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Sample records for important agricultural traits

  1. The angiosperm phloem sieve tube system: a role in mediating traits important to modern agriculture.

    PubMed

    Ham, Byung-Kook; Lucas, William J

    2014-04-01

    The plant vascular system serves a vital function by distributing water, nutrients and hormones essential for growth and development to the various organs of the plant. In this review, attention is focused on the role played by the phloem as the conduit for delivery of both photosynthate and information macromolecules, especially from the context of its mediation in traits that are important to modern agriculture. Resource allocation of sugars and amino acids, by the phloem, to specific sink tissues is of importance to crop yield and global food security. Current findings are discussed in the context of a hierarchical control network that operates to integrate resource allocation to competing sinks. The role of plasmodesmata that connect companion cells to neighbouring sieve elements and phloem parenchyma cells is evaluated in terms of their function as valves, connecting the sieve tube pressure manifold system to the various plant tissues. Recent studies have also revealed that plasmodesmata and the phloem sieve tube system function cooperatively to mediate the long-distance delivery of proteins and a diverse array of RNA species. Delivery of these information macromolecules is discussed in terms of their roles in control over the vegetative-to-floral transition, tuberization in potato, stress-related signalling involving miRNAs, and genetic reprogramming through the delivery of 24-nucleotide small RNAs that function in transcriptional gene silencing in recipient sink organs. Finally, we discuss important future research areas that could contribute to developing agricultural crops with engineered performance characteristics for enhance yield potential.

  2. Functional traits in agriculture: agrobiodiversity and ecosystem services.

    PubMed

    Wood, Stephen A; Karp, Daniel S; DeClerck, Fabrice; Kremen, Claire; Naeem, Shahid; Palm, Cheryl A

    2015-09-01

    Functional trait research has led to greater understanding of the impacts of biodiversity in ecosystems. Yet, functional trait approaches have not been widely applied to agroecosystems and understanding of the importance of agrobiodiversity remains limited to a few ecosystem processes and services. To improve this understanding, we argue here for a functional trait approach to agroecology that adopts recent advances in trait research for multitrophic and spatially heterogeneous ecosystems. We suggest that trait values should be measured across environmental conditions and agricultural management regimes to predict how ecosystem services vary with farm practices and environment. This knowledge should be used to develop management strategies that can be easily implemented by farmers to manage agriculture to provide multiple ecosystem services.

  3. Determining the most important physiological and agronomic traits contributing to maize grain yield through machine learning algorithms: a new avenue in intelligent agriculture.

    PubMed

    Shekoofa, Avat; Emam, Yahya; Shekoufa, Navid; Ebrahimi, Mansour; Ebrahimie, Esmaeil

    2014-01-01

    Prediction is an attempt to accurately forecast the outcome of a specific situation while using input information obtained from a set of variables that potentially describe the situation. They can be used to project physiological and agronomic processes; regarding this fact, agronomic traits such as yield can be affected by a large number of variables. In this study, we analyzed a large number of physiological and agronomic traits by screening, clustering, and decision tree models to select the most relevant factors for the prospect of accurately increasing maize grain yield. Decision tree models (with nearly the same performance evaluation) were the most useful tools in understanding the underlying relationships in physiological and agronomic features for selecting the most important and relevant traits (sowing date-location, kernel number per ear, maximum water content, kernel weight, and season duration) corresponding to the maize grain yield. In particular, decision tree generated by C&RT algorithm was the best model for yield prediction based on physiological and agronomical traits which can be extensively employed in future breeding programs. No significant differences in the decision tree models were found when feature selection filtering on data were used, but positive feature selection effect observed in clustering models. Finally, the results showed that the proposed model techniques are useful tools for crop physiologists to search through large datasets seeking patterns for the physiological and agronomic factors, and may assist the selection of the most important traits for the individual site and field. In particular, decision tree models are method of choice with the capability of illustrating different pathways of yield increase in breeding programs, governed by their hierarchy structure of feature ranking as well as pattern discovery via various combinations of features.

  4. Determining the Most Important Physiological and Agronomic Traits Contributing to Maize Grain Yield through Machine Learning Algorithms: A New Avenue in Intelligent Agriculture

    PubMed Central

    Shekoofa, Avat; Emam, Yahya; Shekoufa, Navid; Ebrahimi, Mansour; Ebrahimie, Esmaeil

    2014-01-01

    Prediction is an attempt to accurately forecast the outcome of a specific situation while using input information obtained from a set of variables that potentially describe the situation. They can be used to project physiological and agronomic processes; regarding this fact, agronomic traits such as yield can be affected by a large number of variables. In this study, we analyzed a large number of physiological and agronomic traits by screening, clustering, and decision tree models to select the most relevant factors for the prospect of accurately increasing maize grain yield. Decision tree models (with nearly the same performance evaluation) were the most useful tools in understanding the underlying relationships in physiological and agronomic features for selecting the most important and relevant traits (sowing date-location, kernel number per ear, maximum water content, kernel weight, and season duration) corresponding to the maize grain yield. In particular, decision tree generated by C&RT algorithm was the best model for yield prediction based on physiological and agronomical traits which can be extensively employed in future breeding programs. No significant differences in the decision tree models were found when feature selection filtering on data were used, but positive feature selection effect observed in clustering models. Finally, the results showed that the proposed model techniques are useful tools for crop physiologists to search through large datasets seeking patterns for the physiological and agronomic factors, and may assist the selection of the most important traits for the individual site and field. In particular, decision tree models are method of choice with the capability of illustrating different pathways of yield increase in breeding programs, governed by their hierarchy structure of feature ranking as well as pattern discovery via various combinations of features. PMID:24830330

  5. Seed traits and genes important for translational biology – highlights from recent discoveries

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Seeds provide foods, feeds, and fuels. They are also an important delivery system of genetic information, which is essential for the survival of wild species in ecosystems and the production of agricultural species. In this review, seed traits important for agriculture are discussed with an emphasis...

  6. Economic importance of bats in agriculture

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Boyles, Justin G.; Cryan, Paul M.; McCracken, Gary F.; Kunz, Thomas H.

    2011-01-01

    White-nose syndrome (WNS) and the increased development of wind-power facilities are threatening populations of insectivorous bats in North America. Bats are voracious predators of nocturnal insects, including many crop and forest pests. We present here analyses suggesting that loss of bats in North America could lead to agricultural losses estimated at more than $3.7 billion/year. Urgent efforts are needed to educate the public and policy-makers about the ecological and economic importance of insectivorous bats and to provide practical conservation solutions.

  7. Ecological traits affect the sensitivity of bees to land-use pressures in European agricultural landscapes.

    PubMed

    De Palma, Adriana; Kuhlmann, Michael; Roberts, Stuart P M; Potts, Simon G; Börger, Luca; Hudson, Lawrence N; Lysenko, Igor; Newbold, Tim; Purvis, Andy

    2015-12-01

    Bees are a functionally important and economically valuable group, but are threatened by land-use conversion and intensification. Such pressures are not expected to affect all species identically; rather, they are likely to be mediated by the species' ecological traits.Understanding which types of species are most vulnerable under which land uses is an important step towards effective conservation planning.We collated occurrence and abundance data for 257 bee species at 1584 European sites from surveys reported in 30 published papers (70 056 records) and combined them with species-level ecological trait data. We used mixed-effects models to assess the importance of land use (land-use class, agricultural use-intensity and a remotely-sensed measure of vegetation), traits and trait × land-use interactions, in explaining species occurrence and abundance.Species' sensitivity to land use was most strongly influenced by flight season duration and foraging range, but also by niche breadth, reproductive strategy and phenology, with effects that differed among cropland, pastoral and urban habitats. Synthesis and applications. Rather than targeting particular species or settings, conservation actions may be more effective if focused on mitigating situations where species' traits strongly and negatively interact with land-use pressures. We find evidence that low-intensity agriculture can maintain relatively diverse bee communities; in more intensive settings, added floral resources may be beneficial, but will require careful placement with respect to foraging ranges of smaller bee species. Protection of semi-natural habitats is essential, however; in particular, conversion to urban environments could have severe effects on bee diversity and pollination services. Our results highlight the importance of exploring how ecological traits mediate species responses to human impacts, but further research is needed to enhance the predictive ability of such analyses.

  8. Biology: An Important Agricultural Engineering Mechanism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Henderson, S. M.

    1974-01-01

    Describes the field of bioengineering with particular emphasis on agricultural engineering, and presents the results of a survey of schools that combine biology and engineering in their curricula. (JR)

  9. Perceived importance of employees' traits in the service industry.

    PubMed

    Lange, Rense; Houran, James

    2009-04-01

    Selection assessments are common practice to help reduce employee turnover in the service industry, but as too little is known about employees' characteristics, which are valued most highly by human resources professionals, a sample of 108 managers and human resources professionals rated the perceived importance of 31 performance traits for Line, Middle, and Senior employees. Rasch scaling analyses indicated strong consensus among the respondents. Nonsocial skills, abilities, and traits such as Ethical Awareness, Self-motivation, Writing Skills, Verbal Ability, Creativity, and Problem Solving were rated as more important for higher level employees. By contrast, traits which directly affect the interaction with customers and coworkers (Service Orientation, Communication Style, Agreeableness, Sense of Humor, Sensitivity to Diversity, Group Process, and Team Building) were rated as more important for lower level employees. Respondents' age and sex did not substantially alter these findings. Results are discussed in terms of improving industry professionals' perceived ecological and external validities of generic and customized assessments of employee.

  10. Mycotoxin contamination of commercially important agricultural commodities

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Fungal toxins, called aflatoxins and other mold toxins, are a serious problem in US agricultural commodities. Due to aflatoxins resilience to industrial processes contaminated crops (corn, cotton, peanuts, and tree nuts) cannot be used. The loss of these commodities results in serious economic impa...

  11. Linking agricultural practices, mycorrhizal fungi, and traits mediating plant-insect interactions.

    PubMed

    Barber, Nicholas A; Kiers, E Toby; Theis, Nina; Hazzard, Ruth V; Adler, Lynn S

    2013-10-01

    Agricultural management has profound effects on soil communities. Activities such as fertilizer inputs can modify the composition of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) communities, which form important symbioses with the roots of most crop plants. Intensive conventional agricultural management may select for less mutualistic AMF with reduced benefits to host plants compared to organic management, but these differences are poorly understood. AMF are generally evaluated based on their direct growth effects on plants. However, mycorrhizal colonization also may alter plant traits such as tissue nutrients, defensive chemistry, or floral traits, which mediate important plant-insect interactions like herbivory and pollination. To determine the effect of AMF from different farming practices on plant performance and traits that putatively mediate species interactions, we performed a greenhouse study by inoculating Cucumis sativus (cucumber, Cucurbitaceae) with AMF from conventional farms, organic farms, and a commercial AMF inoculum. We measured growth and a suite of plant traits hypothesized to be important predictors of herbivore resistance and pollinator attraction. Several leaf and root traits and flower production were significantly affected by AMF inoculum. Both conventional and organic AMF reduced leaf P content but increased Na content compared to control and commercial AMF. Leaf defenses were unaffected by AMF treatments, but conventional AMF increased root cucurbitacin C, the primary defensive chemical of C. sativus, compared to organic AMF. These effects may have important consequences for herbivore preference and population dynamics. AMF from both organic and conventional farms decreased flower production relative to commercial and control treatments, which may reduce pollinator attraction and plant reproduction. AMF from both farm types also reduced seed germination, but effects on plant growth were limited. Our results suggest that studies only considering AMF

  12. Importance of energy balance in agriculture.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meco, R.; Moreno, M. M.; Lacasta, C.; Tarquis, A. M.; Moreno, C.

    2012-04-01

    Since the beginning, man has tried to control nature and the environment, and the use of energy, mainly from non-renewable sources providing the necessary power for that. The consequences of this long fight against nature has reached a critical state of unprecedented worldwide environmental degradation, as evidenced by the increasing erosion of fertile lands, the deforestation processes, the pollution of water, air and land by agrochemicals, the loss of plant and animal species, the progressive deterioration of the ozone layer and signs of global warming. This is exacerbated by the increasing population growth, implying a steady increase in consumption, and consequently, in the use of energy. Unfortunately, all these claims are resulting in serious economic and environmental problems worldwide. Because the economic and environmental future of the countries is interrelated, it becomes necessary to adopt sustainable development models based on the use of renewable and clean energies, the search for alternative resources and the use of productive systems more efficient from an energy standpoint, always with a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. In relation to the agricultural sector, the question we ask is: how long can we keep the current energy-intensive agricultural techniques in developed countries? To analyze this aspect, energy balance is a very helpful tool because can lead to more efficient, sustainable and environment-friendly production systems for each agro-climatic region. This requires the identification of all the inputs and the outputs involved and their conversion to energy values by means of corresponding energy coefficients or equivalents (International Federation of Institutes for Advanced Studies). Energy inputs (EI) can be divided in direct (energy directly used in farms as fuel, machines, fertilizers, seeds, herbicides, human labor, etc.) and indirect (energy not consumed in the farm but in the elaboration, manufacturing or manipulation of

  13. The Importance of Agriculture Science Course Sequencing in High Schools: A View from Collegiate Agriculture Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wheelus, Robin P.

    2009-01-01

    The objective of this study was to investigate the importance of Agriculture Science course sequencing in high schools, as a preparatory factor for students enrolled in collegiate agriculture classes. With the variety of courses listed in the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) for Agriculture Science, it has been possible for counselors,…

  14. Effect of scale on trait predictors of species responses to agriculture.

    PubMed

    Gilroy, James J; Medina Uribe, Claudia A; Haugaasen, Torbjørn; Edwards, David P

    2015-04-01

    Species persistence in human-altered landscapes can depend on factors operating at multiple spatial scales. To understand anthropogenic impacts on biodiversity, it is useful to examine relationships between species traits and their responses to land-use change. A key knowledge gap concerns whether these relationships vary depending on the scale of response under consideration. We examined how local- and large-scale habitat variables influence the occupancy dynamics of a bird community in cloud forest zones in the Colombian Chocó-Andes. Using data collected across a continuum of forest and agriculture, we examined which traits best predict species responses to local variation in farmland and which traits best predict species responses to isolation from contiguous forest. Global range size was a strong predictor of species responses to agriculture at both scales; widespread species were less likely to decline as local habitat cover decreased and as distance from forest increased. Habitat specialization was a strong predictor of species responses only at the local scale. Open-habitat species were particularly likely to increase as pasture increased, but they were relatively insensitive to variation in distance to forest. Foraging plasticity and flocking behavior were strong predictors of species responses to distance from forest, but not their responses to local habitat. Species with lower plasticity in foraging behaviors and obligate flock-following species were more likely to decline as distance from contiguous forest increased. For species exhibiting these latter traits, persistence in tropical landscapes may depend on the protection of larger contiguous blocks of forest, rather than the integration of smaller-scale woodland areas within farmland. Species listed as threatened or near threatened on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List were also more likely to decline in response to both local habitat quality and isolation from forest relative

  15. The importance of agricultural lands for Himalayan birds in winter.

    PubMed

    Elsen, Paul R; Kalyanaraman, Ramnarayan; Ramesh, Krishnamurthy; Wilcove, David S

    2017-04-01

    The impacts of land-use change on biodiversity in the Himalayas are poorly known, notwithstanding widespread deforestation and agricultural intensification in this highly biodiverse region. Although intact primary forests harbor many Himalayan birds during breeding, a large number of bird species use agricultural lands during winter. We assessed how Himalayan bird species richness, abundance, and composition during winter are affected by forest loss stemming from agriculture and grazing. Bird surveys along 12 elevational transects within primary forest, low-intensity agriculture, mixed subsistence agriculture, and intensively grazed pastures in winter revealed that bird species richness and abundance were greatest in low-intensity and mixed agriculture, intermediate in grazed pastures, and lowest in primary forest at both local and landscape scales; over twice as many species and individuals were recorded in low-intensity agriculture than in primary forest. Bird communities in primary forests were distinct from those in all other land-use classes, but only 4 species were unique to primary forests. Low-, medium-, and high-intensity agriculture harbored 32 unique species. Of the species observed in primary forest, 80% had equal or greater abundance in low-intensity agricultural lands, underscoring the value of these lands in retaining diverse community assemblages at high densities in winter. Among disturbed landscapes, bird species richness and abundance declined as land-use intensity increased, especially in high-intensity pastures. Our results suggest that agricultural landscapes are important for most Himalayan bird species in winter. But agricultural intensification-especially increased grazing-will likely result in biodiversity losses. Given that forest reserves alone may inadequately conserve Himalayan birds in winter, comprehensive conservation strategies in the region must go beyond protecting intact primary forests and ensure that low-intensity agricultural

  16. Use of Genomics in Economically Important Traits in Ovine Populations

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The objective of this review is to summarize relevant results from the use of genomics in sheep. Genomics has been used to identify genes associated with production, reproduction, carcass traits, and disease-related traits in sheep. A brief discussion on the concept of genomics is included. Genome-w...

  17. Perceptions of Vocational Agriculture Instructors Regarding Knowledge and Importance of Including Selected Agricultural Mechanics Units in the Vocational Agriculture Program.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Heimgartner, Dale C.; Foster, Richard M.

    1981-01-01

    A survey of teachers in five northwestern states revealed that respondents in all states rated the units of arc welding and oxyacetylene welding as the most important units to be included in secondary vocational agriculture programs. (LRA)

  18. Important behavioral traits for predicting guide dog qualification.

    PubMed

    Arata, Sayaka; Momozawa, Yukihide; Takeuchi, Yukari; Mori, Yuji

    2010-05-01

    Guide dogs for the blind help blind people physically and mentally in their daily lives. Their qualifications are based on health, working performance and temperament; approximately 70% of dogs that fail to qualify are disqualified for behavioral reasons. In order to achieve early prediction of qualification, it would be essential as the first step to identify important temperament traits for guide dogs. Therefore, we administered a questionnaire consisting of 22 temperament items to experienced trainers to assess candidate dogs at the Japan Guide Dog Association after three months of training, which was at least three months prior to the final success (qualified as a guide dog) or failure (disqualified for behavioral reasons) judgment. Factor analyses of question items stably extracted three factors with high internal consistency, Distraction, Sensitivity and Docility. When we compared factor points between successful dogs and failed dogs, the successful dogs showed significantly and consistently lower Distraction points and higher Docility points. Additionally, Distraction points could predict qualification with 80.6% accuracy and detect 28.2% of the failed dogs that had higher Distraction points than any of the successful dogs. Of the nine question items not included in the three factors, two items (;Aggression' and ;Animal interest') were consistently associated with qualification. These results suggest that Distraction is stably assessable and has the strongest impact on success or failure judgment; therefore, it will be the first target to establish a behavioral test that may lead to early prediction of guide dog qualification.

  19. Importance of Animals in Agricultural Sustainability and Food Security.

    PubMed

    Reynolds, Lawrence P; Wulster-Radcliffe, Meghan C; Aaron, Debra K; Davis, Teresa A

    2015-07-01

    A conservative projection shows the world's population growing by 32% (to 9.5 billion) by 2050 and 53% (to 11 billion) by 2100 compared with its current level of 7.2 billion. Because most arable land worldwide is already in use, and water and energy also are limiting, increased production of food will require a substantial increase in efficiency. In this article, we highlight the importance of animals to achieving food security in terms of their valuable contributions to agricultural sustainability, especially in developing countries, and the high nutritional value of animal products in the diet.

  20. Genome Wide Single Locus Single Trait, Multi-Locus and Multi-Trait Association Mapping for Some Important Agronomic Traits in Common Wheat (T. aestivum L.)

    PubMed Central

    Jaiswal, Vandana; Gahlaut, Vijay; Meher, Prabina Kumar; Mir, Reyazul Rouf; Jaiswal, Jai Prakash; Rao, Atmakuri Ramakrishna; Balyan, Harindra Singh; Gupta, Pushpendra Kumar

    2016-01-01

    Genome wide association study (GWAS) was conducted for 14 agronomic traits in wheat following widely used single locus single trait (SLST) approach, and two recent approaches viz. multi locus mixed model (MLMM), and multi-trait mixed model (MTMM). Association panel consisted of 230 diverse Indian bread wheat cultivars (released during 1910–2006 for commercial cultivation in different agro-climatic regions in India). Three years phenotypic data for 14 traits and genotyping data for 250 SSR markers (distributed across all the 21 wheat chromosomes) was utilized for GWAS. Using SLST, as many as 213 MTAs (p ≤ 0.05, 129 SSRs) were identified for 14 traits, however, only 10 MTAs (~9%; 10 out of 123 MTAs) qualified FDR criteria; these MTAs did not show any linkage drag. Interestingly, these genomic regions were coincident with the genomic regions that were already known to harbor QTLs for same or related agronomic traits. Using MLMM and MTMM, many more QTLs and markers were identified; 22 MTAs (19 QTLs, 21 markers) using MLMM, and 58 MTAs (29 QTLs, 40 markers) using MTMM were identified. In addition, 63 epistatic QTLs were also identified for 13 of the 14 traits, flag leaf length (FLL) being the only exception. Clearly, the power of association mapping improved due to MLMM and MTMM analyses. The epistatic interactions detected during the present study also provided better insight into genetic architecture of the 14 traits that were examined during the present study. Following eight wheat genotypes carried desirable alleles of QTLs for one or more traits, WH542, NI345, NI170, Sharbati Sonora, A90, HW1085, HYB11, and DWR39 (Pragati). These genotypes and the markers associated with important QTLs for major traits can be used in wheat improvement programs either using marker-assisted recurrent selection (MARS) or pseudo-backcrossing method. PMID:27441835

  1. Quantitative trait loci affecting oil content, oil composition, and other agronomically important traits in Oat (Avena sativa L.)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Groat oil content and composition are important determinants of oat quality. We investigated these traits in a population of 146 recombinant inbred lines from a cross between 'Dal' (high oil) and 'Exeter' (low oil). A linkage map consisting of 475 DArT markers spanning 1271.8 cM across 40 linkage gr...

  2. Agricultural Land Use Determines the Trait Composition of Ground Beetle Communities.

    PubMed

    Hanson, Helena I; Palmu, Erkki; Birkhofer, Klaus; Smith, Henrik G; Hedlund, Katarina

    2016-01-01

    In order to improve biological control of agricultural pests, it is fundamental to understand which factors influence the composition of natural enemies in agricultural landscapes. In this study, we aimed to understand how agricultural land use affects a number of different traits in ground beetle communities to better predict potential consequences of land-use change for ecosystem functioning. We studied ground beetles in fields with different agricultural land use ranging from frequently managed sugar beet fields, winter wheat fields to less intensively managed grasslands. The ground beetles were collected in emergence tents that catch individuals overwintering locally in different life stages and with pitfall traps that catch individuals that could have a local origin or may have dispersed into the field. Community weighted mean values for ground beetle traits such as body size, flight ability and feeding preference were estimated for each land-use type and sampling method. In fields with high land-use intensity the average body length of emerging ground beetle communities was lower than in the grasslands while the average body length of actively moving communities did not differ between the land-use types. The proportion of ground beetles with good flight ability or a carnivorous diet was higher in the crop fields as compared to the grasslands. Our study highlights that increasing management intensity reduces the average body size of emerging ground beetles and the proportion of mixed feeders. Our results also suggest that the dispersal ability of ground beetles enables them to compensate for local management intensities.

  3. Biodiversity of Aspergillus species in some important agricultural products.

    PubMed

    Perrone, G; Susca, A; Cozzi, G; Ehrlich, K; Varga, J; Frisvad, J C; Meijer, M; Noonim, P; Mahakarnchanakul, W; Samson, R A

    2007-01-01

    The genus Aspergillus is one of the most important filamentous fungal genera. Aspergillus species are used in the fermentation industry, but they are also responsible of various plant and food secondary rot, with the consequence of possible accumulation of mycotoxins. The aflatoxin producing A. flavus and A. parasiticus, and ochratoxinogenic A. niger, A. ochraceus and A. carbonarius species are frequently encountered in agricultural products. Studies on the biodiversity of toxigenic Aspergillus species is useful to clarify molecular, ecological and biochemical characteristics of the different species in relation to their different adaptation to environmental and geographical conditions, and to their potential toxigenicity. Here we analyzed the biodiversity of ochratoxin producing species occurring on two important crops: grapes and coffee, and the genetic diversity of A. flavus populations occurring in agricultural fields. Altogether nine different black Aspergillus species can be found on grapes which are often difficult to identify with classical methods. The polyphasic approach used in our studies led to the identification of three new species occurring on grapes: A. brasiliensis, A. ibericus, and A. uvarum. Similar studies on the Aspergillus species occurring on coffee beans have evidenced in the last five years that A. carbonarius is an important source of ochratoxin A in coffee. Four new species within the black aspergilli were also identified in coffee beans: A. sclerotioniger, A. lacticoffeatus, A. sclerotiicarbonarius, and A. aculeatinus. The genetic diversity within A. flavus populations has been widely studied in relation to their potential aflatoxigenicity and morphological variants L- and S-strains. Within A. flavus and other Aspergillus species capable of aflatoxin production, considerable diversity is found. We summarise the main recent achievements in the diversity of the aflatoxin gene cluster in A. flavus populations, A. parasiticus and the non

  4. Inbreeding depression for economically important traits of Mazandaran native fowls.

    PubMed

    Rahmanian, A; Hafezian, H; Rahimi, G H; Farhadi, A; Baneh, H

    2015-01-01

    1. The objective was to investigate inbreeding depression for some economic traits of Mazandaran native fowls using data collected from 1992 to 2012 (21 generations) using a REML 2. The mean inbreeding coefficient (F) for the whole population and dams was 4.67% and 4.12%, respectively, and most of the inbred birds (75.79%) and inbred dams (72.58%) had F < 12.5%. 3. Individual and dam inbreeding trends were 0.55% and 0.53% per year. 4. Inbreeding depression for body weight at hatch, at 8 weeks and 12 weeks of age, age at sexual maturity, weight at sexual maturity, egg weight at 1st d of laying and average egg weight at 28, 30 and 32 weeks of laying due to a 1% increase in individual inbreeding were -0.11 g, -3.1 g, -1.3 g, 0.15 d, 0.59 g, -0.05 g and -0.03 g, respectively. 5. A 1% increase in maternal inbreeding resulted in a reduction of 0.06, 0.6 and 3.6 g in body weight at hatch, 8 weeks and 12 weeks of age.

  5. Systems Biology for Smart Crops and Agricultural Innovation: Filling the Gaps between Genotype and Phenotype for Complex Traits Linked with Robust Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability

    PubMed Central

    Pathak, Rajesh Kumar; Gupta, Sanjay Mohan; Gaur, Vikram Singh; Pandey, Dinesh

    2015-01-01

    Abstract In recent years, rapid developments in several omics platforms and next generation sequencing technology have generated a huge amount of biological data about plants. Systems biology aims to develop and use well-organized and efficient algorithms, data structure, visualization, and communication tools for the integration of these biological data with the goal of computational modeling and simulation. It studies crop plant systems by systematically perturbing them, checking the gene, protein, and informational pathway responses; integrating these data; and finally, formulating mathematical models that describe the structure of system and its response to individual perturbations. Consequently, systems biology approaches, such as integrative and predictive ones, hold immense potential in understanding of molecular mechanism of agriculturally important complex traits linked to agricultural productivity. This has led to identification of some key genes and proteins involved in networks of pathways involved in input use efficiency, biotic and abiotic stress resistance, photosynthesis efficiency, root, stem and leaf architecture, and nutrient mobilization. The developments in the above fields have made it possible to design smart crops with superior agronomic traits through genetic manipulation of key candidate genes. PMID:26484978

  6. Importance and Capability of Teaching Agricultural Mechanics as Perceived by Secondary Agricultural Educators

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shultz, Matthew J.; Anderson, Ryan G.; Shultz, Alyx M.; Paulsen, Thomas H.

    2014-01-01

    Agricultural mechanics instruction is a long-standing and significant part of secondary agricultural education. Similar to the broader agricultural industry, agricultural mechanics instruction is in a constant state of dynamic change. Educators must be proactive to ensure agricultural mechanics curriculum retains its relevance within this changing…

  7. The Importance of Juvenile Root Traits for Crop Yields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    White, Philip; Adu, Michael; Broadley, Martin; Brown, Lawrie; Dupuy, Lionel; George, Timothy; Graham, Neil; Hammond, John; Hayden, Rory; Neugebauer, Konrad; Nightingale, Mark; Ramsay, Gavin; Thomas, Catherine; Thompson, Jacqueline; Wishart, Jane; Wright, Gladys

    2014-05-01

    Genetic variation in root system architecture (RSA) is an under-exploited breeding resource. This is partly a consequence of difficulties in the rapid and accurate assessment of subterranean root systems. However, although the characterisation of root systems of large plants in the field are both time-consuming and labour-intensive, high-throughput (HTP) screens of root systems of juvenile plants can be performed in the field, glasshouse or laboratory. It is hypothesised that improving the root systems of juvenile plants can accelerate access to water and essential mineral elements, leading to rapid crop establishment and, consequently, greater yields. This presentation will illustrate how aspects of the juvenile root systems of potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) and oilseed rape (OSR; Brassica napus L.) correlate with crop yields and examine the reasons for such correlations. It will first describe the significant positive relationships between early root system development, phosphorus acquisition, canopy establishment and eventual yield among potato genotypes. It will report the development of a glasshouse assay for root system architecture (RSA) of juvenile potato plants, the correlations between root system architectures measured in the glasshouse and field, and the relationships between aspects of the juvenile root system and crop yields under drought conditions. It will then describe the development of HTP systems for assaying RSA of OSR seedlings, the identification of genetic loci affecting RSA in OSR, the development of mathematical models describing resource acquisition by OSR, and the correlations between root traits recorded in the HTP systems and yields of OSR in the field.

  8. 7 CFR 319.8-20 - Importations by the Department of Agriculture.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 5 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Importations by the Department of Agriculture. 319.8-20 Section 319.8-20 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) ANIMAL AND PLANT HEALTH INSPECTION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE FOREIGN QUARANTINE NOTICES Foreign Cotton...

  9. 7 CFR 319.8-20 - Importations by the Department of Agriculture.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 5 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Importations by the Department of Agriculture. 319.8-20 Section 319.8-20 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) ANIMAL AND PLANT HEALTH INSPECTION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE FOREIGN QUARANTINE NOTICES Foreign Cotton...

  10. 7 CFR 319.8-20 - Importations by the Department of Agriculture.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 5 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Importations by the Department of Agriculture. 319.8-20 Section 319.8-20 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) ANIMAL AND PLANT HEALTH INSPECTION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE FOREIGN QUARANTINE NOTICES Foreign Cotton...

  11. 7 CFR 319.8-20 - Importations by the Department of Agriculture.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 5 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Importations by the Department of Agriculture. 319.8-20 Section 319.8-20 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) ANIMAL AND PLANT HEALTH INSPECTION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE FOREIGN QUARANTINE NOTICES Foreign Cotton...

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. The relative importance of genetic and nongenetic inheritance in relation to trait plasticity in Callosobruchus maculatus.

    PubMed

    Hallsson, L R; Chenoweth, S F; Bonduriansky, R

    2012-12-01

    A trait's response to natural selection will reflect the nature of the inheritance mechanisms that mediate the transmission of variation across generations. The relative importance of genetic and nongenetic mechanisms of inheritance is predicted to be related to the degree of trait plasticity, with nongenetic inheritance playing a greater role in the cross-generational transmission of more plastic traits. However, this prediction has never been tested. We investigated the influence of genetic effects and nongenetic parental effects in two morphological traits differing in degree of plasticity by manipulating larval diet quality within a cross-generational split-brood experiment using the seed beetle Callososbuchus maculatus. In line with predictions, we found that the more plastic trait (elytron length) is strongly influenced by both maternal and paternal effects whereas genetic variance is undetectable. In contrast, the less plastic trait (first abdominal sternite length) is not influenced by parental effects but exhibits abundant genetic variance. Our findings support the hypothesis that environment-dependent parental effects may play a particularly important role in highly plastic traits and thereby affect the evolutionary response of such traits.

  16. Identification of variation in adaptively important traits and genome-wide analysis of trait-marker associations in Triticum monococcum.

    PubMed

    Jing, Hai-Chun; Kornyukhin, Dmitry; Kanyuka, Kostya; Orford, Simon; Zlatska, Anastasiya; Mitrofanova, Olga P; Koebner, Robert; Hammond-Kosack, Kim

    2007-01-01

    Einkorn wheat Triticum monococcum (2n=2x=14, A(m)A(m)) is one of the earliest domesticated crops. However, it was abandoned for cultivation before the Bronze Age and has infrequently been used in wheat breeding. Little is known about the genetic variation in adaptively important biological traits in T. monococcum. A collection of 30 accessions of diverse geographic origins were characterized for phenotypic variation in various agro-morphological traits including grain storage proteins and endosperm texture, nucleotide-binding site (NBS) domain profiles of resistance (R) genes and resistance gene analogues (RGAs), and germination under salt and drought stresses. Forty-six SSR (single sequence repeat) markers from bread wheat (T. aestivum, 2n=6x=42, AABBDD) A genome were used to establish trait-marker associations using linear mixed models. Multiple significant associations were identified, some of which were on chromosomal regions containing previously known genetic loci. It is concluded that T. monococcum possesses large genetic diversity in multiple traits. The findings also indicate that the efficiency of association mapping is much higher in T. monococcum than in other plant species. The use of T. monococcum as a reference species for wheat functional genomics is discussed.

  17. Agricultural Land Use Determines the Trait Composition of Ground Beetle Communities

    PubMed Central

    Birkhofer, Klaus; Smith, Henrik G.; Hedlund, Katarina

    2016-01-01

    In order to improve biological control of agricultural pests, it is fundamental to understand which factors influence the composition of natural enemies in agricultural landscapes. In this study, we aimed to understand how agricultural land use affects a number of different traits in ground beetle communities to better predict potential consequences of land-use change for ecosystem functioning. We studied ground beetles in fields with different agricultural land use ranging from frequently managed sugar beet fields, winter wheat fields to less intensively managed grasslands. The ground beetles were collected in emergence tents that catch individuals overwintering locally in different life stages and with pitfall traps that catch individuals that could have a local origin or may have dispersed into the field. Community weighted mean values for ground beetle traits such as body size, flight ability and feeding preference were estimated for each land-use type and sampling method. In fields with high land-use intensity the average body length of emerging ground beetle communities was lower than in the grasslands while the average body length of actively moving communities did not differ between the land-use types. The proportion of ground beetles with good flight ability or a carnivorous diet was higher in the crop fields as compared to the grasslands. Our study highlights that increasing management intensity reduces the average body size of emerging ground beetles and the proportion of mixed feeders. Our results also suggest that the dispersal ability of ground beetles enables them to compensate for local management intensities. PMID:26730734

  18. Relationships Among Ecologically Important Dimensions of Plant Trait Variation in Seven Neotropical Forests

    PubMed Central

    Wright, Ian J.; Ackerly, David D.; Bongers, Frans; Harms, Kyle E.; Ibarra-Manriquez, Guillermo; Martinez-Ramos, Miguel; Mazer, Susan J.; Muller-Landau, Helene C.; Paz, Horacio; Pitman, Nigel C. A.; Poorter, Lourens; Silman, Miles R.; Vriesendorp, Corine F.; Webb, Cam O.; Westoby, Mark; Wright, S. Joseph

    2007-01-01

    Background and Aims When ecologically important plant traits are correlated they may be said to constitute an ecological ‘strategy’ dimension. Through identifying these dimensions and understanding their inter-relationships we gain insight into why particular trait combinations are favoured over others and into the implications of trait differences among species. Here we investigated relationships among several traits, and thus the strategy dimensions they represented, across 2134 woody species from seven Neotropical forests. Methods Six traits were studied: specific leaf area (SLA), the average size of leaves, seed and fruit, typical maximum plant height, and wood density (WD). Trait relationships were quantified across species at each individual forest as well as across the dataset as a whole. ‘Phylogenetic’ analyses were used to test for correlations among evolutionary trait-divergences and to ascertain whether interspecific relationships were biased by strong taxonomic patterning in the traits. Key Results The interspecific and phylogenetic analyses yielded congruent results. Seed and fruit size were expected, and confirmed, to be tightly related. As expected, plant height was correlated with each of seed and fruit size, albeit weakly. Weak support was found for an expected positive relationship between leaf and fruit size. The prediction that SLA and WD would be negatively correlated was not supported. Otherwise the traits were predicted to be largely unrelated, being representatives of putatively independent strategy dimensions. This was indeed the case, although WD was consistently, negatively related to leaf size. Conclusions The dimensions represented by SLA, seed/fruit size and leaf size were essentially independent and thus conveyed largely independent information about plant strategies. To a lesser extent the same was true for plant height and WD. Our tentative explanation for negative WD–leaf size relationships, now also known from other

  19. The importance of retaining a phylogenetic perspective in traits-based community analyses

    DOE PAGES

    Poteat, Monica D.; Buchwalter, David B.; Jacobus, Luke M.

    2015-04-08

    1) Many environmental stressors manifest their effects via physiological processes (traits) that can differ significantly among species and species groups. We compiled available data for three traits related to the bioconcentration of the toxic metal cadmium (Cd) from 42 aquatic insect species representing orders Ephemeroptera (mayfly), Plecoptera (stonefly), and Trichoptera (caddisfly). These traits included the propensity to take up Cd from water (uptake rate constant, ku), the ability to excrete Cd (efflux rate constant, ke), and the net result of these two processes (bioconcentration factor, BCF). 2) Ranges in these Cd bioaccumulation traits varied in magnitude across lineages (some lineagesmore » had a greater tendency to bioaccumulate Cd than others). Overlap in the ranges of trait values among different lineages was common and highlights situations where species from different lineages can share a similar trait state, but represent the high end of possible physiological values for one lineage and the low end for another. 3) Variance around the mean trait state differed widely across clades, suggesting that some groups (e.g., Ephemerellidae) are inherently more variable than others (e.g., Perlidae). Thus, trait variability/lability is at least partially a function of lineage. 4) Akaike information criterion (AIC) comparisons of statistical models were more often driven by clade than by other potential biological or ecological explanation tested. Clade-driven models generally improved with increasing taxonomic resolution. 5) Altogether, these findings suggest that lineage provides context for the analysis of species traits, and that failure to consider lineage in community-based analysis of traits may obscure important patterns of species responses to environmental change.« less

  20. The importance of retaining a phylogenetic perspective in traits-based community analyses

    SciTech Connect

    Poteat, Monica D.; Buchwalter, David B.; Jacobus, Luke M.

    2015-04-08

    1) Many environmental stressors manifest their effects via physiological processes (traits) that can differ significantly among species and species groups. We compiled available data for three traits related to the bioconcentration of the toxic metal cadmium (Cd) from 42 aquatic insect species representing orders Ephemeroptera (mayfly), Plecoptera (stonefly), and Trichoptera (caddisfly). These traits included the propensity to take up Cd from water (uptake rate constant, ku), the ability to excrete Cd (efflux rate constant, ke), and the net result of these two processes (bioconcentration factor, BCF). 2) Ranges in these Cd bioaccumulation traits varied in magnitude across lineages (some lineages had a greater tendency to bioaccumulate Cd than others). Overlap in the ranges of trait values among different lineages was common and highlights situations where species from different lineages can share a similar trait state, but represent the high end of possible physiological values for one lineage and the low end for another. 3) Variance around the mean trait state differed widely across clades, suggesting that some groups (e.g., Ephemerellidae) are inherently more variable than others (e.g., Perlidae). Thus, trait variability/lability is at least partially a function of lineage. 4) Akaike information criterion (AIC) comparisons of statistical models were more often driven by clade than by other potential biological or ecological explanation tested. Clade-driven models generally improved with increasing taxonomic resolution. 5) Altogether, these findings suggest that lineage provides context for the analysis of species traits, and that failure to consider lineage in community-based analysis of traits may obscure important patterns of species responses to environmental change.

  1. Evaluating Functional Diversity: Missing Trait Data and the Importance of Species Abundance Structure and Data Transformation

    PubMed Central

    Bryndová, Michala; Kasari, Liis; Norberg, Anna; Weiss, Matthias; Bishop, Tom R.; Luke, Sarah H.; Sam, Katerina; Le Bagousse-Pinguet, Yoann; Lepš, Jan; Götzenberger, Lars; de Bello, Francesco

    2016-01-01

    Functional diversity (FD) is an important component of biodiversity that quantifies the difference in functional traits between organisms. However, FD studies are often limited by the availability of trait data and FD indices are sensitive to data gaps. The distribution of species abundance and trait data, and its transformation, may further affect the accuracy of indices when data is incomplete. Using an existing approach, we simulated the effects of missing trait data by gradually removing data from a plant, an ant and a bird community dataset (12, 59, and 8 plots containing 62, 297 and 238 species respectively). We ranked plots by FD values calculated from full datasets and then from our increasingly incomplete datasets and compared the ranking between the original and virtually reduced datasets to assess the accuracy of FD indices when used on datasets with increasingly missing data. Finally, we tested the accuracy of FD indices with and without data transformation, and the effect of missing trait data per plot or per the whole pool of species. FD indices became less accurate as the amount of missing data increased, with the loss of accuracy depending on the index. But, where transformation improved the normality of the trait data, FD values from incomplete datasets were more accurate than before transformation. The distribution of data and its transformation are therefore as important as data completeness and can even mitigate the effect of missing data. Since the effect of missing trait values pool-wise or plot-wise depends on the data distribution, the method should be decided case by case. Data distribution and data transformation should be given more careful consideration when designing, analysing and interpreting FD studies, especially where trait data are missing. To this end, we provide the R package “traitor” to facilitate assessments of missing trait data. PMID:26881747

  2. Evaluating Functional Diversity: Missing Trait Data and the Importance of Species Abundance Structure and Data Transformation.

    PubMed

    Májeková, Maria; Paal, Taavi; Plowman, Nichola S; Bryndová, Michala; Kasari, Liis; Norberg, Anna; Weiss, Matthias; Bishop, Tom R; Luke, Sarah H; Sam, Katerina; Le Bagousse-Pinguet, Yoann; Lepš, Jan; Götzenberger, Lars; de Bello, Francesco

    2016-01-01

    Functional diversity (FD) is an important component of biodiversity that quantifies the difference in functional traits between organisms. However, FD studies are often limited by the availability of trait data and FD indices are sensitive to data gaps. The distribution of species abundance and trait data, and its transformation, may further affect the accuracy of indices when data is incomplete. Using an existing approach, we simulated the effects of missing trait data by gradually removing data from a plant, an ant and a bird community dataset (12, 59, and 8 plots containing 62, 297 and 238 species respectively). We ranked plots by FD values calculated from full datasets and then from our increasingly incomplete datasets and compared the ranking between the original and virtually reduced datasets to assess the accuracy of FD indices when used on datasets with increasingly missing data. Finally, we tested the accuracy of FD indices with and without data transformation, and the effect of missing trait data per plot or per the whole pool of species. FD indices became less accurate as the amount of missing data increased, with the loss of accuracy depending on the index. But, where transformation improved the normality of the trait data, FD values from incomplete datasets were more accurate than before transformation. The distribution of data and its transformation are therefore as important as data completeness and can even mitigate the effect of missing data. Since the effect of missing trait values pool-wise or plot-wise depends on the data distribution, the method should be decided case by case. Data distribution and data transformation should be given more careful consideration when designing, analysing and interpreting FD studies, especially where trait data are missing. To this end, we provide the R package "traitor" to facilitate assessments of missing trait data.

  3. Identification of quantitative trait loci across recombinant inbred lines and testcross populations for traits of agronomic importance in rice.

    PubMed

    You, Aiqing; Lu, Xinggui; Jin, Huajun; Ren, Xiang; Liu, Kai; Yang, Guocai; Yang, Haiyuan; Zhu, Lili; He, Guangcun

    2006-02-01

    This study was conducted to determine whether quantitative trait loci (QTL) controlling traits of agronomic importance detected in recombinant inbred lines (RILs) are also expressed in testcross (TC) hybrids of rice. A genetic map was constructed using an RIL population derived from a cross between B5 and Minghui 63, a parent of the most widely grown hybrid rice cultivar in China. Four TC hybrid populations were produced by crossing the RILs with three maintaining lines for the widely used cytoplasmic male-sterile (CMS) lines and the genic male-sterile line Peiai64s. The mean values of the RILs for the seven traits investigated were significantly correlated to those of the F1 hybrids in the four TC populations. Twenty-seven main-effect QTL were identified in the RILs. Of these, the QTL that had the strongest effect on each of the seven traits in the RILs was detected in two or more of the TC populations, and six other QTL were detected in one TC population. Epistatic analysis revealed that the effect of epistatic QTL was relatively weak and cross combination specific. Searching publicly available QTL data in rice revealed the positional convergence of the QTL with the strongest effect in a wide range of populations and under different environments. Since the main-effect QTL is expressed across different testers, and in different genetic backgrounds and environments, it is a valuable target for gene manipulation and for further application in rice breeding. When a restorer line that expresses main-effect QTL is bred, it could be used in a number of cross combinations.

  4. Genetic control of agronomically important traits of pepper fruits analyzed by Hayman's partial diallel cross scheme.

    PubMed

    Schuelter, A R; Pereira, G M; Amaral, A T; Casali, V W D; Scapim, C A; Barros, W S; Finger, F L

    2010-01-01

    Pepper species of the genus Capsicum have been cultivated over centuries, producing both pungent and sweet fruit; the pungency is caused by alkaloids called capsaicinoids. Among the five cultivated species, Capsicum chinense is one of the most popular, being native to the Amazon basin. This species is characterized by a wide variety of fruit sizes, shapes and colors, with different capsaicinoid content. In addition, fruits are rich in vitamins A and C. Despite the importance of this plant as a spice and its medicinal uses, research on its genetic variability and potential for breeding programs is still incipient. We investigated the genetic control of some traits through diallel analysis with the objective of introgressing these traits into cultivated varieties. For the diallel analysis, the progeny of crosses between peppers with pungent and sweet fruits, together with the parents, were grown in pots under greenhouse conditions. The fruits were harvested and analyzed for the traits total fresh fruit mass, total dry fruit mass, percentage dry matter, total soluble solids, vitamin C content, fruit pungency, and number of seeds per fruit. Genetic variability was detected for all traits. In the diallel analysis, the additive-dominant model was considered to be adequate for total fresh fruit mass, percentage dry matter, total soluble solids, and vitamin C content. Additive genetic effects and dominance were found for all traits; consequently, breeding for improvement of these fruit traits would be viable.

  5. Few crop traits accurately predict variables important to productivity of processing sweet corn

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Recovery, case production, and gross profit margin, hereafter called ‘processor variables’, are as important metrics to processing sweet corn as grain yield is to field corn production. However, crop traits such as ear number or ear mass alone are reported in sweet corn production research rather t...

  6. Extending the Trait-State-Occasion Model: How Important Is Within-Wave Measurement Equivalence?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ciesla, Jeffrey A.; Cole, David A.; Steiger, James H.

    2007-01-01

    Trait-State-Occasion (TSO) covariance models represent an important advance in methods for studying the longitudinal stability of latent constructs. Such models have only been examined under fairly restricted conditions (e.g., having only 2 tau-equivalent indicators per wave). In this study, Monte Carlo simulations revealed the effects of having 2…

  7. Importance of behavior and morphological traits for controlling body temperature in littorinid snails.

    PubMed

    Miller, Luke P; Denny, Mark W

    2011-06-01

    For organisms living in the intertidal zone, temperature is an important selective agent that can shape species distributions and drive phenotypic variation among populations. Littorinid snails, which occupy the upper limits of rocky shores and estuaries worldwide, often experience extreme high temperatures and prolonged aerial emersion during low tides, yet their robust physiology--coupled with morphological and behavioral traits--permits these gastropods to persist and exert strong grazing control over algal communities. We use a mechanistic heat-budget model to compare the effects of behavioral and morphological traits on the body temperatures of five species of littorinid snails under natural weather conditions. Model predictions and field experiments indicate that, for all five species, the relative contribution of shell color or sculpturing to temperature regulation is small, on the order of 0.2-2 °C, while behavioral choices such as removing the foot from the substratum or reorienting the shell can lower body temperatures by 2-4 °C on average. Temperatures in central California rarely exceeded the thermal tolerance limits of the local littorinid species during the study period, but at sites where snails are regularly exposed to extreme high temperatures, the functional significance of the tested traits may be important. The mechanistic approach used here provides the ability to gauge the importance of behavioral and morphological traits for controlling body temperature as species approach their physiological thresholds.

  8. Importance of Including Values Instruction As a Part of Vocational Agriculture Programs of Study.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Birkenholz, Robert J.; Kahler, Alan A.

    1982-01-01

    Vocational agriculture program participants were interviewed to determine the importance of including instruction in values development for students. Data analysis revealed that enhancing values is an important part of vocational agriculture programs. Students generally rated the importance of each value category lower than teachers,…

  9. Male-female genotype interactions maintain variation in traits important for sexual interactions and reproductive isolation.

    PubMed

    Castillo, Dean M; Delph, Lynda F

    2016-07-01

    Prezygotic reproductive isolation can evolve quickly when sexual selection drives divergence in traits important for sexual interactions between populations. It has been hypothesized that standing variation for male/female traits and preferences facilitates this rapid evolution and that variation in these traits is maintained by male-female genotype interactions in which specific female genotypes prefer specific male traits. This hypothesis can also explain patterns of speciation when ecological divergence is lacking, but this remains untested because it requires information about sexual interactions in ancestral lineages. Using a set of ancestral genotypes that previously had been identified as evolving reproductive isolation, we specifically asked whether there is segregating variation in female preference and whether segregating variation in sexual interactions is a product of male-female genotype interactions. Our results provide evidence for segregating variation in female preference and further that male-female genotype interactions are important for maintaining variation that selection can act on and that can lead to reproductive isolation.

  10. Biodiversity of Aspergillus Species in Some Important Agricultural Products

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The genus Aspergillus is one of the most important filamentous fungal genera. Aspergillus species are used in the fermentation industry, but they are also responsible of various plant and food secondary rot, with the consequence of possible accumulation of mycotoxins. The aflatoxin-producing A. fl...

  11. Investigating the beneficial traits of Trichoderma hamatum GD12 for sustainable agriculture-insights from genomics.

    PubMed

    Studholme, David J; Harris, Beverley; Le Cocq, Kate; Winsbury, Rebecca; Perera, Venura; Ryder, Lauren; Ward, Jane L; Beale, Michael H; Thornton, Chris R; Grant, Murray

    2013-01-01

    Trichoderma hamatum strain GD12 is unique in that it can promote plant growth, activate biocontrol against pre- and post-emergence soil pathogens and can induce systemic resistance to foliar pathogens. This study extends previous work in lettuce to demonstrate that GD12 can confer beneficial agronomic traits to other plants, providing examples of plant growth promotion in the model dicot, Arabidopsis thaliana and induced foliar resistance to Magnaporthe oryzae in the model monocot rice. We further characterize the lettuce-T. hamatum interaction to show that bran extracts from GD12 and an N-acetyl-β-D-glucosamindase-deficient mutant differentially promote growth in a concentration dependent manner, and these differences correlate with differences in the small molecule secretome. We show that GD12 mycoparasitises a range of isolates of the pre-emergence soil pathogen Sclerotinia sclerotiorum and that this interaction induces a further increase in plant growth promotion above that conferred by GD12. To understand the genetic potential encoded by T. hamatum GD12 and to facilitate its use as a model beneficial organism to study plant growth promotion, induced systemic resistance and mycoparasitism we present de novo genome sequence data. We compare GD12 with other published Trichoderma genomes and show that T. hamatum GD12 contains unique genomic regions with the potential to encode novel bioactive metabolites that may contribute to GD12's agrochemically important traits.

  12. The Relative Importance of Psychopathy-Related Traits in Predicting Impersonal Sex and Hostile Masculinity.

    PubMed

    LeBreton, James M; Baysinger, Michael; Abbey, Antonia; Jacques-Tiura, Angela J

    2013-10-01

    This paper reports the relative contributions of several facets of subclinical psychopathy (i.e., callous affect, erratic lifestyle, interpersonal manipulation), subclinical narcissism (i.e., entitlement, exploitation), and trait aggression (i.e., anger) to the prediction of four enduring attitudes towards women and sexual assault (i.e., hostility towards women, negative attitudes regarding women, sexual dominance, impersonal sex) and a behavioral indicator of an impersonal sexual behavior (i.e., number of one-night stands). Survey data were collected from 470 single men living in the Detroit Metropolitan area. The importance of personality traits varied as a function of the outcome with anger most predictive of hostility toward women; erratic lifestyle most predictive of impersonal sexual attitudes and behavior, and entitlement most predictive of sexual dominance and negative attitudes toward women. These outcome-specific findings are interpreted and directions for future research are discussed.

  13. Importance of Including Language Arts Instruction as Part of the Vocational Agriculture Program of Study.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Foster, Richard M.; Kahler, Alan A.

    1979-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine the importance of including language arts instruction as part of the vocational agriculture program. Perceptions of students, parents, teachers, principals, and counselors were examined to identify specific skills to be integrated into vocational agriculture instruction. (SK)

  14. Genetic Linkage Mapping of Economically Important Traits in Cultivated Tetraploid Potato (Solanum tuberosum L.).

    PubMed

    Massa, Alicia N; Manrique-Carpintero, Norma C; Coombs, Joseph J; Zarka, Daniel G; Boone, Anne E; Kirk, William W; Hackett, Christine A; Bryan, Glenn J; Douches, David S

    2015-09-14

    The objective of this study was to construct a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)-based genetic map at the cultivated tetraploid level to locate quantitative trait loci (QTL) contributing to economically important traits in potato (Solanum tuberosum L.). The 156 F1 progeny and parents of a cross (MSL603) between "Jacqueline Lee" and "MSG227-2" were genotyped using the Infinium 8303 Potato Array. Furthermore, the progeny and parents were evaluated for foliar late blight reaction to isolates of the US-8 genotype of Phytophthora infestans (Mont.) de Bary and vine maturity. Linkage analyses and QTL mapping were performed using a novel approach that incorporates allele dosage information. The resulting genetic maps contained 1972 SNP markers with an average density of 1.36 marker per cM. QTL mapping identified the major source of late blight resistance in "Jacqueline Lee." The best SNP marker mapped ~0.54 Mb from a resistance hotspot on the long arm of chromosome 9. For vine maturity, the major-effect QTL was located on chromosome 5 with allelic effects from both parents. A candidate SNP marker for this trait mapped ~0.25 Mb from the StCDF1 gene, which is a candidate gene for the maturity trait. The identification of markers for P. infestans resistance will enable the introgression of multiple sources of resistance through marker-assisted selection. Moreover, the discovery of a QTL for late blight resistance not linked to the QTL for vine maturity provides the opportunity to use marker-assisted selection for resistance independent of the selection for vine maturity classifications.

  15. Genetic and genomic analyses for economically important traits and their applications in molecular breeding of cultured fish.

    PubMed

    Tong, JinGou; Sun, XiaoWen

    2015-02-01

    The traits of cultured fish must continually be genetically improved to supply high-quality animal protein for human consumption. Economically important fish traits are controlled by multiple gene quantitative trait loci (QTL), most of which have minor effects, but a few genes may have major effects useful for molecular breeding. In this review, we chose relevant studies on some of the most intensively cultured fish and concisely summarize progress on identifying and verifying QTLs for such traits as growth, disease and stress resistance and sex in recent decades. The potential applications of these major-effect genes and their associated markers in marker-assisted selection and molecular breeding, as well as future research directions are also discussed. These genetic and genomic analyses will be valuable for elucidating the mechanisms modulating economically important traits and to establish more effective molecular breeding techniques in fish.

  16. Selected historic agricultural data important to environmental quality in the United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grey, Katia M.; Capel, Paul D.; Baker, Nancy T.; Thelin, Gail P.

    2012-01-01

    This report and the accompanying tables summarize some of the important changes in American agriculture in the form of a timeline and a compilation of selected annual time-series data that can be broadly related to environmental quality. Although these changes have been beneficial for increasing agricultural production, some of them have resulted in environmental concerns. The agriculture timeline is divided into four categories (1) crop and animal changes, (2) mechanical changes, (3) biological and chemical changes, and (4) regulatory and societal changes. The timeline attempts to compile events that have had a lasting impact on agriculture in the United States. The events and data presented in this report may help to improve the connections between agricultural activist and environmental concerns.

  17. Teaching Transformational Leadership to Undergraduate Agricultural Leadership Students: Using the Personality Trait of Agreeableness to Improve Understanding

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lamm, Kevan W.; Carter, Hannah S.; Stedman, Nicole L. P.; Lamm, Alexa J.

    2014-01-01

    Training undergraduate agricultural students to be strong, positive leaders will have a large impact on the industries they work within and therefore should be of utmost importance to agricultural educators. Transformational leaders (TL) tend to have higher performing, more satisfied teams; consequently, development of TL characteristics should…

  18. Habitat effects on the relative importance of trait- and density-mediated indirect interactions.

    PubMed

    Trussell, Geoffrey C; Ewanchuk, Patrick J; Matassa, Catherine M

    2006-11-01

    Classical views of trophic cascades emphasize the primacy of consumptive predator effects on prey populations to the transmission of indirect effects [density-mediated indirect interactions (DMIIs)]. However, trophic cascades can also emerge without changes in the density of interacting species because of non-consumptive predator effects on prey traits such as foraging behaviour [trait-mediated indirect interactions (TMIIs)]. Although ecologists appreciate this point, measurements of the relative importance of each indirect predator effect are rare. Experiments with a three-level, rocky shore food chain containing an invasive predatory crab (Carcinus maenas), an intermediate consumer (the snail, Nucella lapillus) and a basal resource (the barnacle, Semibalanus balanoides) revealed that the strength of TMIIs is comparable with, or exceeds, that of DMIIs. Moreover, the sign and strength of each indirect predator effect depends on whether it is measured in risky or refuge habitats. Because habitat shifts are often responsible for the emergence of TMIIs, attention to the sign and strength of these interactions in both habitats will improve our understanding of the link between individual behaviour and community dynamics.

  19. The Power of Personality: The Comparative Validity of Personality Traits, Socioeconomic Status, and Cognitive Ability for Predicting Important Life Outcomes.

    PubMed

    Roberts, Brent W; Kuncel, Nathan R; Shiner, Rebecca; Caspi, Avshalom; Goldberg, Lewis R

    2007-12-01

    The ability of personality traits to predict important life outcomes has traditionally been questioned because of the putative small effects of personality. In this article, we compare the predictive validity of personality traits with that of socioeconomic status (SES) and cognitive ability to test the relative contribution of personality traits to predictions of three critical outcomes: mortality, divorce, and occupational attainment. Only evidence from prospective longitudinal studies was considered. In addition, an attempt was made to limit the review to studies that controlled for important background factors. Results showed that the magnitude of the effects of personality traits on mortality, divorce, and occupational attainment was indistinguishable from the effects of SES and cognitive ability on these outcomes. These results demonstrate the influence of personality traits on important life outcomes, highlight the need to more routinely incorporate measures of personality into quality of life surveys, and encourage further research about the developmental origins of personality traits and the processes by which these traits influence diverse life outcomes.

  20. Are Photosynthetic Characteristics and Energetic Cost Important Invasive Traits for Alien Sonneratia Species in South China?

