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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. Strong natural selection during plant restoration favors an unexpected suite of plant traits

    PubMed Central

    Kulpa, Sarah M; Leger, Elizabeth A

    2013-01-01

    Restoration is an opportunity to study natural selection: One can measure the distribution of traits in source propagules used to found populations, compare this with the distribution of traits in successful recruits, and determine the strength and direction of selection on potentially adaptive traits. We investigated whether natural selection influenced seedling establishment during postfire restoration in the Great Basin, an area where large-scale restoration occurs with a few widely available cultivars planted over a large range of environmental conditions. We collected seeds from established plants of the perennial grass Elymus elymoides ssp. californicus (squirreltail) at two restoration sites and compared the distribution of phenotypic traits of surviving plants with the original pool of restoration seeds. Seeds were planted in common gardens for two generations. Plants grown from seeds that established in the field were a nonrandom subset of the original seeds, with directional selection consistently favoring a correlated suite of traits in both field sites: small plant and seed size, and earlier flowering phenology. These results demonstrate that natural selection can affect restoration establishment in strong and predictable ways and that adaptive traits in these sites were opposite of the current criteria used for selection of restoration material in this system. PMID:23745142

  4. Strong natural selection during plant restoration favors an unexpected suite of plant traits.

    PubMed

    Kulpa, Sarah M; Leger, Elizabeth A

    2013-04-01

    RESTORATION IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO STUDY NATURAL SELECTION: One can measure the distribution of traits in source propagules used to found populations, compare this with the distribution of traits in successful recruits, and determine the strength and direction of selection on potentially adaptive traits. We investigated whether natural selection influenced seedling establishment during postfire restoration in the Great Basin, an area where large-scale restoration occurs with a few widely available cultivars planted over a large range of environmental conditions. We collected seeds from established plants of the perennial grass Elymus elymoides ssp. californicus (squirreltail) at two restoration sites and compared the distribution of phenotypic traits of surviving plants with the original pool of restoration seeds. Seeds were planted in common gardens for two generations. Plants grown from seeds that established in the field were a nonrandom subset of the original seeds, with directional selection consistently favoring a correlated suite of traits in both field sites: small plant and seed size, and earlier flowering phenology. These results demonstrate that natural selection can affect restoration establishment in strong and predictable ways and that adaptive traits in these sites were opposite of the current criteria used for selection of restoration material in this system.

  5. Nature plants.

    PubMed

    2014-06-01

    We welcome our new sister journal Nature Plants and the increased commitment to the plant science community that it represents. This is an opportunity for Nature Genetics to emphasize the use of genetic and genomic tools and resources in discovering new plant biology and solving major agricultural challenges.

  6. Naturally seeded versus planted ponderosa pine seedlings in group-selection openings

    Treesearch

    Philip M. McDonald; Gary Fiddler; Martin Ritchie; Paula Anderson

    2009-01-01

    The purpose of this article was to determine whether natural regeneration or planted seedlings should be used in group-selection openings. The answer dependson the survival and growth rate of both types of seedlings, and that could depend on the size of the openings and the effect of trees on their edge. In thisside-by-side study, the natural pine seedlings originated...

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Bacteria Associated to Plants Naturally Selected in a Historical PCB Polluted Soil Show Potential to Sustain Natural Attenuation

    PubMed Central

    Vergani, Lorenzo; Mapelli, Francesca; Marasco, Ramona; Crotti, Elena; Fusi, Marco; Di Guardo, Antonio; Armiraglio, Stefano; Daffonchio, Daniele; Borin, Sara

    2017-01-01

    The exploitation of the association between plants and microorganisms is a promising approach able to boost natural attenuation processes for soil clean-up in vast polluted areas characterized by mixed chemical contamination. We aimed to explore the selection of root-associated bacterial communities driven by different plant species spontaneously established in abandoned agricultural soils within a historical polluted site in north Italy. The site is highly contaminated by chlorinated persistent organic pollutants, mainly constituted by polychlorobiphenyls (PCBs), together with heavy metals and metalloids, in variable concentrations and uneven distribution. The overall structure of the non-vegetated and root-associated soil fractions bacterial communities was described by high-throughput sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene, and a collection of 165 rhizobacterial isolates able to use biphenyl as unique carbon source was assayed for plant growth promotion (PGP) traits and bioremediation potential. The results showed that the recruitment of specific bacterial communities in the root-associated soil fractions was driven by both soil fractions and plant species, explaining 21 and 18% of the total bacterial microbiome variation, respectively. PCR-based detection in the soil metagenome of bacterial bphA gene, encoding for the biphenyl dioxygenase α subunit, indicated that the soil in the site possesses metabolic traits linked to PCB degradation. Biphenyl-utilizing bacteria isolated from the rhizosphere of the three different plant species showed low phylogenetic diversity and well represented functional traits, in terms of PGP and bioremediation potential. On average, 72% of the strains harbored the bphA gene and/or displayed catechol 2,3-dioxygenase activity, involved in aromatic ring cleavage. PGP traits, including 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid deaminase activity potentially associated to plant stress tolerance induction, were widely distributed among the isolates

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Preliminary evaluation for cancer chemopreventive and cytotoxic potential of naturally growing ethnobotanically selected plants of Pakistan.

    PubMed

    Ihsan-ul-Haq; Mirza, Bushra; Kondratyuk, Tamara P; Park, Eun-Jung; Burns, Brittany E; Marler, Laura E; Pezzuto, John M

    2013-03-01

    Natural products are a very productive source of leads for the development of medicines. Six Pakistani plants were chosen for study based on ethnobotanical data. Exploration of important medicinal plants of Pakistan for cancer treatment. The crude extracts of the six plants and their fractions were tested for inhibition of nuclear factor κB (NFκB), aromatase, and nitric oxide (NO) production in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-activated murine macrophage RAW 264.7 cells, induction of quinone reductase 1 (QR1), agonism of retinoid X receptor, and growth inhibition with MCF-7, LU-1 and MDA-MB-231 cancer cells. Two samples of Withania coagulans (Stocks) Dunal (Solanaceae) demonstrated inhibition of TNF-α induced activity of NFκB with IC₅₀ values of 2.6 and 4.3 µg/mL, respectively. Two fractions from W. coagulans and Euphorbia wallichii Hook F. (Euphorbiaceae) aerial parts inhibited aromatase with IC₅₀ values of 17.0 and 17.7 µg/mL, respectively. A total of 13 samples (five from E. wallichii, one from Acer oblongifolium Hort. ex Dippel (Aceraceae), one from Aster thomsonii C. B. Clarke (Asteraceae) and six from W. coagulans aerial parts with fruits) inhibited NO production with IC₅₀ values ranging from 1.3 to 15.6 µg/mL. Fourteen samples demonstrated induction of QR1 with CD ranging from 1.0 to 20.6 µg/mL, and a total of eight extracts and fractions inhibited the proliferation of cancer cells in culture with IC₅₀ values ranging from 1.2 to 7.8 µg/mL. Selected plants can be a valuable source of chemopreventive and anticancer products. W. coagulans aerial parts showed the strongest activity.

  13. Plants of the Cerrado naturally selected by grazing sheep may have potential for inhibiting development of Haemonchus contortus larva.

    PubMed

    Morais-Costa, Franciellen; Soares, Ana Cláudia Maia; Bastos, Gabriela Almeida; Nunes, Yule Roberta Ferreira; Geraseev, Luciana Castro; Braga, Fernão Castro; Dos Santos Lima, Walter; Duarte, Eduardo Robson

    2015-10-01

    Plant species naturally selected by sheep grazing in the Cerrado region of Brazil were assessed in vitro for activity against Haemonchus contortus. One year of observations showed the plant families in the region exhibiting greatest richness to be Fabaceae, Rubiaceae, Malpighiaceae, Bignoniaceae, Myrtaceae, and Annonaceae. Nine species commonly selected by grazing sheep showed variation in the selectivity index with respect to the dry and rainy seasons. Coproculture was conducted in five replicates of 11 treatments: ivermectin, distilled water, or dehydrated leaves of nine selected plant species administered at 333.3 mg g(-1) fecal culture. The dried powder of Piptadenia viridiflora and Ximenia americana leaves significantly reduced the number of infective larvae compared to the distilled water control. These species showed efficacy of over 85 % despite low concentrations of proanthocyanidin. High-performance liquid chromatography analyses of extracts of these plants showed major peaks of UV spectra characteristic of flavonoids. Those naturally selected plant species with high antihelminthic efficacy show promise for use in diet as an alternative control of H. contortus in sheep.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  15. 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.

  16. Natural Selection on Coding and Noncoding DNA Sequences Is Associated with Virulence Genes in a Plant Pathogenic Fungus

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:25193312

  17. 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)

  18. 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)

  19. 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

  20. 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…

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. 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)

  8. 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)

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Determination of selected natural hormones and endocrine disrupting compounds in domestic wastewater treatment plants by liquid chromatography electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry after solid phase extraction.

    PubMed

    Muz, Melis; Sönmez, M Selcen; Komesli, Okan Tarık; Bakırdere, Sezgin; Gökçay, Celal Ferdi

    2012-02-21

    A new analytical method for the simultaneous determination of two natural hormones (progesterone and estrone) and two selected endocrine disrupter compounds (EDCs) (diltiazem and carbamazepine (Cbz)) was developed by liquid chromatography electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry (LC-ESI-MS/MS) after pre-concentration with solid phase extraction (SPE). Influent and effluent samples taken from five different wastewater treatment plants throughout Turkey namely Hurma/Antalya, Lara/Antalya, Kemer-1 and Kemer-2 and METU/Ankara were analyzed for their EDCs contents under the optimum conditions. All of the parameters in the pre-concentration step were optimized and the best recoveries for all compounds of interest were achieved at pH 7 (about 100%). Progesterone was not detected in any of the treatment plants while diltiazem was found in all samples with the exception of Lara effluent.

  13. Friendship and natural selection.

    PubMed

    Christakis, Nicholas A; Fowler, James H

    2014-07-22

    More than any other species, humans form social ties to individuals who are neither kin nor mates, and these ties tend to be with similar people. Here, we show that this similarity extends to genotypes. Across the whole genome, friends' genotypes at the single nucleotide polymorphism level tend to be positively correlated (homophilic). In fact, the increase in similarity relative to strangers is at the level of fourth cousins. However, certain genotypes are also negatively correlated (heterophilic) in friends. And the degree of correlation in genotypes can be used to create a "friendship score" that predicts the existence of friendship ties in a hold-out sample. A focused gene-set analysis indicates that some of the overall correlation in genotypes can be explained by specific systems; for example, an olfactory gene set is homophilic and an immune system gene set is heterophilic, suggesting that these systems may play a role in the formation or maintenance of friendship ties. Friends may be a kind of "functional kin." Finally, homophilic genotypes exhibit significantly higher measures of positive selection, suggesting that, on average, they may yield a synergistic fitness advantage that has been helping to drive recent human evolution.

  14. A quantum of natural selection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lloyd, Seth

    2009-03-01

    The modern evolutionary synthesis, which marries Darwin's theory of natural selection with Mendel's genetics, was developed around the same time as quantum mechanics. Is there any connection between the two?

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Sugarcane Aphid Population Growth, Plant Injury, and Natural Enemies on Selected Grain Sorghum Hybrids in Texas and Louisiana.

    PubMed

    Brewer, Michael J; Gordy, John W; Kerns, David L; Woolley, James B; Rooney, William L; Bowling, Robert D

    2017-09-06

    In response to the 2013 outbreak of sugarcane aphid, Melanaphis sacchari (Zehntner) (Hemiptera: Aphididae), on sorghum, Sorghum bicolor (L.), in North America, experiments were conducted at three southern U.S. grain sorghum production locations (Corpus Christi, TX; Winnsboro, LA; Rosenberg, TX). The objectives were to authenticate yield decline on susceptible hybrids (2014 and 2015) and to measure aphid population growth and natural enemy prevalence on susceptible and resistant hybrids with similar genetic background (2014). Yield decline on susceptible hybrids (Tx 2752/Tx430 and DKS53-67) was more substantial when aphid population growth accelerated quickly and peaked above 300 aphids per leaf (50 to nearly 100% yield decline). Location and year variation in maximum aphid density and cumulative aphid-days was high, with doubling time values on the susceptible hybrids ranging between 3.9 and 7.9 d. On resistant Tx2752/Tx2783, leaf injury and yield decline were not seen or less severe than on its paired susceptible Tx2752/Tx430. Aphids declined on Tx2752/Tx2783 after initial colony establishment (Corpus Christi) or took about 60% longer to double in population size when compared with Tx2572/Tx430 (Winnsboro). The predominant natural enemy taxa were aphelinid mummies (Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae), ladybird beetles (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), and sryphid flies (Diptera: Syrphidae), and they were more prevalent during flowering than prior to flowering. They were generally responsive to changes in aphid density of both susceptible and resistant hybrids, but variability points to need for further study. In future research, full season observations should continue as well as more detailed study of potential compatibility of sorghum resistance and biological control. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Symbiogenesis, natural selection, and the dynamic Earth.

    PubMed

    Kutschera, U

    2009-08-01

    One century ago, Constantin S. Mereschkowsky introduced the symbiogenesis theory for the origin of chloroplasts from ancient cyanobacteria which was later supplemented by Ivan E. Wallin's proposal that mitochondria evolved from once free-living bacteria. Today, this Mereschkowsky-Wallin principle of symbiogenesis, which is also known as the serial primary endosymbiosis theory, explains the evolutionary origin of eukaryotic cells and hence the emergence of all eukaryotes (protists, fungi, animals and plants). In 1858, the concept of natural selection was described independently by Charles Darwin and Alfred R. Wallace. In the same year, Antonio Snider-Pellegrini proposed the idea of shifting continents, which was later expanded by Alfred Wegener, who published his theory of continental drift eight decades ago. Today, directional selection is accepted as the major cause of adaptive evolution within natural populations of micro- and macro-organisms and the theory of the dynamic Earth (plate tectonics) is well supported. In this article, I combine the processes and principles of symbiogenesis, natural selection and the dynamic Earth and propose an integrative 'synade-model' of macroevolution which takes into account organisms from all five Kingdoms of life.

  4. 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.

  5. Multi-development-HPTLC method for quantitation of hyoscyamine, scopolamine and their biosynthetic precursors in selected solanaceae plants grown in natural conditions and as in vitro cultures.

    PubMed

    Jaremicz, Zbigniew; Luczkiewicz, Maria; Kisiel, Mariusz; Zárate, Rafael; El Jaber-Vazdekis, Nabil; Migas, Piotr

    2014-01-01

    Hyoscyamine and scopolamine, anti-cholinergic agents widely used in medicine, are typically obtained from plants grown under natural conditions. Since field cultivation entails certain difficulties (changeable weather, pests, etc.), attempts have been made to develop a plant in vitro culture system as an alternative source for the production of these compounds. During experiments to locate the limiting steps in the biotechnological procedure, it is important to monitor not only the levels of the final products but also the changes in the concentration of their precursors. To develop a HPTLC method for the separation and quantitation of the main tropane alkaloids hyoscyamine and scopolamine, their respective direct precursors littorine and anisodamine, and cuscohygrine, a product of a parallel biosynthetic pathway that shares a common precursor (N-methyl-∆(1) -pyrrolium cation) with tropane alkaloids. Using alkaloid extracts from Atropa baetica hairy roots, different TLC chromatographic systems and developing procedures were investigated. Full separation of all compounds was obtained on HPTLC Si60 F254 plates preconditioned with mobile phase vapours (chloroform:methanol:acetone:25% ammonia ratios of 75:15:10:1.8, v/v/v/v). The chromatograms were developed twice (at distances of 4.0 and 3.0 cm) in a Camag twin trough chamber and visualised with Dragendorff's reagent. Densitometric detection (λ = 190 and 520 nm) was used for quantitative analyses of the different plant samples. This method can be recommended for quantitation of hyoscyamine, scopolamine, anisodamine, littorine and cuscohygrine in different plant material (field grown vs. in vitro cultures). Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Natural Selection in the Great Apes.

    PubMed

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

    2016-12-01

    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. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  9. Modularity, noise, and natural selection.

    PubMed

    Marroig, Gabriel; Melo, Diogo A R; Garcia, Guilherme

    2012-05-01

    Most biological systems are formed by component parts that are to some degree interrelated. Groups of parts that are more associated among themselves and are relatively autonomous from others are called modules. One of the consequences of modularity is that biological systems usually present an unequal distribution of the genetic variation among traits. Estimating the covariance matrix that describes these systems is a difficult problem due to a number of factors such as poor sample sizes and measurement errors. We show that this problem will be exacerbated whenever matrix inversion is required, as in directional selection reconstruction analysis. We explore the consequences of varying degrees of modularity and signal-to-noise ratio on selection reconstruction. We then present and test the efficiency of available methods for controlling noise in matrix estimates. In our simulations, controlling matrices for noise vastly improves the reconstruction of selection gradients. We also perform an analysis of selection gradients reconstruction over a New World Monkeys skull database to illustrate the impact of noise on such analyses. Noise-controlled estimates render far more plausible interpretations that are in full agreement with previous results. © 2012 The Author(s). Evolution© 2012 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  10. 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…

  11. 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.

  12. 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…

  13. 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.

  14. 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...

  15. 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...

  16. 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)…

  17. 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)

  18. 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)

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Microsatellites as Targets of Natural Selection

    PubMed Central

    Haasl, Ryan J.; Payseur, Bret A.

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:23104080

  6. 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.

  7. 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. Copyright © 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Natural and sexual selection against hybrid flycatchers

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

    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. PMID:18211878

  17. Natural selection. IV. The Price equation*

    PubMed Central

    Frank, Steven A.

