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Sample records for grass species differing

  1. Photosynthesis in Grass Species Differing in Carbon Dioxide Fixation Pathways

    PubMed Central

    Morgan, Jack A.; Brown, R. Harold

    1979-01-01

    Thirty-three grass species were examined in two experiments in an attempt to locate plants with photosynthetic responses to O2, CO2 compensation concentrations, and leaf anatomy intermediate to those of C3 and C4 species. Species examined included seven from the Laxa group in the Panicum genus, one of which, P. milioides Nees ex Trin., has been reported earlier to have intermediate characteristics. The species with O2-sensitive photosynthesis typical of C3 plants showed more than 37% increase in apparent photosynthesis at 2% O2 compared to 21% O2 at 25 C and 335 microliters per liter CO2, whereas in Panicum milioides, P. schenckii Hack., and P. decipiens Nees ex Trin., members of the Laxa group of Panicum, increases ranged from 25 to 30%. The remainder of the species did not respond to O2. Species with O2 responses characteristic of C3 plants exhibited CO2 compensation concentrations of 44 microliters per liter or higher at 21% O2 and 25 to 27.5 C and species characterized as O2-insensitive had values of microliters per liter or less. The CO2 compensation concentration (Г) values of P. milioides, P. schenckii, and P. decipiens ranged from 10.3 to 23.3 microliters per liter. Other species of the Laxa group of Panicum exhibited O2 response and Г values of either C3 (P. laxum Sw., P. hylaeicum Mez., and P. rivulare Trin.) or C4 (P. prionitis Griseb.) plants. Leaves of species with O2 response and CO2 compensation values typical of C3 plants had poorly developed or nearly empty bundle sheath cells, and much larger distances and mesophyll cell numbers between veins than did the O2-insensitive ones. Vein spacings in P. milioides, P. schenckii, and P. decipiens ranged from 0.18 to 0.28 millimeter and mesophyll cell number between veins from 5.2 to 7.8. While these vein spacings are closer than those of most C3 grasses, two O2-sensitive species of Dactylis had vein spacings similar to these Panicums and veins in Glyceria striata, another O2-sensitive plant, were

  2. Bacterial endophyte communities of three agricultural important grass species differ in their response towards management regimes.

    PubMed

    Wemheuer, Franziska; Kaiser, Kristin; Karlovsky, Petr; Daniel, Rolf; Vidal, Stefan; Wemheuer, Bernd

    2017-01-19

    Endophytic bacteria are critical for plant growth and health. However, compositional and functional responses of bacterial endophyte communities towards agricultural practices are still poorly understood. Hence, we analyzed the influence of fertilizer application and mowing frequency on bacterial endophytes in three agriculturally important grass species. For this purpose, we examined bacterial endophytic communities in aerial plant parts of Dactylis glomerata L., Festuca rubra L., and Lolium perenne L. by pyrotag sequencing of bacterial 16S rRNA genes over two consecutive years. Although management regimes influenced endophyte communities, observed responses were grass species-specific. This might be attributed to several bacteria specifically associated with a single grass species. We further predicted functional profiles from obtained 16S rRNA data. These profiles revealed that predicted abundances of genes involved in plant growth promotion or nitrogen metabolism differed between grass species and between management regimes. Moreover, structural and functional community patterns showed no correlation to each other indicating that plant species-specific selection of endophytes is driven by functional rather than phylogenetic traits. The unique combination of 16S rRNA data and functional profiles provided a holistic picture of compositional and functional responses of bacterial endophytes in agricultural relevant grass species towards management practices.

  3. Bacterial endophyte communities of three agricultural important grass species differ in their response towards management regimes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wemheuer, Franziska; Kaiser, Kristin; Karlovsky, Petr; Daniel, Rolf; Vidal, Stefan; Wemheuer, Bernd

    2017-01-01

    Endophytic bacteria are critical for plant growth and health. However, compositional and functional responses of bacterial endophyte communities towards agricultural practices are still poorly understood. Hence, we analyzed the influence of fertilizer application and mowing frequency on bacterial endophytes in three agriculturally important grass species. For this purpose, we examined bacterial endophytic communities in aerial plant parts of Dactylis glomerata L., Festuca rubra L., and Lolium perenne L. by pyrotag sequencing of bacterial 16S rRNA genes over two consecutive years. Although management regimes influenced endophyte communities, observed responses were grass species-specific. This might be attributed to several bacteria specifically associated with a single grass species. We further predicted functional profiles from obtained 16S rRNA data. These profiles revealed that predicted abundances of genes involved in plant growth promotion or nitrogen metabolism differed between grass species and between management regimes. Moreover, structural and functional community patterns showed no correlation to each other indicating that plant species-specific selection of endophytes is driven by functional rather than phylogenetic traits. The unique combination of 16S rRNA data and functional profiles provided a holistic picture of compositional and functional responses of bacterial endophytes in agricultural relevant grass species towards management practices.

  4. Bacterial endophyte communities of three agricultural important grass species differ in their response towards management regimes

    PubMed Central

    Wemheuer, Franziska; Kaiser, Kristin; Karlovsky, Petr; Daniel, Rolf; Vidal, Stefan; Wemheuer, Bernd

    2017-01-01

    Endophytic bacteria are critical for plant growth and health. However, compositional and functional responses of bacterial endophyte communities towards agricultural practices are still poorly understood. Hence, we analyzed the influence of fertilizer application and mowing frequency on bacterial endophytes in three agriculturally important grass species. For this purpose, we examined bacterial endophytic communities in aerial plant parts of Dactylis glomerata L., Festuca rubra L., and Lolium perenne L. by pyrotag sequencing of bacterial 16S rRNA genes over two consecutive years. Although management regimes influenced endophyte communities, observed responses were grass species-specific. This might be attributed to several bacteria specifically associated with a single grass species. We further predicted functional profiles from obtained 16S rRNA data. These profiles revealed that predicted abundances of genes involved in plant growth promotion or nitrogen metabolism differed between grass species and between management regimes. Moreover, structural and functional community patterns showed no correlation to each other indicating that plant species-specific selection of endophytes is driven by functional rather than phylogenetic traits. The unique combination of 16S rRNA data and functional profiles provided a holistic picture of compositional and functional responses of bacterial endophytes in agricultural relevant grass species towards management practices. PMID:28102323

  5. Contribution of different grass species to plant-atmosphere ammonia exchange in intensively managed grassland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mattsson, M.; Herrmann, B.; Jones, S.; Neftel, A.; Sutton, M. A.; Schjoerring, J. K.

    2008-06-01

    Species diversity in grasslands usually declines with increasing input of nitrogen from fertilizers or atmospheric nitrogen deposition. Conversely, species diversity may also impact the build-up of soil nitrogen pools. Limited information is available on how plant-atmosphere ammonia exchange is related to species diversity in grasslands. We have here investigated grass species abundance and different foliar nitrogen pools in 4-year-old intensively managed grassland. Apoplastic pH and NH4+ concentrations of the 8 most abundant species were used to calculate stomatal NH3 compensation points. Apoplastic NH4+ concentrations differed considerably among the species, ranging from 13 to 117 μM, with highest values in Festuca pratensis. Also apoplastic pH values varied, from pH 6.0 in Phleum pratense to 6.9 in Dactylis glomerata. The observed differences in apoplastic NH4+ and pH resulted in a large span of predicted values for the stomatal NH3 compensation point which ranged from 0.20 to 6.57 nmol mol-1. Three species (Lolium perenne, Festuca pratensis and Dactylis glomerata) had sufficiently high NH3 compensation points and abundance to contribute to the NH3 emission of the whole field. At the same time, other grass species such as Phleum pratense and Lolium multiflorum had NH3 compensation points below the atmospheric NH3 concentration and could thus contribute to NH3 uptake from the atmosphere. Evaluated across species, leaf bulk-tissue NH4+ concentrations correlated well (r2=0.902) with stomatal NH3 compensation points calculated on the basis of the apoplastic bioassay. This suggests that leaf tissue NH4+ concentrations combined with data for the frequency distribution of the corresponding species can be used for predicting the NH3 exchange potential of a mixed grass sward.

  6. Contribution of different grass species to plant-atmosphere ammonia exchange in intensively managed grassland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mattsson, M.; Herrmann, B.; Jones, S.; Neftel, A.; Sutton, M. A.; Schjoerring, J. K.

    2009-01-01

    Species diversity in grasslands usually declines with increasing input of nitrogen from fertilizers or atmospheric deposition. Conversely, species diversity may also impact the build-up of soil and plant nitrogen pools. One important pool is NH3/NH4+ which also can be exchanged between plant leaves and the atmosphere. Limited information is available on how plant-atmosphere ammonia exchange is related to species diversity in grasslands. We have here investigated grass species abundance and different foliar nitrogen pools in 4-year-old intensively managed grassland. Apoplastic pH and NH4+ concentrations of the 8 most abundant species (Lolium perenne, Phleum pratense, Festuca pratensis, Lolium multiflorum, Poa pratensis, Dactylis glomerata, Holcus lanatus, Bromus mollis) were used to calculate stomatal NH3 compensation points. Apoplastic NH4+ concentrations differed considerably among the species, ranging from 13 to 117 μM, with highest values in Festuca pratensis. Also apoplastic pH values varied, from pH 6.0 in Phleum pratense to 6.9 in Dactylis glomerata. The observed differences in apoplastic NH4+ and pH resulted in a large span of predicted values for the stomatal NH3 compensation point which ranged between 0.20 and 6.57 nmol mol-1. Three species (Lolium perenne, Festuca pratensis and Dactylis glomerata) had sufficiently high NH3 compensation point and abundance to contribute to the bi-directional NH3 fluxes recorded over the whole field. The other 5 grass species had NH3 compensation points considerably below the atmospheric NH3 concentration and were thus not likely to contribute to NH3 emission but only to NH3 uptake from the atmosphere. Evaluated across species, leaf bulk-tissue NH4+ concentrations correlated well (r2=0.902) with stomatal NH3 compensation points calculated on the basis of the apoplastic bioassay. This suggests that leaf tissue NH4+ concentrations combined with data for the frequency distribution of the corresponding species can be used for

  7. Basalt Weathering, Nutrient Uptake, And Carbon Release By An Exotic And A Native Arizona Grass Species Under Different Temperature Conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gallas, G.; Dontsova, K.; Chorover, J.; Hunt, E.; Ravi, S.

    2010-12-01

    During this past summer, the National Science Foundation funded a 10-week Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program “Environmental and Earth Systems Research at Biosphere 2”. This program provides undergraduates with an opportunity to conduct guided research in environmental and Earth systems science and has resulted in this work. Biosphere 2 allows for the exploration of complex questions in Earth sciences because of its large scale and the precise control allowed over many experimental elements. The goal of this study was to observe plant-mediated weathering of granular basalt under two temperature conditions. Two grass species were studied, one native to Arizona: Tanglehead, Heteropogan contortus, and one exotic to Arizona: Buffelgrass, Pennisetum ciliar. The grasses were grown in pots located in the Desert and the Savannah Biomes in the Biosphere 2 to take advantage of a 4° C temperature difference. Understanding differences in how native and invasive grasses weather soil and take up nutrients may explain the mechanism behind current invasion of Sonoran Desert by exotic species and help predict response of native and invasive vegetation to expected increase in temperatures. Each biome also contained three replicate “control” pots without vegetation, and mixtures of the two grass species to observe possible competition between the species. Three factors were compared in this study: 1. Temperature: the same species of grass under two different temperature conditions 2. Species: Native Arizonan species vs. a species exotic to Arizona 3. Temporal: How the grasses use resources differently as they grow Leachate samples were collected and analyzed for pH, electrical conductivity, total organic carbon, total nitrogen, inorganic carbon by high temperature combustion coupled with infrared gas analysis; F-, Cl-, Br-, NO3-, NO2-, SO42-, and PO43- by ion chromatography; and cations and metals by ICP-MS. The data trends indicate that plants enhanced

  8. The impact of different grazing periods in dry grasslands on the expansive grass Arrhenatherum elatius L. and on woody species.

    PubMed

    Dostálek, Jiří; Frantík, Tomáš

    2012-04-01

    Dry grasslands are one of the most species rich and endangered types of vegetation in Europe. In the Czech Republic, dry grasslands are mainly of anthropogenic origin and were formed as a result of grazing after the clear-cutting of thermophilous oak woods. Gradual changes in the farming landscape throughout the 20th century, particularly in the 1960s, resulted in the abandonment of the relatively infertile habitats of dry grasslands. After abandonment, dry grasslands decline and degrade due to the gradual overgrowth of woody species and expansion of perennial tall grasses. In the year 2000, a grazing management program was introduced in the protected areas within the territory of Prague City to maintain the species diversity of dry grasslands. The responses of the expansive grass species, Arrhenatherum elatius L. and multiple woody species (especially, Prunus spinosa L.) to differences in grazing periods were monitored for over a decade. Grazing in spring through the end of June had the greatest impact on the reduction of A. elatius and woody species. Grazing in the height of summer through autumn did not reduce the cover of these plants, and may support the prosperity of both A. elatius and the woody species due to higher levels of nutrients.

  9. Determinants of flammability in savanna grass species.

    PubMed

    Simpson, Kimberley J; Ripley, Brad S; Christin, Pascal-Antoine; Belcher, Claire M; Lehmann, Caroline E R; Thomas, Gavin H; Osborne, Colin P

    2016-01-01

    Tropical grasses fuel the majority of fires on Earth. In fire-prone landscapes, enhanced flammability may be adaptive for grasses via the maintenance of an open canopy and an increase in spatiotemporal opportunities for recruitment and regeneration. In addition, by burning intensely but briefly, high flammability may protect resprouting buds from lethal temperatures. Despite these potential benefits of high flammability to fire-prone grasses, variation in flammability among grass species, and how trait differences underpin this variation, remains unknown.By burning leaves and plant parts, we experimentally determined how five plant traits (biomass quantity, biomass density, biomass moisture content, leaf surface-area-to-volume ratio and leaf effective heat of combustion) combined to determine the three components of flammability (ignitability, sustainability and combustibility) at the leaf and plant scales in 25 grass species of fire-prone South African grasslands at a time of peak fire occurrence. The influence of evolutionary history on flammability was assessed based on a phylogeny built here for the study species.Grass species differed significantly in all components of flammability. Accounting for evolutionary history helped to explain patterns in leaf-scale combustibility and sustainability. The five measured plant traits predicted components of flammability, particularly leaf ignitability and plant combustibility in which 70% and 58% of variation, respectively, could be explained by a combination of the traits. Total above-ground biomass was a key driver of combustibility and sustainability with high biomass species burning more intensely and for longer, and producing the highest predicted fire spread rates. Moisture content was the main influence on ignitability, where species with higher moisture contents took longer to ignite and once alight burnt at a slower rate. Biomass density, leaf surface-area-to-volume ratio and leaf effective heat of combustion

  10. Phylogenetic divergence morphological and physiological differences distinguish a new neotyphodium endophyte species in the grass bromus auleticus from South America

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The fungi of genus Neotyphodium are systemic, constitutive, symbionts of grasses of subfamily Pooideae. In the southern hemisphere most of these asexual endophytes are the result of the hybridization between two sexual species, Epichloe festucae and E. typhina, from the northern hemisphere. However ...

  11. Phylogenetic divergence, morphological and physiological differences distinguish a new Neotyphodium endophyte species in the grass Bromus auleticus from South America.

    PubMed

    Iannone, Leopoldo Javier; Cabral, Daniel; Schardl, Christopher Lewis; Rossi, María Susana

    2009-01-01

    The fungi of genus Neotyphodium are systemic, constitutive, symbionts of grasses of subfamily Pooideae. In the southern hemisphere most of these asexual endophytes are the result of the hybridization between two sexual species, Epichlo" festucae and E. typhina, from the northern hemisphere. However the ancestral sexual species have not been detected in this region. Several grasses from Argentina are infected by Neotyphodium species. These endophytes are in general very similar macro- and micromorphologically and phylogenetically conform to species N. tembladerae. However the Neotyphodium spp. endophytes of some hosts, Bromus auleticus and Poa spicifomis var. spiciformis, have not been included in this species. In this work we studied the incidence and characterized the diversity of Neotyphodium species in populations of the native grass Bromus auleticus from Argentina. The incidence of endophytes was 100% in all populations investigated. Two groups of endophytes were differentiated by their morphologies, growth rates, conidial ontogenies and by relative resistance to the fungicide benomyl. Phylogenetic trees inferred from tefA and tubB intron sequences indicated that both N. tembladerae and the novel morphotype were hybrids of E. festucae and E. typhina, but the ancestral E. typhina genotype distinguished them. Isolates from plants that inhabit coastal dunes, xerophytic forests, savannahs and hills were similar morphologically and phylogenetically to N. tembladerae, whereas the endophytes from the humid pampa plains conformed to the novel group. We propose the endophyte of Bromus auleticus from humid pampas as a new species, Neotyphodium pampeanum.

  12. Manganese toxicity thresholds for restoration grass species.

    PubMed

    Paschke, Mark W; Valdecantos, Alejandro; Redente, Edward F

    2005-05-01

    Manganese toxicity thresholds for restoration plants have not been established. As a result, ecological risk assessments rely on toxicity thresholds for agronomic species, which may differ from those of restoration species. Our objective was to provide Mn toxicity thresholds for grasses commonly used in restoration. We used a greenhouse screening study where seedlings of redtop, slender wheatgrass, tufted hairgrass, big bluegrass, basin wildrye, and common wheat were grown in sand culture and exposed to increasing concentrations of Mn. The LC50, EC50-plant, EC50-shoot, EC50-root, PT50-shoot, and the PT50-root were then determined. Phytotoxicity thresholds and effective concentrations for the restoration species were generally higher than values reported for agronomic species. Our estimates of PT50-shoot for the five restoration grasses range from 41,528 to 120,082 mg Mn kg(-1). Measures of EC50-plant for these restoration grasses ranged from 877 to >6,000 mg Mn l(-1). These thresholds might be more useful for risk assessors than those based on crop plants that are widely used.

  13. INTESPECIIC DIFFERENCES IN GRASS SEED IMBIBITION

    EPA Science Inventory

    Seeds from 12 grass species were studied relative to mode of wetting and time of exposure to water to document interspecific differences in imbibition characteristics. Imbibition causes seeds to become wet, and wet seeds are more detectable to consumers than dry seeds. Thus, ge...

  14. Hazardous impact and translocation of vanadium (V) species from soil to different vegetables and grasses grown in the vicinity of thermal power plant.

    PubMed

    Khan, Sumaira; Kazi, Tasneem Gul; Kolachi, Nida Fatima; Baig, Jameel Ahmed; Afridi, Hassan Imran; Shah, Abdul Qadir; Kumar, Sham; Shah, Faheem

    2011-06-15

    The distribution of vanadium (V) species in soil (test soil), vegetables and grasses, collected from the vicinity of a thermal power plant has been studied. For comparison purpose soil (control soil), same vegetable and grass samples were collected from agricultural land devoid of any industrial area. A simple and efficient ultrasonic assisted extraction method has been developed for the extraction of V(5+) species from soil, vegetable and grass samples using Na(2)CO(3) in the range of 0.1-0.5 mol/L. For comparison purpose same sub samples were also extracted by conventional heating method. The total and V species were determined by electrothermal atomic absorption spectrometry using different modifiers. The validity of V(5+) and V(4+) determination had been confirmed by the spike recovery and total amount of V by the analysis of CRM 1570 (spinach leave) and sub samples of agricultural soil. The concentration of total V was found in the range of 90-215 and 11.4-42.3 μg/g in test and control soil samples, respectively. The contents of V(5+) and total V in vegetables and grasses grown around the thermal power plant were found in the range of 2.9-5.25 and 8.74-14.9 μg/g, respectively, which were significantly higher than those values obtained from vegetables and fodders grown in non exposed agricultural site (P<0.01). Statistical evaluations indicate that the sum of concentrations of V(5+) and V(4+) species was not significantly different from total concentration of V in same sub samples of vegetable, grass and soil of both origins, at 95% level of confidence.

  15. Differences in responses to flooding by germinating seeds of two contrasting rice cultivars and two species of economically important grass weeds

    PubMed Central

    Estioko, Lucy P.; Miro, Berta; Baltazar, Aurora M.; Merca, Florinia E.; Ismail, Abdelbagi M.; Johnson, David E.

    2014-01-01

    Crop productivity is largely affected by abiotic factors such as flooding and by biotic factors such as weeds. Although flooding after direct seeding of rice helps suppress weeds, it also can adversely affects germination and growth of rice, resulting in poor crop establishment. Barnyard grasses (Echinochloa spp.) are among the most widespread weeds affecting rice, especially under direct seeding. The present work aimed to establish effective management options to control these weeds. We assessed the effects of variable depths and time of submergence on germination, seedling growth and carbohydrate metabolism of (i) two cultivars of rice known to differ in their tolerance to flooding during germination and (ii) two barnyard grasses (Echinochloa colona and E. crus-galli) that commonly infest rice fields. Flooding barnyard grasses with 100-mm-deep water immediately after seeding was effective in suppressing germination and growth. Echinochloa colona showed greater reductions in emergence, shoot and root growth than E. crus-galli. Delaying flooding for 2 or 4 days was less injurious to both species. Echinochloa colona was also more susceptible to flooding than the flood-sensitive rice cultivar ‘IR42’. The activity of alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) and pyruvate decarboxylase (PDC) in rice seedlings was increased by flooding after sowing but with greater increases in ‘Khao Hlan On’ compared with ‘IR42’. The activity of ADH and PDC was enhanced to a similar extent in both barnyard grasses. Under aerobic conditions, the activity of ADH and PDC in the two barnyard grasses was downregulated, which might contribute to their inherently faster growth compared with rice. Aldehyde dehydrogenase activity was significantly enhanced in flood-tolerant ‘Khao Hlan On’ and E. crus-galli, but did not increase in flood-sensitive E. colona and ‘IR42’, implying a greater ability of the flood-tolerant types to detoxify acetaldehyde generated during anaerobic fermentation

  16. Co-existing grass species have distinctive arbuscular mycorrhizal communities.

    PubMed

    Vandenkoornhuyse, P; Ridgway, K P; Watson, I J; Fitter, A H; Young, J P W

    2003-11-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi are biotrophic symbionts colonizing the majority of land plants, and are of major importance in plant nutrient supply. Their diversity is suggested to be an important determinant of plant community structure, but the influence of host-plant and environmental factors on AM fungal community in plant roots is poorly documented. Using the terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) strategy, the diversity of AM fungi was assessed in 89 roots of three grass species (Agrostis capillaris, Festuca rubra, Poa pratensis) that co-occurred in the same plots of a field experiment. The impact of different soil amendments (nitrogen, lime, nitrogen and lime) and insecticide application on AM fungal community was also studied. The level of diversity found in AM fungal communities using the T-RFLP strategy was consistent with previous studies based on clone libraries. Our results clearly confirm that an AM fungal host-plant preference exists, even between different grass species. AM communities colonizing A. capillaris were statistically different from the others (P < 0.05). Although grass species evenness changed in amended soils, AM fungal community composition in roots of a given grass species remained stable. Conversely, in plots where insecticide was applied, we found higher AM fungal diversity and, in F. rubra roots, a statistically different AM fungal community.

  17. Nitrogen losses from perennial grass species.

    PubMed

    Vázquez de Aldana, B R; Geerts, R H E M; Berendse, F

    1996-04-01

    Nitrogen losses from plants may occur through a variety of pathways, but so far, most studies have only quantified losses of nutrients by above-ground litter production. We used (15)N pulse labelling to quantify total nitrogen losses from above- and below-ground plant parts. Using this method we were able to include also pathways other than above-ground litter production. To test the hypothesis that species from nutrient-poor habitats lose less nitrogen than species from more fertile soils, six perennial grasses from habitats with a wide range of nutrient availability were investigated: Lolium perenne, Arrhenatherum elatius, Anthoxanthum odoratum, Festuca rubra, F. ovina and Molinia caerulea. The results of an experiment carried out in pots in a green-house at two fertility levels show that statistically significant losses occur through pathways other than above-ground litter production. In the low fertility treatment, most (70%) losses from L. perenne occurred by litter production, but in Ar. elatius, F. rubra, F. ovina and M. caerulea, more than 50% of labelled N losses took place by root turn-over, leaching or exudation from roots. When nutrient supply increased, the (15)N losses in above-ground dead material increased in all species and in Ar. elatius, A. odoratum and F. rubra the (15)N losses via other pathways decreased. Ranked according to decreasing turnover coefficient the sequence of species was: L. perenne, A. odoratum, F. rubra, F. ovina, Ar. elatius, M. caerulea. These results suggest that species adapted to sites with low availability of nutrients lose less nitrogen (including above- and below-ground losses) than species adapted to more fertile soils.

  18. Differential effects of plant diversity on functional trait variation of grass species

    PubMed Central

    Gubsch, Marlén; Buchmann, Nina; Schmid, Bernhard; Schulze, Ernst-Detlef; Lipowsky, Annett; Roscher, Christiane

    2011-01-01

    Background and Aims Functional trait differences and trait adjustment in response to influences of the biotic environment could reflect niche partitioning among species. In this study, we tested how variation in above-ground plant traits, chosen as indicators for light and nitrogen acquisition and use, differs among taxonomically closely related species (Poaceae) to assess their potential for niche segregation at increasing plant diversity. Methods Traits of 12 grass species were measured in experimental grasslands (Jena Experiment) of varying species richness (from 1 to 60) and presence of particular functional groups (grasses, legumes, tall herbs and small herbs). Key Results Grass species increased shoot and leaf length, investment into supporting tissue (stem mass fraction) and specific leaf area as well as reduced foliar δ13C values with increasing species richness, indicating higher efforts for light acquisition. These species-richness effects could in part be explained by a higher probability of legume presence in more diverse communities. Leaf nitrogen concentrations increased and biomas s : N ratios in shoots decreased when grasses grew with legumes, indicating an improved nitrogen nutrition. Foliar δ15N values of grasses decreased when growing with legumes suggesting the use of depleted legume-derived N, while decreasing δ15N values with increasing species richness indicated a shift in the uptake of different N sources. However, efforts to optimize light and nitrogen acquisition by plastic adjustment of traits in response to species richness and legume presence, varied significantly among grass species. It was possible to show further that trait adjustment of grass species increased niche segregation in more diverse plant communities but that complementarity through niche separation may differ between light and nutrient acquisition. Conclusions The results suggest that even among closely related species such as grasses different strategies are used to

  19. Evolutionary Relationships between Rhynchosporium lolii sp. nov. and Other Rhynchosporium Species on Grasses

    PubMed Central

    King, Kevin M.; West, Jonathan S.; Brunner, Patrick C.; Dyer, Paul S.; Fitt, Bruce D. L.

    2013-01-01

    The fungal genus Rhynchosporium (causative agent of leaf blotch) contains several host-specialised species, including R. commune (colonising barley and brome-grass), R. agropyri (couch-grass), R. secalis (rye and triticale) and the more distantly related R. orthosporum (cocksfoot). This study used molecular fingerprinting, multilocus DNA sequence data, conidial morphology, host range tests and scanning electron microscopy to investigate the relationship between Rhynchosporium species on ryegrasses, both economically important forage grasses and common wild grasses in many cereal growing areas, and other plant species. Two different types of Rhynchosporium were found on ryegrasses in the UK. Firstly, there were isolates of R. commune that were pathogenic to both barley and Italian ryegrass. Secondly, there were isolates of a new species, here named R. lolii, that were pathogenic only to ryegrass species. R. lolii was most closely related to R. orthosporum, but exhibited clear molecular, morphological and host range differences. The species was estimated to have diverged from R. orthosporum ca. 5735 years before the present. The colonisation strategy of all of the different Rhynchosporium species involved extensive hyphal growth in the sub-cuticular regions of the leaves. Finally, new species-specific PCR diagnostic tests were developed that could distinguish between these five closely related Rhynchosporium species. PMID:24146740

  20. Effect of soil acidity, soil strength and macropores on root growth and morphology of perennial grass species differing in acid-soil resistance.

    PubMed

    Haling, Rebecca E; Simpson, Richard J; Culvenor, Richard A; Lambers, Hans; Richardson, Alan E

    2011-03-01

    It is unclear whether roots of acid-soil resistant plants have significant advantages, compared with acid-soil sensitive genotypes, when growing in high-strength, acid soils or in acid soils where macropores may allow the effects of soil acidity and strength to be avoided. The responses of root growth and morphology to soil acidity, soil strength and macropores by seedlings of five perennial grass genotypes differing in acid-soil resistance were determined, and the interaction of soil acidity and strength for growth and morphology of roots was investigated. Soil acidity and strength altered root length and architecture, root hair development, and deformed the root tip, especially in acid-soil sensitive genotypes. Root length was restricted to some extent by soil acidity in all genotypes, but the adverse impact of soil acidity on root growth by acid-soil resistant genotypes was greater at high levels of soil strength. Roots reacted to soil acidity when growing in macropores, but elongation through high-strength soil was improved. Soil strength can confound the effect of acidity on root growth, with the sensitivity of acid-resistant genotypes being greater in high-strength soils. This highlights the need to select for genotypes that resist both acidity and high soil strength.

  1. Dichotomy in the NRT Gene Families of Dicots and Grass Species

    PubMed Central

    Plett, Darren; Toubia, John; Garnett, Trevor; Tester, Mark; Kaiser, Brent N.; Baumann, Ute

    2010-01-01

    A large proportion of the nitrate (NO3−) acquired by plants from soil is actively transported via members of the NRT families of NO3− transporters. In Arabidopsis, the NRT1 family has eight functionally characterised members and predominantly comprises low-affinity transporters; the NRT2 family contains seven members which appear to be high-affinity transporters; and there are two NRT3 (NAR2) family members which are known to participate in high-affinity transport. A modified reciprocal best hit (RBH) approach was used to identify putative orthologues of the Arabidopsis NRT genes in the four fully sequenced grass genomes (maize, rice, sorghum, Brachypodium). We also included the poplar genome in our analysis to establish whether differences between Arabidopsis and the grasses may be generally applicable to monocots and dicots. Our analysis reveals fundamental differences between Arabidopsis and the grass species in the gene number and family structure of all three families of NRT transporters. All grass species possessed additional NRT1.1 orthologues and appear to lack NRT1.6/NRT1.7 orthologues. There is significant separation in the NRT2 phylogenetic tree between NRT2 genes from dicots and grass species. This indicates that determination of function of NRT2 genes in grass species will not be possible in cereals based simply on sequence homology to functionally characterised Arabidopsis NRT2 genes and that proper functional analysis will be required. Arabidopsis has a unique NRT3.2 gene which may be a fusion of the NRT3.1 and NRT3.2 genes present in all other species examined here. This work provides a framework for future analysis of NO3− transporters and NO3− transport in grass crop species. PMID:21151904

  2. An Invasive Grass Species Alters Carbon Cycling in Hawaiian Dry Forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Litton, C. M.; Sandquist, D. R.; Cordell, S.

    2004-12-01

    At lower elevations on the leeward side of the island of Hawaii, remnant native forests are heavily invaded by an introduced African bunchgrass, Pennisetum setaceum (fountain grass). Our research is designed to determine the consequences of this invasion for carbon (C) cycling in Hawaiian dry forests. We examined above- and belowground C pools and fluxes in 400 m2 replicated forest plots (n = 4) with fountain grass (grass plots) and in areas where fountain grass had been removed for ˜3 years (removal plots). C pools were estimated with direct sampling and allometric equations developed in situ for the dominant tree species. Aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) was estimated as aboveground biomass increment plus litterfall minus loss from mortality (trees) and with clip plots (grass and herbaceous species); total belowground carbon allocation (TBCA) was estimated using a conservation of mass, C balance approach. Our results indicate that the invasion of a non-native grass in this ecosystem has considerable impacts on both C pools and fluxes. Aboveground, tree biomass did not differ between treatments (P = 0.57) but the presence of fountain grass led to a 7.5-fold increase in understory biomass in grass plots compared to removal plots (P < 0.01). Tree ANPP was significantly higher in removal plots for both foliage (0.10 and 0.06 kg C m-2 yr-1 for removal and grass plots, respectively; P = 0.02) and wood (0.13 and 0.05 kg C m-2 yr-1 for removal and grass plots, respectively; P < 0.01). However, grass ANPP was ˜35% greater than tree foliage productivity in grass plots. Despite this added foliar productivity, total ANPP (Tree + Grass ANPP) was significantly higher in removal plots (P = 0.04). Belowground, grass plots exhibited higher rates of soil-surface CO2 efflux (1.09 and 1.38 kg C m-2 yr-1 for removal and grass plots, respectively; P = 0.03 ). Likewise, TBCA was significantly higher in grass plots (1.21 kg C m-2 yr-1) than in removal plots (0.97 kg C m-2

  3. Field drying rate differences among three cool-season grasses

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Conserving cool-season grasses as silage or hay remains a challenge due to the time required for curing and the unpredictability of weather. We compared the drying rates of three grasses with differing yield potential, morphology, and physical characteristics. Inflorescence-stage meadow fescue, orch...

  4. Long-term persistence of seeded grass species: an unwanted side effect of ecological restoration.

    PubMed

    Rydgren, Knut; Auestad, Inger; Hamre, Liv Norunn; Hagen, Dagmar; Rosef, Line; Skjerdal, Gudrun

    2016-07-01

    Spoil heaps are the visible footprint of hydropower production, particularly in vulnerable alpine environments. Speeding up vegetation development by seeding commercial grass species has been a common restoration practice for the last 50 years, but we lack information on whether seeded species decline and allow native plant cover to develop. We visually estimated cover of native vascular plants and five seeded grass species (Agrostis capillaris, Festuca ovina, Festuca rubra, Schedonorus pratensis and Phleum pratense) on eight spoil heaps at different elevations (boreal-alpine zone) in western Norway. Spoil heap vegetation was censused twice (9-20 and 24-36 years after spoil heap construction); the undisturbed surrounding vegetation was also censused on the second occasion. Total cover on the spoil heaps showed some increase, but remained far below that in surrounding areas. Cover of seeded grass species in the surroundings was low (but not negligible), indicating suboptimal establishment ability. Seeded species usually covered less than 20 % of the spoil heaps, and only F. rubra, F. ovina and A. capillaris contributed substantially. Proportional cover indicated better initial establishment by seeded species, but their cover decreased between the censuses on all but the highest located spoil heap. The persistence of seeded grass species is problematic, and despite the decrease in proportional cover, they are likely to persist for decades on spoil heaps, posing a risk of invasion of surrounding areas. We therefore recommend replacing the practice of seeding with more appropriate restoration measures.

  5. Cercosporoid fungi (Mycosphaerellaceae) 3. Species on monocots (Poaceae, true grasses).

    PubMed

    Braun, Uwe; Crous, Pedro W; Nakashima, Chiharu

    2015-06-01

    The third part of a series of monographic treatments of cercosporoid fungi (formerly Cercospora s. lat., Mycosphaerellaceae, Ascomycota) continues with a treatment of taxa on monocots (Liliopsida; Equisetopsida, Magnoliidae, Lilianae), covering asexual and holomorph species with mycosphaerella-like sexual morphs on true grasses (Poaceae), which were excluded from the second part. The species concerned are keyed out, alphabetically listed, described, illustrated and supplemented by references to previously published descriptions, illustrations, and exsiccatae. A key to the recognised genera and a discussion of taxonomically relevant characters was published in the first part of this series. Several species are lecto- or neotypified. The following taxonomic novelties are introduced: Cercospora barretoana comb. nov., C. cymbopogonicola nom. nov., Cladosporium elymi comb. nov., Passalora agrostidicola sp. nov., P. brachyelytri comb. nov., and P. dichanthii-annulati comb. nov.

  6. Indirect effects of an invasive annual grass on seed fates of two native perennial grass species.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Susan E; Merrill, Katherine T; Allen, Phil S; Beckstead, Julie; Norte, Anna S

    2014-04-01

    Invasive plants exhibit both direct and indirect negative effects on recruitment of natives following invasion. We examined indirect effects of the invader Bromus tectorum (cheatgrass) on seed fates of two native grass species, Elymus elymoides and Pseudoroegneria spicata, by removing B. tectorum and by adding inoculum of the shared seed pathogen Pyrenophora semeniperda in factorial experiments at xeric and mesic field sites. We also included a supplemental watering treatment to increase emergence and also the potential for pathogen escape. We recorded emergence and survival of native seedlings and also determined the fate of unemerged seeds. At the xeric site, Pyrenophora-caused mortality was high (34%), and effects of other pathogens and failed emergence of germinants were smaller. Cheatgrass removal negatively affected both emergence (35 vs. 25%) and spring survival (69 vs. 42%). Pyrenophora-caused seed mortality increased with inoculum augmentation for both species (22 vs. 47% overall), but emergence was negatively impacted only for P. spicata (20 vs. 34%). At the mesic site, Pyrenophora-caused mortality was low (6%). Cheatgrass removal doubled emergence (26 vs. 14%). Seed mortality increased significantly with inoculum augmentation for P. spicata (12 vs. 5%) but not E. elymoides, while emergence was not significantly affected in either species. A large fraction of seeds produced germinants that failed to emerge (37%), while another large fraction (35%) was killed by other pathogens. We conclude that facilitation by cheatgrass at the xeric site but interference at the mesic site was probably mediated through litter effects that could be ameliorative or suppressive. Apparent competition between cheatgrass and native grasses could occur through Pyrenophora, especially in a xeric environment, but effects were weak or absent at emergence. This was probably because Pyrenophora attacks the same slow-germinating fraction that is subject to pre-emergence mortality from

  7. Functionally dissimilar neighbors accelerate litter decomposition in two grass species.

    PubMed

    Barbe, Lou; Jung, Vincent; Prinzing, Andreas; Bittebiere, Anne-Kristel; Butenschoen, Olaf; Mony, Cendrine

    2017-02-16

    Plant litter decomposition is a key regulator of nutrient recycling. In a given environment, decomposition of litter from a focal species depends on its litter quality and on the efficiency of local decomposers. Both may be strongly modified by functional traits of neighboring species, but the consequences for decomposition of litter from the focal species remain unknown. We tested whether decomposition of a focal plant's litter is influenced by the functional-trait dissimilarity to the neighboring plants. We cultivated two grass species (Brachypodium pinnatum and Elytrigia repens) in experimental mesocosms with functionally similar and dissimilar neighborhoods, and reciprocally transplanted litter. For both species, litter quality increased in functionally dissimilar neighborhoods, partly as a result of changes in functional traits involved in plant-plant interactions. Furthermore, functional dissimilarity increased overall decomposer efficiency in one species, probably via complementarity effects. Our results suggest a novel mechanism of biodiversity effects on ecosystem functioning in grasslands: interspecific functional diversity within plant communities can enhance intraspecific contributions to litter decomposition. Thus, plant species might better perform in diverse communities by benefiting from higher remineralization rates of their own litter.

  8. Progress in the remote sensing of C3 and C4 grass species aboveground biomass over time and space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shoko, Cletah; Mutanga, Onisimo; Dube, Timothy

    2016-10-01

    The remote sensing of grass aboveground biomass (AGB) has gained considerable attention, with substantial research being conducted in the past decades. Of significant importance is their photosynthetic pathways (C3 and C4), which epitomizes a fundamental eco-physiological distinction of grasses functional types. With advances in technology and the availability of remotely sensed data at different spatial, spectral, radiometric and temporal resolutions, coupled with the need for detailed information on vegetation condition, the monitoring of C3 and C4 grasses AGB has received renewed attention, especially in the light of global climate change, biodiversity and, most importantly, food security. This paper provides a detailed survey on the progress of remote sensing application in determining C3 and C4 grass species AGB. Importantly, the importance of species functional type is highlighted in conjunction with the availability and applicability of different remote sensing datasets, with refined resolutions, which provide an opportunity to monitor C3 and C4 grasses AGB. While some progress has been made, this review has revealed the need for further remote sensing studies to model the seasonal (cyclical) variability, as well as long-term AGB changes in C3 and C4 grasses, in the face of climate change and food security. Moreover, the findings of this study have shown the significance of shifting towards the application of advanced statistical models, to further improve C3 and C4 grasses AGB estimation accuracy.

  9. Copper toxicity thresholds for important restoration grass species of the Western United States.

    PubMed

    Paschke, Mark W; Redente, Edward F

    2002-12-01

    Copper toxicity thresholds for plant species that are used in restoration activities in western North America have not been established. As a result, ecological risk assessments must rely on toxicity thresholds established for agronomic species, which usually differ from those of species used in restoration. Thus, risk assessors have the potential for classifying sites as phytotoxic to perennial, nonagronomic species and calling for intensive remediation activities that may not be necessary. The objective of this study was to provide a better estimate of Cu toxicity thresholds for five grass species that are commonly used in restoration efforts in the western United States. We used a greenhouse screening study where seedlings of introduced redtop (Agrostis gigantea Roth.), the native species slender wheatgrass (Elymus trachycaulus [Link] Gould ex Shinners var. Pryor), tufted hairgrass (Deschampsia caespitosa [L.] Beauvois), big bluegrass (Poa secunda J. Presl var. Sherman), and basin wildrye (Leymus cinereus [Scribner & Merrill] A. Love var. Magnar) and the agricultural species common wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) were grown in sand culture and exposed to supplemental concentrations of soluble Cu of 0 (control), 50, 100, 150, 200, 250, and 300 mg/L. We determined six measures of toxicity: the 60-d mean lethal concentration (LC50), 60-d mean effective concentration (EC50)-plant, 60-d EC50-shoot, 60-d EC50-root, phytotoxicity threshold (PT50)-shoot, and the PT50-root. Results suggest that these restoration grass species generally have higher Cu tolerance than agronomic species reported in the past. Of the species tested, redtop appeared to be especially tolerant of high levels of substrate and tissue Cu. Values of EC50-plant for restoration grasses were between 283 and 710 mg Cu/L compared to 120 mg Cu/L for common wheat. Measured PT50-shoot values were between 737 and 10,792 mg Cu/L. These reported thresholds should be more useful for risk assessors than those

  10. CO2-caused change in plant species composition rivals the shift in vegetation between mid-grass and tallgrass prairies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Atmospheric CO2 enrichment usually changes the contributions of plant species to biomass production of grasslands, but the types of species favored and mechanisms by which change is mediated differ among ecosystems. We measured changes in the contributions of C3 perennial forbs and C4 grasses to abo...

  11. Stomatal development in Arabidopsis and grasses: differences and commonalities.

    PubMed

    Serna, Laura

    2011-01-01

    Stomata, found on the epidermis of all terrestrial plants, consist of two specialized cells called guard cells, which surround a tiny pore. Major advances have been made in our understanding of the genetic control of stomatal development in Arabidopsis and grasses. In Arabidopsis, three basic-helix-loop-helix (bHLH) genes control the successive steps that lead to stomatal formation. SPEECHLESS (SPCH) drives the cell division that initiates the stomatal cell lineage, MUTE induces the formation of the immediate stomatal precursor cell, and FAMA causes the stomatal precursor cell to divide into the two guard cells. Recent results demonstrate that these genes share functions with their grass homologs, and that MUTE is expressed later in development than its grass counterparts. Other differences in stomatal development between these two plant groups are exemplified by the PANGLOSS1 (PAN1) gene of maize. PAN1, which encodes a leucine-rich repeat receptor-like kinase with an inactive kinase domain, promotes polarization of the subsidiary mother cell and orients its cell division plane. Because such events do not exist in Arabidopsis, it is likely that the PAN1-like genes of Arabidopsis and PAN1 are paralogs. Together, these results indicate that distinctions in the regulation of gene expression and protein function are both responsible for the divergence of stomatal development between Arabidopsis and grasses.

  12. Establishment and growth of experimental grass species mixtures on coal mine sites reclaimed with municipal biosolids

    SciTech Connect

    Halofsky, J.E.; McCormick, L.H.

    2005-05-01

    The Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 requires that coal mine sites in the United States be reclaimed to establish vegetative cover that is diverse, native, and capable of plant succession. However, there is a question as to whether vegetation established on coal mine sites reclaimed with biosolids is diverse and capable of plant succession. The influx of nutrients with the addition of biosolids leads to long-term dominance by early-successional species, most notably grasses, and consequently, a low establishment of woody and volunteer species. Additionally, many grass species commonly planted in reclamation have aggressive growth habits that lead to their dominance in coal mine plant communities. The establishment and growth of selected grass mixes was evaluated to determine whether alternative grass mixes would be less competitive with woody and volunteer species as compared to commonly used grass mixes. Percent vegetative cover, species richness, and the survival of direct-seeded woody species were assessed for each treatment grass mixture. It was found that Poa compress and a mixture of P. compress, Panicum virgatum, and Trifolium repens provided adequate coverage while still allowing the highest species richness and survival of woody species. Use of these species mixtures in coal mine reclamation with biosolids in the eastern United States would likely lead to establishment of a more species-rich plant community with a greater woody species component while still providing erosion control and site protection.

  13. Relationships between functional traits and inorganic nitrogen acquisition among eight contrasting European grass species

    PubMed Central

    Grassein, Fabrice; Lemauviel-Lavenant, Servane; Lavorel, Sandra; Bahn, Michael; Bardgett, Richard D.; Desclos-Theveniau, Marie; Laîné, Philippe

    2015-01-01

    Backgrounds and Aims Leaf functional traits have been used as a basis to categoize plants across a range of resource-use specialization, from those that conserve available resources to those that exploit them. However, the extent to which the leaf functional traits used to define the resource-use strategies are related to root traits and are good indicators of the ability of the roots to take up nitrogen (N) are poorly known. This is an important question because interspecific differences in N uptake have been proposed as one mechanism by which species’ coexistence may be determined. This study therefore investigated the relationships between functional traits and N uptake ability for grass species across a range of conservative to exploitative resource-use strategies. Methods Root uptake of NH4+ and NO3–, and leaf and root functional traits were measured for eight grass species sampled at three grassland sites across Europe, in France, Austria and the UK. Species were grown in hydroponics to determine functional traits and kinetic uptake parameters (Imax and Km) under standardized conditions. Key Results Species with high specific leaf area (SLA) and shoot N content, and low leaf and root dry matter content (LDMC and RDMC, respectively), which are traits associated with the exploitative syndrome, had higher uptake and affinity for both N forms. No trade-off was observed in uptake between the two forms of N, and all species expressed a higher preference for NH4+. Conclusions The results support the use of leaf traits, and especially SLA and LDMC, as indicators of the N uptake ability across a broad range of grass species. The difficulties associated with assessing root properties are also highlighted, as root traits were only weakly correlated with leaf traits, and only RDMC and, to a lesser extent, root N content were related to leaf traits. PMID:25471096

  14. Abiotic stresses activate a MAPkinase in the model grass species Lolium temulentum L.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Forage and turf grasses are utilized in diverse environments which exposes them to a variety of abiotic stresses, however very little is known concerning the perception or molecular responses to these various stresses. In the model grass species Lolium temulentum (Lt), a 46 kDa mitogen-activated pro...

  15. Soil biota effects on local abundances of three grass species along a land-use gradient.

    PubMed

    Heinze, J; Werner, T; Weber, E; Rillig, M C; Joshi, J

    2015-09-01

    Biotic plant-soil interactions and land-use intensity are known to affect plant individual fitness as well as competitiveness and therefore plant-species abundances in communities. Therefore, a link between soil biota and land-use intensity on local abundance of plant species in grasslands can be expected. In two greenhouse experiments, we investigated the effects of soil biota from grassland sites differing in land-use intensity on three grass species that vary in local abundances along this land-use gradient. We were interested in those soil-biota effects that are associated with land-use intensity, and whether these effects act directly or indirectly. Therefore, we grew the three plant species in two separate experiments as single individuals and in mixtures and compared their performance. As single plants, all three grasses showed a similar performance with and without soil biota. In contrast, in mixtures growth of the species in response to the presence or absence of soil biota differed. This resulted in different soil-biota effects that tend to correspond with patterns of species-specific abundances in the field for two of the three species tested. Our results highlight the importance of indirect interactions between plants and soil microorganisms and suggest that combined effects of soil biota and plant-plant interactions are involved in structuring plant communities. In conclusion, our experiments suggest that soil biota may have the potential to alter effects of plant-plant interactions and therefore influence plant-species abundances and diversity in grasslands.

  16. Divergent Evolutionary Pattern of Sugar Transporter Genes is Associated with the Difference in Sugar Accumulation between Grasses and Eudicots.

    PubMed

    Wang, Wei; Zhou, Hui; Ma, Baiquan; Owiti, Albert; Korban, Schuyler S; Han, Yuepeng

    2016-06-30

    Sugars play a variety of roles in plants, and their accumulation in seeds and/or surrounding pericarp tissues is distinctly different between grasses and eudicots. However, little is known about the evolutionary pattern of genes involved in sugar accumulation in these two major groups of flowering plants. Here, we compared evolutionary rates, gene duplication, and selective patterns of genes involved in sugar metabolism and transport between grasses and eudicots using six grass species and seven eudicot species as materials. Overall, sugar transporter genes exhibit divergent evolutionary patterns, whereas, sugar metabolism genes showing similar evolutionary pattern between monocots and eudicots. Sugar transporter genes have higher frequencies of recent duplication in eudicots than in grasses and their patterns of evolutionary rate are different. Evidence for divergent selection of these two groups of flowering plants is also observed in sugar transporter genes, wherein, these genes have undergone positive selection in eudicots, but not in grasses. Taken together, these findings suggest that sugar transporter genes rather than sugar metabolism genes play important roles in sugar accumulation in plants, and that divergent evolutionary patterns of sugar transporter genes are associated with the difference of sugar accumulation in storage tissues of grasses and eudicots.

  17. Divergent Evolutionary Pattern of Sugar Transporter Genes is Associated with the Difference in Sugar Accumulation between Grasses and Eudicots

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Wei; Zhou, Hui; Ma, Baiquan; Owiti, Albert; Korban, Schuyler S.; Han, Yuepeng

    2016-01-01

    Sugars play a variety of roles in plants, and their accumulation in seeds and/or surrounding pericarp tissues is distinctly different between grasses and eudicots. However, little is known about the evolutionary pattern of genes involved in sugar accumulation in these two major groups of flowering plants. Here, we compared evolutionary rates, gene duplication, and selective patterns of genes involved in sugar metabolism and transport between grasses and eudicots using six grass species and seven eudicot species as materials. Overall, sugar transporter genes exhibit divergent evolutionary patterns, whereas, sugar metabolism genes showing similar evolutionary pattern between monocots and eudicots. Sugar transporter genes have higher frequencies of recent duplication in eudicots than in grasses and their patterns of evolutionary rate are different. Evidence for divergent selection of these two groups of flowering plants is also observed in sugar transporter genes, wherein, these genes have undergone positive selection in eudicots, but not in grasses. Taken together, these findings suggest that sugar transporter genes rather than sugar metabolism genes play important roles in sugar accumulation in plants, and that divergent evolutionary patterns of sugar transporter genes are associated with the difference of sugar accumulation in storage tissues of grasses and eudicots. PMID:27356489

  18. Evaluating indigenous grass species as on-site sediment trapping measures, northwest Ethiopian highlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mekonnen, Mulatie; Keesstra, Saskia; Ritsema, Coen; Stroosnijder, Leo; Baartman, Jantiene

    2016-04-01

    Although many studies have been conducted to evaluate the sediment trapping efficacy (STE) of grass species as an on-site sediment trapping measure, still a lot of grass species are availab1e of which their STE is unknown. Lack of information on the STE of such grass species has a negative influence on their acceptance and practical application by the users. Therefore, this study was conducted at Debre Mewi watershed, northwestern Ethiopian highlands, to evaluate the STE of four locally dominant indigenous grass species (Desho, Senbelet, Akirma and Sebez) and one exotic species (Vetiver) using plot experiments. On average, the annual runoff produced was found to be 79; 64; 69; 71; 74; 75 l m-2, which resulted in 7; 1.7; 2.9; 3.6; 4.5 and 5.6 kg m-2 yr-1 of sediment yield on the Control, Desho, Vetiver, Senbelet, Akirma and Sebez plots, respectively. Desho had a trapping efficacy of 76 % because of its fast growth and lateral spreading nature. Vetiver and Senbelet reduced the transported sediment with 59 % and 49 % STE, respectively. Because of their slow growth nature, Akirma and Sebez showed low STEs, 36 % and 20 %, respectively. The grass species were found to be important sources of livestock feed in addition to trapping sediment and reducing soil loss. Desho, Senbelet, Akirma, Vetiver and Sebez provided 132, 106, 76, 69 and 51 t ha-1 yr-1 fresh biomass, respectively. The indigenous grass species provided a practical means to reduce sediment yield, therefore, it can be concluded that such indigenous grass species can be used as an on-site sediment trapping measure in the northwestern highlands of Ethiopia.

  19. Tackling Contentious Invasive Plant Species: A Case Study of Buffel Grass in Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grice, Anthony C.; Friedel, Margaret H.; Marshall, Nadine A.; van Klinken, Rieks D.

    2012-02-01

    Introduced plants that have both production values and negative impacts can be contentious. Generally they are either treated as weeds and their use prohibited; or unfettered exploitation is permitted and land managers must individually contend with any negative effects. Buffel grass ( Cenchrus ciliaris) is contentious in Australia and there has been no attempt to broadly and systematically address the issues surrounding it. However, recent research indicates that there is some mutual acceptance by proponents and opponents of each others' perspectives and we contend that this provides the basis for a national approach. It would require thorough and on-going consultation with stakeholders and development of realistic goals that are applicable across a range of scales and responsive to regional differences in costs, benefits and socio-economic and biophysical circumstances. It would be necessary to clearly allocate responsibilities and ascertain the most appropriate balance between legislative and non-legislative mechanisms. A national approach could involve avoiding the introduction of additional genetic material, countering proliferation in regions where the species is sparse, preventing incursion into conservation reserves where it is absent, containing strategically located populations and managing communities to prevent or reduce dominance by buffel grass. This approach could be applied to other contentious plant species.

  20. Grassland structural heterogeneity in a savanna is driven more by productivity differences than by consumption differences between lawn and bunch grasses.

    PubMed

    Veldhuis, Michiel P; Fakkert, Heleen F; Berg, Matty P; Olff, Han

    2016-11-01

    Savanna grasslands are characterized by high spatial heterogeneity in vegetation structure, aboveground biomass and nutritional quality, with high quality short-grass grazing lawns forming mosaics with patches of tall bunch grasses of lower quality. This heterogeneity can arise because of local differences in consumption, because of differences in productivity, or because both processes enforce each other (more production and consumption). However, the relative importance of both processes in maintaining mosaics of lawn and bunch grassland types has not been measured. Also their interplay been not been assessed across landscape gradients. In a South African savanna, we, therefore, measured the seasonal changes in primary production, nutritional quality and herbivore consumption (amount and percentage) of grazing lawns and adjacent bunch grass patches across a rainfall gradient. We found both higher amounts of primary production and, to a smaller extent, consumption for bunch grass patches. In addition, for bunch grasses primary production increased towards higher rainfall while foliar nitrogen concentrations decreased. Foliar nitrogen concentrations of lawn grasses decreased much less with increasing rainfall. Consequently, large herbivores targeted the biomass produced on grazing lawns with on average 75 % of the produced biomass consumed. We conclude that heterogeneity in vegetation structure in this savanna ecosystem is better explained by small-scale differences in productivity between lawn and bunch grass vegetation types than by local differences in consumption rates. Nevertheless, the high nutritional quality of grazing lawns is highly attractive and, therefore, important for the maintenance of the heterogeneity in species composition (i.e. grazing lawn maintenance).

  1. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal community differs between a coexisting native shrub and introduced annual grass.

    PubMed

    Busby, Ryan R; Stromberger, Mary E; Rodriguez, Giselle; Gebhart, Dick L; Paschke, Mark W

    2013-02-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) have been implicated in non-native plant invasion success and persistence. However, few studies have identified the AMF species associating directly with plant invaders, or how these associations differ from those of native plant species. Identifying changes to the AMF community due to plant invasion could yield key plant-AMF interactions necessary for the restoration of native plant communities. This research compared AMF associating with coexisting Bromus tectorum, an invasive annual grass, and Artemisia tridentata, the dominant native shrub in western North America. At three sites, soil and root samples from Bromus and Artemisia were collected. Sporulation was induced using trap cultures, and spores were identified using morphological characteristics. DNA was extracted from root and soil subsamples and amplified. Sequences obtained were aligned and analyzed to compare diversity, composition, and phylogenetic distance between hosts and sites. Richness of AMF species associated with Artemisia in cultures was higher than AMF species associated with Bromus. Gamma diversity was similar and beta diversity was higher in AMF associated with Bromus compared to Artemisia. AMF community composition differed between hosts in both cultures and roots. Two AMF species (Archaeospora trappei and Viscospora viscosum) associated more frequently with Artemisia than Bromus across multiple sites. AMF communities in Bromus roots were more phylogenetically dispersed than in Artemisia roots, indicating a greater competition for resources within the invasive grass. Bromus associated with an AMF community that differed from Artemisia in a number of ways, and these changes could restrict native plant establishment.

  2. Differences in photosynthetic syndromes of four halophytic marsh grasses in Pakistan.

    PubMed

    Moinuddin, Muhammad; Gulzar, Salman; Hameed, Abdul; Gul, Bilquees; Ajmal Khan, M; Edwards, Gerald E

    2017-01-01

    Salt-tolerant grasses of warm sub-tropical ecosystems differ in their distribution patterns with respect to salinity and moisture regimes. Experiments were conducted on CO2 fixation and light harvesting processes of four halophytic C4 grasses grown under different levels of salinity (0, 200 and 400 mM NaCl) under ambient environmental conditions. Two species were from a high saline coastal marsh (Aeluropus lagopoides and Sporobolus tremulus) and two were from a moderate saline sub-coastal draw-down tidal marsh (Paspalum paspalodes and Paspalidium geminatum). Analyses of the carbon isotope ratios of leaf biomass in plants indicated that carbon assimilation was occurring by C4 photosynthesis in all species during growth under varying levels of salinity. In the coastal species, with increasing salinity, there was a parallel decrease in rates of CO2 fixation (A), transpiration (E) and stomatal conductance (g s), with no effect on water use efficiency (WUE). These species were adapted for photoprotection by an increase in the Mehler reaction with an increase in activity of PSII/CO2 fixed accompanied by high levels of antioxidant enzymes, superoxide dismutase and ascorbate peroxidase. The sub-coastal species P. paspalodes and P. geminatum had high levels of carotenoid pigments and non-photochemical quenching by the xanthophyll cycle.

  3. Close Association of Azospirillum and Diazotrophic Rods with Different Root Zones of Kallar Grass

    PubMed Central

    Reinhold, Barbara; Hurek, Thomas; Niemann, Ernst-Georg; Fendrik, Istvan

    1986-01-01

    The populations of diazotrophic and nondiazotrophic bacteria were estimated in the endorhizosphere and on the rhizoplane of Kallar grass (Leptochloa fusca) and in nonrhizosphere soil. Microaerophilic diazotrophs were counted by the most-probable-number method, using two semisolid malate media, one of them adapted to the saline-sodic Kallar grass soil. Plate counts of aerobic heterotrophic bacteria were done on nutrient agar. The dominating N2-fixing bacteria were differentiated by morphological, serological, and physiological criteria. Isolates, which could not be assigned to a known species, were shown to fix nitrogen unequivocally by 15N2 incorporation. On the rhizoplane we found 2.0 × 107 diazotrophs per g (dry weight) of root, which consisted in equal numbers of Azospirillum lipoferum and Azospirillum-like bacteria showing characteristics different from those of known Azospirillum species. Surface sterilization by NaOCI treatment effectively reduced the rhizoplane population, so that bacteria released by homogenization of roots could be regarded as endorhizosphere bacteria. Azospirillum spp. were not detected in the endorhizosphere, but diazotrophic, motile, straight rods producing a yellow pigment occurred with 7.3 × 107 cells per g (dry weight) of root in the root interior. In nonrhizosphere soil we found 3.1 × 104 nitrogen-fixing bacteria per g. Diazotrophs were preferentially enriched in the Kallar grass rhizosphere. In nonrhizosphere soil they made up 0.2% of the total aerobic heterotrophic microflora, on the rhizoplane they made up 7.1%, and in the endorhizosphere they made up 85%. Owing to high numbers in and on roots and their preferential enrichment, we concluded that diazotrophs are in close association with Kallar grass. They formed entirely different populations on the rhizoplane and in the endorhizosphere. PMID:16347149

  4. Habitat-specific differences in plasticity of foliar δ13C in temperate steppe grasses

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Yanjie; Zhang, Lirong; Niu, Haishan; Sun, Yue; Xu, Xingliang

    2014-01-01

    A decrease in foliar δ13C with increasing precipitation is a common tendency in steppe plants. However, the rate of decrease has been reported to differ between different species or populations. We here hypothesized that plant populations in the same habitat of temperate steppes may not differ in foliar δ13C response patterns to precipitation, but could differ in the levels of plasticity of foliar δ13C across different habitats. In order to test this hypothesis, we conducted controlled watering experiments in northeast China at five sites along a west–east transect at latitude 44°N, which show substantial interannual fluctuations and intra-annual changes in precipitation among them. In 2001, watering treatment (six levels, three replicates) was assigned to 18 plots at each site. The responses of foliar δ13C to precipitation (i.e., the sum of watering and rainfall) were determined in populations of several grass species that were common across all sites. Although similar linear regression slopes were observed for populations of different species growing at the same site, significantly different slopes were obtained for populations of the same species growing at different sites. Further, the slope of the line progressively decreased from Site I to Site V for all species in this study. These results suggest habitat-specific differences in plasticity of foliar δ13C in temperate steppe grasses. This indicates that species' δ13C response to precipitation is conservative at the same site due to their long-term acclimation, but the mechanism responsible behind this needs further investigations. PMID:25035804

  5. Provenance, life span, and phylogeny do not affect grass species' responses to nitrogen and phosphorus.

    PubMed

    Seabloom, Eric W; Benfield, Cara D; Borer, Elizabeth T; Stanley, Amanda G; Kaye, Thomas N; Dunwiddie, Peter W

    2011-09-01

    Successful conservation management requires an understanding of how species respond to intervention. Native and exotic species may respond differently to management interventions due to differences arising directly from their origin (i.e., provenance) or indirectly due to biased representations of different life history types (e.g., annual vs. perennial life span) or phylogenetic lineages among provenance (i.e., native or exotic origin) groups. Thus, selection of a successful management regime requires knowledge of the life history and provenance-bias in the local flora and an understanding of the interplay between species characteristics across existing environmental gradients in the landscape. Here we tested whether provenance, phylogeny, and life span interact to determine species distributions along natural gradients of soil chemistry (e.g., soil nitrogen and phosphorus) in 10 upland prairie sites along a 600-km latitudinal transect running from southern Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada, to the Willamette Valley in Oregon, USA. We found that soil nitrate, phosphorus, and pH exerted strong control over community composition. However, species distributions along environmental gradients were unrelated to provenance, life span, or phylogenetic groupings. We then used a greenhouse experiment to more precisely measure the response of common grass species to nitrogen and phosphorus supply. As with the field data, species responses to nutrient additions did not vary as a function of provenance, life span, or phylogeny. Native and exotic species differed strongly in the relationship between greenhouse-measured tolerance of low nutrients and field abundance. Native species with the greatest ability to maintain biomass production at low nutrient supply rates were most abundant in field surveys, as predicted by resource competition theory. In contrast, there was no relationship between exotic-species biomass at low nutrient levels and field abundance. The

  6. Endophytic Epichloë species and their grass hosts: from evolution to applications.

    PubMed

    Saikkonen, Kari; Young, Carolyn A; Helander, Marjo; Schardl, Christopher L

    2016-04-01

    The closely linked fitness of the Epichloë symbiont and the host grass is presumed to align the coevolution of the species towards specialization and mutually beneficial cooperation. Ecological observations demonstrating that Epichloë-grass symbioses can modulate grassland ecosystems via both above- and belowground ecosystem processes support this. In many cases the detected ecological importance of Epichloë species is directly or indirectly linked to defensive mutualism attributable to alkaloids of fungal-origin. Now, modern genetic and molecular techniques enable the precise studies on evolutionary origin of endophytic Epichloë species, their coevolution with host grasses and identification the genetic variation that explains phenotypic diversity in ecologically relevant characteristics of Epichloë-grass associations. Here we briefly review the most recent findings in these areas of research using the present knowledge of the genetic variation that explains the biosynthetic pathways driving the diversity of alkaloids produced by the endophyte. These findings underscore the importance of genetic interplay between the fungus and the host in shaping their coevolution and ecological role in both natural grass ecosystems, and in the agricultural arena.

  7. Effects of grass species and grass growth on atmospheric nitrogen deposition to a bog ecosystem surrounded by intensive agricultural land use

    PubMed Central

    Hurkuck, Miriam; Brümmer, Christian; Mohr, Karsten; Spott, Oliver; Well, Reinhard; Flessa, Heinz; Kutsch, Werner L

    2015-01-01

    We applied a 15N dilution technique called “Integrated Total Nitrogen Input” (ITNI) to quantify annual atmospheric N input into a peatland surrounded by intensive agricultural practices over a 2-year period. Grass species and grass growth effects on atmospheric N deposition were investigated using Lolium multiflorum and Eriophorum vaginatum and different levels of added N resulting in increased biomass production. Plant biomass production was positively correlated with atmospheric N uptake (up to 102.7 mg N pot−1) when using Lolium multiflorum. In contrast, atmospheric N deposition to Eriophorum vaginatum did not show a clear dependency to produced biomass and ranged from 81.9 to 138.2 mg N pot−1. Both species revealed a relationship between atmospheric N input and total biomass N contents. Airborne N deposition varied from about 24 to 55 kg N ha−1 yr−1. Partitioning of airborne N within the monitor system differed such that most of the deposited N was found in roots of Eriophorum vaginatum while the highest share was allocated in aboveground biomass of Lolium multiflorum. Compared to other approaches determining atmospheric N deposition, ITNI showed highest airborne N input and an up to fivefold exceedance of the ecosystem-specific critical load of 5–10 kg N ha−1 yr−1. PMID:26257870

  8. Effects of grass species and grass growth on atmospheric nitrogen deposition to a bog ecosystem surrounded by intensive agricultural land use.

    PubMed

    Hurkuck, Miriam; Brümmer, Christian; Mohr, Karsten; Spott, Oliver; Well, Reinhard; Flessa, Heinz; Kutsch, Werner L

    2015-07-01

    We applied a (15)N dilution technique called "Integrated Total Nitrogen Input" (ITNI) to quantify annual atmospheric N input into a peatland surrounded by intensive agricultural practices over a 2-year period. Grass species and grass growth effects on atmospheric N deposition were investigated using Lolium multiflorum and Eriophorum vaginatum and different levels of added N resulting in increased biomass production. Plant biomass production was positively correlated with atmospheric N uptake (up to 102.7 mg N pot(-1)) when using Lolium multiflorum. In contrast, atmospheric N deposition to Eriophorum vaginatum did not show a clear dependency to produced biomass and ranged from 81.9 to 138.2 mg N pot(-1). Both species revealed a relationship between atmospheric N input and total biomass N contents. Airborne N deposition varied from about 24 to 55 kg N ha(-1) yr(-1). Partitioning of airborne N within the monitor system differed such that most of the deposited N was found in roots of Eriophorum vaginatum while the highest share was allocated in aboveground biomass of Lolium multiflorum. Compared to other approaches determining atmospheric N deposition, ITNI showed highest airborne N input and an up to fivefold exceedance of the ecosystem-specific critical load of 5-10 kg N ha(-1) yr(-1).

  9. Three new species of eriophyoid mites from grass hosts in Croatia

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Three new species of grass-feeding eriophyid mites are described from Croatia: Acaralox croatiae n. sp., inhabiting purple moorgrass, Molinia coerulea (L.) Moench; Aculodes festucae n. sp., inhabiting tall fescue, Festuca arundinacea Schreb.; and Aculodes sylvatici n. sp., inhabiting false brome, Br...

  10. MT and WY Tamarix soil properties influence germination and early growth of three native grass species

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    As a riparian invader, Tamarix spp. often leads to native species (e.g., plains cottonwood and willows, grasses) decline and lower habitat quality. Since Tamarix excretes excess salt and has high salt tolerance, negative soil feedback via high soil salinity may negatively affect native plants. Howev...

  11. Selenium accumulation and selenium-salt co-tolerance in five grass species. [Festuca arundinaceae; Agropyron deserorum; Buchloe dactyloides; Agrostis stolonifera; Cynodon dactylon

    SciTech Connect

    Wu, L.; Huang, Z.; Burau, R.G.

    1987-04-01

    Five grass species including Tall fescue (Festuca arundinaceae Schred), Crested wheatgrass (Agropyron deserorum Fisch), Buffalo grass (Buchlor dactyloides (Nutt.) Engelm.), Seaside bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera L.) and Bermuda grass (Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers., Syn.) were examined for selenium and salt tolerance and selenium accumulation under solution culture conditions. Distinct differences in both selenium and salt tolerance were detected among the five species, but no direct association between selenium and salt resistance was found. Tall fescue displayed considerable tolerance under 1 ppm selenium and 100 mM salt treatment. Combined selenium and salt treatment revealed that selenium uptake was increased by the incorporation of salt in the culture solution. However, salt uptake was not significantly affected by the presence of selenium in the culture solution. At moderate toxic levels of selenium, the species with greater tolerance accumulated less selenium than did the less tolerant species.

  12. Distribution of infective gastrointestinal helminth larvae in tropical erect grass under different feeding systems for lambs.

    PubMed

    Tontini, Jalise Fabíola; Poli, Cesar Henrique Espírito Candal; Bremm, Carolina; de Castro, Juliane Machado; Fajardo, Neuza Maria; Sarout, Bruna Nunes Marsiglio; Castilhos, Zélia Maria de Souza

    2015-08-01

    This study examined tropical pasture contamination dynamics under different feeding systems for finishing lambs. The experiment aimed to evaluate the vertical distribution of gastrointestinal helminth infective larvae (L3) in erect grass subjected to grazing and to assess the parasite load and its impact on lamb performance in three production systems. Three treatments based on Aruana grass (Panicum maximum cv. IZ-5) were as follows: T1, grass only; T2, grass with 1.5% of body weight (BW) nutrient concentrate supplementation; and T3, grass with 2.5% BW concentrate supplementation. The randomized block design had three replicates of three treatments, with six lambs per replicate. L3 were recovered from three pasture strata (upper, middle, and bottom), each representing one third of the sward height, and correlated with microclimatic data. Significant differences (P < 0.05) were observed among treatments in the L3 recovery. Despite different grass heights between treatments and microclimates within the sward, the L3 concentration generally did not differ significantly among the three strata within a treatment (P > 0.05). Pasture microclimate did not correlate with larval recovery. At the end of the experiment, the animal fecal egg count was similar among treatments (P > 0.05). The results indicated that different lamb feeding systems in a tropical erect grassland caused differences in grass height but did not affect the distribution of infective larvae among strata. Larvae were found from the base to the top of the grass sward.

  13. Species introductions and the phylogenetic and functional structure of California's grasses.

    PubMed

    Sandel, Brody; Tsirogiannis, Constantinos

    2016-02-01

    Many species assemblages represent a nonrandom subset of a larger species pool. When an assemblage tends to contain close evolutionary relatives or species with similar functional traits, it can be described as phylogenetically or functionally clustered. Clustering is often interpreted as evidence for filtering by some combination of environmental and biotic factors. At sufficiently large spatial extents, however, biogeographic barriers can also lead to strong clustering. Here, we suggest that the breakdown of biogeographic barriers associated with human introductions of exotic species can be used as an unintentional experiment to assess their importance in driving phylogenetic and functional structure. An important role of biogeographic barriers would be revealed by a breakdown in clustering, particularly phylogenetic clustering, following species introductions. On the other hand, a role of filtering can be supported by similar patterns of clustering in the native and exotic assemblages along environmental gradients. We test these predictions using the grasses of California, a diverse group including many introduced species. Native grass assemblages in the state are highly clustered with respect to the global grass species pool, both phylogenetically and functionally. Within the state, variation in the strength of clustering is well explained by climatic variables, suggesting an important role for environmental-biotic filtering. Further, subregions within the state with highly clustered native assemblages also contain highly clustered exotic assemblages. Contrary to expectation, though, the introduction of exotic species led to even more strongly clustered assemblages. We conclude that biogeographic barriers have generally not excluded the major grass lineages (e.g., tribes) from the state and likely act only on finer taxonomic scales (for example, excluding particular genera). Our approach should prove broadly applicable and contribute to improved understanding

  14. Phenotypic differentiation within a foundation grass species correlates with species richness in a subalpine community.

