Roth, Steffen; Fromm, Bastian; Gäde, Gerd; Predel, Reinhard
Background Neuropeptide ligands have to fit exactly into their respective receptors and thus the evolution of the coding regions of their genes is constrained and may be strongly conserved. As such, they may be suitable for the reconstruction of phylogenetic relationships within higher taxa. CAPA peptides of major lineages of cockroaches (Blaberidae, Blattellidae, Blattidae, Polyphagidae, Cryptocercidae) and of the termite Mastotermes darwiniensis were chosen to test the above hypothesis. The phylogenetic relationships within various groups of the taxon Dictyoptera (praying mantids, termites and cockroaches) are still highly disputed. Results Tandem mass spectrometry of neuropeptides from perisympathetic organs was used to obtain sequence data of CAPA peptides from single specimens; the data were analysed by Maximum Parsimony and Bayesian Interference. The resulting cladograms, taking 61 species into account, show a topology which is in general agreement with recent molecular and morphological phylogenetic analyses, including the recent phylogenetic arrangement placing termites within the cockroaches. When sequence data sets from other neuropeptides, viz. adipokinetic hormones and sulfakinins, were included, the general topology of the cladogram did not change but bootstrap values increased considerably. Conclusion This study represents the first comprehensive survey of neuropeptides of insects for solely phylogenetic purposes and concludes that sequences of short neuropeptides are suitable to complement molecular biological and morphological data for the reconstruction of phylogenetic relationships. PMID:19257902
Schwander, Tanja; Henry, Lee; Crespi, Bernard J
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 . 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.
Ueda, Shouhei; Quek, Swee-Peck; Itioka, Takao; Inamori, Keita; Sato, Yumiko; Murase, Kaori; Itino, Takao
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.
Schulte, James A; Melville, Jane; Larson, Allan
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
Austin, J J; Ross, A J; Smith, A B; Fortey, R A; Thomas, R H
Apparently ancient DNA has been reported from amber-preserved insects many millions of years old. Rigorous attempts to reproduce these DNA sequences from amber- and copal-preserved bees and flies have failed to detect any authentic ancient insect DNA. Lack of reproducibility suggests that DNA does not survive over millions of years even in amber, the most promising of fossil environments. PMID:9149422
Rawlence, Nicolas J.; Wood, Jamie R.; Armstrong, Kyle N.; Cooper, Alan
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
Moran, Nancy A; Tran, Phat; Gerardo, Nicole M
Several insect groups have obligate, vertically transmitted bacterial symbionts that provision hosts with nutrients that are limiting in the diet. Some of these bacteria have been shown to descend from ancient infections. Here we show that the large group of related insects including cicadas, leafhoppers, treehoppers, spittlebugs, and planthoppers host a distinct clade of bacterial symbionts. This newly described symbiont lineage belongs to the phylum Bacteroidetes. Analyses of 16S rRNA genes indicate that the symbiont phylogeny is completely congruent with the phylogeny of insect hosts as currently known. These results support the ancient acquisition of a symbiont by a shared ancestor of these insects, dating the original infection to at least 260 million years ago. As visualized in a species of spittlebug (Cercopoidea) and in a species of sharpshooter (Cicadellinae), the symbionts have extraordinarily large cells with an elongate shape, often more than 30 mum in length; in situ hybridizations verify that these correspond to the phylum Bacteroidetes. "Candidatus Sulcia muelleri" is proposed as the name of the new symbiont.
Karr, Jered A.; Nicholson, David B.; Ross, Andrew J.; Mayhew, Peter J.
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
Robertson, Hugh M
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.
Janick, Jules; Paris, Harry S.; Parrish, David C.
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
Wood, Hannah Marie; Matzke, Nicholas J; Gillespie, Rosemary G; Griswold, Charles E
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.
Penney, David; Wadsworth, Caroline; Fox, Graeme; Kennedy, Sandra L; Preziosi, Richard F; Brown, Terence A
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.
Pedersen, Mikkel Winther; Ginolhac, Aurélien; Orlando, Ludovic; Olsen, Jesper; Andersen, Kenneth; Holm, Jakob; Funder, Svend; Willerslev, Eske; Kjær, Kurt H.
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.
Penney, David; Wadsworth, Caroline; Fox, Graeme; Kennedy, Sandra L.; Preziosi, Richard F.; Brown, Terence A.
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
Bennett, Gordon M.; Moran, Nancy A.
Many insects rely on bacterial symbionts with tiny genomes specialized for provisioning nutrients lacking in host diets. Xylem sap and phloem sap are both deficient as insect diets, but differ dramatically in nutrient content, potentially affecting symbiont genome evolution. For sap-feeding insects, sequenced symbiont genomes are available only for phloem-feeding examples from the suborder Sternorrhyncha and xylem-feeding examples from the suborder Auchenorrhyncha, confounding comparisons. We sequenced genomes of the obligate symbionts, Sulcia muelleri and Nasuia deltocephalinicola, of the phloem-feeding pest insect, Macrosteles quadrilineatus (Auchenorrhyncha: Cicadellidae). Our results reveal that Nasuia-ALF has the smallest bacterial genome yet sequenced (112 kb), and that the Sulcia-ALF genome (190 kb) is smaller than that of Sulcia in other insect lineages. Together, these symbionts retain the capability to synthesize the 10 essential amino acids, as observed for several symbiont pairs from xylem-feeding Auchenorrhyncha. Nasuia retains genes enabling synthesis of two amino acids, DNA replication, transcription, and translation. Both symbionts have lost genes underlying ATP synthesis through oxidative phosphorylation, possibly as a consequence of the enriched sugar content of phloem. Shared genomic features, including reassignment of the UGA codon from Stop to tryptophan, and phylogenetic results suggest that Nasuia-ALF is most closely related to Zinderia, the betaproteobacterial symbiont of spittlebugs. Thus, Nasuia/Zinderia and Sulcia likely represent ancient associates that have co-resided in hosts since the divergence of leafhoppers and spittlebugs >200 Ma, and possibly since the origin of the Auchenorrhyncha, >260 Ma. PMID:23918810
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.
Carvalho, Mónica R.; Wilf, Peter; Barrios, Héctor; Windsor, Donald M.; Currano, Ellen D.; Labandeira, Conrad C.; Jaramillo, Carlos A.
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
Carvalho, Mónica R; Wilf, Peter; Barrios, Héctor; Windsor, Donald M; Currano, Ellen D; Labandeira, Conrad C; Jaramillo, Carlos A
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.
Panagiotakopulu, Eva; Higham, Thomas; Sarpaki, Anaya; Buckland, Paul; Doumas, Christos
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.
Johnston, Paul R; Rolff, Jens
Two of the main functions of the immune system are to control infections and to contribute to wound closure. Here we present the results of an RNAseq study of immune- and wound-response gene expression in the damselfly Coenagrion puella, a representative of the odonates, the oldest taxon of winged insects. De novo assembly of RNAseq data revealed a rich repertoire of canonical immune pathways, as known from model insects, including recognition, transduction and effector gene expression. A shared set of immune and wound repair genes were differentially expressed in both wounded and immune-challenged larvae. Moreover 3-fold more immune genes were induced only in the immune-challenged treatment. This is consistent with the notion that the immune-system reads a balance of signals related to wounding and infection and that the response is tailored accordingly.
Bruenn, Jeremy A.; Hay, John; Czechowski, Donna; Taylor, Derek J.
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
Havill, Nathan P; Shiyake, Shigehiko; Lamb Galloway, Ashley; Foottit, Robert G; Yu, Guoyue; Paradis, Annie; Elkinton, Joseph; Montgomery, Michael E; Sano, Masakazu; Caccone, Adalgisa
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.
Freitas, Larissa F D; Carvajal Barriga, Enrique Javier; Barahona, Patricia Portero; Lachance, Marc-André; Rosa, Carlos A
Twenty-four yeast strains were isolated from ephemeral flowers of Ipomoea spp. and Datura sp. and their associated insects in the Galápagos Archipelago, Ecuador, and from Ipomoea spp. and associated insects in the Cameron Highlands, Malaysia. Sequences of the D1/D2 domains of the large subunit rRNA gene indicated that these strains belong to a novel yeast species of the Kodamaea clade, although the formation of ascospores was not observed. The closest relative is Candida restingae. The human-mediated dispersion of this species by transpacific contacts in ancient times is suggested. The name Kodamaea transpacifica f.a., sp. nov. is proposed to accommodate these isolates. The type strain is CLQCA-24i-070(T) ( = CBS 12823(T) = NCYC 3852(T)); MycoBank number MB 803609.
Pérez-de la Fuente, Ricardo; Delclòs, Xavier; Peñalver, Enrique; Speranza, Mariela; Wierzchos, Jacek; Ascaso, Carmen; Engel, Michael S.
Taxa within diverse lineages select and transport exogenous materials for the purposes of camouflage. This adaptive behavior also occurs in insects, most famously in green lacewing larvae who nestle the trash among setigerous cuticular processes, known as trash-carrying, rendering them nearly undetectable to predators and prey, as well as forming a defensive shield. We report an exceptional discovery of a green lacewing larva in Early Cretaceous amber from Spain with specialized cuticular processes forming a dorsal basket that carry a dense trash packet. The trash packet is composed of trichomes of gleicheniacean ferns, which highlight the presence of wildfires in this early forest ecosystem. This discovery provides direct evidence of an early acquisition of a sophisticated behavioral suite in stasis for over 110 million years and an ancient plant–insect interaction. PMID:23236135
Chen, Hang; Chen, Xiaoming; Feng, Ying; Yang, Hui; He, Rui; Zhang, Wenfeng; Yang, Zixiang
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
Helmkampf, Martin; Cash, Elizabeth; Gadau, Jürgen
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.
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…
Willerslev, Eske; Cooper, Alan
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
Predel, Reinhard; Neupert, Susanne; Russell, William K; Scheibner, Olaf; Nachman, Ronald J
Corazonin is a peptidergic neurohormone of insects that is expressed in neurosecretory neurons of the pars lateralis of the protocerebrum and transported via nervi corporis cardiaci to the storage lobes of the corpora cardiaca. This peptide occurs with a single isoform in all insects studied so far, with the exception of the Coleoptera in which no corazonin form could be detected. Very few modifications of [Arg(7)]-corazonin, originally isolated from cockroaches, are known, namely [His(7)]-corazonin which is expressed in certain locusts and the stick insect Carausius morosus, and [Thr(4), His(7)]-corazonin recently described from the honey bee Apis mellifera. In this study, we performed a comprehensive screening for corazonin in the different insect groups after detecting of a fourth isoform in a crane fly, Tipula sp. ([Gln(10)]-corazonin). [Arg(7)]-corazonin is distributed in most major lineages of insects, and is thus the ancient form which was present at the time the phylum Insecta evolved. The replacement of Arg with His at position 7 from the N-terminus occurred several times in the evolution of insects. The third isoform, [Thr(4), His(7)]-corazonin, seems to be restricted to bees (Apidae); whereas wasps (Vespidae) and a bumble bee (Apidae) express other corazonins, specifically [His(7)]-corazonin and [Tyr(3), Gln(7), Gln(10)]-corazonin, respectively. A novel corazonin form, [His(4), Gln(7)]-corazonin, was also detected in all South African members of the newly described insect order Mantophasmatodea. The [His(4), Gln(7)]-corazonin separates these species from the Namibian Mantophasmatodea which express [Arg(7)]-corazonin and can be used as a distinct character to distinguish these morphologically similar insects.
Douglas, Angela E.
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
Douglas, Angela E
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.
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
Schulz, Stefan; Stenzhorn, Holger; Boeker, Martin
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: email@example.com PMID:18586729
Soltis, R.; Hart, D.; Nagy, T.
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.
Soltis, R.; Hart, D.; Nagy, T.
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.
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
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
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
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.
Wang, Gang; Cannon, Charles H; Chen, Jin
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.
Bertheau, Coralie; Brockerhoff, Eckehard G; Roux-Morabito, Géraldine; Lieutier, François; Jactel, Hervé
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.
Behie, Scott W; Bidochka, Michael J
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.
Behie, Scott W.; Bidochka, Michael J.
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
Lee, Hobart; Halverson, Sara; Mackey, Regina
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.
A variety of protocols for DNA extraction from archaeological and paleobotanical plant specimens have been proposed. This is not surprising given the range of taxa and tissue types that may be preserved and the variety of conditions in which that preservation may take place. Commercially available DNA extraction kits can be used to recover ancient plant DNA, but modifications to standard approaches are often necessary to improve yield. In this chapter, I describe two protocols for extracting DNA from small amounts of ancient plant tissue. The CTAB protocol, which I recommend for use with single seeds, utilizes an incubation period in extraction buffer and subsequent chloroform extraction followed by DNA purification and suspension. The PTB protocol, which I recommend for use with gourd rind and similar tissues, utilizes an overnight incubation of pulverized tissue in extraction buffer, removal of the tissue by centrifugation, and DNA extraction from the buffer using commercial plant DNA extraction kits.
Haddad, Nick, M.; Browne, David, R.; Cunningham, Alan; Danielson, Brent, J.; Levey, Douglas, J.; Sargent, Sarah; Spira, Tim
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.
Moore, Virginia J.; Chessin, Debby A.; Theobald, Becky
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…
Behura, S K
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.
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.
Russo, Laura; Stehouwer, Rachel; Heberling, Jacob Mason; Shea, Katriona
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
Behura, Susanta K.
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
Insect pests exhibit a diverse array of genetic-based responses when interacting with crop systems; these changes can be in response to pathogens, symbiotic microbes, host plants, chemicals, and the environment. Agricultural research has for decades focused on gathering crucial information on the bi...
... for Kids ▸ Stinging Insect Matching Game Share | Stinging Insect Matching Game Stinging insects can ruin summer fun for those who are ... the difference between the different kinds of stinging insects in order to keep your summer safe and ...
Poinar, Hendrik N.; Hoss, Matthias
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.
Dufour, P. A.
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.
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…
Engel, Michael S
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.
Kim, J. B.; Smith, E.
Many have explored the impact of climate change on insects and explored predictions under future scenarios. But the converse has been limited: no DGVM simulates insect infestation. We are assessing the potential impact of simulating insect infestation processes on DGVMs, and creating a framework for development of insect functional types (IFTs) for integration with DGVMs. Some work have been done devising IFTs for conservation and resource management, but results are limited to qualitative groupings of insect taxa based on resource usage and response to environment. The integration of IFTs into DGVMs would enable exploration of interaction between climate change and vegetation dynamics at the global scale. IFTs have the potential to significantly impact global carbon balance and vegetation distributions, and interaction with other disturbance regimes already modeled in DGVMs (e.g., fire, drought, herbivory). We identify relevant features of existing DGVMs, including spatial and temporal scales, extents, and focuses; how other disturbances are modeled; and model areas where IFTs would link to DGVMs. We identify relevant features of insect models, including hazard and risk models; spatial and temporal resolutions and extents; spatial processes; and commonly used variables. We outline the key considerations, including tradeoffs between accuracy of representation and the breadth of applicability; morphology, physiology, biochemistry, reproductive and demographic characteristics; functional effects vs. functional responses; major axes of specialization that are consistent across environments, biogeographic regions, and major insect taxa; and whether IFTs can be empirically evaluated. We propose major axes to define IFTs, and present a sample IFT, the westwide pine beetle.
Ito, Kei; Shinomiya, Kazunori; Ito, Masayoshi; Armstrong, J Douglas; Boyan, George; Hartenstein, Volker; Harzsch, Steffen; Heisenberg, Martin; Homberg, Uwe; Jenett, Arnim; Keshishian, Haig; Restifo, Linda L; Rössler, Wolfgang; Simpson, Julie H; Strausfeld, Nicholas J; Strauss, Roland; Vosshall, Leslie B
Despite the importance of the insect nervous system for functional and developmental neuroscience, descriptions of insect brains have suffered from a lack of uniform nomenclature. Ambiguous definitions of brain regions and fiber bundles have contributed to the variation of names used to describe the same structure. The lack of clearly determined neuropil boundaries has made it difficult to document precise locations of neuronal projections for connectomics study. To address such issues, a consortium of neurobiologists studying arthropod brains, the Insect Brain Name Working Group, has established the present hierarchical nomenclature system, using the brain of Drosophila melanogaster as the reference framework, while taking the brains of other taxa into careful consideration for maximum consistency and expandability. The following summarizes the consortium's nomenclature system and highlights examples of existing ambiguities and remedies for them. This nomenclature is intended to serve as a standard of reference for the study of the brain of Drosophila and other insects.
Spiro, Clifford Lawrence (Inventor); Burnell, Timothy Brydon (Inventor); Wengrovius, Jeffrey Hayward (Inventor)
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.
Debruyne, Régis; Barriel, Véronique
Twenty years after the advent of ancient DNA studies, this discipline seems to have reached the maturity formerly lacking to the fulfilment of its objectives. In its early development paleogenetics, as it is now acknowledged, had to cope with very limited data due to the technical limitations of molecular biology. It led to phylogenetic assumptions often limited in their scope and sometimes non-focused or even spurious results that cast the reluctance of the scientific community. This time seems now over and huge amounts of sequences have become available which overcome the former limitations and bridge the gap between paleogenetics, genomics and population biology. The recent studies over the charismatic woolly mammoth (independent sequencing of the whole mitochondrial genome and of millions of base pairs of the nuclear genome) exemplify the growing accuracy of ancient DNA studies thanks to new molecular approaches. From the earliest publications up to now, the number of mammoth nucleotides was multiplied by 100,000. Likewise, populational approaches of ice-age taxa provide new historical scenarios about the diversification and extinction of the Pleistocene megafauna on the one hand, and about the processes of domestication of animal and vegetal species by Man on the other. They also shed light on the differential structure of molecular diversity between short-term populational research (below 2 My) and long-term (over 2 My) phylogenetic approaches. All those results confirm the growing importance of paleogenetics among the evolutionary biology disciplines.
McIntosh, Andy; Beheshti, Novid
The innocuous looking bombardier beetle is one of the most remarkable creatures around. This tiny insect is endowed with a defence mechanism that would be the envy of any comic-strip superhero - it can fight off any spider, frog, ant or bird that comes too close by blasting the attacker with a powerful jet of hot, toxic fluid. Furthermore, the beetle can aim its weapon in any direction (even over its head) with pinpoint accuracy, and can reach distances of up to 20 cm with its spray.
Olfactory systems are evolutionarily ancient, underlying the common requirement for all animals to sense and respond to diverse volatile chemical signals in their environment. Odor detection is mediated by odorant receptors (ORs) that, in most olfactory systems, comprise large families of divergent G protein-coupled receptors. Here, I discuss our and others' recent investigations of ORs in the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, which have revealed insights into the distinct evolutionary origin and molecular function of insect ORs. I also describe a bioinformatics strategy that we developed to identify molecules that function with these insect-specific receptors in odor detection.
Rios-Touma, Blanca; Encalada, A C; Prat, N
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.
Allergies To Insect Venom Facts About Allergies The tendency to develop allergies may be inherited. If you have allergic tendencies and ... lives of those who are sensitive to it...insect venom! Although less common than pollen allergy, insect ...
Halberg, Kenneth A.; Terhzaz, Selim; Cabrero, Pablo; Davies, Shireen A.; Dow, Julian A. T.
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
Halberg, Kenneth A; Terhzaz, Selim; Cabrero, Pablo; Davies, Shireen A; Dow, Julian A T
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.
Peters, Marcell K.; Hemp, Andreas; Appelhans, Tim; Behler, Christina; Classen, Alice; Detsch, Florian; Ensslin, Andreas; Ferger, Stefan W.; Frederiksen, Sara B.; Gebert, Friederike; Haas, Michael; Helbig-Bonitz, Maria; Hemp, Claudia; Kindeketa, William J.; Mwangomo, Ephraim; Ngereza, Christine; Otte, Insa; Röder, Juliane; Rutten, Gemma; Schellenberger Costa, David; Tardanico, Joseph; Zancolli, Giulia; Deckert, Jürgen; Eardley, Connal D.; Peters, Ralph S.; Rödel, Mark-Oliver; Schleuning, Matthias; Ssymank, Axel; Kakengi, Victor; Zhang, Jie; Böhning-Gaese, Katrin; Brandl, Roland; Kalko, Elisabeth K.V.; Kleyer, Michael; Nauss, Thomas; Tschapka, Marco; Fischer, Markus; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf
The factors determining gradients of biodiversity are a fundamental yet unresolved topic in ecology. While diversity gradients have been analysed for numerous single taxa, progress towards general explanatory models has been hampered by limitations in the phylogenetic coverage of past studies. By parallel sampling of 25 major plant and animal taxa along a 3.7 km elevational gradient on Mt. Kilimanjaro, we quantify cross-taxon consensus in diversity gradients and evaluate predictors of diversity from single taxa to a multi-taxa community level. While single taxa show complex distribution patterns and respond to different environmental factors, scaling up diversity to the community level leads to an unambiguous support for temperature as the main predictor of species richness in both plants and animals. Our findings illuminate the influence of taxonomic coverage for models of diversity gradients and point to the importance of temperature for diversification and species coexistence in plant and animal communities. PMID:28004657
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,…
Navarro-Pérez, María L; López, Josefa; Fernández-Mazuecos, Mario; Rodríguez-Riaño, Tomás; Vargas, Pablo; Ortega-Olivencia, Ana
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.
Eight new taxa of Euglenophyta are described in this paper. They were collected from several provinces in China and respectively named Euglena allorgei var. exsulcata, E. pisciformis var. globosa, E. tortilis. Lepocinclis glabra var. papillata, Phacus pisiformis, Ph. strombuliformis, Ph. trimarginatus var. truncatus and Astasia angusta.
Defends the value and relevance of the study of ancient history and classics in history curricula. The unique homogeneity of the classical period contributes to its instructional manageability. A year-long, secondary-level course on fifth-century Greece and Rome is described to illustrate effective approaches to teaching ancient history. (AM)
Parsamian, Elma S.
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.
Pendergast, David M.
Discovery of mercury in an ancient Maya offering at Lamanai, Belize, has stimulated examination of possible sources of the material in the Maya area. Two zones of cinnabar and native mercury deposits can be defined in the Maya highlands, and the presence of the native metal suggests that the ancient Maya collected rather than extracted the mercury from ore.
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...
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)
Mitchell, Kieren J; Llamas, Bastien; Soubrier, Julien; Rawlence, Nicolas J; Worthy, Trevor H; Wood, Jamie; Lee, Michael S Y; Cooper, Alan
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.
McGovern, Patrick E.; Mirzoian, Armen; Hall, Gretchen R.
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
Wang, Bo; Xia, Fangyuan; Engel, Michael S; Perrichot, Vincent; Shi, Gongle; Zhang, Haichun; Chen, Jun; Jarzembowski, Edmund A; Wappler, Torsten; Rust, Jes
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.
Wang, Bo; Xia, Fangyuan; Engel, Michael S.; Perrichot, Vincent; Shi, Gongle; Zhang, Haichun; Chen, Jun; Jarzembowski, Edmund A.; Wappler, Torsten; Rust, Jes
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
Petrov, N B; Aleshin, V V
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.
Marshall, Patrice; Lodhi, M. A. K.
In this paper, we discuss how certain astronomical concepts are related to the ancient Egyptian culture and their daily life. One of them is different ways of creating their calendar systems. The ancient Egyptian calendar seems to have quite a bit of its origin in astronomy and its development over the course of history. There is an important role played by events, as determined in the heavens, in developing their calendar system. Along with astronomical observations by the ancient people of Egypt, there were several outside cultures that helped develop their calendar system and Egyptian idea of how life was created on this planet, most notably the inclusion of the star Sirius in the constellation of Canis Major. We give a brief discussion of these influences. For the ancient Egyptians, the cycle of life and death is a concept that ties in with a calendar system used to determine daily events.
Imhof, Christopher J.
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)
A survey of Indian medical historiography will reveal no dearth of work on the systems of medicine and medical literature of ancient India. However, the people who were responsible for the healing have not received much attention. This article traces the evolution of the physician as a professional in ancient India. This article reviews the secondary literature on healing and medical practice in India, specifically pertaining to the individual medical practitioner, drawing from varied sources. The healers of ancient India hailed from different castes and classes. They were well-respected and enjoyed state patronage. They were held to the highest ethical standards of the day and were bound by a strict code of conduct. They underwent rigorous training in both medicine and surgery. Most physicians were multi-skilled generalists, and expected to be skilled in elocution and debate. They were reasonably well-off financially. The paper also briefly traces the evolution of medicinal ideas in ancient India. PMID:27843823
Tsoulogiannis, Ioannis N; Spandidos, Demetrios A
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.
Sharma, Dinesh K; Maldonado, Jesus E; Jhala, Yadrendradev V; Fleischer, Robert C
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
Parducci, Laura; Bennett, Keith D; Ficetola, Gentile Francesco; Alsos, Inger Greve; Suyama, Yoshihisa; Wood, Jamie R; Pedersen, Mikkel Winther
Contents I. II. III. IV. V. VI. VII. VIII. IX. X. XI. References SUMMARY: Recent advances in sequencing technologies now permit the analyses of plant DNA from fossil samples (ancient plant DNA, plant aDNA), and thus enable the molecular reconstruction of palaeofloras. Hitherto, ancient frozen soils have proved excellent in preserving DNA molecules, and have thus been the most commonly used source of plant aDNA. However, DNA from soil mainly represents taxa growing a few metres from the sampling point. Lakes have larger catchment areas and recent studies have suggested that plant aDNA from lake sediments is a more powerful tool for palaeofloristic reconstruction. Furthermore, lakes can be found globally in nearly all environments, and are therefore not limited to perennially frozen areas. Here, we review the latest approaches and methods for the study of plant aDNA from lake sediments and discuss the progress made up to the present. We argue that aDNA analyses add new and additional perspectives for the study of ancient plant populations and, in time, will provide higher taxonomic resolution and more precise estimation of abundance. Despite this, key questions and challenges remain for such plant aDNA studies. Finally, we provide guidelines on technical issues, including lake selection, and we suggest directions for future research on plant aDNA studies in lake sediments.
