observed spatial and temporal distribution in natural ecosystems. PMID:27145603

  3. Atmospheric oxygen and the evolution of insect gigantism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dudley, R.

    2003-04-01

    Geophysical analyses suggest the presence of a late Paleozoic oxygen pulse beginning in the late Devonian and continuing through to the late Carboniferous. During this time, atmospheric oxygen levels increased to values potentially as high as 35% relative to the contemporary value of 21%. Widespread gigantism in late Paleozoic insects and other arthropods is consistent with enhanced oxygen flux within diffusion-limited tracheal systems, and thus with relaxation of constraints on maximum insect body size. Because total atmospheric pressure increases with increased oxygen partial pressure, concurrently hyperdense conditions would have augmented aerodynamic force production in early forms of flying insects. Hyperoxia of the late Paleozoic atmosphere may also have physiologically facilitated the initial evolution of insect flight metabolism. By the late Permian, evolution of decompositional microbial and fungal communities together with disequilibrium in rates of carbon deposition gradually reduced oxygen concentrations to values possibly as low as 15%. The disappearance of giant insects by the end of the Permian is consistent with extinction of these taxa for reasons of asphyxiation on a geological time scale. In modern selection experiments with Drosophila flies, substantial plasticity in body size can be evoked under conditions of variable oxygen. In particular, moderate hyperbaria (and thus hyperoxia) evokes a 20% increase in adult body size over merely five generations, suggesting ready capacity for evolutionary responses by insects to fluctuating atmospheric oxygen.

  4. Feeding the insect industry

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  5. 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

  6. Insects and climate change

    SciTech Connect

    Elias, S.A. )

    1991-09-01

    In this article the author describes some of the significant late glacial and Holocene changes that occurred in the Rocky Mountains, including the regional extirpation of certain beetle species. The fossil data presented here summarize what is known about regional insect responses to climate change in terms of species stability and geographic distribution. To minimize potential problems of species interactions (i.e., insect-host plant relationships, host-parasite relationships, and other interactions that tie a particular insect species' distribution to that of another organism), only predators and scavengers are discussed. These insects respond most rapidly to environmental changes, because for the most part they are not tied to any particular type of vegetation.

  7. Insect hemolymph clotting.

    PubMed

    Dushay, Mitchell S

    2009-08-01

    The clot's appearance in different large-bodied insects has been described, but until recently, little was known about any insect clot's molecular makeup, and few experiments could directly test its function. Techniques have been developed in Drosophila (fruit fly) larvae to identify clotting factors that can then be tested for effects on hemostasis, healing, and immunity. This has revealed unanticipated complexity in the hemostatic mechanisms in these larvae. While the clot's molecular structure is not yet fully understood, progress is being made, and the loss of clotting factors has been shown to cause subtle immune defects. The few similarities between coagulation in different insect species and life stages, and the current state of knowledge about coagulation in insects are discussed. PMID:19418022

  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. 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.

  10. 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,…

  11. 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…

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. [Sexuality in Ancient Egypt].

    PubMed

    Androutsos, G; Marketos, S

    1994-10-01

    The present article explores the sexuality in ancient Egypt. In particular in this article are presented the ways of concubinage (marriage, concubinage, adultery), the incest, loves of the pharaohs and of the common people, the freedom of choice in garments, the status of the hetairas and of the whores, the sexual perversions (male and female homosexuality, necrophilia, sodomism, bestiality, rape, masturbation, exhibitionism), the operations of the genitals (circumcision, excision, castration) and finally the level of knowledge in gynaecology, fertility, contraception and obstetrics that even today demands our admiration.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Transformation systems in insects.

    PubMed

    O'Brochta, David A; Atkinson, Peter W

    2004-01-01

    Genetic transformation is an important technology that provides unique opportunities to find, isolate, and analyze genes, as well as to create organisms with unique functional characteristics. Insect biologists have been developing genetic transformation technologies that rely extensively on transposable elements. A number of class II transposable elements isolated originally from insects have been converted into broad host range insect gene vectors. Class II transposable elements are particularly amenable to gene vector development, although they suffer from some limitations such as low rates of recombination. Use of these gene vectors requires the physical introduction of the vectors into developing insect embryos by microinjection. Microinjection methods vary to accommodate the unique physical and developmental characteristics of the target insects. All methods rely on the use of fine glass needles in conjunction with micromanipulators and a microscope. A serious constraint on the use of existing systems can be the inefficiency of successfully delivering the gene vectors to the germ cells of the developing embryo. The general method for vector delivery to insect germ cells is described, as well as variations that are useful under some conditions.

  18. 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. PMID:6559112

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Cell Size Distributions of Soil Bacterial and Archaeal Taxa

    PubMed Central

    Portillo, Maria C.; Leff, Jonathan W.; Lauber, Christian L.

    2013-01-01

    Cell size is a key ecological trait of soil microorganisms that determines a wide range of life history attributes, including the efficiency of nutrient acquisition. However, because of the methodological issues associated with determining cell sizes in situ, we have a limited understanding of how cell abundances vary across cell size fractions and whether certain microbial taxa have consistently smaller cells than other taxa. In this study, we extracted cells from three distinct soils and fractionated them into seven size ranges (5 μm to 0.2 μm) by filtration. Cell abundances in each size fraction were determined by direct microscopy, with the taxonomic composition of each size fraction determined by high-throughput sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene. Most of the cells were smaller than cells typically grown in culture, with 59 to 67% of cells <1.2 μm in diameter. Furthermore, each size fraction harbored distinct bacterial and archaeal communities in each of the three soils, and many of the taxa exhibited distinct size distribution patterns, with the smaller size fractions having higher relative abundances of taxa that are rare or poorly characterized (including Acidobacteria, Gemmatimonadetes, Crenarchaeota, Verrucomicrobia, and Elusimicrobia). In general, there was a direct relationship between average cell size and culturability, with those soil taxa that are poorly represented in culture collections tending to be smaller. Size fractionation not only provides important insight into the life history strategies of soil microbial taxa but also is a useful tool to enable more focused investigations into those taxa that remain poorly characterized. PMID:24077710

  6. Ecological Society of America meeting. Global warming, insects take the stage at Snowbird.

    PubMed

    Kaiser, J

    2000-09-22

    Despite the turmoil of not-so-distant forest fires and United Airlines troubles that threw off travel schedules, some 2600 ecologists made their way to this sun-soaked canyon last month for the Ecological Society of America's 85th annual meeting. Topics ranged from ancient droughts to photosynthesis beneath snow and how trees resist insects.

  7. 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…

  8. Migration strategies of insects.

    PubMed

    Dingle, H

    1972-03-24

    Physiological and ecological results from a variety of species are consistent with what seem to be valid general statements concerning insect migration. These are as follows: (i)During migration locomotory functions are enhanced and vegetative functions such as feeding and reproduction are suppressed. (ii) Migration usually occurs prereproductively in the life of the adult insect (the oogenesis-flight syndrome). (iii)Since migrant individuals are usually prereproductive, their reproductive values, and hence colonizing abilities, are at or near maximum. (iv) Migrants usually reside in temporary habitats. (v)Migrants have a high potential for population increase, r, which is also advantageous for colonizers. (vi)Both the physiological and ecological parameters of migration are modifiable by environmental factors (that is, phenotypically modifiable)to suit the prevailing conditions. Taken together, these criteria establish a comprehensive theory and adumbrate the basic strategy for migrant insects. This basic strategy is modified to suit the ecological requirements of individual species. Comparative studies of these modifications are of considerable theoretical and practical interest, the more so since most economically important insects are migrants. No satisfactory general statements can as yet be made with respect to the genotype and migration. Certainly we expect colonizing populiations to possess genotypes favoring a high r, but genotypic variation in r depends on the heritabilities of life table statistics, and such measurements are yet to be made (10, 53). The fact that flight duration can be increased by appropriate selection in Oncopeltus fasciatus, and the demonstration of additive genetic variance for this trait in Lygaeus kalmii, suggest that heritability studies of migratory behavior would also be worth pursuing. Most interesting of course, will be possible genetic correlations between migration and life history parameters. Also, migration often

  9. 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. PMID:25299580

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. On age and species richness of higher taxa.

    PubMed

    Stadler, Tanja; Rabosky, Daniel L; Ricklefs, Robert E; Bokma, Folmer

    2014-10-01

    Many studies have tried to identify factors that explain differences in numbers of species between clades against the background assumption that older clades contain more species because they have had more time for diversity to accumulate. The finding in several recent studies that species richness of clades is decoupled from stem age has been interpreted as evidence for ecological limits to species richness. Here we demonstrate that the absence of a positive age-diversity relationship, or even a negative relationship, may also occur when taxa are defined based on time or some correlate of time such as genetic distance or perhaps morphological distinctness. Thus, inferring underlying processes from distributions of species across higher taxa requires caution concerning the way in which higher taxa are defined. When this definition is unclear, crown age is superior to stem age as a measure of clade age. PMID:25226180

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Insect Repellents: Protect Your Child from Insect Bites

    MedlinePlus

    ... Español Text Size Email Print Share Choosing an Insect Repellent for Your Child Page Content Article Body Mosquitoes , ... sunscreen needs to be reapplied often. Reactions to Insect Repellents If you suspect that your child is having ...

  1. Recurrent loss of CenH3 is associated with independent transitions to holocentricity in insects.

    PubMed

    Drinnenberg, Ines A; deYoung, Dakota; Henikoff, Steven; Malik, Harmit Singh

    2014-01-01

    Faithful chromosome segregation in all eukaryotes relies on centromeres, the chromosomal sites that recruit kinetochore proteins and mediate spindle attachment during cell division. The centromeric histone H3 variant, CenH3, is the defining chromatin component of centromeres in most eukaryotes, including animals, fungi, plants, and protists. In this study, using detailed genomic and transcriptome analyses, we show that CenH3 was lost independently in at least four lineages of insects. Each of these lineages represents an independent transition from monocentricity (centromeric determinants localized to a single chromosomal region) to holocentricity (centromeric determinants extended over the entire chromosomal length) as ancient as 300 million years ago. Holocentric insects therefore contain a CenH3-independent centromere, different from almost all the other eukaryotes. We propose that ancient transitions to holocentricity in insects obviated the need to maintain CenH3, which is otherwise essential in most eukaryotes, including other holocentrics.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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. PMID:18707465

  5. 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.

  6. 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. PMID:24521711

  7. 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.

  8. Astronomy in the Ancient Caucasus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simonia, Irakli; Jijelava, Badri

    This chapter discusses the role of recurrent heavenly phenomena in the formation of ancient cultural traditions. Artifacts bearing witness to astronomical and calendrical practices in the ancient Caucasus are described and we analyze the significance of the "boats of the sun" petroglyphs at Gobustan in Azerbaijan, the solar station at Abuli in Georgia, and the "sky dial" at Carahunge in Armenia. Similarities and differences between the ancient cultures of the region are discussed. Finally, we present the results of the latest field research and new facts and hypotheses.

  9. 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 ...

  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. 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)

  12. Irradiating insect pests

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  13. Insect mass production technologies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  14. Olfactory signaling in insects.

    PubMed

    Wicher, Dieter

    2015-01-01

    The detection of volatile chemical information in insects is performed by three types of olfactory receptors, odorant receptors (ORs), specific gustatory receptor (GR) proteins for carbon dioxide perception, and ionotropic receptors (IRs) which are related to ionotropic glutamate receptors. All receptors form heteromeric assemblies; an OR complex is composed of an odor-specific OrX protein and a coreceptor (Orco). ORs and GRs have a 7-transmembrane topology as for G protein-coupled receptors, but they are inversely inserted into the membrane. Ligand-gated ion channels (ionotropic receptors) and ORs operate as IRs activated by volatile chemical cues. ORs are evolutionarily young receptors, and they first appear in winged insects and seem to be evolved to allow an insect to follow sparse odor tracks during flight. In contrast to IRs, the ORs can be sensitized by repeated subthreshold odor stimulation. This process involves metabotropic signaling. Pheromone receptors are especially sensitive and require an accessory protein to detect the lipid-derived pheromone molecules. Signaling cascades involved in pheromone detection depend on intensity and duration of stimuli and underlie a circadian control. Taken together, detection and processing of volatile information in insects involve ionotropic as well as metabotropic mechanisms. Here, I review the cellular signaling events associated with detection of cognate ligands by the different types of odorant receptors.

  15. Corn insect pests

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  16. 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,…

  17. 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.

  18. 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…

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. [Ancient Egyptian Odontology].

    PubMed

    Berghult, B

    1999-01-01

    In ancient Egypt during the reign of Pharaoh Djoser, circa 2650 BC, the Step Pyramid was constructed by Imhotep. He was later worshiped as the God of Medicine. One of his contemporaries was the powerful writer Hesy who is reproduced on a panel showing a rebus of a swallow, a tusk and an arrow. He is therefore looked upon as being the first depicted odontologist. The art of writing begun in Egypt in about 3100 BC and the medical texts we know from different papyri were copied with hieratic signs around 1900-1100 BC. One of the most famous is the Papyrus Ebers. It was purchased by professor Ebers on a research travel to Luxor in 1873. Two years later a beautiful facsimile in color was published and the best translation came in 1958 in German. The text includes 870 remedies and some of them are related to teeth and oral troubles like pain in the mouth, gingivitis, periodontitis and cavities in the teeth. The most common oral pain was probably pulpitis caused by extreme attrition due to the high consumption of bread contaminated with soil and/or quern minerals. Another text is the Papyrus Edwin Smith with four surgical cases of dental interest. The "toothworms" that were presumed to bring about decayed teeth have not been identified in the medical texts. It was not until 1889 W.D. Miller presented a scientific explanation that cavities were caused by bacteria. In spite of extensive research only a few evidence of prosthetic and invasive treatments have been found and these dental artifacts have probably been made post mortem. Some of the 150 identified doctors were associated with treatments of disorders of the mouth. The stele of Seneb from Sa'is during the 26th dynasty of Psamtik, 664-525 BC, shows a young man who probably was a dental healer well known to Pharaoh and his court. Clement of Alexandria mentions circa 200 AD that the written knowledge of the old Egyptians was gathered in 42 collections of papyri. Number 37-42 contained the medical writings. The

  2. [Ancient Egyptian Odontology].

    PubMed

    Berghult, B

    1999-01-01

    In ancient Egypt during the reign of Pharaoh Djoser, circa 2650 BC, the Step Pyramid was constructed by Imhotep. He was later worshiped as the God of Medicine. One of his contemporaries was the powerful writer Hesy who is reproduced on a panel showing a rebus of a swallow, a tusk and an arrow. He is therefore looked upon as being the first depicted odontologist. The art of writing begun in Egypt in about 3100 BC and the medical texts we know from different papyri were copied with hieratic signs around 1900-1100 BC. One of the most famous is the Papyrus Ebers. It was purchased by professor Ebers on a research travel to Luxor in 1873. Two years later a beautiful facsimile in color was published and the best translation came in 1958 in German. The text includes 870 remedies and some of them are related to teeth and oral troubles like pain in the mouth, gingivitis, periodontitis and cavities in the teeth. The most common oral pain was probably pulpitis caused by extreme attrition due to the high consumption of bread contaminated with soil and/or quern minerals. Another text is the Papyrus Edwin Smith with four surgical cases of dental interest. The "toothworms" that were presumed to bring about decayed teeth have not been identified in the medical texts. It was not until 1889 W.D. Miller presented a scientific explanation that cavities were caused by bacteria. In spite of extensive research only a few evidence of prosthetic and invasive treatments have been found and these dental artifacts have probably been made post mortem. Some of the 150 identified doctors were associated with treatments of disorders of the mouth. The stele of Seneb from Sa'is during the 26th dynasty of Psamtik, 664-525 BC, shows a young man who probably was a dental healer well known to Pharaoh and his court. Clement of Alexandria mentions circa 200 AD that the written knowledge of the old Egyptians was gathered in 42 collections of papyri. Number 37-42 contained the medical writings. The

  3. 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

  4. A visible dominant marker for insect transgenesis.

    PubMed

    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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    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

  10. Spatially explicit analyses of gastropod biodiversity in ancient Lake Ohrid

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hauffe, T.; Albrecht, C.; Schreiber, K.; Birkhofer, K.; Trajanovski, S.; Wilke, T.

    2010-07-01

    Spatial heterogeneity of biodiversity arises from evolutionary processes, constraints of environmental factors and the interaction of communities. The quality of such spatial analyses of biodiversity is improved by (i) utilizing study areas with well defined physiogeographical boundaries, (ii) limiting the impact of widespread species, and (iii) using taxa with heterogeneous distributions. These conditions are typically met by ecosystems such as oceanic islands or ancient lakes and their biota. While research on ancient lakes has contributed significantly to our understanding of evolutionary processes, statistically sound studies of spatial variation of extant biodiversity have been hampered by the frequently vast size of ancient lakes, their limited accessibility, and the lack of infrastructure around them. The small European ancient Lake Ohrid provides a rare opportunity for such a reliable spatial study. The comprehensive horizontal and vertical sampling of a species-rich taxon, the Gastropoda, presented here, revealed interesting patterns of biodiversity, which, in part, have not been shown before for other ancient lakes. In a total of 224 locations throughout the Ohrid Basin, representatives of 68 gastropod species with 50 of them being endemic (=73.5%) could be reported. The spatial distribution of these species shows the following characteristics: (i) within Lake Ohrid, the most frequent species are endemic taxa with a wide depth range, (ii) widespread species (i.e. those occurring throughout the Balkans or beyond) are rare and mainly occur in the upper layer of the lake, (iii) while the total number of species decreases with water depth, the share of endemics increases, (iv) the deeper layers of Lake Ohrid appear to have a higher spatial homogeneity of biodiversity and related environmental factors, (v) biotic interaction due to possible spillover effects may contribute to the establishment of hotspots, and (vi) eco-insularity within the Ohrid Basin occurs

  11. Spatially explicit analysis of gastropod biodiversity in ancient Lake Ohrid

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hauffe, T.; Albrecht, C.; Schreiber, K.; Birkhofer, K.; Trajanovski, S.; Wilke, T.