    PubMed

    Al Hayek, Patrick; Touzard, Blaise; Le Bagousse-Pinguet, Yoann; Michalet, Richard

    2014-10-01

    Few studies have examined consequences of ecotypic differentiation within alpine foundation species for community diversity and their feedbacks for the foundation species' fitness. Additionally, no study has quantified ecotypic differences in competitive effects in the field and in controlled conditions to disentangle genetic from plasticity effects in foundation/subordinate species interactions. We focused on a subalpine community of the French Pyrenees including two phenotypes of a cushion-forming species, Festuca gautieri: tight cushions in dry convex outcrops, and loose cushions (exhibiting high subordinate species richness) in wet concave slopes. We assessed, with field and shadehouse experiments, the genetic vs. plasticity basis of differences in: (1) cushion traits and (2) competitive effects on subordinates, and (3) quantified community feedbacks on foundation species' fitness. We found that trait differences across habitats had both genetic and plasticity bases, with stronger contribution of the latter. Field results showed higher competition within loose than tight phenotypes. In contrast, shadehouse results showed higher competitive ability for tight phenotypes. However, as changes in interactions across habitats were due to environmental effects without changes in cushion effects, we argue that heritable and plastic changes in competitive effects maintain high subordinate species diversity through decreasing competition. We showed high reproduction cost for loose cushions when hosting subordinates highlighting the occurrence of community feedbacks. These results suggest that phenotypic differentiation within foundation species may cascade on subordinate species diversity through heritable and plastic changes in the foundation species' competitive effects, and that community feedbacks may affect foundation species' fitness.

  15. Defending the leaf surface: intra- and inter-specific differences in silicon deposition in grasses in response to damage and silicon supply.

    PubMed

    Hartley, Sue E; Fitt, Rob N; McLarnon, Emma L; Wade, Ruth N

    2015-01-01

    Understanding interactions between grasses and their herbivores is central to the conservation of species-rich grasslands and the protection of our most important crops against pests. Grasses employ a range of defenses against their natural enemies; silicon-based defenses have been shown to be one of the most effective. Silicon (Si) is laid down on the leaf surface as spines and other sharp bodies, known as phytoliths, making grasses abrasive and their foliage indigestible to herbivores. Previous studies on Si defenses found that closely related species may have similar levels of Si in the leaves but differ markedly in abrasiveness. Here we show how the number, shape and distribution of Si-rich phytoliths and spines differ within and between different grass species and demonstrate that species also differ in their ability to change the deposition and distribution of these defenses in response to damage or increases in Si supply. Specifically, we tested the response of two genotypes of Festuca arundinacea known to differ in their surface texture and three different grass species (F. ovina, F. rubra, and Deschampsia cespitosa) differing in their abrasiveness to combined manipulation of leaf damage and Si supply. F. arundinacea plants with a harsh leaf surface had higher Si content and more spines on their leaf surface than soft varieties. F. ovina and D. cespitosa plants increased their leaf Si concentration and produced an increase in the number of leaf spines and phytoliths on the leaf surface in response to Si addition. F rubra also increased leaf Si content in response to treatments, particularly in damaged leaves, but did not deposit this in the form of spines or increased densities of phytoliths. We discuss how the form in which grasses deposit Si may affect their anti-herbivore characteristics and consider the ecological and agricultural implications of the differences in allocation to Si-based defenses between grass species.

  16. Defending the leaf surface: intra- and inter-specific differences in silicon deposition in grasses in response to damage and silicon supply

    PubMed Central

    Hartley, Sue E.; Fitt, Rob N.; McLarnon, Emma L.; Wade, Ruth N.

    2015-01-01

    Understanding interactions between grasses and their herbivores is central to the conservation of species-rich grasslands and the protection of our most important crops against pests. Grasses employ a range of defenses against their natural enemies; silicon-based defenses have been shown to be one of the most effective. Silicon (Si) is laid down on the leaf surface as spines and other sharp bodies, known as phytoliths, making grasses abrasive and their foliage indigestible to herbivores. Previous studies on Si defenses found that closely related species may have similar levels of Si in the leaves but differ markedly in abrasiveness. Here we show how the number, shape and distribution of Si-rich phytoliths and spines differ within and between different grass species and demonstrate that species also differ in their ability to change the deposition and distribution of these defenses in response to damage or increases in Si supply. Specifically, we tested the response of two genotypes of Festuca arundinacea known to differ in their surface texture and three different grass species (F. ovina, F. rubra, and Deschampsia cespitosa) differing in their abrasiveness to combined manipulation of leaf damage and Si supply. F. arundinacea plants with a harsh leaf surface had higher Si content and more spines on their leaf surface than soft varieties. F. ovina and D. cespitosa plants increased their leaf Si concentration and produced an increase in the number of leaf spines and phytoliths on the leaf surface in response to Si addition. F rubra also increased leaf Si content in response to treatments, particularly in damaged leaves, but did not deposit this in the form of spines or increased densities of phytoliths. We discuss how the form in which grasses deposit Si may affect their anti-herbivore characteristics and consider the ecological and agricultural implications of the differences in allocation to Si-based defenses between grass species. PMID:25717331

  17. Interactive effects of plant-available soil silicon and herbivory on competition between two grass species

    PubMed Central

    Garbuzov, Mihail; Reidinger, Stefan; Hartley, Susan E.

    2011-01-01

    Background and Aims The herbivore defence system of true grasses (Poaceae) is predominantly based on silicon that is taken up from the soil and deposited in the leaves in the form of abrasive phytoliths. Silicon uptake mechanisms can be both passive and active, with the latter suggesting that there is an energetic cost to silicon uptake. This study assessed the effects of plant-available soil silicon and herbivory on the competitive interactions between the grasses Poa annua, a species that has previously been reported to accumulate only small amounts of silicon, and Lolium perenne, a high silicon accumulator. Methods Plants were grown in mono- and mixed cultures under greenhouse conditions. Plant-available soil silicon levels were manipulated by adding silicon to the soil in the form of sodium silicate. Subsets of mixed culture pots were exposed to above-ground herbivory by desert locusts (Schistocerca gregaria). Key Results In the absence of herbivory, silicon addition increased biomass of P. annua but decreased biomass of L. perenne. Silicon addition increased foliar silicon concentrations of both grass species >4-fold. Under low soil-silicon availability the herbivores removed more leaf biomass from L. perenne than from P. annua, whereas under high silicon availability the reverse was true. Consequently, herbivory shifted the competitive balance between the two grass species, with the outcome depending on the availability of soil silicon. Conclusions It is concluded that a complex interplay between herbivore abundance, growth–defence trade-offs and the availability of soil silicon in the grasses' local environment affects the outcome of inter-specific competition, and so has the potential to impact on plant community structure. PMID:21868406

  18. Defoliation synchronizes aboveground growth of co-occurring C4 grass species.

    PubMed

    Swemmer, Anthony M; Knapp, Alan K

    2008-10-01

    The aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) of grass communities in grasslands and savannas is primarily determined by precipitation quantity. Recent research, motivated by predictions of changes in the distribution of rainfall events by global climate change models, indicates that ANPP may be affected by rainfall distribution as much as by annual totals. Grazing and community composition are also known to affect grassland ANPP. The manner in which interactions between rainfall distribution, grazing, and community composition affect the relationship between precipitation and ANPP represents a critical knowledge gap. The effects of community composition and grazing on aboveground growth responses to intraseasonal variation in water availability were investigated at seven grassland sites with a nonselective clipping experiment. The aboveground growth of the dominant C4 species at each site was measured at regular intervals for 2-3 growing seasons in the presence or absence of regular defoliation. In the absence of defoliation, there was a general lack of synchrony of intraseasonal growth among co-occurring species. Variation in growth rates was high and was only partially explained by variation in rainfall. Regular defoliation increased growth synchrony at all sites, but changes in growth responses to rainfall varied between sites. These results suggest that community composition will be important in determining ANPP-precipitation relationships under conditions of altered rainfall distribution. However this effect appears to be a result of species responding differently to soil water or other resources rather than to rainfall per se. Grazing may override the effects of community composition by reducing differences in growth patterns between species and has the potential to weaken precipitation controls on ANPP.

  19. Elevated CO₂ mitigates drought and temperature-induced oxidative stress differently in grasses and legumes.

    PubMed

    AbdElgawad, Hamada; Farfan-Vignolo, Evelyn Roxana; de Vos, Dirk; Asard, Han

    2015-02-01

    Increasing atmospheric CO2 will affect plant growth, including mitigation of stress impact. Such effects vary considerably between species-groups. Grasses (Lolium perenne, Poa pratensis) and legumes (Medicago lupulina, Lotus corniculatus) were subjected to drought, elevated temperature and elevated CO2. Drought inhibited plant growth, photosynthesis and stomatal conductance, and induced osmolytes and antioxidants in all species. In contrast, oxidative damage was more strongly induced in the legumes than in the grasses. Warming generally exacerbated drought effects, whereas elevated CO2 reduced stress impact. In the grasses, photosynthesis and chlorophyll levels were more protected by CO2 than in the legumes. Oxidative stress parameters (lipid peroxidation, H2O2 levels), on the other hand, were generally more reduced in the legumes. This is consistent with changes in molecular antioxidants, which were reduced by elevated CO2 in the grasses, but not in the legumes. Antioxidant enzymes decreased similarly in both species-groups. The ascorbate-glutathione cycle was little affected by drought and CO2. Overall, elevated CO2 reduced drought effects in grasses and legumes, and this mitigation was stronger in the legumes. This is possibly explained by stronger reduction in H2O2 generation (photorespiration and NADPH oxidase), and a higher availability of molecular antioxidants. The grass/legume-specificity was supported by principal component analysis.

  20. Control of one invasive plant species allows exotic grasses to become dominant in northern Great Plains grasslands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Larson, D.L.; Larson, J.L.

    2010-01-01

    Decline of leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula) in the northern Great Plains of the US is generally viewed as a success story for biological control, but quality of the vegetation that survived the infestation is key to recovery of ecosystem function. In addition, effects of other invasive species, notably cool-season exotic grasses, must be taken into account. Objectives of this study were (1) to evaluate direction and significance of changes in biomass of native and exotic grasses, forbs, and leafy spurge and in plant species composition following control of leafy spurge by flea beetles and (2) to evaluate the relative effects of leafy spurge and exotic grasses on biomass of native grasses, biomass of forbs, and richness of native species. We monitored species composition (1998-2003 and 2008) and biomass (2000, 2002, 2003 and 2008) of these groups on spurge-infested and noninfested permanent plots at three sites with unbroken prairie sod in North Dakota, USA. We found little evidence, in terms of species richness or biomass of native grasses or forbs, that leafy spurge was being replaced by desirable native species, although desirable as well as weedy and exotic species were characteristic of 2008 vegetation at all three sites. Structural equation models revealed that leafy spurge had temporally intermittent negative effects on forb biomass and species richness, but no effects on native grasses. In contrast, exotic grass had consistently strong, negative effects on native grass biomass, as well as stronger negative effects than leafy spurge on native species richness. Although substantial native plant diversity remains at these sites, exotic grasses pose an important threat to these crucial building blocks of native prairie ecosystems. ?? 2010.

  1. Four new species in Magnaporthaceae from grass roots in New Jersey Pine Barrens.

    PubMed

    Luo, Jing; Walsh, Emily; Zhang, Ning

    2014-01-01

    Based on morphology and DNA sequences of SSU, ITS, LSU, MCM7, RPB1 and TEF1 genes, we describe four new species in Magnaporthaceae that are associated with grass roots collected from New Jersey Pine Barrens. A new genus, Pseudophialophora, is erected to accommodate three species, which is characterized by slow growth on potato dextrose agar, curved conidiogenous cells without a conspicuous collarette at the apex and oblong ellipsoidal conidia. Pseudophialophora eragrostis, P. panicorum and P. schizachyrii are assigned to this genus. A new species of Magnaporthiopsis also is reported and named as M. panicorum. Distinctions between them and phylogenetic relationships with other Magnaporthaceae taxa are discussed.

  2. Five new Pseudophialophora species from grass roots in the oligotrophic pine barrens ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Luo, Jing; Walsh, Emily; Blystone, David; Zhang, Ning

    2015-12-01

    During our recent survey of fungi in the oligotrophic pine barrens ecosystem, five new Pseudophialophora species, Pseudophialophora angusta, P. dichanthii, P. magnispora, P. tarda, and P. whartonensis, were uncovered from the roots of switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) and tapered rosette grass (Dichanthelium acuminatum). The five new fungal species are described based on morphological characteristics and DNA sequences of SSU, ITS, LSU, MCM7, RPB1, and TEF1 genes. The 6-locus phylogeny indicates that Pseudophialophora species form a monophyletic clade in Magnaporthaceae of Magnaporthales. A key for all described species in Pseudophialophora is provided, including these five and three previously published species. Distinctions among the new species and other related species are discussed. The plant-fungal interaction experiment indicates that P. angusta, Pseudophialophora eragrostis, P. magnispora, Pseudophialophora schzachyrii, P. tarda, and P. whartonensis have negative effects on the growth of switchgrass. Runner hyphae were observed from the inoculated switchgrass roots, which are typical structures of root-infecting pathogens.

  3. Links between Genetic Groups, Indole Alkaloid Profiles and Ecology within the Grass-Parasitic Claviceps purpurea Species Complex

    PubMed Central

    Negård, Mariell; Uhlig, Silvio; Kauserud, Håvard; Andersen, Tom; Høiland, Klaus; Vrålstad, Trude

    2015-01-01

    The grass parasitic fungus Claviceps purpurea sensu lato produces sclerotia with toxic indole alkaloids. It constitutes several genetic groups with divergent habitat preferences that recently were delimited into separate proposed species. We aimed to 1) analyze genetic variation of C. purpurea sensu lato in Norway, 2) characterize the associated indole alkaloid profiles, and 3) explore relationships between genetics, alkaloid chemistry and ecology. Approximately 600 sclerotia from 14 different grass species were subjected to various analyses including DNA sequencing and HPLC-MS. Molecular results, supported by chemical and ecological data, revealed one new genetic group (G4) in addition to two of the three known; G1 (C. purpurea sensu stricto) and G2 (C. humidiphila). G3 (C. spartinae) was not found. G4, which was apparently con-specific with the recently described C. arundinis sp. nov, was predominantly found in very wet habitats on Molinia caerulea and infrequently in saline habitats on Leymus arenarius. Its indole-diterpene profile resembled G2, while its ergot alkaloid profile differed from G2 in high amounts of ergosedmam. In contrast to G1, indole-diterpenes were consistently present in G2 and G4. Our study supports and complements the newly proposed species delimitation of the C. purpurea complex, but challenges some species characteristics including host spectrum, habitat preferences and sclerotial floating ability. PMID:25928134

  4. Cross species selection scans identify components of C4 photosynthesis in the grasses.

    PubMed

    Huang, Pu; Studer, Anthony J; Schnable, James C; Kellogg, Elizabeth A; Brutnell, Thomas P

    2017-01-01

    C4 photosynthesis is perhaps one of the best examples of convergent adaptive evolution with over 25 independent origins in the grasses (Poaceae) alone. The availability of high quality grass genome sequences presents new opportunities to explore the mechanisms underlying this complex trait using evolutionary biology-based approaches. In this study, we performed genome-wide cross-species selection scans in C4 lineages to facilitate discovery of C4 genes. The study was enabled by the well conserved collinearity of grass genomes and the recently sequenced genome of a C3 panicoid grass, Dichanthelium oligosanthes This method, in contrast to previous studies, does not rely on any a priori knowledge of the genes that contribute to biochemical or anatomical innovations associated with C4 photosynthesis. We identified a list of 88 candidate genes that include both known and potentially novel components of the C4 pathway. This set includes the carbon shuttle enzymes pyruvate, phosphate dikinase, phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase and NADP malic enzyme as well as several predicted transporter proteins that likely play an essential role in promoting the flux of metabolites between the bundle sheath and mesophyll cells. Importantly, this approach demonstrates the application of fundamental molecular evolution principles to dissect the genetic basis of a complex photosynthetic adaptation in plants. Furthermore, we demonstrate how the output of the selection scans can be combined with expression data to provide additional power to prioritize candidate gene lists and suggest novel opportunities for pathway engineering.

  5. Excreting and non-excreting grasses exhibit different salt resistance strategies

    PubMed Central

    Moinuddin, Muhammad; Gulzar, Salman; Ahmed, Muhammad Zaheer; Gul, Bilquees; Koyro, Hans-Werner; Khan, Muhammad Ajmal

    2014-01-01

    The combination of traits that makes a plant successful under saline conditions varies with the type of plant and its interaction with the environmental conditions. Knowledge about the contribution of these traits towards salt resistance in grasses has great potential for improving the salt resistance of conventional crops. We attempted to identify differential adaptive response patterns of salt-excreting versus non-excreting grasses. More specifically, we studied the growth, osmotic, ionic and nutrient (carbon/nitrogen) relations of two salt-excreting (Aeluropus lagopoides and Sporobolus tremulus) and two non-excreting (Paspalum paspalodes and Paspalidium geminatum) perennial C4 grasses under non-saline and saline (0, 200 and 400 mM NaCl) conditions. Growth and relative growth rate decreased under saline conditions in the order P. geminatum > S. tremulus = A. lagopoides > P. paspalodes. The root-to-shoot biomass allocation was unaffected in salt-excreting grasses, increased in P. paspalodes but decreased in P. geminatum. Salt-excreting grasses had a higher shoot/root Na+ ratio than non-excreting grasses. K+, Ca2+ and Mg2+ homoeostasis remained undisturbed among test grasses possibly through improved ion selectivity with rising substrate salinity. Salt-excreting grasses increased leaf succulence, decreased ψs and xylem pressure potential, and accumulated proline and glycinebetaine with increasing salinity. Higher salt resistance of P. paspalodes could be attributed to lower Na+ uptake, higher nitrogen-use efficiency and higher water-use efficiency among the test species. However, P. geminatum was unable to cope with salt-induced physiological drought. More information is required to adequately document the differential strategies of salt resistance in salt-excreting and non-excreting grasses. PMID:24996428

  6. Green leaf volatiles, fire and nonanoic acid activate MAPkinases in the model grass species Lolium temulentum

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Forage and turf related grasses are utilized in diverse environments where they are routinely subjected to herbicides and exposed to fire and volatiles after cutting, however very little is known concerning the perception or molecular responses to these different stresses or compounds. In the model ...

  7. Temperature and functional traits influence differences in nitrogen uptake capacity between native and invasive grasses.

    PubMed

    Leffler, A Joshua; James, Jeremy J; Monaco, Thomas A

    2013-01-01

    Performance differences between native and exotic invasive plants are often considered static, but invasive grasses may achieve growth advantages in western North America shrublands and steppe under only optimal growing conditions. We examine differences in N uptake and several morphological variables that influence uptake at temperatures between 5 and 25 °C. We contrast two native perennial grasses in western North America: Elymus elymoides and Pseudoroegneria spicata; two invasive annual grasses: Bromus tectorum and Taeniatherum caput-medusae; and one highly selected non-native perennial grass: Agropyron cristatum. The influence of temperature on N uptake is poorly characterized, yet these invasive annual grasses are known to germinate in warm soils in the autumn, and both experience cool soils during the short growing season following snowmelt in the spring. To further explore the influence of temperature on the correlation between morphological variables and N uptake, our data are applied to a previously published path model and one proposed here. Differences in N uptake between native and invasive grasses were small at the lowest temperature, but were large at the highest temperature. At lower temperatures, uptake of N by annuals and perennials was correlated with leaf N and mass. At higher temperatures, uptake by annuals was correlated only with these leaf traits, but uptake by perennials was correlated with these leaf traits as well as root N and mass. Consequently, our results imply that annual grasses face fewer morphological constraints on N uptake than perennial grasses, and annual grasses may gain further advantage in warmer temperature conditions or during more frequent warm periods.

  8. An evaluation of the use of individual grass species in retaining polluted soil and dust particulates in vegetated sustainable drainage devices.

    PubMed

    Charlesworth, S M; Bennett, J; Waite, A

    2016-08-01

    A sustainable means of preventing polluted particulates carried in urban storm water entering rivers, groundwater and lakes is by employing vegetated sustainable drainage system (SUDS) devices, or best management practices to trap or biodegrade them. In the UK, a mixture of grass species is recommended for use in devices such as swales or filter strips. However, there is little evidence in support of the efficiency of the individual grasses or mixtures to deal with such contaminated material. A pot-based pollutant retention study was conducted using processed street dust from central Coventry, UK, as a simulated pollutant to be applied in different quantities to a variety of recommended grasses for vegetated SUDS devices. Analysis was conducted on compost cores, roots and shoots for heavy metals (Cd, Cu, Ni, Pb and Zn). Street dust mainly concentrated in the top compost layer for all grasses with only the finer material migrating down the profile. Analysis of roots indicated little accumulation, with ANOVA statistical tests indicating significant differences in heavy metal concentrations, with less in the compost and more in the shoots. Development of root systems on or near the surface possibly explains increased uptake of heavy metals by some species. Overall Agrostis canina and Poa pratensis showed the greatest accumulations compared to their controls although Agrostis capillaris syn.tenuis and Agrostis stolonifera also demonstrated accumulation potential. On ranking, Agrostis canina and Poa pratensis were highest overall. These rankings will assist in selecting the best grasses to address pollution of the urban environment by contaminated particulates.

  9. Plastome Sequence Determination and Comparative Analysis for Members of the Lolium-Festuca Grass Species Complex

    PubMed Central

    Hand, Melanie L.; Spangenberg, German C.; Forster, John W.; Cogan, Noel O. I.

    2013-01-01

    Chloroplast genome sequences are of broad significance in plant biology, due to frequent use in molecular phylogenetics, comparative genomics, population genetics, and genetic modification studies. The present study used a second-generation sequencing approach to determine and assemble the plastid genomes (plastomes) of four representatives from the agriculturally important Lolium-Festuca species complex of pasture grasses (Lolium multiflorum, Festuca pratensis, Festuca altissima, and Festuca ovina). Total cellular DNA was extracted from either roots or leaves, was sequenced, and the output was filtered for plastome-related reads. A comparison between sources revealed fewer plastome-related reads from root-derived template but an increase in incidental bacterium-derived sequences. Plastome assembly and annotation indicated high levels of sequence identity and a conserved organization and gene content between species. However, frequent deletions within the F. ovina plastome appeared to contribute to a smaller plastid genome size. Comparative analysis with complete plastome sequences from other members of the Poaceae confirmed conservation of most grass-specific features. Detailed analysis of the rbcL–psaI intergenic region, however, revealed a “hot-spot” of variation characterized by independent deletion events. The evolutionary implications of this observation are discussed. The complete plastome sequences are anticipated to provide the basis for potential organelle-specific genetic modification of pasture grasses. PMID:23550121

  10. Glycoproteins are species-specific markers and major IgE reactants in grass pollens.

    PubMed

    Manduzio, Hélène; Fitchette, Anne-Catherine; Hrabina, Maud; Chabre, Henri; Batard, Thierry; Nony, Emmanuel; Faye, Loïc; Moingeon, Philippe; Gomord, Véronique

    2012-02-01

    Grass pollen allergic patients are concomitantly exposed and sensitized to pollens from multiple Pooideae (i.e. common grass) species. As such, they are currently desensitized by allergen-specific immunotherapy using extracts made from mixes of pollens from Anthoxanthum odoratum, Dactylis glomerata, Lolium perenne, Phleum pratense and Poa pratensis. Herein, we demonstrate that species-specific glycoprotein patterns are documented by 1D and 2D electrophoresis and Western blotting analysis, which can be used as an identity test for such pollens. Most allergens are glycoproteins bearing complex N-glycans encompassing β1,2 xylose and α1,3 fucose glycoepitopes. Glycoepitope destruction using periodate oxidation has no impact on seric IgE reactivity in 75% atopic patients (n = 24). The latter have thus no significant IgE responses to carbohydrate-containing epitopes. In contrast, periodate treatment strongly impairs IgE recognition of glycoallergens in 25% of patients tested, demonstrating the presence of carbohydrate-specific IgE in those patients. While the clinical impact of carbohydrate-specific IgE is still a matter of controversy, the presence of these IgE in the serum of many allergic patients illustrates the need for cross-reacting carbohydrate epitope-free recombinant allergens to develop relevant diagnostic tests. These data also support the pertinence of mixing multiple grass pollens to desensitize atopic patients, with the aim to broaden the repertoire of glycoepitopes in the vaccine, thus mimicking natural exposure conditions.

  11. Efficacy of biosolids in assisted phytostabilization of metalliferous acidic sandy soils with five grass species.

    PubMed

    Kacprzak, Malgorzata; Grobelak, Anna; Grosser, Anna; Prasad, M N V

    2014-01-01

    The role of sewage sludge as an immobilising agent in the phytostabilization of metal-contaminated soil was evaluated using five grass species viz., Dactylis glomerata L., Festuca arundinacea Schreb., F. rubra L., Lolium perenne L., L. westerwoldicum L. The function of metal immobilization was investigated by monitoring pH, Eh and Cd, Pb, and Zn levels in column experiment over a period of 5-months. Grasses grown on sewage sludge-amendments produced high biomass in comparison to controls. A significant reduction in metal uptake by plants was also observed as a result of sewage sludge application, which was attributed to decreased bioavailability through soil stabilisation. We have observed that the sludge amendment decreased metal bioavailability and concentrations in soil at a depth of 25 cm, in contrast to untreated columns, where metal concentrations in the soil solution were very high.

  12. Efficacy of Biosolids in Assisted Phytostabilization of Metalliferous Acidic Sandy Soils with Five Grass Species

    PubMed Central

    Kacprzak, Malgorzata; Grobelak, Anna; Grosser, Anna; Prasad, M. N. V.

    2013-01-01

    The role of sewage sludge as an immobilising agent in the phytostabilization of metal-contaminated soil was evaluated using five grass species viz., Dactylis glomerata L., Festuca arundinacea Schreb., F. rubra L., Lolium perenne L., L. westerwoldicum L. The function of metal immobilization was investigated by monitoring pH, Eh and Cd, Pb, and Zn levels in column experiment over a period of 5-months. Grasses grown on sewage sludge-amendments produced high biomass in comparison to controls. A significant reduction in metal uptake by plants was also observed as a result of sewage sludge application, which was attributed to decreased bioavailability through soil stabilisation. We have observed that the sludge amendment decreased metal bioavailability and concentrations in soil at a depth of 25 cm, in contrast to untreated columns, where metal concentrations in the soil solution were very high. PMID:24912245

  13. Silicification in Grasses: Variation between Different Cell Types

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Santosh; Soukup, Milan; Elbaum, Rivka

    2017-01-01

    Plants take up silicon as mono-silicic acid, which is released to soil by the weathering of silicate minerals. Silicic acid can be taken up by plant roots passively or actively, and later it is deposited in its polymerized form as amorphous hydrated silica. Major silica depositions in grasses occur in root endodermis, leaf epidermal cells, and outer epidermal cells of inflorescence bracts. Debates are rife about the mechanism of silica deposition, and two contrasting scenarios are often proposed to explain it. According to the passive mode of silicification, silica deposition is a result of silicic acid condensation due to dehydration, such as during transpirational loss of water from the aboveground organs. In general, silicification and transpiration are positively correlated, and continued silicification is sometimes observed after cell and tissue maturity. The other mode of silicification proposes the involvement of some biological factors, and is based on observations that silicification is not necessarily coupled with transpiration. Here, we review evidence for both mechanisms of silicification, and propose that the deposition mechanism is specific to the cell type. Considering all the cell types together, our conclusion is that grass silica deposition can be divided into three modes: spontaneous cell wall silicification, directed cell wall silicification, and directed paramural silicification in silica cells.

  14. How do grass species, season and ensiling influence mycotoxin content in forage?

    PubMed

    Skladanka, Jiri; Adam, Vojtech; Dolezal, Petr; Nedelnik, Jan; Kizek, Rene; Linduskova, Hana; Mejia, Jhonny Edison Alba; Nawrath, Adam

    2013-11-12

    Mycotoxins are secondary metabolites produced by fungal species that have harmful effects on mammals. The aim of this study was to assess the content of mycotoxins in fresh-cut material of selected forage grass species both during and at the end of the growing season. We further assessed mycotoxin content in subsequently produced first-cutting silages with respect to the species used in this study: Lolium perenne (cv. Kentaur), Festulolium pabulare (cv. Felina), Festulolium braunii (cv. Perseus), and mixtures of these species with Festuca rubra (cv. Gondolin) or Poa pratensis (Slezanka). The mycotoxins deoxynivalenol, zearalenone and T-2 toxin were mainly detected in the fresh-cut grass material, while fumonisin and aflatoxin contents were below the detection limits. July and October were the most risky periods for mycotoxins to occur. During the cold temperatures in November and December, the occurrence of mycotoxins in fresh-cut material declined. Although June was a period with low incidence of mycotoxins in green silage, contents of deoxynivalenol and zearalenone in silages from the first cutting exceeded by several times those determined in their biomass collected directly from the field. Moreover, we observed that use of preservatives or inoculants did not prevent mycotoxin production.

  15. The effect of rodent seed predation on four species of California annual grasses.

    PubMed

    Borchert, M I; Jain, S K

    1978-01-01

    The effect of seed predation by Microtus californicus and Mus musculus on plant numbers of four species of California annual grasses was investigated for one year period on a grassland near Davis, California. In winter, mice utilized dead star thistle plants for cover when grasses in open areas were short, but moved into open areas when grass grew tall in spring.Using exclosures and plots sown with known quantities of seed, it was estimated that a mouse population (approximate density 120/acre) consumed 75% of Avena fatua seed, 44% of Hordeum leporinum seed, and 37% of Bromus diandrus seed. Mice showed a strong preference for Avena seed.Plant numbers of Avena and Hordeum were reduced by 62% and 30%, respectively. Hordeum, Lolium, and to a lesser extent, Bromus responded to a competitive release from Avena by increases in plant size and reproductive output. In addition, seed predation markedly increased seed to adult plant survivorship of Avena, Hordeum, and Bromus.Vertebrate seed predation is discussed as a potentially important factor in the yearly patterns of plant population regulation in California annual grasslands.

  16. Soil modification by invasive plants: Effects on native and invasive species of mixed-grass prairies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jordan, N.R.; Larson, D.L.; Huerd, S.C.

    2008-01-01

    Invasive plants are capable of modifying attributes of soil to facilitate further invasion by conspecifics and other invasive species. We assessed this capability in three important plant invaders of grasslands in the Great Plains region of North America: leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula), smooth brome (Bromus inermis) and crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum). In a glasshouse, these three invasives or a group of native species were grown separately through three cycles of growth and soil conditioning in both steam-pasteurized and non-pasteurized soils, after which we assessed seedling growth in these soils. Two of the three invasive species, Bromus and Agropyron, exhibited significant self-facilitation via soil modification. Bromus and Agropyron also had significant facilitative effects on other invasives via soil modification, while Euphorbia had significant antagonistic effects on the other invasives. Both Agropyron and Euphorbia consistently suppressed growth of two of three native forbs, while three native grasses were generally less affected. Almost all intra- and interspecific effects of invasive soil conditioning were dependent upon presence of soil biota from field sites where these species were successful invaders. Overall, these results suggest that that invasive modification of soil microbiota can facilitate plant invasion directly or via 'cross-facilitation' of other invasive species, and moreover has potential to impede restoration of native communities after removal of an invasive species. However, certain native species that are relatively insensitive to altered soil biota (as we observed in the case of the forb Linum lewisii and the native grasses), may be valuable as 'nurse'species in restoration efforts. ?? 2007 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  17. Factors associated with plant species richness in a coastal tall-grass prairie

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grace, J.B.; Allain, L.; Allen, C.

    2000-01-01

    In this study we examine the factors associated with variations in species richness within a remnant tall-grass prairie in order to gain insight into the relative importance of controlling variables. The study area was a small, isolated prairie surrounded by wetlands and located within the coastal prairie region, which occurs along the northwestern Gulf of Mexico coastal plain. Samples were taken along three transects that spanned the prairie. Parameters measured included micro-elevation, soil characteristics, indications of recent disturbance, above-ground biomass (including litter), light penetration through the plant canopy, and species richness. Species richness was found to correlate with micro-elevation, certain soil parameters, and light penetration through the canopy, but not with above-ground biomass. Structural equation analysis was used to assess the direct and indirect effects of micro-elevation, soil properties, disturbance, and indicators of plant abundance on species richness. The results of this analysis showed that observed variations in species richness were primarily associated with variations in environmental effects (from soil and microtopography) and were largely unrelated to variations in measures of plant abundance (biomass and light penetration). These findings suggest that observed variations in species richness in this system primarily resulted from environmental effects on the species pool. These results fit with a growing body of information that suggests that environmental effects on species richness are of widespread importance.

  18. Dry matter yields and quality of forages derived from grass species and organic production methods (year 111).

    PubMed

    Pholsen, S; Rodchum, P; Higgs, D E B

    2014-07-01

    This third year work was carried on at Khon Kaen University during the 2008-2009 to investigate dry matter yields of grass, grass plus legumes, grown on Korat soil series (Oxic Paleustults). The experiment consisted of twelve-treatment combinations of a 3x4 factorial arranged in a Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) with four replications. The results showed that Dry Matter Yields (DMY) of Ruzi and Guinea grass were similar with mean values of 6,585 and 6,130 kg ha(-1) whilst Napier gave the lowest (884 kg ha(-1)). With grass plus legume, grass species and production methods gave highly significant dry matter yields where Guinea and Ruzi gave dry matter yields of 7,165 and 7,181 kg ha(-1), respectively and Napier was the least (2,790 kg ha(-1)). The production methods with the use of cattle manure gave the highest DMY (grass alone) of 10,267 kg ha(-1) followed by Wynn and Verano with values of 6,064 and 3,623 kg ha(-1), respectively. Guinea plus cattle manure gave the highest DMY of 14,599 kg ha(-1) whilst Ruzi gave 12,977 kg ha(-1). Guinea plus Wynn gave DMY of 7,082 kg ha(-1). Ruzi plus Verano gave DMY of 6,501 kg ha(-1). Forage qualities of crude protein were highest with those grown with grass plus legumes. Some prospects in improving production were discussed.

  19. Grass pollen allergens globally: the contribution of subtropical grasses to burden of allergic respiratory diseases.

    PubMed

    Davies, J M

    2014-06-01

    Grass pollens of the temperate (Pooideae) subfamily and subtropical subfamilies of grasses are major aeroallergen sources worldwide. The subtropical Chloridoideae (e.g. Cynodon dactylon; Bermuda grass) and Panicoideae (e.g. Paspalum notatum; Bahia grass) species are abundant in parts of Africa, India, Asia, Australia and the Americas, where a large and increasing proportion of the world's population abide. These grasses are phylogenetically and ecologically distinct from temperate grasses. With the advent of global warming, it is conceivable that the geographic distribution of subtropical grasses and the contribution of their pollen to the burden of allergic rhinitis and asthma will increase. This review aims to provide a comprehensive synthesis of the current global knowledge of (i) regional variation in allergic sensitivity to subtropical grass pollens, (ii) molecular allergenic components of subtropical grass pollens and (iii) allergic responses to subtropical grass pollen allergens in relevant populations. Patients from subtropical regions of the world show higher allergic sensitivity to grass pollens of Chloridoideae and Panicoideae grasses, than to temperate grass pollens. The group 1 allergens are amongst the allergen components of subtropical grass pollens, but the group 5 allergens, by which temperate grass pollen extracts are standardized for allergen content, appear to be absent from both subfamilies of subtropical grasses. Whilst there are shared allergenic components and antigenic determinants, there are additional clinically relevant subfamily-specific differences, at T- and B-cell levels, between pollen allergens of subtropical and temperate grasses. Differential immune recognition of subtropical grass pollens is likely to impact upon the efficacy of allergen immunotherapy of patients who are primarily sensitized to subtropical grass pollens. The literature reviewed herein highlights the clinical need to standardize allergen preparations for both

  20. Expansion of a globally pervasive grass occurs without substantial trait differences between home and away populations.

    PubMed

    Leifso, A; MacDougall, A S; Husband, B; Hierro, J L; Köchy, M; Pärtel, M; Peltzer, D A

    2012-12-01

    The global expansion of species beyond their ancestral ranges can derive from mechanisms that are trait-based (e.g., post-establishment evolved differences compared to home populations) or circumstantial (e.g., propagule pressure, with no trait-based differences). These mechanisms can be difficult to distinguish following establishment, but each makes unique predictions regarding trait similarity between ancestral ('home') and introduced ('away') populations. Here, we tested for trait-based population differences across four continents for the globally distributed grass Dactylis glomerata, to assess the possible role of trait evolution in its worldwide expansion. We used a common-environment glasshouse experiment to quantify trait differences among home and away populations, and the potential relevance of these differences for competitive interactions. Few significant trait differences were found among continents, suggesting minimal change during global expansion. All populations were polyploids, with similar foliar carbon:nitrogen ratios (a proxy for defense), chlorophyll content, and biomass. Emergence time and growth rate favored home populations, resulting in their competitive superiority over away populations. Small but significant trait differences among away populations suggest different introductory histories or local adaptive responses following establishment. In summary, the worldwide distribution of this species appears to have arisen from its pre-adapted traits promoting growth, and its repeated introduction with cultivation and intense propagule pressure. Global expansion can thus occur without substantial shifts in growth, reproduction, or defense. Rather than focusing strictly on the invader, invasion success may also derive from the traits found (or lacking) in the recipient community and from environmental context including human disturbance.

  1. Adverse reactions to immunotherapy are associated with different patterns of sensitization to grass allergens.

    PubMed

    Sastre, J; Rodríguez, F; Campo, P; Laffond, E; Marín, A; Alonso, M D

    2015-05-01

    The aim of the study was to investigate whether adverse drug reactions (ADRs) during immunotherapy with a grass extract (AVANZ® Phleum, ALK-Abelló) are related to the different patterns of sensitization of patients to grass allergens. A total of 192 patients with rhinitis and/or asthma sensitized to grass pollen received a 4-week updosing with five injections. ADRs were evaluated following EAACI guidelines. A total of 432 ADRs in 133 (69%) patients were recorded, 64% local and 31% systemic. There was a significant association between the number of grass allergens that sensitized the patients and the total number of ADRs (P = 0.004) occurred locally (P = 0.003) and systemically (P = 0.01). Sensitization to Phl p1 + Phl p5 or Phl p1 + Phl p5 + Phl p12 was significantly associated with a higher frequency of local or systemic reactions (P = 0.001, both). Different patterns of sensitization to grass allergens may potentially be considered a risk marker to the development of ADRs to immunotherapy.

  2. Influence of different chemical pretreatments of elephant grass (Pennisetum purpureum, Schum.) used as a substrate for cellulase and xylanase production in submerged cultivation.

    PubMed

    Menegol, Daiane; Scholl, Angélica Luisi; Dillon, Aldo José Pinheiro; Camassola, Marli

    2016-09-01

    This study evaluated the potential use of elephant grass biomass, a highly productive species, for cellulase and xylanase production by the cellulolytic mutant Penicillium echinulatum 9A02S1 in submerged cultivation, using untreated biomass, biomass pretreated with different concentrations of NaOH, H2SO4 or NH4OH, or biomass pretreated with H2O at 121 °C. For filter paper activity, all cultivation carried out with pretreated elephant grass under the evaluated conditions showed superior activity when compared with the control (untreated elephant grass). The activities of endoglucanases and β-glucosidases were higher in the cultivation prepared from pretreated samples than the control made with cellulose (Celuflok(®)). Without pretreatment, elephant grass can be used for xylanase production, enabling similar activities to those obtained in the cultivation with cellulose, reducing the enzyme production cost. These results indicate that the pretreatment of elephant grass, especially when pretreated with H2SO4, may be used as a partial or total replacement for cellulose to cellulase production, and untreated elephant grass may be used for xylanase production.

  3. Effects of feeding dairy cows different legume-grass silages on milk phytoestrogen concentration.

    PubMed

    Höjer, A; Adler, S; Purup, S; Hansen-Møller, J; Martinsson, K; Steinshamn, H; Gustavsson, A-M

    2012-08-01

    Phytoestrogens are hormone-like substances in plants that can substantially influence human health (positively or negatively), and when fed to dairy cows are partly transferred to their milk. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of varying the botanical composition and regrowth interval of legume-grass silage on phytoestrogen intake and milk phytoestrogen concentrations. In one experiment, 15 Swedish Red dairy cows were fed 2- or 3-cut red clover-grass silage, or 2-cut birdsfoot trefoil-grass silage. In a second experiment, 16 Norwegian Red dairy cows were fed short-term ley silage with red clover or long-term ley silage with white clover, and the effects of supplementation with α-tocopherol were also tested. High concentrations of formononetin and biochanin A were found in all silage mixtures with red clover. The milk concentration of equol was highest for cows on the 2-cut red clover-grass silage diet (1,494 μg/kg of milk). Because of the metabolism of biochanin A, genistein, and prunetin, their concentrations in milk and the apparent recovery were low. Coumestrol was detected in only short-term and long-term ley silage mixtures, and its milk concentration was low. Concentrations of secoisolariciresinol and matairesinol were higher in 2-cut birdsfoot trefoil-grass and long-term ley silage mixtures, those with legume species other than red clover, and the highest grass proportions. The 2-cut birdsfoot trefoil-grass silage diet also resulted in higher enterolactone concentration than the other diets (226 μg/kg of milk). Lengthening the regrowth interval increased the intake of secoisolariciresinol and decreased the recovery of lignans. Feeding long-term ley silage resulted in higher milk lignan concentrations but lower milk isoflavone concentrations than feeding short-term ley silage. The apparent recovery of all phytoestrogens except prunetin was highest on the 2-cut birdsfoot trefoil-grass silage diet. No effect of α-tocopherol supplementation

  4. Persistence of biological nitrogen fixation in high latitude grass-clover grasslands under different management practices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tzanakakis, Vasileios; Sturite, Ievina; Dörsch, Peter

    2016-04-01

    Biological nitrogen fixation (BNF) can substantially contribute to N supply in permanent grasslands, improving N yield and forage quality, while reducing inorganic N inputs. Among the factors critical to the performance of BNF in grass-legume mixtures are selected grass and legume species, proportion of legumes, the soil-climatic conditions, in particular winter conditions, and management practices (e.g. fertilization and compaction). In high latitude grasslands, low temperatures can reduce the performance of BNF by hampering the legumés growth and by suppressing N2 fixation. Estimation of BNF in field experiments is not straightforward. Different methods have been developed providing different results. In the present study, we evaluated the performance of BNF, in a newly established field experiment in North Norway over four years. The grassland consisted of white clover (Trifolium repens L.) and red clover (Trifolium pretense L.) sawn in three proportions (0, 15 and 30% in total) together with timothy (Pheum pretense L.) and meadow fescue (Festuca pratensis L.). Three levels of compaction were applied each year (no tractor, light tractor, heavy tractor) together with two different N rates (110 kg N/ha as cattle slurry or 170 kg N/ha as cattle slurry and inorganic N fertilizer). We applied two different methods, the 15N natural abundance and the difference method, to estimate BNF in the first harvest of each year. Overall, the difference method overestimated BNF relative to the 15N natural abundance method. BNF in the first harvest was compared to winter survival of red and white clover plants, which decreased with increasing age of the grassland. However, winter conditions did not seem to affect the grassland's ability to fix N in spring. The fraction of N derived from the atmosphere (NdfA) in white and red clover was close to 100% in each spring, indicating no suppression of BNF. BNF increased the total N yield of the grasslands by up to 75%, mainly due to high

  5. Climate warming and precipitation redistribution modify tree-grass interactions and tree species establishment in a warm-temperate savanna.

    PubMed

    Volder, Astrid; Briske, David D; Tjoelker, Mark G

    2013-03-01

    Savanna tree-grass interactions may be particularly sensitive to climate change. Establishment of two tree canopy dominants, post oak (Quercus stellata) and eastern redcedar (Juniperus virginiana), grown with the dominant C4 perennial grass (Schizachyrium scoparium) in southern oak savanna of the United States were evaluated under four climatic scenarios for 6 years. Tree-grass interactions were examined with and without warming (+1.5 °C) in combination with a long-term mean rainfall treatment and a modified rainfall regime that redistributed 40% of summer rainfall to spring and fall, intensifying summer drought. The aim was to determine: (1) the relative growth response of these species, (2) potential shifts in the balance of tree-grass interactions, and (3) the trajectory of juniper encroachment into savannas, under these anticipated climatic conditions. Precipitation redistribution reduced relative growth rate (RGR) of trees grown with grass. Warming increased growth of J. virginiana and strongly reduced Q. stellata survival. Tiller numbers of S. scoparium plants were unaffected by warming, but the number of reproductive tillers was increasingly suppressed by intensified drought each year. Growth rates of J. virginiana and Q. stellata were suppressed by grass presence early, but in subsequent years were higher when grown with grass. Quercus stellata had overall reduced RGR, but enhanced survival when grown with grass, while survival of J. virginiana remained near 100% in all treatments. Once trees surpassed a threshold height of 1.1 m, both tiller number and survival of S. scoparium plants were drastically reduced by the presence of J. virginiana, but not Q. stellata. Juniperus virginiana was the only savanna dominant in which neither survival nor final aboveground mass were adversely affected by the climate scenario of warming and intensified summer drought. These responses indicate that climate warming and altered precipitation patterns will further

  6. Consequences of Seed Origin and Biological Invasion for Early Establishment in Restoration of a North American Grass Species

    PubMed Central

    Herget, Mollie E.; Hufford, Kristina M.; Mummey, Daniel L.; Shreading, Lauren N.

    2015-01-01

    Local, wild-collected seeds of native plants are recommended for use in ecological restoration to maintain patterns of adaptive variation. However, some environments are so drastically altered by exotic, invasive weeds that original environmental conditions may no longer exist. Under these circumstances, cultivated varieties selected for improved germination and vigor may have a competitive advantage at highly disturbed sites. This study investigated differences in early establishment and seedling performance between wild and cultivated seed sources of the native grass, Poa secunda, both with and without competition from the invasive exotic grass, Bromus tectorum. We measured seedling survival and above-ground biomass at two experimental sites in western Montana, and found that the source of seeds selected for restoration can influence establishment at the restoration site. Cultivars had an overall advantage when compared with local genotypes, supporting evidence of greater vigor among cultivated varieties of native species. This advantage, however, declined rapidly in the presence of B. tectorum and most accessions were not significantly different for growth and survival in competition plots. Only one cultivar had a consistent advantage despite a strong decline in its performance when competing with invasive plants. As a result, cultivated varieties did not meet expectations for greater establishment and persistence relative to local genotypes in the presence of invasive, exotic species. We recommend the use of representative local or regional wild seed sources in restoration to minimize commercial selection, and a mix of individual accessions (wild, or cultivated when necessary) in highly invaded settings to capture vigorous genotypes and increase the odds native plants will establish at restoration sites. PMID:25741702

  7. Identification and characterization of an expansin gene AsEXP1 associated with heat tolerance in C3 Agrostis grass species.

    PubMed

    Xu, Jichen; Tian, Jiang; Belanger, Faith C; Huang, Bingru

    2007-01-01

    Plant tolerance of heat stress involves various changes at physiological and molecular levels. The objective of this study was to examine the expression of a gene encoding expansin protein in relation to heat tolerance in two C(3) grass species and genotypes differing in heat tolerance. Heat-tolerant, thermal Agrostis scabra, adapted to high temperatures in geothermal areas in Yellowstone National Park, was subjected to 20 degrees C (control) or 40 degrees C (heat stress) for 7 d in a growth chamber. Differential display analysis identified that a gene, AsEXP1, encoding an expansin protein, was strongly up-regulated in leaves exposed to heat stress in thermal A. scabra. Virtual northern hybridization and RT-PCR confirmed that AsEXP1 was a heat-inducible gene in leaves. The expression of AsEXP1 was induced at 1 h of plant exposure to heat stress and reached the highest level of expression at 4 h of treatment. A 1.3 kb full-length cDNA of AsEXP1 was isolated, which encodes a 251 amino acid protein. Two ecotypes of thermal A. scabra and 10 genotypes of Agrostis stolonifera (creeping bentgrass), a widely used turfgrass species in cool climatic regions, varying in the level of heat tolerance, were exposed to 40 degrees C for 7 d to examine the level of AsEXP1 expression in relation to heat tolerance. Genetic variation in heat tolerance was evaluated by measuring cell membrane stability, photochemical efficiency, and leaf growth. RT-PCR analysis revealed that the level of AsEXP1 in different genotypes was positively correlated with the level of heat tolerance in both grass species. The results first identified a heat-related expansin gene in grass species and suggest that AsEXP1 may be useful as a molecular marker to select for heat-tolerant grass germplasm.

  8. Draft genome sequences of three Xanthomonas translucens pathovar reference strains (pv. arrhenatheri, pv. poae and pv. phlei) with different specificities for forage grasses.

    PubMed

    Hersemann, Lena; Wibberg, Daniel; Widmer, Franco; Vorhölter, Frank-Jörg; Kölliker, Roland

    2016-01-01

    As causal agents of bacterial wilt in pastures and meadows, bacteria of the species Xanthomonas translucens are a serious issue in forage grass production. So far, only little is known about host-pathogen interactions at the molecular level and the lack of comprehensive genome data impeded targeted breeding strategies towards resistant forage grass cultivars. Here we announce the draft genome sequences of three grass-pathogenic Xanthomonas translucens pathotype strains, i.e. pv. arrhenatheri LMG 727, pv. poae LMG 728 and pv. phlei LMG 730 isolated from Arrhenatherum elatius (L.) P. Beauv. ex J. Presl & C. Presl (Switzerland), Poa trivialis L. (Switzerland) and Phleum pratense L. (Norway), respectively. The genomes of all three strains revealed a non-canonical type III secretion system and a set of 22 type III effectors as common virulence-related traits. Distinct inter-pathovar differences were observed for the lipopolysaccharide biosynthesis gene cluster and the presence of nonribosomal peptide synthetases.

  9. Modeling greenup date of dominant grass species in the Inner Mongolian Grassland using air temperature and precipitation data.

    PubMed

    Chen, Xiaoqiu; Li, Jing; Xu, Lin; Liu, Li; Ding, Deng

    2014-05-01

    This work was undertaken to examine the combined effect of air temperature and precipitation during late winter and early spring on modeling greenup date of grass species in the Inner Mongolian Grassland. We used the traditional thermal time model and developed two revised thermal time models coupling air temperature and precipitation to simulate greenup date of three dominant grass species at six stations from 1983 to 2009. Results show that climatic controls on greenup date of grass species were location-specific. The revised thermal time models coupling air temperature and precipitation show higher simulation parsimony and efficiency than the traditional thermal time model for five of 11 data sets at Bayartuhushuo, Xilinhot and Xianghuangqi, whereas the traditional thermal time model indicates higher simulation parsimony and efficiency than the revised thermal time models coupling air temperature and precipitation for the other six data sets at E'ergunayouqi, Ewenkeqi and Chaharyouyihouqi. The mean root mean square error of the 11 models is 4.9 days. Moreover, the influence of late winter and early spring precipitation on greenup date seems to be stronger at stations with scarce precipitation than at stations with relatively abundant precipitation. From the mechanism perspectives, accumulated late winter and early spring precipitation may play a more important role as the precondition of forcing temperature than as the supplementary condition of forcing temperature in triggering greenup. Our findings suggest that predicting responses of grass phenology to global climate change should consider both thermal and moisture scenarios in some semiarid and arid areas.

  10. Root proteomic responses to heat stress in two Agrostis grass species contrasting in heat tolerance.

    PubMed

    Xu, Chenping; Huang, Bingru

    2008-01-01

    Protein metabolism plays an important role in plant adaptation to heat stress. This study was designed to identify heat-responsive proteins in roots associated with thermotolerance for two C3 grass species contrasting in heat tolerance, thermal Agrostis scabra and heat-sensitive Agrostis stolonifera L. Plants were exposed to 20 degrees C (control), 30 C (moderate heat stress), or 40 degrees C (severe heat stress) in growth chambers. Roots were harvested at 2 d and 10 d after temperature treatment. Proteins were extracted and separated by two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Seventy protein spots were regulated by heat stress in at least one species. Under both moderate and severe heat stress, more proteins were down-regulated than were up-regulated, and thermal A. scabra roots had more up-regulated proteins than A. stolonifera roots. The sequences of 66 differentially expressed protein spots were identified using mass spectrometry. The results suggested that the up-regulation of sucrose synthase, glutathione S-transferase, superoxide dismutase, and heat shock protein Sti (stress-inducible protein) may contribute to the superior root thermotolerance of A. scabra. In addition, phosphoproteomic analysis indicated that two isoforms of fructose-biphosphate aldolase were highly phosphorylated under heat stress, and thermal A. scabra had greater phosphorylation than A. stolonifera, suggesting that the aldolase phosphorylation might be involved in root thermotolerance.

  11. Gibberellin-Stimulation of Rhizome Elongation and Differential GA-Responsive Proteomic Changes in Two Grass Species

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Xiqing; Huang, Bingru

    2016-01-01

    Rapid and extensive rhizome development is a desirable trait for perennial grass growth and adaptation to environmental stresses. The objective of this study was to determine proteomic changes and associated metabolic pathways of gibberellin (GA) -regulation of rhizome elongation in two perennial grass species differing in rhizome development. Plants of a short-rhizome bunch-type tall fescue (TF; Festuca arundinacea; ‘BR’) and an extensive rhizomatous Kentucky bluegrass (KB; Poa pratensis; ‘Baron’) were treated with 10 μM GA3 in hydroponic culture in growth chambers. The average rhizome length in KB was significantly longer than that in TF regardless of GA3 treatment, and increased significantly with GA3 treatment, to a greater extent than that in TF. Comparative proteomic analysis using two-dimensional electrophoresis and mass spectrometry was performed to further investigate proteins and associated metabolic pathways imparting increased rhizome elongation by GA. A total of 37 and 38 differentially expressed proteins in response to GA3 treatment were identified in TF and KB plants, respectively, which were mainly involved in photosynthesis, energy and amino acid metabolism, protein synthesis, defense and cell development processes. Accelerated rhizome elongation in KB by GA could be mainly associated with the increased abundance of proteins involved in energy metabolism (glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase, fructose-bisphosphate aldolase, and ATP synthase), amino acid metabolism (S-adenosylmethionine and adenosylhomocysteinase), protein synthesis (HSP90, elongation factor Tu and eukaryotic translation initiation factor 5A), cell-wall development (cell dividion cycle protein, alpha tubulin-2A and actin), and signal transduction (calreticulin). These proteins could be used as candidate proteins for further analysis of molecular mechanisms controlling rhizome growth. PMID:27446135

  12. Genotyping-by-Sequencing in a Species Complex of Australian Hummock Grasses (Triodia): Methodological Insights and Phylogenetic Resolution

    PubMed Central

    Thiele, Kevin R.; Krauss, Siegfried L.; Barrett, Matthew D.

    2017-01-01

    Next-generation sequencing is becoming increasingly accessible to researchers asking biosystematic questions, but current best practice in both choosing a specific approach and effectively analysing the resulting data set is still being explored. We present a case study for the use of genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) to resolve relationships in a species complex of Australian arid and semi-arid grasses (Triodia R.Br.), highlighting our solutions to methodological challenges in the use of GBS data. We merged overlapping paired-end reads then optimised locus assembly in the program PyRAD to generate GBS data sets for phylogenetic and distance-based analyses. In addition to traditional concatenation analyses in RAxML, we also demonstrate the novel use of summary species tree analyses (taking gene trees as input) with GBS loci. We found that while species tree analyses were relatively robust to variation in PyRAD assembly parameters, our RAxML analyses resulted in well-supported but conflicting topologies under different assembly settings. Despite this conflict, multiple clades in the complex were consistently supported as distinct across analyses. Our GBS data assembly and analyses improve the resolution of taxa and phylogenetic relationships in the Triodia basedowii complex compared to our previous study based on Sanger sequencing of nuclear (ITS/ETS) and chloroplast (rps16-trnK spacer) markers. The genomic results also partly support previous evidence for hybridization between species in the complex. Our methodological insights for analysing GBS data will assist researchers using similar data to resolve phylogenetic relationships within species complexes. PMID:28135342

  13. Genotyping-by-Sequencing in a Species Complex of Australian Hummock Grasses (Triodia): Methodological Insights and Phylogenetic Resolution.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Benjamin M; Thiele, Kevin R; Krauss, Siegfried L; Barrett, Matthew D

    2017-01-01

    Next-generation sequencing is becoming increasingly accessible to researchers asking biosystematic questions, but current best practice in both choosing a specific approach and effectively analysing the resulting data set is still being explored. We present a case study for the use of genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) to resolve relationships in a species complex of Australian arid and semi-arid grasses (Triodia R.Br.), highlighting our solutions to methodological challenges in the use of GBS data. We merged overlapping paired-end reads then optimised locus assembly in the program PyRAD to generate GBS data sets for phylogenetic and distance-based analyses. In addition to traditional concatenation analyses in RAxML, we also demonstrate the novel use of summary species tree analyses (taking gene trees as input) with GBS loci. We found that while species tree analyses were relatively robust to variation in PyRAD assembly parameters, our RAxML analyses resulted in well-supported but conflicting topologies under different assembly settings. Despite this conflict, multiple clades in the complex were consistently supported as distinct across analyses. Our GBS data assembly and analyses improve the resolution of taxa and phylogenetic relationships in the Triodia basedowii complex compared to our previous study based on Sanger sequencing of nuclear (ITS/ETS) and chloroplast (rps16-trnK spacer) markers. The genomic results also partly support previous evidence for hybridization between species in the complex. Our methodological insights for analysing GBS data will assist researchers using similar data to resolve phylogenetic relationships within species complexes.

  14. Flavor, glucosinolates, and isothiocyanates of nau (Cook's scurvy grass, Lepidium oleraceum) and other rare New Zealand Lepidium species.

    PubMed

    Sansom, Catherine E; Jones, Veronika S; Joyce, Nigel I; Smallfield, Bruce M; Perry, Nigel B; van Klink, John W

    2015-02-18

    The traditionally consumed New Zealand native plant nau, Cook's scurvy grass, Lepidium oleraceum, has a pungent wasabi-like taste, with potential for development as a flavor ingredient. The main glucosinolate in this Brassicaceae was identified by LC-MS and NMR spectroscopy as 3-butenyl glucosinolate (gluconapin, 7-22 mg/g DM in leaves). The leaves were treated to mimic chewing, and the headspace was analyzed by solid-phase microextraction and GC-MS. This showed that 3-butenyl isothiocyanate, with a wasabi-like flavor, was produced by the endogenous myrosinase. Different postharvest treatments were used to create leaf powders as potential flavor products, which were tasted and analyzed for gluconapin and release of 3-butenyl isothiocyanate. A high drying temperature (75 °C) did not give major glucosinolate degradation, but did largely inactivate the myrosinase, resulting in no wasabi-like flavor release. Drying at 45 °C produced more pungent flavor than freeze-drying. Seven other Lepidium species endemic to New Zealand were also analyzed to determine their flavor potential and also whether glucosinolates were taxonomic markers. Six contained mostly gluconapin, but the critically endangered Lepidium banksii had a distinct composition including isopropyl glucosinolate, not detected in the other species.

  15. Native Grasses as a Management Alternative on Vegetated Closure Caps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kwit, Charles; Collins, Beverly

    2008-06-01

    Capped waste sites often are vegetated with commercial turf grasses to increase evapotranspiration and prevent erosion and possible exposure of the barrier. Fertilizer, frequent watering, and mowing may be required to establish the turf grass and prevent invasion by trees and shrubs. Oldfield vegetation of grasses and forbs is a possible sustainable alternative to turf grass communities. To determine if oldfield vegetation can establish on caps, we (1) compared establishment of a dominant oldfield grass and a commercial turf grass under different combinations of new closure cap management: spring or summer planting and presence or absence of amendments to alleviate drought (watering, mulch) or increase soil fertility (fertilizer, lime, a nitrogen-fixing legume); (2) surveyed existing caps to determine if oldfield species establish naturally; and (3) performed a greenhouse experiment to compare growth of two native grasses under low and amended (added water, soil nutrients) conditions. Both the commercial grass and oldfield species established under new cap conditions; fertilizer, water, and mulch improved vegetation establishment in spring or summer, but legumes decreased grass cover. In the greenhouse, both native grasses grew best with amendments; however, substantial stem and root length were obtained with no fertilizer and only once-weekly watering. Existing vegetated caps supported planted grasses and naturally established oldfield species. Overall, the results indicate native grasses can establish on new caps and oldfields can serve as a management model; further work is needed to determine the management strategy to maintain herbaceous vegetation and slow woody species invasion.

  16. Attenuation of foot pressure during running on four different surfaces: asphalt, concrete, rubber, and natural grass.

    PubMed

    Tessutti, Vitor; Ribeiro, Ana Paula; Trombini-Souza, Francis; Sacco, Isabel C N

    2012-01-01

    The practice of running has consistently increased worldwide, and with it, related lower limb injuries. The type of running surface has been associated with running injury etiology, in addition other factors, such as the relationship between the amount and intensity of training. There is still controversy in the literature regarding the biomechanical effects of different types of running surfaces on foot-floor interaction. The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of running on asphalt, concrete, natural grass, and rubber on in-shoe pressure patterns in adult recreational runners. Forty-seven adult recreational runners ran twice for 40 m on all four different surfaces at 12 ± 5% km · h(-1). Peak pressure, pressure-time integral, and contact time were recorded by Pedar X insoles. Asphalt and concrete were similar for all plantar variables and pressure zones. Running on grass produced peak pressures 9.3% to 16.6% lower (P < 0.001) than the other surfaces in the rearfoot and 4.7% to 12.3% (P < 0.05) lower in the forefoot. The contact time on rubber was greater than on concrete for the rearfoot and midfoot. The behaviour of rubber was similar to that obtained for the rigid surfaces - concrete and asphalt - possibly because of its time of usage (five years). Running on natural grass attenuates in-shoe plantar pressures in recreational runners. If a runner controls the amount and intensity of practice, running on grass may reduce the total stress on the musculoskeletal system compared with the total musculoskeletal stress when running on more rigid surfaces, such as asphalt and concrete.

  17. Selectivity of florasulam in 4 grass species during the seed harvest year.

    PubMed

    Rijckaert, G; Lepiece, D

    2001-01-01

    Results from one year indicated that florasulam (Primus) and its combination with fluorxypyr applied in spring of the seed harvest year, were completely selective in seed crops of 4 grass species; namely Agrostis stolonifera, Festuca rubra rubra, Koeleria macrantha and Lolium multiflorum. Experimental treatments also included a reference product i.e. bentazone + dichlorprop-P and an untreated control; in total 7 treatments were involved. The prime objective of this study was to investigate not only the effect on vegetative crop growth, but also the impact on generative growth. The main topics were: visual phytotoxicity, lodging, seed yield, straw yield, thousand seed weight, germination capacity, cleaning efficiency, harvest index, seed number per unit area and ear density. The reference treatments (bentazone + dichlorprop-P) were insufficiently selective in Koeleria spp. for vegetative parameters and seed yield, and less selective in Festuca spp. during establishment year but without any effect on seed yield. The so-called "non-sitting" seed crops following above treatments in creeping fescue and Italian ryegrass could be attributed to an inhibition effect.

  18. The value of small habitat islands for the conservation of genetic variability in a steppe grass species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wódkiewicz, Maciej; Dembicz, Iwona; Moysiyenko, Ivan I.

    2016-10-01

    The habitat loss and fragmentation due to agricultural land-conversion affected the steppe throughout its range. In Ukraine, 95% of steppe was destroyed in the last two centuries. Remaining populations are confined to few refuges, like nature reserves, loess ravines, and kurgans (small burial mounds), the latter being often subject to destruction by archeological excavations. Stipa capillata L. is a typical grass species of Eurasian steppes and extrazonal dry grasslands, that was previously used as a model species in studies on steppe ecology. The aim of our research was to assess genetic diversity of S. capillata populations within different types of steppe refuges (loess ravines, biosphere reserve, kurgan) and to evaluate the value of the latter group for the preservation of genetic diversity in the study species. We assessed genetic diversity of 266 individuals from 15 populations (nine from kurgans, three from loess ravines and three from Askania-Nova Biosphere Reserve) with eight Universal Rice Primers (URPs). Studied populations showed high intra-population variability (I: 0.262-0.419, PPB: 52.08-82.64%). Populations from kurgans showed higher genetic differentiation (ΦST = 0.247) than those from loess ravines (ΦST = 0.120) and the biosphere reserve (ΦST = 0.142). Although the diversity metrics were to a small extent lower for populations from kurgans than from larger refugia we conclude that all studied populations of the species still preserve high genetic variability and are valuable for protection. To what extent this pattern holds true under continuous fragmentation in the future must be carefully monitored.

  19. Wildfire, climate, and invasive grass interactions negatively impact an indicator species by reshaping sagebrush ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Coates, Peter S.; Ricca, Mark; Prochazka, Brian; Brooks, Matthew L.; Doherty, Kevin E.; Kroger, Travis; Blomberg, Erik J.; Hagen, Christian A.; Casazza, Michael L.

    2016-01-01

    Iconic sagebrush ecosystems of the American West are threatened by larger and more frequent wildfires that can kill sagebrush and facilitate invasion by annual grasses, creating a cycle that alters sagebrush ecosystem recovery post disturbance. Thwarting this accelerated grass–fire cycle is at the forefront of current national conservation efforts, yet its impacts on wildlife populations inhabiting these ecosystems have not been quantified rigorously. Within a Bayesian framework, we modeled 30 y of wildfire and climatic effects on population rates of change of a sagebrush-obligate species, the greater sage-grouse, across the Great Basin of western North America. Importantly, our modeling also accounted for variation in sagebrush recovery time post fire as determined by underlying soil properties that influence ecosystem resilience to disturbance and resistance to invasion. Our results demonstrate that the cumulative loss of sagebrush to direct and indirect effects of wildfire has contributed strongly to declining sage-grouse populations over the past 30 y at large spatial scales. Moreover, long-lasting effects from wildfire nullified pulses of sage-grouse population growth that typically follow years of higher precipitation. If wildfire trends continue unabated, model projections indicate sage-grouse populations will be reduced to 43% of their current numbers over the next three decades. Our results provide a timely example of how altered fire regimes are disrupting recovery of sagebrush ecosystems and leading to substantial declines of a widespread indicator species. Accordingly, we present scenario-based stochastic projections to inform conservation actions that may help offset the adverse effects of wildfire on sage-grouse and other wildlife populations.

  20. Wildfire, climate, and invasive grass interactions negatively impact an indicator species by reshaping sagebrush ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Coates, Peter S.; Ricca, Mark A.; Prochazka, Brian G.; Brooks, Matthew L.; Doherty, Kevin E.; Kroger, Travis; Blomberg, Erik J.; Hagen, Christian A.; Casazza, Michael L.

    2016-01-01

    Iconic sagebrush ecosystems of the American West are threatened by larger and more frequent wildfires that can kill sagebrush and facilitate invasion by annual grasses, creating a cycle that alters sagebrush ecosystem recovery post disturbance. Thwarting this accelerated grass–fire cycle is at the forefront of current national conservation efforts, yet its impacts on wildlife populations inhabiting these ecosystems have not been quantified rigorously. Within a Bayesian framework, we modeled 30 y of wildfire and climatic effects on population rates of change of a sagebrush-obligate species, the greater sage-grouse, across the Great Basin of western North America. Importantly, our modeling also accounted for variation in sagebrush recovery time post fire as determined by underlying soil properties that influence ecosystem resilience to disturbance and resistance to invasion. Our results demonstrate that the cumulative loss of sagebrush to direct and indirect effects of wildfire has contributed strongly to declining sage-grouse populations over the past 30 y at large spatial scales. Moreover, long-lasting effects from wildfire nullified pulses of sage-grouse population growth that typically follow years of higher precipitation. If wildfire trends continue unabated, model projections indicate sage-grouse populations will be reduced to 43% of their current numbers over the next three decades. Our results provide a timely example of how altered fire regimes are disrupting recovery of sagebrush ecosystems and leading to substantial declines of a widespread indicator species. Accordingly, we present scenario-based stochastic projections to inform conservation actions that may help offset the adverse effects of wildfire on sage-grouse and other wildlife populations. PMID:27791084

  1. Comparison of intestinal bacterial communities in grass carp, Ctenopharyngodon idellus, from two different habitats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ni, Jiajia; Yu, Yuhe; Zhang, Tanglin; Gao, Lei

    2012-09-01

    The intestinal bacteria of vertebrates form a close relationship with their host. External and internal conditions of the host, including its habitat, affect the intestinal bacterial community. Similarly, the intestinal bacterial community can, in turn, influence the host, particularly with respect to disease resistance. We compared the intestinal bacterial communities of grass carp that were collected from farm-ponds or a lake. We conducted denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis of amplified 16S rRNA genes, from which 66 different operational taxonomic units were identified. Using both the unweighted pair-group method with arithmetic means clustering and principal component analysis ordination, we found that the intestinal bacterial communities from the two groups of pond fish were clustered together and inset into the clusters of wild fish, except for DF-7, and there was no significant correlation between genetic diversity of grass carp and their intestinal bacterial communities (Mantel one-tailed test, R=0.157, P=0.175). Cetobacterium appeared more frequently in the intestine of grass carp collected from pond. A more thorough understanding of the role played by intestinal microbiota on fish health would be of considerable benefit to the aquaculture industry.

  2. Distinct retinohypothalamic innervation patterns predict the developmental emergence of species-typical circadian phase preference in nocturnal Norway rats and diurnal nile grass rats.

    PubMed

    Todd, William D; Gall, Andrew J; Weiner, Joshua A; Blumberg, Mark S

    2012-10-01

    How does the brain develop differently to support nocturnality in some mammals, but diurnality in others? To answer this question, one might look to the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), which is entrained by light via the retinohypothalamic tract (RHT). However, because the SCN is more active during the day in all mammals studied thus far, it alone cannot determine circadian phase preference. In adult Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus), which are nocturnal, the RHT also projects to the ventral subparaventricular zone (vSPVZ), an adjacent region that expresses an in-phase pattern of SCN-vSPVZ neuronal activity. In contrast, in adult Nile grass rats (Arvicanthis niloticus), which are diurnal, an anti-phase pattern of SCN-vSPVZ neuronal activity is expressed. We hypothesized that these species differences result in part from a weak or absent RHT-to-vSPVZ projection in grass rats. Here, using a developmental comparative approach, we assessed species differences in behavior, hypothalamic activity, and RHT anatomy. We report that a robust retina-to-vSPVZ projection develops in Norway rats around the end of the second postnatal week when nocturnal wakefulness and the in-phase pattern of neuronal activity emerge. In grass rats, however, such a projection does not develop and the emergence of the anti-phase pattern during the second postnatal week is accompanied by increased diurnal wakefulness. When considered within the context of previously published reports on RHT projections in a variety of species, the current findings suggest that how and when the retina connects to the hypothalamus differentially shapes brain and behavior to produce animals that occupy opposing temporal niches.

  3. From the Lab Bench: Differences in annual and perennial grasses in meeting cattle production goals

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A column was written that provided the advantages and disadvantages of annual warm- and cool-season grasses. Warm-season annual grasses can increase the supply of forage during the summer slump in cool-season perennial grass growth. Utilization of toxic endophyte-infected tall fescue pastures can ...