Patalano, Solenn; Hore, Timothy A; Reik, Wolf; Sumner, Seirian
Epigenetic modifications are ancient and widely utilised mechanisms that have been recruited across fungi, plants and animals for diverse but fundamental biological functions, such as cell differentiation. Recently, a functional DNA methylation system was identified in the honeybee, where it appears to underlie queen and worker caste differentiation. This discovery, along with other insights into the epigenetics of social insects, allows provocative analogies to be drawn between insect caste differentiation and cellular differentiation, particularly in mammals. Developing larvae in social insect colonies are totipotent: they retain the ability to specialise as queens or workers, in a similar way to the totipotent cells of early embryos before they differentiate into specific cell lineages. Further, both differentiating cells and insect castes lose phenotypic plasticity by committing to their lineage, losing the ability to be readily reprogrammed. Hence, a comparison of the epigenetic mechanisms underlying lineage differentiation (and reprogramming) between cells and social insects is worthwhile. Here we develop a conceptual model of how loss and regain of phenotypic plasticity might be conserved for individual specialisation in both cells and societies. This framework forges a novel link between two fields of biological research, providing predictions for a unified approach to understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying biological complexity.
Van Wielendaele, Pieter; Badisco, Liesbeth; Vanden Broeck, Jozef
Successful animal reproduction depends on multiple physiological and behavioral processes that take place in a timely and orderly manner in both mating partners. It is not only necessary that all relevant processes are well coordinated, they also need to be adjusted to external factors of abiotic and biotic nature (e.g. population density, mating partner availability). Therefore, it is not surprising that several hormonal factors play a crucial role in the regulation of animal reproductive physiology. In insects (the largest class of animals on planet Earth), lipophilic hormones, such as ecdysteroids and juvenile hormones, as well as several neuropeptides take part in this complex regulation. While some peptides can affect reproduction via an indirect action (e.g. by influencing secretion of juvenile hormone), others exert their regulatory activity by directly targeting the reproductive system. In addition to insect peptides with proven activities, several others were suggested to also play a role in the regulation of reproductive physiology. Because of the long evolutionary history of many insect orders, it is not always clear to what extent functional data obtained in a given species can be extrapolated to other insect taxa. In this paper, we will review the current knowledge concerning the neuropeptidergic regulation of insect reproduction and situate it in a more general physiological context.
Most insect bites are harmless, though they sometimes cause discomfort. Bee, wasp, and hornet stings and fire ant bites usually hurt. Mosquito and flea bites usually itch. Insects can also spread diseases. In the United States, ...
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.
... Topics Publications and Products Programs Contact NIOSH NIOSH INSECTS AND SCORPIONS Recommend on Facebook Tweet Share Compartir Stinging or biting insects or scorpions can be hazardous to outdoor workers. ...
Göpfert, Martin C; Hennig, R Matthias
Insect hearing has independently evolved multiple times in the context of intraspecific communication and predator detection by transforming proprioceptive organs into ears. Research over the past decade, ranging from the biophysics of sound reception to molecular aspects of auditory transduction to the neuronal mechanisms of auditory signal processing, has greatly advanced our understanding of how insects hear. Apart from evolutionary innovations that seem unique to insect hearing, parallels between insect and vertebrate auditory systems have been uncovered, and the auditory sensory cells of insects and vertebrates turned out to be evolutionarily related. This review summarizes our current understanding of insect hearing. It also discusses recent advances in insect auditory research, which have put forward insect auditory systems for studying biological aspects that extend beyond hearing, such as cilium function, neuronal signal computation, and sensory system evolution.
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)
Clancy, K.M.; Wagner, M.R.; Reich, P.B.
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.
Robertson, Laura; Meyer, John R.
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…
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...
Farmers, grain elevator managers, and food processors often sample grain for insect damaged kernels and numbers of live adult insects but these easily obtained measurements of insect levels do not provide reliable estimates of the typically much larger populations of internally feeding immature inse...
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,…
MARHOLD, KAROL; LIHOVÁ, JUDITA; PERNÝ, MARIÁN; BLEEKER, WALTER
• 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
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
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
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
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.
Pinsky, Malin L; Worm, Boris; Fogarty, Michael J; Sarmiento, Jorge L; Levin, Simon A
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.
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.
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.
Loli, Denise; Bicudo, José Eduardo P W
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.
Calderón Narváez, G
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.
Tabor, Kimberly L; Fell, Richard D; Brewster, Carlyle C
Successional patterns of insect fauna on pig carcasses were studied in southwest Virginia. The objective was to identify and qualitatively assess the major taxa of forensic importance in this region. Studies were conducted in spring and summer 2001 and 2002, and fall 2002. Over 50 taxa were collected and identified. Phormia regina was the dominant fly species in the spring (>90%) and co-dominant with Phaenicia coeruleiviridis in the summer. Phaenicia sericata, Lucilia illustris, and Calliphora spp. were collected in spring and summer, but less frequently. Eleven species of Sarcophagidae also were collected with Sarcophaga utilis and Helicobia rapax the most common. In the fall, the dominant fly species were Calliphora vomitoria, L. illustris, and P. coeruleiviridis. The primary beetle species collected in spring and summer included three Staphylinidae (Creophilis maxillosus, Platydracus maculosus, and Aleochara lata) and three Silphidae (Oiceoptoma noveboracense, Necrodes surinamensis, and Necrophila americana). No beetles were collected in the fall.
Espinosa, Avelina; Paz-Y-Miño-C, Guillermo
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.
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.
Espinosa, Avelina; Paz-y-Miño-C, Guillermo
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
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…
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…
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…
Hughes, J Donald
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.
Gadecki, Victoria L.
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…
The article deals with the evidence about obstetrics and in particular midwifes in ancient Greece. The substantives which mean "obstetrician" in Greek are quite numerous, but the most attested and common is [see text]. This work examines all the tasks which were connected with this profession (e.g. in the legal field).
Krautz, Robert; Arefin, Badrul; Theopold, Ulrich
Insects and mammals share an ancient innate immune system comprising both humoral and cellular responses. The insect immune system consists of the fat body, which secretes effector molecules into the hemolymph and several classes of hemocytes, which reside in the hemolymph and of protective border epithelia. Key features of wound- and immune responses are shared between insect and mammalian immune systems including the mode of activation by commonly shared microbial (non-self) patterns and the recognition of these patterns by dedicated receptors. It is unclear how metazoan parasites in insects, which lack these shared motifs, are recognized. Research in recent years has demonstrated that during entry into the insect host, many eukaryotic pathogens leave traces that alert potential hosts of the damage they have aﬄicted. In accordance with terminology used in the mammalian immune systems, these signals have been dubbed danger- or damage-associated signals. Damage signals are necessary byproducts generated during entering hosts either by mechanical or proteolytic damage. Here, we briefly review the current stage of knowledge on how wound closure and wound healing during mechanical damage is regulated and how damage-related signals contribute to these processes. We also discuss how sensors of proteolytic activity induce insect innate immune responses. Strikingly damage-associated signals are also released from cells that have aberrant growth, including tumor cells. These signals may induce apoptosis in the damaged cells, the recruitment of immune cells to the aberrant tissue and even activate humoral responses. Thus, this ensures the removal of aberrant cells and compensatory proliferation to replace lost tissue. Several of these pathways may have been co-opted from wound healing and developmental processes. PMID:25071815
Montoya, Quimi Vidaurre; Meirelles, Lucas Andrade; Chaverri, Priscila; Rodrigues, Andre
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.
Polilov, Alexey A
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.
Cutler, G. Christopher
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
Morse, Chandler C; Huryn, Alexander D; Cronan, Christopher
The influence of urbanization on stream insect communities was determined by comparing physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of streams draining 20 catchments with varying levels of urban land-cover in Maine (U.S.A). Percent total impervious surface area (PTIA), which was used to quantify urban land-use, ranged from approximately 1-31% among the study catchments. Taxonomic richness of stream insect communities showed an abrupt decline as PTIA increased above 6%. Streams draining catchments with PTIA < 6% had the highest levels of both total insect and EPT (Ephemeroptera + Plecoptera + Trichoptera) taxonomic richness. These streams contained insect communities with a total richness averaging 33 taxa in fall and 31 taxa in spring; EPT richness ranged from an average of 15 taxa in fall and 13 taxa in spring. In contrast, none of the streams draining catchments with 6-27% PTIA had a total richness > 18 taxa or an EPT richness > 6 taxa. Insect communities in streams with PTIA > 6% were characterized by the absence of pollution-intolerant taxa. The distribution of more pollution-tolerant taxa (e.g. Acerpenna (Ephemeroptera); Paracapnia, Allocapnia (Plecoptera); Optioservus, Stenelmis (Coleoptera); Hydropsyche, Cheumatopsvyche (Trichoptera)), however, showed little relation to PTIA. In contrast to the apparent threshold relationship between PTIA and insect taxonomic richness, both habitat quality and water quality tended to decline as linear functions of PTIA. Our results indicate that, in Maine, an abrupt change in stream insect community structure occurs at a PTIA above a threshold of approximately 6% of total catchment area. The measurement of PTIA may provide a valuable tool for predicting thresholds for adverse effects of urbanization on the health of headwater streams in Maine.
MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-469, 31 August 2003The 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.
Warinner, Christina; Speller, Camilla; Collins, Matthew J.; Lewis, Cecil M.
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
Warinner, Christina; Speller, Camilla; Collins, Matthew J; Lewis, Cecil M
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.
Blackmon, Heath; Ross, Laura; Bachtrog, Doris
Insects harbor a tremendous diversity of sex determining mechanisms both within and between groups. For example, in some orders such as Hymenoptera, all members are haplodiploid, whereas Diptera contain species with homomorphic as well as male and female heterogametic sex chromosome systems or paternal genome elimination. We have established a large database on karyotypes and sex chromosomes in insects, containing information on over 13000 species covering 29 orders of insects. This database constitutes a unique starting point to report phylogenetic patterns on the distribution of sex determination mechanisms, sex chromosomes, and karyotypes among insects and allows us to test general theories on the evolutionary dynamics of karyotypes, sex chromosomes, and sex determination systems in a comparative framework. Phylogenetic analysis reveals that male heterogamety is the ancestral mode of sex determination in insects, and transitions to female heterogamety are extremely rare. Many insect orders harbor species with complex sex chromosomes, and gains and losses of the sex-limited chromosome are frequent in some groups. Haplodiploidy originated several times within insects, and parthenogenesis is rare but evolves frequently. Providing a single source to electronically access data previously distributed among more than 500 articles and books will not only accelerate analyses of the assembled data, but also provide a unique resource to guide research on which taxa are likely to be informative to address specific questions, for example, for genome sequencing projects or large-scale comparative studies.
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
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
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…
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.…
Understanding potential to grow conventional cottons that do not express Bt insecticidal proteins requires an appreciation for the historical impact of Bt cotton on cotton insects. Insects have long been exposed to Bacillus thuringiensis, a common soil-borne bacterium. Commercial deployment of B...
The use of magnetic information for orientation and navigation is a widespread phenomenon in animals. In contrast to navigational systems in vertebrates, our understanding of the mechanisms underlying the insect magnetic perception and use of the information is at an early stage. Some insects use ma...
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...
Arbogast, R T; Kendra, P E; Weaver, D K; Shuman, D
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.
Bevier, D E
Insect hypersensitivity reactions can have a large number of clinical presentations. The majority of reactions are pruritic and involve the short- or sparsely haired areas of the body. Most are associated with eosinophilic infiltration into the skin, often in a perivascular pattern. The diagnosis may be based on compatible clinical signs and improvement with aggressive insect control and, in some cases, confirmation via provocative exposure. Intradermal, prick, or serum testing for allergen-specific IgE can be used to document the presence of reaginic antibodies against insect allergens. Treatments include avoidance, aggressive insect control, and symptomatic support; in some cases, immunotherapy may be useful in decreasing the severity of clinical reactions to insects.
Laios, K; Tsoukalas, G; Kontaxaki, M-I; Karamanou, M; Androutsos, G
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
Tack, Ayco J M; Gripenberg, Sofia; Roslin, Tomas
Although phytophagous insects and plant pathogens frequently share the same host plant, interactions among such phylogenetically distant taxa have received limited attention. Here, we place pathogens and insects in the context of a multitrophic-level community. Focusing on the invasive powdery mildew Erysiphe alphitoides and the insect community on oak (Quercus robur), we demonstrate that mildew-insect interactions may be mediated by both the host plant and by natural enemies, and that the trait-specific outcome of individual interactions can range from negative to positive. Moreover, mildew affects resource selection by insects, thereby modifying the distribution of a specialist herbivore at two spatial scales (within and among trees). Finally, a long-term survey suggests that species-specific responses to mildew scale up to generate landscape-level variation in the insect community structure. Overall, our results show that frequently overlooked cross-kingdom interactions may play a major role in structuring terrestrial plant-based communities.
Watkins, Russell F; Gray, Michael W
Single-celled bacterivorous eukaryotes offer excellent test cases for evaluation of the frequency of prey-to-predator lateral gene transfer (LGT). Here we use analysis of expressed sequence tag (EST) data sets to quantify the extent of LGT from eubacteria to two amoebae, Acanthamoeba castellanii and Hartmannella vermiformis. Stringent screening for LGT proceeded in several steps intended to enrich for authentic events while at the same time minimizing the incidence of false positives due to factors such as limitations in database coverage and ancient paralogy. The results were compared with data obtained when the same methodology was applied to EST libraries from a number of other eukaryotic taxa. Significant differences in the extent of apparent eubacterium-to-eukaryote LGT were found between taxa. Our results indicate that there may be substantial inter-taxon variation in the number of LGT events that become fixed even between amoebozoan species that have similar feeding modalities.
Techniques for studying infectious disease in the ancient world are discussed. A brief survey of infectious diseases, such as schistosomiasis and malaria, in ancient Egypt is presented, and the physical traces of these diseases are examined. A discussion of the ancient Egyptian physician's response to infectious disease is included. There are two substantial sources of evidence for infectious diseases-physical remains and descriptions in Egyptian medical papyri. This preliminary survey suggests that ancient Egypt was far from the idyllic paradise on the Nile that some historians would like to imagine.
Ratnasingham, Sujeevan; Zakharov, Evgeny V.; Telfer, Angela C.; Levesque-Beaudin, Valerie; Milton, Megan A.; Pedersen, Stephanie; Jannetta, Paul; deWaard, Jeremy R.
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
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.
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.
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
Araújo, Walter S
Many hypotheses have been proposed to explain the diversity of gall-midge insects (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae), some of them taking into account plant diversity. This study aims to test the importance of size, age and composition of host plant taxa in the diversity of Cecidomyiidae. For this we used inventories data on the diversity of galling and host plants in Brazil. We found that Asterales, Myrtales and Malpighiales, were the most important orders, with 34, 33 and 25, gall morphotypes, respectively. The most representative host families were Asteraceae (34 morphotypes), Myrtaceae (23) and Fabaceae (22). In general, the order size and the plant family were good predictors of the galling diversity, but not the taxon age. The most diverse host genera for gall-midges were Mikania, Eugenia and Styrax, with 15, 13 and nine galler species, respectively. The size of plant genera showed no significant relationship with the richness of Cecidomyiidae, contrary to the prediction of the plant taxon size hypothesis. The plant genera with the greatest diversity of galling insects are not necessarily those with the greatest number of species. These results indicate that some plant taxa have a high intrinsic richness of galling insects, suggesting that the plant species composition may be equally or more important for the diversity of gall-midges than the size or age of the host taxon.
Egelhaaf, Martin; Kern, Roland
Vision guides flight behaviour in numerous insects. Despite their small brain, insects easily outperform current man-made autonomous vehicles in many respects. Examples are the virtuosic chasing manoeuvres male flies perform as part of their mating behaviour and the ability of bees to assess, on the basis of visual motion cues, the distance travelled in a novel environment. Analyses at both the behavioural and neuronal levels are beginning to unveil reasons for such extraordinary capabilities of insects. One recipe for their success is the adaptation of visual information processing to the specific requirements of the behavioural tasks and to the specific spatiotemporal properties of the natural input.
Insect pollinators are essential for the reproduction of more than two-thirds of the world’s crops, and beneficial insects play an important role in managing pest insects in agricultural farmscapes. These insects depend on nectar for their survival in these farmscapes. The flowers of tropical milkwe...
Zhenilo, S. V.; Sokolov, A.S.; Prokhortchouk, E. B.
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
There is considerable evidence from iconographic and documentary sources that musical lip-reed instruments were important in the early celtic communities of Scotland and Ireland. In recent years several studies have been undertaken with the aim of gaining a better understanding of the musical nature of these ancient horns, and of their place in the life and culture of the time. A valuable source of tangible evidence is to be found in the archaeological remains deposited across Scotland and the whole of Ireland. A project is now under way, under the auspices of the Kilmartin House Trust and the general direction of John Purser, which has brought together an international team of musicians, craftsmen, archaeologists, musicologists and physicists with the aim of analyzing ancient musical artifacts, reconstructing some of the original instruments, and analyzing the sounds they produce. This paper describes acoustical studies carried out on a number of recent reconstructions of wooden and bronze instruments, and discusses the role of acoustics in this type of investigation. [Work supported by Sciart and EPSRC.
Yu, Zhengda; Wang, Hui; Meng, Jiao; Miao, Mingsheng; Kong, Qiang; Wang, Renqing; Liu, Jian
Including or excluding rare taxa in bioassessment is a controversial topic, which essentially affects the reliability and accuracy of the result. In the present paper, we hypothesize that biological indices such as Shannon-Wiener index, Simpson's index, Margalef index, evenness, BMWP (biological monitoring working party), and ASPT (Average Score Per Taxon) respond differently to rare taxa exclusion. To test this hypothesis, a benthic macroinvertebrate data set based on recent fifteen-year studies in China was built for suppositional plot analyses. A field research was conducted in the Nansi Lake to perform related analyses. The results of suppositional plot simulations showed that Simpson's index placed more weight on common taxa than any other studied indices, followed by Shannon-Wiener index which remained a high value with the exclusion of rare taxa. The results indicated that there was not much of effect on Simpson's index and Shannon-Wiener index when rare taxa were excluded. Rare taxa played an important role in Margalef index and BMWP than in other indices. Evenness showed an increase trend, while ASPT varied inconsistently with the exclusion of rare taxa. Results of the field study also indicated that rare taxa had few impacts on the Shannon-Wiener index. By examining the relationships between the rare taxa and biological indices in our study, it is suggested that including the rare taxa when using BMWP and excluding them in the proposed way (e.g., fixed-count subsampling) to calculate Shannon-Wiener index and Simpson's index could raise the efficiency and reduce the biases in the bioassessment of freshwater ecosystems.
Sepkoski, J. J. Jr; Kendrick, D. C.; Sepkoski JJ, J. r. (Principal Investigator)
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.
Bee sting; Bites - insects, bees, and spiders; Black widow spider bite; Brown recluse bite; Flea bite; Honey bee or hornet sting; Lice bites; Mite bite; Scorpion bite; Spider bite; Wasp sting; Yellow jacket ...
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...
Richards, Lora A.; Dyer, Lee A.; Forister, Matthew L.; Smilanich, Angela M.; Dodson, Craig D.; Leonard, Michael D.; Jeffrey, Christopher S.
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
Richards, Lora A; Dyer, Lee A; Forister, Matthew L; Smilanich, Angela M; Dodson, Craig D; Leonard, Michael D; Jeffrey, Christopher S
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.
Grimaldi, David; Engel, Michael S.
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
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,…
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…
Yew, Joanne Y; Chung, Henry
For many species of insects, lipid pheromones profoundly influence survival, reproduction, and social organization. Unravelling the chemical language of insects has been the subject of intense research in the field of chemical ecology for the past five decades. Characterizing the forms, functions, and biosynthesis of lipid pheromones has led not only to the development of strategies for controlling agricultural pests but has also provided insights into fundamental questions in evolutionary biology. Despite the enormous variety of chemical structures that are used as pheromones, some common themes in function and biosynthetic pathways have emerged across studies of diverse taxa. This review will offer a general overview of insect lipid pheromone function and biochemical synthesis, describe analytical methods for pheromone discovery, and provide perspectives on the contribution of chemical ecology to pest control and understanding evolutionary processes.
Matuszewski, Szymon; Bajerlein, Daria; Konwerski, Szymon; Szpila, Krzysztof
The succession of insects on pig carrion was monitored in spring, summer and autumn, in three forest types and 2 years in Western Poland (Central Europe). In most forensically useful taxa, significant differences between seasons, forests and years in time of appearance on carrion were found. The lowest values of appearance time were recorded in summer and the highest in spring. In alder forest insects appeared on carcasses significantly earlier than in pine-oak forest and hornbeam-oak forest. In summer periods of insect presence on carrion were significantly shorter than in spring and autumn. In most taxa no significant effect of forest type or year on length of the presence period was found. In all seasons assemblages of adult taxa were clearly more aggregated than assemblages of larval taxa. Sequence of insects' appearance on carcasses was very similar in different seasons, forests and years. General seasonal models of insect succession on carrion are proposed for forests of Central Europe. Data on appearance time and length of the presence period in particular seasons, forests and years are presented for forensically useful taxa. Implications for methods of PMI estimation (particularly the succession-based method) are discussed.
Southwood, T R
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.
Hillyer, Julián F
Insects combat infection by mounting powerful immune responses that are mediated by hemocytes, the fat body, the midgut, the salivary glands and other tissues. Foreign organisms that have entered the body of an insect are recognized by the immune system when pathogen-associated molecular patterns bind host-derived pattern recognition receptors. This, in turn, activates immune signaling pathways that amplify the immune response, induce the production of factors with antimicrobial activity, and activate effector pathways. Among the immune signaling pathways are the Toll, Imd, Jak/Stat, JNK, and insulin pathways. Activation of these and other pathways leads to pathogen killing via phagocytosis, melanization, cellular encapsulation, nodulation, lysis, RNAi-mediated virus destruction, autophagy and apoptosis. This review details these and other aspects of immunity in insects, and discusses how the immune and circulatory systems have co-adapted to combat infection, how hemocyte replication and differentiation takes place (hematopoiesis), how an infection prepares an insect for a subsequent infection (immune priming), how environmental factors such as temperature and the age of the insect impact the immune response, and how social immunity protects entire groups. Finally, this review highlights some underexplored areas in the field of insect immunobiology.
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…
Stephenson, Philip; Sword, Frances
An innovative collaboration between the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge and the University of Cambridge Faculty of Education encourages new questions to be asked of ancient objects. In the museum galleries children work directly from ancient Egyptian objects through activities designed to encourage questioning that unpicks the technologies of the…
Palanichamy, Malliya Gounder; Mitra, Bikash; Debnath, Monojit; Agrawal, Suraksha; Chaudhuri, Tapas Kumar; Zhang, Ya-Ping
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.
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.
About a dozen lakes in the world are up to three orders of magnitude older than most others. Lakes Tanganyika (East Africa) and Baikal (Siberia) have probably existed in some form for 12-20 million years, maybe more. Such lakes can have different origins, sizes, shapes, depths and limnologies, but, in contrast to short-lived (mostly post-glacial) lakes, they have exceptionally high faunal diversity and levels of endemicity. A multitude of and processes accounting for these explosive radiations have recently been documented, most of them based on particular groups in certain lakes, but comparative research can detect repeated patterns. No special speciafion mechanism, exclusive to ancient lakes has been demonstrated, although cases of ultra-rapid speciation have been documented. Extant diversity results not by simple accumulation, but by a complex process of immigration, speciation and extinction.
Vreeland, Russell H.
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.
Vreeland, Russell H.
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.
Gong, Y. X.; Geng, L.; Gong, D. C.
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.
Recent flights of the Spaceborne Imaging Radar-C/X-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SIR-C/X-SAR) mission aboard the space shuttle Endeavour discovered a previously unknown branch of an ancient river. The images, released at AGU's Spring Meeting, show the river channel buried under thousands of years worth of windblown sand in a region of North Africa's Sahara Desert near the Kufra Oasis in southeast Libya, centered at 23.3°N latitude, 22.9°E longitude. The image from the flight last October reveals a system of old, now inactive stream valleys, called “paleodrainage systems,” which carried running water northward across the Sahara during periods of wetter climate.
Bermudes, D.; Margulis, L.
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.
Jones, Ryan Thomas; Sanchez, Leticia Gonzales; Fierer, Noah
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.
Signorelli, Javier H; Urteaga, Diego; Teso, Valeria
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.
Singh, Sanjay; Mann, Baldeep Kaur
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
Kerrigan, Richard W; Callac, Philippe; Parra, Luis A
Ongoing field and laboratory studies have led to our recognition of new taxa in Agaricus section Bivelares, a recent combination and now the earliest synonym and correct name of section Duploannulati. Agaricus cupressophilus and A. tlaxcalensis, in the new Agaricus subsection Cupressorum, and A. agrinferus, A. devoniensis subsp. bridghamii, and A. subsubensis in Agaricus subsection Hortenses, are described. Agaricus subfloccosus is lectotypified. Phylogeny reconstruction methods with ITS1+2 DNA sequences were used to determine appropriate placements of the new taxa. Collectively these new taxa and phylogenetic associations represent a substantial augmentation and clarification of our knowledge of section Bivelares; described, sequenced species-level taxa in the northern hemisphere are increased from six to 10, a distinct subsectional lineage is revealed and infraspecific resolution within A. devoniensis is improved. An anomalous ITS1+2 sequence is documented in one collection of A. subsubensis. Preliminary data on another novel member of Bivelares from France also are provided. Several of these taxa are rare, highlighting opportunities and challenges for documenting biodiversity in this group. Additional comments on related taxa treated in recent publications are also provided.