    2011-01-01

    The quality of spatial analyses of biodiversity is improved by (i) utilizing study areas with well defined physiogeographical boundaries, (ii) limiting the impact of widespread species, and (iii) using taxa with heterogeneous distributions. These conditions are typically met by ecosystems such as oceanic islands or ancient lakes and their biota. While research on ancient lakes has contributed significantly to our understanding of evolutionary processes, statistically sound studies of spatial variation of extant biodiversity have been hampered by the frequently vast size of ancient lakes, their limited accessibility, and the lack of scientific infrastructure. The European ancient Lake Ohrid provides a rare opportunity for such a reliable spatial study. The comprehensive horizontal and vertical sampling of a species-rich taxon, the Gastropoda, presented here, revealed interesting patterns of biodiversity, which, in part, have not been shown before for other ancient lakes. In a total of 284 samples from 224 different locations throughout the Ohrid Basin, 68 gastropod species, with 50 of them (= 73.5%) being endemic, could be reported. The spatial distribution of these species shows the following characteristics: (i) within Lake Ohrid, the most frequent species are endemic taxa with a wide depth range, (ii) widespread species (i.e. those occurring throughout the Balkans or beyond) are rare and mainly occur in the upper layer of the lake, (iii) while the total number of species decreases with water depth, the proportion of endemics increases, and (iv) the deeper layers of Lake Ohrid appear to have a higher spatial homogeneity of biodiversity. Moreover, gastropod communities of Lake Ohrid and its feeder springs are both distinct from each other and from the surrounding waters. The analysis also shows that community similarity of Lake Ohrid is mainly driven by niche processes (e.g. environmental factors), but also by neutral processes (e.g. dispersal limitation and

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  16. 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

  17. Neurology in ancient faces

    PubMed Central

    Appenzeller, O; Stevens, J; Kruszynski, R; Walker, S

    2001-01-01

    BACKGROUND—Clinical paleoneurology is almost non-existent, but recognition of neurological diseases in ancient people might be possible by scrutinising portraits apparently representing people as they appeared in life.
METHODS—About 200 mummy portraits painted in colour at the beginning of the first millennium were examined. Thirty two skulls excavated at Hawara in the Fayum (northern Egypt), where most of the portraits were found were measured, and nine caliper measures on each side of the skulls were taken. The right/left ratios were statistically analyzed by analysis of variance (ANOVA). One skull was subjected to 3D CT scanning and transilluminated.
RESULTS—Two patients were found with progressive facial hemiatrophy (Parry-Romberg syndrome), three with deviations of the visual axes (tropia) and one with oval pupils (corectopia).
CONCLUSIONS—Clinical paleoneurology is possible in the absence of a living nervous system. The patients probably had focal epilepsy, hemiplegic migraine, and autonomic nervous system dysfunction.

 PMID:11254781

  18. Insect endosymbionts: manipulators of insect herbivore trophic interactions?

    PubMed

    Clark, Emily L; Karley, Alison J; Hubbard, Stephen F

    2010-08-01

    Throughout their evolutionary history, insects have formed multiple relationships with bacteria. Although many of these bacteria are pathogenic, with deleterious effects on the fitness of infected insects, there are also numerous examples of symbiotic bacteria that are harmless or even beneficial to their insect host. Symbiotic bacteria that form obligate or facultative associations with insects and that are located intracellularly in the host insect are known as endosymbionts. Endosymbiosis can be a strong driving force for evolution when the acquisition and maintenance of a microorganism by the insect host results in the formation of novel structures or changes in physiology and metabolism. The complex evolutionary dynamics of vertically transmitted symbiotic bacteria have led to distinctive symbiont genome characteristics that have profound effects on the phenotype of the host insect. Symbiotic bacteria are key players in insect-plant interactions influencing many aspects of insect ecology and playing a key role in shaping the diversification of many insect groups. In this review, we discuss the role of endosymbionts in manipulating insect herbivore trophic interactions focussing on their impact on plant utilisation patterns and parasitoid biology.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Do aquatic insects avoid cadmium-contaminated sediments?

    SciTech Connect

    Hare, L.; Shooner, F.

    1995-06-01

    The long-term colonization of profundal lake sediments having a range of spiked cadmium (Cd) concentrations (0.007 to 2.7 {mu}mol/g dry wt.) was measured in the field. Population densities of two of the most abundant colonizing insects (the chironomids Procladius [Holotanypus] sp., and Sergentia coracina) were unrelated to the Cd gradient, even though both taxa accumulated Cd in direct relation to its concentration in sediment Cd gradient Cd gradient. Cadmium concentrations in Chironomus (salinarius gp.) sp. larvae also responded positively to the sediment Cd gradient and ranged from 0.2 to 50 {mu}g/g. In contrast with the two other taxa, the abundance of Chironomus (salinarius gp.) sp. was the result of a behavioral or a toxic response, larvae of the three chironomid taxa were given a choice between field-control and Cd-spiked sediments in the laboratory. None of the taxa avoided the Cd-spiked sediments, suggesting that the lower abundance of Chironomus (salinarius gp.) sp. at high Cd concentrations in the field was due to Cd toxicity and not to avoidance of the Cd-rich sediments.

  2. Meniscus-climbing insects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, David L.; Kreider, Tim; Bush, John W. M.; Mit Department Of Mathematics Team

    2003-11-01

    Many millimetric water-walking insects are unable to climb the meniscii that border land and emerging vegetation using their traditional means of propulsion. We explore the novel means by which some insects succeed in so doing through a combined experimental and theoretical investigation. The grub Collembola ascends by distorting the free surface in order to generate a net horizontal surface tension force. The water treader Mesovelia climbs the meniscus by exploiting the Coulomb-like attraction between like-signed menisci: by lifting the free surface with its front and rear pairs of feet, it generates a tangential force that draws it up the slope. We examine the required force and torque balances on the body in order to calculate optimal leg configurations for meniscus climbers that are consistent with those observed.

  3. 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.

  4. 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. PMID:22987405

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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. PMID:27197401

  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. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Evolution of cyanobacterial morphotypes: Taxa required for improved phylogenomic approaches.

    PubMed

    Schirrmeister, Bettina E; Anisimova, Maria; Antonelli, Alexandre; Bagheri, Homayoun C

    2011-07-01

    Within prokaryotes cyanobacteria represent one of the oldest and morphologically most diverse phyla on Earth. The rise of oxygen levels in the atmosphere 2.32-2.45 billion years ago is assigned to the photosynthetic activity of ancestors from this phylum. Subsequently cyanobacteria were able to adapt to various habitats evolving a comprehensive set of different morphotypes. In a recent study we showed that this evolution is not a gradual transition from simple unicellular to more complex multicellular forms as often assumed. Instead complexity was lost several times and regained at least once. An understanding of the genetic basis of these transitions would be further strengthened by phylogenomic approaches. However, considering that new methods for phylogenomic analyses are emerging, it is unfortunate that genomes available today are comprised of an unbalanced sampling of taxa. We propose avenues to remedy this by identifying taxa that would improve the representation of phylogenetic diversity in this phylum. PMID:21966561

  12. 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.

  13. Nature versus nurture in social insect caste differentiation.

    PubMed

    Schwander, Tanja; Lo, Nathan; Beekman, Madeleine; Oldroyd, Benjamin P; Keller, Laurent

    2010-05-01

    Recent evidence for genetic effects on royal and worker caste differentiation from diverse social insect taxa has put an end to the view that these phenotypes stem solely from a developmental switch controlled by environmental factors. Instead, the relative influences of genotypic and environmental effects on caste vary among species, ranging from largely environmentally controlled phenotypes to almost purely genetic systems. Disentangling the selective forces that generate variation for caste predisposition will require characterizing the genetic mechanisms underlying this variation, and identifying particular life-history strategies and kin structures associated with strong genetic effects on caste.

  14. Nature versus nurture in social insect caste differentiation.

    PubMed

    Schwander, Tanja; Lo, Nathan; Beekman, Madeleine; Oldroyd, Benjamin P; Keller, Laurent

    2010-05-01

    Recent evidence for genetic effects on royal and worker caste differentiation from diverse social insect taxa has put an end to the view that these phenotypes stem solely from a developmental switch controlled by environmental factors. Instead, the relative influences of genotypic and environmental effects on caste vary among species, ranging from largely environmentally controlled phenotypes to almost purely genetic systems. Disentangling the selective forces that generate variation for caste predisposition will require characterizing the genetic mechanisms underlying this variation, and identifying particular life-history strategies and kin structures associated with strong genetic effects on caste. PMID:20106547

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-10

    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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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. PMID:26602342

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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. PMID:26908196

  2. 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.

  3. Multi-taxa trait and functional responses to physical disturbance.

    PubMed

    Pedley, Scott M; Dolman, Paul M

    2014-11-01

    Examining assemblage trait responses to environmental stressors extends our understanding beyond patterns of taxonomic diversity and composition, with results potentially transferable among bioregions. But the degree to which trait responses may be generalized across taxonomic groups remains incompletely understood. We compared trait responses among carabids, spiders and plants to an experimentally manipulated gradient of physical disturbance, replicated in open habitats within a forested landscape. Recolonization of recently disturbed habitats is expected to favour species with traits that promote greater dispersal ability, independent of taxa. We specifically predicted that physical disturbance would increase the representation of carabids with smaller body size, wings or wing dimorphism, spiders able to disperse aerially, and plants with therophyte life-history and wind-dispersed seed. We sampled 197 arthropod species (14,738 individuals) and 164 species of plant. The strength of association between each trait and the disturbance intensity was quantified by correlating matrices of species by traits, species abundance by sites and sites by environment, with significance assessed by comparison with a null model. Responses of biological traits varied among taxa but could be consistently interpreted in terms of dispersal ability. Trait shifts for carabid and plant assemblages were as predicted and correspond to those observed in other disturbance regimes. Assemblages after disturbance comprised smaller and winged carabids, and smaller plants with wind-dispersed seed, consistent with selection for species with better dispersal ability. In contrast, aerial dispersal did not appear important in spider recolonization, instead terrestrial dispersal ability was suggested by the increased abundance of larger-bodied and cursorial species. However, larger spider body size was also associated with an active-hunting strategy, also favoured in the post-disturbance environment

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-08-22

    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

  5. Reconstructing ancient genomes and epigenomes.

    PubMed

    Orlando, Ludovic; Gilbert, M Thomas P; Willerslev, Eske

    2015-07-01

    Research involving ancient DNA (aDNA) has experienced a true technological revolution in recent years through advances in the recovery of aDNA and, particularly, through applications of high-throughput sequencing. Formerly restricted to the analysis of only limited amounts of genetic information, aDNA studies have now progressed to whole-genome sequencing for an increasing number of ancient individuals and extinct species, as well as to epigenomic characterization. Such advances have enabled the sequencing of specimens of up to 1 million years old, which, owing to their extensive DNA damage and contamination, were previously not amenable to genetic analyses. In this Review, we discuss these varied technical challenges and solutions for sequencing ancient genomes and epigenomes. PMID:26055157

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Cranial surgery in ancient Peru.

    PubMed

    Rifkinson-Mann, S

    1988-10-01

    Trephination is the oldest known surgical technique. Peru has been recognized as a major source of ancient trephined skulls, many of which date back 2300 years. This presentation reviews from a neurosurgical perspective many of the archaeological studies performed on these skulls. Comparative osteology has shown that almost 70% of patients survived the procedure. The various instruments, hemostatic agents, anesthetics, surgical techniques, and cranioplasties used are reconstructed from the anthropological literature. The possible reasons for the use of trephination are discussed. Analysis of the data leads to the conclusion that, despite their rudimentary knowledge of disease, the ancient Incas must have had some knowledge of anatomy and proper surgical procedure.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. ALLERGIC REACTIONS CAUSED BY VENOM OF HYMENOPTEROUS STINGING INSECTS AND THE ROLE OF HEALTH CARE WORKERS.

    PubMed

    Abdelrahman, Raafat Zaher; Mohamad, Hanaa Mahmoud; Morsy, Ayman T A; Morsy, Tosson A

    2015-08-01

    The Hymenoptera are the third largest order of insects, comprising the sawflies, wasps, bees and ants. Worldwide, over 150,000 species are recognized, with many more remaining to be described. The name refers to the wings of the insects, but the original derivation is ambiguous. The Ancient Greek υμην (hymen) for membrane provides a pLusible etymology for the term because these insects have membranous wings. However, a key characteristic of this order is that the hind wings are connected to the fore wings by a series of hooks called hamuli. Thus, another plausible etymology involves, Hymen, the Ancient Greek god of marriage, as these insects have "married wings" in flight. Stinging insects and the medical risk associated with their venoms are complex topics, and presentation of information pertaining to them requires the use of technical terms. The most common reactions to these stings are transient pain and redness at the site lasting a few hours (local reaction), and exaggerated swelling lasting a few days (large local reaction). The most dangerous immediate reaction is anaphylaxis, which is potentially fatal. PMID:26485860

  13. Speciation slowing down in widespread and long-living tree taxa: insights from the tropical timber tree genus Milicia (Moraceae).

    PubMed

    Daïnou, K; Mahy, G; Duminil, J; Dick, C W; Doucet, J-L; Donkpégan, A S L; Pluijgers, M; Sinsin, B; Lejeune, P; Hardy, O J

    2014-07-01

    The long generation time and large effective size of widespread forest tree species can result in slow evolutionary rate and incomplete lineage sorting, complicating species delimitation. We addressed this issue with the African timber tree genus Milicia that comprises two morphologically similar and often confounded species: M. excelsa, widespread from West to East Africa, and M. regia, endemic to West Africa. We combined information from nuclear microsatellites (nSSRs), nuclear and plastid DNA sequences, and morphological systematics to identify significant evolutionary units and infer their evolutionary and biogeographical history. We detected five geographically coherent genetic clusters using nSSRs and three levels of genetic differentiation. First, one West African cluster matched perfectly with the morphospecies M. regia that formed a monophyletic clade at both DNA sequences. Second, a West African M. excelsa cluster formed a monophyletic group at plastid DNA and was more related to M. regia than to Central African M. excelsa, but shared many haplotypes with the latter at nuclear DNA. Third, three Central African clusters appeared little differentiated and shared most of their haplotypes. Although gene tree paraphyly could suggest a single species in Milicia following the phylogenetic species concept, the existence of mutual haplotypic exclusivity and nonadmixed genetic clusters in the contact area of the two taxa indicate strong reproductive isolation and, thus, two species following the biological species concept. Molecular dating of the first divergence events showed that speciation in Milicia is ancient (Tertiary), indicating that long-living tree taxa exhibiting genetic speciation may remain similar morphologically.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Three-dimensional Magnetic Resonance Imaging of fossils across taxa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mietchen, D.; Aberhan, M.; Manz, B.; Hampe, O.; Mohr, B.; Neumann, C.; Volke, F.

    2008-01-01

    The frequency of life forms in the fossil record is largely determined by the extent to which they were mineralised at the time of their death. In addition to mineral structures, many fossils nonetheless contain detectable amounts of residual water or organic molecules, the analysis of which has become an integral part of current palaeontological research. The methods available for this sort of investigations, though, typically require dissolution or ionisation of the fossil sample or parts thereof, which is an issue with rare taxa and outstanding materials like pathological or type specimens. In such cases, non-destructive techniques could provide a valuable methodological alternative. While Computed Tomography has long been used to study palaeontological specimens, a number of complementary approaches have recently gained ground. These include Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) which had previously been employed to obtain three-dimensional images of pathological belemnites non-invasively on the basis of intrinsic contrast. The present study was undertaken to investigate whether 1H MRI can likewise provide anatomical information about non-pathological belemnites and specimens of other fossil taxa. To this end, three-dimensional MR image series were acquired from intact non-pathological invertebrate, vertebrate and plant fossils. At routine voxel resolutions in the range of several dozens to some hundreds of micrometers, these images reveal a host of anatomical details and thus highlight the potential of MR techniques to effectively complement existing methodological approaches for palaeontological investigations in a wide range of taxa. As for the origin of the MR signal, relaxation and diffusion measurements as well as 1H and 13C MR spectra acquired from a belemnite suggest intracrystalline water or hydroxyl groups, rather than organic residues.

  18. Three-dimensional Magnetic Resonance Imaging of fossils across taxa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mietchen, D.; Aberhan, M.; Manz, B.; Hampe, O.; Mohr, B.; Neumann, C.; Volke, F.

    2007-08-01

    The visibility of life forms in the fossil record is largely determined by the extent to which they were mineralised at the time of their death. In addition to mineral structures, many fossils nonetheless contain detectable amounts of residual water or organic molecules, the analysis of which has become an integral part of current palaeontological research. The methods available for this sort of investigations, though, typically require dissolution or ionisation of the fossil sample or parts thereof, which is an issue with rare taxa and outstanding materials like pathological or type specimens. In such cases, non-destructive techniques could provide an interesting methodological alternative. While Computed Tomography has long been used to study palaeontological specimens, a number of complementary approaches have recently gained ground. These include Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) which had previously been employed to obtain three-dimensional images of pathological belemnites non-invasively on the basis of intrinsic contrast. The present study was undertaken to investigate whether 1H MRI can likewise provide anatomical information about non-pathological belemnites and specimens of other fossil taxa. To this end, three-dimensional MR image series were acquired from intact non-pathological invertebrate, vertebrate and plant fossils. At routine voxel resolutions in the range of several dozens to some hundreds of micrometers, these images reveal a host of anatomical details and thus highlight the potential of MR techniques to effectively complement existing methodological approaches for palaeontological investigations in a wide range of taxa. As for the origin of the MR signal, relaxation and diffusion measurements as well as 1H and 13C MR spectra acquired from a belemnite suggest intracrystalline water or hydroxyl groups, rather than organic residues.

  19. Nuclear DNA Content Variation among Central European Koeleria Taxa

    PubMed Central

    PECINKA, ALES; SUCHÁNKOVÁ, PAVLA; LYSAK, MARTIN A.; TRÁVNÍČEK, BOHUMIL; DOLEŽEL, JAROSLAV

    2006-01-01

    • Background and Aims Polyploidization plays an important role in the evolution of many plant genera, including Koeleria. The knowledge of ploidy, chromosome number and genome size may enable correct taxonomic treatment when other features are insufficient as in Koeleria. Therefore, these characteristics and their variability were determined for populations of six central European Koeleria taxa. • Methods Chromosome number analysis was performed by squashing root meristems, and ploidy and 2C nuclear DNA content were estimated by flow cytometry. • Key Results Three diploids (K. glauca, K. macrantha var. macrantha and var. pseudoglauca), one tetraploid (K. macrantha var. majoriflora), one decaploid (K. pyramidata) and one dodecaploid (K. tristis) were found. The 2C nuclear DNA content of the diploids ranged from 4·85 to 5·20 pg. The 2C DNA contents of tetraploid, decaploid and dodecaploid taxa were 9·31 pg, 22·89 pg and 29·23 pg, respectively. The DNA content of polyploids within the K. macrantha aggregate (i.e. within K. macrantha and K. pyramidata) was smaller than the expected multiple of the diploid genome (K. macrantha var. macrantha). Geography-correlated variation of DNA content was found for some taxa. Czech populations of K. macrantha var. majoriflora had a 5·06 % smaller genome than the Slovak ones. An isolated eastern Slovakian population of K. tristis revealed 8·04 % less DNA than populations from central Slovakia. In central and north-west Bohemia, diploid and tetraploid cytotypes of K. macrantha were sympatric; east from this region diploid populations, and towards the west tetraploid populations were dominant. • Conclusions Remarkable intra-specific inter-population differences in nuclear DNA content were found between Bohemian and Pannonian populations of Koeleria macrantha var. majoriflora and between geographically isolated central and eastern Slovakian populations of K. tristis. These differences occur over a relatively small

  20. 7 CFR 51.2290 - Insect injury.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 2 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 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....

  1. 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...

  2. 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...

  3. 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....

  4. 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....

  5. 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....

  6. 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....

  7. 7 CFR 51.2122 - Insect injury.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 2 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 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....

  8. 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…

  9. 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

  10. Biological communities at the Florida Escarpment resemble hydrothermal vent taxa

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Paull, C.K.; Hecker, Barbara; Commeau, R.; Freeman-Lynde, R. P.; Neumann, C.; Corso, W.P.; Golubic, S.; Hook, J.E.; Sikes, E.; Curray, J.