    PubMed Central

    Li, Feng-Lan; Zan, Qi-Jie; Hu, Zheng-Yu; Shin, Paul-K. S.; Cheung, Siu-Gin; Wong, Yuk-Shan; Tam, Nora Fung-Yee; Lei, An-Ping

    2016-01-01

    A higher photosynthesis and lower energetic cost are recognized as important characteristics for invasive species, but whether these traits are also important for the ability of alien mangrove species to become invasive has seldom been reported. A microcosm study was conducted to compare the photosynthetic characteristics, energetic cost indices and other growth traits between two alien species (Sonneratia apetala and S. caseolaris) and four native mangrove species over four seasons in a subtropical mangrove nature reserve in Shenzhen, South China. The aim of the study was to evaluate the invasive potential of Sonneratia based on these physiological responses. The annual average net photosynthetic rate (Pn), stomatal conductance (Gs) and total carbon assimilation per unit leaf area (Atotal) of the two alien Sonneratia species were significantly higher than the values of the native mangroves. In contrast, the opposite results were obtained for the leaf construction cost (CC) per unit dry mass (CCM) and CC per unit area (CCA) values. The higher Atotal and lower CC values resulted in a 72% higher photosynthetic energy-use efficiency (PEUE) for Sonneratia compared to native mangroves, leading to a higher relative growth rate (RGR) of the biomass and height of Sonneratia with the respective values being 51% and 119% higher than those of the native species. Higher photosynthetic indices for Sonneratia compared to native species were found in all seasons except winter, whereas lower CC values were found in all four seasons. The present findings reveal that alien Sonneratia species may adapt well and become invasive in subtropical mangrove wetlands in Shenzhen due to their higher photosynthetic characteristics coupled with lower costs in energy use, leading to a higher PEUE. The comparison of these physiological responses between S. apetala and S. caseolaris reveal that the former species is more invasive than the latter one, thus requiring more attention in future. PMID

  1. Are Photosynthetic Characteristics and Energetic Cost Important Invasive Traits for Alien Sonneratia Species in South China?

    PubMed

    Li, Feng-Lan; Zan, Qi-Jie; Hu, Zheng-Yu; Shin, Paul-K S; Cheung, Siu-Gin; Wong, Yuk-Shan; Tam, Nora Fung-Yee; Lei, An-Ping

    2016-01-01

    A higher photosynthesis and lower energetic cost are recognized as important characteristics for invasive species, but whether these traits are also important for the ability of alien mangrove species to become invasive has seldom been reported. A microcosm study was conducted to compare the photosynthetic characteristics, energetic cost indices and other growth traits between two alien species (Sonneratia apetala and S. caseolaris) and four native mangrove species over four seasons in a subtropical mangrove nature reserve in Shenzhen, South China. The aim of the study was to evaluate the invasive potential of Sonneratia based on these physiological responses. The annual average net photosynthetic rate (Pn), stomatal conductance (Gs) and total carbon assimilation per unit leaf area (Atotal) of the two alien Sonneratia species were significantly higher than the values of the native mangroves. In contrast, the opposite results were obtained for the leaf construction cost (CC) per unit dry mass (CCM) and CC per unit area (CCA) values. The higher Atotal and lower CC values resulted in a 72% higher photosynthetic energy-use efficiency (PEUE) for Sonneratia compared to native mangroves, leading to a higher relative growth rate (RGR) of the biomass and height of Sonneratia with the respective values being 51% and 119% higher than those of the native species. Higher photosynthetic indices for Sonneratia compared to native species were found in all seasons except winter, whereas lower CC values were found in all four seasons. The present findings reveal that alien Sonneratia species may adapt well and become invasive in subtropical mangrove wetlands in Shenzhen due to their higher photosynthetic characteristics coupled with lower costs in energy use, leading to a higher PEUE. The comparison of these physiological responses between S. apetala and S. caseolaris reveal that the former species is more invasive than the latter one, thus requiring more attention in future.

  2. The importance of comprehensive agricultural education in land-grant institutions: a historical perspective.

    PubMed

    Grant, P M; Field, T G; Green, R D; Rollin, B E

    2000-06-01

    Any thorough examination of the present and future of agricultural education must certainly begin with a look into its past. Since the creation of the United States, many leading American philosophers have viewed a strong agrarian culture as the bedrock of American vigor. These same philosophers repeatedly noted the significance of comprehensive agricultural education to a nation rich in agricultural wealth. The signing of the Agricultural Colleges Act legitimized the concept of formal education in the agricultural sciences and provided funding for such education. The Act, which came to be known as the Morrill Act, after one of its primary authors, stressed the importance of comprehensive education. In fact, the inclusion of liberal studies was specifically mentioned in the Morrill Act and was defended repeatedly by Morrill himself. Comprehensive education prevented graduating technically trained students who were lacking in the basic outcomes of education--critical, comprehensive problem solving, cohesive thought, and effective communication. However, throughout history, the demands of a growing population coupled with rapid advancements in scientific knowledge led to a gradual move away from comprehensive education in agricultural sciences toward increasing specialization, resulting in more narrowly trained students. Today's agricultural students are technically well versed but often lack the skill and knowledge required for cohesive thought and critical problem solving. Addressing the multitude of challenges facing leaders in the future of agriculture requires much more than technical skill. These challenges require quick, yet careful thinkers and communicators who can respond to changing market structure and consumer demand in a dynamic way. Students who are a product of a conscious move toward amalgamation of burgeoning scientific knowledge and technical prowess with an integrative education emphasizing relationships between disciplines would better serve

  3. Evaluating the Importance of Plant Functional Traits: the Subalpine and Alpine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sanchez, A.; Smith, W. K.

    2011-12-01

    Over the past several decades, researchers have attempted to characterize plant groups according to traits that are considered functional, i.e. contributing significantly to fitness. Due to the complexity of measuring fitness, the capability for photosynthetic carbon gain is often used as a proxy. Thus, this approach correlates structural differences to photosynthetic performance, especially those differences that are known to be associated with photosynthesis, are easily measured and inexpensive. At the often sharp boundary between the subalpine forest and alpine community (treeline ecotone), plant structural traits change dramatically, i.e. tall evergreen trees give way abruptly to low-stature shrubs, grasses, forbs, and herbs. Yet, the differences in functional traits, so abundant in the literature for a variety of species and communities, have not been compared contiguous communities such as the subalpine forest and alpine. Can differences in functional traits already identified in the literature also be used to characterize species of these two contrasting communities? Or are there other traits that are most functional and/or, possibly, unique to each community and not the most popular traits reported so far in the literature. Also, does the community structure itself help determine functional traits? For example, the top ten most frequently studied traits (145 total papers from approximately 63 different refereed journals) considered functional include the following (% of the 145 publications): specific leaf area or mass (SLA or SLM 39%), plant height (36%), leaf nitrogen content (34%), leaf size (19%), leaf area (16%), leaf photosynthetic performance (15%), leaf dry matter content (LDMC 15%), leaf mass per unit leaf area (LMA 15%), leaf thickness (15%), and seed mass (14%). In addition, another 120 traits were mentioned as functional, although all fell below a 14% citation rate. Particular focus was placed on this group due to the possibility that they might

  4. Assessing the Importance of Intraspecific Variability in Dung Beetle Functional Traits

    PubMed Central

    Griffiths, Hannah M.; Louzada, Julio; Bardgett, Richard D.; Barlow, Jos

    2016-01-01

    Functional diversity indices are used to facilitate a mechanistic understanding of many theoretical and applied questions in current ecological research. The use of mean trait values in functional indices assumes that traits are robust, in that greater variability exists between than within species. While the assertion of robust traits has been explored in plants, there exists little information on the source and extent of variability in the functional traits of higher trophic level organisms. Here we investigated variability in two functionally relevant dung beetle traits, measured from individuals collected from three primary forest sites containing distinct beetle communities: body mass and back leg length. In doing so we too addressed the following questions: (i) what is the contribution of intra vs. interspecific differences in trait values; (ii) what sample size is needed to provide representative species mean trait values; and (iii) what impact does omission of intraspecific trait information have on the calculation of functional diversity (FD) indices from naturally assembled communities? At the population level, interspecific differences explained the majority of variability in measured traits (between 94% and 96%). In accordance with this, the error associated with calculating FD without inclusion of intraspecific variability was low, less than 20% in all cases. This suggests that complete sampling to capture intraspecific variance in traits is not necessary even when investigating the FD of small and/or naturally formed communities. To gain an accurate estimation of species mean trait values we encourage the measurement of 30–60 individuals and, where possible, these should be taken from specimens collected from the site of study. PMID:26939121

  5. Assessing the Importance of Intraspecific Variability in Dung Beetle Functional Traits.

    PubMed

    Griffiths, Hannah M; Louzada, Julio; Bardgett, Richard D; Barlow, Jos

    2016-01-01

    Functional diversity indices are used to facilitate a mechanistic understanding of many theoretical and applied questions in current ecological research. The use of mean trait values in functional indices assumes that traits are robust, in that greater variability exists between than within species. While the assertion of robust traits has been explored in plants, there exists little information on the source and extent of variability in the functional traits of higher trophic level organisms. Here we investigated variability in two functionally relevant dung beetle traits, measured from individuals collected from three primary forest sites containing distinct beetle communities: body mass and back leg length. In doing so we too addressed the following questions: (i) what is the contribution of intra vs. interspecific differences in trait values; (ii) what sample size is needed to provide representative species mean trait values; and (iii) what impact does omission of intraspecific trait information have on the calculation of functional diversity (FD) indices from naturally assembled communities? At the population level, interspecific differences explained the majority of variability in measured traits (between 94% and 96%). In accordance with this, the error associated with calculating FD without inclusion of intraspecific variability was low, less than 20% in all cases. This suggests that complete sampling to capture intraspecific variance in traits is not necessary even when investigating the FD of small and/or naturally formed communities. To gain an accurate estimation of species mean trait values we encourage the measurement of 30-60 individuals and, where possible, these should be taken from specimens collected from the site of study.

  6. Identification of major and minor QTL for ecologically important morphological traits in three-spined sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus).

    PubMed

    Liu, Jun; Shikano, Takahito; Leinonen, Tuomas; Cano, José Manuel; Li, Meng-Hua; Merilä, Juha

    2014-04-16

    Quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping studies of Pacific three-spined sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus) have uncovered several genomic regions controlling variability in different morphological traits, but QTL studies of Atlantic sticklebacks are lacking. We mapped QTL for 40 morphological traits, including body size, body shape, and body armor, in a F2 full-sib cross between northern European marine and freshwater three-spined sticklebacks. A total of 52 significant QTL were identified at the 5% genome-wide level. One major QTL explaining 74.4% of the total variance in lateral plate number was detected on LG4, whereas several major QTL for centroid size (a proxy for body size), and the lengths of two dorsal spines, pelvic spine, and pelvic girdle were mapped on LG21 with the explained variance ranging from 27.9% to 57.6%. Major QTL for landmark coordinates defining body shape variation also were identified on LG21, with each explaining ≥15% of variance in body shape. Multiple QTL for different traits mapped on LG21 overlapped each other, implying pleiotropy and/or tight linkage. Thus, apart from providing confirmatory data to support conclusions born out of earlier QTL studies of Pacific sticklebacks, this study also describes several novel QTL of both major and smaller effect for ecologically important traits. The finding that many major QTL mapped on LG21 suggests that this linkage group might be a hotspot for genetic determinants of ecologically important morphological traits in three-spined sticklebacks.

  7. Association Mapping for Important Agronomic Traits in Core Collection of Rice (Oryza sativa L.) with SSR Markers

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Peng; Liu, Xiangdong; Tong, Hanhua; Lu, Yonggen; Li, Jinquan

    2014-01-01

    Mining elite genes within rice landraces is of importance for the improvement of cultivated rice. An association mapping for 12 agronomic traits was carried out using a core collection of rice consisting of 150 landraces (Panel 1) with 274 simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers, and the mapping results were further verified using a Chinese national rice micro-core collection (Panel 2) and a collection from a global molecular breeding program (Panel 3). Our results showed that (1) 76 significant (P<0.05) trait-marker associations were detected using mixed linear model (MLM) within Panel 1 in two years, among which 32% were identical with previously mapped QTLs, and 11 significant associations had >10% explained ratio of genetic variation; (2) A total of seven aforementioned trait-marker associations were verified within Panel 2 and 3 when using a general linear model (GLM) and 55 SSR markers of the 76 significant trait-marker associations. However, no significant trait-marker association was found to be identical within three panels when using the MLM model; (3) several desirable alleles of the loci which showed significant trait-marker associations were identified. The research provided important information for further mining these elite genes within rice landraces and using them for rice breeding. PMID:25360796

  8. Examination of the importance of age of onset, callous-unemotional traits and anger dysregulation in youths with antisocial behaviors.

    PubMed

    Urben, Sébastien; Stéphan, Philippe; Habersaat, Stéphanie; Francescotti, Eric; Fegert, Jörg M; Schmeck, Klaus; Perler, Christian; Gasser, Jacques; Schmid, Marc

    2017-01-01

    Age of onset, callous-unemotional (CU) traits and anger dysregulation have separately been proposed as relevant factors in explaining the heterogeneity of antisocial behaviour (ASB). Taking a dimensional perspective, this study examined the specific contributions and the mutual influences (i.e., interactions) of these three characteristics on specific dimensions of ASB (i.e., criminal behaviours and externalizing symptoms). Assessments were conducted on 536 youths from institutions with the youth psychopathic traits inventory (CU traits), the Massachusetts youth screening instrument-second version (anger dysregulation), the criminology questionnaire (criminal behaviours) and the child behavior checklist (externalizing symptoms), rated by both the youths and their carers. Using Bayes as estimators, the results revealed that the number and frequency of crimes (and, more specifically, damage to property, property offenses and media crimes) were explained by a specific contribution of each factor (age of onset, CU traits and anger dysregulation). Additionally, the interactions between age of onset and CU traits or anger dysregulation were relevant predictors of some types of crimes (i.e., damage to property, property offences and media crimes). Furthermore, when rated by youths, externalizing symptoms were explained by CU traits and anger dysregulation. However, when rated by the carer, anger dysregulation was more important in explaining externalizing symptoms. This study highlights the importance of considering these factors altogether and the value of using a dimensional perspective when examining the structure of ASB in youths. Consequently, future classifications should take into account the mutual account of these characteristics, which were previously studied separately.

  9. Association mapping for important agronomic traits in core collection of rice (Oryza sativa L.) with SSR markers.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Peng; Liu, Xiangdong; Tong, Hanhua; Lu, Yonggen; Li, Jinquan

    2014-01-01

    Mining elite genes within rice landraces is of importance for the improvement of cultivated rice. An association mapping for 12 agronomic traits was carried out using a core collection of rice consisting of 150 landraces (Panel 1) with 274 simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers, and the mapping results were further verified using a Chinese national rice micro-core collection (Panel 2) and a collection from a global molecular breeding program (Panel 3). Our results showed that (1) 76 significant (P<0.05) trait-marker associations were detected using mixed linear model (MLM) within Panel 1 in two years, among which 32% were identical with previously mapped QTLs, and 11 significant associations had >10% explained ratio of genetic variation; (2) A total of seven aforementioned trait-marker associations were verified within Panel 2 and 3 when using a general linear model (GLM) and 55 SSR markers of the 76 significant trait-marker associations. However, no significant trait-marker association was found to be identical within three panels when using the MLM model; (3) several desirable alleles of the loci which showed significant trait-marker associations were identified. The research provided important information for further mining these elite genes within rice landraces and using them for rice breeding.

  10. Estimating the Importance of Private Adaptation to Climate Change in Agriculture: A Review of Empirical Methods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moore, F.; Burke, M.

    2015-12-01

    A wide range of studies using a variety of methods strongly suggest that climate change will have a negative impact on agricultural production in many areas. Farmers though should be able to learn about a changing climate and to adjust what they grow and how they grow it in order to reduce these negative impacts. However, it remains unclear how effective these private (autonomous) adaptations will be, or how quickly they will be adopted. Constraining the uncertainty on this adaptation is important for understanding the impacts of climate change on agriculture. Here we review a number of empirical methods that have been proposed for understanding the rate and effectiveness of private adaptation to climate change. We compare these methods using data on agricultural yields in the United States and western Europe.

  11. Association Mapping Reveals Genetic Loci Associated with Important Agronomic Traits in Lentinula edodes, Shiitake Mushroom

    PubMed Central

    Li, Chuang; Gong, Wenbing; Zhang, Lin; Yang, Zhiquan; Nong, Wenyan; Bian, Yinbing; Kwan, Hoi-Shan; Cheung, Man-Kit; Xiao, Yang

    2017-01-01

    Association mapping is a robust approach for the detection of quantitative trait loci (QTLs). Here, by genotyping 297 genome-wide molecular markers of 89 Lentinula edodes cultivars in China, the genetic diversity, population structure and genetic loci associated with 11 agronomic traits were examined. A total of 873 alleles were detected in the tested strains with a mean of 2.939 alleles per locus, and the Shannon's information index was 0.734. Population structure analysis revealed two robustly differentiated groups among the Chinese L. edodes cultivars (FST = 0.247). Using the mixed linear model, a total of 43 markers were detected to be significantly associated with four traits. The number of markers associated with traits ranged from 9 to 26, and the phenotypic variations explained by each marker varied from 12.07% to 31.32%. Apart from five previously reported markers, the remaining 38 markers were newly reported here. Twenty-one markers were identified as simultaneously linked to two to four traits, and five markers were associated with the same traits in cultivation tests performed in two consecutive years. The 43 traits-associated markers were related to 97 genes, and 24 of them were related to 10 traits-associated markers detected in both years or identified previously, 13 of which had a >2-fold expression change between the mycelium and primordium stages. Our study has provided candidate markers for marker-assisted selection (MAS) and useful clues for understanding the genetic architecture of agronomic traits in the shiitake mushroom. PMID:28261189

  12. Laboratory tests to assess optimal agricultural residue traits for an abrasive weed control system

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    One of the biggest challenges to organic agricultural production and herbicide resistant crops in industrialized countries today is the non-chemical control of weed plants. Studies of new tools and methods for weed control have been motivated by an increased consumer demand for organic produce and c...

  13. Importance of impacts scenarios for the adaptation of agriculture to climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zullo, J.; Macedo, C.; Pinto, H. S.; Assad, E. D.; Koga Vicente, A.

    2012-12-01

    The great possibility that the climate is already changing, and the most drastic way possible, increases the challenge of agricultural engineering, especially in environmentally vulnerable areas and in regions where agriculture has a high economic and social importance. Knowledge of potential impacts that may be caused by changes in water and thermal regimes in coming decades is increasingly strategic, as they allow the development of techniques to adapt agriculture to climate change and therefore minimizes the risk of undesirable impacts, for example, in food and nutritional security. Thus, the main objective of this paper is to describe a way to generate impacts scenarios caused by anomalies of precipitation and temperature in the definition of climate risk zoning of an agricultural crop very important in the tropics, such as the sugar cane, especially in central-southern Brazil, which is one of its main world producers. A key point here is the choice of the climate model to be used, considering that 23 different models were used in the fourth IPCC report published in 2007. The number and range of available models requires the definition of criteria for choosing the most suitable for the preparation of the impacts scenarios. One way proposed and used in this work is based on the definition of two groups of models according to 27 technical attributes of them. The clustering of 23 models in two groups, with a model representing each group (UKMO_HadCM3 and MIROC3.2_medres), assists the generation and comparison of impacts scenarios, making them more representative and useful. Another important aspect in the generation of impacts scenarios is the estimate of the relative importance of the anomalies of precipitation and temperature, which are the most commonly used. To assess the relative importance of the anomalies are generated scenarios considering an anomaly at a time and both together. The impacts scenarios for a high emission of greenhouse gases (A2), from 2010

  14. Analysis of non-coding transcriptome in rice and maize uncovers roles of conserved lncRNAs associated with agriculture traits.

    PubMed

    Wang, Huan; Niu, Qi-Wen; Wu, Hui-Wen; Liu, Jun; Ye, Jian; Yu, Niu; Chua, Nam-Hai

    2015-10-01

    Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) have recently been found to widely exist in eukaryotes and play important roles in key biological processes. To extend our knowledge of lncRNAs in crop plants we performed both non-directional and strand-specific RNA-sequencing experiments to profile non-coding transcriptomes of various rice and maize organs at different developmental stages. Analysis of more than 3 billion reads identified 22 334 long intergenic non-coding RNAs (lincRNAs) and 6673 pairs of sense and natural antisense transcript (NAT). Many lincRNA genes were associated with epigenetic marks. Expression of rice lincRNA genes was significantly correlated with that of nearby protein-coding genes. A set of NAT genes also showed expression correlation with their sense genes. More than 200 rice lincRNA genes had homologous non-coding sequences in the maize genome. Much more lincRNA and NAT genes were derived from conserved genomic regions between the two cereals presenting positional conservation. Protein-coding genes flanking or having a sense-antisense relationship to these conserved lncRNA genes were mainly involved in development and stress responses, suggesting that the associated lncRNAs might have similar functions. Integrating previous genome-wide association studies (GWAS), we found that hundreds of lincRNAs contain trait-associated SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms [SNPs]) suggesting their putative contributions to developmental and agriculture traits.

  15. Microbial diversity of vermicompost bacteria that exhibit useful agricultural traits and waste management potential.

    PubMed

    Pathma, Jayakumar; Sakthivel, Natarajan

    2012-01-01

    Vermicomposting is a non-thermophilic, boioxidative process that involves earthworms and associated microbes. This biological organic waste decomposition process yields the biofertilizer namely the vermicompost. Vermicompost is a finely divided, peat like material with high porosity, good aeration, drainage, water holding capacity, microbial activity, excellent nutrient status and buffering capacity thereby resulting the required physiochemical characters congenial for soil fertility and plant growth. Vermicompost enhances soil biodiversity by promoting the beneficial microbes which inturn enhances plant growth directly by production of plant growth-regulating hormones and enzymes and indirectly by controlling plant pathogens, nematodes and other pests, thereby enhancing plant health and minimizing the yield loss. Due to its innate biological, biochemical and physiochemical properties, vermicompost may be used to promote sustainable agriculture and also for the safe management of agricultural, industrial, domestic and hospital wastes which may otherwise pose serious threat to life and environment.

  16. Agriculture

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    The EPA Agriculture Resource Directory offers comprehensive, easy-to-understand information about environmental stewardship on farms and ranches; commonsense, flexible approaches that are both environmentally protective and agriculturally sound.

  17. Salt effects on functional traits in model and in economically important Lotus species.

    PubMed

    Uchiya, P; Escaray, F J; Bilenca, D; Pieckenstain, F; Ruiz, O A; Menéndez, A B

    2016-07-01

    A common stress on plants is NaCl-derived soil salinity. Genus Lotus comprises model and economically important species, which have been studied regarding physiological responses to salinity. Leaf area ratio (LAR), root length ratio (RLR) and their components, specific leaf area (SLA) and leaf mass fraction (LMF) and specific root length (SRL) and root mass fraction (RMF) might be affected by high soil salinity. We characterised L. tenuis, L. corniculatus, L. filicaulis, L. creticus, L. burtii and L. japonicus grown under different salt concentrations (0, 50, 100 and 150 mm NaCl) on the basis of SLA, LMF, SRL and RMF using PCA. We also assessed effects of different salt concentrations on LAR and RLR in each species, and explored whether changes in these traits provide fitness benefit. Salinity (150 mm NaCl) increased LAR in L. burtii and L. corniculatus, but not in the remaining species. The highest salt concentration caused a decrease of RLR in L. japonicus Gifu, but not in the remaining species. Changes in LAR and RLR would not be adaptive, according to adaptiveness analysis, with the exception of SLA changes in L. corniculatus. PCA revealed that under favourable conditions plants optimise surfaces for light and nutrient acquisition (SLA and SRL), whereas at higher salt concentrations they favour carbon allocation to leaves and roots (LMF and RMF) in detriment to their surfaces. PCA also showed that L. creticus subjected to saline treatment was distinguished from the remaining Lotus species. We suggest that augmented carbon partitioning to leaves and roots could constitute a salt-alleviating mechanism through toxic ion dilution.

  18. Post awakening salivary cortisol secretion and trait well-being: The importance of sample timing accuracy.

    PubMed

    Smyth, Nina; Thorn, Lisa; Hucklebridge, Frank; Evans, Phil; Clow, Angela

    2015-08-01

    Indices of post awakening cortisol secretion (PACS), include the rise in cortisol (cortisol awakening response: CAR) and overall cortisol concentrations (e.g., area under the curve with reference to ground: AUCg) in the first 30-45 min. Both are commonly investigated in relation to psychosocial variables. Although sampling within the domestic setting is ecologically valid, participant non-adherence to the required timing protocol results in erroneous measurement of PACS and this may explain discrepancies in the literature linking these measures to trait well-being (TWB). We have previously shown that delays of little over 5 min (between awakening and the start of sampling) to result in erroneous CAR estimates. In this study, we report for the first time on the negative impact of sample timing inaccuracy (verified by electronic-monitoring) on the efficacy to detect significant relationships between PACS and TWB when measured in the domestic setting. Healthy females (N=49, 20.5±2.8 years) selected for differences in TWB collected saliva samples (S1-4) on 4 days at 0, 15, 30, 45 min post awakening, to determine PACS. Adherence to the sampling protocol was objectively monitored using a combination of electronic estimates of awakening (actigraphy) and sampling times (track caps). Relationships between PACS and TWB were found to depend on sample timing accuracy. Lower TWB was associated with higher post awakening cortisol AUCg in proportion to the mean sample timing accuracy (p<.005). There was no association between TWB and the CAR even taking into account sample timing accuracy. These results highlight the importance of careful electronic monitoring of participant adherence for measurement of PACS in the domestic setting. Mean sample timing inaccuracy, mainly associated with delays of >5 min between awakening and collection of sample 1 (median=8 min delay), negatively impacts on the sensitivity of analysis to detect associations between PACS and TWB.

  19. An Exploratory Study of the Effect of Professional Internships on Students' Perception of the Importance of Employment Traits

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Green, Brian Patrick; Graybeal, Patricia; Madison, Roland L.

    2011-01-01

    The authors measured the effects of a formal internship on students' perceptions of the importance of traits employees consider during the hiring process. Prior studies have reported that accounting firms perceive students with internship experience as better entry-level accountants. This perception may be related to changes in student beliefs…

  20. Recent trends/challenges in irrigated agriculture-Why is irrigation important in a discussion of agricultural migration?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    United States agriculture contributes 16% of the $9 trillion gross domestic product, 8% of U.S. exports, and 17% of employment while providing food to all citizens, despite the fact that only 2% of the U.S. workforces is on farms. Agricultural productivity has grown by 240% since 1948, while agricul...

  1. The Importance of Landscape Elements for Bat Activity and Species Richness in Agricultural Areas

    PubMed Central

    Heim, Olga; Treitler, Julia T.; Tschapka, Marco; Knörnschild, Mirjam; Jung, Kirsten

    2015-01-01

    Landscape heterogeneity is regarded as a key factor for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem function in production landscapes. We investigated whether grassland sites at close vicinity to forested areas are more frequently used by bats. Considering that bats are important consumers of herbivorous insects, including agricultural pest, this is important for sustainable land management. Bat activity and species richness were assessed using repeated monitoring from May to September in 2010 with acoustic monitoring surveys on 50 grassland sites in the Biosphere Reserve Schorfheide-Chorin (North-East Germany). Using spatial analysis (GIS), we measured the closest distance of each grassland site to potentially connecting landscape elements (e.g., trees, linear vegetation, groves, running and standing water). In addition, we assessed the distance to and the percent land cover of forest remnants and urban areas in a 200 m buffer around the recording sites to address differences in the local landscape setting. Species richness and bat activity increased significantly with higher forest land cover in the 200 m buffer and at smaller distance to forested areas. Moreover, species richness increased in proximity to tree groves. Larger amount of forest land cover and smaller distance to forest also resulted in a higher activity of bats on grassland sites in the beginning of the year during May, June and July. Landscape elements near grassland sites also influenced species composition of bats and species richness of functional groups (open, edge and narrow space foragers). Our results highlight the importance of forested areas, and suggest that agricultural grasslands that are closer to forest remnants might be better buffered against outbreaks of agricultural pest insects due to higher species richness and higher bat activity. Furthermore, our data reveals that even for highly mobile species such as bats, a very dense network of connecting elements within the landscape is

  2. The Importance of Landscape Elements for Bat Activity and Species Richness in Agricultural Areas.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    Landscape heterogeneity is regarded as a key factor for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem function in production landscapes. We investigated whether grassland sites at close vicinity to forested areas are more frequently used by bats. Considering that bats are important consumers of herbivorous insects, including agricultural pest, this is important for sustainable land management. Bat activity and species richness were assessed using repeated monitoring from May to September in 2010 with acoustic monitoring surveys on 50 grassland sites in the Biosphere Reserve Schorfheide-Chorin (North-East Germany). Using spatial analysis (GIS), we measured the closest distance of each grassland site to potentially connecting landscape elements (e.g., trees, linear vegetation, groves, running and standing water). In addition, we assessed the distance to and the percent land cover of forest remnants and urban areas in a 200 m buffer around the recording sites to address differences in the local landscape setting. Species richness and bat activity increased significantly with higher forest land cover in the 200 m buffer and at smaller distance to forested areas. Moreover, species richness increased in proximity to tree groves. Larger amount of forest land cover and smaller distance to forest also resulted in a higher activity of bats on grassland sites in the beginning of the year during May, June and July. Landscape elements near grassland sites also influenced species composition of bats and species richness of functional groups (open, edge and narrow space foragers). Our results highlight the importance of forested areas, and suggest that agricultural grasslands that are closer to forest remnants might be better buffered against outbreaks of agricultural pest insects due to higher species richness and higher bat activity. Furthermore, our data reveals that even for highly mobile species such as bats, a very dense network of connecting elements within the landscape is

  3. An integrated genetic map based on four mapping populations and quantitative trait loci associated with economically important traits in watermelon (Citrullus lanatus)

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Modern watermelon (Citrullus lanatus L.) cultivars share a narrow genetic base due to many years of selection for desirable horticultural qualities. Wild subspecies within C. lanatus are important potential sources of novel alleles for watermelon breeding, but successful trait introgression into elite cultivars has had limited success. The application of marker assisted selection (MAS) in watermelon is yet to be realized, mainly due to the past lack of high quality genetic maps. Recently, a number of useful maps have become available, however these maps have few common markers, and were constructed using different marker sets, thus, making integration and comparative analysis among maps difficult. The objective of this research was to use single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) anchor markers to construct an integrated genetic map for C. lanatus. Results Under the framework of the high density genetic map, an integrated genetic map was constructed by merging data from four independent mapping experiments using a genetically diverse array of parental lines, which included three subspecies of watermelon. The 698 simple sequence repeat (SSR), 219 insertion-deletion (InDel), 36 structure variation (SV) and 386 SNP markers from the four maps were used to construct an integrated map. This integrated map contained 1339 markers, spanning 798 cM with an average marker interval of 0.6 cM. Fifty-eight previously reported quantitative trait loci (QTL) for 12 traits in these populations were also integrated into the map. In addition, new QTL identified for brix, fructose, glucose and sucrose were added. Some QTL associated with economically important traits detected in different genetic backgrounds mapped to similar genomic regions of the integrated map, suggesting that such QTL are responsible for the phenotypic variability observed in a broad array of watermelon germplasm. Conclusions The integrated map described herein enhances the utility of genomic tools over

  4. The importance of climate change and nitrogen use efficiency for future nitrous oxide emissions from agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kanter, David R.; Zhang, Xin; Mauzerall, Denise L.; Malyshev, Sergey; Shevliakova, Elena

    2016-09-01

    Nitrous oxide (N2O) is an important greenhouse gas and ozone depleting substance. Previous projections of agricultural N2O (the dominant anthropogenic source) show emissions changing in tandem, or at a faster rate than changes in nitrogen (N) consumption. However, recent studies suggest that the carbon dioxide (CO2) fertilization effect may increase plant N uptake, which could decrease soil N losses and dampen increases in N2O. To evaluate this hypothesis at a global scale, we use a process-based land model with a coupled carbon-nitrogen cycle to examine how changes in climatic factors, land-use, and N application rates could affect agricultural N2O emissions by 2050. Assuming little improvement in N use efficiency (NUE), the model projects a 24%-31% increase in global agricultural N2O emissions by 2040-2050 depending on the climate scenario—a relatively moderate increase compared to the projected increases in N inputs (42%-44%) and previously published emissions projections (38%-75%). This occurs largely because the CO2 fertilization effect enhances plant N uptake in several regions, which subsequently dampens N2O emissions. And yet, improvements in NUE could still deliver important environmental benefits by 2050: equivalent to 10 Pg CO2 equivalent and 0.6 Tg ozone depletion potential.

  5. Association of SSR markers with important fiber traits in Upland cotton

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The objectives of this research are to: 1) report on the diversity in agronomic and fiber traits of the selected cotton germplasm released by the public breeders and private industries, 2) detect the genetic diversity among these lines using SSR markers, and 3) identify the SSR markers association w...

  6. Evolution in response to social selection: the importance of interactive effects of traits on fitness.

    PubMed

    Westneat, David F

    2012-03-01

    Social interactions have a powerful effect on the evolutionary process. Recent attempts to synthesize models of social selection with equations for indirect genetic effects (McGlothlin et al. 2010) provide a broad theoretical base from which to study selection and evolutionary response in the context of social interactions. However, this framework concludes that social selection will lead to evolution only if the traits carried by social partners are nonrandomly associated. I suggest this conclusion is incomplete, and that traits that do not covary between social partners can nevertheless lead to evolution via interactive effects on fitness. Such effects occur when there are functional interactions between traits, and as an example I use the interplay in water striders (Gerridae) between grasping appendages carried by males and spines by females. Functional interactive effects between traits can be incorporated into both the equations for social selection and the general model of social evolution proposed by McGlothlin et al. These expanded equations would accommodate adaptive coevolution in social interactions, integrate the quantitative genetic approach to social evolution with game theoretical approaches, and stimulate some new questions about the process of social evolution.

  7. Discovery of novel genetic networks associated with 19 economically important traits in beef cattle

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Quantitative or complex traits are determined by the combined effects of many loci, and are affected by gene-gene interactions, genetic networks or molecular pathways. In the present study, we genotyped a total of 138 mutations, mainly single nucleotide polymorphisms derived from 71 functional gene...

  8. A consensus linkage map for molecular markers and Quantitative Trait Loci associated with economically important traits in melon (Cucumis melo L.)

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background A number of molecular marker linkage maps have been developed for melon (Cucumis melo L.) over the last two decades. However, these maps were constructed using different marker sets, thus, making comparative analysis among maps difficult. In order to solve this problem, a consensus genetic map in melon was constructed using primarily highly transferable anchor markers that have broad potential use for mapping, synteny, and comparative quantitative trait loci (QTL) analysis, increasing breeding effectiveness and efficiency via marker-assisted selection (MAS). Results Under the framework of the International Cucurbit Genomics Initiative (ICuGI, http://www.icugi.org), an integrated genetic map has been constructed by merging data from eight independent mapping experiments using a genetically diverse array of parental lines. The consensus map spans 1150 cM across the 12 melon linkage groups and is composed of 1592 markers (640 SSRs, 330 SNPs, 252 AFLPs, 239 RFLPs, 89 RAPDs, 15 IMAs, 16 indels and 11 morphological traits) with a mean marker density of 0.72 cM/marker. One hundred and ninety-six of these markers (157 SSRs, 32 SNPs, 6 indels and 1 RAPD) were newly developed, mapped or provided by industry representatives as released markers, including 27 SNPs and 5 indels from genes involved in the organic acid metabolism and transport, and 58 EST-SSRs. Additionally, 85 of 822 SSR markers contributed by Syngenta Seeds were included in the integrated map. In addition, 370 QTL controlling 62 traits from 18 previously reported mapping experiments using genetically diverse parental genotypes were also integrated into the consensus map. Some QTL associated with economically important traits detected in separate studies mapped to similar genomic positions. For example, independently identified QTL controlling fruit shape were mapped on similar genomic positions, suggesting that such QTL are possibly responsible for the phenotypic variability observed for this trait in

  9. Importance of Stream Denitrification in the Nitrogen Mass Balance of a Midwestern Agricultural Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    David, M. B.; Royer, T. V.; Opdyke, M. R.; Tank, J. L.

    2005-05-01

    Agricultural regions of the Midwestern US have large N fluxes as a result of inputs from fertilizer and biological fixation, and outputs through rivers and grain harvest. These inputs and outputs are not balanced, however, and denitrification has been suggested to be an important loss mechanism. We examined the role of in-stream denitrification in the N mass balance of Illinois, a predominantly agricultural region. Nitrate concentrations in streams were often >10 mg nitrate-N L-1, suggesting denitrification was not N-limited throughout most of the year. Denitrification rates were measured at many headwater stream sites throughout the year, in both sediments and primary producer habitat, under different geomorphic conditions. Although in-stream denitrification rates were generally high, hydraulic retention time limited the importance of denitrification in terms of export on an annual basis. Geomorphology was important in explaining rates, but extensive channelization has eliminated most in-stream structures, which could have more effectively reduced stream export of N. Therefore, stream denitrification was only minor sink for N and most nitrate in these headwater sites was exported downstream. In the overall mass balance of N, reservoir and in-field denitrification are thought to be much more important than in-stream denitrification.

  10. Conversion of Amazon rainforest to agriculture alters community traits of methane-cycling organisms.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Kyle M; Klein, Ann M; Rodrigues, Jorge L M; Nüsslein, Klaus; Tringe, Susannah G; Mirza, Babur S; Tiedje, James M; Bohannan, Brendan J M

    2017-03-01

    Land use change is one of the greatest environmental impacts worldwide, especially to tropical forests. The Amazon rainforest has been subject to particularly high rates of land use change, primarily to cattle pasture. A commonly observed response to cattle pasture establishment in the Amazon is the conversion of soil from a methane sink in rainforest, to a methane source in pasture. However, it is not known how the microorganisms that mediate methane flux are altered by land use change. Here, we use the deepest metagenomic sequencing of Amazonian soil to date to investigate differences in methane-cycling microorganisms and their traits across rainforest and cattle pasture soils. We found that methane-cycling microorganisms responded to land use change, with the strongest responses exhibited by methane-consuming, rather than methane-producing, microorganisms. These responses included a reduction in the relative abundance of methanotrophs and a significant decrease in the abundance of genes encoding particulate methane monooxygenase. We also observed compositional changes to methanotroph and methanogen communities as well as changes to methanotroph life history strategies. Our observations suggest that methane-cycling microorganisms are vulnerable to land use change, and this vulnerability may underlie the response of methane flux to land use change in Amazon soils.

  11. Soil acidification and the importance of liming agricultural soils with particular reference to the United Kingdom.

    PubMed

    Goulding, K W T

    2016-09-01

    Soil acidification is caused by a number of factors including acidic precipitation and the deposition from the atmosphere of acidifying gases or particles, such as sulphur dioxide, ammonia and nitric acid. The most important causes of soil acidification on agricultural land, however, are the application of ammonium-based fertilizers and urea, elemental S fertilizer and the growth of legumes. Acidification causes the loss of base cations, an increase in aluminium saturation and a decline in crop yields; severe acidification can cause nonreversible clay mineral dissolution and a reduction in cation exchange capacity, accompanied by structural deterioration. Soil acidity is ameliorated by applying lime or other acid-neutralizing materials. 'Liming' also reduces N2O emissions, but this is more than offset by CO 2 emissions from the lime as it neutralizes acidity. Because crop plants vary in their tolerance to acidity and plant nutrients have different optimal pH ranges, target soil pH values in the UK are set at 6.5 (5.8 in peaty soils) for cropped land and 6.0 (5.3 in peaty soils) for grassland. Agricultural lime products can be sold as 'EC Fertiliser Liming Materials' but, although vital for soil quality and agricultural production, liming tends to be strongly influenced by the economics of farming. Consequently, much less lime is being applied in the UK than required, and many arable and grassland soils are below optimum pH.

  12. Big Five personality traits: are they really important for the subjective well-being of Indians?

    PubMed

    Tanksale, Deepa

    2015-02-01

    This study empirically examined the relationship between the Big Five personality traits and subjective well-being (SWB) in India. SWB variables used were life satisfaction, positive affect and negative affect. A total of 183 participants in the age range 30-40 years from Pune, India, completed the personality and SWB measures. Backward stepwise regression analysis showed that the Big Five traits accounted for 17% of the variance in life satisfaction, 35% variance in positive affect and 28% variance in negative affect. Conscientiousness emerged as the strongest predictor of life satisfaction. In line with the earlier research findings, neuroticism and extraversion were found to predict negative affect and positive affect, respectively. Neither openness to experience nor agreeableness contributed to SWB. The research emphasises the need to revisit the association between personality and SWB across different cultures, especially non-western cultures.

  13. The costs of anti-herbivore defense traits in agricultural crop plants: a case study involving leafhoppers and trichomes.

    PubMed

    Kaplan, Ian; Dively, Galen P; Denno, Robert F

    2009-06-01

    The expression of plant defenses is thought to entail costs (e.g., the allocation of resources away from growth or reproduction) that constrain the evolution of plant genotypes maximally defended against herbivores. Although central to the ecological theory underlying plant-insect interactions at large, the concept of defense costs is particularly evident in agricultural crops where plants may be under simultaneous selection for enhanced growth and/or reproduction (i.e., yield) and anti-herbivore resistance traits that deter pests. In this study we investigate the role of trichomes as a resistance mechanism against a sap-feeding insect (the leafhopper, Empoasca fabae) on potato. Natural variation in trichome density among 17 potato cultivars was used to test for the role of trichomes as a putative defense against leafhoppers, and evidence of costs in trichome expression. Two different types of costs were explored: (1) allocation costs (i.e., the relationship between trichomes and yield), and (2) costs involving trade-offs with alternative defense strategies (e.g., tolerance). Although leafhopper abundance did not decrease as trichome density increased, leafhopper injury to potato plants (foliar necrosis) was negatively correlated with trichome density. As a result, the per capita effect of leafhopper adults and nymphs on foliar damage was lower on plants with high trichome densities. We found no evidence, however, for costs of expressing this resistance trait; trichomes were not correlated with either potato yield or tolerance to herbivory. Thus, selection for multiple plant defenses to alleviate the impact of pests in agronomic crops may indeed be possible without inherent losses in plant yield.

  14. Genome wide association study for drought, aflatoxin resistance, and important agronomic traits of maize hybrids in the sub-tropics.

    PubMed

    Farfan, Ivan D Barrero; De La Fuente, Gerald N; Murray, Seth C; Isakeit, Thomas; Huang, Pei-Cheng; Warburton, Marilyn; Williams, Paul; Windham, Gary L; Kolomiets, Mike

    2015-01-01

    The primary maize (Zea mays L.) production areas are in temperate regions throughout the world and this is where most maize breeding is focused. Important but lower yielding maize growing regions such as the sub-tropics experience unique challenges, the greatest of which are drought stress and aflatoxin contamination. Here we used a diversity panel consisting of 346 maize inbred lines originating in temperate, sub-tropical and tropical areas testcrossed to stiff-stalk line Tx714 to investigate these traits. Testcross hybrids were evaluated under irrigated and non-irrigated trials for yield, plant height, ear height, days to anthesis, days to silking and other agronomic traits. Irrigated trials were also inoculated with Aspergillus flavus and evaluated for aflatoxin content. Diverse maize testcrosses out-yielded commercial checks in most trials, which indicated the potential for genetic diversity to improve sub-tropical breeding programs. To identify genomic regions associated with yield, aflatoxin resistance and other important agronomic traits, a genome wide association analysis was performed. Using 60,000 SNPs, this study found 10 quantitative trait variants for grain yield, plant and ear height, and flowering time after stringent multiple test corrections, and after fitting different models. Three of these variants explained 5-10% of the variation in grain yield under both water conditions. Multiple identified SNPs co-localized with previously reported QTL, which narrows the possible location of causal polymorphisms. Novel significant SNPs were also identified. This study demonstrated the potential to use genome wide association studies to identify major variants of quantitative and complex traits such as yield under drought that are still segregating between elite inbred lines.

  15. Genome Wide Association Study for Drought, Aflatoxin Resistance, and Important Agronomic Traits of Maize Hybrids in the Sub-Tropics

    PubMed Central

    Farfan, Ivan D. Barrero; De La Fuente, Gerald N.; Murray, Seth C.; Isakeit, Thomas; Huang, Pei-Cheng; Warburton, Marilyn; Williams, Paul; Windham, Gary L.; Kolomiets, Mike

    2015-01-01

    The primary maize (Zea mays L.) production areas are in temperate regions throughout the world and this is where most maize breeding is focused. Important but lower yielding maize growing regions such as the sub-tropics experience unique challenges, the greatest of which are drought stress and aflatoxin contamination. Here we used a diversity panel consisting of 346 maize inbred lines originating in temperate, sub-tropical and tropical areas testcrossed to stiff-stalk line Tx714 to investigate these traits. Testcross hybrids were evaluated under irrigated and non-irrigated trials for yield, plant height, ear height, days to anthesis, days to silking and other agronomic traits. Irrigated trials were also inoculated with Aspergillus flavus and evaluated for aflatoxin content. Diverse maize testcrosses out-yielded commercial checks in most trials, which indicated the potential for genetic diversity to improve sub-tropical breeding programs. To identify genomic regions associated with yield, aflatoxin resistance and other important agronomic traits, a genome wide association analysis was performed. Using 60,000 SNPs, this study found 10 quantitative trait variants for grain yield, plant and ear height, and flowering time after stringent multiple test corrections, and after fitting different models. Three of these variants explained 5–10% of the variation in grain yield under both water conditions. Multiple identified SNPs co-localized with previously reported QTL, which narrows the possible location of causal polymorphisms. Novel significant SNPs were also identified. This study demonstrated the potential to use genome wide association studies to identify major variants of quantitative and complex traits such as yield under drought that are still segregating between elite inbred lines. PMID:25714370

  16. Genetic basis of agronomically important traits in sugar beet (Beta vulgaris L.) investigated with joint linkage association mapping.

    PubMed

    Reif, Jochen C; Liu, Wenxin; Gowda, Manje; Maurer, Hans Peter; Möhring, Jens; Fischer, Sandra; Schechert, Axel; Würschum, Tobias

    2010-11-01

    Epistatic interactions may contribute substantially to the hybrid performance of sugar beet. The main goal of our study was to dissect the genetic basis of eight important physiological and agronomic traits using two different biometrical models for joint linkage association mapping. A total of 197 genotypes of an elite breeding population were evaluated in multi-location trials and fingerprinted with 194 SNP markers. Two different statistical models were used for the genome-wide scan for marker-trait associations: Model A, which corrects for the genetic background with markers as cofactors and Model B, which additionally models a population effect. Based on the extent of linkage disequilibrium in the parental population, we estimated that for a genome-wide scan at least 100 equally spaced markers are necessary. We mapped across the eight traits 39 QTL for Model A and 22 for Model B. Only 11% of the total number of QTL were identified based on Models A and B, which indicates that both models are complementary. Epistasis was detected only for two out of the eight traits, and contributed only to a minor extent to the genotypic variance. This low relevance of epistasis implies that in sugar beet breeding the prediction of performance of three-way hybrids is feasible with high accuracy based on the means of their single crosses.

  17. Supplementary calcium ameliorates ammonium toxicity by improving water status in agriculturally important species.

    PubMed

    Hernández-Gómez, Elvia; Valdez-Aguilar, Luis A; Cartmill, Donita L; Cartmill, Andrew D; Alia-Tajacal, Irán

    2015-09-02

    Fertilization of agricultural plants with ammonium [Formula: see text] is often desirable because it is less susceptible to leaching than nitrate [Formula: see text] reducing environmental pollution, risk to human health and economic loss. However, a number of important agricultural species exhibit a reduction in growth when fertilized with [Formula: see text] and increasing the tolerance to [Formula: see text] may be of importance for the establishment of sustainable agricultural systems. The present study explored the feasibility of using calcium (Ca) to increase the tolerance of bell pepper (Capsicum annuum) to [Formula: see text] fertilization. Although [Formula: see text] at proportions ≥25 % of total nitrogen (N) decreased leaf dry mass (DM), supplementary Ca ameliorated this decrease. Increasing [Formula: see text] resulted in decreased root hydraulic conductance (Lo) and root water content (RWC), suggesting that water uptake by roots was impaired. The [Formula: see text]-induced reductions in Lo and RWC were mitigated by supplementary Ca. Ammonium induced increased damage to the cell membranes through lipid peroxidation, causing increased electrolyte leakage; Ca did not reduce lipid peroxidation and resulted in increased electrolyte leakage, suggesting that the beneficial effects of Ca on the tolerance to [Formula: see text] may be more of a reflection on its effect on the water status of the plant. Bell pepper plants that received [Formula: see text] had a low concentration of [Formula: see text] in the roots but a high concentration in the leaves, probably due to the high nitrate reductase activity observed. Ammonium nutrition depressed the uptake of potassium, Ca and magnesium, while increasing that of phosphorus. The results obtained in the present study indicate that [Formula: see text] caused growth reduction, nutrient imbalance, membrane integrity impairment, increased activity of antioxidant enzymes and affected water relations. Supplementary Ca

  18. Supplementary calcium ameliorates ammonium toxicity by improving water status in agriculturally important species

    PubMed Central

    Hernández-Gómez, Elvia; Valdez-Aguilar, Luis A.; Cartmill, Donita L.; Cartmill, Andrew D.; Alia-Tajacal, Irán

    2015-01-01

    Fertilization of agricultural plants with ammonium (NH4+) is often desirable because it is less susceptible to leaching than nitrate (NO3−), reducing environmental pollution, risk to human health and economic loss. However, a number of important agricultural species exhibit a reduction in growth when fertilized with NH4+, and increasing the tolerance to NH4+ may be of importance for the establishment of sustainable agricultural systems. The present study explored the feasibility of using calcium (Ca) to increase the tolerance of bell pepper (Capsicum annuum) to NH4+ fertilization. Although NH4+ at proportions ≥25 % of total nitrogen (N) decreased leaf dry mass (DM), supplementary Ca ameliorated this decrease. Increasing NH4+ resulted in decreased root hydraulic conductance (Lo) and root water content (RWC), suggesting that water uptake by roots was impaired. The NH4+-induced reductions in Lo and RWC were mitigated by supplementary Ca. Ammonium induced increased damage to the cell membranes through lipid peroxidation, causing increased electrolyte leakage; Ca did not reduce lipid peroxidation and resulted in increased electrolyte leakage, suggesting that the beneficial effects of Ca on the tolerance to NH4+ may be more of a reflection on its effect on the water status of the plant. Bell pepper plants that received NO3−N had a low concentration of NH4+ in the roots but a high concentration in the leaves, probably due to the high nitrate reductase activity observed. Ammonium nutrition depressed the uptake of potassium, Ca and magnesium, while increasing that of phosphorus. The results obtained in the present study indicate that NH4+ caused growth reduction, nutrient imbalance, membrane integrity impairment, increased activity of antioxidant enzymes and affected water relations. Supplementary Ca partially restored growth of leaves by improving root Lo and water relations, and our results suggest that it may be used as a tool to increase the tolerance to NH4

  19. An application of belief-importance theory with reference to trait emotional intelligence, mood, and somatic complaints.

    PubMed

    Petrides, K V

    2011-04-01

    This article describes the basic principles of belief-importance (belimp) theory and tests them in two empirical studies. Belimp theory hypothesizes that personality traits confer a propensity to perceive convergences and divergences between our belief that we can attain goals and the importance that we place on these goals. Belief and importance are conceptualized as two coordinates, together defining the belimp plane. Four distinct quadrants can be identified within the belimp plane (Hubris, Motivation, Depression and Apathy), broadly corresponding to the personality dimensions of trait emotional intelligence, conscientiousness, neuroticism and introversion. Study 1 (N=365) defines the four quadrants in relation to goals about financial security and shows that they score differently on trait emotional intelligence, mood and somatic complaints. Study 2 (N=230) defines the quadrants in relation to goals about appearance and, separately, in relation to goals about popularity, and replicates the findings of the first study. Strategies and requirements for testing belimp theory are presented, as are a number of theoretical and practical advantages that it can potentially offer.

  20. Scanning of selection signature provides a glimpse into important economic traits in goats (Capra hircus).

    PubMed

    Guan, Dailu; Luo, Nanjian; Tan, Xiaoshan; Zhao, Zhongquan; Huang, Yongfu; Na, Risu; Zhang, Jiahua; Zhao, Yongju

    2016-10-31

    Goats (Capra hircus) are one of the oldest livestock domesticated species, and have been used for their milk, meat, hair and skins over much of the world. Detection of selection footprints in genomic regions can provide potential insights for understanding the genetic mechanism of specific phenotypic traits and better guide in animal breeding. The study presented here has generated 192.747G raw data and identified more than 5.03 million single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and 334,151 Indels (insertions and deletions). In addition, we identified 155 and 294 candidate regions harboring 86 and 97 genes based on allele frequency differences in Dazu black goats (DBG) and Inner Mongolia cashmere goats (IMCG), respectively. Populations differentiation reflected by Fst values detected 368 putative selective sweep regions including 164 genes. The top 1% regions of both low heterozygosity and high genetic differentiation contained 239 (135 genes) and 176 (106 genes) candidate regions in DBG and IMCG, respectively. These genes were related to reproductive and productive traits, such as "neurohypophyseal hormone activity" and "adipocytokine signaling pathway". These findings may be conducive to molecular breeding and the long-term preservation of the valuable genetic resources for this species.

  1. Metabolic prediction of important agronomic traits in hybrid rice (Oryza sativa L.)

    PubMed Central

    Dan, Zhiwu; Hu, Jun; Zhou, Wei; Yao, Guoxin; Zhu, Renshan; Zhu, Yingguo; Huang, Wenchao

    2016-01-01

    Hybrid crops have contributed greatly to improvements in global food and fodder production over the past several decades. Nevertheless, the growing population and changing climate have produced food crises and energy shortages. Breeding new elite hybrid varieties is currently an urgent task, but present breeding procedures are time-consuming and labour-intensive. In this study, parental metabolic information was utilized to predict three polygenic traits in hybrid rice. A complete diallel cross population consisting of eighteen rice inbred lines was constructed, and the hybrids’ plant height, heading date and grain yield per plant were predicted using 525 metabolites. Metabolic prediction models were built using the partial least square regression method, with predictive abilities ranging from 0.858 to 0.977 for the hybrid phenotypes, relative heterosis, and specific combining ability. Only slight changes in predictive ability were observed between hybrid populations, and nearly no changes were detected between reciprocal hybrids. The outcomes of prediction of the three highly polygenic traits demonstrated that metabolic prediction was an accurate (high predictive abilities) and efficient (unaffected by population genetic structures) strategy for screening promising superior hybrid rice. Exploitation of this pre-hybridization strategy may contribute to rice production improvement and accelerate breeding programs. PMID:26907211

  2. Metabolic prediction of important agronomic traits in hybrid rice (Oryza sativa L.).

    PubMed

    Dan, Zhiwu; Hu, Jun; Zhou, Wei; Yao, Guoxin; Zhu, Renshan; Zhu, Yingguo; Huang, Wenchao

    2016-02-24

    Hybrid crops have contributed greatly to improvements in global food and fodder production over the past several decades. Nevertheless, the growing population and changing climate have produced food crises and energy shortages. Breeding new elite hybrid varieties is currently an urgent task, but present breeding procedures are time-consuming and labour-intensive. In this study, parental metabolic information was utilized to predict three polygenic traits in hybrid rice. A complete diallel cross population consisting of eighteen rice inbred lines was constructed, and the hybrids' plant height, heading date and grain yield per plant were predicted using 525 metabolites. Metabolic prediction models were built using the partial least square regression method, with predictive abilities ranging from 0.858 to 0.977 for the hybrid phenotypes, relative heterosis, and specific combining ability. Only slight changes in predictive ability were observed between hybrid populations, and nearly no changes were detected between reciprocal hybrids. The outcomes of prediction of the three highly polygenic traits demonstrated that metabolic prediction was an accurate (high predictive abilities) and efficient (unaffected by population genetic structures) strategy for screening promising superior hybrid rice. Exploitation of this pre-hybridization strategy may contribute to rice production improvement and accelerate breeding programs.

  3. The Internet's effect on personality traits: An important casualty of the "Internet addiction" paradigm.

    PubMed

    Aboujaoude, Elias

    2017-03-01

    Background and aims The "Internet addiction" paradigm has been criticized for several shortcomings, including inattention to specific online behaviors, not distinguishing the Internet from other media, insufficient focus on comorbidities, and definitions that do not take into account the constant access now possible. The paradigm's biggest casualty, however, may be that it has diverted attention away from subtle personality changes that seem to occur online, including in users who cannot be considered "addicted" under any definition. Methods A narrative assessment of the literature was conducted, focusing on the Internet's effects on personality traits as revealed in studies of Internet users. Results Impulsivity, narcissism, and aggression are some of the personality traits that seem to be nurtured by the Internet, with possible negative offline consequences. Discussion Ignoring the Internet's subtle effects on personality as we embrace an addiction model that implies severe pathology makes the majority of Internet users feel deceptively immune to the psychological effects of new technologies. It also limits our understanding of the big cultural shifts that are happening as a result. Conclusion The Internet's potentially negative effect on personality, and by extension on society at large, is a fundamental part of online psychology, one well worthy of further investigation.

  4. Scanning of selection signature provides a glimpse into important economic traits in goats (Capra hircus)

    PubMed Central

    Guan, Dailu; Luo, Nanjian; Tan, Xiaoshan; Zhao, Zhongquan; Huang, Yongfu; Na, Risu; Zhang, Jiahua; Zhao, Yongju

    2016-01-01

    Goats (Capra hircus) are one of the oldest livestock domesticated species, and have been used for their milk, meat, hair and skins over much of the world. Detection of selection footprints in genomic regions can provide potential insights for understanding the genetic mechanism of specific phenotypic traits and better guide in animal breeding. The study presented here has generated 192.747G raw data and identified more than 5.03 million single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and 334,151 Indels (insertions and deletions). In addition, we identified 155 and 294 candidate regions harboring 86 and 97 genes based on allele frequency differences in Dazu black goats (DBG) and Inner Mongolia cashmere goats (IMCG), respectively. Populations differentiation reflected by Fst values detected 368 putative selective sweep regions including 164 genes. The top 1% regions of both low heterozygosity and high genetic differentiation contained 239 (135 genes) and 176 (106 genes) candidate regions in DBG and IMCG, respectively. These genes were related to reproductive and productive traits, such as “neurohypophyseal hormone activity” and “adipocytokine signaling pathway”. These findings may be conducive to molecular breeding and the long-term preservation of the valuable genetic resources for this species. PMID:27796358

  5. Plant growth promotion in cereal and leguminous agricultural important plants: from microorganism capacities to crop production.

    PubMed

    Pérez-Montaño, F; Alías-Villegas, C; Bellogín, R A; del Cerro, P; Espuny, M R; Jiménez-Guerrero, I; López-Baena, F J; Ollero, F J; Cubo, T

    2014-01-01

    Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) are free-living bacteria which actively colonize plant roots, exerting beneficial effects on plant development. The PGPR may (i) promote the plant growth either by using their own metabolism (solubilizing phosphates, producing hormones or fixing nitrogen) or directly affecting the plant metabolism (increasing the uptake of water and minerals), enhancing root development, increasing the enzymatic activity of the plant or "helping" other beneficial microorganisms to enhance their action on the plants; (ii) or may promote the plant growth by suppressing plant pathogens. These abilities are of great agriculture importance in terms of improving soil fertility and crop yield, thus reducing the negative impact of chemical fertilizers on the environment. The progress in the last decade in using PGPR in a variety of plants (maize, rice, wheat, soybean and bean) along with their mechanism of action are summarized and discussed here.

  6. The relative importance of microbial nitrate reduction processes in an agriculturally-impacted estuary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cardarelli, E.; Francis, C. A.