Yack, Jayne E
Insects are capable of detecting a broad range of acoustic signals transmitted through air, water, or solids. Auditory sensory organs are morphologically diverse with respect to their body location, accessory structures, and number of sensilla, but remarkably uniform in that most are innervated by chordotonal organs. Chordotonal organs are structurally complex Type I mechanoreceptors that are distributed throughout the insect body and function to detect a wide range of mechanical stimuli, from gross motor movements to air-borne sounds. At present, little is known about how chordotonal organs in general function to convert mechanical stimuli to nerve impulses, and our limited understanding of this process represents one of the major challenges to the study of insect auditory systems today. This report reviews the literature on chordotonal organs innervating insect ears, with the broad intention of uncovering some common structural specializations of peripheral auditory systems, and identifying new avenues for research. A general overview of chordotonal organ ultrastructure is presented, followed by a summary of the current theories on mechanical coupling and transduction in monodynal, mononematic, Type 1 scolopidia, which characteristically innervate insect ears. Auditory organs of different insect taxa are reviewed, focusing primarily on tympanal organs, and with some consideration to Johnston's and subgenual organs. It is widely accepted that insect hearing organs evolved from pre-existing proprioceptive chordotonal organs. In addition to certain non-neural adaptations for hearing, such as tracheal expansion and cuticular thinning, the chordotonal organs themselves may have intrinsic specializations for sound reception and transduction, and these are discussed. In the future, an integrated approach, using traditional anatomical and physiological techniques in combination with new methodologies in immunohistochemistry, genetics, and biophysics, will assist in
Schirmel, Jens; Bundschuh, Mirco; Entling, Martin H; Kowarik, Ingo; Buchholz, Sascha
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.
Sontowski, Rebekka; Bernhard, Detlef; Bleidorn, Christoph; Schlegel, Martin; Gerth, Michael
Wolbachia (Alphaproteobacteria) is an inherited endosymbiont of arthropods and filarial nematodes and was reported to be widespread across insect taxa. While Wolbachia's effects on host biology are not understood from most of these hosts, known Wolbachia-induced phenotypes cover a spectrum from obligate beneficial mutualism to reproductive manipulations and pathogenicity. Interestingly, data on Wolbachia within the most species-rich order of arthropods, the Coleoptera (beetles), are scarce. Therefore, we screened 128 species from seven beetle families (Buprestidae, Hydraenidae, Dytiscidae, Hydrophilidae, Gyrinidae, Haliplidae, and Noteridae) for the presence of Wolbachia. Our data show that, contrary to previous estimations, Wolbachia frequencies in beetles (31% overall) are comparable to the ones in other insects. In addition, we used Wolbachia MLST data and host phylogeny to explore the evolutionary history of Wolbachia strains from Hydraenidae, an aquatic lineage of beetles. Our data suggest that Wolbachia from Hydraenidae might be largely host genus specific and that Wolbachia strain phylogeny is not independent to that of its hosts. As this contrasts with most terrestrial Wolbachia-arthropod systems, one potential conclusion is that aquatic lifestyle of hosts may result in Wolbachia distribution patterns distinct from those of terrestrial hosts. Our data thus provide both insights into Wolbachia distribution among beetles in general and a first glimpse of Wolbachia distribution patterns among aquatic host lineages.
Wilf, Peter; Labandeira, Conrad C; Johnson, Kirk R; Cúneo, N Rubén
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.
Lewandowski, Adam S; Noss, Reed F; Parsons, David R
Biodiversity is too complex to measure directly, so conservation planning must rely on surrogates to estimate the biodiversity of sites. The species richness of selected taxa is often used as a surrogate for the richness of other taxa. Surrogacy values of taxa have been evaluated in diverse contexts, yet broad trends in their effectiveness remain unclear. We reviewed published studies testing the ability of species richness of surrogate taxa to capture the richness of other (target) taxa. We stratified studies into two groups based on whether a complementarity approach (surrogates used to select a combination of sites that together maximize total species richness for the taxon) or a richness-hotspot approach (surrogates used to select sites containing the highest species richness for the taxon) was used. For each comparison of one surrogate taxon with one target, we used the following predictor variables: biome, spatial extent of study area, surrogate taxon, and target taxon. We developed a binary response variable based on whether the surrogate taxon provided better than random representation of the target taxon. For studies that used an evaluation approach that was not based on better than random representation of target taxa, we based the response variable on the interpretation of results in the original study. We performed a categorical regression to elucidate trends in the effectiveness of surrogate taxa with regard to each of the predictor variables. A surrogate was 25% more likely to be effective with a complementarity approach than with a hotspot approach. For hotspot-based approaches, biome, extent of study, surrogate taxon, and target taxon significantly influenced effectiveness of the surrogate. For complementarity-based approaches, biome, extent, and surrogate taxon significantly influenced effectiveness of the surrogate. For all surrogate evaluations, biome explained the greatest amount of variation in surrogate effectiveness. From most to least
Understanding the birth and diversification of multigene families is a fundamental evolutionary problem. I argue for the insect chemoreceptor superfamily as an outstanding model. Although these receptors are currently the preserve of neuroscientists, putative homologous genes exist in diverse animal and plant genomes, implying an ancient origin. Moreover, functional studies suggest that they act as ligand-gated ion channels in both chemosensory and non-chemosensory processes. This family permits synergism of investigations into its structural and regulatory evolution with ecological studies of the selective pressures driving these changes. In addition, sequence divergence in these receptors can be exploited through co-evolutionary and comparative genomics analyses to help to elucidate their 3D structure and signaling mechanisms, and to reveal experimentally-accessible candidate loci to explore the genetic basis of adaptation.
The celestial phenomena have always been a source of wonder and interest to people, even as long ago as the ancient Egyptians. While the ancient Egyptians did not know all the things about astronomy that we do now, they had a good understanding of some celestial phenomena. The achievements in astronomy of ancient Egyptians are relatively well known, but we know very little about the people who made these achievements. The goal of this paper is to bring some light on the life of Senenmut, the chief architect and astronomer during the reign of Queen Hatshepsut.
de Roode, Jacobus C.; Lefèvre, Thierry
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
Benbow, M E; Lewis, A J; Tomberlin, J K; Pechal, J L
Necrophagous invertebrates have been documented to be a predominant driver of vertebrate carrion decomposition; however, very little is understood about the assembly of these communities both within and among seasons. The objective of this study was to evaluate the seasonal differences in insect taxa composition, richness, and diversity on carrion over decomposition with the intention that such data will be useful for refining error estimates in forensic entomology. Sus scrofa (L.) carcasses (n = 3-6, depending on season) were placed in a forested habitat near Xenia, OH, during spring, summer, autumn, and winter. Taxon richness varied substantially among seasons but was generally lower (1-2 taxa) during early decomposition and increased (3-8 taxa) through intermediate stages of decomposition. Autumn and winter showed the highest richness during late decomposition. Overall, taxon richness was higher during active decay for all seasons. While invertebrate community composition was generally consistent among seasons, the relative abundance of five taxa significantly differed across seasons, demonstrating different source communities for colonization depending on the time of year. There were significantly distinct necrophagous insect communities for each stage of decomposition, and between summer and autumn and summer and winter, but the communities were similar between autumn and winter. Calliphoridae represented significant indicator taxa for summer and autumn but replaced by Coleoptera during winter. Here we demonstrated substantial variability in necrophagous communities and assembly on carrion over decomposition and among seasons. Recognizing this variation has important consequences for forensic entomology and future efforts to provide error rates for estimates of the postmortem interval using arthropod succession data as evidence during criminal investigations.
Artemenko, Tatyana G.; Vavilova, Iryna B.
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
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
... Español Text Size Email Print Share Choosing an Insect Repellent for Your Child Page Content Mosquitoes, biting ... sunscreen needs to be reapplied often. Reactions to Insect Repellents If you suspect that your child is ...
Treitler, Julia T; Heim, Olga; Tschapka, Marco; Jung, Kirsten
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
Thézé, Julien; Bézier, Annie; Periquet, Georges; Drezen, Jean-Michel; Herniou, Elisabeth A
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.
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.
Theodossiou, E.; Manimanis, V. N.
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.
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.
Discussed contributions to the field of astronomy made by ancient Egyptians. Provides examples of how some of the observations made were applied to science. The use of geometry is illustrated by several calculations of celestial alignment. (TW)
Moore, Jonathan W.; Schindler, Daniel E.
Phenological dynamics are controlled by environmental factors, disturbance regimes and species interactions that alter growth or mortality risk. Ecosystem engineers can be a key source of disturbance, yet their effects on the phenologies of co-occurring organisms are virtually unexplored. We investigated how the abundance of a dominant ecosystem engineer, spawning sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka), alters the emergence phenology of stream insects. In streams with high densities of salmon, peak insect emergence occurred in early July, immediately prior to salmon spawning. By contrast, peak insect emergence in streams with low densities of salmon was weeks later and more protracted. The emergence of specific taxa was also significantly related to salmon density. A common rearing experiment revealed that differences in emergence timing are maintained in the absence of spawning salmon. We hypothesize that these patterns are probably driven by predictable and severe disturbance from nest-digging salmon driving local adaptation and being a trait filter of insect emergence. Thus, salmon regulate the timing and duration of aquatic insect emergence, a cross-ecosystem flux from streams to riparian systems. PMID:20129980
Waller, Alison S; Yamada, Takuji; Kristensen, David M; Kultima, Jens Roat; Sunagawa, Shinichi; Koonin, Eugene V; Bork, Peer
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
Vinnersten, T Z Persson; Östman, Ö; Schäfer, M L; Lundström, J O
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.
Mcmanus, M. L.
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.
Rule, Audrey C.; Meyer, Mary Ann
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…
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...
Chittka, Lars; Faruq, Samia; Skorupski, Peter; Werner, Annette
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.
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...
Cotton production is challenged worldwide by a diversity of arthropod pests that require management to prevent or reduce crop damage. Advances in arthropod control technologies and improved insect and crop management systems have dramatically reduced levels of arthropod damage and the need for inse...
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,…
Provides: (1) background information on how insects affect human lives, both positively and negatively, and on integrated pest management strategies; (2) student activities; and (3) materials (ready-to-copy games, puzzles, coloring pages, worksheets, and/or mazes). Each activity includes an objective, recommended age level(s), subject area(s),…
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)
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...
Welch, Victoria L.; Van Hooijdonk, Eloise; Intrater, Nurit; Vigneron, Jean-Pol
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.
Fuller, R.J; Norton, L.R; Feber, R.E; Johnson, P.J; Chamberlain, D.E; Joys, A.C; Mathews, F; Stuart, R.C; Townsend, M.C; Manley, W.J; Wolfe, M.S; Macdonald, D.W; Firbank, L.G
Habitat and biodiversity differences between matched pairs of organic and non-organic farms containing cereal crops in lowland England were assessed by a large-scale study of plants, invertebrates, birds and bats. Habitat extent, composition and management on organic farms was likely to favour higher levels of biodiversity and indeed organic farms tended to support higher numbers of species and overall abundance across most taxa. However, the magnitude of the response varied; plants showed larger and more consistent responses than other taxa. Variation in response across taxa may be partly a consequence of the small size and isolated context of many organic farms. Extension of organic farming could contribute to the restoration of biodiversity in agricultural landscapes. PMID:17148225
Fuller, R J; Norton, L R; Feber, R E; Johnson, P J; Chamberlain, D E; Joys, A C; Mathews, F; Stuart, R C; Townsend, M C; Manley, W J; Wolfe, M S; Macdonald, D W; Firbank, L G
Habitat and biodiversity differences between matched pairs of organic and non-organic farms containing cereal crops in lowland England were assessed by a large-scale study of plants, invertebrates, birds and bats. Habitat extent, composition and management on organic farms was likely to favour higher levels of biodiversity and indeed organic farms tended to support higher numbers of species and overall abundance across most taxa. However, the magnitude of the response varied; plants showed larger and more consistent responses than other taxa. Variation in response across taxa may be partly a consequence of the small size and isolated context of many organic farms. Extension of organic farming could contribute to the restoration of biodiversity in agricultural landscapes.
Riley, J. R.
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.
... from St ing in g In sect s Flying Insects Outdoor workers are at risk of being stung by flying insects (bees, wasps, and hornets) and fire ants. While ... If a worker is stung by a stinging insect: ■■ Have someone stay with the worker to be ...
Detecting insects hidden inside kernels of grain is important to grain buyers because internal infestations can result in insect fragments in products made from the grain, or, if the grain is stored before use, the insect population can increase and damage the grain further. In a study in the Unite...
Casteel, Clare L; Hansen, Allison K
Plants recognize biotic challengers and respond with the appropriate defense by utilizing phytohormone signaling and crosstalk. Despite this, microbes and insects have evolved mechanisms that compromise the plant surveillance system and specific defenses, thus ensuring successful colonization. In nature, plants do not experience insect herbivores and microbes in isolation, but in combination. Over time, relationships have developed between insects and microbes, varying on a continuum from no-relationship to obligate relationships that are required for both organisms to survive. While many reviews have examined plant-insect and plant-microbe interactions and the mechanisms of plant defense, few have considered the interface where microbes and insects may overlap, and synergies may develop. In this review, we critically evaluate the requirements for insect-associated microbes to develop synergistic relationships with their hosts, and we mechanistically discuss how some of these insect-associated microbes can target or modify host plant defenses. Finally, by using bioinformatics and the recent literature, we review evidence for synergies in insect-microbe relationships at the interface of plant-insect defenses. Insect-associated microbes can influence host-plant detection and/or signaling through phytohormone synthesis, conserved microbial patterns, and effectors, however, microbes associated with insects must be maintained in the environment and located in opportunistic positions.
Andrew, Nigel R; Hill, Sarah J; Binns, Matthew; Bahar, Md Habibullah; Ridley, Emma V; Jung, Myung-Pyo; Fyfe, Chris; Yates, Michelle; Khusro, Mohammad
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
Buchwalter, D.B.; Cain, D.J.; Clements, W.H.; Luoma, S.N.
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.
Davis, Thomas Seth; Landolt, Peter J
We report here a first survey of insect orientation to fungal cultures and fungal volatiles from a community ecology perspective. We tested whether volatiles from a ubiquitous yeast-like fungus (Aureobasidium pullulans) are broadly attractive to insects in an agricultural landscape. We evaluated insect attraction to fungal cultures and synthetic compounds identified in fungal headspace (2-methyl-1-butanol, 3-methyl-1-butanol, 2-phenylethanol) in a spearmint (Mentha spicata L.) plantation. Three findings emerged: (1) 1,315 insects representing seven orders and 39 species oriented to traps, but 65 % of trapped insects were Dipterans, of which 80 % were hoverflies (Diptera: Syrphidae); (2) traps baited with A. pullulans caught 481 % more insects than unbaited control traps on average, and contained more diverse (Shannon's H index) and species rich assemblages than control traps, traps baited with Penicillium expansum, or uninoculated media; and (3) insects oriented in greatest abundance to a 1:1:1 blend of A. pullulans volatiles, but mean diversity scores were highest for traps baited with only 2-phenylethanol or 2-methyl-1-butanol. Our results show that individual components of fungal headspace are not equivalent in terms of the abundance and diversity of insects that orient to them. The low abundance of insects captured with P. expansum suggests that insect assemblages do not haphazardly orient to fungal volatiles. We conclude that volatiles from a common fungal species (A. pullulans) are attractive to a variety of insect taxa in an agricultural system, and that insect orientation to fungal volatiles may be a common ecological phenomenon.
Ex situ conservation is required to preserve genetic diversity of the 956 species native to Hawai’i (89% endemism, 30% federally-listed as endangered or threatened). Optimizing storage procedures to maximize seed longevity is critical to the effort. Storage behavior of seeds from about 280 taxa was ...
Falda, Marco; Lavezzo, Enrico; Fontana, Paolo; Bianco, Luca; Berselli, Michele; Formentin, Elide; Toppo, Stefano
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
Wood, Bernard; Lonergan, Nicholas
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
Falda, Marco; Lavezzo, Enrico; Fontana, Paolo; Bianco, Luca; Berselli, Michele; Formentin, Elide; Toppo, Stefano
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.
Burand, John P; Hunter, Wayne B
RNA interference is a post- transcriptional, gene regulation mechanism found in virtually all plants and animals including insects. The demonstration of RNAi in insects and its successful use as a tool in the study of functional genomics opened the door to the development of a variety of novel, environmentally sound approaches for insect pest management. Here the current understanding of the biogenesis of the two RNAi classes in insects is reviewed. These are microRNAs (miRNAs) and short interfering RNAs (siRNAs). Several other key approaches in RNAi -based for insect control, as well as for the prevention of diseases in insects are also reviewed. The problems and prospects for the future use of RNAi in insects are presented.
Wiens, J.A.; Crist, T.O. ); Milne, B.T. )
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.
Przybilla, Bernhard; Ruëff, Franziska
Systemic IgE-mediated immediate type reactions (anaphylaxis) due to honeybee or vespid stings are potentially life-threatening; they are reported in up to 5% of the general population. Insect venom allergy is diagnosed by history, skin testing and measurement of insect venom-specific serum IgE; sometimes additional tests are needed. The diagnosis is based on the history of a systemic allergic immediate type sting reaction, without such a medical history any other "positive" test results are irrelevant. Nearly always, patients with systemic allergic sting reactions can be protected from further episodes of anaphylaxis by a carefully performed hyposensitization (specific immunotherapy). If therapeutic efficacy has been proven by tolerance of a re-sting, hyposensitization can be frequently stopped after 3 to 5 years. Patients with a particular risk of frequent re-stings or of very severe sting reactions may have to be treated for a longer time, some of them even life-long.
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.
Meglécz, E; Anderson, S J; Bourguet, D; Butcher, R; Caldas, A; Cassel-Lundhagen, A; d'Acier, A C; Dawson, D A; Faure, N; Fauvelot, C; Franck, P; Harper, G; Keyghobadi, N; Kluetsch, C; Muthulakshmi, M; Nagaraju, J; Patt, A; Péténian, F; Silvain, J-F; Wilcock, H R
Although microsatellites are ubiquitous in eukaryota, the number of available markers varies strongly among taxa. This meta-analysis was conducted on 32 insect species. Sequences were obtained from two assembled whole genomes, whole genome shotgun (WGS) sequences from 10 species and screening partial genomic libraries for microsatellites from 23 species. We have demonstrated: (1) strong differences in the abundance of microsatellites among species; (2) that microsatellites within species are often grouped into families based on similarities in their flanking sequences; (3) that the proportion of microsatellites grouped into families varies strongly among taxa; and (4) that microsatellite families were significantly more often associated with transposable elements - or their remnants - than unique microsatellite sequences.
Diaz, Arlene Edith
Educational studies focused on students' alternative conceptions have shown the importance of developing strategies to correct understanding. Identifying and comprehending student mental models are important since they may reflect alternate conceptions about scientific concepts. Mental models have been identified in various science education studies, but little is known about mental models undergraduates hold about insects. This research is significant because it identified mental models undergraduates have about insect anatomy and insect life cycles, exposed students to cognitive conflict by having them complete an online insect tutorial, and analyzed the effectiveness of this insect tutorial in correcting student understanding. An insect assessment was developed and administered pre- and post-instruction to probe students' mental models about insects. Different numbers of undergraduate students participated in different parts of the assessment; 276, 249, 166, and 58 students participated in the listing, drawing. definition, and life cycle parts of the assessment, respectively. The tutorial contained a variety of manipulated insect and non-insect images that challenged the students' understanding and generated cognitive conflict. This intervention guided students in replacing alternate conceptions with correct understanding. It was hypothesized that the tutorial would have a positive impact on student learning about insects. The results suggest that the tutorial had a positive impact on learning.
Simpson, Stephen J; Sword, Gregory A; Lo, Nathan
Polyphenism is the phenomenon where two or more distinct phenotypes are produced by the same genotype. Examples of polyphenism provide some of the most compelling systems for the study of epigenetics. Polyphenisms are a major reason for the success of the insects, allowing them to partition life history stages (with larvae dedicated to feeding and growth, and adults dedicated to reproduction and dispersal), to adopt different phenotypes that best suit predictable environmental changes (seasonal morphs), to cope with temporally heterogeneous environments (dispersal morphs), and to partition labour within social groups (the castes of eusocial insects). We survey the status of research on some of the best known examples of insect polyphenism, in each case considering the environmental cues that trigger shifts in phenotype, the neurochemical and hormonal pathways that mediate the transformation, the molecular genetic and epigenetic mechanisms involved in initiating and maintaining the polyphenism, and the adaptive and life-history significance of the phenomenon. We conclude by highlighting some of the common features of these examples and consider future avenues for research on polyphenism.
Teder, Tiit; Vellau, Helen; Tammaru, Toomas
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.
Streicher, Jeffrey W; Schulte, James A; Wiens, John J
Targeted sequence capture is becoming a widespread tool for generating large phylogenomic data sets to address difficult phylogenetic problems. However, this methodology often generates data sets in which increasing the number of taxa and loci increases amounts of missing data. Thus, a fundamental (but still unresolved) question is whether sampling should be designed to maximize sampling of taxa or genes, or to minimize the inclusion of missing data cells. Here, we explore this question for an ancient, rapid radiation of lizards, the pleurodont iguanians. Pleurodonts include many well-known clades (e.g., anoles, basilisks, iguanas, and spiny lizards) but relationships among families have proven difficult to resolve strongly and consistently using traditional sequencing approaches. We generated up to 4921 ultraconserved elements with sampling strategies including 16, 29, and 44 taxa, from 1179 to approximately 2.4 million characters per matrix and approximately 30% to 60% total missing data. We then compared mean branch support for interfamilial relationships under these 15 different sampling strategies for both concatenated (maximum likelihood) and species tree (NJst) approaches (after showing that mean branch support appears to be related to accuracy). We found that both approaches had the highest support when including loci with up to 50% missing taxa (matrices with ~40-55% missing data overall). Thus, our results show that simply excluding all missing data may be highly problematic as the primary guiding principle for the inclusion or exclusion of taxa and genes. The optimal strategy was somewhat different for each approach, a pattern that has not been shown previously. For concatenated analyses, branch support was maximized when including many taxa (44) but fewer characters (1.1 million). For species-tree analyses, branch support was maximized with minimal taxon sampling (16) but many loci (4789 of 4921). We also show that the choice of these sampling
Labandeira, Conrad C.; Currano, Ellen D.
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.
There are a limited number of artistic objects from ancient times with particular importance in neonatal medicine. The best examples are figurines from ancient Egypt of Isis nursing Horus, showing the importance of breastfeeding. The earliest images of the human fetus were made by the Olmecs in Mexico around 1200- 400 BCE. One of the earliest representations of congenital anomalies is a figurine of diencephalic twins thought to be the goddess of Anatolia, dated to around 6500 BCE. In addition to these figurines, three sets of twins in the ancient world have medical importance, and Renaissance artists often used them as a subject for their paintings: "direct suckling animals" (Romulus and Remus), "heteropaternal superfecundation" (mother: Leda, fathers: Zeus, the king of the Olympian gods, and Leda's husband, Tyndareus), and "twin-to-twin transfusion" in monozygotic twins (Jacob and Esau).
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.
Most reconstruction methods for genomes of ancient origin that are used today require a closely related reference. In order to identify genomic rearrangements or the deletion of whole genes, de novo assembly has to be used. However, because of inherent problems with ancient DNA, its de novo assembly is highly complicated. In order to tackle the diversity in the length of the input reads, we propose a two-layer approach, where multiple assemblies are generated in the first layer, which are then combined in the second layer. We used this two-layer assembly to generate assemblies for two different ancient samples and compared the results to current de novo assembly approaches. We are able to improve the assembly with respect to the length of the contigs and can resolve more repetitive regions. PMID:28392981
Moores, E M
Ancient suture belts within continents are deformed regions which contain the remnants of former ocean basins. They form when two continents or island arcs that earlier were separated by an ocean basin converge and collide during plate tectonic activity. These belts provide the only record we have of deep oceanic crust and of ancient sea-floor processes for the first 94 percent of the earth's history, that is, prior to the oldest preserved crust in the oceans. Ten criteria for the recognition and interpretation of these ancient belts are discussed. A comprehensive program for the study of these belts should have great scientific and economic benefit for the United States and would be relatively cheap compared to other large national scientific efforts.
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.
