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Sample records for natural selection plant

  1. The nature of selection during plant domestication.

    PubMed

    Purugganan, Michael D; Fuller, Dorian Q

    2009-02-12

    Plant domestication is an outstanding example of plant-animal co-evolution and is a far richer model for studying evolution than is generally appreciated. There have been numerous studies to identify genes associated with domestication, and archaeological work has provided a clear understanding of the dynamics of human cultivation practices during the Neolithic period. Together, these have provided a better understanding of the selective pressures that accompany crop domestication, and they demonstrate that a synthesis from the twin vantage points of genetics and archaeology can expand our understanding of the nature of evolutionary selection that accompanies domestication.

  2. 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.

  3. 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. PMID:26940904

  4. How herbivores coopt plant defenses: natural selection, specialization, and sequestration.

    PubMed

    Petschenka, Georg; Agrawal, Anurag A

    2016-04-01

    We review progress in understanding sequestration by herbivorous insects, the use of plant chemical defenses for their own defense. We incorporate sequestration into the framework of plant-insect coevolution by integrating three hierarchical issues: (1) the relationship between dietary specialization and sequestration of plant defenses, (2) the physiological mechanisms involved in sequestration, and (3) how sequestration evolves via interactions between trophic levels. Sequestration is often associated with specialization, but even specialized sequestration is not an evolutionary dead-end. Despite considerable progress in understanding physiological mechanisms, detailed knowledge of how plant toxins cross the insect gut epithelium is still largely lacking. Sequestration is likely a major vehicle for coevolutionary escalation in speciose plant-insect-predator interactions, suggesting that a strictly bitrophic view is untenable. PMID:27436642

  5. [Natural selection].

    PubMed

    Mayr, E

    1985-05-01

    Much of the resistance against Darwin's theory of natural selection has been due to misunderstandings. It is shown that natural selection is not a tautology and that it is a two-step process. The first step, the production of variation, is under the control of chance; the second step, selection proper, is an anti-chance process, but subject to many constraints. The target of selection is the individual as a whole, and many neutral mutations can be retained as hitchhikers of successful genotypes. Sexual selection results from selection for pure reproductive success.

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Did RNA editing in plant organellar genomes originate under natural selection or through genetic drift?

    PubMed Central

    Jobson, Richard W; Qiu, Yin-Long

    2008-01-01

    Background The C↔U substitution types of RNA editing have been observed frequently in organellar genomes of land plants. Although various attempts have been made to explain why such a seemingly inefficient genetic mechanism would have evolved, no satisfactory explanation exists in our view. In this study, we examined editing patterns in chloroplast genomes of the hornwort Anthoceros formosae and the fern Adiantum capillus-veneris and in mitochondrial genomes of the angiosperms Arabidopsis thaliana, Beta vulgaris and Oryza sativa, to gain an understanding of the question of how RNA editing originated. Results We found that 1) most editing sites were distributed at the 2nd and 1st codon positions, 2) editing affected codons that resulted in larger hydrophobicity and molecular size changes much more frequently than those with little change involved, 3) editing uniformly increased protein hydrophobicity, 4) editing occurred more frequently in ancestrally T-rich sequences, which were more abundant in genes encoding membrane-bound proteins with many hydrophobic amino acids than in genes encoding soluble proteins, and 5) editing occurred most often in genes found to be under strong selective constraint. Conclusion These analyses show that editing mostly affects functionally important and evolutionarily conserved codon positions, codons and genes encoding membrane-bound proteins. In particular, abundance of RNA editing in plant organellar genomes may be associated with disproportionately large percentages of genes in these two genomes that encode membrane-bound proteins, which are rich in hydrophobic amino acids and selectively constrained. These data support a hypothesis that natural selection imposed by protein functional constraints has contributed to selective fixation of certain editing sites and maintenance of the editing activity in plant organelles over a period of more than four hundred millions years. The retention of genes encoding RNA editing activity may be

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

    Using high throughput sequencing of the nodA gene, we studied the population dynamics of Rhizobium leguminosarum (bv. viciae, bv. trifolii) in rhizospheric and nodular subpopulations associated with the leguminous plants representing different cross-inoculation groups (Vicia sativa, Lathyrus pratensis of the vetch/vetchling/pea group and Trifolium hybridum of the clover group). The "rhizosphere-nodules" transitions result in either an increase or decrease in the frequencies of 10 of the 23 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) (which were identified with 95% similarity) depending on the symbiotic specificity and phylogenetic positions of OTUs. Statistical and bioinformatical analysis of the population structures suggest that the type of natural selection responsible for these changes may be diversifying at the whole-population level and frequency-dependent at the OTU-specific level, ensuring the divergent evolution of rhizobia interacting with different host species. PMID:27169225

  12. 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.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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)

  17. 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

  18. Selection of Transformed Plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, Huw D.; Sparks, Caroline A.

    The low frequency and randomness of transgene integration into host cells, combined with the significant challenges of recovering whole plants from those rare events, makes the use of selectable marker genes routine in plant transformation experiments. For research applications that are unlikely to be grown in the field, strong herbicide- or antibiotic resistance is commonly used. Here we use genes conferring resistance to glufosinate herbicides as an example of a selectable marker in wheat transformation by either Agrobacterium or biolistics.

  19. 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…

  20. Gaia and natural selection.

    PubMed

    Lenton, T M

    1998-07-30

    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.

  1. Reinventing Natural Selection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Geraedts, Caspar L.; Boersma, Kerst Th.

    2006-06-01

    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 based on the idea of guided reinvention, rather than on the conceptual change strategy. In guided reinvention, students reinvent the concept of natural selection by answering a sequence of questions based on the logical nature of Darwin’s theory. The results show that few Lamarckian explanations for evolution were recorded in the study and that the majority of the students developed a Darwinian or neo-Darwinian conception. The status of Lamarckian misconceptions is challenged.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  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. Mass spectrometry-based method to investigate the natural selectivity of sucrose as the sugar transport form for plants.

    PubMed

    Yuan, Hang; Wu, Yile; Liu, Wu; Liu, Yan; Gao, Xiang; Lin, Jinming; Zhao, Yufen

    2015-04-30

    Sucrose is the carbon skeletons and energy vector for plants, which is important for plants growth. Among thousands of disaccharides in Nature, why chose sucrose for plants? In this paper, we analyzed the intrinsic structural characteristics of four sucrose isomers with different glycosidic linkage by mass spectrometry (MS) technique. Our results show that sucrose has the most labile glycosidic bond compared with other three isomers, which is helpful for releasing glucose and fructose unit. Besides, sucrose has the most stable integral structure, which is hard to dehydrate and degrade into fragments through losing one or three even four-carbon units, just as its three isomers. In other words, sucrose is more easily holds an integral structure during the transport process, whenever it is necessary, and sucrose can be cleaved into glucose and fructose easily. Besides, we also investigate the internal relationship of sucrose with K(+) by tandem mass spectrometry and viscosity measurement. The related results have shown that the K(+) can stabilize sucrose to a greater extent than the Na(+). Furthermore, under the same conditions, K(+) ions reduce the viscosity of sucrose-water system much more than Na(+). These results suggest that K(+) is a better co-transporter for sucrose. Of course, the transport of sucrose in plants is a very complicated process, which is involved in many proteins. This paper directly accounts for the basic structure feature of sucrose, and the results discovered could provide the novel insight for the answer why Nature chose sucrose for plants.

  6. Grandmothering and natural selection.

    PubMed

    Kachel, A Friederike; Premo, L S; Hublin, Jean-Jacques

    2011-02-01

    Humans are unique among primates in that women regularly outlive their reproductive period by decades. The grandmother hypothesis proposes that natural selection increased the length of the human post-menopausal period-and, thus, extended longevity-as a result of the inclusive fitness benefits of grandmothering. However, it has yet to be demonstrated that the inclusive fitness benefits associated with grandmothering are large enough to warrant this explanation. Here, we show that the inclusive fitness benefits are too small to affect the evolution of longevity under a wide range of conditions in simulated populations. This is due in large part to the relatively weak selection that applies to women near or beyond the end of their reproductive period. However, we find that grandmothers can facilitate the evolution of a shorter reproductive period when their help decreases the weaning age of their matrilineal grandchildren. Because selection favours a shorter reproductive period in the presence of shorter interbirth intervals, this finding holds true for any form of allocare that helps mothers resume cycling more quickly. We conclude that while grandmothering is unlikely to explain human-like longevity, allocare could have played an important role in shaping other unique aspects of human life history, such as a later age at first birth and a shorter female reproductive period.

  7. Grandmothering and natural selection

    PubMed Central

    Kachel, A. Friederike; Premo, L. S.; Hublin, Jean-Jacques

    2011-01-01

    Humans are unique among primates in that women regularly outlive their reproductive period by decades. The grandmother hypothesis proposes that natural selection increased the length of the human post-menopausal period—and, thus, extended longevity—as a result of the inclusive fitness benefits of grandmothering. However, it has yet to be demonstrated that the inclusive fitness benefits associated with grandmothering are large enough to warrant this explanation. Here, we show that the inclusive fitness benefits are too small to affect the evolution of longevity under a wide range of conditions in simulated populations. This is due in large part to the relatively weak selection that applies to women near or beyond the end of their reproductive period. However, we find that grandmothers can facilitate the evolution of a shorter reproductive period when their help decreases the weaning age of their matrilineal grandchildren. Because selection favours a shorter reproductive period in the presence of shorter interbirth intervals, this finding holds true for any form of allocare that helps mothers resume cycling more quickly. We conclude that while grandmothering is unlikely to explain human-like longevity, allocare could have played an important role in shaping other unique aspects of human life history, such as a later age at first birth and a shorter female reproductive period. PMID:20739319

  8. 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…

  9. 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)

  10. Friendship and natural selection

    PubMed Central

    Christakis, Nicholas A.; Fowler, James H.

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:25024208

  11. 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.

  12. 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?

  13. 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.

  14. Natural selection and glucocorticoid physiology.

    PubMed

    Patterson, S H; Hahn, T P; Cornelius, J M; Breuner, C W

    2014-02-01

    Glucocorticoid hormones are considered potent modulators of trade-offs between reproduction and survival. As such, selection should affect glucocorticoid physiology, although relatively little is known about how selection may act on glucocorticoid profiles. In general, the evolution of physiology is less studied and less well understood than morphological or life history traits. Here, we used a long-term data set from a population of mountain white-crowned sparrows to estimate natural selection on glucocorticoid profiles. Our study suggests that survival selection favours higher hormone concentrations for multiple components of glucocorticoid physiology (both baseline and stress-induced glucocorticoid levels). Fecundity selection varies depending on the component of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal physiology; greater reproductive output was associated with higher baseline glucocorticoid levels, but lower stress-induced glucocorticoid levels. Additionally, the selection gradient was greater for glucocorticoids than for a morphological trait (wing length). These results support the hypothesis that stress-induced glucocorticoids increase survival over reproduction within a wild population (the CORT-trade-off hypothesis). Taken together, these results add to our knowledge of how selection operates on physiological traits and also provide an evolutionary and ecological perspective on several key open issues in the field of glucocorticoid physiology.

  15. Analyzing plant defenses in nature

    PubMed Central

    Kautz, Stefanie; Heil, Martin; Hegeman, Adrian D

    2009-01-01

    A broad range of chemical plant defenses against herbivores has been studied extensively under laboratory conditions. In many of these cases there is still little understanding of their relevance in nature. In natural systems, functional analyses of plant traits are often complicated by an extreme variability, which affects the interaction with higher trophic levels. Successful analyses require consideration of the numerous sources of variation that potentially affect the plant trait of interest. In our recent study on wild lima bean (Phaseolus lunatus L.) in South Mexico, we applied an integrative approach combining analyses for quantitative correlations of cyanogenic potential (HCNp; the maximum amount of cyanide that can be released from a given tissue) and herbivory in the field with subsequent feeding trials under controlled conditions. This approach allowed us to causally explain the consequences of quantitative variation of HCNp on herbivore-plant interactions in nature and highlights the importance of combining data obtained in natural systems with analyses under controlled conditions. PMID:19820300

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Relative contribution of oxygenated hydrocarbons to the total biogenic VOC emissions of selected mid-European agricultural and natural plant species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    König, Georg; Brunda, Monika; Puxbaum, Hans; Hewitt, C. Nicholas; Duckham, S. Craig; Rudolph, Jochen

    Emission rates of more than 50 individual VOCs were determined for eight plant species and three different types of grass land typical for natural deciduous and agricultural vegetation in Austria. In addition to the emissions of isoprene and monoterpenes, 33 biogenic oxygenated volatile organic compounds (BOVOCs) were detected. Of these, 2-methyl-l-propanol, 1-butanal, 2-butanal, 1-pentanol, 3-pentanol, 1-hexanol, 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-one, butanal and ethylhexylacetate were observed for the first time as plant emissions. In terms of prevalence of one of the groups of emitted VOCs (isoprene, terpenes, BOVOCs) the grain plants wheat and rye, grape, oilseed rape and the decidous trees hombeam and birch could be classified as "BOVOC"-emitters. For the grass plots examined, BOVOCs and terpenes appear to be of equal importance. The emission rates of the total assigned organic plant emissions ranged from 0.01 μ g -1 h -1 for wheat to 0.8 μg g -1 h -1 for oak (based on dry leaf weight). Intercomparison with available data from other studies show that our emission rates are rather at the lower end of reported ranges. The influence of the stage of growth was examined for rye, rape (comparing emissions of blossoming and nonblossoming plants) and for grape (with and without fruit). Emission rate differences for different stages of growth varied from nondetectable for blossoming and nonblossoming rye to a factor of six for the grape with fruits vs grape without fruits (emission rate based on dry leaf weight). The major decidous tree in Austria (beech) is a terpene emitter, with the contribution of BOVOCs below 5% of the total assigned emissions of 0.2 μg g -1 h -1 for the investigations of 20°C.

  20. Marketing time predicts naturalization of horticultural plants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Horticulture is an important source of naturalized plants, but little is known about naturalization frequencies and potential patterns of naturalization in horticultural plants. We analyzed a unique set of data derived from the detailed sales catalogs (1886-1930) of the most important early Florida ...

  1. Plant Natural Products Targeting Bacterial Virulence Factors.

    PubMed

    Silva, Laura Nunes; Zimmer, Karine Rigon; Macedo, Alexandre José; Trentin, Danielle Silva

    2016-08-24

    Decreased antimicrobial efficiency has become a global public health issue. The paucity of new antibacterial drugs is evident, and the arsenal against infectious diseases needs to be improved urgently. The selection of plants as a source of prototype compounds is appropriate, since plant species naturally produce a wide range of secondary metabolites that act as a chemical line of defense against microorganisms in the environment. Although traditional approaches to combat microbial infections remain effective, targeting microbial virulence rather than survival seems to be an exciting strategy, since the modulation of virulence factors might lead to a milder evolutionary pressure for the development of resistance. Additionally, anti-infective chemotherapies may be successfully achieved by combining antivirulence and conventional antimicrobials, extending the lifespan of these drugs. This review presents an updated discussion of natural compounds isolated from plants with chemically characterized structures and activity against the major bacterial virulence factors: quorum sensing, bacterial biofilms, bacterial motility, bacterial toxins, bacterial pigments, bacterial enzymes, and bacterial surfactants. Moreover, a critical analysis of the most promising virulence factors is presented, highlighting their potential as targets to attenuate bacterial virulence. The ongoing progress in the field of antivirulence therapy may therefore help to translate this promising concept into real intervention strategies in clinical areas. PMID:27437994

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. Pollinator-mediated natural selection in Penstemon digitalis.

    PubMed

    Parachnowitsch, Amy; Kessler, André

    2010-12-01

    Measuring the agents of natural selection is important because it allows us to understand not only which traits are expected to evolve but also why they will evolve. Natural selection by pollinators on floral traits is often assumed because in outcrossing animal-pollinated plants flowers are generally thought to function as advertisements of rewards directed at pollinators. We tested the role of bee pollinators in selection on Penstemon digitalis and found that pollinators were driving selection for larger and more flowers. However, what makes our publication unique is the additional information we gained from reviewing the few other studies that also directly tested whether pollinators were agents of selection on floral traits. As we would expect if pollinators are important agents of selection, selection on floral traits was significantly stronger when pollinators were present than when they were experimentally removed. Taken together, these results suggest that pollinators can be important drivers of selection in contemporary populations.

  5. Natural selection and social preferences.

    PubMed

    Weibull, Jörgen W; Salomonsson, Marcus

    2006-03-01

    A large number of individuals are randomly matched into groups, where each group plays a finite symmetric game. Individuals breed true. The expected number of surviving offspring depends on own material payoff, but may also, due to cooperative breeding and/or reproductive competition, depend on the material payoffs to other group members. The induced population dynamic is equivalent with the replicator dynamic for a game with payoffs derived from those in the original game. We apply this selection dynamic to a number of examples, including prisoners' dilemma games with and without a punishment option, coordination games, and hawk-dove games. For each of these, we compare the outcomes with those obtained under the standard replicator dynamic. By way of a revealed-preference argument, our selection dynamic can explain certain "altruistic" and "spiteful" behaviors that are consistent with individuals having social preferences.

  6. 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)…

  7. 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...

  8. Genomic selection in plant breeding

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Genomic selection (GS) is a method to predict the genetic value of selection candidates based on the genomic estimated breeding value (GEBV) predicted from high-density markers positioned throughout the genome. Unlike marker-assisted selection, the GEBV is based on all markers including both minor ...

  9. Evolutionary ecology of plant-microbe interactions: soil microbial structure alters selection on plant traits.

    PubMed

    Lau, Jennifer A; Lennon, Jay T

    2011-10-01

    • Below-ground microbial communities influence plant diversity, plant productivity, and plant community composition. Given these strong ecological effects, are interactions with below-ground microbes also important for understanding natural selection on plant traits? • Here, we manipulated below-ground microbial communities and the soil moisture environment on replicated populations of Brassica rapa to examine how microbial community structure influences selection on plant traits and mediates plant responses to abiotic environmental stress. • In soils with experimentally simplified microbial communities, plants were smaller, had reduced chlorophyll content, produced fewer flowers, and were less fecund when compared with plant populations grown in association with more complex soil microbial communities. Selection on plant growth and phenological traits also was stronger when plants were grown in simplified, less diverse soil microbial communities, and these effects typically were consistent across soil moisture treatments. • Our results suggest that microbial community structure affects patterns of natural selection on plant traits. Thus, the below-ground microbial community can influence evolutionary processes, just as recent studies have demonstrated that microbial diversity can influence plant community and ecosystem processes.

  10. Evolutionary ecology of plant-microbe interactions: soil microbial structure alters selection on plant traits.

    PubMed

    Lau, Jennifer A; Lennon, Jay T

    2011-10-01

    • Below-ground microbial communities influence plant diversity, plant productivity, and plant community composition. Given these strong ecological effects, are interactions with below-ground microbes also important for understanding natural selection on plant traits? • Here, we manipulated below-ground microbial communities and the soil moisture environment on replicated populations of Brassica rapa to examine how microbial community structure influences selection on plant traits and mediates plant responses to abiotic environmental stress. • In soils with experimentally simplified microbial communities, plants were smaller, had reduced chlorophyll content, produced fewer flowers, and were less fecund when compared with plant populations grown in association with more complex soil microbial communities. Selection on plant growth and phenological traits also was stronger when plants were grown in simplified, less diverse soil microbial communities, and these effects typically were consistent across soil moisture treatments. • Our results suggest that microbial community structure affects patterns of natural selection on plant traits. Thus, the below-ground microbial community can influence evolutionary processes, just as recent studies have demonstrated that microbial diversity can influence plant community and ecosystem processes. PMID:21658184

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Evaluation of antioxidant capacity of 13 plant extracts by three different methods: cluster analyses applied for selection of the natural extracts with higher antioxidant capacity to replace synthetic antioxidant in lamb burgers.

    PubMed

    Fernandes, R P P; Trindade, M A; Tonin, F G; Lima, C G; Pugine, S M P; Munekata, P E S; Lorenzo, J M; de Melo, M P

    2016-01-01

    The aims of this study were: to evaluate the total equivalent antioxidant capacities (TEAC) and phenolic contents of 13 plants extracts; to select the most promising extracts regarding reducing activity using cluster analysis multivariate statistical technique; and to analyse evaluate sensory acceptance of lamb burgers produced with the most promising natural antioxidants replacing sodium erythorbate. Plant extracts were evaluated regarding TEAC by DPPH(•) and FRAP methods, and total phenolics contents by Folin-Ciocalteau assay. The TEAC values ranged from 0.50 to 9.06 g trolox/100 g dry weight (dw) and from 43.6 to 472.32 μmol trolox/g dw for DPPH(•) and FRAP methods, respectively, and the total phenolic contents from 5.98 to 74.01 mg GAE/g dw. Extracts from Origanum vulgare, Melissa officinalis, Origanum majorana L. and Rosmarinus officinalis were grouped as the ones with higher antioxidant capacities by cluster analysis. All burgers produced with each one of these four plant extracts or with sodium erythorbate showed no differences (P > 0.05) regarding consumers' sensory acceptance. In conclusion, it is possible to replace sodium erythorbate in lamb burgers by any of the four natural extracts selected without compromising sensory acceptance of this meat product. PMID:26787964

  14. Crop domestication and its impact on naturally selected trophic interactions.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yolanda H; Gols, Rieta; Benrey, Betty

    2015-01-01

    Crop domestication is the process of artificially selecting plants to increase their suitability to human requirements: taste, yield, storage, and cultivation practices. There is increasing evidence that crop domestication can profoundly alter interactions among plants, herbivores, and their natural enemies. Overall, little is known about how these interactions are affected by domestication in the geographical ranges where these crops originate, where they are sympatric with the ancestral plant and share the associated arthropod community. In general, domestication consistently has reduced chemical resistance against herbivorous insects, improving herbivore and natural enemy performance on crop plants. More studies are needed to understand how changes in morphology and resistance-related traits arising from domestication may interact with environmental variation to affect species interactions across multiple scales in agroecosystems and natural ecosystems.

  15. Sequence-selective DNA recognition: natural products and nature's lessons.

    PubMed

    Tse, Winston C; Boger, Dale L

    2004-12-01

    Biologically active, therapeutically useful, DNA binding natural products continue to reveal new paradigms for sequence-selective recognition, to enlist beautiful mechanisms of in situ activation for DNA modification, to define new therapeutic targets, to exploit new mechanisms to achieve cellular selectivity, and to provide a rich source of new drugs. These attributes arise in compact structures of complex integrated function.

  16. 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.

  17. The Signatures of Selection for Translational Accuracy in Plant Genes

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:23695187

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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. PMID:27114866

  2. Midbrain auditory selectivity to natural sounds

    PubMed Central

    Moss, Cynthia F.

    2016-01-01

    This study investigated auditory stimulus selectivity in the midbrain superior colliculus (SC) of the echolocating bat, an animal that relies on hearing to guide its orienting behaviors. Multichannel, single-unit recordings were taken across laminae of the midbrain SC of the awake, passively listening big brown bat, Eptesicus fuscus. Species-specific frequency-modulated (FM) echolocation sound sequences with dynamic spectrotemporal features served as acoustic stimuli along with artificial sound sequences matched in bandwidth, amplitude, and duration but differing in spectrotemporal structure. Neurons in dorsal sensory regions of the bat SC responded selectively to elements within the FM sound sequences, whereas neurons in ventral sensorimotor regions showed broad response profiles to natural and artificial stimuli. Moreover, a generalized linear model (GLM) constructed on responses in the dorsal SC to artificial linear FM stimuli failed to predict responses to natural sounds and vice versa, but the GLM produced accurate response predictions in ventral SC neurons. This result suggests that auditory selectivity in the dorsal extent of the bat SC arises through nonlinear mechanisms, which extract species-specific sensory information. Importantly, auditory selectivity appeared only in responses to stimuli containing the natural statistics of acoustic signals used by the bat for spatial orientation—sonar vocalizations—offering support for the hypothesis that sensory selectivity enables rapid species-specific orienting behaviors. The results of this study are the first, to our knowledge, to show auditory spectrotemporal selectivity to natural stimuli in SC neurons and serve to inform a more general understanding of mechanisms guiding sensory selectivity for natural, goal-directed orienting behaviors. PMID:26884152

  3. Midbrain auditory selectivity to natural sounds.

    PubMed

    Wohlgemuth, Melville J; Moss, Cynthia F

    2016-03-01

    This study investigated auditory stimulus selectivity in the midbrain superior colliculus (SC) of the echolocating bat, an animal that relies on hearing to guide its orienting behaviors. Multichannel, single-unit recordings were taken across laminae of the midbrain SC of the awake, passively listening big brown bat, Eptesicus fuscus. Species-specific frequency-modulated (FM) echolocation sound sequences with dynamic spectrotemporal features served as acoustic stimuli along with artificial sound sequences matched in bandwidth, amplitude, and duration but differing in spectrotemporal structure. Neurons in dorsal sensory regions of the bat SC responded selectively to elements within the FM sound sequences, whereas neurons in ventral sensorimotor regions showed broad response profiles to natural and artificial stimuli. Moreover, a generalized linear model (GLM) constructed on responses in the dorsal SC to artificial linear FM stimuli failed to predict responses to natural sounds and vice versa, but the GLM produced accurate response predictions in ventral SC neurons. This result suggests that auditory selectivity in the dorsal extent of the bat SC arises through nonlinear mechanisms, which extract species-specific sensory information. Importantly, auditory selectivity appeared only in responses to stimuli containing the natural statistics of acoustic signals used by the bat for spatial orientation-sonar vocalizations-offering support for the hypothesis that sensory selectivity enables rapid species-specific orienting behaviors. The results of this study are the first, to our knowledge, to show auditory spectrotemporal selectivity to natural stimuli in SC neurons and serve to inform a more general understanding of mechanisms guiding sensory selectivity for natural, goal-directed orienting behaviors. PMID:26884152

  4. Midbrain auditory selectivity to natural sounds.

    PubMed

    Wohlgemuth, Melville J; Moss, Cynthia F

    2016-03-01

    This study investigated auditory stimulus selectivity in the midbrain superior colliculus (SC) of the echolocating bat, an animal that relies on hearing to guide its orienting behaviors. Multichannel, single-unit recordings were taken across laminae of the midbrain SC of the awake, passively listening big brown bat, Eptesicus fuscus. Species-specific frequency-modulated (FM) echolocation sound sequences with dynamic spectrotemporal features served as acoustic stimuli along with artificial sound sequences matched in bandwidth, amplitude, and duration but differing in spectrotemporal structure. Neurons in dorsal sensory regions of the bat SC responded selectively to elements within the FM sound sequences, whereas neurons in ventral sensorimotor regions showed broad response profiles to natural and artificial stimuli. Moreover, a generalized linear model (GLM) constructed on responses in the dorsal SC to artificial linear FM stimuli failed to predict responses to natural sounds and vice versa, but the GLM produced accurate response predictions in ventral SC neurons. This result suggests that auditory selectivity in the dorsal extent of the bat SC arises through nonlinear mechanisms, which extract species-specific sensory information. Importantly, auditory selectivity appeared only in responses to stimuli containing the natural statistics of acoustic signals used by the bat for spatial orientation-sonar vocalizations-offering support for the hypothesis that sensory selectivity enables rapid species-specific orienting behaviors. The results of this study are the first, to our knowledge, to show auditory spectrotemporal selectivity to natural stimuli in SC neurons and serve to inform a more general understanding of mechanisms guiding sensory selectivity for natural, goal-directed orienting behaviors.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  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

    2014-11-01

    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. 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.

  9. 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. PMID:19800418

  10. 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.

  11. 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…

  12. 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.

  13. The naturalization of the oil collecting bee Centris nitida (Hymenoptera, Apidae, Centrini), a potential pollinator of selected native, ornamental and invasive plants in Florida

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The neotropical bee Centris nitida, recorded also from southern Arizona, has naturalized in southeastern Florida. This furry yellow and black bee has been confused with the similar C. lanosa, a native bee restricted to northern Florida and the Southwest and adjacent Mexico. Female C. nitida are smal...

  14. Natural Paradigms of Plant Cell Wall Degradation

    SciTech Connect

    Wei, H.; Xu, Q.; Taylor, L. E.; Baker, J. O.; Tucker, M. P.; Ding, S. Y.

    2009-01-01

    Natural processes of recycling carbon from plant cell walls are slow but very efficient, generally involving microbial communities and their secreted enzymes. Efficient combinations of microbial communities and enzymes act in a sequential and synergistic manner to degrade plant cell walls. Recent understanding of plant cell wall ultra-structure, as well as the carbon metabolism, ATP production, and ecology of participating microbial communities, and the biochemical properties of their cellulolytic enzymes have led to new perspectives on saccharification of biomass. Microbial communities are dynamic functions of the chemical and structural compositions of plant cell wall components. The primitive 'multicellularity' exhibited by certain cellulolytic microorganisms may play a role in facilitating cell-cell communication and cell-plant cell wall-substrate interaction.

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

  17. 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. PMID:27385113

  18. 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.

  19. Viability selection prior to trait expression is an essential component of natural selection

    PubMed Central

    Mojica, Julius P.; Kelly, John K.

    2010-01-01

    Natural selection operates throughout the life cycle of an organism. Correlative studies typically fail to consider the effects of viability selection prior to trait expression. A 3-year field experiment on the wildflower Mimulus guttatus demonstrates that this unmeasured component of selection can be very strong. As in previous studies, we find that fecundity is positively related to flower size. However, survival to flowering is much lower in large-flowered genotypes than in small-flowered genotypes. Aggregating viability and fecundity, lifetime fitness through female function generally favoured smaller flowered genotypes. This result differs from the great majority of field studies, which suggest strong positive selection on flower size. It has important cautionary implications for studies of natural and sexual selection on adult characters generally, in both plants and animals. PMID:20462906

  20. 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

  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. Natural enemies drive geographic variation in plant defenses.

    PubMed

    Züst, Tobias; Heichinger, Christian; Grossniklaus, Ueli; Harrington, Richard; Kliebenstein, Daniel J; Turnbull, Lindsay A

    2012-10-01

    Plants defend themselves against attack by natural enemies, and these defenses vary widely across populations. However, whether communities of natural enemies are a sufficiently potent force to maintain polymorphisms in defensive traits is largely unknown. Here, we exploit the genetic resources of Arabidopsis thaliana, coupled with 39 years of field data on aphid abundance, to (i) demonstrate that geographic patterns in a polymorphic defense locus (GS-ELONG) are strongly correlated with changes in the relative abundance of two specialist aphids; and (ii) demonstrate differential selection by the two aphids on GS-ELONG, using a multigeneration selection experiment. We thereby show a causal link between variation in abundance of the two specialist aphids and the geographic pattern at GS-ELONG, which highlights the potency of natural enemies as selective forces.

  3. 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

  4. Darwin's finches: population variation and natural selection.

    PubMed Central

    Grant, P R; Grant, B R; Smith, J N; Abbott, I J; Abbott, L K

    1976-01-01

    Van Valen's model, which relates morphological variation to ecological variation in an adaptive scheme, was investigated with individually marked and measured Darwin's finches on two adjacent Galápagos islands, Santa Cruz and Daphne Major. Results show that environmental heterogeneity is correlated with large continuous, morphological variation: variation in bill dimensions of Geospiza fortis is greater on Santa Cruz than on Daphne, as is environmental heterogeneity. Within populations of this species, different phenotypes distribute themselves in different habitat patches, select foods of different sizes and hardness, and exploit them with efficiencies that are phenotype- (bill size) dependent. These data constitute indirect evidence that natural selection has a controlling influence over the level of phenotypic variation exhibited by a population. Further evidence is that phenotypes did not survive equally well during the study period; on Daphne island G. fortis was apparently subjected to directional selection on bill tip length and G. scandens to normalizing selection on body weight and bill depth. Other factors which may have contributed to the establishment of a difference in variation between Santa Cruz and Daphne populations are the founder effect, genetic drift, and assortative mating. Annual climatic unpredictability is considered a source of environmental heterogeneity which, through its effect upon food supply, favors large morphological variation. It is predicted that species of large individual size are more influenced by this than are small species, and consequently exhibit greater size-corrected variation. The prediction is tested with data from six Geospiza species, and found to be correct. PMID:1061123

  5. Natural selection and the maximization of fitness.

    PubMed

    Birch, Jonathan

    2016-08-01

    The notion that natural selection is a process of fitness maximization gets a bad press in population genetics, yet in other areas of biology the view that organisms behave as if attempting to maximize their fitness remains widespread. Here I critically appraise the prospects for reconciliation. I first distinguish four varieties of fitness maximization. I then examine two recent developments that may appear to vindicate at least one of these varieties. The first is the 'new' interpretation of Fisher's fundamental theorem of natural selection, on which the theorem is exactly true for any evolving population that satisfies some minimal assumptions. The second is the Formal Darwinism project, which forges links between gene frequency change and optimal strategy choice. In both cases, I argue that the results fail to establish a biologically significant maximization principle. I conclude that it may be a mistake to look for universal maximization principles justified by theory alone. A more promising approach may be to find maximization principles that apply conditionally and to show that the conditions were satisfied in the evolution of particular traits.

  6. Darwin, microbes and evolution by natural selection.

    PubMed

    Moxon, E Richard

    2011-01-01

    Born 200 years ago, Darwin's revolutionary ideas were derived largely from his observations on life forms that evolved relatively recently, including various flowering plants, worms, birds and domesticated animals. Yet, life appeared on planet earth close to 4 billion years ago in the form of unicellular organisms collectively called bacteria. It was only shortly after "On the Origin of Species" was published (1859) that the "germ theory" of infectious diseases was formulated. Microbes (viruses, bacteria, fungi and microparasites) received scant mention in Darwin's writings, although pioneers of the Golden Age of Bacteriology, such as Louis Pasteur (1822-1895), were contemporaries. Today, microbes offer extraordinary testimony and powerful model systems of direct relevance to the essentials of Darwinian selection, such as understanding microbial-host interactions, the evolution of pathogens and the emergence of drug- or vaccine-related resistance.

