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Sample records for natural selection plant

  1. Natural selection on plant physiological traits in an urban environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lambrecht, Susan C.; Mahieu, Stephanie; Cheptou, Pierre-Olivier

    2016-11-01

    Current rates of urbanization are creating new opportunities for studying urban plant ecology, but our knowledge of urban plant physiology lags behind that of other ecosystems. Moreover, higher temperatures, elevated CO2, and increased inorganic nitrogen deposition along with altered moisture regimes of urban as compared to rural areas creates a compelling analog for studying adaptations of plants to climate change. We grew plants under common conditions in a greenhouse to determine whether populations of Crepis sancta (Asteraceae) differed in phenological, morphological, and physiological traits. We also used a field experiment to test for natural selection on these traits in urban Montpellier, France. Urban plants flowered and senesced later than rural plants, and natural selection favored later phenology in the urban habitat. Natural selection also favored larger plants with more leaves, and increased photosynthesis and leaf nitrogen concentration. Ours is the first study to document selection on plant functional traits in an urban habitat and, as such, advances our understanding of urban plant ecology and possible adaptations to climate change.

  2. Antiherbivore defenses alter natural selection on plant reproductive traits.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Ken A; Johnson, Marc T J

    2016-04-01

    While many studies demonstrate that herbivores alter selection on plant reproductive traits, little is known about whether antiherbivore defenses affect selection on these traits. We hypothesized that antiherbivore defenses could alter selection on reproductive traits by altering trait expression through allocation trade-offs, or by altering interactions with mutualists and/or antagonists. To test our hypothesis, we used white clover, Trifolium repens, which has a Mendelian polymorphism for the production of hydrogen cyanide-a potent antiherbivore defense. We conducted a common garden experiment with 185 clonal families of T. repens that included cyanogenic and acyanogenic genotypes. We quantified resistance to herbivores, and selection on six floral traits and phenology via male and female fitness. Cyanogenesis reduced herbivory but did not alter the expression of reproductive traits through allocation trade-offs. However, the presence of cyanogenic defenses altered natural selection on petal morphology and the number of flowers within inflorescences via female fitness. Herbivory influenced selection on flowers and phenology via female fitness independently of cyanogenesis. Our results demonstrate that both herbivory and antiherbivore defenses alter natural selection on plant reproductive traits. We discuss the significance of these results for understanding how antiherbivore defenses interact with herbivores and pollinators to shape floral evolution.

  3. Statistical genetics of an annual plant, Impatiens capensis. II. Natural selection.

    PubMed

    Mitchell-Olds, T; Bergelson, J

    1990-02-01

    Measurement of natural selection on correlated characters provides valuable information on fitness surfaces, patterns of directional, stabilizing, or disruptive selection, mechanisms of fitness variation operating in nature, and possible spatial variation in selective pressures. We examined effects of seed weight, germination date, plant size, early growth, and late growth on individual fitness. Path analysis showed that most characters had direct or indirect effects on individual fitness, indicating directional selection. For most early life-cycle characters, indirect effects via later characters exceed the direct causal effect on fitness. Selection gradients were uniform across the experimental site. There was no evidence for stabilizing or disruptive selection. We discuss several definitions of stabilizing and disruptive selection. Although early events in the life of an individual have important causal effects on subsequent characters and fitness, there is no detectable genetic variance for most of these characters, so little or no genetic response to natural selection is expected.

  4. Natural selection on plant resistance to herbivores in the native and introduced range

    PubMed Central

    Valverde, Pedro L.; Arroyo, Juan; Núñez-Farfán, Juan; Castillo, Guillermo; Calahorra, Adriana; Pérez-Barrales, Rocío; Tapia-López, Rosalinda

    2015-01-01

    When plants are introduced into new regions, the absence of their co-evolved natural enemies can result in lower levels of attack. As a consequence of this reduction in enemy pressure, plant performance may increase and selection for resistance to enemies may decrease. In the present study, we compared leaf damage, plant size and leaf trichome density, as well as the direction and magnitude of selection on resistance and plant size between non-native (Spain) and native (Mexico) populations of Datura stramonium. This species was introduced to Spain about five centuries ago and constitutes an ideal system to test four predictions of the enemy release hypothesis. Compared with native populations, we expected Spanish populations of D. stramonium to have (i) lower levels of foliar damage; (ii) larger plant size; (iii) lower leaf trichome density that is unrelated to foliar damage by herbivores; and (iv) weak or no selection on resistance to herbivores but strong selection on plant size. Our results showed that, on average, plants from non-native populations were significantly less damaged by herbivores, were less pubescent and were larger than those from native populations. We also detected different selection regimes on resistance and plant size between the non-native and native ranges. Positive selection on plant size was detected in both ranges (though it was higher in the non-native area), but consistent positive selection on relative resistance was detected only in the native range. Overall, we suggest that changes in selection pressure on resistance and plant size in D. stramonium in Spain are a consequence of ‘release from natural enemies’. PMID:26205526

  5. Beyond the ecological: biological invasions alter natural selection on a native plant species.

    PubMed

    Lau, Jennifer A

    2008-04-01

    Biological invasions can have strong ecological effects on native communities by altering ecosystem functions, species interactions, and community composition. Even though these ecological effects frequently impact the population dynamics and fitness of native species, the evolutionary consequences of biological invasions have received relatively little attention. Here, I show that invasions impose novel selective pressures on a native plant species. By experimentally manipulating community composition, I found that the exotic plant Medicago polymorpha and the exotic herbivore Hypera brunneipennis alter the strength and, in some instances, the direction of natural selection on the competitive ability and anti-herbivore defenses of the native plant Lotus wrangelianus. Furthermore, the community composition of exotics influenced which traits were favored. For example, high densities of the exotic herbivore Hypera selected for increased resistance to herbivores in the native Lotus; however, when Medicago also was present, selection on this defense was eliminated. In contrast, selection on tolerance, another plant defense trait, was highest when both Hypera and Medicago were present at high densities. Thus, multiple exotic species may interact to influence the evolutionary trajectories of native plant populations, and patterns of selection may change as additional exotic species invade the community.

  6. Variation in resource limitation of plant reproduction influences natural selection on floral traits of Asclepias syriaca.

    PubMed

    Caruso, Christina M; Remington, Davin L D; Ostergren, Kate E

    2005-11-01

    The availability of both pollen and resources can influence natural selection on floral traits, but their relative importance in shaping floral evolution is unclear. We experimentally manipulated pollinator and resource (fertilizer and water) availability in the perennial wildflower Asclepias syriaca L. Nine floral traits, one male fitness component (number of pollinia removed), and two female fitness components (number of pollinia inserted and number of fruits initiated) were measured for plants in each of three treatments (unmanipulated control, decreased pollinator access, and resource supplementation). Although decreasing pollinators' access to flowers did result in fewer pollinia inserted and removed, fruit set and phenotypic selection on floral traits via female and male fitness did not differ from the control. In contrast, resource supplementation increased fruit set, and phenotypic selection on seven out of nine floral traits was stronger via female than male fitness, consistent with the prediction that selection via female fitness would be greater when reproduction was less resource-limited. Our results support the hypothesis that abiotic resource availability can influence floral evolution by altering gender-specific selection.

  7. [Characteristics of Natural Selection in Populations of Nodule Bacteria (Rhizobium leguminosarum) Interacting With Different Host Plants].

    PubMed

    Andronov, E E; Igolkina, A A; Kimeklis, A K; Vorobyov, N I; Provorov, N A

    2015-10-01

    Using high throughput sequencing of the nodA gene, we studied the population dynamics of Rhizobium leguminosarum (bv. viciae, bv. trifolii) in rhizospheric and nodular subpopulations associated with the leguminous plants representing different cross-inoculation groups (Vicia sativa, Lathyrus pratensis of the vetch/vetchling/pea group and Trifolium hybridum of the clover group). The "rhizosphere-nodules" transitions result in either an increase or decrease in the frequencies of 10 of the 23 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) (which were identified with 95% similarity) depending on the symbiotic specificity and phylogenetic positions of OTUs. Statistical and bioinformatical analysis of the population structures suggest that the type of natural selection responsible for these changes may be diversifying at the whole-population level and frequency-dependent at the OTU-specific level, ensuring the divergent evolution of rhizobia interacting with different host species.

  8. Natural selection reinforces speciation in a radiation of neotropical rainforest plants.

    PubMed

    Kay, Kathleen M; Schemske, Douglas W

    2008-10-01

    The importance of reinforcement, that is, natural selection that strengthens reproductive isolation between incipient species, remains controversial. We used two approaches to test for reinforcement in a species radiation of Neotropical gingers in the genus Costus. First, we conducted an intensive study of Costus pulverulentus and Costus scaber, two recently diverged species that co-occur and share hummingbird pollinators. The hummingbird pollinators transfer pollen between these Costus species, but hybrids are rarely found in nature. By performing pollinations between populations of C. pulverulentus and C. scaber from three sites across the species' geographic ranges, we find that pollen-pistil incompatibilities acting prior to fertilization have evolved only between locally sympatric populations, whereas geographically distant populations within the region of sympatry and allopatric populations remain fully interfertile. Second, we conducted a comparative study of isolating mechanisms across the genus. We find lower seed set due to pollen-pistil incompatibility between species pairs that co-occur and experience pollen transfer in nature compared to species pairs that are otherwise isolated, regardless of genetic distance. Taken together, these studies indicate that crossing barriers prevent potentially maladaptive hybridization and effectively reinforce the speciation process. Our results add to mounting evidence for reinforcement from animal studies and show that plant speciation may also involve complex mate recognition systems. Reinforcement may be particularly important in rapidly diverging lineages where ecological factors play a primary role in reproductive isolation, as may often be the case in tropical communities.

  9. Plant mortality and natural selection may increase biomass yield in switchgrass swards

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) is an important candidate for bioenergy feedstock production, prompting significant efforts to increase the number of breeding programs and the output of those programs. The objective of this experiment was to determine the potential utility of natural selection for...

  10. Natural selection on coding and noncoding DNA sequences is associated with virulence genes in a plant pathogenic fungus.

    PubMed

    Rech, Gabriel E; Sanz-Martín, José M; Anisimova, Maria; Sukno, Serenella A; Thon, Michael R

    2014-09-04

    Natural selection leaves imprints on DNA, offering the opportunity to identify functionally important regions of the genome. Identifying the genomic regions affected by natural selection within pathogens can aid in the pursuit of effective strategies to control diseases. In this study, we analyzed genome-wide patterns of selection acting on different classes of sequences in a worldwide sample of eight strains of the model plant-pathogenic fungus Colletotrichum graminicola. We found evidence of selective sweeps, balancing selection, and positive selection affecting both protein-coding and noncoding DNA of pathogenicity-related sequences. Genes encoding putative effector proteins and secondary metabolite biosynthetic enzymes show evidence of positive selection acting on the coding sequence, consistent with an Arms Race model of evolution. The 5' untranslated regions (UTRs) of genes coding for effector proteins and genes upregulated during infection show an excess of high-frequency polymorphisms likely the consequence of balancing selection and consistent with the Red Queen hypothesis of evolution acting on these putative regulatory sequences. Based on the findings of this work, we propose that even though adaptive substitutions on coding sequences are important for proteins that interact directly with the host, polymorphisms in the regulatory sequences may confer flexibility of gene expression in the virulence processes of this important plant pathogen.

  11. Demonstrating Natural Selection

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hinds, David S.; Amundson, John C.

    1975-01-01

    Describes laboratory exercises with chickens selecting their food from dyed and natural corn kernels as a method of demonstrating natural selection. The procedure is based on the fact that organisms that blend into their surroundings escape predation. (BR)

  12. Marketing time predicts naturalization of horticultural plants.

    PubMed

    Pemberton, Robert W; Liu, Hong

    2009-01-01

    Horticulture is an important source of naturalized plants, but our knowledge about naturalization frequencies and potential patterns of naturalization in horticultural plants is limited. We analyzed a unique set of data derived from the detailed sales catalogs (1887-1930) of the most important early Florida, USA, plant nursery (Royal Palm Nursery) to detect naturalization patterns of these horticultural plants in the state. Of the 1903 nonnative species sold by the nursery, 15% naturalized. The probability of plants becoming naturalized increases significantly with the number of years the plants were marketed. Plants that became invasive and naturalized were sold for an average of 19.6 and 14.8 years, respectively, compared to 6.8 years for non-naturalized plants, and the naturalization of plants sold for 30 years or more is 70%. Unexpectedly, plants that were sold earlier were less likely to naturalize than those sold later. The nursery's inexperience, which caused them to grow and market many plants unsuited to Florida during their early period, may account for this pattern. Plants with pantropical distributions and those native to both Africa and Asia were more likely to naturalize (42%), than were plants native to other smaller regions, suggesting that plants with large native ranges were more likely to naturalize. Naturalization percentages also differed according to plant life form, with the most naturalization occurring in aquatic herbs (36.8%) and vines (30.8%). Plants belonging to the families Araceae, Apocynaceae, Convolvulaceae, Moraceae, Oleaceae, and Verbenaceae had higher than expected naturalization. Information theoretic model selection indicated that the number of years a plant was sold, alone or together with the first year a plant was sold, was the strongest predictor of naturalization. Because continued importation and marketing of nonnative horticultural plants will lead to additional plant naturalization and invasion, a comprehensive approach

  13. Reinventing Natural Selection

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Geraedts, Caspar L.; Boersma, Kerst Th.

    2006-01-01

    Although many research studies report students' Lamarckian misconceptions, only a few studies present learning and teaching strategies that focus on the successful development of the concept of natural selection. The learning and teaching strategy for upper secondary students (aged 15-16) presented in this study conducted in The Netherlands is…

  14. Gaia and natural selection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lenton, Timothy M.

    1998-07-01

    Evidence indicates that the Earth self-regulates at a state that is tolerated by life, but why should the organisms that leave the most descendants be the ones that contribute to regulating their planetary environment? The evolving Gaia theory focuses on the feedback mechanisms, stemming from naturally selected traits of organisms, that could generate such self-regulation.

  15. Natural Selection and Neutral Evolution Jointly Drive Population Divergence between Alpine and Lowland Ecotypes of the Allopolyploid Plant Anemone multifida (Ranunculaceae)

    PubMed Central

    McEwen, Jamie R.; Vamosi, Jana C.; Rogers, Sean M.

    2013-01-01

    Population differentiation can be driven in large part by natural selection, but selectively neutral evolution can play a prominent role in shaping patters of population divergence. The decomposition of the evolutionary history of populations into the relative effects of natural selection and selectively neutral evolution enables an understanding of the causes of population divergence and adaptation. In this study, we examined heterogeneous genomic divergence between alpine and lowland ecotypes of the allopolyploid plant, Anemone multifida. Using peak height and dominant AFLP data, we quantified population differentiation at non-outlier (neutral) and outlier loci to determine the potential contribution of natural selection and selectively neutral evolution to population divergence. We found 13 candidate loci, corresponding to 2.7% of loci, with signatures of divergent natural selection between alpine and lowland populations and between alpine populations (Fst  = 0.074–0.445 at outlier loci), but neutral population differentiation was also evident between alpine populations (FST  = 0.041–0.095 at neutral loci). By examining population structure at both neutral and outlier loci, we determined that the combined effects of selection and neutral evolution are associated with the divergence of alpine populations, which may be linked to extreme abiotic conditions and isolation between alpine sites. The presence of outlier levels of genetic variation in structured populations underscores the importance of separately analyzing neutral and outlier loci to infer the relative role of divergent natural selection and neutral evolution in population divergence. PMID:23874801

  16. Natural selection and neutral evolution jointly drive population divergence between alpine and lowland ecotypes of the allopolyploid plant Anemone multifida (Ranunculaceae).

    PubMed

    McEwen, Jamie R; Vamosi, Jana C; Rogers, Sean M

    2013-01-01

    Population differentiation can be driven in large part by natural selection, but selectively neutral evolution can play a prominent role in shaping patters of population divergence. The decomposition of the evolutionary history of populations into the relative effects of natural selection and selectively neutral evolution enables an understanding of the causes of population divergence and adaptation. In this study, we examined heterogeneous genomic divergence between alpine and lowland ecotypes of the allopolyploid plant, Anemone multifida. Using peak height and dominant AFLP data, we quantified population differentiation at non-outlier (neutral) and outlier loci to determine the potential contribution of natural selection and selectively neutral evolution to population divergence. We found 13 candidate loci, corresponding to 2.7% of loci, with signatures of divergent natural selection between alpine and lowland populations and between alpine populations (Fst  = 0.074-0.445 at outlier loci), but neutral population differentiation was also evident between alpine populations (FST  = 0.041-0.095 at neutral loci). By examining population structure at both neutral and outlier loci, we determined that the combined effects of selection and neutral evolution are associated with the divergence of alpine populations, which may be linked to extreme abiotic conditions and isolation between alpine sites. The presence of outlier levels of genetic variation in structured populations underscores the importance of separately analyzing neutral and outlier loci to infer the relative role of divergent natural selection and neutral evolution in population divergence.

  17. Naturally selecting solutions

    PubMed Central

    Manning, Timmy; Sleator, Roy D; Walsh, Paul

    2013-01-01

    For decades, computer scientists have looked to nature for biologically inspired solutions to computational problems; ranging from robotic control to scheduling optimization. Paradoxically, as we move deeper into the post-genomics era, the reverse is occurring, as biologists and bioinformaticians look to computational techniques, to solve a variety of biological problems. One of the most common biologically inspired techniques are genetic algorithms (GAs), which take the Darwinian concept of natural selection as the driving force behind systems for solving real world problems, including those in the bioinformatics domain. Herein, we provide an overview of genetic algorithms and survey some of the most recent applications of this approach to bioinformatics based problems. PMID:23222169

  18. Modeling Natural Selection

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bogiages, Christopher A.; Lotter, Christine

    2011-01-01

    In their research, scientists generate, test, and modify scientific models. These models can be shared with others and demonstrate a scientist's understanding of how the natural world works. Similarly, students can generate and modify models to gain a better understanding of the content, process, and nature of science (Kenyon, Schwarz, and Hug…

  19. A Natural Selection Game.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tashiro, Mark E.

    1984-01-01

    Provides rules for a game which simulates selection pressures on a hominid group. Objectives include an appreciation of how selectivity works, an understanding of how abiotic factors are able to influence a population, and how interactions within the population can influence the group. (JM)

  20. Plant-herbivore synchrony and selection on plant flowering phenology.

    PubMed

    Fogelström, Elsa; Olofsson, Martin; Posledovich, Diana; Wiklund, Christer; Dahlgren, Johan P; Ehrlén, Johan

    2017-03-01

    Temporal variation in natural selection has profound effects on the evolutionary trajectories of populations. One potential source of variation in selection is that differences in thermal reaction norms and temperature influence the relative phenology of interacting species. We manipulated the phenology of the butterfly herbivore Anthocharis cardamines relative to genetically identical populations of its host plant, Cardamine pratensis, and examined the effects on butterfly preferences and selection acting on the host plant. We found that butterflies preferred plants at an intermediate flowering stage, regardless of the timing of butterfly flight relative to flowering onset of the population. Consequently, the probability that plant genotypes differing in timing of flowering should experience a butterfly attack depended strongly on relative phenology. These results suggest that differences in spring temperature influence the direction of herbivore-mediated selection on flowering phenology, and that climatic conditions can influence natural selection also when phenotypic preferences remain constant.

  1. Behaviorism and Natural Selection

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1984-01-01

    commentary on 4Selection by consequences-’ by B.F. Skinner - ’ ... published in The Behavioral and Brain Sciences (1984) 7: 477-510, DO, FOR 147 Kecnow... Sciences Editor History and Systems Stevan Hamad Julian Jaynes/Princeton 20 Nassau St.. Suite 240 Lnguage and Cognition Princeton, NJ 08542 Peter Wason...Hopkins Evolutionary Biology Quantitative Methods Michael T. Ghiselin,Califomia Academy of Sciences Donald B. Rubin/U. Chicago Experimental Analysis of

  2. Phylogeography and the geographic cline in the armament of a seed-predatory weevil: effects of historical events vs. natural selection from the host plant.

    PubMed

    Toju, Hirokazu; Sota, Teiji

    2006-11-01

    Japanese camellia (Camellia japonica) and its seed predator, the camellia weevil (Curculio camelliae), provide a notable example of a geographic mosaic of coevolution. In the species interaction, the offensive trait of the weevil (rostrum length) and the defensive trait of the plant (pericarp thickness) are involved in a geographically-structured arms race, and these traits and selective pressures acting on the plant defence vary greatly across a geographical landscape. To further explore the geographical structure of this interspecific interaction, we tested whether the geographical variation in the weevil rostrum over an 800-km range along latitude is attributed to local natural selection or constrained by historical (phylogeographical) events of local populations. Phylogeographical analyses of the mitochondrial DNA sequences of the camellia weevil revealed that this species has experienced differentiation into two regions, with a population bottleneck and subsequent range and/or population expansion within each region. Although these phylogeographical factors have affected the variation in rostrum length, analyses of competing factors for the geographical variation revealed that this pattern is primarily determined by the defensive trait of the host plant rather than by the effects of historical events of populations and a climatic factor (annual mean temperature). Thus, our study suggests the overwhelming strength of coevolutionary selection against the effect of historical events, which may have limited local adaptation.

  3. Natural selection maximizes Fisher information.

    PubMed

    Frank, S A

    2009-02-01

    In biology, information flows from the environment to the genome by the process of natural selection. However, it has not been clear precisely what sort of information metric properly describes natural selection. Here, I show that Fisher information arises as the intrinsic metric of natural selection and evolutionary dynamics. Maximizing the amount of Fisher information about the environment captured by the population leads to Fisher's fundamental theorem of natural selection, the most profound statement about how natural selection influences evolutionary dynamics. I also show a relation between Fisher information and Shannon information (entropy) that may help to unify the correspondence between information and dynamics. Finally, I discuss possible connections between the fundamental role of Fisher information in statistics, biology and other fields of science.

  4. Precipitation drives global variation in natural selection.

    PubMed

    Siepielski, Adam M; Morrissey, Michael B; Buoro, Mathieu; Carlson, Stephanie M; Caruso, Christina M; Clegg, Sonya M; Coulson, Tim; DiBattista, Joseph; Gotanda, Kiyoko M; Francis, Clinton D; Hereford, Joe; Kingsolver, Joel G; Augustine, Kate E; Kruuk, Loeske E B; Martin, Ryan A; Sheldon, Ben C; Sletvold, Nina; Svensson, Erik I; Wade, Michael J; MacColl, Andrew D C

    2017-03-03

    Climate change has the potential to affect the ecology and evolution of every species on Earth. Although the ecological consequences of climate change are increasingly well documented, the effects of climate on the key evolutionary process driving adaptation-natural selection-are largely unknown. We report that aspects of precipitation and potential evapotranspiration, along with the North Atlantic Oscillation, predicted variation in selection across plant and animal populations throughout many terrestrial biomes, whereas temperature explained little variation. By showing that selection was influenced by climate variation, our results indicate that climate change may cause widespread alterations in selection regimes, potentially shifting evolutionary trajectories at a global scale.

  5. Natural selection promotes antigenic evolvability.

    PubMed

    Graves, Christopher J; Ros, Vera I D; Stevenson, Brian; Sniegowski, Paul D; Brisson, Dustin

    2013-01-01

    The hypothesis that evolvability - the capacity to evolve by natural selection - is itself the object of natural selection is highly intriguing but remains controversial due in large part to a paucity of direct experimental evidence. The antigenic variation mechanisms of microbial pathogens provide an experimentally tractable system to test whether natural selection has favored mechanisms that increase evolvability. Many antigenic variation systems consist of paralogous unexpressed 'cassettes' that recombine into an expression site to rapidly alter the expressed protein. Importantly, the magnitude of antigenic change is a function of the genetic diversity among the unexpressed cassettes. Thus, evidence that selection favors among-cassette diversity is direct evidence that natural selection promotes antigenic evolvability. We used the Lyme disease bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi, as a model to test the prediction that natural selection favors amino acid diversity among unexpressed vls cassettes and thereby promotes evolvability in a primary surface antigen, VlsE. The hypothesis that diversity among vls cassettes is favored by natural selection was supported in each B. burgdorferi strain analyzed using both classical (dN/dS ratios) and Bayesian population genetic analyses of genetic sequence data. This hypothesis was also supported by the conservation of highly mutable tandem-repeat structures across B. burgdorferi strains despite a near complete absence of sequence conservation. Diversification among vls cassettes due to natural selection and mutable repeat structures promotes long-term antigenic evolvability of VlsE. These findings provide a direct demonstration that molecular mechanisms that enhance evolvability of surface antigens are an evolutionary adaptation. The molecular evolutionary processes identified here can serve as a model for the evolution of antigenic evolvability in many pathogens which utilize similar strategies to establish chronic infections.

  6. Reducing environmental bias when measuring natural selection.

    PubMed

    Scheiner, Samuel M; Donohue, Kathleen; Dorn, Lisa A; Mazer, Susan J; Wolfe, Lorne M

    2002-11-01

    Crucial to understanding the process of natural selection is characterizing phenotypic selection. Measures of phenotypic selection can be biased by environmental variation among individuals that causes a spurious correlation between a trait and fitness. One solution is analyzing genotypic data, rather than phenotypic data. Genotypic data, however, are difficult to gather, can be gathered from few species, and typically have low statistical power. Environmental correlations may act through traits other than through fitness itself. A path analytic framework, which includes measures of such traits, may reduce environmental bias in estimates of selection coefficients. We tested the efficacy of path analysis to reduce bias by re-analyzing three experiments where both phenotypic and genotypic data were available. All three consisted of plant species (Impatiens capensis, Arabidopsis thaliana, and Raphanus sativus) grown in experimental plots or the greenhouse. We found that selection coefficients estimated by path analysis using phenotypic data were highly correlated with those based on genotypic data with little systematic bias in estimating the strength of selection. Although not a panacea, using path analysis can substantially reduce environmental biases in estimates of selection coefficients. Such confidence in phenotypic selection estimates is critical for progress in the study of natural selection.

  7. Natural selection and population dynamics.

    PubMed

    Saccheri, Ilik; Hanski, Ilkka

    2006-06-01

    To what extent, and under which circumstances, are population dynamics influenced by concurrent natural selection? Density dependence and environmental stochasticity are generally expected to subsume any selective modulation of population growth rate, but theoretical considerations point to conditions under which selection can have an appreciable impact on population dynamics. By contrast, empirical research has barely scratched the surface of this fundamental question in population biology. Here, we present a diverse body of mostly empirical evidence that demonstrates how selection can influence population dynamics, including studies of small populations, metapopulations, cyclical populations and host-pathogen interactions. We also discuss the utility, in this context, of inferences from molecular genetic data, placing them within the broader framework of quantitative genetics and life-history evolution.

  8. Demographic parameters and natural selection.

    PubMed

    Demetrius, L

    1974-12-01

    This paper introduces two new demographic parameters, the entropy and the reproductive potential of a population. The entropy of a population measures the variability of the contribution of the different age classes to the stationary age distribution. The reproductive potential measures the mean of the contribution of the different age classes to the growth rate. Using a relation between these measures and the Malthusian parameter, it is shown that in a random mating population in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, and under slow selection, the rate of change of entropy is equal to the genetic variance in entropy minus the genetic covariance of entropy and reproductive potential. This result is an analogue of Fisher's fundamental theorem of natural selection.

  9. Natural Selection in Large Populations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Desai, Michael

    2011-03-01

    I will discuss theoretical and experimental approaches to the evolutionary dynamics and population genetics of natural selection in large populations. In these populations, many mutations are often present simultaneously, and because recombination is limited, selection cannot act on them all independently. Rather, it can only affect whole combinations of mutations linked together on the same chromosome. Methods common in theoretical population genetics have been of limited utility in analyzing this coupling between the fates of different mutations. In the past few years it has become increasingly clear that this is a crucial gap in our understanding, as sequence data has begun to show that selection appears to act pervasively on many linked sites in a wide range of populations, including viruses, microbes, Drosophila, and humans. I will describe approaches that combine analytical tools drawn from statistical physics and dynamical systems with traditional methods in theoretical population genetics to address this problem, and describe how experiments in budding yeast can help us directly observe these evolutionary dynamics.

  10. Plant characteristics associated with natural enemy abundance at Michigan native plants.

    PubMed

    Fiedler, A K; Landis, D A

    2007-08-01

    Habitat management is a type of conservation biological control that focuses on increasing natural enemy populations by providing them with plant resources such as pollen and nectar. Insects are known to respond to a variety of plant characteristics in their search for plant-provided resources. A better understanding of the specific characteristics used by natural enemy insects in selecting these resources could greatly improve efficiency in screening plants for habitat management. We examined 5 previously tested and widely recommended resource plants and 43 candidate plants to test whether the number and type of natural enemies and herbivores at each plant were predicted by plant characteristics including: period of peak bloom, floral area, maximum flower height, hue, chroma, and corolla size. Natural enemy abundance increased with week of peak bloom and greater floral area across all plants tested. Ordination of plant characteristics indicated that increasing floral area, period of peak bloom, maximum flower height, and decreasing corolla width grouped together into a single principal component. Both natural enemy and herbivore abundance increased significantly with the principal component for this set of characteristics, but the relationship with herbivore abundance was weaker. These results indicate that, for a given time of the season, selection of plants with the largest floral area has potential to increase natural enemy abundance in habitat management plantings and streamline plant selection for habitat management.

  11. Probabilities of Natural Events Occurring at Savannah River Plant

    SciTech Connect

    Huang, J.C.

    2001-07-17

    This report documents the comprehensive evaluation of probability models of natural events which are applicable to Savannah River Plant. The probability curves selected for these natural events are recommended to be used by all SRP/SRL safety analysts. This will ensure a consistency in analysis methodology for postulated SAR incidents involving natural phenomena.

  12. Plant tendrils: Nature's hygroscopic springs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gerbode, Sharon; Puzey, Joshua; McCormick, Andrew; Mahadevan, L.

    2012-02-01

    Plant tendrils are specialized climbing organs that have fascinated biologists and physicists alike for centuries. Initially straight tendrils attach at the tip to an elevated rigid support and then winch the plant upward by coiling into a helical morphology characterized by two helices of opposite handedness connected by a helical perversion. In his renowned treatise on twining and tendril-bearing plants, Charles Darwin surmised that coiled tendrils serve as soft, springy attachments for the climbing plant. Yet, the true effect of the perverted helical shape of a coiled plant tendril has not been fully revealed. Using a combination of experiments on Cucurbitaceae tendrils, physical models constructed from strained rubber sheets, and numerical models of helical perversions, we have uncovered that tendril coiling occurs via anisotropic shrinkage of a strip of specialized cells in the interior of the tendril. Furthermore, variations in the mechanical behavior of tendrils as they become drier and ``woodier'' adds a new twist to the story of tendril coiling.

  13. The nature of plant species

    PubMed Central

    Rieseberg, Loren H.; Wood, Troy E.; Baack, Eric J.

    2008-01-01

    Many botanists doubt the existence of plant species1–5, viewing them as arbitrary constructs of the human mind, as opposed to discrete, objective entities that represent reproductively independent lineages or ‘units of evolution’. However, the discreteness of plant species and their correspondence with reproductive communities have not been tested quantitatively, allowing zoologists to argue that botanists have been overly influenced by a few ‘botanical horror stories’, such as dandelions, blackberries and oaks6,7. Here we analyse phenetic and/or crossing relationships in over 400 genera of plants and animals. We show that although discrete phenotypic clusters exist in most genera (>80%), the correspondence of taxonomic species to these clusters is poor (<60%) and no different between plants and animals. Lack of congruence is caused by polyploidy, asexual reproduction and over-differentiation by taxonomists, but not by contemporary hybridization. Nonetheless, crossability data indicate that 70% of taxonomic species and 75% of phenotypic clusters in plants correspond to reproductively independent lineages (as measured by postmating isolation), and thus represent biologically real entities. Contrary to conventional wisdom8, plant species are more likely than animal species to represent reproductively independent lineages. PMID:16554818

  14. Natural Selection in the Great Apes

    PubMed Central

    Cagan, Alexander; Theunert, Christoph; Laayouni, Hafid; Santpere, Gabriel; Pybus, Marc; Casals, Ferran; Prüfer, Kay; Navarro, Arcadi; Marques-Bonet, Tomas; Bertranpetit, Jaume; Andrés, Aida M.

    2016-01-01

    Natural selection is crucial for the adaptation of populations to their environments. Here, we present the first global study of natural selection in the Hominidae (humans and great apes) based on genome-wide information from population samples representing all extant species (including most subspecies). Combining several neutrality tests we create a multi-species map of signatures of natural selection covering all major types of natural selection. We find that the estimated efficiency of both purifying and positive selection varies between species and is significantly correlated with their long-term effective population size. Thus, even the modest differences in population size among the closely related Hominidae lineages have resulted in differences in their ability to remove deleterious alleles and to adapt to changing environments. Most signatures of balancing and positive selection are species-specific, with signatures of balancing selection more often being shared among species. We also identify loci with evidence of positive selection across several lineages. Notably, we detect signatures of positive selection in several genes related to brain function, anatomy, diet and immune processes. Our results contribute to a better understanding of human evolution by putting the evidence of natural selection in humans within its larger evolutionary context. The global map of natural selection in our closest living relatives is available as an interactive browser at http://tinyurl.com/nf8qmzh. PMID:27795229

  15. Populations, Natural Selection, and Applied Organizational Science.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McKelvey, Bill; Aldrich, Howard

    1983-01-01

    Deficiencies in existing models in organizational science may be remedied by applying the population approach, with its concepts of taxonomy, classification, evolution, and population ecology; and natural selection theory, with its principles of variation, natural selection, heredity, and struggle for existence, to the idea of organizational forms…

  16. Selected Landscape Plants. Slide Script.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McCann, Kevin

    This slide script, part of a series of slide scripts designed for use in vocational agriculture classes, deals with commercially important woody ornamental landscape plants. Included in the script are narrations for use with a total of 253 slides illustrating 92 different plants. Several slides are used to illustrate each plant: besides a view of…

  17. Naturally Occuring Fish Poisons from Plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cannon, Jonathan G.; Burton, Robert A.; Wood, Steven G.; Owen, Noel L.

    2004-10-01

    Since prehistoric times, cultures throughout the world have used piscicidal (fish poisoning) plants for fishing. In recent times, scientists have identified many of the plant compounds responsible for killing the fish and have found that these compounds possess other important biological properties, such as insecticidal and anti-cancer activities. This article reviews some of the chemical research that has been performed on naturally occurring fish poisons, including plant sources, methods of use, toxicity, and mechanisms of action of piscicides.

  18. Student learning using the natural selection model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mesmer, Karen Luann

    Students often have difficulty in learning natural selection, a major model in biology. This study examines what middle school students are capable of learning when taught about natural selection using a modeling approach. Students were taught the natural selection model including the components of population, variation, selective advantage, survival, heredity and reproduction. They then used the model to solve three case studies. Their learning was evaluated from responses on a pretest, a posttest and interviews. The results suggest that middle school students can identify components of the natural selection model in a Darwinian explanation, explain the significance of the components and relate them to each other as well as solve evolutionary problems using the model.

  19. SELECTING PLANT SPECIES FOR PESTICIDE REGISTRATION TESTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Current test protocols used by the US EPA for the registration of pesticides examines plant responses of 10 crop species but may not examine regionally important native plants or crops. In order to test the efficiency of current test protocols we selected six native plant species...

  20. How To Select and Plant a Tree.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fazio, James R., Ed.

    1991-01-01

    This bulletin furnishes information about selecting and planting trees. The tree selection process includes being aware of the physical characteristics of bare root seedlings, containerized seedlings, balled and burlapped, or potted trees and determining the proper size and root ball proportions. The section on tree planting discusses how to: (1)…

  1. Natural Selection in a Petri Dish.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McCarty, Robbie V.; Marek, Edmund A.

    1997-01-01

    Presents an activity to teach natural selection that involves students in a microbiological investigation. Students discover that a change in environmental conditions tests a species' range of adaptations. (DDR)

  2. Evoll - A Computer Based Natural Selection Game

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wright, Ramil C.

    1972-01-01

    Describes a computer-generated natural selection game which deals with various factors influencing survival and speciation processes. Variation of population size, growth rate, brood size, and selection pressure are permitted by the program, which is written in ASA Basic FORTRAN IV. (PR)

  3. Can natural selection favour altruism between species?

    PubMed

    Wyatt, G A K; West, S A; Gardner, A

    2013-09-01

    Darwin suggested that the discovery of altruism between species would annihilate his theory of natural selection. However, it has not been formally shown whether between-species altruism can evolve by natural selection, or why this could never happen. Here, we develop a spatial population genetic model of two interacting species, showing that indiscriminate between species helping can be favoured by natural selection. We then ask if this helping behaviour constitutes altruism between species, using a linear-regression analysis to separate the total action of natural selection into its direct and indirect (kin selected) components. We show that our model can be interpreted in two ways, as either altruism within species, or altruism between species. This ambiguity arises depending on whether or not we treat genes in the other species as predictors of an individual's fitness, which is equivalent to treating these individuals as agents (actors or recipients). Our formal analysis, which focuses upon evolutionary dynamics rather than agents and their agendas, cannot resolve which is the better approach. Nonetheless, because a within-species altruism interpretation is always possible, our analysis supports Darwin's suggestion that natural selection does not favour traits that provide benefits exclusively to individuals of other species.

  4. Natural selection drives chemical resistance of Datura stramonium.

    PubMed

    Miranda-Pérez, Adán; Castillo, Guillermo; Hernández-Cumplido, Johnattan; Valverde, Pedro L; Borbolla, María; Cruz, Laura L; Tapia-López, Rosalinda; Fornoni, Juan; Flores-Ortiz, César M; Núñez-Farfán, Juan

    2016-01-01

    Plant resistance to herbivores involves physical and chemical plant traits that prevent or diminish damage by herbivores, and hence may promote coevolutionary arm-races between interacting species. Although Datura stramonium's concentration of tropane alkaloids is under selection by leaf beetles, it is not known whether chemical defense reduces seed predation by the specialist weevil, Trichobaris soror, and if it is evolving by natural selection. We measured infestation by T. soror as well as the concentration of the plants' two main tropane alkaloids in 278 D. stramonium plants belonging to 31 populations in central Mexico. We assessed whether the seed predator exerted preferences on the levels of both alkaloids and whether they affect plant fitness. Results show great variation across populations in the concentration of scopolamine and atropine in both leaves and seeds of plants of D. stramonium, as well as in the intensity of infestation and the proportion of infested fruits by T. soror. The concentration of scopolamine in seeds and leaves are negatively associated across populations. We found that scopolamine concentration increases plant fitness. Our major finding was the detection of a positive relationship between the population average concentrations of scopolamine with the selection differentials of scopolamine. Such spatial variation in the direction and intensity of selection on scopolamine may represent a coevolutionary selective mosaic. Our results support the view that variation in the concentration of scopolamine among-populations of D. stramonium in central Mexico is being driven, in part, by selection exerted by T. soror, pointing an adaptive role of tropane alkaloids in this plant species.

  5. Microsatellites as targets of natural selection.

    PubMed

    Haasl, Ryan J; Payseur, Bret A

    2013-02-01

    The ability to survey polymorphism on a genomic scale has enabled genome-wide scans for the targets of natural selection. Theory that connects patterns of genetic variation to evidence of natural selection most often assumes a diallelic locus and no recurrent mutation. Although these assumptions are suitable to selection that targets single nucleotide variants, fundamentally different types of mutation generate abundant polymorphism in genomes. Moreover, recent empirical results suggest that mutationally complex, multiallelic loci including microsatellites and copy number variants are sometimes targeted by natural selection. Given their abundance, the lack of inference methods tailored to the mutational peculiarities of these types of loci represents a notable gap in our ability to interrogate genomes for signatures of natural selection. Previous theoretical investigations of mutation-selection balance at multiallelic loci include assumptions that limit their application to inference from empirical data. Focusing on microsatellites, we assess the dynamics and population-level consequences of selection targeting mutationally complex variants. We develop general models of a multiallelic fitness surface, a realistic model of microsatellite mutation, and an efficient simulation algorithm. Using these tools, we explore mutation-selection-drift equilibrium at microsatellites and investigate the mutational history and selective regime of the microsatellite that causes Friedreich's ataxia. We characterize microsatellite selective events by their duration and cost, note similarities to sweeps from standing point variation, and conclude that it is premature to label microsatellites as ubiquitous agents of efficient adaptive change. Together, our models and simulation algorithm provide a powerful framework for statistical inference, which can be used to test the neutrality of microsatellites and other multiallelic variants.

  6. Comparing Patterns of Natural Selection Across Species Using Selective Signatures

    SciTech Connect

    Alm, Eric J.; Shapiro, B. Jesse; Alm, Eric J.

    2007-12-18

    Comparing gene expression profiles over many different conditions has led to insights that were not obvious from single experiments. In the same way, comparing patterns of natural selection across a set of ecologically distinct species may extend what can be learned from individual genome-wide surveys. Toward this end, we show how variation in protein evolutionary rates, after correcting for genome-wide effects such as mutation rate and demographic factors, can be used to estimate the level and types of natural selection acting on genes across different species. We identify unusually rapidly and slowly evolving genes, relative to empirically derived genome-wide and gene family-specific background rates for 744 core protein families in 30 gamma-proteobacterial species. We describe the pattern of fast or slow evolution across species as the 'selective signature' of a gene. Selective signatures represent a profile of selection across species that is predictive of gene function: pairs of genes with correlated selective signatures are more likely to share the same cellular function, and genes in the same pathway can evolve in concert. For example, glycolysis and phenylalanine metabolism genes evolve rapidly in Idiomarina loihiensis, mirroring an ecological shift in carbon source from sugars to amino acids. In a broader context, our results suggest that the genomic landscape is organized into functional modules even at the level of natural selection, and thus it may be easier than expected to understand the complex evolutionary pressures on a cell.

  7. Comparing Patterns of Natural Selection across Species Using Selective Signatures

    SciTech Connect

    Shapiro, Jesse; Alm, Eric J.

    2007-12-01

    Comparing gene expression profiles over many different conditions has led to insights that were not obvious from single experiments. In the same way, comparing patterns of natural selection across a set of ecologically distinct species may extend what can be learned from individual genome-wide surveys. Toward this end, we show how variation in protein evolutionary rates, after correcting for genome-wide effects such as mutation rate and demographic factors, can be used to estimate the level and types of natural selection acting on genes across different species. We identify unusually rapidly and slowly evolving genes, relative to empirically derived genome-wide and gene family-specific background rates for 744 core protein families in 30 c-proteobacterial species. We describe the pattern of fast or slow evolution across species as the"selective signature" of a gene. Selective signatures represent aprofile of selection across species that is predictive of gene function: pairs of genes with correlated selective signatures are more likely to share the same cellular function, and genes in the same pathway can evolve in concert. For example,glycolysis and phenylalanine metabolism genes evolve rapidly in Idiomarina loihiensis, mirroring an ecological shift in carbon source from sugars to amino acids. In a broader context, our results suggest that the genomic landscape is organized into functional modules even at the level of natural selection, and thus it may be easier than expected to understand the complex evolutionary pressures on a cell.

  8. Comparing Patterns of Natural Selection across Species Using Selective Signatures

    PubMed Central

    Shapiro, B. Jesse; Alm, Eric J

    2008-01-01

    Comparing gene expression profiles over many different conditions has led to insights that were not obvious from single experiments. In the same way, comparing patterns of natural selection across a set of ecologically distinct species may extend what can be learned from individual genome-wide surveys. Toward this end, we show how variation in protein evolutionary rates, after correcting for genome-wide effects such as mutation rate and demographic factors, can be used to estimate the level and types of natural selection acting on genes across different species. We identify unusually rapidly and slowly evolving genes, relative to empirically derived genome-wide and gene family-specific background rates for 744 core protein families in 30 γ-proteobacterial species. We describe the pattern of fast or slow evolution across species as the “selective signature” of a gene. Selective signatures represent a profile of selection across species that is predictive of gene function: pairs of genes with correlated selective signatures are more likely to share the same cellular function, and genes in the same pathway can evolve in concert. For example, glycolysis and phenylalanine metabolism genes evolve rapidly in Idiomarina loihiensis, mirroring an ecological shift in carbon source from sugars to amino acids. In a broader context, our results suggest that the genomic landscape is organized into functional modules even at the level of natural selection, and thus it may be easier than expected to understand the complex evolutionary pressures on a cell. PMID:18266472

  9. Simulating natural selection in landscape genetics.

    PubMed

    Landguth, E L; Cushman, S A; Johnson, N A

    2012-03-01

    Linking landscape effects to key evolutionary processes through individual organism movement and natural selection is essential to provide a foundation for evolutionary landscape genetics. Of particular importance is determining how spatially-explicit, individual-based models differ from classic population genetics and evolutionary ecology models based on ideal panmictic populations in an allopatric setting in their predictions of population structure and frequency of fixation of adaptive alleles. We explore initial applications of a spatially-explicit, individual-based evolutionary landscape genetics program that incorporates all factors--mutation, gene flow, genetic drift and selection--that affect the frequency of an allele in a population. We incorporate natural selection by imposing differential survival rates defined by local relative fitness values on a landscape. Selection coefficients thus can vary not only for genotypes, but also in space as functions of local environmental variability. This simulator enables coupling of gene flow (governed by resistance surfaces), with natural selection (governed by selection surfaces). We validate the individual-based simulations under Wright-Fisher assumptions. We show that under isolation-by-distance processes, there are deviations in the rate of change and equilibrium values of allele frequency. The program provides a valuable tool (cdpop v1.0; http://cel.dbs.umt.edu/software/CDPOP/) for the study of evolutionary landscape genetics that allows explicit evaluation of the interactions between gene flow and selection in complex landscapes.

  10. Complete genetic linkage can subvert natural selection

    PubMed Central

    Gerrish, Philip J.; Colato, Alexandre; Perelson, Alan S.; Sniegowski, Paul D.

    2007-01-01

    The intricate adjustment of organisms to their environment demonstrates the effectiveness of natural selection. But Darwin himself recognized that certain biological features could limit this effectiveness, features that generally reduce the efficiency of natural selection or yield suboptimal adaptation. Genetic linkage is known to be one such feature, and here we show theoretically that it can introduce a more sinister flaw: when there is complete linkage between loci affecting fitness and loci affecting mutation rate, positive natural selection and recurrent mutation can drive mutation rates in an adapting population to intolerable levels. We discuss potential implications of this finding for the early establishment of recombination, the evolutionary fate of asexual populations, and immunological clearance of clonal pathogens. PMID:17405865

  11. A Systematic Approach to Discover and Characterize Natural Plant Biostimulants

    PubMed Central

    Povero, Giovanni; Mejia, Juan F.; Di Tommaso, Donata; Piaggesi, Alberto; Warrior, Prem

    2016-01-01

    The use of natural plant biostimulants is proposed as an innovative solution to address the challenges to sustainable agriculture, to ensure optimal nutrient uptake, crop yield, quality, and tolerance to abiotic stress. However, the process of selection and characterization of plant biostimulant matrices is complex and involves a series of rigorous evaluations customized to the needs of the plant. Here, we propose a highly differentiated plant biostimulant development and production platform, which involves a combination of technology, processes, and know-how. Chemistry, biology and omic concepts are combined/integrated to investigate and understand the specific mode(s) of action of bioactive ingredients. The proposed approach allows to predict and characterize the function of natural compounds as biostimulants. By managing and analyzing massive amounts of complex data, it is therefore possible to discover, evaluate and validate new product candidates, thus expanding the uses of existing products to meet the emerging needs of agriculture. PMID:27092156

  12. The signatures of selection for translational accuracy in plant genes.

    PubMed

    Porceddu, Andrea; Zenoni, Sara; Camiolo, Salvatore

    2013-01-01

    Little is known about the natural selection of synonymous codons within the coding sequences of plant genes. We analyzed the distribution of synonymous codons within plant coding sequences and found that preferred codons tend to encode the more conserved and functionally important residues of plant proteins. This was consistent among several synonymous codon families and applied to genes with different expression profiles and functions. Most of the randomly chosen alternative sets of codons scored weaker associations than the actual sets of preferred codons, suggesting that codon position within plant genes and codon usage bias have coevolved to maximize translational accuracy. All these findings are consistent with the mistranslation-induced protein misfolding theory, which predicts the natural selection of highly preferred codons more frequently at sites where translation errors could compromise protein folding or functionality. Our results will provide an important insight in future studies of protein folding, molecular evolution, and transgene design for optimal expression.

  13. Natural and sexual selection against hybrid flycatchers.

    PubMed

    Svedin, Nina; Wiley, Chris; Veen, Thor; Gustafsson, Lars; Qvarnström, Anna

    2008-03-22

    While sexual selection is generally assumed to quickly cause or strengthen prezygotic barriers between sister species, its role in causing postzygotic isolation, through the unattractiveness of intermediate hybrids, is less often examined. Combining 24 years of pedigree data and recently developed species-specific molecular markers from collared (Ficedula albicollis) and pied (Ficedula hypoleuca) flycatchers and their hybrids, we were able to quantify all key components of fitness. To disentangle the relative role of natural and sexual selection acting on F1 hybrid flycatchers, we estimated various fitness components, which when combined represent the total lifetime reproductive success of F1 hybrids, and then compared the different fitness components of F1 hybrids to that of collared flycatchers. Female hybrid flycatchers are sterile, with natural selection being the selective force involved, but male hybrids mainly experienced a reduction in fitness through sexual selection (decreased pairing success and increased rate of being cuckolded). To disentangle the role of sexual selection against male hybrids from a possible effect of genetic incompatibility (on the rate of being cuckolded), we compared male hybrids with pure-bred males expressing intermediate plumage characters. Given that sexual selection against male hybrids is a result of their intermediate plumage, we expect these two groups of males to have a similar fitness reduction. Alternatively, hybrids have reduced fitness owing to genetic incompatibility, in which case their fitness should be lower than that of the intermediate pure-bred males. We conclude that sexual selection against male hybrids accounts for approximately 75% of the reduction in their fitness. We discuss how natural and sexual selection against hybrids may have different implications for speciation and conclude that reinforcement of reproductive barriers may be more likely when there is sexual selection against hybrids.

  14. Naturally Occurring Fish Poisons from Plants

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cannon, Jonathan G.; Burton, Robert A.; Wood, Steven G.; Owen, Noel L.

    2004-01-01

    The fish poisons derived from plants used throughout the world, not only as piscicides but also for a range of other uses, including insecticident and in folk medicines, is presented. The aim of this review is to provide a useful background for students interested in natural products.

  15. Darwin's explanation of design: from natural theology to natural selection.

    PubMed

    Ayala, Francisco J

    2010-08-01

    Copernicus, Galileo, Newton and other physical scientists ushered in a conception of the universe as matter in motion governed by natural laws. Their discoveries brought about a fundamental revolution, namely a commitment to the postulate that the universe obeys immanent laws that can account for natural phenomena. The workings of the universe were brought into the realm of science: explanation through natural laws. Darwin completed the Copernican revolution by extending it to the living world. Darwin demonstrated the evolution of organisms. More important yet is that he discovered natural selection, the process that explains the "design" of organisms. The adaptations and diversity of organisms, the origin of novel and complex species, even the origin of mankind, could now be explained by an orderly process of change governed by natural laws. The origin of species and the exquisite features of organisms had previously been explained as special creations of an Omniscient God. Darwin brought them into the domain of science. Evolution is a creative process that produces genuine novelty. The creative power of evolution arises from a distinctive interaction between chance and necessity, between random mutation and natural selection.

  16. Natural selection drives chemical resistance of Datura stramonium

    PubMed Central

    Miranda-Pérez, Adán; Castillo, Guillermo; Hernández-Cumplido, Johnattan; Valverde, Pedro L.; Borbolla, María; Cruz, Laura L.; Tapia-López, Rosalinda; Fornoni, Juan; Flores-Ortiz, César M.

    2016-01-01

    Plant resistance to herbivores involves physical and chemical plant traits that prevent or diminish damage by herbivores, and hence may promote coevolutionary arm-races between interacting species. Although Datura stramonium’s concentration of tropane alkaloids is under selection by leaf beetles, it is not known whether chemical defense reduces seed predation by the specialist weevil, Trichobaris soror, and if it is evolving by natural selection. We measured infestation by T. soror as well as the concentration of the plants’ two main tropane alkaloids in 278 D. stramonium plants belonging to 31 populations in central Mexico. We assessed whether the seed predator exerted preferences on the levels of both alkaloids and whether they affect plant fitness. Results show great variation across populations in the concentration of scopolamine and atropine in both leaves and seeds of plants of D. stramonium, as well as in the intensity of infestation and the proportion of infested fruits by T. soror. The concentration of scopolamine in seeds and leaves are negatively associated across populations. We found that scopolamine concentration increases plant fitness. Our major finding was the detection of a positive relationship between the population average concentrations of scopolamine with the selection differentials of scopolamine. Such spatial variation in the direction and intensity of selection on scopolamine may represent a coevolutionary selective mosaic. Our results support the view that variation in the concentration of scopolamine among-populations of D. stramonium in central Mexico is being driven, in part, by selection exerted by T. soror, pointing an adaptive role of tropane alkaloids in this plant species. PMID:27114866

  17. Natural products - modifying metabolite pathways in plants.

    PubMed

    Staniek, Agata; Bouwmeester, Harro; Fraser, Paul D; Kayser, Oliver; Martens, Stefan; Tissier, Alain; van der Krol, Sander; Wessjohann, Ludger; Warzecha, Heribert

    2013-10-01

    The diversity of plant natural product (PNP) molecular structures is reflected in the variety of biochemical and genetic pathways that lead to their formation and accumulation. Plant secondary metabolites are important commodities, and include fragrances, colorants, and medicines. Increasing the extractable amount of PNP through plant breeding, or more recently by means of metabolic engineering, is a priority. The prerequisite for any attempt at metabolic engineering is a detailed knowledge of the underlying biosynthetic and regulatory pathways in plants. Over the past few decades, an enormous body of information about the biochemistry and genetics of biosynthetic pathways involved in PNPs production has been generated. In this review, we focus on the three large classes of plant secondary metabolites: terpenoids (or isoprenoids), phenylpropanoids, and alkaloids. All three provide excellent examples of the tremendous efforts undertaken to boost our understanding of biosynthetic pathways, resulting in the first successes in plant metabolic engineering. We further consider what essential information is still missing, and how future research directions could help achieve the rational design of plants as chemical factories for high-value products.

  18. Natural insect and plant micro-/nanostructsured surfaces: an excellent selection of valuable templates with superhydrophobic and self-cleaning properties.

    PubMed

    Nguyen, Song Ha; Webb, Hayden K; Mahon, Peter J; Crawford, Russell J; Ivanova, Elena P

    2014-09-02

    Insects and plants are two types of organisms that are widely separated on the evolutionary tree; for example, plants are mostly phototrophic organisms whilst insects are heterotrophic organisms. In order to cope with environmental stresses, their surfaces have developed cuticular layers that consist of highly sophisticated structures. These structures serve a number of purposes, and impart useful properties to these surfaces. These two groups of organisms are the only ones identified thus far that possess truly superhydrophobic and self-cleaning properties. These properties result from their micro- and nano-scale structures, comprised of three-dimensional wax formations. This review analyzes the surface topologies and surface chemistry of insects and plants in order to identify the features common to both organisms, with particular reference to their superhydrophobic and self-cleaning properties. This information will be valuable when determining the potential application of these surfaces in the design and manufacture of superhydrophobic and self-cleaning devices, including those that can be used in the manufacture of biomedical implants.

  19. Exploiting a natural auxotrophy for genetic selection.

    PubMed

    Ramage, Elizabeth; Gallagher, Larry; Manoil, Colin

    2012-08-01

    We exploited the natural histidine auxotrophy of Francisella species to develop hisD (encodes histidinol dehydrogenase) as a positive selection marker. A shuttle plasmid (pBR103) carrying Escherichia coli hisD and designed for cloning of PCR fragments replicated in both attenuated and highly virulent Francisella strains. During this work, we formulated a simplified defined growth medium for Francisella novicida.

  20. A Lesson on Evolution & Natural Selection

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Curtis, Anthony D.

    2010-01-01

    I describe three activities that allow students to explore the ideas of evolution, natural selection, extinction, mass extinction, and rates of evolutionary change by engaging a simple model using paper, pens, chalk, and a chalkboard. As a culminating activity that supports expository writing in the sciences, the students write an essay on mass…

  1. Natural selection. VII. History and interpretation of kin selection theory.

    PubMed

    Frank, S A

    2013-06-01

    Kin selection theory is a kind of causal analysis. The initial form of kin selection ascribed cause to costs, benefits and genetic relatedness. The theory then slowly developed a deeper and more sophisticated approach to partitioning the causes of social evolution. Controversy followed because causal analysis inevitably attracts opposing views. It is always possible to separate total effects into different component causes. Alternative causal schemes emphasize different aspects of a problem, reflecting the distinct goals, interests and biases of different perspectives. For example, group selection is a particular causal scheme with certain advantages and significant limitations. Ultimately, to use kin selection theory to analyse natural patterns and to understand the history of debates over different approaches, one must follow the underlying history of causal analysis. This article describes the history of kin selection theory, with emphasis on how the causal perspective improved through the study of key patterns of natural history, such as dispersal and sex ratio, and through a unified approach to demographic and social processes. Independent historical developments in the multivariate analysis of quantitative traits merged with the causal analysis of social evolution by kin selection.

  2. Missing concepts in natural selection theory reconstructions.

    PubMed

    Ginnobili, Santiago

    2016-09-01

    The concept of fitness has generated a lot of discussion in philosophy of biology. There is, however, relative agreement about the need to distinguish at least two uses of the term: ecological fitness on the one hand, and population genetics fitness on the other. The goal of this paper is to give an explication of the concept of ecological fitness by providing a reconstruction of the theory of natural selection in which this concept was framed, that is, based on the way the theory was put to use in Darwin's main texts. I will contend that this reconstruction enables us to account for the current use of the theory of natural selection. The framework presupposed in the analysis will be that of metatheoretical structuralism. This framework will provide both a better understanding of the nature of ecological fitness and a more complete reconstruction of the theory. In particular, it will provide what I think is a better way of understanding how the concept of fitness is applied through heterogeneous cases. One of the major advantages of my way of thinking about natural selection theory is that it would not have the peculiar metatheoretical status that it has in other available views. I will argue that in order to achieve these goals it is necessary to make several concepts explicit, concepts that are frequently omitted in usual reconstructions.

  3. Selection for niche differentiation in plant communities increases biodiversity effects.

    PubMed

    Zuppinger-Dingley, Debra; Schmid, Bernhard; Petermann, Jana S; Yadav, Varuna; De Deyn, Gerlinde B; Flynn, Dan F B

    2014-11-06

    In experimental plant communities, relationships between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning have been found to strengthen over time, a fact often attributed to increased resource complementarity between species in mixtures and negative plant-soil feedbacks in monocultures. Here we show that selection for niche differentiation between species can drive this increasing biodiversity effect. Growing 12 grassland species in test monocultures and mixtures, we found character displacement between species and increased biodiversity effects when plants had been selected over 8 years in species mixtures rather than in monocultures. When grown in mixtures, relative differences in height and specific leaf area between plant species selected in mixtures (mixture types) were greater than between species selected in monocultures (monoculture types). Furthermore, net biodiversity and complementarity effects were greater in mixtures of mixture types than in mixtures of monoculture types. Our study demonstrates a novel mechanism for the increase in biodiversity effects: selection for increased niche differentiation through character displacement. Selection in diverse mixtures may therefore increase species coexistence and ecosystem functioning in natural communities and may also allow increased mixture yields in agriculture or forestry. However, loss of biodiversity and prolonged selection of crops in monoculture may compromise this potential for selection in the longer term.

  4. Plant cell culture strategies for the production of natural products

    PubMed Central

    Ochoa-Villarreal, Marisol; Howat, Susan; Hong, SunMi; Jang, Mi Ok; Jin, Young-Woo; Lee, Eun-Kyong; Loake, Gary J.

    2016-01-01

    Plants have evolved a vast chemical cornucopia to support their sessile lifestyles. Man has exploited this natural resource since Neolithic times and currently plant-derived chemicals are exploited for a myriad of applications. However, plant sources of most high-value natural products (NPs) are not domesticated and therefore their production cannot be undertaken on an agricultural scale. Further, these plant species are often slow growing, their populations limiting, the concentration of the target molecule highly variable and routinely present at extremely low concentrations. Plant cell and organ culture constitutes a sustainable, controllable and environmentally friendly tool for the industrial production of plant NPs. Further, advances in cell line selection, biotransformation, product secretion, cell permeabilisation, extraction and scale-up, among others, are driving increases in plant NP yields. However, there remain significant obstacles to the commercial synthesis of high-value chemicals from these sources. The relatively recent isolation, culturing and characterisation of cambial meristematic cells (CMCs), provides an emerging platform to circumvent many of these potential difficulties. [BMB Reports 2016; 49(3): 149-158] PMID:26698871

  5. Plant cell culture strategies for the production of natural products.

    PubMed

    Ochoa-Villarreal, Marisol; Howat, Susan; Hong, SunMi; Jang, Mi Ok; Jin, Young-Woo; Lee, Eun-Kyong; Loake, Gary J

    2016-03-01

    Plants have evolved a vast chemical cornucopia to support their sessile lifestyles. Man has exploited this natural resource since Neolithic times and currently plant-derived chemicals are exploited for a myriad of applications. However, plant sources of most high-value natural products (NPs) are not domesticated and therefore their production cannot be undertaken on an agricultural scale. Further, these plant species are often slow growing, their populations limiting, the concentration of the target molecule highly variable and routinely present at extremely low concentrations. Plant cell and organ culture constitutes a sustainable, controllable and environmentally friendly tool for the industrial production of plant NPs. Further, advances in cell line selection, biotransformation, product secretion, cell permeabilisation, extraction and scale-up, among others, are driving increases in plant NP yields. However, there remain significant obstacles to the commercial synthesis of high-value chemicals from these sources. The relatively recent isolation, culturing and characterisation of cambial meristematic cells (CMCs), provides an emerging platform to circumvent many of these potential difficulties. [BMB Reports 2016; 49(3): 149-158].

  6. Darwinian natural selection: its enduring explanatory power

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Evolutionary theory has never had a stronger scientific foundation than it does today. In a short review I hope to portray the deep commitment of today's biologists to Darwinian natural selection and to discoveries made since Darwin's time. In spite of the scientific advances in the century and a half since the publication of On the Origin of Species, Darwin still remains the principal author of modern evolutionary theory. He is one of the greatest contributors of all time to our understanding of nature. PMID:22481845

  7. Antimycobacterial agents from selected Mexican medicinal plants.

    PubMed

    Rivero-Cruz, Isabel; Acevedo, Laura; Guerrero, José A; Martínez, Sergio; Bye, Robert; Pereda-Miranda, Rogelio; Franzblau, Scott; Timmermann, Barbara N; Mata, Rachel

    2005-09-01

    As part of the ICBG program Bioactive Agents from Dryland Biodiversity of Latin America, the present investigation was undertaken to explore the possible antimycobacterial potential of compounds derived from selected Mexican medicinal plants. Bioassay-guided fractionation of the crude extracts of Rumex hymenosepalus (Polygonaceae), Larrea divaricata (Zygophyllaceae), Phoradendron robinsonii (Loranthaceae) and Amphipteryngium adstringens (Julianiaceae) led to the isolation of several antimycobacterial compounds. Four stilbenoids, two flavan-3-ols and three anthraquinones were isolated from R. hymenosepalus. Two flavonols and nordihydroguaiaretic acid were obtained from L. divaricata. Sakuranetin was the antimycobacterial agent isolated from P. robinsonii. Two known triterpenoids and the novel natural product 3-dodecyl-1,8-dihydroxy-2-naphthoic acid were obtained from A. adstringens. In general, the isolates were identified by spectral means. The antimycobacterial activity of the secondary compounds isolated from the analysed species, as well as that of nine pure compounds previously isolated in our laboratories, was investigated; the MIC values ranged from 16 to 128 microg mL-1. Among the tested compounds, the glycolipids, sesquiterpenoids and triterpenoids showed the best antimycobacterial activity. The antimycobacterial property of the glycolipids is reported for the first time. Although the tested compounds showed moderate antimycobacterial activity, their presence in the analysed species provides the rationale for their traditional use in the treatment of tuberculosis.

  8. The impacts of selective logging and clear-cutting on woody plant diversity after 40years of natural recovery in a tropical montane rain forest, south China.

    PubMed

    Ding, Yi; Zang, Runguo; Lu, Xinghui; Huang, Jihong

    2017-02-01

    Historically, clear-cutting and selective logging have been the commercial logging practices. However, the effect of these pervasive timber extraction methods on biodiversity in tropical forests is still poorly understood. In this study, we compared abiotic factors, species diversity, community composition, and structure between ca. 40-year-old clear-cut (MCC); ca. 40-year-old selectively logged (MSL); and tropical old growth montane rain forests (MOG) on Hainan Island, China. Results showed that there were a large number of trees with a diameter at breast height (DBH) <30cm in the two logged forests. Additionally, the two logged forests only had 40% of the basal area of the large trees (DBH≥30cm) found in the old growth forest. The species richness and Shannon-Wiener diversity indices generally showed no difference among the three forest types. MCC had 70% of the species richness of the large trees in the MOG, whereas MSL and MOG had similar species richness. High value timber species had similar species richness among the three forest types, but a lower abundance and basal area of large trees in MCC. The species composition was distinct between the three forests. Large trees belonging to the family Fagaceae dominated in the logged forests and played a more important role in the old growth forest. Huge trees (DBH≥70cm) were rare in MCC, but were frequently found in MSL. Most abiotic factors varied inconsistently among the three forest types and few variables related to species diversity, community structure and composition. Our study indicated that MSL had a relatively faster recovery rate than MCC in a tropical montane rain forest after 40years, but both logged forests had a high recovery potential over a long-term.

  9. Modelling with words: Narrative and natural selection.

    PubMed

    Dimech, Dominic K

    2017-02-18

    I argue that verbal models should be included in a philosophical account of the scientific practice of modelling. Weisberg (2013) has directly opposed this thesis on the grounds that verbal structures, if they are used in science, only merely describe models. I look at examples from Darwin's On the Origin of Species (1859) of verbally constructed narratives that I claim model the general phenomenon of evolution by natural selection. In each of the cases I look at, a particular scenario is described that involves at least some fictitious elements but represents the salient causal components of natural selection. I pronounce the importance of prioritising observation of scientific practice for the philosophy of modelling and I suggest that there are other likely model types that are excluded from philosophical accounts.

  10. Impacts of parasitic plants on natural communities.

    PubMed

    Press, Malcolm C; Phoenix, Gareth K

    2005-06-01

    Parasitic plants have profound effects on the ecosystems in which they occur. They are represented by some 4000 species and can be found in most major biomes. They acquire some or all of their water, carbon and nutrients via the vascular tissue of the host's roots or shoots. Parasitism has major impacts on host growth, allometry and reproduction, which lead to changes in competitive balances between host and nonhost species and therefore affect community structure, vegetation zonation and population dynamics. Impacts on hosts may further affect herbivores, pollinators and seed vectors, and the behaviour and diversity of these is often closely linked to the presence and abundance of parasitic plants. Parasitic plants can therefore be considered as keystone species. Community impacts are mediated by the host range of the parasite (the diversity of species that can potentially act as hosts) and by their preference and selection of particular host species. Parasitic plants can also alter the physical environment around them--including soil water and nutrients, atmospheric CO2 and temperature--and so may also be considered as ecosystem engineers. Such impacts can have further consequences in altering the resource supply to and behaviour of other organisms within parasitic plant communities.