Bolling, Bethany G.; Weaver, Scott C.; Tesh, Robert B.; Vasilakis, Nikos
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
Al Binali, H.A. Hajar
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
On the basis of body weight, most flying insects have higher rates of metabolism, and hence heat production, than other animals. However, rapid rates of cooling because of small body size in most cases precludes appreciable endothermy. The body temperature of small flies in flight is probably close to ambient temperature, and that of flying butterflies and locusts is 5 degrees to 10 degrees C above ambient temperature. Many moths and bumblebees are insulated with scales and hair, and their metabolism during flight can cause the temperature of the flight muscles to increase 20 degrees to 30 degrees C above ambient temperature. Curiously, those insects which (because of size, insulation) retain the most heat in the thorax during flight, also require the highest muscle temperature in order to maintain sufficient power output to continue flight. The minimum muscle temperature for flight varies widely between different species, while the maximum temperature varies over the relatively narrow range of 40 degrees to 45 degrees C. As a consequence, those insects that necessarily generate high muscle temperatures during flight must maintain their thoracic temperature within a relatively narrow range during flight. Active heat loss from the thorax to the abdomen prevents overheating of the flight motor and allows some large moths to be active over a wide range of ambient temperatures. Bumblebees similarly transfer heat from the flight musculature into the abdomen while incubating their brood by abdominal contact. Many of the larger insects would remain grounded if they did not actively increase the temperature of their flight muscles prior to flight. Male tettigoniid grasshoppers elevate their thoracic temperature prior to singing. In addition, some of the social Hymenoptera activate the "flight" muscles specifically to produce heat not only prior to flight but also during nest temperature regulation. During this "shivering" the "flight" muscles are often activated in
Gimenez, B C G; Lansac-Tôha, F A; Higuti, J
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.
Yamamoto, Kazuyuki; Asami, Ryuji; Iryu, Yasufumi
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.
van Huis, Arnold
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.
Simons, Nadja K; Weisser, Wolfgang W; Gossner, Martin M
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.
Jia, Dongsheng; Mao, Qianzhuo; Chen, Yong; Liu, Yuyan; Chen, Qian; Wu, Wei; Zhang, Xiaofeng; Chen, Hongyan; Li, Yi; Wei, Taiyun
Many insects, including mosquitoes, planthoppers, aphids and leafhoppers, are the hosts of bacterial symbionts and the vectors for transmitting viral pathogens(1-3). In general, symbiotic bacteria can indirectly affect viral transmission by enhancing immunity and resistance to viruses in insects(3-5). Whether symbiotic bacteria can directly interact with the virus and mediate its transmission has been unknown. Here, we show that an insect symbiotic bacterium directly harbours a viral pathogen and mediates its transovarial transmission to offspring. We observe rice dwarf virus (a plant reovirus) binding to the envelopes of the bacterium Sulcia, a common obligate symbiont of leafhoppers(6-8), allowing the virus to exploit the ancient oocyte entry path of Sulcia in rice leafhopper vectors. Such virus-bacterium binding is mediated by the specific interaction of the viral capsid protein and the Sulcia outer membrane protein. Treatment with antibiotics or antibodies against Sulcia outer membrane protein interferes with this interaction and strongly prevents viral transmission to insect offspring. This newly discovered virus-bacterium interaction represents the first evidence that a viral pathogen can directly exploit a symbiotic bacterium for its transmission. We believe that such a model of virus-bacterium communication is a common phenomenon in nature.
Park, D-S; Suh, S-J; Hebert, P D N; Oh, H-W; Hong, K-J
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.
Kerrigan, Richard W; Callac, Philippe; Guinberteau, Jacques; Challen, Michael P; Parra, Luis A
Agaricus section Xanthodermatei comprises a group of species allied to A. xanthodermus and generally characterized by basidiomata having phenolic odors, transiently yellowing discolorations in some parts of the basidiome, Schaeffer's reaction negative, and mild to substantial toxicity. The section has a global distribution, while most included species have distributions restricted to regions of single continents. Using specimens and cultures from Europe, North America, and Hawaii, we analyzed DNA sequences from the ITS1+2 region of the nuclear rDNA to identify and characterize phylogenetically distinct entities and to construct a hypothesis of relationships, both among members of the section and with representative taxa from other sections of the genus. 61 sequences from affiliated taxa, plus 20 from six (or seven) other sections of Agaricus, and one Micropsalliota sequence, were evaluated under distance, maximum parsimony and maximum likelihood methods. We recognized 21 discrete entities in Xanthodermatei, including 14 established species and 7 new ones, three of which are described elsewhere. Four species from California, New Mexico, and France deserve further study before they are described. Type studies of American taxa are particularly emphasized, and a lectotype is designated for A. californicus. Section Xanthodermatei formed a single clade in most analyses, indicating that the traditional sectional characters noted above are good unifying characters that appear to have arisen only once within Agaricus. Deep divisions within the sequence-derived structure of the section could be interpreted as subsections in Xanthodermatei; however, various considerations led us to refrain from proposing new supraspecific taxa. The nearest neighbors of section Xanthodermatei are putatively in section Duploannulati.
The best known astronomical deities in ancient Mesoamerica are the sun, moon, and Venus. The Milky Way was also deified, and its constellations were visualized as celestial animals or locations. The sun and Venus were male deities, but the moon had both male and female aspects. Some of these concepts survive today in Mesoamerican ethnographic accounts referencing different transformations of the moon.
The article is a survey of plants foods and drugs that Greeks and Romans thought to be aphrodisiac and to have a specific effect on the male libido. The article is a useful support to study the sexual therapy in ancient world.
Zuskin, Eugenija; Lipozencić, Jasna; Pucarin-Cvetković, Jasna; Mustajbegović, Jadranka; Schachter, Neil; Mucić-Pucić, Branka; Neralić-Meniga, Inja
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.
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…
Somasundaram, Ottilingam; Raghavan, D. Vijaya; Murthy, A. G. Tejus
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
Somasundaram, Ottilingam; Raghavan, D Vijaya; Murthy, A G Tejus
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.
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…
Neuer, Susanne; Amacher, Jessica; DeMartini, Francesca; Wilson, Stephanie
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.
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…
Letts, Brandon; Shapiro, Beth
Warm, humid regions are not ideal for long-term DNA preservation. Consequently, little ancient DNA research has been carried out involving taxa that lived in, for example, tropical and subtropical regions. Those studies that have isolated ancient DNA from warm environments have mostly been limited to the most recent several thousand years. Here, we discuss an ancient DNA experiment in which we attempt to amplify mitochondrial DNA from remains of armadillo, glyptodont, and pampathere from sites in Florida, USA, all believed to be around 10,000-12,000 years old. We were successful in recovering DNA from only one of these samples. However, based on the amount and distribution of DNA damage, the ancient DNA recovered was well-preserved despite the age and preservation environment. In this case study chapter, we discuss the experimental procedure we used to characterize the DNA from the Floridian samples, focusing on challenges of working with ancient specimens from warm environments and steps taken to confirm the authenticity of the recovered sequence.
Spiro, Clifford Lawrence (Inventor); Fric, Thomas Frank (Inventor); Leon, Ross Michael (Inventor)
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.
Harrington, R.; Stork, N.
This book, from a 1993 symposium, focuses on current, anthropogenic changes in insect populations using five major sections: introduction; changes in climate; changes in gas/pollutant levels; changes in land use; and a section of shorter papers. The effects of climate change on insects are assessed using techniques ranging from fossil evidence to simulation models to remote sensing. The section on changes in gas levels addresses a series of individually studies of insect responses to atmospheric gases and other pollutants. The section focusing on the effects of environmental change on insects is well documented.
Timing and host plant associations in the evolution of the weevil tribe Apionini (Apioninae, Brentidae, Curculionoidea, Coleoptera) indicate an ancient co-diversification pattern of beetles and flowering plants.
Winter, Sven; Friedman, Ariel L L; Astrin, Jonas J; Gottsberger, Brigitte; Letsch, Harald
Host plant shifts of insects can lead to a burst of diversification driven by their arrival in a new adaptive zone. In this context, our study aims to explore timing and patterns in the evolution of the weevil tribe Apionini (Brentidae, Curculionoidea, Coleoptera), particularly in relation to affiliations with their host plants. The classification of Apionini is difficult because of their relatively uniform appearance. Most taxa live mono- or oligophagously on members of Asteraceae or Fabaceae, but many are associated with other plant families, like Lamiaceae, Malvaceae and Polygonaceae. However, a comprehensive hypothesis of the phylogenetic relationships within the tribe Apionini is still missing. In the present study, we reconstructed trees and estimated divergence times among tribes. These results were further used to reconstruct the ancestral host plant use in Apionini weevils and to infer if the divergence timing of putative subtribes corresponds with the occurrence and radiation of their specific host plant groups. Phylogenetic analyses confirm the monophyly of most subtribes, with the exceptions of Oxystomatina, Kalcapiina and Aspidapiina. The subribe Aplemonina is inferred to be sister to all remaining Apionini. Divergence time estimates indicate the first occurrence of Apionini in the Upper Cretaceous and a simultaneous occurrence of several families of flowering plants and the occupation by Apionini weevil herbivores. These conspicuous coincidences support either an ancient co-diversification scenario or an escalating diversification in weevils induced by the radiation of flowering plants.
Buchwalter, D.B.; Jenkins, J.J.; Curtis, L.R.
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.
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.
Sinakevitch, Irina; Brown, Sheena M.
In most insects with olfactory glomeruli, each side of the brain possesses a mushroom body equipped with calyces supplied by olfactory projection neurons. Kenyon cells providing dendrites to the calyces supply a pedunculus and lobes divided into subdivisions supplying outputs to other brain areas. It is with reference to these components that most functional studies are interpreted. However, mushroom body structures are diverse, adapted to different ecologies and likely to serve various functions. In insects whose derived life styles preclude the detection of airborne odorants there is a loss of the antennal lobes and attenuation or loss of the calyces. Such taxa retain mushroom body lobes that as elaborate as those of mushroom bodies equipped with calyces. Antennal lobe loss and calycal regression also typifies taxa with short non-feeding adults where olfaction is redundant. Examples are cicadas and mayflies, the latter representing the most basal lineage of winged insects. Mushroom bodies of another basal taxon, the Odonata, possess a remnant calyx that may reflect the visual ecology of this group. That mushroom bodies persist in brains of secondarily anosmic insects suggests that they play roles in higher functions other than olfaction. Mushroom bodies are not ubiquitous: the most basal living insects, the wingless Archaeognatha, possess glomerular antennal lobes but lack mushroom bodies, suggesting that the ability to process airborne odorants preceded the acquisition of mushroom bodies. Archaeognathan brains are like those of higher malacostracans, which lack mushroom bodies but have elaborate olfactory centers laterally in the brain. PMID:19152379
Gareau, Tara L Pisani; Letourneau, Deborah K; Shennan, Carol
Research on hedgerow design for supporting communities of natural enemies for biological control lags behind farmer innovation in California, where assemblages of perennial plant species have been used on crop field margins in the last decade. We compared natural enemy to pest ratios between fields with hedgerows and fields with weedy margins by sampling beneficial insects and key pests of vegetables on sticky cards. We used biweekly vacuum samples to measure the distribution of key insect taxa among native perennial plant species with respect to the timing and intensity of bloom. Sticky cards indicated a trend that field margins with hedgerows support a higher ratio of natural enemies to pests compared with weedy borders. Hedgerow plant species hosted different relative densities of a generally overlapping insect community, and the timing and intensity of bloom only explained a small proportion of the variation in insect abundance at plant species and among hedgerows, with the exception of Orius spp. on Achillea millefolium L. and Baccharis pilularis De Candolle. Indicator Species Analysis showed an affinity of parasitic wasps, especially in the super-family Chalcidoidea, for B. pilularis whether or not it was in flower. A. millefolium was attractive to predatory and herbivorous homopterans; Heteromeles arbutifolia (Lindley) Roemer and B. pilularis to Diabrotica undecimpunctata undecimpunctata Mannerheim; and Rhamnus californica Eschsch to Hemerobiidae. Perennial hedgerows can be designed through species selection to support particular beneficial insect taxa, but plant resources beyond floral availability may be critical in providing structural refuges, alternative prey, and other attractive qualities that are often overlooked.
Arsuffi, T L; Suberkropp, K
Laboratory experiments were conducted to examine the effects of fungal species composition of leaf detritus on the feeding of distantly related macroinvertebrate shredders. Preferences of shredders representing three orders of insects (Diptera: Tipulidae; Plecoptera: Pteronarcidae; Trichoptera: Limnephilidae and Calamatoceridae) and one each of gastropods (Basommatophora: Planorbidae) and crustaceans (Amphipoda: Gammaridae) were compared. Shredder preferences were based on consumption of leaves separately colonized by one of eight species of aquatic hyphomycetes. The feeding patterns of the invertebrates ranged from lack of feeding to heavy consumption of fungal-colonized leaves. Where consumption occurred, rank orders of preference and degree of selectivity differed among invertebrate shredders. Differences in preferences together with relationships between degree of selectivity and the relative mobility and digestive specializations exhibited by shredders suggest that the exploitation of fungal-colonized leaf detritus by different taxa is affected by phylogenetic constraints. Our results suggest that fungal species composition affects the feeding of a variety of shredders and that fungal species composition may be as important as degree of conditioning in determining food selection by shredders.
Neoh, Kok-Boon; Bong, Lee-Jin; Muhammad, Ahmad; Itoh, Masayuki; Kozan, Osamu; Takematsu, Yoko; Yoshimura, Tsuyoshi
Fire has become a common feature in tropical drained peatlands, and it may have detrimental impacts on the overall biodiversity of the forest ecosystem. We investigated the effect of fire on termite and ant assemblages and the importance of remnant forest in restoring species diversity in fire-impacted tropical peat swamp forests. The species loss of both termites and ants was as high as 50% in some fire-impacted peats compared to remnant forests, but in most cases the species richness for termites and ants was statistically equal along the land uses surveyed. However, a pronounced difference in functional group composition of termites was detected. In particular, sites close to remnant forests contained two additional termite feeding groups so that they shared a similar composition structure with remnant forests but were significantly different from sites distant from remnant forests. In general, ants were resilient to fire, and the similarity index showed a high degree of similarity among ant communities in all land uses surveyed. The Shannon diversity index for termites and ants decreased with increasing distance from the remnant forests and level of ecological degradation. Peat vegetation variables and ecological degradation were important in shaping termite and ant communities in the tropical peatlands, but their relative importance was not significant in fire-impacted peats regardless of distance from the remnant forests. This study highlights the importance of remnant forests as a biodiversity repository and natural buffer that can enhance species diversity and recolonization of forest-adapted species. PMID:28334021
... 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....
... 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....
... 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....
... 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....
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…
... 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....
... 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...
... 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 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...
Lu, Hengyu; Wilson, Bree A. L.; Ash, Gavin J.; Woruba, Sharon B.; Fletcher, Murray J.; You, Minsheng; Yang, Guang; Gurr, Geoff M.
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
Pak, On Shun; Lauga, Eric
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.
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
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.
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.
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
Nicholson, David B.; Ross, Andrew J.; Mayhew, Peter J.
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
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.
Maria Rosso, Ana
In Ancient Egypt, light and fire, which were closely related to the Sun God Ra, were the sources of life and well-being, while the dark meant danger and death. Similar to death, darkness drops on human beings in deep sleep and they enter a space inhabited by shadows. Dreams were believed to reveal an unknown world, to give the sleeper a glimpse into the future. Vision attracts distant objects and their light, on the other hand, can hurt the eyes like a burning flame. Eyes were the most important organ in Egyptian thought, as they allowed perception of the real world. Their importance has been immortalised in the myth of the Eye of Horus that explains the role of either eye. One represents the moonlight, which disperses the darkness of the night, and the other represents the sunshine, which creates life, and both could also represents the power of human intellect. Blindness, in turn, congenital or disease-related, was considered a divine punishment. A man, thus handicapped, would sink in a state of uncertainty and darkness. To protect the eyes from blindness, people used drops and ointments, which were believed to chase away all kinds of insects and demons that threatened with a variety of eye infections. Egyptian eye doctors or physicians, carried a special kit that contained green chrysocolla and a black kohl makeup, highly appreciated as prophylaxis because they personified Osiris' humours or body fluids. These products were offered to Gods to restore the brightness of divine glance and incite sun and moon to spread their beneficial light.
Laios, K; Moschos, M M; Koukaki, E; Vasilopoulos, E; Karamanou, M; Kontaxaki, M-I; Androutsos, G
Dreams preoccupied the Greek and Roman world in antiquity, therefore they had a prominent role in social, philosophical, religious, historical and political life of those times. They were considered as omens and prophetic signs of future events in private and public life, and that was particularly accentuated when elements of actions which took place in the plot of dreams were associated directly or indirectly with real events. This is why it was important to use them in divination, and helped the growth of superstition and folklore believes. Medicine as a science and an anthropocentric art, could not ignore the importance of dreams, having in mind their popularity in antiquity. In ancient Greek medicine dreams can be divided into two basic categories. In the first one -which is related to religious medicine-dreams experienced by religionists are classified, when resorted to great religious sanctuaries such as those of Asclepius (Asclepieia) and Amphiaraos (Amfiaraeia). These dreams were the essential element for healing in this form of religious medicine, because after pilgrims underwent purifications they went to sleep in a special dwelling of the sanctuaries called "enkoimeterion" (Greek: the place to sleep) so that the healing god would come to their dreams either to cure them or to suggest treatment. In ancient Greek literature there are many reports of these experiences, but if there may be phenomena of self-suggestion, or they could be characterized as propaganda messages from the priesthood of each sanctuary for advertising purposes. The other category concerns the references about dreams found in ancient Greek medical literature, where one can find the attempts of ancient Greek physicians to interpret these dreams in a rational way as sings either of a corporal disease or of psychological distress. This second category will be the object of our study. Despite the different ways followed by each ancient Greek physician in order to explain dreams, their
Laval, B.; Cady, S. L.; Pollack, J. C.; McKay, C. P.; Bird, J. S.; Grotzinger, J. P.; Ford, D. C.; Bohm, H. R.
Microbialites are organosedimentary structures that can be constructed by a variety of metabolically distinct taxa. Consequently, microbialite structures abound in the fossil record, although the exact nature of the biogeochemical processes that produced them is often unknown. One such class of ancient calcareous structures, Epiphyton and Girvanella, appear in great abundance during the Early Cambrian. Together with Archeocyathids, stromatolites and thrombolites, they formed major Cambrian reef belts. To a large extent, Middle to Late Cambrian reefs are similar to Precambrian reefs, with the exception that the latter, including terminal Proterozoic reefs, do not contain Epiphyton or Girvanella. Here we report the discovery in Pavilion Lake, British Columbia, Canada, of a distinctive assemblage of freshwater calcite microbialites, some of which display microstructures similar to the fabrics displayed by Epiphyton and Girvanella. The morphologies of the modern microbialites vary with depth, and dendritic microstructures of the deep water (> 30 m) mounds indicate that they may be modern analogues for the ancient calcareous structures. These microbialites thus provide an opportunity to study the biogeochemical interactions that produce fabrics similar to those of some enigmatic Early Cambrian reef structures.
Green, Adam S.; Ohmann, Paul R.; Leininger, Nick E.; Kavanaugh, James A.
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.…
... or Animals > Identifying Insect Bites and Stings Health Issues Listen Español Text Size Email Print Share Identifying Insect Bites and Stings Page Content Article Body Mosquitoes Mosquitoes are generally found near water (pools, lakes, birdbaths) and are attracted by bright ...
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…
Fürstenberg-Hägg, Joel; Zagrobelny, Mika; Bak, Søren
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
RNA interference is a post-transcriptional, gene regulation mechanism found in virtually all plants and animals including insects. The demonstration of RNAi in insects and its successful use as a tool in the study of functional genomics opened the door to the development of a variety of novel, envir...
This article is intended to update the reader on the progress made on insect embryo cryopreservation in the past 20 years and gives information for developing a protocol for cryopreserving insects by using a 2001 study as a template. The study used for the template is the cryopreservation of the Old...
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...
Von Rintelen, Kristina; Glaubrecht, Matthias; Schubart, Christoph D; Wessel, Andreas; Von Rintelen, Thomas
Ancient lakes are natural laboratories for the study of adaptive radiation. Recently, two lake systems on the Indonesian island Sulawesi have emerged as promising new model systems. A species flock of atyid freshwater shrimps in the Malili lake system comprises 15 colorful endemic taxa. Mitochondrial DNA data suggest two independent colonizations by riverine ancestors. Only one colonization event led to subsequent radiation into 14 species, while the second clade comprises just one species. The vast majority of species (n= 12) are habitat specialists, which are confined to the larger Malili clade and include all taxa with species-specific color patterns and a restricted distribution within the five connected Malili lakes. Morphological, genetic, and ecological data are consistent with the existence of an adaptive radiation in the Malili lakes, involving the habitat-specific diversification of trophic morphology. In addition to testing criteria for the recognition of an adaptive radiation, an ancestral state reconstruction reveals an equal probability for either a riverine generalist or a lacustrine specialist as ancestor of the large Malili clade, which is interpreted as indicative of an early stage of habitat specialization within this radiation. Finally, our results suggest that species diversification may have been primarily driven by ecological specialization and allopatric speciation.
Daniel Kissling, W; Pattemore, David E; Hagen, Melanie
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
Slatkin, Montgomery; Racimo, Fernando
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
Slatkin, Montgomery; Racimo, Fernando
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.
Simón, Marc; Montiel, Rafael; Smerling, Andrea; Solórzano, Eduvigis; Díaz, Nancy; Álvarez-Sandoval, Brenda A.; Jiménez-Marín, Andrea R.; Malgosa, Assumpció
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
Simón, Marc; Montiel, Rafael; Smerling, Andrea; Solórzano, Eduvigis; Díaz, Nancy; Álvarez-Sandoval, Brenda A; Jiménez-Marín, Andrea R; Malgosa, Assumpció
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.
Redfearn, A.; Pimm, S.L. )
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.
Schön, Isa; Pinto, Ricardo L.; Halse, Stuart; Smith, Alison J.; Martens, Koen; Birky, C. William
Background Fully asexually reproducing taxa lack outcrossing. Hence, the classic Biological Species Concept cannot be applied. Methodology/Principal Findings We used DNA sequences from the mitochondrial COI gene and the nuclear ITS2 region to check species boundaries according to the evolutionary genetic (EG) species concept in five morphospecies in the putative ancient asexual ostracod genera, Penthesilenula and Darwinula, from different continents. We applied two methods for detecting cryptic species, namely the K/θ method and the General Mixed Yule Coalescent model (GMYC). We could confirm the existence of species in all five darwinulid morphospecies and additional cryptic diversity in three morphospecies, namely in Penthesilenula brasiliensis, Darwinula stevensoni and in P. aotearoa. The number of cryptic species within one morphospecies varied between seven (P. brasiliensis), five to six (D. stevensoni) and two (P. aotearoa), respectively, depending on the method used. Cryptic species mainly followed continental distributions. We also found evidence for coexistence at the local scale for Brazilian cryptic species of P. brasiliensis and P. aotearoa. Our ITS2 data confirmed that species exist in darwinulids but detected far less EG species, namely two to three cryptic species in P. brasiliensis and no cryptic species at all in the other darwinulid morphospecies. Conclusions/Significance Our results clearly demonstrate that both species and cryptic diversity can be recognized in putative ancient asexual ostracods using the EG species concept, and that COI data are more suitable than ITS2 for this purpose. The discovery of up to eight cryptic species within a single morphospecies will significantly increase estimates of biodiversity in this asexual ostracod group. Which factors, other than long-term geographic isolation, are important for speciation processes in these ancient asexuals remains to be investigated. PMID:22802945
Mikić, Aleksandar M
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.
O'Connor, Anne; Wills, Matthew A.
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
O'Connor, Anne; Wills, Matthew A
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
Hou, Chen; Kaspari, Michael
We recently published a paper titled “Energetic Basis of Colonial Living in Social Insects” showing that basic features of whole colony physiology and life history follow virtually the same size-dependencies as unitary organisms when a colony’s mass is the summed mass of individuals. We now suggest that these results are evidence, not only for the superorganism hypothesis, but also for colony level selection. In addition, we further examine the implications of these results for the metabolism and lifetime reproductive success of eusocial insect colonies. We conclude by discussing the mechanisms which may underlie the observed mass-dependence of survival, growth and reproduction in these colonies. PMID:20798827
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
Johnson-McDaniel, Darrah; Barrett, Christopher A; Sharafi, Asma; Salguero, Tina T
We describe monolayer nanosheets of calcium copper tetrasilicate, CaCuSi(4)O(10), which have strong near-IR luminescence and are amenable to solution processing methods. The facile exfoliation of bulk CaCuSi(4)O(10) into nanosheets is especially surprising in view of the long history of this material as the colored component of Egyptian blue, a well-known pigment from ancient times.
Rovithis-Livaniou, H.; Rovithis, P.
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.
Sane, Sanjay P
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
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.
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
Humphreys, Aelys M; Barraclough, Timothy G
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.
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
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
Wittmann, Astrid C.; Pörtner, Hans-O.
Anthropogenic CO2 emitted to the atmosphere is absorbed by the oceans, causing a progressive increase in ocean inorganic carbon concentrations and resulting in decreased water pH and calcium carbonate saturation. This phenomenon, called ocean acidification, is in addition to the warming effects of CO2 emissions. Ocean acidification has been reported to affect ocean biota, but the severity of this threat to ocean ecosystems (and humans depending on these ecosystems) is poorly understood. Here we evaluate the scale of this threat in the context of widely used representative concentration pathways (RCPs) by analysing the sensitivities of five animal taxa (corals, echinoderms, molluscs, crustaceans and fishes) to a wide range of CO2 concentrations. Corals, echinoderms and molluscs are more sensitive to RCP8.5 (936 ppm in 2100) than are crustaceans. Larval fishes may be even more sensitive than the lower invertebrates, but taxon sensitivity on evolutionary timescales remains obscure. The variety of responses within and between taxa, together with observations in mesocosms and palaeo-analogues, suggest that ocean acidification is a driver for substantial change in ocean ecosystems this century, potentially leading to long-term shifts in species composition.
