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Sample records for cormorant phalacrocorax niger

  1. Coexistence of three sympatric cormorants (Phalacrocorax spp.); partitioning of time as an ecological resource

    PubMed Central

    Mahendiran, Mylswamy

    2016-01-01

    Resource partitioning is well known along food and habitat for reducing competition among sympatric species, yet a study on temporal partitioning as a viable basis for reducing resource competition is not empirically investigated. Here, I attempt to identify the mechanism of temporal partitioning by intra- and interspecific diving analyses of three sympatric cormorant species at different freshwater wetlands around the Delhi region. Diving results indicated that cormorants opted for a shallow diving; consequently, they did not face any physiological stress. Moreover, diving durations were linked with seasons, foraging time and foraging habitats. Intraspecific comparison suggested that cormorants spent a longer time underwater in early hours of the day. Therefore, time spent for dive was higher in the forenoon than late afternoon, and the interspecific analysis also yielded a similar result. When Phalacrocorax niger and Phalacrocorax fuscicollis shared the same foraging habitat, they tended to differ in their foraging time (forenoon/afternoon). However, when P. niger and Phalacrocorax carbo shared the same foraging time, they tended to use different foraging habitats (lentic/lotic) leading to a mechanism of resource partitioning. Thus, sympatric cormorants effectively use time as a resource to exploit the food resources and successful coexistence. PMID:27293799

  2. Microsatellite markers isolated from the flightless cormorant (Phalacrocorax harrisi).

    PubMed

    Duffie, Caroline; Glenn, Travis C; Hagen, Cris; Parker, Patricia

    2008-05-01

    Eight polymorphic microsatellite DNA loci were isolated from the flightless cormorant (Phalacrocorax harrisi) for future population genetic studies. Genetic variability was assessed using at least 38 individuals from two populations. Allele numbers ranged from three to nine per locus. Mean observed heterozygosity varied from 0.27 to 0.78. No locus deviated from Hardy-Weinberg (HW) or linkage equilibria in either population. The high levels of detected polymorphism indicate the utility of these markers for population genetic studies of this Galápagos species.

  3. Complete mitochondrial genome of the Neotropic cormorant (Phalacrocorax brasilianus).

    PubMed

    Rodrigues, Pedro; Álvarez, Pedro; Verdugo, Claudio

    2017-05-01

    The complete sequence of the Neotropic cormorant (Phalacrocorax brasilianus) mitochondrial DNA was obtained by the shotgun sequencing approach. The mitogenome is 19 042 bp in length and includes 13 protein-coding genes, 2 ribosomal subunit genes, 22 transfer RNA genes, a control region and a duplicated region of 2418 bp. The base composition is 32.1% for C, 31.8% for A, 22.6% for T and 13.4% for G, with an overall GC content of 45.5%. This is the first mitogenome of the P. brasilianus described and will be a useful tool for further phylogenetic and population genetic studies.

  4. In-air hearing of the great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo).

    PubMed

    Maxwell, Alyssa; Hansen, Kirstin Anderson; Ortiz, Sara Torres; Larsen, Ole Næsbye; Siebert, Ursula; Wahlberg, Magnus

    2017-03-13

    Many aquatic birds use sounds extensively for in-air communication. Regardless of this, we know very little about their hearing abilities. The in-air audiogram of a male adult great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) was determined using psychophysical methods (method of constants). Hearing thresholds were derived using pure tones of five different frequencies. The lowest threshold was at 2 kHz: 18 dB re 20 µPa rms. Thresholds derived using signal detection theory were within 2 dB of the ones derived using classical psychophysics. The great cormorant is more sensitive to in-air sounds than previously believed and its hearing abilities are comparable to several other species of birds of similar size. This knowledge is important for our understanding of the hearing abilities of other species of sea birds. It can also be used to develop cormorant deterrent devices for fisheries, as well as to assess the impact of increasing in-air anthropogenic noise levels on cormorants and other aquatic birds.

  5. Selfies of Imperial Cormorants (Phalacrocorax atriceps): What Is Happening Underwater?

    PubMed Central

    Gómez-Laich, Agustina; Yoda, Ken; Zavalaga, Carlos; Quintana, Flavio

    2015-01-01

    During the last few years, the development of animal-borne still cameras and video recorders has enabled researchers to observe what a wild animal sees in the field. In the present study, we deployed miniaturized video recorders to investigate the underwater foraging behavior of Imperial cormorants (Phalacrocorax atriceps). Video footage was obtained from 12 animals and 49 dives comprising a total of 8.1 h of foraging data. Video information revealed that Imperial cormorants are almost exclusively benthic feeders. While foraging along the seafloor, animals did not necessarily keep their body horizontal but inclined it downwards. The head of the instrumented animal was always visible in the videos and in the majority of the dives it was moved constantly forward and backward by extending and contracting the neck while travelling on the seafloor. Animals detected prey at very short distances, performed quick capture attempts and spent the majority of their time on the seafloor searching for prey. Cormorants foraged at three different sea bottom habitats and the way in which they searched for food differed between habitats. Dives were frequently performed under low luminosity levels suggesting that cormorants would locate prey with other sensory systems in addition to sight. Our video data support the idea that Imperial cormorants’ efficient hunting involves the use of specialized foraging techniques to compensate for their poor underwater vision. PMID:26367384

  6. Isotopic Discrimination in the Double-Crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus).

    PubMed

    Craig, Elizabeth C; Dorr, Brian S; Hanson-Dorr, Katie C; Sparks, Jed P; Curtis, Paul D

    2015-01-01

    The diet-tissue discrimination factor is the amount by which a consumer's tissue varies isotopically from its diet, and is therefore a key element in models that use stable isotopes to estimate diet composition. In this study we measured discrimination factors in blood (whole blood, red blood cells and plasma), liver, muscle and feathers of Double-crested Cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus) for stable isotope ratios of carbon, nitrogen and sulfur. Cormorants exhibited discrimination factors that differed significantly among tissue types (for carbon and nitrogen), and differed substantially (in the context of the isotopic variation among relevant prey species) from those observed in congeneric species. The Double-crested Cormorant has undergone rapid population expansion throughout much of its historic range over the past three decades, leading to both real and perceived conflicts with fisheries throughout North America, and this study provides an essential link for the use of stable isotope analysis in researching foraging ecology, diet, and resource use of this widespread and controversial species.

  7. Isotopic Discrimination in the Double-Crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus)

    PubMed Central

    Craig, Elizabeth C.; Sparks, Jed P.; Curtis, Paul D.

    2015-01-01

    The diet-tissue discrimination factor is the amount by which a consumer’s tissue varies isotopically from its diet, and is therefore a key element in models that use stable isotopes to estimate diet composition. In this study we measured discrimination factors in blood (whole blood, red blood cells and plasma), liver, muscle and feathers of Double-crested Cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus) for stable isotope ratios of carbon, nitrogen and sulfur. Cormorants exhibited discrimination factors that differed significantly among tissue types (for carbon and nitrogen), and differed substantially (in the context of the isotopic variation among relevant prey species) from those observed in congeneric species. The Double-crested Cormorant has undergone rapid population expansion throughout much of its historic range over the past three decades, leading to both real and perceived conflicts with fisheries throughout North America, and this study provides an essential link for the use of stable isotope analysis in researching foraging ecology, diet, and resource use of this widespread and controversial species. PMID:26473353

  8. Hematology and plasma biochemistry values of great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis) nestlings.

    PubMed

    Minias, Piotr; Kaczmarek, Krzysztof; Janiszewski, Tomasz; Markowski, Janusz

    2013-01-01

    Hematology and plasma biochemistry values were determined in 92 free-living Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis) chicks at Jeziorsko reservoir, central Poland. Percentage distribution of leukocytes, packed cell volume, plasma concentrations of hemoglobin and basic biochemical parameters were evaluated. These values may be treated as reference ranges for free-living Great Cormorant nestlings.

  9. The complete mitochondrial genome of great cormorant, Phalacrocorax carbo (Phalacrocorax, Phalacrocoracidae).

    PubMed

    Zhang, Letong; Zhang, Ming; He, Shiyang

    2017-01-01

    The great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) is widely distributed in the world. Here, we report the complete mitogenome sequence of P. carbo, which was 18,995 bp long and composed of 15 protein-coding genes, 25 tRNA genes, 2 rRNA genes and 2 control regions. Most genes were located on H-strand except for 10 tRNAs and 2 ND6 genes. In protein-coding genes, ATG, ATC and GTG were used as initiation codons, and TAA, AGA, AGG and TAG were used as stop codons. The 25 tRNA genes ranged in size from 67 to 75 bp. And 12S and 16S rRNA were respectively 983 and 1517 bp. Except for a tRNA-Ala in P. carbo which was different from the tRNA-Lys annotated in P. chalconotus, both species of Phalacrocorax had the same order of other genes. In addition, a phylogenetic analysis may help us understand the evolutionary status of this widespread species better.

  10. Isolation and characterization of eight novel microsatellite loci in the double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mercer, Dacey; Haig, Susan; Mullins, Thomas

    2010-01-01

    We describe the isolation and characterization of eight microsatellite loci from the double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus). Genetic variability was assessed using 60 individuals from three populations. All loci were variable with the number of alleles ranging from two to 17 per locus, and observed heterozygosity varying from 0.05 to 0.89. No loci showed signs of linkage disequilibrium and all loci conformed to Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium frequencies. Further, all loci amplified and were polymorphic in two related Phalacrocorax species. These loci should prove useful for population genetic studies of the double-crested cormorant and other pelecaniform species.

  11. Identification of 24 polymorphic microsatellite markers for the double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus).

    PubMed

    Fike, Jennifer A; Devault, Travis L; Rhodes, Olin E

    2009-07-01

    Twenty-four polymorphic microsatellite markers were developed for the double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus). The number of alleles ranged from two to 13 and observed heterozygosities ranged from 0.032 to 0.871. The use of these loci should enable researchers and biologists to learn more about the population structure and ecology of this species.

  12. Hematology, plasma chemistry, and serology of the flightless cormorant (Phalacrocorax harrisi) in the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador.

    PubMed

    Travis, Erika K; Vargas, F Hernan; Merkel, Jane; Gottdenker, Nicole; Miller, R Eric; Parker, Patricia G

    2006-01-01

    The flightless cormorant (Phalacrocorax harrisi) is an endemic species of the Galápagos Islands, Ecuador. Health studies of the species have not previously been conducted. In August 2003, baseline samples were collected from flightless cormorant colonies on the islands of Isabela and Fernandina. Seventy-six birds, from nestlings to adults, were evaluated. Genetic sexing of 70 cormorants revealed 37 females and 33 males. Hematology assessment consisted of packed cell volume (n=19), leukograms (n=69), and blood smear evaluation (n=69). Microscopic evaluation of blood smears revealed microfilaria in 33% (23/69) of the cormorants. Plasma chemistries were performed on 46 cormorants. There was no significant difference in chemistry values or complete blood counts between male and female cormorants or between age groups. Based on a serologic survey to assess exposure to avian pathogens, birds (n=69) were seronegative for West Nile virus, avian paramyxovirus type 1 (Newcastle disease virus), avian paramyxovirus types 2 and 3, avian influenza, infectious bursal disease, infectious bronchitis, Marek's disease (herpes), reovirus, avian encephalomyelitis, and avian adenovirus type 2. Antibodies to avian adenovirus type 1 and Chlamydophila psittaci were found in 31% (21/68) and 11% (7/65) of flightless cormorants respectively. Chlamydophila psittaci was detected via polymerase chain reaction in 6% (2/33) of the cormorants. The overall negative serologic findings of this research suggest that the flightless cormorant is an immunologically naïve species, which may have a reduced capacity to cope with the introduction of novel pathogens.

  13. Pedestrian locomotion energetics and gait characteristics of a diving bird, the great cormorant, Phalacrocorax carbo.

    PubMed

    White, Craig R; Martin, Graham R; Butler, Patrick J

    2008-08-01

    Great cormorants Phalacrocorax carbo are foot propelled diving birds that seem poorly suited to locomotion on land. They have relatively short legs, which are presumably adapted for the generation of high forces during the power stroke of aquatic locomotion, and walk with a pronounced "clumsy waddle". We hypothesise (1) that the speed, independent minimum cost of locomotion (C min, ml O2 m(-1)) will be high for cormorants during treadmill exercise, and (2) that cormorants will have a relatively limited speed range in comparison to more cursorial birds. We measured the rate of oxygen consumption (V02) of cormorants during pedestrian locomotion on a treadmill, and filmed them to determine duty factor (the fraction of stride period that the foot is in contact with the ground), foot contact time (tc), stride frequency (f), swing phase duration and stride length. C min was 2.1-fold higher than that predicted by their body mass and phylogenetic position, but was not significantly different from the C min of runners (Galliformes and Struthioniformes). The extrapolated gamma-intercept of the relationship between V02 and speed was 1.9-fold higher than that predicted by allometry. Again, cormorants were not significantly different from runners. Contrary to our hypothesis, we therefore conclude that cormorants do not have high pedestrian transport costs. Cormorants were observed to use a grounded gait with two double support phases at all speeds measured, and showed an apparent gait transition between 0.17 and 0.25 m s(-1). This transition occurs at a Froude number between 0.016 and 0.037, which is lower than the value of approximately 0.5 observed for many other species. However, despite the use of a limited speed range, and a gait transition at relatively low speed, we conclude that the pedestrian locomotion of these foot propelled diving birds is otherwise generally similar to that of cursorial birds at comparable relative velocities.

  14. In-Air and Underwater Hearing in the Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis).

    PubMed

    Johansen, Sasia; Larsen, Ole Næsbye; Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jakob; Seidelin, Lars; Huulvej, Tina; Jensen, Kristine; Lunneryd, Sven-Gunnar; Boström, Maria; Wahlberg, Magnus

    2016-01-01

    Hearing thresholds of a great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) were measured in air and under water using psychophysics. The lowest thresholds were at 2 kHz (45 dB re 20 μPa root-mean-square [rms] in air and 79 dB re 1 μPa rms in water). Auditory brainstem response measurements on one anesthetized bird in air indicated an audiogram with a shape that resembled the one achieved by psychophysics. This study suggests that cormorants have rather poor in-air hearing abilities compared with other similar-size birds. The hearing capabilities in water are better than what would have been expected for a purely in-air adapted ear.

  15. Effects of egg size on Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) egg composition and hatchling phenotype.

    PubMed

    Dzialowski, Edward M; Reed, Wendy L; Sotherland, Paul R

    2009-02-01

    Maternal investment of yolk and albumen in avian eggs varies with egg mass and contributes to variation in hatchling mass. Here we use the natural variation in mass and composition of Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) eggs to examine consequences of variation in yolk and albumen mass on hatchling phenotype. The Double-crested Cormorant, a large bird with altricial young, lays eggs ranging in mass from 40 to 60 g and containing an average of 82% albumen and 18% yolk. Variation in Cormorant egg mass arises primarily from variation in the amount of albumen and water in the eggs; yolk mass remains relatively constant, contributing only 10% to egg mass variation. Likewise, variation in hatchling mass correlates positively with albumen mass and albumen solids contribute to hatchling dry mass. Thus, variation in Cormorant egg mass is primarily the result of variation in the amount of egg albumen, which contributes most to variation in hatchling mass. Similarities in egg composition of altricial birds, along with data presented here, suggest that variation in hatchling mass of all altricial birds may depend most on the amount of egg albumen, unlike species with precocial young that hatch from eggs with substantially more yolk.

  16. Genetic structure within and between island populations of the flightless cormorant (Phalacrocorax harrisi).

    PubMed

    Duffie, Caroline V; Glenn, Travis C; Vargas, F Hernan; Parker, Patricia G

    2009-05-01

    We assessed colony- and island-level genetic differentiation for the flightless cormorant (Phalacrocorax harrisi), an endangered Galápagos endemic that has one of the most limited geographical distributions of any seabird, consisting of only two adjacent islands. We screened 223 individuals from both islands and nine colonies at five microsatellite loci, recovering 23 alleles. We found highly significant genetic differentiation throughout the flightless cormorant's range on Fernandina and Isabela Islands (global F(ST) = 0.097; P < 0.0003) both between islands (supported by Bayesian analyses, F(ST) and R(ST) values) and within islands (supported only by F(ST) and R(ST) values). An overall pattern of isolation-by-distance was evident throughout the sampled range (r = 0.4169, one-sided P cormorant's limited range, and suggests a role for low vagility, behavioural philopatry, or both to limit dispersal where physical barriers are absent. We argue that this population should be managed as at least two genetic populations to better preserve the species-level genetic diversity, but, for demographic reasons, advocate the continued conservation of all breeding colonies.

  17. Light and scanning electron microscopic study of the tongue in the cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo (Phalacrocoracidae, Aves).

    PubMed

    Jackowiak, Hanna; Andrzejewski, Wojciech; Godynicki, Szymon

    2006-02-01

    The tongue of the cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo is a small, immobile structure with a length of 1.4 cm, situated in the middle part of the elongated lower bill. The uniquely shaped tongue resembles a mushroom, with a short base and an elongated dorsal part with sharpened anterior and posterior tips. A median crest can be observed on the surface of the tongue. Examination by light and scanning electron microscopy revealed that the whole tongue is formed by a dense connective tissue with many bundles of elastic fibers. The lingual mucosa is covered by a multilayered keratinized epithelium. The thickest, horny layer of the lingual epithelium was observed on the surface of the median crest and on the posterior tip of the tongue. Lingual glands are absent in cormorants. The framework of the tongue is composed of a hyoid cartilage incorporated into the base. The localization and structure of the tongue in the cormorant show that it is a rudimentary organ and that the lingual body, usually well-developed in birds, is conserved.

  18. Presence of plastic litter in pellets from Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) in Ireland.

    PubMed

    Acampora, Heidi; Berrow, Simon; Newton, Stephen; O'Connor, Ian

    2017-04-15

    Plastic pollution has been the subject of much research in the last decade. Seabirds can mistake plastic fragments for prey, which can perforate or block the digestive tract and cause ulcers. Most commonly, seabirds accumulate this indigestible matter in their stomachs, obtaining no nutrition and may die from starvation. Certain species of seabirds however, have the ability of regurgitating indigestible matter in the form of pellets. This study aimed to investigate the ingestion of plastics by live seabirds through the examination of regurgitated pellets (n=92) from a Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) breeding colony and a winter roost in Ireland. Plastic prevalence was consistently 3.2% at both sites. The presence of plastic litter highlights the fact that all species of seabird are susceptible to interact with marine litter regardless of feeding habits, although at different rates. More research is needed to understand the driving factors involved in plastic ingestion among different species.

  19. Histologic changes in thyroid glands from great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) in Tokyo Bay, Japan: possible association with environmental contaminants.

    PubMed

    Saita, E; Hayama, S; Kajigaya, H; Yoneda, K; Watanabe, G; Taya, K

    2004-10-01

    We compared morphologic changes in thyroid glands of great cormorants (Phalacrocorax carbo) from the Tokyo Bay and Lake Biwa areas in Japan with presence of residues of polychlorinated dibenzo-dioxins (PCDDs), polychlorinated dibenzo-furans (PCDFs), and coplanar polychlorinated biphenyls (Co-PCBs). Prominent morphologic changes in thyroid glands included increased density of small follicles and increased number of epithelial cells surrounding follicular lumens. The extent of morphologic changes in the thyroid gland was higher in cormorants captured from Tokyo Bay than in those captured from Lake Biwa. Increased thyroid change in cormorants from the Tokyo Bay area was associated with significantly higher levels of PCDFs and Co-PCBs. Thus, we suggest that morphologic changes in thyroid glands from the cormorants are associated with increased levels of dioxin contamination in Japan.

  20. Helminth parasites of the lesser great cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis from two nesting regions in the Czech Republic.

    PubMed

    Moravec, Frantisek; Scholz, Tomas

    2016-06-13

    Parasitological examinations of 102 specimens of the lesser great cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis (Blumenbach) from two nesting regions in the Czech Republic (South Bohemia and South Moravia) were carried out at the Institute of Parasitology, Czech Academy of Sciences (previously the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences) in the years 1987-1992. In them, a total of 19 species of helminth parasites was found, including Trematoda (11 species), Cestoda (2), Nematoda (4) and Acanthocephala (2), which can be divided into three main groups regarding their host specificity: parasites specific for cormorants (Phalacrocorax spp.) (37%), those parasitic mainly in cormorants (16%) and non-specific parasites (47%). Of the 19 species recorded, 100% were found in South Moravia, but only 47% of these 19 species in South Bohemia. The higher number of helminth species in cormorants from South Moravia and a higher proportion of non-specific species may be associated with the presence of the large Nové Mlýny water reservoir, in addition to better ecological and environmental conditions in this warmer region. Scanning electron microscopical examination of three common nematode species parasitising cormorants, Contracaecum rudolphii Hartwich, 1964, Desmidocercella incognita Solonitsin, 1932 and Syncuaria squamata (von Linstow, 1883), revealed some taxonomically important, previously unreported morphological features, such as the cephalic structures, numbers and distribution of male caudal papillae or the shapes of spicules.

  1. Screening of protozoan and microsporidian parasites in feces of great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo).

    PubMed

    Rzymski, Piotr; Słodkowicz-Kowalska, Anna; Klimaszyk, Piotr; Solarczyk, Piotr; Poniedziałek, Barbara

    2017-03-02

    The global population of great cormorants (Phalacrocorax carbo L.) is on the rise. These birds, characterized by rapid metabolism, can deposit large quantities of feces, and because they breed on the land but forage on water, both terrestrial and aquatic environments can be simultaneously affected by their activities. The contribution of great cormorants in the dispersal of bacterial and viral pathogens has been immensely studied; whereas, the occurrence of eukaryotic parasites such as protozoans and microsporidians in these birds is little known. The present study investigated the presence of dispersive stages of potentially zoonotic protozoans belonging to the genera Blastocystis, Giardia and Cryptosporidium, and Microsporidia spores in feces collected from birds inhabiting the breeding colony established at one lake island in Poland, Europe. The feces were examined by coprological techniques (staining with iron hematoxylin, Ziehl-Neelsen, and modified Weber's chromotrope 2R-based trichrome), and with immunofluorescence antibody MERIFLUOR Cryptosporidium/Giardia assay. As found, the Cryptosporidium oocysts were identified rarely in 8% of samples (2/25; 3-5 × 10(3)/g) and no cysts of Giardia and Blastocystis were detected. Microsporidian spores were detected in 4% of samples (1/25) but at very high frequency (4.3 × 10(4)/g). No dispersive stages of parasites were identified in water samples collected from the littoral area near the colony. Despite the profuse defecation of cormorants, their role in the dispersion of the investigated parasites may not be as high as hypothesized.

  2. Prey detection by great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis) in clear and in turbid water.

    PubMed

    Strod, Tamir; Izhaki, Ido; Arad, Zeev; Katzir, Gadi

    2008-03-01

    The scattering and absorption of light by water molecules and by suspended and dissolved matter (turbidity) degrade image transmission and, thus, underwater perception. We tested the effects on visual detection of prey size and distance (affecting apparent prey size) and of low-level water turbidity in hand-reared great cormorants (Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis) diving for natural prey (fish) in a forced-choice situation. The cormorants' detection of underwater prey relied on vision. The minimal tested subtending visual angle of the prey at detection ranged between approximately 34.2' (prey size constant; distance varied) and 9.5' (distance constant; prey size varied). For all tested distances (0.8-3.1 m) the mean detection success was significantly higher than the chance level. The probability of a correct choice declined significantly with increased distance, with Detection success=-0.034D+1.021 (where D is distance, r(2)=0.5, N=70, P<0.001). The combined effect of turbidity and distance on the probability of detection success was significant, with both variables having a negative effect: Detection success=-0.286D-0.224Tu+1.691 (where Tu is turbidity, r(2)=0.68, N=144, P<0.001). At prey detection threshold, the relationship between distance and turbidity was: D=3.79e(-4.55Tu). It is concluded that (i) the subtending angle of natural prey at detection was lower than that of resolution of square-wave, high-contrast grating and (ii) turbidity, at levels significantly lower than commonly used in behavioural experiments, had a pronounced effect on visually mediated behaviour patterns.

  3. Conspecific reproductive success affects age of recruitment in a great cormorant, Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis, colony.

    PubMed

    Frederiksen, M; Bregnballe, T

    2001-07-22

    Few studies have addressed the proximate factors affecting the age at which individuals of long-lived bird species are recruited into the breeding population. We use capture-recapture analysis of resightings of 16 birth cohorts of colour-ringed great cormorants, Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis, in a Danish colony to assess the evidence for two hypotheses: conspecific attraction (earlier recruitment when the colony is large) and conspecific reproductive success (earlier recruitment following years of high breeding success). For both males and females, conspecific reproductive success was the most important covariate explaining the interannual variation in age of recruitment; colony size was also important for females. These covariates explained nearly 60% of the year-to-year variation for both sexes. The age of recruitment increased for cohorts born after 1990, and this increase was correlated with a decline in breeding success in the colony; we interpret this as an indirect and delayed density-dependent effect. Females were recruited earlier than males (mean age of recruitment for cohorts born before 1990: 2.98 years versus 3.53 years); the most plausible reason for this is a skewed sex ratio in favour of males in the adult population. Recruitment of males may thus, to some extent, be constrained by the availability of females. This study provides the first evidence that conspecific reproductive success can affect the age at which individual birds start to breed.

  4. The subspecific origin of the inland breeding colonies of the cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo in Britain.

    PubMed

    Winney, B J; Litton, C D; Parkin, D T; Feare, C J

    2001-01-01

    The establishment of cormorant breeding colonies inland within south-east Britain since 1981 is a matter of major conservation and pest management concern. This study was initiated to investigate the subspecific origin of two recently established breeding colonies. The analysis examined sequence variation of the control (D-loop) region of the mitochondrial genome. Samples of tissue were obtained from 334 individuals from across the species range in western Europe from both subspecies (Phalacrocorax carbo carbo and P. c. sinensis) and 84 birds from two inland breeding colonies in Britain. Single-strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) was used to assess mitochondrial variation among samples, revealing four haplotypes. The samples from the traditional breeding colonies clustered into three distinct phylogeographic groupings: Norway-Scotland, Wales-England-Iles des Chausey and the rest of Continental Europe. These results only partly agree with the traditional subspecific taxonomic groupings and are slightly at variance with results using microsatellite DNA frequencies, and a hypothesis using results from both studies is advanced. The subspecific origin of the inland colonies was investigated using maximum likelihood and Bayesian models.

  5. Parasite communities of the neotropical cormorant Phalacrocorax brasilianus (Gmelin) (Aves, Phalacrocoracidae) from two coastal lagoons in Guerrero state, Mexico.

    PubMed

    Violante-González, Juan; Monks, Scott; Gil-Guerrero, Salvador; Rojas-Herrera, Agustín; Flores-Garza, Rafael; Larumbe-Morán, Edvino

    2011-11-01

    The parasite community structure of the neotropical cormorant, Phalacrocorax brasilianus, from two lagoons (Coyuca and Tres Palos) from Guerrero state, México, was examined. Fourteen species of adult helminths (6,391 individuals) from 48 cormorants were identified: 9 digeneans, 1 acanthocephalan, 1 cestode, and 3 nematodes. A total of 11 species were collected in Coyuca Lagoon and 12 in Tres Palos Lagoon. Nine species co-occurred in cormorants of both lagoons but, with the exception of Contracaecum multipapillatum and Drepanocephalus olivaceus, species were not equally common in both lagoons. The prevalence values of six species of helminth and the mean abundance of four species varied significantly between lagoons, and C. multipapillatum was numerically dominant in both lagoons. The qualitative similarity between the two communities at the component level was 64%. All cormorants examined were infected, and parasite species richness was 3-5 in Coyuca and 4-9 in Tres Palos lagoon. The results indicate that both communities presented a similar structure at the component level, probably because the cormorants of both lagoons feed on the same species of fish and thus acquire almost the same species of parasites. Differences observed at the infracommunity level were attributed to variations in the degree of dominance of the particular species.

  6. Hepatic ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase activity and inducibility in wild populations of double-crested cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus)

    SciTech Connect

    Davis, J.A.; Fry, D.M.; Wilson, B.W.

    1997-07-01

    Microplate fluorometric techniques were used to measure ethoxyresorufin O-deethylase (EROD) activity in hepatic microsomes and primary hepatocyte cultures from individual wild double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) embryos. Embryos were collected in 1993 and 1994 from Humboldt Bay and San Francisco Bay (CA, USA) and a reference site in coastal Oregon (USA). Median microsomal EROD activities in embryos collected from San Francisco Bay (in both 1993 and 1994) and from Humboldt Bay (1994) were four- to eightfold higher than the reference site median. This degree of induction suggests that cormorant embryos in the two California locations were exposed to concentrations of dioxin-like compounds that are at the threshold for toxic effects in this species. Substantial variation in the EROD response in cultured hepatocytes was observed between individuals, populations, and the two bird species tested (cormorants and chickens [Gallus gallus]). Although most of the cormorant individuals displayed a consistent dose-response profile, a few individuals were uninducible, showing no appreciable increase over basal activity with increasing dose of inducer. Composite dose-response curves for two cormorant colonies appeared to be divergent in spite of small sample sizes, indicating that inducibility can also vary at the population level. These observations suggest that considerable variability in pollutant metabolism and sensitivity associated with single enzyme systems may exist within wild populations and species.

  7. Thyroid lesions in the great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) of Niigata, central Japan: a possible association with dioxin accumulation.

    PubMed

    Chiba, Akira; Oguma, Kazuo; Hatakeyama, Hiroshi; Inomata, Katsuichi; Honma, Ryuhei

    2009-01-01

    Necropsy and histopathologic examination of three Great Cormorants (Phalacrocorax carbo) shot in Niigata, central Japan, revealed goitrous changes in the thyroids. Thyroids had a hypertrophic follicular epithelium, loss or deficiency of luminal colloid, occasional small follicles suggesting hyperplasia, and occasional collapsed follicles. Irregularly shaped follicles were frequent, and hyperemia, deposition of dark pigment, and sporadic lymphoid aggregates were also seen. Chemical analysis simultaneously conducted showed higher than normal levels of dioxins in the liver, muscle, and fat, i.e., polychlorinated dibenzo-dioxins, polychlorinated dibenzo-furans, and coplanar polychlorinated biphenyls. The present results, together with those of relevant previous studies, strongly suggest an association between these pollutants and thyroid lesions in the Great Cormorant.

  8. Capillariid nematodes (Nematoda: Capillariidae) parasitic in the common cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo), with redescription of Baruscapillaria carbonis (Dubinin et Dubinina, 1940).

    PubMed

    Frantová, D

    2001-01-01

    Two species of the genus Baruscapillaria Moravec, 1982 are known to parasitise the small intestine of the common cormorant, Phalacrocorax carbo (L.): Baruscapillaria carbonis (Dubinin et Dubinina, 1940) and B. rudolphii Moravec, Scholz et Nasincová, 1994. A redescription of the former species, based on specimens collected from common cormorants shot in South Bohemia, Czech Republic, is provided. Morphological features distinguishing B. carbonis and B. rudolphii are specified. B. carbonis is characterised mainly by the well-developed membranous bursa in the male, composed of five distinct lobes (four lateral and one spur-shaped dorsal); the length of the spicule is 1.9-2.3 mm; gravid females are provided with a long vulvar appendage. Males of B. rudolphii have reduced, bi-lobed membranous bursa and the spicule is 0.9-1.3 mm long; the vulvar appendage is absent in gravid females. This is the first record of B. carbon is in the Czech Republic.

  9. A new anisakid species parasitizing the imperial cormorant Phalacrocorax atriceps from the North Patagonian Coast, Argentina.

    PubMed

    Garbin, Lucas E; Diaz, Julia I; Cremonte, Florencia; Navone, Graciela T

    2008-08-01

    The anisakid species Contracaecum chubutensis n. sp. was found parasitizing the imperial cormorant Phalacrocorax atriceps at 2 different localities, Bahía Bustamante (45 degrees 11'S, 66 degrees 30'W) and Puerto Madryn (42 degrees 47'S, 65 degrees 02'W) on the Patagonian coast. Morphometrical analysis and further studies of adult specimens of C. chubutensis n. sp. and fourth-stage larvae of Contracaecum sp. were done using light and scanning electron microscopy. The possession and disposition of 7 pairs of tail papillae differentiate this new species from C. osculatum, C. radiatum, C. plagiaticium, and C. mirounga. Double-sized spicules separate it from C. variegatum and C. pelagicum. Moreover, the paracloacal papillae disposition and tail shape differentiate this new species from C. travassosi. The presence of bifurcated interlabia separate it from C. ogmorhini and C. margolisi. Three well-marked lip notches, a sharp tail shape, and the of the transversal paracloacal papillae disposition distinguishes C. chubutensis n. sp. from C. magnipapillatum and C. septentrionale. The species here described can be differentiated from C. caballeroi by its bifurcated interlabia, longer spicules, and for possessing more precloacal papillae pairs. It can be separated from C. rudolphii by a thinner interlabia at the base, deeper lip notches, a sharper tail, the disposition of transversal paracloacal papillae, and greater distance between both papillae of the first subventral distal papillae pair. In addition, fourth-stage larvae recovered from the same host and localities were identified and described as Contracaecum sp. Prevalence of adult parasites was 66.7 %, mean intensity was 4.0, and mean abundance was 7.1.

  10. Intersexual differences in the diving behaviour of foraging subantarctic cormorant (Phalacrocorax albiventer) and Japanese cormorant (P. filamentosus).

    PubMed

    Kato, A; Watanuki, Y; Shaughnessy, P; Le Maho, Y; Naito, Y

    1999-07-01

    Cormorants feed by feet-propelled diving. How cormorants optimize foraging is of a particular interest in relation to the understanding of the feeding strategies of diving birds, as well as within the debate about cormorants' impact on sustainable resources. Using microdata loggers that recorded diving depth, we investigated the foraging strategy of males and females of subantarctic cormorants, which inhabit cold regions, and of Japanese cormorants, which live in the northern temperate zone. For both species, males and females daily spent the same amount of time submerged, and apparently captured the same amount of fish. However, males dived deeper and longer, which could be explained by their 15-20% larger body mass and may minimize potential competition for food.

  11. Population biology of Contracaecum rudolphii sensu lato (Nematoda) in the great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) from northeastern Poland.

    PubMed

    Kanarek, Gerard

    2011-04-01

    Parameters related to the occurrence, aggregation, and population structure of the nematode Contracaecum rudolphii Hartwich, 1964 , in the great cormorant ( Phalacrocorax carbo ) from northeastern Poland were analyzed. A total of 491 birds of different ages (adults, immatures, and nestlings) was examined; the cormorants studied were taken from both fresh- and brackish water habitats. Contracaecum rudolphii were found in stomachs of 454 birds (92.5%); the 46,244 nematodes included third- (L3) and fourth-stage larvae (L4), and sub-adult and adult females and males. The distribution of nematodes in the host population were highly aggregated. The occurrence of C. rudolphii was significantly dependent on the host's age and habitat, as well as on season; the proportion of development stages differed significantly depending on birds' age and season (the latter only in adult birds). The infrapopulations of C. rudolphii in the adult cormorants showed distinct density-dependent correlations: that is, as the infrapopulation size increased, the number of adult females C. rudolphii decreased, and the proportion of larvae and sub-adult females increased. A higher proportion of larvae and sub-adult females characterized the component population structure of the nematodes in the cormorant nestlings, compared with adult birds, probably because of immune system deficiency in the immature birds, coupled with the development of the nematode population. Seasonal changes in the C. rudolphii population, observed in the adult cormorants, were not related to seasonality of the L3 occurrence in food; instead, the changes are believed to have resulted from independent processes of elimination of the oldest nematodes and their replacement by larval stages that subsequently matured.

  12. Space utilization by a cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo L.) colony in a multi-wetland complex in relation to feeding strategies.

    PubMed

    Paillisson, Jean-Marc; Carpentier, Alexandre; Le Gentil, Jérôme; Marion, Loïc

    2004-05-01

    In this study, we investigated the response of inland breeding cormorants Phalacrocorax carbo to a complex spatial configuration of feeding habitats in relation to social and individual feeding strategies. The numbers of feeding trips outside the colony site (Lake Grand-Lieu, western France), where only solitary fishing is used by cormorants, and the number of birds fishing on the lake where social fishing predominates were investigated during the breeding season and compared with the fledging period. From the investigation of feeding trip traffic, we identified three major habitats used by cormorants in the vicinity of the colony site (< 25 km around the colony site) that accounted for 94.1 of the IN flights and 92.0% of the OUT flights (n = 1745 arrivals and 2404 departures respectively), and notably one area that accounted for 58% of total flights although it is the furthest away. No fundamental change in the relative significance of these feeding grounds for solitary fishing cormorants was found throughout the breeding season, even in a between-years comparison (1996-2001), in contrast to what has often been found elsewhere. Although the peak of foraging activity in the surrounding habitats and also within the lake waters largely coincided with the time when the majority of young had fledged, the index of cormorant numbers (ratio between bird numbers at a given time and that for a baseline date) on the lake remained at a high level until late August compared to movements outside the lake, as a result of regular social fishing (84.9 +/- 4.0% of fishing numbers). From these findings, we discuss factors governing the selection of feeding grounds throughout the breeding season in relation to energy considerations, feeding strategies and food resources.

  13. Changes in forage fish community indicated by the diet of the Brandt's cormorant (Phalacrocorax penicillatus) in the central California Current

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elliott, Meredith L.; Bradley, Russell W.; Robinette, Dan P.; Jahncke, Jaime

    2015-06-01

    The population, productivity and diet of two Brandt's cormorant (Phalacrocorax penicillatus) colonies located in the central California Current were compared. The offshore colony on Southeast Farallon Island has experienced a declining population over time and anomalously low productivity in recent years. The nearshore colony near Point Arguello has been increasing and its productivity has remained stable. The diets of cormorants at the two colonies elucidated by analysis of regurgitated pellets, while different, have shown similar decreases in the consumption of northern anchovy (Engraulis mordax) since 2008, followed by increased consumption of rockfish (Sebastes spp.) and flatfish (order Pleuronectiformes). By using the diet results from another seabird nesting in central California, the rhinoceros auklet (Cerorhinca monocerata), and one from which whole fish can be obtained, we found that the rockfish species assemblage has changed with offshore rockfish species decreasing while nearshore ones have increased. This change in the rockfish species has negatively impacted Brandt's cormorants at the offshore colony by forcing them to make longer foraging trips to meet energy needs of themselves and their chicks; this has led to low breeding success and a declining population at this site. On the other hand, the nearshore colony has abundant nearby food resources, and it has prospered. These results underscore the value of using seabird data from multiple colonies to better understand changes occurring in the marine environment.

  14. Morphologic and molecular identifications of digenetic trematodes in double-crested cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus) from the Mississippi Delta, USA.

    PubMed

    O'Hear, Mary; Pote, Linda; Yost, Marlena; Doffitt, Cynthia; King, Tommy; Panuska, Carla

    2014-01-01

    Increasing numbers of Double-crested Cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus) in the Mississippi River Delta, USA, have been observed over the past few decades. This piscivorous bird is a definitive host for numerous digenetic trematodes, some of which may cause pathology in a fish host. We conducted a 2-yr survey of intestinal trematodes in 35 Double-crested Cormorants collected in the Mississippi Delta. We counted gastrointestinal trematodes, identified them to species using morphometric and molecular techniques, and sequenced the 18S and cytochrome oxidase I (COI) genes. We collected 4,909 trematodes, representing five digenetic species: Drepanocephalus spathans, Hysteromorpha triloba, Pseudopsilostoma varium, Austrodiplostomum ostrowskiae, and Ascocotyle longa. The most prevalent trematode of the Double-crested Cormorants was D. spathans (91%), followed by H. triloba (78%), P. varium (74%), A. ostrowskiae (57%), and A. longa (29%). Among these, the life cycles are only known for H. triloba and A. longa. Novel DNA sequences of the COI gene were obtained for D. spathans, A. ostrowskiae, P. varium, and A. longa adults. Using these DNA sequences, the identification and confirmation of the larval stages of these parasites in the fish and snail hosts will be possible.

  15. Exposure to Toxoplasma gondii in Galapagos Penguins (Spheniscus mendiculus) and flightless cormorants (Phalacrocorax harrisi) in the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador.

    PubMed

    Deem, Sharon L; Merkel, Jane; Ballweber, Lora; Vargas, F Hernan; Cruz, Marilyn B; Parker, Patricia G

    2010-07-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is one of the most common protozoan parasites of humans and warm-blooded animals. Members of the family Felidae are the only definitive hosts of this parasite and, thus, important in the epidemiology of the disease. Previous studies on Pacific islands have found T. gondii infections in a number of avian species where domestic cats (Felis catus) have been introduced. Little is known about T. gondii in the Galapagos Islands, although introduced domestic cats in the archipelago are known to be T. gondii antibody-positive. In this study, we quantified prevalence of antibody to T. gondii in two threatened avian marine species, Galapagos Penguins (Spheniscus mendiculus) and Flightless Cormorants (Phalacrocorax harrisi), and tested the hypothesis that this parasite is more prevalent on Isabela Island (with cats) than on Fernandina Island (without cats). Overall, antibody prevalence was 2.3% in both Galapagos Penguins and Flightless Cormorants from samples collected during 2003-2005, and in 2008. In Galapagos Penguins (n=298), a significantly higher antibody prevalence was found in penguins on Fernandina Island (free of cats) than on Isabela Island (with cats; Fisher's exact test; P=0.02). In Flightless Cormorants (n=258), there was a higher antibody prevalence in cormorants living on Isabela than on Fernandina, although this difference was not statistically significant (Fisher's; P=0.19). This study is the first to show exposure to T. gondii in endemic avian species in the Galapagos Islands, providing evidence for disease-related risks associated with the feral cat population in the archipelago. We provide possible explanations for these findings and recommendations for future studies towards a better understanding of the epidemiology of T. gondii in the Galapagos Islands.

  16. Accumulation of 20 elements in great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) and its main prey, common carp (Cyprinus carpio) and Prussian carp (Carassius gibelio).

    PubMed

    Skoric, Stefan; Visnjić-Jeftic, Zeljka; Jaric, Ivan; Djikanovic, Vesna; Mickovic, Branislav; Nikcevic, Miroslav; Lenhardt, Mirjana

    2012-06-01

    In this study, 20 heavy metals and trace elements (Al, As, B, Ba, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Hg, Li, Mg, Mn, Mo, Ni, Pb, Si, Se, Sr and Zn) were analyzed in different tissues (muscle, liver, intestine, feather and bone) of the great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) and in different tissues (muscle, liver, gills, kidney and gonad) of their main prey (common carp-Cyprinus carpio and Prussian carp-Carassius gibelio) during the nesting season. Cormorant and fish specimens were collected at the Ečka Fishing Farm (Serbia) and from the nearby river. Principal components analysis (PCA) showed that cormorant livers were differentiated from other four tissues by higher concentrations of Hg, Fe, Cu and Mo, feathers by higher concentrations of Al and Si, and bones by higher concentrations of Sr and Mg. Differentiation among the three age classes of cormorants was observed only with regard to elemental concentrations in their feathers: subadult cormorants were differentiated by higher Hg and Zn concentrations, while the adults were separated by higher concentrations of Fe. In comparison with their prey (common carp and Prussian carp) cormorants were differentiated by higher concentrations of Fe, Hg and Cu in the muscle. Toxic mercury concentrations above 4μgg(-1)dw were determined in the liver of juvenile cormorants, as well as in the liver and feathers of subadults. Hg concentrations were significantly correlated among all studied tissues. Cormorant had significantly higher concentrations of Fe and Hg in muscle and liver than two studied fish species.

  17. Purification, crystallization, preliminary X-ray diffraction and molecular-replacement studies of great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) haemoglobin.

    PubMed

    Jagadeesan, G; Malathy, P; Gunasekaran, K; Harikrishna Etti, S; Aravindhan, S

    2014-11-01

    Haemoglobin is the iron-containing oxygen-transport metalloprotein that is present in the red blood cells of all vertebrates. In recent decades, there has been substantial interest in attempting to understand the structural basis and functional diversity of avian haemoglobins. Towards this end, purification, crystallization, preliminary X-ray diffraction and molecular-replacement studies have been carried out on cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) haemoglobin. Crystals were grown by the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion method using PEG 3350, NaCl and glycerol as precipitants. The crystals belonged to the trigonal system P3₁21, with unit-cell parameters a=b=55.64, c=153.38 Å, β=120.00°; a complete data set was collected to a resolution of 3.5 Å. Matthews coefficient analysis indicated that the crystals contained a half-tetramer in the asymmetric unit.

  18. Helminth parasitism in the Neotropical cormorant, Phalacrocorax brasilianus, in southern Brazil: effect of host size, weight, sex, and maturity state.

    PubMed

    Monteiro, Cassandra M; Amato, José F R; Amato, Suzana B

    2011-09-01

    Forty-seven specimens of Neotropical cormorants, Phalacrocorax brasilianus, from Lago Guaíba, Guaíba, State of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil (30° 00' S, 51°15' W), were examined for helminth parasites between 1999 and 2003. Twenty species of helminth parasites were found: ten digeneans: Austrodiplostomum mordax, Austrodiplostomum compactum, Clinostomum sp., Drepanocephalus olivaceus, Drepanocephalus spathans, Hysteromorpha triloba, Ignavia olivacei, Paryphostomum segregatum, Prosthogonimus ovatus, and Ribeiroia ondatrae; one cestode: Paradilepis caballeroi; eight nematodes: Contracaecum rudolphii, Eucoleus contortus, Eustrongylides sp., Ornithocapillaria appendiculata, Syngamus sp., Syncuaria squamata, Tetrameres (Gynaecophila) sp., and one undetermined capillariid (genus and species); and one acanthocephalan: Andracantha tandemtesticulata. The length and weight of male and female birds, as well as their sexual maturity (juvenile or adult), did not show significant difference regarding the helminth fauna; the standard length did not influence the helminth parasite indices. The prevalence of I. olivacei was higher in larger birds while the intensity of infection by this digenean species was higher in females. The abundance of P. caballeroi was higher in male birds. A. mordax and H. triloba showed higher prevalence and abundance in juvenile hosts, while O. appendiculata was more abundant in juveniles. The remaining species did not have their parasite indices influenced by the host parameters studied. The present work records the richest helminth fauna for any bird of the genus Phalacrocorax and is the first study to evaluate the influence of length, weight, sex, and maturity state on parasitism.

  19. Purification, crystallization, preliminary X-ray diffraction and molecular-replacement studies of great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) haemoglobin

    SciTech Connect

    Jagadeesan, G.; Malathy, P.; Gunasekaran, K.; Harikrishna Etti, S.; Aravindhan, S.

    2014-10-25

    The great cormorant hemoglobin has been isolated, purified and crystallized and the three dimensional structure is solved using molecular replacement technique. Haemoglobin is the iron-containing oxygen-transport metalloprotein that is present in the red blood cells of all vertebrates. In recent decades, there has been substantial interest in attempting to understand the structural basis and functional diversity of avian haemoglobins. Towards this end, purification, crystallization, preliminary X-ray diffraction and molecular-replacement studies have been carried out on cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) haemoglobin. Crystals were grown by the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion method using PEG 3350, NaCl and glycerol as precipitants. The crystals belonged to the trigonal system P3{sub 1}21, with unit-cell parameters a = b = 55.64, c = 153.38 Å, β = 120.00°; a complete data set was collected to a resolution of 3.5 Å. Matthews coefficient analysis indicated that the crystals contained a half-tetramer in the asymmetric unit.

  20. Population-level ecological risk assessment of planar polychlorinated aromatic hydrocarbons in great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) around Tokyo Bay, Japan.

    PubMed

    Murata, Mariko; Masunaga, Shigeki; Nakanishi, Junko

    2003-10-01

    Assessment of population-level ecological risk posed by planar polychlorinated aromatic hydrocarbons (p-PCAHs; including polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins, polychlorinated dibenzofurans, and dioxintike polychlorinated biphenyls) in sediment of Tokyo Bay (Japan) and rivers via fish ingestion to the great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) population was conducted by means of a probabilistic approach. Population decline risk was used as an indicator of population-level effects and compared with other indicators of effects. The increment of egg mortality risk posed by current p-PCAH levels was estimated to be 11.7%. This risk was interpreted in terms of both the increase of the risk of population decline in a 10-year period on a recently abundant cormorant population, and the reduction in population growth rate (r). Population decline risks of 20% and below were estimated to be 16% for the reference population and 32% for the exposed population, whereas the reduction in r was estimated to be 10%. The risk expressed in terms of population viability is a more susceptible measure and a more easily understandable indicator than both egg mortality risk as an individual-level risk and the reduction in r. Translating the effects due to pollutants into the risk on population viability will make ecological risk assessment more conductive to risk management.

  1. Double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) nesting effects on understory composition and diversity on island ecosystems in Lake Erie.

    PubMed

    McGrath, Darby M; Murphy, Stephen D

    2012-08-01

    The context for this study is the management concerns over the severity and extent of the impact of cormorants on island flora in the recent past on Lake Erie islands. Accordingly, this study sought to quantify the nesting colonies' influence on coarse woody litter and how nest densities and litter depth may influence the herbaceous layer, the seed bank composition and viability across the extent of three Lake Erie islands. The data for this study were collected from 2004 to 2008 on East Sister Island and Middle Island using two main strategies. First, herbaceous layer surveys, cormorant nest counts, soil seed bank cores, and litter depth measurements were executed using a plotless-point quarter method to test island-wide impacts from nesting activities (data were also collected on a third island, West Sister Island as a reference for the other two islands). Secondly, a sub-sample of the entire plot set was examined in particularly high nesting density areas for two islands (Middle Island and East Sister Island). Kruskal-Wallis tests indicated that there are subtle changes in the herbaceous diversity (total, native and exotic) and seed bank composition across the islands. The sub sample set of the plots demonstrated that Phalacrocorax auritus nest density does influence litter depth, herbaceous species abundance and diversity. Cormorant nesting pressures are restricted to areas of high nesting pressures and competition. However, there remains a risk to the interior herbaceous layer of the island if the effects of nesting pressures at the edges advance inward from this perimeter.

  2. Double-Crested Cormorant ( Phalacrocorax auritus) Nesting Effects on Understory Composition and Diversity on Island Ecosystems in Lake Erie

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McGrath, Darby M.; Murphy, Stephen D.

    2012-08-01

    The context for this study is the management concerns over the severity and extent of the impact of cormorants on island flora in the recent past on Lake Erie islands. Accordingly, this study sought to quantify the nesting colonies' influence on coarse woody litter and how nest densities and litter depth may influence the herbaceous layer, the seed bank composition and viability across the extent of three Lake Erie islands. The data for this study were collected from 2004 to 2008 on East Sister Island and Middle Island using two main strategies. First, herbaceous layer surveys, cormorant nest counts, soil seed bank cores, and litter depth measurements were executed using a plotless-point quarter method to test island-wide impacts from nesting activities (data were also collected on a third island, West Sister Island as a reference for the other two islands). Secondly, a sub-sample of the entire plot set was examined in particularly high nesting density areas for two islands (Middle Island and East Sister Island). Kruskal-Wallis tests indicated that there are subtle changes in the herbaceous diversity (total, native and exotic) and seed bank composition across the islands. The sub sample set of the plots demonstrated that Phalacrocorax auritus nest density does influence litter depth, herbaceous species abundance and diversity. Cormorant nesting pressures are restricted to areas of high nesting pressures and competition. However, there remains a risk to the interior herbaceous layer of the island if the effects of nesting pressures at the edges advance inward from this perimeter.

  3. Accumulation of Mercury in The Tissues of the Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) From Common Carp.

    PubMed

    Kral, Tomas; Blahova, Jana; Doubkova, Veronika; Farkova, Dagmar; Vecerek, Vladimir; Svobodova, Zdenka

    2017-02-01

    The aim of this work is to assess mercury content in the great cormorant in the Třeboň region pond systems (Czech Republic) in terms of its potential to accumulate mercury from common carp. Selected tissues samples were taken from 51 cormorants and 30 common carp. In the food chain the cormorant was found to have the potential to accumulate mercury, where the muscle total mercury was roughly 35 times higher compared to the total mercury content in the carp muscle as its food. A statistically significantly higher overall mercury content (p < 0.01) has been found in the kidney and liver (2.23 ± 0.30, 2.12 ± 0.22 mg/kg) compared to other tissues examined in cormorants. The proportion of muscle methylmercury in the total mercury content of the cormorant was within the range 64.3%-87.3%. The results can help us to gain a better understanding of how mercury is distributed and accumulated in the aquatic food chain.

  4. Biological effects of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins, dibenzofurans, and biphenyls in double-crested cormorant chicks (Phalacrocorax auritus).

    PubMed

    Sanderson, J T; Norstrom, R J; Elliott, J E; Hart, L E; Cheng, K M; Bellward, G D

    1994-02-01

    The present project assessed the effect of environmental contamination with polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs), dibenzofurans (PCDFs), and biphenyls (PCBs) on hepatic microsomal ethoxyresorufin O-deethylase (EROD) activities and morphological parameters in matched double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) hatchlings from egg clutches chosen for chemical analysis. Double-crested cormorant eggs were collected from five colonies across Canada, with differing levels of contamination. Levels of contamination expressed in sum of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin-toxic equivalents (TCDD-toxic equivalents or TEQ, ng/kg egg; mean +/- SEM) were: Saskatchewan, 250 +/- 50; Chain Islands, 672 +/- 73; Christy Islet, 276 +/- 14; Crofton, 131, n = 1; and Lake Ontario, 1606 +/- 118. In the hatchlings, hepatic EROD activities (pmol/min/mg protein; mean +/- SEM) were: Saskatchewan, 283 +/- 42; Chain Islands, 516 +/- 98; Christy Islet, 564 +/- 91; Crofton, 391 +/- 52; and Lake Ontario, 2250 +/- 156. Hepatic microsomal EROD activity (pmol/min/mg protein) regressed positively on TEQ (r2 = .69; p < .00005; n = 25). Yolk weight (g) regressed negatively on TEQ (r2 = .44; p = .00005). Wing length (mm) regressed negatively on PCB-169 (r2 = .28; p = .007). Monospecific antibodies raised against rat cytochrome P-450 1A1 recognized a protein in the hepatic microsomes of the double-crested cormorant, and also in those of the great blue heron (Ardea herodias), using immunoblotting. The intensity of the stained band increased with increased EROD activity, supporting the assumption that ethoxyresorufin is a suitable substrate for avian cytochrome P-450 1A1. These results validate the use of avian hepatic microsomal EROD activity as an index of cytochrome P-450 1A1 induction by environmental levels of polychlorinated aromatic hydrocarbons and as a useful screening tool to determine the extent of exposure to such chemicals. Furthermore, the induction of cytochrome P-450 1A1 observed

  5. Brominated organic contaminants in the liver and egg of the common cormorants (Phalacrocorax carbo) from Japan.

    PubMed

    Watanabe, Kiyohiko; Senthilkumar, Kurunthachalam; Masunaga, Shigeki; Takasuga, Takumi; Iseki, Naomasa; Morita, Masatoshi

    2004-08-01

    The contamination profiles of brominated flame retardants (BFRs) such as polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), biphenyls (PBBs), dibenzo-p-dioxins (PBDDs), and dibenzofurans (PBDFs) were determined in the liver and egg of common cormorants from Japan. PBDEs and PBBs were detected in all the samples; especially the former were detected at elevated levels. PBDDs/PBDFs were also detected in cormorants, albeit the concentrations were lower than those of the PBBs. The total concentration of PBDEs ranged from 330 to 2600 in the liver and from 600 to 3300 in the egg on a nanogram per gram of lipid basis. The concentration of PBBs was in the range from 3.0 to 33 (in the liver) and from 3.4 to 82 (in the egg) on a nanogram per gram of lipid basis. The 2,2',4,4',5,5'-hexabromobiphenyl (BB-153) was the most predominant PBB congener in either organ, which corresponds to a major constituent of the BFR FireMaster BP-6. Concentrations of PBDDs/ PBDFs in the liver (range from 21 to 470) were slightly higher than in the egg (range from 31 to 160) on a picogram per gram of lipid basis. The results of this study imply that common cormorants accumulate a high level of PBDEs and PBBs. Comparing the concentrations of brominated organic compounds with those of chlorinated analogues, good relevance between PBBs and coplanar PCBs (r2 = 0.746 [liver] and 0.715 [egg]) was elucidated. To our knowledge, the present study demonstrates the first report of PBDEs, PBBs, and PBDDs/PBDFs in the common cormorant from Japan.

  6. Spatial and temporal patterns of avian paramyxovirus-1 outbreaks in Double-Crested Cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus) in the USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    White, C. LeAnn; Ip, Hon S.; Meteyer, Carol U.; Walsh, Daniel P.; Hall, Jeffrey S.; Carstensen, Michelle; Wolf, Paul C.

    2014-01-01

    Morbidity and mortality events caused by avian paramyxovirus-1 (APMV-1) in Double-crested Cormorant (DCCO; Phalacrocorax auritus) nesting colonies in the US and Canada have been sporadically documented in the literature. We describe APMV-1 associated outbreaks in DCCO in the US from the first reported occurrence in 1992 through 2012. The frequency of APMV-1 outbreaks has increased in the US over the last decade, but the majority of events have continued to occur in DCCO colonies in the Midwestern states. Although morbidity and mortality in conesting species has been frequently reported during DCCO APMV-1 outbreaks, our results suggest that isolation of APMV-1 is uncommon in species other than DCCO during APMV-1 outbreaks and that the cause of mortality in other species is associated with other pathogens. Populations of DCCO do not appear to have been significantly affected by this disease; however, because at least 65% of the APMV-1 outbreaks in DCCO in the US have involved APMV-1 strains classified as virulent to poultry (virulent Newcastle disease virus), its persistence and increased occurrence in DCCO warrants continued research and surveillance.

  7. Intra- and interspecific density-dependent effects on growth in helminth parasites of the cormorant, Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis.

    PubMed

    Dezfuli, B S; Volponi, S; Beltrami, I; Poulin, R

    2002-05-01

    The action of intra- and interspecific competition, mediated by density-dependent effects on growth, was investigated among the 3 helminth species found in the alimentary tract of 104 cormorants, Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis. Intraspecific density-dependent effects on worm sizes were observed in the abundant nematode Contracaecum rudolphii, as shown by a negative correlation between mean worm size and intensity of infection. Higher intensities of infection by C. rudolphii were also associated with more variable worm sizes in the nematode Syncuaria squamata, suggesting a one-sided and density-dependent interspecific effect. There was also clear evidence of some form of negative interaction between the nematode S. squamata and the acanthocephalan Southwellina hispida from two fronts. First, there was a strong negative correlation between the intensities of infection of the 2 species across hosts. Second, sizes of worms of 1 species became more variable as the number of worms of the other species per host increased, and vice versa. This interspecific density-dependent effect on growth was thus apparently symmetrical. We also found evidence that worm size is a predictor of egg output in the 3 helminth species, indicating that intra- and interspecific density-dependent effects on growth can affect population dynamics in these worms. These results illustrate the complex nature of density dependence in helminth growth, and how its effects can act both within and among species.

  8. Cardiac responses to first ever submergence in double-crested cormorant chicks (Phalacrocorax auritus).

    PubMed

    Enstipp, M R; Andrews, R D; Jones, D R

    1999-12-01

    Heart rates were recorded from double-crested cormorant chicks during their first ever and subsequent voluntary head submergences and dives, as well as during longer dives made after the chicks were accustomed to diving. Despite variation between chicks, the cardiac response to first ever and subsequent voluntary submergence (head submergences and dives) was similar to the response observed in adult cormorants. Upon submersion the heart rate fell rapidly when pre-submersion heart rate was high (325-350 beats min-1). The heart rate established within the first second of voluntary submergence was between 230 and 285 beats min-1, well above resting heart rate (143 beats min-1). The same initial cardiac response occurred during longer dives performed after the chicks were accustomed to diving. In these dives the heart rate remained at the level established on submersion, unlike the response observed in shallow diving adult cormorants in which the heart rate declined throughout the dive. The heart rate was also monitored in a separate group of chicks in which the first exposure to water was during whole body forced submergence. Again, the observed response was similar to the adult response, although the cardiac response of chicks to forced submergence was more extreme than to voluntary submergence. Our results do not support the hypothesis that learning (by conditioning or habituation) is involved in the cardiac adjustments to voluntary submergence. It is suggested that the initial cardiac adjustments are reflex in nature and this reflex is fully developed by the first submergence event. Although the nature of this reflex pathway is obscure, cessation of breathing before submersion and the close linkage between breathing and heart rate might provide a plausible mechanism.

  9. Interspecific interactions, habitat use, and management of double-crested cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus) in the Laurentian Great Lakes: An introduction

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stapanian, Martin A.

    2002-01-01

    The collection of seven papers in this journal issue represents a subset of the presentations from a special session at the 44th Annual Conference of the International Association for Great Lakes Research. The session, 'Management of the Double-crested Cormorant in the Laurentian Great Lakes Region,' was held on 12 June 2001 and contained 18 presentations. Topics included cormorant-fish interactions, effects of cormorant nesting on colonies of other waterbirds, cormorant population dynamics, habitat use by foraging cormorants, evaluation of management techniques, and policy and conflict assessment on cormorant-related issues. The collection is organized into four basic topics: management of populations, effects of cormorants on other colonial waterbirds, foraging habitats of cormorants, and effects of cormorants on fisheries. A primary objective of this collection is to provide information and useful tools for managing cormorants in the Great Lakes.

  10. Digenean fauna of the great cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis (Blumenbach, 1798) in the brackish waters of the Vistula Lagoon and the Gulf of Gdańsk (Poland).

    PubMed

    Kanarek, Gerard; Sitko, Jilji; Rolbiecki, Leszek; Rokicki, Jerzy

    2003-01-01

    The great cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis (Blumenbach, 1798) is one of the most important birds in the Vistula Lagoon and the Gulf of Gdańsk area. As a typical piscivore, the bird plays a significant part in life cycles of parasites in aquatic ecosystems. Within January 2000-June 2001, a complete helminthological examination was performed on great cormorants collected in the nesting area at Katy Rybackie on the Vistula Spit (80 specimens) and in the Vistula Lagoon (10 specimens). The infection prevalence, mean intensity, and intensity range were 92.2%, 376.5, and 1-4524, respectively. The presence of 9 digenean species (Paryphostomum radiatum (Dujardin, 1845), Petasiger exaeretus Dietz, 1909, P. phalacrocoracis (Yamaguti, 1939), Mesorchis pseudoechinatus (Olsson, 1876), Metorchis xanthosomus (Creplin, 1846), Cryptocotyle concavum (Creplin, 1825), Hysteromorpha triloba (Rudolphi, 1819), Tylodelphys clavata (Nordmann, 1832), and Holostephanus dubinini Vojtek et Vojtkova, 1968) was recorded, P. phalacrocoracis being the most common parasite (prevalence 92.2%, mean intensity 323.8). Tylodelplhys clavata proved a parasite new for the great cormorant moreover the records of P. phalacrocoracis, H. triloba, and H. dubinini are the first in Poland, while C. concavum and M. pseudoechinatus were for the first time recorded in the great cormorant in Poland.

  11. Biochemical and toxic effects of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs) and dibenzofurans (PCDFs) in the cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) after in ovo exposure

    SciTech Connect

    Berg, M. Van Den; Craane, B.L.H.J.; Sinnige, T. . Research Inst. of Toxicology)

    1994-05-01

    Ecological investigation revealed differences in breeding success of cormorants (Phalacrocorax carbo) between two colonies in the Netherlands. In this study the possible role of organohalogen pollutants was investigated. Thirty-nine cormorant eggs were collected from two colonies with marked differences in contamination. Seventeen cormorant eggs were hatched in an incubator. The respiration rate was monitored regularly during the incubation. Hatchlings were euthanized at day 1. Several morphological parameters were measured. PCBs and polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs) and dibenzofurans (PCDFs) were analyzed in the yolk sac. Blood and liver were collected for analysis of cytochrome P450, ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylation (EROD) and pentoxyresorufin-O-depentylation (PROD) activities, vitamin A, and thyroid hormone levels. Residue levels differed two- to five-fold for PCBs and 25% for PCDDs and PCDFs between both colonies. Birds from the most contaminated colony showed an increase in ovo respiration rate, increased cytochrome P450 and EROD activity, and reduced plasma thyroid hormone and hepatic retinyl palmitate levels. Large interindividual differences were observed for all parameters. The data were compared on an individual basis (n = 17) to detect any concentration-effect relationships. Significant concentration-effect relationships were observed for EROD induction, plasma free thyroxine reduction, yolk sac weight, relative liver weight, and head size. It is concluded these compounds may, at least in part, have played a role in the observed low breeding success of cormorants.

  12. Prospecting enhances breeding success of first-time breeders in the great cormorant, Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis.

    PubMed

    Schjørring; Gregersen; Bregnballe

    1999-03-01

    In many species of colonial seabirds, young birds visit colonies in the years before they start breeding. This prospecting behaviour may allow them to obtain information that could enhance their future breeding success. We examined the reproductive consequences of prospecting behaviour in the colonial great cormorant, and found support for this idea. New breeders that had been prospecting actively in the previous year obtained breeding sites of higher quality (i.e. closer to sites where conspecifics had fledged young in the previous year) and had higher breeding success than those that had been less active. Prospecting occurred mostly late in the breeding season, and coincided with the time when the majority of the eggs had hatched but before the chicks started fledging, that is, when breeding success in the colony reflected habitat suitability. These results are thus consistent with the use of conspecific reproductive performance as a cue for the quality of a breeding habitat as expected from the 'performance-based conspecific attraction hypothesis'. Copyright 1999 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour.

  13. Development of methods for avian oil toxicity studies using the double crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus).

    PubMed

    Cunningham, Fred; Dean, Karen; Hanson-Dorr, Katie; Harr, Kendal; Healy, Kate; Horak, Katherine; Link, Jane; Shriner, Susan; Bursian, Steven; Dorr, Brian

    2017-03-24

    Oral and external dosing methods replicating field exposure were developed using the double crested cormorant (DCCO) to test the toxicity of artificially weathered Deepwater Horizon Mississippi Canyon 252 oil. The majority of previous oil dosing studies conducted on wild-caught birds used gavage methods to dose birds with oil and determine toxicity. However, rapid gut transit time of gavaged oil likely reduces oil absorption. In the present studies, dosing relied on injection of oil into live feeder fish for oral dosing of these piscivorous birds, or applying oil to body contour feathers resulting in transdermal oil exposure and oral exposure through preening. Both oral and external oil dosing studies identified oil-related toxicity endpoints associated with oxidative stress such as hemolytic anemia, liver and kidney damage, and immuno-modulation or compromise. External oil application allowed for controlled study of thermoregulatory stress as well. Infrared thermal images indicated significantly greater surface temperatures and heat loss in treated birds following external oil applications; however, measurements collected by coelomically implanted temperature transmitters showed that internal body temperatures were stable over the course of the study period. Birds exposed to oil externally consumed more fish than control birds, indicating metabolic compensation for thermal stress. Conversely, birds orally dosed with oil experienced hypothermia and consumed less fish compared to control birds.

  14. Reproductive success, developmental anomalies and environmental contaminants in double-crested cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Larson, J.M.; Karasov, W.H.; Sileo, L.; Stromborg, K.L.; Hanbidge, B.A.; Giesy, J.P.; Jones, P.D.; Tillitt, D.E.; Verbrugge, D.A.

    1996-01-01

    To test an association between environmental contaminants and the prevalence of congenital anomalies in colonial waterbirds, we collected representative eggs for chemical analysis from double-crested cormorant nests at colonies in Lake Michigan, Wisconsin, USA, and Lake Winnipegosis, Manitoba, Canada, and periodically revisited the nests to determine the hatching success, survivorship of hatchlings, and number of deformed hatchlings in the remainder of each clutch. Total concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in eggs were determined by capillary gas chromatography. The combined activity of planar chlorinated hydrocarbons (PCHs) in the eggs was measured in an in vitro bioassay based on the induction of ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase (EROD) activity in rat hepatoma cells. The combined EROD induction activity was expressed as 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin equivalents (TCDD-EQ). Total concentrations of PCBs and TCDD-EQ were seven to eight times greater in eggs from Lake Michigan (7.8 μg/g and 138 pg/g, respectively) than in those from Lake Winnipegosis (1.0 μg/g and 19 pg/g, respectively). The proportion of eggs hatching at the Lake Michigan colony (59%) was less (p < 0.05) than at Lake Winnipegosis (70%), and the prevalence of hatchlings with deformed bills was greater (p < 0.001) at Lake Michigan (0.79 vs. 0.06%). However, within the Lake Michigan colony, concentrations of PCBs and TCDD-EQ were not correlated with either hatching success or the occurrence of deformities in nestlings.

  15. Reproductive success, developmental anomalies, and environmental contaminants in double-crested cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus)

    SciTech Connect

    Larson, J.M.; Karasov, W.H.; Sileo, L.; Stromborg, K.L.; Giesy, J.P.; Jones, P.D.; Tillitt, D.E.; Verbrugge, D.A.; Hanbidge, B.A.

    1996-04-01

    To test an association between environmental contaminants and the prevalence of congenital anomalies in colonial waterbirds, the authors collected representative eggs for chemical analysis from double-crested cormorant nests at colonies in Lake Michigan, Wisconsin, USA, and Lake Winnipegosis, Manitoba, Canada, and periodically revisited the nests to determine the hatching success, survivorship of hatchlings, and number of deformed hatchlings in the remainder of each clutch. Total concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in eggs were determined by capillary gas chromatography. The combined activity of planar chlorinated hydrocarbons (PCHs) in the eggs was measured in an in vitro bioassay based on the induction of ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase (EROD) activity in rat hepatoma cells. The combined EROD induction activity was expressed as 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin equivalents (TCDD-EQ). Total concentrations of PCBs and TCDD-EQ were seven to eight times greater in eggs from Lake Michigan (7.8 {micro}g/g and 138 pg/g, respectively) than in those from Lake Winnipegosis (1.0 {micro}g/g and 19 pg/g, respectively). The proportion of eggs hatching at the Lake Michigan colony (59%) was less (p < 0.05) than at Lake Winnipegosis (70%), and the prevalence of hatchlings with deformed bills was greater (p < 0.001) at Lake Michigan (0.79 vs. 0.06%). However, within the Lake Michigan colony, concentrations of PCBs and TCDD-EQ were not correlated with either hatching success or the occurrence of deformities in nestlings.

  16. Perfluoroalkylphosphinic Acids in Northern Pike (Esox lucius), Double-Crested Cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus), and Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Relation to Other Perfluoroalkyl Acids.

    PubMed

    De Silva, Amila O; Spencer, Christine; Ho, Ki Chung D; Al Tarhuni, Mohammed; Go, Christopher; Houde, Magali; de Solla, Shane R; Lavoie, Raphael A; King, Laura E; Muir, Derek C G; Fair, Patricia A; Wells, Randall S; Bossart, Gregory D

    2016-10-18

    Perfluoroalkyl phosphinic acids (PFPIAs) are perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) that are used for their surfactant properties in a variety of applications, resulting in their presence in environmental waters; however, they have not been widely studied in biota. A survey of PFPIAs was conducted in fish, dolphins, and birds from various locations in North America. Northern pike (Esox lucius) were collected at two locations in 2011 near Montréal Island in the St. Lawrence River, Canada, double-crested cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus) were collected from bird colonies in the Great Lakes in 2010-2012, and bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from Sarasota Bay, FL and Charleston Harbor, SC were sampled in 2004-2009. PFPIAs had a detection frequency of 100% in all animals. This is the first report of PFPIAs in fish, dolphin, and bird plasma. Total PFPIA levels (mean ± standard deviation, 1.87 ± 2.17 ng/g wet weight (ww), range of 0.112-15.3 ng/g ww) were 1-2 orders of magnitude lower than those of perfluoroalkyl carboxylates (PFCA) and perfluoroalkanesulfonates (PFSA) in the same samples. The predominant congeners were 6:8 PFPIA (cormorants and pike) and 6:6 PFPIA (dolphins). Total PFPIAs in cormorants from Hamilton Harbour (5.02 ± 2.80 ng/g ww) were statistically higher than in other areas and taxonomic groups. The ubiquity of PFPIAs warrants further research on sources and effects of these unique compounds.

  17. Developmental toxicity of PFOS and PFOA in great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis), herring gull (Larus argentatus) and chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus).

    PubMed

    Nordén, Marcus; Berger, Urs; Engwall, Magnus

    2016-06-01

    Perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) are found globally in environmental samples and have been studied in various species. In this study, we compare the sensitivity of three avian species to the toxic effects of perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoate (PFOA). Eggs of great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis), herring gull (Larus argentatus) and the domestic White Leghorn chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus) were exposed in ovo by injection into the air sac. Effects on embryo survival were observed following exposure to PFOS and PFOA in chicken and herring gull. Chicken was found to be the most sensitive species with 50 % reduced embryo survival at 8.5 μg/g egg for PFOS and 2.5 μg/g egg for PFOA. Cormorant was shown to be the least sensitive species. The difference in sensitivity between chicken and herring gull was a factor of 2.7 for PFOS and 3.5 for PFOA. Between chicken and great cormorant, the sensitivity difference was 2.6 for PFOS and 8.2 for PFOA. Effects on embryo survival were seen at egg injection doses of PFOS close to levels found in environmental samples from wild birds, indicating that PFOS could be having effects in highly exposed populations of birds. This study also shows that there are differences in species sensitivity to PFOS and PFOA that should be taken into consideration in avian wildlife risk assessment.

  18. The genetic structure of hypoderatid mites (Actinotrichida: Astigmata) parasitizing great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) during host post-breeding dispersal in Milicz, SW Poland.

    PubMed

    Szudarek, Natalia; Kanarek, Gerard; Dabert, Jacek

    2017-03-01

    The astigmatid family Hypoderatidae includes over 80 mite species exhibiting peculiar life cycle. Deutonymphs are parasitic instars inhabiting subcutaneous or visceral tissues of birds and rodents, while all other instars are nidicolous forms. In this study we investigated genetic diversity of deutonymphs of two hypoderatid species, Neottialges evansi and Phalacrodectes gaudi, collected from 16 individuals of the great cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo in SW Poland during host post-breeding dispersal. The initial alternative hypotheses were: (1) populations of deutonymphs in both mite species found in tissues of particular bird individuals form genetically distinct populations, (2) mites are panmictic among hosts. The topologies of NJ phylogenetic trees and median-joining haplotype networks reconstructed for COI haplotypes revealed lack of hostdependent genetic structure in populations of N. evansi and P. gaudi. Furthermore, high haplotype diversity (Hd) and low nucleotide diversity (Pi) prove high genetic differentiation of both mite species. We concluded, that unlimited dispersal of mites among cormorant specimens could be explained by host specific breeding behavior: free mating between cormorants originating from different European populations and low contribution of reunited pairs in breeding colonies in subsequent breeding seasons, reuse of the same nest material by different members of the colony, and host behavior called prospecting.

  19. The influence of geographical location, host maturity and sex on intestinal helminth communities of the double-crested cormorant Phalacrocorax auritus from the eastern United States.

    PubMed

    Sheehan, K L; Hanson-Dorr, K C; Dorr, B S; Yarrow, G K; Johnson, R J

    2016-09-28

    Here the intestinal helminth infracommunities of 218 double-crested cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus) from 11 locations in Alabama, Minnesota, Mississippi and Vermont are documented. Trematode infections were present in 98% of hosts; 65% of cormorants carried cestode infections, 4% were infected with acanthocephalans and 66% had nematode intestinal parasites. Parasite infracommunities of hosts collected on wintering grounds had higher richness and diversity than did birds collected on breeding grounds. Differences in parasite richness and diversity between male and female P. auritus were also detected, but not between immature and mature bird hosts. Parasite intensity did not differ by sex, maturity, or between breeding and wintering season. The most common parasite was Drepanocephalus auritus (spathans), which is recognized as a disease agent that negatively impacts the catfish aquaculture industry in the US. Echinochasmus sp. in double-crested cormorants is documented for the first time in the United States. We suggest that the differences observed among parasite infracommunities could be associated with the foraging distances travelled by P. auritus during breeding and wintering seasons, which is limited by allocation of parental care during the breeding season.

