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Sample records for locust lobula giant

  1. Non-Linear Neuronal Responses as an Emergent Property of Afferent Networks: A Case Study of the Locust Lobula Giant Movement Detector

    PubMed Central

    Bermúdez i Badia, Sergi; Bernardet, Ulysses; Verschure, Paul F. M. J.

    2010-01-01

    In principle it appears advantageous for single neurons to perform non-linear operations. Indeed it has been reported that some neurons show signatures of such operations in their electrophysiological response. A particular case in point is the Lobula Giant Movement Detector (LGMD) neuron of the locust, which is reported to locally perform a functional multiplication. Given the wide ramifications of this suggestion with respect to our understanding of neuronal computations, it is essential that this interpretation of the LGMD as a local multiplication unit is thoroughly tested. Here we evaluate an alternative model that tests the hypothesis that the non-linear responses of the LGMD neuron emerge from the interactions of many neurons in the opto-motor processing structure of the locust. We show, by exposing our model to standard LGMD stimulation protocols, that the properties of the LGMD that were seen as a hallmark of local non-linear operations can be explained as emerging from the dynamics of the pre-synaptic network. Moreover, we demonstrate that these properties strongly depend on the details of the synaptic projections from the medulla to the LGMD. From these observations we deduce a number of testable predictions. To assess the real-time properties of our model we applied it to a high-speed robot. These robot results show that our model of the locust opto-motor system is able to reliably stabilize the movement trajectory of the robot and can robustly support collision avoidance. In addition, these behavioural experiments suggest that the emergent non-linear responses of the LGMD neuron enhance the system's collision detection acuity. We show how all reported properties of this neuron are consistently reproduced by this alternative model, and how they emerge from the overall opto-motor processing structure of the locust. Hence, our results propose an alternative view on neuronal computation that emphasizes the network properties as opposed to the local

  2. Characterization of lobula giant neurons responsive to visual stimuli that elicit escape behaviors in the crab Chasmagnathus.

    PubMed

    Medan, Violeta; Oliva, Damián; Tomsic, Daniel

    2007-10-01

    In the grapsid crab Chasmagnathus, a visual danger stimulus elicits a strong escape response that diminishes rapidly on stimulus repetition. This behavioral modification can persist for several days as a result of the formation of an associative memory. We have previously shown that a generic group of large motion-sensitive neurons from the lobula of the crab respond to visual stimuli and accurately reflect the escape performance. Additional evidence indicates that these neurons play a key role in visual memory and in the decision to initiate an escape. Although early studies recognized that the group of lobula giant (LG) neurons consisted of different classes of motion-sensitive cells, a distinction between these classes has been lacking. Here, we recorded in vivo the responses of individual LG neurons to a wide range of visual stimuli presented in different segments of the animal's visual field. Physiological characterizations were followed by intracellular dye injections, which permitted comparison of the functional and morphological features of each cell. All LG neurons consisted of large tangential arborizations in the lobula with axons projecting toward the midbrain. Functionally, these cells proved to be more sensitive to single objects than to flow field motion. Despite these commonalities, clear differences in morphology and physiology allowed us to identify four distinct classes of LG neurons. These results will permit analysis of the role of each neuronal type for visually guided behaviors and will allow us to address specific questions on the neuronal plasticity of LGs that underlie the well-recognized memory model of the crab.

  3. A look into the cockpit of the developing locust: looming detectors and predator avoidance.

    PubMed

    Sztarker, Julieta; Rind, F Claire

    2014-11-01

    For many animals, the visual detection of looming stimuli is crucial at any stage of their lives. For example, human babies of only 6 days old display evasive responses to looming stimuli (Bower et al. [1971]: Percept Psychophys 9: 193-196). This means the neuronal pathways involved in looming detection should mature early in life. Locusts have been used extensively to examine the neural circuits and mechanisms involved in sensing looming stimuli and triggering visually evoked evasive actions, making them ideal subjects in which to investigate the development of looming sensitivity. Two lobula giant movement detectors (LGMD) neurons have been identified in the lobula region of the locust visual system: the LGMD1 neuron responds selectively to looming stimuli and provides information that contributes to evasive responses such as jumping and emergency glides. The LGMD2 responds to looming stimuli and shares many response properties with the LGMD1. Both neurons have only been described in the adult. In this study, we describe a practical method combining classical staining techniques and 3D neuronal reconstructions that can be used, even in small insects, to reveal detailed anatomy of individual neurons. We have used it to analyze the anatomy of the fan-shaped dendritic tree of the LGMD1 and the LGMD2 neurons in all stages of the post-embryonic development of Locusta migratoria. We also analyze changes seen during the ontogeny of escape behaviors triggered by looming stimuli, specially the hiding response.

  4. Spatiotemporal stimulus properties modulate responses to trajectory changes in a locust looming-sensitive pathway.

    PubMed

    Dick, Paul C; Gray, John R

    2014-05-01

    The lobula giant movement detector (LGMD) and descending contralateral movement detector (DCMD) constitute one motion-sensitive pathway in the locust visual system that is implicated in collision-avoidance behaviors. While this pathway is thought to respond preferentially to objects approaching on a direct collision course, emerging studies suggest the firing rate is able to monitor more complicated movements that would occur under natural conditions. While previous studies have compared the response of the DCMD to objects on collision courses that travel at different speeds, velocity has not been manipulated for other simple or compound trajectories. Here we test the possibility that the LGMD/DCMD pathway is capable of responding uniquely to complex aspects of object motion, including translation and trajectory changes at different velocities. We found that the response of the DCMD to translational motion initiated in the caudal visual field was a low-amplitude peak in firing rate that occurred before the object crossed 90° azimuth that was invariant to different object velocities. Direct looms at different velocities resulted in peak firing rates that occurred later in time and with greater amplitude for higher velocities. In response to transitions from translational motion to a collision course, the firing rate change depended on both the location within the visual field and the velocity. These results suggest that this pathway is capable of conveying information about multiple properties of a moving object's trajectory.

  5. Spatiotemporal stimulus properties modulate responses to trajectory changes in a locust looming-sensitive pathway.

    PubMed

    Dick, Paul C; Gray, John R

    2014-05-01

    The lobula giant movement detector (LGMD) and descending contralateral movement detector (DCMD) constitute one motion-sensitive pathway in the locust visual system that is implicated in collision-avoidance behaviors. While this pathway is thought to respond preferentially to objects approaching on a direct collision course, emerging studies suggest the firing rate is able to monitor more complicated movements that would occur under natural conditions. While previous studies have compared the response of the DCMD to objects on collision courses that travel at different speeds, velocity has not been manipulated for other simple or compound trajectories. Here we test the possibility that the LGMD/DCMD pathway is capable of responding uniquely to complex aspects of object motion, including translation and trajectory changes at different velocities. We found that the response of the DCMD to translational motion initiated in the caudal visual field was a low-amplitude peak in firing rate that occurred before the object crossed 90° azimuth that was invariant to different object velocities. Direct looms at different velocities resulted in peak firing rates that occurred later in time and with greater amplitude for higher velocities. In response to transitions from translational motion to a collision course, the firing rate change depended on both the location within the visual field and the velocity. These results suggest that this pathway is capable of conveying information about multiple properties of a moving object's trajectory. PMID:24478154

  6. Two identified looming detectors in the locust: ubiquitous lateral connections among their inputs contribute to selective responses to looming objects

    PubMed Central

    Rind, F. Claire; Wernitznig, Stefan; Pölt, Peter; Zankel, Armin; Gütl, Daniel; Sztarker, Julieta; Leitinger, Gerd

    2016-01-01

    In locusts, two lobula giant movement detector neurons (LGMDs) act as looming object detectors. Their reproducible responses to looming and their ethological significance makes them models for single neuron computation. But there is no comprehensive picture of the neurons that connect directly to each LGMD. We used high-through-put serial block-face scanning-electron-microscopy to reconstruct the network of input-synapses onto the LGMDs over spatial scales ranging from single synapses and small circuits, up to dendritic branches and total excitatory input. Reconstructions reveal that many trans-medullary-afferents (TmAs) connect the eye with each LGMD, one TmA per facet per LGMD. But when a TmA synapses with an LGMD it also connects laterally with another TmA. These inter-TmA synapses are always reciprocal. Total excitatory input to the LGMD 1 and 2 comes from 131,000 and 186,000 synapses reaching densities of 3.1 and 2.6 synapses per μm2 respectively. We explored the computational consequences of reciprocal synapses between each TmA and 6 others from neighbouring columns. Since any lateral interactions between LGMD inputs have always been inhibitory we may assume these reciprocal lateral connections are most likely inhibitory. Such reciprocal inhibitory synapses increased the LGMD’s selectivity for looming over passing objects, particularly at the beginning of object approach. PMID:27774991

  7. Locusts and remote sensing: a review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Latchininsky, Alexandre V.

    2013-01-01

    A dozen species of locusts (Orthoptera: Acrididae) are a major threat to food security worldwide. Their outbreaks occur on every continent except Antarctica, threatening the livelihood of 10% of the world's population. The locusts are infamous for their voracity, polyphagy, and capacity for long-distance migrations. Decades of research revealed very complex bio-ecology of locusts. They exist in two, inter-convertible and density-dependent states, or "phases." Despite the evident progress in understanding locust behavior, our ability to predict and manage locust outbreaks remains insufficient, as evidenced by locust plagues still occurring during the 21st century. One of the main reasons is that locusts typically inhabit remote and scarcely populated areas, and their distribution ranges often spread across continents. This creates tremendous obstacles for locust population monitoring and control. Traditional ground locust surveys are inadequate to address the enormous spatial scale of the locust problem in a limited window of time dictated by the pest's development. Remote sensing (satellite information) appears a promising tool in locust monitoring. Satellite data are increasingly used for monitoring and forecasting two locust species, the desert and the Australian plague locust. However, applications of this geospatial technology to other locust species remain rare.

  8. Coordinated righting behaviour in locusts.

    PubMed

    Faisal, A A; Matheson, T

    2001-02-01

    A locust placed upside down on a flat surface uses a predictable sequence of leg movements to right itself. To analyse this behaviour, we made use of a naturally occurring state of quiescence (thanatosis) to position locusts in a standardised upside-down position from which they spontaneously right themselves. Locusts grasped around the pronotum enter a state of thanatosis during which the limbs can be manipulated into particular postures, where they remain, and the animal can be placed upside down on the ground. When released, thanatosis lasts 4-456 s (mean 73 s) before the animal suddenly becomes active again and rights itself within a further 600 ms. Thanatosis is characterised by very low levels of leg motor activity. During righting, one hind leg provides most of the downward force against the ground that rolls the body around a longitudinal axis towards the other side. The driving force is produced by femoral levation (relative to the body) at the trochanter and by tibial extension. As the animal rolls over, the hind leg on the other side is also levated at the trochanter, so that it does not obstruct the movement. The forelegs and middle legs are not required for successful righting but they can help initially to tip the locust to one side, and at the end of the movement they help stop the roll as the animal turns upright. Individual locusts have a preferred righting direction but can, nevertheless, roll to either side. Locusts falling upside down through the air use both passive and active mechanisms to right themselves before they land. Without active movements, falling locusts tend to rotate into an upright position, but most locusts extend their hind leg tibiae and/or spread their wings, which increases the success of mid-air righting from 28 to 49 % when falling from 30 cm. The rapid and reliable righting behaviour of locusts reduces the time spent in a vulnerable upside-down position. Their narrow body geometry, large hind legs, which can generate

  9. A stochastic lattice model for locust outbreak

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kizaki, Shinya; Katori, Makoto

    The locust is a kind of grasshoppers. Gregarious locusts form swarms and can migrate over large distances and they spread and damage a large area (locust outbreak). When the density is low, each of locusts behaves as an individual insect (solitary phase). As locusts become crowded, they become to act as a part of a group (gregarious phase) as a result of interactions among them. Modeling of this phenomenon is a challenging problem of statistical physics. We introduce a stochastic cellular automaton model of locust population-dynamics on lattices. Change of environmental conditions by seasonal migration is a key factor in gregarisation of locusts and we take it into account by changing the lattice size periodically. We study this model by computer simulations and discuss the locust outbreak as a cooperative phenomena.

  10. 21 CFR 184.1343 - Locust (carob) bean gum.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 3 2013-04-01 2013-04-01 false Locust (carob) bean gum. 184.1343 Section 184.1343... Listing of Specific Substances Affirmed as GRAS § 184.1343 Locust (carob) bean gum. (a) Locust (carob) bean gum is primarily the macerated endosperm of the seed of the locust (carob) bean tree,...

  11. 21 CFR 184.1343 - Locust (carob) bean gum.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 3 2010-04-01 2009-04-01 true Locust (carob) bean gum. 184.1343 Section 184.1343... Listing of Specific Substances Affirmed as GRAS § 184.1343 Locust (carob) bean gum. (a) Locust (carob) bean gum is primarily the macerated endosperm of the seed of the locust (carob) bean tree,...

  12. 21 CFR 184.1343 - Locust (carob) bean gum.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 3 2014-04-01 2014-04-01 false Locust (carob) bean gum. 184.1343 Section 184.1343... GRAS § 184.1343 Locust (carob) bean gum. (a) Locust (carob) bean gum is primarily the macerated endosperm of the seed of the locust (carob) bean tree, Ceratonia siliqua (Linne), a leguminous...

  13. 21 CFR 184.1343 - Locust (carob) bean gum.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 3 2012-04-01 2012-04-01 false Locust (carob) bean gum. 184.1343 Section 184.1343... Listing of Specific Substances Affirmed as GRAS § 184.1343 Locust (carob) bean gum. (a) Locust (carob) bean gum is primarily the macerated endosperm of the seed of the locust (carob) bean tree,...

  14. 21 CFR 184.1343 - Locust (carob) bean gum.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 3 2011-04-01 2011-04-01 false Locust (carob) bean gum. 184.1343 Section 184.1343... Listing of Specific Substances Affirmed as GRAS § 184.1343 Locust (carob) bean gum. (a) Locust (carob) bean gum is primarily the macerated endosperm of the seed of the locust (carob) bean tree,...

  15. Locust Collective Motion and Its Modeling.

    PubMed

    Ariel, Gil; Ayali, Amir

    2015-12-01

    Over the past decade, technological advances in experimental and animal tracking techniques have motivated a renewed theoretical interest in animal collective motion and, in particular, locust swarming. This review offers a comprehensive biological background followed by comparative analysis of recent models of locust collective motion, in particular locust marching, their settings, and underlying assumptions. We describe a wide range of recent modeling and simulation approaches, from discrete agent-based models of self-propelled particles to continuous models of integro-differential equations, aimed at describing and analyzing the fascinating phenomenon of locust collective motion. These modeling efforts have a dual role: The first views locusts as a quintessential example of animal collective motion. As such, they aim at abstraction and coarse-graining, often utilizing the tools of statistical physics. The second, which originates from a more biological perspective, views locust swarming as a scientific problem of its own exceptional merit. The main goal should, thus, be the analysis and prediction of natural swarm dynamics. We discuss the properties of swarm dynamics using the tools of statistical physics, as well as the implications for laboratory experiments and natural swarms. Finally, we stress the importance of a combined-interdisciplinary, biological-theoretical effort in successfully confronting the challenges that locusts pose at both the theoretical and practical levels. PMID:26656851

  16. Locust Collective Motion and Its Modeling

    PubMed Central

    Ariel, Gil; Ayali, Amir

    2015-01-01

    Over the past decade, technological advances in experimental and animal tracking techniques have motivated a renewed theoretical interest in animal collective motion and, in particular, locust swarming. This review offers a comprehensive biological background followed by comparative analysis of recent models of locust collective motion, in particular locust marching, their settings, and underlying assumptions. We describe a wide range of recent modeling and simulation approaches, from discrete agent-based models of self-propelled particles to continuous models of integro-differential equations, aimed at describing and analyzing the fascinating phenomenon of locust collective motion. These modeling efforts have a dual role: The first views locusts as a quintessential example of animal collective motion. As such, they aim at abstraction and coarse-graining, often utilizing the tools of statistical physics. The second, which originates from a more biological perspective, views locust swarming as a scientific problem of its own exceptional merit. The main goal should, thus, be the analysis and prediction of natural swarm dynamics. We discuss the properties of swarm dynamics using the tools of statistical physics, as well as the implications for laboratory experiments and natural swarms. Finally, we stress the importance of a combined-interdisciplinary, biological-theoretical effort in successfully confronting the challenges that locusts pose at both the theoretical and practical levels. PMID:26656851

  17. Locust Collective Motion and Its Modeling.

    PubMed

    Ariel, Gil; Ayali, Amir

    2015-12-01

    Over the past decade, technological advances in experimental and animal tracking techniques have motivated a renewed theoretical interest in animal collective motion and, in particular, locust swarming. This review offers a comprehensive biological background followed by comparative analysis of recent models of locust collective motion, in particular locust marching, their settings, and underlying assumptions. We describe a wide range of recent modeling and simulation approaches, from discrete agent-based models of self-propelled particles to continuous models of integro-differential equations, aimed at describing and analyzing the fascinating phenomenon of locust collective motion. These modeling efforts have a dual role: The first views locusts as a quintessential example of animal collective motion. As such, they aim at abstraction and coarse-graining, often utilizing the tools of statistical physics. The second, which originates from a more biological perspective, views locust swarming as a scientific problem of its own exceptional merit. The main goal should, thus, be the analysis and prediction of natural swarm dynamics. We discuss the properties of swarm dynamics using the tools of statistical physics, as well as the implications for laboratory experiments and natural swarms. Finally, we stress the importance of a combined-interdisciplinary, biological-theoretical effort in successfully confronting the challenges that locusts pose at both the theoretical and practical levels.

  18. Visual Coding in Locust Photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Faivre, Olivier; Juusola, Mikko

    2008-01-01

    Information capture by photoreceptors ultimately limits the quality of visual processing in the brain. Using conventional sharp microelectrodes, we studied how locust photoreceptors encode random (white-noise, WN) and naturalistic (1/f stimuli, NS) light patterns in vivo and how this coding changes with mean illumination and ambient temperature. We also examined the role of their plasma membrane in shaping voltage responses. We found that brightening or warming increase and accelerate voltage responses, but reduce noise, enabling photoreceptors to encode more information. For WN stimuli, this was accompanied by broadening of the linear frequency range. On the contrary, with NS the signaling took place within a constant bandwidth, possibly revealing a ‘preference’ for inputs with 1/f statistics. The faster signaling was caused by acceleration of the elementary phototransduction current - leading to bumps - and their distribution. The membrane linearly translated phototransduction currents into voltage responses without limiting the throughput of these messages. As the bumps reflected fast changes in membrane resistance, the data suggest that their shape is predominantly driven by fast changes in the light-gated conductance. On the other hand, the slower bump latency distribution is likely to represent slower enzymatic intracellular reactions. Furthermore, the Q10s of bump duration and latency distribution depended on light intensity. Altogether, this study suggests that biochemical constraints imposed upon signaling change continuously as locust photoreceptors adapt to environmental light and temperature conditions. PMID:18478123

  19. Locust bean gum: a versatile biopolymer.

    PubMed

    Prajapati, Vipul D; Jani, Girish K; Moradiya, Naresh G; Randeria, Narayan P; Nagar, Bhanu J

    2013-05-15

    Biopolymers or natural polymers are an attractive class of biodegradable polymers since they are derived from natural sources, easily available, relatively cheap and can be modified by suitable reagent. Locust bean gum is one of them that have a wide potentiality in drug formulations due to its extensive application as food additive and its recognized lack of toxicity. It can be tailored to suit its demands of applicants in both the pharmaceutical and biomedical areas. Locust bean gum has a wide application either in the field of novel drug delivery system as rate controlling excipients or in tissue engineering as scaffold formation. Through keen references of reported literature on locust bean gum, in this review, we have described critical aspects of locust bean gum, its manufacturing process, physicochemical properties and applications in various drug delivery systems.

  20. Efficient utilization of aerobic metabolism helps Tibetan locusts conquer hypoxia

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Responses to hypoxia have been investigated in many species; however, comparative studies between conspecific geographical populations at different altitudes are rare, especially for invertebrates. The migratory locust, Locusta migratoria, is widely distributed around the world, including on the high-altitude Tibetan Plateau (TP) and the low-altitude North China Plain (NP). TP locusts have inhabited Tibetan Plateau for over 34,000 years and thus probably have evolved superior capacity to cope with hypoxia. Results Here we compared the hypoxic responses of TP and NP locusts from morphological, behavioral, and physiological perspectives. We found that TP locusts were more tolerant of extreme hypoxia than NP locusts. To evaluate why TP locusts respond to extreme hypoxia differently from NP locusts, we subjected them to extreme hypoxia and compared their transcriptional responses. We found that the aerobic metabolism was less affected in TP locusts than in NP locusts. RNAi disruption of PDHE1β, an entry gene from glycolysis to TCA cycle, increased the ratio of stupor in TP locusts and decreased the ATP content of TP locusts in hypoxia, confirming that aerobic metabolism is critical for TP locusts to maintain activity in hypoxia. Conclusions Our results indicate that TP and NP locusts have undergone divergence in hypoxia tolerance. These findings also indicate that insects can adapt to hypoxic pressure by modulating basic metabolic processes. PMID:24047108

  1. Bristly locust: Establishment success in an emulated organic silvopasture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Bristly locust (Robinia hispida) is a native tree legume found throughout much of the US, but it has received relatively little attention as a potential crop. While only 2-10 ft tall, bristly locust somewhat resembles black locust, produces pink flowers, and the stems are covered by soft, inoffensiv...

  2. Locusts for Lunch: Connecting Mathematics, Science, and Literature

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Austin, Richard A.; Thompson, Denisse R.; Beckmann, Charlene E.

    2006-01-01

    This article connects three disciplines while exploring how students computed tons of food consumed by both locusts and people. Included with this article are two worksheets "How Much Does a Locust Eat?" and "Can You Eat Those Locusts?". (Contains 3 figures.)

  3. Nitric oxide synthesis in locust olfactory interneurones

    PubMed

    Elphick; Rayne; Riveros-Moreno; Moncada; Shea

    1995-01-01

    The brain of the locust Schistocerca gregaria contains a nitric oxide synthase (NOS) that has similar properties to mammalian neuronal NOS. It catalyses the production of equimolar quantities of nitric oxide (NO) and citrulline from l-arginine in a Ca2+/calmodulin- and NADPH-dependent manner and is inhibited by the Nomega-nitro and Nomega-monomethyl analogues of l-arginine. In Western blots, an antiserum to the 160 kDa rat cerebellar NOS subunit recognises a locust brain protein with a molecular mass of approximately 135 kDa. NOS is located in several parts of the locust brain, including the mushroom bodies, but it is particularly abundant in the olfactory processing centres, the antennal lobes. Here it is present in two groups of local interneurones (a pair and a cluster of about 50) that project into the neuropile of the antennal lobes. The processes of these neurones terminate in numerous glomerulus-like structures where the synapses between primary olfactory receptor neurones and central interneurones are formed. NOS-containing local interneurones have also been identified in the mammalian olfactory bulb, suggesting that NO performs analogous functions in locust and mammalian olfactory systems. As yet, nothing is known about the role of NO in olfaction, but it seems likely that it is involved in the processing of chemosensory input to the brain. The locust antennal lobe may be an ideal 'simple' system in which this aspect of NO function can be examined.

  4. Tympanal travelling waves in migratory locusts.

    PubMed

    Windmill, James F C; Göpfert, Martin C; Robert, Daniel

    2005-01-01

    Hearing animals, including many vertebrates and insects, have the capacity to analyse the frequency composition of sound. In mammals, frequency analysis relies on the mechanical response of the basilar membrane in the cochlear duct. These vibrations take the form of a slow vibrational wave propagating along the basilar membrane from base to apex. Known as von Békésy's travelling wave, this wave displays amplitude maxima at frequency-specific locations along the basilar membrane, providing a spatial map of the frequency of sound--a tonotopy. In their structure, insect auditory systems may not be as sophisticated at those of mammals, yet some are known to perform sound frequency analysis. In the desert locust, this analysis arises from the mechanical properties of the tympanal membrane. In effect, the spatial decomposition of incident sound into discrete frequency components involves a tympanal travelling wave that funnels mechanical energy to specific tympanal locations, where distinct groups of mechanoreceptor neurones project. Notably, observed tympanal deflections differ from those predicted by drum theory. Although phenomenologically equivalent, von Békésy's and the locust's waves differ in their physical implementation. von Békésy's wave is born from interactions between the anisotropic basilar membrane and the surrounding incompressible fluids, whereas the locust's wave rides on an anisotropic membrane suspended in air. The locust's ear thus combines in one structure the functions of sound reception and frequency decomposition.

  5. The Locust Jump: An Integrated Laboratory Investigation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Scott, Jon

    2005-01-01

    The locust is well known for its ability to jump large distances to avoid predation. This class sets out a series of investigations into the mechanisms underlying the jump enabling students to bring together information from biomechanics, muscle physiology, and anatomy. The nature of the investigation allows it to be undertaken at a number of…

  6. Altered Immunity in Crowded Locust Reduced Fungal (Metarhizium anisopliae) Pathogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yundan; Yang, Pengcheng; Cui, Feng; Kang, Le

    2013-01-01

    The stress of living conditions, similar to infections, alters animal immunity. High population density is empirically considered to induce prophylactic immunity to reduce the infection risk, which was challenged by a model of low connectivity between infectious and susceptible individuals in crowded animals. The migratory locust, which exhibits polyphenism through gregarious and solitary phases in response to population density and displays different resistance to fungal biopesticide (Metarhizium anisopliae), was used to observe the prophylactic immunity of crowded animals. We applied an RNA-sequencing assay to investigate differential expression in fat body samples of gregarious and solitary locusts before and after infection. Solitary locusts devoted at least twice the number of genes for combating M. anisopliae infection than gregarious locusts. The transcription of immune molecules such as pattern recognition proteins, protease inhibitors, and anti-oxidation proteins, was increased in prophylactic immunity of gregarious locusts. The differentially expressed transcripts reducing gregarious locust susceptibility to M. anisopliae were confirmed at the transcriptional and translational level. Further investigation revealed that locust GNBP3 was susceptible to proteolysis while GNBP1, induced by M. anisopliae infection, resisted proteolysis. Silencing of gnbp3 by RNAi significantly shortened the life span of gregarious locusts but not solitary locusts. By contrast, gnbp1 silencing did not affect the life span of both gregarious and solitary locusts after M. anisopliae infection. Thus, the GNBP3-dependent immune responses were involved in the phenotypic resistance of gregarious locusts to fungal infection, but were redundant in solitary locusts. Our results indicated that gregarious locusts prophylactically activated upstream modulators of immune cascades rather than downstream effectors, preferring to quarantine rather than eliminate pathogens to conserve energy

  7. Phenotypic transformation affects associative learning in the desert locust.

    PubMed

    Simões, Patrício M V; Niven, Jeremy E; Ott, Swidbert R

    2013-12-01

    In desert locusts, increased population densities drive phenotypic transformation from the solitarious to the gregarious phase within a generation [1-4]. Here we show that when presented with odor-food associations, the two extreme phases differ in aversive but not appetitive associative learning, with solitarious locusts showing a conditioned aversion more quickly than gregarious locusts. The acquisition of new learned aversions was blocked entirely in acutely crowded solitarious (transiens) locusts, whereas appetitive learning and prior learned associations were unaffected. These differences in aversive learning support phase-specific feeding strategies. Associative training with hyoscyamine, a plant alkaloid found in the locusts' habitat [5, 6], elicits a phase-dependent odor preference: solitarious locusts avoid an odor associated with hyoscyamine, whereas gregarious locusts do not. Remarkably, when solitarious locusts are crowded and then reconditioned with the odor-hyoscyamine pairing as transiens, the specific blockade of aversive acquisition enables them to override their prior aversive memory with an appetitive one. Under fierce food competition, as occurs during crowding in the field, this provides a neuroecological mechanism enabling locusts to reassign an appetitive value to an odor that they learned previously to avoid.

  8. [Comparative investigation of locust's phototactic visual spectrum effect and phototactic response to spectral illumination].

    PubMed

    Liu, Qi-Hang; Zhou, Qiang

    2014-07-01

    To provide theoretical support for determining locust's phototactic spectrum, and explore locust's phototactic mechanism stimulated by light, utilizing AvaSpec fiber-optic spectrometer system and AvaLight-DHS, the investigation of locust's phototactic visual spectrum effect after light energy stimulated locust's vision system was carried out and on this basis, utilizing the investigated device of locust's phototactic response to spectral illumination, the discrepancy of locust's phototactic response to spectral illumination was certificated comparatively. The results show that the degree of locust's vision system absorbing the single spectrum photon of 430, 545 and 610 nm is significant and there exists difference, and the behavioral response to orange, violet, green, and blue spectral light has the difference in selective sensitivity, with the intensity of response to violet light being the strongest. The degree of response to orange light is the maximum, simultaneously, locust's vision system absorbing spectral photon energy has selective difference and requirement of illumination time, moreover, the sensitive degree of locust's visual system to spectrum and the strength of the lighting energy, influencing locust's phototactic response degree, and the micro-response of locust's phototactic vision physiology, led by the photoelectric effect of locust absorbing sensitive photon and converting photon energy, is the reason for locust's phototactic orientation response. In addition, locust's phototactic visual spectrum effect, only when the biological photoelectric effect of locust's visual system is stimulated by spectral illumination, can present the sensitivity of the spectral absorption effect, so, using the stronger ultraviolet stimulation characteristic of violet light, the different sensitive stimulation of orange, green, blue spectral light on locust's phototactic vision, and combining orange, violet, green, blue spectral light field mechanism reasonably, can

  9. A conceptual method for monitoring locust habitat

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Howard, Stephen M.; Loveland, Thomas R.; Ohlen, Donald O.; Moore, Donald G.; Gallo, Kevin P.; Olsson, Jonathon

    1987-01-01

    A procedure to map and monitor vegetation conditions in near-real time was developed at the United States Geological Survey;s Earth Resources Observation Systems Data Center for use in locust control efforts. Meteorological satellite dat were acquired daily for 3 weeks in October and November 1986 over a 1.4-million-square-kilometer study area centered on Botswana in southern Africa. Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer data were screened to remove cloud-contaminated data and registered to a 1-kilometer geographic base. Each day the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) was calculated to determine the presence and relative amounts of green vegetation in the area. Over a 10-day cycle, subsequent dates of NDVI data were composited to fill in data removed by the cloud-screening process. At any pixel location, the maximum NDVI value was retained. At the end of the 10-day cycle, a composite vegetation-greenness map was produced and another cycle started. Greenness-change maps were produced by comparing two 10-day composite greenness images. Automated map production procedures were used to merge the NDVI image data with cartographic data (boundaries, roads, tick marks) digitized from 1:1,000,000-scale operational navigation charts. The vegetation-greenness map shoes the current distribution of vegetation in the region and can be used to locate potential locust breeding area. The change map shows areas where increases and decreases in greenness have occurred between processing cycles. Significant areas of locust damage in remote regions are characterized by an unexpected decrease in greenness. These maps can be used by locust control teams to efficiently target areas for reconnaissance. In general, the procedures and products have utility for resource managers who are required to monitor vegetation resources over large geographic regions.

  10. Locust Dynamics: Behavioral Phase Change and Swarming

    PubMed Central

    Topaz, Chad M.; D'Orsogna, Maria R.; Edelstein-Keshet, Leah; Bernoff, Andrew J.

    2012-01-01

    Locusts exhibit two interconvertible behavioral phases, solitarious and gregarious. While solitarious individuals are repelled from other locusts, gregarious insects are attracted to conspecifics and can form large aggregations such as marching hopper bands. Numerous biological experiments at the individual level have shown how crowding biases conversion towards the gregarious form. To understand the formation of marching locust hopper bands, we study phase change at the collective level, and in a quantitative framework. Specifically, we construct a partial integrodifferential equation model incorporating the interplay between phase change and spatial movement at the individual level in order to predict the dynamics of hopper band formation at the population level. Stability analysis of our model reveals conditions for an outbreak, characterized by a large scale transition to the gregarious phase. A model reduction enables quantification of the temporal dynamics of each phase, of the proportion of the population that will eventually gregarize, and of the time scale for this to occur. Numerical simulations provide descriptions of the aggregation's structure and reveal transiently traveling clumps of gregarious insects. Our predictions of aggregation and mass gregarization suggest several possible future biological experiments. PMID:22916003

  11. Locust dynamics: behavioral phase change and swarming.

    PubMed

    Topaz, Chad M; D'Orsogna, Maria R; Edelstein-Keshet, Leah; Bernoff, Andrew J

    2012-01-01

    Locusts exhibit two interconvertible behavioral phases, solitarious and gregarious. While solitarious individuals are repelled from other locusts, gregarious insects are attracted to conspecifics and can form large aggregations such as marching hopper bands. Numerous biological experiments at the individual level have shown how crowding biases conversion towards the gregarious form. To understand the formation of marching locust hopper bands, we study phase change at the collective level, and in a quantitative framework. Specifically, we construct a partial integrodifferential equation model incorporating the interplay between phase change and spatial movement at the individual level in order to predict the dynamics of hopper band formation at the population level. Stability analysis of our model reveals conditions for an outbreak, characterized by a large scale transition to the gregarious phase. A model reduction enables quantification of the temporal dynamics of each phase, of the proportion of the population that will eventually gregarize, and of the time scale for this to occur. Numerical simulations provide descriptions of the aggregation's structure and reveal transiently traveling clumps of gregarious insects. Our predictions of aggregation and mass gregarization suggest several possible future biological experiments.

  12. Assaying Visual Memory in the Desert Locust.

    PubMed

    Dillen, Senne; Chen, Ziwei; Broeck, Jozef Vanden

    2015-01-01

    The involvement of associative learning cues has been demonstrated in several stages of feeding and food selection. Short neuropeptide F (sNPF), an insect neuropeptide whose effects on feeding behavior have previously been well established, may be one of the factors bridging feeding and learning behavior. Recently, it was shown in Drosophila melanogaster that the targeted reduction of Drome-sNPF transcript levels significantly reduced sugar-rewarded olfactory memory. While Drosophila mainly relies on olfactory perception in its food searching behavior, locust foraging behavior is likely to be more visually orientated. Furthermore, a feeding-dependent regulation of Schgr-sNPF transcript levels has previously been observed in the optic lobes of the locust brain, suggesting a possible involvement in visual perception of food and visual associative memory in this insect species. In this study, we describe the development of a robust and reproducible assay allowing visual associative memory to be studied in the desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria. Furthermore, we performed an exploratory series of experiments, studying the role of Schgr-sNPF in this complex process. PMID:26463192

  13. Serotonin enhances solitariness in phase transition of the migratory locust

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Xiaojiao; Ma, Zongyuan; Kang, Le

    2013-01-01

    The behavioral plasticity of locusts is a striking trait presented during the reversible phase transition between solitary and gregarious individuals. However, the results of serotonin as a neurotransmitter from the migratory locust Locusta migratoria in phase transition showed an alternative profile compared to the results from the desert locust Schistocerca gregaria. In this study, we investigated the roles of serotonin in the brain during the phase change of the migratory locust. During the isolation of gregarious nymphs, the concentration of serotonin in the brain increased significantly, whereas serotonin receptors (i.e., 5-HT1, 5-HT2, and 5-HT7) we identified here showed invariable expression patterns. Pharmacological intervention showed that serotonin injection in the brain of gregarious nymphs did not induced the behavioral change toward solitariness, but injection of this chemical in isolated gregarious nymphs accelerated the behavioral change from gregarious to solitary phase. During the crowding of solitary nymphs, the concentration of serotonin in the brain remained unchanged, whereas 5-HT2 increased after 1 h of crowding and maintained stable expression level thereafter. Activation of serotonin-5-HT2 signaling with a pharmaceutical agonist inhibited the gregariousness of solitary nymphs in crowding treatment. These results indicate that the fluctuations of serotonin content and 5-HT2 expression are results of locust phase change. Overall, this study demonstrates that serotonin enhances the solitariness of the gregarious locusts. Serotonin may regulate the withdrawal-like behavioral pattern displayed during locust phase change and this mechanism is conserved in different locust species. PMID:24109441

  14. Phenotypic Transformation Affects Associative Learning in the Desert Locust

    PubMed Central

    Simões, Patrício M.V.; Niven, Jeremy E.; Ott, Swidbert R.

    2013-01-01

    Summary In desert locusts, increased population densities drive phenotypic transformation from the solitarious to the gregarious phase within a generation [1–4]. Here we show that when presented with odor-food associations, the two extreme phases differ in aversive but not appetitive associative learning, with solitarious locusts showing a conditioned aversion more quickly than gregarious locusts. The acquisition of new learned aversions was blocked entirely in acutely crowded solitarious (transiens) locusts, whereas appetitive learning and prior learned associations were unaffected. These differences in aversive learning support phase-specific feeding strategies. Associative training with hyoscyamine, a plant alkaloid found in the locusts’ habitat [5, 6], elicits a phase-dependent odor preference: solitarious locusts avoid an odor associated with hyoscyamine, whereas gregarious locusts do not. Remarkably, when solitarious locusts are crowded and then reconditioned with the odor-hyoscyamine pairing as transiens, the specific blockade of aversive acquisition enables them to override their prior aversive memory with an appetitive one. Under fierce food competition, as occurs during crowding in the field, this provides a neuroecological mechanism enabling locusts to reassign an appetitive value to an odor that they learned previously to avoid. PMID:24268415

  15. A Locust Cage and Hatchery from Plastic Aquarium Tanks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stoneman, C. F.; And Others

    1973-01-01

    Describes how to construct a locust cage from two plastic aquaria and four coffee jars with plastic lids. Its advantages over a conventional locust cage include the inexpensive cost, lack of breakable glass, ease of cleaning, and visibility from all angles. (JR)

  16. 21 CFR 582.7343 - Locust bean gum.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 6 2014-04-01 2014-04-01 false Locust bean gum. 582.7343 Section 582.7343 Food and Drugs FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) ANIMAL... bean gum. (a) Product. Locust (carob) bean gum. (b) Conditions of use. This substance is...

  17. 21 CFR 582.7343 - Locust bean gum.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 6 2013-04-01 2013-04-01 false Locust bean gum. 582.7343 Section 582.7343 Food and Drugs FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) ANIMAL... bean gum. (a) Product. Locust (carob) bean gum. (b) Conditions of use. This substance is...

  18. 21 CFR 582.7343 - Locust bean gum.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 6 2011-04-01 2011-04-01 false Locust bean gum. 582.7343 Section 582.7343 Food and Drugs FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) ANIMAL... bean gum. (a) Product. Locust (carob) bean gum. (b) Conditions of use. This substance is...

  19. 21 CFR 582.7343 - Locust bean gum.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 6 2012-04-01 2012-04-01 false Locust bean gum. 582.7343 Section 582.7343 Food and Drugs FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) ANIMAL... bean gum. (a) Product. Locust (carob) bean gum. (b) Conditions of use. This substance is...

  20. 21 CFR 582.7343 - Locust bean gum.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 6 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Locust bean gum. 582.7343 Section 582.7343 Food and Drugs FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) ANIMAL... bean gum. (a) Product. Locust (carob) bean gum. (b) Conditions of use. This substance is...

  1. Biomechanical and dynamic mechanism of locust take-off

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Dian-Sheng; Yin, Jun-Mao; Chen, Ke-Wei; Li, Zhen

    2014-10-01

    The biomimetic locust robot hopping vehicle has promising applications in planet exploration and reconnaissance. This paper explores the bionic dynamics model of locust jumping by using high-speed video and force analysis. This paper applies hybrid rigid-flexible mechanisms to bionic locust hopping and studies its dynamics with emphasis laid on the relationship between force and jumping performance. The hybrid rigid-flexible model is introduced in the analysis of locust mechanism to address the principles of dynamics that govern locust joints and mechanisms during energy storage and take-off. The dynamic response of the biomimetic mechanism is studied by considering the flexibility according to the locust jumping dynamics mechanism. A multi-rigid-body dynamics model of locust jumping is established and analyzed based on Lagrange method; elastic knee and tarsus mechanisms that were proposed in previous works are analyzed alongside the original bionic joint configurations and their machinery principles. This work offers primary theories for take-off dynamics and establishes a theoretical basis for future studies and engineering applications.

  2. A locust-inspired miniature jumping robot.

    PubMed

    Zaitsev, Valentin; Gvirsman, Omer; Ben Hanan, Uri; Weiss, Avi; Ayali, Amir; Kosa, Gabor

    2015-12-01

    Unmanned ground vehicles are mostly wheeled, tracked, or legged. These locomotion mechanisms have a limited ability to traverse rough terrain and obstacles that are higher than the robot's center of mass. In order to improve the mobility of small robots it is necessary to expand the variety of their motion gaits. Jumping is one of nature's solutions to the challenge of mobility in difficult terrain. The desert locust is the model for the presented bio-inspired design of a jumping mechanism for a small mobile robot. The basic mechanism is similar to that of the semilunar process in the hind legs of the locust, and is based on the cocking of a torsional spring by wrapping a tendon-like wire around the shaft of a miniature motor. In this study we present the jumping mechanism design, and the manufacturing and performance analysis of two demonstrator prototypes. The most advanced jumping robot demonstrator is power autonomous, weighs 23 gr, and is capable of jumping to a height of 3.35 m, covering a distance of 1.37 m. PMID:26602094

  3. A locust-inspired miniature jumping robot.

    PubMed

    Zaitsev, Valentin; Gvirsman, Omer; Ben Hanan, Uri; Weiss, Avi; Ayali, Amir; Kosa, Gabor

    2015-11-25

    Unmanned ground vehicles are mostly wheeled, tracked, or legged. These locomotion mechanisms have a limited ability to traverse rough terrain and obstacles that are higher than the robot's center of mass. In order to improve the mobility of small robots it is necessary to expand the variety of their motion gaits. Jumping is one of nature's solutions to the challenge of mobility in difficult terrain. The desert locust is the model for the presented bio-inspired design of a jumping mechanism for a small mobile robot. The basic mechanism is similar to that of the semilunar process in the hind legs of the locust, and is based on the cocking of a torsional spring by wrapping a tendon-like wire around the shaft of a miniature motor. In this study we present the jumping mechanism design, and the manufacturing and performance analysis of two demonstrator prototypes. The most advanced jumping robot demonstrator is power autonomous, weighs 23 gr, and is capable of jumping to a height of 3.35 m, covering a distance of 1.37 m.

  4. Role of remote sensing in desert locust early warning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cressman, Keith

    2013-01-01

    Desert locust (Schistocerca gregaria, Forskål) plagues have historically had devastating consequences on food security in Africa and Asia. The current strategy to reduce the frequency of plagues and manage desert locust infestations is early warning and preventive control. To achieve this, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations operates one of the oldest, largest, and best-known migratory pest monitoring systems in the world. Within this system, remote sensing plays an important role in detecting rainfall and green vegetation. Despite recent technological advances in data management and analysis, communications, and remote sensing, monitoring desert locusts and preventing plagues in the years ahead will continue to be a challenge from a geopolitical and financial standpoint for affected countries and the international donor community. We present an overview of the use of remote sensing in desert locust early warning.

  5. Locusts use dynamic thermoregulatory behaviour to optimize nutritional outcomes

    PubMed Central

    Coggan, Nicole; Clissold, Fiona J.; Simpson, Stephen J.

    2011-01-01

    Because key nutritional processes differ in their thermal optima, ectotherms may use temperature selection to optimize performance in changing nutritional environments. Such behaviour would be especially advantageous to small terrestrial animals, which have low thermal inertia and often have access to a wide range of environmental temperatures over small distances. Using the locust, Locusta migratoria, we have demonstrated a direct link between nutritional state and thermoregulatory behaviour. When faced with chronic restrictions to the supply of nutrients, locusts selected increasingly lower temperatures within a gradient, thereby maximizing nutrient use efficiency at the cost of slower growth. Over the shorter term, when locusts were unable to find a meal in the normal course of ad libitum feeding, they immediately adjusted their thermoregulatory behaviour, selecting a lower temperature at which assimilation efficiency was maximal. Thus, locusts use fine scale patterns of movement and temperature selection to adjust for reduced nutrient supply and thereby ameliorate associated life-history consequences. PMID:21288941

  6. Hearing ability decreases in ageing locusts.

    PubMed

    Gordon, Shira D; Windmill, James F C

    2015-07-01

    Insects display signs of ageing, despite their short lifespan. However, the limited studies on senescence emphasize longevity or reproduction. We focused on the hearing ability of ageing adult locusts, Schistocerca gregaria. Our results indicate that the youngest adults (2 weeks post-maturity) have a greater overall neurophysiological response to sound, especially for low frequencies (<10 kHz), as well as a shorter latency to this neural response. Interestingly, when measuring displacement of the tympanal membrane that the receptor neurons directly attach to, we found movement is not directly correlated with neural response. Therefore, we suggest the enhanced response in younger animals is due to the condition of their tissues (e.g. elasticity). Secondly, we found the sexes do not have the same responses, particularly at 4 weeks post-adult moult. We propose female reproductive condition reduces their ability to receive sounds. Overall our results indicate older animals, especially females, are less sensitive to sounds.

  7. Comparative Isoenzyme Electrophoreses between the Brown-Spotted Locust, Cyrtacanthacris tatarica, and the Desert Locust, Schistocerca gregaria

    PubMed Central

    Elsayed, G.; Amer, S. A. M.

    2014-01-01

    The desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria (Forskål) (Orthoptera: Acrididae), and the brownspotted locust, Cyrtacanthacris tatarica (Linné) (Orthoptera: Acrididae), were collected from Saudi Arabia to investigate their relationships. Native polyacrylamide gel electrophoreses of five arbitrarily chosen metabolic enzymes extracted from the leg muscles of the two locust taxa were conducted. These enzymes were acid phosphatase (Acph), alcohol dehydrogenase (Adh), β esterase (β est), malic enzyme (Mal) and malate dehydrogenase (Mdh). Twenty presumptive gene loci and 26 polymorphic alleles were recorded. Acph did not discriminate between the two locust species, while the other four isoenzymes discriminated between them. Most of the alleles were monomeric, but Mal and Mdh exhibited dimeric alleles in the samples of C. tatarica. β est fractions were more expressed in C. tatarica, and the three enzymes β est, Mal, and Mdh discriminated clearly between the two species. The similarity coefficient that was calculated according to the number of sharing alleles between the two locusts was found to be 0.69. The isoenzyme variation presented herein seemed to reflect either their physiological adaptation or the taxonomic consequences between the two taxa. Collecting more isoenzymes for more samples could have taxonomic value. PMID:25373167

  8. Motion dazzle: a locust's eye view.

    PubMed

    Santer, Roger D

    2013-01-01

    Motion dazzle describes high-contrast patterns (e.g. zigzags on snakes and dazzle paint on World War I ships) that do not conceal an object, but inhibit an observer's perception of its motion. However, there is limited evidence for this phenomenon. Locusts have a pair of descending contralateral movement detector (DCMD) neurons which respond to predator-like looming objects and trigger escape responses. Within the network providing input to a DCMD, separate channels are excited when moving edges cause areas of the visual field to brighten or darken, respectively, and these stimuli interact antagonistically. When a looming square has an upper half and lower half that are both darker than background, it elicits a stronger DCMD response than the upper half does alone. However, when a looming square has a darker-than-background upper half and a brighter-than-background lower half, it elicits a weaker DCMD response than its upper half does alone. This effect allows high-contrast patterns to weaken and delay DCMD response parameters implicated in escape decisions, and is analogous to motion dazzle. However, the motion dazzle effect does not provide the best means of motion camouflage, because uniform bright squares, or low-contrast squares, elicit weaker DCMD responses than high-contrast, half dark, half bright squares.

  9. Dopaminergic modulation of phase reversal in desert locusts

    PubMed Central

    Alessi, Ahmad M.; O'Connor, Vincent; Aonuma, Hitoshi; Newland, Philip L.

    2014-01-01

    Phenotypic plasticity allows animals to modify their behavior, physiology, and morphology to adapt to environmental change. The global pest, the desert locust, shows two extreme phenotypes; a solitarious phase that is relatively harmless and a gregarious phase that forms swarms and causes extensive agricultural and economic damage. In the field, environmental conditions can drive isolated animals into crowded populations and previous studies have identified the biogenic amine serotonin as a key determinant of this transition. Here we take an integrated approach to investigate the neurochemical, physiological, and behavioral correlates defined by a laboratory based paradigm that mimics facets of swarm break down as gregarious locusts become isolated. Following isolation there was an increased propensity of locusts to avoid conspecifics, and show a reduced locomotion. Changes in choice behavior occurred within 1 h of isolation although isolation-related changes progressed with increased isolation time. Isolation was accompanied by changes in the levels of the biogenic amines dopamine, octopamine, and serotonin within the CNS within 1 h. Dopamine levels were higher in isolated animals and we focused on the role played by this transmitter in synaptic changes that may underpin solitarization. Dopamine reduced synaptic efficacy at a key central synapse between campaniform sensilla (CS) and a fast extensor tibiae motor neuron that is involved in limb movement. We also show that dopamine injection into the haemocoel was sufficient to induce solitarious-like behavior in otherwise gregarious locusts. Further, injection of a dopamine antagonist, fluphenazine, into isolated locusts induced gregarious-like behavior. This highlights that dopaminergic modulation plays an important role in the plasticity underpinning phase transition and sets a context to deepen the understanding of the complementary role that distinct neuromodulators play in polyphenism in locusts. PMID:25426037

  10. Dopaminergic modulation of phase reversal in desert locusts.

    PubMed

    Alessi, Ahmad M; O'Connor, Vincent; Aonuma, Hitoshi; Newland, Philip L

    2014-01-01

    Phenotypic plasticity allows animals to modify their behavior, physiology, and morphology to adapt to environmental change. The global pest, the desert locust, shows two extreme phenotypes; a solitarious phase that is relatively harmless and a gregarious phase that forms swarms and causes extensive agricultural and economic damage. In the field, environmental conditions can drive isolated animals into crowded populations and previous studies have identified the biogenic amine serotonin as a key determinant of this transition. Here we take an integrated approach to investigate the neurochemical, physiological, and behavioral correlates defined by a laboratory based paradigm that mimics facets of swarm break down as gregarious locusts become isolated. Following isolation there was an increased propensity of locusts to avoid conspecifics, and show a reduced locomotion. Changes in choice behavior occurred within 1 h of isolation although isolation-related changes progressed with increased isolation time. Isolation was accompanied by changes in the levels of the biogenic amines dopamine, octopamine, and serotonin within the CNS within 1 h. Dopamine levels were higher in isolated animals and we focused on the role played by this transmitter in synaptic changes that may underpin solitarization. Dopamine reduced synaptic efficacy at a key central synapse between campaniform sensilla (CS) and a fast extensor tibiae motor neuron that is involved in limb movement. We also show that dopamine injection into the haemocoel was sufficient to induce solitarious-like behavior in otherwise gregarious locusts. Further, injection of a dopamine antagonist, fluphenazine, into isolated locusts induced gregarious-like behavior. This highlights that dopaminergic modulation plays an important role in the plasticity underpinning phase transition and sets a context to deepen the understanding of the complementary role that distinct neuromodulators play in polyphenism in locusts. PMID:25426037

  11. Locust bean gum: Exploring its potential for biopharmaceutical applications.

    PubMed

    Dionísio, Marita; Grenha, Ana

    2012-07-01

    Polysaccharides have been finding, in the last decades, very interesting and useful applications in the biomedical and, specifically, in the biopharmaceutical field. Locust bean gum is a polysaccharide belonging to the group of galactomannans, being extracted from the seeds of the carob tree (Ceratonia siliqua). This polymer displays a number of appealing characteristics for biopharmaceutical applications, among which its high gelling capacity should be highlighted. In this review, we describe critical aspects of locust bean gum, contributing for its role in biopharmaceutical applications. Physicochemical properties, as well as strong and effective synergies with other biomaterials are described. The potential for in vivo biodegradation is explored and the specific biopharmaceutical applications are discussed.

  12. Energy localization and frequency analysis in the locust ear.

    PubMed

    Malkin, Robert; McDonagh, Thomas R; Mhatre, Natasha; Scott, Thomas S; Robert, Daniel

    2014-01-01

    Animal ears are exquisitely adapted to capture sound energy and perform signal analysis. Studying the ear of the locust, we show how frequency signal analysis can be performed solely by using the structural features of the tympanum. Incident sound waves generate mechanical vibrational waves that travel across the tympanum. These waves shoal in a tsunami-like fashion, resulting in energy localization that focuses vibrations onto the mechanosensory neurons in a frequency-dependent manner. Using finite element analysis, we demonstrate that two mechanical properties of the locust tympanum, distributed thickness and tension, are necessary and sufficient to generate frequency-dependent energy localization.

  13. Locusts increase carbohydrate consumption to protect against a fungal biopesticide.

    PubMed

    Graham, Robert I; Deacutis, Juliane M; Pulpitel, Tamara; Ponton, Fleur; Simpson, Stephen J; Wilson, Kenneth

    2014-10-01

    There is growing evidence to suggest that hosts can alter their dietary intake to recoup the specific resources involved in mounting effective resistance against parasites and pathogens. We examined macronutrient ingestion and disease-resistance in the Australian plague locust (Chortoicetes terminifera), challenged with a fungal pathogen (Metarhizium acridum) under dietary regimes varying in their relative amounts of protein and digestible carbohydrate. Dietary protein influenced constitutive immune function to a greater extent than did carbohydrate, indicating higher protein costs of mounting an immune defence than carbohydrate or overall energy costs. However, it appears that increased immune function, as a result of greater protein ingestion, was not sufficient to protect locusts from fungal disease. We found that locusts restricted to diets high in protein (P) and low in carbohydrate (C) were more likely to die of a fungal infection than those restricted to diets with a low P:C ratio. We hypothesise that the fungus is more efficient at exploiting protein in the insect's haemolymph than the host is at producing immune effectors, tipping the balance in favour of the pathogen on high-protein diets. When allowed free-choice, survivors of a fungus-challenge chose a less-protein-rich diet than those succumbing to infection and those not challenged with fungus locusts. These results are contrary to previous studies on caterpillars in the genus Spodoptera challenged with bacterial and baculoviral pathogens, indicating that nutrient ingestion and pathogen resistance may be a complex interaction specific to different host species and disease agents.

  14. Cellulolytic activity and structure of symbiotic bacteria in locust guts.

    PubMed

    Su, L-J; Liu, H; Li, Y; Zhang, H-F; Chen, M; Gao, X-H; Wang, F-Q; Song, A-D

    2014-01-01

    Locusts are able to digest the cellulose of Gramineae plants, resulting in their being considered as major crop pests. To illustrate the mechanism involved in cellulose digestion, the cellulolytic activity and zymography in the gut contents of 16 locust species were determined using carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) as substrate. The diversity of gut symbiotic bacteria was studied using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). The results showed that high CMC activity was present in Acrididae gut fluid (mean 356.4 U/g proteins). Of the 5 locust species, Oxya chinensis had the highest diversity of intestinal symbiotic bacteria, characterized by the DGGE profile containing more than 20 bands of 16S rRNA. Klebsiella pneumoniae, in the gut of Locusta migratoria manilensis, was identified as the most abundant symbiotic bacterium by DNA sequencing, with a relative abundance of 19.74%. In comparison, Methylobacterium sp was the most dominant species in the Atractomorpha sinensis gut, with a relative abundance of 29.04%. The results indicated that the cellulolytic enzymes and gut microbial communities probably reflected their phylogenetic relationship with different locust species and associated feeding strategies. PMID:25299108

  15. Cellulolytic activity and structure of symbiotic bacteria in locust guts.

    PubMed

    Su, L-J; Liu, H; Li, Y; Zhang, H-F; Chen, M; Gao, X-H; Wang, F-Q; Song, A-D

    2014-01-01

    Locusts are able to digest the cellulose of Gramineae plants, resulting in their being considered as major crop pests. To illustrate the mechanism involved in cellulose digestion, the cellulolytic activity and zymography in the gut contents of 16 locust species were determined using carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) as substrate. The diversity of gut symbiotic bacteria was studied using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). The results showed that high CMC activity was present in Acrididae gut fluid (mean 356.4 U/g proteins). Of the 5 locust species, Oxya chinensis had the highest diversity of intestinal symbiotic bacteria, characterized by the DGGE profile containing more than 20 bands of 16S rRNA. Klebsiella pneumoniae, in the gut of Locusta migratoria manilensis, was identified as the most abundant symbiotic bacterium by DNA sequencing, with a relative abundance of 19.74%. In comparison, Methylobacterium sp was the most dominant species in the Atractomorpha sinensis gut, with a relative abundance of 29.04%. The results indicated that the cellulolytic enzymes and gut microbial communities probably reflected their phylogenetic relationship with different locust species and associated feeding strategies.

  16. Ecosystem carbon exchange in response to locust outbreaks in a temperate steppe.

    PubMed

    Song, Jian; Wu, Dandan; Shao, Pengshuai; Hui, Dafeng; Wan, Shiqiang

    2015-06-01

    It is predicted that locust outbreaks will occur more frequently under future climate change scenarios, with consequent effects on ecological goods and services. A field manipulative experiment was conducted to examine the responses of gross ecosystem productivity (GEP), net ecosystem carbon dioxide (CO2) exchange (NEE), ecosystem respiration (ER), and soil respiration (SR) to locust outbreaks in a temperate steppe of northern China from 2010 to 2011. Two processes related to locust outbreaks, natural locust feeding and carcass deposition, were mimicked by clipping 80 % of aboveground biomass and adding locust carcasses, respectively. Ecosystem carbon (C) exchange (i.e., GEP, NEE, ER, and SR) was suppressed by locust feeding in 2010, but stimulated by locust carcass deposition in both years (except SR in 2011). Experimental locust outbreaks (i.e., clipping plus locust carcass addition) decreased GEP and NEE in 2010 whereas they increased GEP, NEE, and ER in 2011, leading to neutral changes in GEP, NEE, and SR across the 2 years. The responses of ecosystem C exchange could have been due to the changes in soil ammonium nitrogen, community cover, and aboveground net primary productivity. Our findings of the transient and neutral changes in ecosystem C cycling under locust outbreaks highlight the importance of resistance, resilience, and stability of the temperate steppe in maintaining reliable ecosystem services, and facilitate the projections of ecosystem functioning in response to natural disturbance and climate change.

  17. Forewing asymmetries during auditory avoidance in flying locusts

    PubMed

    Dawson; Dawson-Scully; Robert; RobertsonÝ

    1997-01-01

    Flying locusts orient to sounds in their environment. Sounds similar to those produced by echolocating bats cause a flying locust to change its flight path. We used high-speed cinematography and videography to study changes in body posture and wing kinematics of tethered locusts in response to stimulation with bat-like sounds. Locusts showed both negative and positive phonotaxis to this stimulus. Within a few wingbeats of stimulus onset (between 126 and 226ms), locusts deflected their abdomens to one side, and the angle of the left and right forewings with respect to the dorsal­ventral body axis became asymmetrical during the downstroke. This forewing asymmetry, in which the forewing on the inside of the turn became more depressed, ranged from 20 to 45° (37±9.7°, mean ± s.d.) and was correlated with the direction and magnitude of abdomen deflection, a measure of steering in tethered, flying locusts. Hindwing stroke angle asymmetries were minimal or non-existent after stimulation. Coincident with changes in forewing asymmetry and abdomen deflection was a decrease in stroke amplitude (19±6.5°) of the forewing on the inside of the attempted turn. Motor patterns from forewing first basalar (M97) muscles showed an asymmetry in the timing of left and right depressor activation that ranged from 10.4 to 1.6ms (4.23±2.85ms). The number of spikes per depressor burst increased to a maximum of three spikes in the muscle on the inside of the attempted turn, and depressor frequency (wingbeat frequency) increased by approximately 2Hz (2.17±0.26Hz). We suggest that the asymmetry in forewing first basalar activity is causally related to the asymmetry in the timing of the initiation of the downstroke, resulting in an asymmetry in the ranges of the stroke angles of the forewings, which would impart a roll torque to the locust. This would augment the steering torques generated by concurrent changes in the angle of attack of the fore- and hindwings and changes in abdomen

  18. Grip and detachment of locusts on inverted sandpaper substrates.

    PubMed

    Han, Longbao; Wang, Zhouyi; Ji, Aihong; Dai, Zhendong

    2011-12-01

    Locusts (Locusta migratoria manilensis) are characterized by their strong flying and grasping ability. Research on the grasping mechanism and behaviour of locusts on sloping substrates plays an important role in elucidating the mechanics of hexapod locomotion. Data on the maximum angles of slope at which locusts can grasp stably (critical angles of detachment) were obtained from high-speed video recordings at 215 fps. The grasping forces were collected by using two sensors, in situations where all left legs were standing on one and the right legs on the other sensor plate. These data were used to illustrate the grasping ability of locusts on slopes with varying levels of roughness. The grasping morphologies of locusts' bodies and tarsi were observed, and the surface roughness as well as diameters of their claw tips was measured under a microscope to account for the grasping mechanism of these insects on the sloping substrate. The results showed that the claw tips and part of the pads were in contact with the inverted substrate when the mean particle diameter was in the range of 15.3-40.5 µm. The interaction between pads and substrates may improve the stability of contact, and claw tips may play a key role in keeping the attachment reliable. A model was developed to explain the significant effects of the relative size of claw tips and mean particle diameter on grasping ability as well as the observed increase in lateral force (2.09-4.05 times greater than the normal force during detachment) with increasing slope angle, which indicates that the lateral force may be extremely important in keeping the contact reliable. This research lays the groundwork for the probable design and development of biomimetic robotics. PMID:21993149

  19. Dynamics and stability of directional jumps in the desert locust

    PubMed Central

    Gvirsman, Omer

    2016-01-01

    Locusts are known for their ability to jump large distances to avoid predation. The jump also serves to launch the adult locust into the air in order to initiate flight. Various aspects of this important behavior have been studied extensively, from muscle physiology and biomechanics, to the energy storage systems involved in powering the jump, and more. Less well understood are the mechanisms participating in control of the jump trajectory. Here we utilise video monitoring and careful analysis of experimental directional jumps by adult desert locusts, together with dynamic computer simulation, in order to understand how the locusts control the direction and elevation of the jump, the residual angular velocities resulting from the jump and the timing of flapping-flight initiation. Our study confirms and expands early findings regarding the instrumental role of the initial body position and orientation. Both real-jump video analysis and simulations based on our expanded dynamical model demonstrate that the initial body coordinates of position (relative to the hind-legs ground-contact points) are dominant in predicting the jumps’ azimuth and elevation angles. We also report a strong linear correlation between the jumps’ pitch-angular-velocity and flight initiation timing, such that head downwards rotations lead to earlier wing opening. In addition to offering important insights into the bio-mechanical principles of locust jumping and flight initiation, the findings from this study will be used in designing future prototypes of a bio-inspired miniature jumping robot that will be employed in animal behaviour studies and environmental monitoring applications. PMID:27703846

  20. Field Verification of the Prediction Model on Desert Locust Adult Phase Status From Density and Vegetation

    PubMed Central

    Cissé, S.; Ghaout, S.; Babah Ebbe, M. A; Kamara, S; Piou, C.

    2016-01-01

    Previous studies investigated the effect of vegetation on density thresholds of adult Desert Locust gregarization from historical data in Mauritania. We examine here the prediction of locust phase based on adult density and vegetation conditions using the statistical model from Cisse et al. compared with actual behavior of Desert Locust adults observed in the field in Mauritania. From the 130 sites where adult locusts were found, the model predicted the phase of Desert Locust adults with a relatively small error of prediction of 6.1%. Preventive locust control should be rational, based on a risk assessment. The staff involved in implementation of the preventive control strategy needs specific indicators for when or where chemical treatment should be done. In this respect, we show here that the statistical model of Cisse et al. may be appropriate. PMID:27432351

  1. Field Verification of the Prediction Model on Desert Locust Adult Phase Status From Density and Vegetation.

    PubMed

    Cissé, S; Ghaout, S; Babah Ebbe, M A; Kamara, S; Piou, C

    2016-01-01

    Previous studies investigated the effect of vegetation on density thresholds of adult Desert Locust gregarization from historical data in Mauritania. We examine here the prediction of locust phase based on adult density and vegetation conditions using the statistical model from Cisse et al. compared with actual behavior of Desert Locust adults observed in the field in Mauritania. From the 130 sites where adult locusts were found, the model predicted the phase of Desert Locust adults with a relatively small error of prediction of 6.1%. Preventive locust control should be rational, based on a risk assessment. The staff involved in implementation of the preventive control strategy needs specific indicators for when or where chemical treatment should be done. In this respect, we show here that the statistical model of Cisse et al. may be appropriate.

  2. Syntaxin 1A modulates the sexual maturity rate and progeny egg size related to phase changes in locusts.

    PubMed

    Chen, Qianquan; He, Jing; Ma, Chuan; Yu, Dan; Kang, Le

    2015-01-01

    The migratory locust (Locusta migratoria) exhibits clear phenotypic plasticity depending on its population density. Previous studies have explored the molecular mechanisms of body colour, behavior, immunity, and metabolism between high population density gregarious (G) and low population density solitarious (S) locusts. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying differences in reproductive traits remain unknown. G locusts reach sexual maturation much faster and lay larger eggs compared with S locusts. The traits of G locusts decreased significantly with isolation, whereas those of S locusts increased with crowding. Analysis of gene expression in female adults indicated that syntaxin 1A (Syx1A) was expressed significantly higher in G locusts than in S locusts. After silencing Syx1A expression in G locusts by RNA interference (RNAi), their sexual maturity rate and progeny egg size changed towards those of S locusts. Similarly, increment in the traits of S locusts with crowding was blocked by Syx1A interference. Changes in the traits were also confirmed by decrease in the level of vitellogenin, which is regulated by Syx1A. In conclusion, plasticity of the sexual maturity rate and progeny egg size of G and S locusts, which is beneficial for locusts to adapt to environmental changes, is regulated by Syx1A.

  3. Locust bean gum: Exploring its potential for biopharmaceutical applications

    PubMed Central

    Dionísio, Marita; Grenha, Ana

    2012-01-01

    Polysaccharides have been finding, in the last decades, very interesting and useful applications in the biomedical and, specifically, in the biopharmaceutical field. Locust bean gum is a polysaccharide belonging to the group of galactomannans, being extracted from the seeds of the carob tree (Ceratonia siliqua). This polymer displays a number of appealing characteristics for biopharmaceutical applications, among which its high gelling capacity should be highlighted. In this review, we describe critical aspects of locust bean gum, contributing for its role in biopharmaceutical applications. Physicochemical properties, as well as strong and effective synergies with other biomaterials are described. The potential for in vivo biodegradation is explored and the specific biopharmaceutical applications are discussed. PMID:22923958

  4. Behavioral analysis of polarization vision in tethered flying locusts.

    PubMed

    Mappes, M; Homberg, U

    2004-01-01

    For spatial navigation many insects rely on compass information derived from the polarization pattern of the sky. We demonstrate that tethered flying desert locusts (Schistocerca gregaria) show e-vector-dependent yaw-torque responses to polarized light presented from above. A slowly rotating polarizer (5.3 degrees s(-1)) induced periodic changes in yaw torque corresponding to the 180 degrees periodicity of the stimulus. Control experiments with a rotating diffuser, a weak intensity pattern, and a stationary polarizer showed that the response is not induced by intensity gradients in the stimulus. Polarotaxis was abolished after painting the dorsal rim areas of the compound eyes black, but remained unchanged after painting the eyes except the dorsal rim areas. During rotation of the polarizer, two e-vectors (preferred and avoided e-vector) induced no turning responses: they were broadly distributed from 0 to 180 degrees but, for a given animal, were perpendicular to each other. The data demonstrate polarization vision in the desert locust, as shown previously for bees, flies, crickets, and ants. Polarized light is perceived through the dorsal rim area of the compound eye, suggesting that polarization vision plays a role in compass navigation of the locust.

  5. Retinally-generated saccadic suppression of a locust looming-detector neuron: investigations using a robot locust.

    PubMed

    Santer, R D; Stafford, R; Rind, F C

    2004-11-22

    A fundamental task performed by many visual systems is to distinguish apparent motion caused by eye movements from real motion occurring within the environment. During saccadic eye movements, this task is achieved by inhibitory signals of central and retinal origin that suppress the output of motion-detecting neurons. To investigate the retinally-generated component of this suppression, we used a computational model of a locust looming-detecting pathway that experiences saccadic suppression. This model received input from the camera of a mobile robot that performed simple saccade-like movements, allowing the model's response to simplified real stimuli to be tested. Retinally-generated saccadic suppression resulted from two inhibitory mechanisms within the looming-detector's input architecture. One mechanism fed inhibition forward through the network, inhibiting the looming-detector's initial response to movement. The second spread inhibition laterally within the network, suppressing the looming-detector's maintained response to movement. These mechanisms prevent a looming-detector model response to whole-field visual stimuli. In the locust, this mechanism of saccadic suppression may operate in addition to centrally-generated suppression. Because lateral inhibition is a common feature of early visual processing in many organisms, we discuss whether the mechanism of retinally-generated saccadic suppression found in the locust looming-detector model may also operate in these species.

  6. Retinally-generated saccadic suppression of a locust looming-detector neuron: investigations using a robot locust.

    PubMed Central

    Santer, R. D.; Stafford, R.; Rind, F. C.

    2004-01-01

    A fundamental task performed by many visual systems is to distinguish apparent motion caused by eye movements from real motion occurring within the environment. During saccadic eye movements, this task is achieved by inhibitory signals of central and retinal origin that suppress the output of motion-detecting neurons. To investigate the retinally-generated component of this suppression, we used a computational model of a locust looming-detecting pathway that experiences saccadic suppression. This model received input from the camera of a mobile robot that performed simple saccade-like movements, allowing the model's response to simplified real stimuli to be tested. Retinally-generated saccadic suppression resulted from two inhibitory mechanisms within the looming-detector's input architecture. One mechanism fed inhibition forward through the network, inhibiting the looming-detector's initial response to movement. The second spread inhibition laterally within the network, suppressing the looming-detector's maintained response to movement. These mechanisms prevent a looming-detector model response to whole-field visual stimuli. In the locust, this mechanism of saccadic suppression may operate in addition to centrally-generated suppression. Because lateral inhibition is a common feature of early visual processing in many organisms, we discuss whether the mechanism of retinally-generated saccadic suppression found in the locust looming-detector model may also operate in these species. PMID:16849153

  7. Motor neurone responses during a postural reflex in solitarious and gregarious desert locusts.

    PubMed

    Blackburn, Laura M; Ott, Swidbert R; Matheson, Tom; Burrows, Malcolm; Rogers, Stephen M

    2010-08-01

    Desert locusts show extreme phenotypic plasticity and can change reversibly between two phases that differ radically in morphology, physiology and behaviour. Solitarious locusts are cryptic in appearance and behaviour, walking slowly with the body held close to the ground. Gregarious locusts are conspicuous in appearance and much more active, walking rapidly with the body held well above the ground. During walking, the excursion of the femoro-tibial (F-T) joint of the hind leg is smaller in solitarious locusts, and the joint is kept more flexed throughout an entire step. Under open loop conditions, the slow extensor tibiae (SETi) motor neurone of solitarious locusts shows strong tonic activity that increases at more extended F-T angles. SETi of gregarious locusts by contrast showed little tonic activity. Simulated flexion of the F-T joint elicits resistance reflexes in SETi in both phases, but regardless of the initial and final position of the leg, the spiking rate of SETi during these reflexes was twice as great in solitarious compared to gregarious locusts. This increased sensory-motor gain in the neuronal networks controlling postural reflexes in solitarious locusts may be linked to the occurrence of pronounced behavioural catalepsy in this phase similar to other cryptic insects such as stick insects.

  8. Survival of bristly locust (Robinia hispida) in an emulated organic silvopasture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Bristly locust is a native tree legume with an extensive range throughout much of the eastern US and Canada. Bristly locust is about 3 m tall, produces pink flowers, and the branches, petioles, flower stalks, and fruits are covered by soft, inoffensive bristles. Little agronomic research has been co...

  9. Survival of bristly locust (Robinia hispida L.) in an emulated organic silvopasture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Bristly locust (Robinia hispida L.), a native tree legume which has received relatively little scientific attention from an agronomic perspective, could have value as livestock browse. The objective of this research was to assess transplant survival of bristly locust in an experimental silvopasture...

  10. 77 FR 66541 - Safety Zone; Alliance Road Bridge Demolition; Black Warrior River, Locust Fork; Birmingham, AL

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-11-06

    .... SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Acronyms DHS Department of Homeland Security FR Federal Register NPRM Notice... Warrior River, Locust Fork; Birmingham, AL AGENCY: Coast Guard, DHS. ACTION: Temporary final rule. SUMMARY: The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone for a portion of the Locust Fork to the...

  11. Motor neurone responses during a postural reflex in solitarious and gregarious desert locusts.

    PubMed

    Blackburn, Laura M; Ott, Swidbert R; Matheson, Tom; Burrows, Malcolm; Rogers, Stephen M

    2010-08-01

    Desert locusts show extreme phenotypic plasticity and can change reversibly between two phases that differ radically in morphology, physiology and behaviour. Solitarious locusts are cryptic in appearance and behaviour, walking slowly with the body held close to the ground. Gregarious locusts are conspicuous in appearance and much more active, walking rapidly with the body held well above the ground. During walking, the excursion of the femoro-tibial (F-T) joint of the hind leg is smaller in solitarious locusts, and the joint is kept more flexed throughout an entire step. Under open loop conditions, the slow extensor tibiae (SETi) motor neurone of solitarious locusts shows strong tonic activity that increases at more extended F-T angles. SETi of gregarious locusts by contrast showed little tonic activity. Simulated flexion of the F-T joint elicits resistance reflexes in SETi in both phases, but regardless of the initial and final position of the leg, the spiking rate of SETi during these reflexes was twice as great in solitarious compared to gregarious locusts. This increased sensory-motor gain in the neuronal networks controlling postural reflexes in solitarious locusts may be linked to the occurrence of pronounced behavioural catalepsy in this phase similar to other cryptic insects such as stick insects. PMID:20416321

  12. Mass spectral determination of phenylacetonitrile (PAN) levels in body tissues of adult desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    : Wings and legs of the gregarious desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria have been shown to be release sites of phenylacetonitrile (PAN), the major adult male-produced pheromone. However, there is limited information on the distribution of PAN within the locust. Here we show, using gas chromatograph...

  13. Giant Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lunine, J. I.

    Beyond the inner solar system's terrestrial planets, with their compact orbits and rock -metal compositions, lies the realm of the outer solar system and the giant planets. Here the distance between planets jumps by an order of magnitude relative to the spacing of the terrestrial planets, and the masses of the giants are one to two orders of magnitude greater than Venus and Earth - the largest terrestrial bodies. Composition changes as well, since the giant planets are largely gaseous, with inferred admixtures of ice, rock, and metal, while the terrestrial planets are essentially pure rock and metal. The giant planets have many more moons than do the terrestrial planets, and the range of magnetic field strengths is larger in the outer solar system. It is the giant planets that sport rings, ranging from the magnificent ones around Saturn to the variable ring arcs of Neptune. Were it not for the fact that only Earth supports abundant life (with life possibly existing, but not proved to exist, in the martian crust and liquid water regions underneath the ice of Jupiter's moon Europa), the terrestrial planets would pale in interest next to the giant planets for any extraterrestrial visitor.