  11. Analysis of reflectance characteristics of selected plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaszczuk, Miroslawa; Mierczyk, Zygmunt; Zygmunt, Marek; Piotrowski, Wieslaw; Mierczyk, Jadwiga

    2011-06-01

    The paper presents reflectance characteristics of plants. The objects of the research were the selected plants, taking the various levels of organization and structure into consideration, as well as the state of plant health and growth. Reflectance spectrum was analyzed in the range of wavelengths from 0,2 to 2,5 μm. The values of reflectance for three wavelengths (λ1=850 nm, λ2=905 nm, λ3=1550 nm) were analyzed with the particular emphasis. The sample tests were performed immediately after biological material taking and in the several 24-hour time intervals. The time intervals enabled the process of plants wilting and drying. The reflectance measurements were repeated until the moment of plant complete dried out. All measurements were performed with the use of the spectrometer Lambda 900 (Perkin Elmer) equipped with the 150 mm integrating sphere PELA1001 dedicated for the measurements of the hemispherical reflectance both of diffuse and specular type. On the basis of the obtained results one calculated the values of signal ratios for the three selected wavelengths: 850/1550nm, 905/1550nm, and 850/905nm. The collected spectra and reflectance characteristics enabled the analyses of both results similarities and differences, which enabled the determination of the reflectance changes tendency associated with the typical processes occurring in plants. The analyses of plants reflectance characteristics were made for the use of the laser system for identification of terrain elements and their physico-chemical properties.

  12. Detecting natural selection in genomic data.

    PubMed

    Vitti, Joseph J; Grossman, Sharon R; Sabeti, Pardis C

    2013-01-01

    The past fifty years have seen the development and application of numerous statistical methods to identify genomic regions that appear to be shaped by natural selection. These methods have been used to investigate the macro- and microevolution of a broad range of organisms, including humans. Here, we provide a comprehensive outline of these methods, explaining their conceptual motivations and statistical interpretations. We highlight areas of recent and future development in evolutionary genomics methods and discuss ongoing challenges for researchers employing such tests. In particular, we emphasize the importance of functional follow-up studies to characterize putative selected alleles and the use of selection scans as hypothesis-generating tools for investigating evolutionary histories.

  13. Natural selection and age-structured populations.

    PubMed

    Demetrius, L

    1975-03-01

    This paper studies the properties of a new class of demographic parameters for age-structured populations and analyzes the effect of natural selection on these parameters. Two new demographic variables are introduced: the entropy of a population and the reproductive potential. The entropy of a population measures the variability of the contribution of the different age classes to the stationary population. The reproductive potential measures the mean of the contribution of the different age classes to the Malthusian parameter. The Malthusian parameter is precisely the difference between the entropy and the reproductive potential. The effect of these demographic variables on changes in gene frequency is discussed. The concept of entropy of a genotype is introduced and it is shown that in a random mating population in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium and under slow selection, the rate of change of entropy is equal to the genetic variance in entropy minus the covariance in entropy and reproductive potential. This result is an information theoretic analog of Fisher's fundamental theorem of natural selection.

  14. Sexual selection: an evolutionary force in plants?

    PubMed

    Skogsmyr, Io; Lankinen, Asa

    2002-11-01

    Sexual selection has traditionally been used to explain exaggerated sexual traits in male animals. Today the concept has been developed and various other sexually related traits have been suggested to evolve in the same manner. In nearly all new areas where the theory of sexual selection has been applied, there has been an intense debate as to whether the application is justified. Is it the case that some scientists are all too ready to employ fashionable ideas? Or are there too many dogmatic researchers refusing to accept that science develops and old ideas are transformed? Maybe the controversies are simply a reflection of the difficulty of defining a theory under constant re-evaluation. Thus, we begin by summarizing the theory of sexual selection in order to assess the influence of sexual selection on the evolution of plant morphology. We discuss empirical findings concerning potentially affected traits. Although we have tried to address criticisms fairly, we still conclude that sexual selection can be a useful tool when studying the evolution of reproductive traits in plants. Furthermore, by including the evidence from an additional kingdom, a fuller understanding of the processes involved in sexual selection can be gained.

  15. The natural selection of bad science.

    PubMed

    Smaldino, Paul E; McElreath, Richard

    2016-09-01

    Poor research design and data analysis encourage false-positive findings. Such poor methods persist despite perennial calls for improvement, suggesting that they result from something more than just misunderstanding. The persistence of poor methods results partly from incentives that favour them, leading to the natural selection of bad science. This dynamic requires no conscious strategizing-no deliberate cheating nor loafing-by scientists, only that publication is a principal factor for career advancement. Some normative methods of analysis have almost certainly been selected to further publication instead of discovery. In order to improve the culture of science, a shift must be made away from correcting misunderstandings and towards rewarding understanding. We support this argument with empirical evidence and computational modelling. We first present a 60-year meta-analysis of statistical power in the behavioural sciences and show that power has not improved despite repeated demonstrations of the necessity of increasing power. To demonstrate the logical consequences of structural incentives, we then present a dynamic model of scientific communities in which competing laboratories investigate novel or previously published hypotheses using culturally transmitted research methods. As in the real world, successful labs produce more 'progeny,' such that their methods are more often copied and their students are more likely to start labs of their own. Selection for high output leads to poorer methods and increasingly high false discovery rates. We additionally show that replication slows but does not stop the process of methodological deterioration. Improving the quality of research requires change at the institutional level.

  16. Sexual and natural selection both influence male genital evolution.

    PubMed

    House, Clarissa M; Lewis, Zenobia; Hodgson, Dave J; Wedell, Nina; Sharma, Manmohan D; Hunt, John; Hosken, David J

    2013-01-01

    Rapid and divergent evolution of male genital morphology is a conspicuous and general pattern across internally fertilizing animals. Rapid genital evolution is thought to be the result of sexual selection, and the role of natural selection in genital evolution remains controversial. However, natural and sexual selection are believed to act antagonistically on male genital form. We conducted an experimental evolution study to investigate the combined effects of natural and sexual selection on the genital-arch lobes of male Drosophila simulans. Replicate populations were forced to evolve under lifetime monogamy (relaxed sexual selection) or lifetime polyandry (elevated sexual selection) and two temperature regimes, 25°C (relaxed natural selection) or 27°C (elevated natural selection) in a fully factorial design. We found that natural and sexual selection plus their interaction caused genital evolution. Natural selection caused some aspects of genital form to evolve away from their sexually selected shape, whereas natural and sexual selection operated in the same direction for other shape components. Additionally, sexual and natural selection tended to favour larger genitals. Thus we find that the underlying selection driving genital evolution is complex, does not only involve sexual selection, and that natural selection and sexual selection do not always act antagonistically.

  17. Sexual and Natural Selection Both Influence Male Genital Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Hodgson, Dave J.; Wedell, Nina; Sharma, Manmohan D.; Hunt, John; Hosken, David J.

    2013-01-01

    Rapid and divergent evolution of male genital morphology is a conspicuous and general pattern across internally fertilizing animals. Rapid genital evolution is thought to be the result of sexual selection, and the role of natural selection in genital evolution remains controversial. However, natural and sexual selection are believed to act antagonistically on male genital form. We conducted an experimental evolution study to investigate the combined effects of natural and sexual selection on the genital-arch lobes of male Drosophila simulans. Replicate populations were forced to evolve under lifetime monogamy (relaxed sexual selection) or lifetime polyandry (elevated sexual selection) and two temperature regimes, 25°C (relaxed natural selection) or 27°C (elevated natural selection) in a fully factorial design. We found that natural and sexual selection plus their interaction caused genital evolution. Natural selection caused some aspects of genital form to evolve away from their sexually selected shape, whereas natural and sexual selection operated in the same direction for other shape components. Additionally, sexual and natural selection tended to favour larger genitals. Thus we find that the underlying selection driving genital evolution is complex, does not only involve sexual selection, and that natural selection and sexual selection do not always act antagonistically. PMID:23717488

  18. Phenotypic selection favors missing trait combinations in coexisting annual plants.

    PubMed

    Kimball, Sarah; Gremer, Jennifer R; Huxman, Travis E; Lawrence Venable, D; Angert, Amy L

    2013-08-01

    Trade-offs among traits are important for maintaining biodiversity, but the role of natural selection in their construction is not often known. It is possible that trade-offs reflect fundamental constraints, negative correlational selection, or directional selection operating on costly, redundant traits. In a Sonoran Desert community of winter annual plants, we have identified a trade-off between relative growth rate and water-use efficiency among species, such that species with high relative growth rate have low water-use efficiency and vice versa. We measured selection on water-use efficiency, relative growth rate, and underlying traits within populations of four species at two study sites with different average climates. Phenotypic trait correlations within species did not match the among-species trade-off. In fact, for two species with high water-use efficiency, individuals with high relative growth rate also had high water-use efficiency. All populations experienced positive directional selection for water-use efficiency and relative growth rate. Selection tended to be stronger on water-use efficiency at the warmer and drier site, and selection on relative growth rate tended to be stronger at the cooler and wetter site. Our results indicate that directional natural selection favors a phenotype not observed among species in the community, suggesting that the among-species trade-off could be due to pervasive genetic constraints, perhaps acting in concert with processes of community assembly.

  19. The natural selection of bad science

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Poor research design and data analysis encourage false-positive findings. Such poor methods persist despite perennial calls for improvement, suggesting that they result from something more than just misunderstanding. The persistence of poor methods results partly from incentives that favour them, leading to the natural selection of bad science. This dynamic requires no conscious strategizing—no deliberate cheating nor loafing—by scientists, only that publication is a principal factor for career advancement. Some normative methods of analysis have almost certainly been selected to further publication instead of discovery. In order to improve the culture of science, a shift must be made away from correcting misunderstandings and towards rewarding understanding. We support this argument with empirical evidence and computational modelling. We first present a 60-year meta-analysis of statistical power in the behavioural sciences and show that power has not improved despite repeated demonstrations of the necessity of increasing power. To demonstrate the logical consequences of structural incentives, we then present a dynamic model of scientific communities in which competing laboratories investigate novel or previously published hypotheses using culturally transmitted research methods. As in the real world, successful labs produce more ‘progeny,’ such that their methods are more often copied and their students are more likely to start labs of their own. Selection for high output leads to poorer methods and increasingly high false discovery rates. We additionally show that replication slows but does not stop the process of methodological deterioration. Improving the quality of research requires change at the institutional level. PMID:27703703

  20. Genetic evidence for natural product-mediated plant-plant allelopathy in rice (Oryza sativa).

    PubMed

    Xu, Meimei; Galhano, Rita; Wiemann, Philipp; Bueno, Emilio; Tiernan, Mollie; Wu, William; Chung, Ill-Min; Gershenzon, Jonathan; Tudzynski, Bettina; Sesma, Ane; Peters, Reuben J

    2012-02-01

    • There is controversy as to whether specific natural products play a role in directly mediating antagonistic plant-plant interactions - that is, allelopathy. If proved to exist, such phenomena would hold considerable promise for agronomic improvement of staple food crops such as rice (Oryza sativa). • However, while substantiated by the presence of phytotoxic compounds at potentially relevant concentrations, demonstrating a direct role for specific natural products in allelopathy has been difficult because of the chemical complexity of root and plant litter exudates. This complexity can be bypassed via selective genetic manipulation to ablate production of putative allelopathic compounds, but such an approach previously has not been applied. • The rice diterpenoid momilactones provide an example of natural products for which correlative biochemical evidence has been obtained for a role in allelopathy. Here, we apply reverse genetics, using knock-outs of the relevant diterpene synthases (copalyl diphosphate synthase 4 (OsCPS4) and kaurene synthase-like 4 (OsKSL4)), to demonstrate that rice momilactones are involved in allelopathy, including suppressing growth of the widespread rice paddy weed, barnyard grass (Echinochloa crus-galli). • Thus, our results not only provide novel genetic evidence for natural product-mediated allelopathy, but also furnish a molecular target for breeding and metabolic engineering of this important crop plant.

  1. Bridging Emergent Attributes and Darwinian Principles in Teaching Natural Selection

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Xu, Dongchen; Chi, Michelene T. H.

    2016-01-01

    Students often have misconceptions about natural selection as they misuse a direct causal schema to explain the process. Natural selection is in fact an emergent process where random interactions lead to changes in a population. The misconceptions stem from students' lack of emergent schema for natural selection. In order to help students…

  2. Using Card Games to Simulate the Process of Natural Selection

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Grilliot, Matthew E.; Harden, Siegfried

    2014-01-01

    In 1858, Darwin published "On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection." His explanation of evolution by natural selection has become the unifying theme of biology. We have found that many students do not fully comprehend the process of evolution by natural selection. We discuss a few simple games that incorporate hands-on…

  3. [Natural selection and medical triage: everyday realities].

    PubMed

    Carpentier, J P; Petrognani, R; Raynal, M; Ponchel, C; Saby, R

    2002-01-01

    Most emergency care facilities in tropical areas are inefficient, underequipped, and quickly overwhelmed by the ever-growing attendance. As a result, mortality is higher than in developed countries. To speak in terms of natural selection would be tantamount to a fatalistic admission of powerlessness to deal with the situation. In Africa, the gross imbalance between supply and demand makes it necessary to make hard choices in order to make the most effective use of available staff and equipment. The objective of medical triage is to allocate scarce facilities to those patients with the greatest chance of survival. However it is difficult to define precise rules for making such choices since they are strongly dependent on available resources, type of pathology, and level of medical skill. Prognostic indicators are ill-suited to emergency situation since they require not only clinical data but also and above all, in most cases, laboratory data which is not always available or justifiable. Experience is probably the best guarantee for reliable triage, which is philosophically difficult to accept but often unavoidable in everyday practice.

  4. Natural selection and the elusiveness of happiness.

    PubMed Central

    Nesse, Randolph M

    2004-01-01

    The quest for happiness has expanded from a focus on relieving suffering to also considering how to promote happiness. However, both approaches have yet to be conducted in an evolutionary framework based on the situations that shaped the capacities for happiness and sadness. Because of this, the emphasis has almost all been on the disadvantages of negative states and the benefits of positive states, to the nearly total neglect of 'diagonal psychology', which also considers the dangers of unwarranted positive states and the benefits of negative emotions in certain situations. The situations that arise in goal pursuit contain adaptive challenges that have shaped domain-general positive and negative emotions that were partially differentiated by natural selection to cope with the more specific situations that arise in the pursuit of different kinds of goals. In cultures where large social groups give rise to specialized and competitive social roles, depression may be common because regulation systems are pushed far beyond the bounds for which they were designed. Research on the evolutionary origins of the capacities for positive and negative emotions is urgently needed to provide a foundation for sensible decisions about the use of new mood-manipulating technologies. PMID:15347525

  5. Natural selection and divergence in mate preference during speciation.

    PubMed

    Nosil, Patrik; Crespi, Bernard J; Gries, Regine; Gries, Gerhard

    2007-03-01

    Sexual isolation can evolve due to natural selection against hybrids (reinforcement). However, many different forms of hybrid dysfunction, and selective processes that do not involve hybrids, can contribute to the evolution of sexual isolation. Here we review how different selective processes affect the evolution of sexual isolation, describe approaches for distinguishing among them, and assess how they contribute to variation in sexual isolation among populations of Timema cristinae stick-insects. Pairs of allopatric populations of T. cristinae living on different host-plant species exhibit greater sexual isolation than those on the same host, indicating that some sexual isolation has evolved due to host adaptation. Sexual isolation is strongest in regions where populations on different hosts are in geographic contact, a pattern of reproductive character displacement that is indicative of reinforcement. Ecological costs to hybridization do occur but traits under ecological selection (predation) do not co-vary strongly with the probability of between-population mating such that selection on ecological traits is not predicted to produce a strong correlated evolutionary response in mate preference. Moreover, F1 hybrid egg inviability is lacking and the factors contributing to reproductive character displacement require further study. Finally, we show that sexual isolation involves, at least in part, olfactory communication. Our results illustrate how understanding of the evolution of sexual isolation can be enhanced by isolating the roles of diverse ecological and evolutionary processes.

  6. Induced defences alter the strength and direction of natural selection on reproductive traits in common milkweed.

    PubMed

    Thompson, K A; Cory, K A; Johnson, M T J

    2017-01-30

    Evolutionary biologists have long sought to understand the ecological processes that generate plant reproductive diversity. Recent evidence indicates that constitutive antiherbivore defences can alter natural selection on reproductive traits, but it is unclear whether induced defences will have the same effect and whether reduced foliar damage in defended plants is the cause of this pattern. In a factorial field experiment using common milkweed, Asclepias syriaca L., we induced plant defences using jasmonic acid (JA) and imposed foliar damage using scissors. We found that JA-induced plants experienced selection for more inflorescences that were smaller in size (fewer flowers), whereas control plants only experienced a trend towards selection for larger inflorescences (more flowers); all effects were independent of foliar damage. Our results demonstrate that induced defences can alter both the strength and direction of selection on reproductive traits, and suggest that antiherbivore defences may promote the evolution of plant reproductive diversity.

  7. Microbial Resistance to Triclosan: A Case Study in Natural Selection

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Serafini, Amanda; Matthews, Dorothy M.

    2009-01-01

    Natural selection is the mechanism of evolution caused by the environmental selection of organisms most fit to reproduce, sometimes explained as "survival of the fittest." An example of evolution by natural selection is the development of bacteria that are resistant to antimicrobial agents as a result of exposure to these agents. Triclosan, which…

  8. A model for plant lighting system selection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ciolkosz, D. E.; Albright, L. D.; Sager, J. C.; Langhans, R. W.

    2002-01-01

    A decision model is presented that compares lighting systems for a plant growth scenario and chooses the most appropriate system from a given set of possible choices. The model utilizes a Multiple Attribute Utility Theory approach, and incorporates expert input and performance simulations to calculate a utility value for each lighting system being considered. The system with the highest utility is deemed the most appropriate system. The model was applied to a greenhouse scenario, and analyses were conducted to test the model's output for validity. Parameter variation indicates that the model performed as expected. Analysis of model output indicates that differences in utility among the candidate lighting systems were sufficiently large to give confidence that the model's order of selection was valid.

  9. ENHANCEMENTS TO NATURAL ATTENUATION: SELECTED CASE STUDIES

    SciTech Connect

    Vangelas, K; W. H. Albright, W; E. S. Becvar, E; C. H. Benson, C; T. O. Early, T; E. Hood, E; P. M. Jardine, P; M. Lorah, M; E. Majche, E; D. Major, D; W. J. Waugh, W; G. Wein, G; O. R. West, O

    2007-05-15

    In 2003 the US Department of Energy (DOE) embarked on a project to explore an innovative approach to remediation of subsurface contaminant plumes that focused on introducing mechanisms for augmenting natural attenuation to achieve site closure. Termed enhanced attenuation (EA), this approach has drawn its inspiration from the concept of monitored natural attenuation (MNA).

  10. Selective leak-detector for natural gas

    SciTech Connect

    Bonne, U.

    1985-03-26

    An improved detector for combustible gases and which is able to discriminate between natural gas (methane and ethane) and other sources of methane (e.g. swamp gas, petrochemical and automotive) or other combustible gases by measuring the characteristic methane/ethane ratio of natural gas, based on infrared absorption of methane and ethane, in combination with another non-specific combustible gas detector.

  11. Natural Selection, Nutrition Research, and Science Teaching.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nelson, Darby

    1980-01-01

    Provides examples of the teaching of hypothesis generation and scientific inquiry in biology. Specifically, the author applies the selection paradigm to considerations of the human nutrient-handling apparatus, finally suggesting a model of the selective forces that may have operated on the human genome since hunting-gathering and primitive…

  12. Biosynthesis of natural products in plants by fungal endophytes with an emphasis on swainsonine

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Plant natural products are frequently used as chemotaxonomic markers which are indicative of select members of a family, genus, and/or species. However, the erratic occurrence of some natural products raises questions about their biosynthetic origin and significance as chemotaxonomic markers. Rece...

  13. Plant size, sexual selection, and the evolution of protandry in dioecious plants.

    PubMed

    Forrest, Jessica R K

    2014-09-01

    It is frequently observed that males of dioecious plant species flower earlier in the season than females, although the generality of this pattern has not been quantified. One hypothesis for earlier male flowering is that females require more time for resource acquisition before reproduction; another is that selection for access to unfertilized ovules favors early-flowering males. Here I show that protandry is indeed the usual pattern in dioecious plants--males typically initiate flowering before females--and I propose a new hypothesis to explain this pattern. In many natural plant populations, individuals that begin flowering early are larger and--in the case of females or hermaphrodites--therefore more fecund. When this population-level seasonal decline in size is included in simulations of flowering time evolution in a dioecious plant, males evolve earlier flowering onset than females. Correlations between size (or condition) and reproductive phenology are widespread and likely contribute to the prevalence of protandry in both plants and animals, but their importance seems to have been overlooked by botanists. I suggest that sexual selection (specifically, male-male competition for access to high-quality ovules) may play a more important role in the evolution of flowering phenology than has previously been recognized.

  14. Public databases of plant natural products for computational drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Tung, Chun-Wei

    2014-01-01

    Plant natural products have been intensively investigated during the past decades with a considerable amount of generated data. Databases are subsequently developed to facilitate the management and analysis of accumulated information including plant species, chemical compounds, structures and bioactivities. With the support of databases, the screening of novel bioactivities for plant natural products can benefit from advanced computational methods to accelerate the progress of drug discovery. This overview describes the contents of publicly available databases useful for computational research of plant natural products. Based on the databases, quantitative structure-activity relationship models and protein-ligand docking methods can be developed and applied to analyze and screen bioactive compounds. More public and structured databases with unique contents, search functions and links to major databases are needed for efficiently exploring the chemical space of plant natural products.

  15. Plants capable of selfing are more likely to become naturalized.

    PubMed

    Razanajatovo, Mialy; Maurel, Noëlie; Dawson, Wayne; Essl, Franz; Kreft, Holger; Pergl, Jan; Pyšek, Petr; Weigelt, Patrick; Winter, Marten; van Kleunen, Mark

    2016-10-31

    Many plant species have established self-sustaining populations outside their natural range because of human activities. Plants with selfing ability should be more likely to establish outside their historical range because they can reproduce from a single individual when mates or pollinators are not available. Here, we compile a global breeding-system database of 1,752 angiosperm species and use phylogenetic generalized linear models and path analyses to test relationships between selfing ability, life history, native range size and global naturalization status. Selfing ability is associated with annual or biennial life history and a large native range, which both positively correlate with the probability of naturalization. Path analysis suggests that a high selfing ability directly increases the number of regions where a species is naturalized. Our results provide robust evidence across flowering plants at the global scale that high selfing ability fosters alien plant naturalization both directly and indirectly.

  16. Plants capable of selfing are more likely to become naturalized

    PubMed Central

    Razanajatovo, Mialy; Maurel, Noëlie; Dawson, Wayne; Essl, Franz; Kreft, Holger; Pergl, Jan; Pyšek, Petr; Weigelt, Patrick; Winter, Marten; van Kleunen, Mark

    2016-01-01

    Many plant species have established self-sustaining populations outside their natural range because of human activities. Plants with selfing ability should be more likely to establish outside their historical range because they can reproduce from a single individual when mates or pollinators are not available. Here, we compile a global breeding-system database of 1,752 angiosperm species and use phylogenetic generalized linear models and path analyses to test relationships between selfing ability, life history, native range size and global naturalization status. Selfing ability is associated with annual or biennial life history and a large native range, which both positively correlate with the probability of naturalization. Path analysis suggests that a high selfing ability directly increases the number of regions where a species is naturalized. Our results provide robust evidence across flowering plants at the global scale that high selfing ability fosters alien plant naturalization both directly and indirectly. PMID:27796365

  17. Parts of Plants. Hawaii Nature Study Project.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hawaii Univ., Honolulu. Curriculum Research and Development Group.

    This teaching guide is one of a series developed by the Curriculum Research and Development Group at the University of Hawaii. The program is laboratory and field oriented for elementary students. The focus of study for the project is the plant and animal life and the physical components of the Hawaiian environment, and their ecological…

  18. Natural Selection in the Field and the Classroom

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Andrews, Tessa Marie

    2012-01-01

    This dissertation examined natural selection in westslope cutthroat trout ("Oncorhynchus clarkii lewisi") and undergraduate learning in the subject area natural selection. Translocation--moving individuals to a new habitat to establish, re-establish or supplement a population--is a crucial management strategy for cutthroat trout. One of…

  19. Getting to Darwin: Obstacles to Accepting Evolution by Natural Selection

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thagard, Paul; Findlay, Scott

    2010-01-01

    Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection is central to modern biology, but is resisted by many people. This paper discusses the major psychological obstacles to accepting Darwin's theory. Cognitive obstacles to adopting evolution by natural selection include conceptual difficulties, methodological issues, and coherence problems that…

  20. Development and Evaluation of the Conceptual Inventory of Natural Selection.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Anderson, Dianne L.; Fisher, Kathleen M.; Norman, Gregory J.

    2002-01-01

    Presents a diagnostic test to assess students' understanding of natural selection. Field-tests the Conceptual Inventory of Natural Selection (CINS) with nonmajors and biology majors at community colleges. Compares test scores of nonmajors with performances in interviews and discusses the correlation between the test scores and the interview…

  1. Are Humans Still Evolving? A Natural Selection Discussion Lesson

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shields, Martin

    2004-01-01

    A study is conducted to develop sound comprehension of natural selection theory by prompting students to use its concept to explain the evolutionary status of humans. In relation to the current existence of human it is stated that human populations currently undergo microevolutionary changes in allele frequencies due to natural selection and other…

  2. A Working Model of Natural Selection Illustrated by Table Tennis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dinc, Muhittin; Kilic, Selda; Aladag, Caner

    2013-01-01

    Natural selection is one of the most important topics in biology and it helps to clarify the variety and complexity of organisms. However, students in almost every stage of education find it difficult to understand the mechanism of natural selection and they can develop misconceptions about it. This article provides an active model of natural…

  3. Herbivores can select for mixed defensive strategies in plants.

    PubMed

    Carmona, Diego; Fornoni, Juan

    2013-01-01

    Resistance and tolerance are the most important defense mechanisms against herbivores. Initial theoretical studies considered both mechanisms functionally redundant, but more recent empirical studies suggest that these mechanisms may complement each other, favoring the presence of mixed defense patterns. However, the expectation of redundancy between tolerance and resistance remains unsupported. In this study, we tested this assumption following an ecological genetics field experiment in which the presence/absence of two herbivores (Lema daturaphila and Epitrix parvula) of Datura stramonium were manipulated. In each of three treatments, genotypic selection analyses were performed and selection patterns compared. Our results indicated that selection on resistance and tolerance was significantly different between the two folivores. Tolerance and resistance are not redundant defense strategies in D. stramonium but instead functioned as complementary defenses against both beetle species, favoring the evolution of a mixed defense strategy. Although each herbivore was selected for different defense strategies, the observed average tolerance and resistance were closer to the adaptive peak predicted against E. parvula and both beetles together. In our experimental population, natural selection imposed by herbivores can favor the evolution of mixed defense strategies in plants, accounting for the presence of intermediate levels of tolerance and resistance.

  4. Linkage and the Limits to Natural Selection

    PubMed Central

    Barton, N. H.

    1995-01-01

    The probability of fixation of a favorable mutation is reduced if selection at other loci causes inherited variation in fitness. A general method for calculating the fixation probability of an allele that can find itself in a variety of genetic backgrounds is applied to find the effect of substitutions, fluctuating polymorphisms, and deleterious mutations in a large population. With loose linkage, r, the effects depend on the additive genetic variance in relative fitness, var (W), and act by reducing effective population size by (N/N(e)) = 1 + var (W)/2r(2). However, tightly linked loci can have a substantial effect not predictable from N(e). Linked deleterious mutations reduce the fixation probability of weakly favored alleles by exp(-2U/R), where U is the total mutation rate and R is the map length in Morgans. Substitutions can cause a greater reduction: an allele with advantage s < s(crit) = (π(2)/6) log(e) (S/s)[var(W)/R] is very unlikely to be fixed. (S is the advantage of the substitution impeding fixation.) Fluctuating polymorphisms at many (n) linked loci can also have a substantial effect, reducing fixation probability by exp [ &2Kn var(W)/R] [K = -1/E((u - u)(2)/uv) depending on the frequencies (u,v) at the selected polymorphisms]. Hitchhiking due to all three kinds of selection may substantially impede adaptation that depends on weakly favored alleles. PMID:7498757

  5. Canine evolution in sabretoothed carnivores: natural selection or sexual selection?

    PubMed

    Randau, Marcela; Carbone, Chris; Turvey, Samuel T

    2013-01-01

    The remarkable elongated upper canines of extinct sabretoothed carnivorous mammals have been the subject of considerable speculation on their adaptive function, but the absence of living analogues prevents any direct inference about their evolution. We analysed scaling relationships of the upper canines of 20 sabretoothed feliform carnivores (Nimravidae, Barbourofelidae, Machairodontinae), representing both dirk-toothed and scimitar-toothed sabretooth ecomorphs, and 33 non-sabretoothed felids in relation to body size in order to characterize and identify the evolutionary processes driving their development, using the scaling relationships of carnassial teeth in both groups as a control. Carnassials display isometric allometry in both sabretooths and non-sabretooths, supporting their close relationship with meat-slicing, whereas the upper canines of both groups display positive allometry with body size. Whereas there is no statistical difference in allometry of upper canine height between dirk-toothed and scimitar-toothed sabretooth ecomorphs, the significantly stronger positive allometry of upper canine height shown by sabretooths as a whole compared to non-sabretooths reveals that different processes drove canine evolution in these groups. Although sabretoothed canines must still have been effective for prey capture and processing by hypercarnivorous predators, canine morphology in these extinct carnivores was likely to have been driven to a greater extent by sexual selection than in non-sabretooths. Scaling relationships therefore indicate the probable importance of sexual selection in the evolution of the hypertrophied sabretooth anterior dentition.

  6. [Sugar Chain Construction of Functional Natural Products Using Plant Glucosyltransferases].

    PubMed

    Mizukami, Hajime

    2015-01-01

      Plant secondary product glycosyltransferases belong to family 1 of the glycosyltransferase superfamily and mediate the transfer of a glycosyl residue from activated nucleotide sugars to lipophilic small molecules, thus affecting the solubility, stability and pharmacological activities of the sugar-accepting compounds. The biotechnological application of plant glycosyltransferases in glycoside synthesis has attracted attention because enzymatic glycosylation offers several advantages over chemical methods, including (1) avoiding the use of harsh conditions and toxic catalysts, (2) providing strict control of regio-and stereo-selectivity and (3) high efficiency. This review describes the in vivo and in vitro glycosylation of natural organic compounds using glycosyltransferases, focusing on our investigation of enzymatic synthesis of curcumin glycosides. Our current efforts toward functional characterization of some glycosyltransferases involved in the biosynthesis of iridoids and crocin, as well as in the sugar chain elongation of quercetin glucosides, are described. Finally, I describe the relationship of the structure of sugar chains and the intestinal absorption which was investigated using chemoenzymatically synthesized quercetin glycosides.

  7. Facile Synthesis of Natural Alkoxynaphthalene Analogues from Plant Alkoxybenzenes.

    PubMed

    Tsyganov, Dmitry V; Krayushkin, Mikhail M; Konyushkin, Leonid D; Strelenko, Yuri A; Semenova, Marina N; Semenov, Victor V

    2016-04-22

    Analogues of the bioactive natural alkoxynaphthalene pycnanthulignene D were synthesized by an efficient method. The starting plant allylalkoxybenzenes (1) are easily available from the plant essential oils of sassafras, dill, and parsley. The target 1-arylalkoxynaphthalenes (5) exhibited antiproliferative activity in a phenotypic sea urchin embryo assay.

  8. Using Plants to Explore the Nature & Structural Complexity of Life

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Howard, Ava R.

    2014-01-01

    Use of real specimens brings the study of biology to life. This activity brings easily acquired plant specimens into the classroom to tackle common alternative conceptions regarding life, size, complexity, the nature of science, and plants as multicellular organisms. The activity occurs after a discussion of the characteristics of life and engages…

  9. Natural selective attention: Orienting and emotion

    PubMed Central

    BRADLEY, MARGARET M.

    2013-01-01

    The foundations of orienting and attention are hypothesized to stem from activation of defensive and appetitive motivational systems that evolved to protect and sustain the life of the individual. Motivational activation initiates a cascade of perceptual and motor processes that facilitate the selection of appropriate behavior. Among these are detection of significance, indexed by a late centro-parietal positivity in the event-related potential, enhanced perceptual processing, indexed by a initial cardiac deceleration, and preparation for action, indexed by electrodermal changes. Data exploring the role of stimulus novelty and significance in orienting are presented that indicate different components of the orienting response habituate at different rates. Taken together, it is suggested that orienting is mediated by activation of fundamental motivational systems that have evolved to support survival. PMID:18778317

  10. Plant-Derived Natural Products for Parkinson's Disease Therapy.

    PubMed

    Sengupta, T; Vinayagam, J; Singh, R; Jaisankar, P; Mohanakumar, K P

    2016-01-01

    Plant-derived natural products have made their own niche in the treatment of neurological diseases since time immemorial. Parkinson's disease (PD), the second most prevalent neurodegenerative disorder, has no cure and the treatment available currently is symptomatic. This chapter thoughtfully and objectively assesses the scientific basis that supports the increasing use of these plant-derived natural products for the treatment of this chronic and progressive disorder. Proper considerations are made on the chemical nature, sources, preclinical tests and their validity, and mechanisms of behavioural or biochemical recovery observed following treatment with various plants derived natural products relevant to PD therapy. The scientific basis underlying the neuroprotective effect of 6 Ayurvedic herbs/formulations, 12 Chinese medicinal herbs/formulations, 33 other plants, and 5 plant-derived molecules have been judiciously examined emphasizing behavioral, cellular, or biochemical aspects of neuroprotection observed in the cellular or animal models of the disease. The molecular mechanisms triggered by these natural products to promote cell survivability and to reduce the risk of cellular degeneration have also been brought to light in this study. The study helped to reveal certain limitations in the scenario: lack of preclinical studies in all cases barring two; heavy dependence on in vitro test systems; singular animal or cellular model to establish any therapeutic potential of drugs. This strongly warrants further studies so as to reproduce and confirm these reported effects. However, the current literature offers scientific credence to traditionally used plant-derived natural products for the treatment of PD.

  11. Plant phosphomannose isomerase as a selectable marker for rice transformation

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Lei; Li, Hao; Qin, Ruiying; Xu, Rongfang; Li, Juan; Li, Li; Wei, Pengcheng; Yang, Jianbo

    2016-01-01

    The E. coli phosphomannose isomerase (EcPMI) gene is widely used as a selectable marker gene (SMG) in mannose (Man) selection-based plant transformation. Although some plant species exhibit significant PMI activity and active PMIs were even identified in Man-sensitive plants, whether plant PMIs can be used as SMGs remains unclear. In this study, we isolated four novel PMI genes from Chlorella variabilis and Oryza sativa. Their isoenzymatic activities were examined in vitro and compared with that of EcPMI. The active plant PMIs were separately constructed into binary vectors as SMGs and then transformed into rice via Agrobacterium. In both Indica and Japonica subspecies, our results indicated that the plant PMIs could select and produce transgenic plants in a pattern similar to that of EcPMI. The transgenic plants exhibited an accumulation of plant PMI transcripts and enhancement of the in vivo PMI activity. Furthermore, a gene of interest was successfully transformed into rice using the plant PMIs as SMGs. Thus, novel SMGs for Man selection were isolated from plants, and our analysis suggested that PMIs encoding active enzymes might be common in plants and could potentially be used as appropriate genetic elements in cisgenesis engineering. PMID:27174847

  12. Natural selection on floral morphology can be influenced by climate.

    PubMed

    Campbell, Diane R; Powers, John M

    2015-06-07

    Climate has the potential to influence evolution, but how it influences the strength or direction of natural selection is largely unknown. We quantified the strength of selection on four floral traits of the subalpine herb Ipomopsis sp. in 10 years that differed in precipitation, causing extreme temporal variation in the date of snowmelt in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. The chosen floral traits were under selection by hummingbird and hawkmoth pollinators, with hawkmoth abundance highly variable across years. Selection for flower length showed environmental sensitivity, with stronger selection in years with later snowmelt, as higher water resources can allow translation of pollination success into fitness based on seed production. Selection on corolla width also varied across years, favouring narrower corolla tubes in two unusual years with hawkmoths, and wider corollas in another late snowmelt year. Our results illustrate how changes in climate could alter natural selection even when the primary selective agent is not directly influenced.

  13. Natural selection on floral morphology can be influenced by climate

    PubMed Central

    Campbell, Diane R.; Powers, John M.

    2015-01-01

    Climate has the potential to influence evolution, but how it influences the strength or direction of natural selection is largely unknown. We quantified the strength of selection on four floral traits of the subalpine herb Ipomopsis sp. in 10 years that differed in precipitation, causing extreme temporal variation in the date of snowmelt in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. The chosen floral traits were under selection by hummingbird and hawkmoth pollinators, with hawkmoth abundance highly variable across years. Selection for flower length showed environmental sensitivity, with stronger selection in years with later snowmelt, as higher water resources can allow translation of pollination success into fitness based on seed production. Selection on corolla width also varied across years, favouring narrower corolla tubes in two unusual years with hawkmoths, and wider corollas in another late snowmelt year. Our results illustrate how changes in climate could alter natural selection even when the primary selective agent is not directly influenced. PMID:25972465

  14. Selection of natural autoreactive B cells.

    PubMed

    Hardy, Richard R; Hayakawa, Kyoko

    2015-01-01

    Natural antibodies produced by CD5+ B1 B cells include anti-thymocyte autoantibody (ATA). Transgenic mice bearing the Ig-μ heavy chain of a prototypic ATA, V(H)3609Vκ21c, demonstrated a critical requirement for self-antigen in the accumulation of ATA B cells and production of high levels of serum ATA. Further work with ATA-μκ transgenic mice revealed that, while development of most B cells were blocked at an immature stage in spleen, some mature ATA B cells were present. ATA-μκ transgenic mice with varying levels of Thy-1 autoantigen showed a clear relationship between BCR crosslinking and B cell fate, with low levels generating marginal zone ATA B cells and complete antigen absence allowing maturation to follicular ATA B cells. Finally, different fates of developing ATA B cells encountering high levels self-antigen may be accounted for by variations in the response of newly formed B cells arising from foetal and adult development.

  15. Bayesian natural selection and the evolution of perceptual systems.

    PubMed Central

    Geisler, Wilson S; Diehl, Randy L

    2002-01-01

    In recent years, there has been much interest in characterizing statistical properties of natural stimuli in order to better understand the design of perceptual systems. A fruitful approach has been to compare the processing of natural stimuli in real perceptual systems with that of ideal observers derived within the framework of Bayesian statistical decision theory. While this form of optimization theory has provided a deeper understanding of the information contained in natural stimuli as well as of the computational principles employed in perceptual systems, it does not directly consider the process of natural selection, which is ultimately responsible for design. Here we propose a formal framework for analysing how the statistics of natural stimuli and the process of natural selection interact to determine the design of perceptual systems. The framework consists of two complementary components. The first is a maximum fitness ideal observer, a standard Bayesian ideal observer with a utility function appropriate for natural selection. The second component is a formal version of natural selection based upon Bayesian statistical decision theory. Maximum fitness ideal observers and Bayesian natural selection are demonstrated in several examples. We suggest that the Bayesian approach is appropriate not only for the study of perceptual systems but also for the study of many other systems in biology. PMID:12028784

  16. The chemical logic of plant natural product biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Anarat-Cappillino, Gülbenk; Sattely, Elizabeth S

    2014-06-01

    Understanding the logic of plant natural product biosynthesis is important for three reasons: it guides the search for new natural products and pathways, illuminates the function of existing pathways in the context of host biology, and builds an enabling 'parts list' for plant and microbial metabolic engineering. In this review, we highlight the chemical themes that underlie a broad range of plant pathways, dividing pathways into two parts: scaffold-generating steps that draw on a limited set of chemistries, and tailoring reactions that produce a wide range of end products from a small number of common scaffolds.

  17. Natural rubber biosynthesis in plants: rubber transferase.

    PubMed

    Cornish, Katrina; Xie, Wenshuang

    2012-01-01

    Rubber biosynthesis in plants is a fascinating biochemical system, which evolved at the dawn of the dicotyledoneae and is present in at least four of the dictolydonous superorders. Rubber biosynthesis is catalyzed by a membrane complex in a monolayer membrane envelope, requires two distinct substrates and a divalent cation cofactor, and produces a high-molecular-weight isoprenoid polymer. A solid understanding of this system underpins valuable papers in the literature. However, the published literature is rife with unreliable reports in which the investigators have fallen into traps created by the current incomplete understanding of the biochemistry of rubber synthesis. In this chapter, we attempt to guide both new and more established researchers around these pitfalls.

  18. Heterogeneous selection at specific loci in natural environments in Arabidopsis thaliana.

    PubMed

    Weinig, Cynthia; Dorn, Lisa A; Kane, Nolan C; German, Zachary M; Halldorsdottir, Solveig S; Ungerer, Mark C; Toyonaga, Yuko; Mackay, Trudy F C; Purugganan, Michael D; Schmitt, Johanna

    2003-09-01

    Genetic variation for quantitative traits is often greater than that expected to be maintained by mutation in the face of purifying natural selection. One possible explanation for this observed variation is the action of heterogeneous natural selection in the wild. Here we report that selection on quantitative trait loci (QTL) for fitness traits in the model plant species Arabidopsis thaliana differs among natural ecological settings and genetic backgrounds. At one QTL, the allele that enhanced the viability of fall-germinating seedlings in North Carolina reduced the fecundity of spring-germinating seedlings in Rhode Island. Several other QTL experienced strong directional selection, but only in one site and seasonal cohort. Thus, different loci were exposed to selection in different natural environments. Selection on allelic variation also depended upon the genetic background. The allelic fitness effects of two QTL reversed direction depending on the genotype at the other locus. Moreover, alternative alleles at each of these loci caused reversals in the allelic fitness effects of a QTL closely linked to TFL1, a candidate developmental gene displaying nucleotide sequence polymorphism consistent with balancing selection. Thus, both environmental heterogeneity and epistatic selection may maintain genetic variation for fitness in wild plant species.

  19. Heterogeneous selection at specific loci in natural environments in Arabidopsis thaliana.

    PubMed Central

    Weinig, Cynthia; Dorn, Lisa A; Kane, Nolan C; German, Zachary M; Halldorsdottir, Solveig S; Ungerer, Mark C; Toyonaga, Yuko; Mackay, Trudy F C; Purugganan, Michael D; Schmitt, Johanna

    2003-01-01

    Genetic variation for quantitative traits is often greater than that expected to be maintained by mutation in the face of purifying natural selection. One possible explanation for this observed variation is the action of heterogeneous natural selection in the wild. Here we report that selection on quantitative trait loci (QTL) for fitness traits in the model plant species Arabidopsis thaliana differs among natural ecological settings and genetic backgrounds. At one QTL, the allele that enhanced the viability of fall-germinating seedlings in North Carolina reduced the fecundity of spring-germinating seedlings in Rhode Island. Several other QTL experienced strong directional selection, but only in one site and seasonal cohort. Thus, different loci were exposed to selection in different natural environments. Selection on allelic variation also depended upon the genetic background. The allelic fitness effects of two QTL reversed direction depending on the genotype at the other locus. Moreover, alternative alleles at each of these loci caused reversals in the allelic fitness effects of a QTL closely linked to TFL1, a candidate developmental gene displaying nucleotide sequence polymorphism consistent with balancing selection. Thus, both environmental heterogeneity and epistatic selection may maintain genetic variation for fitness in wild plant species. PMID:14504239

  20. Natural water loss in selected drainage basins

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Williams, Gordon R.

    1940-01-01

    Determinations of areal rainfall, run-off, and water loss, comprising largely evaporation from land surfaces and transpiration by vegetation, are essential in indicating the hydrologic characteristics of river basins. This report is primarily a statistical study that presents the results of computations of annual water loss, or annual rainfall minus annual run-off, for river basins in the humid or semiarid regions east of the Rocky Mountains. The basic period for which the computations are made is the water year or year ending September 30. As it is impractical to present in this report all the basic data used in arriving at the results, only sample computations are given. The various steps in the computations and the probable accuracy of the results are discussed. The drainage areas for which data are presented are those above river-measuring stations that have records for 3 years or more. For each area there are determinations of annual rainfall, annual run-off, and annual water loss for each year of record .as well as the means for the period of record. Results are given for about 200 drainage areas with an aggregate period of record of more than 2,000 years. As an illustration of the magnitude involved, the annual water loss from the eastern streams draining directly into the Atlantic Ocean varies more or less closely with latitude from about 20 inches as an average in northern New England to about 30 inches in Georgia. As the annual water loss from a basin is affected by the temperature, a supplemental study was made of the relation between water loss and temperature. For 28 drainage areas selected in various parts 8f eastern and central United States, average temperatures were computed for each year of the period shown in table 1. The results indicate a relation between average annual water loss and average annual temperature.

  1. Plant natural products: back to the future or into extinction?

    PubMed

    McChesney, James D; Venkataraman, Sylesh K; Henri, John T

    2007-07-01

    Natural product substances have historically served as the most significant source of new leads for pharmaceutical development. However, with the advent of robotics, bioinformatics, high throughput screening (HTS), molecular biology-biotechnology, combinatorial chemistry, in silico (molecular modeling) and other methodologies, the pharmaceutical industry has largely moved away from plant derived natural products as a source for leads and prospective drug candidates. Can, or will, natural products ever recapture the preeminent position they once held as a foundation for drug discovery and development? The challenges associated with development of natural products as pharmaceuticals are illustrated by the Taxol story. Several misconceptions, which constrain utilization of plant natural products, for discovery and development of pharmaceuticals, are addressed to return natural products to the forefront.

  2. Natural Selection Is a Sorting Process: What Does that Mean?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Price, Rebecca M.

    2013-01-01

    To learn why natural selection acts only on existing variation, students categorize processes as either creative or sorting. This activity helps students confront the misconception that adaptations evolve because species need them.

  3. Antimycobacterial and cytotoxic activity of selected medicinal plant extracts

    PubMed Central

    Nguta, Joseph M.; Appiah-Opong, Regina; Nyarko, Alexander K.; Yeboah-Manu, Dorothy; Addo, Phyllis G.A.; Otchere, Isaac; Kissi-Twum, Abena

    2016-01-01

    Ethnopharmacological relevance Tuberculosis (TB) caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis remains an ongoing threat to human health. Several medicinal plants are used traditionally to treat tuberculosis in Ghana. The current study was designed to investigate the antimycobacterial activity and cytotoxicity of crude extracts from five selected medicinal plants. Material and methods The microplate alamar blue assay (MABA) was used for antimycobacterial studies while the CellTiter 96® AQueous Assay, which is composed of solutions of a novel tetrazolium compound [3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-5-(3-carboxymethoxyphenyl)-2-(4-sulfophenyl)-2H-tetrazolium, inner salt; MTS] and an electron coupling reagent (phenazine methosulfate) PMS, was used for cytotoxic studies. Correlation coefficients were used to compare the activity of crude extracts against nonpathogenic strains and the pathogenic Mycobacterium tuberculosis subsp.tuberculosis. Results Results of the MIC determinations indicated that all the crude extracts were active on all the three tested mycobacterial strains. Minimum inhibitory concentration values as low as 156.3 µg/mL against M. tuberculosis; Strain H37Ra (ATCC® 25,177™) were recorded from the leaves of Solanum torvum Sw. (Solanaceae). Cytotoxicity of the extracts varied, and the leaves from S. torvum had the most promising selectivity index. Activity against M. tuberculosis; Strain H37Ra was the best predictor of activity against pathogenic Mycobacterium tuberculosis subsp.tuberculosis (correlation coefficient=0.8). Conclusion The overall results of the present study provide supportive data on the use of some medicinal plants for tuberculosis treatment. The leaves of Solanum torvum are a potential source of anti-TB natural products and deserve further investigations to develop novel anti-TB agents against sensitive and drug resistant strains of M. tuberculosis. PMID:26875647

  4. The effects of becoming taller: direct and pleiotropic effects of artificial selection on plant height in Brassica rapa.

    PubMed

    Zu, Pengjuan; Schiestl, Florian P

    2017-03-01

    Plant height is an important trait for plant reproductive success. Plant height is often under pollinator-mediated selection, and has been shown to be correlated with various other traits. However, few studies have examined the evolutionary trajectory of plant height under selection and the pleiotropic effects of plant height evolution. We conducted a bi-directional artificial selection experiment on plant height with fast cycling Brassica rapa plants to estimate its heritability and genetic correlations, and to reveal evolutionary responses to artificial selection on height and various correlated traits. With the divergent lines obtained through artificial selection, we subsequently conducted pollinator-choice assays and investigated resource limitation of fruit production. We found that plant height variation is strongly genetically controlled (with a realized heritability of 41-59%). Thus, plant height can evolve rapidly under phenotypic selection. In addition, we found remarkable pleiotropic effects in phenology, morphology, floral scent, color, nectar and leaf glucosinolates. Most traits were increased in tall-line plants, but flower size, UV reflection and glucosinolates were decreased, indicating potential trade-offs. Pollinators preferred plants of the tall selection lines over the short selection lines in both greenhouse experiments with bumblebees and field experiment with natural pollinators. We did not detect any differences in resource limitation between plants of the different selection lines. Overall, our study predicts that increased height should evolve under positive pollinator-mediated directional selection with potential trade-offs in floral signals and herbivore defense.

  5. Natural occurrence of mycotoxins in medicinal plants: a review.

    PubMed

    Ashiq, Samina; Hussain, Mubbashir; Ahmad, Bashir

    2014-05-01

    Medicinal plants are widely used as home remedies and raw materials for the pharmaceutical industries. Herbal remedies are used in the prevention, treatment and cure of disorders and diseases since ancient times. However, use of medicinal herbs may not meet the requirements of quality, safety and efficacy. During harvesting, handling, storage and distribution, medicinal plants are subjected to contamination by various fungi, which may be responsible for spoilage and production of mycotoxins. The increasing consumption of medicinal plants has made their use a public health problem due to the lack of effective surveillance of the use, efficacy, toxicity and quality of these natural products. The increase in use of medicinal plants may lead to an increase in the intake of mycotoxins therefore contamination of medicinal plants with mycotoxins can contribute to adverse human health problems and therefore represents a special hazard. Numerous natural occurrences of mycotoxins in medicinal plants and traditional herbal medicines have been reported from various countries including Spain, China, Germany, India, Turkey and from Middle East as well. This review discusses the important mycotoxins and their natural occurrences in medicinal plants and their products.

  6. Aphids Pick Their Poison: Selective Sequestration of Plant Chemicals Affects Host Plant Use in a Specialist Herbivore.

    PubMed

    Goodey, Nicole A; Florance, Hannah V; Smirnoff, Nicholas; Hodgson, Dave J

    2015-10-01

    In some plant-insect interactions, specialist herbivores exploit the chemical defenses of their food plant to their own advantage. Brassica plants produce glucosinolates that are broken down into defensive toxins when tissue is damaged, but the specialist aphid, Brevicoryne brassicae, uses these chemicals against its own natural enemies by becoming a "walking mustard-oil bomb". Analysis of glucosinolate concentrations in plant tissue and associated aphid colonies reveals that not only do aphids sequester glucosinolates, but they do so selectively. Aphids specifically accumulate sinigrin to high concentrations while preferentially excreting a structurally similar glucosinolate, progoitrin. Surveys of aphid infestation in wild populations of Brassica oleracea show that this pattern of sequestration and excretion maps onto host plant use. The probability of aphid infestation decreases with increasing concentrations of progoitrin in plants. Brassica brassicae, therefore, appear to select among food plants according to plant secondary metabolite profiles, and selectively store only some compounds that are used against their own enemies. The results demonstrate chemical and behavioral mechanisms that help to explain evidence of geographic patterns and evolutionary dynamics in Brassica-aphid interactions.

  7. Meta-analysis of phenotypic selection on flowering phenology suggests that early flowering plants are favoured.

    PubMed

    Munguía-Rosas, Miguel A; Ollerton, Jeff; Parra-Tabla, Victor; De-Nova, J Arturo

    2011-05-01

    Flowering times of plants are important life-history components and it has previously been hypothesized that flowering phenologies may be currently subject to natural selection or be selectively neutral. In this study we reviewed the evidence for phenotypic selection acting on flowering phenology using ordinary and phylogenetic meta-analysis. Phenotypic selection exists when a phenotypic trait co-varies with fitness; therefore, we looked for studies reporting an association between two components of flowering phenology (flowering time or flowering synchrony) with fitness. Data sets comprising 87 and 18 plant species were then used to assess the incidence and strength of phenotypic selection on flowering time and flowering synchrony, respectively. The influence of dependence on pollinators, the duration of the reproductive event, latitude and plant longevity as moderators of selection were also explored. Our results suggest that selection favours early flowering plants, but the strength of selection is influenced by latitude, with selection being stronger in temperate environments. However, there is no consistent pattern of selection on flowering synchrony. Our study demonstrates that phenotypic selection on flowering time is consistent and relatively strong, in contrast to previous hypotheses of selective neutrality, and has implications for the evolution of temperate floras under global climate change.

  8. Annotated selected references on natural resources investigations, Collier County, Florida

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Swayze, L.J.

    1981-01-01

    A data base for future natural resources investigations in Collier County, Fla., was initiated by compiling a selected annotated bibliography. This report provides references and annotations for selected reports released between 1950 and 1978. The references are presented by subject material as follows: biologic, ecologic, geologic, geochemical, and hydrologic. (USGS)

  9. Use of naturally growing aquatic plants for wastewater purification.

    PubMed

    Zimmels, Y; Kirzhner, F; Roitman, S

    2004-01-01

    This paper examines potential uses of naturally growing aquatic plants for wastewater purification. These plants enhance the removal of pollutants by consuming part of them in the form of plant nutrients. This applies to urban and agricultural wastewater, in particular, where treatment units of different sizes can be applied at the pollution source. The effectiveness of wastewater purification by different plants was tested on laboratory and pilot scales. The growth rate of the plants was related to the wastewater content in the water. Batch and semicontinuous experiments verified that the plants are capable of decreasing all tested indicators for water quality to levels that permit the use of the purified water for irrigation. This applies to biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), chemical oxygen demand, total suspended solids. pH, and turbidity. In specific cases, the turbidity reached the level of drinking water. Comparison of BOD concentrations with typical levels in water treatment facilities across the country indicates the effectiveness of water purification with plants. A major effect of treatment with plants was elimination of the disturbing smell from the wastewater. It is shown that mixtures of wastewater and polluted water from the Kishon River are amenable in varying degrees to treatment by the plants. The higher the wastewater content in the mixture, the more effective the treatment by the plants. In this context, a scheme for rehabilitation and restoration of the Kishon River is presented and technical and economical aspects of the purification technology are considered.

  10. Plant extracts as natural antioxidants in meat and meat products.

    PubMed

    Shah, Manzoor Ahmad; Bosco, Sowriappan John Don; Mir, Shabir Ahmad

    2014-09-01

    Antioxidants are used to minimize the oxidative changes in meat and meat products. Oxidative changes may have negative effects on the quality of meat and meat products, causing changes in their sensory and nutritional properties. Although synthetic antioxidants have already been used but in recent years, the demand for natural antioxidants has been increased mainly because of adverse effects of synthetic antioxidants. Thus most of the recent investigations have been directed towards the identification of natural antioxidants from various plant sources. Plant extracts have been prepared using different solvents and extraction methods. Grape seed, green tea, pine bark, rosemary, pomegranate, nettle and cinnamon have exhibited similar or better antioxidant properties compared to some synthetic ones. This review provides the recent information on plant extracts used as natural antioxidants in meat and meat products, specifically red meat.

  11. The genetic consequences of selection in natural populations.

    PubMed

    Thurman, Timothy J; Barrett, Rowan D H

    2016-04-01

    The selection coefficient, s, quantifies the strength of selection acting on a genetic variant. Despite this parameter's central importance to population genetic models, until recently we have known relatively little about the value of s in natural populations. With the development of molecular genetic techniques in the late 20th century and the sequencing technologies that followed, biologists are now able to identify genetic variants and directly relate them to organismal fitness. We reviewed the literature for published estimates of natural selection acting at the genetic level and found over 3000 estimates of selection coefficients from 79 studies. Selection coefficients were roughly exponentially distributed, suggesting that the impact of selection at the genetic level is generally weak but can occasionally be quite strong. We used both nonparametric statistics and formal random-effects meta-analysis to determine how selection varies across biological and methodological categories. Selection was stronger when measured over shorter timescales, with the mean magnitude of s greatest for studies that measured selection within a single generation. Our analyses found conflicting trends when considering how selection varies with the genetic scale (e.g., SNPs or haplotypes) at which it is measured, suggesting a need for further research. Besides these quantitative conclusions, we highlight key issues in the calculation, interpretation, and reporting of selection coefficients and provide recommendations for future research.

  12. Imbalance of predator and prey armament: geographic clines in phenotypic interface and natural selection.

    PubMed

    Toju, Hirokazu; Sota, Teiji

    2006-01-01

    The escalation of defensive/offensive arms is ubiquitous in prey-predator evolutionary interactions. However, there may be a geographically varying imbalance in the armaments of participating species that affects the outcome of local interactions. In a system involving the Japanese camellia (Camellia japonica) and its obligate seed predator, the camellia weevil (Curculio camelliae), we investigated the geographic variation in physical defensive/offensive traits and that in natural selection on the plant's defense among 17 populations over a 700-km-wide area in Japan. The sizes of the plant defensive apparatus (pericarp thickness) and the weevil offensive apparatus (rostrum length) clearly correlated with each other across populations. Nevertheless, the balance in armaments between the two species was geographically structured. In the populations for which the balance was relatively advantageous for the plant's defense, natural selection on the trait was stronger because in the other populations, most plant individuals were too vulnerable to resist the attacks of the weevil, and their seeds were infested independent of pericarp thickness. We also found that the imbalance between the defensive/offensive armaments and the intensity of natural selection showed clear latitudinal clines. Overall, our results suggest that the imbalance of armament between sympatric prey and predator could determine the strength of local selection and that climatic conditions could affect the local and overall trajectory of coevolutionary arms races.

  13. A natural plant growth promoter calliterpenone from a plant Callicarpa macrophylla Vahl improves the plant growth promoting effects of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPRs).

    PubMed

    Maji, Deepamala; Barnawal, Deepti; Gupta, Aakansha; King, Shikha; Singh, A K; Kalra, A

    2013-05-01

    Experiments were conducted to evaluate the efficacy of calliterpenone, a natural plant growth promoter from a shrub Callicarpa macrophylla Vahl., in enhancing the growth and yield promoting effects of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPRs), in menthol mint (Mentha arvensis L).This study is based on our previous results indicating the microbial growth promotion by calliterpenone and assumption that application of calliterpenone along with PGPRs will improve the population of PGPRs resulting in higher impacts on plant growth and yield. Of the 15 PGPRs (identified as potent ones in our laboratory), 25 μl of 0.01 mM calliterpenone (8.0 μg/100 ml) was found to be useful in improving the population of nine PGPRs in culture media. The five selected strains of PGPRs exhibiting synergy with calliterpenone in enhancing growth of maize compared to PGPR or calliterpenone alone were selected and tested on two cultivars (cvs. Kosi and Kushal) of M. arvensis. Of the five strains, Bacillus subtilis P-20 (16S rDNA sequence homologous to Accession No NR027552) and B. subtilis Daz-26 (16SrDNA sequence homologuos to Accession No GU998816) were found to be highly effective in improving the herb and essential oil yield in the cultivars Kushal and Kosi respectively when co-treated with calliterpenone. The results open up the possibilities of using a natural growth promoter along with PGPRs as a bio-agri input for sustainable and organic agriculture.

  14. [Plants as a source of natural harmful substances].

    PubMed

    Czerwiecki, Ludwik

    2005-01-01

    In this review the several data concerning phytotoxins as natural harmful substances of plants and phycotoxins--toxicants of algae were described. For example plants are source of pyrrolizidine alkaloids, glycoalkaloids, glucosinolates as well as glycosides, saponine and psolarens. Possible adverse effects of phytoestrogens as endocrine disruptors versus beneficial influence these substances on human organism were mentioned. About lectins as possible factors of some diseases was reported, as well as some proteins as allergens of soy and peanuts was mentioned. Accumulated by shellfish and fish the most important phycotoxins such as saxitoxin, okadaic acid, brevetoxins and ciguatoxins were described. Phycotoxins produced several poisoning symptoms. Microcystins and nodularin--cyanobacterial phycotoxins of freshwater, was mentioned. In conclusion, the need of limitation of permissible levels of some plant toxicants, development of analytical methods as well as knowledge of influence of some technological processes on toxic plant substances was highlighted. The importance of balanced diet as a tool of defense against plant toxicants was concluded.

  15. Natural Radiation in Wastes From Coal-Fired Power Plants ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    2016-09-07

    Fly ash, bottom ash and boiler slag from coal-fired power plants contain small amounts of naturally occurring radioactive material. Naturally radioactive materials that were in coal before processing mostly end up in fly ash, bottom ash and boiler slag. About 80 to 90 percent of fly ash, bottom ash and boiler slag are non-radioactive minerals, typically silicon, aluminum, iron and calcium.

  16. Toxicity and mutagenic activity of some selected Nigerian plants.

    PubMed

    Sowemimo, A A; Fakoya, F A; Awopetu, I; Omobuwajo, O R; Adesanya, S A

    2007-09-25

    The toxicity and mutagenic potential of most African plants implicated in the management of cancer have not been investigated. The ethanolic extracts of selected Nigerian plants were subsequently studied using the brine shrimp lethality tests, inhibition of telomerase activity and induction of chromosomal aberrations in vivo in rat lymphocytes. Morinda lucida root bark, Nymphaea lotus whole plant and Garcinia kola root were active in the three test systems. Bryophyllum calycinum whole plant, Annona senegalensis root, Hymenocardia acida stem bark, Erythrophleum suaveolens leaves and Spondiathus preussii stem bark were toxic to brine shrimps and caused chromosomal damage in rat lymphocytes. Ficus exasperata leaves, Chrysophyllum albidum root bark and Hibiscus sabdariffa leaves were non-toxic to all the three test systems. Chenopodium ambrosioides whole plant was non-toxic to brine shrimps and rat lymphocyte chromosomes but showed inhibition in the conventional telomerase assay indicating a possible selectivity for human chromosomes. The result justified the use of the first eight plants and Chenopodium ambrosioides in the management of cancer in south west Nigeria although they appear to be non-selective and their mode of action may be different from plant to plant. All these plants except Chenopodium ambrosioides are also mutagenic and cytotoxic.

  17. Selection and breeding of plant cultivars to minimize cadmium accumulation.

    PubMed

    Grant, C A; Clarke, J M; Duguid, S; Chaney, R L

    2008-02-15

    Natural variation occurs in the uptake and distribution of essential and nonessential trace elements among crop species and among cultivars within species. Such variation can be responsible for trace element deficiencies and toxicities, which in turn can affect the quality of food. Plant breeding can be an important tool to both increase the concentration of desirable trace elements and reduce that of potentially harmful trace elements such as cadmium (Cd). Selection programs for a low-Cd content of various crops, including durum wheat, sunflower, rice and soybean have been established and low-Cd durum wheat cultivars and sunflower hybrids have been developed. In durum wheat (Triticum turgidum L. var durum), low-Cd concentration is controlled by a single dominant gene. The trait is highly heritable, and incorporation of the low-Cd allele can help to reduce the average grain Cd to levels below proposed international limits. The allele for low-Cd concentration does not appear to affect major economic traits and should not cause problems when incorporated into durum cultivars. The cost of Cd selection in a breeding program is initially large both in terms of Cd determination and reduced progress towards development of other economic traits, but declines as more breeding lines in the program carry the low-Cd trait and are utilized in new crosses. Production of low-Cd crop cultivars can be used as a tool to reduce the risk of movement of Cd into the human diet.

  18. Natural and sexual selection in a monogamous historical human population

    PubMed Central

    Courtiol, Alexandre; Pettay, Jenni E.; Jokela, Markus; Rotkirch, Anna; Lummaa, Virpi

    2012-01-01

    Whether and how human populations exposed to the agricultural revolution are still affected by Darwinian selection remains controversial among social scientists, biologists, and the general public. Although methods of studying selection in natural populations are well established, our understanding of selection in humans has been limited by the availability of suitable datasets. Here, we present a study comparing the maximum strengths of natural and sexual selection in humans that includes the effects of sex and wealth on different episodes of selection. Our dataset was compiled from church records of preindustrial Finnish populations characterized by socially imposed monogamy, and it contains a complete distribution of survival, mating, and reproductive success for 5,923 individuals born 1760–1849. Individual differences in early survival and fertility (natural selection) were responsible for most variation in fitness, even among wealthier individuals. Variance in mating success explained most of the higher variance in reproductive success in males compared with females, but mating success also influenced reproductive success in females, allowing for sexual selection to operate in both sexes. The detected opportunity for selection is in line with measurements for other species but higher than most previous reports for human samples. This disparity results from biological, demographic, economic, and social differences across populations as well as from failures by most previous studies to account for variation in fitness introduced by nonreproductive individuals. Our results emphasize that the demographic, cultural, and technological changes of the last 10,000 y did not preclude the potential for natural and sexual selection in our species. PMID:22547810

  19. Hard and Soft Selection Revisited: How Evolution by Natural Selection Works in the Real World.

    PubMed

    Reznick, David

    2016-01-01

    The modern synthesis of evolutionary biology unified Darwin's natural selection with Mendelian genetics, but at the same time it created the dilemma of genetic load. Lewontin and Hubby's (1966) and Harris's (1966) characterization of genetic variation in natural populations increased the apparent burden of this load. Neutrality or near neutrality of genetic variation was one mechanism proposed for the revealed excessive genetic variation. Bruce Wallace coined the term "soft selection" to describe an alternative way for natural selection to operate that was consistent with observed variation. He envisioned nature as presenting ecological vacancies that could be filled by diverse genotypes. Survival and successful reproduction was a combined function of population density, genotype, and genotype frequencies, rather than a fixed value of the relative fitness of each genotype. My goal in this review is to explore the importance of soft selection in the real world. My motive and that of my colleagues as described here is not to explain what maintains genetic variation in natural populations, but rather to understand the factors that shape how organisms adapt to natural environments. We characterize how feedbacks between ecology and evolution shape both evolution and ecology. These feedbacks are mediated by density- and frequency-dependent selection, the mechanisms that underlie soft selection. Here, I report on our progress in characterizing these types of selection with a combination of a consideration of the published literature and the results from my collaborators' and my research on natural populations of guppies.