  20. Sex differences in the accumulation of chlorinated dioxins in the cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo): implication of hepatic sequestration in the maternal transfer.

    PubMed

    Kubota, Akira; Yoneda, Kumiko; Tanabe, Shinsuke; Iwata, Hisato

    2013-07-01

    This study focuses on gender-specific accumulation features of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/DFs) and dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (DL-PCBs) in common (great) cormorants (Phalacrocorax carbo) collected from Lake Biwa, Japan. Male cormorants showed a tendency to have higher levels of PCDD/DFs and DL-PCBs than did females. For PCDDs, the male-to-female concentration ratio (M/F ratio) for each congener significantly decreased with the liver-to-muscle concentration ratio (Li/Mu ratio). For PCDFs, there also was a weak negative relationship between Li/Mu ratio and M/F ratio. In contrast, for DL-PCBs, M/F ratios showed no correlation with Li/Mu ratios, but increased with an increase in lipophilicity. These results, together with observations from prior studies, suggest that congener-specific hepatic sequestration may be a factor limiting the maternal transfer of PCDDs and, to a lesser extent, PCDFs. Maternal transfer of DL-PCBs seems to favor more lipophilic congeners in the cormorants.

  1. The Cormorant Controversy.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Matthews, Catherine E.

    2000-01-01

    Describes the effects of human behavior on the avian population, particularly cormorants, which are scientifically named Phalacrocorax auritus. Explains the hazards of pesticides, especially DDT, on cormorant eggs and bird population. Discusses federal and state laws on the hunting of cormorants and other fish-eating birds. Lists internet…

  2. Organochlorines and mercury in livers of great cormorants (Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis) wintering in northeastern Mediterranean wetlands in relation to area, bird age, and gender.

    PubMed

    Goutner, V; Becker, P H; Liordos, V

    2011-01-15

    Wild birds are exposed to pollutants in their habitats. Top consumers of aquatic environments such as the fish-eating great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis) are especially affected due to the bioaccumulation of toxic substances in their tissues. This study analysed the livers of 80 great cormorants from Greece to estimate the concentration of organochlorines and mercury and to examine their possible toxic effects and origin. The results showed that mercury (geometric mean 8089 ng g⁻¹ dw), p,p'-DDE (2628 ng g⁻¹ dw), ∑HCHs (47 ng g⁻¹ dw) and HCB (116 ng g⁻¹ dw) concentrations can be considered high compared with those found in great cormorant livers elsewhere except in highly polluted areas, whereas ∑PCBs occurred in relatively low concentrations (1091 ng g⁻¹ dw). β-HCH was the dominant HCH isomer. Pollutant levels were generally unrelated to area, age and gender. However, p,p'-DDE and p,p'-DDD showed intersite differences, whilst the proportion of PCBs with 8 chlorine atoms were significantly higher in adult than 1st year great cormorants. Pollution did not reflect local patterns but rather these along the Baltic and Black Seas, whilst differences in p,p'-DDE concentration and ∑DDTs/∑PCBs ratios between Evros, Axios or Amvrakikos, found on common migration route, suggested different bird origins. Most birds had toxic mercury concentrations; 83.7% above 4000 ng g⁻¹ dw and 16% above 17,000 ng g⁻¹ dw. Other pollutant levels were too low to have adverse effects.

  3. Effect of in ovo exposure to an organochlorine mixture extracted from double crested cormorant eggs (Phalacrocorax auritus) and PCB 126 on immune function of juvenile chickens

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lavoie, E.T.; Wiley, F.; Grasman, K.A.; Tillitt, D.E.; Sikarskie, J.G.; Bowerman, W.W.

    2007-01-01

    Organochlorine (OC) contaminants including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and p, p'-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE) have been associated with immune modulation in wild fish-eating birds from the Great Lakes. The objective of this study was to evaluate the immune function of juvenile chickens after in ovo exposure to PCB 126 or an environmentally relevant OC mixture extracted from eggs of double crested cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus) from Green Bay, Lake Michigan, USA. Fertile white leghorn chicken (Gallus domesticus) eggs were injected before incubation with 0.55-1.79 ng TCDD equivalents (TEQ)/egg PCB 126 and 1.2-4.9 ng TEQs/egg of cormorant egg extract into the air cell in two separate experiments. After hatching, the immune function was tested using in vivo phytohemagglutinin (PHA) skin response in 11-day-old chicks, antibody titers to immunization with sheep red blood cells (SRBC) in 28-day-old chicks, and, at necropsy, thymus and bursal mass and cellularity. PCB 126 decreased antibody titers at all doses and decreased the thymus and bursa index but not cellularity at 1.79 ng TEQ/egg. The cormorant egg extract caused no significant alterations in immune function even though it has been demonstrated as immunotoxic in chicken embryos. However, twofold to threefold increases in total anti-SRBC titers in 28-day-old chicks exposed to 1.2 or 2.4 ng TEQ/egg of cormorant extract were similar to elevations in anti-SRBC titer observed in Caspian tern (Sterna caspia) chicks from a highly OC-contaminated site in Saginaw Bay, Lake Huron. Posthatch exposure to OC through fish consumption in addition to in ovo OC exposure might be associated with the immune modulation reported in wild birds. Chicks in this study might have begun to compensate for embryonic immunotoxicity by the ages at which we studied them. ?? 2007 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

  4. Effect of In Ovo exposure to an organochlorine mixture extracted from double crested cormorant eggs (Phalacrocorax auritus) and PCB 126 on immune function of juvenile chickens.

    PubMed

    Lavoie, E T; Wiley, F; Grasman, K A; Tillitt, D E; Sikarskie, J G; Bowerman, W W

    2007-11-01

    Organochlorine (OC) contaminants including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and p, p'-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE) have been associated with immune modulation in wild fish-eating birds from the Great Lakes. The objective of this study was to evaluate the immune function of juvenile chickens after in ovo exposure to PCB 126 or an environmentally relevant OC mixture extracted from eggs of double crested cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus) from Green Bay, Lake Michigan, USA. Fertile white leghorn chicken (Gallus domesticus) eggs were injected before incubation with 0.55-1.79 ng TCDD equivalents (TEQ)/egg PCB 126 and 1.2-4.9 ng TEQs/egg of cormorant egg extract into the air cell in two separate experiments. After hatching, the immune function was tested using in vivo phytohemagglutinin (PHA) skin response in 11-day-old chicks, antibody titers to immunization with sheep red blood cells (SRBC) in 28-day-old chicks, and, at necropsy, thymus and bursal mass and cellularity. PCB 126 decreased antibody titers at all doses and decreased the thymus and bursa index but not cellularity at 1.79 ng TEQ/egg. The cormorant egg extract caused no significant alterations in immune function even though it has been demonstrated as immunotoxic in chicken embryos. However, twofold to threefold increases in total anti-SRBC titers in 28-day-old chicks exposed to 1.2 or 2.4 ng TEQ/egg of cormorant extract were similar to elevations in anti-SRBC titer observed in Caspian tern (Sterna caspia) chicks from a highly OC-contaminated site in Saginaw Bay, Lake Huron. Posthatch exposure to OC through fish consumption in addition to in ovo OC exposure might be associated with the immune modulation reported in wild birds. Chicks in this study might have begun to compensate for embryonic immunotoxicity by the ages at which we studied them.

  5. The effects of depth, temperature and food ingestion on the foraging energetics of a diving endotherm, the double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus).

    PubMed

    Enstipp, Manfred R; Grémillet, David; Jones, David R

    2006-03-01

    Avian divers are confronted with a number of physiological challenges when foraging in cold water, especially at depth. Besides the obvious constraint imposed by the necessity to return to the surface for gas exchange, cold water temperatures and a reduction in body insulation due to the increase in pressure with dive depth will elevate the energetic costs of foraging in these endotherm divers. The complex effect that depth has on the diving energetics of aquatic birds has largely been ignored. To date, no study has assessed the impact of depth on diving energetics over a significant depth range, naturally encountered by the diver. We used open-circuit respirometry to study the energetic requirements of a foot-propelled pursuit diver, the double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus albociliatus), when diving in a shallow (1 m) and deep (10 m) dive tank and when resting in air and water. We also investigated the modifying effects of air or water temperature and feeding status on the costs associated with diving and resting. Of all factors investigated, dive depth exercised the strongest influence on diving metabolic rate. Diving to 10 m depth increased metabolic rate on average by 22% when compared with shallow diving. Declining temperatures in air and water significantly elevated metabolic rate of cormorants resting in air and water as well as during diving. Feeding before resting in water or diving increased metabolic rate by 5-8% for at least 2 h. Cormorants maintained an elevated stomach temperature (>42 degrees C) when resting in water and during diving, even at cold temperatures. The elevated dive costs during deep diving, when compared with shallow diving, are most likely a consequence of the increased thermoregulatory costs associated with a greater heat loss to the water at depth. Nevertheless, our study shows that dive costs in double-crested cormorants are similar to those of other foot-propelled avian divers.

  6. Biomagnification of mercury in trophic relation of Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) and fish in the Vistula Lagoon, Poland.

    PubMed

    Misztal-Szkudlińska, Małgorzata; Szefer, Piotr; Konieczka, Piotr; Namieśnik, Jacek

    2011-05-01

    Total mercury (Hg) concentrations were determined by CV-AAS in selected tissues (liver, kidney, and muscle) of the Great Cormorant and some fish species (herring, ruffe, European smelt, tench, roach, Crucian carp, and Prussian carp) from the Vistula Lagoon ecosystem (Poland). Significant correlations between Hg concentrations in the kidneys and muscle of cormorants (U test, p<0.05) were found; levels of the metal were highest in the birds' liver and kidneys. Total Hg concentrations in the fish decreased in the following order: roach > Prussian carp > Crucian carp > tench > European smelt > ruffe > herring. The biomagnification factor of Hg for the cormorant relative to the fish decreased in the following sequence: herring > ruffe > European smelt > tench > Crucian carp > roach = Prussian carp. It was significantly greater than unity, especially for the cormorant-herring trophic relationship. This implies that Hg is biomagnified in the cormorant in relation to its prey.

  7. A new species of Drepanocephalus Dietz, 1909 (Digenea: Echinostomatidae) from the double-crested cormorant Phalacrocorax auritus (Lesson) (Aves: Phalacrocoracidae) in North America.

    PubMed

    Kudlai, Olena; Kostadinova, Aneta; Pulis, Eric E; Tkach, Vasyl V

    2015-03-01

    Drepanocephalus auritus n. sp. is described based on specimens from the double-crested cormorant Phalacrocorax auritus (Lesson) in North America. The new species differs from its congeners in its very narrow, elongate body, long uterine field and widely separated testes. Sequences of the nuclear rRNA gene cluster, spanning the 3' end of the nuclear ribosomal 18S rRNA gene, internal transcribed spacer region (ITS1+5.8S gene+ITS2) and partial 28S gene (2,345 bp), were identical in specimens collected from North Dakota, Minnesota and Mississippi, USA. Sequences of the 651 bp long fragment of the mitochondrial cox1 gene exhibited very low intraspecific variability (< 1%). Comparisons of the newly-generated sequences with those available in the GenBank indicate that the sequences from North America published under the name D. spathans Dietz, 1909 in fact represent D. auritus n. sp.

  8. Larval Contracaecum sp. (Nematoda: Anisakidae) in the Great Cormorant [Phalacrocorax carbo (L., 1758)] from north-eastern Poland: a morphological and morphometric analysis.

    PubMed

    Kanarek, Gerard; Bohdanowicz, Jerzy

    2009-12-03

    Stomachs of the Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) from north-eastern Poland were found to contain adult nematode Contracaecum rudolphii [Hartwich, G., 1964. Revision der Vogelparasitischen Nematoden Mitteleuropas II. Die Gattung Contracaecum Railliet & Henry, 1912. Mitt. Zool. Mus. Berlin 40, 15-53.] sensu lato and nematode larvae which, based on their morphology, were identified as the third (L3) and fourth (L4) stage larvae of Contracaecum sp. Morphology and biometry of the L3 isolated from the Great Cormorant were very similar to those of the L3 of C. rudolphii described by Bartlett [Bartlett, C.M., 1996. Morphogenesis of Contracaecum rudolphii (Nematoda: Ascaridoidea), a parasite of fish-eating birds, in its copepod precursor and fish intermediate hosts. Parasite 4, 367-376.]. In our opinion, L3 and L4 to be larval stages of C. rudolphii. The paper contains detailed descriptions of the L3 and L4 stages of C. rudolphii; the L4 morphology is described in detail for the first time ever. The descriptions are supplemented by drawings and SEM images. Morphology and biometry of larvae were compared with the literature data and discussed.

  9. Extrinsic- and intrinsic-dependent variation in component communities and patterns of aggregations in helminth parasites of great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) from N.E. Poland.

    PubMed

    Kanarek, Gerard; Zaleśny, Grzegorz

    2014-03-01

    In the present study, we investigate the effect extrinsic (habitat and season) and intrinsic (host's age and sex) factors on the richness, diversity, and structure of parasite component communities and aggregation patterns in the helminth fauna of the great cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo from northeastern Poland. The helminth fauna of cormorants from the brackish water habitat was far richer (30 species) than in those from freshwater lakes (18 species) and strongly depend on season and age of the host. The values of diversity index strongly varied in relation to habitat and host age with clear seasonal differences in the value of diversity index, i.e., its value increased over time in adults from the brackish water habitat and decreased in those from the freshwater lakes. The number of helminths in adult and immature birds varied, depending on the season and habitat: in the brackish water habitat, the overall percentage of helminths was higher in spring than in summer, while in the freshwater habitat a higher proportion of helminths was recorded in summer. During spring, in the brackish water habitat, we observed a higher level of aggregation (for all groups of helminths) than in autumn. The opposite pattern was found in the freshwater habitat. However, this regularity was typical of adult birds only. In immature hosts, the level of aggregation was not predictable and varied among the higher taxa. Our study clearly showed that processes determinate diversity, structure, richness, and patterns of aggregation in helminth assemblages of avian hosts are multi-origin and highly complex.

  10. Cytochrome P450 1A4 and 1A5 in common cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo): evolutionary relationships and functional implications associated with dioxin and related compounds.

    PubMed

    Kubota, Akira; Iwata, Hisato; Goldstone, Heather M H; Kim, Eun-Young; Stegeman, John J; Tanabe, Shinsuke

    2006-08-01

    The present study characterized cytochrome P4501A (CYP1A) isoforms from common cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) with regard to their evolutionary relationships and their roles in disposition of dioxin and related compounds (DRCs). Two clones isolated from a cormorant liver cDNA library were named CYP1A4 and CYP1A5 on the basis of greatest overall amino acid identity shared with chicken (Gallus gallus) CYP1A4 (78%) and CYP1A5 (78%), respectively. Spatial heterogeneity in phylogenetic signal along the sequences strongly indicated that cormorant CYP1A4 and CYP1A5 have undergone partial interparalog gene conversion, similar to chicken and mammalian CYP1As. Phylogenetic analysis of a putatively unconverted region produced a tree topology consistent with the orthology of avian CYP1A5s with mammalian CYP1A2s and avian CYP1A4s with mammalian CYP1A1s. Hepatic CYP1A4 and CYP1A5 mRNA levels in wild cormorants from Lake Biwa, Japan, were quantified to examine the effects of DRCs on isoform-specific expression and to evaluate the toxicokinetics of DRCs in which CYP1A expression is involved. Both CYP1A4 and CYP1A5 mRNA levels were positively correlated with total tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin toxic equivalents and concentrations of each congener in most cases in the liver, suggesting the induction of both enzymes through a shared transcriptional mechanism. The lack of correlation of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzofuran and 3,3',4,4'-tetrachlorobiphenyl (PCB77) to CYP1A gene expression is likely due to the rapid metabolism of these two congeners. Liver-to-muscle concentration ratios for most DRC congeners except PCB77 and mono-ortho coplanar polychlorinated biphenyls significantly increased with an elevation of CYP1A4 and CYP1A5 mRNA levels. The present data suggest that hepatic sequestration of some DRCs occurs in cormorant via binding to either CYP1A5 or both CYP1A4 and CYP1A5.

  11. Natural born indicators: Great cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo (Aves: Phalacrocoracidae) as monitors of river discharge influence on estuarine ichthyofauna

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dias, Ester; Morais, Pedro; Leopold, Mardik; Campos, Joana; Antunes, Carlos

    2012-10-01

    The ecological traits of piscivorous marine birds have been acknowledged to reflect ecosystem changes. We used the great cormorant as our indicator species in the Minho estuary (NW-Iberian Peninsula, Europe) to assess the temporal variation of their diet and the factors that could influence that variation. Pellets were collected in a night roost, located centrally in the estuary, during two consecutive wintering periods (2005-2006 and 2006-2007). The great cormorant population showed a high degree of feeding plasticity and most of the variation in cormorants' diet was attributed to river discharge fluctuations. Overall, during periods of increased river discharge, marine and marine opportunistic species disappeared from diet, whereas freshwater species increased. The cormorants in this study were using a roost in the middle of the estuary, so they were facing a changing food base over time, in accordance to variation in river discharges. The birds did not keep their diet constant but rather took what became locally available, notwithstanding their broad foraging range. Therefore, we suggest that great cormorants may be considered good samplers of local ichthyofauna and thus, temporal variation in the local prey can be followed by analyzing cormorants' diet.

  12. Molecular characterization and tissue distribution of aryl hydrocarbon receptor nuclear translocator isoforms, ARNT1 and ARNT2, and identification of novel splice variants in common cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo).

    PubMed

    Lee, Jin-Seon; Kim, Eun-Young; Iwata, Hisato; Tanabe, Shinsuke

    2007-04-01

    High levels of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) and related planar halogenated aromatic hydrocarbons (PHAHs) are accumulated in fish-eating birds including common cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo). Most of the biochemical and toxic effects of TCDD are mediated by a basic helix-loop-helix and a conserved region among Per, ARNT, and Sim (bHLH/PAS) proteins, aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) and AHR nuclear translocator (ARNT). To study the molecular mechanism of TCDD toxicity in common cormorant as an avian model species, characterization of the AHR/ARNT signaling pathway in this species is necessary. The present study focuses on molecular characterization of ARNT from common cormorant (ccARNT). The cDNA of the ccARNT isoform, ccARNT1 obtained by the screening of hepatic cDNA library contains a 2424-bp open reading frame that encodes 807 amino acids, exhibiting high identities (92%) with chicken ARNT. This isoform contains a unique 22 amino acid residue in 3' end of PAS A domain as is also recognized in chicken ARNT. The ccARNT2 cDNA isolated from brain tissue has a 2151-bp open reading frame. The deduced amino acid sequence of ccARNT2 protein (716 aa) shows a conservation of bHLH and PAS motif in its N-terminal region with high similarities (96% and 78%, respectively) to that of ccARNT1. Using quantitative RT-PCR methods, the tissue distribution profiles of ccARNT1 and ccARNT2 were unveiled. Both ccARNT1 and ccARNT2 mRNAs were ubiquitously expressed in all examined tissues including liver. The expression profile of ccARNT1 was comparable with that of rodent ARNT1, but ccARNT2 was not with rodent ARNT2, implying different roles of ARNT2 between the two species. There was a significant positive correlation between ARNT1 and ARNT2 mRNA expression levels in the liver of wild cormorant population, indicating that their expressions may be enforced by similar transcriptional regulation mechanism. Novel variants of ccARNT1 and ccARNT2 isoforms that were supposed to

  13. Gastrointestinal Helminth Parasites of Double-Crested Cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus) at Four Sites in Saskatchewan, Canada, 2006-2007.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We examined the gastrointestinal parasite fauna of adult double-crested cormorants from breeding colonies on four very different lakes spanning a major ecotone from prairie to boreal forest in Saskatchewan, Canada. Our objectives were to document regional parasite fauna, and identify potential diff...

  14. The Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) colony as a "hot spot" of nitrous oxide (N2O) emission in central Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mizota, Chitoshi; Noborio, Kosuke; Mori, Yoshiaki

    2012-09-01

    Unusual high soil fluxes up to ca. 500 mg N2O m-2 h-1 emission were associated with a continued breeding/roosting colony of Great Cormorant in central Japan. This flux is nearly two-orders of magnitude higher than those hitherto documented. The flux was markedly dependent upon the soil surface temperature, i.e., higher in April-October during the prevailing high air temperatures, as compared with November to March. Integrated input of fecal N at rearing and fledging stages of chicks followed by coupled mineralization, nitrification and subsequently denitrification processes under humid and temperate regimes is responsible for such an unusual flux. The Great Cormorant colony serves as a "hot spot" of N2O emission of natural origin.

  15. Evaluation of mercury and lead content in the liver of the cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis) population of Kis-Balaton, Hungary.

    PubMed

    Lehel, József; Gál, János; Faragó, Sándor; Berta, Erzsébet; Andrásofszky, Emese; Fekete, Sándor György; Mándoki, Míra; Budai, Péter; Kormos, Eva; Marosán, Miklós

    2013-06-01

    Mercury and lead concentrations were measured in the livers of cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis), an aquatic bird species living and nesting in the special, highly protected nature conservation area of Kis-Balaton, Hungary. The measurements of metal concentrations were performed by atomic absorption spectrometry using the cold vapour method for mercury and the electrothermal method for lead. Mercury concentrations in the livers were significantly higher in the adult population (4.479 ± 3.336 mg/kg dry matter, DM) than in the juvenile birds (2.682 ± 2.087 mg/kg DM), indicating an increase of bioaccumulation with age. A similar pattern was not observed for lead. There were no statistical differences between males and females either in mercury or in lead concentrations. The average levels of mercury (3.580 ± 2.906 mg/kg DM) and lead (0.746 ± 0.499 mg/kg DM) were statistically different in the liver. No correlation was found between the concentrations of the two heavy metals. Recently, the wild birds have been chronically exposed to subtoxic amounts of metals which have a tendency to accumulate especially in the soft tissues.

  16. The occurrence of Cyathostoma ( Cyathostoma) microspiculum (Skrjabin, 1915) (Nematoda: Syngamidae) in the great cormorant [ Phalacrocorax carbo (L., 1758)] in north-eastern Poland.

    PubMed

    Kanarek, G

    2009-12-01

    The nematode Cyathostoma (Cyathostoma) microspiculum (Skrjabin, 1915) was found in 37 out of the 491 great cormorant [Phalacrocorax carbo (L.)] individuals from north-eastern Poland (the Vistula Spit, the Vistula Lagoon and the Masurian Lake District) that were examined. The nematode occurred at 7.5% prevalence, 3.6 mean intensity (1-16 intensity range) and 0.27 mean abundance. This is the first Polish record of C. microspiculum and the first properly documented record of the nematode in Europe. Significant age-dependent differences in prevalence and mean intensity were found; the heaviest infection (13.7%; 4) was found in immature birds, followed by that found in chicks (8.1%; 3.7) and mature individuals (4.4%; 3). No significant habitat-dependent differences in the infection parameters were found but, for chicks, the nematode was present exclusively in those found in the breeding colony located on the Vistula Spit. It may be related to their life cycle, probably associated with a marine environment. Morphology and biometry of the C. microspiculum individuals examined are described in detail. The results are compared with data in the literature. Syngamus hexadontus Chin, 1950 is recognized as an older synonym of C. microspiculum.

  17. Nematode parasites of the digestive tract in Neotropic cormorant chicks (Phalacrocorax brasilianus) from the River Cruces Ramsar site in southern Chile.

    PubMed

    Torres, Patricio; Ortega, Jorge; Schlatter, Roberto

    2005-09-01

    The neotropic cormorant (Phalacrocorax brasilianus) breeding colony of the Rio Cruces Nature Sanctuary and Ramsar site was surveyed for nematode parasites in southern Chile. Moribund chicks (n=128) of different ages were inspected for anchored nematodes using complete guts. We tested if chicks harbored the same parasites as the adults feeding them. Besides the known Contracaecum rudolphii, third or fourth stage larvae of Pseudoterranova sp. and Anisakis (type I and II) were obtained in this waterbird species for the first time. Most parasites were located in the stomach and C. rudolphii was the dominant species. The prevalence and mean intensity of C. rudolphii infections and the prevalence of Anisakis type I larvae were significantly less (P<0.05) in the youngest age group of the birds. The prevalence of Pseudoterranova sp. larvae infection was similar among birds of different age. The mean intensity with Pseudoterranova sp. was significantly less (P<0.05) in younger birds and in Anisakis type I it was similar in different age groups.

  18. Submerged swimming of the great cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis is a variant of the burst-and-glide gait.

    PubMed

    Ribak, Gal; Weihs, Daniel; Arad, Zeev

    2005-10-01

    Cormorants are water birds that forage by submerged swimming in search and pursuit of fish. Underwater they swim by paddling with both feet simultaneously in a gait that includes long glides between consecutive strokes. At shallow swimming depths the birds are highly buoyant as a consequence of their aerial lifestyle. To counter this buoyancy cormorants swim underwater with their body at an angle to the swimming direction. This mechanical solution for foraging at shallow depth is expected to increase the cost of swimming by increasing the drag of the birds. We used kinematic analysis of video sequences of cormorants swimming underwater at shallow depth in a controlled research setup to analyze the swimming gait and estimate the resultant drag of the birds during the entire paddling cycle. The gliding drag of the birds was estimated from swimming speed deceleration during the glide stage while the drag during active paddling was estimated using a mathematical ;burst-and-glide' model. The model was originally developed to estimate the energetic saving from combining glides with burst swimming and we used this fact to test whether the paddling gait of cormorants has similar advantages. We found that swimming speed was correlated with paddling frequency (r=0.56, P<0.001, N=95) where the increase in paddling frequency was achieved mainly by shortening the glide stage (r=-0.86, P<0.001, N=95). The drag coefficient of the birds during paddling was higher on average by two- to threefold than during gliding. However, the magnitude of the drag coefficient during the glide was positively correlated with the tilt of the body (r=0.5, P<0.003, N=35) and negatively correlated with swimming speed (r=-0.65, P<0.001, N=35), while the drag coefficient during the stroke was not correlated with tilt of the body (r=-0.11, P>0.5, N=35) and was positively correlated with swimming speed (r=0.41, P<0.015, N=35). Therefore, the difference between the drag coefficient during the glide and

  19. [Isolation of the West Nile fever virus from the great cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo, the crow Corvus corone, and Hyalomma marginatum ticks associated with them in natural and synanthroic biocenosis in the Volga delta (Astrakhan region, 2001)].

    PubMed

    L'vov, D K; Dzharkenov, A F; L'vov, D N; Aristova, V A; Kovtunov, A I; Gromashevskiĭ, V L; Vyshemirskiĭ, O I; Galkina, I V; Al'khovskiĭ, S V; Samokhvalov, E I; Prilipov, A G; Deriabin, P G; Odolevskiĭ, E I; Ibragimov, R M

    2002-01-01

    Four strains identified as West Nile fever virus by inhibited hemagglutination and neutralization tests, enzyme immunoassay, and reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction were isolated during a virological examination of birds and their collected ticks in the natural and synanthropic biocenoses of the Volga delta. The strains were isolated from the great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo), the crow (Corvus corone) and its collected Hyalomma marginatum nymphs. The types of interpopulational relations in the ecological system wild-birds-virus-mosquitoes-synanthroic birds-ticks are discussed.

  20. Alternative in vitro approach for assessing AHR-mediated CYP1A induction by dioxins in wild cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) population.

    PubMed

    Thuruthippallil, Leena Mol; Kubota, Akira; Kim, Eun-Young; Iwata, Hisato

    2013-06-18

    Our line of papers revealed that the common (great) cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) possesses two isoforms of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (ccAHR1 and ccAHR2). This paper addresses in vitro tests of the ccAHR signaling pathways to solve two questions: (1) whether there are functional differences in the two ccAHR isoforms, and (2) whether a molecular perturbation, cytochrome P450 1A (ccCYP1A) induction, in the population-level can be predicted from the in vitro tests. The transactivation potencies mediated by ccAHR1 and ccAHR2 were measured in COS-7 cells treated with 15 selected dioxins and related compounds (DRCs), where ccAHR1 or ccAHR2 expression plasmid and ccCYP1A5 promoter/enhancer-linked luciferase reporter plasmid were transfected. For congeners that exhibited dose-dependent luciferase activities, 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) relative potencies (REPs) and induction equivalency factors (IEFs) were estimated. ccAHR1-IEF profile was similar to WHO avian TCDD toxic equivalency factor (TEF) profile except for dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls that showed lower IEFs in ccAHR1-driven reporter assay. ccAHR2-IEF profile was different from WHO TEFs and ccAHR1-IEFs. Notably, 2,3,4,7,8-PeCDF was more potent than TCDD for ccAHR2-mediated response. Using ccAHR1- and ccAHR2-IEFs and hepatic DRC concentrations in the Lake Biwa cormorant population, total TCDD induction equivalents (IEQs) were calculated for each ccAHR-mediated response. Nonlinear regression analyses provided significant sigmoidal relationships of ccAHR1- and ccAHR2-derived IEQs with hepatic ccCYP1A5 mRNA levels, supporting the results of in vitro ccAHR-mediated TCDD dose-response curves. Collectively, our in vitro AHR reporter assay potentially could be an alternative to molecular epidemiology of the species of concern regarding CYP1A induction by AHR ligands.

  1. Effects of 3,3{prime},4,4{prime},5-pentachlorobiphenyl (PCB 126), 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD), or an extract derived from field-collected cormorant eggs injected into double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) eggs

    SciTech Connect

    Powell, D.C.; Aulerich, R.J.; Powell, J.F.; Restum, J.C.; Giesy, J.P.; Bursian, S.J.; Meadows, J.C.; Tillitt, D.E.; Stromborg, K.L.

    1997-07-01

    Double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) eggs were injected with either 3,3{prime},4,4{prime},5-pentachlorobiphenyl (PCB 126), 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD), or an extract derived from field-collected double-crested cormorant eggs. These compounds were injected into the yolks of cormorant eggs from an isolated colony on Lake Winnipegosis, Manitoba, Canada. Upon hatching, chicks were necropsied. The brain, bursa, heart, liver, and spleen were removed and weighed. An approximate median lethal dose (LD50) of 158 {micro}g/kg egg was determined for PCB 126, which is 69 times greater than the LD50 determined for the chicken (Gallus domesticus) in a previous study. A significantly greater mortality occurred at the highest dose of TCDD when compared to the vehicle control. However, the mortality data did not provide sufficient information for the determination of an LD50. The cormorant egg extract did not adversely affect hatchability. No significant increases were observed in the incidence of developmental abnormalities, including pronounced edema, in any of the treatment groups, nor were there any relevant effects on body and organ weights. Based on the results from this study, the cormorant appears to be considerably less sensitive to polyhalogenated diaromatic hydrocarbons than the chicken, which has been the typical species used for egg injection studies.

  2. The incidence of polychlorinated biphenyl and organochlorine pesticide residues in the eggs of the cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis): an evaluation of the situation in four Greek wetlands of international importance.

    PubMed

    Konstantinou, I K; Goutner, V; Albanis, T A

    2000-07-20

    This study contributed to identifying the current levels of organochlorine pollutants in four Greek wetlands of international importance (the Evros and Axios Deltas, and Kerkini and Prespa Lakes), using the cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis as a suitable bioindicator in a region where such information is scarce. Residue levels of eight polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congeners and 13 organochlorine pesticide (OC) compounds were measured in cormorant eggs. Most PCBs and OCs (except dieldrin and endrin) were found in at least some of the study areas. Median concentrations of five PCBs (IUPAC 8, 20, 52, 138, 180) and of six OCs (alpha-BHC, beta-BHC, lindane, heptachlor, 4,4'-DDE and 4,4'-DDT) differed significantly among the areas. The median totals of the PCBs were highly significant among the areas, being unexpectedly highest in Prespa Lake (68.43 ppb), despite its remoteness, and lowest in Evros Delta samples (12.17 ppb). Aldrin that was found in samples from Evros, Axios and Prespa probably accumulated in wintering grounds. In all of the areas, the relative proportions of alpha-BHC and 2,4'-DDD were the highest of all OCs. Fingerprint and cluster analyses illustrated overall differences in the PCB patterns, being greatest between the deltas than between the lakes, but, inversely, for OCs the differences were smaller in the deltas. Differences were attributed to large variations in the cormorants' diet between areas and different regimes of pollutant management in the two types of wetland. Correlations of pollutants varied considerably among areas and they were more diverse in OCs. The sum of OCs/ sum of PCBs ratio indicates agrochemical pollution in all areas. An important finding was that levels of both pollutant groups were too low to have any biological implications on the cormorants and, additionally, suggest that they have a negligible impact on the environment of the wetlands studied.

  3. Deformities, PCBs, and TCDD-equivalents in double-crested cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus) and Caspian terns (Hydroprogne caspia) of the Upper Great Lakes 1986–1991: Testing a cause-effect hypothesis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ludwig, James P.; Kurita-Matsuba, Hiroko; Auman, Heidi J.; Ludwig, Matthew E.; Summer, Cheryl L.; Giesy, John P.; Tillitt, Donald E.; Jones, Paul D.

    1996-01-01

    Deformities have been reported in many species of colonial waterbirds from several localities on the Laurentian Great Lakes. The hypothesis that deformities were caused by either polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) or contaminants measured as 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin equivalents (TCDD-EQs) is tested in this review of available data on concentrations of contaminants in eggs and observed deformities in embryos and chicks of double-crested cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus) and Caspian terns (Hydroprogne caspia) between 1986 and 1991. Hatched chicks, live and dead eggs retrieved from 37 colonies in the upper Great Lakes were assessed for gross anatomical deformities. Rates of embryo death from seven regions of the upper Great Lakes were measured annually between 1986–1991. Half the embryos found dead in eggs were deformed. Nineteen types of abnormalities or deformities were observed. Subcutaneous edema in cormorants and gastroschisis in terns were the most common abnormalities in live or dead eggs. One of ten crossed-billed cormorant embryos survived to hatch. No bill-deformed terns hatched, although tern embryos had a greater rate of crossed-bills than cormorants. The suite of deformities and abnormalities found was similar to that produced in chickens by exposure to planar polychlorinated biphenyl (pPCB) and dioxin congeners. Hatching and deformity rates were correlated with concentrations ofpPCBs and TCDD-EQs. Planar PCB congeners that contributed most of the TCDD-EQs were present at concentrations sufficient to cause the observed effects. TCDD-EQs measured by H4IIE rat hepatoma cell 7-ethoxyresorufin O-deethylase (EROD) bioassay were highly correlated with deformity rates observed in cormorant chicks, live and dead eggs, and egg death rates. Similar correlations of TCDD-EQs with deformity rates were found in hatched tern chicks, dead eggs, and egg death rates, but not in live eggs. TCDD-EQs were more highly correlated to deformity and embryo death rates

  4. Alkoxyresorufin (methoxy-, ethoxy-, pentoxy- and benzyloxyresorufin) O-dealkylase activities by in vitro-expressed cytochrome P450 1A4 and 1A5 from common cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo).

    PubMed

    Kubota, Akira; Kim, Eun-Young; Iwata, Hisato

    2009-05-01

    Here we report the inter-paralog comparison of cytochrome P4501A (CYP1A) catalytic function in common cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) using the recombinant proteins synthesized by yeast-based vector system. CYP1A4 and CYP1A5 proteins from common cormorant were heterologously expressed in yeast Saccaromyces cerevisiae. Kinetic analyses revealed that among alkoxyresorufin (methoxy-, ethoxy-, pentoxy- and benzyloxyresorufin) O-dealkylase (AROD) activities V(max) value for ethoxyresorufin O-deethylase (EROD) activity was the highest for both enzymes, reaching 0.91+/-0.034 and 1.8+/-0.043 nmol/min/nmol CYP for CYP1A4 and CYP1A5, respectively. Similar results were obtained for the catalytic efficiencies represented as the ratios of V(max) to K(m) (V(max)/K(m)). Meanwhile, distinct substrate preferences were also observed; CYP1A4 had V(max) and V(max)/K(m) values for benzyloxyresorufin O-debenzylase (BROD) activity 12- and 46-fold greater than CYP1A5, respectively, while CYP1A5 was about 13- and 4.5-fold more efficient in methoxyresorufin O-demethylase (MROD) activity than CYP1A4. The K(m) values showed no significant change among MROD, EROD, pentoxyresorufin O-depenthylase (PROD) and BROD activities for both enzymes, except for significant differences between PROD and other three activities for CYP1A4. Comparing the results in the present study with previous studies addressing chicken and rat CYP1A enzymes, it is also clear that CYP1A orthologs have different catalytic preferences for AROD activities between cormorant and rat and even between cormorant and chicken. Variations in CYP1A catalytic function between cormorant CYP1A paralogs and between CYP1A orthologs from cormorant and other species indicate that enzymatic properties should be characterized on the basis not only of a limited model species such as chicken, but also of multiple species to further understand the mechanism underlying differences in substrate selectivity and the interaction with environmental

  5. Effects of 3,3',4,4',5-pentachlorobiphenyl and 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin injected into the yolks of double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) eggs prior to incubation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Powell, D.C.; Aulerich, R.J.; Meadows, J.C.; Tillitt, D.E.; Kelly, M.E.; Stromborg, K.L.; Melancon, M.J.; Fitzgerald, S.D.; Bursian, S.J.

    1998-01-01

    Double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) eggs were injected with either 3,3',4,4',5-pentachlorobiphenyl (polychlorinated biphenyl [PCB] 126; 70-698 ?g/kg egg) or 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD; 1.3-11.7 ?g/kg egg) prior to incubation. These compounds were injected into the yolks of cormorant eggs collected from incomplete clutches at isolated colonies on Lake Winnipegosis, Manitoba, Canada. Eggs were incubated for approximately 26 to 28 d. After hatching the brain, bursa, heart, liver, and spleen were dissected and weighed. Torsos were preserved in formalin for examination of the gonads. Median lethal doses (LD50s) calculated from mortality data at hatching were 177 and 4.0 ?g/kg egg for PCB 126 and TCDD, respectively. No significant differences were found in the incidence of developmental abnormalities in any of the treatment groups. Bursa weights were significantly less in the greatest (11.7 ?g/kg egg) TCDD group compared to the vehicle control group. Spleen weights were significantly less in the 349 ?g PCB 126/kg egg and the 5.4 and 11.7 ?g TCDD/kg egg groups when compared to the vehicle control group. No histological alterations of the gonads were found. Hepatic ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase activity in all PCB 126 and TCDD dose groups was significantly greater compared to the control activity. The toxic equivalency factor for PCB 126 was 0.02

  6. Toxic assessment of PCBs by the 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin equivalent in common cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) from Japan.

    PubMed

    Guruge, K S; Tanabe, S; Fukuda, M

    2000-05-01

    Common cormorants collected from three colonies and their fish diet were analyzed for PCB congeners and 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin equivalents (TEQs) were estimated. The highest total PCBs (40 microg/g wet weight) found in adult cormorants from Shinobazu Pond located in Central Tokyo, was sevenfold higher than that from Lake Biwa. IUPAC 153 was the most abundant congener in adults and eggs, whereas IUPAC 28 + 31 was higher in some chicks and exhibited growth-related congeneric enrichment. The estimated metabolic index (MI) for PCB congeners revealed that monoand non-ortho coplanars had higher bioaccumulation in cormorant liver and were expected to cause toxic effects. Among non-ortho coplanars, IUPAC 126 was predominant, and total non-ortho coplanars and TEQs in cormorants were threefold higher in Shinobazu Pond than those from Lake Biwa. The non-ortho IUPAC 126 contributed a higher portion to the total TEQs followed by IUPAC 105 and IUPAC 77. The hepatic IUPAC 169/126 ratio increased significantly with TEQs, implying a potential induction of drug-metabolizing enzymes in Shinobazu Pond cormorants. Based on the available data, PCB contamination in cormorants is enough to pose sublethal effects, especially in Shinobazu Pond and Godaiba Island, Tokyo, Japan. This could be a reason for recently observed high chick and juvenile mortality in those colonies in Tokyo.

  7. High levels of perfluoroalkyl acids in eggs and embryo livers of great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis) and herring gull (Larus argentatus) from Lake Vänern, Sweden.

    PubMed

    Nordén, Marcus; Berger, Urs; Engwall, Magnus

    2013-11-01

    In the eggs and developing chick livers in the two wild bird species, great cormorant and herring gull, the concentrations of a range of 15 perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) were determined. Eggs of the two species were collected from Lake Vänern, Sweden, and analysed either as undeveloped egg (whole egg or separated into yolk and albumen) or incubated until start of the hatching process when the chick liver was removed and analysed. High levels of PFAAs were found in all matrixes except albumen. The predominant PFAA was perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), which was found in the μg/g wet weight (ww) range in some samples of cormorant whole egg, yolk and liver and herring gull egg yolk and liver. The average concentration in yolk was 1,506 ng/g ww in cormorant and 589 ng/g ww in herring gull. The average liver concentrations of PFOS were 583 ng/g ww in cormorant and 508 ng/g ww in herring gull. At these concentrations, biochemical effects in the developing embryo or effects on embryo survival cannot be ruled out. For perfluoroalkyl carboxylates (PFCAs), the liver/egg and liver/yolk concentration ratios increased with PFCA chain length in cormorant but not in herring gull, indicating that chain length could possibly affect egg-to-liver transfer of PFCAs and that species differences may exist.

  8. Does pond water reflectance influence double-crested cormorant selection of aquaculture pond?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Double-crested cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus) are a frequent and major avian predator on channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) and other aquaculture species throughout the southeastern USA. Although cormorant movements and occurrence within the aquaculture production region are understood, no s...

  9. Dioxin activation of CYP1A5 promoter/enhancer regions from two avian species, common cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) and chicken (Gallus gallus): Association with aryl hydrocarbon receptor 1 and 2 isoforms

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, Jin-Seon; Kim, Eun-Young Iwata, Hisato

    2009-01-01

    The present study focuses on the molecular mechanism and interspecies differences in susceptibility of avian aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR)-cytochrome P4501A (CYP1A) signaling pathway. By the cloning of 5'-flanking regions of CYP1A5 gene from common cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) and chicken (Gallus gallus), seven putative xenobiotic response elements (XREs) were identified within 2.7 kb upstream region of common cormorant CYP1A5 (ccCYP1A5), and six XREs were found within 0.9 kb of chicken CYP1A5 (ckCYP1A5). Analysis of sequential deletion and mutagenesis of the binding sites in avian CYP1A5 genes by in vitro reporter gene assays revealed that two XREs at -613 bp and -1585 bp in ccCYP1A5, and one XRE at -262 bp in ckCYP1A5 conferred TCDD-responsiveness. The binding of AHR1 with AHR nuclear translocator 1 (ARNT1) to the functional XRE in a TCDD-dependent manner was verified with gel shift assays, suggesting that avian CYP1A5 is induced by TCDD through AHR1/ARNT1 signaling pathway as well as mammalian CYP1A1 but through a distinct pathway from mammalian CYP1A2, an ortholog of the CYP1A5. TCDD-EC{sub 50} for the transcriptional activity in both cormorant AHR1- and AHR2-ccCYP1A5 reporter construct was 10-fold higher than that in chicken AHR1-ckCYP1A5 reporter construct. In contrast, chicken AHR2 showed no TCDD-dependent response. The TCDD-EC{sub 50} for CYP1A5 transactivation was altered by switching AHR1 between the two avian species, irrespective of the species from which the regulatory region of CYP1A5 gene originates. Therefore, the structural difference in AHR, not the CYP1A5 regulatory region may be a major factor to account for the dioxin susceptibility in avian species.

  10. Dioxin activation of CYP1A5 promoter/enhancer regions from two avian species, common cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) and chicken (Gallus gallus): association with aryl hydrocarbon receptor 1 and 2 isoforms.

    PubMed

    Lee, Jin-Seon; Kim, Eun-Young; Iwata, Hisato

    2009-01-01

    The present study focuses on the molecular mechanism and interspecies differences in susceptibility of avian aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR)-cytochrome P4501A (CYP1A) signaling pathway. By the cloning of 5'-flanking regions of CYP1A5 gene from common cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) and chicken (Gallus gallus), seven putative xenobiotic response elements (XREs) were identified within 2.7 kb upstream region of common cormorant CYP1A5 (ccCYP1A5), and six XREs were found within 0.9 kb of chicken CYP1A5 (ckCYP1A5). Analysis of sequential deletion and mutagenesis of the binding sites in avian CYP1A5 genes by in vitro reporter gene assays revealed that two XREs at -613 bp and -1585 bp in ccCYP1A5, and one XRE at -262 bp in ckCYP1A5 conferred TCDD-responsiveness. The binding of AHR1 with AHR nuclear translocator 1 (ARNT1) to the functional XRE in a TCDD-dependent manner was verified with gel shift assays, suggesting that avian CYP1A5 is induced by TCDD through AHR1/ARNT1 signaling pathway as well as mammalian CYP1A1 but through a distinct pathway from mammalian CYP1A2, an ortholog of the CYP1A5. TCDD-EC(50) for the transcriptional activity in both cormorant AHR1- and AHR2-ccCYP1A5 reporter construct was 10-fold higher than that in chicken AHR1-ckCYP1A5 reporter construct. In contrast, chicken AHR2 showed no TCDD-dependent response. The TCDD-EC(50) for CYP1A5 transactivation was altered by switching AHR1 between the two avian species, irrespective of the species from which the regulatory region of CYP1A5 gene originates. Therefore, the structural difference in AHR, not the CYP1A5 regulatory region may be a major factor to account for the dioxin susceptibility in avian species.

  11. Genetic sequence data identifies the cercaria of Drepanocephalus spathans (Digenea: Echinostomatidae), a parasite of the double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus), with notes on its pathology in juvenile channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus).

    PubMed

    Griffin, Matt J; Khoo, Lester H; Quiniou, Sylvie M; O'Hear, Mary M; Pote, Linda M; Greenway, Terrence E; Wise, David J

    2012-10-01

    An unidentified xiphidio-type cercaria, previously thought inconsequential to catfish health, was found to be released from marsh rams-horn snails (Planorbella trivolvis) inhabiting ponds on a commercial catfish operation in the Mississippi Delta. A preliminary challenge of cohabiting channel catfish ( Ictalurus punctatus ) with snails actively shedding the unidentified cercariae resulted in death of some fish. A second cohabitation trial yielded similar results, as did a third challenge of 250 cercariae/fish. Histopathology revealed developing metacercariae concentrated in the cranial region, especially within the branchial chamber, with several metacercariae at the base of the branchial arches within, or adjacent to, blood vessels, possibly the proximate cause of death. Genetic sequence analysis of the 18S small subunit ribosomal DNA (ssDNA), 28S large subunit rDNA (lsDNA), and cytochrome oxidase (Cox1) genes all matched the cercariae to Drepanocephalus spathans (Digenea: Echinostomatidae), a parasite of the double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus), a piscivorous bird endemic on most catfish farms. This is the first commentary regarding pathology of D. spathans in juvenile channel catfish as well as the first report of the marsh rams-horn snail as an intermediate host in the D. spathans life cycle. The data presented here suggest this parasite could have limiting effects on catfish production, further supporting the need for adequate snail control programs to reduce trematode prevalence on commercial catfish operations.

  12. Consequent effects of the great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis) predation on parasite infection and body condition of common carp (Cyprinus carpio).

    PubMed

    Ondračková, Markéta; Valová, Zdenka; Kortan, Jiří; Vojtek, Libor; Adámek, Zdeněk

    2012-04-01

    Lesions ranging from surface wounds to deep tissue wounds caused by cormorant predation were observed on several species of the farmed fish in Pohořelice, Czech Republic. Two-year-old stocked common carp Cyprinus carpio harvested in late March were examined for ectoparasites and endoparasites, injuries extent, and lysozyme concentration in skin mucus. Additionally, three body condition indices were measured. Endoparasite infection occurred only scarcely. Wounded fish were more susceptible to the ectoparasites Gyrodactylus spp. and Dactylogyrus spp. (Monogenea), and Ichthyophthirius multifiliis (Ciliophora). The intensity of infection of other ectoparasites Eudiplozoon nipponicum (Monogenea), Argulus spp. (Branchiura) and trichodinids (Ciliophora) did not significantly differ between wounded and control groups of fish. Lysozyme concentration in fish mucus was significantly higher in wounded fish and was positively associated with both the extent of damaged epithelium and Gyrodactylus spp. abundance. There were no differences in Fulton's condition factor and lipid content in muscle and liver tissues between wounded and non-wounded fish. Higher values of spleen-somatic index in wounded fish corresponded to increased intensity of parasite infection, most likely reflecting changes in immune system of infected fish. Although our results did not show any significant effect of cormorant attacks on fish condition, the wounded fish had significantly higher parasite numbers which could impact the growth or survival of the fish throughout the production season.

  13. Winter and summer home ranges and core use areas of double-crested cormorants captured near aquaculture facilities in the southeastern United States

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Migration patterns of Double-crested Cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus) wintering in the southeastern United States are poorly understood. Movement data was analyzed from 28 cormorants captured in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi and equipped with satellite transmitters. Four (3 immatur...

  14. Bacterial flora of free-living double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) chicks on Prince Edward Island, Canada, with reference to enteric bacteria and antibiotic resistance.

    PubMed

    Dobbin, Greg; Hariharan, Harry; Daoust, Pierre-Yves; Hariharan, Shebel; Heaney, Susan; Coles, Mada; Price, Lawrence; Anne Muckle, C

    2005-01-01

    Cloacal and pharyngeal swabs from 100 tree-nesting Double-crested cormorant (DCC) chicks were examined by culture for commensal and potentially pathogenic bacteria. No Salmonella or Erysipelothrix were isolated from the cloacal swabs. Twenty-two cloacal swabs were positive for Campylobacter, of which 14 were C. jejuni, C. coli, and 1 C. lari. None belonged to common serotypes isolated from humans or animals in recent years in Canada. Tests for antimicrobial drug resistance among 187 commensal Escherichia coli isolates from the cloacal swabs indicated that < or =5% were resistant to any of the 12 antibiotics tested. This contrasts with the frequently high resistance rates among E. coli isolates from poultry. Pharyngeal swabs from DCC were negative for Pasteurella multocida. Culture of cloacal swabs from 100 ground-nesting DCC chicks resulted in the recovery of 19 Salmonella isolates, all of which were S. enterica serotype Typhimurium. None of these isolates were resistant to any of the 12 antibiotics tested. Altogether, these findings suggest that DCC from this region are not being colonized with commensal or potentially pathogenic enteric bacteria from agricultural or human sources and that enteric bacteria isolated from these birds are unlikely to contribute to a gene pool of antimicrobial drug resistance.

  15. Assay validation of the cardiac isoform of troponin I in double crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) plasma for diagnosis of cardiac damage.

    PubMed

    Daigneault, Melissa; Harr, Kendal E; Dean, Karen M; Bursian, Steven J

    2017-03-14

    Cardiac abnormalities, initially found in Deepwater Horizon weathered MC252 crude oil exposed Double Crested Cormorants (DCCOs) upon gross necropsy, were further investigated using echocardiography. Clinical and statistically significant changes including decreased ventricular myocardial contractility and arrhythmia were elucidated by echocardiography and interpreted by boarded cardiologists as potentially life threatening. The objective of this investigation was to initiate development of an antemortem, sensitive blood screening test for cardiac damage due to oil exposure of avian species. An assay for the cardiac isoform of troponin I (cTnI) which is known to be highly cross-reactive across mammalian species was chosen and analytically validated in DCCO. This is the first time this test has been analytically validated in avian species. All plasma samples from birds assessed as healthy had trace concentrations (<0.016ng/ml). The assays was precise and accurate revealing a coefficient of variation <3% and an R(2)>0.99. Diagnostic investigation revealed that the test appears to have diagnostic potential for the diagnosis of cardiomyocyte damage. Diagnostic sensitivity and specificity were 91% and 73% in this laboratory population. Due to an equivocal sample population in which health could not be proven, further investigation is needed to diagnostically validate troponin I in the assessment of oil exposure in DCCO.

  16. Measurement of plasma corticosterone and fecal glucocorticoid metabolites in the chicken (Gallus domesticus), the great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo), and the goshawk (Accipiter gentilis).

    PubMed

    Dehnhard, M; Schreer, A; Krone, O; Jewgenow, K; Krause, M; Grossmann, R

    2003-05-01

    A method for the non-invasive measurement of glucocorticoid metabolites in feces of chickens was established and validated. After high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) the presence of at least two fecal immunoreactives was demonstrated, one co-eluting with authentic corticosterone, whereas the second substance migrates close to corticosterone sulphate. We investigated the relationship between corticosterone in blood plasma obtained by a vena brachialis catheter and fecal samples in groups of five chickens after an ACTH and a dexamethasone injection to stimulate and to suppress adrenal activity. A control group received a saline injection. After ACTH plasma cortisol concentrations increased 16-fold after 1.5 h to levels between 19 and 38 ng/ml and dropped to pre-treatment levels (1.1-2.5 ng/ml) 4h after stimulation. Dexamethasone did not result in a distinct suppression of adrenocortical activity and plasma corticosterone dropped only slightly below pre-treatment levels. The concentrations in fecal metabolites corresponded to the changes in the levels of biological active hormone in plasma. Fecal peak excretion (105-295 ng/g) was obtained with a delay of approximately 4 h compared to plasma. The profile obtained after ACTH challenge reflected a broader and dampened pattern of glucocorticoid secretion and provided a more integrated measure of adrenal activity. Dexamethasone treatment did not induce a measurable decrease in fecal metabolites and concentrations fluctuated around a mean of 30.0+/-9.9 ng/g, almost identical to those obtained from the saline treatment group (29.4+/-13.9 ng/g). In a separate experiment the effect of an alternative capture method (remote-controlled injection system) was investigated in cormorants. Plasma corticosterone measurements revealed a significantly diminished stress reaction compared to traditional trapping (1.24+/-0.78 vs. 10.9+/-12.1 ng/ml). Investigations whether goshawk nestlings infected with Trichomas gallinae differ

  17. Evolutionary changes affecting rapid identification of 2008 Newcastle disease viruses isolated from double-crested cormorants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    An outbreak of virulent Newcastle Disease Virus (NDV) in wild double-breasted cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus) occurred in North America in the summer of 2008. All ten viruses isolated from cormorants were positively identified by the USDA validated real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chai...

  18. Diet of double-crested cormorants wintering in Texas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Campo, J.J.; Thompson, B.C.; Barron, J.C.; Telfair II, R. C.; Durocher, P.; Gutreuter, S.

    1993-01-01

    The diets of 420 Double-crested Cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus) were studied during November 1986-March 1987 on eight public reservoirs in Texas. Prey included 29 fish species and the mean live weight of fish per bird was 122 g. Fishes a??415 mm long were ingested, but those a??125 mm accounted for 90% of cormorant food contents by number. Shad (Dorosoma spp.) and sunfishes (Lepomis spp.) accounted for 90% of the total food items by number. Consumption of fishes (percent by weight) was different for male vs. female and adult vs. juvenile cormorants. Total consumption of fish by weight was consistent throughout the period; however, fewer but much larger fish were consumed after 15 February. Cormorants ate fishes that were most abundant in reservoirs. Sport fishes made up a substantial portion of cormorant food by weight, but not by number on some reservoirs. Cormorants ate very few large sport fish, however.

  19. The phylogenetic position of the Galápagos Cormorant.

    PubMed

    Kennedy, Martyn; Valle, Carlos A; Spencer, Hamish G

    2009-10-01

    The endangered Galápagos Cormorant, Phalacrocorax harrisi, is unique among the species of the Phalacrocoracidae in being flightless and sequentially polyandrous. It has had a vexed taxonomic history, variously being lumped with all the species in Phalacrocorax, being accorded its own genus, Nannopterum, or being included in Leucocarbo or Compsohalieus. Different authorities have similarly suggested a number of different species as being its closest relative. Here we use novel mitochondrial DNA sequence data to show that the Galápagos Cormorant is related to the sister pair of the mainland Americas, the Double-crested Cormorant, P. auritus, and the Neotropic Cormorant, P. brasilianus. This trio of species has high statistical support (Bayesian posterior probability of 1.00; NJ bootstrap 98%; MP bootstrap 91%). The Galápagos Cormorant is thus a relatively recent offshoot of the mainland form, which has subsequently evolved flightlessness. Until the phylogeny of the cormorants is more clearly resolved, we recommend the continued use of Phalacrocorax for all species.

  20. Developing nondestructive techniques for managing conflicts between fisheries and double-crested cormorant colonies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Suzuki, Yasuko; Roby, Daniel D.; Lyons, Donald E.; Courtot, Karen; Collis, Ken

    2015-01-01

    Double-crested cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus) have been identified as the source of significant mortality to juvenile salmonids (Oncorhynchus spp.) in the Columbia River Basin. Management plans for reducing the size of a large colony on East Sand Island (OR, USA) in the Columbia River estuary are currently being developed. We evaluated habitat enhancement and social attraction as nondestructive techniques for managing cormorant nesting colonies during 2004–2007. We tested these techniques on unoccupied plots adjacent to the East Sand Island cormorant colony. Cormorants quickly colonized these plots and successfully raised young. Cormorants also were attracted to nest and raised young on similar plots at 2 islands approximately 25 km from East Sand Island; 1 island had a history of successful cormorant nesting whereas the other was a site where cormorants had previously nested unsuccessfully. On a third island with no history of cormorant nesting or nesting attempts, these techniques were unsuccessful at attracting cormorants to nest. Our results suggest that some important factors influencing attraction of nesting cormorants using these techniques include history of cormorant nesting, disturbance, and presence of breeding cormorants nearby. These techniques may be effective in redistributing nesting cormorants away from areas where fish stocks of conservation concern are susceptible to predation, especially if sites with a recent history of cormorant nesting are available within their foraging or dispersal range. Published 2015. Wiley Periodicals, Inc. This article is a US Government work and, as such, is in the public domain in the United States of America.

  1. Virulent Newcastle disease viruses isolated from cormorant and gull species in the states of the Atlantic Flyway in 2010

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Newcastle disease viruses (NDV) have been the causative agent for die-offs of juvenile double-crested cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus) in the northern border-states focused around the Great Lakes of the U.S. in years past. However, the most recent die-off has included not only great cormorants (P...

  2. Double-crested cormorants along the upper Mississippi River

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kirsch, E.M.

    1995-01-01

    The Upper Mississippi River is an important habitat corridor for migratory birds and other wildlife, and it supports an important commercial and sport fishery. A study was initiated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 1991 to describe Double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) distribution and abundance on the Upper Mississippi River throughout the year to better understand the possible impacts of cormorants on fish resources and populations of other piscivorous birds. Double-crested Cormorants were common breeders and abundant during migration on the Upper Mississippi River during the 1940s. Numbers of cormorants declined in the 1960s and 1970s along the Upper Mississippi River as they did in other parts of the United States. In 1992, 418 cormorant pairs were estimated to have nested in four colonies on the Upper Mississippi River, and less than 7,000 cormorants were estimated to have migrated along the river during the fall and spring of 1991 and 1992. Recent public concern for fish resources has grown with a perceived growth of the local cormorant population. Migrating cormorants collected on the Upper Mississippi River took Gizzard Shad (Dorosoma cepedianum) primarily, but chicks were fed a wide variety of fish species.

  3. Cormorant Catch Concerns for Fishers: Estimating the Size-Selectivity of a Piscivorous Bird

    PubMed Central

    Troynikov, Vladimir; Whitten, Athol; Gorfine, Harry; Pūtys, Žilvinas; Jakubavičiūtė, Eglė; Ložys, Linas; Dainys, Justas

    2013-01-01

    Conflict arises in fisheries worldwide when piscivorous birds target fish species of commercial value. This paper presents a method for estimating size selectivity functions for piscivores and uses it to compare predation selectivities of Great Cormorants (Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis L. 1758) with that of gill-net fishing on a European perch (Perca fluviatilis L. 1758) population in the Curonian Lagoon, Lithuania. Fishers often regard cormorants as an unwanted “satellite species”, but the degree of direct competition and overlap in size-specific selectivity between fishers and cormorants is unknown. This study showed negligible overlap in selectivity between Great Cormorants and legal-sized commercial nets. The selectivity estimation method has general application potential for use in conjunction with population dynamics models to assess fish population responses to size-selective fishing from a wide range of piscivorous predators. PMID:24244277

  4. Feeding flights of breeding double-crested cormorants at two Wisconsin colonies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Custer, T.W.; Bunck, C.

    1992-01-01

    Unmarked Double-crested Cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus ) were followed by airplane from Cat Island and Spider Island, two nesting colonies in Wisconsin, to their first landing site. Cormorants flew an average of 2.0 km from Cat Island (maximum 40 km) and 2.4 km from Spider Island (maximum 12 km). The mean direction of landing sites differed seasonally for flights from Spider Island, but not from Cat Island, Cormorants generally landed in Green Bay or Lake Michigan and rarely landed in inland lakes or ponds. The most frequent water depth at landing sites for each colony was < 9.1 m. Water depths greater than or equal to 9.1 m were used less frequently than available within the maximum observed flight distance for each colony. The average flight speed for cormorants was 61 km/h.

  5. Feeding flights of breeding double-crested cormorants at two Wisconsin colonies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Custer, T.W.; Bunck, C.

    1992-01-01

    Unmarked Double-crested Cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus) (n = 523) were followed by airplane from Cat Island and Spider Island, two nesting colonies in Wisconsin, to their first landing site. Cormorants flew an average of 2.0 km from Cat Island (maximum 40 km) and 2.4 km from Spider Island (maximum12 km). The mean direction of landing sites differed seasonally for fights from Spider Island, but not from Cat Island. Cormorants generally landed in Green Bay or Lake Michigan (>99%) and rarely landed in inland lakes or ponds. The most frequent (> 80%) water depth at landing sites for each colony was 9.l m were used less frequently than available within the maximum observed flight distance for each colony. The average flight speed for cormorants was 61 km/h.

  6. Cormorant catch concerns for fishers: estimating the size-selectivity of a piscivorous bird.

    PubMed

    Troynikov, Vladimir; Whitten, Athol; Gorfine, Harry; Pūtys, Zilvinas; Jakubavičiūtė, Eglė; Ložys, Linas; Dainys, Justas

    2013-01-01

    Conflict arises in fisheries worldwide when piscivorous birds target fish species of commercial value. This paper presents a method for estimating size selectivity functions for piscivores and uses it to compare predation selectivities of Great Cormorants (Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis L. 1758) with that of gill-net fishing on a European perch (Perca fluviatilis L. 1758) population in the Curonian Lagoon, Lithuania. Fishers often regard cormorants as an unwanted "satellite species", but the degree of direct competition and overlap in size-specific selectivity between fishers and cormorants is unknown. This study showed negligible overlap in selectivity between Great Cormorants and legal-sized commercial nets. The selectivity estimation method has general application potential for use in conjunction with population dynamics models to assess fish population responses to size-selective fishing from a wide range of piscivorous predators.

  7. Diet of cormorants and the impact of cormorant predation on juvenile flatfish in the Dutch Wadden Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leopold, Mardik F.; van Damme, Cindy J. G.; van der Veer, Henk W.

    1998-09-01

    Predation by great cormorants Phalacrocorax carbo on juvenile flatfish in the Dutch Wadden Sea was estimated from otoliths found in 182 regurgitated pellets. Pellets were collected at the main night roosts and in one colony, in late summer when cormorant numbers peak in the area. Otoliths of at least 24 different fish species were found, including both marine and freshwater species. Flatfish on average amounted to 73% of the fish found in numbers and contributed 79% by mass to the birds' diet. Among the flatfish species, 0-group fish were predominantly taken. Plaice Pleuronectes platessa was found most frequently (46% of all 0-group flatfish, n=6318), followed by dab Limanda limanda (34%), flounder Platichthys flesus (19%) and sole Solea solea (1%). Total consumption by cormorants was estimated by multiplying the number of cormorant-days over summer (184 days) by the mean number of flatfish found in the pellets per sampling location, under the assumption that each pellet contained the remains of the fish eaten during 24 hours and that the diet was similar in all summer months. In total about 28.58 million flatfish were consumed over summer, 27.46 million of which were 0-group fish, including 12.55 million 0-group plaice, 9.45 million dab, 5.17 million flounder and 0.29 million sole. These figures are underestimates, because some otoliths were clearly missing, and estimated average daily intake per cormorant on the basis of all otoliths found in the pellets (460 grams of fish) was only 70 to 90% of the theoretical daily food requirement. In 1992 and 1993 0-group flatfish abundance was very low and cormorant predation during the period July to September (92 days) accounted for 49.5% of the total stage mortality in 0-group plaice in 1992 and 27.3% in 1993. However, in normal years the impact of cormorant predation will be much lower.

  8. Counting calories in cormorants: dynamic body acceleration predicts daily energy expenditure measured in pelagic cormorants.

    PubMed

    Stothart, Mason R; Elliott, Kyle H; Wood, Thomas; Hatch, Scott A; Speakman, John R

    2016-07-15

    The integral of the dynamic component of acceleration over time has been proposed as a measure of energy expenditure in wild animals. We tested that idea by attaching accelerometers to the tails of free-ranging pelagic cormorants (Phalacrocorax pelagicus) and simultaneously estimating energy expenditure using doubly labelled water. Two different formulations of dynamic body acceleration, [vectorial and overall DBA (VeDBA and ODBA)], correlated with mass-specific energy expenditure (both R(2)=0.91). VeDBA models combining and separately parameterizing flying, diving, activity on land and surface swimming were consistently considered more parsimonious than time budget models and showed less variability in model fit. Additionally, we observed evidence for the presence of hypometabolic processes (i.e. reduced heart rate and body temperature; shunting of blood away from non-essential organs) that suppressed metabolism in cormorants while diving, which was the most metabolically important activity. We concluded that a combination of VeDBA and physiological processes accurately measured energy expenditure for cormorants.

  9. No One Saw this Coming: Endoparasitic Mites Behind the Eyes of a Double-crested Cormorant.

    PubMed

    Sheehan, Kate L; Spicer, Greg S; OConnor, Barry M; Hechinger, Ryan F

    2017-02-06

    We found hundreds of mites behind the eyes of a Double-crested Cormorant, Phalacrocorax auritus (Suliformes: Phalacrocoracidae). The mites were Neottialges evansi (Acari: Hypoderatidae), representing the first report of this parasite in P. auritus from western North America. Deutonymphs of N. evansi are endoparasites, typically reported infecting fat deposits over the pectoral muscles, axillary areas, and vent of cormorants. Here, mites infected only orbital tissues, a new infection site for hypoderatid mites. We suggest a lack of reports of this infection site could be explained by limited scrutiny of orbits, and deutonymphs mites infecting orbits may be more common than expected.

  10. Exploring potential effects of cormorant predation on the fish community in Saginaw Bay, Lake Huron

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    DeBruyne, Robin L.; Fielder, David G.; Roseman, Edward; Butchko, Peter H.

    2017-01-01

    Stakeholders and fishery managers expressed concern that double-crested cormorant Phalacrocorax auritus predation may be a factor in the recent poor survival of yellow perch Perca flavescens in Saginaw Bay. We quantified cormorant diets from two nesting colonies in Saginaw Bay during April–September in 2013 and 2014, with special emphasis on impacts to yellow perch. Cormorants (n = 691) were collected when returning to colonies after foraging. Stomachs were removed and preserved in the field. Diet items were identified, enumerated, and measured (n = 23.373). Cormorant diets from Saginaw Bay indicate a heavy reliance on round goby and Notropis species as prey during the breeding season, consistent with other areas of the Great Lakes where round goby and cormorants coincide. Respectively, the three most common prey species observed by number (%) and biomass (%) pooled across years and sites were round goby Neogobius melanostomus (56.6%, 42.1%), emerald shiner Notropis antherinoides (25.2%, 12.5%), and yellow perch (8.0%, 14.1%). Diet composition was more variable at Spoils Island than at Little Charity Island. Overall cormorant consumption (estimated using cormorant consumption demand rates) of yellow perch was compared to walleye consumption. Cormorant consumption of age-1 yellow perch was 13–17% as much as mean walleye consumption of yellow perch in 2013 and 8–11% in 2014. The cumulative effects of walleye and spring cormorant predation likely represent a recruitment bottleneck for yellow perch in Saginaw Bay. Future studies determining age-specific abundance of yellow perch would facilitate better determination of cormorant predation significance.

  11. Estimating the size of fish consumed by double-crested cormorants: Considerations for better understanding cormorant-fish interactions

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, James H.; Ross, Robert M.; McKenna, James E.; Lewis, Graham E.

    2006-01-01

    We measured 926 smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu), 6,935 yellow perch (Perca flavescens), 6,416 rock bass (Ambloplites rupestris), and 4,852 pumpkinseed (Lepomis gibbosus) otoliths recovered from double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) pellets to determine the sizes (total lengths) of these fish consumed by cormorants. Otoliths were recovered from cormorant pellets collected from 1993 to 2002 at six colonies along the eastern Lake Ontario–St. Lawrence River corridor. Otolith –length fish length regressions were used to estimate the length of fish species consumed by cormorants. Only 1.5% of these otoliths had no visible erosion, 33.3% had minor erosion, and 65.2% had moderate erosion. We found that the exclusive use of uneroded otoliths severely limited the sample size available for estimating fish size and likely would cause an overestimation of fish size. Species-specific differences were evident when using erosion criteria to determine fish size and could result in bias when estimating length, especially for species such as smallmouth bass whose otoliths possess a rostrum that is readily eroded. Using a random sample (n = 100) of all intact otoliths recovered in pellets provided a conservative estimate of fish length that was smaller than that derived from uneroded or minimally eroded otoliths. Annual variation in the size of fish consumed by cormorants was more pronounced than seasonal variation for most species. We describe and recommend a new technique that incorporates both chick regurgitant and pellet samples for estimating the size of fish consumed by cormorants.

  12. Cormorant predation and the population dynamics of walleye and yellow perch in Oneida Lake

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rudstam, L. G.; VanDeValk, A.J.; Adams, C.M.; Coleman, J.T.H.; Forney, J.L.; Richmond, M.E.

    2004-01-01

    Double-crested Cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus) increased dramatically in North America during the 1990s, providing the opportunity to study the effects of an increase of a top predator on an existing predator-prey system. In Oneida Lake, New York, USA, Double-crested Cormorants were first observed nesting in 1984 and had increased to over 360 nesting pairs by 2000. Concomitant with this increase in piscivorous birds was a decrease in the adult walleye (Stizostedion vitreum) and yellow perch (Perca flavescens) populations. Analysis of a 40-yr data series shows higher mortality of subadults (age 1-2 yr perch and age 1-3 yr walleye) for both species in the 1990s compared to the previous three decades. Cormorant diet was investigated from 1995 to 2000 using a combination of cast pellets, regurgitants, and stomach analysis. Walleye and yellow perch were a major portion of the cormorant diet during these years (40-82% by number). The number of subadult walleye and yellow perch consumed by cormorants suggests that the increase in subadult mortality can be explained by predation from cormorants. Mean mortality rates of adult percids attributed to cormorant predation were 1.1% per year for walleye and 7.7% per year for yellow perch. Our analysis suggests that predation by cormorants on subadult percids is a major factor contributing to the decline in both the walleye and the yellow perch populations in Oneida Lake. Other ecosystem changes (zebra mussels, lower nutrient loading, decrease in alternate prey) are not likely explanations because the potential mechanisms involved are not consistent with auxiliary data from the lake and would not affect subadult mortality. The likely impact of bird predation on percid populations in Oneida Lake occurs because cormorants feed on larger fish that are beyond the size range where compensatory mechanisms are important.

  13. Migration and wintering sites of Pelagic Cormorants determined by satellite telemetry

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hatch, Shyla A.; Gill, V.A.; Mulcahy, D.M.

    2011-01-01

    Factors affecting winter survival may be key determinants of status and population trends of seabirds, but connections between breeding sites and wintering areas of most populations are poorly known. Pelagic Cormorants (Phalacrocorax pelagicus; N= 6) surgically implanted with satellite transmitters migrated from a breeding colony on Middleton Island, northern Gulf of Alaska, to wintering sites in southeast Alaska and northern British Columbia. Winter locations averaged 920 km (range = 600-1190 km) from the breeding site. Migration flights in fall and spring lasted ???5 d in four instances. After reaching wintering areas, cormorants settled in narrowly circumscribed inshore locations (~10-km radius) and remained there throughout the nonbreeding period (September- March). Two juveniles tagged at the breeding colony as fledglings remained at their wintering sites for the duration of the tracking interval (14 and 22 mo, respectively). Most cormorants used multiple sites within their winter ranges for roosting and foraging. Band recoveries show that Pelagic Cormorants in southern British Columbia and Washington disperse locally in winter, rather than migrating like the cormorants in our study. Radio-tagging and monitoring cormorants and other seabirds from known breeding sites are vital for understanding migratory connectivity and improving conservation strategies for local populations. ?? 2011 The Authors. Journal of Field Ornithology ?? 2011 Association of Field Ornithologists.

  14. Diet of the double-crested cormorant in western Lake Erie

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bur, Michael T.; Tinnirello, Sandra L.; Lovell, Charles D.; Tyson, Jeff T.

    1999-01-01

    Sport and commercial fishing interest groups are concerned about potential impacts double-crested cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus) may have on fish species. Our objectives for this study were to determine the diet of the cormorant in western Lake Erie and the diet overlap and competition for resources with piscivorous fish, such as walleye (Stizostedion vitreum). The stomach contents of 302 double-crested cormorants collected in western Lake Erie consisted primarily of young-of-the-year gizzard shad (Dorosoma cepedianum), emerald shiner (Notropis atherinoides), and freshwater drum (Aplodinotus grunniens). In the spring, freshwater drum were the most frequently occurring food in the stomachs and constituted the greatest portion of the diet by weight. Young gizzard shad became the most abundant prey and made up the largest percentage of the diet by weight in the stomachs from the end of July through October. Emerald shiners were abundant in the diet during June, September, and October. The fish species that cormorants ate resembled, by proportion, the species mix found in trawl catches. The diets of cormorants and walleyes were similar from July to October with significant overlap. Results from this study suggest impacts of cormorants at current population levels in Lake Erie are not detrimental to sport and commercial fishing. Therefore, control for the purpose of reducing competition for prey fish with walleye is not warranted at this time.

  15. Numbers and distribution of double-crested cormorants on the upper Mississippi River

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kirsch, E.M.

    1997-01-01

    Historic records indicate that Double-crested Cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus) were common breeders and abundant during migration on the Upper Mississippi River from St. Paul, Minnesota, to St. Louis, Missouri, during the 1940s and 1950s. Their numbers declined in the mid-to late-1950s, remained low through the 1970s, and began to increase somewhat in the late 1980s. Aerial surveys of migrating cormorants and ground surveys at cormorant colonies during 1991-1993, indicate that numbers have not returned to historic levels. Only 500-2,000 cormorants were seen during spring migration 1992-1993; and 5,000-7,000 during fall migration 1991-1992; whereas, tens of thousands were reported in the 1940s and 1950s. Four hundred ninety-six nests were counted at 4 colonies in 1992, and 545 nests were counted in 9 colonies in 1993; whereas, during the 1940s and 1950s, about 2,500 birds were reported nesting in 4 locations. Pools 6 and 13 have always attracted breeding and migrating cormorants, currently attract the largest numbers of cormorants during migration, and still support breeding colonies.

  16. The 1992 epizootic of Newcastle disease in double-crested cormorants in North America

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Glaser, L.C.; Barker, I.K.; Weseloh, D.V.C.; Ludwig, J.; Windingstad, R.M.; Key, D.W.; Bollinger, T.K.

    1999-01-01

    In the summer of 1992, morbidity and mortality in juvenile double-crested cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus; DCC) attributable to Newcastle disease virus (NDV) was observed for the first time in seven northern USA states and one Canadian province, and recurred in three western Canadian provinces. Based on clinical signs and laboratory diagnostic findings, DCC mortality from NDV occurred in 59 of the 63 nesting colonies and two of three non-colony sites investigated. An estimate of in excess of 20,000 DCC died, with mortality rates ranging from < 1 to 37% in Great Lakes colonies to 20 to 92% in Minnesota (USA) and North and South Dakota (USA) colonies. Sick juvenile white pelicans (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) exhibiting signs similar to sick cormorants, and dead pelicans were observed in Minnesota and North Dakota. Mortality rates in pelican colonies were as high as in the adjacent cormorant colonies, but no cause for the mortality of an estimated 5,000 pelicans was determined. No evidence of NDV was found in other species nesting in proximity to affected cormorants. Although the source of the NDV infection is unknown in cormorants, the simultaneous onset of the epizootics in juvenile birds over a wide geographic area implies that the virus was acquired by adults prior to migration and was carried back to nest sites, exposing susceptible nestlings. The possible transmission of this virus from free-ranging wild birds to domestic poultry is a concern. Based on repeated epizootics in cormorants since 1990, NDV seems to be established in DCC.