  14. Dynamic flight stability in the desert locust Schistocerca gregaria.

    PubMed

    Taylor, Graham K; Thomas, Adrian L R

    2003-08-01

    Here we provide the first formal quantitative analysis of dynamic stability in a flying animal. By measuring the longitudinal static stability derivatives and mass distribution of desert locusts Schistocerca gregaria, we find that their static stability and static control responses are insufficient to provide asymptotic longitudinal dynamic stability unless they are sensitive to pitch attitude (measured with respect to an inertial or earth-fixed frame) as well as aerodynamic incidence (measured relative to the direction of flight). We find no evidence for a 'constant-lift reaction', previously supposed to keep lift production constant over a range of body angles, and show that such a reaction would be inconsequential because locusts can potentially correct for pitch disturbances within a single wingbeat. The static stability derivatives identify three natural longitudinal modes of motion: one stable subsidence mode, one unstable divergence mode, and one stable oscillatory mode (which is present with or without pitch attitude control). The latter is identified with the short period mode of aircraft, and shown to consist of rapid pitch oscillations with negligible changes in forward speed. The frequency of the short period mode (approx. 10 Hz) is only half the wingbeat frequency (approx. 22 Hz), so the mode would become coupled with the flapping cycle without adequate damping. Pitch rate damping is shown to be highly effective for this purpose - especially at the small scales associated with insect flight - and may be essential in stabilising locust flight. Although having a short period mode frequency close to the wingbeat frequency risks coupling, it is essential for control inputs made at the level of a single wingbeat to be effective. This is identified as a general constraint on flight control in flying animals.

  15. Characterization of ESTs from black locust for gene discovery and marker development.

    PubMed

    Wang, J X; Lu, C; Yuan, C Q; Cui, B B; Qiu, Q D; Sun, P; Hu, R Y; Wu, D C; Sun, Y H; Li, Y

    2015-01-01

    Black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L.) is an ecologically and economically important species. However, it has relatively underdeveloped genomic resources, and this limits gene discovery and marker-assisted selective breeding. In the present study, we obtained large-scale transcriptome data using a next-generation sequencing platform to compensate for the lack of black locust genomic information. Increasing the amount of transcriptome data for black locust will provide a valuable resource for multi-gene phylogenetic analyses and will facilitate research on the mechanisms whereby conserved genes and functions are maintained in the face of species divergence. We sequenced the black locust transcriptome from a cDNA library of multiple tissues and individuals on an Illumina platform, and this produced 108,229,352 clean sequence reads. The high-quality overlapping expressed sequence tags (ESTs) were assembled into 36,533 unigenes, and 4781 simple sequence repeats were characterized. A large collection of high-quality ESTs was obtained, de novo assembled, and characterized. Our results markedly expand the previous transcript catalogues of black locust and can gradually be applied to black locust breeding programs. Furthermore, our data will facilitate future research on the comparative genomics of black locust and related species. PMID:26505419

  16. MicroRNA-276 promotes egg-hatching synchrony by up-regulating brm in locusts.

    PubMed

    He, Jing; Chen, Qianquan; Wei, Yuanyuan; Jiang, Feng; Yang, Meiling; Hao, Shuguang; Guo, Xiaojiao; Chen, Dahua; Kang, Le

    2016-01-19

    Developmental synchrony, the basis of uniform swarming, migration, and sexual maturation, is an important strategy for social animals to adapt to variable environments. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying developmental synchrony are largely unexplored. The migratory locust exhibits polyphenism between gregarious and solitarious individuals, with the former displaying more synchronous sexual maturation and migration than the latter. Here, we found that the egg-hatching time of gregarious locusts was more uniform compared with solitarious locusts and that microRNA-276 (miR-276) was expressed significantly higher in both ovaries and eggs of gregarious locusts than in solitarious locusts. Interestingly, inhibiting miR-276 in gregarious females and overexpressing it in solitarious females, respectively, caused more heterochronic and synchronous hatching of progeny eggs. Moreover, miR-276 directly targeted a transcription coactivator gene, brahma (brm), resulting in its up-regulation. Knockdown of brm not only resulted in asynchronous egg hatching in gregarious locusts but also impaired the miR-276-induced synchronous egg hatching in solitarious locusts. Mechanistically, miR-276 mediated brm activation in a manner that depended on the secondary structure of brm, namely, a stem-loop around the binding site of miR-276. Collectively, our results unravel a mechanism by which miR-276 enhances brm expression to promote developmental synchrony and provide insight into regulation of developmental homeostasis and population sustaining that are closely related to biological synchrony. PMID:26729868

  17. Characteristics and expression patterns of histone-modifying enzyme systems in the migratory locust.

    PubMed

    Guo, Siyuan; Jiang, Feng; Yang, Pengcheng; Liu, Qing; Wang, Xianhui; Kang, Le

    2016-09-01

    The density-dependent phase polyphenism in locusts offers an excellent model to investigate the epigenetic regulatory mechanisms underlying phenotypic plasticity. In this study, we identified histone-modifying enzymes mediating histone post-translational modifications, which serve as a major regulatory mechanism of epigenetic processes, on the basis of the whole genome sequence of the migratory locust, Locusta migratoria. We confirmed the existence of various functional histone modifications in the locusts. Compared with other sequenced insect genomes, the locust genome contains a richer repertoire of histone-modifying enzymes. Several locust histone-modifying enzymes display vertebrate-like characteristics, such as the presence of a Sirt3-like gene and multiple alternative splicing of GCN5 gene. Most histone-modifying enzymes are highly expressed in the eggs or in the testis tissues of male adults. Several histone deacetylases and H3K4-specific methyltransferases exhibit differential expression patterns in brain tissues between solitarious and gregarious locusts. These results reveal the main characteristics of histone-modifying enzymes and provide important cues for understanding the epigenetic mechanisms underlying phase polyphenism in locusts. PMID:27343382

  18. MicroRNA-276 promotes egg-hatching synchrony by up-regulating brm in locusts

    PubMed Central

    He, Jing; Chen, Qianquan; Wei, Yuanyuan; Jiang, Feng; Yang, Meiling; Hao, Shuguang; Guo, Xiaojiao; Chen, Dahua; Kang, Le

    2016-01-01

    Developmental synchrony, the basis of uniform swarming, migration, and sexual maturation, is an important strategy for social animals to adapt to variable environments. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying developmental synchrony are largely unexplored. The migratory locust exhibits polyphenism between gregarious and solitarious individuals, with the former displaying more synchronous sexual maturation and migration than the latter. Here, we found that the egg-hatching time of gregarious locusts was more uniform compared with solitarious locusts and that microRNA-276 (miR-276) was expressed significantly higher in both ovaries and eggs of gregarious locusts than in solitarious locusts. Interestingly, inhibiting miR-276 in gregarious females and overexpressing it in solitarious females, respectively, caused more heterochronic and synchronous hatching of progeny eggs. Moreover, miR-276 directly targeted a transcription coactivator gene, brahma (brm), resulting in its up-regulation. Knockdown of brm not only resulted in asynchronous egg hatching in gregarious locusts but also impaired the miR-276–induced synchronous egg hatching in solitarious locusts. Mechanistically, miR-276 mediated brm activation in a manner that depended on the secondary structure of brm, namely, a stem-loop around the binding site of miR-276. Collectively, our results unravel a mechanism by which miR-276 enhances brm expression to promote developmental synchrony and provide insight into regulation of developmental homeostasis and population sustaining that are closely related to biological synchrony. PMID:26729868

  19. Locust bean gum: processing, properties and food applications--a review.

    PubMed

    Barak, Sheweta; Mudgil, Deepak

    2014-05-01

    Locust bean gum or carob gum is a galactomannan obtained from seed endosperm of carob tree i.e. Ceratonia siliqua. It is widely utilized as an additive in various industries such as food, pharmaceuticals, paper, textile, oil well drilling and cosmetics. Industrial applications of locust bean gum are due to its ability to form hydrogen bonding with water molecule. It is also beneficial in the control of many health problems like diabetes, bowel movements, heart disease and colon cancer due to its dietary fiber action. This article focuses on production, processing, composition, properties, food applications and health benefits of locust bean gum.

  20. Locust bean gum: processing, properties and food applications--a review.

    PubMed

    Barak, Sheweta; Mudgil, Deepak

    2014-05-01

    Locust bean gum or carob gum is a galactomannan obtained from seed endosperm of carob tree i.e. Ceratonia siliqua. It is widely utilized as an additive in various industries such as food, pharmaceuticals, paper, textile, oil well drilling and cosmetics. Industrial applications of locust bean gum are due to its ability to form hydrogen bonding with water molecule. It is also beneficial in the control of many health problems like diabetes, bowel movements, heart disease and colon cancer due to its dietary fiber action. This article focuses on production, processing, composition, properties, food applications and health benefits of locust bean gum. PMID:24548746

  1. Epigenetic remodelling of brain, body and behaviour during phase change in locusts

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    The environment has a central role in shaping developmental trajectories and determining the phenotype so that animals are adapted to the specific conditions they encounter. Epigenetic mechanisms can have many effects, with changes in the nervous and musculoskeletal systems occurring at different rates. How is the function of an animal maintained whilst these transitions happen? Phenotypic plasticity can change the ways in which animals respond to the environment and even how they sense it, particularly in the context of social interactions between members of their own species. In the present article, we review the mechanisms and consequences of phenotypic plasticity by drawing upon the desert locust as an unparalleled model system. Locusts change reversibly between solitarious and gregarious phases that differ dramatically in appearance, general physiology, brain function and structure, and behaviour. Solitarious locusts actively avoid contact with other locusts, but gregarious locusts may live in vast, migrating swarms dominated by competition for scarce resources and interactions with other locusts. Different phase traits change at different rates: some behaviours take just a few hours, colouration takes a lifetime and the muscles and skeleton take several generations. The behavioural demands of group living are reflected in gregarious locusts having substantially larger brains with increased space devoted to higher processing. Phase differences are also apparent in the functioning of identified neurons and circuits. The whole transformation process of phase change pivots on the initial and rapid behavioural decision of whether or not to join with other locusts. The resulting positive feedback loops from the presence or absence of other locusts drives the process to completion. Phase change is accompanied by dramatic changes in neurochemistry, but only serotonin shows a substantial increase during the critical one- to four-hour window during which gregarious

  2. Neuroanatomy and neurophysiology of the locust hypocerebral ganglion.

    PubMed

    Rand, David; Ayali, Amir

    2010-08-01

    The insect stomatogastric ganglia control foregut movements. Most previous work on the system has concentrated on the frontal ganglion (FG), including research into the role of the FG in feeding as well as molting-related behavior, mostly in locusts, but also in other insect species. The stomatogastric system exerts its physiological actions by way of careful interaction and coordination between its different neural centers and pattern-generating circuits. One such hitherto unstudied neural center is the hypocerebral ganglion (HG), which is connected to the FG via the recurrent nerve. It sends two pairs of nerves along the esophagus and to the posterior region of the crop, terminating in the paired ingluvial ganglia. Very little is known about the neuroanatomy and neurophysiology of the insect HG. Here we investigate, for the first time, the neuronal composition of the locust HG, as well as its motor output. We identify rhythmic patterns endogenous to the isolated HG, demonstrating the presence of a central pattern-generating network. Our findings suggest interactions between the HG and FG rhythm-generating circuits leading to complex physiological actions of both ganglia. This work will serve as a basis for future investigation into the physiology of the HG and its role in insect behavior.

  3. A large-scale model of the locust antennal lobe.

    PubMed

    Patel, Mainak; Rangan, Aaditya V; Cai, David

    2009-12-01

    The antennal lobe (AL) is the primary structure within the locust's brain that receives information from olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs) within the antennae. Different odors activate distinct subsets of ORNs, implying that neuronal signals at the level of the antennae encode odors combinatorially. Within the AL, however, different odors produce signals with long-lasting dynamic transients carried by overlapping neural ensembles, suggesting a more complex coding scheme. In this work we use a large-scale point neuron model of the locust AL to investigate this shift in stimulus encoding and potential consequences for odor discrimination. Consistent with experiment, our model produces stimulus-sensitive, dynamically evolving populations of active AL neurons. Our model relies critically on the persistence time-scale associated with ORN input to the AL, sparse connectivity among projection neurons, and a synaptic slow inhibitory mechanism. Collectively, these architectural features can generate network odor representations of considerably higher dimension than would be generated by a direct feed-forward representation of stimulus space.

  4. The mechanics of elevation control in locust jumping.

    PubMed

    Sutton, G P; Burrows, M

    2008-06-01

    How do animals control the trajectory of ballistic motions like jumping? Targeted jumps by a locust, which are powered by a rapid extension of the tibiae of both hind legs, require control of the take-off angle and speed. To determine how the locust controls these parameters, we used high speed images of jumps and mechanical analysis to reach three conclusions: (1) the extensor tibiae muscle applies equal and opposite torques to the femur and tibia, which ensures that tibial extension accelerates the centre of mass of the body along a straight line; (2) this line is parallel to a line drawn from the distal end of the tibia through the proximal end of the femur; (3) the slope of this line (the angle of elevation) is not affected if the two hind legs extend asynchronously. The mechanics thus uncouple the control of elevation and speed, allowing simplified and independent control mechanisms. Jump elevation is controlled mechanically by the initial positions of the hind legs and jump speed is determined by the energy stored within their elastic processes, which allows us to then propose which proprioceptors are involved in controlling these quantities.

  5. Stress Preconditioning of Spreading Depression in the Locust CNS

    PubMed Central

    Rodgers, Corinne I.; Armstrong, Gary A. B.; Shoemaker, Kelly L.; LaBrie, John D.; Moyes, Christopher D.; Robertson, R. Meldrum

    2007-01-01

    Cortical spreading depression (CSD) is closely associated with important pathologies including stroke, seizures and migraine. The mechanisms underlying SD in its various forms are still incompletely understood. Here we describe SD-like events in an invertebrate model, the ventilatory central pattern generator (CPG) of locusts. Using K+ -sensitive microelectrodes, we measured extracellular K+ concentration ([K+]o) in the metathoracic neuropile of the CPG while monitoring CPG output electromyographically from muscle 161 in the second abdominal segment to investigate the role K+ in failure of neural circuit operation induced by various stressors. Failure of ventilation in response to different stressors (hyperthermia, anoxia, ATP depletion, Na+/K+ ATPase impairment, K+ injection) was associated with a disturbance of CNS ion homeostasis that shares the characteristics of CSD and SD-like events in vertebrates. Hyperthermic failure was preconditioned by prior heat shock (3 h, 45°C) and induced-thermotolerance was associated with an increase in the rate of clearance of extracellular K+ that was not linked to changes in ATP levels or total Na+/K+ ATPase activity. Our findings suggest that SD-like events in locusts are adaptive to terminate neural network operation and conserve energy during stress and that they can be preconditioned by experience. We propose that they share mechanisms with CSD in mammals suggesting a common evolutionary origin. PMID:18159249

  6. ERTS surveys a 500 km squared locust breeding site in Saudi Arabia. [Red Sea coastal plain

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pedgley, D. E.

    1974-01-01

    From September 1972 to January 1973, ERTS-1 precisely located a 500 sq km area on the Red Sea coastal plain of Saudi Arabia within which the Desert Locust (Schistocerca gregaria, Forsk.) bred successfully and produced many small swarms. Growth of vegetation shown by satellite imagery was confirmed from ground surveys and raingauge data. The experiment demonstrates the feasibility of detecting potential locust breeding sites by satellite, and shows that an operational satellite would be a powerful tool for routine survey of the 3 x 10 to the 7th power sq km invasion area of the Desert Locust in Africa and Asia, as well as of other locust species in the arid and semi-arid tropics.

  7. The mechanism for microsporidian parasite suppression of the hindgut bacteria of the migratory locust Locusta migratoria manilensis.

    PubMed

    Tan, Shu-Qian; Zhang, Kai-Qi; Chen, Hong-Xing; Ge, Yang; Ji, Rong; Shi, Wang-Peng

    2015-01-01

    Locusts aggregate into bands of nymphs and swarms of adults that can pose a major threat to crop. Previous studies have shown that infection by the microsporidian parasite Paranosema locustae prevents locust aggregation behavior and we show that gut bacteria, which produce components of locust aggregation pheromones, are substantially reduced in locusts infected with P. locustae. We found that P. locustae could reduce the diversity, abundance and community composition of Locusta migratoria's gut bacteria. The parasite infection was also shown to interrupt the peroxidase activity of locust hindgut. Genome-wide expression analysis showed that the parasite infection suppressed peroxidase mRNA relative expression of locust hindgut, but had no effects on attacin expression and superoxide dismutase at 16 d post-inoculation with 20,000 P. locustae spores. Our findings reveal the mechanisms by which P. locustae impairs bacterial diversity and community structure of Locusta migratoria's gut bacteria.

  8. The mechanism for microsporidian parasite suppression of the hindgut bacteria of the migratory locust Locusta migratoria manilensis.

    PubMed

    Tan, Shu-Qian; Zhang, Kai-Qi; Chen, Hong-Xing; Ge, Yang; Ji, Rong; Shi, Wang-Peng

    2015-01-01

    Locusts aggregate into bands of nymphs and swarms of adults that can pose a major threat to crop. Previous studies have shown that infection by the microsporidian parasite Paranosema locustae prevents locust aggregation behavior and we show that gut bacteria, which produce components of locust aggregation pheromones, are substantially reduced in locusts infected with P. locustae. We found that P. locustae could reduce the diversity, abundance and community composition of Locusta migratoria's gut bacteria. The parasite infection was also shown to interrupt the peroxidase activity of locust hindgut. Genome-wide expression analysis showed that the parasite infection suppressed peroxidase mRNA relative expression of locust hindgut, but had no effects on attacin expression and superoxide dismutase at 16 d post-inoculation with 20,000 P. locustae spores. Our findings reveal the mechanisms by which P. locustae impairs bacterial diversity and community structure of Locusta migratoria's gut bacteria. PMID:26612678

  9. The mechanism for microsporidian parasite suppression of the hindgut bacteria of the migratory locust Locusta migratoria manilensis

    PubMed Central

    Tan, Shu-qian; Zhang, Kai-qi; Chen, Hong-xing; Ge, Yang; Ji, Rong; Shi, Wang-peng

    2015-01-01

    Locusts aggregate into bands of nymphs and swarms of adults that can pose a major threat to crop. Previous studies have shown that infection by the microsporidian parasite Paranosema locustae prevents locust aggregation behavior and we show that gut bacteria, which produce components of locust aggregation pheromones, are substantially reduced in locusts infected with P. locustae. We found that P. locustae could reduce the diversity, abundance and community composition of Locusta migratoria’s gut bacteria. The parasite infection was also shown to interrupt the peroxidase activity of locust hindgut. Genome-wide expression analysis showed that the parasite infection suppressed peroxidase mRNA relative expression of locust hindgut, but had no effects on attacin expression and superoxide dismutase at 16 d post-inoculation with 20,000 P. locustae spores. Our findings reveal the mechanisms by which P. locustae impairs bacterial diversity and community structure of Locusta migratoria’s gut bacteria. PMID:26612678

  10. Two dopamine receptors play different roles in phase change of the migratory locust

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Xiaojiao; Ma, Zongyuan; Kang, Le

    2015-01-01

    The migratory locust, Locusta migratoria, shows remarkable phenotypic plasticity at behavioral, physiological, and morphological levels in response to fluctuation in population density. Our previous studies demonstrated that dopamine (DA) and the genes in the dopamine metabolic pathway mediate phase change in Locusta. However, the functions of different dopamine receptors in modulating locust phase change have not been fully explored. In the present study, DA concentration in the brain increased during crowding and decreased during isolation. The expression level of dopamine receptor 1 (Dop1) increased from 1 to 4 h of crowding, but remained unchanged during isolation. Injection of Dop1 agonist SKF38393 into the brains of solitary locusts promoted gregarization, induced conspecific attraction-response and increased locomotion. RNAi knockdown of Dop1 and injection of antagonist SCH23390 in gregarious locusts induced solitary behavior, promoted the shift to repulsion-response and reduced locomotion. By contrast, the expression level of dopamine receptor 2 (Dop2) gradually increased during isolation, but remained stable during crowding. During the isolation of gregarious locusts, injection of Dop2 antagonist S(–)-sulpiride or RNAi knockdown of Dop2 inhibited solitarization, maintained conspecific attraction-response and increased locomotion; by comparison, the isolated controls displayed conspecific repulsion-response and weaker motility. Activation of Dop2 in solitary locusts through injection of agonist, R(-)-TNPA, did not affect their behavioral state. Thus, DA-Dop1 signaling in the brain of Locusta induced the gregariousness, whereas DA-Dop2 signaling mediated the solitariness. Our study demonstrated that Dop1 and Dop2 modulated locust phase change in two different directions. Further investigation of Locusta Dop1 and Dop2 functions in modulating phase change will improve our understanding of the molecular mechanism underlying phenotypic plasticity in locusts

  11. Adaptive changes in locust kicking and jumping behaviour during development

    PubMed

    Norman

    1995-01-01

    The hind, or metathoracic, leg of a locust is specialised, enabling it to store energy that is used to extend the tibia rapidly during kicking and jumping; behaviours which share a common motor pattern. This study describes developmental changes in kicking and jumping behaviour and relates these changes to the development of the exoskeleton and jumping performance. In mature adults and intermoult larvae, the exoskeleton is strong and kicks can readily be elicited. Before and after the adult moult, when the exoskeleton is weak, kicks can be elicited less frequently, thus avoiding skeletal damage. At these times, animals do not generate the adult motor pattern for kicking, so that extension of the tibia is powered by direct muscle contraction, rather than through the release of stored energy. The muscles of all newly moulted animals are capable of generating sufficient force to damage the leg, but 14 days later the muscles can rarely generate sufficient force to damage the leg. To mimic the forces generated during the preparation for a kick, when the flexor and extensor tibiae muscles co-contract, the extensor muscle was stimulated electrically at a range of frequencies and the nature and occurrence of the resulting mechanical damage to components of the skeleton were assessed over a 14 day period following the adult moult. In newly moulted animals, the proximal femur partially collapses and thus protects the leg from damage before the muscles generate sufficient force to damage chronically other components of the leg. This partial collapse of the femur is reversible when the extensor muscle is activated at low frequency, but high frequencies cause permanent damage. The muscles of all animals 1 day after the moult are also capable of generating sufficient force to damage the leg, but the proximal tibia breaks most commonly in the region where the extensor muscle apodeme attaches. 5 days after the moult, the muscles in only 50 % of animals can damage the leg and most

  12. Listening to the environment: hearing differences from an epigenetic effect in solitarious and gregarious locusts.

    PubMed

    Gordon, Shira D; Jackson, Joseph C; Rogers, Stephen M; Windmill, James F C

    2014-11-22

    Locusts display a striking form of phenotypic plasticity, developing into either a lone-living solitarious phase or a swarming gregarious phase depending on population density. The two phases differ extensively in appearance, behaviour and physiology. We found that solitarious and gregarious locusts have clear differences in their hearing, both in their tympanal and neuronal responses. We identified significant differences in the shape of the tympana that may be responsible for the variations in hearing between locust phases. We measured the nanometre mechanical responses of the ear's tympanal membrane to sound, finding that solitarious animals exhibit greater displacement. Finally, neural experiments signified that solitarious locusts have a relatively stronger response to high frequencies. The enhanced response to high-frequency sounds in the nocturnally flying solitarious locusts suggests greater investment in detecting the ultrasonic echolocation calls of bats, to which they are more vulnerable than diurnally active gregarious locusts. This study highlights the importance of epigenetic effects set forth during development and begins to identify how animals are equipped to match their immediate environmental needs.

  13. Listening to the environment: hearing differences from an epigenetic effect in solitarious and gregarious locusts

    PubMed Central

    Gordon, Shira D.; Jackson, Joseph C.; Rogers, Stephen M.; Windmill, James F. C.

    2014-01-01

    Locusts display a striking form of phenotypic plasticity, developing into either a lone-living solitarious phase or a swarming gregarious phase depending on population density. The two phases differ extensively in appearance, behaviour and physiology. We found that solitarious and gregarious locusts have clear differences in their hearing, both in their tympanal and neuronal responses. We identified significant differences in the shape of the tympana that may be responsible for the variations in hearing between locust phases. We measured the nanometre mechanical responses of the ear's tympanal membrane to sound, finding that solitarious animals exhibit greater displacement. Finally, neural experiments signified that solitarious locusts have a relatively stronger response to high frequencies. The enhanced response to high-frequency sounds in the nocturnally flying solitarious locusts suggests greater investment in detecting the ultrasonic echolocation calls of bats, to which they are more vulnerable than diurnally active gregarious locusts. This study highlights the importance of epigenetic effects set forth during development and begins to identify how animals are equipped to match their immediate environmental needs. PMID:25274362

  14. Giant Axonal Neuropathy

    MedlinePlus

    ... Diversity Find People About NINDS NINDS Giant Axonal Neuropathy Information Page Table of Contents (click to jump ... done? Clinical Trials Organizations What is Giant Axonal Neuropathy? Giant axonal neuropathy (GAN) is a rare inherited ...

  15. Model of transient oscillatory synchronization in the locust antennal lobe.

    PubMed

    Bazhenov, M; Stopfer, M; Rabinovich, M; Huerta, R; Abarbanel, H D; Sejnowski, T J; Laurent, G

    2001-05-01

    Transient pairwise synchronization of locust antennal lobe (AL) projection neurons (PNs) occurs during odor responses. In a Hodgkin-Huxley-type model of the AL, interactions between excitatory PNs and inhibitory local neurons (LNs) created coherent network oscillations during odor stimulation. GABAergic interconnections between LNs led to competition among them such that different groups of LNs oscillated with periodic Ca(2+) spikes during different 50-250 ms temporal epochs, similar to those recorded in vivo. During these epochs, LN-evoked IPSPs caused phase-locked, population oscillations in sets of postsynaptic PNs. The model shows how alternations of the inhibitory drive can temporally encode sensory information in networks of neurons without precisely tuned intrinsic oscillatory properties.

  16. Increased muscular volume and cuticular specialisations enhance jump velocity in solitarious compared with gregarious desert locusts, Schistocerca gregaria.

    PubMed

    Rogers, Stephen M; Riley, Joanna; Brighton, Caroline; Sutton, Gregory P; Cullen, Darron A; Burrows, Malcolm

    2016-03-01

    The desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria, shows a strong phenotypic plasticity. It can develop, depending upon population density, into either a solitarious or gregarious phase that differs in many aspects of behaviour, physiology and morphology. Prominent amongst these differences is that solitarious locusts have proportionately longer hind femora than gregarious locusts. The hind femora contain the muscles and energy-storing cuticular structures that propel powerful jumps using a catapult-like mechanism. We show that solitarious locusts jump on average 23% faster and 27% further than gregarious locusts, and attribute this improved performance to three sources: first, a 17.5% increase in the relative volume of their hind femur, and hence muscle volume; second, a 24.3% decrease in the stiffness of the energy-storing semi-lunar processes of the distal femur; and third, a 4.5% decrease in the stiffness of the tendon of the extensor tibiae muscle. These differences mean that solitarious locusts can generate more power and store more energy in preparation for a jump than can gregarious locusts. This improved performance comes at a cost: solitarious locusts expend nearly twice the energy of gregarious locusts during a single jump and the muscular co-contraction that energises the cuticular springs takes twice as long. There is thus a trade-off between achieving maximum jump velocity in the solitarious phase against the ability to engage jumping rapidly and repeatedly in the gregarious phase. PMID:26936638

  17. Increased muscular volume and cuticular specialisations enhance jump velocity in solitarious compared with gregarious desert locusts, Schistocerca gregaria.

    PubMed

    Rogers, Stephen M; Riley, Joanna; Brighton, Caroline; Sutton, Gregory P; Cullen, Darron A; Burrows, Malcolm

    2016-03-01

    The desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria, shows a strong phenotypic plasticity. It can develop, depending upon population density, into either a solitarious or gregarious phase that differs in many aspects of behaviour, physiology and morphology. Prominent amongst these differences is that solitarious locusts have proportionately longer hind femora than gregarious locusts. The hind femora contain the muscles and energy-storing cuticular structures that propel powerful jumps using a catapult-like mechanism. We show that solitarious locusts jump on average 23% faster and 27% further than gregarious locusts, and attribute this improved performance to three sources: first, a 17.5% increase in the relative volume of their hind femur, and hence muscle volume; second, a 24.3% decrease in the stiffness of the energy-storing semi-lunar processes of the distal femur; and third, a 4.5% decrease in the stiffness of the tendon of the extensor tibiae muscle. These differences mean that solitarious locusts can generate more power and store more energy in preparation for a jump than can gregarious locusts. This improved performance comes at a cost: solitarious locusts expend nearly twice the energy of gregarious locusts during a single jump and the muscular co-contraction that energises the cuticular springs takes twice as long. There is thus a trade-off between achieving maximum jump velocity in the solitarious phase against the ability to engage jumping rapidly and repeatedly in the gregarious phase.

  18. Identifying the breeding areas of locusts in the Yellow River estuary using Landsat ETM+ imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Qingsheng; Liu, Gaohuan; Yang, Yuzhen; Liu, Peng; Huang, Jianjie

    2006-03-01

    The Yellow River Estuary became an important plague region of locusts because of its special geographic location. Many years' survey data showed that the environment was the chief factor that influenced locust pest occurring. In the recent years, because the amount of water from the Yellow River and precipitation reduced and distributed asymmetrically, and soil salinization became serious much more, and many farmlands went out of cultivation, which improved the habitats for locusts, the plague of locusts happened frequently under condign climate. The field survey data from 1991 to 2000 showed that the plague of locust became more aggravating year after year. Therefore, it is important to monitor and control the plague of locusts. According to many years' investigation data analysis, got the condign habitat conditions for Locusta Migratoria Manilensis (Meyen) in the Yellow River Estuary. So the breeding areas of locusts monitoring with remote sensing imagery was to identify those regions according to the condign habitat conditions. Landsat ETM+ imagery (2000-05-02) data was chosen to identify the breeding areas of locusts in the Yellow River Estuary. Firstly classified Landsat TM imagery (2000-5-2) and extract reed lands and lawn lands and slightly salinized soils. Secondly made mask images through transforming these three raster classes into vector layers, then calculated a anti-atmospheric visible light vegetation index VARIg = (B2-B3)/(B2+B3-B1). According to field investigation data of vegetation fractional cover in 2000, got the relationship between vegetation fractional cover and VARIg values, 70% to 3.0, 50% to 2.3. As a result, the infrequent areas were where VARIg values were great than 3.0, and the moderate areas were where VARIg values were between 2.3 and 3.0, and frequent areas were where VARIg values were under 2.3. According to statistical analysis, the infrequent areas were percent 10 of the lands that have the condign soil salt content for locust

  19. An analysis of the contrasting fates of locust swarms on the plains of North America and East Asia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, G.; Ke, X.; Shen, H. D.; Li, Y. F.

    2013-03-01

    Prior to ~1880 AD locust swarms periodically raged across both the North American Plains (NAP) and East Asian Plains (EAP). After this date, locust outbreaks almost never recurred on the NAP but have continued to cause problems on the EAP. The large quantities of pesticides used in the major agriculture regions of the NAP in the late 1870s have been suggested as a possible reason for the disappearance of locust outbreaks in this area. Extensive applications of modern, i.e. more effective, chemical pesticides were also used in the granary regions of the EAP in the 1950s in an effort to reduce pest outbreaks. However, locust swarms returned again in many areas of China in the 1960s. Therefore, locust extinction on the NAP still remains a puzzle. Frequent locust outbreaks on the EAP over the past 130 yr may offer clues to the key factors that control the disappearance of locust outbreaks on the NAP. This study analysed the climate extremes and monthly temperature-precipitation combinations for the NAP and EAP, and found that differences in the frequencies of these climate combinations resulted in the contrasting locust fates in the two regions: restricting locust outbreaks in the NAP but inducing such events in the EAP. Validation shows that severe EAP locust outbreak years were coincidental with extreme climate-combination years. Therefore, we suggest that changes in frequency, extremes and trends in climate can explain why the fate of locust outbreaks in the EAP was different from that in the NAP. The results also suggest that, with present global warming trends, precautionary measures should be taken to make sure other similar pest infestations do not occur in either region.

  20. A~probe into the different fates of locust swarms in the plains of North America and East Asia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, G.; Johnson, D.; Ke, X.; Li, Y.

    2012-08-01

    Locust swarms had periodically raged in both North American Plains (NAP) and East Asian Plains (EAP) before 1880 AD. After this period, the locust outbreaks almost never recurred in NAP but have continued to occur in EAP. Since large quantities of pesticides were used in the major agriculture regions of NAP in the late 1870s; this has been suggested as a possible major cause of the disappearing of locust outbreaks. Extensive applications of more effective chemical pesticides were also used in the granary regions of EAP in the 1950s in an effort to kill the pests at a much higher intensity. However, locust swarms came back again in many areas of China in the 1960s. Therefore, NAP locust extinction still remains a puzzle. Frequent locust outbreaks in EAP over the past 130 yr may offer clues to probe key control elements in the disappearing of locust outbreaks in NAP. This paper analyzes the climate extremes and monthly temperature-precipitation combines of NAP and EAP, and found the differences in their frequencies of these climate combines caused different locust fates in the two regions: restrained the locust outbreak in NAP but induced such events in EAP. Validation shows that severer EAP locust outbreak years were coincided with the climate extreme combines years. Thus we suggest that climate changes in frequency, extremes and trends can explain why the fate of the locust plague in EAP was different from that in NAP. The study also points out that, under the present global warming, cautions should be taken to make sure the pest hazard being nipped in the-bud.

  1. Late Pliocene and Quaternary Eurasian locust infestations in the Canary Archipelago

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Meco, J.; Muhs, D.R.; Fontugne, M.; Ramos, A.J.; Lomoschitz, A.; Patterson, D.

    2011-01-01

    The Canary Archipelago has long been a sensitive location to record climate changes of the past. Interbedded with its basalt lavas are marine deposits from the principal Pleistocene interglacials, as well as aeolian sands with intercalated palaeosols. The palaeosols contain African dust and innumerable relict egg pods of a temperate-region locust (cf. Dociostaurus maroccanusThunberg 1815). New ecological and stratigraphical information reveals the geological history of locust plagues (or infestations) and their palaeoclimatic significance. Here, we show that the first arrival of the plagues to the Canary Islands from Africa took place near the end of the Pliocene, ca. 3Ma, and reappeared with immense strength during the middle Late Pleistocene preceding MIS (marine isotope stage) 11 (ca. 420ka), MIS 5.5 (ca. 125ka) and probably during other warm interglacials of the late Middle Pleistocene and the Late Pleistocene. During the Early Holocene, locust plagues may have coincided with a brief cool period in the current interglacial. Climatically, locust plagues on the Canaries are a link in the chain of full-glacial arid-cold climate (calcareous dunes), early interglacial arid-sub-humid climate (African dust inputs and locust plagues), peak interglacial warm-humid climate (marine deposits with Senegalese fauna), transitional arid-temperate climate (pedogenic calcretes), and again full-glacial arid-cold climate (calcareous dunes) oscillations. During the principal interglacials of the Pleistocene, the Canary Islands recorded the migrations of warm Senegalese marine faunas to the north, crossing latitudes in the Euro-African Atlantic. However, this northward marine faunal migration was preceded in the terrestrial realm by interglacial infestations of locusts. ??? Locust plagues, Canary Islands, Late Pliocene, Pleistocene, Holocene, palaeoclimatology. ?? 2010 The Authors, Lethaia ?? 2010 The Lethaia Foundation.

  2. Insects in relation to black locust culture on surface-mine spoil in Kentucky, with emphasis on the locust twig borer, Ecdytolopha insiticiana Zell. (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae)

    SciTech Connect

    Thoeny, W.T.

    1986-01-01

    This research evaluated the impacts of herbivorous insects, emphasizing the locust twig borer, Ecdytolopha insiticiana Zeller, on black locust, Robinia pseudoacacia L., coppice production on a coal surface-mine spoil site in southeastern Kentucky. The natural history of E. insiticiana was also studied. The locust twig borer was a persistent and damaging pest in first-year coppice, which provided suitable larval habitat throughout the growing season. The locust leafminer, Odontota dorsalis (Thunberg), fed minimally on first-year coppice foliage except during 1983, when trees were severely drought-stressed. Soil-applied granular carbofuran significantly reduced infestations. Lindane stem treatments were not effective, but entire-tree applications did reduce herbivory. Stump sprouts with reduced levels of herbivory grew significantly taller than controls at both spacings in 1983, but only at the more dense spacing in 1984. Blacklight trap collections revealed two generations/year, and adults were present from early May until late August. Four species of hymenopterous and two species of dipterous parasitoids were recovered from E. insiticiana larvae.

  3. The inhibitory effect of the fungal toxin, destruxin A, on behavioural fever in the desert locust.

    PubMed

    Hunt, V L; Charnley, A K

    2011-10-01

    During an infection locusts behaviourally fever by seeking out higher environmental temperatures. This behaviour places the pathogen at sub-optimal growth temperatures while improving the efficiency of the immune system, thereby prolonging the lifespan of the host. It is therefore in the interest of the pathogen to either adapt to fever-like temperatures or to evolve mechanisms to interfere with, or inhibit fever. We investigated the behavioural fever response of desert locusts to two fungal pathogens. A prolonged fever was observed in locusts infected with Metarhizium acridum. However, fever was comparatively short-lived during infection with Metarhizium robertsii. In both cases restriction of thermoregulation reduced lifespan. Destruxin A (dtx A) produced by M. robertsii, but not M. acridum has previously been associated with the inhibition of the insect immune system. Injection of dtx A during infection with the fever-causing M. acridum inhibited fever and was particularly effective when administered early on in infection. Furthermore, locusts injected with dtx A were more susceptible to M. acridum infection. Therefore engineering M. acridum isolates currently used for locust biocontrol, to express dtx A may improve efficiency of control by interfering with fever.

  4. Evidence for the expression of abundant microRNAs in the locust genome.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yanli; Jiang, Feng; Wang, Huimin; Song, Tianqi; Wei, Yuanyuan; Yang, Meiling; Zhang, Jianzhen; Kang, Le

    2015-01-01

    Substantial accumulation of neutral sequences accounts for genome size expansion in animal genomes. Numerous novel microRNAs (miRNAs), which evolve in a birth and death manner, are considered evolutionary neutral sequences. The migratory locust is an ideal model to determine whether large genomes contain abundant neutral miRNAs because of its large genome size. A total of 833 miRNAs were discovered, and several miRNAs were randomly chosen for validation by Northern blot and RIP-qPCR. Three additional verification methods, namely, processing-dependent methods of miRNA biogenesis using RNAi, evolutionary comparison with closely related species, and evidence supported by tissue-specific expression, were applied to provide compelling results that support the authenticity of locust miRNAs. We observed that abundant local duplication events of miRNAs, which were unique in locusts compared with those in other insects with small genome sizes, may be responsible for the substantial acquisition of miRNAs in locusts. Together, multiple evidence showed that the locust genome experienced a burst of miRNA acquisition, suggesting that genome size expansion may have considerable influences of miRNA innovation. These results provide new insight into the genomic dynamics of miRNA repertoires under genome size evolution.

  5. Metabolomic analysis reveals that carnitines are key regulatory metabolites in phase transition of the locusts.

    PubMed

    Wu, Rui; Wu, Zeming; Wang, Xianhui; Yang, Pengcheng; Yu, Dan; Zhao, Chunxia; Xu, Guowang; Kang, Le

    2012-02-28

    Phenotypic plasticity occurs prevalently and plays a vital role in adaptive evolution. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms responsible for the expression of alternate phenotypes remain unknown. Here, a density-dependent phase polyphenism of Locusta migratoria was used as the study model to identify key signaling molecules regulating the expression of phenotypic plasticity. Metabolomic analysis, using high-performance liquid chromatography and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, showed that solitarious and gregarious locusts have distinct metabolic profiles in hemolymph. A total of 319 metabolites, many of which are involved in lipid metabolism, differed significantly in concentration between the phases. In addition, the time course of changes in the metabolic profiles of locust hemolymph that accompany phase transition was analyzed. Carnitine and its acyl derivatives, which are involved in the lipid β-oxidation process, were identified as key differential metabolites that display robust correlation with the time courses of phase transition. RNAi silencing of two key enzymes from the carnitine system, carnitine acetyltransferase and palmitoyltransferase, resulted in a behavioral transition from the gregarious to solitarious phase and the corresponding changes of metabolic profiles. In contrast, the injection of exogenous acetylcarnitine promoted the acquisition of gregarious behavior in solitarious locusts. These results suggest that carnitines mediate locust phase transition possibly through modulating lipid metabolism and influencing the nervous system of the locusts. PMID:22328148

  6. Variation in chemosensitivity and the control of dietary selection behaviour in the locust.

    PubMed

    Simpson, S J; James, S; Simmonds, M S; Blaney, W M

    1991-10-01

    Investigations into the behavioural and underlying physiological mechanisms of dietary selection are presented for the locust, Locusta migratoria. Locusts were fed for 4, 8 or 12 h on one of four chemically defined artificial diets: diet PC, which was nutritionally complete; diet P, containing no digestible carbohydrate; diet C, containing no protein; and diet O, which lacked both protein and digestible carbohydrate. Following this pretreatment, the locusts were provided with both the P and the C diet in a choice test. Detailed analyses of selection behaviour indicated that diets lacking a nutrient for which the insect was deficient were either rejected before a meal was initiated, or, if feeding commenced, eaten in meals of only short duration, while those containing the appropriate nutrients were accepted more readily and eaten in longer meals. Electrophysiological studies showed that this behaviour was paralleled by nutrient-specific changes in gustatory responsiveness. Locusts pretreated for 4h on C diet had increased gustatory responsiveness to stimulation with an amino acid mix, but not to sucrose, while insects fed on P diet showed increased responsiveness to stimulation with sucrose, but not to the amino acid mix. This result is consistent with earlier experiments in which levels of blood nutrients were shown to modulate taste responsiveness in the locust. PMID:1763906

  7. Metabolomic analysis reveals that carnitines are key regulatory metabolites in phase transition of the locusts

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Rui; Wu, Zeming; Wang, Xianhui; Yang, Pengcheng; Yu, Dan; Zhao, Chunxia; Xu, Guowang; Kang, Le

    2012-01-01

    Phenotypic plasticity occurs prevalently and plays a vital role in adaptive evolution. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms responsible for the expression of alternate phenotypes remain unknown. Here, a density-dependent phase polyphenism of Locusta migratoria was used as the study model to identify key signaling molecules regulating the expression of phenotypic plasticity. Metabolomic analysis, using high-performance liquid chromatography and gas chromatography–mass spectrometry, showed that solitarious and gregarious locusts have distinct metabolic profiles in hemolymph. A total of 319 metabolites, many of which are involved in lipid metabolism, differed significantly in concentration between the phases. In addition, the time course of changes in the metabolic profiles of locust hemolymph that accompany phase transition was analyzed. Carnitine and its acyl derivatives, which are involved in the lipid β-oxidation process, were identified as key differential metabolites that display robust correlation with the time courses of phase transition. RNAi silencing of two key enzymes from the carnitine system, carnitine acetyltransferase and palmitoyltransferase, resulted in a behavioral transition from the gregarious to solitarious phase and the corresponding changes of metabolic profiles. In contrast, the injection of exogenous acetylcarnitine promoted the acquisition of gregarious behavior in solitarious locusts. These results suggest that carnitines mediate locust phase transition possibly through modulating lipid metabolism and influencing the nervous system of the locusts. PMID:22328148

  8. Evidence for the expression of abundant microRNAs in the locust genome.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yanli; Jiang, Feng; Wang, Huimin; Song, Tianqi; Wei, Yuanyuan; Yang, Meiling; Zhang, Jianzhen; Kang, Le

    2015-01-01

    Substantial accumulation of neutral sequences accounts for genome size expansion in animal genomes. Numerous novel microRNAs (miRNAs), which evolve in a birth and death manner, are considered evolutionary neutral sequences. The migratory locust is an ideal model to determine whether large genomes contain abundant neutral miRNAs because of its large genome size. A total of 833 miRNAs were discovered, and several miRNAs were randomly chosen for validation by Northern blot and RIP-qPCR. Three additional verification methods, namely, processing-dependent methods of miRNA biogenesis using RNAi, evolutionary comparison with closely related species, and evidence supported by tissue-specific expression, were applied to provide compelling results that support the authenticity of locust miRNAs. We observed that abundant local duplication events of miRNAs, which were unique in locusts compared with those in other insects with small genome sizes, may be responsible for the substantial acquisition of miRNAs in locusts. Together, multiple evidence showed that the locust genome experienced a burst of miRNA acquisition, suggesting that genome size expansion may have considerable influences of miRNA innovation. These results provide new insight into the genomic dynamics of miRNA repertoires under genome size evolution. PMID:26329925

  9. Sky Compass Orientation in Desert Locusts-Evidence from Field and Laboratory Studies.

    PubMed

    Homberg, Uwe

    2015-01-01

    Locusts are long-range migratory insects. At high population density, immature animals form marching hopper bands while adults take off and form huge swarms of millions of animals. At low population densities animals are solitarious, but likewise migrate, mostly during the night. Numerous studies aimed at predicting locust infestations showed that migrations both as hopper bands and as adults are largely downwind following seasonal shifts of the tropical convergence zone taking the animals to areas of rainfall. Only a few studies provided evidence for active orientation mechanisms, including the involvement of a sun compass. This scarcity of evidence stands in contrast to recent neurobiological data showing sophisticated neuronal adaptations suited for sky compass navigation. These include a special dorsal eye region with photoreceptors suited to analyze the polarization pattern of the sky and a system of topographically arranged sky compass neurons in the central complex of the brain. Laboratory experiments, moreover, demonstrated polarotaxis in tethered flying animals. The discrepancy of these findings call for more rigorous field studies on active orientation mechanisms in locusts. It remains to be shown how locusts use their internal sky compass during mass migrations and what role it plays to guide solitarious locusts in their natural habitat. PMID:26733834

  10. Effects of diet on the chemical composition of migratory locusts (Locusta migratoria).

    PubMed

    Oonincx, D G A B; van der Poel, A F B

    2011-01-01

    An experiment was conducted to determine the effects of diet on the chemical composition of migratory locusts (Locusta migratoria L.). Fresh and dry weight and the contents of dry matter, ash, lipid, protein, Ca, K, Mg, Na, P, Cu, Fe, Zn, retinol, lutein, zeaxanthine, cryptoxanthin, carotenes, lycopene and gross energy were determined in penultimate instar and adult locusts, that had been fed three different diets. The locusts received a diet of grass or grass+wheat bran or grass+wheat bran+carrots. Adding wheat bran decreased the protein content and increased fat content (633 vs. 583 and 182 vs. 231 g/kg DM, respectively). Addition of carrots to the diet increased fat content further from 231 to 271 g/kg DM. Mineral concentrations of Ca, K, Mg, and Na, were significantly affected by diet. P, K, Cu, and Fe concentrations were significantly different in penultimate migratory locusts compared with adults. Wheat bran decreased the α-carotene content, which did not change by incorporating carrots in the diet. However, carrots did result in higher β-carotene concentrations. Retinol concentrations were increased by incorporating both wheat bran and carrots in the diet compared with the diet containing only grass. This study shows that the chemical composition of migratory locusts can be manipulated through the diet. As such, it enables nutritionists to adapt the chemical composition of live feeder insects to better meet the nutritional demands of predators.

  11. Quantitative assessment of Australian plague locust habitats in the inland of eastern Australia using RS and GIS technologies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Haikou

    2014-10-01

    Australian Plague Locust, Chortoicetes terminifera (Walker), can rapidly increase in population size in the remote interior of eastern Australia under favorable habitat conditions and cause severe agricultural damage. To minimize losses, earlydetection of locust outbreaks is essential to the implementation of preventive control. Quantitative measurement of locust habitat suitability is critical for improving the efficiency of ground and aerial surveys, and providing vital information for locust population forecasting. Here, routine locust survey by the Australian Plague Locust Commission during 2003 and 2011 is investigated in relation to the habitat greenness derived from the fortnightly 250 m composites of Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), and the rainfall amount from the weekly 5 km grids of modelled precipitation, using the spatial analysis and statistics of ESRI ArcGIS. The sighting dates of high-density locust nymphs (band and sub-band) were assigned into 5 groups corresponding to the nymphal development stages, and the fortnightly NDVI values and weekly rainfall totals for the locust locations were extracted for the previous 13 weeks. The averaged NDVI values for locust habitats showed a slight increase of 0.04-0.13 from initially 0.23-0.29 within 4-7 weeks before 2nd-5th instar bands and sub-bands were sighted. The median values of NDVI increase were on an equivalence scale of 0.05-0.15 from the background of 0.21-0.26; the increments were equal to 12-37% in the historical range from 13-22% and equal to 38-59% from the 11-18% of seasonal maxima, which indicated by normalized NDVI anomalies that the majority of high-density nymphs had all experienced a period of better than average conditions in both historical and seasonal perspectives. However, 5th-instar bands and sub-bands were consistently found in slightly dried habitats, while 1st-instar bands were mostly seen in much green areas but on the trend of dry-off. The time-series of habitat

  12. Giant Magnons Meet Giant Gravitons

    SciTech Connect

    Hofman, Diego M.

    2008-07-28

    We study the worldsheet reflection matrix of a string attached to a D-brane in AdS{sub 5}xS{sup 5}. The D-brane corresponds to a maximal giant graviton that wraps an S{sup 3} inside S{sup 5}. In the gauge theory, the open string is described by a spin chain with boundaries. We focus on open strings with a large SO(6) charge and define an asymptotic boundary reflection matrix. Using the symmetries of the problem, we review the computation of the boundary reflection matrix, up to a phase. We also discuss weak and strong coupling computations where we obtain the overall phase factor and test our exact results.

  13. Inhalable Antitubercular Therapy Mediated by Locust Bean Gum Microparticles.

    PubMed

    Alves, Ana D; Cavaco, Joana S; Guerreiro, Filipa; Lourenço, João P; Rosa da Costa, Ana M; Grenha, Ana

    2016-05-28

    Tuberculosis remains a major global health problem and alternative therapeutic approaches are needed. Considering the high prevalence of lung tuberculosis (80% of cases), the pulmonary delivery of antitubercular drugs in a carrier system capable of reaching the alveoli, being recognised and phagocytosed by alveolar macrophages (mycobacterium hosts), would be a significant improvement to current oral drug regimens. Locust bean gum (LBG) is a polysaccharide composed of galactose and mannose residues, which may favour specific recognition by macrophages and potentiate phagocytosis. LBG microparticles produced by spray-drying are reported herein for the first time, incorporating either isoniazid or rifabutin, first-line antitubercular drugs (association efficiencies >82%). Microparticles have adequate theoretical properties for deep lung delivery (aerodynamic diameters between 1.15 and 1.67 μm). The cytotoxic evaluation in lung epithelial cells (A549 cells) and macrophages (THP-1 cells) revealed a toxic effect from rifabutin-loaded microparticles at the highest concentrations, but we may consider that these were very high comparing with in vivo conditions. LBG microparticles further evidenced strong ability to be captured by macrophages (percentage of phagocytosis >94%). Overall, the obtained data indicated the potential of the proposed system for tuberculosis therapy.

  14. The effect of octopamine on the locust stomatogastric nervous system.

    PubMed

    Rand, David; Knebel, Daniel; Ayali, Amir

    2012-01-01

    Octopamine (OA) is a prominent neuromodulator of invertebrate nervous systems, influencing multiple physiological processes. Among its many roles in insects are the initiation and maintenance of various rhythmic behaviors. Here, the neuromodulatory effects of OA on the components of the locust stomatogastric nervous system were studied, and one putative source of OA modulation of the system was identified. Bath application of OA was found to abolish the endogenous rhythmic output of the fully isolated frontal ganglion (FG), while stimulating motor activity of the fully isolated hypocerebral ganglion (HG). OA also induced rhythmic movements in a foregut preparation with intact HG innervation. Complex dose-dependent effects of OA on interconnected FG-HG preparations were seen: 10(-5) M OA accelerated the rhythmic activity of both the HG and FG in a synchronized manner, while 10(-4) M OA decreased both rhythms. Intracellular stimulation of an identified octopaminergic dorsal unpaired median neuron in the subesophageal ganglion was found to exert a similar effect on the FG motor output as that of OA application. Our findings suggest a mechanism of regulation of insect gut patterns and feeding-related behavior during stress and times of high energy demand. PMID:22934040

  15. Thermal avoidance during flight in the locust Locusta migratoria

    PubMed

    Robertson; Kuhnert; Dawson

    1996-01-01

    In this paper, thermal avoidance in tethered flying locusts is described for the first time. Changes in body posture examined using high-speed cinematography revealed that the animals responded to a laterally positioned heat source with contralaterally directed abdomen and hindleg ruddering, behavioural patterns resembling manoeuvres observed in collision avoidance and in response to auditory signals. The analysis also showed that, during stimulation, left and right forewing depression became asymmetrical during the downstroke but remained symmetrical during the upstroke. Hindwing depression and elevation remained symmetrical during stimulus presentations. Electromyographic recordings from the left and right first basalar muscles (M97; forewing depressors) showed that contralateral depressor muscle activity was advanced by 10­12 ms relative to that on the stimulated side. There was also an increase in burst duration on the contralaterally stimulated side and an increase in wingbeat frequency of approximately 3 Hz. Ablation experiments showed that removal of the antennal flagella, which are the site of previously described thermoreceptors, did not abolish thermal avoidance manoeuvres. We conclude that thermal avoidance is triggered by an infrared sensitivity that is not mediated by the compound eyes, the ocelli or the antennal flagella. PMID:9319276

  16. Inhalable Antitubercular Therapy Mediated by Locust Bean Gum Microparticles.

    PubMed

    Alves, Ana D; Cavaco, Joana S; Guerreiro, Filipa; Lourenço, João P; Rosa da Costa, Ana M; Grenha, Ana

    2016-01-01

    Tuberculosis remains a major global health problem and alternative therapeutic approaches are needed. Considering the high prevalence of lung tuberculosis (80% of cases), the pulmonary delivery of antitubercular drugs in a carrier system capable of reaching the alveoli, being recognised and phagocytosed by alveolar macrophages (mycobacterium hosts), would be a significant improvement to current oral drug regimens. Locust bean gum (LBG) is a polysaccharide composed of galactose and mannose residues, which may favour specific recognition by macrophages and potentiate phagocytosis. LBG microparticles produced by spray-drying are reported herein for the first time, incorporating either isoniazid or rifabutin, first-line antitubercular drugs (association efficiencies >82%). Microparticles have adequate theoretical properties for deep lung delivery (aerodynamic diameters between 1.15 and 1.67 μm). The cytotoxic evaluation in lung epithelial cells (A549 cells) and macrophages (THP-1 cells) revealed a toxic effect from rifabutin-loaded microparticles at the highest concentrations, but we may consider that these were very high comparing with in vivo conditions. LBG microparticles further evidenced strong ability to be captured by macrophages (percentage of phagocytosis >94%). Overall, the obtained data indicated the potential of the proposed system for tuberculosis therapy. PMID:27240337

  17. Eicosanoid involvement in the regulation of behavioral fever in the desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria.

    PubMed

    Bundey, S; Raymond, S; Dean, P; Roberts, S K; Dillon, R J; Charnley, A K

    2003-04-01

    The desert locust Schistocerca gregaria behaviorally thermoregulates in order to try and maintain a favoured "set point" body temperature. Locusts infected with the deuteromycete fungal pathogen Metarhizium anisopliae var acridumchoose a significantly elevated temperature. This "behavioral fever" greatly delays the progress of mycosis. We have confirmed this phenomenon and shown that desert locusts also fever when infected with the bacterial pathogen Serratia marcescens. Elevation in the prefered environmental temperature occurs also upon injection with laminarin and lipopolysaccharide (microbial cell wall components). Since such treatments also stimulate the immune system it would appear that "behavioral fever" is probably a feature of the immune response. The eicosanoid biosynthesis inhibitor dexamethasone prevented laminarin invoked fever. This effect was reversable by arachidonic acid. Therefore in common with the febrile response in mammals behavioral fever in insects may be mediated locally by circulating eicosanoids.

  18. Microwave assisted synthesis of acrylamide grafted locust bean gum and its application in drug delivery.

    PubMed

    Kaity, Santanu; Isaac, Jinu; Kumar, P Mahesh; Bose, Anirbandeep; Wong, Tin Wui; Ghosh, Animesh

    2013-10-15

    Acrylamide grafted copolymer of locust bean gum was prepared by microwave irradiation using ceric ammonium nitrate as redox initiator. The grafting process was optimized in terms of irradiation time, amount of initiator and acrylamide by using constant amount of native locust bean gum. The grafted gum was characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), (13)C nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction study (XRD), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), elemental analysis, contact angle, viscosity, molecular weight, swelling and biodegradability studies. The grafted gum was found to be biodegradable and non-toxic. It was further used to prepare controlled-release matrix tablet of buflomedil hydrochloride. The in vitro release profile of the tablet showed the rate controlling property of acrylamide grafted locust bean gum was similar to that of hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC-K15M).

  19. Collision avoidance and a looming sensitive neuron: size matters but biggest is not necessarily best.

    PubMed

    Rind, F Claire; Santer, Roger D

    2004-02-01

    Locusts possess visual neurons that can be uniquely identified in each locust and that respond selectively to looming stimuli, giving the animal a warning of impending collision. It has been suggested that one such neuron, the lobula giant movement detector (LGMD), issues this warning by generating a peak in its response that occurs ca. 25 ms after a looming object reaches a subtense of 17 degrees on the eye. This peak is proposed to be a trigger for escape behaviour. We use both modelling and electrophysiological techniques to show that this early peak in LGMD response is not the 'essential functional variable' used naturally by the locust to trigger escape, but rather results from the unnaturally large stimulus used in the previous experimental work. The natural predators of Locusta in Africa, where the locust evolved, are small birds such as the fiscal shrike Lanius collaris humeralis and the carmine bee-eater Merops nubicus, with pectoral diameters of 40-45 mm (measurements from museum specimens). Locusta in flight are less than 100 mm wing tip to wing tip. When a locust views small approaching objects, the response of the LGMD continues to increase throughout the object's approach and the locust is able to trigger escape behaviours without the LGMD response peaking prior to collision.

  20. Anoxic stress and rapid cold hardening enhance cold tolerance of the migratory locust.

    PubMed

    Cui, Feng; Wang, Hongsheng; Zhang, Hanying; Kang, Le

    2014-10-01

    Anoxia and rapid cold hardening (RCH) can increase the cold tolerance of many animals. However, mechanisms underlying these two kinds of stresses remain unclear. In this study, we aimed to explore the relationship of acclimation to cold stress with acclimation to anoxic stress in the migratory locust, Locusta migratoria. RCH at 0°C for 3h promoted the survival of cold stress-exposed locusts. Anoxic hypercapnia (CO2 anoxic treatment) for 40 min exerted an effect similar to that of RCH. Anoxic hypercapnia within 1h can all promote the cold hardiness of locusts. We investigated the transcript levels of six heat shock protein (Hsp) genes, namely, Hsp20.5, Hsp20.6, Hsp20.7, Hsp40, Hsp70, and Hsp90. Four genes, namely, Hsp90, Hsp40, Hsp20.5, and Hsp20.7, showed differential responses to RCH and anoxic hypercapnia treatments. Under cold stress, locusts exposed to the two regimens showed different responses for Hsp90, Hsp20.5, and Hsp20.7. However, the varied responses disappeared after recovery from cold stress. Compared with the control group, the transcript levels of six Hsp genes were generally downregulated in locusts subjected to anoxic hypercapnia or/and RCH. These results indicate that anoxic stress and RCH have different mechanisms of regulating the transcription of Hsp family members even if the two treatments exerted similar effects on cold tolerance of the migratory locust. However, Hsps may not play a major role in the promotion of cold hardiness by the two treatments.

  1. Locust flight activity as a model for hormonal regulation of lipid mobilization and transport.

    PubMed

    Van der Horst, Dick J; Rodenburg, Kees W

    2010-08-01

    Flight activity of insects provides a fascinating yet relatively simple model system for studying the regulation of processes involved in energy metabolism. This is particularly highlighted during long-distance flight, for which the locust constitutes a long-standing favored model insect, which as one of the most infamous agricultural pests additionally has considerable economical importance. Remarkably many aspects and processes pivotal to our understanding of (neuro)hormonal regulation of lipid mobilization and transport during insect flight activity have been discovered in the locust; among which are the peptide adipokinetic hormones (AKHs), synthesized and stored by the neurosecretory cells of the corpus cardiacum, that regulate and integrate lipid (diacylglycerol) mobilization and transport, the functioning of the reversible conversions of lipoproteins (lipophorins) in the hemolymph during flight activity, revealing novel concepts for the transport of lipids in the circulatory system, and the structure and functioning of the exchangeable apolipopotein, apolipophorin III, which exhibits a dual capacity to exist in both lipid-bound and lipid-free states that is essential to these lipophorin conversions. Besides, the lipophorin receptor (LpR) was identified and characterized in the locust. In an integrative approach, this short review aims at highlighting the locust as an unrivalled model for studying (neuro)hormonal regulation of lipid mobilization and transport during insect flight activity, that additionally has offered a broad and profound research model for integrative physiology and biochemistry, and particularly focuses on recent developments in the concept of AKH-induced changes in the lipophorin system during locust flight, that deviates fundamentally from the lipoprotein-based transport of lipids in the circulation of mammals. Current studies in this field employing the locust as a model continue to attribute to its role as a favored model organism, but

  2. No evidence for DPOAEs in the mechanical motion of the locust tympanum.

    PubMed

    Moir, Hannah M; Jackson, Joseph C; Windmill, James F C

    2011-10-01

    Distortion-product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAEs) are present in non-linear hearing organs, and for low-intensity sounds are a by-product of active processes. In vertebrate ears they are considered to be due to hair cell amplification of sound in the cochlea; however, certain animals lacking a cochlea and hair cells are also reported to be capable of DPOAEs. In the Insecta, DPOAEs have been recorded from the locust auditory organ. However, the site of generation of these DPOAEs and the physiological mechanisms causing their presence in the locust ear are not yet understood, despite there being a number of potential places in the tympanal organ that could be capable of generating DPOAEs. This study aimed to record locust tympanal membrane vibration using a laser Doppler vibrometer in order to identify a distinct place of DPOAE generation on the membrane. Two species of locust were investigated over a range of frequencies and levels of acoustic stimulus, mirroring earlier acoustic recording studies; however, the current experiments were carried out in an open acoustic system. The laser measurements did not find any evidence of mechanical motion on the tympanal membrane related to the expected DPOAE frequencies. The results of the current study therefore could not confirm the presence of DPOAEs in the locust ear through the mechanics of the tympanal membrane. Experiments were also carried out to test how membrane behaviour altered when the animals were in a state of hypoxia, as this was previously found to decrease DPOAE magnitude, suggesting a metabolic sensitivity. However, hypoxia did not have any significant effect on the membrane mechanics. The location of the mechanical generation of DPOAEs in the locust's ear, and therefore the basis for the related physiological mechanisms, thus remains unknown.

  3. Optimizing energy yields in black locust through genetic selection: final report

    SciTech Connect

    Bongarten, B.C.; Merkle, S.A.

    1996-10-01

    The purpose of this work was to assess the magnitude of improvement in biomass yield of black locust possible through breeding, and to determine methods for efficiently capturing the yield improvement achievable from selective breeding. To meet this overall objective, six tasks were undertaken to determine: (1) the amount and geographic pattern of natural genetic variation, (2) the mating system of the species, (3) quantitative genetic parameters of relevant traits, (4) the relationship between nitrogen fixation and growth in black locust, (5) the viability of mass vegetative propagation, and (6) the feasibility of improvement through genetic transformation.

  4. Onset of collective motion in locusts is captured by a minimal model.

    PubMed

    Dyson, Louise; Yates, Christian A; Buhl, Jerome; McKane, Alan J

    2015-01-01

    We present a minimal model to describe the onset of collective motion seen when a population of locusts are placed in an annular arena. At low densities motion is disordered, while at high densities locusts march in a common direction, which may reverse during the experiment. The data are well captured by an individual-based model, in which demographic noise leads to the observed density-dependent effects. By fitting the model parameters to equation-free coefficients, we give a quantitative comparison, showing time series, stationary distributions, and the mean switching times between states. PMID:26651724

  5. Transforming giants.

    PubMed

    Kanter, Rosabeth Moss

    2008-01-01

    Large corporations have long been seen as lumbering, inflexible, bureaucratic--and clueless about global developments. But recently some multinationals seem to be transforming themselves: They're engaging employees, moving quickly, and introducing innovations that show true connection with the world. Harvard Business School's Kanter ventured with a research team inside a dozen global giants--including IBM, Procter & Gamble, Omron, CEMEX, Cisco, and Banco Real--to discover what has been driving the change. After conducting more than 350 interviews on five continents, she and her colleagues came away with a strong sense that we are witnessing the dawn of a new model of corporate power: The coordination of actions and decisions on the front lines now appears to stem from widely shared values and a sturdy platform of common processes and technology, not from top-down decrees. In particular, the values that engage the passions of far-flung workforces stress openness, inclusion, and making the world a better place. Through this shift in what might be called their guidance systems, the companies have become as creative and nimble as much smaller ones, even while taking on social and environmental challenges of a scale that only large enterprises could attempt. IBM, for instance, has created a nonprofit partnership, World Community Grid, through which any organization or individual can donate unused computing power to research projects and see what is being done with the donation in real time. IBM has gained an inspiring showcase for its new technology, helped business partners connect with the company in a positive way, and offered individuals all over the globe the chance to contribute to something big.

  6. Giant congenital nevus

    MedlinePlus

    ... pigmented nevus; Giant hairy nevus; Giant pigmented nevus; Bathing trunk nevus; Congenital melanocytic nevus - large ... baby grows in the womb. In some families bathing trunk nevi may be inherited. The condition may ...

  7. Giant Cell Arteritis

    MedlinePlus

    Giant cell arteritis is a disorder that causes inflammation of your arteries, usually in the scalp, neck, and arms. ... arteries, which keeps blood from flowing well. Giant cell arteritis often occurs with another disorder called polymyalgia ...

  8. Identification and functional analysis of olfactory receptor family reveal unusual characteristics of the olfactory system in the migratory locust.

    PubMed

    Wang, Zhifeng; Yang, Pengcheng; Chen, Dafeng; Jiang, Feng; Li, Yan; Wang, Xianhui; Kang, Le

    2015-11-01

    Locusts represent the excellent model of insect olfaction because the animals are equipped with an unusual olfactory system and display remarkable density-dependent olfactory plasticity. However, information regarding receptor molecules involved in the olfactory perception of locusts is very limited. On the basis of genome sequence and antennal transcriptome of the migratory locust, we conduct the identification and functional analysis of two olfactory receptor families: odorant receptors (ORs) and ionotropic receptors (IRs). In the migratory locust, there is an expansion of OR family (142 ORs) while distinctly lower number of IR genes (32 IRs) compared to the repertoires of other insects. The number of the locust OR genes is much less than that of glomeruli in antennal lobe, challenging the general principle of the "one glomerulus-one receptor" observed in other insects. Most OR genes are found in tandem arrays, forming two large lineage-specific subfamilies in the phylogenetic tree. The "divergent IR" subfamily displays a significant contraction, and most of the IRs belong to the "antennal IR" subfamily in the locust. Most ORs/IRs have olfactory-specific expression while some broadly- or internal-expressed members are also found. Differing from holometabolous insects, the migratory locust contains very similar expression profiles of ORs/IRs between nymph and adult stages. RNA interference and behavioral assays indicate that an OR-based signaling pathway, not IR-based, mediates the attraction of locusts to aggregation pheromones. These discoveries provide insights into the unusual olfactory system of locusts and enhance our understanding of the evolution of insect olfaction. PMID:26265180

  9. Identification and functional analysis of olfactory receptor family reveal unusual characteristics of the olfactory system in the migratory locust.

    PubMed

    Wang, Zhifeng; Yang, Pengcheng; Chen, Dafeng; Jiang, Feng; Li, Yan; Wang, Xianhui; Kang, Le

    2015-11-01

    Locusts represent the excellent model of insect olfaction because the animals are equipped with an unusual olfactory system and display remarkable density-dependent olfactory plasticity. However, information regarding receptor molecules involved in the olfactory perception of locusts is very limited. On the basis of genome sequence and antennal transcriptome of the migratory locust, we conduct the identification and functional analysis of two olfactory receptor families: odorant receptors (ORs) and ionotropic receptors (IRs). In the migratory locust, there is an expansion of OR family (142 ORs) while distinctly lower number of IR genes (32 IRs) compared to the repertoires of other insects. The number of the locust OR genes is much less than that of glomeruli in antennal lobe, challenging the general principle of the "one glomerulus-one receptor" observed in other insects. Most OR genes are found in tandem arrays, forming two large lineage-specific subfamilies in the phylogenetic tree. The "divergent IR" subfamily displays a significant contraction, and most of the IRs belong to the "antennal IR" subfamily in the locust. Most ORs/IRs have olfactory-specific expression while some broadly- or internal-expressed members are also found. Differing from holometabolous insects, the migratory locust contains very similar expression profiles of ORs/IRs between nymph and adult stages. RNA interference and behavioral assays indicate that an OR-based signaling pathway, not IR-based, mediates the attraction of locusts to aggregation pheromones. These discoveries provide insights into the unusual olfactory system of locusts and enhance our understanding of the evolution of insect olfaction.

  10. Application of sugar maple and black locust to the biomass/energy plantation concept. Interim report, March 1, 1980-February 28, 1981. [Sugar Maples, Black Locusts

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1981-03-01

    The objective of the research program is to determine the feasibility of converting existing pole-size maple stands to biomass/energy plantations using black locust as an interplanted species. Toward this end, progress has been made in quantifying sprout biomass. Significant differences have been identified in productivity by site, species, time of fertilizer application, and diameter and damage of stumps. Rhizobium strains for black locust have been identified which are tolerant of low pH and phosphorous and high aluminum levels. Frost-hardy black locust seed sources have been identified for future work. Methods for sampling and equations for young natural stands of maple have been developed. Detailed characterization of sugar and red maple sprouts by physical, chemical and thermal analysis were compared to those of old, mature trees. The results are discussed in terms of seasonal moisture content variation, effects of tree age on specific gravity, extractive contents, ash content, major cell wall components, heating values and thermal behavior. 7 references, 5 figures, 17 tables.

  11. Giant impacts on giant planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Pater, Imke

    2014-10-01

    The 2009 impact and recent superbolides on Jupiter caught the world by surprise and cast doubt on impactor flux estimates for the outer solar system. Enhanced amateur planetary imaging techniques yield both high spatial resolution (enabling the 2009 impact debris field detection) and rapid frame rates (enabling the 2010/2012 impact flash detections and lightcurve measurements).We propose a ToO program to image future impacts on Jupiter and Saturn. To remove the possibility of impact cloud non-detections, the program will be triggered only if an existing impact debris field is seen, an object on a collision course with Jupiter or Saturn is discovered, or an impact light curve is measured with an estimated total energy large enough to generate an impact cloud in a giant planet atmosphere (10^20 J).HST provides the only way to image these events in the ultraviolet, providing information on aerosol altitudes and on smaller particles that are less visible to ground-based infrared observations. High-resolution imaging with proper timing (not achievable from the ground) is required to measure precisely both the velocity fields of impact sites and the optical spectrum of impact debris. HST observations of past impacts on Jupiter have also served both as cornerstones of science investigations at other wavelengths and as vehicles for effective public outreach.Large outer solar system impacts are governed by the same physics as in the terrestrial events that dominate the impact threat to humans. Studying the behavior of impactors of various sizes and compositions, as they enter the atmosphere at varying angles and speeds, will better quantify terrestrial impact hazards.

  12. Giant impacts on giant planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Pater, Imke

    2013-10-01

    The 2009 impact and recent superbolides on Jupiter caught the world by surprise and cast doubt on impactor flux estimates for the outer solar system. Enhanced amateur planetary imaging techniques yield both high spatial resolution {enabling the 2009 impact debris field detection} and rapid frame rates {enabling the 2010/2012 impact flash detections and lightcurve measurements}.We propose a ToO program to image future impacts on Jupiter and Saturn. To remove the possibility of impact cloud non-detections, the program will be triggered only if an existing impact debris field is seen, an object on a collision course with Jupiter or Saturn is discovered, or an impact light curve is measured with an estimated total energy large enough to generate an impact cloud in a giant planet atmosphere {10^20 J}.HST provides the only way to image these events in the ultraviolet, providing information on aerosol altitudes and on smaller particles that are less visible to ground-based infrared observations. High-resolution imaging with proper timing {not achievable from the ground} is required to measure precisely both the velocity fields of impact sites and the optical spectrum of impact debris. HST observations of past impacts on Jupiter have also served both as cornerstones of science investigations at other wavelengths and as vehicles for effective public outreach.Large outer solar system impacts are governed by the same physics as in the terrestrial events that dominate the impact threat to humans. Studying the behavior of impactors of various sizes and compositions, as they enter the atmosphere at varying angles and speeds, will better quantify terrestrial impact hazards.

  13. Biomechanical Analysis of Locust Jumping in a Physically Realistic Virtual Environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cofer, David; Cymbalyuk, Gennady; Heitler, William; Edwards, Donald

    2008-03-01

    The biomechanical and neural components that underlie locust jumping have been extensively studied. Previous research suggested that jump energy is stored primarily in the extensor apodeme, and in a band of cuticle called the semi-lunar process (SLP). As it has thus far proven impossible to experimentally alter the SLP without rendering a locust unable to jump, it has not been possible to test whether the energy stored in the SLP has a significant impact on the jump. To address problems such as this we have developed a software toolkit, AnimatLab, which allows researchers to build and test virtual organisms. We used this software to build a virtual locust, and then asked how the SLP is utilized during jumping. The results show that without the SLP the jump distance was reduced by almost half. Further, the simulations were also able to show that loss of the SLP had a significant impact on the final phase of the jump. We are currently working on postural control mechanisms for targeted jumping in locust.

  14. Using field data to test locust migratory band collective movement models

    PubMed Central

    Buhl, J.; Sword, Gregory A.; Simpson, Stephen J.