  7. 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.

  8. 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. PMID:15215853

  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. 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

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. 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.

  14. Good genes sexual selection in nature.

    PubMed

    Byers, John A; Waits, Lisette

    2006-10-31

    Whether the mate sampling and choice performed by females in nature influences offspring performance is a controversial issue in theory and an open empirical question. Pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) females engage in an obvious and energetically expensive mate sampling process to identify vigorous males. Although individual females sample independently, their choices converge on a small proportion of males that sire most young. Offspring of attractive males were more likely to survive to weaning and to age classes as late as 5 years, resulting in a selection differential, calculated by expected differences in lifetime number of offspring weaned, of 0.32 against random mating. Enhanced survival to weaning appeared to be accomplished by faster growth rates. Females compensated for matings with a less attractive mate by elevating rates of milk delivery to their young. Because pronghorn males do not have costly ornaments, we conclude that female choice for good genes can exist in the absence of ornaments. Furthermore, female choice may be important and unrecognized as a force that can lower population genetic load. PMID:17060640

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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…

  18. Lessons from natural and artificial polyploids in higher plants.

    PubMed

    Hegarty, M; Coate, J; Sherman-Broyles, S; Abbott, R; Hiscock, S; Doyle, J

    2013-01-01

    Polyploidy in higher plants is a major source of genetic novelty upon which selection may act to drive evolution, as evidenced by the widespread success of polyploid species in the wild. However, research into the effects of polyploidy can be confounded by the entanglement of several processes: genome duplication, hybridisation (allopolyploidy is frequent in plants) and subsequent evolution. The discovery of the chemical agent colchicine, which can be used to produce artificial polyploids on demand, has enabled scientists to unravel these threads and understand the complex genomic changes involved in each. We present here an overview of lessons learnt from studies of natural and artificial polyploids, and from comparisons between the 2, covering basic cellular and metabolic consequences through to alterations in epigenetic gene regulation, together with 2 in-depth case studies in Senecio and Glycine. See also the sister article focusing on animals by Arai and Fujimoto in this themed issue. PMID:23816545

  19. 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.

  20. 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).

  1. 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…

  2. 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. PMID:23171270

  3. The impact of linked selection on plant genomic variation

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the forces that shape patterns of genetic variation across the genome is a major aim in evolutionary genetics. An emerging insight from analyses of genome-wide polymorphism and divergence data is that selection on linked sites can have an important impact on neutral genetic variation. However, in contrast to Drosophila, which exhibits a signature of recurrent hitchhiking, many plant genomes studied so far seem to mainly be affected by background selection. Moreover, many plants do not exhibit classic signatures of linked selection, such as a correlation between recombination rate and neutral diversity. In this review, I discuss the impact of genome architecture and mating system on the expected signature of linked selection in plants and review empirical evidence for linked selection, with a focus on plant model systems. Finally, I discuss the implications of linked selection for inference of demographic history in plants. PMID:24759704

  4. Evaluations of selected text references to natural selection by high school biology teachers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Preston, George L.

    1997-09-01

    For decades researchers have warned of problems associated with using anthropomorphic and teleological formulations to explain natural selection. This study investigates how high school biology teachers evaluate potentially useful text containing canonical, anthropomorphic and teleological formulations that purport to explain biological adaptation through natural selection. Twenty-four teachers were randomly selected from a stratified sample of all high school biology teachers in three counties surrounding a major city in upstate New York. Each teacher evaluated 16 canonical, anthropomorphic and teleological formulations in a questionnaire and then participated in a semi-structured interview to explain why choices were made and how they might modify some items. Goals of this study were to understand teacher standards regarding these formulations by means of determining: (1) How teachers evaluate canonical, anthropomorphic and teleologlcal presented on a questionnaire (2) Do teachers recognize phrases that imply anthropomorphic and teleological meanings? (3) How does content effect teachers' evaluation of statement usefulness? And (4) Do years of experience influence teachers' sensitivity to anthropomorphic and teleological meanings? Conclusions of this study show that: (1) Concern about potential misconceptions was the most important factor influencing teachers' judgment of statements. (2) Vocabulary appears to be an important factor in teachers' judgment of text usefulness. (3) Teachers who are more sensitive to the anthropomorphic or teleological phrases were more likely to reject their use. (4) The content area of natural selection (i.e., animal, microbe, human and plant) does not appear to influence teachers' use of canonical, anthropomorphic or teleological formulations of statements. (5) Inexperienced teachers have a high tolerance for some non-literal formulations (i.e., anthropomorphic and teleological).

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. 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

  13. TCR-MHC docking orientation: natural selection, or thymic selection?

    PubMed

    Collins, Edward J; Riddle, David S

    2008-01-01

    T cell receptors (TCR) dock on their peptide-major histocompatibility complex (pMHC) targets in a conserved orientation. Since amino acid sidechains are the foundation of specific protein-protein interactions, a simple explanation for the conserved docking orientation is that key amino acids encoded by the TCR and MHC genes have been selected and maintained through evolution in order to preserve TCR/pMHC binding. Expectations that follow from the hypothesis that TCR and MHC evolved to interact are discussed in light of the data that both support and refute them. Finally, an alternative and equally simple explanation for the driving force behind the conserved docking orientation is described.

  14. Induced responses to competition and herbivory: natural selection on multi-trait phenotypic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Boege, Karina

    2010-09-01

    Herbivory and competition are two of the most common biotic stressors for plants. When occurring simultaneously, responses to one interaction can constrain the induction of responses to the other interaction due to resource limitation and other interactive effects. Thus, to maximize fitness when interacting with competitors and herbivores, plants are likely to express particular combinations of plastic responses. This study reports the interactive effects of herbivory and competition on responses induced in Tithonia tubaeformis plants and describes how natural selection acts on particular plastic responses and on their different combinations. Competition induced a stem elongation response, expressed through an increase in height and mean internode length, together with a decrease in basal diameter. Interestingly, realized resistance increased in both competition and herbivory treatments, suggesting a plastic response in both constitutive and induced resistance traits. Particular combinations of plastic responses defined three plant phenotypes: vigorous, elongated, and resistant plants. The ecological context in which plants grew modified the traits and the particular combinations of plastic responses that were favored by selection. Vigorous plants were favored by selection in all environments, except when they were damaged by herbivores in the absence of neighbors. The combination of responses defining an elongated plant phenotype was favored by selection in crowded conditions. Resistance was negatively selected in the absence of competition and herbivory but favored in the presence of both interactions. In addition, contextual analyses detected that population structure in heterogeneous environments can also influence the outcomes of selection. These findings suggest that natural selection can act on particular combinations of plastic responses, which may allow plants to adjust their phenotypes to those that promote greater fitness under particular ecological

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

    Campbell, Diane R; Powers, John M

    2015-06-01

    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.

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

    PubMed

    Campbell, Diane R; Powers, John M

    2015-06-01

    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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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. PMID:21332621

  5. Hidden genetic nature of epigenetic natural variation in plants.

    PubMed

    Pecinka, Ales; Abdelsamad, Ahmed; Vu, Giang T H

    2013-11-01

    Transcriptional gene silencing (TGS) is an epigenetic mechanism that suppresses the activity of repetitive DNA elements via accumulation of repressive chromatin marks. We discuss natural variation in TGS, with a particular focus on cases that affect the function of protein-coding genes and lead to developmental or physiological changes. Comparison of the examples described has revealed that most natural variation is associated with genetic determinants, such as gene rearrangements, inverted repeats, and transposon insertions that triggered TGS. Recent technical advances have enabled the study of epigenetic natural variation at a whole-genome scale and revealed patterns of inter- and intraspecific epigenetic variation. Future studies exploring non-model species may reveal species-specific evolutionary adaptations at the level of chromatin configuration.

  6. Natural plant toxicants in milk: a review.

    PubMed

    Panter, K E; James, L F

    1990-03-01

    Elimination of plant toxicants via milk by lactating animals is considered a minor route of excretion; however, it may be important when the health of the neonate or food safety in humans is considered. Among plant toxicants excreted in milk is tremetol or tremetone, the toxin in white snakeroot (Eupatorium rugosum) and rayless goldenrod (Haplopappus heterophyllus). These plants have been responsible for intoxication of cows and their suckling calves and for many human poisonings. Other plant toxins excreted through the milk that pose a toxicity hazard include pyrrolizidine alkaloids in Senecio, Crotalaria, Heliotropium, Echium, Amsinckia, Symphytum (comfrey), Cynoglossum (hounds tongue) and Festuca (tall fescue); piperidine alkaloids in Conium, tobacco and others; quinolizidine alkaloids in Lupinus; sesquiterpene lactones of bitterweed and rubber weed; and glucosinolates in Amoracia (horseradish), Brassica (cabbage, broccoli, etc.), Limnanthes (meadowfoam), Nasturtium (watercress), Raphanus (radish) and Thlaspi (stinkweed). Many plants such as Astragalus, Oonopsis, Stanleya, Xylorrhiza, Aster, Atriplex, Sideranthus and Machaeranthera accumulate selenium and may cause intoxication when grazed. Selenium is found in the milk at concentrations relative to the amounts ingested by the lactating animal. Excretion of selenium via the milk is important in the deficiency state, but when in excess it may cause toxicity to offspring. PMID:2180885

  7. Hamilton's forces of natural selection after forty years.

    PubMed

    Rose, Michael R; Rauser, Casandra L; Benford, Gregory; Matos, Margarida; Mueller, Laurence D

    2007-06-01

    In 1966, William D. Hamilton published a landmark paper in evolutionary biology: "The Moulding of Senescence by Natural Selection." It is now apparent that this article is as important as his better-known 1964 articles on kin selection. Not only did the 1966 article explain aging, it also supplied the basic scaling forces for natural selection over the entire life history. Like the Lorentz transformations of relativistic physics, Hamilton's Forces of Natural Selection provide an overarching framework for understanding the power of natural selection at early ages, the existence of aging, the timing of aging, the cessation of aging, and the timing of the cessation of aging. His twin Forces show that natural selection shapes survival and fecundity in different ways, so their evolution can be somewhat distinct. Hamilton's Forces also define the context in which genetic variation is shaped. The Forces of Natural Selection are readily manipulable using experimental evolution, allowing the deceleration or acceleration of aging, and the shifting of the transition ages between development, aging, and late life. For these reasons, evolutionary research on the demographic features of life history should be referred to as "Hamiltonian."

  8. 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. PMID:26411571

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Exploring Genetic Drift and Natural Selection through a Simulation Activity.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Maret, Timothy J.; Rissing, Steven W.

    1998-01-01

    Reports on the development of a laboratory exercise that would allow students to explore the concept of genetic drift. Discusses the concept of genetic drift that is coincident with natural selection and that closely models the real world. (DDR)

  12. The Unit of Natural Selection: Groups, Families, Individuals, or Genes?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reiss, Michael J.

    1985-01-01

    Offers perspectives on natural selection and the phenomenon of altruism. Presents evidence for and against the theories that evolution acts essentially on genes, on individuals, on kin, or on larger groups. (ML)

  13. 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…

  14. Naturalization Test Redesign Project: Civics Item Selection Analysis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    US Citizenship and Immigration Services, 2008

    2008-01-01

    "Naturalization Test Redesign Project: Civics Item Selection Analysis" provides an overview of the development of content items for the U.S. history and government (civics) portion of the redesigned naturalization test. This document also reviews the process used to gather and analyze data from multiple studies to determine which civics test items…

  15. 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)

  16. Plant extracts as natural amoebicidal agents.

    PubMed

    Derda, Monika; Hadaś, Edward; Thiem, Barbara

    2009-02-01

    Strains of Acanthamoeba sp. constitute a factor contributing to the occurrence of chronic granulomatous amoebic encephalitis, keratitis, pneumonia, as well as inflammations of other organs. Treatment of these diseases is very difficult and not always effective. A majority of these infections have been fatal. The aim of our study was to examine the amoebicidal or amoebistatic activity of plant extracts from Rubus chamaemorus, Pueraria lobata, Solidago virgaurea and Solidago graminifolia. For the purpose of isolation of pharmacologically active substances, we used the aboveground parts of plants, together with flowers, roots and leaves. It was established that extracts from S. virgauera, P. lobata and R. chamaemorus displayed chemotherapeutic properties in vitro in concentrations of approximately 0.01-0.05 mg extract/mL, i.e., in concentrations of 0.350 microg/mL expressed in ellagic acid for R. chamaemorus and 0.053 microg/mL expressed in puerarin for P. lobata. Therapeutic index values is 3.5-20. As a result of in vivo experiments, it was found out that, following therapy using the extracts, animals infected with Acanthamoeba sp. survived for an extended period (2.5-3 times longer). It was determined that plant extracts may be used both externally and internally in the case of a combined therapy for acanthamoebiasis. The tested extracts are not toxic for animals.

  17. Learning from failures: testing broad taxonomic hypotheses about plant naturalization.

    PubMed

    Diez, Jeffrey M; Williams, Peter A; Randall, Rod P; Sullivan, Jon J; Hulme, Philip E; Duncan, Richard P

    2009-11-01

    Our understanding of broad taxonomic patterns of plant naturalizations is based entirely on observations of successful naturalizations. Omission of the failures, however, can introduce bias by conflating the probabilities of introduction and naturalization. Here, we use two comprehensive datasets of successful and failed plant naturalizations in New Zealand and Australia for a unique, flora-wide comparative test of several major invasion hypotheses. First, we show that some taxa are consistently more successful at naturalizing in these two countries, despite their environmental differences. Broad climatic origins helped to explain some of the differences in success rates in the two countries. We further show that species with native relatives were generally more successful in both countries, contrary to Darwin's naturalization hypothesis, but this effect was inconsistent among families across the two countries. Finally, we show that contrary to studies based on successful naturalizations only, islands need not be inherently more invisible than continents.

  18. Selection on soil microbiomes reveals reproducible impacts on plant function.

    PubMed

    Panke-Buisse, Kevin; Poole, Angela C; Goodrich, Julia K; Ley, Ruth E; Kao-Kniffin, Jenny

    2015-04-01

    Soil microorganisms found in the root zone impact plant growth and development, but the potential to harness these benefits is hampered by the sheer abundance and diversity of the players influencing desirable plant traits. Here, we report a high level of reproducibility of soil microbiomes in altering plant flowering time and soil functions when partnered within and between plant hosts. We used a multi-generation experimental system using Arabidopsis thaliana Col to select for soil microbiomes inducing earlier or later flowering times of their hosts. We then inoculated the selected microbiomes from the tenth generation of plantings into the soils of three additional A. thaliana genotypes (Ler, Be, RLD) and a related crucifer (Brassica rapa). With the exception of Ler, all other plant hosts showed a shift in flowering time corresponding with the inoculation of early- or late-flowering microbiomes. Analysis of the soil microbial community using 16 S rRNA gene sequencing showed distinct microbiota profiles assembling by flowering time treatment. Plant hosts grown with the late-flowering-associated microbiomes showed consequent increases in inflorescence biomass for three A. thaliana genotypes and an increase in total biomass for B. rapa. The increase in biomass was correlated with two- to five-fold enhancement of microbial extracellular enzyme activities associated with nitrogen mineralization in soils. The reproducibility of the flowering phenotype across plant hosts suggests that microbiomes can be selected to modify plant traits and coordinate changes in soil resource pools.

  19. Selection on soil microbiomes reveals reproducible impacts on plant function.

    PubMed

    Panke-Buisse, Kevin; Poole, Angela C; Goodrich, Julia K; Ley, Ruth E; Kao-Kniffin, Jenny

    2015-04-01

    Soil microorganisms found in the root zone impact plant growth and development, but the potential to harness these benefits is hampered by the sheer abundance and diversity of the players influencing desirable plant traits. Here, we report a high level of reproducibility of soil microbiomes in altering plant flowering time and soil functions when partnered within and between plant hosts. We used a multi-generation experimental system using Arabidopsis thaliana Col to select for soil microbiomes inducing earlier or later flowering times of their hosts. We then inoculated the selected microbiomes from the tenth generation of plantings into the soils of three additional A. thaliana genotypes (Ler, Be, RLD) and a related crucifer (Brassica rapa). With the exception of Ler, all other plant hosts showed a shift in flowering time corresponding with the inoculation of early- or late-flowering microbiomes. Analysis of the soil microbial community using 16 S rRNA gene sequencing showed distinct microbiota profiles assembling by flowering time treatment. Plant hosts grown with the late-flowering-associated microbiomes showed consequent increases in inflorescence biomass for three A. thaliana genotypes and an increase in total biomass for B. rapa. The increase in biomass was correlated with two- to five-fold enhancement of microbial extracellular enzyme activities associated with nitrogen mineralization in soils. The reproducibility of the flowering phenotype across plant hosts suggests that microbiomes can be selected to modify plant traits and coordinate changes in soil resource pools. PMID:25350154

  20. 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.

  1. Selection on soil microbiomes reveals reproducible impacts on plant function

    PubMed Central

    Panke-Buisse, Kevin; Poole, Angela C; Goodrich, Julia K; Ley, Ruth E; Kao-Kniffin, Jenny

    2015-01-01

    Soil microorganisms found in the root zone impact plant growth and development, but the potential to harness these benefits is hampered by the sheer abundance and diversity of the players influencing desirable plant traits. Here, we report a high level of reproducibility of soil microbiomes in altering plant flowering time and soil functions when partnered within and between plant hosts. We used a multi-generation experimental system using Arabidopsis thaliana Col to select for soil microbiomes inducing earlier or later flowering times of their hosts. We then inoculated the selected microbiomes from the tenth generation of plantings into the soils of three additional A. thaliana genotypes (Ler, Be, RLD) and a related crucifer (Brassica rapa). With the exception of Ler, all other plant hosts showed a shift in flowering time corresponding with the inoculation of early- or late-flowering microbiomes. Analysis of the soil microbial community using 16 S rRNA gene sequencing showed distinct microbiota profiles assembling by flowering time treatment. Plant hosts grown with the late-flowering-associated microbiomes showed consequent increases in inflorescence biomass for three A. thaliana genotypes and an increase in total biomass for B. rapa. The increase in biomass was correlated with two- to five-fold enhancement of microbial extracellular enzyme activities associated with nitrogen mineralization in soils. The reproducibility of the flowering phenotype across plant hosts suggests that microbiomes can be selected to modify plant traits and coordinate changes in soil resource pools. PMID:25350154

  2. 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. PMID:26910798

  3. 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.

  4. 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…

  5. 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. PMID:27651267

  6. 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.

  7. 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. PMID:16475103

  8. The diversification of mate preferences by natural and sexual selection.

    PubMed

    Rundle, H D; Chenoweth, S F; Blows, M W

    2009-08-01

    The evolution of sexual display traits or preferences for them in response to divergent natural selection will alter sexual selection within populations, yet the role of sexual selection in ecological speciation has received little empirical attention. We evolved 12 populations of Drosophila serrata in a two-way factorial design to investigate the roles of natural and sexual selection in the evolution of female mate preferences for male cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs). Mate preferences weakened in populations evolving under natural selection alone, implying a cost in the absence of their expression. Comparison of the vectors of linear sexual selection revealed that the populations diverged in the combination of male CHCs that females found most attractive, although this was not significant using a mixed modelling approach. Changes in preference direction tended to evolve when natural and sexual selection were unconstrained, suggesting that both processes may be the key to initial stages of ecological speciation. Determining the generality of this result will require data from various species across a range of novel environments.

  9. 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.

  10. Natural plant chemicals: source of industrial and medicinal materials

    SciTech Connect

    Balandrin, M.F.; Klocke, J.A.; Wurtele, E.S.; Bollinger, W.H.

    1985-01-01

    Many higher plants produce economically important organic compounds such as oils, resins, tannins, natural rubber, gums, waxes, dyes, flavors and fragrances, pharmaceuticals, and pesticides. However, most species of higher plants have never been described, much less surveyed for chemical or biologically active constituents, and new sources of commercially valuable materials remain to be discovered. Advances in biotechnology, particularly methods for culturing plants cells and tissues, should provide new means for the commercial processing of even rare plants and the chemicals they produce. These new technologies will extend and enhance the usefulness of plants as renewable resources of valuable chemicals. In the future, biologically active plant-derived chemicals can be expected to play an increasingly significant role in the commercial development of new products for regulating plant growth and for insect and weed control. 65 references.

  11. The Limits of Natural Selection in a Nonequilibrium World.

    PubMed

    Brandvain, Yaniv; Wright, Stephen I

    2016-04-01

    Evolutionary theory predicts that factors such as a small population size or low recombination rate can limit the action of natural selection. The emerging field of comparative population genomics offers an opportunity to evaluate these hypotheses. However, classical theoretical predictions assume that populations are at demographic equilibrium. This assumption is likely to be violated in the very populations researchers use to evaluate selection's limits: populations that have experienced a recent shift in population size and/or effective recombination rates. Here we highlight theory and data analyses concerning limitations on the action of natural selection in nonequilibrial populations and argue that substantial care is needed to appropriately test whether species and populations show meaningful differences in selection efficacy. A move toward model-based inferences that explicitly incorporate nonequilibrium dynamics provides a promising approach to more accurately contrast selection efficacy across populations and interpret its significance. PMID:26874998

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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. PMID:26424874

  15. Does genomic selection have a future in plant breeding?

    PubMed

    Jonas, Elisabeth; de Koning, Dirk-Jan

    2013-09-01

    Plant breeding largely depends on phenotypic selection in plots and only for some, often disease-resistance-related traits, uses genetic markers. The more recently developed concept of genomic selection, using a black box approach with no need of prior knowledge about the effect or function of individual markers, has also been proposed as a great opportunity for plant breeding. Several empirical and theoretical studies have focused on the possibility to implement this as a novel molecular method across various species. Although we do not question the potential of genomic selection in general, in this Opinion, we emphasize that genomic selection approaches from dairy cattle breeding cannot be easily applied to complex plant breeding.

  16. 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

  17. Accumulation of heavy metals in selected medicinal plants.

    PubMed

    Sarma, Hemen; Deka, Suresh; Deka, Hemen; Saikia, Rashmi Rekha

    2011-01-01

    In this review, we evaluate the reports published between 1993 and 2011 that address the heavy metal accumulation in 88 medicinal plant species. We compare the safe limits for heavy metals set by governmental agencies vs. the levels at which such metals actually exist in selected medicinal plants. We also evaluate the uses and effectiveness of medicinal plants in health care, and assess the hazards of medicinal plant uses, in view of the growing worldwide use of medicinal plants. From our extensive review of the literature, we discovered that a maximum permissible level (MPL) of Pb is exceeded in 21 plant medicine species, Cd in 44 species, and Hg in 10 species. Vetiveria zizanioides a potential candidate species for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases absorb a wide range of heavy metals from metal-contaminated soils. We believe that this species is the single most impressive example of a potentially hazardous medicinal plant. Based on our review, we endorse the hypothesis that heavy metal accumulation by medicinal plants is mainly caused by extraction of soluble metals from contaminated soil, sediments and air. One continuing problem in protecting consumers of plant-based medicines is that permissible levels of all heavy metals in herbal medicine have not yet been standardized by regulating governmental entities. Moreover, there are few limit tests that exist for heavy metal content of medicinal plants, or permissible limits for essential dietary minerals, in most medicinal plants. The dearth of such limits hamstrings development of medicinal plant research and delays the release of either new or improved versions of medicinal plants or their components. In the present review, we emphasize that medicinal plants are often subjected to heavy metal contamination and that the levels at which these heavy metals sometimes occur exceeds permissible levels for some species. Therefore, collecting medicinal plants from areas that are, or may be, contaminated should be

  18. 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.

  19. Antiprotease activity of selected Slovak medicinal plants.

    PubMed

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

    2010-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-01

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

  1. 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. 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. PMID:24594211

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Variation, natural selection, and information content--a simulation.

    PubMed

    Testa, Bernard; Bojarski, Andrzej J

    2007-10-01

    In Neo-Darwinism, variation and natural selection are the two evolutionary mechanisms that propel biological evolution. Variation implies changes in the gene pool of a population, enlarging the genetic variability from which natural selection can choose. But in the absence of natural selection, variation causes dissipation and randomization. Natural selection, in contrast, constrains this variability by decreasing the survival and fertility of the less-adapted organisms. The objective of this study is to propose a highly simplified simulation of variation and natural selection, and to relate the observed evolutionary changes in a population to its information content. The model involves an imaginary population of individuals. A quantifiable character allows the individuals to be categorized into bins. The distribution of bins (a histogram) was assumed to be Gaussian. The content of each bin was calculated after one to twelve cycles, each cycle spanning N generations (N being undefined). In a first study, selection was simulated in the absence of variation. This was modeled by assuming a differential fertility factor F that increased linearly from the lower bins (F<1.00) to the higher bins (F>1.00). The fertility factor was applied as a multiplication factor during each cycle. Several ranges of fertility were investigated. The resulting histograms became skewed to the right. In a second study, variation was simulated in the absence of selection. This was modeled by assuming that during each cycle each bin lost a fixed percentage of its content (variation factor Y) to its two adjacent bins. The resulting histograms became broader and flatter, while retaining their bilateral symmetry. Different values of Y were monitored. In a third study, various values of F and Y were combined. Our model allows the straightforward application of Shannon's equation and the calculation of a Shannon-entropy (SE) values for each histogram. Natural selection was, thus, shown to result in

  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. 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. PMID:27482101

  8. 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

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

    Antioxidants are used to minimize the oxidative changes in meat and meat products. Oxidative changes may have negative effects on the quality of meat and meat products, causing changes in their sensory and nutritional properties. Although synthetic antioxidants have already been used but in recent years, the demand for natural antioxidants has been increased mainly because of adverse effects of synthetic antioxidants. Thus most of the recent investigations have been directed towards the identification of natural antioxidants from various plant sources. Plant extracts have been prepared using different solvents and extraction methods. Grape seed, green tea, pine bark, rosemary, pomegranate, nettle and cinnamon have exhibited similar or better antioxidant properties compared to some synthetic ones. This review provides the recent information on plant extracts used as natural antioxidants in meat and meat products, specifically red meat. PMID:24824531

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

    PubMed

    Rausch, Michael A; Kroemer, Jeremy A; Gassmann, Aaron J; Hellmich, Richard L

    2014-10-01

    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 abandonment traits for the European corn borer, Ostrinia nubilalisi (Hübner) (Lepidoptera: Crambidae), by conducting a laboratory selection experiment and quantifying patterns of gene expression. Egg masses with emerging larvae were placed on maize plants and silking individuals were collected every 15 min during a 4-h period to generate a plant abandonment (PA) colony. Plants were dissected 24-72 h later, and larvae were collected for a plant establishment colony. Selection of the PA colony showed an increased propensity to abandon the host plant by the third generation. The propensity for larvae to establish on the plants, however, did not show a significant response until the sixth generation. Quantitative real-time-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) was used to determine expression profiles for behavior associated genes (foraging and Onslmo). Egg samples from the two selected colonies and nonselected laboratory colony were collected at 0, 24, 48, 72, and 96 h after egg deposition, and first instars were sampled after exposure to maize tissue. Compared with the plant establishment and nonselected laboratory colonies at the 0-h time period, foraging and Onslmo showed higher expression in the PA colony. This is the first study that has specifically selected for these traits over several generations and analyzed behavior-associated genes to elucidate genetic changes.

  12. Computing heritability and selection response from unbalanced plant breeding trials.

    PubMed

    Piepho, Hans-Peter; Möhring, Jens

    2007-11-01

    Heritability is often used by plant breeders and geneticists as a measure of precision of a trial or a series of trials. Its main use is for computing the response to selection. Most formulas proposed for calculating heritability implicitly assume balanced data and independent genotypic effects. Both of these assumptions are often violated in plant breeding trials. This article proposes a simulation-based approach to tackle the problem. The key idea is to directly simulate the quantity of interest, e.g., response to selection, rather than trying to approximate it using some ad hoc measure of heritability. The approach is illustrated by three examples.

  13. Recombination and natural selection in hepatitis E virus genotypes.

    PubMed

    Chen, Xiaoming; Zhang, Qian; He, Chao; Zhang, Lei; Li, Jinghua; Zhang, Weilu; Cao, Wei; Lv, Yong-Gang; Liu, Zhengcai; Zhang, Jing-Xia; Shao, Zhong-Jun

    2012-09-01

    To gain new insights into the evolutionary processes that created the genetic diversity of the hepatitis E virus (HEV), the Recombination Detection Program (RDP) and SimPlot program were employed to detect recombination events in the genome, then the fixed-effects likelihood (FEL) method was used to detect natural selection effects on viral proteins. Recombination analysis provided strong evidence for both intergenotype and intragenotype recombination events in the sequences analyzed. Recombination events were found to be distributed non-randomly, with the highest frequency in the X domain and the helicase. Strain DQ450072 was identified as intergenotype-recombinant. Natural selection analysis revealed that codons under both negative selection and positive selection were distributed non-randomly. ORF1 and ORF2 have experienced strong purifying selection across genotypes. Furthermore, potentially important sites were also found under positive selection in the N-terminal end of ORF2 and the C-terminal end of ORF3. No significant difference was found among the selective pressures on different genotypes.

  14. 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. PMID:26411745

  15. 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.

  16. Phosphomannose isomerase, a novel plant selection system: potential allergenicity assessment.

    PubMed

    Privalle, Laura S

    2002-05-01

    Phosphomannose isomerase (PMI), an enzyme not present in many plants, catalyzes the reversible interconversion of mannose 6-phosphate and fructose 6-phosphate. Plant cells lacking this enzyme are incapable of surviving on synthetic medium containing mannose. Thus PMI/mannose selection has utility in the identification of transformed plant cells. As part of the safety assessment transgenic plants undergo before commercialization, PMI has been evaluated for its potential allergenicity. Purified PMI protein was readily digestible in a simulated gastric environment. PMI has no sequence homology to known allergens, does not contain multiple disulfide bonds, and has no N-glycosylation consensus sequences. No detectable changes in glycoprotein profiles were detected in PMI-transformed plants as compared to nontransgenic controls. These results indicate that PMI lacks many of the attributes associated with known oral allergens.

  17. 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)

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

    Hunt, Tam

    2014-12-01

    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.

  20. Effective Assessment: Probing Students' Understanding of Natural Selection

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stern, Luli

    2004-01-01

    Evolution by natural selection provides the conceptual framework upon which much of modern biology is based: therefore understanding core ideas about biological evolution is an essential part of scientific literacy. Nonetheless, research repeatedly shows that high school and college students have difficulties understanding the notion of natural…

  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. 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.

  3. 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. PMID:26911957

  4. 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.

  5. Natural selection mapping of the warfarin-resistance gene

    PubMed Central

    Kohn, Michael H.; Pelz, Hans-Joachim; Wayne, Robert K.

    2000-01-01

    In theory, genes under natural selection can be revealed by unique patterns of linkage disequilibrium (LD) and polymorphism at physically linked loci. However, given the effects of recombination and mutation, the physical extent and persistence of LD patterns in natural populations is uncertain. To assess the LD signature of selection, we survey variation in 26 microsatellite loci spanning an ≈32-cM region that includes the warfarin-resistance gene (Rw) in five wild rat populations having resistance levels between 0 and 95%. We find a high frequency of heterozygote deficiency at microsatellite loci in resistant populations, and a negative association between gene diversity (H) and resistance. Contrary to previous studies, these data suggest that directional rather than overdominant selection may predominate during periods of intense anticoagulant treatment. In highly resistant populations, extensive LD was observed over a chromosome segment spanning ≈14% of rat chromosome 1. In contrast, LD in a moderately resistant population was more localized and, in conjunction with likelihood ratios, allowed assignment of Rw to a 2.2-cM interval. Within this genomic window, a diagnostic marker, D1Rat219, assigned 91% of rats to the correct resistance category. These results further demonstrate that “natural selection mapping” in field populations can detect and map major fitness-related genes, and question overdominance as the predominant mode of selection in anticoagulant-resistant rat populations. PMID:10884423

  6. Plant-mediated interactions between whiteflies, herbivores, and natural enemies.

    PubMed

    Inbar, Moshe; Gerling, Dan

    2008-01-01

    Whiteflies (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae) comprise tiny phloem-sucking insects. The sessile development of their immatures and their phloem-feeding habits (with minimal physical plant damage) often lead to plant-mediated interactions with other organisms. The main data come from the polyphagous pest species Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) and Trialeurodes vaporariorum (Westwood), which are intricately associated with their host plants. Although these associations might not represent aleyrodids in general, we rely on them to highlight the fundamental role of host plants in numerous ecological interactions between whiteflies, other herbivores, and their natural enemies. Plant traits often affect the activity, preference, and performance of the whiteflies, as well as their entomopathogens, predators, and parasitoids. Leaf structure (primarily pubescence) and constitutive and induced chemical profiles (defensive and nutritional elements) are critically important determinants of whitefly fitness. Pest management-related and evolutionary biology studies could benefit from future research that will consider whiteflies in a multitrophic-level framework.