  17. Numbers and distribution of Double-crested Cormorants on the upper Mississippi river

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kirsch, E.M.

    1997-01-01

    Historic records indicate that Double-crested Cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus) were common breeders and abundant during migration on the Upper Mississippi River from St. Paul, Minnesota, to St. Louis, Missouri, during the 1940s and 1950s. Their numbers declined in the mid- to late-1950s, remained low through the 1970s, and began to increase somewhat in the late 1980s. Aerial surveys of migrating cormorants and ground surveys at cormorant colonies during 1991-1993, indicate that numbers have not returned to historic levels. Only 500-2,000 cormorants were seen during spring migration 1992-1993; and 5,000-7,000 during fall migration 1991-1992; whereas, tens of thousands were reported in the 1940s and 1950s. Four hundred ninety-six nests were counted at 4 colonies in 1992, and 545 nests were counted in 9 colonies in 1993; whereas, during the 1940s and 1950s, about 2,500 birds were reported nesting in 4 locations. Pools 6 and 13 have always attracted breeding and migrating cormorants, currently attract the largest numbers of cormorants during migration, and still support breeding colonies.

  18. Bill malformations in double-crested cormorants with low exposure to organochlorines

    SciTech Connect

    Kuiken, T.; Fox, G.A.; Danesik, K.L.

    1999-12-01

    Eight of 20 newly hatched double-crested cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus), captured at Dore Lake (Saskatchewan, Canada) and raised in captivity, developed malformed bills when they were 2 to 3 weeks old. Malformation was characterized by abnormal flexure and rotation of the maxilla and mandible, resulting in a crossed bill. By radiography, the premaxillary and dental bones were misshapen. Morphologically similar malformed bills in free-living comorants have been attributed to exposure to polyhalogenated aromatic hydrocarbons. However, the concentrations of total PCBs in the livers of these captive cormorants with malformed bills and in their diet were lower than have been previously associated with such malformations and were considered too low to have been the cause. The bill malformations may have been caused by deficiency of vitamin D{sub 3}, because the cormorants were kept indoors without exposure to ultraviolet light and were fed frozen fish that may have been deficient in this vitamin.

  19. Industrial, agricultural, and petroleum contaminants in cormorants wintering near the Houston Ship Channel, Texas, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    King, K.A.; Stafford, C.J.; Cain, B.W.; Mueller, A.J.; Hall, H.D.

    1987-01-01

    Double-crested cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus ) collected in the Houston Ship Channel, Texas, USA, in November shortly after their fall migration contained residues of several industrial, agricultural, and petroleum contaminants including polychlorinated styrenes (PCS's), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB's), DDE, and petroleum hydrocarbons. PCS concentrations in over-wintering birds collected in late February were three times higher than those in birds collected in November. PCB and petroleum concentrations remained at about the same level throughout the 3-month winter period. Petroleum hydrocarbons were present in all cormorants and residues in some individuals exceeded 25 ppm (wet weight). Mean DDE residues in samples collected in November and February were less than 1 ppm. Low concentrations of five other organochlorine compounds, not detected in cormorants collected in November, were recovered in birds collected in February.

  20. Diet shift of double-crested cormorants in eastern Lake Ontario associated with the expansion of the invasive round goby

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, James H.; Ross, Robert M.; McCullough, Russell D.; Mathers, Alastair

    2010-01-01

    The proliferation of the invasive round goby (Apollonia melanostoma) in the Great Lakes has caused shifts in the trophic ecology in some areas. We examined the diet of double-crested cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritas) prior to, and immediately after, round goby population expansion at two colonies, Pigeon and Snake Islands, in eastern Lake Ontario from 1999 to 2007. Cormorant diet was determined from the examination of 10,167 pellets collected over the nine-year period. By the second year round gobies were found in the diet (2002 at Snake Island and 2003 at Pigeon Island) they were the main species consumed by cormorants at each colony. The dominance of round goby in cormorant diets had a significant effect on both daily fish consumption and seasonal trends in fish consumption compared to the pre-goby years. Seasonal differences that were observed during the pre-goby years were lost once gobies became the main diet component of cormorants. The rapid switch to a benthic prey such as round goby, from a largely limnetic fish diet demonstrates the adaptive foraging ability of cormorants. Round goby may act as a buffer for yellow perch and smallmouth bass, two sport fish impacted by cormorant predation in eastern Lake Ontario.

  1. Overlap in offshore habitat use by double-crested cormorants and boaters in western Lake Erie

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stapanian, Martin A.; Bur, Michael T.

    2002-01-01

    Double-crested cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus) and boats of 2 length classes (≤ 8 m and > 8 m) were counted from a boat along 31 established strip transects in western Lake Erie from 24 April to 1 September 2000. Each transect included only one of the following habitats: (1) offshore of a breeding island or roosting/loafing area for cormorants (“refuge”), (2) reefs or shoals, (3) open water, or (4) offshore of an island shoreline that had evidence of development by humans. Foraging cormorants were recorded most often offshore of refuges and least often on open water. There was no difference between the numbers of foraging cormorants/km2 recorded offshore of developed shorelines and on reefs and shoals. More than half of all boats recorded were on transects that were within 1 km of developed shorelines. Among those transects > 1 km from developed shorelines, there were no differences among the habitats for the number of boats of either length class. The respective ranks of the 31 transect means of the numbers of cormorants/km2 and the numbers of boats/km2 in either length class were uncorrelated. The results suggest that (1) cormorants select foraging habitats based mainly on shoreline type, distance from shoreline, and depth, and (2) the amount of boat traffic is influenced by proximity to port and trip objectives, including sport angling and recreational boating. Although there is overlap in habitat use by cormorants and humans, this overlap is not complete. The perception of cormorants as a threat to fish populations may in part be due to this overlap.

  2. Evolutionary changes affecting rapid identification of 2008 Newcastle disease viruses isolated from double-crested cormorants.

    PubMed

    Rue, Cary A; Susta, Leonardo; Brown, Corrie C; Pasick, John M; Swafford, Seth R; Wolf, Paul C; Killian, Mary Lea; Pedersen, Janice C; Miller, Patti J; Afonso, Claudio L

    2010-07-01

    A morbidity-mortality event involving virulent Newcastle disease virus (NDV) in wild double-crested cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus) occurred in North America in the summer of 2008. All 22 viruses isolated from cormorants were positively identified by the USDA-validated real-time reverse transcription-PCR assay targeting the matrix gene. However, the USDA-validated reverse transcription-PCR assay targeting the fusion gene that is specific for virulent isolates identified only 1 of these 22 isolates. Additionally, several of these isolates have been sequenced, and this information was used to identify genomic changes that caused the failure of the test and to revisit the evolution of NDV in cormorants. The forward primer and fusion probe were redesigned from the 2008 cormorant isolate sequence, and the revised fusion gene test successfully identified all 22 isolates. Phylogenetic analyses using both the full fusion sequence and the partial 374-nucleotide sequence identified these isolates as genotype V, with their nearest ancestor being an earlier isolate collected from Nevada in 2005. Histopathological analysis of this ancestral strain revealed morphological changes in the brain consistent with that of the traditional mesogenic pathotypes in cormorants. Intracerebral pathogenicity assays indicated that each of these isolates is virulent with values of >0.7 but not more virulent than earlier isolates reported from Canada.

  3. Evidence of secondary consumption of invertebrate prey by Double-crested Cormorants

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, J.H.; Ross, R.M.; Smith, D.R.

    1997-01-01

    The piscivorous nature of the Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) is well documented. However, many researchers who have used regurgitated pellets to describe the diet of cormorants report that invertebrates compose a small but consistent portion of the diet. We examined the hypothesis that invertebrates found in pellets are primarily the result of secondary consumption. We used odds ratio analysis to examine associations in 2,846 individual pellets between the presence of specific invertebrate prey and the presence of fish species known to consume those invertebrate taxa. Significant (P < 0.05) relationships occurred between gastropods and pumpkinseed (Lepomis gibbosus) and ictalurids, and between decapods and rock bass (Ambloplites rupestris) and smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu). Significant (P < 0.05) relationships were also found between pelecypods and pumpkinseed and ictalurids. We suggest that the invertebrate prey we observed in pellets were present in the digestive tracts of fish that were consumed by Double-crested Cormorants and hence represent secondary consumption by cormorants. We conclude that consumption of invertebrates by Double-crested Cormorants may be overestimated in the literature in instances where the diet was described using pellets.

  4. Foraging locations of double-crested cormorants on western Lake Erie: Site characteristics and spatial associations with prey fish densities

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stapanian, Martin A.; Bur, Michael T.; Tyson, Jeffrey T.; Seamans, Thomas W.; Blackwell, Bradley F.

    2002-01-01

    Radio-tagged double-crested cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus) nesting on Middle Island, Ontario and unmarked cormorants in the western basin of Lake Erie were monitored in 1999. Radio-tagged cormorants were located by aircraft and by boat along regular survey routes. In addition, foraging flocks of radio-tagged and unmarked cormorants were located during the boat surveys. Approximately 79% of foraging radio-tagged individuals, and approximately 65% of all foraging flocks were observed within 2.5 km of shore. These percentages were greater than expected, based on the percentage of the area of water within 2.5 km of shore. All size classes of flocks examined were found more frequently than expected on water ≤10 m deep. Trawling data collected annually from 1988 to 1999 during the month of August were used to determine the historical distributions of the four fish species found to comprise the majority of the diet of cormorants in the area. August corresponded to a period when there is maximal overlap in the diets of cormorants and walleye (Stizostedion vitreum) in the area and when the number of foraging cormorants in the area is large. Flocks of cormorants of all size classes examined were not found proportionately more in regions that contained higher than the historical median annual catches of any of the four prey species. These results, coupled with previous bioenergetics studies, suggest that the impact of cormorants on the fishery of the western basin of Lake Erie is localized with respect to depth and distance from shore.

  5. Foraging location and site fidelity of the Double-crested Cormorant on Oneida Lake, New York

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Coleman, J.T.H.; Richmond, M.E.; Rudstam, L. G.; Mattison, P.M.

    2005-01-01

    We studied the foraging behavior of the Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) on Oneida Lake, New York, by monitoring the activities of 27 radio-tagged birds in July and August of 1999 and 2000. A total of 224 locations were obtained of cormorants actively diving, and presumed foraging, at the time of detection. A geographic information system was used to examine foraging distances from the nesting island, the water depth and type of substrate at preferred foraging sites, and to estimate kernel home ranges for analysis of individual foraging site fidelity. An explanatory model was developed to determine parameters affecting the distance to cormorant foraging sites. The mean distance to foraging locations of tagged cormorants from the colony site was 2,920 m (SE ?? 180 m, max = 14,190 m), and 52% of the locations were within 2,000 m of the nesting island. No cormorant was observed making daily foraging trips to outside water bodies. Mean foraging distance was greater during morning than in the afternoon, and there was a significant effect of the time of day on distance. There was no significant effect of sex date, a seasonal measure on distance to foraging location. Individual cormorants exhibited fidelity to specific foraging sites. Most cormorants foraged in close proximity to the nesting island much of the time, while those detected further from the island tended to return repeatedly to the same locations. Ninety percent of the foraging locations were in water depths ???7.5 m, and most were in water 2.5-5 m deep. Compositional analysis of habitat use revealed a preference for these depths, along with substrates of cobble with rubble, and silt with clay.

  6. Diagnostic findings in the 1992 epornitic of neurotropic velogenic Newcastle disease in double-crested cormorants from the upper midwestern United States.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Meteyer, Carol U.; Docherty, Douglas E.; Glaser, Linda C.; Franson, J.C.; Senne, Dennis A.; Duncan, Ruth

    1997-01-01

    Neurotropic velogenic Newcastle disease (NVND) occurred in juvenile double-crested cormorants,Phalacrocorax auritus, simultaneously in nesting colonies in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Nebraska and in Lakes Michigan, Superior, Huron, and Ontario during the summer of 1992. Mortality as high as 80%-90% was estimated in some of the nesting colonies. Clinical signs observed in 4- to -6wk-old cormorants included torticollis, tremors, ataxia, curled toes, and paresis or weakness of legs, wings or both, which was sometimes unilateral. No significant mortality or unusual clinical signs were seen in adult cormorants. Necropsy of 88 cormorants yielded no consistent gross observations. Microscopic lesions in the brain and spinal cord were consistently present in all cormorants from which Newcastle disease virus (NDV) was isolated. Characteristic brain lesions provided rapid identification of new suspect sites of NVND. Lesions were also present in the heart, kidney, proventriculus, spleen, and pancreas but were less consistent or nonspecific. NDV was isolated at the National Wildlife Health Center from 27 of 93 cormorants tested. Virus was most frequently isolated from intestine or brain tissue of cormorants submitted within the first 4wk of the epornitic. Sera collected from cormorants with neurologic signs were consistently positive for NDV antibody.The NDV isolate from cormorants was characterized as NVND virus at the National Veterinary Services Laboratories Ames, Iowa. The NVND virus was also identified as the cause of neurologic disease in a North Dakota turkey flock during the summer of 1992. Although no virus was isolated from cormorants tested after the first month of submissions, brain and spinal cord lesions characteristic of NVND were observed in cormorants from affected sites for 2 mo, at which time nesting colonies dispersed and no more submissions were received. Risk to susceptible populations of both wild avian species and domestic poultry makes

  7. Spring foraging distribution and habitat selection by Double-crested Cormorants on the Penobscot River, Maine USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Blackwell, B.F.; Krohn, W.B.

    1997-01-01

    Restoration of the Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) to New England rivers requires, in part, an understanding of the use of habitat and prey by potential and known predators. We examined variation in habitat use by Double-crested Cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritius), from April through June 1992-94 on ca. 288 km of the 2 primary tributaries and the mainstem of the Penobscot River, Maine. Our objectives were to quantify temporal and spatial variation in habitat use and test for selection of spring foraging habitats by cormorants. Cormorants forage during daylight hours only. To determine the distribution of foraging birds we conducted aerial surveys at intervals of 105 km north of the mouth of the mainstem. However, from late April through early June of all years, birds selected (P < 0.05) 4 of the 5 mainstem dams and the estuarine portion of the river. Cormorant use of dams remained at or above expected levels until the second week of June in all years. We suggest that cormorant selection for foraging areas adjacent to dams reflected a higher availability of prey, possibly due to delay and injury of migrating Atlantic salmon smolts. Cormorant selection of the estuarine portion of the Penobscot River was likely a response to a seasonally increasing availability and abundance of estuarine and marine prey, in addition to resident freshwater species and migrating smolts.

  8. Nutrient transfer from sea to land: the case of gulls and cormorants in the Gulf of Maine.

    PubMed

    Ellis, Julie C; Fariña, Jose Miguel; Witman, Jon D

    2006-03-01

    1. The structure of communities is influenced by the transport of resources across ecosystem boundaries. Seabirds are capable of introducing large amounts of marine-derived nutrients to land, thereby modifying resource availability to terrestrial species. 2. In this study we investigated the hypothesis that variation in nesting densities of great black-backed gulls Larus marinus and double-crested cormorants Phalacrocorax auritus would modify the effect of these species on soil nutrients and plant species composition on offshore islands in the Gulf of Maine, USA. 3. Our results showed a significant positive correlation between nest density and concentrations of ammonia and nitrate in soils, but no significant relationship between nest density and phosphate. Ammonia and phosphate concentrations were good predictors of plant species composition; there were more annual forbs than perennial grasses in the abandoned cormorant colony compared with the gull colonies. Extremely high concentrations of ammonia in the highest density colony (active cormorant) may have been the main factor inhibiting plant germination at this site. All of the plant species in gull and cormorant colonies showed enriched delta(15)N signatures, indicating substantial input of marine-derived nitrogen from seabirds. 4. Our study demonstrated that gulls and cormorants are effective vectors for the transport of marine nutrients to terrestrial ecosystems. However, transported nutrients occurred in particularly high concentrations in areas with nesting cormorants. Nesting densities and species-specific variation in resource transport should be considered when predicting the effects of seabirds and other biogenic vectors of allochthonous resources.

  9. Metal levels in feathers of cormorants, flamingos and gulls from the coast of Namibia in southern Africa.

    PubMed

    Burger, J; Gochfeld, M

    2001-06-01

    Arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, manganese, mercury, selemium, and tin concentrations were measured in the feathers of Cape cormorant (Phalacrocorax capensis), Hartlaub's gull (Larus hartlaubii), kelp gull (Larus dominicanus), and lesser flamingo (Phoeniconaias minor) from the coast of Namibia in southern Africa. Metal concentrations in feathers represent the concentrations in the blood supply at the time of feather formation. Cape Cormorants are piscivores; kelp gulls are primarily piscivores; Hartlaub's gull is an omnivore; and lesser flamingos eat primarily blue-green algae and invertebrates filtered from the water and sediment of hypersaline lagoons. We predicted that metal concentrations would reflect these trophic level differences. There were significant species differences in the concentrations of all metals, with flamingos having the lowest levels, and cormorants having the highest levels of 4 metals but not mercury. The gulls had the highest levels of mercury, perhaps reflecting their more scavenging behavior.

  10. The ecology of cormorants: some research needs and recommendations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Erwin, R.M.; Nettleship, David N.; Duffy, David C.

    1995-01-01

    Concerns about Double-crested Cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus) have arisen because of their rapid population increase across North America and their economic impact on several aquaculture and commercial fish industries. In spite of the concern for cormorants, little published research is available that addresses either basic population biology questions or management issues. Based on a literature review, I recommend that research be conducted in four areas. First, a large-scale banding and marking program should be initiated so that population models can be used to estimate age- and sex-specific survival and fecundity (as has been done for the Shag [P. aristotelis] in Europe). By marking individual birds, survival and movement rates can be estimated between nesting colonies, which will provide information about potential source versus sink colonies. Second, studies of movements during migration and winter are required. Presently, no data are available on habitat use during migration or on the length-of-stay by individual birds. This has important implications to how cormorants interact with other fish and wildlife species over a broad range. Studies of movements during winter with radio-marked birds should indicate whether the 'problem birds' at aquaculture sites are merely a few specialists. Third, limiting factors, such as contaminants and disease, should receive further investigation, especially in light of recent concerns over the outbreak of Newcastle disease. The relationship between contaminant levels and developmental abnormalities in young cormorants in certain areas of the Great Lakes in Canada and the United States remains equivocal. Fourth, further studies are needed to document the economic impacts of cormorants on Channel Catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) and other cultured fishes and to determine ways to reduce predation by fish-eating birds. Mesocosm experiments should be conducted to evaluate how different fish extraction rates affect final

  11. Little Galloo Island, Lake Ontario: Two decades of studies on the diet, fish consumption, and management of double-crested cormorants

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, James H.; McCullough, Russell D.; Farquhar, James F.; Mazzocchi, Irene

    2015-01-01

    The double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) colony at Little Galloo Island, Lake Ontario has been a Great Lakes focal point of controversy regarding cormorant–fish interactions for over two decades. We examined cormorant diet and fish consumption at the colony from 1992 to 2013. During this time period, two events, management actions and round goby (Neogobius melanostomus) invasion, occurred that affected the number of fish consumed by cormorants and their diet composition. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of round goby on the feeding ecology of cormorants and evaluate the efficacy of management actions on meeting cormorant population targets at the colony. Round goby first appeared in the diet in 2004 (0.8%) and within one year were the primary prey (29.3%). The presence of round goby in the diet of cormorants: (1) eliminated seasonal variability in diet composition, (2) reversed seasonal trends in the number of fish consumed daily, (3) increased daily fish consumption, and (4) significantly reduced the consumption of other species including yellow perch and smallmouth bass. Management actions, such as egg oiling and culling, were also effective in reducing nesting activity and the number of cormorant feeding days at the Little Galloo Island colony. There is evidence that the combination of management actions and round goby may have allowed some population recovery of yellow perch and smallmouth bass in eastern Lake Ontario.

  12. From yellow perch to round goby: A review of double-crested cormorant diet and fish consumption at three St. Lawrence River colonies, 1999–2013

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, James H.; Farquhar, James F; Klindt, Rodger M; Mazzocchi, Irene; Mathers, Alastair

    2015-01-01

    The number of double-crested cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus) in the upper St. Lawrence River has increased markedly since the early 1990s. In 1999, a binational study was initiated to examine the annual diet composition and fish consumption of cormorants at colonies in the upper river. Since 1999, 14,032 cormorant pellets, collected from May through September each year, have been examined from St. Lawrence River colonies to estimate fish consumption and determine temporal and spatial variation in diet. Seasonal variation in diet composition within a colony was low. Prior to 2006 yellow perch was the primary fish consumed by cormorants in the upper St. Lawrence River. Round goby were first observed in cormorant diets in 2003 and by 2006 were the main fish consumed at two of the three colonies. The time interval it took from the first appearance of round goby in the diet at a colony to when goby were the dominant prey species varied by island, ranging from two to five years. Daily fish consumption at each cormorant colony increased significantly from the pre-round goby to post-round goby period. The mean annual biomass of yellow perch consumed decreased significantly during the post-round goby period at the three colonies. Reduced consumption of yellow perch by cormorants may alleviate suspected localized impacts on perch near some of the larger river colonies.

  13. Effects of contaminants on Double-crested Cormorant reproduction in Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Custer, T.W.; Custer, Christine M.; Stromborg, K.L.; Melancon, M.J.; Adams, N.J.; Slotow, R.H.

    1998-01-01

    In 1994 and 1995, Double-crested Cormorants Phalacrocorax auritus were monitored from egg-laying through 12 days of age at Cat Island, Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA. Sample eggs at hatching were analysed for organochlorines (including total PCBs, PCB congeners, and DDE), hepatic microsomal ethoxyresorufin-O-dealkylase (EROD) activity in livers of embryos, and eggshell thickness. The number of eggs per nest that hatched and survived to i 2 days of age was estimated to be 2.2 in 1994 and 2.0 in 1995. Hatching success of eggs was not correlated with PCBs, the toxicity of PCBs based on congeners, or EROD activity. Hatching success was correlated with eggshell thickness and negatively correlated with DDE concentrations. Even though the insecticide DDT was banned in the early 1970s, we suggest that DDE concentrations in cormorant eggs in Green Bay are still having an affect on reproduction in this species.

  14. Effects of contaminants on Double-crested Cormorant reproduction in Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Custer, T.W.; Custer, Christine M.; Stromborg, K.L.; Melancon, M.J.; Adams, N.J.; Slotow, R.H.

    1999-01-01

    In 1994 and 1995, Double-crested Cormorants Phalacrocorax auritus were monitored from egg-laying through 12 days of age at Cat Island, Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA. Sample eggs at hatching were analysed for organochlorines (including total PCBs, PCB congeners, and DDE), hepatic microsomal ethoxyresorufin-O-dealkylase (EROD) activity in livers of embryos, and eggshell thickness. The number of eggs per nest that hatched and survived to i 2 days of age was estimated to be 2.2 in 1994 and 2.0 in 1995. Hatching success of eggs was not correlated with PCBs, the toxicity of PCBs based on congeners, or EROD activity. Hatching success was correlated with eggshell thickness and negatively correlated with DDE concentrations. Even though the insecticide DDT was banned in the early 1970s, we suggest that DDE concentrations in cormorant eggs in Green Bay are still having an affect on reproduction in this species.

  15. Using species distribution models to define nesting habitat of the eastern metapopulation of double-crested cormorants.

    PubMed

    Sheehan, Kate L; Esswein, Samuel T; Dorr, Brian S; Yarrow, Greg K; Johnson, Ron J

    2017-01-01

    When organisms with similar phenotypes have conflicting management and conservation initiatives, approaches are needed to differentiate among subpopulations or discrete groups. For example, the eastern metapopulation of the double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) has a migratory phenotype that is culled because they are viewed as a threat to commercial and natural resources, whereas resident birds are targeted for conservation. Understanding the distinct breeding habitats of resident versus migratory cormorants would aid in identification and management decisions. Here, we use species distribution models (SDM: Maxent) of cormorant nesting habitat to examine the eastern P. auritus metapopulation and the predicted breeding sites of its phenotypes. We then estimate the phenotypic identity of breeding colonies of cormorants where management plans are being developed. We transferred SDMs trained on data from resident bird colonies in Florida and migratory bird colonies in Minnesota to South Carolina in an effort to identify the phenotype of breeding cormorants there based on the local landscape characteristics. Nesting habitat characteristics of cormorant colonies in South Carolina more closely resembled those of the Florida phenotype than those of birds of the Minnesota phenotype. The presence of the resident phenotype in summer suggests that migratory and resident cormorants will co-occur in South Carolina in winter. Thus, there is an opportunity for separate management strategies for the two phenotypes in that state. We found differences in nesting habitat characteristics that could be used to refine management strategies and reduce human conflicts with abundant winter migrants and, at the same time, conserve less common colonies of resident cormorants. The models we use here show potential for advancing the study of geographically overlapping phenotypes with differing conservation and management priorities.

  16. Experimental St. Louis encephalitis virus infection of sloths and cormorants.

    PubMed

    Seymour, C; Kramer, L D; Peralta, P H

    1983-07-01

    Experimental infection of 11 Bradypus variegatus and Choloepus hoffmanni sloths with St. Louis encephalitis (SLE) virus produced detectable viremias of seven to 27 (median 13) days duration and maximum titers of 2.7 to 6.5 (median 5.1) log10 median suckling mouse intracranial lethal doses (SMicLD50) per ml. Experimental SLE viremia onset was delayed and maximum titer depressed in two sloths concurrently infected with naturally acquired viruses. SLE viremias in four experimentally inoculated cormorants Phalacrocorax olivaceus were shorter, and of equal or lower titer, than in sloths. Colonized Culex pipiens quinquefasciatus mosquitoes were infected by feeding on sloths circulating at least 4.8 log10 SMicLD50 of SLE virus per ml, and subsequently transmitted the infection to mice and chicks. An uninoculated baby Bradypus became infected by contact transmission from its mother. The antibody response of sloths to SLE virus was slow, being undetectable until several weeks post-inoculation. However, both sloth species developed high and long-lasting neutralizing and hemagglutination-inhibition antibody titers. The complement-fixation antibody response in Bradypus was lower and slower to develop than in Choloepus. Sloths with naturally acquired SLE virus antibody did not become detectably viremic after experimental inoculation. Neither sloths nor cormorants become overly ill from SLE virus infection.

  17. Sulfur isotopes link overwinter habitat use and breeding condition in Double-crested Cormorants.

    PubMed

    Hebert, Craig E; Bur, Michael; Sherman, David; Shutt, J Laird

    2008-04-01

    North American Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) populations have increased greatly. Both breeding and overwintering ground factors have likely contributed to these increases. However, demonstrating how overwintering conditions may affect breeding birds has not been possible because of the difficulty in linking breeding birds to their wintering grounds. Here, we demonstrate the utility of stable sulfur isotopes to elucidate overwintering habitat use by cormorants breeding on Lake Erie. Sulfur isotopes in feathers grown on overwintering grounds provided insights into the degree to which birds used freshwater vs. marine environments. The proportion of birds utilizing freshwater habitats increased through time. This change may have reflected increases in freshwater aquaculture (i.e., catfish) in the U.S. south. Examination of body condition in birds returning to breed on Lake Erie indicated that those individuals that solely used marine habitats for at least a portion of the overwintering period were in poorer condition than birds using freshwater. Enhanced foraging opportunities at aquaculture facilities may improve the fitness of individuals that have returned to breed after overwintering at such locations. This study is the first to demonstrate a linkage between overwinter habitat use and breeding ground parameters in Double-crested Cormorants. These results underscore that factors throughout the Mississippi flyway are likely acting together to regulate cormorant populations.

  18. Dynamics of the double-crested cormorant population on Lake Ontario

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Blackwell, Bradley F.; Stapanian, Martin A.; Weseloh, D.V. Chip

    2002-01-01

    After nearly 30 years of recolonization and expansion across North America, the double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) occupies the role of a perceived and, in some situations, realized threat to fish stocks and other resources. However, population data necessary to plan, defend, and implement management of this species are few. Our purpose was to gain insight into the relative contribution of various population parameters to the overall rate of population growth and identify data needs critical to improving our understanding of the dynamics of double-crested cormorant populations. We demonstrated the construction of a biologically reasonable representation of cormorant population growth on Lake Ontario (1979-2000) by referencing literature values for fertility, age at first breeding, and survival. These parameters were incorporated into a deterministic stage-classified matrix model. By calculating the elasticity of matrix elements (i.e., statgspecific fertility and survival), we found that cormorant population growth on Lake Ontario was most sensitive to survival of birds about to turn age 3 and older. Finally, we demonstrated how this information could be used to evaluate management scenarios and direct future research by simulating potential environmental effects on fertility and survival, as well as a 5-year egg-oiling program. We also demonstrated that survival of older birds exerts more effective population control than changes in fertility.

  19. Daily foraging patterns of adult Double-crested Cormorants during the breeding season

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Coleman, J.T.H.; Richmond, M.E.

    2007-01-01

    We recorded the daily presence of Double-crested Cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus) at the nesting island on Oneida Lake, New York, by monitoring the activities of 15 radio-tagged adults from July through September, 2000, using an automated data-logging receiver. A total of 24,464 acceptable detections was obtained for adult cormorants actively attempting to nest on the lake. Tagged cormorants had a bimodal dally activity pattern during the first month, with the fewest birds detected on the island at 09.00 h and 15.00 h Eastern daylight time. The pattern of activity appeared to change slightly in the second month of the study, representative of a post-breeding period for the colony, with a shift from a less synchronous pattern of departures to a greater focus on morning activity also centered around 09.30 h. These results correspond with daily observations of Great Cormorant (P. carbo) foraging activities reported for colonies in Africa and Poland. The data also support the possibility of nocturnal foraging activity, not previously reported for this species on their summer breeding grounds. No correlation was found between total number of daily detections and climatalogical factors or events.

  20. Influence of diet of double-crested cormorants on thiamine, lead, and mineral contents of their eggs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ketola, H. George; Johnson, James H.; Adams, C.M.; Farquhar, J.F.

    2009-01-01

    Throughout much of the Great Lakes basin, reproduction of several fish species is impaired by deficiency of thiamine in their eggs, an effect attributed to consumption of thiaminase-containing forage species, primarily alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus.) Because the double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) nesting on islands in Lake Ontario is known to consume considerable amounts of alewife, we examined cormorant food habits and measured thiamine content in eggs collected in 1999 from six separate nests of cormorants from colonies near Lake Ontario and contrasted them with food habits and eggs of cormorants from Oneida Lake where the alewife is rare. Thiamine concentrations in eggs varied between 4.31 and 11.24 nmoleslg with no significant (P>0.18) difference between mean concentrations for Lake Ontario and Oneida Lake (8.08 vs 8.36 nmoles/g) even though alewife comprised approximately 65 vs 0 % of their diets, respectively. Consumption of other thiaminase-containing species was minor in both lakes. Therefore, consumption of alewife and other thiaminase containing fishes by cormorants on Lake Ontario did not appear to significantly impair the levels of thiamine in their eggs. However, we found that the concentration of thiamine in eggs (T; nmoles/g) was inversely related (P<0.02) to lead (Pb) concentration (μg/g) according to the equation: T = −3.142 Pb + 16.25. This relationship may reflect the known ability of thiamine to chelate lead and increase its excretion.

  1. Influence of diet of double-crested cormorants on thiamine, lead, and mineral contents of their eggs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ketola, H.G.; Johnson, J.H.; Adams, C.M.; Farquhar, J.F.

    2009-01-01

    Throughout much of the Great Lakes basin, reproduction of several fish species is impaired by deficiency of thiamine in their eggs, an effect attributed to consumption of thiaminase-containing forage species, primarily alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus). Because the double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) nesting on islands in Lake Ontario is known to consume considerable amounts of alewife, we examined cormorant food habits and measured thiamine content in eggs collected in 1999 from six separate nests of cormorants from colonies near Lake Ontario and contrasted them with food habits and eggs of cormorants from Oneida Lake where the alewife is rare. Thiamine concentrations in eggs varied between 4.31 and 11.24 nmoles/g with no significant (P>0.18) difference between mean concentrations for Lake Ontario and Oneida Lake (8.08 vs 8.36 nmoles/g) even though alewife comprised approximately 65 vs 0 % of their diets, respectively. Consumption of other thiaminase-containing species was minor in both lakes. Therefore, consumption of alewife and other thiaminase containing fishes by cormorants on Lake Ontario did not appear to significantly impair the levels of thiamine in their eggs. However, we found that the concentration of thiamine in eggs (T; nmoles/g) was inversely related (P<0.02) to lead (Pb) concentration (µg/g) according to the equation: T = -3.142 Pb + 16.25. This relationship may reflect the known ability of thiamine to chelate lead and increase its excretion.

  2. The relationship between the abundance of smallmouth bass and double-crested cormorants in the eastern basin of Lake Ontario

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lantry, B.F.; Eckert, T.H.; Schneider, C.P.; Chrisman, J.R.

    2002-01-01

    Available population and diet data on double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) and smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieui) numbers, demographics, and exploitation rates were synthesized to examine the relationship between cormorant and smallmouth bass abundance in the U.S. waters of the eastern basin of Lake Ontario. It was found that after the number of cormorants nesting on Little Galloo Island in New York exceeded 3,500 pairs in 1989, survival of young smallmouth bass, not yet of legal size for the sport harvest (< 305 mm), began to decline. Despite production of strong year classes in 1987 and 1988, abundance of smallmouth bass measured from gill net surveys declined to its lowest level by 1995 and remained there through 1998. Stable or increasing catch and harvest rates in other local fisheries along the U.S. shore suggested that declines in smallmouth bass abundance in the eastern basin were not related to water quality. Stable or increasing growth rates for smallmouth bass age 2 and older since the 1980s further indicated that food resource limitation was also not the cause for declines in abundance. Comparisons of estimates of size and age-specific predation on smallmouth bass by cormorants with projected smallmouth bass population size indicated that much of the increased mortality on young smallmouth bass, could be explained by cormorant predation.

  3. Little Galloo Island, Lake Ontario: A review of nine years of double-crested cormorant diet and fish consumption information

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, James H.; Ross, Robert M.; McCullough, Russ D.

    2002-01-01

    The diet of double-crested cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus) on Little Galloo Island (LGI) in the eastern basin of Lake Ontario has been quantified since 1992. Over the past nine years considerable information has been generated on cormorant feeding ecology through the examination of approximately 12,000 pellets collected on LGI, where three distinct cormorant feeding periods, pre-chick, chick, and post-chick, are delineated by differences in diet composition and daily fish consumption. Yellow perch (Perca flavescens) were the major prey during pre-chick and post-chick feeding periods. Alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus), which move inshore to spawn in mid-June, dominated (>60%) cormorant diets during the chick feeding period. Mean daily fish consumption (14.6) during the pre-chick feeding period was significantly greater than during the chick feeding (9.3) or post-chick feeding (8.0) periods. The proportion of smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu) in the diet increased over the season (0.8% to 7.2%), while the size of bass consumed declined (214 mm to 143 mm). Forage fish (mainly alewife, three-spine sticklebacks [Gasterosteus aculeatus] and minnows) comprised 58% of the diet of LGI cormorants, followed by panfish (37%) (yellow perch, pumpkinseed [Lepomis gibbosus], rock bass [Ambloplites rupestris]) and gamefish (5%) (mostly smallmouth bass). On the average LGI cormorants consumed about 32.8 million fish annually, weighing about 1.4 million kilograms. Cormorants from LGI consumed more biomass of smallmouth bass and yellow perch annually than is taken by sport (bass and yellow perch) and commercial (perch) fishermen.

  4. A comparative analysis of double-crested cormorant diets from stomachs and pellets from two Lake Ontario colonies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, James H.; Ross, Robert M.; McCullough, Russell D.; Mathers, Alastair

    2010-01-01

    Double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) diets were compared with evidence from the stomachs of shot birds and from regurgitated pellets at High Bluff Island and Little Galloo Island, Lake Ontario. The highest similarity in diets determined by stomach and pellet analyses occurred when both samples were collected on the same day. Diet overlap dropped substantially between the two methods when collection periods were seven to ten days apart, which suggested differences in prey availability between the two periods. Since the average number of fish recovered in pellets was significantly higher than that in stomachs, use of pellets to determine fish consumption of double-crested cormorants may be more valid than stomach analysis because pellet content represent an integrated sampling of food consumed over approximately 24 hours.

  5. EROD induction in microsomes and primary hepatocyte cultures prepared from individual double-crested cormorant embryo livers

    SciTech Connect

    Davis, J.A.; Fry, D.M.; Wilson, B.W.

    1994-12-31

    Double-crested cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus) are being studied as a high trophic level indicator species for toxic contamination in San Francisco Bay and other locations on the California coast. In 1993, median ethoxyresorufin-o-deethylase (EROD) activities in embryo liver microsomes sampled from San Francisco Bay colonies were 4.2-fold and 2.3-fold higher than two coastal locations. In 1994 cormorant embryo livers from these same locations were again analyzed for liver microsomal EROD activity. In addition, basal and maximal EROD activity were measured in primary hepatocyte cultures from portions of the same livers used for microsomal EROD analysis to determine whether factors other than contaminant burdens in the egg contribute to the observed differences in activity. Differences in basal activity and induction capacity among the populations are discussed in the context of the hypothesis that polluted habitats select for increased metabolic capacity in affected populations.

  6. Estimation of effects of dioxins and dioxin-like PCBs on wildlife population--a case study on common cormorant.

    PubMed

    Murata, Mariko; Iseki, Naomasa; Masunaga, Shigeki; Nakanishi, Junko

    2003-10-01

    We presented a method for quantitatively evaluating the effects of chemical pollutants in the environment on a wildlife population. We expressed the effects of exposure to dioxins and dioxin-like PCBs in Tokyo Bay sediment on a common cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) population in two ways. One was the changes in the intrinsic growth rate, and the other was the changes in the gross population size. The effects of exposure to the compounds were estimated by using the method of population ecology and available field data. Common cormorant population at Shinobazu Pond in Tokyo, Japan during 1974-1986 was selected as the target population. Intrinsic growth rate or gross size of the population based on the calculated residual level of dioxins and dioxin-like PCBs in the period was estimated to decrease to 89% or 85% of that without exposure to the compounds, respectively.

  7. Double-crested Cormorant studies at Little Galloo Island, Lake Ontario in 2013: diet composition, fish consumption and the efficacy of management activities in reducing fish predation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, James H.; McCullough, Russell D.; Mazzocchi, Irene

    2014-01-01

    For almost two decades Little Galloo Island (LGI) has supported a large colony of Double-crested Cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus) in the eastern basin of Lake Ontario. Cormorant nest counts on the island since the early 1990's have averaged 4,297 per year. However, less than 2,000 pairs have nested on the island in three of the past five years. The highest count was reached in 1996 with 8,410 nesting pairs on the island. Johnson et al. (2013) estimated that cormorants from LGI alone have consumed 504 million fish since 1992. The proliferation of cormorants in the eastern basin of Lake Ontario coincided with declines in two important recreational fish species, smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolemieu) and yellow perch (Perca falvescens). Lantry et al. (2002) and Burnett et al. (2002) provide convincing evidence linking cormorant population increases to declining eastern basin smallmouth bass and yellow perch stocks. Decline of these fish stocks was evident only in the eastern basin, suggesting a localized problem, which is consistent with the halo effect where large piscivorous waterbird colonies may deplete local fish stocks (Birt et al. 1987). The year 2013 marked the twenty second consecutive year of study of the food habits and fish consumption of LGI cormorants and the fifteenth consecutive year evaluating the efficacy of management activities to control the reproductive success of cormorants nesting at LGI. The program consists mainly of spraying cormorant eggs with food grade vegetable oil as well as the culling of adult and immature birds. This paper reports the findings of work carried out in 2013 at LGI.

  8. Neottialges neopelagicus new species (Acari:Hypoderatidae) from the pelagic cormorant (Aves:Phalacrocoracidae:Pelecaniformes).

    PubMed

    Pence, D B; Newman, S

    1997-01-01

    A new species of hypoderatid deutonymph is described from the subcutaneous adipose tissues of the pelagic cormorant, Phalacrocorax pelagicus Pallas, from Alaska. Neotialges neopelagicus n. sp. is similar to the 3 other Neottialges spp. from cormorants. N. neopelagicus closely resembles N. tasmaniensis Fain & Domrow except the genital apodeme is incomplete in the latter, but the sclerotized T-shaped extremities are connected by a thin line of sclerotization to form a complete central apodeme in N. neopelagicus. There also are minor differences in leg chaetotaxy of these 2 species. The genital apodeme is heavily sclerotized throughout its length in N. evanis Fain and N. pelagicus OConnor. In both these species, seta d4 is long and resembles other middorsal idiosomal setae, whereas it is short and hairlike in N. tasmaniensis and N. neopelagicus. In N. pelagicus terminal seta as on tarsus IV is smooth; it is serrated in the other three species. The single pelagic cormorant we found infected with N. neopelagicus shared this host with N. pelagicus, emphasizing the possibility of coexistence of 2 very similar species of hypoderatids in the same host individual.

  9. Evidence for foraging -site fidelity and individual foraging behavior of pelagic cormorants rearing chicks in the gulf of Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kotzerka, J.; Hatch, Shyla A.; Garthe, S.

    2011-01-01

    The Pelagic Cormorant (Phalacrocorax pelagicus) is the most widespread cormorant in the North Pacific, but little is known about its foraging and diving behavior. However, knowledge of seabirds' foraging behavior is important to understanding their function in the marine environment. In 2006, using GPS dataloggers, we studied the foraging behavior of 14 male Pelagic Cormorants rearing chicks on Middleton Island, Alaska. For foraging, the birds had high fidelity to a small area 8 km north of the colony. Within that area, the cormorants' diving activity was of two distinct kinds-near-surface dives (1-6 m) and benthic dives (28-33 m). Individuals were consistent in the depths of their dives, either mostly shallow or mostly deep. Few showed no depth preference. Dive duration, time at maximum depth, and pauses at the water surface between consecutive dives were shorter for shallow dives than for deep dives. The cormorants made dives of both types throughout the day, but the frequency of deep dives increased toward evening. Maximum foraging range was 9 km; maximum total distance traveled per trip was 43.4 km. Trip durations ranged from 0.3 to 7.7 hr. Maximum depth of a dive was 42.2 m, and duration of dives ranged from 4 to 120 sec. We found that Pelagic Cormorants at Middleton Island were faithful to one particular foraging area and individuals dived in distinct patterns. Distinct, specialized foraging behavior may be advantageous in reducing intra- and interspecific competition but may also render the species vulnerable to changing environmental conditions. Copyright ?? The Cooper Ornithological Society 2011.

  10. Spring prey use by double-crested cormorants on the Penobscot River, Maine, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Blackwell, B.F.; Krohn, W.B.; Dube, N.R.; Godin, A.J.

    1997-01-01

    We analyzed 2 sets of data for Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) stomach contents (including esophageal contents) that were collected from April through June of 1986-1988 (N = 580) and 1992-1993 (N = 200) on the Penobscot River, Maine. Our objectives were to examine temporal and spatial variation in the spring diet and estimate the importance of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) smolts to the cormorant diet. We analyzed stomach contents relative to samples from 3 river sections: 5 mainstem dams collectively, above the head of tide, and free-flowing areas above and below the head of tide. Between years composition of taxa lists were compared (P = 0.05) relative to time and river section. We estimated taxon importance for data collected during 1992-1993 by ranking taxa according to 3 statistics: frequency of occurrence, mean percent volume, and numerical abundance. Data from 1986-88 were analyzed by frequency of occurrence only. Across the 3 river sections, the number of prey species recovered from cormorant stomachs increased from 15 in late April to at least 31 through May. Cormorants collected above the head of tide consumed 12 fish species (including freshwater, anadromous, and catadromous types), whereas birds collected below the head of tide consumed 28 freshwater and seasonally-available estuarine, marine benthic, and pelagic species. Salmon smolts were not recovered from stomachs collected in April, rare in stomach samples during the first week of June, and absent from the diet thereafter. In contrast, smolts were among the 5 most frequently occurring (1986-88) and highest ranking (1992-1993) prey taxa across the 3 river sections through May.

  11. Phylogeography and population genetic structure of double-crested cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mercer, Dacey; Haig, Susan M.; Roby, Daniel D.

    2013-01-01

    is genetically divergent from other populations in North America (net sequence divergence = 5.85 %;UST for mitochondrial control region = 0.708; FST for microsatellite loci = 0.052). Historical records, contemporary population estimates, and field observations are consistent with recognition of the Alaskan subspecies as distinct and potentially of conservation interest. Our data also indicated the presence of another divergent lineage, associated with the southwestern portion of the species range, as evidenced by highly unique haplotypes sampled in southern California. In contrast, there was little support for recognition of subspecies within the conterminous U.S. and Canada. Rather than genetically distinct regions corresponding to the putative subspecies [P. a. albociliatus (Pacific), P. a. auritus (Interior and North Atlantic), and P. a. floridanus (Southeast)], we observed a distribution of genetic variation consistent with a pattern of isolation by distance. This pattern implies that genetic differences across the range are due to geographic distance, rather than discrete subspecific breaks. Although three of the four traditional subspecies were not genetically distinct, possible demographic separation, habitat differences, and documented declines at some colonies within the regions, suggests that the Pacific and possibly North Atlantic portions of the breeding range may warrant differential consideration from the Interior and Southeast breeding regions.

  12. Breeding phenology and reproductive success of the Brandt's Cormorant at three nearshore colonies in central California, 1997-2001

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jones, Nathan M.; McChesney, Gerard; Parker, Michael W.; Yee, Julie L.; Carter, Harry R.; Golightly, Richard T.

    2008-01-01

    Brandt's Cormorant (Phalacrocorax penicillatus) breeding effort, phenology and success were studied in 1997-2001 at three colonies spanning approximately 200 km of the central California coast: Point Reyes (PR); Devil's Slide Rock and Mainland (DS); and Castle-Hurricane Colony Complex (CH). Breeding effort was reduced at all three colonies in the 1998 El Niño event. Mean clutch initiation dates differed significantly among colonies, with cormorants at the southernmost colony (CH) laying earliest, and those at the northernmost colony (PR) laying latest. Productivity at individual colonies varied greatly among years (range 0.7-2.5 fledglings per pair). Overall colony means were lowest (1.6 fledglings/pair) during the 1998 El Niño event and highest (2.5 fledglings/pair) in the 1999 La Niña event. Productivity at CH (1.7 fledglings/pair) was significantly lower than at PR (2.2 fledglings/pair), and interannual variation was greatest at CH. Late-nesting birds laid fewer eggs, hatched fewer chicks, and fledged fewer chicks per pair than early-nesters. The rapid rate of growth at some nearshore colonies in central California suggests immigration from elsewhere, most likely the large offshore colony at the South Farallon Islands. Variation in timing of breeding and reproductive success among colonies demonstrates a value in maintaining multiple study locations when assessing Brandt's Cormorant population parameters in the California Current System.

  13. Organochlorine contaminants and reproductive success of double-crested cormorants from Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Custer, T.W.; Custer, Christine M.; Hines, R.K.; Gutreuter, S.; Stromborg, K.L.; Allen, P.D.; Melancon, M.J.

    1999-01-01

    In 1994 and 1995, nesting success of double-crested cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus) was measured at Cat Island, in southern Green Bay, Lake Michigan, Wisconsin, USA. Sample eggs at pipping and unhatched eggs were collected and analyzed for organochlorines (including total polychlorinated biphenyls [PCBs] and DDE), hepatic microsomal ethoxyresorufin-O-dealkylase (EROD) activity in embryos, and eggshell thickness. Of 1,570 eggs laid, 32% did not hatch and 0.4% had deformed embryos. Of 632 chicks monitored from hatching to 12 d of age, 9% were missing or found dead; no deformities were observed. The PCB concentrations in sample eggs from clutches with deformed embryos (mean = 10.2 μg/g wet weight) and dead embryos (11.4 μg/g) were not significantly higher than concentrations in sample eggs from nests where all eggs hatched (12.1 μg/g). A logistic regression of hatching success versus DDE, dieldrin, and PCB concentrations in sibling eggs identified DDE and not dieldrin or PCBs as a significant risk factor. A logistic regression of hatching success versus DDE and eggshell thickness implicated DDE and not eggshell thickness as a significant risk factor. Even though the insecticide DDT was banned in the early 1970s, we suggest that DDE concentrations in double-crested cormorant eggs in Green Bay are still having an effect on reproduction in this species.

  14. Stennis visits Lake Cormorant school

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2010-01-01

    Alexis Harry, assistant director of Astro Camp at NASA's John C. Stennis Space Center, talks with students at Lake Cormorant (Miss.) Elementary School during a 'Living and Working in Space' presentation March 30. Stennis hosted the school presentation during a visit to the Oxford area. Harry, who also is a high school biology teacher in Slidell, La., spent time discussing space travel with students and answering questions they had about the experience, including queries about how astronauts eat, sleep and drink in space. The presentation was sponsored by the NASA Office of External Affairs and Education at Stennis. For more information about NASA education initiatives, visit: http://education.ssc.nasa.gov/.

  15. Fish losses to double-crested cormorant predation in Eastern Lake Ontario, 1992-97

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ross, Robert M.; Johnson, James H.

    1999-01-01

    We examined 4,848 regurgitated digestive pellets of double-crested cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus) over a 6-year period (1992–97) to estimate annual predation on sport and other fishes in the eastern basin of Lake Ontario. We found more than 51,000 fish of 28 species. Using a model that incorporates annual colony nest counts; fledgling production rates; adult, immature, and young-of-year residence times (seasonal); estimates of mean number of fish per pellet and mean fish size; and a fecal pathway correction factor (4.0 percent), we estimate total annual number of fish consumed by cormorants in the eastern basin of Lake Ontario to range from 37 million to 128 million fish for 1993–97. This fish loss equates to an estimated 0.93 million to 3.21 million kg (mean 2.07 million kg) of fish consumed per year, principally alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus, 42.3 percent) and yellow perch (Perca flavescens, 18.4 percent). Forage fish (alewife, cyprinids, trout-perch [Percopsis omiscomaycus], and other minor components) accounted for 65 percent of the diet, and panfish contributed 34 percent of the diet for the 5-year period. Game fish were minor components of the diet, in view of an average estimated annual consumption of 900,000 smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieui, 1.1 percent) and 168,000 salmonines (mostly lake trout, Salvelinus namaycush, 0.2 percent). Cormorant predation on lake trout fingerlings stocked in May 1993 and June 1994 was estimated through the use of coded wire tag recoveries from pellets collected on Little Galloo Island 1 and 4 days after stocking events. We estimated losses of 13.6 percent and 8.8 percent, respectively, of the fish stocked for the two events, an average of 11.2 percent. Such losses may be reduced through alteration of existing stocking practices.

  16. Mercury contamination in bank swallows and double-crested cormorants from the Carson River, Nevada

    SciTech Connect

    Kim, R.; Brewer, R.; Peterson, S.C.; Mach, C.

    1995-12-31

    An ecological risk assessment was performed in conjunction with a remedial investigation at the Carson River Mercury Site (CRMS) in northwestern Nevada. Large quantities of mercury used in the processing of gold and silver during mining operations in the mid to late 1800s are distributed throughout the Carson River ecosystem. Previous investigations indicated elevated levels of mercury in soil, sediment, water, and the aquatic food chain. Bird exposure to mercury was determined by measuring total mercury and monomethyl mercury in blood and feather samples from 15 unfledged double-crested cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus), and in blood, feather, and liver samples from 18 juvenile bank swallows (Riparia riparia) at both the CRMS and uncontaminated background locations. Monomethyl mercury accounted for 90 to 98% of the total mercury in the samples. Total mercury concentrations in bird tissues collected at the CRMS were significantly higher than at background locations. Average total mercury concentrations (wet weight) for the swallow blood, liver, and feather samples collected at the CRMS were 2.63, 3.96, and 2.01 mg/kg, respectively; compared with 0.74, 1,03, and 1.84 mg/kg, respectively at the background area. Average total mercury concentrations for cormorant samples collected at the CRMS were 17.07 mg/kg for blood, and 105.1 1 mg/kg for feathers. Cormorant samples collected at the background location had average total mercury concentrations of 0.49 mg/kg for blood and 8.99 mg/kg for feathers. Results are compared with published residue-effects levels to evaluate avian risks.

  17. Differential trends in mercury concentrations in double-crested cormorant populations of the Canadian Prairies.

    PubMed

    Hall, Britt D; Doucette, Jennifer L; Bates, Lara M; Bugajski, Aleksandra; Niyogi, Som; Somers, Christopher M

    2014-04-01

    Mercury and selenium concentrations were measured in double-crested cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus), piscivorous fish, and common prey items in five lakes in two ecoregions in Saskatchewan, Canada. Hg and Se concentrations in cormorants were within the natural ranges of birds living in un-impacted sites. Site explained a significant proportion of the variation in total Hg (THg) and methylmercury (MeHg) concentrations in both cormorant breast muscle and livers. Birds nesting on more northern lakes in the Boreal Plain ecoregion (THg range 0.11-1.06 and 0.26-9.27 μg g(-1) wet weight, for breast and liver respectively) had lower THg concentrations compared to those from lakes in the Prairie ecoregion (THg range 0.60-4.26 μg g(-1) ww and 1.59-25.11 μg g(-1), for breast and liver respectively). Concentrations of MeHg in livers was also lower in birds from northern sites (0.06-1.15 μg g(-1) ww) compared to those from prairie sites (0.22-4.06 μg g(-1) ww). We documented a wide range of %MeHg in livers (4.5-52 %), indicative of detoxifying MeHg via demethylation to inorganic Hg. Our data suggest that the threshold value where demethylation rates increase substantially appears to be ~10 μg g(-1) ww MeHg, similar to thresholds in other wildlife. Molar ratios of Hg:Se suggests that some birds from highly saline Reed Lake in the prairie region had insufficient Se available to bind to Hg, thereby removing Se binding as a mitigative strategy for high Hg levels for these birds.

  18. Niger River

    Atmospheric Science Data Center

    2013-04-15

    ... third largest river in Africa, the Niger, forms an inland delta in central Mali. This Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) image ... the region as it appears after the rainy season, when the delta is flooded. The image covers an area measuring about 400 kilometers x 450 ...

  19. Energetic costs of diving and thermal status in European shags (Phalacrocorax aristotelis).

    PubMed

    Enstipp, Manfred R; Grémillet, David; Lorentsen, Svein-Håkon

    2005-09-01

    Diving is believed to be very costly in cormorants (Phalacrocoracidae) when compared with other avian divers because of their poor insulation and less-efficient foot propulsion. It was therefore suggested that cormorants might employ a behavioural strategy to reduce daily energy expenditure by minimizing the amount of time spent in water. However, European shags (Phalacrocorax aristotelis) have been observed to spend up to 7 h day(-1) diving in water of around 5-6 degrees C. To gain a better understanding of the energetic requirements in European shags, we measured their metabolic rates when resting in air/water and during shallow diving using respirometry. To investigate the effects of water temperature and feeding status on metabolic rate, birds dived at water temperatures ranging from 5 to 13 degrees C in both post-absorptive and absorptive states. In parallel with respirometry, stomach temperature loggers were deployed to monitor body temperature. Basal metabolic rate (BMR) was almost identical to allometric predictions at 4.73 W kg(-1). Metabolic rate when resting on water, during diving and after feeding was significantly elevated when compared with the resting-in-air rate. During diving, the metabolic rate of post-absorptive shags increased to 22.66 W kg(-1), which corresponds to 4.8x BMR. Minimum cost of transport (COT) was calculated at 17.8 J kg(-1) m(-1) at a swim speed of 1.3 m s(-1). Feeding before diving elevated diving metabolic rate by 13% for up to 5 h. There was a significant relationship between diving metabolic rate and water temperature, where metabolic rate increased as water temperature declined. Thermal conductance when resting in air at 10-19 degrees C was 2.05 W m(-2) degrees C(-1) and quadrupled during diving (7.88 W m(-2) degrees C(-1)). Stomach temperature when resting in air during the day was 40.6 degrees C and increased during activity. In dive trials lasting up to 50 min, stomach temperature fluctuated around a peak value of 42

  20. Gene expression profiling in common cormorant liver with an oligo array: assessing the potential toxic effects of environmental contaminants.

    PubMed

    Nakayama, Kei; Iwata, Hisato; Kim, Eun-Young; Tashiro, Kosuke; Tanabe, Shinsuke

    2006-02-01

    To establish a monitoring system for gene expression profiles related to chemical contamination in wild common cormorants (Phalacrocorax carbo), the present study constructed an oligo array designed from expressed sequence tag (EST) sequences of the cormorant liver, where 1061 unique oligonucleotides were spotted. Common cormorants were collected from Lake Biwa, Japan in May 2001 and 2002. With the use of this oligo array, gene expression profiles in the liver of individual specimens were evaluated. To determine the expression patterns of genes altered by environmental contaminants, relationships between concentrations of persistent organochlorines including polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins, furans, polychlorinated biphenyls, 1,1,1-trichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethane and its metabolites (DDTs), hexachlorocyclohexane isomers (HCHs), chlordane compounds (CHLs), butyltins, and bisphenol A (BPA) and expression levels of each gene in the cormorant liver were examined using stepwise multiple regression analysis. The reliability of data obtained by the oligo array was further confirmed by quantifying the expression levels of certain genes using real-time RT-PCR. The 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin toxic equivalent (TEQ) level was positively correlated with both cytochrome P4501A4 and 1A5 gene expression. In addition, the mRNA level of an antioxidant enzyme, Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase, was negatively correlated with hepatic total TEQ. Other antioxidant enzymes, glutathione peroxidase 3 and glutathione S-transferase class mu, were negatively correlated with HCHs and BPA levels, respectively. The mRNA expression level of a nonenzymatic antioxidant, haptoglobin, was negatively but not significantly correlated with CHLs. These results led to a hypothesis that wild cormorant population may suffer from oxidative stress due to chemically induced formation of reactive oxygen species and subsequent reduction of antioxidant resistance. Thus, the cormorant oligo array may be

  1. Moving towards acceleration for estimates of activity-specific metabolic rate in free-living animals: the case of the cormorant.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Rory P; White, Craig R; Quintana, Flavio; Halsey, Lewis G; Liebsch, Nikolai; Martin, Graham R; Butler, Patrick J

    2006-09-01

    1. Time and energy are key currencies in animal ecology, and judicious management of these is a primary focus for natural selection. At present, however, there are only two main methods for estimation of rate of energy expenditure in the field, heart rate and doubly labelled water, both of which have been used with success; but both also have their limitations. 2. The deployment of data loggers that measure acceleration is emerging as a powerful tool for quantifying the behaviour of free-living animals. Given that animal movement requires the use of energy, the accelerometry technique potentially has application in the quantification of rate of energy expenditure during activity. 3. In the present study, we test the hypothesis that acceleration can serve as a proxy for rate of energy expenditure in free-living animals. We measured rate of energy expenditure as rates of O2 consumption (VO2) and CO2 production (VCO2) in great cormorants (Phalacrocorax carbo) at rest and during pedestrian exercise. VO2 and VCO2 were then related to overall dynamic body acceleration (ODBA) measured with an externally attached three-axis accelerometer. 4. Both VO2 and VCO2 were significantly positively associated with ODBA in great cormorants. This suggests that accelerometric measurements of ODBA can be used to estimate VO2 and VCO2 and, with some additional assumptions regarding metabolic substrate use and the energy equivalence of O2 and CO2, that ODBA can be used to estimate the activity specific rate of energy expenditure of free-living cormorants. 5. To verify that the approach identifies expected trends in from situations with variable power requirements, we measured ODBA in free-living imperial cormorants (Phalacrocorax atriceps) during foraging trips. We compared ODBA during return and outward foraging flights, when birds are expected to be laden and not laden with captured fish, respectively. We also examined changes in ODBA during the descent phase of diving, when power

  2. Tracking the History and Ecological Changes of Rising Double-Crested Cormorant Populations Using Pond Sediments from Islands in Eastern Lake Ontario

    PubMed Central

    Stewart, Emily M.; Michelutti, Neal; Shenstone-Harris, Sarah; Grooms, Christopher; Weseloh, Chip; Kimpe, Linda E.; Blais, Jules M.; Smol, John P.

    2015-01-01

    In the Laurentian Great Lakes region, the double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) has seen a thousand-fold population increase in recent decades. These large colonies of birds now often conflict with socioeconomic interests, particularly due to perceived competition with fisheries and the destruction of terrestrial vegetation in nesting habitats. Here we use dated sediment cores from ponds on islands in eastern Lake Ontario that receive waste inputs from dense colonies of cormorants and ring-billed gulls (Larus delawarensis) to chronicle the population rise of these species and assess their long-term ecological impacts. Modern water chemistry sampling from these sites reveals drastically elevated nutrient and major ion concentrations compared to reference ponds not influenced by waterbirds. Geochemical tracers in dated sediment cores, particularly δ15N and chlorophyll-a concentrations, track waterbird influences over time. Fossil diatom assemblages were dominated by species tolerant of hyper-eutrophic and polluted systems, which is in marked contrast to assemblages in reference sites. In addition to establishing long-term ecological impacts, this multi-proxy paleoecological approach can be used to determine whether islands of concern have been long-term nesting sites or were only recently colonized by cormorant or ring-billed gull populations across the Great Lakes, facilitating informed management decisions about controversial culling programs. PMID:26214177

  3. Tracking the History and Ecological Changes of Rising Double-Crested Cormorant Populations Using Pond Sediments from Islands in Eastern Lake Ontario.

    PubMed

    Stewart, Emily M; Michelutti, Neal; Shenstone-Harris, Sarah; Grooms, Christopher; Weseloh, Chip; Kimpe, Linda E; Blais, Jules M; Smol, John P

    2015-01-01

    In the Laurentian Great Lakes region, the double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) has seen a thousand-fold population increase in recent decades. These large colonies of birds now often conflict with socioeconomic interests, particularly due to perceived competition with fisheries and the destruction of terrestrial vegetation in nesting habitats. Here we use dated sediment cores from ponds on islands in eastern Lake Ontario that receive waste inputs from dense colonies of cormorants and ring-billed gulls (Larus delawarensis) to chronicle the population rise of these species and assess their long-term ecological impacts. Modern water chemistry sampling from these sites reveals drastically elevated nutrient and major ion concentrations compared to reference ponds not influenced by waterbirds. Geochemical tracers in dated sediment cores, particularly δ15N and chlorophyll-a concentrations, track waterbird influences over time. Fossil diatom assemblages were dominated by species tolerant of hyper-eutrophic and polluted systems, which is in marked contrast to assemblages in reference sites. In addition to establishing long-term ecological impacts, this multi-proxy paleoecological approach can be used to determine whether islands of concern have been long-term nesting sites or were only recently colonized by cormorant or ring-billed gull populations across the Great Lakes, facilitating informed management decisions about controversial culling programs.

  4. Use of a Novel Double-Crested Cormorant ToxChip PCR Array and the EROD Assay to Determine Effects of Environmental Contaminants in Primary Hepatocytes.

    PubMed

    Crump, Doug; Farhat, Amani; Chiu, Suzanne; Williams, Kim L; Jones, Stephanie P; Langlois, Valerie S

    2016-03-15

    In vitro screening tools and 'omics methods are increasingly being incorporated into toxicity studies to determine mechanistic effects of chemicals and mixtures. To date, the majority of these studies have been conducted with well-characterized laboratory animal models. In the present study, well-established methods developed for chicken embryonic hepatocyte (CEH) studies were extended to a wild avian species, the double-crested cormorant (DCCO; Phalacrocorax auritus), in order to compare the effects of several environmental contaminants on cytotoxicity, ethoxyresorufin O-deethylase (EROD) activity, and mRNA expression. Five organic flame retardants and one plasticizer decreased cormorant hepatocyte viability in a similar manner to that observed in previous studies with CEH. EROD activity was induced in a concentration-dependent manner following exposure to two dioxin-like chemicals and the calculated EC50 values were concordant with domestic avian species from similar species sensitivity categories. Transcriptomic effects were determined using a novel DCCO PCR array, which was designed, constructed and validated in our laboratory based on a commercially available chicken PCR array. The DCCO array has 27 target genes covering a wide range of toxicity pathways. Gene profiles were variable among the 10 chemicals screened; however, good directional concordance was observed with regard to results previously obtained in CEH. Overall, the application of well-established methods (i.e., CEH and chicken PCR array) to the double-crested cormorant demonstrated the portability of the techniques to an indicator species of ecological relevance.

  5. Recent population size, trends, and limiting factors for the double-crested Cormorant in Western North America

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Adkins, Jessica Y.; Roby, Daniel D.; Lyons, Donald E.; Courtot, Karen N.; Collis, Ken; Carter, Harry R.; Shuford, W. David; Capitolo, Phillip J.

    2014-01-01

    The status of the double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) in western North America was last evaluated during 1987–2003. In the interim, concern has grown over the potential impact of predation by double-crested cormorants on juvenile salmonids (Oncorhynchusspp.), particularly in the Columbia Basin and along the Pacific coast where some salmonids are listed for protection under the United States Endangered Species Act. Recent re-evaluations of double-crested cormorant management at the local, flyway, and federal level warrant further examination of the current population size and trends in western North America. We collected colony size data for the western population (British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, and the portions of Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico west of the Continental Divide) by conducting aircraft-, boat-, or ground-based surveys and by cooperating with government agencies, universities, and non-profit organizations. In 2009, we estimated approximately 31,200 breeding pairs in the western population. We estimated that cormorant numbers in the Pacific Region (British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, and California) increased 72% from 1987–1992 to circa 2009. Based on the best available data for this period, the average annual growth rate (λ) of the number of breeding birds in the Pacific Region was 1.03, versus 1.07 for the population east of the Continental Divide during recent decades. Most of the increase in the Pacific Region can be attributed to an increase in the size of the nesting colony on East Sand Island in the Columbia River estuary, which accounts for about 39% of all breeding pairs in the western population and is the largest known breeding colony for the species (12,087 breeding pairs estimated in 2009). In contrast, numbers of breeding pairs estimated in coastal British Columbia and Washington have declined by approximately 66% during this same period. Disturbance at breeding

  6. Organochlorine contaminants and biomarker response in double-crested cormorants nesting in Green Bay and Lake Michigan, Wisconsin, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Custer, T.W.; Custer, Christine M.; Hines, R.K.; Stromborg, K.L.; Allen, P.D.; Melancon, M.J.; Henshel, D.S.

    2001-01-01

    Double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) eggs at pipping and sibling 10-day-old chicks were collected from two colonies in Green Bay, WI, one colony in Lake Michigan, WI, and reference colonies in South Dakota and Minnesota. Egg contents and chicks were analyzed for organochlorine contaminants including polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congeners. Livers of embryos and chicks were assayed for hepatic microsomal ethoxyresorufin-O-dealkylase (EROD) activity. Eggshell thickness and the physical dimensions of embryo brains were measured. Concentrations of organochlorines, including p,p′-DDE (p,p′-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene), PCBs, and PCB congeners were generally an order of magnitude higher in eggs and chicks from Wisconsin than from reference locations. Total PCBs averaged 10–13 μg/g wet weight in eggs from three Wisconsin colonies compared to 0.9 μg/g PCBs from reference locations. Double-crested cormorant chicks accumulated on average 33–66 μg PCBs/day and 7–12 μg p,p′-DDE/day in the Wisconsin colonies compared to 0 μg PCBs/day and 1 μg p,p′-DDE/day in the reference colonies. At pipping, EROD activity in the livers of cormorant embryos was significantly higher in the Wisconsin colonies and significantly correlated with PCBs and the toxic equivalents (TEQs) of aryl hydrocarbon-active PCB congeners relative to 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin. However, in 10-day-old chicks EROD activity was not consistently different among colonies and was not correlated with PCBs or TEQs. A significant negative relationship between embryo brain asymmetry and the size of the egg suggested that physical constraint might be an important factor influencing the response of this bioindicator. Thinner eggshells in two colonies located near Door County, Wisconsin, suggested that historic p,p′-DDE residues associated with orchards are still an important source of p,p′-DDE in the local environment.

  7. Distribution of organochlorine contaminants in double-crested cormorant eggs and sibling embryos

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Custer, T.W.; Custer, Christine M.; Stromborg, K.L.

    1997-01-01

    Double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) fresh eggs and sibling embryos at pipping were collected from a polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB)-contaminated colony in Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA. Egg contents were analyzed for organochlorine (OC) contaminants, including 15 arylhydrocarbon-active PCB congeners. In order to determine the significance of tissue removal on the subsequent estimate of contaminant burden, embryos were decapitated and the heads, yolk sac, liver, fecal sac (allantois), and carcass remainder were analyzed separately. The distribution of contaminant concentration in the embryos was yolk sac > liver > carcass > head > fecal sac. The distribution of contaminant mass in the embryos was yolk sac > carcass > liver > head > fecal sac. For example, mass of total PCBs (TPCB) was yolk sac = 58%, carcass = 31%, liver = 5%, head = 3%, and fecal sac = 1%. Eighteen additional OCs, including 13 PCB congeners, had distribution patterns similar to that of TPCB concentration and mass. Excluding the head of the embryo from the chemical analysis overestimated TPCB concentrations by 15% (16 vs 14 mu g/g). In contrast, excluding the liver from the chemical analysis underestimated TPCB concentration by only 4% (13.5 vs 14 mu g/g). Mean concentrations of OCs were not significantly different between fresh eggs and sibling embryos.

  8. A predictive model to inform adaptive management of double-crested cormorants and fisheries in Michigan

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tsehaye, Iyob; Jones, Michael L.; Irwin, Brian J.; Fielder, David G.; Breck, James E.; Luukkonen, David R.

    2015-01-01

    The proliferation of double-crested cormorants (DCCOs; Phalacrocorax auritus) in North America has raised concerns over their potential negative impacts on game, cultured and forage fishes, island and terrestrial resources, and other colonial water birds, leading to increased public demands to reduce their abundance. By combining fish surplus production and bird functional feeding response models, we developed a deterministic predictive model representing bird–fish interactions to inform an adaptive management process for the control of DCCOs in multiple colonies in Michigan. Comparisons of model predictions with observations of changes in DCCO numbers under management measures implemented from 2004 to 2012 suggested that our relatively simple model was able to accurately reconstruct past DCCO population dynamics. These comparisons helped discriminate among alternative parameterizations of demographic processes that were poorly known, especially site fidelity. Using sensitivity analysis, we also identified remaining critical uncertainties (mainly in the spatial distributions of fish vs. DCCO feeding areas) that can be used to prioritize future research and monitoring needs. Model forecasts suggested that continuation of existing control efforts would be sufficient to achieve long-term DCCO control targets in Michigan and that DCCO control may be necessary to achieve management goals for some DCCO-impacted fisheries in the state. Finally, our model can be extended by accounting for parametric or ecological uncertainty and including more complex assumptions on DCCO–fish interactions as part of the adaptive management process.

  9. Distribution of organochlorine contaminants in double-crested cormorant eggs and sibling embryos

    SciTech Connect

    Custer, T.W.; Custer, C.M.; Stromborg, K.L.

    1997-08-01

    Double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) fresh eggs and sibling embryos at pipping were collected from a polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB)-contaminated colony in Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA. Egg contents were analyzed for organochlorine (OC) contaminants, including 15 arylhydrocarbon-active PCB congeners. In order to determine the significance of tissue removal on the subsequent estimate of contaminant burden, embryos were decapitated and the heads, yolk sac, liver, fecal sac, and carcass remainder were analyzed separately. The distribution of contaminant concentration in the embryos was yolk sac > liver > carcass > head > fecal sac. The distribution of contaminant mass in the embryos was yolk sac > carcass > liver > head > fecal sac. For example, mass of total PCBs (TPCB) was yolk sac = 58%, carcass = 31%, liver = 5%, head = 3%, and fecal sac = 1%. Eighteen additional OCs, including 13 PCB congeners, had distribution patterns similar to that of TPCB concentration and mass. Excluding the head of the embryo from the chemical analysis overestimated TPCB concentrations by 15%. In contrast, excluding the liver from the chemical analysis underestimated TPCB concentration by only 4%. Mean concentrations of OCs were not significantly different between fresh eggs and sibling embryos.

  10. Local Heterozygosity Effects on Nestling Growth and Condition in the Great Cormorant.

    PubMed

    Minias, Piotr; Wojczulanis-Jakubas, Katarzyna; Rutkowski, Robert; Kaczmarek, Krzysztof

    Under inbreeding, heterozygosity at neutral genetic markers is likely to reflect genome-wide heterozygosity and, thus, is expected to correlate with fitness. There is, however, growing evidence that some of heterozygosity-fitness correlations (HFCs) can be explained by 'local effects', where noncoding loci are at linkage disequilibrium with functional genes. The aim of this study was to investigate correlations between heterozygosity at seven microsatellite loci and two fitness-related traits, nestling growth rate and nutritional condition, in a recently bottlenecked population of great cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis. We found that heterozygosity was positively associated with both nestling traits at the between-brood level, but the individual (within-brood) effects of heterozygosity were non-significant. We also found that only one locus per trait was primarily responsible for the significant multi-locus HFCs, suggesting a linkage disequilibrium with non-identified functional loci. The results give support for 'local effect' hypothesis, confirming that HFCs may not only be interpreted as evidence of inbreeding and that genetic associations between functional and selectively neutral markers could be much more common in natural populations than previously thought.

  11. Polychlorinated biphenyl residues and egg mortality in double-crested cormorants from the Great Lakes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tillitt, D.E.; Ankley, G.T.; Giesy, J.P.; Ludwig, J.P.; Kurita-Matsuba, H.; Weseloh, D.V.; Ross, P.S.; Bishop, C.A.; Sileo, L.; Stromborg, K.L.; Larson, J.; Kubiak, T.J.

    1992-01-01

    We evaluated the overall potency of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB)-containing extracts from double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritis) eggs with an in vitro bioassay system, the H4IIE rat hepatoma cell bioassay. Results from the H4IIE bioassay were strongly correlated with the hatching success of eggs in the colonies, whereas conventional methods of PCB analysis correlated poorly with hatching success of eggs from the same colonies. These observations suggest that even though concentrations of total PCB residues have declined in almost all compartments of the environment, their effects are still being observed. The significance of this observation is that the adverse symptoms presently observed in certain Great Lakes fish-eating waterbird populations do not appear to be caused by some as yet unidentified industrial chemical or chemicals and seem not to be the result of pesticides, but rather to the dioxin-like activity of PCBs. Evidence is presented to suggest that the relative enrichment of the potency of PCBs in the environment may play a role in the persistence of the observed adverse symptoms.

  12. A new asymmetrical feather mite of the genus MIchaelia Trouessart, 1884 (Astigmata: Freyanidae) from the neotropical cormorant, Phalacrocorax brasilianus (Pelecaniformes)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Species of the feather mite genus Michaelia Trouessart, 1884 are notable for the bilateral asymmetry in males, displayed in the structure of anterior legs (both hetero- and homeomorphs) and the opisthosomal lobes (heteromorphs). A new species of this genus, Michaelia neotropica sp. n., is described ...

  13. Deepwater satellite trees meet Cormorant challenges

    SciTech Connect

    Hettinger, F.L.; Humphrey, B.

    1984-02-01

    Shell and Esso's Central Cormorant field project is one of the most innovative endeavors in offshore oil field history. Although most of the attention has centered around Shell Expro's Underwater Manifold Center (UMC), the field also will include production from five diverless through flow line (TFL) satellite trees, which were designed, fabricated, and tested by Vetco Offshore. The first satellite tree (P1) was brought on stream in January 1981 and has produced continuously to the South Cormorant platform. The remaining four trees were assembled between 1981 and 1983. These deepwater trees, representing a technically advanced design, will be used to produce from formations at a considerable distance from the UMC. The basic design criteria for the trees include diverless operation, dual hydraulically controlled master valves, 5,000-psi working pressure, chemical injection capability, 200 F produced fluid temperature, H/sub 2/S-CO/sub 2/ service, metal-to-metal seals throughout, and TFL well maintenance and service capability.