    2012-01-01

    Wingless locust nymphs can form massive migratory groups known as bands, whose coordinated movement results from local interactions. We analysed the spatial distribution of locusts within naturally occurring bands and compared them with computer simulations to infer which interaction rules are used by individuals. We found that the empirical radial distribution of neighbours around a focal individual was isotropic, indicating a tendency for locusts to interact with neighbours all around them, rather than a bias towards pursuing individuals ahead or escaping from the ones following behind. By using maps of neighbour densities and pair correlation functions, we found evidence for a short-range repulsion force, balanced by a clustering force, presumably alignment and/or attraction, at a distance of around 3 cm. These results were similar to those observed when using a ‘zonal’ self-propelled particles model where repulsion/alignment/attraction forces are delimited by concentric circular zones of set radii. However, the profiles obtained either by using different combinations of forces, limiting the number of neighbours involved in interactions, or by varying the range of some zones, all appeared to produce similar results, thereby limiting the ability to more precisely determine the rules underlying locust interactions. PMID:24312729

  15. Diacylglycerol-carrying lipoprotein of hemolymph of the locust and some insects.

    PubMed

    Chino, H; Kitazawa, K

    1981-09-01

    The diacylglycerol-carrying lipoprotein (DGLP) was purified from hemolymph of the locust, Locusta migratoria, by a rapid method which included a specific precipitation at low ionic concentration and DEAE-cellulose column chromatography. The final preparation was highly homogeneous as judged by gel electrophoresis, electron microscopy, and immunodiffusion. The locust DGLP molecule was almost spherical in shape with a diameter of about 130 A. The molecular weight, determined by a sedimentation equilibrium method, was approximately 580,000. The total lipid content amounted to about 40%. The lipids comprised diacylglycerol (33% of total lipid), hydrocarbon (21%), cholesterol (8%), and phospholipids (36%). The hydrocarbon fraction contained a number of n-alkanes and methylalkanes ranging from C25 to C38 in chain length. Mannose (3%) and glucosamine (0.5%) were associated with the apoprotein of DGLP. Apoprotein of locust DGLP consisted of two subunits, heavy chain (mol wt 250,000) and light chain (mol wt 85,000); carbohydrate (mannose) was associated only with the heavy chain. Tests of physiological function of DGLPs from locust, cockroach, and silkworm suggest that the insect DGLP serves multiple roles as a true carrier molecule in transporting diacylglycerol, cholesterol, and hydrocarbon from sites of storage, absorption, and synthesis to sites where these lipids are utilized as metabolic fuel, precursors for triacylglycerol and phospholipid synthesis, or structural components of cell membrane and cuticle. In addition, the insect DGLPs displayed no species-specificity in terms of the functions, whereas they were immunologically distinguishable. PMID:6795289

  16. Simultaneous measurement of aerodynamic forces and kinematics in flapping wings of tethered locust.

    PubMed

    Shkarayev, Sergey; Kumar, Rajeev

    2015-12-01

    Aerodynamic and inertial forces and corresponding kinematics of flapping wings of locusts, Schistocerca americana, were investigated in a low-speed wind tunnel. The experimental setup included live locusts mounted on microbalance synchronized with a high-speed video system. Simultaneous measurements of wing kinematics and forces were carried out on three locusts at 7° angle of attack and velocities of 0 m s(-1) and 4 m s(-1). Time variations of flapping and pitching angles exhibit similar patterns in fore- and hindwings and among the animals. Significant tip to root variations in pitching angle are found in both wings. The locusts have much larger flapping and pitching amplitudes in still air causing larger oscillations in inertial forces. Inertial forces are added to the lift and thrust on one part of the stroke, resulting in higher reaction forces and subtracted on the other part. Plots of the lift demonstrate similar trends with and without the wind. The global maxima and peak-to-peak amplitudes in lift are about the same in both tests. However, local minima are significantly lower in still air, resulting in much smaller stroke-averaged lift. Amplitudes of thrust force oscillations are much higher in still air; consequently, the stroke-averaged thrust is higher compared to the non-zero freestream velocity case. PMID:26496206

  17. Modeling spatiotemporal dynamics of outbreaking species: influence of environment and migration in a locust.

    PubMed

    Veran, Sophie; Simpson, Stephen J; Sword, Gregory A; Deveson, Edward; Piry, Sylvain; Hines, James E; Berthier, Karine

    2015-03-01

    Many pest species exhibit huge fluctuations in population abundance. Understanding their large-scale and long-term dynamics is necessary to develop effective control and management strategies. Occupancy models represent a promising approach to unravel interactions between environmental factors and spatiotemporal dynamics of outbreaking populations. Here, we investigated population dynamics of the Australian plague locust, Chortoicetes terminifera, using density data collected between 1988 and 2010 by the Australian Plague Locust Commission over more than 3 million km2 in eastern Australia. We applied multistate and autologistic multi-season occupancy models to test competing hypotheses about environmental and demographic processes affecting the large-scale dynamics of the Australian plague locust. We found that rainfall and land cover predictors best explained the spatial variability in outbreak probability across eastern Australia. Outbreaks are more likely to occur in temperate than tropical regions, with a faster and more continuous response to rainfall in desert than in agricultural areas. Our results also support the hypothesis that migration tends to propagate outbreaks only locally (over distances lower than 400 km) rather than across climatic regions. Our study suggests that locust outbreak forecasting and management systems could be improved by implementing key environmental factors and migration in hierarchical spatial models. Finally, our modeling framework can be seen as a step towards bridging the gap between mechanistic and more phenomenological models in the spatial analysis of fluctuating populations. PMID:26236870

  18. Acute and chronic gregarisation are associated with distinct DNA methylation fingerprints in desert locusts

    PubMed Central

    Mallon, Eamonn B.; Amarasinghe, Harindra E.; Ott, Swidbert R.

    2016-01-01

    Desert locusts (Schistocerca gregaria) show a dramatic form of socially induced phenotypic plasticity known as phase polyphenism. In the absence of conspecifics, locusts occur in a shy and cryptic solitarious phase. Crowding with conspecifics drives a behavioural transformation towards gregariousness that occurs within hours and is followed by changes in physiology, colouration and morphology, resulting in the full gregarious phase syndrome. We analysed methylation-sensitive amplified fragment length polymorphisms (MS-AFLP) to compare the effect of acute and chronic crowding on DNA methylation in the central nervous system. We find that crowd-reared and solitary-reared locusts show markedly different neural MS-AFLP fingerprints. However, crowding for a day resulted in neural MS-AFLP fingerprints that were clearly distinct from both crowd-reared and uncrowded solitary-reared locusts. Our results indicate that changes in DNA methylation associated with behavioural gregarisation proceed through intermediate states that are not simply partial realisations of the endpoint states. PMID:27752110

  19. Simultaneous measurement of aerodynamic forces and kinematics in flapping wings of tethered locust.

    PubMed

    Shkarayev, Sergey; Kumar, Rajeev

    2015-10-23

    Aerodynamic and inertial forces and corresponding kinematics of flapping wings of locusts, Schistocerca americana, were investigated in a low-speed wind tunnel. The experimental setup included live locusts mounted on microbalance synchronized with a high-speed video system. Simultaneous measurements of wing kinematics and forces were carried out on three locusts at 7° angle of attack and velocities of 0 m s(-1) and 4 m s(-1). Time variations of flapping and pitching angles exhibit similar patterns in fore- and hindwings and among the animals. Significant tip to root variations in pitching angle are found in both wings. The locusts have much larger flapping and pitching amplitudes in still air causing larger oscillations in inertial forces. Inertial forces are added to the lift and thrust on one part of the stroke, resulting in higher reaction forces and subtracted on the other part. Plots of the lift demonstrate similar trends with and without the wind. The global maxima and peak-to-peak amplitudes in lift are about the same in both tests. However, local minima are significantly lower in still air, resulting in much smaller stroke-averaged lift. Amplitudes of thrust force oscillations are much higher in still air; consequently, the stroke-averaged thrust is higher compared to the non-zero freestream velocity case.

  20. Molecular characterization and expression profiles of neuropeptide precursors in the migratory locust.

    PubMed

    Hou, Li; Jiang, Feng; Yang, Pengcheng; Wang, Xianhui; Kang, Le

    2015-08-01

    Neuropeptides serve as the most important regulatory signals in insects. Many neuropeptides and their precursors have been identified in terms of the contig sequences of whole genome information of the migratory locust (Locusta migratoria), which exhibits a typical phenotypic plasticity in morphology, behavior and physiology. However, functions of these locust neuropeptides are largely unknown. In this study, we first revised the 23 reported neuropeptide precursor genes and identified almost all the neuropeptide precursors and corresponding products in L. migratoria. We further revealed the significant expansion profiles (such as AKH) and alternative splicing of neuropeptide genes (Lom-ITP, Lom-OK and Lom-NPF1). Transcriptomic analysis indicated that several neuropeptides, such as Lom-ACP and Lom-OK, displayed development-specific expression patterns. qRT-PCR data confirmed that most neuropeptide precursors were strongly expressed in the central nervous system. Fifteen neuropeptide genes displayed different expression levels between solitarious and gregarious locusts. These findings provide valuable clues to understand neuropeptide evolution and their functional roles in basic biology and phase transition in locusts.

  1. Coding of odors by temporal binding within a model network of the locust antennal lobe.

    PubMed

    Patel, Mainak J; Rangan, Aaditya V; Cai, David

    2013-01-01

    The locust olfactory system interfaces with the external world through antennal receptor neurons (ORNs), which represent odors in a distributed, combinatorial manner. ORN axons bundle together to form the antennal nerve, which relays sensory information centrally to the antennal lobe (AL). Within the AL, an odor generates a dynamically evolving ensemble of active cells, leading to a stimulus-specific temporal progression of neuronal spiking. This experimental observation has led to the hypothesis that an odor is encoded within the AL by a dynamically evolving trajectory of projection neuron (PN) activity that can be decoded piecewise to ascertain odor identity. In order to study information coding within the locust AL, we developed a scaled-down model of the locust AL using Hodgkin-Huxley-type neurons and biologically realistic connectivity parameters and current components. Using our model, we examined correlations in the precise timing of spikes across multiple neurons, and our results suggest an alternative to the dynamic trajectory hypothesis. We propose that the dynamical interplay of fast and slow inhibition within the locust AL induces temporally stable correlations in the spiking activity of an odor-dependent neural subset, giving rise to a temporal binding code that allows rapid stimulus detection by downstream elements.

  2. Coding of odors by temporal binding within a model network of the locust antennal lobe

    PubMed Central

    Patel, Mainak J.; Rangan, Aaditya V.; Cai, David

    2013-01-01

    The locust olfactory system interfaces with the external world through antennal receptor neurons (ORNs), which represent odors in a distributed, combinatorial manner. ORN axons bundle together to form the antennal nerve, which relays sensory information centrally to the antennal lobe (AL). Within the AL, an odor generates a dynamically evolving ensemble of active cells, leading to a stimulus-specific temporal progression of neuronal spiking. This experimental observation has led to the hypothesis that an odor is encoded within the AL by a dynamically evolving trajectory of projection neuron (PN) activity that can be decoded piecewise to ascertain odor identity. In order to study information coding within the locust AL, we developed a scaled-down model of the locust AL using Hodgkin–Huxley-type neurons and biologically realistic connectivity parameters and current components. Using our model, we examined correlations in the precise timing of spikes across multiple neurons, and our results suggest an alternative to the dynamic trajectory hypothesis. We propose that the dynamical interplay of fast and slow inhibition within the locust AL induces temporally stable correlations in the spiking activity of an odor-dependent neural subset, giving rise to a temporal binding code that allows rapid stimulus detection by downstream elements. PMID:23630495

  3. Hydroponic screening of black locust families for heavy metal tolerance and accumulation.

    PubMed

    Župunski, Milan; Borišev, Milan; Orlović, Saša; Arsenov, Danijela; Nikolić, Nataša; Pilipović, Andrej; Pajević, Slobodanka

    2016-01-01

    Present work examines phytoextraction potential of four black locust families (half-sibs 54, 56, 115, and 135) grown hydroponically. Plants were treated with 6 ppm of cadmium (Cd), 100 ppm of nickel (Ni), and 40 ppm of lead (Pb) added in Hoagland nutrient solution, accompanying with simultaneously applied all three metals. Responses to metals exposure among families were different, ranging from severe to slight reduction of root and shoot biomass production of treated plants. Calculated tolerance indices are indicating tested families as highly tolerant (Ti > 60). Family 135 had the lowest tolerance index, pointing that it was highly susceptible to applied metals. Comparing photosynthetic activities of tested families it has been noticed that they were highly sensitive to stress induced by heavy metals. Net photosynthetic rate of nickel treated plants was the most affected by applied concentration. Cadmium and nickel concentrations in stems and leaves of black locust families exceeded 100 mg Cd kg(-1) and 1000 mg Ni kg(-1), in both single and multipollution context. On the contrary, accumulation of lead in above ground biomass was highly affected by multipollution treatment. Tf and BCF significantly varied between investigated treatments and families of black locust. Concerning obtained results of heavy metals accumulation and tolerance of black locust families can be concluded that tested families might be a promising tool for phytoextraction purposes, but it takes to be further confirmed in field trials.

  4. Hydroponic screening of black locust families for heavy metal tolerance and accumulation.

    PubMed

    Župunski, Milan; Borišev, Milan; Orlović, Saša; Arsenov, Danijela; Nikolić, Nataša; Pilipović, Andrej; Pajević, Slobodanka

    2016-01-01

    Present work examines phytoextraction potential of four black locust families (half-sibs 54, 56, 115, and 135) grown hydroponically. Plants were treated with 6 ppm of cadmium (Cd), 100 ppm of nickel (Ni), and 40 ppm of lead (Pb) added in Hoagland nutrient solution, accompanying with simultaneously applied all three metals. Responses to metals exposure among families were different, ranging from severe to slight reduction of root and shoot biomass production of treated plants. Calculated tolerance indices are indicating tested families as highly tolerant (Ti > 60). Family 135 had the lowest tolerance index, pointing that it was highly susceptible to applied metals. Comparing photosynthetic activities of tested families it has been noticed that they were highly sensitive to stress induced by heavy metals. Net photosynthetic rate of nickel treated plants was the most affected by applied concentration. Cadmium and nickel concentrations in stems and leaves of black locust families exceeded 100 mg Cd kg(-1) and 1000 mg Ni kg(-1), in both single and multipollution context. On the contrary, accumulation of lead in above ground biomass was highly affected by multipollution treatment. Tf and BCF significantly varied between investigated treatments and families of black locust. Concerning obtained results of heavy metals accumulation and tolerance of black locust families can be concluded that tested families might be a promising tool for phytoextraction purposes, but it takes to be further confirmed in field trials. PMID:26332106

  5. Large-Scale Transcriptome Analysis of Retroelements in the Migratory Locust, Locusta migratoria

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Wei; Wang, Xianhui; Kang, Le

    2012-01-01

    Background Retroelements can successfully colonize eukaryotic genome through RNA-mediated transposition, and are considered to be some of the major mediators of genome size. The migratory locust Locusta migratoria is an insect with a large genome size, and its genome is probably subject to the proliferation of retroelements. An analysis of deep-sequencing transcriptome data will elucidate the structure, diversity and expression characteristics of retroelements. Results We performed a de novo assembly from deep sequencing RNA-seq data and identified 105 retroelements in the locust transcriptome. Phylogenetic analysis of reverse transcriptase sequences revealed 1 copia, 1 BEL, 8 gypsy and 23 non-long terminal repeat (LTR) retroelements in the locust transcriptome. A novel approach was developed to identify full-length LTR retroelements. A total of 5 full-length LTR retroelements and 2 full-length non-LTR retroelements that contained complete structures for retrotransposition were identified. Structural analysis indicated that all these retroelements may have been activated or deprived of retrotransposition activities very recently. Expression profiling analysis revealed that the retroelements exhibited a unique expression pattern at the egg stage and showed differential expression profiles between the solitarious and gregarious phases at the fifth instar and adult stage. Conclusion We hereby present the first de novo transcriptome analysis of retroelements in a species whose genome is not available. This work contributes to a comprehensive understanding of the landscape of retroelements in the locust transcriptome. More importantly, the results reveal that non-LTR retroelements are abundant and diverse in the locust transcriptome. PMID:22792363

  6. RNAi-mediated knockdown of Shade negatively affects ecdysone-20-hydroxylation in the desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria.

    PubMed

    Marchal, Elisabeth; Verlinden, Heleen; Badisco, Liesbeth; Van Wielendaele, Pieter; Vanden Broeck, Jozef

    2012-07-01

    A major breakthrough in elucidating the ecdysteroid biosynthetic pathway in insects was realized with the molecular identification and further functional characterization of the 'Halloween' genes. These genes were found to encode cytochrome P450 enzymes catalysing the final steps of ecdysteroid biosynthesis in the dipteran, Drosophila melanogaster, and in the Lepidoptera, Manduca sexta and Bombyx mori. A recent report focused on the identification of Halloween orthologs in the desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria, a member of the hemimetabolous insect order of the Orthoptera. In the present study, an additional Halloween gene Shade, is identified in the desert locust. In Diptera and Lepidoptera, this gene encodes a 20-hydroxylase, catalysing the conversion of ecdysone (E) to 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E). However, this enzymatic function has previously been suggested for CYP6H1 in another locust species, the migratory locust, Locusta migratoria. Using q-RT-PCR, the spatial and temporal transcript profiles of S. gregaria orthologs for Shade as well as CYP6H1 were analysed in last larval stage desert locusts. An RNA interference (RNAi)-based approach was employed to study whether these genes could possibly encode a functional 20-hydroxylase in the desert locust. PMID:22465741

  7. RNAi-mediated knockdown of Shade negatively affects ecdysone-20-hydroxylation in the desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria.

    PubMed

    Marchal, Elisabeth; Verlinden, Heleen; Badisco, Liesbeth; Van Wielendaele, Pieter; Vanden Broeck, Jozef

    2012-07-01

    A major breakthrough in elucidating the ecdysteroid biosynthetic pathway in insects was realized with the molecular identification and further functional characterization of the 'Halloween' genes. These genes were found to encode cytochrome P450 enzymes catalysing the final steps of ecdysteroid biosynthesis in the dipteran, Drosophila melanogaster, and in the Lepidoptera, Manduca sexta and Bombyx mori. A recent report focused on the identification of Halloween orthologs in the desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria, a member of the hemimetabolous insect order of the Orthoptera. In the present study, an additional Halloween gene Shade, is identified in the desert locust. In Diptera and Lepidoptera, this gene encodes a 20-hydroxylase, catalysing the conversion of ecdysone (E) to 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E). However, this enzymatic function has previously been suggested for CYP6H1 in another locust species, the migratory locust, Locusta migratoria. Using q-RT-PCR, the spatial and temporal transcript profiles of S. gregaria orthologs for Shade as well as CYP6H1 were analysed in last larval stage desert locusts. An RNA interference (RNAi)-based approach was employed to study whether these genes could possibly encode a functional 20-hydroxylase in the desert locust.

  8. Role of the Halloween genes, Spook and Phantom in ecdysteroidogenesis in the desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria.

    PubMed

    Marchal, Elisabeth; Badisco, Liesbeth; Verlinden, Heleen; Vandersmissen, Tim; Van Soest, Sofie; Van Wielendaele, Pieter; Vanden Broeck, Jozef

    2011-09-01

    The functional characterization of the Halloween genes represented a major breakthrough in the elucidation of the ecdysteroid biosynthetic pathway. These genes encode cytochrome P450 enzymes catalyzing the final steps of ecdysteroid biosynthesis in the dipteran Drosophila melanogaster and the Lepidoptera Manduca sexta and Bombyx mori. This is the first report on the identification of two Halloween genes, spook (spo) and phantom (phm), from a hemimetabolous orthopteran insect, the desert locust Schistocerca gregaria. Using q-RT-PCR, their spatial and temporal transcript profiles were analyzed in both final larval stage and adult locusts. The circulating ecdysteroid titers in the hemolymph were measured and found to correlate well with changes in the temporal transcript profiles of spo and phm. Moreover, an RNA interference (RNAi)-based approach was employed to study knockdown effects upon silencing of both transcripts in the fifth larval stage. Circulating ecdysteroid levels were found to be significantly reduced upon dsRNA treatment. PMID:21708158

  9. Role of the Halloween genes, Spook and Phantom in ecdysteroidogenesis in the desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria.

    PubMed

    Marchal, Elisabeth; Badisco, Liesbeth; Verlinden, Heleen; Vandersmissen, Tim; Van Soest, Sofie; Van Wielendaele, Pieter; Vanden Broeck, Jozef

    2011-09-01

    The functional characterization of the Halloween genes represented a major breakthrough in the elucidation of the ecdysteroid biosynthetic pathway. These genes encode cytochrome P450 enzymes catalyzing the final steps of ecdysteroid biosynthesis in the dipteran Drosophila melanogaster and the Lepidoptera Manduca sexta and Bombyx mori. This is the first report on the identification of two Halloween genes, spook (spo) and phantom (phm), from a hemimetabolous orthopteran insect, the desert locust Schistocerca gregaria. Using q-RT-PCR, their spatial and temporal transcript profiles were analyzed in both final larval stage and adult locusts. The circulating ecdysteroid titers in the hemolymph were measured and found to correlate well with changes in the temporal transcript profiles of spo and phm. Moreover, an RNA interference (RNAi)-based approach was employed to study knockdown effects upon silencing of both transcripts in the fifth larval stage. Circulating ecdysteroid levels were found to be significantly reduced upon dsRNA treatment.

  10. Locust bean gum as superdisintegrant--formulation and evaluation of nimesulide orodispersible tablets.

    PubMed

    Malik, Karan; Arora, Gurpreet; Singh, Inderbir

    2011-01-01

    Orodispersible tablets disperse instantaneously in the mouth so that they can be swallowed without the aid of water. The aim of the present study was to formulate nimesulide orodispersible tablets using locust bean gum as a natural superdisintegrant. The gum was evaluated for powder flow properties, swelling index and loss on drying. Excellent powder flow properties were observed, swelling index was found to be 20 which indicated appreciable capability of locust bean gum to be used as superdisintegrant. The prepared tablets were evaluated against standard superdisintegrant i.e. cross-carmellose sodium. Disintegration time of tablets containing 10 % locust bean gum was found to be 13 seconds. The prepared batches were also evaluated for wetting time, water absorption ratio, effective pore radius, porosity, in vitro and in vivo disintegration time, in vitro release and stability studies. Wetting time was found to reduce from 19 +/- 2 to 11 +/- 3 sec (A1-A4) and 51 +/- 2 to 36 +/- 3 sec (B1-B4). Effective pore radius and porosity were found to be increase with increase in polymer concentration. The superdisintegrant property of locust bean gum may be due to concentration dependent wicking action leading to formation of porous structure which disintegrates the tablet within seconds. In-vivo results were complementary to in-vitro disintegration time results. The in-vitro release studies were compared against marketed nimesulide fast dissolving tablets (Nimulid MD). Stability studies showed that there was no significant change in hardness, friability, tensile strength and assay of the prepared formulations. The f2 values (in comparison with Nimulid MD) of 92.27 and 98.19 were obtained with A3 and A4 batches respectively.

  11. Possible roles of actin and myosin during anaphase chromosome movements in locust spermatocytes.

    PubMed

    Fabian, Lacramioara; Forer, Arthur

    2007-01-01

    We tested whether the mechanisms of chromosome movement during anaphase in locust (Locusta migratoria L.) spermatocytes might be similar to those described for crane-fly spermatocytes. Actin and myosin have been implicated in anaphase chromosome movements in crane-fly spermatocytes, as indicated by the effects of inhibitors and by the localisations of actin and myosin in spindles. In this study, we tested whether locust spermatocyte spindles also utilise actin and myosin, and whether actin is involved in microtubule flux. Living locust spermatocytes were treated with inhibitors of actin (latrunculin B and cytochalasin D), myosin (BDM), or myosin phosphorylation (Y-27632 and ML-7). We added drugs (individually) during anaphase. Actin inhibitors alter anaphase: chromosomes either completely stop moving, slow, or sometimes accelerate. The myosin inhibitor, BDM, also alters anaphase: in most cases, the chromosomes drastically slow or stop. ML-7, an inhibitor of MLCK, causes chromosomes to stop, slow, or sometimes accelerate, similar to actin inhibitors. Y-27632, an inhibitor of Rho-kinase, drastically slows or stops anaphase chromosome movements. The effects of the drugs on anaphase movement are reversible: most of the half-bivalents resumed movement at normal speed after these drugs were washed out. Actin and myosin were present in the spindles in locations consistent with their possible involvement in force production. Microtubule flux along kinetochore fibres is an actin-dependent process, since LatB completely removes or drastically reduces the gap in microtubule acetylation at the kinetochore. These results suggest that actin and myosin are involved in anaphase chromosome movements in locust spermatocytes. PMID:17922265

  12. Dynamic model and performance analysis of landing buffer for bionic locust mechanism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Dian-Sheng; Zhang, Zi-Qiang; Chen, Ke-Wei

    2016-06-01

    The landing buffer is an important problem in the research on bionic locust jumping robots, and the different modes of landing and buffering can affect the dynamic performance of the buffering process significantly. Based on an experimental observation, the different modes of landing and buffering are determined, which include the different numbers of landing legs and different motion modes of legs in the buffering process. Then a bionic locust mechanism is established, and the springs are used to replace the leg muscles to achieve a buffering effect. To reveal the dynamic performance in the buffering process of the bionic locust mechanism, a dynamic model is established with different modes of landing and buffering. In particular, to analyze the buffering process conveniently, an equivalent vibration dynamic model of the bionic locust mechanism is proposed. Given the support forces of the ground to the leg links, which can be obtained from the dynamic model, the spring forces of the legs and the impact resistance of each leg are the important parameters affecting buffering performance, and evaluation principles for buffering performance are proposed according to the aforementioned parameters. Based on the dynamic model and these evaluation principles, the buffering performances are analyzed and compared in different modes of landing and buffering on a horizontal plane and an inclined plane. The results show that the mechanism with the ends of the legs sliding can obtain a better dynamic performance. This study offers primary theories for buffering dynamics and an evaluation of landing buffer performance, and it establishes a theoretical basis for studies and engineering applications.

  13. Fate and effects of the trehalase inhibitor trehazolin in the migratory locust (Locusta migratoria).

    PubMed

    Liebl, Martina; Nelius, Victoria; Kamp, Günter; Ando, Osamu; Wegener, Gerhard

    2010-06-01

    Trehalose is the main haemolymph sugar in many insect species. To be utilized trehalose must be hydrolysed into its glucose units by trehalase (EC 3.2.1.28). Inhibitors of trehalase have attracted interest as possible pesticides and tools for studying the regulation of trehalose metabolism in insects. To make full use of these inhibitors requires knowledge of their fate and effects in vivo. To this end we have measured trehazolin in locusts using a method based on the specific inhibition of a trehalase preparation. After injection of 20 microg, trehazolin decreased in haemolymph with a half-life of 2.6 days and after 10 days almost 95% had disappeared. Trehazolin did not reach the intracellular water space of locust tissues, but appeared with full inhibitory potency in locust faeces, suggesting that it was not metabolized, but quantitatively eliminated via the gut. Haemolymph trehalose increased transiently upon trehazolin injection, it was maximal after 3 days, then decreased and reached control level after 10 days. Inhibition of flight muscle trehalase by trehazolin was prolonged and still conspicuous 21 days post injection, suggesting that trehazolin inhibits trehalase activity irreversibly in vivo and that recovery requires de novo enzyme synthesis. PMID:19958774

  14. Long-term effects of the trehalase inhibitor trehazolin on trehalase activity in locust flight muscle.

    PubMed

    Wegener, Gerhard; Macho, Claudia; Schlöder, Paul; Kamp, Günter; Ando, Osamu

    2010-11-15

    Trehalase (EC 3.2.1.28) hydrolyzes the main haemolymph sugar of insects, trehalose, into the essential cellular substrate glucose. Trehalase in locust flight muscle is bound to membranes that appear in the microsomal fraction upon tissue fractionation, but the exact location in vivo has remained elusive. Trehalase has been proposed to be regulated by a novel type of activity control that is based on the reversible transformation of a latent (inactive) form into an overt (active) form. Most trehalase activity from saline-injected controls was membrane-bound (95%) and comprised an overt form (∼25%) and a latent form (75%). Latent trehalase could be assayed only after the integrity of membranes had been destroyed. Trehazolin, a potent tight-binding inhibitor of trehalase, is confined to the extracellular space and has been used as a tool to gather information on the relationship between latent and overt trehalase. Trehazolin was injected into the haemolymph of locusts, and the trehalase activity of the flight muscle was determined at different times over a 30-day period. Total trehalase activity in locust flight muscle was markedly inhibited during the first half of the interval, but reappeared during the second half. Inhibition of the overt form preceded inhibition of the latent form, and the time course suggested a reversible precursor-product relation (cycling) between the two forms. The results support the working hypothesis that trehalase functions as an ectoenzyme, the activity of which is regulated by reversible transformation of latent into overt trehalase. PMID:21037064

  15. Disruption of the blood-brain barrier exacerbates spreading depression in the locust CNS.

    PubMed

    Spong, Kristin E; Rochon-Terry, Geneviève; Money, Tomas G A; Robertson, R Meldrum

    2014-07-01

    In response to cellular stress in the nervous system of the locust (Locusta migratoria) neural function is interrupted in association with ionic disturbances propagating throughout nervous tissue (Spreading depression; SD). The insect blood-brain barrier (BBB) plays a critical role in the regulation of ion levels within the CNS. We investigated how a disruption in barrier function by transient exposure to 3M urea affects locusts' vulnerability to disturbances in ion levels. Repetitive SD was induced by bath application of ouabain and the extracellular potassium concentration ([K(+)]o) within the metathoracic ganglion (MTG) was monitored. Urea treatment increased the susceptibility to ouabain and caused a progressive impairment in the ability to maintain baseline [K(+)]o levels during episodes of repetitive SD. Additionally, using a within animal protocol we demonstrate that waves of SD, induced by high K(+), propagate throughout the MTG faster following disruption of the BBB. Lastly, we show that targeting the BBB of intact animals reduces their ability to sustain neural function during anoxic conditions. Our findings indicate that locust's ability to withstand stress is diminished following a reduction in barrier function likely due to an impairment of the ability of neural tissue to maintain ionic gradients. PMID:24837786

  16. Time-varying span efficiency through the wingbeat of desert locusts

    PubMed Central

    Henningsson, Per; Bomphrey, Richard J.

    2012-01-01

    The flight performance of animals depends greatly on the efficacy with which they generate aerodynamic forces. Accordingly, maximum range, load-lifting capacity and peak accelerations during manoeuvres are all constrained by the efficiency of momentum transfer to the wake. Here, we use high-speed particle image velocimetry (1 kHz) to record flow velocities in the near wake of desert locusts (Schistocerca gregaria, Forskål). We use the measured flow fields to calculate time-varying span efficiency throughout the wing stroke cycle. The locusts are found to operate at a maximum span efficiency of 79 per cent, typically at a plateau of about 60 per cent for the majority of the downstroke, but at lower values during the upstroke. Moreover, the calculated span efficiencies are highest when the largest lift forces are being generated (90% of the total lift is generated during the plateau of span efficiency) suggesting that the combination of wing kinematics and morphology in locust flight perform most efficiently when doing the most work. PMID:22112649

  17. Time-varying span efficiency through the wingbeat of desert locusts.

    PubMed

    Henningsson, Per; Bomphrey, Richard J

    2012-06-01

    The flight performance of animals depends greatly on the efficacy with which they generate aerodynamic forces. Accordingly, maximum range, load-lifting capacity and peak accelerations during manoeuvres are all constrained by the efficiency of momentum transfer to the wake. Here, we use high-speed particle image velocimetry (1 kHz) to record flow velocities in the near wake of desert locusts (Schistocerca gregaria, Forskål). We use the measured flow fields to calculate time-varying span efficiency throughout the wing stroke cycle. The locusts are found to operate at a maximum span efficiency of 79 per cent, typically at a plateau of about 60 per cent for the majority of the downstroke, but at lower values during the upstroke. Moreover, the calculated span efficiencies are highest when the largest lift forces are being generated (90% of the total lift is generated during the plateau of span efficiency) suggesting that the combination of wing kinematics and morphology in locust flight perform most efficiently when doing the most work. PMID:22112649

  18. The organization of synaptic vesicles at tonically transmitting connections of locust visual interneurons.

    PubMed

    Leitinger, Gerd; Simmons, Peter J

    2002-02-01

    Large, second-order neurons of locust ocelli, or L-neurons, make some output connections that transmit small changes in membrane potential and can sustain transmission tonically. The synaptic connections are made from the axons of L-neurons in the lateral ocellar tracts, and are characterized by bar-shaped presynaptic densities and densely packed clouds of vesicles near to the cell membrane. A cloud of vesicles can extend much of the length of this synaptic zone, and there is no border between the vesicles that are associated with neighboring presynaptic densities. In some axons, presynaptic densities are associated with discrete small clusters of vesicles. Up to 6% of the volume of a length of axon in a synaptic zone can be occupied with a vesicle cloud, packed with 4.5 to 5.5 thousand vesicles per microm(3). Presynaptic densities vary in length, from less than 70 nm to 1.5 microm, with shorter presynaptic densities being most frequent. The distribution of vesicles around short presynaptic densities was indistinguishable from that around long presynaptic densities, and vesicles were distributed in a similar way right along the length of a presynaptic density. Within the cytoplasm, vesicles are homogeneously distributed within a cloud. We found no differences in the distribution of vesicles in clouds between locusts that had been dark-adapted and locusts that had been light-adapted before fixation.

  19. Mature non-native black-locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L.) forest does not regain the lichen diversity of the natural forest.

    PubMed

    Nascimbene, Juri; Nimis, Pier Luigi; Benesperi, Renato

    2012-04-01

    The responses of lichens to habitat changes caused by invasive trees are poorly understood. Invasive forest trees may impact epiphytic lichens by altering both substrate and stand conditions. Previous research has demonstrated that black locust invasion, associated with intensive exploitation of native oak forests, led to dramatic shifts in lichen composition. However, it is not clear if, along with stand aging, black locust formations regain forest species. The main aim of this study was to test whether the succession of black locust stands promotes a lichen succession leading to assemblages in mature black locust stands which are similar to those of native forests. To test the influence of macro-environmental conditions, we performed the study in two bioclimatically different areas of Italy. The epiphytic lichen biota of native oak and chestnut stands was compared with that of black locust stands of different successional stages. In both regions we did not find a lichen succession in black locust stands of different age, and mature black-locust stands did not recover the diversity of epiphytic species, which are lost by the replacement of the native forests by black locust. The absence of this pattern may be caused by factors related to the management of black locust stands, and to bark features. The different bioclimatic conditions between the two study areas may explain differences in the lichen biota of native forests, while that of black locust stands tend to be similar between regions, suggesting that forest habitat changes associated with the spread of black locust could decrease lichen diversity among bioclimatically different regions.

  20. Mature non-native black-locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L.) forest does not regain the lichen diversity of the natural forest.

    PubMed

    Nascimbene, Juri; Nimis, Pier Luigi; Benesperi, Renato

    2012-04-01

    The responses of lichens to habitat changes caused by invasive trees are poorly understood. Invasive forest trees may impact epiphytic lichens by altering both substrate and stand conditions. Previous research has demonstrated that black locust invasion, associated with intensive exploitation of native oak forests, led to dramatic shifts in lichen composition. However, it is not clear if, along with stand aging, black locust formations regain forest species. The main aim of this study was to test whether the succession of black locust stands promotes a lichen succession leading to assemblages in mature black locust stands which are similar to those of native forests. To test the influence of macro-environmental conditions, we performed the study in two bioclimatically different areas of Italy. The epiphytic lichen biota of native oak and chestnut stands was compared with that of black locust stands of different successional stages. In both regions we did not find a lichen succession in black locust stands of different age, and mature black-locust stands did not recover the diversity of epiphytic species, which are lost by the replacement of the native forests by black locust. The absence of this pattern may be caused by factors related to the management of black locust stands, and to bark features. The different bioclimatic conditions between the two study areas may explain differences in the lichen biota of native forests, while that of black locust stands tend to be similar between regions, suggesting that forest habitat changes associated with the spread of black locust could decrease lichen diversity among bioclimatically different regions. PMID:22341402

  1. The Olfactory Co-receptor Orco from the Migratory Locust (Locusta migratoria) and the Desert Locust (Schistocerca gregaria): Identification and Expression pattern

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Ying; Krieger, Jürgen; Zhang, Long; Breer, Heinz

    2012-01-01

    In locusts, olfaction plays a crucial role for initiating and controlling behaviours, including food seeking and aggregation with conspecifics, which underlie the agricultural pest capacity of the animals. In this context, the molecular basis of olfaction in these insects is of particular interest. Here, we have identified genes of two orthopteran species, Locusta migratoria and Schistocera gregaria, which encode the olfactory receptor co-receptor (Orco). It was found that the sequences of LmigOrco and SgreOrco share a high degree of identity to each other and also to Orco proteins from different insect orders. The Orco-expressing cells in the antenna of S. gregaria and L. migratoria were visualized by in situ hybridization. Orco expression could be assigned to clusters of cells in sensilla basiconica and few cells in sensilla trichodea, most likely representing olfactory sensory neurons. No Orco-positive cells were detected in sensilla coeloconica and sensilla chaetica. Orco expression was found already in all nymphal stages and was verified in some other tissues which are equipped with chemosensory hairs (mouthparts, tarsi, wings). Together, the results support the notion for a decisive role of Orco in locust olfaction. PMID:22211114

  2. Immune responses of locusts to challenge with the pathogenic fungus Metarhizium or high doses of laminarin.

    PubMed

    Mullen, Lisa M; Goldsworthy, Graham J

    2006-04-01

    Two isolates of Metarhizium anisopliae var acridum were tested for their effects on the locust immune system and for comparison with the effects of challenge by injection with laminarin. Isolate IMI 330189 (referred to hereafter as Met 189) is highly pathogenic whether applied topically as conidia or injected as blastospores. However, isolate ARSEF 728 (referred to hereafter as Met 728) is pathogenic only when injected as blastospores, suggesting that the lack of pathogenicity of topically applied conidia from this isolate is due to a failure to penetrate the insect cuticle and gain access to the haemocoel. After topical application of conidia from Met 189, no activation of prophenoloxidase is detected, but injection of blastospores from Met 189 brings about a transient increase in phenoloxidase activity in the haemolymph in both adult locusts and 5th instar nymphs, although this does not prevent fungal-induced mortality. Co-injection of adipokinetic hormone-I (AKH-I) with blastospores prolongs the activation of prophenoloxidase in the haemolymph of adult locusts, and enhances it in nymphs. It is argued that the lack of activation of prophenoloxidase in nymphs shown previously (Mullen, L., Goldsworthy, G., 2003. Changes in lipophorins are related to the activation of phenoloxidase in the haemolymph of Locusta migratoria in response to injection of immunogens. Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 33, 661-670), reflects differences in the sensitivity of the immune system between adults and nymphs rather than distinct qualitative differences, and this is confirmed in this study by the demonstration that doses of laminarin higher than those used previously (>or=100 microg) do activate the prophenoloxidase cascade in 5th instar nymphs. Nodules are formed in locusts of all ages in response to fungal infection or injection of laminarin, although there is wide variation in the number, size and distribution of nodules formed. During the examination of 5th instar nymphs

  3. Identification and functional characterization of a novel locust peptide belonging to the family of insect growth blocking peptides.

    PubMed

    Duressa, Tewodros Firdissa; Boonen, Kurt; Hayakawa, Yoichi; Huybrechts, Roger

    2015-12-01

    Growth blocking peptides (GBPs) are recognized as insect cytokines that take part in multifaceted functions including immune system activation and growth retardation. The peptides induce hemocyte spreading in vitro, which is considered as the initial step in hemocyte activation against infection in many insect species. Therefore, in this study, we carried out a series of in vitro bioassay driven fractionations of Locusta migratoria hemolymph combined with mass spectrometry to identify locust hemocyte activation factors belonging to the family of insect GBPs. We identified the locust hemocyte spreading peptide (locust GBP) as a 28-mer peptide encoded at the C-terminus of a 64 amino acid long precursor polypeptide. As demonstrated by QRT-PCR, the gene encoding the locust GBP precursor (proGBP) was expressed in large quantities in diverse locust tissues including fat body, endocrine glands, central nervous system, reproductive tissues and flight muscles. In contrary, hemocytes, gut tissues and Malpighian tubules displayed little expression of the proGBP transcript. The bioactive peptide induces transient depletion of hemocytes in vivo and when injected in last instar nymphs it extends the larval growth phase and postpones adult molting. In addition, we identified a functional homologous hemocyte spreading peptide in Schistocerca gregaria.

  4. Identification and functional characterization of a novel locust peptide belonging to the family of insect growth blocking peptides.

    PubMed

    Duressa, Tewodros Firdissa; Boonen, Kurt; Hayakawa, Yoichi; Huybrechts, Roger

    2015-12-01

    Growth blocking peptides (GBPs) are recognized as insect cytokines that take part in multifaceted functions including immune system activation and growth retardation. The peptides induce hemocyte spreading in vitro, which is considered as the initial step in hemocyte activation against infection in many insect species. Therefore, in this study, we carried out a series of in vitro bioassay driven fractionations of Locusta migratoria hemolymph combined with mass spectrometry to identify locust hemocyte activation factors belonging to the family of insect GBPs. We identified the locust hemocyte spreading peptide (locust GBP) as a 28-mer peptide encoded at the C-terminus of a 64 amino acid long precursor polypeptide. As demonstrated by QRT-PCR, the gene encoding the locust GBP precursor (proGBP) was expressed in large quantities in diverse locust tissues including fat body, endocrine glands, central nervous system, reproductive tissues and flight muscles. In contrary, hemocytes, gut tissues and Malpighian tubules displayed little expression of the proGBP transcript. The bioactive peptide induces transient depletion of hemocytes in vivo and when injected in last instar nymphs it extends the larval growth phase and postpones adult molting. In addition, we identified a functional homologous hemocyte spreading peptide in Schistocerca gregaria. PMID:26471907

  5. Recognition and characterization of migratory movements of Australian plague locusts, Chortoicetes terminifera, with an insect monitoring radar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Drake, V. Alistair; Wang, Haikou

    2013-01-01

    Two special purpose insect-detecting radar units have operated in inland eastern Australia, in the region where nocturnal migratory movements of Australian plague locusts Chortoicetes terminifera occur, for over 10 years. The fully automatic radars detect individual insects as they fly directly overhead and "interrogate" them to obtain information about their characters (size, shape, and wing beating) and trajectory (speed, direction, and orientation). The character data allow locusts to be distinguished from most other migrant species. A locust index, calculated from the total count of locust-like targets for a night, provides a simple indication of migration intensity. For nights of heavy migration, the variation of numbers, directions, and speeds with both height and time can be examined. Emigration and immigration events can be distinguished, as can "transmigration," the passage overhead of populations originating elsewhere. Movement distances can be inferred, and broad source and (more tentatively) destination regions are identified. Movements were typically over distances of up to 400 km. Interpretation of radar observations requires judgment, and the present two units provide only partial coverage of the locust infestation area, but their capacity to detect major population movements promptly, and to provide information between necessarily infrequent surveys, has proved valuable.

  6. Unstable giant gravitons

    SciTech Connect

    Mello Koch, Robert de; Ives, Norman; Smolic, Jelena; Smolic, Milena

    2006-03-15

    We find giant graviton solutions in Frolov's three parameter generalization of the Lunin-Maldacena background. The background we study has {gamma}-tilde{sub 1}=0 and {gamma}-tilde{sub 2}={gamma}-tilde{sub 3}={gamma}-tilde. This class of backgrounds provides a nonsupersymmetric example of the gauge theory/gravity correspondence that can be tested quantitatively, as recently shown by Frolov, Roiban, and Tseytlin. The giant graviton solutions we find have a greater energy than the point gravitons, making them unstable states. Despite this, we find striking quantitative agreement between the gauge theory and gravity descriptions of open strings attached to the giant.

  7. The Giant Cell.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stockdale, Dennis

    1998-01-01

    Provides directions for the construction of giant plastic cells, including details for building and installing the organelles. Also contains instructions for preparing the ribosomes, nucleolus, nucleus, and mitochondria. (DDR)

  8. The Next Giant Step

    NASA Video Gallery

    Artist Robert McCall painted "The Next Giant Step" in 1979 to commemorate the heroism and courage of spaceflight pioneers. Located in the lobby of Johnson's building 2, the mural depicts America's ...

  9. Ecdysteroid signalling components in metamorphosis and development of the desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria.

    PubMed

    Lenaerts, Cynthia; Van Wielendaele, Pieter; Peeters, Paulien; Vanden Broeck, Jozef; Marchal, Elisabeth

    2016-08-01

    The arthropod-specific hormone family of ecdysteroids plays an important role in regulating diverse physiological processes, such as moulting and metamorphosis, reproduction, diapause and innate immunity. Ecdysteroids mediate their response by binding to a heterodimeric complex of two nuclear receptors, the ecdysone receptor (EcR) and the retinoid-X-receptor/ultraspiracle (RXR/USP). In this study we investigated the role of EcR and RXR in metamorphosis and development of the desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria. The desert locust is a voracious, phytophagous, swarming pest that can ruin crops and harvests in some of the world's poorest countries. A profound knowledge of the ecdysteroid signalling pathway can be used in the development of more target-specific insecticides to combat this harmful plague insect. Here we report an in-depth profiling study of the transcript levels of EcR and RXR, as well as its downstream response genes, in different tissues isolated throughout the last larval stage of a hemimetabolous insect, showing a clear correlation with circulating ecdysteroid titres. Using RNA interference (RNAi), the role of SgEcR/SgRXR in moulting and development was investigated. We have proven the importance of the receptor components for successful moulting of locust nymphs into the adult stage. Some SgEcR/SgRXR knockdown females were arrested in the last larval stage, and 65 % of them initiated vitellogenesis and oocyte maturation, which normally only occurs in adults. Furthermore, our results clearly indicate that at the peak of ecdysteroid synthesis, on day six of the last larval stage, knockdown of SgEcR/SgRXR is affecting the transcript levels of the Halloween genes, Spook, Shadow and Shade. PMID:27180725

  10. K+ homeostasis and central pattern generation in the metathoracic ganglion of the locust.

    PubMed

    Rodgers, Corinne I; Labrie, John D; Robertson, R Meldrum

    2009-07-01

    Stress-induced arrest of ventilatory motor pattern generation is tightly correlated with an abrupt increase in extracellular potassium concentration ([K+]o) within the metathoracic neuropil of the locust, Locusta migratoria. Na+/K+-ATPase inhibition with ouabain elicits repetitive surges of [K+]o that coincide with arrest and recovery of motor activity. Here we show that ouabain induces repetitive [K+]o events in a concentration-dependent manner. 10(-5)M, 10(-4)M, and 10(-3)M ouabain was bath-applied in semi-intact locust preparations. 10(-4)M and 10(-3)M ouabain reliably induced repetitive [K+]o events whereas 10(-5)M ouabain had no significant effect. In comparison to 10(-4)M ouabain, 10(-3)M ouabain increased the number and hastened the time to onset of repetitive [K+]o waves, prolonged [K+]o event duration, increased resting [K+]o, and diminished the absolute value of [K+]o waves. Recovery of motor patterning following [K+]o events was less likely in 10(-3)M ouabain. In addition, we show that K+ channel inhibition using TEA suppressed the onset and decreased the amplitude of ouabain-induced repetitive [K+]o waves. Our results demonstrate that ventilatory circuit function in the locust CNS is dependent on the balance between mechanisms of [K+] accumulation and [K+] clearance. We suggest that with an imbalance in favour of accumulation the system tends towards a bistable state with transitions mediated by positive feedback involving voltage-dependent K+ channels. PMID:19482133

  11. Properties and sequence of a female-specific, juvenile hormone-induced protein from locust hemolymph.

    PubMed

    Zhang, J; McCracken, A; Wyatt, G R

    1993-02-15

    In the fat body of Locusta migratoria, an RNA transcript of about 800 nucleotides has been detected that is specific to the adult female and dependent on induction by juvenile hormone (JH) or an analog. The corresponding cDNA has been cloned (lambda 21) and a 718-base pair sequence determined. It encodes a 196-amino acid polypeptide, including a signal peptide. An NH2-terminal sequence has 24 out of 28 amino acids identical with those of a previously described 19K locust hemolymph protein, but the remainder of the sequence shows no similarity. From adult female hemolymph, a 21-kDa protein, designated 21K protein, has been purified, with an NH2-terminal sequence exactly matching that deduced from clone lambda 21. This 21K protein is found only in the adult female, is dependent on induction by JH, and is assumed to represent the product of the lambda 21 gene. It shows no immunochemical cross-reaction with locust 19K protein, apolipophorin III, nor with vitellogenin (Vg). Its isoelectric point is pH 5.4; it contains some carbohydrate. 21K protein is synthesized in adult female fat body, accumulates in hemolymph, and is taken up into the developing oocytes in parallel with Vg. In locusts deprived of JH with precocene, production of 21K protein and of lambda 21-hybridizing transcripts is induced by the JH analog, methoprene, in parallel with Vg and its mRNA. Because of its sex-, stage-, and JH-dependent regulation, coordinate with Vg, the 21K protein will be valuable for analysis of gene expression. PMID:7679110

  12. Adaptations to soil drying in woody seedlings of African locust bean, (Parkia biglobosa (Jacq.) Benth.).

    PubMed

    Osonubi, O; Fasehun, F E

    1987-12-01

    Stomatal conductance, transpiration and xylem pressure potential of African locust bean (Parkia biglobosa (Jacq.) Benth.) seedlings subjected from the sixth week after emergence to four weeks of continuous soil drought did not differ from those of well-watered, control plants until two-thirds of the available soil water had been used. In both well-watered and drought-treated plants, stomatal conductance was highest early in the day when vapor pressure deficits were low, but decreased sharply by midday when evaporative demand reached its highest value. There was no increase in stomatal conductance later in the day as vapor pressure deficit declined. The relationship between transpiration rate and xylem pressure potential showed non-linearity and hysteresis in both control and drought-treated plants, which seems to indicate that the plants had a substantial capacity to store water. The rate of leaf extension in African locust bean seedlings subjected to six consecutive 2-week cycles of soil drought declined relative to that of well-watered, control plants, whereas relative root extension increased. It appears that African locust bean seedlings minimized the impact of drought by: (1) restricting transpiration to the early part of the day when a high ratio of carbon gain to water loss can be achieved; (2) utilizing internally stored water during periods of rapid transpiration; (3) reducing the rate of leaf expansion and final leaf size in response to soil drought without reducing the rate of root extension, thereby reducing the ratio of transpiring leaf surface area to absorbing root surface area.

  13. Ecdysteroid signalling components in metamorphosis and development of the desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria.

    PubMed

    Lenaerts, Cynthia; Van Wielendaele, Pieter; Peeters, Paulien; Vanden Broeck, Jozef; Marchal, Elisabeth

    2016-08-01

    The arthropod-specific hormone family of ecdysteroids plays an important role in regulating diverse physiological processes, such as moulting and metamorphosis, reproduction, diapause and innate immunity. Ecdysteroids mediate their response by binding to a heterodimeric complex of two nuclear receptors, the ecdysone receptor (EcR) and the retinoid-X-receptor/ultraspiracle (RXR/USP). In this study we investigated the role of EcR and RXR in metamorphosis and development of the desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria. The desert locust is a voracious, phytophagous, swarming pest that can ruin crops and harvests in some of the world's poorest countries. A profound knowledge of the ecdysteroid signalling pathway can be used in the development of more target-specific insecticides to combat this harmful plague insect. Here we report an in-depth profiling study of the transcript levels of EcR and RXR, as well as its downstream response genes, in different tissues isolated throughout the last larval stage of a hemimetabolous insect, showing a clear correlation with circulating ecdysteroid titres. Using RNA interference (RNAi), the role of SgEcR/SgRXR in moulting and development was investigated. We have proven the importance of the receptor components for successful moulting of locust nymphs into the adult stage. Some SgEcR/SgRXR knockdown females were arrested in the last larval stage, and 65 % of them initiated vitellogenesis and oocyte maturation, which normally only occurs in adults. Furthermore, our results clearly indicate that at the peak of ecdysteroid synthesis, on day six of the last larval stage, knockdown of SgEcR/SgRXR is affecting the transcript levels of the Halloween genes, Spook, Shadow and Shade.

  14. Expression and immunolocalisation of odorant-binding and chemosensory proteins in locusts.

    PubMed

    Jin, X; Brandazza, A; Navarrini, A; Ban, L; Zhang, S; Steinbrecht, R A; Zhang, L; Pelosi, P

    2005-05-01

    We have identified, cloned and expressed a new chemosensory protein (CSP) in the desert locust Schistocerca gregaria belonging to a third sub-class of these polypeptides. Polyclonal antibodies stained a band of 14 kDa, as expected, in the extracts of antennae and palps of the adults, but not in the 4th and 5th instars. In the related species Locusta migratoria, instead, the same antibodies cross-reacted only with a band of apparent molecular mass of 35 kDa in the extract of 1st-5th instars, but not in the adults. The recombinant protein binds the fluorescent probe N-phenyl-1-naphthylamine, but none of the compounds so far reported as pheromones for S. gregaria. The expression of the odorant-binding protein (OBP) and of CSPs of sub-classes I and II was also monitored in antennae, tarsi, palpi, wings and other organs of solitary and gregarious locusts in their nymphal and adult stages. OBP was found to be antenna specific, where it is expressed at least from the 3rd instar in both solitary and gregarious locusts. CSPs, instead, appear to be more ubiquitous, with different expression patterns, according to the sub-class. Immunocytochemistry experiments revealed that OBP is present in the sensillum lymph of sensilla trichodea and basiconica, while CSP-I and CSP-III were found in the outer sensillum lymph of sensilla chaetica and in the sub-cuticular space between epidermis and cuticle of the antenna. Sensilla chaetica on other parts of the body showed the same expression of CSP-I as those on the antenna. PMID:15928808

  15. A step to the gigantic genome of the desert locust: chromosome sizes and repeated DNAs.

    PubMed

    Camacho, J P M; Ruiz-Ruano, F J; Martín-Blázquez, R; López-León, M D; Cabrero, J; Lorite, P; Cabral-de-Mello, D C; Bakkali, M

    2015-06-01

    The desert locust (Schistocerca gregaria) has been used as material for numerous cytogenetic studies. Its genome size is estimated to be 8.55 Gb of DNA comprised in 11 autosomes and the X chromosome. Its X0/XX sex chromosome determinism therefore results in females having 24 chromosomes whereas males have 23. Surprisingly, little is known about the DNA content of this locust's huge chromosomes. Here, we use the Feulgen Image Analysis Densitometry and C-banding techniques to respectively estimate the DNA quantity and heterochromatin content of each chromosome. We also identify three satellite DNAs using both restriction endonucleases and next-generation sequencing. We then use fluorescent in situ hybridization to determine the chromosomal location of these satellite DNAs as well as that of six tandem repeat DNA gene families. The combination of the results obtained in this work allows distinguishing between the different chromosomes not only by size, but also by the kind of repetitive DNAs that they contain. The recent publication of the draft genome of the migratory locust (Locusta migratoria), the largest animal genome hitherto sequenced, invites for sequencing even larger genomes. S. gregaria is a pest that causes high economic losses. It is thus among the primary candidates for genome sequencing. But this species genome is about 50 % larger than that of L. migratoria, and although next-generation sequencing currently allows sequencing large genomes, sequencing it would mean a greater challenge. The chromosome sizes and markers provided here should not only help planning the sequencing project and guide the assembly but would also facilitate assigning assembled linkage groups to actual chromosomes.

  16. Dissolution Improvement of Atorvastatin Calcium using Modified Locust Bean Gum by the Solid Dispersion Technique.

    PubMed

    Panghal, Dharmila; Nagpal, Manju; Thakur, Gurjeet Singh; Arora, Sandeep

    2014-03-01

    The present research was aimed at the enhancement of the dissolution rate of atorvastatin calcium by the solid dispersion technique using modified locust bean gum. Solid dispersions (SD) using modified locust bean gum were prepared by the modified solvent evaporation method. Other mixtures were also prepared by physical mixing, co-grinding, and the kneading method. The locust bean gum was subjected to heat for modification. The prepared solid dispersions and other mixtures were evaluated for equilibrium solubility studies, content uniformity, FTIR, DSC, XRD, in vitro drug release, and in vivo pharmacodynamic studies. The equilibrium solubility was enhanced in the solid dispersions (in a drug:polymer ratio of 1:6) and other mixtures such as the co-grinding mixture (CGM) and kneading mixture (KM). Maximum dissolution rate was observed in the solid dispersion batch SD3 (i.e. 50% within 15 min) with maximum drug release after 2 h (80%) out of all solid dispersions. The co-grinding mixture also exhibited a significant enhancement in the dissolution rate among the other mixtures. FTIR studies revealed the absence of drug-polymer interaction in the solid dispersions. Minor shifts in the endothermic peaks of the DSC thermograms of SD3 and CGM indicated slight changes in drug crystallinity. XRD studies further confirmed the results of DSC and FTIR. Topological changes were observed in SEM images of SD3 and CGM. In vivo pharmacodynamic studies indicated an improved efficacy of the optimized batch SD3 as compared to the pure drug at a dose of 3 mg/kg/day. Modified locust bean gum can be a promising carrier for solubility enhancement of poorly water-soluble drugs. The lower viscosity and wetting ability of MLBG, reduction in particle size, and decreased crystallinity of the drug are responsible for the dissolution enhancement of atorvastatin. The co-grinding mixture can be a good alternative to solid dispersions prepared by modified solvent evaporation due to its ease of

  17. Dietary influences over proliferating cell nuclear antigen expression in the locust midgut.

    PubMed

    Zudaire, E; Simpson, S J; Illa, I; Montuenga, L M

    2004-06-01

    We have studied the influence of variations in dietary protein (P) and digestible carbohydrate (C), the quantity of food eaten, and insect age during the fifth instar on the expression of the proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) in the epithelial cells of the midgut (with special reference to the midgut caeca) in the African migratory locust, Locusta migratoria. Densitometric analysis of PCNA-immunostained cells was used as an indirect measure of the levels of expression of PCNA, and a PCNA cellular index (PCNA-I) was obtained. Measurements of the DNA content of the cells have also been carried out by means of microdensitometry of Feulgen-stained, thick sections of midgut. A comparison between the PCNA nuclear level and the DNA content was performed. The PCNA levels were significantly different among the cells of the five regions studied: caeca, anterior ventricle, medial ventricle, posterior ventricle and ampullae of the Malpighian tubules. We have studied in more detail the region with highest PCNA-I, i.e. the caeca. The quality and the quantity of food eaten under ad libitum conditions were highly correlated with both the PCNA and DNA levels in the caeca cells. Locusts fed a diet with a close to optimal P:C content (P 21%, C 21%) showed the highest PCNA and DNA content. In locusts fed a food that also contained a 1:1 ratio of P to C but was diluted three-fold by addition of indigestible cellulose (P 7%, C 7%), a compensatory increase in consumption was critical to maintaining PCNA levels. Our measurements also showed that the nuclear DNA content of the mature and differentiated epithelial cells was several-fold higher than the levels in the undifferentiated stem cells of the regenerative nests. These results, combined with the low number of mitotic figures found in the regenerative nests of the caeca and the marked variation in PCNA levels among groups, suggest that some type of DNA endoreduplication process may be taking place. Our data also indicate that

  18. Dissolution Improvement of Atorvastatin Calcium using Modified Locust Bean Gum by the Solid Dispersion Technique

    PubMed Central

    Panghal, Dharmila; Nagpal, Manju; Thakur, Gurjeet Singh; Arora, Sandeep

    2014-01-01

    The present research was aimed at the enhancement of the dissolution rate of atorvastatin calcium by the solid dispersion technique using modified locust bean gum. Solid dispersions (SD) using modified locust bean gum were prepared by the modified solvent evaporation method. Other mixtures were also prepared by physical mixing, co-grinding, and the kneading method. The locust bean gum was subjected to heat for modification. The prepared solid dispersions and other mixtures were evaluated for equilibrium solubility studies, content uniformity, FTIR, DSC, XRD, in vitro drug release, and in vivo pharmacodynamic studies. The equilibrium solubility was enhanced in the solid dispersions (in a drug:polymer ratio of 1:6) and other mixtures such as the co-grinding mixture (CGM) and kneading mixture (KM). Maximum dissolution rate was observed in the solid dispersion batch SD3 (i.e. 50% within 15 min) with maximum drug release after 2 h (80%) out of all solid dispersions. The co-grinding mixture also exhibited a significant enhancement in the dissolution rate among the other mixtures. FTIR studies revealed the absence of drug-polymer interaction in the solid dispersions. Minor shifts in the endothermic peaks of the DSC thermograms of SD3 and CGM indicated slight changes in drug crystallinity. XRD studies further confirmed the results of DSC and FTIR. Topological changes were observed in SEM images of SD3 and CGM. In vivo pharmacodynamic studies indicated an improved efficacy of the optimized batch SD3 as compared to the pure drug at a dose of 3 mg/kg/day. Modified locust bean gum can be a promising carrier for solubility enhancement of poorly water-soluble drugs. The lower viscosity and wetting ability of MLBG, reduction in particle size, and decreased crystallinity of the drug are responsible for the dissolution enhancement of atorvastatin. The co-grinding mixture can be a good alternative to solid dispersions prepared by modified solvent evaporation due to its ease of

  19. Neurons without dendrites?--A novel type of neurosecretory cell in locusts.

    PubMed

    Bräunig, Peter

    2015-11-01

    Small-diameter nerves were found that are associated with the lateral peripheral nerves of the unfused abdominal ganglia of locusts. Such small nerves were observed in about 30% of all cases in Locusta migratoria, more than 60% in Schistocerca gregaria. Retrograde staining of these small nerves showed two somata in the posterior, lateral, and ventral region of an abdominal ganglion. These cells give rise to the small nerves that accompany the big lateral nerves and, on their surface, form putative neurohaemal release sites. Astonishingly the cells do not form any dendritic ramifications within the neuropile of the ganglia. PMID:26133086

  20. Estimating firing rates from calcium signals in locust projection neurons in vivo.

    PubMed

    Moreaux, Laurent; Laurent, Gilles

    2007-01-01

    Combining intracellular electrophysiology and multi-photon calcium imaging in vivo, we studied the relationship between calcium signals (sampled at 500-750 Hz) and spike output in principal neurons in the locust antennal lobe. Our goal was to determine whether the firing rate of individual neurons can be estimated in vivo with calcium imaging and, if so, to measure directly the accuracy and resolution of our estimates. Using the calcium indicator Oregon Green BAPTA-1, we describe a simple method to reconstruct firing rates from dendritic calcium signals with 80-90% accuracy and 50 ms temporal resolution.

  1. Ribosomal Changes during Induction of Cold Hardiness in Black Locust Seedlings.

    PubMed

    Bixby, J A; Brown, G N

    1975-11-01

    Protein synthesis has been implicated in the cold-hardening process. Ribosomes from cold hardy and nonhardy black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L.) seedlings were compared to determine if cold acclimation is related to alteration of ribosomal structure. Ribosomal structure, as indicated by thermal melting profiles, appears to be altered during induction of hardiness. Two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of ribosomal proteins indicates at least 17 proteins from hardy seedlings that are different from those of nonhardy seedlings. These different proteins may be partially responsible for the different thermal melting profiles observed. PMID:16659356

  2. Dissolution Improvement of Atorvastatin Calcium using Modified Locust Bean Gum by the Solid Dispersion Technique.

    PubMed

    Panghal, Dharmila; Nagpal, Manju; Thakur, Gurjeet Singh; Arora, Sandeep

    2014-03-01

    The present research was aimed at the enhancement of the dissolution rate of atorvastatin calcium by the solid dispersion technique using modified locust bean gum. Solid dispersions (SD) using modified locust bean gum were prepared by the modified solvent evaporation method. Other mixtures were also prepared by physical mixing, co-grinding, and the kneading method. The locust bean gum was subjected to heat for modification. The prepared solid dispersions and other mixtures were evaluated for equilibrium solubility studies, content uniformity, FTIR, DSC, XRD, in vitro drug release, and in vivo pharmacodynamic studies. The equilibrium solubility was enhanced in the solid dispersions (in a drug:polymer ratio of 1:6) and other mixtures such as the co-grinding mixture (CGM) and kneading mixture (KM). Maximum dissolution rate was observed in the solid dispersion batch SD3 (i.e. 50% within 15 min) with maximum drug release after 2 h (80%) out of all solid dispersions. The co-grinding mixture also exhibited a significant enhancement in the dissolution rate among the other mixtures. FTIR studies revealed the absence of drug-polymer interaction in the solid dispersions. Minor shifts in the endothermic peaks of the DSC thermograms of SD3 and CGM indicated slight changes in drug crystallinity. XRD studies further confirmed the results of DSC and FTIR. Topological changes were observed in SEM images of SD3 and CGM. In vivo pharmacodynamic studies indicated an improved efficacy of the optimized batch SD3 as compared to the pure drug at a dose of 3 mg/kg/day. Modified locust bean gum can be a promising carrier for solubility enhancement of poorly water-soluble drugs. The lower viscosity and wetting ability of MLBG, reduction in particle size, and decreased crystallinity of the drug are responsible for the dissolution enhancement of atorvastatin. The co-grinding mixture can be a good alternative to solid dispersions prepared by modified solvent evaporation due to its ease of

  3. Do thickening properties of locust bean gum affect the amount of calcium, iron and zinc available for absorption from infant formula? In vitro studies.

    PubMed

    Bosscher, D; Van Caillie-Bertrand, M; Deelstra, H

    2003-07-01

    Locust bean gum acts as a milk thickener in infant formula because of its high apparent viscosity. The effects of such thickening agents on metabolic and physiologic responses during infancy have not been clarified sufficiently. Due to the increased volume of the digest and the bulking and trapping effects, digestion and absorption of nutrients may be influenced in presence of locust bean gum. The central question addressed in this paper is whether the thickening properties of locust bean gum affect the availability of calcium, iron, and zinc. Increasing amounts of powdered locust bean gum were homogenised with infant formula and samples were diluted to 0.14, 0.27, 0.42 and 0.71 g/100 ml. Viscosity of the samples was measured by a Carrie-Med CSL100 rheometer. Available amounts of calcium, iron, and zinc were evaluated using a continuous-flow dialysis model with preliminary digestion. Elemental contents of samples and dialysates were analysed with atomic absorption spectrometry. The first set of experiments showed that addition of locust bean gum to infant formulas increased the viscosity of the luminal contents. Correlations between the locust bean gum concentration and the viscosity of the samples before and after gastric or intestinal digestion were highly significant (0.97). In the second set of experiments, the correlations between the locust bean gum concentration and the amounts of calcium trapped by the locust bean gum fraction also showed high significance (0.93). In the third experimental design, again strong correlations were found between the viscosity of the intestinal digest and the amounts of calcium trapped by the fibre fraction (0.90). For iron and zinc, no such relationships were found. From this experimental set-up it appears that locust bean gum influences calcium availability in infant formulas by means of its physical properties to act as thickening agent, rather than its chemical ability to form complexes as demonstrated earlier with respect

  4. Discontinuous gas-exchange cycle characteristics are differentially affected by hydration state and energy metabolism in gregarious and solitary desert locusts.

    PubMed

    Talal, Stav; Ayali, Amir; Gefen, Eran

    2015-12-01

    The termination of discontinuous gas exchange cycles (DGCs) in severely dehydrated insects casts doubt on the generality of the hygric hypothesis, which posits that DGCs evolved as a water conservation mechanism. We followed DGC characteristics in the two density-dependent phases of the desert locust Schistocerca gregaria throughout exposure to an experimental treatment of combined dehydration and starvation stress, and subsequent rehydration. We hypothesized that, under stressful conditions, the more stress-resistant gregarious locusts would maintain DGCs longer than solitary locusts. However, we found no phase-specific variations in body water content, water loss rates (total and respiratory) or timing of stress-induced abolishment of DGCs. Likewise, locusts of both phases re-employed DGCs after ingesting comparable volumes of water when rehydrated. Despite comparable water management performances, the effect of exposure to stressful experimental conditions on DGC characteristics varied significantly between gregarious and solitary locusts. Interburst duration, which is affected by the ability to buffer CO2, was significantly reduced in dehydrated solitary locusts compared with gregarious locusts. Moreover, despite similar rehydration levels, only gregarious locusts recovered their initial CO2 accumulation capacity, indicating that cycle characteristics are affected by factors other than haemolymph volume. Haemolymph protein measurements and calculated respiratory exchange ratios suggest that catabolism of haemolymph proteins may contribute to a reduced haemolymph buffering capacity, and thus a compromised ability for CO2 accumulation, in solitary locusts. Nevertheless, DGC was lost at similar hydration states in the two phases, suggesting that DGCs are terminated as a result of inadequate oxygen supply to the tissues. PMID:26486365

  5. Giant congenital melanocytic nevus.

    PubMed

    Viana, Ana Carolina Leite; Gontijo, Bernardo; Bittencourt, Flávia Vasques

    2013-01-01

    Giant congenital melanocytic nevus is usually defined as a melanocytic lesion present at birth that will reach a diameter ≥ 20 cm in adulthood. Its incidence is estimated in <1:20,000 newborns. Despite its rarity, this lesion is important because it may associate with severe complications such as malignant melanoma, affect the central nervous system (neurocutaneous melanosis), and have major psychosocial impact on the patient and his family due to its unsightly appearance. Giant congenital melanocytic nevus generally presents as a brown lesion, with flat or mammilated surface, well-demarcated borders and hypertrichosis. Congenital melanocytic nevus is primarily a clinical diagnosis. However, congenital nevi are histologically distinguished from acquired nevi mainly by their larger size, the spread of the nevus cells to the deep layers of the skin and by their more varied architecture and morphology. Although giant congenital melanocytic nevus is recognized as a risk factor for the development of melanoma, the precise magnitude of this risk is still controversial. The estimated lifetime risk of developing melanoma varies from 5 to 10%. On account of these uncertainties and the size of the lesions, the management of giant congenital melanocytic nevus needs individualization. Treatment may include surgical and non-surgical procedures, psychological intervention and/or clinical follow-up, with special attention to changes in color, texture or on the surface of the lesion. The only absolute indication for surgery in giant congenital melanocytic nevus is the development of a malignant neoplasm on the lesion.

  6. Molecular cloning and characterization of the allatotropin precursor and receptor in the desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria.

    PubMed

    Lismont, Els; Vleugels, Rut; Marchal, Elisabeth; Badisco, Liesbeth; Van Wielendaele, Pieter; Lenaerts, Cynthia; Zels, Sven; Tobe, Stephen S; Vanden Broeck, Jozef; Verlinden, Heleen

    2015-01-01

    Allatotropins (ATs) are pleiotropic neuropeptides initially isolated from the tobacco hornworm, Manduca sexta. In 2008, the first receptor for AT-like peptides (ATR) was characterized in Bombyx mori. Since then, ATRs have also been characterized in M. sexta, Tribolium castaneum, Aedes aegypti and Bombus terrestris. These receptors show sequence similarity to vertebrate orexin (ORX) receptors. When generating an EST-database of the desert locust (Schistocerca gregaria) central nervous system, we found cDNA sequences encoding the Schgr-AT precursor and a fragment of its putative receptor. This receptor cDNA has now been completed and functionally expressed in mammalian cell lines. Activation of this receptor, designated as Schgr-ATR, by Schgr-AT caused an increase in intracellular calcium ions, as well as cyclic AMP (cAMP), with an EC50 value in the nanomolar range. In addition, the transcript distribution of both the Schgr-AT precursor and Schgr-ATR was investigated by means of quantitative real-time PCR. Moreover, we found more evidence for the myotropic and allatostimulatory actions of Schgr-AT in the desert locust. These data are discussed and situated in a broader context by comparison with literature data on AT and ATR in insects. PMID:25814925

  7. Extra Molting and Selection on Nymphal Growth in the Desert Locust.

    PubMed

    Pélissié, Benjamin; Piou, Cyril; Jourdan-Pineau, Hélène; Pagès, Christine; Blondin, Laurence; Chapuis, Marie-Pierre

    2016-01-01

    In insects, extra-molting has been viewed as a compensatory mechanism for nymphal growth that contributes to optimize body weight for successful reproduction. However, little is known on the capacity of extra-molting to evolve in natural populations, which limits our understanding of how selection acts on nymphal growth. We used a multi-generational pedigree, individual monitoring and quantitative genetics models to investigate the evolution of extra-molting and its impact on nymphal growth in a solitarious population of the desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria. Growth compensation via extra-molting was observed for 46% of the females, whose adult weight exceeded by 4% that of other females, at a cost of a 22% longer development time. We found a null heritability for body weight threshold only, and the highest and a strongly female-biased heritability for extra molting. Our genetic estimates show that (1) directional selection can act on growth rate, development time and extra-molting to optimize body weight threshold, the target of stabilizing selection, (2) extra-molting can evolve in natural populations, and (3) a genetic conflict, due to sexually antagonistic selection on extra-molting, might prevent its fixation. Finally, we discuss how antagonistic selection between solitarious and gregarious environments and/or genetic correlations between growth and phase traits might also impact the evolution of extra-molting in locusts.

  8. Structural organization of the presynaptic density at identified synapses in the locust central nervous system.

    PubMed

    Leitinger, Gerd; Masich, Sergej; Neumüller, Josef; Pabst, Maria Anna; Pavelka, Margit; Rind, F Claire; Shupliakov, Oleg; Simmons, Peter J; Kolb, Dagmar

    2012-02-01

    In a synaptic active zone, vesicles aggregate around a densely staining structure called the presynaptic density. We focus on its three-dimensional architecture and a major molecular component in the locust. We used electron tomography to study the presynaptic density in synapses made in the brain by identified second-order neuron of the ocelli. Here, vesicles close to the active zone are organized in two rows on either side of the presynaptic density, a level of organization not previously reported in insect central synapses. The row of vesicles that is closest to the density's base includes vesicles docked with the presynaptic membrane and thus presumably ready for release, whereas the outer row of vesicles does not include any that are docked. We show that a locust ortholog of the Drosophila protein Bruchpilot is localized to the presynaptic density, both in the ocellar pathway and compound eye visual neurons. An antibody recognizing the C-terminus of the Bruchpilot ortholog selectively labels filamentous extensions of the presynaptic density that reach out toward vesicles. Previous studies on Bruchpilot have focused on its role in neuromuscular junctions in Drosophila, and our study shows it is also a major functional component of presynaptic densities in the central nervous system of an evolutionarily distant insect. Our study thus reveals Bruchpilot executes similar functions in synapses that can sustain transmission of small graded potentials as well as those relaying large, spike-evoked signals.

  9. Speed over efficiency: locusts select body temperatures that favour growth rate over efficient nutrient utilization

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Gabriel A.; Clissold, Fiona J.; Mayntz, David; Simpson, Stephen J.

    2009-01-01

    Ectotherms have evolved preferences for particular body temperatures, but the nutritional and life-history consequences of such temperature preferences are not well understood. We measured thermal preferences in Locusta migratoria (migratory locusts) and used a multi-factorial experimental design to investigate relationships between growth/development and macronutrient utilization (conversion of ingesta to body mass) as a function of temperature. A range of macronutrient intake values for insects at 26, 32 and 38°C was achieved by offering individuals high-protein diets, high-carbohydrate diets or a choice between both. Locusts placed in a thermal gradient selected temperatures near 38°C, maximizing rates of weight gain; however, this enhanced growth rate came at the cost of poor protein and carbohydrate utilization. Protein and carbohydrate were equally digested across temperature treatments, but once digested both macronutrients were converted to growth most efficiently at the intermediate temperature (32°C). Body temperature preference thus yielded maximal growth rates at the expense of efficient nutrient utilization. PMID:19625322

  10. Locust cellular defense against infections: sites of pathogen clearance and hemocyte proliferation.

    PubMed

    Duressa, Tewodros Firdissa; Vanlaer, Ria; Huybrechts, Roger

    2015-01-01

    The locust cellular defense is mediated by hemocytes and hematopoietic tissue. In Locusta migratoria, the hemocytes and hematopoietic tissue mutually assist each other in clearing invading pathogens from circulation. A β-1, 3-glucan infection induces nodule formation and apoptotic, TUNEL positive, cells in the hematopoietic tissue and massive loss of hemocytes in the circulation, calling for instant proliferation of hemocytes and hematopoietic tissue cells to assure continued host cellular defense. As the locust hematopoietic tissue persists at the adult stage, it was originally designated as being the major source for the replenishment process. Revisiting post infection hemocyte proliferation, using immunofluorescence based tests for DNA synthesis and mitosis, evidenced the lack of β-1, 3-glucan induced cell proliferation in the hematopoietic tissue. Instead these tests identified the circulating hemocytes as the major source for hemocyte replenishment in the circulation. The hematopoietic tissue, however, undergoes a continuous, slow and infection independent regeneration, thereby accumulating potential phagocytes despite infection, and might serve a prophylactic role in containing pathogens in this swarming insect. PMID:25281274

  11. Speed over efficiency: locusts select body temperatures that favour growth rate over efficient nutrient utilization.

    PubMed

    Miller, Gabriel A; Clissold, Fiona J; Mayntz, David; Simpson, Stephen J

    2009-10-22

    Ectotherms have evolved preferences for particular body temperatures, but the nutritional and life-history consequences of such temperature preferences are not well understood. We measured thermal preferences in Locusta migratoria (migratory locusts) and used a multi-factorial experimental design to investigate relationships between growth/development and macronutrient utilization (conversion of ingesta to body mass) as a function of temperature. A range of macronutrient intake values for insects at 26, 32 and 38 degrees C was achieved by offering individuals high-protein diets, high-carbohydrate diets or a choice between both. Locusts placed in a thermal gradient selected temperatures near 38 degrees C, maximizing rates of weight gain; however, this enhanced growth rate came at the cost of poor protein and carbohydrate utilization. Protein and carbohydrate were equally digested across temperature treatments, but once digested both macronutrients were converted to growth most efficiently at the intermediate temperature (32 degrees C). Body temperature preference thus yielded maximal growth rates at the expense of efficient nutrient utilization. PMID:19625322

  12. Responses of efferent octopaminergic thoracic unpaired median neurons in the locust to visual and mechanosensory signals.