  20. Nonconsumptive predator-driven mortality causes natural selection on prey.

    PubMed

    Siepielski, Adam M; Wang, Jason; Prince, Garrett

    2014-03-01

    Predators frequently exert natural selection through differential consumption of their prey. However, predators may also cause prey mortality through nonconsumptive effects, which could cause selection if different prey phenotypes are differentially susceptible to this nonconsumptive mortality. Here we present an experimental test of this hypothesis, which reveals that nonconsumptive mortality imposed by predatory dragonflies causes selection on their damselfly prey favoring increased activity levels. These results are consistent with other studies of predator-driven selection, however, they reveal that consumption alone is not the only mechanism by which predators can exert selection on prey. Uncovering this mechanism also suggests that prey defensive traits may represent adaptations to not only avoid being consumed, but also for dealing with other sources of mortality caused by predators. Demonstrating selection through both consumptive and nonconsumptive predator mortality provides us with insight into the diverse effects of predators as an evolutionary force.

  1. Microbiome Selection Could Spur Next-Generation Plant Breeding Strategies

    PubMed Central

    Gopal, Murali; Gupta, Alka

    2016-01-01

    “No plant is an island too…” Plants, though sessile, have developed a unique strategy to counter biotic and abiotic stresses by symbiotically co-evolving with microorganisms and tapping into their genome for this purpose. Soil is the bank of microbial diversity from which a plant selectively sources its microbiome to suit its needs. Besides soil, seeds, which carry the genetic blueprint of plants during trans-generational propagation, are home to diverse microbiota that acts as the principal source of microbial inoculum in crop cultivation. Overall, a plant is ensconced both on the outside and inside with a diverse assemblage of microbiota. Together, the plant genome and the genes of the microbiota that the plant harbors in different plant tissues, i.e., the ‘plant microbiome,’ form the holobiome which is now considered as unit of selection: ‘the holobiont.’ The ‘plant microbiome’ not only helps plants to remain fit but also offers critical genetic variability, hitherto, not employed in the breeding strategy by plant breeders, who traditionally have exploited the genetic variability of the host for developing high yielding or disease tolerant or drought resistant varieties. This fresh knowledge of the microbiome, particularly of the rhizosphere, offering genetic variability to plants, opens up new horizons for breeding that could usher in cultivation of next-generation crops depending less on inorganic inputs, resistant to insect pest and diseases and resilient to climatic perturbations. We surmise, from ever increasing evidences, that plants and their microbial symbionts need to be co-propagated as life-long partners in future strategies for plant breeding. In this perspective, we propose bottom–up approach to co-propagate the co-evolved, the plant along with the target microbiome, through – (i) reciprocal soil transplantation method, or (ii) artificial ecosystem selection method of synthetic microbiome inocula, or (iii) by exploration of

  2. Getting to Darwin: Obstacles to Accepting Evolution by Natural Selection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thagard, Paul; Findlay, Scott

    2010-06-01

    Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection is central to modern biology, but is resisted by many people. This paper discusses the major psychological obstacles to accepting Darwin’s theory. Cognitive obstacles to adopting evolution by natural selection include conceptual difficulties, methodological issues, and coherence problems that derive from the intuitiveness of alternative theories. The main emotional obstacles to accepting evolution are its apparent conflict with valued beliefs about God, souls, and morality. We draw on the philosophy of science and on a psychological theory of cognitive and emotional belief revision to make suggestions about what can be done to improve acceptance of Darwinian ideas.

  3. [Reproduction features of reflectance spectrum of natural plant flower color].

    PubMed

    Li, Sui-Xian; Sun, Yi; Liao, Ning-Fang

    2009-10-01

    Based on the sRGB color space as an important color space of computer display, the authors explored color reproduction features in sRGB. In the terms of "color clipping" of color space transformation from CIE1931XYZ to sRGB, the color reproduction errors in sRGB of 218 reflectance spectra of natural plant flower color were examined. Considering the importance of D65 illumination, the reproduction features of natural color under D65 were emphasized. It was concluded as follows. Firstly, "color clipping" is the key cause of color transformation error of the natural plant color when it is transformed from CIE1931XYZ to sRGB color space. Secondly, under D65 eight orange and yellow reflectance spectra in 218 natural color show clipping in sRGB color space, accounting for 3.7% of all samples. Finally, the color reproduction of natural plant flower color in sRGB under D65 is the best, while the A illumination is the worst.

  4. Surprisingly Low Limits of Selection in Plant Domestication

    PubMed Central

    Allaby, Robin G.; Kitchen, James L.; Fuller, Dorian Q.

    2015-01-01

    Current debate concerns the pace at which domesticated plants emerged from cultivated wild populations and how many genes were involved. Using an individual-based model, based on the assumptions of Haldane and Maynard Smith, respectively, we estimate that a surprisingly low number of 50–100 loci are the most that could be under selection in a cultivation regime at the selection strengths observed in the archaeological record. This finding is robust to attempts to rescue populations from extinction through selection from high standing genetic variation, gene flow, and the Maynard Smith-based model of threshold selection. Selective sweeps come at a cost, reducing the capacity of plants to adapt to new environments, which may contribute to the explanation of why selective sweeps have not been detected more frequently and why expansion of the agrarian package during the Neolithic was so frequently associated with collapse. PMID:27081302

  5. Imperfect mimicry and the limits of natural selection.

    PubMed

    Kikuchi, David W; Pfennig, David W

    2013-12-01

    Mimicry--when one organism (the mimic) evolves a phenotypic resemblance to another (the model) due to selective benefits--is widely used to illustrate natural selection's power to generate adaptations. However, many putative mimics resemble their models imprecisely, and such imperfect mimicry represents a specific challenge to mimicry theory and a general one to evolutionary theory. Here, we discuss 11 nonmutually exclusive hypotheses for imperfect mimicry. We group these hypotheses according to whether imperfect mimicry reflects: an artifact of human perception, which is not shared by any naturally occurring predators and therefore is not truly an instance of imperfect mimicry; genetic, developmental or time-lag constraints, which (temporarily) prevent a response to selection for perfect mimicry; relaxed selection, where imperfect mimicry is as adaptive as perfect mimicry; or tradeoffs, where imperfect mimicry is (locally) more adaptive than perfect mimicry. We find that the relaxed selection hypothesis has garnered the most support. However, because only a few study systems have thus far been comprehensively evaluated, the relative contributions of the various hypotheses toward explaining the evolution of imperfect mimicry remain unclear. Ultimately, clarifying why imperfect mimicry exists should provide critical insights into the limits of natural selection in producing complex adaptations.

  6. Biomarkers in aquatic plants: selection and utility.

    PubMed

    Brain, Richard A; Cedergreen, Nina

    2009-01-01

    This review emphasizes the predictive ability, sensitivity and specificity of aquatic plant biomarkers as biomonitoring agents of exposure and effect. Biomarkers of exposure are those that provide functional measures of exposure that are characterized at a sub-organism level. Biomarkers of effect require causal linkages between the biomarker and effects, measured at higher levels of biological organization. With the exception of pathway specific metabolites, the biomarkers assessed in this review show variable sensitivity and predictive ability that is often confounded by variations in growth conditions, rendering them unsuitable as stand alone indicators of environmental stress. The use of gene expression for detecting pollution has been, and remains immature; this immaturity derives from inadequate knowledge on predictive ability, sensitivity and specificity. Moreover, the ability to the detect mode of action of unknown toxicants using gene expression is not as clear-cut as initially hypothesized. The principal patterns in gene expression is not as clear-cut as initially hypothesized. The principal patterns in gene expression are generally derived from stress induced genes, rather than on ones that respond to substances with known modes of action (Baerson et al. 2005). Future developments in multivariate statistics and chemometric methods that enhance pattern analyses in ways that could produce a "fingerprint", may improve methods for discovering modes of action of unknown toxicants. Pathway specific metabolites are unambiguous, sensitive, correlate well to growth effects, and are relatively unaffected by growth conditions. These traits make them excellent biomarkers under both field and laboratory conditions. Changes in metabolites precede visible growth effects; therefore, measuring changes in metabolite concentrations (Harring et al. 1998; Shaner et al. 2005). The metabolic phase I enzymes (primarily associated with P-450 activity) are non-specific biomarkers

  7. Methods of natural gas liquefaction and natural gas liquefaction plants utilizing multiple and varying gas streams

    SciTech Connect

    Wilding, Bruce M; Turner, Terry D

    2014-12-02

    A method of natural gas liquefaction may include cooling a gaseous NG process stream to form a liquid NG process stream. The method may further include directing the first tail gas stream out of a plant at a first pressure and directing a second tail gas stream out of the plant at a second pressure. An additional method of natural gas liquefaction may include separating CO.sub.2 from a liquid NG process stream and processing the CO.sub.2 to provide a CO.sub.2 product stream. Another method of natural gas liquefaction may include combining a marginal gaseous NG process stream with a secondary substantially pure NG stream to provide an improved gaseous NG process stream. Additionally, a NG liquefaction plant may include a first tail gas outlet, and at least a second tail gas outlet, the at least a second tail gas outlet separate from the first tail gas outlet.

  8. On the importance of balancing selection in plants

    PubMed Central

    Delph, Lynda F.; Kelly, John K.

    2013-01-01

    Summary Balancing selection refers to a variety of selective regimes that maintain advantageous genetic diversity within populations. We review the history of the ideas regarding the types of selection that maintain such polymorphism in flowering plants, notably heterozygote advantage, negative frequency-dependent selection, and spatial heterogeneity. One shared feature of these mechanisms is that whether an allele is beneficial or detrimental is conditional on its frequency in the population. We highlight examples of balancing selection on a variety of discrete traits. These include the well-referenced case of self-incompatibility and recent evidence from species with nuclear-cytoplasmic gynodioecy, both of which exhibit trans-specific polymorphism, a hallmark of balancing selection. We also discuss and give examples of how spatial heterogeneity in particular, which is often thought unlikely to allow protected polymorphism, can maintain genetic variation in plants (which are rooted in place) as a result of microhabitat selection. Lastly, we discuss limitations of the protected polymorphism concept for quantitative traits, where selection can inflate the genetic variance without maintaining specific alleles indefinitely. We conclude that while discrete-morph variation provides the most unambiguous cases of protected polymorphism, they represent only a fraction of the balancing selection at work in plants. PMID:23952298

  9. On the importance of balancing selection in plants.

    PubMed

    Delph, Lynda F; Kelly, John K

    2014-01-01

    Balancing selection refers to a variety of selective regimes that maintain advantageous genetic diversity within populations. We review the history of the ideas regarding the types of selection that maintain such polymorphism in flowering plants, notably heterozygote advantage, negative frequency-dependent selection, and spatial heterogeneity. One shared feature of these mechanisms is that whether an allele is beneficial or detrimental is conditional on its frequency in the population. We highlight examples of balancing selection on a variety of discrete traits. These include the well-referenced case of self-incompatibility and recent evidence from species with nuclear-cytoplasmic gynodioecy, both of which exhibit trans-specific polymorphism, a hallmark of balancing selection. We also discuss and give examples of how spatial heterogeneity in particular, which is often thought unlikely to allow protected polymorphism, can maintain genetic variation in plants (which are rooted in place) as a result of microhabitat selection. Lastly, we discuss limitations of the protected polymorphism concept for quantitative traits, where selection can inflate the genetic variance without maintaining specific alleles indefinitely. We conclude that while discrete-morph variation provides the most unambiguous cases of protected polymorphism, they represent only a fraction of the balancing selection at work in plants.

  10. Hidden evolution: progress and limitations in detecting multifarious natural selection.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Norman A; Kliman, Richard M

    2002-04-01

    From illustrative examples of research on the best-studied group of species to date, Drosophila melanogaster and its closest relatives, we argue that selection is multifarious, but often hidden. Selective fixation of new, highly advantageous alleles is the most parsimonious explanation for a typical pattern of molecular variation observed in genomic regions characterized by very low recombination: drastically reduced DNA sequence variation within species and typical levels of sequence divergence among species. At the same time, the identity of the gene (or genes) influenced by selection is not just difficult to discern; it may be impossible. Studies of the genetic basis of reproductive isolation demonstrate that, although the D. melanogaster complex species appear virtually identical, dozens of currently unidentified genes contribute to hybrid sterility. We argue that these findings are best explained by selectively-driven functional divergence and demonstrate the multifarious nature of selection. Although multifarious selection certainly occurs, the exact characters responsible for differences in survival and reproductive success are unknown. We do not see these inherent limits as a cause for despair or a problem for evolutionary biology. Instead, we hope to raise awareness of these complexities of evolution by highlighting both the progress and the limitations of characterizing multifarious natural selection.

  11. Natural selection on floral volatile production in Penstemon digitalis

    PubMed Central

    Parachnowitsch, Amy L.; Burdon, Rosalie C. F.; Raguso, Robert A.; Kessler, André

    2013-01-01

    Natural selection is thought to have shaped the evolution of floral scent; however, unlike other floral characters, we have a rudimentary knowledge of how phenotypic selection acts on scent. We found that floral scent was under stronger selection than corolla traits such as flower size and flower color in weakly scented Penstemon digitalis. Our results suggest that to understand evolution in floral phenotypes, including scent in floral selection, studies are crucial. For P. digitalis, linalool was the direct target of selection in the scent bouquet. Therefore, we determined the enantiomeric configuration of linalool because interacting insects may perceive the enantiomers differentially. We found that P. digitalis produces only (S)-(+)-linalool and, more interestingly, it is also taken up into the nectar. Because the nectar is scented and flavored with (S)-(+)-linalool, it may be an important cue for pollinators visiting P. digitalis flowers. PMID:23221753

  12. When natural selection gives gene function the cold shoulder.

    PubMed

    Cutter, Asher D; Jovelin, Richard

    2015-11-01

    It is tempting to invoke organismal selection as perpetually optimizing the function of any given gene. However, natural selection can drive genic functional change without improvement of biochemical activity, even to the extinction of gene activity. Detrimental mutations can creep in owing to linkage with other selectively favored loci. Selection can promote functional degradation, irrespective of genetic drift, when adaptation occurs by loss of gene function. Even stabilizing selection on a trait can lead to divergence of the underlying molecular constituents. Selfish genetic elements can also proliferate independent of any functional benefits to the host genome. Here we review the logic and evidence for these diverse processes acting in genome evolution. This collection of distinct evolutionary phenomena - while operating through easily understandable mechanisms - all contribute to the seemingly counterintuitive notion that maintenance or improvement of a gene's biochemical function sometimes do not determine its evolutionary fate.

  13. Reconsidering the logical structure of the theory of natural selection

    PubMed Central

    Hunt, Tam

    2014-01-01

    Natural selection has been criticized as a tautology. This would be a major problem for evolutionary biology, if true, because tautological statements can't be falsified and, therefore, can't be scientific. There is merit to this critique insofar as the theory of natural selection is indeed generally described in a tautological manner. However, natural selection can be described non-tautologically if we’re careful. Natural selection should be defined as the theory that attempts to predict and retrodict evolutionary change through environmental forces acting upon organisms. However, this re-framing comes at a cost: it reveals, based on our current knowledge of evolutionary forces, the lack of ability to make accurate predictions about expected changes except in the most simple of circumstances. I suggest that evolutionary biologists should work to develop “principles of evolution,” based on an expanded and more focused research program designed to identify common trends in evolution, which will ultimately allow us to make more accurate predictions and retrodictions about evolution. PMID:26478764

  14. The Nature of Selected English Teachers' Online Participation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rodesiler, Luke

    2015-01-01

    This article documents an investigation into the nature of selected secondary English teachers' online participation across platforms (i.e., blogs, microblogs, social networking sites) as they explored issues related to teaching, learning, and literacy. Ethnographic content analysis of online artifacts generated over approximately 10 months…

  15. Using Different Examples of Natural Selection When Teaching Biology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Perry, Robert T.

    1993-01-01

    Describes the following examples of natural selection for use in science instruction: sickle-cell anemia and human beings, clogged crabs, the rounding of the human head, shell color in land snails, pollinator behavior and flower color, copper tolerance in a grass, lizards and quick change, and Darwin's finches. (PR)

  16. Natural Selection VS. Random Drift: Evidence from Temporal Variation in Allele Frequencies in Nature

    PubMed Central

    Mueller, Laurence D.; Barr, Lorraine G.; Ayala, Francisco J.

    1985-01-01

    We have obtained monthly samples of two species, Drosophila pseudoobscura and Drosophila persimilis, in a natural population from Napa County, California. In each species, about 300 genes have been assayed by electrophoresis for each of seven enzyme loci in each monthly sample from March 1972 to June 1975. Using statistical methods developed for the purpose, we have examined whether the allele frequencies at different loci vary in a correlated fashion. The methods used do not detect natural selection when it is deterministic (e.g., overdominance or directional selection), but only when alleles at different loci vary simultaneously in response to the same environmental variations. Moreover, only relatively large fitness differences (of the order of 15%) are detectable. We have found strong evidence of correlated allele frequency variation in 13–20% of the cases examined. We interpret this as evidence that natural selection plays a major role in the evolution of protein polymorphisms in nature. PMID:4054608

  17. Natural selection on immune responsiveness in blue tits Parus caeruleus.

    PubMed

    Råberg, Lars; Stjernman, Martin

    2003-07-01

    What is the form of natural selection on immune responsiveness? For a population at evolutionary equilibrium, there are two different scenarios. First, it is generally assumed that immune defense has both benefits and costs. If variation in immune responsiveness is due to variation in how individuals trade off these costs and benefits, one would expect immune responsiveness to be subject to stabilizing selection. Second, it is well known that an individual's immune responsiveness is often dependent on its overall condition. If immune responsiveness is condition-dependent, one would expect immune responsiveness to be under positive directional selection. We would therefore expect that the form of natural selection on immune responsiveness depends on the relative magnitude of these two sources of variation: variation in how individuals trade off the costs and benefits of defense, and variation in condition. We measured primary and secondary antibody responsiveness to diphtheria-tetanus vaccine in blue tits during winter and investigated the relationship between responsiveness and survival to the following breeding season. We use responsiveness to these antigens as measures of an individual's ability or propensity to mount an antibody response in case of an infection. Interestingly, different measures of responsiveness were subject to different selective regimes: primary responsiveness to diphtheria was subject to stabilizing selection, whereas secondary responsiveness to tetanus was subject to positive directional selection. In contrast, there was no significant selection on primary responsiveness to tetanus or secondary responsiveness to diphtheria. The finding of stabilizing selection on a measure of responsiveness is evidence that immune defense can incur fitness costs; a central but little-tested assumption of theories of the ecology and evolution of immunological defense. The finding of directional selection on a measure of responsiveness is consistent with the

  18. Learning natural selection from the site frequency spectrum.

    PubMed

    Ronen, Roy; Udpa, Nitin; Halperin, Eran; Bafna, Vineet

    2013-09-01

    Genetic adaptation to external stimuli occurs through the combined action of mutation and selection. A central problem in genetics is to identify loci responsive to specific selective constraints. Many tests have been proposed to identify the genomic signatures of natural selection by quantifying the skew in the site frequency spectrum (SFS) under selection relative to neutrality. We build upon recent work that connects many of these tests under a common framework, by describing how selective sweeps affect the scaled SFS. We show that the specific skew depends on many attributes of the sweep, including the selection coefficient and the time under selection. Using supervised learning on extensive simulated data, we characterize the features of the scaled SFS that best separate different types of selective sweeps from neutrality. We develop a test, SFselect, that consistently outperforms many existing tests over a wide range of selective sweeps. We apply SFselect to polymorphism data from a laboratory evolution experiment of Drosophila melanogaster adapted to hypoxia and identify loci that strengthen the role of the Notch pathway in hypoxia tolerance, but were missed by previous approaches. We further apply our test to human data and identify regions that are in agreement with earlier studies, as well as many novel regions.

  19. Antiprotease activity of selected Slovak medicinal plants.

    PubMed

    Jedinak, A; Valachova, M; Maliar, T; Sturdik, E

    2010-02-01

    Fifty-six methanol extracts obtained from the barks, flowers, leaves and stems of 30 Slovak trees, bushes and herbs used in the traditional medicine of the Small Carpathians, Slovakia, have been screened for antiprotease (trypsin, thrombin and urokinase) activity using chromogenic bioassay. In this study, 14 extracts showed the strong inhibition activity to protease trypsin with IC50 values below 10 microg/mL. The highest inhibition activities were observed for methanol extracts of Acer platanoides IC50 = 1.8 microg/mL, Rhus typhina IC50 = 1.2 microg/mL and Tamarix gallica IC50 = 1.7 microg/mL. However, the results of extracts tested on thrombin were generally different from those observed for trypsin. The most marked inhibition activity to thrombin were estimated for extracts of Castanea sativa IC50 = 73.2 microg/mL, Larix decidua IC50 = 96.9 microg/mL and Rhus typhina IC50 = 20.5 microg/mL. In addition, Acer platanoides and Rhus typhina were the only extracts which showed inhibition activity to urokinase with IC50 = 171.1 microg/mL and IC50 = 38.3 microg/mL, respectively. In addition, Rhus typhina showed the broadest spectrum of inhibition activity to all tested serine proteases and seems to be a prospective new source of natural products as inhibitors of serine proteases.

  20. Natural selection drives the evolution of ant life cycles

    PubMed Central

    Wilson, Edward O.; Nowak, Martin A.

    2014-01-01

    The genetic origin of advanced social organization has long been one of the outstanding problems of evolutionary biology. Here we present an analysis of the major steps in ant evolution, based for the first time, to our knowledge, on combined recent advances in paleontology, phylogeny, and the study of contemporary life histories. We provide evidence of the causal forces of natural selection shaping several key phenomena: (i) the relative lateness and rarity in geological time of the emergence of eusociality in ants and other animal phylads; (ii) the prevalence of monogamy at the time of evolutionary origin; and (iii) the female-biased sex allocation observed in many ant species. We argue that a clear understanding of the evolution of social insects can emerge if, in addition to relatedness-based arguments, we take into account key factors of natural history and study how natural selection acts on alleles that modify social behavior. PMID:25114217

  1. The insufficient part of abiogenesis theory - natural selection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ploompuu, Tõnu

    2016-04-01

    Abiogenesis has already been studied for a whole century. There have been studies on the synthesis of precursors of biopolymers, concentration processes and polymerization pathways, sites of initiation of life. Autoreplication has been explained. Protocells have been constructed from abiogenic membranes. But one essential aspect for life - the natural selection - has been marginalized in these investigations. Despite the convincing use of natural selection in biology for one and half century, it has not been used sufficiently in the models of the beginning of life. Pictorially - Darwin's pond model is used without darwinism. This generates an unnecessary interruption on the path for understanding the process. Natural selection is essential in abiogenesis, in the genesis of biological information system. A selection of more collaborative autoreplicate biopolymers and the depolymerisation of others was required. Only natural selection was able to combine biopolymer molecules for life. The primary natural selection can operate only in an environment with variable physical and chemical conditions. The selective agent must constantly fluctuate during a long time span and a large area. Formation of the simplest complex of life needs homeostasis. The best sites for constant fluctuations are littoral areas of oceans. Two very constant fluctuations - waves and tides - occur there. The best conditions for the origin of life were exactly in the end of the Late Heavy Bombardment at temperature nealy 100° C. Earth's surface was then protected against the UV destruction by a thick cloud cover. High evaporation at the hotter parts of shore rocks increased the concentration of the primordial soup and there was excellent selective power by routine water level fluctuations. Because of the water level fluctuations salty ocean water and fresh water from continuous downpours alternated at the littoral zones. In low temperatures the formation of life would be hindered by UV

  2. Phenotypic selection on leaf water use efficiency and related ecophysiological traits for natural populations of desert sunflowers.

    PubMed

    Donovan, Lisa A; Dudley, Susan A; Rosenthal, David M; Ludwig, Fulco

    2007-05-01

    Plant water-use efficiency (WUE) is expected to affect plant fitness and thus be under natural selection in arid habitats. Although many natural population studies have assessed plant WUE, only a few related WUE to fitness. The further determination of whether selection on WUE is direct or indirect through functionally related traits has yielded no consistent results. For natural populations of two desert annual sunflowers, Helianthus anomalus and H. deserticola, we used phenotypic selection analysis with vegetative biomass as the proxy for fitness to test (1) whether there was direct and indirect selection on WUE (carbon isotope ratio) and related traits (leaf N, area, succulence) and (2) whether direct selection was consistent with hypothesized drought/dehydration escape and avoidance strategies. There was direct selection for lower WUE in mesic and dry H. anomalus populations, consistent with dehydration escape, even though it is the longer lived of the two species. For mesic H. anomalus, direct selection favored lower WUE and higher N, suggesting that plants may be "wasting water" to increase N delivery via the transpiration stream. For the shorter lived H. deserticola in the direr habitat, there was indirect selection for lower WUE, inconsistent with drought escape. There was also direct selection for higher leaf N, succulence and leaf size. There was no direct selection for higher WUE consistent with dehydration avoidance in either species. Thus, in these natural populations of two desert dune species higher fitness was associated with some combination direct and indirect selection for lower WUE, higher leaf N and larger leaf size. Our understanding of the adaptive value of plant ecophysiological traits will benefit from further consideration of related traits such as leaf nitrogen and more tests in natural populations.

  3. Total Phenolic Contents and Antioxidant Capacities of Selected Chinese Medicinal Plants

    PubMed Central

    Song, Feng-Lin; Gan, Ren-You; Zhang, Yuan; Xiao, Qin; Kuang, Lei; Li, Hua-Bin

    2010-01-01

    Antioxidant capacities of 56 selected Chinese medicinal plants were evaluated using the Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEAC) and ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) assays, and their total phenolic content was measured by the Folin-Ciocalteu method. The strong correlation between TEAC value and FRAP value suggested that the antioxidants in these plants possess free radical scavenging activity and oxidant reducing power, and the high positive correlation between antioxidant capacities and total phenolic content implied that phenolic compounds are a major contributor to the antioxidant activity of these plants. The results showed that Dioscorea bulbifera, Eriobotrya japonica, Tussilago farfara and Ephedra sinica could be potential rich sources of natural antioxidants. PMID:20640157

  4. Cameroonian Medicinal Plants: Pharmacology and Derived Natural Products

    PubMed Central

    Kuete, Victor; Efferth, Thomas

    2010-01-01

    Many developing countries including Cameroon have mortality patterns that reflect high levels of infectious diseases and the risk of death during pregnancy and childbirth, in addition to cancers, cardiovascular diseases and chronic respiratory diseases that account for most deaths in the developed world. Several medicinal plants are used traditionally for their treatment. In this review, plants used in Cameroonian traditional medicine with evidence for the activities of their crude extracts and/or derived products have been discussed. A considerable number of plant extracts and isolated compounds possess significant antimicrobial, anti-parasitic including antimalarial, anti-proliferative, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetes, and antioxidant effects. Most of the biologically active compounds belong to terpenoids, phenolics, and alkaloids. Terpenoids from Cameroonian plants showed best activities as anti-parasitic, but rather poor antimicrobial effects. The best antimicrobial, anti-proliferative, and antioxidant compounds were phenolics. In conclusion, many medicinal plants traditionally used in Cameroon to treat various ailments displayed good activities in vitro. This explains the endeavor of Cameroonian research institutes in drug discovery from indigenous medicinal plants. However, much work is still to be done to standardize methodologies and to study the mechanisms of action of isolated natural products. PMID:21833168

  5. Cameroonian medicinal plants: pharmacology and derived natural products.

    PubMed

    Kuete, Victor; Efferth, Thomas

    2010-01-01

    Many developing countries including Cameroon have mortality patterns that reflect high levels of infectious diseases and the risk of death during pregnancy and childbirth, in addition to cancers, cardiovascular diseases and chronic respiratory diseases that account for most deaths in the developed world. Several medicinal plants are used traditionally for their treatment. In this review, plants used in Cameroonian traditional medicine with evidence for the activities of their crude extracts and/or derived products have been discussed. A considerable number of plant extracts and isolated compounds possess significant antimicrobial, anti-parasitic including antimalarial, anti-proliferative, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetes, and antioxidant effects. Most of the biologically active compounds belong to terpenoids, phenolics, and alkaloids. Terpenoids from Cameroonian plants showed best activities as anti-parasitic, but rather poor antimicrobial effects. The best antimicrobial, anti-proliferative, and antioxidant compounds were phenolics. In conclusion, many medicinal plants traditionally used in Cameroon to treat various ailments displayed good activities in vitro. This explains the endeavor of Cameroonian research institutes in drug discovery from indigenous medicinal plants. However, much work is still to be done to standardize methodologies and to study the mechanisms of action of isolated natural products.

  6. Phytochemical investigation of natural and in vitro raised Vṛddhadāruka plants

    PubMed Central

    Bharati, Asha Jyoti; Bansal, Yogendra Kumar

    2014-01-01

    Background: Argyreia nervosa commonly known as elephant creeper (English) and Vṛddhadāruka (Sanskrit) is a woody climber that belongs to the family Convolvulaceae. Seeds of this plant contain hallucinogens including ergot alkaloids and a naturally occurring lysergic acid amide. Traditionally the plant is used in the treatment of gonorrhea, strangury, chronic ulcers, diabetes, anemia and cerebral disorders. The plant is also used as appetitiser, brain tonic, cardiotonic, aphrodisiac. It possesses anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal activities. Objective: To give an account of information on in vitro regeneration and phytochemical analysis of the plant. Materials and Methods: Nodal explants were selected for in vitro regeneration. Different aerial parts viz., seeds, natural and in vitro leaf, stem and callus were dried and extracted with different solvents and were subjected to various phytochemical analyses. Results: Different concentrations of 6-benzylaminopurine showed shoot and root initiation. The study of phytochemical screening of different extracts showed the presence of bioactive substances like flavonoids, alkaloids, terpenoids, etc. Conclusion: The study will provide an efficient in vitro protocol for micropropagation as an alternative method to conserve the plant and shows the presence of some important secondary metabolites in the nature grown and in vitro raised plants which can be useful for treatment of various diseases. PMID:25861141

  7. Estimating selection through male fitness: three complementary methods illuminate the nature and causes of selection on flowering time

    PubMed Central

    Austen, Emily J.; Weis, Arthur E.

    2016-01-01

    Our understanding of selection through male fitness is limited by the resource demands and indirect nature of the best available genetic techniques. Applying complementary, independent approaches to this problem can help clarify evolution through male function. We applied three methods to estimate selection on flowering time through male fitness in experimental populations of the annual plant Brassica rapa: (i) an analysis of mating opportunity based on flower production schedules, (ii) genetic paternity analysis, and (iii) a novel approach based on principles of experimental evolution. Selection differentials estimated by the first method disagreed with those estimated by the other two, indicating that mating opportunity was not the principal driver of selection on flowering time. The genetic and experimental evolution methods exhibited striking agreement overall, but a slight discrepancy between the two suggested that negative environmental covariance between age at flowering and male fitness may have contributed to phenotypic selection. Together, the three methods enriched our understanding of selection on flowering time, from mating opportunity to phenotypic selection to evolutionary response. The novel experimental evolution method may provide a means of examining selection through male fitness when genetic paternity analysis is not possible. PMID:26911957

  8. Estimating selection through male fitness: three complementary methods illuminate the nature and causes of selection on flowering time.

    PubMed

    Austen, Emily J; Weis, Arthur E

    2016-02-24

    Our understanding of selection through male fitness is limited by the resource demands and indirect nature of the best available genetic techniques. Applying complementary, independent approaches to this problem can help clarify evolution through male function. We applied three methods to estimate selection on flowering time through male fitness in experimental populations of the annual plant Brassica rapa: (i) an analysis of mating opportunity based on flower production schedules, (ii) genetic paternity analysis, and (iii) a novel approach based on principles of experimental evolution. Selection differentials estimated by the first method disagreed with those estimated by the other two, indicating that mating opportunity was not the principal driver of selection on flowering time. The genetic and experimental evolution methods exhibited striking agreement overall, but a slight discrepancy between the two suggested that negative environmental covariance between age at flowering and male fitness may have contributed to phenotypic selection. Together, the three methods enriched our understanding of selection on flowering time, from mating opportunity to phenotypic selection to evolutionary response. The novel experimental evolution method may provide a means of examining selection through male fitness when genetic paternity analysis is not possible.

  9. Can local adaptation research in plants inform selection of native plant materials? An analysis of experimental methodologies.

    PubMed

    Gibson, Alexis L; Espeland, Erin K; Wagner, Viktoria; Nelson, Cara R

    2016-12-01

    Local adaptation is used as a criterion to select plant materials that will display high fitness in new environments. A large body of research has explored local adaptation in plants, however, to what extent findings can inform management decisions has not been formally evaluated. We assessed local adaptation literature for six key experimental methodologies that have the greatest effect on the application of research to selecting plant materials for natural resource management: experimental environment, response variables, maternal effects, intraspecific variation, selective agents, and spatial and temporal variability. We found that less than half of experiments used reciprocal transplants or natural field conditions, which are both informative for revegetation and restoration. Population growth rate was rarely (5%) assessed, and most studies measured only single generations (96%) and ran for less than a year. Emergence and establishment are limiting factors in successful revegetation and restoration, but the majority of studies measured later life-history stages (66%). Additionally, most studies included limited replication at the population and habitat levels and tested response to single abiotic selective factors (66%). Local adaptation research should be cautiously applied to management; future research could use alternative methodologies to allow managers to directly apply findings.

  10. Natural competence and recombination in the plant pathogen Xylella fastidiosa.

    PubMed

    Kung, Stephanie H; Almeida, Rodrigo P P

    2011-08-01

    Homologous recombination is one of many forces contributing to the diversity, adaptation, and emergence of pathogens. For naturally competent bacteria, transformation is one possible route for the acquisition of novel genetic material. This study demonstrates that Xylella fastidiosa, a generalist bacterial plant pathogen responsible for many emerging plant diseases, is naturally competent and able to homologously recombine exogenous DNA into its genome. Several factors that affect transformation and recombination efficiencies, such as nutrient availability, growth stage, and methylation of transforming DNA, were identified. Recombination was observed in at least one out of every 10(6) cells when exogenous plasmid DNA was supplied and one out of every 10(7) cells when different strains were grown together in vitro. Based on previous genomic studies and experimental data presented here, there is mounting evidence that recombination can occur at relatively high rates and could play a large role in shaping the genetic diversity of X. fastidiosa.

  11. Plants for Play: A Plant Selection Guide for Children's Outdoor Environments.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moore, Robin C.

    This book presents guidelines in the design and management of children's landscapes and reveals the importance of plants as a resource for play and child development. It identifies plants by function, i.e., their sensory values, play values, food production, seasonal interest, shade quality, screens against natural barriers, wildlife enhancement,…

  12. A survey of phytotoxic microbial and plant metabolites as potential natural products for pest management.

    PubMed

    Schrader, Kevin K; Andolfi, Anna; Cantrell, Charles L; Cimmino, Alessio; Duke, Stephen O; Osbrink, Weste; Wedge, David E; Evidente, Antonio

    2010-09-01

    Phytotoxic microbial metabolites produced by certain phytopathogenic fungi and bacteria, and a group of phytotoxic plant metabolites including Amaryllidacea alkaloids and some derivatives of these compounds were evaluated for algicide, bactericide, insecticide, fungicide, and herbicide activities in order to discover natural compounds for potential use in the management and control of several important agricultural and household structural pests. Among the various compounds evaluated: i) ophiobolin A was found to be the most promising for potential use as a selective algicide; ii) ungeremine was discovered to be bactericidal against certain species of fish pathogenic bacteria; iii) cycasin caused significant mortality in termites; iv) cavoxin, ophiobolin A, and sphaeropsidin A were most active towards species of plant pathogenic fungi; and v) lycorine and some of its analogues (1-O-acetyllycorine and lycorine chlorohydrate) were highly phytotoxic in the herbicide bioassay. Our results further demonstrated that plants and microbes can provide a diverse and natural source of compounds with potential use as pesticides.

  13. Selectable marker genes and unintended changes to the plant transcriptome.

    PubMed

    Miki, Brian; Abdeen, Ashraf; Manabe, Yuzuki; MacDonald, Phil

    2009-04-01

    The intended effect of a selectable marker gene is to confer a novel trait that allows for the selection and recovery of transgenic plants. Unintended effects may also occur as a result of interactions between the selectable marker gene or its regulatory elements and genetic elements at the site of insertion. These are called position effects. Other unintended effects may occur if the selectable marker gene has a range of pleiotropic effects related to the functional and regulatory domains within the coding region or the regulatory elements used to drive expression. Both pleiotropic and position effects may generate unpredictable events depending on the process used for transgenesis and the state of knowledge associated with the selectable marker gene. Although some selectable marker genes, such as the neomycin phosphotransferase type II gene (nptII), have no pleiotropic effects on the transcriptomes of transgenic plants, others, such as the bialaphos resistance gene (bar), have pleiotropic effects. These must be clearly understood and accounted for when evaluating the expression patterns conferred by other co-transforming transgenes under study. The number and kinds of selectable marker genes are large. A detailed understanding of their unintended effects is needed to develop transgenic strategies that will minimize or eliminate unintended and unpredictable changes to plants with newly inserted genes.

  14. Geographic Variation of Plant Circadian Clock Function in Natural and Agricultural Settings.

    PubMed

    Greenham, Kathleen; Lou, Ping; Puzey, Joshua R; Kumar, Ganesh; Arnevik, Cindy; Farid, Hany; Willis, John H; McClung, C Robertson

    2017-02-01

    The increasing demand for improved agricultural production will require more efficient breeding for traits that maintain yield under heterogeneous environments. The internal circadian oscillator is essential for perceiving and coordinating environmental cues such as day length, temperature, and abiotic stress responses within physiological processes. To investigate the contribution of the circadian clock to local adaptability, we have analyzed circadian period by leaf movement in natural populations of Mimulus guttatus and domesticated cultivars of Glycine max. We detected consistent variation in circadian period along a latitudinal gradient in annual populations of the wild plant and the selectively bred crop, and this provides novel evidence of natural and artificial selection for circadian performance. These findings provide new support that the circadian clock acts as a central regulator of plant adaptability and further highlight the potential of applying circadian clock gene variation to marker-assisted breeding programs in crops.

  15. Natural products--antifungal agents derived from plants.

    PubMed

    Arif, Tasleem; Bhosale, J D; Kumar, Naresh; Mandal, T K; Bendre, R S; Lavekar, G S; Dabur, Rajesh

    2009-07-01

    A new spectrum of human fungal infections is increasing due to increased cancer, AIDS, and immunocompromised patients. The increased use of antifungal agents also resulted in the development of resistance to the present drugs. It makes necessary to discover new classes of antifungal compounds to cure fungal infections. Plants are rich source of bioactive secondary metabolites of wide variety such as tannins, terpenoids, saponins, alkaloids, flavonoids, and other compounds, reported to have in vitro antifungal properties. Since the plant kingdom provides a useful source of lead compounds of novel structure, a wide-scale investigation of species from the tropics has been considered. Therefore, the research on natural products and compounds derived from natural products has accelerated in recent years due to their importance in drug discovery. A series of molecules with antifungal activity against different strains of fungus have been found in plants, which are of great importance to humans. These molecules may be used directly or considered as a precursor for developing better molecules. This review attempts to summarize the current status of important antifungal compounds from plants.

  16. Caterpillar-induced plant volatiles attract conspecific adults in nature

    PubMed Central

    El-Sayed, Ashraf M.; Knight, Alan L.; Byers, John A.; Judd, Gary J. R.; Suckling, David M.

    2016-01-01

    Plants release volatiles in response to caterpillar feeding that attract natural enemies of the herbivores, a tri-trophic interaction which has been considered an indirect plant defence against herbivores. The caterpillar-induced plant volatiles have been reported to repel or attract conspecific adult herbivores. To date however, no volatile signals that either repel or attract conspecific adults under field conditions have been chemically identified. Apple seedlings uniquely released seven compounds including acetic acid, acetic anhydride, benzyl alcohol, benzyl nitrile, indole, 2-phenylethanol, and (E)-nerolidol only when infested by larvae of the light brown apple moth, Epiphyas postvittana. In field tests in New Zealand, a blend of two of these, benzyl nitrile and acetic acid, attracted a large number of conspecific male and female adult moths. In North America, male and female adults of the tortricid, oblique-banded leafroller, Choristoneura rosaceana, were most attracted to a blend of 2-phenylethanol and acetic acid. Both sexes of the eye-spotted bud moth, Spilonota ocellana, were highly attracted to a blend of benzyl nitrile and acetic acid. This study provides the first identification of caterpillar-induced plant volatiles that attract conspecific adult herbivores under natural conditions, challenging the expectation of herbivore avoidance of these induced volatiles. PMID:27892474

  17. Climate change will increase the naturalization risk from garden plants in Europe

    PubMed Central

    Wessely, Johannes; Bossdorf, Oliver; Dawson, Wayne; Essl, Franz; Gattringer, Andreas; Klonner, Günther; Kreft, Holger; Kuttner, Michael; Moser, Dietmar; Pergl, Jan; Pyšek, Petr; Thuiller, Wilfried; van Kleunen, Mark; Weigelt, Patrick; Winter, Marten; Dullinger, Stefan; Beaumont, Linda

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Aim Plant invasions often follow initial introduction with a considerable delay. The current non‐native flora of a region may hence contain species that are not yet naturalized but may become so in the future, especially if climate change lifts limitations on species spread. In Europe, non‐native garden plants represent a huge pool of potential future invaders. Here, we evaluate the naturalization risk from this species pool and how it may change under a warmer climate. Location Europe. Methods We selected all species naturalized anywhere in the world but not yet in Europe from the set of non‐native European garden plants. For this subset of 783 species, we used species distribution models to assess their potential European ranges under different scenarios of climate change. Moreover, we defined geographical hotspots of naturalization risk from those species by combining projections of climatic suitability with maps of the area available for ornamental plant cultivation. Results Under current climate, 165 species would already find suitable conditions in > 5% of Europe. Although climate change substantially increases the potential range of many species, there are also some that are predicted to lose climatically suitable area under a changing climate, particularly species native to boreal and Mediterranean biomes. Overall, hotspots of naturalization risk defined by climatic suitability alone, or by a combination of climatic suitability and appropriate land cover, are projected to increase by up to 102% or 64%, respectively. Main conclusions Our results suggest that the risk of naturalization of European garden plants will increase with warming climate, and thus it is very likely that the risk of negative impacts from invasion by these plants will also grow. It is therefore crucial to increase awareness of the possibility of biological invasions among horticulturalists, particularly in the face of a warming climate. PMID:28111525

  18. Naturally selecting solutions: the use of genetic algorithms in bioinformatics.

    PubMed

    Manning, Timmy; Sleator, Roy D; Walsh, Paul

    2013-01-01

    For decades, computer scientists have looked to nature for biologically inspired solutions to computational problems; ranging from robotic control to scheduling optimization. Paradoxically, as we move deeper into the post-genomics era, the reverse is occurring, as biologists and bioinformaticians look to computational techniques, to solve a variety of biological problems. One of the most common biologically inspired techniques are genetic algorithms (GAs), which take the Darwinian concept of natural selection as the driving force behind systems for solving real world problems, including those in the bioinformatics domain. Herein, we provide an overview of genetic algorithms and survey some of the most recent applications of this approach to bioinformatics based problems.

  19. Colloquium papers: Natural selection in a contemporary human population.

    PubMed

    Byars, Sean G; Ewbank, Douglas; Govindaraju, Diddahally R; Stearns, Stephen C

    2010-01-26

    Our aims were to demonstrate that natural selection is operating on contemporary humans, predict future evolutionary change for specific traits with medical significance, and show that for some traits we can make short-term predictions about our future evolution. To do so, we measured the strength of selection, estimated genetic variation and covariation, and predicted the response to selection for women in the Framingham Heart Study, a project of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and Boston University that began in 1948. We found that natural selection is acting to cause slow, gradual evolutionary change. The descendants of these women are predicted to be on average slightly shorter and stouter, to have lower total cholesterol levels and systolic blood pressure, to have their first child earlier, and to reach menopause later than they would in the absence of evolution. Selection is tending to lengthen the reproductive period at both ends. To better understand and predict such changes, the design of planned large, long-term, multicohort studies should include input from evolutionary biologists.

  20. Genetic signatures of natural selection in a model invasive ascidian

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Yaping; Chen, Yiyong; Yi, Changho; Fong, Jonathan J.; Kim, Won; Rius, Marc; Zhan, Aibin

    2017-03-01

    Invasive species represent promising models to study species’ responses to rapidly changing environments. Although local adaptation frequently occurs during contemporary range expansion, the associated genetic signatures at both population and genomic levels remain largely unknown. Here, we use genome-wide gene-associated microsatellites to investigate genetic signatures of natural selection in a model invasive ascidian, Ciona robusta. Population genetic analyses of 150 individuals sampled in Korea, New Zealand, South Africa and Spain showed significant genetic differentiation among populations. Based on outlier tests, we found high incidence of signatures of directional selection at 19 loci. Hitchhiking mapping analyses identified 12 directional selective sweep regions, and all selective sweep windows on chromosomes were narrow (~8.9 kb). Further analyses indentified 132 candidate genes under selection. When we compared our genetic data and six crucial environmental variables, 16 putatively selected loci showed significant correlation with these environmental variables. This suggests that the local environmental conditions have left significant signatures of selection at both population and genomic levels. Finally, we identified “plastic” genomic regions and genes that are promising regions to investigate evolutionary responses to rapid environmental change in C. robusta.

  1. Genetic signatures of natural selection in a model invasive ascidian

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Yaping; Chen, Yiyong; Yi, Changho; Fong, Jonathan J.; Kim, Won; Rius, Marc; Zhan, Aibin

    2017-01-01

    Invasive species represent promising models to study species’ responses to rapidly changing environments. Although local adaptation frequently occurs during contemporary range expansion, the associated genetic signatures at both population and genomic levels remain largely unknown. Here, we use genome-wide gene-associated microsatellites to investigate genetic signatures of natural selection in a model invasive ascidian, Ciona robusta. Population genetic analyses of 150 individuals sampled in Korea, New Zealand, South Africa and Spain showed significant genetic differentiation among populations. Based on outlier tests, we found high incidence of signatures of directional selection at 19 loci. Hitchhiking mapping analyses identified 12 directional selective sweep regions, and all selective sweep windows on chromosomes were narrow (~8.9 kb). Further analyses indentified 132 candidate genes under selection. When we compared our genetic data and six crucial environmental variables, 16 putatively selected loci showed significant correlation with these environmental variables. This suggests that the local environmental conditions have left significant signatures of selection at both population and genomic levels. Finally, we identified “plastic” genomic regions and genes that are promising regions to investigate evolutionary responses to rapid environmental change in C. robusta. PMID:28266616

  2. Variation in natural selection for growth and phlorotannins in the brown alga Fucus vesiculosus.

    PubMed

    Jormalainen, V; Honkanen, T

    2004-07-01

    Directional selection for plant traits associated with resistance to herbivory tends to eliminate genetic variation in such traits. On the other hand, balancing selection arising from trade-offs between resistance and growth or spatially variable selection acts against the elimination of genetic variation. We explore both the amount of genetic variation and variability of natural selection for growth and concentration of phenolic secondary compounds, phlorotannins, in the brown alga Fucus vesiculosus. We measured variation in selection at two growing depths and two levels of nutrient availability in algae that had faced two kinds of past growing environments. Genetic variation was low for growth but high for phlorotannins. The form and strength of selection for both focal traits depended on the past growing environment of the algae. We found strong directional selection for growth rate in algae previously subjected to higher ultraviolet radiation, but not in algae previously subjected to higher nutrient availability. Stabilizing selection for growth occurred especially in the deep growing environment. Selection for phlorotannins was generally weak, but in some past-environment-current-environment combinations we detected either directional selection against phlorotannins or stabilizing selection. Thus, phlorotannins are not selectively neutral but affect the fitness of F. vesiculosus. In particular, there may be a fitness cost of producing phlorotannins, but the realization of such a cost varies from one environment to another. Genetic correlations between selective environments were high for growth but nonexistent for phlorotannins, emphasizing the high phenotypic plasticity of phlorotannin production. The highly heterogeneous selection, including directional, stabilizing, and spatially variable selection as well as temporal change in selection due to responses to past environmental conditions, probably maintains a high amount of genetic variation in phlorotannins

  3. Natural Endophytic Occurrence of Acetobacter diazotrophicus in Pineapple Plants.

    PubMed

    Tapia-Hernández; Bustillos-Cristales; Jiménez-Salgado; Caballero-Mellado; Fuentes-Ramírez

    2000-01-01

    The presence of endophytic Acetobacter diazotrophicus was tested for pineapple plants (Ananas comosus [L.] Merr.) grown in the field. Diazotrophic bacteria were isolated from the inner tissues of surface sterilized roots, stems, and leaves of pineapple plants. Phenotypic tests permitted the selection of presumptive nitrogen-fixing A. diazotrophicus isolates. Restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLPs) of small subunit (SSU) rDNA using total DNA digested with endonuclease SphI and with endonuclease NcoI, hybridizations of RNA with an A. diazotrophicus large subunit (LSU) rRNA specific probe, as well as patterns in denaturing protein electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) and multilocus enzyme tests allowed the identification of A. diazotrophicus isolates. High frequencies of isolation were obtained from propagative buds that had not been nitrogen-fertilized, and lower frequencies from 3-month-old plants that had been nitrogen-fertilized. No isolates were recovered from 5- to 7-month-old nitrogen-fertilized plants. All the A. diazotrophicus isolates recovered from pineapple plants belonged to the multilocus genotype which shows the most extensive distribution among all host species previously analyzed.

  4. Natural Gamma Emitters after a Selective Chemical Separation of a TENORM residue: Preliminary Results

    SciTech Connect

    Alves de Freitas, Antonio; Abrao, Alcidio; Godoy dos Santos, Adir Janete; Pecequilo, Brigitte Roxana Soreanu

    2008-08-07

    An analytical procedure was established in order to obtain selective fractions containing radium isotopes ({sup 228}Ra), thorium ({sup 232}Th), and rare earths from RETOTER (REsiduo de TOrio e TErras Raras), a solid residue rich in rare earth elements, thorium isotopes and small amount of natural uranium generated from the operation of a thorium pilot plant for purification and production of pure thorium nitrate at IPEN -CNEN/SP. The paper presents preliminary results of {sup 228}Ra, {sup 226}Ra, {sup 238}U, {sup 210}Pb, and {sup 40}K concentrations in the selective fractions and total residue determined by high-resolution gamma spectroscopy, considering radioactive equilibrium of the samples.

  5. Natural selection and infectious disease in human populations

    PubMed Central

    Karlsson, Elinor K.; Kwiatkowski, Dominic P.; Sabeti, Pardis C.

    2015-01-01

    The ancient biological 'arms race' between microbial pathogens and humans has shaped genetic variation in modern populations, and this has important implications for the growing field of medical genomics. As humans migrated throughout the world, populations encountered distinct pathogens, and natural selection increased the prevalence of alleles that are advantageous in the new ecosystems in both host and pathogens. This ancient history now influences human infectious disease susceptibility and microbiome homeostasis, and contributes to common diseases that show geographical disparities, such as autoimmune and metabolic disorders. Using new high-throughput technologies, analytical methods and expanding public data resources, the investigation of natural selection is leading to new insights into the function and dysfunction of human biology. PMID:24776769

  6. Selection and Breeding of Plant Cultivars to Minimize Cadmium Accumulation

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Natural variation occurs in the uptake and distribution of essential and nonessential trace elements among crop species and among cultivars within species. Such variation can be responsible for trace element deficiencies and toxicities, which in turn can affect the quality of food. Plant breeding ...

  7. Programed Death is Favored by Natural Selection in Spatial Systems.

    PubMed

    Werfel, Justin; Ingber, Donald E; Bar-Yam, Yaneer

    2015-06-12

    Standard evolutionary theories of aging and mortality, implicitly based on mean-field assumptions, hold that programed mortality is untenable, as it opposes direct individual benefit. We show that in spatial models with local reproduction, programed deaths instead robustly result in long-term benefit to a lineage, by reducing local environmental resource depletion via spatiotemporal patterns causing feedback over many generations. Results are robust to model variations, implying that direct selection for shorter life span may be quite widespread in nature.

  8. Programed Death is Favored by Natural Selection in Spatial Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Werfel, Justin; Ingber, Donald E.; Bar-Yam, Yaneer

    2015-06-01

    Standard evolutionary theories of aging and mortality, implicitly based on mean-field assumptions, hold that programed mortality is untenable, as it opposes direct individual benefit. We show that in spatial models with local reproduction, programed deaths instead robustly result in long-term benefit to a lineage, by reducing local environmental resource depletion via spatiotemporal patterns causing feedback over many generations. Results are robust to model variations, implying that direct selection for shorter life span may be quite widespread in nature.

  9. Perspectives for genomic selection applications and research in plants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Genomic selection (GS) has created a lot of excitement and expectations in the animal and plant breeding research communities. In this review, we briefly describe how genomic prediction can be integrated into breeding efforts and point out achievements and areas where more research is needed. GS pro...

  10. Natural Selection and Genetic Diversity in the Butterfly Heliconius melpomene

    PubMed Central

    Martin, Simon H.; Möst, Markus; Palmer, William J.; Salazar, Camilo; McMillan, W. Owen; Jiggins, Francis M.; Jiggins, Chris D.

    2016-01-01

    A combination of selective and neutral evolutionary forces shape patterns of genetic diversity in nature. Among the insects, most previous analyses of the roles of drift and selection in shaping variation across the genome have focused on the genus Drosophila. A more complete understanding of these forces will come from analyzing other taxa that differ in population demography and other aspects of biology. We have analyzed diversity and signatures of selection in the neotropical Heliconius butterflies using resequenced genomes from 58 wild-caught individuals of Heliconius melpomene and another 21 resequenced genomes representing 11 related species. By comparing intraspecific diversity and interspecific divergence, we estimate that 31% of amino acid substitutions between Heliconius species are adaptive. Diversity at putatively neutral sites is negatively correlated with the local density of coding sites as well as nonsynonymous substitutions and positively correlated with recombination rate, indicating widespread linked selection. This process also manifests in significantly reduced diversity on longer chromosomes, consistent with lower recombination rates. Although hitchhiking around beneficial nonsynonymous mutations has significantly shaped genetic variation in H. melpomene, evidence for strong selective sweeps is limited overall. We did however identify two regions where distinct haplotypes have swept in different populations, leading to increased population differentiation. On the whole, our study suggests that positive selection is less pervasive in these butterflies as compared to fruit flies, a fact that curiously results in very similar levels of neutral diversity in these very different insects. PMID:27017626

  11. Substitution rate and natural selection in parvovirus B19

    PubMed Central

    Stamenković, Gorana G.; Ćirković, Valentina S.; Šiljić, Marina M.; Blagojević, Jelena V.; Knežević, Aleksandra M.; Joksić, Ivana D.; Stanojević, Maja P.

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this study was to estimate substitution rate and imprints of natural selection on parvovirus B19 genotype 1. Studied datasets included 137 near complete coding B19 genomes (positions 665 to 4851) for phylogenetic and substitution rate analysis and 146 and 214 partial genomes for selection analyses in open reading frames ORF1 and ORF2, respectively, collected 1973–2012 and including 9 newly sequenced isolates from Serbia. Phylogenetic clustering assigned majority of studied isolates to G1A. Nucleotide substitution rate for total coding DNA was 1.03 (0.6–1.27) x 10−4 substitutions/site/year, with higher values for analyzed genome partitions. In spite of the highest evolutionary rate, VP2 codons were found to be under purifying selection with rare episodic positive selection, whereas codons under diversifying selection were found in the unique part of VP1, known to contain B19 immune epitopes important in persistent infection. Analyses of overlapping gene regions identified nucleotide positions under opposite selective pressure in different ORFs, suggesting complex evolutionary mechanisms of nucleotide changes in B19 viral genomes. PMID:27775080

  12. Natural radioactivity levels of some medicinal plants commonly used in Ghana.

    PubMed

    Tettey-Larbi, Lordford; Darko, Emmanuel Ofori; Schandorf, Cyril; Appiah, Alfred Ampomah

    2013-12-01

    Natural radioactivity levels in some selected medicinal plants commonly used in Ghana from the Centre for Scientific Research into Plant Medicine were investigated to determine the activity concentration and the annual committed effective dose due to naturally occurring radionuclides of (238)U, (232)Th and (40)K. The activity concentration was determined using gamma-ray spectrometry. The results of the analysis indicated an average activity concentration of (238)U, (232)Th and (40)K in the medicinal plants to be 31.8±2.8 Bq kg(-1), 56.2±2.3 Bq kg(-1) and 839.8±11.9 Bq kg(-1) respectively. Khaya ivorensis recorded the highest activity concentration of (238)U and (232)Th while Lippia multiflora recorded the highest activity concentrations of (40)K. The total annual committed effective doses ranged from 0.026±0.001 to 0.042±0.002 mSv a(-1) with an average value of 0.035±0.001 mSv a(-1). The average annual committed effective dose due to ingestion of the natural radionuclides in the medicinal plant samples were far below the world average annual committed effective dose of 0.3 mSv a(-1) for ingestion of natural radionuclides provided in UNSCEAR 2000 report. Therefore, the radiological hazard associated with intake of the natural radionuclides in the medicinal plants is insignificant. The results provide baseline values which may be useful in establishing rules and regulations relating to radiation protection as well as developing standards and guidelines for the use of medicinal or herbal plants to the appropriate authorities.

  13. Cyclone Tolerance in New World Arecaceae: Biogeographic Variation and Abiotic Natural Selection

    PubMed Central

    Griffith, M. Patrick; Noblick, Larry R.; Dowe, John L.; Husby, Chad E.; Calonje, Michael A.

    2008-01-01

    Background and Aims Consistent abiotic factors can affect directional selection; cyclones are abiotic phenomena with near-discrete geographic limits. The current study investigates selective pressure of cyclones on plants at the species level, testing for possible natural selection. Methods New World Arecaceae (palms) are used as a model system, as plants with monopodial, unbranched arborescent form are most directly affected by the selective pressure of wind load. Living specimens of known provenance grown at a common site were affected by the same cyclone. Data on percentage mortality were compiled and analysed in biogeographic and phylogenetic contexts. Key Results Palms of cyclone-prone provenance exhibited a much lower (one order of magnitude) range in cyclone tolerance, and significantly lower (P < 0·001) mean percentage mortality than collections from cyclone-free areas. Palms of cyclone-free provenance had much greater variation in tolerance, and significantly greater mean percentage mortality. A test for serial independence recovered no significant phylogenetic autocorrelation of percentage mortality. Conclusions Variation in cyclone tolerance in New World Arecaceae correlates with biogeography, and is not confounded with phylogeny. These results suggest natural selection of cyclone tolerance in cyclone-prone areas. PMID:18669575

  14. Natural selection against a circadian clock gene mutation in mice

    PubMed Central

    Spoelstra, Kamiel; Wikelski, Martin; Daan, Serge; Loudon, Andrew S. I.; Hau, Michaela

    2016-01-01

    Circadian rhythms with an endogenous period close to or equal to the natural light–dark cycle are considered evolutionarily adaptive (“circadian resonance hypothesis”). Despite remarkable insight into the molecular mechanisms driving circadian cycles, this hypothesis has not been tested under natural conditions for any eukaryotic organism. We tested this hypothesis in mice bearing a short-period mutation in the enzyme casein kinase 1ε (tau mutation), which accelerates free-running circadian cycles. We compared daily activity (feeding) rhythms, survivorship, and reproduction in six replicate populations in outdoor experimental enclosures, established with wild-type, heterozygous, and homozygous mice in a Mendelian ratio. In the release cohort, survival was reduced in the homozygote mutant mice, revealing strong selection against short-period genotypes. Over the course of 14 mo, the relative frequency of the tau allele dropped from initial parity to 20%. Adult survival and recruitment of juveniles into the population contributed approximately equally to the selection for wild-type alleles. The expression of activity during daytime varied throughout the experiment and was significantly increased by the tau mutation. The strong selection against the short-period tau allele observed here contrasts with earlier studies showing absence of selection against a Period 2 (Per2) mutation, which disrupts internal clock function, but does not change period length. These findings are consistent with, and predicted by the theory that resonance of the circadian system plays an important role in individual fitness. PMID:26715747

  15. Preventing Alzheimer's disease by means of natural selection.

    PubMed

    Demetrius, Lloyd A; Driver, Jane A

    2015-01-06

    The amyloid cascade model for the origin of sporadic forms of Alzheimer's disease (AD) posits that the imbalance in the production and clearance of beta-amyloid is a necessary condition for the disease. A competing theory called the entropic selection hypothesis asserts that the primary cause of sporadic AD is age-induced mitochondrial dysregulation and the following cascade of events: (i) metabolic reprogramming—the upregulation of oxidative phosphorylation in compensation for insufficient energy production in neurons, (ii) natural selection—competition between intact and reprogrammed neurons for energy substrates and (iii) propagation—the spread of the disease due to the selective advantage of neurons with upregulated metabolism. Experimental studies to evaluate the predictions of the amyloid cascade model are being continually retuned to accommodate conflicts of the predictions with empirical data. Clinical trials of treatments for AD based on anti-amyloid therapy have been unsuccessful. We contend that these anomalies and failures stem from a fundamental deficit of the amyloid hypothesis: the model derives from a nuclear-genomic perspective of sporadic AD and discounts the bioenergetic processes that characterize the progression of most age-related disorders. In this article, we review the anomalies of the amyloid model and the theoretical and empirical support for the entropic selection theory. We also discuss the new therapeutic strategies based on natural selection which the model proposes.

  16. Preventing Alzheimer's disease by means of natural selection

    PubMed Central

    Demetrius, Lloyd A.; Driver, Jane A.

    2015-01-01

    The amyloid cascade model for the origin of sporadic forms of Alzheimer's disease (AD) posits that the imbalance in the production and clearance of beta-amyloid is a necessary condition for the disease. A competing theory called the entropic selection hypothesis asserts that the primary cause of sporadic AD is age-induced mitochondrial dysregulation and the following cascade of events: (i) metabolic reprogramming—the upregulation of oxidative phosphorylation in compensation for insufficient energy production in neurons, (ii) natural selection—competition between intact and reprogrammed neurons for energy substrates and (iii) propagation—the spread of the disease due to the selective advantage of neurons with upregulated metabolism. Experimental studies to evaluate the predictions of the amyloid cascade model are being continually retuned to accommodate conflicts of the predictions with empirical data. Clinical trials of treatments for AD based on anti-amyloid therapy have been unsuccessful. We contend that these anomalies and failures stem from a fundamental deficit of the amyloid hypothesis: the model derives from a nuclear-genomic perspective of sporadic AD and discounts the bioenergetic processes that characterize the progression of most age-related disorders. In this article, we review the anomalies of the amyloid model and the theoretical and empirical support for the entropic selection theory. We also discuss the new therapeutic strategies based on natural selection which the model proposes. PMID:25551134

  17. Natural selection against a circadian clock gene mutation in mice.

    PubMed

    Spoelstra, Kamiel; Wikelski, Martin; Daan, Serge; Loudon, Andrew S I; Hau, Michaela

    2016-01-19

    Circadian rhythms with an endogenous period close to or equal to the natural light-dark cycle are considered evolutionarily adaptive ("circadian resonance hypothesis"). Despite remarkable insight into the molecular mechanisms driving circadian cycles, this hypothesis has not been tested under natural conditions for any eukaryotic organism. We tested this hypothesis in mice bearing a short-period mutation in the enzyme casein kinase 1ε (tau mutation), which accelerates free-running circadian cycles. We compared daily activity (feeding) rhythms, survivorship, and reproduction in six replicate populations in outdoor experimental enclosures, established with wild-type, heterozygous, and homozygous mice in a Mendelian ratio. In the release cohort, survival was reduced in the homozygote mutant mice, revealing strong selection against short-period genotypes. Over the course of 14 mo, the relative frequency of the tau allele dropped from initial parity to 20%. Adult survival and recruitment of juveniles into the population contributed approximately equally to the selection for wild-type alleles. The expression of activity during daytime varied throughout the experiment and was significantly increased by the tau mutation. The strong selection against the short-period tau allele observed here contrasts with earlier studies showing absence of selection against a Period 2 (Per2) mutation, which disrupts internal clock function, but does not change period length. These findings are consistent with, and predicted by the theory that resonance of the circadian system plays an important role in individual fitness.

  18. PlantNATsDB: a comprehensive database of plant natural antisense transcripts

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Dijun; Yuan, Chunhui; Zhang, Jian; Zhang, Zhao; Bai, Lin; Meng, Yijun; Chen, Ling-Ling; Chen, Ming

    2012-01-01

    Natural antisense transcripts (NATs), as one type of regulatory RNAs, occur prevalently in plant genomes and play significant roles in physiological and pathological processes. Although their important biological functions have been reported widely, a comprehensive database is lacking up to now. Consequently, we constructed a plant NAT database (PlantNATsDB) involving approximately 2 million NAT pairs in 69 plant species. GO annotation and high-throughput small RNA sequencing data currently available were integrated to investigate the biological function of NATs. PlantNATsDB provides various user-friendly web interfaces to facilitate the presentation of NATs and an integrated, graphical network browser to display the complex networks formed by different NATs. Moreover, a ‘Gene Set Analysis’ module based on GO annotation was designed to dig out the statistical significantly overrepresented GO categories from the specific NAT network. PlantNATsDB is currently the most comprehensive resource of NATs in the plant kingdom, which can serve as a reference database to investigate the regulatory function of NATs. The PlantNATsDB is freely available at http://bis.zju.edu.cn/pnatdb/. PMID:22058132

  19. The incidence and selection of multiple mating in plants

    PubMed Central

    Pannell, John R.; Labouche, Anne-Marie

    2013-01-01

    Mating with more than one pollen donor, or polyandry, is common in land plants. In flowering plants, polyandry occurs when the pollen from different potential sires is distributed among the fruits of a single individual, or when pollen from more than one donor is deposited on the same stigma. Because polyandry typically leads to multiple paternity among or within fruits, it can be indirectly inferred on the basis of paternity analysis using molecular markers. A review of the literature indicates that polyandry is probably ubiquitous in plants except those that habitually self-fertilize, or that disperse their pollen in pollen packages, such as polyads or pollinia. Multiple mating may increase plants' female component by alleviating pollen limitation or by promoting competition among pollen grains from different potential sires. Accordingly, a number of traits have evolved that should promote polyandry at the flower level from the female's point of view, e.g. the prolongation of stigma receptivity or increases in stigma size. However, many floral traits, such as attractiveness, the physical manipulation of pollinators and pollen-dispensing mechanisms that lead to polyandrous pollination, have probably evolved in response to selection to promote male siring success in general, so that polyandry might often best be seen as a by-product of selection to enhance outcross siring success. In this sense, polyandry in plants is similar to geitonogamy (selfing caused by pollen transfer among flowers of the same plant), because both polyandry and geitonogamy probably result from selection to promote outcross siring success, although geitonogamy is almost always deleterious while polyandry in plants will seldom be so. PMID:23339242

  20. Using David Lack's Observations of Finch Beak Size to Teach Natural Selection & the Nature of Science

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bierema, Andrea M.-K.; Rudge, David W.