    2012-01-01

    The Price equation partitions total evolutionary change into two components. The first component provides an abstract expression of natural selection. The second component subsumes all other evolutionary processes, including changes during transmission. The natural selection component is often used in applications. Those applications attract widespread interest for their simplicity of expression and ease of interpretation. Those same applications attract widespread criticism by dropping the second component of evolutionary change and by leaving unspecified the detailed assumptions needed for a complete study of dynamics. Controversies over approximation and dynamics have nothing to do with the Price equation itself, which is simply a mathematical equivalence relation for total evolutionary change expressed in an alternative form. Disagreements about approach have to do with the tension between the relative valuation of abstract versus concrete analyses. The Price equation’s greatest value has been on the abstract side, particularly the invariance relations that illuminate the understanding of natural selection. Those abstract insights lay the foundation for applications in terms of kin selection, information theory interpretations of natural selection, and partitions of causes by path analysis. I discuss recent critiques of the Price equation by Nowak and van Veelen. PMID:22487312

  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. Plant biochemistry: a naturally decaffeinated arabica coffee.

    PubMed

    Silvarolla, Maria B; Mazzafera, Paulo; Fazuoli, Luiz C

    2004-06-24

    The adverse side effects of caffeine have increased the market for decaffeinated coffee to about 10% of coffee consumption worldwide (http://www.ncausa.org), despite the loss of key flavour compounds in the industrial decaffeinating process. We have discovered a naturally decaffeinated Coffea arabica plant from Ethiopia, a species normally recognized for the high quality of its beans. It should be possible to transfer this trait to commercial varieties of arabica coffee plants by intraspecific hybridization--a process likely to be simpler than an interspecific hybridization strategy, which could require more than 30 years of breeding to fix the decaffeinated trait and would probably result in an inferior cup of coffee.

  20. Natural and Sexual Selection on Many Loci

    PubMed Central

    Barton, N. H.; Turelli, M.

    1991-01-01

    A method is developed that describes the effects on an arbitrary number of autosomal loci of selection on haploid and diploid stages, of nonrandom mating between haploid individuals, and of recombination. We provide exact recursions for the dynamics of allele frequencies and linkage disequilibria (nonrandom associations of alleles across loci). When selection is weak relative to recombination, our recursions provide simple approximations for the linkage disequilibria among arbitrary combinations of loci. We show how previous models of sex-independent natural selection on diploids, assortative mating between haploids, and sexual selection on haploids can be analyzed in this framework. Using our weak-selection approximations, we derive new results concerning the coevolution of male traits and female preferences under natural and sexual selection. In particular, we provide general expressions for the intensity of linkage-disequilibrium induced selection experienced by loci that contribute to female preferences for specific male traits. Our general results support the previous observation that these indirect selection forces are so weak that they are unlikely to dominate the evolution of preference-producing loci. PMID:2016044

  1. 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.

  2. 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…

  3. Simulating natural selection in landscape genetics

    Treesearch

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

    2012-01-01

    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...

  4. 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…

  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. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. [Nature's healing power--natural selection in protein turnover].

    PubMed

    Pirlet, K

    2003-10-01

    For millennia, medical practitioners, healthy people and the sick have known that there is an inner force that keeps us sound and also cures us. However, neither medicine nor natural sciences have been able to define this curative power. It can not be captured by experiments or assigned with dimensions or numbers. The answer can be found in the quintessential process of all living systems, the interaction of genes and proteins in every single cell. Genes encode proteins; proteins are the ubiquitous instruments of life. Protein molecules undergo rapid turnover: their median lifetime is about 2 days, and in every second so many proteins are synthesized in each of us that their number equals the number of seconds that have passed since the big bang 15 billion years ago. The biochemical dogma that says that after their synthesis proteins are degraded at random - blindly, quasi - is wrong. The experimental results have not been interpreted correctly. In the first instance, proteins are stable and functional, since they have to fulfill numerous tasks. Only aged, severely damaged, non-functioning proteins are discarded. Protein turnover is subject to selection, not to chance. By selecting fresh, functional proteins, the quality of cellular proteins is kept at a high level. The principle of selection in protein turnover is the crucial component in the scientific groundwork of naturopathy therapeutics. With natural influencies and measures (e.g. food processing, intermediate metabolism, exercise, light, warmth, coldness) the steady process of regeneration is accelerated - in contrast to medical therapy, which restricts and blocks protein activities. Natural healing power and self-organization energy are basic phenomena of a therapeutically used physiology. Naturopathy is natural science. Copyright 2003 S. Karger GmbH, Freiburg

  16. 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.

  17. Proof of the Wave Nature of Plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wagner, Orvin

    2008-03-01

    I assume plants operate with a set of frequencies. These frequencies and the means of these frequencies are equal in all directions. We can then write (vh/λ)avh=(vv/λ)avv where the subscripts h and v represent horizontal and vertical respectively and av is average,. or vv/vh=(1/λh)av/(1/λv)av. I use an internodal spacing as λ/2 or the the distance between adjacent branches, leaves, etc. The ratios, vv/vh, are ratios of small integers for sufficient samplings. For example, for Ponderosa pine the ratio is 3/1 or for delicious apple 4/3. Note that these ratios represent the shape of the tree or other plant and their interactions with gravity. These ratios are derivable by other means such as use the ratio of # of horizontal needles per unit length from a horizontal sample to the # of needles per unit length from a vertical sample from p-pine. Or measure the vertical and horizontal velocities. My literature provides many other proofs of the wave nature of plants. I suggest that the waves in and related waves outside of plants (outside 4.9 m/s) are a dark matter related since they travel at such low velocities. See my present web site at home.budget.net/˜oedphd.

  18. Nullomers: Really a Matter of Natural Selection?

    PubMed Central

    Acquisti, Claudia; Poste, George; Curtiss, David; Kumar, Sudhir

    2007-01-01

    Background Nullomers are short DNA sequences that are absent from the genomes of humans and other species. Assuming that nullomers are the signatures of natural selection against deleterious sequences in humans, the use of nullomers in drug target identification, pesticide development, environmental monitoring, and forensic applications has been envisioned. Results Here, we show that the hypermutability of CpG dinucleotides, rather than the natural selection against the nullomer sequences, is likely the reason for the phenomenal event of short sequence motifs becoming nullomers. Furthermore, many reported human nullomers differ by only one nucleotide, which reinforces the role of mutation in the evolution of the constellation of nullomers in populations and species. The known nullomers in chimpanzee, cow, dog, and mouse genomes show patterns that are consistent with those seen in humans. Conclusions The role of mutations, instead of selection, in generating nullomers cast doubt on the utility of nullomers in many envisioned applications, because of their dependence on the role of lethal selection on the origin of nullomers. PMID:17925870

  19. 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.

  20. Notice of release of Amethyst Germplasm hoaty tansyaster: Selected class of natural germplasm

    Treesearch

    Derek J. Tilley

    2015-01-01

    The US Department of Agriculture (USDA), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Aberdeen Plant Materials Center, Aberdeen, Idaho, announces the release of Amethyst Germplasm hoary tansyaster (Machaeronthero canescens (Pursh) A. Gray [Asteraceae]}, a selected class natural track germplasm identified by NRCS accession number 9076670 for conservation plantings in...

  1. Plants as natural antioxidants for meat products

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tomović, V.; Jokanović, M.; Šojić, B.; Škaljac, S.; Ivić, M.

    2017-09-01

    The meat industry is demanding antioxidants from natural sources to replace synthetic antioxidants because of the negative health consequences or beliefs regarding some synthetic ones. Plants materials provide good alternatives. Spices and herbs, generally used for their flavouring characteristics, can be added to meat products in various forms: whole, ground, or as isolates from their extracts. These natural antioxidants contain some active compounds, which exert antioxidative potential in meat products. This antioxidant activity is most often due to phenolic acids, phenolic diterpenes, flavonoids and volatile oils. Each of these compounds often has strong H-donating activity, thus making them extremely effective antioxidants; some compounds can chelate metals and donate H to oxygen radicals, thus slowing oxidation via two mechanisms. Numerous studies have demonstrated the efficacy of natural antioxidants when used in meat products. Based on this literature review, it can be concluded that natural antioxidants are added to fresh and processed meat and meat products to delay, retard, or prevent lipid oxidation, retard development of off-flavours (rancidity), improve colour stability, improve microbiological quality and extend shelf-life, without any damage to the sensory or nutritional properties.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Natural selection and cultural rates of change.

    PubMed

    Rogers, Deborah S; Ehrlich, Paul R

    2008-03-04

    It has been claimed that a meaningful theory of cultural evolution is not possible because human beliefs and behaviors do not follow predictable patterns. However, theoretical models of cultural transmission and observations of the development of societies suggest that patterns in cultural evolution do occur. Here, we analyze whether two sets of related cultural traits, one tested against the environment and the other not, evolve at different rates in the same populations. Using functional and symbolic design features for Polynesian canoes, we show that natural selection apparently slows the evolution of functional structures, whereas symbolic designs differentiate more rapidly. This finding indicates that cultural change, like genetic evolution, can follow theoretically derived patterns.

  5. Can natural selection encode Bayesian priors?

    PubMed

    Ramírez, Juan Camilo; Marshall, James A R

    2017-08-07

    The evolutionary success of many organisms depends on their ability to make decisions based on estimates of the state of their environment (e.g., predation risk) from uncertain information. These decision problems have optimal solutions and individuals in nature are expected to evolve the behavioural mechanisms to make decisions as if using the optimal solutions. Bayesian inference is the optimal method to produce estimates from uncertain data, thus natural selection is expected to favour individuals with the behavioural mechanisms to make decisions as if they were computing Bayesian estimates in typically-experienced environments, although this does not necessarily imply that favoured decision-makers do perform Bayesian computations exactly. Each individual should evolve to behave as if updating a prior estimate of the unknown environment variable to a posterior estimate as it collects evidence. The prior estimate represents the decision-maker's default belief regarding the environment variable, i.e., the individual's default 'worldview' of the environment. This default belief has been hypothesised to be shaped by natural selection and represent the environment experienced by the individual's ancestors. We present an evolutionary model to explore how accurately Bayesian prior estimates can be encoded genetically and shaped by natural selection when decision-makers learn from uncertain information. The model simulates the evolution of a population of individuals that are required to estimate the probability of an event. Every individual has a prior estimate of this probability and collects noisy cues from the environment in order to update its prior belief to a Bayesian posterior estimate with the evidence gained. The prior is inherited and passed on to offspring. Fitness increases with the accuracy of the posterior estimates produced. Simulations show that prior estimates become accurate over evolutionary time. In addition to these 'Bayesian' individuals, we also

  6. 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.

  7. 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. © 2011 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2011 New Phytologist Trust.

  8. 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.

  9. Natural selection and cultural rates of change

    PubMed Central

    Rogers, Deborah S.; Ehrlich, Paul R.

    2008-01-01

    It has been claimed that a meaningful theory of cultural evolution is not possible because human beliefs and behaviors do not follow predictable patterns. However, theoretical models of cultural transmission and observations of the development of societies suggest that patterns in cultural evolution do occur. Here, we analyze whether two sets of related cultural traits, one tested against the environment and the other not, evolve at different rates in the same populations. Using functional and symbolic design features for Polynesian canoes, we show that natural selection apparently slows the evolution of functional structures, whereas symbolic designs differentiate more rapidly. This finding indicates that cultural change, like genetic evolution, can follow theoretically derived patterns. PMID:18287028

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Exploring natural selection to guide breeding for agriculture.

    PubMed

    Henry, Robert James; Nevo, Eviatar

    2014-08-01

    Climate change threatens reduced crop production and poses major challenges to food security. The breeding of climate-resilient crop varieties is increasingly urgent. Wild plant populations evolve to cope with changes in their environment due to the forces of natural selection. This adaptation may be followed over time in populations at the same site or explored by examining differences between populations growing in different environments or across an environmental gradient. Survival in the wild has important differences to the objective of agriculture to maximize crop yields. However, understanding the nature of adaptation in wild populations at the whole genome level may suggest strategies for crop breeding to deliver agricultural production with more resilience to climate variability. © 2014 Society for Experimental Biology, Association of Applied Biologists and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. Pollinators exert natural selection on flower size and floral display in Penstemon digitalis.

    PubMed

    Parachnowitsch, Amy L; Kessler, André

    2010-10-01

    • A major gap in our understanding of floral evolution, especially micro-evolutionary processes, is the role of pollinators in generating patterns of natural selection on floral traits. Here we explicitly tested the role of pollinators in selecting floral traits in a herbaceous perennial, Penstemon digitalis. • We manipulated the effect of pollinators on fitness through hand pollinations and compared phenotypic selection in open- and hand-pollinated plants. • Despite the lack of pollen limitation in our population, pollinators mediated selection on floral size and floral display. Hand pollinations removed directional selection for larger flowers and stabilizing selection on flower number, suggesting that pollinators were the agents of selection on both of these traits. • We reviewed studies that measured natural selection on floral traits by biotic agents and generally found stronger signatures of selection imposed by pollinators than by herbivores and co-flowering plant species. © The Authors (2010). Journal compilation © New Phytologist Trust (2010).

  18. 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

  19. Natural selection and the elusiveness of happiness.

    PubMed

    Nesse, Randolph M

    2004-09-29

    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.

  20. [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.

  1. 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.

  2. Darwinian agriculture: when can humans find solutions beyond the reach of natural selection?

    PubMed

    Denison, R Ford; Kiers, E Toby; West, Stuart A

    2003-06-01

    Progress in genetic improvement of crop yield potential has slowed since 1985. Simultaneously, more sustainable management of agricultural ecosystems is needed. A better understanding of natural selection can help solve both problems. We illustrate this point with two specific examples. First, the genetic legacy of crop plants has been refined by millions of years of natural selection, often driven by competition among plants. We therefore suggest that most simple, tradeoff-free options to increase competitiveness (e.g., increased gene expression, or minor modifications of existing plant genes) have already been tested by natural selection. Further genetic improvement of crop yield potential over the next decade will mainly involve tradeoffs, either between fitness in past versus present environments, or between individual competitiveness and the collective performance of plant communities. Eventually, we may develop the ability to predict the consequences of genetic alterations so radical that they have not yet been tested by natural selection. Second, natural selection acts mainly at the level of genes, individuals, and family groups, rather than ecosystems as a whole. Consequently, there is no reason to expect the structure of natural ecosystems (diversity, spatial, or temporal patterns) to be a reliable blueprint for agricultural ecosystems. Natural ecosystems are nonetheless an important source of information that could be used to improve agriculture.

  3. Cytotoxic activity of selected Nigerian plants.

    PubMed

    Sowemimo, A; van de Venter, M; Baatjies, L; Koekemoer, T

    2009-07-03

    Cancer is one of the most prominent human diseases which has stimulated scientific and commercial interest in the discovery of new anticancer agents from natural sources. The current study investigates the cytotoxic activity of ethanolic extracts of sixteen Nigerian plants used locally for the treatment of cancer using the MTT assay on the HeLa cell line. Sapium ellipticum leaves showed activity comparable to the reference compound Cisplatin and greater cytotoxic activity than Combretum paniculatum, Celosia trigyna, Drymaria cordata, Cyathula achyranthoides and Cyathula prostata. Justica extensa, Pupalia lappacea, Hedranthera barteri leaves, Alternanthera sessilis, Ethulia conyzoides leaves, Combretum zenkeri root, Sapium ellipticum stembark and Lannea nigritana stembark showed very low activity while Combretum molle, Adenanthera parvoniana and Lannea acida showed no activity. The results justify the use of Sapium, Combretum, Celosia, Drymaria and Cyathula in traditional treatment of cancer.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Plants release volatiles in response to caterpillar feeding that attracts 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 ad...

  5. 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.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  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. 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…

  9. 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.

  10. 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).

  11. 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.

  12. Natural selection stops the evolution of male attractiveness.

    PubMed

    Hine, Emma; McGuigan, Katrina; Blows, Mark W

    2011-03-01

    Sexual selection in natural populations acts on highly heritable traits and tends to be relatively strong, implicating sexual selection as a causal agent in many phenotypic radiations. Sexual selection appears to be ineffectual in promoting phenotypic divergence among contemporary natural populations, however, and there is little evidence from artificial selection experiments that sexual fitness can evolve. Here, we demonstrate that a multivariate male trait preferred by Drosophila serrata females can respond to selection and results in the maintenance of male mating success. The response to selection was associated with a gene of major effect increasing in frequency from 12 to 35% in seven generations. No further response to selection, or increase in frequency of the major gene, was observed between generations 7 and 11, indicating an evolutionary limit had been reached. Genetic analyses excluded both depletion of genetic variation and overdominance as causes of the evolutionary limit. Relaxing artificial selection resulted in the loss of 52% of the selection response after a further five generations, demonstrating that the response under artificial sexual selection was opposed by antagonistic natural selection. We conclude that male D. serrata sexually selected traits, and attractiveness to D. serrata females conferred by these traits, were held at an evolutionary limit by the lack of genetic variation that would allow an increase in sexual fitness while simultaneously maintaining nonsexual fitness. Our results suggest that sexual selection is unlikely to cause divergence among natural populations without a concomitant change in natural selection, a conclusion consistent with observational evidence from natural populations.

  13. Natural selection stops the evolution of male attractiveness

    PubMed Central

    Hine, Emma; McGuigan, Katrina; Blows, Mark W.

    2011-01-01

    Sexual selection in natural populations acts on highly heritable traits and tends to be relatively strong, implicating sexual selection as a causal agent in many phenotypic radiations. Sexual selection appears to be ineffectual in promoting phenotypic divergence among contemporary natural populations, however, and there is little evidence from artificial selection experiments that sexual fitness can evolve. Here, we demonstrate that a multivariate male trait preferred by Drosophila serrata females can respond to selection and results in the maintenance of male mating success. The response to selection was associated with a gene of major effect increasing in frequency from 12 to 35% in seven generations. No further response to selection, or increase in frequency of the major gene, was observed between generations 7 and 11, indicating an evolutionary limit had been reached. Genetic analyses excluded both depletion of genetic variation and overdominance as causes of the evolutionary limit. Relaxing artificial selection resulted in the loss of 52% of the selection response after a further five generations, demonstrating that the response under artificial sexual selection was opposed by antagonistic natural selection. We conclude that male D. serrata sexually selected traits, and attractiveness to D. serrata females conferred by these traits, were held at an evolutionary limit by the lack of genetic variation that would allow an increase in sexual fitness while simultaneously maintaining nonsexual fitness. Our results suggest that sexual selection is unlikely to cause divergence among natural populations without a concomitant change in natural selection, a conclusion consistent with observational evidence from natural populations. PMID:21321197

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. 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.