    PubMed

    Field, Laurence H; Duch, Carsten; Pflüger, Hans-Joachim

    2008-01-01

    Insect thoracic ganglia contain efferent octopaminergic unpaired median neurons (UM neurons) located in the midline, projecting bilaterally and modulating neuromuscular transmission, muscle contraction kinetics, sensory sensitivity and muscle metabolism. In locusts, these neurons are located dorsally or ventrally (DUM- or VUM-neurons) and divided into functionally different sub-populations activated during different motor tasks. This study addresses the responsiveness of locust thoracic DUM neurons to various sensory stimuli. Two classes of sense organs, cuticular exteroreceptor mechanosensilla (tactile hairs and campaniform sensilla), and photoreceptors (compound eyes and ocelli) elicited excitatory reflex responses. Chordotonal organ joint receptors caused no responses. The tympanal organ (Müller's organ) elicited weak excitatory responses most likely via generally increased network activity due to increased arousal. Vibratory stimuli to the hind leg subgenual organ never elicited responses. Whereas DUM neurons innervating wing muscles are not very responsive to sensory stimulation, those innervating leg and other muscles are very responsive to stimulation of exteroreceptors and hardly responsive to stimulation of proprioceptors. After cutting both cervical connectives all mechanosensory excitation is lost, even for sensory inputs from the abdomen. This suggests that, in contrast to motor neurons, the sensory inputs to octopaminergic efferent neuromodulatory cells are pre-processed in the suboesophageal ganglion. PMID:18021797

  13. Temperature effects on the tympanal membrane and auditory receptor neurons in the locust.

    PubMed

    Eberhard, Monika J B; Gordon, Shira D; Windmill, James F C; Ronacher, Bernhard

    2014-09-01

    Poikilothermic animals are affected by variations in environmental temperature, as the basic properties of nerve cells and muscles are altered. Nevertheless, insect sensory systems, such as the auditory system, need to function effectively over a wide range of temperatures, as sudden changes of up to 10 °C or more are common. We investigated the performance of auditory receptor neurons and properties of the tympanal membrane of Locusta migratoria in response to temperature changes. Intracellular recordings of receptors at two temperatures (21 and 28 °C) revealed a moderate increase in spike rate with a mean Q10 of 1.4. With rising temperature, the spike rate-intensity-functions exhibited small decreases in thresholds and expansions of the dynamic range, while spike durations decreased. Tympanal membrane displacement, investigated using microscanning laser vibrometry, exhibited a small temperature effect, with a Q10 of 1.2. These findings suggest that locusts are affected by shifts in temperature at the periphery of the auditory pathway, but the effects on spike rate, sensitivity, and tympanal membrane displacement are small. Robust encoding of acoustic signals by only slightly temperature-dependent receptor neurons and almost temperature-independent tympanal membrane properties might enable locusts and grasshoppers to reliably identify sounds in spite of changes of their body temperature.

  14. Collision-avoidance behaviors of minimally restrained flying locusts to looming stimuli

    PubMed Central

    Chan, R. WM.; Gabbiani, F.

    2013-01-01

    SUMMARY Visually guided collision avoidance is of paramount importance in flight, for instance to allow escape from potential predators. Yet, little is known about the types of collision-avoidance behaviors that may be generated by flying animals in response to an impending visual threat. We studied the behavior of minimally restrained locusts flying in a wind tunnel as they were subjected to looming stimuli presented to the side of the animal, simulating the approach of an object on a collision course. Using high-speed movie recordings, we observed a wide variety of collision-avoidance behaviors including climbs and dives away from – but also towards – the stimulus. In a more restrained setting, we were able to relate kinematic parameters of the flapping wings with yaw changes in the trajectory of the animal. Asymmetric wing flapping was most strongly correlated with changes in yaw, but we also observed a substantial effect of wing deformations. Additionally, the effect of wing deformations on yaw was relatively independent of that of wing asymmetries. Thus, flying locusts exhibit a rich range of collision-avoidance behaviors that depend on several distinct aerodynamic characteristics of wing flapping flight. PMID:23364572

  15. Extra Molting and Selection on Nymphal Growth in the Desert Locust

    PubMed Central

    Piou, Cyril; Jourdan-Pineau, Hélène; Pagès, Christine; Blondin, Laurence; Chapuis, Marie-Pierre

    2016-01-01

    In insects, extra-molting has been viewed as a compensatory mechanism for nymphal growth that contributes to optimize body weight for successful reproduction. However, little is known on the capacity of extra-molting to evolve in natural populations, which limits our understanding of how selection acts on nymphal growth. We used a multi-generational pedigree, individual monitoring and quantitative genetics models to investigate the evolution of extra-molting and its impact on nymphal growth in a solitarious population of the desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria. Growth compensation via extra-molting was observed for 46% of the females, whose adult weight exceeded by 4% that of other females, at a cost of a 22% longer development time. We found a null heritability for body weight threshold only, and the highest and a strongly female-biased heritability for extra molting. Our genetic estimates show that (1) directional selection can act on growth rate, development time and extra-molting to optimize body weight threshold, the target of stabilizing selection, (2) extra-molting can evolve in natural populations, and (3) a genetic conflict, due to sexually antagonistic selection on extra-molting, might prevent its fixation. Finally, we discuss how antagonistic selection between solitarious and gregarious environments and/or genetic correlations between growth and phase traits might also impact the evolution of extra-molting in locusts. PMID:27227885

  16. Structures, properties, and energy-storage mechanisms of the semi-lunar process cuticles in locusts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wan, Chao; Hao, Zhixiu; Feng, Xiqiao

    2016-10-01

    Locusts have excellent jumping and kicking abilities to survive in nature, which are achieved through the energy storage and release processes occurring in cuticles, especially in the semi-lunar processes (SLP) at the femorotibial joints. As yet, however, the strain energy-storage mechanisms of the SLP cuticles remain unclear. To decode this mystery, we investigated the microstructure, material composition, and mechanical properties of the SLP cuticle and its remarkable strain energy-storage mechanisms for jumping and kicking. It is found that the SLP cuticle of adult Locusta migratoria manilensis consists of five main parts that exhibit different microstructural features, material compositions, mechanical properties, and biological functions in storing strain energy. The mechanical properties of these five components are all transversely isotropic and strongly depend on their water contents. Finite element simulations indicate that the two parts of the core region of the SLP cuticle likely make significant contributions to its outstanding strain energy-storage ability. This work deepens our understanding of the locomotion behaviors and superior energy-storage mechanisms of insects such as locusts and is helpful for the design and fabrication of strain energy-storage devices.

  17. Differential activation of serotonergic neurons during short- and long-term gregarization of desert locusts.

    PubMed

    Rogers, Stephen M; Ott, Swidbert R

    2015-02-01

    Serotonin is a neurochemical with evolutionarily conserved roles in orchestrating nervous system function and behavioural plasticity. A dramatic example is the rapid transformation of desert locusts from cryptic asocial animals into gregarious crop pests that occurs when drought forces them to accumulate on dwindling resources, triggering a profound alteration of behaviour within just a few hours. The onset of crowding induces a surge in serotonin within their thoracic ganglia that is sufficient and necessary to induce the switch from solitarious to gregarious behaviour. To identify the neurons responsible, we have analysed how acute exposure to three gregarizing stimuli--crowding, touching the hind legs or seeing and smelling other locusts--and prolonged group living affect the expression of serotonin in individual neurons in the thoracic ganglia. Quantitative analysis of cell body immunofluorescence revealed three classes of neurons with distinct expressional responses. All ganglia contained neurons that responded to multiple gregarizing stimuli with increased expression. A second class showed increased expression only in response to intense visual and olfactory stimuli from conspecifics. Prolonged group living affected a third and entirely different set of neurons, revealing a two-tiered role of the serotonergic system as both initiator and substrate of socially induced plasticity. This demonstrates the critical importance of ontogenetic time for understanding the function of serotonin in the reorganization of behaviour. PMID:25520357

  18. Structures, properties, and energy-storage mechanisms of the semi-lunar process cuticles in locusts

    PubMed Central

    Wan, Chao; Hao, Zhixiu; Feng, Xiqiao

    2016-01-01

    Locusts have excellent jumping and kicking abilities to survive in nature, which are achieved through the energy storage and release processes occurring in cuticles, especially in the semi-lunar processes (SLP) at the femorotibial joints. As yet, however, the strain energy-storage mechanisms of the SLP cuticles remain unclear. To decode this mystery, we investigated the microstructure, material composition, and mechanical properties of the SLP cuticle and its remarkable strain energy-storage mechanisms for jumping and kicking. It is found that the SLP cuticle of adult Locusta migratoria manilensis consists of five main parts that exhibit different microstructural features, material compositions, mechanical properties, and biological functions in storing strain energy. The mechanical properties of these five components are all transversely isotropic and strongly depend on their water contents. Finite element simulations indicate that the two parts of the core region of the SLP cuticle likely make significant contributions to its outstanding strain energy-storage ability. This work deepens our understanding of the locomotion behaviors and superior energy-storage mechanisms of insects such as locusts and is helpful for the design and fabrication of strain energy-storage devices. PMID:27748460

  19. Cuticular protein LmTwdl1 is involved in molt development of the migratory locust.

    PubMed

    Song, Tian-Qi; Yang, Mei-Ling; Wang, Yan-Li; Liu, Qing; Wang, Hui-Min; Zhang, Jie; Li, Tao

    2016-08-01

    The cuticle, an essential structure for insects, is produced from cuticular proteins and chitin via a series of biochemical reactions. Tweedle genes are important members of the cuticular protein family and have four conserved motifs binding to chitin. Tweedle family genes have been found to play a profound effect on cuticle development. Here, we report that the cuticular protein gene LmTwdl1 of Locusta migratoria belongs to the Tweedle family. In situ hybridization showed that LmTwdl1 is localized to epidermal cells of the cuticle. The expression patterns of LmTwdl1 showed low expression in the cuticle during the early and middle stages of the fifth-instar nymphs; in contrast, its expression rapidly increased in the late stages of fifth-instar nymphs. We performed RNA interference to examine the function of LmTwdl1 in locusts. Silencing of LmTwdl1 resulted in high mortality during the molting process before the next stage. Also, the epicuticle of nymphs failed to molt, tended to be thinner and the arrangement of chitin in the procuticle appeared to be disordered compare to the control group. These results demonstrate that LmTwdl1 plays a critical role in molting, which contributes to a better understanding of the distinct functions of the Tweedle family in locusts. PMID:27430427

  20. Neuropathological effect of dimethyl disulfide on neurons of the desert locust Schistocerca gregaria.

    PubMed

    Essawy, Amina E; Gaaboub, Ibrahim A; Abdel-Moneim, Ashraf M; El-Sayed, Soad A

    2015-05-01

    Botanical insecticides have introduced a new concept in insecticide research. In response to insect attacks, some plants can release volatile compounds that alter insect metabolism and nervous system activity. In the present study, changes in the electrical activity of chemoreceptors and alteration of the fine structure of metathoracic ganglia of desert locust were examined after acute exposure to dimethyl disulfide (DMDS), a sulfur compound released from Allium porrum. Animals were exposed to 1/4 LC50 of DMDS (0.375 μl/L air) and electrophysiological and electron-microscopical studies were carried out. Application of DMDS showed an increase in the activity of deterrent cells present in tarsal chemosensilla of locust. On the other hand, evident degenerative changes in the neurons, neuroglia, neuropile and synaptic vesicles were observed in the metathoracic ganglia of DMDS-treated animals. These findings revealed that pest control using DMDS might be feasible and future work is highly recommended in this respect. PMID:23377118

  1. Molecular cloning and characterization of the allatotropin precursor and receptor in the desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria

    PubMed Central

    Lismont, Els; Vleugels, Rut; Marchal, Elisabeth; Badisco, Liesbeth; Van Wielendaele, Pieter; Lenaerts, Cynthia; Zels, Sven; Tobe, Stephen S.; Vanden Broeck, Jozef; Verlinden, Heleen

    2015-01-01

    Allatotropins (ATs) are pleiotropic neuropeptides initially isolated from the tobacco hornworm, Manduca sexta. In 2008, the first receptor for AT-like peptides (ATR) was characterized in Bombyx mori. Since then, ATRs have also been characterized in M. sexta, Tribolium castaneum, Aedes aegypti and Bombus terrestris. These receptors show sequence similarity to vertebrate orexin (ORX) receptors. When generating an EST-database of the desert locust (Schistocerca gregaria) central nervous system, we found cDNA sequences encoding the Schgr-AT precursor and a fragment of its putative receptor. This receptor cDNA has now been completed and functionally expressed in mammalian cell lines. Activation of this receptor, designated as Schgr-ATR, by Schgr-AT caused an increase in intracellular calcium ions, as well as cyclic AMP (cAMP), with an EC50 value in the nanomolar range. In addition, the transcript distribution of both the Schgr-AT precursor and Schgr-ATR was investigated by means of quantitative real-time PCR. Moreover, we found more evidence for the myotropic and allatostimulatory actions of Schgr-AT in the desert locust. These data are discussed and situated in a broader context by comparison with literature data on AT and ATR in insects. PMID:25814925

  2. Individual Pause-and-Go Motion Is Instrumental to the Formation and Maintenance of Swarms of Marching Locust Nymphs

    PubMed Central

    Ariel, Gil; Ophir, Yotam; Levi, Sagi; Ben-Jacob, Eshel; Ayali, Amir

    2014-01-01

    The principal interactions leading to the emergence of order in swarms of marching locust nymphs was studied both experimentally, using small groups of marching locusts in the lab, and using computer simulations. We utilized a custom tracking algorithm to reveal fundamental animal-animal interactions leading to collective motion. Uncovering this behavior introduced a new agent-based modeling approach in which pause-and-go motion is pivotal. The behavioral and modeling findings are largely based on motion-related visual sensory inputs obtained by the individual locust. Results suggest a generic principle, in which intermittent animal motion can be considered as a sequence of individual decisions as animals repeatedly reassess their situation and decide whether or not to swarm. This interpretation implies, among other things, some generic characteristics regarding the build-up and emergence of collective order in swarms: in particular, that order and disorder are generic meta-stable states of the system, suggesting that the emergence of order is kinetic and does not necessarily require external environmental changes. This work calls for further experimental as well as theoretical investigation of the neural mechanisms underlying locust coordinative behavior. PMID:24988464

  3. Transcriptional profiles of emasculated flowers of black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) determined using the cDNA-AFLP technique.

    PubMed

    Wang, J X; Sun, P; Yuan, C Q; Dai, L; Zhang, Y; Wu, B; Long, C; Sun, Y H; Li, Y

    2015-01-01

    Black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) is a tree in the subfamily Faboideae, native to North America, that has been naturalized and widely planted in temperate Europe and Asia. Black locust has important ecological and economic value, but its quality needs improvement. Hybridization programs are important for black locust breeding, but the low rate of fruit set after controlled pollination limits both its breeding and that of other monoclinous plant species that share this problem. In this study, we investigated gene expression in emasculated black locust flowers using the cDNA-amplified fragment length polymorphism technique to determine why the rate of fruit set is low after controlled pollination. Flowers that were emasculated after being frozen in liquid nitrogen were used as controls. Changes in the flower transcriptome were more dramatic at 5 h after emasculation than at 48 h. Injury caused by emasculation decreased the expression levels of genes associated with metabolism, growth regulation, signal transduction, and photosynthesis, and it increased the expression of genes related to stress-response metabolism, signal transduction, and promotion of senescence. The changes in the expression levels of these genes had negative effects on sugar metabolism, protein metabolism, lipid metabolism, energy metabolism, matter transport, signal transduction, osmotic regulation, pH regulation, and photosynthesis. Thus, emasculation accelerated flower senescence, resulting in low fruit set. PMID:26634550

  4. Identification and Characterization of Two “Sensory Neuron Membrane Proteins” (SNMPs) of the Desert Locust, Schistocerca gregaria (Orthoptera: Acrididae)

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Xingcong; Pregitzer, Pablo; Grosse-Wilde, Ewald; Breer, Heinz; Krieger, Jürgen

    2016-01-01

    Pheromone-responsive neurons of insects not only require specific receptors but in addition several auxiliary components, including the “sensory neuron membrane protein,” SNMP. Accordingly, SNMP is considered as a marker for neurons responding to pheromones. For the desert locust Schistocerca gregaria, it is known that the behavior, including aggregation behavior and courtship inhibition, is largely controlled by pheromones. However, little is known about pheromones, their receptors, and the pheromone-responsive cells in locusts. In this study, we have identified two SNMP subtypes, SNMP1 and SNMP2, and compared their phylogenetic relationship and primary structure motifs with SNMPs from other species. Both SNMPs were found in chemosensory tissues, especially the antennae. Employing double in situ hybridization, we identified and localized the SNMP-expressing cells in the antennae. Cells expressing SNMP1 were localized to sensilla trichodea but also to sensilla basiconica, which in locust respond to pheromones. One or a few cells express SNMP1 within the multineuron clusters from sensilla basiconica, whereas the SNMP2 subtype was expressed in cells surrounding the neuron clusters, possibly supporting cells. Based on the finding that SNMP1 is expressed in distinct neurons under chemosensory sensilla, it is conceivable that these cells may represent pheromone-responsive neurons of the desert locust. PMID:27012870

  5. Transcriptional profiles of emasculated flowers of black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) determined using the cDNA-AFLP technique.

    PubMed

    Wang, J X; Sun, P; Yuan, C Q; Dai, L; Zhang, Y; Wu, B; Long, C; Sun, Y H; Li, Y

    2015-12-03

    Black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) is a tree in the subfamily Faboideae, native to North America, that has been naturalized and widely planted in temperate Europe and Asia. Black locust has important ecological and economic value, but its quality needs improvement. Hybridization programs are important for black locust breeding, but the low rate of fruit set after controlled pollination limits both its breeding and that of other monoclinous plant species that share this problem. In this study, we investigated gene expression in emasculated black locust flowers using the cDNA-amplified fragment length polymorphism technique to determine why the rate of fruit set is low after controlled pollination. Flowers that were emasculated after being frozen in liquid nitrogen were used as controls. Changes in the flower transcriptome were more dramatic at 5 h after emasculation than at 48 h. Injury caused by emasculation decreased the expression levels of genes associated with metabolism, growth regulation, signal transduction, and photosynthesis, and it increased the expression of genes related to stress-response metabolism, signal transduction, and promotion of senescence. The changes in the expression levels of these genes had negative effects on sugar metabolism, protein metabolism, lipid metabolism, energy metabolism, matter transport, signal transduction, osmotic regulation, pH regulation, and photosynthesis. Thus, emasculation accelerated flower senescence, resulting in low fruit set.

  6. Comparing watershed black locust afforestation and natural revegetation impacts on soil nitrogen on the Loess Plateau of China

    PubMed Central

    Jin, Zhao; Li, Xiangru; Wang, Yunqiang; Wang, Yi; Wang, Kaibo; Cui, Buli

    2016-01-01

    This study examined a pair of neighbouring small watersheds with contrasting vegetations: artificial forestland and natural grassland. Since 1954, afforestation which mainly planted with black locust has been conducted in one of these watersheds and natural revegetation in the other. The differences in soil total N, nitrate, ammonium, foliar litterfall δ15N and dual stable isotopes of δ15N and δ18O in soil nitrate were investigated in the two ecosystems. Results showed that there was no significant difference in soil total N storage between the two ecosystems, but the black locust forestland presented higher soil nitrate than the grassland. Moreover, the foliar litterfall N content and δ15N of the forestland were significant higher than the grassland. These results indicate that 60 years of watershed black locust afforestation have increased soil N availability. The higher nitrate in the forestland was attributed to the biological N fixation of black locust and difference in ecosystem hydrology. The dual stable isotopes of δ15N and δ18O revealed that the two ecosystems had different sources of soil nitrate. The soil nitrate in the forestland was likely derived from soil N nitrification, while the soil nitrate in the grassland was probably derived from the legacy of NO3− fertiliser. PMID:27112514

  7. Identification and Characterization of Two "Sensory Neuron Membrane Proteins" (SNMPs) of the Desert Locust, Schistocerca gregaria (Orthoptera: Acrididae).

    PubMed

    Jiang, Xingcong; Pregitzer, Pablo; Grosse-Wilde, Ewald; Breer, Heinz; Krieger, Jürgen

    2016-01-01

    Pheromone-responsive neurons of insects not only require specific receptors but in addition several auxiliary components, including the "sensory neuron membrane protein," SNMP. Accordingly, SNMP is considered as a marker for neurons responding to pheromones. For the desert locust Schistocerca gregaria, it is known that the behavior, including aggregation behavior and courtship inhibition, is largely controlled by pheromones. However, little is known about pheromones, their receptors, and the pheromone-responsive cells in locusts. In this study, we have identified two SNMP subtypes, SNMP1 and SNMP2, and compared their phylogenetic relationship and primary structure motifs with SNMPs from other species. Both SNMPs were found in chemosensory tissues, especially the antennae. Employing double in situ hybridization, we identified and localized the SNMP-expressing cells in the antennae. Cells expressing SNMP1 were localized to sensilla trichodea but also to sensilla basiconica, which in locust respond to pheromones. One or a few cells express SNMP1 within the multineuron clusters from sensilla basiconica, whereas the SNMP2 subtype was expressed in cells surrounding the neuron clusters, possibly supporting cells. Based on the finding that SNMP1 is expressed in distinct neurons under chemosensory sensilla, it is conceivable that these cells may represent pheromone-responsive neurons of the desert locust.

  8. Comparing watershed black locust afforestation and natural revegetation impacts on soil nitrogen on the Loess Plateau of China.

    PubMed

    Jin, Zhao; Li, Xiangru; Wang, Yunqiang; Wang, Yi; Wang, Kaibo; Cui, Buli

    2016-01-01

    This study examined a pair of neighbouring small watersheds with contrasting vegetations: artificial forestland and natural grassland. Since 1954, afforestation which mainly planted with black locust has been conducted in one of these watersheds and natural revegetation in the other. The differences in soil total N, nitrate, ammonium, foliar litterfall δ(15)N and dual stable isotopes of δ(15)N and δ(18)O in soil nitrate were investigated in the two ecosystems. Results showed that there was no significant difference in soil total N storage between the two ecosystems, but the black locust forestland presented higher soil nitrate than the grassland. Moreover, the foliar litterfall N content and δ(15)N of the forestland were significant higher than the grassland. These results indicate that 60 years of watershed black locust afforestation have increased soil N availability. The higher nitrate in the forestland was attributed to the biological N fixation of black locust and difference in ecosystem hydrology. The dual stable isotopes of δ(15)N and δ(18)O revealed that the two ecosystems had different sources of soil nitrate. The soil nitrate in the forestland was likely derived from soil N nitrification, while the soil nitrate in the grassland was probably derived from the legacy of NO3(-) fertiliser.

  9. Comparing watershed black locust afforestation and natural revegetation impacts on soil nitrogen on the Loess Plateau of China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jin, Zhao; Li, Xiangru; Wang, Yunqiang; Wang, Yi; Wang, Kaibo; Cui, Buli

    2016-04-01

    This study examined a pair of neighbouring small watersheds with contrasting vegetations: artificial forestland and natural grassland. Since 1954, afforestation which mainly planted with black locust has been conducted in one of these watersheds and natural revegetation in the other. The differences in soil total N, nitrate, ammonium, foliar litterfall δ15N and dual stable isotopes of δ15N and δ18O in soil nitrate were investigated in the two ecosystems. Results showed that there was no significant difference in soil total N storage between the two ecosystems, but the black locust forestland presented higher soil nitrate than the grassland. Moreover, the foliar litterfall N content and δ15N of the forestland were significant higher than the grassland. These results indicate that 60 years of watershed black locust afforestation have increased soil N availability. The higher nitrate in the forestland was attributed to the biological N fixation of black locust and difference in ecosystem hydrology. The dual stable isotopes of δ15N and δ18O revealed that the two ecosystems had different sources of soil nitrate. The soil nitrate in the forestland was likely derived from soil N nitrification, while the soil nitrate in the grassland was probably derived from the legacy of NO3‑ fertiliser.

  10. Reconstruction of a 1,910-y-long locust series reveals consistent associations with climate fluctuations in China

    PubMed Central

    Tian, Huidong; Stige, Leif C.; Cazelles, Bernard; Kausrud, Kyrre Linne; Svarverud, Rune; Stenseth, Nils C.; Zhang, Zhibin

    2011-01-01

    It is becoming increasingly clear that global warming is taking place; however, its long-term effects on biological populations are largely unknown due to lack of long-term data. Here, we reconstructed a 1,910-y-long time series of outbreaks of Oriental migratory locusts (Locusta migratoria manilensis) in China, on the basis of information extracted from >8,000 historical documents. First by analyzing the most recent period with the best data quality using generalized additive models, we found statistically significant associations between the reconstructed locust abundance and indexes of precipitation and temperature at both annual (A.D. 1512–1911) and decadal (A.D. 1000–1900) scales: There were more locusts under dry and cold conditions and when locust abundance was high in the preceding year or decade. Second, by exploring locust–environment correlations using a 200-y moving window, we tested whether these associations also hold further back in time. The locust–precipitation correlation was found to hold at least as far back as to A.D. 500, supporting the robustness of this link as well as the quality of both reconstructions. The locust–temperature correlation was weaker and less consistent, which may reflect this link being indirect and thus more easily moderated by other factors. We anticipate that further analysis of this unique time series now available to the scientific community will continue to provide insights into biological consequences of climate change in the years to come. PMID:21876131

  11. Biomass production and water use of Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L.) for short-rotation plantation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mantovani, D.; Veste, M.; Freese, D.

    2012-04-01

    The early successional tree species Robinia pseudoacacia L. demonstrates a high potential for biomass production in short rotation plantations and agroforestry systems. On marginal lands and recultivated areas, often characterized by poor edaphic conditions, black locust is already successfully cropped. In southern Brandenburg (East Germany), vast areas have been exploited for lignite open cast mining and the outcome is a drastic alteration of the top soil layer and subsurface geological structure, causing a radical change of the hydrologic cycle. Soil poor in nutrient and carbon, combined with low rainfall, limits the reclamation of these areas and their use for conventional agriculture. However, promising results have been obtained by the establishment of black locust for bioenergy production. For the evaluation of the black locust growth potential in southern Brandenburg with its sandy soils and low annual mean rainfall, detailed information about the link between growth, transpiration and soil water availability are needed. Therefore, we determined the biomass-transpiration relation and formulated the equation that describes the intertwined interaction between water use and biomass production. The equation will be integrated into mathematical tools. To reduce the numerous environmental variables involved in field experiments, we grew black locust under semi-controlled environmental conditions by using wick lysimeters. The lysimeters were filled with sandy loam soil and water was supplied solely by an automatic irrigation system in relation to the volumetric soil water content (7%, 10%, and 14%). Rainfall is excluded by a light transmissive roof. Water use efficiency (WUE) at whole plant level is evaluated by the ratio between the biomass produced during the vegetation period and the cumulative daily water use. The study encompasses ecophysiological investigations of the gas exchange (H2O and CO2) on single leaves, to evaluate the influence of the stomata

  12. Giant colon diverticulum.

    PubMed

    Chater, C; Saudemont, A; Zerbib, P

    2015-11-01

    Giant colonic diverticulum is defined by a diverticulum whose diameter is greater than 4 cm. This is a rare entity, arising mainly in the sigmoid colon. The diagnosis is based on abdominal computed tomography that shows a gas-filled structure communicating with the adjacent colon, with a smooth, thin diverticular wall that does not enhance after injection of contrast. Surgical treatment is recommended even in asymptomatic diverticula, due to the high prevalence and severity of complications. The gold standard treatment is segmental colectomy. Some authors propose a diverticulectomy when the giant diverticulum is unique.

  13. NPY-like peptides occur in the nervous system and midgut of the migratory locust, Locusta migratoria and in the brain of the grey fleshfly, Sarcophaga bullata.

    PubMed

    Schoofs, L; Danger, J M; Jegou, S; Pelletier, G; Huybrechts, R; Vaudry, H; De Loof, A

    1988-01-01

    The distribution of the NPY-like substances in the nervous system and the midgut of the migratory locust, Locusta migratoria and in the brain of the grey fleshfly, Sarcophaga bullata was determined by immunocytochemistry using an antiserum directed against synthetic porcine NPY. The peroxidase-antiperoxidase procedure revealed that NPY immunoreactive cell bodies and nerve fibers were observed in the brain, optic lobes, corpora cardiaca, suboesophageal ganglion and ventral nerve cord of the locust and in the brain, optic lobes and suboesophageal ganglion of the fleshfly. In the locust midgut, numerous endocrine cells and nerve fibers penetrating the outer musculature contained NPY-like immunoreactivity. The concentrations of NPY immunoreactive material in acetic acid extracts of locust brain, optic lobes, thoracic ganglia, ovaries and midguts was measured using a specific radioimmunoassay technique. The dilution curves of the crude tissue extracts were parallel to the standard curve. The highest amount of NPY-like immunoreactivity was found in the locust ovary and midgut. Reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC) and radioimmunoassay were used to characterize the NPY-like substances in the locust brain and midgut. HPLC-analysis revealed that NPY-immunoreactivity in the locust brain eluted as three separate peaks. The major peak corresponded to a peptide less hydrophobic than synthetic porcine NPY. RP-HPLC analysis of midgut extracts revealed the presence of an additional NPY-immunoreactive peak which had a retention time similar to the porcine NPY standard. The present data show the existence of a widespread network of NPY immunoreactive neurons in the nervous system of the locust and the fleshfly. Characterization of the immunoreactive substances indicates that peptides similar but not identical to porcine NPY are present in the central nervous system and midgut of insects.

  14. The Effects of Temperature and Body Mass on Jump Performance of the Locust Locusta migratoria

    PubMed Central

    Snelling, Edward P.; Becker, Christie L.; Seymour, Roger S.

    2013-01-01

    Locusts jump by rapidly releasing energy from cuticular springs built into the hind femur that deform when the femur muscle contracts. This study is the first to examine the effect of temperature on jump energy at each life stage of any orthopteran. Ballistics and high-speed cinematography were used to quantify the energy, distance, and take-off angle of the jump at 15, 25, and 35°C in the locust Locusta migratoria. Allometric analysis across the five juvenile stages at 35°C reveals that jump distance (D; m) scales with body mass (M; g) according to the power equation D = 0.35M0.17±0.08 (95% CI), jump take-off angle (A; degrees) scales as A = 52.5M0.00±0.06, and jump energy (E; mJ per jump) scales as E = 1.91M1.14±0.09. Temperature has no significant effect on the exponent of these relationships, and only a modest effect on the elevation, with an overall Q10 of 1.08 for jump distance and 1.09 for jump energy. On average, adults jump 87% farther and with 74% more energy than predicted based on juvenile scaling data. The positive allometric scaling of jump distance and jump energy across the juvenile life stages is likely facilitated by the concomitant relative increase in the total length (Lf+t; mm) of the femur and tibia of the hind leg, Lf+t = 34.9M0.37±0.02. The weak temperature-dependence of jump performance can be traced to the maximum tension of the hind femur muscle and the energy storage capacity of the femur's cuticular springs. The disproportionately greater jump energy and jump distance of adults is associated with relatively longer (12%) legs and a relatively larger (11%) femur muscle cross-sectional area, which could allow more strain loading into the femur's cuticular springs. Augmented jump performance in volant adult locusts achieves the take-off velocity required to initiate flight. PMID:23967304

  15. Molecular and functional analysis of UDP-N-acetylglucosamine Pyrophosphorylases from the Migratory Locust, Locusta migratoria.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xiaojian; Li, Feng; Li, Daqi; Ma, Enbo; Zhang, Wenqing; Zhu, Kun Yan; Zhang, Jianzhen

    2013-01-01

    UDP-N-acetylglucosamine pyrophosphorylases (UAP) function in the formation of extracellular matrix by producing N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) residues needed for chitin biosynthesis and protein glycosylation. Herein, we report two UAP cDNA's derived from two different genes (LmUAP1 and LmUAP2) in the migratory locust Locusta migratoria. Both the cDNA and their deduced amino acid sequences showed about 70% identities between the two genes. Phylogenetic analysis suggests that LmUAP1 and LmUAP2 derive from a relatively recent gene duplication event. Both LmUAP1 and LmUAP2 were widely expressed in all the major tissues besides chitin-containing tissues. However, the two genes exhibited different developmental expression patterns. High expression of LmUAP1 was detected during early embryogenesis, then decreased greatly, and slowly increased before egg hatch. During nymphal development, the highest expression of LmUAP1 appeared just after molting but declined in each inter-molting period and then increased before molting to the next stage, whereas LmUAP2 was more consistently expressed throughout all these stages. When the early second- and fifth-instar nymphs (1-day-old) were injected with LmUAP1 double-stranded RNA (dsRNA), 100% mortality was observed 2 days after the injection. When the middle second- and fifth-instar nymphs (3- to 4-day-old) were injected with LmUAP1 dsRNA, 100% mortality was observed during their next molting process. In contrast, when the insects at the same stages were injected with LmUAP2 dsRNA, these insects were able to develop normally and molt to the next stage successfully. It is presumed that the lethality caused by RNAi of LmUAP1 is due to reduced chitin biosynthesis of the integument and midgut, whereas LmUAP2 is not essential for locust development at least in nymph stage. This study is expected to help better understand different functions of UAP1 and UAP2 in the locust and other insect species. PMID:23977188

  16. Molecular and Functional Analysis of UDP-N-Acetylglucosamine Pyrophosphorylases from the Migratory Locust, Locusta migratoria

    PubMed Central

    Li, Daqi; Ma, Enbo; Zhang, Wenqing; Zhu, Kun Yan; Zhang, Jianzhen

    2013-01-01

    UDP-N-acetylglucosamine pyrophosphorylases (UAP) function in the formation of extracellular matrix by producing N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) residues needed for chitin biosynthesis and protein glycosylation. Herein, we report two UAP cDNA’s derived from two different genes (LmUAP1 and LmUAP2) in the migratory locust Locusta migratoria. Both the cDNA and their deduced amino acid sequences showed about 70% identities between the two genes. Phylogenetic analysis suggests that LmUAP1 and LmUAP2 derive from a relatively recent gene duplication event. Both LmUAP1 and LmUAP2 were widely expressed in all the major tissues besides chitin-containing tissues. However, the two genes exhibited different developmental expression patterns. High expression of LmUAP1 was detected during early embryogenesis, then decreased greatly, and slowly increased before egg hatch. During nymphal development, the highest expression of LmUAP1 appeared just after molting but declined in each inter-molting period and then increased before molting to the next stage, whereas LmUAP2 was more consistently expressed throughout all these stages. When the early second- and fifth-instar nymphs (1-day-old) were injected with LmUAP1 double-stranded RNA (dsRNA), 100% mortality was observed 2 days after the injection. When the middle second- and fifth-instar nymphs (3- to 4-day-old) were injected with LmUAP1 dsRNA, 100% mortality was observed during their next molting process. In contrast, when the insects at the same stages were injected with LmUAP2 dsRNA, these insects were able to develop normally and molt to the next stage successfully. It is presumed that the lethality caused by RNAi of LmUAP1 is due to reduced chitin biosynthesis of the integument and midgut, whereas LmUAP2 is not essential for locust development at least in nymph stage. This study is expected to help better understand different functions of UAP1 and UAP2 in the locust and other insect species. PMID:23977188

  17. Motion detectors in the locust visual system: From biology to robot sensors.

    PubMed

    Rind, F Claire

    2002-02-15

    Motion detectors in the locust optic lobe and brain fall into two categories: neurones that respond selectively to approaching vs. receding objects and neurones that respond selectively to a particular pattern of image motion over a substantial part of the eye, generated by the locust's own movements through its environment. Neurones from the two categories can be differentiated on the basis of their response to motion at a constant velocity at a fixed distance from the locust: neurones of the first category respond equally well to motion in any direction whereas neurones in the second category respond selectively to one preferred direction of motion. Several of the motion detectors of the first category, responding to approaching objects, share the same input organisation, suggesting that it is important in generating a tuning for approaching objects. Anatomical, physiological, and modelling studies have revealed how the selectivity of the response is generated. The selectivity arises as a result of a critical race between excitation, generated when image edges move out over the eye and delayed inhibition, generated by the same edge movements. For excitation to build up, the velocity and extent of edge motion over the eye must increase rapidly. The ultrastructure of the afferent inputs onto the dendrites of collision sensitive neurones reveals a possible substrate for the interaction between excitation and inhibition. This interpretation is supported by both physiological and immunocytochemical evidence. The input organisation of these neurones has been incorporated into the control structure of a small mobile robot, which successfully avoids collisions with looming objects. The ecological role of motion detectors of the second category that respond to image motion over a substantial part of the visual field, is discussed as is the input organisation that generates this selective response. The broad tuning of these neurones, particularly at low velocities (<0

  18. Motion detectors in the locust visual system: From biology to robot sensors.

    PubMed

    Rind, F Claire

    2002-02-15

    Motion detectors in the locust optic lobe and brain fall into two categories: neurones that respond selectively to approaching vs. receding objects and neurones that respond selectively to a particular pattern of image motion over a substantial part of the eye, generated by the locust's own movements through its environment. Neurones from the two categories can be differentiated on the basis of their response to motion at a constant velocity at a fixed distance from the locust: neurones of the first category respond equally well to motion in any direction whereas neurones in the second category respond selectively to one preferred direction of motion. Several of the motion detectors of the first category, responding to approaching objects, share the same input organisation, suggesting that it is important in generating a tuning for approaching objects. Anatomical, physiological, and modelling studies have revealed how the selectivity of the response is generated. The selectivity arises as a result of a critical race between excitation, generated when image edges move out over the eye and delayed inhibition, generated by the same edge movements. For excitation to build up, the velocity and extent of edge motion over the eye must increase rapidly. The ultrastructure of the afferent inputs onto the dendrites of collision sensitive neurones reveals a possible substrate for the interaction between excitation and inhibition. This interpretation is supported by both physiological and immunocytochemical evidence. The input organisation of these neurones has been incorporated into the control structure of a small mobile robot, which successfully avoids collisions with looming objects. The ecological role of motion detectors of the second category that respond to image motion over a substantial part of the visual field, is discussed as is the input organisation that generates this selective response. The broad tuning of these neurones, particularly at low velocities (<0

  19. The effects of temperature and body mass on jump performance of the locust Locusta migratoria.

    PubMed

    Snelling, Edward P; Becker, Christie L; Seymour, Roger S

    2013-01-01

    Locusts jump by rapidly releasing energy from cuticular springs built into the hind femur that deform when the femur muscle contracts. This study is the first to examine the effect of temperature on jump energy at each life stage of any orthopteran. Ballistics and high-speed cinematography were used to quantify the energy, distance, and take-off angle of the jump at 15, 25, and 35°C in the locust Locusta migratoria. Allometric analysis across the five juvenile stages at 35°C reveals that jump distance (D; m) scales with body mass (M; g) according to the power equation D = 0.35M (0.17±0.08 (95% CI)), jump take-off angle (A; degrees) scales as A = 52.5M (0.00±0.06), and jump energy (E; mJ per jump) scales as E = 1.91M (1.14±0.09). Temperature has no significant effect on the exponent of these relationships, and only a modest effect on the elevation, with an overall Q10 of 1.08 for jump distance and 1.09 for jump energy. On average, adults jump 87% farther and with 74% more energy than predicted based on juvenile scaling data. The positive allometric scaling of jump distance and jump energy across the juvenile life stages is likely facilitated by the concomitant relative increase in the total length (L f+t; mm) of the femur and tibia of the hind leg, L f+t = 34.9M (0.37±0.02). The weak temperature-dependence of jump performance can be traced to the maximum tension of the hind femur muscle and the energy storage capacity of the femur's cuticular springs. The disproportionately greater jump energy and jump distance of adults is associated with relatively longer (12%) legs and a relatively larger (11%) femur muscle cross-sectional area, which could allow more strain loading into the femur's cuticular springs. Augmented jump performance in volant adult locusts achieves the take-off velocity required to initiate flight. PMID:23967304

  20. The complex aerodynamic footprint of desert locusts revealed by large-volume tomographic particle image velocimetry.

    PubMed

    Henningsson, Per; Michaelis, Dirk; Nakata, Toshiyuki; Schanz, Daniel; Geisler, Reinhard; Schröder, Andreas; Bomphrey, Richard J

    2015-07-01

    Particle image velocimetry has been the preferred experimental technique with which to study the aerodynamics of animal flight for over a decade. In that time, hardware has become more accessible and the software has progressed from the acquisition of planes through the flow field to the reconstruction of small volumetric measurements. Until now, it has not been possible to capture large volumes that incorporate the full wavelength of the aerodynamic track left behind during a complete wingbeat cycle. Here, we use a unique apparatus to acquire the first instantaneous wake volume of a flying animal's entire wingbeat. We confirm the presence of wake deformation behind desert locusts and quantify the effect of that deformation on estimates of aerodynamic force and the efficiency of lift generation. We present previously undescribed vortex wake phenomena, including entrainment around the wing-tip vortices of a set of secondary vortices borne of Kelvin-Helmholtz instability in the shear layer behind the flapping wings. PMID:26040598

  1. Effect of carboxymethylation on rheological and drug release characteristics of locust bean gum matrix tablets.

    PubMed

    Chakravorty, Amrita; Barman, Gouranga; Mukherjee, Sudipta; Sa, Biswanath

    2016-06-25

    This study was undertaken to investigate correlation between the carboxymethylation-induced rheological changes and drug release characteristics of locust bean gum (LBG) matrix tablets. LBG was derivatized to carboxymethyl LBG (CMLBG) and characterized by (13)C NMR, FTIR and elemental analyses. Rheological studies revealed that LBG, in contact with water, produced a strong elastic gel which swelled less due to lower penetration of water resulting in slower drug release. On the other hand, CMLBG formed a viscous polymer solution through which higher influx of water resulted in rapid swelling of the matrix and faster drug release. Although the release from a particular matrix was dependent on drugs' solubilities, CMLBG matrix tablet produced faster release of all the drugs than LBG matrix tablets. In conclusion, rheological study appeared to be an useful tool to predict release of drugs from polysaccharide matrix tablets.

  2. Interpenetrating polymer network of locust bean gum-poly (vinyl alcohol) for controlled release drug delivery.

    PubMed

    Kaity, Santanu; Isaac, Jinu; Ghosh, Animesh

    2013-04-15

    A novel interpenetrating polymer network (IPN) microspheres of locust bean gum (LBG) and poly (vinyl alcohol) (PVA) was developed for oral controlled release of buflomedil hydrochloride (BH) by emulsion crosslinking method using glutaraldehyde as crosslinker. The effects of gum-polymer ratio, concentration of crosslinker and internal phase viscosity were evaluated thoroughly. Drug entrapment efficiency, particle size distribution, swelling property and in vitro release characteristics with kinetic modelling of microspheres were evaluated. The microspheres were characterised by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), solid state C(13) NMR, X-ray diffraction study (XRD) and differential scanning colorimetry (DSC). The microspheres showed control release property without showing any incompatibility in IPN device. Hence, IPN microspheres of LBG and PVA can be used as a potential carrier for controlled oral delivery of highly water soluble drugs like BH.

  3. The complex aerodynamic footprint of desert locusts revealed by large-volume tomographic particle image velocimetry.

    PubMed

    Henningsson, Per; Michaelis, Dirk; Nakata, Toshiyuki; Schanz, Daniel; Geisler, Reinhard; Schröder, Andreas; Bomphrey, Richard J

    2015-07-01

    Particle image velocimetry has been the preferred experimental technique with which to study the aerodynamics of animal flight for over a decade. In that time, hardware has become more accessible and the software has progressed from the acquisition of planes through the flow field to the reconstruction of small volumetric measurements. Until now, it has not been possible to capture large volumes that incorporate the full wavelength of the aerodynamic track left behind during a complete wingbeat cycle. Here, we use a unique apparatus to acquire the first instantaneous wake volume of a flying animal's entire wingbeat. We confirm the presence of wake deformation behind desert locusts and quantify the effect of that deformation on estimates of aerodynamic force and the efficiency of lift generation. We present previously undescribed vortex wake phenomena, including entrainment around the wing-tip vortices of a set of secondary vortices borne of Kelvin-Helmholtz instability in the shear layer behind the flapping wings.

  4. Effect of cooling rates on the cold hardiness and cryoprotectant profiles of locust eggs.

    PubMed

    Wang, Hong-Sheng; Kang, Le

    2005-10-01

    To examine the relationship between cooling rate and cold hardiness in eggs of the migratory locust, Locusta migratoria, the survival rates and cryoprotectant levels of three embryonic developmental stages were measured at different cooling rates (from 0.05 to 0.8 degrees C min(-1)) in acclimated and non-acclimated eggs. Egg survival rate increased with decreasing cooling rate. The concentration of cryoprotectants (myo-inositol, trehalose, mannitol, glycerol, and sorbitol) increased in non-acclimated eggs, but varied significantly in response to different cooling rates in acclimated eggs. The acclimation process (5 degrees C for 3 days) did not increase eggs resistance to quick cooling ("plunge" cooling and 0.8 degrees C min(-1)). Earlier stage embryos were much more sensitive than later stage embryos to the same cooling rates. Time spent at subzero temperatures also had a strong influence on egg survival. PMID:16115620

  5. Identification of a glycogenolysis-inhibiting peptide from the corpora cardiaca of locusts.

    PubMed

    Clynen, Elke; Huybrechts, Jurgen; Baggerman, Geert; Van Doorn, Jan; Van Der Horst, Dick; De Loof, Arnold; Schoofs, Liliane

    2003-08-01

    A mass spectrometric study of the peptidome of the neurohemal part of the corpora cardiaca of Locusta migratoria and Schistocerca gregaria shows that it contains several unknown peptides. We were able to identify the sequence of one of these peptides as pQSDLFLLSPK. This sequence is identical to the part of the Locusta insulin-related peptide (IRP) precursor that is situated between the signal peptide and the B-chain. We designated this peptide as IRP copeptide. This IRP copeptide is also present in the pars intercerebralis, which is likely to be the site of synthesis. It is identical in both L. migratoria and S. gregaria. It shows no effect on the hemolymph lipid concentration in vivo or muscle contraction in vitro. The IRP copeptide is able to cause a decreased phosphorylase activity in locust fat body in vitro, opposite to the effect of the adipokinetic hormones and therefore possibly represents a glycogenolysis-inhibiting peptide. PMID:12865323

  6. Activation of the prophenoloxidase cascade and initiation of nodule formation in locusts by bacterial lipopolysaccharides.

    PubMed

    Ratcliffe, N A; Brookman, J L; Rowley, A F

    1991-01-01

    The activation of the prophenoloxidase (proPO) system of the locusts, Schistocerca gregaria and Locusta migratoria, by several bacterial lipopolysaccharides (LPS) is described. Activation of proPO by LPS occurred only in the presence of whole blood homogenates and not with hemocyte lysate preparations alone. Levels of phenoloxidase generated by the different LPSs in vitro were also correlated with numbers of nodules formed in vivo by injection of these LPSs. This further strengthens the evidence for the involvement of proPO activation in the insect cellular defenses. Finally, the wisdom in using anticoagulants in order to stabilize fragile hemocytes in studies on the proPO system is discussed. PMID:1904828

  7. Preparation and characterization of tragacanth-locust bean gum edible blend films.

    PubMed

    Mostafavi, Fatemeh Sadat; Kadkhodaee, Rassoul; Emadzadeh, Bahareh; Koocheki, Arash

    2016-03-30

    The present work introduces the structure and physicomechanical properties of a novel blend film made from binary solutions of gum tragacanth (GT) and locust bean gum (LBG) at different mixing ratios. Apparent viscosities and surface tensions of individual and blend gum solutions were also investigated. The viscosity data indicated that there was a distinct synergism between the two gums at all mixing ratios. FTIR spectra showed the existence of noncovalent intermolecular interactions between gums. The surface tensions of binary solutions were significantly lower than those of individual gums which is advantageous for coating applications. All films had homogenous and smooth surface morphology and their transparency, water vapour barrier and mechanical properties were improved by incorporating LBG in blend. The results of this study suggest that GT-LBG blend film, owing to its desirable properties, has the potential to be used as a new degradable food packaging material. PMID:26794942

  8. [External proprioceptors of locust locomotor organs and their changes during early larval ontogenesis].

    PubMed

    Kuznetsova, T V; Severina, I Iu

    2009-01-01

    This work studies topography and structure of such important insect external proprioceptors as campaniform sensillae (CS). These mechanoreceptors are essential components of insect posture and locomotion regulation and participate in control of various forms of insect motor behavior (walking, jump, flight). There are traced their quantitative changes as well as differences in distribution of groups of these leg receptors at consecutive stages (from the 1st to the 4th) of ontogenetic development of larva of the locust Locusta migratoria L. The presence of groups of CS in proximal parts of extremities has been noted as early as in the 1st instar larvae. The CS groups in the wing pads were revealed only in the 4th instar larvae. The presented data allow connecting changes in structure and distribution of these proprioceptors on central generators of the locomotion rhythms.

  9. Fast odor learning improves reliability of odor responses in the locust antennal lobe.

    PubMed

    Bazhenov, Maxim; Stopfer, Mark; Sejnowski, Terrence J; Laurent, Gilles

    2005-05-01

    Recordings in the locust antennal lobe (AL) reveal activity-dependent, stimulus-specific changes in projection neuron (PN) and local neuron response patterns over repeated odor trials. During the first few trials, PN response intensity decreases, while spike time precision increases, and coherent oscillations, absent at first, quickly emerge. We examined this "fast odor learning" with a realistic computational model of the AL. Activity-dependent facilitation of AL inhibitory synapses was sufficient to simulate physiological recordings of fast learning. In addition, in experiments with noisy inputs, a network including synaptic facilitation of both inhibition and excitation responded with reliable spatiotemporal patterns from trial to trial despite the noise. A network lacking fast plasticity, however, responded with patterns that varied across trials, reflecting the input variability. Thus, our study suggests that fast olfactory learning results from stimulus-specific, activity-dependent synaptic facilitation and may improve the signal-to-noise ratio for repeatedly encountered odor stimuli.

  10. Evolution and environmental degradation of superhydrophobic aspen and black locust leaf surfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tranquada, George Christopher

    The current study is focused on the characterization of four natural leaf species (quaking, bigtooth and columnar european aspen as well as black locust) possessing a unique dual-scale cuticle structure composed of micro- and nano-scale asperities, which are able to effectively resist wetting (superhydrophobic), characteristic of The Lotus Effect. Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) was used to track the growth and evolution of their distinctive nano-scale epicuticular wax (ECW) morphologies over one full growing season. In addition, the stability of their superhydrophobic property was tested in various environments. It was determined that the long-term stability of these surfaces is tentatively linked to various environmental stress factors. Specifically, a combination of high temperature and humidity caused the degradation of nanoscale asperities and loss of the superhydrophobic property. The dual-scale surface structure was found to provide a suitable template for the design of future superhydrophobic engineering materials.

  11. Developmental and activity-dependent plasticity of filiform hair receptors in the locust

    PubMed Central

    Pflüger, Hans-Joachim; Wolf, Harald

    2013-01-01

    A group of wind sensitive filiform hair receptors on the locust thorax and head makes contact onto a pair of identified interneuron, A4I1. The hair receptors' central nervous projections exhibit pronounced structural dynamics during nymphal development, for example, by gradually eliminating their ipsilateral dendritic field while maintaining the contralateral one. These changes are dependent not only on hormones controlling development but on neuronal activity as well. The hair-to-interneuron system has remarkably high gain (close to 1) and makes contact to flight steering muscles. During stationary flight in front of a wind tunnel, interneuron A4I1 is active in the wing beat rhythm, and in addition it responds strongly to stimulation of sensory hairs in its receptive field. A role of the hair-to-interneuron in flight steering is thus suggested. This system appears suitable for further study of developmental and activity-dependent plasticity in a sensorimotor context with known connectivity patterns. PMID:23986712

  12. Preparation and characterization of tragacanth-locust bean gum edible blend films.

    PubMed

    Mostafavi, Fatemeh Sadat; Kadkhodaee, Rassoul; Emadzadeh, Bahareh; Koocheki, Arash

    2016-03-30

    The present work introduces the structure and physicomechanical properties of a novel blend film made from binary solutions of gum tragacanth (GT) and locust bean gum (LBG) at different mixing ratios. Apparent viscosities and surface tensions of individual and blend gum solutions were also investigated. The viscosity data indicated that there was a distinct synergism between the two gums at all mixing ratios. FTIR spectra showed the existence of noncovalent intermolecular interactions between gums. The surface tensions of binary solutions were significantly lower than those of individual gums which is advantageous for coating applications. All films had homogenous and smooth surface morphology and their transparency, water vapour barrier and mechanical properties were improved by incorporating LBG in blend. The results of this study suggest that GT-LBG blend film, owing to its desirable properties, has the potential to be used as a new degradable food packaging material.

  13. The complex aerodynamic footprint of desert locusts revealed by large-volume tomographic particle image velocimetry

    PubMed Central

    Henningsson, Per; Michaelis, Dirk; Nakata, Toshiyuki; Schanz, Daniel; Geisler, Reinhard; Schröder, Andreas; Bomphrey, Richard J.

    2015-01-01

    Particle image velocimetry has been the preferred experimental technique with which to study the aerodynamics of animal flight for over a decade. In that time, hardware has become more accessible and the software has progressed from the acquisition of planes through the flow field to the reconstruction of small volumetric measurements. Until now, it has not been possible to capture large volumes that incorporate the full wavelength of the aerodynamic track left behind during a complete wingbeat cycle. Here, we use a unique apparatus to acquire the first instantaneous wake volume of a flying animal's entire wingbeat. We confirm the presence of wake deformation behind desert locusts and quantify the effect of that deformation on estimates of aerodynamic force and the efficiency of lift generation. We present previously undescribed vortex wake phenomena, including entrainment around the wing-tip vortices of a set of secondary vortices borne of Kelvin–Helmholtz instability in the shear layer behind the flapping wings. PMID:26040598

  14. Effect of carboxymethylation on rheological and drug release characteristics of locust bean gum matrix tablets.

    PubMed

    Chakravorty, Amrita; Barman, Gouranga; Mukherjee, Sudipta; Sa, Biswanath

    2016-06-25

    This study was undertaken to investigate correlation between the carboxymethylation-induced rheological changes and drug release characteristics of locust bean gum (LBG) matrix tablets. LBG was derivatized to carboxymethyl LBG (CMLBG) and characterized by (13)C NMR, FTIR and elemental analyses. Rheological studies revealed that LBG, in contact with water, produced a strong elastic gel which swelled less due to lower penetration of water resulting in slower drug release. On the other hand, CMLBG formed a viscous polymer solution through which higher influx of water resulted in rapid swelling of the matrix and faster drug release. Although the release from a particular matrix was dependent on drugs' solubilities, CMLBG matrix tablet produced faster release of all the drugs than LBG matrix tablets. In conclusion, rheological study appeared to be an useful tool to predict release of drugs from polysaccharide matrix tablets. PMID:27083792

  15. Identification and distribution of SIFamide in the nervous system of the desert locust Schistocerca gregaria.

    PubMed

    Gellerer, Alina; Franke, Aileen; Neupert, Susanne; Predel, Reinhard; Zhou, Xin; Liu, Shanlin; Reiher, Wencke; Wegener, Christian; Homberg, Uwe

    2015-01-01

    SIFamides are a family of highly conserved arthropod neuropeptides. To date, nine orthocopies from different arthropods, most of them insects, have been identified, all consisting of 11-12 amino acid residues. The striking conservation in sequence is mirrored by highly similar morphologies of SIFamide-immunoreactive neurons: immunolabeling in various insect species revealed four immunopositive neurons with somata in the pars intercerebralis and arborizations extending throughout the brain and ventral nervous system. In contrast, the functional role of these neurons and their neuropeptide SIFamide is largely obscure. To provide an additional basis for functional analysis, we identified, by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time of flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry, a SIFamide peptide in the desert locust Schistocerca gregaria and studied its distribution throughout the nervous system. Identification was supported by analysis of transcriptomic data obtained from another grasshopper, Stenobothrus lineatus. Scg-SIFamide, unlike all SIFamides identified so far, is a pentadecapeptide with an extended and highly modified N-terminus (AAATFRRPPFNGSIFamide). As in other insects, pairs of descending neurons with somata in the pars intercerebralis and ramifications in most areas of the nervous system are SIFamide-immunoreactive. In addition, a small number of local interneurons in the brain and ventral ganglia were immunostained. Double-label experiments showed that the SIFamide-immunoreactive descending neurons are identical to previously characterized primary commissure pioneer (PNP) neurons of the locust brain that pioneer the first commissure in the brain. The data suggest that the descending SIFamide-immunoreactive neurons play a developmental role in organizing the insect central nervous system. J. Comp. Neurol. 523:108-125, 2015. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  16. Pharmacological blockade of gap junctions induces repetitive surging of extracellular potassium within the locust CNS.

    PubMed

    Spong, Kristin E; Robertson, R Meldrum

    2013-10-01

    The maintenance of cellular ion homeostasis is crucial for optimal neural function and thus it is of great importance to understand its regulation. Glial cells are extensively coupled by gap junctions forming a network that is suggested to serve as a spatial buffer for potassium (K(+)) ions. We have investigated the role of glial spatial buffering in the regulation of extracellular K(+) concentration ([K(+)]o) within the locust metathoracic ganglion by pharmacologically inhibiting gap junctions. Using K(+)-sensitive microelectrodes, we measured [K(+)]o near the ventilatory neuropile while simultaneously recording the ventilatory rhythm as a model of neural circuit function. We found that blockade of gap junctions with either carbenoxolone (CBX), 18β-glycyrrhetinic acid (18β-GA) or meclofenamic acid (MFA) reliably induced repetitive [K(+)]o surges and caused a progressive impairment in the ability to maintain baseline [K(+)]o levels throughout the treatment period. We also show that a low dose of CBX that did not induce surging activity increased the vulnerability of locust neural tissue to spreading depression (SD) induced by Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase inhibition with ouabain. CBX pre-treatment increased the number of SD events induced by ouabain and hindered the recovery of [K(+)]o back to baseline levels between events. Our results suggest that glial spatial buffering through gap junctions plays an essential role in the regulation of [K(+)]o under normal conditions and also contributes to a component of [K(+)]o clearance following physiologically elevated levels of [K(+)]o. PMID:23916994

  17. Characterization and Functional Analysis of Four Glutathione S-Transferases from the Migratory Locust, Locusta migratoria

    PubMed Central

    Qin, Guohua; Jia, Miao; Liu, Ting; Zhang, Xueyao; Guo, Yaping; Zhu, Kun Yan; Ma, Enbo; Zhang, Jianzhen

    2013-01-01

    Glutathione S-transferases (GSTs) play an important role in detoxification of xenobiotics in both prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. In this study, four GSTs (LmGSTd1, LmGSTs5, LmGSTt1, and LmGSTu1) representing different classes were identified from the migratory locust, Locusta migratoria. These four proteins were heterologously expressed in Escherichia coli as soluble fusion proteins, purified by Ni2+-nitrilotriacetic acid agarose column and biochemically characterized. LmGSTd1, LmGSTs5, and LmGSTu1 showed high activities with 1-chloro-2, 4-dinitrobenzene (CDNB), detectable activity with p-nitro-benzyl chloride (p-NBC) and 1, 2-dichloro-4-nitrobenzene (DCNB), whereas LmGSTt1 showed high activity with p-NBC and detectable activity with CDNB. The optimal pH of the locust GSTs ranged between 7.0 to 9.0. Ethacrynic acid and reactive blue effectively inhibited all four GSTs. LmGSTs5 was most sensitive to heavy metals (Cu2+ and Cd2+). The maximum expression of the four GSTs was observed in Malpighian tubules and fat bodies as evaluated by western blot. The nymph mortalities after carbaryl treatment increased by 28 and 12% after LmGSTs5 and LmGSTu1 were silenced, respectively. The nymph mortalities after malathion and chlorpyrifos treatments increased by 26 and 18% after LmGSTs5 and LmGSTu1 were silenced, respectively. These results suggest that sigma GSTs in L. migratoria play a significant role in carbaryl detoxification, whereas some of other GSTs may also involve in the detoxification of carbaryl and chlorpyrifos. PMID:23505503

  18. Characterization and functional analysis of four glutathione S-transferases from the migratory locust, Locusta migratoria.

    PubMed

    Qin, Guohua; Jia, Miao; Liu, Ting; Zhang, Xueyao; Guo, Yaping; Zhu, Kun Yan; Ma, Enbo; Zhang, Jianzhen

    2013-01-01

    Glutathione S-transferases (GSTs) play an important role in detoxification of xenobiotics in both prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. In this study, four GSTs (LmGSTd1, LmGSTs5, LmGSTt1, and LmGSTu1) representing different classes were identified from the migratory locust, Locusta migratoria. These four proteins were heterologously expressed in Escherichia coli as soluble fusion proteins, purified by Ni(2+)-nitrilotriacetic acid agarose column and biochemically characterized. LmGSTd1, LmGSTs5, and LmGSTu1 showed high activities with 1-chloro-2, 4-dinitrobenzene (CDNB), detectable activity with p-nitro-benzyl chloride (p-NBC) and 1, 2-dichloro-4-nitrobenzene (DCNB), whereas LmGSTt1 showed high activity with p-NBC and detectable activity with CDNB. The optimal pH of the locust GSTs ranged between 7.0 to 9.0. Ethacrynic acid and reactive blue effectively inhibited all four GSTs. LmGSTs5 was most sensitive to heavy metals (Cu(2+) and Cd(2+)). The maximum expression of the four GSTs was observed in Malpighian tubules and fat bodies as evaluated by western blot. The nymph mortalities after carbaryl treatment increased by 28 and 12% after LmGSTs5 and LmGSTu1 were silenced, respectively. The nymph mortalities after malathion and chlorpyrifos treatments increased by 26 and 18% after LmGSTs5 and LmGSTu1 were silenced, respectively. These results suggest that sigma GSTs in L. migratoria play a significant role in carbaryl detoxification, whereas some of other GSTs may also involve in the detoxification of carbaryl and chlorpyrifos.

  19. Amplitude and dynamics of polarization-plane signaling in the central complex of the locust brain

    PubMed Central

    Bockhorst, Tobias

    2015-01-01

    The polarization pattern of skylight provides a compass cue that various insect species use for allocentric orientation. In the desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria, a network of neurons tuned to the electric field vector (E-vector) angle of polarized light is present in the central complex of the brain. Preferred E-vector angles vary along slices of neuropils in a compasslike fashion (polarotopy). We studied how the activity in this polarotopic population is modulated in ways suited to control compass-guided locomotion. To this end, we analyzed tuning profiles using measures of correlation between spike rate and E-vector angle and, furthermore, tested for adaptation to stationary angles. The results suggest that the polarotopy is stabilized by antagonistic integration across neurons with opponent tuning. Downstream to the input stage of the network, responses to stationary E-vector angles adapted quickly, which may correlate with a tendency to steer a steady course previously observed in tethered flying locusts. By contrast, rotating E-vectors corresponding to changes in heading direction under a natural sky elicited nonadapting responses. However, response amplitudes were particularly variable at the output stage, covarying with the level of ongoing activity. Moreover, the responses to rotating E-vector angles depended on the direction of rotation in an anticipatory manner. Our observations support a view of the central complex as a substrate of higher-stage processing that could assign contextual meaning to sensory input for motor control in goal-driven behaviors. Parallels to higher-stage processing of sensory information in vertebrates are discussed. PMID:25609107

  20. Identification of female-produced sex pheromone of the honey locust gall midge, Dasineura gleditchiae.

    PubMed

    Molnár, Béla; Kárpáti, Zsolt; Szocs, Gábor; Hall, David R

    2009-06-01

    The honey locust gall midge, Dasineura gleditchiae Osten Sacken 1866 (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) is the main pest of ornamental varieties of the honey locust tree, Gleditsia triacanthos L., in North America, and is now becoming a pest of concern in Europe. Female midges were observed to emerge in the early morning with their ovipositor extended until they mated. Volatiles were collected from virgin females in a closed-loop stripping apparatus and analyzed by gas chromatography (GC) coupled to electroantennographic (EAG) recording from the antenna of a male midge. A single EAG response was observed, which was assumed to be to the major component of the female sex pheromone. This was identified as (Z)-2-acetoxy-8-heptadecene by comparison of its mass spectrum and GC retention times on different columns with those of synthetic standards and by micro-analytical reactions. This compound was synthesized, and the individual enantiomers were produced by kinetic resolution with lipase from Candida antarctica. Analysis of the naturally-produced compound on a cyclodextrin GC column indicated it was the (R)-enantiomer. In EAG dose-response measurements, the (R)-enantiomer alone or in the racemic mixture evoked significant responses from the antennae of male D. gleditchiae, whereas the (S)-enantiomer did not. In field trapping tests, the (R)-enantiomer attracted male D. gleditchiae. The racemic compound was equally attractive, but the (S)-enantiomer was not attractive. Both the pure (R)-enantiomer or racemic (Z)-2-acetoxy-8-heptadecene, applied to red rubber septa in a dose range of 3-30 microg, constitute a strongly attractive bait in sticky traps for monitoring the flight of D. gleditchiae. PMID:19459010

  1. Giant intrathyroidal parathyroid adenoma

    PubMed Central

    Vilallonga, Ramon; Zafón, Carlos; Migone, Raul; Baena, Juan Antonio

    2012-01-01

    Primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) is not an uncommon endocrine disorder. However, acute primary hyperparathyroidism, or parathyroid crisis (PC), is a rare clinical entity characterized by life-threatening hypercalcemia of a sudden onset in patients with PHPT. We describe a patient with PC who presented with acute worsening of depressive symptoms, nausea and vomiting, and required emergency surgery. Serum calcium, alkaline phosphatase, and parathyroid hormone were elevated and serum phosphorus was low. An emergency hemithyroidectomy was performed because of none medical control of hypercalcemia. A giant intrathyroidal parathyroid adenoma was diagnosed. PHTP can be a life-threatening situation for patients, requiring immediate surgical treatment. A giant intrathyroidal parathyroid adenoma is an uncommon cause of PC. PMID:22787355

  2. Giant cell arteritis

    PubMed Central

    Calvo-Romero, J

    2003-01-01

    Giant cell arteritis (GCA), temporal arteritis or Horton's arteritis, is a systemic vasculitis which involves large and medium sized vessels, especially the extracranial branches of the carotid arteries, in persons usually older than 50 years. Permanent visual loss, ischaemic strokes, and thoracic and abdominal aortic aneurysms are feared complications of GCA. The treatment consists of high dose steroids. Mortality, with a correct treatment, in patients with GCA seems to be similar that of controls. PMID:13679546

  3. Giant thymic carcinoid.

    PubMed

    John, L C; Hornick, P; Lang, S; Wallis, J; Edmondson, S J

    1991-05-01

    Thymic carcinoid is a rare tumour. It may present with ectopic endocrine secretion or with symptoms of compression as a result of its size. A case is reported which presented with symptoms of compression where the size of the tumour was uniquely large such as to warrant the term giant thymic carcinoid. The typical histological features are described, together with its possible origin and its likely prognosis.

  4. Ice Giant Exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rymer, A. M.; Arridge, C. S.; Masters, A.; Turtle, E. P.; Simon, A. A.; Hofstadter, M. D.; Turrini, D.; Politi, R.

    2015-12-01

    The Ice Giants in our solar system, Uranus and Neptune, are fundamentally different from their Gas Giant siblings Jupiter and Saturn, from the different proportions of rock and ice to the configuration of their planetary magnetic fields. Kepler space telescope discoveries of exo-planets indicate that planets of this type are among the most ubiquitous universally and therefore a future mission to explore the nature of the Ice Giants in our own solar system will provide insights into the nature of extra-solar system objects in general. Uranus has the smallest self- luminosity of all the planets, potentially related to catastrophic events early in the planet's history, which also may explain Uranus' large obliquity. Uranus' atmosphere is subject to extreme seasonal forcing making it unique in the Solar System. Neptune is also unique in a number of ways, notably its large moon Triton which is likely a captured Kuiper Belt Object and one of only two moons in the solar system with a robustly collisional atmosphere. Similar to Uranus, the angle between the solar wind and the magnetic dipole axis is subject to large-amplitude variations on both diurnal and seasonal timescales, but peculiarly it has one of the quietest magnetospheres of the solar system, at least according to Voyager 2, the only spacecraft to encounter Neptune to date. A comprehensive mission, as advocated in the Decadal Survey, would provide enormous science return but is also challenging and expensive. In this presentation we will discuss mission scenarios and suggest how collaboration between disciplines and internationally can help us to pursue a mission that includes Ice Giant exploration.

  5. Effects of xanthan, guar, carrageenan and locust bean gum addition on physical, chemical and sensory properties of meatballs.

    PubMed

    Demirci, Zeynep Ozben; Yılmaz, Ismail; Demirci, Ahmet Şukru

    2014-05-01

    This study evaluated the effects of xanthan gum, guar gum, carrageenan and locust bean gum on physical, chemical and sensory properties of meatballs. Meatball samples were produced with three different formulations including of 0.5, 1, and 1.5% each gum addition and gum added samples were compared with the control meatballs. Physical and chemical analyses were carried out on raw and cooked samples separately. Moisture contents of raw samples decreased by addition of gums. There were significant decreases (p < 0.05) in moisture and fat contents of raw and cooked meatball samples formulated with gum when compared with control. Ash contents and texture values increased with gum addition to meatballs. Meatball redness decreased with more gum addition in raw and cooked meatball samples, which means that addition of gums resulted in a lighter-coloured product. According to sensory analysis results, locust bean gum added (1%) samples were much preferred by the panelists.

  6. Model of cellular and network mechanisms for odor-evoked temporal patterning in the locust antennal lobe.

    PubMed

    Bazhenov, M; Stopfer, M; Rabinovich, M; Abarbanel, H D; Sejnowski, T J; Laurent, G

    2001-05-01

    Locust antennal lobe (AL) projection neurons (PNs) respond to olfactory stimuli with sequences of depolarizing and hyperpolarizing epochs, each lasting hundreds of milliseconds. A computer simulation of an AL network was used to test the hypothesis that slow inhibitory connections between local neurons (LNs) and PNs are responsible for temporal patterning. Activation of slow inhibitory receptors on PNs by the same GABAergic synapses that underlie fast oscillatory synchronization of PNs was sufficient to shape slow response modulations. This slow stimulus- and neuron-specific patterning of AL activity was resistant to blockade of fast inhibition. Fast and slow inhibitory mechanisms at synapses between LNs and PNs can thus form dynamical PN assemblies whose elements synchronize transiently and oscillate collectively, as observed not only in the locust AL, but also in the vertebrate olfactory bulb.

  7. Effects of xanthan, guar, carrageenan and locust bean gum addition on physical, chemical and sensory properties of meatballs.

    PubMed

    Demirci, Zeynep Ozben; Yılmaz, Ismail; Demirci, Ahmet Şukru

    2014-05-01

    This study evaluated the effects of xanthan gum, guar gum, carrageenan and locust bean gum on physical, chemical and sensory properties of meatballs. Meatball samples were produced with three different formulations including of 0.5, 1, and 1.5% each gum addition and gum added samples were compared with the control meatballs. Physical and chemical analyses were carried out on raw and cooked samples separately. Moisture contents of raw samples decreased by addition of gums. There were significant decreases (p < 0.05) in moisture and fat contents of raw and cooked meatball samples formulated with gum when compared with control. Ash contents and texture values increased with gum addition to meatballs. Meatball redness decreased with more gum addition in raw and cooked meatball samples, which means that addition of gums resulted in a lighter-coloured product. According to sensory analysis results, locust bean gum added (1%) samples were much preferred by the panelists. PMID:24803701

  8. CRF-Like Diuretic Hormone Negatively Affects Both Feeding and Reproduction in the Desert Locust, Schistocerca gregaria

    PubMed Central

    Van Wielendaele, Pieter; Dillen, Senne; Marchal, Elisabeth; Badisco, Liesbeth; Vanden Broeck, Jozef

    2012-01-01

    Diuretic hormones (DH) related to the vertebrate Corticotropin Releasing Factor (CRF) have been identified in diverse insect species. In the migratory locust, Locusta migratoria, the CRF-like DH (CRF/DH) is localized in the same neurosecretory cells as the Ovary Maturating Parsin (OMP), a neurohormone that stimulates oocyte growth, vitellogenesis and hemolymph ecdysteroid levels in adult female locusts. In this study, we investigated whether CRF-like DH can influence feeding and reproduction in the desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria. We identified two highly similar S. gregaria CRF-like DH precursor cDNAs, each of which also encodes an OMP isoform. Alignment with other insect CRF-like DH precursors shows relatively high conservation of the CRF/DH sequence while the precursor region corresponding to OMP is not well conserved. Quantitative real-time RT-PCR revealed that the precursor transcripts mainly occur in the central nervous system and their highest expression level was observed in the brain. Injection of locust CRF/DH caused a significantly reduced food intake, while RNAi knockdown stimulated food intake. Therefore, our data indicate that CRF-like DH induces satiety. Furthermore, injection of CRF/DH in adult females retarded oocyte growth and caused lower ecdysteroid titers in hemolymph and ovaries, while RNAi knockdown resulted in opposite effects. The observed effects of CRF/DH may be part of a wider repertoire of neurohormonal activities, constituting an integrating control system that affects food intake and excretion, as well as anabolic processes like oocyte growth and ecdysteroidogenesis, following a meal. Our discussion about the functional relationship between CRF/DH and OMP led to the hypothesis that OMP may possibly act as a monitoring peptide that can elicit negative feedback effects. PMID:22363645

  9. Predator versus Prey: Locust Looming-Detector Neuron and Behavioural Responses to Stimuli Representing Attacking Bird Predators

    PubMed Central

    Santer, Roger D.; Rind, F. Claire; Simmons, Peter J.