  4. Discriminating tropical grass ( Cenchrus ciliaris) canopies grown under different nitrogen treatments using spectroradiometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mutanga, Onisimo; Skidmore, Andrew K.; van Wieren, Sipke

    Techniques for estimating and mapping pasture quality are critical for a better understanding of wildlife and livestock grazing patterns. Nitrogen is one of the most important elements that determine quality in plants. We assessed the potential to discriminate differences in nitrogen concentration using high-resolution reflectance by growing Cenchrus ciliaris grass with different fertilization treatments in a greenhouse. Canopy spectral measurements from each treatment were taken under controlled laboratory conditions within a period of 4 weeks using a GER 3700 spectroradiometer. Results show that there were statistically significant differences in spectral reflectance between treatments within certain wavelength regions—an encouraging result for classifying and mapping grasslands with different levels of nutrients using hyperspectral remote sensing. We further investigated the effect of varying nitrogen supply to a specific absorption feature in the visible between 550 and 750 nm (R 550- 750) using continuum-removed spectra. Results show that the high nitrogen treatment had deeper and wider absorption pits as compared to the low nitrogen treatment as well as the control (no nitrogen), which is important for the prediction of nitrogen in grass canopies. This is a promising result for the remote sensing of canopy chemistry since emphasis can be shifted from the mid-infrared region (which is highly masked by water absorption) to the visible region. Overall, the results provide the possibility to map variation in pasture quality using hyperspectral remote sensing.

  5. Optimization of delignification of two Pennisetum grass species by NaOH pretreatment using Taguchi and ANN statistical approach.

    PubMed

    Mohaptra, Sonali; Dash, Preeti Krishna; Behera, Sudhanshu Shekar; Thatoi, Hrudayanath

    2016-01-01

    In the bioconversion of lignocelluloses for bioethanol, pretreatment seems to be the most important step which improves the elimination of the lignin and hemicelluloses content, exposing cellulose to further hydrolysis. The present study discusses the application of dynamic statistical techniques like the Taguchi method and artificial neural network (ANN) in the optimization of pretreatment of lignocellulosic biomasses such as Hybrid Napier grass (HNG) (Pennisetum purpureum) and Denanath grass (DG) (Pennisetum pedicellatum), using alkali sodium hydroxide. This study analysed and determined a parameter combination with a low number of experiments by using the Taguchi method in which both the substrates can be efficiently pretreated. The optimized parameters obtained from the L16 orthogonal array are soaking time (18 and 26 h), temperature (60°C and 55°C), and alkali concentration (1%) for HNG and DG, respectively. High performance liquid chromatography analysis of the optimized pretreated grass varieties confirmed the presence of glucan (47.94% and 46.50%), xylan (9.35% and 7.95%), arabinan (2.15% and 2.2%), and galactan/mannan (1.44% and 1.52%) for HNG and DG, respectively. Physicochemical characterization studies of native and alkali-pretreated grasses were carried out by scanning electron microscopy and Fourier transformation Infrared spectroscopy which revealed some morphological differences between the native and optimized pretreated samples. Model validation by ANN showed a good agreement between experimental results and the predicted responses.

  6. Growth and Quality of Cool-Season Perennial Grass Species in the Southern Great Plains

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Annually planted winter wheat is the major cool-season livestock forage enterprise in a large part of the southern Great Plains and is a good complement to warm-season perennials. However, gaps in both fall and spring exist in the system. Cool-season perennial grasses that have origins in the Nort...

  7. In the shadow of a megalopolis, a new Flexamia from a threatened grass species in the New Jersey Pine Barrens (Hemiptera, Cicadellidae, Deltocephalinae, Paralimnini).

    PubMed

    Hicks, Andrew

    2015-01-01

    A previously unknown species of the North American leafhopper genus Flexamia, Flexamiawhitcombi sp. n., is described from pinebarren smokegrass (Muhlenbergiatorreyana (Schult.) Hitchc.), a state-listed threatened grass in the New Jersey Pine Barrens. The serrata species group, to which it belongs, is redefined and a key to the species of the group is provided. This is the first reported insect association with Muhlenbergiatorreyana.

  8. Effects of Different Soil Amendments on Mixed Heavy Metals Contamination in Vetiver Grass.

    PubMed

    Ng, Chuck Chuan; Boyce, Amru Nasrulhaq; Rahman, Md Motior; Abas, Mhd Radzi

    2016-11-01

    Three different types of low cost soil amendments, namely, EDTA, elemental S and N-fertilizer, were investigated with Vetiver grass, Vetiveria zizanioides (Linn.) Nash growing under highly mixed Cd-Pb contamination conditions. A significant increase (p < 0.05) in Cd and Pb accumulation were recorded in the shoots of all EDTA and N-fertilizer assisted treatments. The accumulation of Cd in 25 mmol EDTA/kg soil and 300 mmol N/kg soil showed relatively higher translocation factor (1.72 and 2.15) and percentage metal efficacy (63.25 % and 68.22 %), respectively, compared to other treatments. However, it was observed that the increased application of elemental S may inhibit the availability of Pb translocation from soil-to-root and root-to-shoot. The study suggests that viable application of 25 mmol EDTA/kg, 300 mmol N/kg and 20 mmol S/kg soil have the potential to be used for soil amendment with Vetiver grass growing under contaminated mixed Cd-Pb soil conditions.

  9. Attacking invasive grasses

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Keeley, Jon E.

    2015-01-01

    In grasslands fire may play a role in the plant invasion process, both by creating disturbances that potentially favour non-native invasions and as a possible tool for controlling alien invasions. Havill et al. (Applied Vegetation Science, 18, 2015, this issue) determine how native and non-native species respond to different fire regimes as a first step in understanding the potential control of invasive grasses.

  10. Plant species richness at different scales in native and exotic grasslands in Southeastern Arizona

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McLaughlin, S.P.; Bowers, Janice E.

    2006-01-01

    Species richness in Madrean mixed-grass prairies dominated by native or exotic species in southeastern Arizona was characterized at the community and point scales using ten 1-m2 quadrats nested within each of eight 1000-m2 plots. In the 1000-m2 plots average richness was significantly higher in oak savanna (OS, 121.0 species) than in exotic grassland on mesa tops (EMT, 52.0 species), whereas native grassland on mesa slopes (NMS, 92.5 species) and native grassland on mesa tops (NMT, 77.0 species) did not differ significantly in richness from OS or EMT When richness was partitioned by life form, EMT was notably poorer than other community types in species of perennial grasses, perennial herbs, and summer annuals. In the 1-m2 quadrats, OS (21.2 species), NMS (20.9 species), and NMT (20.7 species) were significantly richer than EMT (5.9 species). Cover in 1-m2 plots was significantly higher in EMT than in NMT, NMS, or OS. Species richness at the point scale showed a unimodal relation to canopy cover, with cover accounting for 30% of the variation in number of species in 1-m2 quadrats. Competitive exclusion and allelopathy have perhaps limited species richness at the point scale in exotic grassland. There was no evidence of a species-pool effect between point and community scales, but such an effect between community and landscape scales was supported. Madrean mixed-grass prairies are landscapes with high species richness in comparison to other grassland types in North America, providing a large pool of potential colonizing species at the community scale. Beta-diversity (between communities) within the landscape of the Appleton-Whittell Research Ranch was consequently high despite a relative lack of habitat diversity.

  11. Long-term exposure to elevated CO2 enhances plant community stability by suppressing dominant plant species in a mixed-grass prairie

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zelikova, Tamara Jane; Blumenthal, Dana M.; Williams, David G.; Souza, Lara; LeCain, Daniel R.; Morgan, Jack; Pendall, Elise

    2014-10-01

    Climate controls vegetation distribution across the globe, and some vegetation types are more vulnerable to climate change, whereas others are more resistant. Because resistance and resilience can influence ecosystem stability and determine how communities and ecosystems respond to climate change, we need to evaluate the potential for resistance as we predict future ecosystem function. In a mixed-grass prairie in the northern Great Plains, we used a large field experiment to test the effects of elevated CO2, warming, and summer irrigation on plant community structure and productivity, linking changes in both to stability in plant community composition and biomass production. We show that the independent effects of CO2 and warming on community composition and productivity depend on interannual variation in precipitation and that the effects of elevated CO2 are not limited to water saving because they differ from those of irrigation. We also show that production in this mixed-grass prairie ecosystem is not only relatively resistant to interannual variation in precipitation, but also rendered more stable under elevated CO2 conditions. This increase in production stability is the result of altered community dominance patterns: Community evenness increases as dominant species decrease in biomass under elevated CO2. In many grasslands that serve as rangelands, the economic value of the ecosystem is largely dependent on plant community composition and the relative abundance of key forage species. Thus, our results have implications for how we manage native grasslands in the face of changing climate.

  12. Long-term exposure to elevated CO2 enhances plant community stability by suppressing dominant plant species in a mixed-grass prairie.

    PubMed

    Zelikova, Tamara Jane; Blumenthal, Dana M; Williams, David G; Souza, Lara; LeCain, Daniel R; Morgan, Jack; Pendall, Elise

    2014-10-28

    Climate controls vegetation distribution across the globe, and some vegetation types are more vulnerable to climate change, whereas others are more resistant. Because resistance and resilience can influence ecosystem stability and determine how communities and ecosystems respond to climate change, we need to evaluate the potential for resistance as we predict future ecosystem function. In a mixed-grass prairie in the northern Great Plains, we used a large field experiment to test the effects of elevated CO2, warming, and summer irrigation on plant community structure and productivity, linking changes in both to stability in plant community composition and biomass production. We show that the independent effects of CO2 and warming on community composition and productivity depend on interannual variation in precipitation and that the effects of elevated CO2 are not limited to water saving because they differ from those of irrigation. We also show that production in this mixed-grass prairie ecosystem is not only relatively resistant to interannual variation in precipitation, but also rendered more stable under elevated CO2 conditions. This increase in production stability is the result of altered community dominance patterns: Community evenness increases as dominant species decrease in biomass under elevated CO2. In many grasslands that serve as rangelands, the economic value of the ecosystem is largely dependent on plant community composition and the relative abundance of key forage species. Thus, our results have implications for how we manage native grasslands in the face of changing climate.

  13. The effect of hydraulic lift on organic matter decomposition, soil nitrogen cycling, and nitrogen acquisition by a grass species.

    PubMed

    Armas, Cristina; Kim, John H; Bleby, Timothy M; Jackson, Robert B

    2012-01-01

    Hydraulic lift (HL) is the passive movement of water through plant roots, driven by gradients in water potential. The greater soil-water availability resulting from HL may in principle lead to higher plant nutrient uptake, but the evidence for this hypothesis is not universally supported by current experiments. We grew a grass species common in North America in two-layer pots with three treatments: (1) the lower layer watered, the upper one unwatered (HL), (2) both layers watered (W), and (3) the lower layer watered, the upper one unwatered, but with continuous light 24 h a day to limit HL (no-HL). We inserted ingrowth cores filled with enriched-nitrogen organic matter ((15)N-OM) in the upper layer and tested whether decomposition, mineralization and uptake of (15)N were higher in plants performing HL than in plants without HL. Soils in the upper layer were significantly wetter in the HL treatment than in the no-HL treatment. Decomposition rates were similar in the W and HL treatments and lower in no-HL. On average, the concentration of NH(4)(+)-N in ingrowth cores was highest in the W treatment, and NO(3)(-)-N concentrations were highest in the no-HL treatment, with HL having intermediate values for both, suggesting differential mineralization of organic N among treatments. Aboveground biomass, leaf (15)N contents and the (15)N uptake in aboveground tissues were higher in W and HL than in no-HL, indicating higher nutrient uptake and improved N status of plants performing HL. However, there were no differences in total root nitrogen content or (15)N uptake by roots, indicating that HL affected plant allocation of acquired N to photosynthetic tissues. Our evidence for the role of HL in organic matter decomposition and nutrient cycling suggests that HL could have positive effects on plant nutrient dynamics and nutrient turnover.

  14. Genome size differences in Hyalella cryptic species.

    PubMed

    Vergilino, Roland; Dionne, Kaven; Nozais, Christian; Dufresne, France; Belzile, Claude

    2012-02-01

    The Hyalella azteca (Saussure) complex includes numerous amphipod cryptic species in freshwater habitats in America as revealed by DNA barcoding surveys. Two ecomorphs (small and large) have evolved numerous times in this complex. Few phenotypic criteria have been found to differentiate between the numerous species of this complex. The present study aims to explore genome size differences between some species of the H. azteca complex co-occurring in a Canadian boreal lake using flow cytometry. Nuclear DNA content was estimated for 50 individuals belonging to six COI haplotypes corresponding to four provisional species of the H. azteca complex. Species from the large ecomorph had C-values significantly larger than species from the small ecomorph, whereas slight differences were found among species of the small ecomorph. These differences in genome sizes might be linked to ecological and physiological differences among species of the H. azteca complex.

  15. Accumulation of seleno-amino acids in legume and grass plant species grown in selenium-laden soils

    SciTech Connect

    Wu, L.; Guo, X.; Banuelos, G.S.

    1997-03-01

    Seleno-amino acid accumulation was studied for two legume and two grass species grown in Selenium (Se)-laden soils. An antagonistic relationship was found between the tissue Se-amino acid concentration and the corresponding sulfur-amino acid concentration. This relationship demonstrates a competitive interaction between Se and sulfate at the amino acid synthesis level. The nonsulfur-containing amino acids were not substantially affected by the increase of tissue Se concentration. Sour clover (Melilotus indica L.) was able to accumulate much greater tissue Se concentration than the other three species. Tissue methionine concentration of sour clover, rabbitfoot grass (Polypogon monspeliensis L.), and tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) was not significantly affected by the increase of tissue selenomethionine concentration, but a highly significant negative correlation was found in alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.). This discrepancy suggests that a less antagonistic effect on sulfur-amino acids under the increase of Se-amino acid analogues in the tissue might be able to minimize Se toxicity to the plant. Both Se-methylselenocysteine (nonprotein amino acid) and selenomethionine (protein amino acid) accumulated in the plants when grown in Se-laden soils. Possible effects of these Se-amino acids accumulated by plants on animal health should be tested before the plants are used for forage supplementation.

  16. Differences in wetland nitrogen cycling between the invasive grass Microstegium vimineum and a diverse plant community.

    PubMed

    DeMeester, Julie E; DeB Richter, Daniel

    2010-04-01

    Wetlands are valuable for buffering waterways from excess nitrogen, yet these habitats are often dominated by invasive plant species. There is little understanding as to how various invasive species alter ecosystem nitrogen cycling, especially if one invasive overtakes an entire community of plants. Microstegium vimineum is a nonnative annual grass from Asia that is dominating riparian wetlands in the southeastern United States. To evaluate M. vimineum impacts on the N cycle, we used six paired plots, one invaded by M. vimineum and the other carefully weeded of M. vimineum; removal allowed the establishment of a diverse plant community consisting of Polygonum, Juncus, and Carex species. In the paired plots, we estimated (1) N uptake and accumulation in vegetation biomass, (2) rates of decomposition and N release from plant detritus, (3) mineral soil N mineralization and nitrification, (4) root zone redox potential, and (5) soil water concentrations of inorganic N. The M. vimineum community accumulated approximately half the annual N biomass of the diverse community, 5.04 vs. 9.36 g N x m(-2) x yr(-1), respectively (P = 0.05). Decomposition and release of N from M. vimineum detritus was much less than in the diverse community, 1.19 vs. 5.24 g N x m(-2) x yr(-1). Significantly higher inorganic soil N persisted beneath M. vimineum during the dormant season, although rates of soil N mineralization estimated by in situ incubations were relatively similar in all plots. Microstegium vimineum invasion thus appears to greatly diminish within-ecosystem circulation of N through the understory plants of these wetlands, whereas invasion effects on ecosystem N losses may derive more from enhanced denitrification (due to lower redox potential under M. vimineum plots) than due to leaching. Microstegium vimineum's dominance and yet slower internal cycling of N are counterintuitive to conventional thinking that ecosystems with high N contain vegetation that quickly uptake and

  17. A comparison of stable caesium uptake by six grass species of contrasting growth strategy.

    PubMed

    Willey, N J; Martin, M H

    1997-01-01

    Six plant species in the family Gramineae were used to investigate the relationship between Cs uptake, nutrient regime and plant growth strategy sensu Grime (1979: Plant Growth Strategies and Vegetation Processes, John Wiley). The roots of 66 day old Elymus repens (L.) Gould., Bromus sterilis L., Agrostis stolonifera L., Anthoxanthum odoratum L., Festuca ovina L. and Nardus stricta L. plants grown in acid-washed sand at high and low nutrient levels were exposed to a 96 h pulse of stable Cs at 0.05 mM, 0.15 mM, 0.3 mM, 1.0 mM and 3.0 mM concentrations. Different nutrient regimes induced large differences in dry wt in E. repens, B. sterilis and A. stolonifera plants but only small differences in N. stricta and F. ovina plants. At high nutrient concentrations, A. stolonifera, A. odoratum, F. ovina and N. stricta shoots showed significantly greater increases in internal Cs concentration with rising external Cs concentrations than did E. repens and B. sterilis shoots. The relationship between increases in shoot and external Cs concentrations was statistically indistinguishable between species in plants grown at the low nutrient concentration. These patterns of Cs uptake ensured that with long-term high K concentrations the more competitive plants (E. repens and B. sterilis) accumulated higher concentrations of Cs from low external concentrations than did non-competitive plants or competitive plants grown at low nutrient levels. It is suggested that the relationship between plant growth strategy sensu Grime (1979) and Cs accumulation patterns may help to explain the different concentrations to which species accumulate radiocaesium from the soil.

  18. Immunoglobulin E-binding reactivities of natural pollen grain extracts from selected grass species in the Philippines

    PubMed Central

    Cabauatan, Clarissa R.

    2012-01-01

    Background Pollen grains have been reported to be present in the Philippine atmosphere but studies regarding their allergenicity are limited. Objective The present study aimed to profile the sensitization of allergic individuals to selected grass pollen species and to characterize the pollen proteins that may be responsible for this allergenic response. Methods The protein profile of the grass pollen extracts from Cynodon dactylon, Saccharum spontaneum, Sporobulus indicus, Chloris barbata, Oryza sativa, Imperata cylindrica, and Zea mays was analyzed by Sodium Dodecyl Sulphate Polyacrylamide Gel Electrophoresis. The specific-IgE profile of the allergic individuals and the allergenic potential of the pollen extracts were evaluated through Enzyme-linked Immunosorbent Assay and IgE immunoblotting. Results Sensitization of the allergic individuals to the pollen extracts was detected with I. cylindrica and O. sativa to be the most frequently recognized with more that 92% reactivity, whereas for C. dactylon and Z. mays, were found to have less than 25% reactivity. Conclusion Multiple IgE-binding proteins from S. indicus, S. spontaneum and C. barbata that were detected may be responsible for the allergic reactions among Filipino subjects. PMID:22701864

  19. Functional Traits Differ between Cereal Crop Progenitors and Other Wild Grasses Gathered in the Neolithic Fertile Crescent

    PubMed Central

    Cunniff, Jennifer; Wilkinson, Sarah; Charles, Michael; Jones, Glynis; Rees, Mark; Osborne, Colin P.

    2014-01-01

    The reasons why some plant species were selected as crops and others were abandoned during the Neolithic emergence of agriculture are poorly understood. We tested the hypothesis that the traits of Fertile Crescent crop progenitors were advantageous in the fertile, disturbed habitats surrounding early settlements and in cultivated fields. We screened functional traits related to competition and disturbance in a group of grass species that were increasingly exploited by early plant gatherers, and that were later domesticated (crop progenitors); and in a set of grass species for which there is archaeological evidence of gathering, but which were never domesticated (wild species). We hypothesised that crop progenitors would have greater seed mass, growth rate, height and yield than wild species, as these traits are indicative of greater competitive ability, and that crop progenitors would be more resilient to defoliation. Our results show that crop progenitors have larger seed mass than wild species, germinate faster and have greater seedling size. Increased seed size is weakly but positively correlated with a higher growth rate, which is primarily driven by greater biomass assimilation per unit leaf area. Crop progenitors also tend to have a taller stature, greater grain yield and higher resilience to defoliation. Collectively, the data are consistent with the hypothesis that adaptations to competition and disturbance gave crop progenitors a selective advantage in the areas surrounding early human settlements and in cultivated environments, leading to their adoption as crops through processes of unconscious selection. PMID:24489941

  20. Characterization of gene expression associated with drought avoidance and tolerance traits in a perennial grass species.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Peng; An, Yuan; Wang, Zhaolong; Du, Hongmei; Huang, Bingru

    2014-01-01

    To understand molecular mechanisms of perennial grass adaptation to drought stress, genes associated with drought avoidance or tolerance traits were identified and their expression patterns were characterized in C4 hybrid bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.×C. transvaalensis Burtt Davy, cv. Tifway] and common bermudagrass (C. dactylon, cv. C299). Plants of drought-tolerant 'Tifway' and drought-sensitive 'C299' were exposed to drought for 5 d (mild stress) and 10 d (severe stress) by withholding irrigation in a growth chamber. 'Tifway' maintained significantly lower electrolyte leakage and higher relative water content than 'C299' at both 5 and 10 d of drought stress. Four cDNA libraries via suppression subtractive hybridization analysis were constructed and identified 277 drought-responsive genes in the two genotypes at 5 and 10 d of drought stress, which were mainly classified into the functional categories of stress defense, metabolism, osmoregulation, membrane system, signal and regulator, structural protein, protein synthesis and degradation, and energy metabolism. Quantitative-PCR analysis confirmed the expression of 36 drought up-regulated genes that were more highly expressed in drought-tolerant 'Tifway' than drought-sensitive 'C299', including those for drought avoidance traits, such as cuticle wax formation (CER1 and sterol desaturase), for drought tolerance traits, such as dehydration-protective proteins (dehydrins, HVA-22-like protein) and oxidative stress defense (superoxide dismutase, dehydroascorbate reductase, 2-Cys peroxiredoxins), and for stress signaling (EREBP-4 like protein and WRKY transcription factor). The results suggest that the expression of genes for stress signaling, cuticle wax accumulation, antioxidant defense, and dehydration-protective protein accumulation could be critically important for warm-season perennial grass adaptation to long-term drought stress.

  1. The Effects of Seed Ingestion by Livestock, Dung Fertilization, Trampling, Grass Competition and Fire on Seedling Establishment of Two Woody Plant Species

    PubMed Central

    Tjelele, Julius; Ward, David; Dziba, Luthando

    2015-01-01

    The increasing rate of woody plant encroachment in grasslands or savannas remains a challenge to livestock farmers. The causes and control measures of woody plant encroachment are of common interest, especially where it negatively affects the objectives of an agricultural enterprise. The objectives of this study were to determine the effects of gut passage (goats, cattle), dung (nutrients), fire, grass competition and trampling on establishment of A. nilotica and D. cinerea seedlings. Germination trials were subjected to the following treatments: 1) seed passage through the gut of cattle and goats and unpassed/ untreated seeds (i.e. not ingested), 2) dung and control (no dung), 3) grass and control (mowed grass), 4) fire and control (no fire), 5) trampling and control (no trampling). The interaction of animal species, grass and fire had an effect on seedling recruitment (P < 0.0052). Seeds retrieved from goats and planted with no grass and with fire (6.81% ± 0.33) had a significant effect on seedling recruitment than seeds retrieved from goats and planted with grass and no fire (2.98% ± 0.33). Significantly more D. cinerea and A. nilotica seeds germinated following seed ingestion by goats (3.59% ± 0.16) than cattle (1.93% ± 0.09) and control or untreated seeds (1.69% ± 0.11). Less dense grass cover, which resulted in reduced grass competition with tree seedlings for light, space and water, and improved seed scarification due to gut passage were vital for emergence and recruitment of Acacia seedlings. These results will contribute considerably to the understanding of the recruitment phase of woody plant encroachment. PMID:25695765

  2. The effects of seed ingestion by livestock, dung fertilization, trampling, grass competition and fire on seedling establishment of two woody plant species.

    PubMed

    Tjelele, Julius; Ward, David; Dziba, Luthando

    2015-01-01

    The increasing rate of woody plant encroachment in grasslands or savannas remains a challenge to livestock farmers. The causes and control measures of woody plant encroachment are of common interest, especially where it negatively affects the objectives of an agricultural enterprise. The objectives of this study were to determine the effects of gut passage (goats, cattle), dung (nutrients), fire, grass competition and trampling on establishment of A. nilotica and D. cinerea seedlings. Germination trials were subjected to the following treatments: 1) seed passage through the gut of cattle and goats and unpassed/ untreated seeds (i.e. not ingested), 2) dung and control (no dung), 3) grass and control (mowed grass), 4) fire and control (no fire), 5) trampling and control (no trampling). The interaction of animal species, grass and fire had an effect on seedling recruitment (P < 0.0052). Seeds retrieved from goats and planted with no grass and with fire (6.81% ± 0.33) had a significant effect on seedling recruitment than seeds retrieved from goats and planted with grass and no fire (2.98% ± 0.33). Significantly more D. cinerea and A. nilotica seeds germinated following seed ingestion by goats (3.59% ± 0.16) than cattle (1.93% ± 0.09) and control or untreated seeds (1.69% ± 0.11). Less dense grass cover, which resulted in reduced grass competition with tree seedlings for light, space and water, and improved seed scarification due to gut passage were vital for emergence and recruitment of Acacia seedlings. These results will contribute considerably to the understanding of the recruitment phase of woody plant encroachment.

  3. Temperate grass response to extent and timing of grazing

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Considerable differences exist among cool-season grass species in their production potential and response to management variables. We examined the effects of grazing management on forage and root production of two temperate perennial grasses, meadow fescue [Schedonoruspratensis (Huds.) P. Beauv.] an...

  4. In the shadow of a megalopolis, a new Flexamia from a threatened grass species in the New Jersey Pine Barrens (Hemiptera, Cicadellidae, Deltocephalinae, Paralimnini)

    PubMed Central

    Hicks, Andrew

    2015-01-01

    Abstract A previously unknown species of the North American leafhopper genus Flexamia, Flexamia whitcombi sp. n., is described from pinebarren smokegrass (Muhlenbergia torreyana (Schult.) Hitchc.), a state-listed threatened grass in the New Jersey Pine Barrens. The serrata species group, to which it belongs, is redefined and a key to the species of the group is provided. This is the first reported insect association with Muhlenbergia torreyana. PMID:26257551

  5. Statistical patterns in tropical tree cover explained by the different water demand of individual trees and grasses.

    PubMed

    Bertram, Jason; Dewar, Roderick C

    2013-10-01

    Tree cover varies enormously across tropical ecosystems-from arid savannas to closed rain forests-and yet a general predictive theory of tropical tree cover remains elusive. Here we use the maximum-entropy method to predict the most likely sample frequency distribution of ecosystems with different tree and grass fractional cover if balance between water supply and demand were the dominant constraint on community assembly. Assuming a hierarchy of individual plant water demand in which trees require more water than grasses, we reproduce observed trends in the means and the upper and lower limits of tropical tree and grass cover across the entire spectrum of tropical ecosystem water supply. Finer details not captured by our predictions indicate the influence of additional factors, such as disturbance. Our results challenge the view that tropical tree-grass coexistence is largely sustained by disturbances in moist environments ("unstable" coexistence) with water supply playing a dominant role only in arid conditions ("stable" coexistence). More generally, they suggest that macroecological patterns can be understood and predicted as the most likely outcome of a large number of stochastic processes being played out within a relatively small number of ecological constraints.

  6. The genus Sitothrips (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) with a new grass-living species from southern Iran.

    PubMed

    Minaei, Kambiz; Mound, Laurence

    2014-11-19

    One of the generic characters given by zur Strassen (2003) for species of the genus Sitothrips Priesner (1931) is the presence of 2-segmented maxillary palps. In contrast, a new species of this genus is described below from Iran in which the maxillary palps are clearly 3-segmented (Fig. 5). The genus was erected for arabicus Priesner from Egypt, a species now recorded widely among countries around the Mediterranean, from Morocco to southern Russia. Three further species are listed in Sitothrips: almargeniensis Titschack from Spain and Portugal, lindbergi zur Strassen from the Canary Islands and Morocco, and calcaratus (Savenko) from southern Russia. The identity of the latter species remains in some doubt as, in contrast to the other species, it was described as wingless and lacking ocelli (Savenko 1944), but zur Strassen (2003) provided an illustrated key to the other three species.

  7. Effect of species of cool-season annual grass interseeded into Bermudagrass sod on the performance of growing calves.

    PubMed

    Beck, P A; Stewart, C B; Phillips, J M; Watkins, K B; Gunter, S A

    2007-02-01

    Two experiments were conducted to evaluate the effect of species of cool-season annual grass on the growth of stocker cattle over 3 yr. In Exp. 1, the small grains (SG) oat (O), rye (R), and wheat (W), or combinations of SG and annual ryegrass (RG), were interseeded into Bermudagrass sod in a completely randomized design with a 3 x 2 factorial arrangement of treatments. In Exp. 2, RG was planted alone or with O, R, triticale (T), or W in a completely randomized design. Pastures were planted in late October of each year, and seeding rates were 134.4 and 22.4 kg/ha for SG and RG, respectively. In Exp. 1, grazing was initiated on December 18. In Exp. 2, grazing was initiated on December 23 for SG pastures and January 21 or February 16 for RG pastures in yr 1 and on December 8 for all pastures in yr 2. Grazing was managed using the put-and-take method, in which additional calves were added as needed to maintain equal grazing pressure among pastures. In Exp. 1, no interactions (P > or = 0.28) were detected, so the main effects of SG species and RG addition are discussed. From December 18 to March 12, there were no differences in ADG (P > or = 0.17), whereas during the spring (from March 12 to May 7), addition of RG increased (P = 0.05) ADG. Using RG increased (P < or = 0.01) animal grazing-days/hectare and BW gain/hectare. Wheat tended (P = 0.08) to increase BW gain/hectare compared with the other SG, and O tended (P = 0.09) to produce less BW gain/hectare than the other SG. The treatment x year interaction was significant (P < or = 0.05) in Exp. 2. In yr 1, no differences (P = 0.25) were observed for ADG from December 23 to March 8, but during the spring grazing period (from March 8 to May 5), ADG of calves grazing TRG was less (P < or = 0.04) than that of those grazing RG, RRG, or WRG. The RRG combination produced more (P < or = 0.03) BW gain/hectare than ORG, RG, or TRG and tended (P = 0.06) to produce more BW gain/hectare than WRG. The WRG combination produced more

  8. Genome-Wide Analysis of NBS-LRR Genes in Sorghum Genome Revealed Several Events Contributing to NBS-LRR Gene Evolution in Grass Species

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Xiping; Wang, Jianping

    2016-01-01

    The nucleotide-binding site (NBS)–leucine-rich repeat (LRR) gene family is crucially important for offering resistance to pathogens. To explore evolutionary conservation and variability of NBS-LRR genes across grass species, we identified 88, 107, 24, and 44 full-length NBS-LRR genes in sorghum, rice, maize, and Brachypodium, respectively. A comprehensive analysis was performed on classification, genome organization, evolution, expression, and regulation of these NBS-LRR genes using sorghum as a representative of grass species. In general, the full-length NBS-LRR genes are highly clustered and duplicated in sorghum genome mainly due to local duplications. NBS-LRR genes have basal expression levels and are highly potentially targeted by miRNA. The number of NBS-LRR genes in the four grass species is positively correlated with the gene clustering rate. The results provided a valuable genomic resource and insights for functional and evolutionary studies of NBS-LRR genes in grass species. PMID:26792976

  9. Proteomic changes associated with expression of a gene (ipt) controlling cytokinin synthesis for improving heat tolerance in a perennial grass species.

    PubMed

    Xu, Yan; Gianfagna, Thomas; Huang, Bingru

    2010-07-01

    Cytokinins (CKs) are known to regulate leaf senescence and affect heat tolerance, but mechanisms underlying CK regulation of heat tolerance are not well understood. A comprehensive proteomic study was conducted to identify proteins altered by the expression of the adenine isopentenyl transferase (ipt) gene controlling CK synthesis and associated with heat tolerance in transgenic plants for a C(3) perennial grass species, Agrostis stolonifera. Transgenic plants with two different inducible promoters (SAG12 and HSP18) and a null transformant (NT) containing the vector without ipt were exposed to 20 degrees C (control) or 35 degrees C (heat stress) in growth chambers. Two-dimensional electrophoresis and mass spectrometry analysis were performed to identify protein changes in leaves and roots in response to ipt expression under heat stress. Transformation with ipt resulted in protein changes in leaves and roots involved in multiple functions, particularly in energy metabolism, protein destination and storage, and stress defence. The abundance levels of six leaf proteins (enolase, oxygen-evolving enhancer protein 2, putative oxygen-evolving complex, Rubisco small subunit, Hsp90, and glycolate oxidase) and nine root proteins (Fd-GOGAT, nucleotide-sugar dehydratase, NAD-dependent isocitrate dehydrogenase, ferredoxin-NADP reductase precursor, putative heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein A2, ascorbate peroxidase, dDTP-glucose 4-6-dehydratases-like protein, and two unknown proteins) were maintained or increased in at least one ipt transgenic line under heat stress. The diversity of proteins altered in transgenic plants in response to heat stress suggests a regulatory role for CKs in various metabolic pathways associated with heat tolerance in C(3) perennial grass species.

  10. Long-term exposure to elevated CO2 enhances plant community stability by suppressing dominant plant species in a mixed-grass prairie

    SciTech Connect

    Zelikova, Tamara Jane; Blumenthal, Dana M.; Williams, David G.; Souza, Lara; LeCain, Daniel R.; Morgan, Jack; Pendall, Elise

    2014-10-13

    Climate controls vegetation distribution across the globe, and some vegetation types are more vulnerable to climate change, whereas others are more resistant. Because resistance and resilience can influence ecosystem stability and determine how communities and ecosystems respond to climate change, we need to evaluate the potential for resistance as we predict future ecosystem function. In a mixed-grass prairie in the northern Great Plains, in this study we used a large field experiment to test the effects of elevated CO2, warming, and summer irrigation on plant community structure and productivity, linking changes in both to stability in plant community composition and biomass production. We show that the independent effects of CO2 and warming on community composition and productivity depend on interannual variation in precipitation and that the effects of elevated CO2 are not limited to water saving because they differ from those of irrigation. We also show that production in this mixed-grass prairie ecosystem is not only relatively resistant to interannual variation in precipitation, but also rendered more stable under elevated CO2 conditions. This increase in production stability is the result of altered community dominance patterns: Community evenness increases as dominant species decrease in biomass under elevated CO2. In many grasslands that serve as rangelands, the economic value of the ecosystem is largely dependent on plant community composition and the relative abundance of key forage species. Finally, our results have implications for how we manage native grasslands in the face of changing climate.

  11. Long-term exposure to elevated CO2 enhances plant community stability by suppressing dominant plant species in a mixed-grass prairie

    DOE PAGES

    Zelikova, Tamara Jane; Blumenthal, Dana M.; Williams, David G.; ...

    2014-10-13

    Climate controls vegetation distribution across the globe, and some vegetation types are more vulnerable to climate change, whereas others are more resistant. Because resistance and resilience can influence ecosystem stability and determine how communities and ecosystems respond to climate change, we need to evaluate the potential for resistance as we predict future ecosystem function. In a mixed-grass prairie in the northern Great Plains, in this study we used a large field experiment to test the effects of elevated CO2, warming, and summer irrigation on plant community structure and productivity, linking changes in both to stability in plant community composition andmore » biomass production. We show that the independent effects of CO2 and warming on community composition and productivity depend on interannual variation in precipitation and that the effects of elevated CO2 are not limited to water saving because they differ from those of irrigation. We also show that production in this mixed-grass prairie ecosystem is not only relatively resistant to interannual variation in precipitation, but also rendered more stable under elevated CO2 conditions. This increase in production stability is the result of altered community dominance patterns: Community evenness increases as dominant species decrease in biomass under elevated CO2. In many grasslands that serve as rangelands, the economic value of the ecosystem is largely dependent on plant community composition and the relative abundance of key forage species. Finally, our results have implications for how we manage native grasslands in the face of changing climate.« less

  12. Species' traits help predict small mammal responses to habitat homogenization by an invasive grass.

    PubMed

    Ceradini, Joseph P; Chalfoun, Anna D

    2017-03-20

    Invasive plants can negatively affect native species, however, the strength, direction, and shape of responses may vary depending on the type of habitat alteration and the natural history of native species. To prioritize conservation of vulnerable species, it is therefore critical to effectively predict species' responses to invasive plants, which may be facilitated by a framework based on species' traits. We studied the population and community responses of small mammals and changes in habitat heterogeneity across a gradient of cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) cover, a widespread invasive plant in North America. We live-trapped small mammals over two summers and assessed the effect of cheatgrass on native small mammal abundance, richness, and species-specific and trait-based occupancy, while accounting for detection probability and other key habitat elements. Abundance was only estimated for the most common species, deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus). All species were pooled for the trait-based occupancy analysis to quantify the ability of small mammal traits (habitat association, mode of locomotion, and diet) to predict responses to cheatgrass invasion. Habitat heterogeneity decreased with cheatgrass cover. Deer mouse abundance increased marginally with cheatgrass. Species richness did not vary with cheatgrass, however, pocket mouse (Perognathus spp.) and harvest mouse (Reithrodontomys spp.) occupancy tended to decrease and increase, respectively, with cheatgrass cover, suggesting a shift in community composition. Cheatgrass had little effect on occupancy for deer mice, 13-lined ground squirrels (Spermophilus tridecemlineatus), and Ord's kangaroo rat (Dipodomys ordii). Species' responses to cheatgrass primarily corresponded with our a priori predictions based on species' traits. The probability of occupancy varied significantly with a species' habitat association but not with diet or mode of locomotion. When considered within the context of a rapid habitat change

  13. Fusarium dactylidis sp. nov., a novel nivalenol toxin-producing species sister to F. pseudograminearum isolated from orchard grass (Dactylis glomerata) in Oregon and New Zealand.

    PubMed

    Aoki, Takayuki; Vaughan, Martha M; McCormick, Susan P; Busman, Mark; Ward, Todd J; Kelly, Amy; O'Donnell, Kerry; Johnston, Peter R; Geiser, David M

    2015-01-01

    The B trichothecene toxin-producing clade (B clade) of Fusarium includes the etiological agents of Fusarium head blight, crown rot of wheat and barley and stem and ear rot of maize. B clade isolates also have been recovered from several wild and cultivated grasses, including Dactylis glomerata (orchard grass or cock's foot), one of the world's most important forage grasses. Two isolates from the latter host are formally described here as F. dactylidis. Phenotypically F. dactylidis most closely resembles F. ussurianum from the Russian Far East. Both species produce symmetrical sporodochial conidia that are similar in size and curved toward both ends. However, conidia of F. ussurianum typically end in a narrow apical beak while the apical cell of F. dactylidis is acute. Fusarium dactylidis produced nivalenol mycotoxin in planta as well as low but detectable amounts of the estrogenic mycotoxin zearalenone in vitro. Results of a pathogenicity test revealed that F. dactylidis induced mild head blight on wheat.

  14. Are Mojave Desert annual species equal? Resource acquisition and allocation for the invasive grass Bromus madritensis subsp. rubens (Poaceae) and two native species

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Defalco, Lesley A.; Bryla, David R.; Smith-Longozo, Vickie; Nowak, Robert S.

    2003-01-01

    Abundance of invasive plants is often attributed to their ability ot outcompete native species. We compared resource acquisition and allocation of the invasive annual grass Bromus madritensis subsp. rubens with that of two native Mojave Desert annuals, Vulpia octoflora and Descurainia pinnata, in a glasshouse experiment. Each species was grown in monoculture at two densities and two levels of N availability to compare how these annuals capture resources and to understand their relative sensitivities to environmental change. During >4 mo of growth, Bromus used water more rapidly and had greater biomass and N content than the natives, partly because of its greater root-surface area and its exploitation of deep soils. Bromus also had greater N uptake, net assimilation and transpiration rates, and canopy area than Vulpia. Resource use by Bromuswas less sensitive to changes in N availability or density than were the natives. The two native species in this study produced numerous small seeds that tended to remain dormant, thus ensuring escape of offspring from unfavorable germination conditions; Bromus produced fewer but larger seeds that readily germinated. Collectively, these traits give Bromus the potential to rapidly establish in diverse habitats of the Mojave Desert, thereby gaining an advantage over coexisting native species.

  15. Root Antioxidant Mechanisms in Relation to Root Thermotolerance in Perennial Grass Species Contrasting in Heat Tolerance.

    PubMed

    Xu, Yi; Burgess, Patrick; Huang, Bingru

    2015-01-01

    Mechanisms of plant root tolerance to high temperatures through antioxidant defense are not well understood. The objective of this study was to investigate whether superior root thermotolerance of heat-tolerant Agrostis scabra relative to its congeneric heat-sensitive Agrostis stolonifera was associated with differential accumulation of reactive oxygen species and antioxidant scavenging systems. A. scabra 'NTAS' and A. stolonifera 'Penncross' plants were exposed to heat stress (35/30°C, day/night) in growth chambers for 24 d. Superoxide (O2(-)) content increased in both A. stolonifera and A. scabra roots under heat stress but to a far lesser extent in A. scabra than in A. stolonifera. Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) content increased significantly in A. stolonifera roots but not in A. scabra roots responding to heat stress. The content of antioxidant compounds (ascorbate and glutathione) did not differ between A. stolonifera and A. scabra under heat stress. Enzymatic activity of superoxide dismutase was less suppressed in A. scabra than that in A. stolonifera under heat stress, while peroxidase and catalase were more induced in A. scabra than in A. stolonifera. Similarly, their encoded transcript levels were either less suppressed, or more induced in A. scabra roots than those in A. stolonifera during heat stress. Roots of A. scabra exhibited greater alternative respiration rate and lower cytochrome respiration rate under heat stress, which was associated with suppression of O2(-) and H2O2 production as shown by respiration inhibitors. Superior root thermotolerance of A. scabra was related to decreases in H2O2 and O2(-) accumulation facilitated by active enzymatic antioxidant defense systems and the maintenance of alternative respiration, alleviating cellular damages by heat-induced oxidative stress.

  16. Root Antioxidant Mechanisms in Relation to Root Thermotolerance in Perennial Grass Species Contrasting in Heat Tolerance

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Yi; Burgess, Patrick; Huang, Bingru

    2015-01-01

    Mechanisms of plant root tolerance to high temperatures through antioxidant defense are not well understood. The objective of this study was to investigate whether superior root thermotolerance of heat-tolerant Agrostis scabra relative to its congeneric heat-sensitive Agrostis stolonifera was associated with differential accumulation of reactive oxygen species and antioxidant scavenging systems. A. scabra ‘NTAS’ and A. stolonifera ‘Penncross’ plants were exposed to heat stress (35/30°C, day/night) in growth chambers for 24 d. Superoxide (O2-) content increased in both A. stolonifera and A. scabra roots under heat stress but to a far lesser extent in A. scabra than in A. stolonifera. Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) content increased significantly in A. stolonifera roots but not in A. scabra roots responding to heat stress. The content of antioxidant compounds (ascorbate and glutathione) did not differ between A. stolonifera and A. scabra under heat stress. Enzymatic activity of superoxide dismutase was less suppressed in A. scabra than that in A. stolonifera under heat stress, while peroxidase and catalase were more induced in A. scabra than in A. stolonifera. Similarly, their encoded transcript levels were either less suppressed, or more induced in A. scabra roots than those in A. stolonifera during heat stress. Roots of A. scabra exhibited greater alternative respiration rate and lower cytochrome respiration rate under heat stress, which was associated with suppression of O2- and H2O2 production as shown by respiration inhibitors. Superior root thermotolerance of A. scabra was related to decreases in H2O2 and O2- accumulation facilitated by active enzymatic antioxidant defense systems and the maintenance of alternative respiration, alleviating cellular damages by heat-induced oxidative stress. PMID:26382960

  17. Competition effects from cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) differs among perennial grasses of the Great Basin

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Competition from the exotic annual grass, cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum), threatens millions of hectares of native plant communities throughout the Great Basin. The Nature Conservancy has identified the Great Basin as the third most endangered ecosystem in the United States. Not only has increased fue...

  18. Use of radiometric indices to evaluate Zn and Pb stress in two grass species (Festuca rubra L. and Vulpia myuros L.).

    PubMed

    Gómez, J; Yunta, F; Esteban, E; Carpena, R O; Zornoza, P

    2016-11-01

    Vegetation indices obtained from radiometric measurements have been used to estimate the stress response of plants grown in contaminated sites. The phytotoxicity of Pb and Zn in Festuca rubra L. and Vulpia myuros L. plants grown under hydroponic conditions was evaluated using vegetation indices obtained from radiometric measurements. The plants were supplied with 3 mM Zn (+Zn), 500 μM Pb (+Pb) and 500 μM Pb with EDTA (+PbEDTA) for 3 months. Significantly higher Zn concentrations in F. rubra shoots compared with V. myuros shoots were detected for Zn and Pb treatments. EDTA increased Pb transport to the shoots for both grasses, while Pb-treated plants retained Pb primarily in the roots. All vegetation indices tested showed the highest differences in F. rubra under +PbEDTA treatment and minor effects under +Zn, whereas the major variations for V. myuros corresponded to +Zn treatment, followed by +PbEDTA. Red edge normalized difference vegetation index, yellowness index and anthocyanin concentration index were the most sensitive indices to report Zn and Pb phytotoxicity in these grasses. According to the results obtained, both metal concentrations and radiometric indices suggested that Pb is more phytotoxic to F. rubra, which tolerates high Zn levels, whereas V. myuros was strongly affected by high Zn levels and markedly tolerant to Pb, even when applied in a mobile form (PbEDTA). Both species could be used in the phytostabilization of Zn- and Pb-contaminated soils. The abilities of F. rubra to accumulate Zn and V. myuros to accumulate Pb in the roots would facilitate a more efficient phytoremediation strategy when used in combination.

  19. Multiple bacterial symbionts in two species of co-occurring gutless oligochaete worms from Mediterranean sea grass sediments.

    PubMed

    Ruehland, Caroline; Blazejak, Anna; Lott, Christian; Loy, Alexander; Erséus, Christer; Dubilier, Nicole

    2008-12-01

    Gutless oligochaete worms are found worldwide in the pore waters of marine sediments and live in symbiosis with chemoautotrophic sulfur-oxidizing bacteria. In the Mediterranean, two species of gutless oligochaete worms, Olavius algarvensis and O. ilvae, co-occur in sediments around sea grass beds. These sediments have extremely low sulfide concentrations (< 1 microM), raising the question if O. ilvae, as shown previously for O. algarvensis, also harbours sulfate-reducing symbionts that provide its sulfur-oxidizing symbionts with reduced sulfur compounds. In this study, we used fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and comparative sequence analysis of genes for 16S rRNA, sulfur metabolism (aprA and dsrAB), and autotrophic carbon fixation (cbbL) to examine the microbial community of O. ilvae and re-examine the O. algarvensis symbiosis. In addition to the four previously described symbionts of O. algarvensis, in this study a fifth symbiont belonging to the Spirochaetes was found in these hosts. The symbiotic community of O. ilvae was similar to that of O. algarvensis and also included two gammaproteobacterial sulfur oxidizers and two deltaproteobacterial sulfate reducers, but not a spirochete. The phylogenetic and metabolic similarity of the symbiotic communities in these two co-occurring host species that are not closely related to each other indicates that syntrophic sulfur cycling provides a strong selective advantage to these worms in their sulfide-poor environment.

  20. The effect of glyphosate on the growth and competitive effect of perennial grass species in semi-natural grasslands.

    PubMed

    Damgaard, Christian; Strandberg, Beate; Mathiassen, Solvejg K; Kudsk, Per

    2014-01-01

    Biodiversity within European semi-natural biotopes in agro-ecosystem is declining, and herbicide drift from neighbouring fields is considered as an important factor for the decline. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether the growth and competitive interactions in a model system of two perennial grass species, Festuca ovina and Agrostis capillaris, are affected by sub-lethal doses of glyphosate in field margins. In a glasshouse experiment with ample nitrogen, the interspecific competitive interactions were found to be significantly affected by glyphosate; the competitive effect of F. ovina on A. capillaris increased and the competitive effect of A. capillaris on F. ovina decreased with increasing doses of glyphosate. Furthermore, the importance of interspecific competition increased with the glyphosate dose. The results of the study of competitive interactions are in agreement with the observed plant community dynamics at the field site where F. ovina was found to be more dominant in plots treated with a relatively high dose of glyphosate. Importantly, the effects of glyphosate on the plant community dynamics critically depended on the effect of glyphosate on the plant competitive interactions. The study concludes that the current practice in the environmental risk assessment of non-target effects of herbicides, where single species are tested in the greenhouse, may be inadequate for assessing the effect of herbicides in semi-natural plant communities. The presented methods can be used for assessing the importance of competitive interactions for the sensitivity of non-target plants to herbicides in risk assessment.

  1. Untangling a species complex of arid zone grasses (Triodia) reveals patterns congruent with co-occurring animals.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Benjamin M; Barrett, Matthew D; Krauss, Siegfried L; Thiele, Kevin

    2016-08-01

    The vast Australian arid zone formed over the last 15million years, and gradual aridification as well as more extreme Pliocene and Pleistocene climate shifts have impacted the evolution of its biota. Understanding the evolutionary history of groups of organisms or regional biotas such as the Australian arid biota requires clear delimitation of the units of biodiversity (taxa). Here we integrate evidence from nuclear (ETS and ITS) and chloroplast (rps16-trnK spacer) regions and morphology to clarify taxonomic boundaries in a species complex of Australian hummock grasses (Triodia) to better understand the evolution of Australian arid zone plants and to evaluate congruence in distribution patterns with co-occurring organisms. We find evidence for multiple new taxa in the T. basedowii species complex, but also incongruence between data sets and indications of hybridization that complicate delimitation. We find that the T. basedowii complex has high lineage diversity and endemism in the biologically important Pilbara region of Western Australia, consistent with the region acting as a refugium. Taxa show strong geographic structure in the Pilbara, congruent with recent work on co-occurring animals and suggesting common evolutionary drivers across the biota. Our findings confirm recognition of the Pilbara as an important centre of biodiversity in the Australian arid zone, and provide a basis for future taxonomic revision of the T. basedowii complex and more detailed study of its evolutionary history and that of arid Australia.

  2. Morphoanatomical responses induced by excess iron in roots of two tolerant grass species.

    PubMed

    de Araújo, Talita Oliveira; de Freitas-Silva, Larisse; Santana, Brenda Vila Nova; Kuki, Kacilda Naomi; Pereira, Eduardo Gusmão; Azevedo, Aristéa Alves; da Silva, Luzimar Campos

    2015-02-01

    We aimed to verify whether morphoanatomic alterations occur in response to excess iron, in roots of Setaria parviflora and Paspallum urvillei (Poaceae), and to localize the presence of the sites of iron accumulation. Plants were subjected to 0.009, 1, 2, 4, and 7 mM Fe-EDTA in nutrient solution. Both species presented iron contents in the roots above the critical toxicity level. The presence of iron plaque on roots of the two species was confirmed, and it may have reduced iron absorption by the plants. Roots from the two species showed typical visual symptoms of stress by excess iron: change in color and mucilaginous and flaccid appearance. Anatomical damage was observed in both species: aerenchyma disruption, alterations in endodermal cells, and irregular shape of both vessel and sieve tube elements. The metal was histolocalized in the cortex and in protoxylem and metaxylem cell walls in both species, which suggests a detoxification strategy for the excess iron. Phenolic compounds were not histolocalized in roots. Microscopic analyses were therefore effective in evaluating the real damage caused by excess iron.

  3. Early silicification of leaves and roots of seedlings of a panicoid grass grown under different conditions: anatomical relations and structural role.

    PubMed

    Fernández Honaine, M; Benvenuto, M L; Borrelli, N L; Osterrieth, M

    2016-11-01

    Grasses accumulate high amounts of silica deposits in tissues of all their organs, especially at mature stage. However, when and under which conditions do grass seedlings begin to produce these silica deposits and their relation with anatomy and development is little known. Here we investigated the silicification process in the first leaves and roots of seedlings of Bothriochloa laguroides grown in different substrate and Si treatments. The distribution and content of silica deposits in the organs of the seedlings grown under different conditions were analyzed through staining techniques and SEM-EDAX analyses. Leaf silica deposits were accumulated 3-4 days after the first leaf emergence, also under low silica solution (0.17-0.2 mM). Their location was mainly restricted to short costal cells from basal sectors, and scarcely in trichomes and xylem at tips. Silica content in leaves increased with the age of the seedlings. Roots presented dome-shaped silica aggregates, between 4-12 μm of diameter, located in the inner tangential wall of endodermal cells and similar to those produced at maturity. Silicification begins early in the first photosynthetic leaf, and silica distribution is opposite to that found in mature plants, mainly restricted to basal sectors, probably acting as a reinforcing element. The fast incorporation of solid amorphous silica in leaves and roots, may be useful for farm applications in species that are Si-fertilized.

  4. Phenotypic distribution models corroborate species distribution models: A shift in the role and prevalence of a dominant prairie grass in response to climate change.

    PubMed

    Smith, Adam B; Alsdurf, Jacob; Knapp, Mary; Baer, Sara G; Johnson, Loretta C

    2017-02-17

    Phenotypic distribution within species can vary widely across environmental gradients but forecasts of species' responses to environmental change often assume species respond homogenously across their ranges. We compared predictions from species and phenotype distribution models under future climate scenarios for Andropogon gerardii, a widely distributed, dominant grass found throughout the central United States. Phenotype data on aboveground biomass, height, leaf width, and chlorophyll content were obtained from 33 populations spanning a ~1000 km gradient that encompassed the majority of the species' environmental range. Species and phenotype distribution models were trained using current climate conditions and projected to future climate scenarios. We used permutation procedures to infer the most important variable for each model. The species-level response to climate was most sensitive to maximum temperature of the hottest month, but phenotypic variables were most sensitive to mean annual precipitation. The phenotype distribution models predict that A. gerardii could be largely functionally eliminated from where this species currently dominates, with biomass and height declining by up to ~60% and leaf width by ~20%. By the 2070s, the core area of highest suitability for A. gerardii is projected to shift up to ~700 km northeastward. Further, short-statured phenotypes found in the present-day short grass prairies on the western periphery of the species' range will become favored in the current core ~800 km eastward of their current location. Combined, species and phenotype models predict this currently dominant prairie grass will decline in prevalence and stature. Thus, sourcing plant material for grassland restoration and forage should consider changes in the phenotype that will be favored under future climate conditions. Phenotype distribution models account for the role of intraspecific variation in determining responses to anticipated climate change and

  5. Two grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella) insulin-like growth factor-binding protein 5 genes exhibit different yet conserved functions in development and growth.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Guo-Dong; Zhou, Chun-Xue; Lin, Si-Tong; Chen, Jie; Jiang, Xia-Yun; Zou, Shu-Ming

    2017-02-01

    Insulin-like growth factor binding-protein 5 (igfbp5), the most conserved member of the IGFBP family in vertebrates, plays a critical role in controlling cell survival, growth, differentiation, and apoptosis. Here, we characterized the expression patterns of igfbp5a and igfbp5b in grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella), which are retained in many fish species, likely from the teleost-specific whole-genome duplication. Both igfbp5a and igfbp5b encode 268- and 263-aa peptides, respectively, which share a sequence identity of 71%. Their mRNAs are not detected in zygotes. At 14hpf, grass carp igfbp5b mRNA was detected in the somites, while igfbp5a mRNA has some possible signal around the eye and head region. At 24hpf, both igfbp5a and igfbp5b mRNA appear to be limited to the presomitic mesoderm. At 36hpf, igfbp5a mRNA was only detected in the midbrain, while igfbp5b mRNA was detected in both the midbrain and notochord. Overall, both mRNAs were expressed in most adult tissues. igfbp5a and igfbp5b were significantly upregulated in the muscle and liver after injection of 10μg per kilogram body weight of zebrafish growth hormone (zGH), while their hepatic expression was downregulated by 50μg zGH. During fasting, both igfbp5a and igfbp5b mRNAs were significantly downregulated in the muscle but upregulated in the liver. Collectively, the results suggest that the two igfbp5 genes play important but different roles in the regulation of growth and development in grass carp.

  6. Quantitative Analysis of Plant Consumption and Preference by Oedaleus asiaticus (Acrididae: Oedipodinae) in Changed Plant Communities Consisting of Three Grass Species.

    PubMed

    Huang, X; McNeill, M; Zhang, Z

    2016-02-01

    We used Oedaleus asiaticus Bey-Bienko (Acrididae: Oedipodinae) as a model species to examine how plant community composition influenced grasshopper population densities and feeding habits. Our results show that in the Xinli Gol Grassland ecosystem, both plant community composition and grasshopper density vary considerably over fairly small distances, and that O. asiaticus density was directly related to the proportional abundance of specific plant species. A 60-d field-cage study showed that O. asiaticus food preference and consumption differed when the ratios of three dominant grass species (Leymus chinensis (Trin.) Tzvel, Stipa krylovii Roshev, and Cleistogenes squarrosa (Trin.) Keng) differed. The consumption of both S. krylovii and C. squarrosa increased with a corresponding increase in their respective biomass availability. Although O. asiaticus preferred S. krylovii and ate only small amounts of L. chinensis, a specific amount of L. chinensis was always consumed. Feeding of these three plant species could be divided into three levels based on diet selectivity index (SI), with O. asiaticus showing a strong preference for S. krylovii (SI > 1), over that for C. squarrosa (0.5 < SI ≤ 1), and a low acceptance for L. chinensis (0 < SI ≤ 0.5). Plant consumption and preference by O. asiaticus was in decreasing order S. krylovii>C. squarrosa>L. chinensis. This study shows that small-scale changes in plant community composition can have large affects on grasshopper diets and populations. As such, this study is useful for developing guidelines for the monitoring of O. asiaticus impacts against the background of vegetation succession and changing plant communities in response to grazing or human activities.

  7. Comparative Proteomic Analysis of the Stolon Cold Stress Response between the C4 Perennial Grass Species Zoysia japonica and Zoysia metrella

    PubMed Central

    Xuan, Jiping; Song, Yufeng; Zhang, Hongxiao; Liu, Jianxiu; Guo, Zhongren; Hua, Yuelou

    2013-01-01

    Zoysiagrass, the most cold-tolerant grass among the warm-season turfgrasses, is often used as a model species for isolating cellular components related to cold stress. To understand the proteomic responses to cold stress in zoysiagrass stolons, we extracted stolon proteins from Zoysiajaponica, cv. Meyer (cold-tolerant) and Z. metrella, cv. Diamond (cold-sensitive), which were grown with or without cold treatment. Approximately 700 proteins were resolved on 2-DE gels, and 70 protein spots were differentially accumulated. We further observed that 45 of the identified proteins participate in 10 metabolic pathways and cellular processes. A significantly greater number of proteins accumulated in the Meyer than in the Diamond and 15 increased proteins were detected only in the Meyer cultivar under cold stress. Furthermore, we propose a cold stress-responsive protein network composed of several different functional components that exhibits a balance between reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and scavenging, accelerated protein biosynthesis and proteolysis, reduced protein folding, enhanced photosynthesis, abundant energy supply and enhanced biosynthesis of carbohydrates and nucleotides. Generally, the cold-tolerant Meyer cultivar showed a greater ROS scavenging ability, more abundant energy supply and increased photosynthesis and protein synthesis than did the cold-sensitive Diamond cultivar, which may partly explain why Meyer is more cold tolerant. PMID:24086619

  8. Grass species influence on plant N uptake - Determination of atmospheric N deposition to a semi-natural peat bog site using a 15N labelling approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hurkuck, Miriam; Brümmer, Christian; Spott, Oliver; Flessa, Heinz; Kutsch, Werner L.

    2014-05-01

    Large areas of natural peat bogs in Northwestern Germany have been converted to arable land and were subjected to draining and peat cutting in the past. The few protected peatland areas remaining are affected by high nitrogen (N) deposition. Our study site - a moderately drained raised bog - is surrounded by highly fertilized agricultural land and livestock production. In this study, we used a 15N pool dilution technique called 'Integrated Total Nitrogen Input' (ITNI) to quantify annual deposition of atmospheric N into biomonitoring pots over a two-year period. Since it considers direct N uptake by plants, it was expected to result in higher N input than conventional methods for determination of N deposition (e.g. micrometeorological approaches, bulk N samplers). Using Lolium multiflorum and Eriophorum vaginatum as monitor plants and low, medium and high levels of fertilization, we aimed to simulate increasing N deposition to planted pots and to allocate airborne N after its uptake by the soil-plant system in aboveground biomass, roots and soil. Increasing N fertilization was positively correlated with biomass production of Eriophorum vaginatum, whereas atmospheric plant N uptake decreased and highest airborne N input of 899.8 ± 67.4 µg N d-1 pot-1 was found for low N fertilization. In contrast, Lolium multiflorum showed a clear dependency of N supply on plant N uptake and was highest (688.7 ± 41.4 µg N d-1 pot-1) for highly fertilized vegetation pots. Our results suggest that grass species respond differently to increasing N input. While crop grasses such as Lolium multiflorum take up N according to N availability, species adopted to nutrient-limited conditions like Eriophorum vaginatum show N saturation effects with increasing N supply. Total airborne N input ranged from about 24 to 66 kg N ha-1 yr-1 dependent on the used indicator plant and the amount of added fertilizer. Parallel determination of atmospheric N deposition using a micrometeorological approach

  9. Species differences in pharmacokinetics and drug teratogenesis.

    PubMed Central

    Nau, H

    1986-01-01

    Interspecies differences in regard to the teratogenicity of drugs can be the result of differing pharmacokinetic processes that determine the crucial concentration-time relationships in the embryo. Maternal absorption, as well as distribution, of the drugs does not usually show great species differences. The first-pass effect after oral application is often more pronounced in animals than man (e.g., valproic acid, 13-cis-retinoic acid), although in some cases the reverse was found (e.g., hydrolysis of valpromide). Existing differences can be adjusted by appropriate choice of the administration route and measurements of drug levels. Many variables determine the placental transfer of drugs: developmental stage, type of placenta, properties of the drug. Even closely related drugs (e.g., retinoids) may differ greatly in regard to placental transfer. Maternal protein binding is an important determinant of placental transfer, since only the free concentration in maternal plasma can equilibrate with the embryo during organogenesis; this parameter differs greatly across species (e.g., valproic acid: five times higher free fractions in mouse and hamster than in monkey and man). The metabolic pattern has not yet been demonstrated to be a major cause of species differences, although recent evidence on phenytoin and thalidomide support the hypothesis that some species differences can be the result of differing activation/deactivation pathways. Laboratory animals usually have a much higher rate of drug elimination than man. Drastic drug level fluctuations are therefore present during teratogenicity testing in animals, but not to the same degree in human therapy. It must, therefore, be investigated if peak concentrations (such as for valproic acid and possibly caffeine) or the area under the concentration-time curve (AUC) (such as for cyclophosphamide and possibly retinoids) correlate with the teratogenic response. Only then is a rational and scientific basis for interspecies

  10. The Physical and Biochemical Alteration of the Platte River by Phragmites australis, an Invasive Species of Wetland Grass

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mohr, R. C.; Krueger, R.; Triplett, L.; Michal, T.; Kettenring, K. M.

    2014-12-01

    Invasive species can have a profound impact on the ecosystems to which they are introduced. Beginning in 2003, the Platte River, Nebraska, USA, was invaded by an aggressive species of wetland grass, Phragmites australis. The invasion by Phragmites, in combination with river flow reductions due to agricultural irrigation, has drastically altered the character and morphology of the river. Once a braided and largely unvegetated river, the Platte had become densely colonized with vegetation by 2010. We measured some physical and biochemical characteristics of Platte River sediments to infer how that vegetation has changed the system. Specifically, we measured particle size, which is an indicator of flow velocity, and biogenic silica (BSi), which is a critical source of silicon for some aquatic organisms. Sediment was collected from areas of the riverbed that are unvegetated, and from areas that are occupied by Phragmites or native vegetation. Particle size was measured using a laser diffractometer to determine how much fine particle deposition was occurring. Biogenic silica (BSi) concentrations were measured using timed NaOH digestions and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Our results indicate that stands of Phragmites in the Platte River cause more deposition of finer silt-sized particles than other parts of the river that are unvegetated or are occupied by native vegetation. Also, Phragmites increased the sequestration of BSi in the river sediments. These changes to the Platte reverberate beyond the river itself; by sequestering silica in sediments, Phragmites could be diminishing the supply of silica to estuaries and coastal oceans. Hypothesizing that the silica content of the Platte's water had been reduced by the arrival of Phragmites, we measured dissolved (DSi) and biogenic silica (BSi) concentrations of Platte water using ICP-MS to compare to existing data from the 1990s.

  11. The importance of rare species: a trait-based assessment of rare species contributions to functional diversity and possible ecosystem function in tall-grass prairies

    PubMed Central

    Jain, Meha; Flynn, Dan FB; Prager, Case M; Hart, Georgia M; DeVan, Caroline M; Ahrestani, Farshid S; Palmer, Matthew I; Bunker, Daniel E; Knops, Johannes MH; Jouseau, Claire F; Naeem, Shahid

    2014-01-01

    The majority of species in ecosystems are rare, but the ecosystem consequences of losing rare species are poorly known. To understand how rare species may influence ecosystem functioning, this study quantifies the contribution of species based on their relative level of rarity to community functional diversity using a trait-based approach. Given that rarity can be defined in several different ways, we use four different definitions of rarity: abundance (mean and maximum), geographic range, and habitat specificity. We find that rarer species contribute to functional diversity when rarity is defined by maximum abundance, geographic range, and habitat specificity. However, rarer species are functionally redundant when rarity is defined by mean abundance. Furthermore, when using abundance-weighted analyses, we find that rare species typically contribute significantly less to functional diversity than common species due to their low abundances. These results suggest that rare species have the potential to play an important role in ecosystem functioning, either by offering novel contributions to functional diversity or via functional redundancy depending on how rare species are defined. Yet, these contributions are likely to be greatest if the abundance of rare species increases due to environmental change. We argue that given the paucity of data on rare species, understanding the contribution of rare species to community functional diversity is an important first step to understanding the potential role of rare species in ecosystem functioning. PMID:24455165

  12. The importance of rare species: a trait-based assessment of rare species contributions to functional diversity and possible ecosystem function in tall-grass prairies.

    PubMed

    Jain, Meha; Flynn, Dan Fb; Prager, Case M; Hart, Georgia M; Devan, Caroline M; Ahrestani, Farshid S; Palmer, Matthew I; Bunker, Daniel E; Knops, Johannes Mh; Jouseau, Claire F; Naeem, Shahid

    2014-01-01

    The majority of species in ecosystems are rare, but the ecosystem consequences of losing rare species are poorly known. To understand how rare species may influence ecosystem functioning, this study quantifies the contribution of species based on their relative level of rarity to community functional diversity using a trait-based approach. Given that rarity can be defined in several different ways, we use four different definitions of rarity: abundance (mean and maximum), geographic range, and habitat specificity. We find that rarer species contribute to functional diversity when rarity is defined by maximum abundance, geographic range, and habitat specificity. However, rarer species are functionally redundant when rarity is defined by mean abundance. Furthermore, when using abundance-weighted analyses, we find that rare species typically contribute significantly less to functional diversity than common species due to their low abundances. These results suggest that rare species have the potential to play an important role in ecosystem functioning, either by offering novel contributions to functional diversity or via functional redundancy depending on how rare species are defined. Yet, these contributions are likely to be greatest if the abundance of rare species increases due to environmental change. We argue that given the paucity of data on rare species, understanding the contribution of rare species to community functional diversity is an important first step to understanding the potential role of rare species in ecosystem functioning.

  13. Evaluation of methodological aspects of digestibility measurements in ponies fed different grass hays.

    PubMed

    Schaafstra, F J W C; van Doorn, D A; Schonewille, J T; Wartena, F C; Zoon, M V; Blok, M C; Hendriks, W H

    2015-10-01

    Methodological aspects of digestibility measurements of feedstuffs for equines were studied in four Welsh pony geldings consuming four grass-hay diets in a 4 × 4 Latin square design. Diets contained either a low (L), medium (M), high (H), or very high (VH) ADF content (264, 314, 375, or 396 g·kg DM, respectively). Diets were supplemented with minerals, vitamins, and TiO (3.9 g Ti·d). Daily feces excreted were collected quantitatively over 10 consecutive days and analyzed for moisture, ash, ADL, AIA, and titanium (Ti). Minimum duration of total fecal collection (TFC) required for an accurate estimation of apparent organic matter digestibility (OMD) of grass hay was assessed. Based on literature and the calculated cumulative OMD assessed over 10 consecutive days of TFC, a minimum duration of at least 5 consecutive days of fecal collection is recommended for accurate estimation of dry matter digestibility (DMD) and OMD in ponies. The 5-d collection should be preceded by a 14-d adaptation period to allow the animals to adapt to the diets and become accustomed to the collection procedures. Mean fecal recovery over 10 d across diets for ADL, AIA, and Ti was 93.1% (SE 1.9), 98.9% (SE 5.5), and 97.1% (SE 1.8), respectively. Evaluation of CV of mean fecal recoveries obtained by ADL, AIA, and Ti showed that variation in fecal Ti (6.8) and ADL excretion (7.0) was relatively low compared to AIA (12.3). In conclusion, the use of internal ADL and externally supplemented Ti are preferred as markers to be used in digestibility trials in equine fed grass-hay diets.

  14. Competition between a Lawn-Forming Cynodon dactylon and a Tufted Grass Species Hyparrhenia hirta on a South-African Dystrophic Savanna.

    PubMed

    Zwerts, J A; Prins, H H T; Bomhoff, D; Verhagen, I; Swart, J M; de Boer, W F

    2015-01-01

    South African savanna grasslands are often characterised by indigestible tufted grass species whereas lawn grasses are far more desirable in terms of herbivore sustenance. We aimed to investigate the role of nutrients and/or the disturbance (grazing, trampling) by herbivores on the formation of grazing lawns. We conducted a series of common garden experiments to test the effect of nutrients on interspecific competition between a typical lawn-forming grass species (Cynodon dactylon) and a species that is frequently found outside grazing lawns (Hyparrhenia hirta), and tested for the effect of herbivore disturbance in the form of trampling and clipping. We also performed a vegetation and herbivore survey to apply experimentally derived insights to field observations. Our results showed that interspecific competition was not affected by soil nutrient concentrations. C. dactylon did show much more resilience to disturbance than H. hirta, presumably due to the regenerative capacity of its rhizomes. Results from the field survey were in line with these findings, describing a correlation between herbivore pressure and C. dactylon abundance. We conclude that herbivore disturbance, and not soil nutrients, provide C. dactylon with a competitive advantage over H. hirta, due to vegetative regeneration from its rhizomes. This provides evidence for the importance of concentrated, high herbivore densities for the creation and maintenance of grazing lawns.

  15. Competition between a Lawn-Forming Cynodon dactylon and a Tufted Grass Species Hyparrhenia hirta on a South-African Dystrophic Savanna

    PubMed Central

    Zwerts, J. A.; Prins, H. H. T.; Bomhoff, D.; Verhagen, I.; Swart, J. M.; de Boer, W. F.