  17. Sexual selection and natural selection in bird speciation

    PubMed Central

    Price, T.

    1998-01-01

    The role of sexual selection in speciation is investigated, addressing two main issues. First, how do sexually selected traits become species recognition traits? Theory and empirical evidence suggest that female preferences often do not evolve as a correlated response to evolution of male traits. This implies that, contrary to runaway (Fisherian) models of sexual selection, premating isolation will not arise as an automatic side effect of divergence between populations in sexually selected traits. I evaluate premating isolating mechanisms in one group, the birds. In this group premating isolation is often a consequence of sexual imprinting, whereby young birds learn features of their parents and use these features in mate choice. Song, morphology and plumage are known recognition cues. I conclude that perhaps the main role for sexual selection in speciation is in generating differences between populations in traits. Sexual imprinting then leads to these traits being used as species recognition mechanisms. The second issue addressed in this paper is the role of sexual selection in adaptive radiation, again concentrating on birds. Ecological differences between species include large differences in size, which may in themselves be sufficient for species recognition, and differences in habitat, which seem to evolve frequently and at all stages of an adaptive radiation. Differences in habitat often cause song and plumage patterns to evolve as a result of sexual selection for efficient communication. Therefore sexual selection is likely to have an important role in generating premating isolating mechanisms throughout an adaptive radiation. It is also possible that sexual selection, by creating more allopatric species, creates more opportunity for ecological divergence to occur. The limited available evidence does not support this idea. A role for sexual selection in accelerating ecological diversification has yet to be demonstrated.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. Natural toxins of plant origin (phytotoxins)

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Over 100,000 secondary compounds have been identified in plants including alkaloids, glycosides, proteins, polypeptides, amines and non-protein amino acids, organic acids, alcohols, polyacetylenes, resinous toxins and mineral toxins. For thousands of years man has used some of these compounds as fl...

  3. Maladaptive Plasticity Masks the Effects of Natural Selection in the Red-Shouldered Soapberry Bug.

    PubMed

    Cenzer, Meredith L

    2017-10-01

    Natural selection can produce local adaptation, but local adaptation can be masked by maladaptive plasticity. Maladaptive plasticity may arise as a result of gene flow producing novel gene combinations that have not been exposed to selection. In the 1980s, populations of the red-shouldered soapberry bug (Jadera haematoloma) were locally adapted to feed on the seeds of a native host plant and an introduced host plant; by 2014, local differentiation in beak length had been lost, likely as a consequence of increased gene flow. In this study, I assess the relative contributions of natural selection and plasticity to beak length on these two hosts. I confirm the earlier hypothesis that the host plant seedpod drives divergent natural selection on beak length. I then demonstrate that the proximate cause of the loss of observable differentiation in beak length is maladaptive plasticity, which masks persistent genetic differences between host-associated populations. Maladaptive plasticity is highest in areas where the two plants co-occur; in combination with historical measures of plasticity in hybrids, this indicates that maladaptive plasticity may be a consequence of ongoing gene flow. Although natural selection produced locally adapted genotypes in soapberry bugs, maladaptive plasticity is masking phenotypic differences between populations in nature.

  4. 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.

  5. Soil microorganisms control plant ectoparasitic nematodes in natural coastal foredunes.

    PubMed

    Piśkiewicz, Anna M; Duyts, Henk; Berg, Matty P; Costa, Sofia R; van der Putten, Wim H

    2007-06-01

    Belowground herbivores can exert important controls on the composition of natural plant communities. Until now, relatively few studies have investigated which factors may control the abundance of belowground herbivores. In Dutch coastal foredunes, the root-feeding nematode Tylenchorhynchus ventralis is capable of reducing the performance of the dominant grass Ammophila arenaria (Marram grass). However, field surveys show that populations of this nematode usually are controlled to nondamaging densities, but the control mechanism is unknown. In the present study, we first established that T. ventralis populations are top-down controlled by soil biota. Then, selective removal of soil fauna suggested that soil microorganisms play an important role in controlling T. ventralis. This result was confirmed by an experiment where selective inoculation of microarthropods, nematodes and microbes together with T. ventralis into sterilized dune soil resulted in nematode control when microbes were present. Adding nematodes had some effect, whereas microarthropods did not have a significant effect on T. ventralis. Our results have important implications for the appreciation of herbivore controls in natural soils. Soil food web models assume that herbivorous nematodes are controlled by predaceous invertebrates, whereas many biological control studies focus on managing nematode abundance by soil microorganisms. We propose that soil microorganisms play a more important role than do carnivorous soil invertebrates in the top-down control of herbivorous ectoparasitic nematodes in natural ecosystems. This is opposite to many studies on factors controlling root-feeding insects, which are supposed to be controlled by carnivorous invertebrates, parasitoids, or entomopathogenic nematodes. Our conclusion is that the ectoparasitic nematode T. ventralis is potentially able to limit productivity of the dune grass A. arenaria but that soil organisms, mostly microorganisms, usually prevent the

  6. Population Genetics and Natural Selection in Rheumatic Disease.

    PubMed

    Ramos, Paula S

    2017-08-01

    Human genetic diversity is the result of population genetic forces. This genetic variation influences disease risk and contributes to health disparities. Natural selection is an important influence on human genetic variation. Because immune and inflammatory function genes are enriched for signals of positive selection, the prevalence of rheumatic disease-risk alleles seen in different populations is partially the result of differing selective pressures (eg, due to pathogens). This review summarizes the genetic regions associated with susceptibility to different rheumatic diseases and concomitant evidence for natural selection, including known agents of selection exerting selective pressure in these regions. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. [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.

  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. Use of space for development of commercial plant natural products

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Draeger, Norman A.

    1997-01-01

    Plant experiments conducted in environments where conditions are carefully controlled reveal fundamental information about physiological processes. An important environmental parameter is gravity, the effects of which may be better understood in part through experiments conducted in space. New insights gained can be used to develop commercial plant natural products in industries such as pharmaceuticals and biocontrol.

  10. Use of space for development of commercial plant natural products

    SciTech Connect

    Draeger, N.A.

    1997-01-01

    Plant experiments conducted in environments where conditions are carefully controlled reveal fundamental information about physiological processes. An important environmental parameter is gravity, the effects of which may be better understood in part through experiments conducted in space. New insights gained can be used to develop commercial plant natural products in industries such as pharmaceuticals and biocontrol. {copyright} {ital 1997 American Institute of Physics.}

  11. 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.

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Selective molecular sequestration with concurrent natural product functionalization and derivatization: from crude natural product extracts to a single natural product derivative in one step.

    PubMed

    Krchňák, Viktor; Zajíček, Jaroslav; Miller, Patricia A; Miller, Marvin J

    2011-12-16

    A resin-bound nitroso compound sequestered a single unexpected component from crude plant seed extracts. Several plants, including Piper nigrum, Eugenia caryophyllata, and Pimenta dioica, were extracted with organic solvent in the presence of a nitroso-containing resin. The nitroso resin selectively sequestered a single compound, β-caryophyllene, via a chemo- and regioselective ene reaction. The ene product was released from the resin, and proper selection of the solid-phase linker and cleavage cocktail allowed concomitant further transformation of the primary ene product to a novel functionalized polycycle. Preliminary studies indicate that the new hydroxylamine-containing natural product derivatives have antibiotic activity.

  8. 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.

  9. Managing invasive plants in natural areas: Moving beyond weed control

    Treesearch

    Dean Pearson; Yvette Ortega

    2009-01-01

    Exotic invasive plants present one of the greatest challenges to natural resource management. These weeds can alter entire communities and ecosystems, substantially degrading important ecosystem services such as forage for wild and domestic herbivores, water and soil quality, recreational values, and wildlife habitat. Traditionally, weed management in natural areas has...

  10. 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

  11. Habitat selection by three littoral zone fishes: effects of predation pressure, plant density and macrophyte type

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chick, J.H.; McIvor, C.C.

    1997-01-01

    We conducted laboratory experiments which demonstrated that three littoral zone fishes differentially selected among three macrophytes when seeking refuge from predation. In the presence of a predator (a juvenile Micropterus salmoides), mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki), sailfin mollies (Poecilia latipinna). and dollar sunfish (Lepomis marginatus) displayed ferential use of four tank areas containing patches of either Hydrilla verticillata, Potamogeton illinoensis, Panicum hemitomon, or no plants. Patterns habitat selection, and the consistency of these patterns among replicates, differed among the three fishes and among three plant-density treatments - natural (each macrophyte presented at its mean field density), equal (all three macrophytes at the same density), and control (no plants). Selection for H. verticillata by mosquitofish was significant for both the equal and natural treatments, and thus was not caused by differences in plant density alone. Sailfin mollies displayed significant selection for H. verticillata only in the natural plant-density treatments. Dollar sunfish showed less consistent habitat selection than either mosquitofish or sailfin mollies. Significant habitat selection was not found in the absence of a predator, and there was no evidence for lection among the tank areas in control treatments. Patterns of habitat selection by the three fishes in our laboratory study corresponded to observed habitat use in Lake Okeechobee.

  12. 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.

  13. Natural plant genetic engineer Agrobacterium rhizogenes: role of T-DNA in plant secondary metabolism.

    PubMed

    Chandra, Sheela

    2012-03-01

    Agrobacterium rhizogenes is a natural plant genetic engineer. It is a gram-negative soil bacterium that induces hairy root formation. Success has been obtained in exploring the molecular mechanisms of transferred DNA (T-DNA) transfer, interaction with host plant proteins, plant defense signaling and integration to plant genome for successful plant genetic transformation. T-DNA and corresponding expression of rol genes alter morphology and plant host secondary metabolism. During transformation, there is a differential loss of a few T-DNA genes. Loss of a few ORFs drastically affect the growth and morphological patterns of hairy roots, expression pattern of biosynthetic pathway genes and accumulation of specific secondary metabolites.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. What is adaptation by natural selection? Perspectives of an experimental microbiologist.

    PubMed

    Lenski, Richard E

    2017-04-01

    Ever since Darwin, the role of natural selection in shaping the morphological, physiological, and behavioral adaptations of animals and plants across generations has been central to understanding life and its diversity. New discoveries have shown with increasing precision how genetic, molecular, and biochemical processes produce and express those organismal features during an individual's lifetime. When it comes to microorganisms, however, understanding the role of natural selection in producing adaptive solutions has historically been, and sometimes continues to be, contentious. This tension is curious because microbes enable one to observe the power of adaptation by natural selection with exceptional rigor and clarity, as exemplified by the burgeoning field of experimental microbial evolution. I trace the development of this field, describe an experiment with Escherichia coli that has been running for almost 30 years, and highlight other experiments in which natural selection has led to interesting dynamics and adaptive changes in microbial populations.

  20. Avian use of natural versus planted woodlands in eastern South Dakota, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bakker, K.K.; Higgins, K.F.

    2003-01-01

    We compared avian use of naturally occurring and planted woodlands in eastern South Dakota, USA, to evaluate whether planted woodlands support the same avian communities as natural woodlands. A stratified cluster sample was used to randomly select 307 public areas in which to survey planted (n = 425) and natural (n = 99) woodland patches. Eighty-five species of birds were detected in eastern South Dakota woodlands, 36 of which occurred in ??? 5 of 524 patches surveyed. The probability of occurrence for 8 of 13 woodland-obligate species was significantly greater in natural woodland habitats than in planted woodland habitats. Four of these species breed in relatively high numbers in eastern South Dakota. Only one woodland-obligate occurred less frequently in natural woodlands. Probability of occurrence for 6 edge and generalist species, including the brown-headed cowbird (Molothrus ater [Boddaert]), was significantly higher in planted woodlands. The avian community of planted woodlands was dominated by edge and generalist species. The homogeneous vegetation structure typical of planted woodlands does not appear to provide the habitat characteristics needed by woodland-obligate birds. We conclude that planted woodlands do not support significant numbers of woodland-obligate species and may negatively impact grassland-nesting birds by attracting edge and generalist bird species and predators into previously treeless habitats. Planted woodlands cannot be considered equal replacement habitats for natural woodland patches when managing for nongame woodland bird species. However, the preservation and maintenance of natural woodlands is critical for woodland-obligate species diversity in the northern Great Plains.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Antimycobacterial and cytotoxic activity of selected medicinal plant extracts.

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-22

    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. 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 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 156.3µg/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). 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. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  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. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

  10. 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.

  11. [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.

  12. Natural Selection as an Emergent Process: Instructional Implications

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cooper, Robert A.

    2017-01-01

    Student reasoning about cases of natural selection is often plagued by errors that stem from miscategorising selection as a direct, causal process, misunderstanding the role of randomness, and from the intuitive ideas of intentionality, teleology and essentialism. The common thread throughout many of these reasoning errors is a failure to apply…

  13. 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)

  14. Insect-plant interactions: host selection, herbivory, and plant resistance – an introduction

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    In nature, most plants are fed upon by insects. Some herbivorous insects are very particular in their choice of food plants, whereas others are more generalist feeders. Plants are not passive bystanders, they have evolved resistance to most potential insect attackers. The world is mostly green. Dome...

  15. Pollen limitation and natural selection on floral characters in the yellow monkeyflower, Mimulus guttatus.

    PubMed

    Fishman, Lila; Willis, John H

    2008-01-01

    In flowering plants, pollen limitation has been proposed to intensify selection on floral characters important in pollinator attraction, but may also select for traits that increase seed set through autonomous selfing. Here, a factorial design (+/- pollen addition, +/- pollinator removal) was used to investigate how the pollination environment affects selection on floral morphology via female fitness in a mixed-mating population of the yellow monkeyflower, Mimulus guttatus (Phrymaceae). Female fitness was strongly pollen-limited, with supplementally pollinated plants setting 37% more seeds than open-pollinated individuals. Strong positive selection was found on flower length, weak positive selection on flower width : length ratio and no selection on stigma-anther distance in both open-pollinated and supplementally pollinated treatments. By contrast, flowers with relatively narrow corollas and low stigma-anther distances were favored in the pollinator exclusion treatment. These results provide mixed support for the idea that pollen limitation intensifies selection on floral characters. Despite strong phenotypic selection, natural pollen limitation did not mediate selection on characters associated with either pollinator attraction or self-fertilization. However, the novel pattern of selection on severely pollen-limited plants suggests that reproductive assurance against pollinator loss may have been directly involved in the floral evolution of closely related selfing taxa.

  16. 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.

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

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    2017-08-07

    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.

  18. 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.

  19. Do Refuge Plants Favour Natural Pest Control in Maize Crops?

    PubMed

    Quispe, Reinaldo; Mazón, Marina; Rodríguez-Berrío, Alexander

    2017-07-18

    The use of non-crop plants to provide the resources that herbivorous crop pests' natural enemies need is being increasingly incorporated into integrated pest management programs. We evaluated insect functional groups found on three refuges consisting of five different plant species each, planted next to a maize crop in Lima, Peru, to investigate which refuge favoured natural control of herbivores considered as pests of maize in Peru, and which refuge plant traits were more attractive to those desirable enemies. Insects occurring in all the plants, including the maize crop itself, were sampled weekly during the crop growing cycle, from February to June 2011. All individuals collected were identified and classified into three functional groups: herbivores, parasitoids, and predators. Refuges were compared based on their effectiveness in enhancing the populations of predator and parasitoid insects of the crop enemies. Refuges A and B were the most effective, showing the highest richness and abundance of both predators and parasitoids, including several insect species that are reported to attack the main insect pests of maize (Spodoptera frugiperda and Rhopalosiphum maidis), as well as other species that serve as alternative hosts of these natural enemies.

  20. Do Refuge Plants Favour Natural Pest Control in Maize Crops?

    PubMed Central

    Quispe, Reinaldo; Mazón, Marina; Rodríguez-Berrío, Alexander

    2017-01-01

    The use of non-crop plants to provide the resources that herbivorous crop pests’ natural enemies need is being increasingly incorporated into integrated pest management programs. We evaluated insect functional groups found on three refuges consisting of five different plant species each, planted next to a maize crop in Lima, Peru, to investigate which refuge favoured natural control of herbivores considered as pests of maize in Peru, and which refuge plant traits were more attractive to those desirable enemies. Insects occurring in all the plants, including the maize crop itself, were sampled weekly during the crop growing cycle, from February to June 2011. All individuals collected were identified and classified into three functional groups: herbivores, parasitoids, and predators. Refuges were compared based on their effectiveness in enhancing the populations of predator and parasitoid insects of the crop enemies. Refuges A and B were the most effective, showing the highest richness and abundance of both predators and parasitoids, including several insect species that are reported to attack the main insect pests of maize (Spodoptera frugiperda and Rhopalosiphum maidis), as well as other species that serve as alternative hosts of these natural enemies. PMID:28718835

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Natural selection has driven population differentiation in modern humans.

    PubMed

    Barreiro, Luis B; Laval, Guillaume; Quach, Hélène; Patin, Etienne; Quintana-Murci, Lluís

    2008-03-01

    The considerable range of observed phenotypic variation in human populations may reflect, in part, distinctive processes of natural selection and adaptation to variable environmental conditions. Although recent genome-wide studies have identified candidate regions under selection, it is not yet clear how natural selection has shaped population differentiation. Here, we have analyzed the degree of population differentiation at 2.8 million Phase II HapMap single-nucleotide polymorphisms. We find that negative selection has globally reduced population differentiation at amino acid-altering mutations, particularly in disease-related genes. Conversely, positive selection has ensured the regional adaptation of human populations by increasing population differentiation in gene regions, primarily at nonsynonymous and 5'-UTR variants. Our analyses identify a fraction of loci that have contributed, and probably still contribute, to the morphological and disease-related phenotypic diversity of current human populations.