    2014-01-01

    One of the key aspects of natural selection is competition, yet the concept of competition is not necessarily emphasized in explanations of natural selection. Because of this, we developed an activity for our class that focuses on competition and provides an example of the effects of competition on natural selection. This hands-on activity models…

  1. Natural selection in the field and the classroom

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andrews, Tessa Marie

    This dissertation examined natural selection in westslope cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii lewisi) and undergraduate learning in the subject area natural selection. Translocation---moving individuals to a new habitat to establish, re-establish or supplement a population---is a crucial management strategy for cutthroat trout. One of the major questions managers face in a translocation is which population(s) should contribute individuals? Unfortunately, we often know little about the differences among potential contributing population. The goal of the first half of this dissertation was to look for differences in performance among individuals from five populations of westslope cutthroat trout. I assessed survival, growth, and condition (Chapter 2) and dispersal (Chapter 3) following the translocation of embryos from these five populations to six introduction sites in Cherry Creek. No differences existed among these populations in relative survival, growth, or condition at age 1 or 2. In contrast, statistically significant differences existed in dispersal distance among these populations. These differences were consistent across some, but not all, introduction locations. As our knowledge of evolutionary biology has continued to grow, so too has our knowledge of how students learn evolution. Students taught using active learning strategies can learn substantially more about complex scientific concepts than students taught using primarily lectures. The goal of the second half of this dissertation was to further examine how students learn natural selection and how instructors facilitate that learning. I conducted a national survey of the relationship between an instructor's use of active learning strategies and how much students learned about natural selection (Chapter 4). I used a random sample of instructors from the largest and most prestigious universities in the country so that my results could be inferred to this large population of instructors. The degree to

  2. Standardization of natural pohenomena risk assessment methodology at the Savannah River Plant

    SciTech Connect

    Huang, J.C.; Hsu, Y.S.

    1985-01-01

    Safety analyses at the Savannah River Plant (SRP) normally require consideration of the risks of incidents caused by natural events such as high-velocity straight winds, tornadic winds, and earthquakes. The probabilities for these events to occur at SRP had been studied independently by several investigators, but the results of their studies were never systematically evaluated. As part of the endeavor to standardize our environmental risk assessment methodology, these independent studies have been thoroughly reviewed and critiqued, and appropriate probability models for these natural events have been selected. The selected probability models for natural phenomena, high-velocity straight winds and tornadic winds in particular, are in agreement with those being used at other DOE sites, and have been adopted as a guide for all safety studies conducted for SRP operations and facilities. 7 refs., 3 figs.

  3. Commercial ballard PEM fuel cell natural gas power plant development

    SciTech Connect

    Watkins, D.S.; Dunnison, D.; Cohen, R.

    1996-12-31

    The electric utility industry is in a period of rapid change. Deregulation, wholesale and retail wheeling, and corporate restructuring are forcing utilities to adopt new techniques for conducting their business. The advent of a more customer oriented service business with tailored solutions addressing such needs as power quality is a certain product of the deregulation of the electric utility industry. Distributed and dispersed power are fundamental requirements for such tailored solutions. Because of their modularity, efficiency and environmental benefits, fuel cells are a favored solution to implement distributed and dispersed power concepts. Ballard Power Systems has been working to develop and commercialize Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell power plants for stationary power markets. PEM`s capabilities of flexible operation and multiple market platforms bodes well for success in the stationary power market. Ballard`s stationary commercialization program is now in its second phase. The construction and successful operation of a 10 kW natural gas fueled, proof-of-concept power plant marked the completion of phase one. In the second phase, we are developing a 250 kW market entry power plant. This paper discusses Ballard`s power plant development plan philosophy, the benefits from this approach, and our current status.

  4. The role of natural selection in the origin of life.

    PubMed

    Fry, Iris

    2011-02-01

    It is commonly accepted among origin-of-life scientists that the emergence of life was an evolutionary process involving at one stage or other the working of natural selection. Researchers disagree, however, on the nature of the chemical infrastructure that could have formed prebiotically, enabling the evolutionary process. The division of the origin-of-life research community into 'geneticists' and 'metabolists' usually revolves around the issue whether the first to arise prebiotically was a genetic polymer or a primitive metabolic system. In this paper I offer an alternative classification based on the attitude to the onset of natural selection. From this perspective I add to the conventional division between gene-first and metabolism-first groups a position I call "preparatory metabolism". By this line of thought, an RNA or an RNA-like polymer could not have emerged prebiotically. Nevertheless, the onset of natural selection had to wait until such a polymer had arised. This paper examines the RNA-first, RNA-later, metabolism-first and preparatory-metabolism scenarios, assessing the weaknesses and strengths of each. I conclude that despite the recent theoretical advances in all these lines of research, and despite experimental breakthroughs, especially in overcoming several RNA-first hurdles, none of the examined paradigms has yet attained decisive experimental support. Demonstrating the evolvability of a potentially prebiotic infrastructure, whether genetic or metabolic, is a most serious challenge. So is the experimental demonstration of the emergence of such an infrastructure under prebiotic conditions. The current agenda before origin-of-life researchers of all stripes and colors is the search for the experimental means to tackle all these difficulties.

  5. Joint phenotypes, evolutionary conflict and the fundamental theorem of natural selection.

    PubMed

    Queller, David C

    2014-05-19

    Multiple organisms can sometimes affect a common phenotype. For example, the portion of a leaf eaten by an insect is a joint phenotype of the plant and insect and the amount of food obtained by an offspring can be a joint trait with its mother. Here, I describe the evolution of joint phenotypes in quantitative genetic terms. A joint phenotype for multiple species evolves as the sum of additive genetic variances in each species, weighted by the selection on each species. Selective conflict between the interactants occurs when selection takes opposite signs on the joint phenotype. The mean fitness of a population changes not just through its own genetic variance but also through the genetic variance for its fitness that resides in other species, an update of Fisher's fundamental theorem of natural selection. Some similar results, using inclusive fitness, apply to within-species interactions. The models provide a framework for understanding evolutionary conflicts at all levels.

  6. Impact of natural cleaning on the selection of a washing system for solar collectors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kerstein, A.

    1981-04-01

    The desired optical properties (reflectivity, transmissivity, etc.) of solar energy collector surfaces such as mirrors and photovoltaic surfaces are degraded over time by soiling. Cost benefit evaluation of alternative methods for washing the surface or retarding the optical degradation must take into account natural cleaning processes such as precipitation and frost, which impact the scheduling as well as the benefits of washing. A probabilistic method developed to address this question is used to compare truck-mounted versus mirror-mounted washing systems for central receiver plants. The comparison of these systems is shown to be sensitive to the seasonally-varying frequency and effectiveness of natural cleaning processes. The implications of this analysis for such diverse issues as cost/benefit evaluation of soil-retardant mirror coatings and formulation of plant site selection criteria are noted.

  7. Impact of natural cleaning on the selection of a washing system for solar collectors

    SciTech Connect

    Kerstein, A.

    1981-04-01

    The desired optical properties (reflectivity, transmissivity, etc.) of solar energy collector surfaces such as mirrors and photovoltaic surfaces are degraded over time by soiling. Cost-benefit evaluation of alternative methods for washing the surface or retarding the optical degradation must take into account natural cleaning processes such as precipitation and frost, which impact the scheduling as well as the benefits of washing. A probabilistic method developed to address this question is used to compare truck-mounted versus mirror-mounted washing systems for central receiver plants. The comparison of these systems is shown to be sensitive to the seasonally-varying frequency and effectiveness of natural cleaning processes. The implications of this analysis for such diverse issues as cost/benefit evaluation of soil-retardant mirror coatings and formulation of plant site selection criteria are noted.

  8. Natural Products Screening for the Identification of Selective Monoamine Oxidase-B Inhibitors

    PubMed Central

    Zarmouh, Najla O.; Messeha, Samia S.; Elshami, Faisel M.; Soliman, Karam F. A.

    2016-01-01

    Aims Monoamine oxidase-B inhibitors (MAO-BIs) are used for the initial therapy of Parkinson’s disease. Also, MAO-BIs have shown to be effective neuroprotective agents in several neurodegenerative diseases. However, some concerns exist regarding the long-term use of these compounds. Meanwhile, natural compounds showed potential MAO-B selective inhibitions. To date, few selective natural MAO-BIs have been identified. Therefore, the current study is designed to identify plants with potent and specific MAO-B inhibition. Study Design In this work, we utilized high throughput screening to evaluate the different plants ethanolic extract for their effectiveness to inhibit recombinant human (h)MAO-A and hMAO-B and to determine the relative selectivity of the top MAO-BI. Methodology Recombinant human isozymes were verified by Western blotting, and the 155 plants were screened. A continuous fluorometric screening assay was performed followed by two separate hMAO-A and hMAO-B microtiter screenings and IC50 determinations for the top extracts. Results In the screened plants, 9% of the extracts showed more than 1.5-fold relative inhibition of hMAO-B (RIB) and another 9% showed more than 1.5-fold relative inhibition of hMAO-A. The top extracts with the most potent RIBs were Psoralea corylifolia seeds, Phellodendron amurense bark, Glycyrrhiza uralensis roots, and Ferula assafoetida roots, with the highest RIB of 5.9-fold. Furthermore, extensive maceration of the promising extracts led to increase inhibitory effects with a preserved RIB as confirmed with luminescence assay. The top four extracts hMAO-BIs were equally potent (IC50= 1.3 to 3.8 μg/mL) with highly significant relative selectivities to inhibit hMAO-B (4.1- to 13.4-fold). Conclusion The obtained results indicate that Psoralea corylifolia seeds, Ferula assafoetida, Glycyrrhiza uralensis roots, and Phellodendron amurense ethanolic extracts have selective inhibitions for human MAO-B. Investigating these plant extracts as

  9. Natural selection by pulsed predation: survival of the thickest.

    PubMed

    Bijleveld, Aller I; Twietmeyer, Sönke; Piechocki, Julia; van Gils, Jan A; Piersma, Theunis

    2015-07-01

    Selective predation can lead to natural selection in prey populations and may alleviate competition among surviving individuals. The processes of selection and competition can have substantial effects on prey population dynamics, but are rarely studied simultaneously. Moreover, field studies of predator-induced short-term selection pressures on prey populations are scarce. Here we report measurements of density dependence in body composition in a bivalve prey (edible cockle, Cerastoderma edule) during bouts of intense predation by an avian predator (Red Knot, Calidris canutus). We measured densities, patchiness, morphology, and body composition (shell and flesh mass) of cockles in a quasi-experimental setting, i.e., before and after predation in three similar plots of 1 ha each, two of which experienced predation, and one of which remained unvisited in the course of the short study period and served as a reference. An individual's shell and flesh mass declined with cockle density (negative density dependence). Before predation, cockles were patchily distributed. After predation, during which densities were reduced by 78% (from 232 to 50 cockles/m2), the patchiness was substantially reduced, i.e., the spatial distribution was homogenized. Red Knots selected juvenile cockles with an average length of 6.9 ± 1.0 mm (mean ± SD). Cockles surviving predation had heavier shells than before predation (an increase of 21.5 percentage points), but similar flesh masses. By contrast, in the reference plot shell mass did not differ statistically between initial and final sampling occasions, while flesh mass was larger (an increase of 13.2 percentage points). In this field study, we show that Red Knots imposed a strong selection pressure on cockles to grow fast with thick shells and little flesh mass, with selection gradients among the highest reported in the literature.

  10. Evolution of behavior by density-dependent natural selection

    SciTech Connect

    Pingzhong Guo; Mueller, L.D.; Ayala, F.J. )

    1991-12-01

    Theories of density-dependent natural selection predict that evolution should favor those genotypes with the highest per capita rates of population growth under the current density conditions. These theories are silent about the mechanisms that may give rise to these increases in density-dependent growth rates. The authors have observed the evolution of six populations of Drosophila melanogaster recently placed in crowded environments after nearly 200 generations at low-population density in the laboratory. After 25 generations in these crowded cultures all six populations showed the predicted increase in population growth rates at high-population density with the concomitant decrease in their growth rates at low densities. These changes in rates of population growth are accompanied by changes in the feeding and pupation behavior of the larvae: those populations that have evolve at high-population densities have higher feeding rates and are less likely to pupate on or near the food surface than populations maintained at low densities. A detailed understanding of the mechanisms by which populations evolve under density-dependent natural selection will provide a framework for understanding that nature of trade-offs in life history evolution.

  11. The Emergence of Physiology and Form: Natural Selection Revisited

    PubMed Central

    Torday, John S.

    2016-01-01

    Natural Selection describes how species have evolved differentially, but it is descriptive, non-mechanistic. What mechanisms does Nature use to accomplish this feat? One known way in which ancient natural forces affect development, phylogeny and physiology is through gravitational effects that have evolved as mechanotransduction, seen in the lung, kidney and bone, linking as molecular homologies to skin and brain. Tracing the ontogenetic and phylogenetic changes that have facilitated mechanotransduction identifies specific homologous cell-types and functional molecular markers for lung homeostasis that reveal how and why complex physiologic traits have evolved from the unicellular to the multicellular state. Such data are reinforced by their reverse-evolutionary patterns in chronic degenerative diseases. The physiologic responses of model organisms like Dictyostelium and yeast to gravity provide deep comparative molecular phenotypic homologies, revealing mammalian Target of Rapamycin (mTOR) as the final common pathway for vertical integration of vertebrate physiologic evolution; mTOR integrates calcium/lipid epistatic balance as both the proximate and ultimate positive selection pressure for vertebrate physiologic evolution. The commonality of all vertebrate structure-function relationships can be reduced to calcium/lipid homeostatic regulation as the fractal unit of vertebrate physiology, demonstrating the primacy of the unicellular state as the fundament of physiologic evolution. PMID:27534726

  12. Development of a full scale selective oil agglomeration plant

    SciTech Connect

    Donnelly, J.C.; Cooney, B.; Hoare, I.; Waugh, B.; Robinson, R.

    1998-12-31

    A research and development program managed by Australian Mining Investments Limited (AMI) on behalf of an investment syndicate was conducted with the objective of improving the efficiency and economy of the Selective Oil Agglomeration Process (SOAP), and developing viable commercial sized operating plants. Fewer than half the coal preparation plants in Australia beneficiate fine coal by froth flotation, the only viable alternative to SOAP for the recovery of low ash, fine and ultra fine coal. Those plants without flotation generally dispose of the ultra fine material, approximately {minus}100{micro}m in size, as tailings to waste. In the majority of cases this ultra fine waste contains more than 50% relatively low ash coal of saleable quality. It is believed that this coal constitutes a loss of 8--10 million tonnes per annum and that the coal mining industry would welcome a recovery process which has low capital and operating costs and will function automatically with minimal operator attention. The authors carried out a comprehensive literature study of selective oil agglomeration in order to gain a full understanding of the process and to plan the research program. Extensive studies were then undertaken on oil dispersion in the water phase, formation of oil water emulsions with surfactants and the optimization of surfactant selection. Oil and emulsion properties were investigated including stability, viscosity, temperature, concentration of components, time of formation, and cost. This work was followed by characterization studies on coals from the Gunnedah Basin and agglomeration test work on these coals. These agglomeration studies were performed firstly at bench level and then by using a small, 200 kg/hr continuous process development unit. The results were sufficiently encouraging to justify the design and construction of a fully instrumented, PLC controlled, 2 tph pilot plant at Gunnedah Colliery Coal Preparation Plant. Extensive trials were carried out on

  13. Population thinking and natural selection in dual-inheritance theory.

    PubMed

    Houkes, Wybo

    2012-05-01

    A deflationary perspective on theories of cultural evolution, in particular dual-inheritance theory, has recently been proposed by Lewens. On this 'pop-culture' analysis, dual-inheritance theorists apply population thinking to cultural phenomena, without claiming that cultural items evolve by natural selection. This paper argues against this pop-culture analysis of dual-inheritance theory. First, it focuses on recent dual-inheritance models of specific patterns of cultural change. These models exemplify population thinking without a commitment to natural selection of cultural items. There are grounds, however, for doubting the added explanatory value of the models in their disciplinary context-and thus grounds for engaging in other potentially explanatory projects based on dual-inheritance theory. One such project is suggested by advocates of the theory. Some of the motivational narratives that they offer can be interpreted as setting up an adaptationist project with regard to cumulative change in cultural items. We develop this interpretation here. On it, dual-inheritance theory features two interrelated selection processes, one on the level of genetically inherited learning mechanisms, another on the level of the cultural items transmitted through these mechanisms. This interpretation identifies a need for further modelling efforts, but also offers scope for enhancing the explanatory power of dual-inheritance theory.

  14. Selection of plants for phytoremediation of soils contaminated with radionuclides

    SciTech Connect

    Entry J.A.; Vance, N.C.; Watrud, L.S.

    1996-12-31

    Remediation of soil contaminated with radionuclides typically requires that soil be removed from the site and treated with various dispersing and chelating chemicals. Numerous studies have shown that radionuclides are generally not leached from the top 0.4 meters of soil, where plant roots actively accumulate elements. Restoration of large areas of land contaminated with low levels of radionuclides may be feasible using phytoremediation. Criteria for the selection of plants for phytoremediation, molecular approaches to increase radio nuclide uptake, effects of cultural practices on uptake and assessment of environmental effects of phytoremediation will be discussed.

  15. Herbivores affect natural selection for floral-sex ratio in a field population of horsenettle, Solanum carolinense.

    PubMed

    Wise, Michael J; Hébert, Julie B

    2010-04-01

    Although aspects of a plant's breeding system are generally believed to have evolved in response to selection for effective pollination, herbivores may also play a selective role. Here we report on a field experiment involving 960 transplanted ramets of the andromonoecious herb Solanum carolinense in which the pattern of natural selection for an important breeding-system trait was influenced by naturally occurring herbivores. As the level of flower and fruit herbivory increased, the pattern of selection on floral-sex ratio went from stabilizing (with an optimum of 29% male flowers), to directional toward a lower proportion of males, with the optimum bottoming at 0% male. This pattern of selection likely helped generate the broad-sense genetic correlation (r = 0.42) between floral-sex ratio and resistance to herbivory. These results contribute to the growing awareness that herbivores can be important influences not only on plant resistance traits, but also on the evolution of their hosts' breeding system.

  16. Interactions in Natural Colloid Systems "Biosolids" - Soil and Plant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kalinichenko, Kira V.; Nikovskaya, Galina N.; Ulberg, Zoya R.

    2016-04-01

    The "biosolids" are complex biocolloid system arising in huge amounts (mln tons per year) from biological municipal wastewater treatment. These contain clusters of nanoparticles of heavy metal compounds (in slightly soluble or unsoluble forms, such as phosphates, sulphates, carbonates, hydroxides, and etc.), cells, humic substances and so on, involved in exopolysaccharides (EPS) net matrix. One may consider that biosolids are the natural nanocomposite. Due to the presence of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and other macro- and microelements (heavy metals), vitamins, aminoacids, etc., the biosolids are a depot of bioelements for plant nutrition. Thus, it is generally recognized that most rationally to utilize them for land application. For this purpose the biocolloid process was developed in biosolids system by initiation of microbial vital ability followed by the synthesis of EPS, propagation of ecologically important microorganisms, loosening of the structure and weakening of the coagulation contacts between biosolids colloids, but the structure integrity maintaining [1,2]. It was demonstrated that the applying of biosolids with metabolizing microorganisms to soil provided the improving soil structure, namely the increasing of waterstable aggregates content (70% vs. 20%). It occurs due to flocculation ability of biosolids EPS. The experimental modelling of mutual interactions in systems of soils - biosolids (with metabolizing microorganisms) were realized and their colloid and chemical mechanisms were formulated [3]. As it is known, the most harmonious plant growth comes at a prolonged entering of nutrients under the action of plant roots exudates which include pool of organic acids and polysaccharides [4]. Special investigations showed that under the influence of exudates excreted by growing plants, the biosolids microelements can release gradually from immobilized state into environment and are able to absorb by plants. Thus, the biosolids can serve as an active

  17. Sexual and natural selection in the evolution of extended phenotypes: the use of green nesting material in starlings.

    PubMed

    Rubalcaba, J G; Polo, V; Maia, R; Rubenstein, D R; Veiga, J P

    2016-08-01

    Although sexual selection is typically considered the predominant force driving the evolution of ritualized sexual behaviours, natural selection may also play an important and often underappreciated role. The use of green aromatic plants among nesting birds has been interpreted as a component of extended phenotype that evolved either via natural selection due to potential sanitary functions or via sexual selection as a signal of male attractiveness. Here, we compared both hypotheses using comparative methods in starlings, a group where this behaviour is widespread. We found that the use of green plants was positively related to male-biased size dimorphism and that it was most likely to occur among cavity-nesting species. These results suggest that this behaviour is likely favoured by sexual selection, but also related to its sanitary use in response to higher parasite loads in cavities. We speculate that the use of green plants in starlings may be facilitated by cavity nesting and was subsequently co-opted as a sexual signal by males. Our results represent an example of how an extended phenotypic component of males becomes sexually selected by females. Thus, both natural selection and sexual selection are necessary to fully understand the evolution of ritualized behaviours involved in courtship.

  18. [Natural fruit colour selection by frugivorous birds in Xishuangbanna].

    PubMed

    Duan, Qiong; Quan, Rui-Chang

    2012-10-01

    Black and red are the most common colors of fruit, but the reason behind this has been subject to debate. Food preferences of avian frugivores for certain colors of food have been proposed as a selection mechanism that explains these traits, but there is little evidence supporting this hypothesis. Here, we conducted a lab experiment using four colors of natural fruit to evaluate color preferences of five avian species, and we also conducted this experiment in open area and understory habitats. Our results showed that red and black fruits were selected most often in lab experiment; in field experiment, red and black fruits were also the most preferred food, but the total amount of consumed fruits differed significantly between open areas and understory habitats. Our study suggested that differences in color preferences among frugivores may potentially reflect the diversity of fruit color and frequency in Xishuangbanna.

  19. The natural selection of fidelity in social learning

    PubMed Central

    Sperber, Dan

    2010-01-01

    Social learning mechanisms are usually assumed to explain both the spread and the persistence of cultural behavior. In a recent article, we showed that the fidelity of social learning commonly found in transmission chain experiments is not high enough to explain cultural stability. Here we want to both enrich and qualify this conclusion by looking at the case of song transmission in song birds, which can be faithful to the point of being true replication. We argue that this high fidelity results from natural selection pressure on cognitive mechanisms. This observation strengthens our main argument. Social learning mechanisms are unlikely to be faithful enough to explain cultural stability because they are generally selected not for high fidelity but for generalization and adjustment to the individual’s needs, capacities and situation. PMID:20798823

  20. Kaon condensation, black holes, and cosmological natural selection.

    PubMed

    Brown, G E; Lee, Chang-Hwan; Rho, Mannque

    2008-08-29

    It is argued that a well-measured double neutron-star binary in which the two neutron stars are more than 4% different from each other in mass or a massive neutron star with mass M > or approximately 2M(middle dot in circle) would put in serious doubt or simply falsify the following chain of predictions: (1) a nearly vanishing vector meson mass at chiral restoration, (2) kaon condensation at a density n-3n0, (3) the Brown-Bethe maximum neutron-star mass Mmax approximately 1.5M(middle dot in circle), and (4) Smolin's "cosmological natural selection" hypothesis.

  1. Exploring the Potential for Using Inexpensive Natural Reagents Extracted from Plants to Teach Chemical Analysis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hartwell, Supaporn Kradtap

    2012-01-01

    A number of scientific articles report on the use of natural extracts from plants as chemical reagents, where the main objective is to present the scientific applications of those natural plant extracts. The author suggests that natural reagents extracted from plants can be used as alternative low cost tools in teaching chemical analysis,…

  2. Selection maintains MHC diversity through a natural population bottleneck.

    PubMed

    Oliver, Matthew K; Piertney, Stuart B

    2012-07-01

    A perceived consequence of a population bottleneck is the erosion of genetic diversity and concomitant reduction in individual fitness and evolutionary potential. Although reduced genetic variation associated with demographic perturbation has been amply demonstrated for neutral molecular markers, the effective management of genetic resources in natural populations is hindered by a lack of understanding of how adaptive genetic variation will respond to population fluctuations, given these are affected by selection as well as drift. Here, we demonstrate that selection counters drift to maintain polymorphism at a major histocompatibility complex (MHC) locus through a population bottleneck in an inbred island population of water voles. Before and after the bottleneck, MHC allele frequencies were close to balancing selection equilibrium but became skewed by drift when the population size was critically low. MHC heterozygosity generally conformed to Hardy-Weinberg expectations except in one generation during the population recovery where there was a significant excess of heterozygous genotypes, which simulations ascribed to strong differential MHC-dependent survival. Low allelic diversity and highly skewed frequency distributions at microsatellite loci indicated potent genetic drift due to a strong founder affect and/or previous population bottlenecks. This study is a real-time examination of the predictions of fundamental evolutionary theory in low genetic diversity situations. The findings highlight that conservation efforts to maintain the genetic health and evolutionary potential of natural populations should consider the genetic basis for fitness-related traits, and how such adaptive genetic diversity will vary in response to both the demographic fluctuations and the effects of selection.

  3. Research highlights: natural passive samplers--plants as biomonitors.

    PubMed

    Lin, Vivian S

    2015-06-01

    In the past decade, interest in boosting the collection of data on environmental pollutants while reducing costs has spurred intensive research into passive samplers, instruments that monitor the environment through the free flow of chemical species. These devices, although relatively inexpensive compared to active sampling technologies, are often tailored for collection of specific contaminants or monitoring of a single phase, typically water or air. Plants as versatile, natural passive samplers have gained increased attention in recent years due to their ability to absorb a diverse range of chemicals from the air, water, and soil. Trees, lichens, and other flora have evolved exquisite biological features to facilitate uptake of nutrients and water from the ground and conduct gas exchange on an extraordinary scale, making them excellent monitors of their surroundings. Sampling established plant specimens in a region also provides both historical and spatial data on environmental contaminants at relatively low cost in a non-invasive manner. This Highlight presents several recent publications that demonstrate how plant biomonitoring can be used to map the distribution of a variety of pollutants and identify their sources.

  4. Natural products from resurrection plants: potential for medical applications.

    PubMed

    Gechev, Tsanko S; Hille, Jacques; Woerdenbag, Herman J; Benina, Maria; Mehterov, Nikolay; Toneva, Valentina; Fernie, Alisdair R; Mueller-Roeber, Bernd

    2014-11-01

    Resurrection species are a group of land plants that can tolerate extreme desiccation of their vegetative tissues during harsh drought stress, and still quickly - often within hours - regain normal physiological and metabolic functions following rehydration. At the molecular level, this desiccation tolerance is attributed to basal cellular mechanisms including the constitutive expression of stress-associated genes and high levels of protective metabolites present already in the absence of stress, as well as to transcriptome and metabolome reconfigurations rapidly occurring during the initial phases of drought stress. Parts of this response are conferred by unique metabolites, including a diverse array of sugars, phenolic compounds, and polyols, some of which accumulate to high concentrations within the plant cell. In addition to drought stress, these metabolites are proposed to contribute to the protection against other abiotic stresses and to an increased oxidative stress tolerance. Recently, extracts of resurrection species and particular secondary metabolites therein were reported to display biological activities of importance to medicine, with e.g. antibacterial, anticancer, antifungal, and antiviral activities, rendering them possible candidates for the development of novel drug substances as well as for cosmetics. Herein, we provide an overview of the metabolite composition of resurrection species, summarize the latest reports related to the use of natural products from resurrection plants, and outline their potential for medical applications.

  5. Plant-Derived Natural Products as Sources of Anti-Quorum Sensing Compounds

    PubMed Central

    Koh, Chong-Lek; Sam, Choon-Kook; Yin, Wai-Fong; Tan, Li Ying; Krishnan, Thiba; Chong, Yee Meng; Chan, Kok-Gan

    2013-01-01

    Quorum sensing is a system of stimuli and responses in relation to bacterial cell population density that regulates gene expression, including virulence determinants. Consequently, quorum sensing has been an attractive target for the development of novel anti-infective measures that do not rely on the use of antibiotics. Anti-quorum sensing has been a promising strategy to combat bacterial infections as it is unlikely to develop multidrug resistant pathogens since it does not impose any selection pressure. A number of anti-quorum sensing approaches have been documented and plant-based natural products have been extensively studied in this context. Plant matter is one of the major sources of chemicals in use today in various industries, ranging from the pharmaceutical, cosmetic, and food biotechnology to the textile industries. Just like animals and humans, plants are constantly exposed to bacterial infections, it is therefore logical to expect that plants have developed sophisticated of chemical mechanisms to combat pathogens. In this review, we have surveyed the various types of plant-based natural products that exhibit anti-quorum sensing properties and their anti-quorum sensing mechanisms. PMID:23669710

  6. Plant-derived natural products as sources of anti-quorum sensing compounds.

    PubMed

    Koh, Chong-Lek; Sam, Choon-Kook; Yin, Wai-Fong; Tan, Li Ying; Krishnan, Thiba; Chong, Yee Meng; Chan, Kok-Gan

    2013-05-13

    Quorum sensing is a system of stimuli and responses in relation to bacterial cell population density that regulates gene expression, including virulence determinants. Consequently, quorum sensing has been an attractive target for the development of novel anti-infective measures that do not rely on the use of antibiotics. Anti-quorum sensing has been a promising strategy to combat bacterial infections as it is unlikely to develop multidrug resistant pathogens since it does not impose any selection pressure. A number of anti-quorum sensing approaches have been documented and plant-based natural products have been extensively studied in this context. Plant matter is one of the major sources of chemicals in use today in various industries, ranging from the pharmaceutical, cosmetic, and food biotechnology to the textile industries. Just like animals and humans, plants are constantly exposed to bacterial infections, it is therefore logical to expect that plants have developed sophisticated of chemical mechanisms to combat pathogens. In this review, we have surveyed the various types of plant-based natural products that exhibit anti-quorum sensing properties and their anti-quorum sensing mechanisms.

  7. Alkene Metathesis and Renewable Materials: Selective Transformations of Plant Oils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malacea, Raluca; Dixneuf, Pierre H.

    The olefin metathesis of natural oils and fats and their derivatives is the basis of clean catalytic reactions relevant to green chemistry processes and the production of generate useful chemicals from renewable raw materials. Three variants of alkene metathesis: self-metathesis, ethenolysis and cross-metathesis applied to plant oil derivatives will show new routes to fine chemicals, bifunctional products, polymer precursours and industry intermediates.

  8. A below-ground herbivore shapes root defensive chemistry in natural plant populations.

    PubMed

    Huber, Meret; Bont, Zoe; Fricke, Julia; Brillatz, Théo; Aziz, Zohra; Gershenzon, Jonathan; Erb, Matthias

    2016-03-30

    Plants display extensive intraspecific variation in secondary metabolites. However, the selective forces shaping this diversity remain often unknown, especially below ground. Using Taraxacum officinale and its major native insect root herbivore Melolontha melolontha, we tested whether below-ground herbivores drive intraspecific variation in root secondary metabolites. We found that high M. melolontha infestation levels over recent decades are associated with high concentrations of major root latex secondary metabolites across 21 central European T. officinale field populations. By cultivating offspring of these populations, we show that both heritable variation and phenotypic plasticity contribute to the observed differences. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the production of the sesquiterpene lactone taraxinic acid β-D-glucopyranosyl ester (TA-G) is costly in the absence, but beneficial in the presence of M. melolontha, resulting in divergent selection of TA-G. Our results highlight the role of soil-dwelling insects for the evolution of plant defences in nature.

  9. A below-ground herbivore shapes root defensive chemistry in natural plant populations

    PubMed Central

    Huber, Meret; Bont, Zoe; Fricke, Julia; Brillatz, Théo; Aziz, Zohra; Gershenzon, Jonathan; Erb, Matthias

    2016-01-01

    Plants display extensive intraspecific variation in secondary metabolites. However, the selective forces shaping this diversity remain often unknown, especially below ground. Using Taraxacum officinale and its major native insect root herbivore Melolontha melolontha, we tested whether below-ground herbivores drive intraspecific variation in root secondary metabolites. We found that high M. melolontha infestation levels over recent decades are associated with high concentrations of major root latex secondary metabolites across 21 central European T. officinale field populations. By cultivating offspring of these populations, we show that both heritable variation and phenotypic plasticity contribute to the observed differences. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the production of the sesquiterpene lactone taraxinic acid β-d-glucopyranosyl ester (TA-G) is costly in the absence, but beneficial in the presence of M. melolontha, resulting in divergent selection of TA-G. Our results highlight the role of soil-dwelling insects for the evolution of plant defences in nature. PMID:27009228

  10. Toxicity and removal of pesticides by selected aquatic plants.

    PubMed

    Olette, Rachel; Couderchet, Michel; Biagianti, Sylvie; Eullaffroy, Philippe

    2008-02-01

    Pesticides are being detected in water bodies on an increasingly frequent basis. The present study focused on the phytoremediation potential of selected aquatic plants to remove phytosanitary products from contaminated water. We investigated the uptake capacity of Lemna minor (L. minor), Elodea canadensis (E. canadensis) and Cabomba aquatica (C. aquatica) on three pesticides: copper sulphate (fungicide), flazasulfuron (herbicide) and dimethomorph (fungicide). Pesticide toxicity was evaluated by exposing plants to five concentrations (0-1 mg L(-1)) in culture media for 7d using chlorophyll fluorescence as a biomarker. The toxicity of the contaminants was the same for all the aquatic plants studied and occurred in this descending order of toxicity: flazasulfuron>copper>dimethomorph. We found that L. minor had the most efficient uptake capacity, followed by E. canadensis and then C. aquatica. The maximum removal rate (microg g(-1)fresh weight d(-1)) of copper, flazasulfuron and dimethomorph was 30, 27 and 11, respectively.

  11. Positive selection driving diversification in plant secondary metabolism

    PubMed Central

    Benderoth, Markus; Textor, Susanne; Windsor, Aaron J.; Mitchell-Olds, Thomas; Gershenzon, Jonathan; Kroymann, Juergen

    2006-01-01

    In Arabidopsis thaliana and related plants, glucosinolates are a major component in the blend of secondary metabolites and contribute to resistance against herbivorous insects. Methylthioalkylmalate synthases (MAM) encoded at the MAM gene cluster control an early step in the biosynthesis of glucosinolates and, therefore, are central to the diversification of glucosinolate metabolism. We sequenced bacterial artificial chromosomes containing the MAM cluster from several Arabidopsis relatives, conducted enzyme assays with heterologously expressed MAM genes, and analyzed MAM nucleotide variation patterns. Our results show that gene duplication, neofunctionalization, and positive selection provide the mechanism for biochemical adaptation in plant defense. These processes occur repeatedly in the history of the MAM gene family, indicating their fundamental importance for the evolution of plant metabolic diversity both within and among species. PMID:16754868

  12. Plants adapted to warmer climate do not outperform regional plants during a natural heat wave.

    PubMed

    Bucharova, Anna; Durka, Walter; Hermann, Julia-Maria; Hölzel, Norbert; Michalski, Stefan; Kollmann, Johannes; Bossdorf, Oliver

    2016-06-01

    With ongoing climate change, many plant species may not be able to adapt rapidly enough, and some conservation experts are therefore considering to translocate warm-adapted ecotypes to mitigate effects of climate warming. Although this strategy, called assisted migration, is intuitively plausible, most of the support comes from models, whereas experimental evidence is so far scarce. Here we present data on multiple ecotypes of six grassland species, which we grew in four common gardens in Germany during a natural heat wave, with temperatures 1.4-2.0°C higher than the long-term means. In each garden we compared the performance of regional ecotypes with plants from a locality with long-term summer temperatures similar to what the plants experienced during the summer heat wave. We found no difference in performance between regional and warm-adapted plants in four of the six species. In two species, regional ecotypes even outperformed warm-adapted plants, despite elevated temperatures, which suggests that translocating warm-adapted ecotypes may not only lack the desired effect of increased performance but may even have negative consequences. Even if adaptation to climate plays a role, other factors involved in local adaptation, such as biotic interactions, may override it. Based on our results, we cannot advocate assisted migration as a universal tool to enhance the performance of local plant populations and communities during climate change.

  13. Kainic Acid-Induced Excitotoxicity Experimental Model: Protective Merits of Natural Products and Plant Extracts

    PubMed Central

    Mohd Sairazi, Nur Shafika; Sirajudeen, K. N. S.; Asari, Mohd Asnizam; Muzaimi, Mustapha; Mummedy, Swamy; Sulaiman, Siti Amrah

    2015-01-01

    Excitotoxicity is well recognized as a major pathological process of neuronal death in neurodegenerative diseases involving the central nervous system (CNS). In the animal models of neurodegeneration, excitotoxicity is commonly induced experimentally by chemical convulsants, particularly kainic acid (KA). KA-induced excitotoxicity in rodent models has been shown to result in seizures, behavioral changes, oxidative stress, glial activation, inflammatory mediator production, endoplasmic reticulum stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, and selective neurodegeneration in the brain upon KA administration. Recently, there is an emerging trend to search for natural sources to combat against excitotoxicity-associated neurodegenerative diseases. Natural products and plant extracts had attracted a considerable amount of attention because of their reported beneficial effects on the CNS, particularly their neuroprotective effect against excitotoxicity. They provide significant reduction and/or protection against the development and progression of acute and chronic neurodegeneration. This indicates that natural products and plants extracts may be useful in protecting against excitotoxicity-associated neurodegeneration. Thus, targeting of multiple pathways simultaneously may be the strategy to maximize the neuroprotection effect. This review summarizes the mechanisms involved in KA-induced excitotoxicity and attempts to collate the various researches related to the protective effect of natural products and plant extracts in the KA model of neurodegeneration. PMID:26793262

  14. Pollen limitation and its influence on natural selection through seed set.

    PubMed

    Bartkowska, M P; Johnston, M O

    2015-11-01

    Stronger pollen limitation should increase competition among plants, leading to stronger selection on traits important for pollen receipt. The few explicit tests of this hypothesis, however, have provided conflicting support. Using the arithmetic relationship between these two quantities, we show that increased pollen limitation will automatically result in stronger selection (all else equal) although other factors can alter selection independently of pollen limitation. We then tested the hypothesis using two approaches. First, we analysed the published studies containing information on both pollen limitation and selection. Second, we explored how natural selection measured in one Ontario population of Lobelia cardinalis over 3 years and two Michigan populations in 1 year relates to pollen limitation. For the Ontario population, we also explored whether pollinator-mediated selection is related to pollen limitation. Consistent with the hypothesis, we found an overall positive relationship between selection strength and pollen limitation both among species and within L. cardinalis. Unexpectedly, this relationship was found even for vegetative traits among species, and was not found in L. cardinalis for pollinator-mediated selection on nearly all trait types.

  15. Natural genetic and induced plant resistance, as a control strategy to plant-parasitic nematodes alternative to pesticides.

    PubMed

    Molinari, Sergio

    2011-03-01

    Plant-parasitic nematodes are pests of a wide range of economically important crops, causing severe losses to agriculture. Natural genetic resistance of plants is expected to be a valid solution of the many problems nematodes cause all over the world. Progress in resistance applications is particularly important for the less-developed countries of tropical and subtropical regions, since use of resistant cultivars may be the only possible and economically feasible control strategy in those farming systems. Resistance is being considered of particular importance also in modern high-input production systems of developed countries, as the customary reliance on chemical nematicides has been restricted or has come to an end. This review briefly describes the genetic bases of resistance to nematodes in plants and focuses on the chances and problems of its exploitation as a key element in an integrated management program. Much space is dedicated to the major problem of resistance durability, in that the intensive use of resistant cultivars is likely to increasingly induce the selection of virulent populations able to "break" the resistance. Protocols of pest-host suitability are described, as bioassays are being used to evaluate local nematode populations in their potential to be selected on resistant germplasm and endanger resistant crops. The recent progress in using robust and durable resistances against nematodes as an efficient method for growers in vegetable cropping systems is reported, as well as the possible use of chemicals that do not show any unfavorable impact on environment, to induce in plants resistance against plant-parasitic nematodes.

  16. In vitro cytotoxic screening of selected Saudi medicinal plants.

    PubMed

    Almehdar, Hussein; Abdallah, Hossam M; Osman, Abdel-Moneim M; Abdel-Sattar, Essam A

    2012-04-01

    Many natural products from plants have been identified to exert anticancer activity. It might be expected to be a challenge to look at the Saudi plants in order to discover new sources for new molecules which may have anticancer activity. The methanolic extracts of forty species of plants traditionally used in Saudi Arabia for the treatment of a variety of diseases were tested in vitro for their potential anticancer activity on different human cancer cell lines. The cytotoxic activity of the methanolic extracts of the tested plants were determined using three human cancer cell lines, namely, breast cancer (MCF7), hepatocellular carcinoma (HEPG2), and cervix cancer (HELA) cells. In addition, human normal melanocyte (HFB4) was used as normal nonmalignant cells. Sulforhodamine B colorimetric assay was used to evaluate the in vitro cytotoxic activity of the different extracts. The growth inhibition of 50% (IC(50)) for each extract was calculated from the optical density of treated and untreated cells. Doxorubicin, a broad-spectrum anticancer drug, was used as the positive control. Nine plant extracts were chosen for further fractionation based on their activity and availability. Interesting cytotoxic activity was observed for Hypoestes forskaolii, Withania somnifera, Solanum glabratum, Adenium obesum, Pistacia vera oleoresin, Caralluma quadrangula, Eulophia petersii, Phragmanthera austroarabica, and Asparagus officinalis. Other extracts showed poor activity.

  17. Widespread selective sweeps throughout the genome of model plant pathogenic fungi and identification of effector candidates.

    PubMed

    Badouin, H; Gladieux, P; Gouzy, J; Siguenza, S; Aguileta, G; Snirc, A; Le Prieur, S; Jeziorski, C; Branca, A; Giraud, T

    2017-04-01

    Identifying the genes underlying adaptation, their distribution in genomes and the evolutionary forces shaping genomic diversity are key challenges in evolutionary biology. Very few studies have investigated the abundance and distribution of selective sweeps in species with high-quality reference genomes, outside a handful of model species. Pathogenic fungi are tractable eukaryote models for investigating the genomics of adaptation. By sequencing 53 genomes of two species of anther-smut fungi and mapping them against a high-quality reference genome, we showed that selective sweeps were abundant and scattered throughout the genome in one species, affecting near 17% of the genome, but much less numerous and in different genomic regions in its sister species, where they left footprints in only 1% of the genome. Polymorphism was negatively correlated with linkage disequilibrium levels in the genomes, consistent with recurrent positive and/or background selection. Differential expression in planta and in vitro, and functional annotation, suggested that many of the selective sweeps were probably involved in adaptation to the host plant. Examples include glycoside hydrolases, pectin lyases and an extracellular membrane protein with CFEM domain. This study thus provides candidate genes for being involved in plant-pathogen interaction (effectors), which have remained elusive for long in this otherwise well-studied system. Their identification will foster future functional and evolutionary studies, in the plant and in the anther-smut pathogens, being model species of natural plant-pathogen associations. In addition, our results suggest that positive selection can have a pervasive impact in shaping genomic variability in pathogens and selfing species, broadening our knowledge of the occurrence and frequency of selective events in natural populations.

  18. Natural selection on light response curve parameters in the herbaceous annual, Impatiens capensis.

    PubMed

    Heschel, M Shane; Stinchcombe, John R; Holsinger, Kent E; Schmitt, Johanna

    2004-05-01

    We tested for genetic variation in light response curves and their acclimation to sun versus shade in recombinant inbred lines (RILs) of the annual species Impatiens capensis derived from a cross between sun and shade populations. We exposed replicates of 49 RILs to experimentally manipulated light levels (open versus shade) in a greenhouse and measured photosynthetic light response curves, height, biomass, and reproduction. Plants were taller in the shade treatment, but we were unable to detect differences between light treatments (i.e., acclimation) in the maximal rate of photosynthesis, the light compensation point, or the quantum efficiency of photosynthesis. Genotypic selection analyses indicated that higher maximal rates of carbon assimilation and higher light compensation points (typical of sun-acclimated light curves) were favored by natural selection in both light treatments. Thus, it appears that the pattern of selection on photosynthetic parameters may not depend on light environment in this species.

  19. Effects of Mode of Target Task Selection on Learning about Plants in a Mobile Learning Environment: Effortful Manual Selection versus Effortless QR-Code Selection

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gao, Yuan; Liu, Tzu-Chien; Paas, Fred

    2016-01-01

    This study compared the effects of effortless selection of target plants using quick respond (QR) code technology to effortful manual search and selection of target plants on learning about plants in a mobile device supported learning environment. In addition, it was investigated whether the effectiveness of the 2 selection methods was…

  20. Chalcone-based Selective Inhibitors of a C4 Plant Key Enzyme as Novel Potential Herbicides

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nguyen, G. T. T.; Erlenkamp, G.; Jäck, O.; Küberl, A.; Bott, M.; Fiorani, F.; Gohlke, H.; Groth, G.

    2016-06-01

    Weeds are a challenge for global food production due to their rapidly evolving resistance against herbicides. We have identified chalcones as selective inhibitors of phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase (PEPC), a key enzyme for carbon fixation and biomass increase in the C4 photosynthetic pathway of many of the world’s most damaging weeds. In contrast, many of the most important crop plants use C3 photosynthesis. Here, we show that 2‧,3‧,4‧,3,4-Pentahydroxychalcone (IC50 = 600 nM) and 2‧,3‧,4‧-Trihydroxychalcone (IC50 = 4.2 μM) are potent inhibitors of C4 PEPC but do not affect C3 PEPC at a same concentration range (selectivity factor: 15–45). Binding and modeling studies indicate that the active compounds bind at the same site as malate/aspartate, the natural feedback inhibitors of the C4 pathway. At the whole plant level, both substances showed pronounced growth-inhibitory effects on the C4 weed Amaranthus retroflexus, while there were no measurable effects on oilseed rape, a C3 plant. Growth of selected soil bacteria was not affected by these substances. Our chalcone compounds are the most potent and selective C4 PEPC inhibitors known to date. They offer a novel approach to combat C4 weeds based on a hitherto unexplored mode of allosteric inhibition of a C4 plant key enzyme.

  1. Selection for Higher Gene Copy Number after Different Types of Plant Gene Duplications

    PubMed Central

    Hudson, Corey M.; Puckett, Emily E.; Bekaert, Michaël; Pires, J. Chris; Conant, Gavin C.

    2011-01-01

    The evolutionary origins of the multitude of duplicate genes in the plant genomes are still incompletely understood. To gain an appreciation of the potential selective forces acting on these duplicates, we phylogenetically inferred the set of metabolic gene families from 10 flowering plant (angiosperm) genomes. We then compared the metabolic fluxes for these families, predicted using the Arabidopsis thaliana and Sorghum bicolor metabolic networks, with the families' duplication propensities. For duplications produced by both small scale (small-scale duplications) and genome duplication (whole-genome duplications), there is a significant association between the flux and the tendency to duplicate. Following this global analysis, we made a more fine-scale study of the selective constraints observed on plant sodium and phosphate transporters. We find that the different duplication mechanisms give rise to differing selective constraints. However, the exact nature of this pattern varies between the gene families, and we argue that the duplication mechanism alone does not define a duplicated gene's subsequent evolutionary trajectory. Collectively, our results argue for the interplay of history, function, and selection in shaping the duplicate gene evolution in plants. PMID:22056313

  2. Chalcone-based Selective Inhibitors of a C4 Plant Key Enzyme as Novel Potential Herbicides

    PubMed Central

    Nguyen, G. T. T.; Erlenkamp, G.; Jäck, O.; Küberl, A.; Bott, M.; Fiorani, F.; Gohlke, H.; Groth, G.

    2016-01-01

    Weeds are a challenge for global food production due to their rapidly evolving resistance against herbicides. We have identified chalcones as selective inhibitors of phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase (PEPC), a key enzyme for carbon fixation and biomass increase in the C4 photosynthetic pathway of many of the world’s most damaging weeds. In contrast, many of the most important crop plants use C3 photosynthesis. Here, we show that 2′,3′,4′,3,4-Pentahydroxychalcone (IC50 = 600 nM) and 2′,3′,4′-Trihydroxychalcone (IC50 = 4.2 μM) are potent inhibitors of C4 PEPC but do not affect C3 PEPC at a same concentration range (selectivity factor: 15–45). Binding and modeling studies indicate that the active compounds bind at the same site as malate/aspartate, the natural feedback inhibitors of the C4 pathway. At the whole plant level, both substances showed pronounced growth-inhibitory effects on the C4 weed Amaranthus retroflexus, while there were no measurable effects on oilseed rape, a C3 plant. Growth of selected soil bacteria was not affected by these substances. Our chalcone compounds are the most potent and selective C4 PEPC inhibitors known to date. They offer a novel approach to combat C4 weeds based on a hitherto unexplored mode of allosteric inhibition of a C4 plant key enzyme. PMID:27263468

  3. Seed Predators, not Herbivores, Exert Natural Selection on Solidago spp. in an Urban Archipelago.

    PubMed

    Bode, R F; Gilbert, A B

    2016-02-01

    The effects of urbanization on biodiversity are well established, as a growing city will reduce the size and diversity of patches of native plants. Recolonization of old patches and discovery of new ones by arthropod herbivores should occur as predicted by island biogeography theory. Although colonization represents an increase in biodiversity, such arrivals may exert new forms of natural selection on plants through herbivory and seed predation. Using a single species of old-field aster (Solidago altissima L.), we found that the level of natural selection by seed predators and herbivores follows patterns of island biogeography, with lower amounts of damage on smaller islands, where there are fewer species, and hypothetically smaller populations of arthropods. We also found that in an urban system, levels of herbivory are far below the tolerance levels of Solidago, and that seed predators are likely to be the only arthropod to cause reduced fitness. The pattern seen also implies that as a patch of Solidago grows through clonal expansion, it will come under higher selective pressure.

  4. Limiting similarity and Darwin's naturalization hypothesis: understanding the drivers of biotic resistance against invasive plant species.

    PubMed

    Yannelli, F A; Koch, C; Jeschke, J M; Kollmann, J

    2017-03-01

    Several hypotheses have been proposed to explain biotic resistance of a recipient plant community based on reduced niche opportunities for invasive alien plant species. The limiting similarity hypothesis predicts that invasive species are less likely to establish in communities of species holding similar functional traits. Likewise, Darwin's naturalization hypothesis states that invasive species closely related to the native community would be less successful. We tested both using the invasive alien Ambrosia artemisiifolia L. and Solidago gigantea Aiton, and grassland species used for ecological restoration in central Europe. We classified all plant species into groups based on functional traits obtained from trait databases and calculated the phylogenetic distance among them. In a greenhouse experiment, we submitted the two invasive species at two propagule pressures to competition with communities of ten native species from the same functional group. In another experiment, they were submitted to pairwise competition with native species selected from each functional group. At the community level, highest suppression for both invasive species was observed at low propagule pressure and not explained by similarity in functional traits. Moreover, suppression decreased asymptotically with increasing phylogenetic distance to species of the native community. When submitted to pairwise competition, suppression for both invasive species was also better explained by phylogenetic distance. Overall, our results support Darwin's naturalization hypothesis but not the limiting similarity hypothesis based on the selected traits. Biotic resistance of native communities against invasive species at an early stage of establishment is enhanced by competitive traits and phylogenetic relatedness.

  5. Unused natural variation can lift yield barriers in plant breeding.

    PubMed

    Gur, Amit; Zamir, Dani

    2004-10-01

    Natural biodiversity is an underexploited sustainable resource that can enrich the genetic basis of cultivated plants with novel alleles that improve productivity and adaptation. We evaluated the progress in breeding for increased tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) yield using genotypes carrying a pyramid of three independent yield-promoting genomic regions introduced from the drought-tolerant green-fruited wild species Solanum pennellii. Yield of hybrids parented by the pyramided genotypes was more than 50% higher than that of a control market leader variety under both wet and dry field conditions that received 10% of the irrigation water. This demonstration of the breaking of agricultural yield barriers provides the rationale for implementing similar strategies for other agricultural organisms that are important for global food security.

  6. Natural colloidal P and its contribution to plant P uptake.

    PubMed

    Montalvo, Daniela; Degryse, Fien; McLaughlin, Mike J

    2015-03-17

    Phosphorus (P) bioavailability depends on its concentration and speciation in solution. Andisols and Oxisols have very low soil solution concentration of free orthophosphate, as they contain high concentrations of strongly P-sorbing minerals (Al/Fe oxyhydroxides, allophanes). Free orthophosphate is the form of P taken up by plants, but it is not the only P species present in the soil solution. Natural colloidal P (P associated with Al, Fe, and organic matter of sizes ranging from 1 to 1000 nm) constitutes an important fraction of soil solution P in these soils; however, its availability has not been considered. We measured the uptake of P by wheat (Triticum aestivum) from radiolabeled nonfiltered (colloid-containing) and 3-kDa filtered (nearly colloid-free) soil-water extracts from Andisols and Oxisols. In the Andisol extracts, P uptake was up to 5-fold higher from the nonfiltered solutions than the corresponding 3-kDa filtered solutions. In the Oxisol extract, no difference in P uptake between both solutions was observed. Also the diffusional flux of P as measured with the DGT technique was larger in the nonfiltered than in the 3-kDa filtered solutions. Our results suggest that colloidal P from Andisols is not chemically inert and contributes to plant uptake of P.

  7. Novel fermentation processes for manufacturing plant natural products.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Jingwen; Du, Guocheng; Chen, Jian

    2014-02-01

    Microbial production of plant natural products (PNPs), such as terpenoids, flavonoids from renewable carbohydrate feedstocks offers sustainable and economically attractive alternatives to their petroleum-based production. Rapid development of metabolic engineering and synthetic biology of microorganisms shows many advantages to replace the current extraction of these useful high price chemicals from plants. Although few of them were actually applied on a large scale for PNPs production, continuous research on these high-price chemicals and the rapid growing global market of them, show the promising future for the production of these PNPs by microorganisms with a more economic and environmental friendly way. Introduction of novel pathways and optimization of the native cellular processes by metabolic engineering of microorganisms for PNPs production are rapidly expanding its range of cell-factory applications. Here we review recent progress in metabolic engineering of microorganisms for the production of PNPs. Besides, factors restricting the yield improvement and application of lab-scale achievements to industrial applications have also been discussed.

  8. Mechanisms for flowering plants to benefit arthropod natural enemies of insect pests: prospects for enhanced use in agriculture.

    PubMed

    Lu, Zhong-Xian; Zhu, Ping-Yang; Gurr, Geoff M; Zheng, Xu-Song; Read, Donna M Y; Heong, Kong-Luen; Yang, Ya-Jun; Xu, Hong-Xing

    2014-02-01

    Reduction of noncrop habitats, intensive use of pesticides and high levels of disturbance associated with intensive crop production simplify the farming landscape and bring about a sharp decline of biodiversity. This, in turn, weakens the biological control ecosystem service provided by arthropod natural enemies. Strategic use of flowering plants to enhance plant biodiversity in a well-targeted manner can provide natural enemies with food sources and shelter to improve biological control and reduce dependence on chemical pesticides. This article reviews the nutritional value of various types of plant-derived food for natural enemies, possible adverse effects on pest management, and the practical application of flowering plants in orchards, vegetables and field crops, agricultural systems where most research has taken place. Prospects for more effective use of flowering plants to maximize biological control of insect pests in agroecosystem are good but depend up on selection of optimal plant species based on information on the ecological mechanisms by which natural enemies are selectively favored over pest species.

  9. Assessment of antioxidant capacity and cytotoxicity of selected Malaysian plants.

    PubMed

    Ling, Lai Teng; Radhakrishnan, Ammu Kutty; Subramaniam, Thavamanithevi; Cheng, Hwee Ming; Palanisamy, Uma D

    2010-03-25

    Thirteen Malaysian plants; Artocarpus champeden, Azadirachta indica, Fragaria x ananassa, Garcinia mangostana, Lawsonia inermis, Mangifera indica, Nephelium lappaceum, Nephelium mutobile, Peltophorum pterocarpum, Psidium guajava and Syzygium aqueum, selected for their use in traditional medicine, were subjected to a variety of assays. Antioxidant capability, total phenolic content, elemental composition, as well as it cytotoxity to several cell lines of the aqueous and ethanolic extracts from different parts of these selected Malaysian plants were determined. In general, the ethanolic extracts were better free radical scavengers than the aqueous extracts and some of the tested extracts were even more potent than a commercial grape seed preparation. Similar results were seen in the lipid peroxidation inhibition studies. Our findings also showed a strong correlation of antioxidant activity with the total phenolic content. These extracts when tested for its heavy metals content, were found to be below permissible value for nutraceutical application. In addition, most of the extracts were found not cytotoxic to 3T3 and 4T1 cells at concentrations as high as 100 microg/mL. We conclude that although traditionally these plants are used in the aqueous form, its commercial preparation could be achieved using ethanol since a high total phenolic content and antioxidant activity is associated with this method of preparation.

  10. Natural and sexual selection in a wild insect population.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Muñoz, R; Bretman, A; Slate, J; Walling, C A; Tregenza, T

    2010-06-04

    The understanding of natural and sexual selection requires both field and laboratory studies to exploit the advantages and avoid the disadvantages of each approach. However, studies have tended to be polarized among the types of organisms studied, with vertebrates studied in the field and invertebrates in the lab. We used video monitoring combined with DNA profiling of all of the members of a wild population of field crickets across two generations to capture the factors predicting the reproductive success of males and females. The factors that predict a male's success in gaining mates differ from those that predict how many offspring he has. We confirm the fundamental prediction that males vary more in their reproductive success than females, and we find that females as well as males leave more offspring when they mate with more partners.

  11. Nitrate dynamics in natural plants: insights based on the concentration and natural isotope abundances of tissue nitrate

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Xue-Yan; Koba, Keisuke; Makabe, Akiko; Liu, Cong-Qiang

    2014-01-01

    The dynamics of nitrate (NO−3), a major nitrogen (N) source for natural plants, has been studied mostly through experimental N addition, enzymatic assay, isotope labeling, and genetic expression. However, artificial N supply may not reasonably reflect the N strategies in natural plants because NO−3 uptake and reduction may vary with external N availability. Due to abrupt application and short operation time, field N addition, and isotopic labeling hinder the elucidation of in situ NO−3-use mechanisms. The concentration and natural isotopes of tissue NO−3 can offer insights into the plant NO−3 sources and dynamics in a natural context. Furthermore, they facilitate the exploration of plant NO−3 utilization and its interaction with N pollution and ecosystem N cycles without disturbing the N pools. The present study was conducted to review the application of the denitrifier method for concentration and isotope analyses of NO−3 in plants. Moreover, this study highlights the utility and advantages of these parameters in interpreting NO−3 sources and dynamics in natural plants. We summarize the major sources and reduction processes of NO−3 in plants, and discuss the implications of NO−3 concentration in plant tissues based on existing data. Particular emphasis was laid on the regulation of soil NO−3 and plant ecophysiological functions in interspecific and intra-plant NO−3 variations. We introduce N and O isotope systematics of NO−3 in plants and discuss the principles and feasibilities of using isotopic enrichment and fractionation factors; the correlation between concentration and isotopes (N and O isotopes: δ18O and Δ17O); and isotope mass-balance calculations to constrain sources and reduction of NO−3 in possible scenarios for natural plants are deliberated. Finally, we offer a preliminary framework of intraplant δ18O-NO−3 variation, and summarize the uncertainties in using tissue NO−3 parameters to interpret plant NO−3 utilization

  12. Nitrate dynamics in natural plants: insights based on the concentration and natural isotope abundances of tissue nitrate.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xue-Yan; Koba, Keisuke; Makabe, Akiko; Liu, Cong-Qiang

    2014-01-01

    The dynamics of nitrate (NO(-) 3), a major nitrogen (N) source for natural plants, has been studied mostly through experimental N addition, enzymatic assay, isotope labeling, and genetic expression. However, artificial N supply may not reasonably reflect the N strategies in natural plants because NO(-) 3 uptake and reduction may vary with external N availability. Due to abrupt application and short operation time, field N addition, and isotopic labeling hinder the elucidation of in situ NO(-) 3-use mechanisms. The concentration and natural isotopes of tissue NO(-) 3 can offer insights into the plant NO(-) 3 sources and dynamics in a natural context. Furthermore, they facilitate the exploration of plant NO(-) 3 utilization and its interaction with N pollution and ecosystem N cycles without disturbing the N pools. The present study was conducted to review the application of the denitrifier method for concentration and isotope analyses of NO(-) 3 in plants. Moreover, this study highlights the utility and advantages of these parameters in interpreting NO(-) 3 sources and dynamics in natural plants. We summarize the major sources and reduction processes of NO(-) 3 in plants, and discuss the implications of NO(-) 3 concentration in plant tissues based on existing data. Particular emphasis was laid on the regulation of soil NO(-) 3 and plant ecophysiological functions in interspecific and intra-plant NO(-) 3 variations. We introduce N and O isotope systematics of NO(-) 3 in plants and discuss the principles and feasibilities of using isotopic enrichment and fractionation factors; the correlation between concentration and isotopes (N and O isotopes: δ(18)O and Δ(17)O); and isotope mass-balance calculations to constrain sources and reduction of NO(-) 3 in possible scenarios for natural plants are deliberated. Finally, we offer a preliminary framework of intraplant δ(18)O-NO(-) 3 variation, and summarize the uncertainties in using tissue NO(-) 3 parameters to interpret

  13. Selectivity of plant extracts for Trichogramma pretiosum Riley (Hym.: Trichogrammatidae).

    PubMed

    Rampelotti-Ferreira, Fátima Terezinha; Coelho, Aloisio; Parra, José Roberto Postali; Vendramim, José Djair

    2017-04-01

    We evaluated the selectivity of three plant extracts with potential insecticidal effects for the parasitoid Trichogramma pretiosum Riley, which is commonly used in biological pest control. The plant extracts assayed were an acetone extract of Toona ciliata M. Roem., commercial neem oil, and a nanoencapsulated formulation of neem oil (NC40). The toxicity of the plant extracts to T. pretiosum was evaluated according to the recommendations of the International Organization for Biological Control- IOBC Working Group. We assessed the susceptibility of adults of the maternal and F1 generations and immature stages of T. pretiosum to the extracts. Females exposed to egg cards treated with commercial neem oil parasitized almost 70% fewer eggs than control eggs treated with water; and this extract was therefore classified as slightly harmful. When the eggs were offered to females 24h after treatment with neem oil and aqueous NC40, the parasitism rate also decreased, and the two extracts were classified as slightly harmful. Adult emergence was lower for parasitoids that fed on host eggs offered 24h after the treatment with the T. ciliata extract, which was considered slightly harmful. The emergence of T. pretiosum from eggs, larvae and pupae treated with the different plant extracts, did not decrease compared to development stages treated with the water control. The use of T. pretiosum, combined with the application of an ethanol extract of T. ciliata and a nanoencapsulated formulation of neem, appears to be feasible in view of these low toxicity indices.

  14. Conflicting selection on the timing of germination in a natural population of Arabidopsis thaliana.

    PubMed

    Akiyama, R; Ågren, J

    2014-01-01

    The timing of germination is a key life-history trait that may strongly influence plant fitness and that sets the stage for selection on traits expressed later in the life cycle. In seasonal environments, the period favourable for germination and the total length of the growing season are limited. The optimal timing of germination may therefore be governed by conflicting selection through survival and fecundity. We conducted a field experiment to examine the effects of timing of germination on survival, fecundity and overall fitness in a natural population of the annual herb Arabidopsis thaliana in north-central Sweden. Seedlings were transplanted at three different times in late summer and in autumn covering the period of seed germination in the study population. Early germination was associated with low seedling survival, but also with high survival and fecundity among established plants. The advantages of germinating early more than balanced the disadvantage and selection favoured early germination. The results suggest that low survival among early germinating seeds is the main force opposing the evolution of earlier germination and that the optimal timing of germination should vary in space and time as a function of the direction and strength of selection acting during different life-history stages.

  15. Selection against inbred song sparrows during a natural population bottleneck.

    PubMed

    Keller, L F; Arcese, P; Smith, J N; Hochachka, W M; Stearns, S C

    1994-11-24

    The genetic and demographic consequences of population subdivision have received considerable attention from conservation biologists. In particular, losses of genetic variability and reduced viability and fecundity due to inbreeding (inbreeding depression) are of concern. Studies of domestic, laboratory and zoo populations have shown inbreeding depression in a variety of traits related to fitness. Consequently, inbreeding depression is widely accepted as a fact. Recently, however, the relative impact of inbreeding on the viability of natural populations has been questioned. Work on the cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus), for example, has emphasized the overwhelming importance of environmental factors on mortality in the wild. Here we report that song sparrows (Melospiza melodia) that survived a severe population bottleneck were a non-random subset of the pre-crash population with respect to inbreeding, and that natural selection favoured outbred individuals. Thus, inbreeding depression was expressed in the face of an environmental challenge. Such challenges are also likely to be faced by inbred populations of endangered species. We suggest that environmental and genetic effects on survival may interact and, as a consequence, that their effects on individuals and populations should not be considered independently.

  16. Selective Behaviour of Honeybees in Acquiring European Propolis Plant Precursors.

    PubMed

    Isidorov, Valery A; Bakier, Sławomir; Pirożnikow, Ewa; Zambrzycka, Monika; Swiecicka, Izabela

    2016-06-01

    Honey bees harvest resins from various plant species and use them in the hive as propolis. While there have been a number of studies concerning the chemical composition of this antimicrobial product, little is known about selective behavior and bee preference when different potential plant sources of resin are available. The main objective of this paper was to investigate some aspects of behavioral patterns of honeybees in the context of resin acquisition. Samples of propolis originating from temperate zones of Europe and the supposed botanical precursors of the product were analyzed. Taxonomical markers of bud resins of two white birch species, aspen, black poplar, horse-chestnut, black alder, and Scots pine were determined through GC-MS analysis. All these trees have been reported as sources of propolis, but comparisons of the chemical composition of their bud resins with the compositions of propolis samples from seven European countries have demonstrated the presence of taxonomical markers only from black poplar, aspen, and one species of birch. This suggests selective behavior during the collection of bud resins by honeybees. To examine the causes of such selectivity, the antimicrobial properties of bud resins were determined. Horse-chestnut resins had lower antimicrobial activity than the other resins which did not differ significantly.

  17. Positive darwinian selection at the imprinted MEDEA locus in plants.

    PubMed

    Spillane, Charles; Schmid, Karl J; Laoueillé-Duprat, Sylvia; Pien, Stéphane; Escobar-Restrepo, Juan-Miguel; Baroux, Célia; Gagliardini, Valeria; Page, Damian R; Wolfe, Kenneth H; Grossniklaus, Ueli

    2007-07-19

    In mammals and seed plants, a subset of genes is regulated by genomic imprinting where an allele's activity depends on its parental origin. The parental conflict theory suggests that genomic imprinting evolved after the emergence of an embryo-nourishing tissue (placenta and endosperm), resulting in an intragenomic parental conflict over the allocation of nutrients from mother to offspring. It was predicted that imprinted genes, which arose through antagonistic co-evolution driven by a parental conflict, should be subject to positive darwinian selection. Here we show that the imprinted plant gene MEDEA (MEA), which is essential for seed development, originated during a whole-genome duplication 35 to 85 million years ago. After duplication, MEA underwent positive darwinian selection consistent with neo-functionalization and the parental conflict theory. MEA continues to evolve rapidly in the out-crossing species Arabidopsis lyrata but not in the self-fertilizing species Arabidopsis thaliana, where parental conflicts are reduced. The paralogue of MEA, SWINGER (SWN; also called EZA1), is not imprinted and evolved under strong purifying selection because it probably retained the ancestral function of the common precursor gene. The evolution of MEA suggests a late origin of genomic imprinting within the Brassicaceae, whereas imprinting is thought to have originated early within the mammalian lineage.