    2015-01-01

    South African savanna grasslands are often characterised by indigestible tufted grass species whereas lawn grasses are far more desirable in terms of herbivore sustenance. We aimed to investigate the role of nutrients and/or the disturbance (grazing, trampling) by herbivores on the formation of grazing lawns. We conducted a series of common garden experiments to test the effect of nutrients on interspecific competition between a typical lawn-forming grass species (Cynodon dactylon) and a species that is frequently found outside grazing lawns (Hyparrhenia hirta), and tested for the effect of herbivore disturbance in the form of trampling and clipping. We also performed a vegetation and herbivore survey to apply experimentally derived insights to field observations. Our results showed that interspecific competition was not affected by soil nutrient concentrations. C. dactylon did show much more resilience to disturbance than H. hirta, presumably due to the regenerative capacity of its rhizomes. Results from the field survey were in line with these findings, describing a correlation between herbivore pressure and C. dactylon abundance. We conclude that herbivore disturbance, and not soil nutrients, provide C. dactylon with a competitive advantage over H. hirta, due to vegetative regeneration from its rhizomes. This provides evidence for the importance of concentrated, high herbivore densities for the creation and maintenance of grazing lawns. PMID:26510157

  16. Population structure in the model grass Brachypodium distachyon is highly correlated with flowering differences across broad geographic areas

    DOE PAGES

    Tyler, Ludmila; Lee, Scott J.; Young, Nelson D.; ...

    2016-04-29

    The small, annual grass Brachypodium distachyon (L.) Beauv., a close relative of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and barley (Hordeum vulgare L.), is a powerful model system for cereals and bioenergy grasses. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of natural variation can elucidate the genetic basis of complex traits but have been so far limited in B. distachyon by the lack of large numbers of well-characterized and sufficiently diverse accessions. Here, we report on genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) of 84 B. distachyon, seven B. hybridum, and three B. stacei accessions with diverse geographic origins including Albania, Armenia, Georgia, Italy, Spain, and Turkey. Over 90,000 high-qualitymore » single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) distributed across the Bd21 reference genome were identified. Our results confirm the hybrid nature of the B. hybridum genome, which appears as a mosaic of B. distachyon-like and B. stacei-like sequences. Analysis of more than 50,000 SNPs for the B. distachyon accessions revealed three distinct, genetically defined populations. Surprisingly, these genomic profiles are associated with differences in flowering time rather than with broad geographic origin. High levels of differentiation in loci associated with floral development support the differences in flowering phenology between B. distachyon populations. Genome-wide association studies combining genotypic and phenotypic data also suggest the presence of one or more photoperiodism, circadian clock, and vernalization genes in loci associated with flowering time variation within B. distachyon populations. As a result, our characterization elucidates genes underlying population differences, expands the germplasm resources available for Brachypodium, and illustrates the feasibility and limitations of GWAS in this model grass.« less

  17. Experimental determination of vertical uprooting resistance for grass species used in flume experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Edmaier, K.; Crouzy, B.; Ennos, R.; Burlando, P.; Perona, P.

    2012-12-01

    Vegetation affects river morphodynamics by contributing to the stabilization of alluvial sediment via the root system. The survival and establishment of riparian pioneer vegetation on river bars and islands is determined by timescales of vegetation growth and flood interarrival times. Several laboratory experiments have investigated the role of vegetation in river morphodynamics but none of those has quantied the forces involved to produce uprooting of growing plants. Thus, parallel analyses on root resistance to uprooting are needed. In this work we investigate the uprooting resistance of young vegetation in laboratory experiments, where we vertically uprooted seedlings of Avena sativa and Medicago sativa. Uprooting force and work were related to the root structure (root length, number of roots, root tortuosity) and environmental conditions (grain size, saturation). We found the uprooting work of both species to follow a power law relation with the total root length which was found to be the main driving factor of the process. In addition, the number of roots was found to increase uprooting work. For similar total root length, the multi-root system of Avena sativa shows greater uprooting resistance in terms of work than the single-root system of Medicago sativa. Less sediment saturation produces higher uprooting forces and favors root breaking. Smaller sediment sizes lead to a higher uprooting resistance than bigger ones. Nevertheless, both saturation and grain size showed minor influence on the uprooting process compared to root characteristics. From measured uprooting forces of Avena sativa grown on sediment with a grain size distribution similar to that used in the flume experiments of Perona et al. (2012) we computed the ensemble probability of Avena sativa being uprooted by a particular drag force at certain growth stages, allowing us to compute a probability distribution of being uprooted in dependence of the root length and thus experimentally assess the

  18. Predicting timothy mineral concentrations, dietary cation-anion difference, and grass tetany index by near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Tremblay, G F; Nie, Z; Bélanger, G; Pelletier, S; Allard, G

    2009-09-01

    The mineral concentration of forage grasses plays a significant role in 2 metabolic disorders in dairy cattle production, namely, hypocalcemia (milk fever) and hypomagnesemia (grass tetany). Risks of occurrence of these 2 metabolic disorders can be evaluated by determining the dietary cation-anion difference (DCAD) and the grass tetany (GT) index of forages and specific rations. The objective of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of predicting timothy (Phleum pratense L.) mineral concentrations of Na, K, Ca, Mg, Cl, S, and P, the DCAD, and the GT index by near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIRS). Timothy samples (n = 1,108) were scanned using NIRS and analyzed for the concentration of 7 mineral elements. Calculations of the DCAD were made using 3 different formulas, and the GT index was also calculated. Samples were divided into calibration (n = 240) and validation (n = 868) sets. The calibration, cross-validation, and prediction for mineral concentrations, the DCAD, and the GT index were performed using modified partial least squares regression. Concentrations of K, Ca, Mg, Cl, and P were successfully predicted with coefficients of determination of prediction (R(P)2) of 0.69 to 0.92 and coefficients of variation of prediction (CV(P)) ranging from 6.6 to 11.4%. The prediction of Na and S concentrations failed, with respective R(P)2 of 0.58 and 0.53 and CV(P) of 82.2 and 12.9%. The 3 calculated DCAD and the GT index were predicted successfully, with R(P)2 >0.90 and CV(P) <20%. Our results confirm the feasibility of using NIRS to predict K, Ca, Mg, and Cl concentrations, as well as the DCAD and the GT index, in timothy.

  19. A high-throughput Agrobacterium-mediated transformation system for the grass model species Brachypodium distachyon L.

    PubMed

    Păcurar, Daniel Ioan; Thordal-Christensen, Hans; Nielsen, Klaus Kristian; Lenk, Ingo

    2008-10-01

    In the ongoing process of developing Brachypodium distachyon as a model plant for temperate cereals and forage grasses, we have developed a high-throughput Agrobacterium-mediated transformation system for a diploid accession. Embryogenic callus, derived from immature embryos of the accession BDR018, were transformed with Agrobacterium tumefaciens strain AGL1 carrying two T-DNA plasmids, pDM805 and pWBV-Ds-Ubi-bar-Ds. Transient and stable transformation efficiencies were optimised by varying the pre-cultivation period, which had a strong effect on stable transformation efficiency. On average 55% of 17-day-old calli co-inoculated with Agrobacterium regenerated stable transgenic plants. Stable transformation frequencies of up to 80%, which to our knowledge is the highest transformation efficiency reported in graminaceous species, were observed. In a study of 177 transgenic lines transformed with pDM805, all of the regenerated transgenic lines were resistant to BASTA, while the gusA gene was expressed in 88% of the transgenic lines. Southern blot analysis revealed that 35% of the tested plants had a single T-DNA integration. Segregation analysis performed on progenies of ten selected T(0) plants indicated simple Mendelian inheritance of the two transgenes. Furthermore, the presence of two selection marker genes, bar and hpt, on the T-DNA of pWBV-Ds-Ubi-bar-Ds allowed us to characterize the developed transformation protocol with respect to full-length integration rate. Even when not selected for, full-length integration occurred in 97% of the transformants when using bialaphos as selection agent.

  20. Leaf Vascular Systems in C3 and C4 Grasses: A Two-dimensional Analysis

    PubMed Central

    UENO, OSAMU; KAWANO, YUKIKO; WAKAYAMA, MASATAKA; TAKEDA, TOMOSHIRO

    2006-01-01

    • Background and Aims It is well documented that C4 grasses have a shorter distance between longitudinal veins in the leaves than C3 grasses. In grass leaves, however, veins with different structures and functions are differentiated: large longitudinal veins, small longitudinal veins and transverse veins. Thus, the densities of the three types of vein in leaves of C3 and C4 grasses were investigated from a two-dimensional perspective. • Methods Vein densities in cleared leaves of 15 C3 and 26 C4 grasses representing different taxonomic groups and photosynthetic subtypes were analysed. • Key Results The C4 grasses had denser transverse veins and denser small longitudinal veins than the C3 grasses (1·9 and 2·1 times in interveinal distance), but there was no significant difference in large longitudinal veins. The total length of the three vein types per unit area in the C4 grasses was 2·1 times that in the C3 grasses. The ratio of transverse vein length to total vein length was 14·3 % in C3 grasses and 9·9 % in C4 grasses. The C3 grasses generally had greater species variation in the vascular distances than the C4 grasses. The bambusoid and panicoid C3 grasses tended to have a denser vascular system than the festucoid C3 grasses. There were no significant differences in the interveinal distances of the three vein types between C4 subtypes, although the NADP-malic enzyme grasses tended to have a shorter distance between small longitudinal veins than the NAD-malic enzyme and phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase grasses. • Conclusions It seems that C4 grasses have structurally a superior photosynthate translocation and water distribution system by developing denser networks of small longitudinal and transverse veins, while keeping a constant density of large longitudinal veins. The bambusoid and panicoid C3 grasses have a vascular system that is more similar to that in C4 grasses than to that in the festucoid C3 grasses. PMID:16464879

  1. Seasonal and Maturity Effects on Forage Quality of Alfalfa and Grasses

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Relationships among maturity, yield, and quality have been widely documented in alfalfa and temperate grasses. Studies conducted at multiple locations determined the rate of change for different harvest periods and for different grass species. Alfalfa was harvested in the spring, early summer, lat...

  2. Mineral Status in Cattle Fed Rice Straw and Para Grass Combined with Different Levels of Protein Derived from Cassava Foliage

    PubMed Central

    Sath, K.; Pauly, T.; Holtenius, K.

    2013-01-01

    Eight male cattle of the Local Yellow breed with an average live weight of 121 kg and an average age of 18 months were used to evaluate the effects of different levels of sun-dried cassava (Manihot esculenta) foliage supplementation on mineral metabolism in growing cattle fed rice straw and para grass as basal diet. Rice straw ad libitum and para grass (Brachiaria mutica) at 1% DM of BW comprised the basal diet. The study was arranged as a 4×4 double Latin square design, with cassava foliage contributing 0, 0.8, 1.6 or 2.4 g CP/kg BW. The cassava foliage intake was lower than the planned levels. DM consumption was significantly affected by cassava foliage supplementation, with the largest intake observed at the two highest levels of cassava foliage supplementation. Rice straw intake showed the opposite pattern, with lower intake at higher cassava foliage supplementation. No refusals occurred for para grass in any of the treatments. Ca, P, Mg, K, S and Mn intake increased significantly with increasing intake of cassava foliage, but Na intake was not affected by treatment. Faecal excretion of Ca, Mg, S and Mn increased significantly with increasing cassava foliage intake. There were no differences between P, K and Na excretion in faeces. There was a significant diet effect on Mg, S and Mn digestibility. Mg and Mn digestibility increased with increasing cassava foliage supplementation, while S digestibility decreased. Ca, P, K and Na digestibility was not affected by diet. There was a significant effect of treatment on P retention, with the highest value observed for supplementation with 1.6 g CP/kg BW cassava foliage. Ca and Mg showed similar trends, with the highest retention again for supplementation with 1.6 g CP/kg BW cassava foliage. There were weak but significant positive correlations between nitrogen retention and the macro minerals Ca, P and Mg. Furthermore, retention of all these minerals was positively correlated. Mineral losses in urine were not affected

  3. Synonymous codon usage, GC(3), and evolutionary patterns across plastomes of three pooid model species: emerging grass genome models for monocots.

    PubMed

    Sablok, Gaurav; Nayak, Kinshuk Chandra; Vazquez, Franck; Tatarinova, Tatiana V

    2011-10-01

    We have analyzed factors affecting the codon usage pattern of the chloroplasts genomes of representative species of pooid grass family. Correspondence analysis of relative synonymous codon usages (RSCU) showed that genes on secondary axis were correlated with their GC(3S) values (all r > 0.3, p < 0.05), indicating mutational bias as an important selective force that shaped the variation in the codon usage among chloroplast genes. The Nc-plot showed that although a majority of the points with low-Nc values were lying below the expected curve, a few genes lied on the expected curve. Nc plot clearly showed that mutational bias plays a major role in codon biology across the monocot plastomes. The hydrophobicity and aromaticity of encoded proteins of each species were found to be other factors of codon usage variation. In the view of above light, besides natural selection, several other factors also likely to be involved in determining the selective constraints on codon bias in plastomes of pooid grass genomes. In addition, five codons (B. distachyon), seven codons (H. vulgare), and four codons (T. aestivum) were identified as optimal codons of the three grass chloroplasts. To identify genes evolving under positive selection, rates of nonsynonymous substitutions (Ka) and synonymous substitutions (Ks) were computed for all groups of orthologous gene pairs.

  4. Greenhouse gas flux under warm-season perennial C4 grasses across different soil and climate gradients on the Islands of Hawaii

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pawlowski, M. N.; Crow, S. E.; Sumiyoshi, Y.; Wells, J.; Kikkawa, H. R.

    2011-12-01

    Agricultural soils can serve as either a sink or a source for atmospheric carbon (C) and other greenhouse gases (GHG). This is particularly true for tropical soils where influences from climate and soil gradients are wide ranging. Current estimates of GHG flux from soil are often under or overestimated due to high variability in sample sites and inconsistencies in land use and vegetation type, making extrapolation to new study systems difficult. This work aimed to identify patterns of trace fluxes of carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrous oxide (N2O) and methane (CH4) across two soil types and three species of warm season perennial C4 grasses: Pennisetum purpureum (Napier grass), Panicum maximum (Guinea grass) and Saccharum officinarum (sugar cane) on the islands of Oahu and Maui in Hawaii. Multiple static vented chambers were installed into replicate plots for each species; flux measurements were made during the growth, fertilization and harvest cycles at set time intervals for one hour and analyzed by gas chromatography. Initial results from Oahu indicate no significant differences in CO2 flux between the P. maximum and P. purpureum species after fertilization or at full growth. We observed an average flux of 143 mg m-2 h-1 and 155 mg m-2 h-1 for P. maximum and P. purpureum respectively at full growth for CO2 and 1.7 μg m-2 h-1and 0.3 μg m-2 h-1 for N2O. Additionally, N2O rates sampled after a typical fertilizer application were significantly greater than at full growth (p=0.0005) with flux rates of 25.2 μg m2h-1 and 30.3 μg m2h-1 for P. maximum and P. purpureum respectively. With a global warming potential of 310 for N2O, even short-term spikes following fertilizer application can cause long lasting effects of GHG emission from agricultural soils. CH4 flux was negligible for all species on the Oahu plots during these sample periods. Globally, water limitation is a major factor influencing the potential productivity of agricultural crops and the sustainability of

  5. Ruminal fermentation characteristics and microbial nitrogen assimilation in sheep fed differently composed grass silages.

    PubMed

    Seip, Katharina; Breves, Gerhard; Isselstein, Johannes; Daş, Gürbüz; Abel, Hansjörg

    2012-06-01

    The investigation aimed at examining if the composition of grassland silage affects the microbial nitrogen assimilation in the rumen of sheep. The silages were made of vegetative summer re-growths consisting of 48% grasses, 28% legumes and 24% other forbs (GCF) or of pure grass (G). Silage GCF contained more intermediately degradable non-structural and less slowly degradable carbohydrates, more crude protein (CP), a narrower ratio between slow and very slow degradable nitrogen (N), and exhibited higher in situ degradability of organic matter and CP than Silage G. Four adult wethers equipped with rumen fistulae were used in a two factorial trial. Feed was offered either as silage alone or as a mixture of silage and barley (60:40). Microbial N was estimated using continuous intraruminal 15N infusion and measurement of 15N-enrichment in microbes isolated from rumen liquor samples. With the exception of trends for ruminal butyrate concentrations, no interactions were detected between silage and barley feeding. Sheep receiving Silage GCF exhibited larger diurnal fluctuations of ammonia, and produced more microbial N (p < 0.05) than sheep on Silage G. Feeding the silages with barley decreased ruminal pH and elevated the concentrations of butyrate (p < 0.05). The 15N incorporation into microbial N was reduced by barley feeding (p < 0.05) along with a trend to accelerated rumen fluid turnover, resulting in similar microbial N yields as found in sheep receiving silage without barley. It is concluded that the larger and better balanced amounts of intermediately degradable carbohydrate- and N-containing fractions favoured the ruminal microbial protein synthesis in sheep consuming Silage GCF instead of Silage G.

  6. Species differences in pharmacokinetics and drug teratogenesis

    SciTech Connect

    Nau, H.

    1986-12-01

    Interspecies differences in regard to the teratogenicity of drugs can be the result of differing pharmacokinetic processes that determine the crucial concentration-time relationships in the embryo. Maternal absorption, as well as distribution, of the drugs does not usually show great species differences. The first-pass effect after oral application is often more pronounced in animals than man (e.g., valproic acid, 13-cis-retinoic acid), although in some cases the reverse was found (e.g., hydrolysis of valpromide). Existing differences can be adjusted by appropriate choice of the administration route and measurements of drug levels. Many variables determine the placental transfer of drugs: developmental stage, type of placenta, properties of the drug. Even closely related drugs (e.g., retinoids) may differ greatly in regard to placental transfer. Maternal protein binding is an important determinant of placental transfer, since only the free concentration in maternal plasma can equilibrate with the embryo during organogenesis; this parameter differs greatly across species. Laboratory animals usually have a much higher rate of drug elimination than man. Drastic drug level fluctuations are therefore present during teratogenicity testing in animals, but not to do the same degree in human therapy. It must, therefore, be investigated if peak concentrations (such as for valproic acid and possibly caffeine) or the area under the concentration-time curve (AUC) (such as for cyclophosphamide and possibly retinoids) correlate with the teratogenic response. Only then is a rational and scientific basis for interspecies comparison possible. It is concluded that the prediction of the human response based on animal studies can be improved by consideration of the appropriate pharmacokinetic determinants.

  7. Establishment of non-native plant species after wildfires: Effects of fuel treatments, abiotic and biotic factors, and post-fire grass seeding treatments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hunter, M.E.; Omi, Philip N.; Martinson, E.J.; Chong, G.W.

    2006-01-01

    Establishment and spread of non-native species following wildfires can pose threats to long-term native plant recovery. Factors such as disturbance severity, resource availability, and propagule pressure may influence where non-native species establish in burned areas. In addition, pre- and post-fire management activities may influence the likelihood of non-native species establishment. In the present study we examine the establishment of non-native species after wildfires in relation to native species richness, fire severity, dominant native plant cover, resource availability, and pre- and post-fire management actions (fuel treatments and post-fire rehabilitation treatments). We used an information-theoretic approach to compare alternative hypotheses. We analysed post-fire effects at multiple scales at three wildfires in Colorado and New Mexico. For large and small spatial scales at all fires, fire severity was the most consistent predictor of non-native species cover. Non-native species cover was also correlated with high native species richness, low native dominant species cover, and high seeded grass cover. There was a positive, but non-significant, association of non-native species with fuel-treated areas at one wildfire. While there may be some potential for fuels treatments to promote non-native species establishment, wildfire and post-fire seeding treatments seem to have a larger impact on non-native species. ?? IAWF 2006.

  8. Insect herbivory on C3 and C4 grasses.

    PubMed

    Boutton, Thomas W; Cameron, Guy N; Smith, Bruce N

    1978-01-01

    This study tested the hypothesis that grasses with the C4 photosynthetic pathway are avoided as a food source by insect herbivores in natural communities. Insects were sampled from ten pairs of C3-C4 grasses and their distributions analyzed by paired comparisons tests. Results showed no statistically significant differences in herbivore utilization of C3-C4 species. However, there was a trend towards heavier utilization of C3 species when means for both plant groups were compared. In particular, Homoptera and Diptera showed heavier usage of C3 plants. Significant correlations between insect abundances and plant protein levels suggest that herbivores respond to the higher protein content of C3 grasses. δ(13)C values for six of the most common grasshopper species in the study area indicated that three species fed on C3 plants, two species fed on C4 plants, and one species consumed a mixture of C3 and C4 tissue.

  9. Adverse Events During Immunotherapy Against Grass Pollen-Induced Allergic Rhinitis - Differences Between Subcutaneous and Sublingual Treatment.

    PubMed

    Aasbjerg, Kristian; Dalhoff, Kim Peder; Backer, Vibeke

    2015-08-01

    Allergic rhinitis (AR) triggered by grass pollen is a common disease, affecting millions of people worldwide. Treatment consists of symptom-alleviating drugs, such as topical corticosteroids or antihistamines. Another option is potentially curative immunotherapy, currently available as sublingual and subcutaneous treatment. We investigated the potential differences in the prevalence and severity of adverse events related to subcutaneous and sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) against grass pollen-induced AR. A thorough literature search was performed with PubMed and EMBASE. The findings were compared with the available summaries of product characteristics (SPC) and with commercial pharmacology databases (Micromedex). The majority of available safety data originate from registered products of standardized allergens. A surprisingly large percentage of drugs, especially those used in the United States, have no systematically collected safety data. No sufficiently powered randomized trials comparing sublingual and subcutaneous immunotherapy (SCIT) were available, but general safety assessments indicate that sublingual tablet treatment is safer than subcutaneous treatment. Not all commonly used immunotherapy drugs are officially registered, and not all have systematically collected safety data. This is especially true for older drugs used in the United States. In contrast, newer drugs that have undergone extensive clinical testing have better documentation, but unified collection of safety data is still lacking. Considering the evidence available, most drugs elicit similar side effects from the same organ systems, and symptoms from the sublingual drug classes are probably less severe. However, a head-to-head comparison of safety and efficacy is lacking.

  10. Succession in inland sand ecosystems: which factors determine the occurrence of the tall grass species Calamagrostis epigejos (L.) Roth and Stipa capillata L.?

    PubMed

    Süss, K; Storm, C; Zehm, A; Schwabe, A

    2004-07-01

    In many successional series, grass species play an important role in mid-successional stages. Using calcareous sand ecosystems in the northern upper Rhine valley (Germany) as a model, we analyzed successional trajectories and the factors that determine their direction. A 5- to 7-year study of 23 permanent plots is presented. Polar ordination revealed that succession starts with pioneer communities (dominated by Corynephorus canescens and cryptogams) and can eventually lead to relatively stable Calamagrostis epigejos or Stipa capillata tall grass stands. At some sites, Cynodon dactylon can play a major role, but we focused on the two previously mentioned species. Gradient analyses of their ecological amplitudes by means of principal components and regression analysis were carried out in order to elucidate the factors determining the successional trajectories. Soil analyses of 71 plots established significantly positive linear relations for C. epigejos with respect to total nitrogen, extractable phosphate and potassium, as well as soil moisture indicator values. C. epigejos is not able to spread if the stress factors nutrient deficiency and dryness are combined. Lower tolerance limits are presented. In contrast, S. capillata shows negative relations to phosphate, declining strongly at P contents > 20 mg kg(-1). At a moisture indicator value of around 3.2 (indicating dry sites), S. capillata reaches its optimum. S. capillata is a model for a tall grass species which, even with low nutrient levels and dry soil conditions, can be successful in mid-successional phases; but it is displaced by C. epigejos if soil moisture increases or phosphate/potassium supply is higher. Regarding a general framework, the successional phases are characterized by processes such as replacement of species, facilitation, and inhibition.

  11. Profiles of Nonstructural Carbohydrates, as a Function of Species and Extraction Method, in Four Cool-Season Forage Grasses

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Nonstructural carbohydrates (NSC) of forage grasses, particularly long-chain fructans, have been proposed as the causal agent of equine laminitis. In order to evaluate the correlation between NSC and laminitis, NSC must be quantified in the forages being fed to and grazed by horses. The goal of th...

  12. The effect of ensiling and haymaking on the concentrations of steroidal saponin in two Brachiaria grass species

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Brachiaria (signalgrass) is now the most widely used tropical grass genus in Central and South America. However, Brachiaria spp. can cause hepatogenous photosensitization in livestock. Steroidal saponins, specifically protodioscin, present in Brachiaria spp. may be responsible for liver injury and s...

  13. Molecular aspects of flower development in grasses.

    PubMed

    Ciaffi, Mario; Paolacci, Anna Rita; Tanzarella, Oronzo Antonio; Porceddu, Enrico

    2011-12-01

    The grass family (Poaceae) of the monocotyledons includes about 10,000 species and represents one of the most important taxa among angiosperms. Their flower morphology is remarkably different from those of other monocotyledons and higher eudicots. The peculiar floral structure of grasses is the floret, which contains carpels and stamens, like eudicots, but lacks petals and sepals. The reproductive organs are surrounded by two lodicules, which correspond to eudicot petals, and by a palea and lemma, whose correspondence to eudicot organs remains controversial. The molecular and genetic analysis of floral morphogenesis and organ specification, primarily performed in eudicot model species, led to the ABCDE model of flower development. Several genes required for floral development in grasses correspond to class A, B, C, D, and E genes of eudicots, but others appear to have unique and diversified functions. In this paper, we outline the present knowledge on the evolution and diversification of grass genes encoding MIKC-type MADS-box transcription factors, based on information derived from studies in rice, maize, and wheat. Moreover, we review recent advances in studying the genes involved in the control of flower development and the extent of structural and functional conservation of these genes between grasses and eudicots.

  14. Seasonal stress physiology and body condition differ among co-occurring tropical finch species.

    PubMed

    Maute, Kimberly L; French, Kristine; Legge, Sarah; Astheimer, Lee

    2013-12-01

    Seasonal changes in avian hormonal stress responses and condition are well known for common species found at temperate and arctic latitudes, but declining and tropical species are poorly studied. This study compares stress and condition measures of co-occurring declining and non-declining tropical grass finch species in Australia. We monitored declining Gouldian finches (Erythrura gouldiae) and non-declining long-tailed and masked finches (Poepila acuticauda and P. personata) during two seasons that are potentially stressful: peak breeding (early dry season when food is plentiful) and moult (late dry to early wet season when food may be scarce). We measured body condition (muscle and fat), haematocrit, and stress response to capture using plasma corticosterone and binding globulin concentrations. All species had higher muscle and lower fat indices during breeding than moult. Haematocrit did not consistently differ between seasons. Long-tailed finches had higher stress responses during breeding than moult, similar to other passerines studied. Masked finches showed no seasonal changes in stress response. Gouldian finches had stress response patterns opposite to those of long-tailed finches, with higher stress responses during moult. However, seasonal trends in Gouldian and long-tailed finch stress responses sometimes differed between years or sites. The differences in stress response patterns between species suggest that the declining Gouldian finch is more sensitive to recent environmental changes which are thought to further reduce grass seed food resources during the late dry to early wet season. Retention of stress responsiveness during a protracted moult could increase the survival potential of Gouldian finches. This study highlights the utility of stress and condition indices to determine the sensitivity of co-occurring species to environmental conditions.

  15. Stripe smuts of grasses: one lineage or high levels of polyphyly?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Stripe smut of grasses, Ustilago striiformis s.l., is caused by a complex of smut fungi widely distributed over temperate and subtropical regions. The disease results in the shredding and death of leaf tissue following the rupture of elongated sori. Nearly 100 different grass species in more than 30...

  16. Wounding systemically activates a mitogen-activated protein kinase in forage and turf grasses

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Forage and turf grasses are continually cut and grazed by livestock, however very little is known concerning the perception or molecular responses to wounding. Mechanical wounding rapidly activated a 46 kDa and a 44 kDa mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) in six different grass species. In the m...

  17. Establishing native warm season grasses on Eastern Kentucky strip mines

    SciTech Connect

    Barnes, T.G.; Larkin, J.L.; Arnett, M.B.

    1998-12-31

    The authors evaluated various methods of establishing native warm season grasses on two reclaimed Eastern Kentucky mines from 1994--1997. Most current reclamation practices incorporate the use of tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea) and other cool-season grasses/legumes that provide little wildlife habitats. The use of native warm season grasses will likely improve wildlife habitat on reclaimed strip mines. Objectives of this study were to compare the feasibility of establishing these grasses during fall, winter, or spring using a native rangeland seeder or hydroseeding; a fertilizer application at planting; or cold-moist stratification prior to hydroseeding. Vegetative cover, bare ground, species richness, and biomass samples were collected at the end of each growing season. Native warm season grass plantings had higher plant species richness compared to cool-season reclamation mixtures. There was no difference in establishment of native warm season grasses as a result of fertilization or seeding technique. Winter native warm season grass plantings were failures and cold-moist stratification did not increase plant establishment during any season. As a result of a drought during 1997, both cool-season and warm season plantings were failures. Cool-season reclamation mixtures had significantly more vegetative cover and biomass compared to native warm season grass mixtures and the native warm season grass plantings did not meet vegetative cover requirements for bond release. Forbs and legumes that established well included pale purple coneflower (Echinacea pallida), lance-leaf coreopsis (Coreopsis lanceolata), round-headed lespedeza (Lespedeza capitata), partridge pea (Cassia fasiculata), black-eyed susan (Rudbeckia hirta), butterfly milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa), and bergamot (Monarda fistulosa). Results from two demonstration plots next to research plots indicate it is possible to establish native warm season grasses on Eastern Kentucky strip mines for wildlife habitat.

  18. Mechanisms of pathogenesis: differences amongst Leishmania species.

    PubMed

    Colmenares, Maria; Kar, Sujata; Goldsmith-Pestana, Karen; McMahon-Pratt, Diane

    2002-04-01

    One of the features of the genus Leishmania is the diversity of tropism/disease resulting from infection. With notable exceptions, the form (visceral, cutaneous, diffuse cutaneous, mucocutaneous) and severity of disease is a function of the infecting Leishmania species together with host genetics and consequent inflammatory and immune responses. It has become evident from genetic and immunological studies using the murine model that the various members of the genus Leishmania differ in aspects of their 'approach' to the host immune system. We are just beginning to appreciate the complexities of these interactions, which have import for the development of a vaccine against leishmaniasis. In this paper, what is currently understood concerning the mechanisms of leishmanial pathogenesis (based upon studies employing the murine model) is briefly summarized.

  19. Divergent evolutionary pattern of starch biosynthetic pathway genes in grasses and dicots.

    PubMed

    Li, Chun; Li, Qi-Gang; Dunwell, Jim M; Zhang, Yuan-Ming

    2012-10-01

    Starch is the most widespread and abundant storage carbohydrate in crops and its production is critical to both crop yield and quality. In regard to the starch content in the seeds of crop plants, there is a distinct difference between grasses (Poaceae) and dicots. However, few studies have described the evolutionary pattern of genes in the starch biosynthetic pathway in these two groups of plants. In this study, therefore, an attempt was made to compare evolutionary rate, gene duplication, and selective pattern of the key genes involved in this pathway between the two groups, using five grasses and five dicots as materials. The results showed 1) distinct differences in patterns of gene duplication and loss between grasses and dicots; duplication in grasses mainly occurred before the divergence of grasses, whereas duplication mostly occurred in individual species within the dicots; there is less gene loss in grasses than in dicots, 2) a considerably higher evolutionary rate in grasses than in dicots in most gene families analyzed, and 3) evidence of a different selective pattern between grasses and dicots; positive selection may have occurred asymmetrically in grasses in some gene families, for example, ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase small subunit. Therefore, we deduced that gene duplication contributes to, and a higher evolutionary rate is associated with, the higher starch content in grasses. In addition, two novel aspects of the evolution of the starch biosynthetic pathway were observed.

  20. Application of image analysis for grass tillering determination.

    PubMed

    Głąb, Tomasz; Sadowska, Urszula; Żabiński, Andrzej

    2015-11-01

    Tillering is defined as the process of above-ground shoot production by a single plant. The number of grass tillers is one of the most important parameters in ecology and breeding studies. The number of tillers is usually determined by manually counting the separated shoots from a single plant. Unfortunately, this method is too time-consuming. In this study, a new method for counting grass tillers based on image analysis is presented. The usefulness of the method was evaluated for five grass species, Phleum pratense, Lolium perenne, Dactylis glomerata, Festuca pratensis and Bromus unioloides. The grass bunches were prepared for analysis by cutting and tip painting. The images obtained were analysed using an automatic procedure with separation of shoots and other objects based on morphological parameters. It was found that image analysis allows for very quick and accurate counting of grass tillers. However, the set of morphological parameters for object recognition must be selected individually for different grass species. This method can be recommended as a replacement for the traditional, time-consuming method in grass breeding.

  1. Behavioral analysis of Microphallus turgidus cercariae in relation to microhabitat of two host grass shrimp species (Palaemonetes spp.).

    PubMed

    O'Leary, Patricia A; Pung, Oscar J

    2017-01-24

    The behavior of Microphallus turgidus cercariae was examined and compared to microhabitat selection of the second intermediate hosts of the parasite, Palaemonetes spp. grass shrimp. Cercariae were tested for photokinetic and geotactic responses, and a behavioral ethogram was established for cercariae in control and grass shrimp-conditioned brackish water. Photokinesis trials were performed using a half-covered Petri dish, and geotaxis trials used a graduated cylinder. Both photokinesis and geotaxis trials were performed in lighted and unlighted conditions. In 9 of 10 photokinesis experiments, over half of the cercariae swam horizontally under the covered half of a Petri dish in both the lighted and the unlighted trials. However, movement of the cercariae to the covered half of the dish was highest (81.4%) when the parasites were exposed to light. In the geotaxis study, most cercariae were found in the bottom third of a graduated cylinder water column in both the lighted and unlighted trials. The most frequently observed activity of individual cercariae in a lighted Petri dish was swimming on the bottom of the dish. Activity patterns of the cercariae were not affected by shrimp-conditioned water. Movement of the cercariae away from light into dark, active swimming at or near the bottom of the water column, and a lack of response to host odors suggest that the cercariae utilize search patterns that place the parasite in the preferred microhabitat of the principle second intermediate host, the grass shrimp P. pugio.

  2. Cured products from different animal species.

    PubMed

    Paleari, Maria Antonietta; Moretti, Vittorio Maria; Beretta, Giuseppe; Mentasti, Tiziana; Bersani, Carla

    2003-04-01

    An assessment was made of the proximate composition, pH and a(W) of raw beef, horsemeat and the meat of wild boar, deer and goat. The same assessment, together with one of fatty acids, cholesterol and free amino acids, was made of the same meats as cured products. The raw meat of the different animal species was found to have a reduced lipid, but high protein content. The cured meat of the horse and wild boar had low saturated fatty acid levels; the wild boar, goatmeat and beef were quantitatively similar with regard to monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) while in the horsemeat the polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) were more raised, at an intermediate level in deer and extremely reduced in the beef final product. The cholesterol content in the cured product was markedly reduced in the horsemeat. The free amino acids content in the cured deer, wild boar and goat meat was more elevated, than in beef and horse cured meat.

  3. Grass allergy

    MedlinePlus

    ... itself may not be harmful, fertilizers, insecticides , and herbicides applied to the grass can be poisonous. ... of any sort such as fertilizer, insecticide, or herbicide, find out the product name and ingredients.

  4. Silicified structures affect leaf optical properties in grasses and sedge.

    PubMed

    Klančnik, Katja; Vogel-Mikuš, Katarina; Gaberščik, Alenka

    2014-01-05

    Silicon (Si) is an important structural element that can accumulate at high concentrations in grasses and sedges, and therefore Si structures might affect the optical properties of the leaves. To better understand the role of Si in light/leaf interactions in species rich in Si, we examined the total Si and silica phytoliths, the biochemical and morphological leaf properties, and the reflectance and transmittance spectra in grasses (Phragmites australis, Phalaris arundinacea, Molinia caerulea, Deschampsia cespitosa) and sedge (Carex elata). We show that these grasses contain >1% phytoliths per dry mass, while the sedge contains only 0.4%. The data reveal the variable leaf structures of these species and significant differences in the amount of Si and phytoliths between developing and mature leaves within each species and between grasses and sedge, with little difference seen among the grass species. Redundancy analysis shows the significant roles of the different near-surface silicified leaf structures (e.g., prickle hairs, cuticle, epidermis), phytoliths and Si contents, which explain the majority of the reflectance and transmittance spectra variability. The amount of explained variance differs between mature and developing leaves. The transmittance spectra are also significantly affected by chlorophyll a content and calcium levels in the leaf tissue.

  5. A high loading overland flow system: Impacts on soil characteristics, grass constituents, yields and nutrient removal.

    PubMed

    Wen, C G; Chen, T H; Hsu, F H; Lu, C H; Lin, J B; Chang, C H; Chang, S P; Lee, C S

    2007-04-01

    The objectives of this paper are to determine effects of different grass species and their harvests on pollutant removal, elucidate impacts on soil characteristics and grass constituents, observe grass yield and quantify nutrient uptake by vegetation in an overland flow system (OLFS). Polluted creek water was applied to eight channels in the OLFS, which were planted with Paragrass, Nilegrass, Cattail, and Vetiver, with each two channels being randomly planted with a given grass species. The grass in one channel was harvested while that in the other channel was not. At a high rate of 27.8 m d(-1) hydraulic loading, the removal efficiencies of conventional pollutants such as BOD, COD, suspended solids (SS), and total coliforms in wastewater are not affected by the type of the grasses species, but those of nitrogen and phosphorus are affected by different species. Overall average removal efficiencies of BOD, COD, SS, ammonia, total nitrogen, total phosphorus and total coliforms through the OLFS are 42%, 48%, 78%, 47%, 40%, 33% and 89%, respectively. The concentration of nitrate, however, increases due to nitrification. Soil characteristics in OLFS have been changed significantly; specific conductivity, organic matter, exchangeable magnesium, extractable copper and zinc in soils all increase with time while pHs decrease. During the winter season, there is a significant accumulation of nitrate in grass with the subsequent reduction during the active growing season (Spring). The contents of nitrate and phosphorus in grass tissue are higher than those of grass in general pastureland, probably due to nutrient luxury uptake by grass. The overall grass yield, growth rate and nutrient uptake are quantified and implication of such high rate OLFS discussed.

  6. Does plant species co-occurrence influence soil mite diversity?

    PubMed

    St John, Mark G; Wall, Diana H; Behan-Pelletier, Valerie M

    2006-03-01

    Few studies have considered whether plant taxa can be used as predictors of belowground faunal diversity in natural ecosystems. We examined soil mite (Acari) diversity beneath six grass species at the Konza Prairie Biological Station, Kansas, USA. We tested the hypotheses that soil mite species richness, abundance, and taxonomic diversity are greater (1) beneath grasses in dicultures (different species) compared to monocultures (same species), (2) beneath grasses of higher resource quality (lower C:N) compared to lower resource quality, and (3) beneath heterogeneous mixes of grasses (C3 and C4 grasses growing together) compared to homogeneous mixes (C3 or C4 grasses) using natural occurrences of plant species as treatments. This study is the first to examine the interaction between above- and belowground diversity in a natural setting with species-level resolution of a hyper-diverse taxon. Our results indicate that grasses in diculture supported a more species and phylogenetically rich soil mite fauna than was observed for monocultures and that this relationship was significant at depth but not in the upper soil horizon. We noted that mite species richness was not linearly related to grass species richness, which suggests that simple extrapolations of soil faunal diversity based on plant species inventories may underestimate the richness of associated soil mite communities. The distribution of mite size classes in dicultures was considerably different than those for monocultures. There was no difference in soil mite richness between grass combinations of differing resource quality, or resource heterogeneity.

  7. The carbon fertilization effect over a century of anthropogenic CO2 emissions: higher intracellular CO2 and more drought resistance among invasive and native grass species contrasts with increased water use efficiency for woody plants in the US Southwest.

    PubMed

    Drake, Brandon L; Hanson, David T; Lowrey, Timothy K; Sharp, Zachary D

    2017-02-01

    From 1890 to 2015, anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions have increased atmospheric CO2 concentrations from 270 to 400 mol mol(-1) . The effect of increased carbon emissions on plant growth and reproduction has been the subject of study of free-air CO2 enrichment (FACE) experiments. These experiments have found (i) an increase in internal CO2 partial pressure (ci ) alongside acclimation of photosynthetic capacity, (ii) variable decreases in stomatal conductance, and (iii) that increases in yield do not increase commensurate with CO2 concentrations. Our data set, which includes a 115-year-long selection of grasses collected in New Mexico since 1892, is consistent with an increased ci as a response to historical CO2 increase in the atmosphere, with invasive species showing the largest increase. Comparison with Palmer Drought Sensitivity Index (PDSI) for New Mexico indicates a moderate correlation with Δ(13) C (r(2)  = 0.32, P < 0.01) before 1950, with no correlation (r(2)  = 0.00, P = 0.91) after 1950. These results indicate that increased ci may have conferred some drought resistance to these grasses through increased availability of CO2 in the event of reduced stomatal conductance in response to short-term water shortage. Comparison with C3 trees from arid environments (Pinus longaeva and Pinus edulis in the US Southwest) as well as from wetter environments (Bromus and Poa grasses in New Mexico) suggests differing responses based on environment; arid environments in New Mexico see increased intrinsic water use efficiency (WUE) in response to historic elevated CO2 while wetter environments see increased ci . This study suggests that (i) the observed increases in ci in FACE experiments are consistent with historical CO2 increases and (ii) the CO2 increase influences plant sensitivity to water shortage, through either increased WUE or ci in arid and wet environments, respectively.

  8. Species interactions differ in their genetic robustness

    DOE PAGES

    Chubiz, Lon M.; Granger, Brian R.; Segre, Daniel; ...

    2015-04-14

    Conflict and cooperation between bacterial species drive the composition and function of microbial communities. Stability of these emergent properties will be influenced by the degree to which species' interactions are robust to genetic perturbations. We use genome-scale metabolic modeling to computationally analyze the impact of genetic changes when Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica compete, or cooperate. We systematically knocked out in silico each reaction in the metabolic network of E. coli to construct all 2583 mutant stoichiometric models. Then, using a recently developed multi-scale computational framework, we simulated the growth of each mutant E. coli in the presence of S.more » enterica. The type of interaction between species was set by modulating the initial metabolites present in the environment. We found that the community was most robust to genetic perturbations when the organisms were cooperating. Species ratios were more stable in the cooperative community, and community biomass had equal variance in the two contexts. Additionally, the number of mutations that have a substantial effect is lower when the species cooperate than when they are competing. In contrast, when mutations were added to the S. enterica network the system was more robust when the bacteria were competing. These results highlight the utility of connecting metabolic mechanisms and studies of ecological stability. Cooperation and conflict alter the connection between genetic changes and properties that emerge at higher levels of biological organization.« less

  9. Variation of soil and plant characteristics among old world bluestem species

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Old world bluestems (Bothriochloa spp.) have been successfully introduced as grasses for livestock forage in the semiarid Texas High Plains. Questions remain, however, on effects of these grasses on soil resources. We tested the hypothesis that differences in grass species produce differences in so...

  10. Urban Rights-of-Way as Reservoirs for Tall-Grass Prairie Plants and Butterflies.

    PubMed

    Leston, Lionel; Koper, Nicola

    2016-03-01

    Urban rights-of-way may be potential reservoirs of tall-grass prairie plants and butterflies. To determine if this is true, in 2007-2008, we conducted vegetation surveys of species richness and cover, and butterfly surveys of species richness and abundance, along 52 transmission lines and four remnant prairies in Winnipeg, Manitoba. We detected many prairie plants and butterflies within transmission lines. Some unmowed and infrequently managed transmission lines had native plant species richness and total percent cover of native plants comparable to that of similar-sized remnant tall-grass prairies in the region. Although we did not find significant differences in overall native butterfly numbers or species richness between rights-of-way and remnant prairies, we found lower numbers of some prairie butterflies along frequently mowed rights-of-way than within remnant tall-grass prairies. We also observed higher butterfly species richness along sites with more native plant species. By reducing mowing and spraying and reintroducing tall-grass prairie plants, urban rights-of-way could serve as extensive reservoirs for tall-grass prairie plants and butterflies in urban landscapes. Eventually, managing urban rights-of-way as reservoirs for tall-grass prairie plants and animals could contribute to the restoration of tall-grass prairie in the North American Midwest.

  11. Urban Rights-of-Way as Reservoirs for Tall-Grass Prairie Plants and Butterflies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leston, Lionel; Koper, Nicola

    2016-03-01

    Urban rights-of-way may be potential reservoirs of tall-grass prairie plants and butterflies. To determine if this is true, in 2007-2008, we conducted vegetation surveys of species richness and cover, and butterfly surveys of species richness and abundance, along 52 transmission lines and four remnant prairies in Winnipeg, Manitoba. We detected many prairie plants and butterflies within transmission lines. Some unmowed and infrequently managed transmission lines had native plant species richness and total percent cover of native plants comparable to that of similar-sized remnant tall-grass prairies in the region. Although we did not find significant differences in overall native butterfly numbers or species richness between rights-of-way and remnant prairies, we found lower numbers of some prairie butterflies along frequently mowed rights-of-way than within remnant tall-grass prairies. We also observed higher butterfly species richness along sites with more native plant species. By reducing mowing and spraying and reintroducing tall-grass prairie plants, urban rights-of-way could serve as extensive reservoirs for tall-grass prairie plants and butterflies in urban landscapes. Eventually, managing urban rights-of-way as reservoirs for tall-grass prairie plants and animals could contribute to the restoration of tall-grass prairie in the North American Midwest.

  12. Upper airway resistance: species-related differences.

    PubMed

    Kirschvink, N; Reinhold, P

    2010-07-01

    In veterinary medicine, upper airway resistance deserves a particular attention in equines athletes and brachycephalic dogs. Due to the anatomical peculiarities of the upper airway and/or pathological conditions, significant alterations of performance and/or well being might occur in horses and dogs. Physiological specificities and pathological changes of the lower respiratory tract deserve a major attention in other species.

  13. Species interactions differ in their genetic robustness

    SciTech Connect

    Chubiz, Lon M.; Granger, Brian R.; Segre, Daniel; Harcombe, William R.

    2015-04-14

    Conflict and cooperation between bacterial species drive the composition and function of microbial communities. Stability of these emergent properties will be influenced by the degree to which species' interactions are robust to genetic perturbations. We use genome-scale metabolic modeling to computationally analyze the impact of genetic changes when Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica compete, or cooperate. We systematically knocked out in silico each reaction in the metabolic network of E. coli to construct all 2583 mutant stoichiometric models. Then, using a recently developed multi-scale computational framework, we simulated the growth of each mutant E. coli in the presence of S. enterica. The type of interaction between species was set by modulating the initial metabolites present in the environment. We found that the community was most robust to genetic perturbations when the organisms were cooperating. Species ratios were more stable in the cooperative community, and community biomass had equal variance in the two contexts. Additionally, the number of mutations that have a substantial effect is lower when the species cooperate than when they are competing. In contrast, when mutations were added to the S. enterica network the system was more robust when the bacteria were competing. These results highlight the utility of connecting metabolic mechanisms and studies of ecological stability. Cooperation and conflict alter the connection between genetic changes and properties that emerge at higher levels of biological organization.

  14. Feeding behavior, ruminal fermentation, and performance of pregnant beef cows differing in phenotypic residual feed intake offered grass silage.

    PubMed

    Fitzsimons, C; Kenny, D A; Fahey, A G; McGee, M

    2014-05-01

    -RFI cows had more and a longer total duration of nonfeeding events (P < 0.001) than low-RFI cows. This study showed that compared to cows with high RFI, those with low RFI consumed less feed for similar levels of productivity, spent less time engaged in feeding-behavior-related activities, and differed in ruminal fermentation parameters. Feeding events are a significant (17%) contributory factor to variation in RFI in pregnant beef cows offered grass silage.

  15. NADPH oxidase activity in allergenic pollen grains of different plant species.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiao-Ling; Takai, Toshiro; Kamijo, Seiji; Gunawan, Hendra; Ogawa, Hideoki; Okumura, Ko

    2009-09-25

    Pollen is an important trigger of allergic diseases. Recent studies have shown that ragweed pollen NAD(P)H oxidase generates reactive oxygen species (ROS) and plays a prominent role in the pathogenesis of allergies in mouse models. Here, we demonstrated that allergenic pollen grains showed NAD(P)H oxidase activity that differed in intensity and localization according to the plant families. The activity occurred at the surface or in the cytoplasm in pollen of grasses, birch, and ragweed; in subpollen particles released from ragweed pollen; and at the inner surface or in the cytoplasm but not on the outer wall, which was sloughed off after the rupture, of pollen of Japanese cedar and Japanese cypress. The activity was mostly concentrated within insoluble fractions, suggesting that it facilitates the exposure of tissues to ROS generated by this enzyme. The extent of exposure to pollen-generated ROS could differ among the plant families.

  16. Underutilized Grasses.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Perennial warm-season grasses have been recognized for having several properties, such as high rates of net photosynthesis, energy and labor savings, and reduced soil and nutrient losses that make them better suited for biofuel production than many annual crops. Prairie cordgrass (Spartina pectinat...

  17. Multiple grass mixes as opposed to single grasses for allergen immunotherapy in allergic rhinitis.

    PubMed

    Gangl, K; Niederberger, V; Valenta, R

    2013-11-01

    Grass pollen allergy affects approximately 40% of allergic patients. Subcutaneous allergen immunotherapy (SCIT) is the only allergen-specific and disease-modifying treatment available. Currently available therapeutic vaccines for the treatment of grass pollen allergy are based on natural grass pollen extracts which are either made from pollen of one cross-reactive grass species or from several related grass species. Clinical studies have shown that SCIT performed with timothy grass pollen extract is effective for the treatment of grass pollen allergy. Moreover, it has been demonstrated that recombinant timothy grass pollen allergens contain the majority of relevant epitopes and can be used for SCIT in clinical trials. However, recent in vitro studies have suggested that mixes consisting of allergen extracts from several related grass species may have advantages for SCIT over single allergen extracts. Here, we review current knowledge regarding the disease-relevant allergens in grass pollen allergy, available clinical studies comparing SCIT with allergen extracts from timothy grass or from mixes of several related grass species of the Pooideae subfamily, in vitro cross-reactivity studies performed with natural allergen extracts and recombinant allergens and SCIT studies performed with recombinant timothy grass pollen allergens. In vitro and clinical studies performed with natural allergen extracts reveal no relevant advantages of using multiple grass mixes as opposed to single grass pollen extracts. Several studies analysing the molecular composition of natural allergen extracts and the molecular profile of patients' immune responses after SCIT with allergen extracts indicate that the major limitation for the production of a high quality grass pollen vaccine resides in intrinsic features of natural allergen extracts which can only be overcome with recombinant allergen-based technologies.

  18. Ornamental Landscape Grasses. Slide Script.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Still, Steven M.; Adams, Denise W.

    This slide script to accompany the slide series, Ornamental Landscape Grasses, contains photographs of the 167 slides and accompanying narrative text intended for use in the study and identification of commercially important ornamental grasses and grasslike plants. Narrative text is provided for slides of 62 different perennial and annual species…

  19. Grass meristems II: inflorescence architecture, flower development and meristem fate.

    PubMed

    Tanaka, Wakana; Pautler, Michael; Jackson, David; Hirano, Hiro-Yuki

    2013-03-01

    Plant development depends on the activity of various types of meristems that generate organs such as leaves and floral organs throughout the life cycle. Grass species produce complex inflorescences and unique flowers. The grass inflorescence is composed of different types of branches, including a specialized branch called a spikelet. The spikelet is a special unit of the inflorescence and forms one to several florets, depending on the species. In the floret, floral organs such as perianth organs, carpels and stamens are formed. In Arabidopsis, because the inflorescence meristem (IM) forms the floral meristems (FMs) directly on its flanks, the change of meristem fate is relatively simple. In contrast, in grasses, different types of meristem, such as the IM, the branch meristem (BM), the spikelet pair meristem (SPM) in some grasses, the spikelet meristem (SM) and the FM, are responsible for the elaboration of their complex inflorescences and flowers. Therefore, sequential changes of meristem fate are required, and a number of genes involved in the specification of the fate of each meristem have been identified. In this review, we focus on the following issues concerning the fate of the reproductive meristems in two grass species, maize (Zea mays) and rice (Oryza sativa): (i) meristem regulation during inflorescence development; (ii) specification and fate change of the BM and the SM; (iii) determinacy of the FM; and (iv) communication between the meristem and lateral organs.

  20. Phytotoxic Activity of Ocimum tenuiflorum Extracts on Germination and Seedling Growth of Different Plant Species

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Phytotoxic activity of Ocimum tenuiflorum (Lamiaceae) plant extracts was investigated against the germination and seedling growth of cress (Lepidium sativum), lettuce (Lactuca sativa), alfalfa (Medicago sativa), Italian ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum), barnyard grass (Echinochloa crus-galli), and timothy (Phleum pratense) at four different concentrations. The plant extracts at concentrations greater than 30 mg dry weight equivalent extract mL−1 reduced significantly the total germination percent (GP), germination index (GI), germination energy (GE), speed of emergence (SE), seedling vigour index (SVI), and coefficient of the rate of germination (CRG) of all test species except barnyard grass and GP of lettuce. In contrast, time required for 50% germination (T50) and mean germination time (MGT) were increased at the same or higher than this concentration. The increasing trend of T50 and MGT and the decreasing trend of other indices indicated a significant inhibition or delay of germination of the test species by O. tenuiflorum plant extracts and vice versa. In addition, the shoot and root growth of all test species were significantly inhibited by the extracts at concentrations greater than 10 mg dry weight equivalent extract mL−1. The I50 values for shoot and root growth were ranged from 26 to 104 mg dry weight equivalent extract mL−1. Seedling growth was more sensitive to the extracts compared to seed germination. Results of this study suggest that O. tenuiflorum plant extracts have phytotoxic properties and thus contain phytotoxic substances. Isolation and characterization of those substances from this plant may act as a tool for new natural, biodegradable herbicide development to control weeds. PMID:25032234

  1. Phytotoxic activity of Ocimum tenuiflorum extracts on germination and seedling growth of different plant species.

    PubMed

    Islam, A K M Mominul; Kato-Noguchi, Hisashi

    2014-01-01

    Phytotoxic activity of Ocimum tenuiflorum (Lamiaceae) plant extracts was investigated against the germination and seedling growth of cress (Lepidium sativum), lettuce (Lactuca sativa), alfalfa (Medicago sativa), Italian ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum), barnyard grass (Echinochloa crus-galli), and timothy (Phleum pratense) at four different concentrations. The plant extracts at concentrations greater than 30 mg dry weight equivalent extract mL(-1) reduced significantly the total germination percent (GP), germination index (GI), germination energy (GE), speed of emergence (SE), seedling vigour index (SVI), and coefficient of the rate of germination (CRG) of all test species except barnyard grass and GP of lettuce. In contrast, time required for 50% germination (T 50) and mean germination time (MGT) were increased at the same or higher than this concentration. The increasing trend of T 50 and MGT and the decreasing trend of other indices indicated a significant inhibition or delay of germination of the test species by O. tenuiflorum plant extracts and vice versa. In addition, the shoot and root growth of all test species were significantly inhibited by the extracts at concentrations greater than 10 mg dry weight equivalent extract mL(-1). The I 50 values for shoot and root growth were ranged from 26 to 104 mg dry weight equivalent extract mL(-1). Seedling growth was more sensitive to the extracts compared to seed germination. Results of this study suggest that O. tenuiflorum plant extracts have phytotoxic properties and thus contain phytotoxic substances. Isolation and characterization of those substances from this plant may act as a tool for new natural, biodegradable herbicide development to control weeds.

  2. Do shallow soil, low water availability, or their combination increase the competition between grasses with different root systems in karst soil?

    PubMed

    Zhao, Yajie; Li, Zhou; Zhang, Jing; Song, Haiyan; Liang, Qianhui; Tao, Jianping; Cornelissen, Johannes H C; Liu, Jinchun

    2017-04-01

    Uneven soil depth and low water availability are the key limiting factors to vegetation restoration and reconstruction in limestone soils such as in vulnerable karst regions. Belowground competition will possibly increase under limited soil resources. Here, we investigate whether low resource availability (including shallow soil, low water availability, and shallow soil and low water availability combined) stimulates the competition between grasses with different root systems in karst soil, by assessing their growth response, biomass allocation, and morphological plasticity. In a full three-way factorial blocked design of soil depth by water availability by neighbor identity, we grew Festuca arundinacea (deep-rooted) and Lolium perenne (shallow-rooted) under normal versus shallow soil depth, high versus low water availability, and in monoculture (conspecific neighbor) versus mixture (neighbor of the other species). The key results were as follows: (1) total biomass and aboveground biomass in either of the species decreased with reduction of resources but were not affected by planting patterns (monoculture or mixture) even at low resource levels. (2) For F. arundinacea, root biomass, root mass fraction, total root length, and root volume were higher in mixture than in monoculture at high resource level (consistent with resource use complementarity), but lower in mixture than in monoculture at low resource levels (consistent with interspecific competition). In contrast for L. perenne, either at high or low resource level, these root traits had mostly similar values at both planting patterns. These results suggest that deep-rooted and shallow-rooted plant species can coexist in karst regions under current climatic regimes. Declining resources, due to shallow soil, a decrease in precipitation, or combined shallow soil and karst drought, increased the root competition between plants of deep-rooted and shallow-rooted species. The root systems of deep-rooted plants may be

  3. Spectral resampling based on user-defined inter-band correlation filter: C3 and C4 grass species classification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adjorlolo, Clement; Mutanga, Onisimo; Cho, Moses A.; Ismail, Riyad

    2013-04-01

    In this paper, a user-defined inter-band correlation filter function was used to resample hyperspectral data and thereby mitigate the problem of multicollinearity in classification analysis. The proposed resampling technique convolves the spectral dependence information between a chosen band-centre and its shorter and longer wavelength neighbours. Weighting threshold of inter-band correlation (WTC, Pearson's r) was calculated, whereby r = 1 at the band-centre. Various WTC (r = 0.99, r = 0.95 and r = 0.90) were assessed, and bands with coefficients beyond a chosen threshold were assigned r = 0. The resultant data were used in the random forest analysis to classify in situ C3 and C4 grass canopy reflectance. The respective WTC datasets yielded improved classification accuracies (kappa = 0.82, 0.79 and 0.76) with less correlated wavebands when compared to resampled Hyperion bands (kappa = 0.76). Overall, the results obtained from this study suggested that resampling of hyperspectral data should account for the spectral dependence information to improve overall classification accuracy as well as reducing the problem of multicollinearity.

  4. Salinity tolerance of foxtail barley (Hordeum jubatum) and desirable pasture grasses

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Greenhouse studies were conducted to determine the relative salinity tolerance of foxtail barley and seven desirable pasture grasses. Grass species were reed canarygrass, timothy, altai wildrye, tall fescue, tall wheatgrass, orchardgrass, creeping meadow foxtail, and foxtail barley. Grasses were e...

  5. Examining differences between recovered and declining endangered species

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Abbitt, R.J.F.; Michael, Scott J.

    2001-01-01

    Between 1973 and 1999, 43 species in the United States were reclassified from endangered to threatened or removed entirely from the Endangered Species List. Of these, 23 were identified as recovered. In 1999 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) published a list of 33 additional species for possible reclassification and/or delisting. We initiated this study to examine why some endangered species recover but others continue to decline and to identify differences in management activities between these two groups. We defined recovered/recovering species as previously recovered species and the additional recovered/recovering species listed by the USFWS. We defined declining species as those identified as declining in the most recent USFWS Report to Congress. Information on recovered/recovering and declining species was gathered from relevant literature, recovery plans, U.S. Federal Register documents, and individuals responsible for the recovery management of each species. We used this information to examine (1) the percentage of current and historic range covered by management activities; (2) threats affecting the species; (3) population sizes at the time of listing; (4) current versus historic range size; and (5) percentage of recovery management objectives completed. Although few statistical analyses provided significant results, those that did suggest the following differences between recovered/recovering and declining species: (1) recovered/recovering species face threats that are easier to address; (2) recovered/recovering species occupy a greater percentage of their historic range; and (3) recovered/recovering species have a greater percentage of their recovery management objectives completed. Those species with threats easier to address and that occupy a greater percentage of their historic range are recovered/recovering. In contrast, declining species face threats more difficult to address and occupy significantly less of their historic range. If this

  6. Effect of different levels of raw and heated grass pea seed (Lathyrus sativus) on nutrient digestibility, intestinal villus morphology and growth performance of broiler chicks.

    PubMed

    Riasi, A; Mahdavi, A H; Bayat, E

    2015-10-01

    This study aimed to investigate chemical composition and effect of different levels (0%, 10% and 20%) of raw grass pea (RGP) and heat-treated (120 °C for 30 min) grass pea seed (HGP) on nutrient digestibility, dressing percentage, relative internal organ weights, intestinal villous morphology and broiler chicks' performance. A total number of 200 day-old male chicks were raised under similar condition for 10 days. On day 11, chicks were randomly assigned to five dietary treatments and four replicates of 10 birds each. The result of chemical analysis indicated that Iranian grass pea seed has low levels of total and condensed tannin, and it may be considered as a good source of protein (36.1%) and energy (17.09 kJ GE/g). Heat treatment reduced (p < 0.05) the total and condensed tannin to 21% and 78% respectively. Grass peas seed had higher levels of nitrogen-free extract, P, Na, Mg and Zn than soya bean meal. The apparent digestibility of gross energy and lipid was affected (p < 0.01) by the treatment diets, and it was the lowest after feeding 20% of HGP (p < 0.05). The relative weight of breast and pancreas (p < 0.05) was affected by treatments. Percentage weight of breast and pancreas increased (p < 0.05) after feeding high levels (20%) of RGP and HGP. Substitution of 20% of RGP and HGP increased the duodenal crypt depth (p < 0.05); however, it had no suppressive effect on villus height as the absorptive surface of intestine. The feed conversion ratio was not affected by the treatments in the total experimental period. This study showed that, although the high level of grass pea seed caused a remarkable increase in the relative weight of pancreas and decreased the apparent digestibility of gross energy and lipid, it had beneficial effect on breast relative weight. It seems that heat processing is not effective method for improving quality of Iranian grass pea seed.

  7. [Optimized Spectral Indices Based Estimation of Forage Grass Biomass].

    PubMed

    An, Hai-bo; Li, Fei; Zhao, Meng-li; Liu, Ya-jun

    2015-11-01

    As an important indicator of forage production, aboveground biomass will directly illustrate the growth of forage grass. Therefore, Real-time monitoring biomass of forage grass play a crucial role in performing suitable grazing and management in artificial and natural grassland. However, traditional sampling and measuring are time-consuming and labor-intensive. Recently, development of hyperspectral remote sensing provides the feasibility in timely and nondestructive deriving biomass of forage grass. In the present study, the main objectives were to explore the robustness of published and optimized spectral indices in estimating biomass of forage grass in natural and artificial pasture. The natural pasture with four grazing density (control, light grazing, moderate grazing and high grazing) was designed in desert steppe, and different forage cultivars with different N rate were conducted in artificial forage fields in Inner Mongolia. The canopy reflectance and biomass in each plot were measured during critical stages. The result showed that, due to the influence in canopy structure and biomass, the canopy reflectance have a great difference in different type of forage grass. The best performing spectral index varied in different species of forage grass with different treatments (R² = 0.00-0.69). The predictive ability of spectral indices decreased under low biomass of desert steppe, while red band based spectral indices lost sensitivity under moderate-high biomass of forage maize. When band combinations of simple ratio and normalized difference spectral indices were optimized in combined datasets of natural and artificial grassland, optimized spectral indices significant increased predictive ability and the model between biomass and optimized spectral indices had the highest R² (R² = 0.72) compared to published spectral indices. Sensitive analysis further confirmed that the optimized index had the lowest noise equivalent and were the best performing index in

  8. Individuals, grasses, and forests of single- and multi-walled carbon nanotubes grown by supported Co catalysts of different nominal thicknesses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kakehi, Kazunori; Noda, Suguru; Maruyama, Shigeo; Yamaguchi, Yukio

    2008-08-01

    The relationships among the nominal thickness of Co catalyst, the structure of the catalyst particles, and the structure of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) growing from the catalyst during chemical vapor deposition were investigated. Various morphologies of CNTs such as individuals, random networks parallel to the surface of the substrate ('grasses'), and vertically aligned forests of single- and multi-walled carbon nanotubes were grown by only varying the nominal thickness of catalyst under the same reaction condition. These different morphologies at the same growth time were due to the different areal density rather than to the length of CNTs. With increasing nominal thickness of catalyst, the catalyst particles changed in diameter while their areal density remained relatively almost constant. The change in diameter possibly affected the number ratio of active catalyst particles to the whole particles, which in turn affected the areal density of CNTs and yielded the various morphologies. Longer growth time increased the CNT length, which caused further change in CNT morphologies from individuals to grasses and grasses to forests.

  9. Four new species of the grass feeding leafhopper genus Nicolaus Lindberg (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae: Deltocephalinae) from the Indian subcontinent.

    PubMed

    Viraktamath, C A; Webb, M D

    2014-04-01

    The leafhopper genus Nicolaus Lindberg is recorded from India and Pakistan for the first time. Four new species, N. abuensis sp. nov., N. bidentatus sp. nov., N. cornutus sp. nov. and N. serratus sp. nov. are described and illustrated. N. bihamatus Xing & Li, earlier known from China is recorded from India and Pakistan. A key to the species of Nicolaus from the study area is provided.

  10. Specific immunotherapy for common grass pollen allergies: pertinence of a five grass pollen vaccine.

    PubMed

    Moingeon, Philippe; Hrabina, Maud; Bergmann, Karl-Christian; Jaeger, Siegfried; Frati, Franco; Bordas, Véronique; Peltre, Gabriel

    2008-01-01

    Patients throughout Europe are concomitantly exposed to multiple pollens from distinct Pooideae species. Given the overlap in pollination calendars and similar grain morphology, it is not possible to identify which grass species are present in the environment from pollen counts. Furthermore, neither serum IgE reactivity nor skin prick testing allow the identification of which grass species are involved in patient sensitisation. Due to their high level of amino acid sequence homology (e.g., >90% for group 1, 55-80% for group 5), significant cross-immunogenicity is observed between allergens from Pooideae pollens. Nevertheless, pollen allergens also contain species-specific T or B cell epitopes, and substantial quantitative differences exist in allergen (e.g., groups 1 and 5) composition between pollens from distinct grass species. In this context, a mixture of pollens from common and well-characterised Pooideae such as Anthoxanthum odoratum, Dactylis glomerata, Lolium perenne, Phleum pratense and Poa pratensis is suitable for immunotherapy purposes because (1) it has been validated, both in terms of safety and efficacy, by established clinical practice; (2) it reflects natural exposure and sensitisation conditions; (3) it ensures a consistent and well-balanced composition of critical allergens, thus extending the repertoire of T and B cell epitopes present in the vaccine.

  11. The effect of exotic grass Urochloa decumbens (Stapf) R.D.Webster (Poaceae) in the reduction of species richness and change of floristic composition of natural regeneration in the Floresta Nacional de Carajás, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Ferreira, Leandro V; Parolin, Pia; Matos, Darley C L; Cunha, Denise A; Chaves, Priscilla P; Neckel, Selvino O

    2016-01-01

    The introduction of exotic species is considered as one of the major causes of biodiversity loss. The National Forest of Carajás is one of the largest mineral provinces in the world. Mining activities caused changes of the natural habitats, leaving degraded areas after the mineral exploitation. One of the mining areas within FLONA Carajás was used for the extraction of gold. In the process of exploitation, a huge depression was formed by the removal of soil which was mounded up nearby. To prevent soil erosion of these mounds, an exotic grass, Urochloa decumbens (Stapf) R.D.Webster (Poaceae) was planted. The objective of this study was to compare the impact of this non-native grass on species richness and species composition of the natural regeneration in the degraded areas. Four areas were compared, two with and two without presence of U. decumbens. In each area, twenty four 1m²/plots were established. Species richness of the regeneration areas and population sizes were significantly lower in the plots where the exotic grass was present. Our study shows that U. decumbens had a negative effect on species richness and population density, and its presence changed the species composition and distribution of life forms of the natural regeneration.

  12. Linking the biology and physics of multifunctional grasses and soil hydrological function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    MacLeod, C. J. A.; Binley, A.; Haygarth, P. M.; Humphreys, M. W.; Joynes, A.; Papadopoulos, A.; Skot, L.; Turner, L. B.; Watts, C.; Whalley, W. R.

    2009-04-01

    Sustainable grassland systems need to function during periods of water deficit and excess. Traditionally, forage grasses have been bred for drought resistance and winter hardiness traits. There is a need to select for and grow grass cultivars under drought and water logged conditions, whilst delivering environmental services. A limited number of studies have been carried out on inter-species variability of plant water status and growth during periods of water deficit. However, little is known about how different grasses influence soil profile hydraulic properties. We have established and monitored the influence of grass type on soil hydrological properties and rainfall-runoff relationships. Changes in soil hydrological properties have been monitored using a range of soil physical and geophysical methods. In this paper we report on a large interdisciplinary project that is advancing our understanding of how grass selection may benefit soil hydraulic functioning during periods of water excess.

  13. Plant species differences in particulate matter accumulation on leaf surfaces.

    PubMed

    Sæbø, A; Popek, R; Nawrot, B; Hanslin, H M; Gawronska, H; Gawronski, S W

    2012-06-15

    Particulate matter (PM) accumulation on leaves of 22 trees and 25 shrubs was examined in test fields in Norway and Poland. Leaf PM in different particle size fractions (PM(10), PM(2.5), PM(0.2)) differed among the species, by 10- to 15-folds at both test sites. Pinus mugo and Pinus sylvestris, Taxus media and Taxus baccata, Stephanandra incisa and Betula pendula were efficient species in capturing PM. Less efficient species were Acer platanoides, Prunus avium and Tilia cordata. Differences among species within the same genus were also observed. Important traits for PM accumulation were leaf properties such as hair and wax cover. The ranking presented in terms of capturing PM can be used to select species for air pollution removal in urban areas. Efficient plant species and planting designs that can shield vulnerable areas in urban settings from polluting traffic etc. can be used to decrease human exposure to anthropogenic pollutants.

  14. Characterizing compositional changes of Napier grass at different stages of growth for biofuel and biobased products potential.

    PubMed

    Takara, Devin; Khanal, Samir Kumar

    2015-01-01

    Napier grass, Pennisetum purpureum, is a high yielding, perennial feedstock that can be harvested year-round in (sub)tropical geographies of the world. Because of its high moisture content (∼ 80%w/w), Napier grass presents a unique opportunity for fractionation into solid and liquid streams, where the extruded cellulosic fibers can serve as a substrate for biofuel production, and the nutrient-rich juice can serve as a substrate for co-product generation. The aim of this study evaluated the effects of biomass age on constituents relevant to biofuel and biobased product generation. Although obvious morphological changes can be observed in the field due to natural senescence, the results obtained in this work suggested that the cellulose content does not change significantly with respect to age. Data surrounding the hemicellulose and lignin contents, however, were inconclusive as their degree of significance varied with the statistics applied to analyze the raw data.

  15. Pollinator coupling can induce synchronized flowering in different plant species.

    PubMed

    Tachiki, Yuuya; Iwasa, Yoh; Satake, Akiko

    2010-11-21

    Synchronous and intermittent plant reproduction has been identified widely in diverse biomes. While synchronous flowering is normally observed within the same species, different species also flower in synchrony. A well-known example of interspecific synchrony is "general flowering" in tropical rain forests of Southeast Asia. Environmental factors, such as low temperature and drought, have been considered as major trigger of general flowering. However, environmental cues are not enough to explain general flowering because some trees do not flower even when they encounter favorable environmental cues. We propose alternative explanation of general flowering; "pollinator coupling". When species flower synchronously, the elevated pollen and nectar resource may attract increased numbers of generalist pollinators, with a concomitant enhancement of pollination success (facilitation). However, under these circumstances, plants of different species may compete with one another for limited pollinator services, resulting in declines in pollination success for individual species (competition). Here, we present a model describing resource dynamics of individual trees serviced by generalist pollinators. We analyze combinations of conditions under which plants reproduce intermittently with synchronization within species, and/or (sometimes) between different species. We show that plants synchronize flowering when the number of pollinators attracted to an area increases at an accelerating rate with increasing numbers of flowers. In this case, facilitation of flowering by different species exceeds the negative influence of interspecific plant competition. We demonstrate mathematically that co-flowering of different species occurs under a much narrower range of circumstances than intraspecific co-flowering.