  7. 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,…

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Perspectives for genomic selection applications and research in plants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  13. 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

  14. Historical intensity of natural selection for resistance to tuberculosis.

    PubMed Central

    Lipsitch, Marc; Sousa, Alexandra O

    2002-01-01

    Infections have long been thought to exert natural selection on humans. Infectious disease resistance is frequently invoked as a mechanism shaping human genetic diversity, but such hypotheses have rarely been quantitatively evaluated with direct measures of disease-related mortality. Enhancement of genetically determined resistance to tuberculosis by natural selection has been proposed as a factor explaining the decline of tuberculosis in Europe and North America in the period 1830-1950 (before the advent of antimicrobial chemotherapy) and the apparently reduced susceptibility of Europeans and their descendants to tuberculosis infection and/or disease. We used Swedish vital statistics from 1891 to 1900 to estimate that individuals who escaped mortality from pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) during the European tuberculosis epidemic would have enjoyed a fitness advantage of 7-15% per generation compared to individuals who were susceptible to PTB mortality; individuals with 50% protection would have had a selection coefficient of 4-7%/generation. Selection during the peak of the European TB epidemic could have substantially reduced the frequency of already rare alleles conferring increased susceptibility to PTB mortality, but only if the phenotypic effects of these alleles were very large. However, if resistant alleles were rare at the beginning of this period, 300 years would not have been long enough for such selection to increase their frequency to epidemiologically significant levels. Reductions in the frequency of rare susceptibility alleles could have played at most a small part in the decline of the epidemic in the century preceding 1950. Natural selection by PTB deaths during the European TB epidemic alone cannot account for the presently low level of TB disease observed among Europeans and their descendants just prior to the appearance of antibiotic treatment. PMID:12196403

  15. Naturalization of introduced plants: ecological drivers of biogeographical patterns.

    PubMed

    Richardson, David M; Pyšek, Petr

    2012-10-01

    The literature on biological invasions is biased in favour of invasive species--those that spread and often reach high abundance following introduction by humans. It is, however, also important to understand previous stages in the introduction-naturalization-invasion continuum ('the continuum'), especially the factors that mediate naturalization. The emphasis on invasiveness is partly because most invasions are only recognized once species occupy large adventive ranges or start to spread. Also, many studies lump all alien species, and fail to separate introduced, naturalized and invasive populations and species. These biases impede our ability to elucidate the full suite of drivers of invasion and to predict invasion dynamics, because different factors mediate progression along different sections of the continuum. A better understanding of the determinants of naturalization is important because all naturalized species are potential invaders. Processes leading to naturalization act differently in different regions and global biogeographical patterns of plant invasions result from the interaction of population-biological, macroecological and human-induced factors. We explore what is known about how determinants of naturalization in plants interact at various scales, and how their importance varies along the continuum. Research that is explicitly linked to particular stages of the continuum can generate new information that is appropriate for improving the management of biological invasions if, for example, potentially invasive species are identified before they exert an impact.

  16. Genome-wide polymorphisms show unexpected targets of natural selection

    PubMed Central

    Pespeni, Melissa H.; Garfield, David A.; Manier, Mollie K.; Palumbi, Stephen R.

    2012-01-01

    Natural selection can act on all the expressed genes of an individual, leaving signatures of genetic differentiation or diversity at many loci across the genome. New power to assay these genome-wide effects of selection comes from associating multi-locus patterns of polymorphism with gene expression and function. Here, we performed one of the first genome-wide surveys in a marine species, comparing purple sea urchins, Strongylocentrotus purpuratus, from two distant locations along the species' wide latitudinal range. We examined 9112 polymorphic loci from upstream non-coding and coding regions of genes for signatures of selection with respect to gene function and tissue- and ontogenetic gene expression. We found that genetic differentiation (FST) varied significantly across functional gene classes. The strongest enrichment occurred in the upstream regions of E3 ligase genes, enzymes known to regulate protein abundance during development and environmental stress. We found enrichment for high heterozygosity in genes directly involved in immune response, particularly NALP genes, which mediate pro-inflammatory signals during bacterial infection. We also found higher heterozygosity in immune genes in the southern population, where disease incidence and pathogen diversity are greater. Similar to the major histocompatibility complex in mammals, balancing selection may enhance genetic diversity in the innate immune system genes of this invertebrate. Overall, our results show that how genome-wide polymorphism data coupled with growing databases on gene function and expression can combine to detect otherwise hidden signals of selection in natural populations. PMID:21993504

  17. Natural selection on thermal performance in a novel thermal environment.

    PubMed

    Logan, Michael L; Cox, Robert M; Calsbeek, Ryan

    2014-09-30

    Tropical ectotherms are thought to be especially vulnerable to climate change because they are adapted to relatively stable temperature regimes, such that even small increases in environmental temperature may lead to large decreases in physiological performance. One way in which tropical organisms may mitigate the detrimental effects of warming is through evolutionary change in thermal physiology. The speed and magnitude of this response depend, in part, on the strength of climate-driven selection. However, many ectotherms use behavioral adjustments to maintain preferred body temperatures in the face of environmental variation. These behaviors may shelter individuals from natural selection, preventing evolutionary adaptation to changing conditions. Here, we mimic the effects of climate change by experimentally transplanting a population of Anolis sagrei lizards to a novel thermal environment. Transplanted lizards experienced warmer and more thermally variable conditions, which resulted in strong directional selection on thermal performance traits. These same traits were not under selection in a reference population studied in a less thermally stressful environment. Our results indicate that climate change can exert strong natural selection on tropical ectotherms, despite their ability to thermoregulate behaviorally. To the extent that thermal performance traits are heritable, populations may be capable of rapid adaptation to anthropogenic warming. PMID:25225361

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. The theory of natural selection of Alfred Russel Wallace FRS.

    PubMed

    Bulmer, Michael

    2005-05-22

    Wallace's 1858 paper 'On the tendency of varieties to depart indefinitely from the original type' is often thought to present a theory of natural selection identical with that of Darwin. Examination of Wallace's argument shows that it is different from Darwin's because Wallace thought that an inferior variety could coexist with a superior variety until environmental deterioration forced the extinction of the inferior one. Other interpretations of Wallace's argument are re-examined in the light of this finding. PMID:16116703

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-12

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

  2. 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

  3. Genomic mutation rates that neutralize adaptive evolution and natural selection.

    PubMed

    Gerrish, Philip J; Colato, Alexandre; Sniegowski, Paul D

    2013-08-01

    When mutation rates are low, natural selection remains effective, and increasing the mutation rate can give rise to an increase in adaptation rate. When mutation rates are high to begin with, however, increasing the mutation rate may have a detrimental effect because of the overwhelming presence of deleterious mutations. Indeed, if mutation rates are high enough: (i) adaptive evolution may be neutralized, resulting in a zero (or negative) adaptation rate despite the continued availability of adaptive and/or compensatory mutations, or (ii) natural selection may be neutralized, because the fitness of lineages bearing adaptive and/or compensatory mutations--whether established or newly arising--is eroded by excessive mutation, causing such lineages to decline in frequency. We apply these two criteria to a standard model of asexual adaptive evolution and derive mathematical expressions--some new, some old in new guise--delineating the mutation rates under which either adaptive evolution or natural selection is neutralized. The expressions are simple and require no a priori knowledge of organism- and/or environment-specific parameters. Our discussion connects these results to each other and to previous theory, showing convergence or equivalence of the different results in most cases.

  4. Genomic mutation rates that neutralize adaptive evolution and natural selection.

    PubMed

    Gerrish, Philip J; Colato, Alexandre; Sniegowski, Paul D

    2013-08-01

    When mutation rates are low, natural selection remains effective, and increasing the mutation rate can give rise to an increase in adaptation rate. When mutation rates are high to begin with, however, increasing the mutation rate may have a detrimental effect because of the overwhelming presence of deleterious mutations. Indeed, if mutation rates are high enough: (i) adaptive evolution may be neutralized, resulting in a zero (or negative) adaptation rate despite the continued availability of adaptive and/or compensatory mutations, or (ii) natural selection may be neutralized, because the fitness of lineages bearing adaptive and/or compensatory mutations--whether established or newly arising--is eroded by excessive mutation, causing such lineages to decline in frequency. We apply these two criteria to a standard model of asexual adaptive evolution and derive mathematical expressions--some new, some old in new guise--delineating the mutation rates under which either adaptive evolution or natural selection is neutralized. The expressions are simple and require no a priori knowledge of organism- and/or environment-specific parameters. Our discussion connects these results to each other and to previous theory, showing convergence or equivalence of the different results in most cases. PMID:23720539

  5. 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

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

    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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Natural diversity and adaptation in plant secondary metabolism.

    PubMed

    Kroymann, Juergen

    2011-06-01

    Technological advances in metabolomics, transcriptomics and genomics have facilitated the detection of genes that contribute to diversification in plant secondary metabolism. Statistical tools from molecular population genetics may help in evaluating whether the corresponding genes or genomic regions carry a signature of selection and answering the question of whether novel compounds are 'adaptive'. Gene duplication fuels diversification in plant secondary metabolism and the evolutionary mechanism for adaptation may follow a path of neofunctionalization subsequent to gene duplication, or gene duplication may occur subsequent to--and resolve--an adaptive conflict present in a single ancestral gene sequence.

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

    PubMed

    Rausch, Michael A; Kroemer, Jeremy A; Gassmann, Aaron J; Hellmich, Richard L

    2014-10-01

    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 abandonment traits for the European corn borer, Ostrinia nubilalisi (Hübner) (Lepidoptera: Crambidae), by conducting a laboratory selection experiment and quantifying patterns of gene expression. Egg masses with emerging larvae were placed on maize plants and silking individuals were collected every 15 min during a 4-h period to generate a plant abandonment (PA) colony. Plants were dissected 24-72 h later, and larvae were collected for a plant establishment colony. Selection of the PA colony showed an increased propensity to abandon the host plant by the third generation. The propensity for larvae to establish on the plants, however, did not show a significant response until the sixth generation. Quantitative real-time-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) was used to determine expression profiles for behavior associated genes (foraging and Onslmo). Egg samples from the two selected colonies and nonselected laboratory colony were collected at 0, 24, 48, 72, and 96 h after egg deposition, and first instars were sampled after exposure to maize tissue. Compared with the plant establishment and nonselected laboratory colonies at the 0-h time period, foraging and Onslmo showed higher expression in the PA colony. This is the first study that has specifically selected for these traits over several generations and analyzed behavior-associated genes to elucidate genetic changes. PMID:25203864

  17. 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…

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Queller, David C.

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24686940

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Combinatorially selected defense peptides protect plant roots from pathogen infection

    PubMed Central

    Fang, Zhiwei David; Laskey, James G.; Huang, Shaoxing; Bilyeu, Kristin D.; Morris, Roy O.; Schmidt, Francis J.; English, James T.

    2006-01-01

    Agricultural productivity and sustainability are continually challenged by emerging and indigenous pathogens. Currently, many pathogens can be combated only with biocides or environmentally dangerous fumigants. Here, we report a rapid and pathogen-specific strategy to reduce infection by organisms that target plant roots. Combinatorially selected defense peptides, previously shown to effect premature encystment of Phytophthora capsici zoospores, were fused to maize cytokinin oxidase/dehydrogenase as a display scaffold. When expressed in tomato roots, the peptide-scaffold constructs were secreted and accumulated to sufficient concentrations in the rhizosphere to induce zoospore encystment and thereby deter taxis to the root surface. Pathogen infection was significantly inhibited in roots expressing bioactive peptides fused to the maize cytokinin oxidase/dehydrogenase scaffold. This peptide-delivery technology is broadly applicable for rapid development of plant defense attributes against plant pathogens. PMID:17030803

  5. Natural selection and the evolutionary ecology of the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (Phylum Glomeromycota).

    PubMed

    Helgason, Thorunn; Fitter, Alastair H

    2009-01-01

    Darwin's model of evolution by natural selection was based on his observations of change in discrete organisms in which individuals are easy to define. Many of the most abundant functional groups in ecosystems, such as fungi and bacteria, do not fit this paradigm. In this review, we seek to understand how the elegant logic of Darwinian natural selection can be applied to distributed clonal organisms. The arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi are one such group. Globally, they are ubiquitous in terrestrial ecosystems, are locally distributed among many host plant species, and are significant drivers of nutrient cycling in ecosystems. The AM fungi are intractable to study, as the few taxa that can be cultured cannot be grown in the absence of plant roots. Research has focused on the plant-fungus interface, and thus on the symbiotic phenotype. A model is discussed for the interchange of materials at the interface that throws the emphasis of research onto the behaviour of the individual organisms and removes the need to test for phenomena such as selectivity, co-evolution, and cheating. The AM fungi are distributed organisms with an extensive external mycelium that is likely to be under strong environmental selection. AM fungi show sufficient phenotypic variation and fitness differentials for selection to occur, and developments in genetic analyses suggest that a better understanding of heritability in these organisms is not far away. It is argued that direct selection on fungal traits related to their survival and performance in the soil independent of the host is likely to be the major driver of differentiation in the AM fungi, and the evidence for direct fungal responses to soil conditions such as pH, hypoxia, and temperature is reviewed.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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. PMID:26378316

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Evolution of behavior by density-dependent natural selection.

    PubMed

    Guo, P Z; 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. We 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 evolved 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. These changes in behavior serve to increase the competitive ability of larvae for limited food and reduce mortality under crowded conditions during the pupal stage of development. A detailed understanding of the mechanisms by which populations evolve under density-dependent natural selection will provide a framework for understanding the nature of trade-offs in life history evolution.

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

    PubMed

    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

  13. 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.

  14. 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…

  15. 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.

  16. Transport and selective uptake of radium into natural clay minerals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hidaka, Hiroshi; Horie, Kenji; Gauthier-Lafaye, Françoise

    2007-12-01

    Understanding of the environmental behavior of Ra is important from the viewpoint of the long-termed repository safety of radioactive waste, but investigation of Ra behavior in natural environment is difficult to detect. We found isotopic evidence of Ra transportation and its selective uptake into clay minerals from Pb isotopic analyses. Illite grains found in calcite veins included in sandstone near the Oklo uranium deposit, Republic of Gabon, show extremely low 207Pb/ 206Pb (˜ 0.0158) isotopic ratios. Although the Pb isotopic ratios of calcite and quartz coexisting with illite indicate the formation age of each component, those of illite do not. In addition, illite grains having low 207Pb/ 206Pb isotopic ratios contain a strongly large amount of Ba (1230 to 6010 ppm) in contrast with low contents of Ba in calcite and quartz (< 0.26 ppm). Considering the chemical similarity between Ba and Ra, the 207Pb/ 206Pb isotopic data suggest an excess of 206Pb due to selective adsorption of 226Ra (and also Ba) into illite grains. This is a very rare example to show evidence of the selective adsorption behavior of Ra from the isotopic excesses of 206Pb, although the adsorption ability of Ra itself in nature was largely reported.

  17. 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. PMID:21953271

  18. 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. PMID:27168035

  19. 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

    2016-01-01

    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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

    2016-01-01

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

  3. 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

  4. [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. PMID:16433227

  5. 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.

  6. 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. PMID:18851598

  7. Opportunity for natural selection among the Indian populations.

    PubMed

    Reddy, B M; Chopra, V P

    1990-11-01

    A critical review of data on opportunity for natural selection among the Indian populations has been made. These data on 96 populations were analysed according to regional, habitat, and socioeconomic backgrounds. The trends observed on the basis of these Indian data have been compared with worldwide data and data from industrialized nations. As in the industrialized nations, a gradual decrease in I(m) and I(t) is observed with improving socioeconomic and technological status in the Indian populations. The Indian situation is similar to that of the first phase in the modern demographic transition among the industrialized nations.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Natural selection drives extremely rapid evolution in antiviral RNAi genes.

    PubMed

    Obbard, Darren J; Jiggins, Francis M; Halligan, Daniel L; Little, Tom J

    2006-03-21

    RNA interference (RNAi) is perhaps best known as a laboratory tool. However, RNAi-related pathways represent an antiviral component of innate immunity in both plants and animals. Since viruses can protect themselves by suppressing RNAi, interaction between RNA viruses and host RNAi may represent an ancient coevolutionary "arms race." This could lead to strong directional selection on RNAi genes, but to date their evolution has not been studied. By comparing DNA sequences from different species of Drosophila, we show that the rate of amino acid evolution is substantially elevated in genes related to antiviral RNAi function (Dcr2, R2D2, and Ago2). They are among the fastest evolving 3% of all Drosophila genes; they evolve significantly faster than other components of innate immunity and faster than paralogous genes that mediate "housekeeping" functions. Based on DNA polymorphism data from three species of Drosophila, McDonald-Kreitman tests showed that this rapid evolution is due to strong positive selection. Furthermore, Dcr2 and Ago2 display reduced genetic diversity, indicative of a recent selective sweep in both genes. Together, these data show rapid adaptive evolution of the antiviral RNAi pathway in Drosophila. This is a signature of host-pathogen arms races and implies that the ancient battle between RNA viruses and host antiviral RNAi genes is active and significant in shaping RNAi function.

  11. 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.

  12. The natural compound benzoxazolin-2(3H)-one selectively retards cell cycle in lettuce root meristems.

    PubMed

    Sánchez-Moreiras, Adela M; de la Peña, Teodoro Coba; Reigosa, Manuel J

    2008-08-01

    Benzoxazolin-2(3H)-one (BOA) is a natural plant product that is phytotoxic to target plant species, inhibiting germination and growth and causing oxidative damage. We investigated its effects on the root meristems of seedlings of lettuce (Lactuca sativa) by means of light and transmission electron microscopy, flow cytometry, and conventional determination of mitotic index. Flow cytometry analyses and mitotic index showed a retard of cell cycle in BOA-treated meristems with selective activity at G2/M checkpoint.

  13. 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

    2010-04-01

    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.

  14. Competition and natural selection in a mathematical model of cancer.

    PubMed

    Nagy, John D

    2004-07-01

    A malignant tumor is a dynamic amalgamation of various cell phenotypes, both cancerous (parenchyma) and healthy (stroma). These diverse cells compete over resources as well as cooperate to maintain tumor viability. Therefore, tumors are both an ecological community and an integrated tissue. An understanding of how natural selection operates in this unique ecological context should expose unappreciated vulnerabilities shared by all cancers. In this study I address natural selection's role in tumor evolution by developing and exploring a mathematical model of a heterogenous primary neoplasm. The model is a system of nonlinear ordinary differential equations tracking the mass of up to two different parenchyma cell types, the mass of vascular endothelial cells from which new tumor blood vessels are built and the total length of tumor microvessels. Results predict the possibility of a hypertumor-a focus of aggressively reproducing parenchyma cells that invade and destroy part or all of the tumor, perhaps before it becomes a clinical entity. If this phenomenon occurs, then we should see examples of tumors that develop an aggressive histology but are paradoxically prone to extinction. Neuroblastoma, a common childhood cancer, may sometimes fit this pattern. In addition, this model suggests that parenchyma cell diversity can be maintained by a tissue-like integration of cells specialized to provide different services.

  15. Sargassum as a Natural Solution to Enhance Dune Plant Growth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  17. 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. PMID:27294416

  18. Chiral Selective Chemistry Induced by Natural Selection of Spin-Polarized Electrons.

    PubMed

    Rosenberg, Richard A; Mishra, Debabrata; Naaman, Ron

    2015-06-15

    The search to understand the origin of homochirality in nature has been ongoing since the time of Pasteur. Previous work has shown that DNA can act as a spin filter for low-energy electrons and that spin-polarized secondary electrons produced by X-ray irradiation of a magnetic substrate can induce chiral selective chemistry. In the present work it is demonstrated that secondary electrons from a substrate that are transmitted through a chiral overlayer cause enantiomeric selective chemistry in an adsorbed adlayer. We determine the quantum yields (QYs) for dissociation of (R)- or (S)-epichlorohydrin adsorbed on a chiral self-assembled layer of DNA on gold and on bare gold (for control). The results show that there is a significant difference in the QYs between the two enantiomers when adsorbed on DNA, but none when they are adsorbed on bare Au. We propose that the effect results from natural spin filtering effects cause by the chiral monolayer.

  19. Emergence and natural selection of drug-resistant prions.

    PubMed

    Shorter, James

    2010-07-01

    Drug resistance is a refractory barrier in the battle against many fatal diseases caused by rapidly evolving agents, including HIV, apicomplexans and specific cancers. Emerging evidence suggests that drug resistance might extend to lethal prion disorders and related neurodegenerative amyloidoses. Prions are self-replicating protein conformers, usually 'cross-beta' amyloid polymers, which are naturally transmitted between individuals and promote phenotypic change. Prion conformers are catalytic templates that specifically convert other copies of the same protein to the prion form. Once in motion, this chain reaction of conformational replication can deplete all non-prion copies of a protein. Typically, prions exist as ensembles of multiple structurally distinct, self-replicating forms or 'strains'. Each strain confers a distinct phenotype and replicates at different rates depending on the environment. As replicators, prions are units of selection. Thus, natural selection inescapably enriches or depletes various prion strains from populations depending on their conformational fitness (ability to self-replicate) in the prevailing environment. The most successful prions confer advantages to their host as with numerous yeast prions. Here, I review recent evidence that drug-like small molecules can antagonize some prion strains but simultaneously select for drug-resistant prions composed of mammalian PrP or the yeast prion protein, Sup35. For Sup35, the drug-resistant strain configures original intermolecular amyloid contacts that are not ordinarily detected. Importantly, a synergistic small-molecule cocktail counters prion diversity by eliminating multiple Sup35 prion strains. Collectively, these advances illuminate the plasticity of prionogenesis and suggest that synergistic combinatorial therapies might circumvent this pathological vicissitude. PMID:20422111

  20. Darwin's naturalization hypothesis: scale matters in coastal plant communities.

    PubMed

    Carboni, Marta; Münkemüller, Tamara; Gallien, Laure; Lavergne, Sébastien; Acosta, Alicia; Thuiller, Wilfried

    2013-04-01

    Darwin proposed two seemingly contradictory hypotheses for a better understanding of biological invasions. Strong relatedness of invaders to native communities as an indication of niche overlap could promote naturalization because of appropriate niche adaptation, but could also hamper naturalization because of negative interactions with native species ('Darwin's naturalization hypothesis'). Although these hypotheses provide clear and opposing predictions for expected patterns of species relatedness in invaded communities, so far no study has been able to clearly disentangle the underlying mechanisms. We hypothesize that conflicting past results are mainly due to the neglected role of spatial resolution of the community sampling. In this study, we corroborate both of Darwin's expectations by using phylogenetic relatedness as a measure of niche overlap and by testing the effects of sampling resolution in highly invaded coastal plant communities. At spatial resolutions fine enough to detect signatures of biotic interactions, we find that most invaders are less related to their nearest relative in invaded plant communities than expected by chance (phylogenetic overdispersion). Yet at coarser spatial resolutions, native assemblages become more invasible for closely-related species as a consequence of habitat filtering (phylogenetic clustering). Recognition of the importance of the spatial resolution at which communities are studied allows apparently contrasting theoretical and empirical results to be reconciled. Our study opens new perspectives on how to better detect, differentiate and understand the impact of negative biotic interactions and habitat filtering on the ability of invaders to establish in native communities.

  1. 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.

  2. 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. PMID:26494854

  3. 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.

  4. 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. PMID:27009228

  5. 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,…

  6. 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

  7. Divergence of Eurosta solidaginis in response to host plant variation and natural enemies.

    PubMed

    Craig, Timothy P; Itami, Joanne K

    2011-03-01

    We tested the hypothesis that forest and prairie populations of the gall-inducing fly, Eurosta solidaginis, have diverged in response to variation in selection by its host plant Solidago altissima, and its natural enemies. A reciprocal cross infection design experiment demonstrated that fly populations from the prairie and forest biomes had higher survival on local biome plants compared to foreign biome host plants. Flies from each biome also had an oviposition preference for their local plants. Each fly population induced galls of the size and shape found in their local biome on host plants from both biomes indicating a genetic basis to the differences in gall morphology. Solidago altissima from the prairie and forest biomes retained significant morphological differences in the common garden indicating that they are genetically differentiated, possibly at the subspecies level. The populations are partially reproductively isolated as a result of a combination of prezygotic isolation due to host-associated assortative mating, and postzygotic isolation due to low hybrid survival. We conclude that E. solidaginis is undergoing diversifying selection to adapt to differences between prairie and forest habitats.

  8. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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. PMID:25891044

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  15. 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

  16. 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)

  17. Antileishmanial, antitrypanosomal, and cytotoxic screening of ethnopharmacologically selected Peruvian plants.

    PubMed

    González-Coloma, Azucena; Reina, Matías; Sáenz, Claudia; Lacret, Rodney; Ruiz-Mesia, Lastenia; Arán, Vicente J; Sanz, Jesús; Martínez-Díaz, Rafael A

    2012-04-01

    Extracts (34) from eight plant species of the Peruvian Amazonia currently used in traditional Peruvian medicine, mostly as antileishmanial remedies and also as painkiller, antiseptic, antipyretic, anti-inflamatory, antiflu, astringent, diuretic, antipoison, anticancerous, antiparasitic, insecticidal, or healing agents, have been tested for their antileishmanial, antitrypanosomal, and cytotoxic activity. Plant species were selected based on interviews conducted with residents of rural areas. The different plant parts were dried, powdered, and extracted by maceration with different solvents (hexane, chloroform, and 70% ethanol-water). These extracts were tested on promastigote forms of Leishmania infantum strain PB75, epimastigote forms of Trypanosoma cruzi strain Y, and the mammalian CHO cell line. Parasite viability and nonspecific cytotoxicity were analyzed by a modified MTT colorimetric assay method. The isolation and identification of pure compounds from selected extracts were performed by column chromatography, gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS; mixtures), spectroscopic techniques [MS, infrared (IR), ultraviolet (UV)], and mono and two-dimensional (1)H and (13)C nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR; COSY, HSQC, NOESY) experiments. Chondodendron tomentosum bark and Cedrela odorata were the most active extracts against Leishmania, while C. odorata and Aristoloquia pilosa were the most active against Trypanosoma, followed by Tabebuia serratifolia, Tradescantia zebrina, and Zamia ulei. Six compounds and two mixtures were isolated from Z. ulei [cycasin (1)], T. serratifolia {mixtures 1-2, and naphthoquinones 2-acetyl-4H,9H-naphtho[2,3-b]furan-4,9-dione (2) and 2-(1-hydroxyethyl)-4H,9H-naphtho[2,3-b]furan-4,9-dione (3)}, and C. tomentosum [chondrocurine (4); (S,S')-12-O-methyl(+)-curine (5); and cycleanine (6)]. Four compounds and the two mixtures exhibited significant activity.

  18. Selective phonotaxis of female crickets under natural outdoor conditions.

    PubMed

    Hirtenlehner, Stefan; Römer, Heiner

    2014-03-01

    Acoustic mate choice in insects has been extensively studied under laboratory conditions, using different behavioural paradigms. Ideally, however, mate choice designs should reflect natural conditions, including the physical properties of the transmission channel for the signal. Since little is known about the discrimination ability of females between male song variants under natural conditions, we performed phonotaxis experiments with female field crickets (Gryllus bimaculatus) outdoors, using two-choice decisions based on differences in carrier frequency, sound pressure level, and chirp rate. For all three song parameters, minimum differences necessary for a significant preference between two song models were considerably larger outdoors compared to laboratory conditions. A minimum amplitude difference of 5 dB was required for a significant choice in the field, compared to only 1-2 dB reported for lab-based experiments. Due to the tuned receiver system, differences in carrier frequency equal differences in perceived loudness, and the results on choice for differences in carrier frequency corroborate those in amplitude. Similarly, chirp rate differences of 50 chirps/min were required outdoors compared to only 20 chirps/min in the lab. For predictions about patterns of sexual selection, future studies need to consider the different outcomes of mate choice decisions in lab and field trials. PMID:24488017

  19. Formal reasoning ability and misconceptions concerning genetics and natural selection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lawson, Anton E.; Thompson, Lois D.

    Students often hold misconceptions about natural phenomena. To overcome misconceptions students must become aware of the scientific conceptions, the evidence that bears on the validity of their misconceptions and the scientific conceptions, and they must be able to generate the logical relationships among the evidence and alternative conceptions. Because formal operational reasoning patterns are necessary to generate these logical relationships, it was predicted that, following instruction, formal operational students would hold significantly fewer misconceptions than their concrete operational classmates. To test this hypothesis 131 seventh-grade students were administered an essay test on principles of genetics and natural selection following instruction. Responses were categorized in terms of the number of misconceptions present. The number of misconceptions was compared to reasoning ability (concrete, transitional, formal), mental capacity (<6, 6, 7), verbal intelligence (low, medium, high), and cognitive style (field dependent, intermediate, field independent). The only student variable consistently and significantly related to the number of misconceptions was reasoning ability; thus, support for the major hypothesis of the study was obtained.

  20. Mosquito management in the face of natural selection.

    PubMed

    Agusto, Folashade B; Bewick, Sharon; Parshad, Rana D

    2012-09-01

    The sterile insect technique (SIT) is an appealing method for managing mosquito populations while avoiding the environmental and social costs associated with more traditional control strategies like insecticide application. Success of SIT, however, hinges on sterile males being able to compete for females. As a result, heavy and/or continued use of SIT could potentially diminish its efficacy if prolonged treatments result in selection for female preference against sterile males. In this paper we extend a general differential equation model of mosquito dynamics to consider the role of female choosiness in determining the long-term usefulness of SIT as a management option. We then apply optimal control theory to our model and show how natural selection for female choosiness fundamentally alters management strategies. Our study calls into question the benefits associated with developing SIT as a management strategy, and suggests that effort should be spent studying female mate choice in order to determine its relative importance and how likely it is to impact SIT treatment goals. PMID:22617381

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  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. PMID:27516871

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-11-01

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

  5. 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. PMID:25980391

  6. 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.

  7. Attractiveness of Michigan native plants to arthropod natural enemies and herbivores.

    PubMed

    Fiedler, A K; Landis, D A

    2007-08-01

    The use of plants to provide nectar and pollen resources to natural enemies through habitat management is a growing focus of conservation biological control. Current guidelines frequently recommend use of annual plants exotic to the management area, but native perennial plants are likely to provide similar resources and may have several advantages over exotics. We compared a set of 43 native Michigan perennial plants and 5 frequently recommended exotic annual plants for their attractiveness to natural enemies and herbivores for 2 yr. Plant species differed significantly in their attractiveness to natural enemies. In year 1, the exotic annual plants outperformed many of the newly established native perennial plants. In year 2, however, many native perennial plants attracted higher numbers of natural enemies than exotic plants. In year 2, we compared each flowering plant against the background vegetation (grass) for their attractiveness to natural enemies and herbivores. Screening individual plant species allowed rapid assessment of attractiveness to natural enemies. We identified 24 native perennial plants that attracted high numbers of natural enemies with promise for habitat management. Among the most attractive are Eupatorium perfoliatum L., Monarda punctata L., Silphium perfoliatum L., Potentilla fruticosa auct. non L., Coreopsis lanceolata L., Spiraea alba Duroi, Agastache nepetoides (L.) Kuntze, Anemone canadensis L., and Angelica atropurpurea L. Subsets of these plants can now be tested to develop a community of native plant species that attracts diverse natural enemy taxa and provides nectar and pollen throughout the growing season.

  8. 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. PMID:21336661

  9. 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.

  10. 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. PMID:27052380

  11. 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.

  12. Evaluation of cesium selective media at the Callaway Plant

    SciTech Connect

    Miller, B.

    1996-10-01

    Based on the desire to lower costs, public dose and in-plant exposure, Callaway Nuclear Plant evaluated the prospect of changing their liquid waste processing from evaporation to demineralization. Approximately 95% of Callaway`s annual dose to the total body can be attributed to cesium. During normal plant operations, Callaway`s influent Cs-137 level averages 3E{minus}5 {mu}Ci/ml. During episodes of failed fuel, Cs-137 rises to approximately 3E{minus}3 {mu}Ci/ml. Plant criteria specify that the Cs-137 effluent remain below 5E{minus}7 (average Minimum Detectable Activity) to maintain the required 1% dose to the public (exclusive of tritium). From February, 1995 through February, 1996, extensive testing of the capacities and associated Decontamination Factors (DF) for cesium specific media were conducted. Two media were selected for testing based on their capacity for cesium in high conductivity water. During bench scale testing, one media, CsTreat, performed well below the 1% dose parameter (0.2%) during the equivalent of processing 28,300 gallon/cu ft media. The test was ended based on time constraints rather than loss of ion exchange capacity. At the end of processing this 28,300 gallon/cu ft equivalent, the effluent Cs-137 level remained below MDA. The same test bed was then subjected to simulated waste water that would be seen during a cycle with significant fuel failures. Callaway chemists injected Cs-137 into their Floor Drain Tank (FDT) water increasing the influent level to 1.6E{minus}2 {mu}Ci/ml. The effluent Cs-137 level was measured at 3.5E{minus}6 {mu}Ci/ml giving an associated DF of 3949. Anticipated DF for full scale application is 5000 to 10000, which would maintain Callaway below the 1% dose goal for effluent during a cycle with failed fuel. Based on these results and the associated cost benefit, Callaway Plant will switch their radwaste processing from evaporation to filtration and ion exchange including CsTreat media.