    1984-01-01

    Dense biological communities of large epifaunal taxa similar to those found along ridge crest vents at the East Pacific Rise were discovered in the abyssal Gulf of Mexico. These assemblages occur on a passive continental margin at the base of the Florida Escarpment, the interface between the relatively impermeable hemipelagic clays of the distal Mississippi Fan and the jointed Cretaceous limestone of the Florida Platform. The fauna apparently is nourished by sulfide rich hypersaline waters seeping out at near ambient temperatures onto the sea floor.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Ancient DNA and conservation: lessons from the endangered kiwi of New Zealand.

    PubMed

    Shepherd, L D; Lambert, D M

    2008-05-01

    Conservation genetics typically seeks to map the distribution of contemporary genetic variation across space, and to use the resulting genetic parameters to infer any likely short-term evolutionary consequences for rare and endangered species. Recent developments in the study of ancient DNA now enable the extension of genetic variation studies backwards in time and provide a context by which to interpret contemporary levels of genetic variation, in addition to any patterns of genetic change over time. Ancient DNA research can also help to determine past levels of genetic diversity, identify species' boundaries and reveal former ranges among morphologically cryptic taxa. Ancient DNA sequence data for the New Zealand kiwi (Apteryx spp.) are presented and we show that most ancient populations of rowi and tokoeka exhibited private mitochondrial DNA haplotypes. Moreover, we illustrate that the extinction of these populations has led to the loss of considerable genetic variation. We also use ancient DNA methodology to determine past species distributions for brown kiwi and great spotted kiwi whose bones are morphologically indistinguishable.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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 facts presented. The…

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. 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. PMID:18812066

  20. 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…

  1. 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)

  2. 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. PMID:25802407

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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…

  7. Genomic regulatory blocks underlie extensive microsynteny conservation in insects

    PubMed Central

    Engström, Pär G.; Ho Sui, Shannan J.; Drivenes, Øyvind; Becker, Thomas S.; Lenhard, Boris

    2007-01-01

    Insect genomes contain larger blocks of conserved gene order (microsynteny) than would be expected under a random breakage model of chromosome evolution. We present evidence that microsynteny has been retained to keep large arrays of highly conserved noncoding elements (HCNEs) intact. These arrays span key developmental regulatory genes, forming genomic regulatory blocks (GRBs). We recently described GRBs in vertebrates, where most HCNEs function as enhancers and HCNE arrays specify complex expression programs of their target genes. Here we present a comparison of five Drosophila genomes showing that HCNE density peaks centrally in large synteny blocks containing multiple genes. Besides developmental regulators that are likely targets of HCNE enhancers, HCNE arrays often span unrelated neighboring genes. We describe differences in core promoters between the target genes and the unrelated genes that offer an explanation for the differences in their responsiveness to enhancers. We show examples of a striking correspondence between boundaries of synteny blocks, HCNE arrays, and Polycomb binding regions, confirming that the synteny blocks correspond to regulatory domains. Although few noncoding elements are highly conserved between Drosophila and the malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae, we find that A. gambiae regions orthologous to Drosophila GRBs contain an equivalent distribution of noncoding elements highly conserved in the yellow fever mosquito Aëdes aegypti and coincide with regions of ancient microsynteny between Drosophila and mosquitoes. The structural and functional equivalence between insect and vertebrate GRBs marks them as an ancient feature of metazoan genomes and as a key to future studies of development and gene regulation. PMID:17989259

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. New taxa of Neosartorya and Aspergillus in Aspergillus section Fumigati.

    PubMed

    Hong, Seung-Beom; Shin, Hyeon-Dong; Hong, Joonbae; Frisvad, Jens C; Nielsen, Per V; Varga, János; Samson, Robert A

    2008-01-01

    Three new species of Neosartorya and one new Aspergillus of section Fumigati are proposed using a polyphasic approach based on morphology, extrolite production and partial beta-tubulin, calmodulin, and actin gene sequences. The phylogenetic analyses using the three genes clearly show that the taxa grouped separately from the known species and confirmed the phenotypic differences. Neosartorya denticulata is characterized by its unique denticulate ascospores with a prominent equatorial furrow; N. assulata by well developed flaps on the convex surface of the ascospores which in addition have two distinct equatorial crests and N. galapagensis by a funiculose colony morphology, short and narrow conidiophores and ascospores with two wide equatorial crests with a microtuberculate convex surface. Aspergillus turcosus can be distinguished by velvety, gray turquoise colonies and short, loosely columnar conidial heads. The four new taxa also have unique extrolite profiles, which contain the mycotoxins gliotoxin and viriditoxin in N. denticulate; apolar compounds provisionally named NEPS in N. assulata and gregatins in N. galapagensis. A. turcosus produced kotanins. N. denticulata sp. nov., N. assulata sp. nov., N. galapagensis sp. nov., and A. turcosus sp. nov. are described and illustrated.

  11. 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. PMID:24477198

  12. 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?

  13. 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.

  14. New taxa of Neosartorya and Aspergillus in Aspergillus section Fumigati

    PubMed Central

    Hong, Seung-Beom; Shin, Hyeon-Dong; Hong, Joonbae; Frisvad, Jens C.; Nielsen, Per V.; Varga, János

    2007-01-01

    Three new species of Neosartorya and one new Aspergillus of section Fumigati are proposed using a polyphasic approach based on morphology, extrolite production and partial β-tubulin, calmodulin, and actin gene sequences. The phylogenetic analyses using the three genes clearly show that the taxa grouped separately from the known species and confirmed the phenotypic differences. Neosartorya denticulata is characterized by its unique denticulate ascospores with a prominent equatorial furrow; N. assulata by well developed flaps on the convex surface of the ascospores which in addition have two distinct equatorial crests and N. galapagensis by a funiculose colony morphology, short and narrow conidiophores and ascospores with two wide equatorial crests with a microtuberculate convex surface. Aspergillus turcosus can be distinguished by velvety, gray turquoise colonies and short, loosely columnar conidial heads. The four new taxa also have unique extrolite profiles, which contain the mycotoxins gliotoxin and viriditoxin in N. denticulate; apolar compounds provisionally named NEPS in N. assulata and gregatins in N. galapagensis. A. turcosus produced kotanins. N.denticulata sp. nov., N. assulata sp. nov., N. galapagensis sp. nov., and A. turcosus sp. nov. are described and illustrated. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10482-007-9183-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users. PMID:17610141

  15. 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.

  16. Eicosanoids mediate insect hemocyte migration

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  17. 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

  18. Chapter 21: Microsporidia in insects

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The science of microsporidiology encompasses a diverse assemblage of pathogens from a large and varied group of hosts. Microsporidia, pathogenic protists related to the Fungi, are considered to be primary pathogens of many aquatic and terrestrial insect species and have important roles in insect po...

  19. 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.…

  20. Mosquitoes feeding on insect larvae.

    PubMed

    Harris, P; Riordan, D F; Cooke, D

    1969-04-11

    Caged Aedes aegypti and Culex tarsalis are attracted to insect larvae, engorge on their body fluids, and produce viable eggs. Attractiveness of the larvae is related to their size, shape, and color but not to their movement. The possibility that wild mosquitoes substitute insect hemolymph for vertebrate blood is discussed. PMID:5774191

  1. 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…

  2. 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

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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. PMID:22553123

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. A cross-taxa phenological dataset from Mohonk Lake, NY and its relationship to climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cook, B. I.; Cook, E. R.; Huth, P. C.; Thompson, J. E.; Forster, A.; Smiley, D.

    2007-12-01

    We present a detailed analysis of a rare cross-taxa native species phenology dataset (plant flowering, insect first sighting, and amphibian first sighting) from Mohonk Lake, NY. This dataset is highly unusual in North America for its longevity of record, consistency of methodology and location, diversity of species available, and availability of local daily meteorological data. For each phenology series, we examined the flowering and first sighting Julian calendar dates for the existence of temporal trends. Only one of the five animal species (katydid) showed any evidence for a significant trend in first sighting. In contrast, the plant species showed a rich mixture of temporal trends in flowering that could be divided into four classes: woody plant (no trend), woody plant (negative trend), herbaceous plant (negative trend), and herbaceous plant (positive trend). Many of the trends were found to be statistically significant and robust to the method of trend estimation. The data within each of the four plant classes were also pooled as anomalies to provide more complete temporal coverage for tests of trend robustness. The results were strongly consistent with the individual species trends within each class and highly significant statistically. We next correlated the flowering and first sighting dates against growing degree-day (GDD) summations for each day of the year to measure the sensitivity of each species to this common form of climatic forcing on phenology. All species showed a significant sensitivity to GDD summations, with peak correlations falling on or near the varying median flowering or first sighting dates. These results were robust whether the GDD analyses were conducted over the complete set of observations for each species (beginning on or after 1928) or over a latter period with a more serially complete set of cross-taxa observations (1970-2002). The GDD correlations indicate significant climate sensitivity in all species, but the different

  14. General and rare bacterial taxa demonstrating different temporal dynamic patterns in an activated sludge bioreactor.

    PubMed

    Kim, Taek-Seung; Jeong, Ju-Yong; Wells, George F; Park, Hee-Deung

    2013-02-01

    Temporal variation of general and rare bacterial taxa was investigated using pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA gene from activated sludge samples collected bimonthly for a two-year period. Most of operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were allocated to rare taxa (89.6%), but the rare taxa comprised a small portion of the community in terms of abundance of sequences analyzed (28.6%). Temporal variations in OTUs richness significantly differed between the two taxa groups in which the rare taxa showed a higher diversity and a more fluctuating pattern than the general taxa. Furthermore, the two taxa groups were constrained by different explanatory variables: influent BOD, effluent BOD, and DO were the significant (P < 0.05) parameters affecting the pattern of the general taxa, while temperature was the factor for the rare taxa. Over the test period, the general taxa persisted for a longer time (i.e., lower turnover rate) in the bioreactor than the rare taxa. In conclusion, this study demonstrated clear differences in temporal dynamic patterns for the general and rare bacterial taxa in an activated sludge bioreactor, which would be a foundation for better understanding the bacterial ecology of activated sludge. PMID:22526777

  15. 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

  16. Extinction, diversity and survivorship of taxa in the fossil record

    PubMed Central

    Newman, M. E. J.; Sibani, P.

    1999-01-01

    Using data drawn from large-scale databases, a number of interesting trends in the fossil record have been observed in recent years. These include the average decline in extinction rates throughout the Phanerozoic, the average increase in standing diversity, correlations between rates of origination and extinction, and simple laws governing the form of survivorship curves and the distribution of the lifetimes of taxa. In this paper we derive a number of mathematical relationships between these quantities and show how these different trends are interrelated. We also derive a variety of constraints on the possible forms of these trends, such as limits on the rate at which extinction may decline and limits on the allowed difference between extinction and origination rates at any given time.

  17. Bacterial taxa that limit sulfur flux from the ocean.

    PubMed

    Howard, Erinn C; Henriksen, James R; Buchan, Alison; Reisch, Chris R; Bürgmann, Helmut; Welsh, Rory; Ye, Wenying; González, José M; Mace, Kimberly; Joye, Samantha B; Kiene, Ronald P; Whitman, William B; Moran, Mary Ann

    2006-10-27

    Flux of dimethylsulfide (DMS) from ocean surface waters is the predominant natural source of sulfur to the atmosphere and influences climate by aerosol formation. Marine bacterioplankton regulate sulfur flux by converting the precursor dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) either to DMS or to sulfur compounds that are not climatically active. Through the discovery of a glycine cleavage T-family protein with DMSP methyltransferase activity, marine bacterioplankton in the Roseobacter and SAR11 taxa were identified as primary mediators of DMSP demethylation to methylmercaptopropionate. One-third of surface ocean bacteria harbor a DMSP demethylase homolog and thereby route a substantial fraction of global marine primary production away from DMS formation and into the marine microbial food web.

  18. Competitive displacement among insects and arachnids.

    PubMed

    Reitz, Stuart R; Trumble, John T

    2002-01-01

    Competitive displacement is the most severe outcome of interspecific competition. For the purposes of this review, we define this type of displacement as the removal of a formerly established species from a habitat as a result of direct or indirect competitive interactions with another species. We reviewed the literature for recent putative cases of competitive displacement among insects and arachnids and assessed the evidence for the role of interspecific competition in these displacements. We found evidence for mechanisms of both exploitation and interference competition operating in these cases of competitive displacement. Many of the cases that we identified involve the operation of more than one competitive mechanism, and many cases were mediated by other noncompetitive factors. Most, but not all, of these displacements occurred between closely related species. In the majority of cases, exotic species displaced native species or previously established exotic species, often in anthropogenically-altered habitats. The cases that we identified have occurred across a broad range of taxa and environments. Therefore we suggest that competitive displacement has the potential to be a widespread phenomenon, and the frequency of these displacement events may increase, given the ever-increasing degree of anthropogenic changes to the environment. A greater awareness of competitive displacement events should lead to more studies documenting the relative importance of key factors and developing hypotheses that explain observed patterns.

  19. 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

  20. Fossil preservation and the stratigraphic ranges of taxa.

    PubMed

    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

  1. Ancient DNA and human history.

    PubMed

    Slatkin, Montgomery; Racimo, Fernando

    2016-06-01

    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.

  2. Medical ethics in ancient times.

    PubMed

    Vegetti, M

    1991-01-01

    Moral self-regulation is all the more important in ancient medicine since medical training and practice in the Greek-Roman world were not subjected to any legal or state regulations. Physicians on the one hand had to acquire scientific skills, through voluntary efforts, and on the other hand had to offer the image of a "friend-physician" with respect for the personality of the patient. This code of conduct would distinguish the professionally serious physician from the many quack-doctors who claimed to be healers. Conversely, the famous text of the so called "Hippocratic Oath" cannot be considered as a significant example of the prevailing positions in ancient medicine, because it draws inspiration from philosophical-religious concerns typical of the Pythagoric sect.

  3. 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

  4. Ancient DNA and human history.

    PubMed

    Slatkin, Montgomery; Racimo, Fernando

    2016-06-01

    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

  5. Models of ancient sound vases

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bruel, Per V.

    2002-11-01

    Models were made of vases described by Vitruvius in Rome in about the year 70 A.D. and of sound vases (lydpotter) placed in Danish churches from 1100-1300 A.D. Measurements of vase's resonant frequencies and damping (reradiation) verified that the model vases obeyed expected physical rules. It was concluded that the excellent acoustical quality of many ancient Greek and Roman theaters cannot be ascribed to the vases placed under their seats. This study also found that sound vases placed in Nordic churches could not have shortened the reverberation time because there are far too few of them. Moreover, they could not have covered a broad frequency range. It remains a mystery why vases were installed under the seats of ancient Greek theaters and why, 1000 years later, Danes placed vases in their churches.

  6. 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

    2014-09-01

    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

  7. 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

  8. 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

    2014-09-01

    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.

  9. Peripheral olfactory signaling in insects

    PubMed Central

    Suh, Eunho; Bohbot, Jonathan; Zwiebel, Laurence J.

    2014-01-01

    Olfactory signaling is a crucial component in the life history of insects. The development of precise and parallel mechanisms to analyze the tremendous amount of chemical information from the environment and other sources has been essential to their evolutionary success. Considerable progress has been made in the study of insect olfaction fueled by bioinformatics- based utilization of genomics along with rapid advances in functional analyses. Here we review recent progress in our rapidly emerging understanding of insect peripheral sensory reception and signal transduction. These studies reveal that the nearly unlimited chemical space insects encounter is covered by distinct chemosensory receptor repertoires that are generally derived by species-specific, rapid gene gain and loss, reflecting the evolutionary consequences of adaptation to meet their specific biological needs. While diverse molecular mechanisms have been put forth, often in the context of controversial models, the characterization of the ubiquitous, highly conserved and insect-specific Orco odorant receptor co-receptor has opened the door to the design and development of novel insect control methods to target agricultural pests, disease vectors and even nuisance insects. PMID:25584200

  10. 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.

  11. Medicine among the ancient Maya.

    PubMed

    Garcia-Kutzbach, A

    1976-07-01

    Medicine among the ancient Mayas was a blend of religion and science. It was practiced by priests who inherited their position and received extensive education. The Mayas sutured wounds with human hair, reduced fractures, and used casts. They were skillful dental surgeons and made prostheses from jade and turquoise and filled teeth with iron pyrite. Three clinical diseases, pinta, leishmaniasis, and yellow fever, and several psychiatric syndromes were described.

  12. 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

  13. Ancient medicine: the patient's perspective.

    PubMed

    Geller, Mark J

    2004-01-01

    A number of previously unpublished therapeutic recipes from cuneiform tablets in Berlin (Pergamon Museum) and London (British Museum) list symptoms describing urinary tract disfunction. In addition to presenting extracts from this material, the present article discusses the roles of physician as apothecary or exorcist in ancient texts from Babylonia. This involves technical medical knowledge vs. "bed-side manner", taking into account the psychological effects of drug therapy and diagnosis. PMID:15372427

  14. Stripmining as it relates to benthic insect communities and their recovery

    SciTech Connect

    Tolbert, V.R.; Vaughan, G.L.

    1980-01-01

    To determine effects of stripmining for coal on benthic insect communities four streams, one undisturbed and three disturbed by mining to different extents, have been monitored for four years. In addition eight streams recovering for varying lengths of time and an additional undisturbed stream have been monigored for one year. Eight Surber samples as well as various physical and chemical measurements were taken from each stream at each sampling date. Reductions in the nunber of taxa and individuals as well as species diversity were found in both intensive and recovery study streams with the onset of mining disturbance. In the recovery study streams the number of individuals/m/sup 2/ and diversity were lowest in the active-5 years since disturbance streams and the number of taxa were least in the 6 to 10 years since disturbance streams. Population density, taxa, and diversity increased with recovery of 16 to 20 years. Following a recovery period of approximately 24 years, the number of taxa and individuals were greater than the undisturbed streams. Faunal similarity was greater between the 24-year recovery stream and an undisturbed stream than between any other streams. Results show that insect communities can recover from the effects of mining disturbances given limited disturbance within a watershed and sufficient time.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Flight loss linked to faster molecular evolution in insects.

    PubMed

    Mitterboeck, T Fatima; Adamowicz, Sarah J

    2013-09-22

    The loss of flight ability has occurred thousands of times independently during insect evolution. Flight loss may be linked to higher molecular evolutionary rates because of reductions in effective population sizes (Ne) and relaxed selective constraints. Reduced dispersal ability increases population subdivision, may decrease geographical range size and increases (sub)population extinction risk, thus leading to an expected reduction in Ne. Additionally, flight loss in birds has been linked to higher molecular rates of energy-related genes, probably owing to relaxed selective constraints on energy metabolism. We tested for an association between insect flight loss and molecular rates through comparative analysis in 49 phylogenetically independent transitions spanning multiple taxa, including moths, flies, beetles, mayflies, stick insects, stoneflies, scorpionflies and caddisflies, using available nuclear and mitochondrial protein-coding DNA sequences. We estimated the rate of molecular evolution of flightless (FL) and related flight-capable lineages by ratios of non-synonymous-to-synonymous substitutions (dN/dS) and overall substitution rates (OSRs). Across multiple instances of flight loss, we show a significant pattern of higher dN/dS ratios and OSRs in FL lineages in mitochondrial but not nuclear genes. These patterns may be explained by relaxed selective constraints in FL ectotherms relating to energy metabolism, possibly in combination with reduced Ne.