  16. Mathematical modelling of digesta passage rate, mean retention time and in vivo apparent digestibility of two different lengths of hay and big-bale grass silage in ponies.

    PubMed

    Moore-Colyer, M J S; Morrow, H J; Longland, A C

    2003-07-01

    Welsh-cross pony geldings (about 300 kg live weight) were used in a 4x4 Latin square experiment to determine the rate of passage and apparent digestibility of unchopped big-bale grass silage (BBL), chopped big-bale grass silage (BBS), unchopped grass hay (HL) and chopped grass hay (HS) offered at approximately 15 g/kg live weight per d. On day 1 of collection weeks, ponies were fed 85 g ytterbium chloride hexahydrate-marked feed 1.5 h after the morning meal. Total faecal collections commenced 8 h later and continued for 168 h. Apparent digestibilities of feed DM, organic matter (OM), crude protein (CP, Nx6.25), acid-detergent fibre (ADF) and neutral-detergent fibre (NDF) were also determined. Faecal excretion data were subjected to the models of Pond et al. (1988) and digesta mean retention time (MRT) calculated from these models and using the algebraic method of Thielmans et al. (1978). Silage had significantly (P<0.05) higher digestibilities of DM, OM, CP, ADF and NDF than hay; however, chop length had no effect. All the models of Pond et al. (1988) accurately described (R(2)>0.8) the pattern of faecal marker excretion. MRT of BBL (29.0 h)>BBS(27 h)>HS and HL (26 h). Compartmental analysis using the G3 model of Pond et al. (1988) showed BBL and HS diets had longer MRT in the time-dependent compartment, whereas BBS and HL had longer MRT in the time-independent compartment. Results from this experiment indicate that BBL and BBS are readily accepted and digested by ponies. While Yb is a successful external marker for determining total tract MRT and for modelling faecal excretion curves in horses, the results did not allow any definite conclusions to be drawn on digesta MRT within the different compartments of the equid gut.

  17. Evaluation of different energy feeding systems with production data from lactating dairy cows offered grass silage-based diets.

    PubMed

    Yan, T; Agnew, R E; Murphy, J J; Ferris, C P; Gordon, F J

    2003-04-01

    A set of data from 838 lactating dairy cows, drawn from 12 long-term feeding studies (at least 8 wk/period), was used to evaluate the energy feeding systems for dairy cows currently adopted in Australia, France, The Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The animals were offered mixed diets of concentrates, forage [grass silages (n = 33) and corn silages (n = 5)] ad libitum. Data used in the present evaluation were either measured [dry matter (DM) intake, milk production and live weight], measured/estimated [dietary metabolizable energy (ME) concentration] or estimated [milk energy output and live weight change (LWC)]. The mean-square prediction error (MSPE) was used for the evaluation. Total ME intake, milk yields, and LWC varied from 91 to 338 MJ/d, 7.7 to 48.9, and -1.23 to 1.73 kg/d, respectively. Australian and French systems predicted total energy requirement and milk yield relatively well, while British, Dutch and American systems underpredicted total energy requirement by proportionately 0.06, 0.04, and 0.03, respectively; and overpredicted milk yield by 0.09, 0.06, and 0.04. The Agricultural and Food Research Council (AFRC) each produced a relatively larger error of the bias (predicted - actual data) over the total MSPE for ME requirement and milk yield and a relatively smaller error of random than other systems. However, an addition of proportionately 0.05 to the total predicted ME requirement of AFRC, as suggested in this system and currently used in the UK, indicated the prediction accuracy of ME requirement and milk yield is similar to Australian and French systems. Nevertheless, all the systems had a poor prediction of LWC. For each system, the total prediction error (total MSPE) was mainly derived from the line (slope; 0.49 to 0.64 of total MSPE), while less derived from the random (0.20 to 0.48 of total MSPE), indicating a large variation between the predicted and actual LWC existed among individual cows. The residual plots of the

  18. Reversing land degradation through grasses: a systematic meta-analysis in the Indian tropics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mandal, Debashis; Srivastava, Pankaj; Giri, Nishita; Kaushal, Rajesh; Cerda, Artemi; Meherul Alam, Nurnabi

    2017-02-01

    Although intensive agriculture is necessary to sustain the world's growing population, accelerated soil erosion contributes to a decrease in the environmental health of ecosystems at local, regional and global scales. Reversing the process of land degradation using vegetative measures is of utmost importance in such ecosystems. The present study critically analyzes the effect of grasses in reversing the process of land degradation using a systematic review. The collected information was segregated under three different land use and land management situations. Meta-analysis was applied to test the hypothesis that the use of grasses reduces runoff and soil erosion. The effect of grasses was deduced for grass strip and in combination with physical structures. Similarly, the effects of grasses were analyzed in degraded pasture lands. The overall result of the meta-analysis showed that infiltration capacity increased approximately 2-fold after planting grasses across the slopes in agricultural fields. Grazing land management through a cut-and-carry system increased conservation efficiencies by 42 and 63 % with respect to reduction in runoff and erosion, respectively. Considering the comprehensive performance index (CPI), it has been observed that hybrid Napier (Pennisetum purpureum) and sambuta (Saccharum munja) grass seem to posses the most desirable attributes as an effective grass barrier for the western Himalayas and Eastern Ghats, while natural grass (Dichanthium annulatum) and broom grass (Thysanolaena maxima) are found to be most promising grass species for the Konkan region of the Western Ghats and the northeastern Himalayan region, respectively. In addition to these benefits, it was also observed that soil carbon loss can be reduced by 83 % with the use of grasses. Overall, efficacy for erosion control of various grasses was more than 60 %; hence, their selection should be based on the production potential of these grasses under given edaphic and agro

  19. Holocene re-colonisation, central-marginal distribution and habitat specialisation shape population genetic patterns within an Atlantic European grass species.

    PubMed

    Harter, D E V; Jentsch, A; Durka, W

    2015-05-01

    Corynephorus canescens (L.) P.Beauv. is an outbreeding, short-lived and wind-dispersed grass species, highly specialised on scattered and disturbance-dependent habitats of open sandy sites. Its distribution ranges from the Iberian Peninsula over Atlantic regions of Western and Central Europe, but excludes the two other classical European glacial refuge regions on the Apennine and Balkan Peninsulas. To investigate genetic patterns of this uncommon combination of ecological and biogeographic species characteristics, we analysed AFLP variation among 49 populations throughout the European distribution range, expecting (i) patterns of SW European glacial refugia and post-glacial expansion to the NE; (ii) decreasing genetic diversity from central to marginal populations; and (iii) interacting effects of high gene flow and disturbance-driven genetic drift. Decreasing genetic diversity from SW to NE and distinct gene pool clustering imply refugia on the Iberian Peninsula and in western France, from where range expansion originated towards the NE. High genetic diversity within and moderate genetic differentiation among populations, and a significant pattern of isolation-by-distance indicate a gene flow drift equilibrium within C. canescens, probably due to its restriction to scattered and dynamic habitats and limited dispersal distances. These features, as well as the re-colonisation history, were found to affect genetic diversity gradients from central to marginal populations. Our study emphasises the need for including the specific ecology into analyses of species (re-)colonisation histories and range centre-margin analyses. To account for discontinuous distributions, new indices of marginality were tested for their suitability in studies of centre-periphery gradients.

  20. Are soil mite assemblages structured by the identity of native and invasive alien grasses?

    PubMed

    St John, Mark G; Wall, Diana H; Hunt, H William

    2006-05-01

    Associations between plants and animals in aboveground communities are often predictable and specific. This has been exploited for the purposes of estimating the diversity of animal species based on the diversity of plant species. The introduction of invasive alien plants into an ecosystem can result in dramatic changes in both the native plant and animal assemblages. Few data exist at the species level to determine whether belowground animal assemblages share the same degree of association to plants. The hypotheses that soil mites (Acari) form assemblages specifically associated with different native grass species in an unmanipulated natural ecosystem and that invasive alien grasses will impact soil mite assemblage composition in this setting were tested. Soil mites sampled beneath five native and two invasive alien species of grasses at the Konza Prairie Biological Station, Kansas, USA, were similarly abundant, species rich, diverse, and taxonomically distinct. No mite species had affinities for a specific grass species. There was no evidence from analysis of similarity, canonical correspondence analysis, or a nonparametric assemblage analysis that the assemblage composition of soil mites was specific to grass species. Results suggest that soil mite assemblages were more related to characteristics of the plant assemblage as a whole or prevailing soil conditions. The most recent invasive alien grass did not support a successionally younger mite fauna, based on the ratio of mesostigmatid to oribatid mites, and neither of the two invasive grasses influenced mite assemblage structure, possibly because they had not yet substantially altered the soil environment. Our results suggest that extrapolations of soil mite diversity based on assumptions of plant specificity would be invalid.

  1. Comparison of grass and legume silages for milk production. 1. Production responses with different levels of concentrate.

    PubMed

    Dewhurst, R J; Fisher, W J; Tweed, J K S; Wilkins, R J

    2003-08-01

    Silages prepared from pure stands of ryegrass, alfalfa, white clover, and red clover over two successive year were offered to lactating dairy cows in two feeding experiments. Proportional mixtures of all cuts prepared in a yr were used to ensure that the forage treatments were representative of the crop. Additional treatments involved mixtures of grass silage with either white clover silage or red clover silage (50/50, on a DM basis). Silages were prepared in round bales, using a biological inoculant additive, and wilting for up to 48 h. Although the legumes were less suited to silage-making than grass, because of their higher buffering capacity and lower water-soluble carbohydrate content, all silages were well-fermented. A standard concentrate was offered at a flat-rate (8 kg/d in yr 1, and 4 or 8 kg/d in yr 2). All of the legume silages led to higher DM intake and milk yields than for the grass silage, with little effect on milk composition. Intake and production responses to legumes were similar at the two levels of concentrate feeding and with forage mixtures they were intermediate to those for the separate forages. An additional benefit of the clover silages, particularly red clover silage, was the increase in levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids, particularly alpha-linolenic acid, in milk. Legume silages also led to a lower palmitic acid percentage in milk. The efficiency of conversion of feed N into milk N declined with increasing levels of legume silage. White clover silage led to a higher N-use efficiency when the effect of N intake level is taken into account.

  2. Transgenerational soil-mediated differences between plants experienced or naïve to a grass invasion

    PubMed Central

    Deck, Anna; Muir, Adrianna; Strauss, Sharon

    2013-01-01

    Invasive species may undergo rapid change as they invade. Native species persisting in invaded areas may also experience rapid change over this short timescale relative to native populations in uninvaded areas. We investigated the response of the native Achillea millefolium to soil from Holcus lanatus-invaded and uninvaded areas, and we sought to determine whether differential responses between A. millefolium from invaded (invader experienced) and uninvaded (invader naïve) areas were mediated by soil community changes. Plants grown from seed from experienced and naïve areas responded differently to invaded and uninvaded soil with respect to germination time, biomass, and height. Overall, experienced plants grew faster and taller than their naïve counterparts. Naïve native plants showed negative feedbacks with their home soil and positive feedbacks with invaded soil; experienced plants were less responsive to soil differences. Our results suggest that native plants naïve to invasion may be more sensitive to soil communities than experienced plants, consistent with recent studies. While differences between naïve and experienced plants are transgenerational, our design cannot differentiate between differences that are genetically based, plastic, or both. Regardless, our results highlight the importance of seed source and population history in restoration, emphasizing the restoration potential of experienced seed sources. PMID:24198931

  3. Transgenerational soil-mediated differences between plants experienced or naïve to a grass invasion.

    PubMed

    Deck, Anna; Muir, Adrianna; Strauss, Sharon

    2013-10-01

    Invasive species may undergo rapid change as they invade. Native species persisting in invaded areas may also experience rapid change over this short timescale relative to native populations in uninvaded areas. We investigated the response of the native Achillea millefolium to soil from Holcus lanatus-invaded and uninvaded areas, and we sought to determine whether differential responses between A. millefolium from invaded (invader experienced) and uninvaded (invader naïve) areas were mediated by soil community changes. Plants grown from seed from experienced and naïve areas responded differently to invaded and uninvaded soil with respect to germination time, biomass, and height. Overall, experienced plants grew faster and taller than their naïve counterparts. Naïve native plants showed negative feedbacks with their home soil and positive feedbacks with invaded soil; experienced plants were less responsive to soil differences. Our results suggest that native plants naïve to invasion may be more sensitive to soil communities than experienced plants, consistent with recent studies. While differences between naïve and experienced plants are transgenerational, our design cannot differentiate between differences that are genetically based, plastic, or both. Regardless, our results highlight the importance of seed source and population history in restoration, emphasizing the restoration potential of experienced seed sources.

  4. Detection of Different DNA Animal Species in Commercial Candy Products.

    PubMed

    Muñoz-Colmenero, Marta; Martínez, Jose Luis; Roca, Agustín; Garcia-Vazquez, Eva

    2016-03-01

    Candy products are consumed all across the world, but there is not much information about their composition. In this study we have used a DNA-based approach for determining the animal species occurring in 40 commercial candies of different types. We extracted DNA and performed PCR amplification, cloning and sequencing for obtaining species-informative DNA sequences. Eight species were identified including fish (hake and anchovy) in 22% of the products analyzed. Bovine and porcine were the most abundant appearing in 27 samples each one. Most products contained a mixture of species. Marshmallows (7), jelly-types, and gummies (20) contained a significantly higher number of species than hard candies (9). We demonstrated the presence of DNA animal species in candy product which allow consumers to make choices and prevent allergic reaction.

  5. Heat Shock Proteins in Association with Heat Tolerance in Grasses

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Yan; Zhan, Chenyang; Huang, Bingru

    2011-01-01

    The grass family Poaceae includes annual species cultivated as major grain crops and perennial species cultivated as forage or turf grasses. Heat stress is a primary factor limiting growth and productivity of cool-season grass species and is becoming a more significant problem in the context of global warming. Plants have developed various mechanisms in heat-stress adaptation, including changes in protein metabolism such as the induction of heat shock proteins (HSPs). This paper summarizes the structure and function of major HSPs, recent research progress on the association of HSPs with grass tolerance to heat stress, and incorporation of HSPs in heat-tolerant grass breeding. PMID:22084689

  6. The effect of nitrogen and glyphosate on survival and colonisation of perennial grass species in an agro-ecosystem: does the relative importance of survival decrease with competitive ability?

    PubMed

    Damgaard, Christian; Strandberg, Beate; Mathiassen, Solvejg K; Kudsk, Per

    2013-01-01

    The ecological success of a plant species is typically described by the observed change in plant abundance or cover, but in order to more fully understand the fundamental plant ecological processes, it is necessary to inspect the underlying processes of survival and colonization and how they are affected by environmental conditions. A general ecological hypothesis on the effect of environmental gradients on demographic parameters is proposed and tested. The hypothesis is that decreasing fitness or competitive ability along an environmental gradient is associated with an increasing importance of survival for regulating the abundance of the species. The tested hypothesis is related to both the stress gradient hypothesis and whether the importance of competition increases along productivity gradients. The combined effect of nitrogen and glyphosate on the survival and colonization probability of two perennial grass species, Festuca ovina and Agrostis capillaris, which are known to differ in their responses to both glyphosate and nitrogen treatments, is calculated using pin-point cover data in permanent frames. We found that the relative importance of survival increased with the level of glyphosate for the glyphosate sensitive A. capillaris and decreased for the glyphosate tolerant F. ovina. Likewise, increasing levels of nitrogen increased the importance of survival for the relative nitrophobic F. ovina. Consequently, the proposed hypothesis was corroborated in this specific study. The proposed method will enable predictions of the effects of agricultural practices on community dynamics in a relatively simple setup eliminating the need to quantify all the interaction among the species in the plant community. The method will be immediately useful for the regulation of non-cultivated buffer strips between agricultural fields and semi-natural and natural biotopes such as hedgerows and waterways.

  7. Differences in hoarding behaviors among six sympatric rodent species on seeds of oil tea ( Camellia oleifera) in Southwest China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chang, Gang; Zhang, Zhibin

    2011-05-01

    Seed hoarding is an important behavioral adaptation to food shortages for many rodent species. Sympatric rodents may affect the natural regeneration of large-seeded trees differently as seed dispersers or seed predators. Using seeds of oil tea ( Camellia oleifera), we investigated differences in hoarding behaviors among six sympatric rodent species in semi-natural enclosures in a subtropical forest in southwest of China. We found that all these six species ate seeds of C. oleifera, but only Edward's long-tailed rats ( Leopoldamys edwardsi) were predominantly scatter hoarders; chestnut rats ( Niviventer fulvescens) and white-bellied rats ( Niviventer confucianus) scatter hoarded and larder hoarded few seeds, but were seed predators; South China field mice ( Apodemus draco) exhibited little larder-hoarding behavior; and Chevrier's field mice ( A. chevrieri) as well as Himalayan rats ( Rattus nitidusa) did not hoard seeds at all. The rodents that engaged in scatter hoarding often formed single-seed caches and tended to cache seeds under grass or shrubs. Our findings indicate that sympatric rodents consuming seeds of the same species of plant can have different hoarding strategies, affecting seed dispersal and plant regeneration differently. We conclude by discussing the role of these species in hoarding seeds of C. oleifera and highlight the essential role of Edward's long-tailed rats as predominantly potential dispersers of this plant species.

  8. Grass vs. legume forages for dairy cattle

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Alfalfa is the primary forage fed to lactating dairy cows; however, there is renewed interest in utilizing grass forages in lactating dairy cow diets particularly because of farm nutrient management issues. Yield and perceived quality is generally lower for grass species compared to legumes while ot...

  9. Population structure in the model grass Brachypodium distachyon is highly correlated with flowering differences across broad geographic areas

    SciTech Connect

    Tyler, Ludmila; Lee, Scott J.; Young, Nelson D.; DeIulio, Gregory A.; Benavente, Elena; Reagon, Michael; Sysopha, Jessica; Baldini, Riccardo M.; Troia, Angelo; Hazen, Samuel P.; Caicedo, Ana L.

    2016-04-29

    The small, annual grass Brachypodium distachyon (L.) Beauv., a close relative of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and barley (Hordeum vulgare L.), is a powerful model system for cereals and bioenergy grasses. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of natural variation can elucidate the genetic basis of complex traits but have been so far limited in B. distachyon by the lack of large numbers of well-characterized and sufficiently diverse accessions. Here, we report on genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) of 84 B. distachyon, seven B. hybridum, and three B. stacei accessions with diverse geographic origins including Albania, Armenia, Georgia, Italy, Spain, and Turkey. Over 90,000 high-quality single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) distributed across the Bd21 reference genome were identified. Our results confirm the hybrid nature of the B. hybridum genome, which appears as a mosaic of B. distachyon-like and B. stacei-like sequences. Analysis of more than 50,000 SNPs for the B. distachyon accessions revealed three distinct, genetically defined populations. Surprisingly, these genomic profiles are associated with differences in flowering time rather than with broad geographic origin. High levels of differentiation in loci associated with floral development support the differences in flowering phenology between B. distachyon populations. Genome-wide association studies combining genotypic and phenotypic data also suggest the presence of one or more photoperiodism, circadian clock, and vernalization genes in loci associated with flowering time variation within B. distachyon populations. As a result, our characterization elucidates genes underlying population differences, expands the germplasm resources available for Brachypodium, and illustrates the feasibility and limitations of GWAS in this model grass.

  10. Arsenic and mercury in native aquatic bryophytes: differences among species.

    PubMed

    Díaz, Santiago; Villares, Rubén; López, Jesús; Carballeira, Alejo

    2013-04-01

    This study investigated the capacities of five species of aquatic bryophytes to accumulate As and Hg from their natural habitats in rivers in Galicia (NW Spain). The distributions of the concentrations of both elements in all species were skewed to the right, with a higher incidence of extreme values in the As data, which may indicate a greater degree of contamination by this metalloid. There were no significant differences in the accumulation of either of the elements between the different species studied, which justifies their combined use as biomonitors of As and Hg, at least in the study area.

  11. New microsatellite markers developed from Urochloa humidicola (Poaceae) and cross amplification in different Urochloa species

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Urochloa humidicola is a forage grass that grows in tropical regions and is recognized for its tolerance to seasonal flooding. It is a polyploid and apomictic species with high phenotypic plasticity. As molecular tools are important in facilitating the development of new cultivars and in the classification of related species, the objectives of this study were to develop new polymorphic microsatellite markers from an enriched library constructed from U. humidicola and to evaluate their transferability to other Urochloa species. Findings Microsatellite sequences were identified from a previously constructed enriched library, and specific primers were designed for 40 loci. Isolated di-nucleotide repeat motifs were the most abundant followed by tetra-nucleotide repeats. Of the tested loci, 38 displayed polymorphism when screened across 34 polyploid Urochloa sp. genotypes, including 20 accessions and six hybrids of U. humidicola and two accessions each from U. brizantha, U. dictyoneura, U. decumbens and U. ruziziensis. The number of bands per Simple Sequence Repeat (SSR) locus ranged from one to 29 with a mean of 11.5 bands per locus. The mean Polymorphism Information Content (PIC) of all loci was 0.7136, and the mean Discrimination Power (DP) was 0.7873. Six loci amplified in all species tested. STRUCTURE analysis revealed six different allelic pools, and the genetic similarity values analyzed using Jaccard's coefficient ranged from 0.000 to 0.913. Conclusions This work reports new polymorphic microsatellite markers that will be useful for breeding programs for Urochloa humidicola and other Urochloa species as well as for genetic map development, germplasm characterization, evolutionary and taxonomic studies and marker-assisted trait selection. PMID:22142493

  12. Ensilage of tropical grasses mixed with legumes and molasses.

    PubMed

    Tjandraatmadja, M; Norton, B W; Mac Rae, I C

    1994-01-01

    The effects of adding two legumes, Gliricidia sepium and Leucaena leucocephala, cv. Cunningham, and molasses on the fermentation characteristics of silages made from two tropical grasses (Pangola grass, Digitaria decumbens, and Setaria sphacelata cv. Kazungula) were investigated. Pangola grass silages contained significantly higher contents of water-soluble carbohydrates and lactic acid than did setaria silages after 100 days fermentation, but there were no significant differences between the two silages in populations of lactic acid bacteria and contents of total N and NH3-N. Addition of either species of legume had no significant effect on fermentation acids and NH3-N contents, and numbers of lactic acid bacteria. Addition of both legumes reduced NH3-N production in the silages by 59% after 5 days' fermentation. Numbers of lactic acid bacteria were not significantly affected by the different treatments. Enterococcus faecalis represented 60% of the lactic acid bacteria isolated from the treated herbages prior to ensiling. By 100 days of fermentation, only lactobacilli were isolated: 82% homo-fermenters and 18% hetero-fermenters. Lactobacillus mesenteroides subsp. dextranicum was found only in the silage supplemented with 33% (w/w) legume. It was concluded that the low quality of tropical grasses used as feeds for ruminants may be significantly improved by ensiling these grasses with small amounts of molasses and with high-protein tree leaves.

  13. Overlap in nitrogen sources and redistribution of nitrogen between trees and grasses in a semi-arid savanna.

    PubMed

    Priyadarshini, K V R; Prins, Herbert H T; de Bie, Steven; Heitkönig, Ignas M A; Woodborne, Stephan; Gort, Gerrit; Kirkman, Kevin; Fry, Brian; de Kroon, Hans

    2014-04-01

    A key question in savanna ecology is how trees and grasses coexist under N limitation. We used N stable isotopes and N content to study N source partitioning across seasons from trees and associated grasses in a semi-arid savanna. We also used (15)N tracer additions to investigate possible redistribution of N by trees to grasses. Foliar stable N isotope ratio (δ(15)N) values were consistent with trees and grasses using mycorrhiza-supplied N in all seasons except in the wet season when they switched to microbially fixed N. The dependence of trees and grasses on mineralized soil N seemed highly unlikely based on seasonal variation in mineralization rates in the Kruger Park region. Remarkably, foliar δ(15)N values were similar for all three tree species differing in the potential for N fixation through nodulation. The tracer experiment showed that N was redistributed by trees to understory grasses in all seasons. Our results suggest that the redistribution of N from trees to grasses and uptake of N was independent of water redistribution. Although there is overlap of N sources between trees and grasses, dependence on biological sources of N coupled with redistribution of subsoil N by trees may contribute to the coexistence of trees and grasses in semi-arid savannas.

  14. Mastomys (rodentia: muridae) species distinguished by hemoglobin pattern differences.

    PubMed

    Robbins, C B; Krebs, J W; Johnson, K M

    1983-05-01

    Hemoglobin electrophoresis patterns were found to be reliable markers for distinguishing two species of Mastomys in Sierra Leone having 32 and 38 chromosomes. All 32-chromosome animals exhibited a single hemoglobin pattern, whereas those with 38-chromosomes had four distinguishable patterns. Both karyotypes were present throughout Sierra Leone. The 38-chromosome species was more prevalent in the Guinea savanna zone to the north, while the 32-chromosome species was most dominant in human-modified high forest areas of the eastern and southern parts of the country. In almost all situations the 32-chromosome species was more common in houses than in bush habitats; the reverse was true for Mastomys having 38 chromosomes. Analysis of hemoglobin patterns thus becomes useful for species identification, and is necessary to understand the roles of the different Mastomys forms as reservoirs of human diseases, such as Lassa fever in West Africa.

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-04-01

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

  16. Method and device for identifying different species of honeybees

    DOEpatents

    Kerr, Howard T.; Buchanan, Michael E.; Valentine, Kenneth H.

    1989-01-01

    A method and device have been provided for distinguishing Africanized honeybees from European honeybees. The method is based on the discovery of a distinct difference in the acoustical signatures of these two species of honeybees in flight. The European honeybee signature has a fundamental power peak in the 210 to 240 Hz range while the Africanized honeybee signature has a fundamental power peak in the 260 to 290 Hz range. The acoustic signal produced by honeybees is analyzed by means of a detecting device to quickly determine the honeybee species through the detection of the presence of frequencies in one of these distinct ranges. The device includes a microphone for acoustical signal detection which feeds the detected signal into a frequency analyzer which is designed to detect the presence of either of the known fundamental wingbeat frequencies unique to the acoustical signatures of these species as an indication of the identity of the species and indicate the species identity on a readout device.

  17. Soil properties and species composition under different grazing intensity in an alpine meadow on the eastern Tibetan Plateau, China.

    PubMed

    Yang, Zhen'an; Xiong, Wan; Xu, Yingyi; Jiang, Lin; Zhu, Erxiong; Zhan, Wei; He, Yixin; Zhu, Dan; Zhu, Qiuan; Peng, Changhui; Chen, Huai

    2016-12-01

    As the main form of land use and human disturbance of grassland, livestock grazing has great influences on the soil resources and plant communities. This study observed the variation of soil properties and community characteristics of four treatments of different grazing intensity (no grazing, UG; light grazing, LG; moderate grazing, MG; and heavy grazing, HG) in an alpine meadow of Sichuan Province on the northeastern margin of the Tibetan Plateau. The results showed that grazing increased the pH, soil bulk density (BD), and contents of total carbon (TC) and total nitrogen (TN), and the BD increased while the others decreased with the grazing intensity. At the community level, with the increase of the grazing intensity, the vegetation coverage (R (2) = 0.61, P < 0.001), mean height of community (R (2) = 0.37, P < 0.001), aboveground biomass (R (2) = 0.54, P < 0.001), litter biomass (R (2) = 0.84, P < 0.001), and percentage of aboveground biomass of palatable grasses to total biomass (R (2) = 0.74, P < 0.001) significantly decreased, while the belowground biomass (R (2) = 0.72, P < 0.001) and the root/shoot (R/S) ratio (R (2) = 0.65, P < 0.001) increased. The species richness was the greatest at LG and the total biomass at UG. With grazing, the dominant species of the plant community shifted from palatable grasses (Gramineae and Cyperaceae) to unpalatable grasses (Compositae and Ranunculaceae). Based on the results, LG may be the optimal grassland management mode to be used in the long time in the alpine meadow of the Tibetan Plateau.

  18. Chemical composition and in vitro gas production of silage from guinea grass, cassava peel and cashew apple waste at different periods of ensilage.

    PubMed

    Dele, P A; Jolaosho, A O; Arigbede, O M; Ojo, V O A; Amole, T A; Okukenu, O A; Akinyemi, B T

    2013-12-01

    A study was carried out to determine the quality of silage produced from guinea grass, cassava peel and cashew apple waste at different ensiling periods. The materials were mixed into nine different proportions and ensiled for 30, 60 and 90 days making twenty-seven (27) treatments with each replicated three times. At the expiration of ensiling duration, the jars were opened, the contents were mixed, oven-dried and the proximate composition and fibre fractions were determined. The results showed that there were significant (p < 0.05) reduction in the Dry Matter (DM), Crude Protein (CP) and Neutral Detergent Fibre (NDF) with increase in ensiling duration while the Non Fibre Carbohydrate (NFC) increased with increased ensiling duration. The highest CP content (14.44%) was obtained in 25% Guinea Grass (GG)+25% cassava peel (CAP)+50% Cashew Apple Waste (CAW) which was not significantly (p > 0.05) different from 100% CAW. The NDF varied (p < 0.05) from 44.21 in 75% CAP+25% CAW silage to 60.31 in 100% GG. The reduction in the CP and NDF of the silage is still within the range required for growth and maintenance in ruminant animals.

  19. Nutritive value and fermentation parameters of warm-season grass silage

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The objective of this study was to investigate the nutritive value and fermentation characteristics of different species of warm-season grass silages treated with or without bacterial inoculants in the summer and fall. Nine forage species and cultivars, elephantgrass (Pennisetum purpureum Schumach),...

  20. Quantitative analysis of diet structure by real-time PCR, reveals different feeding patterns by two dominant grasshopper species

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Xunbing; Wu, Huihui; McNeill, Mark Richard; Qin, Xinghu; Ma, Jingchuan; Tu, Xiongbing; Cao, Guangchun; Wang, Guangjun; Nong, Xiangqun; Zhang, Zehua

    2016-01-01

    Studies on grasshopper diets have historically employed a range of methodologies, each with certain advantages and disadvantages. For example, some methodologies are qualitative instead of quantitative. Others require long experimental periods or examine population-level effects, only. In this study, we used real-time PCR to examine diets of individual grasshoppers. The method has the advantage of being both fast and quantitative. Using two grasshopper species, Oedaleus asiaticus and Dasyhippus barbipes, we designed ITS primer sequences for their three main host plants, Stipa krylovii, Leymus chinensis and Cleistogenes squarrosa and used real-time PCR method to test diet structure both qualitatively and quantitatively. The lowest detection efficiency of the three grass species was ~80% with a strong correlation between actual and PCR-measured food intake. We found that Oedaleus asiaticus maintained an unchanged diet structure across grasslands with different grass communities. By comparison, Dasyhippus barbipes changed its diet structure. These results revealed why O. asiaticus distribution is mainly confined to Stipa-dominated grassland, and D. barbipes is more widely distributed across Inner Mongolia. Overall, real-time PCR was shown to be a useful tool for investigating grasshopper diets, which in turn offers some insight into grasshopper distributions and improved pest management. PMID:27562455

  1. Septate endophyte colonization and host responses of grasses and forbs native to a tallgrass prairie.

    PubMed

    Mandyam, Keerthi; Fox, Chad; Jumpponen, Ari

    2012-02-01

    Native tallgrass prairies support distinct dark septate endophyte (DSE) communities exemplified by Periconia macrospinosa and Microdochium sp. that were recently identified as common root symbionts in this system. Since these DSE fungi were repeatedly isolated from grasses and forbs, we aimed to test their abilities to colonize different hosts. One Microdochium and three Periconia strains were screened for colonization and growth responses using five native grasses and six forbs in an in vitro system. Previously published data for an additional grass (Andropogon gerardii) were included and reanalyzed. Presence of indicative inter- and intracellular structures (melanized hyphae, microsclerotia, and chlamydospores) demonstrated that all plant species were colonized by the DSE isolates albeit to varying degrees. Microscopic observations suggested that, compared to forbs, grasses were colonized to a greater degree in vitro. Host biomass responses varied among the host species. In broad comparisons, more grass species than forbs tended to respond positively to colonization, whereas more forb species tended to be non-responsive. Based on the suspected differences in the levels of colonization, we predicted that tallgrass prairie grasses would support greater DSE colonization than forbs in the field. A survey of field-collected roots from 15 native species supported this hypothesis. Our study supports the "broad host range" of DSE fungi, although the differences in the rates of colonization in the laboratory and in the field suggest a greater compatibility between grasses and DSE fungi. Furthermore, host responses to DSE range from mutualism to parasitism, suggesting a genotype-level interplay between the fungi and their hosts that determines the outcome of this symbiosis.

  2. The effect of seaweed Ecklonia maxima extract and mineral nitrogen on fodder grass chemical composition.

    PubMed

    Ciepiela, Grażyna Anna; Godlewska, Agnieszka; Jankowska, Jolanta

    2016-02-01

    The objective of this study was to determine the effect of the biostimulant Kelpak and different nitrogen rates on cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin contents as well as non-structural carbohydrates in orchard grass and Braun's festulolium. The experiment was a split-plot arrangement with three replicates. It was set up at the experimental facility of the University of Natural Sciences and Humanities, Siedlce, in late April 2009. The following factors were examined: biostimulant with the trade name Kelpak SL applied at 2 dm(3) ha(-1) and a control-no biostimulant; nitrogen application rates 50 and 150 kg ha(-1) and a control (0 kg ha(-1)); pure stands of grass species grown in monoculture--orchard grass (Dactylis glomerata), cv. Amila,-Braun's festulolium (Festulolium braunii), cv. Felopa. Kelpak significantly increased non-structural carbohydrates, and increasing nitrogen rates reduced the concentration of these components in plants. Increasing nitrogen rates significantly decreased cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin and non-structural carbohydrate contents. Compared with orchard grass, Braun's festulolium proved to be of a higher nutritional value due to lower cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin contents and more non-structural carbohydrates. The aforementioned contents in the grasses differed significantly depending on the cut. Most cellulose and non-structural carbohydrates were determined in second-cut grass whereas most hemicellulose and lignin in second-cut grass.

  3. Genome-Wide Transcriptional Profiling and Metabolic Analysis Uncover Multiple Molecular Responses of the Grass Species Lolium perenne Under Low-Intensity Xenobiotic Stress

    PubMed Central

    Serra, Anne-Antonella; Couée, Ivan; Heijnen, David; Michon-Coudouel, Sophie; Sulmon, Cécile; Gouesbet, Gwenola

    2015-01-01

    Lolium perenne, which is a major component of pastures, lawns, and grass strips, can be exposed to xenobiotic stresses due to diffuse and residual contaminations of soil. L. perenne was recently shown to undergo metabolic adjustments in response to sub-toxic levels of xenobiotics. To gain insight in such chemical stress responses, a de novo transcriptome analysis was carried out on leaves from plants subjected at the root level to low levels of xenobiotics, glyphosate, tebuconazole, and a combination of the two, leading to no adverse physiological effect. Chemical treatments influenced significantly the relative proportions of functional categories and of transcripts related to carbohydrate processes, to signaling, to protein-kinase cascades, such as Serine/Threonine-protein kinases, to transcriptional regulations, to responses to abiotic or biotic stimuli and to responses to phytohormones. Transcriptomics-based expressions of genes encoding different types of SNF1 (sucrose non-fermenting 1)-related kinases involved in sugar and stress signaling or encoding key metabolic enzymes were in line with specific qRT-PCR analysis or with the important metabolic and regulatory changes revealed by metabolomic analysis. The effects of pesticide treatments on metabolites and gene expression strongly suggest that pesticides at low levels, as single molecule or as mixture, affect cell signaling and functioning even in the absence of major physiological impact. This global analysis of L. perenne therefore highlighted the interactions between molecular regulation of responses to xenobiotics, and also carbohydrate dynamics, energy dysfunction, phytohormones and calcium signaling. PMID:26734031

  4. Water use efficiency of twenty-five co-existing Patagonian species growing under different soil water availability.

    PubMed

    Golluscio, R A; Oesterheld, M

    2007-11-01

    The variation of plant water use efficiency (WUE) with water availability has two interacting components: a plastic response, evident when individuals of the same genotype are compared (e.g. wet versus dry years), and an interspecific response, evident when different species living in habitats with different water availability are compared. We analysed the WUE of 25 Patagonian species that belong to four life forms (grasses, shrubs, annual herbs and perennial herbs) in relation to the climatic conditions of 2 years and the mean historic water availability experienced by each species. To estimate water availability, we calculated the effective soil water potential (EWP) of each species, based on available information about soil water dynamics, phenology and root system structure. To estimate WUE, we used isotopic discrimination of leaf C (Delta(13)C) and mean annual water vapour difference between leaves and atmosphere (Deltae) measured in situ. For the plastic response, for every species and life form, WUE increased from the dry to the wet year. We hypothesize that photosynthesis was less nutrient limited in the wet than in the dry year, facilitating higher net photosynthesis rates per unit of stomatal conductance in the wet year. For the interspecific response, WUE was lower in species native to drier habitats than in species native to wetter habitats. This response was mostly accounted for by a decrease in Deltae with EWP. Annual herbs, which avoid drought in time (they have the earliest growth cycle), and shrubs, which avoid drought in space (they have the deepest roots), showed the highest EWP and WUE. We conclude that the conventional wisdom which states that the highest WUE occurs within a species during the driest years, and among species in the driest habitats, does not always hold true, and that co-existing life forms drastically differ in water availability and water economy.

  5. Carbon dynamics in aboveground biomass of co-dominant plant species in a temperate grassland ecosystem: same or different?

    PubMed

    Ostler, Ulrike; Schleip, Inga; Lattanzi, Fernando A; Schnyder, Hans

    2016-04-01

    Understanding the role of individual organisms in whole-ecosystem carbon (C) fluxes is probably the biggest current challenge in C cycle research. Thus, it is unknown whether different plant community members share the same or different residence times in metabolic (τmetab ) and nonmetabolic (i.e. structural) (τnonmetab ) C pools of aboveground biomass and the fraction of fixed C allocated to aboveground nonmetabolic biomass (Anonmetab ). We assessed τmetab , τnonmetab and Anonmetab of co-dominant species from different functional groups (two bunchgrasses, a stoloniferous legume and a rosette dicot) in a temperate grassland community. Continuous, 14-16-d-long (13) C-labeling experiments were performed in September 2006, May 2007 and September 2007. A two-pool compartmental system, with a well-mixed metabolic and a nonmixed nonmetabolic pool, was the simplest biologically meaningful model that fitted the (13) C tracer kinetics in the whole-shoot biomass of all species. In all experimental periods, the species had similar τmetab (5-8 d), whereas τnonmetab ranged from 20 to 58 d (except for one outlier) and Anonmetab from 7 to 45%. Variations in τnonmetab and Anonmetab were not systematically associated with species or experimental periods, but exhibited relationships with leaf life span, particularly in the grasses. Similar pool kinetics of species suggested similar kinetics at the community level.

  6. Unrecognized coral species diversity masks differences in functional ecology.

    PubMed

    Boulay, Jennifer N; Hellberg, Michael E; Cortés, Jorge; Baums, Iliana B

    2014-02-07

    Porites corals are foundation species on Pacific reefs but a confused taxonomy hinders understanding of their ecosystem function and responses to climate change. Here, we show that what has been considered a single species in the eastern tropical Pacific, Porites lobata, includes a morphologically similar yet ecologically distinct species, Porites evermanni. While P. lobata reproduces mainly sexually, P. evermanni dominates in areas where triggerfish prey on bioeroding mussels living within the coral skeleton, thereby generating asexual coral fragments. These fragments proliferate in marginal habitat not colonized by P. lobata. The two Porites species also show a differential bleaching response despite hosting the same dominant symbiont subclade. Thus, hidden diversity within these reef-builders has until now obscured differences in trophic interactions, reproductive dynamics and bleaching susceptibility, indicative of differential responses when confronted with future climate change.

  7. Unrecognized coral species diversity masks differences in functional ecology

    PubMed Central

    Boulay, Jennifer N.; Hellberg, Michael E.; Cortés, Jorge; Baums, Iliana B.

    2014-01-01

    Porites corals are foundation species on Pacific reefs but a confused taxonomy hinders understanding of their ecosystem function and responses to climate change. Here, we show that what has been considered a single species in the eastern tropical Pacific, Porites lobata, includes a morphologically similar yet ecologically distinct species, Porites evermanni. While P. lobata reproduces mainly sexually, P. evermanni dominates in areas where triggerfish prey on bioeroding mussels living within the coral skeleton, thereby generating asexual coral fragments. These fragments proliferate in marginal habitat not colonized by P. lobata. The two Porites species also show a differential bleaching response despite hosting the same dominant symbiont subclade. Thus, hidden diversity within these reef-builders has until now obscured differences in trophic interactions, reproductive dynamics and bleaching susceptibility, indicative of differential responses when confronted with future climate change. PMID:24335977

  8. Production, Nutritional Quality and In vitro Methane Production from Andropogon gayanus Grass Harvested at Different Maturities and Preserved as Hay or Silage

    PubMed Central

    Ribeiro, G. O.; Teixeira, A. M.; Velasco, F. O.; Faria Júnior, W. G.; Pereira, L. G. R.; Chaves, A. V.; Gonçalves, L. C.; McAllister, T. A.

    2014-01-01

    Andropogon gayanus is an important grass due to its high biomass production, drought tolerance and favorable growth on low fertility acidic soils. Currently, there is little research on the impact of growth stage on the nutritional quality or the degree of CH4 production that may arise from this forage during ruminal fermentation. The objectives of this study were to determine the effects of regrowth stage of A. gayanus on its chemical composition, in vitro production of gas and CH4, as well as in vitro dry matter (DM) digestibility when grown under tropical Brazilian conditions and conserved as hay or as silage. The nutritional value of A. gayanus grass declined with increasing maturity; however digestible DM yield linearly increased. After 112 d of regrowth, A. gayanus produced higher quality silage (higher lactate and lower pH and butyrate content) and higher DM yield. However, the low levels of crude protein at this time would make protein supplementation a necessity for proper rumen fermentation. No differences in CH4 kinetic parameters were found with advancing maturity or preservation method (hay or silage). PMID:25049959

  9. Species composition and abundance of Brevipalpus spp. on different citrus species in Mexican orchards.

    PubMed

    Salinas-Vargas, D; Santillán-Galicia, M T; Valdez-Carrasco, J; Mora-Aguilera, G; Atanacio-Serrano, Y; Romero-Pescador, P

    2013-08-01

    We studied the abundance of Brevipalpus spp. in citrus orchards in the Mexican states of Yucatan, Quintana Roo and Campeche. Mites were collected from 100 trees containing a mixture of citrus species where sweet orange was always the main species. Eight collections were made at each location from February 2010 to February 2011. Mites from the genus Brevipalpus were separated from other mites surveyed and their abundance and relationships with the different citrus species were quantified throughout the collection period. A subsample of 25% of the total Brevipalpus mites collected were identified to species level and the interaction of mite species and citrus species were described. Brevipalpus spp. were present on all collection dates and their relative abundance was similar on all citrus species studies. The smallest number of mites collected was during the rainy season. Brevipalpus phoenicis (Geijskes) and Brevipalpus californicus (Banks) were the only two species present and they were found in all locations except Campeche, where only B. phoenicis was present. Yucatan and Campeche are at greater risk of leprosis virus transmission than Quintana Roo because the main vector, B. phoenicis, was more abundant than B. californicus. The implications of our results for the design of more accurate sampling and control methods for Brevipalpus spp. are discussed.

  10. Local versus landscape-scale effects of savanna trees on grasses

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Riginos, C.; Grace, J.B.; Augustine, D.J.; Young, T.P.

    2009-01-01

    1. Savanna ecosystems - defined by the coexistence of trees and grasses - cover more than one-fifth the world's land surface and harbour most of the world's rangelands, livestock and large mammal diversity. Savanna trees can have a variety of effects on grasses, with consequences for the wild and domestic herbivores that depend on them. 2.Studies of these effects have focused on two different spatial scales. At the scale of individual trees, many studies have shown net positive effects of trees on sub-canopy grass nutrient concentrations and biomass. At the landscape scale, other studies have shown negative effects of high tree densities on grass productivity. These disparate results have led to different conclusions about the effects of trees on forage quality and ungulate nutrition in savannas. 3.We integrate these approaches by examining the effects of trees on grasses at both spatial scales and across a range of landscape-scale tree densities. 4.We quantified grass biomass, species composition and nutrient concentrations in these different contexts in an Acacia drepanolobium savanna in Laikipia, Kenya. Individual trees had positive effects on grass biomass, most likely because trees enrich soil nitrogen. Grass leaf phosphorus in sub-canopy areas, however, was depressed. The effects of individual trees could explain the effects of increasing landscape-scale tree cover for the biomass of only two of the four dominant grass species. 5.The negative effects of trees on grass and soil phosphorus, combined with depressed grass productivity in areas of high tree cover, suggest that ungulate nutrition may be compromised in areas with many trees. 6.Synthesis. We conclude that few, isolated trees may have positive local effects on savanna grasses and forage, but in areas of high tree density the negative landscape-scale effects of trees are likely to outweigh these positive effects. In savannas and other patchy landscapes, attempts to predict the consequences of changes

  11. A comparative analysis of the evolution, expression, and cis-regulatory element of polygalacturonase genes in grasses and dicots.

    PubMed

    Liang, Ying; Yu, Youjian; Cui, Jinlong; Lyu, Meiling; Xu, Liai; Cao, Jiashu

    2016-11-01

    Cell walls are a distinguishing characteristic of plants essential to their survival. The pectin content of primary cell walls in grasses and dicots is distinctly different. Polygalacturonases (PGs) can degrade pectins and participate in multiple developmental processes of plants. This study comprehensively compared the evolution, expression, and cis-regulatory element of PGs in grasses and dicots. A total of 577 PGs identified from five grasses and five dicots fell into seven clades. Evolutionary analysis demonstrated the distinct differences between grasses and dicots in patterns of gene duplication and loss, and evolutionary rates. Grasses generally contained much fewer clade C and F members than dicots. We found that this disparity was the result of less duplication and more gene losses in grasses. More duplications occurred in clades D and E, and expression analysis showed that most of clade E members were expressed ubiquitously at a high overall level and clade D members were closely related to male reproduction in both grasses and dicots, suggesting their biological functions were highly conserved across species. In addition to the general role in reproductive development, PGs of clades C and F specifically played roles in root development in dicots, shedding light on organ differentiation between the two groups of plants. A regulatory element analysis of clade C and F members implied that possible functions of PGs in specific biological responses contributed to their expansion and preservation. This work can improve the knowledge of PGs in plants generally and in grasses specifically and is beneficial to functional studies.

  12. Development of innovative technique that may be used as models for the increase of biomass production with grasses and other species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burton, G. W.; Hanna, W. W.

    1981-09-01

    Techniques for biomass increase are discussed: irradiation breeding of sterile triploid turf bermuda grasses; irradiation breeding of sterile Coastcross-1, a forage grass hybrid to increase winter hardiness; heterosis resulting from crossing specific irradiation induced mutants with their normal inbred parent; use of mitomycin and streptomycin to create cytoplasmic male sterile mutants in pearl millet; biomass of napiergrass; evaluation of mutagen induced lignin mutants to maximize metabolizable energy in sorghum; interspecific crosses in Pennisetum; production of homozygous translocation tester stocks; use of radiation to induce and transfer reproductive behavior in plants; and genetics of radiation induced mutations.

  13. Genetic variations of body weight and GCRV resistance in a random mating population of grass carp

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Rong; Sun, Jiaxian; Luo, Qing; He, Libo; Liao, Lanjie; Li, Yongming; Guo, Fuhua; Zhu, Zuoyan; Wang, Yaping

    2015-01-01

    The grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idellus) is an important species in freshwater aquaculture both in China and on a global scale. Variety degeneration and frequent diseases have limited the further development of grass carp aquaculture. Thus, new and improved varieties are required. Here, we identified and assessed the body weight and disease resistance in a random mating population of 19 ♀ × 22 ♂ grass carp, which were derived from different water systems. In both the growth experimental group of 10,245 fish and grass carp reovirus (GCRV)-infected group with 10,000 fish, 78 full-sib families were statistically analyzed for body weight and GCRV resistance. The findings showed that body weight traits had low heritability (0.11 ± 0.04, 0.10 ± 0.03 and 0.12 ± 0.05), GCRV resistance traits had high heritability (0.63 ± 0.11); body weight was higher in 3 families, whereas GCRV resistance was significantly greater in 11 families. Our results confirmed that the natural germplasm resources of wild grass carp were genetically diverse. Breeding of GCRV resistant varieties of grass carp have better genetic basis. This study provides the basis for constructing basal populations for grass carp selective breeding, quantitative trait loci (QTL) and genome-wide association studies (GWAS) analysis. PMID:26439690

  14. Concentrations and δ²H values of cuticular n-alkanes vary significantly among plant organs, species and habitats in grasses from an alpine and a temperate European grassland.

    PubMed

    Gamarra, Bruno; Kahmen, Ansgar

    2015-08-01

    n-Alkanes are long-chained hydrocarbons contained in the cuticle of terrestrial plants. Their hydrogen isotope ratios (δ(2)H) have been used as a proxy for environmental and plant ecophysiological processes. Calibration studies designed to resolve the mechanisms that determine the δ(2)H values of n-alkanes have exclusively focused on n-alkanes derived from leaves. It is, however, unclear in which quantities n-alkanes are also produced by other plant organs such as roots or inflorescences, or whether different plant organs produce distinct n-alkane δ(2)H values. To resolve these open questions, we sampled leaves, sheaths, stems, inflorescences and roots from a total of 15 species of European C3 grasses in an alpine and a temperate grassland in Switzerland. Our data show slightly increased n-alkane concentrations and n-alkane δ(2)H values in the alpine compared to the temperate grassland. More importantly, inflorescences had typically much higher n-alkane concentrations than other organs while roots had very low n-alkane concentrations. Most interestingly, the δ(2)H values of the carbon autonomous plant organs leaves, sheaths and stems were in general depleted compared to the overall mean δ(2)H value of a species, while non-carbon autonomous organs such as roots and inflorescences show δ(2)H values that are higher compared to the overall mean δ(2)H value of a species. We attribute organ-specific δ(2)H values to differences in the H-NADPH biosynthetic origin in different plant organs as a function of their carbon relationships. Finally, we employed simple mass balance calculations to show that leaves are in fact the main source of n-alkanes in the sediment. As such, studies assessing the environmental and physiological drivers of n-alkanes that focus on leaves produce relationships that can be employed to interpret the δ(2)H values of n-alkanes derived from sediments. This is despite the significant differences that we found among the δ(2)H values in the

  15. Fescues ‘leaf’ other grasses behind

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The yield and nutritive value of leaves, stems, and total forage of eight different perennial cool-season grasses were compared at 30-day intervals in spring, summer, and fall at two Wisconsin locations. Total forage production of all grasses was greatest during spring, as expected, and differences ...

  16. Brain organization of gorillas reflects species differences in ecology

    PubMed Central

    Barks, Sarah K.; Calhoun, Michael E.; Hopkins, William D.; Cranfield, Michael R.; Mudakikwa, Antoine; Stoinski, Tara S.; Patterson, Francine G.; Erwin, Joseph M.; Hecht, Erin E.; Hof, Patrick R.; Sherwood, Chet C.

    2014-01-01

    Gorillas include separate eastern (Gorilla beringei) and western (Gorilla gorilla) African species that diverged from each other approximately 2 million years ago. Although anatomical, genetic, behavioral, and socioecological differences have been noted among gorilla populations, little is known about variation in their brain structure. This study examines neuroanatomical variation between gorilla species using structural neuroimaging. Postmortem magnetic resonance images were obtained of brains from 18 captive western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla), 15 wild mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei), and 3 Grauer's gorillas (Gorilla beringei graueri) (both wild and captive). Stereologic methods were used to measure volumes of brain structures, including left and right frontal lobe gray and white matter, temporal lobe gray and white matter, parietal and occipital lobes gray and white matter, insular gray matter, hippocampus, striatum, thalamus, each hemisphere and the vermis of the cerebellum, and the external and extreme capsules together with the claustrum. Among the species differences, the volumes of the hippocampus and cerebellum were significantly larger in G. gorilla than G. beringei. These anatomical differences may relate to divergent ecological adaptations of the two species. Specifically, G. gorilla engage in more arboreal locomotion and thus may rely more on cerebellar circuits. In addition, they tend to eat more fruit and have larger home ranges and consequently might depend more on spatial mapping functions of the hippocampus. PMID:25360547

  17. Brain organization of gorillas reflects species differences in ecology.

    PubMed

    Barks, Sarah K; Calhoun, Michael E; Hopkins, William D; Cranfield, Michael R; Mudakikwa, Antoine; Stoinski, Tara S; Patterson, Francine G; Erwin, Joseph M; Hecht, Erin E; Hof, Patrick R; Sherwood, Chet C

    2015-02-01

    Gorillas include separate eastern (Gorilla beringei) and western (Gorilla gorilla) African species that diverged from each other approximately 2 million years ago. Although anatomical, genetic, behavioral, and socioecological differences have been noted among gorilla populations, little is known about variation in their brain structure. This study examines neuroanatomical variation between gorilla species using structural neuroimaging. Postmortem magnetic resonance images were obtained of brains from 18 captive western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla), 15 wild mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei), and 3 Grauer's gorillas (Gorilla beringei graueri) (both wild and captive). Stereologic methods were used to measure volumes of brain structures, including left and right frontal lobe gray and white matter, temporal lobe gray and white matter, parietal and occipital lobes gray and white matter, insular gray matter, hippocampus, striatum, thalamus, each hemisphere and the vermis of the cerebellum, and the external and extreme capsules together with the claustrum. Among the species differences, the volumes of the hippocampus and cerebellum were significantly larger in G. gorilla than G. beringei. These anatomical differences may relate to divergent ecological adaptations of the two species. Specifically, G. gorilla engages in more arboreal locomotion and thus may rely more on cerebellar circuits. In addition, they tend to eat more fruit and have larger home ranges and consequently might depend more on spatial mapping functions of the hippocampus.

  18. Similarities and differences in rubber biochemistry among plant species.

    PubMed

    Cornish, K

    2001-08-01

    This report reviews aspects of the biochemical regulation of rubber yield and rubber quality in three contrasting rubber-producing species, Hevea brasiliensis, Parthenium argentatum and Ficus elastica. Although many similarities are revealed, considerable differences also exist in enzymatic mechanisms regulating biosynthetic rate and the molecular weight of the rubber biopolymers produced. In all three species, rubber molecule initiation, biosynthetic rate and molecular weight, in vitro, are dependent upon substrate concentration and the ratio of isopentenyl pyrophosphate (IPP, the elongation substrate, or monomer) and farnesyl pyrophosphate (FPP, an initiator), but these parameters are affected by intrinsic properties of the rubber transferases as well. All three rubber transferases are capable of producing a wide range of rubber molecular weight, depending upon substrate concentration, clearly demonstrating that the transferases are not the prime determinants of product size in vivo. However, despite these commonalities, considerable differences exist between the species with respect to cosubstrate effects, binding constants, effective concentration ranges, and the role of negative cooperativity in vitro. The P. argentatum rubber transferase appears to exert more control over the molecular weight it produces than the other two species and may, therefore, provide the best prospect for the source of genes for transformation of annual crop species. The kinetic data, from the three contrasting rubber-producing species, also were used to develop a model of the rubber transferase active site in which, in addition to separate IPP and allylic-PP binding sites, there exists a hydrophobic region that interacts with the linear portion of allylic-PP initiator proximal to the pyrophosphate. Substrate affinity increases until the active site is traversed and the rubber interior of the rubber particle is reached. The kinetic data suggest that the hydrophobic region in H

  19. Checklist of Serengeti Ecosystem Grasses.

    PubMed

    Williams, Emma Victoria; Elia Ntandu, John; Ficinski, Paweł; Vorontsova, Maria

    2016-01-01

    We present the first taxonomic checklist of the Poaceae species of the Serengeti, Tanzania. A review of the literature and herbarium specimens recorded 200 species of grasses, in line with similar studies in other parts of East Africa. The checklist is supported by a total of 939 herbarium collections. Full georeferenced collection data is made available alongside a summary checklist in pdf format. More than a quarter of the species are known from a single collection highlighting the need for further research, especially concerning the rare species and their distribution.

  20. Checklist of Serengeti Ecosystem Grasses

    PubMed Central

    Ficinski, Paweł; Vorontsova, Maria

    2016-01-01

    Abstract We present the first taxonomic checklist of the Poaceae species of the Serengeti, Tanzania. A review of the literature and herbarium specimens recorded 200 species of grasses, in line with similar studies in other parts of East Africa. The checklist is supported by a total of 939 herbarium collections. Full georeferenced collection data is made available alongside a summary checklist in pdf format. More than a quarter of the species are known from a single collection highlighting the need for further research, especially concerning the rare species and their distribution. PMID:27226761

  1. Method and device for identifying different species of honeybees

    SciTech Connect

    Kerr, H.T.; Buchanan, M.E.; Valentine, K.H.

    1989-10-24

    A method and device have been provided for distinguishing Africanized honeybees from European honeybees. The method is based on the discovery of a distinct difference in the acoustical signatures of these two species of honeybees in flight. The European honeybee signature has a fundamental power peak in the 210 to 240 Hz range while the Africanized honeybee signature has a fundamental power peak in the 260 to 290 Hz range. The acoustic signal produced by honeybees is analyzed by means of a detecting device to quickly determine the honeybee species through the detection of the presence of frequencies in one of these distinct ranges. The device includes a microphone for acoustical signal detection which feeds the detected signal into a frequency analyzer which is designed to detect the presence of either of the known fundamental wingbeat frequencies unique to the acoustical signatures of these species as an indication of the identity of the species and indicate the species identity on a readout device. 8 figs.

  2. Fusarium dactylidis sp. nov., a novel nivalenol toxin-producing species sister to F. pseudograminearum isolated from orchard grass (Dactylis glomerata) in Oregon and New Zealand

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The B trichothecene toxin-producing clade (B clade) of Fusarium includes the etiological agents of Fusarium head blight, crown rot of wheat and barley and stem and ear rot of maize. B clade isolates also have been recovered from several wild and cultivated grasses, including Dactylis glomerata (orch...

  3. Response of dominant grass and shrub species to water manipulation: an ecophysiological basis for shrub invasion in a Chihuahuan Desert grassland

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Increases in woody vegetation and declines in grasses in arid and semi-arid ecosystems have occurred globally since the 1800s, but the mechanisms driving this major land-cover change remain uncertain and controversial. Working in a shrub-encroached grassland in the northern Chihuahuan Desert where ...

  4. Effect of different forage species on the nitrogen uptake in Hulunbeir

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Li-Jun; Xu, Xing-Liang; Tang, Xue-Juan; Yang, Gui-Xia; Zhang, Zhao; Xin, Xiao-Ping

    2017-02-01

    Knowledge of determining factors for nitrogen uptake preferences and how they are modified in changing environments are critical to understand ecosystem nitrogen cycling and to predict plant responses to future environmental changes. However, it remains unclear in this aspect for the main managed grassland (Medicago sativa, Bromus inermis, Leymus chinensis) and crop (Brassica campestris) under field condition in Hulunbeir area of Inner Mongolia of China. Two 15N tracer experiments utilizing a unique differential labelled nitrogen source were employed in both managed grassland (M. sativa, B. inermis and L. chinensis) and crop (B. campestris) in Hulunbeir area of Inner Mongolia of China. Tracing both labels in the above-and below ground plant biomass, soil NH4 + -N or NO3 ‑ -N and NH4 + -N or NO3 - -N uptake by plants. There were differences between soil NO3 ‑-N concentration and NH4+-N concentration, and NO3 ‑-N concentration was higher than NH4 +-N concentration. NO3 ‑-N concentration was led by different grass species. The NH4 +-N concentration in August were higher than in July on the whole, the highest value for B. campestris and the lowest for B. inermis. The plant N concentration in B. inermis, L. chinensis and B. campestris showed decreasing trend, its mean value decreased by 20.1, 47.9 and 26.7%, respectively, and M. sativa increased by 13.7%. Among the four species, the individuals exhibited a preference for 15NO3 -, indicated by higher 15N signatures in 15NO3-treatment than in 15NH4 + treatment.

  5. Proteomic analysis of photosystem I components from different plant species.

    PubMed

    Zolla, Lello; Rinalducci, Sara; Timperio, Anna Maria

    2007-06-01

    In this study, the photosystem I (PSI) highly hydrophobic proteins present within stroma lamellae of the thylakoid membrane were separated by RP-HPLC and identified either by in-solution trypsin digestion peptide fragment fingerprinting or by the close correspondence between the intact mass measurements (IMMs) and those expected from the DNA sequence. Protein identification performed by MS/MS was as reliable as IMMs. Thus, IMM is an easy and valid method for identifying proteins that have no PTMs. This paper reports the M(r) for all PSI proteins in ten different species, including those whose genes have not yet been cloned. Lhca5 was revealed unequivocally in four species, corroborating that it is indeed a protein belonging to the light-harvesting antenna of PSI. In all species examined, the product of the Lhca6 gene has never been revealed. Concerning core proteins, Psa-O has been revealed in three species; isoforms of Psa-D and Psa-E have been found in both monocots and dicots. Small proteins like Psa-I and Psa-J are well separated and identified. RP-HPLC produces reliable fingerprints and reveals that the relative amounts of PSI proteins appear to be markedly different.

  6. Can species-specific differences in foliar chemistry influence leaf litter decomposition in grassland species?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sanaullah, M.; Chabbi, A.; Rumpel, C.

    2009-04-01

    The influence of litter quality on its rate of decomposition is a crucial aspect of C cycle. In this study we concentrated on grassland ecosystems where leaf litter is one of the major sources of C input. To quantify the contribution of initial leaf chemistry within different plant species, the decomposition of chemically different leaf litter of three grassland species (Lolium perenne, Festuca arundinacea and Dactylis glomerata) was monitored, using the litter bag technique. Litter of different maturity stages i.e. green (fresh leaves) and brown litter (brown leaves were still attached to the plant), were incubated on bare soil surface. Samples were taken at different time intervals (0, 2, 4, 8, 20 and 44 weeks) and were analyzed for mass loss, organic C and N contents and stable isotopic signatures (C and N). Changes in litter chemistry were addressed by determining lignin-derived phenols after CuO oxidation and non-cellulosic polysaccharides after acid hydrolysis followed by gas chromatography. Green litter was chemically different from brown litter due to higher initial N and lower lignin contents. While in grassland species, both L. perenne and D. glomerata were similar in their initial chemical composition compared with F. arundinacea. Green litter showed higher rate of degradation. In green litter, Percent lignin remaining of initial (% OI) followed the similar decomposition pattern as of C remaining indicating lignin as controlling factor in decomposition. Constant Acid-to-Aldehyde ratios of lignin-derived phenols (vanillyl and syringyl) did not suggest any transformation in lignin structures. In green litter, increase in non-cellulosic polysaccharides ratios (C6/C5 and deoxy/C5) proposed microbial-derived sugars, while there was no significant increase in these ratios in brown litter. In conclusion, due to the differences in initial chemical composition (initial N and lignin contents), green litter decomposition was higher than brown litter in all

  7. Comparison of mammalian mitochondrial ribosomal ribonucleic acid from different species.

    PubMed

    Mitra, R S; Bartoov, B; Monahan, J; Freeman, K B

    1972-08-01

    Mitochondrial ribosomal RNA species from mouse L cells, rat liver, rat hepatoma, hamster BHK-21 cells and human KB cells were examined by electrophoresis on polyacrylamide-agarose gels and sedimentation in sucrose density gradients. The S(E) (electrophoretic mobility) and S values of mitochondrial rRNA of all species were highly dependent on temperature and ionic strength of the medium; the S(E) values increased and the S values decreased with an increase in temperature at a low ionic strength. At an ionic strength of 0.3 at 23-25 degrees C or an ionic strength of 0.01 at 3-4 degrees C the S and S(E) values were almost the same being about 16.2-18.0 and 12.3-13.6 for human and mouse mitochondrial rRNA. The molecular weights under these conditions were calculated to be 3.8x10(5)-4.3x10(5) and 5.9x10(5)-6.8x10(5), depending on the technique used. At 25 degrees C in buffers of low ionic strength mouse mitochondrial rRNA species had a lower electrophoretic mobility than those of human and hamster. Under these conditions the smaller mitochondrial rRNA species of hamster had a lower electrophoretic mobility than that of human but the larger component had an identical mobility. Mouse and rat mitochondrial rRNA species had identical electrophoretic mobilities. Complex differences between human and mouse mitochondrial rRNA species were observed on sedimentation in sucrose density gradients under various conditions of temperature and ionic strength. Mouse L-cell mitochondrial rRNA was eluted after cytoplasmic rRNA on a column of methylated albumin-kieselguhr.

  8. Germination sensitivities to water potential among co-existing C3 and C4 grasses of cool semi-arid prairie grasslands.

    PubMed

    Mollard, F P O; Naeth, M A

    2015-03-01

    An untested theory states that C4 grass seeds could germinate under lower water potentials (Ψ) than C3 grass seeds. We used hydrotime modelling to study seed water relations of C4 and C3 Canadian prairie grasses to address Ψ divergent sensitivities and germination strategies along a risk-spreading continuum of responses to limited water. C4 grasses were Bouteloua gracilis, Calamovilfa longifolia and Schizachyrium scoparium; C3 grasses were Bromus carinatus, Elymus trachycaulus, Festuca hallii and Koeleria macrantha. Hydrotime parameters were obtained after incubation of non-dormant seeds under different Ψ PEG 6000 solutions. A t-test between C3 and C4 grasses did not find statistical differences in population mean base Ψ (Ψb (50)). We found idiosyncratic responses of C4 grasses along the risk-spreading continuum. B. gracilis showed a risk-taker strategy of a species able to quickly germinate in a dry soil due to its low Ψb (50) and hydrotime (θH ). The high Ψb (50) of S. scoparium indicates it follows the risk-averse strategy so it can only germinate in wet soils. C. longifolia showed an intermediate strategy: the lowest Ψb (50) yet the highest θH . K. macrantha, a C3 grass which thrives in dry habitats, had the highest Ψb (50), suggesting a risk-averse strategy for a C3 species. Other C3 species showed intermediate germination patterns in response to Ψ relative to C4 species. Our results indicate that grasses display germination sensitivities to Ψ across the risk-spreading continuum of responses. Thus seed water relations may be poor predictors to explain differential recruitment and distribution of C3 and C4 grasses in the Canadian prairies.

  9. Ecological rehabilitation and phytoremediation with four grasses in oil shale mined land.

    PubMed

    Xia, H P

    2004-01-01

    Vetiver grass (Vetiveria zizanioides), bahia grass (Paspalum notatum), St. Augustine grass (Stenotaphrum secundatum), and bana grass (Pennisetum glaucumxP. purpureum) were selected to rehabilitate the degraded ecosystem of an oil shale mined land of Maoming Petro-Chemical Company located in Southwest of Guangdong Province, China. Among them, vetiver had the highest survival rate, up to 99%, followed by bahia and St. Augustine, 96% and 91%, respectively, whereas bana had the lowest survival rate of 62%. The coverage and biomass of vetiver were also the highest after 6-month planting. Fertilizer application significantly increased biomass and tiller number of the four grasses, of which St. Augustine was promoted most, up to 70% for biomass, while vetiver was promoted least, only 27% for biomass. Two heavy metals, lead (Pb) and cadmium (Cd) tested in this trial had different concentrations in the oil shale residue, and also had different contents and distributions in the four grass species. Concentrations of Pb and Cd in the four grasses presented a disparity of only 1.6-3.8 times, but their uptake amounts to the two metals were apart up to 27.5-35.5 times, which was chiefly due to the significantly different biomasses among them. Fertilizer application could abate the ability of the four species to accumulate heavy metals, namely concentration of heavy metals in plants decreased as fertilizer was applied. The total amount of metals accumulated by each plant under the condition of fertilization did not decrease due to an increase of biomass. In summary, vetiver may be the best species used for vegetation rehabilitation in oil shale disposal piles.

  10. Structural differences in chromosomes distinguish species in the tomato clade.

    PubMed

    Anderson, L K; Covey, P A; Larsen, L R; Bedinger, P; Stack, S M

    2010-07-01

    The tomato clade of Solanaceae is composed of 12 species that are all diploid with the same chromosome number and morphology. Species in the tomato clade are considered to have evolved primarily by genic changes rather than large-scale chromosomal rearrangements because pachytene chromosomes in F(1) hybrids synapse normally along their lengths and linkage maps of intra- and inter-specific hybrids are co-linear. However, small inversions have been reported between tomato and some of its wild relatives. Therefore, we reevaluated 5 F(1) hybrids using high-resolution, electron microscopic examination of pachytene chromosome (= synaptonemal complex) spreads to determine whether any minor structural changes had occurred among species in the tomato clade, which were not easily visible using light microscopic analysis of conventional chromosome squashes. Our study revealed a number of unexpected synaptic configurations such as mismatched kinetochores, inversion loops and reciprocal translocations. Most of these structural differences were in or close to heterochromatin that has comparatively few genes and little recombination, so they would be expected to have little effect on the evident colinearity of linkage maps, especially in euchromatin. However, these results demonstrate that substantial changes in chromosome structure have occurred among species within the tomato clade.

  11. Sonoran Desert ecosystem transformation by a C4 grass without the grass/fire cycle

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Olsson, Aaryn D.; Betancourt, Julio; McClaran, Mitchel P.; Marsh, Stuart E.

    2012-01-01

    Aim Biological invasions facilitate ecosystem transformation by altering the structure and function, diversity, dominance and disturbance regimes. A classic case is the grass–fire cycle in which grass invasion increases the frequency, scale and/or intensity of wildfires and promotes the continued invasion of invasive grasses. Despite wide acceptance of the grass–fire cycle, questions linger about the relative roles that interspecific plant competition and fire play in ecosystem transformations. Location Sonoran Desert Arizona Upland of the Santa Catalina Mountains, Arizona, USA. Methods We measured species cover, density and saguaro (Carnegiea gigantea) size structure along gradients of Pennisetum ciliare invasion at 10 unburned/ungrazed P. ciliare patches. Regression models quantified differences in diversity, cover and density with respect to P. ciliare cover, and residence time and a Fisher's exact test detected demographic changes in saguaro populations. Because P. ciliare may have initially invaded locations that were both more invasible and less diverse, we ran analyses with and without the plots in which initial infestations were located. Results Richness and diversity decreased with P. ciliare cover as did cover and density of most dominant species. Richness and diversity declined with increasing time since invasion, suggesting an ongoing transformation. The proportion of old-to-young Carnegiea gigantea was significantly lower in plots with dominant P. ciliare cover. Main conclusions Rich desert scrub (15–25 species per plot) was transformed into depauperate grassland (2–5 species per plot) within 20 years following P. ciliare invasion without changes to the fire regime. While the onset of a grass–fire cycle may drive ecosystem change in the later stages and larger scales of grass invasions of arid lands, competition by P. ciliare can drive small-scale transformations earlier in the invasion. Linking competition-induced transformation rates with

  12. Plasticity of nitrogen allocation in the leaves of the invasive wetland grass, Phalaris arundinacea and co-occurring Carex species determines the photosynthetic sensitivity to nitrogen availability.