  14. Use of fish-otolith-length regressions to infer size of double-crested cormorant prey fish from recovered otoliths in Lake Ontario

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ross, Robert M.; Johnson, James H.; Adams, Connie M.

    2005-01-01

    To provide a method for estimating fish size from fish otoliths for forensic applications or other predictive uses, morphometric measurements were obtained from three centrarchid fishes (pumpkinseed [Lepomis gibbosus], rock bass [Ambloplites rupestris], and smallmouth bass [Micropterus dolomieu]), two percids (yellow perch [Perca flavescens] and walleye [Stizostedion vitreum]), and one clupeid (alewife [Alosa pseudoharengus]) from the eastern basin of Lake Ontario. These species are the principal or economically important prey of Double-crested Cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus), whose diet can be determined from regurgitated digestive pellets containing fish otoliths. A fuller understanding of the ecosystem roles of cormorants requires estimation of prey-fish size, obtainable from regressions of otolith length on fish length. Up to 100 fish of each species were collected from eastern Lake Ontario and measured for total length and otolith length. Least-squares regressions of otolith length on fish length were calculated for all species, covering life-stage ranges of immature fish to large adults near maximum known size. The regressions with 95% confidence intervals may be applicable outside the Lake Ontario ecosystem if used with caution.

  15. Coxiella-like endosymbiont in argasid ticks (Ornithodoros muesebecki) from a Socotra Cormorant colony in Umm Al Quwain, United Arab Emirates.

    PubMed

    Al-Deeb, Mohammad A; Frangoulidis, Dimitrios; Walter, Mathias C; Kömpf, Daniela; Fischer, Silke F; Petney, Trevor; Muzaffar, Sabir Bin

    2016-02-01

    Coxiella burnetii is a pathogen causing Q fever in domestic animals and humans. Seabirds have been implicated as possible reservoirs of this bacterium in the Arabian Gulf and in the Western Indian Ocean. Recently, Coxiella species closely related to C. burnetii was detected from ticks collected from oil rigs used as roosting areas by Socotra Cormorants (Phalacrocorax nigrogularis) in the western Arabian Gulf. We collected ticks from the largest breeding colony of Socotra Cormorants in the United Arab Emirates on the eastern extreme of the species' breeding range to determine the prevalence of C. burnetii and evaluate its role as a wild reservoir. All ticks were identified as Ornithodoros muesebecki and genomic DNA was extracted from larval and nymph/adult tick pools. Multiplex PCR tests were performed targeting three C. burnetii specific genes. C. burnetii was not detected although a Coxiella-like endosymbiont was identified that was closely related to Coxiella symbionts from Ornithodoros capensis ticks. Because domestic and wild ungulates are the primary source of C. burnetii, we suggest that the presence of free-ranging, native and non-native ungulates in some off-shore islands in the Arabian Gulf could disseminate C. burnetii to seabirds. More comprehensive studies on seabird colonies are needed to better understand the diversity and prevalence of Coxiella symbionts and to establish if C. burnetii is endemic on some of these islands.

  16. Nineteenth century mercury: hazard to wading birds and cormorants of the Carson River, Nevada.

    PubMed

    Henny, Charles J; Hill, Elwood F; Hoffman, David J; Spalding, Marilyn G; Grove, Robert A

    2002-08-01

    Contemporary mercury interest relates to atmospheric deposition, contaminated fish stocks and exposed fish-eating wildlife. The focus is on methylmercury (MeHg) even though most contamination is of inorganic (IoHg) origin. However, IoHg is readily methylated in aquatic systems to become more hazardous to vertebrates. In response to a classic episode of historical (1859-1890) IoHg contamination, we studied fish-eating birds nesting along the lower Carson River, Nevada. Adult double-crested cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus), snowy egrets (Egretta thula) and black-crowned night-herons (Nycticorax nycticorax) contained very high concentrations of total mercury (THg) in their livers (geo. means 134.8 microg/g wet weight (ww), 43.7 and 13.5, respectively) and kidneys (69.4, 11.1 and 6.1, respectively). Apparently tolerance of these concentrations was possible due to a threshold-dependent demethylation coupled with sequestration of resultant IoHg. Demethylation and sequestration processes also appeared to have reduced the amount of MeHg redistributed to eggs. However, the relatively short time spent by adults in the contaminated area before egg laying was also a factor in lower than expected concentrations of mercury in eggs. Most eggs (100% MeHg) had concentrations below 0.80 microg/g ww, the putative threshold concentration where reproductive problems may be expected; there was no conclusive evidence of mercury-related depressed hatchability. After hatching, the young birds were fed diets by their parents averaging 0.36-1.18 microgMeHg/g ww through fledging. During this four to six week period, accumulated mercury concentrations in the organs of the fledglings were much lower than found in adults, but evidence was detected of toxicity to their immune (spleen, thymus, bursa), detoxicating (liver, kidneys) and nervous systems. Several indications of oxidative stress were also noted in the fledglings and were most apparent in young cormorants containing highest

  17. Nineteenth century mercury: Hazard to wading birds and cormorants of the Carson River, Nevada

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Henny, Charles J.; Hill, E.F.; Hoffman, D.J.; Spalding, Marilyn G.; Grove, Robert A.

    2002-01-01

    Contemporary mercury interest relates to atmospheric deposition, contaminated fish stocks and exposed fish-eating wildlife. The focus is on methylmercury (MeHg) even though most contamination is of inorganic (IoHg) origin. However, IoHg is readily methylated in aquatic systems to become more hazardous to vertebrates. In response to a classic episode of historical (1859a??1890) IoHg contamination, we studied fish-eating birds nesting along the lower Carson River, Nevada. Adult double-crested cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus), snowy egrets (Egretta thula) and black-crowned night-herons (Nycticorax nycticorax) contained very high concentrations of total mercury (THg) in their livers (geo. means 134.8g/g wet weight (ww), 43.7 and 13.5, respectively) and kidneys (69.4, 11.1 and 6.1, respectively). Apparently tolerance of these concentrations was possible due to a threshold-dependent demethylation coupled with sequestration of resultant IoHg. Demethylation and sequestration processes also appeared to have reduced the amount of MeHg redistributed to eggs. However, the relatively short time spent by adults in the contaminated area before egg laying was also a factor in lower than expected concentrations of mercury in eggs. Most eggs (100% MeHg) had concentrations below 0.80g/g ww, the putative threshold concentration where reproductive problems may be expected; there was no conclusive evidence of mercury-related depressed hatchability. After hatching, the young birds were fed diets by their parents averaging 0.36a??1.18gMeHg/g ww through fledging. During this four to six week period, accumulated mercury concentrations in the organs of the fledglings were much lower than found in adults, but evidence was detected of toxicity to their immune (spleen, thymus, bursa), detoxicating (liver, kidneys) and nervous systems. Several indications of oxidative stress were also noted in the fledglings and were most apparent in young cormorants containing highest concentrations of

  18. Nineteenth century mercury hazard to wading birds and cormorants of the Carson River, Nevada

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Henny, C.J.; Hill, E.F.; Hoffman, D.J.; Spalding, M.G.; Grove, R.A.

    2002-01-01

    Contemporary mercury interest relates to atmospheric deposition, contaminated fish stocks and exposed fish-eating wildlife. The focus is on methylmercury (MeHg) even though most contamination is of inorganic (IoHg) origin. However, IoHg is readily methylated in aquatic systems to become more hazardous to vertebrates. In response to a classic episode of historical (1859-1890) IoHg contamination, we studied fish-eating birds nesting along the lower Carson River, Nevada. Adult double-crested cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus), snowy egrets (Egretta thula) and black-crowned night-herons (Nycticorax nycticorax) contained very high concentrations of total mercury (THg) in their livers (geo. means 134.8 g/g wet weight [ww], 43.7, and 13.5, respectively) and kidneys (69.4, 11.1, and 6.1, respectively). Apparently tolerance of these concentrations was possible due to post-absorption demethylation and sequestration of resultant IoHg. Demethylation and sequestration processes also appeared to have reduced the amount of MeHg redistributed to eggs. However, the relatively short time spent by adults in the contaminated area before egg laying was also a factor in lower than expected concentrations of mercury in eggs. Most eggs (100% MeHg) had concentrations below 0.80 g/g ww, the putative threshold concentration where reproductive problems may be expected; there was no conclusive evidence of depressed hatchability. After hatching, the young birds were fed diets by their parents averaging 0.36 to 1.18 gMeHg/g ww through fledging. During this four to six week period, accumulated mercury concentrations in the organs of the fledglings were much lower than found in adults, but evidence was detected of toxicity to their immune (spleen, thymus, bursa), detoxicating (liver, kidneys) and nervous systems. Several indications of oxidative stress were also noted in the fledglings and were most apparent in young cormorants containing highest concentrations of mercury. This stress was

  19. Cormorant: Development of a complex field

    SciTech Connect

    Stiles, J.H.; McKee, J.W.

    1986-01-01

    The Cormorant Field provides an example of the numerous changes which are required to the development plan for a large, complex field as the nature of its complexity becomes better known. Changes in the basic development and displacement pattern, the number and spacing of wells, and completion method have occurred as the structural, stratigraphic and diagenetic nature of the field has been uncovered. In addition, a better understanding of a key development constraint, the drilling reach, has allowed changes with significant cost savings. While a well thought out initial development plan was formulated for the field, close surveillance of geological results and field performance has been necessary to allow its almost continuous updating. This paper discusses studies and evaluations undertaken by Esso Exporation and Production U.K. to evaluate such changes. In addition to a discussion of each of the four fault blocks comprising the field, the following are addressed: (1) the role of detailed reservoir description work, (2) use of partial perforation techniques for waterflood control, and (3) the tailoring of reservoir monitoring to the specific problems of Cormorant. These studies were done to complement work done by the operator, Shell U.K. Exploration and Production, who prepared the base development plan and subsequent updates.

  20. Sex ratios, bill deformities, and PCBs in nestling double-crested cormorants

    SciTech Connect

    Stromborg, K.L.; Sileo, L.; Tuinen, P. van

    1995-12-31

    Deformed double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) nestlings examined from 1988--1992 had a sex ratio highly skewed toward females (66 of 81) compared to normal nestlings (43 of 80) (P < 0.005). The collection site, Green Bay, WI, is heavily contaminated with PCBs and the possibility of gender alteration was investigated in a designed study by comparing the sex of nestling birds determined using three techniques. These nestlings were collected at five sites, both contaminated and uncontaminated. Genetic sex was determined by cytogenetic techniques and phenotypic sex was determined by macroscopic and histologic examination of gonads. Differences between techniques resulted in a few instances of classifying genetic males as females by one or the other gonadal examinations. Sex ratios of the nestlings from the five sites were compared to binomial distributions assuming equal probabilities of males and females. Sex ratios of normal nestlings were not different from expected regardless of sex determination technique (P > 0.10). Deformed nestlings sexed cytogenetically or histologically did not differ from expected (P > 0.40), but deformed nestlings tended to be classified , macroscopically as females at a higher rate than expected (P = 0.092). The observed sex ratios obtained by macroscopic techniques did not differ between the 1968--1992 observational study and the designed study (P > 0.50). Histologic examination suggested two explanations for the skewed sex ratio: nestlings with undeterminable macroscopic sex usually had testes and, some gonads which grossly resembled ovaries were, in fact, testes. If phenotypic gender alteration is present in these birds, it is more evident at the gross structural level than at the histologic level.

  1. Oxidative stress in laboratory-incubated double-crested cormorant eggs collected from the Great Lakes.

    PubMed

    Hilscherova, K; Blankenship, A; Kannan, K; Nie, M; Williams, L L; Coady, K; Upham, B L; Trosko, J E; Bursian, S; Giesy, J P

    2003-11-01

    Double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) eggs were collected in 1998 from three sites on Lakes Huron and Superior and either analyzed for 2, 3, 7, 8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD)-like residues or artifically incubated. Some of the incubated eggs were injected with vitamin E (antioxidant) or piperonyl butoxide (CYPIA blocker) to examine the role of CYPIA and oxidative stress in normal bird development. Embryos (day 23) were analyzed for hepatic ethoxyresorufin O-deethylase (EROD) activity and different measures of oxidative stress. Glutathione-related parameters were also measured in brain. In contrast to the historical data, there were no statistically significant differences in concentrations of chlorinated dioxins, furans, dioxin-like PCBs, or total TCDD-equivalents (TEQs) in eggs among sites. Survival and incidence of abnormalities were comparable at all study sites. Slight differences in liver, heart, and egg weight were observed among sites. A greater incidence of eye deformities was observed in embryos treated with vitamin E. Treatment with the CYPIA blocker, piperonyl butoxide, decreased the body weights of embryos. EROD activities were similar at all locations, but measures of oxidative stress varied among locations. There were greater levels of oxidized glutathione and oxidative DNA damage at Little Charity Island in Saginaw Bay. There was relatively great interindividual variation in biochemical responses and significant interrelation of the parameters of oxidative stress. While exposure to PCDD/DF and PCBs does not seem to explain the observed oxidative stress, the potential of these compounds to cause the observed effects can not be completely excluded.

  2. Cormorant; Development of a complex field

    SciTech Connect

    Stiles, J.H. Jr.; McKee, J.W. )

    1991-12-01

    The development plan of Cormorant oil field exemplifies changes required as the nature of a large, complex field becomes better known. The number and locations of wells and the completion method have changed as the structural, stratigraphic, and diagnetic natures of the field became better known. A better understanding of a key development constraint-and drilling reach-has allowed changes to the development plan at significant cost savings. Close surveillance of geological results and field performance has been necessary to allow almost continuous updating. This paper discusses studies and evaluations undertaking by Eso E and P U.K. to evaluate such changes for each of the field's four fault blocks. These studies complemented work done by the operator, Shell U.K. E and P.

  3. Cormorant fields flowing 45,000 B/D

    SciTech Connect

    Fulmar, N.

    1982-03-01

    Initial rates at Shell/Esso's 2 newest producing fields in the UK North Sea are 30,000 bpd at Fulmar field and 15,000 bpd at the North Cormorant field. Peak production at both fields will be 180,000 bpd. Fulmar will build to 50,000 bpd within 3 months. Shell expects output to peak in 1985. North Cormorant output is scheduled to double to 30,000 bpd in the second month's operation. The production buildup will be slower than Fulmar and will not reach the peak rate until 1986. Fulmar Field, ca. 170 miles east of Dundee, became the 19th field to go on stream in UK waters. It was followed shortly by North Cormorant field in the East Shetlands basin ca. 100 miles northeast of the Shetland Islands. Reserves are 450 million bbl of crude, 56 million bbl of gas liquids, and 130 billion cu ft of gas. Production buildup is quicker than at North Cormorant because of the 1500-ton wellhead jacket installed alongside the main drilling and accommodation platform to facilitate early production. It is the first time that a well head platform has been used in the oil bearing part of the North Sea. Production has started from 3 wells on the wellhead platform.

  4. Cytochrome P450 CYP2 genes in the common cormorant: Evolutionary relationships with 130 diapsid CYP2 clan sequences and chemical effects on their expression.

    PubMed

    Kubota, Akira; Stegeman, John J; Goldstone, Jared V; Nelson, David R; Kim, Eun-Young; Tanabe, Shinsuke; Iwata, Hisato

    2011-04-01

    Cytochrome P450 CYP2 family enzymes are important in a variety of physiological and toxicological processes. CYP2 genes are highly diverse and orthologous relationships remain clouded among CYP2s in different taxa. Sequence and expression analyses of CYP2 genes in diapsids including birds and reptiles may improve understanding of this CYP family. We sought CYP2 genes in a liver cDNA library of the common cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo), and in the genomes of other diapsids, chicken (Gallus gallus), zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata), and anole lizard (Anolis carolinensis), for phylogenetic and/or syntenic analyses. Screening of the cDNA library yielded four CYP2 cDNA clones that were phylogenetically classified as CYP2C45, CYP2J25, CYP2AC1, and CYP2AF1. There are numerous newly identified diapsid CYP2 genes that include genes related to the human CYP2Cs, CYP2D6, CYP2G2P, CYP2J2, CYP2R1, CYP2U1, CYP2W1, CYP2AB1P, and CYP2AC1P. Syntenic relationships show that avian CYP2Hs are orthologous to CYP2C62P in humans, CYP2C23 in rats, and Cyp2c44 in mice, and suggest that avian CYP2Hs, along with human CYP2C62P and mouse Cyp2c44, could be renamed as CYP2C23, based upon the nomenclature rules. Analysis of sequence and synteny identifies cormorant and finch CYPs that are apparent orthologs of phenobarbital-inducible chicken CYP2C45. Transcripts of all four cormorant CYP2 genes were detected in the liver of birds from Lake Biwa, Japan. The transcript levels bore no significant relationship to levels of chlorinated organic pollutants in the liver, including polychlorinated biphenyls and dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane and its metabolites. In contrast, concentrations of perfluorooctane sulfonate and perfluorononanoic acid were negatively correlated with levels of CYP2C45 and/or CYP2J25, suggesting down-regulation of expression by these environmental pollutants. This study expands our view of the phylogeny and evolution of CYP2s, and provides evolutionary insight into the chemical

  5. Mercury distribution in blood, tissues, and feathers of double-crested cormorant nestlings from arid-lands reservoirs in south central New Mexico.

    PubMed

    Caldwell, C A; Arnold, M A; Gould, W R

    1999-05-01

    Eggs, blood, liver, muscle, and feathers were analyzed for concentrations of total mercury in double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) nestlings from two reservoirs in south central New Mexico. Total mercury concentrations among eggs, tissues, and feathers were not significantly correlated. Concentrations of total mercury averaged 0.40 microg/g in liver and 0.18 microg/g in muscle tissues in both populations of nestlings. There were no significant changes in concentrations of total mercury in whole blood of nestlings collected 7-10 days and 17-22 days posthatch in Caballo Reservoir (0.36 microg/g and 0.39 microg/g, respectively) and in Elephant Butte Reservoir (0.36 microg/g and 0.34 microg/g, respectively). Total mercury concentrations were similar for blood, muscle, and liver in nestlings for both reservoirs. Total mercury concentrations were higher in eggs and tail, primary, and secondary feathers from nestlings at Caballo Reservoir compared to Elephant Butte Reservoir. Although there were no differences in concentrations of total mercury in fishes between the two reservoirs, bioaccumulation and biomagnification was evident in planktivorous and piscivorous fishes. The data demonstrate that feather analysis may not be a good predictor of tissue burden in nestlings from regions of low contamination.

  6. A positive correlation between mercury and oxidative stress-related gene expression (GPX3 and GSTM3) is measured in female Double-crested Cormorant blood.

    PubMed

    Gibson, Laura A; Lavoie, Raphael A; Bissegger, Sonja; Campbell, Linda M; Langlois, Valerie S

    2014-08-01

    Mercury (Hg) is a widespread contaminant that has been shown to induce a wide range of adverse health effects in birds including reproductive, physiological and neurological impairments. Here we explored the relationship between blood total Hg concentrations ([THg]) and oxidative stress gene induction in the aquatic piscivorous Double-crested Cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus) using a non-lethal technique, i.e., blood gene expression analysis. P. auritus blood was sampled at five sites across the Great Lakes basin, Ontario, Canada and was analyzed for [THg]. To assess cellular stress, the expression of glutathione peroxidases 1 and 3 (GPX1, GPX3), superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1), heat-shock protein 70 kd-8 (HSP70-8) and glutathione S-transferase µ3 (GSTM3) were measured in whole blood samples using real-time RT-PCR. Results showed a significantly positive correlation between female blood [THg] and both GPX3 and GSTM3 expression. Different levels of oxidative stress experienced by males and females during the breeding season may be influencing the differential oxidative stress responses to blood [THg] observed in this study. Overall, these results suggest that Hg may lead to oxidative stress as some of the cellular stress-related genes were altered in the blood of female P. auritus and that blood gene expression analysis is a successful approach to assess bird health condition.

  7. Design, fabrication, hookup, and commissioning of North Cormorant topside facilities

    SciTech Connect

    Cloughley, T.M.G.

    1985-01-01

    The North Cormorant platform in the North Sea was built and commissioned within budget and ahead of schedule to a high standard of quality. Some of the factors relating to the topside facilities that helped achieve this successful result are described for each of the design, procurement, fabrication, hookup, and commissioning phases. Of key importance was careful attention to the project objective and to planning, control, organization, people, and contracting methods. Some recommended improvements for a future project also are addressed.

  8. [Niger: development under constraints].

    PubMed

    Chippaux, J P

    1998-01-01

    Several nonvenereal treponematoses are or were present in Niger while syphilis has been reported in only the northern, arid zones (Bejel) of the country. While their presence is known in Niger, endemic nonvenereal treponematoses are no longer reported by the country¿s health centers. Results are presented from a serological study using randomized Treponema pallidum Hemagglutination Assay (TPHA) upon a sample of 183 children under age 5 years old living in three areas of Niamey. No clinical exam was performed before testing. In the overall sample, 12% of tests were positive, ranging from 8% to 17% depending upon the neighborhood studied. The differences observed were insignificant according to both place of residence and age. All age groups were affected, although only 3 seropositive cases were identified among the 37 children under age 12 months. The relative levels were too high to be dismissed as serological artifacts. The most likely explanation for the high levels of antitreponemic antibodies is endemic syphilis, which is increasing in the region. Endemic syphilis is re-emerging, while penicillin is being used less systematically. Moreover, economic problems constrain access to health care. Results in children under age 12 months suggest that congenital syphilis is uncommon.

  9. 50 CFR 21.48 - Depredation order for double-crested cormorants to protect public resources.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ..., BARTER, EXPORTATION, AND IMPORTATION OF WILDLIFE AND PLANTS (CONTINUED) MIGRATORY BIRD PERMITS Control of Depredating and Otherwise Injurious Birds § 21.48 Depredation order for double-crested cormorants to protect... not harmful to other nesting birds by the responsible Agency. (2) Double-crested cormorants may...

  10. 50 CFR 21.48 - Depredation order for double-crested cormorants to protect public resources.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ..., BARTER, EXPORTATION, AND IMPORTATION OF WILDLIFE AND PLANTS (CONTINUED) MIGRATORY BIRD PERMITS Control of Depredating and Otherwise Injurious Birds § 21.48 Depredation order for double-crested cormorants to protect... not harmful to other nesting birds by the responsible Agency. (2) Double-crested cormorants may...

  11. 50 CFR 21.48 - Depredation order for double-crested cormorants to protect public resources.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ..., BARTER, EXPORTATION, AND IMPORTATION OF WILDLIFE AND PLANTS (CONTINUED) MIGRATORY BIRD PERMITS Control of Depredating and Otherwise Injurious Birds § 21.48 Depredation order for double-crested cormorants to protect... not harmful to other nesting birds by the responsible Agency. (2) Double-crested cormorants may...

  12. [Dangerous scorpions from Niger].

    PubMed

    Goyffon, M; Guette, C

    2005-11-01

    Two dangerous scorpion species are responsible for the severe human envenomations in Niger, Leiurus quinquestriatus (H. et E.), the most abundant, and Androctonus aeneas C.L. Koch, less frequent and described in a Sahel country for the first time. Up to now, A. aeneas was known in North Africa only. Its venom is highly toxic for humans, similar to those of the most dangerous species living in Africa, such as L. quinquestriatus and other species belonging to the genus Androctonus, A. australis (L.) and A. mauretanicus (Poc.), for the envenoming treatment of which specific antivenoms are prepared. Taking into account the absence of a specific antivenom for A. aeneas, the paraspecific neutralising effect of these antivenoms should be tested.

  13. Estimating Competition between Wildlife and Humans–A Case of Cormorants and Coastal Fisheries in the Baltic Sea

    PubMed Central

    Östman, Örjan; Boström, Maria K.; Bergström, Ulf; Andersson, Jan; Lunneryd, Sven-Gunnar

    2013-01-01

    Cormorants and other wildlife populations have come in real or perceived conflicts with humans over exploited fish stocks. From gut contents of cormorants, and using an extension of the Catch equation, we estimated the degree of short term competition between great cormorants and coastal fisheries in two areas along the Swedish Baltic Sea. Cormorants consumed 10 and 44%, in respective area, of the fish biomass of six fish species harvested by humans; eel, flounder, herring, perch, pike, and whitefish. On average, cormorants consumed smaller individuals than harvested in fisheries. But for perch, cod and flounder, cormorants consumed harvestable sized fish corresponding >20% of human catches. Our competition model estimated the direct decrease in fisheries catches due to cormorant predation to be <10% for all species except flounder (>30%) and perch (2–20%). When also including the indirect effects of cormorant predation on smaller fish that never reached harvestable size, the estimated decrease in fisheries catches at least doubled for perch (13–34%) and pike (8–19%). Despite large uncertainties, our model indicates that cormorants may locally have a direct impact on human catches of at least flounder, and when incorporating indirect effects also on perch and pike. The study indicates that the degree of competition between cormorants and humans varies substantially between areas. We also included economical values in the model and concluded that for the commercially most important species, eel and cod, the estimated economic impact of cormorants on fisheries was low. PMID:24386272

  14. Estimating competition between wildlife and humans-a case of cormorants and coastal fisheries in the Baltic Sea.

    PubMed

    Ostman, Orjan; Boström, Maria K; Bergström, Ulf; Andersson, Jan; Lunneryd, Sven-Gunnar

    2013-01-01

    Cormorants and other wildlife populations have come in real or perceived conflicts with humans over exploited fish stocks. From gut contents of cormorants, and using an extension of the Catch equation, we estimated the degree of short term competition between great cormorants and coastal fisheries in two areas along the Swedish Baltic Sea. Cormorants consumed 10 and 44%, in respective area, of the fish biomass of six fish species harvested by humans; eel, flounder, herring, perch, pike, and whitefish. On average, cormorants consumed smaller individuals than harvested in fisheries. But for perch, cod and flounder, cormorants consumed harvestable sized fish corresponding >20% of human catches. Our competition model estimated the direct decrease in fisheries catches due to cormorant predation to be <10% for all species except flounder (>30%) and perch (2-20%). When also including the indirect effects of cormorant predation on smaller fish that never reached harvestable size, the estimated decrease in fisheries catches at least doubled for perch (13-34%) and pike (8-19%). Despite large uncertainties, our model indicates that cormorants may locally have a direct impact on human catches of at least flounder, and when incorporating indirect effects also on perch and pike. The study indicates that the degree of competition between cormorants and humans varies substantially between areas. We also included economical values in the model and concluded that for the commercially most important species, eel and cod, the estimated economic impact of cormorants on fisheries was low.

  15. 76 FR 69225 - Migratory Bird Permits; Double-Crested Cormorant Management in the United States

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-11-08

    ..., and across international borders. Under the current regulations, control activities are proposed and... revised regulations governing the management of double- crested cormorants. Under current regulations...) Modifying the current depredation orders; (3) Allowing the depredation orders to expire; or (4) Adopting...

  16. Food habits and organochlorine contaminants in the diet of olivaceous cormorants in Galveston Bay, Texas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    King, K.A.

    1989-01-01

    More than 1,000 food items, representing 32 species of fish and one invertebrate, were identified from olivaceous cormorants. Six species of fish comprised 79% of the diet by frequency of occurrence and 78% by weight. Almost half of the diet consisted of a single species, the sheepshead minnow. Concentrations of pp-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE) in cormorant carcasses were 27 times greater than those in fish and 57 times higher in cormorant eggs than fish. Concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) were 18 times higher in carcasses and 15 times higher in eggs than in fish. The biomagnification of other organochlorine contaminants through the cormorant food base in Galveston Bay is difficult to evaluate because the only compounds detected in all three tissues at greater than 50% frequency of occurrence were DDE and PCB.

  17. Landtesting the underwater Manifold Centre for the Central Cormorant field

    SciTech Connect

    Brady, M.M.

    1983-05-01

    This paper describes the commissioning on land prior to installation of the Underwater Manifold Centre (UMC) for the Central Cormorant field. The test programme was unique in its scope and depth requiring 15 months and 11 million pounds to complete. Included in the paper are guidelines to assist future projects as well as summaries of technical results and a list of the principal problems that were encountered. Management practices utilised to guide the programme to its successful completion are emphasised throughout. Finally, the paper concludes that the landtest programme was a cost-effective and indispensable step which resulted in the UMC being installed in May, 1982 with full confidence, especially in the essential high technology components.

  18. Investigating completion strategies; Cormorant Field, U. K. North Sea

    SciTech Connect

    Stiles, J.H. Jr. ); Valenti, N.P. )

    1990-03-01

    This paper describes studies that evaluate various completion strategies for new subsea wells in the Cormorant field, U.K. North Sea. These studies, which complement work done by the field operator, include detailed reservoir description work to define oil-in-place (OIP) and permeability distribution and a waterflood simulation for a representative reservoir cross section. Wellbore, flowline, and pipeline hydraulics for the complex production/injection system are included to model well rates more accurately. The results provide general insight into the nature of displacement during waterflooding of a stratified section with a limited number of wells. They also provide specific guidance on dual vs. single completions; perforating, testing, and stimulation sequence; and the benefits of partially perforating high-permeability sands.

  19. Case history of the Cormorant field single satellite well

    SciTech Connect

    Brommer, J.J.; Fernandinho, C.M.M.S.; Liles, J.R.

    1982-01-01

    A case history of the development of specifically tailor-made equipment and the experience gained from the installation and production from the first subsea well in the central area of the Cormorant field is presented. Emphasis is placed on development concepts and the equipment uniquely manufactured to meet special needs. A one-year onshore integrated system test of the equipment is described along with the interface problems identified and resolved prior to going offshore. Actual installation and commissioning activities are fully covered including drilling, completion, and production from the well. The study describes the major reasons for the success of the subsea well to date as being extensive onshore testing, detailed planning, and the early involvement of operating personnel.

  20. Waterbird numbers and double-crested cormorants movement patterns within aquaculture production areas of the lower Mississippi River, USA

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    During the past seven consecutive years (1999-2007), aerial surveys by fixed-wing aircraft were conducted to monitor and quantify the wintering cormorant numbers. In addition, during the past two winters 2005-2006 and 2006-2007, 20 double-crested cormorants were captured, leg banded, and fitted wit...

  1. Organochlorine contaminants in bald eagles and double-crested cormorants nesting along the lower Columbia River

    SciTech Connect

    Buck, J.; Schuler, C.; Anthony, R.; Tillitt, D.

    1995-12-31

    The Columbia River receives numerous contaminants from municipal and industrial permitted discharges, nonpoint pollution, accidental spills, and hazardous waste sites. Poor reproductive success has been documented in bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) nesting along the river, and concentrations of DDE and PCBs in eagle eggs has been correlated with reduced productivity and significant eggshell thinning. Recently, elevated 2,3,7,8 tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (2,3,7,8-TCDD) concentrations also were detected in embryos of bald eagles and double-crested cormorants. The authors collected eggs from 11 bald eagle nest sites in 1994 and from 10 cormorant nest sites in 1993 and 1994 and found organochlorines at concentrations potentially harmful to the species. DDE, PCBS, and 2,3,7,8-TCDD in bald eagle eggs averaged 6.84 parts per million (ppm), 6.15 ppm, and 30 parts per trillion (pptr)fresh weight, respectively. In cormorant eggs, fresh weight values ranged from 1.14 to 13.1 ppm for DDE, 0.98 to 9.67 for total PCBS, and 4.8 to 58 pptr for 2,3,7,8-TCDD. Cormorant eggs subjected to a H4IIE rat hepatoma cell bioassay indicated the amounts of TCDD-Equivalents (TCDD-EQs) present would relate to a 23% egg mortality when compared to dose-response relationships between H4IIE-derived TCDD-EQs and egg mortality rates in double-crested cormorants in the Great Lakes. Preliminary results suggest DDE continues to impair reproductive success in Columbia River bald eagles, and dioxin and PCB concentrations may be impacting double-crested cormorants. Further egg analysis and productivity studies will be conducted in 1995.

  2. Accipiter hawks (Accipitridae) confirmed as definitive hosts of Sarcocystis turdusi, Sarcocystis cornixi and Sarcocystis sp. ex Phalacrocorax carbo.

    PubMed

    Mayr, Sylvia L; Maier, Kristina; Müller, Jana; Enderlein, Dirk; Gruber, Achim D; Lierz, Michael

    2016-08-01

    Sarcocystis is a large genus of protozoan parasites with complex heteroxenous life cycles. For many species, either the intermediate or the definitive host is still unknown. In this study, 116 Accipiter hawks (Eurasian sparrowhawks and northern goshawks) were investigated for the presence of Sarcocystis spp. in their intestinal tract or their faeces. To gain a wide distribution, samples were collected throughout Germany within 2 years. It was possible to detect Sarcocystis-like oocysts in 65 samples. Sequencing of the ITS region or species-specific PCR identified 33 samples as Sarcocystis turdusi/Sarcocystis sp. ex A. nisus (18), Sarcocystis calchasi (6), Sarcocystis columbae (3), Sarcocystis cornixi (3) and Sarcocystis sp. ex Phalacrocorax carbo (3). Besides the known infestation with S. columbae, S. sp. ex A. nisus and S. calchasi the Accipiter hawks were thereby confirmed as definitive host of S. turdusi, S. cornixi and S. sp. ex Phalacrocorax carbo for the first time.

  3. 77 FR 4274 - Migratory Bird Permits; Double-Crested Cormorant Management in the United States

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-01-27

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service 50 CFR Part 21 RIN 1018-AX82 Migratory Bird Permits; Double-Crested Cormorant Management in the United States AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Request for...

  4. 50 CFR 21.47 - Depredation order for double-crested cormorants at aquaculture facilities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ..., BARTER, EXPORTATION, AND IMPORTATION OF WILDLIFE AND PLANTS (CONTINUED) MIGRATORY BIRD PERMITS Control of Depredating and Otherwise Injurious Birds § 21.47 Depredation order for double-crested cormorants at..., taped calls, or other devices to lure within gun range birds committing or about to commit...

  5. 50 CFR 21.47 - Depredation order for double-crested cormorants at aquaculture facilities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ..., BARTER, EXPORTATION, AND IMPORTATION OF WILDLIFE AND PLANTS (CONTINUED) MIGRATORY BIRD PERMITS Control of Depredating and Otherwise Injurious Birds § 21.47 Depredation order for double-crested cormorants at... order may use decoys, taped calls, or other devices to lure within gun range birds committing or...

  6. 50 CFR 21.47 - Depredation order for double-crested cormorants at aquaculture facilities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ..., BARTER, EXPORTATION, AND IMPORTATION OF WILDLIFE AND PLANTS (CONTINUED) MIGRATORY BIRD PERMITS Control of Depredating and Otherwise Injurious Birds § 21.47 Depredation order for double-crested cormorants at..., taped calls, or other devices to lure within gun range birds committing or about to commit...

  7. 50 CFR 21.47 - Depredation order for double-crested cormorants at aquaculture facilities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ...? This depredation order applies to commercial freshwater aquaculture facilities and to State and Federal... freshwater aquaculture stocks to take, without a Federal permit, double-crested cormorants when they are... only during daylight hours and only within the boundaries of freshwater commercial...

  8. 50 CFR 21.48 - Depredation order for double-crested cormorants to protect public resources.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... oiling must use 100 percent corn oil, a substance exempted from regulation by the U.S. Environmental... Director deems the activity a threat to the long-term sustainability of double-crested cormorants or any... resource (e.g., biological, environmental, and socioeconomic); and (vi) A discussion of how control...

  9. 50 CFR 21.48 - Depredation order for double-crested cormorants to protect public resources.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... oiling must use 100 percent corn oil, a substance exempted from regulation by the U.S. Environmental... Director deems the activity a threat to the long-term sustainability of double-crested cormorants or any... resource (e.g., biological, environmental, and socioeconomic); and (vi) A discussion of how control...

  10. Black spots for aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems: impact of a perennial cormorant colony on the environment.

    PubMed

    Klimaszyk, Piotr; Brzeg, Andrzej; Rzymski, Piotr; Piotrowicz, Ryszard

    2015-06-01

    The global growth of populations of different cormorant species has raised concern on the consequences of their presence in the environment. This study examined the impact of a perennial colony (160 breeding pairs) of great cormorants on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. The deposition of bird-originating nutrients within the area of colony, their accumulation in soils and the fluxed of chemical substances to a nearby lake were investigated. The impact of cormorants on terrestrial vegetation and microbial pollution of the lake were also studied. The soils beneath the colony were found to contain extremely high concentrations of nitrogen and phosphorus. The overgrowing vegetation was largely limited with nitrophilous and invasive species being more abundant. Increased loads of organic matter, nitrogen and phosphorus were also found in groundwater and particularly, surface runoff. The colony area delivered significant amounts of nutrients to the lake also when the birds were absent. The lake water near colony was also characterized by increased nutrient content and additionally higher number of faecal bacteria. The present results demonstrate the complexity through which the effect of cormorant colonies can be manifested simultaneously in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystem.

  11. Double-crested Cormorant Management Plan to Reduce Predation of Juvenile Salmonids in the Columbia River Estuary

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-01-01

    techniques (setting up decoys and broadcasting audio playback of bird calls to encourage nesting) were tested within and outside the Columbia River...Supplemental Federal Columbia River Power System Biological Opinion called for the Corps to “…develop a cormorant management plan (including...Double-crested Cormorants Satellite-tagged on East Sand Island within the Affected Environment. #of Birds Act ive+ t hat %of Birds #of %of Active

  12. Double-crested cormorant studies at Little Galloo Island, Lake Ontario in 2008: Diet composition, fish consumption and the efficacy of management activities in reducing fish predation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, James H.; McCullough, Russell D.; Farquhar, James F.

    2008-01-01

    The year 2008 marked the seventeenth consecutive year of study of the food habits and fish consumption of LGI cormorants, and represented the tenth consecutive year evaluating the efficacy of management activities to control the reproductive success of cormorants nesting at LGI. The program consists mainly of spraying cormorant eggs with oil as well as the culling of adult and immature birds.This paper reports the findings of work carried outin 2008 at LGI.

  13. The First Isolation of Aspergillus allahabadii from a Cormorant with Pulmonary Aspergillosis.

    PubMed

    Lim, Sue Yee; Kano, Rui; Ooya, Kenji; Kimura, Shunta; Yanai, Tokuma; Hasegawa, Atsuhiko; Kamata, Hiroshi

    2016-01-01

    In this study, we report the first isolation of Aspergillus allahabadii from a Japanese cormorant with pulmonary aspergillosis. We performed molecular identification and antifungal susceptibility testing with the E-test. A 7-month-old male cormorant died because of uric acid deposition secondary to dehydration. Whitish nodular lesions were present on the caudal thoracic air sac in the right thoracic cavity. Histopathology revealed multifocal pyogranulomatous necrotic lesions with numerous fungal hyphae in the thoracic air sac. Identification of the etiologic agent was confirmed by comparative analyses of the sequences of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region and β-tubulin-encoding genes. According to the E-test, the minimum inhibitory concentrations of the isolate to amphotericin B, fluconazole, itraconazole, and voriconazole were 0.75 μg/ml, >256 μg/ml, 0.38 μg/ml, and 0.38 μg/ml, respectively.

  14. Shedding light on Aspergillus niger volatile exometabolome

    PubMed Central

    Costa, Carina Pedrosa; Gonçalves Silva, Diogo; Rudnitskaya, Alisa; Almeida, Adelaide; Rocha, Sílvia M.

    2016-01-01

    An in-depth exploration of the headspace content of Aspergillus niger cultures was performed upon different growth conditions, using a methodology based on advanced multidimensional gas chromatography. This volatile fraction comprises 428 putatively identified compounds distributed over several chemical families, being the major ones hydrocarbons, alcohols, esters, ketones and aldehydes. These metabolites may be related with different metabolic pathways, such as amino acid metabolism, biosynthesis and metabolism of fatty acids, degradation of aromatic compounds, mono and sesquiterpenoid synthesis and carotenoid cleavage. The A. niger molecular biomarkers pattern was established, comprising the 44 metabolites present in all studied conditions. This pattern was successfully used to distinguish A. niger from other fungi (Candida albicans and Penicillium chrysogenum) with 3 days of growth by using Partial Least Squares-Discriminant Analysis (PLS-DA). In addition, PLS-DA-Variable Importance in Projection was applied to highlight the metabolites playing major roles in fungi distinction; decreasing the initial dataset to only 16 metabolites. The data pre-processing time was substantially reduced, and an improvement of quality-of-fit value was achieved. This study goes a step further on A. niger metabolome construction and A. niger future detection may be proposed based on this molecular biomarkers pattern. PMID:27264696

  15. Dynamic Responses in a Plant-Insect System to Fertilization by Cormorant Feces.

    PubMed

    Kolb, Gundula; Hambäck, Peter A

    2015-04-24

    Theoretical arguments suggest that increased plant productivity may not only increase consumer densities but also their fluctuations. While increased consumer densities are commonly observed in fertilization experiments, experiments are seldom performed at a spatial and temporal scale where effects on population fluctuations may be observed. In this study we used a natural gradient in soil fertility caused by cormorant nesting. Cormorants feed on fish but defecate on their nesting islands. On these islands we studied soil nutrient availability, plant nutrient content and the density of Galerucella beetles, main herbivores feeding on Lythrum salicaria. In a common garden experiment, we followed larval development on fertilized plants and estimated larval stoichiometry. Soil nutrient availability varied among islands, and several cormorant islands had very high N and P soil content. Plant nutrient content, however, did not vary among islands, and there was no correlation between soil and plant nutrient contents. Beetle densities increased with plant nutrient content in the field study. However, there was either no effect on temporal fluctuations in beetle density or that temporal fluctuations decreased (at high P). In the common garden experiment, we found limited responses in either larval survival or pupal weights to fertilization. A possible mechanism for the limited effect of fertilization on density fluctuations may be that the distribution of L. salicaria on nesting islands was restricted to sites with a lower N and P content, presumably because high N loads are toxic.

  16. Dynamic Responses in a Plant-Insect System to Fertilization by Cormorant Feces

    PubMed Central

    Kolb, Gundula; Hambäck, Peter A.

    2015-01-01

    Theoretical arguments suggest that increased plant productivity may not only increase consumer densities but also their fluctuations. While increased consumer densities are commonly observed in fertilization experiments, experiments are seldom performed at a spatial and temporal scale where effects on population fluctuations may be observed. In this study we used a natural gradient in soil fertility caused by cormorant nesting. Cormorants feed on fish but defecate on their nesting islands. On these islands we studied soil nutrient availability, plant nutrient content and the density of Galerucella beetles, main herbivores feeding on Lythrum salicaria. In a common garden experiment, we followed larval development on fertilized plants and estimated larval stoichiometry. Soil nutrient availability varied among islands, and several cormorant islands had very high N and P soil content. Plant nutrient content, however, did not vary among islands, and there was no correlation between soil and plant nutrient contents. Beetle densities increased with plant nutrient content in the field study. However, there was either no effect on temporal fluctuations in beetle density or that temporal fluctuations decreased (at high P). In the common garden experiment, we found limited responses in either larval survival or pupal weights to fertilization. A possible mechanism for the limited effect of fertilization on density fluctuations may be that the distribution of L. salicaria on nesting islands was restricted to sites with a lower N and P content, presumably because high N loads are toxic. PMID:26463193

  17. Genetic sequence data identifies the cercaria of drepanocephalus spathans Digenea echinostomatidea a parasite of the double-crested cormorant Phalacrocorax auritus with notes on its pathology in juvenile channel catfish Ictal

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In the summer of 2010, a catfish producer in the Mississippi Delta contacted the Fish Health Laboratory of the National Warmwater Aquaculture Center in Stoneville, MS regarding several ponds suspected of having trematode infections because of poor feeding activity. Fish and snail populations were ev...

  18. Fingernail Onychomycosis Due to Aspergillus niger

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Dong Min; Ha, Gyoung Yim; Sohng, Seung Hyun

    2012-01-01

    Onychomycosis is usually caused by dermatophytes, but some species of nondermatophytic molds and yeasts are also associated with nail invasion. Aspergillus niger is a nondermatophytic mold which exists as an opportunistic filamentous fungus in all environments. Here, we report a case of onychomycosis caused by A. niger in a 66-year-old female. The patient presented with a black discoloration and a milky white base and onycholysis on the proximal portion of the right thumb nail. Direct microscopic examination of scrapings after potassium hydroxide (KOH) preparation revealed dichotomous septate hyphae. Repeated cultures on Sabouraud's dextrose agar (SDA) without cycloheximide produced the same black velvety colonies. No colony growth occurred on SDA with cycloheximide slants. Biseriate phialides covering the entire vesicle with radiate conidial heads were observed on the slide culture. The DNA sequence of the internal transcribed spacer region of the clinical sample was a 100% match to that of A. niger strain ATCC 16888 (GenBank accession number AY373852). A. niger was confirmed by KOH mount, colony identification, light microscopic morphology, and DNA sequence analysis. The patient was treated orally with 250 mg terbinafine daily and topical amorolfine 5% nail lacquer for 3 months. As a result, the patient was completely cured clinically and mycologically. PMID:23197914

  19. Characterization of Newcastle disease viruses isolated from cormorant and gull species in the United States in 2010.

    PubMed

    Diel, Diego G; Miller, Patti J; Wolf, Paul C; Mickley, Randall M; Musante, Anthony R; Emanueli, Daniel C; Shively, Kirk J; Pedersen, Kerri; Afonso, Claudio L

    2012-03-01

    Newcastle disease virus (NDV), a member of the genus Avulavirus of the family Paramyxoviridae, is the causative agent of Newcastle disease (ND), a highly contagious disease that affects many species of birds and which frequently causes significant economic losses to the poultry industry worldwide. Virulent NDV (vNDV) is exotic in poultry in the United States; however, the virus has been frequently associated with outbreaks of ND in cormorants, which poses a significant threat to poultry species. Here, we present the characterization of 13 NDV isolates obtained from outbreaks of ND affecting cormorants and gulls in the states of Minnesota, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, and Maryland in 2010. All 2010 isolates are closely related to the viruses that caused the ND outbreaks in Minnesota in 2008, following the new evolutionary trend observed in cormorant NDV isolates since 2005. Similar to the results obtained with the 2008 isolates, the standard United States Department of Agriculture F-gene real-time reverse-transcription PCR (RRT-PCR) assay failed to detect the 2010 cormorant viruses, whereas all viruses were detected by a cormorant-specific F-gene RRT-PCR assay. Notably, NDV-positive gulls were captured on the eastern shore of Maryland, which represents a significant geographic expansion of the virus since its emergence in North America. This is the first report of vNDV originating from cormorants isolated from wild birds in Maryland and, notably, the first time that genotype V vNDV has been isolated from multiple wild bird species in the United States. These findings highlight the need for constant epidemiologic surveillance for NDV in wild bird populations and for consistent biosecurity measures to prevent the introduction of the agent into domestic poultry flocks.

  20. Ecological Stoichiometry and Density Responses of Plant-Arthropod Communities on Cormorant Nesting Islands

    PubMed Central

    Kolb, Gundula S.; Palmborg, Cecilia; Hambäck, Peter A.

    2013-01-01

    Seabirds deposit large amounts of nutrient rich guano on their nesting islands. The increased nutrient availability strongly affects plants and consumers. Consumer response differs among taxonomic groups, but mechanisms causing these differences are poorly understood. Ecological stoichiometry might provide tools to understand these mechanisms. ES suggests that nutrient rich taxa are more likely to be nutrient limited than nutrient poorer taxa and are more favored under nutrient enrichment. Here, we quantified differences in the elemental composition of soil, plants, and consumers between islands with and without nesting cormorant colonies and tested predictions made based on ES by relating the elemental composition and the eventual mismatch between consumer and resource stoichiometry to observed density differences among the island categories. We found that nesting cormorants radically changed the soil nutrient content and thereby indirectly plant nutrient content and resource quality to herbivores. In contrast, consumers showed only small differences in their elemental composition among the island categories. While we cannot evaluate the cause of the apparent homeostasis of invertebrates without additional data, we can conclude that from the perspective of the next trophic level, there is no difference in diet quality (in terms of N and P content) between island categories. Thus, bottom-up effects seemed mainly be mediated via changes in resource quantity not quality. Despite a large potential trophic mismatch we were unable to observe any relation between the invertebrate stoichiometry and their density response to nesting cormorant colonies. We conclude that in our system stoichiometry is not a useful predictor of arthropod responses to variation in resource nutrient content. Furthermore, we found no strong evidence that resource quality was a prime determinant of invertebrate densities. Other factors like resource quantity, habitat structure and species

  1. Ecological stoichiometry and density responses of plant-arthropod communities on cormorant nesting islands.

    PubMed

    Kolb, Gundula S; Palmborg, Cecilia; Hambäck, Peter A

    2013-01-01

    Seabirds deposit large amounts of nutrient rich guano on their nesting islands. The increased nutrient availability strongly affects plants and consumers. Consumer response differs among taxonomic groups, but mechanisms causing these differences are poorly understood. Ecological stoichiometry might provide tools to understand these mechanisms. ES suggests that nutrient rich taxa are more likely to be nutrient limited than nutrient poorer taxa and are more favored under nutrient enrichment. Here, we quantified differences in the elemental composition of soil, plants, and consumers between islands with and without nesting cormorant colonies and tested predictions made based on ES by relating the elemental composition and the eventual mismatch between consumer and resource stoichiometry to observed density differences among the island categories. We found that nesting cormorants radically changed the soil nutrient content and thereby indirectly plant nutrient content and resource quality to herbivores. In contrast, consumers showed only small differences in their elemental composition among the island categories. While we cannot evaluate the cause of the apparent homeostasis of invertebrates without additional data, we can conclude that from the perspective of the next trophic level, there is no difference in diet quality (in terms of N and P content) between island categories. Thus, bottom-up effects seemed mainly be mediated via changes in resource quantity not quality. Despite a large potential trophic mismatch we were unable to observe any relation between the invertebrate stoichiometry and their density response to nesting cormorant colonies. We conclude that in our system stoichiometry is not a useful predictor of arthropod responses to variation in resource nutrient content. Furthermore, we found no strong evidence that resource quality was a prime determinant of invertebrate densities. Other factors like resource quantity, habitat structure and species

  2. Foraging patterns of Caspian terns and double-crested cormorants in the Columbia River estuary

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lyons, Donald E.; Roby, D.D.; Collis, K.

    2007-01-01

    We examined spatial and temporal foraging patterns of Caspian terns and double-crested cormorants nesting in the Columbia River estuary, to potentially identify circumstances where juvenile salmonids listed under the U.S. Endangered Species Act might be more vulnerable to predation by these avian piscivores. Data were collected during the 1998 and 1999 breeding seasons, using point count surveys of foraging birds at 40 sites along the river's banks, and using aerial strip transect counts throughout the estuary for terns. In 1998, terns selected tidal flats and sites with roosting beaches nearby for foraging, making greater use of the marine/mixing zone of the estuary later in the season, particularly areas near the ocean jetties. In 1999, cormorants selected foraging sites in freshwater along the main channel with pile dikes present, particularly early in the season. Foraging trends in the other year for each species were generally similar to the above but usually not significant. During aerial surveys we observed 50% of foraging and commuting terns within 8 km of the Rice Island colony, and ??? 5% of activity occurred ??? 27 km from this colony in both years. Disproportionately greater cormorant foraging activity at pile dikes may indicate greater vulnerability of salmonids to predation at those features. Colony relocations to sites at sufficient distance from areas of relatively high salmonid abundance may be a straightforward means of reducing impacts of avian predation on salmonids than habitat alterations within the Columbia River estuary, at least for terns. ?? 2007 by the Northwest Scientific Association. All rights reserved.

  3. Overview of the central cormorant underwater Manifold Centre Project (1974-1983)

    SciTech Connect

    Basitaanse, T.; Liles, J.R.

    1983-05-01

    The Underwater Manifold Centre (UMC), installed in the Central Cormorant field of the North Sea in 1982, is an example of a development that extends frontiers in the area of subsea technology. This paper describes the history of the project and how the combined resources of Shell and Esso brought it to fruition. Topics discussed in the paper range from the project's terms of reference to installation of the UMC to present status of offshore activities and remaining work. It concludes with a broad summary of what the UMC experience has provided to both companies to date.

  4. Aspergillus Niger Genomics: Past, Present and into the Future

    SciTech Connect

    Baker, Scott E.

    2006-09-01

    Aspergillus niger is a filamentous ascomycete fungus that is ubiquitous in the environment and has been implicated in opportunistic infections of humans. In addition to its role as an opportunistic human pathogen, A. niger is economically important as a fermentation organism used for the production of citric acid. Industrial citric acid production by A. niger represents one of the most efficient, highest yield bioprocesses in use currently by industry. The genome size of A. niger is estimated to be between 35.5 and 38.5 megabases (Mb) divided among eight chromosomes/linkage groups that vary in size from 3.5 - 6.6 Mb. Currently, there are three independent A. niger genome projects, an indication of the economic importance of this organism. The rich amount of data resulting from these multiple A. niger genome sequences will be used for basic and applied research programs applicable to fermentation process development, morphology and pathogenicity.

  5. A Climate Trend Analysis of Niger

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Funk, Christopher C.; Rowland, Jim; Eilerts, Gary; Adoum, Alkhalil; White, Libby

    2012-01-01

    This brief report, drawing from a multi-year effort by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET), identifies a substantial recovery of rainfall in Niger, accompanied by increases in air temperatures. These analyses are based on quality-controlled station observations. Conclusions: * Summer rains have increased during the past 20 years and have almost returned to 1960-89 levels. * Temperatures have increased by 0.6° Celsius since 1975, amplifying the effect of droughts. * Crop yields are very low and stagnant, and the population is growing very rapidly. * Niger has offset very rapid population growth with a large expansion of cultivated land. * If the expansion of farmland slows down, stagnant yields and population growth could lead to increased food insecurity.

  6. The impact of Great Cormorants on biogenic pollution of land ecosystems: Stable isotope signatures in small mammals.

    PubMed

    Balčiauskas, Linas; Skipitytė, Raminta; Jasiulionis, Marius; Trakimas, Giedrius; Balčiauskienė, Laima; Remeikis, Vidmantas

    2016-09-15

    Studying the isotopic composition of the hair of two rodent species trapped in the territories of Great Cormorant colonies, we aimed to show that Great Cormorants transfer biogens from aquatic ecosystems to terrestrial ecosystems, and that these substances reach small mammals through the trophic cascade, thus influencing the nutrient balance in the terrestrial ecosystem. Analysis of δ(13)C and δ(15)N was performed on two dominant species of small mammals, Apodemus flavicollis and Myodes glareolus, inhabiting the territories of the colonies. For both species, the values of δ(13)C and δ(15)N were higher in the animals trapped in the territories of the colonies than those in control territories. In the hair of A. flavicollis and M. glareolus, the highest values of δ(15)N (16.31±3.01‰ and 17.86±2.76‰, respectively) were determined in those animals trapped in the biggest Great Cormorant colony. δ(15)N values were age dependent, highest in adult A. flavicollis and M. glareolus and lowest in juvenile animals. For δ(13)C values, age-dependent differences were not registered. δ(15)N values in both small mammal species from the biggest Great Cormorant colony show direct dependence on the intensity of influence. Biogenic pollution is at its strongest in the territories of the colonies with nests, significantly diminishing in the ecotones of the colonies and further in the control zones, where the influence of birds is negligible. Thus, Great Cormorant colonies alter ecosystem functioning by enrichment with biogens, with stable isotope values in small mammals significantly higher in the affected territories.

  7. Decoupled Changes in Western Niger Delta Primary Productivity and Niger River Discharge Across the Last Deglacial

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parker, A. O.; Schmidt, M. W.; Slowey, N. C.; Jobe, Z. R.; Marcantonio, F.

    2014-12-01

    Abrupt droughts in West Africa impart significant socio-economic impacts on the developing countries of this region, and yet a comprehensive understanding of the causes and duration of such droughts remains elusive. Much of the summertime rainfall associated with the West African Monsoon (WAM) falls within the Niger River basin and eventually drains into the eastern Gulf of Guinea, contributing to the low sea-surface salinity of this region. Of the limited number of studies that reconstruct Gulf of Guinea salinity through the deglacial, the most comprehensive of those is located ~ 400 km east of the Niger delta and may not be solely influenced by WAM runoff. Here, we present XRF and foraminiferal trace metal data from two new cores located less than 100 km from the Western Niger Delta. Radiocarbon dating of cores Grand 21 (4.72oN, 4.48oE) and Fan 17 (4.81oN, 4.41oE) produced near linear sedimentation rates of 20 cm/kyr and 15 cm/kyr respectively. Elemental sediment compositions from XRF core scanning reveal an abrupt 50% increase in SiO2 between 17-15 ka during Heinrich Event 1. This increase, coeval with increases of CaCO3 (+12%) content and Ba/Ti ratios suggests a large increase in primary productivity during H1. Values then decrease at the onset of the Bolling-Allerod (~14.6 kyr) until a similar, albeit smaller increase is recorded during the Younger Dryas beginning at 12.7 kyr. In contrast, FeO2 and TiO2 are thought to be a proxies of Niger River discharge strength and suggest a more gradual change in riverine discharge across the deglacial that is most likely driven by precession. These proxies suggest Niger River runoff was low from the LGM through Heinrich 1, gradually increasing around 13 ka. FeO2 and TiO2 values then peak between 11.5-7.5 kyr, consistent with the African Humid Period, before gradually decreasing through the mid-late Holocene. This deglacial pattern of riverine input is markedly different from previous reconstructions of WAM variability and

  8. First carboniferous conulariids from Niger (west Africa)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Babcock, L. E.; Lang, J.; Yahaya, M.

    1995-01-01

    Two new conulariid species, Paraconularia feldmanni sp. nov. and P. sahara sp. nov., are described from the Lower Carboniferous (Visean) Talak Formation of northern Niger. These are the first example of the genus Paraconularia to be reported from Africa and the first Carboniferous conulariids from that continent to be assigned to species level. Previously reported Carboniferous conulariids from Africa were collected from Morocco, assigned to other genera, and left in open nomenclature. Paraconularia is interpreted to have been cosmopolitan by the Early Carboniferous, and is the dominant genus in most assemblages of Carboniferous conulariids.

  9. Prey ingestion revealed by oesophagus and stomach temperature recordings in cormorants.

    PubMed

    Ancel, A; Horning, M; Kooyman, G L

    1997-01-01

    We examined the accuracy of both stomach and oesophagus temperature sensors-deployed on captive Brandt's cormorants-for determination of the mass of food ingested and the number of prey items swallowed. The oesophageal temperature sensor was a better detector of all feeding events, including that of small prey which were missed by the stomach sensor. Adapted to free-ranging animals (and coupled to data loggers for recording seawater temperature), oesophagus temperature recorders, in conjunction with both recordings of energy expenditure (e.g. doubly labelled water, heart rate) and determination of position (e.g. Argos transmitter, time/depth recorder), should provide further important insights into the foraging success of marine endotherms.

  10. Insulated pipelines between the underwater Manifold Centre and Cormorant a platform in the northern North Sea

    SciTech Connect

    Costello, G.J.; Brink, F.I.A.; Henry, D.

    1983-05-01

    Oil flows from the UMC to the Cormorant 'A' platform through a system of subsea pipelines. Therefore, oil from the wells must travel a considerable distance, up to ten kilometres, before reaching processing facilities on the platform. During this trip the oil could cool to the ambient seawater temperature of 5/sup 0/C. Studies have shown that the acceptance of crude oil at such a low temperature could cause unacceptable emulsion, hydrate, and wax deposition problems. To overcome these problems, a unique insulated pipeline was engineered to keep the crude oil temperature above 40/sup 0/C during production and above 13/sup 0/C for well testing. This paper describes efforts required to identify the problem and engineer a solution. The resultant pipeline incorporated an insulated pipe-withina-pipe bundle that was installed by a mid-depth tow method.

  11. Fluctuating wing asymmetry and hepatic concentrations of persistent organic pollutants are associated in European shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis) chicks.

    PubMed

    Jenssen, Bjørn Munro; Aarnes, Jon Birger; Murvoll, Kari-Mette; Herzke, Dorte; Nygård, Torgeir

    2010-01-01

    In aquatic birds, high body burdens of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) have been associated with developmental effects related to growth, increased fluctuating wing asymmetry, and disruption of the thyroid hormone, vitamin A (retinol) and vitamin E (tocopherol) homeostasis. The aim of the present study was to examine if morphological variables (body mass, liver mass, wing length, tarsus length and head length), fluctuating asymmetry of the wings and tarsus, growth rates and endocrine variables (thyroid hormones, retinol and tocopherol) were associated with hepatic levels of POPs (PCBs, OCPs and PBDEs) in 21 day old chicks of European shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis). Partial Least Squares (PLS) analysis showed that fluctuating asymmetry of wing bone length (FA(WBL)) was affected by PCB-105, -118, -138, -153, and -180 (r(2)x=0.88, r(2)y=0.35, q(2)=0.29). Bivariate correlation confirmed significant positive relationships between FA(WBL) and each of these PCB congeners. In the PLS model no other biological variables were significantly affected by any of the POPs. Levels of POPs were much lower in the shag chicks than in eggs and in hatchlings from the same breeding colony, most likely due to growth dilution of the compounds. We suggest that the effects of the PCBs on FA(WBL) may be due to effects of these compounds on bone growth and bone structure. FA(WBL) may have functional effects on the fitness if it persists after fledging.

  12. Consequences of buoyancy to the maneuvering capabilities of a foot-propelled aquatic predator, the great cormorant (Phalcrocorax carbo sinensis).

    PubMed

    Ribak, Gal; Weihs, Daniel; Arad, Zeev

    2008-09-01

    Great cormorants are foot-propelled aquatic divers utilizing a region of the water column where their underwater foraging behavior is affected by their buoyancy. While swimming horizontally underwater, cormorants use downward lift forces generated by their body and tail to overcome their buoyancy. Here we assess the potential of this swimming strategy for controlling maneuvers in the vertical plane. We recorded the birds swimming through a submerged obstacle course and analyzed their maneuvers. The birds reduced swimming speed by only 12% to maneuver and were able to turn upward and then downward in the sagittal plane at a minimal turning radius of 32+/-4 cm (40% body length). Using a quasi-steady approach, we estimated the time-line for hydrodynamic forces and the force-moments produced while maneuvering. We found that the tail is responsible for the pitch of the body while motions of the body, tail, neck and feet generate forces normal (vertically) to the swimming direction that interact with buoyancy to change the birds' trajectory. Vertical maneuvers in cormorants are asymmetric in energy cost. When turning upward, the birds use their buoyancy but they must work harder to turn downward. Lift forces generated by the body were always directed ventrally. Propulsion improves the ability to make tight turns when the center of the turn is ventral to the birds. The neck produced only a small portion (10%) of the normal vertical forces but its length may allow prey capture at the end of pursuit, within the minimum turning radius.

  13. The Niger Delta petroleum system; Niger Delta Province, Nigeria, Cameroon, and equatorial Guinea, Africa

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tuttle, Michele L.W.; Charpentier, Ronald R.; Brownfield, Michael E.

    1999-01-01

    In the Niger Delta province, we have identified one petroleum system--the Tertiary Niger Delta (Akata-Agbada) petroleum system. The delta formed at the site of a rift triple junction related to the opening of the southern Atlantic starting in the Late Jurassic and continuing into the Cretaceous. The delta proper began developing in the Eocene, accumulating sediments that now are over 10 kilometers thick. The primary source rock is the upper Akata Formation, the marine-shale facies of the delta, with possibly contribution from interbedded marine shale of the lowermost Agbada Formation. Oil is produced from sandstone facies within the Agbada Formation, however, turbidite sand in the upper Akata Formation is a potential target in deep water offshore and possibly beneath currently producing intervals onshore. Known oil and gas resources of the Niger Delta rank the province as the twelfth largest in the world. To date, 34.5 billion barrels of recoverable oil and 93.8 trillion cubic feet of recoverable gas have been discovered. In 1997, Nigeria was the fifth largest crude oil supplier to the United States, supplying 689,000 barrels/day of crude.

  14. Chronic bilateral otomycosis caused by Aspergillus niger.

    PubMed

    Mishra, G S; Mehta, Niral; Pal, M

    2004-02-01

    Aspergillus niger, an opportunistic filamentous fungus, was identified as the cause of chronic bilateral otomycosis in a 46-year-old female patient who was unresponsive to different drugs. The patient showed signs of erythema, otalgia, itching, otorrhoea and presence of greyish black coloured mass in both the ear canals. The direct microscopical examination of the ear debris in potassium hydroxide preparations, Giemsa, phase contrast and Gram revealed many thin, branched septate hyphae, condia and conidiophores morphologically indistinguishable from Aspergillus spp. The histopathological section of the ear wax mass by haematoxylin and eosin and periodic acid-Schiff techniques also showed similar fungal elements. The patient responded to 1% solution of mercurochrome. The use of mercurochrome in developing countries like India may be recommended to treat the fungal otitis in patients. We also emphasize that 'Narayan' stain should be routinely employed by microbiology and public health laboratories to study the morphology of pathogenic fungi.

  15. [Sweat gland tumors in Niger. Anatomopathology].

    PubMed

    Warter, A; Diolombi, G

    1989-01-01

    The authors report 15 cases of sweat gland tumour observed over 2 years in Niger where their pathology was never studied. These tumours accounted for 0.38 p. 100 of all examinations performed during the same period at the pathological laboratory of the University of Niamey. They ranked sixth among the diagnoses of skin pathology. Only routine histological techniques were used. The diagnoses obtained could be divided into 5 groups. Eight women presented with partly solid cystic tumours located on the legs in 5 cases; their structure was typical of nodular hidradenoma. Two male patients had cyst-pitted tumours the superficial portion of which showed a structure of papillary eccrine adenoma, while the deep portion contained a multitude of cysts with atrophic walls; the authors consider this type of tumour as a variant of papillary eccrine adenoma. One patient had a syringocystadenoma which also included a large cyst. Finally, one patient presented with a chondroid syringoma in the axillary region, and 3 patients had histologically aggressive carcinomas located on the sole, forehead and axillary region respectively. Clinical and paraclinical investigations failed to detect any deep malignancy in these three patients, and their tumours were regarded as compatible with sweat gland carcinomas. In this series, two lesions were unusually numerous: carcinomas and nodular hydradenomas. The first named probably are a consequence of the socio-economic conditions prevailing in the population of Niger: poverty prevents patients from consulting for diseases which produce no symptoms, which artificially increases the apparent incidence of aggressive lesions. As for nodular hydradenomas, they are large owing to the presence of cysts.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  16. Utility of Aspergillus niger citrate synthase promoter for heterologous expression.

    PubMed

    Dave, Kashyap; Punekar, Narayan S

    2011-09-10

    Citrate synthase is a central player in the acidogenic metabolism of Aspergillus niger. The 5' upstream sequence (0.9kb DNA) of citrate synthase gene (citA) from A. niger NCIM 565 was analyzed and its promoter function demonstrated through the heterologous expression of two proteins. The cloned citrate synthase promoter (PcitA) sequence was able to express bar coding sequence thereby conferring phosphinothricin resistance. This sequence was further analyzed by systematic deletions to define an effective but compact functional promoter. The PcitA driven egfp expression showed that PcitA was active in all differentiation cell-stages of A. niger. EGFP expression was highest on non-repressible carbon sources like acetate and glycerol. Mycelial EGFP levels increased during acidogenic growth suggesting that PcitA is functional throughout this cultivation. A. niger PcitA is the first Krebs cycle gene promoter used to express heterologous proteins in filamentous fungi.

  17. Organochlorine contaminants in cormorant, darter, egret, and ibis eggs from South Africa.

    PubMed

    Bouwman, Henk; Polder, Anuschka; Venter, Belinda; Skaare, Janneche U

    2008-03-01

    During the last 15 years, no research has been published on the levels of pesticides in bird eggs from South Africa, despite the high levels found previously. We analysed eggs from African darter, cattle egret, reed cormorant, African sacred ibis, as well as single eggs from some other species, and found HCB, DDTs, HCHs, chlordanes and PCBs at detectable levels. The presence of mirex in all species was unexpected, since this compound was never registered in South Africa. It also seemed as if terrestrial feeding birds had higher DDE:PCB ratios when compared with aquatic feeding birds. Except for chlordane, the African darter eggs had the highest levels of all other compounds (mean 370 and 300 ng g(-1) ww Sigma pesticides and Sigma PCBs, respectively). Multivariate analysis clearly distinguished the aquatic and terrestrially feeding birds on pollution profile. The African darter (aquatic feeding) and the cattle egret (terrestrial feeding) would be good indicator candidates. Eggshell thinning was detected in the African darter, and was associated with most of the compounds, including DDE and PCBs. We raise a concern that generally longer living birds in warmer climates, laying fewer eggs per clutch, might be at increased risk when compared with trophically similar birds exposed to equivalent levels of pollution in colder climates. Given the scarcity of water and the high biodiversity in Southern Africa, climate change will exert strong pressure, and any additional anthropogenic contamination at levels that can cause subtle behavioural, developmental and reproductive changes, can have serious effects.

  18. Immune function, sex ratios, and gonadal histopathology in double-crested cormorant chicks

    SciTech Connect

    Burull, E.J.; Goldberg, D.R.; Sileo, L.; Dale, T.; Allen, P.D.; Stromborg, K.L.; Larson, J.X.; Fry, D.M.

    1994-12-31

    There is evidence that environmental contaminants may be associated with endocrine and reproductive system abnormalities in colonial water birds. Little information is available on immune system response in chicks. Two double-crested cormorant (Phalocrocrozax auritus) colonies were monitored in 1993 for a comparative immune function study. Higher concentrations of organochlorines occurred in one colony. Parameters measured included: CBC, T and B-cell function, heterophil phagocytosis, lymphoid organ size and histopathology, and selected serum hormone analysis. Significant differences at the contaminated site included marked dysplasia and hypertrophy of thyroid gland, higher T3, lower cortisol, lower eosinophil counts, and increase phagocytosis at the contaminated site. Gonads of 101 deformed (cross-bill) chicks, siblings, and normal control chicks collected in 1992 and 1993 were examined microscopically because a sex-ration skewed towards females had been noted. Cross-billed chicks aged 12 to 15 days had disorganized or delayed follicular development which normalized by 20 days of age. Cross-billed or otherwise abnormal chicks aged 18 to 23 days had hypertrophic seminiferous tubules, a decreased interstitium, and decreased evidence of active Leydig cells.

  19. [Lost immunization opportunities in Niamey, Niger].

    PubMed

    Fermon, F

    1995-01-01

    During one morning in 1992 in Niamey, Niger, interviews with 380 women aged 15-49 attending five health facilities and with persons bringing 209 infants (0-11 months) to the same centers were conducted to identify weaknesses in the Expanded Program for Immunization in Niger and to define strategies to improve services. Missed opportunities for vaccination were used to evaluate these services. The health facilities were a maternal and child health (MCH) center, a dispensary, a national family health clinic, a social security health center, and a pediatric service at a central hospital. 27% of the infants lacked at least one vaccination. The corresponding figure for the women was 39%. The major types of visits were well-baby visits (45%) and curative visits (32%). The types of child vaccinations missed were all three DPT (diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus) doses (30% for 1st, 23% for 2nd, and 27% for 3rd), measles (29%), yellow fever (27%), and BCG (15%). Among women, the third and fourth doses of tetanus toxoid were most missed (31% and 23%, respectively). 87% of the persons accompanying the infants and 86% of the women would have accepted the vaccination on the day of the survey had it been made available. Among infants, missed opportunities were more common at the social security health center (56%) and least common at the national family health clinic (5%). Among women, the MCH clinic and the dispensary missed opportunities to vaccinate the most (59%) followed by the national family health clinic (53%), the hospital (47%), and the social security clinic (33%). 88% of persons with the infants had the infant's vaccination card with them. On the other hand, only 9% of women had their vaccination card. Based on these findings, some recommendations were: guarantee a supply of vaccination cards for all women; systematically distribute cards to women aged 15-49 and inform them of the importance of bringing it with them when they visit health services; provide

  20. Aspergillus niger: an unusual cause of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis

    PubMed Central

    Person, A. K.; Chudgar, S. M.; Norton, B. L.; Tong, B. C.; Stout, J. E.

    2010-01-01

    Infections due to Aspergillus species cause significant morbidity and mortality. Most are attributed to Aspergillus fumigatus, followed by Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus terreus. Aspergillus niger is a mould that is rarely reported as a cause of pneumonia. A 72-year-old female with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and temporal arteritis being treated with steroids long term presented with haemoptysis and pleuritic chest pain. Chest radiography revealed areas of heterogeneous consolidation with cavitation in the right upper lobe of the lung. Induced bacterial sputum cultures, and acid-fast smears and cultures were negative. Fungal sputum cultures grew A. niger. The patient clinically improved on a combination therapy of empiric antibacterials and voriconazole, followed by voriconazole monotherapy. After 4 weeks of voriconazole therapy, however, repeat chest computed tomography scanning showed a significant progression of the infection and near-complete necrosis of the right upper lobe of the lung. Serum voriconazole levels were low–normal (1.0 μg ml−1, normal range for the assay 0.5–6.0 μg ml−1). A. niger was again recovered from bronchoalveolar lavage specimens. A right upper lobectomy was performed, and lung tissue cultures grew A. niger. Furthermore, the lung histopathology showed acute and organizing pneumonia, fungal hyphae and oxalate crystallosis, confirming the diagnosis of invasive A. niger infection. A. niger, unlike A. fumigatus and A. flavus, is less commonly considered a cause of invasive aspergillosis (IA). The finding of calcium oxalate crystals in histopathology specimens is classic for A. niger infection and can be helpful in making a diagnosis even in the absence of conidia. Therapeutic drug monitoring may be useful in optimizing the treatment of IA given the wide variations in the oral bioavailability of voriconazole. PMID:20299503

  1. Country experience in organizing for quality: Niger.

    PubMed

    Marquez, L; Madubuike, C

    1999-01-01

    This article describes the efforts of Niger's Ministry of Health Tahoua Quality Assurance Project (QAP) since 1994. QAP aims to improve the delivery of critical primary health care (PHC) services by integrating and institutionalizing the QA approach in the PHC system in 1 demonstration site (Tahoua) and eventually, countrywide. The QAP selected 8 clinical interventions in its package of minimum services. The QAP project provided training, clarified and communicated clinical and management standards, and monitored and initiated a process for preventing and correcting problems. During 1994-96, QAP collaborated with BASICS to assist all 7 District Health Management Teams (DHMTs) in developing data collection tools for rapid performance assessments of the Integrated Management of Childhood Illnesses program. The pilot program proved that measurable gains in QA were possible, even with limited resources. DHMTs will have oversight of QA activities. A special unit within the MOH is not yet fully staffed. The central strategy has been to train teams of health staff at the regional and district level. A multilevel team developed manuals for norms and standards for vaccinations and for managerial operating procedures. The Quality Council redesigned the supervision system. Performance is monitored at quarterly regional and district meetings. A quarterly bulletin is the main dissemination tool. The loss of USAID support led to the loss of technical support from the QAP. The MOH is committed to QA and plans to institutionalize the process. The World Bank and UNICEF agreed to support QA projects in 1999.

  2. Niger delta deepwater region petroleum potential assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Thomas, D.

    1995-12-18

    On behalf of the Nigerian Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources some 23,000 km of high quality 192 channel, 96 fold seismic, and associated gravity and magnetic data were acquired by TGSI-Mabon Geophysical Co. and made available to the industry in 1991. These data were collected over all deepwater blocks in conjunction with the planned 1993 license round. Later, during 1993 and 1994 TGSI with Mabon Ltd. and Stratum Petroleum Services extended the program onto the shelf (7,000 km) and into the ultra deepwater areas (6,400 km), making possible modern studies of the entire offshore delta complex. In assessing the petroleum potential of an undrilled region, it is useful to refer to analogous basins or provinces already with histories of hydrocarbon exploration and discovery. With this in mind, and using limited data from the already drilled areas of Nigeria offshore, the adjacent West Africa salt basin and Brazil in particular, an attempt is made to discuss the hydrocarbon habitat of the undrilled Niger delta deepwater offshore sedimentary sequences.