  4. Natural selection on functional modules, a genome-wide analysis.

    PubMed

    Serra, François; Arbiza, Leonardo; Dopazo, Joaquín; Dopazo, Hernán

    2011-03-01

    Classically, the functional consequences of natural selection over genomes have been analyzed as the compound effects of individual genes. The current paradigm for large-scale analysis of adaptation is based on the observed significant deviations of rates of individual genes from neutral evolutionary expectation. This approach, which assumed independence among genes, has not been able to identify biological functions significantly enriched in positively selected genes in individual species. Alternatively, pooling related species has enhanced the search for signatures of selection. However, grouping signatures does not allow testing for adaptive differences between species. Here we introduce the Gene-Set Selection Analysis (GSSA), a new genome-wide approach to test for evidences of natural selection on functional modules. GSSA is able to detect lineage specific evolutionary rate changes in a notable number of functional modules. For example, in nine mammal and Drosophilae genomes GSSA identifies hundreds of functional modules with significant associations to high and low rates of evolution. Many of the detected functional modules with high evolutionary rates have been previously identified as biological functions under positive selection. Notably, GSSA identifies conserved functional modules with many positively selected genes, which questions whether they are exclusively selected for fitting genomes to environmental changes. Our results agree with previous studies suggesting that adaptation requires positive selection, but not every mutation under positive selection contributes to the adaptive dynamical process of the evolution of species.

  5. 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

    2017-06-01

    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. © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  6. On-plant selection and genetic analysis of European corn borer (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) behavioral traits: plant abandonment versus plant establishment

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Although some studies have investigated how insect behavior could influence resistance evolution to transgenic plants, none have determined if behavioral traits respond to selection pressure and how they may be inherited. We investigated plant establishment and plant abandonment traits for the Euro...

  7. 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

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

    PubMed

    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 microRNA transfer

  9. Inhibition of human pathogenic fungi by ethnobotanically selected plant extracts.

    PubMed

    Ficker, Christine E; Arnason, J T; Vindas, P S; Alvarez, L P; Akpagana, K; Gbéassor, M; De Souza, C; Smith, M L

    2003-02-01

    In this study, 36 extracts derived from 29 plant species selected using an ethnobotanical approach were tested for antifungal activity against a taxonomically diverse group of 13 human pathogenic fungi. We compared the inhibitory characteristics of these plant extracts with those of the commonly used antifungals, amphotericin B and ketoconazole, and the plant-derived antifungal, berberine. Several plant extracts, notably those from Zingiber officinale (ginger) and Juglans cinerea (butternut), had pronounced antifungal activity against a wide variety of fungi, including strains that were highly resistant to amphotericin B and ketoconazole. Further exploration of Z. officinale as an antifungal is warranted as this species is generally regarded as safe for human consumption.

  10. Herbivores modify selection on plant functional traits in a temperate rainforest understory.

    PubMed

    Salgado-Luarte, Cristian; Gianoli, Ernesto

    2012-08-01

    There is limited evidence regarding the adaptive value of plant functional traits in contrasting light environments. It has been suggested that changes in these traits in response to light availability can increase herbivore susceptibility. We tested the adaptive value of plant functional traits linked with carbon gain in contrasting light environments and also evaluated whether herbivores can modify selection on these traits in each light environment. In a temperate rainforest, we examined phenotypic selection on functional traits in seedlings of the pioneer tree Aristotelia chilensis growing in sun (canopy gap) and shade (forest understory) and subjected to either natural herbivory or herbivore exclusion. We found differential selection on functional traits depending on light environment. In sun, there was positive directional selection on photosynthetic rate and relative growth rate (RGR), indicating that selection favors competitive ability in a high-resource environment. Seedlings with high specific leaf area (SLA) and intermediate RGR were selected in shade, suggesting that light capture and conservative resource use are favored in the understory. Herbivores reduced the strength of positive directional selection acting on SLA in shade. We provide the first demonstration that natural herbivory rates can change the strength of selection on plant ecophysiological traits, that is, attributes whose main function is resource uptake. Research addressing the evolution of shade tolerance should incorporate the selective role of herbivores.

  11. Natural selection on testosterone production in a wild songbird population.

    PubMed

    McGlothlin, Joel W; Whittaker, Danielle J; Schrock, Sara E; Gerlach, Nicole M; Jawor, Jodie M; Snajdr, Eric A; Ketterson, Ellen D

    2010-06-01

    Because of their role in mediating life-history trade-offs, hormones are expected to be strongly associated with components of fitness; however, few studies have examined how natural selection acts on hormonal variation in the wild. In a songbird, the dark-eyed junco (Junco hyemalis), field experiments have shown that exogenous testosterone alters individuals' resolution of the survival-reproduction trade-off, enhancing reproduction at the expense of survival. Here we used standardized injections of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) to assay variation in the testosterone production of males. Using measurements of annual survival and reproduction, we found evidence of strong natural selection acting on GnRH-induced increases in testosterone. Opposite to what would be predicted from the survival-reproduction trade-off, patterns of selection via survival and reproduction were remarkably similar. Males with GnRH-induced testosterone production levels that were slightly above the population mean were more likely to survive and also produced more offspring, leading to strong stabilizing selection. Partitioning reproduction into separate components revealed positive directional selection via within-pair siring success and stabilizing selection via extrapair mating success. Our data represent the most complete demonstration of natural selection on hormones via multiple fitness components, and they complement previous experiments to illuminate testosterone's role in the evolution of life-history trade-offs.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-05-22

    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.

  13. 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

  14. Toxicity of naturally-contaminated manganese soil to selected crops.

    PubMed

    Kováčik, Jozef; Štěrbová, Dagmar; Babula, Petr; Švec, Pavel; Hedbavny, Josef

    2014-07-23

    The impact of manganese excess using naturally contaminated soil (Mn-soil, pseudototal Mn 6494 vs 675 μg g(-1) DW in control soil) in the shoots of four crops was studied. Mn content decreased in the order Brassica napus > Hordeum vulgare > Zea mays > Triticum aestivum. Growth was strongly depressed just in Brassica (containing 13696 μg Mn g(-1) DW). Some essential metals (Zn, Fe) increased in Mn-cultured Brassica and Zea, while macronutrients (K, Ca, Mg) decreased in almost all species. Toxic metals (Ni and Cd) were rather elevated in Mn-soil. Microscopy of ROS, NO, lipid peroxidation, and thiols revealed stimulation in all Mn-cultured crops, but changes were less visible in Triticum, a species with low shoot Mn (2363 μg g(-1) DW). Antioxidative enzyme activities were typically enhanced in Mn-cultured plants. Soluble phenols increased in Brassica only while proteins rather decreased in response to Mn excess. Inorganic anions (chloride, sulfate, and phosphate) were less accumulated in almost all Mn-cultured crops, while the nitrate level rather increased. Organic anions (malate, citrate, oxalate, acetate, and formate) decreased or remained unaffected in response to Mn-soil culture in Brassica, Hordeum, and Triticum but not in Zea. However, the role of organic acids in Mn uptake in these species is not assumed. Because control and Mn-soil differed in pH (6.5 and 3.7), we further studied its impact on Mn uptake in solution culture (using Mn concentration ∼5 mM deducted from water-soluble fraction of Mn-soil). Shoot Mn contents in Mn-treated plants were similar to those observed in soil culture (high in Brassica and low in Triticum) and pH had negligible impact. Fluorescence indicator of "general ROS" revealed no extensive or pH-dependent impact either in control or Mn-cultured roots. Observed toxicity of Mn excess to common crops urges for selection of cultivars with higher tolerance.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Plant-plant interactions mediate the plastic and genotypic response of Plantago asiatica to CO2: an experiment with plant populations from naturally high CO2 areas.

    PubMed

    van Loon, Marloes P; Rietkerk, Max; Dekker, Stefan C; Hikosaka, Kouki; Ueda, Miki U; Anten, Niels P R

    2016-06-01

    The rising atmospheric CO2 concentration ([CO2]) is a ubiquitous selective force that may strongly impact species distribution and vegetation functioning. Plant-plant interactions could mediate the trajectory of vegetation responses to elevated [CO2], because some plants may benefit more from [CO2] elevation than others. The relative contribution of plastic (within the plant's lifetime) and genotypic (over several generations) responses to elevated [CO2] on plant performance was investigated and how these patterns are modified by plant-plant interactions was analysed. Plantago asiatica seeds originating from natural CO2 springs and from ambient [CO2] sites were grown in mono stands of each one of the two origins as well as mixtures of both origins. In total, 1944 plants were grown in [CO2]-controlled walk-in climate rooms, under a [CO2] of 270, 450 and 750 ppm. A model was used for upscaling from leaf to whole-plant photosynthesis and for quantifying the influence of plastic and genotypic responses. It was shown that changes in canopy photosynthesis, specific leaf area (SLA) and stomatal conductance in response to changes in growth [CO2] were mainly determined by plastic and not by genotypic responses. We further found that plants originating from high [CO2] habitats performed better in terms of whole-plant photosynthesis, biomass and leaf area, than those from ambient [CO2] habitats at elevated [CO2] only when both genotypes competed. Similarly, plants from ambient [CO2] habitats performed better at low [CO2], also only when both genotypes competed. No difference in performance was found in mono stands. The results indicate that natural selection under increasing [CO2] will be mainly driven by competitive interactions. This supports the notion that plant-plant interactions have an important influence on future vegetation functioning and species distribution. Furthermore, plant performance was mainly driven by plastic and not by genotypic responses to changes in

  19. 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.

  20. Human genome variability, natural selection and infectious diseases.

    PubMed

    Fumagalli, Matteo; Sironi, Manuela

    2014-10-01

    The recent availability of large-scale sequencing DNA data allowed researchers to investigate how genomic variation is distributed among populations. While demographic factors explain genome-wide population genetic diversity levels, scans for signatures of natural selection pinpointed several regions under non-neutral evolution. Recent studies found an enrichment of immune-related genes subjected to natural selection, suggesting that pathogens and infectious diseases have imposed a strong selective pressure throughout human history. Pathogen-mediated selection often targeted regulatory sites of genes belonging to the same biological pathway. Results from these studies have the potential to identify mutations that modulate infection susceptibility by integrating a population genomic approach with molecular immunology data and large-scale functional annotations. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Antituberculosis potential of some ethnobotanically selected Malaysian plants.

    PubMed

    Mohamad, Suriyati; Zin, Nabihah Mohd; Wahab, Habibah A; Ibrahim, Pazilah; Sulaiman, Shaida Fariza; Zahariluddin, Anis Safirah Mohd; Noor, Siti Suraiya Md

    2011-02-16

    Many local plants are used in Malaysian traditional medicine to treat respiratory diseases including symptoms of tuberculosis. The aim of the study was to screen 78 plant extracts from 70 Malaysian plant species used in traditional medicine to treat respiratory diseases including symptoms of tuberculosis for activity against Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv using a colorimetric microplate-based assay. Plant extracts were prepared by maceration in methanol (80%) and antituberculosis screening was carried out using Tetrazolium bromide microplate assay (TEMA) method to determine the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC). Thirty-eight plant extracts from 36 plant species exhibited antituberculosis activity with MICs in the range of 1600-400 μg/ml. The leaf extract of Angiopteris evecta exhibited the highest activity with MIC of 400 μg/ml. Five other extracts, namely, Costus speciosus (stem and flower), Piper sarmentosum (whole plant), Pluchea indica (leaf), Pluchea indica (flower), and Tabernaemontana coronaria (leaf) exhibited antituberculosis activity, each with MIC of 800 μg/ml. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of in vitro high throughput screening of Malaysian medicinal plants for antituberculosis activity. Antituberculosis activity of extracts of some plants justifies, to a certain extent their ethnomedicinal uses as remedies for symptoms of tuberculosis. These results also support the general view that, selecting the plants based on ethnobotanical criteria would enhance the probability of finding species with antituberculosis activity. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Constraint, natural selection, and the evolution of human body form.

    PubMed

    Savell, Kristen R R; Auerbach, Benjamin M; Roseman, Charles C

    2016-08-23

    Variation in body form among human groups is structured by a blend of natural selection driven by local climatic conditions and random genetic drift. However, attempts to test ecogeographic hypotheses have not distinguished between adaptive traits (i.e., those that evolved as a result of selection) and those that evolved as a correlated response to selection on other traits (i.e., nonadaptive traits), complicating our understanding of the relationship between climate and morphological distinctions among populations. Here, we use evolutionary quantitative methods to test if traits previously identified as supporting ecogeographic hypotheses were actually adaptive by estimating the force of selection on individual traits needed to drive among-group differentiation. Our results show that not all associations between trait means and latitude were caused by selection acting directly on each individual trait. Although radial and tibial length and biiliac and femoral head breadth show signs of responses to directional selection matching ecogeographic hypotheses, the femur was subject to little or no directional selection despite having shorter values by latitude. Additionally, in contradiction to ecogeographic hypotheses, the humerus was under directional selection for longer values by latitude. Responses to directional selection in the tibia and radius induced a nonadaptive correlated response in the humerus that overwhelmed its own trait-specific response to selection. This result emphasizes that mean differences between groups are not good indicators of which traits are adaptations in the absence of information about covariation among characteristics.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. FT Raman microscopy of untreated natural plant fibres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Edwards, H. G. M.; Farwell, D. W.; Webster, D.

    1997-11-01

    The application of FT-Raman microscopy to the non-destructive analysis of natural plant fibres is demonstrated with samples of flax, jute, ramie, cotton, kapok, sisal and coconut fibre. Vibrational assignments are proposed and characteristic features of each material are presented. Samples were not pre-treated chemically before analysis and were used directly from their respective storage collection; the adaptation of the Raman microscopic technique to the identification of specimens of natural fibres in archaeological burial sites is explored for its forensic potential.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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)

  19. The Living Dead: Transformative Experiences in Modelling Natural Selection

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Petersen, Morten Rask

    2017-01-01

    This study considers how students change their coherent conceptual understanding of natural selection through a hands-on simulation. The results show that most students change their understanding. In addition, some students also underwent a transformative experience and used their new knowledge in a leisure time activity. These transformative…

  20. Selection criteria for forested natural areas in New England, USA

    Treesearch

    William B. Leak; Mariko Yamasaki; Marie-Louise Smith; David T. Funk

    1994-01-01

    The selection of forested natural areas for research and educational purposes is discussed. Five factors are important: sufficient size; representation of typical communities and sites; documented disturbance histories; acceptable current condition in terms of age, tree size, and successional stage; and administrative feasibility.

  1. 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…

  2. 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

  3. 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…

  4. 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)

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Flowering phenology: An example of relaxation of natural selection?

    PubMed

    Ollerton, J; Lack, A J

    1992-08-01

    Flowering phenology has normally been viewed as fundamental to a plant species' reproductive ecology. Researchers in the field have emphasized the adaptive importance of flowering at a particular time relative to other individuals in the population, or other species in the community. An alternative view, however, is that flowering phenology is a trait that may not be under strong selection, and this may have allowed some variation to appear in populations by chance. Copyright © 1992. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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,…

  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. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

    Dullinger, Iwona; 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

    2017-01-01

    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. Europe. 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. 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. 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.

  16. The Divergence and Natural Selection of Autocatalytic Primordial Metabolic Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marakushev, Sergey A.; Belonogova, Ol'ga V.

    2013-06-01

    The diversity of the central metabolism of modern organisms is caused by the existence of a few metabolic modules, combination of which produces multiple metabolic pathways. This paper analyzes biomimetically reconstructed coupled autocatalytic cycles as the basis of ancestral metabolic systems. The mechanism for natural selection and evolution in autocatalytic chemical systems may be affected by natural homeostatic parameters such as ambient chemical potentials, temperature, and pressure. Competition between separate parts of an autocatalytic network with positive-plus-negative feedback resulted in the formation of primordial autotrophic, mixotrophic, and heterotrophic metabolic systems. This work examined the last common ancestor of a set of coupled metabolic cycles in a population of protocells. Physical-chemical properties of these cycles determined the main principles of natural selection for the ancestral Bacteria and Archaea taxa.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Natural selection on immune defense: A field experiment.

    PubMed

    Langeloh, Laura; Behrmann-Godel, Jasminca; Seppälä, Otto

    2017-02-01

    Predicting the evolution of phenotypic traits requires an understanding of natural selection on them. Despite its indispensability in the fight against parasites, selection on host immune defense has remained understudied. Theory predicts immune traits to be under stabilizing selection due to associated trade-offs with other fitness-related traits. Empirical studies, however, report mainly positive directional selection. This discrepancy could be caused by low phenotypic variation in the examined individuals and/or variation in host resource level that confounds trade-offs in empirical studies. In a field experiment where we maintained Lymnaea stagnalis snails individually in cages in a lake, we investigated phenotypic selection on two immune defense traits, phenoloxidase (PO)-like activity and antibacterial activity, in hemolymph. We used a diverse laboratory population and manipulated snail resource level by limiting their food supply. For six weeks, we followed immune activity, growth, and two fitness components, survival and fecundity of snails. We found that PO-like activity and growth were under stabilizing selection, while antibacterial activity was under positive directional selection. Selection on immune traits was mainly driven by variation in survival. The form of selection on immune defense apparently depends on the particular trait, possibly due to its importance for countering the present parasite community. © 2016 The Author(s). Evolution © 2016 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. In vitro antioxidant potential of selected aphrodisiac medicinal plants.

    PubMed

    Riaz, M; Shahid, M; Jamil, A; Saqib, M

    2017-01-01

    The present study aimed to evaluate the antioxidant activity of six selected aphrodisiac medicinal plants. Useful parts of the selected medicinal plants were collected and extracted in methanolic solvent. The antioxidant activity of selected plant extract was determined through different antioxidant assays, namely DPPH radical scavenging assay and ferric reducing antioxidant assay. Moreover, antioxidant compounds, like total phenolics and total flavonoids contents, were also determined. Results showed that Mucuna pruriens seed extract displayed high contents of phenolic compounds with total phenolic content of 683.15±4.28 mg GAE/g dry plant material while the least phenolic content was observed in Asparagus racemosus (195.5±3.02 mg GAE/g dry plant material). Highest total flavonoids content was found in Anacyclus pyrethrum roots (156.58±4.01 μg CE/g) and the least content was found in Asparagus racemosus roots. Among the studied plant extracts, the highest radical scavenging activity was shown by Mucuna pruriens seed extract (82.05±0.55%) and the least percent scavenging activity was observed in Tribulus terrestris extract (36.40±2.01%). Vitamin C was used as positive control for antioxidant assays showing 93.54±0.9% radical scavenging activity. The plant extract also exhibited a strong reducing potential against free radicals. Therefore, the present study concluded that all the studied medicinal plants possess varying concentrations of secondary active metabolites responsible for the antioxidant properties of the tested plant extracts.