    PubMed

    Holaday, A Scott; Schwilk, Dylan W; Waring, Elizabeth F; Guvvala, Hasitha; Griffin, Chelsea M; Lewis, O Milo

    2015-04-01

    Phalaris arundinacea displaces the slower-growing, native sedge, Carex stricta, where nitrogen availability is high. Our aim was to address whether morphological and physiological traits associated with carbon gain for P. arundinacea and C. stricta responded to nitrogen supply differently and if the species exhibited different degrees of plasticity in these traits. The plants were grown in gravel and provided modified Hoagland's solution containing four nitrogen concentrations from 0.15 to 15 mM for 6 to 7 weeks. Supplied nitrogen affected the leaf nitrogen content to the same degree for both species. Increasing supplied nitrogen strongly increased CO2 assimilation (A), photosynthetic nitrogen use efficiency (PNUE), and respiration for P. arundinacea but had only a small effect on these parameters for C. stricta. Relative to growth at 15 mM nitrogen, growth at 0.15 mM for young leaves decreased carboxylation capacity and efficiency and the capacity for electron transport for P. arundinacea and a larger, stouter Carex species, Carex lacustris, by 53 to 70% but only 20 to 24% for C. stricta. Leaf nitrogen decreased approximately 50% for all species, but vacuolar nitrate did not decrease for P. arundinacea and C. stricta, suggesting that it does not serve as a nitrogen reserve for use during nitrogen deprivation in these species. After 4 months of nitrogen deprivation, P. arundinacea doubled A in 12 days after being supplied 15 mM nitrogen, whereas A for C. stricta increased only 22%. We propose that one factor linking P. arundinacea abundance to nitrogen availability involves this species' plastic response of carbon gain to nitrogen supply. C. stricta appears to be adapted to tolerate low nitrogen availability but cannot respond as rapidly and extensively as P. arundinacea when nitrogen supply is high.

  13. [Fatty acids in different edible fish species from Mexico].

    PubMed

    Castro González, María Isabel; Rodríguez, Ana Gabriela Maafs; Galindo Gómez, Carlos

    2013-12-01

    Different biotic and abiotic factors determine the fatty acid (FA) composition of fish tissues and organs. This information is useful for humans due to the fact that fish consumption is associated with health benefits. The aim of the present study was to identify the variation in the concentration of fatty acids, according to different factors, among ten edible marine fish species in Mexico, collected from June to December 2009 in the largest fish market in Mexico City: Euthynnus alletteratus, Sciaenops ocellatus, Bairdiella chrysoura, Sphyraena guachancho, Symphurus elongatus, Istiophorus platypterus, Ophichthus rex, Eugerres plumieri, Eucinostomus entomelas and Oreochromrnis mossambicus. Lipid content was gravimetrically quantified, the fatty acids were determined using a gas chromatograph and the results were statistically analyzed. Total lipid content ranged from 0.93 to 1.95 g/100 g in E. entomelas and O. urolepis hornorum, respectively. E. alletteratus, B. chrysoura, S. elongatus, I. platypterus, O. rex and E. plumieri presented the following order in FA concentration: Polyunsaturated FA (PUFA)>Saturated FA (SFA)>Monounsaturated FA (MUFA). S. ocellatus, S. guachancho and E. entomelas presented SFA>PUFA>MUFA; and only O. mossambicus presented SFA>MUFA>PUFA. O. mossambicus had the highest concentration (mg/100 g) of SFA (559.40) and MUFA (442.60), while B. chrysoura presented the highest content (mg/100 g) of PUFA (663.03), n-3 PUFA (514.03), EPA+DHA (506.10) and n-6 PUFA (145.80). Biotic and abiotic factors of the analyzed fish significantly influenced their FA concentration. Subtropical species presented 42.1% more EPA+DHA than tropical specie. Values presented here will vary according to the changes in the ecosystem and characteristics of each fish species, however the information generated in the present study is useful for improving fish consumption recommendations.

  14. Variations in Km(CO2) of Ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate Carboxylase among Grasses

    PubMed Central

    Yeoh, Hock-Hin; Badger, Murray R.; Watson, Leslie

    1980-01-01

    A survey of the Km(CO2) values of ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase from 60 grass species shows that enzyme from C3 grasses consistently exhibits lower Km(CO2) than does that from C4 grasses. Systematically ordered variation in Km(CO2) of ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylases from C3 and C4 grasses is also apparent and, among C4 grasses, this shows some correlation with C4 types. PMID:16661586

  15. Accumulation of mercury in selected plant species grown in soils contaminated with different mercury compounds

    SciTech Connect

    Su, Yi; Han, Fengxiang; Shiyab, Safwan; Chen, Jian; Monts, David L.

    2007-07-01

    The objective of our research is to screen and search for suitable plant species for phyto-remediation of mercury-contaminated soil. Currently our effort is specifically focused on mercury removal from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) sites, where mercury contamination is a major concern. In order to cost effectively implement mercury remediation efforts, it is necessary now to obtain an improved understanding of biological means of removing mercury and mercury compounds.. Phyto-remediation is a technology that uses various plants to degrade, extract, contain, or immobilize contaminants from soil and water. In particular, phyto-extraction is the uptake of contaminants by plant roots and translocation within the plants to shoots or leaves. Contaminants are generally removed by harvesting the plants. We have investigated phyto-extraction of mercury from contaminated soil by using some of the known metal-accumulating plants since no natural plant species with mercury hyper-accumulating properties has yet been identified. Different natural plant species have been studied for mercury uptake, accumulation, toxicity and overall mercury removal efficiency. Various mercury compounds, such as HgS, HgCl{sub 2}, and Hg(NO{sub 3}){sub 2}, were used as contaminant sources. Different types of soil were examined and chosen for phyto-remediation experiments. We have applied microscopy and diffuse reflectance spectrometry as well as conventional analytical chemistry to monitor the phyto-remediation processes of mercury uptake, translocation and accumulation, and the physiological impact of mercury contaminants on selected plant species. Our results indicate that certain plant species, such as beard grass (Polypogon monospeliensis), accumulated a very limited amount of mercury in the shoots (<65 mg/kg), even though root mercury accumulation is significant (maximum 2298 mg/kg). Consequently, this plant species may not be suitable for mercury phyto-remediation. Other plant species

  16. Population and species differences in treeline tree species germination in response to climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kueppers, L. M.; Faist, A.; Castanha, C.

    2009-12-01

    The ability of plant species to recruit within and beyond their current geographic ranges in response to climate warming may be constrained by population differences in response. A number of studies have highlighted the degree to which genotype and environment are strongly linked in forest trees (i.e., provenances), but few studies have examined whether these local adaptations are at all predictive of population or species response to change. We report the results of lab germination experiments using high and low elevation populations of both limber pine (Pinus flexilis) and Engelmann spruce (Picea engelmannii), which are important treeline species in the Rocky Mountains. Seeds collected in 2008 were germinated under two different temperature regimes (ambient and +5°C) and two different moisture regimes, and followed for 17 weeks. For both species and source elevations, warmer temperatures advanced the timing of emergence by up to 20 days, whereas the effects of moisture were less consistent. At harvest, high elevation limber pine had less root and shoot biomass, and a slightly lower root:shoot ratio, under the +5°C treatment, whereas low elevation limber pine seedling mass was not sensitive to temperature. Whether these differences persist under field conditions will be tested in a field experiment now established at Niwot Ridge, CO. The ability to accurately predict tree seedling recruitment and ultimately shifts in treeline position with climate change will improve our ability to model changes in surface albedo, water cycling and carbon cycling, all of which can generate feedbacks to regional and global climate.

  17. Hyperspectral optical imaging of two different species of lepidoptera

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Medina, José Manuel; Nascimento, Sérgio Miguel Cardoso; Vukusic, Pete

    2011-05-01

    In this article, we report a hyperspectral optical imaging application for measurement of the reflectance spectra of photonic structures that produce structural colors with high spatial resolution. The measurement of the spectral reflectance function is exemplified in the butterfly wings of two different species of Lepidoptera: the blue iridescence reflected by the nymphalid Morpho didius and the green iridescence of the papilionid Papilio palinurus. Color coordinates from reflectance spectra were calculated taking into account human spectral sensitivity. For each butterfly wing, the observed color is described by a characteristic color map in the chromaticity diagram and spreads over a limited volume in the color space. The results suggest that variability in the reflectance spectra is correlated with different random arrangements in the spatial distribution of the scales that cover the wing membranes. Hyperspectral optical imaging opens new ways for the non-invasive study and classification of different forms of irregularity in structural colors.

  18. The role of wild grasses in the management of lepidopterous stem-borers on maize in the humid tropics of western Africa.

    PubMed

    Ndemah, R; Gounou, S; Schulthess, F

    2002-12-01

    Sites in the humid forest of Cameroon and the derived savanna of Benin were selected to evaluate the effect of planting border rows of wild host plants on lepidopterous stem-borer infestations and on maize yield. Grass species were chosen that in surveys and greenhouse trials were highly attractive to ovipositing female moths but with offspring mortality of close to 100%, thus acting as trap plants. In Cameroon, elephant grass Pennisetum purpureum Moench significantly lowered infestations of Busseola fusca (Fuller), Sesamia calamistis Hampson and Eldana saccharina Walker and increased yields of maize though the differences were not significant during all three cropping seasons. In 1998 in Benin, the only grass tested, Pennisetum polystachion L., significantly increased parasitism of mainly S. calamistis eggs by Telenomus spp. and larvae by Cotesia sesamiae Cameron and reduced numbers of the cob-borer Mussidia nigrivenella Ragonot. In 1999, three grass species; P. polystachion, Sorghum arundinaceum (Desv.) Stapf and Panicum maximum Jacq. were tested. Panicum maximum was the most efficient species for suppressing S. calamistis and M. nigrivenella infestations and enhancing egg and larval parasitism. In the Benin trials, with the exception of M. nigrivenella damage to cobs, the grass species tested had no beneficial effect on yield because pest densities were too low and also rodent damage to maize was enhanced with grasses in the vicinity of the crop. By contrast, stand losses due to Fusarium verticillioides Sacc. (Nirenberg), were significantly reduced by border rows of grasses.

  19. Intra-annual rainfall regime shifts competitive interactions between coastal sage scrub and invasive grasses.

    PubMed

    Goldstein, Leah J; Suding, Katharine N

    2014-02-01

    Changes in rainfall distribution, generally predicted by many climate models, can affect resource dynamics and ecosystem function. While little studied, intra-annual rainfall distribution may have particularly strong effects on competitive interactions. Here, we test whether increased rainfall event size and decreased frequency within a growing season can influence competitive dynamics related to the invasion of exotic annual grasses in California coastal sage scrub (CSS). We hypothesized that larger rainfall events and decreased frequency will increase the competitive ability of native CSS species: a deeper root system will permit greater water use during dry periods between pulses and enhance their resource depletion effect on more shallow-rooted grasses. We planted grass and CSS seedlings in an additive competition design under three rainfall treatments: frequent small events, infrequent large events, and infrequent small events. The first two treatments had the same total rainfall but different frequency, while the second and third treatments had the same frequency but different total rainfall. Rainfall treatment altered the competitive interactions between CSS and grasses. In the first year, the competitive effect of annual grasses on shrub seedlings was strongest under the frequent small rainfall regime where they reduced deep soil moisture and light. In year two, the established shrubs began to exert strong competitive effects on grasses, and these effects were strongest under the infrequent small rainfall regime (low total rain) where they reduced shallow soil moisture and decreased grass stomatal conductance. Results suggest that reductions in both rainfall frequency and total rainfall may be important to competitive interactions, and can alter plant community composition and invasion when species have different rooting depths and different responses to soil moisture.

  20. Comparing optical properties of different species of diatoms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maibohm, C.; Friis, S. M. M.; Su, Y.; Rottwitt, K.

    2015-03-01

    Diatoms are single cellular algae encapsulated in an external wall of micro-structured porous silica called the frustule. Diatoms are present in all water environments and contribute with 20-25 % of the global primary production of oxygen by photosynthesis. The appearance of the frustule is very species dependent with huge variety in size, shape, and microstructure. We have experimentally investigated optical properties of frustules of several species of diatoms to further understand light harvesting properties together with common traits, effects and differences between the different frustules. We have observed, when incident light interacts with the micro-structured frustule it is multiple diffracted giving rise to wavelength dependent multiple focal points and other optical effects. Experimental results have been simulated and well confirmed by free space FFT propagation routine analysis software. The software uses parameters which are extracted from experimental images as basis for simulation and allows us to extract the influence of the different elements of the frustule. The information could be used both for predicting optical properties of diatoms and by changing frustule parameters, maybe by altering growth conditions of the diatoms tailor their optical properties.

  1. Species differences in biliary excretion of benzo(a)pyrene

    SciTech Connect

    Weyand, E.H.; Bevan, D.R.

    1986-05-01

    Biliary excretion of benzo(a)pyrene (B(a)P) was investigated in rats, hamsters, and guinea pigs following intratracheal administration. (/sup 3/H)-B(a)P, in amounts of approximately 150 ng or 350 ..mu..g, was instilled into lungs and amounts of radioactivity excreted in bile were monitored for six hrs following administration. Differences in biliary excretion of (/sup 3/H)-B(a)P and/or metabolites among species were observed at low doses but not at high doses. Six hours after instillation of a low dose of B(a)P, 70, 54, and 62% of the dose was excreted in bile of rats, hamsters, and guinea pigs, respectively. Upon administration of the higher dose of B(a)P, approximately 50% of the dose was excreted in bile in six hrs by all species. Thus, rats and guinea pigs exhibit differences in biliary excretion of low and high doses of B(a)P whereas hamsters do not. Profiles of phase II metabolites in rats and hamsters were similar at both low and high doses, with the majority of metabolites being glucuronides and thioether conjugates. However, differences in relative amounts of these conjugates were observed between the two doses, with a shift towards a greater proportion of glucuronides at the higher dose. Metabolites in bile from guinea pigs were primarily thioether conjugates, which accounted for 88% of metabolites at the low dose and 95% at the high dose.

  2. Protocols for Robust Herbicide Resistance Testing in Different Weed Species.

    PubMed

    Panozzo, Silvia; Scarabel, Laura; Collavo, Alberto; Sattin, Maurizio

    2015-07-02

    Robust protocols to test putative herbicide resistant weed populations at whole plant level are essential to confirm the resistance status. The presented protocols, based on whole-plant bioassays performed in a greenhouse, can be readily adapted to a wide range of weed species and herbicides through appropriate variants. Seed samples from plants that survived a field herbicide treatment are collected and stored dry at low temperature until used. Germination methods differ according to weed species and seed dormancy type. Seedlings at similar growth stage are transplanted and maintained in the greenhouse under appropriate conditions until plants have reached the right growth stage for herbicide treatment. Accuracy is required to prepare the herbicide solution to avoid unverifiable mistakes. Other critical steps such as the application volume and spray speed are also evaluated. The advantages of this protocol, compared to others based on whole plant bioassays using one herbicide dose, are related to the higher reliability and the possibility of inferring the resistance level. Quicker and less expensive in vivo or in vitro diagnostic screening tests have been proposed (Petri dish bioassays, spectrophotometric tests), but they provide only qualitative information and their widespread use is hindered by the laborious set-up that some species may require. For routine resistance testing, the proposed whole plant bioassay can be applied at only one herbicide dose, so reducing the costs.

  3. Iodine Emissions from Seaweeds: Species-dependent and Seasonal Differences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adams, Thomas; Ball, Stephen; Leblanc, Catherine; Potin, Philippe

    2015-04-01

    Emissions of iodine from macroalgae into the marine boundary layer (MBL) significantly impact tropospheric chemistry and the biogeochemical cycling of iodine. Gas-phase iodine chemistry perturbs the usual HOx and NOx radical cycles, provides additional sink reactions for tropospheric ozone, and modifies atmospheric oxidizing capacity. Iodine oxides (IxOywith x ≥ 2) formed through the reaction of iodine atoms with ozone nucleate new aerosol particles which, if they grow sufficiently, can act as cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) and so influence the local climate in coastal regions. Some seaweeds, such as brown algae, are important bio-accumulators of iodine. They specifically induce iodine metabolism to protect themselves against oxidative stress, both as a defence mechanism and when exposed to air around low tide. Indeed the dominant emission source of iodine into the atmosphere in coastal regions comes from intertidal macroalgal beds, particularly those of kelp species. We present results from an extensive laboratory study of molecular iodine (I2) emissions from five seaweed species (two Fucales, Ascophyllum nodosum and Fucus vesiculosus, and three kelp species, Laminaria digitata, L. hyperborea and Saccharina latissima). Eighty-four incubation experiments were performed at the Station Biologique in Roscoff (Brittany, France) between September 2012 and June 2013 to quantify species-dependent I2 emission rates in response to progressive air exposure, mimicking low tide, and to investigate any seasonal differences. Measurements were conducted on 'fresh' biological samples: Ascophyllum and Fucus thalli were collected whilst still submerged on an ebbing tide, transported in seawater to the laboratory and analysed immediately; kelp samples were collected by boat, stored in an outside aquarium in running seawater and analysed within a few days. I2 emissions were quantified at high time resolution by broadband cavity enhanced absorption spectrometry (1σ detection limit

  4. Metabolomic Analyses of Leishmania Reveal Multiple Species Differences and Large Differences in Amino Acid Metabolism

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Lijie; Zhang, Tong; Watson, David G.; Silva, Ana Marta; Coombs, Graham H.

    2015-01-01

    Comparative genomic analyses of Leishmania species have revealed relatively minor heterogeneity amongst recognised housekeeping genes and yet the species cause distinct infections and pathogenesis in their mammalian hosts. To gain greater information on the biochemical variation between species, and insights into possible metabolic mechanisms underpinning visceral and cutaneous leishmaniasis, we have undertaken in this study a comparative analysis of the metabolomes of promastigotes of L. donovani, L. major and L. mexicana. The analysis revealed 64 metabolites with confirmed identity differing 3-fold or more between the cell extracts of species, with 161 putatively identified metabolites differing similarly. Analysis of the media from cultures revealed an at least 3-fold difference in use or excretion of 43 metabolites of confirmed identity and 87 putatively identified metabolites that differed to a similar extent. Strikingly large differences were detected in their extent of amino acid use and metabolism, especially for tryptophan, aspartate, arginine and proline. Major pathways of tryptophan and arginine catabolism were shown to be to indole-3-lactate and arginic acid, respectively, which were excreted. The data presented provide clear evidence on the value of global metabolomic analyses in detecting species-specific metabolic features, thus application of this technology should be a major contributor to gaining greater understanding of how pathogens are adapted to infecting their hosts. PMID:26368322

  5. Different stereoselectivity in the reduction of pulegone by Mentha species.

    PubMed

    Fuchs, S; Beck, T; Mosandl, A

    2001-04-01

    Aqueous solutions of [2H]-labeled pulegone enantiomers were fed to Mentha spicata ssp. spicata L. and Mentha spicata ssp. crispata L. shoot tip and first leaf pair. After solid phase microextraction the essential oil was analysed with enantioselective multidimensional gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. Both Mentha spicata species were able to convert labelled (1R)- and (1S)-pulegone at the same rate into the corresponding menthone and isomenthone, indicating an unspecific process. The reduction of both pulegone enantiomers preferably led to the cis-stereoisomers. The observed stereoselectivity is completely different from those of pulegone reduction by Mentha x piperita L.

  6. Improving our understanding of environmental controls on the distribution of C3 and C4 grasses.

    PubMed

    Pau, Stephanie; Edwards, Erika J; Still, Christopher J

    2013-01-01

    A number of studies have demonstrated the ecological sorting of C3 and C4 grasses along temperature and moisture gradients. However, previous studies of C3 and C4 grass biogeography have often inadvertently compared species in different and relatively unrelated lineages, which are associated with different environmental settings and distinct adaptive traits. Such confounded comparisons of C3 and C4 grasses may bias our understanding of ecological sorting imposed strictly by photosynthetic pathway. Here, we used MaxEnt species distribution modeling in combination with satellite data to understand the functional diversity of C3 and C4 grasses by comparing both large clades and closely related sister taxa. Similar to previous work, we found that C4 grasses showed a preference for regions with higher temperatures and lower precipitation compared with grasses using the C3 pathway. However, air temperature differences were smaller (2 °C vs. 4 °C) and precipitation and % tree cover differences were larger (1783 mm vs. 755 mm, 21.3% vs. 7.7%, respectively) when comparing C3 and C4 grasses within the same clade vs. comparing all C4 and all C3 grasses (i.e., ignoring phylogenetic structure). These results were due to important differences in the environmental preferences of C3 BEP and PACMAD clades (the two main grass clades). Winter precipitation was found to be more important for understanding the distribution and environmental niche of C3 PACMADs in comparison with both C3 BEPs and C4 taxa, for which temperature was much more important. Results comparing closely related C3 -C4 sister taxa supported the patterns derived from our modeling of the larger clade groupings. Our findings, which are novel in comparing the distribution and niches of clades, demonstrate that the evolutionary history of taxa is important for understanding the functional diversity of C3 and C4 grasses, and should have implications for how grasslands will respond to global change.

  7. Species-specific differences in X chromosome inactivation in mammals.

    PubMed

    Sado, Takashi; Sakaguchi, Takehisa

    2013-10-01

    In female mammals, the dosage difference in X-linked genes between XX females and XY males is compensated for by inactivating one of the two X chromosomes during early development. Since the discovery of the X inactive-specific transcript (XIST) gene in humans and its subsequent isolation of the mouse homolog, Xist, in the early 1990s, the molecular basis of X chromosome inactivation (X-inactivation) has been more fully elucidated using genetically manipulated mouse embryos and embryonic stem cells. Studies on X-inactivation in other mammals, although limited when compared with those in the mice, have revealed that, while their inactive X chromosome shares many features with those in the mice, there are marked differences in not only some epigenetic modifications of the inactive X chromosome but also when and how X-inactivation is initiated during early embryonic development. Such differences raise the issue about what extent of the molecular basis of X-inactivation in the mice is commonly shared among others. Recognizing similarities and differences in X-inactivation among mammals may provide further insight into our understanding of not only the evolutionary but also the molecular aspects for the mechanism of X-inactivation. Here, we reviewed species-specific differences in X-inactivation and discussed what these differences may reveal.

  8. Breeding bird community colonization of sown stands of native grasses in North Dakota

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Higgins, K.F.; Arnold, T.W.; Barta, R.M.

    1984-01-01

    Breeding passerine birds were studied in three native grass plantings of predominantly western wheatgrass (Agropyron smithii) and green needlegrass (Stipa viridula) in south-central North Dakota during 1982-1984. A total of eight different species of passerines readily colonized this relatively new type of wildlife habitat during the second, third. and fourth growing seasons.

  9. An outbreak of lethal adenovirus infection among different otariid species.

    PubMed

    Inoshima, Yasuo; Murakami, Tomoaki; Ishiguro, Naotaka; Hasegawa, Kazuhiro; Kasamatsu, Masahiko

    2013-08-30

    An outbreak of fatal fulminant hepatitis at a Japanese aquarium involved 3 otariids: a California sea lion (Zalophus californianus), a South African fur seal (Arctocephalus pusillus) and a South American sea lion (Otaria flavescens). In a span of about a week in February 2012, 3 otariids showed diarrhea and were acutely low-spirited; subsequently, all three animals died within a period of 3 days. Markedly increased aspartate amino transferase and alanine amino transferase activities were observed. Necrotic hepatitis and eosinophilic intranuclear inclusion bodies in liver hepatocytes and intestinal epithelial cells were observed in the South American sea lion on histological examination. Otarine adenovirus DNA was detected from the livers of all three animals by polymerase chain reaction and determination of the sequences showed that all were identical. These results suggest that a single otarine adenovirus strain may have been the etiological agent of this outbreak of fatal fulminant hepatitis among the different otariid species, and it may be a lethal threat to wild and captive otariids. This is the first evidence of an outbreak of lethal adenovirus infection among different otariid species.

  10. Genetics of species differences in sailfin and shortfin mollies.

    PubMed

    Loveless, S A; Bridges, W C; Ptacek, M B

    2010-10-01

    Premating reproductive isolation is a strong barrier to hybridization in natural populations, but little is known about the genetic mechanisms that allow changes in mating signals to develop and whether different components of a mating signal can evolve in concert when sexual selection favors phenotypic associations between them. In this study, we report results suggesting that changes in a behavioural trait (courtship display) and multiple phenotypically associated morphological traits (dorsal fin characters and length of the gonopodium) have contributed to divergence in mating signals used by sailfin mollies. Through the use of reciprocal F1 and backcross hybrids, we show that morphological traits important in separating sailfin from shortfin molly species have a genetic basis and are inherited in an autosomal, additive manner. We also report significant associations between the size of certain morphological traits (length of the dorsal fin and length of the gonopodium) and the tendency of males to perform courtship displays or gonopodial thrusts. In particular, higher courtship display rates were associated with increased dorsal fin length but decreased gonopodium length, characteristics most similar to sailfin species. Such phenotypic associations between different components of a mating signal suggest that selective forces can act in concert on multiple aspects of the signal, hence, promoting divergence and speciation in sailfin mollies.

  11. Effects of the Epichloë fungal endophyte symbiosis with Schedonorus pratensis on host grass invasiveness.

    PubMed

    Shukla, Kruti; Hager, Heather A; Yurkonis, Kathryn A; Newman, Jonathan A

    2015-07-01

    Initial studies of grass-endophyte mutualisms using Schedonorus arundinaceus cultivar Kentucky-31 infected with the vertically transmitted endophyte Epichloë coenophiala found strong, positive endophyte effects on host-grass invasion success. However, more recent work using different cultivars of S. arundinaceus has cast doubt on the ubiquity of this effect, at least as it pertains to S. arundinaceus-E. coenophiala. We investigated the generality of previous work on vertically transmitted Epichloë-associated grass invasiveness by studying a pair of very closely related species: S. pratensis and E. uncinata. Seven cultivars of S. pratensis and two cultivars of S. arundinaceus that were developed with high- or low-endophyte infection rate were broadcast seeded into 2 × 2-m plots in a tilled, old-field grassland community in a completely randomized block design. Schedonorus abundance, endophyte infection rate, and co-occurring vegetation were sampled 3, 4, 5, and 6 years after establishment, and the aboveground invertebrate community was sampled in S. pratensis plots 3 and 4 years after establishment. Endophyte infection did not enable the host grass to achieve high abundance in the plant community. Contrary to expectations, high-endophyte S. pratensis increased plant richness relative to low-endophyte cultivars. However, as expected, high-endophyte S. pratensis marginally decreased invertebrate taxon richness. Endophyte effects on vegetation and invertebrate community composition were inconsistent among cultivars and were weaker than temporal effects. The effect of the grass-Epichloë symbiosis on diversity is not generalizable, but rather specific to species, cultivar, infection, and potentially site. Examining grass-endophyte systems using multiple cultivars and species replicated among sites will be important to determine the range of conditions in which endophyte associations benefit host grass performance and have subsequent effects on co

  12. Similarities and differences in the wake structure generated by different species of bats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hubel, Tatjana; Hristov, Nickolay; Swartz, Sharon; Breuer, Kenneth

    2009-11-01

    Flight kinematics and morphology differ greatly between the approx. 1200 bat species and the goal of our project is to understand how these differences affect the flight mechanisms, the generation of aerodynamic forces, and the resultant wake structures. Multiple individuals of three diverse species of bat were flown in the wind tunnel. The three species have different morphology, wing aspect ratio and wing loading, and exhibit different flight behaviors appropriate to their different ecologies. Particle Image Velocimetry in the cross-stream (Trefftz) plane acquired at 200 Hz was used to map the time-resolved wake velocities behind the bat, while three synchronized high-speed cameras monitored the wing motion. The measurements were taken at several flight speeds. Early predictions based on kinematic measurements suggest the development of discrete vortex rings as well as the generation of negative circulation in the wing tip area during the end of the downstroke. These hypotheses are tested and discussed, and the results show distinct differences between the species and as functions of flight speed.

  13. Differentiation of plant age in grasses using remote sensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Knox, Nichola M.; Skidmore, Andrew K.; van der Werff, Harald M. A.; Groen, Thomas A.; de Boer, Willem F.; Prins, Herbert H. T.; Kohi, Edward; Peel, Mike

    2013-10-01

    Phenological or plant age classification across a landscape allows for examination of micro-topographical effects on plant growth, improvement in the accuracy of species discrimination, and will improve our understanding of the spatial variation in plant growth. In this paper six vegetation indices used in phenological studies (including the newly proposed PhIX index) were analysed for their ability to statistically differentiate grasses of different ages in the sequence of their development. Spectra of grasses of different ages were collected from a greenhouse study. These were used to determine if NDVI, NDWI, CAI, EVI, EVI2 and the newly proposed PhIX index could sequentially discriminate grasses of different ages, and subsequently classify grasses into their respective age category. The PhIX index was defined as: (AVNIRn+log(ASWIR2n))/(AVNIRn-log(ASWIR2n)), where AVNIRn and ASWIR2n are the respective normalised areas under the continuum removed reflectance curve within the VNIR (500-800 nm) and SWIR2 (2000-2210 nm) regions. The PhIX index was found to produce the highest phenological classification accuracy (Overall Accuracy: 79%, and Kappa Accuracy: 75%) and similar to the NDVI, EVI and EVI2 indices it statistically sequentially separates out the developmental age classes. Discrimination between seedling and dormant age classes and the adult and flowering classes was problematic for most of the tested indices. Combining information from the visible near infrared (VNIR) and shortwave infrared region (SWIR) region into a single phenological index captures the phenological changes associated with plant pigments and the ligno-cellulose absorption feature, providing a robust method to discriminate the age classes of grasses. This work provides a valuable contribution into mapping spatial variation and monitoring plant growth across savanna and grassland ecosystems.

  14. A grass molecular identification system for forensic botany: a critical evaluation of the strengths and limitations.

    PubMed

    Ward, Jodie; Gilmore, Simon R; Robertson, James; Peakall, Rod

    2009-11-01

    Plant material is frequently encountered in criminal investigations but often overlooked as potential evidence. We designed a DNA-based molecular identification system for 100 Australian grasses that consisted of a series of polymerase chain reaction assays that enabled the progressive identification of grasses to different taxonomic levels. The identification system was based on DNA sequence variation at four chloroplast and two mitochondrial loci. Seventeen informative indels and 68 single-nucleotide polymorphisms were utilized as molecular markers for subfamily to species-level identification. To identify an unknown sample to subfamily level required a minimum of four markers or nine markers for species identification. The accuracy of the system was confirmed by blind tests. We have demonstrated "proof of concept" of a molecular identification system for trace botanical samples. Our evaluation suggests that the adoption of a system that combines this approach with DNA sequencing could assist the morphological identification of grasses found as forensic evidence.

  15. Ensilage characteristics of three tropical grasses as influenced by stage of growth and addition of molasses.

    PubMed

    Tjandraatmadja, M; Norton, B W; Mac Rae, I C

    1994-01-01

    When molasses was added during ensilage of three tropical grasses [hamil grass (Panicum maximum cv. Hamil), pangola grass (Digitaria decumbens) and setaria (Setaria sphacelata cv. Kazungula)] the final pH, concentration of fermentation acids (except lactic acid) and NH3-N content were all similar after 100 days of incubation. Pangola grass silage had significantly higher lactic acid content (66 g/kg dry matter) than the other two. Adding either 4 or 8% (w/w) molasses reduced NH3-N, volatile fatty acid content and pH but increased lactic acid content in the final silages. Numbers of lactic acid bacteria remained approximately constant during the course of the fermentation, although large differences were noted in the species composition of the populations. At the time of ensiling, only Pediococcus spp. and Leuconostoc spp. were detected. By 5 days, the homo-fermentative population, notably Lactobacillus plantarum, dominated (43%) and remained dominant. Hetero-fermentative rods were only detected in the 100-day silage, where they represented 29% of the strains isolated. Homo-fermenters were more abundant in pangola (60%) and setaria (47%) silages than hamil (27%) silages. Homo-fermenter populations were lowest in the 12-week forage. Molasses additions increased homo-fermenter populations. Pangola grass gave the best quality silage but, since the water-soluble carbohydrate content in the grasses was insufficient to promote a strong lactic fermentation, the addition of 20 to 30 kg molasses/tonne should achieve satisfactory preservation.

  16. Phytochemical changes in leaves of subtropical grasses and fynbos shrubs at elevated atmospheric CO 2 concentrations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hattas, D.; Stock, W. D.; Mabusela, W. T.; Green, I. R.

    2005-07-01

    The effects of elevated atmospheric CO 2 concentrations on plant polyphenolic, tannin, nitrogen, phosphorus and total nonstructural carbohydrate concentrations were investigated in leaves of subtropical grass and fynbos shrub species. The hypothesis tested was that carbon-based secondary compounds would increase when carbon gain is in excess of growth requirements. This premise was tested in two ecosystems involving plants with different photosynthetic mechanisms and growth strategies. The first ecosystem comprised grasses from a C 4-dominated, subtropical grassland, where three plots were subjected to three different free air CO 2 enrichment treatments, i.e., elevated (600 to 800 μmol mol -1), intermediate (400 μmol mol -1) and ambient atmospheric CO 2. One of the seven grass species, Alloteropsis semialata, had a C 3 photosynthetic pathway while the other grasses were all C 4. The second ecosystem was simulated in a microcosm experiment where three fynbos species were grown in open-top chambers at ambient and 700 μmol mol -1 atmospheric CO 2 in low nutrient acid sands typical of south western coastal and mountain fynbos ecosystems. Results showed that polyphenolics and tannins did not increase in the grass species under elevated CO 2 and only in Leucadendron laureolum among the fynbos species. Similarly, foliar nitrogen content of grasses was largely unaffected by elevated CO 2, and among the fynbos species, only L. laureolum and Leucadendron xanthoconus showed changes in foliar nitrogen content under elevated CO 2, but these were of different magnitude. The overall decrease in nitrogen and phosphorus and consequent increase in C:N and C:P ratio in both ecosystems, along with the increase in polyphenolics and tannins in L. laureolum in the fynbos ecosystem, may negatively affect forage quality and decomposition rates. It is concluded that fast growing grasses do not experience sink limitation and invest extra carbon into growth rather than polyphenolics and

  17. Molecular cloning of the MARCH family in grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idellus) and their response to grass carp reovirus challenge.

    PubMed

    Ou, Mi; Huang, Rong; Xiong, Lv; Luo, Lifei; Chen, Geng; Liao, Lanjie; Li, Yongming; He, Libo; Zhu, Zuoyan; Wang, Yaping

    2017-02-20

    Grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idellus) is an economical aquaculture species in China, and the Grass Carp Reovirus (GCRV) that causes hemorrhagic disease seriously affects the grass carp cultivation industry. Substantial evidence indicates that there is an association between the membrane-associated RING-CH family of E3 ligase (MARCH) family and immune defense in mammals, while functional studies on non-mammalian MARCH proteins are limited. In order to know the characteristics of the MARCH genes in C. idellus, eight MARCH genes (MARCH1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 11) were cloned and the open reading frames (ORF) were identified in grass carp. All MARCH proteins in grass carp contained an RING-CH domain, which is characteristic of the MARCH protein. The phylogenetic analysis revealed that different MARCH proteins gathered into their separate clusters. All eight members of the MARCH gene family were detected in all tissues sampled, but the relative expression level differed. In addition, the mRNA expression of all the MARCHs was regulated at different levels in the immune organs after a GCRV challenge, and they responded robustly in both the intestine and liver. The mRNA expression of MARCH8, MHC II, TfR, IL1RAP, EGR1, and DUSP1 in the intestine after GCRV infection was analyzed, and the results showed that MARCH8 could negatively regulate TfR, IL1RAP, EGR1, and DUSP1, which signaled via the MAPK or NF-κB-activation pathways that play vital roles in immunity. Our findings identified a novel gene family in C. idellus and provided novel evidence that MARCH genes are inducible and involved in the immune response. Moreover, MARCH8 might function to negatively regulate immune receptors in C. idellus. Therefore, the MARCH might play a vital role in regulating the immune response of C. idellus.

  18. Rye grass is associated with fewer non-contact anterior cruciate ligament injuries than bermuda grass

    PubMed Central

    Orchard, J; Chivers, I; Aldous, D; Bennell, K; Seward, H

    2005-01-01

    Objective: To assess the contribution of ground variables including grass type to the rate of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury in the Australian Football League (AFL), specifically which factors are primarily responsible for previously observed warm season and early season biases for ACL injuries. Methods: Grass types used at the major AFL venues from 1992 to 2004 were established by consultation with ground managers, and ground hardness and other weather variables were measured prospectively. Results: There were 115 ACL injuries occurring in matches during the survey time period, 88 with a non-contact mechanism. In multivariate analysis, use of bermuda (couch) grass as opposed to rye grass, higher grade of match, and earlier stage of the season were independent risk factors for non-contact ACL injury. Ground hardness readings did not show a significant association with ACL injury risk, whereas weather variables of high evaporation and low prior rainfall showed univariate association with injury risk but could not be entered into a logistic regression equation. Discussion: Rye grass appears to offer protection against ACL injury compared with bermuda (couch) grass fields. The likely mechanism is reduced "trapping" of football boots by less thatch. Grass species as a single consideration cannot fully explain the ACL early season bias, but is probably responsible for the warm season bias seen in the AFL. Weather variables previously identified as predictors are probably markers for predominance of bermuda over rye grass in mixed fields. PMID:16183765

  19. Gastrointestinal somatostatin: extraction and radioimmunoassay in different species.

    PubMed Central

    McIntosh, C; Arnold, R; Bothe, E; Becker, H; Köbberling, J; Creutzfeldt, W

    1978-01-01

    A radioimmunoassay capable of detecting 300 fg somatostatin has been developed and levels of the polypeptide in gastrointestinal tissues from man, dog, and rat have been measured. Rapid freezing of collected samples and careful control of extraction is necessary. Concentrations in different regions of dog antrum (425 +/- 50 to 773 +/- 254 ng/g tissue) are similar to those in antrum from duodenal ulcer patients and control subjects: 614 +/- 125 and 465 +/- 104 ng/g tissue respectively. Levels in histologically normal human pancreas (253 +/- 43 ng/g tissue) are comparable with those in dog pancreas (333 +/- 66 ng/g tissue), whereas in two cases of neonatal hypoglycaemia the concentration exceeded 3000 ng/g tissue. On gel chromatography the majority of immunoreactive somatostatin elutes as the synthetic tetradecapeptide and a small fraction as a larger species. PMID:680597

  20. Physiological and morphological responses of Ischaemum rugosum Salisb. (wrinkled grass) to different nitrogen rates and rice seeding rates.

    PubMed

    Awan, Tahir Hussain; Chauhan, Bhagirath Singh; Cruz, Pompe C Sta

    2014-01-01

    Ischaemum rugosum is a competitive weed in direct-seeded rice systems. Developing integrated weed management strategies that promote the suppression of weeds by crop density, cultivar selection, and nutrition requires better understanding of the extent to which rice interferes with the growth of this weed and how it responds to resource limitation due to rice interference. The growth of I. rugosum was studied when grown with four rice seeding rates (0, 25, 50, and 100 kg ha(-1)) and four nitrogen (N) rates (0, 50, 100, and 150 kg ha(-1)). Compared to the weed plants grown alone, weed tiller number was reduced by 63-80%, leaf number by 68-77%, leaf area by 69-77%, leaf biomass by 72-84%, and inflorescence biomass by 81-93% at the rice seeding rates of 25-100 kg ha(-1). All these parameters increased with increasing rates of N from 0 to 150 kg ha(-1). At weed maturity, I. rugosum plants were 100% taller than rice at 0 kg N ha(-1), whereas, with added N, the weeds were only 50% taller than rice. Weed biomass increased by 82-160%, whereas rice biomass increased by 92-229%, with the application of 50-150 kg N ha(-1). Added N favored rice biomass production more than it did the weed. Rice interference reduced the height and biomass of I. rugosum, but did not suppress its growth completely. I. rugosum showed the ability to reduce the effects of rice interference by increasing leaf area, leaf weight ratio, and specific leaf area, and by decreasing the root-shoot weight ratio in comparison to the weed plants grown alone. The results suggest that rice crop interference alone may reduce I. rugosum growth but may not provide complete control of this weed. The need for integrated weed management practices to effectively control this weed species is highlighted.

  1. H-Isotopic Fractionation During Biosynthesis of Leaf Waxes in C3 Plants: Trees vs. Grasses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toney, J. L.; Hou, J.; Huang, Y.

    2006-12-01

    Recent studies indicate that hydrogen isotope (D/H) ratios of higher-plant leaf waxes in lake sediments have great potential to be used as a proxy for reconstructing past source water isotope composition and/or relative humidity on continents. However, hydrogen isotopic fractionation during biosynthesis of leaf waxes in various terrestrial plants remains poorly understood. A recent study of 7 terrestrial and aquatic plant types from a single site in Massachusetts shows that D/H ratios among different plant types can vary as much as 70‰, with the largest difference occurring between tree and grasses (Hou et al., in review). This variability may have been caused by different degrees of evapotranspiration among different plant types (e.g., trees vs. grasses), but could also be attributed to different biosynthetic isotopic fractionation. We designed a series of growth chamber experiments to trace the sources of hydrogen isotopic difference between trees and grasses. Five tree species [white ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica), red oak (Quercus rubra), red maple (Acer rubrum), spruce (Picea sp.) and white cedar (Thuja occidentalis)] and three grass species [orchard grass (Dactylis glomerata), timothy weed (Phleum pratense), Foxtail (Setaria sp.)] were grown in a growth chamber under controlled conditions. Plants were irrigated with the same source water. We tracked hydrogen isotopic variation of water from source water to stem water to leaf water, and eventually to leaf waxes. Fifty-three leaf and stem samples were harvested. Water from these samples was vacuum-extracted and analyzed for D/H ratios, and compared with D/H ratios of corresponding leaf waxes. Our results allow us to determine whether evapotranspiration rates or intrinsic isotopic fractionation during biosynthesis was the dominant factor controlling the H isotopic ratios of leaf waxes in trees and grasses. Our results are also helpful for interpreting hydrogen isotopic variations of sedimentary leaf waxes.

  2. Host preference and suitability of grasses for Oebalus pugnax

    PubMed Central

    Awuni, GA; Gore, J; Cook, D; Bond, JA; Musser, FR; Adams, CA

    2014-01-01

    The rice stink bug, Oebalus pugnax (Fabricius) (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae: Carpocorini), though graminaceous, discriminates among its numerous host grass species. This could represent a feeding preference, it could be related to host suitability for growth and development. To clarify the role of host grass discrimination, two laboratory studies were conducted: (1) free-choice tests to evaluate preferences of O. pugnax among 11 wild host grass species found in three rice-producing counties of the central Mississippi Delta (MS, USA), and (2) no-choice tests to evaluate the impact of rice (Oryza sativa L.), junglerice [Echinochloa colona (L.) Link], and dallisgrass (Paspalum dilatatum Poir.) (all Poaceae), on the development of O. pugnax from second instar to adult. In the free-choice test, four experiments were conducted, each with four sets of host grass species and observed 1, 2, 4, 8, and 16 h after release in cages. Approximately 4 h was necessary for O. pugnax to settle on preferred host grasses. Oebalus pugnax showed a feeding preference for junglerice over all 10 other grass species. Bahiagrass, Paspalum notatum Flueggé, was the least preferred. The no-choice tests showed significant effect of host grass species on O. pugnax mean development time of nymphal survival to adults. Survival of nymphs was lower and mean development time was longer on dallisgrass compared to rice and junglerice. Knowledge of O. pugnax rate of growth and development on host grasses could be useful in the future development of rice integrated pest management strategies. PMID:25635144

  3. Phylogenomics and Plastome Evolution of Tropical Forest Grasses (Leptaspis, Streptochaeta: Poaceae)

    PubMed Central

    Burke, Sean V.; Lin, Choun-Sea; Wysocki, William P.; Clark, Lynn G.; Duvall, Melvin R.

    2016-01-01

    Studies of complete plastomes have proven informative for our understanding of the molecular evolution and phylogenomics of grasses. In this study, a plastome phylogenomic analysis sampled species from lineages of deeply diverging grasses including Streptochaeta spicata (Anomochlooideae), Leptaspis banksii, and L. zeylanica (both Pharoideae). Plastomes from next generation sequences for three species were assembled by de novo methods. The unambiguously aligned coding and non-coding sequences of the entire plastomes were aligned with those from 43 other grasses and the outgroup Joinvillea ascendens. Outgroup sampling of grasses has previously posed a challenge for plastome phylogenomic studies because of major rearrangements of the plastome. Here, over 81,000 bases of homologous sequence were aligned for phylogenomic and divergence estimation analyses. Rare genomic changes, including persistently long ψycf1 and ψycf2 loci, the loss of the rpoC1 intron, and a 21 base tandem repeat insert in the coding sequence for rps19 defined branch points in the grass phylogeny. Marked differences were seen in the topologies inferred from the complete plastome and two gene matrices, and mean maximum likelihood support values for the former were 10% higher. In the full plastome phylogenomic analyses, the two species of Anomochlooideae were monophyletic. Leptaspis and Pharus were found to be reciprocally monophyletic, with the estimated divergence of two Leptaspis species preceding those of Pharus by over 14 Ma, consistent with historical biogeography. Our estimates for deep divergences among grasses were older than previous such estimates, likely influenced by more complete taxonomic and molecular sampling and the use of recently available or previously unused fossil calibration points. PMID:28083012

  4. Phylogenomics and Plastome Evolution of Tropical Forest Grasses (Leptaspis, Streptochaeta: Poaceae).

    PubMed

    Burke, Sean V; Lin, Choun-Sea; Wysocki, William P; Clark, Lynn G; Duvall, Melvin R

    2016-01-01

    Studies of complete plastomes have proven informative for our understanding of the molecular evolution and phylogenomics of grasses. In this study, a plastome phylogenomic analysis sampled species from lineages of deeply diverging grasses including Streptochaeta spicata (Anomochlooideae), Leptaspis banksii, and L. zeylanica (both Pharoideae). Plastomes from next generation sequences for three species were assembled by de novo methods. The unambiguously aligned coding and non-coding sequences of the entire plastomes were aligned with those from 43 other grasses and the outgroup Joinvillea ascendens. Outgroup sampling of grasses has previously posed a challenge for plastome phylogenomic studies because of major rearrangements of the plastome. Here, over 81,000 bases of homologous sequence were aligned for phylogenomic and divergence estimation analyses. Rare genomic changes, including persistently long ψycf1 and ψycf2 loci, the loss of the rpoC1 intron, and a 21 base tandem repeat insert in the coding sequence for rps19 defined branch points in the grass phylogeny. Marked differences were seen in the topologies inferred from the complete plastome and two gene matrices, and mean maximum likelihood support values for the former were 10% higher. In the full plastome phylogenomic analyses, the two species of Anomochlooideae were monophyletic. Leptaspis and Pharus were found to be reciprocally monophyletic, with the estimated divergence of two Leptaspis species preceding those of Pharus by over 14 Ma, consistent with historical biogeography. Our estimates for deep divergences among grasses were older than previous such estimates, likely influenced by more complete taxonomic and molecular sampling and the use of recently available or previously unused fossil calibration points.

  5. Gonadal development and fertility of triploid grass puffer Takifugu niphobles induced by cold shock treatment.

    PubMed

    Hamasaki, Masaomi; Takeuchi, Yutaka; Miyaki, Kadoo; Yoshizaki, Goro

    2013-04-01

    Tiger puffer Takifugu rubripes is one of the most valuable fish species in Japan; however, there has not been much progress in their selective breeding until recently despite their potential in aquaculture. Their long generation time and the large body size of their broodstock make breeding difficult. Recently, we made a surrogate broodstock, which produced gametes of different species in salmonids. Therefore, by using closely related recipients, which have small body sizes and short generation times, it is possible to accelerate breeding of the tiger puffer. Thus, we considered the grass puffer Takifugu niphobles, which has a short generation time and a small maturation size, as a potential recipient for gamete production of the tiger puffer. Furthermore, if sterile triploid individuals are used as recipients, the resulting surrogate broodstock would produce only donor-derived gametes. Therefore, we examined conditions for inducing triploidy by suppressing meiosis II to retain the second polar body in grass puffer. We found that cold shock treatment, which is 5°C for 30 min starting from 5 min after fertilization, is optimal to obtain high triploidization and hatching rates. Although the resulting triploid grass puffers produced small amounts of gametes in both sexes, the offspring derived from the gametes could not live for over 3 days. Furthermore, we found that triploid grass puffer showed normal plasma sex steroid levels compared with diploids. These are important characteristics of triploid grass puffer as surrogate recipients used for germ cell transplantation.

  6. Grass Cell Walls: A Story of Cross-Linking

    PubMed Central

    Hatfield, Ronald D.; Rancour, David M.; Marita, Jane M.

    2017-01-01

    Cell wall matrices are complex composites mainly of polysaccharides, phenolics (monomers and polymers), and protein. We are beginning to understand the synthesis of these major wall components individually, but still have a poor understanding of how cell walls are assembled into complex matrices. Valuable insight has been gained by examining intact components to understand the individual elements that make up plant cell walls. Grasses are a prominent group within the plant kingdom, not only for their important roles in global agriculture, but also for the complexity of their cell walls. Ferulate incorporation into grass cell wall matrices (C3 and C4 types) leads to a cross-linked matrix that plays a prominent role in the structure and utilization of grass biomass compared to dicot species. Incorporation of p-coumarates as part of the lignin structure also adds to the complexity of grass cell walls. Feruoylation results in a wall with individual hemicellulosic polysaccharides (arabinoxylans) covalently linked to each other and to lignin. Evidence strongly suggests that ferulates not only cross-link arabinoxylans, but may be important factors in lignification of the cell wall. Therefore, the distribution of ferulates on arabinoxylans could provide a means of structuring regions of the matrix with the incorporation of lignin and have a significant impact upon localized cell wall organization. The role of other phenolics in cell wall formation such as p-coumarates (which can have concentrations higher than ferulates) remains unknown. It is possible that p-coumarates assist in the formation of lignin, especially syringyl rich lignin. The uniqueness of the grass cell wall compared to dicot sepcies may not be so much in the gross composition of the wall, but how the distinctive individual components are organized into a functional wall matrix. These features are discussed and working models are provided to illustrate how changing the organization of feruoylation and p

  7. Pests in ornamental grasses

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ornamental perennial grasses are becoming increasingly popular in the landscape due to their beauty and ease of care. Although few pest problems are encountered in ornamental grasses, they are not immune to insects and disease. Two lined spittlebugs (Prosapia bicincta) can cause damage to ornament...

  8. How might you compare mitochondria from different tissues and different species?

    PubMed

    Hulbert, A J; Turner, Nigel; Hinde, Jack; Else, Paul; Guderley, Helga

    2006-02-01

    Mitochondria were isolated from the liver, kidney and mixed hindlimb skeletal muscle of three vertebrate species; the laboratory rat Rattus norvegicus, the bearded dragon lizard Pogona vitticeps, and the cane toad Bufo marinus. These vertebrate species are approximately the same body mass and have similar body temperatures. The content of cytochromes B, C, C1, and A were measured in these isolated mitochondria by oxidised-reduced difference spectra. Adenine nucleotide translocase (ANT) was measured by titration of mitochondrial respiration with carboxyactractyloside and the protein and phospholipid content of isolated mitochondria were also measured. Fatty acid composition of mitochondrial phospholipids was measured. Mitochondrial respiration was measured at 37 degrees C under states III and IV conditions as well as during oligomycin inhibition. Species differed in the ratios of different mitochondrial cytochromes. Muscle mitochondria differed from kidney and liver mitochondria by having a higher ANT content relative to cytochrome content. Respiration rates were compared relative to a number of denominators and found to be most variable when expressed relative to mitochondrial protein content and least variable when expressed relative to mitochondrial cytochrome A and ANT content. The turnover of cytochromes was calculated and found to vary between 1 and 94 electrons s(-1). The molecular activity of mitochondrial cytochromes was found to be significantly positively correlated with the relative polyunsaturation of mitochondrial membrane lipids.

  9. No effect of seed source on multiple aspects of ecosystem functioning during ecological restoration: cultivars compared to local ecotypes of dominant grasses

    PubMed Central

    Baer, Sara G; Gibson, David J; Gustafson, Danny J; Benscoter, Allison M; Reed, Lewis K; Campbell, Ryan E; Klopf, Ryan P; Willand, Jason E; Wodika, Ben R

    2014-01-01

    Genetic principles underlie recommendations to use local seed, but a paucity of information exists on the genetic distinction and ecological consequences of using different seed sources in restorations. We established a field experiment to test whether cultivars and local ecotypes of dominant prairie grasses were genetically distinct and differentially influenced ecosystem functioning. Whole plots were assigned to cultivar and local ecotype grass sources. Three subplots within each whole plot were seeded to unique pools of subordinate species. The cultivar of the increasingly dominant grass, Sorghastrum nutans, was genetically different than the local ecotype, but genetic diversity was similar between the two sources. There were no differences in aboveground net primary production, soil carbon accrual, and net nitrogen mineralization rate in soil between the grass sources. Comparable productivity of the grass sources among the species pools for four years shows functional equivalence in terms of biomass production. Subordinate species comprised over half the aboveground productivity, which may have diluted the potential for documented trait differences between the grass sources to influence ecosystem processes. Regionally developed cultivars may be a suitable alternative to local ecotypes for restoration in fragmented landscapes with limited gene flow between natural and restored prairie and negligible recruitment by seed. PMID:24567751

  10. Distinguishing grass from ground using LiDAR: Techniques and applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pelletier, J. D.; Swetnam, T.; Papuga, S. A.; Nelson, K.; Brooks, P. D.; Harpold, A. A.; Chorover, J.

    2011-12-01

    Standard protocols exist for extracting bare-earth Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) from LiDAR point clouds that include trees and other large woody vegetation. Grasses and other herbaceous plants can also obscure the ground surface, yet methods for optimally distinguishing grass from ground to generate accurate LiDAR-based raster products for geomorphic and ecological applications are still under development. Developing such methods is important because LiDAR-based difference products (e.g. snow thickness) require accurate representations of the ground surface and because raster data for grass height and density have important applications in ecology. In this study, we developed and tested methods for constructing optimal bare-earth and grass height raster layers from LiDAR point clouds and compared the results to high-quality field-based measurements of grass height, density, and species type for nearly 1000 precisely geo-referenced locations collected during the acquisition of a >200 km^2 airborne LiDAR flight of the Valles Caldera National Preserve (New Mexico). In cases of partially bare ground (where the skewness of return heights above a plane fit to the lowest first returns is sufficiently large), a planar fit to the lowest first returns provides a good method of producing an accurate bare-earth DEM and the statistics of the first returns above that planar fit provide good estimates of the mean and variance of grass height. In areas of relatively thick grass cover, however, a fit to the lowest first returns yields a bare-earth DEM that may be a meter or more above the actual ground surface. Here we propose a method to solve this problem using field-measured correlations among the mean, variance, and skewness of grass heights. In this method, the variance and skewness of the differences between LiDAR first returns and a 10m^2 planar fit to the lowest first returns is used, together with field-based correlations of grass height statistics, to estimate the mean

  11. Grass flower development.

    PubMed

    Hirano, Hiro-Yuki; Tanaka, Wakana; Toriba, Taiyo

    2014-01-01

    Grasses bear unique flowers lacking obvious petals and sepals in special inflorescence units, the florets and the spikelet. Despite this, grass floral organs such as stamens and lodicules (petal homologs) are specified by ABC homeotic genes encoding MADS domain transcription factors, suggesting that the ABC model of eudicot flower development is largely applicable to grass flowers. However, some modifications need to be made for the model to fit grasses well: for example, a YABBY gene plays an important role in carpel specification. In addition, a number of genes are involved in the development of the lateral organs that constitute the spikelet. In this review, we discuss recent progress in elucidating the genes required for flower and spikelet development in grasses, together with those involved in fate determination of the spikelet and flower meristems.

  12. Differences in Brain Transcriptomes of Closely Related Baikal Coregonid Species

    PubMed Central

    Bychenko, Oksana S.; Sukhanova, Lyubov V.; Azhikina, Tatyana L.; Skvortsov, Timofey A.; Belomestnykh, Tuyana V.; Sverdlov, Eugene D.

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this work was to get deeper insight into genetic factors involved in the adaptive divergence of closely related species, specifically two representatives of Baikal coregonids—Baikal whitefish (Coregonus baicalensis Dybowski) and Baikal omul (Coregonus migratorius Georgi)—that diverged from a common ancestor as recently as 10–20 thousand years ago. Using the Serial Analysis of Gene Expression method, we obtained libraries of short representative cDNA sequences (tags) from the brains of Baikal whitefish and omul. A comparative analysis of the libraries revealed quantitative differences among ~4% tags of the fishes under study. Based on the similarity of these tags with cDNA of known organisms, we identified candidate genes taking part in adaptive divergence. The most important candidate genes related to the adaptation of Baikal whitefish and Baikal omul, identified in this work, belong to the genes of cell metabolism, nervous and immune systems, protein synthesis, and regulatory genes as well as to DTSsa4 Tc1-like transposons which are widespread among fishes. PMID:24719892

  13. Species differences in metabolism of 1,3-butadiene

    SciTech Connect

    Henderson, R.F.

    1995-02-01

    1,3-Butadiene (BD) is a 4-carbon gaseous compound with two double bonds. Used in high tonnage to make styrene-butadiene polymers in the rubber industry. Because of large amounts in use, BD was tested for toxicity in 2-year inhalation exposures of both Sprague-Dawley rats and B6C3F{sub 1} mice. The results of the two-species studies were dramatically different. In the initial study in mice, BD was shown to be a potent multiple-site carcinogen at exposure levels of 625 and 1250 ppM. There were increased incidences of neoplasia in the heart, lung, mammary gland, and ovary; malignant lymphomas resulted in early deaths of the mice so that the planned 2-year study was stopped after only 61 weeks of exposure. The second study in mice was conducted at much lower exposure concentrations (6.25, 20, 62.5, 200, and 625 ppM) and lasted 104 weeks. Increased incidences of hemangiosarcomas of the heart and lung neoplasia were observed in males exposed to 62.5 ppM BD, while females had increased lung neoplasia even at the 6.25 ppM exposure level. Early deaths from lymphomas were again observed at the high exposure concentration (625 ppm). A noncancer toxicity observed in mice was a macrocytic, megaloblastic anemia.

  14. PAL inhibitor evokes different responses in two Hypericum species.

    PubMed

    Klejdus, Bořivoj; Kováčik, Jozef; Babula, Petr

    2013-02-01

    Accumulation of secondary metabolites (general phenols, naphthodianthrones and phloroglucinol hyperforin) in Hypericum perforatum and Hypericum canariense after application of the inhibitor (2-aminoindane-2-phosphonic acid, AIP) of the pivotal enzyme of general phenylpropanoid pathway (phenylalanine ammonia-lyase, PAL) was studied. Shoots of H. perforatum revealed more expressive growth depression, concomitantly with the inhibition of PAL activity (-60%) and decrease in soluble phenols and individual phenolic acids in response to AIP. Hypericins (hypericin, pseudohypericin and protohypericin) decreased while hyperforin increased in AIP-cultured H. perforatum. On the contrary, growth changes, decreases in soluble phenols and individual phenolic acids were less-visible in H. canariense. This was also reflected in restoration of PAL activity (+330%) and selected flavonoids even increased. Hypericins and hyperforin were present in several orders of magnitude lower amounts in comparison with H. perforatum. Increase in proline indicates potential compensatory antioxidative mechanism if phenols are depleted. Microscopy revealed also differences in secondary xylem formation and lignification between species after exposure to AIP.

  15. Species difference in adaptive use of public information in sticklebacks.

    PubMed Central

    Coolen, Isabelle; van Bergen, Yfke; Day, Rachel L; Laland, Kevin N

    2003-01-01

    Animals foraging on variable food sources can refine their estimates of patch quality by monitoring the success of others (i.e. collect 'public information'). Here, we show that both three-spined sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus) and nine-spined sticklebacks (Pungitius pungitius) use past cues provided by others to locate food but only nine-spined sticklebacks use prior public information to assess patch quality, regardless of whether demonstrators were conspecifics or heterospecifics. Moreover, nine-spined but not three-spined sticklebacks preferentially hid in vegetation during the demonstration, a position from which they could observe both patches simultaneously and collect public information. We conclude that species differences in the use of public information can be explained by variations in habitat choice and response to predation. Our findings expand current understanding of the scope of public-information use in animals by showing that fishes can use public-information in a foraging context and from heterospecifics. The study suggests that public-information use is an adaptation that allows animals vulnerable to predation to acquire valuable foraging information at low risk. PMID:14667359

  16. Evolutionary clock - Nonconstancy of rate in different species.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jukes, T. H.; Holmquist, R.

    1972-01-01

    By using various methods for comparing polypeptide sequences we find that the evolutionary divergence of rattlesnake cytochrome c from cytochromes c of species in other classes has been more rapid than that of cytochrome c of another reptile, the snapping turtle. This suggests that the evolutionary rate of change of cytochromes c is species-dependent as well as time-dependent.

  17. Same species, different diseases: how and why typhoidal and non-typhoidal Salmonella enterica serovars differ

    PubMed Central

    Gal-Mor, Ohad; Boyle, Erin C.; Grassl, Guntram A.

    2014-01-01

    Human infections by the bacterial pathogen Salmonella enterica represent major disease burdens worldwide. This highly ubiquitous species consists of more than 2600 different serovars that can be divided into typhoidal and non-typhoidal Salmonella (NTS) serovars. Despite their genetic similarity, these two groups elicit very different diseases and distinct immune responses in humans. Comparative analyses of the genomes of multiple Salmonella serovars have begun to explain the basis of the variation in disease manifestations. Recent advances in modeling both enteric fever and intestinal gastroenteritis in mice will facilitate investigation into both the bacterial- and host-mediated mechanisms involved in salmonelloses. Understanding the genetic and molecular mechanisms responsible for differences in disease outcome will augment our understanding of Salmonella pathogenesis, host immunity, and the molecular basis of host specificity. This review outlines the differences in epidemiology, clinical manifestations, and the human immune response to typhoidal and NTS infections and summarizes the current thinking on why these differences might exist. PMID:25136336

  18. Molecular control of grass inflorescence development.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Dabing; Yuan, Zheng

    2014-01-01

    The grass family is one of the largest families in angiosperms and has evolved a characteristic inflorescence morphology, with complex branches and specialized spikelets. The origin and development of the highly divergent inflorescence architecture in grasses have recently received much attention. Increasing evidence has revealed that numerous factors, such as transcription factors and plant hormones, play key roles in determining reproductive meristem fate and inflorescence patterning in grasses. Moreover, some molecular switches that have been implicated in specifying inflorescence shapes contribute significantly to grain yields in cereals. Here, we review key genetic and molecular switches recently identified from two model grass species, rice (Oryza sativa) and maize (Zea mays), that regulate inflorescence morphology specification, including meristem identity, meristem size and maintenance, initiation and outgrowth of axillary meristems, and organogenesis. Furthermore, we summarize emerging networks of genes and pathways in grass inflorescence morphogenesis and emphasize their evolutionary divergence in comparison with the model eudicot Arabidopsis thaliana. We also discuss the agricultural application of genes controlling grass inflorescence development.

  19. Pollutant tracking for 3 Western North Atlantic sea grasses by remote sensing: Preliminary diminishing white light responses of Thalassia testudinum, Halodule wrightii, and Zostera marina.

    PubMed

    Thorhaug, Anitra; Berlyn, Graeme P; Poulos, Helen M; Goodale, Uromi M

    2015-08-15

    Sea grasses are foundation species for estuarine ecosystems. The available light for sea grasses diminishes rapidly during pollutant spills, effluent releases, disturbances such as intense riverine input, and tidal changes. We studied how sea grasses' remote-sensing signatures and light-capturing ability respond to short term light alterations. In vivo responses were measured over the entire visible-light spectra to diminishing white-light on whole-living-plants' spectral reflectance, including 6h of full oceanic-light fluences from 10% to 100%. We analyzed differences by various reflectance indices. We compared the sea grasses species responses of tropical vs. temperate and intertidals (Halodule wrightii, and Zostera marina) vs. subtidal (Thalassia testudinum). Reflectance diminished with decreasing light intensity that coincided with greater accessory pigment stimulation (anthocyanin, carotenoids, xanthins). Chlorophyll a and Chlorophyll b differed significantly among species (Thalassia vs. Halodule). Photosynthetic efficiency diminished at high light intensities. The NDVI index was inadequate to perceive these differences. Our results demonstrate the leaf-level utility of data to remote sensing for mapping sea grass and sea grass stress.

  20. Feed Intake, Digestibility, and N Retention in Cattle Fed Rice Straw and Para Grass Combined with Different Levels of Protein Derived from Cassava Foliage

    PubMed Central

    Sath, K.; Sokun, K.; Pauly, T.; Holtenius, K.

    2012-01-01

    Eight male cattle of Local Yellow breed with an average live weight of 121 kg and an average age of 18 months were used to evaluate the effects of different levels of sun-dried cassava foliage supplementation (Manihot esculenta) on intake, digestibility and N retention. Rice straw ad libitum and para grass (Brachiaria mutica) at 1% DM of BW comprised the basal diet. The study was arranged as a 4×4 double Latin square design, with cassava foliage contributing 0, 0.8, 1.6 or 2.4 g CP/kg BW. The cattle selected cassava leaves in preference to petioles. Petiole intake decreased from 64 to 48% of offered petioles when the cassava foliage proportion increased from the lowest to the highest level. The cattle consumed all the leaves at the two lower levels of cassava foliage inclusion and 91% at the highest level. Rice straw intake decreased significantly as the level of cassava foliage increased. Intake of DM, OM, NDF, and ADF increased significantly with increasing intake of cassava foliage. Daily DM intake per 100 kg BW increased from 2.7 to 3.2 kg with increasing cassava foliage intake. No effect on CP digestibility was detected when the level of cassava foliage increased. Digestibility of DM, OM, NDF and ADF was significantly higher in the group fed no cassava foliage than in the other groups. N retention increased from 16 to 28 g/d with the first level of cassava foliage inclusion, but levelled out at the two highest levels. N excretion increased in both faeces and urine as a response to higher intake of cassava foliage. Maximum N retention occurred when 40% of total N intake came from cassava foliage (equivalent to 1.3 g CP/kg BW). PMID:25049650

  1. Effects of silage from maize crops differing in maturity at harvest, grass silage feed value and concentrate feed level on performance of finishing lambs.

    PubMed

    Keady, T W J; Hanrahan, J P

    2013-07-01

    The effects of (i) medium and high feed value (MFV and HFV) maize silages and (ii) MFV and HFV grass silages, each in combination with a range of concentrate feed levels, on the performance of finishing lambs were evaluated using 280 Suffolk-X lambs (initial live weight 36.1 kg). The MFV and HFV maize silages represented crops with dry matter (DM) concentrations of 185 and 250 g/kg, respectively, at harvest, and had starch and metabolisable energy (ME) concentrations of 33 and 277 g/kg DM and 9.6 and 11.0 MJ/kg, respectively. HFV and MFV grass silages had DM and ME concentrations of 216 and 294 g/kg and 11.0 and 11.5 MJ/kg DM, respectively. A total of 13 treatments were involved. The four silages were offered ad libitum with daily concentrate supplements of 0.2, 0.5 or 0.8 kg per lamb. A final treatment consisted of concentrate offered ad libitum with 0.5 kg of the HFV grass silage daily. Increasing the feed value of grass silage increased (P < 0.001) forage intake, daily carcass and live weight gains, final live weight and carcass weight. Increasing maize silage feed value tended to increase (P = 0.07) daily carcass gain. Increasing concentrate feed level increased total food and ME intakes, and live weight and carcass gains. There was a significant interaction between silage feed value and the response to concentrate feed level. Relative to the HFV grass silage, the positive linear response to increasing concentrate feed level was greater with lambs offered the MFV grass silage for daily live weight gain (P < 0.001), daily carcass gain (P < 0.01) and final carcass weight (P < 0.01). Relative to the HFV maize silage, there was a greater response to increasing concentrate feed level from lambs offered the MFV maize silage in terms of daily carcass gain (P < 0.05) and daily live weight gain (P = 0.06). Forage type had no significant effect on the response to increased concentrate feed level. Relative to the MFV grass silage supplemented with 0.2 kg concentrate, the

  2. Barnyard grass-induced rice allelopathy and momilactone B.

    PubMed

    Kato-Noguchi, Hisashi

    2011-07-01

    Here, we investigated chemical-mediated interaction between crop and weeds. Allelopathic activity of rice seedlings exhibited 5.3-6.3-fold increases when rice and barnyard grass seedlings were grown together, where there may be the competitive interference between rice and barnyard grass for nutrients. Barnyard grass is one of the most noxious weeds in rice cultivation. The momilactone B concentration in rice seedlings incubated with barnyard grass seedlings was 6.9-fold greater than that in rice seedlings incubated independently. Low nutrient growth conditions also increased allelopathic activity and momilactone B concentrations in rice seedlings. However, the increases in the low nutrient-induced allelopathic activity and momilactone B concentration were much lower than those in barnyard grass-induced allelopathic activity and momilactone B concentration. Root exudates of barnyard grass seedlings increased allelopathic activity and momilactone B concentration in rice seedlings at concentrations greater than 30 mg/L of the root exudates, and increasing the exudate concentration increased the activity and momilactone B concentration. Therefore, barnyard grass-induced allelopathic activity of rice seedlings may be caused not only by nutrient competition between two species, but also by components in barnyard grass root exudates. As momilactone B shows strong allelopathic activities, barnyard grass-induced allelopathic activity of rice may be due to the increased concentration of momilactone B in rice seedlings. The present research suggests that rice may respond to the presence of neighboring barnyard grass by sensing the components in barnyard grass root exudates and increasing allelopathic activity by production of elevated concentration of momilactone B. Thus, rice allelopathy may be one of the inducible defense mechanisms by chemical-mediated plant interaction between rice and barnyard grass, and the induced-allelopathy may provide a competitive advantage for

  3. Nutritive Value of Grasses in Semi-arid Rangelands of Ethiopia: Local Experience Based Herbage Preference Evaluation versus Laboratory Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Keba, Habtamu T.; Madakadze, I. C.; Angassa, A.; Hassen, A.

    2013-01-01

    We examined the nutritive value of common grass species in the semi-arid rangelands of Borana in southern Ethiopia using local experience based herbage preference (LEBHP) perception and laboratory techniques. Local pastoralists in the study area were asked to identify common grass species and rank them according to the species’ preferences and palatability to cattle. The pastoralists listed a total of 15 common grass species which were then sampled during the main rain and cold dry seasons and analyzed for crude protein (CP), Neutral Detergent Fiber (NDF), Acid Detergent Fiber (ADF) and ash content to verify pastoralists’ claim regarding the quality of individual species. The relative feed value (RFV) and dry matter digestibility (DMD) were also calculated using NDF and ADF contents. Spearman’s rank correlation was used to examine possible relationships between laboratory results and pastoralists’ experience on grass quality. Cenchrus ciliaris, Chrysopogon aucheri, Digitaria milanjiana, Eragrostis papposa and Panicum maximum were the top five species based on LEBHP perception. There were indications of inconsistency in terms of LEBHP perception among the different pastoral communities. The chemical composition of all grass species showed significant (p<0.05) variation between sites, seasons and species. The results showed that the CP values for the Borana rangelands were in the range of 8.7% in the main rain season to 5.1% for the cold dry season. The fiber constituents were relatively low in the main rain season compared to the cold dry season. Overall, Digitaria milanjiana had the highest CP (16.5%) content, while the least was recorded with Heteropogon contortus (10.8) and Aristida adoensis (9.8%) during the main rain season. It seems that the spatial variability of landscapes within the wider geographical regions, soil properties and texture, and land-use patterns probably contributed to site differences in species quality. Generally, the RFV of

  4. Cytogenotoxicity of Cymbopogon citratus (DC) Stapf (lemon grass) aqueous extracts in vegetal test systems.

    PubMed

    Sousa, Saulo M; Silva, Pâmela S; Viccini, Lyderson F

    2010-06-01

    The lemon grass, Cymbopogon citratus (DC) Stapf, is an important species of Poaceae family commonly used in the folk medicine in many countries. The aim of this study was to investigate the cytotoxic and genotoxic effects of aqueous extracts from C. citratus leaves on Lactuca sativa (lettuce) root tip meristem cells by cytogenetic studies that have never been done before for lemon grass extracts. For this, lettuce seeds were treated for 72h with different concentrations of lemon grass aqueous extracts (5; 10; 20 and 30 mg/mL). The percentage of germination, root development and cellular behavior were analyzed, and the results showed that the highest concentration of aqueous extracts reduced the mitotic index, the seed germination and the root development of lettuce. The extracts have also induced chromosome aberrations and cellular death in the roots cells of L. sativa.