  3. Community based nutrition programmes in Niger.

    PubMed

    Ndiaye, J M

    1997-12-01

    This article describes Niger's community-based nutrition program. The program is based on assessment, analysis, and action. The aims are to improve household food security, to increase self-empowerment among villagers, and to improve child care and feeding and access to health services. The program operated in 75 villages with a population of 80,000, of which 17,000 were children aged under 5 years. The program has achieved a measure of success, and lessons have been learned from the experience. Community-based programs are important to program success and survivability. Integrated programs are necessary when conditions become less enabling. People and donors can become fatigued. Integrated programs represent a shelter from financial declines, competition between programs with identical target populations, and duplication of efforts. Coordinated activities allow for acceleration in the achievement of national objectives and more adequate responses to community needs. Coordinated approaches provide a rational use of human and financial resources and create synergy between various programs. Integrated programs can implement broad-based programs. Integrated community-based programs can be set up in stages and expanded throughout the country gradually.

  4. Transcriptome analysis of Aspergillus niger grown on sugarcane bagasse

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Considering that the costs of cellulases and hemicellulases contribute substantially to the price of bioethanol, new studies aimed at understanding and improving cellulase efficiency and productivity are of paramount importance. Aspergillus niger has been shown to produce a wide spectrum of polysaccharide hydrolytic enzymes. To understand how to improve enzymatic cocktails that can hydrolyze pretreated sugarcane bagasse, we used a genomics approach to investigate which genes and pathways are transcriptionally modulated during growth of A. niger on steam-exploded sugarcane bagasse (SEB). Results Herein we report the main cellulase- and hemicellulase-encoding genes with increased expression during growth on SEB. We also sought to determine whether the mRNA accumulation of several SEB-induced genes encoding putative transporters is induced by xylose and dependent on glucose. We identified 18 (58% of A. niger predicted cellulases) and 21 (58% of A. niger predicted hemicellulases) cellulase- and hemicellulase-encoding genes, respectively, that were highly expressed during growth on SEB. Conclusions Degradation of sugarcane bagasse requires production of many different enzymes which are regulated by the type and complexity of the available substrate. Our presently reported work opens new possibilities for understanding sugarcane biomass saccharification by A. niger hydrolases and for the construction of more efficient enzymatic cocktails for second-generation bioethanol. PMID:22008461

  5. Aspergillus niger contains the cryptic phylogenetic species A. awamori.

    PubMed

    Perrone, Giancarlo; Stea, Gaetano; Epifani, Filomena; Varga, János; Frisvad, Jens C; Samson, Robert A

    2011-11-01

    Aspergillus section Nigri is an important group of species for food and medical mycology, and biotechnology. The Aspergillus niger 'aggregate' represents its most complicated taxonomic subgroup containing eight morphologically indistinguishable taxa: A. niger, Aspergillus tubingensis, Aspergillus acidus, Aspergillus brasiliensis, Aspergillus costaricaensis, Aspergillus lacticoffeatus, Aspergillus piperis, and Aspergillus vadensis. Aspergillus awamori, first described by Nakazawa, has been compared taxonomically with other black aspergilli and recently it has been treated as a synonym of A. niger. Phylogenetic analyses of sequences generated from portions of three genes coding for the proteins β-tubulin (benA), calmodulin (CaM), and the translation elongation factor-1 alpha (TEF-1α) of a population of A. niger strains isolated from grapes in Europe revealed the presence of a cryptic phylogenetic species within this population, A. awamori. Morphological, physiological, ecological and chemical data overlap occurred between A. niger and the cryptic A. awamori, however the splitting of these two species was also supported by AFLP analysis of the full genome. Isolates in both phylospecies can produce the mycotoxins ochratoxin A and fumonisin B₂, and they also share the production of pyranonigrin A, tensidol B, funalenone, malformins, and naphtho-γ-pyrones. In addition, sequence analysis of four putative A. awamori strains from Japan, used in the koji industrial fermentation, revealed that none of these strains belong to the A. awamori phylospecies.

  6. Cormorant field, United Kingdom North Sea - synergistic approach to optimum development of a complex reservoir

    SciTech Connect

    Watters, D.G.; Pagan, M.C.T.; Provan, M.J.

    1985-02-01

    The Cormorant oil field containing 1.5 billion bbl of oil in place, is situated in the United Kingdom sector of the northern North Sea. The reservoir comprises Middle Jurassic Brent Group sandstone is a westward tilted fault block. The top seal is provided by Upper Jurassic shales. The Brent Group consists of several units, which represent a single large-scale regressive and transgressive sequence of a northerly prograding delta complex. The structure style is a product of two tectonic phases, one dominated by wrench tectonics and a subsequent one which created the westward dipping faults blocks. This has resulted in a complex field consisting of four separate fault-bounded blocks. Each has distinctive characteristics and problems associated with varying internal geometry and sedimentology. Block IV, resulting from crestal collapse, is internally faulted and displays a number of elongate subblocks, which are bounded by a complex interactive suite of faults. Three-dimensional seismic coverage has not allowed adequate resolution of this complex faulting. Delineation of sub-blocks is critical as development has shown that many faults are sealing. Block II, southwest of the main culmination, presents problems of a sedimentological and structure nature. Production history shows the existence of barriers within the reservoir, probably associated with small-scale faulting, the sealing caused by juxtaposition, and/or clay smearing. There is also evidence of permeability reduction with increasing depth. Kaolinite is the predominant clay mineral within the reservoir, whereas illite may be present in small quantities in the water-bearing zone; this differential impairment has an effect on development strategy.

  7. Biosorption potency of Aspergillus niger for removal of chromium (VI).

    PubMed

    Srivastava, Shaili; Thakur, Indu Shekhar

    2006-09-01

    Aspergillus niger isolated from soil and effluent of leather tanning mills had higher activity to remove chromium. The potency of Aspergillus niger was evaluated in shake flask culture by absorption of chromium at pH 6 and temperature 30 degrees C. The results of the study indicated removal of more than 75% chromium by Aspergillus niger determined by diphenylcarbazide colorimetric assay and atomic absorption spectrophotometry after 7 days. Study of microbial Cr(VI) reduction and identification of reduction intermediates has been hindered by the lack of analytical techniques that can identify the oxidation state with subcellular spatial resolution. Therefore, removal of chromium was further substantiated by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), which indicated an accumulation of chromium in the fungal mycelium.

  8. Analytical and computational approaches to define the Aspergillus niger secretome

    SciTech Connect

    Tsang, Adrian; Butler, Gregory D.; Powlowski, Justin; Panisko, Ellen A.; Baker, Scott E.

    2009-03-01

    We used computational and mass spectrometric approaches to characterize the Aspergillus niger secretome. The 11,200 gene models predicted in the genome of A. niger strain ATCC 1015 were the data source for the analysis. Depending on the computational methods used, 691 to 881 proteins were predicted to be secreted proteins. We cultured A. niger in six different media and analyzed the extracellular proteins produced using mass spectrometry. A total of 222 proteins were identified, with 39 proteins expressed under all six conditions and 74 proteins expressed under only one condition. The secreted proteins identified by mass spectrometry were used to guide the correction of about 20 gene models. Additional analysis focused on extracellular enzymes of interest for biomass processing. Of the 63 glycoside hydrolases predicted to be capable of hydrolyzing cellulose, hemicellulose or pectin, 94% of the exo-acting enzymes and only 18% of the endo-acting enzymes were experimentally detected.

  9. Interpretation of satellite images of the Republic of Niger

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bender, F.; Bannert, D.

    1981-01-01

    Interpretations of LANDSAT pictures were carried out for an area located in the west of the Niger Republic in the geological, hydrogeological and pedological sectors. Checking of the extent of vegetation and use of the soils and effects of desertification for the purpose of yearly map making was carried out. The proposed control of land use may be optimized by the direct reception of LANDSAT data by the receiving station planned for Ouagadougou. Since that station will not be operating before 1983, the establishment of a mobile reception station in the Republic of Niger to enable the installation of the required control system is advised.

  10. Production of extremophilic bacterial cellulase enzymes in aspergillus niger.

    SciTech Connect

    Gladden, John Michael

    2013-09-01

    Enzymes can be used to catalyze a myriad of chemical reactions and are a cornerstone in the biotechnology industry. Enzymes have a wide range of uses, ranging from medicine with the production of pharmaceuticals to energy were they are applied to biofuel production. However, it is difficult to produce large quantities of enzymes, especially if they are non-native to the production host. Fortunately, filamentous fungi, such as Aspergillus niger, are broadly used in industry and show great potential for use a heterologous enzyme production hosts. Here, we present work outlining an effort to engineer A. niger to produce thermophilic bacterial cellulases relevant to lignocellulosic biofuel production.

  11. Electrochemical monitoring of citric acid production by Aspergillus niger.

    PubMed

    Kutyła-Olesiuk, Anna; Wawrzyniak, Urszula E; Ciosek, Patrycja; Wróblewski, Wojciech

    2014-05-01

    Hybrid electronic tongue was developed for the monitoring of citric acid production by Aspergillus niger. The system based on various potentiometric/voltammetric sensors and appropriate chemometric techniques provided correct qualitative and quantitative classification of the samples collected during standard Aspergillus niger culture and culture infected with yeast. The performance of the proposed approach was compared with the monitoring of the fermentation process carried out using classical methods. The results obtained proved, that the designed hybrid electronic tongue was able to evaluate the progress and correctness of the fermentation process.

  12. Functional properties, nutritional value, and industrial applications of Niger Oilseeds (Guizotia abyssinica Cass.).

    PubMed

    Ramadan, Mohamed Fawzy

    2012-01-01

    Non-conventional seeds are being considered as novel food because their constituents have unique chemical properties and may augment the supply of nutritional and functional products. Niger (Guizotia abyssinica Cass.) seed and its crude oil have been widely used in traditional nutritional and medicinal applications. Consequently, niger seed has been extensively studied for its nutritional value, biological activities, and antioxidative properties. In consideration of their potential utilization, detailed knowledge on the composition of niger oilseeds is of major importance. The diversity of applications to which niger seed can be put gives this oilseed great industrial importance. This review summarizes the nutritional value, functional properties, and industrical applications of niger seeds.

  13. Aspergillus niger time to growth in dried tomatoes.

    PubMed

    Gómez-Ramírez, C; Sosa-Morales, M E; Palou, E; López-Malo, A

    2013-06-03

    Individual and combined effects of aw and incorporation of selected concentrations of Mexican oregano essential oil on the time to growth (TTG) of Aspergillus niger intentionally inoculated into dried tomatoes were studied during storage at 25°C for 100 days. For aw 0.96, 1,000 ppm of Mexican oregano essential oil inhibited A. niger growth during 100 days, whereas 500 ppm were sufficient at aw 0.91 and 250 ppm for tomatoes with aw 0.78. A. niger growth was evident at different incubation times depending on tested tomato aw and concentration of essential oil; these data were utilized to model TTG. Regression analysis revealed good agreement between experimental and predicted data with a correlation coefficient higher than 0.98. Analysis of mold growth data through TTG models makes possible to include observations detected as no growth and can be utilized to predict mold time to growth for specific preservation factor combinations or to select preservation factor levels for an expected shelf-life based on A. niger growth.

  14. Biotransformation of quinazoline and phthalazine by Aspergillus niger.

    PubMed

    Sutherland, John B; Heinze, Thomas M; Schnackenberg, Laura K; Freeman, James P; Williams, Anna J

    2011-03-01

    Cultures of Aspergillus niger NRRL-599 in fluid Sabouraud medium were grown with quinazoline and phthalazine for 7 days. Metabolites were purified by high-performance liquid chromatography and identified by mass spectrometry and proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Quinazoline was oxidized to 4-quinazolinone and 2,4-quinazolinedione, and phthalazine was oxidized to 1-phthalazinone.

  15. Contribution of arginase to manganese metabolism of Aspergillus niger.

    PubMed

    Keni, Sarita; Punekar, Narayan S

    2016-02-01

    Aspects of manganese metabolism during normal and acidogenic growth of Aspergillus niger were explored. Arginase from this fungus was a Mn[II]-enzyme. The contribution of the arginase protein towards A. niger manganese metabolism was investigated using arginase knockout (D-42) and arginase over-expressing (ΔXCA-29) strains of A. niger NCIM 565. The Mn[II] contents of various mycelial fractions were found in the order: D-42 strain < parent strain < ΔXCA-29 strain. While the soluble fraction forms 60% of the total mycelial Mn[II] content, arginase accounted for a significant fraction of this soluble Mn[II] pool. Changes in the arginase levels affected the absolute mycelial Mn[II] content but not its distribution in the various mycelial fractions. The A. niger mycelia harvested from acidogenic growth media contain substantially less Mn[II] as compared to those from normal growth media. Nevertheless, acidogenic mycelia harbor considerable Mn[II] levels and a functional arginase. Altered levels of mycelial arginase protein did not significantly influence citric acid production. The relevance of arginase to cellular Mn[II] pool and homeostasis was evaluated and the results suggest that arginase regulation could occur via manganese availability.

  16. Fumonisin and ochratoxin production in industrial Aspergillus niger strains.

    PubMed

    Frisvad, Jens C; Larsen, Thomas O; Thrane, Ulf; Meijer, Martin; Varga, Janos; Samson, Robert A; Nielsen, Kristian F

    2011-01-01

    Aspergillus niger is perhaps the most important fungus used in biotechnology, and is also one of the most commonly encountered fungi contaminating foods and feedstuffs, and occurring in soil and indoor environments. Many of its industrial applications have been given GRAS status (generally regarded as safe). However, A. niger has the potential to produce two groups of potentially carcinogenic mycotoxins: fumonisins and ochratoxins. In this study all available industrial and many non-industrial strains of A. niger (180 strains) as well as 228 strains from 17 related black Aspergillus species were examined for mycotoxin production. None of the related 17 species of black Aspergilli produced fumonisins. Fumonisins (B(2), B(4), and B(6)) were detected in 81% of A. niger, and ochratoxin A in 17%, while 10% of the strains produced both mycotoxins. Among the industrial strains the same ratios were 83%, 33% and 26% respectively. Some of the most frequently used strains in industry NRRL 337, 3112 and 3122 produced both toxins and several strains used for citric acid production were among the best producers of fumonisins in pure agar culture. Most strains used for other biotechnological processes also produced fumonisins. Strains optimized through random mutagenesis usually maintained their mycotoxin production capability. Toxigenic strains were also able to produce the toxins on media suggested for citric acid production with most of the toxins found in the biomass, thereby questioning the use of the remaining biomass as animal feed. In conclusion it is recommended to use strains of A. niger with inactive or inactivated gene clusters for fumonisins and ochratoxins, or to choose isolates for biotechnological uses in related non-toxigenic species such as A. tubingensis, A. brasiliensis, A vadensis or A. acidus, which neither produce fumonisins nor ochratoxins.

  17. Lactational amenorrhea method as a contraceptive strategy in Niger.

    PubMed

    Sipsma, Heather L; Bradley, Elizabeth H; Chen, Peggy G

    2013-05-01

    If used properly, the lactational amenorrhea method (LAM) can be a valuable family planning tool, particularly in low-income countries; however, the degree to which LAM is used correctly and characteristics associated with its use have not been well documented. We therefore sought to use nationally representative data from Niger, where fertility rates are high and women may have limited access to alternative contraceptive methods, to describe the proportion of women who use LAM correctly and the characteristics associated with LAM use. We utilized cross-sectional data from the 2006 Niger Demographic Health Survey. Our sample included all sexually active, non-pregnant, breastfeeding women using some form of contraception (N = 673, unweighted). We used weighted frequencies to describe the correct use of LAM and logistic regression models to describe women who chose LAM for contraception. Among our sample, 52% reported LAM as their primary method of contraception, but only 21% of the women who reported using LAM used it correctly. Women who reported using LAM were more likely to live in certain regions of the country, to have no formal education, and to have delivered their most recent baby at home. They were also less likely to have discussed family planning at a health facility or with their husband/partner in the past year. Results indicated that few women in Niger who reported using LAM used it correctly. Our findings reinforce the need to address this knowledge gap, especially given Niger's high fertility rate, and may inform efforts to improve family planning in Niger and in other low-income countries.

  18. Comparison of laboratory and in-situ measurements of waterflood residual oil saturations for the Cormorant field

    SciTech Connect

    van Poelgeest, F. ); Niko, H. ); Modwid, A.R. )

    1991-03-01

    Shell Expro and Koninklijke/Shell E and P Laboratorium (KSEPL) have been engaged in a multidisciplinary effort to determine the water flood residual oil saturation (ROS) in two principal reservoirs of the Cormorant oil field in the U.K. sector of the North Sea. Data acquisition included special coring and testing. The study, which involved new reservoir-engineering and petrophysical techniques, was aimed at establishing consistent ROS values. This paper reports that reservoir-engineering work centered on reservoir-condition corefloods in the relative-permeability-at-reservoir-conditions (REPARC) apparatus, in which restoration of representative wettability condition was attempted with the aging technique. Aging results in a consistent reduction of water-wetness of all core samples. The study indicated that ROS values obtained on aged cores at water throughputs of at least 5 PV represented reservoir conditions. The petrophysical part of the study involved ROS estimation from sponge-core analysis and log evaluation.

  19. Short-term Effects of Great Cormorant Droppings on Water Quality and Microbial Community of an Artificial Agricultural Reservoir.

    PubMed

    Han, Il; Yoo, Keunje; Wee, Gui Nam; No, Jee Hyun; Park, Jungwon; Min, So Jin; Kim, Seong Heon; Leea, Tae Kwon

    2017-03-01

    Agricultural reservoirs are established to improve the management of water resources. Waterbirds in protected waters have become a nuisance, however, as nutrients from fecal deposits transported by the waterbirds have served to severely deteriorate water quality. Despite the importance of clean water resources, the microecology of small agricultural reservoirs regularly colonized by transitory waterbirds are seldom reviewed. To improve our understanding of the influence of waterbirds on small bodies of water, a microcosm study was conducted using water and sediment from an agricultural reservoir inhabited by 300 to 500 great cormorants. Temporal changes in total nitrogen, total phosphorous, chemical oxygen demand, NH-N, PO-P, and chlorophyll-a concentrations, in addition to the microbial community, were evaluated for microcosms containing 0, 0.5, 1.0, and 5.0 g of feces collected from a great cormorant colony. Chemical analysis of the water microcosm revealed that all microcosms showed both immediate and prolonged increases in nutrients due to the addition of feces. Additionally, a mere 0.5 g of feces doubled the concentration of chlorophyll-a from 2.1 ± 0.99 to 5.2 ± 1.1 μg L within 1 mo. Nonmetric multidimensional scaling of the microbial community structure revealed disturbances in both water and sediment microcosms. Disturbances to the microbial community in the water microcosm were significant only when 5.0 g of feces was added; however, disturbances to sediment microbial communities were induced by a smaller mass of feces. These results confirm the short-term water quality impairment and shift in microbial community structure caused by waterbird droppings and bird colony surface runoff in an agricultural reservoir.

  20. Chronic pathology and longevity of Drepanocephalus spathans infections in juvenile channel catfish

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Drepanocephalus spathans (Digenea: Echinostomatidae) is a common parasite of the double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus). The cercariae of D. spathans have been shown infective to juvenile channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus). The developing metacercariae concentrate in the cranial regio...

  1. Biotransformation of (-)beta-pinene by Aspergillus niger ATCC 9642.

    PubMed

    Toniazzo, Geciane; de Oliveira, Débora; Dariva, Cláudio; Oestreicher, Enrique Guillermo; Antunes, Octávio A C

    2005-01-01

    The main objective of this work was to investigate the biotransformations of (-)alpha-pinene, (-)beta-pinene, and (+) limonene by Aspergillus niger ATCC 9642. The culture conditions involved--concentration of cosolvent (EtOH), substrate applied, and sequential addition of substrates were--investigated. Adaptation of the precultures with small amounts of substrate was also studied. The experiments were performed in conical flasks with liquid cultures. This strain of A. niger was able to convert only (-)beta-pinene into alpha-terpineol. An optimum conversion of (-)beta-pinene into alpha-terpineol of about 4% was obtained when the substrate was applied as a diluted solution in EtOH and sequential addition of substrate was used.

  2. A novel selectable marker based on Aspergillus niger arginase expression.

    PubMed

    Dave, Kashyap; Ahuja, Manmeet; Jayashri, T N; Sirola, Rekha Bisht; Punekar, Narayan S

    2012-06-10

    Selectable markers are valuable tools in transforming asexual fungi like Aspergillus niger. An arginase (agaA) expression vector and a suitable arginase-disrupted host would define a novel nutritional marker/selection for transformation. The development of such a marker was successfully achieved in two steps. The single genomic copy of A. niger arginase gene was disrupted by homologous integration of the bar marker. The agaA disruptant was subsequently complemented by transforming it with agaA expression vectors. Both citA and trpC promoters were able to drive the expression of arginase cDNA. Such agaA+ transformants displayed arginase expression pattern distinct from that of the parent strain. The results are also consistent with a single catabolic route for arginine in this fungus. A simple yet novel arginine-based selection for filamentous fungal transformation is thus described.

  3. Niger delta oil production, reserves, field sizes assessed

    SciTech Connect

    Thomas, D.

    1995-11-13

    The article presents tables and figures showing the reserve estimates and production histories of the 252 fields in the Niger delta, then makes forecasts of the likelihood of discoveries above a given size. The paper discusses oil reserves, development programs, drilling and 3D seismic surveying, secondary and tertiary EOR, reserve incentives, production facilities, capital spending required, Nigerian export blends, and the trend in these blends.

  4. FluG affects secretion in colonies of Aspergillus niger.

    PubMed

    Wang, Fengfeng; Krijgsheld, Pauline; Hulsman, Marc; de Bekker, Charissa; Müller, Wally H; Reinders, Marcel; de Vries, Ronald P; Wösten, Han A B

    2015-01-01

    Colonies of Aspergillus niger are characterized by zonal heterogeneity in growth, sporulation, gene expression and secretion. For instance, the glucoamylase gene glaA is more highly expressed at the periphery of colonies when compared to the center. As a consequence, its encoded protein GlaA is mainly secreted at the outer part of the colony. Here, multiple copies of amyR were introduced in A. niger. Most transformants over-expressing this regulatory gene of amylolytic genes still displayed heterogeneous glaA expression and GlaA secretion. However, heterogeneity was abolished in transformant UU-A001.13 by expressing glaA and secreting GlaA throughout the mycelium. Sequencing the genome of UU-A001.13 revealed that transformation had been accompanied by deletion of part of the fluG gene and disrupting its 3' end by integration of a transformation vector. Inactivation of fluG in the wild-type background of A. niger also resulted in breakdown of starch under the whole colony. Asexual development of the ∆fluG strain was not affected, unlike what was previously shown in Aspergillus nidulans. Genes encoding proteins with a signal sequence for secretion, including part of the amylolytic genes, were more often downregulated in the central zone of maltose-grown ∆fluG colonies and upregulated in the intermediate part and periphery when compared to the wild-type. Together, these data indicate that FluG of A. niger is a repressor of secretion.

  5. Purification and immobilization of Aspergillus niger. beta. -xylosidase

    SciTech Connect

    Oguntimein, G.B.; Reilly, P.J.

    1980-01-01

    ..beta..-Xylosidase from a commercial Aspergillus niger preparation was purified by differential ammonium sulfate precipitation and either gel permeation or cation exchange chromatography, giving 16-fold purification in 32% yield for the first technique or 27-fold purification in 19% yield for the second. Enzyme prepared by this method was immobilized to 10 different carriers, but only when it was bound to alumina with TiCl/sub 4/ and to alkylamine porous silica with glutaraldehyde were substantial efficiencies and stabilities achieved.

  6. Mercury in parasitic nematodes and trematodes and their double-crested cormorant hosts: bioaccumulation in the face of sequestration by nematodes.

    PubMed

    Robinson, Stacey A; Forbes, Mark R; Hebert, Craig E

    2010-10-15

    Endoparasites can alter their host's heavy metal concentrations by sequestering metals in their own tissues. Contracaecum spp. (a nematode), but not Drepanocephalus spathans (a trematode), were bioaccumulating mercury to concentrations 1.5 times above cormorant hosts. Nematodes did not have significantly greater stable nitrogen isotope values (δ(15)N) than their hosts, which is contradictory to prey-predator trophic enrichment studies, but is in agreement with other endoparasite-host relationships. However, Contracaecum spp. δ(13)C values were significantly greater than their hosts, which suggest that nematodes were consuming host tissues. Nematodes were accumulating and thus sequestering some of their cormorant hosts' body burden of methyl mercury; however, they were not dramatically reducing their hosts' accumulation of methyl mercury.

  7. Novel Route for Agmatine Catabolism in Aspergillus niger Involves 4-Guanidinobutyrase.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Sunil; Saragadam, Tejaswani; Punekar, Narayan S

    2015-08-15

    Agmatine, a significant polyamine in bacteria and plants, mostly arises from the decarboxylation of arginine. The functional importance of agmatine in fungi is poorly understood. The metabolism of agmatine and related guanidinium group-containing compounds in Aspergillus niger was explored through growth, metabolite, and enzyme studies. The fungus was able to metabolize and grow on l-arginine, agmatine, or 4-guanidinobutyrate as the sole nitrogen source. Whereas arginase defined the only route for arginine catabolism, biochemical and bioinformatics approaches suggested the absence of arginine decarboxylase in A. niger. Efficient utilization by the parent strain and also by its arginase knockout implied an arginase-independent catabolic route for agmatine. Urea and 4-guanidinobutyrate were detected in the spent medium during growth on agmatine. The agmatine-grown A. niger mycelia contained significant levels of amine oxidase, 4-guanidinobutyraldehyde dehydrogenase, 4-guanidinobutyrase (GBase), and succinic semialdehyde dehydrogenase, but no agmatinase activity was detected. Taken together, the results support a novel route for agmatine utilization in A. niger. The catabolism of agmatine by way of 4-guanidinobutyrate to 4-aminobutyrate into the Krebs cycle is the first report of such a pathway in any organism. A. niger GBase peptide fragments were identified by tandem mass spectrometry analysis. The corresponding open reading frame from the A. niger NCIM 565 genome was located and cloned. Subsequent expression of GBase in both Escherichia coli and A. niger along with its disruption in A. niger functionally defined the GBase locus (gbu) in the A. niger genome.

  8. Niger Delta Youth Restiveness and Socio-Economic Development of Nigeria

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chukwuemeka, Emma E. O.; Aghara, V. N. O.

    2010-01-01

    This paper examines youth restiveness in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria, and the challenges it posed to Nigeria democracy and foreign investment. Non-parametric statistical and content analyses were essentially used as tools of analysis. The results showed that dissatisfaction of the people of Niger Delta especially the youths on the level of…

  9. 21 CFR 173.120 - Carbohydrase and cellulase derived from Aspergillus niger.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... PERMITTED IN FOOD FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION Enzyme Preparations and Microorganisms § 173.120 Carbohydrase and cellulase derived from Aspergillus niger. Carbohydrase and cellulase enzyme preparation derived from... Aspergillus niger from the carbohydrase and cellulase enzyme product. (d) The additive is used or intended...

  10. 21 CFR 173.120 - Carbohydrase and cellulase derived from Aspergillus niger.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... Enzyme Preparations and Microorganisms § 173.120 Carbohydrase and cellulase derived from Aspergillus niger. Carbohydrase and cellulase enzyme preparation derived from Aspergillus niger may be safely used... the carbohydrase and cellulase enzyme product. (d) The additive is used or intended for use as...

  11. 21 CFR 173.120 - Carbohydrase and cellulase derived from Aspergillus niger.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... PERMITTED IN FOOD FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION Enzyme Preparations and Microorganisms § 173.120 Carbohydrase and cellulase derived from Aspergillus niger. Carbohydrase and cellulase enzyme preparation derived from... Aspergillus niger from the carbohydrase and cellulase enzyme product. (d) The additive is used or intended...

  12. 21 CFR 173.120 - Carbohydrase and cellulase derived from Aspergillus niger.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... PERMITTED IN FOOD FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION Enzyme Preparations and Microorganisms § 173.120 Carbohydrase and cellulase derived from Aspergillus niger. Carbohydrase and cellulase enzyme preparation derived from... Aspergillus niger from the carbohydrase and cellulase enzyme product. (d) The additive is used or intended...

  13. 21 CFR 173.120 - Carbohydrase and cellulase derived from Aspergillus niger.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... PERMITTED IN FOOD FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION Enzyme Preparations and Microorganisms § 173.120 Carbohydrase and cellulase derived from Aspergillus niger. Carbohydrase and cellulase enzyme preparation derived from... Aspergillus niger from the carbohydrase and cellulase enzyme product. (d) The additive is used or intended...

  14. Corporate Social Responsibility: Case Study of Community Expectations and the Administrative Systems, Niger Delta

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ogula, David

    2012-01-01

    Poor community-company relations in the Niger Delta have drawn attention to the practice of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in the region. Since the 1960s, transnational oil corporations operating in the Niger Delta have adopted various CSR strategies, yet community-company relations remain adversarial. This article examines community…

  15. Predictive seismic modeling case history from the Niger delta

    SciTech Connect

    Idowu, A.O. )

    1993-09-01

    Seismic modeling techniques provide the mechanics for simulating the geology of the subsurface by depicting the impact of a propagating seismic wavefront on subsurface structures. In practice, seismic data have been used to map the geometry of events in the subsurface, mainly from reflection continuity and the character of reflection packages. In the Niger delta, recent developments in stratigraphic exploration has induced the examination of more subtle features of reflection, mainly polarity, amplitude, and waveform to define the limits of seismic resolution and hence predict the geometry of subsurface fluid and solid interfaces. The case history discussed here involved interpretative study for defining the fluid contents of prospective oil and gas leads as indicated by anomalous seismic events on a Niger delta field located in a water depth of 25 m. An appropriate source signal (5-35 Hertz minimum phase) is selected, and the wavelet is convolved with a practical geologic model to obtain a synthetic seismogram. By an interactive process involving slight modifications in the geologic model, a synthetic seismogram is ultimately derived that matches a field signal, thus providing a more accurate prediction of the geological formation under study. The technique was effect (as confirmed by later drilling) in appraising the fluid contents of the targeted pay zones encountered at gas/water, oil/water, and gas/oil/water contacts in the O field, located in the eastern offshore area of the Niger delta. The method further demonstrated that structural and stratigraphic modeling are effective tools for testing the mapability of a geologic concept and are able to evaluate the significance of reflectivity changes or anomalies on uncalibrated seismic data.

  16. Examining Nutritional Adequacy and Dietary Diversity Among Women in Niger.

    PubMed

    Cisse-Egbuonye, Nafissatou; Ishdorj, Ariun; McKyer, E L J; Mkuu, Rahma

    2017-01-19

    Objective The purpose of this study was to examine the nutritional adequacy and dietary composition among women residing in Zinder and Maradi of Niger, and the factors that affect the variety of their dietary intake. Methods Data from 3360 women of ages 15-49 were used in the analysis. The variable of interest was the Women Dietary Diversity Score (WDDS), which is the simple sum of scores of the 9 categorized food groups, ranging from 0 to 9. Lower values for WDDS indicate nutritionally inadequate dietary diversity. Analysis included descriptive, Mann-Whitney U test and linear regression. Results The majority of the participants were residing in the Maradi Region (56.7%) and were living in households with both male and female adults (94.9%). The mean WDDS was 3.5 in Zinder compared to 2.5 in Maradi (p < .05). The most frequently consumed food items in both Zinder and Maradi were starchy staple food (98.3%). Region of residence was one of the strong predictor of WDDS. A total number of farmers in the household and Household Dietary Diversity Score (HDDS) had positive and significant effects on WDDS whereas Household Hunger Scale (HHS) had a negative and significant effect on WDDS. Conclusion Niger has one of the highest concentrations of malnutrition in the world. In 2012, approximately 2.5 million Nigeriens were affected by malnutrition. Our study results reinforce the importance to conduct more studies that examine the nutritional intake of women in Niger.

  17. Niger Delta basin oil and gas prospects evaluated

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1992-09-28

    This paper reports that an ambitious project to map African oil and gas prospects has produced its first findings in a report on the Niger Delta basin. In Nigeria, 73% of discoveries are smaller than 50 million bbl, with a 42% success rate for wildcats. There are 'out of round prospects off Nigeria, too, with a number of companies currently in discussions. Petroconsultants the there are further opportunities for exploration in the Northern Onshore Fringe Belt, which has an estimated potential of 500 million bbl of reserves. Three OPLs are open.

  18. Mapping the polysaccharide degradation potential of Aspergillus niger

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The degradation of plant materials by enzymes is an industry of increasing importance. For sustainable production of second generation biofuels and other products of industrial biotechnology, efficient degradation of non-edible plant polysaccharides such as hemicellulose is required. For each type of hemicellulose, a complex mixture of enzymes is required for complete conversion to fermentable monosaccharides. In plant-biomass degrading fungi, these enzymes are regulated and released by complex regulatory structures. In this study, we present a methodology for evaluating the potential of a given fungus for polysaccharide degradation. Results Through the compilation of information from 203 articles, we have systematized knowledge on the structure and degradation of 16 major types of plant polysaccharides to form a graphical overview. As a case example, we have combined this with a list of 188 genes coding for carbohydrate-active enzymes from Aspergillus niger, thus forming an analysis framework, which can be queried. Combination of this information network with gene expression analysis on mono- and polysaccharide substrates has allowed elucidation of concerted gene expression from this organism. One such example is the identification of a full set of extracellular polysaccharide-acting genes for the degradation of oat spelt xylan. Conclusions The mapping of plant polysaccharide structures along with the corresponding enzymatic activities is a powerful framework for expression analysis of carbohydrate-active enzymes. Applying this network-based approach, we provide the first genome-scale characterization of all genes coding for carbohydrate-active enzymes identified in A. niger. PMID:22799883

  19. Insects associated with Jatropha curcas Linn. (Euphorbiaceae) in west Niger.

    PubMed

    Habou, Zakari Abdoul; Adam, Toudou; Haubruge, Eric; Mergeai, Guy; Verheggen, François J

    2014-01-01

    Jatropha curcas has been introduced into Niger since 2004 by International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT). This plant is cultivated for its oil, which can be used as a Biofuel. Through direct and indirect insect collection methods, an inventory of the insect associated with J. curcas has been conducted in Western Niger during two rainy seasons (from June to October) in 2010 and 2011. We have identified insects belonging to the following families: Acrididae (Oedaleus senegalensis Krauss, Oedaleus nigeriensis Uvarov, Heteracris leani Uvarov, Catantops stramineus Walker, Parga cyanoptera Uvarov, and Acanthacris ruficornis citrina Audinet-Serville), Pyrgomorphidae (Poekilocerus bufonius hieroglyphicus Klug), Cetoniidae (Pachnoda interrupta Olivier, Pachnoda marginata aurantia Herbst, Pachnoda sinuata Heinrich and McClain, and Rhabdotis sobrina Gory and Percheron), Meloidae (Decapotoma lunata Pallas), Pentatomidae (Agonoscelis versicoloratus Dallas, Nezara viridula Linn, and Antestia sp. Kirkaldy), Coreidae (Leptoglossus membranaceus Fabricius and Cletus trigonus Thunberg), and Scutelleridae (Calidea panaethiopica Kirkaldy). Origin and potential impact on J. curcas of all these insect species are presented and discussed. The lower insect's diversity indexes are observed in 2010 and 2011 for Niamey, Saga, and Gaya because of semi-arid character of the Sahelian area.

  20. Balneological Evaluation of the Tafadek Spring, Agadez Region, Niger Republic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nghargbu, K.; Latour, T.; Ponikowska, I.; Kurowska, E.

    2012-04-01

    West Africa, particularly Niger Republic is home to thousands of tourists annually. The vast Saharan desert and it's numerous oases in the northern parts of the Republic are a hot attraction on their own. However, in a recent survey of medicinal springs within the West African sub-region, the only hot spring in this country known locally for its therapeutic egress was analyzed. Located about 160km West of Agadez, the "Tafadek" spring with a yield of over 5l/s and temperature of about 50oC, rich in fluoride and silica is a specific water with capacity for application in balneotherapy for the treatment of orthopaedic, rheumatological, neurological, urinary tract infections, and osteoporosis. If the Tafadek spring is developed into a modern health resort promoting balneotherapy, health (balnear) tourism which is non-existent in Niger Republic today could kick start a new dawn in the health/economic development of the nation and the sub-region at large. Keywords: West Africa, Nigeria, Balneotherapy, Health tourism, Spring

  1. Remote Sensing of Water Quality in the Niger River Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mueller, C.; Palacios, S. L.; Milesi, C.; Schmidt, C.; Baney, O. N.; Mitchell, Å. R.; Kislik, E.; Palmer-Moloney, L. J.

    2015-12-01

    An overarching goal of the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA) Anticipatory Analytics- -GEOnarrative program is to establish water linkages with energy, food, and climate and to understand how these linkages relate to national security and stability. Recognizing that geopolitical stability is tied to human health, agricultural productivity, and natural ecosystems' vitality, NGA partnered with NASA Ames Research Center to use satellite remote sensing to assess water quality in West Africa, specifically the Niger River Basin. Researchers from NASA Ames used MODIS and Landsat imagery to apply two water quality indices-- the Floating Algal Index (FAI) and the Turbidity Index (TI)--to large rivers, lakes and reservoirs within the Niger Basin. These indices were selected to evaluate which observations were most suitable for monitoring water quality in a region where coincident in situ measurements are not available. In addition, the FAI and TI indices were derived using data from the Hyperspectral Imagery for the Coastal Ocean (HICO) sensor for Lake Erie in the United States to determine how increased spectral resolution and in-situ measurements would improve the ability to measure the spatio-temporal variations in water quality. Results included the comparison of outputs from sensors with different spectral and spatial resolution characteristics for water quality monitoring. Approaches, such as the GEOnarrative, that incorporate water quality will enable analysts and decision-makers to recognize the current and potentially future impacts of changing water quality on regional security and stability.

  2. Partial characterization of the steroidsulfatases in Peptococcus niger H4.

    PubMed Central

    Van Eldere, J; Parmentier, G; Asselberghs, S; Eyssen, H

    1991-01-01

    The strictly anaerobic intestinal Peptococcus niger H4 synthesizes three different steroidsulfatase enzymes: a constitutive arylsulfatase and two inducible alkylsteroidsulfatases. The arylsulfatase desulfates estrogen-3-sulfates and phenylsulfates. The two alkylsteroidsulfatases desulfate, respectively, 3 alpha-sulfates and 3 beta-sulfates of delta 5, 5 alpha, and 5 beta androstanes, pregnanes, and bile acids. Cholesterol-3 beta-sulfate was not desulfated by the alkylsteroidsulfatases nor were steroids or bile acids that were sulfated in positions other than the 3 position. The alkylsteroidsulfatases were induced by their substrates; bile acid sulfates, however, were poor inducers of the 3 beta-sulfatase and did not induce the 3 alpha-sulfatase activity. In intact bacterial cells, taurine and sulfite suppressed the induction of the alkylsteroidsulfatases and inhibited the activity of the arylsulfatase and alkylsteroidsulfatases. In cell homogenates, the arylsulfatase and alkylsteroidsulfatases activities were inhibited by sulfite and sulfate but not by taurine. Our results support the hypothesis that the main function of the steroidsulfatases in P. niger H4 is to provide the bacteria with sulfur for dissimilatory purposes. PMID:2036022

  3. Starch-binding domain shuffling in Aspergillus niger glucoamylase.

    PubMed

    Cornett, Catherine A G; Fang, Tsuei-Yun; Reilly, Peter J; Ford, Clark

    2003-07-01

    Aspergillus niger glucoamylase (GA) consists mainly of two forms, GAI [from the N-terminus, catalytic domain + linker + starch-binding domain (SBD)] and GAII (catalytic domain + linker). These domains were shuffled to make RGAI (SBD + linker + catalytic domain), RGAIDeltaL (SBD + catalytic domain) and RGAII (linker + catalytic domain), with domains defined by function rather than by tertiary structure. In addition, Paenibacillus macerans cyclomaltodextrin glucanotransferase SBD replaced the closely related A.niger GA SBD to give GAE. Soluble starch hydrolysis rates decreased as RGAII approximately GAII approximately GAI > RGAIDeltaL approximately RGAI approximately GAE. Insoluble starch hydrolysis rates were GAI > RGAIDeltaL > RGAI > GAE approximately RGAII > GAII, while insoluble starch-binding capacities were GAI > RGAI > RGAIDeltaL > RGAII > GAII > GAE. These results indicate that: (i) moving the SBD to the N-terminus or replacing the native SBD somewhat affects soluble starch hydrolysis; (ii) SBD location significantly affects insoluble starch binding and hydrolysis; (iii) insoluble starch hydrolysis is imperfectly correlated with its binding by the SBD; and (iv) placing the P.macerans cyclomaltodextrin glucanotransferase SBD at the end of a linker, instead of closely associated with the rest of the enzyme, severely reduces its ability to bind and hydrolyze insoluble starch.

  4. Ontogeny of the Appendicular Skeleton in Melanosuchus niger (Crocodylia: Alligatoridae).

    PubMed

    Vieira, Lucélia Gonçalves; Santos, André Luiz Quaqliatto; Lima, Fabiano Campos; Mendonça, Sônia Helena Santesso Teixeira de; Menezes, Lorena Tannus; Sebben, Antônio

    2016-08-01

    The objective of the present study was to analyze chondrogenesis and the ossification pattern of the limbs of Melanosuchus niger in order to contribute with possible discussions on homology and the fusion pattern of autopodial elements and phylogeny. In the Reserva Extrativista do Lago Cuniã, Rondônia, Brazil, six nests were marked and two eggs removed from each nest at 24-hour intervals until hatching. Embryos were cleared using KOH; bone tissue was stained with alizarin red S and cartilage with Alcian blue. Routine staining with HE was also performed. In the pectoral girdle, the scapula showed ossification centers before the coracoid process. In the pelvic girdle, the ilium and the ischium were condensed as a single cartilage, although ossification took place through two separate centers, forming distinct elements in the adult. The pubis developed from an independent cartilaginous center with free end, which reflects its function in breathing. In the initial stages, the stylopodium and the zeugopodium developed from the condensation of a Y-shaped cartilage in the limbs, and differentiation of the primary axis and digital arch were observed. The greatest changes were observed in the mesopodia. In their evolution, Crocodylia underwent a vast reduction in the number of autopodial elements as a consequence of fusions and ossification of some elements. This study shows that the chondrogenesis and ossification sequences are dissociated. Moreover, the differences between M. niger and other species show clear variation in the patterns for these events in Alligatoridae.

  5. Characterization of Humanized Antibodies Secreted by Aspergillus niger

    PubMed Central

    Ward, Michael; Lin, Cherry; Victoria, Doreen C.; Fox, Bryan P.; Fox, Judith A.; Wong, David L.; Meerman, Hendrik J.; Pucci, Jeff P.; Fong, Robin B.; Heng, Meng H.; Tsurushita, Naoya; Gieswein, Christine; Park, Minha; Wang, Huaming

    2004-01-01

    Two different humanized immunoglobulin G1(κ) antibodies and an Fab′ fragment were produced by Aspergillus niger. The antibodies were secreted into the culture supernatant. Both light and heavy chains were initially synthesized as fusion proteins with native glucoamylase. After antibody assembly, cleavage by A. niger KexB protease allowed the release of free antibody. Purification by hydrophobic charge induction chromatography proved effective at removing any antibody to which glucoamylase remained attached. Glycosylation at N297 in the Fc region of the heavy chain was observed, but this site was unoccupied on approximately 50% of the heavy chains. The glycan was of the high-mannose type, with some galactose present, and the size ranged from Hex6GlcNAc2 to Hex15GlcNAc2. An aglycosyl mutant form of antibody was also produced. No significant difference between the glycosylated antibody produced by Aspergillus and that produced by mammalian cell cultures was observed in tests for affinity, avidity, pharmacokinetics, or antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity function. PMID:15128505

  6. Perspective: big oil, rural poverty, and environmental degradation in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.

    PubMed

    Aaron, K K

    2005-05-01

    The Niger Delta region of Nigeria is richly endowed with both renewable and non-renewable natural resources. It contains 20 billion of Africa's proven 66 billion barrels of oil reserves and more than 3 trillion cubic meters of gas reserves. Oil and gas resources of the Niger Delta account for over 85% of the nation's gross domestic product (GDP), over 95% of the national budget, and over 80% of the nation's wealth. Paradoxically, the Niger Delta remains the poorest region, due largely to the ecologically unfriendly exploitation of oil and gas and state policies that expropriate the indigenous peoples of the Niger Delta of their rights to these natural resources. The ecological devastation occasioned by the activities of oil transnational corporations (TNCs) have rendered farming and fishing useless, previously the main occupations of these rural people. The people of the Niger Delta are deprived of their share of the wealth on which the entire nation depends; they "benefit" only from compensation for incidents of oil pollution. At the same time, occurrences of oil spills in the Niger Delta region have increased. In this article, it is argued that the ecologically unfriendly activities of oil TNCs, and the state's petroleum development policies, lead to poverty in the Niger Delta, and poverty in turn leads to environmental degradation. It is the dynamics of this interconnectedness that we wish to explore.

  7. The Aspergillus niger growth on the treated concrete substrate using variable antifungals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parjo, U. K.; Sunar, N. M.; Leman, A. M.; Gani, P.; Embong, Z.; Tajudin, S. A. A.

    2016-11-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the Aspergillus niger (A. niger) growth on substrates after incorporates with different compounds of antifungals which is normally used in food industry. The antifungals named as potassium sorbate (PS), calcium benzoate (CB) and zinc salicylate (ZS) were applied on concrete substrate covered with different wall finishing such as acrylic paint (AP), glycerol based paint (GBP), thin wallpaper (THIN) and thick wallpaper (THICK). The concrete substrate were inoculated with spore suspension, incubated at selected temperature (30oC) and relative humidity (90%)in plant growth chamber. The observations were done from the Day 3 until Day 27. The results showed that the growth of the A. niger for concrete treated by PS for AP, GBP, THIN, and THICK were 64%, 32%, 11% and 100%, respectively. Meanwhile for CB, the growth of A. niger on AP, GBP, THIN, and THICK were 100%, 12%, 41%, and 13%, respectively. Similarly, treated concrete by ZS revealed that the growth of A. niger on the same substrate cover were 33%, 47%, 40%, and 39%, respectively. The results obtained in this study provide a valuable knowledge on the abilities of antifungals to remediate A. niger that inoculated on the concrete substrate. Consequently, this study proved that the PS covering with THIN more efficiency compares CB and ZS to prevent A. niger growth.

  8. The political economy of oil and the Niger Delta crisis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ighodaro, Osaro O.

    This study is about the burgeoning crisis in Nigeria's Oil Producing Niger Delta region. Discerning the intersecting contributive factors to the crisis, this dissertation suggests that the Niger Delta crisis is symptomatic of challenges to development in Nigeria. Due to the insidious colonial/neo-colonial practices of subjugation, and exploitation of the host communities, it is suggested that the extractive, super-profit motive of Shell, the concomitant environmental degradation, corruption of a bellicose state, ethnic conflict and suffering of the masses are outcomes of a long historically debilitating relationship with international capital which causes irreparable retardation to the host communities. From cash crop economy to a mono-oil economy resources are removed from the communities and used to enhance the colonial state and their post-colonial harbingers of misery. Hence, the indigenous people claim that the Niger Delta is in a crisis, and they are willing to confront the triple alliance of multinational oil companies like Shell, the Nigerian State and the local elite so long as these allies of subjugation continue to neglect the goose that lays the proverbial golden egg (oil that is). Theoretically, a hybrid Political Economy approach was adopted as the over-aching framework for the study, while Dependency theory, modified by what I have called African Transformative scholarly perspective, served as the conceptual tool. Primary and secondary sources of data, including personal observation, interviews, official government documents and other publications were utilized for this analysis. In view of recommendations, it is suggested that first, the Nigerian state should assume decisive and unflinching leadership in holding oil companies responsible for their activities in the host communities; second, oil companies (like Shell) should see themselves as an integral part of the host communities; invest in their development by providing employment opportunities

  9. Mapping Physical Characteristics of the Columbia River Mouth Using Transmittered Diving Waterbirds

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-09-30

    18 2 OBJECTIVES The objectives of this project are to: • Investigate the use of cormorants (Phalacrocorax spp.) as platforms to measure...conductivity, temperature, and depth across the MCR • Investigate the use of cormorants to collect river/sea bed imagery across the MCR • Collaborate with...bed form, or other physical features for the MCR. APPROACH The spatial distribution of individual foraging cormorants can be precisely mapped

  10. The use of detailed reservoir description and simulation studies in investigating completion strategies, cormorant, UK North Sea

    SciTech Connect

    Stiles, J.H.; Valenti, N.P.

    1987-01-01

    A portion of the Cormorant field in the U.K. North Sea is being developed using a subsea production system. All layers in the stratified reservoir section are being waterflooded concurrently by perforating the entire interval in both producers and injectors. The permeability contrast among the layers is such that there is potential for severe imbalance in the movement of the waterflood fronts, resulting in large volumes of early water production from high permeability layers and incomplete displacement of oil from less permeable layers. With the high cost of expanding platform facilities or performing workovers on subsea wells to re-distribute production and/or injection, there is considerable incentive to optimise the completions in new wells. This paper describes studies undertaken by Esso Exploration and Production U.K. to evaluate various completion strategies for newe subsea wells. These studies were done to complement work done by the operator, Shell U.K. Explorations and Production. The studies included detailed reservoir description work to define the oil-in-pace and permeability distribution, followed by simulation of the waterflood for a representative reservoir cross-section. Wellbore, flowline and pipeline hydraulics for the complex productions and injection system were included to more accurately model well rates. The results provide general insight into the nature of the displacement when waterflooding a stratified section with a limited nuber of wells. They also provide specific guidance on: (1) dual vs. single completions, (2) perforating, testing and stimulation sequence and (3) the benefits of partially perforating high permeability sands.

  11. Kinetic studies on the aggregation of Aspergillus niger conidia.

    PubMed

    Grimm, L H; Kelly, S; Hengstler, J; Göbel, A; Krull, R; Hempel, D C

    2004-07-20

    Morphology has a crucial effect on productivity and the supply of substrate for cultures of filamentous fungi. However, cultivation parameters leading to the desired morphology are often chosen empirically as the mechanisms governing the processes involved are usually unknown. For coagulating microorganisms like Aspergillus niger the morphological development is considered to start with the aggregation of conidia right after inoculation. To elucidate the mechanism of this process, kinetic studies were carried out using an in-line particle size analyzer. Based on the data obtained from these experiments a model for conidial aggregation is proposed in this article. It consists of two separate aggregation steps. The first one takes place immediately after inoculation, but only leads to a small decrease of total particle concentration. Most suspended conidia aggregate after a second aggregation step triggered by germination and hyphal growth. Aggregation velocity of this second phase is linearly dependent on the particle growth rate.

  12. Paleorecharge by the Niger River (Mali) deduced from groundwater geochemistry

    SciTech Connect

    Fontes, J.C. ); Andrews, J.N. ); Edmunds, W.M. ); Guerre, A. ); Travi, Y. )

    1991-02-01

    Stable isotopes, major elements, trace elements, and noble gases in groundwater from northern Mali permit a reconstruction of the paleohydrology of the Sahelian and sub-Saharan regions of west Africa. Major floods of the Niger River during the more humid episodes of the Holocene, probably associated with northward migration of the interior river delta (flood zone), were responsible for groundwater recharge. A marine aerosol input, somewhat modified by rock-water interaction, dominates the groundwater chemistry. stable isotope compositions distinguish the Saharan zone groundwater from waters recharged in the Sahelian zone south of the Azaouad ridge. Carbon 14 dating shows that whereas the latter are modern, the Saharan zone was recharged in the Early to Middle Holocene. Nobel gas contents suggest that recharge north of Azaouad occurred under cooler climatic conditions than presently prevail.

  13. Groundwater quality assessment in parts of Eastern Niger Delta, Nigeria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Edet, A. E.

    1993-09-01

    Hydrogeochemical analyses were carried out on groundwater samples collected from 20 producing wells in different parts of the Eastern Niger Delta. Results show that the concentrations of the major cations (Na+, K+, Ca2+, Mg2+) and anions (Cl-, SO{4/2-}, HCO{3/-}) are below the World Health Organization (WHO) standards set for domestic purposes. The occurrence of slightly saline water in certain areas is attributed to local hydrogeological processes occurring in the area. On the basis of the analytical results, two hydrogeochemical facies are delineated. These are calcium-magnesium-chloride-sulfate-bicarbonate (Ca-Mg-Cl-SO4-HCO3) and calcium-sodium-chloride-sulfatebicarbonate (Ca-Na-Cl-SO4-HCO3) to the west and east of the study area, respectively.

  14. Recognizing environments in the deposits of the Niger delta

    SciTech Connect

    Oboh, F.E. )

    1991-03-01

    The paralic sediments of the Agbada Formation are the targets of commercial exploration and exploitation of oil and gas in the Niger delta. Sedimentological and microfossil data from a middle Miocene reservoir in the delta have revealed a succession of deltaic subenvironments of deposition within a prograding offlap sequence. Ten lithofacies, comprising five sandstone, three heterolithic, and two mudstone types, are recognized from grain size, sedimentary structures, and trace fossils in two cored boreholes. Fourteen palynodebris types, including amorphous organic matter, various types of palynomorphs, and wood, were identified in the sediments. These components were subjected to principal component analysis and cluster analysis. The resulting palynofacies are integrated with lithofacies and paleoecological inferences made from the palynomorph and foraminifera contents of the sediments for paleoenvironmental reconstruction. Gamma-ray log correlation of the reservoir in uncored boreholes was carried out, using information from the cores, and this has resulted in a depositional model.

  15. A new triaenophorid tapeworm from blackfish Centrolophus niger.

    PubMed

    Kuchta, Roman; Scholz, Tomás

    2008-04-01

    Milanella familiaris n. gen. and n. sp. (Bothriocephalidea: Triaenophoridae) is proposed to accommodate a new cestode from blackfish Centrolophus niger (Gmelin) (Perciformes: Centrolophidae). Milanella is characterized as follows: trapeziform, i.e., markedly craspedote proglottids with a velum-like posterior margin and horn like lateral projections; pyriform uterine sac in the first gravid proglottids; arrow-shaped scolex with well-developed apical disc and prominent posterior margins; strobila with intensively stained corpuscles, most numerous in the anterior part; deeply lobated ovary; absence of a neck; a large, pyriform, thin-walled cirrus-sac with the proximal part bent anteromedially; vagina posterior to the cirrus-sac; and cortical vitelline follicles. Milanella most closely resembles Bathycestus Kuchta and Scholz, 2004, Pistana Campbell and Gartner, 1982, and Probothriocephalus Campbell, 1979, differing mainly in the shape of proglottids and uterine sac.

  16. Nanosulfur: A Potent Fungicide Against Food Pathogen, Aspergillus niger

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choudhury, Samrat Roy; Nair, Kishore K.; Kumar, Rajesh; Gogoi, Robin; Srivastava, Chitra; Gopal, Madhuban; Subhramanyam, B. S.; devakumar, C.; Goswami, Arunava

    2010-10-01

    Elemental sulfur (S0), man's oldest eco-friendly fungicide for curing fungal infections in plants and animals, is registered in India as a non-systemic and contact fungicide. However due to its high volume requirement, Indian agrochemical industry and farmers could not effectively use this product till date. We hypothesize that intelligent nanoscience applications might increase the visibility of nanosulfur in Indian agriculture as a potent and eco-safe fungicide. Sulfur nanoparticles (NPs) were synthesized bottom-up via a liquid synthesis method with average particle size in the range of 50-80 nm and the shapes of the NPs were spherical. A comparative study of elemental and nano-sulfur produced has been tested against facultative fungal food pathogen, Aspergillus niger. Results showed that nanosulfur is more efficacious than its elemental form.

  17. Bothriocephalidean tapeworms (Cestoda) from the blackfish, Centrolophus niger (Perciformes: Centrolophidae).

    PubMed

    Kuchta, Roman; Scholz, Tomás; Brabec, Jan; Jirsová, Dagmar; Gustinelli, Andrea

    2008-06-01

    Bothriocephalidean tapeworms parasitic in the blackfish, Centrolophus niger (Gmelin) (Perciformes: Centrolophidae), are redescribed on the basis of the evaluation of freshly collected specimens and museum material. This evaluation enabled us to supplement species diagnoses by new morphological characters of potential use for phylogenetic analyses, including the data from scanning electron microscopical observations, and to provide a key to identification of the following four species occurring in this fish: Amphicotyle heteropleura (Diesing, 1850); Milanella familiaris Kuchta et Scholz, 2008 (both Triaenophoridae); Bothriocotyle solinosomum Ariola, 1900; and Echinophallus wageneri (Monticelli, 1890) (both Echinophallidae). Large spiniform microtriches were observed on the surface of the posterodorsal margin of segments of B. solinosomum, E. wageneri and M. familiaris. The invalidity of Atelemerus Guiart, 1935, first proposed by Bray et al. (1994), is supported by the present data and its type species, A. acanthodes Guiart, 1935, is newly synonymised with E. wageneri.

  18. Remote sensing of ephemeral water bodies in western Niger

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Verdin, J.P.

    1996-01-01

    Research was undertaken to evaluate the feasibility of monitoring the small ephemeral water bodies of the Sahel with the 1.1 km resolution data of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR). Twenty-one lakes of western Niger with good ground observation records were selected for examination. Thematic Mapper images from 1988 were first analysed to determine surface areas and temperature differences between water and adjacent land. Six AVHRR scenes from the 1988-89 dry season were then studied. It was found that a lake can be monitored until its surface area drops below 10 ha, in most cases. Furthermore, with prior knowledge of the location and shape of a water body, its surface area can be estimated from AVHRR band 5 data to within about 10 ha. These results are explained by the sharp temperature contrast between water and land, on the order of 13?? C.

  19. In-silico analysis of Aspergillus niger beta-glucosidases

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yeo S., L.; Shazilah, K.; Suhaila, S.; Abu Bakar F., D.; Murad A. M., A.

    2014-09-01

    Genomic data mining was carried out and revealed a total of seventeen β-glucosidases in filamentous fungi Aspergillus niger. Two of them belonged to glycoside hydrolase family 1 (GH1) while the rest belonged to genes in family 3 (GH3). These proteins were then named according to the nomenclature as proposed by the International Union of Biochemistry (IUB), starting from the lowest pI and glycoside hydrolase family. Their properties were predicted using various bionformatic tools showing the presence of domains for signal peptide and active sites. Interestingly, one particular domain, PA14 (protective antigen) was present in four of the enzymes, predicted to be involved in carbohydrate binding. A phylogenetic tree grouped the two glycoside hydrolase families with GH1 and GH3 related organisms. This study showed that the various domains present in these β-glucosidases are postulated to be crucial for the survival of this fungus, as supported by other analysis.

  20. Antimicrobial textile treated with chitosan from Aspergillus niger mycelial waste.

    PubMed

    Tayel, Ahmed A; Moussa, Shaaban H; El-Tras, Wael F; Elguindy, Nihal M; Opwis, Klaus

    2011-08-01

    The waste biomass of Aspergillus niger, following citric acid production, was used as a source for fungal chitosan extraction. The produced chitosan was characterized with deacetylation degree of 89.6%, a molecular weight of 25,000 dalton, 97% solubility in 1% acetic acid solution and comparable FT-IR spectra to standard shrimp chitosan. Fungal chitosan was applied as a cotton fabric finishing agent using pad-dry-cure method. The topographical structure of chitosan-treated fabrics (CTF) was much improved compared with control fabrics. CTF, after durability tests, exhibited a powerful antimicrobial activity against both E. coli and Candida albicans, the captured micrographs for E. coli cells contacted with CTF showed a complete lysis of cell walls with the prolonging contact time. The produced antimicrobial CTF could be proposed as a suitable material for many medical and hygienic applications.

  1. Nanosulfur: A Potent Fungicide Against Food Pathogen, Aspergillus niger

    SciTech Connect

    Choudhury, Samrat Roy; Goswami, Arunava; Nair, Kishore K.; Kumar, Rajesh; Gopal, Madhuban; Devakumar, C.; Gogoi, Robin; Srivastava, Chitra; Subhramanyam, B. S.

    2010-10-04

    Elemental sulfur (S{sup 0}), man's oldest eco-friendly fungicide for curing fungal infections in plants and animals, is registered in India as a non-systemic and contact fungicide. However due to its high volume requirement, Indian agrochemical industry and farmers could not effectively use this product till date. We hypothesize that intelligent nanoscience applications might increase the visibility of nanosulfur in Indian agriculture as a potent and eco-safe fungicide. Sulfur nanoparticles (NPs) were synthesized bottom-up via a liquid synthesis method with average particle size in the range of 50-80 nm and the shapes of the NPs were spherical. A comparative study of elemental and nano-sulfur produced has been tested against facultative fungal food pathogen, Aspergillus niger. Results showed that nanosulfur is more efficacious than its elemental form.

  2. The effects of juvenile hormone on Lasius niger reproduction.

    PubMed

    Pamminger, T; Buttstedt, A; Norman, V; Schierhorn, A; Botías, C; Jones, J C; Basley, K; Hughes, W O H

    2016-12-01

    Reproduction has been shown to be costly for survival in a wide diversity of taxa. The resulting trade-off, termed the reproduction-survival trade-off, is thought to be one of the most fundamental forces of life-history evolution. In insects the pleiotropic effect of juvenile hormone (JH), antagonistically regulating reproduction and pathogen resistance, is suggested to underlie this phenomenon. In contrast to the majority of insects, reproductive individuals in many eusocial insects defy this trade-off and live both long and prosper. By remodelling the gonadotropic effects of JH in reproductive regulation, the queens of the long-lived black garden ant Lasius niger (living up to 27 years), have circumvented the reproduction-survival trade off enabling them to maximize both reproduction and pathogen resistance simultaneously. In this study we measure fertility, vitellogenin gene expression and protein levels after experimental manipulation of hormone levels. We use these measurements to investigate the mechanistic basis of endocrinological role remodelling in reproduction and determine how JH suppresses reproduction in this species, rather then stimulating it, like in the majority of insects. We find that JH likely inhibits three key aspects of reproduction both during vitellogenesis and oogenesis, including two previously unknown mechanisms. In addition, we document that juvenile hormone, as in the majority of insects, has retained some stimulatory function in regulating vitellogenin expression. We discuss the evolutionary consequences of this complex regulatory architecture of reproduction in L. niger, which might enable the evolution of similar reproductive phenotypes by alternate regulatory pathways, and the surprising flexibility regulatory role of juvenile hormone in this process.

  3. The role of analytical chemistry in Niger Delta petroleum exploration: a review.

    PubMed

    Akinlua, Akinsehinwa

    2012-06-12

    Petroleum and organic matter from which the petroleum is derived are composed of organic compounds with some trace elements. These compounds give an insight into the origin, thermal maturity and paleoenvironmental history of petroleum, which are essential elements in petroleum exploration. The main tool to acquire the geochemical data is analytical techniques. Due to progress in the development of new analytical techniques, many hitherto petroleum exploration problems have been resolved. Analytical chemistry has played a significant role in the development of petroleum resources of Niger Delta. Various analytical techniques that have aided the success of petroleum exploration in the Niger Delta are discussed. The analytical techniques that have helped to understand the petroleum system of the basin are also described. Recent and emerging analytical methodologies including green analytical methods as applicable to petroleum exploration particularly Niger Delta petroleum province are discussed in this paper. Analytical chemistry is an invaluable tool in finding the Niger Delta oils.

  4. Niger, with new oil legislation, offers little drilled acreage for exploration

    SciTech Connect

    Bruneton, A. )

    1991-09-16

    This paper reports on the Ministry of Mines and Energy of Niger has released acreage in East Niger to the international oil industry. Four blocks will be opened in a first step with no fixed time schedule for offers. The blocks are largely underexplored and are near significant oil indications. Niger, between Algeria and Nigeria, represents a transitional link between North Africa and Central Africa. The Republic of Niger, with the exception of its capital Niamey, is sparsely populated with 7 million people on a 1.3 million sq mile territory. Easy communications exist with neighboring Nigeria, Mali, and Chad. The arid climate allows for year round working conditions and easy access to opened areas.

  5. Effects of Clitoria ternatea leaf extract on growth and morphogenesis of Aspergillus niger.

    PubMed

    Kamilla, L; Mansor, S M; Ramanathan, S; Sasidharan, S

    2009-08-01

    Clitoria ternatea is known for its antimicrobial activity but the antifungal effects of leaf extract on growth and morphogenesis of Aspergillus niger have not been observed. The extract showed a favorable antifungal activity against A. niger with a minimum inhibition concentration 0.8 mg/mL and minimum fungicidal concentration 1.6 mg/mL, respectively. The leaf extract exhibited considerable antifungal activity against filamentous fungi in a dose-dependent manner with 0.4 mg/mL IC50 value on hyphal growth of A. niger. The main changes observed under scanning electron microscopy after C. ternatea extract treatment were loss of cytoplasm in fungal hyphae and the hyphal wall and its diameter became markedly thinner, distorted, and resulted in cell wall disruption. In addition, conidiophore alterations were also observed when A. niger was treated with C. ternatea leaf extract.

  6. Identification of thermostable beta-xylosidase activities produced by Aspergillus brasiliensis and Aspergillus niger.

    PubMed

    Pedersen, Mads; Lauritzen, Henrik Klitgaard; Frisvad, Jens Christian; Meyer, Anne S

    2007-05-01

    Twenty Aspergillus strains were evaluated for production of extracellular cellulolytic and xylanolytic activities. Aspergillus brasiliensis, A. niger and A. japonicus produced the highest xylanase activities with the A. brasiliensis and A. niger strains producing thermostable beta-xylosidases. The beta-xylosidase activities of the A. brasiliensis and A. niger strains had similar temperature and pH optima at 75 degrees C and pH 5 and retained 62% and 99%, respectively, of these activities over 1 h at 60 degrees C. At 75 degrees C, these values were 38 and 44%, respectively. Whereas A. niger is a well known enzyme producer, this is the first report of xylanase and thermostable beta-xylosidase production from the newly identified, non-ochratoxin-producing species A. brasiliensis.

  7. Remote sensing experiment in West Africa. [drought effects on desert agriculture and vegetation in Niger

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Macleod, N. H.

    1974-01-01

    There are substantial needs of the Sahelien Zone to detail the state of regional agricultural resources in the face of a sixth year of serious drought conditions. While most of the work has been done in the Republic of Niger, the principles which have emerged from the analysis seem to be applicable to much of the Sahel. The discussion relates to quite specific rehabilitation and development initiations under consideration in Niger which are based in part upon direct analysis of ERTS imagery of the country, in part on field surveys and on discussions with Nigerian officials and technicians. Again, because the entire Sahelien Zone (including Niger) has large zones of similar ecologic characteristics, modificiations of the approaches suggested for Niger are applicable to the solution of rehabilitation of the desert, the savannah and the woodlands of West Africa in general.

  8. Toolkit for visualization of the cellular structure and organelles in Aspergillus niger.

    PubMed

    Buren, Emiel B J Ten; Karrenbelt, Michiel A P; Lingemann, Marit; Chordia, Shreyans; Deng, Ying; Hu, JingJing; Verest, Johanna M; Wu, Vincen; Gonzalez, Teresita J Bello; Heck, Ruben G A van; Odoni, Dorett I; Schonewille, Tom; Straat, Laura van der; Graaff, Leo H de; Passel, Mark W J van

    2014-12-19

    Aspergillus niger is a filamentous fungus that is extensively used in industrial fermentations for protein expression and the production of organic acids. Inherent biosynthetic capabilities, such as the capacity to secrete these biomolecules in high amounts, make A. niger an attractive production host. Although A. niger is renowned for this ability, the knowledge of the molecular components that underlie its production capacity, intercellular trafficking processes and secretion mechanisms is far from complete. Here, we introduce a standardized set of tools, consisting of an N-terminal GFP-actin fusion and codon optimized eforRed chromoprotein. Expression of the GFP-actin construct facilitates visualization of the actin filaments of the cytoskeleton, whereas expression of the chromoprotein construct results in a clearly distinguishable red phenotype. These experimentally validated constructs constitute the first set of standardized A. niger biomarkers, which can be used to study morphology, intercellular trafficking, and secretion phenomena.

  9. Invasive Aspergillus niger complex infections in a Belgian tertiary care hospital.

    PubMed

    Vermeulen, E; Maertens, J; Meersseman, P; Saegeman, V; Dupont, L; Lagrou, K

    2014-05-01

    The incidence of invasive infections caused by the Aspergillus niger species complex was 0.043 cases/10 000 patient-days in a Belgian university hospital (2005-2011). Molecular typing was performed on six available A. niger complex isolates involved in invasive disease from 2010 to 2011, revealing A. tubingensis, which has higher triazole minimal inhibitory concentrations, in five out of six cases.

  10. Cloning and Genomic Organization of a Rhamnogalacturonase Gene from Locally Isolated Strain of Aspergillus niger.

    PubMed

    Damak, Naourez; Abdeljalil, Salma; Taeib, Noomen Hadj; Gargouri, Ali

    2015-08-01

    The rhg gene encoding a rhamnogalacturonase was isolated from the novel strain A1 of Aspergillus niger. It consists of an ORF of 1.505 kb encoding a putative protein of 446 amino acids with a predicted molecular mass of 47 kDa, belonging to the family 28 of glycosyl hydrolases. The nature and position of amino acids comprising the active site as well as the three-dimensional structure were well conserved between the A. niger CTM10548 and fungal rhamnogalacturonases. The coding region of the rhg gene is interrupted by three short introns of 56 (introns 1 and 3) and 52 (intron 2) bp in length. The comparison of the peptide sequence with A. niger rhg sequences revealed that the A1 rhg should be an endo-rhamnogalacturonases, more homologous to rhg A than rhg B A. niger known enzymes. The comparison of rhg nucleotide sequence from A. niger A1 with rhg A from A. niger shows several base changes. Most of these changes (59 %) are located at the third base of codons suggesting maintaining the same enzyme function. We used the rhamnogalacturonase A from Aspergillus aculeatus as a template to build a structural model of rhg A1 that adopted a right-handed parallel β-helix.

  11. Comparing phosphorus mobilization strategies using Aspergillus niger for the mineral dissolution of three phosphate rocks.

    PubMed

    Schneider, K D; van Straaten, P; de Orduña, R Mira; Glasauer, S; Trevors, J; Fallow, D; Smith, P S

    2010-01-01

    Phosphorus deficiencies are limiting crop production in agricultural soils worldwide. Locally available sources of raw phosphate rock (PR) are being recognized for their potential role in soil fertility improvement. Phosphorus bioavailability is essential for the efficiency of PRs and can be increased by acid treatments. The utilization of organic acid producing micro-organisms, notably Aspergillus niger, presents a sustainable alternative to the use of strong inorganic acids, but acid production of A. niger strongly depends on the mineral content of the growth media. This study compared the phosphorus mobilization efficiency of two biological treatments, namely addition of acidic cell-free supernatants from A. niger cultivations to PRs and the direct cultivation of A. niger with PRs. The results show that addition of PR to cultivations leads to significant differences in the profile of organic acids produced by A. niger. Additions of PR, especially igneous rocks containing high amounts of iron and manganese, lead to reduced citric acid concentrations. In spite of these differences, phosphorus mobilization was similar between treatments, suggesting that the simpler direct cultivation method was not inferior. In addition to citric acid, it is suggested that oxalic acid contributes to PR solubilization in direct cultivations with A. niger, which would benefit farmers in developing countries where conventional fertilizers are not adequately accessible.

  12. Expression of Lactate Dehydrogenase in Aspergillus niger for L-Lactic Acid Production.

    PubMed

    Dave, Khyati K; Punekar, Narayan S

    2015-01-01

    Different engineered organisms have been used to produce L-lactate. Poor yields of lactate at low pH and expensive downstream processing remain as bottlenecks. Aspergillus niger is a prolific citrate producer and a remarkably acid tolerant fungus. Neither a functional lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) from nor lactate production by A. niger is reported. Its genome was also investigated for the presence of a functional ldh. The endogenous A. niger citrate synthase promoter relevant to A. niger acidogenic metabolism was employed to drive constitutive expression of mouse lactate dehydrogenase (mldhA). An appraisal of different branches of the A. niger pyruvate node guided the choice of mldhA for heterologous expression. A high copy number transformant C12 strain, displaying highest LDH specific activity, was analyzed under different growth conditions. The C12 strain produced 7.7 g/l of extracellular L-lactate from 60 g/l of glucose, in non-neutralizing minimal media. Significantly, lactate and citrate accumulated under two different growth conditions. Already an established acidogenic platform, A. niger now promises to be a valuable host for lactate production.

  13. Autophagy promotes survival in aging submerged cultures of the filamentous fungus Aspergillus niger.

    PubMed

    Nitsche, Benjamin M; Burggraaf-van Welzen, Anne-Marie; Lamers, Gerda; Meyer, Vera; Ram, Arthur F J

    2013-09-01

    Autophagy is a well-conserved catabolic process constitutively active in eukaryotes that is involved in maintaining cellular homeostasis by the targeting of cytoplasmic content and organelles to vacuoles. Autophagy is strongly induced by the limitation of nutrients including carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen and is clearly associated with cell death. It has been demonstrated that the accumulation of empty hyphal compartments and cryptic growth in carbon-starved submerged cultures of the filamentous fungus Aspergillus niger is accompanied by a joint transcriptional induction of autophagy genes. This study examines the role of autophagy by deleting the atg1, atg8, and atg17 orthologs in A. niger and phenotypically analyzing the deletion mutants in surface and submerged cultures. The results indicate that atg1 and atg8 are essential for efficient autophagy, whereas deletion of atg17 has little to no effect on autophagy in A. niger. Depending on the kind of oxidative stress confronted with, autophagy deficiency renders A. niger either more resistant (menadione) or more sensitive (H2O2) to oxidative stress. Fluorescence microscopy showed that mitochondrial turnover upon carbon depletion in submerged cultures is severely blocked in autophagy-impaired A. niger mutants. Furthermore, automated image analysis demonstrated that autophagy promotes survival in maintained carbon-starved cultures of A. niger. Taken together, the results suggest that besides its function in nutrient recycling, autophagy plays important roles in physiological adaptation by organelle turnover and protection against cell death upon carbon depletion in submerged cultures.

  14. [Construction and application of black-box model for glucoamylase production by Aspergillus niger].

    PubMed

    Li, Lianwei; Lu, Hongzhong; Xia, Jianye; Chu, Ju; Zhuang, Yingping; Zhang, Siliang

    2015-07-01

    Carbon-limited continuous culture was used to study the relationship between the growth of Aspergillus niger and the production of glucoamylase. The result showed that when the specific growth rate was lower than 0.068 h(-1), the production of glucoamylase was growth-associated, when the specific growth rate was higher than 0.068 h(-1), the production of glucoamylase was not growth-associated. Based on the result of continuous culture, the Monod dynamics model of glucose consumption of A. niger was constructed, Combining Herbert-Pirt equation of glucose and oxygen consumption with Luedeking-Piret equation of enzyme production, the black-box model of Aspergillus niger for enzyme production was established. The exponential fed-batch culture was designed to control the specific growth rate at 0.05 h(-1) by using this model and the highest yield for glucoamylase production by A. niger reached 0.127 g glucoamylase/g glucose. The black-box model constructed in this study successfully described the glucoamylase production by A. niger and the result of the model fitted the measured value well. The black-box model could guide the design and optimization of glucoamylase production by A. niger.