    2012-01-01

    Many arthropods possess escape-triggering neural mechanisms that help them evade predators. These mechanisms are important neuroethological models, but they are rarely investigated using predator-like stimuli because there is often insufficient information on real predator attacks. Locusts possess uniquely identifiable visual neurons (the descending contralateral movement detectors, DCMDs) that are well-studied looming motion detectors. The DCMDs trigger ‘glides’ in flying locusts, which are hypothesised to be appropriate last-ditch responses to the looms of avian predators. To date it has not been possible to study glides in response to stimuli simulating bird attacks because such attacks have not been characterised. We analyse video of wild black kites attacking flying locusts, and estimate kite attack speeds of 10.8±1.4 m/s. We estimate that the loom of a kite’s thorax towards a locust at these speeds should be characterised by a relatively low ratio of half size to speed (l/|v|) in the range 4–17 ms. Peak DCMD spike rate and gliding response occurrence are known to increase as l/|v| decreases for simple looming shapes. Using simulated looming discs, we investigate these trends and show that both DCMD and behavioural responses are strong to stimuli with kite-like l/|v| ratios. Adding wings to looming discs to produce a more realistic stimulus shape did not disrupt the overall relationships of DCMD and gliding occurrence to stimulus l/|v|. However, adding wings to looming discs did slightly reduce high frequency DCMD spike rates in the final stages of object approach, and slightly delay glide initiation. Looming discs with or without wings triggered glides closer to the time of collision as l/|v| declined, and relatively infrequently before collision at very low l/|v|. However, the performance of this system is in line with expectations for a last-ditch escape response. PMID:23209660

  10. Potential of the Desert Locust Schistocerca gregaria (Orthoptera: Acrididae) as an Unconventional Source of Dietary and Therapeutic Sterols

    PubMed Central

    Cheseto, Xavier; Kuate, Serge Philibert; Tchouassi, David P.; Ndung’u, Mary; Teal, Peter E. A.; Torto, Baldwyn

    2015-01-01

    Insects are increasingly being recognized not only as a source of food to feed the ever growing world population but also as potential sources of new products and therapeutic agents, among which are sterols. In this study, we sought to profile sterols and their derivatives present in the desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria, focusing on those with potential importance as dietary and therapeutic components for humans. Using coupled gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), we analyzed and compared the quantities of sterols in the different sections of the gut and tissues of the locust. In the gut, we identified 34 sterols which showed a patchy distribution, but with the highest composition in the foregut (55%) followed by midgut (31%) and hindgut (14%). Fed ad libitum on wheat seedlings, five sterols unique to the insect were detected. These sterols were identified as 7-dehydrocholesterol, desmosterol, fucosterol, (3β, 5α) cholesta-8, 14, 24-trien-3-ol, 4, 4-dimethyl, and (3β, 20R) cholesta-5, 24-dien-3, 20-diol with the first three having known health benefits in humans. Incubation of the fore-, mid- and hindgut with cholesterol-[4-13C] yielded eight derivatives, three of these were detected in the gut of the desert locust after it had consumed the vegetative diet but were not detected in the diet. Our study shows that the desert locust ingests phytosterols from a vegetative diet and, amplifies and metabolizes them into derivatives with potential salutary benefits and we discuss our findings in this context. PMID:25970517

  11. Flight and walking in locusts-cholinergic co-activation, temporal coupling and its modulation by biogenic amines.

    PubMed

    Rillich, Jan; Stevenson, Paul A; Pflueger, Hans-Joachim

    2013-01-01

    Walking and flying in locusts are exemplary rhythmical behaviors generated by central pattern generators (CPG) that are tuned in intact animals by phasic sensory inputs. Although these two behaviors are mutually exclusive and controlled by independent CPGs, leg movements during flight can be coupled to the flight rhythm. To investigate potential central coupling between the underlying CPGs, we used the muscarinic agonist pilocarpine and the amines octopamine and tyramine to initiate fictive flight and walking in deafferented locust preparations. Our data illustrate that fictive walking is readily evoked by comparatively lower concentrations of pilocarpine, whereas higher concentrations are required to elicit fictive flight. Interestingly, fictive flight did not suppress fictive walking so that the two patterns were produced simultaneously. Frequently, leg motor units were temporally coupled to the flight rhythm, so that each spike in a step cycle volley occurred synchronously with wing motor units firing at flight rhythm frequency. Similarly, tyramine also induced fictive walking and flight, but mostly without any coupling between the two rhythms. Octopamine in contrast readily evoked fictive flight but generally failed to elicit fictive walking. Despite this, numerous leg motor units were recruited, whereby each was temporarily coupled to the flight rhythm. Our results support the notion that the CPGs for walking and flight are largely independent, but that coupling can be entrained by aminergic modulation. We speculate that octopamine biases the whole motor machinery of a locust to flight whereas tyramine primarily promotes walking.

  12. Comparative bio-safety and in vivo evaluation of native or modified locust bean gum-PVA IPN microspheres.

    PubMed

    Kaity, Santanu; Ghosh, Animesh

    2015-01-01

    Strategically developed natural polymer-based controlled release multiparticulate drug delivery systems have gained special interest for “spatial placement” and “temporal delivery” of drug molecules. In our earlier study, locust bean gum-poly(vinyl alcohol) interpenetrating polymer network (LBG-PVA IPN), carboxymethylated locust bean gum-poly(vinyl alcohol) interpenetrating polymer network (CMLBG-PVA IPN) and acrylamide grafted locust bean gum-poly(vinyl alcohol) interpenetrating polymer network (Am-g-LBG-PVA IPN) were prepared and characterized. The present study deals with accelerating stability testing, comparative bio-safety and single dose in vivo pharmacokinetic study of all three IPN microspheres for controlled oral delivery of buflomedil hydrochloride (BH). From the stability study, it was observed that the particles were stable throughout the study period. From toxicity and biodegradability study it was proved that the microspheres were safe for internal use and complied with bio-safety criterion. From the in vivo pharmacokinetic study in rabbits, it was observed that the CMLBG-PVA IPN microspheres possessed almost similar Tmax value with BH oral suspension. However, in comparison between the LBG-PVA and Am-g-LBG-PVA IPN microspheres, the later showed well controlled release property than the first in biological condition. Thus, this type of delivery system might be useful to achieve the lofty goals of the controlled release drug delivery.

  13. Development of histamine-immunoreactivity in the Central nervous system of the two locust species Schistocerca gregaria and Locusta migratoria.

    PubMed

    Pätschke, Arne; Bicker, Gerd

    2011-10-01

    Locusts are attractive model preparations for cellular investigations of neurodevelopment. In this study, we investigate the immunocytochemical localization of histamine in the developing ventral nerve cord of two locust species, Schistocerca gregaria and Locusta migratoria. Histamine is the fast neurotransmitter of photoreceptor neurons in the compound eye of insects, but it is also synthesized in interneurons of the central nervous system. In the locust ventral nerve cord, the pattern of histamine-immunoreactive neurons follows a relatively simple bauplan. The histaminergic system comprises a set of single, ascending projection neurons that are segmentally arranged in almost every neuromere. The neurons send out their axons anteriorly, forming branches and varicosities throughout the adjacent ganglia. In the suboesophageal ganglion, the cell bodies lie in a posteriolateral position. The prothoracic ganglion lacks histaminergic neurons. In the posterior ganglia of the ventral nerve cord, the somata of the histaminergic neurons are ventromedially positioned. Histamine-immunoreactivity starts around 50% of embryonic development in interneurons of the brain. Subsequently, the neurons of the more posterior ganglia of the ventral nerve cord become immunoreactive. From 60% embryonic development, the pattern of soma staining in the nerve cord appears mature. Around 65% of embryonic development, the photoreceptor cells show histamine-immunoreactivity. The histaminergic innervation of the neuropile develops from the central branches toward the periphery of the ganglia and is completed right before hatching.

  14. Photogrammetric reconstruction of high-resolution surface topographies and deformable wing kinematics of tethered locusts and free-flying hoverflies

    PubMed Central

    Walker, Simon M.; Thomas, Adrian L.R.; Taylor, Graham K.

    2008-01-01

    Here, we present a suite of photogrammetric methods for reconstructing insect wing kinematics, to provide instantaneous topographic maps of the wing surface. We filmed tethered locusts (Schistocerca gregaria) and free-flying hoverflies (Eristalis tenax) using four high-speed digital video cameras. We digitized multiple natural features and marked points on the wings using manual and automated tracking. Epipolar geometry was used to identify additional points on the hoverfly wing outline which were anatomically indistinguishable. The cameras were calibrated using a bundle adjustment technique that provides an estimate of the error associated with each individual data point. The mean absolute three-dimensional measurement error was 0.11 mm for the locust and 0.03 mm for the hoverfly. The error in the angle of incidence was at worst 0.51° (s.d.) for the locust and 0.88° (s.d.) for the hoverfly. The results we present are of unprecedented spatio-temporal resolution, and represent the most detailed measurements of insect wing kinematics to date. Variable spanwise twist and camber are prominent in the wingbeats of both the species, and are of such complexity that they would not be adequately captured by lower resolution techniques. The role of spanwise twist and camber in insect flight has yet to be fully understood, and accurate insect wing kinematics such as we present here are required to be sure of making valid predictions about their aerodynamic effects. PMID:18682361

  15. Paternal epigenetic effects of population density on locust phase-related characteristics associated with heat-shock protein expression.

    PubMed

    Chen, Bing; Li, Shaoqin; Ren, Qiang; Tong, Xiwen; Zhang, Xia; Kang, Le

    2015-02-01

    Many species exhibit transgenerational plasticity by which environmental cues experienced by either parent can be transmitted to their offspring, resulting in phenotypic variants in offspring to match ancestral environments. However, the manner by which paternal experiences affect offspring plasticity through epigenetic inheritance in animals generally remains unclear. In this study, we examined the transgenerational effects of population density on phase-related traits in the migratory locust Locusta migratoria. Using an experimental design that explicitly controls genetic background, we found that the effects of crowd or isolation rearing on phase plasticity could be inherited to the offspring. The isolation of gregarious locusts resulted in reduced weight in offspring eggs and altered morphometric traits in hatchlings, whereas crowding of solitarious locusts exhibited opposite effects. The consequences of density changes were transmitted by both maternal and paternal inheritance, although the expression of paternal effects was not as pronounced as that of maternal effects. Prominent expression of heat-shock proteins (Hsps), such as Hsp90, Hsp70 and Hsp20.6, could be triggered by density changes. Hsps were significantly upregulated upon crowding but downregulated upon isolation. The variation in parental Hsp expression was also transmitted to the offspring, in which the pattern of inheritance was consistent with that of phase characteristics. These results revealed a paternal effect on phase polyphenism and Hsp expression induced by population density, and defined a model system that could be used to study the paternal epigenetic inheritance of environmental changes.

  16. Comparative bio-safety and in vivo evaluation of native or modified locust bean gum-PVA IPN microspheres.

    PubMed

    Kaity, Santanu; Ghosh, Animesh

    2015-01-01

    Strategically developed natural polymer-based controlled release multiparticulate drug delivery systems have gained special interest for “spatial placement” and “temporal delivery” of drug molecules. In our earlier study, locust bean gum-poly(vinyl alcohol) interpenetrating polymer network (LBG-PVA IPN), carboxymethylated locust bean gum-poly(vinyl alcohol) interpenetrating polymer network (CMLBG-PVA IPN) and acrylamide grafted locust bean gum-poly(vinyl alcohol) interpenetrating polymer network (Am-g-LBG-PVA IPN) were prepared and characterized. The present study deals with accelerating stability testing, comparative bio-safety and single dose in vivo pharmacokinetic study of all three IPN microspheres for controlled oral delivery of buflomedil hydrochloride (BH). From the stability study, it was observed that the particles were stable throughout the study period. From toxicity and biodegradability study it was proved that the microspheres were safe for internal use and complied with bio-safety criterion. From the in vivo pharmacokinetic study in rabbits, it was observed that the CMLBG-PVA IPN microspheres possessed almost similar Tmax value with BH oral suspension. However, in comparison between the LBG-PVA and Am-g-LBG-PVA IPN microspheres, the later showed well controlled release property than the first in biological condition. Thus, this type of delivery system might be useful to achieve the lofty goals of the controlled release drug delivery. PMID:25307127

  17. Imaging Extrasolar Giant Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bowler, Brendan P.

    2016-10-01

    High-contrast adaptive optics (AO) imaging is a powerful technique to probe the architectures of planetary systems from the outside-in and survey the atmospheres of self-luminous giant planets. Direct imaging has rapidly matured over the past decade and especially the last few years with the advent of high-order AO systems, dedicated planet-finding instruments with specialized coronagraphs, and innovative observing and post-processing strategies to suppress speckle noise. This review summarizes recent progress in high-contrast imaging with particular emphasis on observational results, discoveries near and below the deuterium-burning limit, and a practical overview of large-scale surveys and dedicated instruments. I conclude with a statistical meta-analysis of deep imaging surveys in the literature. Based on observations of 384 unique and single young (≈5-300 Myr) stars spanning stellar masses between 0.1 and 3.0 M ⊙, the overall occurrence rate of 5-13 M Jup companions at orbital distances of 30-300 au is {0.6}-0.5+0.7 % assuming hot-start evolutionary models. The most massive giant planets regularly accessible to direct imaging are about as rare as hot Jupiters are around Sun-like stars. Dividing this sample into individual stellar mass bins does not reveal any statistically significant trend in planet frequency with host mass: giant planets are found around {2.8}-2.3+3.7 % of BA stars, <4.1% of FGK stars, and <3.9% of M dwarfs. Looking forward, extreme AO systems and the next generation of ground- and space-based telescopes with smaller inner working angles and deeper detection limits will increase the pace of discovery to ultimately map the demographics, composition, evolution, and origin of planets spanning a broad range of masses and ages.

  18. GIANT INTRACANALICULAR FIBROADENOMA

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Clyn; Parsons, Robert J.; Bogart, William M.

    1951-01-01

    Five cases of giant intracanalicular fibroadenoma (“cystosarcoma phylloides”) were observed at one hospital in a period of three years. In a search of the literature, additional reports of breast tumors of this kind, not included in previous reviews, were noted. As there is record of 229 cases, it would appear that this rapidly growing benign tumor should be kept in mind in the diagnosis of masses in the breast. If removal is incomplete, there may be recurrence. Simple mastectomy is the treatment of choice. Radical mastectomy should be avoided. ImagesFigure 1Figure 2.Figure 3Figure 4Figure 5 PMID:14848732

  19. Local structure of subcellular input retinotopy in an identified visual interneuron

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, Ying; Gabbiani, Fabrizio; Fabrizio Gabbiani's lab Team

    2015-03-01

    How does the spatial layout of the projections that a neuron receives impact its synaptic integration and computation? What is the mapping topography of subcellular wiring at the single neuron level? The LGMD (lobula giant movement detector) neuron in the locust is an identified neuron that responds preferentially to objects approaching on a collision course. It receives excitatory inputs from the entire visual hemifield through calcium-permeable nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. Previous work showed that the projection from the locust compound eye to the LGMD preserved retinotopy down to the level of a single ommatidium (facet) by employing in vivo widefield calcium imaging. Because widefield imaging relies on global excitation of the preparation and has a relatively low resolution, previous work could not investigate this retinotopic mapping at the level of individual thin dendritic branches. Our current work employs a custom-built two-photon microscope with sub-micron resolution in conjunction with a single-facet stimulation setup that provides visual stimuli to the single ommatidium of locust adequate to explore the local structure of this retinotopy at a finer level. We would thank NIMH for funding this research.

  20. Endocrine control of TAG lipase in the fat body of the migratory locust, Locusta migratoria.

    PubMed

    Auerswald, Lutz; Gäde, Gerd

    2006-10-01

    Aspects of the role and activation of the enzyme triacylglycerol lipase (TAG lipase) in the fat body of the migratory locust Locusta migratoria were investigated. TAG lipase is under the hormonal control of the three endogenous adipokinetic peptides of the migratory locust, Locmi-AKH-I, Locmi-AKH-II and Locmi-AKH-III. Injection of low doses (5-10 pmol) of each peptide causes an increase in lipase activity. The activation of lipase is time dependent: an elevated activity was recorded 15 min after injection of 10 pmol Locmi-AKH-I and maximum activation was reached after 45-60 min. The activation of TAG lipase is also dose-dependent. Doses of 2 pmol of each Locmi-AKH had no effect, whereas 5 pmol caused a significant activation. Maximum activation is reached with a dose of 10 pmol. Analogues of the second messengers cAMP (cpt-cAMP) and IP(3) (F-IP(3)) both activate the enzyme glycogen phosphorylase whereas only cpt-cAMP, but not F-IP(3), activates TAG lipase; cpt-cAMP elevates the lipid levels in the haemolymph. Activation of lipase is specific to the three endogenous AKH peptides: 5 pmol of the endogenous peptide Locmi-HrTH and 10 pmol of corazonin failed to activate lipase. High doses of octopamine did not activate lipase nor did they elevate the lipid concentration in the haemolymph. TAG lipase is stimulated by flight activity but activation is slower than that of glycogen phosphorylase: after 30 min of flight or after 5 min of flight plus 1h of subsequent rest, activity of TAG lipase is increased, but not immediately after 5 min of flight. In contrast, glycogen phosphorylase is activated significantly after 5 min of flight. These activation patterns of the two enzymes mirror-image the concentration of their substrates in the haemolymph: there is a significant decrease in the concentration of carbohydrates after 5 min of flight, whereas no change of the concentration of lipids can be measured after such short time of flight activity; however, a subsequent rest

  1. Gas Giants Form Quickly

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2007-01-01

    This is an artist's concept of a hypothetical 10-million-year-old star system. The bright blur at the center is a star much like our sun. The other orb in the image is a gas-giant planet like Jupiter. Wisps of white throughout the image represent traces of gas.

    Astronomers using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope have found evidence showing that gas-giant planets either form within the first 10 million years of a sun-like star's life, or not at all. The lifespan for sun-like stars is about 10 billion years.

    The scientists came to this conclusion after searching for traces of gas around 15 different sun-like stars, most with ages ranging from 3 million to 30 million years. With the help of Spitzer's Infrared Spectrometer instrument, they were able to search for relatively warm gas in the inner regions of these star systems, an area comparable to the zone between Earth and Jupiter in our own solar system. They also used ground-based radio telescopes to search for cooler gas in the outer regions of these systems, an area comparable to the zone around Saturn and beyond.

  2. Giant solitary trichoepithelioma

    PubMed Central

    Teli, Bhavuray; Thrishuli, P. B.; Santhosh, R.; Amar, D. N.; Rajpurohit, Shravan

    2015-01-01

    Adnexal tumors like giant solitary trichoepitheliomas are uncommon to most of us to permit a ready familiarity with them. Information regarding the genesis, clinical profile, behavior, and management options for this tumor is limited. There are 18 cases reported in the world literature till date. This review attempts to provide insight to this rare tumor. Our search included indexed literature from Pubmed, Directory of Open Access Journals, Health Inter Network Access to Research Initiative and Google databases in addition to standard dermatology texts. Giant solitary trichoepithelioma is a rare trichogenic tumor with potential for local recurrence. It has predilection for the older age, but may present at any age including at birth. It has close resemblance to basal cell carcinoma and other skin adnexal tumors - clinically, cytologically, and histologically. CD10, CD 34, PHLDA1 but not p75NTR are useful adjunct markers. Surgical excision is the standard treatment. Recurrence and possible transformation into BCC cautions follow up at regular intervals. PMID:25839021

  3. Giant papillary conjunctivitis.

    PubMed Central

    Donshik, P C

    1994-01-01

    Giant papillary conjunctivitis is a syndrome found frequently as a complication of contact lenses. Many variables can affect the onset and severity of the presenting signs and symptoms. Rigid gas permeable contact lenses appear to result in less severe signs and symptoms, with a longer time before the development of giant papillary conjunctivitis. Nonionic, low-water-content soft contact lenses tend to produce less severe signs and symptoms than ionic, low-water-content soft contact lenses. Enzymatic treatment appears to lessen the severity of signs and symptoms. The association of an allergy appears to play a role in the onset of the severity of the signs and symptoms but does not appear to affect the final ability of the individual to wear contact lenses. Using multiple treatment options, such as changing the polymer to a glyceryl methyl methacrylate or a rigid lens, or utilizing a soft lens on a frequent-replacement basis, can result in a success rate of over 90%. In individuals who still have a return of symptoms, the use of topical mast cell stabilizers or a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug as an adjunctive therapy offers the added possibility of keeping these patients in contact lenses. Images FIGURE 1 FIGURE 2 FIGURE 3 FIGURE 4 FIGURE 5 FIGURE 6 FIGURE 7 FIGURE 11 A FIGURE 11 B FIGURE 11 C FIGURE 11 D PMID:7886881

  4. Rheology of giant micelles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cates, M. E.; Fielding, S. M.

    2006-12-01

    Giant micelles are elongated, polymer-like objects created by the self-assembly of amphiphilic molecules (such as detergents) in solution. Giant micelles are typically flexible, and can become highly entangled even at modest concentrations. The resulting viscoelastic solutions show fascinating flow behaviour (rheology) which we address theoretically in this article at two levels. First, we summarize advances in understanding linear viscoelastic spectra and steady-state nonlinear flows, based on microscopic constitutive models that combine the physics of polymer entanglement with the reversible kinetics of self-assembly. Such models were first introduced two decades ago, and since then have been shown to explain robustly several distinctive features of the rheology in the strongly entangled regime, including extreme shear thinning. We then turn to more complex rheological phenomena, particularly involving spatial heterogeneity, spontaneous oscillation, instability and chaos. Recent understanding of these complex flows is based largely on grossly simplified models which capture in outline just a few pertinent microscopic features, such as coupling between stresses and other order parameters such as concentration. The role of ‘structural memory’ (the dependence of structural parameters such as the micellar length distribution on the flow history) in explaining these highly nonlinear phenomena is addressed. Structural memory also plays an intriguing role in the little-understood shear thickening regime, which occurs in a concentration regime close to but below the onset of strong entanglement, and which is marked by a shear-induced transformation from an inviscid to a gelatinous state.

  5. Allometry indicates giant eyes of giant squid are not exceptional

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The eyes of giant and colossal squid are among the largest eyes in the history of life. It was recently proposed that sperm whale predation is the main driver of eye size evolution in giant squid, on the basis of an optical model that suggested optimal performance in detecting large luminous visual targets such as whales in the deep sea. However, it is poorly understood how the eye size of giant and colossal squid compares to that of other aquatic organisms when scaling effects are considered. Results We performed a large-scale comparative study that included 87 squid species and 237 species of acanthomorph fish. While squid have larger eyes than most acanthomorphs, a comparison of relative eye size among squid suggests that giant and colossal squid do not have unusually large eyes. After revising constants used in a previous model we found that large eyes perform equally well in detecting point targets and large luminous targets in the deep sea. Conclusions The eyes of giant and colossal squid do not appear exceptionally large when allometric effects are considered. It is probable that the giant eyes of giant squid result from a phylogenetically conserved developmental pattern manifested in very large animals. Whatever the cause of large eyes, they appear to have several advantages for vision in the reduced light of the deep mesopelagic zone. PMID:23418818

  6. Tissue-Specific Immune Gene Expression in the Migratory Locust, Locusta Migratoria.

    PubMed

    Pulpitel, Tamara; Pernice, Mathieu; Simpson, Stephen J; Ponton, Fleur

    2015-01-01

    The ability of hosts to respond to infection involves several complex immune recognition pathways. Broadly conserved pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) allow individuals to target a range of invading microbes. Recently, studies on insect innate immunity have found evidence that a single pathogen can activate different immune pathways across species. In this study, expression changes in immune genes encoding peptidoglycan-recognition protein SA (PGRP-SA), gram-negative binding protein 1 (GNBP1) and prophenoloxidase (ProPO) were investigated in Locusta migratoria, following an immune challenge using injected lipopolysaccharide (LPS) solution from Escherichia coli. Since immune activation might also be tissue-specific, gene expression levels were followed across a range of tissue types. For PGRP-SA, expression increased in response to LPS within all seven of the tissue-types assayed and differed significantly between tissues. Expression of GNBP1 similarly varied across tissue types, yet showed no clear expression difference between LPS-injected and uninfected locusts. Increases in ProPO expression in response to LPS, however, could only be detected in the gut sections. This study has revealed tissue-specific immune response to add a new level of complexity to insect immune studies. In addition to variation in recognition pathways identified in previous works, tissue-specificity should be carefully considered in similar works. PMID:26463191

  7. Controlled release of Lactobacillus rhamnosus biofilm probiotics from alginate-locust bean gum microcapsules.

    PubMed

    Cheow, Wean Sin; Kiew, Tie Yi; Hadinoto, Kunn

    2014-03-15

    Chitosan-coated alginate microcapsules containing high-density biofilm Lactobacillus rhamnosus have been previously shown to exhibit higher freeze drying- and thermal-tolerance than their planktonic counterparts. However, their cell release profile remains poor due to the capsules' susceptibility to the gastric environment. Herein the effects of adding locust bean (LB) and xanthan (XT) gums to alginate (AGN) capsules on the stress tolerance and cell release profiles in simulated gastrointestinal fluids are investigated. Compared to the AGN-only capsules, the AGN-LB capsules exhibit improved stress tolerance (i.e. ≈ 6x for freeze drying, 100x for thermotolerance, 10x for acid), whereas the AGN-XT capsules only improve the acid tolerance. Importantly, the AGN-LB capsules possess the optimal cell release profile with a majority of cells released in the simulated intestinal juice than in the gastric juice. The AGN-LB capsules' superiority is attributed to their stronger interaction with the chitosan coating and high swelling capacity, thus delaying their bulk dissolution.

  8. Elucidation of hydration dynamics of locust bean gum-collagen composites by impedance and thermoporometry.

    PubMed

    Kanungo, Ivy; Fathima, Nishter Nishad; Jonnalagadda, Raghava Rao; Unni Nair, Balachandran

    2014-03-15

    The intricacy of the different parameters involved in the hydration dynamics of collagen influences its performance as biomaterials. This work presents the molecular motions of collagen originating from the solvents and locust bean gum (LBG), which reveal the changes in solvation dynamics of the biopolymers affecting the surface as well as interfacial properties. Water, as a probe liquid bound in collagen has been investigated using a combination of thermoporometry, ATR-FTIR, circular dichroic spectroscopy, dielectric spectroscopy and SEM to explore the influence of LBG on collagen with respect to static and dynamic behaviour. The relaxation process of collagen in the frequency range of 0.01 Hz to 10(5)Hz and thermoporometry results indicate that the interfacial hydration dynamics are dependent on the applied concentration of LBG. This investigation explicitly reflects the rearrangements of the structural water clusters around the charged amino acids of collagen. These results can be employed to redesign the approach towards the development of collagen based biomaterials.

  9. Locust bean gum in the development of sustained release mucoadhesive macromolecules of aceclofenac.

    PubMed

    Prajapati, Vipul D; Jani, Girish K; Moradiya, Naresh G; Randeria, Narayan P; Maheriya, Pankaj M; Nagar, Bhanu J

    2014-11-26

    The study shows the development and optimization of locust bean gum (LBG)-alginate mucoadhesive macromolecules containing aceclofenac through ionotropic-gelation using 3(2) factorial design. The effect of amount of LBG and sodium alginate on drug entrapment efficiency (%DEE), % mucoadhesion at 8h (M8) and % in vitro drug release at 10h (%Q10h) were optimized. The percentage yield, average size and DEE of macromolecules were found within the range of 93.19 to 96.65%, 1.328 ± 0.11 to 1.428 ± 0.13 μm, and 56.37 to 68.54%, respectively. The macromolecules were also characterized by SEM, FTIR and DSC. The in vitro drug release from these macromolecules (84.95 ± 2.02 to 95.33 ± 1.56% at 10h) exhibited sustained release (first-order) pattern with super case-II transport mechanism. The swelling and mucoadhesivity of these macromolecules were affected by pH of the medium. The design established the role of derived polynomial equations and plots in predicting the values of dependent variables for the preparation and optimization.

  10. Optimization of reaction conditions by RSM and structure characterization of sulfated locust bean gum.

    PubMed

    Wang, Junlong; Yang, Ting; Tian, Jia; Liu, Wenxi; Jing, Fan; Yao, Jian; Zhang, Ji; Lei, Ziqiang

    2014-12-19

    Sulfated derivatives of galactomannan from locust bean gum (LBG) with the degree of substitution (DS) of 0.34-1.07 were synthesized using chlorosulfonic acid/pyridine (CSA/Py) method. Box-Behnken design (BBD) of response surface methodology (RSM) was employed to optimize the reaction conditions. Results of FT-IR and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) indicated that SO3H groups were widely present in sulfated LBG (SLBG). (13)C NMR result revealed that sulfation had occurred and C-6 substitution was predominant in SLBG. All sulfated samples showed a decrease in Mw and more broad molar mass distribution in size exclusion chromatography combined with laser light scattering (SEC-LLS) analysis. Results of MW - [Formula: see text] showed a decrease in fractal dimension (df) value. Laser light scattering results also showed a conformation transition from a compact chain conformation of branched clusters to a random coil conformation of SLBG. Compared to LBG and SLBG with low DS and molecular weight, SLBG2 exhibited an internal structure of random coil with a DS of 1.07. DS and molecular weight had great influence on its conformation in aqueous solution. Our results confirmed that the degradation of polysaccharide and SO3H groups improved significantly the stiffness of the chains due to the electrostatic effect.

  11. Alginate beads of Captopril using galactomannan containing Senna tora gum, guar gum and locust bean gum.

    PubMed

    Pawar, Harshal A; Lalitha, K G; Ruckmani, K

    2015-05-01

    Gastro-retentive Captopril loaded alginate beads were prepared by an ionotropic gelation method using sodium alginate in combination with natural gums containing galactomannans (Senna tora seed gum, guar gum and locust bean gum) in the presence of calcium chloride. The process variables such as concentration of sodium alginate/natural polymer, concentration of calcium chloride, curing time, stirring speed and drying condition were optimized. Prepared beads were evaluated for various parameters such as flow property, drug content and entrapment efficiency, size and shape, and swelling index. Surface morphology of the beads was studied using scanning electron microscopy. In vitro mucoadhesion and in vitro drug release studies were carried out on the prepared beads. From the entrapment efficiency and dissolution study, it was concluded that galactomannans in combination with sodium alginate show sustained release property. The bead formulation F4 prepared using combination of sodium alginate and guar gums in the ratio 2:1 showed satisfactory sustained release for 12h. The release of Captopril from the prepared beads was found to be controlled by the swelling of the polymer followed by drug diffusion through the swelled polymer and slow erosion of the beads.

  12. The role of contact chemoreception in egg-laying behaviour of locusts.

    PubMed

    Newland, Philip L; Yates, Paul

    2008-01-01

    Following selection of an appropriate egg-laying site desert locusts lay their eggs at depths in soil by digging their abdomen into the substrate using rhythmic movements of their abdomen and hard, sclerotised ovipositor valves. We have analysed the role of contact chemoreception on egg-laying behaviour and on the rhythmic digging movements of the valves. All chemicals tested acted aversively and reduced both the duration spent egg-laying and the number of eggs laid, with the concentration at which they became aversive being dependent on whether the chemical was normally present in the diet. Chemicals such as sucrose and a lysine glutamate salt prevented egg-laying only at much higher concentrations than known anti-feedants such as nicotine hydrogen tartrate and hydroquinine. Similarly for animals in which fictive digging movements were induced all chemicals stopped the digging rhythm, with sucrose and sodium chloride inhibiting the rhythm at relatively high concentrations compared to NHT and hydroquinone. We conclude that for both egg-laying behaviour and rhythmic digging that the aversiveness of a chemical rather than its identity per se plays a major role in regulating behaviour.

  13. Digital particle image velocimetry measurements of the downwash distribution of a desert locust Schistocerca gregaria

    PubMed Central

    Bomphrey, Richard J; Taylor, Graham K; Lawson, Nicholas J; Thomas, Adrian L.R

    2005-01-01

    Actuator disc models of insect flight are concerned solely with the rate of momentum transfer to the air that passes through the disc. These simple models assume that an even pressure is applied across the disc, resulting in a uniform downwash distribution. However, a correction factor, k, is often included to correct for the difference in efficiency between the assumed even downwash distribution, and the real downwash distribution. In the absence of any empirical measurements of the downwash distribution behind a real insect, the values of k used in the literature have been necessarily speculative. Direct measurement of this efficiency factor is now possible, and could be used to compare the relative efficiencies of insect flight across the Class. Here, we use Digital Particle Image Velocimetry to measure the instantaneous downwash distribution, mid-downstroke, of a tethered desert locust (Schistocerca gregaria). By integrating the downwash distribution, we are thereby able to provide the first direct empirical measurement of k for an insect. The measured value of k=1.12 corresponds reasonably well with that predicted by previous theoretical studies. PMID:16849240

  14. The locust genome provides insight into swarm formation and long-distance flight

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xianhui; Fang, Xiaodong; Yang, Pengcheng; Jiang, Xuanting; Jiang, Feng; Zhao, Dejian; Li, Bolei; Cui, Feng; Wei, Jianing; Ma, Chuan; Wang, Yundan; He, Jing; Luo, Yuan; Wang, Zhifeng; Guo, Xiaojiao; Guo, Wei; Wang, Xuesong; Zhang, Yi; Yang, Meiling; Hao, Shuguang; Chen, Bing; Ma, Zongyuan; Yu, Dan; Xiong, Zhiqiang; Zhu, Yabing; Fan, Dingding; Han, Lijuan; Wang, Bo; Chen, Yuanxin; Wang, Junwen; Yang, Lan; Zhao, Wei; Feng, Yue; Chen, Guanxing; Lian, Jinmin; Li, Qiye; Huang, Zhiyong; Yao, Xiaoming; Lv, Na; Zhang, Guojie; Li, Yingrui; Wang, Jian; Wang, Jun; Zhu, Baoli; Kang, Le

    2014-01-01

    Locusts are one of the world’s most destructive agricultural pests and represent a useful model system in entomology. Here we present a draft 6.5 Gb genome sequence of Locusta migratoria, which is the largest animal genome sequenced so far. Our findings indicate that the large genome size of L. migratoria is likely to be because of transposable element proliferation combined with slow rates of loss for these elements. Methylome and transcriptome analyses reveal complex regulatory mechanisms involved in microtubule dynamic-mediated synapse plasticity during phase change. We find significant expansion of gene families associated with energy consumption and detoxification, consistent with long-distance flight capacity and phytophagy. We report hundreds of potential insecticide target genes, including cys-loop ligand-gated ion channels, G-protein-coupled receptors and lethal genes. The L. migratoria genome sequence offers new insights into the biology and sustainable management of this pest species, and will promote its wide use as a model system. PMID:24423660

  15. Separate effects of macronutrient concentration and balance on plastic gut responses in locusts.

    PubMed

    Raubenheimer, David; Bassil, Kate

    2007-11-01

    It is well established that animal guts are phenotypically plastic, adjusting inter-alia to diet quality. However, the relative contributions due to the two principal dimensions of diet "quality"--nutrient concentration and nutrient balance--remain to be teased apart. We report an experiment using synthetic foods in which the balance and overall concentration (in relation to indigestible cellulose) of protein and digestible carbohydrate were varied orthogonally, and the effects on the dry mass of locust guts measured. There were three principal results: (1) larger guts were associated with dilute compared with concentrated diets, suggesting a compensatory response to ameliorate the impact of reduced diet quality; (2) there was, by contrast, an anti-compensatory response to nutrient imbalance, where larger guts were associated with surplus protein intake; (3) the experimental group given the food that contained low protein and low cellulose, the composition that predicted the smallest guts, showed a bimodal response in which half of the insects had guts that were larger than expected for their cellulose intake, suggesting that they were able to respond to a protein-related cue in the absence of significant dietary fibre. We discuss these results in relation to regulatory theory. PMID:17628805

  16. Protein mediated cholesterol absorption in locusts Schistocerca gregaria (Forskal) and Locusta migratoria (Linn).

    PubMed

    Upadhyay, Ravi Kant; Agarwal, H C; Dhar, Ravi

    2002-02-01

    Absorption and transport of 3H cholesterol from the midgut to hemolymph and other tissues was studied in the locusts Schistocerca gregaria and Locusta migratoria. S. gregaria are able to absorb dietary cholesterol in the midgut and release into the hemolymph in vivo and into the incubation medium in virto. Certain proteins of midgut origin are involved in the absorption and release of cholesterol. The proteins designated as cholesterol binding proteins (CBP's) were fractionated by gel filtration chromatography using Sepharose CL-6B-200 column. Presence of a protein and its binding with cholesterol is confirmed by TCA precipitation after subsequent incubation of midgut in the incubation medium. Cholesterol binding with the proteins was also confirmed in native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Biosynthesis of this protein takes place in the midgut which is inhibited by a protein synthesis inhibitor, cycloheximide. It also inhibits absorption and release of cholesterol from the midgut. The cholesterol binding activity was associated with a peak containing proteins ranging from molecular weights of 17-32 kDa in SDS-PAGE gels. Treatment of midgut with cycloheximide resulted in reduced cholesterol binding activity. Dilipidation of mucin and transport in presence of bile salts yielded a higher cholesterol binding activity. Although the absorption and release of cholesterol was observed in the hemolymph of both sexes, the ovary exhibited higher cholesterol binding as compared to testis. PMID:12622177

  17. Biosynthesis of locust lipophorin. Apolipophorins I and II originate from a common precursor.

    PubMed

    Weers, P M; Van Marrewijk, W J; Beenakkers, A M; Van der Horst, D J

    1993-02-25

    Biosynthesis of apolipophorins of high density lipophorin of the locust Locusta migratoria was studied in vitro. Analysis of immunoprecipitates from homogenates of in vitro labeled fat body revealed a common precursor for apolipophorin I (apoLp-I, M(r) 220,000) and apolipophorin II (apoLp-II, M(r) 72,000) with a molecular mass of approximately 280 kDa. Pulsechase experiments showed that this high molecular mass precursor is cleaved into apoLp-I and apoLp-II which subsequently are secreted as high density lipophorin from the fat body. The time required for the complete synthesis and secretion was estimated to be approximately 35 min. Both apolipophorins are glycoproteins as demonstrated by the incorporation of [3H]mannose. Treatment of [3H]mannose-labeled apolipophorin with endoglycosidase H resulted in the complete removal of the incorporated [3H]mannose. Endoglycosidase H treatment of [3H]leucine-labeled apolipophorins caused a reduction in molecular mass of approximately 3 kDa for apoLp-I and 3.5 kDa for apoLp-II, suggesting the N-linked carbohydrate content to be 1-2 and 5%, respectively. Incubation of fat body tissue in the presence of low concentrations of tunicamycin led to the synthesis and release of nonglycosylated apolipophorins. PMID:8440714

  18. Dendritic projections of different types of octopaminergic unpaired median neurons in the locust metathoracic ganglion.

    PubMed

    Kononenko, Natalia L; Pflüger, Hans-Joachim

    2007-10-01

    Octopaminergic dorsal unpaired median (DUM) neurons of locust thoracic ganglia are important components of motor networks and are divided into various sub-populations. We have examined individually stained metathoracic DUM neurons, their dendritic projection patterns, and their relationship to specific architectural features of the metathoracic ganglion, such as longitudinal tracts, transverse commissures, and well-defined sensory neuropils. The detailed branching patterns of individually characterized DUM neurons of various types were analyzed in vibratome sections in which architectural features were revealed by using antibodies against tubulin and synapsin. Whereas DUM3,4,5 and DUM5 neurons (the group innervating leg and "non-wing-power" muscles) had many ventral and dorsal branches, DUM1 and DUM3,4 neurons (innervating "wing-power" muscles) branched extensively only in dorsal areas. The structure of DUM3 neurons differed markedly from that of the other DUM neurons examined in that they sent branches into dorsal areas and had differently structured side branches that mostly extended laterally. The differences between the branching patterns of these neurons were quantified by using currently available new reconstruction algorithms. These structural differences between the various classes of DUM neurons corresponded to differences in their function and biophysical properties. PMID:17505844

  19. Central generation of grooming motor patterns and interlimb coordination in locusts.

    PubMed

    Berkowitz, A; Laurent, G

    1996-12-15

    Coordinated bursts of leg motoneuron activity were evoked in locusts with deefferented legs by tactile stimulation of sites that evoke grooming behavior. This suggests that insect thoracic ganglia contain central pattern generators for directed leg movements. Motoneuron recordings were made from metathoracic and mesothoracic nerves, after eliminating all leg motor innervation, as well as all input from the brain, subesophageal ganglion, and prothoracic ganglion. Strong, brief trochanteral levator motoneuron bursts occurred, together with silence of the slow and fast trochanteral depressor motoneurons and activation of the common inhibitor motoneuron. The metathoracic slow tibial extensor motoneuron was active in a pattern distinct from its activity during walking or during rhythms evoked by the muscarinic agonist pilocarpine. Preparations in which the metathoracic ganglion was isolated from all other ganglia could still produce fictive motor patterns in response to tactile stimulation of metathoracic locations. Bursts of trochanteral levator and depressor motoneurons were clearly coordinated between the left and right metathoracic hemiganglia and also between the mesothoracic and the ipsilateral metathoracic ganglia. These data provide clear evidence for centrally generated interlimb coordination in an insect.

  20. Water adsorption isotherms of carboxymethyl cellulose, guar, locust bean, tragacanth and xanthan gums.

    PubMed

    Torres, María D; Moreira, Ramón; Chenlo, Francisco; Vázquez, María J

    2012-06-20

    Water adsorption isotherms of carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC), guar gum (GG), locust bean gum (LBG), tragacanth gum (TG) and xanthan gum (XG) were determined at different temperatures (20, 35, 50, and 65°C) using a gravimetric method. Several saturated salt solutions were selected to obtain different water activities in the range from 0.09 to 0.91. Water adsorption isotherms of tested hydrocolloids were classified like type II isotherms. In all cases, equilibrium moisture content decreased with increasing temperature at each water activity value. Three-parameter Guggenheim-Anderson-de Boer (GAB) model was employed to fit the experimental data in the water activity range and statistical analysis indicated that this model gave satisfactory results. CMC and GG were the most and the least hygroscopic gums, respectively. Sorption heats decreased with increasing moisture content. Monolayer moisture content evaluated with GAB model was consistent with equilibrium conditions of maximum stability calculated from thermodynamic analysis of net integral entropy. Values of equilibrium relative humidity at 20°C are proposed to storage adequately the tested gums.

  1. Differential activation of serotonergic neurons during short- and long-term gregarization of desert locusts

    PubMed Central

    Rogers, Stephen M.; Ott, Swidbert R.

    2015-01-01

    Serotonin is a neurochemical with evolutionarily conserved roles in orchestrating nervous system function and behavioural plasticity. A dramatic example is the rapid transformation of desert locusts from cryptic asocial animals into gregarious crop pests that occurs when drought forces them to accumulate on dwindling resources, triggering a profound alteration of behaviour within just a few hours. The onset of crowding induces a surge in serotonin within their thoracic ganglia that is sufficient and necessary to induce the switch from solitarious to gregarious behaviour. To identify the neurons responsible, we have analysed how acute exposure to three gregarizing stimuli—crowding, touching the hind legs or seeing and smelling other locusts—and prolonged group living affect the expression of serotonin in individual neurons in the thoracic ganglia. Quantitative analysis of cell body immunofluorescence revealed three classes of neurons with distinct expressional responses. All ganglia contained neurons that responded to multiple gregarizing stimuli with increased expression. A second class showed increased expression only in response to intense visual and olfactory stimuli from conspecifics. Prolonged group living affected a third and entirely different set of neurons, revealing a two-tiered role of the serotonergic system as both initiator and substrate of socially induced plasticity. This demonstrates the critical importance of ontogenetic time for understanding the function of serotonin in the reorganization of behaviour. PMID:25520357

  2. Cold tolerance of first-instar nymphs of the Australian plague locust, Chortoicetes terminifera.

    PubMed

    Woodman, James D

    2010-04-01

    The cold tolerance of first-instar nymphs of the Australian plague locust, Chortoicetes terminifera, was examined using measures of total body water content, supercooling point and mortality for a range of sub-zero temperature exposure regimes. The supercooling points for starved and fed nymphs were -13.1+/-0.9 and -12.6+/-1.6 degrees C, and freezing caused complete mortality. Above these temperatures, nymphs were cold tolerant to different degrees based on whether they were starved or given access to food and water for 24h prior to exposure. The rate of cooling also had a significant effect on mortality. Very rapid cooling to -7 degrees C caused 84 and 87% mortality for starved and fed nymphs respectively, but this significantly decreased for starved nymphs if temperature declined by more ecologically realistic rates of 0.5 and 0.1 degrees C min(-1). These results are indicative of a rapid cold hardening response and are discussed in terms of the likely effects of cold nights and frost on first-instar nymphal survival in the field.

  3. Phytohormone and assimilate profiles in emasculated flowers of the black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) during development.

    PubMed

    Sun, Peng; Yuan, Cunquan; Dai, Li; Xi, Yang; Li, Yunfei; Hu, Ruiyang; Sun, Yuhan; Xu, Zhaohe; Li, Yun

    2013-09-01

    Emasculation and bagging of flowers, which are widely used in the controlled pollination of monoclinous plants, may induce premature senescence, flower abscission and low fruit set. To determine the mechanism responsible for these phenomena, levels of abscisic acid (ABA), jasmonic acid (JA), indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), ethylene, soluble sugars, reducing sugars and free amino acids in black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) flowers subjected to different treatments were quantified at different developmental stages. The phytohormones and assimilates were also quantified in untreated flowers to investigate the presence of discernible patterns. The levels of ethylene and ABA in emasculated and bagged (EB) flowers increased prematurely compared with those of untreated flowers, whereas the content of reducing sugars in EB flowers decreased compared with that of untreated flowers. These results indicated that the premature increase in ethylene and ABA synthesis, and the decrease in reducing sugars content, in EB flowers may cause flower abscission and result in low fruit set, which may be relevant for assimilate applications and future research on the regulation of controlled pollinations with exogenous phytohormones.

  4. A test of the oxidative damage hypothesis for discontinuous gas exchange in the locust Locusta migratoria

    PubMed Central

    Matthews, Philip G. D.; Snelling, Edward P.; Seymour, Roger S.; White, Craig R.

    2012-01-01

    The discontinuous gas exchange cycle (DGC) is a breathing pattern displayed by many insects, characterized by periodic breath-holding and intermittently low tracheal O2 levels. It has been hypothesized that the adaptive value of DGCs is to reduce oxidative damage, with low tracheal O2 partial pressures (PO2 ∼2–5 kPa) occurring to reduce the production of oxygen free radicals. If this is so, insects displaying DGCs should continue to actively defend a low tracheal PO2 even when breathing higher than atmospheric levels of oxygen (hyperoxia). This behaviour has been observed in moth pupae exposed to ambient PO2 up to 50 kPa. To test this observation in adult insects, we implanted fibre-optic oxygen optodes within the tracheal systems of adult migratory locusts Locusta migratoria exposed to normoxia, hypoxia and hyperoxia. In normoxic and hypoxic atmospheres, the minimum tracheal PO2 that occurred during DGCs varied between 3.4 and 1.2 kPa. In hyperoxia up to 40.5 kPa, the minimum tracheal PO2 achieved during a DGC exceeded 30 kPa, increasing with ambient levels. These results are consistent with a respiratory control mechanism that functions to satisfy O2 requirements by maintaining PO2 above a critical level, not defend against high levels of O2. PMID:22491761

  5. Phytohormone and assimilate profiles in emasculated flowers of the black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) during development.

    PubMed

    Sun, Peng; Yuan, Cunquan; Dai, Li; Xi, Yang; Li, Yunfei; Hu, Ruiyang; Sun, Yuhan; Xu, Zhaohe; Li, Yun

    2013-09-01

    Emasculation and bagging of flowers, which are widely used in the controlled pollination of monoclinous plants, may induce premature senescence, flower abscission and low fruit set. To determine the mechanism responsible for these phenomena, levels of abscisic acid (ABA), jasmonic acid (JA), indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), ethylene, soluble sugars, reducing sugars and free amino acids in black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) flowers subjected to different treatments were quantified at different developmental stages. The phytohormones and assimilates were also quantified in untreated flowers to investigate the presence of discernible patterns. The levels of ethylene and ABA in emasculated and bagged (EB) flowers increased prematurely compared with those of untreated flowers, whereas the content of reducing sugars in EB flowers decreased compared with that of untreated flowers. These results indicated that the premature increase in ethylene and ABA synthesis, and the decrease in reducing sugars content, in EB flowers may cause flower abscission and result in low fruit set, which may be relevant for assimilate applications and future research on the regulation of controlled pollinations with exogenous phytohormones. PMID:24013897

  6. Haemocyanin is essential for embryonic development and survival in the migratory locust.

    PubMed

    Chen, B; Ma, R; Ma, G; Guo, X; Tong, X; Tang, G; Kang, L

    2015-10-01

    Haemocyanins are commonly known as copper-containing oxygen carriers within the haemolymph of arthropods, and have been found in many orders of insects. However, it remains unresolved why haemocyanins persist in insects that possess elaborate tracheal systems for oxygen diffusion to cells. Here we identified haemocyanins in the migratory locust Locusta migratoria that consists of two distinct subunits, Hc1 and Hc2. Genomic sequence analysis indicated that Hc1 and Hc2 have four and three gene copies, respectively, which may have evolved via gene duplication followed by divergent evolution of introns. The two subunits exhibit abundant and embryonic-specific expression at the mRNA and protein level; their expression peaks in the mid-term embryo and is not detectable in the late nymphal and adult stages. A larger proportion of the haemocyanins is present in the yolk compared with that in the embryo. Immunostaining shows that haemocyanins in the embryo are mainly expressed in the epidermis. Knockdown of Hc1 and Hc2 results in significant embryonic developmental delay and abnormality as well as reduced egg hatchability, ie the proportion of hatched eggs. These results reveal a previously unappreciated and fundamental role for haemocyanins in embryonic development and survival in insects, probably involving the exchange of molecules (eg O2 ) between the embryo and its environment. PMID:26010377

  7. Transient dynamics versus fixed points in odor representations by locust antennal lobe projection neurons.

    PubMed

    Mazor, Ofer; Laurent, Gilles

    2005-11-23

    Projection neurons (PNs) in the locust antennal lobe exhibit odor-specific dynamic responses. We studied a PN population, stimulated with five odorants and pulse durations between 0.3 and 10 s. Odor representations were characterized as time series of vectors of PN activity, constructed from the firing rates of all PNs in successive 50 ms time bins. Odor representations by the PN population can be described as trajectories in PN state space with three main phases: an on transient, lasting 1-2 s; a fixed point, stable for at least 8 s; and an off transient, lasting a few seconds as activity returns to baseline. Whereas all three phases are odor specific, optimal stimulus separation occurred during the transients rather than the fixed points. In addition, the PNs' own target neurons respond least when their PN-population input stabilized at a fixed point. Steady-state measures of activity thus seem inappropriate to understand the neural code in this system.

  8. A temperature rise reduces trial-to-trial variability of locust auditory neuron responses

    PubMed Central

    Schleimer, Jan-Hendrik; Schreiber, Susanne; Ronacher, Bernhard

    2015-01-01

    The neurophysiology of ectothermic animals, such as insects, is affected by environmental temperature, as their body temperature fluctuates with ambient conditions. Changes in temperature alter properties of neurons and, consequently, have an impact on the processing of information. Nevertheless, nervous system function is often maintained over a broad temperature range, exhibiting a surprising robustness to variations in temperature. A special problem arises for acoustically communicating insects, as in these animals mate recognition and mate localization typically rely on the decoding of fast amplitude modulations in calling and courtship songs. In the auditory periphery, however, temporal resolution is constrained by intrinsic neuronal noise. Such noise predominantly arises from the stochasticity of ion channel gating and potentially impairs the processing of sensory signals. On the basis of intracellular recordings of locust auditory neurons, we show that intrinsic neuronal variability on the level of spikes is reduced with increasing temperature. We use a detailed mathematical model including stochastic ion channel gating to shed light on the underlying biophysical mechanisms in auditory receptor neurons: because of a redistribution of channel-induced current noise toward higher frequencies and specifics of the temperature dependence of the membrane impedance, membrane potential noise is indeed reduced at higher temperatures. This finding holds under generic conditions and physiologically plausible assumptions on the temperature dependence of the channels' kinetics and peak conductances. We demonstrate that the identified mechanism also can explain the experimentally observed reduction of spike timing variability at higher temperatures. PMID:26041833

  9. Digital particle image velocimetry measurements of the downwash distribution of a desert locust Schistocerca gregaria.

    PubMed

    Bomphrey, Richard J; Taylor, Graham K; Lawson, Nicholas J; Thomas, Adrian L R

    2006-04-22

    Actuator disc models of insect flight are concerned solely with the rate of momentum transfer to the air that passes through the disc. These simple models assume that an even pressure is applied across the disc, resulting in a uniform downwash distribution. However, a correction factor, k, is often included to correct for the difference in efficiency between the assumed even downwash distribution, and the real downwash distribution. In the absence of any empirical measurements of the downwash distribution behind a real insect, the values of k used in the literature have been necessarily speculative. Direct measurement of this efficiency factor is now possible, and could be used to compare the relative efficiencies of insect flight across the Class. Here, we use Digital Particle Image Velocimetry to measure the instantaneous downwash distribution, mid-downstroke, of a tethered desert locust (Schistocerca gregaria). By integrating the downwash distribution, we are thereby able to provide the first direct empirical measurement of k for an insect. The measured value of k = 1.12 corresponds reasonably well with that predicted by previous theoretical studies.

  10. Impact of gelation period on modified locust bean-alginate interpenetrating beads for oral glipizide delivery.

    PubMed

    Dey, Paramita; Sa, Biswanath; Maiti, Sabyasachi

    2015-05-01

    In this work, the effect of hydrogelation period in the design of glipizide-loaded biopolymer-based interpenetrating network (IPN) beads was investigated. Carboxymethyl locust bean gum and sodium alginate IPN beads were prepared by ionic crosslinking method using aqueous aluminium chloride salt solution as gelation medium. The longer exposure of the IPN beads in the gelation medium caused a considerable loss of the drug (∼ 8%), and also affected their surface morphology and drug release performance. Spherical shape of the IPN beads was observed under scanning electron microscope (SEM). The diameter of IPN beads increased with increasing gelation time. The IPNs cured for 0.5h exhibited slower drug release kinetics in HCl (pH 1.2) and phosphate buffer (pH 7.4) solution than those incubated for 1-2h. The drug release occurred at a faster rate in phosphate buffer solution and continued for a minimum period of 8h. The IPNs cured for the lowest period obeyed polymer chain-relaxation phenomenon as dominating mechanism for drug release. However, all the IPNs followed anomalous mechanism of drug transport. The drug release corroborated well with pH-dependent swelling behaviors of the IPNs. Thus, IPN beads cured for 0.5h were found most suitable for controlled delivery of BCS class II anti-diabetic drug glipizide. PMID:25745842

  11. Locust bean gum in the development of sustained release mucoadhesive macromolecules of aceclofenac.

    PubMed

    Prajapati, Vipul D; Jani, Girish K; Moradiya, Naresh G; Randeria, Narayan P; Maheriya, Pankaj M; Nagar, Bhanu J

    2014-11-26

    The study shows the development and optimization of locust bean gum (LBG)-alginate mucoadhesive macromolecules containing aceclofenac through ionotropic-gelation using 3(2) factorial design. The effect of amount of LBG and sodium alginate on drug entrapment efficiency (%DEE), % mucoadhesion at 8h (M8) and % in vitro drug release at 10h (%Q10h) were optimized. The percentage yield, average size and DEE of macromolecules were found within the range of 93.19 to 96.65%, 1.328 ± 0.11 to 1.428 ± 0.13 μm, and 56.37 to 68.54%, respectively. The macromolecules were also characterized by SEM, FTIR and DSC. The in vitro drug release from these macromolecules (84.95 ± 2.02 to 95.33 ± 1.56% at 10h) exhibited sustained release (first-order) pattern with super case-II transport mechanism. The swelling and mucoadhesivity of these macromolecules were affected by pH of the medium. The design established the role of derived polynomial equations and plots in predicting the values of dependent variables for the preparation and optimization. PMID:25256468

  12. Optimization of reaction conditions by RSM and structure characterization of sulfated locust bean gum.

    PubMed

    Wang, Junlong; Yang, Ting; Tian, Jia; Liu, Wenxi; Jing, Fan; Yao, Jian; Zhang, Ji; Lei, Ziqiang

    2014-12-19

    Sulfated derivatives of galactomannan from locust bean gum (LBG) with the degree of substitution (DS) of 0.34-1.07 were synthesized using chlorosulfonic acid/pyridine (CSA/Py) method. Box-Behnken design (BBD) of response surface methodology (RSM) was employed to optimize the reaction conditions. Results of FT-IR and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) indicated that SO3H groups were widely present in sulfated LBG (SLBG). (13)C NMR result revealed that sulfation had occurred and C-6 substitution was predominant in SLBG. All sulfated samples showed a decrease in Mw and more broad molar mass distribution in size exclusion chromatography combined with laser light scattering (SEC-LLS) analysis. Results of MW - [Formula: see text] showed a decrease in fractal dimension (df) value. Laser light scattering results also showed a conformation transition from a compact chain conformation of branched clusters to a random coil conformation of SLBG. Compared to LBG and SLBG with low DS and molecular weight, SLBG2 exhibited an internal structure of random coil with a DS of 1.07. DS and molecular weight had great influence on its conformation in aqueous solution. Our results confirmed that the degradation of polysaccharide and SO3H groups improved significantly the stiffness of the chains due to the electrostatic effect. PMID:25263904

  13. Alginate beads of Captopril using galactomannan containing Senna tora gum, guar gum and locust bean gum.

    PubMed

    Pawar, Harshal A; Lalitha, K G; Ruckmani, K

    2015-05-01

    Gastro-retentive Captopril loaded alginate beads were prepared by an ionotropic gelation method using sodium alginate in combination with natural gums containing galactomannans (Senna tora seed gum, guar gum and locust bean gum) in the presence of calcium chloride. The process variables such as concentration of sodium alginate/natural polymer, concentration of calcium chloride, curing time, stirring speed and drying condition were optimized. Prepared beads were evaluated for various parameters such as flow property, drug content and entrapment efficiency, size and shape, and swelling index. Surface morphology of the beads was studied using scanning electron microscopy. In vitro mucoadhesion and in vitro drug release studies were carried out on the prepared beads. From the entrapment efficiency and dissolution study, it was concluded that galactomannans in combination with sodium alginate show sustained release property. The bead formulation F4 prepared using combination of sodium alginate and guar gums in the ratio 2:1 showed satisfactory sustained release for 12h. The release of Captopril from the prepared beads was found to be controlled by the swelling of the polymer followed by drug diffusion through the swelled polymer and slow erosion of the beads. PMID:25720832

  14. A test of the oxidative damage hypothesis for discontinuous gas exchange in the locust Locusta migratoria.

    PubMed

    Matthews, Philip G D; Snelling, Edward P; Seymour, Roger S; White, Craig R

    2012-08-23

    The discontinuous gas exchange cycle (DGC) is a breathing pattern displayed by many insects, characterized by periodic breath-holding and intermittently low tracheal O(2) levels. It has been hypothesized that the adaptive value of DGCs is to reduce oxidative damage, with low tracheal O(2) partial pressures (PO(2) ≈ 2-5 kPa) occurring to reduce the production of oxygen free radicals. If this is so, insects displaying DGCs should continue to actively defend a low tracheal PO(2) even when breathing higher than atmospheric levels of oxygen (hyperoxia). This behaviour has been observed in moth pupae exposed to ambient PO(2) up to 50 kPa. To test this observation in adult insects, we implanted fibre-optic oxygen optodes within the tracheal systems of adult migratory locusts Locusta migratoria exposed to normoxia, hypoxia and hyperoxia. In normoxic and hypoxic atmospheres, the minimum tracheal PO(2) that occurred during DGCs varied between 3.4 and 1.2 kPa. In hyperoxia up to 40.5 kPa, the minimum tracheal PO(2) achieved during a DGC exceeded 30 kPa, increasing with ambient levels. These results are consistent with a respiratory control mechanism that functions to satisfy O(2) requirements by maintaining PO(2) above a critical level, not defend against high levels of O(2). PMID:22491761

  15. Respiratory dynamics of discontinuous gas exchange in the tracheal system of the desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria.

    PubMed

    Groenewald, Berlizé; Hetz, Stefan K; Chown, Steven L; Terblanche, John S

    2012-07-01

    Gas exchange dynamics in insects is of fundamental importance to understanding evolved variation in breathing patterns, such as discontinuous gas exchange cycles (DGCs). Most insects do not rely solely on diffusion for the exchange of respiratory gases but may also make use of respiratory movements (active ventilation) to supplement gas exchange at rest. However, their temporal dynamics have not been widely investigated. Here, intratracheal pressure, V(CO2) and body movements of the desert locust Schistocerca gregaria were measured simultaneously during the DGC and revealed several important aspects of gas exchange dynamics. First, S. gregaria employs two different ventilatory strategies, one involving dorso-ventral contractions and the other longitudinal telescoping movements. Second, although a true spiracular closed (C)-phase of the DGC could be identified by means of subatmospheric intratracheal pressure recordings, some CO(2) continued to be released. Third, strong pumping actions do not necessarily lead to CO(2) release and could be used to ensure mixing of gases in the closed tracheal system, or enhance water vapour reabsorption into the haemolymph from fluid-filled tracheole tips by increasing the hydrostatic pressure or forcing fluid into the haemocoel. Finally, this work showed that the C-phase of the DGC can occur at any pressure. These results provide further insights into the mechanistic basis of insect gas exchange. PMID:22675191

  16. Giant magnetostrictive composites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duenas, Terrisa Ann

    The limitation of magnetostrictive composites has been in their low magnetostrictive response when compared to their monolithic counterparts. In this dissertation research is presented describing the methods and analysis used to create a giant magnetostrictive composite (GMC) producing giant strains at low fields, exhibiting magnetization ``jumping'' and the ΔE effect. This composite combines the giant magnetostrictive material, Terfenol-D (Tb0.3Dy0.7Fe2) in particle form, with a nonmetallic binder and is capable of producing strains (at room temperature) exceeding 1000 ppm at a nominal field of 1.5 kOe mechanically unloaded and 1200 ppm at 8 MPa preload (2.5 kOe). Several studies leading to the high response of this composite are presented. A connectivity study shows that a [1-3] connected composite produces 50% more strain than a [0-3] composite. A resin study indicates that the lower the viscosity of the resin, the greater the magnetostrictive response; this is attributed to the removal of voids during degassing. A void study correlates the increase in voids to the decrease in strain response. A model is used to correlate analysis with experimental results within 10% accuracy and shows that an optimal volume fraction exists based on the properties of the binder. Using a Polyscience Spurr low- viscosity (60 cps) binder this volume fraction is nominally 20%; this optimum is attributed to the balance of epoxy contracting on the particle (built-in preload) and the actuation delivered by the magnetostrictive material. In addition to the connectivity, resin, void, and volume-fraction study, particle size and gradation studies are presented. Widely dispersed (<106, <212, <300 μm), narrowly dispersed (<45, (90-106), (275-300) μm), and an optimized bimodal (18.7% of (45-90) μm with 81.3% of (250-300) μm) particle distributions are studied. Results show that the larger the particle size, the higher the magnetostrictive response; this is attributed to the reduction of

  17. Giant vesicles: preparations and applications.

    PubMed

    Walde, Peter; Cosentino, Katia; Engel, Helen; Stano, Pasquale

    2010-05-01

    There is considerable interest in preparing cell-sized giant unilamellar vesicles from natural or nonnatural amphiphiles because a giant vesicle membrane resembles the self-closed lipid matrix of the plasma membrane of all biological cells. Currently, giant vesicles are applied to investigate certain aspects of biomembranes. Examples include lateral lipid heterogeneities, membrane budding and fission, activities of reconstituted membrane proteins, or membrane permeabilization caused by added chemical compounds. One of the challenging applications of giant vesicles include gene expressions inside the vesicles with the ultimate goal of constructing a dynamic artificial cell-like system that is endowed with all those essential features of living cells that distinguish them from the nonliving form of matter. Although this goal still seems to be far away and currently difficult to reach, it is expected that progress in this and other fields of giant vesicle research strongly depend on whether reliable methods for the reproducible preparation of giant vesicles are available. The key concepts of currently known methods for preparing giant unilamellar vesicles are summarized, and advantages and disadvantages of the main methods are compared and critically discussed. PMID:20336703

  18. Effect of locust bean/xanthan gum addition and replacement of pork fat with olive oil on the quality characteristics of low-fat frankfurters.

    PubMed

    Lurueña-Martínez, M A; Vivar-Quintana, A M; Revilla, I

    2004-11-01

    The effects of reducing fat level from 20% to 12% and 9%, substituting pork fat with olive oil and adding locust bean/xanthan gum (0.5% and 0.6%) on emulsion stability, jelly and fat separation, processing yield, cook loss, texture and sensory characteristics of frankfurters were investigated and compared with control samples. Addition of locust bean/xanthan gum produced a significant increase in hydration/binding properties, characterised by lower cook losses, increasing yield, better emulsion stability and lower jelly and fat separation. The substitution of pork fat by olive oil did not affect these parameters. Indeed, results showed that reducing fat levels together with increasing moisture and locust bean/xanthan gum addition do not affect the sensory or textural properties, but olive oil addition produces a decrease in hardness and an increase in adhesiveness, however the overall acceptability was not affected.

  19. [Giant adrenal myelolipoma].

    PubMed

    El Mejjad, Amine; Fekak, Hamid; Dakir, Mohamed; Sarf, Ismail; Manni, Ahmed; Meziane, Fethi

    2004-02-01

    Adrenal myelolipoma is a rare, benign, non-secreting tumour composed of adipose and haematopoietic tissue. The authors report a rare case of giant adrenal myelolipoma in a 53-year-old patient presenting with low back pain and a palpable flank mass on examination. CT scan suggested the diagnosis and surgical resection was indicated in view of the size and symptomatic nature of this mass. Histological examination confirmed the diagnosis. The outcome was favourable without recurrence after a follow-up of one year. The diagnosis of adrenal myelolipoma is based on radiology. Conservative management is generally sufficient for small asymptomatic tumours, but resection is required for large (> 5 cm) and/or symptomatic tumours.

  20. Two giant stellar complexes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Efremov, Yu. N.; Efremov, E. Yu.

    Common star complexes are huge (0.3-1 kpc in diameter) groups of relatively young stars, associations and clusters. The complexes usually form regular chains along spiral arms of grand design galaxies, being evidently formed and supported by magneto- gravitational instability developing along an arm. Special attention is given to a few large complexes which have signatures of gravitational boundness, such as round shape and high central density. Concentrations of stars and clusters in such a complex in M51 galaxy were found in this paper; we concluded it is possible to suggest that the complex is gravitationally bound. It is also stressed that some properties of the giant complex in NGC 6946 (such as its semicircular and sharp Western edge) are still enigmatic.

  1. [Changes of Soil Organic Carbon and Its Influencing Factors of Apple Orchards and Black Locusts in the Small Watershed of Loess Plateau, China].

    PubMed

    Li, Ru-jian; Wang, Rui; Li, Na-na; Jiang, Ji-shao; Zhang, Yan-jun; Wang, Zhi-qi; Liu, Qing-fang; Wu, De-feng; Guo, Sheng-li

    2015-07-01

    Orchard and black locust are two typical plants for comprehensive control in the small watershed of land uses in Loess area. The analysis of soil carbon sequestration function changes of growing two plants is important to gain a deep understanding of soil carbon cycle process and its influencing factors of terrestrial ecosystems under the condition of small watershed comprehensive control. The experiment was conducted in the Changwu State Key Agro-Ecological Station, Shanxi, China. SOC, TN, fine root biomass and litter amount were determined at different age apple orchards and black locusts on the slope land of Wangdonggou watershed to study the variation characteristics of soil organic carbon and its influencing factors under two measurements. The results showed that: (1) SOC and TN contents in apple orchards significantly decreased with the increased age, whereas those in black locust showed an increased tendency with the age increased. Compared with the adjacent cropland,the SOC and TN contents in year 3, year 8, year 12 and year 18 apple orchards were decreased 3. 26%, 10. 54%, 18. 08%, 22. 55% and - 8. 08%, - 0. 48%, 4. 97%, 16. 91%, respectively. However,SOC and TN contents increased 5. 31%, 32. 36%, 44. 13% and 2. 49%, 15. 75%, 24. 22%, in year 12, year 18 and year 25 black locusts, respectively. (2) The fine root biomass in year 3, year 8, year 12, and year 18 apple orchards were about 25. 97% 66. 23%, 85. 71% and 96. 10% of the adjacent cropland, respectively; and the litter amounts were all 0 g . m-2. However, compared with adjacent cropland, The fine root biomass in year 12, year 18 and year 25 black locusts were increased 23. 53%, 79. 41%, 157. 35%, respectively; and the litter input rates were 194, 298 , 433 g . (m2 . a) -1, respectively. (3) The difference of organic matter input was the major factor which drove the variability of soil carbon sequestration function of apple orchard and black locust ecosystems.

  2. The contribution of the genomes of a termite and a locust to our understanding of insect neuropeptides and neurohormones

    PubMed Central

    Veenstra, Jan A.

    2014-01-01

    The genomes of the migratory locust Locusta migratoria and the termite Zootermopsis nevadensis were mined for the presence of genes encoding neuropeptides, neurohormones, and their G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs). Both species have retained a larger number of neuropeptide and neuropeptide GPCRs than the better known holometabolous insect species, while other genes that in holometabolous species appear to have a single transcript produce two different precursors in the locust, the termite or both. Thus, the recently discovered CNMa neuropeptide gene has two transcripts predicted to produce two structurally different CNMa peptides in the termite, while the locust produces two different myosuppressin peptides in the same fashion. Both these species also have a calcitonin gene, which is different from the gene encoding the calcitonin-like insect diuretic hormone. This gene produces two types of calcitonins, calcitonins A and B. It is also present in Lepidoptera and Coleoptera and some Diptera, but absent from mosquitoes and Drosophila. However, in holometabolous insect species, only the B transcript is produced. Their putative receptors were also identified. In contrast, Locusta has a highly unusual gene that codes for a salivation stimulatory peptide. The Locusta genes for neuroparsin and vasopressin are particularly interesting. The neuroparsin gene produces five different transcripts, of which only one codes for the neurohormone identified from the corpora cardiaca. The other four transcripts code for neuroparsin-like proteins, which lack four amino acid residues, and that for that reason we called neoneuroparsins. The number of transcripts for the neoneuroparsins is about 200 times larger than the number of neuroparsin transcripts. The first exon and the putative promoter of the vasopressin genes, of which there are about seven copies in the genome, is very well-conserved, but the remainder of these genes is not. The relevance of these findings is discussed

  3. Knockdown of the corazonin gene reveals its critical role in the control of gregarious characteristics in the desert locust.

    PubMed

    Sugahara, Ryohei; Saeki, Shinjiro; Jouraku, Akiya; Shiotsuki, Takahiro; Tanaka, Seiji

    2015-08-01

    The two plague locusts, Schistocerca gregaria and Locusta migratoria, exhibit density-dependent phase polyphenism. Nymphs occurring at low population densities (solitarious forms) are uniformly colored and match their body color to the background color of their habitat, whereas those occurring at high population densities (gregarious) develop black patterns. An injection of the neuropeptide, corazonin (Crz) has been shown to induce black patterns in locusts and affect the classical morphometric ratio, F/C (F, hind femur length; C, maximum head width). We herein identified and cloned the CRZ genes from S. gregaria (SgCRZ) and L. migratoria. A comparative analysis of prepro-Crz sequences among insects showed that the functional peptide was well conserved; its conservation was limited to the peptide region. Silencing of the identified SgCRZ gene in gregarious S. gregaria nymphs markedly lightened their body color and shifted the adult F/C ratio toward the value typical of solitarious forms. In addition, knockdown of the gene in solitarious nymphs strongly inhibited darkening even after a transfer to crowded conditions; however, these individuals developed black patterns after being injected with the Crz as a rescue treatment. SgCRZ was constitutively expressed in the brains of S. gregaria during nymphal development in both phases. This gene was highly expressed not only in the brain in both phases, but also in the corpora allata in the gregarious phase. This conspicuous phase-dependent difference in SgCRZ gene expression may indicate a functional role in the control of phase polyphenism in this locust. PMID:26092175

  4. Atmospheres of Extrasolar Giant Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Marley, Mark

    2006-01-01

    The next decade will almost certainly see the direct imaging of extrasolar giant planets around nearby stars. Unlike purely radial velocity detections, direct imaging will open the door to characterizing the atmosphere and interiors of extrasola planets and ultimately provide clues on their formation and evolution through time. This process has already begun for the transiting planets, placing new constraints on their atmospheric structure, composition, and evolution. Indeed the key to understanding giant planet detectability, interpreting spectra, and constraining effective temperature and hence evolution-is the atmosphere. I will review the universe of extrasolar giant planet models, focusing on what we have already learned from modeling and what we will likely be able to learn from the first generation of direct detection data. In addition to these theoretical considerations, I will review the observations and interpretation of the - transiting hot Jupiters. These objects provide a test of our ability to model exotic atmospheres and challenge our current understanding of giant planet evolution.

  5. Landscape of the lost giants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2013-09-01

    The Pleistocene megafauna extinction erased a group of remarkable animals. Whether humans had a prominent role in the extinction remains controversial, but it is emerging that the disappearance of the giants has markedly affected the environment.

  6. Pharma giants swap research programs.

    PubMed

    2014-07-01

    Pharmaceutical giants Novartis and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) agreed in late April to swap some assets, with Novartis handing off its vaccine business to GSK and getting most of the British company's cancer portfolio in return.

  7. A new approach for the synthesis of hyperbranched N-glycan core structures from locust bean gum.

    PubMed

    Ravi Kumar, H V; Naruchi, Kentaro; Miyoshi, Risho; Hinou, Hiroshi; Nishimura, Shin-Ichiro

    2013-12-20

    A novel protocol for the synthesis of general N-glycan core structures was established by means of Manβ(1→4)Man peracetate derived from a naturally abundant locust bean gum as a key starting material. Phenyl (2-O-benzyl-4,6-O-benzylidine-β-D-mannopyranosyl)-(1→4)-3,6-di-O-benzyl-2-azido-2-deoxy-1-thio-β-D-glucopyranoside facilitated the synthesis of key intermediates leading to hyperbranched N-glycan core structures.

  8. Rheological and kinetic study of the ultrasonic degradation of locust bean gum in aqueous saline and salt-free solutions.

    PubMed

    Li, Ruoshi; Feke, Donald L

    2015-11-01

    The ultrasonic degradation of locust bean gum (LBG) in aqueous solutions has been studied at 25°C for ultrasonication times up to 120 min. Although LBG is not a polyelectrolyte, the degradation extent and kinetics were found to be somewhat sensitive to the ionic conditions in solution, and this is attributed to changes in molecular conformation that can occur in different salt environments. Ultrasonic degradation was tracked by rheological measurements that lead to the determination of intrinsic viscosity for the LBG molecules. A kinetic model was also developed and successfully applied to characterize and predict the degradation results.

  9. Level II scour analysis for Bridge 28 (BRNATH00660028) on Town Highway 66, crossing Locust Creek, Barnard, Vermont

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Severence, Timothy

    1997-01-01

    The Town Highway 66 crossing of the Locust Creek is a 41-ft-long, one-lane bridge consisting of a 39 ft steel stringer type bridge with a concrete deck (Vermont Agency of Transportation, written communication, August 24, 1994). The clear span is 36.8 ft. The bridge is supported by vertical, concrete abutments with wingwalls. The upstream right wingwall is protected by stone fill. The channel is skewed approximately 10 degrees to the opening while the opening-skew-to-roadway is 0 degrees. Additional details describing conditions at the site are included in the Level II Summary and Appendices D and E.

  10. Rheological and kinetic study of the ultrasonic degradation of locust bean gum in aqueous saline and salt-free solutions.

    PubMed

    Li, Ruoshi; Feke, Donald L

    2015-11-01

    The ultrasonic degradation of locust bean gum (LBG) in aqueous solutions has been studied at 25°C for ultrasonication times up to 120 min. Although LBG is not a polyelectrolyte, the degradation extent and kinetics were found to be somewhat sensitive to the ionic conditions in solution, and this is attributed to changes in molecular conformation that can occur in different salt environments. Ultrasonic degradation was tracked by rheological measurements that lead to the determination of intrinsic viscosity for the LBG molecules. A kinetic model was also developed and successfully applied to characterize and predict the degradation results. PMID:26186852

  11. Transformation of polarized light information in the central complex of the locust.

    PubMed

    Heinze, Stanley; Gotthardt, Sascha; Homberg, Uwe

    2009-09-23

    Many insects perceive the E-vector orientation of polarized skylight and use it for compass navigation. In locusts, polarized light is detected by photoreceptors of the dorsal rim area of the eye. Polarized light signals from both eyes are integrated in the central complex (CC), a group of neuropils in the center of the brain. Thirteen types of CC neuron are sensitive to dorsally presented, polarized light (POL-neurons). These neurons interconnect the subdivisions of the CC, particularly the protocerebral bridge (PB), the upper and lower divisions of the central body (CBU, CBL), and the adjacent lateral accessory lobes (LALs). All POL-neurons show polarization-opponency, i.e., receive excitatory and inhibitory input at orthogonal E-vector orientations. To provide physiological evidence for the direction of information flow through the polarization vision network in the CC, we analyzed the functional properties of the different cell types through intracellular recordings. Tangential neurons of the CBL showed highest signal-to-noise ratio, received either ipsilateral polarized-light input only or, together with CL1 columnar neurons, had eccentric receptive fields. Bilateral polarized-light inputs with zenith-centered receptive fields were found in tangential neurons of the PB and in columnar neurons projecting to the LALs. Together with other physiological parameters, these data suggest a flow of information from the CBL (input) to the PB and from here to the LALs (output). This scheme is supported by anatomical data and suggests transformation of purely sensory E-vector coding at the CC input stage to position-invariant coding of 360 degrees -compass directions at the output stage.