  18. Natural Selection for Operons Depends on Genome Size

    PubMed Central

    Nuñez, Pablo A.; Romero, Héctor; Farber, Marisa D.; Rocha, Eduardo P.C.

    2013-01-01

    In prokaryotes, genome size is associated with metabolic versatility, regulatory complexity, effective population size, and horizontal transfer rates. We therefore analyzed the covariation of genome size and operon conservation to assess the evolutionary models of operon formation and maintenance. In agreement with previous results, intraoperonic pairs of essential and of highly expressed genes are more conserved. Interestingly, intraoperonic pairs of genes are also more conserved when they encode proteins at similar cell concentrations, suggesting a role of cotranscription in diminishing the cost of waste and shortfall in gene expression. Larger genomes have fewer and smaller operons that are also less conserved. Importantly, lower conservation in larger genomes was observed for all classes of operons in terms of gene expression, essentiality, and balanced protein concentration. We reached very similar conclusions in independent analyses of three major bacterial clades (α- and β-Proteobacteria and Firmicutes). Operon conservation is inversely correlated to the abundance of transcription factors in the genome when controlled for genome size. This suggests a negative association between the complexity of genetic networks and operon conservation. These results show that genome size and/or its proxies are key determinants of the intensity of natural selection for operon organization. Our data fit better the evolutionary models based on the advantage of coregulation than those based on genetic linkage or stochastic gene expression. We suggest that larger genomes with highly complex genetic networks and many transcription factors endure weaker selection for operons than smaller genomes with fewer alternative tools for genetic regulation. PMID:24201372

  19. Thermodynamics of natural selection II: Chemical Carnot cycles.

    PubMed

    Smith, Eric

    2008-05-21

    This is the second in a series of three papers devoted to energy flow and entropy changes in chemical and biological processes, and to their relations to the thermodynamics of computation. In the first paper of the series, it was shown that a general-form dimensional argument from the second law of thermodynamics captures a number of scaling relations governing growth and development across many domains of life. It was also argued that models of physiology based on reversible transformations provide sensible approximations within which the second-law scaling is realized. This paper provides a formal basis for decomposing general cyclic, fixed-temperature chemical reactions, in terms of the chemical equivalent of Carnot's cycle for heat engines. It is shown that the second law relates the minimal chemical work required to perform a cycle to the Kullback-Leibler divergence produced in its chemical output ensemble from that of a Gibbs equilibrium. Reversible models of physiology are used to create reversible models of natural selection, which relate metabolic energy requirements to information gain under optimal conditions. When dissipation is added to models of selection, the second-law constraint is generalized to a relation between metabolic work and the combined energies of growth and maintenance.

  20. Spatially-Correlated Risk in Nature Reserve Site Selection

    PubMed Central

    Albers, Heidi J.; Busby, Gwenlyn M.; Hamaide, Bertrand; Ando, Amy W.; Polasky, Stephen

    2016-01-01

    Establishing nature reserves protects species from land cover conversion and the resulting loss of habitat. Even within a reserve, however, many factors such as fires and defoliating insects still threaten habitat and the survival of species. To address the risk to species survival after reserve establishment, reserve networks can be created that allow some redundancy of species coverage to maximize the expected number of species that survive in the presence of threats. In some regions, however, the threats to species within a reserve may be spatially correlated. As examples, fires, diseases, and pest infestations can spread from a starting point and threaten neighboring parcels’ habitats, in addition to damage caused at the initial location. This paper develops a reserve site selection optimization framework that compares the optimal reserve networks in cases where risks do and do not reflect spatial correlation. By exploring the impact of spatially-correlated risk on reserve networks on a stylized landscape and on an Oregon landscape, this analysis demonstrates an appropriate and feasible method for incorporating such post-reserve establishment risks in the reserve site selection literature as an additional tool to be further developed for future conservation planning. PMID:26789127

  1. Mixed strategies and natural selection in resource allocation.

    PubMed

    Kareva, Irina; Berezovkaya, Faina; Karev, Georgy

    2013-01-01

    An appropriate choice of strategy for resource allocation may frequently determine whether a population will be able to survive under the conditions of severe resource limitations. Here we focus on two classes of strategies allocation of resources towards rapid proliferation, or towards slower proliferation but increased physiological and environmental maintenance. We propose a generalized framework, where individuals within a population can use either strategy in different proportion for utilization of a common dynamical resource in order to maximize their fitness. We use the model to address two major questions, namely, whether either strategy is more likely to be selected for as a result of natural selection, and, if one allows for the possibility of resource over-consumption, whether either strategy is preferable for avoiding population collapse due to resource exhaustion. Analytical and numerical results suggest that the ultimate choice of strategy is determined primarily by the initial distribution of individuals in the population, and that while investment in physiological and environmental maintenance is a preferable strategy in a homogeneous population, no generalized prediction can be made about heterogeneous populations.

  2. Spatially-Correlated Risk in Nature Reserve Site Selection.

    PubMed

    Albers, Heidi J; Busby, Gwenlyn M; Hamaide, Bertrand; Ando, Amy W; Polasky, Stephen

    2016-01-01

    Establishing nature reserves protects species from land cover conversion and the resulting loss of habitat. Even within a reserve, however, many factors such as fires and defoliating insects still threaten habitat and the survival of species. To address the risk to species survival after reserve establishment, reserve networks can be created that allow some redundancy of species coverage to maximize the expected number of species that survive in the presence of threats. In some regions, however, the threats to species within a reserve may be spatially correlated. As examples, fires, diseases, and pest infestations can spread from a starting point and threaten neighboring parcels' habitats, in addition to damage caused at the initial location. This paper develops a reserve site selection optimization framework that compares the optimal reserve networks in cases where risks do and do not reflect spatial correlation. By exploring the impact of spatially-correlated risk on reserve networks on a stylized landscape and on an Oregon landscape, this analysis demonstrates an appropriate and feasible method for incorporating such post-reserve establishment risks in the reserve site selection literature as an additional tool to be further developed for future conservation planning.

  3. Contemporary evolution during invasion: evidence for differentiation, natural selection, and local adaptation.

    PubMed

    Colautti, Robert I; Lau, Jennifer A

    2015-05-01

    Biological invasions are 'natural' experiments that can improve our understanding of contemporary evolution. We evaluate evidence for population differentiation, natural selection and adaptive evolution of invading plants and animals at two nested spatial scales: (i) among introduced populations (ii) between native and introduced genotypes. Evolution during invasion is frequently inferred, but rarely confirmed as adaptive. In common garden studies, quantitative trait differentiation is only marginally lower (~3.5%) among introduced relative to native populations, despite genetic bottlenecks and shorter timescales (i.e. millennia vs. decades). However, differentiation between genotypes from the native vs. introduced range is less clear and confounded by nonrandom geographic sampling; simulations suggest this causes a high false-positive discovery rate (>50%) in geographically structured populations. Selection differentials (¦s¦) are stronger in introduced than in native species, although selection gradients (¦β¦) are not, consistent with introduced species experiencing weaker genetic constraints. This could facilitate rapid adaptation, but evidence is limited. For example, rapid phenotypic evolution often manifests as geographical clines, but simulations demonstrate that nonadaptive trait clines can evolve frequently during colonization (~two-thirds of simulations). Additionally, QST-FST studies may often misrepresent the strength and form of natural selection acting during invasion. Instead, classic approaches in evolutionary ecology (e.g. selection analysis, reciprocal transplant, artificial selection) are necessary to determine the frequency of adaptive evolution during invasion and its influence on establishment, spread and impact of invasive species. These studies are rare but crucial for managing biological invasions in the context of global change.

  4. Natural selection for costly nutrient recycling in simulated microbial metacommunities.

    PubMed

    Boyle, Richard A; Williams, Hywel T P; Lenton, Timothy M

    2012-11-07

    Recycling of essential nutrients occurs at scales from microbial communities to global biogeochemical cycles, often in association with ecological interactions in which two or more species utilise each others' metabolic by-products. However, recycling loops may be unstable; sequences of reactions leading to net recycling may be parasitised by side-reactions causing nutrient loss, while some reactions in any closed recycling loop are likely to be costly to participants. Here we examine the stability of nutrient recycling loops in an individual-based ecosystem model based on microbial functional types that differ in their metabolism. A supplied nutrient is utilised by a "source" functional type, generating a secondary nutrient that is subsequently used by two other types-a "mutualist" that regenerates the initial nutrient at a growth rate cost, and a "parasite" that produces a refractory waste product but does not incur any additional cost. The three functional types are distributed across a metacommunity in which separate patches are linked by a stochastic diffusive migration process. Regions of high mutualist abundance feature high levels of nutrient recycling and increased local population density leading to greater export of individuals, allowing the source-mutualist recycling loop to spread across the system. Individual-level selection favouring parasites is balanced by patch-level selection for high productivity, indirectly favouring mutualists due to the synergistic productivity benefits of the recycling loop they support. This suggests that multi-level selection may promote nutrient cycling and thereby help to explain the apparent ubiquity and stability of nutrient recycling in nature.

  5. Genes for host-plant selection in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Matsuo, Takashi

    2008-01-01

    Interactions between herbivorous insects and their host plants are rich in diversity. How such interactions evolved has been a central issue in ecology. A series of analyses on an example of host-plant adaptation in a Drosophila species suggest that neurogenetics can be a powerful tool for understanding how insects' ability to select a specific host plant has evolved. Drosophila sechellia is a specialist species that exclusively reproduces on the ripe fruit of Morinda citrifolia, which is toxic to other Drosophila species, including D. melanogaster and D. simulans, which are phylogenetically close to D. sechellia. Genetic analyses have revealed that multiple loci are involved in the physiological and behavioral adaptations of D. sechellia to the Morinda fruit. The behavioral adaptation includes the loss of avoidance of the host toxin and the enhanced sensitivity to the host odor. Two odorant-binding protein genes, Obp57d and Obp57e, are involved in the perception of the host toxin. D. sechellia has lost several putative bitter-taste receptor genes, which might also be involved in the loss of avoidance of the host toxin. The available genetic data support an evolutionary scenario, in which the shift in the host-plant selection was not achieved by the acquisition of novel abilities, but by the loss of already existing abilities. It is also suggested that the size of chemosensory gene families has a potential to be an index of complexity in insect-environment interaction, providing an opportunity to reexamine the longstanding "specialization as an evolutionary dead end" hypothesis.

  6. More than Meets the Eye--a Simulation of Natural Selection.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Allen, J. A.; And Others

    1987-01-01

    Presents experiments using wild birds as predators and pastry as prey and colored stones as background to demonstrate natural selection. Describes the exercise as an exercise in simulating natural selection. (Author/CW)

  7. Next Generation Nuclear Plant Materials Selection and Qualification Program Plan

    SciTech Connect

    R. Doug Hamelin; G. O. Hayner

    2004-11-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has selected the Very High Temperature Reactor (VHTR) design for the Next Generation Nuclear Plant (NGNP) Project. The NGNP will demonstrate the use of nuclear power for electricity and hydrogen production without greenhouse gas emissions. The reactor design is a graphite-moderated, helium-cooled, prismatic or pebble bed thermal neutron spectrum reactor with an average reactor outlet temperature of at least 1000 C. The NGNP will use very high burn up, lowenriched uranium, TRISO-Coated fuel in a once-through fuel cycle. The design service life of the NGNP is 60 years.

  8. Selective toxicity of Catechin-a natural flavonoid towards bacteria.

    PubMed

    Fathima, Aafreen; Rao, Jonnalagadda Raghava

    2016-07-01

    Catechin is a plant polyphenol composed of epicatechin (EC), epigallocatechin (EGC), epicatechin gallate (ECG), and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) as diastereoisomers. Among the various classes of flavonoids, catechin was found to be the most powerful free radical scavenger, scavenging the reactive oxygen species (ROS) generated due to oxidative damage with antibacterial and anti-inflammatory activity. The toxicity of catechin towards bacteria was studied using gram-positive bacteria (B. subtilis) and gram-negative bacteria (E. coli) as model organisms and was found to be more toxic towards gram-positive bacteria. From the results, catechin was found to be beneficial as well as toxic (inhibitory) to the bacteria at a selective concentration behaving as double-edged swords with an IC50 value of 9 ppm for both the bacteria. The inhibitory mechanism of catechin was by oxidative damage through membrane permeabilization which was confirmed by the formation and treatment of bacterial liposomes. SEM images of the control and treated bacteria reveals membrane damage with morphological changes.

  9. Immunology (1955-1975): the natural selection theory, the two signal hypothesis and positive repertoire selection.

    PubMed

    Forsdyke, Donald R

    2012-01-01

    Observations suggesting the existence of natural antibody prior to exposure of an organism to the corresponding antigen, led to the natural selection theory of antibody formation of Jerne in 1955, and to the two signal hypothesis of Forsdyke in 1968. Aspects of these were not only first discoveries but also foundational discoveries in that they influenced contemporaries in a manner that, from our present vantage point, appears to have been constructive. Jerne's later hypothesis (1971, European Journal of Immunology 1: 1-9), that antibody-like receptors on lymphocytes were selected over evolutionary time for reactivity with the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) antigens of the species, was a first, but it was incorrect, and was foundational only to the extent that it emphasized the need to explain the Simonsen phenomenon. Although easily construed as derivative of Jerne (1971), the affinity/avidity model of Forsdyke (1975, Journal of Theoretical Biology 52: 187-198), which predicted that cell-surface components, including MHC antigens, would restrict antigen-reactivity by somatically shaping lymphocyte repertoires, was actually an extension of the two signal hypothesis. While presenting a mechanism for the positive selection of lymphocyte repertoires, and explaining the Simonsen phenomenon, the affinity/avidity model was not foundational in that it had to be independently rediscovered. For science to advance optimally we must seek to close temporal gaps so that first discoveries are also foundational. Listening to young scientists may be part of the solution.

  10. Selection methodology with scoring system: application to Mexican plants producing podophyllotoxin related lignans.

    PubMed

    Lautié, E; Quintero, R; Fliniaux, M-A; Villarreal, M-L

    2008-12-08

    As most anticancer drugs are derived from natural sources, the screening of local medicinal flora should be considered a primary step in the search for new sources for antineoplastic agents. In Mexico, more than 6000 medicinal plant species are used for the treatment of various diseases, including cancer. A multifactorial plant selection method, employing various criteria was designed and applied in order to select alternative sources of podophyllotoxin lignan analogues. For each criterion (chemotaxonomy, traditional medical uses and published scientific data), an arbitrary score system was ascribed to the species and the sum of these enabled us to compare potential candidates. The resulting selected plants were tested for cytotoxic activity and the compounds responsible for this activity were evaluated by liquid chromatography-mass spectroscopy (LC-MS). Around 50 species from the Mexican flora were initially considered. From these, six species were selected by referring to the results from the scoring system and these were then collected. Three extracts were evaluated as being highly cytotoxic against three different cancer cell lines. Finally, podophyllotoxin-like lignans could be identified by observing the fragmentation pattern on mass spectra, obtained from the LC-MS in two species: Linum scabrellum and Hyptis suaveolens.

  11. Contributions of natural and sexual selection to the evolution of premating reproductive isolation: a research agenda.

    PubMed

    Safran, Rebecca J; Scordato, Elizabeth S C; Symes, Laurel B; Rodríguez, Rafael L; Mendelson, Tamra C

    2013-11-01

    Speciation by divergent natural selection is well supported. However, the role of sexual selection in speciation is less well understood due to disagreement about whether sexual selection is a mechanism of evolution separate from natural selection, as well as confusion about various models and tests of sexual selection. Here, we outline how sexual selection and natural selection are different mechanisms of evolutionary change, and suggest that this distinction is critical when analyzing the role of sexual selection in speciation. Furthermore, we clarify models of sexual selection with respect to their interaction with ecology and natural selection. In doing so, we outline a research agenda for testing hypotheses about the relative significance of divergent sexual and natural selection in the evolution of reproductive isolation.

  12. Selection of AUG initiation codons differs in plants and animals.

    PubMed Central

    Lütcke, H A; Chow, K C; Mickel, F S; Moss, K A; Kern, H F; Scheele, G A

    1987-01-01

    The influence of the nucleotide at position -3 relative to the AUG initiation codon on the initiation of protein synthesis was studied in two different in vitro translation systems using synthetic mRNAs. The four mRNAs, transcribed from cDNAs directed by an SP6 promoter, were identical except for mutations at nucleotide -3. In each case, translation of mRNAs produced a single protein of Mr = 12,600. Relative translational efficiencies showed a hierarchy in the reticulocyte lysate system (100, 85, 61 and 38% for A, G, U and C in position -3, respectively) but no differences in the wheat germ system. Differential mRNA degradation or polypeptide chain elongation were excluded as causes of the differences observed in translation in the reticulocyte lysate. mRNA competition increased the differences observed in translational efficiencies in reticulocyte lysate but showed no effect in wheat germ. Analysis of 61 plant and 209 animal mRNA sequences revealed qualitative and quantitative differences between the consensus sequences surrounding AUG initiation codons. Whereas the consensus sequence for animals was CACCAUG that for plants was AACAAUGGC. Both the structural and functional findings suggest that the factors which select AUG initiation codons in plants and animals differ significantly. Images Fig. 2. Fig. 3. Fig. 4. Fig. 5. PMID:3556162

  13. Missing domesticated plant forms: can artificial selection fill the gap?

    PubMed

    Van Tassel, David L; DeHaan, Lee R; Cox, Thomas S

    2010-09-01

    In the course of their evolution, the angiosperms have radiated into most known plant forms and life histories. Their adaptation to a recently created habitat, the crop field, produced a novel form: the plant that allocates an unprecedented 30-60% of its net productivity to sexual structures. Long-lived trees, shrubs and vines of this form evolved, as did annual herbs. Perennial herb forms with increased allocation to asexual reproduction evolved, but there are no examples of perennial herbs with high sexual effort. We suggest that sowing seed into annually tilled fields favored shorter-lived herbs because of trade-offs between first-year seed production and relative growth rate and/or persistence. By propagating cuttings, people quickly domesticated tuber crops and large woody plants. Perennial herbs were too small to be efficiently propagated by cuttings, and the association between longevity, allogamy and genetic load made rapid domestication by sexual cycles unlikely. Perennial grain crops do not exist because they could not have evolved under the original set of conditions; however, they can be deliberately developed today through artificial phenotypic and genotypic selection.

  14. Missing domesticated plant forms: can artificial selection fill the gap?

    PubMed Central

    Van Tassel, David L; DeHaan, Lee R; Cox, Thomas S

    2010-01-01

    In the course of their evolution, the angiosperms have radiated into most known plant forms and life histories. Their adaptation to a recently created habitat, the crop field, produced a novel form: the plant that allocates an unprecedented 30–60% of its net productivity to sexual structures. Long-lived trees, shrubs and vines of this form evolved, as did annual herbs. Perennial herb forms with increased allocation to asexual reproduction evolved, but there are no examples of perennial herbs with high sexual effort. We suggest that sowing seed into annually tilled fields favored shorter-lived herbs because of trade-offs between first-year seed production and relative growth rate and/or persistence. By propagating cuttings, people quickly domesticated tuber crops and large woody plants. Perennial herbs were too small to be efficiently propagated by cuttings, and the association between longevity, allogamy and genetic load made rapid domestication by sexual cycles unlikely. Perennial grain crops do not exist because they could not have evolved under the original set of conditions; however, they can be deliberately developed today through artificial phenotypic and genotypic selection. PMID:25567937

  15. Behavior of Selected Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals in Sewage Treatment Plant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Xinze; Lu, Jiaming; Ollivier, Natacha; Saturnino, Anais; Gomez, Elena; Casellas, Claude; Picot, Bernadette

    2010-11-01

    The behavior of endocrine disrupting chemicals in sewage treatment plant affects their final fate in water environment. We selected six endocrine disrupting chemicals: 4 alkylphenols (4-tert-octylphenol, octylphenol, 4-nonylphenol, bisphenol A) and 2 steroids (17α-ethinylestradiol and estriol) as targets, their removal and transformation in wastewater treatment plant were studied. Five mixed liquors were sampled respectively from different stages of Minhang wastewater treatment plant in Shanghai. EDCs concentration were analyzed with GC-MS. The main removal pathways of EDCs include initial adsorption by suspended solids and following biodegradation in biological sludge. The removal efficiency of six targets was more than 86%. The concentration of OP and 4-n-NP in water significantly increased in anoxic stage, the reason may be the releases of EDCs from sludge to water on the condition of low DO. And it was also found that the EDCs could be released to water phase in the secondary clarifier, which may cause potential risk of EDCs entering the environment with discharge.

  16. Universal rules for division plane selection in plants.

    PubMed

    Müller, Sabine

    2012-04-01

    Coordinated cell divisions and cell expansion are the key processes that command growth in all organisms. The orientation of cell divisions and the direction of cell expansion are critical for normal development. Symmetric divisions contribute to proliferation and growth, while asymmetric divisions initiate pattern formation and differentiation. In plants these processes are of particular importance since their cells are encased in cellulosic walls that determine their shape and lock their position within tissues and organs. Several recent studies have analyzed the relationship between cell shape and patterns of symmetric cell division in diverse organisms and employed biophysical and mathematical considerations to develop computer simulations that have allowed accurate prediction of cell division patterns. From these studies, a picture emerges that diverse biological systems follow simple universal rules of geometry to select their division planes and that the microtubule cytoskeleton takes a major part in sensing the geometric information and translates this information into a specific division outcome. In plant cells, the division plane is selected before mitosis, and spatial information of the division plane is preserved throughout division by the presence of reference molecules at a distinct region of the plasma membrane, the cortical division zone. The recruitment of these division zone markers occurs multiple times by several mechanisms, suggesting that the cortical division zone is a highly dynamic region.

  17. Effects of natural and sexual selection on adaptive population divergence and premating isolation in a damselfly.

    PubMed

    Svensson, Erik I; Eroukhmanoff, Fabrice; Friberg, Magne

    2006-06-01

    The relative strength of different types of directional selection has seldom been compared directly in natural populations. A recent meta-analysis of phenotypic selection studies in natural populations suggested that directional sexual selection may be stronger in magnitude than directional natural selection, although this pattern may have partly been confounded by the different time scales over which selection was estimated. Knowledge about the strength of different types of selection is of general interest for understanding how selective forces affect adaptive population divergence and how they may influence speciation. We studied divergent selection on morphology in parapatric, natural damselfly (Calopteryx splendens) populations. Sexual selection was stronger than natural selection measured on the same traits, irrespective of the time scale over which sexual selection was measured. Visualization of the fitness surfaces indicated that population divergence in overall morphology is more strongly influenced by divergent sexual selection rather than natural selection. Courtship success of experimental immigrant males was lower than that of resident males, indicating incipient sexual isolation between these populations. We conclude that current and strong sexual selection promotes adaptive population divergence in this species and that premating sexual isolation may have arisen as a correlated response to divergent sexual selection. Our results highlight the importance of sexual selection, rather than natural selection in the adaptive radiation of odonates, and supports previous suggestions that divergent sexual selection promotes speciation in this group.

  18. Fuel prices, emission standards, and generation costs for coal vs natural gas power plants.

    PubMed

    Pratson, Lincoln F; Haerer, Drew; Patiño-Echeverri, Dalia

    2013-05-07

    Low natural gas prices and stricter, federal emission regulations are promoting a shift away from coal power plants and toward natural gas plants as the lowest-cost means of generating electricity in the United States. By estimating the cost of electricity generation (COE) for 304 coal and 358 natural gas plants, we show that the economic viability of 9% of current coal capacity is challenged by low natural gas prices, while another 56% would be challenged by the stricter emission regulations. Under the current regulations, coal plants would again become the dominant least-cost generation option should the ratio of average natural gas to coal prices (NG2CP) rise to 1.8 (it was 1.42 in February 2012). If the more stringent emission standards are enforced, however, natural gas plants would remain cost competitive with a majority of coal plants for NG2CPs up to 4.3.

  19. MCS-18, a novel natural plant product prevents autoimmune diabetes.

    PubMed

    Seifarth, Christian; Littmann, Leonie; Resheq, Yazid; Rössner, Susanne; Goldwich, Andreas; Pangratz, Nadine; Kerek, Franz; Steinkasserer, Alexander; Zinser, Elisabeth

    2011-09-30

    There is still a vital need for new therapies in order to prevent or treat type I diabetes. In this respect, we report that MCS-18 a novel natural product isolated from the plant Helleborus purpurascens (i.e. Christmas rose) is able to increase diabetes free survival using the NOD-mouse model, which is accompanied with a diminished IFN-γ secretion of splenocytes. In the animal group which has been treated with MCS-18 during week 8 and week 12 of age 70% of the animals showed a diabetes free survival at week 30, whereas in contrast in the untreated animals less than 10% were free of diabetes. MCS-18 treatment significantly reduced islet T-cell infiltrates as well as the rate of T-cell proliferation. Periinsular infiltrates in the MCS-18 treated animals showed a significantly enhanced number of Foxp3(+) CD25(+) T cells, indicating the increased presence of regulatory T cells. These studies show that MCS-18 exerts an efficient immunosuppressive activity with remarkable potential for the therapy of diseases characterized by pathological over-activation of the immune system.

  20. Model operating permits for natural gas processing plants

    SciTech Connect

    Arend, C.

    1995-12-31

    Major sources as defined in Title V of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 that are required to submit an operating permit application will need to: Evaluate their compliance status; Determine a strategic method of presenting the general and specific conditions of their Model Operating Permit (MOP); Maintain compliance with air quality regulations. A MOP is prepared to assist permitting agencies and affected facilities in the development of operating permits for a specific source category. This paper includes a brief discussion of example permit conditions that may be applicable to various types of Title V sources. A MOP for a generic natural gas processing plant is provided as an example. The MOP should include a general description of the production process and identify emission sources. The two primary elements that comprise a MOP are: Provisions of all existing state and/or local air permits; Identification of general and specific conditions for the Title V permit. The general provisions will include overall compliance with all Clean Air Act Titles. The specific provisions include monitoring, record keeping, and reporting. Although Title V MOPs are prepared on a case-by-case basis, this paper will provide a general guideline of the requirements for preparation of a MOP. Regulatory agencies have indicated that a MOP included in the Title V application will assist in preparation of the final permit provisions, minimize delays in securing a permit, and provide support during the public notification process.

  1. Plant selection for dewatering and reclamation of tailings

    SciTech Connect

    Silva, M.J.; Naeth, M.A.; Biggar, K.W.; Chanasyk, D.S.; Sego, D.C.

    1998-12-31

    A two-phase greenhouse experiment was conducted to identify the most suitable species for dewatering and reclamation of Composite Tailings (CT) from Alberta oil sands operated by Syncrude Canada Ltd. and Copper Mine Tailings (CMT) from the Kennecott site in Utah. A total of 15 and 9 plant species were selected for testing in CT and CMT, respectively. In Phase 1, distilled water was added weekly to simulate local precipitation. The initial solids content were 80% and 76% and the electrical conductivities were 1.1 dS/m and 3.2 dS/m for CT and CMT, respectively. All plants survived after a ten-week period. In Phase 2 only process water was added weekly to provide a worst case scenario of no precipitation and water recharge due only to process water being released from within the tailings. The initial solids contents were 65% and 76% for CT and CMT, respectively. Surface (0--3 in.) salinity increased dramatically due to the application of process water only; at the end of Phase 2 it had reached toxic levels of approximately 18.9 dS/m and 35.0 dS/m in CT and CMT, respectively. Many plants showed signs of stress due to the high salinity level. The plants which performed the best under both phases in Composite Tailings were creeping foxtail (Alopecurus arundinaceus), reed canarygrass (Phalaris arundinacea), Altai wildrye (Elymus angustus), and red top (Agrostis stolonifera); and in Copper Mine Tailings were Altai wildrye, smooth bromegrass (Bromus inermis) and creeping foxtail.

  2. Selective Chemical Labeling of Natural T Modifications in DNA

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    We present a chemical method to selectively tag and enrich thymine modifications, 5-formyluracil (5-fU) and 5-hydroxymethyluracil (5-hmU), found naturally in DNA. Inherent reactivity differences have enabled us to tag 5-fU chemoselectively over its C modification counterpart, 5-formylcytosine (5-fC). We rationalized the enhanced reactivity of 5-fU compared to 5-fC via ab initio quantum mechanical calculations. We exploited this chemical tagging reaction to provide proof of concept for the enrichment of 5-fU containing DNA from a pool that contains 5-fC or no modification. We further demonstrate that 5-hmU can be chemically oxidized to 5-fU, providing a strategy for the enrichment of 5-hmU. These methods will enable the mapping of 5-fU and 5-hmU in genomic DNA, to provide insights into their functional role and dynamics in biology. PMID:25946119

  3. Does natural selection favour the Rescorla-Wagner rule?

    PubMed

    Trimmer, Pete C; McNamara, John M; Houston, Alasdair I; Marshall, James A R

    2012-06-07

    A fundamental question relating to animal behaviour is how animals learn; in particular, how they come to associate stimuli with rewards. Numerous empirical findings can be explained by assuming that animals use some mechanism similar to the Rescorla-Wagner learning rule, which is a relatively simple and highly general method of updating the associative strength between different stimuli. However, the Rescorla-Wagner rule is often not optimal, which raises the question of why a rule with such properties should have evolved. We consider the evolution of learning rules in a simple environment where there exists an optimal rule of similar complexity to the Rescorla-Wagner rule. We show that because the Rescorla-Wagner rule is less sensitive to changes in its parameters than the optimal rule, there is a wider range of parameter values over which the rule structure is initially viable. Consequently, the Rescorla-Wagner rule can be favoured by natural selection, ahead of other rules which are more accurate.

  4. Evidence of Natural Selection Acting on a Polymorphic Hybrid Incompatibility Locus in Mimulus

    PubMed Central

    Sweigart, Andrea L.; Flagel, Lex E.

    2015-01-01

    As a common cause of reproductive isolation in diverse taxa, hybrid incompatibilities are fundamentally important to speciation. A key question is which evolutionary forces drive the initial substitutions within species that lead to hybrid dysfunction. Previously, we discovered a simple genetic incompatibility that causes nearly complete male sterility and partial female sterility in hybrids between the two closely related yellow monkeyflower species Mimulus guttatus and M. nasutus. In this report, we fine map the two major incompatibility loci—hybrid male sterility 1 (hms1) and hybrid male sterility 2 (hms2)—to small nuclear genomic regions (each <70 kb) that include strong candidate genes. With this improved genetic resolution, we also investigate the evolutionary dynamics of hms1 in a natural population of M. guttatus known to be polymorphic at this locus. Using classical genetic crosses and population genomics, we show that a 320-kb region containing the hms1 incompatibility allele has risen to intermediate frequency in this population by strong natural selection. This finding provides direct evidence that natural selection within plant species can lead to hybrid dysfunction between species. PMID:25428983

  5. Adaptive Value of Phenological Traits in Stressful Environments: Predictions Based on Seed Production and Laboratory Natural Selection

    PubMed Central

    Glorieux, Cédric; Cuguen, Joel; Roux, Fabrice

    2012-01-01

    Phenological traits often show variation within and among natural populations of annual plants. Nevertheless, the adaptive value of post-anthesis traits is seldom tested. In this study, we estimated the adaptive values of pre- and post-anthesis traits in two stressful environments (water stress and interspecific competition), using the selfing annual species Arabidopsis thaliana. By estimating seed production and by performing laboratory natural selection (LNS), we assessed the strength and nature (directional, disruptive and stabilizing) of selection acting on phenological traits in A. thaliana under the two tested stress conditions, each with four intensities. Both the type of stress and its intensity affected the strength and nature of selection, as did genetic constraints among phenological traits. Under water stress, both experimental approaches demonstrated directional selection for a shorter life cycle, although bolting time imposes a genetic constraint on the length of the interval between bolting and anthesis. Under interspecific competition, results from the two experimental approaches showed discrepancies. Estimation of seed production predicted directional selection toward early pre-anthesis traits and long post-anthesis periods. In contrast, the LNS approach suggested neutrality for all phenological traits. This study opens questions on adaptation in complex natural environment where many selective pressures act simultaneously. PMID:22403624

  6. Can local adaptation research in plants inform selection of native plant materials? An analysis of experimental methodologies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Local adaptation research in plants: limitations to synthetic understanding Local adaptation is used as a criterion to select plant materials that will display high fitness in new environments. A large body of research has explored local adaptation in plants, however, to what extent findings can inf...

  7. Kin selection and the evolution of plant reproductive traits.

    PubMed

    Bawa, Kamaljit S

    2016-11-16

    Competition among developing seeds and sibling rivalry within multiovulated ovaries can be deleterious for both the maternal parent and the siblings. Increased genetic relatedness of seeds within the ovary may foster kin selection and reduce the deleterious consequences of sibling competition. The pollen parent may also be selected for siring all progeny within a fruit. I propose a series of hypotheses to explain the evolution of a number of reproductive traits in angiosperms in the context of kin selection and sibling rivalry within the ovaries of angiosperms. I present evidence to show that a single-pollen parent, indeed, often sires seeds within multiovulated ovaries. Various types of pollen aggregations and transfer of such pollen masses to the stigmas of flowers by specialized pollinators make this increased genetic relatedness possible. An alternative mode to reduce sibling rivalry may be the reduction of ovule number to one, an evolutionary trend that has independently occurred many times in flowering plants. Finally, I build on previously established correlations to predict two sets of correlations among reproductive traits. In the first case, large showy flowers, transfer of pollen en masse by specialized pollinators, and multiovulated ovaries and multisided fruits seem to be correlated. In the second case, the previously established correlations among small and inconspicuous flowers, pollination by wind, water or generalist insects, flowers and fruits with few or single ovules and seeds, respectively, may also include monoecy or dioecy. Although correlations among many of these traits have been established in the past, I invoke kin selection and sibling competition to explain the evolution of correlated traits as two distinct evolutionary pathways in angiosperms.

  8. Kin selection and the evolution of plant reproductive traits

    PubMed Central

    Bawa, Kamaljit S.

    2016-01-01

    Competition among developing seeds and sibling rivalry within multiovulated ovaries can be deleterious for both the maternal parent and the siblings. Increased genetic relatedness of seeds within the ovary may foster kin selection and reduce the deleterious consequences of sibling competition. The pollen parent may also be selected for siring all progeny within a fruit. I propose a series of hypotheses to explain the evolution of a number of reproductive traits in angiosperms in the context of kin selection and sibling rivalry within the ovaries of angiosperms. I present evidence to show that a single-pollen parent, indeed, often sires seeds within multiovulated ovaries. Various types of pollen aggregations and transfer of such pollen masses to the stigmas of flowers by specialized pollinators make this increased genetic relatedness possible. An alternative mode to reduce sibling rivalry may be the reduction of ovule number to one, an evolutionary trend that has independently occurred many times in flowering plants. Finally, I build on previously established correlations to predict two sets of correlations among reproductive traits. In the first case, large showy flowers, transfer of pollen en masse by specialized pollinators, and multiovulated ovaries and multisided fruits seem to be correlated. In the second case, the previously established correlations among small and inconspicuous flowers, pollination by wind, water or generalist insects, flowers and fruits with few or single ovules and seeds, respectively, may also include monoecy or dioecy. Although correlations among many of these traits have been established in the past, I invoke kin selection and sibling competition to explain the evolution of correlated traits as two distinct evolutionary pathways in angiosperms. PMID:27852800

  9. Selecting the process for your next MMA plant

    SciTech Connect

    Porcelli, R.V.; Juran, B.

    1986-03-01

    This article is a look at today's MMA commercial picture. It is also a discussion of new uses, a review of the acetone cyanohydrin process and some of the many new chemical pathways to MMA. It also presents economics for the best of these to help in selecting the next process. The primary focus is on the U.S., but Western Europe, Japan and other parts of the world are covered as well. New processes based on four-carbon feedstocks are in commercial operation today in Japan, and similar routes will be chosen for new plants in the U.S. and Western Europe. New applications are emerging that will revitalize the growth that has slowed in traditional markets for cast and sheet material and in surface coating applications.

  10. Does leaf photosynthesis adapt to CO2-enriched environments? An experiment on plants originating from three natural CO2 springs.

    PubMed

    Onoda, Yusuke; Hirose, Tadaki; Hikosaka, Kouki

    2009-01-01

    Atmospheric CO2 elevation may act as a selective agent, which consequently may alter plant traits in the future. We investigated the adaptation to high CO2 using transplant experiments with plants originating from natural CO2 springs and from respective control sites. We tested three hypotheses for adaptation to high-CO2 conditions: a higher photosynthetic nitrogen use efficiency (PNUE); a higher photosynthetic water use efficiency (WUE); and a higher capacity for carbohydrate transport from leaves. Although elevated growth CO2 enhanced both PNUE and WUE, there was no genotypic improvement in PNUE. However, some spring plants had a higher WUE, as a result of a significant reduction in stomatal conductance, and also a lower starch concentration. Higher natural variation (assessed by the coefficient of variation) within populations in WUE and starch concentration, compared with PNUE, might be responsible for the observed population differentiation. These results support the concept that atmospheric CO2 elevation can act as a selective agent on some plant traits in natural plant communities. Reduced stomatal conductance and reduced starch accumulation are highlighted for possible adaptation to high CO2.

  11. Selection of a suitable plant for phytoremediation in mining artisanal zones.

    PubMed

    Chamba, I; Gazquez, M J; Selvaraj, T; Calva, J; Toledo, J J; Armijos, C

    2016-09-01

    A study was undertaken with the aim of identifying a suitable plant for the phytoremediation of metal-polluted soil from an artisanal mining area in Ecuador. Three zones including a natural zone (NZ), abandoned zone (AZ) and intensively mined zone (IZ) were selected. Three common native plants grown in the three zones were identified and collected, including Miconia zamorensis, Axonopus compressus and Erato polymnioides. The percentage of arbuscular mycorrhizal colonization that benefits their own survival in polluted soil was analyzed in the root samples of these candidate species. Analysis of the soils and plants collected from the different zones showed that the concentrations of Pb, Zn, Cu and Cd were comparatively lower in the NZ, higher in the AZ and IZ, and highest in the AZ for all the metals. The concentration of all these metals in plant tissues was the highest in E. polymnioides. The data analysis including the metal accumulation index, bioconcentration factor and translocation factor strongly identified E. polymnioides as a hyperaccumulator plant suitable for phytoremediation.

  12. Community complexity drives patterns of natural selection on a chemical defense of Brassica nigra.

    PubMed

    Lankau, Richard A; Strauss, Sharon Y

    2008-02-01

    Plants interact with many different species throughout their life cycle. Recent work has shown that the ecological effects of multispecies interactions are often not predictable from studies of the component pairwise interactions. Little is known about how multispecies interactions affect the evolution of ecologically important traits. We tested the direct and interactive effects of inter- and intraspecific competition, as well as of two abundant herbivore species (a generalist folivore and a specialist aphid), on the selective value of a defensive chemical compound in Brassica nigra. We found that investment in chemical defense was favored in interspecific competition but disfavored in intraspecific competition and that this pattern of selection was dependent on the presence of both herbivores, suggesting that selection will depend on the rarity or commonness of these species. These results show that the selective value of ecologically important traits depends on the complicated web of interactions present in diverse natural communities and that fluctuations in community composition may maintain genetic variation in such traits.

  13. Food plant derived disease tolerance and resistance in a natural butterfly-plant-parasite interactions.

    PubMed

    Sternberg, Eleanore D; Lefèvre, Thierry; Li, James; de Castillejo, Carlos Lopez Fernandez; Li, Hui; Hunter, Mark D; de Roode, Jacobus C

    2012-11-01

    Organisms can protect themselves against parasite-induced fitness costs through resistance or tolerance. Resistance includes mechanisms that prevent infection or limit parasite growth while tolerance alleviates the fitness costs from parasitism without limiting infection. Although tolerance and resistance affect host-parasite coevolution in fundamentally different ways, tolerance has often been ignored in animal-parasite systems. Where it has been studied, tolerance has been assumed to be a genetic mechanism, unaffected by the host environment. Here we studied the effects of host ecology on tolerance and resistance to infection by rearing monarch butterflies on 12 different species of milkweed food plants and infecting them with a naturally occurring protozoan parasite. Our results show that monarch butterflies experience different levels of tolerance to parasitism depending on the species of milkweed that they feed on, with some species providing over twofold greater tolerance than other milkweed species. Resistance was also affected by milkweed species, but there was no relationship between milkweed-conferred resistance and tolerance. Chemical analysis suggests that infected monarchs obtain highest fitness when reared on milkweeds with an intermediate concentration, diversity, and polarity of toxic secondary plant chemicals known as cardenolides. Our results demonstrate that environmental factors-such as interacting species in ecological food webs-are important drivers of disease tolerance.

  14. Monolignol ferulate conjugates are naturally incorporated into plant lignins

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Angiosperms represent the majority of terrestrial plants and are the primary research focus for conversion of biomass to liquid fuels and coproducts. Lignin limits our access to fibers and represents a large fraction of the chemical energy stored in plant cell walls. Recently, the incorporation of m...

  15. Concurrent natural and sexual selection in wild male sockeye salmon, Oncorhynchus nerka.

    PubMed

    Hamon, Troy R; Foote, Chris J

    2005-05-01

    Concurrent natural and sexual selection have been inferred from laboratory and comparative studies in a number of taxa, but are rarely measured in natural populations. Because the interaction of these two general categories of selection may be complex when they occur simultaneously, empirical evidence from natural populations would help us to understand this interaction and probably give us greater insight into each separate episode as well. In male sockeye salmon, sexual selection for larger body size has been indicated in both deep and shallow water habitats. However, in shallow habitats male sockeye are generally smaller and less deep-bodied than in deep habitats, a difference that has been ascribed to natural selection. We measured concurrent natural and sexual selection in two years on breeding male sockeye salmon with respect to body size, body shape, and time of arrival to the breeding grounds. Natural selection was variable in effect and sexual selection was variable in intensity in these two years. The patterns of selection also appear to be interdependent; areas where predation on spawning adults is not intense have yielded different patterns of sexual selection than those measured here. It appears that some of the body shape differences in sockeye salmon associated with different spawning habitats, which were previously attributed to selective mortality, may be a result of different patterns of sexual selection in the different habitats. Total selection resulting from the combination of both natural and sexual selection was less intense than either natural or sexual selection in most cases. Measurement of concurrent selection episodes in nature may help us to understand whether the pattern of differential sexual selection is common, and whether observed patterns of habitat-related differentiation may be due to differences in sexual selection.

  16. Sexual dichromatism in frogs: natural selection, sexual selection and unexpected diversity

    PubMed Central

    Bell, Rayna C.; Zamudio, Kelly R.

    2012-01-01

    Sexual dichromatism, a form of sexual dimorphism in which males and females differ in colour, is widespread in animals but has been predominantly studied in birds, fishes and butterflies. Moreover, although there are several proposed evolutionary mechanisms for sexual dichromatism in vertebrates, few studies have examined this phenomenon outside the context of sexual selection. Here, we describe unexpectedly high diversity of sexual dichromatism in frogs and create a comparative framework to guide future analyses of the evolution of these sexual colour differences. We review what is known about evolution of colour dimorphism in frogs, highlight alternative mechanisms that may contribute to the evolution of sexual colour differences, and compare them to mechanisms active in other major groups of vertebrates. In frogs, sexual dichromatism can be dynamic (temporary colour change in males) or ontogenetic (permanent colour change in males or females). The degree and the duration of sexual colour differences vary greatly across lineages, and we do not detect phylogenetic signal in the distribution of this trait, therefore frogs provide an opportunity to investigate the roles of natural and sexual selection across multiple independent derivations of sexual dichromatism. PMID:22993253

  17. Sexual dichromatism in frogs: natural selection, sexual selection and unexpected diversity.

    PubMed

    Bell, Rayna C; Zamudio, Kelly R

    2012-12-07

    Sexual dichromatism, a form of sexual dimorphism in which males and females differ in colour, is widespread in animals but has been predominantly studied in birds, fishes and butterflies. Moreover, although there are several proposed evolutionary mechanisms for sexual dichromatism in vertebrates, few studies have examined this phenomenon outside the context of sexual selection. Here, we describe unexpectedly high diversity of sexual dichromatism in frogs and create a comparative framework to guide future analyses of the evolution of these sexual colour differences. We review what is known about evolution of colour dimorphism in frogs, highlight alternative mechanisms that may contribute to the evolution of sexual colour differences, and compare them to mechanisms active in other major groups of vertebrates. In frogs, sexual dichromatism can be dynamic (temporary colour change in males) or ontogenetic (permanent colour change in males or females). The degree and the duration of sexual colour differences vary greatly across lineages, and we do not detect phylogenetic signal in the distribution of this trait, therefore frogs provide an opportunity to investigate the roles of natural and sexual selection across multiple independent derivations of sexual dichromatism.

  18. [Research progress of chemistry and anti-cancer activities of natural products from Chinese Garcinia plants].

    PubMed

    Fu, Wen-Wei; Tan, Hong-Sheng; Xu, Hong-Xi

    2014-02-01

    Garcinia plants are one of the rich sources of natural xanthones and benzophenones which have attracted a great deal of attention from the scientists in the fields of chemistry and pharmacology. Recently, many structurally unique constituents with various bioactivities, especially anti-tumor activity, have been isolated from Garcinia plants. This concise review focused on the anti-cancer activity natural products isolated from Chinese Garcinia plants, and the research finding by authors and collaborators over the past several years were cited.

  19. North American Natural Gas Markets: Selected technical studies

    SciTech Connect

    Huntington, H.G.; Schuler, G.E.

    1989-04-01

    The Energy Modeling Forum (EMF) was established in 1976 at Stanford University to provide a structural framework within which energy experts, analysts, and policymakers could meet to improve their understanding of critical energy problems. The ninth EMF study, North American Natural Gas Markets, was conducted by a working group comprised of leading natural gas analysts and decision-makers from government, private companies, universities, and research and consulting organizations. The EMF 9 working group met five times from October 1986 through June 1988 to discuss key issues and analyze natural gas markets. This third volume includes technical papers that support many of the conclusions discussed in the EMF 9 summary report (Volume 1) and full working group report (Volume 2). These papers discuss the results from the individual models as well as some nonmodeling analysis related to US natural gas imports and industrial natural gas demand. Individual papers have been processed separately for inclusion in the Energy Science and Technology Database.

  20. North American Natural Gas Markets: Selected technical studies. Volume 3

    SciTech Connect

    Huntington, H.G.; Schuler, G.E.

    1989-04-01

    The Energy Modeling Forum (EMF) was established in 1976 at Stanford University to provide a structural framework within which energy experts, analysts, and policymakers could meet to improve their understanding of critical energy problems. The ninth EMF study, North American Natural Gas Markets, was conducted by a working group comprised of leading natural gas analysts and decision-makers from government, private companies, universities, and research and consulting organizations. The EMF 9 working group met five times from October 1986 through June 1988 to discuss key issues and analyze natural gas markets. This third volume includes technical papers that support many of the conclusions discussed in the EMF 9 summary report (Volume 1) and full working group report (Volume 2). These papers discuss the results from the individual models as well as some nonmodeling analysis related to US natural gas imports and industrial natural gas demand. Individual papers have been processed separately for inclusion in the Energy Science and Technology Database.

  1. Hummingbird responses to gender-biased nectar production: are nectar biases maintained by natural or sexual selection?

    PubMed Central

    Carlson, Jane E

    2008-01-01

    Pollinators mediate the evolution of secondary floral traits through both natural and sexual selection. Gender-biased nectar, for example, could be maintained by one or both, depending on the interactions between plants and pollinators. Here, I investigate pollinator responses to gender-biased nectar using the dichogamous herb Chrysothemis friedrichsthaliana (Gesneriaceae) which produces more nectar during the male floral phase. Previous research showed that the hummingbird pollinator Phaethornis striigularis visited male-phase flowers more often than female-phase flowers, and multiple visits benefited male more than female fecundity. If sexual selection maintains male-biased rewards, hummingbirds should prefer more-rewarding flowers independent of floral gender. If, however, differential rewards are partially maintained through natural selection, hummingbirds should respond to asymmetry with visits that reduce geitonogamy, i.e. selfing and pollen discounting. In plants with male biases, these visit types include single-flower visits and movements from low to high rewards. To test these predictions, I manipulated nectar asymmetry between pairs of real or artificial flowers on plants and recorded foraging behaviour. I also assessed maternal costs of selfing using hand pollinations. For plants with real flowers, hummingbirds preferred more-rewarding flowers and male-phase morphology, the latter possibly owing to previous experience. At artificial arrays, hummingbirds responded to extreme reward asymmetry with increased single-flower visits; however, they moved from high to low rewards more often than low to high. Finally, selfed flowers did not produce inferior seeds. In summary, sexual selection, more so than geitonogamy avoidance, maintains nectar biases in C. friedrichsthaliana, in one of the clearest examples of sexual selection in plants, to date. PMID:18460431

  2. Hummingbird responses to gender-biased nectar production: are nectar biases maintained by natural or sexual selection?

    PubMed

    Carlson, Jane E

    2008-08-07

    Pollinators mediate the evolution of secondary floral traits through both natural and sexual selection. Gender-biased nectar, for example, could be maintained by one or both, depending on the interactions between plants and pollinators. Here, I investigate pollinator responses to gender-biased nectar using the dichogamous herb Chrysothemis friedrichsthaliana (Gesneriaceae) which produces more nectar during the male floral phase. Previous research showed that the hummingbird pollinator Phaethornis striigularis visited male-phase flowers more often than female-phase flowers, and multiple visits benefited male more than female fecundity. If sexual selection maintains male-biased rewards, hummingbirds should prefer more-rewarding flowers independent of floral gender. If, however, differential rewards are partially maintained through natural selection, hummingbirds should respond to asymmetry with visits that reduce geitonogamy, i.e. selfing and pollen discounting. In plants with male biases, these visit types include single-flower visits and movements from low to high rewards. To test these predictions, I manipulated nectar asymmetry between pairs of real or artificial flowers on plants and recorded foraging behaviour. I also assessed maternal costs of selfing using hand pollinations. For plants with real flowers, hummingbirds preferred more-rewarding flowers and male-phase morphology, the latter possibly owing to previous experience. At artificial arrays, hummingbirds responded to extreme reward asymmetry with increased single-flower visits; however, they moved from high to low rewards more often than low to high. Finally, selfed flowers did not produce inferior seeds. In summary, sexual selection, more so than geitonogamy avoidance, maintains nectar biases in C. friedrichsthaliana, in one of the clearest examples of sexual selection in plants, to date.

  3. Soy isoflavones--benefits and risks from nature's selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs).

    PubMed

    Setchell, K D

    2001-10-01

    Phytoestrogens have become one of the more topical areas of interest in clinical nutrition. These non-nutrient bioactive compounds are ubiquitous to the plant kingdom and possess a wide range of biological properties that contribute to the many different health-related benefits reported for soy foods and flaxseeds--two of the most abundant dietary sources of phytoestrogens. Reviewed is the recent knowledge related to their pharmacokinetics and clinical effects, focusing mainly on isoflavones that are found in high concentrations in soy foods. Arguments are made for considering soy isoflavones as natural selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) based upon recent data of their conformational binding to estrogen receptors. Rebuttal is made to several key and important issues related to the recent concerns about the safety of soy and its constituent isoflavones. This article is not intended to be a comprehensive review of the literature but merely highlight recent research with key historical perspectives.

  4. Widespread genomic signatures of natural selection in hominid evolution.

    PubMed

    McVicker, Graham; Gordon, David; Davis, Colleen; Green, Phil

    2009-05-01

    Selection acting on genomic functional elements can be detected by its indirect effects on population diversity at linked neutral sites. To illuminate the selective forces that shaped hominid evolution, we analyzed the genomic distributions of human polymorphisms and sequence differences among five primate species relative to the locations of conserved sequence features. Neutral sequence diversity in human and ancestral hominid populations is substantially reduced near such features, resulting in a surprisingly large genome average diversity reduction due to selection of 19-26% on the autosomes and 12-40% on the X chromosome. The overall trends are broadly consistent with "background selection" or hitchhiking in ancestral populations acting to remove deleterious variants. Average selection is much stronger on exonic (both protein-coding and untranslated) conserved features than non-exonic features. Long term selection, rather than complex speciation scenarios, explains the large intragenomic variation in human/chimpanzee divergence. Our analyses reveal a dominant role for selection in shaping genomic diversity and divergence patterns, clarify hominid evolution, and provide a baseline for investigating specific selective events.

  5. Chemical interactions between plants in Mediterranean vegetation: the influence of selected plant extracts on Aegilops geniculata metabolome.

    PubMed

    Scognamiglio, Monica; Fiumano, Vittorio; D'Abrosca, Brigida; Esposito, Assunta; Choi, Young Hae; Verpoorte, Robert; Fiorentino, Antonio

    2014-10-01

    Allelopathy is the chemical mediated communication among plants. While on one hand there is growing interest in the field, on the other hand it is still debated as doubts exist at different levels. A number of compounds have been reported for their ability to influence plant growth, but the existence of this phenomenon in the field has rarely been demonstrated. Furthermore, only few studies have reported the uptake and the effects at molecular level of the allelochemicals. Allelopathy has been reported on some plants of Mediterranean vegetation and could contribute to structuring this ecosystem. Sixteen plants of Mediterranean vegetation have been selected and studied by an NMR-based metabolomics approach. The extracts of these donor plants have been characterized in terms of chemical composition and the effects on a selected receiving plant, Aegilops geniculata, have been studied both at the morphological and at the metabolic level. Most of the plant extracts employed in this study were found to have an activity, which could be correlated with the presence of flavonoids and hydroxycinnamate derivatives. These plant extracts affected the receiving plant in different ways, with different rates of growth inhibition at morphological level. The results of metabolomic analysis of treated plants suggested the induction of oxidative stress in all the receiving plants treated with active donor plant extracts, although differences were observed among the responses. Finally, the uptake and transport into receiving plant leaves of different metabolites present in the extracts added to the culture medium were observed.

  6. Melanogenesis and antityrosinase activity of selected South african plants.

    PubMed

    Mapunya, Manyatja Brenda; Nikolova, Roumiana Vassileva; Lall, Namrita

    2012-01-01

    Melanin is the pigment that is responsible for the colour of eyes, hair, and skin in humans. Tyrosinase is known to be the key enzyme in melanin biosynthesis. Overactivity of this enzyme leads to dermatological disorders such as age spots, melanoma and sites of actinic damage. Ten plants belonging to four families (Asphodelaceae, Anacardiaceae, Oleaceae, and Rutaceae) were investigated for their effect on tyrosinase using both L-tyrosine and L-DOPA as substrates. Ethanol leaf extracts (500 μg/mL) of Aloe ferox, Aloe aculeata, Aloe pretoriensis, and Aloe sessiliflora showed 60%, 31%, 17%, and 13% inhibition of tyrosinase activity respectively, when L-tyrosine was used as a substrate. Harpephyllum caffrum (leaves) at a concentration of 500 μg/mL had an inhibitory effect of 70% on tyrosinase when L-DOPA was used as a substrate. The IC(50) of Harpephyllum caffrum (leaves and bark) were found to be 51 ± 0.002 and 40 ± 0.035 μg/mL, respectively. Following the results obtained from the tyrosinase assay, extracts from Harpephyllum caffrum were selected for further testing on their effect on melanin production and their cytotoxicity on melanocytes in vitro. The IC(50) of both extracts was found to be 6.25 μg/mL for melanocyte cells. Bark extract of Harpephyllum caffrum showed 26% reduction in melanin content of melanocyte cells at a concentration of 6.25 μg/mL. The leaf extract of this plant showed some toxicity on melanocyte cells. Therefore, the bark extract of Harpephyllum caffrum could be considered as an antityrosinase agent for dermatological disorders such as age spots and melasoma.

  7. The neural bases of host plant selection in a Neuroecology framework.

    PubMed

    Reisenman, Carolina E; Riffell, Jeffrey A

    2015-01-01

    Understanding how animals make use of environmental information to guide behavior is a fundamental problem in the field of neuroscience. Similarly, the field of ecology seeks to understand the role of behavior in shaping interactions between organisms at various levels of organization, including population-, community- and even ecosystem-level scales. Together, the newly emerged field of "Neuroecology" seeks to unravel this fundamental question by studying both the function of neurons at many levels of the sensory pathway and the interactions between organisms and their natural environment. The interactions between herbivorous insects and their host plants are ideal examples of Neuroecology given the strong ecological and evolutionary forces and the underlying physiological and behavioral mechanisms that shaped these interactions. In this review we focus on an exemplary herbivorous insect within the Lepidoptera, the giant sphinx moth Manduca sexta, as much is known about the natural behaviors related to host plant selection and the involved neurons at several level of the sensory pathway. We also discuss how herbivore-induced plant odorants and secondary metabolites in floral nectar in turn can affect moth behavior, and the underlying neural mechanisms.

  8. The neural bases of host plant selection in a Neuroecology framework

    PubMed Central

    Reisenman, Carolina E.; Riffell, Jeffrey A.

    2015-01-01

    Understanding how animals make use of environmental information to guide behavior is a fundamental problem in the field of neuroscience. Similarly, the field of ecology seeks to understand the role of behavior in shaping interactions between organisms at various levels of organization, including population-, community- and even ecosystem-level scales. Together, the newly emerged field of “Neuroecology” seeks to unravel this fundamental question by studying both the function of neurons at many levels of the sensory pathway and the interactions between organisms and their natural environment. The interactions between herbivorous insects and their host plants are ideal examples of Neuroecology given the strong ecological and evolutionary forces and the underlying physiological and behavioral mechanisms that shaped these interactions. In this review we focus on an exemplary herbivorous insect within the Lepidoptera, the giant sphinx moth Manduca sexta, as much is known about the natural behaviors related to host plant selection and the involved neurons at several level of the sensory pathway. We also discuss how herbivore-induced plant odorants and secondary metabolites in floral nectar in turn can affect moth behavior, and the underlying neural mechanisms. PMID:26321961

  9. An evolutionary view of plant tissue culture: somaclonal variation and selection.

    PubMed

    Wang, Qin-Mei; Wang, Li

    2012-09-01

    Plants regenerated from in vitro cultures possess an array of genetic and epigenetic changes. This phenomenon is known as 'somaclonal variation' and the frequency of somaclonal variation (SV) is usually elevated far beyond that expected in nature. Initially, the relationship between time in culture and detected SV was found to support the widespread belief that SV accumulates with culture age. However, a few studies indicated that older cultures yielded regenerants with less SV. What leads to this seemed contradiction? In this article, we have proposed a novel in vitro callus selection hypothesis, differentiation bottleneck (D-bottleneck) and dedifferentiation bottleneck (Dd-bottleneck), which consider natural selection theory to be fit for cell population in vitro. The results of multiplication races between the cells with the true-to-type phenotype and the deleterious cells determine the increase/decrease of SV frequencies in calli or regenerants as in vitro culture time goes on. The possibility of interpreting the complex situation of time-related SV by the evolutionary theory is discussed in this paper. In addition, the SV threshold, space-determined hypothesis and D-bottleneck are proposed to interpret the loss of the regenerability through a long period of plant tissue culture (PTC).

  10. Molecular taphonomy of animal and plant cuticles: selective preservation and diagenesis

    PubMed Central

    Briggs, D. E. G.

    1999-01-01

    The nature of organic material and the environment in which it is deposited exert a major influence on the extent to which biomacromolecules are preserved in the fossil record. The role of these factors is explored with a particular focus on the cuticle of arthropods and leaves. Preservation of the original chemistry of arthropod cuticles is favoured by their thickness and degree of sclerotization, and the presence of biominerals. Decay and burial in terrestrial as opposed to marine, and anoxic rather than oxygenated conditions, likewise appear to enhance preservation. The most important factor in the long-term preservation of the chemistry of both animal and plant cuticles, however, is diagenetic alteration to an aliphatic composition. This occurs even in amber, which encapsulates the fossil, eliminating almost all external factors. Some plants contain an original decay-resistant macromolecular aliphatic component but this is not the case in arthropods. It appears that the aliphatic components of many plant as well as animal fossils may be the result of diagenetic polymerization. Selective preservation as a result of decay resistance may explain the initial survival of organic materials in sediments, but in many cases longer-term preservation relies on chemical changes. Selective preservation is only a partial explanation for the origin of kerogen.

  11. A force of nature: molecular mechanisms of mechanoperception in plants

    PubMed Central

    Haswell, Elizabeth S.

    2013-01-01

    The ability to sense and respond to a wide variety of mechanical stimuli—gravity, touch, osmotic pressure, or the resistance of the cell wall—is a critical feature of every plant cell, whether or not it is specialized for mechanotransduction. Mechanoperceptive events are an essential part of plant life, required for normal growth and development at the cell, tissue, and whole-plant level and for the proper response to an array of biotic and abiotic stresses. One current challenge for plant mechanobiologists is to link these physiological responses to specific mechanoreceptors and signal transduction pathways. Here, we describe recent progress in the identification and characterization of two classes of putative mechanoreceptors, ion channels and receptor-like kinases. We also discuss how the secondary messenger Ca2+ operates at the centre of many of these mechanical signal transduction pathways. PMID:23913953

  12. Genes and junk in plant mitochondria-repair mechanisms and selection.

    PubMed

    Christensen, Alan C

    2014-06-05

    Plant mitochondrial genomes have very low mutation rates. In contrast, they also rearrange and expand frequently. This is easily understood if DNA repair in genes is accomplished by accurate mechanisms, whereas less accurate mechanisms including nonhomologous end joining or break-induced replication are used in nongenes. An important question is how different mechanisms of repair predominate in coding and noncoding DNA, although one possible mechanism is transcription-coupled repair (TCR). This work tests the predictions of TCR and finds no support for it. Examination of the mutation spectra and rates in genes and junk reveals what DNA repair mechanisms are available to plant mitochondria, and what selective forces act on the repair products. A model is proposed that mismatches and other DNA damages are repaired by converting them into double-strand breaks (DSBs). These can then be repaired by any of the DSB repair mechanisms, both accurate and inaccurate. Natural selection will eliminate coding regions repaired by inaccurate mechanisms, accounting for the low mutation rates in genes, whereas mutations, rearrangements, and expansions generated by inaccurate repair in noncoding regions will persist. Support for this model includes the structure of the mitochondrial mutS homolog in plants, which is fused to a double-strand endonuclease. The model proposes that plant mitochondria do not distinguish a damaged or mismatched DNA strand from the undamaged strand, they simply cut both strands and perform homology-based DSB repair. This plant-specific strategy for protecting future generations from mitochondrial DNA damage has the side effect of genome expansions and rearrangements.

  13. New and bioactive natural products isolated from madagascar plants and marine organisms.

    PubMed

    Hou, Y; Harinantenaina, L

    2010-01-01

    Madagascar, the world's fourth biggest island has an unique biodiversity. The interest on the phytochemical investigation of Malagasy plants and marine natural products started from the isolation of the potent anti-cancerous bisindole alkaloids: vinblastine and vincristine. In this paper, works published in the last two decades (1991-2009) on 270 new natural products isolated from Madagascar higher plants, liverworts and marine organisms are reviewed. Several results on the bioassays of the isolated new natural products have been reported.

  14. Natural selection on a major armor gene in threespine stickleback.

    PubMed

    Barrett, Rowan D H; Rogers, Sean M; Schluter, Dolph

    2008-10-10

    Experimental estimates of the effects of selection on genes determining adaptive traits add to our understanding of the mechanisms of evolution. We measured selection on genotypes of the Ectodysplasin locus, which underlie differences in lateral plates in threespine stickleback fish. A derived allele (low) causing reduced plate number has been fixed repeatedly after marine stickleback colonized freshwater from the sea, where the ancestral allele (complete) predominates. We transplanted marine sticklebacks carrying both alleles to freshwater ponds and tracked genotype frequencies over a generation. The low allele increased in frequency once lateral plates developed, most likely via a growth advantage. Opposing selection at the larval stage and changing dominance for fitness throughout life suggest either that the gene affects additional traits undergoing selection or that linked loci also are affecting fitness.

  15. Dynamics of extinction and the selection of nature reserves.

    PubMed Central

    Araújo, Miguel B; Williams, Paul H; Fuller, Robert J

    2002-01-01

    Familiar quantitative reserve-selection techniques are tailored to simple decision problems, where the representation of species is sought at minimum cost. However, conservationists have begun to ask whether representing species in reserve networks is sufficient to avoid local extinctions within selected areas. An attractive, but previously untested idea is to model current species' probabilities of occurrence as an estimate of local persistence in the near future. Using distribution data for passerine birds in Great Britain, we show that (i) species' probabilities of occurrence are negatively related to local probabilities of extinction, at least when a particular 20-year period is considered, and (ii) local extinctions can be reduced if areas are selected to maximize current species' probabilities of occurrence We suggest that more extinctions could be avoided if even a simple treatment of persistence were to be incorporated within reserve selection methods. PMID:12396495

  16. Natural toxins that affect plant amino acid metabolism

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A diverse range of natural compounds interfere with the synthesis and other aspects of amino acid metabolism. Some are amino acid analogues, but most are not. This review covers a number of specific natural phytotoxic compounds by molecular target site. Inhibition of glutamine synthetase is of part...

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2007-07-01

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

  18. Nutritional and cultural aspects of plant species selection for a controlled ecological life support system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoff, J. E.; Howe, J. M.; Mitchell, C. A.

    1982-01-01

    The feasibility of using higher plants in a controlled ecological life support system is discussed. Aspects of this system considered important in the use of higher plants include: limited energy, space, and mass, and problems relating to cultivation and management of plants, food processing, the psychological impact of vegetarian diets, and plant propagation. A total of 115 higher plant species are compared based on 21 selection criteria.

  19. Conservation of endangered Lupinus mariae-josephae in its natural habitat by inoculation with selected, native Bradyrhizobium strains.

    PubMed

    Navarro, Albert; Fos, Simón; Laguna, Emilio; Durán, David; Rey, Luis; Rubio-Sanz, Laura; Imperial, Juan; Ruiz-Argüeso, Tomás

    2014-01-01

    Lupinus mariae-josephae is a recently discovered endemism that is only found in alkaline-limed soils, a unique habitat for lupines, from a small area in Valencia region (Spain). In these soils, L. mariae-josephae grows in just a few defined patches, and previous conservation efforts directed towards controlled plant reproduction have been unsuccessful. We have previously shown that L. mariae-josephae plants establish a specific root nodule symbiosis with bradyrhizobia present in those soils, and we reasoned that the paucity of these bacteria in soils might contribute to the lack of success in reproducing plants for conservation purposes. Greenhouse experiments using L. mariae-josephae trap-plants showed the absence or near absence of L. mariae-josephae-nodulating bacteria in "terra rossa" soils of Valencia outside of L. mariae-josephae plant patches, and in other "terra rossa" or alkaline red soils of the Iberian Peninsula and Balearic Islands outside of the Valencia L. mariae-josephae endemism region. Among the bradyrhizobia able to establish an efficient symbiosis with L. mariae-josephae plants, two strains, LmjC and LmjM3 were selected as inoculum for seed coating. Two planting experiments were carried out in consecutive years under natural conditions in areas with edapho-climatic characteristics identical to those sustaining natural L. mariae-josephae populations, and successful reproduction of the plant was achieved. Interestingly, the successful reproductive cycle was absolutely dependent on seedling inoculation with effective bradyrhizobia, and optimal performance was observed in plants inoculated with LmjC, a strain that had previously shown the most efficient behavior under controlled conditions. Our results define conditions for L. mariae-josephae conservation and for extension to alkaline-limed soil habitats, where no other known lupine can thrive.