    2013-12-01

    Human activities are increasing reactive nitrogen levels worldwide. Reactive nitrogen exists largely as nitrate and may be ecologically harmful to nutrient-limited systems. Nitrate loadings to the environment may be transformed by the microbial nitrate reduction processes of denitrification (converting nitrate to dinitrogen gas), or of dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium (DNRA) (allowing reactive nitrogen to persist). The predominant nitrate reduction pathway largely determines the nitrogen removal capacity of the estuary. Therefore, identifying the relative importance of denitrification and DNRA in a given system provides insight into how much nitrate is transformed to dinitrogen and ammonium. Estuary sediments often have high nitrate reduction rates, but the environmental factors that determine which process prevails are underexplored. Nitrate availability and salinity are thought to influence which nitrate reduction process predominates. Elkhorn Slough is a small California estuary that experiences a range of nitrate concentrations (0 to over 2,000 μM) and salinities (0 to 33.5) depending on the agricultural runoff introduced through the Old Salinas River and the tidal influence. This study investigates how the fluctuating nutrient and salinity conditions found over the diel cycle at the interface of the Old Salinas River and Elkhorn Slough influences the nitrogen transformation rates observed. Benthic denitrification and DNRA are evaluated using whole sediment core incubations amended with an overlying 15NO3- labeled pool. Rates of denitrification and DNRA in the sediment are calculated using the isotope pairing technique. The results of this research will help elucidate the relative importance of dissimilatory nitrate removal pathways in an agriculturally-impacted estuary and ultimately reveal whether anthropogenic nitrate inputs are preserved or removed from the system.

  7. Tetracycline and Phenicol Resistance Genes and Mechanisms: Importance for Agriculture, the Environment, and Humans.

    PubMed

    Roberts, Marilyn C; Schwarz, Stefan

    2016-03-01

    Recent reports have speculated on the future impact that antibiotic-resistant bacteria will have on food production, human health, and global economics. This review examines microbial resistance to tetracyclines and phenicols, antibiotics that are widely used in global food production. The mechanisms of resistance, mode of spread between agriculturally and human-impacted environments and ecosystems, distribution among bacteria, and the genes most likely to be associated with agricultural and environmental settings are included. Forty-six different tetracycline resistance () genes have been identified in 126 genera, with (M) having the broadest taxonomic distribution among all bacteria and (B) having the broadest coverage among the Gram-negative genera. Phenicol resistance genes are organized into 37 groups and have been identified in 70 bacterial genera. The review provides the latest information on tetracycline and phenicol resistance genes, including their association with mobile genetic elements in bacteria of environmental, medical, and veterinary relevance. Knowing what specific antibiotic-resistance genes (ARGs) are found in specific bacterial species and/or genera is critical when using a selective suite of ARGs for detection or surveillance studies. As detection methods move to molecular techniques, our knowledge about which type of bacteria carry which resistance gene(s) will become more important to ensure that the whole spectrum of bacteria are included in future surveillance studies. This review provides information needed to integrate the biology, taxonomy, and ecology of tetracycline- and phenicol-resistant bacteria and their resistance genes so that informative surveillance strategies can be developed and the correct genes selected.

  8. Agricultural waste from the tequila industry as substrate for the production of commercially important enzymes.

    PubMed

    Huitron, C; Perez, R; Sanchez, A E; Lappe, P; Rocha Zavaleta, L

    2008-01-01

    Approximately 1 million tons of Agave tequilana plants are processed annually by the Mexican Tequila industry generating vast amounts of agricultural waste. The aim of this study was to investigate the potential use of Agave tequilana waste as substrate for the production of commercially important enzymes. Two strains of Aspergillus niger (CH-A-2010 and CH-A-2016), isolated from agave fields, were found to grow and propagate in submerged cultures using Agave tequilana waste as substrate. Isolates showed simultaneous extracellular inulinase, xylanase, pectinase, and cellulase activities. Aspergillus CH-A-2010 showed the highest production of inulinase activity (1.48 U/ml), whereas Aspergillus niger CH-A-2016 produced the highest xylanase (1.52 U/ml) and endo-pectinase (2.7U/ml) activities. In both cases production of enzyme activities was significantly higher on Agave tequilana waste than that observed on lemon peel and specific polymeric carbohydrates. Enzymatic hydrolysis of raw A. tequilana stems and leaves, by enzymes secreted by the isolates yielded maximum concentrations of reducing sugars of 28.2 g/l, and 9.9 g/l respectively. In conclusion, Agave tequilana waste can be utilized as substrate for the production of important biotechnological enzymes.

  9. Assessing the Impact of a Semester-Long Course in Agricultural Mechanics on Pre-Service Agricultural Education Teachers' Importance, Confidence, and Knowledge of Welding

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leiby, Brian L.; Robinson, J. Shane; Key, James P.

    2013-01-01

    This study sought to assess the perceptions of Oklahoma pre-service agricultural education teachers regarding the importance of identified welding skills standards and their confidence to teach them, based on a semester-long course on metals and welding. This study also sought to determine pre-service teachers' knowledge of welding prior to and at…

  10. Biorational agents--mechanism and importance in IPM and IRM programs for controlling agricultural pests.

    PubMed

    Ishaaya, I; Kontsedalov, S; Mazirov, D; Horowitz, A R

    2001-01-01

    Among the new approaches for controlling agricultural pests is the development of novel compounds affecting specific processes in insects such as chitin synthesis inhibitors, juvenile hormone mimics and ecdysone agonists. In addition, efforts have been made to develop compounds acting selectively on groups of insects by inhibiting or enhancing biochemical sites such as respiration (diafenthiuron), the nicotinyl acetylcholine receptors (imidacloprid and acetamiprid), the GABA receptors (avermectins), the salivary glands of sucking pests (pymetrozine) and others. Among the most recent novel insecticides with selective properties are novaluron, thiamethoxam, emamectin and spinosad. Novaluron (Rimon) is a novel chitin synthesis inhibitor that acts by both ingestion and contact. It is a powerful suppressor of lepidopteran larvae such as Spodoptera littoralis and Helicoverpa armigera (by ingestion) and of whiteflies such as Bemisia tabaci and Trialeurodes vaporariorum (by contact). Thiamethoxam (Actarn), a novel neonicotinoid acts specifically on aphids and whiteflies. Emamectin (Proclaim), an avermectin derivative acts on GABA receptor affecting diversity of insects such as mites, lepidopterans and thrips. Spinosad (Tracer) seems to act on both acetylcholine and GABA receptors affecting diversity of insect species and is considered an important agent for controlling the western flower thrips.

  11. Simple, rapid, and inexpensive cleanup method for quantitation of aflatoxins in important agricultural products by HPLC.

    PubMed

    Sobolev, Victor S

    2007-03-21

    A chemical cleanup procedure for low-level quantitative determination of aflatoxins in major economically important agricultural commodities using HPLC has been developed. Aflatoxins were extracted from a ground sample with MeOH/H2O (80:20, v/v), and after a cleanup step on a minicolumn packed with Florisil, aflatoxins were quantified by HPLC equipped with a C18 column, a photochemical reactor, and a fluorescence detector. Water/MeOH (63:37, v/v) served as the mobile phase. Recoveries of aflatoxins B1, B2, G1, and G2 from peanuts spiked at 5, 1.7, 5, and 1.7 ng/g were 89.5+/-2.2, 94.7+/-2.5, 90.4+/-1.0, and 98.2+/-1.1, respectively (mean+/-SD, %, n=3). Similar recoveries, precision, and accuracy were achieved for corn, brown and white rice, cottonseed, almonds, Brazil nuts, pistachios, walnuts, and hazelnuts. The quantitation limits for aflatoxins in peanuts were 50 pg/g for aflatoxin B1 and 17 pg/g for aflatoxin B2. The minimal cost of the minicolumn allows for substantial savings compared with available commercial aflatoxin cleanup devices.

  12. Importance of wetland landscape structure to shorebirds wintering in an agricultural valley

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Taft, Oriane W.; Haig, Susan M.

    2006-01-01

    Only recently has the influence of landscape structure on habitat use been a research focus in wetland systems. During non-breeding periods when food can be locally limited, wetland spatial pattern across a landscape may be of great importance in determining wetland use. We studied the influence of landscape structure on abundances of wintering Dunlin (Calidris alpina) and Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus) observed on wetlands in the agricultural Willamette Valley of Oregon, USA, during two winters (1999a??2000, 2000a??2001) of differing rainfall. We examined (1) shorebird use within a sample of 100 km2 regions differing in landscape structure (hectares of shorebird habitat [wet, unvegetated]) and (2) use of sites differing in landscape context (area of shorebird habitat within a species-defined radius). For use of sites, we also assessed the influence of two local characteristics: percent of soil exposed and area of wet habitat. We analyzed data using linear regression and information-theoretic modeling. During the dry winter (2000a??2001), Dunlin were attracted to regions with more wetland habitat and their abundances at sites increased with greater area of shorebird habitat within both the site and the surrounding landscape. In contrast, Dunlin abundances at sites were related to availability of habitat at only a local scale during the wet winter (1999a??2000). Regional habitat availability was of little importance in predicting Killdeer distributions, and Killdeer site use appeared unrelated to habitat distributions at both landscape and local scales. Results suggest prioritizing sites for conservation that are located in areas with high wetland coverage.

  13. Identification of quantitative trait loci(QTL) controlling important fatty acids in peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Fatty acids play important role in controlling oil quality of peanut. In addition to the major fatty acids, oleic acid (C18:1) and linoleic acid (C18:2) accounting for about 80%, there are several minor fatty acids accounting for about 20% in peanut oil, such as palmitic acid (PA, C16:0), stearic (S...

  14. Marker-assisted backcross approach for important agronomic traits of sorghum

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Sequencing technologies are useful for identification of thousands of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in a cost effective manner. QTL mapping, association mapping and Mutmap approaches provide opportunities for use of such SNPs to associate and identify genes that control important agronomic ...

  15. Recognizing the importance of the Department of Agriculture Forest Service Experimental Forests and Ranges.

    THOMAS, 111th Congress

    Rep. Childers, Travis [D-MS-1

    2009-04-02

    09/16/2009 Received in the Senate and referred to the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry. (All Actions) Tracker: This bill has the status Passed HouseHere are the steps for Status of Legislation:

  16. The importance of instream habitat modifications for restoring channelized agricultural headwater streams

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Science based information on the influence of restoration practices on fishes within channelized agricultural headwater streams in the Midwestern United States is currently lacking. Understanding fish-habitat relationships and fish responses to specific restoration practices will provide informatio...

  17. Searching for new loci and candidate genes for economically important traits through gene-based association analysis of Simmental cattle

    PubMed Central

    Xia, Jiangwei; Fan, Huizhong; Chang, Tianpeng; Xu, Lingyang; Zhang, Wengang; Song, Yuxin; Zhu, Bo; Zhang, Lupei; Gao, Xue; Chen, Yan; Li, Junya; Gao, Huijiang

    2017-01-01

    Single-marker genome-wide association study (GWAS) is a convenient strategy of genetic analysis that has been successful in detecting the association of a number of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with quantitative traits. However, analysis of individual SNPs can only account for a small proportion of genetic variation and offers only limited knowledge of complex traits. This inadequacy may be overcome by employing a gene-based GWAS analytic approach, which can be considered complementary to the single-SNP association analysis. Here we performed an initial single-SNP GWAS for bone weight (BW) and meat pH value with a total of 770,000 SNPs in 1141 Simmental cattle. Additionally, 21836 cattle genes collected from the Ensembl Genes 83 database were analyzed to find supplementary evidence to support the importance of gene-based association study. Results of the single SNP-based association study showed that there were 11 SNPs significantly associated with bone weight (BW) and two SNPs associated with meat pH value. Interestingly, all of these SNPs were located in genes detected by the gene-based association study. PMID:28169328

  18. Searching for new loci and candidate genes for economically important traits through gene-based association analysis of Simmental cattle.

    PubMed

    Xia, Jiangwei; Fan, Huizhong; Chang, Tianpeng; Xu, Lingyang; Zhang, Wengang; Song, Yuxin; Zhu, Bo; Zhang, Lupei; Gao, Xue; Chen, Yan; Li, Junya; Gao, Huijiang

    2017-02-07

    Single-marker genome-wide association study (GWAS) is a convenient strategy of genetic analysis that has been successful in detecting the association of a number of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with quantitative traits. However, analysis of individual SNPs can only account for a small proportion of genetic variation and offers only limited knowledge of complex traits. This inadequacy may be overcome by employing a gene-based GWAS analytic approach, which can be considered complementary to the single-SNP association analysis. Here we performed an initial single-SNP GWAS for bone weight (BW) and meat pH value with a total of 770,000 SNPs in 1141 Simmental cattle. Additionally, 21836 cattle genes collected from the Ensembl Genes 83 database were analyzed to find supplementary evidence to support the importance of gene-based association study. Results of the single SNP-based association study showed that there were 11 SNPs significantly associated with bone weight (BW) and two SNPs associated with meat pH value. Interestingly, all of these SNPs were located in genes detected by the gene-based association study.

  19. Comparative genomics of Clavibacter michiganensis subspecies, pathogens of important agricultural crops

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    Subspecies of Clavibacter michiganensis are important phytobacterial pathogens causing devastating diseases in several agricultural crops. The genome organizations of these pathogens are poorly understood. Here, the complete genomes of 5 subspecies (C. michiganensis subsp. michiganensis, Cmi; C. michiganensis subsp. sepedonicus, Cms; C. michiganensis subsp. nebraskensis, Cmn; C. michiganensis subsp. insidiosus, Cmi and C. michiganensis subsp. capsici, Cmc) were analyzed. This study assessed the taxonomic position of the subspecies based on 16S rRNA and genome-based DNA homology and concludes that there is ample evidence to elevate some of the subspecies to species-level. Comparative genomics analysis indicated distinct genomic features evident on the DNA structural atlases and annotation features. Based on orthologous gene analysis, about 2300 CDSs are shared across all the subspecies; and Cms showed the highest number of subspecies-specific CDS, most of which are mobile elements suggesting that Cms could be more prone to translocation of foreign genes. Cms and Cmi had the highest number of pseudogenes, an indication of potential degenerating genomes. The stress response factors that may be involved in cold/heat shock, detoxification, oxidative stress, osmoregulation, and carbon utilization are outlined. For example, the wco-cluster encoding for extracellular polysaccharide II is highly conserved while the sucrose-6-phosphate hydrolase that catalyzes the hydrolysis of sucrose-6-phosphate yielding glucose-6-phosphate and fructose is highly divergent. A unique second form of the enzyme is only present in Cmn NCPPB 2581. Also, twenty-eight plasmid-borne CDSs in the other subspecies were found to have homologues in the chromosomal genome of Cmn which is known not to carry plasmids. These CDSs include pathogenesis-related factors such as Endocellulases E1 and Beta-glucosidase. The results presented here provide an insight of the functional organization of the genomes of

  20. Genome-Wide Analysis Reveals Selection for Important Traits in Domestic Horse Breeds

    PubMed Central

    Petersen, Jessica L.; Mickelson, James R.; Rendahl, Aaron K.; Valberg, Stephanie J.; Andersson, Lisa S.; Axelsson, Jeanette; Bailey, Ernie; Bannasch, Danika; Binns, Matthew M.; Borges, Alexandre S.; Brama, Pieter; da Câmara Machado, Artur; Capomaccio, Stefano; Cappelli, Katia; Cothran, E. Gus; Distl, Ottmar; Fox-Clipsham, Laura; Graves, Kathryn T.; Guérin, Gérard; Haase, Bianca; Hasegawa, Telhisa; Hemmann, Karin; Hill, Emmeline W.; Leeb, Tosso; Lindgren, Gabriella; Lohi, Hannes; Lopes, Maria Susana; McGivney, Beatrice A.; Mikko, Sofia; Orr, Nicholas; Penedo, M. Cecilia T.; Piercy, Richard J.; Raekallio, Marja; Rieder, Stefan; Røed, Knut H.; Swinburne, June; Tozaki, Teruaki; Vaudin, Mark; Wade, Claire M.; McCue, Molly E.

    2013-01-01

    Intense selective pressures applied over short evolutionary time have resulted in homogeneity within, but substantial variation among, horse breeds. Utilizing this population structure, 744 individuals from 33 breeds, and a 54,000 SNP genotyping array, breed-specific targets of selection were identified using an FST-based statistic calculated in 500-kb windows across the genome. A 5.5-Mb region of ECA18, in which the myostatin (MSTN) gene was centered, contained the highest signature of selection in both the Paint and Quarter Horse. Gene sequencing and histological analysis of gluteal muscle biopsies showed a promoter variant and intronic SNP of MSTN were each significantly associated with higher Type 2B and lower Type 1 muscle fiber proportions in the Quarter Horse, demonstrating a functional consequence of selection at this locus. Signatures of selection on ECA23 in all gaited breeds in the sample led to the identification of a shared, 186-kb haplotype including two doublesex related mab transcription factor genes (DMRT2 and 3). The recent identification of a DMRT3 mutation within this haplotype, which appears necessary for the ability to perform alternative gaits, provides further evidence for selection at this locus. Finally, putative loci for the determination of size were identified in the draft breeds and the Miniature horse on ECA11, as well as when signatures of selection surrounding candidate genes at other loci were examined. This work provides further evidence of the importance of MSTN in racing breeds, provides strong evidence for selection upon gait and size, and illustrates the potential for population-based techniques to find genomic regions driving important phenotypes in the modern horse. PMID:23349635

  1. Genome-wide analysis reveals selection for important traits in domestic horse breeds.

    PubMed

    Petersen, Jessica L; Mickelson, James R; Rendahl, Aaron K; Valberg, Stephanie J; Andersson, Lisa S; Axelsson, Jeanette; Bailey, Ernie; Bannasch, Danika; Binns, Matthew M; Borges, Alexandre S; Brama, Pieter; da Câmara Machado, Artur; Capomaccio, Stefano; Cappelli, Katia; Cothran, E Gus; Distl, Ottmar; Fox-Clipsham, Laura; Graves, Kathryn T; Guérin, Gérard; Haase, Bianca; Hasegawa, Telhisa; Hemmann, Karin; Hill, Emmeline W; Leeb, Tosso; Lindgren, Gabriella; Lohi, Hannes; Lopes, Maria Susana; McGivney, Beatrice A; Mikko, Sofia; Orr, Nicholas; Penedo, M Cecilia T; Piercy, Richard J; Raekallio, Marja; Rieder, Stefan; Røed, Knut H; Swinburne, June; Tozaki, Teruaki; Vaudin, Mark; Wade, Claire M; McCue, Molly E

    2013-01-01

    Intense selective pressures applied over short evolutionary time have resulted in homogeneity within, but substantial variation among, horse breeds. Utilizing this population structure, 744 individuals from 33 breeds, and a 54,000 SNP genotyping array, breed-specific targets of selection were identified using an F(ST)-based statistic calculated in 500-kb windows across the genome. A 5.5-Mb region of ECA18, in which the myostatin (MSTN) gene was centered, contained the highest signature of selection in both the Paint and Quarter Horse. Gene sequencing and histological analysis of gluteal muscle biopsies showed a promoter variant and intronic SNP of MSTN were each significantly associated with higher Type 2B and lower Type 1 muscle fiber proportions in the Quarter Horse, demonstrating a functional consequence of selection at this locus. Signatures of selection on ECA23 in all gaited breeds in the sample led to the identification of a shared, 186-kb haplotype including two doublesex related mab transcription factor genes (DMRT2 and 3). The recent identification of a DMRT3 mutation within this haplotype, which appears necessary for the ability to perform alternative gaits, provides further evidence for selection at this locus. Finally, putative loci for the determination of size were identified in the draft breeds and the Miniature horse on ECA11, as well as when signatures of selection surrounding candidate genes at other loci were examined. This work provides further evidence of the importance of MSTN in racing breeds, provides strong evidence for selection upon gait and size, and illustrates the potential for population-based techniques to find genomic regions driving important phenotypes in the modern horse.

  2. Agricultural By-Products Turned into Important Materials with Adsorptive Properties

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This presentation will summarize the use of agricultural by-products (e.g., animal manure and plant waste) as starting materials to adsorb environmental contaminants such as mercury from air, ammonia from air, metal ions from water, and chlorinated organics from water. The results show that the mat...

  3. Assessing the importance of agricultural management practices to reduce the ecological risk of pesticides

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The use of pesticides in agriculture, their potential to be transported beyond the intended target, and their possible risk to human and environmental health has been of public concern for many years. We utilized 5 years of field data from 3 vegetable production systems to evaluate the ability of ag...

  4. Agriculturally important yeasts: Biological control of field and postharvest diseases using yeast antagonists, and yeasts as pathogens of plants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Two important agricultural aspects of yeasts, control of plant diseases through application of yeasts as the control agent, and yeasts that are plant pathogens are reviewed. Yeasts as biocontrol organisms are presented first, followed by a discussion of some of the more common plant pathogenic yeas...

  5. Academic Achievement and Personality Traits of Faculty Members of Indian Agricultural Universities: Their Effect on Teaching and Research Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ramesh, P.; Reddy, K. M.; Rao, R. V. S.; Dhandapani, A.; Siva, G. Samba; Ramakrishna, A.

    2017-01-01

    Purpose: The present study was undertaken to assess academic achievement, teaching aptitude and research attitude of Indian agricultural universities' faculty, to predict indicators for successful teachers and researchers, and thereby enhancing the quality of higher agricultural education. Methodology: Five hundred faculty members were selected to…

  6. Relative importance of phenotypic trait matching and species' abundances in determining plant-avian seed dispersal interactions in a small insular community.

    PubMed

    González-Castro, Aarón; Yang, Suann; Nogales, Manuel; Carlo, Tomás A

    2015-03-05

    Network theory has provided a general way to understand mutualistic plant-animal interactions at the community level. However, the mechanisms responsible for interaction patterns remain controversial. In this study we use a combination of statistical models and probability matrices to evaluate the relative importance of species morphological and nutritional (phenotypic) traits and species abundance in determining interactions between fleshy-fruited plants and birds that disperse their seeds. The models included variables associated with species abundance, a suite of variables associated with phenotypic traits (fruit diameter, bird bill width, fruit nutrient compounds), and the species identity of the avian disperser. Results show that both phenotypic traits and species abundance are important determinants of pairwise interactions. However, when considered separately, fruit diameter and bill width were more important in determining seed dispersal interactions. The effect of fruit compounds was less substantial and only important when considered together with abundance-related variables and/or the factor 'animal species'.

  7. Relative importance of phenotypic trait matching and species' abundances in determining plant–avian seed dispersal interactions in a small insular community

    PubMed Central

    González-Castro, Aarón; Yang, Suann; Nogales, Manuel; Carlo, Tomás A.

    2015-01-01

    Network theory has provided a general way to understand mutualistic plant–animal interactions at the community level. However, the mechanisms responsible for interaction patterns remain controversial. In this study we use a combination of statistical models and probability matrices to evaluate the relative importance of species morphological and nutritional (phenotypic) traits and species abundance in determining interactions between fleshy-fruited plants and birds that disperse their seeds. The models included variables associated with species abundance, a suite of variables associated with phenotypic traits (fruit diameter, bird bill width, fruit nutrient compounds), and the species identity of the avian disperser. Results show that both phenotypic traits and species abundance are important determinants of pairwise interactions. However, when considered separately, fruit diameter and bill width were more important in determining seed dispersal interactions. The effect of fruit compounds was less substantial and only important when considered together with abundance-related variables and/or the factor ‘animal species’. PMID:25750409

  8. Psychopathic personality traits in 5 year old twins: the importance of genetic and shared environmental influences.

    PubMed

    Tuvblad, Catherine; Fanti, Kostas A; Andershed, Henrik; Colins, Olivier F; Larsson, Henrik

    2017-04-01

    There is limited research on the genetic and environmental bases of psychopathic personality traits in children. In this study, psychopathic personality traits were assessed in a total of 1189 5-year-old boys and girls drawn from the Preschool Twin Study in Sweden. Psychopathic personality traits were assessed with the Child Problematic Traits Inventory, a teacher-report measure of psychopathic personality traits in children ranging from 3 to 12 years old. Univariate results showed that genetic influences accounted for 57, 25, and 74 % of the variance in the grandiose-deceitful, callous-unemotional, and impulsive-need for stimulation dimensions, while the shared environment accounted for 17, 48 and 9 % (n.s.) in grandiose-deceitful and callous-unemotional, impulsive-need for stimulation dimensions, respectively. No sex differences were found in the genetic and environmental variance components. The non-shared environment accounted for the remaining 26, 27 and 17 % of the variance, respectively. The three dimensions of psychopathic personality were moderately correlated (0.54-0.66) and these correlations were primarily mediated by genetic and shared environmental factors. In contrast to research conducted with adolescent and adult twins, we found that both genetic and shared environmental factors influenced psychopathic personality traits in early childhood. These findings indicate that etiological models of psychopathic personality traits would benefit by taking developmental stages and processes into consideration.

  9. The importance of digitized biocollections as a source of trait data and a new VertNet resource

    PubMed Central

    Guralnick, Robert P.; Zermoglio, Paula F.; Wieczorek, John; LaFrance, Raphael; Bloom, David; Russell, Laura

    2016-01-01

    For vast areas of the globe and large parts of the tree of life, data needed to inform trait diversity is incomplete. Such trait data, when fully assembled, however, form the link between the evolutionary history of organisms, their assembly into communities, and the nature and functioning of ecosystems. Recent efforts to close data gaps have focused on collating trait-by-species databases, which only provide species-level, aggregated value ranges for traits of interest and often lack the direct observations on which those ranges are based. Perhaps under-appreciated is that digitized biocollection records collectively contain a vast trove of trait data measured directly from individuals, but this content remains hidden and highly heterogeneous, impeding discoverability and use. We developed and deployed a suite of openly accessible software tools in order to collate a full set of trait descriptions and extract two key traits, body length and mass, from >18 million specimen records in VertNet, a global biodiversity data publisher and aggregator. We tested success rate of these tools against hand-checked validation data sets and characterized quality and quantity. A post-processing toolkit was developed to standardize and harmonize data sets, and to integrate this improved content into VertNet for broadest reuse. The result of this work was to add more than 1.5 million harmonized measurements on vertebrate body mass and length directly to specimen records. Rates of false positives and negatives for extracted data were extremely low. We also created new tools for filtering, querying, and assembling this research-ready vertebrate trait content for view and download. Our work has yielded a novel database and platform for harmonized trait content that will grow as tools introduced here become part of publication workflows. We close by noting how this effort extends to new communities already developing similar digitized content. Database URL: http

  10. Survival in macaroni penguins and the relative importance of different drivers: individual traits, predation pressure and environmental variability.

    PubMed

    Horswill, Catharine; Matthiopoulos, Jason; Green, Jonathan A; Meredith, Michael P; Forcada, Jaume; Peat, Helen; Preston, Mark; Trathan, Phil N; Ratcliffe, Norman

    2014-09-01

    Understanding the demographic response of free-living animal populations to different drivers is the first step towards reliable prediction of population trends. Penguins have exhibited dramatic declines in population size, and many studies have linked this to bottom-up processes altering the abundance of prey species. The effects of individual traits have been considered to a lesser extent, and top-down regulation through predation has been largely overlooked due to the difficulties in empirically measuring this at sea where it usually occurs. For 10 years (2003-2012), macaroni penguins (Eudyptes chrysolophus) were marked with subcutaneous electronic transponder tags and re-encountered using an automated gateway system fitted at the entrance to the colony. We used multistate mark-recapture modelling to identify the different drivers influencing survival rates and a sensitivity analysis to assess their relative importance across different life stages. Survival rates were low and variable during the fledging year (mean = 0·33), increasing to much higher levels from age 1 onwards (mean = 0·89). We show that survival of macaroni penguins is driven by a combination of individual quality, top-down predation pressure and bottom-up environmental forces. The relative importance of these covariates was age specific. During the fledging year, survival rates were most sensitive to top-down predation pressure, followed by individual fledging mass, and finally bottom-up environmental effects. In contrast, birds older than 1 year showed a similar response to bottom-up environmental effects and top-down predation pressure. We infer from our results that macaroni penguins will most likely be negatively impacted by an increase in the local population size of giant petrels. Furthermore, this population is, at least in the short term, likely to be positively influenced by local warming. More broadly, our results highlight the importance of considering multiple causal effects across

  11. Genetic parameters and correlations of collar rot resistance with important biochemical and yield traits in opium poppy (Papaver somniferum L.).

    PubMed

    Trivedi, Mala; Tiwari, Rajesh K; Dhawan, Om P

    2006-01-01

    Collar rot, caused by Rhizoctonia solani Kühn, is one of the most severe fungal diseases of opium poppy. In this study, heritability, genetic advance and correlation for 10 agronomic, 1 physiological, 3 biochemical and 1 chemical traits with disease severity index (DSI) for collar rot were assessed in 35 accessions of opium poppy. Most of the economically important characters, like seed and capsule straw yield per plant, oil and protein content of seeds, peroxidase activity in leaves, morphine content of capsule straw and DSI for collar rot showed high heritability as well as genetic advance. Highly significant negative correlation between DSI and seed yield clearly shows that as the disease progresses in plants, seed yield declines, chiefly due to premature death of infected plants as well as low seed and capsule setting in the survived population of susceptible plants. Similarly, a highly significant negative correlation between peroxidase activity and DSI indicated that marker-assisted selection of disease-resistant plants based on high peroxidase activity would be effective and survived susceptible plants could be removed from the population to stop further spread.

  12. Life-history traits and effective population size in species with overlapping generations revisited: the importance of adult mortality.

    PubMed

    Waples, R S

    2016-10-01

    The relationship between life-history traits and the key eco-evolutionary parameters effective population size (Ne) and Ne/N is revisited for iteroparous species with overlapping generations, with a focus on the annual rate of adult mortality (d). Analytical methods based on populations with arbitrarily long adult lifespans are used to evaluate the influence of d on Ne, Ne/N and the factors that determine these parameters: adult abundance (N), generation length (T), age at maturity (α), the ratio of variance to mean reproductive success in one season by individuals of the same age (φ) and lifetime variance in reproductive success of individuals in a cohort (Vk•). Although the resulting estimators of N, T and Vk• are upwardly biased for species with short adult lifespans, the estimate of Ne/N is largely unbiased because biases in T are compensated for by biases in Vk• and N. For the first time, the contrasting effects of T and Vk• on Ne and Ne/N are jointly considered with respect to d and φ. A simple function of d and α based on the assumption of constant vital rates is shown to be a robust predictor (R(2)=0.78) of Ne/N in an empirical data set of life tables for 63 animal and plant species with diverse life histories. Results presented here should provide important context for interpreting the surge of genetically based estimates of Ne that has been fueled by the genomics revolution.

  13. A reference consensus genetic map for molecular markers and economically important traits in faba bean (Vicia faba L.)

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Faba bean (Vicia faba L.) is among the earliest domesticated crops from the Near East. Today this legume is a key protein feed and food worldwide and continues to serve an important role in culinary traditions throughout Middle East, Mediterranean region, China and Ethiopia. Adapted to a wide range of soil types, the main faba bean breeding objectives are to improve yield, resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses, seed quality and other agronomic traits. Genomic approaches aimed at enhancing faba bean breeding programs require high-quality genetic linkage maps to facilitate quantitative trait locus analysis and gene tagging for use in a marker-assisted selection. The objective of this study was to construct a reference consensus map in faba bean by joining the information from the most relevant maps reported so far in this crop. Results A combination of two approaches, increasing the number of anchor loci in diverse mapping populations and joining the corresponding genetic maps, was used to develop a reference consensus map in faba bean. The map was constructed from three main recombinant inbreed populations derived from four parental lines, incorporates 729 markers and is based on 69 common loci. It spans 4,602 cM with a range from 323 to 1041 loci in six main linkage groups or chromosomes, and an average marker density of one locus every 6 cM. Locus order is generally well maintained between the consensus map and the individual maps. Conclusion We have constructed a reliable and fairly dense consensus genetic linkage map that will serve as a basis for genomic approaches in faba bean research and breeding. The core map contains a larger number of markers than any previous individual map, covers existing gaps and achieves a wider coverage of the large faba bean genome as a whole. This tool can be used as a reference resource for studies in different genetic backgrounds, and provides a framework for transferring genetic information when using different

  14. The Potential of Pigeonpea (Cajanus cajan) for Producing Important Components of Renewable Energy and Agricultural Products

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gwata, E.

    2012-04-01

    In agricultural systems, sustainable crop production is critical in meeting both environmental requirements and the limitations of drought imposed by the effects of global warming. The inputs for crop production and end use of the products should determine the choice of a crop particularly in environments prone to droughts. The objective of this paper is to highlight why a multi-purpose grain legume such as pigeonpea is an ideal crop that can be utilized for producing renewable energy. Firstly, it is highly tolerant to drought and does not require additional soil moisture after the seedling growth stage. The deep tape root extracts moisture and nutrients from deep layers of the soil concomitantly allowing for efficient nutrient recycling. The piscidic acid which is exuded from the roots enhances the solubilization of phosphorus in order to make it available for plant uptake. Secondly, the grain of pigeonpea is suitable for both human food and feedstocks. The grain is rich in oil, vitamins, minerals and protein. The grain can also be used for producing biofuel. In many countries particularly in the developing world, the stover is used as fuel wood or building (roofing) material, thus alleviating pressure on forest products. The crop is grown without the application of inorganic fertilizers as it can fix atmospheric nitrogen symbiotically in its root nodules. Pigeonpea is also ratoonable, producing two or more harvests per season. In addition, it is grown in mixed cropping systems thus optimizing land use. In these regards, pigeonpea is sustainable and environmentally friendly choice for agricultural production of food and energy balance.

  15. A design-constraint trade-off underpins the diversity in ecologically important traits in species Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Phan, Katherine; Ferenci, Thomas

    2013-10-01

    Bacterial species are internally diverse in genomic and multi-locus gene comparisons. The ecological causes of phenotypic and genotypic diversity within species are far less well understood. Here, we focus on the competitive fitness for growth on nutrients within Escherichia coli, an internally rich species. Competition experiments in nutrient-limited chemostats revealed that members of the ECOR collection exhibited a wide continuum of competitive abilities, with some fitter and some less fit than the lab strain MG1655. We observed an inverse relationship between competitiveness and the resistance of strains to detergent and antibiotic, consistent with the notion that membrane permeability and competitive fitness are linked by a trade-off between self-preservation and nutritional competence (SPANC); high permeability has a postulated cost in antibacterial sensitivity whereas a low permeability has a cost in nutrient affinity. Isolates moved along the markedly nonlinear trade-off curve by mutational adaptation; an ECOR strain sensitive to antibacterials and a good competitor was easily converted by mutation into a mutant with higher resistance but poorer competition in the presence of low antibiotic concentrations. Conversely, a resistant ECOR strain changed into a better competitor after a short period of selection under nutrient limitation. In both directions, mutations can affect porin proteins and outer membrane permeability, as indicated by protein analysis, gene sequencing and an independent assay of outer membrane permeability. The extensive, species-wide diversity of E. coli in ecologically important traits can thus be explained as an evolutionary consequence of a SPANC trade-off driven by antagonistic pleiotropy.

  16. Survival in macaroni penguins and the relative importance of different drivers: individual traits, predation pressure and environmental variability

    PubMed Central

    Horswill, Catharine; Matthiopoulos, Jason; Green, Jonathan A; Meredith, Michael P; Forcada, Jaume; Peat, Helen; Preston, Mark; Trathan, Phil N; Ratcliffe, Norman

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the demographic response of free-living animal populations to different drivers is the first step towards reliable prediction of population trends. Penguins have exhibited dramatic declines in population size, and many studies have linked this to bottom-up processes altering the abundance of prey species. The effects of individual traits have been considered to a lesser extent, and top-down regulation through predation has been largely overlooked due to the difficulties in empirically measuring this at sea where it usually occurs. For 10 years (2003–2012), macaroni penguins (Eudyptes chrysolophus) were marked with subcutaneous electronic transponder tags and re-encountered using an automated gateway system fitted at the entrance to the colony. We used multistate mark–recapture modelling to identify the different drivers influencing survival rates and a sensitivity analysis to assess their relative importance across different life stages. Survival rates were low and variable during the fledging year (mean = 0·33), increasing to much higher levels from age 1 onwards (mean = 0·89). We show that survival of macaroni penguins is driven by a combination of individual quality, top-down predation pressure and bottom-up environmental forces. The relative importance of these covariates was age specific. During the fledging year, survival rates were most sensitive to top-down predation pressure, followed by individual fledging mass, and finally bottom-up environmental effects. In contrast, birds older than 1 year showed a similar response to bottom-up environmental effects and top-down predation pressure. We infer from our results that macaroni penguins will most likely be negatively impacted by an increase in the local population size of giant petrels. Furthermore, this population is, at least in the short term, likely to be positively influenced by local warming. More broadly, our results highlight the importance of considering multiple causal

  17. EPA Resolves Violations with Newport Beach, Calif. Company for Failure to Report Imported Agricultural Chemicals

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    LOS ANGELES -The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency settled its case against American Vanguard Corporation, located in Newport Beach, Calif., for failure to report toxic chemical substances imported by two of its subsidiary companies. American Vang

  18. Projecting Future Nitrous Oxide Emissions From Agriculture: Importance of Ecological Feedbacks and the Environmental Benefits of Improved Nitrogen Use Efficiency

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kanter, D.; Zhang, X.; Shevliakova, E.; Malyshev, S.; Mauzerall, D. L.

    2014-12-01

    Nitrous oxide (N2O) presents a triple threat to the global environment: it is the third most important anthropogenic greenhouse gas, the largest remaining anthropogenic contributor to stratospheric ozone depletion, and an important component of the nitrogen (N) cascade - where one atom of N can interconvert between a number of forms, each with a unique set of environmental impacts. Here we use a dynamic vegetation model (Princeton-Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Lab (GFDL) LM3 - the interactive land component of the GFDL Earth System Model) to assess how changes in future climate, land-use, and global fertilizer and manure application are projected to affect global N2O emissions from agriculture by 2050. Agricultural land is defined in this study as the sum of cropland and pasture. In a baseline scenario assuming little improvement in global N use efficiency (NUE) by 2050, the model projects a 24-31% increase in global agricultural N2O emissions (with the uncertainty range stemming from differences in climate forcing, land-use and fertilizer and manure consumption between RCP2.6 and RCP8.5, the two climate scenarios used in this study) - rising from 2.9 Tg N2O-N yr-1 in 1990-2000 to 3.6-3.8 Tg N2O-N yr-1 in 2040-2050. This emission increase is considerably less than the projected increases in global fertilizer and manure consumption (42-44%) and previously published projections of global agricultural N2O emission increases (38-75% - again, the uncertainty range reflecting the differences between the climate scenarios used). This disparity appears to be a result of ecological feedbacks captured by the model, where a considerable portion of the increase in fertilizer and manure use is absorbed by agricultural plant biomass rather than lost to the environment. In addition to this dynamic, the model projects that improvements in global NUE of 20-50% could reduce global N2O emissions significantly, delivering important climate and stratospheric ozone benefits over the period

  19. The Importance of Selected Instructional Areas in the Present and Future Secondary Agricultural Education Curriculum as Perceived by Teachers, Principals, and Superintendents in Nebraska.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Foster, Rick; And Others

    1995-01-01

    A 1989-90 survey received 381 responses from Nebraska agriculture teachers, principals, and superintendents in which they rated agricultural economics, marketing, and computers as important current topics; leadership, personal development, agribusiness management, and natural resources were important future topics. Most had a cautious, low-risk…

  20. U.S. Irrigation. Extent and Economic Importance. Agriculture Information Bulletin Number 523.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Day, John C.; Horner, Gerald L.

    Data for the years 1974, 1978, 1982, and 1984 are used to identify the principal features of irrigated farming in the United States and to assess the importance of irrigation to the farm economy. Irrigation of U.S. acreage declined 5.6 million acres between 1978 and 1984 to 44.7 million acres. In 1982 irrigated acreage represented 6 percent of the…

  1. Evolutionary outcomes should inform plant breeding and transgenic approaches to drought tolerance in crop species: the importance of xylem traits

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Genomic-assisted breeding and transgenic approaches to crop improvement are presently targeting phenotypic traits that allegedly confer drought tolerance. A news feature published in Nature Biotechnology last year suggests that these efforts may not be proceeding with sufficient haste, considering t...

  2. Comparisons of diazotrophic communities in native and agricultural desert ecosystems reveal plants as important drivers in diversity.

    PubMed

    Köberl, Martina; Erlacher, Armin; Ramadan, Elshahat M; El-Arabi, Tarek F; Müller, Henry; Bragina, Anastasia; Berg, Gabriele

    2016-02-01

    Diazotrophs provide the only biological source of fixed atmospheric nitrogen in the biosphere. Although they are the key player for plant-available nitrogen, less is known about their diversity and potential importance in arid ecosystems. We investigated the nitrogenase gene diversity in native and agricultural desert soil as well as within root-associated microbiota of medicinal plants grown in Egypt through the combination of nifH-specific qPCR, fingerprints, amplicon pyrosequencing and fluorescence in situ hybridization-confocal laser scanning microscopy. Although the diazotrophic microbiota were characterized by generally high abundances and diversity, statistically significant differences were found between both soils, the different microhabitats, and between the investigated plants (Matricaria chamomilla L., Calendula officinalis L. and Solanum distichum Schumach. and Thonn.). We observed a considerable community shift from desert to agriculturally used soil that demonstrated a higher abundance and diversity in the agro-ecosystem. The endorhiza was characterized by lower abundances and only a subset of species when compared to the rhizosphere. While the microbiomes of the Asteraceae were similar and dominated by potential root-nodulating rhizobia acquired primarily from soil, the perennial S. distichum generally formed associations with free-living nitrogen fixers. These results underline the importance of diazotrophs in desert ecosystems and additionally identify plants as important drivers in functional gene pool diversity.

  3. Comparisons of diazotrophic communities in native and agricultural desert ecosystems reveal plants as important drivers in diversity

    PubMed Central

    Köberl, Martina; Erlacher, Armin; Ramadan, Elshahat M.; El-Arabi, Tarek F.; Müller, Henry; Bragina, Anastasia; Berg, Gabriele

    2015-01-01

    Diazotrophs provide the only biological source of fixed atmospheric nitrogen in the biosphere. Although they are the key player for plant-available nitrogen, less is known about their diversity and potential importance in arid ecosystems. We investigated the nitrogenase gene diversity in native and agricultural desert soil as well as within root-associated microbiota of medicinal plants grown in Egypt through the combination of nifH-specific qPCR, fingerprints, amplicon pyrosequencing and fluorescence in situ hybridization–confocal laser scanning microscopy. Although the diazotrophic microbiota were characterized by generally high abundances and diversity, statistically significant differences were found between both soils, the different microhabitats, and between the investigated plants (Matricaria chamomilla L., Calendula officinalis L. and Solanum distichum Schumach. and Thonn.). We observed a considerable community shift from desert to agriculturally used soil that demonstrated a higher abundance and diversity in the agro-ecosystem. The endorhiza was characterized by lower abundances and only a subset of species when compared to the rhizosphere. While the microbiomes of the Asteraceae were similar and dominated by potential root-nodulating rhizobia acquired primarily from soil, the perennial S. distichum generally formed associations with free-living nitrogen fixers. These results underline the importance of diazotrophs in desert ecosystems and additionally identify plants as important drivers in functional gene pool diversity. PMID:26705571

  4. Reducing GHG emissions through genetic improvement for feed efficiency: effects on economically important traits and enteric methane production.

    PubMed

    Basarab, J A; Beauchemin, K A; Baron, V S; Ominski, K H; Guan, L L; Miller, S P; Crowley, J J

    2013-06-01

    Genetic selection for residual feed intake (RFI) is an indirect approach for reducing enteric methane (CH4) emissions in beef and dairy cattle. RFI is moderately heritable (0.26 to 0.43), moderately repeatable across diets (0.33 to 0.67) and independent of body size and production, and when adjusted for off-test ultrasound backfat thickness (RFI fat) is also independent of body fatness in growing animals. It is highly dependent on accurate measurement of individual animal feed intake. Within-animal repeatability of feed intake is moderate (0.29 to 0.49) with distinctive diurnal patterns associated with cattle type, diet and genotype, necessitating the recording of feed intake for at least 35 days. In addition, direct measurement of enteric CH4 production will likely be more variable and expensive than measuring feed intake and if conducted should be expressed as CH4 production (g/animal per day) adjusted for body size, growth, body composition and dry matter intake (DMI) or as residual CH4 production. A further disadvantage of a direct CH4 phenotype is that the relationships of enteric CH4 production on other economically important traits are largely unknown. Selection for low RFI fat (efficient, -RFI fat) will result in cattle that consume less dry matter (DMI) and have an improved feed conversion ratio (FCR) compared with high RFI fat cattle (inefficient; +RFI fat). Few antagonistic effects have been reported for the relationships of RFI fat on carcass and meat quality, fertility, cow lifetime productivity and adaptability to stress or extensive grazing conditions. Low RFI fat cattle also produce 15% to 25% less enteric CH4 than +RFI fat cattle, since DMI is positively related to enteric methane (CH4) production. In addition, lower DMI and feeding duration and frequency, and a different rumen bacterial profile that improves rumen fermentation in -RFI fat cattle may favor a 1% to 2% improvement in dry matter and CP digestibility compared with +RFI fat cattle. Rate

  5. Association of N2-fixing cyanobacteria and plants: towards novel symbioses of agricultural importance

    SciTech Connect

    Elhai, Jeff

    2001-06-25

    Some nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria are able to form symbioses with a wide variety of plants. Nostoc 2S9B is unusual in its ability to infect the roots of wheat, raising the prospect of a productive association with an important crop plant. The goal of the project was to lay the groundwork for the use of novel associations between Nostoc and crops of agronomic importance, thereby reducing our reliance on nitrogenous fertilizer. Nostoc 2S9B was found to enter roots through mechanical damage of roots and reside primarily in intercellular spaces. The strain could also be incorporated into wheat calli grown in tissue culture. In both cases, the rate of nitrogen fixation by the cyanobacterium was higher than that of the same strain grown with no plant present. Artificial nodules induced by the action of hormone 2,4D were readily infected by Nostoc 2S9B, and the cyanobacteria within such nodules fixed nitrogen under fully aerobic conditions. The nitrogen fixed was shown to be incorporated into the growing wheat seedlings. Nostoc thus differs from other bacteria in its ability to fix nitrogen in para-nodules without need for artificially microaerobic conditions. It would be useful to introduce foreign DNA into Nostoc 2S9B in order to make defined mutations to understand the genetic basis of its ability to infect wheat and to create strains that might facilitate the study of the infection process. Transfer of DNA into the cyanobacterium appears to be limited by the presence of four restriction enzymes, with recognition sequences the same as BamHI, BglI, BsaHI, and Tth111I. Genes encoding methyltransferases that protect DNA against these four enzymes have been cloned into helper plasmids to allow transfer of DNA from E. coli to Nostoc 2S9B.

  6. Cadmium contamination in Tianjin agricultural soils and sediments: relative importance of atmospheric deposition from coal combustion.

    PubMed

    Wu, Guanghong; Yang, Cancan; Guo, Lan; Wang, Zhongliang

    2013-06-01

    Cadmium (Cd) in coal, fly ash, slag, atmospheric deposition, soils and sediments collected from Tianjin, northern China, were measured to provide baseline information and determine possible Cd sources and potential risk. The concentrations of Cd in coal, fly ash and atmospheric deposition were much higher than the soil background values. Fallout from coal-fired thermal power plants, heating boilers and industrial furnaces has increased the Cd concentration in soils and sediments in Tianjin. The concentrations of Cd in soils of suburban areas were significantly higher than in rural areas, suggesting that coal burning in Tianjin may have an important impact on the local physical environment. Cd from coal combustion is readily mobilized in soils. It is soluble and can form aqueous complexes and permeate river sediments. The high proportion of mobile Cd affects the migration of Cd in soils and sediments, which may pose an environmental threat in Tianjin due to the exposure to Cd and Cd compounds via the food chain. This study may provide a window for understanding and tracing sources of Cd in the local environment and the risk associated with Cd bioaccessibility.

  7. Importance of agricultural landscapes to nesting burrowing owls in the Northern Great Plains, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Restani, M.; Davies, J.M.; Newton, W.E.

    2008-01-01

    Anthropogenic habitat loss and fragmentation are the principle factors causing declines of grassland birds. Declines in burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia) populations have been extensive and have been linked to habitat loss, primarily the decline of black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) colonies. Development of habitat use models is a research priority and will aid conservation of owls inhabiting human-altered landscapes. From 2001 to 2004 we located 160 burrowing owl nests on prairie dog colonies on the Little Missouri National Grassland in North Dakota. We used multiple linear regression and Akaike's Information Criterion to estimate the relationship between cover type characteristics surrounding prairie dog colonies and (1) number of owl pairs per colony and (2) reproductive success. Models were developed for two spatial scales, within 600 m and 2,000 m radii of nests for cropland, crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum), grassland, and prairie dog colonies. We also included number of patches as a metric of landscape fragmentation. Annually, fewer than 30% of prairie dog colonies were occupied by owls. None of the models at the 600 m scale explained variation in number of owl pairs or reproductive success. However, models at the 2,000 m scale did explain number of owl pairs and reproductive success. Models included cropland, crested wheatgrass, and prairie dog colonies. Grasslands were not included in any of the models and had low importance values, although percentage grassland surrounding colonies was high. Management that protects prairie dog colonies bordering cropland and crested wheatgrass should be implemented to maintain nesting habitat of burrowing owls. ?? 2008 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  8. Estimation of soil erosion risk within an important agricultural sub-watershed in Bursa, Turkey, in relation to rapid urbanization.

    PubMed

    Ozsoy, Gokhan; Aksoy, Ertugrul

    2015-07-01

    This paper integrates the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) with a GIS model to investigate the spatial distribution of annual soil loss and identify areas of soil erosion risk in the Uluabat sub-watershed, an important agricultural site in Bursa Province, Turkey. The total soil loss from water erosion was 473,274 Mg year(-1). Accordingly, 60.3% of the surveyed area was classified into a very low erosion risk class while 25.7% was found to be in high and severe erosion risk classes. Soil loss had a close relationship with land use and topography. The most severe erosion risk typically occurs on ridges and steep slopes where agriculture, degraded forest, and shrubs are the main land uses and cover types. Another goal of this study was to use GIS to reveal the multi-year urbanization status caused by rapid urbanization that constitutes another soil erosion risk in this area. Urbanization has increased by 57.7% and the most areal change was determined in class I lands at a rate of 80% over 25 years. Urbanization was identified as one of the causes of excessive soil loss in the study area.

  9. The Influence of Organized Physical Activity (Including Gymnastics) on Young Adult Skeletal Traits: Is Maturity Phase Important?

    PubMed

    Bernardoni, Brittney; Scerpella, Tamara A; Rosenbaum, Paula F; Kanaley, Jill A; Raab, Lindsay N; Li, Quefeng; Wang, Sijian; Dowthwaite, Jodi N

    2015-05-01

    We prospectively evaluated adolescent organized physical activity (PA) as a factor in adult female bone traits. Annual DXA scans accompanied semiannual records of anthropometry, maturity, and PA for 42 participants in this preliminary analysis (criteria: appropriately timed DXA scans at ~1 year premenarche [predictor] and ~5 years postmenarche [dependent variable]). Regression analysis evaluated total adolescent interscan PA and PA over 3 maturity subphases as predictors of young adult bone outcomes: 1) bone mineral content (BMC), geometry, and strength indices at nondominant distal radius and femoral neck; 2) subhead BMC; 3) lumbar spine BMC. Analyses accounted for baseline gynecological age (years pre- or postmenarche), baseline bone status, adult body size and interscan body size change. Gymnastics training was evaluated as a potentially independent predictor, but did not improve models for any outcomes (p > .07). Premenarcheal bone traits were strong predictors of most adult outcomes (semipartial r2 = .21-0.59, p ≤ .001). Adult 1/3 radius and subhead BMC were predicted by both total PA and PA 1-3 years postmenarche (p < .03). PA 3-5 years postmenarche predicted femoral narrow neck width, endosteal diameter, and buckling ratio (p < .05). Thus, participation in organized physical activity programs throughout middle and high school may reduce lifetime fracture risk in females.

  10. The Influence of Organized Physical Activity (including Gymnastics) on Young Adult Skeletal Traits: Is Maturity Phase Important?

    PubMed Central

    Bernardoni, Brittney; Scerpella, Tamara A.; Rosenbaum, Paula F.; Kanaley, Jill A.; Raab, Lindsay N.; Li, Quefeng; Wang, Sijian; Dowthwaite, Jodi N.

    2015-01-01

    We prospectively evaluated adolescent organized physical activity (PA) as a factor in adult female bone traits. Annual DXA scans accompanied semi-annual records of anthropometry, maturity and PA for 42 participants in this preliminary analysis (criteria: appropriately timed DXA scans at ~1 year pre-menarche [predictor] and ~5 years post-menarche [dependent variable]). Regression analysis evaluated total adolescent inter-scan PA and PA over 3 maturity sub-phases as predictors of young adult bone outcomes: 1) bone mineral content (BMC), geometry and strength indices at non-dominant distal radius and femoral neck; 2) sub-head BMC; 3) lumbar spine BMC. Analyses accounted for baseline gynecological age (years pre- or post-menarche), baseline bone status, adult body size and inter-scan body size change. Gymnastics training was evaluated as a potentially independent predictor, but did not improve models for any outcomes (p<0.07). Pre-menarcheal bone traits were strong predictors of most adult outcomes (semi-partial r2 = 0.21-0.59, p≤0.001). Adult 1/3 radius and sub-head BMC were predicted by both total PA and PA 1-3 years post-menarche (p<0.03). PA 3-5 years post-menarche predicted femoral narrow neck width, endosteal diameter and buckling ratio (p<0.05). Thus, participation in organized physical activity programs throughout middle and high school may reduce lifetime fracture risk in females. PMID:25386845

  11. Establishment of the cytoplasmic incompatibility-inducing Wolbachia strain wMel in an important agricultural pest insect

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Xiao-Fei; Li, Zheng-Xi

    2016-01-01

    The wMel Wolbachia strain was known for cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI)-induction and blocking the transmission of dengue. However, it is unknown whether it can establish and induce CI in a non-dipteran host insect. Here we artificially transferred wMel from Drosophila melanogaster into the whitefly Bemisia tabaci. Fluorescence in situ hybridisation demonstrated that wMel had successfully transfected the new host. Reciprocal crossing was conducted with wMel-transfected and wild-type isofemale lines, indicating that wMel could induce a strong CI without imposing significant cost on host fecundity. We then determined the maternal transmission efficiency of wMel in the offspring generations, showing a fluctuating trend over a period of 12 generations. We thus detected the titre of wMel during different developmental stages and in different generations by using real-time quantitative PCR, revealing a similar fluctuating mode, but it was not significantly correlated with the dynamics of transmission efficiency. These results suggest that wMel can be established in B.tabaci, a distantly related pest insect of agricultural importance; moreover, it can induce a strong CI phenotype in the recipient host insect, suggesting a potential for its use in biological control of B. tabaci. PMID:27982076

  12. Predicting the impacts of climate change on animal distributions: the importance of local adaptation and species' traits

    SciTech Connect

    HELLMANN, J. J.; LOBO, N. F.

    2011-12-20

    response of species to climate change, but our experiments suggest that other processes may act in some species that reduce the likelihood of geographic range change. In the first part of our DOE grant (ending 2008) we argued that the process of local adaptation of populations within a species range, followed by climatic changes that occur too quickly for adaptive evolution, is an underappreciated mechanism by which climate change could affect biodiversity. When this process acts, species ranges may not shift readily toward the poles, slowing the rate of species and biome change. To test this claim, we performed an experiment comparing core and peripheral populations in a series of field observations, translocation experiments, and genetic analyses. The papers in Appendix A were generated from 2005-2008 funding. In the second part of the DOE grant (ending 2011) we studied which traits promote population differentiation and local adaptation by building genomic resources for our study species and using these resources to reveal differences in gene expression in peripheral and core populations. The papers in Appendix B were generated from 2008-2011 funding. This work was pursued with two butterfly species that have contrasting life history traits (body size and resource specialization) and occupy a common ecosystem and a latitudinal range. These species enabled us to test the following hypotheses using a single phylogenetic group.

  13. Climate impacts on European agriculture and water management in the context of adaptation and mitigation--the importance of an integrated approach.

    PubMed

    Falloon, Pete; Betts, Richard

    2010-11-01

    We review and qualitatively assess the importance of interactions and feedbacks in assessing climate change impacts on water and agriculture in Europe. We focus particularly on the impact of future hydrological changes on agricultural greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation and adaptation options. Future projected trends in European agriculture include northward movement of crop suitability zones and increasing crop productivity in Northern Europe, but declining productivity and suitability in Southern Europe. This may be accompanied by a widening of water resource differences between the North and South, and an increase in extreme rainfall events and droughts. Changes in future hydrology and water management practices will influence agricultural adaptation measures and alter the effectiveness of agricultural mitigation strategies. These interactions are often highly complex and influenced by a number of factors which are themselves influenced by climate. Mainly positive impacts may be anticipated for Northern Europe, where agricultural adaptation may be shaped by reduced vulnerability of production, increased water supply and reduced water demand. However, increasing flood hazards may present challenges for agriculture, and summer irrigation shortages may result from earlier spring runoff peaks in some regions. Conversely, the need for effective adaptation will be greatest in Southern Europe as a result of increased production vulnerability, reduced water supply and increased demands for irrigation. Increasing flood and drought risks will further contribute to the need for robust management practices. The impacts of future hydrological changes on agricultural mitigation in Europe will depend on the balance between changes in productivity and rates of decomposition and GHG emission, both of which depend on climatic, land and management factors. Small increases in European soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks per unit land area are anticipated considering changes in climate

  14. Agriculture: Newsroom

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Agriculture Newsroom. News releases, reports, and other documents from around EPA that are of interest or direct importance to the environmental management or compliance efforts of the agricultural community.

  15. Contrasting responses of root morphology and root-exuded organic acids to low phosphorus availability in three important food crops with divergent root traits

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yan-Liang; Almvik, Marit; Clarke, Nicholas; Eich-Greatorex, Susanne; Øgaard, Anne Falk; Krogstad, Tore; Lambers, Hans; Clarke, Jihong Liu

    2015-01-01

    Phosphorus (P) is an important element for crop productivity and is widely applied in fertilizers. Most P fertilizers applied to land are sorbed onto soil particles, so research on improving plant uptake of less easily available P is important. In the current study, we investigated the responses in root morphology and root-exuded organic acids (OAs) to low available P (1 μM P) and sufficient P (50 μM P) in barley, canola and micropropagated seedlings of potato—three important food crops with divergent root traits, using a hydroponic plant growth system. We hypothesized that the dicots canola and tuber-producing potato and the monocot barley would respond differently under various P availabilities. WinRHIZO and liquid chromatography triple quadrupole mass spectrometry results suggested that under low P availability, canola developed longer roots and exhibited the fastest root exudation rate for citric acid. Barley showed a reduction in root length and root surface area and an increase in root-exuded malic acid under low-P conditions. Potato exuded relatively small amounts of OAs under low P, while there was a marked increase in root tips. Based on the results, we conclude that different crops show divergent morphological and physiological responses to low P availability, having evolved specific traits of root morphology and root exudation that enhance their P-uptake capacity under low-P conditions. These results could underpin future efforts to improve P uptake of the three crops that are of importance for future sustainable crop production. PMID:26286222

  16. Habitat use and movement patterns of Northern Pintails during spring in northern Japan: the importance of agricultural lands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Yamaguchi, Noriyuki M.; Hupp, Jerry W.; Flint, Paul L.; Pearce, John M.; Shigeta, Yusuke; Shimada, Tetsuo; Hiraoka, Emiko N.; Higuchi, Hiroyoshi

    2012-01-01

    From 2006 to 2009, we marked 198 Northern Pintails (Anas acuta) with satellite transmitters on their wintering areas in Japan to study their migration routes and habitat use in spring staging areas. We hypothesized that the distribution of pintails during spring staging was influenced by patterns of land use and expected that the most frequently used areas would have more agricultural habitat than lesser-used areas. We obtained 3031 daily locations from 163 migrant pintails marked with satellite transmitters and identified 524 stopover sites. Based on a fixed kernel home range analysis of stopover utilization distribution (UD), core staging areas (areas within the 50% UD) were identified in northern Honshu and western Hokkaido, and were used by 71% of marked pintails. Core staging areas had a greater proportion of rice fields than peripheral (51–95% UD) and rarely used (outside the 95% UD) staging areas. Stopover sites also contained more rice fields and other agricultural land than were available at regional scales, indicating that pintails selected rice and other agricultural habitats at regional and local scales. Pintails remained at spring staging areas an average of 51 d. Prolonged staging in agricultural habitats of northern Japan was likely necessary for pintails to prepare for transoceanic migration to Arctic nesting areas in eastern Russia.