  12. Cold tolerance of the Australian spur-throated locust, Austracris guttulosa.

    PubMed

    Woodman, James D

    2012-03-01

    The cold tolerance of overwintering adult Spur-throated locusts, Austracris guttulosa, was examined using measures of supercooling point relative to gender, environmental acclimation and feeding state as well as mortality for a range of sub-zero temperature exposure treatments. Freezing was lethal and supercooling points ranged from -6 to -12.8°C, but were statistically independent of fresh mass, body water content, acclimation, and/or gut content in fed and starved individuals. A significant interaction effect of gender and feeding status showed that the larger bodied females had decreased supercooling capacity with increased food material in the digestive tract. Post-freezing dissections revealed differences in the amount of freshly consumed and retained food material in the digestive tract between fed and starved individuals of each gender, which could explain this effect based on inoculation of ice crystallisation by food particles. Above supercooling temperatures, neither gender nor the rate of cooling had a significant effect on mortality. When cooled from 25°C at 0.1 or 0.5°Cmin(-1) to a range of experimental minimum temperatures held for 3h, survival was ~74% to -7°C, but declined sharply to ~37% when cooled to -8°C or lower. Although the laboratory experiments reported here suggest that A. guttulosa is not freeze tolerant and unable to rapidly cold harden, exposure to typical cold and frosty nights that very rarely reach below -8°C as a night minimum in the field would be unlikely to cause mortality in the vast majority of overwintering aggregations. PMID:22226821

  13. Novel etherified locust bean gum-alginate hydrogels for controlled release of glipizide.

    PubMed

    Dey, Paramita; Maiti, Sabyasachi; Sa, Biswanath

    2013-01-01

    On many occasions, homopolysaccharide hydrogel networks alone are not suitable for controlled drug delivery. In this study, interpenetrating networks (IPNs) of sodium alginate (ALG) and etherified locust bean gum (ELBG) were developed through ionotropic gelation with Al(3+) ions, tested for glipizide release, and were compared with homopolymer hydrogel networks. The degree of reticulation in IPNs was explained by the neutralization equivalent, tensile strength measurement, and drying kinetics of drug-free hydrogels. IPNs afforded a maximum of 94.40 ± 0.35% drug entrapment efficiency and exhibited slower drug release profiles up to 8 h. Al(3+)-ALG network almost completed the release of embedded drug in 3.5 h; however, the homopolymer Al(3+)-ELBG network discharged their content at a slow, uniform rate up to 8 h like the IPNs. All the networks appeared spherical under scanning electron microscope. In all cases, a faster drug release rate was assumed in phosphate buffer (pH 7.4) than in KCl/HCl buffer (pH 1.2) solution. The pH-responsive swelling of the beads was responsible for the variable drug release rate in different media. NonFickian diffusion mechanism was operative for the transport of drug from the IPNs. Moreover, IPNs gained appreciation for their better mechanical strength (63.79 ± 1.59 MPa) than Al(3+)-ELBG network. Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, differential scanning calorimetry, and X-ray diffraction analyses indicated a compatible environment for drug encapsualtion and release from the IPNs. The drug release curves of Al(3+)-ELBG and IPNs were found similar to a reference product. Hence, Al(3+)-ELBG and IPNs could be useful in controlling diabetes over longer periods.

  14. Selective actions of Lynx proteins on different nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the locust, Locusta migratoria manilensis.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xin; Bao, Haibo; Sun, Huahua; Zhang, Yixi; Fang, Jichao; Liu, Qinghong; Liu, Zewen

    2015-08-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are major neurotransmitter receptors and targets of neonicotinoid insecticides in the insect nervous system. The full function of nAChRs is often dependent on associated proteins, such as chaperones, regulators and modulators. Here, three Lynx (Ly-6/neurotoxin) proteins, Loc-lynx1, Loc-lynx2 and Loc-lynx3, were identified in the locust, Locusta migratoria manilensis. Co-expression with Lynx resulted in a dramatic increase in agonist-evoked macroscopic currents on nAChRs Locα1/β2 and Locα2/β2 in Xenopus oocytes, but no changes in agonist sensitivity. Loc-lynx1 and Loc-lynx3 only modulated nAChRs Locα1/β2 while Loc-lynx2 modulated Locα2/β2 specifically. Meanwhile, Loc-lynx1 induced a more significant increase in currents evoked by imidacloprid and epibatidine than Loc-lynx3, and the effects of Loc-lynx1 on imidacloprid and epibatidine were significantly higher than those on acetylcholine. Among three lynx proteins, only Loc-lynx1 significantly increased [(3) H]epibatidine binding on Locα1/β2. The results indicated that Loc-lynx1 had different modulation patterns in nAChRs compared to Loc-lynx2 and Loc-lynx3. Taken together, these findings indicated that three Lynx proteins were nAChR modulators and had selective activities in different nAChRs. Lynx proteins might display their selectivities from three aspects: nAChR subtypes, various agonists and different modulation patterns. Insect Lynx (Ly-6/neurotoxin) proteins act as the allosteric modulators on insect nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), the important targets of insecticides. We found that insect lynx proteins showed their selectivities from at least three aspects: nAChR subtypes, various agonists and different modulation patterns.

  15. Development and deposition of resilin in energy stores for locust jumping.

    PubMed

    Burrows, Malcolm

    2016-08-15

    Locusts jump by using a catapult mechanism in which energy produced by slow contractions of the extensor tibiae muscles of the hind legs is stored in distortions of the exoskeleton, most notably (1) the two semi-lunar processes at each knee joint and (2) the tendons of the extensor muscles themselves. The energy is then suddenly released from these stores to power the rapid, propulsive movements of the hind legs. The reliance on the mechanical storage of energy is likely to impact on jumping because growth occurs by a series of five moults, at each of which the exoskeleton is replaced by a new one. All developmental stages (instars) nevertheless jump as a means of forward locomotion, or as an escape movement. Here, I show that in each instar, resilin is added to the semi-lunar processes and to the core of the extensor tendons so that their thickness increases. As the next moult approaches, a new exoskeleton forms within the old one, with resilin already present in the new semi-lunar processes. The old exoskeleton, the tendons and their resilin are discarded at moulting. The resilin of the semi-lunar processes and tendons of the new instar is initially thin, but a similar pattern of deposition results in an increase of their thickness. In adults, resilin continues to be deposited so that at 4 weeks old the thickness in the semi-lunar processes has increased fourfold. These changes in the energy stores accompany changes in jumping ability and performance during each moulting cycle. PMID:27259374

  16. Cold tolerance of the Australian spur-throated locust, Austracris guttulosa.

    PubMed

    Woodman, James D

    2012-03-01

    The cold tolerance of overwintering adult Spur-throated locusts, Austracris guttulosa, was examined using measures of supercooling point relative to gender, environmental acclimation and feeding state as well as mortality for a range of sub-zero temperature exposure treatments. Freezing was lethal and supercooling points ranged from -6 to -12.8°C, but were statistically independent of fresh mass, body water content, acclimation, and/or gut content in fed and starved individuals. A significant interaction effect of gender and feeding status showed that the larger bodied females had decreased supercooling capacity with increased food material in the digestive tract. Post-freezing dissections revealed differences in the amount of freshly consumed and retained food material in the digestive tract between fed and starved individuals of each gender, which could explain this effect based on inoculation of ice crystallisation by food particles. Above supercooling temperatures, neither gender nor the rate of cooling had a significant effect on mortality. When cooled from 25°C at 0.1 or 0.5°Cmin(-1) to a range of experimental minimum temperatures held for 3h, survival was ~74% to -7°C, but declined sharply to ~37% when cooled to -8°C or lower. Although the laboratory experiments reported here suggest that A. guttulosa is not freeze tolerant and unable to rapidly cold harden, exposure to typical cold and frosty nights that very rarely reach below -8°C as a night minimum in the field would be unlikely to cause mortality in the vast majority of overwintering aggregations.

  17. Signal processing in a simple visual system: the locust ocellar system and its synapses.

    PubMed

    Simmons, Peter J

    2002-02-15

    The neurons with the widest axons that carry information into a locust brain belong to L-neurons, the large, second-order neurons of the ocelli. L-neurons play roles in flight control and boosting visual sensitivity. Their morphology is simple, and their axons convey graded potentials from the ocellus with little decrement to the brain, which makes them good subjects in which to study transmission of graded potentials. L-neurons are very sensitive to changes in light, due to an abnormally high gain in the sign inverting synapses they receive from photoreceptors. Adaptation ensures that L-neurons signal contrast in a light signal when average light intensity changes, and that their responses depend on the speed of change in light. Neurons L1-3 make excitatory output synapses with third-order neurons and with L4-5. These synapses transmit tonically, but are unable to convey hyperpolarising signals about large increases in light. Graded rebound spikes enhance depolarising responses. L1-3 also make reciprocal inhibitory synapses with each other and transmission at these decrements so rapidly that it normally requires a presynaptic spike. The resolution with which graded potentials can be transferred has been studied at the inhibitory synapses, and is limited by intrinsic variability in the mechanism that determines neurotransmitter release. Electron microscopy has shown that each excitatory connection made from an L-neuron to a postsynaptic partner consists of thousands of discrete synaptic contacts, in which individual dense-staining bars in the presynaptic neuron are associated with clouds of vesicles. Acetylcholine is likely to be a neurotransmitter released by L-neurons.

  18. Fluoride blocks an inactivation step of transduction in a locust photoreceptor

    PubMed Central

    Payne, Richard

    1982-01-01

    1. Photoreceptors in a superfused retina of a locust compound eye are treated with saline containing 10 mM-NaF, while their intracellular resting potential and responses are recorded using glass micropipettes. 2. Treatment for two minutes with 10 mM-NaF, followed by a series of brief, bright flashes of light, results in an irreversible, noisy depolarization of approximately 10 mV. The final, stable level of depolarization is reached through the summed effect of each of the noisy, depolarizing afterpotentials that follow every response of the cell to a light flash. If kept in darkness after treatment with NaF, the noisy depolarization still develops, but more gradually, over a period of 5 min. 3. The voltage noise induced by NaF mimics light-induced voltage noise when the two are compared at mean depolarizations of more than 15 mV. At very small depolarizations, however, fluoride-induced noise cannot be resolved into the large discrete events (bumps) that are typical of the response of a dark-adapted photoreceptor to a single photon. 4. The complete replacement of the superfusate sodium by choline reversibly reduces the fluoride-induced noise and depolarization to the same extent as it does the light-induced noise and depolarization of an illuminated cell. 5. Increasing the superfusate calcium concentration from 0·5 to 10 mM also reversibly reduces fluoride-induced noise and depolarization to the same extent as it does light-induced noise and depolarization. This action of calcium is accompanied by an increase in a cell's input resistance which opposes the reduction caused by light or fluoride treatment. 6. The results confirm the proposal (Payne, 1981) that anionic metabolic inhibitors cause spontaneous activity in sodium channels that are normally opened by light. A model is proposed in which fluoride acts by blocking the inactivation of a late stage in the transduction mechanism. PMID:6286940

  19. Temperature dependence of distortion-product otoacoustic emissions in tympanal organs of locusts.

    PubMed

    Möckel, Doreen; Kössl, Manfred; Lang, Julian; Nowotny, Manuela

    2012-09-15

    Distortion-product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAEs) in tympanal organs of insects are vulnerable to manipulations that interfere with the animal's physiological state. Starting at a medium temperature, we raised and lowered the locust's body temperature within the range of 12 to 35°C by changing the temperature of the surrounding air, while recording DPOAEs. These experimental manipulations resulted in reversible amplitude changes of the 2f(1)-f(2) emission, which were dependent on stimulus frequency and level. Using low f(2) frequencies of up to 10 kHz, a temperature increase (median +8-9°C) led to an upward shift of DPOAE amplitudes of approximately +10 dB, whereas a temperature decrease (median -7°C) was followed by a reduction of DPOAE amplitudes by 3 to 5 dB. Both effects were only present in the range of the low-level component of DPOAE growth functions below L2 levels (levels of the f(2) stimulus) of approximately 30 dB SPL. DPOAEs evoked by higher stimulus levels as well as measurements using higher stimulation frequencies above 10 kHz remained unaffected by any temperature shifts. The Arrhenius activation energy was calculated from the -10 dB SPL thresholds (representing the low-level component) of growth functions, which had been measured with 8 and 10 kHz as f(2) frequencies and amounted to up to ~34 and 41 kJ mol(-1), respectively. Such activation energy values provide a hint that the dynein-tubulin system within the scolopidial receptors could play an essential part in the DPOAE generation in tympanal organs.

  20. Surviving a flood: effects of inundation period, temperature and embryonic development stage in locust eggs.

    PubMed

    Woodman, J D

    2015-08-01

    The Australian plague locust, Chortoicetes terminifera (Walker), is an important agricultural pest and oviposits into compacted soil across vast semi-arid and arid regions prone to irregular heavy summer rainfall. This study aimed to quantify the effects of flooding (control, 7, 14, 21, 28 and 35 days) at different temperatures (15, 20 and 25°C) and embryonic development stages (25 and 75%) on egg viability, hatchling nymph body mass and survival to second-instar. Egg viability after flooding was dependent on temperature and flood duration. Eggs inundated at 15°C showed ≥53.5% survival regardless of flood duration and development stage compared with ≤29.6% for eggs at 25°C for ≥21 days early in development and ≥14 days late in development. Hatchling nymphs did not differ in body mass relative to temperature or flood duration, but weighed more from eggs inundated early in development rather than late. Survival to second-instar was ≤55.1% at 15 and 20°C when eggs were flooded for ≥28 days late in development, ≤35.6% at 25°C when flooded for ≥28 days early in development, and zero when flooded for ≥21 days late in development. These results suggest that prolonged flooding in summer and early autumn may cause very high egg mortality and first-instar nymph mortality of any survivors, but is likely to only ever affect a small proportion of the metapopulation. More common flash flooding for ≤14 days is unlikely to cause high mortality and have any direct effect on distribution and abundance. PMID:25827579

  1. Development and deposition of resilin in energy stores for locust jumping.

    PubMed

    Burrows, Malcolm

    2016-08-15

    Locusts jump by using a catapult mechanism in which energy produced by slow contractions of the extensor tibiae muscles of the hind legs is stored in distortions of the exoskeleton, most notably (1) the two semi-lunar processes at each knee joint and (2) the tendons of the extensor muscles themselves. The energy is then suddenly released from these stores to power the rapid, propulsive movements of the hind legs. The reliance on the mechanical storage of energy is likely to impact on jumping because growth occurs by a series of five moults, at each of which the exoskeleton is replaced by a new one. All developmental stages (instars) nevertheless jump as a means of forward locomotion, or as an escape movement. Here, I show that in each instar, resilin is added to the semi-lunar processes and to the core of the extensor tendons so that their thickness increases. As the next moult approaches, a new exoskeleton forms within the old one, with resilin already present in the new semi-lunar processes. The old exoskeleton, the tendons and their resilin are discarded at moulting. The resilin of the semi-lunar processes and tendons of the new instar is initially thin, but a similar pattern of deposition results in an increase of their thickness. In adults, resilin continues to be deposited so that at 4 weeks old the thickness in the semi-lunar processes has increased fourfold. These changes in the energy stores accompany changes in jumping ability and performance during each moulting cycle.

  2. Black locust--successful invader of a wide range of soil conditions.

    PubMed

    Vítková, Michaela; Tonika, Jaroslav; Müllerová, Jana

    2015-02-01

    Black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia, BL), a species native to North America, has successfully invaded many types of habitats over the world. This study provides an overall assessment of BL soil conditions to determine the range of physical-chemical soil properties it can tolerate. 511 BL stands (for the soil types) and 33 permanent plots (for the soil chemistry) were studied in the Czech Republic. Relationships among different environmental variables (physical-chemical soil properties, vegetation characteristics and habitat conditions) were investigated and variables with the highest effect on species composition were detected. The results were compared with data in the literature for other parts of the secondary and native distributions of this species. This assessment showed that BL is able to tolerate extremely diverse soil physical-chemical conditions, from extremely acid to strongly alkaline, and from medium to highly base saturated soils with a gradient of different subsurface stoniness. Soil nitrate, N mineralization and nitrification rates also varied considerably and the concentrations of exchangeable phosphorus and ammonium were consistently low. N mineralization rate, incubated inorganic nitrogen and nitrates were positively correlated with base saturation and cation exchange capacity. The most common soil types were young soils (Cambisols, Leptosols, Arenosols, and coarsely textured Fluvisols). BL seems to be limited by water supply and soil aeration and prefers well aerated and drained soils, and tolerates desiccation but avoids compact soils and areas where the soils are frequently waterlogged. On steep slopes, BL was less vigorous, stunted and less competitive. By contrast, the tallest BL trees were found on sandy soils in a flat landscape. Number and share of nitrophytes in the herb layer were positively related to basic bedrock, soil reaction and N-NO3/N ratio. Soil reaction was determined as the most important environmental characteristic

  3. Recurrent renal giant leiomyosarcoma.

    PubMed

    Öziş, Salih Erpulat; Gülpınar, Kamil; Şahlı, Zafer; Konak, Baha Burak; Keskin, Mete; Özdemir, Süleyman; Ataoğlu, Ömür

    2016-01-01

    Primary renal leiomyosarcomas are rare, aggressive tumors. They constitute 1-2% of adult malignant renal tumors. Although leiomyosarcomas are the most common histological type (50-60%) of renal sarcomas, information on renal leiomyosarcoma is limited. Local or systemic recurrences are common. The radiological appearance of renal leiomyosarcomas is not specific, therefore renal leiomyosarcoma cannot be distinguished from renal cell carcinoma by imaging methods in all patients. A 74-year-old female patient presented to our clinic complaining of a palpable mass on the right side of her abdomen in November 2012. The abdominal magnetic resonance imaging revealed a mass, 25 × 24 × 23 cm in size. Her past medical history revealed that she has undergone right radical nephrectomy in 2007, due to a 11 × 12 × 13 cm renal mass that was then reported as renal cell carcinoma on abdominal magnetic resonance imaging, but the pathological diagnosis was low-grade renal leiomyosarcoma. The most recent follow-up of the patient was in 2011, with no signs of local recurrence or distant metastases within this four-year period. The patient underwent laparotomy on November 2012, and a 35 cm retroperitoneal mass was excised. The pathological examination of the mass was reported as high-grade leiomyosarcoma. The formation of this giant retroperitoneal mass in 1 year can be explained by the transformation of the lesion's pathology from low-grade to a high-grade tumor. PMID:27436926

  4. A unique advantage for giant eyes in giant squid.

    PubMed

    Nilsson, Dan-Eric; Warrant, Eric J; Johnsen, Sönke; Hanlon, Roger; Shashar, Nadav

    2012-04-24

    Giant and colossal deep-sea squid (Architeuthis and Mesonychoteuthis) have the largest eyes in the animal kingdom [1, 2], but there is no explanation for why they would need eyes that are nearly three times the diameter of those of any other extant animal. Here we develop a theory for visual detection in pelagic habitats, which predicts that such giant eyes are unlikely to evolve for detecting mates or prey at long distance but are instead uniquely suited for detecting very large predators, such as sperm whales. We also provide photographic documentation of an eyeball of about 27 cm with a 9 cm pupil in a giant squid, and we predict that, below 600 m depth, it would allow detection of sperm whales at distances exceeding 120 m. With this long range of vision, giant squid get an early warning of approaching sperm whales. Because the sonar range of sperm whales exceeds 120 m [3-5], we hypothesize that a well-prepared and powerful evasive response to hunting sperm whales may have driven the evolution of huge dimensions in both eyes and bodies of giant and colossal squid. Our theory also provides insights into the vision of Mesozoic ichthyosaurs with unusually large eyes.

  5. Physiological and Proteomic Responses of Diploid and Tetraploid Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L.) Subjected to Salt Stress

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Zhiming; Wang, Mingyue; Liu, Likun; Meng, Fanjuan

    2013-01-01

    Tetraploid black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L.) is adaptable to salt stress. Here, we compared morphological, physiological, ultrastructural, and proteomic traits of leaves in tetraploid black locust and its diploid relatives under salt stress. The results showed that diploid (2×) plants suffered from greater negative effects than those of tetraploid (4×) plants. After salt treatment, plant growth was inhibited, photosynthesis was reduced, reactive oxygen species, malondialdehyde content, and relative electrolyte leakage increased, and defense-related enzyme activities decreased in 2× compared to those in 4×. In addition, salt stress resulted in distorted chloroplasts, swollen thylakoid membranes, accumulation of plastoglobules, and increased starch grains in 2× compared to those in 4×. However, 4× developed diverse responses under salt stress. A comparative proteomic analysis revealed that 41 and 37 proteins were differentially expressed in 2× and 4×, respectively. These proteins were mainly involved in photosynthesis, stress and defense, energy, metabolism, transcription/translation, and transportation. Distinct patterns of protein changes between 2× and 4× were analyzed. Collectively, our results suggest that the plants showed significantly different responses to salt stress based on ploidy level of the plant. The 4× possessed a better salt protection mechanism than that of 2×, suggesting salt tolerance in the polyploid plant. PMID:24129170

  6. Identification of distinct tyraminergic and octopaminergic neurons innervating the central complex of the desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria

    PubMed Central

    Homberg, Uwe; Seyfarth, Jutta; Binkle, Ulrike; Monastirioti, Maria; Alkema, Mark J.

    2012-01-01

    The central complex is a group of modular neuropils in the insect brain with a key role in visual memory, spatial orientation, and motor control. In desert locusts the neurochemical organization of the central complex has been investigated in detail, including the distribution of dopamine-, serotonin-, and histamine-immunoreactive neurons. In the present study we identified neurons immunoreactive with antisera against octopamine, tyramine, and the enzymes required for their synthesis, tyrosine decarboxylase (TDC) and tyramine β-hydroxylase (TBH). Octopamine- and tyramine immunostaining in the central complex differed strikingly. In each brain hemisphere tyramine immunostaining was found in four neurons innervating the noduli, 12–15 tangential neurons of the protocerebral bridge, and about 17 neurons that supplied the anterior lip region and parts of the central body. In contrast, octopamine immunostaining was present in two bilateral pairs of ascending fibers innervating the upper division of the central body and a single pair of neurons with somata near the oesophageal foramen that gave rise to arborizations in the protocerebral bridge. Immunostaining for TDC, the enzyme converting tyrosine to tyramine, combined the patterns seen with the tyramine- and octopamine antisera. Immunostaining for TBH, the enzyme converting tyramine to octopamine, in contrast, was strikingly similar to octopamine immunolabeling. We conclude that tyramine and octopamine act as neurotransmitters/modulators in distinct sets of neurons of the locust central complex with TBH likely being the rate limiting enzyme for octopamine synthesis in a small subpopulation of TDC-containing neurons. PMID:23595814

  7. Proctolin in the innervation of the locust mandibular closer muscle modulates contractions through the elevation of inositol trisphosphate.

    PubMed

    Baines, R A; Lange, A B; Downer, R G

    1990-07-22

    Extracts of the locust (Locusta migratoria) mandibular closer muscle separated on reverse-phase HPLC and tested for bio-activity on the locust oviduct contain a bio-active substance that coelutes with authentic proctolin. Furthermore, the effect on oviduct contractions of this compound is indistinguishable from that of authentic proctolin. Antiserum to proctolin stains numerous axons with beaded endings that run along the fibres of the closer muscles and, in addition, the antiserum stains a number of cell bodies in the suboesophageal ganglion, some of which have axons in the mandibular nerve that innervates the mandibular musculature. The function of proctolin appears to be modulatory as its presence significantly increases the amplitude of neurally evoked contractions of the closer muscle. This effect can be mimicked by the addition of inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3) to preparations in which the muscles have been permeabilized with dimethyl sulfoxide. The involvement of this second messenger is further implicated as we also show that proctolin produces a large, significant increase in the IP3 content of homogenized muscle. PMID:1974556

  8. Molecular cloning and expression analysis of the MTN gene during adventitious root development in IBA-induced tetraploid black locust.

    PubMed

    Quan, Jine; Zhang, Chunxia; Zhang, Sheng; Meng, Sen; Zhao, Zhong; Xu, Xuexuan

    2014-12-15

    5'-Methylthioadenosine (MTA) nucleosidase (MTN) plays a key role in the methionine (Met) recycling pathway of plants. Here, we report the isolation of the 1158 bp full-length, cDNA sequence encoding tetraploid black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L.) MTN (TrbMTN), which contains an open reading frame of 810 bp that encodes a 269 amino acid protein. The amino acid sequence of TrbMTN has more than 88% sequence identity to the MTNs from other plants, with a closer phylogenetic relationship to MTNs from legumes than to MTNs from other plants. Subcellular localization analysis revealed that the TrbMTN gene localizes mainly to the cell membrane and cytoplasm of onion epidermal cells. Indole-3-butyric acid (IBA)-treated cuttings showed higher TrbMTN transcript levels than untreated control cuttings during root primordium and adventitious root formation. TrbMTN and key Met cycle genes showed differential expression in shoots, leaves, stems, and roots, with the highest expression observed in stems. IBA-treated cuttings also showed higher TrbMTN activity than control cuttings during root primordium and adventitious root formation. These results indicate that TrbMTN gene might play an important role in the regulation of IBA-induced adventitious root development in tetraploid black locust cuttings. PMID:25305345

  9. Identification of outliers in a genomic scan for selection along environmental gradients in the bamboo locust, Ceracris kiangsu

    PubMed Central

    Feng, Xiao-Jing; Jiang, Guo-Fang; Fan, Zhou

    2015-01-01

    Identification of loci under divergent selection is a key step in understanding the evolutionary process because those loci are responsible for the genetic variations that affect fitness in different environments. Understanding how environmental forces give rise to adaptive genetic variation is a challenge in pest control. Here, we performed an amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) genome scan in populations of the bamboo locust, Ceracris kiangsu, to search for candidate loci that are influenced by selection along an environmental gradient in southern China. In outlier locus detection, loci that demonstrate significantly higher or lower among-population genetic differentiation than expected under neutrality are identified as outliers. We used several outlier detection methods to study the features of C. kiangsu, including method DFDIST, BayeScan, and logistic regression. A total of 97 outlier loci were detected in the C. kiangsu genome with very high statistical supports. Moreover, the results suggested that divergent selection arising from environmental variation has been driven by differences in temperature, precipitation, humidity and sunshine. These findings illustrate that divergent selection and potential local adaptation are prevalent in locusts despite seemingly high levels of gene flow. Thus, we propose that native environments in each population may induce divergent natural selection. PMID:26333424

  10. Tomographic particle image velocimetry of desert locust wakes: instantaneous volumes combine to reveal hidden vortex elements and rapid wake deformation.

    PubMed

    Bomphrey, Richard J; Henningsson, Per; Michaelis, Dirk; Hollis, David

    2012-12-01

    Aerodynamic structures generated by animals in flight are unstable and complex. Recent progress in quantitative flow visualization has advanced our understanding of animal aerodynamics, but measurements have hitherto been limited to flow velocities at a plane through the wake. We applied an emergent, high-speed, volumetric fluid imaging technique (tomographic particle image velocimetry) to examine segments of the wake of desert locusts, capturing fully three-dimensional instantaneous flow fields. We used those flow fields to characterize the aerodynamic footprint in unprecedented detail and revealed previously unseen wake elements that would have gone undetected by two-dimensional or stereo-imaging technology. Vortex iso-surface topographies show the spatio-temporal signature of aerodynamic force generation manifest in the wake of locusts, and expose the extent to which animal wakes can deform, potentially leading to unreliable calculations of lift and thrust when using conventional diagnostic methods. We discuss implications for experimental design and analysis as volumetric flow imaging becomes more widespread. PMID:22977102

  11. The Geographical Distribution Of The Black Locust (Robinia Pseudoacacia L.) In Poland And Its Role On Non-Forest Land

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wojda, Tomasz; Klisz, Marcin; Jastrzębowski, Szymon; Mionskowski, Marcin; Szyp-Borowska, Iwona; Szczygieł, Krystyna

    2015-01-01

    The black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L.) has been present in Poland for more than 200 years now, its range coming to encompass the entire country, albeit with a particular concentration of occurrence in the west. Overall, it is present in 3.4% of the stands making up Poland's "State Forests National Forest Holding" (Państwowe Gospodarstwo Leśne Lasy Państwowe), and is the dominant species in 0.1% of stands. Thanks to its producing durable wood of favourable energetic properties, this species is used in medium-rotation (≤ 40-year) plantations as well as in biomass energy plantations (where there is a 5-7-year rotation). In terms of its nectar production, the black locust is second only to lime as the Polish tree best serving the production of honey. While the species shows marked expansiveness in Poland, it has not thus far been placed on the list of aliens capable of threatening native species or natural habitats. Breeding of the species has been engaged in - if to only a limited extent - in Poland for some 20 years now, and 2 selected seed stands have been registered, as well as 34 plus trees and 2 seed orchards.

  12. Identification of outliers in a genomic scan for selection along environmental gradients in the bamboo locust, Ceracris kiangsu.

    PubMed

    Feng, Xiao-Jing; Jiang, Guo-Fang; Fan, Zhou

    2015-01-01

    Identification of loci under divergent selection is a key step in understanding the evolutionary process because those loci are responsible for the genetic variations that affect fitness in different environments. Understanding how environmental forces give rise to adaptive genetic variation is a challenge in pest control. Here, we performed an amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) genome scan in populations of the bamboo locust, Ceracris kiangsu, to search for candidate loci that are influenced by selection along an environmental gradient in southern China. In outlier locus detection, loci that demonstrate significantly higher or lower among-population genetic differentiation than expected under neutrality are identified as outliers. We used several outlier detection methods to study the features of C. kiangsu, including method DFDIST, BayeScan, and logistic regression. A total of 97 outlier loci were detected in the C. kiangsu genome with very high statistical supports. Moreover, the results suggested that divergent selection arising from environmental variation has been driven by differences in temperature, precipitation, humidity and sunshine. These findings illustrate that divergent selection and potential local adaptation are prevalent in locusts despite seemingly high levels of gene flow. Thus, we propose that native environments in each population may induce divergent natural selection. PMID:26333424

  13. Transcriptional Analysis of The Adaptive Digestive System of The Migratory Locust in Response to Plant Defensive Protease Inhibitors

    PubMed Central

    Spit, Jornt; Holtof, Michiel; Badisco, Liesbet; Vergauwen, Lucia; Vogel, Elise; Knapen, Dries; Vanden Broeck, Jozef

    2016-01-01

    Herbivorous insects evolved adaptive mechanisms to compensate for the presence of plant defensive protease inhibitors (PI) in their food. The underlying regulatory mechanisms of these compensatory responses remain largely elusive. In the current study, we investigated the initiation of this adaptive response in the migratory locust, Locusta migratoria, via microarray analysis of gut tissues. Four hours after dietary uptake of PIs, 114 and 150 transcripts were respectively found up- or downregulated. The results suggest a quick trade-off between compensating for potential loss of digestive activity on the one hand, and stress tolerance, defense, and structural integrity of the gut on the other hand. We additionally addressed the role of a group of related upregulated hexamerin-like proteins in the PI-induced response. Simultaneous knockdown of corresponding transcripts by means of RNA interference resulted in a reduced capacity of the locust nymphs to cope with the effects of PI. Moreover, since insect hexamerins have been shown to bind Juvenile Hormone (JH), we also investigated the effect of JH on the proteolytic digestion in L. migratoria. Our results indicate that JH has a stimulatory effect on the expression of three homologous chymotrypsin genes, while knocking down the JH receptor (methoprene tolerant) led to opposite effects. PMID:27581362

  14. Transcriptional Analysis of The Adaptive Digestive System of The Migratory Locust in Response to Plant Defensive Protease Inhibitors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spit, Jornt; Holtof, Michiel; Badisco, Liesbet; Vergauwen, Lucia; Vogel, Elise; Knapen, Dries; vanden Broeck, Jozef

    2016-09-01

    Herbivorous insects evolved adaptive mechanisms to compensate for the presence of plant defensive protease inhibitors (PI) in their food. The underlying regulatory mechanisms of these compensatory responses remain largely elusive. In the current study, we investigated the initiation of this adaptive response in the migratory locust, Locusta migratoria, via microarray analysis of gut tissues. Four hours after dietary uptake of PIs, 114 and 150 transcripts were respectively found up- or downregulated. The results suggest a quick trade-off between compensating for potential loss of digestive activity on the one hand, and stress tolerance, defense, and structural integrity of the gut on the other hand. We additionally addressed the role of a group of related upregulated hexamerin-like proteins in the PI-induced response. Simultaneous knockdown of corresponding transcripts by means of RNA interference resulted in a reduced capacity of the locust nymphs to cope with the effects of PI. Moreover, since insect hexamerins have been shown to bind Juvenile Hormone (JH), we also investigated the effect of JH on the proteolytic digestion in L. migratoria. Our results indicate that JH has a stimulatory effect on the expression of three homologous chymotrypsin genes, while knocking down the JH receptor (methoprene tolerant) led to opposite effects.

  15. Acoustic startle/escape reactions in tethered flying locusts: motor patterns and wing kinematics underlying intentional steering.

    PubMed

    Dawson, J W; Leung, F-H; Robertson, R M

    2004-07-01

    We simultaneously recorded flight muscle activity and wing kinematics in tethered, flying locusts to determine the relationship between asymmetric depressor muscle activation and the kinematics of the stroke reversal at the onset of wing depression during attempted intentional steering manoeuvres. High-frequency, pulsed sounds produced bilateral asymmetries in forewing direct depressor muscles (M97, 98, 99) that were positively correlated with asymmetric forewing depression and asymmetries in stroke reversal timing. Bilateral asymmetries in hindwing depressor muscles (M127 and M128 but not M129) were positively correlated with asymmetric hindwing depression and asymmetries in the timing of the hindwing stroke reversal; M129 was negatively correlated with these shifts. Hindwing depressor asymmetries and wing kinematic changes were smaller and shifted in opposite direction than corresponding measurements of the forewings. These findings suggest that intentional steering manoeuvres employ bulk shifts in depressor muscle timing that affect the timing of the stroke reversals thereby establishing asymmetric wing depression. Finally, we found indications that locusts may actively control the timing of forewing rotation and speculate this may be a mechanism for generating steering torques. These effects would act in concert with forces generated by asymmetric wing depression and angle of attack to establish rapid changes in direction. PMID:15127218

  16. Tomographic particle image velocimetry of desert locust wakes: instantaneous volumes combine to reveal hidden vortex elements and rapid wake deformation.

    PubMed

    Bomphrey, Richard J; Henningsson, Per; Michaelis, Dirk; Hollis, David

    2012-12-01

    Aerodynamic structures generated by animals in flight are unstable and complex. Recent progress in quantitative flow visualization has advanced our understanding of animal aerodynamics, but measurements have hitherto been limited to flow velocities at a plane through the wake. We applied an emergent, high-speed, volumetric fluid imaging technique (tomographic particle image velocimetry) to examine segments of the wake of desert locusts, capturing fully three-dimensional instantaneous flow fields. We used those flow fields to characterize the aerodynamic footprint in unprecedented detail and revealed previously unseen wake elements that would have gone undetected by two-dimensional or stereo-imaging technology. Vortex iso-surface topographies show the spatio-temporal signature of aerodynamic force generation manifest in the wake of locusts, and expose the extent to which animal wakes can deform, potentially leading to unreliable calculations of lift and thrust when using conventional diagnostic methods. We discuss implications for experimental design and analysis as volumetric flow imaging becomes more widespread.

  17. Tomographic particle image velocimetry of desert locust wakes: instantaneous volumes combine to reveal hidden vortex elements and rapid wake deformation

    PubMed Central

    Bomphrey, Richard J.; Henningsson, Per; Michaelis, Dirk; Hollis, David

    2012-01-01

    Aerodynamic structures generated by animals in flight are unstable and complex. Recent progress in quantitative flow visualization has advanced our understanding of animal aerodynamics, but measurements have hitherto been limited to flow velocities at a plane through the wake. We applied an emergent, high-speed, volumetric fluid imaging technique (tomographic particle image velocimetry) to examine segments of the wake of desert locusts, capturing fully three-dimensional instantaneous flow fields. We used those flow fields to characterize the aerodynamic footprint in unprecedented detail and revealed previously unseen wake elements that would have gone undetected by two-dimensional or stereo-imaging technology. Vortex iso-surface topographies show the spatio-temporal signature of aerodynamic force generation manifest in the wake of locusts, and expose the extent to which animal wakes can deform, potentially leading to unreliable calculations of lift and thrust when using conventional diagnostic methods. We discuss implications for experimental design and analysis as volumetric flow imaging becomes more widespread. PMID:22977102

  18. Transcriptional Analysis of The Adaptive Digestive System of The Migratory Locust in Response to Plant Defensive Protease Inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Spit, Jornt; Holtof, Michiel; Badisco, Liesbet; Vergauwen, Lucia; Vogel, Elise; Knapen, Dries; Vanden Broeck, Jozef

    2016-01-01

    Herbivorous insects evolved adaptive mechanisms to compensate for the presence of plant defensive protease inhibitors (PI) in their food. The underlying regulatory mechanisms of these compensatory responses remain largely elusive. In the current study, we investigated the initiation of this adaptive response in the migratory locust, Locusta migratoria, via microarray analysis of gut tissues. Four hours after dietary uptake of PIs, 114 and 150 transcripts were respectively found up- or downregulated. The results suggest a quick trade-off between compensating for potential loss of digestive activity on the one hand, and stress tolerance, defense, and structural integrity of the gut on the other hand. We additionally addressed the role of a group of related upregulated hexamerin-like proteins in the PI-induced response. Simultaneous knockdown of corresponding transcripts by means of RNA interference resulted in a reduced capacity of the locust nymphs to cope with the effects of PI. Moreover, since insect hexamerins have been shown to bind Juvenile Hormone (JH), we also investigated the effect of JH on the proteolytic digestion in L. migratoria. Our results indicate that JH has a stimulatory effect on the expression of three homologous chymotrypsin genes, while knocking down the JH receptor (methoprene tolerant) led to opposite effects. PMID:27581362

  19. Na+-K+-ATPase trafficking induced by heat shock pretreatment correlates with increased resistance to anoxia in locusts

    PubMed Central

    Hou, Nicholas; Armstrong, Gary A. B.; Chakraborty-Chatterjee, Munmun; Sokolowski, Marla B.

    2014-01-01

    The sensitivity of insect nervous systems to anoxia can be modulated genetically and pharmacologically, but the cellular mechanisms responsible are poorly understood. We examined the effect of a heat shock pretreatment (HS) on the sensitivity of the locust (Locusta migratoria) nervous system to anoxia induced by water immersion. Prior HS made locusts more resistant to anoxia by increasing the time taken to enter a coma and by reducing the time taken to recover the ability to stand. Anoxic comas were accompanied by surges of extracellular potassium ions in the neuropile of the metathoracic ganglion, and HS reduced the time taken for clearance of excess extracellular potassium ions. This could not be attributed to a decrease in the activity of protein kinase G, which was increased by HS. In homogenates of the metathoracic ganglion, HS had only a mild effect on the activity of Na+-K+-ATPase. However, we demonstrated that HS caused a threefold increase in the immunofluorescent localization of the α-subunit of Na+-K+-ATPase in metathoracic neuronal plasma membranes relative to background labeling of the nucleus. We conclude that HS induced trafficking of Na+-K+-ATPase into neuronal plasma membranes and suggest that this was at least partially responsible for the increased resistance to anoxia and the increased rate of recovery of neural function after a disturbance of K+ homeostasis. PMID:24848469

  20. Diet drives the collective migrations and affects the immunity of Mormon crickets and locusts: A comparison of these potential superspreaders of disease

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The need for resources is a major driver of animal migration and yet migration itself is energetically demanding. Mormon crickets and nymphal locusts readily engage in cannibalistic attacks that result in aligned, coordinated movement of individuals in massive bands that march daily for weeks at a ...

  1. Multilocus sequence typing of Metarhizium anisopliae var acridum isolates as microbial agents for locust and grasshopper control. Genbank Accession numbers FJ787311 to FJ787325

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A growing interest in the biological control of locusts and grasshoppers (Acrididae) has led to the development of biopesticides based on naturally occurring pathogens which offers an environmentally safe alternative to chemical pesticides. However, the fungal strains which are being sought for biop...

  2. Application of sugar maple and black locust to the biomass/energy-plantation concept. Annual report, March 1, 1981-February 28, 1982

    SciTech Connect

    Sajdak, R.L.

    1982-03-01

    The purpose of this research program is to determine the feasibility of converting existing pole-size maple stands to biomass/energy plantations using black locust as an interplanted species. Methods to quantify biomass production in northern hardwood stands have been refined and additional sites have been sampled. Hardwood sprout biomass production was shown to be greatly affected by site, fertilizer treatment, and tree species. Screening of black locust Rhizobium strains for acid tolerance has been completed. Seven strains have been found to be tolerant of both high aluminum and low pH conditions. A greenhouse and outplanting study testing the competitiveness and nitrogen-fixing ability of these strains under forest conditions has begun. Second year results of black locust provenance testing has shown frost hardiness variation among trees to be greater than among sources. Consequently, present work is now concentrated on propagating northern locust sources vegetatively. Biomass characterization of young northern hardwood sprouts by chemical and thermal analysis is complete.

  3. Formation of giant planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Magni, G.; Coradini, A.

    2003-04-01

    In this presentation we address the problem of the formation of giant planets and their regular satellites. We study in particular the problem of formation of the Jupiter System comparing the results of the model with the present characteristics of the system, in order to identify what are those better represented by our approach. In fact here, using a 3-D hydro-dynamical code, we study the modalities of gas accretion onto a solid core, believed to be the seed from which Jupiter started. To do that we have modelled three main regions: the central planet, a turbulent accretion disk surrounding it and an extended region from which the gas is collected. In the extended region we treat the gas as a frictionless fluid. Our main goal is to identify what are the characteristics of the planet during its growth and the physical parameters affecting its growth at the expenses of the nebular gas present in the feeding zone. Moreover we want to understand what are the thermodynamical parameters characterizing the gas captured by the planet and swirling around it. Finally, we check if a disk can be formed in prograde rotation around the planet and if this disk can survive the final phases of the planet formation. Due to the interaction between the accreting planet and the disk it has been necessary to develop a complete model of the Jupiter’s structure. In fact the radiation emitted by the growing planet heats up the surrounding gas. In turn the planet’s thermodynamic structure depend on the mass accretion rate onto it. When the accretion is rapid, shock waves in the gas are formed close to the planet. This region cannot be safely treated by a numerical code; for this reason we have developed a semi-analytically model of a a turbulent accretion disk to be considered as transition between the planet and the surrounding disk.

  4. Giant Magellan Telescope: overview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johns, Matt; McCarthy, Patrick; Raybould, Keith; Bouchez, Antonin; Farahani, Arash; Filgueira, Jose; Jacoby, George; Shectman, Steve; Sheehan, Michael

    2012-09-01

    The Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) is a 25-meter optical/infrared extremely large telescope that is being built by an international consortium of universities and research institutions. It will be located at the Las Campanas Observatory, Chile. The GMT primary mirror consists of seven 8.4-m borosilicate honeycomb mirror segments made at the Steward Observatory Mirror Lab (SOML). Six identical off-axis segments and one on-axis segment are arranged on a single nearly-paraboloidal parent surface having an overall focal ratio of f/0.7. The fabrication, testing and verification procedures required to produce the closely-matched off-axis mirror segments were developed during the production of the first mirror. Production of the second and third off-axis segments is underway. GMT incorporates a seven-segment Gregorian adaptive secondary to implement three modes of adaptive-optics operation: natural-guide star AO, laser-tomography AO, and ground-layer AO. A wide-field corrector/ADC is available for use in seeing-limited mode over a 20-arcmin diameter field of view. Up to seven instruments can be mounted simultaneously on the telescope in a large Gregorian Instrument Rotator. Conceptual design studies were completed for six AO and seeing-limited instruments, plus a multi-object fiber feed, and a roadmap for phased deployment of the GMT instrument suite is being developed. The partner institutions have made firm commitments for approximately 45% of the funds required to build the telescope. Project Office efforts are currently focused on advancing the telescope and enclosure design in preparation for subsystem- and system-level preliminary design reviews which are scheduled to be completed in the first half of 2013.

  5. Rotation of Giant Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kissin, Yevgeni; Thompson, Christopher

    2015-07-01

    The internal rotation of post-main sequence stars is investigated, in response to the convective pumping of angular momentum toward the stellar core, combined with a tight magnetic coupling between core and envelope. The spin evolution is calculated using model stars of initial mass 1, 1.5, and 5 {M}ȯ , taking into account mass loss on the giant branches. We also include the deposition of orbital angular momentum from a sub-stellar companion, as influenced by tidal drag along with the excitation of orbital eccentricity by a fluctuating gravitational quadrupole moment. A range of angular velocity profiles {{Ω }}(r) is considered in the envelope, extending from solid rotation to constant specific angular momentum. We focus on the backreaction of the Coriolis force, and the threshold for dynamo action in the inner envelope. Quantitative agreement with measurements of core rotation in subgiants and post-He core flash stars by Kepler is obtained with a two-layer angular velocity profile: uniform specific angular momentum where the Coriolis parameter {Co}\\equiv {{Ω }}{τ }{con}≲ 1 (here {τ }{con} is the convective time), and {{Ω }}(r)\\propto {r}-1 where {Co}≳ 1. The inner profile is interpreted in terms of a balance between the Coriolis force and angular pressure gradients driven by radially extended convective plumes. Inward angular momentum pumping reduces the surface rotation of subgiants, and the need for a rejuvenated magnetic wind torque. The co-evolution of internal magnetic fields and rotation is considered in Kissin & Thompson, along with the breaking of the rotational coupling between core and envelope due to heavy mass loss.

  6. miR-71 and miR-263 Jointly Regulate Target Genes Chitin synthase and Chitinase to Control Locust Molting

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Feng; Song, Tianqi; Wang, Huimin; Liu, Qing; Zhang, Jie; Zhang, Jianzhen; Kang, Le

    2016-01-01

    Chitin synthase and chitinase play crucial roles in chitin biosynthesis and degradation during insect molting. Silencing of Dicer-1 results in reduced levels of mature miRNAs and severely blocks molting in the migratory locust. However, the regulatory mechanism of miRNAs in the molting process of locusts has remained elusive. In this study, we found that in chitin metabolism, two crucial enzymes, chitin synthase (CHS) and chitinase (CHT) were regulated by miR-71 and miR-263 during nymph molting. The coding sequence of CHS1 and the 3’-untranslated region of CHT10 contain functional binding sites for miR-71 and miR-263, respectively. miR-71/miR-263 displayed cellular co-localization with their target genes in epidermal cells and directly interacted with CHS1 and CHT10 in the locust integument, respectively. Injections of miR-71 and miR-263 agomirs suppressed the expression of CHS1 and CHT10, which consequently altered chitin production of new and old cuticles and resulted in a molting-defective phenotype in locusts. Unexpectedly, reduced expression of miR-71 and miR-263 increased CHS1 and CHT10 mRNA expression and led to molting defects similar to those induced by miRNA delivery. This study reveals a novel function and balancing modulation pattern of two miRNAs in chitin biosynthesis and degradation, and it provides insight into the underlying molecular mechanisms of the molting process in locusts. PMID:27532544

  7. miR-71 and miR-263 Jointly Regulate Target Genes Chitin synthase and Chitinase to Control Locust Molting.

    PubMed

    Yang, Meiling; Wang, Yanli; Jiang, Feng; Song, Tianqi; Wang, Huimin; Liu, Qing; Zhang, Jie; Zhang, Jianzhen; Kang, Le

    2016-08-01

    Chitin synthase and chitinase play crucial roles in chitin biosynthesis and degradation during insect molting. Silencing of Dicer-1 results in reduced levels of mature miRNAs and severely blocks molting in the migratory locust. However, the regulatory mechanism of miRNAs in the molting process of locusts has remained elusive. In this study, we found that in chitin metabolism, two crucial enzymes, chitin synthase (CHS) and chitinase (CHT) were regulated by miR-71 and miR-263 during nymph molting. The coding sequence of CHS1 and the 3'-untranslated region of CHT10 contain functional binding sites for miR-71 and miR-263, respectively. miR-71/miR-263 displayed cellular co-localization with their target genes in epidermal cells and directly interacted with CHS1 and CHT10 in the locust integument, respectively. Injections of miR-71 and miR-263 agomirs suppressed the expression of CHS1 and CHT10, which consequently altered chitin production of new and old cuticles and resulted in a molting-defective phenotype in locusts. Unexpectedly, reduced expression of miR-71 and miR-263 increased CHS1 and CHT10 mRNA expression and led to molting defects similar to those induced by miRNA delivery. This study reveals a novel function and balancing modulation pattern of two miRNAs in chitin biosynthesis and degradation, and it provides insight into the underlying molecular mechanisms of the molting process in locusts. PMID:27532544

  8. Opsin expression, physiological characterization and identification of photoreceptor cells in the dorsal rim area and main retina of the desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria.

    PubMed

    Schmeling, Fabian; Wakakuwa, Motohiro; Tegtmeier, Jennifer; Kinoshita, Michiyo; Bockhorst, Tobias; Arikawa, Kentaro; Homberg, Uwe

    2014-10-01

    For compass orientation many insects rely on the pattern of sky polarization, but some species also exploit the sky chromatic contrast. Desert locusts, Schistocerca gregaria, detect polarized light through a specialized dorsal rim area (DRA) in their compound eye. To better understand retinal mechanisms underlying visual navigation, we compared opsin expression, spectral and polarization sensitivities and response-stimulus intensity functions in the DRA and main retina of the locust. In addition to previously characterized opsins of long-wavelength-absorbing (Lo1) and blue-absorbing visual pigments (Lo2), we identified an opsin of an ultraviolet-absorbing visual pigment (LoUV). DRA photoreceptors exclusively expressed Lo2, had peak spectral sensitivities at 441 nm and showed high polarization sensitivity (PS 1.3-31.7). In contrast, ommatidia in the main eye co-expressed Lo1 and Lo2 in five photoreceptors, expressed Lo1 in two proximal photoreceptors, and Lo2 or LoUV in one distal photoreceptor. Correspondingly, we found broadband blue- and green-peaking spectral sensitivities in the main eye and one narrowly tuned UV peaking receptor. Polarization sensitivity in the main retina was low (PS 1.3-3.8). V-log I functions in the DRA were steeper than in the main retina, supporting a role in polarization vision. Desert locusts occur as two morphs, a day-active gregarious and a night-active solitarious form. In solitarious locusts, sensitivities in the main retina were generally shifted to longer wavelengths, particularly in ventral eye regions, supporting a nocturnal lifestyle at low light levels. The data support the role of the DRA in polarization vision and suggest trichromatic colour vision in the desert locust. PMID:25104757

  9. Meibomian gland function and giant papillary conjunctivitis.

    PubMed

    Mathers, W D; Billborough, M

    1992-08-15

    We examined 42 contact lens-wearing patients for clinical evidence of giant papillary conjunctivitis and for meibomian gland dysfunction with gland dropout. Fifteen patients were free of clinical signs and symptoms of giant papillary conjunctivitis, whereas 27 had clinical symptoms and evidence of giant papillary conjunctivitis. Patients with giant papillary conjunctivitis had significantly more gland dropout with an average of 0.6 +/- 1.2 gland absent in both lower eyelids compared with 0.2 +/- 0.4 gland absent in patients without giant papillary conjunctivitis. Additionally, the viscosity of meibomian gland excreta was greater in the giant papillary conjunctivitis group. There was no difference in tear osmolarity or in the Schirmer test results between the two groups. These results indicated patients with giant papillary conjunctivitis were more likely to have meibomian gland dysfunction with gland dropout than patients without giant papillary conjunctivitis.

  10. Giant myoma and erythrocytosis syndrome.

    PubMed

    Ozsaran, A A; Itil, I M; Terek, C; Kazandi, M; Dikmen, Y

    1999-08-01

    The objective of this study is to discuss the myomatous erythrocytosis syndrome in a patient with a giant subserous uterine myoma. She presented with plethora and an abdominal mass. After venesection of 4 units of blood, the preoperative haematocrit value of 53.3% and haemoglobin value of 17.5 g/dL had decreased to 48.6% and 16.8 g/dL levels, respectively. After the operative extraction of the giant subserous myoma with attached uterus weighing 14.2 kg, the haematocrit and the haemoglobin values had regressed to 40.3% and 14.3 g/dL levels, respectively. The findings indicated that the giant subserous myoma was the cause of the myomatous erythrocytosis syndrome in this patient. PMID:10554963

  11. Structure of giant muscle proteins

    PubMed Central

    Meyer, Logan C.; Wright, Nathan T.

    2013-01-01

    Giant muscle proteins (e.g., titin, nebulin, and obscurin) play a seminal role in muscle elasticity, stretch response, and sarcomeric organization. Each giant protein consists of multiple tandem structural domains, usually arranged in a modular fashion spanning 500 kDa to 4 MDa. Although many of the domains are similar in structure, subtle differences create a unique function of each domain. Recent high and low resolution structural and dynamic studies now suggest more nuanced overall protein structures than previously realized. These findings show that atomic structure, interactions between tandem domains, and intrasarcomeric environment all influence the shape, motion, and therefore function of giant proteins. In this article we will review the current understanding of titin, obscurin, and nebulin structure, from the atomic level through the molecular level. PMID:24376425

  12. Rheology and synergy of κ-carrageenan/locust bean gum/konjac glucomannan gels.

    PubMed

    Brenner, Tom; Wang, Zheng; Achayuthakan, Piyada; Nakajima, Tetsuya; Nishinari, Katsuyoshi

    2013-10-15

    The rheology and melting of mixed polysaccharide gels containing konjac glucomannan (KGM), locust bean gum (LBG) and κ-carrageenan (KC) were studied. Synergy-type peaks in the Young's modulus at optimal mixing ratios were found for both KC/LBG and KC/KGM binary gels at a fixed total polysaccharide content (1:5.5 for LBG:KC and 1:7 for KGM:KC). The Young's modulus peak for KC/KGM was higher than for KC/LBG gels. The same stoichiometric mixing ratios were found when either LBG or KGM was added to KC at a fixed KC concentration, where the Young's modulus increased up to additions at the stoichiometric ratio, but leveled off at higher LBG or KGM additions. Addition of KGM or LBG to the 2-component gels beyond the stoichiometric (optimal) mixing ratio at a fixed total polysaccharide content led to a decrease in the Young's modulus and an increase in the rupture strain and stress in extension, and both trends were stronger for KGM than for LBG. Differential scanning calorimetry of the gels revealed the development of a second melting peak for the KC/KGM gels that increased with KGM addition up to higher KGM contents than the stoichiometric ratio. For the KC/LBG gels, only a slight broadening and shift to a higher temperature were observed. When the three polysaccharides were mixed, the DSC endotherms reflected only the main features of the interaction between KC and KGM, and the same was true for the fracture in extension. The different trends led to higher Young's moduli at intermediate KC concentrations when a 1:1 addition of LBG:KGM was used than when either only KGM or LBG was added at a fixed total polysaccharide concentration. This suggests that no special interactions arise when the three polysaccharides are mixed and the binding mechanisms are simply a sum of the bindings observed for KC/KGM and KC/LBG two-component gels.

  13. Rhythmic patterns evoked in locust leg motor neurons by the muscarinic agonist pilocarpine.

    PubMed

    Ryckebusch, S; Laurent, G

    1993-05-01

    1. When an isolated metathoracic ganglion of the locust was superfused with the muscarinic cholinergic agonist pilocarpine, rhythmic activity was induced in leg motor neurons. The frequency of this induced rhythm increased approximately linearly from 0 to 0.2 Hz with concentrations of pilocarpine from 10(-5) to 10(-4) M. Rhythmic activity evoked by pilocarpine could be completely and reversibly blocked by 3 x 10(-5) M atropine, but was unaffected by 10(-4) M d-tubocurarine. 2. For each hemiganglion, the observed rhythm was characterized by two main phases: a levator phase, during which the anterior coxal rotator, levators of the trochanter, flexors of the tibia, and common inhibitory motor neurons were active; and a depressor phase, during which depressors of the trochanter, extensors of the tibia, and depressors of the tarsus were active. Activity in depressors of the trochanter followed the activity of the levators of the trochanter with a short, constant interburst latency. Activity in the levator of the tarsus spanned both phases. 3. The levator phase was short compared with the period (0.5-2 s, or 10-20% of the period) and did not depend on the period. The interval between the end of a levator burst and the beginning of the following one thus increased with cycle period. The depressor phase was more variable, and was usually shorter than the interval between successive levator bursts. 4. Motor neurons in a same pool often received common discrete synaptic potentials (e.g., levators of trochanter or extensors of tibia), suggesting common drive during the rhythm. Coactive motor neurons on opposite sides (such as left trochanteral depressors and right trochanteral levators), however, did not share obvious common postsynaptic potentials. Depolarization of a pool of motor neurons during its phase of activity was generally accompanied by hyperpolarization of its antagonist(s) on the same side. 5. Rhythmic activity was generally evoked in both hemiganglia of the

  14. Selective actions of Lynx proteins on different nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the locust, Locusta migratoria manilensis.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xin; Bao, Haibo; Sun, Huahua; Zhang, Yixi; Fang, Jichao; Liu, Qinghong; Liu, Zewen

    2015-08-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are major neurotransmitter receptors and targets of neonicotinoid insecticides in the insect nervous system. The full function of nAChRs is often dependent on associated proteins, such as chaperones, regulators and modulators. Here, three Lynx (Ly-6/neurotoxin) proteins, Loc-lynx1, Loc-lynx2 and Loc-lynx3, were identified in the locust, Locusta migratoria manilensis. Co-expression with Lynx resulted in a dramatic increase in agonist-evoked macroscopic currents on nAChRs Locα1/β2 and Locα2/β2 in Xenopus oocytes, but no changes in agonist sensitivity. Loc-lynx1 and Loc-lynx3 only modulated nAChRs Locα1/β2 while Loc-lynx2 modulated Locα2/β2 specifically. Meanwhile, Loc-lynx1 induced a more significant increase in currents evoked by imidacloprid and epibatidine than Loc-lynx3, and the effects of Loc-lynx1 on imidacloprid and epibatidine were significantly higher than those on acetylcholine. Among three lynx proteins, only Loc-lynx1 significantly increased [(3) H]epibatidine binding on Locα1/β2. The results indicated that Loc-lynx1 had different modulation patterns in nAChRs compared to Loc-lynx2 and Loc-lynx3. Taken together, these findings indicated that three Lynx proteins were nAChR modulators and had selective activities in different nAChRs. Lynx proteins might display their selectivities from three aspects: nAChR subtypes, various agonists and different modulation patterns. Insect Lynx (Ly-6/neurotoxin) proteins act as the allosteric modulators on insect nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), the important targets of insecticides. We found that insect lynx proteins showed their selectivities from at least three aspects: nAChR subtypes, various agonists and different modulation patterns. PMID:25951893

  15. Locust bean gum as an alternative polymeric coating for embryonic stem cell culture.

    PubMed

    Perestrelo, Ana Rubina; Grenha, Ana; Rosa da Costa, Ana M; Belo, José António

    2014-07-01

    Pluripotent embryonic stem cells (ESCs) have self-renewal capacity and the potential to differentiate into any cellular type depending on specific cues (pluripotency) and, therefore, have become a vibrant research area in the biomedical field. ESCs are usually cultured in gelatin or on top of a monolayer of feeder cells such as mitotically inactivated mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFsi). The latter is the gold standard support to maintain the ESCs in the pluripotent state. Examples of versatile, non-animal derived and inexpensive materials that are able to support pluripotent ESCs are limited. Therefore, our aim was to find a biomaterial able to support ESC growth in a pluripotent state avoiding laborious and time consuming parallel culture of MEFsi and as simple to handle as gelatin. Many of the new biomaterials used to develop stem cell microenvironments are using natural polymers adsorbed or covalently attached to the surface to improve the biocompatibility of synthetic polymers. Locust beam gum (LBG) is a natural, edible polymer, which has a wide range of potential applications in different fields, such as food and pharmaceutical industry, due to its biocompatibility, adhesiveness and thickening properties. The present work brings a natural system based on the use of LBG as a coating for ESC culture. Undifferentiated mouse ESCs were cultured on commercially available LBG to evaluate its potential in maintaining pluripotent ESCs. In terms of morphology, ESC colonies in LBG presented the regular dome shape with bright borders, similar to the colonies obtained in co-cultures with MEFsi and characteristic of pluripotent ESC colonies. In short-term cultures, ESC proliferation in LBG coating was similar to ESC cultured in gelatin and the cells maintained their viability. The activity of alkaline phosphatase and Nanog, Sox2 and Oct4 expression of mouse ESCs cultured in LBG were comparable or in some cases higher than in ESCs cultured in gelatin. An in vitro

  16. Locust bean gum as an alternative polymeric coating for embryonic stem cell culture.

    PubMed

    Perestrelo, Ana Rubina; Grenha, Ana; Rosa da Costa, Ana M; Belo, José António

    2014-07-01

    Pluripotent embryonic stem cells (ESCs) have self-renewal capacity and the potential to differentiate into any cellular type depending on specific cues (pluripotency) and, therefore, have become a vibrant research area in the biomedical field. ESCs are usually cultured in gelatin or on top of a monolayer of feeder cells such as mitotically inactivated mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFsi). The latter is the gold standard support to maintain the ESCs in the pluripotent state. Examples of versatile, non-animal derived and inexpensive materials that are able to support pluripotent ESCs are limited. Therefore, our aim was to find a biomaterial able to support ESC growth in a pluripotent state avoiding laborious and time consuming parallel culture of MEFsi and as simple to handle as gelatin. Many of the new biomaterials used to develop stem cell microenvironments are using natural polymers adsorbed or covalently attached to the surface to improve the biocompatibility of synthetic polymers. Locust beam gum (LBG) is a natural, edible polymer, which has a wide range of potential applications in different fields, such as food and pharmaceutical industry, due to its biocompatibility, adhesiveness and thickening properties. The present work brings a natural system based on the use of LBG as a coating for ESC culture. Undifferentiated mouse ESCs were cultured on commercially available LBG to evaluate its potential in maintaining pluripotent ESCs. In terms of morphology, ESC colonies in LBG presented the regular dome shape with bright borders, similar to the colonies obtained in co-cultures with MEFsi and characteristic of pluripotent ESC colonies. In short-term cultures, ESC proliferation in LBG coating was similar to ESC cultured in gelatin and the cells maintained their viability. The activity of alkaline phosphatase and Nanog, Sox2 and Oct4 expression of mouse ESCs cultured in LBG were comparable or in some cases higher than in ESCs cultured in gelatin. An in vitro

  17. Review of Giant cell arteritis

    PubMed Central

    Chacko, Joseph G.; Chacko, J. Anthony; Salter, Michael W.

    2014-01-01

    Giant-cell arteritis (GCA) is a systemic autoimmune disease affecting primarily the elderly. Giant cell arteritis can cause sudden and potentially bilateral sequential vision loss in the elderly. Therefore, it is considered a medical emergency in ophthalmology and a significant cause of morbidity in an increasingly aging population. Ophthalmologists need to be able to recognize the classic symptoms and signs of this disease, and then be able to work-up and treat these patients in an efficient manner. An in-depth review of GCA from the literature as well as personal clinical experience follows. PMID:25859139

  18. Chemical Abundances of Symbiotic Giants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gałan, C.; Mikołajewska, J.; Hinkle, K. H.; Joyce, R. R.

    2015-12-01

    High resolution (R ˜ 50000), near-IR spectra were used to measure photospheric abundances of CNO and elements around the iron peak for 24 symbiotic giants. Spectrum synthesis was employed using local thermal equilibrium and hydrostatic model atmospheres. The metallicities are distributed in a wide range with maximum around [Fe/H] ˜-0.4 - - 0.3 dex. Enrichment in 14N indicates that all the sample giants have experienced the first dredge-up. The relative abundance of [Ti/Fe] is generally large in red symbiotic systems.

  19. Charting the Giants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2004-06-01

    zero expansion asymptotically after an infinite time and has a flat geometry). All three observational tests by means of supernovae (green), the cosmic microwave background (blue) and galaxy clusters converge at a Universe around Ωm ~ 0.3 and ΩΛ ~ 0.7. The dark red region for the galaxy cluster determination corresponds to 95% certainty (2-sigma statistical deviation) when assuming good knowledge of all other cosmological parameters, and the light red region assumes a minimum knowledge. For the supernovae and WMAP results, the inner and outer regions corespond to 68% (1-sigma) and 95% certainty, respectively. References: Schuecker et al. 2003, A&A, 398, 867 (REFLEX); Tonry et al. 2003, ApJ, 594, 1 (supernovae); Riess et al. 2004, ApJ, 607, 665 (supernovae) Galaxy clusters are far from being evenly distributed in the Universe. Instead, they tend to conglomerate into even larger structures, "super-clusters". Thus, from stars which gather in galaxies, galaxies which congregate in clusters and clusters tying together in super-clusters, the Universe shows structuring on all scales, from the smallest to the largest ones. This is a relict of the very early (formation) epoch of the Universe, the so-called "inflationary" period. At that time, only a minuscule fraction of one second after the Big Bang, the tiny density fluctuations were amplified and over the eons, they gave birth to the much larger structures. Because of the link between the first fluctuations and the giant structures now observed, the unique REFLEX catalogue - the largest of its kind - allows astronomers to put considerable constraints on the content of the Universe, and in particular on the amount of dark matter that is believed to pervade it. Rather interestingly, these constraints are totally independent from all other methods so far used to assert the existence of dark matter, such as the study of very distant supernovae (see e.g. ESO PR 21/98) or the analysis of the Cosmic Microwave background (e

  20. In vitro and in vivo evaluation of locust bean gum and chitosan combination as a carrier for buccal drug delivery.

    PubMed

    Vijayaraghavan, C; Vasanthakumar, S; Ramakrishnan, A

    2008-05-01

    The object of the study was to evaluate locust bean gum and chitosan in ratios of 2:3; 3:2 and 4:1 (F1, F2 and F3) as a mucoadhesive component in buccal tablets and to compare the bioavailability of a propranolol hydrochloride buccal tablet with the oral tablet in healthy human volunteers. Propranolol hydrochloride buccal tablets containing various weight ratios of locust bean gum and chitosan were prepared and coated with 5% w/v ethyl cellulose on one face, and oral tablets containing 10 mg propranolol hydrochloride alone were formulated using a direct compression technique. The strength of mucoadhesion of the tablets was quantified based on the tensile force required to break the adhesive bond between a model membrane (porcine buccal mucosa) and the test polymer. The forces of detachment for the mucoadhesive buccal tablets were 14.61 +/- 0.14, 13.21 +/- 0.13 and 11.71 +/- 0.12. An in vitro study was carried out in pH 6.8 phosphate buffer and the cumulative percentage release of propranolol measured at 10 min intervals for 600 min was found to be 98.31 +/- 0.10, 92.24 +/- 0.41 and 90.18 +/- 0.76 respectively. A bioavailability study was conducted with the prepared formulation in 16 healthy human volunteers to determine the plasma concentration of propranolol at 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12 h. The bioavailability (AUC(0-t*) ng x h/ml) of the buccal propranolol hydrochloride tablets (F1, F2 and F3) and oral tablet (F4) was found to be 2244.18 +/- 210, 3580.69 +/- 460, 3889.19 +/- 290 and 1732 +/- 96 ng x hr/ml respectively. The study indicates that locust bean gum and chitosan in a weight ratio of 2:3 (F1) not only releases the drug unidirectionally from the dosage form, but also gives buccal tablets which are sufficiently mucoadhesive for clinical applications.

  1. Canopy transpiration of two black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) plantations with different ages in semi-arid Loess Plateau, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiao, L.

    2015-12-01

    Black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) was widely planted to control soil erosion and restore degraded ecosystem in Loess Plateau. The water use of the plantations was concerned due to its potential effects on hydrological cycle and regional water resource. Although some studies estimated canopy transpiration (Ec) of the mature black locust plantation, variation in Ec in plantations with different ages was not clear. In this study, we selected two plantations with different ages (12 years and 27 years, denoted as young stand and mature stand, respectively) in similar topographical conditions in Yangjuangou catchment in the central of Loess Plateau. Sap flux density (Fd) and tree biometrics were measured in each stand during the growing season in 2014. Soil water content (SWC) in each plot and meteorological variables in the catchment were simultaneously monitored. Tree transpiration (Et) was derived from Fd and tree sapwood area (As). Canopy transpiration (Ec) was estimated by a product of mean stand sap flux density (Js) and stand total sapwood area (AST). The mean Fd of mature trees was 2-fold larger than that of young trees.However, tree-to-tree variation in Fd among sampled trees within mature stand was evident compared to that within young stand. Mean Et in mature stand was higher than that in young stand. Ec in mature stand was significant higher than that in young stand,with cumulative value of 54 mm and 27 mm respectively. This is attributed to higher Js in mature stand although AST in young is slightly higher than that in mature stand. The patterns of daily Ec during the growing season were similar in both stands during the study period. A exponential saturation model can explain the responses of Ec to vapor deficit pressure (VPD) and solar radiation (Rs) in both stands.The relationship between Ec and SWC was not detected. Our finding suggested that stand age should be taken into consideration when estimated vegetation water use in this region. Further

  2. The giant panda gut microbiome.

    PubMed

    Wei, Fuwen; Wang, Xiao; Wu, Qi

    2015-08-01

    Giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) are bamboo specialists that evolved from carnivores. Their gut microbiota probably aids in the digestion of cellulose and this is considered an example of gut microbiota adaptation to a bamboo diet. However, this issue remains unresolved and further functional and compositional studies are needed.

  3. Giant Serpentine Aneurysms: Multidisciplinary Management

    PubMed Central

    Anshun, W.; Feng, L.; Daming, W.

    2000-01-01

    Summary Sixty-five cases of intracranial giant serpentine aneurysms (GSΛs), including 61 cases reported in the literature and four additional cases presented in this study were reviewed. The clinical presentation, possible causes, natural history, and especially management of GSAs are discussed with emphasis on the need for aggressive intervention and multidisciplinary management. PMID:20667180

  4. The giant panda gut microbiome.

    PubMed

    Wei, Fuwen; Wang, Xiao; Wu, Qi

    2015-08-01

    Giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) are bamboo specialists that evolved from carnivores. Their gut microbiota probably aids in the digestion of cellulose and this is considered an example of gut microbiota adaptation to a bamboo diet. However, this issue remains unresolved and further functional and compositional studies are needed. PMID:26143242

  5. Impact of purification and fractionation process on the chemical structure and physical properties of locust bean gum.

    PubMed

    Sébastien, Gillet; Christophe, Blecker; Mario, Aguedo; Pascal, Laurent; Michel, Paquot; Aurore, Richel

    2014-08-01

    Crude locust bean gum (CLBG) was purified and fractionated into two parts: the first was obtained by solubilization in water at 25°C (GM25) and the second consisted in a further extraction at 80°C on the residual impoverished fraction (GM80). The complete structural characterization has shown that GM80 possessed relatively longer chain lengths than GM25, a slightly lower degree of galactose substitution and a somewhat sharper galactosyl distribution in substituted and unsubstituted regions. A physical behavior analysis was carried out on solubilization kinetics, viscosity, viscoelasticity and formation of associated gels with xanthan or carrageenan. The average structure of GM80 generated larger intra-chain, inter-chain and inter-molecular interactions, resulting in the appearance of a stronger network. Small structural differences therefore generated very different physical behaviors. This study thus allowed to establish, in a precise and complete manner, fractionation-purification-structure-function relationships of galactomannans extracted from carob.

  6. Organization of columnar inputs in the third optic ganglion of a highly visual crab.

    PubMed

    Bengochea, Mercedes; Berón de Astrada, Martín

    2014-01-01

    Motion information provides essential cues for a wide variety of animal behaviors such as mate, prey, or predator detection. In decapod crustaceans and pterygote insects, visual codification of object motion is associated with visual processing in the third optic neuropile, the lobula. In this neuropile, tangential neurons collect motion information from small field columnar neurons and relay it to the midbrain where behavioral responses would be finally shaped. In highly ordered structures, detailed knowledge of the neuroanatomy can give insight into their function. In spite of the relevance of the lobula in processing motion information, studies on the neuroarchitecture of this neuropile are scant. Here, by applying dextran-conjugated dyes in the second optic neuropile (the medulla) of the crab Neohelice, we mass stained the columnar neurons that convey visual information into the lobula. We found that the arborizations of these afferent columnar neurons lie at four main lobula depths. A detailed examination of serial optical sections of the lobula revealed that these input strata are composed of different number of substrata and that the strata are thicker in the centre of the neuropile. Finally, by staining the different lobula layers composed of tangential processes we combined the present characterization of lobula input strata with the previous characterization of the neuroarchitecture of the crab's lobula based on reduced-silver preparations. We found that the third lobula input stratum overlaps with the dendrites of lobula giant tangential neurons. This suggests that columnar neurons projecting from the medulla can directly provide visual input to the crab's lobula giant neurons. PMID:24929118

  7. Organization of columnar inputs in the third optic ganglion of a highly visual crab.

    PubMed

    Bengochea, Mercedes; Berón de Astrada, Martín

    2014-01-01

    Motion information provides essential cues for a wide variety of animal behaviors such as mate, prey, or predator detection. In decapod crustaceans and pterygote insects, visual codification of object motion is associated with visual processing in the third optic neuropile, the lobula. In this neuropile, tangential neurons collect motion information from small field columnar neurons and relay it to the midbrain where behavioral responses would be finally shaped. In highly ordered structures, detailed knowledge of the neuroanatomy can give insight into their function. In spite of the relevance of the lobula in processing motion information, studies on the neuroarchitecture of this neuropile are scant. Here, by applying dextran-conjugated dyes in the second optic neuropile (the medulla) of the crab Neohelice, we mass stained the columnar neurons that convey visual information into the lobula. We found that the arborizations of these afferent columnar neurons lie at four main lobula depths. A detailed examination of serial optical sections of the lobula revealed that these input strata are composed of different number of substrata and that the strata are thicker in the centre of the neuropile. Finally, by staining the different lobula layers composed of tangential processes we combined the present characterization of lobula input strata with the previous characterization of the neuroarchitecture of the crab's lobula based on reduced-silver preparations. We found that the third lobula input stratum overlaps with the dendrites of lobula giant tangential neurons. This suggests that columnar neurons projecting from the medulla can directly provide visual input to the crab's lobula giant neurons.

  8. Bilateral flight muscle activity predicts wing kinematics and 3-dimensional body orientation of locusts responding to looming objects.

    PubMed

    McMillan, Glyn A; Loessin, Vicky; Gray, John R

    2013-09-01

    We placed locusts in a wind tunnel using a loose tether design that allowed for motion in all three rotational degrees of freedom during presentation of a computer-generated looming disc. High-speed video allowed us to extract wing kinematics, abdomen position and 3-dimensional body orientation. Concurrent electromyographic (EMG) recordings monitored bilateral activity from the first basalar depressor muscles (m97) of the forewings, which are implicated in flight steering. Behavioural responses to a looming disc included cessation of flight (wings folded over the body), glides and active steering during sustained flight in addition to a decrease and increase in wingbeat frequency prior to and during, respectively, an evasive turn. Active steering involved shifts in bilateral m97 timing, wing asymmetries and whole-body rotations in the yaw (ψ), pitch (χ) and roll (η) planes. Changes in abdomen position and hindwing asymmetries occurred after turns were initiated. Forewing asymmetry and changes in η were most highly correlated with m97 spike latency. Correlations also increased as the disc approached, peaking prior to collision. On the inside of a turn, m97 spikes occurred earlier relative to forewing stroke reversal and bilateral timing corresponded to forewing asymmetry as well as changes in whole-body rotation. Double spikes in each m97 occurred most frequently at or immediately prior to the time the locusts turned, suggesting a behavioural significance. These data provide information on mechanisms underlying 3-dimensional flight manoeuvres and will be used to drive a closed loop flight simulator to study responses of motion-sensitive visual neurons during production of realistic behaviours.