  15. Effect of different polyphenol sources on the efficiency of ellagic acid release by Aspergillus niger.

    PubMed

    Sepúlveda, Leonardo; de la Cruz, Reynaldo; Buenrostro, José Juan; Ascacio-Valdés, Juan Alberto; Aguilera-Carbó, Antonio Francisco; Prado, Arely; Rodríguez-Herrera, Raúl; Aguilar, Cristóbal Noé

    2016-01-01

    Fungal hydrolysis of ellagitannins produces hexahydroxydiphenic acid, which is considered an intermediate molecule in ellagic acid release. Ellagic acid has important and desirable beneficial health properties. The aim of this work was to identify the effect of different sources of ellagitannins on the efficiency of ellagic acid release by Aspergillus niger. Three strains of A. niger (GH1, PSH and HT4) were assessed for ellagic acid release from different polyphenol sources: cranberry, creosote bush, and pomegranate used as substrate. Polyurethane foam was used as support for solid-state culture in column reactors. Ellagitannase activity was measured for each of the treatments. Ellagic acid was quantified by high performance liquid chromatography. When pomegranate polyphenols were used, a maximum value of ellagic acid (350.21 mg/g) was reached with A. niger HT4 in solid-state culture. The highest amount of ellagitannase (5176.81 U/l) was obtained at 8h of culture when cranberry polyphenols and strain A. niger PSH were used. Results demonstrated the effect of different polyphenol sources and A. niger strains on ellagic acid release. It was observed that the best source for releasing ellagic acid was pomegranate polyphenols and A. niger HT4 strain, which has the ability to degrade these compounds for obtaining a potent bioactive molecule such as ellagic acid.

  16. Population balance modeling of the conidial aggregation of Aspergillus niger.

    PubMed

    Lin, P-J; Grimm, L H; Wulkow, M; Hempel, D C; Krull, R

    2008-02-01

    Numerous biotechnological production processes are based on the submerse cultivation of filamentous fungi. Process design, however, is often hampered by the complex growth pattern of these organisms. In the morphologic development of coagulating filamentous fungi, like Aspergillus niger, conidial aggregation is the first step of filamentous morphogenesis. For a proper description of this phenomenon it is necessary to characterize conidial populations. Kinetic studies performed with an in-line particle size analyzer suggested that two distinct aggregation steps have to be considered. The first step of conidial aggregation starts immediately after inoculation. Both the rate constants of formation and disintegration of aggregates have been determined by measuring the concentration of conidia at the beginning of the cultivation and the concentration of particles at steady state during the first hours of cultivation. In contrast to the first aggregation step, where the collision of conidia is presumed to be responsible for the process, the second aggregation step is thought to be initiated by germination of conidia. Growing hyphae provide additional surface for the attachment of non- germinated conidia, which leads to a strong decrease in particle concentration. The specific hyphal length growth rate and the ratio of particle concentration to the growing adhesion hyphal surface are decisive matters of the second aggregation step. Both aggregation steps can be described by population dynamics and simulated using the program package PARSIVAL (PARticle SIze eVALution) for the treatment of general particle population balances.

  17. Induced Autolysis of Aspergillus oryzae (A. niger group)

    PubMed Central

    Emiliani, Ezio; de Davie, I. Ucha

    1962-01-01

    The examination of substances formed during induced autolysis by Aspergillus niger was continued in this work, which dealt in particular with carbohydrates. The autolysate contained a large amount of d-glucose (14 to 20% dry wt) and traces of glycolic aldehyde, dihydroxyacetone, ribose, xylose, and fructose. It also contained glycopeptides (about 10% dry wt), which were split from the cell wall during autolysis and which differed from one another in their level of polymerization and their composition. They were constituted by glucose and mannose, glucose and galactose, or mannose, glucose, and galactose (mannose being the most abundant in this case), and amino acids (chiefly alanine, serine, glutamic acid, and aspartic acid). During autolysis, only a part of the cell wall was dissolved, since it retained its shape. Upon further chemical hydrolysis, it produced mostly glucose and glucosamine, and smaller amounts of mannose, galactose, and amino acids. Presumably, glucomannoproteins and glucogalactoproteins were present in the intact cell as a macromolecular complex, constituting, together with chitin, the major part of the cell wall of Aspergillus. PMID:16349623

  18. Some factors affecting tannase production by Aspergillus niger Van Tieghem

    PubMed Central

    Aboubakr, Hamada A.; El-Sahn, Malak A.; El-Banna, Amr A.

    2013-01-01

    One variable at a time procedure was used to evaluate the effect of qualitative variables on the production of tannase from Aspergillus niger Van Tieghem. These variables including: fermentation technique, agitation condition, tannins source, adding carbohydrates incorporation with tannic acid, nitrogen source type and divalent cations. Submerged fermentation under intermittent shaking gave the highest total tannase activity. Maximum extracellular tannase activity (305 units/50 mL) was attained in medium containing tannic acid as tannins source and sodium nitrate as nitrogen source at 30 °C for 96 h. All added carbohydrates showed significant adverse effects on the production of tannase. All tested divalent cations significantly decreased tannase production. Moreover, split plot design was carried out to study the effect of fermentation temperature and fermentation time on tannase production. The results indicated maximum tannase production (312.7 units/50 mL) at 35 °C for 96 h. In other words, increasing fermentation temperature from 30 °C to 35 °C resulted in increasing tannase production. PMID:24294255

  19. The composition of the cell wall of Aspergillus niger

    PubMed Central

    Johnston, I. R.

    1965-01-01

    1. The cell-wall composition of Aspergillus niger has been investigated. Analysis shows the presence of six sugars, glucose, galactose, mannose, arabinose, glucosamine and galactosamine, all in the d-configuration, except that a small amount of l-galactose may be present. Sixteen common amino acids are also present. 2. The wall consists chiefly of neutral carbohydrate (73–83%) and hexosamine (9–13%), with smaller amounts of lipid (2–7%), protein (0·5–2·5%) and phosphorus (less than 0·1%). The acetyl content (3·0–3·4%) corresponds to 1·0mole/mole of hexosamine nitrogen. 3. A fractionation of the cell-wall complex was achieved, with or without a preliminary phenol extraction, by using n-sodium hydroxide. Though this caused some degradation, 30–60% of the wall could be solubilized (depending on the preparation). Analyses on several fractions suggest that fractionation procedures bring about some separation of components although not in a clear-cut fashion. 4. Cell-wall preparations were shown to yield a fraction having [α]D approx. +240° (in n-sodium hydroxide) and consisting largely of glucose. This was separated into two subfractions, one of which had [α]D+281° (in n-sodium hydroxide) and had properties resembling the polysaccharide nigeran; the other had [α]D +231° (in n-sodium hydroxide). It is suggested that nigeran is a cell-wall component. PMID:5862404

  20. Hyphal differentiation in the exploring mycelium of Aspergillus niger.

    PubMed

    Vinck, Arman; Terlou, Maarten; Pestman, Wiebe R; Martens, Edwin P; Ram, Arthur F; van den Hondel, Cees A M J J; Wösten, Han A B

    2005-11-01

    Mycelial fungi play a central role in element cycling in nature by degrading dead organic material such as wood. Fungal colonization of a substrate starts with the invasion of exploring hyphae. These hyphae secrete enzymes that convert the organic material into small molecules that can be taken up by the fungus to serve as nutrients. Using green fluorescent protein (GFP) as a reporter, we show for the first time that exploring hyphae of Aspergillus niger differentiate with respect to enzyme secretion; some strongly express the glucoamylase gene glaA, while others hardly express it at all. When a cytoplasmic GFP was used, 27% of the exploring hyphae of a 5-day-old colony belonged to the low expressing hyphae. By fusing GFP to glucoamylase and by introducing an ER retention signal, this number increased to 50%. This difference is due to cytoplasmic streaming of the reporter in the former case, as was shown by using a photo-activatable GFP. Our findings indicate that a fungal mycelium is highly differentiated, especially when taking into account that hyphae in the exploration zone were exposed to the same nutritional conditions.

  1. Toxoplasmosis seroprevalence in urban rodents: a survey in Niamey, Niger

    PubMed Central

    Mercier, Aurélien; Garba, Madougou; Bonnabau, Henri; Kane, Mamadou; Rossi, Jean-Pierre; Dardé, Marie-Laure; Dobigny, Gauthier

    2013-01-01

    A serological survey of Toxoplasma gondii was conducted on 766 domestic and peridomestic rodents from 46 trapping sites throughout the city of Niamey, Niger. A low seroprevalence was found over the whole town with only 1.96% of the rodents found seropositive. However, differences between species were important, ranging from less than 2% in truly commensal Mastomys natalensis, Rattus rattus and Mus musculus, while garden-associated Arvicanthis niloticus displayed 9.1% of seropositive individuals. This is in line with previous studies on tropical rodents - that we reviewed here - which altogether show that Toxoplasma seroprevalence in rodent is highly variable, depending on many factors such as locality and/or species. Moreover, although we were not able to decipher statistically between habitat or species effect, such a contrast between Nile grass rats and the other rodent species points towards a potentially important role of environmental toxoplasmic infection. This would deserve to be further scrutinised since intra-city irrigated cultures are extending in Niamey, thus potentially increasing Toxoplasma circulation in this yet semi-arid region. As far as we are aware of, our study is one of the rare surveys of its kind performed in Sub-Saharan Africa and the first one ever conducted in the Sahel. PMID:23828008

  2. Some factors affecting tannase production by Aspergillus niger Van Tieghem.

    PubMed

    Aboubakr, Hamada A; El-Sahn, Malak A; El-Banna, Amr A

    2013-01-01

    One variable at a time procedure was used to evaluate the effect of qualitative variables on the production of tannase from Aspergillus niger Van Tieghem. These variables including: fermentation technique, agitation condition, tannins source, adding carbohydrates incorporation with tannic acid, nitrogen source type and divalent cations. Submerged fermentation under intermittent shaking gave the highest total tannase activity. Maximum extracellular tannase activity (305 units/50 mL) was attained in medium containing tannic acid as tannins source and sodium nitrate as nitrogen source at 30 °C for 96 h. All added carbohydrates showed significant adverse effects on the production of tannase. All tested divalent cations significantly decreased tannase production. Moreover, split plot design was carried out to study the effect of fermentation temperature and fermentation time on tannase production. The results indicated maximum tannase production (312.7 units/50 mL) at 35 °C for 96 h. In other words, increasing fermentation temperature from 30 °C to 35 °C resulted in increasing tannase production.

  3. Foam Separation of Pseudomonas fluorescens and Bacillus subtilis var. niger

    PubMed Central

    Grieves, R. B.; Wang, S. L.

    1967-01-01

    An experimental investigation established the effect of the presence of inorganic salts on the foam separation of Pseudomonas fluorescens and of Bacillus subtilis var. niger (B. globigii) from aqueous suspension by use of a cationic surfactant. For P. fluorescens, 5.0 μeq/ml of NaCl, KCl, Na2SO4, K2SO4, CaCl2, CaSO4, MgCl2, or MgSO4 produced increases in the cell concentration in the residual suspension (not carried into the foam) from 2.9 × 105 up to 1.6 × 106 to 2.8 × 107 cells per milliliter (initial suspensions contain from 3.3 × 107 to 4.8 × 107 cells per milliliter). The exceptional influence of magnesium was overcome by bringing the cells into contact first with the surfactant and then the salt. For B. subtilis, the presence of 5.0 μeq/ml of any of the eight salts increased the residual cell concentration by one order of magnitude from 1.2 × 104 to about 4.0 × 105 cells per milliliter. This occurred regardless of the sequence of contact as long as the surfactant contact period was sufficient. The presence of salts increased collapsed foam volumes with P. fluorescens and decreased collapsed foam volumes with B. subtilis. PMID:4961933

  4. Reconnaissance amplitude versus offset techniques in the Niger Delta

    SciTech Connect

    Barton, J.; Gullette, K.

    1996-08-01

    Reconnaissance AVO (amplitude vs. offset) techniques have been invaluable in allowing the analyses and mapping of AVO on large-volume data sets in the Nigerian Niger Delta. Forward modelling of rock properties derived from well data on the shelf and regional ties of common depth point gathers to well control show that a shale on hydrocarbon bearing sand typically generates increasing amplitude with offset [Class 2 and Class 3 type anomalies of the Rutherford and Williams (1989) classification]. Consequently, processing and display techniques have been developed that distinguish the increasing amplitude with offset response associated with hydrocarbon bearing sands from the flatter AVO response of background water wet sands and shales. Attributes are created from angle stacks rather than by analyses of individual common depth point gathers over an entire data set. We show examples of a new AVO attribute which we call the Enhanced Restricted Gradient that highlights Class 2 and Class 3 type AVO anomalies more clearly than some of the standard AVO attributes used in the industry. The techniques described here provide a cost-effective and practical way of evaluating AVO character on large volume 2D and 3D data sets and should also be useful in other areas worldwide where hydrocarbon bearing reservoirs generate increasing amplitude with offset.

  5. Cloning and Expression of Gumboro VP2 Antigen in Aspergillus niger

    PubMed Central

    Azizi, Mohammad; Yakhchali, Bagher; Ghamarian, Abdolreza; Enayati, Somayeh; Khodabandeh, Mahvash; Khalaj, Vahid

    2013-01-01

    Background Infectious Bursal Disease Virus (IBDV) causes a highly immunosuppressive disease in chickens and is a pathogen of major economic importance to the poultry industry worldwide. The VP2 protein is the major host-protective immunogen of IBDV and has been considered as a potential subunit vaccine against the disease. VP2 coding sequence was cloned in an inducible fungal vector and the protein was expressed in Aspergillus niger (A. niger). Methods Aiming at a high level of expression, a multicopy AMA1-pyrG-based episomal construct driven by a strong inducible promoter, glaA, was prepared and used in transformation of A. niger pyrG-protoplasts. SDS-PAGE and western blot analysis was carried out to confirm the expression of the protein. Results A number of pyrG + positive transformants were isolated and the presence of expression cassette was confirmed. Western blot analysis of one of these recombinant strains using monospecific anti-VP2 antibodies demonstrated the successful expression of the protein. The recombinant protein was also detected by serum obtained from immunized chicken. Conclusion In the present study, we have generated a recombinant A. niger strain expressing VP2 protein intracellulary. This recombinant strain of A. niger may have potential applications in oral vaccination against IBDV in poultry industry. PMID:23626875

  6. Spatio-temporal dynamics of genetic diversity in Sorghum bicolor in Niger.

    PubMed

    Deu, Monique; Sagnard, F; Chantereau, J; Calatayud, C; Vigouroux, Y; Pham, J L; Mariac, C; Kapran, I; Mamadou, A; Gérard, B; Ndjeunga, J; Bezançon, G

    2010-05-01

    The dynamics of crop genetic diversity need to be assessed to draw up monitoring and conservation priorities. However, few surveys have been conducted in centres of diversity. Sub-Saharan Africa is the centre of origin of sorghum. Most Sahel countries have been faced with major human, environmental and social changes in recent decades, which are suspected to cause genetic erosion. Sorghum is the second staple cereal in Niger, a centre of diversity for this crop. Niger was submitted to recurrent drought period and to major social changes during these last decades. We report here on a spatio-temporal analysis of sorghum genetic diversity, conducted in 71 villages covering the rainfall gradient and range of agro-ecological conditions in Niger's agricultural areas. We used 28 microsatellite markers and applied spatial and genetic clustering methods to investigate change in genetic diversity over a 26-year period (1976-2003). Global genetic differentiation between the two collections was very low (F (st) = 0.0025). Most of the spatial clusters presented no major differentiation, as measured by F (st), and showed stability or an increase in allelic richness, except for two of them located in eastern Niger. The genetic clusters identified by Bayesian analysis did not show a major change between the two collections in the distribution of accessions between them or in their spatial location. These results suggest that farmers' management has globally preserved sorghum genetic diversity in Niger.

  7. Enantioselective hydrolysis of epichlorohydrin using whole Aspergillus niger ZJB-09173 cells in organic solvents.

    PubMed

    Jin, Huo-Xi; Hu, Zhong-Ce; Zheng, Yu-Guo

    2012-09-01

    The enantioselective hydrolysis of racemic epichlorohydrin for the production of enantiopure (S)-epichlorohydrin using whole cells of Aspergillus niger ZJB-09173 in organic solvents was investigated. Cyclohexane was used as the reaction medium based on the excellent enantioselectivity of epoxide hydrolase from A. niger ZJB- 09173 in cyclohexane. However, cyclohexane had a negative effect on the stability of epoxide hydrolase from A. niger ZJB-09173. In the cyclohexane medium, substrate inhibition, rather than product inhibition of catalysis, was observed in the hydrolysis of racemic epichlorohydrin using A. niger ZJB-09173. The racemic epichlorohydrin concentration was markedly increased by continuous feeding of substrate without significant decline of the yield. Ultimately, 18.5% of (S)-epichlorohydrin with 98 percent enantiomeric excess from 153.6 mM of racemic epichlorohydrin was obtained by the dry cells of A. niger ZJB-09173, which was the highest substrate concentration in the production of enantiopure (S)-epichlorohydrin by epoxide hydrolases using an organic solvent medium among the known reports.

  8. The Situations Bank, a Tool for Curriculum Design Focused on Daily Realities: The Case of the Reform in Niger

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Charland, Patrick; Cyr, Stéphane

    2013-01-01

    In the context of the curriculum reform in Niger, the authors describe the process of developing a situations bank which focusses on everyday life situations in Niger. The bank plays a central role in the formulation of new study programmes guided by the so-called "situated" approach. The authors also describe various issues that arose…

  9. Basic Education Awareness Campaign Conducted in Niger with Trade Unions, Parents' Representatives and Political Authorities at Various Levels

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oumarou, Hamissou; Namata, Issa

    2006-01-01

    Education policy in Niger is made up of all the tendencies and decisions, which over time have determined the development of Niger's education sector and its components. In this article, the author discusses the implementation stages of education policy, that is: (1) Adoption of the General Policy Act; and (2) Planning of the implementation of the…

  10. 76 FR 50284 - Request for Public Comments on Interim Review of Eligibility of Cote d'Ivoire, Guinea, and Niger...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-08-12

    ..., Guinea, and Niger for Benefits Under the African Growth and Opportunity Act AGENCY: Office of the United States Trade Representative. ACTION: Notice and request for comments. SUMMARY: The African Growth and... Niger to receive the benefits of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). The Subcommittee...

  11. A preliminary sketch of the georesources in Niamey city (Niger)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spadafora, Francesco; De Luca, Domenico A.; Antonella Dino, Giovanna; Lasagna, Manuela; Perotti, Luigi; Yadji, Guero; Tankari Dan-Badjo, Abdourahamane; Moussa, Issaka; Harouna, Moussa; Moussa, Konaté

    2015-04-01

    The present paper is about a preliminary study of the georesources (water and raw materials for construction) of Niamey city (Niger). Such research is part of an UNICOO project (funded by the University of Turin) and connected to the Edulink Cooperation Project (R.U.S.S.A.D.E.), a multidisciplinary project between Italy, Niger, Burquina Faso and Tchad funded on ACP- EU cooperation program in Higher Education. The main goals are the qualitative and quantitative characterization of the surface water and groundwater, and of aggregates (exploited in sands and gravel quarries). More specifically, at the beginning of the study there was a census of wells and quarries in the Niamey area, with a consequent sampling survey (surface water and groundwater sampling and aggregate sampling). After that, an in situ characterization was set: measure of piezometric levels in wells, water characterization (pH, electrolytic conductivity, temperature, nitrate and ammonia concentration) and an in situ evaluation of the quarrying techniques and quarry exploitation (present and old quarries). The samples were analyzed in Earth Science Dep. (UNITO) to evaluate the content of the main anions and cations (chemical analysis of sampled water) and the size distribution of the materials coming from the investigated quarries. Schematic reports of wells and quarries (location and features) were produced with the support of a Geodatabase with all available data. Geomatics instruments and methodologies (Geotagged Photos, Digital Mapping, GNSS Survey, Satellite Multitemporal Maps,) were basic starting point for the field data collection and a fundamental aid for data arrangement and final dissemination. The present study evidenced the actual condition of surface water and groundwater, also highlighting local phenomena of pollution. Nitrate in groundwater, i.e., showed locally concentration up to 5 times the WHO limit (50 mg/L). Thanks to the local quarry survey it was possible to evaluate how the

  12. HSE (CASHES) management in Niger Delta seismic operations

    SciTech Connect

    Adepoju, O.J.

    1996-12-31

    3-D seismic acquisition surveys in the Niger Delta of Nigeria, are carried out under extremely arduous field conditions due to difficult terrain, dense vegetation, semi-manual mode of operation, wildlife and volatile communities. The vegetation is a combination of evergreen tropical rain forest in the land areas and mangrove in the swamp areas. Some parts of the delta are prone to high seasonal flooding. Seismic lines are laid out by manual cutting of brush using machetes and shot holes drilled semi-manually with pumps. In order to effectively carry out the operations with due regard to the people and environment, a Community Affairs, Safety, Health, Environment and Security (CASHES) Polio and management System which ensures that a hazards are identified, assessed. controlled, with an effective loop feedback mechanism was introduced and implemented. CASHES critical activities are community relations, field security, explosives handling, water transport/journey management, river crossings. weather, shallow gas blow-out, waste management, seasonal flooding and floating-seaweed (water hyacinth)/timber logs. Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) studies arc essential at the initial planning stages. About 41 Hazard Registers and 177 Activity Specification Sheets are developed in a typical survey. About 85% of the labor workforce are recruited from the host communities to promote cordial relations. Extensive training is carried out to raise the standards of the new recruits. The implementation of the management system is cascaded down using simplified documentation (procedures, work tasks, checklists etc.) adapted to local conditions. Integrated CASHES audits (Premob, Minor, Major. Follow up) arc conducted to check the efficiency of the system with documents getting reviewed regularly to keep the system alive and capable of handling changes. With these in place, high potential incidents are reduced/eliminated.

  13. Epidemiology of bacterial meningitis in Niamey, Niger, 1981-96.

    PubMed Central

    Campagne, G.; Schuchat, A.; Djibo, S.; Ousséini, A.; Cissé, L.; Chippaux, J. P.

    1999-01-01

    In the African meningitis belt the importance of endemic meningitis is not as well recognized as that of epidemics of meningococcal meningitis that occur from time to time. Using retrospective surveillance, we identified a total of 7078 cases of laboratory-diagnosed bacterial meningitis in Niamey, Niger, from 1981 to 1996. The majority (57.7%) were caused by Neisseria meningitidis, followed by Streptococcus pneumoniae (13.2%) and Haemophilus influenzae b (Hib) (9.5%). The mean annual incidence of bacterial meningitis was 101 per 100,000 population (70 per 100,000 during 11 non-epidemic years) and the average annual mortality rate was 17 deaths per 100,000. Over a 7-year period (including one major epidemic year) for which data were available, S. pneumoniae and Hib together caused more meningitis deaths than N. meningitidis. Meningitis cases were more common among males and occurred mostly during the dry season. Serogroup A caused 85.6% of meningococcal meningitis cases during the period investigated; three-quarters of these occurred among children aged < 15 years, and over 40% among under-5-year-olds. Both incidence and mortality rates were highest among infants aged < 1 year. In this age group, Hib was the leading cause of bacterial meningitis, followed by S. pneumoniae. The predominant cause of meningitis in persons aged 1-40 years was N. meningitidis. Use of the available vaccines against meningitis due to N. meningitidis, S. pneumoniae, and Hib could prevent substantial endemic illness and deaths in sub-Saharan Africa, and potentially prevent recurrent meningococcal epidemics. PMID:10427935

  14. HIV among military personnel in the Niger Delta of Nigeria.

    PubMed

    Azuonwu, O; Erhabor, O; Obire, O

    2012-02-01

    The military community is considered a high-risk environment for HIV transmission. In this study, a total of One hundred and fifty military personnel aged between 20 and 55 years attending the Nigerian army Hospital, Air Force Clinic and Police Clinic in the Niger Delta of Nigeria were randomly recruited for the study. Samples were tested for HIV using an immunochromatographic assay. The CD4 cell count was estimated using the Partec Cyflow Counter (Partec, Germany). Results of the study showed an overall HIV prevalence rate of 14.67%. The prevalence of HIV was significantly higher among subjects in the ≥40 years age group (P = 0.03). The HIV prevalence was higher among female subjects compared to male military personnel (P = 0.05). Also, there was a significant negative correlation between the CD4 count and HIV positivity (r = -0.443, P<0.01). Out of the 22 subjects positive for HIV, 9.1% were severely immune compromised with CD4 count below<200 cells/μL while 72.7 and 18.2% had CD4 count of 200-350 and 350-500 cells/μL respectively. There is need for the development of a strategic plan that integrates HIV/AIDS and other STIs programs into existing systems and structures to foster behavior change through information dissemination. Policies should be instituted to make condoms regularly available and freely distributed, with the goal of achieving a 100%-condom-use rate. There is the need for an effective voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) and sentinel surveillance survey in the Nigerian military. Also critical is the establishment of a fully integrated and comprehensive care and support system including universal access of antiretroviral treatment for infected people.

  15. Evidence for a cytoplasmic pathway of oxalate biosynthesis in Aspergillus niger.

    PubMed Central

    Kubicek, C P; Schreferl-Kunar, G; Wöhrer, W; Röhr, M

    1988-01-01

    Oxalate accumulation of up to 8 g/liter was induced in Aspergillus niger by shifting the pH from 6 to 8. This required the presence of Pi and a nitrogen source and was inhibited by the protein synthesis inhibitor cycloheximide. Exogenously added 14CO2 was not incorporated into oxalate, but was incorporated into acetate and malate, thus indicating the biosynthesis of oxalate by hydrolytic cleavage of oxaloacetate. Inhibition of mitochondrial citrate metabolism by fluorocitrate did not significantly decrease the oxalate yield. The putative enzyme that was responsible for this was oxaloacetate hydrolase (EC 3.7.1.1), which was induced de novo during the pH shift. Subcellular fractionation of oxalic acid-forming mycelia of A. niger showed that this enzyme is located in the cytoplasm of A. niger. The results are consistent with a cytoplasmic pathway of oxalate formation which does not involve the tricarboxylic acid cycle. PMID:3132096

  16. Production of a bioflocculant from Aspergillus niger using palm oil mill effluent as carbon source.

    PubMed

    Aljuboori, Ahmad H Rajab; Uemura, Yoshimitsu; Osman, Noridah Binti; Yusup, Suzana

    2014-11-01

    This study evaluated the potential of bioflocculant production from Aspergillus niger using palm oil mill effluent (POME) as carbon source. The bioflocculant named PM-5 produced by A. niger showed a good flocculating capability and flocculating rate of 76.8% to kaolin suspension could be achieved at 60 h of culture time. Glutamic acid was the most favorable nitrogen source for A. niger in bioflocculant production at pH 6 and temperature 35 °C. The chemical composition of purified PM-5 was mainly carbohydrate and protein with 66.8% and 31.4%, respectively. Results showed the novel bioflocculant (PM-5) had high potential to treat river water from colloids and 63% of turbidity removal with the present of Ca(2+) ion.

  17. Characterization of novel thermostable polygalacturonases from Penicillium brasilianum and Aspergillus niger.

    PubMed

    Zeni, Jamile; Pili, Jonaina; Cence, Karine; Toniazzo, Geciane; Treichel, Helen; Valduga, Eunice

    2015-12-01

    The aim of this research was the partial characterization of polygalacturonase (PG) extracts produced by a newly isolated Penicillium brasilianum and Aspergillus niger in submerged fermentation. The partial characterization of the crude enzymatic extracts showed optimum activity at pH 5.5 and 37 °C for both extracts. The results of temperature stability showed that PG from both microorganisms were more stable at 55 °C. However, the enzyme obtained by P. brasilianum presents a half-life time (t 1/2 = 693.10 h), about one order of magnitude higher than those observed in for A. niger at 55 °C. In terms of pH stability, the PG produced by P. brasilianum presented higher stability at pH 4.0 and 5.0, while the PG from A. niger showed higher stability at pH 5.0.

  18. Novel Antifungal Peptides Produced by Leuconostoc mesenteroides DU15 Effectively Inhibit Growth of Aspergillus niger.

    PubMed

    Muhialdin, Belal J; Hassan, Zaiton; Abu Bakar, Fatimah; Algboory, Hussein L; Saari, Nazamid

    2015-05-01

    The ability of Leuconostoc mesenteroides DU15 to produce antifungal peptides that inhibit growth of Aspergillus niger was evaluated under optimum growth conditions of 30 °C for 48 h. The cell-free supernatant showed inhibitory activity against A. niger. Five novel peptides were isolated with the sequences GPFPL, YVPLF, LLHGVPLP, GPFPLEMTLGPT, and TVYPFPGPL as identified by de novo sequencing using PEAKS 6 software. Peptide LLHGVPLP was the only positively charged (cationic peptides) and peptide GPFPLEMTLGPT negatively charged (anionic), whereas the rest are neutral. The identified peptides had high hydrophobicity ratio and low molecular weights with amino acids sequences ranging from 5 to 12 residues. The mode of action of these peptides is observed under the scanning electron microscope and is due to cell lysis of fungi. This work reveals the potential of peptides from L. mesenteroides DU15 as natural antifungal preservatives in inhibiting the growth of A. niger that is implicated to the spoilage during storage.

  19. Generation, annotation, and analysis of an extensive Aspergillus niger EST collection

    PubMed Central

    Semova, Natalia; Storms, Reginald; John, Tricia; Gaudet, Pascale; Ulycznyj, Peter; Min, Xiang Jia; Sun, Jian; Butler, Greg; Tsang, Adrian

    2006-01-01

    Background Aspergillus niger, a saprophyte commonly found on decaying vegetation, is widely used and studied for industrial purposes. Despite its place as one of the most important organisms for commercial applications, the lack of available information about its genetic makeup limits research with this filamentous fungus. Results We present here the analysis of 12,820 expressed sequence tags (ESTs) generated from A. niger cultured under seven different growth conditions. These ESTs identify about 5,108 genes of which 44.5% code for proteins sharing similarity (E ≤ 1e -5) with GenBank entries of known function, 38% code for proteins that only share similarity with GenBank entries of unknown function and 17.5% encode proteins that do not have a GenBank homolog. Using the Gene Ontology hierarchy, we present a first classification of the A. niger proteins encoded by these genes and compare its protein repertoire with other well-studied fungal species. We have established a searchable web-based database that includes the EST and derived contig sequences and their annotation. Details about this project and access to the annotated A. niger database are available. Conclusion This EST collection and its annotation provide a significant resource for fundamental and applied research with A. niger. The gene set identified in this manuscript will be highly useful in the annotation of the genome sequence of A. niger, the genes described in the manuscript, especially those encoding hydrolytic enzymes will provide a valuable source for researchers interested in enzyme properties and applications. PMID:16457709

  20. Germination of Aspergillus niger conidia is triggered by nitrogen compounds related to L-amino acids.

    PubMed

    Hayer, Kimran; Stratford, Malcolm; Archer, David B

    2014-10-01

    Conidial germination is fundamentally important to the growth and dissemination of most fungi. It has been previously shown (K. Hayer, M. Stratford, and D. B. Archer, Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 79:6924-6931, 2013, http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/AEM.02061-13), using sugar analogs, that germination is a 2-stage process involving triggering of germination and then nutrient uptake for hyphal outgrowth. In the present study, we tested this 2-stage germination process using a series of nitrogen-containing compounds for the ability to trigger the breaking of dormancy of Aspergillus niger conidia and then to support the formation of hyphae by acting as nitrogen sources. Triggering and germination were also compared between A. niger and Aspergillus nidulans using 2-deoxy-D-glucose (trigger), D-galactose (nontrigger in A. niger but trigger in A. nidulans), and an N source (required in A. niger but not in A. nidulans). Although most of the nitrogen compounds studied served as nitrogen sources for growth, only some nitrogen compounds could trigger germination of A. niger conidia, and all were related to L-amino acids. Using L-amino acid analogs without either the amine or the carboxylic acid group revealed that both the amine and carboxylic acid groups were essential for an L-amino acid to serve as a trigger molecule. Generally, conidia were able to sense and recognize nitrogen compounds that fitted into a specific size range. There was no evidence of uptake of either triggering or nontriggering compounds over the first 90 min of A. niger conidial germination, suggesting that the germination trigger sensors are not located within the spore.

  1. Remediation of contaminated lands in the Niger Delta, Nigeria: Prospects and challenges.

    PubMed

    Zabbey, Nenibarini; Sam, Kabari; Onyebuchi, Adaugo Trinitas

    2017-05-15

    Contamination of the total environment (air, soil, water and biota) by crude oil has become a paramount interest in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. Studies have revealed variable impacts of oil toxicity on the environment and exposed populations. The revelation gained much international attention in 2011 with the release of Environmental Assessment of Ogoniland report by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). This has up scaled local and international pressures for urgent clean-up and restoration of degraded bio-resource rich environments of the Niger Delta, starting from Ogoniland. Previous remediation attempts in the area had failed due to erroneous operational conclusions (such as conclusions by oil industry operators that the Niger Delta soil is covered by a layer of clay and as such oil percolation remains within the top soil and makes remediation by enhanced natural attenuation (RENA) suitable for the region) and the adoption of incompatible and ineffective approaches (i.e. RENA) for the complex and dynamic environments. Perennial conflicts, poor regulatory oversights and incoherent standards are also challenges. Following UNEP recommendations, the Federal Government of Nigeria recently commissioned the clean-up and remediation of Ogoniland project; it would be novel and trend setting. While UNEP outlined some measures of contaminated land remediation, no specific approach was identified to be most effective for the Niger Delta region. Resolving the technical dilemma and identified social impediments is the key success driver of the above project. In this paper, we reviewed the socio-economic and ecological impacts of contaminated land in the Niger Delta region and the global state-of-the-art remediation approaches. We use coastal environment clean-up case studies to demonstrate the effectiveness of bioremediation (sometimes in combination with other technologies) for remediating most of the polluted sites in the Niger Delta. Bioremediation

  2. Inactivation of Aspergillus niger in mango nectar by high-pressure homogenization combined with heat shock.

    PubMed

    Tribst, Alline A L; Franchi, Mark A; Cristianini, Marcelo; de Massaguer, Pilar R

    2009-01-01

    This research evaluated the inactivation of a heat-resistant Aspergillus niger conidia in mango nectar by high-pressure homogenization (HPH) combined with heat shock. A. niger were inoculated in mango nectar (10(6) conidia mL(-1)) and subjected to HPH (300 to 100 MPa) and heat shock (80 degrees C for 5 to 20 min) before or after HPH. Processes were evaluated according to number of decimal reductions reached by each isolated or combined process. Scanning electron microscopy was performed to observe conidia wall after pressure treatment. Pressures below 150 MPa did not inactivate A. niger while pressures of 200 and 300 MPa resulted in 2 and more than 6 log reductions, respectively. D(80 degrees C) of A. niger was determined as 5.03 min. A heat shock of 80 degrees C/15 min, reaching 3 decimal conidia reductions, was applied before or after a 200 MPa pressure treatment to improve the decimal reduction to 5 log cycles. Results indicated that HPH inactivated A. niger in mango nectar at 300 MPa (>6.24 log cycles) and that, with pressure (200 MPa) combined with post heat shock, it was possible to obtain the same decimal reduction, showing a synergistic effect. On the other hand, pre heat shock associated with HPH resulted in an additive effect. The observation of A. niger conidia treated by HPH at 100 and 200 MPa by scanning electron microscopy indicated that HPH promoted intense cell wall damage, which can sensitize the conidia to post heat shock and possibly explain the synergistic effect observed. Practical Application: The results obtained in this paper are relevant to elucidate the mechanism of conidia inactivation in order to develop the application of HPH as an alternative pasteurization process for the fruit nectar industry.

  3. Equilibrium unfolding of A. niger RNase: pH dependence of chemical and thermal denaturation.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Gundampati Ravi; Sharma, Anurag; Kumari, Moni; Jagannadham, Medicherla V; Debnath, Mira

    2011-08-01

    Equilibrium unfolding of A. niger RNase with chemical denaturants, for example GuHCl and urea, and thermal unfolding have been studied as a function of pH using fluorescence, far-UV, near-UV, and absorbance spectroscopy. Because of their ability to affect electrostatic interactions, pH and chemical denaturants have a marked effect on the stability, structure, and function of many globular proteins. ANS binding studies have been conducted to enable understanding of the folding mechanism of the protein in the presence of the denaturants. Spectroscopic studies by absorbance, fluorescence, and circular dichroism and use of K2D software revealed that the enzyme has α + β type secondary structure with approximately 29% α-helix, 24% β-sheet, and 47% random coil. Under neutral conditions the enzyme is stable in urea whereas GuHCl-induced equilibrium unfolding was cooperative. A. niger RNase has little ANS binding even under neutral conditions. Multiple intermediates were populated during the pH-induced unfolding of A. niger RNase. Urea and temperature-induced unfolding of A. niger RNase into the molten globule-like state is non-cooperative, in contrast to the cooperativity seen with the native protein, suggesting the presence of two parts/domains, in the molecular structure of A. niger RNase, with different stability that unfolds in steps. Interestingly, the GuHCl-induced unfolding of the A state (molten globule state) of A. niger RNase is unique, because a low concentration of denaturant not only induces structural change but also facilitates transition from one molten globule like state (A(MG1)) into another (I(MG2)).

  4. Removal of silver nanoparticles using live and heat shock Aspergillus niger cultures.

    PubMed

    Gomaa, Ola M

    2014-06-01

    Silver nanoparticles (SNPs) are extensively used in many industrial and medical applications; however, the impact of their release in the environment is still considered an understudied field. In the present work, SNPs present in aqueous lab waste water (average size of 30 nm) were used to determine their impact on microflora if released in soil rhizosphere and sewage waste water. The results showed that 24 h incubation with different SNP concentrations resulted in a 2.6-fold decrease for soil rhizosphere microflora and 7.45-fold decrease for sewage waste water microflora, both at 24 ppm. Live and heat shock (50 and 70 °C) Aspergillus niger cultures were used to remove SNP waste, the results show 76.6, 81.74 and 90.8 % SNP removal, respectively after 3 h incubation. There was an increase in the log total bacterial count again after SNP removal by A. niger in the following order: live A. niger < 50 °C heat shock A. niger < 70 °C heat shock A. niger. The pH value decreased from 5.8 to 3.8 in the same order suggesting the production of an acid in the culture media. Scanning electron microscopy images showed agglomeration and/or complexation of SNP particles, in a micron size, in between the fungal mycelia, hence settling on and in between the mycelial network. The results suggest that silver was reduced again and agglomerated and/or chelated together in its oxidized form by an acid in A. niger media. More studies are recommended to determine the acid and the heat shock proteins to confirm the exact mode of action.

  5. Calcium oxalate crystal deposition in a patient with Aspergilloma due to Aspergillus niger

    PubMed Central

    Oda, Miku; Wakayama, Megumi; Shibuya, Kazutoshi; Ogawa, Yukari; Inui, Toshiya; Yokoyama, Emi; Inoue, Manami; Shimoyamada, Hiroaki; Fujiwara, Masachika; Ota, Tomohiro; Takizawa, Hajime; Goto, Hajime

    2013-01-01

    Discrimination between aspergilloma and chronic necrotizing pulmonary aspergillosis (CNPA) based on radiological findings can difficult. We describe a patient with aspergilloma and organizing pneumonia that was possibly caused by Aspergillus niger infection and radiologically mimicked CNPA. A postmortem histological analysis showed diffuse alveolar damage that had originated in peri-cavitary lung parenchyma. Calcium oxalate or Aspergillus niger was located inside, but not outside the cavity in the right upper lobe. Calcium oxalate or other unknown hyphal bioactive components might provoke severe lung inflammation not only adjacent to the cavity, but also on the contralateral side. PMID:23991333

  6. The infrared spectral transmittance of Aspergillus niger spore aggregated particle swarm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Xinying; Hu, Yihua; Gu, Youlin; Li, Le

    2015-10-01

    Microorganism aggregated particle swarm, which is quite an important composition of complex media environment, can be developed as a new kind of infrared functional materials. Current researches mainly focus on the optical properties of single microorganism particle. As for the swarm, especially the microorganism aggregated particle swarm, a more accurate simulation model should be proposed to calculate its extinction effect. At the same time, certain parameters deserve to be discussed, which helps to better develop the microorganism aggregated particle swarm as a new kind of infrared functional materials. In this paper, take Aspergillus Niger spore as an example. On the one hand, a new calculation model is established. Firstly, the cluster-cluster aggregation (CCA) model is used to simulate the structure of Aspergillus Niger spore aggregated particle. Secondly, the single scattering extinction parameters for Aspergillus Niger spore aggregated particle are calculated by using the discrete dipole approximation (DDA) method. Thirdly, the transmittance of Aspergillus Niger spore aggregated particle swarm is simulated by using Monte Carlo method. On the other hand, based on the model proposed above, what influences can wavelength causes has been studied, including the spectral distribution of scattering intensity of Aspergillus Niger spore aggregated particle and the infrared spectral transmittance of the aggregated particle swarm within the range of 8~14μm incident infrared wavelengths. Numerical results indicate that the scattering intensity of Aspergillus Niger spore aggregated particle reduces with the increase of incident wavelengths at each scattering angle. Scattering energy mainly concentrates on the scattering angle between 0~40°, forward scattering has an obvious effect. In addition, the infrared transmittance of Aspergillus Niger spore aggregated particle swarm goes up with the increase of incident wavelengths. However, some turning points of the trend

  7. Oiling the friction: environmental conflict management in the Niger Delta, Nigeria.

    PubMed

    Ibeanu, O

    2000-01-01

    The Niger Delta, a sensitive ecosystem rich in biodiversity, has witnessed considerable violence as a result of the tense relationship among oil companies, the Nigerian state, and oil-bearing communities. Environmental damage from the extraction and movement of fossil fuels is a central point of dispute among the parties while the precise extent of ecological damage remains unknown. Drawing on numerous interviews while living and working in the Niger Delta, Doctor Okechukwu Ibeanu analyzes the management of conflicts surrounding petroleum production in the region, including the role of state violence and contradictory perceptions of security held by Delta communities and the oil companies and their partners in the Nigerian federal government.

  8. Using remote sensing and GIS in the analysis of ecosystem decline along the River Niger Basin: the case of Mali and Niger.

    PubMed

    Twumasi, Yaw A; Merem, Edmund C

    2007-06-01

    In the Sub-Saharan African region of the River Niger Basin, where none of the major rivers is fully contained within the borders of a single nation, riverine ecosystem health monitoring is essential for survival. Even the globally proclaimed goals of sustainability and environmental security in the region are unattainable without using geospatial technologies of remote sensing and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) as conduits for environmental health within shared waters. Yet the systematic study of the nature of cooperation between states over shared water resources in troubled areas of the Middle East continues to dominate the literature with minimal coverage of the Sub- Saharan Africa experience and the role of GIS and remote sensing in monitoring the problem. Considering the intense ecosystem stress inflicted on River Niger by human activities and natural forces emanating from upstream and downstream nations. Researching the growing potential for acute riverine ecosystem decline among the nations of Niger and Mali along the River Niger Basin with the latest advances in spatial information technology as a decision support tool not only helps in ecosystem recovery and the avoidance of conflicts, but it has the potentials to bring countries much closer through information exchange. While the nature of the problem remains compounded due to the depletion of available water resources and environmental resources within shared waters, the lack of information exchange extracts ecological costs from all players. This is essential as the Niger Basin nations move towards a multinational watershed management as a conduit for sustainability. To confront these problems, some research questions with relevance to the paper have been posed. The questions include, Have there been any declines in the riverine ecosystem of the study area? What are the effects and what factors trigger the changes? What mitigation measures are in place for dealing with the problems? The first

  9. Using Remote Sensing and GIS in the Analysis of Ecosystem Decline along the River Niger Basin: The Case of Mali and Niger

    PubMed Central

    Twumasi, Yaw A.; Merem, Edmund C.

    2007-01-01

    In the Sub-Saharan African region of the River Niger Basin, where none of the major rivers is fully contained within the borders of a single nation, riverine ecosystem health monitoring is essential for survival. Even the globally proclaimed goals of sustainability and environmental security in the region are unattainable without using geospatial technologies of remote sensing and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) as conduits for environmental health within shared waters. Yet the systematic study of the nature of cooperation between states over shared water resources in troubled areas of the Middle East continues to dominate the literature with minimal coverage of the Sub-Saharan Africa experience and the role of GIS and remote sensing in monitoring the problem. Considering the intense ecosystem stress inflicted on River Niger by human activities and natural forces emanating from upstream and downstream nations. Researching the growing potential for acute riverine ecosystem decline among the nations of Niger and Mali along the River Niger Basin with the latest advances in spatial information technology as a decision support tool not only helps in ecosystem recovery and the avoidance of conflicts, but it has the potentials to bring countries much closer through information exchange. While the nature of the problem remains compounded due to the depletion of available water resources and environmental resources within shared waters, the lack of information exchange extracts ecological costs from all players. This is essential as the Niger Basin nations move towards a multinational watershed management as a conduit for sustainability. To confront these problems, some research questions with relevance to the paper have been posed. The questions include, Have there been any declines in the riverine ecosystem of the study area? What are the effects and what factors trigger the changes? What mitigation measures are in place for dealing with the problems? The first

  10. The biochemistry of citric acid accumulation by Aspergillus niger.

    PubMed

    Karaffa, L; Sándor, E; Fekete, E; Szentirmai, A

    2001-01-01

    Fungi, in particular Aspergilli, are well known for their potential to overproduce a variety of organic acids. These microorganisms have an intrinsic ability to accumulate these substances and it is generally believed that this provides the fungi with an ecological advantage, since they grow rather well at pH 3 to 5, while some species even tolerate pH values as low as 1.5. Organic acid production can be stimulated and in a number of cases conditions have been found that result in almost quantitative conversion of carbon substrate into acid. This is exploited in large-scale production of a number of organic acids like citric-, gluconic- and itaconic acid. Both in production volume as well as in knowledge available, citrate is by far the major organic acid. Citric acid (2-hydroxy-propane-1,2,3-tricarboxylic acid) is a true bulk product with an estimated global production of over 900 thousand tons in the year 2000. Till the beginning of the 20th century, it was exclusively extracted from lemons. Since the global market was dominated by an Italian cartel, other means of production were sought. Chemical synthesis was possible, but not suitable due to expensive raw materials and a complicated process with low yield. The discovery of citrate accumulation by Aspergillus niger led to a rapid development of a fermentation process, which only a decade later accounted for a large part of the global production. The application of citric acid is based on three of its properties: (1) acidity and buffer capacity, (2) taste and flavour, and (3) chelation of metal ions. Because of its three acid groups with pKa values of 3.1, 4.7 and 6.4, citrate is able to produce a very low pH in solution, but is also useful as a buffer over a broad range of pH values (2 to 7). Citric acid has a pleasant acid taste which leaves little aftertaste. It sometimes enhances flavour, but is also able to mask sweetness, such as the aspartame taste in diet beverages. Chelation of metal ions is a very

  11. Holocene Paleoecology of the Western Tenere Desert, Niger, Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sereno, P. C.; Caran, S. C.; Housh, T. B.

    2007-12-01

    closely post-dating plant colonization produced secondary porosity and metallic oxide cementation. The metallic oxide cement preserved minute quantities of organic matter from the terrestrial flora and invertebrate microfauna. Regional ecology was controlled by global post-Pleistocene deglaciation, sea-level changes, and establishment of zonal weather systems. The modern Okavango Delta of Botswana is, in part, a suitable analog for the late Pleistocene to early/middle Holocene environment of the western Tenere Desert, as are smaller, lesser-known, extant wetlands in Niger.

  12. Drought-related surface changes in the Upper Inland Niger Delta or Mali

    SciTech Connect

    Jacobberger, P.A.

    1985-01-01

    Examination of rainfall records for the Upper Inland Niger Delta show that rainfall from 1971 through present has been 20% below the long term average. Rainfall since 1982 has been only 60% of normal. Analysis of drought damage and changes in soils and vegetation due to prevailing dry conditions shows that over 75% of the lakes, ponds, and swamps mapped as permanent water bodies in the 1950's and which carried water through the dry season as late as 1976 are now ephemeral. Most lakes visited during January-February 1985 field work were completely dry. Formerly permanent water courses distributary to the Bani and Niger Rivers were also dry. These stream courses are not incised, both the Bani and Niger appear underfit, and flood plain soils within the study area show evidence of recent sapping. Comparison of digital Landsat data from 1976 and 1984 indicate a reduction in vegetation and diminished areas of cultivated land. In the field, these areas had less than 10% vegetation cover, strongly disrupted soils with disaggregation and lowered cohesion, and showed active aeolian transport. Satellite data also show that both the Bani and Niger Rivers have become more turbid, which is consistent with an increase in sediment yield from local devegetated and soil-damaged areas.

  13. The identity of the enigmatic "Black Shrew" (Sorex niger Ord, 1815)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Woodman, Neal

    2013-01-01

    The scientific name Sorex niger Ord, 1815 (Mammalia, Soricidae) was originally applied to a North American species that George Ord called the “Black Shrew.” The origin of the name “Black Shrew,” however, was obscure, and Samuel Rhoads subsequently wrote that the species represented by this name could not be determined. The names Sorex niger Ord and Black Shrew have since been mostly forgotten. Two of Ord's contemporaries, however, noted that Ord's use of these names probably alluded to Benjamin Smith Barton's Black Shrew, whose discovery near Philadelphia was announced by Barton in 1806. Examination of two unpublished illustrations of the Black Shrew made by Barton indicates that the animal depicted is Blarina brevicauda (Say, 1822). Had the connection between Ord's and Barton's names been made more clearly, one of the most common mammals in eastern North America would bear a different scientific name today. This connection also would have affected the validity of Sorex niger Horsfield, 1851. While Sorex niger Ord remains a nomen nudum, the animal it referenced can now be identified.

  14. Issues of Human Security and Educational Development in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ololube, Nwachukwu Prince; Kpolovie, Peter James; Amaele, Samuel

    2013-01-01

    Drawing from documents, observation, interview and questionnaire, we highlighted the role of issues of human security and its impact on the educational development of the Niger Delta region as well as means of enhancing human security in Nigeria. This article is a conceptual and methodological breakthrough in Nigeria's academic landscape where…

  15. Determination of University Athletes Character through Sport Participation in Niger Delta of Nigeria

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dada, Benson Olu

    2016-01-01

    There are increasing reports concerning the character displayed by athletes on and off the field of play. These reports are not far different from the ones observed in Nigerian University sports. This worrisome report has necessitated this study carried out on determining the character of university athletes in Niger Delta region of Nigeria. The…

  16. Constraints Affecting ICT Utilization by Agricultural Extension Officers in the Niger Delta, Nigeria

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Akpabio, I. A.; Okon, D. P.; Inyang, E. B.

    2007-01-01

    The study focused on constraints affecting the utilization of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) for agricultural extension activities by Agricultural Extension Officers in Nigeria's Niger Delta Region. Data were derived from 160 extension officers affiliated to both public and private extension organizations in four states of the…

  17. An Antifungal Role of Hydrogen Sulfide on the Postharvest Pathogens Aspergillus niger and Penicillium italicum

    PubMed Central

    Li, Yan-Hong; Hu, Liang-Bin; Yan, Hong; Liu, Yong-Sheng; Zhang, Hua

    2014-01-01

    In this research, the antifungal role of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) on the postharvest pathogens Aspergillus niger and Penicillium italicum growing on fruits and under culture conditions on defined media was investigated. Our results show that H2S, released by sodium hydrosulfide (NaHS) effectively reduced the postharvest decay of fruits induced by A. niger and P. italicum. Furthermore, H2S inhibited spore germination, germ tube elongation, mycelial growth, and produced abnormal mycelial contractions when the fungi were grown on defined media in Petri plates. Further studies showed that H2S could cause an increase in intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) in A. niger. In accordance with this observation we show that enzyme activities and the expression of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) genes in A. niger treated with H2S were lower than those in control. Moreover, H2S also significantly inhibited the growth of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Rhizopus oryzae, the human pathogen Candida albicans, and several food-borne bacteria. We also found that short time exposure of H2S showed a microbicidal role rather than just inhibiting the growth of microbes. Taken together, this study suggests the potential value of H2S in reducing postharvest loss and food spoilage caused by microbe propagation. PMID:25101960

  18. Information Literacy among Medical Students in the College of Health Sciences in Niger Delta University, Nigeria

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baro, Emmanuel E.; Endouware, Benake-ebide C.; Ubogu, Janet O.

    2011-01-01

    Purpose: The aim of this paper is to investigate whether undergraduate students in the College of Health Sciences in Niger Delta University are information literate, and to determine whether they are aware of and use different information resources including electronic ones, and to assess their ability to evaluate information before use.…

  19. Instructional Technology in Higher Education: A Case of Selected Universities in the Niger Delta

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ololube, Nwachukwu Prince; Eke, Paul; Uzorka, Michael Chukwuwieke; Ekpenyong, Nkereuwem Stephen; Nte, Ngboawaji Daniel

    2009-01-01

    This article examines the effectiveness of instructional technology in higher education institutions in relation to the role and usage of Information Communication Technology (ICT), its effectiveness in faculty teaching and its impact on student learning in universities in the Niger Delta of Nigeria. This study applied the Need Assessment Approach…

  20. Polymerase Chain Reaction Assay and Bacterial Meningitis Surveillance in Remote Areas, Niger

    PubMed Central

    Sidikou, Fati; Djibo, Saacou; Taha, Muhamed Kheir; Alonso, Jean Michel; Djibo, Ali; Kairo, Kiari Kaka; Chanteau, Suzanne

    2003-01-01

    To compensate for the lack of laboratories in remote areas, the national reference laboratory for meningitis in Niger used polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to enhance the surveillance of meningitis caused by Neisseria meningitidis, Streptococcus pneumoniae, and Haemophilus influenzae. PCR effectively documented the wide geographic spread of N. meningitidis serogroup W135. PMID:14718100

  1. Enzymatic Comparisons of Aspergillus niger PhyA and Escherichia coli AppA2 Phytases

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This study was to compare three phytase activity assays and kinetics of Aspergillus niger PhyA and Escherichia coli AppA2 phytases expressed in Pichia pastoris at the observed stomach pH of 3.5. In Experiment 1, equivalent phytase activities in the crude preparations of PhyA and AppA2 were tested ...

  2. Water Supply Deficiency and Implications for Rural Development in the Niger-Delta Region of Nigeria

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nkwocha, E. E.

    2009-01-01

    There is a growing concern about the marginalization of the Niger Delta region of Nigeria in terms of infrastructural and social services provision. This study examined the water supply deficiency and its general implications for rural development within the region. Data and other study characteristics were extracted from 501 subjects drawn from…

  3. Oil production and problems in Nigeria's Niger Delta: Military and civilian regimes' responses (1979--2001)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Okereke, Ifeoma Christie

    This study examines the environmental and social problems caused by oil production in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. It also determines how the military and civilian regimes respond to the problems. It critically discusses the environmental and social consequences of oil production in the region. The subjects include three military and two civilian regimes that ruled between 1979 and 2001. The study analyzes the overall nature and characteristics of the regimes along with their general roles in the governance of oil in Nigeria, the significance of oil to the country's political economy, and the issues of oil revenue allocation in the country. After analyzing how each regime responds to the problems in the Niger Delta region, it compares and contrasts the responses. Differences and similarities characterize the responses of the military and civilian regimes to the environmental and social problems in the Niger Delta region. However, the civilian regimes are slightly more sensitive than the military regimes to the problems in the region. While the similarities in response are attributable to the socioeconomic and political background and problems of Nigeria, the differences are linked to the basic differences in their political mandates and orientation. The issues and implications arising from the findings are critically analyzed leading to the exploration of the role of democracy in the developing countries. The study recommends political, socioeconomic, and environmental improvements of Nigeria generally as well as the Niger Delta region in particular. It also suggests areas of further studies.

  4. Bioethanol potentials of corn cob hydrolysed using cellulases of Aspergillus niger and Penicillium decumbens

    PubMed Central

    Saliu, Bolanle Kudirat; Sani, Alhassan

    2012-01-01

    Corn cob is a major component of agricultural and domestic waste in many parts of the world. It is composed mainly of cellulose which can be converted to energy in form of bioethanol as an efficient and effective means of waste management. Production of cellulolytic enzymes were induced in the fungi Aspergillus niger and Penicillium decumbens by growing them in mineral salt medium containing alkali pre-treated and untreated corn cobs. The cellulases were characterized and partially purified. Alkali pre-treated corn cobs were hydrolysed with the partially purified cellulases and the product of hydrolysis was fermented using the yeast saccharomyces cerevisae to ethanol. Cellulases of A. niger produced higher endoglucanase and exoglucanase activity (0.1698 IU ml-1 and 0.0461 FPU ml-1) compared to that produced by P. decumbens (0.1111 IU ml-1 and 0.153 FPU ml-1). Alkali pre-treated corn cob hydrolysed by cellulases of A. niger yielded 7.63 mg ml-1 sugar which produced 2.67 % (v/v) ethanol on fermentation. Ethanol yield of the hydrolysates of corn cob by cellulases of P. decumbens was much lower at 0.56 % (v/v). Alkali pre-treated corn cob, hydrolysed with cellulases of A. niger is established as suitable feedstock for bioethanol production. PMID:27418920

  5. Characterization of the fumonisin B2 biosynthetic gene cluster in Aspergillus niger and A. awamori.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Aspergillus niger and A. awamori strains isolated from grapes cultivated in Mediterranean basin were examined for fumonisin B2 (FB2) production and presence/absence of sequences within the fumonisin biosynthetic gene (fum) cluster. Presence of 13 regions in the fum cluster was evaluated by PCR assay...

  6. Type III polyketide synthase is involved in the biosynthesis of protocatechuic acid in Aspergillus niger.

    PubMed

    Lv, Yangyong; Xiao, Jing; Pan, Li

    2014-11-01

    Genomic studies have shown that not only plants but also filamentous fungi contain type III polyketide synthases. To study the function of type III polyketide synthase (AnPKSIII) in Aspergillus niger, a deletion strain (delAnPKSIII) and an overexpression strain (oeAnPKSIII) were constructed in A. niger MA169.4, a derivative of the wild-type (WT) A. niger ATCC 9029 that produces large quantities of gluconic acid. Alterations in the metabolites were analyzed by HPLC when the extract of the overexpression strain was compared with extracts of the WT and deletion strains. Protocatechuic acid (PCA; 3,4-dihydroxybenzoic acid, 3.2 mg/l) was isolated and identified as the main product of AnPKSIII when inductively expressed in A. niger MA169.4. The molecular weight of PCA was 154.1 (m/z 153.1 [M-H](-)), was detected by ESI-MS in the negative ionization mode, and (1)H and (13)C NMR data confirmed its structure.

  7. Conversion of fusaric acid to fusarinol by Aspergillus niger: A detoxification reaction

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The fungus Fusarium oxysporum causes wilt diseases of plants and produces a potent phytotoxin fusaric acid (FA) which is also toxic to many microorganisms. An Aspergillus strain with high tolerance to FA was isolated from soil. HPLC analysis of culture filtrates from A. niger grown with the addition...

  8. Ecophysiological characterization of Aspergillus carbonarius, Aspergillus tubingensis and Aspergillus niger isolated from grapes in Spanish vineyards.

    PubMed

    García-Cela, E; Crespo-Sempere, A; Ramos, A J; Sanchis, V; Marin, S

    2014-03-03

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the diversity of black aspergilli isolated from berries from different agroclimatic regions of Spain. Growth characterization (in terms of temperature and water activity requirements) of Aspergillus carbonarius, Aspergillus tubingensis and Aspergillus niger was carried out on synthetic grape medium. A. tubingensis and A. niger showed higher maximum temperatures for growth (>45 °C versus 40-42 °C), and lower minimum aw requirements (0.83 aw versus 0.87 aw) than A. carbonarius. No differences in growth boundaries due to their geographical origin were found within A. niger aggregate isolates. Conversely, A. carbonarius isolates from the hotter and drier region grew and produced OTA at lower aw than other isolates. However, little genetic diversity in A. carbonarius was observed for the microsatellites tested and the same sequence of β-tubulin gene was observed; therefore intraspecific variability did not correlate with the geographical origin of the isolates or with their ability to produce OTA. Climatic change prediction points to drier and hotter climatic scenarios where A. tubingensis and A. niger could be even more prevalent over A. carbonarius, since they are better adapted to extreme high temperature and drier conditions.

  9. Screening a strain of Aspergillus niger and optimization of fermentation conditions for degradation of aflatoxin B₁.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Wei; Xue, Beibei; Li, Mengmeng; Mu, Yang; Chen, Zhihui; Li, Jianping; Shan, Anshan

    2014-11-13

    Aflatoxin B₁, a type of highly toxic mycotoxin produced by some species belonging to the Aspergillus genus, such as Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus, is widely distributed in feed matrices. Here, coumarin was used as the sole carbon source to screen microorganism strains that were isolated from types of feed ingredients. Only one isolate (ND-1) was able to degrade aflatoxin B₁ after screening. ND-1 isolate, identified as a strain of Aspergillus niger using phylogenetic analysis on the basis of 18S rDNA, could remove 26.3% of aflatoxin B₁ after 48 h of fermentation in nutrient broth (NB). Optimization of fermentation conditions for aflatoxin B₁ degradation by selected Aspergillus niger was also performed. These results showed that 58.2% of aflatoxin B₁ was degraded after 24 h of culture under the optimal fermentation conditions. The aflatoxin B₁ degradation activity of Aspergillus niger supernatant was significantly stronger than cells and cell extracts. Furthermore, effects of temperature, heat treatment, pH, and metal ions on aflatoxin B₁ degradation by the supernatant were examined. Results indicated that aflatoxin B₁ degradation of Aspergillus niger is enzymatic and this process occurs in the extracellular environment.

  10. Simultaneous Production of Amyloglucosidase and Exo-Polygalacturonase by Aspergillus niger in a Rotating Drum Reactor.

    PubMed

    Colla, Eliane; Santos, Lucielen Oliveira; Deamici, Kricelle; Magagnin, Glênio; Vendruscolo, Mauricio; Costa, Jorge Alberto Vieira

    2017-02-01

    Simultaneous production of amyloglucosidase (AMG) and exo-polygalacturonase (exo-PG) was carried out by Aspergillus niger in substrate of defatted rice bran in a rotating drum bioreactor (RDB) and studied by a 3(1) × 2(2) factorial experimental design. Variables under study were A. niger strains (A. niger NRRL 3122 and A. niger t0005/007-2), types of inoculum (spore suspension and fermented bran), and types of inducer (starch, pectin, and a mix of both). Solid-state fermentation process (SSF) was conducted at 30 °C under 60-vvm aeration for 96 h in a pilot scale. Production of AMG and exo-PG was significantly affected by the fungal strain and the type of inoculum, but inducers did not trigger any significant effect, an evidence of the fact that these enzymes are constitutive. The maximum activity of exo-PG was 84 U gdm(-1) whereas the maximum yield of AMG was 886.25 U gdm(-1).

  11. NIGERLYSINTM, HEMOLYSIN PRODUCED BY ASPERGILLUS NIGER, CAUSES LETHALITY OF PRIMARY RAT CORTICAL NEURONAL CELLS IN VITRO

    EPA Science Inventory

    Aspergillus niger produced a proteinaceous hemolysin, nigerlysinTM when incubated on sheep's blood agar at both 23° C and 37°C. Nigerlysin was purified from tryptic soy broth culture filtrate. Purified nigerlysin has a molecular weight of approximately 72 kDa, with an...

  12. VeA of Aspergillus niger increases spore dispersing capacity by impacting conidiophore architecture.

    PubMed

    Wang, Fengfeng; Dijksterhuis, Jan; Wyatt, Timon; Wösten, Han A B; Bleichrodt, Robert-Jan

    2015-01-01

    Aspergillus species are highly abundant fungi worldwide. Their conidia are among the most dominant fungal spores in the air. Conidia are formed in chains on the vesicle of the asexual reproductive structure called the conidiophore. Here, it is shown that the velvet protein VeA of Aspergillus niger maximizes the diameter of the vesicle and the spore chain length. The length and width of the conidiophore stalk and vesicle were reduced nearly twofold in a ΔveA strain. The latter implies a fourfold reduced surface area to develop chains of spores. Over and above this, the conidial chain length was approximately fivefold reduced. The calculated 20-fold reduction in formation of conidia by ΔveA fits the 8- to 17-fold decrease in counted spore numbers. Notably, morphology of the ΔveA conidiophores of A. niger was very similar to that of wild-type Aspergillus sydowii. This suggests that VeA is key in conidiophore architecture diversity in the fungal kingdom. The finding that biomass formation of the A. niger ΔveA strain was reduced twofold shows that VeA not only impacts dispersion capacity but also colonization capacity of A. niger.

  13. An inducible tool for random mutagenesis in Aspergillus niger based on the transposon Vader.

    PubMed

    Paun, Linda; Nitsche, Benjamin; Homan, Tim; Ram, Arthur F; Kempken, Frank

    2016-07-01

    The ascomycete Aspergillus niger is widely used in the biotechnology, for instance in producing most of the world's citric acid. It is also known as a major food and feed contaminant. While generation of gene knockouts for functional genomics has become feasible in ku70 mutants, analyzing gene functions or metabolic pathways remains a laborious task. An unbiased transposon-based mutagenesis approach may aid this process of analyzing gene functions by providing mutant libraries in a short time. The Vader transposon is a non-autonomous DNA-transposon, which is activated by the homologous tan1-transposase. However, in the most commonly used lab strain of A. niger (N400 strain and derivatives), we found that the transposase, encoded by the tan1 gene, is mutated and inactive. To establish a Vader transposon-based mutagenesis system in the N400 background, we expressed the functional transposase of A. niger strain CBS 513.88 under the control of an inducible promoter based on the Tet-on system, which is activated in the presence of the antibiotic doxycycline (DOX). Increasing amounts of doxycycline lead to higher Vader excision frequencies, whereas little to none activity of Vader was observed without addition of doxycycline. Hence, this system appears to be suitable for producing stable mutants in the A. niger N400 background.

  14. Repeat induced point mutation in two asexual fungi, Aspergillus niger and Penicillium chrysogenum.

    PubMed

    Braumann, Ilka; van den Berg, Marco; Kempken, Frank

    2008-05-01

    Repeat induced point mutation (RIP) is a gene silencing mechanism present in fungal genomes. During RIP, duplicated sequences are efficiently and irreversibly mutated by transitions from C:G to T:A. For the first time, we have identified traces of RIP in transposable elements of Aspergillus niger and Penicillium chrysogenum, two biotechnologically relevant fungi. We found that RIP in P. chrysogenum has affected a large set of sequences, which also contain other mutations. On the other hand, RIP in A. niger is limited to only few sequences, but literally all mutations are RIP-like. Surprisingly, RIP occurred only in transposon sequences that have disrupted open reading frames in A. niger, a phenomenon not yet reported for other fungi. In both fungal species, we identified two sequences with strong sequence similarity to Neurospora crassa RID. RID is a putative DNA methyltransferase and the only known enzyme involved in the RIP process. Our findings suggest that both A. niger and P. chrysogenum either had a sexual past or have a sexual potential. These findings have important implications for future strain development of these fungi.

  15. [Epidemiology of Rift Valley fever in west Africa. 1. Serological investigation of small ruminants in Niger].

    PubMed

    Akakpo, A J; Saluzzo, J F; Bada, R; Bornarel, P; Sarradin, P

    1991-01-01

    A serosurvey of Rift Valley Fever virus infection conducted among 557 sheep and 643 goats from Niger in 1986 points out that 2.8% of the 1,200 animals tested had RVF virus reacting antibodies. The circulation of the virus is demonstrated, as well for another phlebovirus related to RVF virus, the strain Arumowot.

  16. Aspergillus niger Infection of an Orbital Exenteration Socket Can Be Treated with Oral Itraconazole

    PubMed Central

    So, Wing Lung Alvin; Hardy, Thomas G.

    2012-01-01

    Aspergillus niger infection is a rare complication following orbital exenteration, especially in immunocompetent patients. If untreated, the infection may lead to significant morbidities. We report a patient with this rare infection, who has been treated successfully with oral itraconazole. PMID:23320225

  17. Oxalic acid production by citric acid-producing Aspergillus niger overexpressing the oxaloacetate hydrolase gene oahA.

    PubMed

    Kobayashi, Keiichi; Hattori, Takasumi; Honda, Yuki; Kirimura, Kohtaro

    2014-05-01

    The filamentous fungus Aspergillus niger is used worldwide in the industrial production of citric acid. However, under specific cultivation conditions, citric acid-producing strains of A. niger accumulate oxalic acid as a by-product. Oxalic acid is used as a chelator, detergent, or tanning agent. Here, we sought to develop oxalic acid hyperproducers using A. niger as a host. To generate oxalic acid hyperproducers by metabolic engineering, transformants overexpressing the oahA gene, encoding oxaloacetate hydrolase (OAH; EC 3.7.1.1), were constructed in citric acid-producing A. niger WU-2223L as a host. The oxalic acid production capacity of this strain was examined by cultivation of EOAH-1 under conditions appropriate for oxalic acid production with 30 g/l glucose as a carbon source. Under all the cultivation conditions tested, the amount of oxalic acid produced by EOAH-1, a representative oahA-overexpressing transformant, exceeded that produced by A. niger WU-2223L. A. niger WU-2223L and EOAH-1 produced 15.6 and 28.9 g/l oxalic acid, respectively, during the 12-day cultivation period. The yield of oxalic acid for EOAH-1 was 64.2 % of the maximum theoretical yield. Our method for oxalic acid production gave the highest yield of any study reported to date. Therefore, we succeeded in generating oxalic acid hyperproducers by overexpressing a single gene, i.e., oahA, in citric acid-producing A. niger as a host.

  18. Epidemiological changes in meningococcal meningitis in Niger from 2008 to 2011 and the impact of vaccination

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The epidemiology of bacterial meningitis in the African ‘meningitis belt’ changes periodically. In order to design an effective vaccination strategy, we have examined the epidemiological and microbiological patterns of bacterial meningitis, and especially that of meningococcal meningitis, in Niger during the period 2008–2011. During this period a mass vaccination campaign with the newly developed meningococcal A conjugate vaccine (MenAfriVac®) was undertaken. Method Cerebrospinal fluid samples were collected from health facilities throughout Niger and analysed by culture, seroagglutination and/or speciation polymerase chain reaction, followed by genogrouping PCR for Neisseria meningitidis infections. A sample of strains were analysed by multi-locus sequence typing. Results N. meningitidis serogroup A cases were prevalent in 2008 and 2009 [98.6% and 97.5% of all N. meningitidis cases respectively]. The prevalence of serogroup A declined in 2010 [26.4%], with the emergence of serogroup W Sequence Type (ST) 11 [72.2% of cases], and the serogroup A meningococcus finally disappeared in 2011. The geographical distribution of cases N. meningitidis serogroups A and W within Niger is described. Conclusion The substantial decline of serogroup A cases that has been observed from 2010 onwards in Niger seems to be due to several factors including a major polysaccharide A/C vaccination campaign in 2009, the introduction of MenAfriVac® in 10 districts at risk in December 2010, the natural dynamics of meningococcal infection and the persistence of serogroup A sequence-type 7 for about 10 years. The emergence of serogroup W strains suggests that there may be a need for serogroup W containing vaccines in Niger in the coming years. PMID:24313998

  19. Physicochemical Properties Analysis and Secretome of Aspergillus niger in Fermented Rapeseed Meal

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Changyou; He, Jun; Yu, Jie; Yu, Bing; Mao, Xiangbing; Zheng, Ping; Huang, Zhiqing; Chen, Daiwen

    2016-01-01

    The nutrient digestibility and feeding value of rapeseed meal (RSM) for non-ruminant animals is poor due to the presence of anti-nutritional substances such as glucosinolate, phytic acid, crude fiber etc. In the present study, a solid state fermentation (SSF) using Aspergillus niger was carried out with the purpose of improving the nutritional quality of RSM. The chemical composition and physicochemical properties of RSM before and after fermentation were compared. To further understand possible mechanism of solid state fermentation, the composition of extracellular enzymes secreted by Aspergillus niger during fermentation was analysed using two-dimentional difference gel electrophoresis (2D-DIGE) combined with matrix assisted laser desorption ionization—time of flight—mass spectrometer (MALDI-TOF-MS). Results of the present study indicated that SSF had significant effects on chemical composition of RSM. The fermented rapeseed meal (FRSM) contained more crude protein (CP) and amino acid (AA) (except His) than unfermented RSM. Notably, the small peptide in FRSM was 2.26 time larger than that in unfermented RSM. Concentrations of anti-nutritional substrates in FRSM including neutral detergent fiber (NDF), glucosinolates, isothiocyanate, oxazolidithione, and phytic acid declined (P < 0.05) by 13.47, 43.07, 55.64, 44.68 and 86.09%, respectively, compared with unfermented RSM. A. niger fermentation disrupted the surface structure, changed macromolecular organic compounds, and reduced the protein molecular weights of RSM substrate. Total proteins of raw RSM and FRSM were separated and 51 protein spots were selected for mass spectrometry according to 2D-DIGE map. In identified proteins, there were 15 extracellular hydrolases secreted by A. niger including glucoamylase, acid protease, beta-glucanase, arabinofuranosidase, xylanase, and phytase. Some antioxidant related enzymes also were identified. These findings suggested that A. niger is able to secrete many

  20. Identification of Genes Associated with Morphology in Aspergillus Niger by Using Suppression Subtractive Hybridization

    SciTech Connect

    Dai, Ziyu; Mao, Xingxue; Magnuson, Jon K.; Lasure, Linda L.

    2004-04-01

    The morphology of citric acid production strains of Aspergillus niger is sensitive to a variety of factors including the concentration of manganese (Mn2+). Upon increasing the Mn2+ concentration in A. niger (ATCC 11414) cultures to 14 ppb or higher, the morphology switches from pelleted to filamentous, accompanied by a rapid decline in citric acid production. Molecular mechanisms through which Mn2+ exerts effects on morphology and citric acid production in A. niger have not been well defined, but our use of suppression subtractive hybridization has identified 22 genes responsive to Mn2+. Fifteen genes were differentially expressed when A. niger was grown in media containing 1000 ppb Mn2+ (filamentous form) and seven genes in 10 ppb Mn2+ (pelleted form). Of the fifteen filamentous-associated genes, seven are novel and eight share 47-100% identity to genes from other organisms. Five of the pellet-associated genes are novel, and the other two genes encode a pepsin-type protease and polyubiquitin. All ten genes with deduced functions are either involved in amino acid metabolism/protein catabolism or cell regulatory processes. Northern-blot analysis showed that the transcripts of all 22 genes were rapidly enhanced or suppressed by Mn2+. Steady-state mRNA levels of six selected filamentous associated genes remained high during five days of culture in a filamentous state and low under pelleted growth conditions. The opposite behavior was observed for four selected pellet-associated genes. The full-length cDNA of the filamentous-associated clone, Brsa-25 was isolated. Antisense expression of Brsa-25 permitted pelleted growth and increased citrate production at higher concentrations of Mn2+ than could be tolerated by the parent strain. The results suggest the involvement of the newly isolated genes in regulation of A. niger morphology.