  13. Gut wall bacteria of earthworms: a natural selection process.

    PubMed

    Thakuria, Dwipendra; Schmidt, Olaf; Finan, Dillon; Egan, Damian; Doohan, Fiona M

    2010-03-01

    Earthworms and microorganisms are interdependent and their interactions regulate the biogeochemistry of terrestrial soils. Investigating earthworm-microorganism interactions, we tested the hypothesis that differences in burrowing and feeding habits of anecic and endogeic earthworms are reflected by the existence of ecological group-specific gut wall bacterial communities. Bacterial community was detected using automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis of 16S and 23S genes and ribotype data was used to assess diversity and community composition. Using soil and earthworm samples collected from adjacent wheat-barley and grass-clover fields, we found that the anecic Lumbricus terrestris and L. friendi, the endogeic Aporrectodea caliginosa and A. longa (classically defined as anecic, but now known to possess endogeic characteristics) contain ecological group-specific gut wall-associated bacterial communities. The abundance of specific gut wall-associated bacteria (identified by sequence analysis of ribotype bands), including Proteobacteria, Firmicutes and an actinobacterium, was ecological group dependent. A microcosm study, conducted using A. caliginosa and L. terrestris and five different feeding regimes, indicated that food resource can cause shifts in gut wall-associated bacterial community, but the magnitude of these shifts did not obscure the delineation between ecological group specificity. Using A. caliginosa and A. longa samples collected in six different arable fields, we deduced that, within an ecological group, habitat was a more important determinant of gut wall-associated bacterial community composition than was host species. Hence, we conclude that the selection of bacteria associated with the gut wall of earthworms is a natural selection process and the strongest determinant of this process is in the order ecological group>habitat>species. PMID:19924156

  14. Testing Transgenic Aspen Plants with bar Gene for Herbicide Resistance under Semi-natural Conditions.

    PubMed

    Lebedev, V G; Faskhiev, V N; Kovalenko, N P; Shestibratov, K A; Miroshnikov, A I

    2016-01-01

    Obtaining herbicide resistant plants is an important task in the genetic engineering of forest trees. Transgenic European aspen plants (Populus tremula L.) expressing the bar gene for phosphinothricin resistance have been produced using Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation. Successful genetic transformation was confirmed by PCR analysis for thirteen lines derived from two elite genotypes. In 2014-2015, six lines were evaluated for resistance to herbicide treatment under semi-natural conditions. All selected transgenic lines were resistant to the herbicide Basta at doses equivalent to 10 l/ha (twofold normal field dosage) whereas the control plants died at 2.5 l/ha. Foliar NH4-N concentrations in transgenic plants did not change after treatment. Extremely low temperatures in the third ten-day period of October 2014 revealed differences in freeze tolerance between the lines obtained from Pt of f2 aspen genotypes. Stable expression of the bar gene after overwintering outdoors was confirmed by RT-PCR. On the basis of the tests, four transgenic aspen lines were selected. The bar gene could be used for retransformation of transgenic forest trees expressing valuable traits, such as increased productivity. PMID:27437143

  15. Testing Transgenic Aspen Plants with bar Gene for Herbicide Resistance under Semi-natural Conditions.

    PubMed

    Lebedev, V G; Faskhiev, V N; Kovalenko, N P; Shestibratov, K A; Miroshnikov, A I

    2016-01-01

    Obtaining herbicide resistant plants is an important task in the genetic engineering of forest trees. Transgenic European aspen plants (Populus tremula L.) expressing the bar gene for phosphinothricin resistance have been produced using Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation. Successful genetic transformation was confirmed by PCR analysis for thirteen lines derived from two elite genotypes. In 2014-2015, six lines were evaluated for resistance to herbicide treatment under semi-natural conditions. All selected transgenic lines were resistant to the herbicide Basta at doses equivalent to 10 l/ha (twofold normal field dosage) whereas the control plants died at 2.5 l/ha. Foliar NH4-N concentrations in transgenic plants did not change after treatment. Extremely low temperatures in the third ten-day period of October 2014 revealed differences in freeze tolerance between the lines obtained from Pt of f2 aspen genotypes. Stable expression of the bar gene after overwintering outdoors was confirmed by RT-PCR. On the basis of the tests, four transgenic aspen lines were selected. The bar gene could be used for retransformation of transgenic forest trees expressing valuable traits, such as increased productivity.

  16. Testing Transgenic Aspen Plants with bar Gene for Herbicide Resistance under Semi-natural Conditions

    PubMed Central

    Lebedev, V. G.; Faskhiev, V. N.; Kovalenko, N. P.; Shestibratov, K. A.; Miroshnikov, A. I.

    2016-01-01

    Obtaining herbicide resistant plants is an important task in the genetic engineering of forest trees. Transgenic European aspen plants (Populus tremula L.) expressing the bar gene for phosphinothricin resistance have been produced using Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation. Successful genetic transformation was confirmed by PCR analysis for thirteen lines derived from two elite genotypes. In 2014–2015, six lines were evaluated for resistance to herbicide treatment under semi-natural conditions. All selected transgenic lines were resistant to the herbicide Basta at doses equivalent to 10 l/ha (twofold normal field dosage) whereas the control plants died at 2.5 l/ha. Foliar NH4-N concentrations in transgenic plants did not change after treatment. Extremely low temperatures in the third ten-day period of October 2014 revealed differences in freeze tolerance between the lines obtained from Pt of f2 aspen genotypes. Stable expression of the bar gene after overwintering outdoors was confirmed by RT-PCR. On the basis of the tests, four transgenic aspen lines were selected. The bar gene could be used for retransformation of transgenic forest trees expressing valuable traits, such as increased productivity. PMID:27437143

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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. PMID:20119491

  20. Naturally occurring plant isoquinoline N-oxide alkaloids: their pharmacological and SAR activities.

    PubMed

    Dembitsky, Valery M; Gloriozova, Tatyana A; Poroikov, Vladimir V

    2015-01-15

    The present review describes research on novel natural isoquinoline alkaloids and their N-oxides isolated from different plant species. More than 200 biological active compounds have shown confirmed antimicrobial, antibacterial, antitumor, and other activities. The structures, origins, and reported biological activities of a selection of isoquinoline N-oxides alkaloids are reviewed. With the computer program PASS some additional SAR (structure-activity relationship) activities are also predicted, which point toward new possible applications of these compounds. This review emphasizes the role of isoquinoline N-oxides alkaloids as an important source of leads for drug discovery.

  1. Student conceptions of natural selection and its role in evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bishop, Beth A.; Anderson, Charles W.

    Pretests and posttests on the topic of evolution by natural selection were administered to students in a college nonmajors' biology course. Analysis of test responses revealed that most students understood evolution as a process in which species respond to environmental conditions by changing gradually over time. Student thinking differed from accepted biological theory in that (a) changes in traits were attributed to a need-driven adaptive process rather than random genetic mutation and sexual recombination, (b) no role was assigned to variation on traits within a population or differences in reproductive success, and (c) traits were seen as gradually changing in all members of a population. Although students had taken an average of 1.9 years of previous biology courses, performance on the pretest was uniformly low. There was no relationship between the amount of previous biology taken and either pretest or posttest performance. Belief in the truthfulness of evolutionary theory was also unrelated to either pretest or posttest performance. Course instruction using specially designed materials was moderately successful in improving students' understanding of the evolutionary process.

  2. Antimicrobial evaluation of selected naturally occurring oxyprenylated secondary metabolites.

    PubMed

    Di Giulio, Mara; Genovese, Salvatore; Fiorito, Serena; Epifano, Francesco; Nostro, Antonia; Cellini, Luigina

    2016-08-01

    This study tested the antimicrobial activity of eight selected naturally occurring oxyprenylated secondary metabolites against Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 29213, S. epidermidis ATCC 35984, Escherichia coli ATCC 8739, Pseudomonas aeruginosa ATCC 9027 and Candida albicans ATCC 10231. Results showed a moderate antimicrobial activity. The most active compounds were 3-(4-geranyloxyphenyl)-1-ethanol (4) and 3-(4-isopentenyloxyphenyl)-1-propanol (5) that were tested on mature and in-formation biofilms of all micro-organisms, moreover the cytotoxic activity was evaluated. Except for S. epidermidis, both compounds reduced significantly (p < 0.05) the microbial biofilm formation at 1/2 MIC and 1/4 MIC, in particular, compounds 4 and 5 at each concentration, inhibited E. coli biofilm formation to a greater extent, the biofilm formation was never more than 44% in respect to the control, moreover both compounds showed a low cytotoxic effect. Oxyprenylated derivatives may be of great interest for the development of novel antimicrobial therapeutic strategies and the synthesis of semi-synthetic analogues with anti-biofilm efficacy. PMID:27498831

  3. 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. PMID:25719745

  4. 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.

  5. Epistasis in natural populations of a predominantly selfing plant

    PubMed Central

    Volis, S; Shulgina, I; Zaretsky, M; Koren, O

    2011-01-01

    Populations of predominantly selfing plant species often show spatial genetic structure but little is known whether epistatic gene interactions are spatially structured. To detect a possible epistatic effect and a spatial scale at which it operates, we created artificial crosses between plants spanning a range of fixed distances from 1 to 400 m in three populations of wild barley. The self-pollinated and crossed progeny (F1) and two generations of segregated progeny (F2 and F3) were tested in experimentally simulated population environments for relative performance (RP). The measured fitness traits included number of seeds, total seed weight and seed germination. For any of these traits, there was no association between RP of F1, F2 and F3 plants and either pairwise kinship coefficients or crossing distance. In contrast, in all three populations, we found lower seed viability of outcrossed as compared with self-pollinated genotypes in the first generation of segregation. However, in the F3 generation this outbreeding effect disappeared in the two populations and greatly decreased in the third population. For seed production, heterosis in F1 and outbreeding depression in F2 were observed only in the population with unusually high number of heterozygotes. Our findings support the view that in selfing species a spatial mosaic of various locally abundant genotypes represents not randomly fixed combinations of alleles but the co-adapted gene complexes that were sieved by selection, while heterozygotes are characteristic for the transient phase of this process, when segregation and purging of maladaptive genotypes have not yet occurred. PMID:20551977

  6. 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. PMID:26897605

  7. 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

  8. Monte Carlo optimization for site selection of new chemical plants.

    PubMed

    Cai, Tianxing; Wang, Sujing; Xu, Qiang

    2015-11-01

    Geographic distribution of chemical manufacturing sites has significant impact on the business sustainability of industrial development and regional environmental sustainability as well. The common site selection rules have included the evaluation of the air quality impact of a newly constructed chemical manufacturing site to surrounding communities. In order to achieve this target, the simultaneous consideration should cover the regional background air-quality information, the emissions of new manufacturing site, and statistical pattern of local meteorological conditions. According to the above information, the risk assessment can be conducted for the potential air-quality impacts from candidate locations of a new chemical manufacturing site, and thus the optimization of the final site selection can be achieved by minimizing its air-quality impacts. This paper has provided a systematic methodology for the above purpose. There are total two stages of modeling and optimization work: i) Monte Carlo simulation for the purpose to identify background pollutant concentration based on currently existing emission sources and regional statistical meteorological conditions; and ii) multi-objective (simultaneous minimization of both peak pollutant concentration and standard deviation of pollutant concentration spatial distribution at air-quality concern regions) Monte Carlo optimization for optimal location selection of new chemical manufacturing sites according to their design data of potential emission. This study can be helpful to both determination of the potential air-quality impact for geographic distribution of multiple chemical plants with respect to regional statistical meteorological conditions, and the identification of an optimal site for each new chemical manufacturing site with the minimal environment impact to surrounding communities. The efficacy of the developed methodology has been demonstrated through the case studies.

  9. 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

  10. Antioxidative activities of aroma extracts isolated from natural plants.

    PubMed

    Lee, K G; Mitchell, A; Shibamoto, T

    2000-01-01

    Natural leaves and flowers containing numerous aroma chemicals are widely used in aromatherapy since ancient times. In addition to their pleasant smells, aroma chemicals might have some beneficial health effects. Aroma extracts, isolated from coffee beans, soybeans, and mung beans by steam distillation under mild conditions (55 degrees C and 85 mm Hg) were examined for their antioxidative activities. The inhibitory effect of these extracts toward hexanal/hexanoic acid conversion was measured in the testing solution over prolonged time periods. The inhibitory effects of these extracts toward malonaldehyde formation from lipids oxidized by Fenton's reagent were also measured. The antioxidative activity of these extracts, in particular coffee bean extract, was consistent with that of BHT or alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E). Soybeans and mung beans extract contained maltol, which inhibits hexanal oxidation significantly. Eugenol, which is one of the major constituents of mung bean extract, exhibited potent antioxidative activity in an aldehyde/carboxylic acid assay. Antioxidants such as eugenol and maltol may play an important role in the pharmaceutical activities of natural plant extracts used for aromatherapy. PMID:11237179

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

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

    PubMed

    Maisnier-Patin, Sophie; Roth, John R

    2015-07-01

    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.

  13. Carbon isotope ratios in crassulacean Acid metabolism plants: seasonal patterns from plants in natural stands.

    PubMed

    Szarek, S R

    1976-09-01

    A year round study of photosynthesis and carbon isotope fractionation was conducted with plants of Opuntia phaeacantha Engelm. and Yucca baccata Torr. occurring in natural stands at elevations of 525, 970, 1450 and 1900 m. Plant water potentials and the daytime pattern of (14)CO(2) photosynthesis were similar for all cacti along the elevational gradient, despite significant differences in temperature regime and soil water status. Carbon isotope ratios of total tissue and soluble extract fractions were relatively constant throughtout the entire year. Additionally, the sigma(13)C values were similar in all plants of the same species along the elevational gradient, i.e. -12.5 +/- 0.86 per thousand for O. phaeacantha and -15.7 +/- 0.95 per thousand for Y. baccata. The results of this study indicate Crassulacean acid metabolism predominates as the major carbon pathway of these plants, which do not facultatively utilize the reductive pentose phosphate cycle of photosynthesis as the primary carboxylation reaction. PMID:16659680

  14. Plant genetic transformation efficiency of selected Malaysian rice based on selectable marker gene (hptII).

    PubMed

    Htwe, Nwe Nwe; Ling, Ho Chai; Zaman, Faridah Qamaruz; Maziah, Mahmood

    2014-04-01

    Rice is one of the most important cereal crops with great potential for biotechnology progress. In transformation method, antibiotic resistance genes are routinely used as powerful markers for selecting transformed cells from surrounding non-transformed cells. In this study, the toxicity level of hygromycin was optimized for two selected mutant rice lines, MR219 line 4 and line 9. The mature embryos were isolated and cultured on an MS medium with different hygromycin concentrations (0, 20, 40, 60, 80 and 100 mg L(-1)). Evidently, above 60 mg L(-1) was effective for callus formation and observed completely dead. Further there were tested for specific concentration (0-60). Although, 21.28% calli survived on the medium containing 45 mg L(-1) hygromycin, it seemed suitable for the identification of putative transformants. These findings indicated that a system for rice transformation in a relatively high frequency and the transgenes are stably expressed in the transgenic plants. Green shoots were regenerated from the explant under hygromycin stress. RT-PCR using hptII and gus sequence specific primer and Southern blot analysis were used to confirm the presence of the transgene and to determine the transformation efficiency for their stable integration in regenerated plants. This study demonstrated that the hygromycin resistance can be used as an effective marker for rice transformation.

  15. Human Fertility, Molecular Genetics, and Natural Selection in Modern Societies

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:26039877

  16. 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.

  17. 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. PMID:26321961

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

    Bell, Rayna C; Zamudio, Kelly R

    2012-12-01

    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.

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-05-01

    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.

  2. 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

  3. A review on plant-derived natural products and their analogs with anti-tumor activity

    PubMed Central

    Dholwani, K.K.; Saluja, A.K.; Gupta, A.R.; Shah, D.R.

    2008-01-01

    Traditional medicines, including Chinese herbal formulations, can serve as the source of potential new drugs, and initial research focuses on the isolation of bioactive lead compound(s). The development of novel plant-derived natural products and their analogs for anticancer activity details efforts to synthesize new derivatives based on bioactivity- and mechanism of action-directed isolation and characterization coupled with rational drug design - based modification. Also, the anticancer activity of certain natural products and their analogs can be enhanced by synthesizing new derivatives based on active pharmacophore models; drug resistance and solubility and metabolic limitations can be overcome by appropriate molecular modifications; and new biological properties or mechanisms of action can be added by combining other functional groups or molecules. Preclinical screening for in vitro human cell line panels and selected in vivo xenograft testing then identifies the most promising drug development targets. PMID:21279166

  4. 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. PMID:25073950

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

  6. Examining undergraduate understanding of natural selection and evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balgopal, Meena Michelle

    2007-12-01

    This dissertation explores the understanding of evolution and natural selection by zoology and biological sciences education majors in two upper-division undergraduate courses. To date, there has been little research on evolution misconceptions held by these two populations. Students' misconceptions regarding evolution typically revolve around teleological and Lamarckian explanations for adaptations, origin of variation, and fitness. There are other misconceptions, however, that are described in this dissertation. The overarching objective of the dissertation was to identify variables that might influence the conceptual change. A mixed-method analysis was developed to identify instances of conceptual change that go undetected when only quantitative analyses are used. Through interpretations of in-depth interviews, written discourse, diagnostic tests, instructor interviews, and field notes, it was discovered that students' professional and personal affiliations influenced their motivation to resolve misconceptions. There were three main findings of this doctoral study. First, the effects of direct instruction on misconceptions enabled students to identify incorrect teleological wording but did not necessarily change students' writing about evolution. Higher-achieving students with career interests in biology were more likely to resolve their teleological misconceptions than lower-achieving students. Second, zoology student written discourse could be divided into subjective, objective, and authentic categories based on personal and professional connections that students made in their writing. Students who wrote authentically expressed intentions of pursuing professional biological research. Third, biological sciences education students were found to have composite identities based on personal and professional affiliations, which either hindered or enhanced their motivation to resolve evolution misconceptions. Students' personal affiliations to religious communities

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Paternity and Nested-within-Family Marker Assisted Selection in Space Planted Red Clover Nurseries

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Presented is a cost effective marker assisted selection methodology that utilizes individual plant phenotypes, seed production based knowledge of maternity, molecular marker determined paternity, and nested within halfsib family linkage relationships. Combining all above listed components, selection...

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Tragedies and Crops: Understanding Natural Selection To Improve Cropping Systems.

    PubMed

    Anten, Niels P R; Vermeulen, Peter J

    2016-06-01

    Plant communities with traits that would maximize community performance can be invaded by plants that invest extra in acquiring resources at the expense of others, lowering the overall community performance, a so-called tragedy of the commons (TOC). By contrast, maximum community performance is usually the objective in agriculture. We first give an overview of the occurrence of TOCs in plants, and explore the extent to which past crop breeding has led to trait values that go against an unwanted TOC. We then show how linking evolutionary game theory (EGT) with mechanistic knowledge of the physiological processes that drive trait expression and the ecological aspects of biotic interactions in agro-ecosystems might contribute to increasing crop yields and resource-use efficiency. PMID:27012675

  16. Tragedies and Crops: Understanding Natural Selection To Improve Cropping Systems.

    PubMed

    Anten, Niels P R; Vermeulen, Peter J

    2016-06-01

    Plant communities with traits that would maximize community performance can be invaded by plants that invest extra in acquiring resources at the expense of others, lowering the overall community performance, a so-called tragedy of the commons (TOC). By contrast, maximum community performance is usually the objective in agriculture. We first give an overview of the occurrence of TOCs in plants, and explore the extent to which past crop breeding has led to trait values that go against an unwanted TOC. We then show how linking evolutionary game theory (EGT) with mechanistic knowledge of the physiological processes that drive trait expression and the ecological aspects of biotic interactions in agro-ecosystems might contribute to increasing crop yields and resource-use efficiency.

  17. Listeners modulate temporally selective attention during natural speech processing

    PubMed Central

    Astheimer, Lori B.; Sanders, Lisa D.

    2009-01-01

    Spatially selective attention allows for the preferential processing of relevant stimuli when more information than can be processed in detail is presented simultaneously at distinct locations. Temporally selective attention may serve a similar function during speech perception by allowing listeners to allocate attentional resources to time windows that contain highly relevant acoustic information. To test this hypothesis, event-related potentials were compared in response to attention probes presented in six conditions during a narrative: concurrently with word onsets, beginning 50 and 100 ms before and after word onsets, and at random control intervals. Times for probe presentation were selected such that the acoustic environments of the narrative were matched for all conditions. Linguistic attention probes presented at and immediately following word onsets elicited larger amplitude N1s than control probes over medial and anterior regions. These results indicate that native speakers selectively process sounds presented at specific times during normal speech perception. PMID:18395316

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Pseudogene evolution and natural selection for a compact genome.

    PubMed

    Petrov, D A; Hartl, D L

    2000-01-01

    Pseudogenes are nonfunctional copies of protein-coding genes that are presumed to evolve without selective constraints on their coding function. They are of considerable utility in evolutionary genetics because, in the absence of selection, different types of mutations in pseudogenes should have equal probabilities of fixation. This theoretical inference justifies the estimation of patterns of spontaneous mutation from the analysis of patterns of substitutions in pseudogenes. Although it is possible to test whether pseudogene sequences evolve without constraints for their protein-coding function, it is much more difficult to ascertain whether pseudogenes may affect fitness in ways unrelated to their nucleotide sequence. Consider the possibility that a pseudogene affects fitness merely by increasing genome size. If a larger genome is deleterious--for example, because of increased energetic costs associated with genome replication and maintenance--then deletions, which decrease the length of a pseudogene, should be selectively advantageous relative to insertions or nucleotide substitutions. In this article we examine the implications of selection for genome size relative to small (1-400 bp) deletions, in light of empirical evidence pertaining to the size distribution of deletions observed in Drosophila and mammalian pseudogenes. There is a large difference in the deletion spectra between these organisms. We argue that this difference cannot easily be attributed to selection for overall genome size, since the magnitude of selection is unlikely to be strong enough to significantly affect the probability of fixation of small deletions in Drosophila.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. Biometric approach in selecting plants for phytoaccumulation of uranium.

    PubMed

    Stojanović, Mirjana; Pezo, Lato; Lačnjevac, Časlav; Mihajlović, Marija; Petrović, Jelena; Milojković, Jelena; Stanojević, Marija

    2016-01-01

    This paper promotes the biometric classification system of plant cultivars, unique characteristics, in terms of the uranium (U) uptake, primarily in the function of the application for phytoremediation. It is known that the degree of adoption of U depends on the plant species and its morphological and physiological properties, but it is less known what impact have plants cultivars, sorts, and hybrids. Therefore, we investigated the U adoption in four cultivars of three plant species (corn, sunflower and soy bean). "Vegetation experiments were carried out in a plastic-house filled with soil (0.66 mgU) and with tailing (15.3 mgU kg(-1)) from closed uranium mine Gabrovnica-Kalna southeast of Serbia". Principal Component Analysis (PCA), Cluster Analysis (CA) and analysis of variance (ANOVA) were used for assessing the effect of different substrates cultivars, plant species and plant organs (root or shoot) on U uptake. Obtained results showed that a difference in U uptake by three investigated plant species depends not only of the type of substrate types and plant organs but also of their cultivars. Biometrics techniques provide a good opportunity for a better understanding the behavior of plants and obtaining much more useful information from the original data.

  3. Biometric approach in selecting plants for phytoaccumulation of uranium.

    PubMed

    Stojanović, Mirjana; Pezo, Lato; Lačnjevac, Časlav; Mihajlović, Marija; Petrović, Jelena; Milojković, Jelena; Stanojević, Marija

    2016-01-01

    This paper promotes the biometric classification system of plant cultivars, unique characteristics, in terms of the uranium (U) uptake, primarily in the function of the application for phytoremediation. It is known that the degree of adoption of U depends on the plant species and its morphological and physiological properties, but it is less known what impact have plants cultivars, sorts, and hybrids. Therefore, we investigated the U adoption in four cultivars of three plant species (corn, sunflower and soy bean). "Vegetation experiments were carried out in a plastic-house filled with soil (0.66 mgU) and with tailing (15.3 mgU kg(-1)) from closed uranium mine Gabrovnica-Kalna southeast of Serbia". Principal Component Analysis (PCA), Cluster Analysis (CA) and analysis of variance (ANOVA) were used for assessing the effect of different substrates cultivars, plant species and plant organs (root or shoot) on U uptake. Obtained results showed that a difference in U uptake by three investigated plant species depends not only of the type of substrate types and plant organs but also of their cultivars. Biometrics techniques provide a good opportunity for a better understanding the behavior of plants and obtaining much more useful information from the original data. PMID:26606604

  4. 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. PMID:23106703

  5. 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

  6. Anthocyanins: Analysis and Distribution in Selected Medicinal Plants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  7. Anthocyanins: analysis and distribution in selected medicinal plants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Hunter-Zinck, Haley; Clark, Andrew G

    2015-10-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1996-12-31

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baumgartner, Erin; Duncan, Kanesa

    2009-01-01

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

  14. A Hands-On Exercise to Demonstrate Evolution by Natural Selection & Genetic Drift

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Young, Helen J.; Young, Truman P.

    2003-01-01

    Although students "learn" (i.e., hear about) the components of evolution by natural selection in high school biology courses, few of them truly understand or remember them. Evolution by natural selection, although seemingly simple, requires that several conditions be met. The trait of concern must exhibit variation within the population; this…

  15. Natural ingredients based cosmetics. Content of selected fragrance sensitizers.

    PubMed

    Rastogi, S C; Johansen, J D; Menné, T

    1996-06-01

    In the present study, we have investigated 42 cosmetic products based on natural ingredients for content of 11 fragrance substances: geraniol, hydroxycitronellal, eugenol, isoeugenol, cinnamic aldehyde, cinnamic alcohol, alpha-amylcinnamic aldehyde, citral, coumarin, dihydrocoumarin and alpha-hexylcinnamic aldehyde. The study revealed that the 91% (20/22) of the natural ingredients based perfumes contained 0.027%-7.706% of 1 to 7 of the target fragrances. Between 1 and 5 of the chemically defined synthetic constituents of fragrance mix were found in 82% (18/22) of the perfumes. 35% (7/20) of the other cosmetic products (shampoos, creams, tonics, etc) were found to contain 0.0003-0.0820% of 1 to 3 of the target fragrances. Relatively high concentrations of hydroxycitronellal, coumarin, cinnamic alcohol and alpha-amyl cinnamic aldehyde were found in some of the investigated products. The detection of hydroxycitronellal and alpha-hexylcinnamic aldehyde in some of the products demonstrates that artificial fragrances, i.e., compounds not yet regarded as natural substances, may be present in products claimed to be based on natural ingredients.

  16. 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…

  17. Interaction between natural and sexual selection during the evolution of mate recognition.

    PubMed

    Blows, Mark W

    2002-06-01

    The interaction between natural and sexual selection is central to many theories of how mate choice and reproductive isolation evolve, but their joint effect on the evolution of mate recognition has not, to my knowledge, been investigated in an evolutionary experiment. Natural and sexual selection were manipulated in interspecific hybrid populations of Drosophila to determine their effects on the evolution of a mate recognition system comprised of cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs). The effect of natural selection in isolation indicated that CHCs were costly for males and females to produce. The effect of sexual selection in isolation indicated that females preferred males with a particular CHC composition. However, the interaction between natural and sexual selection had a greater effect on the evolution of the mate recognition system than either process in isolation. When natural and sexual selection were permitted to operate in combination, male CHCs became exaggerated to a greater extent than in the presence of sexual selection alone, and female CHCs evolved against the direction of natural selection. This experiment demonstrated that the interaction between natural and sexual selection is critical in determining the direction and magnitude of the evolutionary response of the mate recognition system.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2003-01-01

    This study evaluated the effects of a parent-conducted functional analysis and treatment consisting of differential reinforcement of an alternative behavior, escape extinction, and demand fading on food selectivity in a young child with autism. Increases in food acceptance at home and in a restaurant were obtained. PMID:14596582

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    The contribution of developmental constraints and selective forces to the determination of evolutionary patterns is an important and unsolved question. We test whether the long-term evolutionary stasis observed for pollen morphogenesis (microsporogenesis) in eudicots is due to developmental constraints or to selection on a morphological trait shaped by microsporogenesis: the equatorial aperture pattern. Most eudicots have three equatorial apertures but several taxa have independently lost the equatorial pattern and have microsporogenesis decoupled from aperture pattern determination. If selection on the equatorial pattern limits variation, we expect to see increased variation in microsporogenesis in the nonequatorial clades. Variation of microsporogenesis was studied using phylogenetic comparative analyses in 83 species dispersed throughout eudicots including species with and without equatorial apertures. The species that have lost the equatorial pattern have highly variable microsporogenesis at the intra-individual and inter-specific levels regardless of their pollen morphology, whereas microsporogenesis remains stable in species with the equatorial pattern. The observed burst of variation upon loss of equatorial apertures shows that there are no strong developmental constraints precluding variation in microsporogenesis, and that the stasis is likely to be due principally to selective pressure acting on pollen morphogenesis because of its implication in the determination of the equatorial aperture pattern. PMID:26248868

  1. Natural selection on genes that underlie human disease susceptibility

    PubMed Central

    Blekhman, Ran; Man, Orna; Herrmann, Leslie; Boyko, Adam R.; Indap, Amit; Kosiol, Carolin; Bustamante, Carlos D.; Teshima, Kosuke M.; Przeworski, Molly

    2008-01-01

    What evolutionary forces shape genes that contribute to the risk of human disease? Do similar selective pressures act on alleles that underlie simple vs. complex disorders? [1-3]. Answers to these questions will shed light on the origin of human disorders (e.g., [4]), and help to predict the population frequencies of alleles that contribute to disease risk, with important implications for the efficient design of mapping studies [5-7]. As a first step towards addressing them, we created a hand-curated version of the Mendelian Inheritance in Man database (OMIM). We then examined selective pressures on Mendelian disease genes, genes that contribute to complex disease risk and genes known to be essential in mouse, by analyzing patterns of human polymorphism and of divergence between human and rhesus macaque. We find that Mendelian disease genes appear to be under widespread purifying selection, especially when the disease mutations are dominant (rather than recessive). In contrast, the class of genes that influence complex disease risk shows little signs of evolutionary conservation, possibly because this category includes both targets of purifying and positive selection. PMID:18571414

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Kuchta, Shawn R; Svensson, Erik I

    2014-07-01

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

  4. Detection of plant viruses in natural environments by using RNA-Seq.

    PubMed

    Nagano, Atsushi J; Honjo, Mie N; Mihara, Motohiro; Sato, Masanao; Kudoh, Hiroshi

    2015-01-01

    Sequencing of RNA by next generation sequencers, RNA-Seq, is revolutionizing virus detection. In addition to the unbiased detection of various viruses from wild plants in natural environments, RNA-Seq also allows for the parallel collection of host plant transcriptome data. Host transcriptome data are highly valuable for studying the responses of hosts to viral infections, as well as viral host manipulation. When detecting viruses using RNA-Seq, it is critical to choose appropriate methods for the removal of rRNA from total RNA. Although viruses with polyadenylated genomes can be detected by RNA-Seq following mRNA purification using oligo-dT beads, viruses with non-polyadenylated genomes are not effectively detected. However, such viruses can be detected by RNA-Seq using the rRNA selective depression method. The high-throughput and cost-effective method of RNA-Seq library preparation which is described here allows us to detect a broad range of viruses in wild plants.

  5. Predation and selection for antibiotic resistance in natural environments.

    PubMed

    Leisner, Jørgen J; Jørgensen, Niels O G; Middelboe, Mathias

    2016-03-01

    Genes encoding resistance to antibiotics appear, like the antibiotics themselves, to be ancient, originating long before the rise of the era of anthropogenic antibiotics. However, detailed understanding of the specific biological advantages of antibiotic resistance in natural environments is still lacking, thus limiting our efforts to prevent environmental influx of resistance genes. Here, we propose that antibiotic-resistant cells not only evade predation from antibiotic producers but also take advantage of nutrients released from cells that are killed by the antibiotic-producing bacteria. Thus, predation is potentially an important mechanism for driving antibiotic resistance during slow or stationary phase of growth when nutrients are deprived. This adds to explain the ancient nature and widespread occurrence of antibiotic resistance in natural environments unaffected by anthropogenic antibiotics. In particular, we suggest that nutrient-poor environments including indoor environments, for example, clean rooms and intensive care units may serve as a reservoir and source for antibiotic-producing as well as antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

  6. Nutrient composition of selected traditional native American plant foods

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ten wild plants (cattail narrow leaf shoots, chokecherries, beaked hazelnuts, lambsquarters, plains pricklypear, prairie turnips, stinging nettles, wild plums, raspberries, rose hips) from three Native American reservations in North Dakota were analyzed to expand composition information of tradition...

  7. Selective forces exerted by vertebrate herbivores on plants.

    PubMed

    Westoby, M

    1989-04-01

    The question of whether herbivory can benefit plants remains controversial. A series of papers on the effects of lesser snow geese grazing on grasses in northern Canada is throwing new light on this problem. PMID:21227333

  8. Natural selection of mitochondria during somatic lifetime promotes healthy aging

    PubMed Central

    Rodell, Anders; Rasmussen, Lene J.; Bergersen, Linda H.; Singh, Keshav K.; Gjedde, Albert

    2013-01-01

    Stimulation of mitochondrial biogenesis during life-time challenges both eliminates disadvantageous properties and drives adaptive selection of advantageous phenotypic variations. Intermittent fission and fusion of mitochondria provide specific targets for health promotion by brief temporal stressors, interspersed with periods of recovery and biogenesis. For mitochondria, the mechanisms of selection, variability, and heritability, are complicated by interaction of two independent genomes, including the multiple copies of DNA in each mitochondrion, as well as the shared nuclear genome of each cell. The mechanisms of stress-induced fission, followed by recovery-induced fusion and biogenesis, drive the improvement of mitochondrial functions, not only as directed by genotypic variations, but also as enabled by phenotypic diversity. Selective adaptation may explain unresolved aspects of aging, including the health effects of exercise, hypoxic and poisonous preconditioning, and tissue-specific mitochondrial differences. We propose that intermittent purposeful enhancement of mitochondrial biogenesis by stressful episodes with subsequent recovery paradoxically promotes adaptive mitochondrial health and continued healthy aging. PMID:23964235

  9. ETHNOBOTANY OF SELECTED MEDICINAL PLANTS OF SRIKAKULAM DISTRICT, ANDHRA PRADESH

    PubMed Central

    Rao, K. Prakasa; Sreeramulu, S. Hara

    1985-01-01

    India has a rich heritage of herbal medicine of which the most important system namely Ayurveda needs even today a critical scientific scrutiny both in the correct identity of the proper drug plants and in the standard of the preparation of Ayurveda drugs. Authentic data on the medicinal plants growing in the Srikakulam district of Northern Andhra Pradesh is presented in the paper along with their etnobotainical data and their distribution in the district. PMID:22557487

  10. Selenium concentrations of selected medicinal and aromatic plants in Turkey.

    PubMed

    Ozkutlu, Faruk; Sekeroglu, Nazim; Koca, Ufuk; Yazici, Gizem

    2011-10-01

    Recent scientific studies have proven the importance of trace elements on human health. The main food supplies are plants and animals, which are significant sources of these minerals. Studies on determining mineral compositions of herbs, spices and some other crops have increased all over the world. Published works revealed that spices, herbs and medicinal plants should be consumed to obtain beneficial trace elements. Selenium (Se), one of the most vital trace elements, has a significant role in human diet acting as a preventative agent against some serious illnesses. Despite numerous scientific works on mineral compositions of medicinal and aromatic plants, investigations of selenium content in these foods could not be successfully studied until recently due to the lack of suitable analytical methods for selenium analysis. Thus, publications on selenium concentrations of foods are recent. In this regard, selenium contents of some medicinal and aromatic plants commonly used as spices, herbal teas and traditional medicines in Turkey were studied in the present research. Selenium contents of the most used parts of these plants were analyzed by ICP-OES (Varian Vista-Pro, Australia). Of the analyzed 26 medicinal and aromatic plants, the highest Se concentration (1133 microg kg-1) was found in sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) and the lowest in sumac (Rhus coriaria L.) fruits (11 microg kg(-1)). PMID:22164785

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

    PubMed Central

    Haswell, Elizabeth S.