  9. Bilateral flight muscle activity predicts wing kinematics and 3-dimensional body orientation of locusts responding to looming objects.

    PubMed

    McMillan, Glyn A; Loessin, Vicky; Gray, John R

    2013-09-01

    We placed locusts in a wind tunnel using a loose tether design that allowed for motion in all three rotational degrees of freedom during presentation of a computer-generated looming disc. High-speed video allowed us to extract wing kinematics, abdomen position and 3-dimensional body orientation. Concurrent electromyographic (EMG) recordings monitored bilateral activity from the first basalar depressor muscles (m97) of the forewings, which are implicated in flight steering. Behavioural responses to a looming disc included cessation of flight (wings folded over the body), glides and active steering during sustained flight in addition to a decrease and increase in wingbeat frequency prior to and during, respectively, an evasive turn. Active steering involved shifts in bilateral m97 timing, wing asymmetries and whole-body rotations in the yaw (ψ), pitch (χ) and roll (η) planes. Changes in abdomen position and hindwing asymmetries occurred after turns were initiated. Forewing asymmetry and changes in η were most highly correlated with m97 spike latency. Correlations also increased as the disc approached, peaking prior to collision. On the inside of a turn, m97 spikes occurred earlier relative to forewing stroke reversal and bilateral timing corresponded to forewing asymmetry as well as changes in whole-body rotation. Double spikes in each m97 occurred most frequently at or immediately prior to the time the locusts turned, suggesting a behavioural significance. These data provide information on mechanisms underlying 3-dimensional flight manoeuvres and will be used to drive a closed loop flight simulator to study responses of motion-sensitive visual neurons during production of realistic behaviours. PMID:23737560

  10. Locust adipokinetic hormones: carrier-independent transport and differential inactivation at physiological concentrations during rest and flight.

    PubMed Central

    Oudejans, R C; Vroemen, S F; Jansen, R F; Van der Horst, D J

    1996-01-01

    Since concomitant release of structurally related peptide hormones with apparently similar functions seems to be a general concept in endocrinology, we have studied the dynamics of the lifetime of the three known adipokinetic hormones (AKHs) of the migratory locust, which control flight-directed mobilization of carbohydrate and lipid from fat body stores. Although the structure of the first member of the AKHs has been known for 20 years, until now, reliable data on their inactivation and removal from the hemolymph are lacking, because measurement requires AKHs with high specific radioactivity. Employing tritiated AKHs with high specific radioactivity, obtained by catalytic reduction with tritium gas of the dehydroLeu2 analogues of the AKHs synthesized by the solid-phase procedure, studies with physiological doses of as low as 1.0 pmol per locust could be conducted. The AKHs appear to be transported in the hemolymph in their free forms and not associated with a carrier protein, despite their strong hydrophobicity. Application of AKHs in their free form in in vivo and in vitro studies therefore now has been justified. We have studied the degradation of the three AKHs during rest and flight. The first cleavage step by an endopeptidase is crucial, since the resulting degradation products lack any adipokinetic activity. Half-lives for AKH-I, -II and -III were 51, 40, and 5 min, respectively, for rest conditions and 35, 37, and 3 min, respectively, during flight. The rapid and differential degradation of structurally related hormones leads to changes in the ratio in which they are released and therefore will have important consequences for concerted hormone action at the level of the target organ or organs, suggesting that each of the known AKHs may play its own biological role in the overall syndrome of insect flight. PMID:8710926

  11. Macromodeling for analog design and robustness boosting in bio-inspired computing models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cuadri, J.; Linan, G.; Roca, E.; Rodriguez-Vazquez, A.

    2005-06-01

    Setting specifications for the electronic implementation of biological neural-network-like vision systems on-chip is not straightforward, neither it is to simulate the resulting circuit. The structure of these systems leads to a netlist of more than 100.000 nodes for a small array of 100x150 pixels. Moreover, introducing an optical input in the low level simulation is nowadays not feasible with standard electrical simulation environments. Given that, to accomplish the task of integrating those systems in silicon to build compact, low power consuming, and reliable systems, a previous step in the standard analog electronic design flux should be introduced. Here a methodology to make the translation from the biological model to circuit-level specifications for electronic design is proposed. The purpose is to include non ideal effects as mismatching, noise, leakages, supply degradation, feedthrough, and temperature of operation in a high level description of the implementation, in order to accomplish behavioural simulations that require less computational effort and resources. A particular case study is presented, the analog electronic implementation of the locust"s Lobula Giant Movement Detector (LGMD), a neural structure that fires a collision alarm based on visual information. The final goal is a collision threat detection vision system on-chip for automotive applications.

  12. Fine and distributed subcellular retinotopy of excitatory inputs to the dendritic tree of a collision-detecting neuron.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Ying; Gabbiani, Fabrizio

    2016-06-01

    Individual neurons in several sensory systems receive synaptic inputs organized according to subcellular topographic maps, yet the fine structure of this topographic organization and its relation to dendritic morphology have not been studied in detail. Subcellular topography is expected to play a role in dendritic integration, particularly when dendrites are extended and active. The lobula giant movement detector (LGMD) neuron in the locust visual system is known to receive topographic excitatory inputs on part of its dendritic tree. The LGMD responds preferentially to objects approaching on a collision course and is thought to implement several interesting dendritic computations. To study the fine retinotopic mapping of visual inputs onto the excitatory dendrites of the LGMD, we designed a custom microscope allowing visual stimulation at the native sampling resolution of the locust compound eye while simultaneously performing two-photon calcium imaging on excitatory dendrites. We show that the LGMD receives a distributed, fine retinotopic projection from the eye facets and that adjacent facets activate overlapping portions of the same dendritic branches. We also demonstrate that adjacent retinal inputs most likely make independent synapses on the excitatory dendrites of the LGMD. Finally, we show that the fine topographic mapping can be studied using dynamic visual stimuli. Our results reveal the detailed structure of the dendritic input originating from individual facets on the eye and their relation to that of adjacent facets. The mapping of visual space onto the LGMD's dendrites is expected to have implications for dendritic computation. PMID:27009157

  13. Pasting properties of Tamarind (Tamarindus indica) kernel powder in the presence of Xanthan, Carboxymethylcellulose and Locust bean gum in comparison to Rice and Potato flour.

    PubMed

    Kaur, Maninder; Sandhu, Kawaljit Singh; Kaur, Jasmeen

    2013-08-01

    Effects of addition of different levels of gums (xanthan, carboxymethylcellulose and locust bean gum) on the pasting properties of tamarind kernel, potato and rice flour were studied by using Rapid Visco-Analyzer (RVA). Tamarind kernel powder (TKP) varied significantly (P < 0.05) from rice and potato flours with respect to its highest protein, ash and fat contents. The results of RVA analysis indicated that pasting properties of flour/gum mixtures were dependent upon the concentration and type of the gums. Peak, breakdown and final viscosity increased with increase in gum concentration in the flour/gum mixture, but the effect was more pronounced for rice and potato flour than for TKP which showed much lower viscosity responses to all of the gums. Among the three gums studied, the increase in viscosity was significantly higher with addition of locust bean gum followed by xanthan while the lowest was observed with carboxymethylcellulose.

  14. Asteroseismology of Red Giant stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tarrant, N. J.; Chaplin, W. J.; Elsworth, Y. P.; Spreckley, S. A.; Stevens, I. R.

    2008-12-01

    Sun-like oscillations, that is p-modes excited stochastically by convective noise, have now been observed in a number of Red Giant stars. Compared to those seen in the Sun, these modes are of large amplitude and long period, making the oscillations attractive prospects for observation. However, the low Q-factor of these modes, and issues relating to the rising background at low frequencies, present some interesting challenges for identifying modes and determining the related asteroseismic parameters. We report on the analysis procedure adopted for peak-bagging by our group at Birming- ham, and the techniques used to robustly ensure these are not a product of noise. I also show results from a number of giants extracted from multi-year observations with the SMEI instrument

  15. Proteorhodopsin genes in giant viruses.

    PubMed

    Yutin, Natalya; Koonin, Eugene V

    2012-01-01

    Viruses with large genomes encode numerous proteins that do not directly participate in virus biogenesis but rather modify key functional systems of infected cells. We report that a distinct group of giant viruses infecting unicellular eukaryotes that includes Organic Lake Phycodnaviruses and Phaeocystis globosa virus encode predicted proteorhodopsins that have not been previously detected in viruses. Search of metagenomic sequence data shows that putative viral proteorhodopsins are extremely abundant in marine environments. Phylogenetic analysis suggests that giant viruses acquired proteorhodopsins via horizontal gene transfer from proteorhodopsin-encoding protists although the actual donor(s) could not be presently identified. The pattern of conservation of the predicted functionally important amino acid residues suggests that viral proteorhodopsin homologs function as sensory rhodopsins. We hypothesize that viral rhodopsins modulate light-dependent signaling, in particular phototaxis, in infected protists.

  16. Diet Drives the Collective Migrations and Affects the Immunity of Mormon Crickets and Locusts: A Comparison of These Potential Superspreaders of Disease.

    PubMed

    Srygley, R B

    2016-08-01

    Differential transmission of disease among individuals within a population or among species in a community can result in superspreaders, relatively rare individuals responsible for a large proportion of transmission events. Migrating Mormon crickets and nymphal locusts readily engage in cannibalistic attacks and necrophagy. Typically multiple individuals consume a cadaver, which fosters the spread of disease. Cannibalistic attacks result in aligned, coordinated movement of individuals in massive bands that march daily for weeks at a time. Coordinated movement reduces contact frequency, which not only reduces cannibalism but the risk of disease transmission. When crowded, Mormon crickets and locusts elevate their constitutive immunity, which further reduces the risk of disease transmission. Bands of Mormon crickets show a variety of macronutrient dietary deficiencies that determine whether they will be more susceptible to pathogenic bacteria or fungi. In some migratory bands, Mormon crickets seek carbohydrates and have less anti-bacterial activity. A lipid transport protein that functions in both fuelling migration and anti-bacterial activity may cause a trade-off between the two activities when carbohydrates are limited. In other migratory bands, Mormon crickets prefer protein over carbohydrates, indicating protein-deficiency. In these bands, the generalized immunity of Mormon crickets, measured as phenoloxidase, is compromised, and the insects are more susceptible to Beauveria bassiana fungal infection. In locusts, a high protein diet resulted in greater susceptibility to another entomopathogenic fungus, Metarhizium acridum, whereas in Mormon crickets, both phenoloxidase titers and immunity to M acridum increased with adult age. Color changes associated with death by either of these fungi diminishes cannibalism, but bands may cull infected or encounter cadavers too quickly to effectively reduce fungal transmission. As long as the insects show no signs of infection

  17. Giant South Brae platform installed

    SciTech Connect

    Cranfield, J.

    1982-12-01

    During the summer 1982 another giant production platform was installed in the North Sea in Marathon's South Brae field. The complex structure of that field necessitated careful planning of the offshore producing structure design and placement. The platform has 46 well slots; 19 will be used as producing wells, 3 for gas injection, and 14 for water injection. The remainder of the well slots are reserved for future development. The platform structure design is examined.

  18. Giant magnetoresistance in silicene nanoribbons.

    PubMed

    Xu, Chengyong; Luo, Guangfu; Liu, Qihang; Zheng, Jiaxin; Zhang, Zhimeng; Nagase, Shigeru; Gao, Zhengxiang; Lu, Jing

    2012-05-21

    By performing first-principle quantum transport calculations, we predict a giant magnetoresistance in zigzag silicene nanoribbons (ZSiNRs) connecting two semi-infinite silicene electrodes through switch of the edge spin direction of ZSiNRs. Spin-filter efficiency of both the antiferromagnetic and ferromagnetic ZSiNRs is sign-changeable with the bias voltage. Therefore, potential application of silicene in spintronics devices is suggested.

  19. A giant juvenile nasopharyngeal angiofibroma.

    PubMed

    Yüce, Salim; Uysal, Ismail Önder; Doğan, Mansur; Polat, Kerem; Salk, Ismail; Müderris, Suphi

    2013-05-01

    Juvenile nasopharyngeal angiofibromas are locally growing and highly vascular tumors. They are primarily treated through surgical excision ranging from an open approach to an endoscopic approach. We presented a 20-year-old man with a giant juvenile nasopharyngeal angiofibroma that bilaterally obliterated the pterygopalatine fossa, invaded the sphenoid bone, and extended to the left nasal passage. His complaints were epistaxis and nasal obstruction. After embolization, the patient was treated surgically using the endoscopic approach and declared cured and discharged without any complications.

  20. A Giant Juvenile Nasopharyngeal Angiofibroma

    PubMed Central

    Yüce, Salim; Uysal, İsmail Önder; Doğan, Mansur; Polat, Kerem; Şalk, İsmail; Müderris, Suphi

    2012-01-01

    Juvenile nasopharyngeal angiofibroma (JNA) are locally growing highly vascular tumours. They are treated primarily by surgical excision ranging from open approach to endoscopic approach. We presented a 20-year-old male with a giant nasopharyngeal juvenile angiofibroma obliterating the pterygopalatine fossa bilaterally, invasing the sphenoid bone and extending to the left nasal passage. His complaints were epistaxis and nasal obstruction. After embolization, the patient was treated surgically with endoscopic approach and discharged as cured without any complication. PMID:23714961

  1. KEPLER RAPIDLY ROTATING GIANT STARS

    SciTech Connect

    Costa, A. D.; Martins, B. L. Canto; Bravo, J. P.; Paz-Chinchón, F.; Chagas, M. L. das; Leão, I. C.; Oliveira, G. Pereira de; Silva, R. Rodrigues da; Roque, S.; Oliveira, L. L. A. de; Silva, D. Freire da; De Medeiros, J. R.

    2015-07-10

    Rapidly rotating giant stars are relatively rare and may represent important stages of stellar evolution, resulting from stellar coalescence of close binary systems or accretion of substellar companions by their hosting stars. In the present Letter, we report 17 giant stars observed in the scope of the Kepler space mission exhibiting rapid rotation behavior. For the first time, the abnormal rotational behavior for this puzzling family of stars is revealed by direct measurements of rotation, namely from photometric rotation period, exhibiting a very short rotation period with values ranging from 13 to 55 days. This finding points to remarkable surface rotation rates, up to 18 times the rotation of the Sun. These giants are combined with six others recently listed in the literature for mid-infrared (IR) diagnostics based on Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer information, from which a trend for an IR excess is revealed for at least one-half of the stars, but at a level far lower than the dust excess emission shown by planet-bearing main-sequence stars.

  2. Hairpin Furans and Giant Biaryls.

    PubMed

    Geng, Xin; Mague, Joel T; Donahue, James P; Pascal, Robert A

    2016-05-01

    The thermal reaction of two cyclopentadienones with 5,5'-binaphthoquinone or 6,6'-dimethoxy-5,5'-binaphthoquinone in refluxing nitrobenzene (210 °C) gives, in a single synthetic step that includes two Diels-Alder additions, two decarbonylations, and two dehydrogenations, giant biaryl bisquinones (compounds 13, 14, 15, 18, and 21). However, when two cyclopentadienones react with 6,6'-dimethoxy-5,5'-binaphthoquinone in nitrobenzene at higher temperatures (250-260 °C), the resulting products are molecular ribbons composed of two twisted aromatic systems fused to a heteropentahelicene (19, 20, and 22). These molecules are representatives of a new class of chiral polycyclic aromatic compounds, the "hairpin furans". Interestingly, reheating a dimethoxy-substituted giant biaryl (e.g., 21) in nitrobenzene at 260 °C does not yield the corresponding hairpin furan (22), and mechanistic studies indicate that some intermediate or byproduct of the synthesis of the giant biaryls is a reagent or catalyst necessary for the conversion of the dimethoxybiaryl to the furan.

  3. Observed Properties of Giant Cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hathaway, David H.; Upton, Lisa; Colegrove, Owen

    2014-01-01

    The existence of Giant Cells has been suggested by both theory and observation for over 45 years. We have tracked the motions of supergranules in SDO/HMI Doppler velocity data and find larger (Giant Cell) flows that persist for months. The flows in these cells are clockwise around centers of divergence in the north and counter-clockwise in the south. Equatorward flows are correlated with prograde flows - giving the transport of angular momentum toward the equator that is needed to maintain the Sun's rapid equatorial rotation. The cells are most pronounced at mid- and high-latitudes where they exhibit the rotation rates representative of those latitudes. These are clearly large, long-lived, cellular features, with the dynamical characteristics expected from the effects of the Sun's rotation, but the shapes of the cells are not well represented in numerical models. While the Giant Cell flow velocities are small (<10 m/s), their long lifetimes should nonetheless substantially impact the transport of magnetic flux in the Sun's near surface layers.

  4. Red Giants and Solar Sails

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matloff, G. L.

    Our Sun will eventually leave the main sequence and expand in size and luminosity to become a giant star. For much of its ~108 year career as a giant, the Sun will reside on the horizontal branch of the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram, with a surface temperature of ~5000 K, a radius about 10x its present-day radius, and about 50x its current luminosity. A space-manufactured beryllium solar-photon sail could be used for emigration from the solar system during this solar phase. Space environmental effects limit the closest approach distance to the giant star to around 0.5 AU, assuming the quiet phase of the stellar activity cycle. Beryllium spectral reflectivity values are used to calculate a wavelength averaged sail spectral reflectivity. This parameter and a reasonable value of spacecraft areal mass thickness (8.87 x 10-5 kg/m2) are used to estimate the interstellar cruise velocity for a sail fully unfurled at a 0.5-1 AU perihelion from an initially parabolic orbit that is always oriented normal to the star. These will be 2-3x greater than those possible for the same craft launched from today's Sun.

  5. Proteomic analysis reveals that COP9 signalosome complex subunit 7A (CSN7A) is essential for the phase transition of migratory locust.

    PubMed

    Tong, Xi-Wen; Chen, Bing; Huang, Li-Hua; Feng, Qi-Li; Kang, Le

    2015-01-01

    The migratory locust displays a reversible, density-dependent transition between the two phases of gregaria and solitaria. This phenomenon is a typical kind of behavior plasticity. Here, we report that COP9 signalosome complex subunit 7A (CSN7A) is involved in the regulation of locust phase transition. Firstly, 90 proteins were identified to express differentially between the two phases by quantitative proteomic analysis. Gregaria revealed higher levels in proteins related to structure formation, melanism and energy metabolism, whereas solitaria had more abundant proteins related to digestion, absorption and chemical sensing. Subsequently, ten proteins including CSN7A were found to reveal differential mRNA expression profiles between the two phases. The CSN7A had higher mRNA level in the gregaria as compared with the solitaria, and the mRNA amount in the gregaria decreased remarkably during the 32 h-isolation. However, the mRNA level in the solitaria kept constant during the crowding rearing. Finally and importantly, RNA interference of CSN7A in gregaria resulted in obvious phase transition towards solitaria within 24 h. It suggests that CSN7A plays an essential role in the transition of gregaria towards solitaria in the migratory locust. To our knowledge, it's the first time to report the role of CSN in behavior plasticity of animals. PMID:26212173

  6. Proteomic analysis reveals that COP9 signalosome complex subunit 7A (CSN7A) is essential for the phase transition of migratory locust

    PubMed Central

    Tong, Xi-Wen; Chen, Bing; Huang, Li-Hua; Feng, Qi-Li; Kang, Le

    2015-01-01

    The migratory locust displays a reversible, density-dependent transition between the two phases of gregaria and solitaria. This phenomenon is a typical kind of behavior plasticity. Here, we report that COP9 signalosome complex subunit 7A (CSN7A) is involved in the regulation of locust phase transition. Firstly, 90 proteins were identified to express differentially between the two phases by quantitative proteomic analysis. Gregaria revealed higher levels in proteins related to structure formation, melanism and energy metabolism, whereas solitaria had more abundant proteins related to digestion, absorption and chemical sensing. Subsequently, ten proteins including CSN7A were found to reveal differential mRNA expression profiles between the two phases. The CSN7A had higher mRNA level in the gregaria as compared with the solitaria, and the mRNA amount in the gregaria decreased remarkably during the 32 h-isolation. However, the mRNA level in the solitaria kept constant during the crowding rearing. Finally and importantly, RNA interference of CSN7A in gregaria resulted in obvious phase transition towards solitaria within 24 h. It suggests that CSN7A plays an essential role in the transition of gregaria towards solitaria in the migratory locust. To our knowledge, it’s the first time to report the role of CSN in behavior plasticity of animals. PMID:26212173

  7. Guiding the Giant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1998-08-01

    New ESO Survey Provides Targets for the VLT Giant astronomical telescopes like the ESO Very Large Telescope (VLT) must be used efficiently. Observing time is expensive and there are long waiting lines of excellent research programmes. Thus the work at the telescope must be very well prepared and optimized as much as possible - mistakes should be avoided and no time lost! Astronomers working with the new 8-m class optical/infrared telescopes must base their observations on detailed lists of suitable target objects if they want to perform cutting-edge science. This is particularly true for research programmes that depend on observations of large samples of comparatively rare, distant objects. This type of work requires that extensive catalogues of such objects must be prepared in advance. One such major catalogue - that will serve as a very useful basis for future VLT observations - has just become available from the new ESO Imaging Survey (EIS). The Need for Sky Surveys Astronomers have since long recognized the need to carry out preparatory observations with other telescopes in order to "guide" large telescopes. To this end, surveys of smaller or larger parts of the sky have been performed by wide-field telescopes, paving the way for subsequent work at the limits of the largest available ground-based telescopes. For instance, a complete photographic survey of the sourthern sky (declination < -17.5°) was carried out in the 1970's with the ESO 1-metre Schmidt Telescope in support of the work at the 3.6-m telescope at the ESO La Silla observatory. However, while until recently most observational programmes could rely on samples of objects found on photographic plates, this is no longer possible. New image surveys must match the fainter limiting magnitudes reached by the new and larger telescopes. Modern digital, multi-colour, deep imaging surveys have thus become an indispensable complement to the 8-m telescopes. The new generation of imaging surveys will, without

  8. Red giants: then and now

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Faulkner, John

    Fred Hoyle's work on the structure and evolution of red giants, particularly his pathbreaking contribution with Martin Schwarzschild (Hoyle and Schwarzschild 1955), is both lauded and critically assessed. In his later lectures and work with students in the early 1960s, Hoyle presented more physical ways of understanding some of the approximations used, and results obtained, in that seminal paper. Although later ideas by other investigators will be touched upon, Hoyle's viewpoint - that low-mass red giants are essentially white dwarfs with a serious mass-storage problem - is still extremely fruitful. Over the years, I have further developed his method of attack. Relatively recently, I have been able to deepen and broaden the approach, finally extending the theory to provide a unifying treatment of the structure of low-mass stars from the main sequence though both the red-giant and horizontal-branch phases of evolution. Many aspects of these stars that had remained puzzling, even mysterious, for decades have now fallen into place, and some questions have been answered that were not even posed before. With low-mass red giants as the simplest example, this recent work emphasizes that stars, in general, may have at least two distinct but very important centres: (I) a geometrical centre, and (II) a separate nuclear centre, residing in a shell outside a zero-luminosity dense core for example. This two-centre perspective leads to an explicit, analytical, asymptotic theory of low-mass red-giant structure. It enables one to appreciate that the problem of understanding why such stars become red giants is one of anticipating a remarkable yet natural structural bifurcation that occurs in them. This bifurcation occurs because of a combination of known and understandable facts just summarized namely that, following central hydrogen exhaustion, a thin nuclear-burning shell does develop outside a more-or-less dense core. In the resulting theory, both ρsh/ρolinec and

  9. Spontaneous thrombosis in giant intracranial aneurysms.

    PubMed Central

    Whittle, I R; Dorsch, N W; Besser, M

    1982-01-01

    Twelve patients in a series of 22 with giant intracranial aneurysms demonstrated neuroradiological features of partial or total spontaneous intra-aneurysmal thrombosis. The presence of this intra-aneurysmal clot significantly altered the computed tomographic appearance of the giant aneurysm. Massive intra-aneurysmal thrombosis did not protect against subarachnoid haemorrhage and the likelihood of rupture of a clot containing giant aneurysm was not significantly different from that of a non-thrombosed giant aneurysm. Although parent artery occlusion from a thrombosed giant aneurysm, and massive aneurysmal thrombosis leading to the formation of giant serpentine aneurysm were documented, these are rare epiphenomena. The risk of embolisation from a partially thrombosed giant aneurysm, which was documented in one case, would appear to be greater than that from a non-thrombosed giant aneurysm. The findings in this series, and a review of literature, suggest that the presence of intra-aneurysmal clot in giant intracranial aneurysms has little prognostic significance and does not alter the management or outcome after treatment. Images PMID:7175528

  10. Speciation and phylogeography of giant petrels Macronectes.

    PubMed

    Techow, N M S M; O'Ryan, C; Phillips, R A; Gales, R; Marin, M; Patterson-Fraser, D; Quintana, F; Ritz, M S; Thompson, D R; Wanless, R M; Weimerskirch, H; Ryan, P G

    2010-02-01

    We examine global phylogeography of the two forms of giant petrel Macronectes spp. Although previously considered to be a single taxon, and despite debate over the status of some populations and the existence of minimal genetic data (one mitochondrial cytochrome b sequence per form), the current consensus based on morphology is that there are two species, Northern Giant Petrel M. halli and Southern Giant Petrel M. giganteus. This study examined genetic variation at cytochrome b as well as six microsatellite loci in giant petrels from 22 islands, representing most island groups at which the two species breed. Both markers support separate species status, although sequence divergence in cytochrome b was only 0.42% (corrected). Divergence was estimated to have occurred approximately 0.2mya, but with some colonies apparently separated for longer (up to 0.5 my). Three clades were found within giant petrels, which separated approximately 0.7mya, with the Southern Giant Petrel paraphyletic to a monophyletic Northern Giant Petrel. There was evidence of past fragmentation during the Pleistocene, with subsequent secondary contact within Southern Giant Petrels. The analysis also suggested a period of past population expansion that corresponded roughly to the timing of speciation and the separation of an ancestral giant petrel population from the fulmar Fulmarus clade. PMID:19755164

  11. Warm Disks from Giant Impacts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2015-10-01

    In the process of searching for exoplanetary systems, weve discovered tens of debris disks close around distant stars that are especially bright in infrared wavelengths. New research suggests that we might be looking at the late stages of terrestrial planet formation in these systems.Forming Terrestrial PlanetsAccording to the widely-accepted formation model for our solar-system, protoplanets the size of Mars formed within a protoplanetary disk around our Sun. Eventually, the depletion of the gas in the disk led the orbits of these protoplanets to become chaotically unstable. Finally, in the giant impact stage, many of the protoplanets collided with each other ultimately leading to the formation of the terrestrial planets and their moons as we know them today.If giant impact stages occur in exoplanetary systems, too leading to the formation of terrestrial exoplanets how would we detect this process? According to a study led by Hidenori Genda of the Tokyo Institute of Technology, we might be already be witnessing this stage in observations of warm debris disks around other stars. To test this, Genda and collaborators model giant impact stages and determine what we would expect to see from a system undergoing this violent evolution.Modeling CollisionsSnapshots of a giant impact in one of the authors simulations. The collision causes roughly 0.05 Earth masses of protoplanetary material to be ejected from the system. Click for a closer look! [Genda et al. 2015]The collaborators run a series of simulations evolving protoplanetary bodies in a solar system. The simulations begin 10 Myr into the lifetime of the solar system, i.e., after the gas from the protoplanetary disk has had time to be cleared and the protoplanetary orbits begin to destabilize. The simulations end when the protoplanets are done smashing into each other and have again settled into stable orbits, typically after ~100 Myr.The authors find that, over an average giant impact stage, the total amount of

  12. Vibration modes of giant gravitons

    SciTech Connect

    Das, Sumit R.; Jevicki, Antal; Mathur, Samir D.

    2001-01-15

    We examine the spectrum of small vibrations of giant gravitons when the gravitons expand in anti--de Sitter space and when they expand on the sphere. For any given angular harmonic, the modes are found to have frequencies related to the curvature length scale of the background; these frequencies are independent of radius (and hence angular momentum) of the brane itself. This implies that the holographic dual theory must have, in a given R charge sector, low-lying non-BPS excitations with level spacings independent of the R charge.

  13. Giant Sigmoid Diverticula: A Review

    PubMed Central

    Kempczinski, Richard F.; Ferrucci, Joseph T.

    1974-01-01

    Two patients with giant sigmoid diverticula are added to 13 cases reported in the literature and the clinical features of this rare complication of diverticulosis are reviewed. These lesions probably arise as pseudodiverticula of the sigmoid colon with herniation of the mucosa through the muscle wall. They become progressively inflated by colonic gas via a ball-valve type mechanism. They are best treated by resection of the diverticulum, in continuity with the involved sigmoid, and primary anastomosis. ImagesFig. 1.Fig. 2.Fig. 3. PMID:4433171

  14. Sodium in weak G-band giants

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Drake, Jeremy J.; Lambert, David L.

    1994-01-01

    Sodium abundances have been determined for eight weak G-band giants whose atmospheres are greatly enriched with products of the CN-cycling H-burning reactions. Systematic errors are minimized by comparing the weak G-band giants to a sample of similar but normal giants. If, further, Ca is selected as a reference element, model atmosphere-related errors should largely be removed. For the weak-G-band stars (Na/Ca) = 0.16 +/- 0.01, which is just possibly greater than the result (Na/Ca) = 0.10 /- 0.03 from the normal giants. This result demonstrates that the atmospheres of the weak G-band giants are not seriously contaminated with products of ON cycling.

  15. Giant Planets in Open Clusters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quinn, S. N.; White, R. J.; Latham, D. W.

    2015-10-01

    Two decades after the discovery of 51 Peg b, more than 200 hot Jupiters have now been confirmed, but the details of their inward migration remain uncertain. While it is widely accepted that short period giant planets could not have formed in situ, several different mechanisms (e.g., Type II migration, planet-planet scattering, Kozai-Lidov cycles) may contribute to shrinking planetary orbits, and the relative importance of each is not well-constrained. Migration through the gas disk is expected to preserve circular, coplanar orbits and must occur quickly (within ˜ 10 Myr), whereas multi-body processes should initially excite eccentricities and inclinations and may take hundreds of millions of years. Subsequent evolution of the system (e.g., orbital circularization and inclination damping via tidal interaction with the host star) may obscure these differences, so observing hot Jupiters soon after migration occurs can constrain the importance of each mechanism. Fortunately, the well-characterized stars in young and adolescent open clusters (with known ages and compositions) provide natural laboratories for such studies, and recent surveys have begun to take advantage of this opportunity. We present a review of the discoveries in this emerging realm of exoplanet science, discuss the constraints they provide for giant planet formation and migration, and reflect on the future direction of the field.

  16. Giant magnetoresistance in silicene nanoribbons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Chengyong; Luo, Guangfu; Liu, Qihang; Zheng, Jiaxin; Zhang, Zhimeng; Nagase, Shigeru; Gao, Zhengxiang; Lu, Jing

    2012-05-01

    By performing first-principle quantum transport calculations, we predict a giant magnetoresistance in zigzag silicene nanoribbons (ZSiNRs) connecting two semi-infinite silicene electrodes through switch of the edge spin direction of ZSiNRs. Spin-filter efficiency of both the antiferromagnetic and ferromagnetic ZSiNRs is sign-changeable with the bias voltage. Therefore, potential application of silicene in spintronics devices is suggested.By performing first-principle quantum transport calculations, we predict a giant magnetoresistance in zigzag silicene nanoribbons (ZSiNRs) connecting two semi-infinite silicene electrodes through switch of the edge spin direction of ZSiNRs. Spin-filter efficiency of both the antiferromagnetic and ferromagnetic ZSiNRs is sign-changeable with the bias voltage. Therefore, potential application of silicene in spintronics devices is suggested. Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available: The total current contrasts between the AFM and FM configurations and the spin-resolved I-Vbias characteristics in the AFM and FM configurations of all the checked ZSiNRs as a function of bias voltage; the spin-resolved I-Vbias characteristics and SFEs of different-length 5-ZSiNR in the AFM and FM configurations as a function of bias voltage. See DOI: 10.1039/c2nr00037g

  17. Locust bean gum safety in neonates and young infants: an integrated review of the toxicological database and clinical evidence.

    PubMed

    Meunier, Leo; Garthoff, Jossie A; Schaafsma, Anne; Krul, Lisette; Schrijver, Jaap; van Goudoever, Johannes B; Speijers, Gerrit; Vandenplas, Yvan

    2014-10-01

    Locust bean gum (LBG) is a galactomannan polysaccharide used as thickener in infant formulas with the therapeutic aim to treat uncomplicated gastroesophageal reflux (GER). Since its use in young infants below 12weeks of age is not explicitly covered by the current scientific concept of the derivation of health based guidance values, the present integrated safety review aimed to compile all the relevant preclinical toxicological studies and to combine them with substantial evidence gathered from the clinical paediatric use as part of the weight of evidence supporting the safety in young infants below 12weeks of age. LBG was demonstrated to have very low toxicity in preclinical studies mainly resulting from its indigestible nature leading to negligible systemic bioavailability and only possibly influencing tolerance. A standard therapeutic level of 0.5g/100mL in thickened infant formula is shown to confer a sufficiently protective Margin of Safety. LBG was not associated with any adverse toxic or nutritional effects in healthy term infants, while there are limited case-reports of possible adverse effects in preterms receiving the thickener inappropriately. Altogether, it can be concluded that LBG is safe for its intended therapeutic use in term-born infants to treat uncomplicated regurgitation from birth onwards.

  18. Effects of locust bean gum and mono- and diglyceride concentrations on particle size and melting rates of ice cream.

    PubMed

    Cropper, S L; Kocaoglu-Vurma, N A; Tharp, B W; Harper, W J

    2013-06-01

    The objective of this study was to determine how varying concentrations of the stabilizer, locust bean gum (LBG), and different levels of the emulsifier, mono- and diglycerides (MDGs), influenced fat aggregation and melting characteristics of ice cream. Ice creams were made containing MDGs and LBG singly and in combination at concentrations ranging between 0.0% to 0.14% and 0.0% to 0.23%, respectively. Particle size analysis, conducted on both the mixes and ice cream, and melting rate testing on the ice cream were used to determine fat aggregation. No significant differences (P < 0.05) were found between particle size values for experimental ice cream mixes. However, higher concentrations of both LBG and MDG in the ice creams resulted in values that were larger than the control. This study also found an increase in the particle size values when MDG levels were held constant and LBG amounts were increased in the ice cream. Ice creams with higher concentrations of MDG and LBG together had the greatest difference in the rate of melting than the control. The melting rate decreased with increasing LBG concentrations at constant MDG levels. These results illustrated that fat aggregation may not only be affected by emulsifiers, but that stabilizers may play a role in contributing to the destabilization of fat globules.

  19. The effect of degradation on κ-carrageenan/locust bean gum/konjac glucomannan gels at acidic pH.

    PubMed

    Yang, Kun; Wang, Zheng; Nakajima, Tetsuya; Nishinari, Katsuyoshi; Brenner, Tom

    2013-10-15

    The feasibility of textural and rheological modification of gels containing κ-carrageenan (KC) and locust bean gum (LBG) by addition of konjac glucomannan (KGM) was investigated. Special attention was paid to the effect of polysaccharide degradation during heating at acidic pH. The general effect of polysaccharide degradation was to decrease the Young's modulus, while the fracture strain in extension was scarcely affected unless the degradation was very severe. Differential scanning calorimetry showed that the melting peak corresponding to dissociation of KC-KGM bonds decreased faster than the melting peak of KC-only bonds with increasing degree of polysaccharide degradation. The implication is that as degradation proceeds, fewer KGM molecules can interact with KC to form elastic bonds, and the excess of KGM which reinforces the existing elastic network and increases the fracture strain actually increases. For this reason, the fracture strain remains nearly unchanged with increasing degradation levels. A decrease in fracture strain is thus observed only at very severe degradations, where KC no longer forms a self-supporting gel by itself.

  20. Rheology of dispersions of xanthan gum, locust bean gum and mixed biopolymer gel with silicon dioxide nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Kennedy, Jordan R M; Kent, Katherine E; Brown, Jennifer R

    2015-03-01

    Mixed xanthan gum (XG) and locust bean gum (LBG) biopolymers form thermally reversible gels of interest in tissue engineering and drug delivery. 1% solutions of XG, LBG and 1:1 ratio XG/LBG mixed gels (LX) containing silicon dioxide (SiO2) nanoparticles were rheologically characterized with respect to nanoparticle concentration and temperature. 10% nanoparticles in XG created larger domains of associated polymer, resulting in enhanced viscosity and viscoelastic moduli. In LBG with 10% particles, transient viscosity and a gel-sol transition occurred due to particle bridging and aggregation. In the LX gel, 10% SiO2 particles caused an increase in elasticity. When ramping temperature from 25°C to 85°C, the complex modulus for all solutions containing 10% SiO2 was relatively constant, indicating that nanoparticles counteracted the effect of temperature on the material properties. Understanding the influence of nanoparticle loading on material properties is necessary for biopolymer material development where property prediction and control are critical.

  1. Entomopathogens of Amazonian stick insects and locusts are members of the Beauveria species complex (Cordyceps sensu stricto).

    PubMed

    Sanjuan, Tatiana; Tabima, Javier; Restrepo, Silvia; Læssøe, Thomas; Spatafora, Joseph W; Franco-Molano, Ana Esperanza

    2014-01-01

    In the Amazon the only described species of Cordyceps sensu stricto (Hypocreales, Cordycipitaceae) that parasitize insects of Orthopterida (orders Orthoptera and Phasmida) are Cordyceps locustiphila and C. uleana. However, the type specimens for both taxa have been lost and the concepts of these species are uncertain. To achieve a more comprehensive understanding of the systematics of these species, collections of Cordyceps from the Amazon regions of Colombia, Ecuador and Guyana were subjected to morphological, ecological and molecular phylogenetic studies. Phylogenetic analyses were conducted on partial sequences of SSU, LSU, TEF, RPB1 and RPB2 nuclear loci. Two new species are proposed including C. diapheromeriphila, a parasite of Phasmida, and C. acridophila, a parasite of the superfamily Acridomorpha (Orthoptera), which is broadly distributed across the Amazon. For C. locustiphila a lectotypification and an epitypification are made. Cordyceps locustiphila is host specific with Colpolopha (Acridomorpha: Romaleidae), and its distribution coincides with that of its host. The phylogenetic placement of these three species was resolved with strong support in the Beauveria clade of Cordyceps s. str. (Cordycipitaceae). This relationship and the morphological similarity of their yellow stromata with known teleomorphs of the clade, suggest that the holomorphs of these species may include Beauveria or Beauveria-like anamorphs. The varying host specificity of the beauverioid Cordyceps species suggest the potential importance of identifying the natural host taxon before future consideration of strains for use in biological control of pest locusts. PMID:24782494

  2. Tactile stimuli perceived by the antennae cause the isolated females to produce gregarious offspring in the desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria.

    PubMed

    Maeno, Koutaro; Tanaka, Seiji; Harano, Ken-Ichi

    2011-01-01

    Maternal determination of progeny body size and coloration in the desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria, depends on the crowding conditions experienced during the short sensitive period that occurs two to six days before the deposition of the egg pod. Solitarious (isolated-reared) females produce relatively small eggs that yield solitarious green hatchlings but, females that are exposed to crowded conditions during the sensitive period, produce larger eggs that yield the dark-colored hatchlings characteristic of gregarious forms. The present study aimed to determine the stimuli influencing the maternal determination of progeny characteristics as well as the site at which such stimuli are perceived. By exposing isolated female adults to various combinations of visual, olfactory and tactile stimuli from a crowd of other adults, we found that no crowding effects could be elicited without tactile stimulation. Coating of various body surfaces with nail polish followed by exposure to crowding stimulation suggested that female adults perceive crowding stimuli with their antennae. This finding was supported by another experiment in which the antennae were either removed or covered with wax before the isolated females were exposed to crowded conditions. Neither serotonin nor an antagonist of its receptor affected the density-dependent maternal determination of progeny characteristics when injected into isolated or crowded female adults. PMID:20888831

  3. Population Explosion in the Yellow-Spined Bamboo Locust Ceracris kiangsu and Inferences for the Impact of Human Activity

    PubMed Central

    Fan, Zhou; Jiang, Guo-Fang; Liu, Yu-Xiang; He, Qi-Xin; Blanchard, Benjamin

    2014-01-01

    Geographic distance and geographical barriers likely play a considerable role in structuring genetic variation in species, although some migratory species may have less phylogeographic structure on a smaller spatial scale. Here, genetic diversity and the phylogenetic structure among geographical populations of the yellow-spined bamboo locust, Ceracris kiangsu, were examined with 16S rDNA and amplified fragment length polymorphisms (AFLPs). In this study, no conspicuous phylogeographical structure was discovered from either Maximum parsimony (MP) and Neighbor-joining (NJ) phylogenetic analyses. The effect of geographical isolation was not conspicuous on a large spatial scale.At smaller spatial scales local diversity of some populations within mountainous areas were detected using Nei's genetic distance and AMOVA. There is a high level of genetic diversity and a low genetic differentiation among populations in the C. kiangsu of South and Southeast China. Our analyses indicate that C. kiangsu is a monophyletic group. Our results also support the hypothesis that the C. kiangsu population is in a primary differentiation stage. Given the mismatch distribution, it is likely that a population expansion in C. kiangsu occurred about 0.242 Ma during the Quaternary interglaciation. Based on historical reports, we conjecture that human activities had significant impacts on the C. kiangsu gene flow. PMID:24603526

  4. Metal ion-induced alginate-locust bean gum IPN microspheres for sustained oral delivery of aceclofenac.

    PubMed

    Jana, Sougata; Gandhi, Arijit; Sheet, Subrata; Sen, Kalyan Kumar

    2015-01-01

    The alginate microspheres represent a useful tool for sustained oral delivery of drugs but exhibit several problems associated with the stability and rapid release of drugs at higher pH values. To overcome these drawbacks, alginate-locust bean gum (LBG) interpenetrating microspheres were prepared by calcium ion (Ca(+2)) induced ionotropic gelation technique for prolonged release of aceclofenac. The drug entrapment efficiency of these microspheres was found to be 59-93%. The microspheres lied in the size range of 406-684μm. Scanning electron microscopy revealed spherical shape of the microspheres. No drug-polymer interaction was evident after infrared spectroscopy analysis. The microspheres provided sustained release of aceclofenac in phosphate buffer solution (pH 6.8) over a period of 8h. The drug release data were fitted into the Korsmeyer-Peppas model and the drug release was found to follow anomalous (non-Fickian) diffusion mechanism. Pharmacodynamic study of the microspheres showed a prolonged anti-inflammatory activity in carrageenan-induced rat paw model following oral administration.

  5. Water entry for the black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L.) seeds observed by dedicated micro-magnetic resonance imaging.

    PubMed

    Koizumi, Mika; Kano, Hiromi

    2016-07-01

    Water entry at germination for black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L.) seeds which are known as hard seeds with impermeable seed coat to water, was examined using micro-magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The MRI apparatus equipped with a low-field (1 T; Tesla) permanent magnet was used, which is open access, easy maintenance, operable and transportable. The excellent point of the apparatus is that T 1-enhancement of water signals absorbed in dry seeds against steeping free water is stronger than the apparatuses with high-field superconducting magnets, which enabled clear detection of water entry. Water hardly penetrated into the seeds for more than 8 h but approximately 60 % of seeds germinated by incubating on wet filter papers for several days. Hot water treatments above 75 °C for 3 min effectively induced water gap; scarification was 70 % at 100 °C and 75 °C, declined to 15 % at 50 °C and decreased further at room temperature. Water entered into the scarified seeds exclusively through the lens, spread along the dorsal side of the seeds and reached the hypocotyl, whereas water migrated slowly through hilum side to radicle within 3 h.

  6. Male reproduction is affected by RNA interference of period and timeless in the desert locust Schistocerca gregaria.

    PubMed

    Tobback, Julie; Boerjan, Bart; Vandersmissen, Hans Peter; Huybrechts, Roger

    2012-02-01

    In all living organisms, behavior, metabolism and physiology are under the regulation of a circadian clock. The molecular machinery of this clock has been conserved throughout the animal kingdom. Besides regulating the circadian timing of a variety of processes through a central oscillating mechanism in the brain, these circadian clock genes were found to have a function in peripheral tissues in different insects. Here, we provide evidence that the circadian clock genes period (per) and timeless (tim) have a role in the male locust reproduction. A knockdown of either of the two genes has no effect on male sexual maturation or behavior, but progeny output in their untreated female copulation partners is affected. Indeed, the fertilization rates of the eggs are lower for females with a per or tim RNAi copulation partner as compared to the eggs deposited by females that mated with a control male. As the sperm content of the seminal vesicles is higher in per or tim knockdown males, we suggest that this phenotype could be caused by a disturbance of the circadian regulated sperm transfer in the male reproductive organs, or an insufficient maturation of the sperm after release from the testes.

  7. Water entry for the black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L.) seeds observed by dedicated micro-magnetic resonance imaging.

    PubMed

    Koizumi, Mika; Kano, Hiromi

    2016-07-01

    Water entry at germination for black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L.) seeds which are known as hard seeds with impermeable seed coat to water, was examined using micro-magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The MRI apparatus equipped with a low-field (1 T; Tesla) permanent magnet was used, which is open access, easy maintenance, operable and transportable. The excellent point of the apparatus is that T 1-enhancement of water signals absorbed in dry seeds against steeping free water is stronger than the apparatuses with high-field superconducting magnets, which enabled clear detection of water entry. Water hardly penetrated into the seeds for more than 8 h but approximately 60 % of seeds germinated by incubating on wet filter papers for several days. Hot water treatments above 75 °C for 3 min effectively induced water gap; scarification was 70 % at 100 °C and 75 °C, declined to 15 % at 50 °C and decreased further at room temperature. Water entered into the scarified seeds exclusively through the lens, spread along the dorsal side of the seeds and reached the hypocotyl, whereas water migrated slowly through hilum side to radicle within 3 h. PMID:27059756

  8. Metal ion-induced alginate-locust bean gum IPN microspheres for sustained oral delivery of aceclofenac.

    PubMed

    Jana, Sougata; Gandhi, Arijit; Sheet, Subrata; Sen, Kalyan Kumar

    2015-01-01

    The alginate microspheres represent a useful tool for sustained oral delivery of drugs but exhibit several problems associated with the stability and rapid release of drugs at higher pH values. To overcome these drawbacks, alginate-locust bean gum (LBG) interpenetrating microspheres were prepared by calcium ion (Ca(+2)) induced ionotropic gelation technique for prolonged release of aceclofenac. The drug entrapment efficiency of these microspheres was found to be 59-93%. The microspheres lied in the size range of 406-684μm. Scanning electron microscopy revealed spherical shape of the microspheres. No drug-polymer interaction was evident after infrared spectroscopy analysis. The microspheres provided sustained release of aceclofenac in phosphate buffer solution (pH 6.8) over a period of 8h. The drug release data were fitted into the Korsmeyer-Peppas model and the drug release was found to follow anomalous (non-Fickian) diffusion mechanism. Pharmacodynamic study of the microspheres showed a prolonged anti-inflammatory activity in carrageenan-induced rat paw model following oral administration. PMID:25111495

  9. Impact of purification and fractionation process on the chemical structure and physical properties of locust bean gum.

    PubMed

    Sébastien, Gillet; Christophe, Blecker; Mario, Aguedo; Pascal, Laurent; Michel, Paquot; Aurore, Richel

    2014-08-01

    Crude locust bean gum (CLBG) was purified and fractionated into two parts: the first was obtained by solubilization in water at 25°C (GM25) and the second consisted in a further extraction at 80°C on the residual impoverished fraction (GM80). The complete structural characterization has shown that GM80 possessed relatively longer chain lengths than GM25, a slightly lower degree of galactose substitution and a somewhat sharper galactosyl distribution in substituted and unsubstituted regions. A physical behavior analysis was carried out on solubilization kinetics, viscosity, viscoelasticity and formation of associated gels with xanthan or carrageenan. The average structure of GM80 generated larger intra-chain, inter-chain and inter-molecular interactions, resulting in the appearance of a stronger network. Small structural differences therefore generated very different physical behaviors. This study thus allowed to establish, in a precise and complete manner, fractionation-purification-structure-function relationships of galactomannans extracted from carob. PMID:24751260

  10. Locust bean gum safety in neonates and young infants: an integrated review of the toxicological database and clinical evidence.

    PubMed

    Meunier, Leo; Garthoff, Jossie A; Schaafsma, Anne; Krul, Lisette; Schrijver, Jaap; van Goudoever, Johannes B; Speijers, Gerrit; Vandenplas, Yvan

    2014-10-01

    Locust bean gum (LBG) is a galactomannan polysaccharide used as thickener in infant formulas with the therapeutic aim to treat uncomplicated gastroesophageal reflux (GER). Since its use in young infants below 12weeks of age is not explicitly covered by the current scientific concept of the derivation of health based guidance values, the present integrated safety review aimed to compile all the relevant preclinical toxicological studies and to combine them with substantial evidence gathered from the clinical paediatric use as part of the weight of evidence supporting the safety in young infants below 12weeks of age. LBG was demonstrated to have very low toxicity in preclinical studies mainly resulting from its indigestible nature leading to negligible systemic bioavailability and only possibly influencing tolerance. A standard therapeutic level of 0.5g/100mL in thickened infant formula is shown to confer a sufficiently protective Margin of Safety. LBG was not associated with any adverse toxic or nutritional effects in healthy term infants, while there are limited case-reports of possible adverse effects in preterms receiving the thickener inappropriately. Altogether, it can be concluded that LBG is safe for its intended therapeutic use in term-born infants to treat uncomplicated regurgitation from birth onwards. PMID:24997231

  11. Rheology of dispersions of xanthan gum, locust bean gum and mixed biopolymer gel with silicon dioxide nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Kennedy, Jordan R M; Kent, Katherine E; Brown, Jennifer R

    2015-03-01

    Mixed xanthan gum (XG) and locust bean gum (LBG) biopolymers form thermally reversible gels of interest in tissue engineering and drug delivery. 1% solutions of XG, LBG and 1:1 ratio XG/LBG mixed gels (LX) containing silicon dioxide (SiO2) nanoparticles were rheologically characterized with respect to nanoparticle concentration and temperature. 10% nanoparticles in XG created larger domains of associated polymer, resulting in enhanced viscosity and viscoelastic moduli. In LBG with 10% particles, transient viscosity and a gel-sol transition occurred due to particle bridging and aggregation. In the LX gel, 10% SiO2 particles caused an increase in elasticity. When ramping temperature from 25°C to 85°C, the complex modulus for all solutions containing 10% SiO2 was relatively constant, indicating that nanoparticles counteracted the effect of temperature on the material properties. Understanding the influence of nanoparticle loading on material properties is necessary for biopolymer material development where property prediction and control are critical. PMID:25579932

  12. Determination of locust bean gum and guar gum by polymerase chain reaction and restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis.

    PubMed

    Meyer, K; Rosa, C; Hischenhuber, C; Meyer, R

    2001-01-01

    A polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was developed to differentiate the thickening agents locust bean gum (LBG) and the cheaper guar gum in finished food products. Universal primers for amplification of the intergenic spacer region between trnL 3' (UAA) exon and trnF (GAA) gene in the chloroplast (cp) genome and subsequent restriction analysis were applied to differentiate guar gum and LBG. The presence of <5% (w/w) guar gum powder added to LBG powder was detectable. Based on data obtained from sequencing this intergenic spacer region, a second PCR method for the specific detection of guar gum DNA was also developed. This assay detected guar gum powder in LBG in amounts as low as 1% (w/w). Both methods successfully detected guar gum and/or LBG in ice cream stabilizers and in foodstuffs, such as dairy products, ice cream, dry seasoning mixes, a finished roasting sauce, and a fruit jelly product, but not in products with highly degraded DNA, such as tomato ketchup and sterilized chocolate cream. Both methods detected guar gum and LBG in ice cream and fresh cheese at levels <0.1%. PMID:11234856

  13. THE ORBITAL EVOLUTION OF GAS GIANT PLANETS AROUND GIANT STARS

    SciTech Connect

    Villaver, Eva; Livio, Mario E-mail: mlivio@stsci.ed

    2009-11-01

    Recent surveys have revealed a lack of close-in planets around evolved stars more massive than 1.2 M{sub sun}. Such planets are common around solar-mass stars. We have calculated the orbital evolution of planets around stars with a range of initial masses, and have shown how planetary orbits are affected by the evolution of the stars all the way to the tip of the red giant branch. We find that tidal interaction can lead to the engulfment of close-in planets by evolved stars. The engulfment is more efficient for more-massive planets and less-massive stars. These results may explain the observed semimajor axis distribution of planets around evolved stars with masses larger than 1.5 M{sub sun}. Our results also suggest that massive planets may form more efficiently around intermediate-mass stars.

  14. A looming-sensitive pathway responds to changes in the trajectory of object motion.

    PubMed

    McMillan, Glyn A; Gray, John R

    2012-08-01

    Two identified locust neurons, the lobula giant movement detector (LGMD) and its postsynaptic partner, the descending contralateral movement detector (DCMD), constitute one motion-sensitive pathway in the visual system that responds preferentially to objects that approach on a direct collision course and are implicated in collision-avoidance behavior. Previously described responses to the approach of paired objects and approaches at different time intervals (Guest BB, Gray JR. J Neurophysiol 95: 1428-1441, 2006) suggest that this pathway may also be affected by more complicated movements in the locust's visual environment. To test this possibility we presented stationary locusts with disks traveling along combinations of colliding (looming), noncolliding (translatory), and near-miss trajectories. Distinctly different responses to different trajectories and trajectory changes demonstrate that DCMD responds to complex aspects of local visual motion. DCMD peak firing rates associated with the time of collision remained relatively invariant after a trajectory change from translation to looming. Translatory motion initiated in the frontal visual field generated a larger peak firing rate relative to object motion initiated in the posterior visual field, and the peak varied with simulated distance from the eye. Transition from translation to looming produced a transient decrease in the firing rate, whereas transition away from looming produced a transient increase. The change in firing rate at the time of transition was strongly correlated with unique expansion parameters described by the instantaneous angular acceleration of the leading edge and subtense angle of the disk. However, response time remained invariant. While these results may reflect low spatial resolution of the compound eye, they also suggest that this motion-sensitive pathway may be capable of monitoring dynamic expansion properties of objects that change the trajectory of motion.

  15. Effects of food nutrient content, insect age and stage in the feeding cycle on the FMRFamide immunoreactivity of diffuse endocrine cells in the locust gut.

    PubMed

    Zudaire, E; Simpson, S J; Montuenga, L M

    1998-11-01

    We have studied the influence of variations in dietary protein and digestible carbohydrate content, of insect age and of time during the feeding cycle on the endocrine cells of the ampullar region of the midgut in the African migratory locust Locusta migratoria L. Morphometric analysis of FMRFamide-like immunoreactivity was used as an indirect measure of the amount of FMRFamide-related peptides (FaRPs) stored in the gut endocrine cells. There was a highly significant correlation between FaRP content and the nutritional quality of the food, measured relative to the concentrations and ratio of protein to digestible carbohydrate in a nutritionally optimal diet. The direction of the relationship between FaRP content and diet quality varied with age during the fifth stadium. On day 1, FaRP levels increased with the nutritional quality of the food, while on day 4 the opposite relationship was observed. Release of peptide was triggered by the onset of a meal during ad libitum feeding, with cell FaRP levels returning to premeal values within 15 min of the meal ending. The results also suggested that cell contents were released during food deprivation beyond the normal intermeal interval. Locusts switched for a single meal during ad libitum feeding on day 4 from a low- to a high-carbohydrate food did not respond by reducing endocrine cell FaRP content. Our results show a relationship between the diffuse gut endocrine system and feeding and nutrition in locusts. The ampullar endocrine cells are in three-way contact with the midgut luminal contents, with the primary urine from the Malpighian tubules and with the haemolymph. They are thus ideally positioned to play an integrative receptor-secretory function in the regulation of a variety of post-ingestive processes, such as enzyme secretion, absorption, gut motility or nutrient metabolism. PMID:9866881

  16. Variant Ionotropic Receptors Are Expressed in Olfactory Sensory Neurons of Coeloconic Sensilla on the Antenna of the Desert Locust (Schistocerca gregaria)

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Mei; Krieger, Jürgen; Große-Wilde, Ewald; Mißbach, Christine; Zhang, Long; Breer, Heinz

    2014-01-01

    The behaviour of the desert locust, Schistocera gregaria, is largely directed by volatile olfactory cues. The relevant odorants are detected by specialized antennal sensory neurons which project their sensory dendrites into hair-like structures, the sensilla. Generally, the responsiveness of the antennal chemosensory cells is determined by specific receptors which may be either odorant receptors (ORs) or variant ionotropic receptors (IRs). Previously, we demonstrated that in locust the co-receptor for ORs (ORco) is only expressed in cells of sensilla basiconica and sensilla trichodea, suggesting that cells in sensilla coeloconica may express different types of chemosensory receptors. In this study, we have identified the genes of S. gregaria which encode homologues of co-receptors for the variant ionotropic receptors, the subtypes IR8a and IR25a. It was found that both subtypes, SgreIR8a and SgreIR25a, are expressed in the antennae of all five nymphal stages and in adults. Attempts to assign the relevant cell types by means of in situ hybridization revealed that SgreIR8a and SgreIR25a are expressed in cells of sensilla coeloconica. Double fluorescence in situ hybridization experiments disclosed that the two IR-subtypes are co-expressed in some cells of this sensillum type. Expression of SgreIR25a was also found in some of the sensilla chaetica, however, neither SgreIR25a nor SgreIR8a was found to be expressed in sensilla basiconica and sensilla trichodea. This observation was substantiated by the results of double FISH experiments demonstrating that cells expressing SgreIR8a or SgreIR25a do not express ORco. These results support the notion that the antenna of the desert locust employs two different populations of OSNs to sense odors; cells which express IRs in sensilla coeloconica and cells which express ORs in sensilla basiconica and sensilla trichodea. PMID:24391446

  17. The Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nityananda, R.

    2003-05-01

    The Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT) of the National Centre of Radio Astrophysics (NCRA) of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) at Khodad, India, has been operational in the band 0.2 to 2 metres for the last two and a half years. The system characteristics and performance and recent results from the group will be presented. Details of use over the last six months by scientists from other observatories under the GMRT Time Allocation Committee (GTAC) and future plans will be also be reviewed in this paper. Areas which have been studied include observations made in the GMRT band of neutral hydrogen, nearby galaxies, supernova remnants, the Galactic Centre, pulsars, the Sun and others.

  18. Giant tunneling magnetoresistance in silicene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Yu; Lou, Yiyi

    2013-11-01

    We have theoretically studied ballistic electron transport in silicene under the manipulation of a pair of ferromagnetic gate. Transport properties like transmission and conductance have been calculated by the standard transfer matrix method for parallel and antiparallel magnetization configurations. It is demonstrated here that, due to the stray field-induced wave-vector filtering effect, remarkable difference in configuration-dependent transport gives rise to a giant tunneling magnetoresistance. In combination with the peculiar buckled structure of silicene and its electric tunable energy gap, the receiving magnetoresistance can be efficiently modulated by the externally-tunable stray field, electrostatic potential, and staggered sublattice potential, providing some flexible strategies to construct silicene-based nanoelectronic device.

  19. Giant tunneling magnetoresistance in silicene

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Yu; Lou, Yiyi

    2013-11-14

    We have theoretically studied ballistic electron transport in silicene under the manipulation of a pair of ferromagnetic gate. Transport properties like transmission and conductance have been calculated by the standard transfer matrix method for parallel and antiparallel magnetization configurations. It is demonstrated here that, due to the stray field-induced wave-vector filtering effect, remarkable difference in configuration-dependent transport gives rise to a giant tunneling magnetoresistance. In combination with the peculiar buckled structure of silicene and its electric tunable energy gap, the receiving magnetoresistance can be efficiently modulated by the externally-tunable stray field, electrostatic potential, and staggered sublattice potential, providing some flexible strategies to construct silicene-based nanoelectronic device.

  20. The Metallicity of Giant Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thorngren, Daniel P.; Fortney, Jonathan

    2015-12-01

    Unique clues about the formation processes of giant planets can be found in their bulk compositions. Transiting planets provide us with bulk density determinations that can then be compared to models of planetary structure and evolution, to deduce planet bulk metallicities. At a given mass, denser planets have a higher mass fraction of metals. However, the unknown hot Jupiter "radius inflation" mechanism leads to under-dense planets that severely biases this work. Here we look at cooler transiting gas giants (Teff < 1000 K), which do not exhibit the radius inflation effect seen in their warmer cousins. We identified 40 such planets between 20 M_Earth and 20 M_Jup from the literature and used evolution models to determine their bulk heavy-element ("metal") mass. Several important trends are apparent. We see that all planets have at least ~10 M_Earth of metals, and that the mass of metal correlates strongly with the total mass of the planet. The heavy-element mass goes as the square root of the total mass. Both findings are consistent with the core accretion model. We also examined the effect of the parent star metallicity [Fe/H], finding that planets around high-metallicity stars are more likely to have large amounts of metal, but the relation appears weaker than previous studies with smaller sample sizes had suggested. We also looked for connections between bulk composition and planetary orbital parameters and stellar parameters, but saw no pattern, which is also an important result. This work can be directly compared to current and future outputs from planet formation models, including population synthesis.

  1. Direct Imaging of Giant Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tamura, Motohide

    Since the first detection of exoplanets around a Sun-like star 51 Peg in 1995, their detection and characterization are mainly led by indirect methods such as radial velocity and transit methods. However, recent progresses of observational techniques have finally enabled the direct imaging observations of giant planets of solar-system-scale orbit (with their semi-major axes less than about 50 AU) around A-type stars (e.g., Marois et al. 2008, 2010) and G-type stars (e.g., Kuzuhara et al. 2013). Direct imaging is useful to obtain the physical and atmospheric parameters of exoplanets. In fact not only colors but also a medium-resolution spectroscopy of such planets has been successfully obtained for their atmospheric characterization (Barman et al. 2013). Their masses are typically a few to ~10 Jupiter masses and they orbit at a Saturn- to-Pluto distance. Therefore, like hot-Jupiters and super-Earths they are unlike any solar-system planets, and called wide-orbit giant planets. A recent large search for planets and disk on the Subaru 8.2-m telescope (SEEDS project) has detected a 3-5 Jupiter-masses planet around a Sun-like star GJ 504 (Kuzuhara et al. 2013). It is the coolest planetary companion so far directly imaged and its near-infrared color is “bluer” than that of other directly imaged planets. In this contribution, I will review the recent progresses on direct imaging of exoplanets, highlight the results of the SEEDS project, and discuss the future developments.

  2. The FAO/NASA/NLR Artemis system - An integrated concept for environmental monitoring by satellite in support of food/feed security and desert locust surveillance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hielkema, J. U.; Howard, J. A.; Tucker, C. J.; Van Ingen Schenau, H. A.

    1987-01-01

    The African real time environmental monitoring using imaging satellites (Artemis) system, which should monitor precipitation and vegetation conditions on a continental scale, is presented. The hardware and software characteristics of the system are illustrated and the Artemis databases are outlined. Plans for the system include the use of hourly digital Meteosat data and daily NOAA/AVHRR data to study environmental conditions. Planned mapping activities include monthly rainfall anomaly maps, normalized difference vegetation index maps for ten day and monthly periods with a spatial resolution of 7.6 km, ten day crop/rangeland moisture availability maps, and desert locust potential breeding activity factor maps for a plague prevention program.

  3. Studies on the ingestion characteristics of giant freshwater prawn, Chinese prawn and giant tiger prawn

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zang, Wei-Ling; Wang, Wei-Dong; Dai, Xi-Lin; Jiang, Min; Zhu, Zheng-Guo; Yang, Ming-Hui; Liu, Xian-Zhong; Xu, Gui-Rong; Ding, Fu-Jiang

    2000-12-01

    The ingestion of giant freshwater prawn, Chinese prawn and giant tiger prawn had continuity and the ingestion high peak occurred at night. Light and temperature had significant effects on the daily ingestion rate (DIR) of giant freshwater prawn Macrobrachium rosenbergii. Red light and blue light favorably induced favorable ingestion. In the adaptive range of temperature, the DIR increased with rising temperature and feeding frequency, but decreased with rising body weight.

  4. Juno and Cassini Proximal: Giant Steps Towards Understanding Giant Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stevenson, D. J.

    2014-12-01

    In 2016-17, Juno and Cassini Proximal will provide comparable large advances in our understanding of the interiors of Jupiter and Saturn. Both will provide high accuracy gravity and magnetic field data, while Juno will in addition determine the water abundance deep in the Jovian atmosphere, essential for understanding of giant planet formation and the density of the outer envelope (needed to construct interior models). Although Jupiter and Saturn are both gas giants, they differ in important ways (magnetic field, strength of zonal flows, enrichment in heavy elements, and probably the distribution of helium within). The opportunity to contrast and compare will be invaluable. Juno and Cassini are expected to determine the gravity field to about a part in 109 though with different spatial coverage and with less accurate determination near the poles. The determination of Jupiter's likely central concentration of heavy elements is particularly challenging because it is only a few percent at most of the total mass and yet important for understanding Jupiter's formation, which in turn likely determined the architecture of our solar system. This determination will be done from gravity, water determination and magnetic field and also aided by advances in our understanding of material properties. The corresponding determination for Saturn may prove easier (because the heavy element enrichment is a larger fraction of the mass) though complicated by lack of knowledge of water abundance and the need to identify a more precise value for the deep rotation of the planet (difficult for Saturn because of the lack of a measurable magnetic dipole tilt thus far). For both planets, the higher harmonics of gravity will likely be controlled by differential rotation (the zonal flows) and this will tell us their depth, an issue of major interest in the dynamics of these bodies. The magnetic field structure for Jupiter will be determined to higher accuracy than the Earth's core field (since

  5. Preoperative progressive pneumoperitoneum for giant inguinal hernias.

    PubMed

    Piskin, Turgut; Aydin, Cemalettin; Barut, Bora; Dirican, Abuzer; Kayaalp, Cuneyt

    2010-01-01

    Reduction of giant hernia contents into the abdominal cavity may cause intraoperative and postoperative problems such as abdominal compartment syndrome. Preoperative progressive pneumoperitoneum expands the abdominal cavity, increases the patient's tolerability to operation, and can diminish intraoperative and postoperative complications. Preoperative progressive pneumoperitoneum is recommended for giant ventral hernias, but rarely for giant inguinal hernias. We present two giant inguinal hernia patients who were prepared for hernia repair with preoperative progressive pneumoperitoneum and then treated successfully by graft hernioplasty. We observed that abdominal expansion correlated with the inflated volume and pressure during the first four days of pneumperitoneum. Although insufflated gas volume can be different among patients, we observed that the duration of insufflation may be the same for similar patients.

  6. Mass loss in red giants and supergiants

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sanner, F.

    1975-01-01

    The circumstellar envelopes surrounding late-type giants and supergiants were studied using high resolution, photoelectric scans of strong optical resonance lines. A method for extracting the circumstellar from the stellar components of the lines allowed a quantitative determination of the physical conditions in the envelopes and the rates of mass loss at various positions in the red giant region of the HR diagram. The observed strengthening of the circumstellar spectrum with increasing luminosity and later spectral type is probably caused by an increase in the mass of the envelopes. The mass loss rate for individual stars is proportional to the visual luminosity; high rates for the supergiants suggest that mass loss is important in their evolution. The bulk of the mass return to the interstellar medium in the red giant region comes from the normal giants, at a rate comparable to that of planetary nebulae.

  7. Giant Omphalocele in an Adolescent Boy.

    PubMed

    Akhtar, Tanveer; Alladi, Anand; Siddappa, O S

    2015-04-01

    Omphalocele is a congenital abdominal wall defect that permits herniation of abdominal viscera into the umbilical cord. We here report a case of a giant omphalocele in an adolescent boy that has not been reported at this age before.

  8. Selecting M-giants with WISE photometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Jing

    2015-08-01

    We use M-giants, M-dwarfs and QSOs identified by LAMOST to assess how well WISE & 2MASS colour-cuts can separate these populations through photometry. We find that the WISE bands are very efficient to separate M-giants from M-dwarfs, especially for the early-type stars. We derive a new photometric relation to estimate [Fe/H] for M-giants. We show that previous photometric distance relations may be biased and devise a new empirical distance relation. We detect M-giants in the Sagittarius stream from the ALLWISE Source Archive. Our detection shows good agreement with the bright stream, although the leading tail appears to be misaligned by a couple of degrees. We have measured the metallicity distribution at four locations along the stream, finding a clear metallicity offset between the leading and trailing tails.

  9. Innate predator recognition in giant pandas.

    PubMed

    Du, Yiping; Huang, Yan; Zhang, Hemin; Li, Desheng; Yang, Bo; Wei, Ming; Zhou, Yingmin; Liu, Yang

    2012-02-01

    Innate predator recognition confers a survival advantage to prey animals. We investigate whether giant pandas exhibit innate predator recognition. We analyzed behavioral responses of 56 naive adult captive giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca), to urine from predators and non-predators and water control. Giant pandas performed more chemosensory investigation and displayed flehmen behaviors more frequently in response to predator urine compared to both non-predator urine and water control. Subjects also displayed certain defensive behaviors, as indicated by vigilance, and in certain cases, fleeing behaviors. Our results suggest that there is an innate component to predator recognition in captive giant pandas, although such recognition was only slight to moderate. These results have implications that may be applicable to the conservation and reintroduction of this endangered species. PMID:22303845

  10. Giant prostatic fossa with misleading radiographic features.

    PubMed

    Stenzl, A; Fuchs, G J

    1989-01-01

    The long-term complication of a perforation of the prostatic capsule during transurethral resection of the prostate is described. Calcifications in a giant prostatic fossa led to initially misleading radiologic findings.

  11. Bilateral giant abdominoscrotal hydroceles in childhood.

    PubMed

    Serels, S; Kogan, S

    1996-05-01

    There is a paucity of cases in the literature describing the abdominoscrotal hydrocele (ASH). We report the diagnostic and therapeutic aspects of a rapidly expanding giant bilateral ASH in a 4-month-old boy.

  12. Tests of the Giant Impact Hypothesis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jones, J. H.

    1998-01-01

    The giant impact hypothesis has gained popularity as a means of explaining a volatile-depleted Moon that still has a chemical affinity to the Earth. As Taylor's Axiom decrees, the best models of lunar origin are testable, but this is difficult with the giant impact model. The energy associated with the impact would be sufficient to totally melt and partially vaporize the Earth. And this means that there should he no geological vestige of Barber times. Accordingly, it is important to devise tests that may be used to evaluate the giant impact hypothesis. Three such tests are discussed here. None of these is supportive of the giant impact model, but neither do they disprove it.

  13. Innate predator recognition in giant pandas.

    PubMed

    Du, Yiping; Huang, Yan; Zhang, Hemin; Li, Desheng; Yang, Bo; Wei, Ming; Zhou, Yingmin; Liu, Yang

    2012-02-01

    Innate predator recognition confers a survival advantage to prey animals. We investigate whether giant pandas exhibit innate predator recognition. We analyzed behavioral responses of 56 naive adult captive giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca), to urine from predators and non-predators and water control. Giant pandas performed more chemosensory investigation and displayed flehmen behaviors more frequently in response to predator urine compared to both non-predator urine and water control. Subjects also displayed certain defensive behaviors, as indicated by vigilance, and in certain cases, fleeing behaviors. Our results suggest that there is an innate component to predator recognition in captive giant pandas, although such recognition was only slight to moderate. These results have implications that may be applicable to the conservation and reintroduction of this endangered species.

  14. Short Rotation Woody Crops Program. Quarterly progress report, March 1-May 31, 1985. [Sycamore, alders, black locust, larch, poplars, saltbush

    SciTech Connect

    Wright, L.L.; Perlack, R.D.; Wenzel, C.R.; Trimble, J.L.; Ranney, J.W.

    1985-08-01

    This report covers the progress of the Short Rotation Woody Crops Program (SRWCP) during the third quarter of fiscal year 1985. This report summarizes ORNL management activities, technical activities at ORNL and subcontract institutions, and the technology transfer that is occurring as a result of subcontractor and ORNL activities. Third-year results of a nutrient utilization study confirmed that there were no benefits to quarterly fertilization with urea nitrogen. Testing of one prototype short-rotation intensive culture harvester was conducted on a sycamore plantation on Scott Paper Company land in southern Alabama. Coppice yields of European black alder reported by Iowa State University indicate potential productivity of about 7.2 dry Mg . ha/sup -1/ . year/sup -1/ if the best trees are selected. Coppice yields were more than double first-rotation yields. About 31,000 black locust and larch trees were established in 12 genetic tests at 4 sites in Michigan. Seedling rotation productivity rates of 4-year-old hybrid poplar, based on harvest data, were reported by Pennsylvania State University. Rates varied from 4.8 dry Mg . ha/sup -1/ . year/sup -1/ to 10.7 dry Mg . ha/sup -1/ . year/sup -1/, depending on site, management strategy, and planting year. An efficient method for in vitro micropropagation of elite genotypes of fourwing saltbush was developed by Plant Resources Institute. A new study to evaluate yield/density relationships was established by the USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Forest and Range Experiment Station. Dissertation research on the crown geometry of plantation-grown American sycamore was completed.

  15. Locusts use a composite of resilin and hard cuticle as an energy store for jumping and kicking.

    PubMed

    Burrows, Malcolm; Sutton, Gregory P

    2012-10-01

    Locusts jump and kick by using a catapult mechanism in which energy is first stored and then rapidly released to extend the large hind legs. The power is produced by a slow contraction of large muscles in the hind femora that bend paired semi-lunar processes in the distal part of each femur and store half the energy needed for a kick. We now show that these energy storage devices are composites of hard cuticle and the rubber-like protein resilin. The inside surface of a semi-lunar process consists of a layer of resilin, particularly thick along an inwardly pointing ridge and tightly bonded to the external, black cuticle. From the outside, resilin is visible only as a distal and ventral triangular area that tapers proximally. High-speed imaging showed that the semi-lunar processes were bent in all three dimensions during the prolonged muscular contractions that precede a kick. To reproduce these bending movements, the extensor tibiae muscle was stimulated electrically in a pattern that mimicked the normal sequence of its fast motor spikes recorded in natural kicking. Externally visible resilin was compressed and wrinkled as a semi-lunar process was bent. It then sprung back to restore the semi-lunar process rapidly to its original natural shape. Each of the five nymphal stages jumped and kicked and had a similar distribution of resilin in their semi-lunar processes as adults; the resilin was shed with the cuticle at each moult. It is suggested that composite storage devices that combine the elastic properties of resilin with the stiffness of hard cuticle allow energy to be stored by bending hard cuticle over only a small distance and without fracturing. In this way all the stored energy is returned and the natural shape of the femur is restored rapidly so that a jump or kick can be repeated.

  16. Giant rhinophyma: Excision with coblation assisted surgery.

    PubMed

    Sahin, Caner; Turker, Mesut; Celasun, Bulent

    2014-01-01

    An 83-year-old man presented with an unusually severe case of rhinophyma. Giant rhinopyhma is very rare in literature. The giant lesion was widely excised using sharp surgical incision and coblation assisted surgery. Using direct coblation to the nasal dorsum may cause edema in the surrounding tissue. There was minimal edema in surrounding tissue using this technique. A full thickness-skin graft was applied after excision. Cosmetic and functional postoperative results were satisfactory.