  4. 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

  5. Naturally acidified habitat selects for ocean acidification-tolerant mussels.

    PubMed

    Thomsen, Jörn; Stapp, Laura S; Haynert, Kristin; Schade, Hanna; Danelli, Maria; Lannig, Gisela; Wegner, K Mathias; Melzner, Frank

    2017-04-01

    Ocean acidification severely affects bivalves, especially their larval stages. Consequently, the fate of this ecologically and economically important group depends on the capacity and rate of evolutionary adaptation to altered ocean carbonate chemistry. We document successful settlement of wild mussel larvae (Mytilus edulis) in a periodically CO2-enriched habitat. The larval fitness of the population originating from the CO2-enriched habitat was compared to the response of a population from a nonenriched habitat in a common garden experiment. The high CO2-adapted population showed higher fitness under elevated Pco2 (partial pressure of CO2) than the non-adapted cohort, demonstrating, for the first time, an evolutionary response of a natural mussel population to ocean acidification. To assess the rate of adaptation, we performed a selection experiment over three generations. CO2 tolerance differed substantially between the families within the F1 generation, and survival was drastically decreased in the highest, yet realistic, Pco2 treatment. Selection of CO2-tolerant F1 animals resulted in higher calcification performance of F2 larvae during early shell formation but did not improve overall survival. Our results thus reveal significant short-term selective responses of traits directly affected by ocean acidification and long-term adaptation potential in a key bivalve species. Because immediate response to selection did not directly translate into increased fitness, multigenerational studies need to take into consideration the multivariate nature of selection acting in natural habitats. Combinations of short-term selection with long-term adaptation in populations from CO2-enriched versus nonenriched natural habitats represent promising approaches for estimating adaptive potential of organisms facing global change.

  6. Naturally acidified habitat selects for ocean acidification–tolerant mussels

    PubMed Central

    Thomsen, Jörn; Stapp, Laura S.; Haynert, Kristin; Schade, Hanna; Danelli, Maria; Lannig, Gisela; Wegner, K. Mathias; Melzner, Frank

    2017-01-01

    Ocean acidification severely affects bivalves, especially their larval stages. Consequently, the fate of this ecologically and economically important group depends on the capacity and rate of evolutionary adaptation to altered ocean carbonate chemistry. We document successful settlement of wild mussel larvae (Mytilus edulis) in a periodically CO2-enriched habitat. The larval fitness of the population originating from the CO2-enriched habitat was compared to the response of a population from a nonenriched habitat in a common garden experiment. The high CO2–adapted population showed higher fitness under elevated Pco2 (partial pressure of CO2) than the non-adapted cohort, demonstrating, for the first time, an evolutionary response of a natural mussel population to ocean acidification. To assess the rate of adaptation, we performed a selection experiment over three generations. CO2 tolerance differed substantially between the families within the F1 generation, and survival was drastically decreased in the highest, yet realistic, Pco2 treatment. Selection of CO2-tolerant F1 animals resulted in higher calcification performance of F2 larvae during early shell formation but did not improve overall survival. Our results thus reveal significant short-term selective responses of traits directly affected by ocean acidification and long-term adaptation potential in a key bivalve species. Because immediate response to selection did not directly translate into increased fitness, multigenerational studies need to take into consideration the multivariate nature of selection acting in natural habitats. Combinations of short-term selection with long-term adaptation in populations from CO2-enriched versus nonenriched natural habitats represent promising approaches for estimating adaptive potential of organisms facing global change. PMID:28508039

  7. 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.

  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. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Assortment and the analysis of natural selection on social traits.

    PubMed

    McDonald, Grant C; Farine, Damien R; Foster, Kevin R; Biernaskie, Jay M

    2017-09-08

    A central problem in evolutionary biology is to determine whether and how social interactions contribute to natural selection. This can be addressed with selection analyses that relate individual fitness to individual and social phenotypes. One such approach, known as social selection analysis, leads to the intuitive result that fitness effects from social partners will contribute to selection only if there is a correlation between the traits of individuals and their social partners (non-random phenotypic assortment). However, there have been inconsistencies in the application of this approach that center around the measurement of phenotypic assortment. Here, we use data analysis and simulations to resolve these inconsistencies, showing that: (i) not all measures of assortment are suitable for social selection analysis; and (ii) the interpretation of assortment, and how to detect non-random assortment, will depend on the scale at which it is measured. We discuss links between social selection and kin selection theory, and we provide a practical guide for the social selection approach. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  12. Fisher's fundamental theorem of inclusive fitness and the change in fitness due to natural selection when conspecifics interact.

    PubMed

    Bijma, P

    2010-01-01

    Competition and cooperation is fundamental to evolution by natural selection, both in animals and plants. Here, I investigate the consequences of such interactions for response in fitness due to natural selection. I provide quantitative genetic expressions for heritable variance and response in fitness due to natural selection when conspecifics interact. Results show that interactions among conspecifics generate extra heritable variance in fitness, and that interacting with kin is the key to evolutionary success because it translates the extra heritable variance into response in fitness. This work also unifies Fisher's fundamental theorem of natural selection (FTNS) and Hamilton's inclusive fitness (IF). The FTNS implies that natural selection maximizes fitness, whereas Hamilton proposed maximization of IF. This work shows that the FTNS describes the increase in IF, rather than direct fitness, at a rate equal to the additive genetic variance in fitness. Thus, Hamilton's IF and Fisher's FTNS both describe the maximization of IF.

  13. Advances in cancer therapy with plant based natural products.

    PubMed

    Mukherjee, A K; Basu, S; Sarkar, N; Ghosh, A C

    2001-10-01

    Natural Products have long been a fertile source of cure for cancer, which is projected to become the major causes of death in this century. However, there is a continuing need for development of new anticancer drugs, drug combinations and chemotherapy strategies, by methodical and scientific exploration of enormous pool of synthetic, biological and natural products. There are at least 250,000 species of plants out of which more than one thousand plants have been found to possess significant anticancer properties. While many molecules obtained from nature have shown wonders, there are a huge number of molecules that still either remains to be trapped or studied in details by the medicinal chemists. The article reviews many such structures and their related chemistry along with the recent advances in understanding mechanism of action and structure-function relationships of nature derived anti-cancer agents at the molecular, cellular and physiological levels. Taxol, one of the most outstanding agents, has been found beneficial in treatment of refractory ovarian, breast and other cancers. Another prominent molecule includes Podophyllotoxin. Synthetic modification of this molecule led to the development of Etoposide, known to be effective for small cell cancers of the lungs and testes. Camptothecin isolated from Camptotheca acuminata also have been extensively studied. Other important molecules discussed include Vincristine, Vinblastine, Colchicine, Ellipticine and Lepachol along with Flavopiridol, a semi-synthetic analogue of the chromone alkaloid Rohitukine from India, a pyridoindole alkaloid from leaves of Ochrosia species and many more. The review also deals with the lesser-known plants of sub-Himalayan region.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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 ...

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Sargassum as a natural solution to enhance dune plant growth.

    PubMed

    Williams, Amy; Feagin, Rusty

    2010-11-01

    Many beach management practices focus on creating an attractive environment for tourists, but can detrimentally affect long-term dune integrity. One such practice is mechanical beach raking in which the wrack line is removed from the beach front. In Texas, Sargassum fluitans and natans, types of brown alga, are the main components of wrack and may provide a subsidy to the ecosystem. In this study, we used greenhouse studies to test the hypothesis that the addition of sargassum can increase soil nutrients and produce increased growth in dune plants. We also conducted an analysis of the nutrients in the sargassum to determine the mechanisms responsible for any growth enhancement. Panicum amarum showed significant enhancement of growth with the addition of sargassum, and while Helianthus debilis, Ipomoea stolonifera, Sporobolus virginicus, and Uniola paniculata responded slightly differently to the specific treatments, none were impaired by the addition of sargassum. In general, plants seemed to respond well to unwashed sargassum and multiple additions of sargassum, indicating that plants may have adapted to capitalize on the subsidy in its natural state directly from the ocean. For coastal managers, the use of sargassum as a fertilizer could be a positive, natural, and efficient method of dealing with the accumulation of wrack on the beach.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Herbivory and natural selection on flowering phenology in wild sunflower, Helianthus annuus.

    PubMed

    Pilson, D

    2000-01-01

    Plant fitness is strongly affected by flowering phenology, and there are several ecological factors that are thought to shape the distribution of flowering times. One relatively underexamined factor is the timing and intensity of attack by herbivores that feed on flowers or developing seeds. This study tests the hypothesis that herbivores that feed on developing seeds of wild sunflower, Helianthus annuus (Asteraceae), impose selection on flowering phenology. First, the study population was found to contain genetic variation for mean date of flowering, so this trait could evolve if natural selection were operating. Next, the phenological pattern of abundance of five seed-feeding herbivores was documented. Damage by three herbivores, Haplorhynchites aeneus (Cucurlionidae), the head-clipping weevil, Homoeosoma electellum (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), the sunflower moth, and Suleima helianthana (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae), the sunflower bud moth, was highest early in the flowering season, and declined as the season progressed. Damage by one herbivore, the seed fly Gymnocarena diffusa (Diptera: Tephrididae), was lowest early in the flowering season and increased as the season progressed. Finally, damage by two seed weevils, Smicronyx fulvus and S. sordidus (Curculionidae), whose damage was not distinguished, was constant through the flowering period. Third, damage by Haplorhynchites, Homoeosoma, and Suleima was found to be detrimental to plant fitness, suggesting that plants that flower when these herbivores are not abundant should have higher fitness. Finally, two phenotypic selection analyses were performed. The first included damage by Homoeosoma and Suleima, as well as flowering date, leaf area, and inflorescence diameter, as characters predicting plant fitness. In this analysis directional selection was found to act to decrease damage by the two herbivores, but did not act on flowering date. The second selection analysis was identical except that damage by the two

  4. Perspectives for genomic selection applications and research in plants

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Natural selection and infectious disease in human populations.

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-01

    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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 8-year field comparison of naturally seeded to planted container `pinus taeda`, with and without release

    SciTech Connect

    Cain, M.D.; Barnett, J.P.

    1996-01-09

    A field study compared genetically improved, container loblolly pines (Pinus taedo L.) with naturally seeded loblolly pines through eight growing seasons on a cutover site in southern Arkansas, U.S.A. Measurement pines on 6 of 12 plots were released from woody and herbaceous competition within a 61-cm radius of each tree stem. On natural pine plots, only 1st-year pine seedlings were selected for measurement based on quality standards and their spacing. Woody competition was controlled by hand cutting for 5 consecutive years, and herbaceous competition was controlled with herbicides for 4 consecutive years. Release treatments increased 8-year survival by 50% for natural pines and by 35% for planted pines. Greater gains (343-391%) in individual tree volumes were achieved within regeneration techniques, as a result of release, than were achieved with the two regeneration techniques. In addition, stand volume gains of 647% and 910% were achieved by planted and natural pines, respectively, as a result of release. Eight years after field establishment, stand volume index averaged 46% higher on planted plots than on natural plots. Degree of overtopping was a better predictor of pine performance than live-crown ratio.

  13. An invasive plant alters phenotypic selection on the vegetative growth of a native congener.

    PubMed

    Beans, Carolyn M; Roach, Deborah A

    2015-02-01

    The ecological consequences of plant competition have frequently been tested, but the evolutionary outcomes of these interactions have gone largely unexplored. The study of species invasions can make an important contribution to this field of research by allowing us to watch ecological and evolutionary processes unfold as a novel species is integrated into a plant community. We explored the ecological and evolutionary impact of an invasive jewelweed, Impatiens glandulifera, on a closely related native congener, I. capensis and asked: (1) Does the presence of the invasive jewelweed alter the fitness of native jewelweed populations? (2) Does the invasive jewelweed affect the vegetative growth of the native congener? and (3) Does the invasive jewelweed alter phenotypic selection on the vegetative traits of the native congener? We used a greenhouse competition experiment, an invasive species removal field experiment, and a survey of natural populations. We show that when the invasive jewelweed is present, phenotypic selection favors native jewelweed individuals investing less in rapid upward growth and more in branching and fruiting potential through the production of nodes. This research demonstrates that invasive plants have the potential to greatly alter natural selection on native competitors. Studies investigating altered selection in invaded communities can reveal the potential evolutionary impact of invasive competitors, while deepening our understanding of the more general role of competition in driving plant evolution and permitting species coexistence. © 2015 Botanical Society of America, Inc.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. Geographic and molecular variation in a natural plant transgene.

    PubMed

    Vallenback, Pernilla; Bengtsson, Bengt O; Ghatnekar, Lena

    2010-03-01

    A PCR based survey of Festuca ovina plants from populations around the southern part of the Baltic Sea demonstrates both geographic and molecular variation in the enzyme gene PgiC2, horizontally transferred from a Poa-species. Our results show that PgiC2-a natural functional nuclear transgene-is not a local ephemeral phenomenon but is present in a very large number of individuals. We find also that its frequency is geographically variable and that it appears in more than one molecular form. The chloroplast variation in the region does not indicate any distinct subdivision due to different colonization routes after the last glaciation. Our data illustrate the geographic and molecular variation that may occur in natural populations with a polymorphic, unfixed transgene affected by diverse kinds of mutational and evolutionary processes.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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,…

  9. 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,…

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Effective selection of transgenic papaya plants with the PMI/Man selection system.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Yun J; Agbayani, Ricelle; McCafferty, Heather; Albert, Henrik H; Moore, Paul H

    2005-09-01

    The selectable marker gene phospho-mannose isomerase (pmi), which encodes the enzyme phospho-mannose isomerase (PMI) to enable selection of transformed cell lines on media containing mannose (Man), was evaluated for genetic transformation of papaya (Carica papaya L.). We found that papaya embryogenic calli have little or no PMI activity and cannot utilize Man as a carbon source; however, when calli were transformed with a pmi gene, the PMI activity was greatly increased and they could utilize Man as efficiently as sucrose. Plants regenerated from selected callus lines also exhibited PMI activity but at a lower specific activity level. Our transformation efficiency with Man selection was higher than that reported using antibiotic selection or with a visual marker. For papaya, the PMI/Man selection system for producing transgenic plants is a highly efficient addition to previously published methods for selection and may facilitate the stacking of multiple transgenes of interest. Additionally, since the PMI/Man selection system does not involve antibiotic or herbicide resistance genes, its use might reduce environmental concerns about the potential flow of those genes into related plant populations.

  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. 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

  16. 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. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. 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.

  18. Plant natural variability may affect safety assessment data.

    PubMed

    Batista, Rita; Oliveira, Margarida

    2010-12-01

    Before market introduction, genetic engineered (GE) food products, like any other novel food product, are subjected to extensive assessment of their potential effects on human health. In recent years, a number of profiling technologies have been explored aiming to increase the probability of detecting any unpredictable unintended effect and, consequently improving the efficiency of GE food safety assessment. These techniques still present limitations associated with the interpretation of the observed differences with respect to their biological relevance and toxicological significance. In order to address this issue, in this study, we have performed 2D-gel electrophoresis of five different ears of five different MON810 maize plants and of other five of the non-transgenic near-isogenic line. We have also performed 2D-gel electrophoresis of the pool of the five protein extractions of MON810 and control lines. We have notice that, in this example, the exclusive use of data from 2D-electrophoresed pooled samples, to compare these two lines, would be insufficient for an adequate safety evaluation. We conclude that, when using "omics" technologies, it is extremely important to eliminate all potential differences due to factors not related to the ones under study, and to understand the role of natural plant-to-plant variability in the encountered differences. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Antioxidant Capacity of Selected Plant Extracts and Their Essential Oils

    PubMed Central

    Proestos, Charalampos; Lytoudi, Konstantina; Mavromelanidou, Olga Konstantina; Zoumpoulakis, Panagiotis; Sinanoglou, Vassileia J.

    2013-01-01

    The main objective of this study was the screening of some selected aromatic plants very popular in Greece, with respect to their total phenolic content, antioxidant capacity, reducing activity, and oxidative stability. All plants were extracted with the conventional method, reflux with methanol. The essential oils of the plants were also analyzed for their antioxidant properties. The total phenolic content was determined by the Folin-Ciocalteu method using gallic acid as the standard, while the phenolic substances were identified and quantified by High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) coupled with a multi-wavelength ultraviolet-visible (UV-vis) detector. The antioxidant capacity of the plant extracts was measured by their ability to scavenge free radicals such as (a) DPPH (2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl) and, (b) ABTS (2,2′-azinobis-(3-ethylbenzothiaziline-6-sulfonate). The Folin-Ciocalteu method proved the existence of antioxidants in the aromatic plant extracts. Taking into account the results of the DPPH and ABTS methods, the free radical scavenging capacity was confirmed. Eventually, all plants exhibited low but noticeable protection levels against lipid oxidation, as determined by the Rancimat test. PMID:26787619

  2. Signatures of selection in natural populations adapted to chronic pollution.

    PubMed

    Williams, Larissa M; Oleksiak, Marjorie F

    2008-10-10

    Populations of the teleost fish Fundulus heteroclitus appear to flourish in heavily polluted and geographically separated Superfund sites. Populations from three Superfund sites (New Bedford Harbor, MA, Newark Bay, NJ, and Elizabeth River, VA) have independently evolved adaptive resistance to chemical pollutants. In these polluted populations, natural selection likely has altered allele frequencies of loci that affect fitness or that are linked to these loci. The aim of this study was to identify loci that exhibit non-neutral behavior in the F. heteroclitus genome in polluted populations versus clean reference populations. To detect signatures of natural selection and thus identify genetic bases for adaptation to anthropogenic stressors, we examined allele frequencies for many hundreds of amplified fragment length polymorphism markers among populations of F. heteroclitus. Specifically, we contrasted populations from three Superfund sites (New Bedford Harbor, MA, Newark Bay, NJ, and Elizabeth River, VA) to clean reference populations flanking the polluted sites. When empirical FST values were compared to a simulated distribution of FST values, 24 distinct outlier loci were identified among pairwise comparisons of pollutant impacted F. heteroclitus populations and both surrounding reference populations. Upon removal of all outlier loci, there was a strong correlation (R2=0.79, p<0.0001) between genetic and geographical distance. This apparently neutral evolutionary pattern was not evident when outlier loci were included (R2=0.092, p=0.0721). Two outlier loci were shared between New Bedford Harbor and Elizabeth River populations, and two different loci were shared between Newark Bay and Elizabeth River populations. In total, 1% to 6% of loci are implicated as being under selection or linked to areas of the genome under selection in three F. heteroclitus populations that reside in polluted estuaries. Shared loci among polluted sites indicate that selection may be

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Genetic evidence for natural product mediated plant–plant allelopathy in rice

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

    Summary A role for specific natural products in directly mediating antagonistic plant–plant interactions –that is, allelopathy –has been controversial. If proven, 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 levels, demonstrating a direct role for specific natural products in allelopathy has been difficult due to 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 (OsCPS4 and 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. PMID:22150231

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  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. 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

  19. [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.