  17. 75 FR 11512 - Consultative Group to Eliminate the Use of Child Labor and Forced Labor in Imported Agricultural...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-03-11

    ... INFORMATION CONTACT: The Office of Negotiations and Agreements by phone on (202) 720-6219; by e-mail addressed... other models, that have been successful in reducing child labor and/or forced labor in the global supply chains within the agricultural sector or other industries; (b) The roles and responsibilities that may...

  18. An Examination of Important Competencies Necessary for Vocational Agriculture in Selected Senior Secondary Students in Ijebu North Local Government Area, Nigeria

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Onanuga, Peter Abayomi

    2015-01-01

    The study analyses the relationship existing between some specified competencies important to vocational agriculture and preparation for occupation between male and female students in senior secondary schools in Ijebu-North Local Government Area, Nigeria. It adopted the classical design for change experiment (i.e. before and after measures) with…

  19. Whole Trait Theory

    PubMed Central

    Fleeson, William; Jayawickreme, Eranda

    2014-01-01

    Personality researchers should modify models of traits to include mechanisms of differential reaction to situations. Whole Trait Theory does so via five main points. First, the descriptive side of traits should be conceptualized as density distributions of states. Second, it is important to provide an explanatory account of the Big 5 traits. Third, adding an explanatory account to the Big 5 creates two parts to traits, an explanatory part and a descriptive part, and these two parts should be recognized as separate entities that are joined into whole traits. Fourth, Whole Trait Theory proposes that the explanatory side of traits consists of social-cognitive mechanisms. Fifth, social-cognitive mechanisms that produce Big-5 states should be identified. PMID:26097268

  20. Water deficit alters differentially metabolic pathways affecting important flavor and quality traits in grape berries of Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay

    PubMed Central

    Deluc, Laurent G; Quilici, David R; Decendit, Alain; Grimplet, Jérôme; Wheatley, Matthew D; Schlauch, Karen A; Mérillon, Jean-Michel; Cushman, John C; Cramer, Grant R

    2009-01-01

    significant anthocyanin content, exhibited increased photoprotection mechanisms under water deficit conditions. Water deficit increased ABA, proline, sugar and anthocyanin concentrations in Cabernet Sauvignon, but not Chardonnay berries, consistent with the hypothesis that ABA enhanced accumulation of these compounds. Water deficit increased the transcript abundance of lipoxygenase and hydroperoxide lyase in fatty metabolism, a pathway known to affect berry and wine aromas. These changes in metabolism have important impacts on berry flavor and quality characteristics. Several of these metabolites are known to contribute to increased human-health benefits. PMID:19426499

  1. Do Callous-Unemotional Traits Moderate the Relative Importance of Parental Coercion versus Warmth in Child Conduct Problems? An Observational Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pasalich, Dave S.; Dadds, Mark R.; Hawes, David J.; Brennan, John

    2011-01-01

    Background: Research suggests that parenting has little influence on the development of antisocial behavior in children with callous-unemotional (CU) traits. We aimed to extend and improve on prior studies examining the moderating role of CU traits on associations between parenting and conduct problems, by using independent observations of two key…

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Soil and geography are more important determinants of indigenous arbuscular mycorrhizal communities than management practices in Swiss agricultural soils.

    PubMed

    Jansa, Jan; Erb, Angela; Oberholzer, Hans-Rudolf; Smilauer, Petr; Egli, Simon

    2014-04-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are ubiquitous soil fungi, forming mutualistic symbiosis with a majority of terrestrial plant species. They are abundant in nearly all soils, less diverse than soil prokaryotes and other intensively studied soil organisms and thus are promising candidates for universal indicators of land management legacies and soil quality degradation. However, insufficient data on how the composition of indigenous AMF varies along soil and landscape gradients have hampered the definition of baselines and effect thresholds to date. Here, indigenous AMF communities in 154 agricultural soils collected across Switzerland were profiled by quantitative real-time PCR with taxon-specific markers for six widespread AMF species. To identify the key determinants of AMF community composition, the profiles were related to soil properties, land management and site geography. Our results indicate a number of well-supported dependencies between abundances of certain AMF taxa and soil properties such as pH, soil fertility and texture, and a surprising lack of effect of available soil phosphorus on the AMF community profiles. Site geography, especially the altitude and large geographical distance, strongly affected AMF communities. Unexpected was the apparent lack of a strong land management effect on the AMF communities as compared to the other predictors, which could be due to the rarity of highly intensive and unsustainable land management in Swiss agriculture. In spite of the extensive coverage of large geographical and soil gradients, we did not identify any taxon suitable as an indicator of land use among the six taxa we studied.

  5. The importance of the riparian zone and in-stream processes in nitrate attenuation in undisturbed and agricultural watersheds – a review of the scientific literature

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ranalli, Anthony J.; Macalady, Donald L.

    2010-01-01

    We reviewed published studies from primarily glaciated regions in the United States, Canada, and Europe of the (1) transport of nitrate from terrestrial ecosystems to aquatic ecosystems, (2) attenuation of nitrate in the riparian zone of undisturbed and agricultural watersheds, (3) processes contributing to nitrate attenuation in riparian zones, (4) variation in the attenuation of nitrate in the riparian zone, and (5) importance of in-stream and hyporheic processes for nitrate attenuation in the stream channel. Our objectives were to synthesize the results of these studies and suggest methodologies to (1) monitor regional trends in nitrate concentration in undisturbed 1st order watersheds and (2) reduce nitrate loads in streams draining agricultural watersheds. Our review reveals that undisturbed headwater watersheds have been shown to be very retentive of nitrogen, but the importance of biogeochemical and hydrological riparian zone processes in retaining nitrogen in these watersheds has not been demonstrated as it has for agricultural watersheds. An understanding of the role of the riparian zone in nitrate attenuation in undisturbed watersheds is crucial because these watersheds are increasingly subject to stressors, such as changes in land use and climate, wildfire, and increases in atmospheric nitrogen deposition. In general, understanding processes controlling the concentration and flux of nitrate is critical to identifying and mapping the vulnerability of watersheds to water quality changes due to a variety of stressors. In undisturbed and agricultural watersheds we propose that understanding the importance of riparian zone processes in 2nd order and larger watersheds is critical. Research is needed that addresses the relative importance of how the following sources of nitrate along any given stream reach might change as watersheds increase in size and with flow: (1) inputs upstream from the reach, (2) tributary inflow, (3) water derived from the riparian zone

  6. The importance of the riparian zone and in-stream processes in nitrate attenuation in undisturbed and agricultural watersheds - A review of the scientific literature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ranalli, Anthony J.; Macalady, Donald L.

    2010-08-01

    SummaryWe reviewed published studies from primarily glaciated regions in the United States, Canada, and Europe of the (1) transport of nitrate from terrestrial ecosystems to aquatic ecosystems, (2) attenuation of nitrate in the riparian zone of undisturbed and agricultural watersheds, (3) processes contributing to nitrate attenuation in riparian zones, (4) variation in the attenuation of nitrate in the riparian zone, and (5) importance of in-stream and hyporheic processes for nitrate attenuation in the stream channel. Our objectives were to synthesize the results of these studies and suggest methodologies to (1) monitor regional trends in nitrate concentration in undisturbed 1st order watersheds and (2) reduce nitrate loads in streams draining agricultural watersheds. Our review reveals that undisturbed headwater watersheds have been shown to be very retentive of nitrogen, but the importance of biogeochemical and hydrological riparian zone processes in retaining nitrogen in these watersheds has not been demonstrated as it has for agricultural watersheds. An understanding of the role of the riparian zone in nitrate attenuation in undisturbed watersheds is crucial because these watersheds are increasingly subject to stressors, such as changes in land use and climate, wildfire, and increases in atmospheric nitrogen deposition. In general, understanding processes controlling the concentration and flux of nitrate is critical to identifying and mapping the vulnerability of watersheds to water quality changes due to a variety of stressors. In undisturbed and agricultural watersheds we propose that understanding the importance of riparian zone processes in 2nd order and larger watersheds is critical. Research is needed that addresses the relative importance of how the following sources of nitrate along any given stream reach might change as watersheds increase in size and with flow: (1) inputs upstream from the reach, (2) tributary inflow, (3) water derived from the

  7. Farmers' perception on the importance of variegated grasshopper (Zonocerus variegatus (L.)) in the agricultural production systems of the humid forest zone of Southern Cameroon

    PubMed Central

    Kekeunou, Sévilor; Weise, Stephan; Messi, Jean; Tamò, Manuel

    2006-01-01

    Background Zonocerus variegatus (Linnaeus, 1758) (Orthoptera: Pyrgomorphidae) is known as an agricultural pest in West and Central Africa. However, its importance in the agricultural production system in Cameroon has not been investigated. The study assesses farmers' perception on the importance of Z. variegatus in the agricultural production systems of the humid forest zone of Southern Cameroon. Methods Research was carried out in 5 villages of each of three Agro-Ecological, Cultural and Demographic Blocks (AECD-Blocks) of the Forest Margin Benchmark Area (FMBA). In each village, a semi-structured survey was used; male and female groups of farmers were interviewed separately. Results Z. variegatus is present throughout the humid forest zone of Southern Cameroon, where it is ranked as the third most economically important insect pest of agriculture. In the farmers' opinion, Z. variegatus is a polyphagous insect with little impact on young perennial crops. The length of the pre-farming fallow does not affect Z. variegatus pest pressure in the following crops. The increased impact of the grasshopper observed today in the fields, compared to what existed 10 years ago is as a result of deforestation and increase in surface of herbaceous fallow. The damage caused by Z. variegatus is higher in fields adjacent to C. odorata and herbaceous fallows than in those adjacent to forests and shrubby fallows. The fight against this grasshopper is often done through physical methods carried out by hand, for human consumption. The farmers highlight low usage of the chemical methods and a total absence of biological and ecological methods. Conclusion Farmers' perception have contributed to understanding the status of Z. variegatus in the humid forest zone of Southern Cameroon. The results are in general similar to those obtained in other countries. PMID:16573815

  8. The relative importance of fertilization and soil erosion on C-dynamics in agricultural landscapes of NE Germany

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pohl, Madlen; Hoffmann, Mathias; Hagemann, Ulrike; Jurisch, Nicole; Remus, Rainer; Sommer, Michael; Augustin, Jürgen

    2016-04-01

    The hummocky ground moraine landscape of north-east Germany is characterized by distinct small-scale soil heterogeneity on the one hand, and intensive energy crop cultivation on the other. Both factors are assumed to significantly influence gaseous C exchange, and thus driving the dynamics of soil organic carbon stocks in terrestrial, agricultural ecosystems. However, it is not yet clear to which extent fertilization and soil erosional status influence soil C dynamics and whether one of these factors is more relevant than the other. We present seasonal and dynamic soil C balances of biogas maize for the growing season 2011, recorded at different sites located within the CarboZALF experimental area. The sites differ regarding soils (non-eroded Albic Luvisols (Cutanic), extremely eroded Calcaric Regosol and depositional Endogleyic Colluvic Regosol,) and applied fertilizer (100% mineral N fertilizer, 50% mineral and 50% N organic fertilizer, 100% organic N fertilizer). Fertilization treatments were established on the Albic Luvisol (Cutanic). Net-CO2-exchange (NEE) and ecosystem respiration (Reco) were measured every four weeks using a dynamic flow-through non-steady-state closed manual chamber system. Gap filling was performed based on empirical temperature and PAR dependency functions to derive daily NEE values. At the same time, daily above-ground biomass production (NPP) was estimated based on biomass samples and final harvest, using a sigmoidal growth function. In a next step, dynamic soil C balances were generated as the balance of daily NEE and NPP considering the initial C input due to N fertilizers. The resulted seasonal soil C balances varied from strong C losses at the Endogleyic Colluvic Regosol (602 g C m-2) to C gains at the Calcaric Regosol (-132 g C m-2). In general, soils exerted a stronger impact on seasonal and dynamic C balances compared to differences in applied N fertilizer. There are indications that inter-annual variations in climate conditions

  9. In silico analysis of the 16S rRNA gene of endophytic bacteria, isolated from the aerial parts and seeds of important agricultural crops.

    PubMed

    Bredow, C; Azevedo, J L; Pamphile, J A; Mangolin, C A; Rhoden, S A

    2015-08-19

    Because of human population growth, increased food production and alternatives to conventional methods of biocontrol and development of plants such as the use of endophytic bacteria and fungi are required. One of the methods used to study microorganism diversity is sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene, which has several advantages, including universality, size, and availability of databases for comparison. The objective of this study was to analyze endophytic bacterial diversity in agricultural crops using published papers, sequence databases, and phylogenetic analysis. Fourteen papers were selected in which the ribosomal 16S rRNA gene was used to identify endophytic bacteria, in important agricultural crops, such as coffee, sugar cane, beans, corn, soybean, tomatoes, and grapes, located in different geographical regions (America, Europe, and Asia). The corresponding 16S rRNA gene sequences were selected from the NCBI database, aligned using the Mega 5.2 program, and phylogenetic analysis was undertaken. The most common orders present in the analyzed cultures were Bacillales, Enterobacteriales, and Actinomycetales and the most frequently observed genera were Bacillus, Pseudomonas, and Microbacterium. Phylogenetic analysis showed that only approximately 1.56% of the total sequences were not properly grouped, demonstrating reliability in the identification of microorganisms. This study identified the main genera found in endophytic bacterial cultures from plants, providing data for future studies on improving plant agriculture, biotechnology, endophytic bacterium prospecting, and to help understand relationships between endophytic bacteria and their interactions with plants.

  10. When is a terrace not a terrace? The importance of understanding landscape evolution in studies of terraced agriculture.

    PubMed

    Ferro-Vázquez, C; Lang, C; Kaal, J; Stump, D

    2017-01-28

    Before the invention of modern, large-scale engineering projects, terrace systems were rarely built in single phases of construction, but instead developed gradually, and could even be said to have evolved. Understanding this process of landscape change is therefore important in order to fully appreciate how terrace systems were built and functioned, and is also pivotal to understanding how the communities that farmed these systems responded to changes; whether these are changes to the landscape brought about by the farming practices themselves, or changes to social, economic or climatic conditions. Combining archaeological stratigraphy, soil micromorphology and geochemistry, this paper presents a case-study from the historic and extensive terraced landscape at Konso, southwest Ethiopia, and demonstrates - in one important river valley at least - that the original topsoil and much of the subsoil was lost prior to the construction of hillside terraces. Moreover, the study shows that alluvial sediment traps that were built adjacent to rivers relied on widespread hillside soil erosion for their construction, and strongly suggests that these irrigated riverside fields were formerly a higher economic priority than the hillside terraces themselves; a possibility that was not recognised by numerous observational studies of farming in this landscape. Research that takes into account how terrace systems change through time can thus provide important details of whether the function of the system has changed, and can help assess how the legacies of former practices impact current or future cultivation.

  11. Nutrient composition and nutritional importance of green leaves and wild food resources in an agricultural district, Koutiala, in southern Mali.

    PubMed

    Nordeide, M B; Hatløy, A; Følling, M; Lied, E; Oshaug, A

    1996-11-01

    This paper discusses the nutrient composition and the nutritional importance of green leaves and wild gathered foods in an area with surplus food production in Mali. In this West African country, there is little information about the nutrient composition and the nutritional quality of foods in general, and of wild gathered foods in particular. Food frequency was collected in two cross-sectional surveys. Focus group discussions with women in the area were used to collect information about seasonality, availability and preparation of various foods. Selected food samples were collected for chemical analysis of nutrient composition. The food samples of green leaves (Adansonia digitata, Amaranthus viridis, Tamarindus indica, Allium cepa), seeds and flour (Parkia biglobosa) and fruits (Tamarindus indica) were analysed for water, energy, fat, protein, minerals, amino acids and carotenoids. Availability and use of the foods varied with seasons. In the rainy season, wild gathered foods (e.g. A. digitata) were used as much as fresh cultivated foods (e.g., A. viridis and A. cepa). The wild food resources were more frequently used in rural than in urban areas, with A. digitata as the dominating green leaves. Green leaves were rich in energy, protein and minerals (calcium, iron). Leaves of A. viridis were, in particular, rich in beta-carotene (3290 micrograms/100 g). Chemical score in dried green leaves varied from 47 (A. cepa) to 81 (A. digitata), with lysine as the first limiting amino acid. P. biglobosa fermented seeds, with 35% fat and 37% protein were a complementary source of lysine in the diet. Based on the seasonality, the frequency of use and the nutrient contents of selected green leaves and wild gathered foods in Koutiala district, it is concluded that these traditional and locally produced foods are valuable and important nutrient contributors in the diet both in rural and urban areas, but most important in rural areas.

  12. Phenotypes, genome wide markers and structured genetic populations; a means to understand economically important traits in beta vulgaris and to inform the process of germplasm enhancement

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Although hybrid seed systems in beet have been widely adopted due to profitability and productivity, the population remains the operational unit of beet improvement and thus characterizing populations in terms of markers and phenotypes is critical for novel trait discovery and eventual deployment of...

  13. Molecular characterization of a mutation affecting abscisic acid biosynthesis and consequently stomatal responses to humidity in an agriculturally important species

    PubMed Central

    McAdam, Scott A. M.; Sussmilch, Frances C.; Brodribb, Timothy J.; Ross, John J.

    2015-01-01

    Mutants deficient in the phytohormone abscisic acid (ABA) have been instrumental in determining not only the biosynthetic pathway for this hormone, but also its physiological role in land plants. The wilty mutant of Pisum sativum is one of the classical, well-studied ABA-deficient mutants; however, this mutant remains uncharacterized at a molecular level. Using a candidate gene approach, we show that the wilty mutation affects the xanthoxin dehydrogenase step in ABA biosynthesis. To date, this step has only been represented by mutants in the ABA2 gene of Arabidopsis thaliana. Functional ABA biosynthesis appears to be critical for normal stomatal responses to changes in humidity in angiosperms, with wilty mutant plants having no increase in foliar ABA levels in response to a doubling in vapour pressure deficit, and no closure of stomata. Phylogenetic analysis of the ABA2 gene family from diverse land plants indicates that an ABA-biosynthesis-specific short-chain dehydrogenase (ABA2) evolved in the earliest angiosperms. The relatively recent origin of specificity in this step has important implications for both the evolution of ABA biosynthesis and action in land plants. PMID:26216469

  14. Evidence for the importance of litter as a co-substrate for MCPA dissipation in an agricultural soil.

    PubMed

    Saleh, Omar; Pagel, Holger; Enowashu, Esther; Devers, Marion; Martin-Laurent, Fabrice; Streck, Thilo; Kandeler, Ellen; Poll, Christian

    2016-03-01

    Environmental controls of 2-methyl-4-chlorophenoxyacetic acid (MCPA) degradation are poorly understood. We investigated whether microbial MCPA degraders are stimulated by (maize) litter and whether this process depends on concentrations of MCPA and litter. In a microcosm experiment, different amounts of litter (0, 10 and 20 g kg(-1)) were added to soils exposed to three levels of the herbicide (0, 5 and 30 mg kg(-1)). The treated soils were incubated at 20 °C for 6 weeks, and samples were taken after 1, 3 and 6 weeks of incubation. In soils with 5 mg kg(-1) MCPA, about 50 % of the MCPA was dissipated within 1 week of the incubation. Almost complete dissipation of the herbicide had occurred by the end of the incubation with no differences between the three litter amendments. At the higher concentration (30 mg kg(-1)), MCPA endured longer in the soil, with only 31 % of the initial amount being removed at the end of the experiment in the absence of litter. Litter addition greatly increased the dissipation rate with 70 and 80 % of the herbicide being dissipated in the 10 and 20 g kg(-1) litter treatments, respectively. Signs of toxic effects of MCPA on soil bacteria were observed from related phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) analyses, while fungi showed higher tolerance to the increased MCPA levels. The abundance of bacterial tfdA genes in soil increased with the co-occurrence of litter and high MCPA concentration, indicating the importance of substrate availability in fostering MCPA-degrading bacteria and thereby improving the potential for removal of MCPA in the environment.

  15. Freshwater Biological Traits Database (Traits)

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    The traits database was compiled for a project on climate change effects on river and stream ecosystems. The traits data, gathered from multiple sources, focused on information published or otherwise well-documented by trustworthy sources.

  16. Seeds' physicochemical traits and mucilage protection against aluminum effect during germination and root elongation as important factors in a biofuel seed crop (Ricinus communis).

    PubMed

    Silva, Giovanni Eustáquio Alves; Ramos, Flávia Toledo; de Faria, Ana Paula; França, Marcel Giovanni Costa

    2014-10-01

    We determined the length, volume, dry biomass, and density in seeds of five castor bean cultivars and verified notable physicochemical trait differences. Seeds were then subjected to different toxic aluminum (Al) concentrations to evaluate germination, relative root elongation, and the role of root apices' rhizosphere mucilage layer. Seeds' physicochemical traits were associated with Al toxicity responses, and the absence of Al in cotyledons near to the embryo was revealed by Al-hematoxylin staining, indicating that Al did not induce significant germination reduction rates between cultivars. However, in the more sensitive cultivar, Al was found around the embryo, contributing to subsequent growth inhibition. After this, to investigate the role of mucilage in Al tolerance, an assay was conducted using NH4Cl to remove root mucilage before or after exposure to different Al concentrations. Sequentially, the roots were stained with hematoxylin and a quantitative analysis of staining intensity was obtained. These results revealed the significant contribution of the mucilage layer to Al toxicity responses in castor bean seedlings. Root growth elongation under Al toxicity confirmed the role of the mucilage layer, which jointly indicated the differential Al tolerance between cultivars and an efficient Al-exclusion mechanism in the tolerant cultivar.

  17. IncP-1ε Plasmids are Important Vectors of Antibiotic Resistance Genes in Agricultural Systems: Diversification Driven by Class 1 Integron Gene Cassettes

    PubMed Central

    Heuer, Holger; Binh, Chu T. T.; Jechalke, Sven; Kopmann, Christoph; Zimmerling, Ute; Krögerrecklenfort, Ellen; Ledger, Thomas; González, Bernardo; Top, Eva; Smalla, Kornelia

    2011-01-01

    The role of broad-host range IncP-1ε plasmids in the dissemination of antibiotic resistance in agricultural systems has not yet been investigated. These plasmids were detected in total DNA from all of 16 manure samples and in arable soil based on a novel 5′-nuclease assay for real-time PCR. A correlation between IncP-1ε plasmid abundance and antibiotic usage was revealed. In a soil microcosm experiment the abundance of IncP-1ε plasmids was significantly increased even 127 days after application of manure containing the antibiotic compound sulfadiazine, compared to soil receiving only manure, only sulfadiazine, or water. Fifty IncP-1ε plasmids that were captured in E. coli CV601gfp from bacterial communities of manure and arable soil were characterized by PCR and hybridization. All plasmids carried class 1 integrons with highly varying sizes of the gene cassette region and the sul1 gene. Three IncP-1ε plasmids captured from soil bacteria and one from manure were completely sequenced. The backbones were nearly identical to that of the previously described IncP-1ε plasmid pKJK5. The plasmids differed mainly in the composition of a Tn402-like transposon carrying a class 1 integron with varying gene cassettes, IS1326, and in three of the plasmids the tetracycline resistance transposon Tn1721 with various truncations. Diverse Beta- and Gammaproteobacteria were revealed as hosts of one of the IncP-1ε plasmids in soil microcosms. Our data suggest that IncP-1ε plasmids are important vectors for horizontal transfer of antibiotic resistance in agricultural systems. PMID:22279444

  18. Spatial decoupling of agricultural production and consumption: quantifying dependences of countries on food imports due to domestic land and water constraints

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fader, Marianela; Gerten, Dieter; Krause, Michael; Lucht, Wolfgang; Cramer, Wolfgang

    2013-03-01

    In our globalizing world, the geographical locations of food production and consumption are becoming increasingly disconnected, which increases reliance on external resources and their trade. We quantified to what extent water and land constraints limit countries’ capacities, at present and by 2050, to produce on their own territory the crop products that they currently import from other countries. Scenarios of increased crop productivity and water use, cropland expansion (excluding areas prioritized for other uses) and population change are accounted for. We found that currently 16% of the world population use the opportunities of international trade to cover their demand for agricultural products. Population change may strongly increase the number of people depending on ex situ land and water resources up to about 5.2 billion (51% of world population) in the SRES A2r scenario. International trade will thus have to intensify if population growth is not accompanied by dietary change towards less resource-intensive products, by cropland expansion, or by productivity improvements, mainly in Africa and the Middle East. Up to 1.3 billion people may be at risk of food insecurity in 2050 in present low-income economies (mainly in Africa), if their economic development does not allow them to afford productivity increases, cropland expansion and/or imports from other countries.

  19. Personality Traits: Hierarchically Organized Systems.

    PubMed

    Fajkowska, Małgorzata

    2017-03-13

    Personality science has always been and is still ready for new theorizing on traits. Accordingly, this paper presents the recently proposed Traits as Hierarchical Systems (THS) model, where personality traits are not only the emergent properties of the three-level hierarchy of the personality system, but are also hierarchical per se. As hierarchical systems, they are organized into three levels: mechanisms and processes, structures, and behavioral markers. In this approach trait denotes the underlying, recurrent mechanisms that pattern its structure and account for the stability/variability of individual characteristics. Here, traits might be described as processes with a slow rate of change that can be substituted for structure. The main function of personality traits, within the personality system, is stimulation processing. Three dominant functions of stimulation processing in traits are proposed: reactive, regulative, and self-regulative. Some important questions regarding the concept of trait remain, e.g. concerning trait stability, determinacy, measurement, their relation to overt behaviors, personality type or state, differentiation between temperament traits and other-than-temperament personality traits. All of these topics are discussed in this paper, as well as the compatible and distinctive features of this approach in relation to selected, modern trait theories. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  20. Crop Farmers' Willingness to Pay for Agricultural Extension Services in Bangladesh: Cases of Selected Villages in Two Important Agro-Ecological Zones

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Uddin, Ektear MD.; Gao, Qijie; Mamun-Ur-Rashid, MD.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: Globally, many extension professionals and policy-makers are advocating fee based services, in addressing the fund shortage and sustainable provision of agricultural advisory services. Hence, the article attempts to expose the farmers' willingness to pay (WTP) as agricultural extension in Bangladesh is experiencing chronic fund crisis.…

  1. Plant Defense against Herbivorous Pests: Exploiting Resistance and Tolerance Traits for Sustainable Crop Protection

    PubMed Central

    Mitchell, Carolyn; Brennan, Rex M.; Graham, Julie; Karley, Alison J.

    2016-01-01

    Interactions between plants and insect herbivores are important determinants of plant productivity in managed and natural vegetation. In response to attack, plants have evolved a range of defenses to reduce the threat of injury and loss of productivity. Crop losses from damage caused by arthropod pests can exceed 15% annually. Crop domestication and selection for improved yield and quality can alter the defensive capability of the crop, increasing reliance on artificial crop protection. Sustainable agriculture, however, depends on reduced chemical inputs. There is an urgent need, therefore, to identify plant defensive traits for crop improvement. Plant defense can be divided into resistance and tolerance strategies. Plant traits that confer herbivore resistance typically prevent or reduce herbivore damage through expression of traits that deter pests from settling, attaching to surfaces, feeding and reproducing, or that reduce palatability. Plant tolerance of herbivory involves expression of traits that limit the negative impact of herbivore damage on productivity and yield. Identifying the defensive traits expressed by plants to deter herbivores or limit herbivore damage, and understanding the underlying defense mechanisms, is crucial for crop scientists to exploit plant defensive traits in crop breeding. In this review, we assess the traits and mechanisms underpinning herbivore resistance and tolerance, and conclude that physical defense traits, plant vigor and herbivore-induced plant volatiles show considerable utility in pest control, along with mixed species crops. We highlight emerging approaches for accelerating the identification of plant defensive traits and facilitating their deployment to improve the future sustainability of crop protection. PMID:27524994

  2. Searching for adaptive traits in genetic resources - phenology based approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bari, Abdallah

    2015-04-01

    Searching for adaptive traits in genetic resources - phenology based approach Abdallah Bari, Kenneth Street, Eddy De Pauw, Jalal Eddin Omari, and Chandra M. Biradar International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas, Rabat Institutes, Rabat, Morocco Phenology is an important plant trait not only for assessing and forecasting food production but also for searching in genebanks for adaptive traits. Among the phenological parameters we have been considering to search for such adaptive and rare traits are the onset (sowing period) and the seasonality (growing period). Currently an application is being developed as part of the focused identification of germplasm strategy (FIGS) approach to use climatic data in order to identify crop growing seasons and characterize them in terms of onset and duration. These approximations of growing period characteristics can then be used to estimate flowering and maturity dates for dryland crops, such as wheat, barley, faba bean, lentils and chickpea, and assess, among others, phenology-related traits such as days to heading [dhe] and grain filling period [gfp]. The approach followed here is based on first calculating long term average daily temperatures by fitting a curve to the monthly data over days from beginning of the year. Prior to the identification of these phenological stages the onset is extracted first from onset integer raster GIS layers developed based on a model of the growing period that considers both moisture and temperature limitations. The paper presents some examples of real applications of the approach to search for rare and adaptive traits.

  3. Irrigated agriculture is an important risk factor for West Nile virus disease in the hyperendemic Larimer-Boulder-Weld area of north central Colorado.

    PubMed

    Eisen, Lars; Barker, Christopher M; Moore, Chester G; Pape, W John; Winters, Anna M; Cheronis, Nicholas

    2010-09-01

    This study focused on two West Nile virus (WNV) disease outbreak years, 2003 and 2007, and included a three-county area (Larimer, Boulder, and Weld) in North Central Colorado that is hyperendemic for WNV disease. We used epidemiological data for reported WNV disease cases at the census tract scale to: (1) elucidate whether WNV disease incidence differs between census tracts classified as having high versus lower human population density (based on a threshold value of 580 persons/km2) and (2) determine associations between WNV disease incidence and habitat types suitable as development sites for the larval stage of Culex mosquito vectors. WNV disease incidence was significantly elevated in census tracts with lower human population density, compared with those with high density of human population, in both 2003 (median per census tract of 223 and 143 cases per 100,000 population, respectively) and 2007 (median per census tract of 46 and 19 cases per 100,000 population). This is most likely related, in large part, to greater percentages of coverage in less densely populated census tracts by habitats suitable as development sites for Culex larvae (open water, developed open space, pasture/hay, cultivated crops, woody wetlands, and emergent herbaceous wetlands) and, especially, for the subset of these habitats made up by irrigated agricultural land (pasture/hay and cultivated crops) that presumably serve as major producers of the locally most important vector of WNV to humans: Culex tarsalis. A series of analyses produced significant positive associations between greater coverage of or shorter distance to irrigated agricultural land and elevated WNV disease incidence. As an exercise to produce data with potential to inform spatial implementation schemes for prevention and control measures within the study area, we mapped the spatial patterns, by census tract, of WNV disease incidence in 2003 and 2007 as well as the locations of census tracts that had either low (<25th

  4. The influence of genetic drift and selection on quantitative traits in a plant pathogenic fungus.

    PubMed

    Stefansson, Tryggvi S; McDonald, Bruce A; Willi, Yvonne

    2014-01-01

    Genetic drift and selection are ubiquitous evolutionary forces acting to shape genetic variation in populations. While their relative importance has been well studied in plants and animals, less is known about their relative importance in fungal pathogens. Because agro-ecosystems are more homogeneous environments than natural ecosystems, stabilizing selection may play a stronger role than genetic drift or diversifying selection in shaping genetic variation among populations of fungal pathogens in agro-ecosystems. We tested this hypothesis by conducting a QST/FST analysis using agricultural populations of the barley pathogen Rhynchosporium commune. Population divergence for eight quantitative traits (QST) was compared with divergence at eight neutral microsatellite loci (FST) for 126 pathogen strains originating from nine globally distributed field populations to infer the effects of genetic drift and types of selection acting on each trait. Our analyses indicated that five of the eight traits had QST values significantly lower than FST, consistent with stabilizing selection, whereas one trait, growth under heat stress (22°C), showed evidence of diversifying selection and local adaptation (QST>FST). Estimates of heritability were high for all traits (means ranging between 0.55-0.84), and average heritability across traits was negatively correlated with microsatellite gene diversity. Some trait pairs were genetically correlated and there was significant evidence for a trade-off between spore size and spore number, and between melanization and growth under benign temperature. Our findings indicate that many ecologically and agriculturally important traits are under stabilizing selection in R. commune and that high within-population genetic variation is maintained for these traits.

  5. Variations with modest effects have an important role in the genetic background of type 2 diabetes and diabetes-related traits.

    PubMed

    Fujita, Hayato; Hara, Kazuo; Shojima, Nobuhiro; Horikoshi, Momoko; Iwata, Minoru; Hirota, Yushi; Tobe, Kazuyuki; Seino, Susumu; Kadowaki, Takashi

    2012-12-01

    The aim of the present study was to explore the role of variations with modest effects (previously identified by a large-scale meta-analysis in European populations) in the genetic background of type 2 diabetes (T2D) and diabetes-related traits in a Japanese population. We enrolled 2632 Japanese subjects with T2D and 2050 non-diabetic subjects. We analyzed nine single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), including rs340874 (PROX1), rs4607517 (GCK), rs2191349 (DGKB-TMEM195), rs7034200 (GLIS3), rs10885122 (ADRA2A), rs174550 (FADS1), rs11605924 (CRY2), rs10830963 (MTNR1B) and rs35767 (IGF1). rs340874 (PROX1) and rs174550 (FADS1) were significantly associated with T2D (P=0.0078, OR: 1.12; and P=0.0071, OR: 1.12, respectively). Subjects with more risk alleles related to nine SNPs had an increased risk of T2D (P=0.0017), as well as a higher fasting plasma glucose level (P=0.018), higher HbA(1c) level (P=0.013) and lower HOMA-β (P=0.033) compared with subjects who had fewer risk alleles. We identified a significant association of a SNP of FADS1 and a SNP near PROX1 with T2D in a Japanese population. The present findings suggest that inclusion of SNPs with a tendency to increase the disease risk captured more of the genetic background of T2D than that revealed by only assessing significant SNPs.

  6. Heritability of drought resistance traits and correlation of drought resistance and agronomic traits in peanut

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Inheritance of traits is important for developing effective breeding schemes for improving desired traits. The aims of this study were to estimate the heritabilities (h2) of drought resistance traits and the genotypic (rG) and phenotypic (rP) correlations between drought resistance traits under str...

  7. Power and Autistic Traits

    PubMed Central

    Overskeid, Geir

    2016-01-01

    Autistic traits can help people gain and sustain power, and has probably done so throughout history, says the present paper. A number of testable claims follow from this assumption. First, the powerful should have more autistic traits than others – which they do appear to have. Among other things, powerful people, and those with many autistic traits, tend to prefer solitary activities and are often aloof. Moreover, they are often rigid and socially insensitive, low on empathy and with low scores on the trait of agreeableness – and as a rule they do not have many friends. Both groups are also more self-centered than others, more honest, less submissive, more sensitive to slights, and with a stronger tendency to engage in abstract thinking. They tend to behave in bossy or dominant ways, and their moral judgment is more based on rules than on feelings. In addition to experimental evidence, I cite biographies showing that a surprising number of presidents, prime ministers and other powerful people seem to have had traits like those in question – and interestingly, in animals, leaders are often rigid and insensitive to group members’ needs and feelings, mostly acting the way they are themselves inclined to, not responding much to others. Problem solving is important in leadership, and people with many autistic traits appear often to be better thinkers than typical subjects with similar IQs. However, these and other congruities could be coincidences. Hence the question of whether traits the two groups have in common also have a common cause constitutes a strong test of the paper’s thesis – and a common cause does appear to exist, in the form of testosterone’s effects on the central nervous system. Finally, there is evidence that, other things equal, powerful men have more reproductive success than others. If men wielding power do indeed have more autistic traits than those less powerful, this will lead to, other things equal, such traits becoming more

  8. Applicability of ISSR and DAMD markers for phyto-molecular characterization and association with some important biochemical traits of Dendrobium nobile, an endangered medicinal orchid.

    PubMed

    Bhattacharyya, Paromik; Kumaria, Suman; Tandon, Pramod

    2015-09-01

    Dendrobium nobile is an important medicinal orchid having profound importance in traditional herbal drug preparations and pharmacopeias worldwide. Due to various anthropogenic pressures the natural populations of this important orchid species are presently facing threats of extinction. In the present study, genetic and chemical diversity existing amongst 6 natural populations of D. nobile were assessed using molecular markers, and the influence of genetic factors on its phytochemical activity especially antioxidant potential was determined. Molecular fingerprinting of the orchid taxa was performed using ISSR and DAMD markers along with the estimation of total phenolics, flavonoids and alkaloid contents. Antioxidant activity was also measured using DPPH and FRAP assays which cumulatively revealed a significant level of variability across the sampled populations. The representatives from Sikkim in Northeast India revealed higher phytochemical activity whereas those from Mizoram showed lesser activity. Analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) revealed that variation amongst the populations was significantly higher than within the populations. The data generated by UPGMA and Bayesian analytical models were compared in order to estimate the genetic relationships amongst the D. nobile germplasm sampled from different geographical areas of Northeast India. Interestingly, identical grouping patterns were exhibited by both the approaches. The results of the present study detected a high degree of existing genetic and phytochemical variation amongst the populations in relation to bioclimatic and geographic locations of populations. Our results strongly establish that the cumulative marker approach could be the best suited for assessing the genetic relationships with high accuracy amongst distinct D. nobile accessions.

  9. The importance of natural habitats to Brazilian free-tailed bats in intensive agricultural landscapes in the Winter Garden Region of Texas, United States

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The conversion of natural lands to agriculture affects the distribution of biological diversity across the landscape. In particular, cropland monocultures alter insect abundance and diversity compared to adjacent natural habitats, but nevertheless can provide large numbers of insect pests as prey i...

  10. Biotechnology and Agriculture.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kenney, Martin

    Even at this early date in the application of biotechnology to agriculture, it is clear that agriculture may provide the largest market for new or less expensive biotechnologically manufactured products. The chemical and pharmaceutical industries that hold important positions in agricultural inputs are consolidating their positions by purchasing…

  11. Association of environmental traits with the geographic ranges of ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) of medical and veterinary importance in the western Palearctic. A digital data set.

    PubMed

    Estrada-Peña, A; Farkas, Robert; Jaenson, Thomas G T; Koenen, Frank; Madder, Maxime; Pascucci, Ilaria; Salman, Mo; Tarrés-Call, Jordi; Jongejan, Frans

    2013-03-01

    We compiled information on the distribution of ticks in the western Palearctic (11°W, 45°E; 29°N, 71°N), published during 1970-2010. The literature search was filtered by the tick's species name and an unambiguous reference to the point of capture. Records from some curated collections were included. We focused on tick species of importance to human and animal health, in particular: Ixodes ricinus, Dermacentor marginatus, D. reticulatus, Haemaphysalis punctata, H. sulcata, Hyalomma marginatum, Hy. lusitanicum, Rhipicephalus annulatus, R. bursa, and the R. sanguineus group. A few records of other species (I. canisuga, I. hexagonus, Hy. impeltatum, Hy. anatolicum, Hy. excavatum, Hy. scupense) were also included. A total of 10,280 records was included in the data set. Almost 42 % of published references are not adequately referenced (and not included in the data set), host is reported for only 61 % of records and a reference to time of collection is missed for 84 % of published records. Ixodes ricinus accounted for 44.3 % of total records, with H. marginatum and D. marginatus accounting for 7.1 and 8.1 % of records, respectively. The lack of homogeneity of the references and potential pitfalls in the compilation were addressed to create a digital data set of the records of the ticks. We attached to every record a coherent set of quantitative descriptors for the site of reporting, namely gridded interpolated monthly climate and remotely sensed data on vegetation (NDVI). We also attached categorical descriptors of the habitat: a standard classification of land biomes and an ad hoc classification of the target territory from remotely sensed temperature and NDVI data. A descriptive analysis of the data revealed that a principal components reduction of the environmental (temperature and NDVI) variables described the distribution of the species in the target territory. However, categorical descriptors of the habitat were less effective. We stressed the importance of

  12. Geographic Variation in the Acoustic Traits of Greater Horseshoe Bats: Testing the Importance of Drift and Ecological Selection in Evolutionary Processes

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Keping; Luo, Li; Kimball, Rebecca T.; Wei, Xuewen; Jin, Longru; Jiang, Tinglei; Li, Guohong; Feng, Jiang

    2013-01-01

    Patterns of intraspecific geographic variation of signaling systems provide insight into the microevolutionary processes driving phenotypic divergence. The acoustic calls of bats are sensitive to diverse evolutionary forces, but processes that shape call variation are largely unexplored. In China, Rhinolophus ferrumequinum displays a diverse call frequency and inhabits a heterogeneous landscape, presenting an excellent opportunity for this kind of research. We quantified geographic variation in resting frequency (RF) of echolocation calls, estimated genetic structure and phylogeny of R. ferrumequinum populations, and combined this with climatic factors to test three hypotheses to explain acoustic variation: genetic drift, cultural drift, and local adaptation. Our results demonstrated significant regional divergence in frequency and phylogeny among the bat populations in China's northeast (NE), central-east (CE) and southwest (SW) regions. The CE region had higher frequencies than the NE and SW regions. Drivers of RF divergence were estimated in the entire range and just the CE/NE region (since these two regions form a clade). In both cases, RF divergence was not correlated with mtDNA or nDNA genetic distance, but was significantly correlated with geographic distance and mean annual temperature, indicating cultural drift and ecological selection pressures are likely important in shaping RF divergence among different regions in China. PMID:23950926

  13. Geographic variation in the acoustic traits of greater horseshoe bats: testing the importance of drift and ecological selection in evolutionary processes.

    PubMed

    Sun, Keping; Luo, Li; Kimball, Rebecca T; Wei, Xuewen; Jin, Longru; Jiang, Tinglei; Li, Guohong; Feng, Jiang

    2013-01-01

    Patterns of intraspecific geographic variation of signaling systems provide insight into the microevolutionary processes driving phenotypic divergence. The acoustic calls of bats are sensitive to diverse evolutionary forces, but processes that shape call variation are largely unexplored. In China, Rhinolophus ferrumequinum displays a diverse call frequency and inhabits a heterogeneous landscape, presenting an excellent opportunity for this kind of research. We quantified geographic variation in resting frequency (RF) of echolocation calls, estimated genetic structure and phylogeny of R. ferrumequinum populations, and combined this with climatic factors to test three hypotheses to explain acoustic variation: genetic drift, cultural drift, and local adaptation. Our results demonstrated significant regional divergence in frequency and phylogeny among the bat populations in China's northeast (NE), central-east (CE) and southwest (SW) regions. The CE region had higher frequencies than the NE and SW regions. Drivers of RF divergence were estimated in the entire range and just the CE/NE region (since these two regions form a clade). In both cases, RF divergence was not correlated with mtDNA or nDNA genetic distance, but was significantly correlated with geographic distance and mean annual temperature, indicating cultural drift and ecological selection pressures are likely important in shaping RF divergence among different regions in China.

  14. Landscape heterogeneity as an ecological filter of species traits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duflot, Rémi; Georges, Romain; Ernoult, Aude; Aviron, Stéphanie; Burel, Françoise

    2014-04-01

    Landscape heterogeneity is a major driver of biodiversity in agricultural areas and represents an important parameter in conservation strategies. However, most landscape ecology studies measure gamma diversity of a single habitat type, despite the assessment of multiple habitats at a landscape scale being more appropriate. This study aimed to determine the effects of landscape composition and spatial configuration on life-history trait distribution in carabid beetle and herbaceous plant communities. Here, we assessed the gamma diversity of carabid beetles and plants by sampling three dominant habitats (woody habitats, grasslands and crops) across 20 landscapes in western France. RLQ and Fourth Corner three-table analyses were used to assess the association of dispersal, phenology, reproduction and trophic level traits with landscape characteristics. Landscape composition and configuration were both significant in explaining functional composition. Carabid beetles and plants showed similar response regarding phenology, i.e. open landscapes were associated with earlier breeding species. Carabid beetle dispersal traits exhibited the strongest relationship with landscape structure; for instance, large and apterous species preferentially inhabited woody landscapes, whereas small and macropterous species preferentially inhabited open landscapes. Heavy seeded plant species dominated in intensified agricultural landscapes (high % crops), possibly due to the removal of weeds (which are usually lightweight seeded species). The results of this study emphasise the roles of landscape composition and configuration as ecological filters and the importance of preserving a range of landscape types to maintain functional biodiversity at regional scales.

  15. Ecological interactions drive evolutionary loss of traits.

    PubMed

    Ellers, Jacintha; Kiers, E Toby; Currie, Cameron R; McDonald, Bradon R; Visser, Bertanne

    2012-10-01

    Loss of traits can dramatically alter the fate of species. Evidence is rapidly accumulating that the prevalence of trait loss is grossly underestimated. New findings demonstrate that traits can be lost without affecting the external phenotype, provided the lost function is compensated for by species interactions. This is important because trait loss can tighten the ecological relationship between partners, affecting the maintenance of species interactions. Here, we develop a new perspective on so-called `compensated trait loss' and how this type of trait loss may affect the evolutionary dynamics between interacting organisms. We argue that: (1) the frequency of compensated trait loss is currently underestimated because it can go unnoticed as long as ecological interactions are maintained; (2) by analysing known cases of trait loss, specific factors promoting compensated trait loss can be identified and (3) genomic sequencing is a key way forwards in detecting compensated trait loss. We present a comprehensive literature survey showing that compensated trait loss is taxonomically widespread, can involve essential traits, and often occurs as replicated evolutionary events. Despite its hidden nature, compensated trait loss is important in directing evolutionary dynamics of ecological relationships and has the potential to change facultative ecological interactions into obligatory ones.

  16. Evolution of the teachings of chemistry in the new degrees of School of Agricultural Engineering and its importance in the acquisition of competencies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arce, Augusto; Tarquis, Ana M.; Castellanos, Maria Teresa; Requejo, Maria Isabel; Cartagena, Maria Carmen

    2014-05-01

    The academic year 2012-13 is the third year of implementation of the Bologna process in ETSI Agricultural for the subjects Chemistry I and Chemistry II in the new four Degrees: Graduate in Engineering and Agricultural Science, Food Engineering Graduate, Graduate in Engineering Environmental and Biotechnology graduate. We have implemented new interactive methodologies in the teaching-learning process based on the use of the virtual platform of the UPM, and teaching support materials and new laboratory practice developing has. It has also launched new continuous assessment systems that promote active student participation. A comparative study of academic achievements by students of the new grades in the subjects of chemistry during the last three academic years was performed to correlating the results obtained, the success rate and the drop out, and compare with the level of prior knowledge to those entering students. Possible solutions to try and fix these results in future courses are proposed Finally, the general competencies that contribute this course, how they are acquired and how they should be evaluated correctly are indicated. Acknowledgments: Innovation educative projects Nº IE02054-11/12 UPM. 2012

  17. Sickle Cell Trait

    MedlinePlus

    ... About Us Information For... Media Policy Makers Sickle Cell Trait Language: English Español (Spanish) Recommend on Facebook ... the trait on to their children. How Sickle Cell Trait is Inherited If both parents have SCT, ...

  18. Importance of Macrophyte Quality in Determining Life-History Traits of the Apple Snails Pomacea canaliculata: Implications for Bottom-Up Management of an Invasive Herbivorous Pest in Constructed Wetlands

    PubMed Central

    Yam, Rita S. W.; Fan, Yen-Tzu; Wang, Tzu-Ting

    2016-01-01

    Pomacea canaliculata (Ampullariidae) has extensively invaded most Asian constructed wetlands and its massive herbivory of macrophytes has become a major cause of ecosystem dysfunctioning of these restored habitats. We conducted non-choice laboratory feeding experiments of P. canaliculata using five common macrophyte species in constructed wetlands including Ipomoea aquatica, Commelina communis, Nymphoides coreana, Acorus calamus and Phragmites australis. Effects of macrophytes on snail feeding, growth and fecundity responses were evaluated. Results indicated that P. canaliculata reared on Ipomoea had the highest feeding and growth rates with highest reproductive output, but all individuals fed with Phragmites showed lowest feeding rates and little growth with poorest reproductive output. Plant N and P contents were important for enhancing palatability, supporting growth and offspring quantity of P. canaliculata, whilst toughness, cellulose and phenolics had critically deterrent effects on various life-history traits. Although snail offspring quality was generally consistent regardless of maternal feeding conditions, the reduced growth and offspring quantity of the poorly-fed snails in constructed wetlands dominated by the less-palatable macrophytes could limit the invasive success of P. canaliculata. Effective bottom-up control of P. canaliculata in constructed wetlands should involve selective planting strategy using macrophytes with low nutrient and high toughness, cellulose and phenolic contents. PMID:26927135

  19. Importance of Macrophyte Quality in Determining Life-History Traits of the Apple Snails Pomacea canaliculata: Implications for Bottom-Up Management of an Invasive Herbivorous Pest in Constructed Wetlands.

    PubMed

    Yam, Rita S W; Fan, Yen-Tzu; Wang, Tzu-Ting

    2016-02-24

    Pomacea canaliculata (Ampullariidae) has extensively invaded most Asian constructed wetlands and its massive herbivory of macrophytes has become a major cause of ecosystem dysfunctioning of these restored habitats. We conducted non-choice laboratory feeding experiments of P. canaliculata using five common macrophyte species in constructed wetlands including Ipomoea aquatica, Commelina communis, Nymphoides coreana, Acorus calamus and Phragmites australis. Effects of macrophytes on snail feeding, growth and fecundity responses were evaluated. Results indicated that P. canaliculata reared on Ipomoea had the highest feeding and growth rates with highest reproductive output, but all individuals fed with Phragmites showed lowest feeding rates and little growth with poorest reproductive output. Plant N and P contents were important for enhancing palatability, supporting growth and offspring quantity of P. canaliculata, whilst toughness, cellulose and phenolics had critically deterrent effects on various life-history traits. Although snail offspring quality was generally consistent regardless of maternal feeding conditions, the reduced growth and offspring quantity of the poorly-fed snails in constructed wetlands dominated by the less-palatable macrophytes could limit the invasive success of P. canaliculata. Effective bottom-up control of P. canaliculata in constructed wetlands should involve selective planting strategy using macrophytes with low nutrient and high toughness, cellulose and phenolic contents.

  20. Phylogenetic analyses of RPB1 and RPB2 support a middle Cretaceous origin for a clade comprising all agriculturally and medically important fusaria

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Fusarium (Hypocreales, Nectriaceae) is one of the most economically important and systematically challenging groups of mycotoxigenic phytopathogens and emergent human pathogens. We conducted maximum likelihood (ML), maximum parsimony (MP) and Bayesian (B) analyses on partial RNA polymerase largest (...

  1. Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that specialty crops are a vital part of agriculture in the United States, that the Committee on Agriculture should propose funding for programs that support specialty crops priorities, and that legislation should be passed that includes funding reflecting specialty crops as a growing and important part of United States agriculture.

    THOMAS, 113th Congress

    Rep. DelBene, Suzan K. [D-WA-1

    2013-04-25

    05/03/2013 Referred to the Subcommittee on Horticulture, Research, Biotechnology, and Foreign Agriculture. (All Actions) Tracker: This bill has the status IntroducedHere are the steps for Status of Legislation:

  2. Grassland agriculture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Agriculture in grassland environments is facing multiple stresses from: shifting demographics, declining and fragmented agricultural landscapes, declining environmental quality, variable and changing climate, volatile and increasing energy costs, marginal economic returns, and globalization. Degrad...

  3. Genetics of complex traits: prediction of phenotype, identification of causal polymorphisms and genetic architecture

    PubMed Central

    Goddard, M. E.; Kemper, K. E.; MacLeod, I. M.; Chamberlain, A. J.; Hayes, B. J.

    2016-01-01

    Complex or quantitative traits are important in medicine, agriculture and evolution, yet, until recently, few of the polymorphisms that cause variation in these traits were known. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS), based on the ability to assay thousands of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), have revolutionized our understanding of the genetics of complex traits. We advocate the analysis of GWAS data by a statistical method that fits all SNP effects simultaneously, assuming that these effects are drawn from a prior distribution. We illustrate how this method can be used to predict future phenotypes, to map and identify the causal mutations, and to study the genetic architecture of complex traits. The genetic architecture of complex traits is even more complex than previously thought: in almost every trait studied there are thousands of polymorphisms that explain genetic variation. Methods of predicting future phenotypes, collectively known as genomic selection or genomic prediction, have been widely adopted in livestock and crop breeding, leading to increased rates of genetic improvement. PMID:27440663

  4. Agriculture in the Midwest

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Agriculture in the Midwest United States (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin) represents one of the most intense areas of agriculture in the world. This area is not only critically important for the United States, but also for world exports of grain and meat for the Un...

  5. [Effects of agricultural activities and transgenic crops on agricultural biodiversity].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xi-Tao; Luo, Hong-Bing; Li, Jun-Sheng; Huang, Hai; Liu, Yong-Bo

    2014-09-01

    Agricultural biodiversity is a key part of the ecosystem biodiversity, but it receives little concern. The monoculture, environmental pollution and habitat fragmentation caused by agricultural activities have threatened agricultural biodiversity over the past 50 years. To optimize agricultural management measures for crop production and environmental protection, we reviewed the effects of agricultural activities, including cultivation patterns, plastic mulching, chemical additions and the cultivation of transgenic crops, on agricultural biodiversity. The results showed that chemical pesticides and fertilizers had the most serious influence and the effects of transgenic crops varied with other factors like the specific transgene inserted in crops. The environmental risk of transgenic crops should be assessed widely through case-by-case methods, particularly its potential impacts on agricultural biodiversity. It is important to consider the protection of agricultural biodiversity before taking certain agricultural practices, which could improve agricultural production and simultaneously reduce the environmental impacts.

  6. Association of N2-fixing Cyanobacteria and Plants: Towards Novel Symbioses of Agricultural Importance. Final report, 1 April 1996 to 31 May 1997

    SciTech Connect

    Gantar, Miroslav

    1999-03-01

    The goal of this project is to characterize an association that takes place between the roots of wheat and the nitrogen-fixing cyanobacterium Nostoc 2S9. By understanding how the association takes place and the extent to which it permits the growth of the plant without exogenous nitrogenous fertilizer, it may prove possible to increase the benefits of the association and to extend them to other plants of agrinomic importance.

  7. Multilocus phylogeny reveals an association of agriculturally important Fusarium solani species complex (FSSC) 11, and clinically important FSSC 5 and FSSC 3 + 4 with soybean roots in the north central United States.

    PubMed

    Chitrampalam, P; Nelson, B

    2016-02-01

    The Fusarium solani species complex (FSSC) includes important root pathogens of soybean in the United States, but the evolutionary lineages associated with soybean root rot are unknown. A multilocus phylogeny based on 93 isolates from soybean and pea roots from North Dakota and Minnesota revealed that root rot was associated with three known phylogenetic species, FSSC 3 + 4 (=Fusarium falciforme) (3 % of isolates), FSSC 5 (60 %), FSSC 11 (34 %), and one unknown species, FSSC X (2 %). Of these species FSSC 5 and FSSC 3 + 4 are clinically important while FSSC 11 is a plant pathogen. Isolates from FSSC 11 were pathogenic on soybean, dry bean, pea and lentil, and did not grow at 37 °C. However, isolates from FSSC 5 were weakly to non-pathogenic, but grew at 37 °C. Isolates from both FSSC 5 and FSSC 11 were highly resistant to fludioxonil in vitro. This is the first study revealing the pathogenic robustness of FSSC 11 in causing root rot among Fabaceae crops and also the association of clinically important members of the FSSC with roots of a widely grown field crop in the United States.

  8. Variation and selection of quantitative traits in plant pathogens.

    PubMed

    Lannou, Christian

    2012-01-01

    The first section presents the quantitative traits of pathogenicity that are most commonly measured by plant pathologists, how the expression of those traits is influenced by environmental factors, and why the traits must be taken into account for understanding pathogen evolution in agricultural systems. Particular attention is given to the shared genetic control of these traits by the host and the pathogen. Next, the review discusses how quantitative traits account for epidemic development and how they can be related to pathogen fitness. The main constraints that influence the evolution of quantitative traits in pathogen populations are detailed. Finally, possible directions for research on the management of pathogen virulence (as defined by evolutionists) and host quantitative resistance are presented. The review evaluates how the theoretical corpus developed by epidemiologists and evolutionists may apply to plant pathogens in the context of agriculture. The review also analyzes theoretical papers and compares the modeling hypotheses to the biological characteristics of plant pathogens.

  9. Multi-trait mimicry and the relative salience of individual traits.

    PubMed

    Kazemi, Baharan; Gamberale-Stille, Gabriella; Leimar, Olof

    2015-11-07

    Mimicry occurs when one species gains protection from predators by resembling an unprofitable model species. The degree of mimic-model similarity is variable in nature and is closely related to the number of traits that the mimic shares with its model. Here, we experimentally test the hypothesis that the relative salience of traits, as perceived by a predator, is an important determinant of the degree of mimic-model similarity required for successful mimicry. We manipulated the relative salience of the traits of a two-trait artificial model prey, and subsequently tested the survival of mimics of the different traits. The unrewarded model prey had two colour traits, black and blue, and the rewarded prey had two combinations of green, brown and grey shades. Blue tits were used as predators. We found that the birds perceived the black and blue traits to be similarly salient in one treatment, and mimic-model similarity in both traits was then required for high mimic success. In a second treatment, the blue trait was the most salient trait, and mimic-model similarity in this trait alone achieved high success. Our results thus support the idea that similar salience of model traits can explain the occurrence of multi-trait mimicry.