    2013-01-01

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

  12. Selected trace elements in plants grown on retorted oil shales

    SciTech Connect

    Kilkelly, M.K.; Lindsay, W.L.

    1982-07-01

    Western wheatgrass (Agropyron smithii Rybd. 'Arriba') and fourwing saltbush (Atriplex canescens (Pursh) Nutt.) were sampled from oil shale revegetation plots in northwestern Colorado. Plants were growing on two types of retorted shales: TOSCO II, produced by the Tosco Corporation; and USBM, produced by the U.S. Bureau of Mines. Various treatments included leaching and different depths of soil covering over the retorted shales. Plant samples were analyzed for B, Mo, As, Se, and F on a dry-weight basis. Plant samples with elevated Mo concentrations were also analyzed for Cu. Boron in western wheatgrass from the TOSCO retorted shale ranged from 85 to 202 ppm, compared with ranges of 4 to 15 ppm B in plants from the soil control. Analysis of variance indicated significant differences in B content due to site, aspect, type of retorted shale, and amount of soil cover over retorted shale. The concentration of B in western wheatgrass growing on retorted shales, especially TOSCO retorted shale, could affect plant growth. Fourwing saltbush samples, growing on USBM retorted shales, contained levels of Mo averaging 28 ppm, and low-to-moderate Cu content (4.8-6.8 ppm). This combination could make this species unacceptable as forage for ruminants. The concentrations of As (0.03-0.44 ppm), Se (0.02-0.94 ppm); and F (0.5-10.0 ppm) in the plant species investigated in this study were below limits usually set for either plant or animal toxicities and appear to be of little environmental significance.

  13. Salicornia strobilacea (Synonym of Halocnemum strobilaceum) Grown under Different Tidal Regimes Selects Rhizosphere Bacteria Capable of Promoting Plant Growth

    PubMed Central

    Marasco, Ramona; Mapelli, Francesca; Rolli, Eleonora; Mosqueira, Maria J.; Fusi, Marco; Bariselli, Paola; Reddy, Muppala; Cherif, Ameur; Tsiamis, George; Borin, Sara; Daffonchio, Daniele

    2016-01-01

    Halophytes classified under the common name of salicornia colonize salty and coastal environments across tidal inundation gradients. To unravel the role of tide-related regimes on the structure and functionality of root associated bacteria, the rhizospheric soil of Salicornia strobilacea (synonym of Halocnemum strobilaceum) plants was studied in a tidal zone of the coastline of Southern Tunisia. Although total counts of cultivable bacteria did not change in the rhizosphere of plants grown along a tidal gradient, significant differences were observed in the diversity of both the cultivable and uncultivable bacterial communities. This observation indicates that the tidal regime is contributing to the bacterial species selection in the rhizosphere. Despite the observed diversity in the bacterial community structure, the plant growth promoting (PGP) potential of cultivable rhizospheric bacteria, assessed through in vitro and in vivo tests, was equally distributed along the tidal gradient. Root colonization tests with selected strains proved that halophyte rhizospheric bacteria (i) stably colonize S. strobilacea rhizoplane and the plant shoot suggesting that they move from the root to the shoot and (ii) are capable of improving plant growth. The versatility in the root colonization, the overall PGP traits and the in vivo plant growth promotion under saline condition suggest that such beneficial activities likely take place naturally under a range of tidal regimes. PMID:27597846

  14. Salicornia strobilacea (Synonym of Halocnemum strobilaceum) Grown under Different Tidal Regimes Selects Rhizosphere Bacteria Capable of Promoting Plant Growth

    PubMed Central

    Marasco, Ramona; Mapelli, Francesca; Rolli, Eleonora; Mosqueira, Maria J.; Fusi, Marco; Bariselli, Paola; Reddy, Muppala; Cherif, Ameur; Tsiamis, George; Borin, Sara; Daffonchio, Daniele

    2016-01-01

    Halophytes classified under the common name of salicornia colonize salty and coastal environments across tidal inundation gradients. To unravel the role of tide-related regimes on the structure and functionality of root associated bacteria, the rhizospheric soil of Salicornia strobilacea (synonym of Halocnemum strobilaceum) plants was studied in a tidal zone of the coastline of Southern Tunisia. Although total counts of cultivable bacteria did not change in the rhizosphere of plants grown along a tidal gradient, significant differences were observed in the diversity of both the cultivable and uncultivable bacterial communities. This observation indicates that the tidal regime is contributing to the bacterial species selection in the rhizosphere. Despite the observed diversity in the bacterial community structure, the plant growth promoting (PGP) potential of cultivable rhizospheric bacteria, assessed through in vitro and in vivo tests, was equally distributed along the tidal gradient. Root colonization tests with selected strains proved that halophyte rhizospheric bacteria (i) stably colonize S. strobilacea rhizoplane and the plant shoot suggesting that they move from the root to the shoot and (ii) are capable of improving plant growth. The versatility in the root colonization, the overall PGP traits and the in vivo plant growth promotion under saline condition suggest that such beneficial activities likely take place naturally under a range of tidal regimes.

  15. Salicornia strobilacea (Synonym of Halocnemum strobilaceum) Grown under Different Tidal Regimes Selects Rhizosphere Bacteria Capable of Promoting Plant Growth.

    PubMed

    Marasco, Ramona; Mapelli, Francesca; Rolli, Eleonora; Mosqueira, Maria J; Fusi, Marco; Bariselli, Paola; Reddy, Muppala; Cherif, Ameur; Tsiamis, George; Borin, Sara; Daffonchio, Daniele

    2016-01-01

    Halophytes classified under the common name of salicornia colonize salty and coastal environments across tidal inundation gradients. To unravel the role of tide-related regimes on the structure and functionality of root associated bacteria, the rhizospheric soil of Salicornia strobilacea (synonym of Halocnemum strobilaceum) plants was studied in a tidal zone of the coastline of Southern Tunisia. Although total counts of cultivable bacteria did not change in the rhizosphere of plants grown along a tidal gradient, significant differences were observed in the diversity of both the cultivable and uncultivable bacterial communities. This observation indicates that the tidal regime is contributing to the bacterial species selection in the rhizosphere. Despite the observed diversity in the bacterial community structure, the plant growth promoting (PGP) potential of cultivable rhizospheric bacteria, assessed through in vitro and in vivo tests, was equally distributed along the tidal gradient. Root colonization tests with selected strains proved that halophyte rhizospheric bacteria (i) stably colonize S. strobilacea rhizoplane and the plant shoot suggesting that they move from the root to the shoot and (ii) are capable of improving plant growth. The versatility in the root colonization, the overall PGP traits and the in vivo plant growth promotion under saline condition suggest that such beneficial activities likely take place naturally under a range of tidal regimes. PMID:27597846

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. NEXT GENERATION NUCLEAR PLANT LICENSING BASIS EVENT SELECTION WHITE PAPER

    SciTech Connect

    Mark Holbrook

    2010-09-01

    The Next Generation Nuclear Plant (NGNP) will be a licensed commercial high temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTGR) plant capable of producing the electricity and high temperature process heat for industrial markets supporting a range of end-user applications. The NGNP Project has adopted the 10 CFR 52 Combined License (COL) application process, as recommended in the Report to Congress, dated August 2008, as the foundation for the NGNP licensing strategy. NRC licensing of the NGNP plant utilizing this process will demonstrate the efficacy of licensing future HTGRs for commercial industrial applications. This white paper is one in a series of submittals that will address key generic issues of the COL priority licensing topics as part of the process for establishing HTGR regulatory requirements.

  1. Screening of selected Indian medicinal plants for acetylcholinesterase inhibitory activity.

    PubMed

    Vinutha, B; Prashanth, D; Salma, K; Sreeja, S L; Pratiti, D; Padmaja, R; Radhika, S; Amit, A; Venkateshwarlu, K; Deepak, M

    2007-01-19

    Seventy-six plant extracts including methanolic and successive water extracts from 37 Indian medicinal plants were investigated for acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitory activity (in vitro). Results indicated that methanolic extracts to be more active than water extracts. The potent AChE inhibiting methanolic plant extracts included Withania somnifera (root), Semecarpus anacardium (stem bark), Embelia ribes (Root), Tinospora cordifolia (stem), Ficus religiosa (stem bark) and Nardostachys jatamansi (rhizome). The IC(50) values obtained for these extracts were 33.38, 16.74, 23.04, 38.36, 73.69 and 47.21mug/ml, respectively. These results partly substantiate the traditional use of these herbs for improvement of cognition. PMID:16950584

  2. Natural selection hampers divergence of reproductive traits in a seed beetle.

    PubMed

    Fricke, C; Andersson, C; Arnqvist, G

    2010-09-01

    Speciation is thought to often result from indirect selection for reproductive isolation. This will occur when reproductive traits that cause reproductive isolation evolve (i) as a by-product of natural selection on traits with which they are genetically correlated or (ii) as an indirect result of diversifying sexual selection. Here, we use experimental evolution to study the degree of divergent evolution of reproductive traits by manipulating the intensity of natural and sexual selection in replicated selection lines of seed beetles. Following 40 generations of selection, we assayed the degree of divergent evolution of reproductive traits between replicate selection lines experiencing the same selection regime. The evolution of reproductive traits was significantly divergent across selection lines within treatments. The evolution of reproductive traits was both slower and, more importantly, significantly less divergent among lines experiencing stronger directional natural selection. This suggests that reproductive traits did not evolve as an indirect by-product of adaptation. We discuss several ways in which natural selection may hamper divergent evolution among allopatric populations.

  3. Natural toxins that affect plant amino acid metabolism

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Opportunity for natural selection among five population groups of Manipur, North East India.

    PubMed

    Asghar, M; Meitei, S Y; Luxmi, Y; Achoubi, N; Meitei, K S; Murry, B; Sachdeva, M P; Saraswathy, K N

    2014-01-01

    Opportunity for natural selection among five population groups of Manipur in comparison with other North East Indian population has been studied. Crow's index as well as Johnston and Kensinger's index for natural selection were calculated based on differential fertility and mortality. The mortality component was found to be lower compared to fertility component in all the populations which may attribute to comparatively improved and easily accessible health care facilities. However, different selection pressures, artificial and natural, seem to be influencing the selection intensity through induced abortion and spontaneous abortion among the two non-tribal migrant groups: Bamon and Muslims, respectively. This study highlights the probable interaction of artificial and natural selection in determining the evolutionary fate of any population group.

  6. Antifungal activities of selected aromatic plants growing wild in Greece.

    PubMed

    Soković, M; Tzakou, O; Pitarokili, D; Couladis, M

    2002-10-01

    Essential oils of Origanum onites, Satureja thymbra, Salvia fruticosa (Greek sage), and Salvia pomifera subsp. calycina plants growing wild in Greece and their components carvacrol, camphor, and 1,8-cineole, were assayed for antifungal activity against 13 fungal species. Among the fungi tested were food poisoning, plant, animals and human pathogenic species. The oils presented various degrees of inhibition against all the fungi investigated. The highest and broadest activity was shown by the carvacrol content oils (O. onites and S. thymbra), while the oil of sage was the least effective. Carvacrol exhibited the highest and 1,8-cineole the lowest level of antifungal activity among the components tested. PMID:12428445

  7. Potential of hypocotyl diameter in family selection aiming at plant architecture improvement of common bean.

    PubMed

    Oliveira, A M C; Batista, R O; Carneiro, P C S; Carneiro, J E S; Cruz, C D

    2015-09-28

    Cultivars of common bean with more erect plant architecture and greater tolerance to degree of lodging are required by producers. Thus, to evaluate the potential of hypocotyl diameter (HD) in family selection for plant architecture improvement of common bean, the HDs of 32 F2 plants were measured in 3 distinct populations, and the characteristics related to plant architecture were analyzed in their progenies. Ninety-six F2:3 families and 4 controls were evaluated in a randomized block design, with 3 replications, analyzing plant architecture grade, HD, and grain yield during the winter 2010 and drought 2011 seasons. We found that the correlation between the HD of F2 plants and traits related to plant architecture of F2:3 progenies were of low magnitude compared to the estimates for correlations considering the parents, indicating a high environmental influence on HD in bean plants. There was a predominance of additive genetic effects on the determination of hypocotyl diameter, which showed higher precision and accuracy compared to plant architecture grade. Thus, this characteristic can be used to select progenies in plant architecture improvement of common beans; however, selection must be based on the means of at least 39 plants in the plot, according to the results of repeatability analysis.

  8. A selective and mild glycosylation method of natural phenolic alcohols

    PubMed Central

    Poláková, Monika

    2016-01-01

    Summary Several bioactive natural p-hydroxyphenylalkyl β-D-glucopyranosides, such as vanillyl β-D-glucopyranoside, salidroside and isoconiferin, and their glycosyl analogues were prepared by a simple reaction sequence. The highly efficient synthetic approach was achieved by utilizing acetylated glycosyl bromides as well as aromatic moieties and mild glycosylation promoters. The aglycones, p-O-acetylated arylalkyl alcohols, were prepared by the reduction of the corresponding acetylated aldehydes or acids. Various stereoselective 1,2-trans-O-glycosylation methods were studied, including the DDQ–iodine or ZnO–ZnCl2 catalyst combination. Among them, ZnO–iodine has been identified as a new glycosylation promoter and successfully applied to the stereoselective glycoside synthesis. The final products were obtained by conventional Zemplén deacetylation. PMID:27340444

  9. Affective Neuronal Selection: The Nature of the Primordial Emotion Systems

    PubMed Central

    Toronchuk, Judith A.; Ellis, George F. R.

    2013-01-01

    Based on studies in affective neuroscience and evolutionary psychiatry, a tentative new proposal is made here as to the nature and identification of primordial emotional systems. Our model stresses phylogenetic origins of emotional systems, which we believe is necessary for a full understanding of the functions of emotions and additionally suggests that emotional organizing systems play a role in sculpting the brain during ontogeny. Nascent emotional systems thus affect cognitive development. A second proposal concerns two additions to the affective systems identified by Panksepp. We suggest there is substantial evidence for a primary emotional organizing program dealing with power, rank, dominance, and subordination which instantiates competitive and territorial behavior and is an evolutionary contributor to self-esteem in humans. A program underlying disgust reactions which originally functioned in ancient vertebrates to protect against infection and toxins is also suggested. PMID:23316177

  10. Selective isolation of components from natural volatile oil by countercurrent chromatography with cyclodextrins as selective reagent.

    PubMed

    Tong, Shengqiang; Lu, Mengxia; Chu, Chu; Yan, Jizhong; Huang, Juan; Ying, Yongfei

    2016-04-29

    Selective separation of chemical components from seven kinds of volatile oil by countercurrent chromatography with three types of cyclodextrins as selective reagent was investigated in this work. Preparative separation of chemical components from volatile oil is generally quite challenging due to their extremely complexity of the composition. A biphasic solvent system n-hexane-0.10 mol L(-1) cyclodextrin (1:1, v/v) was selected for separation of components from volatile oil and three types of cyclodextrins were investigated, including β-cyclodexrin, methyl-β-cyclodexrin and hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodexrin. All kinds of volatile oils are from seven kinds of traditional Chinese herb. Results showed that some chemical components could be well separated with high purity from each kind of volatile oil using different type of cyclodextrin as selective reagent. For example, germacrone and curcumenone could be selectively separated from volatile oil of Curcumae Rhizoma with methyl-β-cyclodexrin and hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodexrin as selector respectively, and other five components were selectively separated from volatile oil of Chuanxiong Rhizoma, Myristicae Semen, Aucklandiae Radix and Angelicae Sinensis Radix by countercurrent chromatography with different cyclodexrin as selective reagent. Separation mechanism for separation of components from volatile oil by countercurrent chromatography with cyclodextrin as selective reagent was proposed. Peak resolution of the present separation method could be greatly influenced by the chemical compositions of volatile oil. PMID:27036211

  11. Selective isolation of components from natural volatile oil by countercurrent chromatography with cyclodextrins as selective reagent.

    PubMed

    Tong, Shengqiang; Lu, Mengxia; Chu, Chu; Yan, Jizhong; Huang, Juan; Ying, Yongfei

    2016-04-29

    Selective separation of chemical components from seven kinds of volatile oil by countercurrent chromatography with three types of cyclodextrins as selective reagent was investigated in this work. Preparative separation of chemical components from volatile oil is generally quite challenging due to their extremely complexity of the composition. A biphasic solvent system n-hexane-0.10 mol L(-1) cyclodextrin (1:1, v/v) was selected for separation of components from volatile oil and three types of cyclodextrins were investigated, including β-cyclodexrin, methyl-β-cyclodexrin and hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodexrin. All kinds of volatile oils are from seven kinds of traditional Chinese herb. Results showed that some chemical components could be well separated with high purity from each kind of volatile oil using different type of cyclodextrin as selective reagent. For example, germacrone and curcumenone could be selectively separated from volatile oil of Curcumae Rhizoma with methyl-β-cyclodexrin and hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodexrin as selector respectively, and other five components were selectively separated from volatile oil of Chuanxiong Rhizoma, Myristicae Semen, Aucklandiae Radix and Angelicae Sinensis Radix by countercurrent chromatography with different cyclodexrin as selective reagent. Separation mechanism for separation of components from volatile oil by countercurrent chromatography with cyclodextrin as selective reagent was proposed. Peak resolution of the present separation method could be greatly influenced by the chemical compositions of volatile oil.

  12. Nuclear power plants and natural populations of Mexican Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Levine, L; Olvera, O; Rockwell, R F; de la Rosa, M E; Guzmán, J

    1989-01-01

    With the worldwide proliferation of nuclear power plants has come the need to study the biological effects of the operation of the reactors on surrounding populations. We have begun a long-term study of the sibling species Drosophila melanogaster and D. simulans in the area of Laguna Verde in the state of Veracruz in Mexico. Laguna Verde, on the Gulf of Mexico about 75 km north of the city of Veracruz, is the location of the country's first nuclear power plant. This plant has not yet gone "on-line." The species have been collected from two sites, one of which is south of the reactor and is in the path of the prevailing north to south wind flow. The other collecting site is west of the plant. The species are being studied for the following: species frequency, desiccation resistance, vagility, proportion of larvae pupating, pupation height, and egg to adult survival after irradiation. To date we have noted both spatial and seasonal differences in a number of these characteristics. The information being gathered will serve as base-line data for monitoring the future operation of the nuclear power plant.

  13. Nuclear power plants and natural populations of Mexican Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Levine, L; Olvera, O; Rockwell, R F; de la Rosa, M E; Guzmán, J

    1989-01-01

    With the worldwide proliferation of nuclear power plants has come the need to study the biological effects of the operation of the reactors on surrounding populations. We have begun a long-term study of the sibling species Drosophila melanogaster and D. simulans in the area of Laguna Verde in the state of Veracruz in Mexico. Laguna Verde, on the Gulf of Mexico about 75 km north of the city of Veracruz, is the location of the country's first nuclear power plant. This plant has not yet gone "on-line." The species have been collected from two sites, one of which is south of the reactor and is in the path of the prevailing north to south wind flow. The other collecting site is west of the plant. The species are being studied for the following: species frequency, desiccation resistance, vagility, proportion of larvae pupating, pupation height, and egg to adult survival after irradiation. To date we have noted both spatial and seasonal differences in a number of these characteristics. The information being gathered will serve as base-line data for monitoring the future operation of the nuclear power plant. PMID:2591737

  14. The Nature of Irac-selected Extremely Red Objects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Tao; Huang, J.; Gu, Q.

    2010-05-01

    Using deep U-8um photometry from GEMs, MUSYC and SIMPLE surveys, we investigate properties of a large sample of IRAC-selected extremely red galaxies(IEROs). The sample comprises 304 brightest IEROs distributed over the GEMS field with a total area of 800 arcmin2, which satisfy ([3.6]+[4.5]/2)<21.2 and z-[3.6] > 3.25). Combined with the deepest Chandra and Spitzer surveys in this field, we are able to determine relative contributions of AGNs, (dusty) star-forming galaxies and passively evolving systems to the RED population; 51 sources are detected in at least one of three X-ray bands, leaving 253 non-Xray sources with 179 detected in 24um( 20uJy, 3sigma), indicating that at most 25% of these IEROs are passively evolving.We derive and examine photometric redshift using different methods; their redshift range from 1 to 2.6 with the median value at 1.5. Stellar masses of non-Xray sources are also derived with SED fitting methods, achieving a median value of 0.4*1011 Msun for a chrabrier initial mass function. The properties of best-fitting BC03 models are consistent with templates used for estimating redshifts, which have on average E(B-V) of 0.5 for 24um-deteced galaxies. The corresponding star-formation rates of these star-forming galaxies through SED fitting are within 40-100 Msun yr-1, consistent with that derived from their 24μm flux, which show a median total infrared luminosity 1*1011Lsun. We argue that such selected IEROs may represent a transient population from ULIRGs to LIRGs, and are likely descents of SMGs or DOGs.

  15. Biosynthesis and molecular actions of specialized 1,4-naphthoquinone natural products produced by horticultural plants.

    PubMed

    Widhalm, Joshua R; Rhodes, David

    2016-01-01

    The 1,4-naphthoquinones (1,4-NQs) are a diverse group of natural products found in every kingdom of life. Plants, including many horticultural species, collectively synthesize hundreds of specialized 1,4-NQs with ecological roles in plant-plant (allelopathy), plant-insect and plant-microbe interactions. Numerous horticultural plants producing 1,4-NQs have also served as sources of traditional medicines for hundreds of years. As a result, horticultural species have been at the forefront of many basic studies conducted to understand the metabolism and function of specialized plant 1,4-NQs. Several 1,4-NQ natural products derived from horticultural plants have also emerged as promising scaffolds for developing new drugs. In this review, the current understanding of the core metabolic pathways leading to plant 1,4-NQs is provided with additional emphasis on downstream natural products originating from horticultural species. An overview on the biochemical mechanisms of action, both from an ecological and pharmacological perspective, of 1,4-NQs derived from horticultural plants is also provided. In addition, future directions for improving basic knowledge about plant 1,4-NQ metabolism are discussed. PMID:27688890

  16. Biosynthesis and molecular actions of specialized 1,4-naphthoquinone natural products produced by horticultural plants.

    PubMed

    Widhalm, Joshua R; Rhodes, David

    2016-01-01

    The 1,4-naphthoquinones (1,4-NQs) are a diverse group of natural products found in every kingdom of life. Plants, including many horticultural species, collectively synthesize hundreds of specialized 1,4-NQs with ecological roles in plant-plant (allelopathy), plant-insect and plant-microbe interactions. Numerous horticultural plants producing 1,4-NQs have also served as sources of traditional medicines for hundreds of years. As a result, horticultural species have been at the forefront of many basic studies conducted to understand the metabolism and function of specialized plant 1,4-NQs. Several 1,4-NQ natural products derived from horticultural plants have also emerged as promising scaffolds for developing new drugs. In this review, the current understanding of the core metabolic pathways leading to plant 1,4-NQs is provided with additional emphasis on downstream natural products originating from horticultural species. An overview on the biochemical mechanisms of action, both from an ecological and pharmacological perspective, of 1,4-NQs derived from horticultural plants is also provided. In addition, future directions for improving basic knowledge about plant 1,4-NQ metabolism are discussed.

  17. Footprints of natural and artificial selection for photoperiod pathway genes in Oryza.

    PubMed

    Huang, Chao-Li; Hung, Cheng-Yu; Chiang, Yu-Chung; Hwang, Chi-Chuan; Hsu, Tsai-Wen; Huang, Chi-Chun; Hung, Kuo-Hsiang; Tsai, Kun-Chan; Wang, Kuo-Hsiung; Osada, Naoki; Schaal, Barbara Anna; Chiang, Tzen-Yuh

    2012-06-01

    Asian rice, Oryza sativa, consists of two major subspecies, indica and japonica, which are physiologically differentiated and adapted to different latitudes. Genes for photoperiod sensitivity are likely targets of selection along latitude. We examined the footprints of natural and artificial selections for four major genes of the photoperiod pathway, namely PHYTOCHROME B (PhyB), HEADING DATE 1 (Hd1), HEADING DATE 3a (Hd3a), and EARLY HEADING DATE 1 (Ehd1), by investigation of the patterns of nucleotide polymorphisms in cultivated and wild rice. Geographical subdivision between tropical and subtropical O. rufipogon was found for all of the photoperiod genes in plants divided by the Tropic of Cancer (TOC). All of these genes, except for PhyB, were characterized by the existence of clades that split a long time ago and that corresponded to latitudinal subdivisions, and revealed a likely diversifying selection. Ssp. indica showed close affinity to tropical O. rufipogon for all genes, while ssp. japonica, which has a much wider range of distribution, displayed complex patterns of differentiation from O. rufipogon, which reflected various agricultural needs in relation to crop yield. In japonica, all genes, except Hd3a, were genetically differentiated at the TOC, while geographical subdivision occurred at 31°N in Hd3a, probably the result of varying photoperiods. Many other features of the photoperiod genes revealed domestication signatures, which included high linkage disequilibrium (LD) within genes, the occurrence of frequent and recurrent non-functional Hd1 mutants in cultivated rice, crossovers between subtropical and tropical alleles of Hd1, and significant LD between Hd1 and Hd3a in japonica and indica.

  18. 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

  19. Nematodes associated with plants from naturally acidic wetlands soil.

    PubMed

    Cox, R J; Smart, G C

    1994-12-01

    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.

  20. Assessing the alignment of sexual and natural selection using radiomutagenized seed beetles.

    PubMed

    Power, D J; Holman, L

    2015-05-01

    A major unsolved question in evolutionary biology concerns the relationship between natural and sexual selection. Sexual selection might augment natural selection, for example if mutations that harm female fecundity also reduce male mating success. Conversely, sexual selection might favour traits that impair naturally selected fitness components. We induced detrimental mutations in Callosobruchus maculatus beetles using X-ray irradiation and then experimentally measured the effect of precopulatory sexual selection on offspring number and survival rate. Sexual selection treatment had a negative effect on egg-to-adult survivorship, although the number of progeny reaching adulthood was unaffected, perhaps because eggs and juveniles that failed to develop lessened competition on the survivors. We hypothesize that the negative effect of sexual selection arose because sexually competitive males transmitted a smaller nuptial gift or carried alleles that conferred reduced survival. Although we found no evidence that sexual selection on males can purge alleles that are detrimental to naturally selected fitness components, such benefits might exist in other environmental or genetic contexts.

  1. Plant selection and soil legacy enhance long-term biodiversity effects.

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

    Plant-plant and plant-soil interactions can help maintain plant diversity and ecosystem functions. Changes in these interactions may underlie experimentally observed increases in biodiversity effects over time via the selection of genotypes adapted to low or high plant diversity. Little is known, however, about such community-history effects and particularly the role of plant-soil interactions in this process. Soil-legacy effects may occur if co-evolved interactions with soil communities either positively or negatively modify plant biodiversity effects. We tested how plant selection and soil legacy influence biodiversity effects on productivity, and whether such effects increase the resistance of the communities to invasion by weeds. We used two plant selection treatments: parental plants growing in monoculture or in mixture over 8 yr in a grassland biodiversity experiment in the field, which we term monoculture types and mixture types. The two soil-legacy treatments used in this study were neutral soil inoculated with live or sterilized soil inocula collected from the same plots in the biodiversity experiment. For each of the four factorial combinations, seedlings of eight species were grown in monocultures or four-species mixtures in pots in an experimental garden over 15 weeks. Soil legacy (live inoculum) strongly increased biodiversity complementarity effects for communities of mixture types, and to a significantly weaker extent for communities of monoculture types. This may be attributed to negative plant-soil feedbacks suffered by mixture types in monocultures, whereas monoculture types had positive plant-soil feedbacks, in both monocultures and mixtures. Monocultures of mixture types were most strongly invaded by weeds, presumably due to increased pathogen susceptibility, reduced biomass, and altered plant-soil interactions of mixture types. These results show that biodiversity effects in experimental grassland communities can be modified by the evolution of

  2. Plant selection and soil legacy enhance long-term biodiversity effects.

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

    Plant-plant and plant-soil interactions can help maintain plant diversity and ecosystem functions. Changes in these interactions may underlie experimentally observed increases in biodiversity effects over time via the selection of genotypes adapted to low or high plant diversity. Little is known, however, about such community-history effects and particularly the role of plant-soil interactions in this process. Soil-legacy effects may occur if co-evolved interactions with soil communities either positively or negatively modify plant biodiversity effects. We tested how plant selection and soil legacy influence biodiversity effects on productivity, and whether such effects increase the resistance of the communities to invasion by weeds. We used two plant selection treatments: parental plants growing in monoculture or in mixture over 8 yr in a grassland biodiversity experiment in the field, which we term monoculture types and mixture types. The two soil-legacy treatments used in this study were neutral soil inoculated with live or sterilized soil inocula collected from the same plots in the biodiversity experiment. For each of the four factorial combinations, seedlings of eight species were grown in monocultures or four-species mixtures in pots in an experimental garden over 15 weeks. Soil legacy (live inoculum) strongly increased biodiversity complementarity effects for communities of mixture types, and to a significantly weaker extent for communities of monoculture types. This may be attributed to negative plant-soil feedbacks suffered by mixture types in monocultures, whereas monoculture types had positive plant-soil feedbacks, in both monocultures and mixtures. Monocultures of mixture types were most strongly invaded by weeds, presumably due to increased pathogen susceptibility, reduced biomass, and altered plant-soil interactions of mixture types. These results show that biodiversity effects in experimental grassland communities can be modified by the evolution of

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    For herbivores, nutrient intake is limited by the relatively low nutritional quality of plants and high concentrations of potentially toxic defensive compounds (plant secondary metabolites, PSMs) produced by many plants. In response to phytochemical challenges, some herbivores selectively forage on plants with higher nutrient and lower PSM concentrations relative to other plants. Pygmy rabbits (Brachylagus idahoensis) are dietary specialists that feed on sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) and forage on specific plants more than others within a foraging patch. We predicted that the plants with evidence of heavy foraging (browsed plants) would be of higher dietary quality than plants that were not browsed (unbrowsed). We used model selection to determine which phytochemical variables best explained the difference between browsed and unbrowsed plants. Higher crude protein increased the odds that plants would be browsed by pygmy rabbits and the opposite was the case for certain PSMs. Additionally, because pygmy rabbits can occupy foraging patches (burrows) for consecutive years, their browsing may influence the nutritional and PSM constituents of plants at the burrows. In a post hoc analysis, we did not find a significant relationship between phytochemical concentrations, browse status and burrow occupancy length. We concluded that pygmy rabbits use nutritional and chemical cues while making foraging decisions. PMID:26366011

  4. Successful sex pre-selection using natural family planning.

    PubMed

    McSweeney, Léonie

    2011-03-01

    The objective of the study was to test the hypothesis that gender can be preselected by timing coitus in relation to ovulation, the marker of ovulation being the Peak symptom according to the Billings Method. A blind prospective study of 99 couples wishing to preselect the sex of their child was conducted in Nigeria, using the Post-Peak approach of Billings Method for males and Pre-Peak for females. Research co-ordinators examined the 'post-conception' form within four months of conception. This form recorded the timing of coitus prior to conception, and from this, the sex of child was predicted. 94 of the couples had a child of pre-selected sex showing a method success of 94.9%. 78 of 81 predicting a male were successful (96.3%) and 16 of the 18 predicting a female (88.9%). There was one user-failure, a couple who wanted a girl, timed coitus as for a boy, which they had. The study indicates that where comprehensive instruction is provided, the sex of a child can be preselected with a high degree of confidence by timing coitus, using the Post-Peak approach of Billings Method for males and Pre-Peak for females.

  5. Directional versus Stabilizing Selection for Developmental Time in Natural and Laboratory Populations of Flour Beetles.

    PubMed

    Dawson, P S

    1975-08-01

    Artificial selection for fast development is successful in long-established laboratory populations of Tribolium, but not in strains recently derived from natural populations. It is shown that selection against fast development in dense, synchronized cultures operates through cannibalism of early pupae by larvae. Since standard husbandry procedures for laboratory strains involve the periodic creation of dense, synchronized cultures, it is suggested that these populations are subjected to stabilizing selection for intermediate developmental time. Natural populations, on the other hand, are probably subjected to directional selection for rapid development. PMID:17248688

  6. 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.

  7. Measurement of resistant starch by enzymatic digestion in starch and selected plant materials: collaborative study.

    PubMed

    McCleary, Barry V; McNally, Marian; Rossiter, Patricia

    2002-01-01

    Interlaboratory performance statistics was determined for a method developed to measure the resistant starch (RS) content of selected plant food products and a range of commercial starch samples. Food materials examined contained RS (cooked kidney beans, green banana, and corn flakes) and commercial starches, most of which naturally contain, or were processed to yield, elevated RS levels. The method evaluated was optimized to yield RS values in agreement with those reported for in vivo studies. Thirty-seven laboratories tested 8 pairs of blind duplicate starch or plant material samples with RS values between 0.6 (regular maize starch) and 64% (fresh weight basis). For matrixes excluding regular maize starch, repeatability relative standard deviation (RSDr) values ranged from 1.97 to 4.2%, and reproducibility relative standard deviation (RSDR) values ranged from 4.58 to 10.9%. The range of applicability of the test is 2-64% RS. The method is not suitable for products with <1% RS (e.g., regular maize starch; 0.6% RS). For such products, RSDr and RSDR values are unacceptably high. PMID:12374410

  8. Concentration-mortality responses of Myzus persicae and natural enemies to selected insecticides.

    PubMed

    Bacci, Leandro; Rosado, Jander F; Picanço, Marcelo C; Pereira, Eliseu J G; Silva, Gerson A; Martins, Júlio C

    2012-01-01

    The toxicity of six insecticides was determined for the peach-potato aphid, Myzus persicae (Hemiptera: Aphididae), and some of its natural enemies - the predatory beetles Cycloneda sanguinea (Coccinellidae) and Acanthinus sp. (Anthicidae), and the wasp parasitoid Diaeretiella rapae (Aphidiidae). Natural enemies from these groups are important natural biological control agents in a number of agroecosystems, and insecticides potentially safe to these non-target organisms should be identified using standardized tests. Thus, concentration-mortality bioassays were carried out with both the aphid and its natural enemies to assess the toxicity and selectivity of acephate, deltamethrin, dimethoate, methamidophos, methyl parathion, and pirimicarb. The latter insecticide was highly selective to all natural enemies tested, and its LC(90) for M. persicae was 14-fold lower than the field rate recommended for control of the aphid in brassica crops. Methyl parathion also showed selectivity to C. sanguinea and Acanthinus sp., but not to D. rapae. Acephate was the least potent insecticide against M. persicae and was equally or more toxic to the natural enemies relative to the aphid. Pirimicarb and methyl parathion were efficient against M. persicae and selective in favor of two of the natural enemies tested. Acanthinus sp. and C. sanguinea were more tolerant to the insecticides than was the parasitoid D. rapae. This study shows that there are selective insecticides that may be compatible with conservation of natural enemies in brassica crops, which is important practical information to improve integrated pest management systems in these crops.