  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. Antimicrobial activity of selected South African medicinal plants

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Nearly 3,000 plant species are used as medicines in South Africa, with approximately 350 species forming the most commonly traded and used medicinal plants. In the present study, twelve South African medicinal plants were selected and tested for their antimicrobial activities against eight microbial species belonging to fungi, Mycobacteria, Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. Methods The radiometric respiratory technique using the BACTEC 460 system was used for susceptibility testing against Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and the liquid micro-broth dilution was used for other antimicrobial assays. Results The results of the minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) determinations indicated that the methanol extracts from Acacia karoo, Erythrophleum lasianthum and Salvia africana were able to prevent the growth of all the tested microorganisms. All other samples showed selective activities. MIC values below 100 μg/ml were recorded with A. karoo, C. dentate, E. lasianthum, P. obligun and S. africana on at least one of the nine tested microorganisms. The best activity (MIC value of 39.06 μg/ml) was noted with S. africana against E. coli, S. aureus and M. audouinii, and Knowltonia vesitoria against M. tuberculosis. Conclusion The overall results of the present work provide baseline information for the possible use of the studied South African plant extracts in the treatment of microbial infections. PMID:22704594

  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. 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.

  4. Insect herbivores selectively mute GLV production in plants.

    PubMed

    Savchenko, Tatyana; Dehesh, Katayoon

    2013-05-01

    Through co-evolution insect herbivores have developed a myriad of strategies to manipulate host plant defense responses that include the synthesis of defensive compounds whose composition depends on the insect feeding mode.  Among the plant-produced compounds are jasmonates (JAs), and Green Leafy Volatiles (GLVs), metabolites produced by the two parallel and competing branches of the oxylipin pathway. Here we provide evidence that chewing insects stimulate JA production but suppress the synthesis of GLVs through the transcriptional and post transcriptional reprogramming of critical genes in the corresponding pathway. We further establish that herbivore-derived elicitors known as Herbivore-Associated Molecular Patterns (HAMPs) are responsible for the reprogramming of these pathway genes. Through this strategy chewing herbivores coerce the plant signaling machinery that would otherwise leads to a reduction in the nutritional quality of the immediate and neighboring plants, and additionally shelters the herbivores from their natural enemies that are otherwise guided by the GLV cues to prey-infested plants

  5. Microbial communities associated with plants: learning from nature to apply it in agriculture.

    PubMed

    Andreote, Fernando Dini; Pereira E Silva, Michele de Cássia

    2017-04-21

    It is a new consensus that any living organism depends on its partners to strive under environmental conditions along their living period. Plants are also highly dependent on their associated microbes, which can support its development and proper protection under stressors. Along their evolution, plants learned to interact to soil microbiota, extracting their utmost capacity to provide resources for plant development and successful colonization of terrestrial systems, where the great soil biodiversity is keen on properly exert this role. Functional systems, such as the rhizosphere, provide evidences of the powerful selection exerted by plants upon the living soil microbes. In counterpart, the anthropogenic activity, mainly in forms of agricultural managements, has neglected this symbiosis, interfering in soil biodiversity, and consequently, reducing plant development through the interference in their association with beneficial microbes. This mini review has collected information to build a suitable hypothesis that if we better learn about the connection between plants and its associated microbiota in nature, we can lead agriculture to a better exploration of this omnipresent source of nutrients and protection, increasing yield and sustainability. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. 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.

  7. Antimalarial evaluation of selected medicinal plant extracts used in Iranian traditional medicine.

    PubMed

    Haddad, Mohammad Hossein Feiz; Mahbodfar, Hamidreza; Zamani, Zahra; Ramazani, Ali

    2017-04-01

    In an attempt to discover new natural active extracts against malaria parasites, the present study evaluated the antiplasmodial properties of selected plants based on Iranian traditional medicine. Ten plant species found in Iran were selected and collected based on the available literature about the Iranian traditional medicine. The methanolic extracts of these plants were investigated for in vitro antimalarial properties against chloroquine-sensitive (3D7) and multi-drug resistant (K1) strains of Plasmodium falciparum. Their in vivo activity against Plasmodium berghei infection in mice was also determined. Cytotoxicity tests were carried out using the Raji cells line using the MTT assay. The extracts were phytochemically screened for their active constituents. According to the IC50 and selectivity index (SI) values, of the 10 selected plant species, Citrullus colocynthis, Physalis alkekengi, and Solanum nigrum displayed potent in vitro antimalarial activity against both 3D7 and K1 strains with no toxicity (IC50= 2.01-18.67 µg/ml and SI=3.55 to 19.25). Comparisons between treated and untreated control mice showed that the mentioned plant species reduced parasitemia by 65.08%, 57.97%, and 60.68%, respectively. The existence of antiplasmodial compounds was detected in these plant extracts. This was the first study to highlight the in vitro and in vivo antiplasmodial effects of C. colocynthis, P. alkekengi, and S. nigrum in Iran. Future studies can use these findings to design further biological tests to identify the active constituents of the mentioned plant species and clarify their mechanism of action.

  8. Antimalarial evaluation of selected medicinal plant extracts used in Iranian traditional medicine

    PubMed Central

    Haddad, Mohammad Hossein Feiz; Mahbodfar, Hamidreza; Zamani, Zahra; Ramazani, Ali

    2017-01-01

    Objective(s): In an attempt to discover new natural active extracts against malaria parasites, the present study evaluated the antiplasmodial properties of selected plants based on Iranian traditional medicine. Materials and Methods: Ten plant species found in Iran were selected and collected based on the available literature about the Iranian traditional medicine. The methanolic extracts of these plants were investigated for in vitro antimalarial properties against chloroquine-sensitive (3D7) and multi-drug resistant (K1) strains of Plasmodium falciparum. Their in vivo activity against Plasmodium berghei infection in mice was also determined. Cytotoxicity tests were carried out using the Raji cells line using the MTT assay. The extracts were phytochemically screened for their active constituents. Results: According to the IC50 and selectivity index (SI) values, of the 10 selected plant species, Citrullus colocynthis, Physalis alkekengi, and Solanum nigrum displayed potent in vitro antimalarial activity against both 3D7 and K1 strains with no toxicity (IC50= 2.01-18.67 µg/ml and SI=3.55 to 19.25). Comparisons between treated and untreated control mice showed that the mentioned plant species reduced parasitemia by 65.08%, 57.97%, and 60.68%, respectively. The existence of antiplasmodial compounds was detected in these plant extracts. Conclusion: This was the first study to highlight the in vitro and in vivo antiplasmodial effects of C. colocynthis, P. alkekengi, and S. nigrum in Iran. Future studies can use these findings to design further biological tests to identify the active constituents of the mentioned plant species and clarify their mechanism of action. PMID:28804611

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-06

    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.

  14. 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

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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. © 2012 Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  1. 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. © The Authors 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Natural enemy impacts on bemisia tabaci dominate plant quality effects in the cotton system

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Plant quality (bottom-up effects) and natural enemies (top-down effects) affect herbivore performance and population dynamics; plant quality can influence the impact of natural enemies. Lower plant quality through reduced irrigation generally increases the abundance of Bemisia tabaci Gennadius (Aley...

  6. Predicting Microstegium vimineum invasion in natural plant communities of the southern Blue Ridge Mountains, USA

    Treesearch

    Dean P. Anderson; Monica G. Turner; Scott M. Pearson; Thomas P. Albright; Robert K. Peet; Ann Wieben

    2012-01-01

    Shade-tolerant non-native invasive plant species may make deep incursions into natural plant communities, but detecting such species is challenging because occurrences are often sparse. We developed Bayesian models of the distribution of Microstegium vimineum in natural plant communities of the southern Blue Ridge Mountains, USA to address three objectives: (1) to...

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. The nutritive value of some selected Tanzanian plant food sources.

    PubMed

    Mnembuka, B V; Eggum, B O

    1993-07-01

    The chemical composition of different varieties of field beans (Vicia faba L.), cowpeas (Vigna unguiculata), groundnuts (Voandzeia subterranea), and sorghum (Sorghum vulgare) were determined. Nutrients analysed in these materials included amino acids, starch, sugar, fibre, minerals and antinutritional factors. All the materials were further tested in balance trials with rats; true protein digestibility (TD), biological value (BV), net protein utilization (NPU) and digestible energy (DE) were evaluated. Based on the chemical analyses as well as on the biological data, the nutritive value of plant materials between species as well as between varieties within species differed considerably. Therefore, more quality evaluation studies along with plant breeding programmes are needed to select the most promising varieties from the nutritional point of view.

  11. Selection and Assessment of Plant Growth-Promoting Rhizobacteria for Biological Control of Multiple Plant Diseases.

    PubMed

    Liu, Ke; Newman, Molli; McInroy, John A; Hu, Chia-Hui; Kloepper, Joseph W

    2017-08-01

    A study was designed to screen individual strains of plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) for broad-spectrum disease suppression in vitro and in planta. In a preliminary screen, 28 of 196 strains inhibited eight different tested pathogens in vitro. In a secondary screen, these 28 strains showed broad spectrum antagonistic activity to six different genera of pathogens, and 24 of the 28 strains produced five traits reported to be related to plant growth promotion, including nitrogen fixation, phosphate solubilization, indole-3-acetic acid production, siderophore production, and biofilm formation. In advanced screens, the 28 PGPR strains selected in vitro were tested in planta for biological control of multiple plant diseases including bacterial spot of tomato caused by Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. vesicatoria, bacterial speck of tomato caused by Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato, damping-off of pepper caused by Rhizoctonia solani, and damping-off of cucumber caused by Pythium ultimum. In all, 5 of the 28 tested strains significantly reduced three of the four tested diseases, and another 19 strains showed biological control to two tested diseases. To understand the observed broad-spectrum biocontrol capacity, antiSMASH was used to predict secondary metabolite clusters of selected strains. Multiple gene clusters encoding for secondary metabolites, e.g., bacillibactin, bacilysin, and microcin, were detected in each strain. In conclusion, selected individual PGPR strains showed broad-spectrum biocontrol activity to multiple plant diseases.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Directional, stabilizing, and disruptive trait selection as alternative mechanisms for plant community assembly.

    PubMed

    Rolhauser, Andrés G; Pucheta, Eduardo

    2017-03-01

    How plant functional traits (e.g., seed mass) drive species abundance within communities remains an unsolved question. Borrowing concepts from natural selection theory, we propose that trait-abundance relationships can generally correspond to one of three modes of trait selection: directional (a rectilinear relationship, where species at one end of a trait axis are most abundant), stabilizing (an n-shaped relationship), and disruptive (a u-shaped relationship). Stabilizing selection (i.e., the functional convergence of abundant species) would result from positive density-dependent interactions (e.g., facilitation) or due to generalized trade-offs in resource acquisition/use, while disruptive selection (i.e., the divergence of abundant species) would result from negative density-dependent interactions (e.g., competition) or due to environmental heterogeneity. These selection modes can be interpreted as proxies for community-level trait-fitness functions, which establish the degree to which traits are truly "functional". We searched for selection modes in a desert annual-plant community in Argentina (which was divided into winter and summer guilds) to test the hypothesis that the relative importance of disruptive mechanisms (competition, disturbances) decreases with the increase of abiotic stress, a stabilizing agent. Average density was analyzed as a function of eight traits generally linked to resource acquisition and competitive ability (maximum plant height, leaf size, specific leaf area, specific root length), resource retention and stress tolerance (leaf dissection, leaf dry matter content, specific root volume), and regeneration (seed mass) using multiple quadratic-regression models. Trait selection was stabilizing and/or directional when the environment was harshest (winter) and disruptive and/or directional when conditions were milder (summer). Selection patterns differed between guilds for two important traits: plant height and seed mass. These results

  15. 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.

  16. Nonnative invasive plants: Maintaining biotic and soceioeconomic integrity along the urban-rural-natural gradient

    Treesearch

    Cynthia D. Huebner; David J. Nowak; Richard V. Pouyat; Allison R. Bodine

    2012-01-01

    In this chapter, we evaluate nonnative invasive plant species of the urban-rural-natural area gradient in order to reduce negative impacts of invasive plants on native species and ecosystems. This evaluation includes addressing (i) the concept of urban areas as the primary source of invasive plant species and characteristics of urban nonnative plants, including their...

  17. Natural Selection on Fecundity Variance in Subdivided Populations: Kin Selection Meets Bet Hedging

    PubMed Central

    Lehmann, Laurent; Balloux, François

    2007-01-01

    In a series of seminal articles in 1974, 1975, and 1977, J. H. Gillespie challenged the notion that the “fittest” individuals are those that produce on average the highest number of offspring. He showed that in small populations, the variance in fecundity can determine fitness as much as mean fecundity. One likely reason why Gillespie's concept of within-generation bet hedging has been largely ignored is the general consensus that natural populations are of large size. As a consequence, essentially no work has investigated the role of the fecundity variance on the evolutionary stable state of life-history strategies. While typically large, natural populations also tend to be subdivided in local demes connected by migration. Here, we integrate Gillespie's measure of selection for within-generation bet hedging into the inclusive fitness and game theoretic measure of selection for structured populations. The resulting framework demonstrates that selection against high variance in offspring number is a potent force in large, but structured populations. More generally, the results highlight that variance in offspring number will directly affect various life-history strategies, especially those involving kin interaction. The selective pressures on three key traits are directly investigated here, namely within-generation bet hedging, helping behaviors, and the evolutionary stable dispersal rate. The evolutionary dynamics of all three traits are markedly affected by variance in offspring number, although to a different extent and under different demographic conditions. PMID:17339208

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Fitness consequences of plants growing with siblings: reconciling kin selection, niche partitioning and competitive ability

    PubMed Central

    File, Amanda L.; Murphy, Guillermo P.; Dudley, Susan A.

    2012-01-01

    Plant studies that have investigated the fitness consequences of growing with siblings have found conflicting evidence that can support different theoretical frameworks. Depending on whether siblings or strangers have higher fitness in competition, kin selection, niche partitioning and competitive ability have been invoked. Here, we bring together these processes in a conceptual synthesis and argue that they can be co-occurring. We propose that these processes can be reconciled and argue for a trait-based approach of measuring natural selection instead of the fitness-based approach to the study of sibling competition. This review will improve the understanding of how plants interact socially under competitive situations, and provide a framework for future studies. PMID:22072602

  1. Fitness consequences of plants growing with siblings: reconciling kin selection, niche partitioning and competitive ability.

    PubMed

    File, Amanda L; Murphy, Guillermo P; Dudley, Susan A

    2012-01-22

    Plant studies that have investigated the fitness consequences of growing with siblings have found conflicting evidence that can support different theoretical frameworks. Depending on whether siblings or strangers have higher fitness in competition, kin selection, niche partitioning and competitive ability have been invoked. Here, we bring together these processes in a conceptual synthesis and argue that they can be co-occurring. We propose that these processes can be reconciled and argue for a trait-based approach of measuring natural selection instead of the fitness-based approach to the study of sibling competition. This review will improve the understanding of how plants interact socially under competitive situations, and provide a framework for future studies.

  2. 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. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Effects of selected bioactive natural products on the vascular endothelium.

    PubMed

    Ahmad, Ajaz; Khan, Rao M A; Alkharfy, Khalid M

    2013-08-01

    The endothelium, a highly active structure, regulates vascular homeostasis through the release of numerous vasoactive factors that control vascular tone and vascular smooth cell proliferation. A larger number of medicinal plants and their isolated chemical constituents have been shown to beneficially affect the endothelium. For example, flavonoids in black tea, green tea, and concord grape cause a vasodilation possibly through their antioxidant properties. Allicin, a by-product of the enzyme alliinase, has been proposed to be the main active metabolite and responsible for most of the biological activities of garlic, including a dose-dependent dilation on the isolated coronaries. Thymoquinone, the principal phytochemical compound found in the volatile oil of the black seed, and the hawthorn extract have also been shown to improve aging-related impairment of endothelium-dependent relaxations in animal models. In this review, the effect of some of the natural products, including Camellia sinensis (black tea and green tea), Vitis labrusca (concord grape), Allium sativum (garlic), and Nigella sativa (black seed) and Crataegus ssp (hawthorn extract), is explored. The molecular mechanisms behind these potential therapeutic effects are also discussed.

  10. 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.

  11. 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)

  12. 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)

  13. 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.

  14. Population abundance of Frankliniella occidentalis (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) and natural enemies on plant hosts in central Chile.