  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. PMID:24855064

  3. Analysis of Ancient DNA in Microbial Ecology.

    PubMed

    Gorgé, Olivier; Bennett, E Andrew; Massilani, Diyendo; Daligault, Julien; Pruvost, Melanie; Geigl, Eva-Maria; Grange, Thierry

    2016-01-01

    The development of next-generation sequencing has led to a breakthrough in the analysis of ancient genomes, and the subsequent genomic analyses of the skeletal remains of ancient humans have revolutionized the knowledge of the evolution of our species, including the discovery of a new hominin, and demonstrated admixtures with more distantly related archaic populations such as Neandertals and Denisovans. Moreover, it has also yielded novel insights into the evolution of ancient pathogens. The analysis of ancient microbial genomes allows the study of their recent evolution, presently over the last several millennia. These spectacular results have been attained despite the degradation of DNA after the death of the host, which results in very short DNA molecules that become increasingly damaged, only low quantities of which remain. The low quantity of ancient DNA molecules renders their analysis difficult and prone to contamination with modern DNA molecules, in particular via contamination from the reagents used in DNA purification and downstream analysis steps. Finally, the rare ancient molecules are diluted in environmental DNA originating from the soil microorganisms that colonize bones and teeth. Thus, ancient skeletal remains can share DNA profiles with environmental samples and identifying ancient microbial genomes among the more recent, presently poorly characterized, environmental microbiome is particularly challenging. Here, we describe the methods developed and/or in use in our laboratory to produce reliable and reproducible paleogenomic results from ancient skeletal remains that can be used to identify the presence of ancient microbiota. PMID:26791510

  4. Analysis of Ancient DNA in Microbial Ecology.

    PubMed

    Gorgé, Olivier; Bennett, E Andrew; Massilani, Diyendo; Daligault, Julien; Pruvost, Melanie; Geigl, Eva-Maria; Grange, Thierry

    2016-01-01

    The development of next-generation sequencing has led to a breakthrough in the analysis of ancient genomes, and the subsequent genomic analyses of the skeletal remains of ancient humans have revolutionized the knowledge of the evolution of our species, including the discovery of a new hominin, and demonstrated admixtures with more distantly related archaic populations such as Neandertals and Denisovans. Moreover, it has also yielded novel insights into the evolution of ancient pathogens. The analysis of ancient microbial genomes allows the study of their recent evolution, presently over the last several millennia. These spectacular results have been attained despite the degradation of DNA after the death of the host, which results in very short DNA molecules that become increasingly damaged, only low quantities of which remain. The low quantity of ancient DNA molecules renders their analysis difficult and prone to contamination with modern DNA molecules, in particular via contamination from the reagents used in DNA purification and downstream analysis steps. Finally, the rare ancient molecules are diluted in environmental DNA originating from the soil microorganisms that colonize bones and teeth. Thus, ancient skeletal remains can share DNA profiles with environmental samples and identifying ancient microbial genomes among the more recent, presently poorly characterized, environmental microbiome is particularly challenging. Here, we describe the methods developed and/or in use in our laboratory to produce reliable and reproducible paleogenomic results from ancient skeletal remains that can be used to identify the presence of ancient microbiota.

  5. 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.

  6. 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. PMID:24304111

  7. 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.

  8. Regeneration in insects.

    PubMed

    Marsh, J L; Theisen, H

    1999-08-01

    @9cIntroduction@21T issues exhibit an impressive ability to respond to a myriad of insults by repairing and regenerating complex structures. The elegant and orderly process of regeneration provides clues to the mechanisms of pattern formation but also offers the hope that the process might one day be manipulated to replace damaged body parts. To manipulate the process, it will be necessary to understand the genetic basis of the process. In the case of the insect leg, we are coming close to such a level of understanding and many of the lessons learned are relevant to vertebrate systems. A dynamic web of gene regulatory networks appears to create a robust self-organizing system that is at once extremely intricate but also perhaps simple in its reliance on a few key signaling pathways and a few simple processes, e.g. autoactivation and lateral inhibition. Here we will summarize what has been learned about the networks of gene regulation present in the Drosophila leg discs and then we will explore how the regenerative responses to different insults can be understood as predictable responses to these networks. Each of the regulatory networks could themselves serve as the subject of a detailed review and that is beyond the scope of this discussion. Here we will focus on the interplay between the regulatory networks in patterning the tissue.

  9. Effects of aerial applications of naled on nontarget insects at Parris Island, South Carolina.

    PubMed

    Breidenbaugh, M S; de Szalay, F A

    2010-04-01

    Testing impacts of large-scale aerial spraying to control public health pests under realistic field conditions are needed to understand impacts on natural populations of nontarget insects. Responses of terrestrial insects to aerial applications of an organophosphate insecticide, naled, used for mosquito and biting midge control were studied on Parris Island Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, SC. Aerial applications were made with C-130 aircraft at dusk in 2003 and in 2005. In 2003, we sampled two locations on Parris Island with Malaise traps before and after spraying, and used Before-After analyses to examine changes in terrestrial insect diversity and abundance. In 2005, we sampled insects with yellow pan traps at three locations on Parris Island and at an untreated control site. A Before-After Control-Impact analysis at each location was conducted to compare changes. In 2003, numbers of four of 12 common taxa (Dolichopodidae, Sarcophagidae, Syrphidae, Tachinidae) were lower after sprays. However, there were no significant changes in numbers of common taxa or total numbers in 2005. Shannon diversities (H') were not different in either year indicating that sprays had minimal impact on overall community biodiversity. In contrast, populations of pestiferous biting midges (Culicoides spp.) collected in CDC-style traps were reduced by 94-99% after spraying in both years; mosquito numbers declined by 88.2% in 2003 and 92.5% in 2005, after sprays. PMID:20388292

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Alien Insects in Italy: Comparing Patterns from the Regional to European Level

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:24219427

  15. 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

  16. Insect symbionts in food webs.

    PubMed

    McLean, Ailsa H C; Parker, Benjamin J; Hrček, Jan; Henry, Lee M; Godfray, H Charles J

    2016-09-01

    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'.

  17. 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

  18. Insect symbionts in food webs.

    PubMed

    McLean, Ailsa H C; Parker, Benjamin J; Hrček, Jan; Henry, Lee M; Godfray, H Charles J

    2016-09-01

    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

  19. Entomopathogenic nematodes and insect management

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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 ...

  20. Learning and cognition in insects.

    PubMed

    Giurfa, Martin

    2015-01-01

    Insects possess small brains but exhibit sophisticated behavioral performances. Recent works have reported the existence of unsuspected cognitive capabilities in various insect species, which go beyond the traditional studied framework of simple associative learning. In this study, I focus on capabilities such as attention, social learning, individual recognition, concept learning, and metacognition, and discuss their presence and mechanistic bases in insects. I analyze whether these behaviors can be explained on the basis of elemental associative learning or, on the contrary, require higher-order explanations. In doing this, I highlight experimental challenges and suggest future directions for investigating the neurobiology of higher-order learning in insects, with the goal of uncovering l architectures underlying cognitive processing.

  1. 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.

  2. Flight of the smallest insects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, Laura; Santhanakrishnan, Arvind; Hedrick, Tyson; Robinson, Alice

    2009-11-01

    A vast body of research has described the complexity of flight in insects ranging from the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, to the hawk moth, Manduca sexta. Over this range of scales, flight aerodynamics as well as the relative lift and drag forces generated are surprisingly similar. The smallest flying insects (Re˜10) have received far less attention, although previous work has shown that flight kinematics and aerodynamics can be significantly different. In this presentation, we have used a three-pronged approach that consists of measurements of flight kinematics in the tiny insect Thysanoptera (thrips), measurements of flow velocities using physical models, and direct numerical simulations to compute lift and drag forces. We find that drag forces can be an order of magnitude larger than lift forces, particularly during the clap and fling motion used by all tiny insects recorded to date.

  3. Bugs as drugs, Part 1: Insects: the "new" alternative medicine for the 21st century?

    PubMed

    Cherniack, E Paul

    2010-07-01

    Insects and insect-derived products have been widely used in folk healing in many parts of the world since ancient times. Promising treatments have at least preliminarily been studied experimentally. Maggots and honey have been used to heal chronic and post-surgical wounds and have been shown to be comparable to conventional dressings in numerous settings. Honey has also been applied to treat burns. Honey has been combined with beeswax in the care of several dermatologic disorders, including psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, tinea, pityriasis versicolor, and diaper dermatitis. Royal jelly has been used to treat postmenopausal symptoms. Bee and ant venom have reduced the number of swollen joints in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Propolis, a hive sealant made by bees, has been utilized to cure aphthous stomatitis. Cantharidin, a derivative of the bodies of blister beetles, has been applied to treat warts and molluscum contagiosum. Combining insects with conventional treatments may provide further benefit.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 7 CFR 51.2008 - Insect injury.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 2 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 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...

  8. 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...

  9. 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...

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

  14. 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...

  15. 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...

  16. 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...

  17. 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,…

  18. 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...

  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. Preface: Insect Pathology, 2nd ed

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  1. Spatial memory in insect navigation.

    PubMed

    Collett, Matthew; Chittka, Lars; Collett, Thomas S

    2013-09-01

    A wide variety of insects use spatial memories in behaviours like holding a position in air or flowing water, in returning to a place of safety, and in foraging. The Hymenoptera, in particular, have evolved life-histories requiring reliable spatial memories to support the task of provisioning their young. Behavioural experiments, primarily on social bees and ants, reveal the mechanisms by which these memories are employed for guidance to spatial goals and suggest how the memories, and the processing streams that use them, may be organized. We discuss three types of memory-based guidance which, together, can explain a large part of observed insect spatial behaviour. Two of these, alignment image-matching and positional image-matching, are based on an insect's remembered views of its surroundings: The first uses views to keep to a familiar heading and the second to head towards a familiar place. The third type of guidance is based on a process of path integration by which an insect monitors its distance and direction from its nest through odometric and compass information. To a large degree, these guidance mechanisms appear to involve modular computational systems. We discuss the lack of evidence for cognitive maps in insects, and in particular the evidence against a map based on path integration, in which view-based and path integration memories might be combined. We suggest instead that insects have a collective of separate guidance systems, which cooperate and train each other, and together provide reliable guidance over a range of conditions.

  2. Evolution of insect metamorphosis: a microarray-based study of larval and adult gene expression in the ant Camponotus festinatus.

    PubMed

    Goodisman, Michael A D; Isoe, Jun; Wheeler, Diana E; Wells, Michael A

    2005-04-01

    Holometabolous insects inhabit almost every terrestrial ecosystem. The evolutionary success of holometabolous insects stems partly from their developmental program, which includes discrete larval and adult stages. To gain an understanding of how development differs among holometabolous insect taxa, we used cDNA microarray technology to examine differences in gene expression between larval and adult Camponotus festinatus ants. We then compared expression patterns obtained from our study to those observed in the fruitfly Drosophila melanogaster. We found that many genes showed distinct patterns of expression between the larval and adult ant life stages, a result that was confirmed through quantitative reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. Genes involved in protein metabolism and possessing structural activity tended to be more highly expressed in larval than adult ants. In contrast, genes relatively upregulated in adults possessed a greater diversity of functions and activities. We also discovered that patterns of expression observed for homologous genes in D. melanogaster differed substantially from those observed in C. festinatus. Our results suggest that the specific molecular mechanisms involved in metamorphosis will differ substantially between insect taxa. Systematic investigation of gene expression during development of other taxa will provide additional information on how developmental pathways evolve.

  3. How have studies of ancient DNA from sediments contributed to the reconstruction of Quaternary floras?

    PubMed

    Birks, H John B; Birks, Hilary H

    2016-01-01

    499 I. 499 II. 500 III. 500 IV. 500 V. 500 VI. 501 VII. 502 VIII. 504 504 References 505 SUMMARY: Ancient DNA (aDNA) from lake sediments, peats, permafrost soils, preserved megafaunal gut contents and coprolites has been used to reconstruct late-Quaternary floras. aDNA is either used alone for floristic reconstruction or compared with pollen and/or macrofossil results. In comparative studies, aDNA may complement pollen and macrofossil analyses by increasing the number of taxa found. We discuss the relative contributions of each fossil group to taxon richness and the number of unique taxa found, and situations in which aDNA has refined pollen identifications. Pressing problems in aDNA studies are contamination and ignorance about taphonomy (transportation, incorporation, and preservation in sediments). Progress requires that these problems are reduced to allow aDNA to reach its full potential contribution to reconstructions of Quaternary floras. PMID:26402315

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Integrated syntenic and phylogenomic analyses reveal an ancient genome duplication in monocots.

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

    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

  8. DNA barcoding and taxonomy: dark taxa and dark texts.

    PubMed

    Page, Roderic D M

    2016-09-01

    Both classical taxonomy and DNA barcoding are engaged in the task of digitizing the living world. Much of the taxonomic literature remains undigitized. The rise of open access publishing this century and the freeing of older literature from the shackles of copyright have greatly increased the online availability of taxonomic descriptions, but much of the literature of the mid- to late-twentieth century remains offline ('dark texts'). DNA barcoding is generating a wealth of computable data that in many ways are much easier to work with than classical taxonomic descriptions, but many of the sequences are not identified to species level. These 'dark taxa' hamper the classical method of integrating biodiversity data, using shared taxonomic names. Voucher specimens are a potential common currency of both the taxonomic literature and sequence databases, and could be used to help link names, literature and sequences. An obstacle to this approach is the lack of stable, resolvable specimen identifiers. The paper concludes with an appeal for a global 'digital dashboard' to assess the extent to which biodiversity data are available online.This article is part of the themed issue 'From DNA barcodes to biomes'.

  9. Comparing mechanisms of host manipulation across host and parasite taxa.

    PubMed

    Lafferty, Kevin D; Shaw, Jenny C

    2013-01-01

    Parasites affect host behavior in several ways. They can alter activity, microhabitats or both. For trophically transmitted parasites (the focus of our study), decreased activity might impair the ability of hosts to respond to final-host predators, and increased activity and altered microhabitat choice might increase contact rates between hosts and final-host predators. In an analysis of trophically transmitted parasites, more parasite groups altered activity than altered microhabitat choice. Parasites that infected vertebrates were more likely to impair the host's reaction to predators, whereas parasites that infected invertebrates were more likely to increase the host's contact with predators. The site of infection might affect how parasites manipulate their hosts. For instance, parasites in the central nervous system seem particularly suited to manipulating host behavior. Manipulative parasites commonly occupy the body cavity, muscles and central nervous systems of their hosts. Acanthocephalans in the data set differed from other taxa in that they occurred exclusively in the body cavity of invertebrates. In addition, they were more likely to alter microhabitat choice than activity. Parasites in the body cavity (across parasite types) were more likely to be associated with increased host contact with predators. Parasites can manipulate the host through energetic drain, but most parasites use more sophisticated means. For instance, parasites target four physiological systems that shape behavior in both invertebrates and vertebrates: neural, endocrine, neuromodulatory and immunomodulatory. The interconnections between these systems make it difficult to isolate specific mechanisms of host behavioral manipulation.

  10. Comparing mechanisms of host manipulation across host and parasite taxa

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lafferty, Kevin D.; Shaw, Jenny C.

    2013-01-01

    Parasites affect host behavior in several ways. They can alter activity, microhabitats or both. For trophically transmitted parasites (the focus of our study), decreased activity might impair the ability of hosts to respond to final-host predators, and increased activity and altered microhabitat choice might increase contact rates between hosts and final-host predators. In an analysis of trophically transmitted parasites, more parasite groups altered activity than altered microhabitat choice. Parasites that infected vertebrates were more likely to impair the host’s reaction to predators, whereas parasites that infected invertebrates were more likely to increase the host’s contact with predators. The site of infection might affect how parasites manipulate their hosts. For instance, parasites in the central nervous system seem particularly suited to manipulating host behavior. Manipulative parasites commonly occupy the body cavity, muscles and central nervous systems of their hosts. Acanthocephalans in the data set differed from other taxa in that they occurred exclusively in the body cavity of invertebrates. In addition, they were more likely to alter microhabitat choice than activity. Parasites in the body cavity (across parasite types) were more likely to be associated with increased host contact with predators. Parasites can manipulate the host through energetic drain, but most parasites use more sophisticated means. For instance, parasites target four physiological systems that shape behavior in both invertebrates and vertebrates: neural, endocrine, neuromodulatory and immunomodulatory. The interconnections between these systems make it difficult to isolate specific mechanisms of host behavioral manipulation.

  11. Nested taxa-area curves for eastern United States floras

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bennett, J.P.

    1997-01-01

    The slopes of log-log species-area curves have been studied extensively and found to be influenced by the range of areas under study. Two such studies of eastern United States floras have yielded species-area curve slopes which differ by more than 100%: 0.251 and 0.113. The first slope may be too steep because the flora of the world was included, and both may be too steep because noncontiguous areas were used. These two hypotheses were tested using a set of nested floras centered in Ohio and continuing up to the flora of the world. The results suggest that this set of eastern United States floras produces a log-log species-area curve with a slope of approximately 0.20 with the flora of the world excluded, and regardless of whether or not the floras are from nested areas. Genera- and family-area curves are less steep than species-area curves and show similar patterns. Taxa ratio curves also increase with area, with the species/family ratio showing the steepest slope.