Yarmohammadi, Hassan; Zargaran, Arman; Vatanpour, Azadeh; Abedini, Ehsan; Adhami, Siamak
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.
Raupach, Michael J.; Hannig, Karsten; Morinière, Jérome; Hendrich, Lars
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
Lacher, Sarah E.; Lee, Joslynn S.; Wang, Xuting; Campbell, Michelle R.; Bell, Douglas A.; Slattery, Matthew
NRF2, a basic leucine zipper transcription factor encoded by the gene NFE2L2, is a master regulator of the transcriptional response to oxidative stress. NRF2 is structurally and functionally conserved from insects to humans, and it heterodimerizes with the small MAF transcription factors to bind a consensus DNA sequence (the antioxidant response element, or ARE) and regulate gene expression. We have used genome-wide chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP-seq) and gene expression data to identify direct NRF2 target genes in Drosophila and humans. These data have allowed us to construct the deeply conserved ancient NRF2 regulatory network – target genes that are conserved from Drosophila to human. The ancient network consists of canonical antioxidant genes, as well as genes related to proteasomal pathways, metabolism, and a number of less expected genes. We have also used enhancer reporter assays and electrophoretic mobility shift assays to confirm NRF2-mediated regulation of ARE (antioxidant response element) activity at a number of these novel target genes. Interestingly, the ancient network also highlights a prominent negative feedback loop; this, combined with the finding that and NRF2-mediated regulatory output is tightly linked to the quality of the ARE it is targeting, suggests that precise regulation of nuclear NRF2 concentration is necessary to achieve proper quantitative regulation of distinct gene sets. Together, these findings highlight the importance of balance in the NRF2-ARE pathway, and indicate that NRF2-mediated regulation of xenobiotic metabolism, glucose metabolism, and proteostasis have been central to this pathway since its inception. PMID:26163000
Van Itterbeeck, Joost; van Huis, Arnold
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.
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
Cook, B. I.; Cook, E. R.; Huth, P. C.; Thompson, J. E.; Forster, A.; Smiley, D.
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
Joy, Jeffrey B; Crespi, Bernard J
Plant-feeding insects have undergone unparalleled diversification among different plant taxa, yet explanations for variation in their diversity lack a quantitative, predictive framework. Island biogeographic theory has been applied to spatially discrete habitats but not to habitats, such as host plants, separated by genetic distance. We show that relationships between the diversity of gall-inducing flies and their host plants meet several fundamental predictions from island biogeographic theory. First, plant-taxon genetic distinctiveness, an integrator for long-term evolutionary history of plant lineages, is a significant predictor of variance in the diversity of gall-inducing flies among host-plant taxa. Second, range size and structural complexity also explain significant proportions of the variance in diversity of gall-inducing flies among different host-plant taxa. Third, as with other island systems, plant-lineage age does not predict species diversity. Island biogeographic theory, applied to habitats defined by genetic distance, provides a novel, comprehensive framework for analysing and explaining the diversity of plant-feeding insects and other host-specific taxa.
Wan, H.; Chizinski, C.J.; Dolph, C.L.; Vondracek, B.; Wilson, B.N.
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.
Wheeler, David; Redding, Amanda J.; Werren, John H.
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
Sánchez-Guillén, Rosa A; Córdoba-Aguilar, Alex; Hansson, Bengt; Ott, Jürgen; Wellenreuther, Maren
Range shifts can rapidly create new areas of geographic overlap between formerly allopatric taxa and evidence is accumulating that this can affect species persistence. We review the emerging literature on the short- and long-term consequences of these geographic range shifts. Specifically, we focus on the evolutionary consequences of novel species interactions in newly created sympatric areas by describing the potential (i) short-term processes acting on reproductive barriers between species and (ii) long-term consequences of range shifts on the stability of hybrid zones, introgression and ultimately speciation and extinction rates. Subsequently, we (iii) review the empirical literature on insects to evaluate which processes have been studied, and (iv) outline some areas that deserve increased attention in the future, namely the genomics of hybridisation and introgression, our ability to forecast range shifts and the impending threat from insect vectors and pests on biodiversity, human health and crop production. Our review shows that species interactions in de novo sympatric areas can be manifold, sometimes increasing and sometimes decreasing species diversity. A key issue that emerges is that climate-induced hybridisations in insects are much more widespread than anticipated and that rising temperatures and increased anthropogenic disturbances are accelerating the process of species mixing. The existing evidence only shows the tip of the iceberg and we are likely to see many more cases of species mixing following range shifts in the near future.
Eberle, A L; Reinhall, P G; Daniel, T L
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.
Bada, J. L.; Wang, X. S.; Poinar, H. N.; Paabo, S.; Poinar, G. O.
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.
Weinstein, Philip; Delean, Steven; Wood, Tom; Austin, Andrew D
Bioluminescence has been known from fungi since ancient times, but little work has been done to establish its potential role. There is evidence that some bioluminescent fungi differentially attract potential spore-dispersing insects, and we aimed to establish if this was the case for the ghost fungus, Omphalotus nidiformis (Agaricales,Marasmiaceae), a widespread Australian temperate zone species. We examined three corroborative lines of evidence: circadian rhythmicity of bioluminescence; field-recorded insect abundance at the time of basidiome production; and attractiveness of glowing fungi to flying insects. Basidiomes glowed continuously day and night, and were present in winter (June-July) when insect abundance was low. To assess attractiveness, we deployed sticky-traps in open woodland in the absence of light pollution, in Treatment (baited with fresh bioluminescent O. nidiformis) and Control pairs, for 480 trap-hours on moonless nights. There was no statistical difference in mean insect abundance between Treatment and Control traps (mean 0.33 and 0.54 individuals per trap night, respectively). To interpret these results, we provide a brief review of competing hypotheses for fungal bioluminescence, and conclude that for some fungi, bioluminescence may be an incidental by-product of metabolism rather than conferring any selective advantage. It is possible that the role of bioluminescence differs among evolutionary lineages of fungi and/or with attributes of their growth environments that could affect spore dispersal, such as wind and insect abundance.
Asghar, Asma; Groth, Marco; Siol, Oliver; Gaube, Friedemann; Enzensperger, Christoph; Glöckner, Gernot; Winckler, Thomas
The social amoebae (Dictyostelia) use quorum sensing-like communication systems to coordinate the periodic transition from uni- to multicellularity. The monophyletic descent of the Dictyostelia provides a unique opportunity to study the origin and adaptive evolution of such intercellular communication systems. We determined that the ability of aggregation-competent cells to respond to the intercellular messenger glorin occurred in the most ancient taxa of the Dictyostelia. We show using Illumina sequencing technology that glorin mediates rapid changes in gene expression at the transition from vegetative growth to aggregation. We conclude that peptide-based communication is the most ancient form of intercellular signaling in the evolution of multicellularity in the social amoebae, but has been repeatedly replaced by other communication systems during the monophyletic evolution of the social amoebae. Glorin communication has parallels with quorum sensing in that the molecule diffuses into the field, stimulates gene expression in receptive cells and coordinates a population-wide response.
Hanson, C. A.; Allison, S. D.; Wallenstein, M. D.; Mellilo, J. M.; Treseder, K. K.
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
McCarthy, Christina B.; Diambra, Luis A.; Rivera Pomar, Rolando V.
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
Documentary and archaeological evidence testifies the early origin and continuous development of ancient Chinese astronomy to meet both the ideological and practical needs of a society largely based on agriculture. There was a long period when the beginning of the year, month, and season was determined by direct observation of celestial phenomena, including their alignments with respect to the local skyline. As the need for more exact study arose, new instruments for more exact observation were invented and the system of calendrical astronomy became entirely mathematized.
First described by Theodor Bilharz in 1851, Schistosoma haematobium, the worm responsible for urinary schistosomiasis, was a major health problem along the Nile Valley until the present days. Haematuria, the main symptom of this parasitic disease, was known and treated in Egyptian medical papyri since 1550 B.C. A relationship between haematuria and the god Seth was envisaged. Sir Marc Armand Ruffer, pioneer of paleopathology, found (1910) calcified Schistosoma eggs in Egyptian mummies of the xxth dynasty, establishing that bilharzia plagued ancient Egypt people. The ELISA method demonstrated the Schistosoma circulating anodic antigen in 45% of mummies studied.
Frost, E.; Downing, J.
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.
Henry, Lee M.
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
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 ...
Dijkstra, Klaas-Douwe B.; Monaghan, Michael T.; Pauls, Steffen U.
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
Foote, M.; Raup, D. M.
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
Dawson, Michael N
Present-day phylogeographic patterns have been shaped by the dual histories of lineages and places, producing a diversity of relationships that may challenge discovery of general rules. For example, the predicted positive correlation between dispersal ability and gene flow has been supported inconsistently, suggesting unaccounted complexity in theory or the comparative framework. Here, I extend the sympatric sister-species approach, in which variance between lineages and places is minimized, to sister clades and test a fundamental assumption of comparative genetic studies of dispersal: that taxa which evolved at the same time and in the same place will, if they have similar life histories and ecologies, have essentially the same phylogeographic structure. Phylogenetic analyses of 197 Stigmatopora pipefishes using two nuclear (creatine kinase intron 6, α-tropomyosin) and two mitochondrial (16S, noncoding region) loci revealed largely synchronous parallel diversification of sister clades that are codistributed from Western Australia to New Zealand, supporting the null hypothesis. Only one comparison, however, yielded a sympatric sister-species pair (the two stem species), so I also explored the potential for extant species sharing a substantial proportion of their evolutionary histories in sympatry to substitute for sister taxon comparisons. In eastern Australia, where strong environmental structure is lacking, phylogeographic differences between species that have been codistributed for ~85% of their evolutionary histories were consistent with tendencies favoured by their modest life-history differences, that is the larger, rarer species had lower genetic diversity. In contrast, in New Zealand, two species codistributed for ~70% of their evolutionary histories were both structured similarly by a strong biogeographic filter despite differences in life history. Rigorously quantifying the influence of intrinsic and extrinsic factors on phylogeographic structure may
Duffy, Karl J
The probability and time of extinction of taxa is often inferred from statistical analyses of historical records. Many of these analyses require the exclusion of multiple records within a unit of time (i.e., a month or a year). Nevertheless, spatially explicit, temporally aggregated data may be useful for identifying clusters of sightings (i.e., sighting clusters) in space and time. Identification of sighting clusters highlights changes in the historical recording of endangered taxa. I used two methods to identify sighting clusters in historical records: the Ederer-Myers-Mantel (EMM) test and the space-time permutation scan (STPS). I applied these methods to the spatially explicit sighting records of three species of orchids that are listed as endangered in the Republic of Ireland under the Wildlife Act (1976): Cephalanthera longifolia, Hammarbya paludosa, and Pseudorchis albida. Results with the EMM test were strongly affected by the choice of the time interval, and thus the number of temporal samples, used to examine the records. For example, sightings of P. albida clustered when the records were partitioned into 20-year temporal samples, but not when they were partitioned into 22-year temporal samples. Because the statistical power of EMM was low, it will not be useful when data are sparse. Nevertheless, the STPS identified regions that contained sighting clusters because it uses a flexible scanning window (defined by cylinders of varying size that move over the study area and evaluate the likelihood of clustering) to detect them, and it identified regions with high and regions with low rates of orchid sightings. The STPS analyses can be used to detect sighting clusters of endangered species that may be related to regions of extirpation and may assist in the categorization of threat status.
Strauß, Johannes; Lakes-Harlan, Reinhard
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.
Dhami, Manpreet K; Turner, Adrian P; Deines, Peter; Beggs, Jacqueline R; Taylor, Michael W
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.
Gao, Taiping; Shih, Chungkun; Labandeira, Conrad C; Santiago-Blay, Jorge A; Yao, Yunzhi; Ren, Dong
Antennae are important, insect sensory organs that are used principally for communication with other insects and the detection of environmental cues. Some insects independently evolved ramified (branched) antennae, which house several types of sensilla for motion detection, sensing olfactory and chemical cues, and determining humidity and temperature levels. Though ramified antennae are common in living insects, occasionally they are present in the Mesozoic fossil record. Here, we present the first caddisflies with ramified antennae, the earliest known fossil sawfly, and a scorpionfly also with ramified antennae from the mid-Lower Cretaceous Yixian Formation of Northeastern China, dated at 125 million years ago (Ma). These three insect taxa with ramified antennae consist of three unrelated lineages and provide evidence for broad structural convergence that historically has been best demonstrated by features such as convergent mouthparts. In addition, ramified antennae in these Mid-Mesozoic lineages likely do not constitute a key innovation, as they are not associated with significantly increased diversification compared with closely related lineages lacking this trait, and nor are they ecologically isolated from numerous, co-occurring insect species with unmodified antennae.
Loraine Ketzler,; Christopher Comer,; Twedt, Daniel J.
Silviculture used to alter forest structure and thereby enhance wildlife habitat has been advocated for bottomland hardwood forest management on public conservation lands in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley. Although some songbirds respond positively to these management actions to attain desired forest conditions for wildlife, the response of other species, is largely unknown. Nocturnal insects are a primary prey base for bats, thereby influencing trophic interactions within hardwood forests. To better understand how silviculture influences insect availability for bats, we conducted vegetation surveys and sampled insect biomass within silviculturally treated bottomland hardwood forest stands. We used passive blacklight traps to capture nocturnal flying insects in 64 treated and 64 untreated reference stands, located on 15 public conservation areas in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Dead wood and silvicultural treatments were positively associated with greater biomass of macro-Lepidoptera, macro-Coleoptera, and all insect taxa combined. Biomass of micro-Lepidoptera was negatively associated with silvicultural treatment but comprised only a small proportion of total biomass. Understanding the response of nocturnal insects to wildlife-forestry silviculture provides insight for prescribed silvicultural management affecting bat species.
Nyman, Tommi; Linder, Hans Peter; Peña, Carlos; Malm, Tobias; Wahlberg, Niklas
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.
Caterino, M S; Cho, S; Sperling, F A
Insect molecular systematics has undergone remarkable recent growth. Advances in methods of data generation and analysis have led to the accumulation of large amounts of DNA sequence data from most major insect groups. In addition to reviewing theoretical and methodological advances, we have compiled information on the taxa and regions sequenced from all available phylogenetic studies of insects. It is evident that investigators have not usually coordinated their efforts. The genes and regions that have been sequenced differ substantially among studies and the whole of our efforts is thus little greater than the sum of its parts. The cytochrome oxidase I, 16S, 18S, and elongation factor-1 alpha genes have been widely used and are informative across a broad range of divergences in insects. We advocate their use as standards for insect phylogenetics. Insect molecular systematics has complemented and enhanced the value of morphological and ecological data, making substantial contributions to evolutionary biology in the process. A more coordinated approach focused on gathering homologous sequence data will greatly facilitate such efforts.
Inghilesi, Alberto F; Mazza, Giuseppe; Cervo, Rita; Gherardi, Francesca; Sposimo, Paolo; Tricarico, Elena; Zapparoli, Marzio
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.
Jiao, Yuannian; Li, Jingping; Tang, Haibao; Paterson, Andrew H.
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
Shatilovich, Anastasia; Stoupin, Daniel; Rivkina, Elizaveta
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.
The insect SNMP gene family Richard G. Vogt a,*,1, Natalie E. Miller a, Rachel Litvack a, Richard A. Fandino a, Jackson Sparks a, Jon Staples a...Wallace Beltsville Agricultural Research Center Plant Sciences Institute, Invasive Insect Biocontrol and Behavior Laboratory, Bldg. 007, Rm. 030...keywords: Pheromone Receptors Olfactory Gustatory Chemosensory Gustatory Mosquito Fly a b s t r a c t SNMPs are membrane proteins observed to associate with
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,…
... 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...
... 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...
... 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...
... 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...
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...
... 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...
... 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...
... 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...
... 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...
... 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...
... 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...
... 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...
... 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...
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
Socha, John J; Förster, Thomas D; Greenlee, Kendra J
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.
Socha, John J.; Förster, Thomas D.; Greenlee, Kendra J.
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.
Moffitt, John E
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.
Okuda, Jun; Natsume, Yohko
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.
Dubovskiy, Ivan M; Whitten, Miranda M A; Yaroslavtseva, Olga N; Greig, Carolyn; Kryukov, Vadim Y; Grizanova, Ekaterina V; Mukherjee, Krishnendu; Vilcinskas, Andreas; Glupov, Viktor V; Butt, Tariq M
Microevolutionary adaptations and mechanisms of fungal pathogen resistance were explored in a melanic population of the Greater wax moth, Galleria mellonella. Under constant selective pressure from the insect pathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana, 25(th) generation larvae exhibited significantly enhanced resistance, which was specific to this pathogen and not to another insect pathogenic fungus, Metarhizium anisopliae. Defense and stress management strategies of selected (resistant) and non-selected (susceptible) insect lines were compared to uncover mechanisms underpinning resistance, and the possible cost of those survival strategies. We hypothesize that the insects developed a transgenerationally primed resistance to the fungus B. bassiana, a costly trait that was achieved not by compromising life-history traits but rather by prioritizing and re-allocating pathogen-species-specific augmentations to integumental front-line defenses that are most likely to be encountered by invading fungi. Specifically during B. bassiana infection, systemic immune defenses are suppressed in favour of a more limited but targeted repertoire of enhanced responses in the cuticle and epidermis of the integument (e.g. expression of the fungal enzyme inhibitor IMPI, and cuticular phenoloxidase activity). A range of putative stress-management factors (e.g. antioxidants) is also activated during the specific response of selected insects to B. bassiana but not M. anisopliae. This too occurs primarily in the integument, and probably contributes to antifungal defense and/or helps ameliorate the damage inflicted by the fungus or the host's own immune responses.
Yaroslavtseva, Olga N.; Greig, Carolyn; Kryukov, Vadim Y.; Grizanova, Ekaterina V.; Mukherjee, Krishnendu; Vilcinskas, Andreas; Glupov, Viktor V.; Butt, Tariq M.
Microevolutionary adaptations and mechanisms of fungal pathogen resistance were explored in a melanic population of the Greater wax moth, Galleria mellonella. Under constant selective pressure from the insect pathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana, 25th generation larvae exhibited significantly enhanced resistance, which was specific to this pathogen and not to another insect pathogenic fungus, Metarhizium anisopliae. Defense and stress management strategies of selected (resistant) and non-selected (susceptible) insect lines were compared to uncover mechanisms underpinning resistance, and the possible cost of those survival strategies. We hypothesize that the insects developed a transgenerationally primed resistance to the fungus B. bassiana, a costly trait that was achieved not by compromising life-history traits but rather by prioritizing and re-allocating pathogen-species-specific augmentations to integumental front-line defenses that are most likely to be encountered by invading fungi. Specifically during B. bassiana infection, systemic immune defenses are suppressed in favour of a more limited but targeted repertoire of enhanced responses in the cuticle and epidermis of the integument (e.g. expression of the fungal enzyme inhibitor IMPI, and cuticular phenoloxidase activity). A range of putative stress-management factors (e.g. antioxidants) is also activated during the specific response of selected insects to B. bassiana but not M. anisopliae. This too occurs primarily in the integument, and probably contributes to antifungal defense and/or helps ameliorate the damage inflicted by the fungus or the host’s own immune responses. PMID:23560083
Hide, I G; Baudouin, C J; Murray, S A; Malcolm, A J
A 43-year-old man with a large ancient schwannoma of the pelvis, presenting with varicose veins, is reported. Ancient schwannoma (neurilemmoma) is a benign tumour of nerve sheath origin characterised histologically by features of severe degeneration and which rarely can grow to a large size. Malignant transformation, though reported, is extremely rare.
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…
Falke, T H; Zweypfenning-Snijders, M C; Zweypfenning, R C; James, A E
The use of CT in the documentation of ancient Egyptian mummified human remains has previously been described in this and other journals. We recently applied this technique to a collection of ancient Egyptian mummified fauna and sarcophagi. We selected an example to illustrate that CT is also uniquely suitable for the study of such specimens in a noninvasive way.
Frankel, R B; Buseck, P R
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.
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…
Many insect genomes have been sequenced and the innate immune responses of several species have been studied by transcriptomics, inviting the comparative analysis of immunity-related genes. Such studies have demonstrated significant evolutionary plasticity, with the emergence of novel proteins and protein domains correlated with insects adapting to both abiotic and biotic environmental stresses. This review article focuses on effector molecules such as antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) and proteinase inhibitors, which display greater evolutionary dynamism than conserved components such as immunity-related signaling molecules. There is increasing evidence to support an extended role for insect AMPs beyond defense against pathogens, including the management of beneficial endosymbionts. The total number of AMPs varies among insects with completed genome sequences, providing intriguing examples of immunity gene expansion and loss. This plasticity is discussed in the context of recent developments in evolutionary ecology suggesting that the maintenance and deployment of immune responses reallocates resources from other fitness-related traits thus requiring fitness trade-offs. Based on our recent studies using both model and non-model insects, I propose that insect immunity genes can be lost when alternative defense strategies with a lower fitness penalty have evolved, such as the so-called social immunity in bees, the chemical sanitation of the microenvironment by some beetles, and the release of antimicrobial secondary metabolites in the hemolymph. Conversely, recent studies provide evidence for the expansion and functional diversification of insect AMPs and proteinase inhibitors to reflect coevolution with a changing pathosphere and/or adaptations to habitats or food associated with microbial contamination.
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.
Lafferty, Kevin D.; Shaw, Jenny C.
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.
Page, Roderic D M
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'.
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.
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.
de Micheli-Serra, Alfredo
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.
Wagner, B; Bulska, E; Hulanicki, A; Heck, M; Ortner, H M
Various modern instrumental techniques for surface analysis were applied for the non-destructive physicochemical examination of works of art. As samples, pieces of ancient manuscripts endangered by iron-gall ink corrosion were used. Surface characterisation of the morphology of the cellulose fibres within corroded and non-corroded parts of the manuscript performed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) showed seriously damaged cellulose fibres in the written parts. The elemental composition of selected parts of the manuscript was determined by energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence analysis (EDX). A more detailed study of the paper surface was then performed by electron probe microanalysis (EPMA). This technique yields the morphological characteristics of the surface as well as element distribution maps over the written area of the investigated manuscript.
Goldspiel, J.M.; Squyres, S.W. )
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. 48 refs.
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
Tzeferakos, Georgios; Douzenis, Athanasios
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.
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
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
Coolen, M. J.; Saenz, J. P.; Trowbridge, N.; Eglinton, T.
A standard approach to study past planktonic taxa which carry information about past environments and climate variability is the microscopic determination and enumeration of microfossils. However, most planktonic taxa are soft-bodied and in cases where microfossils are absent or difficult to identify, chemical fossils (lipid biomarkers) can be used as paleoecological tools. Nevertheless, most lipids are not very specific, multiple sources are possible, or their biological source remains unknown. Recently, we and others have shown that under excellent preservation conditions, the analysis of preserved genetic signatures (fossil DNA) offers great potential to study past planktonic communities, including soft-bodied species, at the unprecedented species- and even strain-level (this work). Given the dramatic shifts in hydrography and the present anoxia that permeates most of the water column which promotes preservation of cellular materials, the Black Sea is an excellent setting to study the ancient species composition based on fossil DNA. We developed a high temporal resolution (50-100 yr) fossil DNA and lipid biomarker based stratigraphic record of planktonic community structure in the Black Sea spanning the complete Holocene development from the first post-glacial input of Mediterranean waters in the paleo-lacustrine Black Sea to the present. Preserved genetic markers for microbial communities dwelling at the surface (algal primary producers and zooplankton), the suboxic layer (marine Crenarchaeota), and the sulfidic chemocline (green sulfur bacteria) were targeted to provide information on past environmental change in the Black Sea. Specifically, we targeted markers that contributed to our understanding of past surface water temperature, salinity and stratification. Where possible, a side-by-side phylogenetic and lipid biomarker analyses was performed in order to carefully assess the validity of utilizing the former as proxies of a given biological input. As the
Hruska, Jiri; Fuchs, Gerald
Urban area of ancient Ephesos (present Turkey) is too large to be fully excavated, so geophysical prospection and mapping can help with the investigation. Georadar is one of the most effective tools for it. Two different tasks solved by georadar are presented. The first problem was the interconnection between the city and the temple of Artemis. By historical records, it was made by two sacred procession roads, which had character of Graeco-Roman stoa, i.e., a roofed road. Only small parts of these roads were discovered in ruins or excavated. Some hundreds of metres from total length of a few kilometres became known, but the questions above were not solved. Then, the area was prospected by georadar. Series of GPR lines were scanned gradually from the last known points and evaluated right on the spot. As a result, a plan of georadar indications could be drawn. These indications created two lines tracing unknown parts of both roads joining together and then continuing till the entry of the temple. The results were confirmed by two boreholes. The second task was mapping of Hellenistic level of Tetragonos agora. At present, it is under the Roman level, and is visible only in some excavation pits. About a half the square was covered by detailed georadar survey. Numerous anomalies indicated presence of underground objects. Compared with the results of excavations, they were interpreted as ancient remains in several levels. Then plans of these indications were compiled for separated levels. Hellenistic buildings remains were mapped, forming an older agora, smaller and slightly different by its shape from the Roman building plan. Besides it, uncovered parts of Roman ruins were detected, as well as some remains of Classic and Archaic settlement levels. Some traces of even older human presence were found under them. Georadar results will serve as a guideline for future excavations.
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.