  1. Physicochemical Properties Analysis and Secretome of Aspergillus niger in Fermented Rapeseed Meal.

    PubMed

    Shi, Changyou; He, Jun; Yu, Jie; Yu, Bing; Mao, Xiangbing; Zheng, Ping; Huang, Zhiqing; Chen, Daiwen

    2016-01-01

    The nutrient digestibility and feeding value of rapeseed meal (RSM) for non-ruminant animals is poor due to the presence of anti-nutritional substances such as glucosinolate, phytic acid, crude fiber etc. In the present study, a solid state fermentation (SSF) using Aspergillus niger was carried out with the purpose of improving the nutritional quality of RSM. The chemical composition and physicochemical properties of RSM before and after fermentation were compared. To further understand possible mechanism of solid state fermentation, the composition of extracellular enzymes secreted by Aspergillus niger during fermentation was analysed using two-dimentional difference gel electrophoresis (2D-DIGE) combined with matrix assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight-mass spectrometer (MALDI-TOF-MS). Results of the present study indicated that SSF had significant effects on chemical composition of RSM. The fermented rapeseed meal (FRSM) contained more crude protein (CP) and amino acid (AA) (except His) than unfermented RSM. Notably, the small peptide in FRSM was 2.26 time larger than that in unfermented RSM. Concentrations of anti-nutritional substrates in FRSM including neutral detergent fiber (NDF), glucosinolates, isothiocyanate, oxazolidithione, and phytic acid declined (P < 0.05) by 13.47, 43.07, 55.64, 44.68 and 86.09%, respectively, compared with unfermented RSM. A. niger fermentation disrupted the surface structure, changed macromolecular organic compounds, and reduced the protein molecular weights of RSM substrate. Total proteins of raw RSM and FRSM were separated and 51 protein spots were selected for mass spectrometry according to 2D-DIGE map. In identified proteins, there were 15 extracellular hydrolases secreted by A. niger including glucoamylase, acid protease, beta-glucanase, arabinofuranosidase, xylanase, and phytase. Some antioxidant related enzymes also were identified. These findings suggested that A. niger is able to secrete many extracellular

  2. Comparative genomics and transcriptome analysis of Aspergillus niger and metabolic engineering for citrate production

    PubMed Central

    Yin, Xian; Shin, Hyun-dong; Li, Jianghua; Du, Guocheng; Liu, Long; Chen, Jian

    2017-01-01

    Despite a long and successful history of citrate production in Aspergillus niger, the molecular mechanism of citrate accumulation is only partially understood. In this study, we used comparative genomics and transcriptome analysis of citrate-producing strains—namely, A. niger H915-1 (citrate titer: 157 g L−1), A1 (117 g L−1), and L2 (76 g L−1)—to gain a genome-wide view of the mechanism of citrate accumulation. Compared with A. niger A1 and L2, A. niger H915-1 contained 92 mutated genes, including a succinate-semialdehyde dehydrogenase in the γ-aminobutyric acid shunt pathway and an aconitase family protein involved in citrate synthesis. Furthermore, transcriptome analysis of A. niger H915-1 revealed that the transcription levels of 479 genes changed between the cell growth stage (6 h) and the citrate synthesis stage (12 h, 24 h, 36 h, and 48 h). In the glycolysis pathway, triosephosphate isomerase was up-regulated, whereas pyruvate kinase was down-regulated. Two cytosol ATP-citrate lyases, which take part in the cycle of citrate synthesis, were up-regulated, and may coordinate with the alternative oxidases in the alternative respiratory pathway for energy balance. Finally, deletion of the oxaloacetate acetylhydrolase gene in H915-1 eliminated oxalate formation but neither influence on pH decrease nor difference in citrate production were observed. PMID:28106122

  3. Holocene palaeoenvironmental changes in the central Sahara (NE-Niger)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brauneck, J.; Baumhauer, R.

    2009-04-01

    Although a high number of investigations focussed on the succession of climatological conditions in the Central Sahara, some uncertainties still exist as some of the results show discontinuities and mostly are of low temporal and spatial resolution. Two expeditions in 2005 and 2006 headed to the northeastern parts of Niger to investigate the known remains of palaeolakes and search some new and undetected ones. The sediments found at several sites were investigated in order to receive a complete picture of the Late Quaternary environmental settings and to produce high-resolution proxies for palaeoclimate modelling. The most valuable and best-investigated study site is the sebkha of Seggedim, where a core of 15 meters length could be extracted which revealed a composition of high-resolution sections. Stratigraphical, structural and geochemical investigations as well as the analysis of thin sections allow the characterisation of different environmental conditions throughout the core. Most importantly, a complex age-depth model could be constructed, based on 21 accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) radiocarbon measurements and reaching from Early to Mid Holocene. Driven by climate and hydrogeological influence, the water body developed from a water pond of several metres depth within a stable, grass and shrub vegetated landscape, to a freshwater lake in a more dynamic environmental setting. Radiocarbon dates set the beginning of the stage at about 10.6 ka cal BP, with an exceptionally stable regime to 6.6 ka cal BP (at 12.6 metres' depth), when a major change in the sedimentation regime of the basin is recorded in the core. Increased erosion, likely due to decreased vegetation cover within the basin, led to the filling of the lake within a few hundred years and the subsequent development of a sebkha due to massive evaporation. Due to the lack of dateable material in the upper core section, the termination of the lake stage and the onset of the subsequent sebkha stage

  4. The heron that laid the golden egg: metals and metalloids in ibis, darter, cormorant, heron, and egret eggs from the Vaal River catchment, South Africa.

    PubMed

    van der Schyff, V; Pieters, R; Bouwman, H

    2016-06-01

    Metal pollution issues are afforded the highest priority in developing countries. Only one previous study has addressed metals in African bird eggs. We determined the concentration of metals and metalloids in bird eggs from four sites in the Vaal River catchment (VRC) of South Africa to provide data on the current situation. We analysed 16 pools of 77 heron, ibis, darter, egret, and cormorant eggs for 18 metals and metalloids using ICP-MS. We found high concentrations of gold (Au), uranium (U), thallium (Tl), and platinum (Pt) in Grey Heron eggs from Baberspan. Great white egrets from Bloemhof Dam had high concentrations of mercury (Hg). Multivariate analyses revealed strong associations between Au and U, and between palladium (Pd) and Pt. The toxic reference value (TRV) for Hg was exceeded in seven pools. Selenium exceeded its TRV in one pool; in the same pool, copper (Cu) reached its TRV. Compared with other studies, VRC bird eggs had high concentrations of contaminants. Based on these high concentrations, human health might be at risk as Grey Herons and humans share similar food and are therefore exposed to the same contaminants.

  5. Reduced by-product formation and modified oxygen availability improve itaconic acid production in Aspergillus niger.

    PubMed

    Li, An; Pfelzer, Nina; Zuijderwijk, Robbert; Brickwedde, Anja; van Zeijl, Cora; Punt, Peter

    2013-05-01

    Aspergillus niger has an extraordinary potential to produce organic acids as proven by its application in industrial citric acid production. Previously, it was shown that expression of the cis-aconitate decarboxylase gene (cadA) from Aspergillus terreus converted A. niger into an itaconic acid producer (Li et al., Fungal Genet Bio 48: 602-611, 2011). After some initial steps in production optimization in the previous research (Li et al., BMC biotechnol 12: 57, 2012), this research aims at modifying host strains and fermentation conditions to further improve itaconic acid production. Expression of two previously identified A. terreus genes encoding putative organic acid transporters (mttA, mfsA) increased itaconic acid production in an A. niger cis-aconitate decarboxylase expressing strain. Surprisingly, the production did not increase further when both transporters were expressed together. Meanwhile, oxalic acid was accumulated as a by-product in the culture of mfsA transformants. In order to further increase itaconic acid production and eliminate by-product formation, the non-acidifying strain D15#26 and the oxaloacetate acetylhydrolase (oahA) deletion strain AB 1.13 ∆oahA #76 have been analyzed for itaconic acid production. Whereas cadA expression in AB 1.13 ∆oahA #76 resulted in higher itaconic acid production than strain CAD 10.1, this was not the case in strain D15#26. As expected, oxalic acid production was eliminated in both strains. In a further attempt to increase itaconic acid levels, an improved basal citric acid-producing strain, N201, was used for cadA expression. A selected transformant (N201CAD) produced more itaconic acid than strain CAD 10.1, derived from A. niger strain AB1.13. Subsequently, we have focused on the influence of dissolved oxygen (D.O.) on itaconic acid production. Interestingly, reduced D.O. levels (10-25 %) increased itaconic acid production using strain N201 CAD. Similar results were obtained in strain AB 1.13 CAD + HBD2

  6. The Military Dimension of the Niger Delta Crisis: Increasing the Effectiveness of Security Forces Through Information Operations

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-06-11

    on the happenings in the Niger Delta region. Much of the writings on the Niger Delta are from the marginalization, human rights or descriptive ...complacency of the western world who he said are only interested in the proverbial golden eggs while neglecting the goose that lays it (Peel 2009...government‘s side; and the use of minimum force to avoid alienating the local population‖ (Dixon 2009, 4). Lieutenant Colonel Bridgewater, in his description

  7. Growth and hydrolase profiles can be used as characteristics to distinguish Aspergillus niger and other black aspergilli.

    PubMed

    Meijer, M; Houbraken, J A M P; Dalhuijsen, S; Samson, R A; de Vries, R P

    2011-06-30

    Wild type Aspergillus niger isolates from different biotopes from all over the world were compared to each other and to the type strains of other black Aspergillus species with respect to growth and extracellular enzyme profiles. The origin of the A. niger isolate did not result in differences in growth profile with respect to monomeric or polymeric carbon sources. Differences were observed in the growth rate of the A. niger isolates, but these were observed on all carbon sources and not specific for a particular carbon source. In contrast, carbon source specific differences were observed between the different species. Aspergillus brasiliensis is the only species able to grow on D-galactose, and A. aculeatus had significantly better growth on Locus Bean gum than the other species. Only small differences were found in the extracellular enzyme profile of the A. niger isolates during growth on wheat bran, while large differences were observed in the profiles of the different black aspergilli. In addition, differences were observed in temperature profiles between the black Aspergillus species, but not between the A. niger isolates, demonstrating no isolate-specific adaptations to the environment.These data indicate that the local environment does not result in stable adaptations of A. niger with respect to growth profile or enzyme production, but that the potential is maintained irrespective of the environmental parameters. It also demonstrates that growth, extracellular protein and temperature profiles can be used for species identification within the group of black aspergilli.

  8. Bioaccumulation potential of Aspergillus niger and Aspergillus flavus for removal of heavy metals from paper mill effluent.

    PubMed

    Thippeswamy, B; Shivakumar, C K; Krishnappa, M

    2012-11-01

    In the present study Aspergillus niger and Aspergillus flavus isolated from paper mill effluent showed tolerance and accumulation of toxic metals Ni, Zn, Cd, Pb, Cr and Cu from synthetic medium and paper mill effluent. Physico-chemical and heavy metals characterization of industrially treated paper mill effluent showed insignificant reduction in BOD, hardness, TDS and heavy metals as compared to permissible limits of BIS and WHO. A. niger and A. flavus were treated with synthetic medium containing 100-1000 mg l(-1) of six heavy metals. A. niger was able to tolerate and grow in 1000 mg l(-1) Pb, 500 mg l(-1) Cu, 250 mg l(-1) Zn and 100 mg l(-1) Cr, Ni respectively. No growth of A. niger was observed in 100 mg l-(-1) of Cd. A. flavus was capable to tolerate and grow in 1000 mg l(-1) Pb, Zn and Ni, 100mg l(-1) Cu. A. flavus growth was completely inhibited in 100 mg l(-1) of Cd and Cr. The Cd, Zn, Cu and Pb reduction were found significant (p < 0.05) in the paper effluent inoculated with A. niger and A. flavus biomass compared to industrial treated effluent. A. niger and A. flavus accumulated maximum of Pb (75.82%) followed by Zn (49.40%) > Cu (45.34%) > Ni (25.20%), while only 41% Cr was accumulated by A. nigerfrom 100 mg l(-1) of Cr solution.

  9. Genomic analysis of the aconidial and high-performance protein producer, industrially relevant Aspergillus niger SH2 strain.

    PubMed

    Yin, Chao; Wang, Bin; He, Pan; Lin, Ying; Pan, Li

    2014-05-15

    Aspergillus niger is usually regarded as a beneficial species widely used in biotechnological industry. Obtaining the genome sequence of the widely used aconidial A. niger SH2 strain is of great importance to understand its unusual production capability. In this study we assembled a high-quality genome sequence of A. niger SH2 with approximately 11,517 ORFs. Relatively high proportion of genes enriched for protein expression related FunCat items verify its efficient capacity in protein production. Furthermore, genome-wide comparative analysis between A. niger SH2 and CBS513.88 reveals insights into unique properties of A. niger SH2. A. niger SH2 lacks the gene related with the initiation of asexual sporulation (PrpA), leading to its distinct aconidial phenotype. Frame shift mutations and non-synonymous SNPs in genes of cell wall integrity signaling, β-1,3-glucan synthesis and chitin synthesis influence its cell wall development which is important for its hyphal fragmentation during industrial high-efficiency protein production.

  10. Hypersensitivity testing for Aspergillus fumigatus IgE is significantly more sensitive than testing for Aspergillus niger IgE.

    PubMed

    Selvaggi, Thomas A; Walco, Jeremy P; Parikh, Sujal; Walco, Gary A

    2012-02-01

    We sought to determine if sufficient redundancy exists between specific IgE testing for Aspergillus fumigatus and Aspergillus niger to eliminate one of the assays in determining Aspergillus hypersensitivity. We reviewed regional laboratory results comparing A fumigatus-specific IgE with A niger-specific IgE using the Pharmacia UniCAP system (Pharmacia, Kalamazoo, MI). By using the Fisher exact test as an index of concordance among paired results, we showed a significant difference between 109 paired samples for the presence of specific IgE to A fumigatus and A niger (P < .0001). Of these specimens, 94 were negative for IgE to both species, 10 were positive for A fumigatus and negative for A niger; no specimen was positive for A niger and negative for A fumigatus. We conclude that A fumigatus-specific IgE is sufficient to detect Aspergillus hypersensitivity. The assay for A niger-specific IgE is redundant, less sensitive, and unnecessary if the assay for specific IgE for A fumigatus is performed.

  11. Soil Dust Aerosols and Wind as Predictors of Seasonal Meningitis Incidence in Niger

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Perez Garcia Pando, Carlos; Stanton, Michelle C.; Diggle, Peter J.; Trzaska, Sylwia; Miller, Ron L.; Perlwitz, Jan P.; Baldasano, Jose M.; Cuevas, Emilio; Ceccato, Pietro; Yaka, Pascal; Thomson, Madeleine C.

    2014-01-01

    Background: Epidemics of meningococcal meningitis are concentrated in sub-Saharan Africa during the dry season, a period when the region is affected by the Harmattan, a dry and dusty northeasterly trade wind blowing from the Sahara into the Gulf of Guinea.Objectives: We examined the potential of climate-based statistical forecasting models to predict seasonal incidence of meningitis in Niger at both the national and district levels.Data and methods: We used time series of meningitis incidence from 1986 through 2006 for 38 districts in Niger. We tested models based on data that would be readily available in an operational framework, such as climate and dust, population, and the incidence of early cases before the onset of the meningitis season in January-May. Incidence was used as a proxy for immunological state.

  12. Expression of catalytic subunit of bovine enterokinase in the filamentous fungus Aspergillus niger.

    PubMed

    Svetina, M; Krasevec, N; Gaberc-Porekar, V; Komel, R

    2000-01-21

    The cDNA encoding for catalytic subunit of bovine enterokinase (EK(L)), to which the sequence for Kex2 protease cleavage site was inserted, was expressed in the protease deficient filamentous fungus Aspergillus niger AB1.13. Fungal transformants were obtained in which expression of the glucoamylase fusion gene resulted in secretion of the protein into growth medium. Fusion polypeptide was processed to mature EK(L) by endogenous Kex-2 like protease cleavage during secretory pathway. The highest quantity of EK(L), up to 5 mg l(-1), was obtained in soya milk medium. The secreted EK(L) was easily purified from other proteins found in A. niger culture supernatant, using ion exchange and affinity chromatography. The yield of the purified and highly active EK(L) was 1.9 mg l(-1) of culture.

  13. Enzymatic detergent formulation containing amylase from Aspergillus niger: a comparative study with commercial detergent formulations.

    PubMed

    Mitidieri, Sydnei; Souza Martinelli, Anne Helene; Schrank, Augusto; Vainstein, Marilene Henning

    2006-07-01

    There is a wide range of biotechnological applications for amylases, including the textile, pharmaceutical, food and laundry industries. Hydrolytic enzymes are 100% biodegradable and enzymatic detergents can achieve effective cleaning with lukewarm water. Microorganisms and culture media were tested for amylase production and the best producer was Aspergillus niger L119 (3.9 U ml(-1) +/- 0.2) in submerged culture and its amylase demonstrated excellent activity at 50-55 degrees C and pH 4.0, remaining stable at 53 degrees C for up to 200 h. In order to establish the potential uses of this enzyme in detergents, different formulations were tested using the A. niger amylase extract. Enzyme activity was compared with three commercial formulations. The detergents are used in hospitals to clean surgical and endoscopy equipment. The presence of amylase in the formulation is because of its action within hospital drainage system, whether or not it has any function in cleaning the equipment.

  14. Additive action of honey and starch against Candida albicans and Aspergillus niger.

    PubMed

    Boukraâ, Laid; Bouchegrane, Sarah

    2007-12-31

    A comparative method of adding honey to culture media with and without starch was used to evaluate the action of starch on the antifungal activity of honey. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) expressed in % (v/v) for two varieties of honey without starch against Candida albicans was 42% and 46%, respectively. For Aspergillus niger the MIC without starch was 51% and 59%, respectively. When starch was incubated with honey and then added to media the MIC for C. albicans was 28% and 38%, respectively, with a starch concentration of 3.6% whereas the MIC for A. niger was 40% and 45%, with a starch concentration of 5.6% and 5.1% respectively. This study suggests that the amylase present in honey increases the osmotic effect in the media by increasing the amount of sugars and consequently increasing the antifungal activity.

  15. Secretome data from Trichoderma reesei and Aspergillus niger cultivated in submerged and sequential fermentation methods.

    PubMed

    Florencio, Camila; Cunha, Fernanda M; Badino, Alberto C; Farinas, Cristiane S; Ximenes, Eduardo; Ladisch, Michael R

    2016-09-01

    The cultivation procedure and the fungal strain applied for enzyme production may influence levels and profile of the proteins produced. The proteomic analysis data presented here provide critical information to compare proteins secreted by Trichoderma reesei and Aspergillus niger when cultivated through submerged and sequential fermentation processes, using steam-explosion sugarcane bagasse as inducer for enzyme production. The proteins were organized according to the families described in CAZy database as cellulases, hemicellulases, proteases/peptidases, cell-wall-protein, lipases, others (catalase, esterase, etc.), glycoside hydrolases families, predicted and hypothetical proteins. Further detailed analysis of this data is provided in "Secretome analysis of Trichoderma reesei and Aspergillus niger cultivated by submerged and sequential fermentation process: enzyme production for sugarcane bagasse hydrolysis" C. Florencio, F.M. Cunha, A.C Badino, C.S. Farinas, E. Ximenes, M.R. Ladisch (2016) [1].

  16. Kinetics of cellobiose hydrolysis using cellobiase composites from Trichoderma reesei and Aspergillus niger

    SciTech Connect

    Grous, W.; Converse, A.; Grethlein, H.; Lynd, L.

    1985-01-01

    The enzymatic hydrolysis of cellulose to glucose involves the formation of cellobiose as an intermediate. It has been found necessary to add cellobiase from Aspergillus niger (NOVO) to the cellobiase component of Trichoderma reesei mutant Rut C-30 (Natick) cellulase enzymes in order to obtain after 48 h complete conversion of the cellobiose formed in the enzymatic hydrolysis of biomass. This study of the cellobiase activity of these two enzyme sources was undertaken as a first step in the formation of a kinetic model for cellulose hydrolysis that can be used in process design. In order to cover the full range of cellobiose concentrations, it was necessary to develop separate kinetic parameters for high- and low-concentration ranges of cellobiose for the enzymes from each organism. Competitive glucose inhibition was observed with the enzymes from both organisms. Substrate inhibition was observed only with the A. niger enzymes.

  17. Isolation and structure of the pectin lyase D-encoding gene from Aspergillus niger.

    PubMed

    Gysler, C; Harmsen, J A; Kester, H C; Visser, J; Heim, J

    1990-04-30

    The filamentous fungus, Aspergillus niger, produces a number of extracellular pectin-degrading enzymes. We present here the isolation and the complete nucleotide sequence of the gene, pelD, coding for a pectin lyase D (PLD), which was previously described as pectin lyase I (Van Houdenhoven, Ph.D. Thesis, Wageningen, 1975). The deduced amino acid (aa) sequence corresponds to 373 aa residues including a signal peptide of 19 aa. The coding region is interrupted by four short introns (57-65 bp). The nucleotide sequence of the 5'- and 3'-flanking regions is also presented and shows no unusual features. By comparing the deduced aa sequences of the A. niger PLD and a number of bacterial pectate lyases, short regions of homology were found despite the different substrate specificities (high methoxyl-pectin versus low methoxyl-pectin or polygalacturonate) of these enzymes.

  18. Morphological transitions under oxidative stress in response to metabolite formation in Aspergillus niger.

    PubMed

    Lv, Yangyong; Zhou, Feng; Wang, Bin; Pan, Li

    2015-03-01

    Oxidative stress is associated with metabolite formation in fungi. In contrast to an Aspergillus niger wild-type strain, a sclerotia-formation regulator ansclR deletion strain demonstrated increased susceptibility to oxidative stress and reduced transcription of the catalase gene, catB, while an ansclR overexpression strain showed enhanced resistance to oxidative stress and increased expression of catB. In addition, ansclR complementation strain expressed a wild-type level of catB. The ansclR overexpression strain also produced the same metabolites as the wild type strain treated with H2O2. Furthermore, LC-MS, NMR, and IR analyses showed that the main metabolite was a steroid analog. Our study adds new clues to oxidative stress-related factors and metabolite formation in A. niger.

  19. Efficient Conversion of Inulin to Inulooligosaccharides through Endoinulinase from Aspergillus niger.

    PubMed

    Xu, Yanbing; Zheng, Zhaojuan; Xu, Qianqian; Yong, Qiang; Ouyang, Jia

    2016-03-30

    Inulooligosaccharides (IOS) represent an important class of oligosaccharides at industrial scale. An efficient conversion of inulin to IOS through endoinulinase from Aspergillus niger is presented. A 1482 bp codon optimized gene fragment encoding endoinulinase from A. niger DSM 2466 was cloned into pPIC9K vector and was transformed into Pichia pastoris KM71. Maximum activity of the recombinant endoinulinase, 858 U/mL, was obtained at 120 h of the high cell density fermentation process. The optimal conditions for inulin hydrolysis using the recombinant endoinulinase were investigated. IOS were harvested with a high concentration of 365.1 g/L and high yield up to 91.3%. IOS with different degrees of polymerization (DP, mainly DP 3-6) were distributed in the final reaction products.

  20. Inhibition of Aspergillus niger phosphate solubilization by fluoride released from rock phosphate.

    PubMed

    Mendes, Gilberto de Oliveira; Vassilev, Nikolay Bojkov; Bonduki, Victor Hugo Araújo; da Silva, Ivo Ribeiro; Ribeiro, José Ivo; Costa, Maurício Dutra

    2013-08-01

    The simultaneous release of various chemical elements with inhibitory potential for phosphate solubilization from rock phosphate (RP) was studied in this work. Al, B, Ba, Ca, F, Fe, Mn, Mo, Na, Ni, Pb, Rb, Si, Sr, V, Zn, and Zr were released concomitantly with P during the solubilization of Araxá RP (Brazil), but only F showed inhibitory effects on the process at the concentrations detected in the growth medium. Besides P solubilization, fluoride decreased fungal growth, citric acid production, and medium acidification by Aspergillus niger. At the maximum concentration found during Araxá RP solubilization (22.9 mg F(-) per liter), fluoride decreased P solubilization by 55%. These findings show that fluoride negatively affects RP solubilization by A. niger through its inhibitory action on the fungal metabolism. Given that fluoride is a common component of RPs, the data presented here suggest that most of the microbial RP solubilization systems studied so far were probably operated under suboptimal conditions.

  1. [Understanding the non-use of long-lasting impregnated nets (LLINs) in Niger].

    PubMed

    Faye, S L

    2012-01-01

    In Niger, malaria is the leading cause of mortality and morbidity among pregnant women and children under 5 years. To decrease these rates, the country initiated a prevention policy of free distribution of long-lasting impregnated nets (LLINs). However, improved physical access to this preventive tool has not led to its regular use in households. A nationally representative quantitative and qualitative survey sought to document the reasons for non-use. The results show that the possession of a LLIN is quite low and confirm the low utilization rate, with significant differences by region. Cultural beliefs are not the main barriers to the use of LLINs in Niger. Knowledge and social, technical, environmental and economic dimensions were all more decisive. These results suggest that while improving awareness and communication is important for changing behavior, it cannot alone remove certain socioeconomic barriers and improve LLIN use.

  2. Agricultural residues for cellulolytic enzyme production by Aspergillus niger: effects of pretreatment.

    PubMed

    Salihu, Aliyu; Abbas, Olagunju; Sallau, Abdullahi Balarabe; Alam, Md Zahangir

    2015-12-01

    Different agricultural residues were considered in this study for their ability to support cellulolytic enzyme production by Aspergillus niger. A total of eleven agricultural residues including finger millet hulls, sorghum hulls, soybean hulls, groundnut husk, banana peels, corn stalk, cassava peels, sugarcane bagasse, saw dust, rice straw and sheanut cake were subjected to three pretreatment (acid, alkali and oxidative) methods. All the residues supported the growth and production of cellulases by A. niger after 96 h of incubation. Maximum cellulase production was found in alkali-treated soybean hulls with CMCase, FPase and β-glucosidase yields of 9.91 ± 0.04, 6.20 ± 0.13 and 5.69 ± 0.29 U/g, respectively. Further studies in assessing the potential of soybean hulls are being considered to optimize the medium composition and process parameters for enhanced cellulase production.

  3. Review of secondary metabolites and mycotoxins from the Aspergillus niger group.

    PubMed

    Nielsen, Kristian Fog; Mogensen, Jesper Mølgaard; Johansen, Maria; Larsen, Thomas O; Frisvad, Jens Christian

    2009-11-01

    Filamentous fungi in the Aspergillus section Nigri (the black aspergilli) represent some of the most widespread food and feed contaminants known but they are also some of the most important workhorses used by the biotechnological industry. The Nigri section consists of six commonly found species (excluding A. aculeatus and its close relatives) from which currently 145 different secondary metabolites have been isolated and/or detected. From a human and animal safety point of view, the mycotoxins ochratoxin A (from A. carbonarius and less frequently A. niger) and fumonisin B(2) (from A. niger) are currently the most problematic compounds. Especially in foods and feeds such as coffee, nuts, dried fruits, and grape-based products where fumonisin-producing fusaria are not a problem, fumonisins pose a risk. Moreover, compounds such as malformins, naptho-gamma-pyrones, and bicoumarins (kotanins) call for monitoring in food, feed, and biotechnology products as well as for a better toxicological evaluation, since they are often produced in large amounts by the black aspergilli. For chemical differentiation/identification of the less toxic species the diketopiperazine asperazine can be used as a positive marker since it is consistently produced by A. tubingensis (177 of 177 strains tested) and A. acidus (47 of 47 strains tested) but never by A. niger (140 strains tested). Naptho-gamma-pyrones are the compounds produced in the highest quantities and are produced by all six common species in the group (A. niger 134 of 140; A. tubingensis 169 of 177; A. acidus 44 of 47; A. carbonarius 40 of 40, A. brasiliensis 18 of 18; and A. ibericus three of three).

  4. A possible water-soluble inducer for synthesis of cellulase in Aspergillus niger.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jian-Guo; Li, Qi-Meng; Thakur, Kiran; Faisal, Shah; Wei, Zhao-Jun

    2017-02-01

    The synthesis of cellulase in filamentous fungi can be triggered by several inducers. In this study, a bamboo-shoot shell pretreated with Pleurotus ostreatus could promote the formation of cellulases in Aspergillus niger. Further identification, including UPLC-TOF-MS, ultrafiltration, and FT-IR, denoted that the soluble inducer was not a traditional disaccharide but a type of modified lignin polymer. This revelation may result in incipient strategies to ameliorate cellulase productivity.

  5. Integrated NDVI images for Niger 1986-1987. [Normalized Difference Vegetation Index

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Harrington, John A., Jr.; Wylie, Bruce K.; Tucker, Compton J.

    1988-01-01

    Two NOAA AVHRR images are presented which provide a comparison of the geographic distribution of an integration of the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) for the Sahel zone in Niger for the growing seasons of 1986 and 1987. The production of the images and the application of the images for resource management are discussed. Daily large area coverage with a spatial resolution of 1.1 km at nadir were transformed to the NDVI and geographically registered to produce the images.

  6. Cytosolic streaming in vegetative mycelium and aerial structures of Aspergillus niger.

    PubMed

    Bleichrodt, R; Vinck, A; Krijgsheld, P; van Leeuwen, M R; Dijksterhuis, J; Wösten, H A B

    2013-03-15

    Aspergillus niger forms aerial hyphae and conidiophores after a period of vegetative growth. The hyphae within the mycelium of A. niger are divided by septa. The central pore in these septa allows for cytoplasmic streaming. Here, we studied inter- and intra-compartmental streaming of the reporter protein GFP in A. niger. Expression of the gene encoding nuclear targeted GFP from the gpdA or glaA promoter resulted in strong fluorescence of nuclei within the vegetative hyphae and weak fluorescence in nuclei within the aerial structures. These data and nuclear run on experiments showed that gpdA and glaA are higher expressed in the vegetative mycelium when compared to aerial hyphae, conidiophores and conidia. Notably, gpdA or glaA driven expression of the gene encoding cytosolic GFP resulted in strongly fluorescent vegetative hyphae and aerial structures. Apparently, GFP streams from vegetative hyphae into aerial structures. This was confirmed by monitoring fluorescence of photo-activatable GFP (PA-GFP). In contrast, PA-GFP did not stream from aerial structures to vegetative hyphae. Streaming of PA-GFP within vegetative hyphae or within aerial structures of A. niger occurred at a rate of 10-15 μm s(-1). Taken together, these results not only show that GFP streams from the vegetative mycelium to aerial structures but it also indicates that its encoding RNA is not streaming. Absence of RNA streaming would explain why distinct RNA profiles were found in aerial structures and the vegetative mycelium by nuclear run on analysis and micro-array analysis.

  7. An artificially constructed Syngonium podophyllum-Aspergillus niger combinate system for removal of uranium from wastewater.

    PubMed

    He, Jia-dong; Wang, Yong-dong; Hu, Nan; Ding, Dexin; Sun, Jing; Deng, Qin-wen; Li, Chang-wu; Xu, Fei

    2015-12-01

    Aspergillus niger was inoculated to the roots of five plants, and the Syngonium podophyllum-A. niger combinate system (SPANCS) was found to be the most effective in removing uranium from hydroponic liquid with initial uranium concentration of 5 mg L(-1). Furthermore, the hydroponic experiments on the removal of uranium from the hydroponic liquids with initial uranium concentrations of 0.5, 1.0, and 3.0 mg L(-1) by the SPANCS were conducted, the inhibitory effect of A. niger on the growth of S. podophyllum in the SPANCS was studied, the accumulation characteristics of uranium by S. podophyllum in the SPANCS were analyzed, and the Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) and extended X-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) spectra were measured. The results show that the removal of uranium by the SPANCS from the hydroponic liquids with initial uranium concentrations of 0.5, 1.0, and 3.0 mg L(-1) reached 98.20, 97.90, and 98.50%, respectively, after 37 days of accumulation of uranium; that the uranium concentrations in the hydroponic liquids decreased to 0.009, 0.021, and 0.045 mg L(-1), respectively, which are lower than the stipulated concentration for discharge of 0.050 mg L(-1) by the People's Republic of China; that A. niger helped to generate more groups in the root of S. podophyllum which can improve the complexing capability of S. podophyllum for uranium; and that the uranium accumulated in the root of S. podophyllum was in the form of phosphate uranyl and carboxylic uranyl.

  8. Genome mining and functional genomics for siderophore production in Aspergillus niger.

    PubMed

    Franken, Angelique C W; Lechner, Beatrix E; Werner, Ernst R; Haas, Hubertus; Lokman, B Christien; Ram, Arthur F J; van den Hondel, Cees A M J J; de Weert, Sandra; Punt, Peter J

    2014-11-01

    Iron is an essential metal for many organisms, but the biologically relevant form of iron is scarce because of rapid oxidation resulting in low solubility. Simultaneously, excessive accumulation of iron is toxic. Consequently, iron uptake is a highly controlled process. In most fungal species, siderophores play a central role in iron handling. Siderophores are small iron-specific chelators that can be secreted to scavenge environmental iron or bind intracellular iron with high affinity. A second high-affinity iron uptake mechanism is reductive iron assimilation (RIA). As shown in Aspergillus fumigatus and Aspergillus nidulans, synthesis of siderophores in Aspergilli is predominantly under control of the transcription factors SreA and HapX, which are connected by a negative transcriptional feedback loop. Abolishing this fine-tuned regulation corroborates iron homeostasis, including heme biosynthesis, which could be biotechnologically of interest, e.g. the heterologous production of heme-dependent peroxidases. Aspergillus niger genome inspection identified orthologues of several genes relevant for RIA and siderophore metabolism, as well as sreA and hapX. Interestingly, genes related to synthesis of the common fungal extracellular siderophore triacetylfusarinine C were absent. Reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) confirmed the absence of triacetylfusarinine C, and demonstrated that the major secreted siderophores of A. niger are coprogen B and ferrichrome, which is also the dominant intracellular siderophore. In A. niger wild type grown under iron-replete conditions, the expression of genes involved in coprogen biosynthesis and RIA was low in the exponential growth phase but significantly induced during ascospore germination. Deletion of sreA in A. niger resulted in elevated iron uptake and increased cellular ferrichrome accumulation. Increased sensitivity toward phleomycin and high iron concentration reflected the toxic effects of excessive

  9. Disparity in Democracies: A Comparative Case Study of Mali and Niger

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-12-01

    ANDP Alliance Nigeriennepour la Democratie et le Progres APDF Association pour le Progres et la Defense des Droits de Femme Maliennes ARD Alliance...democratic consolidation was negatively impacted during this period. Among other problems, Freedom House’s critique of Niger’s drop in PR was... Droits de la Femme and more liberal Islamic associations, such as Islamic Action, an association of Muslim intellectuals. The debate over excision

  10. Cryptic Species and Azole Resistance in the Aspergillus niger Complex▿†

    PubMed Central

    Howard, Susan J.; Harrison, Elizabeth; Bowyer, Paul; Varga, Janos; Denning, David W.

    2011-01-01

    Aspergillus niger is a common clinical isolate. Multiple species comprise the Aspergillus section Nigri and are separable using sequence data. The antifungal susceptibility of these cryptic species is not known. We determined the azole MICs of 50 black aspergilli, 45 from clinical specimens, using modified EUCAST (mEUCAST) and Etest methods. Phylogenetic trees were prepared using the internal transcribed spacer, beta-tubulin, and calmodulin sequences to identify strains to species level and the results were compared with those obtained with cyp51A sequences. We attempted to correlate cyp51A mutations with azole resistance. Etest MICs were significantly different from mEUCAST MICs (P < 0.001), with geometric means of 0.77 and 2.79 mg/liter, respectively. Twenty-six of 50 (52%) isolates were itraconazole resistant by mEUCAST (MICs > 8 mg/liter), with limited cross-resistance to other azoles. Using combined beta-tubulin/calmodulin sequences, the 45 clinical isolates grouped into 5 clades, A. awamori (55.6%), A. tubingensis (17.8%), A. niger (13.3%), A. acidus (6.7%), and an unknown group (6.7%), none of which were morphologically distinguishable. Itraconazole resistance was found in 36% of the isolates in the A. awamori group, 90% of the A. tubingensis group, 33% of the A. niger group, 100% of the A. acidus group, and 67% of the unknown group. These data suggest that cyp51A mutations in section Nigri may not play as important a role in azole resistance as in A. fumigatus, although some mutations (G427S, K97T) warrant further study. Numerous cryptic species are found in clinical isolates of the Aspergillus section Nigri and are best reported as “A. niger complex” by clinical laboratories. Itraconazole resistance was common in this data set, but azole cross-resistance was unusual. The mechanism of resistance remains obscure. PMID:21768508

  11. Evaluation of the catalase promoter for expressing the alkaline xylanase gene (alx) in Aspergillus niger.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Ruchika; Katoch, Meenu; Govindappa, Nagraj; Srivastava, P S; Sastry, Kedarnath N; Qazi, Ghulam Nabi

    2012-02-01

    Aspergillus niger represents a promising host for the expression of recombinant proteins, but only a few expression systems are available for this organism. In this study, the inducible catalase promoter (PcatR) from A. niger was characterized. For this, constructs were developed and checked for the expression of the alkaline xylanase gene transcriptionally fused under the cat R promoter. Two versions of the catalase (catR) promoter sequence from A. niger (P(cat300,) P(cat924)) were isolated and tested for their ability to drive expression of the alkaline xylanase (alx) gene. P(cat924) showed better efficiency (more than 10-fold increase in AlX activity compared to P(cat300)) under the optimized culture conditions. Induction of the catR promoter with 0.20% H(2)O(2) and 1.5% CaCO(3) in the culture medium, further increased expression of AlX 2.61- and 2.20-fold, respectively, clarifying its inducible nature. Specific induction or repression of the catR promoter provides the possibility for utilization of this promoter in heterologous protein production.

  12. High Survival of Lasius niger during Summer Flooding in a European Grassland.

    PubMed

    Hertzog, Lionel R; Ebeling, Anne; Meyer, Sebastian T; Eisenhauer, Nico; Fischer, Christine; Hildebrandt, Anke; Wagg, Cameron; Weisser, Wolfgang W

    2016-01-01

    Climate change is projected to increase the frequency of extreme events, such as flooding and droughts, which are anticipated to have negative effects on the biodiversity of primary producers and consequently the associated consumer communities. Here we assessed the effects of an extreme early summer flooding event in 2013 on ant colonies along an experimental gradient of plant species richness in a temperate grassland. We tested the effects of flood duration, plant species richness, plant cover, soil temperature, and soil porosity on ant occurrence and abundance. We found that the ant community was dominated by Lasius niger, whose presence and abundance after the flood was not significantly affected by any of the tested variables, including plant species richness. We found the same level of occupation by L. niger at the field site after the flood (surveyed in 2013) as before the flood (surveyed in 2006). Thus, there were no negative effects of the flood on the presence of L. niger in the plots. We can exclude recolonisation as a possible explanation of ant presence in the field site due to the short time period between the end of the flood and survey as well as to the absence of a spatial pattern in the occupancy data. Thus, the omnipresence of this dominant ant species 1 month after the flood indicates that the colonies were able to survive a 3-week summer flood. The observed ant species proved to be flood resistant despite experiencing such extreme climatic events very rarely.

  13. Heterogenic expression of genes encoding secreted proteins at the periphery of Aspergillus niger colonies.

    PubMed

    Vinck, Arman; de Bekker, Charissa; Ossin, Adam; Ohm, Robin A; de Vries, Ronald P; Wösten, Han A B

    2011-01-01

    Colonization of a substrate by fungi starts with the invasion of exploring hyphae. These hyphae secrete enzymes that degrade the organic material into small molecules that can be taken up by the fungus to serve as nutrients. We previously showed that only part of the exploring hyphae of Aspergillus niger highly express the glucoamylase gene glaA. This was an unexpected finding since all exploring hyphae are exposed to the same environmental conditions. Using GFP as a reporter, we here demonstrate that the acid amylase gene aamA, the α-glucuronidase gene aguA, and the feruloyl esterase gene faeA of A. niger are also subject to heterogenic expression within the exploring mycelium. Coexpression studies using GFP and dTomato as reporters showed that hyphae that highly express one of these genes also highly express the other genes encoding secreted proteins. Moreover, these hyphae also highly express the amylolytic regulatory gene amyR, and the glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase gene gpdA. In situ hybridization demonstrated that the high expressers are characterized by a high 18S rRNA content. Taken together, it is concluded that two subpopulations of hyphae can be distinguished within the exploring mycelium of A. niger. The experimental data indicate that these subpopulations differ in their transcriptional and translational activity.

  14. Glucoamylase starch-binding domain of Aspergillus niger B1: molecular cloning and functional characterization.

    PubMed Central

    Paldi, Tzur; Levy, Ilan; Shoseyov, Oded

    2003-01-01

    Carbohydrate-binding modules (CBMs) are protein domains located within a carbohydrate-active enzyme, with a discrete fold that can be separated from the catalytic domain. Starch-binding domains (SBDs) are CBMs that are usually found at the C-terminus in many amylolytic enzymes. The SBD from Aspergillus niger B1 (CMI CC 324262) was cloned and expressed in Escherichia coli as an independent domain and the recombinant protein was purified on starch. The A. niger B1 SBD was found to be similar to SBD from A. kawachii, A. niger var. awamori and A. shirusami (95-96% identity) and was classified as a member of the CBM family 20. Characterization of SBD binding to starch indicated that it is essentially irreversible and that its affinity to cationic or anionic starch, as well as to potato or corn starch, does not differ significantly. These observations indicate that the fundamental binding area on these starches is essentially the same. Natural and chemically modified starches are among the most useful biopolymers employed in the industry. Our study demonstrates that SBD binds effectively to both anionic and cationic starch. PMID:12646045

  15. High Survival of Lasius niger during Summer Flooding in a European Grassland

    PubMed Central

    Hertzog, Lionel R.; Ebeling, Anne; Meyer, Sebastian T.; Eisenhauer, Nico; Fischer, Christine; Hildebrandt, Anke; Wagg, Cameron; Weisser, Wolfgang W.

    2016-01-01

    Climate change is projected to increase the frequency of extreme events, such as flooding and droughts, which are anticipated to have negative effects on the biodiversity of primary producers and consequently the associated consumer communities. Here we assessed the effects of an extreme early summer flooding event in 2013 on ant colonies along an experimental gradient of plant species richness in a temperate grassland. We tested the effects of flood duration, plant species richness, plant cover, soil temperature, and soil porosity on ant occurrence and abundance. We found that the ant community was dominated by Lasius niger, whose presence and abundance after the flood was not significantly affected by any of the tested variables, including plant species richness. We found the same level of occupation by L. niger at the field site after the flood (surveyed in 2013) as before the flood (surveyed in 2006). Thus, there were no negative effects of the flood on the presence of L. niger in the plots. We can exclude recolonisation as a possible explanation of ant presence in the field site due to the short time period between the end of the flood and survey as well as to the absence of a spatial pattern in the occupancy data. Thus, the omnipresence of this dominant ant species 1 month after the flood indicates that the colonies were able to survive a 3-week summer flood. The observed ant species proved to be flood resistant despite experiencing such extreme climatic events very rarely. PMID:27851761

  16. Enhancing fructooligosaccharides production by genetic improvement of the industrial fungus Aspergillus niger ATCC 20611.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jing; Liu, Caixia; Xie, Yijia; Li, Ning; Ning, Zhanguo; Du, Na; Huang, Xirong; Zhong, Yaohua

    2017-03-23

    Aspergillus niger ATCC20611 is one of the most potent filamentous fungi used commercially for production of fructooligosaccharides (FOS), which are prospective components of functional food by stimulating probiotic bacteria in the human gut. However, current strategies for improving FOS yield still rely on production process development. The genetic engineering approach hasn't been applied in industrial strains to increase FOS production level. Here, an optimized polyethylene glycol (PEG)-mediated protoplast transformation system was established in A. niger ATCC 20611 and used for further strain improvement. The pyrithiamine resistance gene (ptrA) was selected as a dominant marker and protoplasts were prepared with high concentration (up to 10(8)g(-1) wet weight mycelium) by using mixed cell wall-lysing enzymes. The transformation frequency with ptrA can reach 30-50 transformants per μg of DNA. In addition, the efficiency of co-transformation with the EGFP reporter gene (egfp) was high (approx. 82%). Furthermore, an activity-improved variant of β-fructofuranosidase, FopA(A178P), was successfully overexpressed in A. niger ATCC 20611 by using the transformation system. The transformant, CM6, exhibited a 58% increase in specific β-fructofuranosidase activity (up to 507U/g), compared to the parental strain (320U/g), and effectively reduced the time needed for completion of FOS synthesis. These results illustrate the feasibility of strain improvement through genetic engineering for further enhancement of FOS production level.

  17. A qualitative study of the promotion of exclusive breastfeeding by health professionals in Niamey, Niger

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background The practice of exclusive breastfeeding depends on various factors related to both mothers and their environment, including the services delivered by health professionals. It is known that support and counseling by health professionals can improve rates, early initiation and total duration of breastfeeding, particularly exclusive breastfeeding. Mothers' decisions are influenced by health professionals' advice. However, in Niger the practice of exclusive breastfeeding is almost non-existent. The purpose of this exploratory study, of which some results are presented here, was to document health professionals' attitudes and practices with regard to exclusive breastfeeding promotion in hospital settings in the urban community of Niamey, Niger. Methods Fieldwork was conducted in Niamey, Niger. A qualitative approach was employed. Health professionals' practices were observed in a sample of frontline public healthcare facilities. Results The field observation results presented here indicate that exclusive breastfeeding is not promoted in healthcare facilities because the health professionals do not encourage it and their practices are inappropriate. Some still have limited knowledge or are misinformed about this practice or do not believe in it. They do not systematically discuss exclusive breastfeeding with mothers, or they mention it only briefly and without giving any explanation. Worse still, some encourage the use of breast milk substitutes, which are frequently promoted in healthcare facilities. Thus mothers often receive contradictory messages. Conclusion The results suggest the need to train or retrain health professionals with regard to exclusive breastfeeding, and regularly supervise their activities. PMID:20691108

  18. Antifungal mechanism of antibacterial peptide, ABP-CM4, from Bombyx mori against Aspergillus niger.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jie; Wu, Xi; Zhang, Shuang-Quan

    2008-12-01

    Antibacterial peptide, CM4 (ABP-CM4), a 35 amino acid peptide from Chinese silkworm-Bombyx mori, displayed a strong antifungal activity against Aspergillus niger, Trichoderma viride and Gibberella saubinetii. Scanning electron microcopy showed that the morphology of conidia became more irregular and swelled when treated with ABP-CM4 at its minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) of 8 muM. A cell wall regeneration assay indicated that the plasma membrane was the prime target of ABP-CM4 action. Confocal laser scanning microscopy showed that the cytoskeleton of A. niger was destroyed when treated with ABP-CM4 at 8 muM. Furthermore, transmission electron microscopy showed that the membrane and the cellular organelles of fungus were disrupted and there were many vacuoles in the fungal cellular space after the treatment with ABP-CM4. A gel-retardation assay showed that ABP-CM4 bound the DNA of A. niger. Our results suggest that ABP-CM4 exerts its antifungal activity by disrupting the structure of cell membranes and the cytoskeleton and interacts with the organelles, such as the mitochondrion and with the DNA in the fungal cell, subsequently resulting in cell death.

  19. Polygalacturonase gene pgxB in Aspergillus niger is a virulence factor in apple fruit

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Ying; Yang, Feng; Li, Yan-Hong; Liu, He-Ping; Chen, Xiao-Yan

    2017-01-01

    Aspergillus niger, a saprophytic fungus, is widely distributed in soil, air and cereals, and can cause postharvest diseases in fruit. Polygalacturonase (PG) is one of the main enzymes in fungal pathogens to degrade plant cell wall. To evaluate whether the deletion of an exo-polygalacturonase gene pgxB would influence fungal pathogenicity to fruit, pgxB gene was deleted in Aspergillus niger MA 70.15 (wild type) via homologous recombination. The ΔpgxB mutant showed similar growth behavior compared with the wild type. Pectin medium induced significant higher expression of all pectinase genes in both wild type and ΔpgxB in comparison to potato dextrose agar medium. However, the ΔpgxB mutant was less virulent on apple fruits as the necrosis diameter caused by ΔpgxB mutant was significantly smaller than that of wild type. Results of quantitive-PCR showed that, in the process of infection in apple fruit, gene expressions of polygalacturonase genes pgaI, pgaII, pgaA, pgaC, pgaD and pgaE were enhanced in ΔpgxB mutant in comparison to wild type. These results prove that, despite the increased gene expression of other polygalacturonase genes in ΔpgxB mutant, the lack of pgxB gene significantly reduced the virulence of A. niger on apple fruit, suggesting that pgxB plays an important role in the infection process on the apple fruit. PMID:28257463

  20. Lethal Effects of Aspergillus niger against Mosquitoes Vector of Filaria, Malaria, and Dengue: A Liquid Mycoadulticide

    PubMed Central

    Singh, Gavendra; Prakash, Soam

    2012-01-01

    Aspergillus niger is a fungus of the genus Aspergillus. It has caused a disease called black mold on certain fruits and vegetables. The culture filtrates released from the A. niger ATCC 66566 were grown in Czapek dox broth (CDB) then filtered with flash chromatograph and were used for the bioassay after a growth of thirty days. The result demonstrated these mortalities with LC50, LC90, and LC99 values of Culex quinquefasciatus 0.76, 3.06, and 4.75, Anopheles stephensi 1.43, 3.2, and 3.86, and Aedes aegypti 1.43, 2.2, and 4.1 μl/cm2, after exposure of seven hours. We have calculated significant LT90 values of Cx. quinquefasciatus 4.5, An. stephensi 3.54, and Ae. aegypti 6.0 hrs, respectively. This liquid spray of fungal culture isolate of A. niger can reduce malaria, dengue, and filarial transmission. These results significantly support broadening the current vector control paradigm beyond chemical adulticides. PMID:22629156

  1. Oil exploitation and its socioeconomic effects on the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.

    PubMed

    Elum, Z A; Mopipi, K; Henri-Ukoha, A

    2016-07-01

    The oil exploration and exploitation industry which is majorly centred in the Niger Delta region is without doubt currently the most important earner of foreign exchange to the Nigerian economy. The Niger Delta is home to an extraordinary variety of people; mostly fishers and farmers with a history of rich cultural heritage. However, the region is suffering from devastating oil pollution. Although the effects of oil spill depend on factors such as size or area of spill and geographical location, the socioeconomic and environmental costs of oil production can be extensive; these range from destruction of wildlife, biodiversity loss, air and water pollution, degradation of farmland and damage to aquatic ecosystems. The paper reviews the adverse effects of oil exploitation on the Niger Delta region. It researches the common belief that government and oil multinationals are negatively disposed to the socioeconomic and environmental wellbeing of host communities especially in events of oil spillage. The paper reveals that oil exploitation has increased the rate of environmental degradation and has perpetuated food insecurity as a result of death of fish and crops as well as loss of farm lands and viable rivers for fishing activities leading to loss of livelihood. The paper supports the call for multinationals operating in the region to modernise operating infrastructure and equipment in order to prevent avoidable oil spillages that often lead to community restiveness, and more so, intensification of joint efforts between oil multinationals and government in the capital development of the region is very important.

  2. Regulation of the alpha-glucuronidase-encoding gene ( aguA) from Aspergillus niger.

    PubMed

    de Vries, R P; van de Vondervoort, P J I; Hendriks, L; van de Belt, M; Visser, J

    2002-09-01

    The alpha-glucuronidase gene aguA from Aspergillus niger was cloned and characterised. Analysis of the promoter region of aguA revealed the presence of four putative binding sites for the major carbon catabolite repressor protein CREA and one putative binding site for the transcriptional activator XLNR. In addition, a sequence motif was detected which differed only in the last nucleotide from the XLNR consensus site. A construct in which part of the aguA coding region was deleted still resulted in production of a stable mRNA upon transformation of A. niger. The putative XLNR binding sites and two of the putative CREA binding sites were mutated individually in this construct and the effects on expression were examined in A. niger transformants. Northern analysis of the transformants revealed that the consensus XLNR site is not actually functional in the aguA promoter, whereas the sequence that diverges from the consensus at a single position is functional. This indicates that XLNR is also able to bind to the sequence GGCTAG, and the XLNR binding site consensus should therefore be changed to GGCTAR. Both CREA sites are functional, indicating that CREA has a strong influence on aguA expression. A detailed expression analysis of aguA in four genetic backgrounds revealed a second regulatory system involved in activation of aguA gene expression. This system responds to the presence of glucuronic and galacturonic acids, and is not dependent on XLNR.

  3. Community participation and environmental decision-making in the Niger Delta

    SciTech Connect

    Adomokai, Rosemary; Sheate, William R

    2004-07-01

    The participation of communities in the process of environmental decision-making in Nigeria and the Niger Delta region in particular is a relatively new process. There are many practical problems ranging from financial support, methods used and the willingness of identified stakeholders to participate. This paper seeks to highlight recent developments in community participation and environmental decision-making in the Niger Delta, using the EIA Decree of 1992 as a reference point. The EIA Decree of 1992 is the only legislation that refers to participation of the communities when environmental decisions are being made. The study reported here aimed to examine differences and similarities between the identified stakeholders interviewed in the research, in order to highlight areas of improvement that will encourage positive changes to the process and foster better relations between the stakeholders. The paper provides a brief background to community participation in the Niger Delta region and reports on the research approach adopted. Interviews with stakeholders in the EIA process were undertaken to provide a better understanding of public participation in practice under the EIA Decree. While participation was found to be now firmly on the agenda, there is still much to do to engender greater awareness of EIA and the potential benefits participation can hold.

  4. Optimization of ellagitannase production by Aspergillus niger GH1 by solid-state fermentation.

    PubMed

    de la Cruz, Reynaldo; Ascacio, Juan A; Buenrostro, Juan; Sepúlveda, Leonardo; Rodríguez, Raúl; Prado-Barragán, Arely; Contreras, Juan C; Aguilera, Antonio; Aguilar, Cristóbal N

    2015-01-01

    Ellagic acid is one of the most bioactive antioxidants with important applications in pharmaceutical, cosmetic, and food industries. However, there are few biotechnological processes developed for its production, because it requires precursors (ellagitannins) and the corresponding biocatalyst (ellagitannase). The aim of this study was to optimize the culture conditions for ellagitannase production by Aspergillus niger in solid-state fermentation (SSF). The bioprocess was carried out into a column bioreactor packed with polyurethane foam impregnated with an ellagitannins solution as carbon source. Four strains of Aspergillus niger (PSH, GH1, HT4, and HC2) were evaluated for ellagitannase production. The study was performed in two experimental steps. A Plackett-Burman design was used to determine the influencing parameters on ellagitannase production. Ellagitannins concentration, KCl, and MgSO4 were determined to be the most significant parameters. Box-Behnken design was used to define the interaction of the selected parameters. The highest enzyme value was obtained by A. niger PSH at concentrations of 7.5 g/L ellagitannins, 3.04 g/L KCl, and 0.76 g/L MgSO4. The methodology followed here allowed increasing the ellagitannase activity 10 times over other researcher results (938.8 U/g ellagitannins). These results are significantly higher than those reported previously and represent an important contribution for the establishment of a new bioprocess for ellagic acid and ellagitannase production.

  5. Comparative Secretome Analysis of Aspergillus niger, Trichoderma reesei, and Penicillium oxalicum During Solid-State Fermentation.

    PubMed

    Gong, Weili; Zhang, Huaiqiang; Liu, Shijia; Zhang, Lili; Gao, Peiji; Chen, Guanjun; Wang, Lushan

    2015-11-01

    Filamentous fungi such as Aspergillus spp., Trichoderma spp., and Penicillium spp. are frequently used to produce high concentrations of lignocellulosic enzymes. This study examined the discrepancies in the compositions and dynamic changes in the extracellular enzyme systems secreted by Aspergillus niger ATCC1015, Trichoderma reesei QM9414, and Penicillium oxalicum 114-2 cultured on corn stover and wheat bran. The results revealed different types and an abundance of monosaccharides and oligosaccharides were released during incubation, which induced the secretion of diverse glycoside hydrolases. Both the enzyme activities and isozyme numbers of the three fungal strains increased with time. A total of 279, 161, and 183 secretory proteins were detected in A. niger, T. reesei, and P. oxalicum secretomes, respectively. In the A. niger secretomes, more enzymes involved in the degradation of (galacto)mannan, xyloglucan, and the backbone of pectin distributed mostly in dicots were detected. In comparison, although P. oxalicum 114-2 hardly secreted any xyloglucanases, the diversities of enzymes involved in the degradation of xylan and β-(1,3;1,4)-D-glucan commonly found in monocots were higher. The cellulase system of P. oxalicum 114-2 was more balanced. The degradation preference provided a new perspective regarding the recomposition of lignocellulosic enzymes based on substrate types.

  6. Efficacy and possible mechanisms of perillaldehyde in control of Aspergillus niger causing grape decay.

    PubMed

    Tian, Jun; Wang, Yanzhen; Zeng, Hong; Li, Zongyun; Zhang, Peng; Tessema, Akalate; Peng, Xue

    2015-06-02

    A variety of plant products have been recognized for their antifungal activity and recently have attracted food industry attention for their efficacy in controlling postharvest fungal decay of fruits. The antifungal activity of perillaldehyde (PAE) was evaluated against Aspergillus niger, a known cause of grape spoilage, and possible mechanisms were explored. PAE showed notable antifungal activity against A. niger, with a minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and a minimum fungicidal concentration (MFC) of 0.25 and 1 μl/ml, respectively. The accumulation of mycelial biomass was also inhibited by PAE in a dose-dependent manner, completely inhibiting mycelial growth at 1 μl/ml. In vivo data confirmed that the vapour treatment of grapes with various concentrations of PAE markedly improved control of A. niger and suppressed natural decay. Concentrations of PAE of 0.075 μl/ml air showed the greatest inhibition of fungal growth compared to the controls. Further experiments indicated that PAE activated a membrane-active mechanism that inhibits ergosterol synthesis, increases membrane permeability (as evidenced by extracellular pH and conductivity measurements), and disrupts membrane integrity, leading to cell death. Our findings suggest that this membrane-active mechanism makes PAE a promising potential antifungal agent for postharvest control of grape spoilage.

  7. Prospecting for the incidence of genes involved in ochratoxin and fumonisin biosynthesis in Brazilian strains of Aspergillus niger and Aspergillus welwitschiae.

    PubMed

    Massi, Fernanda Pelisson; Sartori, Daniele; de Souza Ferranti, Larissa; Iamanaka, Beatriz Thie; Taniwaki, Marta Hiromi; Vieira, Maria Lucia Carneiro; Fungaro, Maria Helena Pelegrinelli

    2016-03-16

    Aspergillus niger "aggregate" is an informal taxonomic rank that represents a group of species from the section Nigri. Among A. niger "aggregate" species Aspergillus niger sensu stricto and its cryptic species Aspergillus welwitschiae (=Aspergillus awamori sensu Perrone) are proven as ochratoxin A and fumonisin B2 producing species. A. niger has been frequently found in tropical and subtropical foods. A. welwitschiae is a new species, which was recently dismembered from the A. niger taxon. These species are morphologically very similar and molecular data are indispensable for their identification. A total of 175 Brazilian isolates previously identified as A. niger collected from dried fruits, Brazil nuts, coffee beans, grapes, cocoa and onions were investigated in this study. Based on partial calmodulin gene sequences about one-half of our isolates were identified as A. welwitschiae. This new species was the predominant species in onions analyzed in Brazil. A. niger and A. welwitschiae differ in their ability to produce ochratoxin A and fumonisin B2. Among A. niger isolates, approximately 32% were OTA producers, but in contrast only 1% of the A. welwitschiae isolates revealed the ability to produce ochratoxin A. Regarding fumonisin B2 production, there was a higher frequency of FB2 producing isolates in A. niger (74%) compared to A. welwitschiae (34%). Because not all A. niger and A. welwitschiae strains produce ochratoxin A and fumonisin B2, in this study a multiplex PCR was developed for detecting the presence of essential genes involved in ochratoxin (polyketide synthase and radHflavin-dependent halogenase) and fumonisin (α-oxoamine synthase) biosynthesis in the genome of A. niger and A. welwitschiae isolates. The frequency of strains harboring the mycotoxin genes was markedly different between A. niger and A. welwitschiae. All OTA producing isolates of A. niger and A. welwitschiae showed in their genome the pks and radH genes, and 95.2% of the nonproducing

  8. The opposite roles of agdA and glaA on citric acid production in Aspergillus niger.

    PubMed

    Wang, Lu; Cao, Zhanglei; Hou, Li; Yin, Liuhua; Wang, Dawei; Gao, Qiang; Wu, Zhenqiang; Wang, Depei

    2016-07-01

    Citric acid is produced by an industrial-scale process of fermentation using Aspergillus niger as a microbial cell factory. However, citric acid production was hindered by the non-fermentable isomaltose and insufficient saccharification ability in A. niger when liquefied corn starch was used as a raw material. In this study, A. niger TNA 101ΔagdA was constructed by deletion of the α-glucosidase-encoding agdA gene in A. niger CGMCC 10142 genome using Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation. The transformants A. niger OG 1, OG 17, and OG 31 then underwent overexpression of glucoamylase in A. niger TNA 101ΔagdA. The results showed that the α-glucosidase activity of TNA 101ΔagdA was decreased by 62.5 % compared with CGMCC 10142, and isomaltose was almost undetectable in the fermentation broth. The glucoamylase activity of the transformants OG 1 and OG 17 increased by 34.5 and 16.89 % compared with that of TNA 101ΔagdA, respectively. In addition, for the recombinants TNA 101ΔagdA, OG 1 and OG 17, there were no apparent defects in the growth development. Consequently, in comparison with CGMCC 10142, TNA 101ΔagdA and OG 1 decreased the residual reducing sugar by 52.95 and 88.24 %, respectively, and correspondingly increased citric acid production at the end of fermentation by 8.68 and 16.87 %. Citric acid production was further improved by decreasing the non-fermentable residual sugar and increasing utilization rate of corn starch material in A. niger. Besides, the successive saccharification and citric acid fermentation processes were successfully integrated into one step.

  9. Mechanical transmission of Trypanosoma evansi and T. congolense by Stomoxys niger and S. taeniatus in a laboratory mouse model.

    PubMed

    Sumba, A L; Mihok, S; Oyieke, F A

    1998-10-01

    Mechanical transmission of Trypanosoma evansi (South American origin) and T. congolense of Kilifi DNA type (Kenyan origin) was studied in laboratory mice using the African stable flies Stomoxys niger niger and S. taeniatus. Altogether, 355 flies were interrupted after feeding on infected blood and then transferred immediately to an uninfected mouse to complete feeding. Microscopy and subinoculation of triturated flies into uninfected mice demonstrated the survival of T. congolense in Stomoxys for up to 210 min and T. evansi for up to 480 min. Parasites survived for much longer periods in the digestive tract than inside or on the mouthparts. Trypanosoma congolense was transmitted only by S. n. niger, and only at low rates of 3, 8 and 10% using flies of different feeding histories: fed on blood the previous day, freshly caught, and teneral. Trypanosoma evansi was transmitted by both Stomoxys species at higher rates: S. taeniatus range 13-18%; S. n. niger range 17-35%. The highest transmission rate occurred with the combination of teneral S. n. niger and T. evansi.

  10. Synergistic effect of Aspergillus niger and Trichoderma reesei enzyme sets on the saccharification of wheat straw and sugarcane bagasse.

    PubMed

    van den Brink, Joost; Maitan-Alfenas, Gabriela Piccolo; Zou, Gen; Wang, Chengshu; Zhou, Zhihua; Guimarães, Valéria Monteze; de Vries, Ronald P

    2014-10-01

    Plant-degrading enzymes can be produced by fungi on abundantly available low-cost plant biomass. However, enzymes sets after growth on complex substrates need to be better understood, especially with emphasis on differences between fungal species and the influence of inhibitory compounds in plant substrates, such as monosaccharides. In this study, Aspergillus niger and Trichoderma reesei were evaluated for the production of enzyme sets after growth on two "second generation" substrates: wheat straw (WS) and sugarcane bagasse (SCB). A. niger and T. reesei produced different sets of (hemi-)cellulolytic enzymes after growth on WS and SCB. This was reflected in an overall strong synergistic effect in releasing sugars during saccharification using A. niger and T. reesei enzyme sets. T. reesei produced less hydrolytic enzymes after growth on non-washed SCB. The sensitivity to non-washed plant substrates was not reduced by using CreA/Cre1 mutants of T. reesei and A. niger with a defective carbon catabolite repression. The importance of removing monosaccharides for producing enzymes was further underlined by the decrease in hydrolytic activities with increased glucose concentrations in WS media. This study showed the importance of removing monosaccharides from the enzyme production media and combining T. reesei and A. niger enzyme sets to improve plant biomass saccharification.

  11. Removal of heavy metals from contaminated sewage sludge using Aspergillus niger fermented raw liquid from pineapple wastes.

    PubMed

    Del Mundo Dacera, Dominica; Babel, Sandhya

    2008-04-01

    The environmental benefits derived from using citric acid in the removal of heavy metals from contaminated sewage sludge have made it promising as an extracting agent in the chemical extraction process. At present, citric acid is produced commercially by fermentation of sucrose using mutant strains of Aspergillus niger (A. niger), and chemical synthesis. In recent years, various carbohydrates and wastes (such as pineapple wastes) have been considered experimentally, to produce citric acid by A. niger. This study investigated the potential of using A. niger fermented raw liquid from pineapple wastes as a source of citric acid, in extracting chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), lead (Pb), nickel (Ni) and zinc (Zn) from anaerobically digested sewage sludge. Results of the study revealed that metal removal efficiencies varied with pH, forms of metals in sludge and contact time. At pH approaching 4, and contact time of 11 days, A. niger fermented liquid seemed to remove all Cr and Zn while removing 94% of Ni. Moreover, chemical speciation studies revealed that metals which are predominantly in the exchangeable and oxidizable phases seemed to exhibit ease of leachability (e.g., Zn). The by-products of the process such as pineapple pulp and mycelium which are rich in protein, can still be used as animal feed. It can be said therefore that this novel process provides a sustainable way of managing contaminated sewage sludge.

  12. Community responses of intertidal soft-bottom macrozoobenthos to oil pollution in a tropical mangrove ecosystem, Niger Delta, Nigeria.

    PubMed

    Zabbey, Nenibarini; Uyi, Hanson

    2014-05-15

    Preliminary impact assessment of two large oil spill incidents at Bodo Creek, in the Niger Delta, was undertaken, focusing on intertidal macrozoobenthos. Post-spill number of species and abundance were measured against recent pre-spill baseline data from the same study area. Results show that surface and infauna communities suffered severe reduction in abundance and number of species reduced by 81% after the spills, with two of the resampled sites having no taxa at all. Capitella capitata populations increased several-fold over pre-spill numbers. The impact of the oil spills is discussed in relation to local livelihoods and ecosystem integrity. The Niger Delta endemic lucinid, Keletistes rhizoecus, is proposed as a potential bioindicator for monitoring hydrocarbon contamination in Niger Delta estuaries.

  13. Complete nucleotide sequences of okra isolates of Cotton leaf curl Gezira virus and their associated DNA-beta from Niger.

    PubMed

    Shih, S L; Kumar, S; Tsai, W S; Lee, L M; Green, S K

    2009-01-01

    Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus) is a major crop in Niger. In the fall of 2007, okra leaf curl disease was observed in Niger and the begomovirus and DNA-beta satellite were found associated with the disease. The complete nucleotide sequences of DNA-A (FJ469626 and FJ469627) and associated DNA-beta satellites (FJ469628 and FJ469629) were determined from two samples. This is the first report of molecular characterization of okra-infecting begomovirus and their associated DNA-beta from Niger. The begomovirus and DNA-beta have been identified as Cotton leaf curl Gezira virus and Cotton leaf curl Gezira betasatellite, respectively, which are reported to also infect okra in Egypt, Mali and Sudan.

  14. Changes in the physiological properties and kinetics of citric acid accumulation via carbon ion irradiation mutagenesis of Aspergillus niger *

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Wei; Chen, Ji-hong; Wang, Shu-yang; Liu, Jing; Song, Yuan; Wu, Qing-feng; Li, Wen-jian

    2016-01-01

    The objective of this work was to produce citric acid from corn starch using a newly isolated mutant of Aspergillus niger, and to analyze the relationship between changes in the physiological properties of A. niger induced by carbon ion irradiation and citric acid accumulation. Our results showed that the physiological characteristics of conidia in A. niger were closely related to citric acid accumulation and that lower growth rate and viability of conidia may be beneficial to citric acid accumulation. Using corn starch as a raw material, a high-yielding citric acid mutant, named HW2, was obtained. In a 10-L bioreactor, HW2 can accumulate 118.9 g/L citric acid with a residual total sugar concentration of only 14.4 g/L. This represented an 18% increase in citric acid accumulation and a 12.5% decrease in sugar utilization compared with the original strain.

  15. Antimicrobial Activity of Biocompatible Microemulsions Against Aspergillus niger and Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2

    PubMed Central

    Alkhatib, Mayson H; Aly, Magda M; Rahbeni, Rajaa A; Balamash, Khadijah S

    2016-01-01

    Background Microemulsions (MEs), which consist of oil, water, surfactants, and cosurfactants, have recently generated considerable interest as antimicrobial agents. Objectives To determine the antifungal and antiviral activities of three ME formulations (MEa, MEb, and MEc) that differ in their hydrophilicity. Methods The ME formulas were produced by mixing different fractions of Tween 80, Span 20, ethanol, oil, isopropyl myristate, and distilled water. The antifungal activity of the ME formulas against Aspergillus niger, A. flavus, Bacillus, Candida albicans, and C. glabrata were determined by the solid medium diffusion cytotoxicity test against the mitochondria, measuring the minimum inhibitory concentration, dry biomass, and leakage of potassium, and characterizing the cell morphology. The antiviral activities of the ME formulas against the herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) were determined using the cytopathic effect assay. Results Significant antimicrobial activities were recorded against A. niger and herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) when treated with MEb that had hydrophobic nanodroplets with an average diameter of 4.7 ± 1.22 nm. A volume of 0.1 mL of MEb (10 mL of potato dextrose broth) inhibited the germination of A. niger cells, reduced their dry biomass, enhanced the leakage of potassium from the cell membranes, affected their mitochondria, and altered the shape of their conidia, in addition to enlarging them. MEb was able to destroy the HSV-2 virus at a 200-fold dilution in Dulbecco’s modified eagle medium. Conclusions The water-in-oil ME with equivalent surfactant-to-oil ratio (MEb) has great potential as an antifungal and antiviral agent. PMID:27800146

  16. Upstream petroleum degradation of mangroves and intertidal shores: the Niger Delta experience.

    PubMed

    Osuji, Leo C; Erondu, Ebere S; Ogali, Regina E

    2010-01-01

    This article was inspired by a field reconnaissance survey of outcrops along the Nembe-Brass axis of the petroliferous Niger Delta. It reviews various tradeoffs of the impact of upstream petroleum (seismic and production) operations on the mangrove ecosystems in that region, the largest in Sub-Saharan Africa. Mangroves and intertidal shores are considered critical to the economic well-being of this region owing to the people's dual occupation in fishing and farming. The mangrove ecosystem provides a nutrient medium, which serves as a nursery and spawning ground for many fish species and other biota. Oil and gas activities might destroy these spawn areas, causing reduction in resource output and community pressure. Devegetation of the mangrove forest as a result of seismic delineation leaves the fragile soil exposed, unprotected, and susceptible to erosion. Again, loss of vegetation might discourage the natural role of plants in air purification (CO(2) utilization and O(2) production). The release of nutrients (organic N(2), NH(3), and NO$\\rm{{_{3};{-}}}$) and polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) to the environment, with the attendant increase in microbial load, increases biochemical O(2) demand (BOD) and depletes dissolved O(2) (DO) in H(2)O to a level that is beyond the tolerance limit of organisms. This anoxic situation leads to asphyxiation and subsequent fish kill in affected areas. In order of increasing vulnerability, the mangroves and intertidal shores of the Niger Delta fall under categories 8 to 10 on the environmental sensitivity index (ESI) scale, which predisposes the areas to serious long-term effects and clean-up complexity. Thus, there is need to monitor mangrove systems and shoreline changes in the areas of considerable seismic and production activities, especially in the coastal Niger Delta, where pipeline corrosion due to salt intrusion into the swampy environment and 'unsighted fingers' of sabotage have increased the prevalence of oil spills.

  17. Petroleum geology of Cretaceous-Tertiary rift basins in Niger, Chad, and Central African Republic

    SciTech Connect

    Genik, G.J. )

    1993-08-01

    This overview of the petroleum geology of rift basins in Niger, Chad, and Central African Republic (CAR) is based on exploration work by Exxon and partners in the years 1969-1991. The work included 50,000 km of modern reflection seismic, 53 exploration wells, 1,000,000 km[sup 2] of aeromagnetic coverage, and about 10,500 km of gravity profiles. The results outline ten Cretaceous and Tertiary rift basins, which constitute a major part of the West and Central African rift system (WCARS). The rift basins derive from a multiphased geologic history dating from the Pan-African (approximately 750-550 Ma) to the Holocene. WCARS in the study area is divided into the West African rift subsystem (WAS) and the Central African rift subsystem (WAS) and the Central African rift subsystem (CAS). WAS basins in Niger and Chad are chiefly extensional, and are filled by up to 13,000 m of Lower Cretaceous to Holocene continental and marine clastics. The basins contain five oil (19-43[degrees]API) and two oil and gas accumulations in Upper Cretaceous and Eocene sandstone reservoirs. The hydrocarbons are sourced and sealed by Upper Cretaceous and Eocene marine and lacustrine shales. The most common structural styles and hydrocarbon traps usually are associated with normal fault blocks. CAS rift basins in Chad and CAR are extensional and transtensional, and are filled by up to 7500 m of chiefly Lower Cretaceous continental clastics. The basins contain eight oil (15-39[degrees]API) and one oil and gas discovery in Lower and Upper Cretaceous sandstone reservoirs. The hydrocarbons are sourced by Lower Cretaceous shales and sealed by interbedded lacustrine and flood-plain shales. Structural styles range from simple fault blocks through complex flower structures. The main hydrocarbon traps are in contractional anticlines. Geological conditions favor the discovery of potentially commercial volumes of oil in WCARS basins, of Niger, Chad and CAR. 108 refs., 24 figs., 4 tabs.

  18. Geochemical evaluation of Niger Delta sedimentary organic rocks: a new insight

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Akinlua, Akinsehinwa; Torto, Nelson

    2010-05-01

    A geochemical evaluation of Niger Delta organic matter was carried out using supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) sample preparation procedure. Comparison of geochemical significance of gas chromatographic data of rock extracts of SFE with those of Soxhlet extraction method from previous studies was made in order to establish the usefulness of SFE in geochemical exploration. The assessment of geochemical character of the rock samples from the comparison and interpretation of other geochemical parameters were used to give more insights into understanding the source rocks characteristics of onshore and shelf portions of the Niger Delta Basin. The results of the gas chromatographic (GC) analysis of the rock extracts across the lithostratigraphic units show that Pr/Ph, Pr/nC17, Pr/nC18, CPI and odd/even preference ranged from 0.07 to 12.39, 0.04 to 6.66, 0.05 to 13.80, 0.12 to 8.4 and 0.06 to 8.12, respectively. The Rock-Eval pyrolysis data and geochemical ratios and parameters calculated from the GC data showed that most of the samples are mature and have strong terrestrial provenance while a few samples have strong marine provenance. The few marine source rocks are located in the deeper depth horizon. Pr/Ph and standard geochemical plots indicate that most of samples were derived from organic matter deposited in less reducing conditions, i.e. more of oxidizing conditions while a few samples have predominantly influence of reducing conditions. The results of trace metal analysis of older samples from Agbada Formation also indicate marine and mixed organic matter input deposited in less reducing conditions. The results obtained in this study are comparable with those obtained from previous studies when Soxhlet extraction method was used and also indicated the presence of more than one petroleum systems in the Niger Delta.