  12. DNA barcoding and taxonomy: dark taxa and dark texts.

    PubMed

    Page, Roderic D M

    2016-09-01

    Both classical taxonomy and DNA barcoding are engaged in the task of digitizing the living world. Much of the taxonomic literature remains undigitized. The rise of open access publishing this century and the freeing of older literature from the shackles of copyright have greatly increased the online availability of taxonomic descriptions, but much of the literature of the mid- to late-twentieth century remains offline ('dark texts'). DNA barcoding is generating a wealth of computable data that in many ways are much easier to work with than classical taxonomic descriptions, but many of the sequences are not identified to species level. These 'dark taxa' hamper the classical method of integrating biodiversity data, using shared taxonomic names. Voucher specimens are a potential common currency of both the taxonomic literature and sequence databases, and could be used to help link names, literature and sequences. An obstacle to this approach is the lack of stable, resolvable specimen identifiers. The paper concludes with an appeal for a global 'digital dashboard' to assess the extent to which biodiversity data are available online.This article is part of the themed issue 'From DNA barcodes to biomes'. PMID:27481786

  13. Speciation slowing down in widespread and long-living tree taxa: insights from the tropical timber tree genus Milicia (Moraceae)

    PubMed Central

    Daïnou, K; Mahy, G; Duminil, J; Dick, C W; Doucet, J-L; Donkpégan, A S L; Pluijgers, M; Sinsin, B; Lejeune, P; Hardy, O J

    2014-01-01

    The long generation time and large effective size of widespread forest tree species can result in slow evolutionary rate and incomplete lineage sorting, complicating species delimitation. We addressed this issue with the African timber tree genus Milicia that comprises two morphologically similar and often confounded species: M. excelsa, widespread from West to East Africa, and M. regia, endemic to West Africa. We combined information from nuclear microsatellites (nSSRs), nuclear and plastid DNA sequences, and morphological systematics to identify significant evolutionary units and infer their evolutionary and biogeographical history. We detected five geographically coherent genetic clusters using nSSRs and three levels of genetic differentiation. First, one West African cluster matched perfectly with the morphospecies M. regia that formed a monophyletic clade at both DNA sequences. Second, a West African M. excelsa cluster formed a monophyletic group at plastid DNA and was more related to M. regia than to Central African M. excelsa, but shared many haplotypes with the latter at nuclear DNA. Third, three Central African clusters appeared little differentiated and shared most of their haplotypes. Although gene tree paraphyly could suggest a single species in Milicia following the phylogenetic species concept, the existence of mutual haplotypic exclusivity and nonadmixed genetic clusters in the contact area of the two taxa indicate strong reproductive isolation and, thus, two species following the biological species concept. Molecular dating of the first divergence events showed that speciation in Milicia is ancient (Tertiary), indicating that long-living tree taxa exhibiting genetic speciation may remain similar morphologically. PMID:24549110

  14. Molecular characteristics of insect vitellogenins.

    PubMed

    Tufail, Muhammad; Takeda, Makio

    2008-12-01

    Vitellogenins (Vgs) are precursors of the major egg storage protein, vitellin (Vn), in many oviparous animals. Insects Vgs are large molecules ( approximately 200-kD) synthesized in the fat body in a process that involves substantial structural modifications (e.g., glycosylation, lipidation, phosphorylation, and proteolytic cleavage, etc.) of the nascent protein prior to its secretion and transport to the ovaries. However, the extent to which Vgs are processed in the fat body varies greatly among different insect groups. We provide evidence by cloning and peptide mapping of four Vg molecules from two cockroach species (Periplaneta americana and Leucophaea maderae) that, in hemimetabolous insects, the pro-Vg is cleaved into several polypeptides (ranging from 50-to 180-kD), unlike the holometabolans where the Vg precursor is cleaved into two polypeptides (one large and one small). An exception is the Vg of Apocrita (higher Hymenoptera) where the Vg gene product remains uncleaved. The yolk proteins (YPs) of higher Diptera (such as Drosophila) form a different family of proteins and are also not cleaved. So far, Vgs have been sequenced from 25 insect species; 9 of them belong to Hemimetabola and 16 to Holometabola. Alignment of the coding sequences revealed that some features, like the GL/ICG motif, cysteine residues, and a DGXR motif upstream of the GLI/CG motif, were highly conserved near the carboxy terminal of all insect Vgs. Moreover, a consensus RXXR cleavage sequence motif exists at the N-terminus of all sequences outside the Apocrita except for Lymantria dispar where it exists at the C-terminus. Phylogenetic analysis using 31 Vg sequences from 25 insect species reflects, in general, the current phylogenies of insects, suggesting that Vgs are still phylogenetically bound, although a divergence exists among them.

  15. Sustaining salmonid populations: A caring understanding of naturalness of taxa

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nielsen, J.L.; Regier, H.A.

    2004-01-01

    Species of the family of Salmonidae occur naturally in Northern Hemisphere waters that remain clear and cool to cold in summer. For purposes of reproduction, salmonids generally behaviorally respond to the currents of streams and lakes in recently glaciated areas. For feeding and maturation, many larger species migrate into existing systems of large lakes, seas, and oceans. The subfamilies include Salmoninae, Coregoninae, and Thymallinae. In many locales and regions of the hemisphere, numerous species of these subfamilies evolved and self-organized into species flocks or taxocenes of bewildering complexity. For example, any individual species may play different or unique ecological roles in different taxocenes. The northern Pacific and Atlantic Ocean ecosystems, with their seas and tributaries, each contained a metacomplex of such taxocenes that, in their natural state some centuries ago, resembled each other but differed in many ways. Humans have valued all species of this family for subsistence, ceremonial, naturalist, gustatory, angling, and commercial reasons for centuries. Modern progressive humans (MPHs), whose industrial and commercial enterprises have gradually spread over this hemisphere in recent time, now affect aquatic ecosystems at all scales from local to global. These human effects mingle in complex ways that together induce uniquely natural salmonid taxocenes to disintegrate with the loss of species, including those groups least tolerant to human manipulations, but extending more recently to those taxa more adapted to anthropogenic change. As we leave the modern era, dominated by MPHs, will we find ways to live sustainably with salmonid taxocenes that still exhibit self-organizational integrity, or will only individual, isolated populations of salmonid species, derived from those most tolerant of MPHs, survive? To achieve future sustainability of salmonids, we suggest implementation of a search for intuitive knowledge based on faith in the wisdom of

  16. [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.

  17. [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. PMID:21032887

  18. Diet dependent metabolic responses in three generalist insect herbivores Spodoptera spp.

    PubMed

    Roy, A; Walker, W B; Vogel, H; Chattington, S; Larsson, M C; Anderson, P; Heckel, D G; Schlyter, F

    2016-04-01

    Adaption to dietary changes is critical in the evolution of host plant ranges in polyphagous insects. We compared three taxa of lepidopteran herbivores from the predominantly generalist genus Spodoptera showing different degrees of polyphagy: Spodoptera littoralis, with a broad host range including both mono- and dicotyledonous plants, and two Spodoptera frugiperda strains [Corn (i.e. maize) (C) and Rice (R)] adapted primarily to different grass species. When feeding on maize we show a lower performance in the broad generalist taxon compared to the grass adapted taxa. Among these taxa, the maize adapted S. frugiperda C-strain generally performed better than the R-strain on maize leaves. On artificial pinto diet, all taxa performed well. Our RNA-Seq analysis of midgut transcriptomes from 3rd instar larvae feeding on maize showed broader transcriptional readjustments in the generalist S. littoralis compared to grass adapted S. frugiperda strains. Substantial alteration in the expression levels of midgut physiological function related transcripts, such as digestive and detoxifying enzymes, transporters, immunity, and peritrophic membrane associated transcripts, existed in all taxa. We found high background expression of UDP-glucosyl transferases, which are known to neutralize maize leaf toxins, in the maize adapted S. frugiperda C-strain, contributing to its fitness on maize compared to the R-strain. Our findings provide evidence for divergent diet specific response of digestive physiology within these Spodoptera taxa. Unexpectedly, the C- and R-strains of S. frugiperda fed on the same diet showed large differences in expression patterns between these two closely related taxa. PMID:26908076

  19. Drosophila's view on insect vision.

    PubMed

    Borst, Alexander

    2009-01-13

    Within the last 400 million years, insects have radiated into at least a million species, accounting for more than half of all known living organisms: they are the most successful group in the animal kingdom, found in almost all environments of the planet, ranging in body size from a mere 0.1 mm up to half a meter. Their eyes, together with the respective parts of the nervous system dedicated to the processing of visual information, have long been the subject of intense investigation but, with the exception of some very basic reflexes, it is still not possible to link an insect's visual input to its behavioral output. Fortunately for the field, the fruit fly Drosophila is an insect, too. This genetic workhorse holds great promise for the insect vision field, offering the possibility of recording, suppressing or stimulating any single neuron in its nervous system. Here, I shall give a brief synopsis of what we currently know about insect vision, describe the genetic toolset available in Drosophila and give some recent examples of how the application of these tools have furthered our understanding of color and motion vision in Drosophila.

  20. Putting scales into evolutionary time: the divergence of major scale insect lineages (Hemiptera) predates the radiation of modern angiosperm hosts.

    PubMed

    Vea, Isabelle M; Grimaldi, David A

    2016-03-22

    The radiation of flowering plants in the mid-Cretaceous transformed landscapes and is widely believed to have fuelled the radiations of major groups of phytophagous insects. An excellent group to test this assertion is the scale insects (Coccomorpha: Hemiptera), with some 8,000 described Recent species and probably the most diverse fossil record of any phytophagous insect group preserved in amber. We used here a total-evidence approach (by tip-dating) employing 174 morphological characters of 73 Recent and 43 fossil taxa (48 families) and DNA sequences of three gene regions, to obtain divergence time estimates and compare the chronology of the most diverse lineage of scale insects, the neococcoid families, with the timing of the main angiosperm radiation. An estimated origin of the Coccomorpha occurred at the beginning of the Triassic, about 245 Ma [228-273], and of the neococcoids 60 million years later [210-165 Ma]. A total-evidence approach allows the integration of extinct scale insects into a phylogenetic framework, resulting in slightly younger median estimates than analyses using Recent taxa, calibrated with fossil ages only. From these estimates, we hypothesise that most major lineages of coccoids shifted from gymnosperms onto angiosperms when the latter became diverse and abundant in the mid- to Late Cretaceous.

  1. Putting scales into evolutionary time: the divergence of major scale insect lineages (Hemiptera) predates the radiation of modern angiosperm hosts

    PubMed Central

    Vea, Isabelle M.; Grimaldi, David A.

    2016-01-01

    The radiation of flowering plants in the mid-Cretaceous transformed landscapes and is widely believed to have fuelled the radiations of major groups of phytophagous insects. An excellent group to test this assertion is the scale insects (Coccomorpha: Hemiptera), with some 8,000 described Recent species and probably the most diverse fossil record of any phytophagous insect group preserved in amber. We used here a total-evidence approach (by tip-dating) employing 174 morphological characters of 73 Recent and 43 fossil taxa (48 families) and DNA sequences of three gene regions, to obtain divergence time estimates and compare the chronology of the most diverse lineage of scale insects, the neococcoid families, with the timing of the main angiosperm radiation. An estimated origin of the Coccomorpha occurred at the beginning of the Triassic, about 245 Ma [228–273], and of the neococcoids 60 million years later [210–165 Ma]. A total-evidence approach allows the integration of extinct scale insects into a phylogenetic framework, resulting in slightly younger median estimates than analyses using Recent taxa, calibrated with fossil ages only. From these estimates, we hypothesise that most major lineages of coccoids shifted from gymnosperms onto angiosperms when the latter became diverse and abundant in the mid- to Late Cretaceous. PMID:27000526

  2. Cameras, Computers Help to Decipher Ancient Texts.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Coughlin, Ellen K.

    1987-01-01

    Epigrapher and philologist Bruce Zuckerman, directs an archive of photographs and other images of ancient biblical and related texts. By using sophisticated technical photography and computer graphics, he makes his photographs of ancient texts reveal more than a camera alone ever could. (MLW)

  3. 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. PMID:10742183

  4. 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.

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. 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.…

  8. Aquatic insects in Montezuma Well, Arizona, USA: A travertine spring mound with high alkalinity and dissolved carbon dioxide

    SciTech Connect

    Blinn, D.W.; Sanderson, M.W. )

    1989-01-31

    An annotated list of aquatic insects from the high carbonate system of Montezuma Well, Arizona, USA, is presented for collections taken during 1976-1986. Fifty-seven taxa in 16 families are reported, including new distribution records for Arizona (Anacaena signaticollis, Laccobius ellipticus, and Crenitulus sp. (nr. debilis)) and the USA (Enochrus sharpi). Larval stages for Trichoptera, Lepidoptera, Megaloptera, Neuroptera, Chironomidae, and Anisoptera were absent even though the habitat lacks fish, and water temperature, dissolved oxygen, available food, and substrata appear adequate in Montezuma Well. The potential importance of alkalinity in restricting these insect groups is discussed.

  9. Insects as unidentified flying objects.

    PubMed

    Callahan, P S; Mankin, R W

    1978-11-01

    Five species of insects were subjected to a large electric field. Each of the insects stimulated in this manner emitted visible glows of various colors and blacklight (uv). It is postulated that the Uintah Basin, Utah, nocturnal UFO display (1965-1968) was partially due to mass swarms of spruce budworms, Choristoneura fumiferana (Clemens), stimulated to emit this type of St. Elmo's fire by flying into high electric fields caused by thunderheads and high density particulate matter in the air. There was excellent time and spatial correlation between the 1965-1968 UFO nocturnal sightings and spruce budworm infestation. It is suggested that a correlation of nocturnal UFO sightings throughout the U.S. and Canada with spruce budworm infestations might give some insight into nocturnal insect flight patterns.

  10. Neurosecretion: peptidergic systems in insects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Predel, R.; Eckert, Manfred

    Insect neuropeptides are produced in less than 1% of the cells of the central nervous system. Despite this, they are important messenger molecules which influence nearly all physiological processes, including behaviour. They can act as transmitters, modulators and classical hormones, and often exhibit pleiotropic functions when released into the haemolymph. The large number of neuropeptides that has been identified from some of the model organisms among insects underlines the complexity of the neurosecretory system; studies about the coordinated actions of these substances are in their preliminary stages. Recent advances in insect neuropeptide research will be reviewed here, concentrating on the distribution of multiple peptide forms in the central nervous system and adjacent neurohaemal organs, and the role of neuropeptides in eclosion behaviour.

  11. Rice Reoviruses in Insect Vectors.

    PubMed

    Wei, Taiyun; Li, Yi

    2016-08-01

    Rice reoviruses, transmitted by leafhopper or planthopper vectors in a persistent propagative manner, seriously threaten the stability of rice production in Asia. Understanding the mechanisms that enable viral transmission by insect vectors is a key to controlling these viral diseases. This review describes current understanding of replication cycles of rice reoviruses in vector cell lines, transmission barriers, and molecular determinants of vector competence and persistent infection. Despite recent breakthroughs, such as the discoveries of actin-based tubule motility exploited by viruses to overcome transmission barriers and mutually beneficial relationships between viruses and bacterial symbionts, there are still many gaps in our knowledge of transmission mechanisms. Advances in genome sequencing, reverse genetics systems, and molecular technologies will help to address these problems. Investigating the multiple interaction systems among the virus, insect vector, insect symbiont, and plant during natural infection in the field is a central topic for future research on rice reoviruses. PMID:27296147

  12. Insects, infestations and nutrient fluxes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Michalzik, B.

    2012-04-01

    Forest ecosystems are characterized by a high temporal and spatial variability in the vertical transfer of energy and matter within the canopy and the soil compartment. The mechanisms and controlling factors behind canopy processes and system-internal transfer dynamics are imperfectly understood at the moment. Seasonal flux diversities and inhomogeneities in throughfall composition have been reported from coniferous and deciduous forests, and in most cases leaf leaching has been considered as principle driver for differences in the amount and quality of nutrients and organic compounds (Tukey and Morgan 1963). Since herbivorous insects and the processes they initiate received less attention in past times, ecologists now emphasize the need for linking biological processes occurring in different ecosystem strata to explain rates and variability of nutrient cycling (Bardgett et al. 1998, Wardle et al. 2004). Consequently, herbivore insects in the canopies of forests are increasingly identified to play an important role for the (re)cycling and availability of nutrients, or, more generally, for the functioning of ecosystems not only in outbreak situations but also at endemic (non-outbreak) density levels (Stadler et al. 2001, Hunter et al. 2003). Before, little attention was paid to insect herbivores when quantifying element and energy fluxes through ecosystems, although the numerous and different functions insects fulfill in ecosystems (e.g. as pollinators, herbivores or detritivores) were unanimously recognized (Schowalter 2000). Amongst the reasons for this restraint was the argument that the total biomass of insects tends to be relatively low compared to the biomass of trees or the pool of soil organic matter (Ohmart et al. 1983). A second argument which was put forward to justify the inferior role of insects in nutrient cycling were the supposed low defoliation losses between 5-10% of the annual leaf biomass, or net primary production, due to insect herbivory under

  13. Unsteady aerodynamics of insect flight.

    PubMed

    Ellington, C P

    1995-01-01

    Over the past decade, the importance of unsteady aerodynamic mechanisms for flapping insect flight has become widely recognised. Even at the fastest flight speeds, the old quasi-steady aerodynamic interpretation seems inadequate to explain the extra lift produced by the wings. Recent experiments on rigid model wings have confirmed the effectiveness of several postulated high-lift mechanisms. Delayed stall can produce extra lift for several chords of travel during the translational phases of the wingbeat. Lift can also be enhanced by circulation created during pronation and supination by rotational mechanisms: the fling/peel, the near fling/peel and isolated rotation. These studies have revealed large leading-edge vortices which contribute to the circulation around the wing, augmenting the lift. The mechanisms show distinctive patterns of vortex shedding from leading and trailing edges. The results of flow visualization experiments on tethered insects are reviewed in an attempt to identify the high-lift mechanisms actually employed. The fling/peel mechanism is clearly used by some insects. The near fling/peel is the wing motion most commonly observed, but evidence for the production of high lift remains indirect. For many insects, lift on the upstroke probably results from delayed stall instead of the flex mechanism of isolated rotation. The large leading-edge vortices from experiments on rigid model wings are greatly reduced or missing around the real insect wings, often making the identification of aerodynamic mechanisms inconclusive. A substantial spanwise flow component has been detected over the aerodynamic upper wing surface, which should transport leading-edge vorticity towards the wingtip before it has much time to roll up. This spanwise transport, arising from centrifugal acceleration, is probably a general phenomenon for flapping insect flight. It should reduce and stabilise any leading-edge vortices that are present, which is essential for preventing

  14. DNA barcode data accurately assign higher spider taxa

    PubMed Central

    Coddington, Jonathan A.; Agnarsson, Ingi; Cheng, Ren-Chung; Čandek, Klemen; Driskell, Amy; Frick, Holger; Gregorič, Matjaž; Kostanjšek, Rok; Kropf, Christian; Kweskin, Matthew; Lokovšek, Tjaša; Pipan, Miha; Vidergar, Nina

    2016-01-01

    The use of unique DNA sequences as a method for taxonomic identification is no longer fundamentally controversial, even though debate continues on the best markers, methods, and technology to use. Although both existing databanks such as GenBank and BOLD, as well as reference taxonomies, are imperfect, in best case scenarios “barcodes” (whether single or multiple, organelle or nuclear, loci) clearly are an increasingly fast and inexpensive method of identification, especially as compared to manual identification of unknowns by increasingly rare expert taxonomists. Because most species on Earth are undescribed, a complete reference database at the species level is impractical in the near term. The question therefore arises whether unidentified species can, using DNA barcodes, be accurately assigned to more inclusive groups such as genera and families—taxonomic ranks of putatively monophyletic groups for which the global inventory is more complete and stable. We used a carefully chosen test library of CO1 sequences from 49 families, 313 genera, and 816 species of spiders to assess the accuracy of genus and family-level assignment. We used BLAST queries of each sequence against the entire library and got the top ten hits. The percent sequence identity was reported from these hits (PIdent, range 75–100%). Accurate assignment of higher taxa (PIdent above which errors totaled less than 5%) occurred for genera at PIdent values >95 and families at PIdent values ≥ 91, suggesting these as heuristic thresholds for accurate generic and familial identifications in spiders. Accuracy of identification increases with numbers of species/genus and genera/family in the library; above five genera per family and fifteen species per genus all higher taxon assignments were correct. We propose that using percent sequence identity between conventional barcode sequences may be a feasible and reasonably accurate method to identify animals to family/genus. However, the quality of

  15. DNA barcode data accurately assign higher spider taxa.

    PubMed

    Coddington, Jonathan A; Agnarsson, Ingi; Cheng, Ren-Chung; Čandek, Klemen; Driskell, Amy; Frick, Holger; Gregorič, Matjaž; Kostanjšek, Rok; Kropf, Christian; Kweskin, Matthew; Lokovšek, Tjaša; Pipan, Miha; Vidergar, Nina; Kuntner, Matjaž

    2016-01-01

    The use of unique DNA sequences as a method for taxonomic identification is no longer fundamentally controversial, even though debate continues on the best markers, methods, and technology to use. Although both existing databanks such as GenBank and BOLD, as well as reference taxonomies, are imperfect, in best case scenarios "barcodes" (whether single or multiple, organelle or nuclear, loci) clearly are an increasingly fast and inexpensive method of identification, especially as compared to manual identification of unknowns by increasingly rare expert taxonomists. Because most species on Earth are undescribed, a complete reference database at the species level is impractical in the near term. The question therefore arises whether unidentified species can, using DNA barcodes, be accurately assigned to more inclusive groups such as genera and families-taxonomic ranks of putatively monophyletic groups for which the global inventory is more complete and stable. We used a carefully chosen test library of CO1 sequences from 49 families, 313 genera, and 816 species of spiders to assess the accuracy of genus and family-level assignment. We used BLAST queries of each sequence against the entire library and got the top ten hits. The percent sequence identity was reported from these hits (PIdent, range 75-100%). Accurate assignment of higher taxa (PIdent above which errors totaled less than 5%) occurred for genera at PIdent values >95 and families at PIdent values ≥ 91, suggesting these as heuristic thresholds for accurate generic and familial identifications in spiders. Accuracy of identification increases with numbers of species/genus and genera/family in the library; above five genera per family and fifteen species per genus all higher taxon assignments were correct. We propose that using percent sequence identity between conventional barcode sequences may be a feasible and reasonably accurate method to identify animals to family/genus. However, the quality of the

  16. The evolution of insect societies.

    PubMed

    Page, R E

    1997-01-01

    The organization and evolution of insect societies has amazed natural historians since Aristotle. Charles Darwin considered social insects to be a major difficulty for his theory of evolution by natural selection because they demonstrate a rich diversity of adaptation among sterile workers leading to a complex division of labour, something that should not occur if variation in individual reproductive success is the grist for the mill of natural selection. This article shows how division of labour can self-organize from groups of cohabiting individuals without the necessity of a past history of natural selection for co-operative behaviour. It then explores how more complex social systems may evolve.