Poinar, George; Poinar, Roberta
Hastisetae are extremely elaborate and intricate insect setae that occur solely on dermestid larvae (Coleoptera: Dermestidae). The present work characterizes hastisetae found in mid-Cretaceous amber from Myanmar and compares them to hastisetae found on extant dermestid larvae. The presence of hastisetae in Myanmar amber shows that lineages of dermestid beetles had already developed hastisetae by the mid-Cretaceous and their presence allows us to follow the evolutionary development of this particular arthropod structure over the past 100 million years. Hastisetae attached to a parasitic wasp in the same piece of amber indicates that ancient dermestid beetles used their hastisetae for defense, similar to their function today.
Vea, Isabelle M; Grimaldi, David A
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.
Vea, Isabelle M.; Grimaldi, David A.
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
De Loof, Arnold; Schoofs, Liliane; Huybrechts, Roger
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.
Green, Adam S.; Ohmann, Paul R.; Leininger, Nick E.; Kavanaugh, James A.
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. Students, especially those majoring in the life sciences, tend to find the conversation intriguing because of its interdisciplinary context. To make it even more appealing, we recently created a laboratory component that allows students to use digital cameras and polarizing filters to create polarization maps of environmental scenes and insect bodies. In this paper we describe how to do so with ImageJ, a widely used and freely available image processing program that is suitable for students with no programming experience.
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
Insect neuropeptides control various biological processes including growth, development, homeostasis and reproduction. The calcitonin-like diuretic hormone (CT/DH) is one such neuropeptide that has been shown to affect salt and water transport by Malpighian tubules of several insects. With an increase in the number of sequenced insect genomes, CT/DHs have been predicted in several insect species, making it easier to characterize the gene encoding this hormone and determine its function in the species in question. This mini review summarizes the current knowledge on insect CT/DHs, focusing on mRNA and peptide structures, distribution patterns, physiological roles, and receptors in insects.
Inceoglu, A B; Kamita, S G; Hinton, A C; Huang, Q; Severson, T F; Kang, K; Hammock, B D
Baculoviruses are double-stranded DNA viruses which are highly selective for several insect groups. They are valuable natural control agents, but their utility in many agricultural applications has been limited by their slow speed of kill and narrow host specificity. Baculoviruses have been genetically modified to express foreign genes under powerful promoters in order to accelerate their speed of kill. In our and other laboratories, the expression of genes coding for insect juvenile hormone esterases and various peptide neurotoxins has resulted in recombinant baculoviruses with promise as biological insecticides. These viruses are efficacious in the laboratory, greenhouse and field and dramatically reduce damage caused by insect feeding. The recombinant viruses synergize and are synergized by classical pesticides such as pyrethroids. Since they are highly selective for pest insects, they can be used without disrupting biological control. Because the recombinant virus produces fewer progeny in infected larvae than the wild-type virus, they are rapidly out-competed in the ecosystem. The viruses can be used effectively with crops expressing endotoxins of Bacillus thuringiensis. They can be produced industrially but also by village industries, indicating that they have the potential to deliver sustainable pest control in developing countries. It remains to be seen, however, whether the current generation of recombinant baculoviruses will be competitive with the new generation of synthetic chemical pesticides. Current research clearly indicates, though, that the use of biological vectors of genes for insect control will find a place in agriculture. Baculoviruses will also prove valuable in testing the potential utility of proteins and peptides for insect control.
Siddall, J B
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
Nielsen, Jennifer L.; Regier, Henry A.; Knudsen, E. Eric
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
Buckley, Thomas R.; Attanayake, Dilini; Bradler, Sven
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
Feng, Ying; Chen, Xiao-Ming; Zhao, Min; He, Zhao; Sun, Long; Wang, Cheng-Ye; Ding, Wei-Feng
The use of edible insects has a long history in China, where they have been consumed for more than two thousand years. In general, the level of acceptance is high for the consumption of insects in China. Many studies on edible insects have been conducted in the last twenty years, and the scope of the research includes the culture of entomophagy and the identification, nutritional value, farming and breeding of edible insects, in addition to food production and safety. Currently, 324 species of insects from 11 orders are documented that are either edible or associated with entomophagy in China, which include the common edible species, some less commonly consumed species, and some medicinal insects. However, only approximately 10 to 20 types of insects are consumed regularly. The nutritional values for 174 species are available in China, including edible, feed and medicinal species. Although the nutritional values vary among species, all the insects examined contain protein, fat, vitamins and minerals at levels that meet human nutritional requirements. Edible insects were, and continue to be, consumed by different ethnic groups in many parts of China. People directly consume insects or food products made from insects. The processing of products from insect protein powder, oil, and chitin and the development of health care foods has been studied in China. People also consume insects indirectly by eating livestock that were fed insects, which may be a more acceptable pathway to use insects in human diets. Although limited, the data on the food safety of insects indicate that insects are safe for food or feed. Incidences of allergic reactions after consuming silkworm pupae, cicades and crickets have been reported in China. Insect farming is a unique breeding industry in rural China and is a source of income for local people. Insects are reared and bred for human food, medicine and animal feed using two approaches in China: the insects are either fully domesticated and
Renaud, Gabriel; Hanghøj, Kristian; Willerslev, Eske; Orlando, Ludovic
Ancient DNA has emerged as a remarkable tool to infer the history of extinct species and past populations. However, many of its characteristics, such as extensive fragmentation, damage and contamination, can influence downstream analyses. To help investigators measure how these could impact their analyses in silico, we have developed gargammel, a package that simulates ancient DNA fragments given a set of known reference genomes. Our package simulates the entire molecular process from post-mortem DNA fragmentation and DNA damage to experimental sequencing errors, and reproduces most common bias observed in ancient DNA datasets.
Araújo, Cristiano V M; Moreira-Santos, Matilde; Sousa, José P; Ochoa-Herrera, Valeria; Encalada, Andrea C; Ribeiro, Rui
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.
Lacey, L A; Grzywacz, D; Shapiro-Ilan, D I; Frutos, R; Brownbridge, M; Goettel, M S
The development and use of entomopathogens as classical, conservation and augmentative biological control agents have included a number of successes and some setbacks in the past 1years. In this forum paper we present current information on development, use and future directions of insect-specific viruses, bacteria, fungi and nematodes as components of integrated pest management strategies for control of arthropod pests of crops, forests, urban habitats, and insects of medical and veterinary importance. Insect pathogenic viruses are a fruitful source of microbial control agents (MCAs), particularly for the control of lepidopteran pests. Most research is focused on the baculoviruses, important pathogens of some globally important pests for which control has become difficult due to either pesticide resistance or pressure to reduce pesticide residues. Baculoviruses are accepted as safe, readily mass produced, highly pathogenic and easily formulated and applied control agents. New baculovirus products are appearing in many countries and gaining an increased market share. However, the absence of a practical in vitro mass production system, generally higher production costs, limited post application persistence, slow rate of kill and high host specificity currently contribute to restricted use in pest control. Overcoming these limitations are key research areas for which progress could open up use of insect viruses to much larger markets. A small number of entomopathogenic bacteria have been commercially developed for control of insect pests. These include several Bacillus thuringiensis sub-species, Lysinibacillus (Bacillus) sphaericus, Paenibacillus spp. and Serratia entomophila. B. thuringiensis sub-species kurstaki is the most widely used for control of pest insects of crops and forests, and B. thuringiensis sub-species israelensis and L. sphaericus are the primary pathogens used for control of medically important pests including dipteran vectors. These pathogens
Mikić, Aleksandar M.
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
Clarke, Laurence J; Soubrier, Julien; Weyrich, Laura S; Cooper, Alan
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.
Klein, Barrett A
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.
... Mosquito Surveillance Software Health Education Public Service Videos Insect Repellent Use & Safety Recommend on Facebook Tweet Share ... the repellent with you. Top of Page Can insect repellents be used on children? Yes. Most products ...
Zhu-Salzman, Keyan; Zeng, Rensen
Plant protease inhibitors (PIs) are natural plant defense proteins that inhibit proteases of invading insect herbivores. However, their anti-insect efficacy is determined not only by their potency toward a vulnerable insect system but also by the response of the insect to such a challenge. Through the long history of coevolution with their host plants, insects have developed sophisticated mechanisms to circumvent antinutritional effects of dietary challenges. Their response takes the form of changes in gene expression and the protein repertoire in cells lining the alimentary tract, the first line of defense. Research in insect digestive proteases has revealed the crucial roles they play in insect adaptation to plant PIs and has brought about a new appreciation of how phytophagous insects employ this group of molecules in both protein digestion and counterdefense. This review provides researchers in related fields an up-to-date summary of recent advances.
The debate on the evolution of wings in insects has reached a new level. The study of primitive fossil insect nymphs has revealed that wings developed from a combination of the dorsal part of the thorax and the body wall.
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.
Matthews, E. G.
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)
Sheppard, Roger F.
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)
Klein, Barrett A.
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
Drinnenberg, Ines A; deYoung, Dakota; Henikoff, Steven; Malik, Harmit Singh
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. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.03676.001 PMID:25247700
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)
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…
Warrant, Eric; Dacke, Marie
Despite their tiny eyes and brains, nocturnal insects have evolved a remarkable capacity to visually navigate at night. Whereas some use moonlight or the stars as celestial compass cues to maintain a straight-line course, others use visual landmarks to navigate to and from their nest. These impressive abilities rely on highly sensitive compound eyes and specialized visual processing strategies in the brain.
Dyer, Fred C.
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)
Carnevale, P; Mouchet, J
Many diseases for which no vaccine is available are transmitted by insect and arthropod vectors, the main exceptions being yellow fever and Japanese encephalitis B. Treatment is less and less effective due to the development of chemoresistance to therapeutic and prophylactic drugs as is well-illustrated by malaria. One of the best methods of preventing these diseases is personal protection against insect bites. Personal protection measures can be divided into three categories which can be used separately or in combination : application of repellents to the skin, wearing clothes impregnated with insecticides, and use of bed nets and other barriers impregnated with insecticides. The choice of method depends on the type of insect vector involved. For insects that are active during the day or at dusk, application of repellents to the skin gives good short-term protection and wearing impregnated clothes is useful. Bed nets that have been properly impregnated with pyrethroids are highly effective for night-time protection. Since personal protection methods are not 100% effective, they must be used in association with chemoprophylaxis according to medical guidelines. Medical advice should be sought if fever should occur especially after returning from a trip in the tropics.
"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,…
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 ...
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 ...
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...
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...
Missbach, Christine; Dweck, Hany KM; Vogel, Heiko; Vilcinskas, Andreas; Stensmyr, Marcus C; Hansson, Bill S; Grosse-Wilde, Ewald
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
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...
Blank, Carrine E.
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.
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
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
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
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
Vogt, Richard G; Miller, Natalie E; Litvack, Rachel; Fandino, Richard A; Sparks, Jackson; Staples, Jon; Friedman, Robert; Dickens, Joseph C
SNMPs are membrane proteins observed 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 (CVA). SNMPs are one of three insect gene clades related to the human fatty acid transporter CD36. We previously characterized the CD36 gene family in 4 insect Orders that effectively cover the Holometabola, or some 80% of known insect species and the 300 million years of evolution since this lineage emerged: Lepidoptera (e.g. Bombyx mori, Antheraea polyphemus, Manduca sexta, Heliothis virescens, Helicoverpa assulta, Helicoverpa armigera, Mamestra brassicae); Diptera (D. melanogaster, Drosophila pseudoobscura, Aedes aegypti, Anopheles gambiae, Culex pipiens quinquefasciatus); Hymenoptera (Apis mellifera); and Coleoptera (Tribolium castaneum). This previous study suggested a complex topography within the SNMP clade including a strongly supported SNMP1 sub-clade plus additional SNMP genes. To further resolve the SNMP clade here, we used cDNA sequences of SNMP1 and SNMP2 from various Lepidoptera species, D. melanogaster and Ae. aegypti, as well as BAC derived genomic sequences from Ae. aegypti as models for proposing corrected sequences of orthologues in the D. pseudoobscura and An. gambiae genomes, and for identifying orthologues in the B. mori and C. pipiens q. genomes. We then used these sequences to analyze the SNMP clade of the insect CD36 gene family, supporting the existence of two well supported sub-clades, SNMP1 and SNMP2, throughout the dipteran and lepidopteran lineages, and plausibly throughout the Holometabola and across a broad evolutionary time scale. We present indirect evidence based on evolutionary selection (dN/dS) that the dipteran SNMPs are expressed as functional proteins. We observed expansions of the SNMP1 sub-clade in C. pipiens q. and T. castaneum suggesting that the SNMP1s may have an expanded functional role in these species.
Parle, Eoin; Herbaj, Simona; Sheils, Fiona; Larmon, Hannah; Taylor, David
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
New research indicates that the ancient Mesoamerican civilizations of the Mayans and Aztecs amplified droughts in the YucatÃ¡n and southern Mexico by clearing rainforests to make room for pastures ...
Hoffman, Kenneth A.
Discusses the question posed by some that the earth's magnetic field may reverse. States that rocks magnetized by ancient fields may offer clues to the underlying reversal mechanism in the earth's core. (TW)
Lauded alike by ancient civilizations and modern society, pharaonic Egyptian medicine remains an object of fascination today. This article discusses its surprisingly sophisticated understanding of a cardiovascular system. The term "cardiovascular system," however, carries assumptions and meanings to a modern audience, especially readers of this journal, which simply do not apply when considering ancient conceptions of the heart and vessels. For lack of better language, this article will use "cardiovascular" and similar terms while recognizing the anachronistic inaccuracy. After briefly summarizing ancient Egyptian medicine generally, it will review the anatomy, pathology, and treatment of the vasculature. The practice of mummification in ancient Egypt provides a unique opportunity for paleopathology, and the conclusion will explore evidence of arterial disease from a modern scientific perspective.
Forshaw, R J
In ancient Egypt the exceptionally dry climate together with the unique burial customs has resulted in the survival of large numbers of well-preserved skeletal and mummified remains. Examinations of these remains together with an analysis of the surviving documentary, archaeological and ethnographic evidence has enabled a detailed picture of the dental health of these ancient people to be revealed, perhaps more so than for any other civilisation in antiquity. In this, the first of two articles, the dental pathological conditions that afflicted the ancient Egyptians is considered. The commonest finding is that of tooth wear, which was often so excessive that it resulted in pulpal exposure. Multiple abscesses were frequently seen, but caries was not a significant problem. Overall the findings indicate that the various pathological conditions and non-pathological abnormalities of teeth evident in dentitions in the twenty-first century were also manifest in ancient Egypt, although the incidences of these conditions varies considerably between the civilisations.
New, Maria I
Although there are many erudite reports on the history of endocrinology and endocrine disorders, the history of congenital adrenal hyperplasia has not been published. I have tried to review ancient as well as modern history of CAH.
This paper discusses the special branch of the Ancient Indian science on plant life as depicted by Vrikshayurveda, and the obvious relevance of the insights these provide to enrich our knowledge and practice in this field PMID:22557461
Zuellig, R.E.; Kondratieff, B.C.; Schmidt, J.P.; Durfee, R.S.; Ruiter, D.E.; Prather, I.E.
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
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...
Wong, G. William; Zhuo, Lisheng; Kimata, Koji; Lam, Bing K.; Satoh, Nori; Stevens, Richard L.
The sentinel roles of mammalian mast cells (MCs) in varied infections raised the question of their evolutionary origin. We discovered that the test cells in the sea squirt Ciona intestinalis morphologically and histochemically resembled cutaneous human MCs. Like the latter, C. intestinalis test cells stored histamine and varied heparin•serine protease complexes in their granules. Moreover, they exocytosed these preformed mediators when exposed to compound 48/80. In support of the histamine data, a C. intestinalis-derived cDNA was isolated that resembled that which encodes histidine decarboxylase in human MCs. Like heparin-expressing mammalian MCs, activated test cells produced prostaglandin D2 and contained cDNAs that encode a protein that resembles the synthase needed for its biosynthesis in human MCs. The accumulated morphological, histochemical, biochemical, and molecular biology data suggest that the test cells in C. intestinalis are the counterparts of mammalian MCs that reside in varied connective tissues. The accumulated data point to an ancient origin of MCs that predates the emergence of the chordates >500 million years ago, well before the development of adaptive immunity. The remarkable conservation of MCs throughout evolution is consistent with their importance in innate immunity. PMID:25094046
Pedersen, Mikkel Winther; Overballe-Petersen, Søren; Ermini, Luca; Sarkissian, Clio Der; Haile, James; Hellstrom, Micaela; Spens, Johan; Thomsen, Philip Francis; Bohmann, Kristine; Cappellini, Enrico; Schnell, Ida Bærholm; Wales, Nathan A; Carøe, Christian; Campos, Paula F; Schmidt, Astrid M Z; Gilbert, M Thomas P; Hansen, Anders J; Orlando, Ludovic; Willerslev, Eske
DNA obtained from environmental samples such as sediments, ice or water (environmental DNA, eDNA), represents an important source of information on past and present biodiversity. It has revealed an ancient forest in Greenland, extended by several thousand years the survival dates for mainland woolly mammoth in Alaska, and pushed back the dates for spruce survival in Scandinavian ice-free refugia during the last glaciation. More recently, eDNA was used to uncover the past 50 000 years of vegetation history in the Arctic, revealing massive vegetation turnover at the Pleistocene/Holocene transition, with implications for the extinction of megafauna. Furthermore, eDNA can reflect the biodiversity of extant flora and fauna, both qualitatively and quantitatively, allowing detection of rare species. As such, trace studies of plant and vertebrate DNA in the environment have revolutionized our knowledge of biogeography. However, the approach remains marred by biases related to DNA behaviour in environmental settings, incomplete reference databases and false positive results due to contamination. We provide a review of the field.
Berghahn, Rüdiger; Bennema, Floris Pieter
Owing to both their special appearance and behavior flatfish have attracted the special attention of people since ages. The first records of humans having been in touch with flatfish date back to the Stone Age about 15,000 years B.C. Detailed descriptions were already given in the classical antiquity and were taken up 1400 years later in the Renaissance by the first ichthyologists, encyclopédists, and also by practical men. This was more than 200 years before a number of common flatfish species were given their scientific names by Linnaeus in 1758. Besides morphology, remarkable and sometimes amusing naturalistic observations and figures are bequeathed. Ancient history of flatfish research is still a wide and open array. Examples are presented how the yield of information and interpretation from these times increases with interdisciplinary cooperation including archeologists, zoologists, ichthyologists, historians, art historians, fisheries and fishery biologist. The timeline of this contribution ends with the start of modern fishery research at the end of the 19th century in the course of the rapidly increasing exploitation of fish stocks.
Diem, Markus; Sablatnig, Robert
Considering printed Latin text, the main issues of Optical Character Recognition (OCR) systems are solved. However, for degraded handwritten document images, basic preprocessing steps such as binarization, gain poor results with state-of-the-art methods. In this paper ancient Slavonic manuscripts from the 11th century are investigated. In order to minimize the consequences of false character segmentation, a binarization-free approach based on local descriptors is proposed. Additionally local information allows the recognition of partially visible or washed out characters. The proposed algorithm consists of two steps: character classification and character localization. Initially Scale Invariant Feature Transform (SIFT) features are extracted which are subsequently classified using Support Vector Machines (SVM). Afterwards, the interest points are clustered according to their spatial information. Thereby, characters are localized and finally recognized based on a weighted voting scheme of pre-classified local descriptors. Preliminary results show that the proposed system can handle highly degraded manuscript images with background clutter (e.g. stains, tears) and faded out characters.
Patterson, Nick; Moorjani, Priya; Luo, Yontao; Mallick, Swapan; Rohland, Nadin; Zhan, Yiping; Genschoreck, Teri; Webster, Teresa; Reich, David
Population mixture is an important process in biology. We present a suite of methods for learning about population mixtures, implemented in a software package called ADMIXTOOLS, that support formal tests for whether mixture occurred and make it possible to infer proportions and dates of mixture. We also describe the development of a new single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array consisting of 629,433 sites with clearly documented ascertainment that was specifically designed for population genetic analyses and that we genotyped in 934 individuals from 53 diverse populations. To illustrate the methods, we give a number of examples that provide new insights about the history of human admixture. The most striking finding is a clear signal of admixture into northern Europe, with one ancestral population related to present-day Basques and Sardinians and the other related to present-day populations of northeast Asia and the Americas. This likely reflects a history of admixture between Neolithic migrants and the indigenous Mesolithic population of Europe, consistent with recent analyses of ancient bones from Sweden and the sequencing of the genome of the Tyrolean “Iceman.” PMID:22960212
Pedersen, Mikkel Winther; Overballe-Petersen, Søren; Ermini, Luca; Sarkissian, Clio Der; Haile, James; Hellstrom, Micaela; Spens, Johan; Thomsen, Philip Francis; Bohmann, Kristine; Cappellini, Enrico; Schnell, Ida Bærholm; Wales, Nathan A.; Carøe, Christian; Campos, Paula F.; Schmidt, Astrid M. Z.; Gilbert, M. Thomas P.; Hansen, Anders J.; Orlando, Ludovic; Willerslev, Eske
DNA obtained from environmental samples such as sediments, ice or water (environmental DNA, eDNA), represents an important source of information on past and present biodiversity. It has revealed an ancient forest in Greenland, extended by several thousand years the survival dates for mainland woolly mammoth in Alaska, and pushed back the dates for spruce survival in Scandinavian ice-free refugia during the last glaciation. More recently, eDNA was used to uncover the past 50 000 years of vegetation history in the Arctic, revealing massive vegetation turnover at the Pleistocene/Holocene transition, with implications for the extinction of megafauna. Furthermore, eDNA can reflect the biodiversity of extant flora and fauna, both qualitatively and quantitatively, allowing detection of rare species. As such, trace studies of plant and vertebrate DNA in the environment have revolutionized our knowledge of biogeography. However, the approach remains marred by biases related to DNA behaviour in environmental settings, incomplete reference databases and false positive results due to contamination. We provide a review of the field. PMID:25487334
Buck, B A
Archaeologists have shown that ancient man developed the ability to produce cutting blades of an extreme degree of sharpness from volcanic glass. The finest of these prismatic blades were produced in Mesoamerica about 2,500 years ago. The technique of production of these blades was rediscovered 12 years ago by Dr. Don Crabtree, who suggested possible uses for the blades in modern surgery. Blades produced by Dr. Crabtree have been used in experimental microsurgery with excellent results. Animal experiments have shown the tensile strength of obsidian produced wounds to be equal to or greater than that of wounds produced by steel scalpels after 14 days of healing. We have been able to demonstrate neither flaking of glass blades into the wounds nor any foreign body reaction in healed wounds. Skin incisions in human patients have likewise healed well without complications. The prismatic glass blade is infinitely sharper than a honed steel edge, and these blades can be produced in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. It is therefore suggested that this type of blade may find an appropriate use in special areas of modern surgery.
Fike, David A.; Bradley, Alexander S.; Rose, Catherine V.
The sulfur biogeochemical cycle integrates the metabolic activity of multiple microbial pathways (e.g., sulfate reduction, disproportionation, and sulfide oxidation) along with abiotic reactions and geological processes that cycle sulfur through various reservoirs. The sulfur cycle impacts the global carbon cycle and climate primarily through the remineralization of organic carbon. Over geological timescales, cycling of sulfur is closely tied to the redox state of Earth's exosphere through the burial of oxidized (sulfate) and reduced (sulfide) sulfur species in marine sediments. Biological sulfur cycling is associated with isotopic fractionations that can be used to trace the fluxes through various metabolic pathways. The resulting isotopic data provide insights into sulfur cycling in both modern and ancient environments via isotopic signatures in sedimentary sulfate and sulfide phases. Here, we review the deep-time Î´34S record of marine sulfates and sulfides in light of recent advances in understanding how isotopic signatures are generated by microbial activity, how these signatures are encoded in marine sediments, and how they may be altered following deposition. The resulting picture shows a sulfur cycle intimately coupled to ambient carbon cycling, where sulfur isotopic records preserved in sedimentary rocks are critically dependent on sedimentological and geochemical conditions (e.g., iron availability) during deposition.
Kubo, Joshua S.; Torgersen, Christian E.; Bolton, Susan M.; Weekes, Anne A.; Gara, Robert I.
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.
... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 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...
Vaughn, C. R. (Editor); Wolf, W. (Editor); Klassen, W. (Editor)
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.
... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2011-04-01 2011-04-01 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...
The recognition of phytophagous insects by plants induces a set of very specific responses aimed at deterring tissue consumption and reprogramming metabolism and development of the plant to tolerate the herbivore. The recognition of insects by plants requires the plant's ability to perceive chemical cues generated by the insects and to distinguish a particular pattern of tissue disruption. Relatively little is known about the molecular basis of insect perception by plants and the signalling mechanisms directly associated with this perception. Importantly, the insect feeding behaviour (piercing-sucking versus chewing) is a decisive determinant of the plant's defence response, and the mechanisms used to perceive insects from different feeding guilds may be distinct. During insect feeding, components of the saliva of chewing or piercing-sucking insects come into contact with plant cells, and elicitors or effectors present in this insect-derived fluid are perceived by plant cells to initiate the activation of specific signalling cascades. Although receptor-ligand interactions controlling insect perception have yet not been molecularly described, a significant number of regulatory components acting downstream of receptors and involved in the activation of defence responses against insects has been reported. Some of these regulators mediate changes in the phytohormone network, while others directly control gene expression or the redox state of the cell. These processes are central in the orchestration of plant defence responses against insects.
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...
Marx, Jean L.
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)
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...