  10. Multi-trait mimicry and the relative salience of individual traits

    PubMed Central

    Kazemi, Baharan; Gamberale-Stille, Gabriella; Leimar, Olof

    2015-01-01

    Mimicry occurs when one species gains protection from predators by resembling an unprofitable model species. The degree of mimic–model similarity is variable in nature and is closely related to the number of traits that the mimic shares with its model. Here, we experimentally test the hypothesis that the relative salience of traits, as perceived by a predator, is an important determinant of the degree of mimic–model similarity required for successful mimicry. We manipulated the relative salience of the traits of a two-trait artificial model prey, and subsequently tested the survival of mimics of the different traits. The unrewarded model prey had two colour traits, black and blue, and the rewarded prey had two combinations of green, brown and grey shades. Blue tits were used as predators. We found that the birds perceived the black and blue traits to be similarly salient in one treatment, and mimic–model similarity in both traits was then required for high mimic success. In a second treatment, the blue trait was the most salient trait, and mimic–model similarity in this trait alone achieved high success. Our results thus support the idea that similar salience of model traits can explain the occurrence of multi-trait mimicry. PMID:26511051

  11. Arranging the bouquet of disease: floral traits and the transmission of plant and animal pathogens.

    PubMed

    McArt, Scott H; Koch, Hauke; Irwin, Rebecca E; Adler, Lynn S

    2014-05-01

    Several floral microbes are known to be pathogenic to plants or floral visitors such as pollinators. Despite the ecological and economic importance of pathogens deposited in flowers, we often lack a basic understanding of how floral traits influence disease transmission. Here, we provide the first systematic review regarding how floral traits attract vectors (for plant pathogens) or hosts (for animal pathogens), mediate disease establishment and evolve under complex interactions with plant mutualists that can be vectors for microbial antagonists. Attraction of floral visitors is influenced by numerous phenological, morphological and chemical traits, and several plant pathogens manipulate floral traits to attract vectors. There is rapidly growing interest in how floral secondary compounds and antimicrobial enzymes influence disease establishment in plant hosts. Similarly, new research suggests that consumption of floral secondary compounds can reduce pathogen loads in animal pollinators. Given recent concerns about pollinator declines caused in part by pathogens, the role of floral traits in mediating pathogen transmission is a key area for further research. We conclude by discussing important implications of floral transmission of pathogens for agriculture, conservation and human health, suggesting promising avenues for future research in both basic and applied biology.

  12. Importance of rhizobia in Agriculture: potential of the commercial inoculants and native strains for improving legume yields in different land-use systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lesueur, D.; Atieno, M.; Mathu, S.; Herrmann, L.

    2012-04-01

    Legumes play an important role in the traditional diets of many regions throughout the world because they provide a multitude of benefits to both the soil and other crops grown in combination with them or following them in several cropping systems. The ability of legumes to fix atmospheric nitrogen in association with rhizobia gives them the capacity to grow in very degraded soils. But do we have to systematically inoculate legumes? For example our results suggested that the systematic inoculation of both cowpea and green gram in Kenya with commercial inoculants to improve yields is not really justified, native strains performing better than inoculated strains. But when native rhizobia nodulating legumes are not naturally present, application of rhizobial inoculants is very commonly used. Our results showed that the utilization of effective good-quality rhizobial inoculants by farmers have a real potential to improve legume yields in unfertile soils requesting high applications of mineral fertilizers. For example an effective soybean commercial inoculants was tested in different locations in Kenya (in about 150 farms in 3 mandate areas presenting different soil characteristics and environmental conditions). Application of the rhizobial inoculant significantly increased the soybean yields in all mandate areas (about 75% of the farms). Nodule occupancy analysis showed that a high number of nodules occupied by the inoculated strain did not obviously lead to an increase of soybean production. Soil factors (pH, P, C, N…) seemed to affect the inoculant efficiency whether the strain is occupying the nodules or not. Our statistic analysis showed that soil pH significantly affected nodulation and yield, though the effect was variable depending on the region. We concluded that the competitiveness of rhizobial strains might not be the main factor explaining the effect (or lack of) of legumes inoculation in the field. Another study was aiming to assess if several factors

  13. QTLs for Biomass and Developmental Traits in Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Genetic and genomic resources have recently been developed for the bioenergy crop switchgrass (Panicum virgatum). Despite these advances, little research has been focused on identifying genetic loci involved in natural variation of important bioenergy traits, including biomass. Quantitative trait l...

  14. Agricultural Wastes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jewell, W. J.; Switzenbaum, M. S.

    1978-01-01

    Presents a literature review of agricultural wastes, covering publications of 1976-77. Some of the areas covered are: (1) water characteristics and impacts; (2) waste treatment; (3) reuse of agricultural wastes; and (4) nonpoint pollution sources. A list of 150 references is also presented. (HM)

  15. VOCATIONAL AGRICULTURE.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    California State Dept. of Education, Sacramento. Research Coordinating Unit.

    TO ASSIST THOSE WHO MAKE DECISIONS RELATING TO EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS IN AGRICULTURE, RECENT RESEARCH IN VOCATIONAL AGRICULTURE IS SUMMARIZED. A 1963 STUDY TREATS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN WORK EXPERIENCE AND STUDENT CHARACTERISTICS, PLANS, AND ASPIRATIONS. STUDIES ON POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION CONCERN GUIDELINES FOR TECHNICIAN PROGRAMS, JUSTIFICATION…

  16. Motivational Traits of Elite Young Soccer Players

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stewart, Craig; Meyers, Michael C.

    2004-01-01

    Among the most overlooked aspects in the development of elite young soccer players is that of specific psychological traits. Of those traits, motivation has important implications for programs whose objectives are identification and cultivation of young, skilled performers. The growth in popularity of soccer by youth and the successes experienced…

  17. Food and Agricultural Imports from China

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-07-17

    the many foods, medicines, and other products from China in particular. For example, in early 2007, evidence began to emerge that adulterated pet...public about adulterated foods, and for notifying the public about adulterated human or animal foods. The amendment includes elements of his... adulterated pet food ingredients from China had caused the deaths of an unknown number of dogs and cats. Furthermore, some ingredients also were fed to U.S

  18. 7 CFR 996.7 - Importer.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 8 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Importer. 996.7 Section 996.7 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) AGRICULTURAL MARKETING SERVICE (Marketing Agreements and... DOMESTIC AND IMPORTED PEANUTS MARKETED IN THE UNITED STATES Definitions § 996.7 Importer. Importer means...

  19. The Effects of Aphid Traits on Parasitoid Host Use and Specialist Advantage

    PubMed Central

    Gagic, Vesna; Petrović-Obradović, Olivera; Fründ, Jochen; Kavallieratos, Nickolas G.; Athanassiou, Christos G.; Starý, Petr; Tomanović, Željko

    2016-01-01

    Specialization is a central concept in ecology and one of the fundamental properties of parasitoids. Highly specialized parasitoids tend to be more efficient in host-use compared to generalized parasitoids, presumably owing to the trade-off between host range and host-use efficiency. However, it remains unknown how parasitoid host specificity and host-use depends on host traits related to susceptibility to parasitoid attack. To address this question, we used data from a 13-year survey of interactions among 142 aphid and 75 parasitoid species in nine European countries. We found that only aphid traits related to local resource characteristics seem to influence the trade-off between host-range and efficiency: more specialized parasitoids had an apparent advantage (higher abundance on shared hosts) on aphids with sparse colonies, ant-attendance and without concealment, and this was more evident when host relatedness was included in calculation of parasitoid specificity. More traits influenced average assemblage specialization, which was highest in aphids that are monophagous, monoecious, large, highly mobile (easily drop from a plant), without myrmecophily, habitat specialists, inhabit non-agricultural habitats and have sparse colonies. Differences in aphid wax production did not influence parasitoid host specificity and host-use. Our study is the first step in identifying host traits important for aphid parasitoid host specificity and host-use and improves our understanding of bottom-up effects of aphid traits on aphid-parasitoid food web structure. PMID:27309729

  20. Agricultural Energy Practices. Agriculture Energy.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Crank, Ron

    This instructional unit is one of 10 developed by students on various energy-related areas that deals specifically with agricultural energy practices. Its objective is for the student to be able to discuss energy use and conservation of resources in the production of agricultural products. Some topics covered are basic uses of direct energy in…

  1. Agriculture Education. Agricultural Metal Working.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stuttgart Public Schools, AR.

    This curriculum guide is designed for group instruction of secondary agricultural education students enrolled in one or two semester-long courses in agricultural metal working. The guide presents units of study in the following areas: (1) oxyacetylene welding, (2) arc welding, (3) sheet metal, (4) blueprint reading for welders and (5) job…

  2. Agricultural Geophysics

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The four geophysical methods predominantly used for agricultural purposes are resistivity, electromagnetic induction, ground penetrating radar (GPR), and time domain reflectometry (TDR). Resistivity and electromagnetic induction methods are typically employed to map lateral variations of apparent so...

  3. Agriculture Sectors

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    The Agriculture sectors comprise establishments primarily engaged in growing crops, raising animals, and harvesting fish and other animals. Find information on compliance, enforcement and guidance on EPA laws and regulations on the NAICS 111 & 112 sectors.

  4. Agricultural Microbiology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brill, Winston J.

    1981-01-01

    Elucidates strategies for applying microbiological techniques to traditional agricultural practices. Discusses the manipulation of microorganisms that live with plants and also the problems involved in the introduction of new genes into crop plants by recombinant DNA methods. (CS)

  5. Characterizing invertebrate traits in wadeable streams of the contiguous US: differences among ecoregions and land uses

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zuellig, Robert E.; Schmidt, Travis S.

    2012-01-01

    Much is known about invertebrate community traits in basins across Europe, but no comprehensive description of traits exists for the continental US. Little is known about the trait composition of invertebrates in reference or least-disturbed basins of the US, how trait composition varies among ecoregions, or how consistently traits respond to land use. These elements are essential to development of trait-based tools for conservation and assessment of biological integrity. We compared invertebrate traits of least-disturbed basins among ecoregions of the US. Benthic invertebrate data (presence/absence) from 1987 basins were translated into 56 binary traits (e.g., bivoltine, clinger). Basins were classified as least-disturbed, agricultural, or urban, and grouped into 9 ecoregions. Landuse, climatic, physiographic, and hydrologic data were used to describe ecoregions and to evaluate least-disturbed basin quality. The unique habitat template of each ecoregion selected for trait compositions in least-disturbed basins that differed among ecoregions. Among the traits examined, life-history (e.g., voltinism, development) and ecological traits (e.g., rheophily, thermal preference) differed most among ecoregions. Agricultural and urban land uses selected for trait compositions that differed from least-disturbed, but the extent of the differences depended on ecoregion and quality of the least-disturbed basins. No trait compositions unique to specific land uses were found. However, a disturbance syndrome was observed in that the magnitude and direction of trait responses to urban and agricultural land uses were consistent among ecoregions. Each ecoregion had a unique trait composition, but trait compositions could be used to aggregate ecoregions into 3 broad regions: Western Mountains, Plains and Lowlands, and Eastern Highlands. Our results indicate that large-scale trait-based assessment tools for the US will require calibration to account for regional differences in the trait

  6. Agricultural Waste.

    PubMed

    Shu, Huajie; Zhang, Panpan; Chang, Chein-Chi; Wang, Renqing; Zhang, Shuping

    2015-10-01

    The management and disposal of agricultural waste are drawn more and more attention because of the increasing yields and negative effects on the environment. However, proper treatments such as converting abundant biomass wastes into biogas through anaerobic digestion technology, can not only avoid the negative impacts, but also convert waste into available resources. This review summarizes the studies of nearly two hundred scholars from the following four aspects: the characterization, reuse, treatment, and management of agricultural waste.

  7. The eco-evolutionary impacts of domestication and agricultural practices on wild species.

    PubMed

    Turcotte, Martin M; Araki, Hitoshi; Karp, Daniel S; Poveda, Katja; Whitehead, Susan R

    2017-01-19

    Agriculture is a dominant evolutionary force that drives the evolution of both domesticated and wild species. However, the various mechanisms of agriculture-induced evolution and their socio-ecological consequences are not often synthetically discussed. Here, we explore how agricultural practices and evolutionary changes in domesticated species cause evolution in wild species. We do so by examining three processes by which agriculture drives evolution. First, differences in the traits of domesticated species, compared with their wild ancestors, alter the selective environment and create opportunities for wild species to specialize. Second, selection caused by agricultural practices, including both those meant to maximize productivity and those meant to control pest species, can lead to pest adaptation. Third, agriculture can cause non-selective changes in patterns of gene flow in wild species. We review evidence for these processes and then discuss their ecological and sociological impacts. We finish by identifying important knowledge gaps and future directions related to the eco-evolutionary impacts of agriculture including their extent, how to prevent the detrimental evolution of wild species, and finally, how to use evolution to minimize the ecological impacts of agriculture.This article is part of the themed issue 'Human influences on evolution, and the ecological and societal consequences'.

  8. Urban conservation agriculture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Vegetables are important sources of vitamins and nutrients for human nutrition. United States Department of Agriculture recommends filling half of the food plates with vegetables in every meal. While it is important in promoting good health, access to fresh vegetables is limited especially in urban ...

  9. Agriculture: About EPA's National Agriculture Center

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    EPA's National Agriculture Center (Ag Center), with the support of the United States Department of Agriculture, serves growers, livestock producers, other agribusinesses, and agricultural information/education providers.

  10. FishTraits Database

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Angermeier, Paul L.; Frimpong, Emmanuel A.

    2009-01-01

    The need for integrated and widely accessible sources of species traits data to facilitate studies of ecology, conservation, and management has motivated development of traits databases for various taxa. In spite of the increasing number of traits-based analyses of freshwater fishes in the United States, no consolidated database of traits of this group exists publicly, and much useful information on these species is documented only in obscure sources. The largely inaccessible and unconsolidated traits information makes large-scale analysis involving many fishes and/or traits particularly challenging. FishTraits is a database of >100 traits for 809 (731 native and 78 exotic) fish species found in freshwaters of the conterminous United States, including 37 native families and 145 native genera. The database contains information on four major categories of traits: (1) trophic ecology, (2) body size and reproductive ecology (life history), (3) habitat associations, and (4) salinity and temperature tolerances. Information on geographic distribution and conservation status is also included. Together, we refer to the traits, distribution, and conservation status information as attributes. Descriptions of attributes are available here. Many sources were consulted to compile attributes, including state and regional species accounts and other databases.

  11. 7 CFR 201.38 - Importations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 3 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Importations. 201.38 Section 201.38 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) AGRICULTURAL MARKETING SERVICE (Standards, Inspections, Marketing Practices), DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE (CONTINUED) FEDERAL SEED ACT FEDERAL SEED...

  12. 7 CFR 201.38 - Importations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 3 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Importations. 201.38 Section 201.38 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) AGRICULTURAL MARKETING SERVICE (Standards, Inspections, Marketing Practices), DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE (CONTINUED) FEDERAL SEED ACT FEDERAL SEED...

  13. 7 CFR 1210.502 - Importer members.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 10 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Importer members. 1210.502 Section 1210.502 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) AGRICULTURAL MARKETING SERVICE (MARKETING AGREEMENTS AND ORDERS; MISCELLANEOUS COMMODITIES), DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE WATERMELON RESEARCH...

  14. 7 CFR 1210.502 - Importer members.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 10 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Importer members. 1210.502 Section 1210.502 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) AGRICULTURAL MARKETING SERVICE (MARKETING AGREEMENTS AND ORDERS; MISCELLANEOUS COMMODITIES), DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE WATERMELON RESEARCH...

  15. 7 CFR 1210.502 - Importer members.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 10 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Importer members. 1210.502 Section 1210.502 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) AGRICULTURAL MARKETING SERVICE (MARKETING AGREEMENTS AND ORDERS; MISCELLANEOUS COMMODITIES), DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE WATERMELON RESEARCH...

  16. Exploring callous and unemotional traits in youth via general personality traits: An eye toward DSM-5.

    PubMed

    Latzman, Robert D; Lilienfeld, Scott O; Latzman, Natasha E; Clark, Lee Anna

    2013-07-01

    The current study aimed at better understanding callous-unemotional (CU) traits in youth within a traditional personality trait/temperament framework as well as in relation to current proposals for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5). Participants were 174 mothers and their sons age 11-16 years. Mothers and youth reported on youth CU traits and general personality trait/ temperament dimensions. Overall, analyses revealed significant unique associations of personality trait/temperament dimensions with CU total and subscale scores. Personality trait/temperament dimensions explained 36% to 58% of the variance in CU subscales and total score. Furthermore, specific personality dimensions differentially and uniquely predicted various CU subscales, indicating marked specificity in association such that these traits should be considered separately rather than as a single unit. Taken together, these results confirm the importance of considering traditional personality trait models to understand "callous and unemotional" traits and risk for psychopathy more fully. Additionally, our findings bear implications for the conceptualization and operationalization of these traits in DSM-5.

  17. The contrasting roles of growth traits and architectural traits in diversity maintenance in clonal plant communities.

    PubMed

    Wildová, Radka; Goldberg, Deborah E; Herben, Tomáš

    2012-12-01

    Plant communities often exhibit high diversity, even though pairwise experiments usually result in competitive hierarchies that should result in competitive exclusion. Such experiments, however, do not typically allow expression of spatial traits, despite theoretical studies showing the potential importance of spatial mechanisms of diversity maintenance. Here we ask whether, in a clonal plant model system, spatial trait variation is more likely than growth trait variation to maintain diversity. We used a field-calibrated, spatially explicit model to simulate communities comprising sets of four simulated species differing in only one of a suite of architectural or growth traits at a time, examining their dynamics and long-term diversity. To compare trait manipulation effects across traits measured in different units, we scaled traits to have identical effects on initial productivity. We found that in communities of species differing only in an architectural trait, all species usually persist, whereas communities of species differing only in a growth trait experienced rapid competitive exclusion. To examine the roles of equalizing and stabilizing mechanisms in maintaining diversity, we conducted reciprocal invasion experiments for species pairs differing only in single traits. The results suggest that stabilizing mechanisms cannot account for the observed long-term co-occurrence. Strong positive correlations between diversity and similarity both in monoculture carrying capacity and reciprocal invasion ability suggesting equalizing mechanisms may instead be responsible.

  18. Increasing agricultural land use is associated with the spread of an invasive fish (Gambusia affinis).

    PubMed

    Lee, Finnbar; Simon, Kevin S; Perry, George L W

    2017-05-15

    Land-use change and invasive species pose major threats to ecosystems globally. These stressors can act together, with disturbance due to changes in land-use facilitating invasion. We examined the potential for agricultural land use to facilitate the establishment and population growth (abundance) of a globally invasive fish (Gambusia affinis). To achieve this we examined Gambusia presence, abundance, and life history traits in 31 streams spanning an agricultural land use gradient in the North Island of New Zealand. We used regression models to quantify the relationship between agricultural land use and in-stream physiochemical and habitat variables, and zero-inflated models to explore the relationship among physiochemical, habitat and catchment-scale variables and Gambusia's distribution and abundance. The percentage of the catchment in agricultural land use was associated with changes to physiochemical and habitat conditions. Increasing agricultural land use was associated with increasing macrophyte cover and water temperature and decreasing velocity in streams. Catchment-scale variables (land use and site position in the network) and water temperature were the most important determinants of whether Gambusia occurred at a site. Local in-stream habitat (macrophyte cover and water velocity) and nutrient conditions were the most influential predictors of Gambusia abundance given Gambusia were present. Gambusia life-history traits, sex ratio and body length varied among sites but were not predicted by physiochemical gradients. The distribution of Gambusia in streams in New Zealand is partially controlled by catchment-scale conditions via a combination of dispersal limitation and environmental filtering, both of which are affected by agricultural land use. Agricultural land use alters local in-stream conditions, resulting in systems that are similar to those in Gambusia's natural range; these altered systems have the potential to support an increased abundance of

  19. A functional trait perspective on plant invasion

    PubMed Central

    Drenovsky, Rebecca E.; Grewell, Brenda J.; D'Antonio, Carla M.; Funk, Jennifer L.; James, Jeremy J.; Molinari, Nicole; Parker, Ingrid M.; Richards, Christina L.

    2012-01-01

    Background and Aims Global environmental change will affect non-native plant invasions, with profound potential impacts on native plant populations, communities and ecosystems. In this context, we review plant functional traits, particularly those that drive invader abundance (invasiveness) and impacts, as well as the integration of these traits across multiple ecological scales, and as a basis for restoration and management. Scope We review the concepts and terminology surrounding functional traits and how functional traits influence processes at the individual level. We explore how phenotypic plasticity may lead to rapid evolution of novel traits facilitating invasiveness in changing environments and then ‘scale up’ to evaluate the relative importance of demographic traits and their links to invasion rates. We then suggest a functional trait framework for assessing per capita effects and, ultimately, impacts of invasive plants on plant communities and ecosystems. Lastly, we focus on the role of functional trait-based approaches in invasive species management and restoration in the context of rapid, global environmental change. Conclusions To understand how the abundance and impacts of invasive plants will respond to rapid environmental changes it is essential to link trait-based responses of invaders to changes in community and ecosystem properties. To do so requires a comprehensive effort that considers dynamic environmental controls and a targeted approach to understand key functional traits driving both invader abundance and impacts. If we are to predict future invasions, manage those at hand and use restoration technology to mitigate invasive species impacts, future research must focus on functional traits that promote invasiveness and invader impacts under changing conditions, and integrate major factors driving invasions from individual to ecosystem levels. PMID:22589328

  20. Relating Stomatal Conductance to Leaf Functional Traits.

    PubMed

    Kröber, Wenzel; Plath, Isa; Heklau, Heike; Bruelheide, Helge

    2015-10-12

    Leaf functional traits are important because they reflect physiological functions, such as transpiration and carbon assimilation. In particular, morphological leaf traits have the potential to summarize plants strategies in terms of water use efficiency, growth pattern and nutrient use. The leaf economics spectrum (LES) is a recognized framework in functional plant ecology and reflects a gradient of increasing specific leaf area (SLA), leaf nitrogen, phosphorus and cation content, and decreasing leaf dry matter content (LDMC) and carbon nitrogen ratio (CN). The LES describes different strategies ranging from that of short-lived leaves with high photosynthetic capacity per leaf mass to long-lived leaves with low mass-based carbon assimilation rates. However, traits that are not included in the LES might provide additional information on the species' physiology, such as those related to stomatal control. Protocols are presented for a wide range of leaf functional traits, including traits of the LES, but also traits that are independent of the LES. In particular, a new method is introduced that relates the plants' regulatory behavior in stomatal conductance to vapor pressure deficit. The resulting parameters of stomatal regulation can then be compared to the LES and other plant functional traits. The results show that functional leaf traits of the LES were also valid predictors for the parameters of stomatal regulation. For example, leaf carbon concentration was positively related to the vapor pressure deficit (vpd) at the point of inflection and the maximum of the conductance-vpd curve. However, traits that are not included in the LES added information in explaining parameters of stomatal control: the vpd at the point of inflection of the conductance-vpd curve was lower for species with higher stomatal density and higher stomatal index. Overall, stomata and vein traits were more powerful predictors for explaining stomatal regulation than traits used in the LES.

  1. Relating Stomatal Conductance to Leaf Functional Traits

    PubMed Central

    Kröber, Wenzel; Plath, Isa; Heklau, Heike; Bruelheide, Helge

    2015-01-01

    Leaf functional traits are important because they reflect physiological functions, such as transpiration and carbon assimilation. In particular, morphological leaf traits have the potential to summarize plants strategies in terms of water use efficiency, growth pattern and nutrient use. The leaf economics spectrum (LES) is a recognized framework in functional plant ecology and reflects a gradient of increasing specific leaf area (SLA), leaf nitrogen, phosphorus and cation content, and decreasing leaf dry matter content (LDMC) and carbon nitrogen ratio (CN). The LES describes different strategies ranging from that of short-lived leaves with high photosynthetic capacity per leaf mass to long-lived leaves with low mass-based carbon assimilation rates. However, traits that are not included in the LES might provide additional information on the species' physiology, such as those related to stomatal control. Protocols are presented for a wide range of leaf functional traits, including traits of the LES, but also traits that are independent of the LES. In particular, a new method is introduced that relates the plants’ regulatory behavior in stomatal conductance to vapor pressure deficit. The resulting parameters of stomatal regulation can then be compared to the LES and other plant functional traits. The results show that functional leaf traits of the LES were also valid predictors for the parameters of stomatal regulation. For example, leaf carbon concentration was positively related to the vapor pressure deficit (vpd) at the point of inflection and the maximum of the conductance-vpd curve. However, traits that are not included in the LES added information in explaining parameters of stomatal control: the vpd at the point of inflection of the conductance-vpd curve was lower for species with higher stomatal density and higher stomatal index. Overall, stomata and vein traits were more powerful predictors for explaining stomatal regulation than traits used in the LES

  2. Genetic Consideration of Schizotypal Traits: A Review

    PubMed Central

    Walter, Emma E.; Fernandez, Francesca; Snelling, Mollie; Barkus, Emma

    2016-01-01

    Schizotypal traits are of interest and importance in their own right and also have theoretical and clinical associations with schizophrenia. These traits comprise attenuated psychotic symptoms, social withdrawal, reduced cognitive capacity, and affective dysregulation. The link between schizotypal traits and psychotic disorders has long since been debated. The status of knowledge at this point is such schizotypal traits are a risk for psychotic disorders, but in and of themselves only confer liability, with other risk factors needing to be present before a transition to psychosis occurs. Investigation of schizotypal traits also has the possibility to inform clinical and research pursuits concerning those who do not make a transition to psychotic disorders. A growing body of literature has investigated the genetic underpinnings of schizotypal traits. Here, we review association, family studies and describe genetic disorders where the expression of schizotypal traits has been investigated. We conducted a thorough review of the existing literature, with multiple search engines, references, and linked articles being searched for relevance to the current review. All articles and book chapters in English were sourced and reviewed for inclusion. Family studies demonstrate that schizotypal traits are elevated with increasing genetic proximity to schizophrenia and some chromosomal regions have been associated with schizotypy. Genes associated with schizophrenia have provided the initial start point for the investigation of candidate genes for schizotypal traits; neurobiological pathways of significance have guided selection of genes of interest. Given the chromosomal regions associated with schizophrenia, some genetic disorders have also considered the expression of schizotypal traits. Genetic disorders considered all comprise a profile of cognitive deficits and over representation of psychotic disorders compared to the general population. We conclude that genetic

  3. Hierarchical traits distances explain grassland Fabaceae species' ecological niches distances

    PubMed Central

    Fort, Florian; Jouany, Claire; Cruz, Pablo

    2015-01-01

    Fabaceae species play a key role in ecosystem functioning through their capacity to fix atmospheric nitrogen via their symbiosis with Rhizobium bacteria. To increase benefits of using Fabaceae in agricultural systems, it is necessary to find ways to evaluate species or genotypes having potential adaptations to sub-optimal growth conditions. We evaluated the relevance of phylogenetic distance, absolute trait distance and hierarchical trait distance for comparing the adaptation of 13 grassland Fabaceae species to different habitats, i.e., ecological niches. We measured a wide range of functional traits (root traits, leaf traits, and whole plant traits) in these species. Species phylogenetic and ecological distances were assessed from a species-level phylogenetic tree and species' ecological indicator values, respectively. We demonstrated that differences in ecological niches between grassland Fabaceae species were related more to their hierarchical trait distances than to their phylogenetic distances. We showed that grassland Fabaceae functional traits tend to converge among species with the same ecological requirements. Species with acquisitive root strategies (thin roots, shallow root systems) are competitive species adapted to non-stressful meadows, while conservative ones (coarse roots, deep root systems) are able to tolerate stressful continental climates. In contrast, acquisitive species appeared to be able to tolerate low soil-P availability, while conservative ones need high P availability. Finally we highlight that traits converge along the ecological gradient, providing the assumption that species with similar root-trait values are better able to coexist, regardless of their phylogenetic distance. PMID:25741353

  4. Emerging Agricultural Biotechnologies for Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Jennifer A; Gipmans, Martijn; Hurst, Susan; Layton, Raymond; Nehra, Narender; Pickett, John; Shah, Dilip M; Souza, Thiago Lívio P O; Tripathi, Leena

    2016-01-20

    As global populations continue to increase, agricultural productivity will be challenged to keep pace without overtaxing important environmental resources. A dynamic and integrated approach will be required to solve global food insecurity and position agriculture on a trajectory toward sustainability. Genetically modified (GM) crops enhanced through modern biotechnology represent an important set of tools that can promote sustainable agriculture and improve food security. Several emerging biotechnology approaches were discussed in a recent symposium organized at the 13th IUPAC International Congress of Pesticide Chemistry meeting in San Francisco, CA, USA. This paper summarizes the innovative research and several of the new and emerging technologies within the field of agricultural biotechnology that were presented during the symposium. This discussion highlights how agricultural biotechnology fits within the context of sustainable agriculture and improved food security and can be used in support of further development and adoption of beneficial GM crops.

  5. AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    FARQUHAR, R.N.

    AUSTRALIAN AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION HAS LONG EMPHASIZED TECHNICAL ADVISORY SERVICE AT THE EXPENSE OF THE SOCIOECONOMIC ASPECTS OF FARM PRODUCTION AND FARM LIFE. ONLY IN TASMANIA HAS FARM MANAGEMENT BEEN STRESSED. DEMANDS FOR THE WHOLE-FARM APPROACH HAVE PRODUCED A TREND TOWARD GENERALISM FOR DISTRICT OFFICERS IN MOST STATES. THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT,…

  6. Agricultural Biodiversity.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Postance, Jim

    1998-01-01

    The extinction of farm animals and crops is rarely brought up during discussions of endangered species and biodiversity; however, the loss of diversity in crops and livestock threatens the sustainability of agriculture. Presents three activities: (1) "The Colors of Diversity"; (2) "Biodiversity among Animals"; and (3) "Heirloom Plants." Discusses…

  7. 7 CFR 944.700 - Fresh prune import regulation.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) AGRICULTURAL MARKETING SERVICE (Marketing....700 Fresh prune import regulation. (a) Pursuant to section 8e of the Agricultural Marketing Agreement... consumption by charitable institutions, distribution by relief agencies, or commercial processing...

  8. 7 CFR 1212.12 - Importer-Handler Representative.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ....12 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) AGRICULTURAL MARKETING SERVICE (MARKETING AGREEMENTS AND ORDERS; MISCELLANEOUS COMMODITIES), DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE HONEY PACKERS AND IMPORTERS RESEARCH, PROMOTION, CONSUMER EDUCATION AND INDUSTRY INFORMATION ORDER Honey...

  9. 7 CFR 1212.12 - Importer-Handler Representative.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ....12 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) AGRICULTURAL MARKETING SERVICE (MARKETING AGREEMENTS AND ORDERS; MISCELLANEOUS COMMODITIES), DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE HONEY PACKERS AND IMPORTERS RESEARCH, PROMOTION, CONSUMER EDUCATION AND INDUSTRY INFORMATION ORDER Honey...

  10. 7 CFR 1212.12 - Importer-Handler Representative.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ....12 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) AGRICULTURAL MARKETING SERVICE (MARKETING AGREEMENTS AND ORDERS; MISCELLANEOUS COMMODITIES), DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE HONEY PACKERS AND IMPORTERS RESEARCH, PROMOTION, CONSUMER EDUCATION AND INDUSTRY INFORMATION ORDER Honey...

  11. Antimicrobial Resistance in Agriculture.

    PubMed

    Thanner, Sophie; Drissner, David; Walsh, Fiona

    2016-04-19

    In this article, the current knowledge and knowledge gaps in the emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in livestock and plants and importance in terms of animal and human health are discussed. Some recommendations are provided for generation of the data required in order to develop risk assessments for AMR within agriculture and for risks through the food chain to animals and humans.

  12. Generalized Latent Trait Models.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moustaki, Irini; Knott, Martin

    2000-01-01

    Discusses a general model framework within which manifest variables with different distributions in the exponential family can be analyzed with a latent trait model. Presents a unified maximum likelihood method for estimating the parameters of the generalized latent trait model and discusses the scoring of individuals on the latent dimensions.…

  13. Reinforcing loose foundation stones in trait-based plant ecology.

    PubMed

    Shipley, Bill; De Bello, Francesco; Cornelissen, J Hans C; Laliberté, Etienne; Laughlin, Daniel C; Reich, Peter B

    2016-04-01

    The promise of "trait-based" plant ecology is one of generalized prediction across organizational and spatial scales, independent of taxonomy. This promise is a major reason for the increased popularity of this approach. Here, we argue that some important foundational assumptions of trait-based ecology have not received sufficient empirical evaluation. We identify three such assumptions and, where possible, suggest methods of improvement: (i) traits are functional to the degree that they determine individual fitness, (ii) intraspecific variation in functional traits can be largely ignored, and (iii) functional traits show general predictive relationships to measurable environmental gradients.

  14. Agricultural Meteorology in China.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosenberg, Norman J.

    1982-03-01

    During nearly five weeks in China (May-June 1981), the author visited scientific institutions and experiment stations engaged in agricultural meterology and climatology research and teaching. The facilities, studies, and research programs at each institution are described and the scientific work in these fields is evaluated. Agricultural meteorology and climatology are faced with some unique problems and opportunities in China and progress in these fields may be of critical importance to that nation in coming years. The author includes culinary notes and comments on protocol in China.

  15. Preface: Biocatalysis and Agricultural Biotechnology

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This book was assembled with the intent of bringing together current advances and in-depth reviews of biocatalysis and agricultural biotechnology with emphasis on bio-based products and agricultural biotechnology. Recent energy and food crises point out the importance of bio-based products from ren...

  16. Agriculture and water pollution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Page, G. William

    The attempt by certain jurisdictions to preserve a rural lifestyle by means of farmland preservation may produce some unwanted side effects, such as polluted water supplies. While there are many excellent and important reasons to preserve high-quality agricultural land for food production, efforts to retain or encourage agricultural activities in areas experiencing rapid population growth may produce some serious environmental problems.For the entire post-WW II period the United States has experienced almost continuous suburban sprawl. Many incorporated areas, experiencing rapid development, have attempted to preserve open-space and less-developed land uses by actively attempting to preserve agricultural activities. Often the most recent migrants to a growing municipality exemplify the ‘last in’ syndrome by being among the most vociferous in attempting to halt further development.

  17. Inbreeding depression in Zebu cattle traits.

    PubMed

    Pereira, R J; Santana, M L; Ayres, D R; Bignardi, A B; Menezes, G R O; Silva, L O C; Machado, C H C; Josahkian, L A; Albuquerque, L G

    2016-12-01

    The productivity of herds may be negatively affected by inbreeding depression, and it is important to know how intense is this effect on the livestock performance. We performed a comprehensive analysis involving five Zebu breeds reared in Brazil to estimate inbreeding depression in productive and reproductive traits. Inbreeding depression was estimated for 13 traits by including the individual inbreeding rate as a linear covariate in the standard genetic evaluation models. For all breeds and for almost all traits (no effect was observed on gestation length), the performance of the animals was compromised by an increase in inbreeding. The average inbreeding depression was -0.222% and -0.859% per 1% of inbreeding for linear regression coefficients scaled on the percentage of mean (βm ) and standard deviation (βσ ), respectively. The means for βm (and βσ ) were -0.269% (-1.202%) for weight/growth traits and -0.174% (-0.546%) for reproductive traits. Hence, inbreeding depression is more pronounced in weight/growth traits than in reproductive traits. These findings highlight the need for the management of inbreeding in the respective breeding programmes of the breeds studied here.

  18. Climate science: Agricultural greenhouse gases

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pollock, Chris

    2011-05-01

    Mitigating greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture is important and achievable. However, cutting emissions to meet the UK's legal targets for 2050 will bring technical and political challenges, and may affect food production.

  19. Perceptions of Iowa Secondary School Principals toward Agricultural Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kalme, Neasa; Dyer, James E.

    2000-01-01

    Iowa secondary principals (n=147) had favorable perceptions of agriculture programs, courses, and teachers. They believed agriculture reinforced other subject learning and thought the programs were important to the community. They felt any student could benefit from agricultural education. (SK)

  20. Association mapping of leaf traits in spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.) is an important leafy vegetable crop grown world-wide. Leaf traits, surface texture (smooth vs. savoy or semi-savoy), petiole color (green vs. purple), and edge shape (serrate vs. entire) are important for spinach. Association mapping of the three traits were conducted...

  1. Young children's beliefs about the stability of traits: protective optimism?

    PubMed

    Lockhart, Kristi L; Chang, Bernard; Story, Tyler

    2002-01-01

    Prior research has demonstrated individual differences in children's beliefs about the stability of traits, but this focus on individuals may have masked important developmental differences. In a series of four studies, younger children (5-6 years old, Ns = 53, 32, 16, and 16, respectively) were more optimistic in their beliefs about traits than were older children (7-10 years old, Ns = 60, 32, 16, and 16, respectively) and adults (Ns = 130, 100, 48, and 48, respectively). Younger children were more likely to believe that negative traits would change in an extreme positive direction over time (Study 1) and that they could control the expression of a trait (Study 3). This was true not only for psychological traits, but also for biological traits such as missing a finger and having poor eyesight. Young children also optimistically believed that extreme positive traits would be retained over development (Study 2). Study 4 extended these findings to groups, and showed that young children believed that a majority of people can have above average future outcomes. All age groups made clear distinctions between the malleability of biological and psychological traits, believing negative biological traits to be less malleable than negative psychological traits and less subject to a person's control. Hybrid traits (such as intelligence and body weight) fell midway between these two with respect to malleability. The sources of young children's optimism and implications of this optimism for age differences in the incidence of depression are discussed.

  2. Evaluating Callous-Unemotional Traits as a Personality Construct.

    PubMed

    Frick, Paul J; Ray, James V

    2015-12-01

    We evaluate the importance of callous-unemotional (CU) traits as a personality construct in isolation from other facets of psychopathy. Specifically, we review research suggesting that these traits are useful for designating a subgroup of youth with serious conduct problems who differ from other antisocial youth on important biological, emotional, cognitive, and social characteristics. In addition, the temperamental features related to CU traits are risk factors for impairments in conscience development in young children. Thus, these traits could advance theoretical models explaining the development of severe antisocial behavior and psychopathy. CU traits also have important clinical utility because they designate a particularly severe and impaired subgroup of antisocial youth, leading to their inclusion in the DSM-5. As a result of this inclusion in diagnostic classification, there has been an increased focus on how to best assess CU traits, and we discuss several key issues in their assessment, highlighting several limitations in existing measures. Finally, the increased use of CU traits, separately from other facets of psychopathy, makes it important to determine how these traits relate to other personality constructs. Thus, we examine how measures of CU traits relate to the broader construct of psychopathy and to other basic personality dimensions.

  3. Contrasting genetic architectures in different mouse reference populations used for studying complex traits

    PubMed Central

    Buchner, David A.; Nadeau, Joseph H.

    2015-01-01

    Quantitative trait loci (QTLs) are being used to study genetic networks, protein functions, and systems properties that underlie phenotypic variation and disease risk in humans, model organisms, agricultural species, and natural populations. The challenges are many, beginning with the seemingly simple tasks of mapping QTLs and identifying their underlying genetic determinants. Various specialized resources have been developed to study complex traits in many model organisms. In the mouse, remarkably different pictures of genetic architectures are emerging. Chromosome Substitution Strains (CSSs) reveal many QTLs, large phenotypic effects, pervasive epistasis, and readily identified genetic variants. In contrast, other resources as well as genome-wide association studies (GWAS) in humans and other species reveal genetic architectures dominated with a relatively modest number of QTLs that have small individual and combined phenotypic effects. These contrasting architectures are the result of intrinsic differences in the study designs underlying different resources. The CSSs examine context-dependent phenotypic effects independently among individual genotypes, whereas with GWAS and other mouse resources, the average effect of each QTL is assessed among many individuals with heterogeneous genetic backgrounds. We argue that variation of genetic architectures among individuals is as important as population averages. Each of these important resources has particular merits and specific applications for these individual and population perspectives. Collectively, these resources together with high-throughput genotyping, sequencing and genetic engineering technologies, and information repositories highlight the power of the mouse for genetic, functional, and systems studies of complex traits and disease models. PMID:25953951

  4. Personality traits and personal values: a meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    Parks-Leduc, Laura; Feldman, Gilad; Bardi, Anat

    2015-02-01

    Personality traits and personal values are important psychological characteristics, serving as important predictors of many outcomes. Yet, they are frequently studied separately, leaving the field with a limited understanding of their relationships. We review existing perspectives regarding the nature of the relationships between traits and values and provide a conceptual underpinning for understanding the strength of these relationships. Using 60 studies, we present a meta-analysis of the relationships between the Five-Factor Model (FFM) of personality traits and the Schwartz values, and demonstrate consistent and theoretically meaningful relationships. However, these relationships were not generally large, demonstrating that traits and values are distinct constructs. We find support for our premise that more cognitively based traits are more strongly related to values and more emotionally based traits are less strongly related to values. Findings also suggest that controlling for personal scale-use tendencies in values is advisable.

  5. Circadian clock genes universally control key agricultural traits

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Circadian clocks are endogenous timers that enable plants to synchronize biological processes with daily and seasonal environmental conditions in order to allocate resources during the most beneficial times of day and year. The circadian clock regulates a number of central plant activities, includin...

  6. Antimicrobial Resistance in Agriculture

    PubMed Central

    Thanner, Sophie; Drissner, David

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT In this article, the current knowledge and knowledge gaps in the emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in livestock and plants and importance in terms of animal and human health are discussed. Some recommendations are provided for generation of the data required in order to develop risk assessments for AMR within agriculture and for risks through the food chain to animals and humans. PMID:27094336

  7. Evaluating simulated functional trait patterns and quantifying modelled trait diversity effects on simulated ecosystem fluxes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pavlick, R.; Schimel, D.

    2014-12-01

    Dynamic Global Vegetation Models (DGVMs) typically employ only a small set of Plant Functional Types (PFTs) to represent the vast diversity of observed vegetation forms and functioning. There is growing evidence, however, that this abstraction may not adequately represent the observed variation in plant functional traits, which is thought to play an important role for many ecosystem functions and for ecosystem resilience to environmental change. The geographic distribution of PFTs in these models is also often based on empirical relationships between present-day climate and vegetation patterns. Projections of future climate change, however, point toward the possibility of novel regional climates, which could lead to no-analog vegetation compositions incompatible with the PFT paradigm. Here, we present results from the Jena Diversity-DGVM (JeDi-DGVM), a novel traits-based vegetation model, which simulates a large number of hypothetical plant growth strategies constrained by functional tradeoffs, thereby allowing for a more flexible temporal and spatial representation of the terrestrial biosphere. First, we compare simulated present-day geographical patterns of functional traits with empirical trait observations (in-situ and from airborne imaging spectroscopy). The observed trait patterns are then used to improve the tradeoff parameterizations of JeDi-DGVM. Finally, focusing primarily on the simulated leaf traits, we run the model with various amounts of trait diversity. We quantify the effects of these modeled biodiversity manipulations on simulated ecosystem fluxes and stocks for both present-day conditions and transient climate change scenarios. The simulation results reveal that the coarse treatment of plant functional traits by current PFT-based vegetation models may contribute substantial uncertainty regarding carbon-climate feedbacks. Further development of trait-based models and further investment in global in-situ and spectroscopic plant trait observations

  8. Measuring Florida Extension Faculty's Agricultural Paradigmatic Preferences

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Warner, Laura A.; Murphrey, Theresa Pesl; Lawver, David E.; Baker, Matt; Lindner, James R.

    2014-01-01

    The demand for sustainable agriculture has increased, and many institutions, including the University of Florida, have adopted agricultural sustainability as a major goal. Extension has been identified as a critical information source, important in disseminating sustainable agricultural growing techniques. However, research has demonstrated that…

  9. Transforming Agricultural Education for a Changing World

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Academies Press, 2009

    2009-01-01

    During the next ten years, colleges of agriculture will be challenged to transform their role in higher education and their relationship to the evolving global food and agricultural enterprise. If successful, agriculture colleges will emerge as an important venue for scholars and stakeholders to address some of the most complex and urgent problems…

  10. Labor Factor Efficiency in the Agricultural Industry

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    R?y, Inna U.; Shakulikova, Gulzada T.; Kozhakhmetova, Gulnar A.; Lashkareva, Olga V.; Bondarenko, Elena G.; Bermukhambetova, Botagoz B.; Baimagambetova, Zamzagul A.; Zhetessova, Mariyam T.; Beketova, Kamar N.; Anafiyaeva, Zhibek

    2016-01-01

    Agricultural problems associated with prospects of the rural population and agriculture in general have recently become an important factor in the modern economic policy development. The urgency of finding ways to improve the labor resource efficiency in agriculture pursuant to the state tasks is determined by the need to restore the agricultural…

  11. Ethics and Agricultural Education: Determining Needs.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Foster, Billye

    2000-01-01

    In a three-round Delphi (n=197, 109, 75), secondary teachers (61.5% in agriculture) identified important ethical issues regarding land and water use: conversion of agricultural land for urban development, water rights control, and public land used for agriculture. Nearly all addressed ethical issues in class. (SK)

  12. Cerebellum and personality traits.

    PubMed

    Petrosini, Laura; Cutuli, Debora; Picerni, Eleonora; Laricchiuta, Daniela

    2015-02-01

    Personality traits are multidimensional traits comprising cognitive, emotional, and behavioral characteristics, and a wide array of cerebral structures mediate individual variability. Differences in personality traits covary with brain morphometry in specific brain regions. A cerebellar role in emotional and affective processing and on personality characteristics has been suggested. In a large sample of healthy subjects of both sexes and differently aged, the macro- and micro-structural variations of the cerebellum were correlated with the scores obtained in the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI) by Cloninger. Cerebellar volumes were associated positively with Novelty Seeking scores and negatively with Harm Avoidance scores. Given the cerebellar contribution in personality traits and emotional processing, we investigated the cerebellar involvement even in alexithymia, construct of personality characterized by impairment in cognitive, emotional, and affective processing. Interestingly, the subjects with high alexithymic traits had larger volumes in the bilateral Crus 1. The cerebellar substrate for some personality dimensions extends the relationship between personality and brain areas to a structure up to now thought to be involved mainly in motor and cognitive functions, much less in emotional processes and even less in personality individual differences. The enlarged volumes of Crus 1 in novelty seekers and alexithymics support the tendency to action featuring both personality constructs. In fact, Novelty Seeking and alexithymia are rooted in behavior and inescapably have a strong action component, resulting in stronger responses in the structures more focused on action and embodiment, as the cerebellum is.

  13. Transgenic barley: a prospective tool for biotechnology and agriculture.

    PubMed

    Mrízová, Katarína; Holasková, Edita; Öz, M Tufan; Jiskrová, Eva; Frébort, Ivo; Galuszka, Petr

    2014-01-01

    Barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) is one of the founder crops of agriculture, and today it is the fourth most important cereal grain worldwide. Barley is used as malt in brewing and distilling industry, as an additive for animal feed, and as a component of various food and bread for human consumption. Progress in stable genetic transformation of barley ensures a potential for improvement of its agronomic performance or use of barley in various biotechnological and industrial applications. Recently, barley grain has been successfully used in molecular farming as a promising bioreactor adapted for production of human therapeutic proteins or animal vaccines. In addition to development of reliable transformation technologies, an extensive amount of various barley genetic resources and tools such as sequence data, microarrays, genetic maps, and databases has been generated. Current status on barley transformation technologies including gene transfer techniques, targets, and progeny stabilization, recent trials for improvement of agricultural traits and performance of barley, especially in relation to increased biotic and abiotic stress tolerance, and potential use of barley grain as a protein production platform have been reviewed in this study. Overall, barley represents a promising tool for both agricultural and biotechnological transgenic approaches, and is considered an ancient but rediscovered crop as a model industrial platform for molecular farming.

  14. The development of halophyte-based agriculture: past and present

    PubMed Central

    Ventura, Yvonne; Eshel, Amram; Pasternak, Dov; Sagi, Moshe

    2015-01-01

    Background Freshwater comprises about a mere 2·5 % of total global water, of which approximately two-thirds is locked into glaciers at the polar ice caps and on mountains. In conjunction with this, in many instances irrigation with freshwater causes an increase in soil salinity due to overirrigation of agricultural land, inefficient water use and poor drainage of unsuitable soils. The problem of salinity was recognized a long time ago and, due to the importance of irrigated agriculture, numerous efforts have been devoted towards improving crop species for better utilization of saline soils and water. Irrigating plants with saline water is a challenge for practitioners and researchers throughout the world. Scope Recruiting wild halophytes with economic potential was suggested several decades ago as a way to reduce the damage caused by salinization of soil and water. A range of cultivation systems for the utilization of halophytes have been developed, for the production of biofuel, purification of saline effluent in constructed wetlands, landscaping, cultivation of gourmet vegetables, and more. This review critically analyses past and present halophyte-based production systems in the context of genetics, physiology, agrotechnical issues and product value. There are still difficulties that need to be overcome, such as direct germination in saline conditions or genotype selection. However, more and more research is being directed not only towards determining salt tolerance of halophytes, but also to the improvement of agricultural traits for long-term progress. PMID:25122652

  15. Global agricultural intensification during climate change: a role for genomics.

    PubMed

    Abberton, Michael; Batley, Jacqueline; Bentley, Alison; Bryant, John; Cai, Hongwei; Cockram, James; de Oliveira, Antonio Costa; Cseke, Leland J; Dempewolf, Hannes; De Pace, Ciro; Edwards, David; Gepts, Paul; Greenland, Andy; Hall, Anthony E; Henry, Robert; Hori, Kiyosumi; Howe, Glenn Thomas; Hughes, Stephen; Humphreys, Mike; Lightfoot, David; Marshall, Athole; Mayes, Sean; Nguyen, Henry T; Ogbonnaya, Francis C; Ortiz, Rodomiro; Paterson, Andrew H; Tuberosa, Roberto; Valliyodan, Babu; Varshney, Rajeev K; Yano, Masahiro

    2016-04-01

    Agriculture is now facing the 'perfect storm' of climate change, increasing costs of fertilizer and rising food demands from a larger and wealthier human population. These factors point to a global food deficit unless the efficiency and resilience of crop production is increased. The intensification of agriculture has focused on improving production under optimized conditions, with significant agronomic inputs. Furthermore, the intensive cultivation of a limited number of crops has drastically narrowed the number of plant species humans rely on. A new agricultural paradigm is required, reducing dependence on high inputs and increasing crop diversity, yield stability and environmental resilience. Genomics offers unprecedented opportunities to increase crop yield, quality and stability of production through advanced breeding strategies, enhancing the resilience of major crops to climate variability, and increasing the productivity and range of minor crops to diversify the food supply. Here we review the state of the art of genomic-assisted breeding for the most important staples that feed the world, and how to use and adapt such genomic tools to accelerate development of both major and minor crops with desired traits that enhance adaptation to, or mitigate the effects of climate change.

  16. Homogenizing and diversifying effects of intensive agricultural land-use on plant species beta diversity in Central Europe - A call to adapt our conservation measures.

    PubMed

    Buhk, Constanze; Alt, Martin; Steinbauer, Manuel J; Beierkuhnlein, Carl; Warren, Steven D; Jentsch, Anke

    2017-01-15

    The prevention of biodiversity loss in agricultural landscapes to protect ecosystem stability and functions is of major importance to stabilize overall diversity. Intense agriculture leads to a loss in species richness and homogenization of species pools, but the processes behind are poorly understood due to a lack of systematic case studies: The specific impacts by agriculture in contrast to other land-use creating open habitat are not studied as such landscapes hardly exist in temperate regions. Applying systematic grids, we compared the plant species distribution at the landscape scale between an active military training areas in Europe and an adjacent rather intensively used agricultural landscape. As the study areas differ mainly in the type of disturbance regime (agricultural vs. non-agricultural), differences in species pattern can be traced back more or less directly to the management. Species trait analyses and multiple measures of beta diversity were applied to differentiate between species similarities between plots, distance-decay, or nestedness. Contrary to our expectation, overall beta diversity in the agricultural area was not reduced but increased under agricultural. This was probably the result of species nestedness due to fragmentation. The natural process of increasing dissimilarity with distance (distance-decay) was suppressed by intense agricultural land-use, generalist and long-distance dispersers gained importance, while rare species lost continuity. There are two independent processes that need to be addressed separately to halt biodiversity loss in agricultural land. There is a need to conserve semi-natural open habitat patches of diverse size to favor poor dispersers and specialist species. At the same time, we stress the importance of mediating biotic homogenization caused by the decrease of distance-decay: The spread of long-distance dispersers in agricultural fields may be acceptable, however, optimized fertilizer input and erosion

  17. Personality Traits of White-Collar Telecommuters: Perceptions of Graduating Business Students.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lomo-David, Ewuuk; Griffin, Frank

    2001-01-01

    Business students (n=730) identified traits they perceived important for successful telecommuters. Independence, honesty, dependability, resourcefulness, initiative, and ethical behavior were most highly rated. Reinforcement of these traits to prepare for telecommuting was recommended. (Contains 25 references.) (SK)

  18. Debate the Issue: The Purpose and Delivery of Instruction about Agriculture.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kahler, Alan

    1988-01-01

    The purpose of instruction in agriculture at the secondary level should be educating students about agriculture: its importance and contributions to society, the development of practical agricultural skills, and preparation of people for occupations in agriculture. (JOW)

  19. Plant-pathogen interactions: disease resistance in modern agriculture.

    PubMed

    Boyd, Lesley A; Ridout, Christopher; O'Sullivan, Donal M; Leach, Jan E; Leung, Hei

    2013-04-01

    The growing human population will require a significant increase in agricultural production. This challenge is made more difficult by the fact that changes in the climatic and environmental conditions under which crops are grown have resulted in the appearance of new diseases, whereas genetic changes within the pathogen have resulted in the loss of previously effective sources of resistance. To help meet this challenge, advanced genetic and statistical methods of analysis have been used to identify new resistance genes through global screens, and studies of plant-pathogen interactions have been undertaken to uncover the mechanisms by which disease resistance is achieved. The informed deployment of major, race-specific and partial, race-nonspecific resistance, either by conventional breeding or transgenic approaches, will enable the production of crop varieties with effective resistance without impacting on other agronomically important crop traits. Here, we review these recent advances and progress towards the ultimate goal of developing disease-resistant crops.

  20. Inheritance of floral and plant size traits in hydrangea macrophylla

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Transgressive segregation occurs when trait values for offspring in experimental crosses fall outside (either above or below) the range of values recorded for the parents. Transgressive segregation is important to plant breeders as a source of novel or extreme traits. While widespread, it is diffic...

  1. Environmental drivers of trait changes in Photorhabdus luminescens

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Biological control agents have become increasingly important in integrated pest management programs. However, certain traits of these agents that are needed for efficient biocontrol often decrease or are lost during in vitro rearing. Trait deterioration can result from genetic or environmental cause...

  2. Variance Component Quantitative Trait Locus Analysis for Body Weight Traits in Purebred Korean Native Chicken

    PubMed Central

    Cahyadi, Muhammad; Park, Hee-Bok; Seo, Dong-Won; Jin, Shil; Choi, Nuri; Heo, Kang-Nyeong; Kang, Bo-Seok; Jo, Cheorun; Lee, Jun-Heon

    2016-01-01

    Quantitative trait locus (QTL) is a particular region of the genome containing one or more genes associated with economically important quantitative traits. This study was conducted to identify QTL regions for body weight and growth traits in purebred Korean native chicken (KNC). F1 samples (n = 595) were genotyped using 127 microsatellite markers and 8 single nucleotide polymorphisms that covered 2,616.1 centi Morgan (cM) of map length for 26 autosomal linkage groups. Body weight traits were measured every 2 weeks from hatch to 20 weeks of age. Weight of half carcass was also collected together with growth rate. A multipoint variance component linkage approach was used to identify QTLs for the body weight traits. Two significant QTLs for growth were identified on chicken chromosome 3 (GGA3) for growth 16 to18 weeks (logarithm of the odds [LOD] = 3.24, Nominal p value = 0.0001) and GGA4 for growth 6 to 8 weeks (LOD = 2.88, Nominal p value = 0.0003). Additionally, one significant QTL and three suggestive QTLs were detected for body weight traits in KNC; significant QTL for body weight at 4 weeks (LOD = 2.52, nominal p value = 0.0007) and suggestive QTL for 8 weeks (LOD = 1.96, Nominal p value = 0.0027) were detected on GGA4; QTLs were also detected for two different body weight traits: body weight at 16 weeks on GGA3 and body weight at 18 weeks on GGA19. Additionally, two suggestive QTLs for carcass weight were detected at 0 and 70 cM on GGA19. In conclusion, the current study identified several significant and suggestive QTLs that affect growth related traits in a unique resource pedigree in purebred KNC. This information will contribute to improving the body weight traits in native chicken breeds, especially for the Asian native chicken breeds. PMID:26732327

  3. Two-trait-locus linkage analysis: A powerful strategy for mapping complex genetic traits

    SciTech Connect

    Schork, N.J.; Boehnke, M. ); Terwilliger, J.D.; Ott, J. )

    1993-11-01

    Nearly all diseases mapped to date follow clear Mendelian, single-locus segregation patterns. In contrast, many common familial diseases such as diabetes, psoriasis, several forms of cancer, and schizophrenia are familial and appear to have a genetic component but do not exhibit simple Mendelian transmission. More complex models are required to explain the genetics of these important diseases. In this paper, the authors explore two-trait-locus, two-marker-locus linkage analysis in which two trait loci are mapped simultaneously to separate genetic markers. The authors compare the utility of this approach to standard one-trait-locus, one-marker-locus linkage analysis with and without allowance for heterogeneity. The authors also compare the utility of the two-trait-locus, two-marker-locus analysis to two-trait-locus, one-marker-locus linkage analysis. For common diseases, pedigrees are often bilineal, with disease genes entering via two or more unrelated pedigree members. Since such pedigrees often are avoided in linkage studies, the authors also investigate the relative information content of unilineal and bilineal pedigrees. For the dominant-or-recessive and threshold models that the authors consider, the authors find that two-trait-locus, two-marker-locus linkage analysis can provide substantially more linkage information, as measured by expected maximum lod score, than standard one-trait-locus, one-marker-locus methods, even allowing for heterogeneity, while, for a dominant-or-dominant generating model, one-locus models that allow for heterogeneity extract essentially as much information as the two-trait-locus methods. For these three models, the authors also find that bilineal pedigrees provide sufficient linkage information to warrant their inclusion in such studies. The authors discuss strategies for assessing the significance of the two linkages assumed in two-trait-locus, two-marker-locus models. 37 refs., 1 fig., 4 tabs.

  4. Trait emotional intelligence influences on academic achievement and school behaviour.

    PubMed

    Mavroveli, Stella; Sánchez-Ruiz, María José

    2011-03-01

    BACKGROUND. Trait emotional intelligence (trait EI or trait emotional self-efficacy) refers to individuals' emotion-related self-perceptions (Petrides, Furnham, & Mavroveli, 2007). The children's trait EI sampling domain provides comprehensive coverage of their affective personality. Preliminary evidence shows that the construct has important implications for children's psychological and behavioural adjustment. AIMS. This study investigates the associations between trait EI and school outcomes, such as performance in reading, writing, and maths, peer-rated behaviour and social competence, and self-reported bullying behaviours in a sample of primary school children. It also examines whether trait EI scores differentiate between children with and without special educational needs (SEN). SAMPLE. The sample comprised 565 children (274 boys and 286 girls) between the ages of 7 and 12 (M((age)) = 9.12 years, SD= 1.27 years) attending three English state primary schools. METHOD. Pupils completed the Trait Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire-Child Form (TEIQue-CF), the Guess Who peer assessment, the Peer-Victimization Scale, and the Bullying Behaviour Scale. Additional data on achievement and SEN were collected from the school archives. RESULTS. As predicted by trait EI theory, associations between trait EI and academic achievement were modest and limited to Year 3 children. Higher trait EI scores were related to more nominations from peers for prosocial behaviours and fewer nominations for antisocial behaviour as well as lower scores on self-reported bulling behaviours. Furthermore, SEN students scored lower on trait EI compared to students without SEN. CONCLUSIONS. Trait EI holds important and multifaceted implications for the socialization of primary schoolchildren.

  5. Vocational Agriculture Handbook for Agriculture Cooperative Training.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Texas A and M Univ., College Station. Vocational Instructional Services.

    This handbook was designed to assist school administrators, vocational administrators, vocational agricultural teachers, and area consultants of vocational agriculture in developing, implementing, and improving an agricultural cooperative training program (especially in Texas). The handbook, which presents information in a narrative format,…

  6. Estimation of genetic parameters and environmental factors on early growth traits for Lori breed sheep using single trait animal model.