  17. Molecular biology of the chromo domain: an ancient chromatin module comes of age.

    PubMed

    Eissenberg, J C

    2001-09-01

    The chromo domain motif is found in proteins from fungi, protists, plants, fish, insects, amphibians, birds, and mammals. The chromo domain peptide fold may have its origins as a chromosomal protein in a common ancestor of archea and eukaryota, making it a particularly ancient protein structural module. Chromo domains have been found in single or multiple copies in proteins with diverse structures and activities, most or all of which are connected with chromosome structure/function. In this review, our current knowledge of chromo domain properties is summarized and a variety of contexts in which chromo domains participate in aspects of chromatin metabolism are discussed.

  18. The endocrine system controlling sexual reproduction in animals: Part of the evolutionary ancient but well conserved immune system?

    PubMed

    De Loof, Arnold; Schoofs, Liliane; Huybrechts, Roger

    2016-01-15

    Drastic changes in hormone titers, in particular of steroid hormones, are intuitively interpreted as necessary and beneficial for optimal functioning of animals. Peaks in progesterone- and estradiol titers that accompany the estrus cycle in female vertebrates as well as in ecdysteroids at each molt and during metamorphosis of holometabolous insects are prominent examples. A recent analysis of insect metamorphosis yielded the view that, in general, a sharp rise in sex steroid hormone titer signals that somewhere in the body some tissue(s) is undergoing programmed cell death/apoptosis. Increased steroid production is part of this process. Typical examples are ovarian follicle cells in female vertebrates and invertebrates and the prothoracic gland cells, the main production site of ecdysteroids in larval insects. A duality emerges: programmed cell death-apoptosis is deleterious at the cellular level, but it may yield beneficial effects at the organismal level. Reconciling both opposites requires reevaluating the probable evolutionary origin and role of peptidic brain hormones that direct steroid hormone synthesis. Do e.g. Luteinizing Hormone in vertebrates and Prothoracicotropic Hormone (PTTH: acting through the Torso receptor) in insects still retain an ancient role as toxins in the early immune system? Does the functional link of some neuropeptides with Ca(2+)-induced apoptosis make sense in endocrine archeology? The endocrine system as a remnant of the ancient immune system is undoubtedly counterintuitive. Yet, we will argue that such paradigm enables the logical framing of many aspects, the endocrine one inclusive of both male and female reproductive physiology.

  19. Insect growth regulators and insect control: a critical appraisal.

    PubMed Central

    Siddall, J B

    1976-01-01

    Insect growth regulators (IGRs) of the juvenile hormone type alter physiological processes essential to insect development and appear to act specifically on insects. Three natural juvenile hormones have been found in insects but not in other organisms. Future use of antagonists or inhibitors of hormone synthesis may be technically possible as an advantageous extension of pest control by IGRs. A documented survey of the properties, metabolism, toxicology, and uses of the most commercially advanced chemical, methoprene, shows it to be environmentally acceptable and toxicologically innocuous. Derivation of its current use patterns is discussed and limitations on these are noted. Residue levels and their measurement in the ppb region have allowed exemption from the requirement of tolerances in the EPA registered use of methoprene for mosquito control. Tolerances for foods accompany its fully approved use for control of manure breeding flies through a cattle feed supplement. The human health effects of using this chemical appear to be purely beneficial, but further advances through new IGR chemicals appear unlikely without major changes in regulatory and legislative policy. PMID:976222

  20. Phylogenomic dating--a method of constraining the age of microbial taxa that lack a conventional fossil record.

    PubMed

    Blank, Carrine E

    2009-03-01

    A phylogenomic dating approach was used to identify potential age constraints for multiple archaeal groups, many of which have no fossil, isotopic, or biomarker record. First, well-resolved phylogenetic trees were inferred with the use of multiple gene sequences obtained from whole genome sequences. Next, the ability to use oxygen as a terminal electron acceptor was coded into characters, and ancestral state reconstruction was used to identify clades with taxa that metabolize oxygen and likely had an aerobic ancestor. Next, the habitat of the ancestor was inferred. If the local presence of Cyanobacteria could be excluded from the putative ancestral habitat, then these clades would have originated after the rise in atmospheric oxygen 2.32 Ga. With this method, an upper age of 2.32 Ga (an "oxygen age constraint") is proposed for four major archaeal clades: the Sulfolobales, Thermoplasmatales, Thermoproteus neutrophilus/Pyrobaculum spp., and the Thermoproteales. It was also shown that the halophilic archaea likely had an aerobic common ancestor, yet the possibility of local oxygen oases before oxygenation of the atmosphere could not be formally rejected. Thus, an oxygen age constraint was not assessed for this group. This work suggests that many archaeal groups are not as ancient as many in the research community have previously assumed, and it provides a new method for establishing upper age constraints for major microbial groups that lack a conventional fossil record.

  1. Phylogenomic Dating-A Method of Constraining the Age of Microbial Taxa That Lack a Conventional Fossil Record

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blank, Carrine E.

    2009-03-01

    A phylogenomic dating approach was used to identify potential age constraints for multiple archaeal groups, many of which have no fossil, isotopic, or biomarker record. First, well-resolved phylogenetic trees were inferred with the use of multiple gene sequences obtained from whole genome sequences. Next, the ability to use oxygen as a terminal electron acceptor was coded into characters, and ancestral state reconstruction was used to identify clades with taxa that metabolize oxygen and likely had an aerobic ancestor. Next, the habitat of the ancestor was inferred. If the local presence of Cyanobacteria could be excluded from the putative ancestral habitat, then these clades would have originated after the rise in atmospheric oxygen 2.32 Ga. With this method, an upper age of 2.32 Ga (an "oxygen age constraint") is proposed for four major archaeal clades: the Sulfolobales, Thermoplasmatales, Thermoproteus neutrophilus/Pyrobaculum spp., and the Thermoproteales. It was also shown that the halophilic archaea likely had an aerobic common ancestor, yet the possibility of local oxygen oases before oxygenation of the atmosphere could not be formally rejected. Thus, an oxygen age constraint was not assessed for this group. This work suggests that many archaeal groups are not as ancient as many in the research community have previously assumed, and it provides a new method for establishing upper age constraints for major microbial groups that lack a conventional fossil record.

  2. Extreme convergence in stick insect evolution: phylogenetic placement of the Lord Howe Island tree lobster

    PubMed Central

    Buckley, Thomas R.; Attanayake, Dilini; Bradler, Sven

    2008-01-01

    The ‘tree lobsters’ are an enigmatic group of robust, ground-dwelling stick insects (order Phasmatodea) from the subfamily Eurycanthinae, distributed in New Guinea, New Caledonia and associated islands. Its most famous member is the Lord Howe Island stick insect Dryococelus australis (Montrouzier), which was believed to have become extinct but was rediscovered in 2001 and is considered to be one of the rarest insects in the world. To resolve the evolutionary position of Dryococelus, we constructed a phylogeny from approximately 2.4 kb of mitochondrial and nuclear sequence data from representatives of all major phasmatodean lineages. Our data placed Dryococelus and the New Caledonian tree lobsters outside the New Guinean Eurycanthinae as members of an unrelated Australasian stick insect clade, the Lanceocercata. These results suggest a convergent origin of the ‘tree lobster’ body form. Our reanalysis of tree lobster characters provides additional support for our hypothesis of convergent evolution. We conclude that the phenotypic traits leading to the traditional classification are convergent adaptations to ground-living behaviour. Our molecular dating analyses indicate an ancient divergence (more than 22 Myr ago) between Dryococelus and its Australian relatives. Hence, Dryococelus represents a long-standing separate evolutionary lineage within the stick insects and must be regarded as a key taxon to protect with respect to phasmatodean diversity. PMID:19129110

  3. Distribution of high bacterial taxa across the chronosequence of two alpine glacier forelands.

    PubMed

    Philippot, Laurent; Tscherko, Dagmar; Bru, David; Kandeler, Ellen

    2011-02-01

    Little is known about the changes in abundance of microbial taxa in relation to the chronosequence of receding glaciers. This study investigated how the abundances of ten bacterial phyla or classes varied along successional gradients in two glaciers, Ödenwinkelkees and Rotmoosferner, in the central Alps. Quantitative PCR was used to estimate the abundance of the different bacterial taxa in extended glacier chronosequences, including 10- to 160-year-old successional stages, the surface of the glacier, and a fully established soil. Actinobacteria (15-30%) was the dominant group within the chronosequences. Several taxa showed significant differences in the number of taxa-specific 16S rRNA gene copies per nanogram of DNA and/or in the ratio of taxa-specific to the total bacterial 16S rRNA gene copies (i.e., the relative abundance of the different taxa within the bacterial community) between the established soils or the glacier surface and the 10- to 160-year-old successional stages. A significantly higher proportion of Βetaproteobacteria (20%) was observed on the surface of both glaciers. However, no differences were observed between the 10- to 160-year-old successional stages in the number of taxa-specific 16S rRNA gene copies per nanogram of DNA or in the ratio of taxa-specific to the total bacterial 16S rRNA gene copies for the different taxa. Nevertheless, when the relative abundance data from all the studied taxa were combined and analyzed altogether, most of the sites could be distinguished from one other. This indicates that the overall composition of the bacterial community was more affected than the abundance of the targeted taxa by changes in environmental conditions along the chronosequences.

  4. Contaminants as habitat disturbers: PAH-driven drift by Andean paramo stream insects.

    PubMed

    Araújo, Cristiano V M; Moreira-Santos, Matilde; Sousa, José P; Ochoa-Herrera, Valeria; Encalada, Andrea C; Ribeiro, Rui

    2014-10-01

    Contaminants can behave as toxicants, when toxic effects are observed in organisms, as well as habitat disturbers and fragmentors, by triggering avoidance responses and generating less- or uninhabited zones. Drift by stream insects has long been considered a mechanism to avoid contamination by moving to most favorable habitats. Given that exploration and transportation of crude oil represent a threat for surrounding ecosystems, the key goal of the present study was to assess the ability of autochthonous groups of aquatic insects from the Ecuadorian paramo streams to avoid by drift different concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) contained in the soluble fraction of locally transported crude oil. In the laboratory, different groups of insects were exposed to PAH for 12h. Three different assays, which varied in taxa and origin of the organisms, concentrations of PAH (0.6-38.8µgL(-1)), and environment settings (different levels of refuge and flow) were performed. For Anomalocosmoecus palugillensis (Limnephilidae), drift was a major cause of population decline in low concentration treatments but at higher concentrations mortality dominated. PAH was highly lethal, even at lower concentrations, for Chironomidae, Grypopterygidae (Claudioperla sp.) and Hydrobiosidae (Atopsyche sp.), and, therefore, no conclusion about drift can be drawn for these insects. Contamination by PAH showed to be a threat for benthic aquatic insects from Ecuadorian paramo streams as it can cause a population decline due to avoidance by drift and mortality.

  5. Contaminants as habitat disturbers: PAH-driven drift by Andean paramo stream insects.

    PubMed

    Araújo, Cristiano V M; Moreira-Santos, Matilde; Sousa, José P; Ochoa-Herrera, Valeria; Encalada, Andrea C; Ribeiro, Rui

    2014-10-01

    Contaminants can behave as toxicants, when toxic effects are observed in organisms, as well as habitat disturbers and fragmentors, by triggering avoidance responses and generating less- or uninhabited zones. Drift by stream insects has long been considered a mechanism to avoid contamination by moving to most favorable habitats. Given that exploration and transportation of crude oil represent a threat for surrounding ecosystems, the key goal of the present study was to assess the ability of autochthonous groups of aquatic insects from the Ecuadorian paramo streams to avoid by drift different concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) contained in the soluble fraction of locally transported crude oil. In the laboratory, different groups of insects were exposed to PAH for 12h. Three different assays, which varied in taxa and origin of the organisms, concentrations of PAH (0.6-38.8µgL(-1)), and environment settings (different levels of refuge and flow) were performed. For Anomalocosmoecus palugillensis (Limnephilidae), drift was a major cause of population decline in low concentration treatments but at higher concentrations mortality dominated. PAH was highly lethal, even at lower concentrations, for Chironomidae, Grypopterygidae (Claudioperla sp.) and Hydrobiosidae (Atopsyche sp.), and, therefore, no conclusion about drift can be drawn for these insects. Contamination by PAH showed to be a threat for benthic aquatic insects from Ecuadorian paramo streams as it can cause a population decline due to avoidance by drift and mortality. PMID:25042250

  6. Insect Phylogenomics: Exploring the Source of Incongruence Using New Transcriptomic Data

    PubMed Central

    Simon, Sabrina; Narechania, Apurva; DeSalle, Rob; Hadrys, Heike

    2012-01-01

    The evolution of the diverse insect lineages is one of the most fascinating issues in evolutionary biology. Despite extensive research in this area, the resolution of insect phylogeny especially of interordinal relationships has turned out to be still a great challenge. One of the challenges for insect systematics is the radiation of the polyneopteran lineages with several contradictory and/or unresolved relationships. Here, we provide the first transcriptomic data for three enigmatic polyneopteran orders (Dermaptera, Plecoptera, and Zoraptera) to clarify one of the most debated issues among higher insect systematics. We applied different approaches to generate 3 data sets comprising 78 species and 1,579 clusters of orthologous genes. Using these three matrices, we explored several key mechanistic problems of phylogenetic reconstruction including missing data, matrix selection, gene and taxa number/choice, and the biological function of the genes. Based on the first phylogenomic approach including these three ambiguous polyneopteran orders, we provide here conclusive support for monophyletic Polyneoptera, contesting the hypothesis of Zoraptera + Paraneoptera and Plecoptera + remaining Neoptera. In addition, we employ various approaches to evaluate data quality and highlight problematic nodes within the Insect Tree that still exist despite our phylogenomic approach. We further show how the support for these nodes or alternative hypotheses might depend on the taxon- and/or gene-sampling. PMID:23175716

  7. [Being old in ancient Hellas].

    PubMed

    van Hooff, A J

    1983-08-01

    There is room for a more balanced view of old age among the ancient Greeks than is furnished by De Beauvoir's la Vieillesse and other more or less one-sided publications. The old body was despised by the Greeks of classical times; especially walking with three legs (tripous) was stressed as a mark of old age. The Hippocratic writings show some interest in the infirmities of elderly people. Specific psychic and intellectual qualities were not attributed to senescence: old age brought out good and bad qualities of a person more sharply than before. The share of old people in the population cannot be established with any certainty, but there was always a group of men in their sixties who had specific tasks in society. Old age was not an autonomous theme in art, it was solely accidental. The position of the elderly was challenged occasionally in democratic Athens, but it was never undermined. Old people were never marginated in classical Greece.

  8. Detecting hybridization using ancient DNA.

    PubMed

    Schaefer, Nathan K; Shapiro, Beth; Green, Richard E

    2016-06-01

    It is well established that related species hybridize and that this can have varied but significant effects on speciation and environmental adaptation. It should therefore come as no surprise that hybridization is not limited to species that are alive today. In the last several decades, advances in technologies for recovering and sequencing DNA from fossil remains have enabled the assembly of high-coverage genome sequences for a growing diversity of organisms, including many that are extinct. Thanks to the development of new statistical approaches for detecting and quantifying admixture from genomic data, genomes from extinct populations have proven useful both in revealing previously unknown hybridization events and informing the study of hybridization between living organisms. Here, we review some of the key recent statistical innovations for detecting ancient hybridization using genomewide sequence data and discuss how these innovations have revised our understanding of human evolutionary history.

  9. Ancient aqueous sedimentation on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1991-02-01

    Viking orbiter images are presently used to calculate approximate volumes for the inflow valleys of the ancient cratered terrain of Mars; a sediment-transport model is then used to conservatively estimate the amount of water required for the removal of this volume of debris from the valleys. The results obtained for four basins with well-developed inflow networks indicate basin sediment thicknesses of the order of tens to hundreds of meters. The calculations further suggest that the quantity of water required to transport the sediment is greater than that which could be produced by a single discharge of the associated aquifer, unless the material of the Martian highlands was very fine-grained and noncohesive to depths of hundreds of meters.

  10. Archimedes: Accelerator Reveals Ancient Text

    SciTech Connect

    Bergmann, Uwe

    2004-02-24

    Archimedes (287-212 BC), who is famous for shouting 'Eureka' (I found it) is considered one of the most brilliant thinkers of all times. The 10th-century parchment document known as the 'Archimedes Palimpsest' is the unique source for two of the great Greek's treatises. Some of the writings, hidden under gold forgeries, have recently been revealed at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory at SLAC. An intense x-ray beam produced in a particle accelerator causes the iron in original ink, which has been partly erased and covered, to send out a fluorescence glow. A detector records the signal and a digital image showing the ancient writings is produced. Please join us in this fascinating journey of a 1,000-year-old parchment from its origin in the Mediterranean city of Constantinople to a particle accelerator in Menlo Park.