  5. California annual grass invaders: the drivers or passengers of change?

    PubMed Central

    HilleRisLambers, Janneke; Yelenik, Stephanie G; Colman, Benjamin P; Levine, Jonathan M

    2010-01-01

    The dominance of invasive species is often assumed to reflect their competitive superiority over displaced native species. However, invasive species may be abundant because of their greater tolerance to anthropogenic impacts accompanying their introduction. Thus, invasive species can either be the drivers or passengers of change. We distinguish between these two possibilities in California grasslands currently dominated by Mediterranean annuals (exotics) and subjected to livestock grazing since European settlement. We focused on native annual grasses and forbs, an understudied species-rich component of the California flora, and Mediterranean annual grasses, currently dominant and among the first non-native plants introduced to the area. We established a field experiment with fenced and unfenced blocks in a cattle pasture. We measured concentrations of limiting resources (nitrogen, phosphorus, light and soil moisture) in monoculture plots as an index of competitive ability (i.e. R*). We then quantified grazing impacts on biomass and seed production in grazed vs. ungrazed monoculture plots. Finally, we measured biomass and seed production of each species competing in mixture plots, in the presence and absence of grazers. We found that native and exotic species did not differ in R* indices of competitive ability, i.e. concentrations of limiting resources in ungrazed native monoculture plots did not differ from concentrations in ungrazed exotic monoculture plots. By contrast, exotic annuals suffered less from grazing than native annuals, perhaps reflecting their longer evolutionary history with cattle grazing. Consistent with these results, native and exotic annuals were equally abundant in ungrazed mixtures, but exotic species overwhelmingly dominated grazed mixtures. Species able to draw down nitrogen and light to lower levels in monocultures (i.e. those with lower R* values) dominated biomass and seeds in mixed plots without grazers. However, R* did not predict the

  6. Retention of Water and Sediment by Grass Strips

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Dijk, P. M.; Kwaad, F. J. P. M.; Klapwijk, M.

    1996-08-01

    This paper discusses aspects of grass vegetation in relation to soil erosion control. By means of a literature research, four options for using grass vegetation were recognized, each having its own requirements concerning maintenance, vegetation characteristics and field layout. The main filter mechanisms, application in the field and effects on runoff and soil loss are discussed. Field experiments on filter strips were carried out to determine whether literature data for water and sediment retention by vegetation can be applied to sloping loess soils in South Limburg (The Netherlands). The field experiments simulated a situation in which surface runoff carrying loess sediment from an upslope field enters a grass strip. The retention of water and sediment by grass strips was determined by measuring runoff discharge and the sediment concentration at the inflow and outflow points from bordered plots. Two locations with different grass age and agricultural management were studied. Results show that grass strips are effective in filtering sediment from surface runoff as long as concentrated flow is absent. Outflow sediment concentrations could be described as a function of inflow concentrations and strip width. Reductions of sediment discharge varied between 50-60, 60-90 and 90-99% for strips of 1, 4-5 and 10 m width, respectively. Old grass, extensively used as pasture, is more effective in reducing erosion than the younger grass which was often accessed by tractors for mowing. Differences in water retention between both grass locations appear to be caused mainly by differences in grass density.

  7. Effect of cadmium on growth, photosynthesis, mineral nutrition and metal accumulation of bana grass and vetiver grass.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xingfeng; Gao, Bo; Xia, Hanping

    2014-08-01

    An experiment was conducted to evaluate the differential effects of Cd contamination on the growth, photosynthesis, mineral nutrition and Cd accumulation of bana grass (Pennisetum americanum × Pennisetum purpureum) and vetiver grass (Vetiveria zizanioides). Bana grass accumulated 48-453 and 25-208 mg kg(-1) in plant roots and shoots, respectively, at 15-100 mg kg(-1) soil Cd concentration, while vetiver grass accumulated 167-396 and 0.13-9.0 mg kg(-1). These results indicated that bana grass was a Cd accumulator while vetiver grass was a Cd excluder. The ratio of root to shoot biomass was significantly increased in vetiver grass, while it was unchanged in bana grass by Cd pollution. This suggests that excluders may allocate more energy to roots than shoots under Cd pollution compared to un-contaminated condition, while accumulators may allocate equal proportions of energy to roots and shoots. For bana grass, soil Cd pollution significantly decreased the concentration of Fe and Mn in roots as well as the translocation factors of Zn and K. For vetiver grass, soil Cd pollution significantly decreased the concentration of Fe in roots and had no influence on the translocation factors of Fe, Mn, Cu, Zn, Mg, K and Ca. Soil Cd pollution showed no significant effect on chlorophyll content and photosynthetic rates in either of the grasses. The water content and leaf transpiration rate were significantly increased by Cd pollution in bana grass, while they were unchanged in vetiver grass. The results indicated that the energy allocation and mineral nutrition characteristics may aid in screening suitable plant species for phytoremediation.

  8. Do co-occurring plant species adapt to one another? The response of Bromus erectus to the presence of different Thymus vulgaris chemotypes.

    PubMed

    Ehlers, Bodil K; Thompson, John

    2004-11-01

    Local modification of the soil environment by individual plants may affect the performance and composition of associated plant species. The aromatic plant Thymus vulgaris has the potential to modify the soil through leaching of water-soluble compounds from leaves and litter decomposition. In southern France, six different thyme chemotypes can be distinguished based on the dominant monoterpene in the essential oil, which is either phenolic or non-phenolic in structure. We examine how soils from within and away from thyme patches in sites dominated by either phenolic or non-phenolic chemotypes affect germination, growth and reproduction of the associated grass species Bromus erectus. To do so, we collected seeds of B. erectus from three phenolic and three non-phenolic sites. Seeds and seedlings were grown on soils from these sites in a reciprocal transplant type experiment in the glasshouse. Brome of non-phenolic origin performed significantly better on its home soil than on soil from a different non-phenolic or a phenolic site. This response to local chemotypes was only observed on soil collected directly underneath thyme plants and not on soil in the same site (<5 m away) but where no thyme plants were present. This is preliminary evidence that brome plants show an adaptive response to soil modifications mediated by the local thyme chemotypes. Reproductive effort was consistently higher in brome of phenolic origin than in brome of non-phenolic origin (on both thyme- and grass-soil), indicating that life-history variation may be related to environmental factors which also contribute to the spatial differentiation of thyme chemotypes. Moreover, we found that brome growing on thyme-soil in general was heavier than when growing on grass-soil, regardless of the origin of the brome plants. This is concordant with thyme-soil containing higher amounts of organic matter and nitrogen than grass-soil. Our results indicate that patterns of genetic differentiation and local

  9. Modelling Water Uptake Provides a New Perspective on Grass and Tree Coexistence.

    PubMed

    Mazzacavallo, Michael G; Kulmatiski, Andrew

    2015-01-01

    Root biomass distributions have long been used to infer patterns of resource uptake. These patterns are used to understand plant growth, plant coexistence and water budgets. Root biomass, however, may be a poor indicator of resource uptake because large roots typically do not absorb water, fine roots do not absorb water from dry soils and roots of different species can be difficult to differentiate. In a sub-tropical savanna, Kruger Park, South Africa, we used a hydrologic tracer experiment to describe the abundance of active grass and tree roots across the soil profile. We then used this tracer data to parameterize a water movement model (Hydrus 1D). The model accounted for water availability and estimated grass and tree water uptake by depth over a growing season. Most root biomass was found in shallow soils (0-20 cm) and tracer data revealed that, within these shallow depths, half of active grass roots were in the top 12 cm while half of active tree roots were in the top 21 cm. However, because shallow soils provided roots with less water than deep soils (20-90 cm), the water movement model indicated that grass and tree water uptake was twice as deep as would be predicted from root biomass or tracer data alone: half of grass and tree water uptake occurred in the top 23 and 43 cm, respectively. Niche partitioning was also greater when estimated from water uptake rather than tracer uptake. Contrary to long-standing assumptions, shallow grass root distributions absorbed 32% less water than slightly deeper tree root distributions when grasses and trees were assumed to have equal water demands. Quantifying water uptake revealed deeper soil water uptake, greater niche partitioning and greater benefits of deep roots than would be estimated from root biomass or tracer uptake data alone.

  10. Modelling Water Uptake Provides a New Perspective on Grass and Tree Coexistence

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Root biomass distributions have long been used to infer patterns of resource uptake. These patterns are used to understand plant growth, plant coexistence and water budgets. Root biomass, however, may be a poor indicator of resource uptake because large roots typically do not absorb water, fine roots do not absorb water from dry soils and roots of different species can be difficult to differentiate. In a sub-tropical savanna, Kruger Park, South Africa, we used a hydrologic tracer experiment to describe the abundance of active grass and tree roots across the soil profile. We then used this tracer data to parameterize a water movement model (Hydrus 1D). The model accounted for water availability and estimated grass and tree water uptake by depth over a growing season. Most root biomass was found in shallow soils (0–20 cm) and tracer data revealed that, within these shallow depths, half of active grass roots were in the top 12 cm while half of active tree roots were in the top 21 cm. However, because shallow soils provided roots with less water than deep soils (20–90 cm), the water movement model indicated that grass and tree water uptake was twice as deep as would be predicted from root biomass or tracer data alone: half of grass and tree water uptake occurred in the top 23 and 43 cm, respectively. Niche partitioning was also greater when estimated from water uptake rather than tracer uptake. Contrary to long-standing assumptions, shallow grass root distributions absorbed 32% less water than slightly deeper tree root distributions when grasses and trees were assumed to have equal water demands. Quantifying water uptake revealed deeper soil water uptake, greater niche partitioning and greater benefits of deep roots than would be estimated from root biomass or tracer uptake data alone. PMID:26633177

  11. Immunological cross-reactivity between olive and grass pollen: implication of major and minor allergens

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Grasses and olive trees are the most common sources of allergenic pollen worldwide. Although they share some allergens, there are few studies analyzing the in vitro cross-reactivity between them. The aim was to define the cross-reactivity between Olea europaea and Phleum pratense using well-characterized sera of allergic children from Madrid, Spain. Methods 66 patients (mean age 10.32+/−4.07 years) were included in the study. All suffered from rhinoconjuntivitis and/or asthma and had a positive skin test and/or specific IgE determination to olive and grass pollen. Serum sIgE to individual allergens was conducted and sIgE against different grass species and olive was also determined by ELISA. Inhibition assays were performed using two serum sources, containing, or not, sIgE to minor allergens. Mass spectrometry analysis was performed in both extracts. Results 59/66 (89.39%) children had a positive sIgE determination by ELISA to grasses and 57/66 (86.36%) to olive pollen. There was no significant correlation between sIgE levels to grass and olive. Inhibition assays demonstrated no cross-reactivity between P. pratense and olive pollen when using the pool containing mainly sIgE to major allergens, whereas minimal to moderate cross-reactivity was detected when the serum contained high sIgE titers to minor allergens. Proteomic analyses revealed the presence of 42 common proteins in grasses and olive pollens. Conclusion No in vitro cross-reactivity was observed when sIgE was mainly directed to major allergens. In our population, sensitization to olive and grasses is not due to cross-reactivity. The contribution of the major allergens seems to be determinant. PMID:24940475

  12. Impacts of leguminous shrub encroachment on neighboring grasses include transfer of fixed nitrogen.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Hai-Yang; Yu, Qiang; Lü, Xiao-Tao; Trumbore, Susan E; Yang, Jun-Jie; Han, Xing-Guo

    2016-04-01

    Shrub encroachment induced by global change and human disturbance strongly affects ecosystem structure and function. In this study, we explore the degree to which invading leguminous shrubs affected neighboring grasses, including via the transfer of fixed nitrogen (N). We measured N concentrations and natural abundance (15)N of shoot tissues from three dominant grasses from different plant functional groups across seven distances along a local transect (up to 500 cm) to the leguminous shrub, Caragana microphylla. C. microphylla did transfer fixed N to neighboring grasses, but the amount and distance of N transferred were strongly species-specific. Shoot N concentrations decreased significantly with distance from C. microphylla, for a rhizomatous grass, Leymus chinensis, and a bunchgrass, Achnatherum sibiricum. However, N concentrations of another bunchgrass, Stipa grandis, were higher only directly underneath the shrub canopy. Shoot δ(15)N values of L. chinensis were enriched up to 500 cm from the shrub, but for S. grandis were enriched only below the shrub canopy. In contrast, δ(15)N of A. sibiricum did not change along the 500-cm transect. Our results indicated the rhizomatous grass transferred fixed N over long distances while bunchgrasses did not. The presence of C. microphylla increased the shoot biomass of L. chinensis but decreased that of S. grandis and A. sibiricum. These findings highlight the potential role of nutrient-acquisition strategies of neighboring grasses in moderating the interspecific variation of fixed N transfer from the leguminous shrub. Overall, leguminous shrubs have either positive or negative effects on the neighboring grasses and dramatically affect plant community composition and structure.

  13. Divergent evolutionary histories of C4 grasses shape global grassland ecology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lehmann, C.; Griffith, D.; Osborne, C.

    2014-12-01

    C4 photosynthesis has evolved in more than 23 independent lineages of grasses as an adaptation to hot, sunny conditions. Geological records demonstrate that C4 grasses abruptly became ecologically dominant during the late Cenozoic across the tropical and temperate regions, transforming the Earth System and facilitating major faunal and floral radiations. However, although each C4 grass lineage originated and specialised in different environments, the importance of these divergent evolutionary histories for global ecology remains largely unknown. Here, we address this problem by compiling the first global map of grassy biomes based entirely upon ground-based vegetation surveys of dominant species. Our analysis shows that grasses dominate the ground layer across 40% of the vegetated land surface, with C4 grasses accounting for 60% of this area, and grassy biomes occurring under almost all climatic conditions. More than 98% of C3 grassy vegetation is dominated by the cold tolerant Pooideae lineage, which is replaced by C4 lineages at mean annual temperatures exceeding 15oC. The world's C4 grassy vegetation is largely dominated by only four of the 23 independent C4 grass lineages, and these segregate strongly along global environmental gradients and across continents. The Chloridoideae lineage is globally important in dominating semi-arid environments with a long fire return interval. In contrast, although the Andropogoneae lineage dominates extremely wet regions with frequent fire in the Paleotropics and North America, the same niche space is dominated by Paspaleae in South America. Sorting of lineages along precipitation and fire gradients is strongly predicted by plant height. Our results demonstrate that the divergent histories of independent C4 grass lineages have constrained the assembly and functional traits of grassy biomes, with important implications for understanding how biome boundaries may shift in past and future environments.

  14. Herbaceous Legume Encroachment Reduces Grass Productivity and Density in Arid Rangelands

    PubMed Central

    Hane, Susanne; Joubert, Dave F.; Fischer, Christina

    2016-01-01

    Worldwide savannas and arid grasslands are mainly used for livestock grazing, providing livelihood to over a billion people. While normally dominated by perennial C4 grasses, these rangelands are increasingly affected by the massive spread of native, mainly woody legumes. The consequences are often a repression of grass cover and productivity, leading to a reduced carrying capacity. While such encroachment by woody plants has been extensively researched, studies on similar processes involving herbaceous species are rare. We studied the impact of a sustained and massive spread of the native herbaceous legume Crotalaria podocarpa in Namibia’s escarpment region on the locally dominant fodder grasses Stipagrostis ciliata and Stipagrostis uniplumis. We measured tussock densities, biomass production of individual tussocks and tussock dormancy state of Stipagrostis on ten 10 m x 10 m plots affected and ten similarly-sized plots unaffected by C. podocarpa over eight consecutive years and under different seasonal rainfalls and estimated the potential relative productivity of the land. We found the percentage of active Stipagrostis tussocks and the biomass production of individual tussocks to increase asymptotically with higher seasonal rainfall reaching a maximum around 300 mm while the land’s relative productivity under average local rainfall conditions reached only 40% of its potential. Crotalaria podocarpa encroachment had no effect on the proportion of productive grass tussocks, but reduced he productivity of individual Stipagrostis tussocks by a third. This effect of C. podocarpa on grass productivity was immediate and direct and was not compensated for by above-average rainfall. Besides this immediate effect, over time, the density of grass tussocks declined by more than 50% in areas encroached by C. podocarpa further and lastingly reducing the lands carrying capacity. The effects of C. podocarpa on grass productivity hereby resemble those of woody encroachers

  15. Soil seed banks confer resilience to savanna grass-layer plants during seasonal disturbance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scott, Kenneth; Setterfield, Samantha; Douglas, Michael; Andersen, Alan

    2010-03-01

    An understanding of soil seed bank processes is crucial for understanding vegetation dynamics, particularly in ecosystems experiencing frequent disturbance. This paper examines seed bank dynamics in a tropical savanna in northern Australia, an environment characterised by frequent fire and highly seasonal rainfall. In particular, we examine the contribution of seed bank processes to the high level of resilience shown by grass-layer vegetation in relation to fire. We assess the spatial congruence between seed bank composition and extant vegetation, document temporal variation in the germinable seed bank over the annual dry season, test the effects of laboratory-applied heat and smoke treatments on seed germinability, and determine the effect of experimental fires on seed bank composition. Although dominant species were shared, the composition of the germinable seed bank was significantly different to that of extant vegetation, with approximately half the extant species not being detected in the seed bank. The density and species richness of germinable seeds was significantly greater in the late dry season than the early dry season, with annual grasses showing particularly high levels of seed dormancy in the early dry season. The density and species richness of germinable seeds in the seed bank was significantly enhanced by laboratory-applied treatments of smoke and especially heat, driven by the response of legumes. However, fire had no significant effect on the density or species richness of germinable seeds in the field, indicating soil temperatures during fire were too low to overcome physical dormancy, or burial was too deep to experience adequate heating or smoke exposure. Our results provide a mechanistic understanding of the persistence of annual grasses and forbs in an environment subject to frequent fire and highly seasonal rainfall, and, together with the sprouting capacity of perennial grasses, explain the high resilience of savanna grass-layer plants in

  16. Grassroots e-floras in the Poaceae: growing GrassBase and GrassWorld

    PubMed Central

    Vorontsova, Maria S.; Clayton, Derek; Simon, Bryan K.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract GrassBase and GrassWorld are the largest structured descriptive datasets in plants, publishing descriptions of 11,290 species in the DELTA format. Twenty nine years of data compilation and maintenance have created a dataset which now underpins much of the Poaceae bioinformatics. GrassBase and GrassWorld can continue to grow productively if the proliferation of alternative classifications and datasets can be brought together into a consensus system. If the datasets are reconciled instead of diverging further apart a long term cumulative process can bring knowledge together for great future utility. This paper presents the Poaceae as the first and largest model system for e-taxonomy and the study of classification development in plants. The origin, development, and content of both datasets is described and key contributors are noted. The challenges of alternative classifications, data divergence, collaborative contribution mechanisms, and software are outlined. PMID:25941449

  17. Grassroots e-floras in the Poaceae: growing GrassBase and GrassWorld.

    PubMed

    Vorontsova, Maria S; Clayton, Derek; Simon, Bryan K

    2015-01-01

    GrassBase and GrassWorld are the largest structured descriptive datasets in plants, publishing descriptions of 11,290 species in the DELTA format. Twenty nine years of data compilation and maintenance have created a dataset which now underpins much of the Poaceae bioinformatics. GrassBase and GrassWorld can continue to grow productively if the proliferation of alternative classifications and datasets can be brought together into a consensus system. If the datasets are reconciled instead of diverging further apart a long term cumulative process can bring knowledge together for great future utility. This paper presents the Poaceae as the first and largest model system for e-taxonomy and the study of classification development in plants. The origin, development, and content of both datasets is described and key contributors are noted. The challenges of alternative classifications, data divergence, collaborative contribution mechanisms, and software are outlined.

  18. Species differences in the sensitivity of avian embryos to methylmercury

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Heinz, G.H.; Hoffman, D.J.; Klimstra, J.D.; Stebbins, K.R.; Kondrad, S.L.; Erwin, C.A.

    2009-01-01

    We injected doses of methylmercury into the air cells of eggs of 26 species of birds and examined the dose-response curves of embryo survival. For 23 species we had adequate data to calculate the median lethal concentration (LC50). Based on the dose-response curves and LC50s, we ranked species according to their sensitivity to injected methylmercury. Although the previously published embryotoxic threshold of mercury in game farm mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) has been used as a default value to protect wild species of birds, we found that, relative to other species, mallard embryos are not very sensitive to injected methylmercury; their LC50 was 1.79 ug/g mercury on a wet-weight basis. Other species we categorized as also exhibiting relatively low sensitivity to injected methylmercury (their LC50s were 1 ug/g mercury or higher) were the hooded merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus), lesser scaup (Aythya affinis), Canada goose (Branta canadensis), double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus), and laughing gull (Larus atricilla). Species we categorized as having medium sensitivity (their LC50s were greater than 0.25 ug/g mercury but less than 1 ug/g mercury) were the clapper rail (Rallus longirostris), sandhill crane (Grus canadensis), ring-necked pheasant (Phasianus colchicus), chicken (Gallus gallus), common grackle (Quiscalus quiscula), tree swallow (Tachycineta bicolor), herring gull (Larus argentatus), common tern (S terna hirundo), royal tern (Sterna maxima), Caspian tern (Sterna caspia), great egret (Ardea alba), brown pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis), and anhinga (Anhinga anhinga). Species we categorized as exhibiting high sensitivity (their LC50s were less than 0.25 ug/g mercury) were the American kestrel (Falco sparverius), osprey (Pandion haliaetus), white ibis (Eudocimus albus), snowy egret (Egretta thula), and tri-colored heron (Egretta tricolor). For mallards, chickens, and ring-necked pheasants (all species for which we could compare the toxicity of our

  19. Species differences in the sensitivity of avian embryos to methylmercury.

    PubMed

    Heinz, Gary H; Hoffman, David J; Klimstra, Jon D; Stebbins, Katherine R; Kondrad, Shannon L; Erwin, Carol A

    2009-01-01

    We injected doses of methylmercury into the air cells of eggs of 26 species of birds and examined the dose-response curves of embryo survival. For 23 species we had adequate data to calculate the median lethal concentration (LC(50)). Based on the dose-response curves and LC(50)s, we ranked species according to their sensitivity to injected methylmercury. Although the previously published embryotoxic threshold of mercury in game farm mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) has been used as a default value to protect wild species of birds, we found that, relative to other species, mallard embryos are not very sensitive to injected methylmercury; their LC(50 )was 1.79 microg/g mercury on a wet-weight basis. Other species we categorized as also exhibiting relatively low sensitivity to injected methylmercury (their LC(50)s were 1 microg/g mercury or higher) were the hooded merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus), lesser scaup (Aythya affinis), Canada goose (Branta canadensis), double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus), and laughing gull (Larus atricilla). Species we categorized as having medium sensitivity (their LC(50)s were greater than 0.25 microg/g mercury but less than 1 microg/g mercury) were the clapper rail (Rallus longirostris), sandhill crane (Grus canadensis), ring-necked pheasant (Phasianus colchicus), chicken (Gallus gallus), common grackle (Quiscalus quiscula), tree swallow (Tachycineta bicolor), herring gull (Larus argentatus), common tern (Sterna hirundo), royal tern (Sterna maxima), Caspian tern (Sterna caspia), great egret (Ardea alba), brown pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis), and anhinga (Anhinga anhinga). Species we categorized as exhibiting high sensitivity (their LC(50)s were less than 0.25 microg/g mercury) were the American kestrel (Falco sparverius), osprey (Pandion haliaetus), white ibis (Eudocimus albus), snowy egret (Egretta thula), and tri-colored heron (Egretta tricolor). For mallards, chickens, and ring-necked pheasants (all species for which we

  20. Basin wildrye: the forgotten grass revisited

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Basin wildrye was once a very abundant and widely occurring species throughout the landscapes of northern Nevada. When Captain Simpson, of the topographical Engineers, explored the route for a wagon road across the central Great Basin he marveled at the grass in the valley bottoms that reached to h...

  1. Ploidy determination of buffel grass accessions in the USDA National Plant Germplasm System collection by flow cytometry

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Buffelgrass [Pennisetum ciliare (L.) Link syn. Cenchrus ciliaris L.] is an important forage and range grass in many of the semi-arid tropical and subtropical regions of the world. The species reproduces primarily by apomixis but it is highly diverse because a wide array of different apomictic ecoty...

  2. Seasonal greenhouse gas and soil nutrient cycling in semi-arid native and non-native perennial grass pastures

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Previous research indicates that a difference occurs in native and non-native grass species in regard to drivers of greenhouse gas (GHG, (carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O))) emissions from soil. Drivers of soil nutrients could help establish best management practices to mit...

  3. Complete Genome Sequence of Leifsonia xyli subsp. cynodontis Strain DSM46306, a Gram-Positive Bacterial Pathogen of Grasses

    PubMed Central

    Zerillo, Marcelo Marques; Van Sluys, Marie-Anne; Camargo, Luis Eduardo Aranha; Kitajima, João Paulo

    2013-01-01

    We announce the complete genome sequence of Leifsonia xyli subsp. cynodontis, a vascular pathogen of Bermuda grass. The species also comprises Leifsonia xyli subsp. xyli, a sugarcane pathogen. Since these two subspecies have genome sequences available, a comparative analysis will contribute to our understanding of the differences in their biology and host specificity. PMID:24201198

  4. Microsatellite genetic diversity and differentiation of native and introduced grass carp populations in three continents

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chapman, Duane C.; Chen, Qin; Wang, Chenghui; Zhao, Jinlian; Lu, Guoqing; Zsigmond, Jeney; Li, Sifa

    2012-01-01

    Grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella), a freshwater species native to China, has been introduced to about 100 countries/regions and poses both biological and environmental challenges to the receiving ecosystems. In this study, we analyzed genetic variation in grass carp from three introduced river systems (Mississippi River Basin in US, Danube River in Hungary, and Tone River in Japan) as well as its native ranges (Yangtze, Pearl, and Amur Rivers) in China using 21 novel microsatellite loci. The allelic richness, observed heterozygosity, and within-population gene diversity were found to be lower in the introduced populations than in the native populations, presumably due to the small founder population size of the former. Significant genetic differentiation was found between all pairwise populations from different rivers. Both principal component analysis and Bayesian clustering analysis revealed obvious genetic distinction between the native and introduced populations. Interestingly, genetic bottlenecks were detected in the Hungarian and Japanese grass carp populations, but not in the North American population, suggesting that the Mississippi River Basin grass carp has experienced rapid population expansion with potential genetic diversification during the half-century since its introduction. Consequently, the combined forces of the founder effect, introduction history, and rapid population expansion help explaining the observed patterns of genetic diversity within and among both native and introduced populations of the grass carp.

  5. Proof of concept pilot study: prevalence of grass virus infection and the potential for effects on the allergenic potency of pollen

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Background Wild plants harbour a variety of viruses and these have the potential to alter the composition of pollen. The potential consequences of virus infection of grasses on pollen-induced allergic disease are not known. Methods We have collected pollen from Dactylis glomerata (cocksfoot; a grass species implicated as a trigger of allergic rhino-conjunctivitis) from Wytham Wood, Oxfordshire UK. Extracts were prepared from pollen from uninfected grass, and from grass naturally infected by the Cocksfoot streak potyvirus (CSV). Preparations of pollen from virus-infected and non-infected grasses were employed in skin testing 15 grass pollen-allergic subjects with hayfever. Allergen profiles of extracts were investigated by Western blotting for IgE with sera from allergic subjects. Results The prevalence of CSV infection in cocksfoot grasses sampled from the study site varied significantly over an eight-year period, but infection rates of up to 70% were detected. Virus infection was associated with small alterations in the quantities of pollen proteins detected by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, and in the patterns of allergens identified by Western blotting with IgE from grass pollen allergic subjects. For individual subjects there were differences in potencies of standardised extracts of pollen from virus-free and virus-infected plants as assessed by skin testing, though a consistent pattern was not established for the group of 15 subjects. Conclusion Infection rates for CSV in cocksfoot grass can be high, though variable. Virus-induced alterations in components of grass pollen have the potential to alter the allergenic potency. PMID:20102577

  6. Coastal Dune Building Capabilities of Native and Exotic Beach Grasses: Initial Results From a Moveable Bed Wind Tunnel Experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zarnetske, P. L.; Seabloom, E. W.; Ruggiero, P.; Hacker, S. D.; Killian, J.; Maddux, T.; Cox, D.; Pattanapol, W.; Bokil, V.

    2008-12-01

    Coastal dune morphology results from the interplay between wind, waves, sediment supply, and vegetation. Over the last 100 years in the U.S. Pacific Northwest, two exotic beach grasses (Ammophila arenaria and A. breviligulata) have replaced much of the native beach grass (Elymus mollis), and formed large continuous, and relatively stable, foredunes where open low-lying dynamic dune systems had previously dominated. Field measurements demonstrate a correlation between dominant beach grass species and foredune height, suggesting the potential for an ecological control on coastal vulnerability. Over a 20 year period, and across a broad range of sediment supply along the coast, A. breviligulata is associated with lower foredune heights than A. arenaria. Based on these correlations, we hypothesize that the A. arenaria is more effective at entrapping and stabilizing sand which results in steep and tall foredune morphology along reaches where this species dominates. A moveable bed wind tunnel experiment is being performed at Oregon State University's O.H. Hinsdale Wave Research Laboratory to test this hypothesis. Our experiments will quantify the relative sand trapping capabilities among the three beach grass species across different planting densities and wind speeds. Results from the experiment will help parameterize a computational fluid dynamics model describing dune building capabilities of different species, species' densities, wind speeds, and sediment supplies. Wind tunnel experiments and modeling results will be combined with field data, both biological and physical observations, to inform coastal protection measures and dune ecosystem management.

  7. Remote sensing of St. Augustine Decline (SAD) disease. [spectral reflectance of healthy and diseased grass

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Odle, W. C.

    1976-01-01

    Laboratory and field spectral reflectance measurements of healthy and infected St. Augustine grass were made using several different instruments. Spectral differences between healthy and infected grass occured in the visible and near infrared regions. Multiband and color infrared photographs were taken of healthy and diseased turf from ground-based platforms and low altitude aircraft. Qualitative (density slicing) and quantitative (transmission densitometry) analyses revealed distinct tonal differences between healthy and St. Augustine disease (SAD) infected grass. Similar experiments are described for determining if healthy and diseased grass can be distinguished from waterstressed grass and grass deficient in either nitrogen or iron.

  8. The potential of C4 grasses for cellulosic biofuel production

    PubMed Central

    van der Weijde, Tim; Alvim Kamei, Claire L.; Torres, Andres F.; Vermerris, Wilfred; Dolstra, Oene; Visser, Richard G. F.; Trindade, Luisa M.

    2013-01-01

    With the advent of biorefinery technologies enabling plant biomass to be processed into biofuel, many researchers set out to study and improve candidate biomass crops. Many of these candidates are C4 grasses, characterized by a high productivity and resource use efficiency. In this review the potential of five C4 grasses as lignocellulosic feedstock for biofuel production is discussed. These include three important field crops—maize, sugarcane and sorghum—and two undomesticated perennial energy grasses—miscanthus and switchgrass. Although all these grasses are high yielding, they produce different products. While miscanthus and switchgrass are exploited exclusively for lignocellulosic biomass, maize, sorghum, and sugarcane are dual-purpose crops. It is unlikely that all the prerequisites for the sustainable and economic production of biomass for a global cellulosic biofuel industry will be fulfilled by a single crop. High and stable yields of lignocellulose are required in diverse environments worldwide, to sustain a year-round production of biofuel. A high resource use efficiency is indispensable to allow cultivation with minimal inputs of nutrients and water and the exploitation of marginal soils for biomass production. Finally, the lignocellulose composition of the feedstock should be optimized to allow its efficient conversion into biofuel and other by-products. Breeding for these objectives should encompass diverse crops, to meet the demands of local biorefineries and provide adaptability to different environments. Collectively, these C4 grasses are likely to play a central role in the supply of lignocellulose for the cellulosic ethanol industry. Moreover, as these species are evolutionary closely related, advances in each of these crops will expedite improvements in the other crops. This review aims to provide an overview of their potential, prospects and research needs as lignocellulose feedstocks for the commercial production of biofuel. PMID:23653628

  9. High hydrostatic pressure tolerance of four different anhydrobiotic animal species.

    PubMed

    Horikawa, Daiki D; Iwata, Ken-Ichi; Kawai, Kiyoshi; Koseki, Shigenobu; Okuda, Takashi; Yamamoto, Kazutaka

    2009-03-01

    High hydrostatic pressure (HHP) can induce physical changes in DNA, proteins, and lipids, causing lethal or sublethal damage to organisms. However, HHP tolerance of animals has not been studied sufficiently. In this study, HHP tolerance of four species of invertebrate anhydrobiotes (the tardigrade Milnesium tardigradum, a nematode species in the family Plectidae, larvae of Polypedilum vanderplanki, and cysts of Artemia franciscana), which have the potential to enter anhydrobiosis upon desiccation, were investigated by exposing them to 1.2 GPa for 20 minutes. This exposure killed the anhydrobiotes in their ordinary hydrated state, but did not affect their survival in the anhydrobiotic state. The results indicated that the hydrated anhydrobiotes were vulnerable to HHP, but that HHP of 1.2 GPa was not sufficient to kill them in anhyrdobiosis.

  10. Ecological differences in three autochthonous equid species in Mongolian Gobi inferred from stable isotopes in tail hair

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burnik Šturm, Martina; Voigt, Christian C.; Oyunsaikhan, Ganbaatar; Kaczensky, Petra

    2014-05-01

    In the Dzungarian Gobi of Mongolia three equid species, Asiatic wild ass (Equus hemionus), domestic horse (Equus caballus), and re-introduced Przewalski's horse (Equus ferus przewalskii) share the same habitat and thus provide a unique opportunity for comparative ecological studies. In our project we use the stable isotope analysis of tail hair as a tool to study feeding ecology, water use and movement pattern of the three extant sympatric equid species to reveal species specific differences and thus strengthen our understanding of the ecological adaptations of the three species to the harsh environment of the Gobi desert. Since tail hair grow continuously and is isotopically inert after formation, when sampled and analysed longitudinally, provides temporary explicit information on dietary regime and movement pattern. We use the carbon isotopes in the tail hair to determine the quantitative dependence of each animal on isotopically distinct C3 (grasses) and C4 (multitude of annuals and perennials) diet. Nitrogen isotopes reflect the isotopic composition of the diet and hydrogen isotopes reflect the isotopic composition of the water that animals utilize, while both elements have been reported to also give information on the physical status of the animal. Combined isotope data will be used to describe the movement patterns and habitat use of the three equid species. We will present the methodology and first preliminary results of carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis of potential forage plants of the study area and of the tail hair analysis. Among the analysed plants, collected in the pilot sampling campaign in 2012 (n = 192), we identified 14 C3 and two C4species and found no general trend that could explain the effect of altitude on carbon isotopic composition in C3 plants and no correlation between carbon isotopic composition and longitude or latitude. We performed additional, more detailed plant sampling in 2013. The first results obtained from the tail hair

  11. GRASS GIS Vector Processing: Towards GRASS 7

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Metz, Markus; Landa, Martin; Petrasova, Anna; Petras, Vaclav; Chemin, Yann; Neteler, Markus

    2014-05-01

    The upcoming GRASS GIS 7 release improves not only raster processing and general design but the vector processing in the first place. GRASS GIS, as a topological GIS, recognizes that the topology plays the key role in the vector processing and analysis. Topology ensures that adjacent geographic components in a single vector map are related. In contrast to non-topological GIS, a border common to two areas exists only once and is shared between the two areas. Topological representation of vector data helps to produce and maintain vector maps with clean geometry as well as enables the user to perform certain analyses that can not be conducted with non-topological or spaghetti data. Non-topological vector data are automatically converted to a topological representation upon import. Further more, various cleaning tools exist to remove non-trivial topological errors. In the upcoming GRASS GIS 7 release the vector library was particularly improved to make it faster and more efficient with an improved internal vector file format. This new topological format reduces memory and disk space requirements, leading to a generally faster processing. Opening an existing vector requires less memory providing additionally support for large files. The new spatial index performs queries faster (compared to GRASS GIS 6 more than 10 times for large vectors). As a new option the user can select a file-based version of the spatial index for large vector data. All topological cleaning tools have been optimized with regard to processing speed, robustness, and system requirements. The topological engine comes with a new prototype for direct read/write support of Simple Features API/OGR. Additionally vector data can be directly exchanged with topological PostGIS 2 databases. Considering the wide spread usage of ESRI Shapefile, a non-topological format for vector data exchange, it is particularly advantageous that GRASS GIS 7 offers advanced cleaning tools. For power users and programmers, the

  12. Albatross species demonstrate regional differences in North Pacific marine contamination

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Finkelstein, M.; Keitt, B.S.; Croll, D.A.; Tershy, B.; Jarman, Walter M.; Rodriguez-Pastor, S.; Anderson, D.J.; Sievert, P.R.; Smith, D.R.

    2006-01-01

    Recent concern about negative effects on human health from elevated organochlorine and mercury concentrations in marine foods has highlighted the need to understand temporal and spatial patterns of marine pollution. Seabirds, long-lived pelagic predators with wide foraging ranges, can be used as indicators of regional contaminant patterns across large temporal and spatial scales. Here we evaluate contaminant levels, carbon and nitrogen stable isotope ratios, and satellite telemetry data from two sympatrically breeding North Pacific albatross species to demonstrate that (1) organochlorine and mercury contaminant levels are significantly higher in the California Current compared to levels in the high-latitude North Pacific and (2) levels of organochlorine contaminants in the North Paci.c are increasing over time. Black-footed Albatrosses (Phoebastria nigripes) had 370-460% higher organochlorine (polychlorinated biphenyls [PCBs], dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethanes [DDTs]) and mercury body burdens than a closely related species, the Laysan Albatross (P. immutabilis), primarily due to regional segregation of their North Pacific foraging areas. PCBs (the sum of the individual PCB congeners analyzed) and DDE concentrations in both albatross species were 130-360% higher than concentrations measured a decade ago. Our results demonstrate dramatically high and increasing contaminant concentrations in the eastern North Pacific Ocean, a finding relevant to other marine predators, including humans. ?? 2006 by the Ecological Society of America.

  13. Systematic analysis of the falcate-spored graminicolous Colletotrichum and a description of six new species from warm-season grasses.

    PubMed

    Crouch, Jo Anne; Clarke, Bruce B; White, James F; Hillman, Bradley I

    2009-01-01

    Species limits in the fungal genus Colletotrichum are traditionally distinguished by appressorial and/or conidial morphology or through host plant association, but both criteria are criticized for their inability to resolve distinct taxa. In previous research eight novel falcate-spored Colletotrichum species were identified from graminicolous hosts using multilocus molecular phylogenetic analysis. In the present work formal descriptions and illustrations are provided for six of the new taxa: C. hanaui sp. nov., C. nicholsonii sp. nov., C. paspali sp. nov., C. jacksonii sp. nov., C. miscanthi sp. nov. and C. axonopodi sp. nov.; and an emended description with epitypification is provided for C. eleusines. Comparison of hyphopodial appressoria and host association against phylogenetic species boundaries and evolutionary relationships in the graminicolous Colletotrichum group demonstrate that, while these characters can be useful in combination for the purpose of species diagnosis, erroneous identification is possible and species boundaries might be underestimated if these characters are used independently, as exemplified by the polyphyletic taxa C. falcatum. Appressoria have been subject to convergent evolution and were not predictive of phylogenetic relationships. Despite these limitations, the results of this work establish that in combination appressorial and host range characters could be used to generate informative dichotomous identification keys for Colletotrichum species groups when an underlying framework of evolutionary relationships, taxonomic criteria and nomenclature have been satisfactorily derived from molecular systematic treatments.

  14. Diet Switching by Mammalian Herbivores in Response to Exotic Grass Invasion

    PubMed Central

    Bremm, Carolina; Carvalho, Paulo C. F.; Fonseca, Lidiane; Amaral, Glaucia A.; Mezzalira, Jean C.; Perez, Naylor B.; Nabinger, Carlos; Laca, Emilio A.

    2016-01-01

    Invasion by exotic grasses is a severe threat to the integrity of grassland ecosystems all over the world. Because grasslands are typically grazed by livestock and wildlife, the invasion is a community process modulated by herbivory. We hypothesized that the invasion of native South American grasslands by Eragrostis plana Nees, an exotic tussock-forming grass from Africa, could be deterred by grazing if grazers switched dietary preferences and included the invasive grass as a large proportion of their diets. Bos taurus (heifers) and Ovis aries (ewes) grazed plots with varying degrees of invasion by E. plana in a replicated manipulative experiment. Animal positions and species grazed were observed every minute in 45-min grazing session. Proportion of bites and steps in and out of E. plana tussocks were measured and used to calculate several indices of selectivity. Both heifers and ewes exhibited increasing probability of grazing E. plana as the proportion of area covered by tussocks increased, but they behaved differently. In agreement with expectations based on the allometry of dietary preferences and morphology, ewes consumed a low proportion of E. plana, except in areas that had more than 90% E. plana cover. Heifers consumed proportionally more E. plana than ewes. Contrary to our hypothesis, herbivores did not exhibit dietary switching towards the invasive grass. Moreover, they exhibited avoidance of the invasive grass and preference for short-statured native species, both of which should tend to enhance invasion. Unless invasive plants are highly palatable to livestock, the effect of grazing to deter the invasion is limited, due to the inherent avoidance of the invasive grass by the main grazers in the ecosystem, particularly sheep. PMID:26919613

  15. Diet Switching by Mammalian Herbivores in Response to Exotic Grass Invasion.

    PubMed

    Bremm, Carolina; Carvalho, Paulo C F; Fonseca, Lidiane; Amaral, Glaucia A; Mezzalira, Jean C; Perez, Naylor B; Nabinger, Carlos; Laca, Emilio A

    2016-01-01

    Invasion by exotic grasses is a severe threat to the integrity of grassland ecosystems all over the world. Because grasslands are typically grazed by livestock and wildlife, the invasion is a community process modulated by herbivory. We hypothesized that the invasion of native South American grasslands by Eragrostis plana Nees, an exotic tussock-forming grass from Africa, could be deterred by grazing if grazers switched dietary preferences and included the invasive grass as a large proportion of their diets. Bos taurus (heifers) and Ovis aries (ewes) grazed plots with varying degrees of invasion by E. plana in a replicated manipulative experiment. Animal positions and species grazed were observed every minute in 45-min grazing session. Proportion of bites and steps in and out of E. plana tussocks were measured and used to calculate several indices of selectivity. Both heifers and ewes exhibited increasing probability of grazing E. plana as the proportion of area covered by tussocks increased, but they behaved differently. In agreement with expectations based on the allometry of dietary preferences and morphology, ewes consumed a low proportion of E. plana, except in areas that had more than 90% E. plana cover. Heifers consumed proportionally more E. plana than ewes. Contrary to our hypothesis, herbivores did not exhibit dietary switching towards the invasive grass. Moreover, they exhibited avoidance of the invasive grass and preference for short-statured native species, both of which should tend to enhance invasion. Unless invasive plants are highly palatable to livestock, the effect of grazing to deter the invasion is limited, due to the inherent avoidance of the invasive grass by the main grazers in the ecosystem, particularly sheep.

  16. Together but different: co-occurring dune plant species differ in their water- and nitrogen-use strategies.

    PubMed

    Bermúdez, Raimundo; Retuerto, Rubén

    2014-03-01

    Stress factors may severely constrain the range of plant physiological responses in harsh environments. Convergence of traits is expected in coastal dunes because of environmental filtering imposed by severe abiotic factors. However, the wide range of morphological and phenological traits exhibited by coexisting dune species suggests considerable variation in functional traits. We hypothesized that the constraints imposed by structural traits ought to translate into physiological differences. Five dominant species with different morphological traits, but coexisting in a homogeneous dune area in Northwest Spain, were selected for study. Soil characteristics and leaf functional traits were measured in April, June and November 2008. Integrated water-use efficiency (assessed by C isotope discrimination) and N acquisition and use strategies (estimated by N isotope composition) varied significantly among species and the differences changed over time. Species differences in specific leaf area, relative water content, leaf N and C:N ratio, also varied over time. The species differed in stomatal density but not in soil characteristics, with the exception of pH. Species differences in functional traits related to the use of resources suggest species niche segregation. Species-specific temporal effects on the use of these resources support temporal niche differentiation. Somewhat in contrast to the findings of previous studies on harsh environments, this study revealed a considerable level of functional diversity and complexity, suggesting that dune plant species have evolved species-specific strategies to survive by partitioning growth-limiting resources.

  17. To increase size or decrease density? Different Microcystis species has different choice to form blooms.

    PubMed

    Li, Ming; Zhu, Wei; Guo, Lili; Hu, Jing; Chen, Huaimin; Xiao, Man

    2016-11-14

    The buoyancy of Microcystis colonies is a principal factor determining blooms occurrence but the knowledge of seasonal variation in buoyancy is quite poor because of challenge in analysis method. In this study, a method based on the Stokes' Law after researching on the effects of shapes on settling velocity of Microcystis colonies, whose gas vesicles were collapsed, to accurately measure density was established. The method was used in Lake Taihu. From January to May, mean density of Microcystis colonies decreased from 995 kg m(-3) to 978 kg m(-3) and then increased to 992 kg m(-3) in December. The density of colonies in different Microcystis species was in the order M. wesenbergii > M. aeruginosa > M. ichthyoblabe. For all the Microcystis species, the density of colonies with gas vasicles increased significantly along with the increase of colony size. Our results suggested that the main driving factor of Microcystis blooms formation in Lake Taihu was low density for M. ichthyoblabe from May to July but was large colony size for M. wesenbergii and M. aeruginosa from August to October.

  18. To increase size or decrease density? Different Microcystis species has different choice to form blooms

    PubMed Central

    Li, Ming; Zhu, Wei; Guo, Lili; Hu, Jing; Chen, Huaimin; Xiao, Man

    2016-01-01

    The buoyancy of Microcystis colonies is a principal factor determining blooms occurrence but the knowledge of seasonal variation in buoyancy is quite poor because of challenge in analysis method. In this study, a method based on the Stokes’ Law after researching on the effects of shapes on settling velocity of Microcystis colonies, whose gas vesicles were collapsed, to accurately measure density was established. The method was used in Lake Taihu. From January to May, mean density of Microcystis colonies decreased from 995 kg m−3 to 978 kg m−3 and then increased to 992 kg m−3 in December. The density of colonies in different Microcystis species was in the order M. wesenbergii > M. aeruginosa > M. ichthyoblabe. For all the Microcystis species, the density of colonies with gas vasicles increased significantly along with the increase of colony size. Our results suggested that the main driving factor of Microcystis blooms formation in Lake Taihu was low density for M. ichthyoblabe from May to July but was large colony size for M. wesenbergii and M. aeruginosa from August to October. PMID:27841329

  19. To increase size or decrease density? Different Microcystis species has different choice to form blooms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Ming; Zhu, Wei; Guo, Lili; Hu, Jing; Chen, Huaimin; Xiao, Man

    2016-11-01

    The buoyancy of Microcystis colonies is a principal factor determining blooms occurrence but the knowledge of seasonal variation in buoyancy is quite poor because of challenge in analysis method. In this study, a method based on the Stokes’ Law after researching on the effects of shapes on settling velocity of Microcystis colonies, whose gas vesicles were collapsed, to accurately measure density was established. The method was used in Lake Taihu. From January to May, mean density of Microcystis colonies decreased from 995 kg m‑3 to 978 kg m‑3 and then increased to 992 kg m‑3 in December. The density of colonies in different Microcystis species was in the order M. wesenbergii > M. aeruginosa > M. ichthyoblabe. For all the Microcystis species, the density of colonies with gas vasicles increased significantly along with the increase of colony size. Our results suggested that the main driving factor of Microcystis blooms formation in Lake Taihu was low density for M. ichthyoblabe from May to July but was large colony size for M. wesenbergii and M. aeruginosa from August to October.

  20. Plastic traits of an exotic grass contribute to its abundance but are not always favourable.

    PubMed

    Firn, Jennifer; Prober, Suzanne M; Buckley, Yvonne M

    2012-01-01

    In herbaceous ecosystems worldwide, biodiversity has been negatively impacted by changed grazing regimes and nutrient enrichment. Altered disturbance regimes are thought to favour invasive species that have a high phenotypic plasticity, although most studies measure plasticity under controlled conditions in the greenhouse and then assume plasticity is an advantage in the field. Here, we compare trait plasticity between three co-occurring, C(4) perennial grass species, an invader Eragrostis curvula, and natives Eragrostis sororia and Aristida personata to grazing and fertilizer in a three-year field trial. We measured abundances and several leaf traits known to correlate with strategies used by plants to fix carbon and acquire resources, i.e. specific leaf area (SLA), leaf dry matter content (LDMC), leaf nutrient concentrations (N, C:N, P), assimilation rates (Amax) and photosynthetic nitrogen use efficiency (PNUE). In the control treatment (grazed only), trait values for SLA, leaf C:N ratios, Amax and PNUE differed significantly between the three grass species. When trait values were compared across treatments, E. curvula showed higher trait plasticity than the native grasses, and this correlated with an increase in abundance across all but the grazed/fertilized treatment. The native grasses showed little trait plasticity in response to the treatments. Aristida personata decreased significantly in the treatments where E. curvula increased, and E. sororia abundance increased possibly due to increased rainfall and not in response to treatments or invader abundance. Overall, we found that plasticity did not favour an increase in abundance of E. curvula under the grazed/fertilized treatment likely because leaf nutrient contents increased and subsequently its' palatability to consumers. E. curvula also displayed a higher resource use efficiency than the native grasses. These findings suggest resource conditions and disturbance regimes can be manipulated to disadvantage

  1. Response to heat shock of different sea urchin species.

    PubMed

    Roccheri, M C; Sconzo, G; La Rosa, M; Oliva, D; Abrignani, A; Giudice, G

    1986-03-01

    It is demonstrated that sea urchin embryos of the species Sphaerechinus granularis are able to respond to heat shock by producing heat shock proteins at the same stage as embryos of Paracentrotus lividus, i.e. after hatching. Arbacia lixula embryos are able to synthesize heat shock proteins already at the stage of 64-128 blastomeres. Embryonic survival is observed if the embryos are heated at the stages at which they can synthesize the heat shock proteins. The inhibition of the bulk protein synthesis after heating at 31 degrees C is never less than 50%.

  2. Exploiting species differences to understand the CFTR Cl- channel.

    PubMed

    Bose, Samuel J; Scott-Ward, Toby S; Cai, Zhiwei; Sheppard, David N

    2015-10-01

    The anion channel cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) is a unique ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter. CFTR plays a pivotal role in transepithelial ion transport as its dysfunction in the genetic disease cystic fibrosis (CF) dramatically demonstrates. Phylogenetic analysis suggests that CFTR first appeared in aquatic vertebrates fulfilling important roles in osmosensing and organ development. Here, we review selectively, knowledge of CFTR structure, function and pharmacology, gleaned from cross-species comparative studies of recombinant CFTR proteins, including CFTR chimeras. The data argue that subtle changes in CFTR structure can affect strongly channel function and the action of CF mutations.

  3. Grass Pollen Allergens

    PubMed Central

    Augustin, Rosa

    1959-01-01

    Grass pollen allergens are shown to remain associated with protein material and a yellow pigment during paper chromatography and during dialyses and ultrafiltrations of various types. Dialysable* allergens comprise only a fraction of 1 per cent of the total activity and the amount of activity extractable by diethylene glycol (DEG) and similar solvents is of the same order. Besides the allergens, the DEG and aqueous extracts contain large amounts of inositol, glucose and fructose, also some yellow pigments and phosphates. Larger amounts of free and combined amino acids are found in the aqueous than in the DEG extracts, but the reverse is true for sucrose. In addition the DEG extracts contain a yellow glucoside different from the dactylen of the aqueous extracts, a glucosan and an arabinose-galactose-pigment complex, only the latter being associated with any activity. The spontaneous release of the crystalline dactylen from originally clear aqueous pollen extracts is found not to be caused by enzymes. The washed crystals are found to be chromatographically and electrophoretically homogeneous and devoid of allergenic activity. ImagesFIG. 1FIG. 2FIG. 3FIG. 4FIG. 5FIG. 6FIG. 7 PMID:13640676

  4. Ichthyophthirius multifiliis infection induces apoptosis in different species of Tilapia.

    PubMed

    El-Dien, Abdel Hakim S; Abdel-Gaber, Rewaida A

    2009-08-01

    The parasitic ciliate Ichthyophthirius multifiliis (Ich) is one of the most important protozoan pathogens of freshwater fish worldwide. Examination of 4 species of Tilapia from the River Nile recorded highest rate infection in Oreochromis niloticus, followed by Oreochromis aureus, Sarotherodon galilaeus and Tilapia zilli. By electron microscopy, apoptotic cells collected from Tilapia species infected with "Ich" showed an aggregation on the apical and basal parts of the ciliated and non-ciliated endothelial lining the gill epithelium. Ultrastructural analysis showed that the chromatin in the liver of Ich-infected O. niloticus was highly condensed and massed at the center of the nucleus. UItrastructural analysis of "Ich" infected O. aureus showed that the nuclear membrane of hepatocytes was also shrunken. In S. galilaeus, chromatin was highly condensed, fragmented and massed at the nuclear center, occasionally forming crescent-shaped masses. Ultrastructural of O. niloticus spleen showed that the macrophage number was comparatively high as compared to control. In O. aureus, damaged splenic cell number did not change, and phagocytic capacity of macrophages was not very high. In Ich-infected S. galilaeus, a marked decrease in splenic cells number was seen. Analysis of DNA by agarose gel electrophoresis on gill, liver and spleen cells showed a ladder of DNA fragments in multiple of 180bp in length, pointing to an internucleosomal DNA cleavage.

  5. Relationship between the Al Resistance of Grasses and their Adaptation to an Infertile Habitat

    PubMed Central

    Poozesh, Vahid; Cruz, Pablo; Choler, Philippe; Bertoni, Georges

    2007-01-01

    Background and Aims Original data on Al resistance, relative growth rate and leaf traits of five European grasses as well as literature data on Al resistance, habitat preference and traits of grasses were considered to determine whether (a) Al resistance is correlated to a growth conservative strategy and (b) species occurrence could be useful to assess Al toxicity in meadows on acid soils. Methods The Al resistance of 15 species was represented by the Al activity in nutrient solution that resulted in a 50 % decrease in root length, {Al3+}50, or, for published values, in root or plant biomass. The correlations between Al resistance and acidity or nitrogen indices and the correlation between Al resistance and selected traits (relative growth rate, leaf dry matter content, specific leaf area and leaf thickness) were calculated. Principal component analysis was used for the characterization of the relationships between Al resistance and measured traits. Key Results The {Al3+}50 values of the resistant species Molinia caerulea and Sieglingia decumbens were 13 and 26 µm {Al3+}50, respectively. The known Al resistance of 15 species that were mainly of the intermediate strategy competitor–stress tolerator–ruderal (C-S-R) type and of the S type was correlated with Ellenberg's nitrogen and acidity indices. For the whole set of species, the correlation between Al resistance and traits was not significant. Conclusion The Al resistance of the C-S-R species was variable and independent of their traits. S-type species, adapted to acid soils and with traits of conservative strategy, displayed Al resistance. The large difference in Al resistance between grasses may help assess Al soil toxicity by using the abundance of grasses. PMID:17452383

  6. Traffic-Related Trace Element Accumulation in Roadside Soils and Wild Grasses in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, China

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Guanxing; Yan, Xuedong; Zhang, Fan; Zeng, Chen; Gao, Dan

    2013-01-01

    This research examines traffic-source trace elements accumulations and distributions in roadside soils and wild grasses in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. A total of 100 soil samples and 100 grass samples including Achnatherum splendens, Anaphalis nepalensis, Artemisia sphaerocephala, Carex moorcroftii, Iris lacteal, Kobresia myosuroides, Oreosolen wattii, Oxytropis ochrocephala and Stellera chamaejasme were collected at 100 sites from different road segments. The contents of metals and metalloids, including Cu, Zn, Cd, Pb, Cr, Co, Ni and As, in the soil and grass samples were analyzed using ICP-MS. The total mean concentrations of the eight trace elements in soils are Cu (22.84 mg/kg), Zn (100.56 mg/kg), Cd (0.28 mg/kg), Pb (28.75 mg/kg), Cr (36.82 mg/kg), Co (10.24 mg/kg), Ni (32.44 mg/kg) and As (21.43 mg/kg), while in grasses are Cu (9.85 mg/kg), Zn (31.47 mg/kg), Cd (0.05 mg/kg), Pb (2.06 mg/kg), Cr (14.16 mg/kg), Co (0.55 mg/kg), Ni (4.03 mg/kg) and As (1.33 mg/kg). The metal and metalloid concentrations in the nine grass species were all below the critical values of hyperaccumulators. The mean values and Multivariate Analysis of Variance (MANOVA) results indicate that: (1) the concentrations of the trace elements in the soils are higher than those in the grasses, (2) the concentrations of Cu, Zn, Cd, Pb in the soils decrease as the roadside distance increases, (3) the concentrations of trace elements in the grasses are the highest at 10 m from the road edge, (4) the higher the traffic volume, the higher the concentrations of the trace elements in the roadside soils and grasses, and (5) when the land cover is meadow, the lower the sand content in the soil, the lower the trace element concentrations. With a trace element’s bioavailability represented by its transfer factor (TF) from the soil to the grass, the TFs of the eight trace elements are not in the same orders for different grass species. PMID:24380977

  7. Traffic-related trace element accumulation in roadside soils and wild grasses in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, China.

    PubMed

    Wang, Guanxing; Yan, Xuedong; Zhang, Fan; Zeng, Chen; Gao, Dan

    2013-12-30

    This research examines traffic-source trace elements accumulations and distributions in roadside soils and wild grasses in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. A total of 100 soil samples and 100 grass samples including Achnatherum splendens, Anaphalis nepalensis, Artemisia sphaerocephala, Carex moorcroftii, Iris lacteal, Kobresia myosuroides, Oreosolen wattii, Oxytropis ochrocephala and Stellera chamaejasme were collected at 100 sites from different road segments. The contents of metals and metalloids, including Cu, Zn, Cd, Pb, Cr, Co, Ni and As, in the soil and grass samples were analyzed using ICP-MS. The total mean concentrations of the eight trace elements in soils are Cu (22.84 mg/kg), Zn (100.56 mg/kg), Cd (0.28 mg/kg), Pb (28.75 mg/kg), Cr (36.82 mg/kg), Co (10.24 mg/kg), Ni (32.44 mg/kg) and As (21.43 mg/kg), while in grasses are Cu (9.85 mg/kg), Zn (31.47 mg/kg), Cd (0.05 mg/kg), Pb (2.06 mg/kg), Cr (14.16 mg/kg), Co (0.55 mg/kg), Ni (4.03 mg/kg) and As (1.33 mg/kg). The metal and metalloid concentrations in the nine grass species were all below the critical values of hyperaccumulators. The mean values and Multivariate Analysis of Variance (MANOVA) results indicate that: (1) the concentrations of the trace elements in the soils are higher than those in the grasses, (2) the concentrations of Cu, Zn, Cd, Pb in the soils decrease as the roadside distance increases, (3) the concentrations of trace elements in the grasses are the highest at 10 m from the road edge, (4) the higher the traffic volume, the higher the concentrations of the trace elements in the roadside soils and grasses, and (5) when the land cover is meadow, the lower the sand content in the soil, the lower the trace element concentrations. With a trace element's bioavailability represented by its transfer factor (TF) from the soil to the grass, the TFs of the eight trace elements are not in the same orders for different grass species.

  8. Cross-Species Gene Expression Analysis of Species Specific Differences in the Preclinical Assessment of Pharmaceutical Compounds

    PubMed Central

    Okyere, John; Oppon, Ekow; Dzidzienyo, Daniel; Sharma, Lav; Ball, Graham

    2014-01-01

    Animals are frequently used as model systems for determination of safety and efficacy in pharmaceutical research and development. However, significant quantitative and qualitative differences exist between humans and the animal models used in research. This is as a result of genetic variation between human and the laboratory animal. Therefore the development of a system that would allow the assessment of all molecular differences between species after drug exposure would have a significant impact on drug evaluation for toxicity and efficacy. Here we describe a cross-species microarray methodology that identifies and selects orthologous probes after cross-species sequence comparison to develop an orthologous cross-species gene expression analysis tool. The assumptions made by the use of this orthologous gene expression strategy for cross-species extrapolation is that; conserved changes in gene expression equate to conserved pharmacodynamic endpoints. This assumption is supported by the fact that evolution and selection have maintained the structure and function of many biochemical pathways over time, resulting in the conservation of many important processes. We demonstrate this cross-species methodology by investigating species specific differences of the peroxisome proliferator-activator receptor (PPAR) α response in rat and human. PMID:24823806

  9. A new cryptic species of Diatraea (Lepidoptera: Crambidae: Crambinae) feeding on eastern gama grass and a novel host association with a braconid (Hymenoptera) in the United States

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The genus Diatraea currently consists of seven species in the United States, including Diatraea crambidoides (Grote), an economic pest of corn. Larvae of D. crambidoides are also reported to feed on sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench.), Johnsongrass (Sorghum halepense (L.) Pers.), sugar cane (Sacc...

  10. Species-dependent immunological differences between vertebrate brain tubulins.

    PubMed Central

    Morgan, J L; Holladay, C R; Spooner, B S

    1978-01-01

    The antigenic similarities and differences between highly purified brain tubulins from lamb, mouse, and chick embryo have been examined using rabbit antisera prepared against each of these tubulins. These antisera are capable of binding 125I-labeled tubulin in homologous or heterologous combinations, demonstrating immunological similarity between the tubulins. However, there are quantitative differences in the maximum amount of binding observed. Differences between the tubulins were further resolved by radioimmunoassays, comparing the ability of each of the tubulins to inhibit the binding of each 125I-labeled tubulin to each antiserum. Competition curves generated for all possible combinations revealed quantitative immunological differences between the tubulins that imply different densities of shared antigenic determinants on all three tubulins and a unique determinant on the chick tubulin molecule. Images PMID:77531

  11. Sex and species differences in plasma testosterone and in counts of androgen receptor-positive cells in key brain regions of Sceloporus lizard species that differ in aggression

    PubMed Central

    Hews, Diana K.; Hara, Erina; Anderson, Maurice C.

    2012-01-01

    We studied neuroendocrine correlates of aggression differences in adults of two Sceloporus lizard species. These species differ in the degree of sex difference in aggressive color signals (belly patches) and in aggression: S. undulatus (males blue, high aggression; females white, low aggression) and S. virgatus (both sexes white, lower aggression). We measured plasma testosterone and counted cells expressing androgen receptor-like immunoreactivity to the affinity-purified polyclonal AR antibody, PG-21, in three brain regions of breeding season adults. Male S. undulatus had the highest mean plasma testosterone and differed significantly from conspecific females. In contrast, there was no sex difference in plasma testosterone concentrations in S. virgatus. Male S. undulatus also had the highest mean number of AR-positive cells in the preoptic area: the sexes differed in S. undulatus but not in S. virgatus, and females of the two species did not differ. In the ventral medial hypothalamus, S. undulatus males had higher mean AR cell counts compared to females, but again there was no sex difference in S. virgatus. In the habenula, a control brain region, the sexes did not differ, and although the sex by species interaction significant was not significant, there was a trend (p = 0.050) for S. virgatus to have higher mean AR cell counts than S. undulatus. Thus hypothalamic AR cell counts paralleled sex and species differences in aggression, as did mean plasma testosterone levels in these breeding-season animals. PMID:22230767

  12. Relationship Between Photochemical Quenching and Non-Photochemical Quenching in Six Species of Cyanobacteria Reveals Species Difference in Redox State and Species Commonality in Energy Dissipation

    PubMed Central

    Misumi, Masahiro; Katoh, Hiroshi; Tomo, Tatsuya; Sonoike, Kintake

    2016-01-01

    Although the photosynthetic reaction center is well conserved among different cyanobacterial species, the modes of metabolism, e.g. respiratory, nitrogen and carbon metabolism and their mutual interaction, are quite diverse. To explore such uniformity and diversity among cyanobacteria, here we compare the influence of the light environment on the condition of photosynthetic electron transport through Chl fluorescence measurement of six cyanobacterial species grown under the same photon flux densities and at the same temperature. In the dark or under weak light, up to growth light, a large difference in the plastoquinone (PQ) redox condition was observed among different cyanobacterial species. The observed difference indicates that the degree of interaction between respiratory electron transfer and photosynthetic electron transfer differs among different cyanobacterial species. The variation could not be ascribed to the phylogenetic differences but possibly to the light environment of the original habitat. On the other hand, changes in the redox condition of PQ were essentially identical among different species at photon flux densities higher than the growth light. We further analyzed the response to high light by using a typical energy allocation model and found that ‘non-regulated’ thermal dissipation was increased under high-light conditions in all cyanobacterial species tested. We assume that such ‘non-regulated’ thermal dissipation may be an important ‘regulatory’ mechanism in the acclimation of cyanobacterial cells to high-light conditions. PMID:26712847

  13. Convection-driven pattern formation in grass (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Daniels, K. E.; Thompson, S. E.

    2010-12-01

    Spatial patterns of 'dead' lawn grass have often been ascribed to Turing-type reaction-diffusion processes related to water scarcity. However, morphologically-similar patterns can also result from fluid convection. Therefore, we present an alternative hypothesis: that the air within the grass canopy is unstable to a convective instability, such that chill damage caused by falling cold air is responsible for the creation of brown and green bands of grass. We model the grass as a uniform porous medium of upright cylindrical rods subject to a temperature gradient and find that the resulting patterns are consistent with several features of small-scale vegetation patterns, including their length scale, rapid onset and transient nature. Finally, the predictions are found to be consistent with measurements made for a particular instance of lawn-patterning in North Carolina. We close by discussing the implications for other plant species. Lawn grass patterning at Duke University.

  14. Short-term priority over exotic annuals increases the initial density and longer-term cover of native perennial grasses.

    PubMed

    Vaughni, Kurt J; Young, Truman P

    2015-04-01

    Temporal priority can affect individual performance and reproduction, as well as community assembly, but whether these effects persist over time remains unclear, and their demographic mechanisms have been little explored. The continued dominance of exotic annual grasses in California has been commonly attributed to their demonstrated early germination and rapid early growth relative to native perennial grasses. This advantage may play a crucial role in the structure of California exotic annual grasslands, as well as in the practice of native grassland restoration. We tested whether a two-week planting advantage under field conditions increased individual survival, growth, and reproduction for four native perennial grass species and whether these effects persisted over three years. We show that short-term priority significantly increased the establishment success of' native perennial grasses. Increased density of native grass seedlings presaged later large increases in cover that were not evident in the first year after planting. Although priority effects at the individual level may diminish over time, short differences in emergence timing can have long-lasting effects on community structure. Earlier germination and faster initial growth of exotic annual species may help explain their unprecedented invasion and continued dominance of California grasslands. Finally, these results highlight the importance of priority effects for effective exotic annual control during native grassland restoration in California: initial control can increase the establishment of native perennial seedlings, which then results in long-term control by mature native individuals.

  15. Short-term and long-term root respiratory acclimation to elevated temperatures associated with root thermotolerance for two Agrostis grass species.

    PubMed

    Rachmilevitch, Shimon; Lambers, Hans; Huang, Bingru

    2008-01-01

    This study was designed to investigate whether thermotolerant roots exhibit respiratory acclimation to elevated temperatures. Root respiratory acclimation traits in response to increasing temperatures were compared between two Agrostis species contrasting in heat tolerance: thermal A. scabra and heat-sensitive A. stolonifera. Roots of both species were exposed to 17, 27, or 37 degrees C. Root RGR declined with increasing temperatures from 17 degrees C to 37 degrees C in both species; however, root growth of A. scabra maintained a significantly higher RGR than A. stolonifera at 27 degrees C or 37 degrees C. A. scabra exhibited a significantly higher respiration acclimation potential to elevated temperatures, both in the short term (60 min) and in the long term (7-28 d) as compared with A. stolonifera, when temperatures increased from 17 degrees C to 27 degrees C or from 27 degrees C to 37 degrees C. Thermal A. scabra also maintained a significantly lower maintenance cost than A. stolonifera as temperatures increased to 27 degrees C or 37 degrees C. The results suggested that root thermotolerance of thermal A. scabra was associated with both short-term and long-term respiratory acclimation to changes in temperatures. The superior ability of adjusting the rate of root respiration to compensate for increases in carbon demand during short- or long-term temperature increases in the heat-tolerant A. scabra may result in the reduction in carbon expenditure or costs for maintenance, leading to extended root survivability in high temperature soils.

  16. Phytochemical profiles of different mulberry (Morus sp.) species from China.

    PubMed

    Song, Wei; Wang, Han-Jing; Bucheli, Peter; Zhang, Pei-Fang; Wei, Dong-Zhi; Lu, Yan-Hua

    2009-10-14

    Mulberry is rich in alkaloids, polyphenols, flavonoids, and anthocyanins, which have been suggested to be responsible for health benefits. The concentrations of 1-deoxynojirimycin (DNJ), resveratrol, oxyresveratrol, cyanidin-3-O-beta-glucoside (Cy-3-glu), cyanidin-3-O-beta-rutinoside (Cy-3-rut), and rutin in mulberry juice, fruits, and leaves of 8 species grown in China were examined. It is the first time content determination of DNJ in mulberry juice and oxyresveratrol in mulberry fruits and leaves has been reported. Among the varieties tested, Da 10 (Morus atropurpurea Roxb.) was the most valuable cultivar considering its high content of functional components. Besides, Hetianbaisang (M. alba Linn.), Taiwanguosang (M. atropurpurea Roxb.), Fujian 2 hao (M. alba Linn.), Gaozhoujisang (M. australis Poir.), and Shanxiguosang (M. nigra Linn.) were rich in DNJ, resveratrol, oxyresveratrol, anthocyanins, and flavonoids, respectively. The high contents of functional compounds in mulberry juice, fruits, and leaves implied that they might be potential resources for the development of functional drinks and food.

  17. Molecular Evidence of Different Rickettsia Species in Villeta, Colombia.

    PubMed

    Faccini-Martínez, Álvaro A; Ramírez-Hernández, Alejandro; Forero-Becerra, Elkin; Cortés-Vecino, Jesús A; Escandón, Patricia; Rodas, Juan D; Palomar, Ana M; Portillo, Aránzazu; Oteo, José A; Hidalgo, Marylin

    2016-02-01

    The aim of this work was to detect and identify Rickettsia species in ticks collected in rural areas of Villeta, Colombia. Tick specimens were collected from domestic animals and walls of houses in five rural villages of Villeta town and from humans in Naranjal village (same town). Moreover, a flea collected from the same area was also processed. DNA was extracted and tested by conventional, semi-nested, and nested PCR reactions targeting rickettsial genes. In the ticks collected from humans from Naranjal village, a nymph of Amblyomma cajennense sensu lato was amplified using primers for ompA and sequenced (100% identity with "Candidatus Rickettsia amblyommii"). Last, three amplicons from the Ctenocephalides felis flea, corresponding to gltA, ompB, and 16S rRNA genes, showed high identity with R. felis (98.5%, 97.3%, and 99.2%, respectively) and "Candidatus Rickettsia asemboensis" (99.7% and 100%, respectively). To our knowledge, these results correspond to the first molecular detection in Colombia of "Candidatus Rickettsia amblyommii" and "Ca. Rickettsia asemboensis" in fleas.