  20. Conservation of Endangered Lupinus mariae-josephae in Its Natural Habitat by Inoculation with Selected, Native Bradyrhizobium Strains

    PubMed Central

    Navarro, Albert; Fos, Simón; Laguna, Emilio; Durán, David; Rey, Luis; Rubio-Sanz, Laura; Imperial, Juan; Ruiz-Argüeso, Tomás

    2014-01-01

    Lupinus mariae-josephae is a recently discovered endemism that is only found in alkaline-limed soils, a unique habitat for lupines, from a small area in Valencia region (Spain). In these soils, L. mariae-josephae grows in just a few defined patches, and previous conservation efforts directed towards controlled plant reproduction have been unsuccessful. We have previously shown that L. mariae-josephae plants establish a specific root nodule symbiosis with bradyrhizobia present in those soils, and we reasoned that the paucity of these bacteria in soils might contribute to the lack of success in reproducing plants for conservation purposes. Greenhouse experiments using L. mariae-josephae trap-plants showed the absence or near absence of L. mariae-josephae-nodulating bacteria in “terra rossa” soils of Valencia outside of L. mariae-josephae plant patches, and in other “terra rossa” or alkaline red soils of the Iberian Peninsula and Balearic Islands outside of the Valencia L. mariae-josephae endemism region. Among the bradyrhizobia able to establish an efficient symbiosis with L. mariae-josephae plants, two strains, LmjC and LmjM3 were selected as inoculum for seed coating. Two planting experiments were carried out in consecutive years under natural conditions in areas with edapho-climatic characteristics identical to those sustaining natural L. mariae-josephae populations, and successful reproduction of the plant was achieved. Interestingly, the successful reproductive cycle was absolutely dependent on seedling inoculation with effective bradyrhizobia, and optimal performance was observed in plants inoculated with LmjC, a strain that had previously shown the most efficient behavior under controlled conditions. Our results define conditions for L. mariae-josephae conservation and for extension to alkaline-limed soil habitats, where no other known lupine can thrive. PMID:25019379

  1. Climate change may threaten habitat suitability of threatened plant species within Chinese nature reserves.

    PubMed

    Wang, Chunjing; Liu, Chengzhu; Wan, Jizhong; Zhang, Zhixiang

    2016-01-01

    Climate change has the potential to alter the distributions of threatened plant species, and may therefore diminish the capacity of nature reserves to protect threatened plant species. Chinese nature reserves contain a rich diversity of plant species that are at risk of becoming more threatened by climate change. Hence, it is urgent to identify the extent to which future climate change may compromise the suitability of threatened plant species habitats within Chinese nature reserves. Here, we modelled the climate suitability of 82 threatened plant species within 168 nature reserves across climate change scenarios. We used Maxent modelling based on species occurrence localities and evaluated climate change impacts using the magnitude of change in climate suitability and the degree of overlap between current and future climatically suitable habitats. There was a significant relationship between overlap with current and future climate suitability of all threatened plant species habitats and the magnitude of changes in climate suitability. Our projections estimate that the climate suitability of more than 60 threatened plant species will decrease and that climate change threatens the habitat suitability of plant species in more than 130 nature reserves under the low, medium, and high greenhouse gas concentration scenarios by both 2050s and 2080s. Furthermore, future climate change may substantially threaten tree plant species through changes in annual mean temperature. These results indicate that climate change may threaten plant species that occur within Chinese nature reserves. Therefore, we suggest that climate change projections should be integrated into the conservation and management of threatened plant species within nature reserves.

  2. Climate change may threaten habitat suitability of threatened plant species within Chinese nature reserves

    PubMed Central

    Wan, Jizhong

    2016-01-01

    Climate change has the potential to alter the distributions of threatened plant species, and may therefore diminish the capacity of nature reserves to protect threatened plant species. Chinese nature reserves contain a rich diversity of plant species that are at risk of becoming more threatened by climate change. Hence, it is urgent to identify the extent to which future climate change may compromise the suitability of threatened plant species habitats within Chinese nature reserves. Here, we modelled the climate suitability of 82 threatened plant species within 168 nature reserves across climate change scenarios. We used Maxent modelling based on species occurrence localities and evaluated climate change impacts using the magnitude of change in climate suitability and the degree of overlap between current and future climatically suitable habitats. There was a significant relationship between overlap with current and future climate suitability of all threatened plant species habitats and the magnitude of changes in climate suitability. Our projections estimate that the climate suitability of more than 60 threatened plant species will decrease and that climate change threatens the habitat suitability of plant species in more than 130 nature reserves under the low, medium, and high greenhouse gas concentration scenarios by both 2050s and 2080s. Furthermore, future climate change may substantially threaten tree plant species through changes in annual mean temperature. These results indicate that climate change may threaten plant species that occur within Chinese nature reserves. Therefore, we suggest that climate change projections should be integrated into the conservation and management of threatened plant species within nature reserves. PMID:27326373

  3. Six Classroom Exercises to Teach Natural Selection to Undergraduate Biology Students

    PubMed Central

    Kalinowski, Steven T.; Leonard, Mary J.; Andrews, Tessa M.; Litt, Andrea R.

    2013-01-01

    Students in introductory biology courses frequently have misconceptions regarding natural selection. In this paper, we describe six activities that biology instructors can use to teach undergraduate students in introductory biology courses how natural selection causes evolution. These activities begin with a lesson introducing students to natural selection and also include discussions on sexual selection, molecular evolution, evolution of complex traits, and the evolution of behavior. The set of six topics gives students the opportunity to see how natural selection operates in a variety of contexts. Pre- and postinstruction testing showed students’ understanding of natural selection increased substantially after completing this series of learning activities. Testing throughout this unit showed steadily increasing student understanding, and surveys indicated students enjoyed the activities. PMID:24006396

  4. Natural selection reduced diversity on human y chromosomes.

    PubMed

    Wilson Sayres, Melissa A; Lohmueller, Kirk E; Nielsen, Rasmus

    2014-01-01

    The human Y chromosome exhibits surprisingly low levels of genetic diversity. This could result from neutral processes if the effective population size of males is reduced relative to females due to a higher variance in the number of offspring from males than from females. Alternatively, selection acting on new mutations, and affecting linked neutral sites, could reduce variability on the Y chromosome. Here, using genome-wide analyses of X, Y, autosomal and mitochondrial DNA, in combination with extensive population genetic simulations, we show that low observed Y chromosome variability is not consistent with a purely neutral model. Instead, we show that models of purifying selection are consistent with observed Y diversity. Further, the number of sites estimated to be under purifying selection greatly exceeds the number of Y-linked coding sites, suggesting the importance of the highly repetitive ampliconic regions. While we show that purifying selection removing deleterious mutations can explain the low diversity on the Y chromosome, we cannot exclude the possibility that positive selection acting on beneficial mutations could have also reduced diversity in linked neutral regions, and may have contributed to lowering human Y chromosome diversity. Because the functional significance of the ampliconic regions is poorly understood, our findings should motivate future research in this area.

  5. Nematodes Associated with Plants from Naturally Acidic Wetlands Soil

    PubMed Central

    Cox, Robert John; Smart, Grover C.

    1994-01-01

    Four plants, Cyperus ochraceus, Eriocaulon compressum, Lythrum alatum, and Xyris jupicai, growing along the shoreline of an oligotrophic lake in north central Florida were sampled for nematodes. The nematodes recovered were placed in four trophic groups: bacterivores, herbivores, omnivores, and predators. When the nematodes on all plants were considered, 27% were bacterivores, 23% were herbivores, 7% were omnivores, and 43% were predators. Tripyla was the dominant predator and the dominant genus of all nematodes, and Malenchus was the dominant herbivore. Dominance was not clearly pronounced in the other trophic groups. PMID:19279927

  6. Selected References on Asbestos: Its Nature, Hazards, Detection, and Control.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Education Association, Washington, DC.

    This document provides teachers with sources of information about the nature, hazards, detection, and control of asbestos. Because many school buildings include asbestos-containing materials, teachers and other school personnel must be aware of the potential dangers to students and to themselves and take steps to have asbestos hazards contained or…

  7. Natural compounds isolated from Brazilian plants are potent inhibitors of hepatitis C virus replication in vitro.

    PubMed

    Jardim, A C G; Igloi, Z; Shimizu, J F; Santos, V A F F M; Felippe, L G; Mazzeu, B F; Amako, Y; Furlan, M; Harris, M; Rahal, P

    2015-03-01

    Compounds extracted from plants can provide an alternative approach to new therapies. They present characteristics such as high chemical diversity, lower cost of production and milder or inexistent side effects compared with conventional treatment. The Brazilian flora represents a vast, largely untapped, resource of potential antiviral compounds. In this study, we investigate the antiviral effects of a panel of natural compounds isolated from Brazilian plants species on hepatitis C virus (HCV) genome replication. To do this we used firefly luciferase-based HCV sub-genomic replicons of genotypes 2a (JFH-1), 1b and 3a and the compounds were assessed for their effects on both HCV replication and cellular toxicity. Initial screening of compounds was performed using the maximum non-toxic concentration and 4 compounds that exhibited a useful therapeutic index (favourable ratio of cytotoxicity to antiviral potency) were selected for extra analysis. The compounds APS (EC50=2.3μM), a natural alkaloid isolated from Maytrenus ilicifolia, and the lignans 3(∗)43 (EC50=4.0μM), 3(∗)20 (EC50=8.2μM) and 5(∗)362 (EC50=38.9μM) from Peperomia blanda dramatically inhibited HCV replication as judged by reductions in luciferase activity and HCV protein expression in both the subgenomic and infectious systems. We further show that these compounds are active against a daclatasvir resistance mutant subgenomic replicon. Consistent with inhibition of genome replication, production of infectious JFH-1 virus was significantly reduced by all 4 compounds. These data are the first description of Brazilian natural compounds possessing anti-HCV activity and further analyses are being performed in order to investigate the mode of action of those compounds.

  8. Natural Antioxidants in Foods and Medicinal Plants: Extraction, Assessment and Resources

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Dong-Ping; Li, Ya; Meng, Xiao; Zhou, Tong; Zhou, Yue; Zheng, Jie; Zhang, Jiao-Jiao; Li, Hua-Bin

    2017-01-01

    Natural antioxidants are widely distributed in food and medicinal plants. These natural antioxidants, especially polyphenols and carotenoids, exhibit a wide range of biological effects, including anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, anti-atherosclerosis and anticancer. The effective extraction and proper assessment of antioxidants from food and medicinal plants are crucial to explore the potential antioxidant sources and promote the application in functional foods, pharmaceuticals and food additives. The present paper provides comprehensive information on the green extraction technologies of natural antioxidants, assessment of antioxidant activity at chemical and cellular based levels and their main resources from food and medicinal plants. PMID:28067795

  9. Natural Antioxidants in Foods and Medicinal Plants: Extraction, Assessment and Resources.

    PubMed

    Xu, Dong-Ping; Li, Ya; Meng, Xiao; Zhou, Tong; Zhou, Yue; Zheng, Jie; Zhang, Jiao-Jiao; Li, Hua-Bin

    2017-01-05

    Natural antioxidants are widely distributed in food and medicinal plants. These natural antioxidants, especially polyphenols and carotenoids, exhibit a wide range of biological effects, including anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, anti-atherosclerosis and anticancer. The effective extraction and proper assessment of antioxidants from food and medicinal plants are crucial to explore the potential antioxidant sources and promote the application in functional foods, pharmaceuticals and food additives. The present paper provides comprehensive information on the green extraction technologies of natural antioxidants, assessment of antioxidant activity at chemical and cellular based levels and their main resources from food and medicinal plants.

  10. Is natural background or radiation from nuclear power plants leukemogenic

    SciTech Connect

    Cronkite, E.P.

    1989-01-01

    The objective in this review is to provide some facts about normal hemopoietic cell proliferation relevant to leukemogenesis, physical, chemical, and biological facts about radiation effects with the hope that each person will be able to decide for themselves whether background radiation or emissions from nuclear power plants and facilities significantly add to the spontaneous leukemia incidence. 23 refs., 1 tab.

  11. Evolutionary stasis in pollen morphogenesis due to natural selection.

    PubMed

    Matamoro-Vidal, Alexis; Prieu, Charlotte; Furness, Carol A; Albert, Béatrice; Gouyon, Pierre-Henri

    2016-01-01

    The contribution of developmental constraints and selective forces to the determination of evolutionary patterns is an important and unsolved question. We test whether the long-term evolutionary stasis observed for pollen morphogenesis (microsporogenesis) in eudicots is due to developmental constraints or to selection on a morphological trait shaped by microsporogenesis: the equatorial aperture pattern. Most eudicots have three equatorial apertures but several taxa have independently lost the equatorial pattern and have microsporogenesis decoupled from aperture pattern determination. If selection on the equatorial pattern limits variation, we expect to see increased variation in microsporogenesis in the nonequatorial clades. Variation of microsporogenesis was studied using phylogenetic comparative analyses in 83 species dispersed throughout eudicots including species with and without equatorial apertures. The species that have lost the equatorial pattern have highly variable microsporogenesis at the intra-individual and inter-specific levels regardless of their pollen morphology, whereas microsporogenesis remains stable in species with the equatorial pattern. The observed burst of variation upon loss of equatorial apertures shows that there are no strong developmental constraints precluding variation in microsporogenesis, and that the stasis is likely to be due principally to selective pressure acting on pollen morphogenesis because of its implication in the determination of the equatorial aperture pattern.

  12. Parental assessment and treatment of food selectivity in natural settings.

    PubMed

    Najdowski, Adel C; Wallace, Michele D; Doney, Janice K; Ghezzi, Patrick M

    2003-01-01

    This study evaluated the effects of a parent-conducted functional analysis and treatment consisting of differential reinforcement of an alternative behavior, escape extinction, and demand fading on food selectivity in a young child with autism. Increases in food acceptance at home and in a restaurant were obtained.

  13. Genetic signature of natural selection in first Americans.

    PubMed

    G Amorim, Carlos Eduardo; Nunes, Kelly; Meyer, Diogo; Comas, David; Bortolini, Maria Cátira; Salzano, Francisco Mauro; Hünemeier, Tábita

    2017-02-28

    When humans moved from Asia toward the Americas over 18,000 y ago and eventually peopled the New World they encountered a new environment with extreme climate conditions and distinct dietary resources. These environmental and dietary pressures may have led to instances of genetic adaptation with the potential to influence the phenotypic variation in extant Native American populations. An example of such an event is the evolution of the fatty acid desaturases (FADS) genes, which have been claimed to harbor signals of positive selection in Inuit populations due to adaptation to the cold Greenland Arctic climate and to a protein-rich diet. Because there was evidence of intercontinental variation in this genetic region, with indications of positive selection for its variants, we decided to compare the Inuit findings with other Native American data. Here, we use several lines of evidence to show that the signal of FADS-positive selection is not restricted to the Arctic but instead is broadly observed throughout the Americas. The shared signature of selection among populations living in such a diverse range of environments is likely due to a single and strong instance of local adaptation that took place in the common ancestral population before their entrance into the New World. These first Americans peopled the whole continent and spread this adaptive variant across a diverse set of environments.

  14. Aberrant Time to Most Recent Common Ancestor as a Signature of Natural Selection.

    PubMed

    Hunter-Zinck, Haley; Clark, Andrew G

    2015-10-01

    Natural selection inference methods often target one mode of selection of a particular age and strength. However, detecting multiple modes simultaneously, or with atypical representations, would be advantageous for understanding a population's evolutionary history. We have developed an anomaly detection algorithm using distributions of pairwise time to most recent common ancestor (TMRCA) to simultaneously detect multiple modes of natural selection in whole-genome sequences. As natural selection distorts local genealogies in distinct ways, the method uses pairwise TMRCA distributions, which approximate genealogies at a nonrecombining locus, to detect distortions without targeting a specific mode of selection. We evaluate the performance of our method, TSel, for both positive and balancing selection over different time-scales and selection strengths and compare TSel's performance with that of other methods. We then apply TSel to the Complete Genomics diversity panel, a set of human whole-genome sequences, and recover loci previously inferred to be under positive or balancing selection.

  15. Predicting In Silico Which Mixtures of the Natural Products of Plants Might Most Effectively Kill Human Leukemia Cells?

    PubMed Central

    El-Shemy, Hany A.; Aboul-Enein, Khalid M.; Lightfoot, David A.

    2013-01-01

    The aim of the analysis of just 13 natural products of plants was to predict the most likely effective artificial mixtures of 2-3 most effective natural products on leukemia cells from over 364 possible mixtures. The natural product selected included resveratrol, honokiol, chrysin, limonene, cholecalciferol, cerulenin, aloe emodin, and salicin and had over 600 potential protein targets. Target profiling used the Ontomine set of tools for literature searches of potential binding proteins, binding constant predictions, binding site predictions, and pathway network pattern analysis. The analyses indicated that 6 of the 13 natural products predicted binding proteins which were important targets for established cancer treatments. Improvements in effectiveness were predicted for artificial combinations of 2 or 3 natural products. That effect might be attributed to drug synergism rather than increased numbers of binding proteins bound (dose effects). Among natural products, the combinations of aloe emodin with mevinolin and honokiol were predicted to be the most effective combination for AML-related predicted binding proteins. Therefore, plant extracts may in future provide more effective medicines than the single purified natural products of modern medicine, in some cases. PMID:23431350

  16. Evolution of Students' Ideas about Natural Selection through a Constructivist Framework

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baumgartner, Erin; Duncan, Kanesa

    2009-01-01

    Educating students about the process of evolution through natural selection is vitally important because not only is it the unifying theory of biological science, it is also widely regarded as difficult for students to fully comprehend. Anderson and colleagues (2002) describe alternative ideas and misconceptions about natural selection as highly…

  17. Six Classroom Exercises to Teach Natural Selection to Undergraduate Biology Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kalinowski, Steven T.; Leonard, Mary J.; Andrews, Tessa M.; Litt, Andrea R.

    2013-01-01

    Students in introductory biology courses frequently have misconceptions regarding natural selection. In this paper, we describe six activities that biology instructors can use to teach undergraduate students in introductory biology courses how natural selection causes evolution. These activities begin with a lesson introducing students to natural…

  18. Monolignol ferulate conjugates are naturally incorporated into plant lignins

    PubMed Central

    Karlen, Steven D.; Zhang, Chengcheng; Peck, Matthew L.; Smith, Rebecca A.; Padmakshan, Dharshana; Helmich, Kate E.; Free, Heather C. A.; Lee, Seonghee; Smith, Bronwen G.; Lu, Fachuang; Sedbrook, John C.; Sibout, Richard; Grabber, John H.; Runge, Troy M.; Mysore, Kirankumar S.; Harris, Philip J.; Bartley, Laura E.; Ralph, John

    2016-01-01

    Angiosperms represent most of the terrestrial plants and are the primary research focus for the conversion of biomass to liquid fuels and coproducts. Lignin limits our access to fibers and represents a large fraction of the chemical energy stored in plant cell walls. Recently, the incorporation of monolignol ferulates into lignin polymers was accomplished via the engineering of an exotic transferase into commercially relevant poplar. We report that various angiosperm species might have convergently evolved to natively produce lignins that incorporate monolignol ferulate conjugates. We show that this activity may be accomplished by a BAHD feruloyl–coenzyme A monolignol transferase, OsFMT1 (AT5), in rice and its orthologs in other monocots. PMID:27757415

  19. Monolignol ferulate conjugates are naturally incorporated into plant lignins.

    PubMed

    Karlen, Steven D; Zhang, Chengcheng; Peck, Matthew L; Smith, Rebecca A; Padmakshan, Dharshana; Helmich, Kate E; Free, Heather C A; Lee, Seonghee; Smith, Bronwen G; Lu, Fachuang; Sedbrook, John C; Sibout, Richard; Grabber, John H; Runge, Troy M; Mysore, Kirankumar S; Harris, Philip J; Bartley, Laura E; Ralph, John

    2016-10-01

    Angiosperms represent most of the terrestrial plants and are the primary research focus for the conversion of biomass to liquid fuels and coproducts. Lignin limits our access to fibers and represents a large fraction of the chemical energy stored in plant cell walls. Recently, the incorporation of monolignol ferulates into lignin polymers was accomplished via the engineering of an exotic transferase into commercially relevant poplar. We report that various angiosperm species might have convergently evolved to natively produce lignins that incorporate monolignol ferulate conjugates. We show that this activity may be accomplished by a BAHD feruloyl-coenzyme A monolignol transferase, OsFMT1 (AT5), in rice and its orthologs in other monocots.

  20. Development and Validation of the Conceptual Assessment of Natural Selection (CANS)

    PubMed Central

    Kalinowski, Steven T.; Leonard, Mary J.; Taper, Mark L.

    2016-01-01

    We developed and validated the Conceptual Assessment of Natural Selection (CANS), a multiple-choice test designed to assess how well college students understand the central principles of natural selection. The expert panel that reviewed the CANS concluded its questions were relevant to natural selection and generally did a good job sampling the specific concepts they were intended to assess. Student interviews confirmed questions on the CANS provided accurate reflections of how students think about natural selection. And, finally, statistical analysis of student responses using item response theory showed that the CANS did a very good job of estimating how well students understood natural selection. The empirical reliability of the CANS was substantially higher than the Force Concept Inventory, a highly regarded test in physics that has a similar purpose. PMID:27856552

  1. Development and Validation of the Conceptual Assessment of Natural Selection (CANS).

    PubMed

    Kalinowski, Steven T; Leonard, Mary J; Taper, Mark L

    2016-01-01

    We developed and validated the Conceptual Assessment of Natural Selection (CANS), a multiple-choice test designed to assess how well college students understand the central principles of natural selection. The expert panel that reviewed the CANS concluded its questions were relevant to natural selection and generally did a good job sampling the specific concepts they were intended to assess. Student interviews confirmed questions on the CANS provided accurate reflections of how students think about natural selection. And, finally, statistical analysis of student responses using item response theory showed that the CANS did a very good job of estimating how well students understood natural selection. The empirical reliability of the CANS was substantially higher than the Force Concept Inventory, a highly regarded test in physics that has a similar purpose.

  2. Site-specific conditions influence plant naturalization: The case of alien Proteaceae in South Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moodley, Desika; Geerts, Sjirk; Rebelo, Tony; Richardson, David M.; Wilson, John R. U.

    2014-08-01

    The outcome of plant introductions is often considered in binary terms (invasive or non-invasive). However, most species experience a time lag before naturalization occurs, and many species become naturalized at some sites but not at others. It is therefore important to understand the site-specific mechanisms underlying naturalization. Proteaceae is an interesting case as some species are widespread invaders, while others, despite a long history of cultivation, show no signs of naturalization. At least 26 non-native Proteaceae species have been introduced to, and are cultivated in, South Africa. We mapped populations and examined differences between naturalized and non-naturalized populations (e.g. propagule pressure, land use and bioclimatic suitability). Of the 15 species surveyed, 6 were naturalized at one or more sites. Of these, Hakea salicifolia is most widely cultivated, but is only naturalizing in some areas (32 naturalized populations out of 62 populations that were surveyed). We found propagule pressure to be the most important determinant of naturalization for H. salicifolia. However, in suboptimal climatic conditions, naturalization only occurred if micro-site conditions were suitable, i.e. there was some disturbance and water available. For the other naturalized species there were few sites to compare, but we came to similar conclusions - Banksia integrifolia only naturalized at the site where it was planted the longest; Banksia serrata only naturalized at a site influenced by fire regimes; while Banksia formosa naturalized at sites with high propagule pressure, absence of fires and where there is no active clearing of the plants. Naturalization of Proteaceae in South Africa appears to be strongly mediated by site-specific anthropogenic activities (e.g. many planted individuals and water availability). More broadly, we argue that invasion biology needs to focus more closely on the mechanisms by which species and pathways interact to determine the

  3. Understanding the nature of nuclear power plant risk

    SciTech Connect

    Denning, R. S.

    2012-07-01

    This paper describes the evolution of understanding of severe accident consequences from the non-mechanistic assumptions of WASH-740 to WASH-1400, NUREG-1150, SOARCA and today in the interpretation of the consequences of the accident at Fukushima. As opposed to the general perception, the radiological human health consequences to members of the Japanese public from the Fukushima accident will be small despite meltdowns at three reactors and loss of containment integrity. In contrast, the radiation-related societal impacts present a substantial additional economic burden on top of the monumental task of economic recovery from the nonnuclear aspects of the earthquake and tsunami damage. The Fukushima accident provides additional evidence that we have mis-characterized the risk of nuclear power plant accidents to ourselves and to the public. The human health risks are extremely small even to people living next door to a nuclear power plant. The principal risk associated with a nuclear power plant accident involves societal impacts: relocation of people, loss of land use, loss of contaminated products, decontamination costs and the need for replacement power. Although two of the three probabilistic safety goals of the NRC address societal risk, the associated quantitative health objectives in reality only address individual human health risk. This paper describes the types of analysis that would address compliance with the societal goals. (authors)

  4. Plant MicroRNAs—Novel Players in Natural Medicine?

    PubMed Central

    Lukasik, Anna; Zielenkiewicz, Piotr

    2016-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) represent a class of small non-coding RNAs that act as efficient gene expression regulators and thus play many important roles in living organisms. Due to their involvement in several known human pathological and pathogenic states, miRNA molecules have become an important issue in medicine and gained the attention of scientists from the pharmaceutical industry. In recent few years, a growing number of studies have provided evidence that miRNAs may be transferred from one species to another and regulate gene expression in the recipients’ cells. The most intriguing results revealed that stable miRNAs derived from food plants may enter the mammals’ circulatory system and, after reaching the target, inhibit the production of specific mammalian protein. Part of the scientific community has perceived this as an attractive hypothesis that may provide a foundation for novel therapeutic approaches. In turn, others are convinced about the “false positive” effect of performed experiments from which the mentioned results were achieved. In this article, we review the recent literature that provides evidence (from both fronts) of dietary, plant miRNA uptake and functionality in various consumers. Additionally, we discuss possible miRNA transport mechanisms from plant food sources to human cells. PMID:28025496

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  6. Relative contribution of dispersal and natural selection to the maintenance of a hybrid zone in Littorina.

    PubMed

    Cruz, Raquel; Vilas, Carlos; Mosquera, Javier; García, Carlos

    2004-12-01

    Habitat preference behavior may play an important role in nonallopatric speciation. However, most examples of habitat preference contributing to differentiation within natural populations correspond to parasites or herbivores living in the discrete environments constituted by their animal or plant hosts. In the present study we investigated migration guided by habitat preference in the intertidal snail Littorina saxatilis in a hybrid zone associated with an ecotone across the shore, which is therefore a continuously varying environment. First, we found evidence for this behavior in one of the two locations studied. Second, we made reciprocal transplants to suppress the phenotypic gradient observed across the hybrid zone and measured the relative contributions of selection and migration to its regeneration. Selection played an important role at the two locations studied, but migration was only important at one, where it accounted for between a third and a half of the regenerated gradient. This overall minor effect of migration was relevant for theoretical models dealing with nonallopatric speciation, because it suggested that variation for habitat preference did not have an important role in the initiation of the differentiation process. The preference behavior observed in the hybrid zone would have evolved secondarily, as a consequence of habitat-dependent fitness differences between phenotypes.

  7. Physico-chemical change and heat stability of extra virgin olive oils flavoured by selected Tunisian aromatic plants.

    PubMed

    Ayadi, M A; Grati-Kamoun, N; Attia, H

    2009-10-01

    Objectives of this work were studying physico-chemical change and heat stability of olive oils flavoured by selected Tunisian aromatic plants. Flavoured olive oils were prepared by maceration of fresh plant materials (rosemary, lavender, sage, menthe, basil, lemon and thyme) with olive oil at a 5% w/w level for 15 days. A sensorial evaluation was applied to select more appreciate flavoured olive oils by consumers. An oxidative procedure was applied to test the stability of selected flavoured olive oils: oils samples were kept in glass bottles and heated at 60 and 130 degrees C during 55 days and 6h, respectively. The resistance to oxidation of these selected flavoured oils was compared to a control samples by measuring PV, K232 and K270 values and change in chlorophyll, carotenes and polyphénols contents. Obtained results show that addition of aromatic plants causes a slight increase in free acidity and viscosity of aromatised olive oils. L*, b* and a* values show that addition of thyme cause a great change in olive oil colours. Heat stability results shows that from selected aromatic plants, rosemary was effectiveness against oxidation followed by thyme and lemon. However, olive oil flavoured with basil exhibit a similar behaviour versus thermal oxidation then the natural olive oil.

  8. Effects of Planted Versus Naturally Growing Vallisneria natans on the Sediment Microbial Community in West Lake, China.

    PubMed

    Wang, Chuan; Liu, Shuangyuan; Zhang, Yi; Liu, Biyun; Zeng, Lei; He, Feng; Zhou, Qiaohong; Wu, Zhenbin

    2017-03-02

    Submerged macrophytes play an important role in aquatic ecosystems, which has led to an increase in studies on vegetation recovery in polluted lakes from which submerged macrophytes have disappeared. The comparison of microbial communities in sediment cloned with planted and naturally growing submerged macrophytes is an interesting but rarely studied topic. In this investigation, Maojiabu and Xilihu, two adjacent sublakes of West Lake (Hangzhou, China), were selected as aquatic areas with planted and naturally growing macrophytes, respectively. Sediment samples from sites with/without Vallisneria natans were collected from both sublakes. The results showed that sediment total nitrogen and organic matter were significantly lower in the plant-covered sites than that in the non-plant sites in Maojiabu. Additionally, the sediment microbial community characterized by 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) sequencing differed more significantly for Maojiabu than for Xilihu. The relative abundances of microbes involved in C, N, and S elemental cycling were significantly higher in the sediments with plants than in those without. Results from both fatty acid methyl ester analysis and 16S rRNA sequencing indicated that vegetation significantly influenced the sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB). Thus, the gene copies and composition of SRB were explored further. The relative gene abundance of SRB was 66% higher with natural vegetation colonization but was not influenced by artificial colonization. An increase in dominant SRB members from the families Syntrophobacteraceae and Thermodesulfovibrionaceae contributed to the increase of total SRB. Thus, macrophyte planting influences sediment nutrient levels and microbial community more than natural growth does, whereas the latter is more beneficial to sediment SRB.

  9. What Has Natural Variation Taught Us about Plant Development, Physiology, and Adaptation?

    PubMed Central

    Alonso-Blanco, Carlos; Aarts, Mark G.M.; Bentsink, Leonie; Keurentjes, Joost J.B.; Reymond, Matthieu; Vreugdenhil, Dick; Koornneef, Maarten

    2009-01-01

    Nearly 100 genes and functional polymorphisms underlying natural variation in plant development and physiology have been identified. In crop plants, these include genes involved in domestication traits, such as those related to plant architecture, fruit and seed structure and morphology, as well as yield and quality traits improved by subsequent crop breeding. In wild plants, comparable traits have been dissected mainly in Arabidopsis thaliana. In this review, we discuss the major contributions of the analysis of natural variation to our understanding of plant development and physiology, focusing in particular on the timing of germination and flowering, plant growth and morphology, primary metabolism, and mineral accumulation. Overall, functional polymorphisms appear in all types of genes and gene regions, and they may have multiple mutational causes. However, understanding this diversity in relation to adaptation and environmental variation is a challenge for which tools are now available. PMID:19574434

  10. Predator-mediated natural selection on the wings of the damselfly Calopteryx splendens: differences in selection among trait types.

    PubMed

    Kuchta, Shawn R; Svensson, Erik I

    2014-07-01

    Traits that increase mating success in males may come at a cost, such as an increased risk of predation. However, predator-mediated selection is challenging to document in natural populations, hampering our understanding of the trade-offs between sexual selection and predation. Here we report on a study of predator-mediated natural selection on wing traits in the damselfly Calopteryx splendens, the males of which possess conspicuous wing patches. Wagtails (genus Motacilla) are important avian predators of C. splendens, capturing them in flight and removing the wings prior to consumption. Using geometric morphometric techniques, we quantified the strength and mode of selection on wing traits by comparing wings from depredated individuals with the standing variation present in the population. Our results reveal that predator-mediated selection is stronger on secondary sexual characters than on size and shape, suggesting that traits related to flight performance are closer to their adaptive peaks. This could be a consequence of the long-term evolutionary association with avian predators, whereas stronger selection on conspicuous secondary sexual traits may reflect trade-offs between sexual and natural selection. Finally, even though C. splendens possesses nearly identical fore- and hindwings, we found evidence for divergent selection between them.

  11. Anthocyanins: Analysis and Distribution in Selected Medicinal Plants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Anthocyanins are water soluble plant secondary metabolites responsible for the blue, purple, and red color of many plant tissues. They have been shown to be strong antioxidants, and may exert a wide range of health benefits through antioxidant or other mechanisms. Anthocyanins occur primarily as gly...

  12. Anthocyanins: analysis and distribution in selected medicinal plants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Anthocyanins are water soluble plant secondary metabolites responsible for the blue, purple, and red color of many plant tissues. They have been shown to be strong antioxidants, and may exert a wide range of health benefits through antioxidant or other mechanisms. Anthocyanins occur primarily as g...

  13. Selection of an acid-gas removal process for an LNG plant

    SciTech Connect

    Stone, J.B.; Jones, G.N.; Denton, R.D.

    1996-12-31

    Acid gas contaminants, such as, CO{sub 2}, H{sub 2}S and mercaptans, must be removed to a very low level from a feed natural gas before it is liquefied. CO{sub 2} is typically removed to a level of about 100 ppm to prevent freezing during LNG processing. Sulfur compounds are removed to levels required by the eventual consumer of the gas. Acid-gas removal processes can be broadly classified as: solvent-based, adsorption, cryogenic or physical separation. The advantages and disadvantages of these processes will be discussed along with design and operating considerations. This paper will also discuss the important considerations affecting the choice of the best acid-gas removal process for LNG plants. Some of these considerations are: the remoteness of the LNG plant from the resource; the cost of the feed gas and the economics of minimizing capital expenditures; the ultimate disposition of the acid gas; potential for energy integration; and the composition, including LPG and conditions of the feed gas. The example of the selection of the acid-gas removal process for an LNG plant.

  14. Host plant selection by aphids: behavioral, evolutionary, and applied perspectives.

    PubMed

    Powell, Glen; Tosh, Colin R; Hardie, Jim

    2006-01-01

    As phloem feeders and major vectors of plant viruses, aphids are important pests of agricultural and horticultural crops worldwide. The processes of aphid settling and reproduction on plants therefore have a direct economic impact, and a better understanding of these events may lead to improved management strategies. Aphids are also important model organisms in the analysis of population differentiation and speciation in animals, and new ideas on plant utilization influence our understanding of the mechanisms generating biological diversity. Recent research suggests that the dominant cues controlling plant preference and initiation of reproduction are detected early during the stylet penetration process, well before the nutrient supply (phloem) is contacted. Aphids regularly puncture cells along the stylet pathway and ingest cytosolic samples, and the cues stimulating settling and parturition likely are metabolites present in peripheral (nonvascular) plant cells. We discuss these findings and their implications for aphid evolution and management.

  15. Natural and sexual selection act on different axes of variation in avian plumage color

    PubMed Central

    Dunn, Peter O.; Armenta, Jessica K.; Whittingham, Linda A.

    2015-01-01

    The bright colors of birds are often attributed to sexual selection on males, but in many species both sexes are colorful and it has been long debated whether sexual selection can also explain this variation. We show that most evolutionary transitions in color have been toward similar plumage in both sexes, and the color of both sexes (for example, bright or dull) was associated with indices of natural selection (for example, habitat type), whereas sexual differences in color were primarily associated with indices of sexual selection on males (for example, polygyny and large testes size). Debate about the evolution of bird coloration can be resolved by recognizing that both natural and sexual selection have been influential, but they have generally acted on two different axes: sexual selection on an axis of sexual differences and natural selection on both sexes for the type of color (for example, bright or dull). PMID:26601146

  16. Coevolution of cooperation and network structure under natural selection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, D.-P.; Lin, H.; Shuai, J. W.

    2011-02-01

    A coevolution model by coupling mortality and fertility selection is introduced to investigate the evolution of cooperation and network structure in the prisoner's dilemma game. The cooperation level goes through a continuous phase transition vs. defection temptation b for low mortality selection intensity β and through a discontinuous one for infinite β. The cooperation level is enhanced most at β≈1 for any b. The local and global properties of the network structure, such as cluster and cooperating k-core, are investigated for the understanding of cooperation evolution. Cooperation is promoted by forming a tight cooperating k-core at moderate β, but too large β will destroy the cooperating k-core rapidly resulting in a rapid drop of the cooperation level. Importantly, the infinite β changes the normalized sucker's payoff S from 0 to 1-b and its dynamics of the cooperation level undergoes a very slow power-law decay, which leads the evolution into the regime of neutral evolution.

  17. Selective looking at natural scenes: Hedonic content and gender☆

    PubMed Central

    Bradley, Margaret M.; Costa, Vincent D.; Lang, Peter J.

    2015-01-01

    Choice viewing behavior when looking at affective scenes was assessed to examine differences due to hedonic content and gender by monitoring eye movements in a selective looking paradigm. On each trial, participants viewed a pair of pictures that included a neutral picture together with an affective scene depicting either contamination, mutilation, threat, food, nude males, or nude females. The duration of time that gaze was directed to each picture in the pair was determined from eye fixations. Results indicated that viewing choices varied with both hedonic content and gender. Initially, gaze duration for both men and women was heightened when viewing all affective contents, but was subsequently followed by significant avoidance of scenes depicting contamination or nude males. Gender differences were most pronounced when viewing pictures of nude females, with men continuing to devote longer gaze time to pictures of nude females throughout viewing, whereas women avoided scenes of nude people, whether male or female, later in the viewing interval. For women, reported disgust of sexual activity was also inversely related to gaze duration for nude scenes. Taken together, selective looking as indexed by eye movements reveals differential perceptual intake as a function of specific content, gender, and individual differences. PMID:26156939

  18. Cambial meristematic cells: a platform for the production of plant natural products.

    PubMed

    Ochoa-Villarreal, Marisol; Howat, Susan; Jang, Mi Ok; Kim, Il Suk; Jin, Young-Woo; Lee, Eun-Kyong; Loake, Gary J

    2015-12-25

    Plant cell culture constitutes a sustainable, controllable and environmentally friendly tool to produce natural products for the pharmaceutical, cosmetic and industrial biotechnology industries. However, there are significant obstacles to the commercial synthesis of high value chemicals from plant culture including low yields, performance instability, slow plant cell growth, industrial scale-up and downstream processing. Cambial meristematic cells constitute a platform to ameliorate many of these potential problems enabling the commercial production of high value chemicals.

  19. Sperm selection in natural conception: what can we learn from Mother Nature to improve assisted reproduction outcomes?

    PubMed Central

    Sakkas, Denny; Ramalingam, Mythili; Garrido, Nicolas; Barratt, Christopher L.R.

    2015-01-01

    BACKGROUND In natural conception only a few sperm cells reach the ampulla or the site of fertilization. This population is a selected group of cells since only motile cells can pass through cervical mucus and gain initial entry into the female reproductive tract. In animals, some studies indicate that the sperm selected by the reproductive tract and recovered from the uterus and the oviducts have higher fertilization rates but this is not a universal finding. Some species show less discrimination in sperm selection and abnormal sperm do arrive at the oviduct. In contrast, assisted reproductive technologies (ART) utilize a more random sperm population. In this review we contrast the journey of the spermatozoon in vivo and in vitro and discuss this in the context of developing new sperm preparation and selection techniques for ART. METHODS A review of the literature examining characteristics of the spermatozoa selected in vivo is compared with recent developments in in vitro selection and preparation methods. Contrasts and similarities are presented. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS New technologies are being developed to aid in the diagnosis, preparation and selection of spermatozoa in ART. To date progress has been frustrating and these methods have provided variable benefits in improving outcomes after ART. It is more likely that examining the mechanisms enforced by nature will provide valuable information in regard to sperm selection and preparation techniques in vitro. Identifying the properties of those spermatozoa which do reach the oviduct will also be important for the development of more effective tests of semen quality. In this review we examine the value of sperm selection to see how much guidance for ART can be gleaned from the natural selection processes in vivo. PMID:26386468

  20. Affective Neuronal Selection: The Nature of the Primordial Emotion Systems

    PubMed Central

    Toronchuk, Judith A.; Ellis, George F. R.

    2013-01-01

    Based on studies in affective neuroscience and evolutionary psychiatry, a tentative new proposal is made here as to the nature and identification of primordial emotional systems. Our model stresses phylogenetic origins of emotional systems, which we believe is necessary for a full understanding of the functions of emotions and additionally suggests that emotional organizing systems play a role in sculpting the brain during ontogeny. Nascent emotional systems thus affect cognitive development. A second proposal concerns two additions to the affective systems identified by Panksepp. We suggest there is substantial evidence for a primary emotional organizing program dealing with power, rank, dominance, and subordination which instantiates competitive and territorial behavior and is an evolutionary contributor to self-esteem in humans. A program underlying disgust reactions which originally functioned in ancient vertebrates to protect against infection and toxins is also suggested. PMID:23316177

  1. Plant functional traits and the multidimensional nature of species coexistence

    PubMed Central

    Kraft, Nathan J. B.; Godoy, Oscar; Levine, Jonathan M.

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the processes maintaining species diversity is a central problem in ecology, with implications for the conservation and management of ecosystems. Although biologists often assume that trait differences between competitors promote diversity, empirical evidence connecting functional traits to the niche differences that stabilize species coexistence is rare. Obtaining such evidence is critical because traits also underlie the average fitness differences driving competitive exclusion, and this complicates efforts to infer community dynamics from phenotypic patterns. We coupled field-parameterized mathematical models of competition between 102 pairs of annual plants with detailed sampling of leaf, seed, root, and whole-plant functional traits to relate phenotypic differences to stabilizing niche and average fitness differences. Single functional traits were often well correlated with average fitness differences between species, indicating that competitive dominance was associated with late phenology, deep rooting, and several other traits. In contrast, single functional traits were poorly correlated with the stabilizing niche differences that promote coexistence. Niche differences could only be described by combinations of traits, corresponding to differentiation between species in multiple ecological dimensions. In addition, several traits were associated with both fitness differences and stabilizing niche differences. These complex relationships between phenotypic differences and the dynamics of competing species argue against the simple use of single functional traits to infer community assembly processes but lay the groundwork for a theoretically justified trait-based community ecology. PMID:25561561

  2. ATP Binding Turns Plant Cryptochrome Into an Efficient Natural Photoswitch

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Müller, Pavel; Bouly, Jean-Pierre; Hitomi, Kenichi; Balland, Véronique; Getzoff, Elizabeth D.; Ritz, Thorsten; Brettel, Klaus

    2014-06-01

    Cryptochromes are flavoproteins that drive diverse developmental light-responses in plants and participate in the circadian clock in animals. Plant cryptochromes have found application as photoswitches in optogenetics. We have studied effects of pH and ATP on the functionally relevant photoreduction of the oxidized FAD cofactor to the semi-reduced FADH. radical in isolated Arabidopsis cryptochrome 1 by transient absorption spectroscopy on nanosecond to millisecond timescales. In the absence of ATP, the yield of light-induced radicals strongly decreased with increasing pH from 6.5 to 8.5. With ATP present, these yields were significantly higher and virtually pH-independent up to pH 9. Analysis of our data in light of the crystallographic structure suggests that ATP-binding shifts the pKa of aspartic acid D396, the putative proton donor to FAD.-, from ~7.4 to >9, and favours a reaction pathway yielding long-lived aspartate D396-. Its negative charge could trigger conformational changes necessary for signal transduction.

  3. ATP Binding Turns Plant Cryptochrome Into an Efficient Natural Photoswitch

    PubMed Central

    Müller, Pavel; Bouly, Jean-Pierre; Hitomi, Kenichi; Balland, Véronique; Getzoff, Elizabeth D.; Ritz, Thorsten; Brettel, Klaus

    2014-01-01

    Cryptochromes are flavoproteins that drive diverse developmental light-responses in plants and participate in the circadian clock in animals. Plant cryptochromes have found application as photoswitches in optogenetics. We have studied effects of pH and ATP on the functionally relevant photoreduction of the oxidized FAD cofactor to the semi-reduced FADH· radical in isolated Arabidopsis cryptochrome 1 by transient absorption spectroscopy on nanosecond to millisecond timescales. In the absence of ATP, the yield of light-induced radicals strongly decreased with increasing pH from 6.5 to 8.5. With ATP present, these yields were significantly higher and virtually pH-independent up to pH 9. Analysis of our data in light of the crystallographic structure suggests that ATP-binding shifts the pKa of aspartic acid D396, the putative proton donor to FAD·−, from ~7.4 to >9, and favours a reaction pathway yielding long-lived aspartate D396−. Its negative charge could trigger conformational changes necessary for signal transduction. PMID:24898692

  4. Geographical structure and differential natural selection among North European populations.

    PubMed

    McEvoy, Brian P; Montgomery, Grant W; McRae, Allan F; Ripatti, Samuli; Perola, Markus; Spector, Tim D; Cherkas, Lynn; Ahmadi, Kourosh R; Boomsma, Dorret; Willemsen, Gonneke; Hottenga, Jouke J; Pedersen, Nancy L; Magnusson, Patrik K E; Kyvik, Kirsten Ohm; Christensen, Kaare; Kaprio, Jaakko; Heikkilä, Kauko; Palotie, Aarno; Widen, Elisabeth; Muilu, Juha; Syvänen, Ann-Christine; Liljedahl, Ulrika; Hardiman, Orla; Cronin, Simon; Peltonen, Leena; Martin, Nicholas G; Visscher, Peter M

    2009-05-01

    Population structure can provide novel insight into the human past, and recognizing and correcting for such stratification is a practical concern in gene mapping by many association methodologies. We investigate these patterns, primarily through principal component (PC) analysis of whole genome SNP polymorphism, in 2099 individuals from populations of Northern European origin (Ireland, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Australia, and HapMap European-American). The major trends (PC1 and PC2) demonstrate an ability to detect geographic substructure, even over a small area like the British Isles, and this information can then be applied to finely dissect the ancestry of the European-Australian and European-American samples. They simultaneously point to the importance of considering population stratification in what might be considered a small homogeneous region. There is evidence from F(ST)-based analysis of genic and nongenic SNPs that differential positive selection has operated across these populations despite their short divergence time and relatively similar geographic and environmental range. The pressure appears to have been focused on genes involved in immunity, perhaps reflecting response to infectious disease epidemic. Such an event may explain a striking selective sweep centered on the rs2508049-G allele, close to the HLA-G gene on chromosome 6. Evidence of the sweep extends over a 8-Mb/3.5-cM region. Overall, the results illustrate the power of dense genotype and sample data to explore regional population variation, the events that have crafted it, and their implications in both explaining disease prevalence and mapping these genes by association.

  5. Geographical structure and differential natural selection among North European populations

    PubMed Central

    McEvoy, Brian P.; Montgomery, Grant W.; McRae, Allan F.; Ripatti, Samuli; Perola, Markus; Spector, Tim D.; Cherkas, Lynn; Ahmadi, Kourosh R.; Boomsma, Dorret; Willemsen, Gonneke; Hottenga, Jouke J.; Pedersen, Nancy L.; Magnusson, Patrik K.E.; Kyvik, Kirsten Ohm; Christensen, Kaare; Kaprio, Jaakko; Heikkilä, Kauko; Palotie, Aarno; Widen, Elisabeth; Muilu, Juha; Syvänen, Ann-Christine; Liljedahl, Ulrika; Hardiman, Orla; Cronin, Simon; Peltonen, Leena; Martin, Nicholas G.; Visscher, Peter M.

    2009-01-01

    Population structure can provide novel insight into the human past, and recognizing and correcting for such stratification is a practical concern in gene mapping by many association methodologies. We investigate these patterns, primarily through principal component (PC) analysis of whole genome SNP polymorphism, in 2099 individuals from populations of Northern European origin (Ireland, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Australia, and HapMap European-American). The major trends (PC1 and PC2) demonstrate an ability to detect geographic substructure, even over a small area like the British Isles, and this information can then be applied to finely dissect the ancestry of the European-Australian and European-American samples. They simultaneously point to the importance of considering population stratification in what might be considered a small homogeneous region. There is evidence from FST-based analysis of genic and nongenic SNPs that differential positive selection has operated across these populations despite their short divergence time and relatively similar geographic and environmental range. The pressure appears to have been focused on genes involved in immunity, perhaps reflecting response to infectious disease epidemic. Such an event may explain a striking selective sweep centered on the rs2508049-G allele, close to the HLA-G gene on chromosome 6. Evidence of the sweep extends over a 8-Mb/3.5-cM region. Overall, the results illustrate the power of dense genotype and sample data to explore regional population variation, the events that have crafted it, and their implications in both explaining disease prevalence and mapping these genes by association. PMID:19265028

  6. The natural history of a fugitive prairie plant (Mirabilis hirsuta (Pursh) MacM.).

    PubMed

    Platt, William J

    1976-12-01

    Some perennial fugitive plants that colonize badger disturbances in xeric prairies have a limited dispersal capacity, and consequently propagules are dispersed over a small area. I hypothesized that high density-dependent mortality might occur early in the life history of such species, and thus increased survival might occur in subsequent age classes because intraspecific competition would be reduced. These hypotheses were tested using natural and experimental cohorts of Mirabilis hirsuta (Pursh) MacM. From these data and field observations, inferences were obtained concerning selective forces operating upon life history characteristics of this species.The distance between individuals of M. hirsuta increases in successive age classes; the greatest decrease in density occurs between the propagule and seedling age classes. Mortality of propagules due to predation by ants and mice was density-dependent. Predation rates were highest at high propagule densities and predation upon propagules located on badger disturbances was higher than the mortality of propagules at similar densities in undisturbed prairie. The results of mortality in the propagule age class are seedlings present only at low densities and located away from parent plants. Seedlings survive to maturity only if they are located on badger disturbances; this species apparently can not successfully compete with plants present in undistrubed prairie. On badger disturbances seedlings present at low densities have much higher survival (roughly 50%) to maturity than do seedlings present at high densities (essentially zero). Thus, if high densities of propagules occur on a disturbance, predation upon propagules results, indirectly, in increased survival of seedlings to maturity. Such predation potentially could have important effects upon interspecific competition of M. hirsuta with other fugitives also colonizing badger disturbances.Reproductive success of M. hirsuta on the Cayler Prairie Preserve is contingent

  7. Evolution of resistance to a multiple-herbivore community: genetic correlations, diffuse coevolution, and constraints on the plant's response to selection.

    PubMed

    Wise, Michael J; Rausher, Mark D

    2013-06-01

    Although plants are generally attacked by a community of several species of herbivores, relatively little is known about the strength of natural selection for resistance in multiple-herbivore communities-particularly how the strength of selection differs among herbivores that feed on different plant organs or how strongly genetic correlations in resistance affect the evolutionary responses of the plant. Here, we report on a field study measuring natural selection for resistance in a diverse community of herbivores of Solanum carolinense. Using linear phenotypic-selection analyses, we found that directional selection acted to increase resistance to seven species. Selection was strongest to increase resistance to fruit feeders, followed by flower feeders, then leaf feeders. Selection favored a decrease in resistance to a stem borer. Bootstrapping analyses showed that the plant population contained significant genetic variation for each of 14 measured resistance traits and significant covariances in one-third of the pairwise combinations of resistance traits. These genetic covariances reduced the plant's overall predicted evolutionary response for resistance against the herbivore community by about 60%. Diffuse (co)evolution was widespread in this community, and the diffuse interactions had an overwhelmingly constraining (rather than facilitative) effect on the plant's evolution of resistance.

  8. Ball mill assisted rapid mechanochemical extraction method for natural products from plants.

    PubMed

    Wang, Man; Bi, Wentao; Huang, Xiaohua; Chen, David Da Yong

    2016-06-03

    A ball mill assisted mechanochemical extraction method was developed to extract compounds of natural product (NP) from plant using ionic liquid (IL). A small volume ball mill, also known as PastPrep(®) Homogenizer, which is often used for high-speed lysis of biological samples and for other applications, was used to dramatically increase the speed, completeness and reproducibility of the extraction process at room temperature to preserve the chemical integrity of the extracted compounds. In this study, tanshinones were selected as target compounds to evaluate the performance of this extraction method. Factors affecting the extraction efficiency, such as the duration, IL concentration and solid/liquid ratio were systematically optimized using the response surface methodology. Under the optimized conditions, the described method was more efficient and much faster than the conventional extraction methods such as methanol based ultrasound assisted extraction (UAE) and heat reflux extraction (HRE) that consumes a lot more organic solvent. In addition, the natural products of interest were enriched by anion metathesis of ionic liquids, combining extraction and preconcentration in the same process. The extractant was analyzed by HPLC and LC-MS. The reproducibility (RSD, n=5), correlation coefficient (r(2)) of the calibration curve, and the limit of detection, were determined to be in the range of 4.7-5.2%, 0.9992-0.9995, and 20-51ng/mL, respectively.

  9. Opportunity for natural selection among five population groups of Manipur, North East India.

    PubMed

    Asghar, M; Meitei, S Y; Luxmi, Y; Achoubi, N; Meitei, K S; Murry, B; Sachdeva, M P; Saraswathy, K N

    2014-01-01

    Opportunity for natural selection among five population groups of Manipur in comparison with other North East Indian population has been studied. Crow's index as well as Johnston and Kensinger's index for natural selection were calculated based on differential fertility and mortality. The mortality component was found to be lower compared to fertility component in all the populations which may attribute to comparatively improved and easily accessible health care facilities. However, different selection pressures, artificial and natural, seem to be influencing the selection intensity through induced abortion and spontaneous abortion among the two non-tribal migrant groups: Bamon and Muslims, respectively. This study highlights the probable interaction of artificial and natural selection in determining the evolutionary fate of any population group.

  10. Nutrient composition of selected traditional native American plant foods

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ten wild plants (cattail narrow leaf shoots, chokecherries, beaked hazelnuts, lambsquarters, plains pricklypear, prairie turnips, stinging nettles, wild plums, raspberries, rose hips) from three Native American reservations in North Dakota were analyzed to expand composition information of tradition...

  11. Selenium concentrations of selected medicinal and aromatic plants in Turkey.

    PubMed

    Ozkutlu, Faruk; Sekeroglu, Nazim; Koca, Ufuk; Yazici, Gizem

    2011-10-01

    Recent scientific studies have proven the importance of trace elements on human health. The main food supplies are plants and animals, which are significant sources of these minerals. Studies on determining mineral compositions of herbs, spices and some other crops have increased all over the world. Published works revealed that spices, herbs and medicinal plants should be consumed to obtain beneficial trace elements. Selenium (Se), one of the most vital trace elements, has a significant role in human diet acting as a preventative agent against some serious illnesses. Despite numerous scientific works on mineral compositions of medicinal and aromatic plants, investigations of selenium content in these foods could not be successfully studied until recently due to the lack of suitable analytical methods for selenium analysis. Thus, publications on selenium concentrations of foods are recent. In this regard, selenium contents of some medicinal and aromatic plants commonly used as spices, herbal teas and traditional medicines in Turkey were studied in the present research. Selenium contents of the most used parts of these plants were analyzed by ICP-OES (Varian Vista-Pro, Australia). Of the analyzed 26 medicinal and aromatic plants, the highest Se concentration (1133 microg kg-1) was found in sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) and the lowest in sumac (Rhus coriaria L.) fruits (11 microg kg(-1)).

  12. From prebiotic chemistry to cellular metabolism--the chemical evolution of metabolism before Darwinian natural selection.

    PubMed

    Meléndez-Hevia, Enrique; Montero-Gómez, Nancy; Montero, Francisco

    2008-06-07

    It is generally assumed that the complex map of metabolism is a result of natural selection working at the molecular level. However, natural selection can only work on entities that have three basic features: information, metabolism and membrane. Metabolism must include the capability of producing all cellular structures, as well as energy (ATP), from external sources; information must be established on a material that allows its perpetuity, in order to safeguard the goals achieved; and membranes must be able to preserve the internal material, determining a selective exchange with external material in order to ensure that both metabolism and information can be individualized. It is not difficult to understand that protocellular entities that boast these three qualities can evolve through natural selection. The problem is rather to explain the origin of such features under conditions where natural selection could not work. In the present work we propose that these protocells could be built by chemical evolution, starting from the prebiotic primordial soup, by means of chemical selection. This consists of selective increases of the rates of certain specific reactions because of the kinetic or thermodynamic features of the process, such as stoichiometric catalysis or autocatalysis, cooperativity and others, thereby promoting their prevalence among the whole set of chemical possibilities. Our results show that all chemical processes necessary for yielding the basic materials that natural selection needs to work may be achieved through chemical selection, thus suggesting a way for life to begin.

  13. Natural and planted flora of the log mountain surface - mined demonstration area, Bell County, Kentucky

    SciTech Connect

    Thompson, R.L.; Wade, G.L.; Straw, R.A.

    1996-12-31

    A descriptive study of the naturally invading and planted flora was conducted during 1984-1985 on a 14- and 21-year-old contour surface mine the 14.2 ha Log Mountain Demonstration Area (LMDA), in Bell County, Kentucky. Six habitats are designated from areas created from coal mining; the 1963 bench, 1970 bench, bench highwalls, mine outslopes, mine seeps, and coal haul-telephone microwave tower road. Twenty-four of 25 woody and herbaceous species (11 indigenous, 13 non-indigenous) have persisted from plantings by personnel of the Northeastern Forest Experiment Station, USDA Forest Service. We recommend 11 native and exotic woody and herbaceous species for planting on coal surface-mined areas. An annotated list of vascular plants comprises 360 taxa (286 indigenous, 74 non-indigenous) in 224 genera from 82 families. Taxa consist of 1 Lycopodiophyta, 1 Equisetophyta, 8 Polypodiophyta, 7 Pinophyta, and 343 Magnoliophyta. The most species-rich families are the Asteraceae (64), Poaceae (39), Fabaceae (20), Cyperaceae (16), Rosaceae (13), and Lamiaceae (11). A total of 155 Bell County distribution records were documented. Three threatened Kentucky species (Gentiana decora, Liparis loeselii, Silene ovata) were present in refugial habitats created by surface mining. The high species richness has resulted from native and naturalized invading species from the environs, native and exotic planted species, and species from the remnant seed bank. Forest vegetation is a complex mosaic of natural and semi-natural plant communities on the unplanted and planted areas of LMDA.

  14. Modern plant metabolomics: Advanced natural product gene discoveries, improved technologies, and future prospects

    SciTech Connect

    Sumner, Lloyd W.; Lei, Zhentian; Nikolau, Basil J.; Saito, Kazuki

    2014-10-24

    Plant metabolomics has matured and modern plant metabolomics has accelerated gene discoveries and the elucidation of a variety of plant natural product biosynthetic pathways. This study highlights specific examples of the discovery and characterization of novel genes and enzymes associated with the biosynthesis of natural products such as flavonoids, glucosinolates, terpenoids, and alkaloids. Additional examples of the integration of metabolomics with genome-based functional characterizations of plant natural products that are important to modern pharmaceutical technology are also reviewed. This article also provides a substantial review of recent technical advances in mass spectrometry imaging, nuclear magnetic resonance imaging, integrated LC-MS-SPE-NMR for metabolite identifications, and x-ray crystallography of microgram quantities for structural determinations. The review closes with a discussion on the future prospects of metabolomics related to crop species and herbal medicine.

  15. Modern plant metabolomics: Advanced natural product gene discoveries, improved technologies, and future prospects

    DOE PAGES

    Sumner, Lloyd W.; Lei, Zhentian; Nikolau, Basil J.; ...

    2014-10-24

    Plant metabolomics has matured and modern plant metabolomics has accelerated gene discoveries and the elucidation of a variety of plant natural product biosynthetic pathways. This study highlights specific examples of the discovery and characterization of novel genes and enzymes associated with the biosynthesis of natural products such as flavonoids, glucosinolates, terpenoids, and alkaloids. Additional examples of the integration of metabolomics with genome-based functional characterizations of plant natural products that are important to modern pharmaceutical technology are also reviewed. This article also provides a substantial review of recent technical advances in mass spectrometry imaging, nuclear magnetic resonance imaging, integrated LC-MS-SPE-NMR formore » metabolite identifications, and x-ray crystallography of microgram quantities for structural determinations. The review closes with a discussion on the future prospects of metabolomics related to crop species and herbal medicine.« less

  16. Salicornia strobilacea (Synonym of Halocnemum strobilaceum) Grown under Different Tidal Regimes Selects Rhizosphere Bacteria Capable of Promoting Plant Growth

    PubMed Central

    Marasco, Ramona; Mapelli, Francesca; Rolli, Eleonora; Mosqueira, Maria J.; Fusi, Marco; Bariselli, Paola; Reddy, Muppala; Cherif, Ameur; Tsiamis, George; Borin, Sara; Daffonchio, Daniele

    2016-01-01

    Halophytes classified under the common name of salicornia colonize salty and coastal environments across tidal inundation gradients. To unravel the role of tide-related regimes on the structure and functionality of root associated bacteria, the rhizospheric soil of Salicornia strobilacea (synonym of Halocnemum strobilaceum) plants was studied in a tidal zone of the coastline of Southern Tunisia. Although total counts of cultivable bacteria did not change in the rhizosphere of plants grown along a tidal gradient, significant differences were observed in the diversity of both the cultivable and uncultivable bacterial communities. This observation indicates that the tidal regime is contributing to the bacterial species selection in the rhizosphere. Despite the observed diversity in the bacterial community structure, the plant growth promoting (PGP) potential of cultivable rhizospheric bacteria, assessed through in vitro and in vivo tests, was equally distributed along the tidal gradient. Root colonization tests with selected strains proved that halophyte rhizospheric bacteria (i) stably colonize S. strobilacea rhizoplane and the plant shoot suggesting that they move from the root to the shoot and (ii) are capable of improving plant growth. The versatility in the root colonization, the overall PGP traits and the in vivo plant growth promotion under saline condition suggest that such beneficial activities likely take place naturally under a range of tidal regimes. PMID:27597846

  17. Novel antagonistic interactions associated with plant polyploidization influence trait selection and habitat preference.

    PubMed

    Arvanitis, Leena; Wiklund, Christer; Münzbergova, Zuzana; Dahlgren, Johan P; Ehrlén, Johan

    2010-03-01

    Polyploidization is an important mechanism for sympatric speciation in plants. Still, we know little about whether plant polyploidization leads to insect host shifts, and if novel interactions influence habitat and trait selection in plants. We investigated herbivory by the flower bud gall-forming midge Dasineura cardaminis on tetraploids and octoploids of the herb Cardamine pratensis. Gall midges attacked only octoploid plant populations, and a transplantation experiment confirmed this preference. Attack rates were higher in populations that were shaded, highly connected or occurred along stream margins. Within populations, late-flowering individuals with many flowers were most attacked. Galling reduced seed production and significantly influenced phenotypic selection on flower number. Our results suggest that an increase in ploidy may lead to insect host shifts and that plant ploidy explains insect host use. In newly formed plant polyploids, novel interactions may alter habitat preferences and trait selection, and influence the further evolution of cytotypes.

  18. Biosynthesis and molecular actions of specialized 1,4-naphthoquinone natural products produced by horticultural plants

    PubMed Central

    Widhalm, Joshua R; Rhodes, David

    2016-01-01

    The 1,4-naphthoquinones (1,4-NQs) are a diverse group of natural products found in every kingdom of life. Plants, including many horticultural species, collectively synthesize hundreds of specialized 1,4-NQs with ecological roles in plant–plant (allelopathy), plant–insect and plant–microbe interactions. Numerous horticultural plants producing 1,4-NQs have also served as sources of traditional medicines for hundreds of years. As a result, horticultural species have been at the forefront of many basic studies conducted to understand the metabolism and function of specialized plant 1,4-NQs. Several 1,4-NQ natural products derived from horticultural plants have also emerged as promising scaffolds for developing new drugs. In this review, the current understanding of the core metabolic pathways leading to plant 1,4-NQs is provided with additional emphasis on downstream natural products originating from horticultural species. An overview on the biochemical mechanisms of action, both from an ecological and pharmacological perspective, of 1,4-NQs derived from horticultural plants is also provided. In addition, future directions for improving basic knowledge about plant 1,4-NQ metabolism are discussed. PMID:27688890

  19. Screening of natural antioxidants from traditional Chinese medicinal plants associated with treatment of rheumatic disease.

    PubMed

    Gan, Ren-You; Kuang, Lei; Xu, Xiang-Rong; Zhang, Yuan; Xia, En-Qin; Song, Feng-Lin; Li, Hua-Bin

    2010-08-30

    In order to find new sources of natural antioxidants, the antioxidant capacities of 50 medicinal plants associated with treatment of rheumatic diseases were systemically evaluated using the ferric-reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) and Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEAC) assays, and their total phenolic contents were measured by the Folin-Ciocalteu method. Their antioxidant activities of some of these plants were analyzed for the first time. The FRAP and TEAC assay results suggested that the antioxidant compounds in these plants possessed free radicals scavenging activity and oxidant reducing power. A positive linear correlation between antioxidant capacities and total phenolic contents implied that phenolic compounds in these plants could be the main components contributing to the observed activities. The results showed that Geranium wilfordii, Loranthus parasiticus, Polygonum aviculare, Pyrrosia sheaeri, Sinomenium acutum and Tripterygium wilfordii possessed the highest antioxidant capacities and total phenolic content among 50 plants tested, and could be rich potential sources of natural antioxidants.

  20. Assessing the alignment of sexual and natural selection using radiomutagenized seed beetles.

    PubMed

    Power, D J; Holman, L

    2015-05-01

    A major unsolved question in evolutionary biology concerns the relationship between natural and sexual selection. Sexual selection might augment natural selection, for example if mutations that harm female fecundity also reduce male mating success. Conversely, sexual selection might favour traits that impair naturally selected fitness components. We induced detrimental mutations in Callosobruchus maculatus beetles using X-ray irradiation and then experimentally measured the effect of precopulatory sexual selection on offspring number and survival rate. Sexual selection treatment had a negative effect on egg-to-adult survivorship, although the number of progeny reaching adulthood was unaffected, perhaps because eggs and juveniles that failed to develop lessened competition on the survivors. We hypothesize that the negative effect of sexual selection arose because sexually competitive males transmitted a smaller nuptial gift or carried alleles that conferred reduced survival. Although we found no evidence that sexual selection on males can purge alleles that are detrimental to naturally selected fitness components, such benefits might exist in other environmental or genetic contexts.

  1. Plant natural products: from traditional compounds to new emerging drugs in cancer therapy.

    PubMed

    Ouyang, L; Luo, Y; Tian, M; Zhang, S-Y; Lu, R; Wang, J-H; Kasimu, R; Li, X

    2014-12-01

    Natural products are chemical compounds or substances produced naturally by living organisms. With the development of modern technology, more and more plant extracts have been found to be useful to medical practice. Both micromolecules and macromolecules have been reported to have the ability to inhibit tumour progression, a novel weapon to fight cancer by targeting its 10 characteristic hallmarks. In this review, we focus on summarizing plant natural compounds and their derivatives with anti-tumour properties, into categories, according to their potential therapeutic strategies against different types of human cancer. Taken together, we present a well-grounded review of these properties, hoping to shed new light on discovery of novel anti-tumour therapeutic drugs from known plant natural sources.