  11. Sacred psychiatry in ancient Greece

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    From the ancient times, there are three basic approaches for the interpretation of the different psychic phenomena: the organic, the psychological, and the sacred approach. The sacred approach forms the primordial foundation for any psychopathological development, innate to the prelogical human mind. Until the second millennium B.C., the Great Mother ruled the Universe and shamans cured the different mental disorders. But, around 1500 B.C., the predominance of the Hellenic civilization over the Pelasgic brought great changes in the theological and psychopathological fields. The Hellenes eliminated the cult of the Great Mother and worshiped Dias, a male deity, the father of gods and humans. With the Father's help and divinatory powers, the warrior-hero made diagnoses and found the right therapies for mental illness; in this way, sacerdotal psychiatry was born. PMID:24725988

  12. Ancient legacy of cranial surgery.

    PubMed

    Ghannaee Arani, Mohammad; Fakharian, Esmaeil; Sarbandi, Fahimeh

    2012-01-01

    Cranial injury, as it is known today, is not a new concern of modern medicine. On stepping on the earth, the man was in reality encountered with various types of injuries, particularly those of a cranial nature. Leading a life, whether wild or civilized, has always been associated with injuries for human race from the very beginning of birth. Therefore, managing cases of this type has gradually forced him to establish and fix strategies and approaches to handle the dilemma. This study is thus focused on tracing the first documented traumatized cranial cases ever reported, ranging from those trials attributed to our ancient predecessors to the identical examples in the present time. PMID:24396747

  13. [Notes on ancient Islamic medicine].

    PubMed

    de Micheli-Serra, Alfredo

    2002-01-01

    Arab medicine arose as a consequence of the assimilation and breeding of Hellenistic medicine, particularly of Galenic medicine. It reached its high point between the X and XII centuries and, after the XIII century, lost all creative capabilities. Nevertheless, it achieved the status of being an incentive for European medieval medicine. Some aspects of the medical teaching and publications of the most distinguished Moslem physicians, such as Rhazes (865-932), Avicenna (980-1037), and Averroës (1126-1198) are described. The main characteristics of Moslem medical institutions such as guilds, hospitals, and organizations of professional practice also are discussed. Although Arab medicine essentially constituted a transmission vehicle of master ideas of ancient medical thought, this medicine awoke the interest and initiative of the medieval physicians of western Europe, for example, those at the medical school of Salerno. PMID:12096398

  14. [Anomalous pregnancies in ancient medicine].

    PubMed

    Gazzaniga, Valentina

    2010-01-01

    In ancient Greek medicine female physiology is determined by a particular state of non-steady equilibrium, largely based on pregnancy and lactation, presented as the only balanced and healthy periods in women's life. Nonetheless, pregnancy can be also a pathological moment, in particular referring to specific alterations of its 'normal time' ('seven-months', 'eight-months' and 'ten-months' children). The article analyzes the well-known case of myle, an abnormal pregnancy developing in three and sometimes four years, non resolving in a normal delivery, but often in a dramatic haemorrhagic flux. The author compares Hippocratic and Aristotelic testimonies about myle and abnormal pregnancies with the evidence fournished by the historical-religious recent studies about Hera and her parthenogenetic, monstrous children.

  15. HIV thrives in ancient traditions.

    PubMed

    Shreedhar, J

    1995-01-01

    Participation in ancient traditions is facilitating the current spread of HIV through India. For most of the year, Koovagam is a typical Indian village. Each April on the night of the full moon, however, the Chittirai-Pournami festival is held in Koovagam, a celebration in homage to Aravan during which up to 2000 pilgrims from across the country engage in thousands of acts of unprotected sexual intercourse. Aravan is a man depicted in a Hindu tale who asked to experience sexual bliss before being sacrificed to the gods. To fulfill this last wish, the god Krishna is said to have assumed the form of a beautiful woman and had sexual intercourse with Aravan. Many of the festival participants are hijras, eunuchs and transsexuals who sell sex for a living. Hijras may be accompanied by men who serve as their sex partners and bodyguards. Surveys suggest that one-third of the 10,000 hijras in New Delhi may be infected with HIV. Other participants are known as dangas, men who are either married or single and appear to lead strictly heterosexual lives throughout the year except during the Chittirai-Pournami festival when they dress as women and sell sex to other men attending the festival. The panthis comprise another group of participants and tend to be either single or married men who attend the festival to have sex with the hijras and dangas for fees up to ten rupees, approximately US$0.50, per sexual encounter. Prostitution within the devadasi sect and the sale of young, virgin girls in the state of Andhra Pradesh to the highest male bidders are other examples of how ancient traditions are facilitating the current spread of HIV in India. PMID:12319989

  16. Environmental metabarcodes for insects: in silico PCR reveals potential for taxonomic bias.

    PubMed

    Clarke, Laurence J; Soubrier, Julien; Weyrich, Laura S; Cooper, Alan

    2014-11-01

    Studies of insect assemblages are suited to the simultaneous DNA-based identification of multiple taxa known as metabarcoding. To obtain accurate estimates of diversity, metabarcoding markers ideally possess appropriate taxonomic coverage to avoid PCR-amplification bias, as well as sufficient sequence divergence to resolve species. We used in silico PCR to compare the taxonomic coverage and resolution of newly designed insect metabarcodes (targeting 16S) with that of existing markers [16S and cytochrome oxidase c subunit I (COI)] and then compared their efficiency in vitro. Existing metabarcoding primers amplified in silico <75% of insect species with complete mitochondrial genomes available, whereas new primers targeting 16S provided >90% coverage. Furthermore, metabarcodes targeting COI appeared to introduce taxonomic PCR-amplification bias, typically amplifying a greater percentage of Lepidoptera and Diptera species, while failing to amplify certain orders in silico. To test whether bias predicted in silico was observed in vitro, we created an artificial DNA blend containing equal amounts of DNA from 14 species, representing 11 insect orders and one arachnid. We PCR-amplified the blend using five primer sets, targeting either COI or 16S, with high-throughput amplicon sequencing yielding more than 6 million reads. In vitro results typically corresponded to in silico PCR predictions, with newly designed 16S primers detecting 11 insect taxa present, thus providing equivalent or better taxonomic coverage than COI metabarcodes. Our results demonstrate that in silico PCR is a useful tool for predicting taxonomic bias in mixed template PCR and that researchers should be wary of potential bias when selecting metabarcoding markers.

  17. The effects of spinosad on Culex quinquefasciatus and three nontarget insect species.

    PubMed

    Jones, Owen M; Ottea, James

    2013-12-01

    Spinosad is a relatively new insecticide with a unique mode of action that is being evaluated for control of larval mosquitoes. Whereas a number of toxicological studies have measured effects of spinosad on various animals, few have been conducted on the effects of spinosad on nontarget, aquatic insect species. Such studies are important as these species might be found in the same environments as mosquito larvae targeted for control. A neighborhood pond was surveyed to find a representative species of mosquito as well as other common aquatic insects with which to examine susceptibility to spinosad and nontarget effects. The mosquito species chosen was Culex quinquefasciatus and the most common nontarget taxa were immature stages of a mayfly (Caenis sp., Ephemeroptera: Caenidae), a damselfly (Ischnura sp., Odonata: Coenagrionidae), and a dragonfly (Pachydiplax longipennis, Odonata: Libellulidae). Bioassays of mosquitoes from a reference susceptible strain (Sebring-S) and field collections of Cx. quinquefasciatus were used to determine susceptibility to spinosad. In addition, susceptibility was examined in nontarget taxa using spinosad concentrations corresponding to the LC50 of field-collected mosquitoes (0.031 ppm) and the maximum label rate (1.6 ppm) of spinosad (Natular EC). Susceptibility to spinosad did not differ between Sebring-S and field-collected mosquitoes. However, there was a marked difference in susceptibility among nontarget taxa. Susceptibility was greatest in Caenis sp., followed by Ischnura sp., and then P. longipennis. PMID:24551967

  18. Use of detrended correspondence analysis to evaluate factors controlling spatial distribution of benthic insects

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Leland, H.V.; Carter, J.L.; Fend, S.V.

    1986-01-01

    Detrended correspondence analysis (DCA) was evaluated for its effectiveness in displaying factors controlling the spatial distribution of benthic insects in an oligotrophic stream where an experimental gradient (copper) that selectively affects population abundances was imposed. DCA proved to be highly sensitive to differences among samples and consistently provided ecologically meaningful species ordinations. Seasonality of taxa was the major gradient displayed by DCA prior to copper exposure when data for all sampling dates were included. Sensitivity of taxa to copper was a more important factor affecting community structure than was seasonality during periods of continuous exposure to copper (2.5 to 15 ??g l-1 CuT; approximately 12 to 75 ng l-1 Cu2+. When pre-dose data for each sampling date were ordinated independently, substratum composition and biological interactions were the major gradients displayed in species ordinations. During periods of exposure, sensitivity of taxa to copper was the primary gradient. This gradient also reflected a generally greater sensitivity to copper of herbivorous than of detritivorous or predatory benthic insects. DCA revealed the persistence, eleven months after dosing ceased, of differences in community structure between the control and high treatment (5 and 10 ??g l-1 CuT) sections. Differences between sections were not evident on this sampling date from total biomass or total density (numerical) estimates. ?? 1986 Dr W. Junk Publishers.

  19. The Curious Connection Between Insects and Dreams

    PubMed Central

    Klein, Barrett A.

    2011-01-01

    A majority of humans spend their waking hours surrounded by insects, so it should be no surprise that insects also appear in humans’ dreams as we sleep. Dreaming about insects has a peculiar history, marked by our desire to explain a dream’s significance and by the tactic of evoking emotions by injecting insects in dream-related works of art, film, music, and literature. I surveyed a scattered literature for examples of insects in dreams, first from the practices of dream interpretation, psychiatry, and scientific study, then from fictional writings and popular culture, and finally in the etymology of entomology by highlighting insects with dream-inspired Latinate names. A wealth of insects in dreams, as documented clinically and culturally, attests to the perceived relevance of dreams and to the ubiquity of insects in our lives. PMID:26467945

  20. First Aid: Insect Stings and Bites

    MedlinePlus

    ... Can I Protect My Family From Ticks? Are Insect Repellents With DEET Safe for Kids? Bug Bites and Stings Can I Use Bug Killers and Repellents During Pregnancy? Insect Sting Allergy How Do I Watch for Lyme ...

  1. The Curious Connection Between Insects and Dreams.

    PubMed

    Klein, Barrett A

    2011-12-21

    A majority of humans spend their waking hours surrounded by insects, so it should be no surprise that insects also appear in humans' dreams as we sleep. Dreaming about insects has a peculiar history, marked by our desire to explain a dream's significance and by the tactic of evoking emotions by injecting insects in dream-related works of art, film, music, and literature. I surveyed a scattered literature for examples of insects in dreams, first from the practices of dream interpretation, psychiatry, and scientific study, then from fictional writings and popular culture, and finally in the etymology of entomology by highlighting insects with dream-inspired Latinate names. A wealth of insects in dreams, as documented clinically and culturally, attests to the perceived relevance of dreams and to the ubiquity of insects in our lives.

  2. Introducing Virological Concepts Using an Insect Virus.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sheppard, Roger F.

    1980-01-01

    A technique is presented which utilizes wax moth larvae in a laboratory investigation of an insect virus. Describes how an insect virus can be used to introduce undergraduate biology students to laboratory work on viruses and several virological concepts. (SA)

  3. Palaeontology: Chinese amber insects bridge the gap.

    PubMed

    Ross, Andrew

    2014-07-21

    n the study of fossil insects, Chinese amber from Fushun has been largely overlooked. A new study now reveals a highly diverse biota and provides a wealth of new information on the past Asian insect fauna.

  4. Insects--How To Study Them

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Matthews, E. G.

    1975-01-01

    Describes an approach to the study of entomology directed at people with no special knowledge of insects. The aim of this approach is to reveal some biological principles by studying insects from an ecological point of view. (GS)

  5. The Seat of Insect Learning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dyer, Fred C.

    1997-01-01

    Describes the role of mushroom bodies--cup-shaped structures perched atop the brain of an insect--in learning. Mushroom bodies may help fruit flies in learning meaningful odors, cockroaches in spatial learning, and honeybees both in locating pollen and nectar and in navigating back to the colony. (PVD)

  6. Insects Affecting Man. MP-21.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lawson, Fred A.; Spackman, Everett

    The insects discussed in this document are those which have a direct effect upon humans either through a permanent association, as with lice, or a temporary association in the case of flies, bees, wasps, and spiders. In each case, life cycles and identifying characteristics are presented with remarks about the specific effect incurred by man. (CS)

  7. Bug City: Aquatic Insects [Videotape].

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    1998

    "Bug City" is a video series created to help children learn about insects and other small critters. All aspects of bug life are touched upon including body structure, food, habitat, life cycle, mating habits, camouflage, mutualism (symbiosis), adaptations, social behavior, and more. Each program features dramatic microscopic photography, fun…

  8. Plant defense against insect herbivory

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Damage to maize crops by insect herbivores such as beet and fall army worm causes significant impact in the Southern United States in terms of both yield loss and insecticide use. Enhanced understanding of how maize can defend itself against such attacks at a molecular level will enable development ...

  9. The insect SNMP gene family

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    SNMPs are membrane proteins that have been shown to associate with chemosensory neurons in insects; in Drosophila melanogaster, SNMP1 has been shown to be essential for the detection of the pheromone cis vaccenyl acetate (Benton et al., 2001; Jin et al., 2008). To extend these observations to other ...

  10. Nontoxic Antifreeze for Insect Traps

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Propylene glycol in water is a safe and effective alternative to ethylene glycol as a capture liquid in insect traps (pitfalls, flight intercepts, pan traps). Propylene glycol formulations are readily available because it is the primary (95%) ingredient in certain automotive antifreeze formulations...

  11. Evolution of insect olfactory receptors

    PubMed Central

    Missbach, Christine; Dweck, Hany KM; Vogel, Heiko; Vilcinskas, Andreas; Stensmyr, Marcus C; Hansson, Bill S; Grosse-Wilde, Ewald

    2014-01-01

    The olfactory sense detects a plethora of behaviorally relevant odor molecules; gene families involved in olfaction exhibit high diversity in different animal phyla. Insects detect volatile molecules using olfactory (OR) or ionotropic receptors (IR) and in some cases gustatory receptors (GRs). While IRs are expressed in olfactory organs across Protostomia, ORs have been hypothesized to be an adaptation to a terrestrial insect lifestyle. We investigated the olfactory system of the primary wingless bristletail Lepismachilis y-signata (Archaeognatha), the firebrat Thermobia domestica (Zygentoma) and the neopteran leaf insect Phyllium siccifolium (Phasmatodea). ORs and the olfactory coreceptor (Orco) are with very high probability lacking in Lepismachilis; in Thermobia we have identified three Orco candidates, and in Phyllium a fully developed OR/Orco-based system. We suggest that ORs did not arise as an adaptation to a terrestrial lifestyle, but evolved later in insect evolution, with Orco being present before the appearance of ORs. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.02115.001 PMID:24670956

  12. Transposable elements for insect transformation

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The germ-line of more than 35 species from five orders of insects have been genetically transformed, using vectors derived from Class II transposable elements. Initially the P and hobo vector systems developed for D. melanogaster were not applicable to other species, but four transposons found in ot...

  13. Exaggerated trait growth in insects

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Animal structures occasionally attain extreme proportions, eclipsing in size other, surrounding body parts. We review insect examples of exaggerated traits, such as the mandibles of stag beetles, the claspers of praying mantises, the elongated hindlimbs of grasshoppers, and the giant heads of soldie...

  14. Making Connections with Insect Royalty.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hobbie, Ann

    2000-01-01

    Describes a one-month sixth grade class activity with monarch butterflies called Monarch in the Classroom. Students learn about insects, especially the class material butterflies, including their life cycle, eating habits, migration, and how they overwinter. The lesson plan covers sorting animals, focusing on features, analyzing the community for…

  15. Allergic reactions to insect secretions.

    PubMed

    Pecquet, Catherine

    2013-01-01

    Some products derived from insects can induce allergic reactions. The main characteristics of some products from honeybees, cochineal and silkworms are summarised here. We review allergic reactions from honey-derived products (propolis, wax, royal jelly), from cochineal products (shellac and carmine) and from silk : clinical features, allergological investigations and allergens if they are known.

  16. Divergence time estimation using fossils as terminal taxa and the origins of Lissamphibia.

    PubMed

    Pyron, R Alexander

    2011-07-01

    Were molecular data available for extinct taxa, questions regarding the origins of many groups could be settled in short order. As this is not the case, various strategies have been proposed to combine paleontological and neontological data sets. The use of fossil dates as node age calibrations for divergence time estimation from molecular phylogenies is commonplace. In addition, simulations suggest that the addition of morphological data from extinct taxa may improve phylogenetic estimation when combined with molecular data for extant species, and some studies have merged morphological and molecular data to estimate combined evidence phylogenies containing both extinct and extant taxa. However, few, if any, studies have attempted to estimate divergence times using phylogenies containing both fossil and living taxa sampled for both molecular and morphological data. Here, I infer both the phylogeny and the time of origin for Lissamphibia and a number of stem tetrapods using Bayesian methods based on a data set containing morphological data for extinct taxa, molecular data for extant taxa, and molecular and morphological data for a subset of extant taxa. The results suggest that Lissamphibia is monophyletic, nested within Lepospondyli, and originated in the late Carboniferous at the earliest. This research illustrates potential pitfalls for the use of fossils as post hoc age constraints on internal nodes and highlights the importance of explicit phylogenetic analysis of extinct taxa. These results suggest that the application of fossils as minima or maxima on molecular phylogenies should be supplemented or supplanted by combined evidence analyses whenever possible.

  17. EXCLUSION OF RARE TAXA AFFECTS PERFORMANCE OF THE O/E INDEX IN BIOASSESSMENTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The contribution of rare taxa to bioassessments based on multispecies assemblages is the subject of continued debate. As a result, users of predictive models such as River InVertebrate Prediction and Classification System (RIVPACS) disagree on whether to exclude locally rare taxa...

  18. An annotated list of aquatic insects of Fort Sill, Oklahoma, excluding diptera with notes on several new state records

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zuellig, R.E.; Kondratieff, B.C.; Schmidt, J.P.; Durfee, R.S.; Ruiter, D.E.; Prather, I.E.

    2006-01-01

    Qualitative collections of aquatic insects were made at Fort Sill, Lawton, Oklahoma, between 2002 and 2004. Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, Trichoptera, Odonata, Coleoptera, aquatic Heteroptera, Neuroptera, and Megaloptera were targeted. Additional records are included from a survey that took place in 1999. More than 11,000 specimens from more than 290 collections were examined. Based on the current understanding of aquatic insect systematics, 276 taxa distributed over 8 orders, 46 families, and 141 genera were identified. Twenty-three of the 276 taxa, Plauditus texanus Wiersema, Tricorythodes allectus (Needham), Palmacorixa nana walleyi Hungerford, Climacia chapini Partin and Gurney, Oxyethira forcipata Mosely, Oxyethira janella Denning, Triaenodes helo Milne, Ylodes frontalis (Banks), Acilius fraternus Harris, Coptotomus loticus Hilsenhoff, Coptotomus venustus (Say), Desmopachria dispersa Crotch, Graphoderus liberus (Say), Hydrovatus pustulatus (Melsheimer), Hygrotus acaroides (LeConte), Liodessus flavicollis (LeConte), Uvarus texanus (Sharp), Gyrinus woodruffi Fall, Haliplus fasciatus Aube, Haliplus lewisii Crotch, Haliplus tortilipenis Brigham & Sanderson, Chaetarthria bicolor Sharp, Epimetopus costatus complex, and Hydrochus simplex LeConte are reported from Oklahoma for the first time. The three most diverse orders included Coleoptera (86 species), Odonata (67 species) and Trichoptera (59 species), and the remaining taxa were distributed among Heteroptera, (30 species), Ephemeroptera (21 species), Plecoptera (6 species), Megaloptera (4 species), and Neuroptera (3 species). Based on previous published records, many of the species collected during this study were expected to be found at Fort Sill; however, 276 taxa of aquatic insects identified from such a small geographic area is noteworthy, especially when considering local climatic conditions and the relatively small size of Fort Sill (38,300 ha). Despite agricultural practices in Oklahoma, the dust bowl days

  19. Chemical preservation of plants and insects in natural resins

    PubMed Central

    Stankiewicz, B. A.; Poinar, H. N.; Briggs, D. E. G.; Evershed, R. P.; Poinar, G. O.