  18. Nitrogen fixation associated with grasses in Oregon.

    PubMed

    Nelson, A D; Barber, L E; Tjepkema, J; Russell, S A; Powelson, R; Evans, H J

    1976-04-01

    Nitrogen fixation associated with both natural grasslands and grain crops of Oregon was studied using the acetylene-reduction assay. A number of the grasses collected has some acetylene-reducing activity. Agrostis tenuis Sibth. had substantially greater activity than any of the other species, with a mean rate estimated at 37 g N2 fixed per hectare per day. Assuming 100 days of activity, about 3 kg of N2 would be fixed per hectare per year. This quantity of nitrogen may be important in the maintenance of this species under natural conditions. Nitrogen-fixing microorganisms were isolated from the root surfaces of some of the grasses. Cultures of Bacillus macerans, Bacillus polymyxa, and Enterobacter cloacoa were isolated from wheat roots as were two cultures which have not been assigned a specific taxonomic classification. Strains of N2-fixing Bacillus species and Gram-negative aerobic bacteria were isolated from Festuca and Agrostis.

  19. Do cholinephosphotransferase and phosphatidylethanolamine methyltransferase synthesize different species of phosphatidylcholine

    SciTech Connect

    Shin, S.H.; Moore, T.S.

    1986-04-01

    Two pathways exist for phosphatidylcholine (PC) synthesis in castor bean endosperm. The major pathway utilizes the reaction; (CDPcholine + diacylglycerol ..-->.. PC + CMP) while the other is through (PE + 3 S-Adenosylmethioninie ..-->.. PC + 3 homocysteine). The reason for two pathways is not clear. In an effort to determine if they produce two different products, radioactive precursors (SAM and CDPcholine) were administered to isolated endoplasmic reticulum from the castor bean endosperm. The products were extracted, chromatographed on TLC, and the PC classes separated by argentation chromatography. The radioactivity was determined by a RTLC Scanner. By these methods, it has been determined that there are differences between the PC products of the methyltransferase and the cholinephosphotransferase.

  20. The calming effect of maternal carrying in different mammalian species.

    PubMed

    Esposito, Gianluca; Setoh, Peipei; Yoshida, Sachine; Kuroda, Kumi O

    2015-01-01

    Attachment theory postulates that mothers and their infants possess some basic physiological mechanisms that favor their dyadic interaction and bonding. Many studies have focused on the maternal physiological mechanisms that promote attachment (e.g., mothers' automatic responses to infant faces and/or cries), and relatively less have examined infant physiology. Thus, the physiological mechanisms regulating infant bonding behaviors remain largely undefined. This review elucidates some of the neurobiological mechanisms governing social bonding and cooperation in humans by focusing on maternal carrying and its beneficial effect on mother-infant interaction in mammalian species (e.g., in humans, big cats, and rodents). These studies show that infants have a specific calming response to maternal carrying. A human infant carried by his/her walking mother exhibits a rapid heart rate decrease, and immediately stops voluntary movement and crying compared to when he/she is held in a sitting position. Furthermore, strikingly similar responses were identified in mouse rodents, who exhibit immobility, diminished ultra-sonic vocalizations and heart rate. In general, the studies described in the current review demonstrate the calming effect of maternal carrying to be comprised of a complex set of behavioral and physiological components, each of which has a specific postnatal time window and is orchestrated in a well-matched manner with the maturation of the infants. Such reactions could have been evolutionarily adaptive in mammalian mother-infant interactions. The findings have implications for parenting practices in developmentally normal populations. In addition, we propose that infants' physiological response may be useful in clinical assessments as we discuss possible implications on early screening for child psychopathology (e.g., autism spectrum disorders and perinatal brain disorders).

  1. Initial Evolution of GRB Jets with Different Species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nishikawa, Ken-ichi; Hardee, Phil; Hartmann, Dieter; Niemiec, Jacek; Pohl, Martin; Sol, Helene; Gomez, Jose L.; Nordlund, Aake; Dutan, Ioana; Mizuno, Yosuke; Meli, Athina; Peer, Asaf; Frederiksen, Jacob

    2016-07-01

    In the study of GRB jets one of the key open questions is their interaction with the environment. Here, we study the initial evolution of both electron-proton and electron-positron relativistic jets injected, focusing on their lateral interaction with ambient plasma. We follow the evolution of toroidal magnetic fields generated by both the kinetic Kelvin-Helmholtz (kKH) and Mushroom instabilities (MI). For an electron-proton jet, the induced magnetic field collimates the jet and electrons are perpendicularly accelerated. As the instabilities saturate and subsequently weaken, the magnetic polarity switches from clockwise to counter-clockwise in the middle of jet. For an electron-positron jet, we find strong mixing of electrons and positrons with the ambient plasma, resulting in the creation of a bow shock. The merging of current filaments generates density inhomogeneities which initiate a forward shock. Strong jet ambient plasma mixing prevents a full development of the jet (on the scale studied), revealing evidence for both jet collimation and particle acceleration in the forming bow shock. Differences in the magnetic field structure generated by different jets may contribute to the polarization properties of the observed emission in gamma ray bursts. The different electron acceleration mechanisms in different jets may affect the light-curves in GRB observations.

  2. Invasive warm-season grasses reduce mycorrhizal root colonization and biomass production of native prairie grasses.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Gail W T; Hickman, Karen R; Williamson, Melinda M

    2012-07-01

    Soil organisms play important roles in regulating ecosystem-level processes and the association of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi with a plant species can be a central force shaping plant species' ecology. Understanding how mycorrhizal associations are affected by plant invasions may be a critical aspect of the conservation and restoration of native ecosystems. We examined the competitive ability of old world bluestem, a non-native grass (Caucasian bluestem [Bothriochloa bladhii]), and the influence of B. bladhii competition on AM root colonization of native warm-season prairie grasses (Andropogon gerardii or Schizachyrium scoparium), using a substitutive design greenhouse competition experiment. Competition by the non-native resulted in significantly reduced biomass production and AM colonization of the native grasses. To assess plant-soil feedbacks of B. bladhii and Bothriochloa ischaemum, we conducted a second greenhouse study which examined soil alterations indirectly by assessing biomass production and AM colonization of native warm-season grasses planted into soil collected beneath Bothriochloa spp. This study was conducted using soil from four replicate prairie sites throughout Kansas and Oklahoma, USA. Our results indicate that a major mechanism in plant growth suppression following invasion by Bothriochloa spp. is the alteration in soil microbial communities. Plant growth was tightly correlated with AM root colonization demonstrating that mycorrhizae play an important role in the invasion of these systems by Bothriochloa spp. and indicating that the restoration of native AM fungal communities may be a fundamental consideration for the successful establishment of native grasses into invaded sites.

  3. Isolation and partial characterization of a lectin from a false brome grass (Brachypodium sylvaticum).

    PubMed Central

    Peumans, W J; Spaepen, C; Stinissen, H M; Carlier, A R

    1982-01-01

    A lectin has been isolated from embryos of a false brome grass species (Brachypodium sylvaticum) by affinity chromatography on immobilized N-acetylglucosamine. It is a dimeric protein of two identical subunits of mol.wt. 18 000. Although it resembles cereal lectins with respect to its biochemical and physicochemical properties, it differs structurally in several aspects from wheat-germ-agglutinin-like lectins. Images Fig. 1. Fig. 3. Fig. 4. PMID:6816219

  4. Scaling water use of perennial grasses from the plot to Midwestern U.S.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bernacchi, C. J.; VanLoocke, A. D.; Hickman, G. C.; Zeri, M.; Twine, T. E.

    2011-12-01

    Perennial rhizomatous C4 grasses are currently considered, in many regions, one of the most promising vegetation types to supply biomass for bioenergy production. Because one goal of bioenergy production is to benefit the environment, the potential environmental impacts and services that would be associated with large scale production must be investigated. Of particular interest is the impact that altering the composition of vegetation at the landscape scale would have on regional hydrological cycles driven by higher rates of evapotranspiration (ET). To assess this, we implemented micrometeorological measurements using two independent techniques over multiple growing seasons for replicated plots of two perennial rhizomatous grasses, Miscanthus giganteus (miscanthus) and Panicum virgatum (switchgrass), and two traditional crop species, Zea mays (maize) and Glycine Max (soybean), planted throughout Central Illinois. When averaged across the entire growing season, ET for miscanthus was double relative to annual crops, and 140% of P. virgatum ET. The differences between the perennial grasses and annual crops were primarily due to longer growing season associated with the perennial grasses, but Miscanthus also demonstrated higher instantaneous water use. These results, coupled with physiological measurements of these species, were then used to parameterize and validate a dynamic vegetation model, Agro-IBIS, to investigate the large-scale consequences of land-use change on ecosystem hydrology from existing agriculture to various perennial grass production scenarios ranging from 10% to 100%. Results show that uniform production scenarios of less than 25% have little impact on regional hydrology but 'hotspots' with higher percentage land cover devoted to perennial grasses can have important consequences in localized areas. Given the increasing demand on water, we investigated whether the increased carbon gain associated with bioenergy crops was sufficient to offset the

  5. Influence of meteorological parameters in hourly patterns of grass (Poaceae) pollen concentrations.

    PubMed

    Munoz Rodriguez, Adolfo F; Palacios, Inmaculada; Molina, Rafael

    2010-01-01

    Hourly grass pollen concentrations were recorded over a 10-year study period at an aerobiological station of Badajoz (SW Spain). The record was carried out by means of a Burkard spore trap. Meteorological data were used to find correlation with the hourly patterns in the months of principal concentration. The observed variations were found to be due to independent contributions of patterns corresponding to different groups of species within the family of grasses. Three pollen concentrations peaks were recognized. Peak A, at around 10:00 h, of great importance in April and May, although maintained until July; peak B, at around 15:00 h, important in April, May and June; and peak C, towards the end of the day, dominant in July. Differences with respect to the pollen sources responsible for these peaks are suggested by the influence of the meteorological parameters before and during flowering. The results are directly applicable to the epidemiology of allergies in the zone, since the thresholds of grass pollen concentrations capable of triggering allergic processes shift from the central hours of the day in April and May to the night hours in July. Also, considering the observed patterns of hourly grass pollen concentrations as the result of combining different models could explain the annual and geographical variations found at other locations.

  6. A new species of Stenodiplosis (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) on Spartina grasses (Poaceae) with notes on its biology and its parasitoid Tetrastichus bromi (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae).

    PubMed

    López, J Manuel Perilla; Johnson, Paul J; Gagné, Raymond J; Boe, Arvid

    2015-12-09

    Stenodiplosis spartinae Gagné new species (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) is described from eastern South Dakota and coastal North Carolina, and compared with other American congeners. The known host plants are Spartina alterniflora and S. pectinata. The larva is a seed predator of the ovule and immature caryopsis of the host plant. Adult activity is from the early emergence of the host inflorescence through anthesis. Oviposition occurs in the floret with eggs laid under the edges of the palea and lemma. The larva apparently overwinters in dehisced spikelets in the soil among rhizomes of S. pectinata, with pupation in late spring. Laboratory emergence and field activity of the adults suggest a potentialsecond or third generation developing on late emerging inflorescences. Larval feeding does not induce external color or shape changes in the spikelet. Apparently all three instars are ectoparasitized by Tetrastichus bromi Kostyukov (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) that was probably introduced to North America in the late 1800's and is inculcated into parasitoid guilds of several Stenodiplosis species. Resource partitioning appears to occur between the gall midge and early instars of Aethes spartinana Barnes and McDunnough (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) that feed on maturing caryopses. The feeding of this gall midge and the moth probably account for most of the reduced seed production in both natural and agronomic populations of S. pectinata.

  7. Convergent and contingent community responses to grass source and dominance during prairie restoration across a longitudinal gradient.

    PubMed

    Klopf, Ryan P; Baer, Sara G; Gibson, David J

    2014-02-01

    Restoring prairie on formerly cultivated land begins by selecting propagule seed sources and the diversity of species to reintroduce. This study examined the effects of dominant grass propagule source (cultivar vs. non-cultivar) and sown propagule diversity (grass:forb sowing ratio) on plant community structure. Two field experiments were established in Kansas and Illinois consisting of identical split plot designs. Dominant grass source was assigned as the whole-plot factor, and sown dominance of grasses (five levels of seeded grass dominance) as the subplot factor. Species density, cover, and diversity were quantified for 5 years. The effect of dominant grass source on the cover of focal grasses, sown species, and volunteer species was contingent upon location, with variation between dominant grass sources observed exclusively in Kansas. Species density and diversity showed regionally convergent patterns in response to dominant grass source. Contrary to our hypotheses, total species density and diversity were not lower in the presence of grass cultivars, the grass source we had predicted would be more competitive. Sown grass dominance effects on the cover of the focal grass species were contingent upon location resulting from establishment corresponding better to the assigned treatments in Illinois. All other cover groups showed regionally convergent patterns, with lower cover of volunteers and higher cover of sown forbs, diversity, and species density in the lowest sown grass dominance treatment in both sites. Thus, decisions regarding the diversity of propagules to reintroduce had more consequence for plant community structure than cultivar or non-cultivar source of dominant grasses.

  8. Colonization of native Andean grasses by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in Puna: a matter of altitude, host photosynthetic pathway and host life cycles.

    PubMed

    Lugo, Mónica A; Negritto, María A; Jofré, Mariana; Anton, Ana; Galetto, Leonardo

    2012-08-01

    The relationships of altitude, host life cycle (annual or perennial) and photosynthetic pathway (C(3) or C(4) ) with arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM) root colonization were analysed in 35 species of Andean grasses. The study area is located in north-western Argentina along altitudinal sites within the Puna biogeographical region. Twenty-one sites from 3320 to 4314 m were sampled. Thirty-five grasses were collected, and the AM root colonization was quantified. We used multivariate analyses to test emerging patterns in these species by considering the plant traits and variables of AM colonization. Pearson's correlations were carried out to evaluate the specific relationships between some variables. Most grasses were associated with AM, but the colonization percentages were low in both C(3) and C(4) grasses. Nevertheless, the AM root colonization clearly decreased as the altitude increased. This distinctive pattern among different species was also observed between some of the populations of the same species sampled throughout the sites. An inverse relationship between altitude and AM colonization was found in this Southern Hemisphere Andean system. The effect of altitude on AM colonization seems to be more related to the grasses' photosynthetic pathway than to life cycles. This study represents the first report for this biogeographical region.

  9. Grass Roots Project Evaluation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wick, John W.

    Some aspects of a grass roots evaluation training program are presented. The program consists of two elements: (1) a series of 11 slide/tape individualized self-paced units, and (2) a six-week summer program. Three points of view on this program are: (1) University graduate programs in quantitative areas are usually consumed by specialists; (2)…

  10. Comparative Genomics Revealed Genetic Diversity and Species/Strain-Level Differences in Carbohydrate Metabolism of Three Probiotic Bifidobacterial Species

    PubMed Central

    Odamaki, Toshitaka; Horigome, Ayako; Sugahara, Hirosuke; Hashikura, Nanami; Minami, Junichi; Xiao, Jin-zhong; Abe, Fumiaki

    2015-01-01

    Strains of Bifidobacterium longum, Bifidobacterium breve, and Bifidobacterium animalis are widely used as probiotics in the food industry. Although numerous studies have revealed the properties and functionality of these strains, it is uncertain whether these characteristics are species common or strain specific. To address this issue, we performed a comparative genomic analysis of 49 strains belonging to these three bifidobacterial species to describe their genetic diversity and to evaluate species-level differences. There were 166 common clusters between strains of B. breve and B. longum, whereas there were nine common clusters between strains of B. animalis and B. longum and four common clusters between strains of B. animalis and B. breve. Further analysis focused on carbohydrate metabolism revealed the existence of certain strain-dependent genes, such as those encoding enzymes for host glycan utilisation or certain membrane transporters, and many genes commonly distributed at the species level, as was previously reported in studies with limited strains. As B. longum and B. breve are human-residential bifidobacteria (HRB), whereas B. animalis is a non-HRB species, several of the differences in these species' gene distributions might be the result of their adaptations to the nutrient environment. This information may aid both in selecting probiotic candidates and in understanding their potential function as probiotics. PMID:26236711

  11. Gene expression patterns of two dominant tallgrass prairie species differ in response to warming and altered precipitation

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Melinda D.; Hoffman, Ava M.; Avolio, Meghan L.

    2016-01-01

    To better understand the mechanisms underlying plant species responses to climate change, we compared transcriptional profiles of the co-dominant C4 grasses, Andropogon gerardii Vitman and Sorghastrum nutans (L.) Nash, in response to increased temperatures and more variable precipitation regimes in a long-term field experiment in native tallgrass prairie. We used microarray probing of a closely related model species (Zea mays) to assess correlations in leaf temperature (Tleaf) and leaf water potential (LWP) and abundance changes of ~10,000 transcripts in leaf tissue collected from individuals of both species. A greater number of transcripts were found to significantly change in abundance levels with Tleaf and LWP in S. nutans than in A. gerardii. S. nutans also was more responsive to short-term drought recovery than A. gerardii. Water flow regulating transcripts associated with stress avoidance (e.g., aquaporins), as well as those involved in the prevention and repair of damage (e.g., antioxidant enzymes, HSPs), were uniquely more abundant in response to increasing Tleaf in S. nutans. The differential transcriptomic responses of the co-dominant C4 grasses suggest that these species may cope with and respond to temperature and water stress at the molecular level in distinct ways, with implications for tallgrass prairie ecosystem function. PMID:27174156

  12. Gene expression patterns of two dominant tallgrass prairie species differ in response to warming and altered precipitation

    DOE PAGES

    Smith, Melinda D.; Hoffman, Ava M.; Avolio, Meghan L.

    2016-05-13

    To better understand the mechanisms underlying plant species responses to climate change, we compared transcriptional profiles of the co-dominant C4 grasses, Andropogon gerardii Vitman and Sorghastrum nutans (L.) Nash, in response to increased temperatures and more variable precipitation regimes in a long-term field experiment in native tallgrass prairie. We used microarray probing of a closely related model species (Zea mays) to assess correlations in leaf temperature (Tleaf) and leaf water potential (LWP) and abundance changes of ~10,000 transcripts in leaf tissue collected from individuals of both species. A greater number of transcripts were found to significantly change in abundance levelsmore » with Tleaf and LWP in S. nutans than in A. gerardii. S. nutans also was more responsive to short-term drought recovery than A. gerardii. Water flow regulating transcripts associated with stress avoidance (e.g., aquaporins), as well as those involved in the prevention and repair of damage (e.g., antioxidant enzymes, HSPs), were uniquely more abundant in response to increasing Tleaf in S. nutans. Furthermore, the differential transcriptomic responses of the co-dominant C4 grasses suggest that these species may cope with and respond to temperature and water stress at the molecular level in distinct ways, with implications for tallgrass prairie ecosystem function.« less

  13. Gene expression patterns of two dominant tallgrass prairie species differ in response to warming and altered precipitation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, Melinda D.; Hoffman, Ava M.; Avolio, Meghan L.

    2016-05-01

    To better understand the mechanisms underlying plant species responses to climate change, we compared transcriptional profiles of the co-dominant C4 grasses, Andropogon gerardii Vitman and Sorghastrum nutans (L.) Nash, in response to increased temperatures and more variable precipitation regimes in a long-term field experiment in native tallgrass prairie. We used microarray probing of a closely related model species (Zea mays) to assess correlations in leaf temperature (Tleaf) and leaf water potential (LWP) and abundance changes of ~10,000 transcripts in leaf tissue collected from individuals of both species. A greater number of transcripts were found to significantly change in abundance levels with Tleaf and LWP in S. nutans than in A. gerardii. S. nutans also was more responsive to short-term drought recovery than A. gerardii. Water flow regulating transcripts associated with stress avoidance (e.g., aquaporins), as well as those involved in the prevention and repair of damage (e.g., antioxidant enzymes, HSPs), were uniquely more abundant in response to increasing Tleaf in S. nutans. The differential transcriptomic responses of the co-dominant C4 grasses suggest that these species may cope with and respond to temperature and water stress at the molecular level in distinct ways, with implications for tallgrass prairie ecosystem function.

  14. Orthopoxvirus species and strain differences in cell entry

    SciTech Connect

    Bengali, Zain; Satheshkumar, P.S.; Moss, Bernard

    2012-11-25

    Vaccinia virus (VACV) enters cells by a low pH endosomal route or by direct fusion with the plasma membrane. We previously found differences in entry properties of several VACV strains: entry of WR was enhanced by low pH, reduced by bafilomycin A1 and relatively unaffected by heparin, whereas entry of IHD-J, Copenhagen and Elstree were oppositely affected. Since binding and entry modes may have been selected by specific conditions of in vitro propagation, we now examined the properties of three distinct, recently isolated cowpox viruses and a monkeypox virus as well as additional VACV and cowpox virus strains. The recent isolates were more similar to WR than to other VACV strains, underscoring the biological importance of endosomal entry by orthopoxviruses. Sequence comparisons, gene deletions and gene swapping experiments indicated that viral determinants, other than or in addition to the A26 and A25 'fusion-suppressor' proteins, impact entry properties.

  15. Soil microbial diversity and soil functioning affect competition among grasses in experimental microcosms.

    PubMed

    Bonkowski, Michael; Roy, Jacques

    2005-03-01

    A gradient of microbial diversity in soil was established by inoculating pasteurized soil with microbial populations of different complexity, which were obtained by a combination of soil fumigation and filtering techniques. Four different soil diversity treatments were planted with six different grass species either in monoculture or in polyculture to test how changes of general microbial functions, such as catabolic diversity and nutrient recycling efficiency would affect the performance of the plant communities. Relatively harsh soil treatments were necessary to elicit visible effects on major soil processes such as decomposition and nitrogen cycling due to the high redundancy and resilience of soil microbial communities. The strongest effects of soil diversity manipulations on plant growth occurred in polycultures where interspecific competition between plants was high. In polycultures, soil diversity reduction led to a gradual, linear decline in biomass production of one subordinate grass species (Bromus hordeaceus), which was compensated by increased growth of two intermediate competitors (Aegilops geniculata, B. madritensis). This negative covariance in growth of competing grass species smoothed the effects of soil diversity manipulations at the plant community level. As a result, total shoot biomass production remained constant. Apparently the effects of soil diversity manipulations were buffered because functional redundancy at both, the microbial and the plant community level complemented each other. The results further suggests that small trade-offs in plant fitness due to general functional shifts at the microbial level can be significant for the outcome of competition in plant communities and thus diversity at much larger scales.

  16. Assessing Clientele Needs: Designing an Extension Ornamental Grass Bulletin.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gamon, J. A.; And Others

    1993-01-01

    Before designing an extension ornamental grass bulletin, developers surveyed the preferences of a sample of amateurs and professionals on their knowledge of ornamental grasses and their interest in a bulletin on the subject. Results indicated that the same bulletin could serve both groups because no significant differences between the groups were…

  17. Feeding value of different levels of malt sprout and katikala atella on nutrient utilization and growth performance of sheep fed basal diet of Rhodes grass hay.

    PubMed

    Nurfeta, Ajebu; Abdu, Yunus

    2014-03-01

    Nonconventional agro-industrial by-products such as traditional liquor residues (locally called katikala atella) are widely used by livestock farmers in Ethiopia. The objective of this experiment was to evaluate the supplementary value of katikala atella and malt sprout (MS) on performance of sheep fed a basal diet of Rhodes grass hay. Thirty intact yearling male sheep with an average initial body weight of 17.4 ± 0.74 kg (mean ± SD) were assigned to the treatments in a completely randomized block design: atella alone (T1), 75 % atella + 25 % malt sprout (MS) (T2), 50 % atella + 50 % MS (T3), 25 % atella + 75 % MS (T4), MS alone (T5), and Rhodes grass hay alone (T6). Grass hay was fed ad libitum to all treatments. The total dry matter (DM) and organic matter (OM) intakes of sheep fed T4, T5, and T3 diets were the highest (P < 0.05), while sheep receiving T6 had the lowest DM intake. The highest (P < 0.05) total crude protein (CP) intake was for sheep fed T5 diet, while the lowest was for those fed T6 diet. Sheep receiving T3 diet had higher (P < 0.05) DM, OM, CP, neutral detergent fiber (NDF), and acid detergent fiber (ADF) digestibility as compared with those fed T1, T2, and T6 diets. Sheep supplemented with 50-100 % malt sprout had similar (P > 0.05) DM, OM, CP, NDF, and ADF digestibility. The highest (P < 0.05) average daily gain was for sheep fed T3, T4, and T5 diets, while sheep in T6 lost body weight. Sheep fed T5 diet had the highest (P < 0.05) nitrogen retention, while those fed T6 diet had the lowest. The study has shown that a mixture diet consisting of equal parts of katikala atella and malt sprout (T3) are found to be superior in most of the required nutrient characteristics.

  18. Copper tolerance of the biomass crops Elephant grass (Pennisetum purpureum Schumach), Vetiver grass (Vetiveria zizanioides) and the upland reed (Phragmites australis) in soil culture.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xinghua; Shen, Yixing; Lou, Laiqing; Ding, Chenglong; Cai, Qingsheng

    2009-01-01

    Pot trials were conducted to study the influence of copper (Cu) on the growth and biomass of Elephant grass (EG, Pennisetum purpureum Schumach), Vetiver grass (VG, Vetiveria zizanioides) and the upland reed (UR, Phragmites australis). Cu toxicity in EG, VG and UR was positively correlated with the total and bioavailable Cu concentrations in the soil. Based on the EC50, dry weights, Cu contents, chlorophyll contents and photosynthesis rates, the Cu tolerance of the three species followed the trend EGNVGNUR. There were no significant differences in the unit calorific values among the different plants, though the total calorific values of EG were higher than those of VG and UR due to its higher biomass. The addition of KH2PO4 to the soil decreased the bioavailability of Cu and the Cu uptake by plants. EG could therefore be a good candidate for growth on Cu-contaminated soils, especially those improved by phosphate.

  19. Endophytic Fusarium spp. from Roots of Lawn Grass (Axonopus compressus)

    PubMed Central

    Zakaria, Latiffah; Ning, Chua Harn

    2013-01-01

    Fungal endophytes are found inside host plants but do not produce any noticeable disease symptoms in their host. In the present study, endophytic Fusarium species were isolated from roots of lawn grass (Axonopus compressus). A total of 51 isolates were recovered from 100 root segments. Two Fusarium species, F. oxysporum (53%) and F. solani (47%), were identified based on macroconidia and conidiogenous cell morphology. The detection of endophytic F. oxysporum and F. solani in the roots of lawn grass contributes to the knowledge of both the distribution of the two Fusarium species and the importance of roots as endophytic niches for Fusarium species. PMID:24575251

  20. Epichloë grass endophytes in sustainable agriculture.

    PubMed

    Kauppinen, Miia; Saikkonen, Kari; Helander, Marjo; Pirttilä, Anna Maria; Wäli, Piippa R

    2016-02-03

    There is an urgent need to create new solutions for sustainable agricultural practices that circumvent the heavy use of fertilizers and pesticides and increase the resilience of agricultural systems to environmental change. Beneficial microbial symbionts of plants are expected to play an important role in integrated pest management schemes over the coming decades. Epichloë endophytes, symbiotic fungi of many grass species, can protect plants against several stressors, and could therefore help to increase the productivity of forage grasses and the hardiness of turf grasses while reducing the use of synthetic pesticides. Indeed, Epichloë endophytes have successfully been developed and commercialized for agricultural use in the USA, Australia and New Zealand. Many of the host grass species originate from Europe, which is a biodiversity hotspot for both grasses and endophytes. However, intentional use of endophyte-enhanced grasses in Europe is virtually non-existent. We suggest that the diversity of European Epichloë endophytes and their host grasses should be exploited for the development of sustainable agricultural, horticultural and landscaping practices, and potentially for bioremediation and bioenergy purposes, and for environmental improvement.

  1. Comparative Population Dynamics of Two Closely Related Species Differing in Ploidy Level

    PubMed Central

    Černá, Lucie; Münzbergová, Zuzana

    2013-01-01

    Background Many studies compare the population dynamics of single species within multiple habitat types, while much less is known about the differences in population dynamics in closely related species in the same habitat. Additionally, comparisons of the effect of habitat types and species are largely missing. Methodology and Principal Findings We estimated the importance of the habitat type and species for population dynamics of plants. Specifically, we compared the dynamics of two closely related species, the allotetraploid species Anthericum liliago and the diploid species Anthericum ramosum, occurring in the same habitat type. We also compared the dynamics of A. ramosum in two contrasting habitats. We examined three populations per species and habitat type. The results showed that single life history traits as well as the mean population dynamics of A. liliago and A. ramosum from the same habitat type were more similar than the population dynamics of A. ramosum from the two contrasting habitats. Conclusions Our findings suggest that when transferring knowledge regarding population dynamics between populations, we need to take habitat conditions into account, as these conditions appear to be more important than the species involved (ploidy level). However, the two species differ significantly in their overall population growth rates, indicating that the ploidy level has an effect on species performance. In contrast to what has been suggested by previous studies, we observed a higher population growth rate in the diploid species. This is in agreement with the wider range of habitats occupied by the diploid species. PMID:24116057

  2. How does altered precipitation and annual grass invasion affect plant N uptake in a native semi-arid shrub community?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mauritz, M.; Lipson, D.; Cleland, E. E.

    2012-12-01

    Climate change is expected to alter precipitation patterns, which will change the timing and amount of plant resources. Precipitation patterns determine water and nitrogen (N) availability, because water stimulates microbial N turnover and N transport. In order for plants to utilize water and N, they must coincide with the phenology and meet physiological requirements of the plant. As resource supply shifts, differences in species' ability to acquire resources will affect plant community composition. Semiarid ecosystems, such as shrublands in Southern California, are particularly sensitive to shifts in precipitation because they are severely water limited. This study takes advantage of the altered phenology and resource demands presented by invasive annual grasses in a native semiarid shrubland. The goal is to understand how altered precipitation patterns affect plant N uptake. Rainfall levels were manipulated to 50% and 150% of ambient levels. It is expected that higher rainfall levels promote annual grass invasion because grasses have higher water and N requirements and begin to grow earlier in the season than shrubs. A 15N tracer was added with the first rain event and plant samples were collected regularly to track the movement of N into the plants. Net soil N accumulation was determined using resin bags. Invasive grasses altered the timing and amount of N uptake but amount of rainfall had less effect on N distribution. 15N was detected sooner and at higher level in grasses than shrubs. 24hours after the first rain event 15N was detectable in grasses, 15N accumulated rapidly and peaked 2 months earlier than shrubs. Shrub 15N levels remained at pre-rain event levels for the first 2 months and began to increase at the beginning of spring, peak mid-spring and decline as the shrubs entered summer dormancy. One year later 15N levels in annual grass litter remained high, while 15N levels in shrubs returned to initial background levels as a result of resorption. 15N

  3. Species composition and structure of Thysanoptera communities in different microhabitats at the Parque Estadual de Itapuã, Viamão, RS.

    PubMed

    Pinent, S M J; Romanowski, H P; Redaelli, L R; Cavalleri, A

    2006-08-01

    Although thrips are known as inhabitants of flowers, they are also abundant and diverse in other microhabitats. There is an information gap concerning them, especially related to the native fauna in southern Brazil. The structure and composition of the thysanopteran community in different microhabitats was studied at the "Parque Estadual de Itapuã" (30 degrees 22' S 51 degrees 02' W), RS, southern Brazil. Between June 1999 and May 2001, branches (n = 1,274), flowers (n = 774), grass tussocks (n = 596) and leaf litter (n = 603) were sampled systematically in 20 points of four trails (T1 - Pedreira beach, T2 - Araçá beach, T3 - Lagoinha, and T4 - Grota hill). We found 2,197 adult thrips determined in 73 species in 41 genera, of which 37 could be nominated. Four families are represented, Thripidae, Phlaeothripidae, Heterothripidae and Merothripidae, with the first the most abundant (N = 1,599) and with the highest species richness (S = 32). The highest thrips abundance occurred in flowers N = 1,224 and the highest number of exclusive species occurred in the leaf litter (27). Frankliniella rodeos Moulton, 1933, Frankliniella gemina Bagnall, 1919 and Smicrothrips particula Hood, 1952 comprise 49.4% of the total sampled. Regarding T2, we obtained the highest abundance (N = 935) and highest species richness (S = 43). The composition of the faunas in each kind of environment proved very particular.

  4. Phyto extraction and accumulation of mercury in selected plant species grown in soil contaminated with different mercury compounds

    SciTech Connect

    Su, Y.; Han, F.; Shiyab, S.; Monts, D.L.

    2007-07-01

    The objective of our research is to screen and search for suitable plant species for phyto-remediation of mercury-contaminated soil. Currently our effort is specifically focused on mercury removal from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Oak Ridge Site, where mercury contamination is a major concern in the Y-12 Watershed area. In order to cost effectively implement those remediation efforts currently planned for FY09, it is necessary now to obtain an improved understanding of biological means of removing mercury and mercury compounds from the Oak Ridge ecosystem. Phyto-remediation is a technology that uses various plants to degrade, extract, contain, or immobilize contaminants from soil and water. In particular, phyto-extraction is the uptake of contaminants by plant roots and translocation within the plants to shoots or leaves. Contaminants are generally removed by harvesting the plants. We have investigated phyto-extraction of mercury from contaminated soil by using some of the known metal accumulating wild plants since no natural plant species with mercury hyper-accumulating properties has yet been identified. Different natural plant species have been studied for mercury uptake, accumulation, toxicity and overall mercury removal efficiency. Various mercury compounds, such as HgS, HgCl{sub 2} and Hg(NO{sub 3}){sub 2}, were used as contaminant sources. Different types of soil were examined and chosen for phyto-remediation experiments. We have applied microscopy and diffuse reflectance spectrometry as well as conventional analytical chemistry to monitor the phyto-remediation processes of mercury uptake, translocation and accumulation; and the physiological impact of mercury contaminants on selected plant species. Our results indicate that certain plant species, such as beard grass (Polypogon monospeliensis), accumulated a very limited amount of mercury in the shoots (<65 mg/kg), even though root mercury accumulation is significant (maximum 2298 mg

  5. Discriminant classification of different fish-species backscattering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Qiao; Xu, Feng; Liu, Yin; Zhang, Chun

    2012-11-01

    The complex structure of fish and multispecies composition complicate the analysis of acoustic data. Consequently, it is difficult to obtain a highly accurate rate of classification by using current approaches. This paper introduces two discriminating methods: the adaptive segmentation temporal centroid method and the wavelet packet multi-scale information entropy method. To verify and compare these two methods, an ex situ experiment has been performed with three kinds of fish: Crucian carp (Carassius auratus), Yellow-headed catfish (Pelteobagrus fulvidraco) and Bluntnose black bream (Megalobrama amblycephale). The backscattering signals of these fishes are obtained. Then the temporal centroid in the divided sub-segmentation of the backscattering envelope is calculated, and the multi-scale information entropy of the wavelet packet decomposition in different frequency bands is extracted. Finally, three kinds of fish are successfully classified by using a BP neural network. The result shows that the adaptive segmentation temporal centroid method is 4% more accurate than the wavelet packet multi-scale information entropy method.

  6. Nocturnal and seasonal patterns of carbon isotope composition of leaf dark-respired carbon dioxide differ among dominant species in a semiarid savanna.

    PubMed

    Sun, Wei; Resco, Víctor; Williams, David G

    2010-10-01

    The C isotope composition of leaf dark-respired CO(2) (δ(13)C(l)) integrates short-term metabolic responses to environmental change and is potentially recorded in the isotopic signature of ecosystem-level respiration. Species differences in photosynthetic pathway, resource acquisition and allocation patterns, and associated isotopic fractionations at metabolic branch points can influence δ(13)C(l), and differences are likely to be modified by seasonal variation in drought intensity. We measured δ(13)C(l) in two deep-rooted C(3) trees (Prosopis velutina and Celtis reticulata), and two relatively shallow-rooted perennial herbs (a C(3) dicot Viguiera dentata and a C(4) grass Sporobolus wrightii) in a floodplain savanna ecosystem in southeastern Arizona, USA during the dry pre-monsoon and wet monsoon seasons. δ(13)C(l) decreased during the nighttime and reached minimum values at pre-dawn in all species. The magnitude of nocturnal shift in δ(13)C(l) differed among species and between pre-monsoon and monsoon seasons. During the pre-monsoon season, the magnitude of the nocturnal shift in δ(13)C(l) in the deep-rooted C(3) trees P. velutina (2.8 ± 0.4‰) and C. reticulata (2.9 ± 0.2‰) was greater than in the C(3) herb V. dentata (1.8 ± 0.4‰) and C(4) grass S. wrightii (2.2 ± 0.4‰). The nocturnal shift in δ(13)C(l) in V. dentata and S. wrightii increased to 3.2 ± 0.1‰ and 4.6 ± 0.6‰, respectively, during the monsoon season, but in C(3) trees did not change significantly from pre-monsoon values. Cumulative daytime net CO(2) uptake was positively correlated with the magnitude of the nocturnal decline in δ(13)C(l) across all species, suggesting that nocturnal δ(13)C(l) may be controlled by (13)C/(12)C fractionations associated with C substrate availability and C metabolite partitioning. Nocturnal patterns of δ(13)C(l) in dominant plant species in the semiarid savanna apparently have predictable responses to seasonal changes in water

  7. Morphological Differences between Larvae of the Ciona intestinalis Species Complex: Hints for a Valid Taxonomic Definition of Distinct Species.

    PubMed

    Pennati, Roberta; Ficetola, Gentile Francesco; Brunetti, Riccardo; Caicci, Federico; Gasparini, Fabio; Griggio, Francesca; Sato, Atsuko; Stach, Thomas; Kaul-Strehlow, Sabrina; Gissi, Carmela; Manni, Lucia

    2015-01-01

    The cosmopolitan ascidian Ciona intestinalis is the most common model species of Tunicata, the sister-group of Vertebrata, and widely used in developmental biology, genomics and evolutionary studies. Recently, molecular studies suggested the presence of cryptic species hidden within the C. intestinalis species, namely C. intestinalis type A and type B. So far, no substantial morphological differences have been identified between individuals belonging to the two types. Here we present morphometric, immunohistochemical, and histological analyses, as well as 3-D reconstructions, of late larvae obtained by cross-fertilization experiments of molecularly determined type A and type B adults, sampled in different seasons and in four different localities. Our data point to quantitative and qualitative differences in the trunk shape of larvae belonging to the two types. In particular, type B larvae exhibit a longer pre-oral lobe, longer and relatively narrower total body length, and a shorter ocellus-tail distance than type A larvae. All these differences were found to be statistically significant in a Discriminant Analysis. Depending on the number of analyzed parameters, the obtained discriminant function was able to correctly classify > 93% of the larvae, with the remaining misclassified larvae attributable to the existence of intra-type seasonal variability. No larval differences were observed at the level of histology and immunohistochemical localization of peripheral sensory neurons. We conclude that type A and type B are two distinct species that can be distinguished on the basis of larval morphology and molecular data. Since the identified larval differences appear to be valid diagnostic characters, we suggest to raise both types to the rank of species and to assign them distinct names.

  8. Morphological Differences between Larvae of the Ciona intestinalis Species Complex: Hints for a Valid Taxonomic Definition of Distinct Species

    PubMed Central

    Pennati, Roberta; Ficetola, Gentile Francesco; Brunetti, Riccardo; Caicci, Federico; Gasparini, Fabio; Griggio, Francesca; Sato, Atsuko; Stach, Thomas; Kaul-Strehlow, Sabrina; Gissi, Carmela; Manni, Lucia

    2015-01-01

    The cosmopolitan ascidian Ciona intestinalis is the most common model species of Tunicata, the sister-group of Vertebrata, and widely used in developmental biology, genomics and evolutionary studies. Recently, molecular studies suggested the presence of cryptic species hidden within the C. intestinalis species, namely C. intestinalis type A and type B. So far, no substantial morphological differences have been identified between individuals belonging to the two types. Here we present morphometric, immunohistochemical, and histological analyses, as well as 3-D reconstructions, of late larvae obtained by cross-fertilization experiments of molecularly determined type A and type B adults, sampled in different seasons and in four different localities. Our data point to quantitative and qualitative differences in the trunk shape of larvae belonging to the two types. In particular, type B larvae exhibit a longer pre-oral lobe, longer and relatively narrower total body length, and a shorter ocellus-tail distance than type A larvae. All these differences were found to be statistically significant in a Discriminant Analysis. Depending on the number of analyzed parameters, the obtained discriminant function was able to correctly classify > 93% of the larvae, with the remaining misclassified larvae attributable to the existence of intra-type seasonal variability. No larval differences were observed at the level of histology and immunohistochemical localization of peripheral sensory neurons. We conclude that type A and type B are two distinct species that can be distinguished on the basis of larval morphology and molecular data. Since the identified larval differences appear to be valid diagnostic characters, we suggest to raise both types to the rank of species and to assign them distinct names. PMID:25955391

  9. Cross-species outlier detection reveals different evolutionary pressures between sister species.

    PubMed

    Cullingham, Catherine I; Cooke, Janice E K; Coltman, David W

    2014-10-01

    Lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta var. latifolia) and jack pine (Pinus banksiana) hybridize in western Canada, an area of recent mountain pine beetle range expansion. Given the heterogeneity of the environment, and indications of local adaptation, there are many unknowns regarding the response of these forests to future outbreaks. To better understand this we aim to identify genetic regions that have adaptive potential. We used data collected on 472 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) loci from 576 tree samples collected across 13 lodgepole pine-dominated sites and four jack pine-dominated sites. We looked at the relationship of genetic diversity with the environment, and we identified candidate loci using both frequency-based (arlequin and bayescan) and correlation-based (matsam and bayenv) methods. We found contrasting relationships between environmental variation and genetic diversity for the species. While we identified a number of candidate outliers (34 in lodgepole pine, 25 in jack pine, and 43 interspecific loci), we did not find any loci in common between lodgepole and jack pine. Many of the outlier loci identified were correlated with environmental variation. Using rigorous criteria we have been able to identify potential outlier SNPs. We have also found evidence of contrasting environmental adaptations between lodgepole and jack pine which could have implications for beetle spread risk.

  10. Cross-species outlier detection reveals different evolutionary pressures between sister species

    PubMed Central

    Cullingham, Catherine I; Cooke, Janice E K; Coltman, David W

    2014-01-01

    Lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta var. latifolia) and jack pine (Pinus banksiana) hybridize in western Canada, an area of recent mountain pine beetle range expansion. Given the heterogeneity of the environment, and indications of local adaptation, there are many unknowns regarding the response of these forests to future outbreaks. To better understand this we aim to identify genetic regions that have adaptive potential. We used data collected on 472 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) loci from 576 tree samples collected across 13 lodgepole pine-dominated sites and four jack pine-dominated sites. We looked at the relationship of genetic diversity with the environment, and we identified candidate loci using both frequency-based (arlequin and bayescan) and correlation-based (matsam and bayenv) methods. We found contrasting relationships between environmental variation and genetic diversity for the species. While we identified a number of candidate outliers (34 in lodgepole pine, 25 in jack pine, and 43 interspecific loci), we did not find any loci in common between lodgepole and jack pine. Many of the outlier loci identified were correlated with environmental variation. Using rigorous criteria we have been able to identify potential outlier SNPs. We have also found evidence of contrasting environmental adaptations between lodgepole and jack pine which could have implications for beetle spread risk. PMID:24942459

  11. Competition for water between walnut seedlings (Juglans regia) and rye grass (Lolium perenne) assessed by carbon isotope discrimination and delta18O enrichment.

    PubMed

    Picon-Cochard, C; Nsourou-Obame, A; Collet, C; Guehl, J M; Ferhi, A

    2001-02-01

    Container-grown walnut seedlings (Juglans regia L.) were subjected to competition with rye grass (Lolium perenne L.) and to a 2-week soil drying cycle. One and 2 weeks after the beginning of the drought treatment, H2 18O (delta approximately equals +100%) was added to the bottom layer of soil in the plant containers to create a vertical H2 18O gradient. Rye grass competition reduced aboveground and belowground biomass of the walnut seedlings by 60%, whereas drought had no effect. The presence of rye grass reduced the dry weight of walnut roots in the upper soil layer and caused a 50% reduction in lateral root length. Rye grass competition combined with the drought treatment reduced walnut leaf CO2 assimilation rate (A) and leaf conductance (gw) by 20 and 39%, respectively. Transpiration rates in rye grass, both at the leaf level and at the plant or tiller level, were higher than in walnut seedlings. Leaf intrinsic water-use efficiency (A/gw) of walnut seedlings increased in response to drought and no differences were observed between the single-species and mixed-species treatments, as confirmed by leaf carbon isotope discrimination measurements. Measurement of delta18O in soil and in plant xylem sap indicated that the presence of rye grass did not affect the vertical profile of soil water uptake by walnut seedlings. Walnut seedlings and rye grass withdrew water from the top and middle soil layers in well-watered conditions, whereas during the drought treatment, walnut seedlings obtained water from all soil layers, but rye grass took up water from the bottom soil layer only.

  12. Evolution of Centromeric Retrotransposons in Grasses

    PubMed Central

    Sharma, Anupma; Presting, Gernot G.

    2014-01-01

    Centromeric retrotransposons (CRs) constitute a family of plant retroelements, some of which have the ability to target their insertion almost exclusively to the functional centromeres. Our exhaustive analysis of CR family members in four grass genomes revealed not only horizontal transfer (HT) of CR elements between the oryzoid and panicoid grass lineages but also their subsequent recombination with endogenous elements that in some cases created prolific recombinants in foxtail millet and sorghum. HT events are easily identifiable only in cases where host genome divergence significantly predates HT, thus documented HT events likely represent only a fraction of the total. If the more difficult to detect ancient HT events occurred at frequencies similar to those observable in present day grasses, the extant long terminal repeat retrotransposons represent the mosaic products of HT and recombination that are optimized for retrotransposition in their host genomes. This complicates not only phylogenetic analysis but also the establishment of a meaningful retrotransposon nomenclature, which we have nevertheless attempted to implement here. In contrast to the plant-centric naming convention used currently for CR elements, we classify elements primarily based on their phylogenetic relationships regardless of host plant, using the exhaustively studied maize elements assigned to six different subfamilies as a standard. The CR2 subfamily is the most widely distributed of the six CR subfamilies discovered in grass genomes to date and thus the most likely to play a functional role at grass centromeres. PMID:24814286

  13. Effects of replacing grass silage with maize silages differing in inclusion level and maturity on the performance, meat quality and concentrate-sparing effect of beef cattle.

    PubMed

    Keady, T W J; Gordon, A W; Moss, B W

    2013-05-01

    The effects of maturity of maize at harvest, level of inclusion and potential interactions on the performance, carcass composition, meat quality and potential concentrate-sparing effect when offered to finishing beef cattle were studied. Two maize silages were ensiled that had dry matter (DM) concentrations of 217 and 304 g/kg and starch concentrations of 55 and 258 g/kg DM, respectively. Grass silage was offered as the sole forage supplemented with either 4 or 8 kg concentrate/steer daily or in addition with one of the two maize silages at a ratio 0.5 : 0.5, on a DM basis, maize silage : grass silage supplemented with 4 kg concentrate daily. The two maize silages were also offered as the sole forage supplemented with 4 kg concentrate/steer daily. The forages were offered ad libitum. The six diets were offered to 72 steers (initial live weight 522 s.d. 23.5 kg) for 146 days. There were significant interactions (P < 0.05) between maize maturity and inclusion level for food intake, fibre digestibility and daily gain. For the grass silage supplemented with 4 or 8 kg concentrate, and the maize silages with DM concentrations of 217 and 304 g/kg offered as 0.5 or 1.0 of the forage component of the diet, total DM intakes were 8.3, 9.8, 8.9, 8.2, 9.2 and 9.8 kg DM/day (s.e. 0.27); live-weight gains were 0.74, 1.17, 0.86, 0.71, 0.88 and 1.03 kg/day (s.e. 0.057); and carcass gains were 0.48, 0.73, 0.56, 0.46, 0.56 and 0.63 kg/day (s.e. 0.037), respectively. Increasing the level of concentrate (offered with grass silage), maize maturity and level of maize inclusion reduced (P < 0.05) fat b* (yellowness). The potential daily concentrate-sparing effect, as determined by carcass gain, for the maize silages with DM concentrations of 217 and 304 g/kg offered as 0.5 and 1.0 of the forage component of the diet were 1.3, -0.3, 1.3 and 2.4 kg fresh weight, respectively. It is concluded that the response, in animal performance, including maize silage is dependent on the stage of

  14. Effect of the addition of cattle slurry plus different types of livestock litter to an acid soil and on the production of grass and corn crops.

    PubMed

    Fernández-Sanjurjo, María J; Alvarez Rodríguez, Esperanza; Corti, Giuseppe

    2011-03-01

    The aim of the present study was to determine how the addition of cattle slurry (S), cattle slurry mixed with sawdust and lime (SL) or cattle slurry mixed with sawdust and crushed (2-4 mm) mussel shells (SM), coming from livestock litter affected the chemical properties of an acid soil and the production in a grass/corn rotation. Bulk and rhizospheric soil were analysed. With respect to the not-treated soil, all the treatments increased pH, exchangeable cations and ECEC, and decreased total N, organic C and exchangeable Al. The lowest variations were observed in S treated plots, while considerable variations occurred in the corn plots treated with SM. In this case, the soil pH reached values up to 6.7, in contrast with the S treated plots that reached pH 5.9. An increase in the concentrations of Ca, Mg and K was also observed. These effects were more evident in the rhizosphere than in the bulk. The addition of both lime and crushed shells increased production and quality of the yield. In SL and SM treated plots the total production of grass was 3.5 to 4-fold the production obtained in S plots. The total production of corn increased by 1095 kg ha(-1) in the SL-treated plots and 2559 kg ha(-1) in SM plots; almost all these increments of production were due to the augmented production of cob. We concluded that the use of crushed mussel shells can be recommended as livestock litter suitable to be distributed in acid soils.

  15. Water relations traits of C4 grasses depend on phylogenetic lineage, photosynthetic pathway, and habitat water availability

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Hui; Osborne, Colin P.

    2015-01-01

    The repeated evolution of C4 photosynthesis in independent lineages has resulted in distinct biogeographical distributions in different phylogenetic lineages and the variants of C4 photosynthesis. However, most previous studies have only considered C3/C4 differences without considering phylogeny, C4 subtype, or habitat characteristics. We hypothesized that independent lineages of C4 grasses have structural and physiological traits that adapt them to environments with differing water availability. We measured 40 traits of 33 species from two major C4 grass lineages in a common glasshouse environment. Chloridoideae species were shorter, with narrower and longer leaves, smaller but denser stomata, and faster curling leaves than Panicoideae species, but overall differences in leaf hydraulic and gas exchange traits between the two lineages were weak. Chloridoideae species had two different ways to reach higher drought resistance potential than Panicoideae; NAD-ME species used water saving, whereas PCK species used osmotic adjustment. These patterns could be explained by the interactions of lineage×C4 subtype and lineage×habitat water availability in affected traits. Specifically, phylogeny tended to have a stronger influence on structural traits, and C4 subtype had more important effects on physiological traits. Although hydraulic traits did not differ consistently between lineages, they showed strong covariation and relationships with leaf structure. Thus, phylogenetic lineage, photosynthetic pathway, and adaptation to habitat water availability act together to influence the leaf water relations traits of C4 grasses. This work expands our understanding of ecophysiology in major C4 grass lineages, with implications for explaining their regional and global distributions in relation to climate. PMID:25504656

  16. Water relations traits of C4 grasses depend on phylogenetic lineage, photosynthetic pathway, and habitat water availability.

    PubMed

    Liu, Hui; Osborne, Colin P

    2015-02-01

    The repeated evolution of C4 photosynthesis in independent lineages has resulted in distinct biogeographical distributions in different phylogenetic lineages and the variants of C4 photosynthesis. However, most previous studies have only considered C3/C4 differences without considering phylogeny, C4 subtype, or habitat characteristics. We hypothesized that independent lineages of C4 grasses have structural and physiological traits that adapt them to environments with differing water availability. We measured 40 traits of 33 species from two major C4 grass lineages in a common glasshouse environment. Chloridoideae species were shorter, with narrower and longer leaves, smaller but denser stomata, and faster curling leaves than Panicoideae species, but overall differences in leaf hydraulic and gas exchange traits between the two lineages were weak. Chloridoideae species had two different ways to reach higher drought resistance potential than Panicoideae; NAD-ME species used water saving, whereas PCK species used osmotic adjustment. These patterns could be explained by the interactions of lineage×C4 subtype and lineage×habitat water availability in affected traits. Specifically, phylogeny tended to have a stronger influence on structural traits, and C4 subtype had more important effects on physiological traits. Although hydraulic traits did not differ consistently between lineages, they showed strong covariation and relationships with leaf structure. Thus, phylogenetic lineage, photosynthetic pathway, and adaptation to habitat water availability act together to influence the leaf water relations traits of C4 grasses. This work expands our understanding of ecophysiology in major C4 grass lineages, with implications for explaining their regional and global distributions in relation to climate.

  17. Assessment of Quantum Dot Penetration into Skin in Different Species Under Different Mechanical Actions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Monteiro-Riviere, N. A.; Zhang, L. W.

    Skin penetration is one of the major routes of exposure for nanoparticles to gain access to a biological system. QD nanoparticles have received a great deal of attention due to their fluorescent characteristics and potential use in medical applications. However, little is known about their permeability in skin. This study focuses on three types of quantum dots (QD) with different surface coatings and concentrations on their ability to penetrate skin. QD621 (polyethylene glycol coated, PEG) was studied for 24 h in porcine skin flow-through diffusion cells. QD565 and QD655 coated with carboxylic acid were studied for 8 and 24 h in flow-through diffusion cells with flexed, tape stripped and abraded rat skin to determine if these mechanical actions could perturb the barrier and affect penetration. Confocal microscopy depicted QD621 penetration through the uppermost layers of the stratum corneum (SC) and fluorescence was found in the SC and near hair follicles. QD621 were found in the intercellular lipid layers of the SC by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). QD565 and 655 with flexed and tape-stripped skin did not show penetration; only abraded skin showed penetration in the viable dermal layers. In all QD studies, inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES) analysis for cadmium (Cd) and fluorescence for QD did not detect Cd or fluorescence signal in the perfusate at any time point, concentration or type of QD. These results indicate that porcine skin penetration of QD621 is minimal and limited primarily to the outer SC layers, while QD565 and 655 penetrated into the dermis of abraded skin. The anatomical complexity of skin and species differences should be taken into consideration when selecting an animal model to study nanoparticle absorption/penetration. These findings are of importance to risk assessment for nanoscale materials because it indicates that if skin barrier is altered such as in wounds, scrapes, or dermatitis conditions could

  18. A meta-analysis of trait differences between invasive and non-invasive plant species.

    PubMed

    van Kleunen, Mark; Weber, Ewald; Fischer, Markus

    2010-02-01

    A major aim in ecology is identifying determinants of invasiveness. We performed a meta-analysis of 117 field or experimental-garden studies that measured pair-wise trait differences of a total of 125 invasive and 196 non-invasive plant species in the invasive range of the invasive species. We tested whether invasiveness is associated with performance-related traits (physiology, leaf-area allocation, shoot allocation, growth rate, size and fitness), and whether such associations depend on type of study and on biogeographical or biological factors. Overall, invasive species had significantly higher values than non-invasive species for all six trait categories. More trait differences were significant for invasive vs. native comparisons than for invasive vs. non-invasive alien comparisons. Moreover, for comparisons between invasive species and native species that themselves are invasive elsewhere, no trait differences were significant. Differences in physiology and growth rate were larger in tropical regions than in temperate regions. Trait differences did not depend on whether the invasive alien species originates from Europe, nor did they depend on the test environment. We conclude that invasive alien species had higher values for those traits related to performance than non-invasive species. This suggests that it might become possible to predict future plant invasions from species traits.

  19. Insular Organization of Gene Space in Grass Genomes

    PubMed Central

    Massa, Alicia N.; Wanjugi, Humphrey; Deal, Karin R.; You, Frank M.; Xu, Xiangyang; Gu, Yong Q.; Luo, Ming-Cheng; Anderson, Olin D.; Chan, Agnes P.; Rabinowicz, Pablo

    2013-01-01

    Wheat and maize genes were hypothesized to be clustered into islands but the hypothesis was not statistically tested. The hypothesis is statistically tested here in four grass species differing in genome size, Brachypodium distachyon, Oryza sativa, Sorghum bicolor, and Aegilops tauschii. Density functions obtained under a model where gene locations follow a homogeneous Poisson process and thus are not clustered are compared with a model-free situation quantified through a non-parametric density estimate. A simple homogeneous Poisson model for gene locations is not rejected for the small O. sativa and B. distachyon genomes, indicating that genes are distributed largely uniformly in those species, but is rejected for the larger S. bicolor and Ae. tauschii genomes, providing evidence for clustering of genes into islands. It is proposed to call the gene islands “gene insulae” to distinguish them from other types of gene clustering that have been proposed. An average S. bicolor and Ae. tauschii insula is estimated to contain 3.7 and 3.9 genes with an average intergenic distance within an insula of 2.1 and 16.5 kb, respectively. Inter-insular distances are greater than 8 and 81 kb and average 15.1 and 205 kb, in S. bicolor and Ae. tauschii, respectively. A greater gene density observed in the distal regions of the Ae. tauschii chromosomes is shown to be primarily caused by shortening of inter-insular distances. The comparison of the four grass genomes suggests that gene locations are largely a function of a homogeneous Poisson process in small genomes. Nonrandom insertions of LTR retroelements during genome expansion creates gene insulae, which become less dense and further apart with the increase in genome size. High concordance in relative lengths of orthologous intergenic distances among the investigated genomes including the maize genome suggests functional constraints on gene distribution in the grass genomes. PMID:23326580

  20. Insular organization of gene space in grass genomes.

    PubMed

    Gottlieb, Andrea; Müller, Hans-Georg; Massa, Alicia N; Wanjugi, Humphrey; Deal, Karin R; You, Frank M; Xu, Xiangyang; Gu, Yong Q; Luo, Ming-Cheng; Anderson, Olin D; Chan, Agnes P; Rabinowicz, Pablo; Devos, Katrien M; Dvorak, Jan

    2013-01-01

    Wheat and maize genes were hypothesized to be clustered into islands but the hypothesis was not statistically tested. The hypothesis is statistically tested here in four grass species differing in genome size, Brachypodium distachyon, Oryza sativa, Sorghum bicolor, and Aegilops tauschii. Density functions obtained under a model where gene locations follow a homogeneous Poisson process and thus are not clustered are compared with a model-free situation quantified through a non-parametric density estimate. A simple homogeneous Poisson model for gene locations is not rejected for the small O. sativa and B. distachyon genomes, indicating that genes are distributed largely uniformly in those species, but is rejected for the larger S. bicolor and Ae. tauschii genomes, providing evidence for clustering of genes into islands. It is proposed to call the gene islands "gene insulae" to distinguish them from other types of gene clustering that have been proposed. An average S. bicolor and Ae. tauschii insula is estimated to contain 3.7 and 3.9 genes with an average intergenic distance within an insula of 2.1 and 16.5 kb, respectively. Inter-insular distances are greater than 8 and 81 kb and average 15.1 and 205 kb, in S. bicolor and Ae. tauschii, respectively. A greater gene density observed in the distal regions of the Ae. tauschii chromosomes is shown to be primarily caused by shortening of inter-insular distances. The comparison of the four grass genomes suggests that gene locations are largely a function of a homogeneous Poisson process in small genomes. Nonrandom insertions of LTR retroelements during genome expansion creates gene insulae, which become less dense and further apart with the increase in genome size. High concordance in relative lengths of orthologous intergenic distances among the investigated genomes including the maize genome suggests functional constraints on gene distribution in the grass genomes.

  1. Final Report: The Rhizosphere Association of the Nitrogen Fixing Bacterial Species Azotobacter Paspali with the Tropical Grass Paspalum Notatum: Specificity of Colonization and Contribution to Plant Nutrition, July 1, 1995 - February 14, 1997

    SciTech Connect

    Kennedy, Christina K.

    1997-02-14

    The nitrogen fixing bacterium azotobacter paspali was first isolated from the roots of the sub-tropical grass, palpium notatum, and added to the clenus in 1996, by Dr. J. Dobereiner (Brazil). It is mentioned that this root association bacteria shows remarkable signs of host-plant specificity to one eco-type of this grass. This specificity is rare in non-symbiotic plant microbe interactions so far identified.

  2. Identification of different bacterial species in biofilms using confocal Raman microscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beier, Brooke D.; Quivey, Robert G.; Berger, Andrew J.

    2010-11-01

    Confocal Raman microspectroscopy is used to discriminate between different species of bacteria grown in biofilms. Tests are performed using two bacterial species, Streptococcus sanguinis and Streptococcus mutans, which are major components of oral plaque and of particular interest due to their association with healthy and cariogenic plaque, respectively. Dehydrated biofilms of these species are studied as a simplified model of dental plaque. A prediction model based on principal component analysis and logistic regression is calibrated using pure biofilms of each species and validated on pure biofilms grown months later, achieving 96% accuracy in prospective classification. When biofilms of the two species are partially mixed together, Raman-based identifications are achieved within ~2 μm of the boundaries between species with 97% accuracy. This combination of spatial resolution and predication accuracy should be suitable for forming images of species distributions within intact two-species biofilms.

  3. Vertebrates respond differently to human disturbance: implications for the use of a focal species approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ficetola, Gentile Francesco; Sacchi, Roberto; Scali, Stefano; Gentilli, Augusto; De Bernardi, Fiorenza; Galeotti, Paolo

    2007-01-01

    Focal species are surrogates assuming that all species under consideration respond similarly to the threatening processes. Focusing management only on a small number of species would improve conditions for other species. However, the across-taxa congruency of the response to threatening processes, and the subsequent efficiency of focal species as surrogates, has seldom been tested. In this study, we evaluated the effects of recreational disturbance and wood structure on the communities of terrestrial vertebrates in the wood patches of a large urban park. We measured two effects of recreation: direct disturbance (people presence) and litter disturbance (effect of trampling). We used multiple techniques to assess the distribution of small mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians in 44 wood patches. Disturbance and wood maturity influenced the distribution of some species and the species richness of amphibians and reptiles; however, the pattern was not consistent across species within classes or among classes. The performance of focal species as a multi species umbrella was poor. Our results suggest that species specific differences in the response to the same source of disturbance can be strong; these differences can hinder the usefulness of focal species as surrogates and as a management tool.

  4. The Occurrence of Balansioid Endophytes in Georgia, Florida, and Southern Grasses

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A collection of toxic fungal endophytes of grasses were detailed in terms of their morphology and taxonomy in detailed slides useful for identification of the little know species of Balansia or clavicipitalean fungi that are found on southern pasture and weed grass species. We have established as ...

  5. Evidence of qualitative differences between soil-occupancy effects of invasive vs. native grassland plant species

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jordan, N.R.; Larson, D.L.; Huerd, S.C.

    2011-01-01

    Diversified grasslands that contain native plant species are being recognized as important elements of agricultural landscapes and for production of biofuel feedstocks as well as a variety of other ecosystem services. Unfortunately, establishment of such grasslands is often difficult, unpredictable, and highly vulnerable to interference and invasion by weeds. Evidence suggests that soil-microbial "legacies" of invasive perennial species can inhibit growth of native grassland species. However, previous assessments of legacy effects of soil occupancy by invasive species that invade grasslands have focused on single invasive species and on responses to invasive soil occupancy in only a few species. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that legacy effects of invasive species differ qualitatively from those of native grassland species. In a glasshouse, three invasive and three native grassland perennials and a native perennial mixture were grown separately through three cycles of growth and soil conditioning in soils with and without arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), after which we assessed seedling growth in these soils. Native species differed categorically from invasives in their response to soil conditioning by native or invasive species, but these differences depended on the presence of AMF. When AMF were present, native species largely had facilitative effects on invasive species, relative to effects of invasives on other invasives. Invasive species did not facilitate native growth; neutral effects were predominant, but strong soil-mediated inhibitory effects on certain native species occurred. Our results support the hypothesis that successful plant invaders create biological legacies in soil that inhibit native growth, but suggest also this mechanism of invasion will have nuanced effects on community dynamics, as some natives may be unaffected by such legacies. Such native species may be valuable as nurse plants that provide cost-effective restoration of

  6. Evidence of qualitative differences between soil-occupancy effects of invasive vs. native grassland plant species

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jordan, Nicholas R.; Larson, Diane L.; Huerd, Sheri C.

    2011-01-01

    Diversified grasslands that contain native plant species are being recognized as important elements of agricultural landscapes and for production of biofuel feedstocks as well as a variety of other ecosystem services. Unfortunately, establishment of such grasslands is often difficult, unpredictable, and highly vulnerable to interference and invasion by weeds. Evidence suggests that soil-microbial "legacies" of invasive perennial species can inhibit growth of native grassland species. However, previous assessments of legacy effects of soil occupancy by invasive species that invade grasslands have focused on single invasive species and on responses to invasive soil occupancy in only a few species. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that legacy effects of invasive species differ qualitatively from those of native grassland species. In a glasshouse, three invasive and three native grassland perennials and a native perennial mixture were grown separately through three cycles of growth and soil conditioning in soils with and without arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), after which we assessed seedling growth in these soils. Native species differed categorically from invasives in their response to soil conditioning by native or invasive species, but these differences depended on the presence of AMF. When AMF were present, native species largely had facilitative effects on invasive species, relative to effects of invasives on other invasives. Invasive species did not facilitate native growth; neutral effects were predominant, but strong soil-mediated inhibitory effects on certain native species occurred. Our results support the hypothesis that successful plant invaders create biological legacies in soil that inhibit native growth, but suggest also this mechanism of invasion will have nuanced effects on community dynamics, as some natives may be unaffected by such legacies. Such native species may be valuable as nurse plants that provide cost-effective restoration of

  7. Epichloë Endophytes Alter Inducible Indirect Defences in Host Grasses

    PubMed Central

    Li, Tao; Blande, James D.; Gundel, Pedro E.; Helander, Marjo; Saikkonen, Kari

    2014-01-01

    Epichloë endophytes are common symbionts living asymptomatically in pooid grasses and may provide chemical defences against herbivorous insects. While the mechanisms underlying these fungal defences have been well studied, it remains unknown whether endophyte presence affects the host's own defences. We addressed this issue by examining variation in the impact of Epichloë on constitutive and herbivore-induced emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOC), a well-known indirect plant defence, between two grass species, Schedonorus phoenix (ex. Festuca arundinacea; tall fescue) and Festuca pratensis (meadow fescue). We found that feeding by a generalist aphid species, Rhopalosiphum padi, induced VOC emissions by uninfected plants of both grass species but to varying extents, while mechanical wounding failed to do so in both species after one day of damage. Interestingly, regardless of damage treatment, Epichloë uncinata-infected F. pratensis emitted significantly lower quantities of VOCs than their uninfected counterparts. In contrast, Epichloë coenophiala-infected S. phoenix did not differ from their uninfected counterparts in constitutive VOC emissions but tended to increase VOC emissions under intense aphid feeding. A multivariate analysis showed that endophyte status imposed stronger differences in VOC profiles of F. pratensis than damage treatment, while the reverse was true for S. phoenix. Additionally, both endophytes inhibited R. padi population growth as measured by aphid dry biomass, with the inhibition appearing greater in E. uncinata-infected F. pratensis. Our results suggest, not only that Epichloë endophytes may play important roles in mediating host VOC responses to herbivory, but also that the magnitude and direction of such responses may vary with the identity of the Epichloë–grass symbiosis. Whether Epichloë-mediated host VOC responses will eventually translate into effects on higher trophic levels merits future investigation. PMID:24978701

  8. The contrasting nature of woody plant species in different neotropical forest biomes reflects differences in ecological stability.

    PubMed

    Pennington, R Toby; Lavin, Matt

    2016-04-01

    A fundamental premise of this review is that distinctive phylogenetic and biogeographic patterns in clades endemic to different major biomes illuminate the evolutionary process. In seasonally dry tropical forests (SDTFs), phylogenies are geographically structured and multiple individuals representing single species coalesce. This pattern of monophyletic species, coupled with their old species stem ages, is indicative of maintenance of small effective population sizes over evolutionary timescales, which suggests that SDTF is difficult to immigrate into because of persistent resident lineages adapted to a stable, seasonally dry ecology. By contrast, lack of coalescence in conspecific accessions of abundant and often widespread species is more frequent in rain forests and is likely to reflect large effective population sizes maintained over huge areas by effective seed and pollen flow. Species nonmonophyly, young species stem ages and lack of geographical structure in rain forest phylogenies may reflect more widespread disturbance by drought and landscape evolution causing resident mortality that opens up greater opportunities for immigration and speciation. We recommend full species sampling and inclusion of multiple accessions representing individual species in phylogenies to highlight nonmonophyletic species, which we predict will be frequent in rain forest and savanna, and which represent excellent case studies of incipient speciation.

  9. Effects of grass forage species and long-term period of low quality forage diet feeding on growth performance, nutrient utilization and microbial nitrogen yield in growing wether lambs.

    PubMed

    Kim, Da-Hye; Choi, Ki-Choon; Song, Sang-Houn; Ichinohe, Toshiyoshi

    2016-02-01

    Six growing lambs were used to evaluate the feeding value of two forage-based diets in a long-term feeding period by measuring body weight (BW) gain, digestibility, nitrogen (N) retention and microbial N (MBN) yield. The animals were fed imported low-quality timothy hay (TH) with concentrate diet (THD) or imported low-quality Italian ryegrass straw (IR) with concentrate diet (IRD) for 9 months. The forages were offered at 2% BW, and concentrate was fed at 40% of forage intake. The BW gain averaged 82.6 and 66.2 g/day for THD and IRD, respectively, without showing significant difference. Average forage intake (% BW) was significantly greater for IR than for TH, although it was not affected by feeding periods. The digestibility did not differ between diets or periods. The numerically greater (P = 0.06) ratio of retained N to absorbed N for IRD than that for THD was prominent. Neither diet nor period had significant effect on MBN supply and efficiency of MBN synthesis. The results suggest that the IR-based diet can be also used for long-term periods of feeding to growing ruminant animals as a grass hay-based diet without any detrimental effects on nutrient utilization and growth performance.

  10. Differences in copper bioaccumulation and biological responses in three Mytilus species.

    PubMed

    Brooks, Steven J; Farmen, Eivind; Heier, Lene Sørlie; Blanco-Rayón, Esther; Izagirre, Urtzi

    2015-03-01

    Mytilus species are important organisms in marine systems being highly abundant and widely distributed along the coast of Europe and worldwide. They are typically used in biological effects studies and have a suite of biological effects endpoints that are frequently measured and evaluated for stress effects in laboratory experiments and field monitoring programmes. Differences in bioaccumulation and biological responses of the three Mytilus species following exposure to copper (Cu) were investigated. A laboratory controlled exposure study was performed with three genetically confirmed Mytilus species; M. galloprovincialis, M. edulis and M. trossulus. Chemical bioaccumulation and biomarkers were assessed in all three Mytilus species following a 4 day and a 21 day exposure to waterborne copper concentrations (0, 10, 100 and 500μg/L). Differences in copper bioaccumulation were measured after both 4 and 21 days, which suggests some physiological differences between the species. Furthermore, differences in response for some of the biological effects endpoints were also found to occur following exposure. These differences were discussed in relation to either real physiological differences between the species or merely confounding factors relating to the species natural habitat and seasonal cycles. Overall the study demonstrated that differences in chemical bioaccumulation and biomarker responses between the Mytilus spp. occur with potential consequences for mussel exposure studies and biological effects monitoring programmes. Consequently, the study highlights the importance of identifying the correct species when using Mytilus in biological effects studies.

  11. Relative growth rate variation of evergreen and deciduous savanna tree species is driven by different traits<