    PubMed

    Lavvaf, A; Noshary, A

    2008-01-01

    The effects of different environmental factors and estimation of genetic parameters on early growth traits for Lori breed sheep including birth weight, weaning weight and body weight at 6 months of age using 19960 records from 35 herds of Lorestan Jahad Agriculture Organization were studied in the cities of Aleshtar, Khorramabad and Poldokhtar from 1995 to 2003. The effect of herd, sex of lambs, dam age and birth year on all traits and birth type had significant effect only on weaning weight. Different single trait animal models estimated the components of direct additive genetic variance, maternal genetic variance and maternal permanent environment variance through restricted maximum likelihood using environmental factors as a fixe effect and different random effects. The results showed that direct additive genetic effect had additionally significant effect on all traits moreover maternal additive genetic and maternal permanent environment effects. Results also revealed that the maternal permanent environment variance for all traits is higher than maternal genetic variance. Also the direct heritability for all traits was higher than maternal heritability. Estimation of the direct heritability from the birth to 6 months of age showed a reducing trend that could arise from high dependence of birth and weaning weight on maternal environment conditions as compared with the age conditions afterward. The genetic assessment of growth traits in Lori breed sheep without inclusion of maternal effect in animal model causes decreased selection accuracy and incorrect genetic assessment of the lambs.

  7. Does Prior Experience in Secondary Agricultural Mechanics Affect Pre-Service Agricultural Education Teachers' Intentions to Enroll in Post-Secondary Agricultural Mechanics Coursework?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wells, Trent; Perry, Dustin K.; Anderson, Ryan G.; Shultz, Matthew J.; Paulsen, Thomas H.

    2013-01-01

    Agricultural mechanics coursework has historically been considered an important and necessary construct of the secondary agricultural education curriculum (Burris, Robinson, & Terry, 2005). With expectations of offering secondary agricultural mechanics coursework apparent, it is vital that agricultural education teachers be prepared to address…

  8. 7 CFR 999.300 - Regulation governing importation of raisins.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 8 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Regulation governing importation of raisins. 999.300 Section 999.300 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) AGRICULTURAL... SPECIALTY CROPS; IMPORT REGULATIONS § 999.300 Regulation governing importation of raisins. (a)...

  9. Birth Order Positions and Personality Traits.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tharbe, Ida Hartini Ahmad; Harun, Lily Mastura Hj.

    The growing concern for the development of teenagers has brought up issues regarding the role of the family system in shaping the personality traits of children. Alfred Adler (1870-1937), an Austrian psychiatrist who introduced the psychological/therapeutic model, "Individual Psychology," highlighted the importance of birth order…

  10. Multifunctional crop trait ontology for breeders' data: field book, annotation, data discovery and semantic enrichment of the literature

    PubMed Central

    Shrestha, Rosemary; Arnaud, Elizabeth; Mauleon, Ramil; Senger, Martin; Davenport, Guy F.; Hancock, David; Morrison, Norman; Bruskiewich, Richard; McLaren, Graham

    2010-01-01

    Background and aims Agricultural crop databases maintained in gene banks of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) are valuable sources of information for breeders. These databases provide comparative phenotypic and genotypic information that can help elucidate functional aspects of plant and agricultural biology. To facilitate data sharing within and between these databases and the retrieval of information, the crop ontology (CO) database was designed to provide controlled vocabulary sets for several economically important plant species. Methodology Existing public ontologies and equivalent catalogues of concepts covering the range of crop science information and descriptors for crops and crop-related traits were collected from breeders, physiologists, agronomists, and researchers in the CGIAR consortium. For each crop, relationships between terms were identified and crop-specific trait ontologies were constructed following the Open Biomedical Ontologies (OBO) format standard using the OBO-Edit tool. All terms within an ontology were assigned a globally unique CO term identifier. Principal results The CO currently comprises crop-specific traits for chickpea (Cicer arietinum), maize (Zea mays), potato (Solanum tuberosum), rice (Oryza sativa), sorghum (Sorghum spp.) and wheat (Triticum spp.). Several plant-structure and anatomy-related terms for banana (Musa spp.), wheat and maize are also included. In addition, multi-crop passport terms are included as controlled vocabularies for sharing information on germplasm. Two web-based online resources were built to make these COs available to the scientific community: the ‘CO Lookup Service’ for browsing the CO; and the ‘Crops Terminizer’, an ontology text mark-up tool. Conclusions The controlled vocabularies of the CO are being used to curate several CGIAR centres' agronomic databases. The use of ontology terms to describe agronomic phenotypes and the accurate mapping of these

  11. 7 CFR 999.100 - Regulation governing imports of walnuts.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... MARKETING SERVICE (Marketing Agreements and Orders; Fruits, Vegetables, Nuts), DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE... Division, Consumer and Marketing Service, United States Department of Agriculture. (6) Importation of... Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937”. (3) Whenever walnuts are offered for inspection, the...

  12. Entomophagy and space agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Katayama, N.; Ishikawa, Y.; Takaoki, M.; Yamashita, M.; Nakayama, S.; Kiguchi, K.; Kok, R.; Wada, H.; Mitsuhashi, J.; Space Agriculture Task Force, J.

    Supplying food for human occupants remains one of the primary issues in engineering space habitation Evidently for long-term occupation on a distant planet it is necessary to start agriculture on site Historically humans have consumed a variety of animals and it is required to fill our nutritional need when they live in space Among many candidate group and species of animal to breed in space agriculture insects are of great interest since they have a number of advantages over mammals and other vertebrates or invertebrates About 70-75 of animal species is insects and they play an important role in materials recycle loop of terrestrial biosphere at their various niche For space agriculture we propose several insect species such as the silkworm Bombyx mori the drugstore beetle Stegobium paniceum and the termite Macrotermes subhyalinus Among many advantages these insects do not compete with human in terms of food resources but convert inedible biomass or waste into an edible food source for human The silkworm has been domesticated since 5 000 years ago in China Silk moth has lost capability of flying after its domestication history This feature is advantageous in control of their breeding Silkworm larvae eat specifically mulberry leaves and metamorphose in their cocoon Silk fiber obtained from cocoon can be used to manufacture textile Farming system of the drugstore beetle has been well established Both the drugstore beetle and the termite are capable to convert cellulose or other inedible biomass

  13. Agricultural landscapes dynamic at the North-West of Russia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guzel, N.

    2012-04-01

    The process of reduction of agrolandscapes has taken place some decades in the North-Western European Russia. During 100 last years the area of agricultural lands have reduced in 1,4 times on the Karelian Isthmus. The most part of it had been abandoned after change of State border after of the Second World War. The processes of overgrowing of the former agricultural lands are studied on the landscapes base. The types of landscapes are distinguished on the based of the morphological relief symptoms, characteristics of the structure rock and the humid regime. Agricultural lands occupy landscapes such as kames, sandy, sandy-loam, clayey plains, sometimes with excess moistening, sandy fluvioglacial plains, loamy morainic plains, mesotrophic and evtrophic peat-bogs. Four stages can be revealed. I - (period to 20 years after termination of agricultural use) - grass-herb meadow with unclosed brush II - (20 - 40) - shrub layer with closed or low-closed canopy and unclosed or low closed small-leaved regrowth III - (40 - 80) - closed small-leaved forest, sometime including the coniferous trees IY - predomination of the coniferous on small-leaved trees Reestablish vegetation successions can be realised by different ways, with different rate, including various trees and ecological groups of species in different landscapes. In the different sites many traits in common are discovered during this processes. The processes taking place in soil of abandoned agricultural lands are expressed more poorly than in vegetation as soil is more "conservative" element of landscape. Now most area occupies former agricultural lands, inhering on III stage and presenting itself small-leaved forest. Over the last decade because of a change in the socio-political situation there has emerged a tendency towards an increase in the area of the cultivated land in the Karelian Isthmus including the secondary development of previously abandoned lands. However, this process is going on spontaneously; there

  14. Applications of DNA Technologies in Agriculture

    PubMed Central

    Fang, Jinggui; Zhu, Xudong; Wang, Chen; Shangguan, Lingfei

    2016-01-01

    With the development of molecular biology, some DNA-based technologies have showed great potentiality in promoting the efficiency of crop breeding program, protecting germplasm resources, improving the quality and outputs of agricultural products, and protecting the eco-environment etc., making their roles in modern agriculture more and more important. To better understand the application of DNA technologies in agriculture, and achieve the goals to promote their utilities in modern agriculture, this paper describes, in some different way, the applications of molecular markers, transgenic engineering and gene's information in agriculture. Some corresponding anticipations for their development prospects are also made. PMID:27499686

  15. Agriculture and climate change

    SciTech Connect

    Abelson, P.H.

    1992-07-03

    How will increases in levels of CO{sub 2} and changes in temperature affect food production A recently issued report analyzes prospects for US agriculture 1990 to 2030. The report, prepared by a distinguished Task Force, first projects the evolution of agriculture assuming increased levels of CO{sub 2} but no climate change. Then it deals with effects of climate change, followed by a discussion of how greenhouse emissions might be diminished by agriculture. Economic and policy matters are also covered. How the climate would respond to more greenhouse gases is uncertain. If temperatures were higher, there would be more evaporation and more precipitation. Where would the rain fall That is a good question. Weather in a particular locality is not determined by global averages. The Dust Bowl of the 1930s could be repeated at its former site or located in another region such as the present Corn Belt. But depending on the realities at a given place, farmers have demonstrated great flexibility in choosing what they may grow. Their flexibility has been increased by the numerous varieties of seeds of major crops that are now available, each having different characteristics such as drought resistance and temperature tolerance. In past, agriculture has contributed about 5% of US greenhouse gases. Two large components have involved emissions of CO{sub 2} from farm machinery and from oxidation of organic matter in soil due to tillage. Use of diesel fuel and more efficient machinery has reduced emissions from that source by 40%. In some areas changed tillage practices are now responsible for returning carbon to the soil. The report identifies an important potential for diminishing net US emissions of CO{sub 2} by growth and utilization of biomass. Large areas are already available that could be devoted to energy crops.

  16. Agricultural Pesticides: An Instructional Unit for Teachers of Adult Vocational Education in Agriculture.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harrison, Kenneth M.; And Others

    This unit was developed as a guide for use by Kentucky teachers in planning and conducting young farmer/adult farmer classes in the use of agricultural pesticides. The unit contains seven lessons covering the following topics: understanding the importance of agricultural pesticides; using and handling agricultural pesticides safely; developing a…

  17. Quantifying hummingbird preference for floral trait combinations: The role of selection on trait interactions in the evolution of pollination syndromes.

    PubMed

    Fenster, Charles B; Reynolds, Richard J; Williams, Christopher W; Makowsky, Robert; Dudash, Michele R

    2015-05-01

    Darwin recognized the flower's importance for the study of adaptation and emphasized that the flower's functionality reflects the coordinated action of multiple traits. Here we use a multitrait manipulative approach to quantify the potential role of selection acting on floral trait combinations underlying the divergence and maintenance of three related North American species of Silene (Caryophyllaceae). We artificially generated 48 plant phenotypes corresponding to all combinations of key attractive traits differing among the three Silene species (color, height, inflorescence architecture, flower orientation, and corolla-tube width). We quantified main and interaction effects of trait manipulation on hummingbird visitation preference using experimental arrays. The main effects of floral display height and floral orientation strongly influenced hummingbird visitation, with hummingbirds preferring flowers held high above the ground and vertically to the sky. Hummingbirds also prefer traits in a nonadditive manner as multiple two-way and higher order interaction effects were important predictors of hummingbird visitation. Contemporary trait combinations found in hummingbird pollinated S. virginica are mostly preferred. Our study demonstrates the likelihood of pollination syndromes evolving due to selection on trait combinations and highlights the importance of trait interactions in understanding the evolution of complex adaptations.

  18. Genetic mapping of quantitative trait loci affecting growth and carcass traits in F2 intercross chickens.

    PubMed

    Uemoto, Y; Sato, S; Odawara, S; Nokata, H; Oyamada, Y; Taguchi, Y; Yanai, S; Sasaki, O; Takahashi, H; Nirasawa, K; Kobayashi, E

    2009-03-01

    We constructed a chicken F(2) resource population to facilitate the genetic improvement of economically important traits, particularly growth and carcass traits. An F(2) population comprising 240 chickens obtained by crossing a Shamo (lean, lightweight Japanese native breed) male and White Plymouth Rock breed (fat, heavyweight broiler) females was measured for BW, carcass weight (CW), abdominal fat weight (AFW), breast muscle weight (BMW), and thigh muscle weight (TMW) and was used for genome-wide linkage and QTL analysis, using a total of 240 microsatellite markers. A total of 14 QTL were detected at a 5% chromosome-wide level, and 7 QTL were significant at a 5% experiment-wide level for the traits evaluated in the F(2) population. For growth traits, significant and suggestive QTL affecting BW (measured at 6 and 9 wk) and average daily gain were identified on similar regions of chromosomes 1 and 3. For carcass traits, the QTL effects on CW were detected on chromosomes 1 and 3, with the greatest F-ratio of 15.0 being obtained for CW on chromosome 3. Quantitative trait loci positions affecting BMW and TMW were not detected at the same loci as those detected for BMW percentage of CW and TMW percentage of CW. For AFW, QTL positions were detected at the same loci as those detected for AFW percentage of CW. The present study identified significant QTL affecting BW, CW, and AFW.

  19. Trait Emotional Intelligence and Personality

    PubMed Central

    Furnham, Adrian; Petrides, K. V.

    2015-01-01

    This study investigated if the linkages between trait emotional intelligence (trait EI) and the Five-Factor Model of personality were invariant between men and women. Five English-speaking samples (N = 307-685) of mostly undergraduate students each completed a different measure of the Big Five personality traits and either the full form or short form of the Trait Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire (TEIQue). Across samples, models predicting global TEIQue scores from the Big Five were invariant between genders, with Neuroticism and Extraversion being the strongest trait EI correlates, followed by Conscientiousness, Agreeableness, and Openness. However, there was some evidence indicating that the gender-specific contributions of the Big Five to trait EI vary depending on the personality measure used, being more consistent for women. Discussion focuses on the validity of the TEIQue as a measure of trait EI and its psychometric properties, more generally. PMID:25866439

  20. Traits of Heracleum sosnowskyi Plants in Monostand on Invaded Area

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    The ability of giant hogweeds to form monodominant communities and even pure monostands in invaded areas has been well documented. Understanding of the mechanisms leading to monostand formation can aid in determining the limitations of existing community ecology models and establishing an effective management plan for invasive species elimination. The aim of this observational study was to investigate traits of Heracleum sosnowskyi plants (demography, canopy structure, morphology and physiology) of the plants in a pure stand in an invaded area useful for understanding potential monostand formation mechanisms. All measurements were performed in one typical Heracleum sosnowskyi monostand located in an abandoned agriculture field located in Syktyvkar city suburb (North-east Russia). This monostand consisted of five main plant growth stages: seed, seedling, juvenile, vegetative adult, and generative adult. Plants of all stages began to grow simultaneously shortly after the snowmelt, at the same time as spring ephemeral plant species grew. The density of generative plants did not change during the vegetation period, but the density of the other plant stages rapidly decreased after the formation of a tall (up to 2–2.5 m) and dense (Leaf area index up to 6.5) canopy. The canopy captured approximately 97% of the light. H. sosnowskyi showed high (several orders of magnitude higher than average taiga zone grasses) photosynthetic water use efficiency (6–7 μM CO2/μM H2O). Formation of H. sosnowskyi monostands occurs primarily in disturbed areas with relatively rich and well-moistened soils. Early commencement of growth, rapid formation of a dense canopy, high efficiency of light and water use during photosynthesis, ability of young plants to survive in low light conditions, rapid recovery of above-ground plant parts after damage, and the high density of the soil seed bank are the most important traits of H. sosnowskyi plants for monostand formation in invaded areas. PMID

  1. Traits of Heracleum sosnowskyi Plants in Monostand on Invaded Area.

    PubMed

    Dalke, Igor V; Chadin, Ivan F; Zakhozhiy, Ilya G; Malyshev, Ruslan V; Maslova, Svetlana P; Tabalenkova, Galina N; Golovko, Tamara K

    2015-01-01

    The ability of giant hogweeds to form monodominant communities and even pure monostands in invaded areas has been well documented. Understanding of the mechanisms leading to monostand formation can aid in determining the limitations of existing community ecology models and establishing an effective management plan for invasive species elimination. The aim of this observational study was to investigate traits of Heracleum sosnowskyi plants (demography, canopy structure, morphology and physiology) of the plants in a pure stand in an invaded area useful for understanding potential monostand formation mechanisms. All measurements were performed in one typical Heracleum sosnowskyi monostand located in an abandoned agriculture field located in Syktyvkar city suburb (North-east Russia). This monostand consisted of five main plant growth stages: seed, seedling, juvenile, vegetative adult, and generative adult. Plants of all stages began to grow simultaneously shortly after the snowmelt, at the same time as spring ephemeral plant species grew. The density of generative plants did not change during the vegetation period, but the density of the other plant stages rapidly decreased after the formation of a tall (up to 2-2.5 m) and dense (Leaf area index up to 6.5) canopy. The canopy captured approximately 97% of the light. H. sosnowskyi showed high (several orders of magnitude higher than average taiga zone grasses) photosynthetic water use efficiency (6-7 μM CO2/μM H2O). Formation of H. sosnowskyi monostands occurs primarily in disturbed areas with relatively rich and well-moistened soils. Early commencement of growth, rapid formation of a dense canopy, high efficiency of light and water use during photosynthesis, ability of young plants to survive in low light conditions, rapid recovery of above-ground plant parts after damage, and the high density of the soil seed bank are the most important traits of H. sosnowskyi plants for monostand formation in invaded areas.

  2. Vocational Agriculture Computer Handbook.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kentucky State Dept. of Education, Frankfort.

    This document is a catalog of reviews of computer software suitable for use in vocational agriculture programs. The reviews were made by vocational agriculture teachers in Kentucky. The reviews cover software on the following topics: farm management, crop production, livestock production, horticulture, agricultural mechanics, general agriculture,…

  3. Handbook of Agricultural Geophysics

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Geophysical methods continue to show great promise for use in agriculture. The term “agricultural geophysics” denotes a subdiscipline of geophysics that is focused only on agricultural applications. The Handbook of Agricultural Geophysics was compiled to include a comprehensive overview of the geoph...

  4. Theme: Agricultural Literacy.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Deeds, Jacquelyn P.; And Others

    1991-01-01

    Six theme articles attempt to define and advocate agricultural literacy, review the status of K-8 agricultural literacy programs in states, discuss an Oklahoma study of agricultural literacy, clarify the meaning of sustainable agriculture, and describe the Future Farmers of America's Food for America program for elementary students. (SK)

  5. The Coral Trait Database, a curated database of trait information for coral species from the global oceans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Madin, Joshua S.; Anderson, Kristen D.; Andreasen, Magnus Heide; Bridge, Tom C. L.; Cairns, Stephen D.; Connolly, Sean R.; Darling, Emily S.; Diaz, Marcela; Falster, Daniel S.; Franklin, Erik C.; Gates, Ruth D.; Hoogenboom, Mia O.; Huang, Danwei; Keith, Sally A.; Kosnik, Matthew A.; Kuo, Chao-Yang; Lough, Janice M.; Lovelock, Catherine E.; Luiz, Osmar; Martinelli, Julieta; Mizerek, Toni; Pandolfi, John M.; Pochon, Xavier; Pratchett, Morgan S.; Putnam, Hollie M.; Roberts, T. Edward; Stat, Michael; Wallace, Carden C.; Widman, Elizabeth; Baird, Andrew H.

    2016-03-01

    Trait-based approaches advance ecological and evolutionary research because traits provide a strong link to an organism’s function and fitness. Trait-based research might lead to a deeper understanding of the functions of, and services provided by, ecosystems, thereby improving management, which is vital in the current era of rapid environmental change. Coral reef scientists have long collected trait data for corals; however, these are difficult to access and often under-utilized in addressing large-scale questions. We present the Coral Trait Database initiative that aims to bring together physiological, morphological, ecological, phylogenetic and biogeographic trait information into a single repository. The database houses species- and individual-level data from published field and experimental studies alongside contextual data that provide important framing for analyses. In this data descriptor, we release data for 56 traits for 1547 species, and present a collaborative platform on which other trait data are being actively federated. Our overall goal is for the Coral Trait Database to become an open-source, community-led data clearinghouse that accelerates coral reef research.

  6. The Coral Trait Database, a curated database of trait information for coral species from the global oceans.

    PubMed

    Madin, Joshua S; Anderson, Kristen D; Andreasen, Magnus Heide; Bridge, Tom C L; Cairns, Stephen D; Connolly, Sean R; Darling, Emily S; Diaz, Marcela; Falster, Daniel S; Franklin, Erik C; Gates, Ruth D; Hoogenboom, Mia O; Huang, Danwei; Keith, Sally A; Kosnik, Matthew A; Kuo, Chao-Yang; Lough, Janice M; Lovelock, Catherine E; Luiz, Osmar; Martinelli, Julieta; Mizerek, Toni; Pandolfi, John M; Pochon, Xavier; Pratchett, Morgan S; Putnam, Hollie M; Roberts, T Edward; Stat, Michael; Wallace, Carden C; Widman, Elizabeth; Baird, Andrew H

    2016-03-29

    Trait-based approaches advance ecological and evolutionary research because traits provide a strong link to an organism's function and fitness. Trait-based research might lead to a deeper understanding of the functions of, and services provided by, ecosystems, thereby improving management, which is vital in the current era of rapid environmental change. Coral reef scientists have long collected trait data for corals; however, these are difficult to access and often under-utilized in addressing large-scale questions. We present the Coral Trait Database initiative that aims to bring together physiological, morphological, ecological, phylogenetic and biogeographic trait information into a single repository. The database houses species- and individual-level data from published field and experimental studies alongside contextual data that provide important framing for analyses. In this data descriptor, we release data for 56 traits for 1547 species, and present a collaborative platform on which other trait data are being actively federated. Our overall goal is for the Coral Trait Database to become an open-source, community-led data clearinghouse that accelerates coral reef research.

  7. The Coral Trait Database, a curated database of trait information for coral species from the global oceans

    PubMed Central

    Madin, Joshua S.; Anderson, Kristen D.; Andreasen, Magnus Heide; Bridge, Tom C.L.; Cairns, Stephen D.; Connolly, Sean R.; Darling, Emily S.; Diaz, Marcela; Falster, Daniel S.; Franklin, Erik C.; Gates, Ruth D.; Hoogenboom, Mia O.; Huang, Danwei; Keith, Sally A.; Kosnik, Matthew A.; Kuo, Chao-Yang; Lough, Janice M.; Lovelock, Catherine E.; Luiz, Osmar; Martinelli, Julieta; Mizerek, Toni; Pandolfi, John M.; Pochon, Xavier; Pratchett, Morgan S.; Putnam, Hollie M.; Roberts, T. Edward; Stat, Michael; Wallace, Carden C.; Widman, Elizabeth; Baird, Andrew H.

    2016-01-01

    Trait-based approaches advance ecological and evolutionary research because traits provide a strong link to an organism’s function and fitness. Trait-based research might lead to a deeper understanding of the functions of, and services provided by, ecosystems, thereby improving management, which is vital in the current era of rapid environmental change. Coral reef scientists have long collected trait data for corals; however, these are difficult to access and often under-utilized in addressing large-scale questions. We present the Coral Trait Database initiative that aims to bring together physiological, morphological, ecological, phylogenetic and biogeographic trait information into a single repository. The database houses species- and individual-level data from published field and experimental studies alongside contextual data that provide important framing for analyses. In this data descriptor, we release data for 56 traits for 1547 species, and present a collaborative platform on which other trait data are being actively federated. Our overall goal is for the Coral Trait Database to become an open-source, community-led data clearinghouse that accelerates coral reef research. PMID:27023900

  8. Interpersonal Problems Associated with Multidimensional Personality Questionnaire Traits in Women during the Transition to Adulthood

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hopwood, Christopher J.; Burt, S. Alexandra; Keel, Pamela K.; Neale, Michael C.; Boker, Steven M.; Klump, Kelly L.

    2013-01-01

    Personality traits are known to be associated with a host of important life outcomes, including interpersonal dysfunction. The interpersonal circumplex offers a comprehensive system for articulating the kinds of interpersonal problems associated with personality traits. In the current study, traits as measured by the Multidimensional Personality…

  9. Monitoring the agricultural landscape for insect resistance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Casas, Joseph; Glaser, J. A.; Copenhaver, Ken

    Farmers in 25 countries on six continents are using plant biotechnology to solve difficult crop production challenges and conserve the environment. In fact, 13.3 million farmers, which include 90 percent of the farming in developing countries, choose to plant biotech crops. Over the past decade, farmers increased area planted in genetically modified (GM) crops by more than 10 percent each year, thus increasing their farm income by more than 44 billion US dollars (1996-2007), and achieved economic, environmental and social benefits in crops such as soybeans, canola, corn and cotton. To date, total acres of biotech crops harvested exceed more than 2 billion with a proven 13-year history of safe use. Over the next decade, expanded adoption combined with current research on 57 crops in 63 countries will broaden the advantages of genetically modified foods for growers, consumers and the environment. Genetically modified (GM) crops with the ability to produce toxins lethal to specific insect pests are covering a larger percentage of the agricultural landscape every year. The United States department of Agriculture (USDA) estimated that 63 percent of corn and 65 percent of cotton contained these specific genetic traits in 2009. The toxins could protect billions of dollars of loss from insect damage for crops valued at greater than 165 billion US dollars in 2008. The stable and efficient production of these crops has taken on even more importance in recent years with their use, not only as a food source, but now also a source of fuel. It is in the best interest of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) to ensure the continued efficacy of toxin producing GM crops as their use reduces pesticides harmful to humans and animals. However, population genetics models have indicated the risk of insect pests developing resistance to these toxins if a high percentage of acreage is grown in these crops. The USEPA is developing methods to monitor the agricultural

  10. Multi-Scale Associations between Vegetation Cover and Woodland Bird Communities across a Large Agricultural Region

    PubMed Central

    Ikin, Karen; Barton, Philip S.; Stirnemann, Ingrid A.; Stein, John R.; Michael, Damian; Crane, Mason; Okada, Sachiko; Lindenmayer, David B.

    2014-01-01

    Improving biodiversity conservation in fragmented agricultural landscapes has become an important global issue. Vegetation at the patch and landscape-scale is important for species occupancy and diversity, yet few previous studies have explored multi-scale associations between vegetation and community assemblages. Here, we investigated how patch and landscape-scale vegetation cover structure woodland bird communities. We asked: (1) How is the bird community associated with the vegetation structure of woodland patches and the amount of vegetation cover in the surrounding landscape? (2) Do species of conservation concern respond to woodland vegetation structure and surrounding vegetation cover differently to other species in the community? And (3) Can the relationships between the bird community and the woodland vegetation structure and surrounding vegetation cover be explained by the ecological traits of the species comprising the bird community? We studied 103 woodland patches (0.5 - 53.8 ha) over two time periods across a large (6,800 km2) agricultural region in southeastern Australia. We found that both patch vegetation and surrounding woody vegetation cover were important for structuring the bird community, and that these relationships were consistent over time. In particular, the occurrence of mistletoe within the patches and high values of woody vegetation cover within 1,000 ha and 10,000 ha were important, especially for bird species of conservation concern. We found that the majority of these species displayed similar, positive responses to patch and landscape vegetation attributes. We also found that these relationships were related to the foraging and nesting traits of the bird community. Our findings suggest that management strategies to increase both remnant vegetation quality and the cover of surrounding woody vegetation in fragmented agricultural landscapes may lead to improved conservation of bird communities. PMID:24830684

  11. 7 CFR 57.960 - Small importations for consignee's personal use, display, or laboratory analysis.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... or distribution. The amount of such product imported shall not exceed 30-dozen shell eggs, unless... Agriculture (Continued) AGRICULTURAL MARKETING SERVICE (Standards, Inspections, Marketing Practices), DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE (CONTINUED) REGULATIONS AND STANDARDS UNDER THE AGRICULTURAL MARKETING ACT OF...

  12. The use of GMOs (genetically modified organisms): agricultural biotechnology or agricultural biopolitics?

    PubMed

    Nuti, Marco; Felici, Cristiana; Agnolucci, Monica

    2007-01-01

    Agricultural biotechnologies embrace a large array of conventional and modern technologies, spanning from composting organic by-products of agriculture to innovative improvement of quality traits of about twenty out of the mostly cultivated plants. In EU a rather restrictive legislative framework has been installed for GMOs, requiring a risk assessment disproportionate with respect to conventional agriculture and organic farming products. The latter are far from being proved safe for human and animal health, and for the environment. Biotechnology of GMOs has been overtaken by biopolitics. On one side there are biotechnological challenges to be tackled, on another side there is plenty of ground for biopolitical decisions about GMOs. Perhaps the era of harsh confrontation could be fruitfully replaced by sensible cooperation, in order to get a sustainable agricultural development.

  13. Toward knowledge support for analysis and interpretation of complex traits

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    The systematic description of complex traits, from the organism to the cellular level, is important for hypothesis generation about underlying disease mechanisms. We discuss how intelligent algorithms might provide support, leading to faster throughput. PMID:24079802

  14. Identification of quantitative trait transcripts for growth traits in the large scales of liver and muscle samples.

    PubMed

    Xiong, Xinwei; Yang, Hui; Yang, Bin; Chen, Congying; Huang, Lusheng

    2015-07-01

    Growth-related traits are economically important traits to the pig industry. Identification of causative gene and mutation responsible for growth-related QTL will facilitate the improvement of pig growth through marker-assisted selection. In this study, we applied whole genome gene expression and quantitative trait transcript (QTT) analyses in 497 liver and 586 longissimus dorsi muscle samples to identify candidate genes and dissect the genetic basis of pig growth in a white Duroc × Erhualian F2 resource population. A total of 20,108 transcripts in liver and 23,728 transcripts in muscle with expression values were used for association analysis between gene expression level and phenotypic value. At the significance threshold of P < 0.0005, we identified a total of 169 and 168 QTTs for nine growth-related traits in liver and muscle, respectively. We also found that some QTTs were correlated to more than one trait. The QTTs identified here showed high tissue specificity. We did not identify any QTTs that were associated with one trait in both liver and muscle. Through an integrative genomic approach, we identified SDR16C5 as the important candidate gene in pig growth trait. These findings contribute to further identification of the causative genes for porcine growth traits and facilitate improvement of pig breeding.

  15. Quantitative trait locus mapping and functional genomics of an organophosphate resistance trait in the western corn rootworm, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The western corn rootworm (WCR), Diabrotica virgifera virgifera, is an insect pest of corn, and population suppression with chemical insecticides is an important management tool. Traits conferring organophosphate insecticide resistance have increased in frequency among WCR populations, resulting in...

  16. Feral genetically modified herbicide tolerant oilseed rape from seed import spills: are concerns scientifically justified?

    PubMed

    Devos, Yann; Hails, Rosemary S; Messéan, Antoine; Perry, Joe N; Squire, Geoffrey R

    2012-02-01

    One of the concerns surrounding the import (for food and feed uses or processing) of genetically modified herbicide tolerant (GMHT) oilseed rape is that, through seed spillage, the herbicide tolerance (HT) trait will escape into agricultural or semi-natural habitats, causing environmental or economic problems. Based on these concerns, three EU countries have invoked national safeguard clauses to ban the marketing of specific GMHT oilseed rape events on their territory. However, the scientific basis for the environmental and economic concerns posed by feral GMHT oilseed rape resulting from seed import spills is debatable. While oilseed rape has characteristics such as secondary dormancy and small seed size that enable it to persist and be redistributed in the landscape, the presence of ferals is not in itself an environmental or economic problem. Crucially, feral oilseed rape has not become invasive outside cultivated and ruderal habitats, and HT traits are not likely to result in increased invasiveness. Feral GMHT oilseed rape has the potential to introduce HT traits to volunteer weeds in agricultural fields, but would only be amplified if the herbicides to which HT volunteers are tolerant were used routinely in the field. However, this worst-case scenario is most unlikely, as seed import spills are mostly confined to port areas. Economic concerns revolve around the potential for feral GMHT oilseed rape to contribute to GM admixtures in non-GM crops. Since feral plants derived from cultivation (as distinct from import) occur at too low a frequency to affect the coexistence threshold of 0.9% in the EU, it can be concluded that feral GMHT plants resulting from seed import spills will have little relevance as a potential source of pollen or seed for GM admixture. This paper concludes that feral oilseed rape in Europe should not be routinely managed, and certainly not in semi-natural habitats, as the benefits of such action would not outweigh the negative effects of

  17. Testing the trait-based community framework: Do functional traits predict competitive outcomes?

    PubMed

    Funk, Jennifer L; Wolf, Amelia A

    2016-09-01

    Plant traits can be used to understand a range of ecological processes, including competition with invasive species. The extent to which native and invasive species are competing via limiting similarity or trait hierarchies has important implications for the management of invaded communities. We screened 47 native species that co-occur with Festuca perennis, a dominant invader in California serpentine grassland, for traits pertaining to resource use and acquisition. We then grew F. perennis with 10 species spanning a range of functional similarity in pairwise competition trials. Functionally similar species did not have a strong adverse effect on F. perennis performance as would be expected by limiting similarity theory. Phylogenetic relatedness, which may integrate a number of functional traits, was also a poor predictor of competitive outcome. Instead, species with high specific root length, low root-to-shoot biomass ratio, and low leaf nitrogen concentration were more effective at suppressing the growth of F. perennis. Our results suggest that fitness differences (i.e., trait hierarchies) may be more important than niche differences (i.e., limiting similarity) in structuring competitive outcomes in this system and may be a promising approach for the restoration of invaded systems.

  18. Plant functional traits predict green roof ecosystem services.

    PubMed

    Lundholm, Jeremy; Tran, Stephanie; Gebert, Luke

    2015-02-17

    Plants make important contributions to the services provided by engineered ecosystems such as green roofs. Ecologists use plant species traits as generic predictors of geographical distribution, interactions with other species, and ecosystem functioning, but this approach has been little used to optimize engineered ecosystems. Four plant species traits (height, individual leaf area, specific leaf area, and leaf dry matter content) were evaluated as predictors of ecosystem properties and services in a modular green roof system planted with 21 species. Six indicators of ecosystem services, incorporating thermal, hydrological, water quality, and carbon sequestration functions, were predicted by the four plant traits directly or indirectly via their effects on aggregate ecosystem properties, including canopy density and albedo. Species average height and specific leaf area were the most useful traits, predicting several services via effects on canopy density or growth rate. This study demonstrates that easily measured plant traits can be used to select species to optimize green roof performance across multiple key services.

  19. Personality Traits: A View From the Animal Kingdom.

    PubMed

    Weiss, Alexander

    2017-02-25

    Given their backgrounds in classical ethology and in comparative psychology, researchers who study animal personality in biology and psychology, respectively, differ in how they measure personality, what questions they see as important, and how they address these questions. Despite these differences, both comparative psychologists and biologists embrace personality traits. By doing so, they have solved empirical and conceptual problems in animal behavior. Studies of animal personality have provided answers to questions about the evolution of human personality and have presented conceptual and empirical anomalies for sociocognitive theories. Animal personality research does not break from trait theories of personality. Instead, it enriches trait theories by conceiving of traits as not belonging to a species, but as expressed, with some modifications, across species. Broadening trait theory in this way has the potential to further enhance its ability to answer questions related to animal and human personality.

  20. A database of life-history traits of European amphibians

    PubMed Central

    Moulherat, Sylvain; Calvez, Olivier; Stevens, Virginie M; Clobert, Jean; Schmeller, Dirk S

    2014-01-01

    Abstract In the current context of climate change and landscape fragmentation, efficient conservation strategies require the explicit consideration of life history traits. This is particularly true for amphibians, which are highly threatened worldwide, composed by more than 7400 species, which is constitute one of the most species-rich vertebrate groups. The collection of information on life history traits is difficult due to the ecology of species and remoteness of their habitats. It is therefore not surprising that our knowledge is limited, and missing information on certain life history traits are common for in this species group. We compiled data on amphibian life history traits from literature in an extensive database with morphological and behavioral traits, habitat preferences and movement abilities for 86 European amphibian species (50 Anuran and 36 Urodela species). When it were available, we reported data for males, females, juveniles and tadpoles. Our database may serve as an important starting point for further analyses regarding amphibian conservation. PMID:25425939

  1. Genetic parameters for fitness and neonatal behavior traits in sheep.

    PubMed

    Matheson, S M; Bünger, L; Dwyer, C M

    2012-11-01

    Poor neonatal survival constrains productivity and good welfare. The heritability of survival in sheep is very low, suggesting that genetic progress will be slow. Previously we have shown that a difficult birth and low neonatal lamb vigor are important predictors of future survival. In this study we investigated the heritability of these traits, and their relationship to production traits, as an alternative indirect route to improve lamb survival. Neonatal lamb data from 11,092 animals were collected over 2 years from 290 commercial sheep flocks, using previously developed methods to rapidly assess three traits (birth assistance, lamb vigor, sucking ability) on farm. Heritabilities for neonatal traits were moderate: birth assistance (mean ± standard error; 0.26 ± 0.03), lamb vigor (0.40 ± 0.04) and sucking ability (0.32 ± 0.03). Genetic correlations between neonatal traits were moderate to high, and positive. Heritabilities for production traits were also moderate: 8-week weight (0.27 ± 0.06), 20-week weight (0.39 ± 0.07), ultrasound muscle depth (0.37 ± 0.06). Genetic and phenotypic correlations between the neonatal traits and production traits were not significantly different from zero. However, lambs that were scored as of poor vigor at birth were less likely to be recorded at 8 or 20 weeks, indicating that they may have died. The data demonstrate that the neonatal survival traits of birth assistance, lamb vigor and sucking assistance are moderately heritable when treated as a lamb trait, indicating that selection to target these lamb traits would successfully, and efficiently, improve survival without influencing productivity.

  2. Phenotyping nutritional and antinutritional traits

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Evolution of nutrient-rich food systems to calorie-focused production agriculture has created serious agricultural and human health issues: marginalization of traditional agricultural crops, greater dependence of agricultural inputs, and creation of both energy and micronutrient malnutrition. To dat...

  3. Brain structure links trait creativity to openness to experience.

    PubMed

    Li, Wenfu; Li, Xueting; Huang, Lijie; Kong, Xiangzhen; Yang, Wenjing; Wei, Dongtao; Li, Jingguang; Cheng, Hongsheng; Zhang, Qinglin; Qiu, Jiang; Liu, Jia

    2015-02-01

    Creativity is crucial to the progression of human civilization and has led to important scientific discoveries. Especially, individuals are more likely to have scientific discoveries if they possess certain personality traits of creativity (trait creativity), including imagination, curiosity, challenge and risk-taking. This study used voxel-based morphometry to identify the brain regions underlying individual differences in trait creativity, as measured by the Williams creativity aptitude test, in a large sample (n = 246). We found that creative individuals had higher gray matter volume in the right posterior middle temporal gyrus (pMTG), which might be related to semantic processing during novelty seeking (e.g. novel association, conceptual integration and metaphor understanding). More importantly, although basic personality factors such as openness to experience, extroversion, conscientiousness and agreeableness (as measured by the NEO Personality Inventory) all contributed to trait creativity, only openness to experience mediated the association between the right pMTG volume and trait creativity. Taken together, our results suggest that the basic personality trait of openness might play an important role in shaping an individual's trait creativity.

  4. Brain structure links trait creativity to openness to experience

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Lijie; Kong, Xiangzhen; Yang, Wenjing; Wei, Dongtao; Li, Jingguang; Cheng, Hongsheng; Zhang, Qinglin

    2015-01-01

    Creativity is crucial to the progression of human civilization and has led to important scientific discoveries. Especially, individuals are more likely to have scientific discoveries if they possess certain personality traits of creativity (trait creativity), including imagination, curiosity, challenge and risk-taking. This study used voxel-based morphometry to identify the brain regions underlying individual differences in trait creativity, as measured by the Williams creativity aptitude test, in a large sample (n = 246). We found that creative individuals had higher gray matter volume in the right posterior middle temporal gyrus (pMTG), which might be related to semantic processing during novelty seeking (e.g. novel association, conceptual integration and metaphor understanding). More importantly, although basic personality factors such as openness to experience, extroversion, conscientiousness and agreeableness (as measured by the NEO Personality Inventory) all contributed to trait creativity, only openness to experience mediated the association between the right pMTG volume and trait creativity. Taken together, our results suggest that the basic personality trait of openness might play an important role in shaping an individual’s trait creativity. PMID:24603022

  5. Agricultural Chartbook 1988. Agriculture Handbook No. 673.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC.

    These charts present an overview of the current economic health of American agriculture. The charts move from the national and international arenas to farm economic health measures and crop and livestock trends. A small amount of descriptive narrative accompanies most of the charts. Charts depicting the economic picture of U.S. agriculture include…

  6. 1986 Agricultural Chartbook. Agriculture Handbook No. 663.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC.

    This book contains 310 charts, tables, and graphs containing statistical information about agriculture-related commodities and services, primarily in the United States, in 1986. The book is organized in seven sections that cover the following topics: (1) the farm (farm income, farm population, farm workers, food and fiber system, agriculture and…

  7. A Source Area Approach Demonstrates Moderate Predictive Ability but Pronounced Variability of Invasive Species Traits.

    PubMed

    Klonner, Günther; Fischer, Stefan; Essl, Franz; Dullinger, Stefan

    2016-01-01

    The search for traits that make alien species invasive has mostly concentrated on comparing successful invaders and different comparison groups with respect to average trait values. By contrast, little attention has been paid to trait variability among invaders. Here, we combine an analysis of trait differences between invasive and non-invasive species with a comparison of multidimensional trait variability within these two species groups. We collected data on biological and distributional traits for 1402 species of the native, non-woody vascular plant flora of Austria. We then compared the subsets of species recorded and not recorded as invasive aliens anywhere in the world, respectively, first, with respect to the sampled traits using univariate and multiple regression models; and, second, with respect to their multidimensional trait diversity by calculating functional richness and dispersion metrics. Attributes related to competitiveness (strategy type, nitrogen indicator value), habitat use (agricultural and ruderal habitats, occurrence under the montane belt), and propagule pressure (frequency) were most closely associated with invasiveness. However, even the best multiple model, including interactions, only explained a moderate fraction of the differences in invasive success. In addition, multidimensional variability in trait space was even larger among invasive than among non-invasive species. This pronounced variability suggests that invasive success has a considerable idiosyncratic component and is probably highly context specific. We conclude that basing risk assessment protocols on species trait profiles will probably face hardly reducible uncertainties.

  8. A Source Area Approach Demonstrates Moderate Predictive Ability but Pronounced Variability of Invasive Species Traits

    PubMed Central

    Essl, Franz; Dullinger, Stefan

    2016-01-01

    The search for traits that make alien species invasive has mostly concentrated on comparing successful invaders and different comparison groups with respect to average trait values. By contrast, little attention has been paid to trait variability among invaders. Here, we combine an analysis of trait differences between invasive and non-invasive species with a comparison of multidimensional trait variability within these two species groups. We collected data on biological and distributional traits for 1402 species of the native, non-woody vascular plant flora of Austria. We then compared the subsets of species recorded and not recorded as invasive aliens anywhere in the world, respectively, first, with respect to the sampled traits using univariate and multiple regression models; and, second, with respect to their multidimensional trait diversity by calculating functional richness and dispersion metrics. Attributes related to competitiveness (strategy type, nitrogen indicator value), habitat use (agricultural and ruderal habitats, occurrence under the montane belt), and propagule pressure (frequency) were most closely associated with invasiveness. However, even the best multiple model, including interactions, only explained a moderate fraction of the differences in invasive success. In addition, multidimensional variability in trait space was even larger among invasive than among non-invasive species. This pronounced variability suggests that invasive success has a considerable idiosyncratic component and is probably highly context specific. We conclude that basing risk assessment protocols on species trait profiles will probably face hardly reducible uncertainties. PMID:27187616

  9. Morphoscopic trait expressions used to identify Southwest Hispanics.

    PubMed

    Hurst, Carolyn V

    2012-07-01

    Hispanics represent the largest and fastest growing minority in the United States. It is increasingly important to understand the skeletal morphology and regional variation within this diverse group. This research focuses on the eight cranial morphoscopic traits of Southwest Hispanics from Birkby et al. (J Forensic Sci 2008;53(1):29-33) and 18 additional traits. Frequency distributions assessed the prevalence of trait expressions in Southwest Hispanic, African-American, and European-American samples. Forward stepwise discriminant function analysis indicated the best traits for differentiating these three groups. Six of the Birkby et al.'s traits are prevalent in the Southwest Hispanic sample and the best traits to distinguish the three groups are as follows: incisor shoveling, anterior malar projection, nasal sill, oval window visualization, enamel extensions, anterior nasal spine, nasal aperture width, and alveolar prognathism. This research demonstrates the efficacy of morphoscopic traits in ancestry determinations and the utility of the aforementioned traits in discriminating Southwest Hispanics, African Americans, and European Americans.

  10. Advancement of Latent Trait Theory.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1988-02-01

    latent trait theory further, and include more varieties of situations. I [51 Investigation of ways of bridging across mathematical psychology and...five years on various topics in Latent Trait Theory, including more general topics such as the method of moments as the least squares solution for...response theory." The address described as (3) in the above list was a one hour special lecture overviewing latent trait models. There were more than two

  11. 7 CFR 1208.10 - Importer.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... AND ORDERS; MISCELLANEOUS COMMODITIES), DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE PROCESSED RASPBERRY PROMOTION, RESEARCH, AND INFORMATION ORDER Processed Raspberry Promotion, Research, and Information Order Definitions § 1208.10 Importer. Importer means any person importing 20,000 pounds or more of processed...

  12. 7 CFR 1208.10 - Importer.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... AND ORDERS; MISCELLANEOUS COMMODITIES), DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE PROCESSED RASPBERRY PROMOTION, RESEARCH, AND INFORMATION ORDER Processed Raspberry Promotion, Research, and Information Order Definitions § 1208.10 Importer. Importer means any person importing 20,000 pounds or more of processed...

  13. Maine Agricultural Foods. Project SEED.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Beaulieu, Peter; Ossenfort, Pat

    This paper describes an activity-based program that teaches students in grades 4-12 about the importance of Maine agriculture in their lives. Specifically, the goal is to increase student awareness of how the foods they eat are planted, harvested, and processed. The emphasis is on crops grown in Maine such as potatoes, broccoli, peas, blueberries,…

  14. On-farm habitat restoration counters biotic homogenization in intensively managed agriculture.

    PubMed

    Ponisio, Lauren C; M'Gonigle, Leithen K; Kremen, Claire

    2016-02-01

    To slow the rate of global species loss, it is imperative to understand how to restore and maintain native biodiversity in agricultural landscapes. Currently, agriculture is associated with lower spatial heterogeneity and turnover in community composition (β-diversity). While some techniques are known to enhance α-diversity, it is unclear whether habitat restoration can re-establish β-diversity. Using a long-term pollinator dataset, comprising ∼9,800 specimens collected from the intensively managed agricultural landscape of the Central Valley of California, we show that on-farm habitat restoration in the form of native plant 'hedgerows', when replicated across a landscape, can boost β-diversity by approximately 14% relative to unrestored field margins, to levels similar to some natural communities. Hedgerows restore β-diversity by promoting the assembly of phenotypically diverse communities. Intensively managed agriculture imposes a strong ecological filter that negatively affects several important dimensions of community trait diversity, distribution, and uniqueness. However, by helping to restore phenotypically diverse pollinator communities, small-scale restorations such as hedgerows provide a valuable tool for conserving biodiversity and promoting ecosystem services.

  15. Personality traits beyond the big five: are they within the HEXACO space?

    PubMed

    Lee, Kibeom; Ogunfowora, Babatunde; Ashton, Michael C

    2005-10-01

    Paunonen (2002) recently developed the Supernumerary Personality Inventory (SPI), a measure of 10 traits that have low loadings within the space of the Big Five personality factors. If the SPI personality traits are representative of the domain of non-Big Five personality traits, then the major source of the variance in the SPI traits would be expected to correlate strongly with the sixth factor of personality, Honesty-Humility. We tested this hypothesis using self-report measures (N = 200) of the SPI traits, of the Big Five, and of the new six-dimensional ("HEXACO") structure. Results indicated that the first unrotated factor underlying the 10 SPI traits was heavily saturated with variance from Honesty-Humility (r = .65). Nevertheless, the 10 SPI traits contained substantial amounts of unique variance not accounted for by the HEXACO or the Big Five variables, highlighting the importance of the facet-level assessment of personality traits.

  16. Common Ancestry Is a Poor Predictor of Competitive Traits in Freshwater Green Algae.

    PubMed

    Narwani, Anita; Alexandrou, Markos A; Herrin, James; Vouaux, Alaina; Zhou, Charles; Oakley, Todd H; Cardinale, Bradley J

    2015-01-01

    Phytoplankton species traits have been used to successfully predict the outcome of competition, but these traits are notoriously laborious to measure. If these traits display a phylogenetic signal, phylogenetic distance (PD) can be used as a proxy for trait variation. We provide the first investigation of the degree of phylogenetic signal in traits related to competition in freshwater green phytoplankton. We measured 17 traits related to competition and tested whether they displayed a phylogenetic signal across a molecular phylogeny of 59 species of green algae. We also assessed the fit of five models of trait evolution to trait variation across the phylogeny. There was no significant phylogenetic signal for 13 out of 17 ecological traits. For 7 traits, a non-phylogenetic model provided the best fit. For another 7 traits, a phylogenetic model was selected, but parameter values indicated that trait variation evolved recently, diminishing the importance of common ancestry. This study suggests that traits related to competition in freshwater green algae are not generally well-predicted by patterns of common ancestry. We discuss the mechanisms by which the link between phylogenetic distance and phenotypic differentiation may be broken.

  17. A Study of Agricultural Job Tasks and Implications for Curriculum Development in Agriculture and Agriculture Related Occupations.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hawaii State Dept. of Education, Honolulu. Office of Instructional Services.

    The study, based on a survey of agricultural industry in Hawaii, was conducted to obtain current job task information to be used as the basis for curriculum improvement in agricultural technology and ornamental horticulture. It determines the kinds and frequency of job skills and the importance of the accompanying knowledge required. A checklist…

  18. Sequencing Crop Genomes: A Gateway to Improve Tropical Agriculture

    PubMed Central

    Thottathil, Gincy Paily; Jayasekaran, Kandakumar; Othman, Ahmad Sofiman

    2016-01-01

    Agricultural development in the tropics lags behind development in the temperate latitudes due to the lack of advanced technology, and various biotic and abiotic factors. To cope with the increasing demand for food and other plant-based products, improved crop varieties have to be developed. To breed improved varieties, a better understanding of crop genetics is necessary. With the advent of next-generation DNA sequencing technologies, many important crop genomes have been sequenced. Primary importance has been given to food crops, including cereals, tuber crops, vegetables, and fruits. The DNA sequence information is extremely valuable for identifying key genes controlling important agronomic traits and for identifying genetic variability among the cultivars. However, massive DNA re-sequencing and gene expression studies have to be performed to substantially improve our understanding of crop genetics. Application of the knowledge obtained from the genomes, transcriptomes, expression studies, and epigenetic studies would enable the development of improved varieties and may lead to a second green revolution. The applications of next generation DNA sequencing technologies in crop improvement, its limitations, future prospects, and the features of important crop genome projects are reviewed herein. PMID:27019684

  19. Characterizing psychopathy using DSM-5 personality traits.

    PubMed

    Strickland, Casey M; Drislane, Laura E; Lucy, Megan; Krueger, Robert F; Patrick, Christopher J

    2013-06-01

    Despite its importance historically and contemporarily, psychopathy is not recognized in the current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revised (DSM-IV-TR). Its closest counterpart, antisocial personality disorder, includes strong representation of behavioral deviance symptoms but weak representation of affective-interpersonal features considered central to psychopathy. The current study evaluated the extent to which psychopathy and its distinctive facets, indexed by the Triarchic Psychopathy Measure, can be assessed effectively using traits from the dimensional model of personality pathology developed for DSM-5, operationalized by the Personality Inventory for DSM-5 (PID-5). Results indicate that (a) facets of psychopathy entailing impulsive externalization and callous aggression are well-represented by traits from the PID-5 considered relevant to antisocial personality disorder, and (b) the boldness facet of psychopathy can be effectively captured using additional PID-5 traits. These findings provide evidence that the dimensional model of personality pathology embodied in the PID-5 provides effective trait-based coverage of psychopathy and its facets.

  20. Agriculture: Climate Change

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Climate change affects agricultural producers because agriculture and fisheries depend on specific climate conditions. Temperature changes can cause crop planting dates to shift. Droughts and floods due to climate change may hinder farming practices.

  1. Agriculture: Land Use

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Land Use and agriculture. Information about land use restrictions and incentive programs.Agricultural operations sometimes involve activities regulated by laws designed to protect water supplies, threatened or endangered plants and animals, or wetlands.

  2. Strategies for Agriculture.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Crosson, Pierre R.; Rosenberg, Norman J.

    1989-01-01

    Discusses the change of agricultural methods with human population growth. Describes the trends of world food production, changes in farmland, use of fertilizer, and 13 agricultural research institutions. Lists 5 references for further reading. (YP)

  3. Traditional Agriculture and Permaculture.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pierce, Dick

    1997-01-01

    Discusses benefits of combining traditional agricultural techniques with the concepts of "permaculture," a framework for revitalizing traditions, culture, and spirituality. Describes school, college, and community projects that have assisted American Indian communities in revitalizing sustainable agricultural practices that incorporate…

  4. Irradiation of northwest agricultural products

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eakin, D. E.; Tingey, G. I.

    1985-02-01

    Irradiation of food for disinfestation and preservation is increasing in importance because of increasing restrictions on various chemical treatments. Irradiation treatment is of particular interest in the Northwest because of a growing supply of agricultural products and the need to develop new export markets. Several products have, or could potentially have, significant export markets if stringent insect ocntrol procedures are developed and followed. Due to the recognized potential benefits of irradiation, this program was conducted to evaluate the benefits of using irradiation on Northwest agricultural products. Commodities currently included in the program are cherries, apples, asparagus, spices, hay, and hides.

  5. Functional traits and root morphology of alpine plants

    PubMed Central

    Pohl, Mandy; Stroude, Raphaël; Buttler, Alexandre; Rixen, Christian

    2011-01-01

    Background and Aims Vegetation has long been recognized to protect the soil from erosion. Understanding species differences in root morphology and functional traits is an important step to assess which species and species mixtures may provide erosion control. Furthermore, extending classification of plant functional types towards root traits may be a useful procedure in understanding important root functions. Methods In this study, pioneer data on traits of alpine plant species, i.e. plant height and shoot biomass, root depth, horizontal root spreading, root length, diameter, tensile strength, plant age and root biomass, from a disturbed site in the Swiss Alps are presented. The applicability of three classifications of plant functional types (PFTs), i.e. life form, growth form and root type, was examined for above- and below-ground plant traits. Key Results Plant traits differed considerably among species even of the same life form, e.g. in the case of total root length by more than two orders of magnitude. Within the same root diameter, species differed significantly in tensile strength: some species (Geum reptans and Luzula spicata) had roots more than twice as strong as those of other species. Species of different life forms provided different root functions (e.g. root depth and horizontal root spreading) that may be important for soil physical processes. All classifications of PFTs were helpful to categorize plant traits; however, the PFTs according to root type explained total root length far better than the other PFTs. Conclusions The results of the study illustrate the remarkable differences between root traits of alpine plants, some of which cannot be assessed from simple morphological inspection, e.g. tensile strength. PFT classification based on root traits seems useful to categorize plant traits, even though some patterns are better explained at the individual species level. PMID:21795278

  6. Leaf trait-environment relationships in a subtropical broadleaved forest in South-East China.

    PubMed

    Kröber, Wenzel; Böhnke, Martin; Welk, Erik; Wirth, Christian; Bruelheide, Helge

    2012-01-01

    Although trait analyses have become more important in community ecology, trait-environment correlations have rarely been studied along successional gradients. We asked which environmental variables had the strongest impact on intraspecific and interspecific trait variation in the community and which traits were most responsive to the environment. We established a series of plots in a secondary forest in the Chinese subtropics, stratified by successional stages that were defined by the time elapsed since the last logging activities. On a total of 27 plots all woody plants were recorded and a set of individuals of every species was analysed for leaf traits, resulting in a trait matrix of 26 leaf traits for 122 species. A Fourth Corner Analysis revealed that the mean values of many leaf traits were tightly related to the successional gradient. Most shifts in traits followed the leaf economics spectrum with decreasing specific leaf area and leaf nutrient contents with successional time. Beside succession, few additional environmental variables resulted in significant trait relationships, such as soil moisture and soil C and N content as well as topographical variables. Not all traits were related to the leaf economics spectrum, and thus, to the successional gradient, such as stomata size and density. By comparing different permutation models in the Fourth Corner Analysis, we found that the trait-environment link was based more on the association of species with the environment than of the communities with species traits. The strong species-environment association was brought about by a clear gradient in species composition along the succession series, while communities were not well differentiated in mean trait composition. In contrast, intraspecific trait variation did not show close environmental relationships. The study confirmed the role of environmental trait filtering in subtropical forests, with traits associated with the leaf economics spectrum being the most

  7. Leaf Trait-Environment Relationships in a Subtropical Broadleaved Forest in South-East China

    PubMed Central

    Kröber, Wenzel; Böhnke, Martin; Welk, Erik; Wirth, Christian; Bruelheide, Helge

    2012-01-01

    Although trait analyses have become more important in community ecology, trait-environment correlations have rarely been studied along successional gradients. We asked which environmental variables had the strongest impact on intraspecific and interspecific trait variation in the community and which traits were most responsive to the environment. We established a series of plots in a secondary forest in the Chinese subtropics, stratified by successional stages that were defined by the time elapsed since the last logging activities. On a total of 27 plots all woody plants were recorded and a set of individuals of every species was analysed for leaf traits, resulting in a trait matrix of 26 leaf traits for 122 species. A Fourth Corner Analysis revealed that the mean values of many leaf traits were tightly related to the successional gradient. Most shifts in traits followed the leaf economics spectrum with decreasing specific leaf area and leaf nutrient contents with successional time. Beside succession, few additional environmental variables resulted in significant trait relationships, such as soil moisture and soil C and N content as well as topographical variables. Not all traits were related to the leaf economics spectrum, and thus, to the successional gradient, such as stomata size and density. By comparing different permutation models in the Fourth Corner Analysis, we found that the trait-environment link was based more on the association of species with the environment than of the communities with species traits. The strong species-environment association was brought about by a clear gradient in species composition along the succession series, while communities were not well differentiated in mean trait composition. In contrast, intraspecific trait variation did not show close environmental relationships. The study confirmed the role of environmental trait filtering in subtropical forests, with traits associated with the leaf economics spectrum being the most

  8. Advanced agricultural biotechnologies and sustainable agriculture.

    PubMed

    Lyson, Thomas A

    2002-05-01

    Agricultural biotechnologies are anchored to a scientific paradigm rooted in experimental biology, whereas sustainable agriculture rests on a biological paradigm that is best described as ecological. Both biotechnology and sustainable agriculture are associated with particular social science paradigms: biotechnology has its foundation in neoclassical economics, but sustainability is framed by an emerging community-centered, problem-solving perspective. Fundamentally, biotechnology and neoclassical economics are reductionist in nature. Sustainability and community problem-solving, however, are nonreductionist. Given these differences, we might see the development of two rather distinct systems of food production in the near future.

  9. 7 CFR 319.37 - Prohibitions and restrictions on importation; disposal of articles refused importation.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... Prohibitions and restrictions on importation; disposal of articles refused importation. (a) No person shall... 7 Agriculture 5 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Prohibitions and restrictions on importation; disposal of articles refused importation. 319.37 Section 319.37 Agriculture Regulations of the Department...