    1998-01-01

    The morphological preservation of fossils in amber is remarkable, but their chemical composition is largely unknown. The likelihood of DNA preservation in amber has been questioned but, surprisingly, the fate of more decay-resistant macromolecules such as ligno-cellulose in plants or the chitin–protein complex in insect cuticle has not been investigated. Here we report the results of investigations using pyrolysis-gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (py-GC/MS) of the tissues of insects and the plant Hymenaea from ancient and sub-fossil resins (2–20 ka) from Kenya, and from Dominican amber (25–30 Ma). The volatile components of the resin have penetrated even the internal tissues, resulting in the exceptional three-dimensional preservation of amber inclusions. Chitin is preserved in the bee and ligno-cellulose in the Hymenaea leaf from the Kenyan resins. There was no trace, however, of these macromolecules in tissues in Dominican amber. The presence of aliphatic polymer and sulphur-containing moieties in these tissues indicates that they have undergone diagenetic alteration; in view of this, the preservation in Dominican amber of a macromolecule as labile as DNA would be extraordinary.

  20. Spatially Heterogeneous Perturbations Homogenize the Regulation of Insect Herbivores.

    PubMed

    Harvey, Eric; MacDougall, Andrew S

    2015-11-01

    Anthropogenic influences on resources and consumers can affect food web regulation, with impacts on trophic structure and ecosystem processes. Identifying how these impacts unfold is challenging because alterations to one or both resources and consumers can similarly transform community structure, especially for intermediate consumers. To date, empirical testing of perturbations on trophic regulation has been limited by the difficulty in separating the direct effect of perturbations on species composition and diversity from those unfolding indirectly via altered feeding pathways. Moreover, disentangling the independent and interactive impacts of covarying stressors that characterize human-altered systems has been an ongoing analytical challenge. We used a large-scale metacommunity experiment in grasslands to test how resource inputs, stand perturbation, and spatial factors affect regulation of insect herbivores in tritrophic grassland food webs. Using path-model comparisons, we observed significant simplification of food web regulation on insect herbivores, shifting from mixed predator-resource regulation in unaltered mainland areas to strictly resource-based regulation with landscape perturbation and fragmentation. Most changes were attributed to homogenization of plant community caused by landscape fragmentation and the deterministic influence of eutrophication that reduced among-patch beta diversity. This led to a simplified food web dominated by fewer but more abundant herbivore taxa. Our work implies that anthropogenic perturbation relating to resources and spatial isolation can transform the regulation of food web diversity, structure, and function. PMID:26655775

  1. Spatially Heterogeneous Perturbations Homogenize the Regulation of Insect Herbivores.

    PubMed

    Harvey, Eric; MacDougall, Andrew S

    2015-11-01

    Anthropogenic influences on resources and consumers can affect food web regulation, with impacts on trophic structure and ecosystem processes. Identifying how these impacts unfold is challenging because alterations to one or both resources and consumers can similarly transform community structure, especially for intermediate consumers. To date, empirical testing of perturbations on trophic regulation has been limited by the difficulty in separating the direct effect of perturbations on species composition and diversity from those unfolding indirectly via altered feeding pathways. Moreover, disentangling the independent and interactive impacts of covarying stressors that characterize human-altered systems has been an ongoing analytical challenge. We used a large-scale metacommunity experiment in grasslands to test how resource inputs, stand perturbation, and spatial factors affect regulation of insect herbivores in tritrophic grassland food webs. Using path-model comparisons, we observed significant simplification of food web regulation on insect herbivores, shifting from mixed predator-resource regulation in unaltered mainland areas to strictly resource-based regulation with landscape perturbation and fragmentation. Most changes were attributed to homogenization of plant community caused by landscape fragmentation and the deterministic influence of eutrophication that reduced among-patch beta diversity. This led to a simplified food web dominated by fewer but more abundant herbivore taxa. Our work implies that anthropogenic perturbation relating to resources and spatial isolation can transform the regulation of food web diversity, structure, and function.

  2. Aquatic insect assemblages associated with subalpine stream segment types in relict glaciated headwaters

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kubo, Joshua S.; Torgersen, Christian E.; Bolton, Susan M.; Weekes, Anne A.; Gara, Robert I.

    2013-01-01

    1. Aquatic habitats and biotic assemblages in subalpine headwaters are sensitive to climate and human impacts. Understanding biotic responses to such perturbations and the contribution of high-elevation headwaters to riverine biodiversity requires the assessment of assemblage composition among habitat types. We compared aquatic insect assemblages among headwater stream segment types in relict glaciated subalpine basins in Mt. Rainier National Park, Washington, USA. 2. Aquatic insects were collected during summer and autumn in three headwater basins. In each basin, three different stream segment types were sampled: colluvial groundwater sources, alluvial lake inlets, and cascade-bedrock lake outlets. Ward's hierarchical cluster analysis revealed high β diversity in aquatic insect assemblages, and non-metric multidimensional scaling indicated that spatial and temporal patterns in assemblage composition differed among headwater stream segment types. Aquatic insect assemblages showed more fidelity to stream segment types than to individual basins, and the principal environmental variables associated with assemblage structure were temperature and substrate. 3. Indicator species analyses identified specific aquatic insects associated with each stream segment type. Several rare and potentially endemic aquatic insect taxa were present, including the recently described species, Lednia borealis (Baumann and Kondratieff). 4. Our results indicate that aquatic insect assemblages in relict glaciated subalpine headwaters were strongly differentiated among stream segment types. These results illustrate the contribution of headwaters to riverine biodiversity and emphasise the importance of these habitats for monitoring biotic responses to climate change. Monitoring biotic assemblages in high-elevation headwaters is needed to prevent the potential loss of unique and sensitive biota.

  3. Buckling failures in insect exoskeletons.

    PubMed

    Parle, Eoin; Herbaj, Simona; Sheils, Fiona; Larmon, Hannah; Taylor, David

    2016-02-01

    Thin walled tubes are often used for load-bearing structures, in nature and in engineering, because they offer good resistance to bending and torsion at relatively low weight. However, when loaded in bending they are prone to failure by buckling. It is difficult to predict the loading conditions which cause buckling, especially for tubes whose cross sections are not simple shapes. Insights into buckling prevention might be gained by studying this phenomenon in the exoskeletons of insects and other arthropods. We investigated the leg segments (tibiae) of five different insects: the locust (Schistocerca gergaria), American cockroach (Periplaneta americana), death's head cockroach (Blaberus discoidalis), stick insect (Parapachymorpha zomproi) and bumblebee (Bombus terrestris audax). These were tested to failure in cantilever bending and modelled using finite element analysis (FEA). The tibiae of the locust and the cockroaches were found to be approximately circular in shape. Their buckling loads were well predicted by linear elastic FEA, and also by one of the analytical solutions available in the literature for elastic buckling. The legs of the stick insect are also circular in cross section but have several prominent longitudinal ridges. We hypothesised that these ridges might protect the legs against buckling but we found that this was not the case: the loads necessary for elastic buckling were not reached in practice because yield occurred in the material, causing plastic buckling. The legs of bees have a non-circular cross section due to a pollen-carrying feature (the corbicula). We found that this did not significantly affect their resistance to buckling. Our results imply that buckling is the dominant failure mode in the tibia of insects; it likely to be a significant consideration for other arthropods and any organisms with stiff exoskeletons. The interactions displayed here between material properties and cross sectional geometry may provide insights for the

  4. Antibacterial peptides isolated from insects.

    PubMed

    Otvos, L

    2000-10-01

    Insects are amazingly resistant to bacterial infections. To combat pathogens, insects rely on cellular and humoral mechanisms, innate immunity being dominant in the latter category. Upon detection of bacteria, a complex genetic cascade is activated, which ultimately results in the synthesis of a battery of antibacterial peptides and their release into the haemolymph. The peptides are usually basic in character and are composed of 20-40 amino acid residues, although some smaller proteins are also included in the antimicrobial repertoire. While the proline-rich peptides and the glycine-rich peptides are predominantly active against Gram-negative strains, the defensins selectively kill Gram-positive bacteria and the cecropins are active against both types. The insect antibacterial peptides are very potent: their IC50 (50% of the bacterial growth inhibition) hovers in the submicromolar or low micromolar range. The majority of the peptides act through disintegrating the bacterial membrane or interfering with membrane assembly, with the exception of drosocin, apidaecin and pyrrhocoricin which appear to deactivate a bacterial protein in a stereospecific manner. In accordance with their biological function, the membrane-active peptides form ordered structures, e.g. alpha-helices or beta-pleated sheets and often cast permeable ion-pores. Their cytotoxic properties were exploited in in vivo studies targeting tumour progression. Although the native peptides degrade quickly in biological fluids other than insect haemolymph, structural modifications render the peptides resistant against proteases without sacrificing biological activity. Indeed, a pyrrhocoricin analogue shows lack of toxicity in vitro and in vivo and protects mice against experimental Escherichia coli infection. Careful selection of lead molecules based on the insect antibacterial peptides may extend their utility and produce viable alternatives to the conventional antimicrobial compounds for mammalian therapy.

  5. 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. PMID:26635833

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:26635833

  7. Using new technology and insect behavior in novel terrestrial and flying insect traps

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Insect traps are commonly used for both population sampling and insect control, the former as part of an integrated pest management (IPM) program. We developed traps for two insects, one as part of a pesticide based IPM system and the other for population control. Our IPM trap is for crawling insect...

  8. 21 CFR 1250.95 - Insect control.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2014-04-01 2014-04-01 false Insect control. 1250.95 Section 1250.95 Food and... SANITATION Sanitation Facilities and Conditions on Vessels § 1250.95 Insect control. Vessels shall be maintained free of infestation by flies, mosquitoes, fleas, lice, and other insects known to be vectors...

  9. 21 CFR 1250.95 - Insect control.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2013-04-01 2013-04-01 false Insect control. 1250.95 Section 1250.95 Food and... SANITATION Sanitation Facilities and Conditions on Vessels § 1250.95 Insect control. Vessels shall be maintained free of infestation by flies, mosquitoes, fleas, lice, and other insects known to be vectors...

  10. 21 CFR 1250.95 - Insect control.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2012-04-01 2012-04-01 false Insect control. 1250.95 Section 1250.95 Food and... SANITATION Sanitation Facilities and Conditions on Vessels § 1250.95 Insect control. Vessels shall be maintained free of infestation by flies, mosquitoes, fleas, lice, and other insects known to be vectors...

  11. Radar, Insect Population Ecology, and Pest Management

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vaughn, C. R. (Editor); Wolf, W. (Editor); Klassen, W. (Editor)

    1979-01-01

    Discussions included: (1) the potential role of radar in insect ecology studies and pest management; (2) the potential role of radar in correlating atmospheric phenomena with insect movement; (3) the present and future radar systems; (4) program objectives required to adapt radar to insect ecology studies and pest management; and (5) the specific action items to achieve the objectives.

  12. Insect Control (1): Use of Pheromones

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marx, Jean L.

    1973-01-01

    Discusses current research relating to the use of pheromones as a means of controlling insect pests. These chemicals, which are secreted by insects to affect the behavior of other individuals of the same species, may be used to eliminate pests without destroying their predators and other beneficial insects. (JR)

  13. Applications of acoustics in insect pest management

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Acoustic technology has been applied for many years in studies of insect communication and in the monitoring of calling-insect population levels, geographic distributions, and diversity, as well as in the detection of cryptic insects in soil, wood, container crops, and stored products. Acoustic devi...

  14. Insect biomass to enhance food production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Studies have established that insects are as good source of protein as conventional animal food (between 15 and 67% dry weight content). Insects are a good source of essential amino acids and essential fatty acids. Insect fat has a higher content of polyunsaturated (essential) fatty acids and a lowe...

  15. Insect-machine interface based neurocybernetics.

    PubMed

    Bozkurt, Alper; Gilmour, Robert F; Sinha, Ayesa; Stern, David; Lal, Amit

    2009-06-01

    We present details of a novel bioelectric interface formed by placing microfabricated probes into insect during metamorphic growth cycles. The inserted microprobes emerge with the insect where the development of tissue around the electronics during the pupal development allows mechanically stable and electrically reliable structures coupled to the insect. Remarkably, the insects do not react adversely or otherwise to the inserted electronics in the pupae stage, as is true when the electrodes are inserted in adult stages. We report on the electrical and mechanical characteristics of this novel bioelectronic interface, which we believe would be adopted by many investigators trying to investigate biological behavior in insects with negligible or minimal traumatic effect encountered when probes are inserted in adult stages. This novel insect-machine interface also allows for hybrid insect-machine platforms for further studies. As an application, we demonstrate our first results toward navigation of flight in moths. When instrumented with equipment to gather information for environmental sensing, such insects potentially can assist man to monitor the ecosystems that we share with them for sustainability. The simplicity of the optimized surgical procedure we invented allows for batch insertions to the insect for automatic and mass production of such hybrid insect-machine platforms. Therefore, our bioelectronic interface and hybrid insect-machine platform enables multidisciplinary scientific and engineering studies not only to investigate the details of insect behavioral physiology but also to control it.

  16. [Ancient Greek in modern language of medicine].

    PubMed

    Marković, Vera

    2007-01-01

    In order to standardize language of medicine, it is essential to have a good command of ancient Greek and Latin. We cannot deny a huge impact of ancient Greek medicine on medical terminology. Compounds of Greek origin related to terms for organs, illnesses, inflammations, surgical procedures etc. have been listed as examples. They contain Greek prefixes and suffixes transcribed into Latin and they have been analysed. It may be concluded that the modern language of medicine basically represents the ancient Greek language transcribed into Latin.

  17. Ancient Egyptian doctors and the nature of the biblical plagues.

    PubMed

    Trevisanato, Siro Igino

    2005-01-01

    Paragraph 55 of the London Medical Papyrus describes burns derived from red waters and which later became infected with larvae in the wounds. The prescribed treatment for the burn is unusual as it calls for no rinsing and requires bandaging with alkaline materials only. Refraining from washing in the Nile (the single most readily available source of water in ancient Egypt), and the use of alkali-neutralizing agents indicates that the red caustic waters came from the river, and were acid in nature. A red, acid Nile is consistent with the first biblical plague of Egypt, which killed fish, and kept people from drinking from the river. In turn, the sulfate-laced waters of the medical document also offer a plausible insight into the subsequent biblical plagues. Amphibians would have stayed away from the deadly river, left to die on the banks, just as described in the second biblical plague. Similarly, the larvae in the wounds mentioned by the medical document re-echo the third and fourth biblical plagues: the kînnîm invertebrates and the subsequent 'arob (varied insects) are consistent with larvae and the subsequent adults thereof. In pre-industrial Ancient Egypt, sulfates from a massive volcanic fall out provide the simplest and most exhaustive origin for such waters. A massive precipitation that would account for the waters in the medical document and the biblical texts is known from sediments at the bottom of lakes along the Nile Delta. The site is downwind from the island of Santorini, and the deposit of volcanic ashes took place during the Middle Bronze Age, i.e. at a time consistent with the eruption at the Greek volcanic island.

  18. A complete insect from the Late Devonian period.

    PubMed

    Garrouste, Romain; Clément, Gaël; Nel, Patricia; Engel, Michael S; Grandcolas, Philippe; D'Haese, Cyrille; Lagebro, Linda; Denayer, Julien; Gueriau, Pierre; Lafaite, Patrick; Olive, Sébastien; Prestianni, Cyrille; Nel, André

    2012-08-01

    After terrestrialization, the diversification of arthropods and vertebrates is thought to have occurred in two distinct phases, the first between the Silurian and the Frasnian stages (Late Devonian period) (425-385 million years (Myr) ago), and the second characterized by the emergence of numerous new major taxa, during the Late Carboniferous period (after 345 Myr ago). These two diversification periods bracket the depauperate vertebrate Romer's gap (360-345 Myr ago) and arthropod gap (385-325 Myr ago), which could be due to preservational artefact. Although a recent molecular dating has given an age of 390 Myr for the Holometabola, the record of hexapods during the Early-Middle Devonian (411.5-391 Myr ago, Pragian to Givetian stages) is exceptionally sparse and based on fragmentary remains, which hinders the timing of this diversification. Indeed, although Devonian Archaeognatha are problematic, the Pragian of Scotland has given some Collembola and the incomplete insect Rhyniognatha, with its diagnostic dicondylic, metapterygotan mandibles. The oldest, definitively winged insects are from the Serpukhovian stage (latest Early Carboniferous period). Here we report the first complete Late Devonian insect, which was probably a terrestrial species. Its 'orthopteroid' mandibles are of an omnivorous type, clearly not modified for a solely carnivorous diet. This discovery narrows the 45-Myr gap in the fossil record of Hexapoda, and demonstrates further a first Devonian phase of diversification for the Hexapoda, as in vertebrates, and suggests that the Pterygota diversified before and during Romer's gap.

  19. Insect biofuel cells using trehalose included in insect hemolymph leading to an insect-mountable biofuel cell.

    PubMed

    Shoji, Kan; Akiyama, Yoshitake; Suzuki, Masato; Hoshino, Takayuki; Nakamura, Nobuhumi; Ohno, Hiroyuki; Morishima, Keisuke

    2012-12-01

    In this paper, an insect biofuel cell (BFC) using trehalose included in insect hemolymph was developed. The insect BFC is based on trehalase and glucose oxidase (GOD) reaction systems which oxidize β-glucose obtained by hydrolyzing trehalose. First, we confirmed by LC-MS that a sufficient amount of trehalose was present in the cockroach hemolymph (CHL). The maximum power density obtained using the insect BFC was 6.07 μW/cm(2). The power output was kept more than 10 % for 2.5 h by protecting the electrodes with a dialysis membrane. Furthermore, the maximum power density was increased to 10.5 μW/cm(2) by using an air diffusion cathode. Finally, we succeeded in driving a melody integrated circuit (IC) and a piezo speaker by connecting five insect BFCs in series. The results indicate that the insect BFC is a promising insect-mountable battery to power environmental monitoring micro-tools.

  20. Insect diversity in the fossil record

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1993-01-01

    Insects possess a surprisingly extensive fossil record. Compilation of the geochronologic ranges of insect families demonstrates that their diversity exceeds that of preserved vertebrate tetrapods through 91 percent of their evolutionary history. The great diversity of insects was achieved not by high origination rates but rather by low extinction rates comparable to the low rates of slowly evolving marine invertebrate groups. The great radiation of modern insects began 245 million years ago and was not accelerated by the expansion of angiosperms during the Cretaceous period. The basic trophic machinery of insects was in place nearly 100 million years before angiosperms appeared in the fossil record.