  2. Concentration-mortality responses of Myzus persicae and natural enemies to selected insecticides.

    PubMed

    Bacci, Leandro; Rosado, Jander F; Picanço, Marcelo C; Pereira, Eliseu J G; Silva, Gerson A; Martins, Júlio C

    2012-01-01

    The toxicity of six insecticides was determined for the peach-potato aphid, Myzus persicae (Hemiptera: Aphididae), and some of its natural enemies - the predatory beetles Cycloneda sanguinea (Coccinellidae) and Acanthinus sp. (Anthicidae), and the wasp parasitoid Diaeretiella rapae (Aphidiidae). Natural enemies from these groups are important natural biological control agents in a number of agroecosystems, and insecticides potentially safe to these non-target organisms should be identified using standardized tests. Thus, concentration-mortality bioassays were carried out with both the aphid and its natural enemies to assess the toxicity and selectivity of acephate, deltamethrin, dimethoate, methamidophos, methyl parathion, and pirimicarb. The latter insecticide was highly selective to all natural enemies tested, and its LC(90) for M. persicae was 14-fold lower than the field rate recommended for control of the aphid in brassica crops. Methyl parathion also showed selectivity to C. sanguinea and Acanthinus sp., but not to D. rapae. Acephate was the least potent insecticide against M. persicae and was equally or more toxic to the natural enemies relative to the aphid. Pirimicarb and methyl parathion were efficient against M. persicae and selective in favor of two of the natural enemies tested. Acanthinus sp. and C. sanguinea were more tolerant to the insecticides than was the parasitoid D. rapae. This study shows that there are selective insecticides that may be compatible with conservation of natural enemies in brassica crops, which is important practical information to improve integrated pest management systems in these crops.

  3. Phytohormonal basis for the plant growth promoting action of naturally occurring biostimulators.

    PubMed

    Kurepin, Leonid V; Zaman, Mohammad; Pharis, Richard P

    2014-07-01

    There is increasing interest in the use of naturally occurring 'biostimulators' for enhancing the growth of agricultural and horticultural crops. Bacteria, fungi and protozoa, as well as marine algae-based seaweed extracts, can produce or contain biostimulators. The activity of biostimulators to promote plant growth is often attributed to their ability to directly or indirectly provide mineral nutrients (mostly N, but also P, S and other macro- and micro-nutrients) to plants. Alternatively, biostimulators are postulated to increase the plant's ability to assimilate these mineral nutrients, often in return for photo-assimilates (as occurs with certain bacteria and fungi associations). Although optimal growth of plants depends on the availability of adequate mineral nutritients, that growth (and also development, including reproduction) is also regulated by plant hormones (phytohormones), including gibberellins, auxins and cytokinins. This review describes and discusses the evidence that the presence or application of biostimulators also increases plant growth directly via phytohormone action and also influences the plant's ability to control its own hormone biosynthesis and homeostasis. Finally, it discusses the need for a better understanding of the role(s) that are played by the naturally occurring biostimulators associated with the plant in the crop field. It is suggested that better understanding will allow for optimal crop yield returns, since disruptions of phytohormone homeostasis in plant organs and tissues can yield either beneficial or sub-optimal outcomes.

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

    PubMed

    Lannou, Christian

    2012-01-01

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

  5. NEXT GENERATION NUCLEAR PLANT LICENSING BASIS EVENT SELECTION WHITE PAPER

    SciTech Connect

    Mark Holbrook

    2010-09-01

    The Next Generation Nuclear Plant (NGNP) will be a licensed commercial high temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTGR) plant capable of producing the electricity and high temperature process heat for industrial markets supporting a range of end-user applications. The NGNP Project has adopted the 10 CFR 52 Combined License (COL) application process, as recommended in the Report to Congress, dated August 2008, as the foundation for the NGNP licensing strategy. NRC licensing of the NGNP plant utilizing this process will demonstrate the efficacy of licensing future HTGRs for commercial industrial applications. This white paper is one in a series of submittals that will address key generic issues of the COL priority licensing topics as part of the process for establishing HTGR regulatory requirements.

  6. Genomic selection in plant breeding: knowledge and prospects

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    “Genomic selection,” the ability to select for even complex, quantitative traits based on marker data alone, has arisen from the conjunction of new high throughput marker technologies and new statistical methods needed to analyze the data. This review surveys what is known about these technologies, ...

  7. Radon emissions from natural gas power plants at The Pennsylvania State University.

    PubMed

    Stidworthy, Alison G; Davis, Kenneth J; Leavey, Jeff

    2016-11-01

    Burning natural gas in power plants may emit radon ((222)Rn) into the atmosphere. On the University Park campus of The Pennsylvania State University, atmospheric radon enhancements were measured and modeled in the vicinity of their two power plants. The three-part study first involved measuring ambient outdoor radon concentrations from August 2014 through January 2015 at four sites upwind and downwind of the power plants at distances ranging from 80 m to 310 m. For each plant, one site served as a background site, while three other sites measured radon concentration enhancements downwind. Second, the radon content of natural gas flowing into the power plant was measured, and third, a plume dispersion model was used to predict the radon concentrations downwind of the power plants. These predictions are compared to the measured downwind enhancements in radon to determine whether the observed radon concentration enhancements could be attributed to the power plants' emissions. Atmospheric radon concentrations were consistently low as compared to the EPA action level of 148 Bq m(-3), averaging 34.5 ± 2.7 Bq m(-3) around the East Campus Steam Plant (ECSP) and 31.6 ± 2.7 Bq m(-3) around the West Campus Steam Plant (WCSP). Significant concentrations of radon, ranging from 516 to 1,240 Bq m(-3), were detected in the natural gas. The measured enhancements downwind of the ECSP averaged 6.2 Bq m(-3) compared to modeled enhancements of 0.08 Bq m(-3). Measured enhancements around the WCSP averaged -0.2 Bq m(-3) compared to the modeled enhancements of 0.05 Bq m(-3), which were not significant compared to observational error. The comparison of the measured to modeled downwind radon enhancements shows no correlation over time. The measurements of radon levels in the vicinity of the power plants appear to be unaffected by the emissions from the power plants.

  8. Anthocyanins as antimicrobial agents of natural plant origin.

    PubMed

    Cisowska, Agnieszka; Wojnicz, Dorota; Hendrich, Andrzej B

    2011-01-01

    Anthocyanins are particularly abundant in different fruits, especially in berries. The beneficial effects of these compounds for human health have been known from at least the 16th century. Despite the great number of papers devoted to the different biological effects exerted by anthocyanins only a limited number of studies is focused on the antimicrobial activity of these compounds. Anthocyanin content of berry fruits varies from 7.5 mg/100 mg fresh fruit in redcurrant (Ribes rubum) up to 460 mg/100 g fresh fruit in chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa). After consumption, anthocyanins are intensively metabolized, mainly in the intestines and liver. Glucorination, methylation and sulfation are the most typical metabolic reactions. Antimicrobial activity of crude extracts of plant phenolic compounds against human pathogens has been intensively studied to characterize and develop new healthy food ingredients as well as medical and pharmaceutical products. However, there is very little information available about the antimicrobial activity of the pure anthocyanins. In the last part of this review we present the collection of papers describing the anthocyanin profiles of different fruits (mainly berries) and the antimicrobial properties of the identified compounds. Generally, anthocyanins are active against different microbes, however Gram-positive bacteria usually are more susceptible to the anthocyanin action than Gram-negative ones. Mechanisms underlying anthocyanin activity include both membrane and intracellular interactions of these compounds. Antimicrobial activity of berries and other anthocyanin-containing fruits is likely to be caused by multiple mechanisms and synergies because they contain various compounds including anthocyanins, weak organic acids, phenolic acids, and their mixtures of different chemical forms. Therefore, the antimicrobial effect of chemically complex compounds has to be critically analyzed.

  9. The Darwin cure for apiculture? Natural selection and managed honeybee health.

    PubMed

    Neumann, Peter; Blacquière, Tjeerd

    2017-03-01

    Recent major losses of managed honeybee, Apis mellifera, colonies at a global scale have resulted in a multitude of research efforts to identify the underlying mechanisms. Numerous factors acting singly and/or in combination have been identified, ranging from pathogens, over nutrition to pesticides. However, the role of apiculture in limiting natural selection has largely been ignored. This is unfortunate, because honeybees are more exposed to environmental stressors compared to other livestock and management can severely compromise bee health. Here, we briefly review apicultural factors that influence bee health and focus on those most likely interfering with natural selection, which offers a broad range of evolutionary applications for field practice. Despite intense breeding over centuries, natural selection appears to be much more relevant for the health of managed A. mellifera colonies than previously thought. We conclude that sustainable solutions for the apicultural sector can only be achieved by taking advantage of natural selection and not by attempting to limit it.

  10. Young children can be taught basic natural selection using a picture-storybook intervention.

    PubMed

    Kelemen, Deborah; Emmons, Natalie A; Seston Schillaci, Rebecca; Ganea, Patricia A

    2014-04-01

    Adaptation by natural selection is a core mechanism of evolution. It is also one of the most widely misunderstood scientific processes. Misconceptions are rooted in cognitive biases found in preschoolers, yet concerns about complexity mean that adaptation by natural selection is generally not comprehensively taught until adolescence. This is long after untutored theoretical misunderstandings are likely to have become entrenched. In a novel approach, we explored 5- to 8-year-olds' capacities to learn a basic but theoretically coherent mechanistic explanation of adaptation through a custom storybook intervention. Experiment 1 showed that children understood the population-based logic of natural selection and also generalized it. Furthermore, learning endured 3 months later. Experiment 2 replicated these results and showed that children understood and applied an even more nuanced mechanistic causal explanation. The findings demonstrate that, contrary to conventional educational wisdom, basic natural selection is teachable in early childhood. Theory-driven interventions using picture storybooks with rich explanatory structure are beneficial.

  11. Two-flow simulation of the natural light field within a canopy of submerged aquatic plants

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ackleson, S. G.; Klemas, V.

    1986-01-01

    A two-flow model is developed to simulate a light field composed of both collimated and diffuse irradiance within natural waters containing a canopy of bottom-adhering plants. To account for the effects of submerging a canopy, the transmittance and reflectance terms associated with each plant structure (leaves, stems, fruiting bodies, etc.) are expressed as functions of the ratio of the refractive index of the plant material to the refractive index of the surrounding media and the internal transmittance of the plant stucture. Algebraic solutions to the model are shown to yield plausible physical explanations for unanticipated variations in volume reflectance spectra. The effect of bottom reflectance on the near-bottom light field is also investigated. These indicate that within light-limited submerged aquatic plant canopies, substrate reflectance may play an important role in determining the amount of light available to the plants and, therefore, canopy productivity.

  12. Plant selection and soil legacy enhance long-term biodiversity effects.

    PubMed

    Zuppinger-Dingley, Debra; Flynn, Dan F B; De Deyn, Gerlinde B; Petermann, Jana S; Schmid, Bernhard

    2016-04-01

    Plant-plant and plant-soil interactions can help maintain plant diversity and ecosystem functions. Changes in these interactions may underlie experimentally observed increases in biodiversity effects over time via the selection of genotypes adapted to low or high plant diversity. Little is known, however, about such community-history effects and particularly the role of plant-soil interactions in this process. Soil-legacy effects may occur if co-evolved interactions with soil communities either positively or negatively modify plant biodiversity effects. We tested how plant selection and soil legacy influence biodiversity effects on productivity, and whether such effects increase the resistance of the communities to invasion by weeds. We used two plant selection treatments: parental plants growing in monoculture or in mixture over 8 yr in a grassland biodiversity experiment in the field, which we term monoculture types and mixture types. The two soil-legacy treatments used in this study were neutral soil inoculated with live or sterilized soil inocula collected from the same plots in the biodiversity experiment. For each of the four factorial combinations, seedlings of eight species were grown in monocultures or four-species mixtures in pots in an experimental garden over 15 weeks. Soil legacy (live inoculum) strongly increased biodiversity complementarity effects for communities of mixture types, and to a significantly weaker extent for communities of monoculture types. This may be attributed to negative plant-soil feedbacks suffered by mixture types in monocultures, whereas monoculture types had positive plant-soil feedbacks, in both monocultures and mixtures. Monocultures of mixture types were most strongly invaded by weeds, presumably due to increased pathogen susceptibility, reduced biomass, and altered plant-soil interactions of mixture types. These results show that biodiversity effects in experimental grassland communities can be modified by the evolution of

  13. Plant protein and secondary metabolites influence diet selection in a mammalian specialist herbivore

    PubMed Central

    Ulappa, Amy C.; Kelsey, Rick G.; Frye, Graham G.; Rachlow, Janet L.; Shipley, Lisa A.; Bond, Laura; Pu, Xinzhu; Forbey, Jennifer Sorensen

    2015-01-01

    For herbivores, nutrient intake is limited by the relatively low nutritional quality of plants and high concentrations of potentially toxic defensive compounds (plant secondary metabolites, PSMs) produced by many plants. In response to phytochemical challenges, some herbivores selectively forage on plants with higher nutrient and lower PSM concentrations relative to other plants. Pygmy rabbits (Brachylagus idahoensis) are dietary specialists that feed on sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) and forage on specific plants more than others within a foraging patch. We predicted that the plants with evidence of heavy foraging (browsed plants) would be of higher dietary quality than plants that were not browsed (unbrowsed). We used model selection to determine which phytochemical variables best explained the difference between browsed and unbrowsed plants. Higher crude protein increased the odds that plants would be browsed by pygmy rabbits and the opposite was the case for certain PSMs. Additionally, because pygmy rabbits can occupy foraging patches (burrows) for consecutive years, their browsing may influence the nutritional and PSM constituents of plants at the burrows. In a post hoc analysis, we did not find a significant relationship between phytochemical concentrations, browse status and burrow occupancy length. We concluded that pygmy rabbits use nutritional and chemical cues while making foraging decisions. PMID:26366011

  14. Plant protein and secondary metabolites influence diet selection in a mammalian specialist herbivore.

    PubMed

    Ulappa, Amy C; Kelsey, Rick G; Frye, Graham G; Rachlow, Janet L; Shipley, Lisa A; Bond, Laura; Pu, Xinzhu; Forbey, Jennifer Sorensen

    For herbivores, nutrient intake is limited by the relatively low nutritional quality of plants and high concentrations of potentially toxic defensive compounds (plant secondary metabolites, PSMs) produced by many plants. In response to phytochemical challenges, some herbivores selectively forage on plants with higher nutrient and lower PSM concentrations relative to other plants. Pygmy rabbits (Brachylagus idahoensis) are dietary specialists that feed on sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) and forage on specific plants more than others within a foraging patch. We predicted that the plants with evidence of heavy foraging (browsed plants) would be of higher dietary quality than plants that were not browsed (unbrowsed). We used model selection to determine which phytochemical variables best explained the difference between browsed and unbrowsed plants. Higher crude protein increased the odds that plants would be browsed by pygmy rabbits and the opposite was the case for certain PSMs. Additionally, because pygmy rabbits can occupy foraging patches (burrows) for consecutive years, their browsing may influence the nutritional and PSM constituents of plants at the burrows. In a post hoc analysis, we did not find a significant relationship between phytochemical concentrations, browse status and burrow occupancy length. We concluded that pygmy rabbits use nutritional and chemical cues while making foraging decisions.

  15. Epistasis and natural selection shape the mutational architecture of complex traits.

    PubMed

    Jones, Adam G; Bürger, Reinhard; Arnold, Stevan J

    2014-05-14

    The evolutionary trajectories of complex traits are constrained by levels of genetic variation as well as genetic correlations among traits. As the ultimate source of all genetic variation is mutation, the distribution of mutations entering populations profoundly affects standing variation and genetic correlations. Here we use an individual-based simulation model to investigate how natural selection and gene interactions (that is, epistasis) shape the evolution of mutational processes affecting complex traits. We find that the presence of epistasis allows natural selection to mould the distribution of mutations, such that mutational effects align with the selection surface. Consequently, novel mutations tend to be more compatible with the current forces of selection acting on the population. These results suggest that in many cases mutational effects should be seen as an outcome of natural selection rather than as an unbiased source of genetic variation that is independent of other evolutionary processes.

  16. Stimulated rhizodegradation of atrazine by selected plant species.

    PubMed

    Lin, Chung-Ho; Lerch, Robert N; Kremer, Robert J; Garrett, Harold E

    2011-01-01

    The efficacy of vegetative buffer strips (VBS) in removing herbicides deposited from surface runoff is related to the ability of plant species to promote rapid herbicide degradation. A growth chamber study was conducted to compare C-atrazine (ATR) degradation profiles in soil rhizospheres from different forage grasses and correlate ATR degradation rates and profiles with microbial activity using three soil enzymes. The plant treatments included: (i) orchardgrass ( L.), (ii) smooth bromegrass ( Leyss.), (iii) tall fescue ( Schreb.), (iv) Illinois bundle flower (), (v) perennial ryegrass ( L.), (vi) switchgrass ( L.), and (vii) eastern gamagrass (). Soil without plants was used as the control. The results suggested that all plant species significantly enhanced ATR degradation by 84 to 260% compared with the control, but eastern gamagrass showed the highest capability for promoting biodegradation of ATR in the rhizosphere. More than 90% of ATR was degraded in the eastern gamagrass rhizosphere compared with 24% in the control. Dealkylation of atrazine strongly correlated with increased enzymatic activities of β-glucosidase (GLU) ( = 0.96), dehydrogenase (DHG) ( = 0.842), and fluorescein diacetate (FDA) hydrolysis ( = 0.702). The incorporation of forage species, particularly eastern gamagrass, into VBS designs will significantly promote the degradation of ATR transported into the VBS by surface runoff. Microbial parameters widely used for assessment of soil quality, e.g., DHG and GLU activities, are promising tools for evaluating the overall degradation potential of various vegetative buffer designs for ATR remediation.

  17. Natural selection constrains neutral diversity across a wide range of species.

    PubMed

    Corbett-Detig, Russell B; Hartl, Daniel L; Sackton, Timothy B

    2015-04-01

    The neutral theory of molecular evolution predicts that the amount of neutral polymorphisms within a species will increase proportionally with the census population size (Nc). However, this prediction has not been borne out in practice: while the range of Nc spans many orders of magnitude, levels of genetic diversity within species fall in a comparatively narrow range. Although theoretical arguments have invoked the increased efficacy of natural selection in larger populations to explain this discrepancy, few direct empirical tests of this hypothesis have been conducted. In this work, we provide a direct test of this hypothesis using population genomic data from a wide range of taxonomically diverse species. To do this, we relied on the fact that the impact of natural selection on linked neutral diversity depends on the local recombinational environment. In regions of relatively low recombination, selected variants affect more neutral sites through linkage, and the resulting correlation between recombination and polymorphism allows a quantitative assessment of the magnitude of the impact of selection on linked neutral diversity. By comparing whole genome polymorphism data and genetic maps using a coalescent modeling framework, we estimate the degree to which natural selection reduces linked neutral diversity for 40 species of obligately sexual eukaryotes. We then show that the magnitude of the impact of natural selection is positively correlated with Nc, based on body size and species range as proxies for census population size. These results demonstrate that natural selection removes more variation at linked neutral sites in species with large Nc than those with small Nc and provides direct empirical evidence that natural selection constrains levels of neutral genetic diversity across many species. This implies that natural selection may provide an explanation for this longstanding paradox of population genetics.

  18. Natural Selection Constrains Neutral Diversity across A Wide Range of Species

    PubMed Central

    Corbett-Detig, Russell B.; Hartl, Daniel L.; Sackton, Timothy B.

    2015-01-01

    The neutral theory of molecular evolution predicts that the amount of neutral polymorphisms within a species will increase proportionally with the census population size (Nc). However, this prediction has not been borne out in practice: while the range of Nc spans many orders of magnitude, levels of genetic diversity within species fall in a comparatively narrow range. Although theoretical arguments have invoked the increased efficacy of natural selection in larger populations to explain this discrepancy, few direct empirical tests of this hypothesis have been conducted. In this work, we provide a direct test of this hypothesis using population genomic data from a wide range of taxonomically diverse species. To do this, we relied on the fact that the impact of natural selection on linked neutral diversity depends on the local recombinational environment. In regions of relatively low recombination, selected variants affect more neutral sites through linkage, and the resulting correlation between recombination and polymorphism allows a quantitative assessment of the magnitude of the impact of selection on linked neutral diversity. By comparing whole genome polymorphism data and genetic maps using a coalescent modeling framework, we estimate the degree to which natural selection reduces linked neutral diversity for 40 species of obligately sexual eukaryotes. We then show that the magnitude of the impact of natural selection is positively correlated with Nc, based on body size and species range as proxies for census population size. These results demonstrate that natural selection removes more variation at linked neutral sites in species with large Nc than those with small Nc and provides direct empirical evidence that natural selection constrains levels of neutral genetic diversity across many species. This implies that natural selection may provide an explanation for this longstanding paradox of population genetics. PMID:25859758

  19. Four decades of opposing natural and human-induced artificial selection acting on Windermere pike (Esox lucius).

    PubMed

    Carlson, Stephanie M; Edeline, Eric; Asbjørn Vøllestad, L; Haugen, Thrond O; Winfield, Ian J; Fletcher, Janice M; Ben James, J; Stenseth, Nils Chr

    2007-06-01

    The ability of natural selection to drive local adaptation has been appreciated ever since Darwin. Whether human impacts can impede the adaptive process has received less attention. We tested this hypothesis by quantifying natural selection and harvest selection acting on a freshwater fish (pike) over four decades. Across the time series, directional natural selection tended to favour large individuals whereas the fishery targeted large individuals. Moreover, non-linear natural selection tended to favour intermediate sized fish whereas the fishery targeted intermediate sized fish because the smallest and largest individuals were often not captured. Thus, our results unequivocally demonstrate that natural selection and fishery selection often acted in opposite directions within this natural system. Moreover, the two selective factors combined to produce reduced fitness overall and stronger stabilizing selection relative to natural selection acting alone. The long-term ramifications of such human-induced modifications to adaptive landscapes are currently unknown and certainly warrant further investigation.

  20. Side Streams of Plant Food Processing As a Source of Valuable Compounds: Selected Examples.

    PubMed

    Schieber, Andreas

    2017-02-28

    Industrial processing of plant-derived raw materials generates enormous amounts of by-products. On one hand, these by-products constitute a serious disposal issue because they often emerge seasonally and are prone to microbial decay. On the other hand, they are an abundant source of valuable compounds, in particular secondary plant metabolites and cell wall materials, which may be recovered and used to functionalize foods and replace synthetic additives with ingredients of natural origin. This review covers 150 references and presents select studies performed between 2001 and 2016 on the recovery, characterization, and application of valuable constituents from grape pomace, apple pomace, potato peels, tomato pomace, carrot pomace, onion peels, by-products of citrus, mango, banana, and pineapple processing, side streams of olive oil production, and cereal by-products. The criteria used were economic importance, amounts generated, relevance of side streams as a source of valuable compounds, and reviews already published. Despite a plethora of studies carried out on the utilization of side streams, relatively few processes have yet found industrial application.

  1. From Ends to Causes (and Back Again) by Metaphor: The Paradox of Natural Selection

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Blancke, Stefaan; Schellens, Tammy; Soetaert, Ronald; Van Keer, Hilde; Braeckman, Johan

    2014-01-01

    Natural selection is one of the most famous metaphors in the history of science. Charles Darwin used the metaphor and the underlying analogy to frame his ideas about evolution and its main driving mechanism into a full-fledged theory. Because the metaphor turned out to be such a powerful epistemic tool, Darwin naturally assumed that he could also…

  2. Mercury uptake and phytotoxicity in terrestrial plants grown naturally in the Gumuskoy (Kutahya) mining area, Turkey.

    PubMed

    Sasmaz, Merve; Akgül, Bunyamin; Yıldırım, Derya; Sasmaz, Ahmet

    2016-01-01

    This study investigated mercury (Hg) uptake and transport from the soil to different plant parts by documenting the distribution and accumulation of Hg in the roots and shoots of 12 terrestrial plant species, all of which grow naturally in surface soils of the Gumuskoy Pb-Ag mining area. Plant samples and their associated soils were collected and analyzed for Hg content by ICP-MS. Mean Hg values in the soils, roots, and shoots of all plants were 6.914, 460, and 206 µg kg(-1), respectively and lower than 1. The mean enrichment factors for the roots (ECR) and shoots (ECS) of these plants were 0.06 and 0.09, respectively and lower than 1. These results show that the roots of the studied plants prevented Hg from reaching the aerial parts of the plants. The mean translocation factor (TLF) was 1.29 and higher than 1. The mean TLF values indicated that all 12 plant species had the ability to transfer Hg from the roots to the shoots but that transfer was more efficient in plants with higher ECR and ECS. Therefore, these plants could be useful for the biomonitoring of environmental pollution and for rehabilitating areas contaminated by Hg.

  3. The use of agrobiodiversity for plant improvement and the intellectual property paradigm: institutional fit and legal tools for mass selection, conventional and molecular plant breeding.

    PubMed

    Batur, Fulya; Dedeurwaerdere, Tom

    2014-12-01

    Focused on the impact of stringent intellectual property mechanisms over the uses of plant agricultural biodiversity in crop improvement, the article delves into a systematic analysis of the relationship between institutional paradigms and their technological contexts of application, identified as mass selection, controlled hybridisation, molecular breeding tools and transgenics. While the strong property paradigm has proven effective in the context of major leaps forward in genetic engineering, it faces a systematic breakdown when extended to mass selection, where innovation often displays a collective nature. However, it also creates partial blockages in those innovation schemes rested between on-farm observation and genetic modification, i.e. conventional plant breeding and upstream molecular biology research tools. Neither overly strong intellectual property rights, nor the absence of well delineated protection have proven an optimal fit for these two intermediary socio-technological systems of cumulative incremental innovation. To address these challenges, the authors look at appropriate institutional alternatives which can create effective incentives for in situ agrobiodiversity conservation and the equitable distribution of technologies in plant improvement, using the flexibilities of the TRIPS Agreement, the liability rules set forth in patents or plant variety rights themselves (in the form of farmers', breeders' and research exceptions), and other ad hoc reward regimes.

  4. The basic science and mathematics of random mutation and natural selection.

    PubMed

    Kleinman, Alan

    2014-12-20

    The mutation and natural selection phenomenon can and often does cause the failure of antimicrobial, herbicidal, pesticide and cancer treatments selection pressures. This phenomenon operates in a mathematically predictable behavior, which when understood leads to approaches to reduce and prevent the failure of the use of these selection pressures. The mathematical behavior of mutation and selection is derived using the principles given by probability theory. The derivation of the equations describing the mutation and selection phenomenon is carried out in the context of an empirical example.

  5. Oviposition site selection by Gasterophilus pecorum (Diptera: Gasterophilidae) in its habitat in Kalamaili Nature Reserve, Xinjiang, China

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Shan-Hui; Hu, De-Fu; Li, Kai

    2015-01-01

    Oviposition site selection is an important aspect of the behavioural ecology of insects. A comparison of the habitats used by a species enhances our understanding of their adaptation to altered environments. We collected data on the oviposition behaviours of Gasterophilus pecorum (Diptera: Gasterophilidae) in its habitat in Kalamaili Nature Reserve (KNR), Xinjiang, China between March and October 2014. We found 91 quadrats were used by G. pecorum for oviposition. Examining 13 ecological factors using the t-test, chi-square test, and principal component analysis showed that G. pecorum’s oviposition habitat was preferentially on slopes with inclinations of 10–30° that were semi-sunny, semi-cloudy slopes, in positions high or low on the slopes, with preferences for total plants lower than 10% and Stipa capillata coverage lower than 10% on the low slopes, but Ceratoides latens coverage on the high and intermediate slopes, when the numbers of plant species and families were lower than five. G. pecorum often selected sites at a distance < 2000 m from a water source and average altitude 900–1000 m. The oviposition site selection by G. pecorum may be correlated with the behaviour of Przewalski’s horses (Equus ferus przewalskii), and water and food resources may strongly influence oviposition site selection, as Przewalski’s horses rest and forage in these areas. PMID:26621549

  6. Thoughts Toward a Theory of Natural Selection: The Importance of Microbial Experimental Evolution.

    PubMed

    Dykhuizen, Daniel

    2016-01-08

    Natural selection should no longer be thought of simply as a primitive (magical) concept that can be used to support all kinds of evolutionary theorizing. We need to develop causal theories of natural selection; how it arises. Because the factors contributing to the creation of natural selection are expected to be complex and intertwined, theories explaining the causes of natural selection can only be developed through the experimental method. Microbial experimental evolution provides many benefits that using other organisms does not. Microorganisms are small, so millions can be housed in a test tube; they have short generation times, so evolution over hundreds of generations can be easily studied; they can grow in chemically defined media, so the environment can be precisely defined; and they can be frozen, so the fitness of strains or populations can be directly compared across time. Microbial evolution experiments can be divided into two types. The first is to measure the selection coefficient of two known strains over the first 50 or so generations, before advantageous mutations rise to high frequency. This type of experiment can be used to directly test hypotheses. The second is to allow microbial cultures to evolve over many hundreds or thousands of generations and follow the genetic changes, to infer what phenotypes are selected. In the last section of this article, I propose that selection coefficients are not constant, but change as the population becomes fitter, introducing the idea of the selection space.

  7. Behavioral Response of Nothanguina phyllobia to Selected Plant Species

    PubMed Central

    Robinson, A. F.; Orr, C. C.; Abernathy, J. R.

    1979-01-01

    The silver-leaf nightshade nenmtode, Nothanguina phyllobia, is a promising biological control agent for its only reported host, Solanum elaeagnifolium Cav. When infective larvae of N. phyllobia and stem tissue of 39 econmnically important plant species were suspended in 0.5% water agar, nematodes aggregated about S. elaeagnifolium, Solanum carolinense L., Solanum melongena L., Solanum tuberosum L., and Prunus caroliniana (Mill.) Ait. Nematodes responded to Solanum spp. via positive chemotaxis and/or klinokinesis, but aggregated near tissue of P. caroliniana as a result of orthokinetic effects. Nematodes aggregated away from tissue of Hibiscus esculentus L., Triticum aestivum L., Santolina sp., Rosa sp., and Kochia scoparia (L.) Schrad. in the absence of orthokinetic effects. Experiments that excluded light and maintained relative humidity at 100% showed N. phyllobia to ascend the stems of 35 plant species to a height of > 9 cm within 12 h. Differences in stem ascension were not attributable to stem surface characteristics. PMID:19305532

  8. Selective Pressure along a Latitudinal Gradient Affects Subindividual Variation in Plants

    PubMed Central

    Sobral, Mar; Guitián, José; Guitián, Pablo; Larrinaga, Asier R.

    2013-01-01

    Individual plants produce repeated structures such as leaves, flowers or fruits, which, although belonging to the same genotype, are not phenotypically identical. Such subindividual variation reflects the potential of individual genotypes to vary with micro-environmental conditions. Furthermore, variation in organ traits imposes costs to foraging animals such as time, energy and increased predation risk. Therefore, animals that interact with plants may respond to this variation and affect plant fitness. Thus, phenotypic variation within an individual plant could be, in part, an adaptive trait. Here we investigated this idea and we found that subindividual variation of fruit size of Crataegus monogyna, in different populations throughout the latitudinal gradient in Europe, was explained at some extent by the selective pressures exerted by seed-dispersing birds. These findings support the hypothesis that within-individual variation in plants is an adaptive trait selected by interacting animals which may have important implications for plant evolution. PMID:24069297

  9. Method and apparatus for selectively harvesting multiple components of a plant material

    DOEpatents

    Hoskinson, Reed L.; Hess, Richard J.; Kenney, Kevin L.; Svoboda, John M.; Foust, Thomas D.

    2004-05-04

    A method and apparatus for selectively harvesting multiple components of a plant material. A grain component is separated from the plant material such as by processing the plant material through a primary threshing and separating mechanism. At least one additional component of the plant material is selectively harvested such as by subjecting the plant material to a secondary threshing and separating mechanism. For example, the stems of a plant material may be broken at a location adjacent one or more nodes thereof with the nodes and the internodal stem portions being subsequently separated for harvesting. The at least one additional component (e.g., the internodal stems) may then be consolidated and packaged for subsequent use or processing. The harvesting of the grain and of the at least one additional component may occur within a single harvesting machine, for example, during a single pass over a crop field.

  10. Emergence of life: from functional RNA selection to natural selection and beyond.

    PubMed

    Wong, Jeffrey Tze-Fei

    2014-06-01

    This study tracks the rise, evolution and post-evolution of the genetic information system through emergence of life. The major stages traversed include prebiotic synthesis, functional RNA selection by metabolite, RNA World, peptidated RNA world, co-evolution of genetic code and amino acid biosynthesis, last universal common ancestor, Darwinian evolution and synthetic life.

  11. Response to selection under controlled environment versus natural selection in diverse regions across Canada

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Red clover is a widely adaptable and productive forage legume species found in most temperate regions of the world. To date, specific selection techniques for identifying genotypes with superior persistence have not been successful in improving the general adaptation and the long-term persistence o...

  12. Computational genomic identification and functional reconstitution of plant natural product biosynthetic pathways

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Covering: 2003 to 2016 The last decade has seen the first major discoveries regarding the genomic basis of plant natural product biosynthetic pathways. Four key computationally driven strategies have been developed to identify such pathways, which make use of physical clustering, co-expression, evolutionary co-occurrence and epigenomic co-regulation of the genes involved in producing a plant natural product. Here, we discuss how these approaches can be used for the discovery of plant biosynthetic pathways encoded by both chromosomally clustered and non-clustered genes. Additionally, we will discuss opportunities to prioritize plant gene clusters for experimental characterization, and end with a forward-looking perspective on how synthetic biology technologies will allow effective functional reconstitution of candidate pathways using a variety of genetic systems. PMID:27321668

  13. Antibacterial activity of some selected medicinal plants of Pakistan

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Screening of the ethnobotenical plants is a pre-requisite to evaluate their therapeutic potential and it can lead to the isolation of new bioactive compounds. Methods The crude extracts and fractions of six medicinal important plants (Arisaema flavum, Debregeasia salicifolia, Carissa opaca, Pistacia integerrima, Aesculus indica, and Toona ciliata) were tested against three Gram positive and two Gram negative ATCC bacterial species using the agar well diffusion method. Results The crude extract of P. integerrima and A. indica were active against all tested bacterial strains (12-23 mm zone of inhibition). Other four plant's crude extracts (Arisaema flavum, Debregeasia salicifolia, Carissa opaca, and Toona ciliata) were active against different bacterial strains. The crude extracts showed varying level of bactericidal activity. The aqueous fractions of A. indica and P. integerrima crude extract showed maximum activity (19.66 and 16 mm, respectively) against B. subtilis, while the chloroform fractions of T. ciliata and D. salicifolia presented good antibacterial activities (13-17 mm zone of inhibition) against all the bacterial cultures tested. Conclusion The methanol fraction of Pistacia integerrima, chloroform fractions of Debregeasia salicifolia &Toona ciliata and aqueous fraction of Aesculus indica are suitable candidates for the development of novel antibacterial compounds. PMID:21718504

  14. Selective Effect of Pesticides on Plant--A Review.

    PubMed

    Parween, Talat; Jan, Sumira; Mahmooduzzafar, Sumira; Fatma, Tasneem; Siddiqui, Zahid Hameed

    2016-01-01

    This review represents systematic and integrated picture of pesticide exposure to plant and its effect on growth and metabolism. Decades ago, agrochemicals were introduced aiming at enhancing crop yields and protecting crops from pests. Due to adaptation and resistance developed by pests to chemicals, every year higher amounts and new chemical compounds are used to protect crops, causing undesired side effects and raising the costs of food production. Biological chemical free agriculture is gaining also more and more support but it is still not able to respond to the need for producing massive amounts of food. The use of agrochemicals, including pesticides, remains a common practice especially in tropical regions and South countries. Cheap compounds, such as DDT, HCH, and Lindane, that are environmentally persistent, are today banned from agriculture use in developed countries, but remain popular in developing countries. As a consequence, persistent residues of these chemicals contaminate food and disperse in the environment. Therefore, the thrust of this paper was to review the application of pesticides effect early from germination to growth of the plant, leading to alteration in biochemical, physiological and different enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidants which ultimately affect the yield and resulted in residues in plant, vegetables, and fruits.

  15. Light dependency of VOC emissions from selected Mediterranean plant species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Owen, S. M.; Harley, P.; Guenther, A.; Hewitt, C. N.

    The light, temperature and stomatal conductance dependencies of volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from ten plant species commonly found in the Mediterranean region were studied using a fully controlled leaf cuvette in the laboratory. At standard conditions of temperature and light (30°C and 1000 μmol m -2 s -1 PAR), low emitting species ( Arbutus unedo, Pinus halepensis, Cistus incanus, Cistus salvifolius, Rosmarinus officinalis and Thymus vulgaris) emitted between 0.1 and 5.0 μg (C) (total VOCs) g -1 dw h -1, a medium emitter ( Pinus pinea) emitted between 5 and 10 μg (C) g -1 dw h -1 and high emitters ( Cistus monspeliensis, Lavendula stoechas and Quercus sp.) emitted more than 10 μg (C) g -1 dw h -1. VOC emissions from all of the plant species investigated showed some degree of light dependency, which was distinguishable from temperature dependency. Emissions of all compounds from Quercus sp. were light dependent. Ocimene was one of several monoterpene compounds emitted by P. pinea and was strongly correlated to light. Only a fraction of monoterpene emissions from C. incanus exhibited apparent weak light dependency but emissions from this plant species were strongly correlated to temperature. Data presented here are consistent with past studies, which show that emissions are independent of stomatal conductance. These results may allow more accurate predictions of monoterpene emission fluxes from the Mediterranean region to be made.

  16. Working fluid selection for the Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) exhaust heat recovery of an internal combustion engine power plant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Douvartzides, S.; Karmalis, I.

    2016-11-01

    Organic Rankine cycle technology is capable to efficiently convert low-grade heat into useful mechanical power. In the present investigation such a cycle is used for the recovery of heat from the exhaust gases of a four stroke V18 MAN 51/60DF internal combustion engine power plant operating with natural gas. Design is focused on the selection of the appropriate working fluid of the Rankine cycle in terms of thermodynamic, environmental and safety criteria. 37 candidate fluids have been considered and all Rankine cycles examined were subcritical. The thermodynamic analysis of all fluids has been comparatively undertaken and the effect of key operation conditions such as the evaporation pressure and the superheating temperature was taken into account. By appropriately selecting the working fluid and the Rankine cycle operation conditions the overall plant efficiency was improved by 5.52% and fuel consumption was reduced by 12.69%.

  17. The plant physical features selected by wildcats as signal posts: an economic approach to fecal marking

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Piñeiro, Ana; Barja, Isabel

    2012-10-01

    The chemical signals of solitary and territorial felid species are essential for their intraspecific communication. We studied the selection of plant substrates during the fecal marking behavior of the European wildcat Felis silvestris from September 2008 to June 2009 in a protected area in Northwest Spain. The aim of the study was to examine the selection of plants as signal posts with respect to their physical characteristics. We hypothesized that wildcats deposit their fecal marks on plants with physical characteristics (e.g., size, species, and visual conspicuousness) that enhance the olfactory and visual effectiveness of the signal. Our results indicate that diameter, plant group, visual conspicuousness, and interaction between the diameter and plant group influence the decision of wildcats to deposit their fecal marks on plants. The wildcats chose plants with greater diameters and greater visual conspicuousness as scent-marking posts. Moreover, the wildcats chose woody and herbaceous plants, and certain plant species were marked more frequently than expected at random. Indeed, our results indicate that the fecal marks were not randomly distributed on the plants: the wildcats chose to place their marks on plants with certain physical characteristics that maximized the detectability of the signal by intruders and potential mates, thus facilitating the spatial distribution of the species.

  18. Natural Selection

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hall, Julie

    2006-01-01

    For education administrators, summer break is the time to regroup and prepare facilities for the next influx of students. Ensuring that facilities are equipped with proper furnishings is part of this preparation. Through careful research and planning, education administrators can choose furniture that will become a lasting investment. This article…

  19. AFLP Genome Scanning Reveals Divergent Selection in Natural Populations of Liriodendron chinense (Magnoliaceae) along a Latitudinal Transect

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Ai-Hong; Wei, Na; Fritsch, Peter W.; Yao, Xiao-Hong

    2016-01-01

    Understanding adaptive genetic variation and its relation to environmental factors are important for understanding how plants adapt to climate change and for managing genetic resources. Genome scans for the loci exhibiting either notably high or low levels of population differentiation (outlier loci) provide one means of identifying genomic regions possibly associated with convergent or divergent selection. In this study, we combined Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism (AFLP) genome scan and environmental association analysis to test for signals of natural selection in natural populations of Liriodendron chinense (Chinese Tulip Tree; Magnoliaceae) along a latitudinal transect. We genotyped 276 individuals from 11 populations of L. chinense using 987 AFLP markers. Both frequency-based (Dfdist and BayeScan) and correlation-based (MLM) methods were applied to detect outlier loci. Our analyses recovered both neutral and potentially adaptive genetic differentiation among populations of L. chinense. We found moderate genetic diversity within populations and high genetic differentiation among populations with reduced genetic diversity toward the periphery of the species ranges. Nine AFLP marker loci showed evidence of being outliers for population differentiation for both detection methods. Of these, six were strongly associated with at least one climate factor. Temperature, precipitation, and radiation were found to be three important factors influencing local adaptation of L. chinense. The outlier AFLP loci are likely not the target of natural selection, but the neighboring genes of these loci might be involved in local adaptation. Hence, these candidates should be validated by further studies. PMID:27303414

  20. The paradoxical advantages and disadvantages of natural selection: the case history of Charles Darwin.

    PubMed

    Lieb, J

    2007-01-01

    The biology of natural selection is an enduring mystery, as is the nature of Charles Darwin's chronic illness. Of the theories advanced to explain the latter, Oedipal conflicts and Chagas' disease are preeminent. Hypomania, however, propelled Darwin to the pinnacle of scientific achievement and good health, the depression that followed condemning him to intellectual stagnation, lethargy, impaired memory and concentration, and incapacitating gastrointestinal disorders. Examples of natural selection in humans are much sought after when, ironically, one need look no further than Darwin himself.

  1. Identifying and Selecting Plants for the Landscape. Volume 23, Number 5.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rodekohr, Sherie; Harris, Clark Richard

    This handbook on identifying and selecting landscape plants can be used as a reference in landscaping courses or on an individual basis. The first of two sections, Identifying Plants for the Landscape, contains the following tables: shade tree identification; flowering tree identification; evergreen tree identification; flowering shrub…

  2. New directions for studying selection in nature: studies of performance and communities.

    PubMed

    Irschick, Duncan; Bailey, Joseph K; Schweitzer, Jennifer A; Husak, Jerry F; Meyers, Jerry J

    2007-01-01

    Natural and sexual selection are crucial factors in the evolutionary process, yet recent reviews show that researchers have focused narrowly on this topic, with the majority of research centered on the morphological traits of single species. However, in the past several years, several bodies of work have emerged that have examined both selection on performance capacity and selection in a community context, and our goal is to highlight these two growing areas and point toward future directions. Recent studies of selection on performance capacity point toward directional selection favoring high levels of performance, and we detected less evidence for selection favoring intermediate (i.e., stabilizing) or bimodal (i.e., disruptive) kinds of performance levels. Studies of selection in a community context, using the paradigm of indirect genetic effects, show significant community heritability and strong capacity for evolution to occur in a community context via the force of natural selection. For future directions, we argue that researchers should shift toward longer-term studies of selection on both individual species and communities, and we also encourage researchers to publish negative selection results for both performance and community studies to act as balancing influences on published positive selection results.

  3. Population genomic footprints of selection and associations with climate in natural populations of Arabidopsis halleri from the Alps

    PubMed Central

    Fischer, Martin C; Rellstab, Christian; Tedder, Andrew; Zoller, Stefan; Gugerli, Felix; Shimizu, Kentaro K; Holderegger, Rolf; Widmer, Alex

    2013-01-01

    Natural genetic variation is essential for the adaptation of organisms to their local environment and to changing environmental conditions. Here, we examine genomewide patterns of nucleotide variation in natural populations of the outcrossing herb Arabidopsis halleri and associations with climatic variation among populations in the Alps. Using a pooled population sequencing (Pool-Seq) approach, we discovered more than two million SNPs in five natural populations and identified highly differentiated genomic regions and SNPs using FST-based analyses. We tested only the most strongly differentiated SNPs for associations with a nonredundant set of environmental factors using partial Mantel tests to identify topo-climatic factors that may underlie the observed footprints of selection. Possible functions of genes showing signatures of selection were identified by Gene Ontology analysis. We found 175 genes to be highly associated with one or more of the five tested topo-climatic factors. Of these, 23.4% had unknown functions. Genetic variation in four candidate genes was strongly associated with site water balance and solar radiation, and functional annotations were congruent with these environmental factors. Our results provide a genomewide perspective on the distribution of adaptive genetic variation in natural plant populations from a highly diverse and heterogeneous alpine environment. PMID:24102711

  4. Natural plant colonization improves the physical condition of bauxite residue over time.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Feng; Li, Xiaofei; Xue, Shengguo; Hartley, William; Wu, Chuan; Han, Fusong

    2016-11-01

    Freshly stacked bauxite residue in Central China has little vegetative growth probably as a result of its poor physical condition and chemical properties which deter plant establishment. Over the last 20 years, spontaneous plant colonization on the deposits has revealed that natural weathering processes may improve bauxite residue to the extent that it can support vegetation. Bauxite residue samples were collected from a chronosequence and analyzed to determine the effect of natural processes over time. The freshly stacked residue showed considerable physical degradation, having a high bulk density, low porosity, and poor aggregate stability. Through natural processes over a 20-year period, the texture changed from a silty loam to a sandy loam, porosity was enhanced (43.88 to 58.24 %), while improvements in both aggregate stability (43.32 to 93.20 %) and structural stability (1.33 to 5.46 %) of the stacked residue were observed. Plant growth had a positive effect on pH, exchangeable sodium percentage, soil organic carbon, water-stable aggregation, and structural stability, probably due to the presence of plant roots and associated microbial activity. It was concluded that natural processes of regeneration, stabilization, and attenuation have improved the hostile physical environment of bauxite residue allowing plant establishment to take place.

  5. Comparative antimicrobial activity of callus and natural plant extracts of Solanum trilobatum L

    PubMed Central

    Nagarajan, S.M.; Kandasamy, S.; Chinnappa, R.

    2009-01-01

    Comparison of natural plant and callus extracts of Solanum trilobatum L. was studied against two bacteria and fungi, for their antimicrobial activity using cup diffusion method. Various solvents such as chloroform, petroleum ether and ethanol were used. The leaf and stem segments of the plant were culturedon Murashige and S koog basal medium supplemented with various growth regulators. Maximum callus was recorded on medium containing 0.5 mg/lNAA and 0.5 mgj IKinetin. The results reveals that the stem and leaf callus extracts has shown significant activity against the tested microorganisms than the natural sample. PMID:22557312

  6. Natural Products from Plant-associated Microorganisms: Distribution, Structural Diversity, Bioactivity, and Implications of Their Occurrence⊥

    PubMed Central

    Gunatilaka, A. A. Leslie

    2012-01-01

    A growing body of evidence suggests that plant-associated microorganisms, especially endophytic and rhizosphere bacteria and fungi, represent a huge and largely untapped resource of natural products with chemical structures that have been optimized by evolution for biological and ecological relevance. A diverse array of bioactive small molecule natural products has been encountered in these microorganisms. The structures of over 230 metabolites isolated and characterized from over 70 plant-associated microbial strains during the past four years are presented with information on their hosts, culture conditions, and biological activities. Some significant biological and ecological implications of their occurrence are also reviewed. PMID:16562864

  7. Frequency and microenvironmental pattern of selection on plastic shade-avoidance traits in a natural population of Impatiens capensis.

    PubMed

    Huber, Heidrun; Kane, Nolan C; Heschel, M Shane; von Wettberg, Eric J; Banta, Joshua; Leuck, Anne-Marie; Schmitt, Johanna

    2004-04-01

    The frequency and predictability of different selective environments are important parameters in models for the evolution of plasticity but have rarely been measured empirically in natural populations. We used an experimental phytometer approach to examine the frequency, predictability, and environmental determinants of heterogeneous selection on phytochrome-mediated shade-avoidance responses in a natural population of the annual plant Impatiens capensis. The strength and direction of selection on shade-avoidance traits varied substantially on a fine spatial scale. The shade-avoidance phenotype had high relative fecundity in some microsites but was disadvantageous in other microsites. Local seedling density proved to be a surprisingly poor predictor of microenvironmental variation in the strength and direction of selection on stem elongation in this study population. At least some of this unpredictability resulted from microenvironmental variation in water availability; the shade-avoidance phenotype was more costly in dry microsites. Thus, environmental heterogeneity in resource availability can affect the relative costs and benefits of expressing shade-avoidance traits independent of local seedling density, the inductive environmental cue. Theory predicts that these conditions may promote local genetic differentiation in reaction norms in structured populations, as observed in I. capensis.

  8. Effects of plant density on plant growth before and after recurrent selection in maize

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Breeding for higher grain yield in Maize (Zea mays L.) has produced varieties that are adapted to grow at higher population densities. While the effects of density on final grain yield and plant phenotypes are well known, how density affects the early development of the plant has been less studied....

  9. Strength in numbers? Effects of multiple natural enemy species on plant performance

    PubMed Central

    Stephens, Andrea E. A.; Srivastava, Diane S.; Myers, Judith H.

    2013-01-01

    While plants are invariably attacked by numerous insects and pathogens, the consequences of multiple enemies for plant performance are poorly understood. In particular, a predictive framework is lacking for when to expect enemies to have independent versus non-independent effects on their host plant. This is problematic for weed biological control programmes where multiple enemies are frequently released with the possibility of antagonistic interactions that may reduce control. Here, we conduct an analysis of 74 unique plant–enemy–enemy combinations from 51 studies to determine the frequency of non-independent effects of natural enemies on host plant performance, and test a number of a priori predictions for determinants of independent and antagonistic effects of multiple enemies. For three-quarters of plant response measurements, enemies had independent effects on plant performance. In most of the remainder, multiple enemies led to less reduction in performance than that predicted from each enemy alone. Antagonistic effects occurred when enemies attacked the same plant part concurrently or attacked plant reproductive structures. These two predictors explained why antagonistic effects were particularly prevalent for weeds, plants in the family Asteraceae and enemies in the order Diptera. Our results suggest that a few simple rules about avoiding particular combinations of multiple enemies could improve biological control success. PMID:23595265

  10. Modifying effects of phenotypic plasticity on interactions among natural selection, adaptation and gene flow.

    PubMed

    Crispo, E

    2008-11-01

    Divergent natural selection, adaptive divergence and gene flow may interact in a number of ways. Recent studies have focused on the balance between selection and gene flow in natural populations, and empirical work has shown that gene flow can constrain adaptive divergence, and that divergent selection can constrain gene flow. A caveat is that phenotypic diversification may be under the direct influence of environmental factors (i.e. it may be due to phenotypic plasticity), in addition to partial genetic influence. In this case, phenotypic divergence may occur between populations despite high gene flow that imposes a constraint on genetic divergence. Plasticity may dampen the effects of natural selection by allowing individuals to rapidly adapt phenotypically to new conditions, thus slowing adaptive genetic divergence. On the other hand, plasticity may promote future adaptive divergence by allowing populations to persist in novel environments. Plasticity may promote gene flow between selective regimes by allowing dispersers to adapt to alternate conditions, or high gene flow may result in the selection for increased plasticity. Here I expand frameworks for understanding relationships among selection, adaptation and gene flow to include the effects of phenotypic plasticity in natural populations, and highlight its importance in evolutionary diversification.

  11. Naturally occurring phenanthrene degrading bacteria associated with seeds of various plant species.

    PubMed

    Fernet, Jennifer L; Lawrence, John R; Germida, James J

    2016-01-01

    Seeds of 11 of 19 plant species tested yielded naturally occurring phenanthrene degrading bacteria when placed on phenanthrene impression plates. Seed associated phenanthrene degrading bacteria were mostly detected on caragana, Canada thistle, creeping red fescue, western wheatgrass, and tall wheat grass. Based on 16S rRNA analysis the most common bacteria isolated from these seeds were strains belonging to the genera Enterobacteria, Erwinia, Burkholderia, Pantoea, Pseudomonas, and Sphingomonas. These plants may provide an excellent source of pre-adapted bacterial-plant associations highly suitable for use in remediation of contaminated soil environments.

  12. Synthetic mimicking of plant oils and comparison with naturally grown products in polyurethane synthesis.

    PubMed

    Coles, Stuart R; Barker, Guy; Clark, Andrew J; Kirwan, Kerry; Jacobs, Daniel; Makenji, Kylash; Pink, David

    2008-06-11

    The use of plant oils as industrial feedstocks can often be hampered by their lack of optimization towards a particular process, as well as their development being risky; growing suitable volumes of crops to test can take up to five years. To circumvent this, we aimed to discover a method that would mimic plant oil profiles in the laboratory, and show that they exhibited similar properties to the naturally grown plant oils in a given process. Using the synthesis of polyurethanes as an example, we have synthesized six different polymers and demonstrated that plant oils will produce polymers with similar physical properties to those oils mimicked in the laboratory. The use of this mimicking process can be extended to other types of polymers to obtain a method for predicting the properties of a given material based on the plant oil composition of a crop before it is grown in bulk.

  13. Stressing conditions as tools to boost the biosynthesis of valuable plant natural products.

    PubMed

    da Silva, Fernanda Gomes; Horta, Lívia Pereira; de Oliveira Faria, Raquel; Stehmann, Joao Renato; Modolo, Luzia Valentina

    2014-01-01

    There is a consensus that plants are great sources of metabolites with a broad variety of functions. This is particularly important because plants cannot run away from environmental conditions that can threat their existence. The numerous biological activities exhibited by plant natural products prompted humanity to use such substances or their derivatives for the treatment and/or prevention of diseases. The more we know the flora around the world the higher is the chance to find new lead compounds for the design of more potent drugs or nutraceuticals. This review first deals with Brazilian flora, contextualizing the most studied medicinal species and related patents. It also describes a compilation of relevant works based on the use of stress conditions to enhance the biosynthesis of valuable metabolites in cell cultures, tissue cultures (hairy roots) and whole plants by using native or crop plants around the world.

  14. Natural selection affects multiple aspects of genetic variation at putatively neutral sites across the human genome.

    PubMed

    Lohmueller, Kirk E; Albrechtsen, Anders; Li, Yingrui; Kim, Su Yeon; Korneliussen, Thorfinn; Vinckenbosch, Nicolas; Tian, Geng; Huerta-Sanchez, Emilia; Feder, Alison F; Grarup, Niels; Jørgensen, Torben; Jiang, Tao; Witte, Daniel R; Sandbæk, Annelli; Hellmann, Ines; Lauritzen, Torsten; Hansen, Torben; Pedersen, Oluf; Wang, Jun; Nielsen, Rasmus

    2011-10-01

    A major question in evolutionary biology is how natural selection has shaped patterns of genetic variation across the human genome. Previous work has documented a reduction in genetic diversity in regions of the genome with low recombination rates. However, it is unclear whether other summaries of genetic variation, like allele frequencies, are also correlated with recombination rate and whether these correlations can be explained solely by negative selection against deleterious mutations or whether positive selection acting on favorable alleles is also required. Here we attempt to address these questions by analyzing three different genome-wide resequencing datasets from European individuals. We document several significant correlations between different genomic features. In particular, we find that average minor allele frequency and diversity are reduced in regions of low recombination and that human diversity, human-chimp divergence, and average minor allele frequency are reduced near genes. Population genetic simulations show that either positive natural selection acting on favorable mutations or negative natural selection acting against deleterious mutations can explain these correlations. However, models with strong positive selection on nonsynonymous mutations and little negative selection predict a stronger negative correlation between neutral diversity and nonsynonymous divergence than observed in the actual data, supporting the importance of negative, rather than positive, selection throughout the genome. Further, we show that the widespread presence of weakly deleterious alleles, rather than a small number of strongly positively selected mutations, is responsible for the correlation between neutral genetic diversity and recombination rate. This work suggests that natural selection has affected multiple aspects of linked neutral variation throughout the human genome and that positive selection is not required to explain these observations.

  15. Martian resource utilization. 1: Plant design and transportation selection criteria

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kaloupis, Peter; Nolan, Peter E.; Cutler, Andrew H.

    1992-01-01

    Indigenous Space Materials Utilization (ISMU) provides an opportunity to make Mars exploration mission scenarios more affordable by reducing the initial mass necessary in Low Earth Orbit (LEO). Martian propellant production is discussed in terms of simple design and economic tradeoffs. Fuel and oxidizer combinations included are H2/O2, CH4/O2, and CO/O2. Process flow diagrams with power and mass flow requirements are presented for a variety of processes, and some design requirements are derived. Maximum allowable plant masses for single use amortization are included.

  16. Martian resource utilization. 1: Plant design and transportation selection criteria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaloupis, Peter; Nolan, Peter E.; Cutler, Andrew H.

    Indigenous Space Materials Utilization (ISMU) provides an opportunity to make Mars exploration mission scenarios more affordable by reducing the initial mass necessary in Low Earth Orbit (LEO). Martian propellant production is discussed in terms of simple design and economic tradeoffs. Fuel and oxidizer combinations included are H2/O2, CH4/O2, and CO/O2. Process flow diagrams with power and mass flow requirements are presented for a variety of processes, and some design requirements are derived. Maximum allowable plant masses for single use amortization are included.

  17. Priming of plant resistance by natural compounds. Hexanoic acid as a model

    PubMed Central

    Aranega-Bou, Paz; de la O Leyva, Maria; Finiti, Ivan; García-Agustín, Pilar; González-Bosch, Carmen

    2014-01-01

    Some alternative control strategies of currently emerging plant diseases are based on the use of resistance inducers. This review highlights the recent advances made in the characterization of natural compounds that induce resistance by a priming mechanism. These include vitamins, chitosans, oligogalacturonides, volatile organic compounds, azelaic and pipecolic acid, among others. Overall, other than providing novel disease control strategies that meet environmental regulations, natural priming agents are valuable tools to help unravel the complex mechanisms underlying the induced resistance (IR) phenomenon. The data presented in this review reflect the novel contributions made from studying these natural plant inducers, with special emphasis placed on hexanoic acid (Hx), proposed herein as a model tool for this research field. Hx is a potent natural priming agent of proven efficiency in a wide range of host plants and pathogens. It can early activate broad-spectrum defenses by inducing callose deposition and the salicylic acid (SA) and jasmonic acid (JA) pathways. Later it can prime pathogen-specific responses according to the pathogen’s lifestyle. Interestingly, Hx primes redox-related genes to produce an anti-oxidant protective effect, which might be critical for limiting the infection of necrotrophs. Our Hx-IR findings also strongly suggest that it is an attractive tool for the molecular characterization of the plant alarmed state, with the added advantage of it being a natural compound. PMID:25324848

  18. 1000 Genomes Selection Browser 1.0: a genome browser dedicated to signatures of natural selection in modern humans

    PubMed Central

    Pybus, Marc; Dall’Olio, Giovanni M.; Luisi, Pierre; Uzkudun, Manu; Carreño-Torres, Angel; Pavlidis, Pavlos; Laayouni, Hafid; Bertranpetit, Jaume; Engelken, Johannes

    2014-01-01

    Searching for Darwinian selection in natural populations has been the focus of a multitude of studies over the last decades. Here we present the 1000 Genomes Selection Browser 1.0 (http://hsb.upf.edu) as a resource for signatures of recent natural selection in modern humans. We have implemented and applied a large number of neutrality tests as well as summary statistics informative for the action of selection such as Tajima’s D, CLR, Fay and Wu’s H, Fu and Li’s F* and D*, XPEHH, ΔiHH, iHS, FST, ΔDAF and XPCLR among others to low coverage sequencing data from the 1000 genomes project (Phase 1; release April 2012). We have implemented a publicly available genome-wide browser to communicate the results from three different populations of West African, Northern European and East Asian ancestry (YRI, CEU, CHB). Information is provided in UCSC-style format to facilitate the integration with the rich UCSC browser tracks and an access page is provided with instructions and for convenient visualization. We believe that this expandable resource will facilitate the interpretation of signals of selection on different temporal, geographical and genomic scales. PMID:24275494

  19. 40 CFR 60.5405 - What standards apply to sweetening units at onshore natural gas processing plants?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... units at onshore natural gas processing plants? 60.5405 Section 60.5405 Protection of Environment... SOURCES Standards of Performance for Crude Oil and Natural Gas Production, Transmission and Distribution § 60.5405 What standards apply to sweetening units at onshore natural gas processing plants? (a)...

  20. 40 CFR 60.5405 - What standards apply to sweetening units at onshore natural gas processing plants?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... units at onshore natural gas processing plants? 60.5405 Section 60.5405 Protection of Environment... SOURCES Standards of Performance for Crude Oil and Natural Gas Production, Transmission and Distribution § 60.5405 What standards apply to sweetening units at onshore natural gas processing plants? (a)...

  1. Natural soil microbes alter flowering phenology and the intensity of selection on flowering time in a wild Arabidopsis relative.

    PubMed

    Wagner, Maggie R; Lundberg, Derek S; Coleman-Derr, Devin; Tringe, Susannah G; Dangl, Jeffery L; Mitchell-Olds, Thomas

    2014-06-01

    Plant phenology is known to depend on many different environmental variables, but soil microbial communities have rarely been acknowledged as possible drivers of flowering time. Here, we tested separately the effects of four naturally occurring soil microbiomes and their constituent soil chemistries on flowering phenology and reproductive fitness of Boechera stricta, a wild relative of Arabidopsis. Flowering time was sensitive to both microbes and the abiotic properties of different soils; varying soil microbiota also altered patterns of selection on flowering time. Thus, soil microbes potentially contribute to phenotypic plasticity of flowering time and to differential selection observed between habitats. We also describe a method to dissect the microbiome into single axes of variation that can help identify candidate organisms whose abundance in soil correlates with flowering time. This approach is broadly applicable to search for microbial community members that alter biological characteristics of interest.

  2. Unification of regression-based methods for the analysis of natural selection.

    PubMed

    Morrissey, Michael B; Sakrejda, Krzysztof

    2013-07-01

    Regression analyses are central to characterization of the form and strength of natural selection in nature. Two common analyses that are currently used to characterize selection are (1) least squares-based approximation of the individual relative fitness surface for the purpose of obtaining quantitatively useful selection gradients, and (2) spline-based estimation of (absolute) fitness functions to obtain flexible inference of the shape of functions by which fitness and phenotype are related. These two sets of methodologies are often implemented in parallel to provide complementary inferences of the form of natural selection. We unify these two analyses, providing a method whereby selection gradients can be obtained for a given observed distribution of phenotype and characterization of a function relating phenotype to fitness. The method allows quantitatively useful selection gradients to be obtained from analyses of selection that adequately model nonnormal distributions of fitness, and provides unification of the two previously separate regression-based fitness analyses. We demonstrate the method by calculating directional and quadratic selection gradients associated with a smooth regression-based generalized additive model of the relationship between neonatal survival and the phenotypic traits of gestation length and birth mass in humans.

  3. Soil, plant, and terrain effects on natural perchlorate distribution in a desert landscape

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Andraski, Brian J.; Jackson, W.A.; Welborn, Toby L.; Böhlke, John Karl; Sevanthi, Ritesh; Stonestrom, David A.

    2014-01-01

    Perchlorate (ClO4−) is a contaminant that occurs naturally throughout the world, but little is known about its distribution and interactions in terrestrial ecosystems. The objectives of this Amargosa Desert, Nevada study were to determine (i) the local-scale distribution of shallow-soil (0–30 cm) ClO4− with respect to shrub proximity (far and near) in three geomorphic settings (shoulder slope, footslope, and valley floor); (ii) the importance of soil, plant, and terrain variables on the hillslope-distribution of shallow-soil and creosote bush [Larrea tridentata (Sessé & Moc. ex DC.) Coville] ClO4−; and (iii) atmospheric (wet plus dry, including dust) deposition of ClO4− in relation to soil and plant reservoirs and cycling. Soil ClO4− ranged from 0.3 to 5.0 μg kg−1. Within settings, valley floor ClO4− was 17× less near shrubs due in part to enhanced leaching, whereas shoulder and footslope values were ∼2× greater near shrubs. Hillslope regression models (soil, R2 = 0.42; leaf, R2 = 0.74) identified topographic and soil effects on ClO4− deposition, transport, and cycling. Selective plant uptake, bioaccumulation, and soil enrichment were evidenced by leaf ClO4− concentrations and Cl−/ClO4− molar ratios that were ∼8000× greater and 40× less, respectively, than soil values. Atmospheric deposition ClO4− flux was 343 mg ha−1 yr−1, ∼10× that for published southwestern wet-deposition fluxes. Creosote bush canopy ClO4− (1310 mg ha−1) was identified as a previously unrecognized but important and active reservoir. Nitrate δ18O analyses of atmospheric deposition and soil supported the leaf-cycled–ClO4− input hypothesis. This study provides basic data on ClO4− distribution and cycling that are pertinent to the assessment of environmental impacts in desert ecosystems and broadly transferable to anthropogenically contaminated systems.

  4. Determining the Effect of Natural Selection on Linked Neutral Divergence across Species

    PubMed Central

    Phung, Tanya N.; Lohmueller, Kirk E.

    2016-01-01

    A major goal in evolutionary biology is to understand how natural selection has shaped patterns of genetic variation across genomes. Studies in a variety of species have shown that neutral genetic diversity (intra-species differences) has been reduced at sites linked to those under direct selection. However, the effect of linked selection on neutral sequence divergence (inter-species differences) remains ambiguous. While empirical studies have reported correlations between divergence and recombination, which is interpreted as evidence for natural selection reducing linked neutral divergence, theory argues otherwise, especially for species that have diverged long ago. Here we address these outstanding issues by examining whether natural selection can affect divergence between both closely and distantly related species. We show that neutral divergence between closely related species (e.g. human-primate) is negatively correlated with functional content and positively correlated with human recombination rate. We also find that neutral divergence between distantly related species (e.g. human-rodent) is negatively correlated with functional content and positively correlated with estimates of background selection from primates. These patterns persist after accounting for the confounding factors of hypermutable CpG sites, GC content, and biased gene conversion. Coalescent models indicate that even when the contribution of ancestral polymorphism to divergence is small, background selection in the ancestral population can still explain a large proportion of the variance in divergence across the genome, generating the observed correlations. Our findings reveal that, contrary to previous intuition, natural selection can indirectly affect linked neutral divergence between both closely and distantly related species. Though we cannot formally exclude the possibility that the direct effects of purifying selection drive some of these patterns, such a scenario would be possible only

  5. Assessing statistical views of natural selection: Room for non-local causation?

    PubMed

    Huneman, Philippe

    2013-12-01

    Recently some philosophers (the "statisticalists") have emphasized a potentially irreconcilable conceptual antagonism between the statistical characterization of natural selection (derived from population genetics) and the standard scientific discussion of natural selection in terms of forces and causes. Other philosophers have developed an account of the causal character of selectionist statements represented in terms of counterfactuals. I examine the compatibility between such statisticalism and counterfactually based causal accounts of natural selection (and related arguments about counterfactuals and causality) by distinguishing two distinct statisticalist claims: firstly the suggested impossibility for natural selection to be a cause acting upon populations and secondly the conceptualization that all evolutionary causes occur at the level of interactions between individual organisms. I argue that deriving the latter from the former involves supplementary assumptions concerning precisely what causation is. I critically examine two of these assumptions purportedly preventing natural selection being regarded as a cause: the locality claim and the modularity claim. I conclude that justifying the strongest version of statisticalism-i.e. evolutionary causation only occurs at the level of individual interactions between organisms-would require further metaphysical arguments that are likely to be deemed highly problematic. Additionally, I argue that such a metaphysical position would be considered incongruous with both our scientific and ordinary use of the concepts of causality and explanation as employed within our everyday epistemological framework.