    PubMed

    Ripa, Renato; Funderburk, Joe; Rodriguez, Fernando; Espinoza, Fernanda; Mound, Laurence

    2009-04-01

    Populations of the invasive Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande) are serious pests of agricultural crops in the Aconcagua Valley of central Chile. An extensive survey was conducted of 55 plant species in 24 families to identify plant hosts of F. occidentalis and to determine its relative abundance on each host during each season. A more intensive study was conducted on selected plant species serving as reproductive hosts to determine the population dynamics of F. occidentalis and to evaluate the potential importance of Orius species and other natural enemies for controlling F. occidentalis. Adults of F. occidentalis were active during each season of the year inhabiting the flowers of 91% of the sampled plant species in 22 families, and 86% of these plant species in 19 families served as reproductive hosts. The number of host plant species used was greatest in the spring and least in the winter. All of the hosts except Medicago sativa L. were used only when flowering. Populations of F. occidentalis were significantly aggregated in M. sativa in the terminal buds over the leaves when the host was not flowering, and in the flowers, followed by the terminal buds, followed by the leaves when the host was flowering. Larvae were 1.3-2.3 times more abundant on dates when M. sativa was flowering. There were no identifiable patterns in plant hosts based on endemicity or plant family. Most of the plant species used by F. occidentalis were inferior quality hosts where populations either declined or were stable. Populations of F. occidentalis on low-quality hosts generally escaped predation by Orius species and competition by other species of thrips. Only 25% of the food hosts and 28% of the reproductive hosts for F. occidentalis in the extensive survey, respectively, were host plants for Orius. Parasitoids and other predators were not found to be important in suppressing thrips on any of the plant hosts. Populations of F. occidentalis increased on only a few hosts, including M

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Variation in carbon isotope discrimination in relation to plant performance in a natural population of Cryptantha flava.

    PubMed

    Casper, B B; Forseth, I N; Wait, D A

    2005-10-01

    Few studies of phenotypic selection have focused on physiological traits, especially in natural populations. The adaptive significance of plant water-use efficiency, the ratio of photosynthesis to water loss through transpiration, has rarely been examined. In this study, carbon isotopic discrimination, Delta, an integrated measure of water-use efficiency, was repeatedly measured in juveniles and adults in a natural population of the herbaceous desert perennial Cryptantha flava over a 4-year period and examined for plasticity in Delta, consistency between years in values of Delta, and evidence for selection on Delta phenotypes. There was significant concordance in Delta values among the 4 years for adult plants and significant correlations in Delta values measured in different years for juveniles and adults combined. The wettest year of the study, 1998, proved an exception because Delta values that year were not correlated with Delta values in any other year of the study. Consistency in Delta measured on the same plants in different years could indicate genotypic variation and/or consistency in the water status of the microhabitats the plants occupied. Two forms of plasticity in Delta were also evident; mean seasonal values were correlated with precipitation the preceding autumn, and Delta values also declined with plant size, indicating increasing water-use efficiency. Phenotypic selection was evident because in the first year of the study juvenile plants that would survive until year five averaged lower Delta values than did those that failed to survive. During the driest year, 2000, Delta was significantly negatively correlated with adult plant size, measured as the number of leaf rosettes, but the negative relationship between Delta and the number of flowering stalks, a more direct measure of fitness, was not significant. These results suggest that the direction of phenotypic selection on Delta changes as plants grow.

  7. 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.

  8. Selection on herbivory resistance and growth rate in an invasive plant.

    PubMed

    Franks, Steven J; Pratt, Paul D; Dray, F Allen; Simms, Ellen L

    2008-05-01

    The evolution of increased competitive ability (EICA) hypothesis proposes that invasive species evolve decreased defense and increased competitive ability following natural enemy release. Previous tests of EICA examined the result of evolution by comparing individuals from home and introduced ranges, but no previous study of this hypothesis has examined the process of evolution by analyzing patterns of selection. On the basis of EICA, there should be selection for competitive ability without herbivores and selection for defense with herbivores. Selection on competitive ability should be stronger for genotypes accustomed to herbivores (home range genotypes), and selection on defense should be stronger for genotypes unaccustomed to herbivores (introduced range genotypes). Using a field experiment, we tested these hypotheses for the invasive plant Melaleuca quinquenervia. There was a negative genetic correlation between resistance and growth, indicating a trade-off. However, selection for stem elongation (an indicator of competitive ability) was always positive, and selection on resistance was always negative and did not depend on genotype source or the presence of herbivores. The patterns of selection found in this study contrast with predictions from EICA and accurately predict the lack of evolutionary change in growth and resistance following the introduction of this species from Australia to Florida.

  9. Maintenance of an aminopeptidase allele frequency cline by natural selection.

    PubMed Central

    Koehn, R K; Newell, R I; Immermann, F

    1980-01-01

    The product of the Lap locus in the marine bivalve Mytilus edulis is a neutral, membrane-associated aminopeptidase that is primarily localized on intestinal microvilli and in digestive cell lysosomes. Natural populations are genetically differentiated at the Lap locus between areas of differing salinity. A steep (0.55-0.15) allele frequency cline connects differentiated populations between the Atlantic Ocean and Long Island Sound. We demonstrate an annual gene flow/mortality cycle in cline populations whereby gene frequencies after mortality are correlated with salinity and enzyme activity. The cline is spatially and temporally unstable in immigrants, but stable in residents after mortality. Mortality is nonrandom with regard to the Lap locus; genotype-dependent properties of the aminopeptidase enzyme apparently led to a differential rate of the utilizaiton of nutrient reserves because selected genotypes exhibited an increased rate of tissue weight loss. Aminopeptidase genotypes are differentially adapted to different temperatures and salinities, which provides a mechanism for the relationship among biochemical, physiological, and population phenotypes. PMID:6933563

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Evidence of natural selection acting on a polymorphic hybrid incompatibility locus in Mimulus.

    PubMed

    Sweigart, Andrea L; Flagel, Lex E

    2015-02-01

    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. Copyright © 2015 by the Genetics Society of America.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  15. 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.

  16. α-Glucosidase Inhibitory Activity of Selected Malaysian Plants

    PubMed Central

    Mohd Bukhari, Dzatil Awanis; Siddiqui, Mohammad Jamshed; Shamsudin, Siti Hadijah; Rahman, Md. Mukhlesur; So'ad, Siti Zaiton Mat

    2017-01-01

    Diabetes is a common metabolic disease indicated by unusually high plasma glucose level that can lead to major complications such as diabetic neuropathy, retinopathy, and cardiovascular diseases. One of the effective therapeutic managements of the disease is to reduce postprandial hyperglycemia through inhibition of α-glucosidase, a carbohydrate-hydrolyzing enzyme to retard overall glucose absorption. In recent years, a plenty of research works have been conducted looking for novel and effective α-glucosidase inhibitors (AGIs) from natural sources as alternatives for the synthetic AGI due to their unpleasant side effects. Plants and herbs are rich with secondary metabolites that have massive pharmaceutical potential. Besides, studies showed that phytochemicals such as flavonoids, alkaloids, terpenoids, anthocyanins, glycosides, and phenolic compounds possess significant inhibitory activity against α-glucosidase enzyme. Malaysia is a tropical country that is rich with medicinal herbs. In this review, we focus on eight Malaysian plants with the potential as AGI to develop a potential functional food or lead compounds against diabetes.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Antibacterial activity and cytotoxicity of selected Egyptian medicinal plants.

    PubMed

    Kuete, Victor; Wiench, Benjamin; Hegazy, Mohamed-Elamir F; Mohamed, Tarik A; Fankam, Aimé G; Shahat, Abdelaaty A; Efferth, Thomas

    2012-01-01

    Medicinal plants have been used as a source of remedies since ancient times in Egypt. The present study was designed to investigate the antibacterial activity and the cytotoxicity of the organic extracts from 16 selected medicinal plants of Egypt. The study was also extended to the isolation of the antiproliferative compound jaeschkeanadiol p-hydroxybenzoate (FH-25) from Ferula hermonis. The microbroth dilution was used to determine the minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) of the samples against twelve bacterial strains belonging to four species, Providencia stuartii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Escherichia coli, while a resazurin assay was used to assess the cytotoxicity of the extracts on the human pancreatic cancer cell line MiaPaCa-2, breast cancer cell line MCF-7, CCRF-CEM leukemia cells, and their multidrug resistant subline, CEM/ADR5000. The results of the MIC determination indicated that all the studied crude extracts were able to inhibit the growth of at least one of the tested bacterial species, the best activity being recorded with the crude extracts from F. hermonis and Vitis vinifera, whichwere active against 91.7% and 83.3% of the studied bacteria, respectively. The lowest MIC value of 128 μg/mL was recorded against P. stuartii ATCC 29916 and E. coli ATCC 10536 with the extract from V. vinifera and Commiphora molmol, respectively. In the cytotoxicity study, IC50 values below 20 μg/mL were recorded for the crude extract of F. hermonis on all four studied cancer cell lines. FH-25 also showed good cytotoxicity against MCF-7 cells (IC50: 2.47 μg/mL). Finally, the results of the present investigation provided supportive data for the possible use of the plant extracts investigated herein, mostly F. hermonis and V. vinifera in the treatment of bacterial infections and jaeschkeanadiol p-hydroxybenzoate in the control of cancer diseases. © Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. COMPARATIVE ASSESSMENT OF TOTAL PHENOLIC CONTENT IN SELECTED MEDICINAL PLANTS

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, C.E.; Oladeinde, F. O.; Kinyua, A.M.; Michelin, R.; Makinde, J.M.; Jaiyesimi, A.A.; Mbiti, W.N.; Kamau, G.N.; Kofi-Tsekpo, W.M.; Pramanik, S.; Williams, A.; Kennedy, A.; Bronner, Y.; Clarke, K.; Fofonoff, P.; Nemerson, D.

    2009-01-01

    This study was to compare the total phenolic (TP) content in extracts from eleven plant materials collected at different geographical locations in Kenya, Nigeria, and USA. These plants have been selected because the majority of them are highly pigmented, from yellow to purple, and would therefore have economic value in industries for producing antioxidants and surfactants. Two of them were collected from the industrial and domestic waste outlets. Each analysis was achieved using the Folin-Ciocalteau technique. The order of decreasing phenolic acid content as gallic acid concentration (mg/g dry weight) was Prunus africana (55.14) > Acacia tortilis (42.11) > Khaya grandifoliola (17.54) > Curcuma longa (17.23) > Vernonia amygdalina (14.9)> Russelia equisetiformis (14.03) > Calendula officinalis (7.96) >Phragmites australis (control) (7.09) > Rauwolfia vomitoria (6.69) > Phragmites australis (industrial) (6.21) > Cnidoscolus aconitifolius (5.6). The TP contents of Spartina alterniflora species were below the detection limit. PMID:20119491

  4. COMPARATIVE ASSESSMENT OF TOTAL PHENOLIC CONTENT IN SELECTED MEDICINAL PLANTS.

    PubMed

    Johnson, C E; Oladeinde, F O; Kinyua, A M; Michelin, R; Makinde, J M; Jaiyesimi, A A; Mbiti, W N; Kamau, G N; Kofi-Tsekpo, W M; Pramanik, S; Williams, A; Kennedy, A; Bronner, Y; Clarke, K; Fofonoff, P; Nemerson, D

    2008-01-01

    This study was to compare the total phenolic (TP) content in extracts from eleven plant materials collected at different geographical locations in Kenya, Nigeria, and USA. These plants have been selected because the majority of them are highly pigmented, from yellow to purple, and would therefore have economic value in industries for producing antioxidants and surfactants. Two of them were collected from the industrial and domestic waste outlets. Each analysis was achieved using the Folin-Ciocalteau technique. The order of decreasing phenolic acid content as gallic acid concentration (mg/g dry weight) was Prunus africana (55.14) > Acacia tortilis (42.11) > Khaya grandifoliola (17.54) > Curcuma longa (17.23) > Vernonia amygdalina (14.9)> Russelia equisetiformis (14.03) > Calendula officinalis (7.96) >Phragmites australis (control) (7.09) > Rauwolfia vomitoria (6.69) > Phragmites australis (industrial) (6.21) > Cnidoscolus aconitifolius (5.6). The TP contents of Spartina alterniflora species were below the detection limit.

  5. Parallel shifts in ecology and natural selection in an island lizard.

    PubMed

    Calsbeek, Ryan; Buermann, Wolfgang; Smith, Thomas B

    2009-01-06

    Natural selection is a potent evolutionary force that shapes phenotypic variation to match ecological conditions. However, we know little about the year-to-year consistency of selection, or how inter-annual variation in ecology shapes adaptive landscapes and ultimately adaptive radiations. Here we combine remote sensing data, field experiments, and a four-year study of natural selection to show that changes in vegetation structure associated with a severe drought altered both habitat use and natural selection in the brown anole, Anolis sagrei. In natural populations, lizards increased their use of vegetation in wet years and this was correlated with selection on limb length but not body size. By contrast, a die-back of vegetation caused by drought was followed by reduced arboreality, selection on body size, and relaxed selection on limb length. With the return of the rains and recovery of vegetation, selection reverted back to pre-drought pattern of selection acting on limb length but not body size. To test for the impact of vegetation loss on natural selection during the drought, we experimentally removed vegetation on a separate study island in a naturally wet year. The experiment revealed similar inter-annual changes in selection on body size but not limb length. Our results illustrate the dynamic nature of ecology driving natural selection on Anolis morphology and emphasize the importance of inter-annual environmental variation in shaping adaptive variation. In addition, results illustrate the utility of using remote sensing data to examine ecology's role in driving natural selection.

  6. 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. © 2012 The Author(s). Evolution© 2012 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  7. An exotic invasive plant selects for increased competitive tolerance, but not competitive suppression, in a native grass.

    PubMed

    Fletcher, Rebecca A; Callaway, Ragan M; Atwater, Daniel Z

    2016-06-01

    Exotic invasive plants can exert strong selective pressure for increased competitive ability in native plants. There are two fundamental components of competitive ability: suppression and tolerance, and the current paradigm that these components have equal influences on a species' overall competitive ability has been recently questioned. If these components do not have equal influences on overall ability, then selection on competitive tolerance and suppression may be disproportionate. We used naturally invaded communities to study the effects of selection caused by an invasive forb, Centaurea stoebe, on a native grass, Pseudoroegneria spicata. P. spicata plants were harvested from within dense C. stoebe patches and from nearby uninvaded areas, divided clonally into replicates, then transplanted into a common garden where they grew alone or competed with C. stoebe. We found that P. spicata plants collected from within C. stoebe patches were significantly more tolerant of competition with C. stoebe than P. spicata plants collected from uninvaded areas, but plants from inside invaded patches were not superior at suppressing C. stoebe. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that strong competitors may select for tolerance to competition more than for the ability to suppress neighbors. This has important implications for how native plant communities may respond to invasion over time, and how invasive and native species may ultimately coexist.

  8. Monolignol ferulate conjugates are naturally incorporated into plant lignins

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  9. Human fertility, molecular genetics, and natural selection in modern societies.

    PubMed

    Tropf, Felix C; Stulp, Gert; Barban, Nicola; Visscher, Peter M; Yang, Jian; Snieder, Harold; Mills, Melinda C

    2015-01-01

    Research on genetic influences on human fertility outcomes such as number of children ever born (NEB) or the age at first childbirth (AFB) has been solely based on twin and family-designs that suffer from problematic assumptions and practical limitations. The current study exploits recent advances in the field of molecular genetics by applying the genomic-relationship-matrix based restricted maximum likelihood (GREML) methods to quantify for the first time the extent to which common genetic variants influence the NEB and the AFB of women. Using data from the UK and the Netherlands (N = 6,758), results show significant additive genetic effects on both traits explaining 10% (SE = 5) of the variance in the NEB and 15% (SE = 4) in the AFB. We further find a significant negative genetic correlation between AFB and NEB in the pooled sample of -0.62 (SE = 0.27, p-value = 0.02). This finding implies that individuals with genetic predispositions for an earlier AFB had a reproductive advantage and that natural selection operated not only in historical, but also in contemporary populations. The observed postponement in the AFB across the past century in Europe contrasts with these findings, suggesting an evolutionary override by environmental effects and underscoring that evolutionary predictions in modern human societies are not straight forward. It emphasizes the necessity for an integrative research design from the fields of genetics and social sciences in order to understand and predict fertility outcomes. Finally, our results suggest that we may be able to find genetic variants associated with human fertility when conducting GWAS-meta analyses with sufficient sample size.

  10. The Fundamental Theorem of Natural Selection in Ewens' Sense (Case of Fertility Selection)

    PubMed Central

    Lessard, S.; Castilloux, A. M.

    1995-01-01

    We show that the Fundamental Theorem of Natural Selection in Ewens' sense is valid in the case of fertility selection: the additive genetic variance in fertility divided by the mean fertility is exactly equal to the partial change in the mean fertility from the current generation to the next. This partial change is the increase in the mean additive value caused by frequency changes from one generation to the next but keeping unchanged the additive values. The only hypothesis on mating is that it does not affect the allelic frequencies in the sense that these are the same before and after mating in the parental generation, which occurs for a wide range of mating patterns going from random mating to several regular systems of inbreeding and cases of assortative mating. The fertility of couples is determined by the genes at an arbitrary number of loci, and the additive (average) allelic effects are defined by a linear system of equations, which is used to extend Ewens' optimality principle to the case of fertility selection. PMID:8647406

  11. Natural pesticides derived from plants: discovery, uses and perspectives

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    This review discusses the chemical diversity of natural products and the possibility of isolating active compounds for pest management using bioassays. There is currently a demand for more effective and less expensive natural products for pest management. The approval process for natural products as...

  12. [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.

  13. 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.

  14. The Origin of Mutants Under Selection: How Natural Selection Mimics Mutagenesis (Adaptive Mutation)

    PubMed Central

    Maisnier-Patin, Sophie; Roth, John R.