Fanous, Andrew A; Couldwell, William T
Ancient Egyptians were pioneers in many fields, including medicine and surgery. Our modern knowledge of anatomy, pathology, and surgical techniques stems from discoveries and observations made by Egyptian physicians and embalmers. In the realm of neurosurgery, ancient Egyptians were the first to elucidate cerebral and cranial anatomy, the first to describe evidence for the role of the spinal cord in the transmission of information from the brain to the extremities, and the first to invent surgical techniques such as trepanning and stitching. In addition, the transnasal approach to skull base and intracranial structures was first devised by Egyptian embalmers to excerebrate the cranial vault during mummification. In this historical vignette, the authors examine paleoradiological and other evidence from ancient Egyptian skulls and mummies of all periods, from the Old Kingdom to Greco-Roman Egypt, to shed light on the development of transnasal surgery in this ancient civilization. The authors confirm earlier observations concerning the laterality of this technique, suggesting that ancient Egyptian excerebration techniques penetrated the skull base mostly on the left side. They also suggest that the original technique used to access the skull base in ancient Egypt was a transethmoidal one, which later evolved to follow a transsphenoidal route similar to the one used today to gain access to pituitary lesions.
Devault, Alison M; McLoughlin, Kevin; Jaing, Crystal; Gardner, Shea; Porter, Teresita M; Enk, Jacob M; Thissen, James; Allen, Jonathan; Borucki, Monica; DeWitte, Sharon N; Dhody, Anna N; Poinar, Hendrik N
Ancient human remains of paleopathological interest typically contain highly degraded DNA in which pathogenic taxa are often minority components, making sequence-based metagenomic characterization costly. Microarrays may hold a potential solution to these challenges, offering a rapid, affordable, and highly informative snapshot of microbial diversity in complex samples without the lengthy analysis and/or high cost associated with high-throughput sequencing. Their versatility is well established for modern clinical specimens, but they have yet to be applied to ancient remains. Here we report bacterial profiles of archaeological and historical human remains using the Lawrence Livermore Microbial Detection Array (LLMDA). The array successfully identified previously-verified bacterial human pathogens, including Vibrio cholerae (cholera) in a 19th century intestinal specimen and Yersinia pestis ("Black Death" plague) in a medieval tooth, which represented only minute fractions (0.03% and 0.08% alignable high-throughput shotgun sequencing reads) of their respective DNA content. This demonstrates that the LLMDA can identify primary and/or co-infecting bacterial pathogens in ancient samples, thereby serving as a rapid and inexpensive paleopathological screening tool to study health across both space and time.
Devault, Alison M.; McLoughlin, Kevin; Jaing, Crystal; Gardner, Shea; Porter, Teresita M.; Enk, Jacob M.; Thissen, James; Allen, Jonathan; Borucki, Monica; DeWitte, Sharon N.; Dhody, Anna N.; Poinar, Hendrik N.
Ancient human remains of paleopathological interest typically contain highly degraded DNA in which pathogenic taxa are often minority components, making sequence-based metagenomic characterization costly. Microarrays may hold a potential solution to these challenges, offering a rapid, affordable, and highly informative snapshot of microbial diversity in complex samples without the lengthy analysis and/or high cost associated with high-throughput sequencing. Their versatility is well established for modern clinical specimens, but they have yet to be applied to ancient remains. Here we report bacterial profiles of archaeological and historical human remains using the Lawrence Livermore Microbial Detection Array (LLMDA). The array successfully identified previously-verified bacterial human pathogens, including Vibrio cholerae (cholera) in a 19th century intestinal specimen and Yersinia pestis (“Black Death” plague) in a medieval tooth, which represented only minute fractions (0.03% and 0.08% alignable high-throughput shotgun sequencing reads) of their respective DNA content. This demonstrates that the LLMDA can identify primary and/or co-infecting bacterial pathogens in ancient samples, thereby serving as a rapid and inexpensive paleopathological screening tool to study health across both space and time. PMID:24603850
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
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.
Novotny, Vojtech; Basset, Yves
Studies of host specificity in tropical insect herbivores are evolving from a focus on insect distribution data obtained by canopy fogging and other mass collecting methods, to a focus on obtaining data on insect rearing and experimentally verified feeding patterns. We review this transition and identify persisting methodological problems. Replicated quantitative surveys of plant-herbivore food webs, based on sampling efforts of an order of magnitude greater than is customary at present, may be cost-effectively achieved by small research teams supported by local assistants. Survey designs that separate historical and ecological determinants of host specificity by studying herbivores feeding on the same plant species exposed to different environmental or experimental conditions are rare. Further, we advocate the use of host-specificity measures based on plant phylogeny. Existing data suggest that a minority of species in herbivore communities feed on a single plant species when alternative congeneric hosts are available. Thus, host plant range limits tend to coincide with those of plant genera, rather than species or suprageneric taxa. Host specificity among tropical herbivore guilds decreases in the sequence: granivores > leaf-miners > fructivore > leaf-chewers = sap-suckers > xylophages > root-feeders, thus paralleling patterns observed in temperate forests. Differences in host specificity between temperate and tropical forests are difficult to assess since data on tropical herbivores originate from recent field studies, whereas their temperate counterparts derive from regional host species lists, assembled over many years. No major increase in host specificity from temperate to tropical communities is evident. This conclusion, together with the recent downward revisions of extremely high estimates of tropical species richness, suggest that tropical ecosystems may not be as biodiverse as previously thought.
Nityananda, Vivek; Tarawneh, Ghaith; Rosner, Ronny; Nicolas, Judith; Crichton, Stuart; Read, Jenny
Stereopsis - 3D vision - has become widely used as a model of perception. However, all our knowledge of possible underlying mechanisms comes almost exclusively from vertebrates. While stereopsis has been demonstrated for one invertebrate, the praying mantis, a lack of techniques to probe invertebrate stereopsis has prevented any further progress for three decades. We therefore developed a stereoscopic display system for insects, using miniature 3D glasses to present separate images to each eye, and tested our ability to deliver stereoscopic illusions to praying mantises. We find that while filtering by circular polarization failed due to excessive crosstalk, "anaglyph" filtering by spectral content clearly succeeded in giving the mantis the illusion of 3D depth. We thus definitively demonstrate stereopsis in mantises and also demonstrate that the anaglyph technique can be effectively used to deliver virtual 3D stimuli to insects. This method opens up broad avenues of research into the parallel evolution of stereoscopic computations and possible new algorithms for depth perception.
Lejzerowicz, Franck; Esling, Philippe; Majewski, Wojciech; Szczuciński, Witold; Decelle, Johan; Obadia, Cyril; Arbizu, Pedro Martinez; Pawlowski, Jan
Deep-sea subsurface sediments are the most important archives of marine biodiversity. Until now, these archives were studied mainly using the microfossil record, disregarding large amounts of DNA accumulated on the deep-sea floor. Accessing ancient DNA (aDNA) molecules preserved down-core would offer unique insights into the history of marine biodiversity, including both fossilized and non-fossilized taxa. Here, we recover aDNA of eukaryotic origin across four cores collected at abyssal depths in the South Atlantic, in up to 32.5 thousand-year-old sediment layers. Our study focuses on Foraminifera and Radiolaria, two major groups of marine microfossils also comprising diverse non-fossilized taxa. We describe their assemblages in down-core sediment layers applying both micropalaeontological and environmental DNA sequencing approaches. Short fragments of the foraminiferal and radiolarian small subunit rRNA gene recovered from sedimentary DNA extracts provide evidence that eukaryotic aDNA is preserved in deep-sea sediments encompassing the last glacial maximum. Most aDNA were assigned to non-fossilized taxa that also dominate in molecular studies of modern environments. Our study reveals the potential of aDNA to better document the evolution of past marine ecosystems and opens new horizons for the development of deep-sea palaeogenomics.
Hart, N K; Lamberton, J A; Sioumis, A A; Suares, H; Seawright, A A
The taxa of Lantana camara toxic to animals contain lantadene A lantadene B, whereas in two non-toxic taxa other triterpenes predominate. Several new triterpenes have been characterized. Contrary to earlier claims, lantadene A and to a lesser extent lantadene B are toxic when administered intraruminally to sheep.
Pyron, R Alexander
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.
Current Ambient Water Quality Criteria (AWQC) guidelines specify pre-defined taxa diversity requirements, which has limited chemical-specific criteria development in the U.S. to less than 100 chemicals. A priori knowledge of sensitive taxa to toxicologically similar groups of che...
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...
Labandeira, C. C.; Sepkoski, J. J. Jr; Sepkoski JJ, J. r. (Principal Investigator)
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.
Holland, Richard A; Wikelski, Martin; Wilcove, David S
Countless numbers of insects migrate within and between continents every year, and yet we know very little about the ultimate reasons and proximate mechanisms that would explain these mass movements. Here we suggest that perhaps the most important reason for insects to migrate is to hedge their reproductive bets. By spreading their breeding efforts in space and time, insects distribute their offspring over a range of environmental conditions. We show how the study of individual long-distance movements of insects may contribute to a better understanding of migration. In the future, advances in tracking methods may enable the global surveillance of large insects such as desert locusts.
Bottacini, Francesca; Milani, Christian; Turroni, Francesca; Sánchez, Borja; Foroni, Elena; Duranti, Sabrina; Serafini, Fausta; Viappiani, Alice; Strati, Francesco; Ferrarini, Alberto; Delledonne, Massimo; Henrissat, Bernard; Coutinho, Pedro; Fitzgerald, Gerald F.; Margolles, Abelardo; van Sinderen, Douwe; Ventura, Marco
Bifidobacteria are known as anaerobic/microaerophilic and fermentative microorganisms, which commonly inhabit the gastrointestinal tract of various animals and insects. Analysis of the 2,167,301 bp genome of Bifidobacterium asteroides PRL2011, a strain isolated from the hindgut of Apis mellifera var. ligustica, commonly known as the honey bee, revealed its predicted capability for respiratory metabolism. Conservation of the latter gene clusters in various B. asteroides strains enforces the notion that respiration is a common metabolic feature of this ancient bifidobacterial species, which has been lost in currently known mammal-derived Bifidobacterium species. In fact, phylogenomic based analyses suggested an ancient origin of B. asteroides and indicates it as an ancestor of the genus Bifidobacterium. Furthermore, the B. asteroides PRL2011 genome encodes various enzymes for coping with toxic products that arise as a result of oxygen-mediated respiration. PMID:23028506
Pećanac, Marija; Janjić, Zlata; Komarcević, Aleksandar; Pajić, Milos; Dobanovacki, Dusanka; Misković, Sanja Skeledzija
Discovery of fire at the dawn of prehistoric time brought not only the benefits to human beings offering the light and heat, but also misfortune due to burns; and that was the beginning of burns treatment. Egyptian doctors made medicines from plants, animal products and minerals, which they combined with magic and religious procedures. The earliest records described burns dressings with milk from mothers of male babies. Goddess Isis was called upon to help. Some remedies and procedures proved so successful that their application continued for centuries. The Edwin Smith papyrus (1500 BC) mentioned the treatment of burns with honey and grease. Ebers Papyrus (1500 BC) contains descriptions of application of mud, excrement, oil and plant extracts. They also used honey, Aloe and tannic acid to heal burns. Ancient Egyptians did not know about microorganisms but they knew that honey, moldy bread and copper salts could prevent infections from dirt in burns healing. Thyme, opium and belladona were used for pain relief. In the 4th century BC, Hippocrates recorded that Greek and Roman doctors used rendered pig fat, resin and bitumen to treat burns. Mixture of honey and bran, or lotion of wine and myrrh were used by Celsus. Honey was also known in Ayurveda (Indian medicine) time. Ayurvedic records Characa and Sushruta included honey in their dressing aids to purify sores and promote the healing. Burn treatment in Chinese medicine was traditional. It was a compilation of philosophy, knowledge and herbal medicine. The successful treatment of burns started in recent time and it has been made possible by better knowledge of the pathophysiology of thermal injuries and their consequences, medical technology advances and improved surgical techniques.
Johnson, Scott N.; Riegler, Markus
Predicted increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) are widely anticipated to increase biomass accumulation by accelerating rates of photosynthesis in many plant taxa. Little, however, is known about how soil-borne plant antagonists might modify the effects of elevated CO2 (eCO2), with root-feeding insects being particularly understudied. Root damage by insects often reduces rates of photosynthesis by disrupting root function and imposing water deficits. These insects therefore have considerable potential for modifying plant responses to eCO2. We investigated how root damage by a soil-dwelling insect (Xylotrupes gideon australicus) modified the responses of Eucalyptus globulus to eCO2. eCO2 increased plant height when E. globulus were 14 weeks old and continued to do so at an accelerated rate compared to those grown at ambient CO2 (aCO2). Plants exposed to root-damaging insects showed a rapid decline in growth rates thereafter. In eCO2, shoot and root biomass increased by 46 and 35%, respectively, in insect-free plants but these effects were arrested when soil-dwelling insects were present so that plants were the same size as those grown at aCO2. Specific leaf mass increased by 29% under eCO2, but at eCO2 root damage caused it to decline by 16%, similar to values seen in plants at aCO2 without root damage. Leaf C:N ratio increased by >30% at eCO2 as a consequence of declining leaf N concentrations, but this change was also moderated by soil insects. Soil insects also reduced leaf water content by 9% at eCO2, which potentially arose through impaired water uptake by the roots. We hypothesise that this may have impaired photosynthetic activity to the extent that observed plant responses to eCO2 no longer occurred. In conclusion, soil-dwelling insects could modify plant responses to eCO2 predicted by climate change plant growth models. PMID:24260232
Holighaus, Gerrit; Rohlfs, Marko
Interactions between insects and fungi are widespread, and important mediators of these interactions are fungal chemicals that can therefore be considered as allelochemicals. Numerous studies suggest that fungal chemicals can affect insects in many different ways. Here, we apply the terminology established by insect-plant ecologists for categorizing the effect of fungal allelochemicals on insects and for evaluating the application potential of these chemicals in insect pest management. Our literature survey shows that fungal volatile and non-volatile chemicals have an enormous potential to influence insect behavior and fitness. Many of them still remain to be discovered, but some recent examples of repellents and toxins could open up new ways for developing safe insect control strategies. However, we also identified shortcomings in our understanding of the chemical ecology of insect-fungus interactions and the way they have been investigated. In particular, the mode-of-action of fungal allelochemicals has often not been appropriately designated or examined, and the way in which induction by insects affects fungal chemical diversity is poorly understood. This review should raise awareness that in-depth ecological studies of insect-fungus interactions can reveal novel allelochemicals of particular benefit for the development of innovative insect pest management strategies.
Qiu, Yang; Wang, ZhaoWei; Liu, YongXiang; Qi, Nan; Si, Jie; Xiang, Xue; Xia, XiaoLing; Hu, YuanYang; Zhou, Xi
Insects are a group of arthropods and the largest group of animals on Earth, with over one million species described to date. Like other life forms, insects suffer from viruses that cause disease and death. Viruses that are pathogenic to beneficial insects cause dramatic economic losses on agriculture. In contrast, viruses that are pathogenic to insect pests can be exploited as attractive biological control agents. All of these factors have led to an explosion in the amount of research into insect viruses in recent years, generating impressive quantities of information on the molecular and cellular biology of these viruses. Due to the wide variety of insect viruses, a better understanding of these viruses will expand our overall knowledge of their virology. Here, we review studies of several newly discovered RNA insect viruses in China.
... AGENCY Final Test Guideline; Product Performance of Skin-applied Insect Repellents of Insect and Other... Product Performance of Skin-applied Insect Repellents of Insect and Other Arthropods Test Guidelines... ``Product Performance of Skin-applied Insect Repellents of Insects and Other Arthropods'' (OPPTS...
Sun, Qian; Zhou, Xuguo
Undertaking behavior is an essential adaptation to social life that is critical for colony hygiene in enclosed nests. Social insects dispose of dead individuals in various fashions to prevent further contact between corpses and living members in a colony. Focusing on three groups of eusocial insects (bees, ants, and termites) in two phylogenetically distant orders (Hymenoptera and Isoptera), we review mechanisms of death recognition, convergent and divergent behavioral responses toward dead individuals, and undertaking task allocation from the perspective of division of labor. Distinctly different solutions (e.g., corpse removal, burial and cannibalism) have evolved, independently, in the holometabolous hymenopterans and hemimetabolous isopterans toward the same problem of corpse management. In addition, issues which can lead to a better understanding of the roles that undertaking behavior has played in the evolution of eusociality are discussed. PMID:23569436
Sun, Qian; Zhou, Xuguo
Undertaking behavior is an essential adaptation to social life that is critical for colony hygiene in enclosed nests. Social insects dispose of dead individuals in various fashions to prevent further contact between corpses and living members in a colony. Focusing on three groups of eusocial insects (bees, ants, and termites) in two phylogenetically distant orders (Hymenoptera and Isoptera), we review mechanisms of death recognition, convergent and divergent behavioral responses toward dead individuals, and undertaking task allocation from the perspective of division of labor. Distinctly different solutions (e.g., corpse removal, burial and cannibalism) have evolved, independently, in the holometabolous hymenopterans and hemimetabolous isopterans toward the same problem of corpse management. In addition, issues which can lead to a better understanding of the roles that undertaking behavior has played in the evolution of eusociality are discussed.
Rosengaus, Rebeca B.; Traniello, James F. A.; Chen, Tammy; Brown, Julie J.; Karp, Richard D.
Although pathogens appear to have exerted significant selective pressure on various aspects of sociality, mechanisms of disease resistance in the social insects are poorly understood. We report here on an immune response to infection by the dampwood termite, Zootermopsis angusticollis. Nymphs immunized with an injection of 7.6×107, 7.6×105, or 7.6×104 cells/ml glutaraldehyde-killed solution of the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa had significantly higher survivorship than controls following a challenge with a lethal concentration of active bacteria. Similarly, nymphs exposed to a 9×10-1 spores/ml suspension of the fungus Metarhizium anisopliae had higher survivorship than controls after a challenge with a lethal concentration of spores. Prior exposure to a pathogen thus conferred upon termites a degree of protection during a subsequent encounter with the same pathogen. This represents the first demonstration of immune function in vivo in a social insect.
Ledermann D, Walter
The existence of infectious diseases specialists in Ancient Rome is unlikely, but there were at least three authors able of keen observations on infectious matters, with enough merit to be considered our predecessors: Varro, Columella and Vitruvius, none of them physicians. Varro, in his first Book on Agriculture recommended, "Build the houses distant from swamps, because certain minute creatures are bred which cannot be followed with the eyes but which float in the air and enter the body through the mouth and nose, giving rise to severe diseases". Also in a text of agriculture and in the same sense, Columella says "that with heat a swamp releases a pestilential vapor and produces a very dense swarm of insects, which come flying over us armed with harmful stings Vitruvius, the great architect was worried about drinkable water: its sources and properties, how to obtain it and the methods for testing its quality. The concern on its distribution and disposal of sewage started on 614 B.C., little after the foundation of Rome, with the building of the first aqueduct, the Aqua Marcia. This aqueduct in Trajan's times (century II A.D.), reached a total of 443 km, with 49,500 meters of arcades, which were up to 32 meters high, plus 2.4 km of an underground net. This system released 947,200 m(3) of water per day, two thirds of which were for public use and one third for private customers.
Until recently, recovery and analysis of genetic information encoded in ancient DNA sequences from Pleistocene fossils were impossible. Recent advances in molecular biology offered technical tools to obtain ancient DNA sequences from well-preserved Quaternary fossils and opened the possibilities to directly study genetic changes in fossil species to address various biological and paleontological questions. Ancient DNA studies involving Pleistocene fossil material and ancient DNA degradation and preservation in Quaternary deposits are reviewed. The molecular technology applied to isolate, amplify, and sequence ancient DNA is also presented. Authentication of ancient DNA sequences and technical problems associated with modern and ancient DNA contamination are discussed. As illustrated in recent studies on ancient DNA from proboscideans, it is apparent that fossil DNA sequence data can shed light on many aspects of Quaternary research such as systematics and phylogeny. conservation biology, evolutionary theory, molecular taphonomy, and forensic sciences. Improvement of molecular techniques and a better understanding of DNA degradation during fossilization are likely to build on current strengths and to overcome existing problems, making fossil DNA data a unique source of information for Quaternary scientists.
Dementev, M. S.
New method of study of the ancient constellations and mythes is discussed. It is based on the comparison of two maps - the sky and the Earth. The Stellar map is built in an equatorial system of coordinates, the geografic map - in the Mercator's projection and of the same scale. The former map is put on the laster one. The constellation of Pleiades (seven daughter of Atlant) is placed on the meridian of Atlant (Western coast of Africa). If the Stellar map is constructed for a epoch J-3000 (3000 years up to B.C.) then we could found the following. The constellations Andromeda (the daughter of the Ethiopian tsar), Cetus, Perseus and Cassiopeia (mother of Andromeda) are projected on the centre, south and west of Ancient Ethiopia and Mediterranean Sea, respectively. That is all the constellations fall to the places, where events described in mythes occured. A constellation Cepheus (Arabian name is "Burning") covers the Caucasus. Possibly, before a epoch J-1000 this group of stars was connected with Prometheus. It is known Prometheus was chained to the Caucasian rock because of stealing of a fire. Ancient Chineses divided the sky in other way. They called "The Heavenly Town" the area of sky consisting of stars in Herculis, Aquilae and Ophiuchi. Parts of the mentioned constellation were called as a provinces in Ancient China. If the Heavenly Town locate near the Ancient China then the Greek constellations (Andromeda, Perseus and Cetus) will appear over Africa. Three important conclusions follow from this: (i) the geography of the Earth is reflected on the sky; (ii) the ancient astronomers were investigating a connection between the sky and Earth; (iii) the ancient peoples exchanged by the information about a construction of the world.
Allfrey, V G; Pogo, B G; Littau, V C; Gershey, E L; Mirsky, A E
Acetylation of histones takes place along the salivary gland chromosomes of Chironomus thummi when RNA synthesis is active. It can be observed but not measured quantitatively by autoradiography of chromosome squashes. The "fixatives" commonly used in preparing squashes of insect chromosomes preferentially extract the highly acetylated "arginine-rich" histone fractions; the use of such fixatives may explain the reported absence of histone acetylation in Drosophila melanogaster.
Walton, B.T.; Ho, C.H.; Ma, C.Y.; O'Neill, E.G.; Kao, G.L.
Morphological abnormalities including extra compound eyes, extra heads, and distally duplicated legs were generated in cricket embryos by treating eggs with single doses of either benz(g)isoquinoline-5,10-dione or benzo(h)quinoline-5,6-dione. Slight structural modifications of the molecules resulted in a loss of teratogenic activity, although embryotoxicity occurred. These potent insect teratogens can be used for analysis of developmental events during embryogenesis. 13 references, 4 figures, 1 table.
Saxena, Krishna; Dutta, Arpana; Klein-Seetharaman, Judith
Recent years have seen remarkable progress in applying nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy to proteins that have traditionally been difficult to study due to issues with folding, posttranslational modification, and expression levels or combinations thereof. In particular, insect cells have proved useful in allowing large quantities of isotope-labeled, functional proteins to be obtained and purified to homogeneity, allowing study of their structures and dynamics by using NMR. Here, we provide protocols that have proven successful in such endeavors. PMID:22167667
Danks, Hugh V
Many insect species live in the arctic and show a wide range of adaptations to its extreme severity and seasonality. Long, cold winters are met, for example, by cold hardiness and choice of protected sites. Cold hardiness includes both widespread tolerance to freezing and extreme supercooling ability, as well as unusual responses in a few species, such as lack of typical cryoprotectants. Adaptations to short, cool summers include activity at low temperatures, selection of warm habitats and microhabitats, melanism and hairiness coupled with basking behaviour, and prolonged or abbreviated life cycles. Diapause ensures that many species emerge early in summer, with brief synchronized reproduction that maximizes the time for offspring development before winter returns. Some species overwinter in sites that thaw earliest in spring, even if they are relatively exposed in winter. Other adaptations respond to year-to-year variability: for example, prolonged diapause can provide insurance against unsuitable summers. All of these adaptations are co-ordinated. For example, cold hardiness relies on physiological and biochemical adaptations but also on habitat choice and timing. Because the adaptations are complex, predicted climatic warming probably will have unexpected effects. In particular, an increase in temperature that increases summer cloud when sea ice melts would likely reduce temperatures for insect development and activity, because sunshine provides critical warmth to insects and their microhabitats. Changes in moisture will also be important. Moreover, responses differ among species, depending especially on their microhabitats. The complexity of the responses of insects to arctic conditions reinforces the need for research that is sufficiently detailed.
Tomioka, Kenji; Abdelsalam, Salaheldin
The circadian system of hemimetabolous insects is reviewed in respect to the locus of the circadian clock and multioscillatory organization. Because of relatively easy access to the nervous system, the neuronal organization of the clock system in hemimetabolous insects has been studied, yielding identification of the compound eye as the major photoreceptor for entrainment and the optic lobe for the circadian clock locus. The clock site within the optic lobe is inconsistent among reported species; in cockroaches the lobula was previously thought to be a most likely clock locus but accessory medulla is recently stressed to be a clock center, while more distal part of the optic lobe including the lamina and the outer medulla area for the cricket. Identification of the clock cells needs further critical studies. Although each optic lobe clock seems functionally identical, in respect to photic entrainment and generation of the rhythm, the bilaterally paired clocks form a functional unit. They interact to produce a stable time structure within individual insects by exchanging photic and temporal information through neural pathways, in which serotonin and pigment-dispersing factor (PDF) are involved as chemical messengers. The mutual interaction also plays an important role in seasonal adaptation of the rhythm.
Wyatt, G. R.; Kalf, G. F.