  10. 7 CFR 319.37 - Prohibitions and restrictions on importation; disposal of articles refused importation.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... Prohibitions and restrictions on importation; disposal of articles refused importation. (a) No person shall... 7 Agriculture 5 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Prohibitions and restrictions on importation; disposal of articles refused importation. 319.37 Section 319.37 Agriculture Regulations of the Department...

  11. Vocational Agriculture: Leadership, Laurels, Laments, and Legislation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Horner, James T.

    1979-01-01

    Discusses the history of agricultural education and points out important advancements through the years. Provides a discussion of current problems facing agricultural education with special focus in the area of legislation. Describes the necessity and steps for personal--as well as professional--association involvement affecting policymaking. (LRA)

  12. Agricultural Accident Prevention--Problems and Accomplishments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bristol, Benton K.

    1976-01-01

    Titles of bulletins, for persons who are interested in agricultural accident prevention, are listed as well as examples of farm machinery manufacturers who are making special efforts to produce valuable teaching aids and to inform all segments of agriculture about important safety development. (HD)

  13. St Vincent Youth and Careers in Agriculture

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Webster, Nicole; Ganpat, Wayne

    2014-01-01

    Purpose: Given the ageing farming population in the Caribbean and the importance of agriculture to economy, there is cause for concern about the future of farming. This study seeks to explore the extent to which students pursuing agriculture in secondary schools in St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) were likely to engage in farming as well as…

  14. Agriculture for Little People. Publication No. 0004.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gasior, Albert G.

    The document is a collection of teacher guides to sample units introducing agriculture at the primary level; part or all of the units can be used along with the regular curriculum during the school year. Intended to acquaint K-3 students with agriculture's important role, the purpose of the course is to impart basic knowledge of materials, tools,…

  15. Information for Agricultural Development.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kaungamno, E. E.

    This paper describes the major international agricultural information services, sources, and systems; outlines the existing information situation in Tanzania as it relates to problems of agricultural development; and reviews the improvements in information provision resources required to support the process of agricultural development in Tanzania.…

  16. Chapter 3: Cropland Agriculture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In 2013, cropland agriculture resulted in total emissions of approximately 209 MMT CO2 eq. of greenhouse gases (GHG). Cropland agriculture is responsible for almost half (46%) of all emissions from the agricultural sector. Nitrous oxide (N2O), carbon dioxide (CO2), and methane (CH4) emissions from c...

  17. Agricultural Structures, Volume II.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Linhardt, Richard E.; Burhoe, Steve

    This guide to a curriculum unit in agricultural structures is designed to expand the curriculum materials available in vocational agriculture in Missouri. It and Agricultural Structures I (see note) provide reference materials to systematize the curriculum. The six units cover working with concrete (19 lessons, 2 laboratory exercises), drawing and…

  18. Agriculture Business and Management.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Seperich, George; And Others

    This curriculum guide is intended for vocational agriculture teachers who deliver agricultural business and management programs at the secondary or postsecondary level. It is based on the Arizona validated occupational competencies and tasks for management and supervisory positions in agricultural business. The competency/skill and task list…

  19. African Americans and Agriculture.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Morgan, Joan

    2000-01-01

    Reviews the opportunities available in the field of agriculture for African American students and notes efforts of the 136 colleges of agriculture to publicize their offerings and recruit students. Profiles six black leaders in agriculture, highlighting their achievements in research and aid to developing countries. A table provides data on annual…

  20. Agriculture, Environmental Education Guide.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Project I-C-E, Green Bay, WI.

    This agriculture guide, for use at the secondary level, is one of a series of guides, K-12, which were developed by teachers to help introduce environmental education into the total curriculum. Environmental problems are present in every community where agriculture education is offered, and therefore many agriculture teachers have included some…

  1. Exploring the Paradox of Supervised Agricultural Experience Programs in Agricultural Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wilson, Elizabeth B.; Moore, Gary E.

    2007-01-01

    Agricultural teachers in North Carolina were surveyed to assess their attitudes toward Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) and to identify barriers to implementation of SAE in their schools. The teachers gave the politically correct answers about why SAE was important. The teachers indicated that SAE was important (8.46 on a 10 point scale)…

  2. 7 CFR 319.74-3 - Importations by the Department.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... INSPECTION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE FOREIGN QUARANTINE NOTICES Cut Flowers § 319.74-3 Importations by the Department. The U.S. Department of Agriculture may import cut flowers for experimental...

  3. 7 CFR 319.74-3 - Importations by the Department.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... INSPECTION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE FOREIGN QUARANTINE NOTICES Cut Flowers § 319.74-3 Importations by the Department. The U.S. Department of Agriculture may import cut flowers for experimental...

  4. 7 CFR 319.74-3 - Importations by the Department.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... INSPECTION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE FOREIGN QUARANTINE NOTICES Cut Flowers § 319.74-3 Importations by the Department. The U.S. Department of Agriculture may import cut flowers for experimental...

  5. 7 CFR 319.74-3 - Importations by the Department.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... INSPECTION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE FOREIGN QUARANTINE NOTICES Cut Flowers § 319.74-3 Importations by the Department. The U.S. Department of Agriculture may import cut flowers for experimental...

  6. Trait-specific responses of wild bee communities to landscape composition, configuration and local factors.

    PubMed

    Hopfenmüller, Sebastian; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Holzschuh, Andrea

    2014-01-01

    Land-use intensification and loss of semi-natural habitats have induced a severe decline of bee diversity in agricultural landscapes. Semi-natural habitats like calcareous grasslands are among the most important bee habitats in central Europe, but they are threatened by decreasing habitat area and quality, and by homogenization of the surrounding landscape affecting both landscape composition and configuration. In this study we tested the importance of habitat area, quality and connectivity as well as landscape composition and configuration on wild bees in calcareous grasslands. We made detailed trait-specific analyses as bees with different traits might differ in their response to the tested factors. Species richness and abundance of wild bees were surveyed on 23 calcareous grassland patches in Southern Germany with independent gradients in local and landscape factors. Total wild bee richness was positively affected by complex landscape configuration, large habitat area and high habitat quality (i.e. steep slopes). Cuckoo bee richness was positively affected by complex landscape configuration and large habitat area whereas habitat specialists were only affected by the local factors habitat area and habitat quality. Small social generalists were positively influenced by habitat area whereas large social generalists (bumblebees) were positively affected by landscape composition (high percentage of semi-natural habitats). Our results emphasize a strong dependence of habitat specialists on local habitat characteristics, whereas cuckoo bees and bumblebees are more likely affected by the surrounding landscape. We conclude that a combination of large high-quality patches and heterogeneous landscapes maintains high bee species richness and communities with diverse trait composition. Such diverse communities might stabilize pollination services provided to crops and wild plants on local and landscape scales.

  7. Trait-Specific Responses of Wild Bee Communities to Landscape Composition, Configuration and Local Factors

    PubMed Central

    Hopfenmüller, Sebastian; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Holzschuh, Andrea

    2014-01-01

    Land-use intensification and loss of semi-natural habitats have induced a severe decline of bee diversity in agricultural landscapes. Semi-natural habitats like calcareous grasslands are among the most important bee habitats in central Europe, but they are threatened by decreasing habitat area and quality, and by homogenization of the surrounding landscape affecting both landscape composition and configuration. In this study we tested the importance of habitat area, quality and connectivity as well as landscape composition and configuration on wild bees in calcareous grasslands. We made detailed trait-specific analyses as bees with different traits might differ in their response to the tested factors. Species richness and abundance of wild bees were surveyed on 23 calcareous grassland patches in Southern Germany with independent gradients in local and landscape factors. Total wild bee richness was positively affected by complex landscape configuration, large habitat area and high habitat quality (i.e. steep slopes). Cuckoo bee richness was positively affected by complex landscape configuration and large habitat area whereas habitat specialists were only affected by the local factors habitat area and habitat quality. Small social generalists were positively influenced by habitat area whereas large social generalists (bumblebees) were positively affected by landscape composition (high percentage of semi-natural habitats). Our results emphasize a strong dependence of habitat specialists on local habitat characteristics, whereas cuckoo bees and bumblebees are more likely affected by the surrounding landscape. We conclude that a combination of large high-quality patches and heterogeneous landscapes maintains high bee species richness and communities with diverse trait composition. Such diverse communities might stabilize pollination services provided to crops and wild plants on local and landscape scales. PMID:25137311

  8. Relationships Between Spielberger Trait Anxiety and Lykken Social and Physical Trait Anxiety

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Blankstein, Kirk R.

    1976-01-01

    To determine the relationship between Spielberger's measure of trait anxiety and social-interpersonal vs. physical danger trait anxiety, Ss were administered the trait scale of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) and Lykken's Activity Preference Questionnaire (APQ). (Editor)

  9. Variability of Root Traits in Spring Wheat Germplasm

    PubMed Central

    Narayanan, Sruthi; Mohan, Amita; Gill, Kulvinder S.; Prasad, P. V. Vara

    2014-01-01

    Root traits influence the amount of water and nutrient absorption, and are important for maintaining crop yield under drought conditions. The objectives of this research were to characterize variability of root traits among spring wheat genotypes and determine whether root traits are related to shoot traits (plant height, tiller number per plant, shoot dry weight, and coleoptile length), regions of origin, and market classes. Plants were grown in 150-cm columns for 61 days in a greenhouse under optimal growth conditions. Rooting depth, root dry weight, root: shoot ratio, and shoot traits were determined for 297 genotypes of the germplasm, Cultivated Wheat Collection (CWC). The remaining root traits such as total root length and surface area were measured for a subset of 30 genotypes selected based on rooting depth. Significant genetic variability was observed for root traits among spring wheat genotypes in CWC germplasm or its subset. Genotypes Sonora and Currawa were ranked high, and genotype Vandal was ranked low for most root traits. A positive relationship (R2≥0.35) was found between root and shoot dry weights within the CWC germplasm and between total root surface area and tiller number; total root surface area and shoot dry weight; and total root length and coleoptile length within the subset. No correlations were found between plant height and most root traits within the CWC germplasm or its subset. Region of origin had significant impact on rooting depth in the CWC germplasm. Wheat genotypes collected from Australia, Mediterranean, and west Asia had greater rooting depth than those from south Asia, Latin America, Mexico, and Canada. Soft wheat had greater rooting depth than hard wheat in the CWC germplasm. The genetic variability identified in this research for root traits can be exploited to improve drought tolerance and/or resource capture in wheat. PMID:24945438

  10. Anxiety: States, Traits--Situations?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kendall, Philip C.

    1978-01-01

    Investigated the utility of situational assessments of trait anxiety in predicting state anxiety reactions. Results indicated that the STAI-A-Trait and the S-R GTA Evaluation measures correlated significantly higher with each other than either did with the S-R GTA Physical Danger measure. Both stresses produced significant increases in state…

  11. Migrant labor in agriculture: an international comparison.

    PubMed

    Martin, P L

    1985-01-01

    The May 1984 Conference on Migrant Labor in Agriculture at the University of California-Davis discussed papers by 22 farm labor experts from 12 nations. Each industrial nation utilizes a different set of public and private policies to supply workers for labor-intensive agriculture, but none is entirely satisfactory. Labor-intensive agriculture is becoming more dependent on workers who are shut out of labor markets. Some countries have simply accepted foreign workers in agriculture, while others have adopted policies to integrate farm and nonfarm labor markets. Polices to reduce agriculture's reliance on workers-without-options include restructuring employment practices to employ fewer seasonal workers for longer periods, mechanizing production, and importing fruits and vegetables from nearby developing countries. This article explains the salient features of labor-intensive agriculture, the various polices for obtaining seasonal farmworkers, and options to reduce farming's dependence on migrant labor.

  12. Market distortions and technological progress in agriculture

    SciTech Connect

    Alston, J.M.; Pardey, P.G.

    1993-05-01

    It is widely believed that price policies have contributed to low rates of productivity growth in agriculture, but there has been little progress to date in work on the relationship between price distortions and agricultural productivity or agricultural research. Given the importance of technological change in agriculture, it is important to know whether price policies impede investments in R&D and productivity growth. In this article, a theoretical analysis indicates that the effects of commodity price policies on incentives of government and industry to invest in agricultural research are ambiguous. While the results suggest a general tendency of policies that protect producers to encourage greater research investments, the opposite result cannot be ruled out. A statistical model using international, cross-sectional, time-series data shows that agricultural research investments are significantly correlated, but negatively, with rates of producer protection. The implication is that some factor other than price policy is responsible for both the low rates of public-sector investments in agricultural research worldwide, and the low rates of productivity growth in less-developed countries. Research administrators in more- and less-developed countries alike typically consider a multiplicity of goals when setting research priorities and research budgets. Therefore, an alternative explanation of low agricultural productivity and underinvestment in agricultural research may be that public-sector research policy has been misguided. 24 refs., 6 figs., 1 tab.

  13. Development of chromosome segment substitution lines harboring Oryza nivara genomic segments in Koshihikari and evaluation of yield-related traits

    PubMed Central

    Furuta, Tomoyuki; Uehara, Kanako; Angeles-Shim, Rosalyn B.; Shim, Junghyun; Nagai, Keisuke; Ashikari, Motoyuki; Takashi, Tomonori

    2016-01-01

    Chromosome segment substitution lines (CSSLs) are rich genetic resources that can be mined for novel, agriculturally useful loci or that can be used directly as materials for breeding. To date, a number of rice CSSLs have been developed by crossing rice cultivars with its wild relatives as a means to tap into the potential of wild alleles in rice improvement. Oryza nivara is a wild relative of rice that is thought to be a progenitor of O. sativa spp. indica. In the present study, 26 CSSLs that covers the entire genome of O. nivara as contiguous, overlapping segments in the genomic background of a japonica cultivar, O. sativa cv. Koshihikari were developed. Evaluation of the CSSLs for several agriculturally important traits identified candidate chromosome segments that harbors QTLs associated with yield and yield-related traits. The results of the study revealed the potential of O. nivara as a source of novel alleles that can be used to improve the existing japonica cultivar. PMID:28163601

  14. Exaggerated trait growth in insects.

    PubMed

    Lavine, Laura; Gotoh, Hiroki; Brent, Colin S; Dworkin, Ian; Emlen, Douglas J

    2015-01-07

    Animal structures occasionally attain extreme proportions, eclipsing in size the surrounding body parts. We review insect examples of exaggerated traits, such as the mandibles of stag beetles (Lucanidae), the claspers of praying mantids (Mantidae), the elongated hindlimbs of grasshoppers (Orthoptera: Caelifera), and the giant heads of soldier ants (Formicidae) and termites (Isoptera). Developmentally, disproportionate growth can arise through trait-specific modifications to the activity of at least four pathways: the sex determination pathway, the appendage patterning pathway, the insulin/IGF signaling pathway, and the juvenile hormone/ecdysteroid pathway. Although most exaggerated traits have not been studied mechanistically, it is already apparent that distinct developmental mechanisms underlie the evolution of the different types of exaggerated traits. We suggest this reflects the nature of selection in each instance, revealing an exciting link between mechanism, form, and function. We use this information to make explicit predictions for the types of regulatory pathways likely to underlie each type of exaggerated trait.

  15. Whole-genome sequencing of eight goat populations for the detection of selection signatures underlying production and adaptive traits

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xiaolong; Liu, Jing; Zhou, Guangxian; Guo, Jiazhong; Yan, Hailong; Niu, Yiyuan; Li, Yan; Yuan, Chao; Geng, Rongqing; Lan, Xianyong; An, Xiaopeng; Tian, Xingui; Zhou, Huangkai; Song, Jiuzhou; Jiang, Yu; Chen, Yulin

    2016-01-01

    The goat (Capra hircus) is one of the first farm animals that have undergone domestication and extensive natural and artificial selection by adapting to various environments, which in turn has resulted in its high level of phenotypic diversity. Here, we generated medium-coverage (9–13×) sequences from eight domesticated goat breeds, representing morphologically or geographically specific populations, to identify genomic regions representing selection signatures. We discovered ~10 million single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) for each breed. By combining two approaches, ZHp and di values, we identified 22 genomic regions that may have contributed to the phenotypes in coat color patterns, body size, cashmere traits, as well as high altitude adaptation in goat populations. Candidate genes underlying strong selection signatures including coloration (ASIP, KITLG, HTT, GNA11, and OSTM1), body size (TBX15, DGCR8, CDC25A, and RDH16), cashmere traits (LHX2, FGF9, and WNT2), and hypoxia adaptation (CDK2, SOCS2, NOXA1, and ENPEP) were identified. We also identified candidate functional SNPs within selected genes that may be important for each trait. Our results demonstrated the potential of using sequence data in identifying genomic regions that are responsible for agriculturally significant phenotypes in goats, which in turn can be used in the selection of goat breeds for environmental adaptation and domestication. PMID:27941843

  16. Relative contribution of soil, management and traits to co-variations of multiple ecosystem properties in grasslands.

    PubMed

    Gos, Pierre; Loucougaray, Grégory; Colace, Marie-Pascale; Arnoldi, Cindy; Gaucherand, Stéphanie; Dumazel, Daphné; Girard, Lucie; Delorme, Sarah; Lavorel, Sandra

    2016-04-01

    Ecological intensification promotes the better use of ecosystem functioning for agricultural production and as a provider of additional regulation and cultural services. We investigated the mechanisms underpinning potential ecological intensification of livestock production in the Vercors mountains (France). We quantified the variations in seven ecosystem properties associated with key ecosystem services: above-ground biomass production at first harvest, fodder digestibility, plant species richness, soil organic matter content, soil carbon content, total microbial biomass and soil bacteria:fungi ratio across 39 grassland plots representing varying management types and intensity. Our analyses confirmed joint effects of management, traits and soil abiotic parameters on variations in ecosystem properties, with the combination of management and traits being most influential. The variations explained by traits were consistent with the leaf economics spectrum model and its implications for ecosystem functioning. The observed independence between ecosystem properties relevant to production (forage biomass, digestibility and nutrient turnover) on the one hand and soil stocks (organic matter, carbon and microbial stocks) on the other hand suggests that an intensification of fodder production might be compatible with the preservation of the soil capital. We highlight that appropriate choices regarding various practices, such as the first date of grazing or mowing being dependent on soil moisture, have important consequences on a number of ecosystem properties relevant for ecosystem services and may influence biodiversity patterns. Such avenues for ecological intensification should be considered as part of further landscape- and farm-scale analyses of the relationships between farm functioning and ecosystem services.

  17. Integrated genomics and molecular breeding approaches for dissecting the complex quantitative traits in crop plants.

    PubMed

    Kujur, Alice; Saxena, Maneesha S; Bajaj, Deepak; Laxmi; Parida, Swarup K

    2013-12-01

    The enormous population growth, climate change and global warming are now considered major threats to agriculture and world's food security. To improve the productivity and sustainability of agriculture, the development of highyielding and durable abiotic and biotic stress-tolerant cultivars and/climate resilient crops is essential. Henceforth, understanding the molecular mechanism and dissection of complex quantitative yield and stress tolerance traits is the prime objective in current agricultural biotechnology research. In recent years, tremendous progress has been made in plant genomics and molecular breeding research pertaining to conventional and next-generation whole genome, transcriptome and epigenome sequencing efforts, generation of huge genomic, transcriptomic and epigenomic resources and development of modern genomics-assisted breeding approaches in diverse crop genotypes with contrasting yield and abiotic stress tolerance traits. Unfortunately, the detailed molecular mechanism and gene regulatory networks controlling such complex quantitative traits is not yet well understood in crop plants. Therefore, we propose an integrated strategies involving available enormous and diverse traditional and modern -omics (structural, functional, comparative and epigenomics) approaches/resources and genomics-assisted breeding methods which agricultural biotechnologist can adopt/utilize to dissect and decode the molecular and gene regulatory networks involved in the complex quantitative yield and stress tolerance traits in crop plants. This would provide clues and much needed inputs for rapid selection of novel functionally relevant molecular tags regulating such complex traits to expedite traditional and modern marker-assisted genetic enhancement studies in target crop species for developing high-yielding stress-tolerant varieties.

  18. Effect of two commercial herbicides on life history traits of a human disease vector, Aedes aegypti, in the laboratory setting.

    PubMed

    Morris, Alexandra; Murrell, Ebony G; Klein, Talan; Noden, Bruce H

    2016-07-01

    Some mosquito species utilize the small niches of water that are abundant in farmland habitats. These niches are susceptible to effects from agricultural pesticides, many of which are applied aerially over large tracts of land. One principal form of weed control in agricultural systems involves the development of herbicide-tolerant crops. The impact of sub-agricultural levels of these herbicides on mosquito survival and life-history traits of resulting adults have not been determined. The aim of this study was to test the effect of two commercial herbicides (Beyond and Roundup) on the survivorship, eclosion time, and body mass of Aedes aegypti. First instar A. aegypti larvae were exposed to varying concentrations (270, 550 and 820 μg/m(2) of glyphosate and 0.74, 1.49, 2.24 μL imazamox/m(2)), all treatments being below recommended application rates, of commercial herbicides in a controlled environment and resulting adult mosquitoes were collected and weighed. Exposure to Roundup had a significant negative effect on A. aegypti survivorship at medium and high sub-agricultural application concentrations, and negatively affected adult eclosion time at the highest concentration. However, exposure to low concentrations of Beyond significantly increased A. aegypti survivorship, although adult female mass was decreased at medium sub-agricultural concentrations. These results demonstrate that low concentrations of two different herbicides, which can occur in rural larval habitats as a result of spray drift, can affect the same species of mosquito in both positive and negative ways depending on the herbicide applied. The effects of commercial herbicides on mosquito populations could have an important effect on disease transmission within agricultural settings, where these and other herbicides are extensively applied to reduce weed growth.

  19. 7 CFR 57.920 - Importer to make application for inspection of imported eggs.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... imported eggs. 57.920 Section 57.920 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued... (CONTINUED) REGULATIONS AND STANDARDS UNDER THE AGRICULTURAL MARKETING ACT OF 1946 AND THE EGG PRODUCTS INSPECTION ACT (CONTINUED) INSPECTION OF EGGS (EGG PRODUCTS INSPECTION ACT) Regulations Governing...

  20. 7 CFR 57.920 - Importer to make application for inspection of imported eggs.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... imported eggs. 57.920 Section 57.920 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued... (CONTINUED) REGULATIONS AND STANDARDS UNDER THE AGRICULTURAL MARKETING ACT OF 1946 AND THE EGG PRODUCTS INSPECTION ACT (CONTINUED) INSPECTION OF EGGS (EGG PRODUCTS INSPECTION ACT) Regulations Governing...

  1. 7 CFR 57.920 - Importer to make application for inspection of imported eggs.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... imported eggs. 57.920 Section 57.920 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued... (CONTINUED) REGULATIONS AND STANDARDS UNDER THE AGRICULTURAL MARKETING ACT OF 1946 AND THE EGG PRODUCTS INSPECTION ACT (CONTINUED) INSPECTION OF EGGS (EGG PRODUCTS INSPECTION ACT) Regulations Governing...

  2. 7 CFR 57.920 - Importer to make application for inspection of imported eggs.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... imported eggs. 57.920 Section 57.920 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued... (CONTINUED) REGULATIONS AND STANDARDS UNDER THE AGRICULTURAL MARKETING ACT OF 1946 AND THE EGG PRODUCTS INSPECTION ACT (CONTINUED) INSPECTION OF EGGS (EGG PRODUCTS INSPECTION ACT) Regulations Governing...

  3. 7 CFR 57.920 - Importer to make application for inspection of imported eggs.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... imported eggs. 57.920 Section 57.920 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued... (CONTINUED) REGULATIONS AND STANDARDS UNDER THE AGRICULTURAL MARKETING ACT OF 1946 AND THE EGG PRODUCTS INSPECTION ACT (CONTINUED) INSPECTION OF EGGS (EGG PRODUCTS INSPECTION ACT) Regulations Governing...

  4. 7 CFR 319.59-2 - General import prohibitions; exceptions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 5 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false General import prohibitions; exceptions. 319.59-2 Section 319.59-2 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) ANIMAL AND PLANT HEALTH INSPECTION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE FOREIGN QUARANTINE NOTICES Wheat Diseases §...

  5. 7 CFR 319.59-2 - General import prohibitions; exceptions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 5 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false General import prohibitions; exceptions. 319.59-2 Section 319.59-2 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) ANIMAL AND PLANT HEALTH INSPECTION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE FOREIGN QUARANTINE NOTICES Wheat Diseases §...

  6. 7 CFR 319.59-2 - General import prohibitions; exceptions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 5 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false General import prohibitions; exceptions. 319.59-2 Section 319.59-2 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) ANIMAL AND PLANT HEALTH INSPECTION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE FOREIGN QUARANTINE NOTICES Wheat Diseases §...

  7. 7 CFR 319.59-2 - General import prohibitions; exceptions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 5 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false General import prohibitions; exceptions. 319.59-2 Section 319.59-2 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) ANIMAL AND PLANT HEALTH INSPECTION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE FOREIGN QUARANTINE NOTICES Wheat Diseases §...

  8. 7 CFR 319.59-2 - General import prohibitions; exceptions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 5 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false General import prohibitions; exceptions. 319.59-2 Section 319.59-2 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) ANIMAL AND PLANT HEALTH INSPECTION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE FOREIGN QUARANTINE NOTICES Wheat Diseases §...

  9. 7 CFR 1463.201 - Refunds of importer assessments.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 10 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Refunds of importer assessments. 1463.201 Section 1463.201 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) COMMODITY CREDIT CORPORATION, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE LOANS, PURCHASES, AND OTHER OPERATIONS 2005-2014 TOBACCO...

  10. 7 CFR 1463.201 - Refunds of importer assessments.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 10 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Refunds of importer assessments. 1463.201 Section 1463.201 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) COMMODITY CREDIT CORPORATION, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE LOANS, PURCHASES, AND OTHER OPERATIONS 2005-2014 TOBACCO...

  11. Trait similarity patterns within grass and grasshopper communities: multitrophic community assembly at work.

    PubMed

    Van der Plas, F; Anderson, T M; Olff, H

    2012-04-01

    Trait-based community assembly theory suggests that trait variation among co-occurring species is shaped by two main processes: abiotic filtering, important in stressful environments and promoting similarity, and competition, more important in productive environments and promoting dissimilarity. Previous studies have indeed found trait similarity to decline along productivity gradients. However, these studies have always been done on single trophic levels. Here, we investigated how interactions between trophic levels affect trait similarity patterns along environmental gradients. We propose three hypotheses for the main drivers of trait similarity patterns of plants and herbivores along environmental gradients: (1) environmental control of both, (2) bottom-up control of herbivore trait variation, and (3) top-down control of grass trait variation. To test this, we collected data on the community composition and trait variation of grasses (41 species) and grasshoppers (53 species) in 50 plots in a South African savanna. Structural equation models were used to investigate how the range and spacing of within-community functional trait values of both grasses and their insect herbivores (grasshoppers; Acrididae) respond to (1) rainfall and fire frequency gradients and (2) the trait similarity patterns of the other trophic level. The analyses revealed that traits of co-occurring grasses became more similar toward lower rainfall and higher fire frequency (environmental control), while showing little evidence for top-down control. Grasshopper trait range patterns, on the other hand, were mostly directly driven by vegetation structure and grass trait range patterns (bottom-up control), while environmental factors had mostly indirect effects via plant traits. Our study shows the potential to expand trait-based community assembly theory to include trophic interactions.

  12. Linking Tropical Forest Function to Hydraulic Traits in a Size-Structured and Trait-Based Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christoffersen, B. O.; Gloor, M.; Fauset, S.; Fyllas, N.; Galbraith, D.; Baker, T. R.; Rowland, L.; Fisher, R.; Binks, O.; Sevanto, S.; Xu, C.; Jansen, S.; Choat, B.; Mencuccini, M.; McDowell, N. G.; Meir, P.

    2015-12-01

    A major weakness of forest ecosystem models is their inability to capture the diversity of responses to changes in water availability, severely hampering efforts to predict the fate of tropical forests under climate change. Such models often prescribe moisture sensitivity using heuristic response functions that are uniform across all individuals and lack important knowledge about trade-offs in hydraulic traits. We address this weakness by implementing a process representation of plant hydraulics into an individual- and trait-based model (Trait Forest Simulator; TFS) intended for application at discrete sites where community-level distributions of stem and leaf trait spectra (wood density, leaf mass per area, leaf nitrogen and phosphorus content) are known. The model represents a trade-off in the safety and efficiency of water conduction in xylem tissue through hydraulic traits, while accounting for the counteracting effects of increasing hydraulic path length and xylem conduit taper on whole-plant hydraulic resistance with increasing tree size. Using existing trait databases and additional meta-analyses from the rich literature on tropical tree ecophysiology, we obtained all necessary hydraulic parameters associated with xylem conductivity, vulnerability curves, pressure-volume curves, and hydraulic architecture (e.g., leaf-to-sapwood area ratios) as a function of the aforementioned traits and tree size. Incorporating these relationships in the model greatly improved the diversity of tree response to seasonal changes in water availability as well as in response to drought, as determined by comparison with field observations and experiments. Importantly, this individual- and trait-based framework provides a testbed for identifying both critical processes and functional traits needed for inclusion in coarse-scale Dynamic Global Vegetation Models, which will lead to reduced uncertainty in the future state of tropical forests.

  13. 7 CFR 1212.11 - Importer.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) AGRICULTURAL MARKETING SERVICE (MARKETING AGREEMENTS..., PROMOTION, CONSUMER EDUCATION AND INDUSTRY INFORMATION ORDER Honey Packers and Importers Research, Promotion, Consumer Education, and Industry Information Order Definitions § 1212.11 Importer. “Importer” means...

  14. Functional Regression Models for Epistasis Analysis of Multiple Quantitative Traits.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Futao; Xie, Dan; Liang, Meimei; Xiong, Momiao

    2016-04-01

    To date, most genetic analyses of phenotypes have focused on analyzing single traits or analyzing each phenotype independently. However, joint epistasis analysis of multiple complementary traits will increase statistical power and improve our understanding of the complicated genetic structure of the complex diseases. Despite their importance in uncovering the genetic structure of complex traits, the statistical methods for identifying epistasis in multiple phenotypes remains fundamentally unexplored. To fill this gap, we formulate a test for interaction between two genes in multiple quantitative trait analysis as a multiple functional regression (MFRG) in which the genotype functions (genetic variant profiles) are defined as a function of the genomic position of the genetic variants. We use large-scale simulations to calculate Type I error rates for testing interaction between two genes with multiple phenotypes and to compare the power with multivariate pairwise interaction analysis and single trait interaction analysis by a single variate functional regression model. To further evaluate performance, the MFRG for epistasis analysis is applied to five phenotypes of exome sequence data from the NHLBI's Exome Sequencing Project (ESP) to detect pleiotropic epistasis. A total of 267 pairs of genes that formed a genetic interaction network showed significant evidence of epistasis influencing five traits. The results demonstrate that the joint interaction analysis of multiple phenotypes has a much higher power to detect interaction than the interaction analysis of a single trait and may open a new direction to fully uncovering the genetic structure of multiple phenotypes.

  15. Characterising root trait variability in chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) germplasm.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yinglong; Ghanem, Michel Edmond; Siddique, Kadambot Hm

    2016-10-06

    Chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) is an important grain legume crop but its sustainable production is challenged by predicted climate changes, which are likely to increase production limitations and uncertainty in yields. Characterising the variability in root architectural traits in a core collection of chickpea germplasm will provide the basis for breeding new germplasm with suitable root traits for the efficient acquisition of soil resources and adaptation to drought and other abiotic stresses. This study used a semi-hydroponic phenotyping system for assessing root trait variability across 270 chickpea genotypes. The genotypes exhibited large variation in rooting patterns and branching manner. Thirty root-related traits were characterised, 17 of which had coefficients of variation ≥0.3 among genotypes and were selected for further examination. The Pearson correlation matrix showed a strong correlation among most of the selected traits (P≤0.05). Principal component analysis revealed three principal components with eigenvalues >1 capturing 81.5% of the total variation. An agglomerative hierarchical clustering analysis, based on root trait variation, identified three genotype homogeneous groups (rescaled distance of 15) and 16 sub-groups (rescaled distance of 5). The chickpea genotypes characterised in this study with vastly different root properties could be used for further studies in glasshouses and field trials, and for molecular marker studies, gene mapping, and modelling simulations, ultimately aimed at breeding germplasm with root traits for improved adaptation to drought and other specific environments.

  16. Predicting personality traits related to consumer behavior using SNS analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baik, Jongbum; Lee, Kangbok; Lee, Soowon; Kim, Yongbum; Choi, Jayoung

    2016-07-01

    Modeling a user profile is one of the important factors for devising a personalized recommendation. The traditional approach for modeling a user profile in computer science is to collect and generalize the user's buying behavior or preference history, generated from the user's interactions with recommender systems. According to consumer behavior research, however, internal factors such as personality traits influence a consumer's buying behavior. Existing studies have tried to adapt the Big 5 personality traits to personalized recommendations. However, although studies have shown that these traits can be useful to some extent for personalized recommendation, the causal relationship between the Big 5 personality traits and the buying behaviors of actual consumers has not been validated. In this paper, we propose a novel method for predicting the four personality traits-Extroversion, Public Self-consciousness, Desire for Uniqueness, and Self-esteem-that correlate with buying behaviors. The proposed method automatically constructs a user-personality-traits prediction model for each user by analyzing the user behavior on a social networking service. The experimental results from an analysis of the collected Facebook data show that the proposed method can predict user-personality traits with greater precision than methods that use the variables proposed in previous studies.

  17. Geologic research in support of sustainable agriculture

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gough, L.P.; Herring, J.R.

    1993-01-01

    The importance and role of the geosciences in studies of sustainable agriculture include such traditional research areas as, agromineral resource assessments, the mapping and classification of soils and soil amendments, and the evaluation of landscapes for their vulnerability to physical and chemical degradation. Less traditional areas of study, that are increasing in societal importance because of environmental concerns and research into sustainable systems in general, include regional geochemical studies of plant and animal trace element deficiencies and toxicities, broad-scale water quality investigations, agricultural chemicals and the hydrogeologic interface, and minimally processed and ion-exchange agrominerals. We discuss the importance and future of phosphate in the US and world based on human population growth, projected agromineral demands in general, and the unavailability of new, high-quality agricultural lands. We also present examples of studies that relate geochemistry and the hydrogeologic characteristics of a region to the bioavailability and cycling of trace elements important to sustainable agricultural systems. ?? 1993.

  18. Expression of anatomical leaf traits in homoploid hybrids between deciduous and evergreen species of Vaccinium.

    PubMed

    Piwczyński, M; Ponikierska, A; Puchałka, R; Corral, J M

    2013-05-01

    We investigated the anatomical expression of leaf traits in hybrids between evergreen Vaccinium vitis-idaea and deciduous V. myrtillus. We compared parents from four populations with their respective F1 hybrids and tested whether (i) transgression can be the source of novel anatomical traits in hybrids; (ii) expression of transgressive traits is more probable for traits with similar values in parents and intermediate for more distinct values, as predicted by theory; and (iii) independent origin of hybrids leads to identical trait expression profiles among populations. We found that anatomical leaf traits can be divided into four categories based on their similarity to parents: intermediate, parental-like, transgressive and non-significant. Contrary to the common view, parental-like trait values were equally important in shaping the hybrid profile, as were intermediate traits. Transgression was revealed in 17/144 cases and concerned mainly cell and tissue sizes. As predicted by theory, we observed transgressive segregation more often when there was little phenotypic divergence, but intermediate values when parental traits were differentiated. It is likely that cell and tissue sizes are phylogenetically more conserved due to stabilising selection, whereas traits such as leaf thickness and volume fraction of the intercellular spaces, showing a consistent intermediate pattern across populations, are more susceptible to directional selection. Hybrid populations showed little similarity in expression profile, with only three traits identically expressed across all populations. Thus local adaptation of parental species and specific genetic background may be of importance.

  19. Quantitative Trait Loci for Morphological Traits and their Association with Functional Genes in Raphanus sativus

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Xiaona; Choi, Su Ryun; Dhandapani, Vignesh; Rameneni, Jana Jeevan; Li, Xiaonan; Pang, Wenxing; Lee, Ji-Young; Lim, Yong Pyo

    2016-01-01

    Identification of quantitative trait loci (QTLs) governing morphologically important traits enables to comprehend their potential genetic mechanisms in the genetic breeding program. In this study, we used 210 F2 populations derived from a cross between two radish inbred lines (Raphanus sativus) “835” and “B2,” including 258 SSR markers were used to detect QTLs for 11 morphological traits that related to whole plant, leaf, and root yield in 3 years of replicated field test. Total 55 QTLs were detected which were distributed on each linkage group of the Raphanus genome. Individual QTLs accounted for 2.69–12.6 of the LOD value, and 0.82–16.25% of phenotypic variation. Several genomic regions have multiple traits that clustered together, suggested the existence of pleiotropy linkage. Synteny analysis of the QTL regions with A. thaliana genome selected orthologous genes in radish. InDels and SNPs in the parental lines were detected in those regions by Illumina genome sequence. Five identified candidate gene-based markers were validated by co-mapping with underlying QTLs affecting different traits. Semi-quantitative reverse transcriptase PCR analysis showed the different expression levels of these five genes in parental lines. In addition, comparative QTL analysis with B. rapa revealed six common QTL regions and four key major evolutionarily conserved crucifer blocks (J, U, R, and W) harboring QTL for morphological traits. The QTL positions identified in this study will provide a valuable resource for identifying more functional genes when whole radish genome sequence is released. Candidate genes identified in this study that co-localized in QTL regions are expected to facilitate in radish breeding programs. PMID:26973691

  20. Insects Represent a Link between Food Animal Farms and the Urban Environment for Antibiotic Resistance Traits

    PubMed Central

    Ghosh, Anuradha

    2014-01-01

    Antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections result in higher patient mortality rates, prolonged hospitalizations, and increased health care costs. Extensive use of antibiotics as growth promoters in the animal industry represents great pressure for evolution and selection of antibiotic-resistant bacteria on farms. Despite growing evidence showing that antibiotic use and bacterial resistance in food animals correlate with resistance in human pathogens, the proof for direct transmission of antibiotic resistance is difficult to provide. In this review, we make a case that insects commonly associated with food animals likely represent a direct and important link between animal farms and urban communities for antibiotic resistance traits. Houseflies and cockroaches have been shown to carry multidrug-resistant clonal lineages of bacteria identical to those found in animal manure. Furthermore, several studies have demonstrated proliferation of bacteria and horizontal transfer of resistance genes in the insect digestive tract as well as transmission of resistant bacteria by insects to new substrates. We propose that insect management should be an integral part of pre- and postharvest food safety strategies to minimize spread of zoonotic pathogens and antibiotic resistance traits from animal farms. Furthermore, the insect link between the agricultural and urban environment presents an additional argument for adopting prudent use of antibiotics in the food animal industry. PMID:24705326

  1. Quantitative trait locus analysis of symbiotic nitrogen fixation activity in the model legume Lotus japonicus.

    PubMed

    Tominaga, Akiyoshi; Gondo, Takahiro; Akashi, Ryo; Zheng, Shao-Hui; Arima, Susumu; Suzuki, Akihiro

    2012-05-01

    Many legumes form nitrogen-fixing root nodules. An elevation of nitrogen fixation in such legumes would have significant implications for plant growth and biomass production in agriculture. To identify the genetic basis for the regulation of nitrogen fixation, quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis was conducted with recombinant inbred lines derived from the cross Miyakojima MG-20 × Gifu B-129 in the model legume Lotus japonicus. This population was inoculated with Mesorhizobium loti MAFF303099 and grown for 14 days in pods containing vermiculite. Phenotypic data were collected for acetylene reduction activity (ARA) per plant (ARA/P), ARA per nodule weight (ARA/NW), ARA per nodule number (ARA/NN), NN per plant, NW per plant, stem length (SL), SL without inoculation (SLbac-), shoot dry weight without inoculation (SWbac-), root length without inoculation (RLbac-), and root dry weight (RWbac-), and finally 34 QTLs were identified. ARA/P, ARA/NN, NW, and SL showed strong correlations and QTL co-localization, suggesting that several plant characteristics important for symbiotic nitrogen fixation are controlled by the same locus. QTLs for ARA/P, ARA/NN, NW, and SL, co-localized around marker TM0832 on chromosome 4, were also co-localized with previously reported QTLs for seed mass. This is the first report of QTL analysis for symbiotic nitrogen fixation activity traits.

  2. Kernel-based whole-genome prediction of complex traits: a review

    PubMed Central

    Morota, Gota; Gianola, Daniel

    2014-01-01

    Prediction of genetic values has been a focus of applied quantitative genetics since the beginning of the 20th century, with renewed interest following the advent of the era of whole genome-enabled prediction. Opportunities offered by the emergence of high-dimensional genomic data fueled by post-Sanger sequencing technologies, especially molecular markers, have driven researchers to extend Ronald Fisher and Sewall Wright's models to confront new challenges. In particular, kernel methods are gaining consideration as a regression method of choice for genome-enabled prediction. Complex traits are presumably influenced by many genomic regions working in concert with others (clearly so when considering pathways), thus generating interactions. Motivated by this view, a growing number of statistical approaches based on kernels attempt to capture non-additive effects, either parametrically or non-parametrically. This review centers on whole-genome regression using kernel methods applied to a wide range of quantitative traits of agricultural importance in animals and plants. We discuss various kernel-based approaches tailored to capturing total genetic variation, with the aim of arriving at an enhanced predictive performance in the light of available genome annotation information. Connections between prediction machines born in animal breeding, statistics, and machine learning are revisited, and their empirical prediction performance is discussed. Overall, while some encouraging results have been obtained with non-parametric kernels, recovering non-additive genetic variation in a validation dataset remains a challenge in quantitative genetics. PMID:25360145

  3. Insects represent a link between food animal farms and the urban environment for antibiotic resistance traits.

    PubMed

    Zurek, Ludek; Ghosh, Anuradha

    2014-06-01

    Antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections result in higher patient mortality rates, prolonged hospitalizations, and increased health care costs. Extensive use of antibiotics as growth promoters in the animal industry represents great pressure for evolution and selection of antibiotic-resistant bacteria on farms. Despite growing evidence showing that antibiotic use and bacterial resistance in food animals correlate with resistance in human pathogens, the proof for direct transmission of antibiotic resistance is difficult to provide. In this review, we make a case that insects commonly associated with food animals likely represent a direct and important link between animal farms and urban communities for antibiotic resistance traits. Houseflies and cockroaches have been shown to carry multidrug-resistant clonal lineages of bacteria identical to those found in animal manure. Furthermore, several studies have demonstrated proliferation of bacteria and horizontal transfer of resistance genes in the insect digestive tract as well as transmission of resistant bacteria by insects to new substrates. We propose that insect management should be an integral part of pre- and postharvest food safety strategies to minimize spread of zoonotic pathogens and antibiotic resistance traits from animal farms. Furthermore, the insect link between the agricultural and urban environment presents an additional argument for adopting prudent use of antibiotics in the food animal industry.

  4. QTLs for seed vigor-related traits identified in maize seeds germinated under artificial aging conditions.

    PubMed

    Han, Zanping; Ku, Lixia; Zhang, Zhenzhen; Zhang, Jun; Guo, Shulei; Liu, Haiying; Zhao, Ruifang; Ren, Zhenzhen; Zhang, Liangkun; Su, Huihui; Dong, Lei; Chen, Yanhui

    2014-01-01

    High seed vigor is important for agricultural production due to the associated potential for increased growth and productivity. However, a better understanding of the underlying molecular mechanisms is required because the genetic basis for seed vigor remains unknown. We used single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers to map quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for four seed vigor traits in two connected recombinant inbred line (RIL) maize populations under four treatment conditions during seed germination. Sixty-five QTLs distributed between the two populations were identified and a meta-analysis was used to integrate genetic maps. Sixty-one initially identified QTLs were integrated into 18 meta-QTLs (mQTLs). Initial QTLs with contribution to phenotypic variation values of R(2)>10% were integrated into mQTLs. Twenty-three candidate genes for association with seed vigor traits coincided with 13 mQTLs. The candidate genes had functions in the glycolytic pathway and in protein metabolism. QTLs with major effects (R(2)>10%) were identified under at least one treatment condition for mQTL2, mQTL3-2, and mQTL3-4. Candidate genes included a calcium-dependent protein kinase gene (302810918) involved in signal transduction that mapped in the mQTL3-2 interval associated with germination energy (GE) and germination percentage (GP), and an hsp20/alpha crystallin family protein gene (At5g51440) that mapped in the mQTL3-4 interval associated with GE and GP. Two initial QTLs with a major effect under at least two treatment conditions were identified for mQTL5-2. A cucumisin-like Ser protease gene (At5g67360) mapped in the mQTL5-2 interval associated with GP. The chromosome regions for mQTL2, mQTL3-2, mQTL3-4, and mQTL5-2 may be hot spots for QTLs related to seed vigor traits. The mQTLs and candidate genes identified in this study provide valuable information for the identification of additional quantitative trait genes.

  5. QTLs for Seed Vigor-Related Traits Identified in Maize Seeds Germinated under Artificial Aging Conditions

    PubMed Central

    Han, Zanping; Ku, Lixia; Zhang, Zhenzhen; Zhang, Jun; Guo, ShuLei; Liu, Haiying; Zhao, Ruifang; Ren, Zhenzhen; Zhang, Liangkun; Su, Huihui; Dong, Lei; Chen, Yanhui

    2014-01-01

    High seed vigor is important for agricultural production due to the associated potential for increased growth and productivity. However, a better understanding of the underlying molecular mechanisms is required because the genetic basis for seed vigor remains unknown. We used single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers to map quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for four seed vigor traits in two connected recombinant inbred line (RIL) maize populations under four treatment conditions during seed germination. Sixty-five QTLs distributed between the two populations were identified and a meta-analysis was used to integrate genetic maps. Sixty-one initially identified QTLs were integrated into 18 meta-QTLs (mQTLs). Initial QTLs with contribution to phenotypic variation values of R2>10% were integrated into mQTLs. Twenty-three candidate genes for association with seed vigor traits coincided with 13 mQTLs. The candidate genes had functions in the glycolytic pathway and in protein metabolism. QTLs with major effects (R2>10%) were identified under at least one treatment condition for mQTL2, mQTL3-2, and mQTL3-4. Candidate genes included a calcium-dependent protein kinase gene (302810918) involved in signal transduction that mapped in the mQTL3-2 interval associated with germination energy (GE) and germination percentage (GP), and an hsp20/alpha crystallin family protein gene (At5g51440) that mapped in the mQTL3-4 interval associated with GE and GP. Two initial QTLs with a major effect under at least two treatment conditions were identified for mQTL5-2. A cucumisin-like Ser protease gene (At5g67360) mapped in the mQTL5-2 interval associated with GP. The chromosome regions for mQTL2, mQTL3-2, mQTL3-4, and mQTL5-2 may be hot spots for QTLs related to seed vigor traits. The mQTLs and candidate genes identified in this study provide valuable information for the identification of additional quantitative trait genes. PMID:24651614

  6. Consumer trait variation influences tritrophic interactions in salt marsh communities.

    PubMed

    Hughes, Anne Randall; Hanley, Torrance C; Orozco, Nohelia P; Zerebecki, Robyn A

    2015-07-01

    The importance of intraspecific variation has emerged as a key question in community ecology, helping to bridge the gap between ecology and evolution. Although much of this work has focused on plant species, recent syntheses have highlighted the prevalence and potential importance of morphological, behavioral, and life history variation within animals for ecological and evolutionary processes. Many small-bodied consumers live on the plant that they consume, often resulting in host plant-associated trait variation within and across consumer species. Given the central position of consumer species within tritrophic food webs, such consumer trait variation may play a particularly important role in mediating trophic dynamics, including trophic cascades. In this study, we used a series of field surveys and laboratory experiments to document intraspecific trait variation in a key consumer species, the marsh periwinkle Littoraria irrorata, based on its host plant species (Spartina alterniflora or Juncus roemerianus) in a mixed species assemblage. We then conducted a 12-week mesocosm experiment to examine the effects of Littoraria trait variation on plant community structure and dynamics in a tritrophic salt marsh food web. Littoraria from different host plant species varied across a suite of morphological and behavioral traits. These consumer trait differences interacted with plant community composition and predator presence to affect overall plant stem height, as well as differentially alter the density and biomass of the two key plant species in this system. Whether due to genetic differences or phenotypic plasticity, trait differences between consumer types had significant ecological consequences for the tritrophic marsh food web over seasonal time scales. By altering the cascading effects of the top predator on plant community structure and dynamics, consumer differences may generate a feedback over longer time scales, which in turn influences the degree of trait

  7. Consumer trait variation influences tritrophic interactions in salt marsh communities

    PubMed Central

    Hughes, Anne Randall; Hanley, Torrance C; Orozco, Nohelia P; Zerebecki, Robyn A

    2015-01-01

    The importance of intraspecific variation has emerged as a key question in community ecology, helping to bridge the gap between ecology and evolution. Although much of this work has focused on plant species, recent syntheses have highlighted the prevalence and potential importance of morphological, behavioral, and life history variation within animals for ecological and evolutionary processes. Many small-bodied consumers live on the plant that they consume, often resulting in host plant-associated trait variation within and across consumer species. Given the central position of consumer species within tritrophic food webs, such consumer trait variation may play a particularly important role in mediating trophic dynamics, including trophic cascades. In this study, we used a series of field surveys and laboratory experiments to document intraspecific trait variation in a key consumer species, the marsh periwinkle Littoraria irrorata, based on its host plant species (Spartina alterniflora or Juncus roemerianus) in a mixed species assemblage. We then conducted a 12-week mesocosm experiment to examine the effects of Littoraria trait variation on plant community structure and dynamics in a tritrophic salt marsh food web. Littoraria from different host plant species varied across a suite of morphological and behavioral traits. These consumer trait differences interacted with plant community composition and predator presence to affect overall plant stem height, as well as differentially alter the density and biomass of the two key plant species in this system. Whether due to genetic differences or phenotypic plasticity, trait differences between consumer types had significant ecological consequences for the tritrophic marsh food web over seasonal time scales. By altering the cascading effects of the top predator on plant community structure and dynamics, consumer differences may generate a feedback over longer time scales, which in turn influences the degree of trait

  8. Water Depletion Threatens Agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brauman, K. A.; Richter, B. D.; Postel, S.; Floerke, M.; Malsy, M.

    2014-12-01

    Irrigated agriculture is the human activity that has by far the largest impact on water, constituting 85% of global water consumption and 67% of global water withdrawals. Much of this water use occurs in places where water depletion, the ratio of water consumption to water availability, exceeds 75% for at least one month of the year. Although only 17% of global watershed area experiences depletion at this level or more, nearly 30% of total cropland and 60% of irrigated cropland are found in these depleted watersheds. Staple crops are particularly at risk, with 75% of global irrigated wheat production and 65% of irrigated maize production found in watersheds that are at least seasonally depleted. Of importance to textile production, 75% of cotton production occurs in the same watersheds. For crop production in depleted watersheds, we find that one half to two-thirds of production occurs in watersheds that have not just seasonal but annual water shortages, suggesting that re-distributing water supply over the course of the year cannot be an effective solution to shortage. We explore the degree to which irrigated production in depleted watersheds reflects limitations in supply, a byproduct of the need for irrigation in perennially or seasonally dry landscapes, and identify heavy irrigation consumption that leads to watershed depletion in more humid climates. For watersheds that are not depleted, we evaluate the potential impact of an increase in irrigated production. Finally, we evaluate the benefits of irrigated agriculture in depleted and non-depleted watersheds, quantifying the fraction of irrigated production going to food production, animal feed, and biofuels.

  9. Imported malaria.

    PubMed

    Schultz, M G

    1974-01-01

    There have been 4 waves of imported malaria in the USA. They occurred during the colonization of the country and during the Second World War, the UN Police Action in Korea, and the Viet-Nam conflict. The first 3 episodes are briefly described and the data on imported malaria from Viet-Nam are discussed in detail.Endemic malaria is resurgent in many tropical countries and international travel is also on the rise. This increases the likelihood of malaria being imported from an endemic area and introduced into a receptive area. The best defence for countries threatened by imported malaria is a vigorous surveillance programme. The principles of surveillance are discussed and an example of their application is provided by a description of the methods used to conduct surveillance of malaria in the USA.

  10. 7 CFR 6.3 - Requests by interested persons for action by Department of Agriculture.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 1 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Requests by interested persons for action by Department of Agriculture. 6.3 Section 6.3 Agriculture Office of the Secretary of Agriculture IMPORT QUOTAS... Agriculture. (a) Section 22. A request for action under section 22 should be submitted in duplicate to...

  11. 7 CFR 6.3 - Requests by interested persons for action by Department of Agriculture.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 1 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Requests by interested persons for action by Department of Agriculture. 6.3 Section 6.3 Agriculture Office of the Secretary of Agriculture IMPORT QUOTAS... Agriculture. (a) Section 22. A request for action under section 22 should be submitted in duplicate to...

  12. 7 CFR 6.3 - Requests by interested persons for action by Department of Agriculture.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 1 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Requests by interested persons for action by Department of Agriculture. 6.3 Section 6.3 Agriculture Office of the Secretary of Agriculture IMPORT QUOTAS... Agriculture. (a) Section 22. A request for action under section 22 should be submitted in duplicate to...

  13. 7 CFR 6.3 - Requests by interested persons for action by Department of Agriculture.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 1 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Requests by interested persons for action by Department of Agriculture. 6.3 Section 6.3 Agriculture Office of the Secretary of Agriculture IMPORT QUOTAS... Agriculture. (a) Section 22. A request for action under section 22 should be submitted in duplicate to...

  14. 7 CFR 6.3 - Requests by interested persons for action by Department of Agriculture.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 1 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Requests by interested persons for action by Department of Agriculture. 6.3 Section 6.3 Agriculture Office of the Secretary of Agriculture IMPORT QUOTAS... Agriculture. (a) Section 22. A request for action under section 22 should be submitted in duplicate to...

  15. 7 CFR 319.37 - Prohibitions and restrictions on importation; disposal of articles refused importation.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 5 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Prohibitions and restrictions on importation; disposal of articles refused importation. 319.37 Section 319.37 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of... QUARANTINE NOTICES Plants for Planting 1 2 § 319.37 Prohibitions and restrictions on importation; disposal...

  16. 7 CFR 319.37 - Prohibitions and restrictions on importation; disposal of articles refused importation.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 5 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Prohibitions and restrictions on importation; disposal of articles refused importation. 319.37 Section 319.37 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of... QUARANTINE NOTICES Plants for Planting 1, 2 § 319.37 Prohibitions and restrictions on importation;...

  17. 7 CFR 319.37 - Prohibitions and restrictions on importation; disposal of articles refused importation.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 5 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Prohibitions and restrictions on importation; disposal of articles refused importation. 319.37 Section 319.37 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of... QUARANTINE NOTICES Plants for Planting 1 2 § 319.37 Prohibitions and restrictions on importation; disposal...

  18. Functional Traits in Parallel Evolutionary Radiations and Trait-Environment Associations in the Cape Floristic Region of South Africa.

    PubMed

    Mitchell, Nora; Moore, Timothy E; Mollmann, Hayley Kilroy; Carlson, Jane E; Mocko, Kerri; Martinez-Cabrera, Hugo; Adams, Christopher; Silander, John A; Jones, Cynthia S; Schlichting, Carl D; Holsinger, Kent E

    2015-04-01

    Evolutionary radiations with extreme levels of diversity present a unique opportunity to study the role of the environment in plant evolution. If environmental adaptation played an important role in such radiations, we expect to find associations between functional traits and key climatic variables. Similar trait-environment associations across clades may reflect common responses, while contradictory associations may suggest lineage-specific adaptations. Here, we explore trait-environment relationships in two evolutionary radiations in the fynbos biome of the highly biodiverse Cape Floristic Region (CFR) of South Africa. Protea and Pelargonium are morphologically and evolutionarily diverse genera that typify the CFR yet are substantially different in growth form and morphology. Our analytical approach employs a Bayesian multiple-response generalized linear mixed-effects model, taking into account covariation among traits and controlling for phylogenetic relationships. Of the pairwise trait-environment associations tested, 6 out of 24 were in the same direction and 2 out of 24 were in opposite directions, with the latter apparently reflecting alternative life-history strategies. These findings demonstrate that trait diversity within two plant lineages may reflect both parallel and idiosyncratic responses to the environment, rather than all taxa conforming to a global-scale pattern. Such insights are essential for understanding how trait-environment associations arise and how they influence species diversification.

  19. Remote sensing of plant trait responses to field-based plant-soil feedback using UAV-based optical sensors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van der Meij, Bob; Kooistra, Lammert; Suomalainen, Juha; Barel, Janna M.; De Deyn, Gerlinde B.

    2017-02-01

    Plant responses to biotic and abiotic legacies left in soil by preceding plants is known as plant-soil feedback (PSF). PSF is an important mechanism to explain plant community dynamics and plant performance in natural and agricultural systems. However, most PSF studies are short-term and small-scale due to practical constraints for field-scale quantification of PSF effects, yet field experiments are warranted to assess actual PSF effects under less controlled conditions. Here we used unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)-based optical sensors to test whether PSF effects on plant traits can be quantified remotely. We established a randomized agro-ecological field experiment in which six different cover crop species and species combinations from three different plant families (Poaceae, Fabaceae, Brassicaceae) were grown. The feedback effects on plant traits were tested in oat (Avena sativa) by quantifying the cover crop legacy effects on key plant traits: height, fresh biomass, nitrogen content, and leaf chlorophyll content. Prior to destructive sampling, hyperspectral data were acquired and used for calibration and independent validation of regression models to retrieve plant traits from optical data. Subsequently, for each trait the model with highest precision and accuracy was selected. We used the hyperspectral analyses to predict the directly measured plant height (RMSE = 5.12 cm, R2 = 0.79), chlorophyll content (RMSE = 0.11 g m-2, R2 = 0.80), N-content (RMSE = 1.94 g m-2, R2 = 0.68), and fresh biomass (RMSE = 0.72 kg m-2, R2 = 0.56). Overall the PSF effects of the different cover crop treatments based on the remote sensing data matched the results based on in situ measurements. The average oat canopy was tallest and its leaf chlorophyll content highest in response to legacy of Vicia sativa monocultures (100 cm, 0.95 g m-2, respectively) and in mixture with Raphanus sativus (100 cm, 1.09 g m-2, respectively), while the lowest values (76 cm, 0.41 g m-2, respectively

  20. Agricultural Occupations Program Planning Guide.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hemp, Paul E.; Mayer, Leon

    The major program objectives of agricultural occupations courses are (1) to develop agricultural competencies needed by individuals engaged in or preparing to engage in production agriculture, and in agricultural occupations other than production agriculture; (2) to develop an understanding of the career opportunities in agriculture; (3) to…

  1. 7 CFR 1219.58 - Importer associations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... AGREEMENTS AND ORDERS; MISCELLANEOUS COMMODITIES), DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE HASS AVOCADO PROMOTION, RESEARCH, AND INFORMATION Hass Avocado Promotion, Research, and Information Order Budgets, Expenses, and Assessments § 1219.58 Importer associations. (a) An association of avocado importers is eligible to...

  2. 7 CFR 1219.58 - Importer associations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... AGREEMENTS AND ORDERS; MISCELLANEOUS COMMODITIES), DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE HASS AVOCADO PROMOTION, RESEARCH, AND INFORMATION Hass Avocado Promotion, Research, and Information Order Budgets, Expenses, and Assessments § 1219.58 Importer associations. (a) An association of avocado importers is eligible to...