    2015-01-01

    Selection detects mutants but does not cause mutations. Contrary to this dictum, Cairns and Foster plated a leaky lac mutant of Escherichia coli on lactose medium and saw revertant (Lac+) colonies accumulate with time above a nongrowing lawn. This result suggested that bacteria might mutagenize their own genome when growth is blocked. However, this conclusion is suspect in the light of recent evidence that revertant colonies are initiated by preexisting cells with multiple copies the conjugative F′lac plasmid, which carries the lac mutation. Some plated cells have multiple copies of the simple F′lac plasmid. This provides sufficient LacZ activity to support plasmid replication but not cell division. In nongrowing cells, repeated plasmid replication increases the likelihood of a reversion event. Reversion to lac+ triggers exponential cell growth leading to a stable Lac+ revertant colony. In 10% of these plated cells, the high-copy plasmid includes an internal tandem lac duplication, which provides even more LacZ activity—sufficient to support slow growth and formation of an unstable Lac+ colony. Cells with multiple copies of the F′lac plasmid have an increased mutation rate, because the plasmid encodes the error-prone (mutagenic) DNA polymerase, DinB. Without DinB, unstable and stable Lac+ revertant types form in equal numbers and both types arise with no mutagenesis. Amplification and selection are central to behavior of the Cairns–Foster system, whereas mutagenesis is a system-specific side effect or artifact caused by coamplification of dinB with lac. Study of this system has revealed several broadly applicable principles. In all populations, gene duplications are frequent stable genetic polymorphisms, common near-neutral mutant alleles can gain a positive phenotype when amplified under selection, and natural selection can operate without cell division when variability is generated by overreplication of local genome subregions. PMID:26134316

  15. Plant protein and secondary metabolites influence diet selection in a mammalian specialist herbivore

    Treesearch

    Amy C. Ulappa; Rick G. Kelsey; Graham G. Frye; Janet L. Rachlow; LIsa A. Shipley; Laura Bond; Xinzhu Pu; Jennifer Sorensen. Forbey

    2014-01-01

    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...

  16. Woody plants selected by beavers in the Appalacian Ridge and Valley Province

    Treesearch

    Hewlette S. Crawford; R. G. Hooper; R. F. Harlow

    1976-01-01

    The availability of woody plants and the selection of plants by beavers along mountain streams was studied in four areas of the Appalachian Ridge and Valley Province in Virginia. Beavers' choice of woody plants varied between areas. Many species of woody plants were cut by beavers. They climbed slopes with gradients up to 80 percent to cut trees. Large as well as...

  17. Selection of natural treatment processes for algae removal from stabilisation ponds effluents in Brasilia, using multicriterion methods.

    PubMed

    Neder, K D; Carneiro, G A; Queiroz, T R; de Souza, M A A

    2002-01-01

    A multicriterion methodology is used in the evaluation and selection of the most appropriate alternative(s) for removing algae from stabilisation ponds effluents in a case study in Brasilia. For this purpose, five different natural treatment processes are tested at pilot scale: rock filter, sand filter, floating aquatic plants, constructed wetlands, and overland flow. These pilot units were constructed in Brasilia and set in parallel, each one receiving a portion of the effluent that comes from an existing wastewater treatment plant composed of preliminary treatment, UASB reactors, and high-rate stabilisation ponds. Several evaluation criteria are used in order to relate the capabilities of the post-treatment processes to the multiple objectives in this case. Two multicriterion decision-aid methods--compromise programming and ELECTRE-III--are used to select the most satisfying processes. The top ranking alternatives are indicated for subsequent studies, considering the possible implementation of these technologies to existing plants.

  18. 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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Animal genetic resources in Brazil: result of five centuries of natural selection.

    PubMed

    Mariante, A da S; Egito, A A

    2002-01-01

    Brazil has various species of domestic animals, which developed from breeds brought by the Portuguese settlers soon after their discovery. For five centuries, these breeds have been subjected to natural selection in specific environments. Today, they present characteristics adapted to the specific Brazilian environmental conditions. These breeds developed in Brazil are known as "Crioulo," "local," or naturalized. From the beginning of the 20th century, some exotic breeds, selected in temperate regions, have begun to be imported. Although more productive, these breeds do not have adaptive traits, such as resistance to disease and parasites found in breeds considered to be "native." Even so, little by little, they replaced the native breeds, to such an extent that the latter are in danger of extinction. In 1983, to avoid the loss of this important genetic material, the National Research Center for Genetic Resources and Biotechnology (Cenargen) of the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa) decided to include conservation of animal genetic resources in its research program Conservation and Utilization of Genetic Resources. Until this time, they were only concerned with conservation of native plants. Conservation has been carried out by various research centers of Embrapa, universities, state research corporations, and private farmers, with a single coordinator at the national level, Cenargen. Specifically, conservation is being carried out by conservation nuclei, which are specific herds in which the animals are being conserved, situated in the habitats where the animals have been subjected to natural selection. This involves storage of semen and embryos from cattle, horses, buffaloes, donkeys, goats, sheep, and pigs. The Brazilian Animal Germplasm Bank is kept at Cenargen, which is responsible for the storage of semen and embryos of various breeds of domestic animals threatened with extinction, where almost 45,000 doses of semen and more than 200

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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).

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  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. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Genes and Junk in Plant Mitochondria—Repair Mechanisms and Selection

    PubMed Central

    Christensen, Alan C.

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24904012

  16. 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.

  17. Antimycobacterial activity of selected medicinal plants traditionally used in Sudan to treat infectious diseases.

    PubMed

    Abuzeid, Nadir; Kalsum, Sadaf; Koshy, Richin John; Larsson, Marie; Glader, Mikaela; Andersson, Henrik; Raffetseder, Johanna; Pienaar, Elsje; Eklund, Daniel; Alhassan, Muddathir S; AlGadir, Haidar A; Koko, Waleed S; Schön, Thomas; Ahmed Mesaik, M; Abdalla, Omer M; Khalid, Asaad; Lerm, Maria

    2014-11-18

    The emergence of multidrug-resistant strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis underscores the need for continuous development of new and efficient methods to determine the susceptibility of isolates of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in the search for novel antimycobacterial agents. Natural products constitute an important source of new drugs, and design and implementation of antimycobacterial susceptibility testing methods are necessary to evaluate the different extracts and compounds. In this study we have explored the antimycobacterial properties of 50 ethanolic extracts from different parts of 46 selected medicinal plants traditionally used in Sudan to treat infectious diseases. Plants were harvested and ethanolic extracts were prepared. For selected extracts, fractionation with hydrophilic and hydrophobic solvents was undertaken. A luminometry-based assay was used for determination of mycobacterial growth in broth cultures and inside primary human macrophages in the presence or absence of plant extracts and fractions of extracts. Cytotoxicity was also assessed for active fractions of plant extracts. Of the tested extracts, three exhibited a significant inhibitory effect on an avirulent strain of Mycobacterium tubercluosis (H37Ra) at the initial screening doses (125 and 6.25µg/ml). These were bark and leaf extracts of Khaya senegalensis and the leaf extract of Rosmarinus officinalis L. Further fractions of these plant extracts were prepared with n-hexane, chloroform, ethyl acetate, n-butanol, ethanol and water, and the activity of these extracts was retained in hydrophobic fractions. Cytotoxicity assays revealed that the chloroform fraction of Khaya senegalensis bark was non-toxic to human monocyte-derived macrophages and other cell types at the concentrations used and hence, further analysis, including assessment of IC50 and intracellular activity was done with this fraction. These results encourage further investigations to identify the active compound(s) within the

  18. Plant natural products: history, limitations and the potential of cambial meristematic cells.

    PubMed

    Yun, Ung-Wook; Yan, Zejun; Amir, Rabia; Hong, Sunmi; Jin, Young-Woo; Lee, Eun-Kyong; Loake, Gary J

    2012-01-01

    Humans have utilised plant derived natural products as medicines for millenia. Moreover, many contemporary pharmaceuticals are also natural products or derivatives thereof. However, the full potential of these compounds remains to be exploited because often they are: complex and difficult to synthesise; found in low quantities; produced by undomesticated and sometimes rare plants; and, their synthesis is routinely influenced by weather conditions. Potentially, the in vitro culture of cells from the corresponding plant species could circumvent some of these problems but the growth of plant cells on an industrial scale is also problematic. The recent isolation and culture of cambial meristematic cells (CMCs), stem cells which ordinarily generate the plant vasculature, may now provide a key platform technology to help realise the full potential of plant natural products.

  19. 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.

  20. Natural toxins that affect plant amino acid metabolism

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  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. 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

  4. Plant–plant interactions mediate the plastic and genotypic response of Plantago asiatica to CO2: an experiment with plant populations from naturally high CO2 areas

    PubMed Central

    van Loon, Marloes P.; Rietkerk, Max; Dekker, Stefan C.; Hikosaka, Kouki; Ueda, Miki U.; Anten, Niels P. R.

    2016-01-01

    Background and Aims The rising atmospheric CO2 concentration ([CO2]) is a ubiquitous selective force that may strongly impact species distribution and vegetation functioning. Plant–plant interactions could mediate the trajectory of vegetation responses to elevated [CO2], because some plants may benefit more from [CO2] elevation than others. The relative contribution of plastic (within the plant’s lifetime) and genotypic (over several generations) responses to elevated [CO2] on plant performance was investigated and how these patterns are modified by plant–plant interactions was analysed. Methods Plantago asiatica seeds originating from natural CO2 springs and from ambient [CO2] sites were grown in mono stands of each one of the two origins as well as mixtures of both origins. In total, 1944 plants were grown in [CO2]-controlled walk-in climate rooms, under a [CO2] of 270, 450 and 750 ppm. A model was used for upscaling from leaf to whole-plant photosynthesis and for quantifying the influence of plastic and genotypic responses. Key Results It was shown that changes in canopy photosynthesis, specific leaf area (SLA) and stomatal conductance in response to changes in growth [CO2] were mainly determined by plastic and not by genotypic responses. We further found that plants originating from high [CO2] habitats performed better in terms of whole-plant photosynthesis, biomass and leaf area, than those from ambient [CO2] habitats at elevated [CO2] only when both genotypes competed. Similarly, plants from ambient [CO2] habitats performed better at low [CO2], also only when both genotypes competed. No difference in performance was found in mono stands. Conclusion The results indicate that natural selection under increasing [CO2] will be mainly driven by competitive interactions. This supports the notion that plant–plant interactions have an important influence on future vegetation functioning and species distribution. Furthermore, plant performance was mainly

  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. Anti-inflammatory activity of selected plants from Saudi Arabia.

    PubMed

    Abdallah, Hossam M; Abdel-Naim, Ashraf B; Ashour, Osama M; Shehata, Ibrahim A; Abdel-Sattar, Essam A

    2014-01-01

    Thirteen selected Saudi Arabian plants, belonging to seven different families, were tested for possible anti-inflammatory activity using the carrageenin-induced paw edema model in rats. The methanolic extracts of Vernonia schimperi, Trichodesma trichodesmoides var. tomentosum, and Anabasis articulata exhibited the highest anti-inflammatory activity. The active extracts were further subjected to fractionation with chloroform, ethyl acetate, and n-butanol and tested together with their mother liquor for their anti-inflammatory activity in the same rat model. The most potent fractions were the n-butanol fractions of Anabasis articulata and Vernonia shimperi and the aqueous mother liquor of Trichodesma trichodesmoides. Nevertheless, the three potent methanolic extracts showed higher anti-inflammatory activities than their individual fractions. The antioxidant properties were assessed by their in vitro 1,1-diphenyl-2-picryl-hydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging activities. It was concluded that the anti-inflammatory activity is dependent, at least in part, on the reduction of prostaglandin (PGE2) and tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) levels and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) activity.

  7. Characterization of a higher plant herbicide-resistant phytoene desaturase and its use as a selectable marker.

    PubMed

    Arias, Renée S; Dayan, Franck E; Michel, Albrecht; Howell, J'Lynn; Scheffler, Brian E

    2006-03-01

    Three natural somatic mutations at codon 304 of the phytoene desaturase gene (pds) of Hydrilla verticillata (L. f. Royle) have been reported to provide resistance to the herbicide fluridone. We substituted the arginine 304 present in the wild-type H. verticillata phytoene desaturase (PDS) with all 19 other natural amino acids and tested PDS against fluridone. In in vitro assays, the threonine (Thr), cysteine (Cys), alanine (Ala) and glutamine (Gln) mutations imparted the highest resistance to fluridone. Thr, the three natural mutations [Cys, serine (Ser), histidine (His)] and the wild-type PDS protein were tested in vitro against seven inhibitors of PDS representing several classes of herbicides. These mutations conferred cross-resistance to norflurazon and overall negative cross-resistance to beflubutamid, picolinafen and diflufenican. The T3 generation of transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana plants harbouring the four selected mutations and wild-type pds had similar patterns of cross-resistance to the herbicides as observed in the in vitro assays. The Thr304 Hydrilla pds mutant proved to be an excellent marker for the selection of transgenic plants. Seedlings harbouring Thr304 pds had a maximum resistance to sensitivity (R/S) ratio of 57 and 14 times higher than that of the wild-type for treatments with norflurazon and fluridone, respectively. These plants exhibited normal growth and development, even after long-term exposure to herbicide. As Thr304 pds is of plant origin, it could become more acceptable than other selectable markers for use in genetically modified food.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. An invasive plant alters pollinator-mediated phenotypic selection on a native congener.

    PubMed

    Beans, Carolyn M; Roach, Deborah A

    2015-01-01

    • Recent studies suggest that invasive plants compete reproductively with native plants by reducing the quantity or quality of pollinator visits. Although these studies have revealed ecological consequences of pollinator-mediated competition between invasive and native plants, the evolutionary outcomes of these interactions remain largely unexplored.• We studied the ecological and evolutionary impact of pollinator-mediated competition with an invasive jewelweed, Impatiens glandulifera, on a co-occurring native congener, I. capensis. Using a pollinator choice experiment, a hand pollination experiment, and a selection analysis, we addressed the following questions: (1) Do native pollinators show preference for the invasive or native jewelweed, and do they move between the two species? (2) Does invasive jewelweed pollen inhibit seed production in the native plant? (3) Does the invasive jewelweed alter phenotypic selection on the native plant's floral traits?• The pollinator choice experiment showed that pollinators strongly preferred the invasive jewelweed. The hand pollination experiment demonstrated that invasive pollen inhibited seed production in the native plant. The selection analysis showed that the presence of the invasive jewelweed altered phenotypic selection on corolla height in the native plant.• Invasive plants have the potential to alter phenotypic selection on floral traits in native plant populations. If native plants can evolve in response to this altered selection pressure, the evolution of floral traits may play an important role in permitting long-term coexistence of native and invasive plants. © 2015 Botanical Society of America, Inc.

  18. 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

  19. Selected active naturals for atopic dermatitis: Atopic Dermatitis Part 1.

    PubMed

    Silverberg, Nanette B

    The desire for naturally derived agents is a growing trend for patients, physicians, and pharmaceutical companies. Studies indicate that complementary and alternative medicine is often used by patients and parents of children with atopic dermatitis, not necessarily with beneficial results. A half-dozen natural agents (ie, topical agents: coconut oil, colloidal oatmeal, sunflower oil, mustard oil, glycerin, and oral Chinese herbal therapy) are discussed because they have become popular for their expected activity in the therapy of atopic dermatitis. A critical review of the published literature on these agents is presented with specific focus on potential such side effects as hepatotoxicity with Chinese herbals. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. 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.

  1. Natural Selection Reduced Diversity on Human Y Chromosomes

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:24415951

  2. Genome-wide scans for footprints of natural selection

    PubMed Central

    Oleksyk, Taras K.; Smith, Michael W.; O'Brien, Stephen J.

    2010-01-01

    Detecting recent selected ‘genomic footprints’ applies directly to the discovery of disease genes and in the imputation of the formative events that molded modern population genetic structure. The imprints of historic selection/adaptation episodes left in human and animal genomes allow one to interpret modern and ancestral gene origins and modifications. Current approaches to reveal selected regions applied in genome-wide selection scans (GWSSs) fall into eight principal categories: (I) phylogenetic footprinting, (II) detecting increased rates of functional mutations, (III) evaluating divergence versus polymorphism, (IV) detecting extended segments of linkage disequilibrium, (V) evaluating local reduction in genetic variation, (VI) detecting changes in the shape of the frequency distribution (spectrum) of genetic variation, (VII) assessing differentiating between populations (FST), and (VIII) detecting excess or decrease in admixture contribution from one population. Here, we review and compare these approaches using available human genome-wide datasets to provide independent verification (or not) of regions found by different methods and using different populations. The lessons learned from GWSSs will be applied to identify genome signatures of historic selective pressures on genes and gene regions in other species with emerging genome sequences. This would offer considerable potential for genome annotation in functional, developmental and evolutionary contexts. PMID:20008396

  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. Six classroom exercises to teach natural selection to undergraduate biology students.

    PubMed

    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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. The nature of spectral signatures in native arid plant communities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Conn, J. S.; Foster, K. E.; Mcginnies, W. G.

    1976-01-01

    Radiometric data in ERTS bands 5 and 7 of spectral signature components were compared to the overall signatures obtained from an airborne radiometric data collection system flown at low altitude. Results indicate that due to the low density and low vigor of the vegetation, vegetation has little effect on the overall signature, thus making differentiation of desert plant communities on the basis of spectral signature extremely difficult.

  9. 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

  10. 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)

  11. 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…

  12. A checklist of the vascular plants in Abbott Creek Research Natural Area, Oregon.

    Treesearch

    Rod. Mitchell

    1979-01-01

    This paper is a checklist of 277 vascular plant taxa that have been collected or encountered in Abbott Creek Research Natural Area, Oregon; a brief description of five forested and two nonforested vegetation types is included.

  13. Parallel shifts in ecology and natural selection in an island lizard

    PubMed Central

    Calsbeek, Ryan; Buermann, Wolfgang; Smith, Thomas B

    2009-01-01

    Background Natural selection is a potent evolutionary force that shapes phenotypic variation to match ecological conditions. However, we know little about the year-to-year consistency of selection, or how inter-annual variation in ecology shapes adaptive landscapes and ultimately adaptive radiations. Here we combine remote sensing data, field experiments, and a four-year study of natural selection to show that changes in vegetation structure associated with a severe drought altered both habitat use and natural selection in the brown anole, Anolis sagrei. Results In natural populations, lizards increased their use of vegetation in wet years and this was correlated with selection on limb length but not body size. By contrast, a die-back of vegetation caused by drought was followed by reduced arboreality, selection on body size, and relaxed selection on limb length. With the return of the rains and recovery of vegetation, selection reverted back to pre-drought pattern of selection acting on limb length but not body size. To test for the impact of vegetation loss on natural selection during the drought, we experimentally removed vegetation on a separate study island in a naturally wet year. The experiment revealed similar inter-annual changes in selection on body size but not limb length. Conclusion Our results illustrate the dynamic nature of ecology driving natural selection on Anolis morphology and emphasize the importance of inter-annual environmental variation in shaping adap