  9. Behavioral Response of Nothanguina phyllobia to Selected Plant Species

    PubMed Central

    Robinson, A. F.; Orr, C. C.; Abernathy, J. R.

    1979-01-01

    The silver-leaf nightshade nenmtode, Nothanguina phyllobia, is a promising biological control agent for its only reported host, Solanum elaeagnifolium Cav. When infective larvae of N. phyllobia and stem tissue of 39 econmnically important plant species were suspended in 0.5% water agar, nematodes aggregated about S. elaeagnifolium, Solanum carolinense L., Solanum melongena L., Solanum tuberosum L., and Prunus caroliniana (Mill.) Ait. Nematodes responded to Solanum spp. via positive chemotaxis and/or klinokinesis, but aggregated near tissue of P. caroliniana as a result of orthokinetic effects. Nematodes aggregated away from tissue of Hibiscus esculentus L., Triticum aestivum L., Santolina sp., Rosa sp., and Kochia scoparia (L.) Schrad. in the absence of orthokinetic effects. Experiments that excluded light and maintained relative humidity at 100% showed N. phyllobia to ascend the stems of 35 plant species to a height of > 9 cm within 12 h. Differences in stem ascension were not attributable to stem surface characteristics. PMID:19305532

  10. Nutritional and toxic factors in selected wild edible plants.

    PubMed

    Guil, J L; Rodríguez-García, I; Torija, E

    1997-01-01

    Nutritional (ascorbic acid, dehydroascorbic acid and carotenes); antinutritional and toxic components (oxalic acid, nitrate and erucic acid) were determined in sixteen popular species of wild edible plants which are collected for human consumption in southeast Spain. Ascorbic + dehydroascorbic acids contents were very high in several species, especially in Chenopodium album L. (155 mg/100 g). Carotenoid content ranged from 4.2 mg/100 g (Stellaria media Villars) to 15.4 mg/100 g (Amaranthus viridis L.). A range of values was found for oxalic acid from absence to 1100 mg/100 g of plant material. Nitrate contents ranged from 47 mg/100 g (Salicornia europaea L.) to 597 mg/100 g (Amaranthus viridis L.). Low amounts of erucic acid were found in the Cruciferae family (Sisymbrium irio L. 1.73%; Cardaria draba L. 1.23%) and Plantago major L. 3.45%.

  11. Selective Effect of Pesticides on Plant--A Review.

    PubMed

    Parween, Talat; Jan, Sumira; Mahmooduzzafar, Sumira; Fatma, Tasneem; Siddiqui, Zahid Hameed

    2016-01-01

    This review represents systematic and integrated picture of pesticide exposure to plant and its effect on growth and metabolism. Decades ago, agrochemicals were introduced aiming at enhancing crop yields and protecting crops from pests. Due to adaptation and resistance developed by pests to chemicals, every year higher amounts and new chemical compounds are used to protect crops, causing undesired side effects and raising the costs of food production. Biological chemical free agriculture is gaining also more and more support but it is still not able to respond to the need for producing massive amounts of food. The use of agrochemicals, including pesticides, remains a common practice especially in tropical regions and South countries. Cheap compounds, such as DDT, HCH, and Lindane, that are environmentally persistent, are today banned from agriculture use in developed countries, but remain popular in developing countries. As a consequence, persistent residues of these chemicals contaminate food and disperse in the environment. Therefore, the thrust of this paper was to review the application of pesticides effect early from germination to growth of the plant, leading to alteration in biochemical, physiological and different enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidants which ultimately affect the yield and resulted in residues in plant, vegetables, and fruits. PMID:25216296

  12. Selective Effect of Pesticides on Plant--A Review.

    PubMed

    Parween, Talat; Jan, Sumira; Mahmooduzzafar, Sumira; Fatma, Tasneem; Siddiqui, Zahid Hameed

    2016-01-01

    This review represents systematic and integrated picture of pesticide exposure to plant and its effect on growth and metabolism. Decades ago, agrochemicals were introduced aiming at enhancing crop yields and protecting crops from pests. Due to adaptation and resistance developed by pests to chemicals, every year higher amounts and new chemical compounds are used to protect crops, causing undesired side effects and raising the costs of food production. Biological chemical free agriculture is gaining also more and more support but it is still not able to respond to the need for producing massive amounts of food. The use of agrochemicals, including pesticides, remains a common practice especially in tropical regions and South countries. Cheap compounds, such as DDT, HCH, and Lindane, that are environmentally persistent, are today banned from agriculture use in developed countries, but remain popular in developing countries. As a consequence, persistent residues of these chemicals contaminate food and disperse in the environment. Therefore, the thrust of this paper was to review the application of pesticides effect early from germination to growth of the plant, leading to alteration in biochemical, physiological and different enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidants which ultimately affect the yield and resulted in residues in plant, vegetables, and fruits.

  13. Light dependency of VOC emissions from selected Mediterranean plant species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Owen, S. M.; Harley, P.; Guenther, A.; Hewitt, C. N.

    The light, temperature and stomatal conductance dependencies of volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from ten plant species commonly found in the Mediterranean region were studied using a fully controlled leaf cuvette in the laboratory. At standard conditions of temperature and light (30°C and 1000 μmol m -2 s -1 PAR), low emitting species ( Arbutus unedo, Pinus halepensis, Cistus incanus, Cistus salvifolius, Rosmarinus officinalis and Thymus vulgaris) emitted between 0.1 and 5.0 μg (C) (total VOCs) g -1 dw h -1, a medium emitter ( Pinus pinea) emitted between 5 and 10 μg (C) g -1 dw h -1 and high emitters ( Cistus monspeliensis, Lavendula stoechas and Quercus sp.) emitted more than 10 μg (C) g -1 dw h -1. VOC emissions from all of the plant species investigated showed some degree of light dependency, which was distinguishable from temperature dependency. Emissions of all compounds from Quercus sp. were light dependent. Ocimene was one of several monoterpene compounds emitted by P. pinea and was strongly correlated to light. Only a fraction of monoterpene emissions from C. incanus exhibited apparent weak light dependency but emissions from this plant species were strongly correlated to temperature. Data presented here are consistent with past studies, which show that emissions are independent of stomatal conductance. These results may allow more accurate predictions of monoterpene emission fluxes from the Mediterranean region to be made.

  14. The Discovery and Nature of Evolution by Natural Selection: Misconceptions and Lessons from the History of Science.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McComas, William F.

    1997-01-01

    Explains the misconceptions found in the traditional textbook presentation of the theory and the history of the theory of evolution. Outlines a more accurate and complete telling of the history of the discovery of evolution by natural selection. Contains 50 references. (DDR)

  15. Wind data for wind driven plant. [site selection for optimal performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stodhart, A. H.

    1973-01-01

    Simple, averaged wind velocity data provide information on energy availability, facilitate generator site selection and enable appropriate operating ranges to be established for windpowered plants. They also provide a basis for the prediction of extreme wind speeds.

  16. Degradation of organelles or specific organelle components via selective autophagy in plant cells.

    PubMed

    Michaeli, Simon; Galili, Gad

    2014-05-05

    Macroautophagy (hereafter referred to as autophagy) is a cellular mechanism dedicated to the degradation and recycling of unnecessary cytosolic components by their removal to the lytic compartment of the cell (the vacuole in plants). Autophagy is generally induced by stresses causing energy deprivation and its operation occurs by special vesicles, termed autophagosomes. Autophagy also operates in a selective manner, recycling specific components, such as organelles, protein aggregates or even specific proteins, and selective autophagy is implicated in both cellular housekeeping and response to stresses. In plants, selective autophagy has recently been shown to degrade mitochondria, plastids and peroxisomes, or organelle components such as the endoplasmic-reticulum (ER) membrane and chloroplast-derived proteins such as Rubisco. This ability places selective-autophagy as a major factor in cellular steady-state maintenance, both under stress and favorable environmental conditions. Here we review the recent advances documented in plants for this cellular process and further discuss its impact on plant physiology.

  17. Young children can be taught basic natural selection using a picture-storybook intervention.

    PubMed

    Kelemen, Deborah; Emmons, Natalie A; Seston Schillaci, Rebecca; Ganea, Patricia A

    2014-04-01

    Adaptation by natural selection is a core mechanism of evolution. It is also one of the most widely misunderstood scientific processes. Misconceptions are rooted in cognitive biases found in preschoolers, yet concerns about complexity mean that adaptation by natural selection is generally not comprehensively taught until adolescence. This is long after untutored theoretical misunderstandings are likely to have become entrenched. In a novel approach, we explored 5- to 8-year-olds' capacities to learn a basic but theoretically coherent mechanistic explanation of adaptation through a custom storybook intervention. Experiment 1 showed that children understood the population-based logic of natural selection and also generalized it. Furthermore, learning endured 3 months later. Experiment 2 replicated these results and showed that children understood and applied an even more nuanced mechanistic causal explanation. The findings demonstrate that, contrary to conventional educational wisdom, basic natural selection is teachable in early childhood. Theory-driven interventions using picture storybooks with rich explanatory structure are beneficial.

  18. [Foraging habitat selection of Siberian Crane (Grus leucogeranus) during autumn migration period in the Momoge Nature Reserve].

    PubMed

    Kong, Wei-Yao; Zheng, Zhen-He; Wu, Jin-Cai; Ning, Yu; Wang, Yong; Han, Xiao-Dong

    2013-06-01

    In autumn of 2008 and 2009, we studied the foraging habitat selection of Siberian Crane (Grus leucogeranus) in the Momoge Nature Reserve of Jilin province. Using the resource selection index, resource selection functions, and the chi-squared test, we found that the Siberian Crane exhibited selectivity in their preferred foraging environments in relation to the distance to human disturbances, vegetation density, coverage and height, foraging vegetation density and water level. Interestingly, this selectivity in regards to large scale disturbances was lower than other factors. The characteristics of favorite foraging habits of Siberian Cranes include a variety of factors: a distance >5 000 m from a national highway, >1 500 m from a non-gravel road, >1 000 m from the nearest road, >1 000 m from a residential area, >1 000 m from farmland; plant density between 20 and 50 grass/m(2); plant coverage lower than 10%; plant height lower than 20 cm; Scirpus planiclmis density between 1 and 50 grass/m(2); Scirpus triqueter density between 1 and 10 grass/m(2); and the water level between 40 and 60 cm. The resource selection functions of Siberian Crane foraging habitat in autumn can be described thusly: Logistic (P) = 0.663 + 0.565×distance to national highway + 0.042×distance to non-gravel road + 0.519×distance to the nearest road + 0.353×distance to residential area + 0.169×distance to farmland - 0.455×vegetation density - 0.618×vegetation coverage - 0.548×vegetation height - 0.158×Scirpus planiclmis density - 0.404×Scirpus triqueter density + 0.920×water level,T (x) =e(Logistic(p)) / [1 + e(Logistic(p))], with an overall prediction accuracy of 82.9%.

  19. [Foraging habitat selection of Siberian Crane (Grus leucogeranus) during autumn migration period in the Momoge Nature Reserve].

    PubMed

    Kong, Wei-Yao; Zheng, Zhen-He; Wu, Jin-Cai; Ning, Yu; Wang, Yong; Han, Xiao-Dong

    2013-06-01

    In autumn of 2008 and 2009, we studied the foraging habitat selection of Siberian Crane (Grus leucogeranus) in the Momoge Nature Reserve of Jilin province. Using the resource selection index, resource selection functions, and the chi-squared test, we found that the Siberian Crane exhibited selectivity in their preferred foraging environments in relation to the distance to human disturbances, vegetation density, coverage and height, foraging vegetation density and water level. Interestingly, this selectivity in regards to large scale disturbances was lower than other factors. The characteristics of favorite foraging habits of Siberian Cranes include a variety of factors: a distance >5 000 m from a national highway, >1 500 m from a non-gravel road, >1 000 m from the nearest road, >1 000 m from a residential area, >1 000 m from farmland; plant density between 20 and 50 grass/m(2); plant coverage lower than 10%; plant height lower than 20 cm; Scirpus planiclmis density between 1 and 50 grass/m(2); Scirpus triqueter density between 1 and 10 grass/m(2); and the water level between 40 and 60 cm. The resource selection functions of Siberian Crane foraging habitat in autumn can be described thusly: Logistic (P) = 0.663 + 0.565×distance to national highway + 0.042×distance to non-gravel road + 0.519×distance to the nearest road + 0.353×distance to residential area + 0.169×distance to farmland - 0.455×vegetation density - 0.618×vegetation coverage - 0.548×vegetation height - 0.158×Scirpus planiclmis density - 0.404×Scirpus triqueter density + 0.920×water level,T (x) =e(Logistic(p)) / [1 + e(Logistic(p))], with an overall prediction accuracy of 82.9%. PMID:23775991

  20. Method and apparatus for selectively harvesting multiple components of a plant material

    DOEpatents

    Hoskinson, Reed L.; Hess, Richard J.; Kenney, Kevin L.; Svoboda, John M.; Foust, Thomas D.

    2004-05-04

    A method and apparatus for selectively harvesting multiple components of a plant material. A grain component is separated from the plant material such as by processing the plant material through a primary threshing and separating mechanism. At least one additional component of the plant material is selectively harvested such as by subjecting the plant material to a secondary threshing and separating mechanism. For example, the stems of a plant material may be broken at a location adjacent one or more nodes thereof with the nodes and the internodal stem portions being subsequently separated for harvesting. The at least one additional component (e.g., the internodal stems) may then be consolidated and packaged for subsequent use or processing. The harvesting of the grain and of the at least one additional component may occur within a single harvesting machine, for example, during a single pass over a crop field.

  1. The use of agrobiodiversity for plant improvement and the intellectual property paradigm: institutional fit and legal tools for mass selection, conventional and molecular plant breeding.

    PubMed

    Batur, Fulya; Dedeurwaerdere, Tom

    2014-12-01

    Focused on the impact of stringent intellectual property mechanisms over the uses of plant agricultural biodiversity in crop improvement, the article delves into a systematic analysis of the relationship between institutional paradigms and their technological contexts of application, identified as mass selection, controlled hybridisation, molecular breeding tools and transgenics. While the strong property paradigm has proven effective in the context of major leaps forward in genetic engineering, it faces a systematic breakdown when extended to mass selection, where innovation often displays a collective nature. However, it also creates partial blockages in those innovation schemes rested between on-farm observation and genetic modification, i.e. conventional plant breeding and upstream molecular biology research tools. Neither overly strong intellectual property rights, nor the absence of well delineated protection have proven an optimal fit for these two intermediary socio-technological systems of cumulative incremental innovation. To address these challenges, the authors look at appropriate institutional alternatives which can create effective incentives for in situ agrobiodiversity conservation and the equitable distribution of technologies in plant improvement, using the flexibilities of the TRIPS Agreement, the liability rules set forth in patents or plant variety rights themselves (in the form of farmers', breeders' and research exceptions), and other ad hoc reward regimes.

  2. 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

  3. Experience-dependent specialization of receptive field surround for selective coding of natural scenes.

    PubMed

    Pecka, Michael; Han, Yunyun; Sader, Elie; Mrsic-Flogel, Thomas D

    2014-10-22

    At eye opening, neurons in primary visual cortex (V1) are selective for stimulus features, but circuits continue to refine in an experience-dependent manner for some weeks thereafter. How these changes contribute to the coding of visual features embedded in complex natural scenes remains unknown. Here we show that normal visual experience after eye opening is required for V1 neurons to develop a sensitivity for the statistical structure of natural stimuli extending beyond the boundaries of their receptive fields (RFs), which leads to improvements in coding efficiency for full-field natural scenes (increased selectivity and information rate). These improvements are mediated by an experience-dependent increase in the effectiveness of natural surround stimuli to hyperpolarize the membrane potential specifically during RF-stimulus epochs triggering action potentials. We suggest that neural circuits underlying surround modulation are shaped by the statistical structure of visual input, which leads to more selective coding of features in natural scenes. PMID:25263755

  4. The plant physical features selected by wildcats as signal posts: an economic approach to fecal marking

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Piñeiro, Ana; Barja, Isabel

    2012-10-01

    The chemical signals of solitary and territorial felid species are essential for their intraspecific communication. We studied the selection of plant substrates during the fecal marking behavior of the European wildcat Felis silvestris from September 2008 to June 2009 in a protected area in Northwest Spain. The aim of the study was to examine the selection of plants as signal posts with respect to their physical characteristics. We hypothesized that wildcats deposit their fecal marks on plants with physical characteristics (e.g., size, species, and visual conspicuousness) that enhance the olfactory and visual effectiveness of the signal. Our results indicate that diameter, plant group, visual conspicuousness, and interaction between the diameter and plant group influence the decision of wildcats to deposit their fecal marks on plants. The wildcats chose plants with greater diameters and greater visual conspicuousness as scent-marking posts. Moreover, the wildcats chose woody and herbaceous plants, and certain plant species were marked more frequently than expected at random. Indeed, our results indicate that the fecal marks were not randomly distributed on the plants: the wildcats chose to place their marks on plants with certain physical characteristics that maximized the detectability of the signal by intruders and potential mates, thus facilitating the spatial distribution of the species.

  5. Epistasis and natural selection shape the mutational architecture of complex traits.

    PubMed

    Jones, Adam G; Bürger, Reinhard; Arnold, Stevan J

    2014-05-14

    The evolutionary trajectories of complex traits are constrained by levels of genetic variation as well as genetic correlations among traits. As the ultimate source of all genetic variation is mutation, the distribution of mutations entering populations profoundly affects standing variation and genetic correlations. Here we use an individual-based simulation model to investigate how natural selection and gene interactions (that is, epistasis) shape the evolution of mutational processes affecting complex traits. We find that the presence of epistasis allows natural selection to mould the distribution of mutations, such that mutational effects align with the selection surface. Consequently, novel mutations tend to be more compatible with the current forces of selection acting on the population. These results suggest that in many cases mutational effects should be seen as an outcome of natural selection rather than as an unbiased source of genetic variation that is independent of other evolutionary processes.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  7. 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)

  8. Identifying and Selecting Plants for the Landscape. Volume 23, Number 5.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rodekohr, Sherie; Harris, Clark Richard

    This handbook on identifying and selecting landscape plants can be used as a reference in landscaping courses or on an individual basis. The first of two sections, Identifying Plants for the Landscape, contains the following tables: shade tree identification; flowering tree identification; evergreen tree identification; flowering shrub…

  9. Natural selection constrains neutral diversity across a wide range of species.

    PubMed

    Corbett-Detig, Russell B; Hartl, Daniel L; Sackton, Timothy B

    2015-04-01

    The neutral theory of molecular evolution predicts that the amount of neutral polymorphisms within a species will increase proportionally with the census population size (Nc). However, this prediction has not been borne out in practice: while the range of Nc spans many orders of magnitude, levels of genetic diversity within species fall in a comparatively narrow range. Although theoretical arguments have invoked the increased efficacy of natural selection in larger populations to explain this discrepancy, few direct empirical tests of this hypothesis have been conducted. In this work, we provide a direct test of this hypothesis using population genomic data from a wide range of taxonomically diverse species. To do this, we relied on the fact that the impact of natural selection on linked neutral diversity depends on the local recombinational environment. In regions of relatively low recombination, selected variants affect more neutral sites through linkage, and the resulting correlation between recombination and polymorphism allows a quantitative assessment of the magnitude of the impact of selection on linked neutral diversity. By comparing whole genome polymorphism data and genetic maps using a coalescent modeling framework, we estimate the degree to which natural selection reduces linked neutral diversity for 40 species of obligately sexual eukaryotes. We then show that the magnitude of the impact of natural selection is positively correlated with Nc, based on body size and species range as proxies for census population size. These results demonstrate that natural selection removes more variation at linked neutral sites in species with large Nc than those with small Nc and provides direct empirical evidence that natural selection constrains levels of neutral genetic diversity across many species. This implies that natural selection may provide an explanation for this longstanding paradox of population genetics.

  10. Martian resource utilization. 1: Plant design and transportation selection criteria

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kaloupis, Peter; Nolan, Peter E.; Cutler, Andrew H.

    1992-01-01

    Indigenous Space Materials Utilization (ISMU) provides an opportunity to make Mars exploration mission scenarios more affordable by reducing the initial mass necessary in Low Earth Orbit (LEO). Martian propellant production is discussed in terms of simple design and economic tradeoffs. Fuel and oxidizer combinations included are H2/O2, CH4/O2, and CO/O2. Process flow diagrams with power and mass flow requirements are presented for a variety of processes, and some design requirements are derived. Maximum allowable plant masses for single use amortization are included.

  11. Ball mill assisted rapid mechanochemical extraction method for natural products from plants.

    PubMed

    Wang, Man; Bi, Wentao; Huang, Xiaohua; Chen, David Da Yong

    2016-06-01

    A ball mill assisted mechanochemical extraction method was developed to extract compounds of natural product (NP) from plant using ionic liquid (IL). A small volume ball mill, also known as PastPrep(®) Homogenizer, which is often used for high-speed lysis of biological samples and for other applications, was used to dramatically increase the speed, completeness and reproducibility of the extraction process at room temperature to preserve the chemical integrity of the extracted compounds. In this study, tanshinones were selected as target compounds to evaluate the performance of this extraction method. Factors affecting the extraction efficiency, such as the duration, IL concentration and solid/liquid ratio were systematically optimized using the response surface methodology. Under the optimized conditions, the described method was more efficient and much faster than the conventional extraction methods such as methanol based ultrasound assisted extraction (UAE) and heat reflux extraction (HRE) that consumes a lot more organic solvent. In addition, the natural products of interest were enriched by anion metathesis of ionic liquids, combining extraction and preconcentration in the same process. The extractant was analyzed by HPLC and LC-MS. The reproducibility (RSD, n=5), correlation coefficient (r(2)) of the calibration curve, and the limit of detection, were determined to be in the range of 4.7-5.2%, 0.9992-0.9995, and 20-51ng/mL, respectively. PMID:27157426

  12. Ball mill assisted rapid mechanochemical extraction method for natural products from plants.

    PubMed

    Wang, Man; Bi, Wentao; Huang, Xiaohua; Chen, David Da Yong

    2016-06-01

    A ball mill assisted mechanochemical extraction method was developed to extract compounds of natural product (NP) from plant using ionic liquid (IL). A small volume ball mill, also known as PastPrep(®) Homogenizer, which is often used for high-speed lysis of biological samples and for other applications, was used to dramatically increase the speed, completeness and reproducibility of the extraction process at room temperature to preserve the chemical integrity of the extracted compounds. In this study, tanshinones were selected as target compounds to evaluate the performance of this extraction method. Factors affecting the extraction efficiency, such as the duration, IL concentration and solid/liquid ratio were systematically optimized using the response surface methodology. Under the optimized conditions, the described method was more efficient and much faster than the conventional extraction methods such as methanol based ultrasound assisted extraction (UAE) and heat reflux extraction (HRE) that consumes a lot more organic solvent. In addition, the natural products of interest were enriched by anion metathesis of ionic liquids, combining extraction and preconcentration in the same process. The extractant was analyzed by HPLC and LC-MS. The reproducibility (RSD, n=5), correlation coefficient (r(2)) of the calibration curve, and the limit of detection, were determined to be in the range of 4.7-5.2%, 0.9992-0.9995, and 20-51ng/mL, respectively.

  13. Antioxidant factors in plant foods and selected oilseeds.

    PubMed

    Shahidi, F

    2000-01-01

    The effect of dietary factors on health promotion and disease prevention has been an issue of interest since antiquity and has become a subject of renewed research activity in recent years. Many of the components involved are antioxidative in nature and include phenolic compounds. These phenolics exist in the free, esterified, glycosylated and polymeric forms. Scrutiny of the source materials, their subsequent extraction under optimized conditions and evaluation of activity, followed by fractionation and structure elucidation of active components is generally necessary. Meals obtained from oilseeds, such as canola, mustard, flax, borage, and evening primrose, after oil extraction, contained a variety of antioxidative factors. The antioxidative effect of source materials, their extracts or fractions thereof, depended on the seed type, the content and chemical nature of their active components. PMID:11237180

  14. Antioxidant factors in plant foods and selected oilseeds.

    PubMed

    Shahidi, F

    2000-01-01

    The effect of dietary factors on health promotion and disease prevention has been an issue of interest since antiquity and has become a subject of renewed research activity in recent years. Many of the components involved are antioxidative in nature and include phenolic compounds. These phenolics exist in the free, esterified, glycosylated and polymeric forms. Scrutiny of the source materials, their subsequent extraction under optimized conditions and evaluation of activity, followed by fractionation and structure elucidation of active components is generally necessary. Meals obtained from oilseeds, such as canola, mustard, flax, borage, and evening primrose, after oil extraction, contained a variety of antioxidative factors. The antioxidative effect of source materials, their extracts or fractions thereof, depended on the seed type, the content and chemical nature of their active components.

  15. Selective chlorination of natural organic matter: identification of previously unknown disinfection byproducts.

    PubMed

    Lavonen, Elin E; Gonsior, Michael; Tranvik, Lars J; Schmitt-Kopplin, Philippe; Köhler, Stephan J

    2013-03-01

    Natural organic matter (NOM) serve as precursors for disinfection byproducts (DBPs) in drinking water production making NOM removal essential in predisinfection treatment processes. We identified molecular formulas of chlorinated DBPs after chlorination and chloramination in four Swedish surface water treatment plants (WTPs) using ultrahigh resolution Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (FT-ICR-MS). Chlorine-containing formulas were detected before and after disinfection and were therefore classified to identify DBPs. In total, 499 DBPs were detected, of which 230 have not been reported earlier. The byproducts had, as a group, significantly lower ratio of hydrogen to carbon (H/C) and significantly higher average carbon oxidation state (COS), double bond equivalents per carbon (DBE/C) and ratio of oxygen to carbon (O/C) compared to Cl-containing components present before disinfection and CHO formulas in samples taken both before and after disinfection. Electrophilic substitution, the proposed most significant reaction pathway for chlorination of NOM, results in carbon oxidation and decreased H/C while O/C and DBE/C is left unchanged. Because the identified DBPs had significantly higher DBE/C and O/C than the CHO formulas we concluded that chlorination of NOM during disinfection is selective toward components with relatively high double bond equivalency and number of oxygen atoms per carbon. Furthermore, choice of disinfectant, dose, and predisinfection treatment at the different WTPs resulted in distinct patterns in the occurrence of DBP formulas.

  16. Air ingression calculations for selected plant transients using MELCOR

    SciTech Connect

    Kmetyk, L.N.

    1994-01-01

    Two sets of MELCOR calculations have been completed studying the effects of air ingression on the consequences of various severe accident scenarios. One set of calculations analyzed a station blackout with surge line failure prior to vessel breach, starting from nominal operating conditions; the other set of calculations analyzed a station blackout occurring during shutdown (refueling) conditions. Both sets of analyses were for the Surry plant, a three-loop Westinghouse PWR. For both accident scenarios, a basecase calculation was done, and then repeated with air ingression from containment into the core region following core degradation and vessel failure. In addition to the two sets of analyses done for this program, a similar air-ingression sensitivity study was done as part of a low-power/shutdown PRA, with results summarized here; that PRA study also analyzed a station blackout occurring during shutdown (refueling) conditions, but for the Grand Gulf plant, a BWR/6 with Mark III containment. These studies help quantify the amount of air that would have to enter the core region to have a significant impact on the severe accident scenario, and demonstrate that one effect, of air ingression is substantial enhancement of ruthenium release. These calculations also show that, while the core clad temperatures rise more quickly due to oxidation with air rather than steam, the core also degrades and relocates more quickly, so that no sustained, enhanced core heatup is predicted to occur with air ingression.

  17. ELECTROCHEMICAL FINGERPRINT STUDIES OF SELECTED MEDICINAL PLANTS RICH IN FLAVONOIDS.

    PubMed

    Konieczyński, Paweł

    2015-01-01

    The combination of a size-exclusion column (SEC) with electrochemical (voltammetric) detection at a boron-doped diamond electrode (BDDE) was applied for studying the correlations between electroactive Cu and Fe species with phenolic groups of flavonoids. For comparison with electrochemical results, SEC-HPLC-DAD detection was used. The studied plant material comprised of: Betula verrucosa Ehrh., Equisetun arvense L., Polygonum aviculare L., Viola tricolor L., Crataegus oxyacantha L., Sambucus nigra L. and Helichrysum arenarium (L.) Moench. Based upon the results, high negative correlation was found for the chromatographic peak currents at 45 min with the sum of Cu and Fe for the aqueous extracts of Sambucus, Crataegus and Betula species, and for the peak currents at 65 min of the aqueous extracts of Sambucus, Crataegus, Helichrysum and Betula botanical species. This behavior confirms that it is mainly the flavonoids with easily oxidizable phenolic groups which are strongly influenced by the presence of Cu and Fe. Moreover, the electrochemical profiles obtained thanks to the use of HPLC hyphenated with voltammetric detection can be potentially applied for fingerprint studies of the plant materials used in medicine. PMID:26647621

  18. The basic science and mathematics of random mutation and natural selection.

    PubMed

    Kleinman, Alan

    2014-12-20

    The mutation and natural selection phenomenon can and often does cause the failure of antimicrobial, herbicidal, pesticide and cancer treatments selection pressures. This phenomenon operates in a mathematically predictable behavior, which when understood leads to approaches to reduce and prevent the failure of the use of these selection pressures. The mathematical behavior of mutation and selection is derived using the principles given by probability theory. The derivation of the equations describing the mutation and selection phenomenon is carried out in the context of an empirical example.

  19. From Ends to Causes (and Back Again) by Metaphor: The Paradox of Natural Selection

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Blancke, Stefaan; Schellens, Tammy; Soetaert, Ronald; Van Keer, Hilde; Braeckman, Johan

    2014-01-01

    Natural selection is one of the most famous metaphors in the history of science. Charles Darwin used the metaphor and the underlying analogy to frame his ideas about evolution and its main driving mechanism into a full-fledged theory. Because the metaphor turned out to be such a powerful epistemic tool, Darwin naturally assumed that he could also…

  20. Grasshopper host-plant selection influences seedling recruitment of native plants in an exotic dominated grassland

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum) is the most common exotic grass in western North America. Areas planted to crested wheatgrass are resistant to colonization by native plant species and often remain relatively stable for decades, imposing problems for the restoration of native grasslands. Gra...

  1. Oviposition site selection by Gasterophilus pecorum (Diptera: Gasterophilidae) in its habitat in Kalamaili Nature Reserve, Xinjiang, China

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Shan-Hui; Hu, De-Fu; Li, Kai

    2015-01-01

    Oviposition site selection is an important aspect of the behavioural ecology of insects. A comparison of the habitats used by a species enhances our understanding of their adaptation to altered environments. We collected data on the oviposition behaviours of Gasterophilus pecorum (Diptera: Gasterophilidae) in its habitat in Kalamaili Nature Reserve (KNR), Xinjiang, China between March and October 2014. We found 91 quadrats were used by G. pecorum for oviposition. Examining 13 ecological factors using the t-test, chi-square test, and principal component analysis showed that G. pecorum’s oviposition habitat was preferentially on slopes with inclinations of 10–30° that were semi-sunny, semi-cloudy slopes, in positions high or low on the slopes, with preferences for total plants lower than 10% and Stipa capillata coverage lower than 10% on the low slopes, but Ceratoides latens coverage on the high and intermediate slopes, when the numbers of plant species and families were lower than five. G. pecorum often selected sites at a distance < 2000 m from a water source and average altitude 900–1000 m. The oviposition site selection by G. pecorum may be correlated with the behaviour of Przewalski’s horses (Equus ferus przewalskii), and water and food resources may strongly influence oviposition site selection, as Przewalski’s horses rest and forage in these areas. PMID:26621549

  2. Oviposition site selection by Gasterophilus pecorum (Diptera: Gasterophilidae) in its habitat in Kalamaili Nature Reserve, Xinjiang, China.

    PubMed

    Liu, Shan-Hui; Hu, De-Fu; Li, Kai

    2015-01-01

    Oviposition site selection is an important aspect of the behavioural ecology of insects. A comparison of the habitats used by a species enhances our understanding of their adaptation to altered environments. We collected data on the oviposition behaviours of Gasterophilus pecorum (Diptera: Gasterophilidae) in its habitat in Kalamaili Nature Reserve (KNR), Xinjiang, China between March and October 2014. We found 91 quadrats were used by G. pecorum for oviposition. Examining 13 ecological factors using the t-test, chi-square test, and principal component analysis showed that G. pecorum's oviposition habitat was preferentially on slopes with inclinations of 10-30° that were semi-sunny, semi-cloudy slopes, in positions high or low on the slopes, with preferences for total plants lower than 10% and Stipa capillata coverage lower than 10% on the low slopes, but Ceratoides latens coverage on the high and intermediate slopes, when the numbers of plant species and families were lower than five. G. pecorum often selected sites at a distance < 2000 m from a water source and average altitude 900-1000 m. The oviposition site selection by G. pecorum may be correlated with the behaviour of Przewalski's horses (Equus ferus przewalskii), and water and food resources may strongly influence oviposition site selection, as Przewalski's horses rest and forage in these areas.