  3. 7 CFR 1219.58 - Importer associations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... AGREEMENTS AND ORDERS; MISCELLANEOUS COMMODITIES), DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE HASS AVOCADO PROMOTION, RESEARCH, AND INFORMATION Hass Avocado Promotion, Research, and Information Order Budgets, Expenses, and Assessments § 1219.58 Importer associations. (a) An association of avocado importers is eligible to...

  4. 7 CFR 1219.58 - Importer associations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... AGREEMENTS AND ORDERS; MISCELLANEOUS COMMODITIES), DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE HASS AVOCADO PROMOTION, RESEARCH, AND INFORMATION Hass Avocado Promotion, Research, and Information Order Budgets, Expenses, and Assessments § 1219.58 Importer associations. (a) An association of avocado importers is eligible to...

  5. 7 CFR 1219.58 - Importer associations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... AGREEMENTS AND ORDERS; MISCELLANEOUS COMMODITIES), DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE HASS AVOCADO PROMOTION, RESEARCH, AND INFORMATION Hass Avocado Promotion, Research, and Information Order Budgets, Expenses, and Assessments § 1219.58 Importer associations. (a) An association of avocado importers is eligible to...

  6. A database of lotic invertebrate traits for North America

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Vieira, Nicole K.M.; Poff, N. LeRoy; Carlisle, Daren M.; Moulton, Stephen R.; Koski, Marci L.; Kondratieff, Boris C.

    2006-01-01

    The assessment and study of stream communities may be enhanced if functional characteristics such as life-history, habitat preference, and reproductive strategy were more widely available for specific taxa. Species traits can be used to develop these functional indicators because many traits directly link functional roles of organisms with controlling environmental factors (for example, flow, substratum, temperature). In addition, some functional traits may not be constrained by taxonomy and are thus applicable at multiple spatial scales. Unfortunately, a comprehensive summary of traits for North American invertebrate taxa does not exist. Consequently, the U.S. Geological Survey's National Water-Quality Assessment Program in cooperation with Colorado State University compiled a database of traits for North American invertebrates. A total of 14,127 records for over 2,200 species, 1,165 genera, and 249 families have been entered into the database from 967 publications, texts and reports. Quality-assurance procedures indicated error rates of less than 3 percent in the data entry process. Species trait information was most complete for insect taxa. Traits describing resource acquisition and habitat preferences were most frequently reported, whereas those describing physiological tolerances and reproductive biology were the least frequently reported in the literature. The database is not exhaustive of the literature for North American invertebrates and is biased towards aquatic insects, but it represents a first attempt to compile traits in a web-accessible database. This report describes the database and discusses important decisions necessary for identifying ecologically relevant, environmentally sensitive, non-redundant, and statistically tractable traits for use in bioassessment programs.

  7. The role of conservation agriculture in sustainable agriculture.

    PubMed

    Hobbs, Peter R; Sayre, Ken; Gupta, Raj

    2008-02-12

    The paper focuses on conservation agriculture (CA), defined as minimal soil disturbance (no-till, NT) and permanent soil cover (mulch) combined with rotations, as a more sustainable cultivation system for the future. Cultivation and tillage play an important role in agriculture. The benefits of tillage in agriculture are explored before introducing conservation tillage (CT), a practice that was borne out of the American dust bowl of the 1930s. The paper then describes the benefits of CA, a suggested improvement on CT, where NT, mulch and rotations significantly improve soil properties and other biotic factors. The paper concludes that CA is a more sustainable and environmentally friendly management system for cultivating crops. Case studies from the rice-wheat areas of the Indo-Gangetic Plains of South Asia and the irrigated maize-wheat systems of Northwest Mexico are used to describe how CA practices have been used in these two environments to raise production sustainably and profitably. Benefits in terms of greenhouse gas emissions and their effect on global warming are also discussed. The paper concludes that agriculture in the next decade will have to sustainably produce more food from less land through more efficient use of natural resources and with minimal impact on the environment in order to meet growing population demands. Promoting and adopting CA management systems can help meet this goal.

  8. Predator-driven trait diversification in a dragonfly genus: covariation in behavioral and morphological antipredator defense.

    PubMed

    Mikolajewski, Dirk J; De Block, Marjan; Rolff, Jens; Johansson, Frank; Beckerman, Andrew P; Stoks, Robby

    2010-11-01

    Proof for predation as an agent shaping evolutionary trait diversification is accumulating, however, our understanding how multiple antipredator traits covary due to phenotypic differentiation is still scarce. Species of the dragonfly genus Leucorrhinia underwent shifts from lakes with fish as top predators to fishless lakes with large dragonfly predators. This move to fishless lakes was accompanied by a partial loss and reduction of larval spines. Here, we show that Leucorrhinia also reduced burst swimming speed and its associated energy fuelling machinery, arginine kinase activity, when invading fishless lakes. This results in patterns of positive phylogenetic trait covariation between behavioral and morphological antipredator defense (trait cospecialization) and between behavioral antipredator defense and physiological machinery (trait codependence). Across species patterns of trait covariation between spine status, burst swimming speed and arginine kinase activity also matched findings within the phenotypically plastic L. dubia. Our results highlight the importance of predation as a factor affecting patterns of multiple trait covariation during phenotypic diversification.

  9. Agricultural aviation research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chevalier, H. L. (Compiler); Bouse, L. F. (Compiler)

    1977-01-01

    A compilation of papers, comments, and results is provided during a workshop session. The purpose of the workshop was to review and evaluate the current state of the art of agricultural aviation, to identify and rank potentially productive short and long range research and development areas, and to strengthen communications between research scientists and engineers involved in agricultural research. Approximately 71 individuals actively engaged in agricultural aviation research were invited to participate in the workshop. These were persons familiar with problems related to agricultural aviation and processing expertise which are of value for identifying and proposing beneficial research.

  10. Effect of Habitat Conditions and Plant Traits on Leaf Damage in the Carduoideae Subfamily

    PubMed Central

    Münzbergová, Zuzana; Skuhrovec, Jiří

    2013-01-01

    Plant traits are the key factors that determine herbivore foraging selection. The traits serving as defense traits against herbivores represent a wide range of traits, such as chemical, physiological, morphological and life-history traits. While many studies considered plant defense traits at the within-species scale, much less is known from comparisons of a wide range of closely related species. The aim of this study was to identify factors responsible for the intensity of leaf damage in the Carduoideae subfamily of Asteraceae, which hosts many invasive species and thus is potential candidate plant species that could be controlled by biological control. Specifically, we wanted to see the relative importance of habitat characteristics, plant size and plants traits in determining the degree of folivory. The study identified several defense traits able to explain differences in herbivory between species after accounting for differences in the habitats in which the species occur and the plant size. Specifically, the most important traits were traits related to the quality of the leaf tissue expressed as the content of phosphorus, water and specific leaf area, which suggests that the leaf quality had a more important effect on the degree of herbivory than the presence of specific defense mechanisms such as spines and hair. Leaf quality is thus a candidate factor that drives herbivore choice when selecting which plant to feed on and should be considered when assessing the danger that a herbivore will switch hosts when introduced to a new range. PMID:23717643

  11. A fast algorithm for functional mapping of complex traits.

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Wei; Wu, Rongling; Ma, Chang-Xing; Casella, George

    2004-01-01

    By integrating the underlying developmental mechanisms for the phenotypic formation of traits into a mapping framework, functional mapping has emerged as an important statistical approach for mapping complex traits. In this note, we explore the feasibility of using the simplex algorithm as an alternative to solve the mixture-based likelihood for functional mapping of complex traits. The results from the simplex algorithm are consistent with those from the traditional EM algorithm, but the simplex algorithm has considerably reduced computational times. Moreover, because of its nonderivative nature and easy implementation with current software, the simplex algorithm enjoys an advantage over the EM algorithm in the dynamic modeling and analysis of complex traits. PMID:15342547

  12. Authoritarian Personality Traits Among Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dunham, J.

    1973-01-01

    The results are reported of an investigation into the social attitudes of the total population (800) of one English university using Adorno's F scale to measure authoritarian personality traits. (Author)

  13. Forming impressions from incongruent traits.

    PubMed

    Casselden, P A; Hampson, S E

    1990-08-01

    The factors that affect the ease with which impressions are formed from incongruent trait pairs are investigated. In Experiments 1 and 2, trait pairs that were both descriptively and evaluatively congruent, as well as ones that were only evaluatively congruent, were found to be more imaginable and to be perceived as more frequently co-occurring than incongruent trait pairs. In Experiment 3, response latency provided a converging measure of ease of imaginability. Experiment 4 examined written descriptions of targets described by these trait pairs, and found more attempts to integrate the congruent than the incongruent pairs. These findings are discussed in terms of the relation between laypersons' impressions of personality and formal personality assessment.

  14. Inheritance and linkage map positions of genes conferring agromorphological traits in Lens culinaris Medik

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Agromorphological traits have immense importance in breeding lentils for higher yield and stability. We studied the genetics and identified map positions of some important agro-morphological traits including days to 50% flowering, plant height, seed diameter, 100 seed weight, cotyledon color, and gr...

  15. Clinical and personality traits in emotional disorders: Evidence of a common framework.

    PubMed

    Mahaffey, Brittain L; Watson, David; Clark, Lee Anna; Kotov, Roman

    2016-08-01

    Certain clinical traits (e.g., ruminative response style, self-criticism, perfectionism, anxiety sensitivity, fear of negative evaluation, and thought suppression) increase the risk for and chronicity of emotional disorders. Similar to traditional personality traits, they are considered dispositional and typically show high temporal stability. Because the personality and clinical-traits literatures evolved largely independently, connections between them are not fully understood. We sought to map the interface between a widely studied set of clinical and personality traits. Two samples (N = 385 undergraduates; N = 188 psychiatric outpatients) completed measures of personality traits, clinical traits, and an interview-based assessment of emotional-disorder symptoms. First, the joint factor structure of these traits was examined in each sample. Second, structural equation modeling was used to clarify the effects of clinical traits in the prediction of clinical symptoms beyond negative temperament. Third, the incremental validity of clinical traits beyond a more comprehensive set of higher-order and lower-order personality traits was examined using hierarchical regression. Clinical and personality traits were highly correlated and jointly defined a 3-factor structure-Negative Temperament, Positive Temperament, and Disinhibition-in both samples, with all clinical traits loading on the Negative Temperament factor. Clinical traits showed modest but significant incremental validity in explaining symptoms after accounting for personality traits. These data indicate that clinical traits relevant to emotional disorders fit well within the traditional personality framework and offer some unique contributions to the prediction of psychopathology, but it is important to distinguish their effects from negative temperament/neuroticism. (PsycINFO Database Record

  16. Importance of Animals in Agricultural Sustainability and Food Security

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A conservative projection shows the world's population growing by 32% (to 9.5 billion) by 2050 and 53% (to 11 billion) by 2100 compared with its current level of 7.2 billion. Because most arable land worldwide is already in use, and water and energy also are limiting, increased production of food wi...

  17. Agricultural Chemicals and Radiation. Ag Ed Environmental Education Series.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tulloch, Rodney W.

    The document is designed to be used as a resource in teaching vocational agriculture high school students about the environment. Agricultural chemicals are the major focus, with some attention to radiation. The importance of safety in agricultural chemical use is stressed, with descriptions of the pesticide label; protective clothing; respiratory…

  18. Optimization of agricultural field workability predictions for improved risk management

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Risks introduced by weather variability are key considerations in agricultural production. The sensitivity of agriculture to weather variability is of special concern in the face of climate change. In particular, the availability of workable days is an important consideration in agricultural practic...

  19. Identifying Technical Content Training Needs of Georgia Agriculture Teachers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Peake, Jason B.; Duncan, Dennis W.; Ricketts, John C.

    2007-01-01

    The continuing trend toward increasing diversity of curriculum offered within secondary agricultural education programs is driving a change in pre-service and in-service technical training for agriculture teachers. This study looks at agriculture teachers' perceived importance of, and competence in, traditional technical competencies such as…

  20. Basic principles, methodology, and applications of remote sensing in agriculture

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Moreira, M. A. (Principal Investigator); Deassuncao, G. V.

    1984-01-01

    The basic principles of remote sensing applied to agriculture and the methods used in data analysis are described. Emphasis is placed on the importance of developing a methodology that may help crop forecast, basic concepts of spectral signatures of vegetation, the methodology of the LANDSAT data utilization in agriculture, and the remote sensing program application of INPE (Institute for Space Research) in agriculture.

  1. Innovations in information management to enhance agriculture: A research perspective

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Information management should be the cornerstone for innovative agricultural systems; however, the challenge remains on how to utilize all of the components to enhance agriculture. The enhancement of agriculture is often considered from only a yield perspective. This is an important factor and effo...

  2. Agriculture: access to technology limited.

    PubMed

    1997-01-01

    From country to country and even regionally, the roles of women in agriculture vary, but most of their labor is in unpaid subsistence production and their contributions tend to be underestimated, according to the results of the [UN] Secretary-General's report. Depending on circumstances, they have complementary roles with men, sharing or dividing tasks in the production of crops, care of animals, and forestry management. In sub-Saharan Africa, for example, women contribute 60-80% of labor in food production for both household consumption and sale, while in Malaysia the women account for only 35% of the agricultural labor force, and in Ireland the participation rate is only 10.4%. Although women make this important amount of labor contributions to agricultural production, "development policies tend to favor export crops to earn foreign exchange and the agricultural research tends to address the improvement of production and technologies for commercial production". This results in limited access for women to technical knowledge and innovations, including irrigation, machinery, farming techniques and extension services. This is strengthened by the fact that most of the extension services target farmers who own land and can obtain credit to invest in input and technology.

  3. Applications of spectral inversion to understanding vegetation functional trait relationships

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shiklomanov, A. N.; Dietze, M.; Viskari, T.; Townsend, P. A.; Serbin, S.

    2015-12-01

    Spectral data from both field observations and remote sensing platforms are a rich source of information for studying plant traits. Traditional approaches to using spectral data for studying vegetation have proven effective in sensor-, site-, or plant type-specific settings, but differences in model assumptions and failure to account for uncertainties have hindered efforts to synthesize observations from different sources and use spectral data in a predictive capacity. Here we present a novel approach that uses Bayesian inversion of the PROSPECT 5 leaf radiative transfer model (RTM) to investigate the ability of spectral data to inform our understanding of plant functional traits. First, we validated our method by comparing inversion results to independent measurements of relevant leaf structural and biochemical parameters. Second, we tested the accuracy and precision of RTM parameter retrieval as a function of spectral resolution and quality by performing inversions on simulated observations for a variety of common remote sensing platforms. We observed predictable increases in parameter uncertainty and covariance with declining spectral resolution, but we also found that the measurement characteristics of all sensors are capable of providing information about at least some of the parameters of interest. Finally, we applied our inversion to a large database of field spectra and plant traits spanning tropical, temperate, and boreal forests, agricultural plots, arid shrublands, and tundra to identify dominant sources of variability and characterize trade-offs in plant functional traits. We found substantial intraspecific variability in traits and explored the extent to which this variability falls along the same axes as the interspecific leaf economics spectrum. Ultimately, our results show that Bayesian RTM inversion provides a powerful framework for using spectral data to inform our understanding of plant functional traits and how they are linked with ecosystem

  4. Modelling the ecological niche from functional traits

    PubMed Central

    Kearney, Michael; Simpson, Stephen J.; Raubenheimer, David; Helmuth, Brian

    2010-01-01

    The niche concept is central to ecology but is often depicted descriptively through observing associations between organisms and habitats. Here, we argue for the importance of mechanistically modelling niches based on functional traits of organisms and explore the possibilities for achieving this through the integration of three theoretical frameworks: biophysical ecology (BE), the geometric framework for nutrition (GF) and dynamic energy budget (DEB) models. These three frameworks are fundamentally based on the conservation laws of thermodynamics, describing energy and mass balance at the level of the individual and capturing the prodigious predictive power of the concepts of ‘homeostasis’ and ‘evolutionary fitness’. BE and the GF provide mechanistic multi-dimensional depictions of climatic and nutritional niches, respectively, providing a foundation for linking organismal traits (morphology, physiology, behaviour) with habitat characteristics. In turn, they provide driving inputs and cost functions for mass/energy allocation within the individual as determined by DEB models. We show how integration of the three frameworks permits calculation of activity constraints, vital rates (survival, development, growth, reproduction) and ultimately population growth rates and species distributions. When integrated with contemporary niche theory, functional trait niche models hold great promise for tackling major questions in ecology and evolutionary biology. PMID:20921046

  5. Modules in Agricultural Education for Agricultural Mechanics.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    New York State Education Dept., Albany. Bureau of Occupational and Career Curriculum Development.

    Each of the 38 curriculum modules in this packet for agricultural mechanics instruction contains a brief description of the module content, a list of the major divisions or units, the overall objectives, objectives by unit, content outline and suggested teaching methods, student application activities, and evaluation procedures. A listing of…

  6. Modules in Agricultural Education for Agricultural Resources.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    New York State Education Dept., Albany. Bureau of Occupational and Career Curriculum Development.

    Each of the 31 curriculum modules in this packet for agricultural resources instruction contains a brief description of the module content, a list of the major division or units, the overall objective, objectives by units, content outline and suggested teaching methods, student application activities, and evaluation procedures. A list of resource…

  7. Global Transformations and Agriculture.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Campbell, Rex R.

    1990-01-01

    Examines worldwide political, economic, and social transformations and their impact on agriculture, focusing on biotechnology. Discusses rise of international corporations and accompanying constraints on government power. Sees trend toward increasing agribusiness role in world food and agricultural sectors. Calls for broader views and research in…

  8. Agriculture Power and Machinery.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rogers, Tom

    This guide is intended to assist vocational agriculture teachers who are teaching secondary- or postsecondary-level courses in agricultural power and machinery. The materials presented are based on the Arizona validated occupational competencies and tasks for the following occupations: service manager, shop foreman, service technician, and tractor…

  9. Precision agricultural systems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Precision agriculture is a new farming practice that has been developing since late 1980s. It has been variously referred to as precision farming, prescription farming, site-specific crop management, to name but a few. There are numerous definitions for precision agriculture, but the central concept...

  10. Theme: Marketing Agricultural Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Staller, Bernie L.; And Others

    1988-01-01

    Consists of six articles on marketing agricultural education. Topics include (1) being consumer conscious, (2) cooperating with agribusiness, (3) preparing students for postsecondary education, (4) allowing concurrent enrollments, (5) saving the failing agricultural program, and (6) refocusing the curriculum toward agrimarketing. (CH)

  11. Agricultural Occupations Handbook.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lark, Floyd J.; Henderson, Billie

    This agricultural occupations handbook was developed from the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT) and the U.S. Departments of Health, Education, and Welfare, and Labor publication, Vocational Education and Occupations. It includes the U.S. Office of Education coding for the instructional area of agriculture and the cluster coding for the…

  12. Vocational Agriculture I.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Patton, Bob; Harp, Keith

    These course materials are designed to provide a foundation of basic knowledge in production agriculture as a prelude to further education in vocational agriculture. The guide contains 6 sections and 22 units of instruction. Each unit includes all or most of eight basic components: performance objectives, suggested activities for the teacher,…

  13. USSR Report Agriculture

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-11-02

    the last century one of the first Russian agronomists, M. G. Pavlov , in speaking about efficient agriculture, was asked the question, is agriculture...three are agronomists in enterprises--Nikolay Georgiyevich Kovalev, Fedor Akimovich Ivashchenko and Ivan Kirillovich Okhrimenko. All three work under the

  14. Revisiting Supervised Agricultural Experience.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Camp, William G.; Clarke, Ariane; Fallon, Maureen

    2000-01-01

    A Delphi panel of 40 agricultural educators unanimously agreed that supervised agricultural experience should remain an integral component of the curriculum; a name change is not currently warranted. Categories recommended were agribusiness entrepreneurship, placement, production, research, directed school lab, communications, exploration, and…

  15. Agricultural Technology Opportunities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    North Carolina State Board of Education, Raleigh. Agricultural Technology Education Section.

    Agricultural education programs available through North Carolina's newly created system of industrial education center, technical institutes, and community colleges are described. The information is for use by administrators, and teachers of adult agricultural courses and counselors of high school dropouts and graduates. It describes the need for…

  16. Invasive species in agriculture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Agricultural production of food, feed, fiber or fuel is a local human activity with global ecological impacts, including the potential to foster invasions. Agriculture plays an unusual role in biological invasions, in that it is both a source of non-indigenous invasive species (NIS) and especially s...

  17. Theme: Urban Agriculture.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ellibee, Margaret; And Others

    1990-01-01

    On the theme of secondary agricultural education in urban areas, this issue includes articles on opportunities, future directions, and implications for the profession; creative supervised experiences for horticulture students; floral marketing, multicultural education; and cultural diversity in urban agricultural education. (JOW)

  18. Linking Tropical Forest Function to Hydraulic Traits in a Size-Structured and Trait-Based Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christoffersen, B. O.; Gloor, E. U.; Fauset, S.; Fyllas, N.; Galbraith, D.; Baker, T. R.; Rowland, L.; Fisher, R.; Binks, O.; Mencuccini, M.; Malhi, Y.; Stahl, C.; Wagner, F. H.; Bonal, D.; da Costa, A. C. L.; Ferreira, L.; Meir, P.

    2014-12-01

    A major weakness of forest ecosystem models applied to Amazonia is their inability to capture the diversity of responses to changes in water availability commonly observed within and across forest communities, severely hampering efforts to predict the fate of Amazon forests under climate change. Such models often prescribe moisture sensitivity using heuristic response functions which are uniform across all individuals and lack important knowledge about trade-offs in hydraulic traits. We address this weakness by implementing a process representation of plant hydraulics into an individual- and trait-based model (Trait Forest Simulator; TFS) intended for application at discrete sites across Amazonia. The model represents a trade-off in the safety and efficiency of water conduction in xylem tissue through hydraulic traits, which then lead to variation in plant water use and growth dynamics. The model accounts for the buffering effects of leaf and stem capacitance on leaf water potential at short time scales, and cavitation-induced reductions in whole-plant conductance over longer periods of water stress. We explore multiple possible links between this hydraulic trait spectrum and other whole-plant traits, such as maximum photosynthetic capacity and wood density. The model is shown to greatly improve the diversity of tree response to seasonal changes in water availability as well as response to drought, as determined by comparison with sap flux and stem dendrometry measurements. Importantly, this individual- and trait-based framework provides a testbed for identifying both critical processes and functional traits needed for inclusion in coarse-scale Dynamic Global Vegetation Models, which will lead to reduced uncertainty in the future state of Amazon tropical forests.

  19. Agriculture and the Property Tax: A Forward Look Based on a Historical Perspective. Agricultural Economic Report No. 392.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stam, Jerome M.; Sibold, Ann G.

    Assessing the property tax in terms of agriculture, this report analyzes the following in an historical sense in order to draw implications for the future: (1) the importance of the property tax to the agricultural sector; (2) the horizontal equity of the property tax for the agricultural and nonagricultural sectors in terms of income and wealth;…

  20. Quantitative trait loci for biofortification traits in maize grain.

    PubMed

    Simić, Domagoj; Mladenović Drinić, Snezana; Zdunić, Zvonimir; Jambrović, Antun; Ledencan, Tatjana; Brkić, Josip; Brkić, Andrija; Brkić, Ivan

    2012-01-01

    Detecting genes that influence biofortification traits in cereal grain could help increase the concentrations of bioavailable mineral elements in crops to solve the global mineral malnutrition problem. The aims of this study were to detect the quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for phosphorus (P), iron (Fe), zinc (Zn), and magnesium (Mg) concentrations in maize grain in a mapping population, as well as QTLs for bioavailable Fe, Zn, and Mg, by precalculating their respective ratios with P. Elemental analysis of grain samples was done by coupled plasma-optical emission spectrometry in 294 F(4) lines of a biparental population taken from field trials of over 3 years. The population was mapped using sets of 121 polymorphic markers. QTL analysis revealed 32 significant QTLs detected for 7 traits, of which some were colocalized. The Additive-dominant model revealed highly significant additive effects, suggesting that biofortification traits in maize are generally controlled by numerous small-effect QTLs. Three QTLs for Fe/P, Zn/P, and Mg/P were colocalized on chromosome 3, coinciding with simple sequence repeats marker bnlg1456, which resides in close proximity to previously identified phytase genes (ZM phys1 and phys2). Thus, we recommend the ratios as bioavailability traits in biofortification research.

  1. The Impacts of Agricultural Land Use on Dissolved Organic Matter in a Dryland River System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wise, J. L.; Bergamaschi, B. A.; Van Horn, D. J.; Diefendorf, A. F.

    2015-12-01

    Globally, expanding agriculture is significantly impacting aquatic nutrient cycles. In mesic systems, agriculture is a source of nitrogen and phosphorus and increases concentrations of structurally simple dissolved organic carbon (DOC). In contrast, recent studies suggest in dryland systems, where wastewater effluent is a primary nutrient source, agriculture is a nutrient sink—retaining nitrogen and phosphorous. Importantly, very little, is known about the influence of agriculture on DOC dynamics in dryland systems. To address this gap we used synoptic sampling, UV-absorbance, and fluorescence spectroscopy to elucidate source, character, and concentration of riverine and runoff DOC in a dryland agricultural system. Samples were collected along a 25 km stretch of the Rio Grande River in New Mexico (USA). The Rio Grande is an impoundment/irrigation-withdrawal controlled river that receives water from snowmelt, monsoonal storms, and wastewater effluent. During irrigation approximately 80% of the river's water is diverted into a manmade network where it waters crops and percolates through the soil before it enters a series of drains that return water to the river. Our preliminary characterization of the DOC reentering the river (DOCmean=3.23 mg/L, sd=0.81; SUVAmean=4.05, sd=1.37) indicates the agricultural pool is similar in concentration and aromaticity to riverine DOC (DOCmean= 3.10 mg/L, sd=1.17; SUVAmean= 4.64, sd=1.12). However, riverine organic matter is more terrestrially derived (FImean=1.68, sd=0.17) than organic matter in the drains (FImean=1.9, sd=0.24). Additionally, drains directly adjacent to actively irrigated fields show high concentrations (DOCmean=58.35; sd=0.91) of low aromaticity organic matter (SUVAmean=0.33; sd=0.11). We are continuing analysis throughout the irrigation season to further explore organic matter quality (traits such as bioavailability and freshness) and identify locations and processes of DOC transformation within the system

  2. Applications of metabolomics in agriculture.

    PubMed

    Dixon, Richard A; Gang, David R; Charlton, Adrian J; Fiehn, Oliver; Kuiper, Harry A; Reynolds, Tracey L; Tjeerdema, Ronald S; Jeffery, Elizabeth H; German, J Bruce; Ridley, William P; Seiber, James N

    2006-11-29

    Biological systems are exceedingly complex. The unraveling of the genome in plants and humans revealed fewer than the anticipated number of genes. Therefore, other processes such as the regulation of gene expression, the action of gene products, and the metabolic networks resulting from catalytic proteins must make fundamental contributions to the remarkable diversity inherent in living systems. Metabolomics is a relatively new approach aimed at improved understanding of these metabolic networks and the subsequent biochemical composition of plants and other biological organisms. Analytical tools within metabolomics including mass spectrometry (MS) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy can profile the impact of time, stress, nutritional status, and environmental perturbation on hundreds of metabolites simultaneously resulting in massive, complex data sets. This information, in combination with transcriptomics and proteomics, has the potential to generate a more complete picture of the composition of food and feed products, to optimize crop trait development, and to enhance diet and health. Selected presentations from an American Chemical Society symposium held in March 2005 have been assembled to highlight the emerging application of metabolomics in agriculture.

  3. Agricultural intensification escalates future conservation costs.

    PubMed

    Phelps, Jacob; Carrasco, Luis Roman; Webb, Edward L; Koh, Lian Pin; Pascual, Unai

    2013-05-07

    The supposition that agricultural intensification results in land sparing for conservation has become central to policy formulations across the tropics. However, underlying assumptions remain uncertain and have been little explored in the context of conservation incentive schemes such as policies for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation, conservation, sustainable management, and enhancement of carbon stocks (REDD+). Incipient REDD+ forest carbon policies in a number of countries propose agricultural intensification measures to replace extensive "slash-and-burn" farming systems. These may result in conservation in some contexts, but will also increase future agricultural land rents as productivity increases, creating new incentives for agricultural expansion and deforestation. While robust governance can help to ensure land sparing, we propose that conservation incentives will also have to increase over time, tracking future agricultural land rents, which might lead to runaway conservation costs. We present a conceptual framework that depicts these relationships, supported by an illustrative model of the intensification of key crops in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a leading REDD+ country. A von Thünen land rent model is combined with geographic information systems mapping to demonstrate how agricultural intensification could influence future conservation costs. Once postintensification agricultural land rents are considered, the cost of reducing forest sector emissions could significantly exceed current and projected carbon credit prices. Our analysis highlights the importance of considering escalating conservation costs from agricultural intensification when designing conservation initiatives.

  4. Agricultural intensification escalates future conservation costs

    PubMed Central

    Phelps, Jacob; Carrasco, Luis Roman; Webb, Edward L.; Koh, Lian Pin; Pascual, Unai

    2013-01-01

    The supposition that agricultural intensification results in land sparing for conservation has become central to policy formulations across the tropics. However, underlying assumptions remain uncertain and have been little explored in the context of conservation incentive schemes such as policies for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation, conservation, sustainable management, and enhancement of carbon stocks (REDD+). Incipient REDD+ forest carbon policies in a number of countries propose agricultural intensification measures to replace extensive “slash-and-burn” farming systems. These may result in conservation in some contexts, but will also increase future agricultural land rents as productivity increases, creating new incentives for agricultural expansion and deforestation. While robust governance can help to ensure land sparing, we propose that conservation incentives will also have to increase over time, tracking future agricultural land rents, which might lead to runaway conservation costs. We present a conceptual framework that depicts these relationships, supported by an illustrative model of the intensification of key crops in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a leading REDD+ country. A von Thünen land rent model is combined with geographic information systems mapping to demonstrate how agricultural intensification could influence future conservation costs. Once postintensification agricultural land rents are considered, the cost of reducing forest sector emissions could significantly exceed current and projected carbon credit prices. Our analysis highlights the importance of considering escalating conservation costs from agricultural intensification when designing conservation initiatives. PMID:23589860

  5. Agricultural ponds support amphibian populations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Knutson, M.G.; Richardson, W.B.; Reineke, D.M.; Gray, B.R.; Parmelee, J.R.; Weick, S.E.

    2004-01-01

    In some agricultural regions, natural wetlands are scarce, and constructed agricultural ponds may represent important alternative breeding habitats for amphibians. Properly managed, these agricultural ponds may effectively increase the total amount of breeding habitat and help to sustain populations. We studied small, constructed agricultural ponds in southeastern Minnesota to assess their value as amphibian breeding sites. Our study examined habitat factors associated with amphibian reproduction at two spatial scales: the pond and the landscape surrounding the pond. We found that small agricultural ponds in southeastern Minnesota provided breeding habitat for at least 10 species of amphibians. Species richness and multispecies reproductive success were more closely associated with characteristics of the pond (water quality, vegetation, and predators) compared with characteristics of the surrounding landscape, but individual species were associated with both pond and landscape variables. Ponds surrounded by row crops had similar species richness and reproductive success compared with natural wetlands and ponds surrounded by nongrazed pasture. Ponds used for watering livestock had elevated concentrations of phosphorus, higher turbidity, and a trend toward reduced amphibian reproductive success. Species richness was highest in small ponds, ponds with lower total nitrogen concentrations, tiger salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum) present, and lacking fish. Multispecies reproductive success was best in ponds with lower total nitrogen concentrations, less emergent vegetation, and lacking fish. Habitat factors associated with higher reproductive success varied among individual species. We conclude that small, constructed farm ponds, properly managed, may help sustain amphibian populations in landscapes where natural wetland habitat is rare. We recommend management actions such as limiting livestock access to the pond to improve water quality, reducing nitrogen input, and

  6. Similar traits, different genes? Examining convergent evolution in related weedy rice populations

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Convergent phenotypic evolution may or may not be associated with parallel genotypic evolution. Agricultural weeds have repeatedly been selected for weed-adaptive traits such as rapid growth, increased seed dispersal and dormancy, thus providing an ideal system for the study of parallel evolution. H...

  7. QTL analysis for some quantitative traits in bread wheat*

    PubMed Central

    Pushpendra, Kumar Gupta; Harindra, Singh Balyan; Pawan, Laxminarayan Kulwal; Neeraj, Kumar; Ajay, Kumar; Reyazul, Rouf Mir; Amita, Mohan; Jitendra, Kumar

    2007-01-01

    Quantitative trait loci (QTL) analysis was conducted in bread wheat for 14 important traits utilizing data from four different mapping populations involving different approaches of QTL analysis. Analysis for grain protein content (GPC) suggested that the major part of genetic variation for this trait is due to environmental interactions. In contrast, pre-harvest sprouting tolerance (PHST) was controlled mainly by main effect QTL (M-QTL) with very little genetic variation due to environmental interactions; a major QTL for PHST was detected on chromosome arm 3AL. For grain weight, one QTL each was detected on chromosome arms 1AS, 2BS and 7AS. QTL for 4 growth related traits taken together detected by different methods ranged from 37 to 40; nine QTL that were detected by single-locus as well as two-locus analyses were all M-QTL. Similarly, single-locus and two-locus QTL analyses for seven yield and yield contributing traits in two populations respectively allowed detection of 25 and 50 QTL by composite interval mapping (CIM), 16 and 25 QTL by multiple-trait composite interval mapping (MCIM) and 38 and 37 QTL by two-locus analyses. These studies should prove useful in QTL cloning and wheat improvement through marker aided selection. PMID:17973342

  8. Phenotypic selection on leaf ecophysiological traits in Helianthus.

    PubMed

    Donovan, L A; Ludwig, F; Rosenthal, D M; Rieseberg, L H; Dudley, S A

    2009-08-01

    Habitats that differ in soil resource availability are expected to differ for selection on resource-related plant traits. Here, we examined spatial and temporal variation in phenotypic selection on leaf ecophysiological traits for 10 Helianthus populations, including two species of hybrid origin, Helianthus anomalus and Helianthus deserticola, and artificial hybrids of their ancestral parents. Leaf traits assessed were leaf size, succulence, nitrogen (N) concentration and water-use efficiency (WUE). Biomass and leaf traits of artificial hybrids indicate that the actively moving dune habitat of H. anomalus was more growth limiting, with lower N availability but higher relative water availability than the stabilized dune habitat of H. deserticola. Habitats differed for direct selection on leaf N and WUE, but not size or succulence, for the artificial hybrids. However, within the H. anomalus habitat, direct selection on WUE also differed among populations. Across years, direct selection on leaf traits did not differ. Leaf N was the only trait for which direct selection differed between habitats but not within the H. anomalus habitat, suggesting that nutrient limitation is an important selective force driving adaptation of H. anomalus to the active dune habitat.

  9. The modulation of somatosensory resonance by psychopathic traits and empathy

    PubMed Central

    Marcoux, Louis-Alexandre; Michon, Pierre-Emmanuel; Voisin, Julien I. A.; Lemelin, Sophie; Vachon-Presseau, Etienne; Jackson, Philip L.

    2013-01-01

    A large number of neuroimaging studies have shown neural overlaps between first-hand experiences of pain and the perception of pain in others. This shared neural representation of vicarious pain is thought to involve both affective and sensorimotor systems. A number of individual factors are thought to modulate the cerebral response to other's pain. The goal of this study was to investigate the impact of psychopathic traits on the relation between sensorimotor resonance to other's pain and self-reported empathy. Our group has previously shown that a steady-state response to non-painful stimulation is modulated by the observation of other people's bodily pain. This change in somatosensory response was interpreted as a form of somatosensory gating (SG). Here, using the same technique, SG was compared between two groups of 15 young adult males: one scoring very high on a self-reported measure of psychopathic traits [60.8 ± 4.98; Levenson's Self-Report Psychopathy Scale (LSRP)] and one scoring very low (42.7 ± 2.94). The results showed a significantly greater reduction of SG to pain observation for the high psychopathic traits group compared to the low psychopathic traits group. SG to pain observation was positively correlated with affective and interpersonal facet of psychopathy in the whole sample. The high psychopathic traits group also reported lower empathic concern (EC) scores than the low psychopathic traits group. Importantly, primary psychopathy, as assessed by the LSRP, mediated the relation between EC and SG to pain observation. Together, these results suggest that increase somatosensory resonance to other's pain is not exclusively explained by trait empathy and may be linked to other personality dimensions, such as psychopathic traits. PMID:23801950

  10. Generality of leaf trait relationships: A test across six biomes

    SciTech Connect

    Reich, P.B.; Ellsworth, D.S.; Walters, M.B.; Vose, J.M.; Gresham, C.; Volin, J.C.; Bowman, W.D. |

    1999-09-01

    Convergence in interspecific leaf trait relationships across diverse taxonomic groups and biomes would have important evolutionary and ecological implications. Such convergence has been hypothesized to result from trade-offs that limit the combination of plant traits for any species. Here the authors address this issue by testing for biome differences in the slope and intercept of interspecific relationships among leaf traits: longevity, net photosynthetic capacity (A{sub max}), leaf diffusive conductance (G{sub S}), specific leaf area (SLA), and nitrogen (N) status, for more than 100 species in six distinct biomes of the Americas. The six biomes were: alpine tundra-subalpine forest ecotone, cold temperate forest-prairie ecotone, montane cool temperate forest, desert shrubland, subtropical forest, and tropical rain forest. Despite large differences in climate and evolutionary history, in all biomes mass-based leaf N (N{sub mass}), SLA, G{sub S}, and A{sub max} were positively related to one another and decreased with increasing leaf life span. The relationships between pairs of leaf traits exhibited similar slopes among biomes, suggesting a predictable set of scaling relationships among key leaf morphological, chemical, and metabolic traits that are replicated globally among terrestrial ecosystems regardless of biome or vegetation type. However, the intercept (i.e., the overall elevation of regression lines) of relationships between pairs of leaf traits usually differed among biomes. With increasing aridity across sites, species had greater A{sub max} for a given level of G{sub S} and lower SLA for any given leaf life span. Using principal components analysis, most variation among species was explained by an axis related to mass-based leaf traits (A{sub max}, N, and SLA) while a second axis reflected climate, G{sub S}, and other area-based leaf traits.

  11. The modulation of somatosensory resonance by psychopathic traits and empathy.

    PubMed

    Marcoux, Louis-Alexandre; Michon, Pierre-Emmanuel; Voisin, Julien I A; Lemelin, Sophie; Vachon-Presseau, Etienne; Jackson, Philip L

    2013-01-01

    A large number of neuroimaging studies have shown neural overlaps between first-hand experiences of pain and the perception of pain in others. This shared neural representation of vicarious pain is thought to involve both affective and sensorimotor systems. A number of individual factors are thought to modulate the cerebral response to other's pain. The goal of this study was to investigate the impact of psychopathic traits on the relation between sensorimotor resonance to other's pain and self-reported empathy. Our group has previously shown that a steady-state response to non-painful stimulation is modulated by the observation of other people's bodily pain. This change in somatosensory response was interpreted as a form of somatosensory gating (SG). Here, using the same technique, SG was compared between two groups of 15 young adult males: one scoring very high on a self-reported measure of psychopathic traits [60.8 ± 4.98; Levenson's Self-Report Psychopathy Scale (LSRP)] and one scoring very low (42.7 ± 2.94). The results showed a significantly greater reduction of SG to pain observation for the high psychopathic traits group compared to the low psychopathic traits group. SG to pain observation was positively correlated with affective and interpersonal facet of psychopathy in the whole sample. The high psychopathic traits group also reported lower empathic concern (EC) scores than the low psychopathic traits group. Importantly, primary psychopathy, as assessed by the LSRP, mediated the relation between EC and SG to pain observation. Together, these results suggest that increase somatosensory resonance to other's pain is not exclusively explained by trait empathy and may be linked to other personality dimensions, such as psychopathic traits.

  12. Relationships between nutrient-related plant traits and combinations of soil N and P fertility measures.

    PubMed

    Fujita, Yuki; van Bodegom, Peter M; Witte, Jan-Philip M

    2013-01-01

    Soil fertility and nutrient-related plant functional traits are in general only moderately related, hindering the progress in trait-based prediction models of vegetation patterns. Although the relationships may have been obscured by suboptimal choices in how soil fertility is expressed, there has never been a systematic investigation into the suitability of fertility measures. This study, therefore, examined the effect of different soil fertility measures on the strength of fertility-trait relationships in 134 natural plant communities. In particular, for eight plot-mean traits we examined (1) whether different elements (N or P) have contrasting or shared influences, (2) which timescale of fertility measures (e.g. mineralization rates for one or five years) has better predictive power, and (3) if integrated fertility measures explain trait variation better than individual fertility measures. Soil N and P had large mutual effects on leaf nutrient concentrations, whereas they had element-specific effects on traits related to species composition (e.g. Grime's CSR strategy). The timescale of fertility measures only had a minor impact on fertility-trait relationships. Two integrated fertility measures (one reflecting overall fertility, another relative availability of soil N and P) were related significantly to most plant traits, but were not better in explaining trait variation than individual fertility measures. Using all fertility measures together, between-site variations of plant traits were explained only moderately for some traits (e.g. 33% for leaf N concentrations) but largely for others (e.g. 66% for whole-canopy P concentration). The moderate relationships were probably due to complex regulation mechanisms of fertility on traits, rather than to a wrong choice of fertility measures. We identified both mutual (i.e. shared) and divergent (i.e. element-specific and stoichiometric) effects of soil N and P on traits, implying the importance of explicitly

  13. [Imported histoplasmosis].

    PubMed

    Stete, Katarina; Kern, Winfried V; Rieg, Siegbert; Serr, Annerose; Maurer, Christian; Tintelnot, Kathrin; Wagner, Dirk

    2015-06-01

    Infections with Histoplasma capsulatum are rare in Germany, and mostly imported from endemic areas. Infections can present as localized or disseminated diseases in immunocompromised as well as immunocompetent hosts. A travel history may be a major clue for diagnosing histoplasmosis. Diagnostic tools include histology, cultural and molecular detection as well as serology. Here we present four cases of patients diagnosed and treated in Freiburg between 2004 and 2013 that demonstrate the broad range of clinical manifestations of histoplasmosis: an immunocompetent patient with chronic basal meningitis; a patient with HIV infection and fatal disseminated disease; a patient with pulmonary and cutaneous disease and mediastinal and cervical lymphadenopathy; and an immunosuppressed patient with disseminated involvement of lung, bone marrow and adrenal glands.

  14. 76 FR 60801 - Assessment of Fees for Dairy Import Licenses for the 2012 Tariff-Rate Import Quota Year

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-09-30

    ... Foreign Agricultural Service Assessment of Fees for Dairy Import Licenses for the 2012 Tariff- Rate Import... person or firm by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) authorizing the importation of certain dairy..., Dairy Import Licensing Program, Import Policies and Export Reporting Division, U.S. Department...

  15. Agricultural Residues and Biomass Energy Crops

    SciTech Connect

    2016-06-01

    There are many opportunities to leverage agricultural resources on existing lands without interfering with production of food, feed, fiber, or forest products. In the recently developed advanced biomass feedstock commercialization vision, estimates of potentially available biomass supply from agriculture are built upon the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Long-Term Forecast, ensuring that existing product demands are met before biomass crops are planted. Dedicated biomass energy crops and agricultural crop residues are abundant, diverse, and widely distributed across the United States. These potential biomass supplies can play an important role in a national biofuels commercialization strategy.

  16. Irradiation of Northwest agricultural products

    SciTech Connect

    Eakin, D.E.; Tingey, G.L.

    1985-02-01

    Irradiation of food for disinfestation and preservation is increasing in importance because of increasing restrictions on various chemical treatments. Irradiation treatment is of particular interest in the Northwest because of a growing supply of agricultural products and the need to develop new export markets. Several products have, or could potentially have, significant export markets if stringent insect control procedures are developed and followed. Due to the recognized potential benefits of irradiation, Pacific Northwest Laboratory (PNL) is conducting this program to evaluate the benefits of using irradiation on Northwest agricultural products under the US Department of Energy (DOE) Defense Byproducts Production and Utilization Program. Commodities currently included in the program are cherries, apples, asparagus, spices, hay, and hides.

  17. Chiral separation of agricultural fungicides.

    PubMed

    Pérez-Fernández, Virginia; García, Maria Ángeles; Marina, Maria Luisa

    2011-09-23

    Fungicides are very important and diverse environmental and agricultural concern species. Their determination in commercial formulations or environmental matrices, requires highly efficient, selective and sensitive methods. A significant number of these chemicals are chiral with the activity residing usually in one of the enantiomers. The different toxicological and degradation behavior observed in many cases for fungicide enantiomers, results in the need to investigate them separately. For this purpose, separation techniques such as GC, HPLC, supercritical fluid chromatography (SFC) and CE have widely been employed although, at present, HPLC still dominates chromatographic chiral analysis of fungicides. This review covers the literature concerning the enantiomeric separation of fungicides usually employed in agriculture grouping the chiral separation methodologies developed for their analysis in environmental, biological, and food samples.

  18. 77 FR 51686 - Specialty Crops; Import Regulations; New Pistachio Import Requirements

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-08-27

    ... Agricultural Marketing Service 7 CFR Part 999 Specialty Crops; Import Regulations; New Pistachio Import Requirements AGENCY: Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA. ACTION: Final rule. SUMMARY: This rule establishes a...: Laurel May or Kathleen Finn, Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Fruit and Vegetable Programs,...

  19. 78 FR 64408 - Watermelon Research and Promotion Plan; Importer Membership Requirements and Referendum Order

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-10-29

    ...; ] DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Marketing Service 7 CFR Part 1210 Watermelon Research and Promotion Plan; Importer Membership Requirements and Referendum Order AGENCY: Agricultural Marketing Service... www.regulations.gov . FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jeanette Palmer, Marketing...

  20. 78 FR 39551 - Cotton Board Rules and Regulations: Adjusting Supplemental Assessment on Imports (2013 Amendment)

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-07-02

    ... Agricultural Marketing Service 7 CFR Part 1205 Cotton Board Rules and Regulations: Adjusting Supplemental Assessment on Imports (2013 Amendment) AGENCY: Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA. ACTION: Direct Final Rule. SUMMARY: The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is amending the Cotton Board Rules...

  1. Mapping QTLs for traits related to salinity tolerance at seedling stage of rice (Oryza sativa L.): an agrigenomics study of an Iranian rice population.

    PubMed

    Ghomi, Khadijeh; Rabiei, Babak; Sabouri, Hossein; Sabouri, Atefeh

    2013-05-01

    Rice (Oryza sativa L.) is one of the most important food crops in the world, especially in Asian countries, and salinity is a major constraint to the sustainability and expansion of rice cultivation. Genetically improving salt tolerance of rice is a highly important objective of rice breeding programs. Traits such as salt tolerance are quantitatively inherited. Hence, mapping quantitative trait loci (QTL) with molecular markers can be very helpful to plant breeders in the field of agricultural genomics (AgriGenomics). In this investigation, QTL analysis of physiological traits related to salt tolerance was carried out using F2:4 population of rice derived from a cross between a salt-tolerant variety, Gharib (indica), and a salt-sensitive variety, Sepidroud (indica). A linkage map based on 148 F2 individuals was constructed with 131 SSR markers and 105 AFLP markers, covering 2475.7 cM of rice genome with an average distance of 10.48 cM between flanking markers. A total of 41 QTLs for twelve physiological traits under salinity stress were detected distributed on all rice chromosomes, some of them being reported for the first time. Also, overlapping of QTLs related to salt tolerance were observed in this study. Some of the identified QTLs on specific chromosomal regions explaining high phenotypic variance could be used for marker-assisted selection (MAS) programs. New QTLs retrieved in this study play an important role in growth of rice at seedling stage in an Iranian local population under high salinity conditions.

  2. Personal traits, cohabitation, and marriage.

    PubMed

    French, Michael T; Popovici, Ioana; Robins, Philip K; Homer, Jenny F

    2014-05-01

    This study examines how personal traits affect the likelihood of entering into a cohabitating or marital relationship using a competing risk survival model with cohabitation and marriage as competing outcomes. The data are from Waves 1, 3, and 4 of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, a rich dataset with a large sample of young adults (N=9835). A personal traits index is constructed from interviewer-assessed scores on the respondents' physical attractiveness, personality, and grooming. Having a higher score on the personal traits index is associated with a greater hazard of entering into a marital relationship for men and women, but the score does not have a significant influence on entering into a cohabitating relationship. Numerous sensitivity tests support the core findings.

  3. Agriculture: Nurseries and Greenhouses

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Nurseries and Greenhouses. Information about environmental requirements specifically relating to the production of many types of agricultural crops grown in nurseries and greenhouses, such as ornamental plants and specialty fruits and vegetables.

  4. Nonpoint Source: Agriculture

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Agricultural runoff as a nonpoint source category of pollution. Resouces to learn more a bout conservation practices to reduce water quality impacts from storm water run off and ground water infiltration

  5. Agricultural Education and OSHA

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brown, Ronald A.

    1974-01-01

    Agriculture teachers should be interested in and become familiar with the implications of the Williams-Steiger Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 for their own benefit, for their students, and for their students' future employers. (AG)

  6. USSR Report Agriculture.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-11-02

    This is USSR Report for Agriculture. It contains the issues with different topics on Major Crop Progress and Weather Reporting, Livestock, Regional Development , Agro-Economics and Organization, Tilling and Cropping Technology.

  7. Collaboration in Agricultural Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Peterson, Roland L.; And Others

    1995-01-01

    Theme articles discuss environment, food, agriculture, and renewal resources as they relate to science education, learning partnerships, collaboration in Kyrghyzstan, leadership development, opportunities for collaboration, networking, and the creation of a shared course between agribusiness and biology. (JOW)

  8. Serving Agriculture's "Big Business"

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schake, L. M.

    1970-01-01

    A new dimension and challenge in Extension activities is emerging as some phases of agriculture evolve from small operations to multimillion dollar agribusiness ventures; the beef cattle commercial feedlot industry in the Southwest is a good example. (EB)

  9. Toward a Sustainable Agriculture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Future trends in population growth, energy use, climate change, and globalization will challenge agriculturists to develop innovative production systems that are highly productive and environmentally sound. Furthermore, future agricultural production systems must possess an inherent capacity to adap...

  10. Multiple factors drive regional agricultural abandonment.

    PubMed

    Osawa, Takeshi; Kohyama, Kazunori; Mitsuhashi, Hiromune

    2016-01-15

    An understanding of land-use change and its drivers in agroecosystems is important when developing adaptations to future environmental and socioeconomic pressures. Agricultural abandonment occurs worldwide with multiple potentially positive and negative consequences; however, the main factors causing agricultural abandonment in a country i.e., at the macro scale, have not been identified. We hypothesized that socio-environmental factors driving agricultural abandonment could be summarized comprehensively into two, namely "natural" and "social", and the relative importance of these differs among regions. To test this postulate, we analyzed the factors currently leading to agricultural abandonment considering ten natural environment variables (e.g., temperature) and five social variables (e.g., number of farmers) using the random forest machine learning method after dividing Japan into eight regions. Our results showed that agricultural abandonment was driven by various socio-environmental factors, and the main factors leading to agricultural abandonment differed among regions, especially in Hokkaido in northern Japan. Hokkaido has a relatively large area of concentrated farmland, and abandonment might have resulted from the effectiveness of cultivation under specific climate factors, whereas the other regions have relatively small areas of farmland with many elderly part-time farmers. In such regions, abandonment might have been caused by the decreasing numbers of potential farmers. Thus, two different drivers of agricultural abandonment were found: inefficient cultivation and decreasing numbers of farmers. Therefore, agricultural abandonment cannot be prevented by adopting a single method or policy. Agricultural abandonment is a significant problem not only for food production but also for several ecosystem services. Governments and decision-makers should develop effective strategies to prevent further abandonment to ensure sustainable future management of agro-ecosystems.

  11. Baseline Levels, and Changes Over Time in Body Mass Index and Fasting Insulin, and Their Relationship to Change in Metabolic Trait Clustering

    PubMed Central

    Sullivan, Lisa M.; Fox, Caroline S.; Wilson, Peter W.F.; Nathan, David M.; Vasan, Ramachandran S.; D'Agostino, Ralph B.; Meigs, James B.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Background: Multiple abnormal metabolic traits are found together or “cluster” within individuals more often than is predicted by chance. The individual and combined role of adiposity and insulin resistance (IR) on metabolic trait clustering is uncertain. We tested the hypothesis that change in trait clustering is a function of both baseline level and change in these measures. Methods: In 2616 nondiabetic Framingham Offspring Study participants, body mass index (BMI) and fasting insulin were related to a within-person 7-year change in a trait score of 0–4 Adult Treatment Panel III metabolic syndrome traits (hypertension, high triglycerides, low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, hyperglycemia). Results: At baseline assessment, mean trait score was 1.4 traits, and 7-year mean (SEM) change in trait score was +0.25 (0.02) traits, P<0.0001. In models with BMI predictors only, for every quintile difference in baseline BMI, the 7-year trait score increase was 0.14 traits, and for every quintile increase in BMI during 7-year follow-up, the trait score increased by 0.3 traits. Baseline level and change in fasting insulin were similarly related to trait score change. In models adjusted for age–sex–baseline cluster score, 7-year change in trait score was significantly related to both a 1-quintile difference in baseline BMI (0.07 traits) and fasting insulin (0.18 traits), and to both a 1-quintile 7-year increase in BMI (0.21 traits) and fasting insulin (0.18 traits). Conclusions: Change in metabolic trait clustering was significantly associated with baseline levels and changes in both BMI and fasting insulin, highlighting the importance of both obesity and IR in the clustering of metabolic traits. PMID:25007010

  12. Software for quantitative trait analysis.

    PubMed

    Almasy, Laura; Warren, Diane M

    2005-09-01

    This paper provides a brief overview of software currently available for the genetic analysis of quantitative traits in humans. Programs that implement variance components, Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC), Haseman-Elston (H-E) and penetrance model-based linkage analyses are discussed, as are programs for measured genotype association analyses and quantitative trait transmission disequilibrium tests. The software compared includes LINKAGE, FASTLINK, PAP, SOLAR, SEGPATH, ACT, Mx, MERLIN, GENEHUNTER, Loki, Mendel, SAGE, QTDT and FBAT. Where possible, the paper provides URLs for acquiring these programs through the internet, details of the platforms for which the software is available and the types of analyses performed.

  13. Moral reasoning and personality traits.

    PubMed

    Mudrack, Peter E

    2006-06-01

    Moral reasoning should not be clearly associated with measures of personality traits. Although this assumption pervades the moral reasoning literature, it may not always be true. This paper provides evidence that moral reasoning, as assessed with P scores of the Defining Issues Test, is indeed positively associated with five traits from the California Psychological Inventory: Achievement via Independence, Intellectual Efficiency, Tolerance, Responsibility, and Capacity for Status. Such relationships make conceptual sense, shed light on the meaning and implications of moral reasoning, call into question prevailing assumptions in the literature, and may encourage investigators to broaden the types of research questions asked in the context of moral reasoning.

  14. Irrigated Agriculture, Saudi Arabia

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1990-01-01

    In Saudi Arabia, center-pivot, swing-arm irrigated agriculture complexes such as the one imaged at Jabal Tuwayq (20.5N, 45.0 E) extract deep fossil water reserves to achieve food crop production self sufficiency in this desert environment. The significance of the Saudi expanded irrigated agriculture is that the depletion of this finite water resource is a short term solution to a long term need that will still exist when the water has been extracted.

  15. Agriculture increases individual fitness.

    PubMed

    Kovaka, Karen; Santana, Carlos; Patel, Raj; Akçay, Erol; Weisberg, Michael

    2016-01-01

    We question the need to explain the onset of agriculture by appealing to the second type of multilevel selection (MLS2). Unlike eusocial insect colonies, human societies do not exhibit key features of evolutionary individuals. If we avoid the mistake of equating Darwinian fitness with health and quality of life, the adoption of agriculture is almost certainly explicable in terms of individual-level selection and individual rationality.

  16. USSR Report Agriculture.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1986-03-06

    simultaneous freeing of production resources for the achievement of other social goals of public development involves improving the structure of the food...in agriculture it becomes possible to free about 2 million hectares of arable land for the purpose of cultivating other crops, about 200,000 persons...insufficient application of mineral fertilizers. The structural changes in agriculture proposed by us, based on the freeing of 2 million hectares of

  17. Lunar agriculture in Mesoamerica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iwaniszewski, S.

    Through the moon' s role in choosing the proper time for planting, harvesting and woodcutting is widely attested in ethnographic reports, the cultural logic and structure of actions by which this celestial body is perceived and used has not been satisfactorily explained. The aim of this paper is to offer such an explanatory framework within which the role of the moon in the agricultural cycle may be explained. My examples of the beliefs about lunar agriculture derive from the Mesoamerican cultural tradition.

  18. TraitBank: An Open Digital Repository for Organism Traits

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    TraitBank currently serves over 11 million measurements and facts for more than 1.7 million taxa. These data are mobilized from major biodiversity information systems (e.g., International Union for Conservation of Nature, Ocean Biogeographic Information System, Paleobiology Database), literature sup...

  19. The effect of induced mutations on quantitative traits in Arabidopsis thaliana: Natural versus artificial conditions.

    PubMed

    Stearns, Frank W; Fenster, Charles B

    2016-12-01

    Mutations are the ultimate source of all genetic variations. New mutations are expected to affect quantitative traits differently depending on the extent to which traits contribute to fitness and the environment in which they are tested. The dogma is that the preponderance of mutations affecting fitness will be skewed toward deleterious while their effects on nonfitness traits will be bidirectionally distributed. There are mixed views on the role of stress in modulating these effects. We quantify mutation effects by inducing mutations in Arabidopsis thaliana (Columbia accession) using the chemical ethylmethane sulfonate. We measured the effects of new mutations relative to a premutation founder for fitness components under both natural (field) and artificial (growth room) conditions. Additionally, we measured three other quantitative traits, not expected to contribute directly to fitness, under artificial conditions. We found that induced mutations were equally as likely to increase as decrease a trait when that trait was not closely related to fitness (traits that were neither survivorship nor reproduction). We also found that new mutations were more likely to decrease fitness or fitness-related traits under more stressful field conditions than under relatively benign artificial conditions. In the benign condition, the effect of new mutations on fitness components was similar to traits not as closely related to fitness. These results highlight the importance of measuring the effects of new mutations on fitness and other traits under a range of conditions.

  20. Neutral and selection-driven decay of sexual traits in asexual stick insects.

    PubMed

    Schwander, Tanja; Crespi, Bernard J; Gries, Regine; Gries, Gerhard

    2013-08-07

    Environmental shifts and lifestyle changes may result in formerly adaptive traits becoming non-functional or maladaptive. The subsequent decay of such traits highlights the importance of natural selection for adaptations, yet its causes have rarely been investigated. To study the fate of formerly adaptive traits after lifestyle changes, we evaluated sexual traits in five independently derived asexual lineages, including traits that are specific to males and therefore not exposed to selection. At least four of the asexual lineages retained the capacity to produce males that display normal courtship behaviours and are able to fertilize eggs of females from related sexual species. The maintenance of male traits may stem from pleiotropy, or from these traits only regressing via drift, which may require millions of years to generate phenotypic effects. By contrast, we found parallel decay of sexual traits in females. Asexual females produced altered airborne and contact signals, had modified sperm storage organs, and lost the ability to fertilize their eggs, impeding reversals to sexual reproduction. Female sexual traits were decayed even in recently derived asexuals, suggesting that trait changes following the evolution of asexuality, when they occur, proceed rapidly and are driven by selective processes rather than drift.