  17. Giant rhinophyma: Excision with coblation assisted surgery

    PubMed Central

    Sahin, Caner; Turker, Mesut; Celasun, Bulent

    2014-01-01

    An 83-year-old man presented with an unusually severe case of rhinophyma. Giant rhinopyhma is very rare in literature. The giant lesion was widely excised using sharp surgical incision and coblation assisted surgery. Using direct coblation to the nasal dorsum may cause edema in the surrounding tissue. There was minimal edema in surrounding tissue using this technique. A full thickness-skin graft was applied after excision. Cosmetic and functional postoperative results were satisfactory. PMID:25593440

  18. Arterial Embolization of Giant Hepatic Hemangiomas

    SciTech Connect

    Giavroglou, Constantinos; Economou, Hippolete; Ioannidis, Ioannis

    2003-02-15

    Hepatic cavernous hemangiomas are usually small and asymptomatic. They are usually discovered incidentally and only a few require treatment. However, giant hemangiomas may cause symptoms,which are indications for treatment. We describe four cases of symptomatic giant hepatic hemangiomas successfully treated with transcatheter arterial embolization, performed with polyvinyl alcohol particles. There were no complications. Follow-up with clinical and imaging examinations showed disappearance of symptoms and decrease in size of lesions.

  19. The cytology of giant solitary trichoepithelioma

    PubMed Central

    Krishnamurthy, Jayashree; Divya, KN

    2010-01-01

    Giant solitary trichoepithelioma (GST) is a rare trichogenic tumor, which may present as a pigmented lesion. An 80-year-old man was diagnosed to have giant solitary trichoepithelioma on fine-needle aspiration cytology. The cytological findings represented the histological features. The recognition of GST is important because of its close resemblance to basal cell carcinoma and other skin adnexal tumors – clinically, cytologically and histologically. PMID:21187885

  20. Formation of Giant Planets and Brown Dwarves

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lissauer, Jack J.

    2003-01-01

    According to the prevailing core instability model, giant planets begin their growth by the accumulation of small solid bodies, as do terrestrial planets. However, unlike terrestrial planets, the growing giant planet cores become massive enough that they are able to accumulate substantial amounts of gas before the protoplanetary disk dissipates. Models predict that rocky planets should form in orbit about most stars. It is uncertain whether or not gas giant planet formation is common, because most protoplanetary disks may dissipate before solid planetary cores can grow large enough to gravitationally trap substantial quantities of gas. Ongoing theoretical modeling of accretion of giant planet atmospheres, as well as observations of protoplanetary disks, will help decide this issue. Observations of extrasolar planets around main sequence stars can only provide a lower limit on giant planet formation frequency . This is because after giant planets form, gravitational interactions with material within the protoplanetary disk may cause them to migrat inwards and be lost to the central star. The core instability model can only produce planets greater than a few jovian masses within protoplanetary disks that are more viscous than most such disks are believed to be. Thus, few brown dwarves (objects massive enough to undergo substantial deuterium fusion, estimated to occur above approximately 13 jovian masses) are likely to be formed in this manner. Most brown dwarves, as well as an unknown number of free-floating objects of planetary mass, are probably formed as are stars, by the collapse of extended gas/dust clouds into more compact objects.

  1. Transcriptomic and proteomic analysis of pre-diapause and non-diapause eggs of migratory locust, Locusta migratoria L. (Orthoptera: Acridoidea)

    PubMed Central

    Tu, Xiongbing; Wang, Jie; Hao, Kun; Whitman, Douglas W.; Fan, Yaoli; Cao, Guangchun; Zhang, Zehua

    2015-01-01

    Low temperature induces diapause in locusts. However, the physiological processes and initiation mechanism of diapause are not well understood. To understand the molecular basis of diapause, ‘omics’ analyses were performed to examine the differences between diapause and non-diapause eggs at both transcriptional and translational levels. Results indicated that a total of 62,241 mRNAs and 212 proteins were differentially expressed. Among them, 116 transcripts had concurrent transcription and translation profiles. Up-regulated genes related to diapause included glutathiones-S-transferase et al., and down-regulated genes including juvenile hormone esterase-like protein et al. KEGG analysis mapped 7,243 and 99 differentially expressed genes and proteins, to 83 and 25 pathways, respectively. Correlation enriched pathways indicated that there were nine identical pathways related to diapause. Gene Ontology analysis placed these genes and proteins into three categories, and a higher proportion of genes related to metabolism was up-regulated than down-regulated. Furthermore, three up-regulated pathways were linked to cryoprotection. This study demonstrates the applicability of high-throughput omics tools to identify molecules linked to diapause in the locust. In addition, it reveals cellular metabolism in diapause eggs is more active than in non-diapause eggs, and up-regulated enzymes may play roles in cryoprotection and storing energy for diapause and post-diapause stages. PMID:26091374

  2. Genome-wide analysis of transcriptional changes in the thoracic muscle of the migratory locust, Locusta migratoria, exposed to hypobaric hypoxia.

    PubMed

    Zhao, De Jian; Zhang, Zhen Yu; Harrison, Jon; Kang, Le

    2012-11-01

    Hypobaric hypoxia has both beneficial and detrimental effects on living organisms in high altitude regions. The impact of hypobaric hypoxia has been investigated in numerous vertebrates. However, it is still not well characterized how invertebrates respond to hypobaric hypoxia. In this study, we examined the transcriptional profiles of locust thoracic muscles using microarrays to disclose their strategies to cope with hypobaric hypoxia. We found that hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) and its target genes did not respond significantly to hypobaric hypoxia. As with severe, normobaric hypoxia, mitochondrial activities were systemically suppressed, mainly involving in energy production and mitochondrial biogenesis. The surveillance processes, involving in clearance of dysfunctional proteins in endoplasmic reticulum, were activated, e.g. endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation, protein glycosylation, and protein folding. In contrast to severe, normobaric hypoxia, glycolysis was suppressed and the pentose phosphate pathway strengthened. Our data suggested that hypobaric hypoxia induced an oxidative stress rather than an energy crisis in locust thoracic muscles. Our research provides a different perspective of biological responses to hypoxia, complementing the well-studied biological responses to extreme, normobaric hypoxia. PMID:22985864

  3. Molecular cloning, characterization and expression analysis of the SAMS gene during adventitious root development in IBA-induced tetraploid black locust.

    PubMed

    Quan, Jine; Zhang, Sheng; Zhang, Chunxia; Meng, Sen; Zhao, Zhong; Xu, Xuexuan

    2014-01-01

    S-Adenosylmethionine synthetase (SAMS) catalyzes the synthesis of S-adenosylmethionine (SAM), a precursor for ethylene and polyamine biosynthesis. Here, we report the isolation of the 1498 bp full-length cDNA sequence encoding tetraploid black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L.) SAMS (TrbSAMS), which contains an open reading frame of 1179 bp encoding 392 amino acids. The amino acid sequence of TrbSAMS has more than 94% sequence identity to SAMSs from other plants, with a closer phylogenetic relationship to SAMSs from legumes than to SAMS from other plants. The TrbSAMS monomer consists of N-terminal, central, and C-terminal domains. Subcellular localization analysis revealed that the TrbSAMS protein localizes mainly to in the cell membrane and cytoplasm of onion epidermal cells and Arabidopsis mesophyll cell protoplasts. Indole-3-butyric acid (IBA)-treated cuttings showed higher levels of TrbSAMS transcript than untreated control cuttings during root primordium and adventitious root formation. TrbSAMS and its downstream genes showed differential expression in shoots, leaves, bark, and roots, with the highest expression observed in bark. IBA-treated cuttings also showed higher SAMS activity than control cuttings during root primordium and adventitious root formation. These results indicate that TrbSAMS might play an important role in the regulation of IBA-induced adventitious root development in tetraploid black locust cuttings. PMID:25285660

  4. Effects of xanthan-locust bean gum mixtures on the physicochemical properties and oxidative stability of whey protein stabilised oil-in-water emulsions.

    PubMed

    Khouryieh, Hanna; Puli, Goutham; Williams, Kevin; Aramouni, Fadi

    2015-01-15

    The effects of xanthan gum (XG)-locust bean gum (LBG) mixtures (0.05, 0.1, 0.15, 0.2 and 0.5 wt%) on the physicochemical properties of whey protein isolate (WPI) stabilised oil-in-water (O/W) emulsions containing 20% v/v menhaden oil was investigated. At higher concentrations, the apparent viscosity of the emulsions containing XG/LBG mixtures was significantly higher (p<0.05) than the emulsions containing either XG or LBG alone. Locust bean gum showed the greatest phase separation, followed by XG. Microstructure images showed depletion flocculation at lower biopolymer concentrations, and thus led to an increase in creaming instability and apparent viscosity of the emulsions. Addition of 0.15, 0.2 and 0.5 wt% XG/LBG mixtures greatly decreased the creaming of the emulsions. The rate of lipid oxidation for 8-week storage was significantly lower (p<0.05) in emulsions containing XG/LBG mixtures than in emulsions containing either of the biopolymer alone.

  5. Genotyping of starter cultures of Bacillus subtilis and Bacillus pumilus for fermentation of African locust bean (Parkia biglobosa) to produce Soumbala.

    PubMed

    Ouoba, Labia Irène Ivette; Diawara, Bréhima; Amoa-Awua, Wisdom kofi; Traoré, Alfred Sababénedyo; Møller, Peter Lange

    2004-01-15

    Bacillus spp. are the predominant microorganisms in fermented African locust bean called Soumbala in Burkina Faso. Ten strains selected as potential starter cultures were characterised by PCR amplification of the16S-23S rDNA intergenic transcribed spacer (ITS-PCR), restriction fragment length polymorphism of the ITS-PCR (ITS-PCR RFLP), pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and sequencing of the 968-1401 region of the 16S rDNA. In previous studies, the isolates were identified by phenotyping as Bacillus subtilis and Bacillus pumilus. The phenotyping was repeated as a reference in the present study. The ITS-PCR and ITS-PCR RLFP allowed a typing at species level. The PFGE was more discriminative and allowed a typing at strain level. Full agreement with the phenotyping was observed in all cases. The sequencing of the 16S rDNA allowed the identification at species level with an identity from 97% to 100% comparing the sequences to those from the GenBank databases. The desired cultures of B. subtilis and B. pumilus from African locust bean fermentation were distinguished by ITS-PCR and ITS-PCR RLFP from Bacillus cereus and Bacillus sphaericus which sometimes occur in the beginning of the fermentation.

  6. LmCYP4G102: An oenocyte-specific cytochrome P450 gene required for cuticular waterproofing in the migratory locust, Locusta migratoria.

    PubMed

    Yu, Zhitao; Zhang, Xueyao; Wang, Yiwen; Moussian, Bernard; Zhu, Kun Yan; Li, Sheng; Ma, Enbo; Zhang, Jianzhen

    2016-01-01

    Cytochrome P450 superfamily proteins play important roles in detoxification of xenobiotics and during physiological and developmental processes. To contribute to our understanding of this large gene family in insects, we have investigated the function of the cytochrome P450 gene LmCYP4G102 in the migratory locust Locusta migratoria. Suppression of LmCYP4G102 expression by RNA interference (RNAi) does not interfere with moulting but causes rapid loss of body weight - probably due to massive loss of water, and death soon after moulting. Accordingly, maintaining these animals at 90% relative humidity prevented lethality. Consistently, RNAi against LmCYP4G102 provoked a decrease in the content of cuticular alkanes, which as an important fraction of cuticular hydrocarbons have been shown to confer desiccation resistance. In addition, the cuticle of LmCYP4G102-knockdown locusts was fragile and easier deformable than in control animals. Presumably, this phenotype is due to decreased amounts of cuticular water that is reported to modulate cuticle mechanics. Interestingly, LmCYP4G102 was not expressed in the epidermis that produces the cuticle but in the sub-epdiermal hepatocyte-like oenocytes. Together, our results suggest that the oenocyte-specific LmCYP4G102 plays a critical role in the synthesis of cuticular hydrocarbons, which are important for cuticle waterproofing and mechanical stability in L. migratoria. PMID:27444410

  7. Transcriptomic and proteomic analysis of pre-diapause and non-diapause eggs of migratory locust, Locusta migratoria L. (Orthoptera: Acridoidea).

    PubMed

    Tu, Xiongbing; Wang, Jie; Hao, Kun; Whitman, Douglas W; Fan, Yaoli; Cao, Guangchun; Zhang, Zehua

    2015-01-01

    Low temperature induces diapause in locusts. However, the physiological processes and initiation mechanism of diapause are not well understood. To understand the molecular basis of diapause, 'omics' analyses were performed to examine the differences between diapause and non-diapause eggs at both transcriptional and translational levels. Results indicated that a total of 62,241 mRNAs and 212 proteins were differentially expressed. Among them, 116 transcripts had concurrent transcription and translation profiles. Up-regulated genes related to diapause included glutathiones-S-transferase et al., and down-regulated genes including juvenile hormone esterase-like protein et al. KEGG analysis mapped 7,243 and 99 differentially expressed genes and proteins, to 83 and 25 pathways, respectively. Correlation enriched pathways indicated that there were nine identical pathways related to diapause. Gene Ontology analysis placed these genes and proteins into three categories, and a higher proportion of genes related to metabolism was up-regulated than down-regulated. Furthermore, three up-regulated pathways were linked to cryoprotection. This study demonstrates the applicability of high-throughput omics tools to identify molecules linked to diapause in the locust. In addition, it reveals cellular metabolism in diapause eggs is more active than in non-diapause eggs, and up-regulated enzymes may play roles in cryoprotection and storing energy for diapause and post-diapause stages. PMID:26091374

  8. LmCYP4G102: An oenocyte-specific cytochrome P450 gene required for cuticular waterproofing in the migratory locust, Locusta migratoria

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Zhitao; Zhang, Xueyao; Wang, Yiwen; Moussian, Bernard; Zhu, Kun Yan; Li, Sheng; Ma, Enbo; Zhang, Jianzhen

    2016-01-01

    Cytochrome P450 superfamily proteins play important roles in detoxification of xenobiotics and during physiological and developmental processes. To contribute to our understanding of this large gene family in insects, we have investigated the function of the cytochrome P450 gene LmCYP4G102 in the migratory locust Locusta migratoria. Suppression of LmCYP4G102 expression by RNA interference (RNAi) does not interfere with moulting but causes rapid loss of body weight - probably due to massive loss of water, and death soon after moulting. Accordingly, maintaining these animals at 90% relative humidity prevented lethality. Consistently, RNAi against LmCYP4G102 provoked a decrease in the content of cuticular alkanes, which as an important fraction of cuticular hydrocarbons have been shown to confer desiccation resistance. In addition, the cuticle of LmCYP4G102-knockdown locusts was fragile and easier deformable than in control animals. Presumably, this phenotype is due to decreased amounts of cuticular water that is reported to modulate cuticle mechanics. Interestingly, LmCYP4G102 was not expressed in the epidermis that produces the cuticle but in the sub-epdiermal hepatocyte-like oenocytes. Together, our results suggest that the oenocyte-specific LmCYP4G102 plays a critical role in the synthesis of cuticular hydrocarbons, which are important for cuticle waterproofing and mechanical stability in L. migratoria PMID:27444410

  9. Effects of xanthan-locust bean gum mixtures on the physicochemical properties and oxidative stability of whey protein stabilised oil-in-water emulsions.

    PubMed

    Khouryieh, Hanna; Puli, Goutham; Williams, Kevin; Aramouni, Fadi

    2015-01-15

    The effects of xanthan gum (XG)-locust bean gum (LBG) mixtures (0.05, 0.1, 0.15, 0.2 and 0.5 wt%) on the physicochemical properties of whey protein isolate (WPI) stabilised oil-in-water (O/W) emulsions containing 20% v/v menhaden oil was investigated. At higher concentrations, the apparent viscosity of the emulsions containing XG/LBG mixtures was significantly higher (p<0.05) than the emulsions containing either XG or LBG alone. Locust bean gum showed the greatest phase separation, followed by XG. Microstructure images showed depletion flocculation at lower biopolymer concentrations, and thus led to an increase in creaming instability and apparent viscosity of the emulsions. Addition of 0.15, 0.2 and 0.5 wt% XG/LBG mixtures greatly decreased the creaming of the emulsions. The rate of lipid oxidation for 8-week storage was significantly lower (p<0.05) in emulsions containing XG/LBG mixtures than in emulsions containing either of the biopolymer alone. PMID:25148996

  10. Molecular Cloning, Characterization and Expression Analysis of the SAMS Gene during Adventitious Root Development in IBA-Induced Tetraploid Black Locust

    PubMed Central

    Quan, Jine; Zhang, Sheng; Zhang, Chunxia; Meng, Sen; Zhao, Zhong; Xu, Xuexuan

    2014-01-01

    S-Adenosylmethionine synthetase (SAMS) catalyzes the synthesis of S-adenosylmethionine (SAM), a precursor for ethylene and polyamine biosynthesis. Here, we report the isolation of the 1498 bp full-length cDNA sequence encoding tetraploid black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L.) SAMS (TrbSAMS), which contains an open reading frame of 1179 bp encoding 392 amino acids. The amino acid sequence of TrbSAMS has more than 94% sequence identity to SAMSs from other plants, with a closer phylogenetic relationship to SAMSs from legumes than to SAMS from other plants. The TrbSAMS monomer consists of N-terminal, central, and C-terminal domains. Subcellular localization analysis revealed that the TrbSAMS protein localizes mainly to in the cell membrane and cytoplasm of onion epidermal cells and Arabidopsis mesophyll cell protoplasts. Indole-3-butyric acid (IBA)-treated cuttings showed higher levels of TrbSAMS transcript than untreated control cuttings during root primordium and adventitious root formation. TrbSAMS and its downstream genes showed differential expression in shoots, leaves, bark, and roots, with the highest expression observed in bark. IBA-treated cuttings also showed higher SAMS activity than control cuttings during root primordium and adventitious root formation. These results indicate that TrbSAMS might play an important role in the regulation of IBA-induced adventitious root development in tetraploid black locust cuttings. PMID:25285660

  11. Biomass yield comparisons of giant miscanthus, giant reed, and miscane grown under irrigated and rainfed conditions

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The U.S. Department of Energy has initiated efforts to decrease the nation’s dependence on imported oil by developing domestic renewable sources of cellulosic-derived bioenergy. In this study, giant miscanthus (Miscanthus x giganteus), sugarcane (complex hybrid of Saccharum spp.), and giant reed (Ar...

  12. Obscurin: a multitasking muscle giant.

    PubMed

    Kontrogianni-Konstantopoulos, Aikaterini; Bloch, Robert J

    2005-01-01

    Obscurin (approximately 800 kDa) is the third member of a family of giant proteins expressed in vertebrate striated muscle, along with titin (3-3.7 MDa) and nebulin (approximately 800 kDa). Like its predecessors, it is a multidomain protein composed of tandem adhesion modules and signaling domains. Unlike titin and nebulin, which are integral components of sarcomeres, obscurin is concentrated at the peripheries of Z-disks and M-lines, where it is appropriately positioned to communicate with the surrounding myoplasm. This unique distribution allows obscurin to bind small ankyrin 1, an integral component of the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) membrane. Obscurin also associates with the contractile apparatus through its binding to titin, sarcomeric myosin and perhaps other proteins of the contractile apparatus. Overexpression of the COOH-terminus of obscurin in primary myotubes has a dramatic and specific effect on the organization of sarcomeric myosin, indicating a role in the organization and regular assembly of A-bands. Given its ability to associate tightly, selectively and periodically with the periphery of the myofibril, its high affinity for an integral membrane protein of the SR and its close association with thick filaments, we speculate that obscurin is ideally suited to play key roles in modulating the organization and assembly of both the myofibril and the SR.

  13. A giant thunderstorm on Saturn.

    PubMed

    Fischer, G; Kurth, W S; Gurnett, D A; Zarka, P; Dyudina, U A; Ingersoll, A P; Ewald, S P; Porco, C C; Wesley, A; Go, C; Delcroix, M

    2011-07-06

    Lightning discharges in Saturn's atmosphere emit radio waves with intensities about 10,000 times stronger than those of their terrestrial counterparts. These radio waves are the characteristic features of lightning from thunderstorms on Saturn, which last for days to months. Convective storms about 2,000 kilometres in size have been observed in recent years at planetocentric latitude 35° south (corresponding to a planetographic latitude of 41° south). Here we report observations of a giant thunderstorm at planetocentric latitude 35° north that reached a latitudinal extension of 10,000 kilometres-comparable in size to a 'Great White Spot'-about three weeks after it started in early December 2010. The visible plume consists of high-altitude clouds that overshoot the outermost ammonia cloud layer owing to strong vertical convection, as is typical for thunderstorms. The flash rates of this storm are about an order of magnitude higher than previous ones, and peak rates larger than ten per second were recorded. This main storm developed an elongated eastward tail with additional but weaker storm cells that wrapped around the whole planet by February 2011. Unlike storms on Earth, the total power of this storm is comparable to Saturn's total emitted power. The appearance of such storms in the northern hemisphere could be related to the change of seasons, given that Saturn experienced vernal equinox in August 2009.

  14. Red Giant Plunging Through Space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2006-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Poster Version

    This image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope (left panel) shows the 'bow shock' of a dying star named R Hydrae, or R Hya, in the constellation Hydra.

    Bow shocks are formed where the stellar wind from a star are pushed into a bow shape (illustration, right panel) as the star plunges through the gas and dust between stars. Our own Sun has a bow shock, but prior to this image one had never been observed around this particular class of red giant star.

    R Hya moves through space at approximately 50 kilometers per second. As it does so, it discharges dust and gas into space. Because the star is relatively cool, that ejecta quickly assumes a solid state and collides with the interstellar medium. The resulting dusty nebula is invisible to the naked eye but can be detected using an infrared telescope. This bow shock is 16,295 astronomical units from the star to the apex and 6,188 astronomical units thick (an astronomical unit is the distance between the sun and Earth). The mass of the bow shock is about 400 times the mass of the Earth.

    The false-color Spitzer image shows infrared emissions at 70 microns. Brighter colors represent greater intensities of infrared light at that wavelength. The location of the star itself is drawn onto the picture in the black 'unobserved' region in the center.

  15. A giant thunderstorm on Saturn.

    PubMed

    Fischer, G; Kurth, W S; Gurnett, D A; Zarka, P; Dyudina, U A; Ingersoll, A P; Ewald, S P; Porco, C C; Wesley, A; Go, C; Delcroix, M

    2011-07-01

    Lightning discharges in Saturn's atmosphere emit radio waves with intensities about 10,000 times stronger than those of their terrestrial counterparts. These radio waves are the characteristic features of lightning from thunderstorms on Saturn, which last for days to months. Convective storms about 2,000 kilometres in size have been observed in recent years at planetocentric latitude 35° south (corresponding to a planetographic latitude of 41° south). Here we report observations of a giant thunderstorm at planetocentric latitude 35° north that reached a latitudinal extension of 10,000 kilometres-comparable in size to a 'Great White Spot'-about three weeks after it started in early December 2010. The visible plume consists of high-altitude clouds that overshoot the outermost ammonia cloud layer owing to strong vertical convection, as is typical for thunderstorms. The flash rates of this storm are about an order of magnitude higher than previous ones, and peak rates larger than ten per second were recorded. This main storm developed an elongated eastward tail with additional but weaker storm cells that wrapped around the whole planet by February 2011. Unlike storms on Earth, the total power of this storm is comparable to Saturn's total emitted power. The appearance of such storms in the northern hemisphere could be related to the change of seasons, given that Saturn experienced vernal equinox in August 2009. PMID:21734705

  16. The Giant Planet Satellite Exospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McGrath, Melissa A.

    2014-01-01

    Exospheres are relatively common in the outer solar system among the moons of the gas giant planets. They span the range from very tenuous, surface-bounded exospheres (e.g., Rhea, Dione) to quite robust exospheres with exobase above the surface (e.g., lo, Triton), and include many intermediate cases (e.g., Europa, Ganymede, Enceladus). The exospheres of these moons exhibit an interesting variety of sources, from surface sputtering, to frost sublimation, to active plumes, and also well illustrate another common characteristic of the outer planet satellite exospheres, namely, that the primary species often exists both as a gas in atmosphere, and a condensate (frost or ice) on the surface. As described by Yelle et al. (1995) for Triton, "The interchange of matter between gas and solid phases on these bodies has profound effects on the physical state of the surface and the structure of the atmosphere." A brief overview of the exospheres of the outer planet satellites will be presented, including an inter-comparison of these satellites exospheres with each other, and with the exospheres of the Moon and Mercury.

  17. YOUNG SOLAR SYSTEM's FIFTH GIANT PLANET?

    SciTech Connect

    Nesvorny, David

    2011-12-15

    Studies of solar system formation suggest that the solar system's giant planets formed and migrated in the protoplanetary disk to reach the resonant orbits with all planets inside {approx}15 AU from the Sun. After the gas disk's dispersal, Uranus and Neptune were likely scattered by the gas giants, and approached their current orbits while dispersing the transplanetary disk of planetesimals, whose remains survived to this time in the region known as the Kuiper Belt. Here we performed N-body integrations of the scattering phase between giant planets in an attempt to determine which initial states are plausible. We found that the dynamical simulations starting with a resonant system of four giant planets have a low success rate in matching the present orbits of giant planets and various other constraints (e.g., survival of the terrestrial planets). The dynamical evolution is typically too violent, if Jupiter and Saturn start in the 3:2 resonance, and leads to final systems with fewer than four planets. Several initial states stand out in that they show a relatively large likelihood of success in matching the constraints. Some of the statistically best results were obtained when assuming that the solar system initially had five giant planets and one ice giant, with the mass comparable to that of Uranus and Neptune, and which was ejected to interstellar space by Jupiter. This possibility appears to be conceivable in view of the recent discovery of a large number of free-floating planets in interstellar space, which indicates that planet ejection should be common.

  18. Giant elves: Lightning-generated electromagnetic pulses in giant planets.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luque Estepa, Alejandro; Dubrovin, Daria; José Gordillo-Vázquez, Francisco; Ebert, Ute; Parra-Rojas, Francisco Carlos; Yair, Yoav; Price, Colin

    2015-04-01

    We currently have direct optical observations of atmospheric electricity in the two giant gaseous planets of our Solar System [1-5] as well as radio signatures that are possibly generated by lightning from the two icy planets Uranus and Neptune [6,7]. On Earth, the electrical activity of the troposphere is associated with secondary electrical phenomena called Transient Luminous Events (TLEs) that occur in the mesosphere and lower ionosphere. This led some researchers to ask if similar processes may also exist in other planets, focusing first on the quasi-static coupling mechanism [8], which on Earth is responsible for halos and sprites and then including also the induction field, which is negligible in our planet but dominant in Saturn [9]. However, one can show that, according to the best available estimation for lightning parameters, in giant planets such as Saturn and Jupiter the effect of the electromagnetic pulse (EMP) dominates the effect that a lightning discharge has on the lower ionosphere above it. Using a Finite-Differences, Time-Domain (FDTD) solver for the EMP we found [10] that electrically active storms may create a localized but long-lasting layer of enhanced ionization of up to 103 cm-3 free electrons below the ionosphere, thus extending the ionosphere downward. We also estimate that the electromagnetic pulse transports 107 J to 1010 J toward the ionosphere. There emissions of light of up to 108 J would create a transient luminous event analogous to a terrestrial elve. Although these emissions are about 10 times fainter than the emissions coming from the lightning itself, it may be possible to target them for detection by filtering the appropiate wavelengths. [1] Cook, A. F., II, T. C. Duxbury, and G. E. Hunt (1979), First results on Jovian lightning, Nature, 280, 794, doi:10.1038/280794a0. [2] Little, B., C. D. Anger, A. P. Ingersoll, A. R. Vasavada, D. A. Senske, H. H. Breneman, W. J. Borucki, and The Galileo SSI Team (1999), Galileo images of

  19. Sunspots and Giant-Cell Convection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Moore, Ron L.; Hathaway, David H.; Reichmann, Ed J.

    2000-01-01

    From analysis of Doppler velocity images from SOHO/MDI, Hathaway et al (2000, Solar Phys., in press) have found clear evidence for giant convection cells that fill the solar surface, have diameters 3 - 10 times that typical of supergranules, and have lifetimes approx. greater than 10 days. Analogous to the superposition of the granular convection on the supergranular convection, the approx. 30,000 km diameter supergranules are superposed on these still larger giant cells. Because the giant cells make up the large-scale end of a continuous power spectrum that peaks at the size scale of supergranules, it appears that the giant cells are made by the same mode of convection as the supergranules. This suggests that the giant cells are similar to supergranules, just longer-lived, larger in diameter, and deeper. Here we point out that the range of lengths of large bipolar sunspot groups is similar to the size range of giant cells. This, along with the long lives (weeks) of large sunspots, suggests that large sunspots sit in long-lived, deep downflows at the corners of giant cells, and that the distance from leader to follower sunspots in large bipolar groups is the distance from one giant-cell corner to the next. By this line of reasoning, an unusually large and strong downdraft might pull in both legs of a rising spot-group magnetic flux loop, resulting in the formation of a delta sunspot. This leads us to suggest that a large, strong giant-cell corner downdraft should be present at the birthplaces of large delta sunspots for some time (days to weeks) before the birth. Thus, early detection of such downdrafts by local helioscismology might provide an early warning for the formation of those active regions (large delta sunspot groups) that produce the Sun's most violent flares and coronal mass ejections. This work is supported by NASA's Office of Space Science through the Solar Physics Branch of its Sun-Earth Connection Program.

  20. Giant components in directed multiplex networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Azimi-Tafreshi, N.; Dorogovtsev, S. N.; Mendes, J. F. F.

    2014-11-01

    We describe the complex global structure of giant components in directed multiplex networks that generalizes the well-known bow-tie structure, generic for ordinary directed networks. By definition, a directed multiplex network contains vertices of one type and directed edges of m different types. In directed multiplex networks, we distinguish a set of different giant components based on the existence of directed paths of different types between their vertices such that for each type of edges, the paths run entirely through only edges of that type. If, in particular, m =2 , we define a strongly viable component as a set of vertices in which for each type of edges each two vertices are interconnected by at least two directed paths in both directions, running through the edges of only this type. We show that in this case, a directed multiplex network contains in total nine different giant components including the strongly viable component. In general, the total number of giant components is 3m. For uncorrelated directed multiplex networks, we obtain exactly the size and the emergence point of the strongly viable component and estimate the sizes of other giant components.

  1. An MHD model for magnetar giant flares

    SciTech Connect

    Meng, Y.; Lin, J.; Zhang, Q. S.; Zhang, L.; Reeves, K. K.; Yuan, F. E-mail: jlin@ynao.ac.cn

    2014-04-10

    Giant flares on soft gamma-ray repeaters that are thought to take place on magnetars release enormous energy in a short time interval. Their power can be explained by catastrophic instabilities occurring in the magnetic field configuration and the subsequent magnetic reconnection. By analogy with the coronal mass ejection events on the Sun, we develop a theoretical model via an analytic approach for magnetar giant flares. In this model, the rotation and/or displacement of the crust causes the field to twist and deform, leading to flux rope formation in the magnetosphere and energy accumulation in the related configuration. When the energy and helicity stored in the configuration reach a threshold, the system loses its equilibrium, the flux rope is ejected outward in a catastrophic way, and magnetic reconnection helps the catastrophe develop to a plausible eruption. By taking SGR 1806–20 as an example, we calculate the free magnetic energy released in such an eruptive process and find that it is more than 10{sup 47} erg, which is enough to power a giant flare. The released free magnetic energy is converted into radiative energy, kinetic energy, and gravitational energy of the flux rope. We calculated the light curves of the eruptive processes for the giant flares of SGR 1806–20, SGR 0526–66, and SGR 1900+14, and compared them with the observational data. The calculated light curves are in good agreement with the observed light curves of giant flares.

  2. Giant Cell Arteritis and Mortality

    PubMed Central

    Crow, R. Wade; Warner, Judith E. A.; Alder, Stephen C.; Zhang, Kang; Schulman, Susan; Digre, Kathleen B.

    2009-01-01

    Background Giant cell arteritis (GCA) is a systemic vasculitis of elderly individuals associated with significant morbidity, including blindness, stroke, and myocardial infarction. Previous studies have investigated whether GCA is associated with increased mortality, with conflicting results. The objective of this study is to determine whether GCA, is associated with increased mortality. Methods Forty-four cases with GCA were identified from the University of Utah Health Sciences Center, the major tertiary care center for the Intermountain West. The Utah Population Database, a unique biomedical information resource, selected cases and age- and gender-matched controls. Cases were defined as patients with a temporal artery biopsy-proven diagnosis of GCA (international classification of diseases [ICD]-9 code 446.5) between 1991 and 2005. Exclusion criteria included a negative biopsy, alternative diagnoses, or insufficient clinical data. For each of the 44 cases, 100 controls were identified; thus, 4,400 controls were included in the data analysis. Median survival time and 5-year cumulative survival were measured for cases and controls. Results The median survival time for the 44 GCA cases was 1,357 days (3.71 years) after diagnosis compared with 3,044 days (8.34 years) for the 4,400 controls (p = 0.04). Five-year cumulative survival was 67% for the control group versus 35% for the cases (p < .001). Survival rates for cases and controls converged at approximately 11.12 years. Conclusions Patients with GCA were more likely than age- and gender-matched controls to die within the first 5 years following diagnosis. PMID:19196636

  3. Anaplastic giant cell thyroid carcinoma.

    PubMed

    Wallin, G; Lundell, G; Tennvall, J

    2004-01-01

    Anaplastic (giant cell) thyroid carcinoma (ATC), is one of the most aggressive malignancies in humans with a median survival time after diagnosis of 3-6 months. Death from ATC was earlier seen because of local growth and suffocation. ATC is uncommon, accounting for less than 5 % of all thyroid carcinomas. The diagnosis can be established by means of multiple fine needle aspiration biopsies, which are neither harmful nor troublesome for the patient. The cytological diagnosis of this high-grade malignant tumour is usually not difficult for a well trained cytologist. The intention to treat patients with ATC is cure, although only few of them survive. The majority of the patients are older than 60 years and treatment must be influenced by their high age. We have by using a combined modality regimen succeeded in achieving local control in most patients. Every effort should be made to control the primary tumour and thereby improve the quality of remaining life and it is important for patients, relatives and the personnel to know that cure is not impossible. Different treatment combinations have been used since 30 years including radiotherapy, cytostatic drugs and surgery, when feasible. In our latest combined regimen, 22 patients were treated with hyper fractionated radiotherapy 1.6Gy x 2 to a total target dose of 46 Gy given preoperatively, 20 mg doxorubicin was administered intravenously once weekly and surgery was carried out 2-3 weeks after the radiotherapy. 17 of these 22 patients were operated upon and none of these 17 patients got a local recurrence. In the future we are awaiting the development of new therapeutic approaches to this aggressive type of carcinoma. Inhibitors of angiogenesis might be useful. Combretastatin has displayed cytotoxicity against ATC cell lines and has had a positive effect on ATC in a patient. Sodium iodide symporter (NIS) genetherapy is also being currently considered for dedifferentiated thyroid carcinomas with the ultimate aim of

  4. Electrodynamics on extrasolar giant planets

    SciTech Connect

    Koskinen, T. T.; Yelle, R. V.; Lavvas, P.; Cho, J. Y-K.

    2014-11-20

    Strong ionization on close-in extrasolar giant planets (EGPs) suggests that their atmospheres may be affected by ion drag and resistive heating arising from wind-driven electrodynamics. Recent models of ion drag on these planets, however, are based on thermal ionization only and do not include the upper atmosphere above the 1 mbar level. These models are also based on simplified equations of resistive magnetohydrodynamics that are not always valid in extrasolar planet atmospheres. We show that photoionization dominates over thermal ionization over much of the dayside atmosphere above the 100 mbar level, creating an upper ionosphere dominated by ionization of H and He and a lower ionosphere dominated by ionization of metals such as Na, K, and Mg. The resulting dayside electron densities on close-in exoplanets are higher than those encountered in any planetary ionosphere of the solar system, and the conductivities are comparable to the chromosphere of the Sun. Based on these results and assumed magnetic fields, we constrain the conductivity regimes on close-in EGPs and use a generalized Ohm's law to study the basic effects of electrodynamics in their atmospheres. We find that ion drag is important above the 10 mbar level where it can also significantly alter the energy balance through resistive heating. Due to frequent collisions of the electrons and ions with the neutral atmosphere, however, ion drag is largely negligible in the lower atmosphere below the 10 mbar level for a reasonable range of planetary magnetic moments. We find that the atmospheric conductivity decreases by several orders of magnitude in the night side of tidally locked planets, leading to a potentially interesting large-scale dichotomy in electrodynamics between the day and night sides. A combined approach that relies on UV observations of the upper atmosphere, phase curve and Doppler measurements of global dynamics, and visual transit observations to probe the alkali metals can potentially be

  5. A Giant Sample of Giant Pulses from the Crab Pulsar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mickaliger, M. B.; McLaughlin, M. A.; Lorimer, D. R.; Langston, G. I.; Bilous, A. V.; Kondratiev, V. I.; Lyutikov, M.; Ransom, S. M.; Palliyaguru, N.

    2012-11-01

    We observed the Crab pulsar with the 43 m telescope in Green Bank, WV over a timespan of 15 months. In total we obtained 100 hr of data at 1.2 GHz and seven hours at 330 MHz, resulting in a sample of about 95,000 giant pulses (GPs). This is the largest sample, to date, of GPs from the Crab pulsar taken with the same telescope and backend and analyzed as one data set. We calculated power-law fits to amplitude distributions for main pulse (MP) and interpulse (IP) GPs, resulting in indices in the range of 2.1-3.1 for MP GPs at 1.2 GHz and in the range of 2.5-3.0 and 2.4-3.1 for MP and IP GPs at 330 MHz. We also correlated the GPs at 1.2 GHz with GPs from the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT), which were obtained simultaneously at a higher frequency (8.9 GHz) over a span of 26 hr. In total, 7933 GPs from the 43 m telescope at 1.2 GHz and 39,900 GPs from the GBT were recorded during these contemporaneous observations. At 1.2 GHz, 236 (3%) MP GPs and 23 (5%) IP GPs were detected at 8.9 GHz, both with zero chance probability. Another 15 (4%) low-frequency IP GPs were detected within one spin period of high-frequency IP GPs, with a chance probability of 9%. This indicates that the emission processes at high and low radio frequencies are related, despite significant pulse profile shape differences. The 43 m GPs were also correlated with Fermi γ-ray photons to see if increased pair production in the magnetosphere is the mechanism responsible for GP emission. A total of 92,022 GPs and 393 γ-ray photons were used in this correlation analysis. No significant correlations were found between GPs and γ-ray photons. This indicates that increased pair production in the magnetosphere is likely not the dominant cause of GPs. Possible methods of GP production may be increased coherence of synchrotron emission or changes in beaming direction.

  6. A GIANT SAMPLE OF GIANT PULSES FROM THE CRAB PULSAR

    SciTech Connect

    Mickaliger, M. B.; McLaughlin, M. A.; Lorimer, D. R.; Palliyaguru, N.; Langston, G. I.; Bilous, A. V.; Kondratiev, V. I.; Lyutikov, M.; Ransom, S. M.

    2012-11-20

    We observed the Crab pulsar with the 43 m telescope in Green Bank, WV over a timespan of 15 months. In total we obtained 100 hr of data at 1.2 GHz and seven hours at 330 MHz, resulting in a sample of about 95,000 giant pulses (GPs). This is the largest sample, to date, of GPs from the Crab pulsar taken with the same telescope and backend and analyzed as one data set. We calculated power-law fits to amplitude distributions for main pulse (MP) and interpulse (IP) GPs, resulting in indices in the range of 2.1-3.1 for MP GPs at 1.2 GHz and in the range of 2.5-3.0 and 2.4-3.1 for MP and IP GPs at 330 MHz. We also correlated the GPs at 1.2 GHz with GPs from the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT), which were obtained simultaneously at a higher frequency (8.9 GHz) over a span of 26 hr. In total, 7933 GPs from the 43 m telescope at 1.2 GHz and 39,900 GPs from the GBT were recorded during these contemporaneous observations. At 1.2 GHz, 236 (3%) MP GPs and 23 (5%) IP GPs were detected at 8.9 GHz, both with zero chance probability. Another 15 (4%) low-frequency IP GPs were detected within one spin period of high-frequency IP GPs, with a chance probability of 9%. This indicates that the emission processes at high and low radio frequencies are related, despite significant pulse profile shape differences. The 43 m GPs were also correlated with Fermi {gamma}-ray photons to see if increased pair production in the magnetosphere is the mechanism responsible for GP emission. A total of 92,022 GPs and 393 {gamma}-ray photons were used in this correlation analysis. No significant correlations were found between GPs and {gamma}-ray photons. This indicates that increased pair production in the magnetosphere is likely not the dominant cause of GPs. Possible methods of GP production may be increased coherence of synchrotron emission or changes in beaming direction.

  7. What Are Polymyalgia Rheumatica and Giant Cell Arteritis?

    MedlinePlus

    ... Cell Arteritis Find a Clinical Trial Journal Articles What Are Polymyalgia Rheumatica and Giant Cell Arteritis? PDF Version Size: 58 KB November 2014 What Are Polymyalgia Rheumatica and Giant Cell Arteritis? Fast ...

  8. Chromospheres of metal-deficient field giants

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dupree, A. K.; Hartmann, L.; Smith, Graeme H.

    1990-01-01

    Observations of the 2800-A Mg II line have been obtained with IUE for a sample of 10 metal-deficient field giant stars to search for chromospheric emission and signatures of mass loss, as well as to establish the level of chromospheric radiative energy losses from these stars. Mg II emission is probably present in all stars. High-resolution spectra of three of the brightest giants show asymmetric Mg II profiles which indicate a differentially expanding atmosphere, signaling the presence of outward mass motions. Surprisingly, the stellar surface fluxes in the Mg II lines are commensurate with the values found for disk giant stars (population I) of similar color. In spite of substantially depleted Mg abundances in the target stars (by factors of 10-100 relative to the solar abundance), the radiative losses implied by the Mg II fluxes, and possibly the chromospheric heating mechanism, appear to be reasonably independent of metallicity and age.

  9. Asymptomatic post-rheumatic giant left atrium

    PubMed Central

    Özkartal, Tardu; Tanner, Felix C; Niemann, Markus

    2016-01-01

    A 78-year-old asymptomatic woman was referred to our clinic for a second opinion regarding indication for mitral valve surgery. An echocardiogram showed a moderate mitral stenosis with a concomitant severe regurgitation. The most striking feature, however, was a giant left atrium with a parasternal anteroposterior diameter of 79 mm and a left atrial volume index of 364 mL/m². There are various echocardiographic definitions of a giant left atrium, which are mainly based on measurements of the anteroposterior diameter of the left atrium using M-mode in the parasternal long axis view. Since the commonly accepted method for echocardiographic evaluation of left atrial size is left atrial volume index, we propose a cut-off value of 140 mL/m2 for the definition of a “giant left atrium”. PMID:27354895

  10. Asymptomatic post-rheumatic giant left atrium.

    PubMed

    Özkartal, Tardu; Tanner, Felix C; Niemann, Markus

    2016-06-26

    A 78-year-old asymptomatic woman was referred to our clinic for a second opinion regarding indication for mitral valve surgery. An echocardiogram showed a moderate mitral stenosis with a concomitant severe regurgitation. The most striking feature, however, was a giant left atrium with a parasternal anteroposterior diameter of 79 mm and a left atrial volume index of 364 mL/m². There are various echocardiographic definitions of a giant left atrium, which are mainly based on measurements of the anteroposterior diameter of the left atrium using M-mode in the parasternal long axis view. Since the commonly accepted method for echocardiographic evaluation of left atrial size is left atrial volume index, we propose a cut-off value of 140 mL/m(2) for the definition of a "giant left atrium".

  11. Lithium-rich Giants in Globular Clusters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kirby, Evan N.; Guhathakurta, Puragra; Zhang, Andrew J.; Hong, Jerry; Guo, Michelle; Guo, Rachel; Cohen, Judith G.; Cunha, Katia

    2016-03-01

    Although red giants deplete lithium on their surfaces, some giants are Li-rich. Intermediate-mass asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stars can generate Li through the Cameron-Fowler conveyor, but the existence of Li-rich, low-mass red giant branch (RGB) stars is puzzling. Globular clusters are the best sites to examine this phenomenon because it is straightforward to determine membership in the cluster and to identify the evolutionary state of each star. In 72 hours of Keck/DEIMOS exposures in 25 clusters, we found four Li-rich RGB and two Li-rich AGB stars. There were 1696 RGB and 125 AGB stars with measurements or upper limits consistent with normal abundances of Li. Hence, the frequency of Li-richness in globular clusters is (0.2 ± 0.1)% for the RGB, (1.6 ± 1.1)% for the AGB, and (0.3 ± 0.1)% for all giants. Because the Li-rich RGB stars are on the lower RGB, Li self-generation mechanisms proposed to occur at the luminosity function bump or He core flash cannot explain these four lower RGB stars. We propose the following origin for Li enrichment: (1) All luminous giants experience a brief phase of Li enrichment at the He core flash. (2) All post-RGB stars with binary companions on the lower RGB will engage in mass transfer. This scenario predicts that 0.1% of lower RGB stars will appear Li-rich due to mass transfer from a recently Li-enhanced companion. This frequency is at the lower end of our confidence interval. The data presented herein were obtained at the W. M. Keck Observatory, which is operated as a scientific partnership among the California Institute of Technology, the University of California and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The Observatory was made possible by the generous financial support of the W. M. Keck Foundation.

  12. Overcoming Migration during Giant Planet Formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thommes, Edward W.; Nilsson, Leif; Murray, Norman

    2007-02-01

    In the core accretion model, gas giant formation is a race between growth and migration; for a core to become a Jovian planet, it must accrete its envelope before it spirals into the host star. We use a multizone numerical model to extend our previous investigation of the ``window of opportunity'' for gas giant formation within a disk. When the collision cross section enhancement due to core atmospheres is taken into account, we find that a broad range of protoplanetary disks possess such a window.

  13. Giant Lipoma of Posterior Cervical Region

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Lovekesh; Karande, Snehal K.; Kolhe, Yuvraj

    2014-01-01

    Lipomas are the slow growing soft tissue tumors of benign nature. They commonly grow on torso and extremities but may also develop in head and neck region. Rarely lipomas can grow to acquire gigantic proportions, turning into an entity termed as giant lipoma. Such lipomas are entitled to immediate attention as they have a relatively high malignant potential. We report a rare case of giant cervical lipoma in an elderly gentleman, followed by a brief discussion on diagnosis and management of the disorder. PMID:25349767

  14. Giant eruptions of very massive stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davidson, Kris

    2016-07-01

    Giant eruptions or supernova-impostor events are far more mysterious than true supernovae. An extreme example can release as much radiative energy as a SN, ejecting several Mʘ of material. These events involve continuous radiation-driven outflows rather than blast waves. They constitute one of the main unsolved problems in stellar astrophysics, but have received little theoretical attention. The most notorious giant-eruption survivor, ƞ Carinae, is amazingly close to us for such a rare event. It offers a wealth of observational clues, many of them quite unexpected in terms of simple theory.

  15. GIANT PITUITARY ADENOMA WITH NORMAL VISION AND MISLEADING RADIOLOGICAL FINDINGS.

    PubMed

    Khalid, Muhammad; Raina, Umer Farooq; uz Zaman, Khaleeq; Tahir, Muhammad

    2015-01-01

    Giant pituitary adenomas are rare and present with visual loss. Giant pituitary adenoma has rarely been reported presenting with normal vision. We report Giant pituitary adenoma with Normal vision in a 35 years old patient presenting with adult onset epilepsy and headache. PMID:26721053

  16. MAPPING DIRECTLY IMAGED GIANT EXOPLANETS

    SciTech Connect

    Kostov, Veselin; Apai, Daniel

    2013-01-01

    With the increasing number of directly imaged giant exoplanets, the current atmosphere models are often not capable of fully explaining the spectra and luminosity of the sources. A particularly challenging component of the atmosphere models is the formation and properties of condensate cloud layers, which fundamentally impact the energetics, opacity, and evolution of the planets. Here we present a suite of techniques that can be used to estimate the level of rotational modulations these planets may show. We propose that the time-resolved observations of such periodic photometric and spectroscopic variations of extrasolar planets due to their rotation can be used as a powerful tool to probe the heterogeneity of their optical surfaces. In this paper, we develop simulations to explore the capabilities of current and next-generation ground- and space-based instruments for this technique. We address and discuss the following questions: (1) what planet properties can be deduced from the light curve and/or spectra, and in particular can we determine rotation periods, spot coverage, spot colors, and spot spectra?; (2) what is the optimal configuration of instrument/wavelength/temporal sampling required for these measurements?; and (3) can principal component analysis be used to invert the light curve and deduce the surface map of the planet? Our simulations describe the expected spectral differences between homogeneous (clear or cloudy) and patchy atmospheres, outline the significance of the dominant absorption features of H{sub 2}O, CH{sub 4}, and CO, and provide a method to distinguish these two types of atmospheres. Assuming surfaces with and without clouds for most currently imaged planets the current models predict the largest variations in the J band. Simulated photometry from current and future instruments is used to estimate the level of detectable photometric variations. We conclude that future instruments will be able to recover not only the rotation periods

  17. Nutrient-dependent control of short neuropeptide F transcript levels via components of the insulin/IGF signaling pathway in the desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria.

    PubMed

    Dillen, Senne; Chen, Ziwei; Vanden Broeck, Jozef

    2016-01-01

    Peptides of the short neuropeptide F (sNPF) family modulate feeding behavior in a wide variety of insect species, including the desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria. Likewise, the nutritional state of the animal can strongly affect sNPF expression. Although several studies have been published describing these nutrient-dependent effects, it remains largely unclear how they are achieved. In this study, we describe a series of in vivo experiments which indicate that it is not the act of feeding in se, but rather the consequent availability of nutrients in the insect's hemolymph that gives rise to the postprandial modulation of sNPF expression. Furthermore, by performing a series of RNAi-mediated knockdown experiments, we were able to show that components of the evolutionarily conserved insulin/insulin-related growth factor (IGF) signaling pathway form a functional link between nutrient levels and sNPF transcript levels. PMID:26631598

  18. Reduced L-type Ca2+ current and compromised excitability induce loss of skeletal muscle function during acute cooling in locust.

    PubMed

    Findsen, Anders; Overgaard, Johannes; Pedersen, Thomas Holm

    2016-08-01

    Low temperature causes most insects to enter a state of neuromuscular paralysis, termed chill coma. The susceptibility of insect species to chill coma is tightly correlated to their distribution limits and for this reason it is important to understand the cellular processes that underlie chill coma. It is known that muscle function is markedly depressed at low temperature and this suggests that chill coma is partly caused by impairment in the muscle per se. To find the cellular mechanism(s) underlying muscle dysfunction at low temperature, we examined the effect of low temperature (5°C) on several events in excitation-contraction coupling in the migratory locust (Locusta migratoria). Intracellular membrane potential recordings during single nerve stimulations showed that 70% of fibers at 20°C produced an action potential (AP), while only 55% of fibers were able to fire an AP at 5°C. Reduced excitability at low temperature was caused by an ∼80% drop in L-type Ca(2+) current and a depolarizing shift in its activation of around 20 mV, which means that a larger endplate potential would be needed to activate the muscle AP at low temperature. In accordance, we showed that intracellular Ca(2+) transients were largely absent at low temperature following nerve stimulation. In contrast, maximum contractile force was unaffected by low temperature in chemically skinned muscle bundles, which demonstrates that the function of the contractile filaments is preserved at low temperature. These findings demonstrate that reduced L-type Ca(2+) current is likely to be the most important factor contributing to loss of muscle function at low temperature in locust. PMID:27247315

  19. Microbiological and chemical changes during the fermentation of African locust bean (Parkia biglobosa) to produce afitin, iru and sonru, three traditional condiments produced in Benin.

    PubMed

    Azokpota, P; Hounhouigan, D J; Nago, M C

    2006-04-01

    African locust bean (Parkia biglobosa) was processed to produce afitin, iru and sonru, three different types of condiment from Benin. Whereas the fermentation of African locust bean to produce afitin is carried out for 24 h without using any additive, the fermentation for iru and sonru production takes place for 48 h with adding respectively "iku-iru" and "yanyanku" two traditional malvacene bean-based (Hibiscus sabdariffa) additives. The main microorganisms involved in the fermentation of the three condiments were Bacillus spp., although Staphylococcus spp. was found in lower number. The use of additive seems to enhance the initial Bacillus counts in iru and sonru, but also a slightly higher Staphylococcus count was observed. The number of staphylococci did not exceed 10(2) cfu/g and it was below the detection level at the end of the fermentation (24 h) in afitin; it reached a level of about 10(6) cfu/g at 12-18 h in iru and sonru followed by a decrease to about 5 x 10(4) cfu/g after 48 h of fermentation. The final pH and total basic volatile nitrogen content of iru and sonru are higher than those of afitin. Proximate composition changes are similar in both fermenting iru and sonru, but different in afitin, the latter showing a slight decrease of proteins of about 5% whereas for iru and sonru they increased to about 6%. Ash, crude fat and fibre contents also increased during the fermentation in the three products whereas total carbohydrates decreased significantly. Due to their long fermentation time, iru and sonru are very soft products as they are preferred by some consumers whereas afitin is preferred with cotyledons having less soft texture.

  20. THE REDSHIFT DISTRIBUTION OF GIANT ARCS IN THE SLOAN GIANT ARCS SURVEY

    SciTech Connect

    Bayliss, Matthew B.; Gladders, Michael D.; Koester, Benjamin P.; Oguri, Masamune; Hennawi, Joseph F.; Sharon, Keren; Dahle, Haakon

    2011-01-20

    We measure the redshift distribution of a sample of 28 giant arcs discovered as a part of the Sloan Giant Arcs Survey. Gemini/GMOS-North spectroscopy provides precise redshifts for 24 arcs, and 'redshift desert' constrains for the remaining 4 arcs. This is a direct measurement of the redshift distribution of a uniformly selected sample of bright giant arcs, which is an observable that can be used to inform efforts to predict giant arc statistics. Our primary giant arc sample has a median redshift z = 1.821 and nearly two-thirds of the arcs, 64%, are sources at z {approx}> 1.4, indicating that the population of background sources that are strongly lensed into bright giant arcs resides primarily at high redshift. We also analyze the distribution of redshifts for 19 secondary strongly lensed background sources that are not visually apparent in Sloan Digital Sky Survey imaging, but were identified in deeper follow-up imaging of the lensing cluster fields. Our redshift sample for the secondary sources is not spectroscopically complete, but combining it with our primary giant arc sample suggests that a large fraction of all background galaxies that are strongly lensed by foreground clusters reside at z {approx}> 1.4. Kolmogorov-Smirnov tests indicate that our well-selected, spectroscopically complete primary giant arc redshift sample can be reproduced with a model distribution that is constructed from a combination of results from studies of strong-lensing clusters in numerical simulations and observational constraints on the galaxy luminosity function.

  1. Floret-like multinucleated giant cells in neurofibroma

    PubMed Central

    Shaktawat, Sameer Singh; Golka, Dariusz

    2007-01-01

    This short report discusses a case of neurofibroma containing floret-like multinucleated giant cells. This being the second such case in the literature. Floret-like multinucleated giant cells have been reported in gynaecomastia and neurofibroma in neurofibromatosis type 1. These cells have been reported in uncommon soft tissue tumours including pleomorphic lipoma, giant cell collagenoma, giant cell fibroblastoma and giant cell angiofibroma. We recommend these cells to be interpreted carefully keeping in mind the rare malignant change in neurofibromas. Immunohistochemistry would help in defining the nature of such cells. PMID:18067673

  2. Floret-like multinucleated giant cells in neurofibroma.

    PubMed

    Shaktawat, Sameer Singh; Golka, Dariusz

    2007-12-08

    This short report discusses a case of neurofibroma containing floret-like multinucleated giant cells. This being the second such case in the literature. Floret-like multinucleated giant cells have been reported in gynaecomastia and neurofibroma in neurofibromatosis type 1. These cells have been reported in uncommon soft tissue tumours including pleomorphic lipoma, giant cell collagenoma, giant cell fibroblastoma and giant cell angiofibroma. We recommend these cells to be interpreted carefully keeping in mind the rare malignant change in neurofibromas. Immunohistochemistry would help in defining the nature of such cells.

  3. Tuberculosis Detection by Giant African Pouched Rats

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Poling, Alan; Weetjens, Bart; Cox, Christophe; Beyene, Negussie; Durgin, Amy; Mahoney, Amanda

    2011-01-01

    In recent years, operant discrimination training procedures have been used to teach giant African pouched rats to detect tuberculosis (TB) in human sputum samples. This article summarizes how the rats are trained and used operationally, as well as their performance in studies published to date. Available data suggest that pouched rats, which can…

  4. Giant Viruses of Amoebas: An Update.

    PubMed

    Aherfi, Sarah; Colson, Philippe; La Scola, Bernard; Raoult, Didier

    2016-01-01

    During the 12 past years, five new or putative virus families encompassing several members, namely Mimiviridae, Marseilleviridae, pandoraviruses, faustoviruses, and virophages were described. In addition, Pithovirus sibericum and Mollivirus sibericum represent type strains of putative new giant virus families. All these viruses were isolated using amoebal coculture methods. These giant viruses were linked by phylogenomic analyses to other large DNA viruses. They were then proposed to be classified in a new viral order, the Megavirales, on the basis of their common origin, as shown by a set of ancestral genes encoding key viral functions, a common virion architecture, and shared major biological features including replication inside cytoplasmic factories. Megavirales is increasingly demonstrated to stand in the tree of life aside Bacteria, Archaea, and Eukarya, and the megavirus ancestor is suspected to be as ancient as cellular ancestors. In addition, giant amoebal viruses are visible under a light microscope and display many phenotypic and genomic features not found in other viruses, while they share other characteristics with parasitic microbes. Moreover, these organisms appear to be common inhabitants of our biosphere, and mimiviruses and marseilleviruses were isolated from human samples and associated to diseases. In the present review, we describe the main features and recent findings on these giant amoebal viruses and virophages.

  5. [Habitat selection attributes of giant panda].

    PubMed

    Kang, Dong-Wei; Zhao, Zhi-Jiang; Guo, Wen-Xia; Tan, Liu-Yi; Kang, Wen; Li, Jun-Qing

    2011-02-01

    Based on the 1997-2009 inventory data of Wanglang Nature Reserve, the habitat selection attributes of giant panda were studied from the aspects of topography, forest community structure, and main feeding bamboo by the methods of frequency distribution and Bailey. The giant panda had obvious habitat preferences. Topographically, the preferred microhabitat was on the even or convex slopes at the ridge, top, or middle part of mountain body at an elevation 2500-3000 m, with southwest aspect, 6 degrees-30 degrees, and the distance to the nearest water source > 300 m. As for the forest community structure, the giant panda preferred the microhabitat with the bamboo succeeded from secondary forest or mixed conifer and broad-leaved forest, and with the average tree height being 20-29 m and the shrub coverage being 0-24%. The preferred main feeding bamboo by the giant panda was the growing well Fargesia denudate with an average height of 2-5 m and the coverage of > 50%.

  6. Chirp-driven giant phase space vortices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trivedi, Pallavi; Ganesh, Rajaraman

    2016-06-01

    In a collisionless, unbounded, one-dimensional plasma, modelled using periodic boundary conditions, formation of steady state phase space coherent structures or phase space vortices (PSV) is investigated. Using a high resolution one-dimensional Vlasov-Poisson solver based on piecewise-parabolic advection scheme, the formation of giant PSV is addressed numerically. For an infinitesimal external drive amplitude and wavenumber k, we demonstrate the existence of a window of chirped external drive frequency that leads to the formation of giant PSV. The linear, small amplitude, external drive, when chirped, is shown to couple effectively to the plasma and increase both streaming of "untrapped" and "trapped" particle fraction. The steady state attained after the external drive is turned off and is shown to lead to a giant PSV with multiple extrema and phase velocities, with excess density fraction, defined as the deviation from the Maxwellian background, Δ n / n 0 ≃ 20 % - 25 % . It is shown that the process depends on the chirp time duration Δt. The excess density fraction Δn/n0, which contains both trapped and untrapped particle contribution, is also seen to scale with Δt, only inhibited by the gradient of the distribution in velocity space. Both single step drive and multistep chirp processes are shown to lead to steady state giant PSV, with multiple extrema due to embedded holes and clumps, long after the external drive is turned off.

  7. Giant Viruses of Amoebas: An Update.

    PubMed

    Aherfi, Sarah; Colson, Philippe; La Scola, Bernard; Raoult, Didier

    2016-01-01

    During the 12 past years, five new or putative virus families encompassing several members, namely Mimiviridae, Marseilleviridae, pandoraviruses, faustoviruses, and virophages were described. In addition, Pithovirus sibericum and Mollivirus sibericum represent type strains of putative new giant virus families. All these viruses were isolated using amoebal coculture methods. These giant viruses were linked by phylogenomic analyses to other large DNA viruses. They were then proposed to be classified in a new viral order, the Megavirales, on the basis of their common origin, as shown by a set of ancestral genes encoding key viral functions, a common virion architecture, and shared major biological features including replication inside cytoplasmic factories. Megavirales is increasingly demonstrated to stand in the tree of life aside Bacteria, Archaea, and Eukarya, and the megavirus ancestor is suspected to be as ancient as cellular ancestors. In addition, giant amoebal viruses are visible under a light microscope and display many phenotypic and genomic features not found in other viruses, while they share other characteristics with parasitic microbes. Moreover, these organisms appear to be common inhabitants of our biosphere, and mimiviruses and marseilleviruses were isolated from human samples and associated to diseases. In the present review, we describe the main features and recent findings on these giant amoebal viruses and virophages. PMID:27047465

  8. Laser treatment of giant xanthelasma palpebrarum.

    PubMed

    Corradino, Bartolo; Di Lorenzo, Sara; Triolo, Antonio; Moschella, Francesco

    2015-11-01

    Xanthelasma palpebrarum is the most common cutaneous xanthoma. It typically presents in middle-aged and older adults, most often around the eyelids. The diagnosis is made clinically. Giant xanthelasmas palpebrarum are xanthelasmas that extensively affect the superior and inferior bilateral eyelids. Many techniques have been put forward for treating these lesions (surgical, laser, and chemical techniques), but we describe our experience in the treatment of giant xanthelasmas by ultrapulsed CO2 laser. Between 2009 and 2012, in the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the University of Palermo, 12 patients with giant xanthelasmas were treated using a CO2 laser. The laser parameters are as follows: frequency 20 Hz, energy 75 mJ, and power 1.5 W. Each laser session lasts 15 min; the treatment consists of three or four sessions that are carried out at intervals of 15 days. Patients were followed up after 2, 6, and 12 months. This technique is rapid and it is accepted very well by patients. The only disadvantage is a long healing time (10-15 days). The ultrapulsed CO2 laser, in experienced hands, is an excellent device that enables the complete removal of giant xanthelasmas with a minimally invasive but very effective technique.

  9. Vocal repertoire of the social giant otter.

    PubMed

    Leuchtenberger, Caroline; Sousa-Lima, Renata; Duplaix, Nicole; Magnusson, William E; Mourão, Guilherme

    2014-11-01

    According to the "social intelligence hypothesis," species with complex social interactions have more sophisticated communication systems. Giant otters (Pteronura brasiliensis) live in groups with complex social interactions. It is likely that the vocal communication of giant otters is more sophisticated than previous studies suggest. The objectives of the current study were to describe the airborne vocal repertoire of giant otters in the Pantanal area of Brazil, to analyze call types within different behavioral contexts, and to correlate vocal complexity with level of sociability of mustelids to verify whether or not the result supports the social intelligence hypothesis. The behavior of nine giant otters groups was observed. Vocalizations recorded were acoustically and statistically analyzed to describe the species' repertoire. The repertoire was comprised by 15 sound types emitted in different behavioral contexts. The main behavioral contexts of each sound type were significantly associated with the acoustic variable ordination of different sound types. A strong correlation between vocal complexity and sociability was found for different species, suggesting that the communication systems observed in the family mustelidae support the social intelligence hypothesis.

  10. Generation of a Chiral Giant Micelle.

    PubMed

    Ito, Thiago H; Salles, Airton G; Priebe, Jacks P; Miranda, Paulo C M L; Morgon, Nelson H; Danino, Dganit; Mancini, Giovanna; Sabadini, Edvaldo

    2016-08-23

    Over the past few years, chiral supramolecular assemblies have been successfully used for recognition, sensing and enantioselective transformations. Several approaches are available to control chirality of discrete assemblies (e.g., cages and capsules), but few are efficient in assuring chirality for micellar aggregates. Optically active amino acid-derived surfactants are commonly used to generate chiral spherical micelles. To circumvent this limitation, we benefited from the uniaxial growth of spherical micelles into long cylindrical micelles usually called wormlike or giant micelles, upon the addition of cosolutes. This paper describes the unprecedented formation of chiral giant micelles in aqueous solutions of cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) upon increasing addition of enantiopure sodium salt of 1,1'-bi-2-naphthol (Na-binaphtholate) as a cosolute. Depending on the concentrations of CTAB and Na-binaphtholate, chiral gel-like systems are obtained. The transition from spherical to giant micellar structures was probed using rheology, cryo-transmission electron microscopy, polarimetry, and electronic circular dichroism (CD). CD can be effectively used to monitor the incorporation of Na-binaphtholate into the micelle palisade as well as to determine its transition to giant micellar structures. Our approach expands the scope for chirality induction in micellar aggregates bringing the possibility to generate "smart" chiral systems and an alternative asymmetric chiral environment to perform enantioselective transformations. PMID:27499127

  11. Ribosomes in the squid giant axon.

    PubMed

    Bleher, R; Martin, R

    2001-01-01

    Ribosome clusters, referred to as endoaxoplasmic plaques, were documented and quantitatively analyzed in the squid giant axon at the light and electron microscopic levels. The methods included nonspecific high affinity fluorescence staining of RNA by YOYO-1, specific immunofluorescence labeling of ribosomal RNA, electron energy loss spectroscopic mapping of ribosomal phosphorus, and conventional transmission electron microscopy. The endoaxoplasmic plaques were sharply defined, oval in shape, and less than 2 microm in diameter. While they were very numerous in the postsynaptic axonal area of the giant synapse, the frequency of occurrence was much lower in the peripheral giant axon, with a density of about 1 plaque/1000 microm3. Their distribution was random within axoplasm, with no preferential localization near the membrane. The several thousand ribosomes in a plaque usually were not membrane bound, but vesicular structures were observed in or near plaques; plaques were often surrounded by mitochondria. We conclude that ribosomes, a requisite machinery for protein synthesis, are present in the squid giant axon in discrete configurations.

  12. Reading on the Shoulders of Giants

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ben-Chaim, Michael; Riendeau, Michael

    2012-01-01

    Reflecting on his successful scientific career, Isaac Newton highlighted his intellectual debt to his predecessors. "If I have seen further," he wrote, "it was "only" by standing on the shoulders of giants." The authors have chosen the title of their article as a token of recognition of their debt to the teachings of Newton and other intellectuals…

  13. Vocal repertoire of the social giant otter.

    PubMed

    Leuchtenberger, Caroline; Sousa-Lima, Renata; Duplaix, Nicole; Magnusson, William E; Mourão, Guilherme

    2014-11-01

    According to the "social intelligence hypothesis," species with complex social interactions have more sophisticated communication systems. Giant otters (Pteronura brasiliensis) live in groups with complex social interactions. It is likely that the vocal communication of giant otters is more sophisticated than previous studies suggest. The objectives of the current study were to describe the airborne vocal repertoire of giant otters in the Pantanal area of Brazil, to analyze call types within different behavioral contexts, and to correlate vocal complexity with level of sociability of mustelids to verify whether or not the result supports the social intelligence hypothesis. The behavior of nine giant otters groups was observed. Vocalizations recorded were acoustically and statistically analyzed to describe the species' repertoire. The repertoire was comprised by 15 sound types emitted in different behavioral contexts. The main behavioral contexts of each sound type were significantly associated with the acoustic variable ordination of different sound types. A strong correlation between vocal complexity and sociability was found for different species, suggesting that the communication systems observed in the family mustelidae support the social intelligence hypothesis. PMID:25373985

  14. Giant light enhancement in atomic clusters

    SciTech Connect

    Gadomsky, O. N. Gadomskaya, I. V.; Altunin, K. K.

    2009-07-15

    We show that the polarizing effect of the atoms in an atomic cluster can lead to full compensation of the radiative damping of excited atomic states, a change in the sign of the dispersion of the atomic polarizability, and giant light enhancement by the atomic cluster.

  15. Giant retroperitoneal cyst in an adult male.

    PubMed

    Egawa, S; Satoh, T; Suyama, K; Uchida, T; Iwabuchi, K; Koshiba, K

    1996-07-01

    This paper presents a case of a symptomatic giant retroperitoneal cyst in an adult male. The unilocular cyst was excised successfully with resolution of the attendant symptoms. Histological findings of the cyst wall suggested a lymphangiomatous etiology. Any good risk patient found to harbor such a cyst should undergo complete excision in view of the potential for the development of symptoms and complications.

  16. Giant Viruses of Amoebas: An Update

    PubMed Central

    Aherfi, Sarah; Colson, Philippe; La Scola, Bernard; Raoult, Didier

    2016-01-01

    During the 12 past years, five new or putative virus families encompassing several members, namely Mimiviridae, Marseilleviridae, pandoraviruses, faustoviruses, and virophages were described. In addition, Pithovirus sibericum and Mollivirus sibericum represent type strains of putative new giant virus families. All these viruses were isolated using amoebal coculture methods. These giant viruses were linked by phylogenomic analyses to other large DNA viruses. They were then proposed to be classified in a new viral order, the Megavirales, on the basis of their common origin, as shown by a set of ancestral genes encoding key viral functions, a common virion architecture, and shared major biological features including replication inside cytoplasmic factories. Megavirales is increasingly demonstrated to stand in the tree of life aside Bacteria, Archaea, and Eukarya, and the megavirus ancestor is suspected to be as ancient as cellular ancestors. In addition, giant amoebal viruses are visible under a light microscope and display many phenotypic and genomic features not found in other viruses, while they share other characteristics with parasitic microbes. Moreover, these organisms appear to be common inhabitants of our biosphere, and mimiviruses and marseilleviruses were isolated from human samples and associated to diseases. In the present review, we describe the main features and recent findings on these giant amoebal viruses and virophages. PMID:27047465

  17. How locusts breathe.

    PubMed

    Harrison, Jon F; Waters, James S; Cease, Arianne J; Vandenbrooks, John M; Callier, Viviane; Klok, C Jaco; Shaffer, Kimberly; Socha, John J

    2013-01-01

    Insect tracheal-respiratory systems achieve high fluxes and great dynamic range with low energy requirements and could be important models for bioengineers interested in developing microfluidic systems. Recent advances suggest that insect cardiorespiratory systems have functional valves that permit compartmentalization with segment-specific pressures and flows and that system anatomy allows regional flows. Convection dominates over diffusion as a transport mechanism in the major tracheae, but Reynolds numbers suggest viscous effects remain important. PMID:23280354

  18. Silencing of two alternative splicing-derived mRNA variants of chitin synthase 1 gene by RNAi is lethal to the oriental migratory locust, Locusta migratoria manilensis (Meyen).

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jianzhen; Liu, Xiaojian; Zhang, Jianqin; Li, Daqi; Sun, Yi; Guo, Yaping; Ma, Enbo; Zhu, Kun Yan

    2010-11-01

    Chitin synthases are crucial enzymes responsible for chitin biosynthesis in fungi, nematodes and arthropods. We characterized two alternative splicing-derived variants of chitin synthase 1 gene (LmCHS1) from the oriental migratory locust, Locusta migratoria manilensis (Meyen). Each cDNA of the two variants (LmCHS1A and LmCHS1B) consists of 5116 nucleotides that include a 4728-nucleotide open reading frame (ORF) encoding 1576 amino acid residues, and 67- and 321-bp non-coding regions at the 5'- and 3'-ends of the cDNA, respectively. The two variants differ only in one exon consisting of 177 nucleotides that encode 59 amino acid residues. The amino acid sequences within this alternative splicing region are 75% identical between the two variants. Both variants were expressed in all the developmental stages. However, LmCHS1A was predominately expressed in the integument whereas LmCHS1B was mainly expressed in the trachea. Our RNAi-based gene silencing study resulted in a dramatic reduction in the levels of the corresponding mRNA in the locust nymphs injected with dsRNA of LmCHS1, or either of its two variants, LmCHS1A and LmCHS1B. Consequentially, 95, 88 and 51% of mortalities were observed in the locusts injected with the LmCHS1, LmCHS1A and LmCHS1B dsRNA, respectively. The phenotypes resulted from the injection of LmCHS1A dsRNA were similar to those from the injection of LmCHS1 dsRNA, whereas the locusts injected with LmCHS1B dsRNA exhibited crimpled cuticle phenotype. Our results suggest that both variants of chitin synthase 1 are essential for insect growth and development. PMID:20713155

  19. The properties of planets around giant stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, M. I.; Jenkins, J. S.; Bluhm, P.; Rojo, P.; Melo, C. H. F.

    2014-06-01

    Context. More than 50 exoplanets have been found around giant stars, revealing different properties when compared to planets orbiting solar-type stars. In particular, they are super-Jupiters and are not found orbiting interior to ~0.5 AU. Aims: We are conducting a radial velocity study of a sample of 166 giant stars aimed at studying the population of close-in planets orbiting giant stars and how their orbital and physical properties are influenced by the post-MS evolution of the host star. Methods: We have collected multiepoch spectra for all of the targets in our sample. We have computed precision radial velocities from FECH/CHIRON and FEROS spectra, using the I2 cell technique and the simultaneous calibration method, respectively. Results: We present the discovery of a massive planet around the giant star HIP 105854. The best Keplerian fit to the data leads to an orbital distance of 0.81 ± 0.03 AU, an eccentricity of 0.02 ± 0.03 and a projected mass of 8.2 ± 0.2 MJ. With the addition of this new planet discovery, we performed a detailed analysis of the orbital properties and mass distribution of the planets orbiting giant stars. We show that there is an overabundance of planets around giant stars with a ~ 0.5 - 0.9 AU, which might be attributed to tidal decay. Additionally, these planets are significantly more massive than those around MS and subgiant stars, suggesting that they grow via accretion either from the stellar wind or by mass transfer from the host star. Finally, we show that planets around evolved stars have lower orbital eccentricities than those orbiting solar-type stars, which suggests that they are either formed in different conditions or that their orbits are efficiently circularized by interactions with the host star. Based on observations collected at La Silla - Paranal Observatory under programs IDs 085.C-0557, 087.C.0476, 089.C-0524 and 090.C-0345.The RV Table is only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to http

  20. Logarithmic Compression of Sensory Signals within the Dendritic Tree of a Collision-Sensitive Neuron

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Neurons in a variety of species, both vertebrate and invertebrate, encode the kinematics of objects approaching on a collision course through a time-varying firing rate profile that initially increases, then peaks, and eventually decays as collision becomes imminent. In this temporal profile, the peak firing rate signals when the approaching object's subtended size reaches an angular threshold, an event which has been related to the timing of escape behaviors. In a locust neuron called the lobula giant motion detector (LGMD), the biophysical basis of this angular threshold computation relies on a multiplicative combination of the object's angular size and speed, achieved through a logarithmic-exponential transform. To understand how this transform is implemented, we modeled the encoding of angular velocity along the pathway leading to the LGMD based on the experimentally determined activation pattern of its presynaptic neurons. These simulations show that the logarithmic transform of angular speed occurs between the synaptic conductances activated by the approaching object onto the LGMD's dendritic tree and its membrane potential at the spike initiation zone. Thus, we demonstrate an example of how a single neuron's dendritic tree implements a mathematical step in a neural computation important for natural behavior. PMID:22492048