  6. Genomic selection for quantitative adult plant stem rust resistance in wheat

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Quantitative adult plant resistance (APR) to stem rust (Puccinia graminis f. sp. tritici) is an important breeding target in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and a potential target for genomic selection (GS). To evaluate the relative importance of known APR loci in applying genomic selection, we charact...

  7. Darwin and his pigeons. The analogy between artificial and natural selection revisited.

    PubMed

    Theunissen, Bert

    2012-01-01

    The analogy between artificial selection of domestic varieties and natural selection in nature was a vital element of Darwin's argument in his Origin of Species. Ever since, the image of breeders creating new varieties by artificial selection has served as a convincing illustration of how the theory works. In this paper I argue that we need to reconsider our understanding of Darwin's analogy. Contrary to what is often assumed, nineteenth-century animal breeding practices constituted a highly controversial field that was fraught with difficulties. It was only with considerable effort that Darwin forged his analogy, and he only succeeded by downplaying the importance of two other breeding techniques - crossing of varieties and inbreeding - that many breeders deemed essential to obtain new varieties. Part of the explanation for Darwin's gloss on breeding practices, I shall argue, was that the methods of his main informants, the breeders of fancy pigeons, were not representative of what went on in the breeding world at large. Darwin seems to have been eager to take the pigeon fanciers at their word, however, as it was only their methods that provided him with the perfect analogy with natural selection. Thus while his studies of domestic varieties were important for the development of the concept of natural selection, the reverse was also true: Darwin's comprehension of breeding practices was moulded by his understanding of the working of natural selection in nature. Historical studies of domestic breeding practices in the eighteenth and nineteenth century confirm that, besides selection, the techniques of inbreeding and crossing were much more important than Darwin's interpretation allowed for. And they still are today. This calls for a reconsideration of the pedagogic use of Darwin's analogy too.

  8. Selective social learning of plant edibility in 6- and 18-month-old infants.

    PubMed

    Wertz, Annie E; Wynn, Karen

    2014-04-01

    Recent research underscores the importance of social learning to the development of food preferences. Here, we explore whether social information about edibility--an adult placing something in his or her mouth--can be selectively tied to certain types of entities. Given that humans have relied on gathered plant resources across evolutionary time, and given the costs of trial-and-error learning, we predicted that human infants may possess selective social learning strategies that rapidly identify edible plants. Evidence from studies with 6- and 18-month-olds demonstrated that infants selectively identify plants, over artifacts, as food sources after seeing the same food-relevant social information applied to both object types. These findings are the first evidence for content-specific social learning mechanisms that facilitate the identification of edible plant resources. Evolved learning mechanisms such as these have enabled humans to survive and thrive in varied and changing environments.

  9. The response of natural enemies to selective insecticides applied to soybean.

    PubMed

    Varenhorst, A J; O'Neal, M E

    2012-12-01

    Natural enemies of the invasive pest Aphis glycines Matsumura can prevent its establishment and population growth. However, current A. glycines management practices include the application of broad-spectrum insecticides that affect pests and natural enemies that are present in the field at the time of application. An alternative is the use of selective insecticides that affect the targeted pest species, although having a reduced impact on the natural enemies. We tested the effects of esfenvalerate, spirotetramat, imidacloprid, and a combination of spirotetramat and imidacloprid on the natural enemies in soybean during the 2009 and 2010 field season. The natural enemy community that was tested differed significantly between 2009 and 2010 (F = 87.41; df = 1, 598; P < 0.0001). The most abundant natural enemy in 2009 was Harmonia axyridis (Pallas) (56.0%) and in 2010 was Orius insidiosus (Say) (41.0%). During 2009, the abundance of natural enemies did not vary between the broad-spectrum and selective insecticides; however, the abundance of natural enemies was reduced by all insecticide treatments when compared with the untreated control. In 2010, the selective insecticide imidacloprid had more natural enemies than the broad-spectrum insecticide. Although we did not observe a difference in the abundance of the total natural enemy community in 2009, we did observe more H. axyridis in plots treated with spirotetramat. In 2010, we observed more O. insidiosus in plots treated with imidacloprid. We suggest a couple of mechanisms to explain how the varying insecticides have different impacts on separate components of the natural enemy community.

  10. Genetic evidence for natural selection in humans in the contemporary United States.

    PubMed

    Beauchamp, Jonathan P

    2016-07-12

    Recent findings from molecular genetics now make it possible to test directly for natural selection by analyzing whether genetic variants associated with various phenotypes have been under selection. I leverage these findings to construct polygenic scores that use individuals' genotypes to predict their body mass index, educational attainment (EA), glucose concentration, height, schizophrenia, total cholesterol, and (in females) age at menarche. I then examine associations between these scores and fitness to test whether natural selection has been occurring. My study sample includes individuals of European ancestry born between 1931 and 1953 who participated in the Health and Retirement Study, a representative study of the US population. My results imply that natural selection has been slowly favoring lower EA in both females and males, and are suggestive that natural selection may have favored a higher age at menarche in females. For EA, my estimates imply a rate of selection of about -1.5 mo of education per generation (which pales in comparison with the increases in EA observed in contemporary times). Although they cannot be projected over more than one generation, my results provide additional evidence that humans are still evolving-albeit slowly, especially compared with the rapid changes that have occurred over the past few generations due to cultural and environmental factors.

  11. Genetic evidence for natural selection in humans in the contemporary United States

    PubMed Central

    Beauchamp, Jonathan P.

    2016-01-01

    Recent findings from molecular genetics now make it possible to test directly for natural selection by analyzing whether genetic variants associated with various phenotypes have been under selection. I leverage these findings to construct polygenic scores that use individuals’ genotypes to predict their body mass index, educational attainment (EA), glucose concentration, height, schizophrenia, total cholesterol, and (in females) age at menarche. I then examine associations between these scores and fitness to test whether natural selection has been occurring. My study sample includes individuals of European ancestry born between 1931 and 1953 who participated in the Health and Retirement Study, a representative study of the US population. My results imply that natural selection has been slowly favoring lower EA in both females and males, and are suggestive that natural selection may have favored a higher age at menarche in females. For EA, my estimates imply a rate of selection of about −1.5 mo of education per generation (which pales in comparison with the increases in EA observed in contemporary times). Although they cannot be projected over more than one generation, my results provide additional evidence that humans are still evolving—albeit slowly, especially compared with the rapid changes that have occurred over the past few generations due to cultural and environmental factors. PMID:27402742

  12. What are plants doing and when? Using plant phenology to facilitate sustainable natural resources management

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chong, Geneva W.; Allen, Leslie A.

    2012-01-01

    Climate change models for the northern Rocky Mountains predict changes in temperature and water availability that in turn will alter vegetation. Changes include timing of plant life-history events, or phenology, such as green-up, flowering and senescence, and shifts in species composition. Moreover, climate changes may favor different species, such as nonnative, annual grasses over native species. Changes in vegetation could make forage for ungulates, sage-grouse, and livestock available earlier in the growing season, but shifts in species composition and phenology may also result in earlier senescence (die-off or dormancy) and reduced overall forage production.

  13. The cost of carbon capture and storage for natural gas combined cycle power plants.

    PubMed

    Rubin, Edward S; Zhai, Haibo

    2012-03-20

    This paper examines the cost of CO(2) capture and storage (CCS) for natural gas combined cycle (NGCC) power plants. Existing studies employ a broad range of assumptions and lack a consistent costing method. This study takes a more systematic approach to analyze plants with an amine-based postcombustion CCS system with 90% CO(2) capture. We employ sensitivity analyses together with a probabilistic analysis to quantify costs for plants with and without CCS under uncertainty or variability in key parameters. Results for new baseload plants indicate a likely increase in levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) of $20-32/MWh (constant 2007$) or $22-40/MWh in current dollars. A risk premium for plants with CCS increases these ranges to $23-39/MWh and $25-46/MWh, respectively. Based on current cost estimates, our analysis further shows that a policy to encourage CCS at new NGCC plants via an emission tax or carbon price requires (at 95% confidence) a price of at least $125/t CO(2) to ensure NGCC-CCS is cheaper than a plant without CCS. Higher costs are found for nonbaseload plants and CCS retrofits.

  14. Natural selection on quantitative immune defence traits: a comparison between theory and data.

    PubMed

    Seppälä, O

    2015-01-01

    Parasites present a threat for free-living species and affect several ecological and evolutionary processes. Immune defence is the main physiological barrier against infections, and understanding its evolution is central for predicting disease dynamics. I review theoretical predictions and empirical data on natural selection on quantitative immune defence traits in the wild. Evolutionary theory predicts immune traits to be under stabilizing selection owing to trade-offs between immune function and life-history traits. Empirical data, however, support mainly positive directional selection, but also show variation in the form of selection among study systems, immune traits and fitness components. I argue that the differences between theory and empirical data may at least partly arise from methodological difficulties in testing stabilizing selection as well as measuring fitness. I also argue that the commonness of positive directional selection and the variation in selection may be caused by several biological factors. First, selection on immune function may show spatial and temporal variation as epidemics are often local/seasonal. Second, factors affecting the range of phenotypic variation in immune traits could alter potential for selection. Third, different parasites may impose different selective pressures depending on their characteristics. Fourth, condition dependence of immune defence can obscure trade-offs related to it, thus possibly modifying observed selection gradients. Fifth, nonimmunological defences could affect the form of selection by reducing the benefits of strong immune function. To comprehensively understand the evolution of immune defence, the role of above factors should be considered in future studies.

  15. Pollinator behaviour and plant speciation: can assortative mating and disruptive selection maintain distinct floral morphs in sympatry?

    PubMed

    Rymer, Paul D; Johnson, Steven D; Savolainen, Vincent

    2010-10-01

    • Pollinators, as gene flow vectors and selection agents, play a central role in the origin and maintenance of floral variation in natural populations. However, it is debatable whether pollination alone can complete the speciation process in sympatry. • Mating patterns and phenotypic selection on floral traits were characterized over two flowering seasons for sympatric corolla tube length morphs of the hawkmoth-pollinated iris Gladiolus longicollis. A mating model with genetic and spatial-temporal predictors was developed to identify seed paternity. A multivariate analysis was used to estimate selection on correlated floral traits based on maternal and paternal fitness. • Mating patterns among floral morphs were density dependent, resulting in assortative mating at low plant densities, and random mating among morphs at high densities. Weak disruptive selection on tube length was detected in one season for maternal fitness. Plant height was under opposing directional selection for maternal (+) and paternal (-) fitness functions. • These results indicate that G. longicollis morphs will introgress rather than diverge towards speciation. The lack of strong assortative mating, particularly at high densities, is predicted to result in the loss of rare morphs within populations, and indicates that spatial and temporal co-occurrences of floral morphs are evolutionarily unstable.

  16. Regulatory requirements for nuclear power plant site selection in Malaysia-a review.

    PubMed

    Basri, N A; Hashim, S; Ramli, A T; Bradley, D A; Hamzah, K

    2016-12-01

    Malaysia has initiated a range of pre-project activities in preparation for its planned nuclear power programme. Clearly one of the first steps is the selection of sites that are deemed suitable for the construction and operation of a nuclear power plant. Here we outline the Malaysian regulatory requirements for nuclear power plant site selection, emphasizing details of the selection procedures and site characteristics needed, with a clear focus on radiation safety and radiation protection in respect of the site surroundings. The Malaysia Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) site selection guidelines are in accord with those provided in International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and United Stated Nuclear Regulatory Commission (USNRC) documents. To enhance the suitability criteria during selection, as well as to assist in the final decision making process, possible assessments using the site selection characteristics and information are proposed.

  17. Discovery and resupply of pharmacologically active plant-derived natural products: A review

    PubMed Central

    Linder, Thomas; Wawrosch, Christoph; Uhrin, Pavel; Temml, Veronika; Wang, Limei; Schwaiger, Stefan; Heiss, Elke H.; Rollinger, Judith M.; Schuster, Daniela; Breuss, Johannes M.; Bochkov, Valery; Mihovilovic, Marko D.; Kopp, Brigitte; Bauer, Rudolf; Dirsch, Verena M.; Stuppner, Hermann

    2016-01-01

    Medicinal plants have historically proven their value as a source of molecules with therapeutic potential, and nowadays still represent an important pool for the identification of novel drug leads. In the past decades, pharmaceutical industry focused mainly on libraries of synthetic compounds as drug discovery source. They are comparably easy to produce and resupply, and demonstrate good compatibility with established high throughput screening (HTS) platforms. However, at the same time there has been a declining trend in the number of new drugs reaching the market, raising renewed scientific interest in drug discovery from natural sources, despite of its known challenges. In this survey, a brief outline of historical development is provided together with a comprehensive overview of used approaches and recent developments relevant to plant-derived natural product drug discovery. Associated challenges and major strengths of natural product-based drug discovery are critically discussed. A snapshot of the advanced plant-derived natural products that are currently in actively recruiting clinical trials is also presented. Importantly, the transition of a natural compound from a “screening hit” through a “drug lead” to a “marketed drug” is associated with increasingly challenging demands for compound amount, which often cannot be met by re-isolation from the respective plant sources. In this regard, existing alternatives for resupply are also discussed, including different biotechnology approaches and total organic synthesis. While the intrinsic complexity of natural product-based drug discovery necessitates highly integrated interdisciplinary approaches, the reviewed scientific developments, recent technological advances, and research trends clearly indicate that natural products will be among the most important sources of new drugs also in the future. PMID:26281720

  18. Discovery and resupply of pharmacologically active plant-derived natural products: A review.

    PubMed

    Atanasov, Atanas G; Waltenberger, Birgit; Pferschy-Wenzig, Eva-Maria; Linder, Thomas; Wawrosch, Christoph; Uhrin, Pavel; Temml, Veronika; Wang, Limei; Schwaiger, Stefan; Heiss, Elke H; Rollinger, Judith M; Schuster, Daniela; Breuss, Johannes M; Bochkov, Valery; Mihovilovic, Marko D; Kopp, Brigitte; Bauer, Rudolf; Dirsch, Verena M; Stuppner, Hermann

    2015-12-01

    Medicinal plants have historically proven their value as a source of molecules with therapeutic potential, and nowadays still represent an important pool for the identification of novel drug leads. In the past decades, pharmaceutical industry focused mainly on libraries of synthetic compounds as drug discovery source. They are comparably easy to produce and resupply, and demonstrate good compatibility with established high throughput screening (HTS) platforms. However, at the same time there has been a declining trend in the number of new drugs reaching the market, raising renewed scientific interest in drug discovery from natural sources, despite of its known challenges. In this survey, a brief outline of historical development is provided together with a comprehensive overview of used approaches and recent developments relevant to plant-derived natural product drug discovery. Associated challenges and major strengths of natural product-based drug discovery are critically discussed. A snapshot of the advanced plant-derived natural products that are currently in actively recruiting clinical trials is also presented. Importantly, the transition of a natural compound from a "screening hit" through a "drug lead" to a "marketed drug" is associated with increasingly challenging demands for compound amount, which often cannot be met by re-isolation from the respective plant sources. In this regard, existing alternatives for resupply are also discussed, including different biotechnology approaches and total organic synthesis. While the intrinsic complexity of natural product-based drug discovery necessitates highly integrated interdisciplinary approaches, the reviewed scientific developments, recent technological advances, and research trends clearly indicate that natural products will be among the most important sources of new drugs also in the future.

  19. Higher effect of plant species diversity on productivity in natural than artificial ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Flombaum, Pedro; Sala, Osvaldo E.

    2008-01-01

    Current and expected changes in biodiversity have motivated major experiments, which reported a positive relationship between plant species diversity and primary production. As a first step in addressing this relationship, these manipulative experiments controlled as many potential confounding covariables as possible and assembled artificial ecosystems for the purpose of the experiments. As a new step in this endeavor, we asked how plant species richness relates to productivity in a natural ecosystem. Here, we report on an experiment conducted in a natural ecosystem in the Patagonian steppe, in which we assessed the biodiversity effect on primary production. Using a plant species diversity gradient generated by removing species while maintaining constant biomass, we found that aboveground net primary production increased with the number of plant species. We also found that the biodiversity effect was larger in natural than in artificial ecosystems. This result supports previous findings and also suggests that the effect of biodiversity in natural ecosystems may be much larger than currently thought. PMID:18427124

  20. Evaluating plant volatiles for monitoring natural enemies in apple, pear and walnut orchards

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    As part of an effort to enhance biological control in Western orchards, we examine different combinations of herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPVs), floral volatiles, and trap combinations that would be useful in monitoring key natural enemies. In all crops, we found lure/trap combinations that e...

  1. Relationship between humanity and plant natural resources – in the context of food and agriculture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Agriculture, the domestication, culture, and management of plants and animals, has led to profound social changes in human evolution and development; it can be considered as the basis for civilization. Roughly 12,000 years ago agriculture appeared independently in several parts of the world. A natur...

  2. Treatment of natural ovine malignant theileriosis with a chloroform extract of the plant Peganum harmala.

    PubMed

    Mirzaiedehaghi, M

    2006-06-01

    One hundred sheep naturally infected with Theileria lestoquardi were treated with a chloroform extract of the plant Peganum harmala. The treatment was continued for 5 days, the dose of extract being 5 mg/kg per day. Sixty-five of the sheep responded to treatment and recovered but 35 did not and died. The cure rate was 65%.

  3. Selective Aptamers for Detection of Estradiol and Ethynylestradiol in Natural Waters.

    PubMed

    Akki, Spurti U; Werth, Charles J; Silverman, Scott K

    2015-08-18

    We used in vitro selection to identify new DNA aptamers for two endocrine-disrupting compounds often found in treated and natural waters, 17β-estradiol (E2) and 17α-ethynylestradiol (EE). We used equilibrium filtration to determine aptamer sensitivity/selectivity and dimethyl sulfate (DMS) probing to explore aptamer binding sites. The new E2 aptamers are at least 74-fold more sensitive for E2 than is a previously reported DNA aptamer, with dissociation constants (Kd values) of 0.6 μM. Similarly, the EE aptamers are highly sensitive for EE, with Kd of 0.5-1.0 μM. Selectivity values indicate that the E2 aptamers bind E2 and a structural analogue, estrone (E1), equally well and are up to 74-fold selective over EE. One EE aptamer is 53-fold more selective for EE over E2 or E1, but the other binds EE, E2, and E1 with similar affinity. The new aptamers do not lose sensitivity or selectivity in natural water from a local lake, despite the presence of natural organic matter (∼4 mg/L TOC). DMS probing suggests that E2 binding occurs in relatively flexible single-stranded DNA regions, an important finding for rational redesign of aptamers and their incorporation into sensing platforms. This is the first report of aptamers with strong selectivity for E2 and E1 over EE, or with strong selectivity for EE over E2 and E1. Such selectivity is important for achieving the goal of creating practically useful DNA-based sensors that can distinguish structurally similar estrogenic compounds in natural waters.

  4. Defensive function of herbivore-induced plant volatile emissions in nature.

    PubMed

    Kessler, A; Baldwin, I T

    2001-03-16

    Herbivore attack is known to increase the emission of volatiles, which attract predators to herbivore-damaged plants in the laboratory and agricultural systems. We quantified volatile emissions from Nicotiana attenuata plants growing in natural populations during attack by three species of leaf-feeding herbivores and mimicked the release of five commonly emitted volatiles individually. Three compounds (cis-3-hexen-1-ol, linalool, and cis-alpha-bergamotene) increased egg predation rates by a generalist predator; linalool and the complete blend decreased lepidopteran oviposition rates. As a consequence, a plant could reduce the number of herbivores by more than 90% by releasing volatiles. These results confirm that indirect defenses can operate in nature.

  5. Using a semi-natural stream to produce young sturgeons for conservation stocking: Maintaining natural selection during spawning and rearing

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kynard, B.; Pugh, D.; Parker, T.; Kieffer, M.

    2011-01-01

    Young sturgeons used for conservation stocking are presently produced using the same methods used for commercial culture. To determine if young sturgeons could be produced without relaxing natural selection factors, we developed a semi-natural stream where we annually studied mating of wild shortnose sturgeon (Acipenser brevirostrum) observed movement of gametes released freely during spawning, and estimated the number of larvae produced by various densities of spawned eggs. The stream had a bottom area of 18.8m2, a rubble-gravel bottom, and a mean bottom current at 0.6 depth during spawning of 48cms-1 (range, 17-126cms-1). Wild adults successfully spawned in the stream each year for 7years (2002-2008). Some females and males were more successful during spawning than others, suggesting an unequal fitness during spawning among wild individuals, which is different than the controlled spawning fitness of individuals in hatcheries. Male and female gametes spawned naturally must connect quickly in the fast current or fail, a selection factor absent in hatcheries. The number of larvae produced was inversely related to spawned egg densitym-2 (R2=0.65) and the maximum number of larvae produced was 8000-16000 (425-851larvaem-2 of bottom). Artificial spawning streams have the potential to contribute to sturgeon restoration. ?? 2011 Blackwell Verlag, Berlin.

  6. Mosquito repellent activity of volatile oils from selected aromatic plants.

    PubMed

    Lalthazuali; Mathew, Nisha

    2017-02-01

    Essential oils from fresh leaves of four aromatic plants viz., Ocimum sanctum, Mentha piperita, Eucalyptus globulus and Plectranthus amboinicus were extracted by hydrodistillation. The test solutions were prepared as 20% essential oil in ethanol and positive control as 20% DEET in ethanol. Essential oil blend was prepared as 5% concentration. Nulliparous, 3-5-day-old female adult Aedes aegypti mosquitoes were used for repellency screening as per ICMR protocol. The study showed that the repellency of 20% essential oil of O. sanctum, M. piperita and P. amboinicus were comparable with that of the standard DEET (20%) as no mosquito landing on the test was observed up to 6 h. The E. globulus oil exhibited mosquito repellency only upto 1½ h. Considerable mosquito landing and feeding was displayed in negative control. In the case of the oil blend, no landing of mosquitoes was seen up to 6 h as that of positive control. The results showed that the essential oil blend from O. sanctum, M. piperita, E. globulus and P. amboinicus could repel Ae. aegypti mosquitoes or prevent from feeding as in the case of DEET even at a lower concentration of 5%. This study demonstrates the potential of essential oils from O. sanctum, M. piperita, E. globulus and P. amboinicus and their blend as mosquito repellents against Ae. aegypti, the vector of dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever.

  7. Reassessment of selected factors affecting siting of Nuclear Power Plants

    SciTech Connect

    Davis, R.E.; Hanson, A.L.; Mubayi, V.; Nourbakhsh, H.P.

    1997-02-01

    Brookhaven National Laboratory has performed a series of probabilistic consequence assessment calculations for nuclear reactor siting. This study takes into account recent insights into severe accident source terms and examines consequences in a risk based format consistent with the quantitative health objectives (QHOs) of the NRC`s Safety Goal Policy. Simplified severe accident source terms developed in this study are based on the risk insights of NUREG-1150. The results of the study indicate that both the quantity of radioactivity released in a severe accident as well as the likelihood of a release are lower than those predicted in earlier studies. The accident risks using the simplified source terms are examined at a series of generic plant sites, that vary in population distribution, meteorological conditions, and exclusion area boundary distances. Sensitivity calculations are performed to evaluate the effects of emergency protective action assumptions on the risk of prompt fatality and latent cancers fatality, and population relocation. The study finds that based on the new source terms the prompt and latent fatality risks at all generic sites meet the QHOs of the NRC`s Safety Goal Policy by margins ranging from one to more than three orders of magnitude. 4 refs., 17 figs., 24 tabs.

  8. Granivory of invasive, naturalized, and native plants in communities differentially susceptible to invasion.

    PubMed

    Connolly, B M; Pearson, D E; Mack, R N

    2014-07-01

    Seed predation is an important biotic filter that can influence abundance and spatial distributions of native species through differential effects on recruitment. This filter may also influence the relative abundance of nonnative plants within habitats and the communities' susceptibility to invasion via differences in granivore identity, abundance, and food preference. We evaluated the effect of postdispersal seed predators on the establishment of invasive, naturalized, and native species within and between adjacent forest and steppe communities of eastern Washington, USA that differ in severity of plant invasion. Seed removal from trays placed within guild-specific exclosures revealed that small mammals were the dominant seed predators in both forest and steppe. Seeds of invasive species (Bromus tectorum, Cirsium arvense) were removed significantly less than the seeds of native (Pseudoroegneria spicata, Balsamorhiza sagittata) and naturalized (Secale cereale, Centaurea cyanus) species. Seed predation limited seedling emergence and establishment in both communities in the absence of competition in a pattern reflecting natural plant abundance: S. cereale was most suppressed, B. tectorum was least suppressed, and P. spicata was suppressed at an intermediate level. Furthermore, seed predation reduced the residual seed bank for all species. Seed mass correlated with seed removal rates in the forest and their subsequent effects on plant recruitment; larger seeds were removed at higher rates than smaller seeds. Our vegetation surveys indicate higher densities and canopy cover of nonnative species occur in the steppe compared with the forest understory, suggesting the steppe may be more susceptible to invasion. Seed predation alone, however, did not result in significant differences in establishment for any species between these communities, presumably due to similar total small-mammal abundance between communities. Consequently, preferential seed predation by small

  9. Extraction and characterization of latex and natural rubber from rubber-bearing plants.

    PubMed

    Buranov, Anvar U; Elmuradov, Burkhon J

    2010-01-27

    Consecutive extraction of latex and natural rubber from the roots of rubber-bearing plants such as Taraxacum kok-saghyz (TKS), Scorzonera tau-saghyz (STS), and Scorzonera Uzbekistanica (SU) were carried out. Latex extraction was carried via two methods: Blender method and Flow method. The results of latex extraction were compared. Cultivated rubber-bearing plants contained slightly higher latex contents compared to those from wild fields. Several creaming agents for latex extraction were compared. About 50% of total natural rubber was extracted as latex. The results of the comparative studies indicated that optimum latex extraction can be achieved with Flow method. The purity of latex extracted by Blender method ( approximately 75%) was significantly lower than that extracted by Flow method (99.5%). When the latex particles were stabilized with casein, the latex was concentrated significantly. Through concentrating latex by flotation, the latex concentration of 35% was obtained. Bagasse contained mostly solid natural rubber. The remaining natural rubber in the bagasse (left after the latex extraction) was extracted using sequential solvent extraction first with acetone and then with several nonpolar solvents. Solid natural rubber was analyzed for gel content and characterized by size exclusion chromatography (SEC) for molecular weight determinations. SEC of solid natural rubber has shown that the molecular weight is about 1.8E6 and they contain less gel compared to TSR20 (Grade 20 Technically Specified Rubber), a commercial natural rubber from Hevea brasiliensis.

  10. Plant Size as Determinant of Species Richness of Herbivores, Natural Enemies and Pollinators across 21 Brassicaceae Species

    PubMed Central

    Schlinkert, Hella; Westphal, Catrin; Clough, Yann; László, Zoltán; Ludwig, Martin; Tscharntke, Teja

    2015-01-01

    Large plants are often more conspicuous and more attractive for associated animals than small plants, e.g. due to their wider range of resources. Therefore, plant size can positively affect species richness of associated animals, as shown for single groups of herbivores, but studies usually consider intraspecific size differences of plants in unstandardised environments. As comprehensive tests of interspecific plant size differences under standardised conditions are missing so far, we investigated effects of plant size on species richness of all associated arthropods using a common garden experiment with 21 Brassicaceae species covering a broad interspecific plant size gradient from 10 to 130 cm height. We recorded plant associated ecto- and endophagous herbivores, their natural enemies and pollinators on and in each aboveground plant organ, i.e. flowers, fruits, leaves and stems. Plant size (measured as height from the ground), the number of different plant organ entities and their biomass were assessed. Increasing plant size led to increased species richness of associated herbivores, natural enemies and pollinating insects. This pattern was found for ectophagous and endophagous herbivores, their natural enemies, as well as for herbivores associated with leaves and fruits and their natural enemies, independently of the additional positive effects of resource availability (i.e. organ biomass or number of entities and, regarding natural enemies, herbivore species richness). We found a lower R2 for pollinators compared to herbivores and natural enemies, probably caused by the high importance of flower characteristics for pollinator species richness besides plant size. Overall, the increase in plant height from 10 to 130 cm led to a 2.7-fold increase in predicted total arthropod species richness. In conclusion, plant size is a comprehensive driver of species richness of the plant associated arthropods, including pollinators, herbivores and their natural enemies

  11. Plant Size as Determinant of Species Richness of Herbivores, Natural Enemies and Pollinators across 21 Brassicaceae Species.

    PubMed

    Schlinkert, Hella; Westphal, Catrin; Clough, Yann; László, Zoltán; Ludwig, Martin; Tscharntke, Teja

    2015-01-01

    Large plants are often more conspicuous and more attractive for associated animals than small plants, e.g. due to their wider range of resources. Therefore, plant size can positively affect species richness of associated animals, as shown for single groups of herbivores, but studies usually consider intraspecific size differences of plants in unstandardised environments. As comprehensive tests of interspecific plant size differences under standardised conditions are missing so far, we investigated effects of plant size on species richness of all associated arthropods using a common garden experiment with 21 Brassicaceae species covering a broad interspecific plant size gradient from 10 to 130 cm height. We recorded plant associated ecto- and endophagous herbivores, their natural enemies and pollinators on and in each aboveground plant organ, i.e. flowers, fruits, leaves and stems. Plant size (measured as height from the ground), the number of different plant organ entities and their biomass were assessed. Increasing plant size led to increased species richness of associated herbivores, natural enemies and pollinating insects. This pattern was found for ectophagous and endophagous herbivores, their natural enemies, as well as for herbivores associated with leaves and fruits and their natural enemies, independently of the additional positive effects of resource availability (i.e. organ biomass or number of entities and, regarding natural enemies, herbivore species richness). We found a lower R2 for pollinators compared to herbivores and natural enemies, probably caused by the high importance of flower characteristics for pollinator species richness besides plant size. Overall, the increase in plant height from 10 to 130 cm led to a 2.7-fold increase in predicted total arthropod species richness. In conclusion, plant size is a comprehensive driver of species richness of the plant associated arthropods, including pollinators, herbivores and their natural enemies

  12. Volatile compounds of healthy and insect-damaged Hippophae rhamnoides sinensis in natural and planted forests.

    PubMed

    Zong, Shixiang; Luo, Youqing; Zhou, Jiao; Liu, Shujing

    2012-01-01

    Volatile compounds of healthy and insect-damaged stems of Hippophae rhamnoides sinensis were analysed using dynamic headspace and thermal-desorption cold-trap injector gas chromatography/mass spectroscopy (TCT-GC/MS). Sixteen compounds, belonging to alkanes, alcohols, aldehydes, esters, ketones, and ethers, were identified in the stems of healthy H. rhamnoides sinensis; the compounds in H. rhamnoides sinensis occurring naturally or cultivated in plantations were similar, but the relative contents were significantly different. In plants damaged by Holcocerus hippophaecolus, the nature and content of the volatile compounds were greatly changed. Butanedione and butyl glyoxylate were newly generated after damage by the pest, and the relative levels of pentanal, heptanal, eucalyptol, terpineol, and camphor were sharply increased in both naturally occurring and plantation-grown plants. n-Decane, trans-2-nonen-1-ol, and n-hexadecane levels increased in plants cultivated in the plantation and decreased in natural forests, whereas the levels of other types were reduced. Thus, both the nature and the content of volatile compounds of H. rhamnoides sinensis are affected by H. hippophaecolus damage, providing a theoretical basis to identify the mechanism of pest destruction.

  13. Genome-wide association mapping of phenotypic traits subject to a range of intensities of natural selection in Timema cristinae.

    PubMed

    Comeault, Aaron A; Soria-Carrasco, Víctor; Gompert, Zach; Farkas, Timothy E; Buerkle, C Alex; Parchman, Thomas L; Nosil, Patrik

    2014-05-01

    The genetic architecture of adaptive traits can reflect the evolutionary history of populations and also shape divergence among populations. Despite this central role in evolution, relatively little is known regarding the genetic architecture of adaptive traits in nature, particularly for traits subject to known selection intensities. Here we quantitatively describe the genetic architecture of traits that are subject to known intensities of differential selection between host plant species in Timema cristinae stick insects. Specifically, we used phenotypic measurements of 10 traits and 211,004 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) to conduct multilocus genome-wide association mapping. We identified a modest number of SNPs that were associated with traits and sometimes explained a large proportion of trait variation. These SNPs varied in their strength of association with traits, and both major and minor effect loci were discovered. However, we found no relationship between variation in levels of divergence among traits in nature and variation in parameters describing the genetic architecture of those same traits. Our results provide a first step toward identifying loci underlying adaptation in T. cristinae. Future studies will examine the genomic location, population differentiation, and response to selection of the trait-associated SNPs described here.

  14. Signatures of natural selection on genetic variants affecting complex human traits.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Ge; Muglia, Louis J; Chakraborty, Ranajit; Akey, Joshua M; Williams, Scott M

    2013-12-01

    It has recently been hypothesized that polygenic adaptation, resulting in modest allele frequency changes at many loci, could be a major mechanism behind the adaptation of complex phenotypes in human populations. Here we leverage the large number of variants that have been identified through genome-wide association (GWA) studies to comprehensively study signatures of natural selection on genetic variants associated with complex traits. Using population differentiation based methods, such as FST and phylogenetic branch length analyses, we systematically examined nearly 1300 SNPs associated with 38 complex phenotypes. Instead of detecting selection signatures at individual variants, we aimed to identify combined evidence of natural selection by aggregating signals across many trait associated SNPs. Our results have revealed some general features of polygenic selection on complex traits associated variants. First, natural selection acting on standing variants associated with complex traits is a common phenomenon. Second, characteristics of selection for different polygenic traits vary both temporarily and geographically. Third, some studied traits (e.g. height and urate level) could have been the primary targets of selection, as indicated by the significant correlation between the effect sizes and the estimated strength of selection in the trait associated variants; however, for most traits, the allele frequency changes in trait associated variants might have been driven by the selection on other correlated phenotypes. Fourth, the changes in allele frequencies as a result of selection can be highly stochastic, such that, polygenic adaptation may accelerate differentiation in allele frequencies among populations, but generally does not produce predictable directional changes. Fifth, multiple mechanisms (pleiotropy, hitchhiking, etc) may act together to govern the changes in allele frequencies of genetic variants associated with complex traits.

  15. The roles of natural and sexual selection during adaptation to a novel environment.

    PubMed

    Rundle, Howard D; Chenoweth, Stephen F; Blows, Mark W

    2006-11-01

    The net effect of sexual selection on nonsexual fitness is controversial. On one side, elaborate display traits and preferences for them can be costly, reducing the nonsexual fitness of individuals possessing them, as well as their offspring. In contrast, sexual selection may reinforce nonsexual fitness if an individual's attractiveness and quality are genetically correlated. According to recent models, such good-genes mate choice should increase both the extent and rate of adaptation. We evolved 12 replicate populations of Drosophila serrata in a powerful two-way factorial experimental design to test the separate and combined contributions of natural and sexual selection to adaptation to a novel larval food resource. Populations evolving in the presence of natural selection had significantly higher mean nonsexual fitness when measured over three generations (13-15) during the course of experimental evolution (16-23% increase). The effect of natural selection was even more substantial when measured in a standardized, monogamous mating environment at the end of the experiment (generation 16; 52% increase). In contrast, and despite strong sexual selection on display traits, there was no evidence from any of the four replicate fitness measures that sexual selection promoted adaptation. In addition, a comparison of fitness measures conducted under different mating environments demonstrated a significant direct cost of sexual selection to females, likely arising from some form of male-induced harm. Indirect benefits of sexual selection in promoting adaptation to this novel resource environment therefore appear to be absent in this species, despite prior evidence suggesting the operation of good-genes mate choice in their ancestral environment. How novel environments affect the operation of good-genes mate choice is a fundamental question for future sexual selection research.

  16. Natural AChE Inhibitors from Plants and their Contribution to Alzheimer’s Disease Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Murray, Ana Paula; Faraoni, María Belén; Castro, María Julia; Alza, Natalia Paola; Cavallaro, Valeria

    2013-01-01

    As acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitors are an important therapeutic strategy in Alzheimer’s disease, efforts are being made in search of new molecules with anti-AChE activity. The fact that naturally-occurring compounds from plants are considered to be a potential source of new inhibitors has led to the discovery of an important number of secondary metabolites and plant extracts with the ability of inhibiting the enzyme AChE, which, according to the cholinergic hypothesis, increases the levels of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine in the brain, thus improving cholinergic functions in patients with Alzheimer’s disease and alleviating the symptoms of this neurological disorder. This review summarizes a total of 128 studies which correspond to the most relevant research work published during 2006-2012 (1st semester) on plant-derived compounds, plant extracts and essential oils found to elicit AChE inhibition. PMID:24381530

  17. Determining light requirements of groundcover plants from subtropical natural forest using hemispherical photography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Yi; Zhong, Yonglin; Xu, Mingfeng; Su, Zhiyao

    2017-01-01

    In order to determine light requirements of indigenous groundcover plants for potential use in urban landscaping, we conducted a plant census in Yinpingshan Nature Reserve, Dongguan, China, and measured canopy structure and understory light regimes using hemispherical photography. We found that canopy openness, transmitted direct solar radiation, and transmitted diffuse solar radiation exhibited highly significant spatial heterogeneity. Species composition and diversity of groundcover plants were highly dependent on canopy structure and understory light condition. Greater diversity and more stems of groundcover plants were associated with greater canopy openness and understory radiation in most cases. Highly significant differences in species composition were detected along canopy openness, transmitted direct solar radiation, and transmitted diffuse solar radiation gradients, respectively. We also detected indicator species for specific understory light regimes, which will provide useful information when applying such species in urban greening under various light environments.

  18. Natural products from plants as drug candidates and lead compounds against leishmaniasis and trypanosomiasis.

    PubMed

    Salem, Manar M; Werbovetz, Karl A

    2006-01-01

    Millions of people in the developing world are affected by diseases caused by the kinetoplastid parasites: the leishmaniases, African trypanosomiasis, and Chagas disease. In many cases the drugs employed for treatment are toxic, marginally effective, given by injection, and/or compromised by the development of resistance. Since safe, effective, and affordable chemotherapeutic agents for leishmaniasis and trypanosomiasis are clearly needed, the identification of new antikinetoplastid drug candidates should be an urgent priority. Numerous plant-derived natural products from different structural classes have been investigated as antileishmanial and antitrypanosomal candidates, including various alkaloids, terpenoids, flavonoids, and quinonoids. This review outlines the antikinetoplastid activities of plant-derived natural products reported in the literature and also provides an overview of mechanistic studies that have been conducted with these compounds. Given the activities of these agents and their diverse range of effects on parasite biology, natural products are a potentially rich source of drug candidates and leads against leishmaniasis and trypanosomiasis.

  19. Plant essential oils potency as natural antibiotic in Indonesian medicinal herb of “jamu”

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Soetjipto, H.; Martono, Y.

    2017-02-01

    The main purposes of this study are to compile antibacterial activity data of essential oils from Indonesian’s plants in order which can be used as a natural antibiotic in “jamu” to increase potential Indonesian medicinal herb. By using Agar Diffusing method, Bioautography and Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrum, respectively, antibacterial activity and chemical compounds of 12 plants essential oils were studied in the Natural Product Chemistry Laboratory, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science and Mathematics, Satya Wacana Christian University, Salatiga since 2007 until 2015. The results of this studies showed that all of the essential oils have a medium to a strong antibacterial activity which are in the range of 30 – 2,500 μg and 80-5,000 μg. Further on, the essential oils analyzed by GCMS showed that each essential oils have different dominant compounds. These data can be used as basic doses in the usage of essential oils as natural antibiotics.

  20. Exploring anti-TB leads from natural products library originated from marine microbes and medicinal plants.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xueting; Chen, Caixia; He, Wenni; Huang, Pei; Liu, Miaomiao; Wang, Qian; Guo, Hui; Bolla, Krishna; Lu, Yan; Song, Fuhang; Dai, Huanqin; Liu, Mei; Zhang, Lixin

    2012-10-01

    Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) and TB-HIV co-infection have become a great threat to global health. However, the last truly novel drug that was approved for the treatment of TB was discovered 40 years ago. The search for new effective drugs against TB has never been more intensive. Natural products derived from microbes and medicinal plants have been an important source of TB therapeutics. Recent advances have been made to accelerate the discovery rate of novel TB drugs including diversifying strategies for environmental strains, high-throughput screening (HTS) assays, and chemical diversity. This review will discuss the challenges of finding novel natural products with anti-TB activity from marine microbes and plant medicines, including biodiversity- and taxonomy-guided microbial natural products library construction, target- and cell-based HTS, and bioassay-directed isolation of anti-TB substances from traditional medicines.

  1. Trait differences between naturalized and invasive plant species independent of residence time and phylogeny.

    PubMed

    Gallagher, R V; Randall, R P; Leishman, M R

    2015-04-01

    The ability to predict which alien plants will transition from naturalized to invasive prior to their introduction to novel regions is a key goal for conservation and has the potential to increase the efficacy of weed risk assessment (WRA). However, multiple factors contribute to plant invasion success (e.g., functional traits, range characteristics, residence time, phylogeny), and they all must be taken into account simultaneously in order to identify meaningful correlates of invasion success. We compiled 146 pairs of phylogenetically paired (congeneric) naturalized and invasive plant species in Australia with similar minimum residence times (i.e., time since introduction in years). These pairs were used to test for differences in 5 functional traits (flowering duration, leaf size, maximum height, specific leaf area [SLA], seed mass) and 3 characteristics of species' native ranges (biome occupancy, mean annual temperature, and rainfall breadth) between naturalized and invasive species. Invasive species, on average, had larger SLA, longer flowering periods, and were taller than their congeneric naturalized relatives. Invaders also exhibited greater tolerance for different environmental conditions in the native range, where they occupied more biomes and a wider breadth of rainfall and temperature conditions than naturalized congeners. However, neither seed mass nor leaf size differed between pairs of naturalized and invasive species. A key finding was the role of SLA in distinguishing between naturalized and invasive pairs. Species with high SLA values were typically associated with faster growth rates, more rapid turnover of leaf material, and shorter lifespans than those species with low SLA. This suite of characteristics may contribute to the ability of a species to transition from naturalized to invasive across a wide range of environmental contexts and disturbance regimes. Our findings will help in the refinement of WRA protocols, and we advocate the inclusion

  2. Maintenance of a genetic polymorphism with disruptive natural selection in stickleback.

    PubMed

    Marchinko, Kerry B; Matthews, Blake; Arnegard, Matthew E; Rogers, Sean M; Schluter, Dolph

    2014-06-02

    The role of natural selection in the maintenance of genetic variation in wild populations remains a major problem in evolution. The influence of disruptive natural selection on genetic variation is especially interesting because it might lead to the evolution of assortative mating or dominance [1, 2]. In theory, variation can persist at a gene under disruptive natural selection, but the process is little studied and there are few examples [3, 4]. We report a stable polymorphism in the bony armor of threespine stickleback maintained with a deficit of heterozygotes at the major underlying gene, Ectodysplasin (Eda) [5]. The deficit vanishes at the embryo life stage only to re-emerge in adults, indicating that disruptive natural selection, rather than nonrandom mating, is the cause. The mechanism enabling long-term persistence of the polymorphism is unknown, but disruptive selection is predicted to be frequency dependent, favoring homozygous genotypes when they become rare. Further research on the ecological and evolutionary processes affecting individual genes will ultimately lead to a better understanding of the causes of genetic variation in populations.

  3. Synergism of natural selection and introgression in the origin of a new species.

    PubMed

    Grant, Peter R; Grant, B Rosemary

    2014-05-01

    This article explores how introgressive hybridization enhances the evolutionary effects of natural selection and how, reciprocally, natural selection can enhance the evolutionary effects of introgression. Both types of interaction were observed during a 40-year study of Darwin's finches (Geospiza) on the small Galápagos island of Daphne Major. Hybrids, produced rarely by Geospiza fortis (medium ground finch) breeding with Geospiza scandens (cactus finch) and Geospiza fuliginosa (small ground finch), survived and bred as well as the parental species in the past 3 decades. By backcrossing, they increased the standing genetic variation and thereby the evolutionary responsiveness of the populations to natural selection. Natural selection occurred in droughts and oscillated in direction as a result of climatically induced fluctuations in food composition. Introgressive hybridization has led to the formation of a new lineage. It was initiated by a large, introgressed, hybrid male with a unique song and genetic marker that immigrated from the nearby island of Santa Cruz and bred with local hybrids and with G. fortis. All members of the lineage died in the 2003-2005 drought except a brother and a sister, who then bred with each other. Subsequent increase in the lineage was facilitated by selective mortality of the largest G. fortis. Breeding endogamously, the lineage is behaving as a biological species.

  4. Antioxidant responses in soybean and alfalfa plants grown in DDTs contaminated soils: Useful variables for selecting plants for soil phytoremediation?

    PubMed

    Mitton, Francesca M; Ribas Ferreira, Josencler L; Gonzalez, Mariana; Miglioranza, Karina S B; Monserrat, José M

    2016-06-01

    Phytoremediation is a low-cost alternative technology based on the use of plants to remove pollutants from the environment. Persistent organic pollutants such as DDTs with a long half-life in soils are attractive candidates for remediation. This study aimed to determine the potential of antioxidant response use in the evaluation of plants' tolerance for selecting species in phytoremediation purposes. Alfalfa and soybean plants were grown in DDT contaminated soils. After 60days, growth, protein content, antioxidant capacity, GST activity, concentration of proteic and non-proteic thiol groups, chlorophyll content and carotenoid content were measured in plant tissues. Results showed no effect on alfalfa or soybean photosynthetic pigments but different responses in the protein content, antioxidant capacity, GST activity and thiol groups on roots, stems and leaves, indicating that DDTs affected both species. Soybean showed higher susceptibility than alfalfa plants due to the lower antioxidant capacity and GST activity in leaves, in spite of having the lowest DDT accumulation. This study provides new insights into the role of oxidative stress as an important component of the plant's response to DDT exposure.

  5. Effects of foliar surfactants on host plant selection behavior of Liriomyza huidobrensis (Diptera: Agromyzidae).

    PubMed

    McKee, Fraser R; Levac, Joshua; Hallett, Rebecca H

    2009-10-01

    The pea leafminer, Liriomyza huidobrensis (Diptera: Agromyzidae), is a highly polyphagous insect pest of global distribution. L. huidobrensis feeds and lays its eggs on leaf tissue and reduces crop marketability because of stippling and mining damage. In field insecticide trials, it was observed that stippling was reduced on plants treated with surfactant alone. The objectives of this study were to determine the effect of surfactants on host selection behaviors of female L. huidobrensis and to assess the phytotoxicity of two common surfactants to test plants. The application of the surfactant Sylgard 309 to celery (Apium graveolens) caused a significant reduction in stippling rates. The application of Agral 90 to cucumber leaves (Cucumis sativus) resulted in changes to the amount of effort invested by females in specific host plant selection behaviors, as well as causing a significant reduction in the amount of stippling damage. The recommended dose of Sylgard 309 does not induce phytotoxicity on celery over a range of age classes nor does Agral 90 cause a phytotoxic effect in 35-d-old cucumber. Thus, reductions in observed stippling and changes to host selection behaviors were caused by an antixenotic effect of the surfactant on L. huidobrensis rather than a toxic effect of the surfactant on the plant. The presence of surfactant on an otherwise acceptable host plant seems to have masked host plant cues and prevented host plant recognition. Results indicate that surfactants may be used to reduce leafminer damage to vegetable crops, potentially reducing the use of insecticides.

  6. Plant selection for nest building by western lowland gorillas in Cameroon.

    PubMed

    Willie, Jacob; Tagg, Nikki; Petre, Charles-Albert; Pereboom, Zjef; Lens, Luc

    2014-01-01

    We examined 834 nests built by western lowland gorillas in Cameroon between July 2008 and July 2011 to identify the plant species used in their construction. Preference for each plant species for nesting was assessed using a 'preference index' calculated by combining information on the occurrence of each species in the forest and in the nests. Forty-six plant species representing about 15 % of the total number of species in the forest and 26 % of species used for nest building were frequently used by gorillas. Preference levels significantly varied among these species. Nests were mostly built with herbs of the families Marantaceae and Zingiberaceae and woody species such as Manniophyton fulvum (liana) and Alchornea floribunda (shrub). As observed in other gorilla populations, suitability for nest building and availability of gorilla food in stems were the likely determinants of plant selection. The total number of species used per nest ranged from 1 to 11, with an average of 4.9. This is high compared to other sites, emphasizing variability in the availability of nest building materials and habitat differences across the range of the western gorilla. Seasonal changes in the use of different habitat types for nesting did not appear to influence plant use for nest building as there was little variation in plant selection across seasons or the composition of nests. Our findings suggest that gorillas non-randomly select plant species to build nests, and use a particular set of species combined at varying proportions, with no clear seasonal or spatial patterns.

  7. USING POPULATION GENOMICS TO DETECT SELECTION IN NATURAL POPULATIONS: KEY CONCEPTS AND METHODOLOGICAL CONSIDERATIONS

    PubMed Central

    Hohenlohe, Paul A.; Phillips, Patrick C.; Cresko, William A.

    2010-01-01

    Natural selection shapes patterns of genetic variation among individuals, populations, and species, and it does so differentially across genomes. The field of population genomics provides a comprehensive genome-scale view of the action of selection, even beyond traditional model organisms. However, even with nearly complete genomic sequence information, our ability to detect the signature of selection on specific genomic regions depends on choosing experimental and analytical tools appropriate to the biological situation. For example, processes that occur at different timescales, such as sorting of standing genetic variation, mutation-selection balance, or fixed interspecific divergence, have different consequences for genomic patterns of variation. Inappropriate experimental or analytical approaches may fail to detect even strong selection or falsely identify a signature of selection. Here we outline the conceptual framework of population genomics, relate genomic patterns of variation to evolutionary processes, and identify major biological factors to be considered in studies of selection. As data-gathering technology continues to advance, our ability to understand selection in natural populations will be limited more by conceptual and analytical weaknesses than by the amount of molecular data. Our aim is to bring critical biological considerations to the fore in population genomics research and to spur the development and application of analytical tools appropriate to diverse biological systems. PMID:21218185

  8. From Ends to Causes (and Back Again) by Metaphor: The Paradox of Natural Selection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blancke, Stefaan; Schellens, Tammy; Soetaert, Ronald; Van Keer, Hilde; Braeckman, Johan

    2014-04-01

    Natural selection is one of the most famous metaphors in the history of science. Charles Darwin used the metaphor and the underlying analogy to frame his ideas about evolution and its main driving mechanism into a full-fledged theory. Because the metaphor turned out to be such a powerful epistemic tool, Darwin naturally assumed that he could also employ it as an educational tool to inform his contemporaries about his findings. Moreover, by using the metaphor Darwin was able to bring his theory in accordance with both the dominant philosophy of science in his time and the respected tradition of natural theology. However, as he introduced his theory of evolution by natural selection in On the origin of species in 1859, the metaphor also turned out to have a serious downside. Because of its intentional overtones, his contemporaries systematically misunderstood his metaphor not as a natural mechanism causing evolution to occur but as an agent who works towards particular ends. The difference in success between natural selection as an epistemic tool and its failure as an educational tool is labelled as a paradox. We explain the paradox from a cognitive perspective and discuss the implications for teaching evolution.

  9. Imprints of natural selection along environmental gradients in phenology-related genes of Quercus petraea.

    PubMed

    Alberto, Florian J; Derory, Jérémy; Boury, Christophe; Frigerio, Jean-Marc; Zimmermann, Niklaus E; Kremer, Antoine

    2013-10-01

    We explored single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) variation in candidate genes for bud burst from Quercus petraea populations sampled along gradients of latitude and altitude in Western Europe. SNP diversity was monitored for 106 candidate genes, in 758 individuals from 32 natural populations. We investigated whether SNP variation reflected the clinal pattern of bud burst observed in common garden experiments. We used different methods to detect imprints of natural selection (FST outlier, clinal variation at allelic frequencies, association tests) and compared the results obtained for the two gradients. FST outlier SNPs were found in 15 genes, 5 of which were common to both gradients. The type of selection differed between the two gradients (directional or balancing) for 3 of these 5. Clinal variations were observed for six SNPs, and one cline was conserved across both gradients. Association tests between the phenotypic or breeding values of trees and SNP genotypes identified 14 significant associations, involving 12 genes. The results of outlier detection on the basis of population differentiation or clinal variation were not very consistent with the results of association tests. The discrepancies between these approaches may reflect the different hierarchical levels of selection considered (inter- and intrapopulation selection). Finally, we obtained evidence for convergent selection (similar for gradients) and clinal variation for a few genes, suggesting that comparisons between parallel gradients could be used to screen for major candidate genes responding to natural selection in trees.

  10. Estimation and diversity of phylloplane mycobiota on selected plants in a Mediterranean-type ecosystem in Portugal.

    PubMed

    Inácio, J; Pereira, P; de Carvalho, M; Fonseca, A; Amaral-Collaço, M T; Spencer-Martins, I

    2002-11-01

    Mediterranean ecosystems have not been consistently investigated as natural habitats for microbes in general, and fungi in particular. Here we present the results of a survey of epiphytic mycobiota (filamentous fungi and yeasts) on the phylloplane of selected plants in the Arrábida Natural Park, an ecosystem of Mediterranean characteristics in Portugal, using conventional culture-dependent isolation methods. Leaves from the species Acer monspessulanum and Quercus faginea (deciduous trees) and Cistus albidus, Pistacia lentiscus, and Osyris quadripartita (evergreen shrubs) were collected twice a year for two consecutive years, at two distinct locations of Serra da Arrábida: the more humid northern slope and the drier southern slope. A total of 1029 strains of filamentous fungi and 540 strains of yeasts were isolated, which represented at least 36 and 46 distinct species, respectively. Total counts were higher on the plants from the northern slope and there was a general increase from spring to autumn, notably on the deciduous trees for the yeasts. Plant species that had higher numbers of leaf colonists (A. monspessulanum, C. albidus, and Q. faginea) also yielded a wider range of species. Among the filamentous fungi there was a predominance of species of ascomycetous affinity, whereas basidiomycetous species dominated among yeast isolates. Some of the taxa recovered were common to other phylloplane studies (e.g., ubiquitous molds and yeasts such as Cladosporium spp. and Cryptococcus spp., respectively), but less common species were also found, some of which appeared to represent undescribed taxa. Interestingly, a few species seemed to be associated with a particular plant, notably in the case of the evergreen shrub C. albidus. However, for a considerable number of fungi and yeasts the same taxon was recovered throughout the year from more than one plant and at both sites, suggesting that such species might be genuine phylloplane inhabitants (or at least of aerial

  11. Caterpillar seed predators mediate shifts in selection on flowering phenology in their host plant.

    PubMed

    Valdés, Alicia; Ehrlén, Johan

    2017-01-01

    Variation in selection among populations and years has important implications for evolutionary trajectories of populations. Yet, the agents of selection causing this variation have rarely been identified. Selection on the time of reproduction within a season in plants might differ both among populations and among years, and selection can be mediated by both mutualists and antagonists. We investigated if differences in the direction of phenotypic selection on flowering phenology among 20 populations of Gentiana pneumonanthe during 2 yr were related to the presence of the butterfly seed predator Phengaris alcon, and if butterfly incidence was associated with the abundance of the butterfly's second host, Myrmica ants. In plant populations without the butterfly, phenotypic selection favored earlier flowering. In populations where the butterfly was present, caterpillars preferentially attacked early-flowering individuals, shifting the direction of selection to favoring later flowering. Butterfly incidence in plant populations increased with ant abundance. Our results demonstrate that antagonistic interactions can shift the direction of selection on flowering phenology, and suggest that such shifts might be associated with differences in the community context.

  12. Harvesting the biosynthetic machineries that cultivate a variety of indispensable plant natural products

    PubMed Central

    Vickery, Christopher R; La Clair, James J; Burkart, Michael D; Noel, Joseph P

    2016-01-01

    Plants are a sustainable resource for valuable natural chemicals best illustrated by large-scale farming centered on specific products. Here, we review recent discoveries of plant metabolic pathways producing natural products with unconventional biomolecular structures. Prenylation of polyketides by aromatic prenyltransferases (aPTases) ties together two of the major groups of plant specialized chemicals, terpenoids and polyketides, providing a core modification leading to new bioactivities and downstream metabolic processing. Moreover, PTases that biosynthesize Z-terpenoid precursors for small molecules such as lycosantalene have recently been found in the tomato family. Gaps in our understanding of how economically important compounds such as cannabinoids are produced are being identified using next-generation ‘omics’ to rapidly advance biochemical breakthroughs at an unprecedented rate. For instance, olivetolic acid cyclase, a polyketide synthase (PKS) co-factor from Cannabis sativa, directs the proper cyclization of a polyketide intermediate. Elucidations of spatial and temporal arrangements of biosynthetic enzymes into metabolons, such as those used to control the efficient production of natural polymers such as rubber and defensive small molecules such as linamarin and lotaustralin, provide blueprints for engineering streamlined production of plant products. PMID:26851514

  13. Selecting networks of nature reserves: methods do affect the long-term outcome

    PubMed Central

    Virolainen, K. M.; Virola, T.; Suhonen, J.; Kuitunen, M.; Lammi, A.; ki, P. Siikam

    1999-01-01

    Data on vascular plants of boreal lakes in Finland were used to compare the efficiency of reserve selection methods in representing four aspects of biodiversity over a 63 year period. These aspects included species richness, phylogenetic diversity, restricted range diversity and threatened species. Our results show that the efficiency of reserve selection methods depends on the selection criteria used and on the aspect of biodiversity under consideration. Heuristic methods and optimizing algorithms were nearly equally efficient in selecting lake networks over a small geographical range. In addition, a scoring procedure was observed to be efficient in maintaining different aspects of biodiversity over time. However, the random selection of lakes seems to be the most inefficient option for a reserve network. In general, reserve selection methods seem to favour lakes that maximize one aspect of diversity at the time of selection, but the network may not be the best option for maintaining the maximum diversity over time. The reserve selection methods do affect the long-term outcome but it is impossible to recommend one method over the others unequivocally.

  14. Bumble-bee learning selects for both early and long flowering in food-deceptive plants.

    PubMed

    Internicola, Antonina I; Harder, Lawrence D

    2012-04-22

    Most rewardless orchids engage in generalized food-deception, exhibiting floral traits typical of rewarding species and exploiting the instinctive foraging of pollinators. Generalized food-deceptive (GFD) orchids compete poorly with rewarding species for pollinator services, which may be overcome by flowering early in the growing season when relatively more pollinators are naive and fewer competing plant species are flowering, and/or flowering for extended periods to enhance the chance of pollinator visits. We tested these hypotheses by manipulating flowering time and duration in a natural population of Calypso bulbosa and quantifying pollinator visitation based on pollen removal. Both early and long flowering increased bumble-bee visitation compared with late and brief flowering, respectively. To identify the cause of reduced visitation during late flowering, we tested whether negative experience with C. bulbosa (avoidance learning) and positive experience with a rewarding species, Arctostaphylos uva-ursi, (associative learning) by captive bumble-bees could reduce C. bulbosa's competitiveness. Avoidance learning explained the higher visitation of early- compared with late-flowering C. bulbosa. The resulting pollinator-mediated selection for early flowering may commonly affect GFD orchids, explaining their tendency to flower earlier than rewarding orchids. For dissimilar deceptive and rewarding sympatric species, associative learning may additionally favour early flowering by GFD species.

  15. Ciborinia camelliae (Sclerotiniaceae) induces variable plant resistance responses in selected species of Camellia.

    PubMed

    Denton-Giles, Matthew; Bradshaw, Rosie E; Dijkwel, Paul P

    2013-07-01

    Ciborinia camelliae is the causal agent of Camellia flower blight. This fungal pathogen is a significant pest of the Camellia floriculture industry because it specifically infects the floral tissue of ornamental camellia cultivars leading to the rapid development of necrotic lesions and blight. This study aims to characterize natural resistance to Ciborinia camelliae within a selection of Camellia spp. Based on macroscopic lesion development, Camellia 'Nicky Crisp' and Camellia lutchuensis were chosen as compatible and incompatible hosts, respectively. Microscopic analyses of the incompatible Camellia lutchuensis-Ciborinia camelliae interaction revealed several hallmarks of induced plant resistance, including papillae formation, H2O2 accumulation, and localized cell death. The compatible Camellia Nicky Crisp-Ciborinia camelliae interaction failed to trigger a similar resistance response. Ciborinia camelliae growth in compatible tissue demonstrated a switch from biotrophy to necrotrophy, evident from the simultaneous development of secondary hyphae and necrotic lesions. Extension of resistance analyses to 39 additional Camellia spp. identified variable levels of resistance within the Camellia genus. The evidence presented supports a resistance breeding strategy for controlling Ciborinia camelliae on ornamental Camellia hybrids.

  16. Strong selection on mandible and nest features in a carpenter bee that nests in two sympatric host plants.

    PubMed

    Flores-Prado, Luis; Pinto, Carlos F; Rojas, Alejandra; Fontúrbel, Francisco E

    2014-05-01

    Host plants are used by herbivorous insects as feeding or nesting resources. In wood-boring insects, host plants features may impose selective forces leading to phenotypic differentiation on traits related to nest construction. Carpenter bees build their nests in dead stems or dry twigs of shrubs and trees; thus, mandibles are essential for the nesting process, and the nest is required for egg laying and offspring survival. We explored the shape and intensity of natural selection on phenotypic variation on three size measures of the bees (intertegular width, wing length, and mandible area) and two nest architecture measures (tunnel length and diameter) on bees using the native species Chusquea quila (Poaceae), and the alloctonous species Rubus ulmifolius (Rosaceae), in central Chile. Our results showed significant and positive linear selection gradients for tunnel length on both hosts, indicating that bees building long nests have more offspring. Bees with broader mandibles show greater fitness on C. quila but not on R. ulmifolius. Considering that C. quila represents a selective force on mandible area, we hypothesized a high adaptive value of this trait, resulting in higher fitness values when nesting on this host, despite its wood is denser and hence more difficult to be bored.

  17. Herbaceous plant species invading natural areas tend to have stronger adaptive root foraging than other naturalized species

    PubMed Central

    Keser, Lidewij H.; Visser, Eric J. W.; Dawson, Wayne; Song, Yao-Bin; Yu, Fei-Hai; Fischer, Markus; Dong, Ming; van Kleunen, Mark

    2015-01-01

    Although plastic root-foraging responses are thought to be adaptive, as they may optimize nutrient capture of plants, this has rarely been tested. We investigated whether nutrient-foraging responses are adaptive, and whether they pre-adapt alien species to become natural-area invaders. We grew 12 pairs of congeneric species (i.e., 24 species) native to Europe in heterogeneous and homogeneous nutrient environments, and compared their foraging responses and performance. One species in each pair is a USA natural-area invader, and the other one is not. Within species, individuals with strong foraging responses, measured as plasticity in root diameter and specific root length, had a higher biomass. Among species, the ones with strong foraging responses, measured as plasticity in root length and root biomass, had a higher biomass. Our results therefore suggest that root foraging is an adaptive trait. Invasive species showed significantly stronger root-foraging responses than non-invasive species when measured as root diameter. Biomass accumulation was decreased in the heterogeneous vs. the homogeneous environment. In aboveground, but not belowground and total biomass, this decrease was smaller in invasive than in non-invasive species. Our results show that strong plastic root-foraging responses are adaptive, and suggest that it might aid in pre-adapting species to becoming natural-area invaders. PMID:25964790

  18. Herbaceous plant species invading natural areas tend to have stronger adaptive root foraging than other naturalized species.

    PubMed

    Keser, Lidewij H; Visser, Eric J W; Dawson, Wayne; Song, Yao-Bin; Yu, Fei-Hai; Fischer, Markus; Dong, Ming; van Kleunen, Mark

    2015-01-01

    Although plastic root-foraging responses are thought to be adaptive, as they may optimize nutrient capture of plants, this has rarely been tested. We investigated whether nutrient-foraging responses are adaptive, and whether they pre-adapt alien species to become natural-area invaders. We grew 12 pairs of congeneric species (i.e., 24 species) native to Europe in heterogeneous and homogeneous nutrient environments, and compared their foraging responses and performance. One species in each pair is a USA natural-area invader, and the other one is not. Within species, individuals with strong foraging responses, measured as plasticity in root diameter and specific root length, had a higher biomass. Among species, the ones with strong foraging responses, measured as plasticity in root length and root biomass, had a higher biomass. Our results therefore suggest that root foraging is an adaptive trait. Invasive species showed significantly stronger root-foraging responses than non-invasive species when measured as root diameter. Biomass accumulation was decreased in the heterogeneous vs. the homogeneous environment. In aboveground, but not belowground and total biomass, this decrease was smaller in invasive than in non-invasive species. Our results show that strong plastic root-foraging responses are adaptive, and suggest that it might aid in pre-adapting species to becoming natural-area invaders.

  19. [Effects of elevated atmospheric CO2 on plant, herbivorous insect, and its natural enemy: a review].

    PubMed

    Xie, Hai-Cui; Wang, Zhen-Ying; He, Kang-Lai

    2013-12-01

    Since the industrial revolution, the huge consumption of fossil fuels and unduly destruction of natural habitats by human activities have led to the ever-increasing concentration of atmospheric CO2. To study the adaptation mechanisms of plant, herbivorous insect, and its natural enemy within agricultural ecosystems to the elevated atmospheric CO2 concentration is of significance in deciphering the damage pattern of agricultural pest occurrence and controlling the pest occurrence and in mitigating the CO2 emission from agricultural ecosystems. This paper reviewed the research progress on the effects of elevated atmospheric CO2 on the host plant, herbivorous insect, and its natural enemy in agro-ecosystem, with the focuses on the improvement of related research methods, the variation patterns of host plant primary and secondary metabolites induced by elevated atmospheric CO2, the effects of the elevated CO2 on the growth and development, population density, and behaviors of herbivorous insect, and the biology and predation and/or parasitism rates of natural enemy. The future research frontiers in this research area were also discussed.

  20. Treatment of natural tropical theileriosis with the extract of the plant Peganum harmala

    PubMed Central

    2007-01-01

    Theileria annulata, a protozoan parasite of cattle and domestic buffaloes, is transmitted by ticks of the genus Hyalomma, and causes a disease named Mediterranean or tropical theileriosis. In this research 50 cattle naturally infected with Theileria annulata were treated with the extract of the plant Peganum harmala. The treatment was continued for 5 days, the dose of the extract being 5 mg/kg per day. After the treatment, 39 cattle responded to the treatment and recovered, but 11 did not respond to the treatment and died. The recovery rate of animals treated with the extract of the plant Peganum harmala was 78%. PMID:18165708