  3. Can selection to escape nectar thieving force plants to portion nectar in many flowers?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pettersson, Mats W.

    1999-02-01

    There are several hypotheses which try to explain why particular plants produce just the number of flowers that they do. These hypotheses include: compromises between the attraction of pollinators and avoiding self-pollination by geitonogamy; optimal nectar production as a result of diminishing gains of nectar production; opportunity for selective abortion; or different bet-hedging strategies. In this paper, I present a hypothesis which interferes with the others concerning flower numbers in plants: nectar thieving can apply a selection force in plants which result in a portioning of nectar in many flowers. Energy saved by reducing the quantity of nectar in each flower can be directed into greater flower numbers.

  4. ATP Binding Turns Plant Cryptochrome Into an Efficient Natural Photoswitch

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Müller, Pavel; Bouly, Jean-Pierre; Hitomi, Kenichi; Balland, Véronique; Getzoff, Elizabeth D.; Ritz, Thorsten; Brettel, Klaus

    2014-06-01

    Cryptochromes are flavoproteins that drive diverse developmental light-responses in plants and participate in the circadian clock in animals. Plant cryptochromes have found application as photoswitches in optogenetics. We have studied effects of pH and ATP on the functionally relevant photoreduction of the oxidized FAD cofactor to the semi-reduced FADH. radical in isolated Arabidopsis cryptochrome 1 by transient absorption spectroscopy on nanosecond to millisecond timescales. In the absence of ATP, the yield of light-induced radicals strongly decreased with increasing pH from 6.5 to 8.5. With ATP present, these yields were significantly higher and virtually pH-independent up to pH 9. Analysis of our data in light of the crystallographic structure suggests that ATP-binding shifts the pKa of aspartic acid D396, the putative proton donor to FAD.-, from ~7.4 to >9, and favours a reaction pathway yielding long-lived aspartate D396-. Its negative charge could trigger conformational changes necessary for signal transduction.

  5. ATP Binding Turns Plant Cryptochrome Into an Efficient Natural Photoswitch

    PubMed Central

    Müller, Pavel; Bouly, Jean-Pierre; Hitomi, Kenichi; Balland, Véronique; Getzoff, Elizabeth D.; Ritz, Thorsten; Brettel, Klaus

    2014-01-01

    Cryptochromes are flavoproteins that drive diverse developmental light-responses in plants and participate in the circadian clock in animals. Plant cryptochromes have found application as photoswitches in optogenetics. We have studied effects of pH and ATP on the functionally relevant photoreduction of the oxidized FAD cofactor to the semi-reduced FADH· radical in isolated Arabidopsis cryptochrome 1 by transient absorption spectroscopy on nanosecond to millisecond timescales. In the absence of ATP, the yield of light-induced radicals strongly decreased with increasing pH from 6.5 to 8.5. With ATP present, these yields were significantly higher and virtually pH-independent up to pH 9. Analysis of our data in light of the crystallographic structure suggests that ATP-binding shifts the pKa of aspartic acid D396, the putative proton donor to FAD·−, from ~7.4 to >9, and favours a reaction pathway yielding long-lived aspartate D396−. Its negative charge could trigger conformational changes necessary for signal transduction. PMID:24898692

  6. Chemical preservation of plants and insects in natural resins

    PubMed Central

    Stankiewicz, B. A.; Poinar, H. N.; Briggs, D. E. G.; Evershed, R. P.; Poinar, G. O.

    1998-01-01

    The morphological preservation of fossils in amber is remarkable, but their chemical composition is largely unknown. The likelihood of DNA preservation in amber has been questioned but, surprisingly, the fate of more decay-resistant macromolecules such as ligno-cellulose in plants or the chitin–protein complex in insect cuticle has not been investigated. Here we report the results of investigations using pyrolysis-gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (py-GC/MS) of the tissues of insects and the plant Hymenaea from ancient and sub-fossil resins (2–20 ka) from Kenya, and from Dominican amber (25–30 Ma). The volatile components of the resin have penetrated even the internal tissues, resulting in the exceptional three-dimensional preservation of amber inclusions. Chitin is preserved in the bee and ligno-cellulose in the Hymenaea leaf from the Kenyan resins. There was no trace, however, of these macromolecules in tissues in Dominican amber. The presence of aliphatic polymer and sulphur-containing moieties in these tissues indicates that they have undergone diagenetic alteration; in view of this, the preservation in Dominican amber of a macromolecule as labile as DNA would be extraordinary.

  7. Plant functional traits and the multidimensional nature of species coexistence

    PubMed Central

    Kraft, Nathan J. B.; Godoy, Oscar; Levine, Jonathan M.

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the processes maintaining species diversity is a central problem in ecology, with implications for the conservation and management of ecosystems. Although biologists often assume that trait differences between competitors promote diversity, empirical evidence connecting functional traits to the niche differences that stabilize species coexistence is rare. Obtaining such evidence is critical because traits also underlie the average fitness differences driving competitive exclusion, and this complicates efforts to infer community dynamics from phenotypic patterns. We coupled field-parameterized mathematical models of competition between 102 pairs of annual plants with detailed sampling of leaf, seed, root, and whole-plant functional traits to relate phenotypic differences to stabilizing niche and average fitness differences. Single functional traits were often well correlated with average fitness differences between species, indicating that competitive dominance was associated with late phenology, deep rooting, and several other traits. In contrast, single functional traits were poorly correlated with the stabilizing niche differences that promote coexistence. Niche differences could only be described by combinations of traits, corresponding to differentiation between species in multiple ecological dimensions. In addition, several traits were associated with both fitness differences and stabilizing niche differences. These complex relationships between phenotypic differences and the dynamics of competing species argue against the simple use of single functional traits to infer community assembly processes but lay the groundwork for a theoretically justified trait-based community ecology. PMID:25561561

  8. Plant functional traits and the multidimensional nature of species coexistence.

    PubMed

    Kraft, Nathan J B; Godoy, Oscar; Levine, Jonathan M

    2015-01-20

    Understanding the processes maintaining species diversity is a central problem in ecology, with implications for the conservation and management of ecosystems. Although biologists often assume that trait differences between competitors promote diversity, empirical evidence connecting functional traits to the niche differences that stabilize species coexistence is rare. Obtaining such evidence is critical because traits also underlie the average fitness differences driving competitive exclusion, and this complicates efforts to infer community dynamics from phenotypic patterns. We coupled field-parameterized mathematical models of competition between 102 pairs of annual plants with detailed sampling of leaf, seed, root, and whole-plant functional traits to relate phenotypic differences to stabilizing niche and average fitness differences. Single functional traits were often well correlated with average fitness differences between species, indicating that competitive dominance was associated with late phenology, deep rooting, and several other traits. In contrast, single functional traits were poorly correlated with the stabilizing niche differences that promote coexistence. Niche differences could only be described by combinations of traits, corresponding to differentiation between species in multiple ecological dimensions. In addition, several traits were associated with both fitness differences and stabilizing niche differences. These complex relationships between phenotypic differences and the dynamics of competing species argue against the simple use of single functional traits to infer community assembly processes but lay the groundwork for a theoretically justified trait-based community ecology.

  9. ATP binding turns plant cryptochrome into an efficient natural photoswitch.

    PubMed

    Müller, Pavel; Bouly, Jean-Pierre; Hitomi, Kenichi; Balland, Véronique; Getzoff, Elizabeth D; Ritz, Thorsten; Brettel, Klaus

    2014-01-01

    Cryptochromes are flavoproteins that drive diverse developmental light-responses in plants and participate in the circadian clock in animals. Plant cryptochromes have found application as photoswitches in optogenetics. We have studied effects of pH and ATP on the functionally relevant photoreduction of the oxidized FAD cofactor to the semi-reduced FADH(·) radical in isolated Arabidopsis cryptochrome 1 by transient absorption spectroscopy on nanosecond to millisecond timescales. In the absence of ATP, the yield of light-induced radicals strongly decreased with increasing pH from 6.5 to 8.5. With ATP present, these yields were significantly higher and virtually pH-independent up to pH 9. Analysis of our data in light of the crystallographic structure suggests that ATP-binding shifts the pKa of aspartic acid D396, the putative proton donor to FAD·(-), from ~7.4 to >9, and favours a reaction pathway yielding long-lived aspartate D396(-). Its negative charge could trigger conformational changes necessary for signal transduction. PMID:24898692

  10. Genomic selection for quantitative adult plant stem rust resistance in wheat

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Quantitative adult plant resistance (APR) to stem rust (Puccinia graminis f. sp. tritici) is an important breeding target in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and a potential target for genomic selection (GS). To evaluate the relative importance of known APR loci in applying genomic selection, we charact...

  11. Cytotoxic and antimicrobial activity of selected Cameroonian edible plants

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background In Cameroon, the use of edible plants is an integral part of dietary behavior. However, evidence of the antimicrobial as well as the cytotoxic effects of many of them has not been investigated. In the present study, aqueous and methanol extracts from barks, seeds, leaves and roots of three Cameroonian edible plants namely Garcina lucida, Fagara heitzii and Hymenocardia lyrata were evaluated for their cytotoxic and antimicrobial activities. Methods Antibacterial and antifungal activities were assessed by the broth micro-dilution method meanwhile the cytotoxicity was performed using sulphorhodamine B assay (SRB) against the human leukemia THP-1, the alveolar epithelial A549, prostate cancer PC-3, breast adenocarcinoma MCF-7 and cervical cancer HeLa cell lines. Results The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values of the seven tested extracts ranged from 62.5 μg/ml to 1000 μg/ml. The methanol (MeOH) extract from the roots of H. lyrata showed the highest antibacterial activity against Gram-positive bacteria S. aureus and S. epidermitis. The best antifungal activity was obtained with the MeOH extract from the leaves of G. lucida against C. tropicalis (MIC value of 62.5 μg/ml). The in vitro antiproliferative activity revealed that, extract from the bark of F. heitzii and extract from H. lyrata roots had significant cytotoxic activity on THP-1 (IC50 8.4 μg/ml) and PC-3 (IC50 9.5 μg/ml) respectively. Conclusion Our findings suggest that Cameroonian spices herein studied could be potentially useful for the development of therapeutic agents against bacterial infections as well as for prostate and leukemia cancer. PMID:23565827

  12. AFLP Genome Scanning Reveals Divergent Selection in Natural Populations of Liriodendron chinense (Magnoliaceae) along a Latitudinal Transect

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Ai-Hong; Wei, Na; Fritsch, Peter W.; Yao, Xiao-Hong

    2016-01-01

    Understanding adaptive genetic variation and its relation to environmental factors are important for understanding how plants adapt to climate change and for managing genetic resources. Genome scans for the loci exhibiting either notably high or low levels of population differentiation (outlier loci) provide one means of identifying genomic regions possibly associated with convergent or divergent selection. In this study, we combined Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism (AFLP) genome scan and environmental association analysis to test for signals of natural selection in natural populations of Liriodendron chinense (Chinese Tulip Tree; Magnoliaceae) along a latitudinal transect. We genotyped 276 individuals from 11 populations of L. chinense using 987 AFLP markers. Both frequency-based (Dfdist and BayeScan) and correlation-based (MLM) methods were applied to detect outlier loci. Our analyses recovered both neutral and potentially adaptive genetic differentiation among populations of L. chinense. We found moderate genetic diversity within populations and high genetic differentiation among populations with reduced genetic diversity toward the periphery of the species ranges. Nine AFLP marker loci showed evidence of being outliers for population differentiation for both detection methods. Of these, six were strongly associated with at least one climate factor. Temperature, precipitation, and radiation were found to be three important factors influencing local adaptation of L. chinense. The outlier AFLP loci are likely not the target of natural selection, but the neighboring genes of these loci might be involved in local adaptation. Hence, these candidates should be validated by further studies. PMID:27303414

  13. AFLP Genome Scanning Reveals Divergent Selection in Natural Populations of Liriodendron chinense (Magnoliaceae) along a Latitudinal Transect.

    PubMed

    Yang, Ai-Hong; Wei, Na; Fritsch, Peter W; Yao, Xiao-Hong

    2016-01-01

    Understanding adaptive genetic variation and its relation to environmental factors are important for understanding how plants adapt to climate change and for managing genetic resources. Genome scans for the loci exhibiting either notably high or low levels of population differentiation (outlier loci) provide one means of identifying genomic regions possibly associated with convergent or divergent selection. In this study, we combined Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism (AFLP) genome scan and environmental association analysis to test for signals of natural selection in natural populations of Liriodendron chinense (Chinese Tulip Tree; Magnoliaceae) along a latitudinal transect. We genotyped 276 individuals from 11 populations of L. chinense using 987 AFLP markers. Both frequency-based (Dfdist and BayeScan) and correlation-based (MLM) methods were applied to detect outlier loci. Our analyses recovered both neutral and potentially adaptive genetic differentiation among populations of L. chinense. We found moderate genetic diversity within populations and high genetic differentiation among populations with reduced genetic diversity toward the periphery of the species ranges. Nine AFLP marker loci showed evidence of being outliers for population differentiation for both detection methods. Of these, six were strongly associated with at least one climate factor. Temperature, precipitation, and radiation were found to be three important factors influencing local adaptation of L. chinense. The outlier AFLP loci are likely not the target of natural selection, but the neighboring genes of these loci might be involved in local adaptation. Hence, these candidates should be validated by further studies. PMID:27303414

  14. The paradoxical advantages and disadvantages of natural selection: the case history of Charles Darwin.

    PubMed

    Lieb, J

    2007-01-01

    The biology of natural selection is an enduring mystery, as is the nature of Charles Darwin's chronic illness. Of the theories advanced to explain the latter, Oedipal conflicts and Chagas' disease are preeminent. Hypomania, however, propelled Darwin to the pinnacle of scientific achievement and good health, the depression that followed condemning him to intellectual stagnation, lethargy, impaired memory and concentration, and incapacitating gastrointestinal disorders. Examples of natural selection in humans are much sought after when, ironically, one need look no further than Darwin himself.

  15. Natural selection reduces energy metabolism in the garden snail, helix aspersa (cornu aspersum).

    PubMed

    Artacho, Paulina; Nespolo, Roberto F

    2009-04-01

    Phenotypic selection is widely recognized as the primary cause of adaptive evolution in natural populations, a fact that has been documented frequently over the last few decades, mainly in morphological and life-history traits. The energetic definition of fitness predicts that natural selection will maximize the residual energy available for growth and reproduction, suggesting that energy metabolism could be a target of selection. To address this problem, we chose the garden snail, Helix aspersa (Cornu aspersum). We performed a seminatural experiment for measuring phenotypic selection on standard metabolic rate (SMR), the minimum cost of maintenance in ectotherm organisms. To discount selection on correlated traits, we included two additional whole-organism performance traits (mean speed and maximum force of dislodgement). We found a combination of linear (negative directional selection, beta=-0.106 +/- 0.06; P= 0.001) and quadratic (stabilizing selection, gamma=-0.012 +/- 0.033; P= 0.061) selection on SMR. Correlational selection was not significant for any possible pair of traits. This suggests that individuals with average-to-reduced SMRs were promoted by selection. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study showing significant directional selection on the obligatory cost of maintenance in an animal, providing support for the energetic definition of fitness.

  16. Performance of five models to predict the naturalization of non-native woody plants in Iowa

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Use of risk-assessment models that can predict the naturalization and invasion of non-native woody plants is a potentially beneficial approach for protecting human and natural environments. This study validates the power and accuracy of four risk-assessment models previously tested in Iowa, and exa...

  17. 1000 Genomes Selection Browser 1.0: a genome browser dedicated to signatures of natural selection in modern humans.

    PubMed

    Pybus, Marc; Dall'Olio, Giovanni M; Luisi, Pierre; Uzkudun, Manu; Carreño-Torres, Angel; Pavlidis, Pavlos; Laayouni, Hafid; Bertranpetit, Jaume; Engelken, Johannes

    2014-01-01

    Searching for Darwinian selection in natural populations has been the focus of a multitude of studies over the last decades. Here we present the 1000 Genomes Selection Browser 1.0 (http://hsb.upf.edu) as a resource for signatures of recent natural selection in modern humans. We have implemented and applied a large number of neutrality tests as well as summary statistics informative for the action of selection such as Tajima's D, CLR, Fay and Wu's H, Fu and Li's F* and D*, XPEHH, ΔiHH, iHS, F(ST), ΔDAF and XPCLR among others to low coverage sequencing data from the 1000 genomes project (Phase 1; release April 2012). We have implemented a publicly available genome-wide browser to communicate the results from three different populations of West African, Northern European and East Asian ancestry (YRI, CEU, CHB). Information is provided in UCSC-style format to facilitate the integration with the rich UCSC browser tracks and an access page is provided with instructions and for convenient visualization. We believe that this expandable resource will facilitate the interpretation of signals of selection on different temporal, geographical and genomic scales.

  18. Selective social learning of plant edibility in 6- and 18-month-old infants.

    PubMed

    Wertz, Annie E; Wynn, Karen

    2014-04-01

    Recent research underscores the importance of social learning to the development of food preferences. Here, we explore whether social information about edibility--an adult placing something in his or her mouth--can be selectively tied to certain types of entities. Given that humans have relied on gathered plant resources across evolutionary time, and given the costs of trial-and-error learning, we predicted that human infants may possess selective social learning strategies that rapidly identify edible plants. Evidence from studies with 6- and 18-month-olds demonstrated that infants selectively identify plants, over artifacts, as food sources after seeing the same food-relevant social information applied to both object types. These findings are the first evidence for content-specific social learning mechanisms that facilitate the identification of edible plant resources. Evolved learning mechanisms such as these have enabled humans to survive and thrive in varied and changing environments.

  19. Natural and planted flora of the log mountain surface - mined demonstration area, Bell County, Kentucky

    SciTech Connect

    Thompson, R.L.; Wade, G.L.; Straw, R.A.

    1996-12-31

    A descriptive study of the naturally invading and planted flora was conducted during 1984-1985 on a 14- and 21-year-old contour surface mine the 14.2 ha Log Mountain Demonstration Area (LMDA), in Bell County, Kentucky. Six habitats are designated from areas created from coal mining; the 1963 bench, 1970 bench, bench highwalls, mine outslopes, mine seeps, and coal haul-telephone microwave tower road. Twenty-four of 25 woody and herbaceous species (11 indigenous, 13 non-indigenous) have persisted from plantings by personnel of the Northeastern Forest Experiment Station, USDA Forest Service. We recommend 11 native and exotic woody and herbaceous species for planting on coal surface-mined areas. An annotated list of vascular plants comprises 360 taxa (286 indigenous, 74 non-indigenous) in 224 genera from 82 families. Taxa consist of 1 Lycopodiophyta, 1 Equisetophyta, 8 Polypodiophyta, 7 Pinophyta, and 343 Magnoliophyta. The most species-rich families are the Asteraceae (64), Poaceae (39), Fabaceae (20), Cyperaceae (16), Rosaceae (13), and Lamiaceae (11). A total of 155 Bell County distribution records were documented. Three threatened Kentucky species (Gentiana decora, Liparis loeselii, Silene ovata) were present in refugial habitats created by surface mining. The high species richness has resulted from native and naturalized invading species from the environs, native and exotic planted species, and species from the remnant seed bank. Forest vegetation is a complex mosaic of natural and semi-natural plant communities on the unplanted and planted areas of LMDA.

  20. Modern plant metabolomics: Advanced natural product gene discoveries, improved technologies, and future prospects

    SciTech Connect

    Sumner, Lloyd W.; Lei, Zhentian; Nikolau, Basil J.; Saito, Kazuki

    2014-10-24

    Plant metabolomics has matured and modern plant metabolomics has accelerated gene discoveries and the elucidation of a variety of plant natural product biosynthetic pathways. This study highlights specific examples of the discovery and characterization of novel genes and enzymes associated with the biosynthesis of natural products such as flavonoids, glucosinolates, terpenoids, and alkaloids. Additional examples of the integration of metabolomics with genome-based functional characterizations of plant natural products that are important to modern pharmaceutical technology are also reviewed. This article also provides a substantial review of recent technical advances in mass spectrometry imaging, nuclear magnetic resonance imaging, integrated LC-MS-SPE-NMR for metabolite identifications, and x-ray crystallography of microgram quantities for structural determinations. The review closes with a discussion on the future prospects of metabolomics related to crop species and herbal medicine.

  1. Modern plant metabolomics: advanced natural product gene discoveries, improved technologies, and future prospects.

    PubMed

    Sumner, Lloyd W; Lei, Zhentian; Nikolau, Basil J; Saito, Kazuki

    2015-02-01

    Plant metabolomics has matured and modern plant metabolomics has accelerated gene discoveries and the elucidation of a variety of plant natural product biosynthetic pathways. This review covers the approximate period of 2000 to 2014, and highlights specific examples of the discovery and characterization of novel genes and enzymes associated with the biosynthesis of natural products such as flavonoids, glucosinolates, terpenoids, and alkaloids. Additional examples of the integration of metabolomics with genome-based functional characterizations of plant natural products that are important to modern pharmaceutical technology are also reviewed. This article also provides a substantial review of recent technical advances in mass spectrometry imaging, nuclear magnetic resonance imaging, integrated LC-MS-SPE-NMR for metabolite identifications, and X-ray crystallography of microgram quantities for structural determinations. The review closes with a discussion on the future prospects of metabolomics related to crop species and herbal medicine.

  2. Modern plant metabolomics: Advanced natural product gene discoveries, improved technologies, and future prospects

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Sumner, Lloyd W.; Lei, Zhentian; Nikolau, Basil J.; Saito, Kazuki

    2014-10-24

    Plant metabolomics has matured and modern plant metabolomics has accelerated gene discoveries and the elucidation of a variety of plant natural product biosynthetic pathways. This study highlights specific examples of the discovery and characterization of novel genes and enzymes associated with the biosynthesis of natural products such as flavonoids, glucosinolates, terpenoids, and alkaloids. Additional examples of the integration of metabolomics with genome-based functional characterizations of plant natural products that are important to modern pharmaceutical technology are also reviewed. This article also provides a substantial review of recent technical advances in mass spectrometry imaging, nuclear magnetic resonance imaging, integrated LC-MS-SPE-NMR formore » metabolite identifications, and x-ray crystallography of microgram quantities for structural determinations. The review closes with a discussion on the future prospects of metabolomics related to crop species and herbal medicine.« less

  3. Below Regulatory Concern Owners Group: Selection of plants for sampling program: Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Vance, J.N.

    1988-03-01

    This report is one of a series of reports in the EPRI Below Regulatory Concern (BRC) program. This study was performed to provide the selection basis for plants to be included in the BRC sampling program. This final report describes the evaluations performed using 10CFR61 data and current fuel performance data to identify those plants with larger quantities of tramp or exposed fuel and correspondingly higher transuranic levels in the plant waste streams. Plants were ranked from the highest level to the lowest level of exposed or tramp fuel in the core. 10 tabs.

  4. Natural selection affects multiple aspects of genetic variation at putatively neutral sites across the human genome.

    PubMed

    Lohmueller, Kirk E; Albrechtsen, Anders; Li, Yingrui; Kim, Su Yeon; Korneliussen, Thorfinn; Vinckenbosch, Nicolas; Tian, Geng; Huerta-Sanchez, Emilia; Feder, Alison F; Grarup, Niels; Jørgensen, Torben; Jiang, Tao; Witte, Daniel R; Sandbæk, Annelli; Hellmann, Ines; Lauritzen, Torsten; Hansen, Torben; Pedersen, Oluf; Wang, Jun; Nielsen, Rasmus

    2011-10-01

    A major question in evolutionary biology is how natural selection has shaped patterns of genetic variation across the human genome. Previous work has documented a reduction in genetic diversity in regions of the genome with low recombination rates. However, it is unclear whether other summaries of genetic variation, like allele frequencies, are also correlated with recombination rate and whether these correlations can be explained solely by negative selection against deleterious mutations or whether positive selection acting on favorable alleles is also required. Here we attempt to address these questions by analyzing three different genome-wide resequencing datasets from European individuals. We document several significant correlations between different genomic features. In particular, we find that average minor allele frequency and diversity are reduced in regions of low recombination and that human diversity, human-chimp divergence, and average minor allele frequency are reduced near genes. Population genetic simulations show that either positive natural selection acting on favorable mutations or negative natural selection acting against deleterious mutations can explain these correlations. However, models with strong positive selection on nonsynonymous mutations and little negative selection predict a stronger negative correlation between neutral diversity and nonsynonymous divergence than observed in the actual data, supporting the importance of negative, rather than positive, selection throughout the genome. Further, we show that the widespread presence of weakly deleterious alleles, rather than a small number of strongly positively selected mutations, is responsible for the correlation between neutral genetic diversity and recombination rate. This work suggests that natural selection has affected multiple aspects of linked neutral variation throughout the human genome and that positive selection is not required to explain these observations.

  5. Darwin's principles of divergence and natural selection: Why Fodor was almost right.

    PubMed

    Richards, Robert J

    2012-03-01

    Darwin maintained that the principles of natural selection and divergence were the "keystones" of his theory. He introduced the principle of divergence to explain a fundamental feature of living nature: that organisms cluster into hierarchical groups, so as to be classifiable in the Linnaean taxonomic categories of variety, species, genus, and so on. Darwin's formulation of the principle of divergence, however, induces many perplexities. In his Autobiography, he claimed that he had neglected the problem of divergence in his Essay of 1844 and only solved it in a flash during a carriage ride in the 1850s; yet he does seem to have stated the problem in the Essay and provided the solution. This initial conundrum sets three questions I wish to pursue in this essay: (1) What is the relationship of the principle of divergence to that of natural selection? Is it independent of selection, derivative of selection, or a type of selection, perhaps comparable to sexual selection? (2) What is the advantage of divergence that the principle implies-that is, why is increased divergence beneficial in the struggle for life? And (3) What led Darwin to believe he had discovered the principle only in the 1850s? The resolution of these questions has implications for Darwin's other principle, natural selection, and permits us to readjust the common judgment made about Jerry Fodor's screed against that latter principle.

  6. Feature-based attention and spatial selection in frontal eye fields during natural scene search.

    PubMed

    Ramkumar, Pavan; Lawlor, Patrick N; Glaser, Joshua I; Wood, Daniel K; Phillips, Adam N; Segraves, Mark A; Kording, Konrad P

    2016-09-01

    When we search for visual objects, the features of those objects bias our attention across the visual landscape (feature-based attention). The brain uses these top-down cues to select eye movement targets (spatial selection). The frontal eye field (FEF) is a prefrontal brain region implicated in selecting eye movements and is thought to reflect feature-based attention and spatial selection. Here, we study how FEF facilitates attention and selection in complex natural scenes. We ask whether FEF neurons facilitate feature-based attention by representing search-relevant visual features or whether they are primarily involved in selecting eye movement targets in space. We show that search-relevant visual features are weakly predictive of gaze in natural scenes and additionally have no significant influence on FEF activity. Instead, FEF activity appears to primarily correlate with the direction of the upcoming eye movement. Our result demonstrates a concrete need for better models of natural scene search and suggests that FEF activity during natural scene search is explained primarily by spatial selection. PMID:27250912

  7. Natural Selection

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hall, Julie

    2006-01-01

    For education administrators, summer break is the time to regroup and prepare facilities for the next influx of students. Ensuring that facilities are equipped with proper furnishings is part of this preparation. Through careful research and planning, education administrators can choose furniture that will become a lasting investment. This article…

  8. Biosynthesis and molecular actions of specialized 1,4-naphthoquinone natural products produced by horticultural plants

    PubMed Central

    Widhalm, Joshua R; Rhodes, David

    2016-01-01

    The 1,4-naphthoquinones (1,4-NQs) are a diverse group of natural products found in every kingdom of life. Plants, including many horticultural species, collectively synthesize hundreds of specialized 1,4-NQs with ecological roles in plant–plant (allelopathy), plant–insect and plant–microbe interactions. Numerous horticultural plants producing 1,4-NQs have also served as sources of traditional medicines for hundreds of years. As a result, horticultural species have been at the forefront of many basic studies conducted to understand the metabolism and function of specialized plant 1,4-NQs. Several 1,4-NQ natural products derived from horticultural plants have also emerged as promising scaffolds for developing new drugs. In this review, the current understanding of the core metabolic pathways leading to plant 1,4-NQs is provided with additional emphasis on downstream natural products originating from horticultural species. An overview on the biochemical mechanisms of action, both from an ecological and pharmacological perspective, of 1,4-NQs derived from horticultural plants is also provided. In addition, future directions for improving basic knowledge about plant 1,4-NQ metabolism are discussed. PMID:27688890

  9. Biosynthesis and molecular actions of specialized 1,4-naphthoquinone natural products produced by horticultural plants

    PubMed Central

    Widhalm, Joshua R; Rhodes, David

    2016-01-01

    The 1,4-naphthoquinones (1,4-NQs) are a diverse group of natural products found in every kingdom of life. Plants, including many horticultural species, collectively synthesize hundreds of specialized 1,4-NQs with ecological roles in plant–plant (allelopathy), plant–insect and plant–microbe interactions. Numerous horticultural plants producing 1,4-NQs have also served as sources of traditional medicines for hundreds of years. As a result, horticultural species have been at the forefront of many basic studies conducted to understand the metabolism and function of specialized plant 1,4-NQs. Several 1,4-NQ natural products derived from horticultural plants have also emerged as promising scaffolds for developing new drugs. In this review, the current understanding of the core metabolic pathways leading to plant 1,4-NQs is provided with additional emphasis on downstream natural products originating from horticultural species. An overview on the biochemical mechanisms of action, both from an ecological and pharmacological perspective, of 1,4-NQs derived from horticultural plants is also provided. In addition, future directions for improving basic knowledge about plant 1,4-NQ metabolism are discussed.

  10. Natural genetic variation for morphological and molecular determinants of plant growth and yield.

    PubMed

    Nunes-Nesi, Adriano; Nascimento, Vitor de Laia; de Oliveira Silva, Franklin Magnum; Zsögön, Agustin; Araújo, Wagner L; Sulpice, Ronan

    2016-05-01

    The rates of increase in yield of the main commercial crops have been steadily falling in many areas worldwide. This generates concerns because there is a growing demand for plant biomass due to the increasing population. Plant yield should thus be improved in the context of climate change and decreasing natural resources. It is a major challenge which could be tackled by improving and/or altering light-use efficiency, CO2 uptake and fixation, primary metabolism, plant architecture and leaf morphology, and developmental plant processes. In this review, we discuss some of the traits which could lead to yield increase, with a focus on how natural genetic variation could be harnessed. Moreover, we provide insights for advancing our understanding of the molecular aspects governing plant growth and yield, and propose future avenues for improvement of crop yield. We also suggest that knowledge accumulated over the last decade in the field of molecular physiology should be integrated into new ideotypes.

  11. Screening of natural antioxidants from traditional Chinese medicinal plants associated with treatment of rheumatic disease.

    PubMed

    Gan, Ren-You; Kuang, Lei; Xu, Xiang-Rong; Zhang, Yuan; Xia, En-Qin; Song, Feng-Lin; Li, Hua-Bin

    2010-08-30

    In order to find new sources of natural antioxidants, the antioxidant capacities of 50 medicinal plants associated with treatment of rheumatic diseases were systemically evaluated using the ferric-reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) and Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEAC) assays, and their total phenolic contents were measured by the Folin-Ciocalteu method. Their antioxidant activities of some of these plants were analyzed for the first time. The FRAP and TEAC assay results suggested that the antioxidant compounds in these plants possessed free radicals scavenging activity and oxidant reducing power. A positive linear correlation between antioxidant capacities and total phenolic contents implied that phenolic compounds in these plants could be the main components contributing to the observed activities. The results showed that Geranium wilfordii, Loranthus parasiticus, Polygonum aviculare, Pyrrosia sheaeri, Sinomenium acutum and Tripterygium wilfordii possessed the highest antioxidant capacities and total phenolic content among 50 plants tested, and could be rich potential sources of natural antioxidants.

  12. A reliable method for the selection and confirmation of transconjugants of plant growth-promoting bacteria especially plant-associated Burkholderia spp.

    PubMed

    Tariq, Mohsin; Lum, Michelle R; Chong, Allan W; Amirapu, Anjana B; Hameed, Sohail; Hirsch, Ann M

    2015-10-01

    Selectable markers, e.g., antibiotic resistance, for conjugation experiments are not always effective for slow-growing plant growth promoting bacteria such as Burkholderia. We used PCAT medium containing Congo Red for selecting Burkholderia transconjugants. This method allows for the reliable selection of transconjugants of these novel plant growth-promoting bacteria.

  13. Reassessment of selected factors affecting siting of Nuclear Power Plants

    SciTech Connect

    Davis, R.E.; Hanson, A.L.; Mubayi, V.; Nourbakhsh, H.P.

    1997-02-01

    Brookhaven National Laboratory has performed a series of probabilistic consequence assessment calculations for nuclear reactor siting. This study takes into account recent insights into severe accident source terms and examines consequences in a risk based format consistent with the quantitative health objectives (QHOs) of the NRC`s Safety Goal Policy. Simplified severe accident source terms developed in this study are based on the risk insights of NUREG-1150. The results of the study indicate that both the quantity of radioactivity released in a severe accident as well as the likelihood of a release are lower than those predicted in earlier studies. The accident risks using the simplified source terms are examined at a series of generic plant sites, that vary in population distribution, meteorological conditions, and exclusion area boundary distances. Sensitivity calculations are performed to evaluate the effects of emergency protective action assumptions on the risk of prompt fatality and latent cancers fatality, and population relocation. The study finds that based on the new source terms the prompt and latent fatality risks at all generic sites meet the QHOs of the NRC`s Safety Goal Policy by margins ranging from one to more than three orders of magnitude. 4 refs., 17 figs., 24 tabs.