  19. Chemical mimicking of bio-assisted aluminium extraction by Aspergillus niger's exometabolites.

    PubMed

    Boriová, Katarína; Urík, Martin; Bujdoš, Marek; Pifková, Ivana; Matúš, Peter

    2016-11-01

    Presence of microorganisms in soils strongly affects mobility of metals. This fact is often excluded when mobile metal fraction in soil is studied using extraction procedures. Thus, the first objective of this paper was to evaluate strain Aspergillus niger's exometabolites contribution on aluminium mobilization. Fungal exudates collected in various time intervals during cultivation were analyzed and used for two-step bio-assisted extraction of alumina and gibbsite. Oxalic, citric and gluconic acids were identified in collected culture media with concentrations up to 68.4, 2.0 and 16.5 mmol L(-1), respectively. These exometabolites proved to be the most efficient agents in mobile aluminium fraction extraction with aluminium extraction efficiency reaching almost 2.2%. However, fungal cultivation is time demanding process. Therefore, the second objective was to simplify acquisition of equally efficient extracting agent by chemically mimicking composition of main organic acid components of fungal exudates. This was successfully achieved with organic acids mixture prepared according to medium composition collected on the 12th day of Aspergillus niger cultivation. This mixture extracted similar amounts of aluminium from alumina compared to culture medium. The aluminium extraction efficiency from gibbsite by organic acids mixture was lesser than 0.09% which is most likely because of more rigid mineral structure of gibbsite compared to alumina. The prepared organic acid mixture was then successfully applied for aluminium extraction from soil samples and compared to standard single step extraction techniques. This showed there is at least 2.9 times higher content of mobile aluminium fraction in soils than it was previously considered, if contribution of microbial metabolites is considered in extraction procedures. Thus, our contribution highlights the significance of fungal metabolites in aluminium extraction from environmental samples, but it also simplifies the

  20. Nuclear configuration and neuronal types of the nucleus niger in the brain of the human adult.

    PubMed

    Braak, H; Braak, E

    1986-01-01

    The pigmentoarchitectonic analysis of the human nucleus niger reveals three main territories: Pars compacta, pars diffusa and pars reticulata. Seven subnuclei are recognized within the pars compacta. The nerve cell types forming the nucleus niger were investigated using a Golgi de-impregnation technique in combination with counterstaining of intraneuronally deposited pigment granules. Three principal types of neurons were defined: Type I was a medium-sized to large neuron, mainly encountered in the pars compacta, giving off a few thick and sparsely branching dendrites. These cells were richly endowed with elongated patches of Nissl material that were mainly found in the peripheral portions of the dendrites. One pole of the cell body contained tightly packed neuromelanin granules. Type II neurons were mainly found in the pars reticulata. They were variable in size and shape and generated, similar to type I neurons, extended and sparsely branching dendrites. Type II neurons were devoid of neuromelanin. A considerable number of these cells were lacking in lipofuscin deposits as well. Type III neurons occurred in all portions of the nuclear complex. The small cell body gave rise to a few thin and spineless dendrites. The axon and filiform processes of the dendrites showed small varicosities irregularly spaced apart. The pale cytoplasm contained small and intensely stained lipofuscin granules, which did not tend to agglomerate. Intraneuronally deposited neuromelanin and lipofuscin pigment can be considered a natural marker of the neuronal type in the nucleus niger of the human adult. The technique and the data provide a basis for investigations of the aged and the diseased human brain.

  1. Petroleum geology of rift basins in Niger, Chad, and the Central African Republic

    SciTech Connect

    Genik, G.J. )

    1991-03-01

    Ten Cretaceous-Tertiary rift basins in Niger, Chad, and the Central African Republic (C.A.R.) are defined and the petroleum geology is overviewed. This paper is based on proprietary exploration results derived from more than 1 million km{sup 2} of aeromagnetics, 10,520 line km of gravity profiles, 49,721 km of reflection seismic, and 50 exploration wells. The data were acquired by Exxon with partners Shell, Chevron, Elf, Conoco, Texaco, and Amax Oil Gas, Inc., during the years 1969-1989. In Niger and Chad, the West African rift subsystem includes the extensional basins of Termit, Tefidet, Tenere, Grein/Kafra, N'Djel Edji, and Bongor. These rift basins contain up to 15,000 m of Cretaceous to Cenozoic continental and marine clastics. Key exploration elements are Tertiary and Cretaceous fluvial to tidal sandstone reservoirs, Tertiary and Cretaceous marine to lacustrine shale source rocks, and seals, with traps in normal fault blocks and anticlinal closures. There are six oil discoveries in the Termit basin. In Chad and the C.A.R., the Central African rift subsystem incorporates the extensional Doba and transtensional Doseo and Salamat basins flanking the Borogop dextral wrench fault. These basins contain up to 7,500 m of chiefly Cretaceous continental clastics. Key exploration elements are Lower and Upper Cretaceous fluvial to lacustrine sandstone reservoirs, Lower Cretaceous lacustrine shale source rocks, lacustrine to flood plain shale and mudstone seals, with traps in mainly faulted anticlinal closures. There are six oil discoveries in the Doba basin and three in the Doseo basin. The studied petroleum geology in the rifts of Niger, Chad, and the C.A.R. indicates that potentially commercial volumes of oil remain to be discovered.

  2. Petroleum geology of rift basins in Niger, Chad, and Central African Republic

    SciTech Connect

    Genik, G.J. )

    1991-08-01

    Ten Cretaceous-Tertiary rift basins in Niger, Chad and the Central African Republic (C.A.R.) are defined and the petroleum geology is overviewed based on proprietary exploration results derived from more than one million km{sup 2} of aeromagnetics, 10,520 line-km of gravity profiles, 49,721 km of reflection seismic, and 50 exploration wells. The data were acquired by Exxon with partners Shell, Chevron, Elf, Conoco, Texaco, and Amax Oil Gas During 1969-1989. In Niger and Chad, the West African rift subsystem includes the extensional basins of Termit, Tefidet, Tenere, Grein/Kafra, N'Djel Edji, and Bongor. These rift basins contain up to 15,000 m of Cretaceous to Cenozoic continental and marine clastics. Key exploration elements are Tertiary and Cretaceous fluvial to tidal sandstone reservoirs, Tertiary and Cretaceous marine to lacustrine shale source rocks and seals, with traps in normal fault blocks and anticlinal closures. There have been six oil discoveries in the Termit basin. In C.A.R., the Central African rift subsystem incorporates the extensional Doba and transtensional Doseo and Salamat basins flanking the Borogop dextral wrench fault. These basins contain up to 7,500 m of chiefly Cretaceous continental clastics. key exploration elements are Lower and Upper Cretaceous fluvial to lacustrine sandstone reservoirs, Lower Cretaceous lacustrine shale source rocks, lacustrine to flood-plain shale and mudstone seals, with traps in mainly faulted anticlinal closures. There have been six oil discoveries in the Doba basin and three in the Doseo basin. The studied petroleum geology in the rifts of Niger, Chad, and C.A.R. indicates that potentially commercial volumes of oil remain to be discovered.

  3. The effectiveness of 3-D marine systems as an exploration tool in the offshore Niger Delta

    SciTech Connect

    Idowu, A.O. )

    1993-09-01

    From inception in 1984, three-dimensional (3-D) marine surveys have been used widely for field development where commercial hydrocarbons were known to exist in Nigeria. The high-trace density and full 3-D migration provide a data set that allows detailed interpretation of complex geologic structures and, in many cases, provides good stratigraphic information as well. The result has been better placement of development wells, making field development more efficient and cost effective. Previous application of the 3-d method (i.e., reconaissance 3-D) as an exploration tool in 1987 has demonstrated its effectiveness for predrilling detailing of prospects in offshore Niger Delta in a situation where a large volume of seismic data were acquired at relatively reduced unit costs. The technique involves acquiring data along a line every 200 m spacing, while interpretation in 3-D data processing is applied for subsequent 3-D migration. Based on pattern recognition of events on the input traces, the links are established to allow traces to be formed between input locations by comparing several attributes of events on neighboring traces. A case history example from the offshore Niger delta shows that the collection costs for the reconnaissance 3-D method are comparable to two-dimensional detailing based on similar line kilometer and time duration for the survey. A trade-off between cost and technical specifications can be programmed by focusing on the geologic objective. The technique brings the advantage of 3-D methods, but not their costs, to the exploration phase of the search for petroleum, and it is highly recommended for exploration in frontier areas, particularly the deep offshore of the Niger Delta.

  4. The value of community participation in disease surveillance: a case study from Niger.

    PubMed

    Ndiaye, Serigne M; Quick, Linda; Sanda, Ousmane; Niandou, Seydou

    2003-06-01

    A team of researchers, including one behavioral scientist (S.M.N.) and three epidemiologists (L.Q., O.S. and S.N.) conducted community analyses to assess the social and cultural factors that affect the detection and reporting of disease cases in a surveillance system, using acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) surveillance in Niger as a case study. Over a 60-day period in the country, the research team reviewed written field reports and interviewed epidemiologists, nurses, community members and persons in governmental and non-governmental organizations. Overall, we found that the logistical difficulties of travel and communication, which are common in developing countries, constrain the conventional surveillance system that relies on epidemiologists visiting sites to discover and investigate cases, particularly in rural areas. Other challenges include: community members' lack of knowledge about the possible link between a case of paralysis and a dangerous, communicable disease; lack of access to health care, including the low number of clinics and health care workers; cultural beliefs that favor seeking a local healer before consulting a nurse or physician; and health workers' lack of training in AFP surveillance. The quality of surveillance in developing countries can improve if a community-based approach is adopted. Such a system has been used successfully in Niger during smallpox-eradication and guinea worm-control campaigns. In a community-based system, community members receive basic education or more extensive training to motivate and enable them to notify health care staff about possible cases of disease in a timely fashion. Local organizations, local projects and local leaders must be included to ensure the success of such a program. In Niger we found sufficient quantities of this type of social capital, along with enough local experience of past health campaigns, to suggest that a community-based approach can improve the level of comprehensiveness and sensitivity

  5. Sedimentology and ichnology of Neogene Coastal Swamp deposits in the Niger Delta Basin, Nigeria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ezeh, Sunny C.; Mode, Wilfred A.; Ozumba, Berti M.; Yelwa, Nura A.

    2016-09-01

    Often analyses of depositional environments from sparse data result in poor interpretation, especially in multipartite depositional settings such as the Niger Delta. For instance, differentiating channel sandstones, heteroliths and mudstones within proximal environments from those of distal facies is difficult if interpretations rely solely on well log signatures. Therefore, in order to achieve an effective and efficient interpretation of the depositional conditions of a given unit, integrated tools must be applied such as matching core descriptions with wireline log signature. In the present paper cores of three wells from the Coastal Swamp depositional belt of the Niger Delta are examined in order to achieve full understanding of the depositional environments. The well sections comprise cross-bedded sandstones, heteroliths (coastal and lower shoreface) and mudstones that were laid down in wave, river and tidal processes. Interpretations were made from each data set comprising gamma ray logs, described sedimentological cores showing sedimentary features and ichnological characteristics; these were integrated to define the depositional settings. Some portions from one of the well sections reveal a blocky gamma ray well log signature instead of a coarsening-upward trend that characterises a shoreface setting while in other wells the signatures for heteroliths at some sections are bell blocky in shaped rather than serrated. Besides, heteroliths and mudstones within the proximal facies and those of distal facies were difficult to distinguish solely on well log signatures. However, interpretation based on sedimentology and ichnology of cores from these facies was used to correct these inconsistencies. It follows that depositional environment interpretation (especially in multifarious depositional environments such as the Niger Delta) should ideally be made together with other raw data for accuracy and those based solely on well log signatures should be treated with

  6. Dephosphorization of High-Phosphorus Iron Ore Using Different Sources of Aspergillus niger Strains.

    PubMed

    Xiao, Chunqiao; Wu, Xiaoyan; Chi, Ruan

    2015-05-01

    High-phosphorus iron ore is traditionally dephosphorized by chemical process with inorganic acids. However, this process is not recommended nowadays because of its high cost and consequent environmental pollution. With the current tendency for development of a low-cost and eco-friendly process, dephosphorization of high-phosphorus iron ore through microbial process with three different sources of Aspergillus niger strains was studied in this study. Results show that the three strains of A. niger could grow well in the broth, and effectively remove phosphate from high-phosphorus iron ore during the experiments. Meanwhile, the total iron in the broth was also increased. Acidification of the broth seemed to be the major mechanism for the dephosphorization by these strains. High-pressure liquid chromatography analysis indicated that various organic acids were secreted in the broth, which caused a significant drop of the broth pH. Scanning electron microscopy of ore residues revealed that the high-phosphorus iron ore was obviously destroyed by the actions of these strains. Ore residues by energy-dispersive X-ray microanalysis and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy indicated that the phosphate was obviously removed from the high-phosphorus iron ore. The optimization of the dephosphorization by these strains was also investigated, and the maximum percentages of phosphate removal were recorded at temperature 27-30 °C, initial pH 5.0-6.5, particle size 0.07-0.1 mm, and pulp density of 2-3% (w/v), respectively. The fungus A. niger was found to have good potential for the dephosphorization of high-phosphorus iron ore, and this microbial process seems to be economic and effective in the future industrial application.

  7. Construction of an engineering strain producing high yields of α-transglucosidase via Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation of Asperillus niger.

    PubMed

    Li, Ming; Zhou, Liying; Liu, Meng; Huang, Yunyan; Sun, Xin; Lu, Fuping

    2013-01-01

    In this study, Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation (ATMT) was used in breeding industrial strains for the purpose of improving α-transglucosidase production. Firstly, an efficient ATMT system for Asperillus niger was established by optimization of several influencing factors, in which transformation efficiency was improved up to 14-fold compared with the initial conditions. Furthermore, binary vector pBI-Glu containing an α-transglucosidase expression cassette was constructed and transferred into Agrobacterium tumefaciens LBA4404 in order to infect A. niger. By the efficient ATMT method, the gene for α-transglucosidase, driven by strong promoter PglaA (the glucoamylase gene promoter), had a high expression level in A. niger A-8 (25.02 U/mL). The optimized ATMT system was found to be effective and suitable for A. niger, and should be a useful tool for studying the function of A. niger genes and for industrial breeding of this strain.

  8. Korean Ginseng Berry Fermented by Mycotoxin Non-producing Aspergillus niger and Aspergillus oryzae: Ginsenoside Analyses and Anti-proliferative Activities.

    PubMed

    Li, Zhipeng; Ahn, Hyung Jin; Kim, Nam Yeon; Lee, Yu Na; Ji, Geun Eog

    2016-01-01

    To transform ginsenosides, Korean ginseng berry (KGB) was fermented by mycotoxin non-producing Aspergillus niger and Aspergillus oryzae. Changes of ginsenoside profile and anti-proliferative activities were observed. Results showed that A. niger tended to efficiently transform protopanaxadiol (PPD) type ginsenosides such as Rb1, Rb2, Rd to compound K while A. oryzae tended to efficiently transform protopanaxatriol (PPT) type ginsenoside Re to Rh1 via Rg1. Butanol extracts of fermented KGB showed high cytotoxicity on human adenocarcinoma HT-29 cell line and hepatocellular carcinoma HepG2 cell line while that of unfermented KGB showed little. The minimum effective concentration of niger-fermented KGB was less than 2.5 µg/mL while that of oryzae-fermented KGB was about 5 µg/mL. As A. niger is more inclined to transform PPD type ginsenosides, niger-fermented KGB showed stronger anti-proliferative activity than oryzae-fermented KGB.

  9. Crystallization and preliminary X-ray diffraction data of β-galactosidase from Aspergillus niger

    PubMed Central

    Rico-Díaz, Agustín; Vizoso Vázquez, Ángel; Cerdán, M. Esperanza; Becerra, Manuel; Sanz-Aparicio, Julia

    2014-01-01

    β-Galactosidase from Aspergillus niger (An-β-Gal), belonging to the family 35 glycoside hydrolases, hydrolyzes the β-galactosidase linkages in lactose and other galactosides. It is extensively used in industry owing to its high hydrolytic activity and safety. The enzyme has been expressed in yeasts and purified by immobilized metal-ion affinity chromatography for crystallization experiments. The recombinant An-β-Gal, deglycosylated to avoid heterogeneity of the sample, has a molecular mass of 109 kDa. Rod-shaped crystals grew using PEG 3350 as the main precipitant agent. A diffraction data set was collected to 1.8 Å resolution. PMID:25372823

  10. Crystallization and preliminary X-ray diffraction data of β-galactosidase from Aspergillus niger.

    PubMed

    Rico-Díaz, Agustín; Vizoso Vázquez, Ángel; Cerdán, M Esperanza; Becerra, Manuel; Sanz-Aparicio, Julia

    2014-11-01

    β-Galactosidase from Aspergillus niger (An-β-Gal), belonging to the family 35 glycoside hydrolases, hydrolyzes the β-galactosidase linkages in lactose and other galactosides. It is extensively used in industry owing to its high hydrolytic activity and safety. The enzyme has been expressed in yeasts and purified by immobilized metal-ion affinity chromatography for crystallization experiments. The recombinant An-β-Gal, deglycosylated to avoid heterogeneity of the sample, has a molecular mass of 109 kDa. Rod-shaped crystals grew using PEG 3350 as the main precipitant agent. A diffraction data set was collected to 1.8 Å resolution.

  11. Dry-heat Resistance of Bacillus Subtilis Var. Niger Spores on Mated Surfaces

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Simko, G. J.; Devlin, J. D.; Wardle, M. D.

    1971-01-01

    Bacillus subtilis var. niger spores were placed on the surfaces of test coupons manufactured from typical spacecraft materials including stainless steel, magnesium, titanium, and aluminum. These coupons were then juxtaposed at the inoculated surfaces and subjected to test pressures of 0, 1000, 5000, and 10,000 psi. Tests were conducted in ambient, nitrogen, and helium atmospheres. While under the test pressure condition, the spores were exposed to 125 C for intervals of 5, 10, 20, 50, or 80 min. Survivor data were subjected to a linear regression analysis that calculated decimal reduction times.

  12. Female sexuality, social reproduction, and the politics of medical intervention in Niger: Kel Ewey Tuareg perspectives.

    PubMed

    Rasmussen, S J

    1994-12-01

    This essay explores connections between political institutions, forms of power, and women's health care concerns from a cultural anthropological perspective. I focus on the roles of different medical establishments among the Kel Ewey Tuareg of Niger--Western-European sponsored, central state, traditional herbalism and Islamic scholarship--in creating, maintaining, and disputing these constructs, through the invention and elaboration of disease categories and through the selective application of medical and reproductive models and technology to women. I also explore women's attempts to manage these forces, as they draw upon a cultural inventory that is alternately supportive and in conflict with their interests.

  13. Changes in primary metabolism leading to citric acid overflow in Aspergillus niger.

    PubMed

    Legisa, Matic; Mattey, Michael

    2007-02-01

    For citric acid-accumulating Aspergillus niger cells, the enhancement of anaplerotic reactions replenishing tricarboxylic acid cycle intermediates predisposes the cells to form the product. However, there is no increased citrate level in germinating spores and a complex sequence of developmental events is needed to change the metabolism in a way that leads to an increased level of tricarboxylic acid cycle intermediates in mycelia. A review of physiological events that cause such intracellular conditions, with the special emphasis on the discussion of hexose transport into the cells and regulation of primary metabolism, predominantly of glycolytic flux during the process, is presented.

  14. Soil Dust Aerosols and Wind as Predictors of Seasonal Meningitis Incidence in Niger

    PubMed Central

    Stanton, Michelle C.; Diggle, Peter J.; Trzaska, Sylwia; Miller, Ron L.; Perlwitz, Jan P.; Baldasano, José M.; Cuevas, Emilio; Ceccato, Pietro; Yaka, Pascal; Thomson, Madeleine C.

    2014-01-01

    Background: Epidemics of meningococcal meningitis are concentrated in sub-Saharan Africa during the dry season, a period when the region is affected by the Harmattan, a dry and dusty northeasterly trade wind blowing from the Sahara into the Gulf of Guinea. Objectives: We examined the potential of climate-based statistical forecasting models to predict seasonal incidence of meningitis in Niger at both the national and district levels. Data and methods: We used time series of meningitis incidence from 1986 through 2006 for 38 districts in Niger. We tested models based on data that would be readily available in an operational framework, such as climate and dust, population, and the incidence of early cases before the onset of the meningitis season in January–May. Incidence was used as a proxy for immunological state, susceptibility, and carriage in the population. We compared a range of negative binomial generalized linear models fitted to the meningitis data. Results: At the national level, a model using early incidence in December and averaged November–December zonal wind provided the best fit (pseudo-R2 = 0.57), with zonal wind having the greatest impact. A model with surface dust concentration as a predictive variable performed indistinguishably well. At the district level, the best spatiotemporal model included zonal wind, dust concentration, early incidence in December, and population density (pseudo-R2 = 0.41). Conclusions: We showed that wind and dust information and incidence in the early dry season predict part of the year-to-year variability of the seasonal incidence of meningitis at both national and district levels in Niger. Models of this form could provide an early-season alert that wind, dust, and other conditions are potentially conducive to an epidemic. Citation: Pérez García-Pando C, Stanton MC, Diggle PJ, Trzaska S, Miller RL, Perlwitz JP, Baldasano JM, Cuevas E, Ceccato P, Yaka P, Thomson MC. 2014. Soil dust aerosols and wind as predictors

  15. Ejaculate of sneaker males is pheromonally inconspicuous in the black goby, Gobius niger (Teleostei, Gobiidae).

    PubMed

    Locatello, L; Mazzoldi, C; Rasotto, M B

    2002-11-01

    The black goby, Gobius niger, shows alternative male mating tactics, i.e., parental and sneaker males. Males release a sexual pheromone that attracts females and stimulates aggressive displays in males. This pheromone is produced by the mesorchial gland, a structure well developed in parental males but markedly undeveloped in sneakers. We measured the behavioral response of parental males to the ejaculates of males performing different reproductive tactics. Parental males reacted to the ejaculate of other parental males, with stereotypic aggressive behaviors, but not to the ejaculate of sneakers; consequently sneaker male ejaculate appears to be pheromonally inconspicuous.

  16. Characterization of the hydrological functioning of the Niger basin using the ISBA-TRIP model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pedinotti, V.; Boone, A.; Decharme, B.; Crétaux, J. F.; Mognard, N.; Panthou, G.; Papa, F.

    2011-10-01

    During the 70s and 80s, West Africa has faced extreme climate variations with extended extreme drought conditions. Of particular importance is the Niger basin, since it traverses a large part of the Sahel and is thus a critical source of water in this semi arid region. However, the understanding of the hydrological processes over this basin is currently limited by the lack of spatially distributed surface water and discharge measurements. The purpose of this study is to use the ISBA-TRIP continental hydrologic system to explore key processes related to the hydrological cycle of the Niger Basin. The scheme accounts explicitly for the surface river routing, for the floodplains dynamic, and for the water storage using a deep aquifer reservoir. In the current study, simulations are done at a 0.5 by 0.5° spatial resolution over the 2002-2007 period using the atmospheric forcing provided by the AMMA Land surface Model Intercomparison Project (ALMIP). The model is intensively compared to in situ discharge measurements as well as satellite derived flood extent, total continental water storage changes and river height changes. The flooding scheme leads to a non-negligible increase of evaporation over large flooded areas, which decrease the Niger river flow by 15% to 50%, according to the observed station and the rainfall dataset used as forcing. This contributes to improve the simulation of the river discharges confirming for the need to incorporate flood representations into Land Surface Model. The model provides a good estimation of the surface water dynamics and accurately simulates the endorheic property of the Northern part of the basin. Moreover, the deep aquifer reservoir improves Niger low flows and the recession law during the dry season. This study also gives a basic estimation of aquifer recharge and of the total terrestrial water budget. The comparison with 3 satellite products from the Gravity Recovery and Climated Experiment (GRACE) is really optimistic and

  17. Of water and worms: Guinea worm re-emergence in Niger.

    PubMed

    Royal, Nathaniel

    2014-03-01

    This paper aims to provide a better understanding of the re-emergence of Guinea worm into the water bodies of the Tillabéri region of the Niger Sahel. It examines the period of re-emergence and subsequent decline from 2002 until 2006. Using a geographic information system combined with a statistical approach to examine the location data of lakes with Guinea worm-associated cases, it is shown that the locations of population centers with cases of Guinea worm disease, the locations of lakes infected with Guinea worm larva, and features of the built environment are correlated in space.

  18. Environmental legal implications of oil and gas exploration in the Niger Delta of Nigeria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Orubebe, Bibobra Bello

    Nigeria is an African country endowed with a wealth of oil and gas resources, and they are mainly found in the core Niger Delta (home to the Ijaw and Ogoni indigenous, ethnic minorities). Since Great Britain granted Nigeria political independence on October 1, 1960, successive Nigerian governments (military and civilian) have been dominated by the majority ethnic groups (Hausa-Fulani, Yoruba, and Ibo). Significantly, the government adopted a socialist-based model of absolute state ownership over oil and gas resources. The socialist model formed the basis of Nigeria's business collaboration with multinational oil and gas corporations from Europe and the United States (notably Shell, Chevron Texaco, Agip, Exxon Mobil, Total, and Elf). This model is fraught with contradictions and has led to unacceptable consequences, including policies that allow exploitation of natural resources without reference to environmental sustainability. When oil was first struck in 1956 at Oloibori (Ijaw area), people thought it would bring prosperity and an improved quality of life. Sadly, the opposite has occurred. Forty-nine years of hardship, agonizing pain, debilitating anger, extreme poverty, poisoned rivers, destroyed occupations, devastated environment, and stunted growth of the youth are the negative impacts of oil and gas exploitation in the Niger Delta. In other words, oil and gas exploration and production have visited a full range of evils---socio-political, economic, and cultural---upon the indigenous Niger Delta people. Furthermore, the wealth extracted from the area is used by the state and multinational corporations to enhance their own wealth and quality of life. Revenue has been conspicuously looted and misappropriated by political leaders at the expense of the Niger Delta environment and its people. This confluence of exploitation and injury has led to social upheavals and armed rebellions, all capable of precipitating the disintegration of the country. In this

  19. Gene identification and functional analysis of methylcitrate synthase in citric acid-producing Aspergillus niger WU-2223L.

    PubMed

    Kobayashi, Keiichi; Hattori, Takasumi; Honda, Yuki; Kirimura, Kohtaro

    2013-01-01

    Methylcitrate synthase (EC 2.3.3.5; MCS) is a key enzyme of the methylcitric acid cycle localized in the mitochondria of eukaryotic cells and related to propionic acid metabolism. In this study, cloning of the gene mcsA encoding MCS and heterologous expression of it in Escherichia coli were performed for functional analysis of the MCS of citric acid-producing Aspergillus niger WU-2223L. Only one copy of mcsA (1,495 bp) exists in the A. niger WU-2223L chromosome. It encodes a 51-kDa polypeptide consisting of 465 amino acids containing mitochondrial targeting signal peptides. Purified recombinant MCS showed not only MCS activity (27.6 U/mg) but also citrate synthase (EC 2.3.3.1; CS) activity (26.8 U/mg). For functional analysis of MCS, mcsA disruptant strain DMCS-1, derived from A. niger WU-2223L, was constructed. Although A. niger WU-2223L showed growth on propionate as sole carbon source, DMCS-1 showed no growth. These results suggest that MCS is an essential enzyme in propionic acid metabolism, and that the methylcitric acid cycle operates functionally in A. niger WU-2223L. To determine whether MCS makes a contribution to citric acid production, citric acid production tests on DMCS-1 were performed. The amount of citric acid produced from glucose consumed by DMCS-1 in citric acid production medium over 12 d of cultivation was on the same level to that by WU-2223L. Thus it was found that MCS made no contribution to citric acid production from glucose in A. niger WU-2223L, although MCS showed CS activity.

  20. Nutritional and health status of children during a food crisis--Niger, September 17-October 14, 2005.

    PubMed

    2006-11-03

    Media attention in 2005 brought worldwide awareness to a food and nutrition crisis in the West Africa country of Niger (population 11.5 million in 2002). The United Nations World Food Programme estimated that 2.5 million persons living in farming and grazing areas in Niger were vulnerable to food insecurity (i.e., not having access at all times to enough food for an active, healthy lifestyle). Local surveys conducted in the Maradi and Tahoua administrative regions during April 2005 suggested critical levels (i.e., >15%) of global acute malnutrition (GAM) and greater mortality among Niger's estimated 2.7 million children aged <5 years than the emergency threshold (i.e., more than two deaths per 10,000 children per day). To help ensure a proportionate and timely response, the Government of Niger and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) collaborated with CDC to conduct an emergency survey that assessed the magnitude of malnutrition and recent illness among young children in Niger. This report summarizes the results of that survey, which determined that, among children aged 6-59 months, 15.3% had GAM; during the preceding 2 weeks, 72.0% had fever, and 49.1% had diarrhea. Among children aged 9-59 months, 33.7% had not been vaccinated for measles. Health officials in Niger took immediate action to improve availability of food, increase accessibility to medical treatment (for fever, diarrhea, and respiratory illness), and administer measles vaccinations along with vitamin A supplements to children who had not been vaccinated.

  1. Aspergillus tubingensis and Aspergillus niger as the dominant black Aspergillus, use of simple PCR-RFLP for preliminary differentiation.

    PubMed

    Mirhendi, H; Zarei, F; Motamedi, M; Nouripour-Sisakht, S

    2016-03-01

    This work aimed to identify the species distribution of common clinical and environmental isolates of black Aspergilli based on simple restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis of the β-tubulin gene. A total of 149 clinical and environmental strains of black Aspergilli were collected and subjected to preliminary morphological examination. Total genomic DNAs were extracted, and PCR was performed to amplify part of the β-tubulin gene. At first, 52 randomly selected samples were species-delineated by sequence analysis. In order to distinguish the most common species, PCR amplicons of 117 black Aspergillus strains were identified by simple PCR-RFLP analysis using the enzyme TasI. Among 52 sequenced isolates, 28 were Aspergillus tubingensis, 21 Aspergillus niger, and the three remaining isolates included Aspergillus uvarum, Aspergillus awamori, and Aspergillus acidus. All 100 environmental and 17 BAL samples subjected to TasI-RFLP analysis of the β-tubulin gene, fell into two groups, consisting of about 59% (n=69) A. tubingensis and 41% (n=48) A. niger. Therefore, the method successfully and rapidly distinguished A. tubingensis and A. niger as the most common species among the clinical and environmental isolates. Although tardy, the Ehrlich test was also able to differentiate A. tubingensis and A. niger according to the yellow color reaction specific to A. niger. A. tubingensis and A. niger are the most common black Aspergillus in both clinical and environmental isolates in Iran. PCR-RFLP using TasI digestion of β-tubulin DNA enables rapid screening for these common species.

  2. Aspergillus niger Enhance Bioactive Compounds Biosynthesis As Well As Expression of Functional Genes in Adventitious Roots of Glycyrrhiza uralensis Fisch.

    PubMed

    Li, Jing; Wang, Juan; Li, Jinxin; Liu, Dahui; Li, Hongfa; Gao, Wenyuan; Li, Jianli; Liu, Shujie

    2016-02-01

    In the present study, the culture conditions for the accumulation of Glycyrrhiza uralensis adventitious root metabolites in balloon-type bubble bioreactors (BTBBs) have been optimized. The results of the culture showed that the best culture conditions were a cone angle of 90° bioreactor and 0.4-0.6-0.4-vvm aeration volume. Aspergillus niger can be used as a fungal elicitor to enhance the production of defense compounds in plants. With the addition of a fungal elicitor (derived from Aspergillus niger), the maximum accumulation of total flavonoids (16.12 mg g(-1)) and glycyrrhetinic acid (0.18 mg g(-1)) occurred at a dose of 400 mg L(-1) of Aspergillus niger resulting in a 3.47-fold and 1.8-fold increase over control roots. However, the highest concentration of polysaccharide (106.06 mg g(-1)) was achieved with a mixture of elicitors (Aspergillus niger and salicylic acid) added to the medium, resulting in a 1.09-fold increase over Aspergillus niger treatment alone. Electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry (ESI-MS(n)) analysis was performed, showing that seven compounds were present after treatment with the elicitors, including uralsaponin B, licorice saponin B2, liquiritin, and (3R)-vestitol, only identified in the mixed elicitor treatment group. It has also been found that elicitors (Aspergillus niger and salicylic acid) significantly upregulated the expression of the cinnamate 4-hydroxylase (C4H), β-amyrin synthase (β-AS), squalene epoxidase (SE) and a cytochrome P450 monooxygenase (CYP72A154) genes, which are involved in the biosynthesis of bioactive compounds, and increased superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), and peroxidase (POD) activity.

  3. Evidence that cleavage of the precursor enzyme by autocatalysis caused secretion of multiple amylases by Aspergillus niger.

    PubMed

    Ravi-Kumar, K; Venkatesh, K S; Umesh-Kumar, S

    2004-01-16

    The observation that a mutant strain of Aspergillus niger isolated for protease overproduction accumulated Taka-amylase supported an earlier report that processing of the precursor amylase by protease resulted in the secretion of multiple amylases. Studies using a mutant strain revealed that such processing was not due to aspergillopepsin but to autocatalysis by an inherent protease activity of the precursor and glucoamylase. Alignment of protease sequences with glucoamylase showed regions of consensus with serine carboxypeptidase of A. niger. Thus point mutations in this region due to ultraviolet radiation apparently caused the mutant to evolve with enhanced protease activity that degraded the precursor and accumulated Taka-amylase.

  4. Antibiotic Extraction as a Recent Biocontrol Method for Aspergillus Niger andAspergillus Flavus Fungi in Ancient Egyptian mural paintings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hemdan, R. Elmitwalli; Fatma, Helmi M.; Rizk, Mohammed A.; Hagrassy, Abeer F.

    Biodeterioration of mural paintings by Aspergillus niger and Aspergillus flavus Fungi has been proved in different mural paintings in Egypt nowadays. Several researches have studied the effect of fungi on mural paintings, the mechanism of interaction and methods of control. But none of these researches gives us the solution without causing a side effect. In this paper, for the first time, a recent treatment by antibiotic "6 penthyl α pyrone phenol" was applied as a successful technique for elimination of Aspergillus niger and Aspergillus flavus. On the other hand, it is favorable for cleaning Surfaces of Murals executed by tembera technique from the fungi metabolism which caused a black pigments on surfaces.

  5. Morphology of Filamentous Fungi: Linking Cellular Biology to Process Engineering Using Aspergillus niger

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krull, Rainer; Cordes, Christiana; Horn, Harald; Kampen, Ingo; Kwade, Arno; Neu, Thomas R.; Nörtemann, Bernd

    In various biotechnological processes, filamentous fungi, e.g. Aspergillus niger, are widely applied for the production of high value-added products due to their secretion efficiency. There is, however, a tangled relationship between the morphology of these microorganisms, the transport phenomena and the related productivity. The morphological characteristics vary between freely dispersed mycelia and distinct pellets of aggregated biomass. Hence, advantages and disadvantages for mycel or pellet cultivation have to be balanced out carefully. Due to this inadequate understanding of morphogenesis of filamentous microorganisms, fungal morphology, along with reproducibility of inocula of the same quality, is often a bottleneck of productivity in industrial production. To obtain an optimisation of the production process it is of great importance to gain a better understanding of the molecular and cell biology of these microorganisms as well as the approaches in biochemical engineering and particle technique, in particular to characterise the interactions between the growth conditions, cell morphology, spore-hyphae-interactions and product formation. Advances in particle and image analysis techniques as well as micromechanical devices and their applications to fungal cultivations have made available quantitative morphological data on filamentous cells. This chapter provides the ambitious aspects of this line of action, focussing on the control and characterisation of the morphology, the transport gradients and the approaches to understand the metabolism of filamentous fungi. Based on these data, bottlenecks in the morphogenesis of A. niger within the complex production pathways from gene to product should be identified and this may improve the production yield.

  6. Efficacy of lipase from Aspergillus niger as an additive in detergent formulations: a statistical approach.

    PubMed

    Saisubramanian, N; Edwinoliver, N G; Nandakumar, N; Kamini, N R; Puvanakrishnan, R

    2006-08-01

    The efficacy of lipase from Aspergillus niger MTCC 2594 as an additive in laundry detergent formulations was assessed using response surface methodology (RSM). A five-level four-factorial central composite design was chosen to explain the washing protocol with four critical factors, viz. detergent concentration, lipase concentration, buffer pH and washing temperature. The model suggested that all the factors chosen had a significant impact on oil removal and the optimal conditions for the removal of olive oil from cotton fabric were 1.0% detergent, 75 U of lipase, buffer pH of 9.5 and washing temperature of 25 degrees C. Under optimal conditions, the removal of olive oil from cotton fabric was 33 and 17.1% at 25 and 49 degrees C, respectively, in the presence of lipase over treatment with detergent alone. Hence, lipase from A. niger could be effectively used as an additive in detergent formulation for the removal of triglyceride soil both in cold and warm wash conditions.

  7. SWOT Data Assimilation for Operational Reservoir Management on the Upper Niger River Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Munier, S.; Polebistki, A.; Brown, C.; Belaud, G.; Lettenmaier, D. P.

    2014-12-01

    The future Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) satellite mission will provide two-dimensional maps of water elevation for rivers with width greater than 100 m globally. We describe a modeling framework and an automatic control algorithm that prescribe optimal releases from the Selingue dam in the Upper Niger River Basin, with the objective of understanding how SWOT data might be used to the benefit of operational water management. The modeling framework was used in a twin experiment to simulate the "true" system state and an ensemble of model states derived using corrupted meteorological forcings. Virtual SWOT observations of reservoir and river levels were assimilated into the model with a repeat cycle of 21 days. The updated state was used to initialize a Model Predictive Control (MPC) algorithm that computed the optimal reservoir release that meets a minimum flow requirement 300 km downstream of the dam at the entrance of the environmentally sensitive Niger Inner Delta. The data assimilation results indicate that the model updates had a positive effect on estimates of both water level and discharge. The "persistence", which describes the duration of the assimilation effect, was clearly improved by integrating a smoother into the assimilation procedure. We compared performances of the MPC with SWOT data assimilation to an open-loop MPC simulation. Results show that the assimilation of SWOT data resulted in substantial improvements in the performances of the Selingue Dam management with a greater ability to meet environmental requirements and a lower volume of water released from the dam.

  8. Purification and characterisation of a novel enantioselective epoxide hydrolase from Aspergillus niger M200.

    PubMed

    Kotik, Michael; Kyslík, Pavel

    2006-02-01

    Purification of a novel enantioselective epoxide hydrolase from Aspergillus niger M200 has been achieved using ammonium sulphate precipitation, ionic exchange, hydrophobic interaction, and size-exclusion chromatography, in conjunction with two additional chromatographic steps employing hydroxylapatite, and Mimetic Green. The enzyme was purified 186-fold with a yield of 15%. The apparent molecular mass of the enzyme was determined to be 77 kDa under native conditions and 40 kDa under denaturing conditions, implying a dimeric structure of the native enzyme. The isoelectric point of the enzyme was estimated to be 4.0 by isoelectric focusing electrophoresis. The enzyme has a broad substrate specificity with highest specificities towards tert-butyl glycidyl ether, para-nitrostyrene oxide, benzyl glycidyl ether, and styrene oxide. Enantiomeric ratios of 30 to more than 100 were determined for the hydrolysis reactions of 4 epoxidic substrates using the purified enzyme at a reaction temperature of 10 degrees C. Product inhibition studies suggest that the enzyme is able to differentiate to a high degree between the (R)-diol and (S)-diol product of the hydrolysis reaction with tert-butyl glycidyl ether as the substrate. The highest activity of the enzyme was at 42 degrees C and a pH of 6.8. Six peptide sequences, which were obtained by cleavage of the purified enzyme with trypsin and mass spectrometry analysis of the tryptic peptides, show high similarity with corresponding sequences originated from the epoxide hydrolase from Aspergillus niger LCP 521.

  9. Biochar enhances Aspergillus niger rock phosphate solubilization by increasing organic acid production and alleviating fluoride toxicity.

    PubMed

    Mendes, Gilberto de Oliveira; Zafra, David Lopez; Vassilev, Nikolay Bojkov; Silva, Ivo Ribeiro; Ribeiro, José Ivo; Costa, Maurício Dutra

    2014-05-01

    During fungal rock phosphate (RP) solubilization, a significant quantity of fluoride (F(-)) is released together with phosphorus (P), strongly inhibiting the process. In the present study, the effect of two F(-) adsorbents [activated alumina (Al2O3) and biochar] on RP solubilization by Aspergillus niger was examined. Al2O3 adsorbed part of the F(-) released but also adsorbed soluble P, which makes it inappropriate for microbial RP solubilization systems. In contrast, biochar adsorbed only F(-) while enhancing phosphate solubilization 3-fold, leading to the accumulation of up to 160 mg of P per liter. By comparing the values of F(-) measured in solution at the end of incubation and those from a predictive model, it was estimated that up to 19 mg of F(-) per liter can be removed from solution by biochar when added at 3 g liter(-1) to the culture medium. Thus, biochar acted as an F(-) sink during RP solubilization and led to an F(-) concentration in solution that was less inhibitory to the process. In the presence of biochar, A. niger produced larger amounts of citric, gluconic, and oxalic acids, whether RP was present or not. Our results show that biochar enhances RP solubilization through two interrelated processes: partial removal of the released F(-) and increased organic acid production. Given the importance of organic acids for P solubilization and that most of the RPs contain high concentrations of F(-), the proposed solubilization system offers an important technological improvement for the microbial production of soluble P fertilizers from RP.

  10. Spatial differentiation of gene expression in Aspergillus niger colony grown for sugar beet pulp utilization

    PubMed Central

    Benoit, Isabelle; Zhou, Miaomiao; Vivas Duarte, Alexandra; Downes, Damien J.; Todd, Richard B.; Kloezen, Wendy; Post, Harm; Heck, Albert J. R.; Maarten Altelaar, A. F.; de Vries, Ronald P.

    2015-01-01

    Degradation of plant biomass to fermentable sugars is of critical importance for the use of plant materials for biofuels. Filamentous fungi are ubiquitous organisms and major plant biomass degraders. Single colonies of some fungal species can colonize massive areas as large as five soccer stadia. During growth, the mycelium encounters heterogeneous carbon sources. Here we assessed whether substrate heterogeneity is a major determinant of spatial gene expression in colonies of Aspergillus niger. We analyzed whole-genome gene expression in five concentric zones of 5-day-old colonies utilizing sugar beet pulp as a complex carbon source. Growth, protein production and secretion occurred throughout the colony. Genes involved in carbon catabolism were expressed uniformly from the centre to the periphery whereas genes encoding plant biomass degrading enzymes and nitrate utilization were expressed differentially across the colony. A combined adaptive response of carbon-catabolism and enzyme production to locally available monosaccharides was observed. Finally, our results demonstrate that A. niger employs different enzymatic tools to adapt its metabolism as it colonizes complex environments. PMID:26314379

  11. Hyperexpression of two Aspergillus Niger Xylanase Genes in Escherichia Coli and Characterization of the Gene Products

    PubMed Central

    Yi, Xiuli; Shi, Yan; Xu, Hui; Li, Wei; Xie, Jie; Yu, Rongqing; Zhu, Jun; Cao, Yi; Qiao, Dairong

    2010-01-01

    The analysis of individual gene product should enable to clarify the role of a particular enzyme in a complex xylanase system of A. niger. The two genes encoding precursors of co-produced endo-1,4-β-D-xylanases, xynA1 and xynB, were isolated from Aspergillus niger SCTCC 400264 (SCTCC, China) by using RT-PCR technique and then successfully expressed in Escherichia coli BL21. The nucleotide sequences of the xynA1 and xynB genes revealed that they were only 52.5% homology to each other. Characterization of the recombinant enzymes revealed the different properties: the specific activity of recombinant XYNA1 was 16.58 U/mg compared to 1201.7 U/mg for recombinant XYNB; The optimum temperature and pH of the recombinant XYNA1 were 35 °C and 3.0, respectively, whereas the corresponding values for the recombinant XYNB were 55 °C and 5.0, respectively; The recombinant XYNB showed much more thermostability than recombinant XYNA1; The recombinant XYNB showed 94% of maximal activity after incubating in water for 60 min at 60 °C compared to no activity for recombinant XYNA1. Various metal ions had different effects on activity between the two recombinant xylanases. PMID:24031555

  12. Formation of Sclerotia and Production of Indoloterpenes by Aspergillus niger and Other Species in Section Nigri

    PubMed Central

    Frisvad, Jens C.; Petersen, Lene M.; Lyhne, E. Kirstine; Larsen, Thomas O.

    2014-01-01

    Several species in Aspergillus section Nigri have been reported to produce sclerotia on well-known growth media, such as Czapek yeast autolysate (CYA) agar, with sclerotia considered to be an important prerequisite for sexual development. However Aspergillus niger sensu stricto has not been reported to produce sclerotia, and is thought to be a purely asexual organism. Here we report, for the first time, the production of sclerotia by certain strains of Aspergillus niger when grown on CYA agar with raisins, or on other fruits or on rice. Up to 11 apolar indoloterpenes of the aflavinine type were detected by liquid chromatography and diode array and mass spectrometric detection where sclerotia were formed, including 10,23-dihydro-24,25-dehydroaflavinine. Sclerotium induction can thus be a way of inducing the production of new secondary metabolites from previously silent gene clusters. Cultivation of other species of the black aspergilli showed that raisins induced sclerotium formation by A. brasiliensis, A. floridensis A. ibericus, A. luchuensis, A. neoniger, A. trinidadensis and A. saccharolyticus for the first time. PMID:24736731

  13. High production of β-glucosidase by Aspergillus niger on corncob.

    PubMed

    Wang, Chunli; Wu, Gaihong; Chen, Chang; Chen, Shulin

    2012-09-01

    Using low-cost raw material is an effective approach for reducing the cost of cellulolytic enzymes. The farmland waste corncob was found in this study to be the best carbon source for the production of β-glucosidase by Aspergillus niger. The maximum yield of β-glucosidase activity was 48.7 IU ml(-1) by using 50 g l(-1) of corncob powder as the substrate. It was found that the water-soluble components of the corncob could increase β-glucosidase production significantly only when mixed with Avicel or wheat bran. The soluble components could not enhance the biomass and β-glucosidase production when used alone. On the other hand, the water-insoluble components of the corncob still produced high level of β-glucosidase (30 IU ml(-1)) although lower than that of using whole corncob. The results suggested that the water-insoluble components of corncob were beneficial for β-glucosidase production. It was further demonstrated that the xylan in the water-insoluble parts of corncob was the important factor in producing β-glucosidase by A. niger.

  14. Hydrate dissolution as a potential mechanism for pockmark formation in the Niger delta

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sultan, N.; Marsset, B.; Ker, S.; Marsset, T.; Voisset, M.; Vernant, A. M.; Bayon, G.; Cauquil, E.; Adamy, J.; Colliat, J. L.; Drapeau, D.

    2010-08-01

    Based on acquired geophysical, geological and geotechnical data and modeling, we suggest hydrate dissolution to cause sediment collapse and pockmark formation in the Niger delta. Very high-resolution bathymetry data acquired from the Niger delta reveal the morphology of pockmarks with different shapes and sizes going from a small ring depression surrounding an irregular floor to more typical pockmarks with uniform depression. Geophysical data, in situ piezocone measurements, piezometer measurements and sediment cores demonstrate the presence of a common internal architecture of the studied pockmarks: inner sediments rich in gas hydrates surrounded by overpressured sediments. The temperature, pressure and salinity conditions of the studied area have allowed us to exclude the process of gas-hydrate dissociation (gas hydrate turns into free gas/water mixture) as a trigger of the observed pockmarks. Based on numerical modeling, we demonstrate that gas-hydrate dissolution (gas hydrate becomes mixture of water and dissolved gas) under a local decrease of the gas concentration at the base of the gas-hydrate occurrence zone (GHOZ) can explain the excess pore pressure and fluid flow surrounding the central hydrated area and the sediment collapse at the border of the GHOZ. The different deformation (or development) stages of the detected pockmarks confirm that a local process such as the amount of gas flow through faults rather than a regional one is at the origin of those depressions.

  15. Bioleaching of valuable metals from spent lithium-ion mobile phone batteries using Aspergillus niger

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horeh, N. Bahaloo; Mousavi, S. M.; Shojaosadati, S. A.

    2016-07-01

    In this paper, a bio-hydrometallurgical route based on fungal activity of Aspergillus niger was evaluated for the detoxification and recovery of Cu, Li, Mn, Al, Co and Ni metals from spent lithium-ion phone mobile batteries under various conditions (one-step, two-step and spent medium bioleaching). The maximum recovery efficiency of 100% for Cu, 95% for Li, 70% for Mn, 65% for Al, 45% for Co, and 38% for Ni was obtained at a pulp density of 1% in spent medium bioleaching. The HPLC results indicated that citric acid in comparison with other detected organic acids (gluconic, oxalic and malic acid) had an important role in the effectiveness of bioleaching using A. niger. The results of FTIR, XRD and FE-SEM analysis of battery powder before and after bioleaching process confirmed that the fungal activities were quite effective. In addition, bioleaching achieved higher removal efficiency for heavy metals than the chemical leaching. This research demonstrated the great potential of bio-hydrometallurgical route to recover heavy metals from spent lithium-ion mobile phone batteries.

  16. Crises Management in the Oil and Gas Industry: The Niger Delta Experience

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Odemene, Glory C.

    The Niger Delta crises escalated beyond the borders of the Nigerian nation to become an issue that affected individuals and corporations around the world. This study led to the discovery of how the local crises escalated with international implications. This discovery was accomplished by addressing how the Niger Delta crises escalated from villages to international scenes, with notable impacts on the environment, health, safety, security, and financial segments of local, international, private, and corporate entities. Using Sweeny's crisis decision theory and Lazarus and Folkman's coping theory, the study considered the coping strategies of community members, the decisions, and actions they took in response to the management approaches of the government and the oil and gas companies (OGCs). This qualitative study utilized historical narrative to collect data by interviewing 4 participants who lived and worked in the region during the crises. NVivo was used for manual and automatic coding of data, as well as for categorization and connection of codes. Content analysis of identified codes and categories revealed the themes and trends in the experiences narrated by participants. Findings include the root causes, trend of escalation, and management strategies of the government and the OGCs that influenced the crises. These findings will help to influence policies and practices in the region and enhance effective management of current and emerging conflicts, with possibilities of restoring stability and security in the areas and in the nation at large.

  17. GC--MS analysis reveals production of 2--Phenylethanol from Aspergillus niger endophytic in rose.

    PubMed

    Wani, Masood Ahmed; Sanjana, Kaul; Kumar, Dhar Manoj; Lal, Dhar Kanahya

    2010-02-01

    Endophytes include all organisms that during a variable period of their life, colonize the living internal tissues of their hosts without causing detectable symptoms. Several fungal endophytes have been isolated from a variety of plant species which have proved themselves as a rich source of secondary metabolites. The reported natural products from endophytes include antibiotics, immunosuppresants, anticancer compounds, antioxidant agents, etc. For the first time Rosa damacaena (rose) has been explored for its endophytes. The rose oil industry is the major identified deligence for its application in perfumery, flavouring, ointments, and pharmaceuticals including various herbal products. During the present investigation fungal endophytes were isolated from Rosa damacaena. A total of fifty four isolates were isolated out of which sixteen isolates were screened for the production of secondary metabolites. GCMS analysis reveals the production of 2-phenylethanol by one of the isolates JUBT 3M which was identified as Aspergillus niger. This is the first report of production of 2-phenylethanol from endophytic A. niger. 2-phenylethanol is an important constituent of rose oil constituting about 4.06% of rose oil. Presence of 2-phenylethanol indicates that the endophyte of rose may duplicate the biosynthesis of phenyl propanoids by rose plant. Besides this, the other commercial applications of phenylethanol include its use in antiseptics, disinfectants, anti-microbials and preservative in pharmaceuticals.

  18. Effect of oxygen transfer rate on the composition of the pectolytic enzyme complex of Aspergillus niger

    SciTech Connect

    Zetelaki-Horvath, K.; Vas, K.

    1981-01-01

    Optimal agitation and aeration conditions (assuring O/sub 2/ transfer rates (OTR) of 12-179 mmol/L-h) were determined for pectin lyase (PL) synthesis of an Aspergillus niger strain. Components of the pectolytic enzyme complex were also investigated in order to determine whether their O/sub 2/ demand is identical with or different from that of pectin lyase. Should the latter be the case, a possibility would be given to produce enzyme complexes of different agitation and aeration conditions. The mycelium yield of Aspergillus niger was maximum at an OTR of 100 mmol/L-h. The yields of the various pectolytic enzymes reached maximum at different OTRs. PL production was highest (0.555 mumol/min-mL) at an OTR of 60 mmol/L-h. Endopolygalacturonase (PG) production has a maximum at OTR 49 mmol/L-h, with a 2nd peak at 100-135 mmol O2/L-h. Pectin esterase (PE) synthesis showed a maximum at an OTR of 12-14 mmol/L-h, while both apple juice clarifying and macerating activities gave 2 maximum at 14 and 60 mmol/L-h due to the optima of PE and endo-PG. Macerating activity showed a high value at OTR optimal for PL production as well.

  19. Inhibition of Aspergillus niger Phosphate Solubilization by Fluoride Released from Rock Phosphate

    PubMed Central

    Mendes, Gilberto de Oliveira; Vassilev, Nikolay Bojkov; Bonduki, Victor Hugo Araújo; da Silva, Ivo Ribeiro; Ribeiro, José Ivo

    2013-01-01

    The simultaneous release of various chemical elements with inhibitory potential for phosphate solubilization from rock phosphate (RP) was studied in this work. Al, B, Ba, Ca, F, Fe, Mn, Mo, Na, Ni, Pb, Rb, Si, Sr, V, Zn, and Zr were released concomitantly with P during the solubilization of Araxá RP (Brazil), but only F showed inhibitory effects on the process at the concentrations detected in the growth medium. Besides P solubilization, fluoride decreased fungal growth, citric acid production, and medium acidification by Aspergillus niger. At the maximum concentration found during Araxá RP solubilization (22.9 mg F− per liter), fluoride decreased P solubilization by 55%. These findings show that fluoride negatively affects RP solubilization by A. niger through its inhibitory action on the fungal metabolism. Given that fluoride is a common component of RPs, the data presented here suggest that most of the microbial RP solubilization systems studied so far were probably operated under suboptimal conditions. PMID:23770895

  20. Morphology of filamentous fungi: linking cellular biology to process engineering using Aspergillus niger.

    PubMed

    Krull, Rainer; Cordes, Christiana; Horn, Harald; Kampen, Ingo; Kwade, Arno; Neu, Thomas R; Nörtemann, Bernd

    2010-01-01

    In various biotechnological processes, filamentous fungi, e.g. Aspergillus niger, are widely applied for the production of high value-added products due to their secretion efficiency. There is, however, a tangled relationship between the morphology of these microorganisms, the transport phenomena and the related productivity. The morphological characteristics vary between freely dispersed mycelia and distinct pellets of aggregated biomass. Hence, advantages and disadvantages for mycel or pellet cultivation have to be balanced out carefully. Due to this inadequate understanding of morphogenesis of filamentous microorganisms, fungal morphology, along with reproducibility of inocula of the same quality, is often a bottleneck of productivity in industrial production. To obtain an optimisation of the production process it is of great importance to gain a better understanding of the molecular and cell biology of these microorganisms as well as the approaches in biochemical engineering and particle technique, in particular to characterise the interactions between the growth conditions, cell morphology, spore-hyphae-interactions and product formation. Advances in particle and image analysis techniques as well as micromechanical devices and their applications to fungal cultivations have made available quantitative morphological data on filamentous cells. This chapter provides the ambitious aspects of this line of action, focussing on the control and characterisation of the morphology, the transport gradients and the approaches to understand the metabolism of filamentous fungi. Based on these data, bottlenecks in the morphogenesis of A. niger within the complex production pathways from gene to product should be identified and this may improve the production yield.

  1. Production of Proteolytic Enzymes by a Keratin-Degrading Aspergillus niger

    PubMed Central

    Lopes, Fernanda Cortez; Silva, Lucas André Dedavid e; Tichota, Deise Michele; Daroit, Daniel Joner; Velho, Renata Voltolini; Pereira, Jamile Queiroz; Corrêa, Ana Paula Folmer; Brandelli, Adriano

    2011-01-01

    A fungal isolate with capability to grow in keratinous substrate as only source of carbon and nitrogen was identified as Aspergillus niger using the sequencing of the ITS region of the rDNA. This strain produced a slightly acid keratinase and an acid protease during cultivation in feather meal. The peak of keratinolytic activity occurred in 48 h and the maximum proteolytic activity in 96 h. These enzymes were partly characterized as serine protease and aspartic protease, respectively. The effects of feather meal concentration and initial pH on enzyme production were evaluated using a central composite design combined with response surface methodology. The optimal conditions were determined as pH 5.0 for protease and 7.8 for keratinase and 20 g/L of feather meal, showing that both models were predictive. Production of keratinases by A. niger is a less-exploited field that might represent a novel and promising biotechnological application for this microorganism. PMID:22007293

  2. A Neogene calcareous nannofossil biozonation scheme for the deep offshore Niger Delta

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fadiya, Lawrence Suyi; Salami, Babajide Moshood

    2015-12-01

    A detailed calcareous nannofossil analysis was carried out on the deep-water offshore Niger Delta strata penetrated by eight wells in order to erect a basin-wide Neogene biozonation scheme for the region. Four of the wells penetrated Miocene to Early Pliocene strata while the others drilled through Miocene sediments. The recorded rich and diversified nannofossil suites enabled the subdivision of the Neogene sequences into 13 zones [NN1 (CN1a) - Early Miocene to NN13 (CN10c) - Early Pliocene] and 15 subzones. Five (NN1, NN2, NN4, NN5 and NN11) zones are divided into subzones based on First and Last occurrences plus relative abundance of marker species. Dearth of nannofossils in the Middle Miocene NN5-NN8 zones precludes a refined zonation construction for the interval. Several new criteria are suggested for delineating new and previously erected zones. The resulting refined scheme offers an improved stratigraphic framework for correlation of thin reservoir units within and across Niger Delta fields.

  3. Induction of mutation in Aspergillus niger for conversion of cellulose into glucose

    SciTech Connect

    Helmi, S.; Khalil, A.E.; Tahoun, M.K.; Khairy, A.H.

    1991-12-31

    Plant wastes are very important part of biomass used and investigated for energy, chemical, and fuel production. Cellulose is the major renewable form of carbohydrate in the world, about 10{sup 11} tons of which is synthesized annually. For general use, it must be hydrolyzed first, either chemically or by cellulases derived from a few specialized microorganisms. Enzymes are acceptable environmentally but expensive to produce. Certainly, induction of mutations and selection of high cellulose microbial strains with significant adaptability to degrade cellulose to glucose is promising solutions. Induction of mutations in other fungi and Aspergillus sp. rather than Aspergillus niger was reported. Aspergillus ustus and Trichoderma harzianum were induced by gamma irradiation indicating mutants that excrete higher cellulose yields, particularly exocellobiohydrolase (Avicelase) than their respective wild types. Mutants from the celluiolytic fungus Penicillium pinophilum were induced by chemical and UV-irradiation. Enhancing the production of endo-1,4-{Beta}-D-glucanase (CMCase) and particularly {Beta}-glucosidase was obtained by gamma irradiation of Altemaria alternate. To overcome the lower activity of {beta}-glucosidase in certain fungi species rather than A. niger, mixed cultures of different species were tried. Thus, Aspergillus phonicis with Trichoderma reesei Rut 30, produced a cellulose complex that improved activity twofold over cellulose from Trichoderma alone.

  4. Seismic modeling for gas field development in offshore Niger Delta: A case history

    SciTech Connect

    Idowu, A.O. )

    1994-07-01

    In practice, seismic data has been used to map the geometry of events in the subsurface, mainly from reflection continuity and the character of reflection packages. Seismic modeling techniques are attempts to mathematically and geometrically represent the geology of the subsurface and to depict the interaction of the geology with a propagating seismic wave front. In the Niger delta, recent development in stratigraphic exploration has induced the examination of more subtle features of reflection, mainly polarity, amplitude, and waveform, to define the limits of seismic resolution and hence predict the geometry of the subsurface fluid and solid interfaces. The field being appraised for development in this study is located approximately 35 km offshore southeast of the Niger delta in a water depth ranging from 20 to 25 m, and the project involves a modeling evaluation of five sand units encountered at different levels in the subsurface. The sands being modeled occur within the Agbada Formation (Miocene age), an alternation sequence of transitional sands and shales characterized by high-amplitude, anomalous seismic events over the Nkop field. Structurally, the field is characterized by seaward facing, contemporaneous growth faults consisting mainly of a rollover anticline located in a regional fault couple, bounded to the north and south by a growth fault.

  5. Bacillus subtilis attachment to Aspergillus niger hyphae results in mutually altered metabolism.

    PubMed

    Benoit, Isabelle; van den Esker, Marielle H; Patyshakuliyeva, Aleksandrina; Mattern, Derek J; Blei, Felix; Zhou, Miaomiao; Dijksterhuis, Jan; Brakhage, Axel A; Kuipers, Oscar P; de Vries, Ronald P; Kovács, Ákos T

    2015-06-01

    Interaction between microbes affects the growth, metabolism and differentiation of members of the microbial community. While direct and indirect competition, like antagonism and nutrient consumption have a negative effect on the interacting members of the population, microbes have also evolved in nature not only to fight, but in some cases to adapt to or support each other, while increasing the fitness of the community. The presence of bacteria and fungi in soil results in various interactions including mutualism. Bacilli attach to the plant root and form complex communities in the rhizosphere. Bacillus subtilis, when grown in the presence of Aspergillus niger, interacts similarly with the fungus, by attaching and growing on the hyphae. Based on data obtained in a dual transcriptome experiment, we suggest that both fungi and bacteria alter their metabolism during this interaction. Interestingly, the transcription of genes related to the antifungal and putative antibacterial defence mechanism of B. subtilis and A. niger, respectively, are decreased upon attachment of bacteria to the mycelia. Analysis of the culture supernatant suggests that surfactin production by B. subtilis was reduced when the bacterium was co-cultivated with the fungus. Our experiments provide new insights into the interaction between a bacterium and a fungus.

  6. Formation of sclerotia and production of indoloterpenes by Aspergillus niger and other species in section Nigri.

    PubMed

    Frisvad, Jens C; Petersen, Lene M; Lyhne, E Kirstine; Larsen, Thomas O

    2014-01-01

    Several species in Aspergillus section Nigri have been reported to produce sclerotia on well-known growth media, such as Czapek yeast autolysate (CYA) agar, with sclerotia considered to be an important prerequisite for sexual development. However Aspergillus niger sensu stricto has not been reported to produce sclerotia, and is thought to be a purely asexual organism. Here we report, for the first time, the production of sclerotia by certain strains of Aspergillus niger when grown on CYA agar with raisins, or on other fruits or on rice. Up to 11 apolar indoloterpenes of the aflavinine type were detected by liquid chromatography and diode array and mass spectrometric detection where sclerotia were formed, including 10,23-dihydro-24,25-dehydroaflavinine. Sclerotium induction can thus be a way of inducing the production of new secondary metabolites from previously silent gene clusters. Cultivation of other species of the black aspergilli showed that raisins induced sclerotium formation by A. brasiliensis, A. floridensis A. ibericus, A. luchuensis, A. neoniger, A. trinidadensis and A. saccharolyticus for the first time.

  7. Spatial differentiation of gene expression in Aspergillus niger colony grown for sugar beet pulp utilization.

    PubMed

    Benoit, Isabelle; Zhou, Miaomiao; Vivas Duarte, Alexandra; Downes, Damien J; Todd, Richard B; Kloezen, Wendy; Post, Harm; Heck, Albert J R; Maarten Altelaar, A F; de Vries, Ronald P

    2015-08-28

    Degradation of plant biomass to fermentable sugars is of critical importance for the use of plant materials for biofuels. Filamentous fungi are ubiquitous organisms and major plant biomass degraders. Single colonies of some fungal species can colonize massive areas as large as five soccer stadia. During growth, the mycelium encounters heterogeneous carbon sources. Here we assessed whether substrate heterogeneity is a major determinant of spatial gene expression in colonies of Aspergillus niger. We analyzed whole-genome gene expression in five concentric zones of 5-day-old colonies utilizing sugar beet pulp as a complex carbon source. Growth, protein production and secretion occurred throughout the colony. Genes involved in carbon catabolism were expressed uniformly from the centre to the periphery whereas genes encoding plant biomass degrading enzymes and nitrate utilization were expressed differentially across the colony. A combined adaptive response of carbon-catabolism and enzyme production to locally available monosaccharides was observed. Finally, our results demonstrate that A. niger employs different enzymatic tools to adapt its metabolism as it colonizes complex environments.

  8. Sustainability Efforts of One Oil Company in Niger Delta of Nigeria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anosike, Charles Afam

    Environmental degradation and socioeconomic dilemma continue to stigmatize oil production in the Niger Delta of Nigeria. Sustainability programs of oil companies often determine the improvement of living conditions in the region. This explanatory qualitative case study, guided by systems thinking theory and sustainable value framework, explored practitioners' perceptions of sustainability programs to identify its impact on business and the host communities. The research question was designed to address how sustainability efforts of a single oil company in the Niger Delta contributed to the business performance and the livelihood of the local people. Research data were gathered from a sample of 20 experienced sustainability practitioners of the oil company, partnering nonprofit organizations, and community leaders through face-to-face semistructured interviews. Data were segmented and categorized. The data analysis process revealed several themes regarding the challenges and shortfalls of sustainability programs in the region. The oil company's understanding of sustainability as programs and projects focused on preserving resources for future generations was not evident in practice. Findings from the study suggested the need for improved inclusiveness of people in driving sustainability projects. Inclusive sustainability should enhance the oil company's contemplation mechanism to ensure eco-saving thinking and processes, which could result in improved quality of life and business performance in the region. The research findings underscore the need for oil multinational corporations (MNCs) to use a business lens in viewing sustainability to achieve sustainable value.

  9. Genetic variation in natural and translocated populations of the endangered Delmarva fox squirrel (Sciurus niger cinereus)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lance, S.L.; Maldonado, J.E.; Bocetti, C.I.; Pattee, O.H.; Ballou, J.D.; Fleischer, R.C.

    2003-01-01

    The Delmarva fox squirrel, Sciurus niger cinereus, is a federally listed endangered subspecies whose range has been reduced by 90%. In an attempt to increase both population size and range, translocation sites were established beginning in the 1960's by moving squirrels from the natural range to sites outside the current range. Although translocations have served as the primary component of the DFS recovery program, there has been very little post-release examination of the genetics of the translocation sites. In this study, we developed ten microsatellite loci, screened the three polymorphic loci, and sequenced a 330 bp fragment of the mitochondrial control region in order to assess levels of genetic variation in natural and translocated regions of Delmarva fox squirrels and to compare them to Southeastern fox squirrels (S. n. niger). Although we found low levels of microsatellite polymorphism, there were no differences in heterozygosity between natural and translocated regions, or between Delmarva and Southeastern fox squirrels. We found high levels of polymorphism in the mitochondrial control region. Our patterns of haplotype diversity suggest incomplete lineage sorting of the two subspecies. In general, our data suggest that the current levels of genetic variation in the translocated sites are representative of those found in the natural population, and we encourage the continued use of translocations as a major component of Delmarva fox squirrel recovery.

  10. Metal pollution assessment of surface sediments along a new gas pipeline in the Niger Delta (Nigeria).

    PubMed

    Adami, Gianpiero; Cabras, Igino; Predonzani, Sergio; Barbieri, Pierluigi; Reisenhofer, Edoardo

    2007-02-01

    Chromium, nickel, copper, zinc and cadmium were determined in sediments of the Niger Delta (Nigeria) in order to discriminate between natural metal sources and anthropogenic ones. Surface sediments were collected at seven sites along a new gas pipeline near Port Harcourt, between the New Calabar River and the Bonny River towards Bonny town. Chemical characterisation is obtained by hydrofluoric-nitric acid digestion procedure, providing the 'total' ('residual') metal contents. Information about the anthropogenic metal fraction was obtained by cold diluted hydrochloric acid extraction procedure. This 'labile' acid soluble fraction of metals, perhaps due to relatively recent inputs in the sediments, constitutes the fraction more likely to be available to marine organisms, and furnishes a first evaluation of the possible toxicity of sediments of this sensitive ecosystem. Zinc appears to be the most available of all the heavy metals: its 'labile' fraction attains 40-50% of the 'total' zinc in sediment. Sites near Port Harcourt city are the most contaminated. All the examined metals are one order of magnitude below the respective values proposed as a limit for toxicity and are comparable with those observed by other authors in similar Niger Delta areas. Some anomalous data found near Port Harcourt city suggest that zinc and cadmium are the metals that require further monitoring. Their anthropogenic source could be derived from urban and industrial sewage.

  11. Appearing like a state: Oil companies and local violence in the Niger Delta

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mattner, Mark

    What determines the extent to which communities in the Niger Delta experience violence? The dissertation addresses this question by focusing on the role of multinational oil companies in local governance, where state institutions are weak. The available literature often overlooks this important dimension. Specifically, the dissertation evaluates whether the choice of community relation policies by oil companies accounts for variations in local violence. These policies often include community development projects and attempts at strengthening local institutions. The main hypothesis is that where projects are allocated and implemented through participatory processes, informal institutions are created which substitute for weak local governments and reduce violence. The dissertation tests this contention by comparing four cases which were selected according to differences in their levels of violence. It concludes that the hypothesis is valid only in highly specific circumstances. In most cases, levels of repression and the relationship between companies and local elites are more significant explanations for violence. This is because oil companies and the state continue to rely primarily on repression and co-optation in their relationship with local communities. Community development and corporate social responsibility are secondary concerns. The central implication of this analysis is that a solution to the crisis in the Niger Delta is unlikely to lie in self-regulation and non-binding commitments by corporate actors. More promising approaches are strengthening local governments by ensuring the integrity of local elections and more stringent regulation of oil company conduct.

  12. Comparative Study of Preconceived Scientific Ideas Held by Different Groups of Junior Secondary School Students in Niger State, Nigeria

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mohammed, Babagana; Ahmed Emigilati, Mohammed; Ishiaku, Ibrahim

    2016-01-01

    This study investigates the preconceptions of junior secondary school students in Niger State on scientific ideas. The sample was made up of three hundred and sixty (360) junior secondary school students (JSSS I) who were randomly selected from twelve secondary schools. Four schools in each three educational zones with thirty (30) students from…

  13. Value addition of vegetable wastes by solid-state fermentation using Aspergillus niger for use in aquafeed industry.

    PubMed

    Rajesh, N; Imelda-Joseph; Raj, R Paul

    2010-11-01

    Vegetable waste typically has high moisture content and high levels of protein, vitamins and minerals. Its value as an agricultural feed can be enhanced through solid-state fermentation (SSF). Two experiments were conducted to evaluate the nutritional status of the products derived by SSF of a mixture of dried vegetable waste powder and oil cake mixture (soybean flour, wheat flour, groundnut oil cake and sesame oil cake at 4:3:2:1 ratio) using fungi Aspergillus niger S(1)4, a mangrove isolate, and A. niger NCIM 616. Fermentation was carried out for 9 days at 35% moisture level and neutral pH. Significant (p<0.05) increase in crude protein and amino acids were obtained in both the trials. The crude fat and crude fibre content showed significant reduction at the end of fermentation. Nitrogen free extract (NFE) showed a gradual decrease during the fermentation process. The results of the study suggest that the fermented product obtained on days 6 and 9 in case of A. niger S(1)4 and A. niger NCIM 616 respectively contained the highest levels of crude protein.

  14. Screening a Strain of Aspergillus niger and Optimization of Fermentation Conditions for Degradation of Aflatoxin B1 †

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Wei; Xue, Beibei; Li, Mengmeng; Mu, Yang; Chen, Zhihui; Li, Jianping; Shan, Anshan

    2014-01-01

    Aflatoxin B1, a type of highly toxic mycotoxin produced by some species belonging to the Aspergillus genus, such as Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus, is widely distributed in feed matrices. Here, coumarin was used as the sole carbon source to screen microorganism strains that were isolated from types of feed ingredients. Only one isolate (ND-1) was able to degrade aflatoxin B1 after screening. ND-1 isolate, identified as a strain of Aspergillus niger using phylogenetic analysis on the basis of 18S rDNA, could remove 26.3% of aflatoxin B1 after 48 h of fermentation in nutrient broth (NB). Optimization of fermentation conditions for aflatoxin B1 degradation by selected Aspergillus niger was also performed. These results showed that 58.2% of aflatoxin B1 was degraded after 24 h of culture under the optimal fermentation conditions. The aflatoxin B1 degradation activity of Aspergillus niger supernatant was significantly stronger than cells and cell extracts. Furthermore, effects of temperature, heat treatment, pH, and metal ions on aflatoxin B1 degradation by the supernatant were examined. Results indicated that aflatoxin B1 degradation of Aspergillus niger is enzymatic and this process occurs in the extracellular environment. PMID:25401962

  15. Radiosensitization of Aspergillus niger and Penicillium chrysogenum using basil essential oil and ionizing radiation for food decontamination.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Minimum Inhibitory Concentration (MIC) of basil oil, was determined for two pathogenic fungi of rice, Aspergillus niger and Penicillium chrysogenum. The antifungal activity of the basil oil in combination with ionising radiation was then investigated to determine if basil oil caused radiosensit...

  16. Low Prevalence of Pfcrt Resistance Alleles among Patients with Uncomplicated Falciparum Malaria in Niger Six Years after Chloroquine Withdrawal

    PubMed Central

    Salissou, Adamou; Zamanka, Halima; Biyghe Binze, Brigitte; Rivière, Taiana; Tichit, Magalie; Ibrahim, Maman Laminou; Fandeur, Thierry

    2014-01-01

    Chloroquine (CQ) resistance is widespread in Africa, but few data are available for Niger. Pfcrt haplotypes (aa 56–118) and ex vivo responses to CQ and amodiaquine were characterized for 26 isolates collected in South Niger from children under 15 years of age suffering from uncomplicated falciparum malaria, six years after the introduction of artemisinin-based combinations and the withdrawal of CQ. The wild-type Pfcrt haplotype CVMNK was found in 22 of the 26 isolates, with CVIET sequences observed in only three of the samples. We also describe for the first time a new CVINT haplotype. The ex vivo responses were better for CVMNK than for CVIET parasites. Pfcrt sequence data were compared with those obtained for 26 additional parasitized blood samples collected in Gabon, from an area of CQ resistance used as a control. Our findings suggest that there has been a significant decline in CQ-resistant genotypes since the previous estimates for Niger were obtained. No such decline in molecular resistance to CQ was observed in the subset of samples collected in similar conditions from Gabon. These results have important implications for public health and support the policy implemented in Niger since 2005, which aims to increase the efficacy and availability of antimalarial drugs whilst controlling the spread of resistance. PMID:25506465

  17. Variability in seed oil content and fatty acid composition, phenotypic traits and self-incompatibility among selected niger germplasm accessions

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Niger (Guizotia abyssinica, L.) is a desirable oilseed crop for birdseed, especially for finches (Spinus spp.) because of its high ratio of unsaturated to saturated fatty acids and relatively high oil content. In 2012, phenotypic traits, seed oil and fatty acid content measurements were made on 14 p...

  18. Highly thermostable and pH-stable cellulases from Aspergillus niger NS-2: properties and application for cellulose hydrolysis.

    PubMed

    Bansal, Namita; Janveja, Chetna; Tewari, Rupinder; Soni, Raman; Soni, Sanjeev Kumar

    2014-01-01

    Optimization of cultural conditions for enhanced cellulase production by Aspergillus niger NS-2 were studied under solid-state fermentation. Significant increase in yields (CMCase 463.9 ± 20.1 U/g, FPase 101.1 ± 3.5 U/g and β-glucosidase 99 ± 4.0 U/g) were obtained under optimized conditions. Effect of different nutritional parameters was studied to induce the maximum production of cellulase complex. Scale-up studies for enzyme production process were carried out. Characterization studies showed that enzymes produced by A. niger NS-2 were highly temperature- and pH stable. At 50 °C, the half life for CMCase, FPase, β-glucosidase were approximately 240 h. Cellulases from A. niger NS-2 were stable at 35 °C for 24 h over a broader pH range of 3.0-9.0. We examined the feasibility of using steam pretreatment to increase the saccharification yields from various lignocellulosic residues for sugar release which can potentially be used in bioethanol production. Saccharification of pretreated dry potato peels, carrot peels, composite waste mixture, orange peels, onion peels, banana peels, pineapple peels by crude enzyme extract from A. niger NS-2, resulted in very high cellulose conversion efficiencies of 92-98 %.

  19. ADOPTING SELECTED HYDROGEN BONDING AND IONIC INTERACTIONS FROM ASPERGILLUS FUMIGATUS PHYTASE STRUCTURE IMPROVES THE THERMOSTABILITY OF ASPERGILLUS NIGER PHYA PHYTASE

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Although it has been widely used as a feed supplement to reduce manure phosphorus pollution of swine and poultry, Aspergillus niger PhyA phytase is unable to withstand heat inactivation during feed pelleting. Crystal structure comparisons with its close homolog, the thermostable Aspergillus fumigatu...

  20. Presence of epoxide hydrolase activity in Aspergillus niger: Hydrolysis of 6', 7'-epoxybergamottin to 6', 7'-dihydroxybergamottin

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The 6', 7'-epoxybergamottin (EB) is one of major furanocoumarins in grapefruit. Previously, we have shown that Aspergillus niger has a capability of metabolizing EB into 6', 7'-dihydroxybergamottin (DHB), which is