α,α-Trehalose, a sugar previously regarded as a product characteristic of certain lower plants, has been identified as a major blood sugar of insects. Trehalose has been isolated in pure form from the blood of pupae of the silk moth, Telea polyphemus, and has been recognized chromatographically in all the insects examined, which comprise 10 species belonging to 5 different orders. Trehalose has been determined quantitatively with anthrone after either chromatographic separation or chemical degradation of other sugars. In larvae and pupae of 4 species of Lepidoptera it ranges from 0.2 to 1.5 gm. per 100 ml. of blood and makes up over 90 per cent of the blood sugar; in larvae of a sawfly, about 80 per cent of the blood sugar is trehalose. In Bombyx mori and Platysamia cecropia, the pupal blood trehalose level is about half that in the mature larva, suggesting utilization of trehalose for glycogen synthesis during pupation. Small amounts of glucose and apparent glycogen are also present in the plasma of these insects. In Bombyx larval plasma there is also 0.04 to 0.12 gm. per 100 ml. of glucose-6-phosphate and smaller amounts of an apparent ketose phosphate. PMID:13439163
Timmermann, Ute; Becker, Norbert
Since 1980, mosquito breeding habitats in the Upper Rhine Valley were routinely treated with Bacillus thuringiensis var. israelensis (Bti). Bti is considered to significantly reduce the number of mosquitoes, and - especially when used in higher dosages - to be toxic to other Nematocera species, e.g. Chironomidae, which could be food sources for aerial feeding predators. To investigate direct and indirect effects of routine Bti treatment on food sources for aerial feeding predators, the availability of flying insects in treated and untreated areas was compared. A car trap was used for insect collection, which allowed their exact spatiotemporal assignment. The statistical analysis revealed that insect taxa abundance was influenced differently by the factors season, temperature and time of day. Nematocera (Diptera) were the most frequently collected insects in all areas. Chironomidae were the predominant aquatic Nematocera. The comparison of treated and untreated sites did not show significant differences that would indicate any direct or indirect effect of routine Bti treatment on the availability of flying insects. Additional to food availability, food selection must be considered when investigating food resources for aerial feeding predators. In this study, food selection of Delichon urbicum (House Martin) as an example was investigated with the help of neck ring samples. The preferred prey of the investigated D. urbicum colony consisted of diurnal insects with terrestrial larvae (Aphidina, Brachycera, Coleoptera). Chironomidae were consumed, but not preferred.
Oppenheim, Sara J; Baker, Richard H; Simon, Sabrina; DeSalle, Rob
Insects are the most diverse group of organisms on the planet. Variation in gene expression lies at the heart of this biodiversity and recent advances in sequencing technology have spawned a revolution in researchers' ability to survey tissue-specific transcriptional complexity across a wide range of insect taxa. Increasingly, studies are using a comparative approach (across species, sexes and life stages) that examines the transcriptional basis of phenotypic diversity within an evolutionary context. In the present review, we summarize much of this research, focusing in particular on three critical aspects of insect biology: morphological development and plasticity; physiological response to the environment; and sexual dimorphism. A common feature that is emerging from these investigations concerns the dynamic nature of transcriptome evolution as indicated by rapid changes in the overall pattern of gene expression, the differential expression of numerous genes with unknown function, and the incorporation of novel, lineage-specific genes into the transcriptional profile.
Oppenheim, Sara J; Baker, Richard H; Simon, Sabrina; DeSalle, Rob
Insects are the most diverse group of organisms on the planet. Variation in gene expression lies at the heart of this biodiversity and recent advances in sequencing technology have spawned a revolution in researchers' ability to survey tissue-specific transcriptional complexity across a wide range of insect taxa. Increasingly, studies are using a comparative approach (across species, sexes and life stages) that examines the transcriptional basis of phenotypic diversity within an evolutionary context. In the present review, we summarize much of this research, focusing in particular on three critical aspects of insect biology: morphological development and plasticity; physiological response to the environment; and sexual dimorphism. A common feature that is emerging from these investigations concerns the dynamic nature of transcriptome evolution as indicated by rapid changes in the overall pattern of gene expression, the differential expression of numerous genes with unknown function, and the incorporation of novel, lineage-specific genes into the transcriptional profile. PMID:25524309
Haberle, Robert M.
Today Mars is a cold, dry, desert planet. The atmosphere is thin and liquid water is not stable. But there is evidence that very early in its history it was warmer and wetter. Since Mariner 9 first detected fluvial features on its ancient terrains researchers have been trying to understand what climatic conditions could have permitted liquid water to flow on the surface. Though the evidence is compelling, the problem is not yet solved. The main issue is coping with the faint young sun. During the period when warmer conditions prevailed 3.5-3.8 Gy the sun's luminosity was approximately 25% less than it is today. How can we explain the presence of liquid water on the surface of Mars under such conditions? A similar problem exists for Earth, which would have frozen over under a faint sun even though the evidence suggests otherwise. Attempts to solve the "Faint Young Sun Paradox" rely on greenhouse warming from an atmosphere with a different mass and composition than we see today. This is true for both Mars and Earth. However, it is not a straightforward solution. Any greenhouse theory must (a) produce the warming and rainfall needed, (b) have a plausible source for the gases required, (c) be sustainable, and (d) explain how the atmosphere evolved to its present state. These are challenging requirements and judging from the literature they have yet to be met. In this talk I will review the large and growing body of work on the early Mars climate system. I will take a holistic approach that involves many disciplines since our goal is to present an integrated view that touches on each of the requirements listed in the preceding paragraph. I will begin with the observational evidence, which comes from the geology, mineralogy, and isotopic data. Each of the data sets presents a consistent picture of a warmer and wetter past with a thicker atmosphere. How much warmer and wetter and how much thicker is a matter of debate, but conditions then were certainly different than
Kovach, R. L.; Garcia, B.
Evidence for past earthquake damage at Mesoamerican ruins is often overlooked because of the invasive effects of tropical vegetation and is usually not considered as a casual factor when restoration and reconstruction of many archaeological sites are undertaken. Yet the proximity of many ruins to zones of seismic activity would argue otherwise. Clues as to the types of damage which should be soughtwere offered in September 1999 when the M = 7.5 Oaxaca earthquake struck the ruins of Monte Alban, Mexico, where archaeological renovations were underway. More than 20 structures were damaged, 5 of them seriously. Damage features noted were walls out of plumb, fractures in walls, floors, basal platforms and tableros, toppling of columns, and deformation, settling and tumbling of walls. A Modified Mercalli Intensity of VII (ground accelerations 18-34 %b) occurred at the site. Within the diffuse landward extension of the Caribbean plate boundary zone M = 7+ earthquakes occur with repeat times of hundreds of years arguing that many Maya sites were subjected to earthquakes. Damage to re-erected and reinforced stelae, walls, and buildings were witnessed at Quirigua, Guatemala, during an expedition underway when then 1976 M = 7.5 Guatemala earthquake on the Motagua fault struck. Excavations also revealed evidence (domestic pttery vessels and skeleton of a child crushed under fallen walls) of an ancient earthquake occurring about the teim of the demise and abandonment of Quirigua in the late 9th century. Striking evidence for sudden earthquake building collapse at the end of the Mayan Classic Period ~A.D. 889 was found at Benque Viejo (Xunantunich), Belize, located 210 north of Quirigua. It is argued that a M = 7.5 to 7.9 earthquake at the end of the Maya Classic period centered in the vicinity of the Chixoy-Polochic and Motagua fault zones cound have produced the contemporaneous earthquake damage to the above sites. As a consequences this earthquake may have accelerated the
Dallai, Romano; Gottardo, Marco; Beutel, Rolf Georg
This comprehensive review of the structure of sperm in all orders of insects evaluates phylogenetic implications, with the background of a phylogeny based on transcriptomes. Sperm characters strongly support several major branches of the phylogeny of insects-for instance, Cercophora, Dicondylia, and Psocodea-and also different infraordinal groups. Some closely related taxa, such as Trichoptera and Lepidoptera (Amphiesmenoptera), differ greatly in sperm structure. Sperm characters are very conservative in some groups (Heteroptera, Odonata) but highly variable in others, including Zoraptera, a small and morphologically uniform group with a tremendously accelerated rate of sperm evolution. Unusual patterns such as sperm dimorphism, the formation of bundles, or aflagellate and immotile sperm have evolved independently in several groups.
Saccaggi, Davina L; Pieterse, Welma
South Africa imports plant budwood (dormant cuttings for propagation) from various countries. Phytosanitary measures, including inspections at points of entry, are implemented to minimize the chance of a pest being introduced on the budwood. This study presents the inspections and interceptions of mites and insects on budwood imported to South Africa from 2004 to 2011. The study presents crops and countries from which South Africa imports budwood, and gives data on the type of imports more often infested with arthropods. Interceptions of insects and mites are reported, including interceptions of phytosanitary, economically important and nonphytophagous mites. The arthropod taxa intercepted are listed, and it is noted that the majority of interceptions are of mites, particularly of Eriophyoidea. These data are discussed in the context of quarantine and research.
Blow, Matthew J.; Zhang, Tao; Woyke, Tanja; Speller, Camilla F.; Krivoshapkin, Andrei; Yang, Dongya Y.; Derevianko, Anatoly; Rubin, Edward M.
Studies of ancient DNA have been hindered by the preciousness of remains, the small quantities of undamaged DNA accessible, and the limitations associated with conventional PCR amplification. In these studies, we developed and applied a genomewide adapter-mediated emulsion PCR amplification protocol for ancient mammalian samples estimated to be between 45,000 and 69,000 yr old. Using 454 Life Sciences (Roche) and Illumina sequencing (formerly Solexa sequencing) technologies, we examined over 100 megabases of DNA from amplified extracts, revealing unbiased sequence coverage with substantial amounts of nonredundant nuclear sequences from the sample sources and negligible levels of human contamination. We consistently recorded over 500-fold increases, such that nanogram quantities of starting material could be amplified to microgram quantities. Application of our protocol to a 50,000-yr-old uncharacterized bone sample that was unsuccessful in mitochondrial PCR provided sufficient nuclear sequences for comparison with extant mammals and subsequent phylogenetic classification of the remains. The combined use of emulsion PCR amplification and high-throughput sequencing allows for the generation of large quantities of DNA sequence data from ancient remains. Using such techniques, even small amounts of ancient remains with low levels of endogenous DNA preservation may yield substantial quantities of nuclear DNA, enabling novel applications of ancient DNA genomics to the investigation of extinct phyla. PMID:18426903
Analyses of living and fossil taxa are crucial for understanding biodiversity through time. The total evidence method allows living and fossil taxa to be combined in phylogenies, using molecular data for living taxa and morphological data for living and fossil taxa. With this method, substantial overlap of coded anatomical characters among living and fossil taxa is vital for accurately inferring topology. However, although molecular data for living species are widely available, scientists generating morphological data mainly focus on fossils. Therefore, there are fewer coded anatomical characters in living taxa, even in well-studied groups such as mammals. We investigated the number of coded anatomical characters available in phylogenetic matrices for living mammals and how these were phylogenetically distributed across orders. Eleven of 28 mammalian orders have less than 25% species with available characters; this has implications for the accurate placement of fossils, although the issue is less pronounced at higher taxonomic levels. In most orders, species with available characters are randomly distributed across the phylogeny, which may reduce the impact of the problem. We suggest that increased morphological data collection efforts for living taxa are needed to produce accurate total evidence phylogenies. PMID:27146442
Liu, Xingyue; Zhang, Weiwei; Winterton, Shaun L; Breitkreuz, Laura C V; Engel, Michael S
Insects exhibit a wide diversity of anatomical specializations in their adult and immature stages associated with particular aspects of their biology. The order Neuroptera (lacewings, antlions, and their relatives) are a moderately diverse lineage of principally predatory animals, at least in their immature stages, as all have a modified piercing-sucking mandible-maxillary complex that allows them to drain fluids from their prey. As such, the larvae of various groups have evolved unique anatomical and behavioral specializations for approaching and subduing their prey, particularly the green lacewings (Chrysopidae), where immatures are also adept at camouflage [1-4]. Here we report the discovery of a unique mode of life among mid-Cretaceous mesochrysopids, an early stem group to modern green lacewings [5-7] exhibiting a combination of morphological modifications in both adults and larvae unknown among living and fossil Neuroptera, even across winged insects. The new mesochrysopids exhibit a uniquely prolonged thorax, elongate legs, and dramatically reduced hind wings in adults, and larvae have extremely elongate, slender legs with pectinate pretarsal claws and lacking trumpet-shaped empodia. The peculiarities of the larvae include features principally found in spider-associated insect groups, implying that these lacewings were early specialists on web-spinning spiders, either as active predators or kleptoparasites. This reveals a dramatic and ancient degree of ecological refinement in a major lineage of insect predators, for a food resource otherwise not utilized by most lacewings.
Hong, Jin-Kyung; Cho, Jae-Chang
The bacterial diversity of the continental shelf sediment in the Yellow Sea was investigated by the cloning and sequencing of PCR-amplified 16S rRNA genes. The majority of the cloned sequences were distinct phylotypes that were novel at the species level. The richness estimator indicated that the sediment sample might harbor up to 32 phylum-level taxa. A large number of low-abundance, phylum-level taxa accounted for most of the observed phylogenetic diversity at our study site, suggesting that these low-abundance taxa might play crucial roles in the shelf sediment ecosystem.
Rader, Romina; Bartomeus, Ignasi; Garibaldi, Lucas A; Garratt, Michael P D; Howlett, Brad G; Winfree, Rachael; Cunningham, Saul A; Mayfield, Margaret M; Arthur, Anthony D; Andersson, Georg K S; Bommarco, Riccardo; Brittain, Claire; Carvalheiro, Luísa G; Chacoff, Natacha P; Entling, Martin H; Foully, Benjamin; Freitas, Breno M; Gemmill-Herren, Barbara; Ghazoul, Jaboury; Griffin, Sean R; Gross, Caroline L; Herbertsson, Lina; Herzog, Felix; Hipólito, Juliana; Jaggar, Sue; Jauker, Frank; Klein, Alexandra-Maria; Kleijn, David; Krishnan, Smitha; Lemos, Camila Q; Lindström, Sandra A M; Mandelik, Yael; Monteiro, Victor M; Nelson, Warrick; Nilsson, Lovisa; Pattemore, David E; Pereira, Natália de O; Pisanty, Gideon; Potts, Simon G; Reemer, Menno; Rundlöf, Maj; Sheffield, Cory S; Scheper, Jeroen; Schüepp, Christof; Smith, Henrik G; Stanley, Dara A; Stout, Jane C; Szentgyörgyi, Hajnalka; Taki, Hisatomo; Vergara, Carlos H; Viana, Blandina F; Woyciechowski, Michal
Wild and managed bees are well documented as effective pollinators of global crops of economic importance. However, the contributions by pollinators other than bees have been little explored despite their potential to contribute to crop production and stability in the face of environmental change. Non-bee pollinators include flies, beetles, moths, butterflies, wasps, ants, birds, and bats, among others. Here we focus on non-bee insects and synthesize 39 field studies from five continents that directly measured the crop pollination services provided by non-bees, honey bees, and other bees to compare the relative contributions of these taxa. Non-bees performed 25-50% of the total number of flower visits. Although non-bees were less effective pollinators than bees per flower visit, they made more visits; thus these two factors compensated for each other, resulting in pollination services rendered by non-bees that were similar to those provided by bees. In the subset of studies that measured fruit set, fruit set increased with non-bee insect visits independently of bee visitation rates, indicating that non-bee insects provide a unique benefit that is not provided by bees. We also show that non-bee insects are not as reliant as bees on the presence of remnant natural or seminatural habitat in the surrounding landscape. These results strongly suggest that non-bee insect pollinators play a significant role in global crop production and respond differently than bees to landscape structure, probably making their crop pollination services more robust to changes in land use. Non-bee insects provide a valuable service and provide potential insurance against bee population declines.
Bartomeus, Ignasi; Garibaldi, Lucas A.; Garratt, Michael P. D.; Howlett, Brad G.; Winfree, Rachael; Cunningham, Saul A.; Mayfield, Margaret M.; Arthur, Anthony D.; Andersson, Georg K. S.; Bommarco, Riccardo; Brittain, Claire; Carvalheiro, Luísa G.; Chacoff, Natacha P.; Entling, Martin H.; Foully, Benjamin; Freitas, Breno M.; Gemmill-Herren, Barbara; Ghazoul, Jaboury; Griffin, Sean R.; Gross, Caroline L.; Herbertsson, Lina; Herzog, Felix; Hipólito, Juliana; Jaggar, Sue; Jauker, Frank; Klein, Alexandra-Maria; Kleijn, David; Krishnan, Smitha; Lemos, Camila Q.; Lindström, Sandra A. M.; Mandelik, Yael; Monteiro, Victor M.; Nelson, Warrick; Nilsson, Lovisa; Pattemore, David E.; de O. Pereira, Natália; Pisanty, Gideon; Potts, Simon G.; Reemer, Menno; Rundlöf, Maj; Sheffield, Cory S.; Scheper, Jeroen; Schüepp, Christof; Smith, Henrik G.; Stanley, Dara A.; Stout, Jane C.; Szentgyörgyi, Hajnalka; Taki, Hisatomo; Vergara, Carlos H.; Viana, Blandina F.; Woyciechowski, Michal
Wild and managed bees are well documented as effective pollinators of global crops of economic importance. However, the contributions by pollinators other than bees have been little explored despite their potential to contribute to crop production and stability in the face of environmental change. Non-bee pollinators include flies, beetles, moths, butterflies, wasps, ants, birds, and bats, among others. Here we focus on non-bee insects and synthesize 39 field studies from five continents that directly measured the crop pollination services provided by non-bees, honey bees, and other bees to compare the relative contributions of these taxa. Non-bees performed 25–50% of the total number of flower visits. Although non-bees were less effective pollinators than bees per flower visit, they made more visits; thus these two factors compensated for each other, resulting in pollination services rendered by non-bees that were similar to those provided by bees. In the subset of studies that measured fruit set, fruit set increased with non-bee insect visits independently of bee visitation rates, indicating that non-bee insects provide a unique benefit that is not provided by bees. We also show that non-bee insects are not as reliant as bees on the presence of remnant natural or seminatural habitat in the surrounding landscape. These results strongly suggest that non-bee insect pollinators play a significant role in global crop production and respond differently than bees to landscape structure, probably making their crop pollination services more robust to changes in land use. Non-bee insects provide a valuable service and provide potential insurance against bee population declines. PMID:26621730
Thomas, J A
Conservative estimates suggest that 50-90% of the existing insect species on Earth have still to be discovered, yet the named insects alone comprise more than half of all known species of organism. With such poor baseline knowledge, monitoring change in insect diversity poses a formidable challenge to scientists and most attempts to generalize involve large extrapolations from a few well-studied taxa. Butterflies are often the only group for which accurate measures of change can be obtained. Four schemes, used successfully to assess change in British butterflies, that are increasingly being applied across the world are described: Red Data Books (RDB) list the best judgements of experts of the conservation status of species in their field of expertise; mapping schemes plot the changing distributions of species at scales of 1-100 km2; transect monitoring schemes generate time series of changes in abundance in sample populations of species on fixed sites across the UK; and occasional surveys measure the number, boundaries and size of all populations of a (usually RDB) species at intervals of 10-30 years. All schemes describe consistent patterns of change, but if they are to be more generally useful, it is important to understand how well butterflies are representative of other taxa. Comparisons with similarly measured changes in native bird and plant species suggest that butterflies have declined more rapidly that these other groups in Britain; it should soon be possible to test whether this pattern exists elsewhere. It is also demonstrated that extinction rates in British butterflies are similar to those in a range of other insect groups over 100 years once recording bias is accounted for, although probably lower than in aquatic or parasitic taxa. It is concluded that butterflies represent adequate indicators of change for many terrestrial insect groups, but recommended that similar schemes be extended to other popular groups, especially dragonflies, bumblebees
Conservative estimates suggest that 50–90% of the existing insect species on Earth have still to be discovered, yet the named insects alone comprise more than half of all known species of organism. With such poor baseline knowledge, monitoring change in insect diversity poses a formidable challenge to scientists and most attempts to generalize involve large extrapolations from a few well-studied taxa. Butterflies are often the only group for which accurate measures of change can be obtained. Four schemes, used successfully to assess change in British butterflies, that are increasingly being applied across the world are described: Red Data Books (RDB) list the best judgements of experts of the conservation status of species in their field of expertise; mapping schemes plot the changing distributions of species at scales of 1–100 km2; transect monitoring schemes generate time series of changes in abundance in sample populations of species on fixed sites across the UK; and occasional surveys measure the number, boundaries and size of all populations of a (usually RDB) species at intervals of 10–30 years. All schemes describe consistent patterns of change, but if they are to be more generally useful, it is important to understand how well butterflies are representative of other taxa. Comparisons with similarly measured changes in native bird and plant species suggest that butterflies have declined more rapidly that these other groups in Britain; it should soon be possible to test whether this pattern exists elsewhere. It is also demonstrated that extinction rates in British butterflies are similar to those in a range of other insect groups over 100 years once recording bias is accounted for, although probably lower than in aquatic or parasitic taxa. It is concluded that butterflies represent adequate indicators of change for many terrestrial insect groups, but recommended that similar schemes be extended to other popular groups, especially dragonflies
Knecht, Richard J.; Engel, Michael S.; Benner, Jacob S.
Insects were the first animals to evolve powered flight and did so perhaps 90 million years before the first flight among vertebrates. However, the earliest fossil record of flying insect lineages (Pterygota) is poor, with scant indirect evidence from the Devonian and a nearly complete dearth of material from the Early Carboniferous. By the Late Carboniferous a diversity of flying lineages is known, mostly from isolated wings but without true insights into the paleoethology of these taxa. Here, we report evidence of a full-body impression of a flying insect from the Late Carboniferous Wamsutta Formation of Massachusetts, representing the oldest trace fossil of Pterygota. Through ethological and morphological analysis, the trace fossil provides evidence that its maker was a flying insect and probably was representative of a stem-group lineage of mayflies. The nature of this current full-body impression somewhat blurs distinctions between the systematics of traces and trace makers, thus adding to the debate surrounding ichnotaxonomy for traces with well-associated trace makers. PMID:21464315
Poteat, Monica D; Buchwalter, David B
Calcium sequestration in the hypo-osmotic freshwater environment is imperative in maintaining calcium homeostasis in freshwater aquatic organisms. This uptake process is reported to have the unintended consequence of potentially toxic heavy metal (Cd, Zn) uptake in a variety of aquatic species. However, calcium uptake remains poorly understood in aquatic insects, the dominant invertebrate faunal group in most freshwater ecosystems. Here, we examined Ca uptake and interactions with heavy metals (Cd, Zn) at low ambient Ca levels (12.5 μmol l(-1)) in 12 aquatic insect species within Ephemerellidae (mayfly) and Hydropsychidae (caddisfly), two families differentially responsive to trace metal pollution. We found Ca uptake varied 70-fold across the 12 species studied. Body mass and clade (family) were found to significantly influence both Ca uptake and adsorption (P≤0.05). Zn and Cd uptake rate constants (ku) exhibited a strong correlation (r=0.96, P<0.0001), suggesting a shared transport system. Ca uptake failed to significantly correlate with either Zn or Cd ku values. Further, neither Zn nor Cd exhibited inhibitory effects toward Ca uptake. In fact, we saw evidence of modest stimulation of Ca uptake rates in some metal treatments. This work suggests that insects generally differ from other freshwater taxa in that aqueous Ca uptake does not appear to be compromised by Cd or Zn exposure. It is important to understand the trace metal and major ion physiology of aquatic insects because of their ecological importance and widespread use as ecological indicators.
Knecht, Richard J; Engel, Michael S; Benner, Jacob S
Insects were the first animals to evolve powered flight and did so perhaps 90 million years before the first flight among vertebrates. However, the earliest fossil record of flying insect lineages (Pterygota) is poor, with scant indirect evidence from the Devonian and a nearly complete dearth of material from the Early Carboniferous. By the Late Carboniferous a diversity of flying lineages is known, mostly from isolated wings but without true insights into the paleoethology of these taxa. Here, we report evidence of a full-body impression of a flying insect from the Late Carboniferous Wamsutta Formation of Massachusetts, representing the oldest trace fossil of Pterygota. Through ethological and morphological analysis, the trace fossil provides evidence that its maker was a flying insect and probably was representative of a stem-group lineage of mayflies. The nature of this current full-body impression somewhat blurs distinctions between the systematics of traces and trace makers, thus adding to the debate surrounding ichnotaxonomy for traces with well-associated trace makers.
Fontanarrosa, M. Soledad; Collantes, Marta B.; Bachmann, Axel O.
Temporary aquatic environments are widespread in the world, and although there are considerable regional differences in their type and method of formation they have many physical, chemical and biological properties in common. With the aim to increase knowledge of urban temporary pool fauna, the objectives of this work were to assess the seasonal patterns of species composition, richness, and diversity of the aquatic insect community inhabiting rain pools in urban temperate Argentina, and to identify the environmental variables associated to these patterns. Four temporary pools of an urban green space in Buenos Aires City were studied throughout a 1-year period. Eleven flood cycles with very varied hydroperiods and dry periods, mainly associated with rainfall, were identified. Insect species richness in these temporary urban pools, 86 taxa were documented, was found to be within the range reported for wild temporary water bodies of other regions of the world. The present results provide evidence for the existence of a clear link between habitat and community variability. Hydroperiod and seasonality were the main environmental factors involved in structuring the insect communities of the studied water bodies. Urban pools in green spaces have the potential to act to its dwellers like corridors through the urban matrix. Taking into account these characteristics and their accessibility, urban temporary pools can be considered as promising habitats for the study of ecological processes involving the insect community. PMID:19611261