  14. Unification of regression-based methods for the analysis of natural selection.

    PubMed

    Morrissey, Michael B; Sakrejda, Krzysztof

    2013-07-01

    Regression analyses are central to characterization of the form and strength of natural selection in nature. Two common analyses that are currently used to characterize selection are (1) least squares-based approximation of the individual relative fitness surface for the purpose of obtaining quantitatively useful selection gradients, and (2) spline-based estimation of (absolute) fitness functions to obtain flexible inference of the shape of functions by which fitness and phenotype are related. These two sets of methodologies are often implemented in parallel to provide complementary inferences of the form of natural selection. We unify these two analyses, providing a method whereby selection gradients can be obtained for a given observed distribution of phenotype and characterization of a function relating phenotype to fitness. The method allows quantitatively useful selection gradients to be obtained from analyses of selection that adequately model nonnormal distributions of fitness, and provides unification of the two previously separate regression-based fitness analyses. We demonstrate the method by calculating directional and quadratic selection gradients associated with a smooth regression-based generalized additive model of the relationship between neonatal survival and the phenotypic traits of gestation length and birth mass in humans.

  15. Natural and sexual selection giveth and taketh away reproductive barriers: models of population divergence in guppies.

    PubMed

    Labonne, Jacques; Hendry, Andrew P

    2010-07-01

    The standard predictions of ecological speciation might be nuanced by the interaction between natural and sexual selection. We investigated this hypothesis with an individual-based model tailored to the biology of guppies (Poecilia reticulata). We specifically modeled the situation where a high-predation population below a waterfall colonizes a low-predation population above a waterfall. Focusing on the evolution of male color, we confirm that divergent selection causes the appreciable evolution of male color within 20 generations. The rate and magnitude of this divergence were reduced when dispersal rates were high and when female choice did not differ between environments. Adaptive divergence was always coupled to the evolution of two reproductive barriers: viability selection against immigrants and hybrids. Different types of sexual selection, however, led to contrasting results for another potential reproductive barrier: mating success of immigrants. In some cases, the effects of natural and sexual selection offset each other, leading to no overall reproductive isolation despite strong adaptive divergence. Sexual selection acting through female choice can thus strongly modify the effects of divergent natural selection and thereby alter the standard predictions of ecological speciation. We also found that under no circumstances did divergent selection cause appreciable divergence in neutral genetic markers.

  16. Natural soil microbes alter flowering phenology and the intensity of selection on flowering time in a wild Arabidopsis relative.

    PubMed

    Wagner, Maggie R; Lundberg, Derek S; Coleman-Derr, Devin; Tringe, Susannah G; Dangl, Jeffery L; Mitchell-Olds, Thomas

    2014-06-01

    Plant phenology is known to depend on many different environmental variables, but soil microbial communities have rarely been acknowledged as possible drivers of flowering time. Here, we tested separately the effects of four naturally occurring soil microbiomes and their constituent soil chemistries on flowering phenology and reproductive fitness of Boechera stricta, a wild relative of Arabidopsis. Flowering time was sensitive to both microbes and the abiotic properties of different soils; varying soil microbiota also altered patterns of selection on flowering time. Thus, soil microbes potentially contribute to phenotypic plasticity of flowering time and to differential selection observed between habitats. We also describe a method to dissect the microbiome into single axes of variation that can help identify candidate organisms whose abundance in soil correlates with flowering time. This approach is broadly applicable to search for microbial community members that alter biological characteristics of interest.

  17. Determining the Effect of Natural Selection on Linked Neutral Divergence across Species.

    PubMed

    Phung, Tanya N; Huber, Christian D; Lohmueller, Kirk E

    2016-08-01

    A major goal in evolutionary biology is to understand how natural selection has shaped patterns of genetic variation across genomes. Studies in a variety of species have shown that neutral genetic diversity (intra-species differences) has been reduced at sites linked to those under direct selection. However, the effect of linked selection on neutral sequence divergence (inter-species differences) remains ambiguous. While empirical studies have reported correlations between divergence and recombination, which is interpreted as evidence for natural selection reducing linked neutral divergence, theory argues otherwise, especially for species that have diverged long ago. Here we address these outstanding issues by examining whether natural selection can affect divergence between both closely and distantly related species. We show that neutral divergence between closely related species (e.g. human-primate) is negatively correlated with functional content and positively correlated with human recombination rate. We also find that neutral divergence between distantly related species (e.g. human-rodent) is negatively correlated with functional content and positively correlated with estimates of background selection from primates. These patterns persist after accounting for the confounding factors of hypermutable CpG sites, GC content, and biased gene conversion. Coalescent models indicate that even when the contribution of ancestral polymorphism to divergence is small, background selection in the ancestral population can still explain a large proportion of the variance in divergence across the genome, generating the observed correlations. Our findings reveal that, contrary to previous intuition, natural selection can indirectly affect linked neutral divergence between both closely and distantly related species. Though we cannot formally exclude the possibility that the direct effects of purifying selection drive some of these patterns, such a scenario would be possible only

  18. Determining the Effect of Natural Selection on Linked Neutral Divergence across Species

    PubMed Central

    Phung, Tanya N.; Lohmueller, Kirk E.

    2016-01-01

    A major goal in evolutionary biology is to understand how natural selection has shaped patterns of genetic variation across genomes. Studies in a variety of species have shown that neutral genetic diversity (intra-species differences) has been reduced at sites linked to those under direct selection. However, the effect of linked selection on neutral sequence divergence (inter-species differences) remains ambiguous. While empirical studies have reported correlations between divergence and recombination, which is interpreted as evidence for natural selection reducing linked neutral divergence, theory argues otherwise, especially for species that have diverged long ago. Here we address these outstanding issues by examining whether natural selection can affect divergence between both closely and distantly related species. We show that neutral divergence between closely related species (e.g. human-primate) is negatively correlated with functional content and positively correlated with human recombination rate. We also find that neutral divergence between distantly related species (e.g. human-rodent) is negatively correlated with functional content and positively correlated with estimates of background selection from primates. These patterns persist after accounting for the confounding factors of hypermutable CpG sites, GC content, and biased gene conversion. Coalescent models indicate that even when the contribution of ancestral polymorphism to divergence is small, background selection in the ancestral population can still explain a large proportion of the variance in divergence across the genome, generating the observed correlations. Our findings reveal that, contrary to previous intuition, natural selection can indirectly affect linked neutral divergence between both closely and distantly related species. Though we cannot formally exclude the possibility that the direct effects of purifying selection drive some of these patterns, such a scenario would be possible only

  19. Darwin and his pigeons. The analogy between artificial and natural selection revisited.

    PubMed

    Theunissen, Bert

    2012-01-01

    The analogy between artificial selection of domestic varieties and natural selection in nature was a vital element of Darwin's argument in his Origin of Species. Ever since, the image of breeders creating new varieties by artificial selection has served as a convincing illustration of how the theory works. In this paper I argue that we need to reconsider our understanding of Darwin's analogy. Contrary to what is often assumed, nineteenth-century animal breeding practices constituted a highly controversial field that was fraught with difficulties. It was only with considerable effort that Darwin forged his analogy, and he only succeeded by downplaying the importance of two other breeding techniques - crossing of varieties and inbreeding - that many breeders deemed essential to obtain new varieties. Part of the explanation for Darwin's gloss on breeding practices, I shall argue, was that the methods of his main informants, the breeders of fancy pigeons, were not representative of what went on in the breeding world at large. Darwin seems to have been eager to take the pigeon fanciers at their word, however, as it was only their methods that provided him with the perfect analogy with natural selection. Thus while his studies of domestic varieties were important for the development of the concept of natural selection, the reverse was also true: Darwin's comprehension of breeding practices was moulded by his understanding of the working of natural selection in nature. Historical studies of domestic breeding practices in the eighteenth and nineteenth century confirm that, besides selection, the techniques of inbreeding and crossing were much more important than Darwin's interpretation allowed for. And they still are today. This calls for a reconsideration of the pedagogic use of Darwin's analogy too.

  20. Chemo- and site-selective derivatizations of natural products enabling biological studies.

    PubMed

    Robles, Omar; Romo, Daniel

    2014-03-01

    Bioactive natural products and derivatives remain an enduring starting point for the discovery of new cellular targets for disease intervention and lead compounds for the development of new therapeutic agents. The former goal is accomplished through the synthesis of bioactive cellular probes from natural products, enabling insights into the mechanism of action of these natural products by classical affinity chromatography or more recent proteome profiling methods. However, the direct and selective modification of native natural products for these purposes remains a challenge due to the structural complexity and the wide functional group diversity found in these natural substances. The lack of selective synthetic methods available to directly manipulate unprotected complex small molecules, in particular to perform structure-activity relationship studies and prepare appropriate cellular probes, has recently begun to be addressed, benefitting from the broader emerging area of chemoselective synthetic methodology. Thus, new reagents, catalysts and reaction processes are enabling both chemo- and site-selective modifications of complex, native natural products. In this review, we describe selected recent examples of these functionalization strategies in this emerging area. PMID:24468713

  1. Chemo- and Site-Selective Derivatizations of Natural Products Enabling Biological Studies

    PubMed Central

    Robles, Omar

    2014-01-01

    Bioactive natural products and derivatives remain an enduring starting point for the discovery of new cellular targets for disease intervention and lead compounds for the development of new therapeutic agents. The former goal is accomplished through the synthesis of bioactive cellular probes from natural products enabling insights into the mechanism of action of these natural products by classical affinity chromatography or more recent proteome profiling methods. However, the direct and selective modification of native natural products for these purposes remains a challenge due to the structural complexity and the wide functional group diversity found in these natural substances. The lack of selective synthetic methods available to directly manipulate unprotected complex small molecules, in particular to perform structure-activity relationship studies and prepare appropriate cellular probes, has recently begun to be addressed benefitting from the broader emerging area of chemoselective synthetic methodology. Thus, new reagents, catalysts and reaction processes are enabling both chemo- and site-selective modifications of complex, native natural products. In this review, we describe selected recent examples of these functionalization strategies in this emerging area. PMID:24468713

  2. Plant selection for nest building by western lowland gorillas in Cameroon.

    PubMed

    Willie, Jacob; Tagg, Nikki; Petre, Charles-Albert; Pereboom, Zjef; Lens, Luc

    2014-01-01

    We examined 834 nests built by western lowland gorillas in Cameroon between July 2008 and July 2011 to identify the plant species used in their construction. Preference for each plant species for nesting was assessed using a 'preference index' calculated by combining information on the occurrence of each species in the forest and in the nests. Forty-six plant species representing about 15 % of the total number of species in the forest and 26 % of species used for nest building were frequently used by gorillas. Preference levels significantly varied among these species. Nests were mostly built with herbs of the families Marantaceae and Zingiberaceae and woody species such as Manniophyton fulvum (liana) and Alchornea floribunda (shrub). As observed in other gorilla populations, suitability for nest building and availability of gorilla food in stems were the likely determinants of plant selection. The total number of species used per nest ranged from 1 to 11, with an average of 4.9. This is high compared to other sites, emphasizing variability in the availability of nest building materials and habitat differences across the range of the western gorilla. Seasonal changes in the use of different habitat types for nesting did not appear to influence plant use for nest building as there was little variation in plant selection across seasons or the composition of nests. Our findings suggest that gorillas non-randomly select plant species to build nests, and use a particular set of species combined at varying proportions, with no clear seasonal or spatial patterns.

  3. Effects of foliar surfactants on host plant selection behavior of Liriomyza huidobrensis (Diptera: Agromyzidae).

    PubMed

    McKee, Fraser R; Levac, Joshua; Hallett, Rebecca H

    2009-10-01

    The pea leafminer, Liriomyza huidobrensis (Diptera: Agromyzidae), is a highly polyphagous insect pest of global distribution. L. huidobrensis feeds and lays its eggs on leaf tissue and reduces crop marketability because of stippling and mining damage. In field insecticide trials, it was observed that stippling was reduced on plants treated with surfactant alone. The objectives of this study were to determine the effect of surfactants on host selection behaviors of female L. huidobrensis and to assess the phytotoxicity of two common surfactants to test plants. The application of the surfactant Sylgard 309 to celery (Apium graveolens) caused a significant reduction in stippling rates. The application of Agral 90 to cucumber leaves (Cucumis sativus) resulted in changes to the amount of effort invested by females in specific host plant selection behaviors, as well as causing a significant reduction in the amount of stippling damage. The recommended dose of Sylgard 309 does not induce phytotoxicity on celery over a range of age classes nor does Agral 90 cause a phytotoxic effect in 35-d-old cucumber. Thus, reductions in observed stippling and changes to host selection behaviors were caused by an antixenotic effect of the surfactant on L. huidobrensis rather than a toxic effect of the surfactant on the plant. The presence of surfactant on an otherwise acceptable host plant seems to have masked host plant cues and prevented host plant recognition. Results indicate that surfactants may be used to reduce leafminer damage to vegetable crops, potentially reducing the use of insecticides.

  4. Genetic evidence for natural selection in humans in the contemporary United States.

    PubMed

    Beauchamp, Jonathan P

    2016-07-12

    Recent findings from molecular genetics now make it possible to test directly for natural selection by analyzing whether genetic variants associated with various phenotypes have been under selection. I leverage these findings to construct polygenic scores that use individuals' genotypes to predict their body mass index, educational attainment (EA), glucose concentration, height, schizophrenia, total cholesterol, and (in females) age at menarche. I then examine associations between these scores and fitness to test whether natural selection has been occurring. My study sample includes individuals of European ancestry born between 1931 and 1953 who participated in the Health and Retirement Study, a representative study of the US population. My results imply that natural selection has been slowly favoring lower EA in both females and males, and are suggestive that natural selection may have favored a higher age at menarche in females. For EA, my estimates imply a rate of selection of about -1.5 mo of education per generation (which pales in comparison with the increases in EA observed in contemporary times). Although they cannot be projected over more than one generation, my results provide additional evidence that humans are still evolving-albeit slowly, especially compared with the rapid changes that have occurred over the past few generations due to cultural and environmental factors.

  5. Genetic evidence for natural selection in humans in the contemporary United States.

    PubMed

    Beauchamp, Jonathan P

    2016-07-12

    Recent findings from molecular genetics now make it possible to test directly for natural selection by analyzing whether genetic variants associated with various phenotypes have been under selection. I leverage these findings to construct polygenic scores that use individuals' genotypes to predict their body mass index, educational attainment (EA), glucose concentration, height, schizophrenia, total cholesterol, and (in females) age at menarche. I then examine associations between these scores and fitness to test whether natural selection has been occurring. My study sample includes individuals of European ancestry born between 1931 and 1953 who participated in the Health and Retirement Study, a representative study of the US population. My results imply that natural selection has been slowly favoring lower EA in both females and males, and are suggestive that natural selection may have favored a higher age at menarche in females. For EA, my estimates imply a rate of selection of about -1.5 mo of education per generation (which pales in comparison with the increases in EA observed in contemporary times). Although they cannot be projected over more than one generation, my results provide additional evidence that humans are still evolving-albeit slowly, especially compared with the rapid changes that have occurred over the past few generations due to cultural and environmental factors. PMID:27402742

  6. Natural selection and genital variation: a role for the environment, parasites and sperm ageing?

    PubMed

    Reinhardt, Klaus

    2010-01-01

    Male genitalia are more variable between species (and populations) than other organs, and are more morphologically complex in polygamous compared to monogamous species. Therefore, sexual selection has been put forward as the major explanation of genital variation and complexity, in particular cryptic female choice for male copulatory courtship. As cryptic female choice is based on differences between males it is somewhat paradoxical that there is such low within-species variation in male genitalia that they are a prime morphological identification character for animal species. Processes other than sexual selection may also lead to genitalia variation but they have recently become neglected. Here I focus on pleiotropy and natural selection and provide examples how they link genitalia morphology with genital environments. Pleiotropy appears to be important because most studies that specifically tested for pleiotropic effects on genital morphology found them. Natural selection likely favours certain genital morphology over others in various environments, as well as by reducing re-infection with sexually transmitted diseases or reducing the likelihood of fertilisation with aged sperm. Both pleiotropy and natural selection differ locally and between species so may contribute to local variation in genitalia and sometimes variation between monogamous and polygamous species. Furthermore, the multitude of genital environments will lead to a multitude of genital functions via natural selection and pleiotropy, and may also contribute to explaining the complexity of genitalia.

  7. Natural selection on quantitative immune defence traits: a comparison between theory and data.

    PubMed

    Seppälä, O

    2015-01-01

    Parasites present a threat for free-living species and affect several ecological and evolutionary processes. Immune defence is the main physiological barrier against infections, and understanding its evolution is central for predicting disease dynamics. I review theoretical predictions and empirical data on natural selection on quantitative immune defence traits in the wild. Evolutionary theory predicts immune traits to be under stabilizing selection owing to trade-offs between immune function and life-history traits. Empirical data, however, support mainly positive directional selection, but also show variation in the form of selection among study systems, immune traits and fitness components. I argue that the differences between theory and empirical data may at least partly arise from methodological difficulties in testing stabilizing selection as well as measuring fitness. I also argue that the commonness of positive directional selection and the variation in selection may be caused by several biological factors. First, selection on immune function may show spatial and temporal variation as epidemics are often local/seasonal. Second, factors affecting the range of phenotypic variation in immune traits could alter potential for selection. Third, different parasites may impose different selective pressures depending on their characteristics. Fourth, condition dependence of immune defence can obscure trade-offs related to it, thus possibly modifying observed selection gradients. Fifth, nonimmunological defences could affect the form of selection by reducing the benefits of strong immune function. To comprehensively understand the evolution of immune defence, the role of above factors should be considered in future studies.

  8. The response of natural enemies to selective insecticides applied to soybean.

    PubMed

    Varenhorst, A J; O'Neal, M E

    2012-12-01

    Natural enemies of the invasive pest Aphis glycines Matsumura can prevent its establishment and population growth. However, current A. glycines management practices include the application of broad-spectrum insecticides that affect pests and natural enemies that are present in the field at the time of application. An alternative is the use of selective insecticides that affect the targeted pest species, although having a reduced impact on the natural enemies. We tested the effects of esfenvalerate, spirotetramat, imidacloprid, and a combination of spirotetramat and imidacloprid on the natural enemies in soybean during the 2009 and 2010 field season. The natural enemy community that was tested differed significantly between 2009 and 2010 (F = 87.41; df = 1, 598; P < 0.0001). The most abundant natural enemy in 2009 was Harmonia axyridis (Pallas) (56.0%) and in 2010 was Orius insidiosus (Say) (41.0%). During 2009, the abundance of natural enemies did not vary between the broad-spectrum and selective insecticides; however, the abundance of natural enemies was reduced by all insecticide treatments when compared with the untreated control. In 2010, the selective insecticide imidacloprid had more natural enemies than the broad-spectrum insecticide. Although we did not observe a difference in the abundance of the total natural enemy community in 2009, we did observe more H. axyridis in plots treated with spirotetramat. In 2010, we observed more O. insidiosus in plots treated with imidacloprid. We suggest a couple of mechanisms to explain how the varying insecticides have different impacts on separate components of the natural enemy community.

  9. Two-flow simulation of the natural light field within a canopy of submerged aquatic plants

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ackleson, S. G.; Klemas, V.

    1986-01-01

    A two-flow model is developed to simulate a light field composed of both collimated and diffuse irradiance within natural waters containing a canopy of bottom-adhering plants. To account for the effects of submerging a canopy, the transmittance and reflectance terms associated with each plant structure (leaves, stems, fruiting bodies, etc.) are expressed as functions of the ratio of the refractive index of the plant material to the refractive index of the surrounding media and the internal transmittance of the plant stucture. Algebraic solutions to the model are shown to yield plausible physical explanations for unanticipated variations in volume reflectance spectra. The effect of bottom reflectance on the near-bottom light field is also investigated. These indicate that within light-limited submerged aquatic plant canopies, substrate reflectance may play an important role in determining the amount of light available to the plants and, therefore, canopy productivity.

  10. Antioxidant responses in soybean and alfalfa plants grown in DDTs contaminated soils: Useful variables for selecting plants for soil phytoremediation?

    PubMed

    Mitton, Francesca M; Ribas Ferreira, Josencler L; Gonzalez, Mariana; Miglioranza, Karina S B; Monserrat, José M

    2016-06-01

    Phytoremediation is a low-cost alternative technology based on the use of plants to remove pollutants from the environment. Persistent organic pollutants such as DDTs with a long half-life in soils are attractive candidates for remediation. This study aimed to determine the potential of antioxidant response use in the evaluation of plants' tolerance for selecting species in phytoremediation purposes. Alfalfa and soybean plants were grown in DDT contaminated soils. After 60days, growth, protein content, antioxidant capacity, GST activity, concentration of proteic and non-proteic thiol groups, chlorophyll content and carotenoid content were measured in plant tissues. Results showed no effect on alfalfa or soybean photosynthetic pigments but different responses in the protein content, antioxidant capacity, GST activity and thiol groups on roots, stems and leaves, indicating that DDTs affected both species. Soybean showed higher susceptibility than alfalfa plants due to the lower antioxidant capacity and GST activity in leaves, in spite of having the lowest DDT accumulation. This study provides new insights into the role of oxidative stress as an important component of the plant's response to DDT exposure.

  11. Antioxidant responses in soybean and alfalfa plants grown in DDTs contaminated soils: Useful variables for selecting plants for soil phytoremediation?

    PubMed

    Mitton, Francesca M; Ribas Ferreira, Josencler L; Gonzalez, Mariana; Miglioranza, Karina S B; Monserrat, José M

    2016-06-01

    Phytoremediation is a low-cost alternative technology based on the use of plants to remove pollutants from the environment. Persistent organic pollutants such as DDTs with a long half-life in soils are attractive candidates for remediation. This study aimed to determine the potential of antioxidant response use in the evaluation of plants' tolerance for selecting species in phytoremediation purposes. Alfalfa and soybean plants were grown in DDT contaminated soils. After 60days, growth, protein content, antioxidant capacity, GST activity, concentration of proteic and non-proteic thiol groups, chlorophyll content and carotenoid content were measured in plant tissues. Results showed no effect on alfalfa or soybean photosynthetic pigments but different responses in the protein content, antioxidant capacity, GST activity and thiol groups on roots, stems and leaves, indicating that DDTs affected both species. Soybean showed higher susceptibility than alfalfa plants due to the lower antioxidant capacity and GST activity in leaves, in spite of having the lowest DDT accumulation. This study provides new insights into the role of oxidative stress as an important component of the plant's response to DDT exposure. PMID:27155479

  12. Selective Aptamers for Detection of Estradiol and Ethynylestradiol in Natural Waters.

    PubMed

    Akki, Spurti U; Werth, Charles J; Silverman, Scott K

    2015-08-18

    We used in vitro selection to identify new DNA aptamers for two endocrine-disrupting compounds often found in treated and natural waters, 17β-estradiol (E2) and 17α-ethynylestradiol (EE). We used equilibrium filtration to determine aptamer sensitivity/selectivity and dimethyl sulfate (DMS) probing to explore aptamer binding sites. The new E2 aptamers are at least 74-fold more sensitive for E2 than is a previously reported DNA aptamer, with dissociation constants (Kd values) of 0.6 μM. Similarly, the EE aptamers are highly sensitive for EE, with Kd of 0.5-1.0 μM. Selectivity values indicate that the E2 aptamers bind E2 and a structural analogue, estrone (E1), equally well and are up to 74-fold selective over EE. One EE aptamer is 53-fold more selective for EE over E2 or E1, but the other binds EE, E2, and E1 with similar affinity. The new aptamers do not lose sensitivity or selectivity in natural water from a local lake, despite the presence of natural organic matter (∼4 mg/L TOC). DMS probing suggests that E2 binding occurs in relatively flexible single-stranded DNA regions, an important finding for rational redesign of aptamers and their incorporation into sensing platforms. This is the first report of aptamers with strong selectivity for E2 and E1 over EE, or with strong selectivity for EE over E2 and E1. Such selectivity is important for achieving the goal of creating practically useful DNA-based sensors that can distinguish structurally similar estrogenic compounds in natural waters.

  13. Selective Aptamers for Detection of Estradiol and Ethynylestradiol in Natural Waters.

    PubMed

    Akki, Spurti U; Werth, Charles J; Silverman, Scott K

    2015-08-18

    We used in vitro selection to identify new DNA aptamers for two endocrine-disrupting compounds often found in treated and natural waters, 17β-estradiol (E2) and 17α-ethynylestradiol (EE). We used equilibrium filtration to determine aptamer sensitivity/selectivity and dimethyl sulfate (DMS) probing to explore aptamer binding sites. The new E2 aptamers are at least 74-fold more sensitive for E2 than is a previously reported DNA aptamer, with dissociation constants (Kd values) of 0.6 μM. Similarly, the EE aptamers are highly sensitive for EE, with Kd of 0.5-1.0 μM. Selectivity values indicate that the E2 aptamers bind E2 and a structural analogue, estrone (E1), equally well and are up to 74-fold selective over EE. One EE aptamer is 53-fold more selective for EE over E2 or E1, but the other binds EE, E2, and E1 with similar affinity. The new aptamers do not lose sensitivity or selectivity in natural water from a local lake, despite the presence of natural organic matter (∼4 mg/L TOC). DMS probing suggests that E2 binding occurs in relatively flexible single-stranded DNA regions, an important finding for rational redesign of aptamers and their incorporation into sensing platforms. This is the first report of aptamers with strong selectivity for E2 and E1 over EE, or with strong selectivity for EE over E2 and E1. Such selectivity is important for achieving the goal of creating practically useful DNA-based sensors that can distinguish structurally similar estrogenic compounds in natural waters. PMID:26182235

  14. Strong selection on mandible and nest features in a carpenter bee that nests in two sympatric host plants

    PubMed Central

    Flores-Prado, Luis; Pinto, Carlos F; Rojas, Alejandra; Fontúrbel, Francisco E

    2014-01-01

    Host plants are used by herbivorous insects as feeding or nesting resources. In wood-boring insects, host plants features may impose selective forces leading to phenotypic differentiation on traits related to nest construction. Carpenter bees build their nests in dead stems or dry twigs of shrubs and trees; thus, mandibles are essential for the nesting process, and the nest is required for egg laying and offspring survival. We explored the shape and intensity of natural selection on phenotypic variation on three size measures of the bees (intertegular width, wing length, and mandible area) and two nest architecture measures (tunnel length and diameter) on bees using the native species Chusquea quila (Poaceae), and the alloctonous species Rubus ulmifolius (Rosaceae), in central Chile. Our results showed significant and positive linear selection gradients for tunnel length on both hosts, indicating that bees building long nests have more offspring. Bees with broader mandibles show greater fitness on C. quila but not on R. ulmifolius. Considering that C. quila represents a selective force on mandible area, we hypothesized a high adaptive value of this trait, resulting in higher fitness values when nesting on this host, despite its wood is denser and hence more difficult to be bored. PMID:24963379

  15. Bumble-bee learning selects for both early and long flowering in food-deceptive plants

    PubMed Central

    Internicola, Antonina I.; Harder, Lawrence D.

    2012-01-01

    Most rewardless orchids engage in generalized food-deception, exhibiting floral traits typical of rewarding species and exploiting the instinctive foraging of pollinators. Generalized food-deceptive (GFD) orchids compete poorly with rewarding species for pollinator services, which may be overcome by flowering early in the growing season when relatively more pollinators are naive and fewer competing plant species are flowering, and/or flowering for extended periods to enhance the chance of pollinator visits. We tested these hypotheses by manipulating flowering time and duration in a natural population of Calypso bulbosa and quantifying pollinator visitation based on pollen removal. Both early and long flowering increased bumble-bee visitation compared with late and brief flowering, respectively. To identify the cause of reduced visitation during late flowering, we tested whether negative experience with C. bulbosa (avoidance learning) and positive experience with a rewarding species, Arctostaphylos uva-ursi, (associative learning) by captive bumble-bees could reduce C. bulbosa's competitiveness. Avoidance learning explained the higher visitation of early- compared with late-flowering C. bulbosa. The resulting pollinator-mediated selection for early flowering may commonly affect GFD orchids, explaining their tendency to flower earlier than rewarding orchids. For dissimilar deceptive and rewarding sympatric species, associative learning may additionally favour early flowering by GFD species. PMID:22090384

  16. Mercury uptake and phytotoxicity in terrestrial plants grown naturally in the Gumuskoy (Kutahya) mining area, Turkey.

    PubMed

    Sasmaz, Merve; Akgül, Bunyamin; Yıldırım, Derya; Sasmaz, Ahmet

    2016-01-01

    This study investigated mercury (Hg) uptake and transport from the soil to different plant parts by documenting the distribution and accumulation of Hg in the roots and shoots of 12 terrestrial plant species, all of which grow naturally in surface soils of the Gumuskoy Pb-Ag mining area. Plant samples and their associated soils were collected and analyzed for Hg content by ICP-MS. Mean Hg values in the soils, roots, and shoots of all plants were 6.914, 460, and 206 µg kg(-1), respectively and lower than 1. The mean enrichment factors for the roots (ECR) and shoots (ECS) of these plants were 0.06 and 0.09, respectively and lower than 1. These results show that the roots of the studied plants prevented Hg from reaching the aerial parts of the plants. The mean translocation factor (TLF) was 1.29 and higher than 1. The mean TLF values indicated that all 12 plant species had the ability to transfer Hg from the roots to the shoots but that transfer was more efficient in plants with higher ECR and ECS. Therefore, these plants could be useful for the biomonitoring of environmental pollution and for rehabilitating areas contaminated by Hg.

  17. Strength in numbers? Effects of multiple natural enemy species on plant performance.

    PubMed

    Stephens, Andrea E A; Srivastava, Diane S; Myers, Judith H

    2013-06-01

    While plants are invariably attacked by numerous insects and pathogens, the consequences of multiple enemies for plant performance are poorly understood. In particular, a predictive framework is lacking for when to expect enemies to have independent versus non-independent effects on their host plant. This is problematic for weed biological control programmes where multiple enemies are frequently released with the possibility of antagonistic interactions that may reduce control. Here, we conduct an analysis of 74 unique plant-enemy-enemy combinations from 51 studies to determine the frequency of non-independent effects of natural enemies on host plant performance, and test a number of a priori predictions for determinants of independent and antagonistic effects of multiple enemies. For three-quarters of plant response measurements, enemies had independent effects on plant performance. In most of the remainder, multiple enemies led to less reduction in performance than that predicted from each enemy alone. Antagonistic effects occurred when enemies attacked the same plant part concurrently or attacked plant reproductive structures. These two predictors explained why antagonistic effects were particularly prevalent for weeds, plants in the family Asteraceae and enemies in the order Diptera. Our results suggest that a few simple rules about avoiding particular combinations of multiple enemies could improve biological control success.

  18. Computational genomic identification and functional reconstitution of plant natural product biosynthetic pathways

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Covering: 2003 to 2016 The last decade has seen the first major discoveries regarding the genomic basis of plant natural product biosynthetic pathways. Four key computationally driven strategies have been developed to identify such pathways, which make use of physical clustering, co-expression, evolutionary co-occurrence and epigenomic co-regulation of the genes involved in producing a plant natural product. Here, we discuss how these approaches can be used for the discovery of plant biosynthetic pathways encoded by both chromosomally clustered and non-clustered genes. Additionally, we will discuss opportunities to prioritize plant gene clusters for experimental characterization, and end with a forward-looking perspective on how synthetic biology technologies will allow effective functional reconstitution of candidate pathways using a variety of genetic systems. PMID:27321668

  19. The interaction of sexually and naturally selected traits in the adaptive radiations of cichlid fishes.

    PubMed

    Salzburger, Walter

    2009-01-01

    The question of how genetic variation translates into organismal diversity has puzzled biologists for decades. Despite recent advances in evolutionary and developmental genetics, the mechanisms that underlie adaptation, diversification and evolutionary innovation remain largely unknown. The exceptionally diverse species flocks of cichlid fishes are textbook examples of adaptive radiation and explosive speciation and emerge as powerful model systems to study the genetic basis of animal diversification. East Africa's hundreds of endemic cichlid species are akin to a natural mutagenesis screen and differ greatly not only in ecologically relevant (hence naturally selected) characters such as mouth morphology and body shape, but also in sexually selected traits such as coloration. One of the most fascinating aspects of cichlid evolution is the frequent occurrence of evolutionary parallelisms, which has led to the question whether selection alone is sufficient to produce these parallel morphologies, or whether a developmental or genetic bias has influenced the direction of diversification. Here, I review fitness-relevant traits that could be responsible for the cichlids' evolutionary success and assess whether these were shaped by sexual or natural selection. I then focus on the interaction and the relative importance of sexual vs. natural selection in cichlid evolution. Finally, I discuss what is currently known about the genes underlying the morphogenesis of adaptively relevant traits and highlight the importance of the forthcoming cichlid genomes in the quest of the genetic basis of diversification in this group. PMID:18992003

  20. Maintenance of a genetic polymorphism with disruptive natural selection in stickleback.

    PubMed

    Marchinko, Kerry B; Matthews, Blake; Arnegard, Matthew E; Rogers, Sean M; Schluter, Dolph

    2014-06-01

    The role of natural selection in the maintenance of genetic variation in wild populations remains a major problem in evolution. The influence of disruptive natural selection on genetic variation is especially interesting because it might lead to the evolution of assortative mating or dominance [1, 2]. In theory, variation can persist at a gene under disruptive natural selection, but the process is little studied and there are few examples [3, 4]. We report a stable polymorphism in the bony armor of threespine stickleback maintained with a deficit of heterozygotes at the major underlying gene, Ectodysplasin (Eda) [5]. The deficit vanishes at the embryo life stage only to re-emerge in adults, indicating that disruptive natural selection, rather than nonrandom mating, is the cause. The mechanism enabling long-term persistence of the polymorphism is unknown, but disruptive selection is predicted to be frequency dependent, favoring homozygous genotypes when they become rare. Further research on the ecological and evolutionary processes affecting individual genes will ultimately lead to a better understanding of the causes of genetic variation in populations.